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Demonization of Putin

Reuters/David W Cerny

PseudoScience > Who Rules America > Pathological Russophobia of the US elite

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Europe has manufactured an artificial "Russian enemy"
 in order to create an artificial "European identity"

Guy Mettan

Demonization of Putin is integral part of policy of the US and British elite toward Russia, designed to weaken, and, if possible, dismember the Russian state. It is also an instrument of increasing national unity by creating a demonized external enemy.

Russophobia of the US elite should be understood in the context of Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism as Russia represent an obstacle for complete domination of the globe by the US neoliberal empire. Nothing personal here, just business. Recent statements by Putin made at Valday club in Sochi (October 24, 2014) also do not produce any love to Putin from the global and first of all the USA neoliberal elite as well as London-based financial oligarchy. Not accidentally for both the US and GB elite Putin is a "Great Satan".

Like anti-Semitism, Russophobia is based on standard mechanism of Demonization (Wikipedia):

In colloquial usage, the term demonization is used metaphorically to refer to propaganda directed on delitimization of particular individual or group.

Delegitimization is the psychological process which undermines or marginalizes an individual or entity by presenting value judgments as facts which are construed to devalue legitimacy. The ultimate goal of justifying harm or war.

The concept applies to a wide spectrum of social contexts but generally means categorization of individual or groups into extreme social categories which are ultimately excluded from society. Delegitimization provides the moral and the discursive basis to harm the delegitimized group, even in the most inhumane ways.

It is related to stereotyping in a sense that it leads to prejudice when people emotionally react to the name of the person, ascribe evil intention and characteristic to the person or group without evaluating objective evidence.

As always in such cases three-letter agencies are in the vanguard of such complains (Is the CIA Running a Defamation Campaign Against Putin - Russia Insider)

A major topic in the Russian media is mystification with how Putin is portrayed in the Western media. Wildly popular at home, and seen as a decent, modest, an admirable person, and Russians don't understand how there can be such a disconnect with Western impressions.

Recently, leading Russian commentators and politicians have been suggesting that this can only be explained by a deliberate campaign to defame Putin, by governments or other groups.

Yesterday, at a briefing to foreign journalists, Sergey Ivanov, Putin's chief of staff, arguably the 2nd most powerful man in Russia, spoke of an "information war" consisting of "personal attacks" on Putin.

The western media hit a new low...
>The day before another member of Putin's inner circle, Vyasheslav Volodin, made similar remarks, telling foreign journalists "an attack on Putin is an attack on Russia."

The logic, they argue, is that by defaming the leader of a country, you weaken his power domestically by undermining popular support for him, and internationally, by rallying popular opinion to support policies against that country. The ultimate goal, they argue, is to weaken the country itself. They also talk about regime change.

They argue that if one looks at the facts, that there is evidence of ongoing character assassination which cannot be explained by a vague popular zeitgeist in the West, but is more likely the result of a dedicated effort to introduce this defamation into the news flow.

Newsweek has been one of the most virulent Putin-bashers for years

The issue of manipulation of news by intelligence services has been in the news recently with revelations that the CIA and German Secret Service (GSS) have long-running programs to influence how media executives and top journalists convey and interpret the news, including direct cash payments.

Here are some examples they point to:

RI sat down with The Saker, a leading analyst of Russia in international affairs, and asked him what he thinks:

So, is there any credence to this line of thinking, or is this conspiracy theorists running wild?

There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that the US is waging a major psyop war against Russia, although not a shooting war, for now, and that what we are seeing is a targeted campaign to discredit Putin and achieve "regime change" in Russia or, should that fail, at the very least "regime weakening" and "Russia weakening".

And the Economist has been the very worst of them all...

So this is a US government program?

Yes, Putin is absolutely hated by certain factions in the US government two main reasons:

1. He partially, but not fully, restored Russia's sovereignty which under Gorbachev and Yeltsin had been totally lost Russia then was a US colony like Ukraine is today and,

2. He dared to openly defy the USA and its civilizational model.

a free and sovereign Russia is perceived by the US "deep state" as an existential threat which has to be crushed. this is a full-scale political assault on Russia and Putin personally.

So what the Russians are saying, that the constant personal attacks against Putin in the global media are partly the result of deliberate efforts by US intelligence services, basically, planted stories

Yes, absolutely

It seems like Operation Mockingbird all over again Are you aware of other instances aimed at Putin?

(Editors Note: Operation Mockingbird was a CIA program started in the 1950s to influence the US media, which was gradually exposed by investigative journalists starting in the late 60s, culminating in sensational televised congressional hearings in 1975 which shocked the nation, forcing the programs termination. Critics maintain that the same tactics have continued since, under different programs. Wikipedia)

Yes, of course. Since this defamation has very little traction with the Russian public Putin's popularity is higher than ever before .., there is an organized campaign to convince them that Putin is "selling out" Novorussia, that he is a puppet of oligarchs who are making deals with Ukrainian oligarchs to back-stab the Novorussian resistance

So far, Putin's policies in the Ukraine have enjoyed very strong support from the Russian people who still oppose an overt military intervention

but if Kiev attacks Novorussia again - which appears very likely - and if such an attack is successful - which is less likely but always possible - then Putin will be blamed for having given the Ukrainians the time to regroup and reorganize.

Warm and fuzzy...

So you are saying that if the Ukrainian military strengthens its position enough to deliver a serious blow to the East Ukrainians, the US can use this as a method to strike at Putins support base

Yes, thats right ... there are a lot of "fake patriots" in Russia and abroad who will reject any negotiated solution and who will present any compromise as a "betrayal". They are the "useful idiots" used by western special services to smear and undermine Putin.

Is it limited to government special ops, or are there other groups who might have an interest in doing this?

Yes, well here is something that most people in the west dont appreciate there is a major behind-the scenes struggle among Russian elites between what I call the "Eurasian Sovereignists" (basically, those who support Putin) and what I call the "Atlantic Integrationists" (those whom Putin refers to as the "5th column).

The western media talks about this as the struggle between Russian liberals and conservatives, reformers and reactionaries, right?

Well its sort of like that, but not exactly

The former see Russia's future in the Russian North and East and want to turn Russia towards Asia, Latin America and the rest of the world, while the latter want Russia to become part of the "North Atlantic" power configuration.

The Atlantic Integrationists are now too weak to openly challenge Putin - whose real power base is his immense popular support - but they are quietly sabotaging his efforts to reform Russia while supporting anti-Putin campaigns.

Regarding the revelations of CIA activities in Germany, do you think this is going on in other countries, in the US?

I am sure that this is happening in most countries worldwide. The very nature of the modern corporate media is such that it makes journalists corrupt.

As the French philosopher Alain Soral says "nowadays a reporter is either unemployed or a prostitute". There are, of course, a few exceptions, but by and large this is true.

This is not to say that most journalists are on the take. In the West this is mostly done in a more subtle way - by making it clear which ideas do or do not pass the editorial control, by lavishly rewarding those journalists who 'get it' and by quietly turning away those who don't.

If a journalist or reporter commits the crime of "crimethink" he or she will be sidelined and soon out of work.

There is no real pluralism in the West where the boundaries of what can be said or not are very strictly fixed.

Ok, but is it like what has been revealed in Germany, similar specific operational programs in France, the UK, Italy, Latin America, etc.

Yes, one has to assume so it is in their interests to have them and there is no reason for them not to.

As for the CIA, it de-facto controls enough of the corporate media to "set the tone". As somebody who in the past used to read the Soviet press for a living, I can sincerely say that it was far more honest and more pluralistic than the press in the USA or EU today.

Joseph Goebbels or Edward Bernays could not have imagined the degree of sophistication of modern propaganda machines.

If the US is doing it, can't one assume other governments are too? Are the Russians doing it against western leaders?

I think that all governments try to do that kind of stuff. However, what makes the US so unique it a combination of truly phenomenal arrogance and multi-billion dollar budgets.

The US "deep state" owns the western corporate media which is by far the most powerful media on the planet. Most governments can only do that inside their own country ... to smear a political opponent or discredit a public figure, but they simply do not have the resources to mount an international strategic psyop campaign. This is something only the US can do.

So foreign governments are at a great disadvantage in this arena vis-a-vis the US?

Absolutely.

Quotes from Putin speech and answers to the questions at the meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club

 


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Old News ;-)

[Mar 28, 2017] Russia Is Pissed Threatens To Spill Obama Admin Secrets If US Intel Does not Stop Leaking

Another fake news. this time from Zero Hedge...
Mar 28, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
Russia Is Pissed: Threatens To Spill Obama Admin Secrets If US Intel Doesn't Stop Leaking logical-different , Mar 28, 2017 5:56 PM

Here's what you have to do Russia

Tell the American government that they'll have to apply for a VISA before you'll them come into your country. Personally, I don't know why you'd want the bastards to come for a visit. If you think your confused now wait until the inmates from the USA finish with their visit.

Herdee , Mar 28, 2017 4:36 PM

Like how the CIA trained these F'n morons?

https://www.infowars.com/german-mp-erdogan-a-terrorism-godfather/

NobodyNowhere , Mar 28, 2017 3:59 PM

Obama was never a world-class leader - not even close. An arguably good speaker but not on topics of state, mostly on ethnic divide, cummunal politics - things that touch heart strings in disadvantaged sections of society (minorities, unemployed whites, etc).

As a politician he was pedantic (community level); as a statesman, zero.

Onan_the_Barbarian -> NobodyNowhere , Mar 28, 2017 4:55 PM

Google for "Obama without teleprompter". Not impressive.

nobodysfool , Mar 28, 2017 1:44 PM

It's all about Leverage...

Don Corleone : Good. Someday, and that day may never come, I'll call upon you to do a service for me. But until that day - accept this justice as a gift on my daughter's wedding day.

DirtySanchez , Mar 28, 2017 10:44 AM

Russia and others may be of help.

The entire world needs verifiable proof of the US war criminal behavior for the past 20+ years.

Prison sentences are not enough.

Former US Presidents need to face their accusers for the raping, pillaging, destruction, and murder of several soverign nations.

God help them.

dvfco -> DirtySanchez , Mar 28, 2017 2:21 PM

It's time they nailed everyone in the Obama Administration to the wall, then follow up with every Republican in a former Bush Administration who is a NeverTrump douche and handcuff them to one from Obama's group.

The only reason there are Republican - Never Trumpers is that they're terrified all their sins will surface.

Once Trump starts reaming Obama and Clinton, they'll turn on Bush, etc.

Gonna get fugly!

LawsofPhysics , Mar 28, 2017 10:32 AM

Ultimately there is no honor among theives...

esum , Mar 28, 2017 10:13 AM

Someone should shit or get off the pot with this Russian stuff... The REAL STORY IS SPYING ON US CITIZENS AND CONGRESS AND OBAMA'S USE OF CLASSIFIED INTEL AND COMEY BRENNAN CLAPPER CRIMES..... Lets get to it

MrBoompi , Mar 28, 2017 9:00 AM

There is nothing Russia could divulge that would come as a surprise to most of us here. At this point it would just be a confirmation of the highly corrupt and immoral behavior we've seen this government engage in for decades now. Besides, if we couldn't throw Bush and Cheney in the slammer after what they did, what hope would we have to hold Obama and Clinton accountable? Until further notice, this class of folks is above the law.

OCnStiggs , Mar 28, 2017 8:39 AM

The Progressive Liberal Democrats who have been staunch allies with the Russians for nearly 50 years have now turned on them to hide their own failure in running Hillary. Big mistake Mr. Schumer.

The Russians are looking out for Russia. They will uncork a plethora of very bad news for you, including all the private dealings Progressives have had with them ('ala Ted Kennedy asking Andropov to help screw Reagan during his last election) and the timing couldn't be better for the mid-term elections.

The Progressives are no friend of America and as the word gets out to mainstream America, the result will be devastating to the Democratic Party. Good. About time.

MORE INVESTIGATIONS OF DEMOCRATS!!!! FRY HILLARY!!!

Reaper , Mar 28, 2017 8:07 AM

Did Putin foolishly expect swine to be honorable?

d edwards -> Reaper , Mar 28, 2017 8:41 AM

I bet they do have Hillary's 30k missing emails.

goober -> d edwards , Mar 28, 2017 1:17 PM

Just like NSA always has and has never released any of it, why is that ? Do we actually have a legitimate government or simply a giant criminal enterprise control mechanism ? Here are the answers !

http://www.downtoearththinking.com/our-government-created-google-and-fac...

http://www.downtoearththinking.com/the-war-against-donald-trump-.html

The Russians have their own shit to keep secret and when that is less important and damaging then they will release the flood gates of hell on BHO and crew as well as Hillary and the Bushites. Not until, but I suspect that time is approaching or very near. The tangled web of sociopaths and psychopaths that control us, Hey ?

TheEndIsNear -> PleasedToMeatYou , Mar 28, 2017 8:07 PM

Most of the American population are so ignorant of the physical laws of nature that they prefer to believe what the government tells them to believe instead of straining their brains to exercise a little common sense. I think the disappearing 757 airliners at the Pentagon and Shanksville are the most blatant of the government lies since they require no knowledge of high-rise building construction. How people can ignore this kind of thing would be a mystery except that almost everyone gets their news from the TeeVee.

IranContra , Mar 28, 2017 7:08 AM

Fortunately, liberal thugs have not succeeded in derailing Trump-Putin cooperation, even in the most difficult areas: There is complete Russian-American military coordination in Iraq and Syria, even where Turkey and Iran disagree. Russia is allowing the US to arm the Kurds against ISIS in Syria, and Russia has asked Iran to withdraw its troops and militias from Iraq and Syria, exactly as Trump wants.

Not Too Important -> PleasedToMeatYou , Mar 28, 2017 1:35 PM

Russia can pull out of SWIFT any time they want. Europe depends on their gas. Russia can demand payment in rubles, too, or gold.

Europe's nuclear energy has already gone off a cliff, due to all the bad reactor parts from the French. That makes Russian energy much more valueable, and they don't have enough LNG receiving facilities to buy elsewhere in any significant amounts.

The only option now for the NWO is a quiet retirement, or mass global nuclear suicide. Any guesses?

nmewn , Mar 28, 2017 6:45 AM

"The US Department of State has more than once asked us not to announce planned visits until the last minute. This is not our tradition. We have been operating openly for years, but we have respected the requests we have received from our colleagues in Washington in the past few years . But what happened after that? First, the US Department of State asked us to keep the planned visit quiet and not to announce it until the last possible minute, until we coordinated the date. We did as they asked. But a day or two later the information was leaked by the US State Department and sometimes by the US administration. Frankly, this put Russia and the media in a strange situation, because they didn't know who to believe the official agencies or the many leaks."

And as of this moment, the second quietest person in the room just happens to be...John Kerry.

Anybody seen ole horse face around lately? ;-)

fleur de lis -> NO QANA , Mar 28, 2017 10:15 AM

Russia must have a lot of info that they swept up over the years thanks to DC morons.

They relseased the recording of Icky Vicky Neudelmann because she instigated a war on their border.

But they must have picked up much more than that, thanks to her obnoxious ego.

Bastiat -> fleur de lis , Mar 28, 2017 3:20 PM

Remember when they released the crystal clear recording of Vicky Nuland organizing the Ukraine government? They must have been shocked at the utter indifference of supporters of the Obama regime.

[Mar 28, 2017] Heres The Story Behind Trumps Podesta-Russia Tweet Zero Hedge

Mar 28, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
The Daily Caller reports:

John Podesta, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's 2016 national campaign chairman, may have violated federal law by failing to disclose the receipt of 75,000 shares of stock from a Kremlin-financed company when he joined the Obama White House in 2014, according to the Daily Caller News Foundation's Investigative Group.

Joule Unlimited Technologies - financed in part by a Russian firm - originally awarded Podesta 100,000 shares of stock options when in 2010 he joined that board along with its Dutch-based entities: Joule Global Holdings, BV and the Stichting Joule Global Foundation.

When Podesta announced his departure from the Joule board in January 2014 to become President Obama's special counsellor, the company officially issued him 75,000 common shares of stock.

The Schedule B section of the federal government's form 278 which - requires financial disclosures for government officials - required Podesta to "report any purchase, sale or exchange by you, your spouse, or dependent children of any property, stocks, bonds, commodity futures and other securities when the amount of the transaction exceeded $1,000."

The same year Podesta joined Joule, the company agreed to accept 1-Billion-Rubles - or $35 million - from Rusnano, a state-run and financed Russian company with close ties to President Vladimir Putin.

Anatoly Chubais, the company CEO and two other top Russian banking executives worked together with Podesta on the Joule boards. The board met six times a year.

Ron Hosko, a former FBI assistant director said because of the Kremlin backing, it was essential Podesta disclose the financial benefits he received from the company.

"I think in this case where you're talking about foreign interests and foreign involvement, the collateral interest with these disclosure forms is put in the forefront of full disclosure of any foreign interest that you may have," he told TheDCNF in an interview.

The existence of the 75,000 shares of Joule stock was first revealed by the Government Accountability Institute report issued last year.

But Podesta didn't pocket all the shares. Correspondence from Podesta to Joule instructed the firm to transfer only 33,693 shares to Leonidio Holdings, a brand-new entity he incorporated only on December 20, 2013, about ten days before he entered the White House.

Leonidio is registered in Delaware as a limited liability corporation. Podesta listed the address of his daughter, Megan Rouse, in the incorporation papers. His mother and father also appear to be co-owners of Leonidio.

TheDCNF made multiple inquiries to OGE and received no reply. TheDCNF inquiries to Mr. Podesta were not returned.

That's not the end of the story though, as John Podesta's brother, Tony, confirmed Russia's largest bank had hired the Podesta Group to lobby for an end to sanctions ...

JuliaS -> Chris Dakota , Mar 28, 2017 2:23 PM

Like Ron Paul says - since the government spies on everyone, it's a certainty that the last administration spied on Trump.

By the same token, since it's guaranteed that there are pedophiles existing in positions of power pretty much everywhere (not just in the Catholic church), one can make a blind guess that there is a pedo ring inside the government and be right.

My suspicion is that pizzagate conspiracy is invented, but regardless of that fact, real pedophiles in the government are scared shitless that if the authorities begin digging, they'll be discovered. That's why they want pizzagate talk silenced.

TheGardener -> JuliaS , Mar 28, 2017 2:40 PM

"pizzagate conspiracy is invented" ? More like pizzagate conspiracy is inverted ..poking a deep state hornest nest is what would

could have triggered that aggressive counter-action. Pedo-rings as horrible and stomach turning they really are still are old school

intelligence modes of operation, East Germany had one set up in the West by spies it sent in camouflaged as refugees.

Tasked at compromising politicians.

[Mar 26, 2017] Ex-scout Bezrukov USA on the verge of changing course

Notable quotes:
"... Russia could potentially pose a problem if it creates a competitive unit that will become the alternative system in terms of security and in terms of the economy. The most serious blow to the US would be the creation of a great Eurasian bloc, such as Russia-Germany. This unit on its resource and military and political power to bring Europe and most of Asia from the control of the American system. Would become the de facto competitor. ..."
"... Interviewed By Nikolay Surkov ..."
Mar 26, 2017 | csef.ru
The former scout-the illegal immigrant, Andrey Bezrukov, has worked a long time in the USA, has told to the correspondent "News" Nikolay Surkov, why the United States needs Ukraine and why Russia got together with China to build greater Eurasia.

- The cold war ended over 20 years ago. Why the U.S. still refers to Russia as the enemy?

- Cold war is only an episode in the relations between our countries. There are two levels on which to consider the basis of relationship between the two countries. The first is the level of objective geopolitical realities, the situation of our countries and their role in the world system. The USA declare that their wellbeing depends on the vitality of the global system that they've built. They are a Central part of this system. While it exists, they will be in a privileged position. Their primary national interest - the maintenance of this global system.

In the cold war the USSR was a geopolitical competitor. He dominated in Eurasia, creating an area in which American influence did not pass. He created a pole for those who were dissatisfied with the American system.

Russia could potentially pose a problem if it creates a competitive unit that will become the alternative system in terms of security and in terms of the economy. The most serious blow to the US would be the creation of a great Eurasian bloc, such as Russia-Germany. This unit on its resource and military and political power to bring Europe and most of Asia from the control of the American system. Would become the de facto competitor.

What then should be considered at the second level?

- The second level is ideological. From our side there is no ideological barrier in relations with the United States. If the U.S. is not trying to impose their way of life and creating problems for our state, we have no problems with them. They, unfortunately, have problems. They relate to the generation that did not devoiles in the cold war. The attitude of the ruling elite towards Russia as an enemy or competitor will not leave. They had no revaluation, for it was not the cause. They consider themselves winners. But because their problem isn't solved, Russia did not become a state that does what they want, they have this element of irritation from the unfinished task.

In addition, the independent foreign policy of Russia is a challenge the people in the USA who preach American exceptionalism. These are people who not just see themselves as exceptional Americans, and consider it a blessing, ready by force to impose their position on others. This group is very closely related to the cold war. But it is still very closely linked with the principles of the Democratic party that America should be ideals. For this you can to impose their understanding of things to other countries.

I think in a few years the geopolitical component will remain, and ideological can just move away. Will be rethinking that America no longer has the right nor the capacity to impose their principles on others. After some time, leave those personalities that are now the conductors of the ideology that emerged during the cold war.

There is an ethnic component. Around the neo-conservatives many people who are ethnically or ideologically associated with anti-Russian diasporas of Eastern European countries, which believe that Russia dominated them. They too will be gone anyway.

- Why work so hard to fight with Russia? Unless China is now a much more serious competitor?

- Really, now is not Russia, but China is, from the point of view of the Americans, the main challenge for the global system. China's economy is so large that it attracts all of Asia and the influence of the Americans on these countries and markets is reduced.

The US is trying to bring China out of the brackets. To fence off a piece of Asia. Through security agreements with the surrounding countries of China. And through the construction of a TRANS-Pacific partnership without China.

The periods of tension in relations with the US are predetermined and unavoidable?

- Our interest is to ensure the security around our borders to neighbors no one told that to trade with Russia or not to trade, to war with Russia or not to fight.

In this sense, the conflict in Ukraine objective. If they need Ukraine as a buffer against us, we need it too, we are ethnically very close, this is pre-Soviet geopolitical space. Its economy is part of our economy. It is our civilizational area. Our interest there is obvious.

However, the USA is beginning to experience a redefinition of its role in the world. They haven't reached a complete rethinking. They're just starting to see the problems and the inadequacy of its policies. Rethinking will happen in a few years. Then the ideological component in our relationship is minimized. This may be due to the new President, but will not necessarily occur in the period of his reign. American policy is evolving cycles. Now ends the cycle that began with Reagan.

- That is, in 7-8 years we can count on change?

Then we may have a completely different relationship between countries. But their and our interests will remain.

Objectively, Americans want to antagonize China's neighbors - Japan, India, us. Therefore, it is important for us to build long-term non-competitive relationship with China and India.

Our goal is to provide yourself a quiet life in the greater Eurasia. It is hampered by the lack of security and lack of infrastructure linking Russia's economy with the growing economies of Asia. The policy of pairing the EEU and the silk road in building the economic infrastructure. China and Russia have an interest in stabilizing the greater Eurasia. Then there will be rapid economic growth.

- What happens to the American political system? Why the Republicans are unable to put any decent presidential candidate?

In the US there is a problem by. The American people in the face of elites, particularly business elites, was assigned to conduct the political Affairs political superstructure - the Congress, the parties of the ruling class, since the capital itself will not engage in politics. The seller has the job of defending the interests of the customer. For a long time, the ruling group did. But now the ruling group broke away from the understanding of objective tasks. Beginning to act as she wants. In America I understand that policy has become less effective, it does not reach the set goals. If this continued, it will lead to the decline of US influence in the world. The elite do not like it.

We can say that American politics is like an airplane that flies on autopilot, which was set 30 years ago. But the pilot had already begun to understand that it's time to get back into the cockpit and change course. The request for change by coming from two sides. Trump is the voice of the business elite. Sanders speaks on behalf of the young intellectual elite. Mature change in the political superstructure. The authorities will be renewed at the expense of people who are new understand the situation and can propose a new course.

Help "Izvestia"

Andrei Bezrukov was born on 30 August 1960 in the city of Kansk of Krasnoyarsk region. Graduated from Tomsk state University majoring in history. In 2000 he graduated from the School of public management John F. Kennedy, Harvard University with a master's degree. Colonel intelligence retired.

Together with his wife Elena Vavilova many years spent on illegal intelligence work. Under the name Donald Heathfield led consultancy company specializing in government and corporate strategic forecasting and planning. Was arrested in June 2010 in the U.S. as a result of betrayal.

He has state awards - the order "For merits before Fatherland" IV degrees, medals. Currently - Advisor to the President of the company "Rosneft". A member of the club "Valdai".

Interviewed By Nikolay Surkov

[Mar 25, 2017] What Russia Wants - and Expects

Notable quotes:
"... Does Russia Have a Future? ..."
Mar 25, 2017 | consortiumnews.com
March 22, 2017

Washington's political infighting has blocked President Trump's plans for a new dtente with Russia but also has left the global playing field open for Russian and Chinese advances in expanding their influence, explains Gilbert Doctorow.

By Gilbert Doctorow

As Democrats and the mainstream U.S. media focus intensely on still unproven charges of Russian election meddling to explain Hillary Clinton's surprising defeat, the furor has forced an embattled President Trump to retreat from his plans to cooperate with Russia on fighting terrorism and other global challenges.

Russian President Vladimir Putin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on May 10, 2015, at the Kremlin. (Photo from Russian government)

Amid the anti-Russian hysteria, Trump's Cabinet members and United Nations ambassador have gone out of their way to reiterate the tough policy positions of the Obama administration with respect to Russia, underlining that nothing has changed. For its part, Congress has plunged into McCarthyistic hearings aimed at Trump supporters who may have met with Russians before the 2016 elections.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin has duly noted these developments in Washington. In Moscow, the breakthrough in relations that some had hoped for is now dismissed as improbable. On the other hand, while the United States is tearing itself apart in partisan fighting, Russia is getting a much-needed breather from the constant ratcheting up of pressure from the West that it experienced over the past three years.

We hear from Russian elites more and more how they plan to proceed on the international stage in the new circumstances. The byword is self-reliance and pursuit of the regional and global policies that have been forming over the past couple of years as the confrontation with the United States escalated.

These policies have nothing to do with some attack on the Baltic States or Poland, the nightmare scenarios pushed by neoconservatives and liberal interventionists in the U.S. and the European Union. The Russian plans also have nothing to do with subversion of elections in France or Germany, the other part of the fevered imaginations of the West.

Instead, the Russians are concentrating on their domestic defense capabilities and their budding political alliances with China and a host of Asian countries that together can oppose the power of the West. It is important to understand that the Russian vision is a future multi-polar world, not a return to the bipolar Cold War system of two superpowers, which Russian elites see as unattainable given the diffusion of power across the globe and Russia's own more limited resources.

In other words, the Russians are envisioning a future world order whose contours harken back to the Nineteenth Century. In terms of details, the Russians are now inseparably wed to China for reasons of mutual economic and security interest on the global stage. The same is becoming true of their relationship with Iran at the regional level of the Greater Middle East.

The Russian elites also take pride in the emerging military, economic and geopolitical relationships with countries as far removed as Libya, Egypt, Turkey, Pakistan and Thailand. News about breakthroughs with each of these countries is heralded on daily television programming.

Mideast Interests

Russian elites note that the United States has misunderstood Moscow's position in Syria from the start of the war there. Russia's priority was never to keep the Assad regime in power, but rather to maintain a foothold in the Middle East. Put narrowly, Russia was determined to maintain its naval base at Tarsus, which is important to support Russia's presence in the Eastern Mediterranean. More broadly, Moscow's goal was to restore Russian influence in the strategic region where Russia once was a significant player before the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.

In May 2016, Russian marchers honoring family members who fought in World War II. (Photo from RT)

Russia's loss of Eastern Europe is also not forgotten, though American hegemony there is acknowledged as a reality of the present. But nothing lasts forever, and the Russians expect to be back as a major force in the region, not by military conquest, but by virtue of economic and strategic logic, which favors them in the long term. Though many East European elites have been bought off by the United States and the European Union, many common citizens have been major losers from the American led post-Cold War order, suffering from de-industrialization and large-scale emigration to more developed E.U. countries, reaching as much as 25 percent of the general population in some places. These Eastern European countries have little to offer Western Europe except for tourist destinations, whereas their shared potential for trade with Russia is immense.

This past weekend, Russian television news carried images of demonstrations in Poland, Bulgaria, Romania and Moldova that you did not see on Euronews. The object of this popular wrath was billionaire financial speculator George Soros and his "Open Society" affiliates. Russian news commentary explained that these demonstrations - operating under the banner of "Go Home Soros" - became possible now because the Trump administration has dropped U.S. support for him.

It would be nave not to see some official Russian assistance to these coordinated demonstrations across a large swath of Eastern Europe, but the Russians were simply giving the United States a taste of its own medicine, since U.S.-sponsored "non-governmental organizations" have been busy subverting legitimate Euro-skeptic governments in these countries in cooperation with Soros's NGOs.

Not Your Grandfather's Cold War

But there are key differences between what is happening now and in the Cold War days. The original Cold War was characterized not only by military and geopolitical rivalry of the world's two superpowers, the U.S. and the Soviet Union. It also was an ideological rivalry between on one side free market capitalism and parliamentary democracy and on the other planned economies and monolithic top-down Communist Party rule.

President Richard Nixon with his then-National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger in 1972.

Starting with President Richard Nixon, a policy of dtente was put in place, which embodied the principle of co-existence of these competing principles of organizing human society for the sake of world peace. There are those who maintain we have no New Cold War today because the ideological dimension is lacking, although there are obvious differences over principles between the socially liberal U.S./E.U. and the more socially conservative Russia. But those differences hardly constitute a full-blown ideological conflict.

The real area of contention is in how each side today conceptualizes global governance. On this level, it makes sense to speak of an ideological divide because there is a vast body of thought to underpin the competing views which include: globalization versus sovereign-state; values-based foreign policy versus interests-based foreign policy; a global order established by the all-out victory of liberal democracy over all other forms of national governance versus a balance of forces and respect for local differences; idealism versus realism. The West generally has favored the first of these options while Russia and China lead a bloc of nations generally favoring the second options.

On the campaign trail and in his Inaugural speech, Donald Trump spoke in Realist terms suggesting that the U.S. would abandon its Idealist ideology of the preceding 25 years, which involved coercive "regime change" strategies to impose Western political values and economic systems around the world. Instead, Trump suggested that he would do business with Russia and with the world at large without imposing U.S. solutions, essentially accepting the principles that the Russians have been promoting ever since they began their public pushback to the United States in 2007.

However, given Trump's retreat on foreign policy in recent weeks while under fierce attack from Washington power centers asserting possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia we may be left with something akin to the re-set that Obama introduced at the start of his rule in 2009 which never went as far as dtente/co-existence. It was limited to cooperation in isolated areas where U.S. and Russian interests were deemed to coincide.

The only difference we might see from the embattled Trump administration is less of a penchant for "regime change" operations and a resumption of some bilateral contacts with Russia that were cut off when Obama decided to penalize Russia for its intervention in Crimea and the Donbass in 2014.

Assuming that Washington's neocon Republicans and hawkish Democrats don't push Trump into a desperate political corner, he might at least engage Moscow with a more polite and diplomatic tone. That might be better than some of the alternatives, but it is surely not an onset of a new collaborative Golden Age.

The scaling back in expectations of how far the Trump administration will go in improving relations with Russia makes sense because of another reality that has become clear now that his team of advisers and implementers is filling out, namely that there is no one in his "kitchen cabinet" or in his administration who can guide the neophyte president as he tries to negotiate a new global order and to do a "big deal" with Vladimir Putin, such as Trump may have hoped to strike.

Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner lacks the experience and depth to be a world-class strategic thinker. Trump's Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has corporate skills from his years at Exxon-Mobil but also lacks a strategic vision. Many other key jobs have gone to military generals who may be competent administrators but have limited political or diplomatic experience. There was talk of guidance coming from Henry Kissinger, but he has not been seen or heard from recently, and it is doubtful that at his advanced age and frailty he could provide consistent counsel.

As Trump struggles to survive the cumulative attacks on his fledgling administration, he is also distracted from the reality of a rapidly changing world. If and when he does get to concentrate on the geopolitical situation, he may well have to play catch up with Russia and China as they make deals with other regional players and fill the vacuum left by the ongoing American political disorder.

Assuming Trump can bring on board talented advisers with strategic depth, it would still take enormous vision and diplomatic skills to strike a "big deal" that could begin to end the violent chaos that has swept across much of the world since 2001. If and when that becomes possible, such a deal might look like a "Yalta-2" with a triangular shape involving the U.S., Russia and China.

Gilbert Doctorow is a Brussels-based political analyst. His latest book, Does Russia Have a Future? was published in August 2015. Andrew Nichols , March 22, 2017 at 7:26 pm

Stuff your silly divide and rule. How about live and let live? I presume this is what you do in your private life. I dont feel any threat at all from Russia, Iran or China despite the Chicken Little crap from our media and bought and paid for pollies on a daily basis. So let's all chill out and tell our pollies to shut ..f..k up!

Kiza , March 22, 2017 at 8:36 pm

Your words reminded me of what I learned about Hitler. In Europe, all my teachers of history in primary and secondary school emphasised that if Hitler was smart enough to attack one country at a time, he would have won the WW2. For example, when he attacked Poland and Britain declared war on Germany, he should have tried to finish off Britain instead of trying to win it over whilst attacking Soviet Union.

Perhaps the US/Israeli leadership suffers from the same type of hubris, believing that it can globalize the World by conquering both Russia and China. Of course, the US/Israeli MIC believes that the bigger the enemy the higher the profit.

Joe Tedesky , March 23, 2017 at 1:35 am

KIza my hunch is the American Israeli MIC is blinded by money, and what they consider success. Here could have been the moment for America to truly be the that shinning city upon the hill, but instead we took the advice of the Project for a New American 21st Century, a project so evil it surpasses the stupidity of Dr Strangelove and here we are. If the money could see a profit in humanitarian needs, wow wouldn't that be lovely.

My grandmother always told me the bigger they are, the harder they fall, and America better watch out now it's gonna get it's ass kicked good if it doesn't wise up. I love my country, and that remark I just made isn't a reflection on our uniformed military, but these genius in DC fighting each other, and laying down some really made stuff on Russia, isn't good, and it ain't going to amount to much more than pain in the end. The whole idea of this 21st century America is nothing but a plan to inflict pain.

This fricking media we have isn't going to stop until Trump gets impeached, or we really do something stupid to Russia. The sense of all of this in my eyes always leads back to that Project for the new American Century piece of crap. America had it all to win over the love of the world, why with just the rhetoric and spirit it was enough to try and strive for, but now ah not so much. It's not too late, but I don't at this moment in time see what good is on the horizon in the meantime I'm going to just try and appreciate whatever it is there is to appreciate take care Joe

Kiza , March 23, 2017 at 3:35 am

I agree Joe, as a project of its Dual Citizens PNAC is the root of most evil in US. It is not a true American project. It is a project for global domination of Israel using US, its people and its resources, as means to an end. Who needs to discuss the veracity of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, when PNAC is available in plain sight. I am just surprised how few US people understand this. Thanks for your great comment as usual.

Bob Van Noy , March 22, 2017 at 10:55 am

"Russians are concentrating on their domestic defense capabilities and their budding political alliances with China and a host of Asian countries that together can oppose the power of the West. It is important to understand that the Russian vision is a future multi-polar world, not a return to the bipolar Cold War system of two superpowers, which Russian elites see as unattainable given the diffusion of power across the globe and Russia's own more limited resources." Gilbert Doctorow

Again. "The real area of contention is in how each side today conceptualizes global governance. On this level, it makes sense to speak of an ideological divide because there is a vast body of thought to underpin the competing views which include: globalization versus sovereign-state; values-based foreign policy versus interests-based foreign policy; a global order established by the all-out victory of liberal democracy over all other forms of national governance versus a balance of forces and respect for local differences; idealism versus realism." Gilbert Doctorow

To me the choice, were we ever given a choice as voters, would clearly be: 1) A future multi-polar world and, 2) a balance of forces and respect for local differences. The choice doesn't seem so very controversial? However, the default position of the Neocons and the liberal interventionists has always been to double down rather than negotiate, so I expect more saber rattling aggression

BannanaBoat , March 22, 2017 at 5:26 pm

Jimmy Carter stated USA is no longer a democracy, true. Idealism is the opposite of true USA motives, pure machivellian greed.

backwardsevolution , March 22, 2017 at 3:34 pm

Brad Owen that's the way I see it too. I don't think that Trump needs Bannon or his son-in-law to be strategic. Strategic thinking (one-upping your opponent, outsmarting him, taking what's not yours, outright lying, propaganda, coups, trying to control the whole world) has been the policy for too long. I think Trump has a particular vision, and he's, as you say, playing rope-a-dope with the "strategic" thinkers.

I see Trump as wanting to create free (but FAIR) trade. I see him wanting to stay out of other countries' business, concentrating on the home base, which has been sorely neglected for the last 20 30 years.

I think people totally underestimate Trump.

This is really a war between those who favor globalism/internationalism thinking (open borders, absence of a nation state or culture, multinational corporations controlling the world, one-world order) and those who favor nation states, culture, borders, fair and open trade with other countries.

Trump is not a professional politician. He is not a great orator, slick or polished. But I believe he loves his country more than the other bought-and-paid-for politicians who govern according to who is paying them the most money on any given day.

I think that the way Trump looks at business is if his competitor gets a property on one block, he gets one on the next. Everybody is happy. He doesn't set out to ensure that his competitor is crushed. He doesn't lie about him, try to get others to sanction him, try to bar him from doing business.

Arseniy Urazov , March 22, 2017 at 9:45 pm

Hi Brad, nice comment, I think you will like this article in case you missed it https://consortiumnews.com/2017/03/14/trumps-quiet-outreach-to-russia/
And just to add to your comment, Russia and USA are working very close in Syria. Not directly of course, but Syrian army and the Kurds (who are heavily supported by USA from air) are making great progress in the Norther part of Syria. In fact they even cooperated to block further advances of the Turks (NATO member btw). So I think that the RU-USA relationship is better than the media is trying to show us

Brad Owen , March 23, 2017 at 5:21 am

I agree,Arseniy. We are two of the three Nations (China being the third Nation) PRIMARILY responsible for securing the peace and guiding development for the entire World we three. This was Roosevelt's vision,ejected by the Anglophile intelligence community the moment he died; recovered fortunately, by our mutual ally China, in the BRI policy. Russia and USA will be the Gateway managers of the World LandBridge (tunnel, spanning Bering Straits with mag-lev rail lines, pipelines, power lines, communication lines) that ties the whole World together. This was thought of in Lincoln's time a way to bypass the powerful British and other European maritime Empires. Russia had the foresight to sell us Alaska towards this end. Russia ALWAYS supported our stand AGAINST European Empires (especially the British Empire), even in the Soviet days. Together with our friend China, AND the rest of the World's Nations we'll continue to progress and grow and move out, into the Solar System to industrialize the moon and Mars and other moons and planets, after we put away these childish, pointless, sinful, wars. Read Executive Intelligence Review website, where these ideas are championed. Remember Krafft Erikhe (spelling?) whose vision of Man the Solar Species inspired our early space program. Our next, centuries-long Era will be our inhabiting of our Solar System, after war has been abolished as obsolete and counter-productive.

Joe Tedesky , March 22, 2017 at 12:23 pm

It is a sad day when detente and cooperation is replaced with demonization and belligerence to boot. When will our American leadership finally come to grips that this world isn't flat? Is liberating a nation for the sake of our installing an American fast food chain worth the price of so many innocent lives who get displaced, or worst yet killed by American bombs the price people must pay to join the NWO? Does anyone believe that by doing these things we are making any real and sincere new friends can you say blowback?

All this fuss over Putin and Russian interference is putting President Trump in a difficult box. Why even Putin critic Masha Gessen is worried ..

https://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2017/03/21/noted-putin-critic-warns-of-confrontation-between-trump-and-russia-not-collaboration/

Joe Tedesky , March 22, 2017 at 3:11 pm

Politics is said to make strange bedfellows, and if we include journalist well then Masha Gessen for at least on this Russia-Gate story is making charges similar to those of us who see this witch hunt for what it really is. Now don't blast me for posting a link to Gessen's article but since others are quoting her I thought you may wish to read her own words.

http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2017/03/06/trump-russia-conspiracy-trap/

After reading what Gessen has to say, then read what Paul Street has to say about her saying it.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/03/22/russiagate-and-the-democratic-party-are-for-chumps/

If America can pull through these tough and difficult times all in one piece, and regain some sense of sanity and fairness of values, this moment in time will be shelved along side the McCarthy era of the lowest of times in America.

Kiza , March 22, 2017 at 9:00 pm

I would not be as generous to Masha Gessen as you are Joe. Ms Gessen is very anti-Russian and anti-Putin, but she recognises the damage the current DNC policy against her two pet-hates does. After all the US high-tempereture emotional madness blows out, Russia will end up standing even taller because the US Democrats were crying wolf. I have been highlighting this same point for a while now the Democrats are really working to benefit Russia, they are the really traitorous fifth column they accuse Trump of. This is why Ms Gessen is distancing herself from the mindless bunch.

Joe Tedesky , March 22, 2017 at 11:46 pm

KIza please don't read my posting Gessen's article as an endorsement. I only posted it due to the fact that sites like libertblitzkreig and Leftist Paul Street on counterpunch talked about Gessen's concerns. You know how I've mentioned in many of my comments how I think Vladimir Putin is the only adult in the room when it comes to our world's future. I'm all for distributed power, and I am no fan, and never was of the NWO.

You are on too something though, when you mention to how Masha is no doubt distancing herself away from the awaiting disaster the Democrate's are leading us into. This whole fiasco is troubling when you think of how Hillary's conniving has brought us all to this place. It would be great if Hillary were brought to justice, but then again so much for wishful thinking.

I'll leave you with this, keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

[Mar 25, 2017] Maddow has proven herself an indisputable part of "the establishment media going whole-hog on these vague suspicions". That is, she is carrying tubs of water for her Deep State masters.

Notable quotes:
"... Any moderately intelligent person who explores the news and history outside the MSM can easily find the OVERWHELMING evidence of the Deep State's crimes, including JFK, 9/11, and Israel. And it's not merely an organizational survival instinct in the CIA. The massive, long-standing MSM coverups point to tight control and coordination from a powerful center. As Deep Throat taught us, "Follow the money". ..."
Mar 25, 2017 | consortiumnews.com
Jessejean

March 23, 2017 at 1:04 pm Good historywonder why Rachel The Mouth Maddow never did it in her time wasting opening segments where she repeats herself over and over to numb our minds and spend her time when she could be saying something insightful. Maybe that's why. PS. Why does she never invite Robert Parry on to comment? Oh. I see. Reply Brian Setzler , March 23, 2017 at 6:43 pm

Because she's paid $7 million per year to talk about some things, and not others.

Google "Jill Stein and Russia" and the results will illuminate the Democratic Party Echo Chamber

JWalters , March 23, 2017 at 8:03 pm

Maddow has proven herself an indisputable part of "the establishment media going whole-hog on these vague suspicions". That is, she is carrying tubs of water for her Deep State masters.

Any moderately intelligent person who explores the news and history outside the MSM can easily find the OVERWHELMING evidence of the Deep State's crimes, including JFK, 9/11, and Israel. And it's not merely an organizational survival instinct in the CIA. The massive, long-standing MSM coverups point to tight control and coordination from a powerful center. As Deep Throat taught us, "Follow the money".

[Mar 25, 2017] Every time the ranking Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff of California opens his mouth to propagate unsubstantiated allegations against Russia and Russian influence on the last US elections, he makes a reminder, inadvertently, of the First Husband (the philanderer) taking $500.000 from Russians.

Notable quotes:
"... Another official US moron has blamed Russia, this time for "supplying Taliban" in Afghanistan. US Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti announced that "it was conceivable that Russia was providing supplies to the Afghan Taliban". ..."
"... It appears that absolutely any personal or group failure by any US official gets automatically converted into "Russia did it". Little kids are more creative when they say "the dog ate my homework". ..."
"... He showed the two political parties as 'two wings of the same bird of prey" ..."
"... 69 percent of the [US] people have been taken in with the Russia bashing ..."
"... I would trace the transition of the Democrats to a war party, not to the fear of being labeled disloyal after Iraq War 1, but to their being taken over by the zionists. The top ten "donors" to Clinton (Kleinberg) were Jewish, every single one of them! Over $100 million. Obama got over $100 million from a single Jewish "donor." They want those Mideast wars because they are religious fanatics and thieves. Those are the facts of the Democrats. They are owned by zionist traitors. They are Ziocrats. ..."
"... The simplistic notion that the Democrats have been "taken over by the zionists" is a dangerous illusion that needs debunking. While there is no doubt that Natanyahu's Israel supports a policy in sync with that of neo-con objectives, it is beyond a stretch to attribute that policy to that Israel's exaggerated influence in the US. ..."
"... Rather, Israel, as well as Israel's Saudi allies, are both instruments of British Empire policy, sometimes called "globalism," which was adopted and embraced by what can be called the Obama faction of the Democratic Party and its backers in the Republican right. ..."
"... US policy, especially in the post-Soviet era has been determined by a failing attempt to maintain a "unipolar" world that no longer exists and should never have been. The freak-out over Trump's exposure of British Intelligence's GCHQ, heralding a possible rupture in Britain's "special relationship" is an indication of the fear gripping the Anglo-American financial oligarchy that their control over the US is slip-sliding away and that the US will pursue its political and economic self-interest by establishing new relationships to true world powers Russia, China, India and Japan. ..."
"... The simplistic notion that the Democrats have been "taken over by the zionists" is a dangerous illusion that needs debunking. ..."
"... Can you share with readers why you used the term "dangerous illusion" and why it needs debunking? According to William Binney, Obama's use of GCHQ was nothing more than standard operating procedure, an everyday mode of business, to avoid breaking American laws nothing new, so therefore presenting no threat of rupturing U.S.-British "special relationship". ..."
"... The top ten "donors" to Clinton (Kleinberg) were Jewish, every single one of them! Over $100 million. Obama got over $100 million from a single Jewish "donor." ..."
"... I can tell you that the atmosphere is such on campus that a social science faculty member needs to be very careful not to be taken for having "sympathies" for either Russia or China. I repeatedly hear comments that are chilling, and just nod and get away. ..."
"... When did the Democratic Party turn into the post-war war party? At the Democratic convention in 1944 when the establishment did a coup against FDR's right hand man, ..."
Mar 25, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Anna , March 23, 2017 at 4:24 pm

Every time the ranking Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff of California opens his mouth to propagate unsubstantiated allegations against Russia and Russian influence on the last US elections, he makes a reminder, inadvertently, of the First Husband (the philanderer) taking $500.000 from Russians. The money was a bribe intended to make a right impression on Mrs. Clinton. Keep going Mr. Schiff. There were also tens of millions of $US dollars delivered to Clintons Foundation by the major sponsors of terrorism. These tens of millions of dollars from Saudis, Qatari, and Moroccans constitute bribing of a State Department official. As a result of these bribes, the US government has violated the US Constitution by supplying the US-made weaponry to the Middle Eastern warmongering despots/sponsors of terrorism. That is indeed a treason. Let Mr. Schiff talk. He has been making a nice rope for his own hanging.

Skip Scott , March 24, 2017 at 8:02 am

Great post Anna.

Kiza , March 24, 2017 at 8:06 am

Another official US moron has blamed Russia, this time for "supplying Taliban" in Afghanistan. US Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti announced that "it was conceivable that Russia was providing supplies to the Afghan Taliban".

It appears that absolutely any personal or group failure by any US official gets automatically converted into "Russia did it". Little kids are more creative when they say "the dog ate my homework".

But what this sick and unintelligent bull does to Russia? It appears that the US coup in Ukraine and its support for Al Qaeda and ISIS in Syria have solidified Putin's popularity rating at around an unimaginable 85%. All this in the middle of a fairly serious economic crisis in Russia. There is and there has been no major country in the World where the leader has had such approval rating, for so long and despite the economy in a bad shape. Read all about it: http://johnhelmer.net/the-us-war-has-been-good-for-president-vladimir-putin-and-the-russian-economy-looks-stable-through-the-presidential-election-so-if-you-are-a-us-warfighter-what-is-the-regime-change-opportunity-no/#more-17368

Therefore, all these US Demopublicans, generals and other assorted officials are obviously all on Putin's payroll, because they keep working to increase his popularity.

Bill Bodden , March 23, 2017 at 1:32 pm

Democrats. Republicans. Same old, same old.

In 1904 Upton Sinclair wrote in The Jungle :

"The original edition of the novel concluded with its proletarian protagonist attending a mass rally addressed by the American Socialist Party's mesmerizing presidential candidate Sinclair's fictional representation of Eugene Debs. The candidate, Sinclair wrote:

"was a man of electric presence, tall and gaunt, with a face worn think by struggle and suffering. The fury of outraged manhood gleamed in him and the tears of suffering. When he spoke he paced the stage restlessly; he was lithe and eager, like a panther. He leaned over, reaching out for his audience; he pointed into their souls with an insistent finger. His voice was husky from much speaking, but the hall was still as death, and everyone heard him. He spoke the language of workingmen he pointed them the way. He showed the two political parties as 'two wings of the same bird of prey" [emphasis added]. The people were allowed to choose between their candidates, and both of them were controlled, and all their nominations were dictated by, the same [money] power."

In a number of essays Walter Karp made similar points backed up by lots of evidence.

Accidental , March 23, 2017 at 8:04 pm

That book should be required reading in this country. I suspect most people have never even heard of it despite the fact that it was undoubtedly one of the most influential books of the early 20th century.

D5-5 , March 23, 2017 at 1:34 pm

The time is extraordinary in the reckless and naked way the PTB (i.e. the two major parties) are exposing themselves as to NOT serving the people. I was disappointed today to read on RT that 69 percent of the [US] people have been taken in with the Russia bashing (showing I've been wrong lately on my estimates), but I'm hopeful that will not last. More important, Robert's article shows us the dedication of the parties to their deeper playbook, which is obviously controlled by financial interests, not the people's interests. The nakedness of this exposure today is unusual in my experience of watching Washington.

Recommended: a look at what could be a companion piece to Robert's article from Mike Whitney in today's counterpunch, titled "Will Washington risk WWIII to block an emerging EU-Russia super-state":

From that article:

"For the last 70 years the imperial strategy has worked without a hitch, but now Russia's resurgence and China's explosive growth are threatening to break free from Washington's stranglehold. The Asian allies have begun to crisscross Central Europe and Asis with pipelines and high-speed rail that will gather together the far-flung statelets scattered across the steppe, draw them into a Eurasian Economic Union, and link them to an expansive and thriving superstate, the epicenter of global commerce and industry."

BannanaBoat , March 23, 2017 at 2:01 pm

Neither the proud Russians nor Chinese will diminish their nation and culture. BRICS is the level of unity they will accept.

Sam F , March 23, 2017 at 1:36 pm

I would trace the transition of the Democrats to a war party, not to the fear of being labeled disloyal after Iraq War 1, but to their being taken over by the zionists. The top ten "donors" to Clinton (Kleinberg) were Jewish, every single one of them! Over $100 million. Obama got over $100 million from a single Jewish "donor." They want those Mideast wars because they are religious fanatics and thieves. Those are the facts of the Democrats. They are owned by zionist traitors. They are Ziocrats.

J. D. , March 23, 2017 at 2:02 pm

The simplistic notion that the Democrats have been "taken over by the zionists" is a dangerous illusion that needs debunking. While there is no doubt that Natanyahu's Israel supports a policy in sync with that of neo-con objectives, it is beyond a stretch to attribute that policy to that Israel's exaggerated influence in the US.

Rather, Israel, as well as Israel's Saudi allies, are both instruments of British Empire policy, sometimes called "globalism," which was adopted and embraced by what can be called the Obama faction of the Democratic Party and its backers in the Republican right.

US policy, especially in the post-Soviet era has been determined by a failing attempt to maintain a "unipolar" world that no longer exists and should never have been. The freak-out over Trump's exposure of British Intelligence's GCHQ, heralding a possible rupture in Britain's "special relationship" is an indication of the fear gripping the Anglo-American financial oligarchy that their control over the US is slip-sliding away and that the US will pursue its political and economic self-interest by establishing new relationships to true world powers Russia, China, India and Japan.

Brad Owen , March 23, 2017 at 3:15 pm

Well said. It's also time to get rid of the phony "Special Relationship" (between 1%er oligarchs of The City and The Street), to replace it with the actual Special Relationship, so as to ease UK's transition into the New multi-polar Era dawning: this is tribal, in that dear old "Mother Country" need not worry that Her "Four Children" (Australia, Canada, N.Z., USA) will leave Her out in the cold. THAT is the TRUE special relationship; the far-flung, English-speaking Tribe will see to the General Welfare of ALL of its' members, but without degrading the well-being of the rest of the World. War is obsolete, not conducive to anyone's well-being, Geopolitics & divide & conquer is over, finished.

Brad Owen , March 23, 2017 at 4:03 pm

Zionism is a product of Cecil Rhodes' RoundTable Group, which, in concert with the Synarchist Movement for Empire, concerned how to manage African and Middle East colonies and assets belonging mainly to British and French Empires (which also explains WHY the Brits dawdled in North Africa during WWII, much to the chagrin of Stalin and Gen Marshall, who wanted to open up the Western Front ASAP).

They found the perfect opportunity to implement the strategy post-WWII, and suckered USA, via The City's Wall Street Tories, into guaranteeing the existence of Israel. End of story.

Check out the tons of articles on the subject at the EIR website. Tarpley covers it well also. Argue your case with them, F Sam. Good luck. You'll need lots of it.

rosemerry , March 23, 2017 at 4:49 pm

All the talk of "Russian interference" takes over the media, but the ever-present Israeli connection is just accepted as normal. Saudi Arabia, too, is allowed plenty of influence while Iran is demonized.

Sam F , March 23, 2017 at 6:12 pm

Yes, Brad, I agree that Cecil Rhodes and others were involved with the zionists fairly early, although perhaps the greatest British interest was in the Suez canal. Also agree that the US was fooled into taking over the Suez protection and pressuring the UN to create Israel. No doubt there was Wall St interest, although I gather that zionists made direct "donations" to Truman's campaign for the UN pressure.

No doubt there were British zionists involved. But I think that JD's theory that Brits control US policy in the Mideast is a diversion from the obvious zionist control, whether he knows it or not. I will look again at your EIR website. Did not mean to offend.

Brad Owen , March 24, 2017 at 4:27 am

Sam, we just disagree on the location of the REAL enemy. The zionistas are indeed real, and a threat, a real enemy to the USA, but I maintain they are just a weapon wielded by our traditional enemy who has always fought to undermine us here in America; the British Empire (an entity distinct from the Anglo-Celtic people living on the British Isles who are our tribal mates and suffering under the same yoke of Empire as are we).

Sam F , March 23, 2017 at 3:26 pm

Completely wrong: it is an obvious fact that the Democrats have been taken over by the zionists. Obama got over $100 million from a single Jewish "donor." Hillary's major campaign sponsors are all Jewish.
http://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/033116/top-10-corporate-contributors-clinton-campaign.asp
The top 10 contributors to HRCs Superpac were as follows:
1. Dustin Moskovitz and Cari Tuna: $35 million
2. Donald Sussman, Paloma Partners: $21,100,000
3. Jay Robert Pritzker (Mary), Pritzker Group and Foundation: $12,600,000
4. Haim Saban and Cheryl Saban, Saban Capital Group: $10,000,000
5. George Soros (Schwartz): $9,525,000 (changed name from Schwartz)
6. S. Daniel Abraham, SDA Enterprises: $9,000,000
7. Fred Eychaner (Eichner), Newsweb Corporation: $8,005,400
8. James Simons (Shimon), Euclidean Capital: $7,000,000
9. Henry Laufer and Marsha Laufer, Renaissance Technologies: $5,500,000
10. Laure Woods (Wald), Laurel Foundation: $5 million

Your suggestion that this is "British empire" policy is way beyond the ridiculous, it is zionist propaganda. The entire UK economy is a small fraction of that of the US, and there is little financial connection.

I challenge you to deny these facts, or to substantiate the absurd theory of British control. US mass media.

Sam F , March 23, 2017 at 3:44 pm

To continue, the US mass media are also controlled by Jews, presumably zionists. About 40-60 percent of US newspapers are controlled by persons of identifiable Jewish surnames, while less than half of Jewish people can be so identified. Most of the rest are indirectly controlled by Jews.

No further explanation is needed of the mass media craze for Hillary Clinton (Kleinberg). The DNC emails show that she talks to no one but Jews about Mideast policy.

No further proof is needed of the origins of Democrat policy in the Mideast. It may play to the interests of the MIC and oil companies sometimes, but not in Syria/Libya/Egypt. And we got no special deals on Iraqi oil anyway, and had no reason to expect them.

Your move.

JWalters , March 23, 2017 at 8:33 pm

In support of your points, here is an excellent article at a Jewish-run, anti-Zionist website that points out the huge known influence of Israel on American politics that is being ignored amidst all the speculation about possible Russian influence, "Let's talk about Russian influence"
http://mondoweiss.net/2016/08/about-russian-influence/

Mondoweiss is a site of news and analysis with high journalistic standards. Like Consortium News it has also been attacked by the Deep State for its honesty.

Sam F , March 23, 2017 at 9:45 pm

Thank you; it is very appropriate to note that many Jewish people are strong critics of zionism and Israeli policies. There is some hope that they will assist in liberating Jews as well as Palestinians from the racism of the zionists, as many whites assisted in greatly reducing racism among whites in the US against African-Americans.

Bill Bodden , March 23, 2017 at 4:02 pm

The simplistic notion that the Democrats have been "taken over by the zionists" is a dangerous illusion that needs debunking.

There were references in an earlier post quoting two former Israeli prime ministers saying, in effect, they could take care of U.S. politicians to ensure they would do Israel's bidding. I recall Yitzhak Shamir was one of them. The spectacle of Netanyahu showing contempt for Obama in the way he addressed Congress and the standing ovations Netanyahu got from the senators and Congresspersons who sold their souls to the Israel lobby kind of supports the proposition that "the Democrats have been "taken over by the zionists"" Same thing goes for the Republicans.

Anna , March 23, 2017 at 6:08 pm

Have you heard about PNAC? Have you heard about the Lobby?
http://www.oldamericancentury.org/pnac.htm
http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/neocons-as-a-figment-of-imagination/#comment-1810991

Sam F , March 23, 2017 at 9:55 pm

Thanks for the links. PNAC founders Kristol and Kagan helped harness forces for zionist goals. PNAC signers W. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz were principal promoters of Iraq War II, as Wolfowitz installed Israeli spy operatives Perl, Feith, and Wurmser at CIA/DIA/NSA offices to select known-bad "intelligence" to incite the war.

Jerry Alatalo , March 23, 2017 at 6:50 pm

J. D.,

"The simplistic notion that the Democrats have been "taken over by the zionists" is a dangerous illusion that needs debunking."

Can you share with readers why you used the term "dangerous illusion" and why it needs debunking? According to William Binney, Obama's use of GCHQ was nothing more than standard operating procedure, an everyday mode of business, to avoid breaking American laws nothing new, so therefore presenting no threat of rupturing U.S.-British "special relationship".

Can you share the names of major influential figures composing what you describe as the "Anglo-American financial oligarchy" for the benefit of others who pass this way?

It's hard to explain away Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and so many other U.S. politicians fighting each other to get to the head of the pack in supporting Israel. Bernie Sanders only mentioned that Palestinians suffer human and civil rights deficiencies and the world shook, despite it being only a very minor, tiny critique of Israel. Can we imagine what would have happened the titanic reaction had Mr. Sanders blurted out during one of the debates with Ms, Clinton the same conclusion that Professor Virginia Tilley and Professor Richard Falk's report arrived at very recently that the State of Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid?

Years ago while Mr. Sanders appeared weekly with Thom Hartmann on "Brunch With Bernie" we redialed the call-in program until finally getting through and asking two questions. The first was a request for a response from Senator Sanders on the trillion-dollar / year global tax haven-evasion industry facilitated by the world's most powerful accounting, legal and banking firms. The second requested response on the suggestion that it was time to "nationalize the privately-owned Federal Reserve". Mr. Sanders responded to the 1st, then suddenly the show went to music and a break then after the break until show's end nothing about the Federal Reserve.

My guess is that Mr. Sanders and Mr. Hartmann were aware of a "panic button to break" to be triggered when the live call-in topics became, let's say, "unmanageable". That is just a guess,but another guess is that Mr. Sanders was the recipient of, how shall we put it, very "risky" news during his campaign for president when running against Ms. Clinton. So, long story short, Sanders capitulated because he's fully aware of what happened to JFK, MLK and RFK, Clinton became spoiled goods and unacceptable as America's new CEO, and Donald Trump was selected. Trump's long-time friends include "Lucky" Larry Silverstein, who just happened to avoid being in his Twin Towers on September 11, 2001, breaking his religiously kept routine of breakfast every morning in a restaurant located in the top floors of one of the towers because his wife fortunately convinced him to keep an appointment with his dermatologist.

Donald Trump, "Lucky Larry" and Benjamin Netanyahu are long-time friends.

***

Men and women wishing to read, copy, save and disseminate the report on Israel apartheid by Professor Tilley and Professor Falk can find it online at the co-author's internet platform, available at:

https://richardfalk.wordpress.com

Bill Bodden , March 23, 2017 at 3:52 pm

The top ten "donors" to Clinton (Kleinberg) were Jewish, every single one of them! Over $100 million. Obama got over $100 million from a single Jewish "donor."

In exchange Israel got a $38 BILLION package of US aid. What a deal!! Presumably, the Israel lobby will show its appreciation to Obama with donations to his presidential library probably making that library the most expensive ever.

Sam F , March 23, 2017 at 6:27 pm

Yes, there can be little doubt that the zionist campaign money comes at least indirectly from US aid to Israel, and that the aid is intended substantially for that purpose. Investigation of such cashflows might turn up evidence, although there is a quid pro quo economy on both sides that could easily obscure the feedback.

You may well be right in suggesting that the vast aid flows simply make campaign donations a great investment for those who would otherwise have invested in Israel. But the Dems and Reps know that this aid to Israel is for campaign bribes, pure and simple.

JWalters , March 23, 2017 at 8:42 pm

In addition to the carrot bribes, there are also the blackmail sticks. This possibility is consistent with the following segment of a 1998 interview with Kay Griggs, former wife of the U.S. Army's director of assassination training.

Kay Griggs: "Even when he [General Al Gray] was General he ran an intelligence operation which was a contract organization trying to hook politicians, and get them. What is the word? In other words "

Interviewer: "In compromising situations?"

Kay Griggs: "Yes, yes. He had and still has an organization which brings in whores, prostitutes, whatever you want to say, who will compromise politicians so they can be used."

The above is in Part 2 of the whole interview, starting at 48:00 in the video at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-SEA9W6pmA

In Part 1 of the interview she explains the motives behind this.

Kay Griggs: "I'm talking about the Brooklyn-New Jersey mob. My husband, Al Gray, Sheehan, they're all Brooklyn. Cap Weinberger. Heinz Kissinger there's the Boston mob, which was shipping weapons back and forth to Northern Ireland. And I don't want to get too deeply involved in that, but it goes Israel some of the Zionists who came over from Germany, according to my husband, were he works with those people they do a lot of money laundering in the banks, cash transactions for the drugs they're bringing over, through Latin America, the Southern Mafia, the Dixie Mafia, which now my husband's involved with in Miami. The military are all involved once they retire. They're you know, they go into this drug and secondary weapon sales."

The above starts soon after 18:00 in the video at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQNitCNycKQ
(Part 1 of interview)

Further on the following exchange occurs.

Interviewer: "And directly under whose instructions to sell these weapons, do you know that?"

Kay Griggs: "Yeah."

Interviewer: "Okay, who would that be?"

Kay Griggs: "Well, uh, [pause] it's the Israeli-Zionist group in New York."

The above starts at 1:06:45 in the same video at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQNitCNycKQ

Shortly afterward in the same segment is this exchange.

Kay Griggs: "It's kind of like Monica and Bill. I think they put Monica in there to have something on Bill. That's my own feeling. Sarah McClendon feels the same way. Because "

Interviewer: "And Linda Tripp was there to guide the situation."

Kay Griggs: "Absolutely, of course. Linda Tripp was Delta Force. Linda Tripp was trained by Carl Steiner, who's in the diary [her husband's] with my husband. And he [Steiner] tried to trip up Schwarzkopf. I mean, he was trying to take, to take the whole Iraqi thing over because they had been baiting, you know using the Israeli rogues in Turkey. They were having little zig-zag wars. It's all to sell weapons. It's all about weapons sales, it's all about drugs, it's all about funny money."

A blackmail factor, combined with financial carrots, and especially if backed up with a death threat, could easily explain why a reasonably intelligent and educated person would act uninformed and irrational. The surface inconsistency becomes easy to understand. A strategic system of blackmail of the sort Kay Griggs described could easily explain a phalanx of politicians lying in lockstep to American voters, and voting against America's best interests.

backwardsevolution , March 24, 2017 at 12:19 am

JWalters fascinating! Thanks for posting. Makes sense, doesn't it?

Sam f , March 24, 2017 at 12:33 pm

That is fascinating. There must be material on the linkages of secret agencies, ex-military staff, political gangsters, and money-laundering banksters to the drugs and weapons trade. They would be useful tools for false-flag incidents and to supply terror groups.

Those with connections should contact independent news reporters, who could perhaps train journalism students to investigate further. There may be material in the Wikileaks Vault-7 dump of CIA docs.

Pablo Diablo , March 23, 2017 at 1:39 pm

A military buildup=an empire in decline.

chuck b , March 23, 2017 at 2:25 pm

before they let their hegemony over humanity collapse, they blow up the planet.

what's remarkable, for me as an outsider at least, how many insane people are running the show and that's not exclusive to the psychotic right. seeing the mad general at hillary's DNC coronation and the "U!S!A!" chants from the crowd, i'm under the impression that the majority of Americans, that has not yet been marginalized and impoverished, is as deranged as ecstatic Germans cheering on Goebbels and his total war.

Accidental , March 23, 2017 at 8:29 pm

Actually what's happening now in the US is more like France in 1848

Pauline Saxon , March 23, 2017 at 1:50 pm

I have supported you from the beginning. I would like to understand why you seem to be protecting Trump

D5-5 , March 23, 2017 at 2:15 pm

I don't believe Robert Parry or this site are protecting Trump. Questioning the demonizing and slandering of Trump, and efforts to remove him, also do not constitute "protecting."

Trump was elected legitimately to be the president for better or worse. An assessment means looking at both sides of whatever it is. Trump is obviously not doing well and getting negative evaluations, but some of his views (for one example) that promise toward dtente or acceptance of a multi-polar world are worth considering.

Is he genuinely moving in this direction, or faking for some hidden reason? The jury is still considering. So investigating an attack on Trump that is primarily bogus and motivated as a smoke screen to demonize Russia, and prepare the nation for war, is not protecting Trump, but trying to get at the underbrush of what's really going on behind the headlines.

Perhaps you could give us some idea of what you see as protecting Trump?

For myself I'm very critical of Trump. At this time he seems bent on building up ground troops in Syria, but with ISIS already being subdued without this action, we should question why. What's going on. Is he seeking a Ronald Reagan/George W. type of glory moment as One Tough Supreme Commander? Is he now falling in to the neocon overview of controlling the middle east? It's more foolishness in my view, that will not settle the problems and what W uncorked with his phony Iraq war. But this kind of considering doesn't take the heat off the DEM Party for its unconscionable manipulations with Trump and Russia bashing at this time.

Hayden Head , March 23, 2017 at 7:38 pm

Well said! You are spot on in your defense of Parry, who has consistently shown himself to be committed to the truth, regardless of whom he is defending or the consequences of his position. Many of us are waiting to see if Trump might, just might, lead us away from endless war to something approaching a rational foreign policy. Is such hope foolishness? Well, hope usually is.

Bill Bodden , March 23, 2017 at 8:08 pm

Unfortunately, this site is afflicted with the utterances of sloppy readers who are triggered to hit their keyboard when some sentence gets their attention and causes them to ignore other contradictory commentary.

Jake G , March 23, 2017 at 2:27 pm

What are you talking about? There are as many Trump-critic articles from him.

JWalters , March 23, 2017 at 8:49 pm

It seems to me Parry is not so much protecting Trump as trying to protect America from another needless war manufactured by the Deep State, e.g. "War Profiteers and the Roots of the War on Terror"
http://warprofiteerstory.blogspot.com

Gina , March 23, 2017 at 1:52 pm

Excellent article. I am pretty horrified at the direction of the Dems which has become Rethuglican-lite.

LJ , March 23, 2017 at 2:06 pm

The Democrats abandoned their core constituency , LABOR, when Clinton got the 1992 nomination promising to sign NAFTA a short time after having been pictured attending a Bilderberg Beer fest, Since then by jumping further under the sheets with High Finance and Tech Billionaires they have continuously bled votes everywhere except the West Coast. Recent Polling you may have noticed has the Democrats declining in favorability even more since the election. Strange Days have found us haven't they?. .when all else fails we can whip the horses eyes and make them sleep and cry .. I say for starters we separate the words Military and Intelligence forever with a Constitutional Amendment .. How then will Senators McCain and Feinstein react? What will they do for God's sake? The rest of the Two Party infrastructure will quickly implode. Sorry. Thank God and the ACA,, the Amazon Drone has just delivered my prescription meds.. Peace in our time.

chuck b , March 23, 2017 at 2:13 pm

i think it's safe to say that the democrats have been equally adept at waging war since the nutcase LBJ didn't know if they were shooting at whales in the bay of tomkin and started the American holocaust. obama let his darling Hillary run amok which resulted in a rise of refugees and idp by 50% to over 60 million, in just his first term. you actually live in a country run by Nazis for a very long time. from Kissinger to McCain, they are people in power who have collaborated with Nazis (phoenix, condor) and continue to do so in Ukraine or with Islamic extremists in syria. the prospect of McCain anywhere near the state dept must be avoided by an means necessary.

Tristan , March 23, 2017 at 2:22 pm

"[B]ut what good that would do for the American people and the world is hard to fathom." That's it Mr. Parry. That is the key that we need to understand. It is not, not, a priority of either political half of the Republican/Democratic dynamic, to do good for the American people. We are being subjected to the policies which previously were our export, the evisceration of nation(s) to benefit private capital.

I had previously wondered, back in the 90's when Russia was being subjected to neo liberal economic intervention, why these vultures hadn't descended upon the United States, being the feted calf that it were. But I was blind, they were already descending, it only has take some time and a couple of "opportunities", such as 9/11, the Katrina hurricane, to implement those same measures here.

We need to understand that our current political structure is indifferent to the well being of the majority of the "citizens" ie; what are now more commonly called consumers. If the prisons stay full and the indebtedness mounts that is part of the program. Stop thinking that our present system is offering anything that would be recognized by a rational and moral human being as something even close to "a government of the People, by the People, for the People; [or] Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."

ltr , March 23, 2017 at 2:22 pm

I can tell you that the atmosphere is such on campus that a social science faculty member needs to be very careful not to be taken for having "sympathies" for either Russia or China. I repeatedly hear comments that are chilling, and just nod and get away.

Tristan , March 23, 2017 at 2:38 pm

It is nearly impossible to engage with someone in a political context and advocate for a least a fair mind, some neutrality in examining the domestic political situation and relations with Russia. I have to mute myself unless I am willing to engage in a long and tiring argument/discussion in which my point is lost and I have to defend simple ideas of statesmanship and diplomacy.

Sheryl , March 23, 2017 at 5:22 pm

I can relate. The frustrating part is that they think I'm a nut wearing a tinfoil hat.

Realist , March 23, 2017 at 5:55 pm

Would you go so far as to say that most such discussions now take place on terrain far removed from the real world? And, if you insist on sticking to facts rather than fantasy, are you immediately branded an enemy of the state, an intellectual exile without friends or influence, and probably someone marked for extinction, at least on the professional level, if this country must repeat the greatest mistakes of the 1930's and 40's, as it seems headed? So glad I am retired, and I worked in the natural sciences, not the more volatile and political social sciences. Now their only leverage against me is my state pension and health benefits, which many do want to make into a political football.

Tristan , March 23, 2017 at 7:31 pm

The distinction between the real and the ideological has been blurred in accordance with the principles of public opinion management, ie; propaganda. The prevailing mania, contextualized via the dynamic of globalized free market capitalism masquerading as the promotion of freedom and democracy, is where one finds that the seeds of "treason" are sown wider and wider against heretics.

Kiza , March 24, 2017 at 8:35 am

Just reading what all of you guys have written about the prevailing atmosphere in the so called intellectual community, which is much more serious than the atmosphere in the nutty MSM, makes me think of the Decline of the Roman Empire. Many people here are leftists, therefore they will disagree with me, but I see absolutely solid parallels between Russia-hate and AGW. Both have become religion for the vast majority of the Western intellectual class, devoid of the principal tool of the intellectuals rationality. If you are a doubter, you will be ostracized .

Enquiring Mind , March 23, 2017 at 2:24 pm

They have no decency, sir.
At least McCarthy was right on the commie threat, even though his methods and execution were unsound.

Miranda Keefe , March 23, 2017 at 3:59 pm

"At least McCarthy was right on the commie threat."

The US was the aggressor in the Cold War. The Soviet Union, after the war, wanted to continue to co-exist under the spheres of influence agreed on by the US at Yalta.

When did the Democratic Party turn into the post-war war party? At the Democratic convention in 1944 when the establishment did a coup against FDR's right hand man, his VP, his chosen future VP and successor, the great Henry Wallace.

Gregory Herr , March 23, 2017 at 7:52 pm

Wallace instead of Truman? One of the big "what might have been" turns of history.

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/14297-henry-wallace-americas-forgotten-visionary

[Mar 24, 2017] Democrats Trade Places on War and McCarthyism Consortiumnews

Notable quotes:
"... At such a point, that might put the Democrats and Republicans in sync as two equally warmongering parties, but what good that would do for the American people and the world is hard to fathom. ..."
"... America's Stolen Narrative, ..."
Mar 24, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Exclusive: The anti-Russia hysteria gripping the Democratic Party marks a "trading places" moment as the Democrats embrace the New Cold War and the New McCarthyism, flipping the script on Republicans, writes Robert Parry.

Caught up in the frenzy to delegitimize Donald Trump by blaming his victory on Russian meddling, national Democrats are finishing the transformation of their party from one that was relatively supportive of peace to one pushing for war, including a confrontation with nuclear-armed Russia.

This "trading places" moment was obvious in watching the belligerent tone of Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee on Monday as they impugned the patriotism of any Trump adviser who may have communicated with anyone connected to Russia.

Ranking Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, acknowledged that there was no hard evidence of any Trump-Russia cabal, but he pressed ahead with what he called "circumstantial evidence of collusion," a kind of guilt-by-association conspiracy theory that made him look like a mild-mannered version of Joe McCarthy.

Schiff cited by name a number of Trump's aides and associates who as The New York Times reported were "believed to have some kind of contact or communications with Russians." These Americans, whose patriotism was being questioned, included foreign policy adviser Carter Page, Trump's second campaign manager Paul Manafort, political adviser Roger Stone and Trump's first national security adviser retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.

In a 15-minute opening statement, Schiff summed up his circumstantial case by asking: "Is it possible that all of these events and reports are completely unrelated and nothing more than an entirely unhappy coincidence? Yes, it is possible. But it is also possible, maybe more than possible, that they are not coincidental, not disconnected and not unrelated."

As an investigative journalist who has covered (and uncovered) national security scandals for several decades, I would never accuse people of something as serious as betraying their country based on nothing more than coincidences that, who knows, might not be coincidental.

Before we published anything on such topics, the news organizations that I worked for required multiple layers of information from a variety of sources including insiders who could describe what had happened and why. Such stories included Nicaraguan Contra cocaine smuggling, Oliver North's secret Contra supply operation, and the Reagan campaign's undermining of President Carter's Iran-hostage negotiations in 1980.

For breaking those stories, we still took enormous heat from Republicans, some Democrats who wanted to show how bipartisan they were, and many establishment-protecting journalists, but the stories contained strong evidence that misconduct occurred and we were highly circumspect in how the allegations were framed.

Going Whole-Hog

By contrast, national Democrats, some super-hawk Republicans and the establishment media are going whole-hog on these vague suspicions of contacts between some Russians and some Americans who have provided some help or advice to Trump.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry listens to Russian President Vladimir Putin in a meeting room at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, at the outset of a bilateral meeting on July 14, 2016. [State Department Photo] Given the paucity of evidence both regarding the claims that Russia hacked Democratic emails and slipped them to WikiLeaks, and the allegations that somehow Trump's advisers colluded in that process it would appear that what is happening is a political maneuver to damage Trump politically and possibly remove him from office.

But those machinations require the Democratic Party's continued demonization of Russia and implicitly put the Democrats on the side of escalating New Cold War tensions, such as military support for the fiercely anti-Russian regime in Ukraine which seized power in a 2014 U.S.-backed putsch overthrowing elected President Viktor Yanukovych.

One of the attack lines that Democrats have used against Trump is that his people toned down language in the Republican platform about shipping arms to the Ukrainian military, which includes battalions of neo-Nazi fighters and has killed thousands of ethnic Russian Ukrainians in the east in what is officially called an Anti-Terrorism Operation (or ATO).

The Democratic Party leaders have fully bought into the slanted Western narrative justifying the violent overthrow of Yanukovych. They also have ignored the human rights of Ukraine's ethnic Russian minorities, which voted overwhelmingly in Crimea and the Donbass to secede from post-coup Ukraine. The more complex reality is simply summed up as a "Russian invasion."

Key Democrats also have pressed for escalation of the U.S. military attacks inside Syria to force "regime change" on Bashar al-Assad's secular government even if that risks another military confrontation with Russia and a victory by Al Qaeda and other Sunni extremists.

In short, the national Democratic Party is turning itself into the more extreme war party. It's not that the Republicans have become all that dovish; it's just that the Democrats have become all that hawkish. The significance of this change can hardly be overstated.

Questioning War

Since late in the Vietnam War, the Democrats have acted as the more restrained of the two major parties on issues of war, with the Republicans associated with tough-guy rhetoric and higher military spending. By contrast, Democrats generally were more hesitant to rush into foreign wars and confrontations (although they were far from pacifists).

Especially after the revelations of the Pentagon Papers in the 1971 revealing the government deceptions used to pull the American people into the Vietnam War, Democrats questioned shady rationalizations for other wars.

Some Democratic skepticism continued into the 1980s as President Ronald Reagan was modernizing U.S. propaganda techniques to whitewash the gross human rights crimes of right-wing regimes in Central America and to blacken the reputations of Nicaragua's Sandinistas and other leftists.

The Democratic resolve against war propaganda began to crack by the mid-to-late 1980s around Reagan's Grenada invasion and George H.W. Bush's attack on Panama. By then, the Republicans had enjoyed nearly two decades of bashing the Democrats as "weak on defense" from George McGovern to Jimmy Carter to Walter Mondale to Michael Dukakis.

But the Democratic Party's resistance to dubious war rationalizations collapsed in 1991 over George H.W. Bush's Persian Gulf War, in which the President rebuffed less violent solutions (even ones favored by the U.S. military) to assure a dramatic ground-war victory after which Bush declared, "By God, we've kicked the Vietnam Syndrome once and for all."

Fearful of being labeled disloyal to "the troops" and "weak," national Democrats scrambled to show their readiness to kill. In 1992, Gov. Bill Clinton left the campaign trail to return to Arkansas to oversee the execution of the mentally impaired Ricky Ray Rector.

During his presidency, Clinton deployed so-called "smart power" aggressively, including maintaining harsh sanctions on Iraq even as they led to the unnecessary deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children. He also intervened in the Yugoslavian civil war by bombing civilian targets in Belgrade including the lethal destruction of the Serb TV station for the supposed offense of broadcasting "propaganda."

After the 9/11 attacks in 2001, many leading congressional Democrats including presidential hopefuls John Kerry, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton voted to authorize President George W. Bush to invade Iraq. Though they offered various excuses (especially after the Iraq War went badly), the obvious real reason was their fear of being labeled "soft" in Republican attack ads.

The American public's revulsion over the Iraq War and the resulting casualties contributed to Barack Obama's election. But he, too, moved to protect his political flanks by staffing his young administration with hawks, such as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Gen. (and later CIA Director) David Petraeus. Despite receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, Obama also became comfortable with continuing Bush's wars and starting some of his own, such as the bombing war against Libya and the violent subversion of Syria.

By nominating Hillary Clinton in 2016, the Democratic Party completed its transformation into the Party of War. Clinton not only ran as an unapologetic hawk in the Democratic primaries against Sen. Bernie Sanders urging, for instance, a direct U.S. military invasion of Syria to create "no fly zones" but positioned herself as a harsh critic of Trump's hopes to reduce hostilities with Russia, deeming the Republican nominee Vladimir Putin's "puppet."

Ironically, Trump's shocking victory served to solidify the Democratic Party's interest in pushing for a military confrontation with Russia over Ukraine. After all, baiting Trump over his alleged "softness" toward Russia has become the centerpiece of Democratic hopes for somehow ousting Trump or at least crippling his presidency. Any efforts by Trump to ease those tensions will be cited as prima facie evidence that he is Putin's "Manchurian candidate."

Being Joe McCarthy

National Democrats and their media supporters don't even seem troubled by the parallels between their smears of Americans for alleged contacts with Russians and Sen. Joe McCarthy's guilt-by-association hearings of the early Cold War. Every link to Russia no matter how tenuous or disconnected from Trump's election is trumpeted by Democrats and across the mainstream news media.

But it's not even clear that this promotion of the New Cold War and the New McCarthyism will redound to the Democrats' political advantage. Clinton apparently thought that her embrace of a neoconservative foreign policy would bring in many "moderate" Republicans opposed to Trump's criticism of the Bush-Obama wars, but exit polls showed Republicans largely rallying to their party's nominee.

Meanwhile, there were many anti-war Democrats who have become deeply uncomfortable with the party's new hawkish persona. In the 2016 election, some peace Democrats voted for third parties or didn't vote at all for president, although it's difficult to assess how instrumental those defections were in costing Clinton the key states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.

More broadly, the Democratic obsession with Russia and the hopes for somehow exploiting those investigations in order to oust Trump have distracted the party from a necessary autopsy into why the Democrats have lost so much ground over the past decade.

While many Democratic leaders and activists are sliding into full-scale conspiracy-mode over the Russia-Trump story, they are not looking at the party's many mistakes and failings, such as:

Yet, rather than come up with new strategies to address the future, Democratic leaders would rather pretend that Putin is at fault for the Trump presidency and hope that the U.S. intelligence community with its fearsome surveillance powers can come up with enough evidence to justify Trump's impeachment.

Then, of course, the Democrats would be stuck with President Mike Pence, a more traditional Religious Right Republican whose first step on foreign policy would be to turn it over to neocon Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, a move that would likely mean a new wave of "regime change" wars.

At such a point, that might put the Democrats and Republicans in sync as two equally warmongering parties, but what good that would do for the American people and the world is hard to fathom.

[For more on this topic, see Consortiumnews.com's " Yes, Hillary Clinton Is a Neocon " and " Democrats Are Now the Aggressive War Party .]

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America's Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com ).

[Mar 24, 2017] Surveillance State Goes After Trump

Notable quotes:
"... Democrats are so eager to take down President Trump that they are joining forces with the Surveillance State to trample the privacy rights of people close to Trump, ex-FBI agent Coleen Rowley tells Dennis J Bernstein. ..."
"... 'Red Scare' fear of Communism" famously associated with legendary FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover who collaborated with Sen. Joe McCarthy's hunt for disloyal Americans in the late 1940s and early 1950s. ..."
Mar 24, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Democrats are so eager to take down President Trump that they are joining forces with the Surveillance State to trample the privacy rights of people close to Trump, ex-FBI agent Coleen Rowley tells Dennis J Bernstein.

Since Donald Trump's election, former Special FBI Agent Coleen Rowley has been alarmed over how Democratic hawks, neocons and other associates in the "deep state" have obsessed over "resurrecting the ghost of Joseph McCarthy" and have built political support for a permanent war policy around hatred of Russia.

Rowley, whose 2002 memo to the FBI Director exposed some of the FBI's pre-9/11failures, compared the current anti-Russia hysteria to "the

'Red Scare' fear of Communism" famously associated with legendary FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover who collaborated with Sen. Joe McCarthy's hunt for disloyal Americans in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

In an interview, Rowley told me that while Trump was wrong about his claim that President Obama ordered a surveillance "tapp" of Trump Tower, the broader point may have been correct as explained by House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, R-California, who described how U.S. intelligence apparently picked up conversations by Trump associates while monitoring other targets.

Dennis Bernstein: A former high-level FBI whistleblower says Trump is vindicated on his claims of being surveilled by the previous administration. Joining us to take a close look at what's been going on, what's been unfolding in Washington, D.C. is Coleen Rowley. She's a former FBI special agent and division council. She wrote a May 2002 memo to the FBI director that exposed some of the FBI's pre-9/11 failures, major failures. She was Time magazine's person of the year in 2002. Help us explain what chairman Nunes reported in terms of the collecting process and Trumps innocence or guilt?

... ... ...

CR: Well, I don't think there has and it's not just myself, it's really most of our veteran intelligence professionals, retired CIA, retired NSA, we've all been conferring for a while on this. And we have asked, we actually put out a memo asking for evidence. Because it's just been assertions and innuendoes, and demonization

We see a lot of demonization of the Russian T.V. channel. But we have not seen any actual evidence of Russians and there's a lot of reasons to think that this would be illogical. Even if, and I would grant that Comey mentioned this in his testimony, that Putin and other top Russians hated Hillary Clinton. Well, even if you assume that, that they didn't like Hillary Clinton, as much as Donald Trump. They considered Donald Trump their lesser evil, or whatever. Even if you think that, why would they take the risk? Because, at the time Hillary Clinton surprised everyone by everyone thought she was going to win. So it would have been completely illogical for them to have done these things, to take that kind of a risk, when it was presumed that she was going to be the next president. There's just so many things here that don't add up, and don't make sense.

FBI Director James Comey

And yet, and yet, because our mainstream media is owned by what? half a dozen big conglomerates, all connected to the military industrial complex, they continue with the scenario of that old movie the Russians are coming! the Russians are coming! And unfortunately the Democrat Party has become the war party, very clearly. They're the ones that don't see the dangers in ginning up this very dangerous narrative of going after Russia, as meddling, or whatever. And they should ask for, we all should ask for the full evidence of this. If this is case, then we deserve to know the truth about it. And, so far, we haven't seen anything. Look at that report. There's nothing in it.

DB: And, this is the same media who for the last ever since Trump claimed that he was wiretapped using the wrong terminology, these

journalists they couldn't stop saying "if he did lie, this is a felony. He did lie. He did accuse the former president of the United States " So, you're saying, based on your long experience and information this was just a confusion of a term of art, and the idea of the possibility of Trump Towers being under investigation, this was all incredibly not strange, not crazy, and totally normal in the context of an investigation.

CR: Yes, and I again, there could be grounds for legitimate investigation of the periphery of the Trump campaign, certain staffers. And you know what, corruption in Washington, D.C. is quite rampant. And I think many, many of the politicians if they actually put them under the microscope they could find just as you look at foreign leaders, Netanyahu was indicted for corruption, whatever. It's not uncommon to have conflicts of interests, and under the table deals. That's very possible.

So, that's not what our news is saying. Our mainstream news is saying that, what you said at the beginning, the Russians own Trump, and basically that this has undermined our democracy and our electoral process. That part of it we have seen no evidence of. And, Trump is partially vindicated, because obviously whether he was personally targeted, his campaign at least seems to have been monitored, at least in part.

DB: Were you amazed that, for instance, the FBI director raised the issue of the Clinton investigation, but not the Trump investigation?

CR: Well, I've been trying to figure that out. Because back, during when he went public, he was put into the spot because Loretta Lynch should have been the one to be public on these things. But she was tainted because of having met with Bill Clinton on the tarmac. And so my explanation was that that Comey shouldered the burden from Loretta Lynch. He was doing her a favor in a way because he thought it would look like this is more independent and more professional coming from the FBI. Because at the time Loretta Lynch was under a cloud. And I think that is the explanation for why he was so public at the time.

And, of course, things have developed the summer, if any investigation started during the summer, again, it was not known. It was probably legitimate if they got some information in about some act of corruption, or whatever, it was certainly legitimate. But since this summer what has happened is this whole narrative has just gone on steroids, because of the leaks about the Russians, etc. And the fact that they put out this report, the FBI, the NSA, and the director of National Intelligence. And I think that that's the problem right now is the public just is so confused because there has been so much wrong information out there in the media. And no one knows what to believe.

Actually, to Comey's credit he did say this a couple of times that these media accounts are not accurate. And, I think that, again, we there's been a lot of "sources" anonymous sources which I do not think are whistleblowers. But these anonymous sources seem to have come from political operatives, and even higher level people. I'm guessing some of this came from the Obama administration appointees, not Obama, of course, personally.

And, who knows if he knew anything about this, but some of those prior appointees, I think, when all is said and done will be seen as the ones, if they can ever uncover this. It's hard with anonymous sources. But I think they were probably the ones leading this. And maybe over time we can get back to some sanity here without so much of this planted information, and wrongful leaks. And I, again, I'm all for whistle blowing. But, I don't agree with leaks like Scooter Libby's where they were actually using the media to plant false info.

[Mar 24, 2017] Whether the Soviet union exists or not has nothing to do with it. USA MUST always have an enemy to divert the sheeples attention that their so called American dream is really a nightmare

Mar 24, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
hoyeru , Mar 24, 2017 9:17 PM

Whether the Soviet union exists or not has nothing to do with it. USA MUST always have an enemy to divert the sheeple's attention that their so called American dream is really a nightmare. Besides, USA's empire is failing and Russia is getting stronger. of course USA will be pissed off about it.

daveO -> hoyeru , Mar 24, 2017 9:34 PM

"Oceania was at war with Eurasia; therefore Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia." I'm glad to have lived to see them almost fail. When I first read this in 1984, by coincidence, there seemed to be no end in sight. As soon as the USSR failed they replaced it with terrorism(Eastasia)....

lester1 , Mar 24, 2017 9:21 PM

Help out of you can. Seth Rich was exposing corruption with the DNC against Bernie Sanders. He was mysteriously shot in the back last summer, but his wallet and watch weren't taken.

https://www.gofundme.com/SethRich

xrxs , Mar 24, 2017 9:36 PM

I still can't figure this Russiophobia out. We went from a path to mutual arms reduction and normalizing relations to the shitstorm in Ukraine and Syria. I think I know who started that whole mess, but I still haven't figured out why other than maintaining friendly control of European petrochemicals.

We went from Bush II and Vlad fishing and hanging out at the ranch to where we are today. WTF happened?

HRH Feant -> xrxs , Mar 24, 2017 9:58 PM

Same here. This new obsession is complete and utter insanity.

The leftists in the US remind me of the revolutionaries in Bolshevik Russia. They want a revolution and dream of communal living.

Communal living is my worst nightmare! Anyone that has shared a house with roomies soon understands that one person pays the bills while another eats all the food and one person cleans the toilet while everyone else makes a mess of the entire place. Communal living sounds great, in theory. In practice? It doesn't work.

shovelhead , Mar 24, 2017 9:39 PM

Nobodies "Russo-phobic". That's the story they're trying to sell the world.

That's just a convenient excuse for retaliating on Ukraine, Syria and now Trump. Russia and Putin have become like Mr. Clean in the household.

Good for every mess you make.

Cabreado , Mar 24, 2017 9:49 PM

"This is an American implosion. An historic Made-in-America meltdown. And Russophobia is but a symptom of the internal decay at the heart of US politics."

More importantly, it is a decay in the electorate and how it relates to the elected (isn't that the real heart of US politics?)

And so the elected, naturally, have become a corrupt mass of opportunists.

This is why they ("We") invented Rule of Law. We just have to give a damn like We mean it.

[Mar 24, 2017] Shibboleth of contemporary economics, free trade

Mar 24, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

robert ,

February 26, 2014 at 11:44 am

Regarding Kirill's post about that shibboleth of contemporary economics, free trade.

Pick up an introductory textbook of economics and your chances of finding an objective assessment of a system of this kind are very low indeed. Instead, what you'll find between the covers is a ringing endorsement of free trade, usually in the most propagandistic sort of language. Most likely it will rehash the arguments originally made by British economist David Ricardo, in the early 19th century, to prove that free trade inevitably encourages every nation to develop whatever industries are best suited to its circumstances, and so produces more prosperity for everybody. Those arguments will usually be spiced up with whatever more recent additions appeal to the theoretical tastes of the textbook's author or authors, and will plop the whole discussion into a historical narrative that insists that once upon a time, there were silly people who didn't like free trade, but now we all know better.

What inevitably gets omitted from the textbook is any discussion, based in actual historical examples, of the way that free trade works out in practice That would be awkward, because in the real world, throughout history, free trade pretty consistently hasn't done what Ricardo's rhetoric and today's economics textbooks claim it will do. Instead, it amplifies the advantages of wealthy nations and the disadvantages of poorer ones, concentrating capital and income in the hands of those who already have plenty of both while squeezing out potential rivals and forcing down wages across the board. This is why every nation in history that's ever developed a significant industrial sector to its economy has done so by rejecting the ideology of free trade, and building its industries behind a protective wall of tariffs, trade barriers, and capital controls, while those nations that have listened to the advice of the tame economists of the British and American empires have one and all remained mired in poverty and dependence as long as they did so.

There's a rich irony here, because not much more than a century ago, a healthy skepticism toward the claims of free trade ideology used to be standard in the United States. At that time, Britain filled the role in the world system that the United States fills today, complete with the global empire, the gargantuan military with annual budget to match, and the endless drumbeat of brushfire wars across what would one day be called the Third World, and British economists were accordingly the world's loudest proponents of free trade, while the United States filled the role of rising industrial power that China fills today, complete with sky-high trade barriers that protected its growing industries, not to mention a distinctly cavalier attitude toward intellectual property laws.

One result of that latter detail is that pirate editions of the Encyclopedia Britannica were produced and sold by a number of American firms all through the 19th century. Most of these editions differed from their British originals in an interesting way, though. The entry for "Free Trade" in the original editions repeated standard British free-trade economic theory, repeating Ricardo's arguments and dismissing criticisms of free trade out of hand; the American editors by and large took the trouble to replace these with entries critiquing free trade ideology in much the same terms I've used in this post. The replacement of pro- with anti-free trade arguments in these pirate editions, interestingly enough, attracted far more denunciation in the British press than the piracy itself got, which shows that the real issues were tolerably well understood at the time.

When it comes to free trade and its alternatives, that level of understanding is nowhere near so common these days, at least in Britain -I've long suspected that businessmen and officials in Beijing have a very precise understanding of what free trade actually means, though it would hardly be to their advantage just now to talk about that with any degree of candor. In the West even those who speak most enthusiastically about relocalization and the end of corporate globalism apparently haven't noticed how effectively tariffs, trade barriers, and capital controls foster domestic industries and rebuild national economies-or perhaps it's just that too many of them aren't willing to consider paying the kind of prices for their iPods and Xboxes that would follow the enactment of a reasonable tariff, much less the prices that would be required if we had the kind of trade barriers that built the American economy and could build it again, and bluecollar First World workers were paid First World wages to make them.

Free trade is simply one of the mechanisms of empire in the age of industrialism, one part of the wealth pump that concentrated the wealth of the globe in Britain during the years of its imperial dominion and does the same thing for the benefit of the United States today. Choose any other mechanism of empire, from the web of military treaties that lock allies and subject nations into a condition of dependence on the imperial center, through the immense benefits that accrue to whatever nation issues the currency in which international trade is carried out, to the way that the charitable organizations of the imperial center-missionary churches in Victoria's time, for example, or humanitarian NGOs in ours-further the agenda of empire with such weary predictability: in every case, you'll find a haze of doubletalk surrounding a straightforward exercise of imperial domination. It requires a keen eye to look past the rhetoric and pay attention to the direction the benefits flow.

Follow the flow of wealth and you understand empire. That's true in a general and a more specific sense, and both of these have their uses. In the general sense, paying attention to shifts in wealth between the imperial core and the nations subject to it is an essential antidote to the popular sort of nonsense-popular among tame intellectuals such as Thomas Friedman, at least, and their audiences in the imperial core-that imagines empire as a sort of social welfare program for conquered nations. Whether it's some old pukka sahib talking about how the British Empire brought railroads and good government to India, or his neoconservative equivalent talking about how the United States ought to export the blessings of democracy and the free market to the Middle East or the former Soviet Union it's codswallop, and the easiest way to see that it's codswallop is to notice that the price paid for whatever exports are under discussion normally amounts to the systematic impoverishment of the subject nation.

Reply

marknesop ,

February 26, 2014 at 5:44 pm

Free trade is only fair if all nations in the agreement start from the same point. If you choose not to invest in development, that's your own lookout, but don't complain if you end up under the de facto control of the one who did. But when a highly-developed nation espouses a free trade agreement with a nation that is just starting, it should be fairly easy to forecast who will come out ahead on the deal.

Did you uhhh write that yourself? Because it's pretty awesome.

Reply

astabada ,

February 27, 2014 at 12:46 am

I agree with Mark, your comment is great.

Especially when you mention that these matters were much more clear to the general public a century ago, than they are now.

This is what List wrote (National System):
It is a very common clever device that when anyone has attained the summit of greatness, he kicks away the ladder by which he has climbed up, in order to deprive others of the means of climbing up after him. In this lies the secret of the cosmopolitical doctrine of Adam Smith, and of the cosmopolitical tendencies of his great contemporary William Pitt, and of all his successors in the British Government administrations. Any nation which by means of protective duties and restrictions on navigation has raised her manufacturing power and her navigation to such a degree of development that no other nation can sustain free competition with her, can do nothing wiser than to throw away these ladders of her greatness, to preach to other nations the benefits of free trade, and to declare in penitent tones that she has hitherto wandered in the paths of error, and has now for the first time succeeded in discovering the truth.

[Mar 24, 2017] Russophobia - Symptom Of US Implosion

Notable quotes:
"... However, the power of the Russophobia propaganda technique over the wider population seems to have greatly diminished from its Cold War heyday. This is partly due to more diverse global communications which challenge the previous Western monopoly for controlling narrative and perception. Contemporary Russophobia demonizing Russian President Vladimir Putin or Russian military forces does not have the same potency for scaring the Western public. Indeed, due to greater diversity in global news media sources, it is fair to say that "official" Western depictions of Russia as an enemy, for example allegedly about to invade Europe or allegedly interfering in electoral politics, are met with a healthy skepticism if not ridicule by many Western citizens. ..."
"... What is increasingly apparent here is a gaping chasm between the political class and the wider public on the matter of Russophobia. This is true for Western countries generally, but especially in the US. The political class the lawmakers in Washington and the mainstream news media are frenzied by claims that Russia interfered in the US presidential elections and that Russia has some kind of sinister leverage on the presidency of Donald Trump. ..."
"... Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov this week dismissed the Congressional hearings into alleged Russian interference in US politics. He aptly said that US lawmakers and the corporate media have become "entangled" in their own fabrications. "They are trying to find evidence for conclusions that they have already made", said Peskov. ..."
"... There seems to be a collective delusional mindset. ..."
"... the ruling class have fabricated their own excuse for demise by blaming it all on Russia. ..."
"... The American ruling class cannot accept, or come to terms, with the fact of systemic failure in their own political system. The election of Trump is a symptom of this failure and the widespread disillusionment among voters towards the two-party train wreck of Republicans and Democrats. That is why the specter of Russian interference in the US political system had to be conjured up, by necessity, as a way of "explaining" the abject failure and the ensuing popular revolt. ..."
"... Russophobia was rehabilitated from the Cold War closet by the American political establishment to distract from the glaring internal collapse of American politics ..."
"... The toxic political atmosphere of Russophobia in Washington is unprecedented. The Trump administration is being crippled at every turn from conducting normal political business under a toxic cloud of suspicion that it is guilty of treason from colluding with Russia. ..."
"... When Trump's Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was reported to be skipping a NATO summit next month but was planning to visit Moscow later in the same month, the itinerary was interpreted as a sign of untoward Russian influence. ..."
"... What makes the spectacle of political infighting so unprecedented is that there is such little evidence to back up allegations of Trump-Russia collusion. It is preponderantly based on innuendo and anonymous leaks to the media, which are then recycled as "evidence". ..."
"... Devin Nunes, the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said earlier this week that he has seen no actual evidence among classified documents indicating any collusion between the Trump campaign team and the Russian government. ..."
"... Yet, FBI chief James Comey told Congress that his agency was pursuing a potentially criminal investigation into the Trump administration, while at the same time not confirming or denying the existence of any evidence. ..."
"... And, as already noted, this declaration of open-ended snooping by Comey on the White House was met with avid approval by political opponents of Trump, both on Capitol Hill and in the corporate media. ..."
"... Let's just assume for a moment that the whole Trump-Russia collusion story is indeed fake. That it is groundless, a figment of imagination. There are solid reasons to believe that is the case. But let's just assume here that it is fake for the sake of argument. ..."
"... This is an American implosion. An historic Made-in-America meltdown. And Russophobia is but a symptom of the internal decay at the heart of US politics. ..."
Mar 24, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
There was a time when Russophobia served as an effective form of population control used by the American ruling class in particular to command the general US population into patriotic loyalty. Not any longer. Now, Russophobia is a sign of weakness, of desperate implosion among the US ruling class from their own rotten, internal decay.

This propaganda technique worked adequately well during the Cold War decades when the former Soviet Union could be easily demonized as "godless communism" and an "evil empire". Such stereotypes, no matter how false, could be sustained largely because of the monopoly control of Western media by governments and official regulators.

The Soviet Union passed away more than a quarter of a century ago, but Russophobia among the US political class is more virulent than ever.

This week it was evident from Congressional hearings in Washington into alleged Russian interference in US politics that large sections of American government and establishment media are fixated by Russophobia and a belief that Russia is a malign foreign adversary.

However, the power of the Russophobia propaganda technique over the wider population seems to have greatly diminished from its Cold War heyday. This is partly due to more diverse global communications which challenge the previous Western monopoly for controlling narrative and perception. Contemporary Russophobia demonizing Russian President Vladimir Putin or Russian military forces does not have the same potency for scaring the Western public. Indeed, due to greater diversity in global news media sources, it is fair to say that "official" Western depictions of Russia as an enemy, for example allegedly about to invade Europe or allegedly interfering in electoral politics, are met with a healthy skepticism if not ridicule by many Western citizens.

What is increasingly apparent here is a gaping chasm between the political class and the wider public on the matter of Russophobia. This is true for Western countries generally, but especially in the US. The political class the lawmakers in Washington and the mainstream news media are frenzied by claims that Russia interfered in the US presidential elections and that Russia has some kind of sinister leverage on the presidency of Donald Trump.

But this frenzy of Russophobia is not reflected among the wider public of ordinary American citizens. Rabid accusations that Russia hacked the computers of Trump's Democrat rival Hillary Clinton to spread damaging information about her; that this alleged sabotage of American democracy was an "act of war"; that President Trump is guilty of "treason" by "colluding" with a "Russian influence campaign" all of these sensational claims seem to be only a preoccupation of the privileged political class . Most ordinary Americans, concerned about making a living in a crumbling society, either don't buy the claims or view them as idle chatter.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov this week dismissed the Congressional hearings into alleged Russian interference in US politics. He aptly said that US lawmakers and the corporate media have become "entangled" in their own fabrications. "They are trying to find evidence for conclusions that they have already made", said Peskov.

Other suitable imagery is that the US political class are tilting at windmills, chasing their own tails, or running from their own shadows. There seems to be a collective delusional mindset.

Unable to accept the reality that the governing structure of the US has lost legitimacy in the eyes of the people, that the people rebelled by electing an outsider in the form of business mogul-turned-politician Donald Trump, that the collapse of American traditional politics is due to the atrophy of its bankrupt capitalist economy over several decades the ruling class have fabricated their own excuse for demise by blaming it all on Russia.

The American ruling class cannot accept, or come to terms, with the fact of systemic failure in their own political system. The election of Trump is a symptom of this failure and the widespread disillusionment among voters towards the two-party train wreck of Republicans and Democrats. That is why the specter of Russian interference in the US political system had to be conjured up, by necessity, as a way of "explaining" the abject failure and the ensuing popular revolt.

Russophobia was rehabilitated from the Cold War closet by the American political establishment to distract from the glaring internal collapse of American politics.

The corrosive, self-destruction seems to know no bounds. James Comey, the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, told Congress this week that the White House is being probed for illicit contacts with Russia. This dramatic notice served by Comey was greeted with general approval by political opponents of the Trump administration, as well as by news media outlets.

The New York Times said the FBI was in effect holding a "criminal investigation at the doorstep of the White House".

Other news outlets are openly airing discussions on the probability of President Trump being impeached from office.

The toxic political atmosphere of Russophobia in Washington is unprecedented. The Trump administration is being crippled at every turn from conducting normal political business under a toxic cloud of suspicion that it is guilty of treason from colluding with Russia.

President Trump has run afoul with Republicans in Congress over his planned healthcare reforms because many Republicans are taking issue instead over the vaunted Russian probe.

When Trump's Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was reported to be skipping a NATO summit next month but was planning to visit Moscow later in the same month, the itinerary was interpreted as a sign of untoward Russian influence.

What makes the spectacle of political infighting so unprecedented is that there is such little evidence to back up allegations of Trump-Russia collusion. It is preponderantly based on innuendo and anonymous leaks to the media, which are then recycled as "evidence".

Devin Nunes, the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said earlier this week that he has seen no actual evidence among classified documents indicating any collusion between the Trump campaign team and the Russian government.

Even former senior intelligence officials, James Clapper and Michael Morell who are no friends of Trump, have lately admitted in media interviews that there is no such evidence.

Yet, FBI chief James Comey told Congress that his agency was pursuing a potentially criminal investigation into the Trump administration, while at the same time not confirming or denying the existence of any evidence.

And, as already noted, this declaration of open-ended snooping by Comey on the White House was met with avid approval by political opponents of Trump, both on Capitol Hill and in the corporate media.

Let's just assume for a moment that the whole Trump-Russia collusion story is indeed fake. That it is groundless, a figment of imagination. There are solid reasons to believe that is the case. But let's just assume here that it is fake for the sake of argument.

That then means that the Washington seat of government and the US presidency are tearing themselves apart in a futile civil war.

The real war here is a power struggle within the US in the context of ruling parties no longer having legitimacy to govern.

This is an American implosion. An historic Made-in-America meltdown. And Russophobia is but a symptom of the internal decay at the heart of US politics.

[Mar 23, 2017] Anti-russian hysteria became a witch hunt which is by-and-large out of control of Democratic leadership, and they feel that they became hostages of it

Notable quotes:
"... " The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, R-Calif., does not know "for sure" whether President Donald Trump or members of his transition team were even on the phone calls or other communications now being cited as partial vindication for the president's wiretapping claims against the Obama administration, according to a spokesperson. ..."
"... I think im1dc along with a couple of other commenters here symbolize perfectly well the problem Democratic leadership got on themselves. ..."
"... He got the taste of sniffing Russian pants and now he can't stop, despite the fact that all his knowledge of Russia came from US media. Kind of political graphomania, of some sort. Or, incontinence, if you wish. ..."
"... In other words now in the USA hysteria became detached from the facts and has now its own life. Obtained classic witch hunt dynamics. ..."
"... "The principal problem for Democrats is that so many media figures and online charlatans are personally benefiting from feeding the base increasingly unhinged, fact-free conspiracies - just as right-wing media polemicists did after both Bill Clinton and Obama were elected - that there are now millions of partisan soldiers absolutely convinced of a Trump/Russia conspiracy for which, at least as of now, there is no evidence. ..."
"... And they are all waiting for the day, which they regard as inevitable and imminent, when this theory will be proven and Trump will be removed. ..."
"... Key Democratic officials are clearly worried about the expectations that have been purposely stoked and are now trying to tamp them down. Many of them have tried to signal that the beliefs the base has been led to adopt have no basis in reason or evidence. ..."
Mar 23, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
im1dc : Reply Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 04:32 PM
Devin Nunes is unfit to be Intel Chair of the House Committee

http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2017/03/23/nunes-now-unsure-if-trump-team-was-surveilled.html

"Intel chair Devin Nunes unsure if Trump associates were directly surveilled"

By Mike Levine...Mar 23, 2017...5:24 PM ET

" The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, R-Calif., does not know "for sure" whether President Donald Trump or members of his transition team were even on the phone calls or other communications now being cited as partial vindication for the president's wiretapping claims against the Obama administration, according to a spokesperson.

"He said he'll have to get all the documents he requested from the [intelligence community] about this before he knows for sure," a spokesperson for Nunes said Thursday..."

libezkova -> im1dc..., March 23, 2017 at 07:04 PM

I think im1dc along with a couple of other commenters here symbolize perfectly well the problem Democratic leadership got on themselves.

He got the taste of sniffing Russian pants and now he can't stop, despite the fact that all his knowledge of Russia came from US media. Kind of political graphomania, of some sort. Or, incontinence, if you wish.

In other words now in the USA hysteria became detached from the facts and has now its own life. Obtained classic witch hunt dynamics.

It became by-and-large out of control of Democratic leadership, and they feel that they became hostages of it. But they can't call the dogs back.

It was a dirty but effective trick to avoid sacking Democratic Party failed, corrupt neoliberal leadership (Clinton wing of the party). It worked, but it come with a price.

As Glenn Greenwald noted.

"The principal problem for Democrats is that so many media figures and online charlatans are personally benefiting from feeding the base increasingly unhinged, fact-free conspiracies - just as right-wing media polemicists did after both Bill Clinton and Obama were elected - that there are now millions of partisan soldiers absolutely convinced of a Trump/Russia conspiracy for which, at least as of now, there is no evidence.

And they are all waiting for the day, which they regard as inevitable and imminent, when this theory will be proven and Trump will be removed.

Key Democratic officials are clearly worried about the expectations that have been purposely stoked and are now trying to tamp them down. Many of them have tried to signal that the beliefs the base has been led to adopt have no basis in reason or evidence.

The latest official to throw cold water on the MSNBC-led circus is President Obama's former acting CIA chief Michael Morell. What makes him particularly notable in this context is that Morell was one of Clinton's most vocal CIA surrogates. In August, he not only endorsed Clinton in the pages of the New York Times but also became the first high official to explicitly accuse Trump of disloyalty, claiming, "In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation."

But on Wednesday night, Morell appeared at an intelligence community forum to "cast doubt" on "allegations that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia." "On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians here, there is smoke, but there is no fire at all," he said, adding, "There's no little campfire, there's no little candle, there's no spark. And there's a lot of people looking for it."

https://theintercept.com/2017/03/16/key-democratic-officials-now-warning-base-not-to-expect-evidence-of-trumprussia-collusion/

[Mar 23, 2017] The Russian Hacking Story Changes Again Zero Hedge

Mar 23, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

"Obama's "Russia Hacked The Election" is CODE for "Trump Stole The Election." Any "provable" instance of Russian hacking might also be a false flag operation to justify new round of sanctions. That make Obama to look especially bad as he asked CA to investigate this case, while t might well be that CIA is the agency that needs to be investigated. They now have a lot of friends n Baltic republics and Ukrane to stage also false flag operation attributable to Russia, they wish. Remeber Oswald and JFK assassination.

Shemp 4 Victory -> Wow72 , Jan 5, 2017 7:46 AM

In keeping with the theme of providing no proof to the general public, the officials declined to describe the intelligence obtained about the involvement of a third-party in passing on leaked material to WikiLeaks, saying they did not want to reveal how the U.S. government had obtained the information . So just trust them, please.

Good thing we can completely trust the integrity of 17 Intelligence Agencies because this explanation is exactly what a corrupt and politicized institution would use to try to pass off a completely fabricated story as legitimate.

Tarzan -> Shemp 4 Victory , Jan 5, 2017 8:03 AM

Would this third party happen to be a disgruntled DNC insider named seth rich?

MalteseFalcon -> Tarzan , Jan 5, 2017 8:23 AM

It's like arguing with a teenager.

You catch them in a lie, and debunk it.

The teenager processes the debunking and alters the lie to conform with the "new truth".

The iterations continue until you give up or simply "ground" the punk.

And who are these 17 intelligence agencies?

Will they all be called to "Songbird" McCains hearing?

Will the hearing end before Songbird keels over from old age?

CuttingEdge -> MalteseFalcon , Jan 5, 2017 8:31 AM

"Dissolve the CIA"

The Langley gym swimming pool filled with hydrochloric acid, maybe?

Works for me, as long as that evil cunt Morell is first in.

CuttingEdge -> CuttingEdge , Jan 5, 2017 8:41 AM

Just imagine Friday's meeting if Trump actually knows who lifted the DNC files?

Only, judging by the way he is playing this thus far in being openly dismissive of anything put forward, that may very well be the case.

To have the entire combined intel machine by the balls without them knowing, as they project their politicised billion dollar bullshit...now that would be a beautiful thing to behold.

Joe Davola -> CuttingEdge , Jan 5, 2017 9:03 AM

Looking at some of the 'information' from previous hacks

1. Sony - claimed to be North Korea

2. DNC/Clinton email - claimed to be Russia

3. Various - claimed to be China

4. Iranian centrifuges - no claims, but pretty good indication it was CIA/NSA/Israel

Now, who from that list didn't want HRC to be president. One could make a compelling case that #4, particularly Israel, would go this route and have the wherewithall/foresight to make it look like #2 - and Obama/Kerry allowing the UN vote to go through as punishment. Or, we can believe #2 was sloppy (or intentionally sloppy to send a message/rub our noses in it). Or, it was some 14 year old operating from their parents basement - nah, no 14 year old would think of covering their tracks to make it look like someone else.

jeff montanye -> Manthong , Jan 5, 2017 3:49 PM

thought crimes are where you find them, ask the catholic church.

seriously though, john mccain is an asset of the mossad. no other formation does it justice:

"We will obviously be talking about the hacking, but the main thing is the whole issue of cybersecurity," the committee's Republican chairman, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, said ahead of the hearing. "Right now we have no policy, no strategy to counter cyberattacks."

check this shit out (my bold): Guilt By Association: How Deception and Self-Deceit Took America to War

By Jeff Gates, State Street Publications, 2008, paperback, 320 pp. List: $27.95; AET: $18 (if you really want to understand why this is going on, read.on; others be assured it is true.).

In his chapter on "John McCain and the Financial Frauds," Gates reviews McCain's unsavory role in the "Keating Five" scandal. The following chapter recounts the shameful role of McCain's father in helping to cover up Israel's deliberate attack on the USS Liberty during the 1967 Six-Day War in which 34 of the crew were killed and 294 wounded . "From a game theory perspective," Gates explains, "by covering up the murder of Americans aboard the USS Liberty, a U.S. president (with the aid of Admiral John McCain, Jr. ) confirmed that Israeli extremists could murder Americans without endangering U.S. support."

Reviewed by Andrew I. Killgore

Books

GUILT BY Association is an initially confusing masterpiece almost too stuffed with evidence to concentrate on making clear its basic theme. But author Jeff Gates did so in a recent letter to a distinguished retired American diplomat: "The research pivoted off the firsthand experience of "John Doe' whose experience spans 56 years of dealing with a transnational criminal syndicate whose senior operatives share a common ideology in fundamental Judaism and a skill set experienced in displacing facts with beliefs. Thus the common source of the fixed intelligence that took us to war in Iraq. And, thus the same network now being employed to expand this war to Iran."

From 1980 to 1987 Gates served as counsel to the Senate Finance Committee, working with Sen. Russell Long of Louisiana, son of the state's former Gov. Huey Long, who was assassinated at age 42 as he was preparing a presidential campaign. James Farley, postmaster general under President Franklin Roosevelt, had run a "penny postcard" poll confirming that if Huey Long actually ran for president, Roosevelt could not be re-elected. Fifty years later Russell Long remained convinced that Roosevelt's people had killed his father.

At a 2002 speech Gates gave in London, he met "John Doe," related to one of the well-known people who had endorsed two of Gates' earlier books. Soon afterward, Doe assured him that if Gates undertook the research and analysis the results of which appear in Guilt, the evidence would identify who killed Huey Long, and why. The facts Gates assembled point not to Roosevelt's people but to the syndicate identified in Guilt.

The brilliantly provocative Guilt by Association consists of nine chapters: "Game Theory and the Mass Murder of 9/11"; "Organized Crime in Arizona"; "John McCain and Financial Frauds"; "McCain Family Secret: The Cover-Up"; "The Presidency and Russian Organized Crime"; "Money, Democracy and the Great Divide"; "The New Anti-Semitism"; "Would Obama Be Better?"; and "The Way Forward."

In the first chapter Gates illustrates the intergenerational sophistication with which neoconservatives "prepared the minds" of the American public to invade Iraq in response to 9/11. Academics and think tanks pushed Samuel Huntington's 1996 Clash of Civilizations to promote a "clash consensus"-five years before 9/11. That same year Richard Perle along with other neocons such as Douglas Feith wrote "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm" for incoming Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. This helped lay more "mental threads" for removing Saddam Hussain. Then Senators McCain, Joe Lieberman, a Jewish Zionist from Connecticut, and Jon Kyl, a Christian Zionist from Arizona, co-sponsored the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998. Distracted by the Monica Lewinsky affair, President Bill Clinton signed it.

Four days after the destruction of the World Trade Towers, then Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz was urging President George W. Bush to invade Iraq. Not only was there was no evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, but there was no real connection between Saddam's secular regime and the deeply religious al-Qaeda. At the same time, other Zionists from the U.S. Defense Department under Wolfowitz and, not so coincidentally, Feith were feeding false intelligence to the White House. The war would not be costly, according to Wolfowitz, and the entirely unnecessary and illegal war was launched.

In the chapter on "The Presidency and Russian Organized Crime," Gates describes a John McCain who was either "ignorant about-or complicit in" Russian organized crime. During Boris Yeltsin's first term as president of Russia, a handful of "oligarchs' financially pillaged Russia. Six of the "Big Seven" oligarchs, whom Gates terms Ashkenazis, qualify for Israeli citizenship.

McCain described Mikhail Khodorovsky, the most infamous of Russia's corrupt oil oligarchs, as a "political prisoner." Notes Gates: "To claim Khodorovsky as a "political prisoner' requires a closer look at how, at 32 years of age, a single Russian-Ashkenazi citizen amassed state-owned assets worth more than $30 billion." Gates goes on to document the widespread criminality involved in Khodorovsky's billions.

"To solve this systemic criminality," Gates explains, "requires that a broad base of Americans understand how this "fields-within-fields' modus operandi operates unseen yet in plain sight, and how its operations progress working through people whose profiled needs become the means for influencing their behavior."

Guilt describes how Americans were induced to freely choose the very forces that endanger their freedom. Thus the role of those masterful at waging "war by deception" (the motto of the Israeli Mossad) by displacing facts with what the "mark" (i.e., the U.S.) could be deceived to believe: for example, that Iraq had nuclear weapons and mobile biological weapons laboratories and that the secular Saddam Hussain had ties with the fundamentalists of al-Qaeda.

Crafted as a wake-up call, the author documents how Tel Aviv wields control over U.S. foreign policy in an environment where lawmakers have been intimidated by the Israel lobby. "U.S. national security," Gates writes, "requires a rejection of the self-deception that Israel operates as a trustworthy ally in an unstable region while ignoring its multi-decade role in provoking and sustaining instability."

As Gates points out, the charge of anti-Semitism is used to misdirect and intimidate. As the criminality he documents becomes transparent, moderate Jews in fact are emerging as allies. The Zionist component-which Gates convincingly portrays as ideology in the service of criminality -has as its goal an extensive, Jews-only realm in an oil-rich region.

The facts confirm that Tel Aviv will never agree to peace with the Palestinians, as that would preclude their expansionist agenda for a Greater Israel. An oft-employed "entropy strategy" remains Israel's means to preclude settlement of the conflict. Indeed, Huntington's Clash of Civilizations is revealed as only the latest in a long series of manipulations-each of which is designed to ensure a plausible evildoer. Meanwhile, fundamentalist Jews catalyze serial conflicts of opposites, while this transnational criminal syndicate profits off the misery of both.

Andrew I. Killgore is publisher of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.

America's Defense Line: The Justice Department's Battle to Register the Israel Lobby as Agents of a Foreign Government

By Grant F. Smith, Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep), 2008, paperback, 340 pp. List: $14.95; AET: $11.

Reviewed by Delinda C. Hanley

Books

The declassification on June 10, 2008 of long-secret Department of Justice (DOJ) documents is the springboard for Grant F. Smith's latest book revealing the inner workings of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). This ground-breaking study spotlights the Israel lobby's key architect, Isaiah L. Kenen, and uncovers how he and subsequent Israel-firsters morphed from being openly registered as foreign agents, who should have remained employees of the Israeli Embassy's Office of Information, into "American" domestic lobbyists for Israel, a far more benign, if dishonest, nomenclature.

Smith's very readable book reproduces and analyzes the highly deceptive Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) filings Kenen made while he was still an employee of the Israeli government in New York. It proceeds on to the American Zionist Council (ACZ), the precursor organization where AIPAC gestated. Referencing internal DOJ records, the book painstakingly documents previously undisclosed attempts by the Justice Department and dissenting Jewish groups, including the American Council for Judaism, to close down Kenen's Israeli-financed political propaganda operation-or to at least make it openly register and disclose its activities under FARA.

Thanks to Kenen's efforts, AIPAC's Zionist financial backers succeeded in laundering money, purchasing arms, smuggling stolen U.S. military hardware, and launching Israel's nuclear and military weapons industries. They paid for some of it with tax-exempt "charitable" donations, though a far larger percentage came from U.S. tax-dollars-without ever having to come out of the shadows.

Coming 20 years after Kenen's death, Smith's book is a powerful reminder to readers about the effectiveness of stealth public relations and the importance of framing stories for the mainstream media. (Kenen also launched the Near East Report, AIPAC's biweekly flagship publication, which is still a vital public relations tool for Israel.) This close examination of AIPAC's birth and struggle for power is a valuable lesson about nascent foreign interest lobbies, prosecutorial discretion, and the subversion of the rule of law by political elites.

America's Defense Line reads like a fascinating spy thriller or "who done it" that is hard to put down-until, that is, one remembers that AIPAC and its supporters are still at it-and, usually, getting away with it. (Stay tuned for the espionage trial of former AIPAC officials Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman.)

Readers of Smith's book, perhaps alongside Jeff Gates' Guilt By Association, will have all the history and information necessary to loosen AIPAC's grip upon our nation once and for all-but only if we all insist that the rule of law once again become the law of the land.

Delinda C. Hanley is news editor of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.

y3maxx -> CuttingEdge , Jan 5, 2017 11:10 AM

-Clapper is a lying felon.

DjangoCat -> cali , Jan 5, 2017 10:36 AM

I call you on the statement "Assange even stated that he received the DNC material from Seth Rich!"

Wikileaks is dogmatic on the protection of sources. Wikileaks did provide a reward of $20,000 for information leading to the arrest of Seth Rich's murderer, however.

MrBoompi -> DjangoCat , Jan 5, 2017 10:50 AM

You're correct, but Assange did offer $20,000 for information on Rich's murder. One could infer this was Assange's way of telling us his murder is related to the leaked emails without technically divulging his source.

cali -> DjangoCat , Jan 5, 2017 1:07 PM

Your question is absolutely valid! Assange said that the first batch of documents he published were given to him by a 'democratic staffer from the DNC'. After Seth was murdered - he offered the monies to find the murderer. I should have stated it that way in my comment. Be as it may Assange connected the dots for me when using the verbiage 'democratic staffer - DNC - Seth Rich - murdered. My bad!

Krungle -> cali , Jan 5, 2017 11:09 AM

You don't have to wonder since Craig Murray has said the source was domestic. That is the absurdity of this entire affair--we have the intermediary on record, a career diplomat, and no one has publicly questioned him. This whole thing is akin to the cops catching a white guy leaving a house with stolen goods, then they go into the house to investigate and find a dead body and there is another guy standing there with a smoking gun and then they decide not only to ignore the murder, they put out a warrant for a black guy who was nowhere near the crime, letting the original burgler off the hook too. That's how idiotic and off the trail of the important crimes these guys are. I mean why the hell are we not talking about the legit classified docs that Hillary allowed to be pilfered by multiple foreign (and probably domestic) sources anymore? Seems to me that is the actual crime.

Parrotile -> 847328_3527 , Jan 5, 2017 3:56 PM

> How about we send Congressional children and cia children first into battle against the Russians if they feel so strongly about it. <

Well, "someone's children" are already being sent to what could easily be the "Front Line" in a land battle against Mother Russia, and you can safely bet that none of these cannon-fodder will have families "with connections". THEIR children are all assured comfortable office jobs in the Pentagon, or similar.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-05/us-has-begun-amassing-troops-ru...

ChanceIs -> NoDebt , Jan 5, 2017 9:07 AM

California just hired Eric "Too Big To Jail" Holder as its point man against Trump deporting the illegals. I am dumbfounded. He is obviously such a whore and incompetent/unethical attorney. I figured he would be smart and stay on the gold course. Shows you how stupid and blindly partisan Californians are.

Add Holder to the list of those who have lied so much that nobody believes jack shit from them. Dems don't get it. The Clintonistas have gone back to the well about one thousand times too many. They are sooooo old and worn. Incapable of flexing with the wind and forming new ideas.

Nancy Pelosi is starting to look her age all of the sudden. Put on about ten pounds. And wrinkles and saggy jowels.

BTW: We don't need new ideas, just the Constitution.

Krungle -> ChanceIs , Jan 5, 2017 11:20 AM

This cracked me up since Holder is probably going to spend the next four years defending himself against crimes he committed while in office.

scrappy -> NoDebt , Jan 5, 2017 12:11 PM

Alternate - Alternate narrative.

The Grizzly Steepe report is a mishmash.

http://www.robertmlee.org/critiques-of-the-dhsfbis-grizzly-steppe-report/

This instance (DNC Wiki) may have been an insider leak. We need more info to be sure.

That said, we should not be so niave to think that russia does not ever hack us, of course they do.

We hack them too.

That is why we need to be careful about attribution .

https://www.tenable.com/blog/attribution-is-hard-part-1

https://www.tenable.com/blog/attribution-is-hard-part-2

[Mar 23, 2017] The principal problem for Democrats is that so many media figures and online charlatans are personally benefiting from feeding the base increasingly unhinged, fact-free conspiracies

Mar 23, 2017 | onclick="TPConnect.blogside.reply('6a00d83451b33869e201b8d26ddde2970c'); return false;" href="javascript:void 0">

JohnH said in reply to Anachronism ... Reply Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 08:38 AM

Where's the collusion? Even former DNI Director Clapper said there is no evidence.

Glenn Greenwald explains: "The principal problem for Democrats is that so many media figures and online charlatans are personally benefiting from feeding the base increasingly unhinged, fact-free conspiracies - just as right-wing media polemicists did after both Bill Clinton and Obama were elected - that there are now millions of partisan soldiers absolutely convinced of a Trump/Russia conspiracy for which, at least as of now, there is no evidence. And they are all waiting for the day, which they regard as inevitable and imminent, when this theory will be proven and Trump will be removed.

Key Democratic officials are clearly worried about the expectations that have been purposely stoked and are now trying to tamp them down. Many of them have tried to signal that the beliefs the base has been led to adopt have no basis in reason or evidence.

The latest official to throw cold water on the MSNBC-led circus is President Obama's former acting CIA chief Michael Morell. What makes him particularly notable in this context is that Morell was one of Clinton's most vocal CIA surrogates. In August, he not only endorsed Clinton in the pages of the New York Times but also became the first high official to explicitly accuse Trump of disloyalty, claiming, "In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation."

But on Wednesday night, Morell appeared at an intelligence community forum to "cast doubt" on "allegations that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia." "On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians here, there is smoke, but there is no fire at all," he said, adding, "There's no little campfire, there's no little candle, there's no spark. And there's a lot of people looking for it."
https://theintercept.com/2017/03/16/key-democratic-officials-now-warning-base-not-to-expect-evidence-of-trumprussia-collusion/

Democrats will do just about anything to avoid sacking their failed, corrupt, sclerotic leadership.

Anachronism said in reply to JohnH... ◾The White House also tweeted that former intelligence director James Clapper was "right" to say there was "no evidence of collusion between Russia and Trump Campaign." But Clapper said he had no such information "at the time," meaning before he left office in January.

http://www.factcheck.org/2017/03/spinning-the-intel-hearing/

It further says:

'No Evidence of Collusion'

The White House, in a tweet, and Spicer, in his daily press briefing, attempted to dismiss the possibility of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials by citing comments made by intelligence leaders in the Obama administration, as well as by Democratic and Republican leaders who have been briefed on the investigation to date.

But the White House misrepresented the comments of those officials.

As the attached video shows, the White House tweet left out an important qualifier. Comey said Clapper was "right" to say that there was no evidence of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign contained in the declassified report released Jan. 6 on Russian activities during the 2016 presidential election.

Clapper made his remarks about the report in a "Meet the Press" interview on March 5, when he was asked whether there were "improper contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian officials."

"We did not include any evidence in our report, and I say, 'our,' that's NSA, FBI and CIA, with my office, the Director of National Intelligence, that had anything, that had any reflection of collusion between members of the Trump campaign and the Russians," Clapper said. "There was no evidence of that included in our report."

Clapper went on to say "at the time, we had no evidence of such collusion." But he added, "This could have unfolded or become available in the time since I left the government."

Clapper also said, "I do think, though, it is in everyone's interest, in the current president's interests, in the Democrats' interests, in the Republican interest, in the country's interest, to get to the bottom of all this."

"Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd asked, "You admit your report that you released in January doesn't get to the bottom of this?"

"It did - well, it got to the bottom of the evidence to the extent of the evidence we had at the time," Clapper said. "Whether there is more evidence that's become available since then, whether ongoing investigations will be revelatory, I don't know."

Asked what the Senate intelligence committee could learn through an investigation that Clapper's agency could not, Clapper replied, "Well, I think they can look at this from a broader context than we could."

So Clapper did not say there was no collusion. He said there was no evidence of collusion "at the time" he left office in January. And he went on to say that he believed a Senate investigation was warranted to clear the air.

Reply Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 09:56 AM Anachronism said in reply to Anachronism ... And of course, there's this:

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/key-dem-points-evidence-collusion-between-russia-team-trump/amp

Key Dem points to evidence of collusion between Russia, Team Trump

03/23/17 08:00AM - Updated 03/23/17 01:37PM

By Steve Benen

. . .

But on MSNBC yesterday afternoon, the California Democrat again talked to Chuck Todd, and this time he took another step forward when describing the nature of the evidence.


TODD: But you admit, all you have right now is a circumstantial case?
SCHIFF: Actually, no, Chuck. I can tell you that the case is more than that. And I can't go into the particulars, but there is more than circumstantial evidence now. So, again, I think -

TODD: You have seen direct evidence of collusion?

SCHIFF: I don't to want go into specifics, but I will say that there is evidence that is not circumstantial, and it very much worthy of investigation. So, that is what we ought to do.

When we contacted the congressman's office, asking if Schiff may have misspoken, and giving him a chance to walk this back, his office said Schiff meant what he said. . . .

There's some fire along with all the smoke being generated.

Reply Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 11:12 AM RGC said in reply to Anachronism ... " Info suggests"

" may have coordinated"

"possibly coordinate"

"FBI is investigating"

"according to one source"

"now reviewing that information"

"according to those U.S. officials"

"raising the suspicions"

" may have taken place'

"officials cautioned that the information was not conclusive"

"investigation is ongoing"

" began looking into possible coordination"

"a credible allegation of wrongdoing or reasonable basis to believe"

"One law enforcement official said the information in hand suggests"

" it appeared"

"it's premature to draw that inference"

" it's largely circumstantial"

"cannot yet prove that collusion took place"

"CNN has not confirmed"

" according to U.S. intelligence agencies"

" investigations are notoriously lengthy"

"can make it difficult for investigators to bring criminal charges"

"Investigators continue to analyze"

"unverified information"

"suggested coordination"

Reply Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 08:43 AM Gerald said in reply to RGC... And what did you expect at this point? A little investigative realism, please. Reply Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 11:33 AM Paine said in reply to Anachronism ... Assume you are a business man looking for experts on Russia tht share your
Dovish views and your business posture and view point

Surely you'll scoop up Russian tools and mercenaries etc

My guess these guys operated beyond trumps awareness and control
in as Much as they were Russian state contract drones etc

Reply Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 11:39 AM Paine said in reply to Paine... Trump likes doing business with out castes marginal in the shadows players
Dark operatives etc

Criminal corrupt co opted ..whatever

Why ?


THEY PAY BETTER THEN MNC outfits

He instinctively sees
Opportunities in Russia Iran and china

Rule one

Wave a carrot or threaten to kick them in the cubes

Reply Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 11:43 AM

[Mar 23, 2017] CNN doubles down on Russia threat hysteria

Mar 23, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
Anachronism : March 23, 2017 at 04:41 AM , 2017 at 04:41 AM
The story is starting to get interesting:

http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/22/politics/us-officials-info-suggests-trump-associates-may-have-coordinated-with-russians/index.html

US officials: Info suggests Trump associates may have coordinated with Russians

By Pamela Brown, Evan Perez, Shimon Prokupecz and Jim Sciutto, CNN

US officials: Trump associates may have coordinated with Russians 14:11

Washington (CNN) - The FBI has information that indicates associates of President Donald Trump communicated with suspected Russian operatives to possibly coordinate the release of information damaging to Hillary Clinton's campaign, US officials told CNN.

This is partly what FBI Director James Comey was referring to when he made a bombshell announcement Monday before Congress that the FBI is investigating the Trump campaign's ties to Russia, according to one source.

The FBI is now reviewing that information, which includes human intelligence, travel, business and phone records and accounts of in-person meetings, according to those U.S. officials. The information is raising the suspicions of FBI counterintelligence investigators that the coordination may have taken place, though officials cautioned that the information was not conclusive and that the investigation is ongoing.

In his statement on Monday Comey said the FBI began looking into possible coordination between Trump campaign associates and suspected Russian operatives because the bureau had gathered "a credible allegation of wrongdoing or reasonable basis to believe an American may be acting as an agent of a foreign power."

The White House did not comment and the FBI declined to comment.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer maintained Monday after Comey's testimony that there was no evidence to suggest any collusion took place.

"Investigating it and having proof of it are two different things," Spicer said.

One law enforcement official said the information in hand suggests "people connected to the campaign were in contact and it appeared they were giving the thumbs up to release information when it was ready." But other U.S. officials who spoke to CNN say it's premature to draw that inference from the information gathered so far since it's largely circumstantial.

The FBI cannot yet prove that collusion took place, but the information suggesting collusion is now a large focus of the investigation, the officials said.

The FBI has already been investigating four former Trump campaign associates -- Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Roger Stone and Carter Page -- for contacts with Russians known to US intelligence. All four have denied improper contacts and CNN has not confirmed any of them are the subjects of the information the FBI is reviewing.

One of the obstacles the sources say the FBI now faces in finding conclusive intelligence is that communications between Trump's associates and Russians have ceased in recent months given the public focus on Russia's alleged ties to the Trump campaign. Some Russian officials have also changed their methods of communications, making monitoring more difficult, the officials said.

Last July, Russian intelligence agencies began orchestrating the release of hacked emails stolen in a breach of the Democratic National Committee and associated organizations, as well as email accounts belonging to Clinton campaign officials, according to U.S. intelligence agencies.

The Russian operation was also in part focused on the publication of so-called "fake news" stories aimed at undermining Hillary Clinton's campaign. But FBI investigators say they are less focused on the coordination and publication of those "fake news" stories, in part because those publications are generally protected free speech.

The release of the stolen emails, meanwhile, transformed an ordinary cyber-intrusion investigation into a much bigger case handled by the FBI's counterintelligence division.

FBI counterintelligence investigations are notoriously lengthy and often involve some of the U.S. government's most highly classified programs, such as those focused on intelligence-gathering, which can make it difficult for investigators to bring criminal charges without exposing those programs.

Investigators continue to analyze the material and information from multiple sources for any possible indications of coordination, according to US officials. Director Comey in Monday's hearing refused to reveal what specifically the FBI was looking for or who they're focusing on.

US officials said the information was not drawn from the leaked dossier of unverified information compiled by a former British intelligence official compiled for Trump's political opponents, though the dossier also suggested coordination between Trump campaign associates and Russian operatives.

kthomas -> Anachronism ... , March 23, 2017 at 04:51 AM
He's probably bangin' his daughter.
anne -> kthomas... , March 23, 2017 at 05:54 AM
He's probably ------- his --------.

[ This person is continually obscene. This person is continually trying to terrorize and destroy. ]

kthomas -> anne... , March 23, 2017 at 06:40 AM
Piss off. Nobody elected you to blog sheriff, you hypocrite.
Peter K. -> kthomas... , March 23, 2017 at 07:06 AM
troll.
anne -> kthomas... , March 23, 2017 at 07:21 AM
He's probably ------- his --------.

---- off.

Oh look, a new ------- ----------.

[ This person is continually obscene. This person is continually trying to terrorize and destroy. This person continually threatens others.

I am afraid of this person. ]

Gerald -> Anachronism ... , March 23, 2017 at 06:24 AM
"The story is starting to get interesting."

There's little doubt in my mind that Trump's team did in fact collude with the Russians, and that the investigation will ultimately come to the same conclusion. That's when the fun begins, if impeachment proceedings can be called fun. Trump will deny, deny, deny that he had any knowledge of the collusion; the fact that he's a serial liar won't prevent most Republicans from voting against his impeachment. Only Trump can save us by doing a Nixon and resigning. He won't though, and we'll be right back where we are, with one huge exception: we'll have a proven traitor sitting in the White House, kept there by a spineless GOP.

Anachronism -> Gerald... , March 23, 2017 at 06:41 AM
Agreed. If in fact the FBI can prove substantial ties between the Russians and the Trump team co-ordinating the Wikileak email dump, that has to qualify as "high crimes and misdemeanors".

And given that, at this point, President Cheeto is so unpopular, plus the FBI's evidence (yet to be proven), they would almost have to vote for impeachment or risk losing re-election in their home districts.

Go make some popcorn, grab your favorite beverage, sit back and enjoy the sound of them imploding.

Gerald -> Anachronism ... , March 23, 2017 at 07:18 AM
"...and enjoy the sound of them imploding." Can't wait to hear it. :)
JohnH -> Anachronism ... , March 23, 2017 at 07:15 AM
Like Whitewater, this investigation will take years and may well come up empty.

Meanwhile, Democrats can obsess about how unfair the election was, deny any notion that Hillary was a lousy candidate, and refuse to figure out how to talk to working people or come up with any kind of coherent economic message.

Trump-Putin shows that they are willing to do most any distraction to keep from having to keep their eye on the ball!

As a result, Democrats will mostly likely circle the wagons to foist another mealy mouthed neoliberal on the electorate in 2020 in the tradition of Gore, Kerry, and Hillary, a candidate who will almost certainly assure Trump a second term.

Despite a string of congressional losses, the sclerotic, corrupt leadership refuses get rid of their losing leadership. It would appear that Democrats have grown to love playing Washington Generals to Republicans' Harlem Globetrotters.

The current requirement for a duopoly assures that there is always a place for losers.

JohnH -> Anachronism ... , March 23, 2017 at 08:02 AM
Mark my words: "The Trump-Putin investigation [will take] years because [investigators can't] find any wrongdoing from [Trump-Putin] and so then continued looking into [Trump-Putin] whenever they could, simply to keep the witch hunt going."

If they had any evidence beyond innuendo and hearsay, we would have seen some of it by now.

Trump-Putin has become an elaborate distraction to keep Democrats from looking honestly at their failure, and to keep the American public entertained as Trump guts the remnants of their safety net.

[Mar 22, 2017] Notes From the House Select Intelligence Hearing on Russia

Mar 22, 2017 | www.rollingstone.com

10:05 a.m. It's a small issue in the grand scheme of things, but the effort to describe the Russia Today network as diabolical propaganda without mentioning Voice of America and Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe continues to amaze. Apparently Russia is the only country that funds a media network intended to influence foreign audiences.

Nunes in his opening statement characterizes RT as a disinformation effort that "traffics in anti-American conspiracies," rivaling Soviet propaganda. Here it is hard not to think of the joint intel report that cited the network's reporting on Occupy Wall Street, "corporate greed" and fracking as evidence of its anti-American nature. It also decried the network's use of the term "surveillance state" to describe the U.S., which will be pretty ironic considering the content of today's hearing.

Again, it's a small point, but by these standards pretty much any alternative media outlet is "anti-American," and it's alarming to hear Democrats later ape this language in reference to RT.

10:20 a.m. Schiff delivers a long speech that essentially lays out the Trump-Russia conspiracy. Twitter seems to be unanimous that it's a powerful piece of rhetoric.

Among other things, he unblinkingly cites the Christopher Steele's "golden showers" dossier as a source. This seems like a pretty intense political calculation given that Michael Morell, who would have been Hillary Clinton's CIA director, basically called the dossier useless just last week. The dossier "doesn't take you anywhere, I think," Morell said. But it's all over this hearing, with multiple Democratic members citing it. What that means, who knows, but it's interesting to see that level of commitment from the Democrats.

10:32 a.m. Comey creates the big headline of the day by saying, "I have been authorized ... to confirm that the FBI is investigating" the Russia story.

This both is and isn't big news. Although it's the first time it's been stated publicly, the existence of this investigation has been common knowledge for a long time. Most of the leaked reports on the topic have included this information.

For instance, The New York Times story from February 14th, about Trump officials having had "contact" with Russian intelligence, spoke definitively of an investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Putin government.

Still, that doesn't mean Comey had to do what he did today. Is this payback to Trump for accusing the FBI of illegally wiretapping him? Is it a good-faith effort to square the ledger in terms of his previous highly controversial decision to out the Clinton email investigation? It's curious and bold either way. One wonders if Trump might fire him.

The true newsworthy detail, of course, isn't that Comey disclosed the existence of an FBI investigation into Trump as Democrats should know better than anyone, that doesn't necessarily mean anything but that Comey is doing this now and didn't do so earlier, before the election. Obviously, he made a different choice with regard to the Clinton email story, and the Democrats rightfully should be furious about that.

10:36 a.m. Nunes asks Rogers if Russians hacked vote tallies in Michigan. Rogers answers no, noting that the NSA doesn't do domestic surveillance. Nunes goes on to ask about Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin, knowing Rogers won't answer. It's a totally meaningless exchange, but instantly becomes Twitter fodder:

This is what these hearings are for, primarily. Except for very rare occasions when mega-careful witnesses like Comey and Rogers decide to give up tidbits, for the most part these hearings are held so that House members can ping-pong talking points off witnesses, and then circulate clips of themselves asking questions to which they already know the answers.

10:39 a.m. Florida Republican Tom Rooney asks Rogers about incidental collection of data about "U.S. persons" under the Section 702 program. Admiral Rogers' explanation for how they use that data, and how they protect the rights of U.S. companies and citizens redacting or "masking" identities, for instance is almost comically non-reassuring.

Reading between the lines, the NSA seems to have basically unrestricted ability to snoop on foreigners. When their targets are speaking to American persons or communicating with American companies, the agency also seems to have an absurdly permissive mandate to listen to whatever they want to listen to. Only later, it seems, do they figure out how to justify it legally.

This is an example of how the hyper-partisan nature of these hearings spoils American politics. Liberals especially should be seriously concerned about such surveillance overreach by the intelligence agencies, and also about leaks directed against individuals by intelligence officials. Similarly, conservatives should be mortified by the possibility of foreign interference in our electoral process.

But because both of these issues are tied in highly specific ways to the political fortunes of Donald Trump, each issue will be ignored by one side and thundered over by the other.

11:03 a.m. Schiff asks both men if Obama wiretapped Trump as Trump claimed. "I have no information that supports those tweets," Comey says. Asked if he engages in McCarthyism, Comey says he tries "not to engage in any isms of any kind, including McCarthyism." He gets laughs. Comey is a very, very slick witness, difficult to read.

An interesting development in this hearing is that neither the Democrats nor the Republicans are treating these witnesses as hostile. And both Comey and Rogers are in their own ways giving both Nunes and Schiff what they want so far. They're allowing members of both parties to make speeches and ask their suggestive questions, while giving them next to nothing.

11:19 a.m. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, last seen spending two expensive years stepping on his weenie in a pathetic effort to dig up dirt on Hillary Clinton through the Benghazi probe, comes on to the delight of, well, nobody. Gowdy is the first to cross over into open unfriendliness. Ominously, he starts trying to get Comey to say reporters could be held criminally liable for disclosing secret information.

Gowdy later scores a point by getting Comey to explain a hypothetical: how he would go about investigating the leak of a U.S. citizen's name that appears in a newspaper. (He's clearly talking about Flynn.)

Comey, with the caveat that he's not talking about anyone specific, lays out how he would do that, talking about identifying the "universe" of people with access to that information and then using investigative techniques to further narrow the field. Indirectly, Comey confirms Gowdy's interpretation of a "felonious" disclosure to a newspaper that must be prosecuted. It sets up a demand that Comey investigate and prosecute that leak.

Gowdy does in fact go on to make such a demand. But Comey cockblocks Gowdy and says he "can't" promise that he will investigate the leaks.

Gowdy looks like someone just stole his box of Mike and Ikes. He seems surprised, like he didn't expect Comey's answer. Comey smiles and glares at Gowdy like the third-rater he is.

11:43 a.m. Jim Himes asks Comey if Ukraine used to be part of the Soviet Union. Comey says yes. Glad we cleared that up.

11:52 a.m. Mike Conaway of Texas points out that determining the source of a hacking campaign is a forensic enterprise, but asks how they determine intent. In the process, he pins down Rogers as saying he had a "lower level" of confidence in the idea that the Russians preferred Trump to Clinton.

Conaway then plunges into a bizarre metaphor about how his wife went to Texas Tech, so he roots for the Red Raiders and dislikes the Longhorns, or something. Conaway seemed to want to ask if it is possible to root against Texas without liking the Red Raiders, or the opposite, but pretty much everyone watching instantly loses track of whether Hillary Clinton is Texas or Texas Tech in the metaphor.

Comey confidently goes with it. "Wherever the Red Raiders are playing, you want them to win and their opposition to lose," he says. He goes on to elaborate on the metaphor, talking about how the Russians later in the year knew the Red Raiders were going to lose, "so you hope key people on the other team get hurt so they are not as tough an opponent down the road."

The substantively interesting thing here is Comey's sly disclosure that the Russians late in the game expected Trump to lose the election. But his deft handling of Conaway's bumbling hypothetical overshadows the answer.

12:21 p.m. Nunes tries on a new rhetorical line: It's absurd to say Russians prefer Republicans, because Reagan!

This is silly, of course, because Trump is a different animal from Reagan, but then Comey and Rogers do something equally silly. On the question of whether the Russians preferred Romney or McCain over Obama, they both look at each other like it's crazy to suggest they ever considered the question. Isn't it their job to know things like that? They're clearly dissembling.

12:25 p.m. Peter King, the most mumbly member on the panel, asks about the report that Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe told Reince Priebus that one of the New York Times stories on Russia was "BS."

"Is there any way you can comment on whether or not Mr. McCabe told that to Mr. Priebus?" King asks.

Comey gives a classically Comeyish answer:

"I can't, Mr. King, but I can agree with your general premise. Leaks have always been a problem. I read over the weekend [about] George Washington and Abraham Lincoln complaining about them. But I do agree in the last six weeks and months there apparently have been a lot of instances of conversations appearing in the media, and a lot of it is dead wrong. Which is one of the challenges, because we don't correct it. It's made it difficult because people are talking, or at least reporters are saying people are talking, in ways that have struck me as being unusually active."

Translation: blow me, I'm not telling you what McCabe said to Priebus. King basically thanks them both and retreats. King will spend much of the day apologizing for asking perfectly legitimate questions.

Although the hearing has generated tons of headlines before it hits the halfway mark, it's really a giant tease.

Both Comey and Rogers indicated from the start that they will reserve their more candid testimony for a later classified hearing with these same members. For the public, this means one thing: we'll continue to get no real answers, and a heavily partisan and politicized version of events, no matter what happens. So long as the investigations aren't closed, and the real information is kept behind closed doors, both parties can pursue their rhetorical campaigns unchecked. And the testimony of people like Comey and Rogers will be useful only for driving interest in the reading of tea leaves.

There should probably be three entirely separate investigations. One should concern the question of whether, or to what extent, the Russians interfered with the election. That's a non-partisan question, really, one everyone should care about, but Republicans won't do anything about it because they will perceive the entire issue as a partisan attack on Trump.

A second inquiry could deal with the question of illegal/politicized leaks of secret surveillance data coming from the "IC." Again, in reality this is a non-partisan concern. Were congressional Democrats really interested in getting at whatever the intelligence community has on Trump, a bipartisan inquiry of this nature would be an excellent pressure point.

Lastly, you could have a completely separate set of hearings into the question of whether or not the Trump campaign engaged in anything untoward in its dealings with Russians last year. If there's anything to this, the public needs to hear it, and it all needs to be public.

But don't expect answers anytime soon. Hearings like today's only add to the frustrating strangeness of this scandal, and it looks like this will continue for quite some time.

[Mar 22, 2017] A Breach in the Anti-Putin Groupthink

Anti-Russian campaign is too profitable to be affected by minor setbacks.
Notable quotes:
"... Does Russia Have a Future? ..."
Mar 21, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

The mainstream U.S. media has virtually banned any commentary that doesn't treat Russian President Putin as the devil, but a surprising breach in the groupthink has occurred in Foreign Affairs magazine, reports Gilbert Doctorow.

Realistically, no major change in U.S. foreign and defense policy is possible without substantial support from the U.S. political class, but a problem occurs when only one side of a debate gets a fair hearing and the other side gets ignored or marginalized. That is the current situation regarding U.S. policy toward Russia.

For the past couple of decades, only the neoconservatives and their close allies, the liberal interventionists, have been allowed into the ring to raise their gloves in celebration of an uncontested victory over policy. On the very rare occasion when a "realist" or a critic of "regime change" wars somehow manages to sneak into the ring, they find both arms tied behind them and receive the predictable pounding.

While this predicament has existed since the turn of this past century, it has grown more pronounced since the U.S.-Russia relationship slid into open confrontation in 2014 after the U.S.-backed coup in Ukraine overthrowing elected President Viktor Yanukovych and sparking a civil war that led Crimea to secede and join Russia and Ukraine's eastern Donbass region to rise up in rebellion.

But the only narrative that the vast majority of Americans have heard and that the opinion centers of Washington and New York have allowed is the one that blames everything on "Russian aggression." Those who try to express dissenting opinions noting, for instance, the intervention in Ukrainian affairs by Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland as well as the U.S.-funded undermining on Yanukovych's government have been essentially banned from both the U.S. mass media and professional journals.

When a handful of independent news sites (including Consortiumnews.com) tried to report on the other side of the story, they were denounced as "Russian propagandists" and ended up on "blacklists" promoted by The Washington Post and other mainstream news outlets.

An Encouraging Sign

That is why it is encouraging that Foreign Affairs magazine, the preeminent professional journal of American diplomacy, took the extraordinary step (extraordinary at least in the current environment) of publishing Robert English's article , entitled "Russia, Trump, and a new Dtente," that challenges the prevailing groupthink and does so with careful scholarship.

A wintery scene in Moscow, near Red Square. (Photo by Robert Parry)

In effect, English's article trashes the positions of all Foreign Affairs' featured contributors for the past several years. But it must be stressed that there are no new discoveries of fact or new insights that make English's essay particularly valuable. What he has done is to bring together the chief points of the counter-current and set them out with extraordinary writing skills, efficiency and persuasiveness of argumentation. Even more important, he has been uncompromising.

The facts laid out by English could have been set out by one of several experienced and informed professors or practitioners of international relations. But English had the courage to follow the facts where they lead and the skill to convince the Foreign Affairs editors to take the chance on allowing readers to see some unpopular truths even though the editors now will probably come under attack themselves as "Kremlin stooges."

The overriding thesis is summed up at the start of the essay: "For 25 years, Republicans and Democrats have acted in ways that look much the same to Moscow. Washington has pursued policies that have ignored Russian interests (and sometimes international law as well) in order to encircle Moscow with military alliances and trade blocs conducive to U.S. interests. It is no wonder that Russia pushes back. The wonder is that the U.S. policy elite doesn't get this, even as foreign-affairs neophyte Trump apparently does."

English's article goes back to the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s and explains why and how U.S. policy toward Russia was wrong and wrong again. He debunks the notion that Boris Yeltsin brought in a democratic age, which Vladimir Putin undid after coming to power.

English explains how the U.S. meddled in Russian domestic politics in the mid-1990s to falsify election results and ensure Yeltsin's continuation in office despite his unpopularity for bringing on an economic Depression that average Russians remember bitterly to this day. That was a time when the vast majority of Russians equated democracy with "shitocracy."

English describes how the Russian economic and political collapse in the 1990s was exploited by the Clinton administration. He tells why currently fashionable U.S. critics of Putin are dead wrong when they fail to acknowledge Putin's achievements in restructuring the economy, tax collection, governance, improvements in public health and more which account for his spectacular popularity ratings today.

English details all the errors and stupidities of the Obama administration in its handling of Russia and Putin, faulting President Obama and Secretary of State (and later presidential candidate) Hillary Clinton for all of their provocative and insensitive words and deeds. What we see in U.S. policy, as described by English, is the application of double standards, a prosecutorial stance towards Russia, and outrageous lies about the country and its leadership foisted on the American public.

Then English takes on directly all of the paranoia over Russia's alleged challenge to Western democratic processes. He calls attention instead to how U.S. foreign policy and the European Union's own policies in the new Member States and candidate Member States have created all the conditions for a populist revolt by buying off local elites and subjecting the broad populace in these countries to pauperization.

English concludes his essay with a call to give dtente with Putin and Russia a chance.

Who Is Robert English?

English's Wikipedia entry and biographical data provided on his University of Southern California web pages make it clear that he has quality academic credentials: Master of Public Administration and PhD. in politics from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He also has a solid collection of scholarly publications to his credit as author or co-editor with major names in the field of Russian-Soviet intellectual history.

Red Square in Moscow with a winter festival to the left and the Kremlin to the right. (Photo by Robert Parry)

He spent six years doing studies for U.S. intelligence and defense: 19821986 at the Department of Defense and 1986-88 at the U.S. Committee for National Security. And he has administrative experience as the Director of the USC School of International Relations.

Professor English is not without his political ambitions. During the 2016 presidential election campaign, he tried to secure a position as foreign policy adviser to Democratic hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders. In pursuit of this effort, English had the backing of progressives at The Nation, which in February 2016 published an article of his entitled "Bernie Sanders, the Foreign Policy Realist of 2016."

English's objective was to demonstrate how wrong many people were to see in Sanders a visionary utopian incapable of defending America's strategic interests. Amid the praise of Sanders in this article, English asserts that Sanders is as firm on Russia as Hillary Clinton.

By the end of the campaign, however, several tenacious neocons had attached themselves to Sanders's inner circle and English departed. So, one might size up English as just one more opportunistic academic who will do whatever it takes to land a top job in Washington.

While there is nothing new in such "flexibility," there is also nothing necessarily offensive in it. From the times of Machiavelli if not earlier, intellectuals have tended to be guns for hire. The first open question is how skilled they are in managing their sponsors as well as in managing their readers in the public. But there is also a political realism in such behavior, advancing a politician who might be a far better leader than the alternatives while blunting the attack lines that might be deployed against him or her.

Then, there are times, such as the article for Foreign Affairs, when an academic may be speaking for his own analysis of an important situation whatever the political costs or benefits. Sources who have long been close to English assure me that the points in his latest article match his true beliefs.

The Politics of Geopolitics

Yet, it is one thing to have a courageous author and knowledgeable scholar. It is quite another to find a publisher willing to take the heat for presenting views that venture outside the mainstream Establishment. In that sense, it is stunning that Foreign Affairs chose to publish English and let him destroy the groupthink that has dominated the magazine and the elite foreign policy circles for years.

President Barack Obama meets with President Vladimir Putin of Russia on the sidelines of the G20 Summit at Regnum Carya Resort in Antalya, Turkey, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015. National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice listens at left. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The only previous exception to the magazine's lockstep was an article by University of Chicago professor John Mearsheimer entitled "Why the Ukraine Crisis is the West's Fault" published in September 2014. That essay shot holes in Official Washington's recounting of the events leading up to the Russian annexation of Crimea and intervention in the Donbass.

It was a shock to many of America's leading foreign policy insiders who, in the next issue, rallied like a collection of white cells to attack the invasive thinking. But there were some Foreign Affairs readers about one-third of the commenters who voiced agreement with Mearsheimer's arguments. But that was a one-time affair. Mearsheimer appears to have been tolerated because he was one of the few remaining exponents of the Realist School in the United States. But he was not a Russia specialist.

Foreign Affairs may have turned to Robert English because the editors, as insider-insiders, found themselves on the outside of the Trump administration looking in. The magazine's 250,000 subscribers, which include readers from across the globe, expect Foreign Affairs to have some lines into the corridors of power.

In that regard, the magazine has been carrying water for the State Department since the days of the Cold War. For instance, in the spring issue of 2007, the magazine published a cooked-up article signed by Ukrainian politician Yuliya Tymoshenko on why the West must contain Russia, a direct response to Putin's famous Munich speech in which he accused the United States of destabilizing the world through the Iraq War and other policies.

Anticipating Hillary Clinton's expected election, Foreign Affairs' editors did not hedge their bets in 2016. They sided with the former Secretary of State and hurled rhetorical bricks at Donald Trump. In their September issue, they compared him to a tin-pot populist dictator in South America.

Thus, they found themselves cut off after Trump's surprising victory. For the first time in many years in the opening issue of the New Year following a U.S. presidential election, the magazine did not feature an interview with the incoming Secretary of State or some other cabinet member.

Though Official Washington's anti-Russian frenzy seems to be reaching a crescendo on Capitol Hill with strident hearings on alleged Russian meddling in the presidential election, the underlying reality is that the neocons are descending into a fury over their sudden loss of power.

The hysteria was highlighted when neocon Sen. John McCain lashed out at Sen. Rand Paul after the libertarian senator objected to special consideration for McCain's resolution supporting Montenegro's entrance into NATO. In a stunning breach of Senate protocol, a livid McCain accused Paul of "working for Vladimir Putin."

Meanwhile, some Democratic leaders have begun cautioning their anti-Trump followers not to expect too much from congressional investigations into the supposed Trump-Russia collusion on the election.

In publishing Robert English's essay challenging much of the anti-Russian groupthink that has dominated Western geopolitics over the past few years, Foreign Affairs may be finally bending to the recognition that it is risking its credibility if it continues to put all its eggs in the we-hate-Russia basket.

That hedging of its bets may be a case of self-interest, but it also may be an optimistic sign that the martyred Fifteenth Century Catholic Church reformer Jan Hus was right when he maintained that eventually the truth will prevail.

Gilbert Doctorow is a Brussels-based political analyst. His latest book, Does Russia Have a Future? was published in August 2015.

[Mar 22, 2017] The Rachel Maddow Show on msnbc

Rachel Maddow looks at the role of Russian bot networks and cyber war tactics during the 2016 U.S. election and notes that those things didn't just go away after the election. She proves to be a talented anti-Russian warmonger. Very impressive piece of propaganda. Classic brainwashing.
MSNC clearly is in neo-McCarthyism camp and try to capitalize on anti-Russian hysteria. Of cause, Rachel Maddow was and still is a Hillary puppet, so she should have her credibility already destroyed. but people still watching her show and that's a problem. Previously she supported this neocon warmonger, now she became one. The problem with her blabbing is that accounting to FBI Russians have written off Trump in Summer 2016.
Looks like Democratic party brass can no longer control the anti-Russian hysteria why wiped up, even if they realized that they went too far and the ability to lick thier wound by launching anti-Russian hysteria and getting it to the sky level pitch has some adverse effects in a long run ...
Notable quotes:
"... This anti-Russian warmonger Rachel Maddow is a Hillary puppet. That is a known fact. She has been dyed-in-the-wool supported neocon warmonger Hillary Clinton for the duration of the campaign. ..."
"... A company related to a NATO aligned "think-tank", which is financed by weapon producers and other special interests, raises allegations against Russia that are quite possibly unfounded. These allegations are then used by NATO to build up a public boogeyman picture of "the Russian enemy". In consequence the budgets for NATO militaries and the profits of weapon producers increase. ..."
"... It is a simple racket, but with potentially very bad consequences for all of us. ..."
Mar 22, 2017 | www.msnbc.com

Duration: 20:44

libezkova -> Peter K .... March 22, 2017 at 04:24 PM

This anti-Russian warmonger Rachel Maddow is a Hillary puppet. That is a known fact. She has been dyed-in-the-wool supported neocon warmonger Hillary Clinton for the duration of the campaign.

All her blows were below the belt.

This selective reporting of pieces of information is actually pretty disingenuous. Anybody using those methods and by selective reporting of bits of information that support your viewpoint can be painted as a Russian agent. Even EMichael :-)

The problem with her blabbing is that according to FBI Russians have written off Trump in Summer 2016.

Listening to this show by MSNBC is so disguising, that I lost any respect for it.

RGC -> EMichael... March 22, 2017 at 04:45 PM
Fool Me Once ... - Crowdstrike Claimed Two Cases
Of "Russian Hacking" - One Has Been Proven Wrong

The cyber-security company Crowdstrike claimed that the "Russia" hacked the Democratic National Committee. It also claimed that "Russia" hacked artillery units of the Ukrainian army. The second claim has now be found to be completely baseless. That same is probably the case with its claims related to the DNC.
..........................

The DNC was likely not hacked at all. Some insider with access to its servers may have taken the emails to publish them. On July 10 2016 the DNC IT administrator Sean Rich was found fatally shot on the streets of Washington DC. To this day no culprit has been found. The crime is unsolved. Five Congressional staffers and IT administrators from Pakistan, some of whom also worked for the DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, are under criminal investigation for unauthorized access to Congressional computers. They had the password of Wasserman-Schultz and may have had access to the DNC servers.

Crowdstrike's claims of "Russian hacking" have evidently been false with regards to the Ukrainian artillery. Crowdstrike's claims of "Russian hacking" in the case of the DNC have never been supported or confirmed by independent evidence. There are reasons to believe that the loss of control of the DNC's email archives were a case of unauthorized internal access and not a "hack" at all.

A company related to a NATO aligned "think-tank", which is financed by weapon producers and other special interests, raises allegations against Russia that are quite possibly unfounded. These allegations are then used by NATO to build up a public boogeyman picture of "the Russian enemy". In consequence the budgets for NATO militaries and the profits of weapon producers increase.

It is a simple racket, but with potentially very bad consequences for all of us.

http://www.moonofalabama.org/ Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at 04:45 PM

[Mar 22, 2017] New Cold War and anti-Russian hysteria news March 2017 edition

Notable quotes:
"... the wrong foreign power ..."
Mar 22, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

"Devin Nunes is a conservative Republican from the San Joaquin Valley who advised Donald Trump through his transition to the presidency. Adam Schiff is a Los Angeles Democrat who campaigned for Hillary Clinton and isn't shy in his criticisms of the man who defeated her" [ RealClearPolitics ]. Now the two California congressmen find themselves at the center of the political universe, leading a House probe into Russian meddling in American politics . The two have no qualms about expressing disagreements with what they deduce from the same pot of information, but their joint appearances are a vestige of the kind of bipartisanship that has all but disappeared from Washington. And yet, Monday's hearing showed the partisan divide on the issue, with Republican members focused on plugging government leaks of sensitive information and Democrats interested in possible collusion." "Meddling," "collusion." Pretty squishy words

"Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire" [ Politico ]. (Furzy Mouse). ZOMG!!!! The Ukrainians were hacking tampering with meddling in seeking to influence our election! Where's that declaration of war I had lying around

"From Russia, with Panic" [Yasha Levine, The Baffler (DG)]. This is an important post. Key point: "But in private conversations, as well as little-noticed public discussions, security professionals take a dimmer view of the cybersecurity complex. And the more I've looked at the hysteria surrounding Russia's supposed hacking of our elections, the more I've come to see it as a case study of everything wrong and dangerous about the cyber-attribution business." For example: "Matt Tait, a former GCHQ analyst and founder of Capital Alpha Security who blogs under the influential Twitter handle @pwnallthethings, found a Word document pilfered from the DNC and leaked by Guccifer 2.0. As he examined its data signatures, he discovered that it had been edited by Felix Edmundovich-a.k.a. Felix Dzerzhinsky, founder of the Cheka. To him, it was proof that Guccifer 2.0 was part of the same Russian intelligence operation. He really believed that the super sophisticated spy group trying to hide its Russian ties would register its Microsoft Word processor in the name of the leader of the infamously brutal Soviet security service."

"Could the President Spy on His Political Opponents?" [ The American Conservative ]. "But regardless of whether [Trump's "wiretapping"] claims turn out to be completely false, which is all but certain now, they do raise a question that shouldn't be casually dismissed: Could President Obama's administration have surveiled his political opponents under its interpretation of the law? Could President Trump's administration now do the same? The answer, unfortunately, is yes."

"Report: Paul Manafort Drafted a Plan in 2005 to Influence American Politics for Putin's Benefit" [ Slate ]. I used Slate because "2005" somehow didn't get into the headlines in the other stories. Here's a blow-by-blow from NPR .

I can well believe that the Democrats are so feckless that they ginned up a Trump scandal with the wrong foreign power :

on Twitter
Follow Mark Ames @MarkAmesExiled

One claim in piss-Trump dossier that rang true-Trump happy media focus on his Russia ties rather than his China biz https:// twitter.com/matthewstoller /status/843888616774483968

2:48 PM - 20 Mar 2017

Heatlh Care

"A White House in full-court press mode deployed President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence to Capitol

[Mar 22, 2017] Noted Putin Critic Warns Of Confrontation Between Trump And Russia, Not Collaboration Zero Hedge

Mar 22, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

One thing we should have learned over the past year or so is you can take any narrative being pushed by the corporate media and Democrats, and assume that the exact opposite is true . The current Trump-Russia hysteria could very well turn out to be the latest and most embarrassing example of this phenomenon. In fact, well known Putin-critic, Masha Gessen, recently warned in an interview with Politico that her biggest fear is a Trump-Putin conflict, not some imagined alliance.

Below I provide the excerpts from this lengthy interview which I believe are relevant to the topic.

From Politico :

Glasser : I want to talk a little bit about where we are right now. And then back up to why it is, in your life, you've figured out this expecting the unimaginable. But recently, you know, American politics has been consumed by Russia. Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia. And you wrote something that a lot of people were surprised by the other day, although I was not. And you said, "Beware the conspiracy trap."

And that, in fact, the Russia scandal that now threatens to engulf President Trump's very new presidency, you wrote, "In effect, could be actually helping President Trump and amount to a sort of a colossal distraction for us." What did you mean by that?

Gessen : Well, a couple things. One is that, if you look at, you know, what we actually know about the Russia story, which changes every day, but what-at this point, what we actually know suggests that the likelihood that there's going to be a causal link between the Russian interference in the American election and the outcome of the election. The likelihood that was a causal link, and that that causal link can be shown, is basically vanishingly small, right?

So-and I think that part of the reason-there are basically two reasons that a lot of journalists and a lot of activists have been focusing on Russia is because it serves as a crutch for the imagination. And again, I'm coming back to this topic of imagination, which obsesses me.

So one way in which it serves as a crutch for the imagination is that it allows us to imagine that, maybe, Trump will be so sullied by this Russia scandal, by this connection, even if he can't prove a cause-causal link, just that the darkness of the scandal will be thick enough of a cloud that he will eventually be impeached by a Republican Congress.

That's a huge leap. And it also, I think, doesn't take into account the tools-the rhetorical tools that will have to be used to sully Trump in such a way, right? Which are basically xenophobic and, you know, corrosive to the public sphere. And the other way in which it serves as a crutch for the imagination is it also serves to explain how Trump could have happened to us, right? The Russians did it.

Glasser : That's exactly right; if it's an external thing. And you wrote that very, very early on. Actually, before this latest round, that the real threat to Trump would be to misunderstand where this comes from. And if it's not Americans who voted for him, but somehow, it's a wily, dark conspiracy theory. That leads you down a whole different set of responses to Trump.

Gessen : Right. Which-

Glasser : I think that's your point.

Gessen : That is my point. And also that it's destructive to politics. Politics is what happens out in the open. And there's lots of politics happening, right? There's this endless barrage of frightening bills being filed at this point. There are the Cabinet appointments. There's the, you know, dismantling of the federal government as we have known it for generations.

All of that is going on out in the open. And we only have so much bandwidth. If we're not talking about what's going on out in the open, if we're talking about conspiracy instead, then we are, by doing that, destroying the politics that we should be preserving, right? I mean, how do we emerge out the other end, when Trump ends, and Trump will eventually end. Everything ends, right?

If we've engaged in conspiracy theorizing this whole time, instead of engaging in politics-and only by engaging in politics can we actually preserve the political space

Gessen : I'm worried about Russia. I'm-this is-I mean, we're already out of the honeymoon phase, and it's been less than two months. And I think it's-I mean, the danger of having these two unhinged power-hungry men at their-respective nuclear buttons cannot be overestimated. But-

Glasser : So you would see them as potential enemies as much as potential friends? That this scenario-

Gessen : Oh, absolutely.

Glasser : -we should worry about is Trump versus Putin, not just Trump and Putin uniting?

Gessen : Right. I'm actually worried about a collision with them.

She's exactly right. I completely agree that the disaster scenario with Putin and Trump is if and when they actually clash. Once that happens, the corporate media and Democrats will pretend they had nothing to do with it, as they always do. As Mark Ames noted on Twitter:

All the worst Iraq war liars still have their fat media jobs-where they now tell us public distrust in Establishment is a Kremlin conspiracy

- Mark Ames (@MarkAmesExiled) March 20, 2017

Moving on, I want to once again turn to Robert Parry of Consortium News to highlight just how ridiculous the whole "Putin bought off Trump aides" conspiracy is. From yesterday's piece, The Missing Logic of Russia-gate :

Democrats circulated a report showing that retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who served briefly as President Donald Trump's national security adviser, had received payments from several Russia-related entities, totaling nearly $68,000.

The largest payment of $45,386 came for a speech and an appearance in Moscow in 2015 at the tenth anniversary dinner for RT, the international Russian TV network, with Flynn netting $33,750 after his speakers' bureau took its cut. Democrats treated this revelation as important evidence about Russia buying influence in the Trump campaign and White House. But the actual evidence suggests something quite different.

Not only was the sum a relative trifle for a former senior U.S. government official compared to, say, the fees collected by Bill and Hillary Clinton, who often pulled in six to ten times more, especially for speeches to foreign audiences. ( Former President Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with ties to the Kremlin, The New York Times reported in 2015,)

Yet, besides Flynn's relatively modest speaking fee, The Washington Post reported that RT negotiated Flynn's rate downward.

Deep inside its article on Flynn's Russia-connected payments, the Post wrote, "RT balked at paying Flynn's original asking price. 'Sorry it took us longer to get back to you but the problem is that the speaking fee is a bit too high and exceeds our budget at the moment,' Alina Mikhaleva, RT's head of marketing, wrote a Flynn associate about a month before the event."

So, if you accept the Democrats' narrative that Russian President Vladimir Putin is engaged in an all-out splurge to induce influential Americans to betray their country, how do you explain that his supposed flunkies at RT are quibbling with Flynn over a relatively modest speaking fee?

Of course, you'll never hear any of this emphasized in the corporate media, they're too busy pushing for a conflict between the U.S. and Russia. A conflict that once it happens, they will vehemently deny playing any role in propagating.

[Mar 19, 2017] Intel Chair No Collusion Between Trump and Russia... Leak Is The Only Crime Zero Hedge

Mar 19, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
Intel Chair: "No Collusion Between Trump and Russia... Leak Is The Only Crime" Shemp 4 Victory , Mar 19, 2017 11:57 AM

Reason won't matter to snowflakes. They'll cling to the comfort of their illusions.

Erek -> Shemp 4 Victory , Mar 19, 2017 11:59 AM

Hmm. It seems the "Intelligence" chair is leaking on the snowflakes.

Looney -> Erek , Mar 19, 2017 12:01 PM

... No evidence of collusion

But but 0bama said Hillary said 17 intelligence agencies said CNN said

LetThemEatRand -> Shemp 4 Victory , Mar 19, 2017 11:59 AM

The Deep State/MSM trots out shit like this precisely because the facts don't matter once the narrative is set. Half the country will go on thinking there's no way the story would have made it this far were there not some there there.

MsCreant -> chunga , Mar 19, 2017 12:55 PM

I have wondered if some of the strategy is to keep him on the run, on the defensive, so that if he does go after some of the elite who need to go down for their crimes, that it will be framed as a dictator abusing his power, engaged in partisan politics.

I wonder if he can go after them at all without looking like Mussolini?

chunga -> MsCreant , Mar 19, 2017 1:07 PM

Guys like Schiff, Schumer, and Blitzer will say that but they hate Trump no matter what.

Trump's deplorable supporters know the score and will criticize if he doesn't go after them hard and now is a perfect opportunity. It was the Dummycrats who demanded this investigation but want the scope restricted to Russia, and Russia only. And the rEpublicans won't bring this up either because they suck too.

The first rule of Swamp Club is you DO NOT talk about Anthony Weiner's laptop.

Jubal Early -> chunga , Mar 19, 2017 1:46 PM

"Guys like Schiff, Schumer, and Blitzer will say that but they hate Trump no matter what."

This whole "jew media hates Trump" meme is starting to put off a foul stench. For one thing Trump has yet to do anything to stop this war for greater Israel. Or take this latest leak/Russian collusion news. After months of bluster, its a nothing burger. Is Trump really made of that much teflon, or is this all a show for the goyim and all the ignorant jews.

Just keep on scrolling. It really is starting to look like Trump is a crypto jew:

http://thezog.info/who-controls-donald-trump/

Lurk Skywatcher -> kellys_eye , Mar 19, 2017 12:27 PM

Baseless accusations to try and draw attention away from what the Dems actually DID, with evidence and all.

Libtards wreck everything they touch, even the hard work of theorists who until recently achieved an amazing level of success in converting conspiracys into fact.

DaddyO -> Shemp 4 Victory , Mar 19, 2017 12:07 PM

<- They'll cling to the comfort of their illusions ->

Isn't delusions a better word choice?

There's a part of me that wants the tide to change quickly, for the intel and deep state apparatus pendulum to swing back the other way.

This slow motion train wreck is wreaking havoc on my libertarian leanings. I keep hoping against hope for a dramatic event like indictments and perp walks.

The best outcome would be the elimination of the many 3 letter agencies that have become pygmalian.

DaddyO

Giant Meteor -> DaddyO , Mar 19, 2017 12:41 PM

Yes, delusion, due to the illusion ...

Madness .. in short

Pathologic insanity if ya wanna go clinical

Giant Meteor -> Canary Paint , Mar 19, 2017 12:24 PM

Most reasonable people are sickened by this entire shit show, feel they have no say, nor control. As always it is mostly a partisan echo chamber, while the real events take on a life of their own. The great many, the unwashed masses are merely riding on the crazy train, and the reality is could give two shits. Other than that, another percentage spits back up what they are told on the tee vee .

Yes, this paints a bleak picture, but there you have it.

Giant Meteor -> Automatic Choke , Mar 19, 2017 1:09 PM

Sure its been goin on forever. Partisan head games, lying, spying, stealing, cheating, theft, deep state parlor tricks, hat tricks, etc. all that .. I didn't say the game nor human beings were / was invented yesterday, and of course you're spot on about glimpsing past the curtain, thank you interwebs. I am merely saying, the depth of of problem, the extent, is becoming increasingly "larger" by degrees of magnitude, as will the eventual blow off top in my opinion, and also the blowback, I would imagine ..

Obviously I could be completely wrong on this and things will just swim along such as they are, forever ..

TheLastTrump -> Shemp 4 Victory , Mar 19, 2017 1:08 PM

That IS what they say about Trump voters you know ....

Watched more media this am, Trump kicked their ass into a puddle with this Obama wiretapping charge. Totally bitch slapped them. Now he's made Merkel & the EU & G20 look stupid along with the media.

post turtle saver -> Shemp 4 Victory , Mar 19, 2017 2:30 PM

it was a lie from the beginning

HRC and Soros should be in jail

if it comes to it, former President Obama should be in jail... probably has too mucn plausible deniability to shield him, but where there's smoke there's fire

if I were Trump D.C. would be undergoing a serious witch hunt as we speak... the people who did this need to do time and the lying lapdog 'media' needs to be sanctioned

fbazzrea -> DirtySanchez , Mar 19, 2017 12:29 PM

should be on the front lines of the war with Russia.

what war with Russia?

chubbar -> fbazzrea , Mar 19, 2017 12:43 PM

We start a war with Russia, we'll all be on the "front line". The retarded snowflakes don't even know that they are supporting this effort to start a war with Russia.

az_patriot , Mar 19, 2017 12:00 PM

...and the liberal snowflakes and their puppets in the "news" media will run from this story like a vampire from garlic. Anything that proves them wrong or might in any way bolster Trump is bad medicine for them...

[Mar 19, 2017] Russian Parliament Launches Investigation Of CNN And Other American Media

Mar 18, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

A few days ago Jeanne Shaheen, a Democratic Senator from New Hampshire, introduced a piece of legislation that would give the Department of Justice "new authority" to investigate potential violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act by the 'Russian Times' . Among other things, Shaheen said the legislation was necessary to determine whether "RT News is coordinating with the Russian government to spread misinformation and undermine our democratic process." We won't even bother to touch on the inherent hypocrisy of such a statement, but here is the press release from Shaheen's website :

Following intelligence reports that RT News operates as a propaganda outlet for the Russian government, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) has introduced legislation that gives the Department of Justice new authority to investigate potential violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act by RT America.

"We have good reason to believe that RT News is coordinating with the Russian government to spread misinformation and undermine our democratic process," said Shaheen. "The American public has a right to know if this is the case. RT News has made public statements boasting that it can dodge our laws with shell corporations, and it's time for the Department of Justice to investigate. My bill provides the authority needed to request documentation of RT News and find out who they're accountable to."

The Director of National Intelligence's recent report titled Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections concluded that RT News officials have structured their affiliate organizations to deliberately circumvent U.S. reporting and disclosure requirements under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Senator Shaheen's Foreign Agents Registration Modernization and Enforcement Act gives the Department of Justice new authority to compel organizations like RT America to produce documentation on funding sources and foreign connections.

Well, as it turns out, Russian officials have the power to launch meaningless witch hunts in their country as well and have decided to demonstrate that power with the announcement today that they'll launch a similar investigation into all U.S. media currently operating in Russia. Per Reuters :

[Mar 19, 2017] The benefit of state-media propaganda: government claims shape headlines, no dissent, opposing views included

Mar 19, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
anne : March 18, 2017 at 10:06 AM , 2017 at 10:06 AM
https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/843114192081211394

Glenn Greenwald @ggreenwald

The benefit of state-media propaganda: government claims shape headlines, no dissent, opposing views included

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-39311670

UK troops in Estonia to deter 'Russian aggression'

7:57 AM - 18 Mar 2017

ilsm -> anne... , March 18, 2017 at 04:56 PM
Maybe if NATO said "we will never close the sea lanes to St Petersburg...'

US troops in Estonia to keep the Russian minority down........

Estonia, like Iraq and Turkey, cannot be partitioned like US did Serbia!

Estonia has land where artillery can shut down St Petersburg shipping........

ilsm -> geoff ... , March 18, 2017 at 05:01 PM
Saudi Arabia is the target of many 10's of billions in future arms sales. US needs to keep them burning jet fuel and jettisoning bombs so they buy planes, and other big ticket stuff from US.

Trump must be listening to the pentagon guys saying we could have won in Vietnam if we had more time and bombs...........

Maybe the Saudis can 'kill enough of them'!

US never held back cluster bombs!

[Mar 17, 2017] The Democrats Trump-Russia Conspiracy Campaign Collapses

Notable quotes:
"... From MSNBC politics shows to town hall meetings across the country, the overarching issue for the Democratic Party's base since Trump's victory has been Russia, often suffocating attention for other issues. This fixation has persisted even though it has no chance to sink the Trump presidency unless it is proven that high levels of the Trump campaign actively colluded with the Kremlin to manipulate the outcome of the U.S. election - a claim for which absolutely no evidence has thus far been presented. ..."
"... The principal problem for Democrats is that so many media figures and online charlatans are personally benefiting from feeding the base increasingly unhinged, fact-free conspiracies - just as right-wing media polemicists did after both Bill Clinton and Obama were elected ..."
"... now millions of partisan soldiers absolutely convinced of a Trump/Russia conspiracy for which, at least as of now, there is no evidence. And they are all waiting for the day, which they regard as inevitable and imminent, when this theory will be proven and Trump will be removed. ..."
Mar 17, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

Is sanity finally returning? After weeks of ranting and raving about Russian "interference" and Putin-Trump conspiracies, so-called 'intelligence' agencies and high-ranking Democrats are quietly walking back their rhetoric and managing their base's expectations - simply put: there's no 'there', there .

'Moon of Alabama' reminds us that a while ago Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone warned: Why the Russia Story Is a Minefield for Democrats and the Media :

If we engage in Times-style gilding of every lily the leakers throw our way, and in doing so build up a fever of expectations for a bombshell reveal, but there turns out to be no conspiracy Trump will be pre-inoculated against all criticism for the foreseeable future.

And now, as The Intercept's Glenn Greenwald writes , key Democratic officials are now warning their base not to expect ...

From MSNBC politics shows to town hall meetings across the country, the overarching issue for the Democratic Party's base since Trump's victory has been Russia, often suffocating attention for other issues. This fixation has persisted even though it has no chance to sink the Trump presidency unless it is proven that high levels of the Trump campaign actively colluded with the Kremlin to manipulate the outcome of the U.S. election - a claim for which absolutely no evidence has thus far been presented.

The principal problem for Democrats is that so many media figures and online charlatans are personally benefiting from feeding the base increasingly unhinged, fact-free conspiracies - just as right-wing media polemicists did after both Bill Clinton and Obama were elected - that there are now millions of partisan soldiers absolutely convinced of a Trump/Russia conspiracy for which, at least as of now, there is no evidence. And they are all waiting for the day, which they regard as inevitable and imminent, when this theory will be proven and Trump will be removed.

[Mar 11, 2017] In the West, its now common for politicians to shout Russian fake news when embarrassing facts come out - as happened with Canadas new foreign minister hiding a Nazi family skeleton

Notable quotes:
"... In the West, it's now common for politicians to shout Russian "fake news" when embarrassing facts come out - as happened with Canada's new foreign minister hiding a Nazi family skeleton. ..."
"... Over the next week, the article entitled "A Nazi Skeleton in the Family Closet" by journalist Arina Tsukanova (which I personally edited and fact-checked) circulated enough that Freeland was asked about it by the Canadian news media. As often happens these days, Freeland chose not to tell the truth but rather portrayed the article as part of a Russian propaganda and disinformation campaign. ..."
Mar 11, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne : March 11, 2017 at 09:25 AM

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/03/09/another-russia-fake-news-red-herring/

March 9, 2017

Another Russia 'Fake News' Red Herring

In the West, it's now common for politicians to shout Russian "fake news" when embarrassing facts come out - as happened with Canada's new foreign minister hiding a Nazi family skeleton.

By Robert Parry

On Feb, 27, Consortiumnews.com published an article * describing misrepresentations by Canada's new Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland about her Ukrainian maternal grandfather whom she has portrayed as a hero who struggled "to return freedom and democracy to Ukraine" but left out that he was a Nazi propagandist whose newspaper justified the slaughter of Jews.

Over the next week, the article entitled "A Nazi Skeleton in the Family Closet" by journalist Arina Tsukanova (which I personally edited and fact-checked) circulated enough that Freeland was asked about it by the Canadian news media. As often happens these days, Freeland chose not to tell the truth but rather portrayed the article as part of a Russian propaganda and disinformation campaign.

Freeland told reporters, "I don't think it's a secret. American officials have publicly said, and even [German Chancellor] Angela Merkel has publicly said, that there were efforts on the Russian side to destabilize Western democracies, and I think it shouldn't come as a surprise if these same efforts were used against Canada. I think that Canadians and indeed other Western countries should be prepared for similar efforts to be directed at them."

Though Freeland did not comment directly on the truthfulness of our article, her office denied that her grandfather was a Nazi collaborator.

Other leaders of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government joined in the counterattack. Citing the danger of Russian disinformation, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, said, "The situation is obviously one where we need to be alert."

In an article on March 6, Canada's Globe and Mail also rallied to Freeland's defense claiming that she was "being targeted by allegations in pro-Moscow websites that her maternal Ukrainian grandfather was a Nazi collaborator."

The newspaper also reached out to other experts to add their denunciations of Consortiumnews.com and other news sites that either reposted our story or ran a similar one.

"It is the continued Russian modus operandi that they have. Fake news, disinformation and targeting different individuals," said Paul Grod, president of the Canadian Ukrainian Congress. "It is just so outlandish when you hear some of these allegations whether they are directed at minister Freeland or others."

The Globe and Mail also quoted Ukraine's ambassador to Canada, Andriy Shevchenko, citing our supposedly fake news as "another reason we should realize that Russia is waging a war against the free world. It is not just about Ukraine."

The ambassador then offered some advice about standing up to the Russians and their disinformationists: "I am absolutely sure they will seek new targets in the free world so I would encourage our Canadian friends to be prepared for that, to stay strong and we will be happy to share our experience in how to deal with all these information wars."

A Second-Day Story

The only problem with all these righteous condemnations was that the information about Freeland's grandfather was true and Freeland knew that it was true.

In a second-day story, The Globe and Mail had to revisit the issue, reporting that "Freeland knew for more than two decades that her maternal Ukrainian grandfather was the chief editor of a Nazi newspaper in occupied Poland that vilified Jews during the Second World War."

In other words, not only was our story accurate but Freeland knowingly launched a deceptive attack on us and other news outlets to punish us for writing the truth.

And not only was our story correct but it was newsworthy, given Freeland's fierce support for Ukrainian nationalism and her deep hatred of Russia. Canadians have a right to know what drives those passions in their Foreign Minister. In this case, her worldview derived from her grandparents who sided with Adolf Hitler and who fled to the West as the Soviet Red Army defeated the Nazis.

Yet, instead of fessing up and acknowledging these facts, Freeland chose to dissemble and slander journalists who were doing their job. And the smears didn't entirely stop.

Even as the Globe and Mail admitted the reality about Freeland's grandfather, it continued to disparage the journalists who had exposed the facts. The second line of the newspaper's second-day article read: "Ms. Freeland's family history has become a target for Russian forces seeking to discredit one of Canada's highly placed defenders of Ukraine." ...

* https://consortiumnews.com/2017/02/27/a-nazi-skeleton-in-the-family-closet/

[Mar 11, 2017] The expos on how Canada's Foreign Minister knowingly lied for 20 years about grandfather's past, now blames Russia

Mar 11, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
anne : March 11, 2017 at 06:02 AM , 2017 at 06:02 AM
https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/840200091394818054

Glenn Greenwald‏ @ggreenwald

The expos on how Canada's Foreign Minister knowingly lied for 20 years about grandfather's past, now blames Russia

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/freeland-knew-her-grandfather-was-editor-of-nazi-newspaper/article34236881/

Freeland knew her grandfather was editor of Nazi newspaper

Stories published in pro-Russian websites have said Ms. Freeland's strong stand against Russian aggression in Ukraine is linked to her grandfather's past.

5:58 AM - 10 Mar 2017

anne -> anne... , March 11, 2017 at 06:03 AM
https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/840199378459607044

Glenn Greenwald @ggreenwald

Canada's Foreign Minister lied for 20 years about her Ukrainian grandfather being a Nazi collaborator, now blames Russia

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/chrystia-freelands-granddad-was-indeed-a-nazi-collaborator-so-much-for-russian-disinformation

Chrystia Freeland's granddad was indeed a Nazi collaborator so much for Russian disinformation

5:55 AM - 10 Mar 2017

anne -> anne... , March 11, 2017 at 06:03 AM
https://twitter.com/paulkrugman/status/839921709230747649

Paul Krugman‏ @paulkrugman

The people who brought us Trump now smearing the superb Chrystia Freeland, with mainstream media as useful idiots. Of course.

http://www.nationalpost.com/m/wp/full-comment/blog.html?b=news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/terry-glavin-enter-the-freeland-nazi-conspiracy-and-the-amping-up-of-russias-mischief-in-canada

Terry Glavin: Enter the Freeland-Nazi conspiracy - and the amping-up of Russia's mischief in Canada

11:31 AM - 9 Mar 2017

ilsm -> anne... , March 11, 2017 at 07:39 AM
East Ukraine [Russians therein] have as much right to independence as Turks left behind in Kosovo.

When the Red Army sets up a permanent [Camp Bonesteel] armed presence to assure the minority are safe it might look a tiny fraction like of the crimes of the US/NATO.

Early in the "occupation" of Ukraine Hitler turned down the non Aryan volunteers, by D Day they were killing Americans in Normandy.

In the case of Russian news I err on the side they are correct compared to the NYT which tells every who could be conned they "tell the neoliberal truth".

anne : , March 11, 2017 at 06:28 AM
https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/840199378459607044

Glenn Greenwald @ggreenwald

Canada's Foreign Minister lied for 20 years about her Ukrainian grandfather being a Nazi collaborator, now blames Russia

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/chrystia-freelands-granddad-was-indeed-a-nazi-collaborator-so-much-for-russian-disinformation

Chrystia Freeland's granddad was indeed a Nazi collaborator so much for Russian disinformation

5:55 AM - 10 Mar 2017


https://twitter.com/paulkrugman/status/839921709230747649

Paul Krugman‏ @paulkrugman

The people who brought us Trump now smearing the superb Chrystia Freeland, with mainstream media as useful idiots. Of course.

http://www.nationalpost.com/m/wp/full-comment/blog.html?b=news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/terry-glavin-enter-the-freeland-nazi-conspiracy-and-the-amping-up-of-russias-mischief-in-canada

Terry Glavin: Enter the Freeland-Nazi conspiracy - and the amping-up of Russia's mischief in Canada

11:31 AM - 9 Mar 2017

anne -> anne... , March 11, 2017 at 06:35 AM
Imagine such a Democratic opinion maker having absorbed and been overtaken by Cold War thinking, unable to be self-reflective enough to understand the disdain of a people that is being fostered, how damaging this can be, evidently wishing a return to the fearful 1950s.

That such a Democratic opinion maker has come to use the language of the 1950s to instill disdain for a people and spread fear in those who would question or dissent from the prejudice continues to be shocking and dismaying.

ilsm -> anne... , March 11, 2017 at 07:42 AM
McCarthy bad analogy, he did not use the FBI on opponents to invade their privacy during a presidential campaign!
kthomas -> ilsm... , March 11, 2017 at 08:31 AM
Really? How do you know Hoover was not passing information to Sen. McCarthy?

[Mar 10, 2017] The campaign to frame up and discredit Trump and his associates is characteristic of how a police state routinely operates

Notable quotes:
"... The campaign to frame up and discredit Trump and his associates is characteristic of how a police state routinely operates. A national security apparatus that vacuums up all our communications and stores them for later retrieval has been utilized by political operatives to go after their enemies and not even the President of the United States is immune. This is something that one might expect to occur in, say, Turkey, or China: that it is happening here, to the cheers of much of the media and the Democratic party, is beyond frightening. ..."
"... We hear all the time that what's needed is an open and impartial "investigation" of Trump's alleged "ties" to Russia. This is dangerous nonsense: does every wild-eyed accusation from embittered losers deserve a congressional committee armed with subpoena power bent on conducting an inquisition? Certainly not. ..."
"... What must be investigated is the incubation of a clandestine political police force inside the national security apparatus, one that has been unleashed against Trump and could be deployed against anyone. ..."
"... This isn't about Donald Trump. It's about preserving what's left of our old republic. ..."
Mar 10, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Stormcrow , , March 9, 2017 at 9:35 am

Here is Raimondo's take: Spygate http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2017/03/07/spygate-americas-political-police-vs-donald-j-trump/

The campaign to frame up and discredit Trump and his associates is characteristic of how a police state routinely operates. A national security apparatus that vacuums up all our communications and stores them for later retrieval has been utilized by political operatives to go after their enemies and not even the President of the United States is immune. This is something that one might expect to occur in, say, Turkey, or China: that it is happening here, to the cheers of much of the media and the Democratic party, is beyond frightening.

The irony is that the existence of this dangerous apparatus which civil libertarians have warned could and probably would be used for political purposes has been hailed by Trump and his team as a necessary and proper function of government. Indeed, Trump has called for the execution of the person who revealed the existence of this sinister engine of oppression Edward Snowden. Absent Snowden's revelations, we would still be in the dark as to the existence and vast scope of the NSA's surveillance.

And now the monster Trump embraced in the name of "national security" has come back to bite him.

We hear all the time that what's needed is an open and impartial "investigation" of Trump's alleged "ties" to Russia. This is dangerous nonsense: does every wild-eyed accusation from embittered losers deserve a congressional committee armed with subpoena power bent on conducting an inquisition? Certainly not.

What must be investigated is the incubation of a clandestine political police force inside the national security apparatus, one that has been unleashed against Trump and could be deployed against anyone.

This isn't about Donald Trump. It's about preserving what's left of our old republic.

Perhaps overstated but well worth pondering.

[Mar 10, 2017] Specialis in history writes about network securty

Mar 10, 2017 | www.salon.com
Judging from comments totally brainwashed part of American electorate condition ro beleave into "Boris and Natashe" stories and unconditionally support DemoRats (not undestanding that they are just soft neoliberals and also want to redistribute weath up, away from odinary schmacks) is very comfortable being out oftiugh with reality. Middle eges are starting to replay right here, right now. see https://theintercept.com/2016/11/01/heres-the-problem-with-the-story-connecting-russia-to-donald-trumps-email-server/
> As "zackeryzackery" noted , "
Looks like the libtards will twist any facts to fit their narrative. HEADER
> " (from his comment on
Salon.com , ). Also from the same thread: "RUSSIA!!!!!. Look guys, RUSSIA! The Obama administration repeatedly broke federal laws, lied about breaking those laws, got caught lying about breaking those laws (thank you "whistle blowers") then said it stopped breaking said laws. Then it got caught lying about saying it stopped breaking laws. "

[Mar 10, 2017] Why the Russia Story Is a Minefield for Democrats and the Media

Notable quotes:
"... At that link, Taibbi goes astray by trusting CNN; I hate to cite a source with the John Birch society on its blogroll, but when they're right, they're right, and CNN sexed up the transcript. ..."
"... Back to Taibbi. I think this is exactly right, and in today's vicious atmosphere, courageous: ..."
"... Similarly, Democrats in congress have been littering their Russia speeches with caveats like, "We do not know all the facts," and, "More information may well surface." They repeatedly refer to what they don't know as a way of talking about what they hope to find out. ..."
"... Reporters should always be nervous when intelligence sources sell them stories. Spooks don't normally need the press. Their usual audiences are other agency heads, and the executive. They can bring about action just by convincing other people within the government to take it. ..."
"... In the extant case, whether the investigation involved a potential Logan Act violation, or election fraud, or whatever, the CIA, FBI, and NSA had the ability to act both before and after Donald Trump was elected. But they didn't, and we know why, because James Clapper just told us they didn't have evidence to go on. ..."
Mar 10, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Trump Transition

"Why the Russia Story Is a Minefield for Democrats and the Media" [Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone ]. Well worth a read. "There is a lot of smoke in the Russia story . Moreover, the case that the Russians hacked the Democratic National Committee now appears fairly solid. Even Donald Trump thinks so ."

At that link, Taibbi goes astray by trusting CNN; I hate to cite a source with the John Birch society on its blogroll, but when they're right, they're right, and CNN sexed up the transcript. Here's the CNN quote: "'I think it was Russia, [1] but I think we also get hacked by other countries and other people. ' Trump said. Putin '[2]should not be doing it. He won't be doing it. Russia will have much greater respect for our country when I am leading it than when other people have led it.'" From the full transcript , [1] shows what CNN deleted, and [2] comes 45 minutes later, in response to a very qualified question. Trump doesn't do nuance well, but I think he was trying to do it here.

Back to Taibbi. I think this is exactly right, and in today's vicious atmosphere, courageous:

[T]he manner in which these stories are being reported is becoming a story in its own right. Russia has become an obsession, cultural shorthand for a vast range of suspicions about Donald Trump.

The notion that the president is either an agent or a useful idiot of the Russian state is so freely accepted in some quarters that Beck Bennett's shirtless representation of Putin palling with Alec Baldwin's Trump is already a no-questions-asked yuks routine for the urban smart set .

We can't afford to bolster [Trump's] accusations of establishment bias and overreach by using the techniques of conspiracy theorists to push this Russia story. Unfortunately, that is happening.

One could list the more ridiculous examples, like the Washington Post's infamous "PropOrNot" story identifying hundreds of alternative media sites as fellow travellers aiding Russia, or the Post's faceplant over a report about a hacked utility in Vermont.

Setting all of that aside, look at the techniques involved within the more "legitimate" reports. Many are framed in terms of what they might mean, should other information surface.

There are inevitably uses of phrases like "so far," "to date" and "as yet." These make visible the outline of a future story that isn't currently reportable, further heightening expectations.

Similarly, Democrats in congress have been littering their Russia speeches with caveats like, "We do not know all the facts," and, "More information may well surface." They repeatedly refer to what they don't know as a way of talking about what they hope to find out.

Reporters should always be nervous when intelligence sources sell them stories. Spooks don't normally need the press. Their usual audiences are other agency heads, and the executive. They can bring about action just by convincing other people within the government to take it.

In the extant case, whether the investigation involved a potential Logan Act violation, or election fraud, or whatever, the CIA, FBI, and NSA had the ability to act both before and after Donald Trump was elected. But they didn't, and we know why, because James Clapper just told us they didn't have evidence to go on.

Thus we are now witnessing the extremely unusual development of intelligence sources that normally wouldn't tell a reporter the time of day litigating a matter of supreme importance in the media. What does this mean?

[Mar 08, 2017] Life in Modern Russia A Citizen's Perspective

Mar 08, 2017 | www.youtube.com
Published on Nov 16, 2015

Presented by Natalia Pecherskaya

Quad 264
Saint John's University

November 12th, 2015

[Mar 06, 2017] Russian effect is tiny compared to CIA Vickie Nuland color coup in Kyiv, sodomizing Qaddafi, greenlighting the military coup in Egypt, busting up Iraq, Yemen, Syria and Afghanistan

Mar 06, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
DeDude -> libezkova...

, March 05, 2017 at 04:05 AM
Yes sure Russians did all they could to get Hillary elected ??

Now your desperation is becoming pathetic - comrade.

ilsm -> DeDude... , March 05, 2017 at 07:34 AM
How fast the loser become take the role of the enemies.

Russian effect is tiny compared to CIA Vickie Nuland color coup in Kyiv, sodomizing Qaddafi, greenlighting the military coup in Egypt, busting up Iraq, Yemen, Syria and Afghanistan.......

There is nothing more than a politicized 'thought experiment' on how the Russians could in their alter reality have kept the career criminal from taking Pa and Wi.


Their press even rolls out dead journalists against Putin while the 65 dead around the Clinton crime family is 'tin foil hat....'

They'll fact check Trump on each 140 characters!

[Mar 04, 2017] http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/03/06/trump-putin-and-the-new-cold-war

Mar 04, 2017 | www.newyorker.com

The illusion of DNC hack, allegation it is "the Russians are coming:".

There is not there there! Reply Saturday, March 04, 2017 at 05:33 AM Game Warden said in reply to ilsm... The dems are like fishermen, baiting the water (and viewership) and then setting the hook to try to land the fish. They are following the old DC approach of pursuing one hot topic if there is any potential for a catch.
The reps did that with the e-mails during the campaign and it paid off for them. They landed the Hillary carp and found that it rotted from the head anyway.
The dems will see what type of fish, or old tire, or whatever, they land.
The Old Man and The Sea it ain't. Reply Saturday, March 04, 2017 at 05:57 AM ilsm said in reply to Game Warden... Oh well Clinton was never good with files.

My resident Hillary lover foresaw this week's Sessions version of 'the Russians are coming' two weeks ago.

They should keep the operational schedule for the coup closer. Reply Saturday, March 04, 2017 at 06:04 AM libezkova said in reply to ilsm... Those three neocon stooges wrote a really interesting piece. I would say this can qualify as a classic anti-Russian propaganda. All major anti-Russian myths are present.

But in the sea of standard propaganda drivel and anti-Russian myths there are a couple of interesting admissions (it is difficult to lie all the time ;-)

== quote ==

Vladimir Putin, who is quick to accuse the West of hypocrisy, frequently points to this history. He sees a straight line from the West's support of the anti-Moscow "color revolutions," in Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, and Ukraine, which deposed corrupt, Soviet-era leaders, to its endorsement of the uprisings of the Arab Spring.

Five years ago, he blamed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the anti-Kremlin protests in Moscow's Bolotnaya Square. "She set the tone for some of our actors in the country and gave the signal," Putin said.

"They heard this and, with the support of the U.S. State Department, began active work." (No evidence was provided for the accusation.) He considers nongovernmental agencies and civil-society groups like the National Endowment for Democracy, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the election-monitoring group Golos to be barely disguised instruments of regime change.

... .. ...

Initially, members of the Russian lite celebrated Clinton's disappearance from the scene, and the new drift toward an America First populism that would leave Russia alone. The fall of Michael Flynn and the prospect of congressional hearings, though, have tempered the enthusiasm. Fyodor Lukyanov, the editor-in-chief of a leading foreign-policy journal in Moscow, said that Trump, facing pressure from congressional investigations, the press, and the intelligence agencies, might now have to be a far more "ordinary Republican President than was initially thought."

In other words, Trump might conclude that he no longer has the political latitude to end sanctions against Moscow and accommodate Russia's geopolitical ambitions. As a sign of the shifting mood in Moscow, the Kremlin ordered Russian television outlets to be more reserved in their coverage of the new President.

... ... ...

*An earlier version of this passage wrongly indicated that the U.S. is known to have funded Russian political parties.
== and of quote ==

I especially like the last paragraph.

Reply Saturday, March 04, 2017 at 02:58 PM
Paine said in reply to libezkova... The history of uncle Sam's Interference
in foreign elections since1946
Is a fun house with many many rooms Reply Saturday, March 04, 2017 at 03:39 PM

anne said in reply to anne... http://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/files/cow/imce/papers/2016/Costs%20of%20War%20through%202016%20FINAL%20final%20v2.pdf

September, 2016

US Budgetary Costs of Wars through 2016: $4.79 Trillion and Counting
Summary of Costs of the US Wars in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan and Homeland Security
By Neta C. Crawford

Summary

Wars cost money before, during and after they occur - as governments prepare for, wage, and recover from them by replacing equipment, caring for the wounded and repairing the infrastructure destroyed in the fighting. Although it is rare to have a precise accounting of the costs of war - especially of long wars - one can get a sense of the rough scale of the costs by surveying the major categories of spending.

As of August 2016, the US has already appropriated, spent, or taken on obligations to spend more than $3.6 trillion in current dollars on the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria and on Homeland Security (2001 through fiscal year 2016). To this total should be added the approximately $65 billion in dedicated war spending the Department of Defense and State Department have requested for the next fiscal year, 2017, along with an additional nearly $32 billion requested for the Department of Homeland Security in 2017, and estimated spending on veterans in future years. When those are included, the total US budgetary cost of the wars reaches $4.79 trillion.... Reply Saturday, March 04, 2017 at 12:45 PM anne said in reply to anne... Defense spending in 2016 was $732.3 billion, the president is asking for another $54 billion in 2017, while between 2001 and 2016, $4.79 trillion was spent on or allotted to the cost of the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria and on Homeland Security. Reply Saturday, March 04, 2017 at 01:00 PM Peter K. said in reply to anne... "Curiously there are ever so many people who make a point of always but always understating defense spending by playing all sorts of games from expressly leaving out spending on military field activities as in Afghanistan or Iraq to talking about real or surreal spending so that any ordinary person is made to think spending is tens of billions of dollars less than it actually is."

Yes. I wouldn't trust any info PGL provides without clear links from objective sources.
Reply Saturday, March 04, 2017 at 01:05 PM Pinkybum said in reply to anne... Surely you would want to express this number at least as inflation adjusted per-capita dollars (which GDP sort-of captures.) Reply Saturday, March 04, 2017 at 02:55 PM ilsm said in reply to pgl... I like the OMB historical tables that reflects outlay/ordering authority that is the checking account to obligate money which might not show up in GDP expenditures for delivery for years.

Tracking GDP metric is limited in perspective, it shows what was delivered and paid for in the accounting year. It does not show what is on the order books nor what new stuff is added to the order books.

If we look at %GDP I think US expenditures for the defense account included (not all) declined to about 3.9%. SIPRI is a good source for GDP activity.

There remains a huge amount of (outlay) backlog to expend from FY 2009 through today.

Why I am not sure measuring GDP impact without getting some account information on backlog procurements means much for any country.

2009 was a big year for the peace prize surge! Reply Saturday, March 04, 2017 at 01:09 PM

[Mar 04, 2017] Trump, Putin, and the New Cold War

Notable quotes:
"... Fyodor Lukyanov, the editor-in-chief of a leading foreign-policy journal in Moscow, said that Trump, facing pressure from congressional investigations, the press, and the intelligence agencies, might now have to be a far more "ordinary Republican President than was initially thought." ..."
"... *An earlier version of this passage wrongly indicated that the U.S. is known to have funded Russian political parties. ..."
Mar 04, 2017 | www.newyorker.com
Three neocon stooges wrote a really interesting peace. Classic propaganda peace. All major anti-russian myths are present. Quotes are boorred from March 04, 2017 at economistsview.typepad.com

The New Yorker

Vladimir Putin, who is quick to accuse the West of hypocrisy, frequently points to this history. He sees a straight line from the West's support of the anti-Moscow "color revolutions," in Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, and Ukraine, which deposed corrupt, Soviet-era leaders, to its endorsement of the uprisings of the Arab Spring. Five years ago, he blamed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the anti-Kremlin protests in Moscow's Bolotnaya Square. "She set the tone for some of our actors in the country and gave the signal," Putin said. "They heard this and, with the support of the U.S. State Department, began active work." (No evidence was provided for the accusation.) He considers nongovernmental agencies and civil-society groups like the National Endowment for Democracy, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the election-monitoring group Golos to be barely disguised instruments of regime change.

... .. ...

Initially, members of the Russian lite celebrated Clinton's disappearance from the scene, and the new drift toward an America First populism that would leave Russia alone. The fall of Michael Flynn and the prospect of congressional hearings, though, have tempered the enthusiasm. Fyodor Lukyanov, the editor-in-chief of a leading foreign-policy journal in Moscow, said that Trump, facing pressure from congressional investigations, the press, and the intelligence agencies, might now have to be a far more "ordinary Republican President than was initially thought."

In other words, Trump might conclude that he no longer has the political latitude to end sanctions against Moscow and accommodate Russia's geopolitical ambitions. As a sign of the shifting mood in Moscow, the Kremlin ordered Russian television outlets to be more reserved in their coverage of the new President.

... ... ...

*An earlier version of this passage wrongly indicated that the U.S. is known to have funded Russian political parties.

[Mar 04, 2017] Update on Trumps Pro-Russiaism

Notable quotes:
"... Gordon claimed that Trump said he did not "want to go to World War III over Ukraine" during that meeting, Acosta said. ..."
Mar 04, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
im1dc : March 03, 2017 at 05:45 PM , 2017 at 05:45 PM
Update re Trump's Pro-Russiaism

This shows Trump and his highest campaign officials at the time complicit in pro-Russian spin and from those in contact with Russia in the Trump campaign

Impeachment charge stuff imo

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/jd-gordon-change-story-gop-platform-ukraine-amendment

"Trump Ally Drastically Changes Story About Altering GOP Platform On Ukraine"

By Allegra Kirkland....March 3, 2017....2:16 PM EDT

"In a significant reversal, a Trump campaign official on Thursday told CNN that he personally advocated for softening the language on Ukraine in the GOP platform at the Republican National Convention, and that he did so on behalf of the President.nnb877

CNN's Jim Acosta reported on air that J.D. Gordon, the Trump campaign's national security policy representative at the RNC, told him that he made the change to include language that he claimed "Donald Trump himself wanted and advocated for" at a March 2016 meeting at then-unfinished Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Gordon claimed that Trump said he did not "want to go to World War III over Ukraine" during that meeting, Acosta said.

Yet Gordon had told Business Insider in January that he "never left" the side table where he sat monitoring the national security subcommittee meeting, where a GOP delegate's amendment calling for the provision of "lethal defense weapons" to the Ukrainian army was tabled. At the time, Gordon said "neither Mr. Trump nor [former campaign manager] Mr. [Paul] Manafort were involved in those sort of details, as they've made clear."

Discussion of changes to the platform, which drew attention to the ties to a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine that fueled Manafort's resignation as Trump's campaign chairman, resurfaced Thursday in a USA Today story. The newspaper revealed that Gordon and Carter Page, another former Trump adviser, met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at the GOP convention.

Trump and his team have long insisted that his campaign had no contact with Russian officials during the 2016 race, and that they were not behind softening the language on Ukraine in the Republican Party platform."...

libezkova -> im1dc... , March 03, 2017 at 08:30 PM
This is not an update re: "Trump's Pro-Russiaism".

This is an update of your complete lack of understanding of political situation.

There was a pretty cold and nasty calculation on Trump's part to split Russia-China alliance which does threaten the USA global hegemony. Now those efforts are discredited and derailed. Looks like the US neoliberal elite is slightly suicidal. But that's good: the sooner we get rid of neoliberalism, the better.

Sill Dems hysteria (in association with some Repugs like war hawks John McCain and Lindsey Graham) does strongly smells with neo-McCarthyism. McCain and Graham are probably playing this dirty game out of pure enthusiasm: Trump does not threatens MIC from which both were elected. He just gave them all the money they wanted. But for Dems this is en essential smoke screen to hide their fiasco and blame evil Russians.

In other words citing Marx: "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce. "

This farce of making Russians a scapegoat for all troubles does make some short-term political sense as it distracts from the fact the Dems were abandoned by its base. And it unites the nation providing some political support for chickenhawks in US Congress for the next elections.

But in a long run the price might be a little bit too high. If Russian and China formalize their alliance this is the official end for the US neoliberal empire. Britain will jump the sinking ship first, because they do not have completely stupid elite.

BTW preventing Cino-Russian alliance is what British elite always tried to do (and was successful) in the past -- but in their time the main danger for them was the alliance of Germany and Russia -- two major continental powers.

Still short-termism is a feature of US politics, and we can do nothing against those forces that fuel the current anti-Russian hysteria.

The evil rumors at the time of original McCarthyism hysteria were that this was at least partially a smoke screen designed to hide smuggling of Nazi scientists and intelligence operatives into the USA (McCarthy was from Wisconsin, the state in German immigrant majority from which famous anti-WWI voice Robert M. La Follette was elected ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_M._La_Follette_Sr.))

So here there might well be also some hidden motives, because everybody, including even you understands that "Trump is in the pocket of Russians" hypothesis is pure propaganda (BTW Hillary did take bribes from Russian oligarchs, that's proven, but Caesar's wife must be above suspicion).

im1dc -> libezkova... , March 03, 2017 at 07:44 PM
What we are witnessing is the truth coming out, too slowly for some of us, but it surely will come out eventually despite the best efforts of Trump's WH, Gang, and his Republican lackies to cover it up.
im1dc -> im1dc... , March 03, 2017 at 08:05 PM
Serious question, what do you believe to be Director Comey's fingerprints on all of this?
libezkova -> im1dc... , March 03, 2017 at 08:59 PM
You probably would be better off sticking to posting music from YouTube then trying to understand complex political events and posting political junk from US MSM in pretty prominent economic blog (overtaking Fred)

Especially taking into account the fact that English is the only language you know and judging from your posts you do not have degrees in either economics or political science (although some people here with computer science background proved to be shrewd analysts of both economic and political events; cm is one example).

Although trying to read British press will not hurt you, they do provide a better coverage of US political events then the USA MSM. Even neoliberal Guardian. So if you can't fight your urge to repost political junk please try to do it from British press.

As for your question: in 20 years we might know something about who played what hand in this dirty poker, but even this is not given (JFK assassination is a classic example here; Gulf of Tonkin incident is another)

[Mar 03, 2017] Neocons are trying to re-whip anti-Russian hysteria of MaCarthy years but do not find as receptive an audience as they used to

Notable quotes:
"... I think that there's still a lot of resistance in the US to consider seriously the idea that it could be responsible for assassinating it's own popular president (JFK) and also to consider critically our current activities in places like Ukraine, Libya and Syria. ..."
Mar 03, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
financial matters , February 27, 2017 at 9:15 am

It seems that the last worthwhile president we had was JFK. He started out his presidency as a Cold Warrior but at the end saw the futility of being involved in Vietnam and of the cold war in general.

At the time there was a very strong anti-communist pro-war sentiment in the US which resonated well with the military industrial complex that Kennedy was up against when his views became more conciliatory with Russia. This anti-Russian sentiment is trying to be re-whipped up in the US but isn't finding as receptive an audience.

Kennedy essentially lost control of his presidency. Trump seems to be facing similar pressures but I don't think he's so isolated in his battles. He has strong allies in both the military and industry and there is a different public sentiment.

I think that there's still a lot of resistance in the US to consider seriously the idea that it could be responsible for assassinating it's own popular president (JFK) and also to consider critically our current activities in places like Ukraine, Libya and Syria.

Russia seems to be treating its Arab neighbors with more respect and it would be good if Trump could get on that train. It would also be good to see Trump transition to a more climate friendly attitude such as partnering with China on solar energy.

[Feb 28, 2017] Noam Chomsky - Neoliberalism the Global Order

Jan 07, 2014 | youtube.com

This is the complete talk (excluding the Q&A) of Noam Chomsky speaking at Yale University on February 25, 1997

San Patch

Thank you, Noam Chomsky. Sharp, articulate, critical. Reminding us to cross-check our favourite ideologies against the facts. Free markets, my arse. I salute Chomsky's courage, his intellect and his humanity.

emir yi

He truly is the face of sheer honesty and intellectual openness. So admirable to be able to be so critical of a system in which otherwise many including himself are subsumed.

Dimitrios Mavridopoulos

I strongly recommend his book World Orders: Old and New, where he substantiates all his claims and accusations, in a far more coherent manner. He has a long chapter, where he explains how the principles of free trade and classical economics, have been consistently violated in history by the developed countries (imperial preference, tariffs, state-intervention), while demanding that Third World countries conform to them, through the IMF and the World Bank. Unfortunately he is not a gifted lecturer though he compensates by being a moral titan

Richard Huza

10x
I also tried to collect Chomsky's videos on my site at index:
http://milisoft.ro/MainPage.php?iditem=a02663aa20b879c3f4cfd508231dfb28fd74945e
I agree with the spirit of sharing of information

[Feb 27, 2017] A ttack trump, fear Russia, ignore the deep state, scare them about racists and fascists*, there is nothing going to be fixed by the new crooks running the new DNC

Feb 27, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
February 24, 2017 at 05:52 AM , 2017 at 05:52 AM
Nobody wants to talk about the DNC Chair debate. Huh.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/23/us/democrats-dnc-chairman-trump-keith-ellison-tom-perez.html

Weakened Democrats Bow to Voters, Opting for Total War on Trump

By JONATHAN MARTIN and ALEXANDER BURNS
FEB. 23, 2017

WASHINGTON - Reduced to their weakest state in a generation, Democratic Party leaders will gather in two cities this weekend to plot strategy and select a new national chairman with the daunting task of rebuilding the party's depleted organization. But senior Democratic officials concede that the blueprint has already been chosen for them - by an incensed army of liberals demanding no less than total war against President Trump.

... ... ...

ilsm -> Peter K.... , February 24, 2017 at 06:55 PM
attack trump, fear Russia, ignore the deep state, scare them about racists and fascists*, there is nothing going to be fixed by the new crooks running the new DNC

* a few of tonight's pity party decorations.........

[Feb 26, 2017] a textbook illustration how color revolution methods are used to discredit the government. To attack Trump Russia is skillfully painted as Big Satan contact with whom is sin

Feb 26, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

im1dc : February 24, 2017 at 08:26 PM

RREAKING NEWS WaPo Exclusive RREAKING NEWS WaPo Exclusive

"Trump administration sought to enlist intelligence officials, key lawmakers to counter Russia stories"

Ring any Nixon Bells with anyone???

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-administration-sought-to-enlist-intelligence-officials-key-lawmakers-to-counter-russia-stories/2017/02/24/c8487552-fa99-11e6-be05-1a3817ac21a5_story.html

"Trump administration sought to enlist intelligence officials, key lawmakers to counter Russia stories"

By Greg Miller and Adam Entous...February 24, 2017...at 9:34 PM

"The Trump administration has enlisted senior members of the intelligence community and Congress in efforts to counter news stories about Trump associates' ties to Russia, a politically charged issue that has been under investigation by the FBI as well as lawmakers now defending the White House.

Acting at the behest of the White House, the officials made calls to news organizations last week in attempts to challenge stories about alleged contacts between members of President Trump's campaign team and Russian intelligence operatives, U.S. officials said.

The calls were orchestrated by the White House after unsuccessful attempts by the administration to get senior FBI officials to speak with news organizations and dispute the accuracy of stories on the alleged contacts with Russia.

The White House on Friday acknowledged those interactions with the FBI but did not disclose that it then turned to other officials who agreed to do what the FBI would not - participate in White House-arranged calls with news organizations, including The Washington Post."...

libezkova -> im1dc... , February 26, 2017 at 06:56 AM
This article is a textbook illustration how "color revolution" methods are used to discredit the government.

Russia is skillfully painted as "Big Satan" contact with whom is sin for Christians.

What a despicable scum those presstitutes are...

[Feb 26, 2017] The flip side of The Church of America the Redeemer, as with any other respectable church is that it needs the "hell", the fear, to better control its flock

Notable quotes:
"... The flip side of The Church of America the Redeemer, as with any other respectable church is that it needs the "hell", the fear, to better control its flock. The terrorists that want to kill us for our liberties You should have included this in your article. ..."
Feb 26, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com
The trend is to Deep State co-opt democracy, and use it overthrow legit goverment and replace it will neoliberal stooges what pray on the altor of democracy-killing Globalism that makes of all governments just enforces for wishes of multinationals. Corporatism does not involves any real democracy, not at all.
  • Sceptic , says: February 23, 2017 at 11:28 am
    Bacevich is one of our very few strategic thinkers. What Bacevich has disclosed here is something far more significant than merely the faults of Brooks' or of neoconservatism generally (and to be fair, where Brooks goes beyond neoconservatism/nationalism, he can be thoughtful).

    What he has disclosed in fact is that America's primary - I emphasize again, primary - strategic threat is not N. Korea, or radical Islam, or Russia, but its own revolutionary, messianic, expansionist ideology. That is the source of our woes, our growing insecurities and looming financial bankruptcy (to say nothing of the sufferings of millions of our victims).

    America's strategic problem is its own mental imprisonment: its self-worship, its inability to view itself - its destructive acts as well as its pet handful of ideas torn from the complex fabric of a truly vibrant culture - with any critical distance or objectivity.

    Joined to that, and as a logical consequence of it - the United States' persistent inability to view with any objectivity its endless, often manufactured enemies.

    Cornel Lencar , says: February 23, 2017 at 11:46 am
    Kudos Mr. Bacevich for an exceptional piece!

    Somehow the current situation in the U.S. reminds me of the end of a TV miniseries, "Merlin", where Sam Neil plays the role of Merlin. At the end, Merlin speaks to his archenemy, Morgana, that she will loose her grip on the people because they will just stop believing in her and her powers. And as he speaks, the group of countrymen surrounding Merlin turn their back one after another at Morgana and after the last one turns her back, Morgana simply vanishes

    The flip side of The Church of America the Redeemer, as with any other respectable church is that it needs the "hell", the fear, to better control its flock. The terrorists that want to kill us for our liberties You should have included this in your article.

    Also, mentioning Jerusalem, a place of madness and fervor, and pain, and strife, that has brought nothing civilizational to the world, as in par with Rome, Athens, Baghdad, Florence, and other cultural centres in Iran, China, India, Japan, is an overstretch

  • [Feb 21, 2017] Red Hysteria Engulfs Washington

    Feb 21, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

    Submitted by Eric Margolis via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

    President Dwight Eisenhower's warning about the dangers of the military-industrial complex made half a century ago ring as loud and clear today . The soft coup being mounted against the Trump government by America's 'deep state' reached a new intensity this week as special interests battled for control of Washington.

    The newly named national security advisor, Lt Gen Michael Flynn, was ousted by Trump over his chats with Russia's ambassador and what he may or may not have told Vice President Pence. The defenestration of Flynn appeared engineered by our national intelligence agencies in collaboration with the mainstream media and certain Democrats.

    Flynn's crime? Talking to the wicked Russians before and after the election. Big, big deal. That's what security advisors are supposed to do: keep an open back channel to other major powers and allies. This is also the job of our intelligence agencies.

    There is no good or bad in international affairs. The childish concept of 'good guys' and 'bad guys' comes from the Bush era when simple-minded voters had to be convinced that America was somehow in grave danger from a bunch of angry Mideast goat herds.

    The only nations that could threaten America's very existence are nuclear powers Russia, China, India, France, Britain and Israel (and maybe Pakistan) in that order.

    Russia has thousands of nuclear warheads targeted on the US mainland. Any real war with Russia would invite doom for both nations. Two near misses are more than enough. Remember the 1962 Cuban missile confrontation and the terrifying 1983 Able Archer scare near thermonuclear war caused by Ronald Reagan's anti-Russian hysteria and Moscow's panicked response.

    Margolis' #1 rule of international relations: make nice and keep on good terms with nations that have nuclear weapons pointed at you. Avoid squabbles over almost all matters. Intelligence agencies play a key role in maintaining the balance of nuclear terror and preventing misunderstandings that can cause war.

    Gen. Flynn was a fanatical anti-Islamic wing nut. He was, to use Trumpese, a bigly terrible choice. I'm glad he is gone. But Flynn's sin was being loopy, not talking on the phone to the Russian ambassador. The White House and national intelligence should be talking every day to Moscow, even 'hi Boris, what's new with you guys? 'Nothing much new here either besides the terrible traffic.'

    The current hue and cry in the US over Flynn's supposed infraction is entirely a fake political ambush to cripple the Trump administration. Trump caved in much too fast. The deep state is after his scalp: he has threatened to cut the $80 billion per annum intelligence budget which alone, boys and girls, is larger than Russia's entire defense budget! He's talking about rooting waste out of the Pentagon's almost trillion-dollar budget, spending less on NATO, and ending some of America's imperial wars abroad.

    What's to like about Trump if you're a member of the war party and military-industrial-intelligence-Wall Street complex? The complex wants its golden girl Hilary Clinton in charge. She unleashed the current tsunami of anti-Russian hysteria and demonization of Vladimir Putin which shows, sadly, that many Americans have not grown beyond the days of Joe McCarthy.

    As a long-time student of Cold War intelligence, my conclusion is that both sides knew pretty much what the other was up to, though KGB and GRU were more professional and skilled than western special services. It would be so much easier and cheaper just to share information on a demand basis. But that would stop the Great Game.

    It's sickening watching the arrant hypocrisy and windbaggery in Washington over alleged Russian espionage and manipulation. The US has been buying and manipulating foreign governments since 1945. We even tapped German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone. This week Wikileaks issued an intercept on CIA spying and manipulation of France's 2012 election. We live in a giant glass house.

    The Russians are not our pals. Nor are they the evil empire. We have to normalize our thinking about Russia, grow up and stop using Moscow as a political bogeyman to fight our own internal political battles.

    Right now, I'm more worried about the far right crazies in the Trump White House than I am about the Ruskis and Vlad the Bad.

    [Feb 21, 2017] The Did-You-Talk-to-Russians Witch Hunt

    Notable quotes:
    "... Exclusive: Democrats, liberals and media pundits in their rush to take down President Trump are pushing a New McCarthyism aimed at Americans who have talked to Russians, risking a new witch hunt. ..."
    "... As Democrats compete to become the new War Party pushing for a dangerous confrontation with nuclear-armed Russia some constituents are objecting, as Mike Madden did in a letter to Sen. Amy Klobuchar. ..."
    Feb 21, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
    RGC : February 20, 2017 at 05:29 AM , 2017 at 05:29 AM
    The Did-You-Talk-to-Russians Witch Hunt

    February 18, 2017

    Exclusive: Democrats, liberals and media pundits in their rush to take down President Trump are pushing a New McCarthyism aimed at Americans who have talked to Russians, risking a new witch hunt.

    By Robert Parry

    https://consortiumnews.com/2017/02/18/the-did-you-talk-to-russians-witch-hunt/

    RGC -> RGC... , February 20, 2017 at 05:35 AM
    February 17, 2017

    France: Another Ghastly Presidential Election Campaign; the Deep State Rises to the Surface

    by Diana Johnstone

    As if the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign hadn't been horrendous enough, here comes another one: in France.

    The system in France is very different, with multiple candidates in two rounds, most of them highly articulate, who often even discuss real issues. Free television time reduces the influence of big money. The first round on April 23 will select the two finalists for the May 7 runoff, allowing for much greater choice than in the United States.

    But monkey see, monkey do, and the mainstream political class wants to mimic the ways of the Empire, even echoing the theme that dominated the 2016 show across the Atlantic: the evil Russians are messing with our wonderful democracy.

    The aping of the U.S. system began with "primaries" held by the two main governing parties which obviously aspire to establish themselves as the equivalent of American Democrats and Republicans in a two-party system. The right-wing party of former president Nicolas Sarkozy has already renamed itself Les Rpublicains and the so-called Socialist Party leaders are just waiting for the proper occasion to call themselves Les Dmocrates. But as things are going, neither one of them may come out ahead this time.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/02/17/france-another-ghastly-presidential-election-campaign-the-deep-state-rises-to-the-surface/

    RGC -> RGC... , February 20, 2017 at 05:53 AM
    Challenging Klobuchar on Ukraine War

    February 19, 2017

    As Democrats compete to become the new War Party pushing for a dangerous confrontation with nuclear-armed Russia some constituents are objecting, as Mike Madden did in a letter to Sen. Amy Klobuchar.


    From Mike Madden (of St. Paul, Minnesota)

    Dear Senator Klobuchar, I write with concern over statements you have made recently regarding Russia.

    These statements have been made both at home and abroad, and they involve two issues; the alleged Russian hack of the presidential election and Russia's actions in the aftermath of the February 22, 2014 coup in Kiev.

    U.S. intelligence services allege that President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign to denigrate Hillary Clinton and help elect Donald Trump. The campaign is purported to include the production of fake news, cyber-trolling, and propaganda from Russian state-owned media. It is also alleged that Russia hacked the email accounts of the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, subsequently providing the emails to WikiLeaks.

    Despite calls from many quarters, the intelligence services have not provided the public with any proof. Instead, Americans are expected to blindly trust these services with a long history of failure. Additionally, the former Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, and the former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, John Brennan, have both been known to lie to the public and to Congress, Mr. Clapper doing so under oath.

    Meanwhile, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange maintains the emails did not come from Russia (or any other state actor) and his organization has an unblemished record of revealing accurate information in the public interest that would otherwise remain hidden. While responsible journalists continue to use the word 'alleged' to describe the accusations, Republicans with an ax to grind against Russia, and Democrats wishing to distract from their own failings in the campaign, refer to them as fact. Indeed, on the Amy in the News page of your own website, Jordain Carney of The Hill refers to the Russian meddling as "alleged".

    A congressional commission to investigate the alleged Russian hacking is not necessary. Even if all the allegations are true, they are altogether common occurrences, and they certainly don't rise to the level of "an act of aggression", "an existential threat to our way of life", or "an attack on the American people" as various Democratic officials have characterized them. Republican Senator John McCain went full monty and called the alleged meddling "an act of war".
    Joining War Hawks

    It is of concern that you would join Senator McCain and the equally belligerent Senator Lindsey Graham on a tour of Russian provocation through the Baltics, Ukraine, Georgia, and Montenegro. The announcement of your trip (December 28, 2016) on the News Releases page of your website renewed the unproven claim of "Russian interference in our recent election". It also claimed that the countries you were visiting were facing "Russian aggression" and that "Russia illegally annexed Crimea".

    It is unfortunate that these claims have become truisms by sheer repetition rather than careful examination of the facts. Russia has not invaded eastern Ukraine. There are no regular units of the Russian military in the breakaway provinces, nor has Russia launched any air strikes from its territory. It has sent weapons and other provisions to the Ukrainian forces seeking autonomy from Kiev, and there are most certainly Russian volunteers operating in Ukraine.

    However regrettable, it must be remembered that the unrest was precipitated by the February 22, 2014 overthrow of the democratically elected president Viktor Yanukovych which, speaking of meddling, was assisted by U.S. State Department, other American government agencies, and one Senator John McCain. The subsequent military and paramilitary operations launched by the coup government against the People's Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk were described by President Putin as "uncontrolled crime" spreading into the south and east of the country. In American parlance, both the interim coup government in Kiev and the current government of President Petro Poroshenko have engaged in "killing their own people".

    https://consortiumnews.com/2017/02/19/challenging-klobuchar-on-ukraine-war/

    [Feb 20, 2017] Russia contacts insinuations by neocons as a ruse

    It was very apt definition. But the reality is that this is not just a trap, this is a multistage covert operation to regain neocon power in Washington...
    Feb 17, 2017 | www.merriam-webster.com
    Lookups for ruse ("a stratagem or trick usually intended to deceive") spiked after the President of the United States used the word while denying the reports of improper communication between his campaign and Russian intelligence. The FBI is investigating whether the Trump campaign coordinated with the Russian government to affect the outcome of the presidential election.

    "Russia is a ruse," Mr. Trump said. "I have nothing to do with Russia, haven't made a phone call to Russia in years."
    - cbsnews.com , 16 Feb. 2017

    Ruse comes to English from French, in which language it long ago had the meaning of both "trickery" and "a roundabout path taken by fleeing game." The second of these two definitions had a brief period of use in English during the 15th century, but is now quite obsolete.

    The word is now little used as a hunting term, and primarily is found to refer to some instance of subterfuge .

    [Feb 20, 2017] After Jeffrey Sachs, Larry Summers, the Harvard boys and your neoliberal friends put the former Soviet Union through shock therapy in the early 1990s, Russias GDP shrank by 50 percent

    Notable quotes:
    "... Give Putin some credit - he ended the Yeltsin crony capitalism that allowed companies like Yukos to be seized by a small group of Yeltsin's buddies. Of course in ending this reign, it is open question who now owns these rights. These article sheds no light on the real question. ..."
    "... After Jeffrey Sachs, Larry Summers, the Harvard boys and your neoliberal friends put the former Soviet Union through shock therapy in the early 1990s, Russia's GDP shrank by 50 percent. No wonder they turned to a strong man authoritarian. ..."
    "... US spends $5T breaking up Iraq and Afghanistan under the continuum war party and you pick on Putin! There are no differences among politicians when it comes to filling the pentagon trough, except with Trump wanting to back off war with Putin. Putin a dictator yeah but it is not better that the MIC is dictator for life over US spending. ..."
    "... Stop finding strawmen to make war on and deal with the damage already done here, by executives peddling F-35 job programs. ..."
    Feb 20, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

    kthomas : February 20, 2017 at 07:14 AM

    For all you Russian cocksuckers:

    http://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2017-02-17/vladimir-putin-could-be-worlds-richest-man-with-200-billion-net-worth-report-says?int=news-rec

    Tom aka Rusty said in reply to kthomas... , February 20, 2017 at 07:41 AM
    totally inappropriate. This is not a Teamsters meeting.
    RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to Tom aka Rusty... , February 20, 2017 at 08:37 AM
    :<)
    pgl -> Tom aka Rusty... , February 20, 2017 at 09:20 AM
    Agreed but the article missed the boat:

    "After 14 years in power of Russia, and the amount of money that the country has made, and the amount of money that hasn't been spent on schools and roads and hospitals and so on, all that money is in property, bank -- Swiss bank accounts -- shares, hedge funds, managed for Putin and his cronies," he added.

    Not that Putin couldn't be worth $200 billion. I bet he is. But how did he get this wealth? Oh yea - those Russian oil companies. That is where Russia's main source of wealth lies.

    Give Putin some credit - he ended the Yeltsin crony capitalism that allowed companies like Yukos to be seized by a small group of Yeltsin's buddies. Of course in ending this reign, it is open question who now owns these rights. These article sheds no light on the real question.

    Tom aka Rusty said in reply to pgl... , February 20, 2017 at 10:13 AM
    I do not have a single shred of respect for Putin. I do not have a single shred of respect for the Chinese leaders. But somehow we have to have diplomatic relationships with both.

    And we are tied at the hip with the Chinese economy. And somewhat with the Russians. And we agree some language does not belong here.

    Peter K. -> pgl... , February 20, 2017 at 10:15 AM
    After Jeffrey Sachs, Larry Summers, the Harvard boys and your neoliberal friends put the former Soviet Union through shock therapy in the early 1990s, Russia's GDP shrank by 50 percent. No wonder they turned to a strong man authoritarian.
    RGC -> Peter K.... , February 20, 2017 at 10:29 AM
    amen
    ilsm -> pgl... , February 20, 2017 at 01:09 PM
    US spends $5T breaking up Iraq and Afghanistan under the continuum war party and you pick on Putin! There are no differences among politicians when it comes to filling the pentagon trough, except with Trump wanting to back off war with Putin. Putin a dictator yeah but it is not better that the MIC is dictator for life over US spending.

    Stop finding strawmen to make war on and deal with the damage already done here, by executives peddling F-35 job programs.

    [Feb 20, 2017] People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage

    Notable quotes:
    "... Blackmailing Russia can probably be viewed as just an attempt to avoid asking uncomfortable questions (Like who is guilty and who should go to jail ;-) , and to distract the attention from the real problems. As if the return us to the good old Obama days of universal deceit (aka "change we can believe in") , can solve the problems the country faces. ..."
    "... As Galbright put it: "People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage." -- John Kenneth Galbraith ..."
    "... Neoliberal economists often talk about "flexible labor markets" as desirable but I don't think Krugman ever has. Maybe he has in a roundabout, indirect way. ..."
    Feb 20, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
    ilsm -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... February 20, 2017 at 06:39 AM
    Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS). Spread by neolib propaganda organs claiming to be the "free" press.

    More dangerous than Obama's deep state wiretapping republicans and raping the Bill of Rights falsely screaming 'Trump the traitor'!

    There is no freedom to lie and to mislead 'we the people'.

    New Deal democrat -> ilsm... , February 20, 2017 at 07:34 AM

    At risk of being flamed by everybody else with an opinion on this matter, I can see both sides of the issue:

    You are correct if Trump is not selling out to Russia.

    You are also correct if (1) Trump *is* selling out to Russia, *AND* (2) his voters were aware that he is selling out to Russia, but voted for him with eyes wide open on that issue.

    In either of those two cases the Intelligence Community leakers are trying to subvert the democratic will of the people in elected Trump president.

    You are wrong if: (1) Trump is selling out to Russia, *AND* (2) his voters did not believe it when they voted for him. In this case the Intelligence Community leakers, in my opinion, are patriotic heroes.

    Just because the Intellligence Community is not laying the sources of its intelligence out in the open on the table does not mean that the leakers are wrong. My suspicion is that they are correct (see, e.g., Josh Marshall today. Google is your friend.) The deeper problem is that I suspect Trump's voters simply don't care, even if the Intelligence Community is correct.

    RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> New Deal democrat... , February 20, 2017 at 08:07 AM
    No flames from me, Dude. Ya nailed it.
    ilsm -> New Deal democrat... , February 20, 2017 at 08:09 AM
    I did a mini max regret: More regret with Clinton sold out to neoliberal profiteering war mongers who care only for perpetual war, the max regret I see is unneeded nuclear war over a few hundred thousand Estonians who hate Russia since the Hanseatic league was suppressed by Ivan the Terrible.

    Lesser regret with Trump sold out to Russia* that would only bring China I against both US and Russia in about 50 years.

    *Trump sold to Russia is Clintonista/Stalinist fantasia sold by the yellow press.

    Julio -> New Deal democrat... , February 20, 2017 at 08:25 AM
    I disagree. It is not enough that Trump voters were aware of Trump selling out to Russia and didn't care; if there had been conclusive proof of that before the election, other people might have come out to vote against him.

    Besides, some of his voters might not care and some might.

    In any case, whether the leakers are patriots or traitors does not have to do with subverting "the will of the people". At the most extreme, leaks could lead to, say, impeachment, which is another way to express the will of the people. (Or actually, the will of the plutocrats and their Republican and Democratic running dogs, but that's another discussion).

    libezkova -> ilsm... , February 20, 2017 at 11:59 AM
    New Deal democrat and couple of other Hillary enthusiasts here used to sing quite a different song as for Hillary bathroom email server ;-).

    Russia bogeyman (or "ruse" as Trump aptly defined it) is now used to swipe under the carpet the crisis of neoliberal ideology and the collapse of Democratic Party which is still dominated by Clinton wing of soft neoliberals). Chickhawks like a couple of people here (for example, im1dc), are always want to fight another war, but using some other ("less valuable") peoples bodies as the target of enemy fire.

    Democratic Party now is playing an old and very dirty trick called "Catch the thief", when they are the thief.

    Why we are not discussing the key issue: how the redistribution of wealth up during the last two decades destabilized the country both economically and politically?

    Also it is unclear whether a simple, non-painful way out exists, or this is just something like a pre-collapse stage as happened with Brezhnev socialism in the USSR. The Damocles sword of "peak/plato oil" hangs over neoliberal globalization. That's an undeniable and a very important factor. Another ten (or twenty) years of the "secular stagnation", and then what? Can the current globalized economy function with oil prices above $100 without severe downsizing.

    The economic plunder of other countries like the plunder of xUSSR economic space (which helped to save and return to growth the USA economics in 90th, providing half a billion new customers and huge space for "dollarization") is no longer possible as there are no any new USSR that can disintegrate.

    Obama achievement of reinstalling neoliberal regimes in Brazil and Argentina ( https://nacla.org/news/2015/10/10/brazil%C2%B4s-sudden-neoliberal-u-turn ) was probably the "last hurrah" of neoliberalism, which is in retreat all over the globe.

    And "artificial disintegration" of the countries to open them to neoliberal globalization (aka "controlled chaos") like practiced in Libya and Syria proved to be quite costly and have unforeseen side effects.

    The forces that ensured Trump victory are forces that understood at least on intuitive level that huge problems with neoliberalism need something different that kicking the can down the road, and that Hillary might well means the subsequent economic collapse, or WWIII, or both.

    Trump might not have a solution, but he was at least courageous enough to ask uncomfortable questions.

    Blackmailing Russia can probably be viewed as just an attempt to avoid asking uncomfortable questions (Like who is guilty and who should go to jail ;-) , and to distract the attention from the real problems. As if the return us to the good old Obama days of universal deceit (aka "change we can believe in") , can solve the problems the country faces.

    And when neoliberal presstitutes in MSM now blackmail Trump and try to stage "purple" color revolution, this might well be a sign of desperation, not strength.

    They have no solution for the country problem, they just want to kick the can down the road and enjoy their privileges while the country burns.

    As Galbright put it: "People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage." -- John Kenneth Galbraith

    RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> JohnH... , February 20, 2017 at 08:16 AM
    If you are peddling developed land then you want low interest rates for your customers so that you can get the highest price for your developments. Still there might theoretically be a narrow channel that your deal might slip through if commercial real estate were for some reason assigned a lower risk premium than residential, but ordinarily the opposite is true.

    A higher percentage of new businesses fail than new households and if more new households fail then even more new businesses will fail right along with them.

    The one possibility for Trump to have it this way would be that he crashes the US economy and all new commercial development would be for Russian tourist to visit America while either deflation and depression or Weimar scale inflation was suppressing prices for US goods in real ruble terms.

    JohnH -> New Deal democrat... , February 20, 2017 at 07:31 AM
    I expect that if you look at the pre-bellum South, there will be plenty of examples of stagnant wages, low interest rates...

    In Mexico, wages never rose regardless of monetary policy.

    The point that I've been making for a while: despite a few progressive economists delusions for rapid economic growth to tighten wages, it won't happen for the following reasons.

    1) most employers will just say 'no,' probably encouraged centrally by the US Chamber of Commerce and other industry associations. Collusion? You bet.

    2) employers will just move jobs abroad, where there's plenty of slack. Flexible labor markets has been one of the big goals of globalization, promoted by the usual suspects including 'librul' economists like Krugman.

    3) immigration, which will be temporarily constrained as Trump deports people, but will ultimately be resumed as employers demand cheap, malleable labor.

    New Deal democrat -> JohnH... , February 20, 2017 at 07:35 AM
    If what we get is easy money, no inflation, and stagnant wages, then that is the Coolidge bubble. We know how that ends.
    Peter K. -> JohnH... , February 20, 2017 at 07:36 AM
    I disagree. It happened in late 90s. The ideas you mention are factors, including the decline of unions.

    What has happened in recent decades is that asset bubbles - like the dot.com and housing bubbles - have popped sending a high pressure economy into a low pressure one with higher unemployment.

    Neoliberal economists often talk about "flexible labor markets" as desirable but I don't think Krugman ever has. Maybe he has in a roundabout, indirect way.

    JohnH -> Peter K.... , February 20, 2017 at 07:58 AM
    Peter K still insists on propagating the myth that the 1990s was a period of easy money that led to increasing wages. Not so:
    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/FEDFUNDS

    Fed funds rates were consistently about double the rate of inflation.

    The fact that the economy boomed and wages increased was due to the tech boom--an unrepeatable anomaly. The Fed and Clinton administration unsuccessfully attempted to stifle it with high rates and budget balancing.

    To make sure that wages never rose again, Clinton signed China PNTR, granting China access to WTO, ushering in the great sucking sound of jobs going to China. Krugman cheered.

    libezkova -> JohnH... , February 20, 2017 at 12:02 PM
    If the neoliberal elite can't part with at least a small part of their privileges, the political destabilization will continue and they might lose everything.

    "People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage." -- John Kenneth Galbraith

    [Feb 15, 2017] Its Over Folks The Neocons The Deep State Have Neutered The Trump Presidency

    Trump wants to tell Russia to do what? ( https://www.rt.com/usa/377346-spicer-russia-return-crimea/ ) ? To return Crimea? Is this what opposition to neocons means in Trumpspeak ???
    Notable quotes:
    "... "It's Over Folks" The Neocons & The "Deep State" Have Neutered The Trump Presidency ..."
    "... For one thing, Flynn dared the unthinkable: he dared to declare that the bloated US intelligence community had to be reformed. Flynn also tried to subordinate the CIA and the Joint Chiefs to the President via the National Security Council. ..."
    "... Put differently, Flynn tried to wrestle the ultimate power and authority from the CIA and the Pentagon and subordinate them back to the White House. ..."
    "... Ever since Trump made it to the White House, he has taken blow after blow from the Neocon-run Ziomedia, from Congress, from all the Hollywood doubleplusgoodthinking "stars" and even from European politicians. And Trump took each blow without ever fighting back. Nowhere was his famous "you are fired!" to be seen. But I still had hope. I wanted to hope. I felt that it was my duty to hope. ..."
    "... It's over, folks, the deep state has won. From now on, Trump will become the proverbial shabbos-goy , the errand boy of the Israel lobby. Hassan Nasrallah was right when he called him 'an idiot '. ..."
    "... The Chinese and Iranian will openly laugh. The Russians won't they will be polite, they will smile, and try to see if some common sense policies can still be salvaged from this disaster. Some might. But any dream of a partnership between Russia and the United States has died tonight. ..."
    "... Trump, for all his faults, did favor the US, as a country, over the global Empire. Trump was also acutely aware that 'more of the same' was not an option. He wanted policies commensurate with the actual capabilities of the USA. With Flynn gone and the Neocons back in full control this is over. Now we are going to be right back to ideology over reality. ..."
    "... I am quite sure that nobody today is celebrating in the Kremlin. Putin, Lavrov and the others surely understand exactly what happened. It is as if Khodorkovsy would have succeeded in breaking Putin in 2003. In fact, I have to credit Russian analysts who for several weeks already have been comparing Trump to Yanukovich, who also was elected by a majority of the people and who failed to show the resolve needed to stop the 'color revolution' started against him. But if Trump is the new Yanukovich, will the US become the next Ukraine? ..."
    "... Flynn was very much the cornerstone of the hoped-for Trump foreign policy. There was a real chance that he would reign in the huge, bloated and all-powerful three letter agencies and that he would focus US power against the real enemy of the West: the Wahabis. With Flynn gone, this entire conceptual edifice has now come down. We are going to be left with the likes of Mattis and his anti-Iranian statements. Clowns who only impress other clowns. ..."
    Feb 14, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
    "It's Over Folks" The Neocons & The "Deep State" Have Neutered The Trump Presidency

    Submitted and Authored by The Saker

    Less than a month ago I warned that a 'color revolution ' was taking place in the USA . My first element of proof was the so-called "investigation" which the CIA, FBI, NSA and others were conducting against President Trump's candidate to become National Security Advisor, General Flynn. Last night, the plot to get rid of Flynn has finally succeeded and General Flynn had to offer his resignation . Trump accepted it.

    Now let's immediately get one thing out of the way: Flynn was hardly a saint or a perfect wise man who would single handedly saved the world. That he was not.

    However, what Flynn was is the cornerstone of Trump's national security policy . For one thing, Flynn dared the unthinkable: he dared to declare that the bloated US intelligence community had to be reformed. Flynn also tried to subordinate the CIA and the Joint Chiefs to the President via the National Security Council.

    Put differently, Flynn tried to wrestle the ultimate power and authority from the CIA and the Pentagon and subordinate them back to the White House. Flynn also wanted to work with Russia. Not because he was a Russia lover, the notion of a Director of the DIA as a Putin-fan is ridiculous, but Flynn was rational, he understood that Russia was no threat to the USA or to Europe and that Russia had the West had common interests. That is another absolutely unforgivable crimethink in Washington DC.

    The Neocon run 'deep state' has now forced Flynn to resign under the idiotic pretext that he had a telephone conversation, on an open, insecure and clearly monitored, line with the Russian ambassador.

    And Trump accepted this resignation.

    Ever since Trump made it to the White House, he has taken blow after blow from the Neocon-run Ziomedia, from Congress, from all the Hollywood doubleplusgoodthinking "stars" and even from European politicians. And Trump took each blow without ever fighting back. Nowhere was his famous "you are fired!" to be seen. But I still had hope. I wanted to hope. I felt that it was my duty to hope.

    But now Trump has betrayed us all.

    Remember how Obama showed his true face when he hypocritically denounced his friend and pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. ? Today, Trump has shown us his true face. Instead of refusing Flynn's resignation and instead of firing those who dared cook up these ridiculous accusations against Flynn, Trump accepted the resignation. This is not only an act of abject cowardice, it is also an amazingly stupid and self-defeating betrayal because now Trump will be alone, completely alone, facing the likes of Mattis and Pence hard Cold Warrior types, ideological to the core, folks who want war and simply don't care about reality.

    Again, Flynn was not my hero. But he was, by all accounts, Trump's hero. And Trump betrayed him.

    The consequences of this will be immense. For one thing, Trump is now clearly broken. It took the 'deep state' only weeks to castrate Trump and to make him bow to the powers that be . Those who would have stood behind Trump will now feel that he will not stand behind them and they will all move back away from him. The Neocons will feel elated by the elimination of their worst enemy and emboldened by this victory they will push on, doubling-down over and over and over again.

    It's over, folks, the deep state has won. From now on, Trump will become the proverbial shabbos-goy , the errand boy of the Israel lobby. Hassan Nasrallah was right when he called him 'an idiot '.

    The Chinese and Iranian will openly laugh. The Russians won't they will be polite, they will smile, and try to see if some common sense policies can still be salvaged from this disaster. Some might. But any dream of a partnership between Russia and the United States has died tonight.

    The EU leaders will, of course, celebrate. Trump was nowhere the scary bogeyman they feared. Turns out that he is a doormat very good for the EU.

    Where does all this leave us the millions of anonymous 'deplorables' who try as best we can to resist imperialism, war, violence and injustice?

    I think that we were right in our hopes because that is all we had hopes. No expectations, just hopes. But now we objectively have very little reasons left to hope. For one thing, the Washington 'swamp' will not be drained. If anything, the swamp has triumphed. We can only find some degree of solace in two undeniable facts:

    1. Hillary would have been far worse than any version of a Trump Presidency.
    2. In order to defeat Trump, the US deep state has had to terribly weaken the US and the AngloZionist Empire. Just like Erdogan' purges have left the Turkish military in shambles, the anti-Trump 'color revolution' has inflicted terrible damage on the reputation, authority and even credibility of the USA.

    The first one is obvious. So let me clarify the second one. In their hate-filled rage against Trump and the American people (aka "the basket of deplorables") the Neocons have had to show they true face. By their rejection of the outcome of the elections, by their riots, their demonization of Trump, the Neocons have shown two crucial things: first, that the US democracy is a sad joke and that they, the Neocons, are an occupation regime which rules against the will of the American people. In other words, just like Israel, the USA has no legitimacy left. And since, just like Israel, the USA are unable to frighten their enemies, they are basically left with nothing, no legitimacy, no ability to coerce. So yes, the Neocons have won. But their victory is removes the last chance for the US to avoid a collapse.

    Trump, for all his faults, did favor the US, as a country, over the global Empire. Trump was also acutely aware that 'more of the same' was not an option. He wanted policies commensurate with the actual capabilities of the USA. With Flynn gone and the Neocons back in full control this is over. Now we are going to be right back to ideology over reality.

    Trump probably could have made America, well, maybe not "great again", but at least stronger, a major world power which could negotiate and use its leverage to get the best deal possible from the others. That's over now. With Trump broken, Russia and China will go right back to their pre-Trump stance: a firm resistance backed by a willingness and capability to confront and defeat the USA at any level.

    I am quite sure that nobody today is celebrating in the Kremlin. Putin, Lavrov and the others surely understand exactly what happened. It is as if Khodorkovsy would have succeeded in breaking Putin in 2003. In fact, I have to credit Russian analysts who for several weeks already have been comparing Trump to Yanukovich, who also was elected by a majority of the people and who failed to show the resolve needed to stop the 'color revolution' started against him. But if Trump is the new Yanukovich, will the US become the next Ukraine?

    Flynn was very much the cornerstone of the hoped-for Trump foreign policy. There was a real chance that he would reign in the huge, bloated and all-powerful three letter agencies and that he would focus US power against the real enemy of the West: the Wahabis. With Flynn gone, this entire conceptual edifice has now come down. We are going to be left with the likes of Mattis and his anti-Iranian statements. Clowns who only impress other clowns.

    Today's Neocon victory is a huge event and it will probably be completely misrepresented by the official media. Ironically, Trump supporters will also try minimize it all. But the reality is that barring a most unlikely last-minute miracle, it's over for Trump and the hopes of millions of people in the USA and the rest of the world who had hoped that the Neocons could be booted out of power by means of a peaceful election. That is clearly not going to happen.

    I see very dark clouds on the horizon.

    * * *

  • UPDATE1 : Just to stress an important point: the disaster is not so much that Flynn is out but what Trump's caving in to the Neocon tells us about Trump's character (or lack thereof). Ask yourself after what happened to Flynn, would you stick your neck out for Trump?
  • UPDATE2 : Just as predicted the Neocons are celebrating and, of course, doubling-down:
  • Son of Captain Nemo , Feb 14, 2017 10:12 PM

    Trump wants to tell Russia to do what? ( https://www.rt.com/usa/377346-spicer-russia-return-crimea/ )

    Here is the REAL United States of America President ( https://www.israelrising.com/bibi-netanyahu-president-trump-see-eye-eye-... ) Booby!!!

    Smell the fetid gas coming out of this "Gluteal Cleft with horns" that owns the U.S. military!

    [Feb 12, 2017] Trump is now assigned to be as designated scapegoat for all blunders of three previous neoliberal administrations by three Deep State wholly-owned subsidiaries: Bloomberg, NYT and Wapo

    Notable quotes:
    "... Bloomberg, like WaPo and NYT, is "a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Deep State" ..."
    "... Thank God they stopped their Putin-did-it nonsense. Now they have found something new along the lines Trump-did-it. Both those attempts to control the narrative are false and dishonest. ..."
    "... I understand that Trump is now assigned to be as designated scapegoat for all blunders of three previous neoliberal administrations. ..."
    Feb 12, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

    im1dc : February 12, 2017 at 07:44 PM

    The Tax stuff is maybe, this is happening now

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-02-12/america-s-biggest-creditors-dump-treasuries-in-warning-to-trump

    "America's Biggest Creditors Dump Treasuries in Warning to Trump"

    by Brian Chappatta...February 12, 2017...5:00 PM EST

    > Japanese investors cull U.S. government debt by most since '13

    > Currency-hedged returns were worst on record last quarter

    "In the age of Trump, America's biggest foreign creditors are suddenly having second thoughts about financing the U.S. government.

    In Japan, the largest holder of Treasuries, investors culled their stakes in December by the most in almost four years, the Ministry of Finance's most recent figures show. What's striking is the selling has persisted at a time when going abroad has rarely been so attractive. And it's not just the Japanese. Across the world, foreigners are pulling back from U.S. debt like never before.

    From Tokyo to Beijing and London, the consensus is clear: few overseas investors want to step into the $13.9 trillion U.S. Treasury market right now. Whether it's the prospect of bigger deficits and more inflation under President Donald Trump or higher interest rates from the Federal Reserve, the world's safest debt market seems less of a sure thing -- particularly after the upswing in yields since November. And then there is Trump's penchant for saber rattling, which has made staying home that much easier.

    "It may be more difficult than usual for Japanese to invest in Treasuries and the dollar this year because of political uncertainty," said Kenta Inoue, chief strategist for overseas bond investments at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities in Tokyo. "Treasury yields may rise rapidly again in the near future, which will continue to discourage them from buying aggressively."

    Nobody is saying that foreigners will abandon Treasuries altogether. After all, they still hold $5.94 trillion, or roughly 43 percent of the U.S. government debt market. (Though that's down from 56 percent in 2008.) A significant drawdown can harm major holders like Japan and China as much as it does the U.S.

    And, of course, homegrown demand has of late been able to absorb the pickup in overseas selling..."

    libezkova -> im1dc...
    im1dc,

    Here is the link https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/articles/2017-02-12/america-s-biggest-creditors-dump-treasuries-in-warning-to-trump )

    Bloomberg, like WaPo and NYT, is "a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Deep State"

    Thank God they stopped their Putin-did-it nonsense. Now they have found something new along the lines Trump-did-it. Both those attempts to control the narrative are false and dishonest.

    I understand that Trump is now assigned to be as designated scapegoat for all blunders of three previous neoliberal administrations.

    But can you please ask yourself two very simple questions:

    1. Who and how accumulated that much debt?
    2. Who did run the wars of neoliberal empire expansion to the tune of five trillion dollars?

    Was it Trump?

    I would greatly appreciated if you can answer them in the reply to this post. Or, even better, make some pause in posting neoliberal propaganda.

    [Feb 12, 2017] America Versus the Deep State - KUNSTLER

    Notable quotes:
    "... Support James Howard Kunstler blog by visiting Jim's Patreon Page ! ..."
    "... The New York Times ..."
    "... Putin Led a Complex Cyberattack Scheme to Aid Trump, Report Finds ..."
    "... Did the Russians make Hillary Clinton look bad? Or did Hillary Clinton manage to do that herself? The NSA propaganda was designed as a smokescreen to conceal the veracity of the Wikileaks releases. Whoever actually rooted out the DNC and Podesta emails for Wikileaks ought to get the Pulitizer Prize for the outstanding public service of disclosing exactly how dishonest the Hillary operation was. ..."
    "... The story may have climaxed with Trump's Friday NSA briefing, the heads of the various top intel agencies all assembled in one room to emphasize the solemn authority of the Deep State's power. ..."
    "... This hulking security apparatus has become a menace to the Republic. ..."
    "... Whether Trump himself is a menace to the Republic remains to be seen. Certainly he is the designated bag-holder for all the economic and financial depravity of several preceding administrations. When the markets blow, do you suppose the Russians will be blamed for that? Did Boris Yeltsin repeal the Glass-Steagall Act? Was Ben Bernanke a puppet of Putin? No, these actions and actors were homegrown American. For more than thirty years, we've been borrowing too much money so we can pretend to afford living in a blue-light-special demolition derby. And now we can't do that anymore. The physics of capital will finally assert itself. ..."
    "... perhaps it's a good thing that the American people for the moment cannot tell exactly what the fuck is going on in this country, because from that dismal place there is nowhere to go but in the direction of clarity. ..."
    Feb 12, 2017 | kunstler.com

    Support James Howard Kunstler blog by visiting Jim's Patreon Page !

    The bamboozlement of the public is nearly complete. The Deep State has persuaded 80 percent of Americans that all news is propaganda, especially the news emanating from the Deep State's own intel department. They're still shooting for 100 percent. The fakest of all "fake news" stories turns out to be "Russia Hacks Election." It was reported conclusively Saturday on the front page of The New York Times , a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Deep State:

    Putin Led a Complex Cyberattack Scheme to Aid Trump, Report Finds

    WASHINGTON - President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia directed a vast cyberattack aimed at denying Hillary Clinton the presidency and installing Donald J. Trump in the Oval Office, the nation's top intelligence agencies said in an extraordinary report they delivered on Friday to Mr. Trump.

    You can be sure that this is now the "official" narrative aimed at the history books, sealing the illegitimacy of Trump's election. It was served up with no direct proof, only the repeated "assertions" that it was so. In fact, it's just this repetition of assertions-without-proof that defines propaganda. It can also be interpreted as a declaration of war against an incoming president. The second civil war now takes shape: It begins inside the groaning overgrown apparatus of the government itself. Perhaps after that it spreads to the WalMart parking lots that have become America's new town square. (WalMart sells pitchforks and patio torches.)

    Did the Russians make Hillary Clinton look bad? Or did Hillary Clinton manage to do that herself? The NSA propaganda was designed as a smokescreen to conceal the veracity of the Wikileaks releases. Whoever actually rooted out the DNC and Podesta emails for Wikileaks ought to get the Pulitizer Prize for the outstanding public service of disclosing exactly how dishonest the Hillary operation was.

    The story may have climaxed with Trump's Friday NSA briefing, the heads of the various top intel agencies all assembled in one room to emphasize the solemn authority of the Deep State's power. Trump worked a nice piece of ju-jitsu afterward, pretending to accept the finding as briefly and hollowly as possible and promising to "look into the matter" after January 20 th - when he can tear a new asshole in the NSA. I hope he does. This hulking security apparatus has become a menace to the Republic.

    Whether Trump himself is a menace to the Republic remains to be seen. Certainly he is the designated bag-holder for all the economic and financial depravity of several preceding administrations. When the markets blow, do you suppose the Russians will be blamed for that? Did Boris Yeltsin repeal the Glass-Steagall Act? Was Ben Bernanke a puppet of Putin? No, these actions and actors were homegrown American. For more than thirty years, we've been borrowing too much money so we can pretend to afford living in a blue-light-special demolition derby. And now we can't do that anymore. The physics of capital will finally assert itself.

    What we're actually seeing in the current ceremonial between the incoming Trump and the outgoing Obama is the smoldering wreckage of the Democratic Party (which I'm still unhappily enrolled in), and flames spreading into the Republican party - as idiots such as Lindsey Graham and John McCain beat their war drums against Russia. The suave Mr. Obama is exiting the scene on a low wave of hysteria and the oafish Trump rolls in on the cloudscape above, tweeting his tweets from on high, and perhaps it's a good thing that the American people for the moment cannot tell exactly what the fuck is going on in this country, because from that dismal place there is nowhere to go but in the direction of clarity.

    ... ... ...

    [Feb 10, 2017] Ilargi The Media Fake and False and Just Plain Nonsense naked capitalism

    Notable quotes:
    "... By Ral Ilargi Meijer, editor of Automatic Earth. Originally published at Automatic Earth ..."
    "... British House of Commons Speaker John Bercow can play that game too. He has loudly advertized his refusal to let Trump address UK politicians in the House of Commons and the House of Lords: "An address by a foreign leader to both houses of Parliament is not an automatic right, it is an earned honor.." It's an honor recently gifted to the likes of China President Xi Jinping and the Emir of Kuwait. Fine and upstanding gentlemen in the tradition Britain so likes, nothing like the American President whom he accuses of racism and sexism. ..."
    "... The political/media black hole exists in many other countries too; we are truly entering a whole new phase in both domestic and global affairs. That is what allows for the Trumps and Le Pens of the world to appeal to people; there is nobody else left that people can have any faith in. The system(s) are broken beyond repair, and anyone perceived as belonging to them will be cast aside. Not all at the same time, but all of them nonetheless. ..."
    "... my favorite dump on trump was the times article about the special ops raid in yemen. the obama team planned it, trump pulled the trigger. now we learn the yemen government is against special ops raid. (yemen has a government?) we also learn from the times that obama wouldn't have gone through with the raid because too risky! So saint obama is the good killer, trump the bad killer. it makes you sympathetic to trump. but i think alot of us thought trump would calm down some once in office. calling judiciary names, saying they can't even understand concepts that a "bad high school student" can, is not, what's the word, adult? and you can't ignore the sinister intent behind the muslim banit's based on propaganda and fearit's provenance is neocon. ..."
    "... In complete agreement with you about the dump trump article praising saint obama to the skies because obama allegedly "refused" to OK the special ops raid on Yemen, but Trump did. LIke, THIS time obama "refused" to do it? Why? Speculation is futile, but my speculation is that Obama held off in order to have it fall on Trump. Then Obama could skippity do dah off into the sunset with his burnished halo in tact. ..."
    "... Following Disturbed Voter's comment above we can usefully distinguish 3 different levels of dishonesty by how hard they are to detect: ..."
    "... Level 1 the everyday liar/hypocrite whose dishonesty we notice over time by observing that what they do is not consistent with what they say, ..."
    "... Level 2- the regular criminal who hides his honesty from public view, to profit from it, but can be caught by effective law enforcement, and ..."
    "... Level 3- the State Intelligence agency with extreme levels of funding, novel tech. capabilities, secrecy, & ability to ignore or even control law enforcement and large chunks of the public mass media. ..."
    "... It's the Level 3 category that society has become relatively defenseless against. Alternative media carries report after report on how the Iraq War was phony, how the US created al Qaeda and ISIS, how Cheney planned to invade Iraq and 6 other Middle East nations on Sept. 20, 2 ..."
    "... One word that describes our precious country is incompetence. We have gone from being the 'we-can-do-it' nation that put a man on the Moon to the 'hire a Mexican to do it' nation that cannot find its ass with both hands. The fact of our dysfunction and the country's reliance on migrant labor are what gives form to the efforts of Donald Trump. Yet he acts against himself: he is the lazy-man of American politics who requires others to do his heavy lifting. This does not mean physical labor but instead the struggle to become clear in the mind, to craft out of disparate- and contradictory elements a policy outline or philosophy of governing. This is never attempted, it is too difficult, instead there is the recycling of old, bankrupt memes. The candidate's absence of effort leaves a residue of personality: Trump is a blank page upon which others paint in the sketch, an actor who aims to meet (diminished) public expectations and nothing more, sound and fury significant of nothing in particular. ..."
    "... . But our problem is not called Donald Trump. And we need to stop pretending that it is. We are the problem. We allow our governments to tell our armies to bomb and drone innocent people while we watch cooking shows. We have believed, as long as we've been alive, whatever the media feed us, without any critical thought, which we reserve for choosing our next holiday destination ..."
    Feb 10, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
    Posted on February 9, 2017 by Yves Smith Yves here. In keeping with the spirit of this post, an Emerson College study found that the American public trusts Trump more than the media . And if I interpret him correctly, Ilargi's post has a small off-key note: a tomato is indeed a fruit.

    By Ral Ilargi Meijer, editor of Automatic Earth. Originally published at Automatic Earth

    Two and a half weeks after the inauguration, and yes it's only been that long, the media still don't seem to have learned a single thing. They help the Trump campaign on an almost hourly basis by parroting whatever things, invariably judged as crazy, he says. One day it's that negative polls are all fake news, the next it's some list of underreported terror events. All of it gets an avalanche of attention provided by the very people who claim to be against Trump, but greatly help his cause by doing so.

    Not a single thing learned. If Trump tweets tomorrow that tomatoes are really fruits and he's going to have someone draw up a law to make them so, or that Lego should be recognized as an official building material in order to have the Danes, too, pay for the wall, it will be on the front page of every paper and the opening item for every TV news show. The crazier he makes them, the more serious they are taken. The echo chamber is so eager to incessantly repeat to itself and all its inhabitants that he's a crazy dude, it's beyond embarrassing.

    And it takes us ever further away, and rapidly too, from any serious discussion about serious issues, the one very thing that the Trump empire desperately calls for. The press should simply ignore the crazy stuff and focus on what's real, but they can't bring themselves to do so for fear of losing ratings and ad revenues. All Trump needs to do, and that's not a joke, is to fart or burp into their echo chamber and they'll all be happy and giddy and all excited and self-satisfied. A spectacle to behold if ever there was one.

    British House of Commons Speaker John Bercow can play that game too. He has loudly advertized his refusal to let Trump address UK politicians in the House of Commons and the House of Lords: "An address by a foreign leader to both houses of Parliament is not an automatic right, it is an earned honor.." It's an honor recently gifted to the likes of China President Xi Jinping and the Emir of Kuwait. Fine and upstanding gentlemen in the tradition Britain so likes, nothing like the American President whom he accuses of racism and sexism.

    The racism part ostensibly is a reaction to Trump's Muslim ban, which, nutty though it is, is not a Muslim ban because most Muslims are not affected by it, and besides, 'Muslim' is not a race. So maybe Bercow would care to explain the 'racism' bit. Has anyone seen the British press pressuring him to do so? Or, alternatively, has anyone seen a thorough analysis of the British role, though its military and its weapons manufacturers, in the premature deaths in the Middle East and North Africa of many thousands of men, women and children belonging to the Muslim 'race'? Not me.

    The 'sexism' accusation refers to Trump's utterances on for instance the Billy Bush tape(s), and by all means let's get the Donald to comment on that. But this comes from a man who speaks as an official representative of the Queen of a country where child sex abuse is a national sport, from politics to churches to football, where literally thousands of children are trying to speak up and testify, after having been silenced, ignored and ridiculed for years, about the unspeakable experiences in their childhood. Surely someone who because of his job description gets to speak in the name of the Queen can be expected to address the behavior of her own subjects before that of strangers.

    Yeah, that Trump guy is a real terrible person. And he should not be allowed to speak to a chamber full of people directly responsible for the death of huge numbers of children in far away sandboxes, for or the abuse of them at home. After all, we're all good Christians and the good book teaches us about "the beam out of thine own eye". So we're good to go.

    What this really tells you is to what extent the political systems in the US and the UK, along with the media that serve them, have turned into a massive void, a vortex, a black hole from which any reflection, criticism or self-awareness can no longer escape. By endlessly and relentlessly pointing to someone, anyone, outside of their own circle of 'righteousness' and political correctness, they have all managed to implant one view of reality in their voters and viewers, while at the same time engaging in the very behavior they accuse the people of that they point to. For profit.

    Child sex abuse has been a staple of British society for a long time, we're talking at least decades. Only now is it starting, but only starting, to be recognized as the vile problem it is. But still many Britons feel entirely justified in demonizing a man who once talked about touching the genitals of grown women. If that did happen against their will, it's repulsive. But still, there's that beam, guys. Read your bible.

    The political/media black hole exists in many other countries too; we are truly entering a whole new phase in both domestic and global affairs. That is what allows for the Trumps and Le Pens of the world to appeal to people; there is nobody else left that people can have any faith in. The system(s) are broken beyond repair, and anyone perceived as belonging to them will be cast aside. Not all at the same time, but all of them nonetheless.

    Whether you call the menu the people have been fed, fake or false or just plain nonsense, it makes no difference. The British House of Commons Speaker may not be such a bad guy inside, he's probably just another victim of the falsehoods, denials and deceit spread 24/7. The difference between them and ordinary citizens is that Her Majesty's representatives in the political field MUST know. They get paid good salaries to represent the Queen's subjects, and looking the other way as children get assaulted and raped does not fit their job description.

    That goes for representatives of the church (i.e. Jesus) just as much of course, and for the execs at the BBC, but about as many of those people are behind bars as there are bankers. For anyone at all at any of these institutions to now speak with great indignation about Trump's alleged racism and sexism is the very core of all of their problems, the very reason why so many turn their backs on them. It shows that the very core or our societies is rotten, and the rot is spreading.

    We are facing a lot of problems, all of us, in many different ways, financially, politically, morally. But our problem is not called Donald Trump. And we need to stop pretending that it is. We are the problem. We allow our governments to tell our armies to bomb and drone innocent people while we watch cooking shows. We have believed, as long as we've been alive, whatever the media feed us, without any critical thought, which we reserve for choosing our next holiday destination.

    The longer this braindead attitude prevails, the worse things will get, and the more Trumps will surface as leaders of their respective countries. And the longer the attitude prevails, the more anger we will spread in those parts of the world that do not belong to our 'chosen' societies. And for that we will have only ourselves to blame. Not Trump.

    Disturbed Voter , February 9, 2017 at 3:14 am

    Citizens and politicians are in a social compact, so it is said. Both sides may have defaulted on the agreement, something the Enlightenment didn't anticipate. In the modern era of triangulation, opposition parties, that used to keep each other relatively honest, no longer do that. In the modern era of media consolidation, opposition newspapers, that used to keep each other relatively honest, no longer do that. Be are being suffocated by de facto bi-partisanship, that is just a shadow play of its former partisanship. The status quo has gone stale.

    geoffrey gray , February 9, 2017 at 3:37 am

    my favorite dump on trump was the times article about the special ops raid in yemen. the obama team planned it, trump pulled the trigger. now we learn the yemen government is against special ops raid. (yemen has a government?) we also learn from the times that obama wouldn't have gone through with the raid because too risky! So saint obama is the good killer, trump the bad killer. it makes you sympathetic to trump. but i think alot of us thought trump would calm down some once in office. calling judiciary names, saying they can't even understand concepts that a "bad high school student" can, is not, what's the word, adult? and you can't ignore the sinister intent behind the muslim banit's based on propaganda and fearit's provenance is neocon.

    RUKidding , February 9, 2017 at 10:43 am

    In complete agreement with you about the dump trump article praising saint obama to the skies because obama allegedly "refused" to OK the special ops raid on Yemen, but Trump did. LIke, THIS time obama "refused" to do it? Why? Speculation is futile, but my speculation is that Obama held off in order to have it fall on Trump. Then Obama could skippity do dah off into the sunset with his burnished halo in tact.

    Gah.

    Agree with the second part of your comment, too. I wish Trump would behave differently. The comment about the judiciary was incredibly wrong and also very stupid. His fervent fans may well clap and cheer for that, but Trump is painting himself into some corners by behaving that way. The Judiciary and lawyers a powerful group in this nation, for better or worse simply aren't going to take that laying down. Although I'm sure the judiciary will (mostly) strive for objective impartiality.

    The stupid media would serve themselves, their Oligarch owners, and the nation better if they ignored the bulk of Trump's dumb tweets and focus more closely on what he and his Admin are doing.

    Josh Stern , February 9, 2017 at 3:39 am

    Following Disturbed Voter's comment above we can usefully distinguish 3 different levels of dishonesty by how hard they are to detect:

    • Level 1 the everyday liar/hypocrite whose dishonesty we notice over time by observing that what they do is not consistent with what they say,
    • Level 2- the regular criminal who hides his honesty from public view, to profit from it, but can be caught by effective law enforcement, and
    • Level 3- the State Intelligence agency with extreme levels of funding, novel tech. capabilities, secrecy, & ability to ignore or even control law enforcement and large chunks of the public mass media.

    It's the Level 3 category that society has become relatively defenseless against. Alternative media carries report after report on how the Iraq War was phony, how the US created al Qaeda and ISIS, how Cheney planned to invade Iraq and 6 other Middle East nations on Sept. 20, 2001 not because of any links to US created al Qaeda and a big chunk of that plan is still being carried out today, 4 Presidential terms later.

    Disturbed Voter , February 9, 2017 at 7:10 am

    While we don't know much about what the intelligence agencies do, by design, we do know a few things. That in the conditions of the early Cold War, and given the mandate against all enemies foreign and domestic (the oath the military takes) that narrative control is a vital weapon. We know that journalists, clergy and even rock stars have been actual agents, so the number of fellow travelers must be considerable. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, it has been necessary, so it was thought by some, to manufacture new enemies on a Vietnam scale. And the exercise and paranoia against domestic enemies has returned to 1960s levels as well. For the old men nostalgic for the 60s, from the neocon side, these last few decades have been sweet.

    Moneta , February 9, 2017 at 7:37 am

    Actually it's the level 1 that leads to level 3.

    Materially, all we really need is to cover and protect our body from the elements and food. Everything else is gravy.

    Psychologically, we need a lot more than what North American society offers most of us today but for some reasons we keep on lying to ourselves thinking that if we had a little more stuff we'd be happier.

    We all have to lie to ourselves thousands of times a day to keep our routines and lifestyles and all these lies make society.

    Jos Oskam , February 9, 2017 at 3:54 am

    Hey Yves, the tomato question does seem to have something to it: "Nix v. Hedden (1893) was a decision by the Supreme Court of the United States that, under U.S. customs regulations, the tomato should be classified as a vegetable rather than a fruit". From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nix_v._Hedden .

    Note to Ilargi: re tomatoes, somebody got there before Trump :-)

    Gaylord , February 9, 2017 at 4:24 am

    I think a great number of people in the US and in Europe do not trust the MSM any more, even though they may continue to pay attention as a spectator sport (people do enjoy yelling at their TV sets). Activism is another ball game that is still being played, but in the US it has become nearly futile because of the restrictions and police tactics used to squelch them or shut them down. It can also be impossible to distinguish between genuine protesters, paid participants, and shit-disturbers or agents-provocateurs, which dilutes the message (questionable intent by those who want to promote or discredit the demonstration).

    Having read the comments here and on other independent sites for a long time, I've noticed the tremendous increase in articulate and aware commenters that can see through the tissues of lies from the MSM and take even a lot of the "serious" stuff with a grain of salt, knowing that some things don't change much and people tend to overreact based on shock-value news designed to stir resentment and "us vs. them" divisiveness. This is encouraging because it shows people are wising up, thinking more critically about who is really running the show (it is not Trump by-and-large), and not allowing their views to be manipulated.

    european , February 9, 2017 at 4:57 am

    I think Ukraine was a turning point, as the lying of the media was just way too obvious. That opened a lot of eyes. The reporting on Greece and Merkel/Schuble's austerity terror was equally bad, but not many people understand that.

    Syria: The Media Coverage on Syria is the Biggest Media Lie of our Time

    KurtisMayfield , February 9, 2017 at 8:10 am

    I believe it was Iraq. When they named the 2003 invasion Operation Iraqi Liberation, or O.I.L. , all the pretense of it being for any legit reason was gone.

    Arizona Slim , February 9, 2017 at 8:35 am

    Ah, yes. The Iraq invasion. Wasn't it supposed to be about our freedom?

    RUKidding , February 9, 2017 at 10:45 am

    We citizens were also supposed to get our Iraqi oil dividend back, which allegedly would pay for that many trillion dollar exercise in futility.

    Guess that got syphoned right up into Dick Cheney's pockets. Ya snooze, ya lose.

    OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL , February 9, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    Huh? Iraq? Did I miss something?
    I heard about some thingy where we wasted trillions of dollars and killed millions of people. But all of the people who thought THAT was a good idea are gone now, hiding their heads in shame and hoping they don't get summoned to a war crimes tribunal. Right?

    polecat , February 9, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    No. They HAVE NO shame !

    BeliTsair , February 9, 2017 at 11:42 am

    I believe it was the Gnadenhutten massacre. The 96 Moravian Lenape, brained with mallets, by Washington's Virginia Militia were probably too busy clawing through their former frozen fields, looking for corn kernels to feed their children, to pose much of a threat as terrorists?

    VietnamVet , February 9, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    Yes, what got to me was the Western instigated coup in Ukraine. I voted for Barrack Obama twice but could not vote for Hillary Clinton. I rationalized that the Iraq Invasion was an isolated crazy GOP debacle. Denial is powerful defense mechanism. If the media lies, America is a not so innocent killer, and the Cold War 2.0 with Russia has reignited; we are screwed. Austerity, scapegoating Russia and the flood of millions of refugees into Europe are proof that this is the awful truth.

    running dog lackey , February 9, 2017 at 4:31 am

    It's about ratings people. The president of NBC himself said it during the campaign when someone asked why he was televising everything the Insane Clown was saying. You all need to watch Network again. Nothing's changed. Which means they brought him up and now they will take him down.

    Tom , February 9, 2017 at 6:03 am

    Ratings are to broadcast or print media as shareholder value is to corporation - the overriding metric that blots out any reponsibility to the commons.

    Chris G , February 9, 2017 at 5:45 am

    "The Speaker may not be such a bad guy inside". Ah, not so. Check out this Pat Lang post,

    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/02/the-mother-of-all-parliaments.html

    and the long trenchant comment by LondonBob including these paras:

    "The Twitter-cheering for John Bercow, the transformation of him into a Love, Actually-style hero of British middle-class probity against a gruff, migrant-banning Yank, could be the most grotesque political spectacle of the year so far. Not because it's virtue-signalling, as claimed by the handful of brave critics who've raised their heads above the online orgy of brown-nosing to wonder if Bercow is really promoting himself rather than parliamentary decency. No, it's worse than that. It's the lowest species of cant, hypocrisy of epic, eye-watering proportions, an effort to erase Bercow's and Parliament's own bloody responsibility for the calamities in the Middle East that Trump is now merely responding to, albeit very badly.

    "Bercow, you see, this supposed hero of the refugees and Middle Eastern migrants temporarily banned from the US, voted for the bombing of Iraq. He green-lighted that horror that did so much to propel the Middle East into the pit of sorrow and savagery it currently finds itself. As his profile on the They Work For You website puts it, 'John Bercow consistently voted for the Iraq War'. On 18 March 2003, he voted against a motion saying the case for war hadn't been made, even though it hadn't. On the same day he voted for the government to 'use all means necessary' to ensure the destruction of Iraq's WMD.

    "As everyone knows now, and as many of us knew back then, Iraq's WMD capacity had been vastly exaggerated by the black propaganda of the New Labour government, by myth and misinformation cynically whipped up to the end of providing Britain's leaders with the thrill of an overseas moral crusade against evil. Bercow voted in favour of these lies. And he voted for the use of 'all means necessary' to tame Saddam's regime. We know what this involved: Britain joined the bombing campaign and courtesy of an ill-thought-through war by Western allies, Iraq was ripped apart and condemned to more than a decade of bloodshed. And refugee crises. Bercow was one of the authors of this calamity, one of the signatories to the Middle East's death warrant, and now we're going to let him posture and preen against Trump's three-month ban on certain Middle Eastern migrants? What is wrong with us?"

    But kudos to kind-hearted Ilargi for willingness to give the benefit of the doubt to one of these preening monsters!

    jackiebass , February 9, 2017 at 6:19 am

    Trump loves any kind of publicity. The media is playing right into his hand by printing all of the garbage he generates.I know many Trump voters and supporters. They all complain that the media is picking on Trump. None of them look seriously at what he says or does. There universal reaction is give him a chance and quit picking on him.The media would be better off focusing on his and congreses policy decisions and how that effect the average person. Turning he's presidency into a big soap opera is actually helping Trump keep his supporters. I have not heard a single Trump voter say they regret voting for Trump.

    Eustache de Saint Pierre , February 9, 2017 at 6:35 am

    Good to see some focus on Britain's version of the Augean stables. In terms of the so called Westminster paedophile ring the last I heard on this it was that, Ooops .we appear to have lost a substantial amount of vital evidence. I imagine that MI6 have on record most if not all of the disgusting details, which I also imagine are useful assets that can be used to control certain people.

    In my opinion, this is a good explanation from 2015, of the behaviour of the BBC & the Guardian, from journalist Jonathon Cook.

    http://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2015-03-03/hsbc-and-the-sham-of-guardians-scott-trust/

    The Trumpening , February 9, 2017 at 7:54 am

    So far Trump has only really accomplished two things: he shut down the TPP and he inspired Lena Dunham to lose some weight. Everything thing else has been more or less noise.

    I've always thought this first two years of Trump's reign will involve him in bringing to heal the establishment GOP (GOPe) Obviously during the confirmation process, Trump has to be on his best behavior. But I don't like the pattern of Trump issuing useless EO's, and then the Democrats going ballistic, and then Trump supporters being satiated by all the Dem whining. That's a recipe for two years of nothing.

    On the Muslim ban, there are two parts to it. The current NeoCon / NeoLib tag-team play is to kill a million Muslims in their nations and then to offer the survivors the weak reach around of letting a million Muslims emigrate to the West. Trump seems to be offering a different deal. The West stops killing Muslims in Muslim nations and in return Muslims stay in Muslim nations and stop coming to the West. We have yet to see if Trump can hold off the temptation to start slaughtering Muslims in their nations like the NeoCons do.

    I get the feeling from Trump's over-the-top reaction to the courts staying his Muslim ban that he actually doesn't want it reinstated. I read on a pro-Trump legal blog that the Justice Department lawyers were super weak in their arguments before the 9th Circuit court, in what should be a super easy case to argue. Activist judges halting the ban means when the inevitable next terrorist attack comes, Trump can blame it on the judges and make some sort of move to purge their power.

    On Iran, Trump has zero leverage and so I do not see how this is going to end well. The only thing we can hope for is this is a bit of Kabuki being regulated by Putin. In the end a US-Russian alliance, as Trump is proposing, means a closer relationship between the US and Iran. Israel will not be pleased.

    My theory on Trump's relationship to Israel is that he is giving them enough rope for them to hang themselves. In Europe particularly the Israeli brand is getting fatally interwoven with the Trump brand. So far the only thing saving Israel is diaspora Jews being able to shame their local populations away from the BDS movement. But the diaspora is 98% anti-Trump. There is currently a huge increase of oxygen being given to the BDS movement, which means it should soon spring back to life.

    Can Trump be allies with Israel and Russia (and Iran)? The only way I can see this happening is a deal where Iran gets to go nuclear and become fully integrated into the global community in exchange for allowing Hezbollah to be wiped out by Israel.

    Trump is at his anti-NeoLiberal best when he is in deep trouble. I was happy when that Access Hollywood tape came out because I knew he would have to double down on Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller and go full-on butch economic nationalist. And it won him the election. Hopefully the seas will get very rough soon and we can all enjoy the spectacle of full combat between Team Trump and the GOPe.

    OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL , February 9, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    I like the "offer the survivors a weak reacharound". Reminds me of Vietnam, where we would napalm a village and then fall over ourselves making sure the burn victims all got Band-Aids

    Fiver , February 9, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    The entire Trump military/security team is wildly anti-Muslim, so the thought they are not going to keep on killing Muslims all over the map is just plain silly.

    Bannon is just plain dangerous. Here's a piece on his favorite books. Not surprisingly, he hates Muslims. Also, he appears to imagine himself a brilliant strategist for the ages who just happens to be the right man for 'The Fourth Turning', one of those ideas and books that purports the existence of an historical pattern based on a cycle of generations, each generation of every group of 4 having its own 'character', taken together claiming to explain a long cycle of great crises and/or turning points of US history. He believes we are now in such a critical period. It's one of those notions that has superficial appeal but quickly falls apart when engaged critically:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2017/02/07/daily-202-five-books-to-understand-stephen-k-bannon/58991fd7e9b69b1406c75c93/

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/William_Strauss_and_Neil_Howe

    Bannon is now running stuff via Briebart's network that will make your hair stand on end:

    http://townhall.com/columnists/kurtschlichter/2017/02/06/the-left-hates-you-act-accordingly-n2281602?utm_source=TopBreakingNewsCarousel&utm_medium=story&utm_campaign=BreakingNewsCarousel

    As for Israel, there is not the remotest chance Trump will do something Israel doesn't like even if he doesn't appoint Elliot Abrams to #2 at State.

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/06/politics/elliott-abrams-state-department/

    Here's what Ron Paul thought of that idea:

    http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/february/07/elliott-abrams-to-state-dept-you-cant-be-serious/

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/06/politics/elliott-abrams-state-department/

    Abrams would be an absolute disaster.

    TPP? Globalization? I see no evidence whatever that Trump has any intention of rolling back US-dominated corporate globalization, rather, he wants to create trade flows that are even more wildly skewed in favour of US financial/corporate power internationally even while effectively transferring wealth from the periphery to core of Empire to support some minor job creation of course in the meantime granting outlandish tax cuts to corporations and the wealthy at large.

    I'm sorry, but Trump et al have played millions and millions of well-meaning Americans like a fiddle.

    UnhingedBecauseLucid , February 9, 2017 at 8:44 am

    The best description of the "Trump Situation" ever written was penned by 'Steve from Virginia' author of the blog Economic Undertow:

    One word that describes our precious country is incompetence. We have gone from being the 'we-can-do-it' nation that put a man on the Moon to the 'hire a Mexican to do it' nation that cannot find its ass with both hands. The fact of our dysfunction and the country's reliance on migrant labor are what gives form to the efforts of Donald Trump. Yet he acts against himself: he is the lazy-man of American politics who requires others to do his heavy lifting. This does not mean physical labor but instead the struggle to become clear in the mind, to craft out of disparate- and contradictory elements a policy outline or philosophy of governing. This is never attempted, it is too difficult, instead there is the recycling of old, bankrupt memes. The candidate's absence of effort leaves a residue of personality: Trump is a blank page upon which others paint in the sketch, an actor who aims to meet (diminished) public expectations and nothing more, sound and fury significant of nothing in particular.

    bbrawley , February 9, 2017 at 9:09 am

    I'm surprised no one seems to see a serious side to the reporting of Trump's antics. Is it not important to keep hammering home that the man is unhinged and that this is something pulling at the social frabric, something crying out to be dealt with? I seriously doubt that we'll be able to address the "real issues" adequately until we find ways come to terms with him not as a buffoon but as a deeply flawed human being.

    Donald , February 9, 2017 at 9:37 am

    Another false note"Muslim is not a race." True, but being Jewish is not a racial characteristic and yet it is obvious that antisemitism is very similar to racism in its irrationality and hatred. Antisemites a hundred years ago would in some cases point to radicals who were Jewish as their excuse, just as Islamophobes would point to Islamic extremism as theirs. Racists I grew around would point to Idi Amin's Uganda ( yes, I am old) and other African countries with horrible human rights records as proof that American blacks should be grateful to be here.

    This "Islam is not a race" is mainly a tiresome distraction used by bigots and not a prelude to a deeper discussion on the wide varieties of human bigotries. Bigots can use almost any category they wish and concoct pseudo- rational propositions to buttress their hatred. We even have lefties hating blue collar white males as a group for Trump support. We don't have to join the people who use nitpicking phrases not to analyze, but to justify their hatreds. I don't think the writer intends to do this, but he is using a standard Muslim blame cannon phrase.

    After all this, I actually liked the rest of this piece, but that part was nails on a chalkboard to me. I am glad the liberal mainstream is siding with Muslims against Trump. There are some liberals ( Maher, Sam Harris etc..) who have been pushing a Muslim bashing agenda. And yes, as usual the mainstream which is so solicitous of Muslim rights cared little when Obama bombed Muslim countries. But I would rather that liberals be right if hypocritical then consistently wrong.

    Optimader , February 9, 2017 at 10:50 am

    As far as the term Racism, i think https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racism oretty well captures contemporary common use.

    You forgot to mention Zionist racism directed toward Palestinians. An equally equivalent contemporary application of the term

    On the subject of Trump i believe his executive order is directed toward travelers from seven countries that the previous Potus identified in an anti-terrorist executive order.
    If I have it correctly, Neither Trump or BHO e orders are directed against muslims or any other religion for thats matter.

    Optimader , February 9, 2017 at 10:56 am

    As well do we need to take a deerpath in the woods debate about the legitimacy of the term race?

    Donald , February 9, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    I agree with you on Zionist racism towards Palestinians.

    On the deep path on the definition of racism, it depends. Given the prevalence of Islamophobia in the US, some of it on the left ( including the kneejerk supporters of Israel), I don't think it is helpful to use the "Islam is not a race" phrase as some sort of rebuttal. Islamophobia is a form of bigotry whether one wants to nitpick about exactly what form should depend on the circumstances.

    Yves Smith Post author , February 9, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    I do not believe in the corruption of language. Confucius said that the beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper names.

    Are you by the same sloppy logic going to cal bias against women and gays "racism"?

    Islamophobia is indeed not racist. Arabs, many American and African blacks, Persians (who are not Arabians) and Indonesians among others are followers of Islam.

    We already have perfectly good works, like "bigotry," "bias," and "discrimination".

    Donald , February 9, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    I probably shouldn't have said anything, since the original poster clearly isn't a bigot, but it set me off because in most cases this "Islam is not a race" phrase is used by Islamophibes and they of course do not follow up by pointing out that it is a form of bigotry, like antisemitism. If the poster here only means we should call it bigotry and not racism, I agree.

    But that meme is used a lot and usually by Islamophobes who won't cop to being bigots either. They aren't trying to have a deep conversation about different forms of bigotry. They are trying to argue that it is rational to fear Muslims because Islam is, in their view, an inherently evil ideology. But in practice Islamophobes are not rational or necessarily even consistent. That's why I wrote my comment, pointing out that bigotry in any form is generally not some carefully thought out logical train of thought, but some pseudo- rational set of propositions often garbled together. This is why a Sikh can get beaten up by Islamophobes. It is also why antisemites are often so confused about whether they hate Jews as a religion, as an alleged race, or as some group of scary communist bankers. It's not like racism itself is usually based on a clear understanding of biology.

    So if we are going to push back on Islamophobia as racism, it should be so people see it as like antisemitism, which is what it most closely resembles.

    I have written enough today, so I am going to stop.

    optimader , February 9, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    Re Confucius, George Orwell had his thoughts along those lines. re: intentional corruption of language.

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

    The reality is language evolves, often for the worse making clarity of message a casualty, unless a tedious definition of terms is invoked which can easily end up being a form of deflection from the original point.. ..
    File under :Liberal/Conservative/Neoliberal/Progressive. I find all these Identity Labels can be very loosely applied for reasons other than clarity.

    In the case of the word Race, it is, some would correctly contend, archaic terminology while simultaneously being convenient shorthand for "red meat" identity invectives.

    River , February 9, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    Muslim isn't a race. If the ban had been about Arabs not being allowed in you'd have a point. However, a person from Indonesia is allowed in and that country is almost entirely Muslim.

    Plus, complaining about the US exercising boarder control is ridiculous. That is one the jobs of a nation. No one bat an eye when Japan stated we're not allowing anyone in wrt to any refugee problem. Yet when any Western nation does it, the sky falls and the charges of bigotry come out.

    No one has the right to move to another country.

    Donald , February 9, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    People who live in countries that are bombed by the US or its close allies have the moral right to come here. Yemen, for instance, is bombed by the US and much more heavily by the Saudis with our help and keeping refugees from Yemen out is an extreme form of ugly Americanism. If we don't want the refugees, then we should stop causing or contributing to the chaos and death in the countries which produce the refugees.

    Gorgar Laughed , February 9, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    >People who live in countries that are bombed by the US or its close allies have the moral right to come here.

    And where are these rights enumerated? I don't recognize "moral rights" beyond those associated with copyright (and I am not particularly fond of those, either).

    Donald , February 9, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    So the fact that we are bombing civilians and helping the Saudis plunge Yemen into a famine is something you don't question, just the right of our victims to come here?

    Gorgar Laughed , February 9, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    Not fond of herring, either.

    "Our victims"?

    The legacy of Obama's incompetence in foreign policy does not obligate American citizens to accept - or to foist upon their posterity - changes in the demographic make-up of our populace.

    I'm still interested in learning where you discovered this moral right to move here

    Donald , February 9, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    Not fond of herring either?

    In other words, morality is a matter of preference and your number one moral value in this context is keeping out refugees, people who suffer precisely because of our foreign policy. Demographic balance is somewhere near the top of your own personal list of flavors. Anyway, my notion of moral right involves the crazy idea that if you help destroy a country you have moral obligations to the victims.

    And by the way, Trump is likely to escalate our support for the Saudi war on Yemen.

    OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL , February 9, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    LOL it certainly was a matter of preference for our recently departed Drone-Bomber-In-Chief, and for all of the people who (thought/think) he was a really moral and upstanding kind of guy. Just like our former Secretary of State, who threatened to cut off Sweden if they didn't accept Monsanto poison.
    "You're black!" said the pot to the kettle

    Optimader , February 9, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    "People who live in countries that are bombed by the US or its close allies have the moral right to come here."

    Bullsht.
    The US does have the moral obligation not to bomb countries that have not attacked the US and in that case only in a "just war" context if at all

    Donald , February 9, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    Meaningless. The US frequently bombs innocent people or helps others like the Saudis or the Israelis do so. You say it is wrong, as do I, but apparently there are no consequences allowed in your moral universe which might inconvenience us. We really have no moral obligations at all we can bomb people and if the survivors wish to come here to escape then we have the right to keep them out according to you. All this boils down to is that we have the strongest military. Your views regarding whether we should bomb someone are nothing more than your own idiosyncratic preference and that is using your own standard. The people who control the military want to use it to bomb other countries, so they do. Might makes Right.

    bob , February 9, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    " Your views regarding whether we should bomb someone are nothing more than your own idiosyncratic preference and that is using your own standard."

    "The US does have the moral obligation not to bomb countries that have not attacked the US and in that case only in a "just war" context if at all"

    Can't read, or don't want to?

    Donald , February 9, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    I read it. So what? If we go ahead and bomb countries anyway, creating refugees, we have no obligation to help them. It is like saying that it was wrong for some Wall Street guys to steal people's money, but if they do, they have no obligation to give it back.

    bob , February 9, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    "I read it. So what? If we go ahead and bomb countries anyway"

    If we go ahead and assume that the earth is flat, why shouldn't "we" all relocate another planet?

    It's just that simple, and your keyboard strawmanning is making all the difference, for "we".

    Ground rules- am I arguing with "Donald" or the Royal We, or a heap of straw that you, pardon We(?), keep producing?

    Donald , February 9, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    The US does bomb countries, so your flat earth analogy doesn't really work here. We aren't discussing hypotheticals. There are real refugees from real policies and Trump is likely to continue them or make them worse. We are directly responsible for the misery of vast numbers of people and the numbers are likely to grow. Set aside the internet squabble we are having, because you are so wrapped up in it you are losing touch with what we are arguing about.

    Anyway, as I just wrote upthread, I have written enough.

    bob , February 9, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    "Anyway, as I just wrote upthread, I have written enough."

    That we'll agree on. Maybe another day you can elucidate on why you bother writing when you could find an airbase and stand on the runway, to stop the bombing.

    Anon , February 9, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    No one has the right to move to another country.

    Even after their homeland has been bombed, invaded, population tortured, social structure crushed?

    River , February 9, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    No they don't have that right. It falls under "that's your problem".

    Now, as harsh as that is I think from a humanitarian view and basic decency another nation should show some compassion and allow them succor. However, nations and the people of those nations are under no obligation to do so.

    Moral rights are meaningless. And yes, I do agree that another nation shouldn't create the refugees to begin with. As I find war to be a tool that is to be used as last resort. What has been occurring in the mid-East has been so far from a last resort that I can't even come up with a decent metaphor or simile.

    But that still doesn't change the fact that people do not have the right to enter another nation if the nation decides to say "No".

    Donald , February 9, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    So if we go ahead and bomb Yemen or help the Saudis bomb Yemen, it really doesn't matter at all. We are responsible for war crimes, but we have zero obligation to help the victims.

    You switch back and forth between talk of morality and the law of the strongest. You say we shouldn't bomb other countries for no good reason, but that is as much a meaningless platitude as you say moral rights are in general. Basically you find it distasteful that we bomb other countries, but what really exercises you is the possibility that some refugees might come here. That will not stand.

    Gorgar Laughed , February 9, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    Have you ever heard of the Melian Dialogue?

    There is a nice little re-enactment of it over at the Youtubes

    Donald , February 9, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Yep. The strong do what they can and the weak do what they must. Nihilistic, but certainly a viewpoint I expect would be popular with the powerful.

    Gorgar Laughed , February 9, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    You miss the point. Realism is not nihilism.

    The Athenians had no good reason to suppose that the Gods would not favor them.

    There was nothing in their laws or beliefs to suggest otherwise.

    Similarly, there is nothing in our laws that requires us to accept population transfers because this or that President drops bombs in a far away country on people of whom we know nothing.

    Yves Smith Post author , February 9, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    Anon is correct. We can be obligated to bomb other countries by treaty. For instance, we bombed France to oust the Nazis as a result of treaty obligations. It is also correct to say that the US has been flagrantly ignoring what were considered to be international norms (pretty much no one notices here, but Russia has been making a stink on a regular basis in the UN).

    PKMKII , February 9, 2017 at 10:16 am

    Any day since 1/20, you could look at the front page of WaPo, NYT, CNN, etc., and see op-eds about how Trump is very very non-professional, sullying the good name of the office of the President. Denigrating the institution and the very very serious role it plays in American society, nay, the world! And yet the same front page will also cover, in-detail, whatever halfbaked Trump tweet or Spicer's performance-art-as-press-conference has been served up that day. They recognize that it's become a farce, but like someone who can't stop poking the tooth that hurts, they present the farce as being very very important news. The establishment press has become too enamored of the pomp and circumstance, the ceremonial of the White House media operation and their visible, although largely pointless, role in the whole thing. They're too scared of giving that up, lest they lose prominence or, le horror, have to do real reporting. So the Washington press corp prop up their end of the ceremony in the vain hopes of a return to the way things were, in denial of how their function is quickly becoming redundant. If all they're going to do is talk about Trump's latest tweet, we might as well just stop reading their sites and just read his tweets ourselves. Social media can just give us the press releases directly, we don't need the press to act as town criers, screeching out Trump's decree in the town squares.

    flora , February 9, 2017 at 10:24 am

    an aside re Yves intro:

    "Emerson College study found that the American public trusts Trump more than the media. "

    The WaPo's attempt to turn readers away from great sites like NC with their "fake news" story has backfired spectacularly. Thanks to NC and others furious initial pushback, including well crafted letters from NC's atty and the recipients responses published on NC, the term "fake news" has become a joke in the court of public opinion. It's become a subject for comedy skits. This is no small thing. Actually, it's a pretty big thing. McCarthist witch hunts live and die in the court of public opinion, imo. See: Joseph Welch, "Have you no sense of decency sir?"
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1eA5bUzVjA

    And with that exchange the court of public opinion turned against McCarthy and the witch hunt. Now where was I going with this ?

    john bougearel , February 9, 2017 at 10:51 am

    Ha! How dare ya attack my favorite cooking shows! LOL

    Gorgar Laughed , February 9, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    >After all, we're all good Christians

    Who's "We" Paleface? Bercow's not a Christian.

    And it looks as though we may finally be seeing the worm turn on the kiddie rape: the Rochdale rape gang is now set to be deported to Pakistan.

    Local MP Simon Danczuk: "Foreign-born criminals should not be able to hide behind human rights laws to avoid deportation."

    I suspect this line of thinking is going to be picked up in other countries on the Continent, and sooner rather than later.

    Once we start seeing child sex investigations target the English ruling class, we will know that we are getting somewhere

    Blurtman , February 9, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    Hispanic isn't a race, nor is Latino, but that has not stopped the MSM, bleeding hearts and SJW's from emoting.

    PKMKII , February 9, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    I was a census worker in 2010, and the forms didn't include Hispanic/Latino as a race; rather, it was put as a separate identity category with sub-answers for specific country of ancestral origin. However, 9 times out of 10 Hispanic responds would have me put "Hispanic" in the write-in box for the "Other" race option (the other 10% would have me write-in their ancestral country). The smarties with the degrees can say it's not a race, but if the people say that's their race, who are we to say otherwise?

    Blurtman , February 9, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    Ask Rachel Dolezal. Or perhaps Elizabeth Warren, an undocumented Native American (i.e., Indian). And yes, Pew Research would agree that folks who consider themselves to be Latino consider Latino to be a race. But most are Native American.

    But not anyone can be recognized as Native American in the USA unless they are on a tribal register, which is odd, as the USG seems to subject Native American citizens to a higher level of proof than Native Americans from south of the border.

    Anon y Mouse ,