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Full Spectrum Dominance doctrine as the cornerstone of the neocons disastrous foreign policy

Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA and weakens not enhances national security

News Neoconservatism Recommended Links Israel lobby Threat inflation as neocon primary tool Full Spectrum Dominance doctrine NSC -- a sinister organization that controls the President and ensure militarization of the USA foreign policy
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Obama: a yet another Neocon Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS The ability and willingness to employ savage methods The History of Media-Military-Industrial Complex Concept Wolfowitz Doctrine IMF as the key institution for neoliberal debt enslavement Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism
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The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." ... "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.

And while you're studying that reality-judiciously, as you will-we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."[2]

An unnamed aide to George W. Bush (later attributed to Karl Rove:

Reality-based community - Wikipedia

[Sep 29, 2020] Trump Confirms U.S. is Israel's "Protector", by Philip Giraldi

Not that foreign policy is high priority for most of the USA electorate, but still it looks like some potential Trump voters do not approve this message.
That's why many of them probably will not vote for Trump in 2020, or will not vote at all because there is no difference in this area between Trump and Biden: you can call the same Zionist cutlet with two different names. but it is still the same cutlet.
People voted in Trump to be a protector of workers and lower middle class against financial oligarchy. Instead, they got "Ziotrump", a marionette of Israel lobby who is first and foremost the protector of Israel, MIC and the billionaire class.
The question is: Is Zionism an official ideology of the USA ruling elite? Zionism as any far right nationalism has it pluses and minuses, but why this important decision is not discussed?
Notable quotes:
"... I like being energy independent, don't you? I'm sure that most of you noticed when you go to fill up your tank in your car, oftentimes it's below two dollars. You say how the hell did this happen? While I'm president, America will remain the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world. We will remain energy independent. It should be for many many years to come. The fact is, we don't have to be in the Middle East, other than we want to protect Israel. We've been very good to Israel. Other than that, we don't have to be in the Middle East." ..."
"... Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is https://councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is ..."
Sep 29, 2020 | www.unz.com

For many years the security framework in the Middle East has been described as a bilateral arrangement whereby Washington gained access to sufficient Saudi Arabian oil to keep the energy market stable while the United States provided an armed physical presence through its bases in the region and its ability to project power if anyone should seek to threaten the Saudi Kingdom. The agreement was reportedly worked out in a February 1945 meeting between President Franklin D. Roosevelt and King Abdul Aziz ibn Saud, just as World War 2 was drawing to a close. That role as protector of Saudi Arabia and guarantor of stable energy markets in the region later served as part of the justification for the U.S. ouster of the Iraqi Army from Kuwait in 1991.

After 9/11, the rationale became somewhat less focused. The United States invaded Afghanistan, did not capture or kill Osama bin Laden due to its own incompetence, and, rather than setting up a puppet regime and leaving, settled down to a nineteen-years long and still running counter-insurgency plus training mission. Fake intelligence produced by the neocons in the White House and Defense Department subsequently implicated Iraq in 9/11 and led to the political and military disaster known as the Iraq War.

During the 75 years since the end of the Second World War the Middle East has experienced dramatic change, to include the withdrawal of the imperial European powers from the region and the creation of the State of Israel. And the growth and diversification of energy resources mean that it is no longer as necessary to secure the petroleum that moves in tankers through the Persian Gulf. Lest there be any confusion over why the United States continues to be involved in Syria, Iraq, the Emirates and Saudi Arabia, President Donald Trump remarkably provided some clarity relating to the issue when on September 8 th he declared that the U.S. isn't any longer in the Middle East to secure oil supplies, but rather because we "want to protect Israel."

The comment was made by Trump during a rally in Winston-Salem, N.C . as part of a boast about his having reduced energy costs for consumers. He said " I like being energy independent, don't you? I'm sure that most of you noticed when you go to fill up your tank in your car, oftentimes it's below two dollars. You say how the hell did this happen? While I'm president, America will remain the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world. We will remain energy independent. It should be for many many years to come. The fact is, we don't have to be in the Middle East, other than we want to protect Israel. We've been very good to Israel. Other than that, we don't have to be in the Middle East."

The reality is, of course, that U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East has been all about Israel for a very long time, at least since the presidency of Bill Clinton, who has been sometimes dubbed the first Jewish president for his deference to Israeli interests. The Iraq War is a prime example of how neoconservatives and Israel Firsters inside the United States government conspired to go to war to protect the Jewish State. In key positions at the Pentagon were Zionists Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith. Feith's Office of Special Plans developed the "alternative intelligence" linking Saddam Hussein to al-Qaeda and also to a mythical nuclear program that was used to justify war. Feith was so close to Israel that he partnered in a law firm that had an office in Jerusalem. The fake intelligence was then stove-piped to the White House by fellow neocon "Scooter" Libby who worked in the office of Vice President Dick Cheney.

After the fact, former Secretary of State Colin Powell also had something to say about the origins of the war, commenting that the United States had gone into Iraq because Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld bought into the neoconservative case made for doing so by "the JINSA crowd," by which he meant the Israel Lobby organization the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.

And if any more confirmation about the origins of the Iraq War were needed, one might turn to Philip Zelikow, who was involved in the planning process while working on the staff of Condoleezza Rice. He said "The unstated threat. And here I criticize the [Bush] administration a little, because the argument that they make over and over again is that this is about a threat to the United States. And then everybody says: 'Show me an imminent threat from Iraq to America. Show me, why would Iraq attack America or use nuclear weapons against us?' So I'll tell you what I think the real threat is, and actually has been since 1990. It's the threat against Israel. And this is the threat that dare not speak its name, because the Europeans don't care deeply about that threat, I will tell you frankly. And the American government doesn't want to lean too hard on it rhetorically, because it's not a popular sell."

So here is the point that resonates: even in 2002-3, when the Israel Lobby was not as powerful as it is now, the fact that the U.S. was going to war on a lie and was actually acting on behalf of the Jewish State was never presented in any way to the public, even though America's children would be dying in the conflict and American taxpayers would be footing the bill. The media, if it knew about the false intelligence, was reliably pro-Israel and helped enable the deception.

And that same deception continued to this day until Trump spilled the beans earlier this month. And now, with the special security arrangement that the U.S. has entered into with Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, the ability to exit from a troublesome region that does not actually threaten American interests has become very limited. As guarantor of the agreement, Washington now has an obligation to intervene on the behalf of the parties involved. Think about that, a no-win arrangement that will almost certainly lead to war with Iran, possibly to include countries like Russia and China that will be selling it military equipment contrary to U.S. "sanctions."

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is https://councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org .


geokat62 , says: September 29, 2020 at 4:10 am GMT

Trump Confirms U.S. Is Israel's "Protector"

Protector? Is that a fancy word for "Bitch"?

JWalters , says: September 29, 2020 at 4:28 am GMT

Excellent synopsis of the situation. And if we look into the founding of Israel, we find it was founded by war profiteers. This would explain why peace has been so "elusive". It has been relentlessly dodged. "War Profiteers and the Roots of the 'War on Terror'"
https://warprofiteerstory.blogspot.com/p/war-profiteers-and-roots-of-war-on.html

JWalters , says: September 29, 2020 at 4:32 am GMT
@geokat62

It means Netanyahu is the de facto president of the US.

Derer , says: September 29, 2020 at 5:13 am GMT

Trump Confirms U.S. Is Israel's "Protector"

This declaration is against the will of the American people. Hawkish policies of this nature, that endanger the American lives should be confirmed by a referendum of the people. Of course that would be logical step in a democracy but USA is not a democracy but a diktat of backroom unellected ruling clique.

sethster , says: September 29, 2020 at 6:07 am GMT

990. Jews are the scapegoats for all the deficiencies of low-IQ whites just as whites are the scapegoats for all the deficiencies of low-IQ non-whites. Let me explain how that works.

Why do we observe Jews at the forefront of many cutting-edge industries? (for example the media/arts and financial industries are indeed rife with them). The low-IQ answer is, of course, a simplistic conspiracy theory: Jews form an evil cabal that created all these industries from scratch to "destroy culture" (or at least what low-IQ people think is culture, i.e. some previous, obsolete state of culture, i.e. older, lower culture, i.e. non-culture). And, to be sure, there is a lot of decadence in these industries. But, in an advanced civilization, there is a lot of decadence everywhere anyway! It's an essential prerequisite even! So it makes perfect sense that the most capable people in such a civilization will also be the most decadent! The stereotype of the degenerate cocaine-sniffing whoremonging or homosexual Hollywood or Wall Street operative belongs here. Well, buddy, if YOU were subjected to the stresses and temptations of the Hollywood or Wall Street lifestyles, maybe you'd be a "degenerate" too! But you lack the IQ for that, so of course you'll reduce the whole enterprise to a simplistic resentful fairy tale that seems laughable even to children: a bunch of old bearded Jews gathered round a large table planning the destruction of civilization! Well I say enough with this childish nonsense! The Jews are simply some of the smartest and most industrious people around, ergo it makes sense that they'll be encountered at or near all the peaks of the dominant culture, being overrepresented everywhere in it, including therefore in its failings and excesses! This is what it means to be the best! It doesn't mean that you are faultless little angels who can do no wrong, you brainless corn-fed nitwits! There's a moving passage somewhere in Nietzsche where he relates that Europe owes the Jews for the highest sage (Spinoza), and the highest saint (Jesus), and he'd never even heard of Freud or Einstein! In view of all the immeasurable gifts the Jewish spirit has lavished on humanity, anti-semitism in the coming world order will be a capital offense, if I have anything to say on the matter. The slightest word against the Jews, and you're a marked man: I would have not only you, but your entire extended family wiped out, just to be sure. You think you know what the Devil is, but he's just the lackey taking my orders. Entire cities razed to the ground (including the entire Middle East), simply because one person there said something bad about "the Jews", that's how I would have the future! Enough with this stupid meme! To hell with all of you brainless subhumans! You've wasted enough of our nervous energy on this stupid shit! And the same goes to low-IQ non-whites who blame all their troubles on whites! And it's all true: Jews and whites upped the stakes for everybody by bringing into the world a whole torrent of new possibilities which your IQ is too low to handle! So whatcha gonna do about it? Are you all bark, or are you prepared to bite? Come on, let's see what you can do! Any of you fucking pricks bark, and we'll execute every motherfucking last one of you!

From http://orgyofthewill.net

Talha , says: September 29, 2020 at 6:46 am GMT

Honestly, I like way better out in the open like this. Now there is no reason to worry about all the other BS excuses, it's all on the table.

So now, as a public, we have been informed; so what are we going to do about it? Or are they so confident about their position that they know they can announce it to he world openly and be sure that there will be zero consequences?

GMC , says: September 29, 2020 at 9:59 am GMT

Protector, personal armies, saboteurs, financiers, assassin's, propagandists, liars, thieves, rapists, slavers, and that is just for starters – which includes inside and outside of the former country called the USA.

Oracle , says: September 29, 2020 at 10:22 am GMT
@sethster

No, you are wrong. The problem with the 'industriousness' is that it is characterized by the principle of profit before all, no matter how immoral the activity. People who do that don't care about a civilized society and should not be able to reap the benefits of one.

Also high IQ isn't exemplified by trickery, lying, subverting and eroding the morals of the host society.

Talha , says: September 29, 2020 at 10:58 am GMT
@Hess of Germans, what are those homeboys up to lately ?
Ugetit , says: September 29, 2020 at 10:59 am GMT

The US is not only the protector, but has been the enabler of the mafia from the start.

Chaim.Weizman and Nathan Sokolow approach the British with a dirty deal. The Zionists offer to use their international influence to bring the US into the war on Britain's side, while undermining Germany from within. The price that Britain must pay for U.S. entry is to steal Palestine from Ottoman Turkey (Germany's ally) and allow the Jews to settle there. Zionist agitated anti-German propaganda was unleashed in the US while the Zionists and Marxists of Germany begin to undermine Germany's war effort from within. Wilson establishes the Committee on Public Information (CPI) for the purpose of manipulating public opinion in support of the war.

-M.S. King, The Bad War, p 50.

Similar scenario for "WW2" which was little more than a continuation of the previous biggie. They really ought to be known as the One World Wars since they were obviously part of the plan for the world to be dominated by the International mafia through such creations as the League of Subjects and the United Slave Nations with the capitol at Tel Aviv.

Tommy Thompson , says: September 29, 2020 at 11:23 am GMT

Yes, Dr. Giraldi, you hit the nail on the head again.

However, the problem is that most White Middle Class Americans, are satisfied and fully compliant with this situation where the USA is a Megalethon Vassal and Servile State for the poor little Israeli state .

Also, let us be honest with ourselves, Blacks and other minorities on more occasions do dare to speak out on this issue, only to get trounced upon by the MSM and silence and snickers by the stay safe White American Middle Class. Do you ever find a Main Line White Politician speaking up for America's interests and placing them first vis a vis our best little ally ??? Only when it comes to Afro or the Hispanic – Americans sticking their heads up a little does Middle White Americana get all worked up and emotionally charged.

The White Middle Class and most certainly the well moneyed Corporate Class of America, does not mind giving away huge transfers of their tax dollars, national debt, high technologies, military hardware, and even their uniformed sons and daughter, upon command from the likes of Trump and their political opportunists managing the country (Rep and Dem alike). Serving and making America serve the Greater Zio Agenda for their ME and Global domination has become the norm and unquestionable. Try raising this issue at a dinner party and see how many people role their eyes and turn their heads away.

I doubt that the RU followers here, who seem more bent on street brawling with the false bogeymen like BLM and ANTIFA, are the ones that will stand up to the in your face take over of WDC by AIPAC and the Israel First Crowd, including front man Trump for the Kushner-Bibi WH.

Let us not forget the thieving and scamming Sunday preachers who tell them it is great to be in full service of the Zio (Jewish Talmudic based) domination agenda– as it has become a direct ticket to a Raptured Heaven . Jesus for them was been thrown under the bus long ago or strangely converted into a gun machine toting Israeli nut case extremist settler, clearing the land and villages of the indignies children and all.

Let us be frank, some elements of the America First Jewish intelligentsia are more likely to call out and the whorishness ( extremes only) of the Washington's ZOG policies than Middle Americana, who dare not risk their creature comforts, Game Time or corporate positions.

As the old adage goes, you get the Government That You Deserve .

lavoisier , says: Website September 29, 2020 at 11:29 am GMT
@sethster

Are you all bark, or are you prepared to bite? Come on, let's see what you can do! Any of you fucking pricks bark, and we'll execute every motherfucking last one of you!

Well your tribe has been incredibly effective at genocide and mass murder on an unprecedented scale of barbarism in the past, and I have no doubt you remain just as capable of such barbarity and cruelty today. Your rant makes that very clear.

Too bad the high IQ does not seem to correlate in a positive way with morality.

But thanks for the warning! Trust me, many of us are quite aware of your capabilities.

lavoisier , says: Website September 29, 2020 at 11:36 am GMT
@Talha

Germans are a totally deracinated and brainwashed people.

Germany sold Israel submarines capable of launching nuclear missiles!

A more cucked-up people are impossible to find!

It should be no mystery how Jews have gained such control over the Gentile.

It was granted to them, willingly.

lavoisier , says: Website September 29, 2020 at 11:43 am GMT
@Talha

Most Americans do not care that their country serves the unethical territorial ambitions of the Jews.

Most Americans believe Israel is a noble country filled with noble people that would never do anything unjust or immoral.

Most Americans believe Israel is our greatest ally.

This is sad, but it is true.

Hence the predicament and the peril of our fealty to Israel.

And the predicament and peril of all those who come into conflict with this rogue nation and people.

God's Fool , says: September 29, 2020 at 12:11 pm GMT

The only reason Trump "spilled the beans" about how we are in the Middle East to protect Israel and not to keep oil flowing is to get himself reelected and nothing else. As to war with China, Zuckerberg alone would be able to bribe the administration in particular, and both the parties in general, with his extra billions to keep them out of the war being that he has married a chink, er, Chan. All will be back to business as usual after the election at least, for four more years.

HallParvey , says: September 29, 2020 at 12:30 pm GMT
@JWalters

It means Netanyahu is the de facto president of the US.

Not quite. He is much more powerful than that. The entire Congress of the United States stands and applauds when he arrives to speak. They would never do that for Trump, or any president. The fear of being unpersoned keeps them in line.

Malla , says: September 29, 2020 at 12:32 pm GMT
@Ugetit endence and freedom but things actually became more messy. Also the "hated" Russian Romanovs were got rid off, Russia pushed under Communist Jewish dictatorship. Also the destruction of the Caliph, imagine a united Turko-Arab Empire, no way Israel would have survived that. Even T.E. Lawrence who helped the Arabs fight the Turks was totally disappointed with the behaviour of his own Zionist controlled government. He was going to speak to the British people about the great betrayal to the Arabs and being a war hero they would have listened to him. But before he could do so he met with an "accident" while riding his motorcycle. Yeah, very convenient.
Miville , says: September 29, 2020 at 12:35 pm GMT
@sethster re good at gathering Nobel Prizes, which is best arranged by jury-rigging and string-pulling thanks to their talent for networking, but no so good as making real inventions. In Israel proper the mean Jewish IQ, 94, is not only disappointing but a few points below even the Palestinian one. Spiritually the Jews have no longer been a chosen people for ages and most of the intellectual development they knew from about 1850 onwards was due to their being emancipated en masse from rabbinical authority, not by conforming to it : now that are falling back under an even worse collective authority with Zionism they are reversing the intellectual gains they once made.
Z-man , says: September 29, 2020 at 12:55 pm GMT

A bit off topic but RIP Steven F. Cohen.

anon [461] Disclaimer , says: September 29, 2020 at 1:14 pm GMT

Back in the second half of the 80s the big war games were all IRAQ IRAQ IRAQ!!1! There was a strong push from all the interagency pukes with their dotted-lines reports to Langley – to aim at Iraq, and to suppress any practical considerations that might interfere with this very lucrative debacle. We watched these moles countering evidence and analysis with declamatory bullshit they made up. Way back then CIA had decided. April Glaspie's headfake sprung a trap set in Kuwait by the NOCs infesting Bechtel. That horizontal-drilling rhubarb was years in preparation.

Iraq was one big war with three phases: beating up on the Iraqi armed forces; ten years of blowing shit up; the occupation.

It turned out great. CIA got money-laundering nirvana, a chaotic zone where they could ship pallets of money around. They got an arms entrepot that lasted 20 years.They got a great network of sites for the torture gulag, with secure impunity – when Iraq tried to accede to the Rome Statute in 05, the CIA torturers were on the spot to nip it in the bud. The tame jihadi boogeymen the torture camps produced were invaluable in creating Rumsfeld's "terrorist corridor" in the Sahel and justifying the P2OG and the Pan-Sahel Initiative. That put AFRICOM garrisons, US-trained warlords, and CIA torture sites in one of the most diplomatically recalcitrant regions of the world:

So turn that frown upside down! Your old bosses got a lot out of that charlie foxtrot.

Realist , says: September 29, 2020 at 1:19 pm GMT
@sethster re all conceived and started by Gentiles Henry Ford is a great example and he knew Jews quite well. The only industries , as you call them, that Jews are involved in are leech enterprises financial corporations are excellent examples of leech enterprises. The financial products they contrive are methods to extract value from productive industries.
A large percent of Jews are devoted obsessed with gaining wealth and power from the efforts of others which is the reason for their inordinate involvement in the Deep State and also for the abject loathing by many Gentiles throughout the ages.
Moi , says: September 29, 2020 at 1:29 pm GMT
@geokat62

Fact is you can fool all Americans all the time. We are a nation of ignorant people.

Moi , says: September 29, 2020 at 1:39 pm GMT
@Talha

Whether the truth is hidden or now out in the open doesn't matter to a people so stupid as to believe the Creator's offspring walked, eat and crapped on this little planet 2k years ago.

Exhibit B of their stupidity: Electing Trump (and more than a few of his predecessors).

Anonymous [311] Disclaimer , says: September 29, 2020 at 1:45 pm GMT

The NWO won't come to America as Greta Thunberg marching ahead of the Democrats in Mao suits under LGBTQ and GND banners and tumbrels of Christians headed for the guillotine, but as one transnational compliance regime after the other enacted by treaty, such as mandatory bi-annual vaccinations with largely inefficacious vaccines carrying not just behavior modifying chemicals and sterilants as adjuvants, but DNA-altering horrors. Anyone want to argue the threats posed by these DNA- or mRNA-modifying vaccines made from, among other things, insect DNA?

Some think it's over the top to talk about the NWO that's on the horizon as a Sino-Judaic, world-hegemonic NWO, but the United States government is itself already little more than a collection of compliance regimes in service to International Jewry. The 29 standing ovations from a Congress afraid to be the first to stop clapping for a kitchen cabinet salesman-turned-Caesar made that clear enough. The rest of the story, like the nonsense that Congress and DJT are voluntarily protecting Israel, is eyewash for fools when International Jewry owns them all like the trained seals who perform in the Central Park Zoo.

Old and Grumpy , says: September 29, 2020 at 2:01 pm GMT
@God's Fool

The Holy Rollers were never going to bail from Trump after the embassy move to Jerusalem. Jews on the other hand are likely not amused about such a revelation. So his words were unlikely about the election.

Old and Grumpy , says: September 29, 2020 at 2:04 pm GMT

How is this foreign policy now not a violation of the church-state separation? Especially since Israel describes itself as a Jewish state.

The Spirit of Enoch Powell , says: September 29, 2020 at 2:17 pm GMT
@lavoisier nd stern conversation, "For me, the new Germany exists only in order to ensure the existence of the State of Israel and the Jewish people." He's a brilliant intellectual and a thoughtful politician, and we don't need to worry – he won't give up his existential friendship so easily. And certainly not because of Bennett or his colleague Orit Strock, the party whip.

A very symbolic photo posted by the Israel Defence Forces' Twitter account, in the tweet linked to by user Talha

Heil Judea!

Realist

Realist , says: September 29, 2020 at 2:19 pm GMT

@lavoisier

Too bad the high IQ does not seem to correlate in a positive way with morality.

Exactly.

Gidoutahere , says: September 29, 2020 at 2:49 pm GMT
@sethster

Weinstein, Epstein, Maxwell, Maddof, –cking geniuses. I thought your principal asset was "God's chosen people". Now I see it's your penetrating mind.

anon [143] Disclaimer , says: September 29, 2020 at 2:56 pm GMT

It is time to be more honest. A foreign war that the US loses may be the only way out of the political, moral and social impasse that currently afflicts the US. The forces that control the US government need to be removed and that seems increasingly unlikely to arise from simply domestic opposition.

It took World War II to remove Adolf Hitler from power in Germany. Why should anyone expect anything less to change the government of the United States? The US wants a war with Russia and China. Perhaps it is best that it be granted one? Let's see some articles on this proposition.

The Spirit of Enoch Powell , says: September 29, 2020 at 3:24 pm GMT
@Talha

The odd thing is how so many Jews still support immigration despite the fact that a lot of the immigrants are (from the Jewish/Zionist perspective) at best indifferent to Israel and at worse outright hostile and want it gone.

Or perhaps they realise democracy is a sham and the Jewish elite have got their backs? Hence their plans to mongrelise Europeans nations don't really conflict with their Zionist ambitions.

One thing is for sure, when things start to get hairy in the West, all Jews will have a nice First World ethnocracy to move to.

anon [108] Disclaimer , says: September 29, 2020 at 3:24 pm GMT

Trump's greatest contribution to the US/World might be exposing the naked ambition and evilness of the Ziocons. Before Trump, Ziocons lurked in the background as puppet masters, with their many plans obscured behind "diplomacy" and propaganda like "freedom" and "human rights", now thanks to Trump they are showing their true colors. Trump has managed to expose to the whole world including all our allies who is really running America and the extent they will go to destroy their perceived "enemies" to achieve world domination -- the end justifies the means. It is making our allies esp. Europe think twice about their alliance with JU.S.A.

anon [108] Disclaimer , says: September 29, 2020 at 3:24 pm GMT

Trump's greatest contribution to the US/World might be exposing the naked ambition and evilness of the Ziocons. Before Trump, Ziocons lurked in the background as puppet masters, with their many plans obscured behind "diplomacy" and propaganda like "freedom" and "human rights", now thanks to Trump they are showing their true colors. Trump has managed to expose to the whole world including all our allies who is really running America and the extent they will go to destroy their perceived "enemies" to achieve world domination -- the end justifies the means. It is making our allies esp. Europe think twice about their alliance with JU.S.A.

karel , says: September 29, 2020 at 4:25 pm GMT
@lavoisier

You must have been misinformed if you think that "Germany sold Israel submarines". Not really as you can find out from the link bellow. The first two submarines were donated and the third was "hawkered" for about half the production cost.

https://rotefahne.eu/2011/01/brd-1108-mio-steuergelder-fuer-israelische-u-boote/

Harold Smith , says: September 29, 2020 at 4:26 pm GMT
@anon the empire starts WW3, e.g. the "big one" at Yellowstone, which will do so much damage as to make it impossible for the evil empire to continue it's pursuit of world domination and control.

BTW on a positive note, it looks like there is now some resistance from the private sector against the evil orange clown's self-destructive economic war against China:
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-china-tariffs/some-3500-u-s-companies-sue-over-trump-imposed-chinese-tariffs-idUSKCN26G31G

Talha , says: September 29, 2020 at 4:37 pm GMT
@The Spirit of Enoch Powell a massive forward operating base for the West declined any normalization.

I do think it is game over for quite a while in the West regarding opposition to Israel. Israel may collapse or have to come to the table or something due to some game changer in the Middle East, but I don't see it happening due to lack of support from the West anytime soon.

Peace.

Note: This is a good analysis of various views:
https://news.gallup.com/opinion/polling-matters/265898/american-jews-politics-israel.aspx

[Sep 29, 2020] This nasty neocon Rachel MadCow

Notable quotes:
"... The DemoRats have never been a party dedicated to peace; the only ones thinking that are the walking bong-holes who assuage their cognitive dissonance by telling themselves that. Both the demorats and their willing accomplices 'across the aisle' have led us into constant war for nearly eight decades. Lilliputian Big enders and Little enders all. ..."
"... Screw the war mongers and the MIC. ..."
"... If you read the article, it's obvious that [neo]liberals/whores are the apogee of hypocrisy. ..."
"... Perpetual war is about $$$. It knows no party. Never has and never will. ..."
"... Yup. It's always about the money. ..."
Jan 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
True Blue , 1 hour ago link

Feral, yes; rabid, absolutely; smart... not so much. Why is anyone surprised?

The DemoRats have never been a party dedicated to peace; the only ones thinking that are the walking bong-holes who assuage their cognitive dissonance by telling themselves that. Both the demorats and their willing accomplices 'across the aisle' have led us into constant war for nearly eight decades. Lilliputian Big enders and Little enders all.

AI Agent , 1 hour ago link

She's a good lying propagandist... but she's not brilliant. Smart? maybe. Brilliant? Cow flop has more shine than Madcow.

desertboy , 36 minutes ago link

Maybe he meant "brilliant manipulator" -- sometimes they have meant the same thing.

Throat-warbler Mangrove , 1 hour ago link

Get.Us (a). Out.Now

Screw the war mongers and the MIC.

BlackChicken , 1 hour ago link

If you read the article, it's obvious that [neo]liberals/whores are the apogee of hypocrisy.

richardsimmonsoftrout , 1 hour ago link

"they're likely to emerge from 2020 with not only smeared consciences, but four more years in the opposition."

"Smeared consciences"... that's rich, pretty sure the psychopaths don't have a conscience.

navy62802 , 1 hour ago link

Perpetual war is about $$$. It knows no party. Never has and never will.

holdbuysell , 1 hour ago link

Yup. It's always about the money. As Fitts would say, that screeching you hear is the cash flow drying up for the rentiers. The murdering of women and children be damned. Hillary's demonic cackle is but the grotesque cherry on top: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fgcd1ghag5Y

[Sep 29, 2020] Problems for the party leader Batkivshchina, which was one of the main political forces supporting EuroMaidan

Sep 29, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

MOSCOWEXILE September 28, 2020 at 7:33 am

Tymoshenko was both treated in Banderastan by doctors from "Charité" and at the "Charité" itself.

06.06.2012 00:39
Бассейна не хватает
Немецкий врач подробно рассказала нашему корреспонденту о состоянии Юлии Тимошенко

No swimming pool
A German doctor has told our correspondent in detail about the condition of Yulia Tymoshenko

An RG correspondent has met a doctor from the "Charité" hospital department "Physiotherapeutic Medicine and Rehabilitation", Dr. Annette Reizhauer, who has just returned from Kharkov, where she was engaged in the examination and treatment of former Prime Minister of the Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko.

-- Dr. Reishauer, is Yulia Tymoshenko really so seriously ill that the best specialists in the world should be treating her?

-- Reishauer: There is no doubt that Ms. Tymoshenko is seriously ill. On October 5, 2011, she had an intervertebral hernia with compression of the third spinal nerve ending on the right in the hip region, which causes severe pain and is the cause of paralysis. On November 5, an acute deterioration was reported, which led to chronic pain syndrome, secondary musculoskeletal lesions and muscular atrophy. Therefore, every effort should be made to treat this disease in accordance with existing standards .

And so on und so weiter.

-- RG: is it possible to carry out physiotherapy treatment?

-- Reishauer: Of course. This is urgently needed. After a long time of immobility, a decrease in muscle mass has been recorded.

-- Did you perform physiotherapy in Kharkov or just made a diagnosis?

-- Reishauer: Both. To be treated, you must first make a diagnosis.

-- Did you do it?

-- Reishauer: Naturally, when I was in Kharkov.

-- How long did you spend there?

-- Reishauer: One week.

-- Where did you live?

-- Reishauer: In a hotel.

-- Who paid for your accommodation? Relatives of Mrs. Tymoshenko, hospital or someone else?

-- Reishauer: The chairman of the board of our hospital, Professor Karl Max Einhoipl, agreed with her relatives that they will take care of the treatment and other costs.

-- How much does Yulia Tymoshenko's treatment cost?

-- Reishauer: I can't say that now. I was in Kharkov as part of my work at Charité, so the hospital with my relatives will discuss this, not me.

-- What kind of treatment does Yulia Tymoshenko receive?

-- Reishauer: We cannot publicly announce the plans. We agreed on this in advance. There was a very difficult situation in the Ukraine when my colleague visited there for the first time. The treatment plans were published against our wishes in the newspapers. This is absolutely unacceptable. However, I can say that the share of passive therapeutic measures will be reduced in favour of active ones. This is so that Ms. Tymoshenko can move more and more actively.

-- To swim, for example?

-- Reishauer: Unfortunately, swimming is not possible. There is no swimming pool.

Ukraine's Tymoshenko begins medical treatment in Berlin

Ukraine's former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko has started medical treatment in Germany. She suffers from a chronic back ailment linked to injuries she sustained while in prison on controversial corruption charges.

Tymoshenko received a thorough examination in Berlin's Charite hospital on Saturday, a day after arriving in the German capital.

Hospital chairman Karl Max Einhaeupl said doctors would decide on Monday whether the 53-year-old needed an operation for back pain resulting from three slipped disks she suffered more than two years ago.

He added that doctors were currently unsure how long treatment would take, but are positive Tymosenko [sic] would ultimately be able to move around again unassisted.

Although she was not suffering any paralysis, the former prime minister is said only to be able to walk using a walker, but it caused her great pain.

Tymoshenko was released from prison in Ukraine last month following the uprising that ousted President Viktor Yanukovych. Since then, she has only been seen in public in a wheelchair.

She is now considered a contender for Ukraine's presidential election on May 25.

Treatment offer denied

Tymoshenko reportedly suffered several injuries while serving more than two years in prison on charges of corruption, which Western leaders said were politically motivated.

Ukraine refused to grant Tymoshenko the right to travel to Germany for treatment during her incarceration. She also turned down an operation and injections, saying she did not trust the former Ukrainian authorities

Einhaeupl said doctors from the Charite clinic, who visited her in prison, found their hands "were tied severely in treatment."

Vee haf vays off mekking you feel besser, mein Liebchen!


Lying bitch speaking to her fans at the Maidan following her release from prison. Note the orthopaedic shoes she is wearing.

MARK CHAPMAN September 28, 2020 at 4:11 pm

And she rolled around for a bit in her martyr's wheelchair after getting out of the slammer – where, strangely enough, Amnesty International found the charges against her were 'politically motivated even as all agreed the contracts she signed on Ukraine's behalf with Russia were a license for the latter to rob the former – but it is very likely her 'treatment' was driven more than anything else by a desire to get back into those fuck-me-sailor heels and be 'cured' enough to parade around in them. Barring a loaves-and-fishes Miracle Of Jesus, the best way to be out of that chair and on her pins was to have some restorative treatment in a foreign hospital. It was not long at all before she was, thanks to wonderful German treatment, able to swagger about as before.

She was released from prison in 2014, following the capitulation of Yanukovych to the forces of the Glorious Maidan, in 2014. Even while she was still incarcerated, Ukrainian doctors said she did not need to be hospitalized while German doctors argued that she did. I know from years in the Navy – and from some people repeatedly missing deployments because of back problems – that it is perfectly possible to convince doctors that you suffer excruciating back pain although they can find no physical cause, and I don't doubt sometimes it is true. But doctors do not like to mess around with the back, and tend to believe the patient when they scream that 'that hurts'. I suspect they are even more likely to believe there was a serious problem when you praise their medical skill and claim that their treatment has done wonders.

https://www.rferl.org/a/ukraine-tymoshenko-german-doctors/24916332.html

Tymoshenko entered hospital that same year, in March 2014, where her doctor claimed her improved appearance was due to 'freedom' and that "Stress can impair the back muscles, which in turn affects the spine". Which, to me, says they could not find any physical cause, although all along Team Tymoshenko had claimed she suffered three slipped disks while in prison.

https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/former-ukrainian-pm-yulia-tymoshenko-starts-medical-treatment-in-berlin-1.1720447

I'm not sure at what moment she started walking again, you'd have to go back through pictures by date, but a photo in this article shows her standing without any apparent aid in 2014, apparently casting her ballot in 2014 Ukrainian elections.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/yulia-tymoshenko-it-won-t-just-be-revolution-time-end-ukraine-a6683731.html

A miraculous recovery, indeed. This archived piece by the legendary John Helmer contains a wealth of information about Tymoshenko's background and seemingly Teflon-coated political career.

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/02/john-helmer-the-political-motivation-of-chancellor-merkels-embrace-of-yulia-tymoshenko-and-war.html

Skadden, Arps, Meagher & Flohm, the American legal firm that produced a solid legal argument – while commissioned to do so by the Ukrainian government under Yanukoych – that Tymoshenko was a phony, something substantiated by Ukrainian media release of secret video recordings made of Tymoshenko 'moving nimbly about her cell' while unaware she was being recorded, was eventually beaten down and forced to apologize and pay Tymoshenko compensation.

I suspect they did so knowing their political connections with the US government would be severed if they did not, as they had attracted the personal spiteful attention of Victoria Nuland.

[Sep 29, 2020] Tensions between Turkey and Russia rise in Idlib following failed talks

Sep 29, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

ET AL September 27, 2020 at 9:38 am

Middle East Eye via Antiwar.com : Tensions between Turkey and Russia rise in Idlib following failed talks
https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/syria-idlib-tensions-turkey-russia-talks-failed

Turkish officials are preparing for the worst case scenario as talks in Ankara made clear that Moscow doesn't want a new deal
####

This is a Turkey sympathetic piece but may be one reason for current events between Armenia and Azerbaidjan. As for Syria, Turkey has been claiming to keep the north/Idlib under control which is has until the last few weeks at it has used the previous time to reinforce its military presence ('observation posts') – vis Vinyard the Saker – and now claims it is not reponsible and its not fair that Russia reacts to attacks by its re-dressed (literally) jihadists. Turkey's preference is of course to do nothing despite the all the attacks, and that in itself explains a lot. Turkey is now publicly putting out its argument in advance that it is 'Russia wot broke the agreement' and thus 'we are not responsible for any of the consequences.' Erd O'Grand is due another significant spanking. Would he call NATO to his defense as he did before? Certainly. Will it happen? No. Not to mention his current intreagues around Cyprus and pissing of the French, Greeks and others. Trouble t'mill.

ET AL September 27, 2020 at 9:48 am

But here's a much better article again via Antiwar.com

AL Monitor: Turkey's military deterrence breaks down in Syria's last rebel stronghold
https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/09/turkey-syria-russia-idlib-escalation-inevitable-m4-highway.html

Despite Turkey's efforts to maintain the status quo in Idlib, a Russian-backed Syrian assault seems increasingly likely.
####

In short, Turkey has not kept up its side of the deal of bringing the rebels under control and the supposed opening and joint patrols of the M4 & M5 highways has been suspended by Russia because of the attacks by rebadged jihadis. Turkey has clearly used the agreement to simply buy time for another 'cunning plan' and as no interest in fulfiling the agreement with Russia. The latter's patience is almost gone.

[Sep 29, 2020] This is a threat? Washington is considering closing its embassy in Iraq

Sep 29, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

PATIENT OBSERVER September 28, 2020 at 4:33 am

This is a threat?

https://www.rt.com/usa/501883-iraq-embassy-baghdad-closure-attacks/

Washington is considering closing its embassy in Iraq, nine months after the US killing of an Iranian general on Iraqi soil led to protests over what Baghdad called a "violation" of its sovereignty, according to reports.

Multiple media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and Sky News, reported on Sunday that US officials told their Iraqi counterparts that Washington will shut down its operations unless there is an end to rocket attacks on the embassy, which is located in the heavily-fortified Green Zone in Baghdad.

Sounds more like a possible victory for Iraq and its people. I suspect that there is much more to the story and the US is pre-emptively seeking a face-saving exit excuse if it were to come to that.

However, it would be extremely unlikely for the US to abandon the embassy given that it serves as the headquarters for numerous nefarious operations in Iraq and Iran

ET AL September 28, 2020 at 6:11 am

The claim that I have read is that this is in response to the USA's assassination of General Solemani in Lebanon. More precisely the i-Ranian strategy is not per se to cause American casualties but carry out sustained attacks via proxies on American interest in i-Rack, i.e. psychological pressure, cost etc. the ultimate goal being the USA leaving i-Rack as a suitable price for the assassination.I

I've also read (Vinyard the Saker?)that the USA has so far closed some of its smaller and less defensible outposts but concentrated what remains in fewer better defended bases. The USA does not want to leave i-Rack militarily and will hang on until it is out of options. The US embassy leaving i-Rack will not be good enough for i-Ran, but maybe this is the beginning of some kind of behind the scenes bargaining, though this is hard to believe considering the US is still pushing for a gulf coalition (WAR!) against i-Ran as well as polically neutralizing any potential spoiler countries. Also the embassay was built at quite a significant cost $750 billion.* So, you are right PO, this is bluff by the big puff Plumpeo.

i-Rack has also being trying to get rid of American military presence even though they have bought F-16IQs from Washington but the latter is using the same figleaf excuse as in Syria that they are 'fighting terrorists.'

* https://www.businessinsider.com/750-million-united-states-embassy-iraq-baghdad-2013-3

ET AL September 28, 2020 at 6:18 am

$750 million. Duh!

JRKRIDEAU September 28, 2020 at 6:47 am

$750 million. Duh
Given standard US contracting over-runs I was willg to believe "billions". The surprising thing is that it got built.

MARK CHAPMAN September 28, 2020 at 3:12 pm

The USA will never abandon its crown jewel in Iraq, and it would make little practical difference anyway, as it lies entirely within the American 'Green Zone', and they will surely not abandon that.

"But the location of the compound is well known in Baghdad anyway, where for several years it has been marked by large construction cranes and all-night work lights easily visible from the embattled neighborhoods across the river. It is reasonable to assume that insurgents will soon sit in the privacy of rooms overlooking the site, and use cell phones or radios to adjust the rocket and mortar fire of their companions. Meanwhile, however, they seem to have held off, lobbing most of their ordnance elsewhere into the Green Zone, as if reluctant to slow the completion of such an enticing target."

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2007/11/langewiesche200711

The Baghdad Embassy is the USA's most-expensive embassy in the world, and it costs far more to run it each year than the cost of building it, in excess of a Billion dollars a year. What America might do, and what Iraq does fear, is send its diplomats home for awhile, and use it as an excuse to open a military operation in Iraq against what it terms Iran-aligned militias.

[Sep 29, 2020] Some excellently timed next level trolling of the USA from Putin.

Sep 29, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

ET AL September 27, 2020 at 9:17 am

Neuters via Antiwar.com : Putin Calls For Mutual Ban on Election Meddling With US
https://news.antiwar.com/2020/09/25/putin-calls-for-mutual-ban-on-election-meddling-with-us/

US intel agencies claim Russia, China, and Iran are meddling in 2020 election

On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the US and Russia should sign an agreement promising not to meddle in each other's elections. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-usa-putin/putin-says-russia-and-u-s-should-agree-not-to-meddle-in-each-others-elections-idUSKCN26G1LJ

Putin proposed, "exchanging guarantees of non-interference in each other's internal affairs, including electoral processes, including using information and communication technologies and high-tech methods."..

####

That is some excellently timed next level trolling from Pootie-McPoot-Face.

MARK CHAPMAN September 27, 2020 at 12:19 pm

Of course the USA will never agree to such a proposal, because (a) it does not regard its meddling as 'interference' but as the bringing of the gift of freedom, (b) it stands on its absolute right of judgment as to what is a situation that requires more democracy and what is not, and (c) it probably knows at some level that Russia did not meddle in the US elections, and that it would therefore in that case be constraining its own behavior in exchange for nothing.

But then, when refused – I imagine the US will try to extract something from the offer, such as "A-HA!! So you ADMIT to meddling in our elections!! – Russia can obviously claim, "Well, we tried."

[Sep 28, 2020] No wonder Pompey and his friend Jeffries won't give up on Syria! No wonder

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Virtually every aspect of the Syrian opposition was cultivated and marketed by Western government-backed public relations firms, from their political narratives to their branding, from what they said to where they said it. ..."
Sep 28, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

"Western government-funded intelligence cutouts trained Syrian opposition leaders, planted stories in media outlets from BBC to Al Jazeera, and ran a cadre of journalists. A trove of leaked documents exposes the propaganda network."

"Leaked documents show how UK government contractors developed an advanced infrastructure of propaganda to stimulate support in the West for Syria's political and armed opposition.

Virtually every aspect of the Syrian opposition was cultivated and marketed by Western government-backed public relations firms, from their political narratives to their branding, from what they said to where they said it.

The leaked files reveal how Western intelligence cutouts played the media like a fiddle, carefully crafting English- and Arabic-language media coverage of the war on Syria to churn out a constant stream of pro-opposition coverage.

US and European contractors trained and advised Syrian opposition leaders at all levels, from young media activists to the heads of the parallel government-in-exile . These firms also organized interviews for Syrian opposition leaders on mainstream outlets such as BBC and the UK's Channel 4.

More than half of the stringers used by Al Jazeera in Syria were trained in a joint US-UK government program called Basma, which produced hundreds of Syrian opposition media activists.

Western government PR firms not only influenced the way the media covered Syria, but as the leaked documents reveal, they produced their own propagandistic pseudo-news for broadcast on major TV networks in the Middle East, including BBC Arabic, Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, and Orient TV .

These UK-funded firms functioned as full-time PR flacks for the extremist-dominated Syrian armed opposition. One contractor, called InCoStrat, said it was in constant contact with a network of more than 1,600 international journalists and "influencers," and used them to push pro-opposition talking points.

Another Western government contractor, ARK, crafted a strategy to "re-brand" Syria's Salafi-jihadist armed opposition by "softening its image ." ARK boasted that it provided opposition propaganda that "aired almost every day on" major Arabic-language TV networks."

"The Western contractor ARK was a central force in launching the White Helmets operation.

The leaked documents show ARK ran the Twitter and Facebook pages of Syria Civil Defense, known more commonly as the White Helmets.

ARK took credit for developing "an internationally-focused communications campaign designed to raise global awareness of the (White Helmets) teams and their life saving work."

ARK also facilitated communications between the White Helmets and The Syria Campaign , a PR firm run out of London and New York that helped popularize the White Helmets in the United States.

It was apparently "following subsequent discussions with ARK and the teams" that The Syria Campaign "selected civil defence to front its campaign to keep Syria in the news," the firm wrote in a report for the UK Foreign Office." thegreyzone

--------------

Using really basic intelligence analytic tools; Occam's Razor, Walks like a duck, Smileyesque back azimuth's, etc. it has been clear that the UK government has been deeply involved in sponsoring and influencing the Syrian/ jihadi opposition in that miserable country. The wide spread British Old Boys network of aspirants to the tradition of imperial manipulation has been visible just below the surface if you had eyes to look and a brain to think.

A lot of the money for this folly came right out of USAID.

pl

https://thegrayzone.com/2020/09/23/syria-leaks-uk-contractors-opposition-media/


ISL , 27 September 2020 at 04:03 PM

Dear Colonel agreed.

I object to the line in the article that they "played the media like a fiddle" - as it implies the mainstream media is a victim as opposed to willing accomplice.

The American public very strongly told Obama they didn't want another invasion and war in the middle east (red lines or not) so rather ineffective propaganda.

Moreover, I suspect that given the US public inattention to overseas events that do not involve much US blood (in places they can not find on a map). Today's mess would be where more or less the same if the entire IO had never happened - though maybe with less cynicism of US/UK gov'ts and media.

OTH, it is curious how well the British Old Boys network (and US) aligns with Israeli interests (and runs counter to US or British interests). Maybe grayzone will investigate that (impressive) IO campaign. I think a small country in the middle east played US and UK elites like a fiddle.

The Twisted Genius , 27 September 2020 at 04:48 PM

I've only given this article a cursory reading so far and it is clear that the Brits are going balls to the wall on the PSYOPS/perception management front. This campaign flows naturally from the strong material support for the Syrian "moderate rebels" provided by the US, the Brits and probably others for years. We may still be blowing up IS jihadis, but we're also supporting our own brand of jihadis around Al-Tanf, giving free hand to Erdogan's jihadis along the Turkish-Syrian border and doing our best to stymie R+6 efforts to crush the remaining jihadis and unite Syria.

The article focuses on the contractors role in PSYOP. I'm not sure if it mentions the British government's role in this. The GCHQ's Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG) probably manages most of those contractors. The British Army also has the 77th Brigade. This brigade's slogan is: "behavioural change is our unique selling point". Gordon MacMillan, a reserve officer with the 77th Brigade, is now Twitter's head of editorial operations for the Middle East.
The 77th was formed in 2015 and subsumed the 15th Psychological Operations Group which was headed by Steve Tathan, who went on to head the defence division of SCL, the now defunct parent of Cambridge Analytica. I'm sure the 77th is capable of managing some of those contractors, as well. I wouldn't be surprised if quite a few of contractors were also reservists in the 77th.

I bet we're not letting the Brits have all the fun. The CIA Special Activities Center (formerly SAD) includes the Political Action Group for PSYOP, economic warfare and cyberwarfare. That dovetails nicely with what CENTCOM is doing in Syria. I knew some of those guys a while back. I remember scaring them with some of my own anarchist hacker rantings when I was penetrating those hackers.

Our Army has fours PSYOP groups brigade-sized), two active and 2 reserve. I would think they have advanced their methodology since I took the course at Bragg. For a few years, they were called military information support operations (MISO) groups rather than PSYOP groups. They have since reverted to their PSYOP name although their activities are referred to as MISO. I don't know what the difference is.

Babak makkinejad , 27 September 2020 at 05:10 PM

ISL

No, no, no.

There is no such small country as you describe in the Near East.

There is an self-disciplined proxy force masquerading as a state which is mostly funded by the United States to further the religious policies of the WASP Culture Continent.

It is no accident that in this context, the names of US and UK occur often in the same sentences; one declared a crusade to wrestle control of Plastine from Muslims, and the otber one carried out that crusade and escalated it.

That is also the reason that US cannot end the war over Palestine or leave Islamdom

(Oil, Geostrategic considerations, arms sales, Realpolitik are just pseudo-rationications to obscure the real war.)

Diana Croissant , 28 September 2020 at 07:45 AM

Where is Candide (aka Voltaire) when we need him?

BABAK MAKKINEJAD , 28 September 2020 at 09:14 AM

Ishmael Zechariah

How WASP-dom has arrived in this crusade is not, in my opinion, as significant as that it has been waging it for more than a hundred years.

fakebot , 28 September 2020 at 10:43 AM

"WASP Culture" is into golfing, not crusading. Erik Prince and the religious fundamentalists, maybe, but they don't drive US policy.

Russia and/or Chinese dominion over Eurasia cannot be permitted. Their means to achieve that would be less ethical, not that the US or UK have been prince among men and salts of the earth, as noted in the article.

The US has tried in vain to win over hearts and minds. It has been a mostly noble effort to bring countries like Iraq and Afghanistan into the 21st century, but it was always more of a losing game. The problem lies too much in Islam and tribal rivalries.

[Sep 28, 2020] Ziocon Trump is a master of deception: has not delivered on any of his promises, hired neocons, assholes, and morons

Highly recommended!
Sep 28, 2020 | www.unz.com

Robert Dolan , says: September 26, 2020 at 7:06 pm GMT

@Realist d on him and tried to remove him from office. This is actually the greatest political scandal in American history, yet nothing will be done about it. The magic negro will never face any consequences and he and his ugly wife will remain free to race bait for another 30 years unimpeded.

Trump and the GOP allowed the covid hoax to wreck the economy and allowed massive riots to go on for many months. They allow the left to run wild while whites live under anarcho-tyranny.

If Trump wins, which is likely, he will just go right back to blabbing about how much he loves blacks and mexicans and gays and you will never hear another word about white people.

Robert Dolan , says: September 26, 2020 at 9:23 pm GMT
@restless94110 p> Obama fired many upper level military and replaced them with leftist cucks.

Besides Trump not getting rid of people he should have gotten rid of, he hired a shitload of scum, neocons, Goldman alums, etc., people who were obviously not going to promote his America First agenda.

From the looks of it he never intended to make good on any of his promises.

And as Ann Coulter says, immigration is really the only thing that matters. Trump didn't deport the 30 million illegals that don't belong here. He didn't do anything about birthright citizenship, E-verify, etc.

We still face the very same demographic disaster as before.

Realist , says: September 26, 2020 at 10:17 pm GMT
@Robert Dolan

Trump doesn't even have the balls to go after the people who spied on him and tried to remove him from office.

I agree on your points

Here is a video of Tom Fitton explaining the situation to Lou Dobbs.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/A5thJyj5I7I?feature=oembed

Realist , says: September 26, 2020 at 10:21 pm GMT
@Harold Smith

I don't think anyone was actually trying to remove him from office (they could've added his war crimes and violations of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations to the impeachment charges if they were serious about removing him). Most likely it's all political theater to fool the people who need and/or want to be fooled.

This is a charade designed by the Deep State to distract any thought that both parties are just two sides to the Deep State coin.

restless94110 , says: September 26, 2020 at 10:57 pm GMT
@Robert Dolan did get rid of some military, he clearly didn't get rid of the right people.

You seem to think it's easy. It's not obviously.

I like Ann, but she is hysterical. Yet that is ok in a journalist/editorialist. Her function is to keep pushing. And she is doing that.

But Trump is moving at his own speed based on his own instincts. Meaning it might be faster for some, slower for others. Coulter is not able to understand that. But she does not have to. I still read her. And then I analyze her as a person in fear that the wall won't be built.

Looks to me like Ann is wrong. It's just not happening quickly enough for her.

[Sep 28, 2020] Trump is a lion when it comes to defending Israel and all things Zionist. He is a mouse and totally ineffectual when it comes to defending the interests of the American people who voted for him

Sep 28, 2020 | www.unz.com

lavoisier , says: Website September 27, 2020 at 12:27 am GMT

@Harold Smith s and neocons to key positions in his government; and he is totally ineffectual in defending free speech and the rights of the historic American nation to defend itself against racist blacks and a Jewish dominated injustice system.

It is really sad that there are so many individuals who still believe Trump is on our side when he has failed so miserably to keep the promises he was elected upon.

Of course Biden is a demented corruptocrat and the Democrats are pure evil, but Trump is an unprincipled moron incapable of keeping his promises.

Sad. Very sad that our nation has deteriorated to such an extent that so many people cling to a deluded belief that Trump is somehow a great leader serving the American nation.

[Sep 28, 2020] "Then there are the Chinese. OK, they really are communists, but who is it that has bought into the nonsense about them oppressing poor, innocent, religious head choppers?

Sep 28, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

One Too Many | Aug 9 2020 0:42 utc | 46

William Gruff , Aug 8 2020 23:50 utc | 40

"Then there are the Chinese. OK, they really are communists, but who is it that has bought into the nonsense about them oppressing poor, innocent, religious head choppers? Who cares even if those lies were true? Yep, that's millennial morons."

Actually it was the USG through funding of various think tanks and NGOs that started the whole fiasco with the MSM pushing the narrative. You know people with power in established organizations, who tend to be much older. I wouldn't blame the people at the bottom so much for the decisions made at the top.

[Sep 28, 2020] The great Orwellian hypocrisy of America's pants-wetting complaints that other countries are meddling in America's (fake) democracy is that the United States itself is guilty of regime changing, balkanizing, and colonizing scores of foreign nations dating back over a century to the USA's regime change and eventual colonization of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

Notable quotes:
"... We have no evidence, but don't forget, they are evil and wouldn't hesitate to do it! ..."
Sep 28, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

ak74 , Aug 10 2020 6:55 utc | 71

"The statement then claims:

Ahead of the 2020 U.S. elections, foreign states will continue to use covert and overt influence measures in their attempts to sway U.S. voters' preferences and perspectives, shift U.S. policies, increase discord in the United States, and undermine the American people's confidence in our democratic process."

What America is yet again conniving to do is to discredit any domestic political dissent against the fraud of "American Democracy" by connecting this dissent to those nations that are the latest targets of America's Two Minutes of Hate campaign.

This is a standard American tactic that the USA always resorts to when it fears its own citizens are starting to question the fairy tale of American "Democracy and Freedom." Thus, during the Cold War, the USA even to discredit some elements of the Civil Rights movement as being assets of the Soviet Union.

The great Orwellian hypocrisy of America's pants-wetting complaints that other countries are meddling in America's (fake) democracy is that the United States itself is guilty of regime changing, balkanizing, and colonizing scores of foreign nations dating back over a century to the USA's regime change and eventual colonization of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

Bottom Line: America needs to drink a big up of Shut the F*ck Up with its pathetic Pity Party whining about foreigners trying to influence its bogus democracy.

This tired psyops is pathetic.

Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq
https://books.google.com/books/about/Overthrow.html?id=Q3o2BaNiJksC

Killing Hope
U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II
https://williamblum.org/books/killing-hope

padre , Aug 10 2020 15:12 utc | 74

We have no evidence, but don't forget, they are evil and wouldn't hesitate to do it!

[Sep 27, 2020] The Real Russian Playbook Is Written in English by Patrick Armstrong

Jul 17, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org

I hadn't given The Russian Playbook much attention until Susan Rice, Obama's quondam security advisor, opined a month ago on CNN that " I'm not reading the intelligence today, or these days -- but based on my experience, this is right out of the Russian playbook ". She was referring to the latest U.S. riots.

Once I'd seen this mention of The Russian Playbook (aka KGB, Kremlin or Putin's Playbook), I saw the expression all over the place. Here's an early – perhaps the earliest – use of the term. In October 2016, the Center for Strategic and International studies (" Ranked #1 ") informed us of the " Kremlin Playbook " with this ominous beginning

There was a deeply held assumption that, when the countries of Central and Eastern Europe joined NATO and the European Union in 2004, these countries would continue their positive democratic and economic transformation. Yet more than a decade later, the region has experienced a steady decline in democratic standards and governance practices at the same time that Russia's economic engagement with the region expanded significantly.

And asks

Are these developments coincidental, or has the Kremlin sought deliberately to erode the region's democratic institutions through its influence to 'break the internal coherence of the enemy system'?

Well, to these people, to ask the question is to answer it: can't possibly be disappointment at the gap between 2004's expectations and 2020's reality, can't be that they don't like the total Western values package that they have to accept, it must be those crafty Russians deceiving them. This was the earliest reference to The Playbook that I found, but it certainly wasn't the last.

Russia has a century-old playbook for 'disinformation' 'I believe in Russia they do have their own manual that essentially prescribes what to do,' said Clint Watts, a research fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and a former FBI agent. (Nov 2018)

The Russian playbook for spreading fake news and conspiracy theories is the subject of a new three-part video series on The New York Times website titled 'Operation Infektion: Russian Disinformation: From The Cold War To Kanye.' (Nov 2018)

I found headlines such as these: Former CIA Director Outlines Russian Playbook for Influencing Unsuspecting Targets (May 2017) ; Fmr. CIA op.: Don Jr. meeting part of Russian playbook (Jul 2017) ; Americans Use Russian Playbook to Spread Disinformation (Oct 2018) ; Factory of Lies: The Russian Playbook (Nov 2018) ; Shredding the Putin Playbook: Six crucial steps we must take on cyber-security -- before it's too late. (Winter 2018) ; Trump's spin is 'all out of the KGB playbook': Counterintelligence expert Malcolm Nance (May 2019) .

Of course, all these people are convinced Moscow interfered in the 2016 presidential election. Somehow. To some effect. Never really specified but the latest outburst of insanity is this video from the Lincoln Project . As Anatoly Karlin observes: "I think it's really cool how we Russians took over America just by shitposting online. How does it feel to be subhuman?" He has a point: the Lincoln Project, and the others shrieking about Russian interference, take it for granted that American democracy is so flimsy and Americans so gullible that a few Facebook ads can bring the whole facade down. A curious mental state indeed.

So let us consider The Russian Playbook. It stands at the very heart of Russian power. It is old: at least a century old . Why, did not Tolstoy's 1908 Letter to a Hindu inspire Gandhi to bring down the British Indian Empire and win the Great Game for Moscow? The Tolstoy-Putin link is undeniable as we are told in A Post-Soviet 'War and Peace': What Tolstoy's Masterwork Explains About Putin's Foreign Policy : "In the early decades of the nineteenth century, Napoleon (like Putin after him) wanted to construct his own international order ". Russian novelists: adepts of The Playbook every one . So there is much to consider about this remarkable Book which has had such an enormous – hidden to most – role in world history. Its instructions on how to swing Western elections are especially important: the 2016 U.S. election ; Brexit ; " 100 years of Russian electoral interference "; Canada ; France ; the European Union ; Germany and many more. The awed reader must ask whether any Western election since Tolstoy's day can be trusted. Not to forget the Great Hawaiian Pizza Debate the Russians could start at any moment.

What can we know about The Playbook? For a start it must be written in Russian, a language that those crafty Russians insist on speaking among themselves. Secondly such an important document would be protected the way that highly classified material is protected. There would be a very restricted need to know; underlings participating in one of the many plays would not know how their part fitted into The Playbook; few would ever see The Playbook itself. The Playbook would be brought to the desk of the few authorised to see it by a courier, signed for, the courier would watch the reader and take away the copy afterwards. The very few copies in existence would be securely locked away; each numbered and differing subtly from the others so that, should a leak occur, the authorities would know which copy read by whom had been leaked. Printed on paper that could not be photographed or duplicated. As much protection as human cunning could devise; right up there with the nuclear codes .

So, The Russian Playbook would be extraordinarily difficult to get hold of. And yet every talking head on U.S. TV has a copy at his elbow! English copies, one assumes. Rachel Maddow has comprehended the complicated chapter on how to control the U.S. power system . Others have read the impenetrably complex section on how to control U.S. voting machines or change vote counts . Many are familiar with the lists of divisions in American society and directions for exploiting them . Adam Schiff has mastered the section on how to get Trump to give Alaska back . Susan Rice well knows the chapter "How to create riots in peaceful communities".

And so on. It's all quite ridiculous: we're supposed to believe that Moscow easily controls far-away countries but can't keep its neighbours under control.

There is no Russian Playbook, that's just projection. But there is a "playbook" and it's written in English, it's freely available and it's inexpensive enough that every pundit can have a personal copy: it's named " From Dictatorship To Democracy: A Conceptual Framework for Liberation " and it's written by Gene Sharp (1928-2018) . Whatever Sharp may have thought he was doing, whatever good cause he thought he was assisting, his book has been used as a guide to create regime changes around the world. Billed as "democracy" and "freedom", their results are not so benign. Witness Ukraine today. Or Libya. Or Kosovo whose long-time leader has just been indicted for numerous crimes . Curiously enough, these efforts always take place in countries that resist Washington's line but never in countries that don't. Here we do see training, financing, propaganda, discord being sown, divisions exploited to effect regime change – all the things in the imaginary "Russian Playbook". So, whatever he may have thought he was helping, Sharp's advice has been used to produce what only the propagandists could call " model interventions "; to the "liberated" themselves, the reality is poverty , destruction , war and refugees .

The Albert Einstein Institution , which Sharp created in 1983, strongly denies collusion with Washington-sponsored overthrows but people from it have organised seminars or workshops in many targets of U.S. overthrows . The most recent annual report of 2014 , while rather opaque, shows 45% of its income from "grants" (as opposed to "individuals") and has logos of Euromaidan, SOSVenezuela, Umbrellamovement , Lwili , Sunflowersquare and others. In short, the logos of regime change operations in Ukraine, Venezuela, Hong Kong, Burkina Faso and Taiwan. (And, ironically for today's USA, Black Lives Matter). So, clearly, there is some connection between the AEI and Washington-sponsored regime change operations.

So there is a "handbook" but it's not Russian.

Reading Sharp's book, however, makes one wonder if he was just fooling himself. Has there ever been a "dictatorship" overthrown by "non-violent" resistance along the lines of what he is suggesting? He mentions Norwegians who resisted Hitler; but Norway was liberated, along with the rest of Occupied Europe, by extremely violent warfare. While some Jews escaped, most didn't and it was the conquest of Berlin that saved the rest: the nazi state was killed . The USSR went away, together with its satellite governments in Europe but that was a top-down event. He likes Gandhi but Gandhi wouldn't have lasted a minute under Stalin. Otpor was greatly aided by NATO's war on Serbia. And, they're only "non-violent" because the Western media doesn't talk much about the violence ; "non-violent" is not the first word that comes to mind in this video of Kiev 2014 . "Colour revolutions" are manufactured from existing grievances, to be sure, but with a great deal of outside assistance, direction and funding; upon inspection, there's much design behind their "spontaneity". And, not infrequently, with mysterious sniping at a expedient moment – see Katchanovski's research on the "Heavenly Hundred" of the Maidan showing pretty convincingly that the shootings were " a false flag operation" involving "an alliance of the far right organizations, specifically the Right Sector and Svoboda, and oligarchic parties, such as Fatherland". There is little in Sharp's book to suggest that non-violent resistance would have had much effect on a really brutal and determined government. He also has the naïve habit of using "democrat" and "dictator" as if these words were as precisely defined as coconuts and codfish. But any "dictatorship" – for example Stalin's is a very complex affair with many shades of opinion in it. So, in terms of what he was apparently trying to do, one can see it only succeeding against rather mild "dictators" presiding over extremely unpopular polities. With a great deal of outside effort and resources.

His "playbook" is useful to outside powers that want to overthrow governments they don't like. Especially those run by "dictators" not brutal enough to shoot the protesters down. It's not Russian diplomats that are caught choosing the leaders of ostensibly independent countries . It's not Russians who boast of spending money in poor countries to change their governments . It's not Russian diplomats who meet with foreign opposition leaders . Russia doesn't fabricate a leader of a foreign country . It's not Russia that invents a humanitarian crisis , bombs the country to bits , laughs at its leader's brutal death and walks away. It's not Russia that sanctions numerous countries . It's not Russia that gives fellowships to foreign oppositionists . Even the Washington Post (one of the principals in sustaining Putindunnit hysteria) covered " The long history of the U.S. interfering with elections elsewhere "; but piously insisted "the days of its worst behavior are long behind it". Whatever the pundits may claim about Russia, the USA actually has an organisation devoted to interfering in other countries' business ; one of whose leading lights proudly boasted: " A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA. "

The famous "Russian Playbook" is nothing but projection onto Moscow of what Washington actually does: projection is so common a feature of American propaganda that one may certain that when Washington accuses somebody else of doing something, it's a guarantee that Washington is doing it. Also by this author

Patrick Armstrong was an analyst in the Canadian Department of National Defence specialising in the USSR/Russia from 1984 and a Counsellor in the Canadian Embassy in Moscow in 1993-1996. He retired in 2008 and has been writing on Russia and related subjects on the Net ever since.

[Sep 27, 2020] PODCAST- Tribute to Andre Vltchek- "West's sadistic personality disorder" by Kevin Barrett

Sep 27, 2020 | www.unz.com

One of the most vibrantly alive people I met, André Vltchek, just died . Though he barely made it past his mid-fifties he got in a lot more living than a hundred average Americans who live to collect their pensions. Allah yarhamhu.

In honor of this great Truth Jihadi we're replaying this 2018 interview:

André Vltchek on West's sadistic personality disorder (originally broadcast May 2, 2018)

The West claims to be the "free world" -- the global leader in human rights, humanitarianism, and free expression. Globetrotting independent journalist André Vltchek , who joins us from Borneo, isn't buying it. His latest essay begins:

Western culture is clearly obsessed with rules, guilt, submissiveness and punishment.

By now it is clear that the West is the least free society on Earth. In North America and Europe, almost everyone is under constant scrutiny: people are spied on, observed, their personal information is being continually extracted, and the surveillance cameras are used indiscriminately.

Life is synchronized and managed. There are hardly any surprises.

One can sleep with whomever he or she wishes (as long as it is done within the 'allowed protocol'). Homosexuality and bisexuality are allowed. But that is about all; that is how far 'freedom' usually stretches.

Rebellion is not only discouraged, it is fought against, brutally. For the tiniest misdemeanors or errors, people end up behind bars. As a result, the U.S. has more prisoners per capita than any other country on Earth, except the Seychelles.

Andre Vltchek's latest book is : The Great October Socialist Revolution: Impact on the World and Birth of Internationalism

Information on his other books and films


Luther Blisst , says: September 23, 2020 at 11:21 pm GMT

Andre taunted rightwing elites and illness – with a passion. I guess one of them caught up.

Living hard seems like a death-wish, maybe it was. Staring at darkness messes people up and he traveled again and again into the hearts of darkness across the planet because he wanted to be a modern Wilfred Burchett. He was one of the greats. My condolences to his family and friends.

Peace to Stephen Cohen too. You both will be missed.

PetrOldSack , says: September 24, 2020 at 11:00 am GMT

André Vltchek was not an intellectual heavyweight. What is fascinating about his life-story is how and who financed. That should be easy for insiders to fish out, and insiders there be.

As to my humble opinion, Chomsky was neither. From all angles, his pre-fabricated prestige, his in-group attitudes, his encrusted prestance, pettiness, pedantry, always within convention, his factoid approach, the channels of communication, the lack of any systemic approach, his "good guys bad guys" copper´ approach, did not warrant the few hours listening in on his tune and omni-presence. His numb personality, contrary to the combative Vltchek is noted as a minor.

Some "intellectuals" have half a page of original content in them over the course of a life-time (not the same as career (n´est ce pas Pinker?)), most have none. "History repeat itself", through the bull-horns of public intellectuals. They both practiced a sort of journalism that is superficial (accent on the superficial) agenda driven.

They both are within the K. B. range.

No Friend Of The Devil , says: September 24, 2020 at 9:07 pm GMT

@Robert Konrad,

Ex-CIA John Kiriakou stated that the CIA was attempting to recruit just about anyone that they were able to starting in the sixties ranging from Hollywood actors/actresses, musicians, writers, journalists, artists, business people, just about anyone. Operation Mockingbird is still widely used even if it is no longer regerred to it as Operation Mockingbird.

brabantian , says: September 26, 2020 at 11:14 am GMT

André Vltchek (1962-2020) was the son of a Czech nuclear physicist father, and a Russian-Chinese artist-architect mother, born in Soviet-era St Petersburg (then Leningrad). He spent part of his childhood as well in the famous Czech beer city of Pilsen.

Here, an article where Vltchek talked about his roots, and his nostalgia for life under Communism in eastern Europe
https://www.chinadailyhk.com/article/134280#How-we-sold-Soviet-Union-and-Czechoslovakia-for-plastic-shopping-bags

Eulogy for André Vltchek by China expert Jeff J Brown

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

Adûnâi , says: Website September 26, 2020 at 2:12 pm GMT

Western culture is clearly obsessed with rules, guilt, submissiveness and punishment.

What culture is not? Every single population on Earth wants to survive, Westerners want non-Aryans to survive, but the mechanism is always the same. The Stasi, the Gestapo, the CIA, the KGB – they all breathed air, and they all tortured dissenters. Turkey was almost overthrown in 2016. The Shah of Iran was, as were Hosni Mubarak and Gaddafi in Egypt and Libya. Bashar is facing quite a lot of criticism for being free – that critique comes in the form of bombs and jihadi freedom fighters. The Saudi Prince is wise for strangling and beheading Khashoggi. The USSR disintegrated after they had shut down the GULAG.

As a result, the U.S. has more prisoners per capita than any other country on Earth, except the Seychelles.

In 2012, the U.S. Committee for Human Rights in [the DPR of Korea] estimated 150,000 to 200,000 are incarcerated, based on testimonies of defectors from the state police bureau, which roughly equals 600–800 people incarcerated per 100,000.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_incarceration_rate

The World Prison Brief puts the United States' incarceration rate at 655 per 100,000.

Anon [790] Disclaimer , says: September 26, 2020 at 5:27 pm GMT

Okay. If the West is the least free society on the planet, why the heck do all these third-world people keep trying to move there? It is plain that Vltchek's thinking flunks the real-world reality test.

The reality is, the rest of the world is worse off than the West, or people wouldn't keep trying to leave the third world for the West.

Robert Konrad , says: September 27, 2020 at 12:50 am GMT
@Anon ey want to have freedom of their stupid religious beliefs, not freedom from religion. They still don't know that freedom of religion is not worth anything if it also doesn't guarantee freedom from religion.

Thomas Jefferson tried very hard to explain this to them, but Yankee morons have never learned what Jefferson tried to teach them. (With some notable exceptions, though, who, however, have absolutely no political power.)

Vltchek is/was right: American/Western civilization [sic] (siphilization, rather) is bankrupt and inhuman. It can only offer an abundance of material goods and military weapons as if the only goals of human life were material things and warfare.

[Sep 27, 2020] Neoliberalisn means war: two neoliberal state clash in disputed Nagono-Karabakh: Armenia Orders 'Full Troop Mobilization' Against Azerbaijan As Tanks Clash, Martial Law Declared

So a NATO member -- Turkey is supporting Azerbaijan while Russia supports Armenia. Yet another proxy war?
Sep 27, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Sunday saw huge clashes erupt between the armies of Armenia and Azerbaijan along the already militarized and disputed Nagorno-Karabakh border region. An official state of war in the region has been declared by Yerevan.

"Early in the morning, around 7 a.m. the Azerbaijani forces launched a large-scale aggression, including missile attacks..." Armenia's Defense Ministry stated Sunday. Armenia has since reportedly declared martial law and a "total military mobilization" in what looks to be the most serious escalation between the two countries in years.

Tank warfare unfolding Sunday. Armenian Defense Ministry produced footage (still frame) of attack on Azeri positions.

Air and artillery attacks from both sides ramped up, with each side blaming the other for the start of hostilities, while international powers urge calm. Crucially, civilians have already been killed on either side by indiscriminate shelling . At least a dozen soldiers on either side have also been reported killed.

Armenia's high command has ordered all troops throughout the country to muster and report to their bases : "I invite the soldiers appointed in the forces to appear before their military commissions in the regions," a statement said.

Armenia's military has released footage of significant tank warfare in progress. The below is said to be Armenian army forces destroying Azerbaijani tanks:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/-mJffVrtPLk

And here's more from Sunday's fighting:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/D2jd1bw0AXQ?start=9

The recent conflict hearkens back to 2016, but before that to post-Soviet times. Christian Armenia and Muslim Azerbaijan fought a war at that time in which at least 200 people were killed over Armenian ethnic breakaway Nagorno Karabakh, which declared independence in 1991, despite being internationally recognized as within Azerbaijan territory .

me title=

The first war for the territory finished in 1994, but the region has been militarized since, amid sporadic shelling.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1310227591031332864&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fgeopolitical%2Farmenia-declares-war-martial-law-effect-tank-warfare-azerbaijan-erupts-disputed&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=219d021%3A1598982042171&width=550px

Dozens of civilians have already been injured Sunday in the major flare-up of fighting, as CNN reports :

While Armenia said it was responding to missile attacks launched by its neighbor Sunday, Azerbaijan blamed Armenia for the clashes.

In response to the alleged firing of projectiles by Azerbaijan, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan tweeted that his country had "shot down 2 helicopters & 3 UAVs, destroyed 3 tanks."

Multiple dramatic battlefield videos are circulating on social media confirming the large-scale deployment of tanks, artillery units, and airpower . Multiple Azerbaijani soldiers have been reported killed, but it's as yet unclear what casualty numbers could be.

Turkey's role in new fighting is attracting scrutiny. Its foreign ministry blamed Armenia and called for it to halt military operations, however, it hardly appears to be a mere outside or 'neutral' observer, given new widespread reports Turkey has transferred 'Syrian rebel' units to join the fighting on Azerbaijan's side .

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1310192700184985600&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fgeopolitical%2Farmenia-declares-war-martial-law-effect-tank-warfare-azerbaijan-erupts-disputed&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=219d021%3A1598982042171&width=550px

These reports of Turkish supplied Syrian mercenaries began days ago, in what regional analysts predicted would be a huge escalation in hostilities in the Caucuses.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan late in the day slammed Turkey's meddling in the conflict . Ankara had called Armenia "an obstacle" to peace after the fresh hostilities broke out. Yerevan has now formally confirmed Turkey is supplying fighters .

Via BBC

Given the number of vital oil and gas infrastructure facilities and pipelines in the region , impact on global markets could be seen as early as Monday.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-2&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1310265444847120386&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fgeopolitical%2Farmenia-declares-war-martial-law-effect-tank-warfare-azerbaijan-erupts-disputed&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=219d021%3A1598982042171&width=550px

"At least 16 military and several civilians were killed on Sunday in the heaviest clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan since 2016, reigniting concern about stability in the South Caucasus, a corridor for pipelines carrying oil and gas to world markets," Reuters reports.

Azerbaijan has also declared an official state of martial law while clashes between the armies are unfolding.

Meanwhile footage has emerged showing Armenia's nationwide mustering of its national and reserve forces :

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Unverified footage of frontline fighting into the night:

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-4&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1310273042929590274&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fgeopolitical%2Farmenia-declares-war-martial-law-effect-tank-warfare-azerbaijan-erupts-disputed&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=219d021%3A1598982042171&width=550px

"Pipelines shipping Caspian oil and natural gas from Azerbaijan to the world pass close to Nagorno-Karabakh," Reuters reports. "Armenia also warned about security risks in the South Caucasus in July after Azerbaijan threatened to attack Armenia's nuclear power plant as possible retaliation ."

The fighting is expected to grow fiercer along front lines in the disputed region into the night as the prospect of a full 'state of war' is looming between the historic rivals.


[Sep 26, 2020] From Conflict to Crisis - The Danger of U.S. Actions by Jeanne M. Haskin

A brilliant book !
Sep 26, 2020 | www.amazon.com

The rich understand that capitalism is a game of musical chairs. It's systemic class warfare conducted on a grand scale to discourage solidarity across lines that might otherwise threaten the system, and with each market re-set arranged by the Federal Reserve, more of the country's resources fall into wealthy hands.

Examining what happens when a society favors old money over new and breaks all the rules to make the world safe for finance, author Jeanne Haskin predicts increasing volatility and violence in the United States if we do not significantly change course.

For a preview of what lies ahead for the U.S., the author takes us for a quick exemplary trip through Central America.

A society that is reared on competition will face unsettling challenges to authority if it doesn't set certain functions outside the arena of battle, via systematic enrichment of the affluent minority that has always had the power to topple and ruin the system.

Today's preoccupation with America's revolutionary history is not just a piece of theater. At the heart of America's outrage is an inability to lash out and demand redemption from the source of its distress because the pain is inflicted, not by hatred, but by the fundamental lack of stability built into our way of life.

Now that a fifth of the population is suffering job loss, foreclosures, or exclusion from employment due to prejudice, poor credit, a lack of skills or education, a glut of competition and insufficient opportunity, the failure to provide for the helpless majority means the system is at an impasse. Because the system can't or won't perform, the Tea Party's rise was preemptive with all its implied violence and 'real' American theater as the means to channel our anger into voting out Obama so reform can proceed unimpeded...with all its inherent dangers.

After reviewing some foreign examples that erupted in the environments of colonialism and post-colonialism, neoliberalism, militarism and oligarchies, the author filters through the head-spinning social and political noise that stands in for responsible debate in America today. Ms. Haskin's richly documented essay sees a bonfire prepared as social tensions are increased and inter-group pressures are encouraged to mount. So much for "One nation..."

Title Pagev
Table of Contentsxi
Introduction1
Chapter One- Unearthing the Bones7
Chapter Two- Instilling the Illusion of Choice19
Chapter Three- Political Strategizing23
Chapter Four- Behavioral Economics27
Chapter Five- Favoring Old Money over New33
Chapter Six- Making the World Safe for Finance39
Chapter Seven- The Colonial History of Belize51
Chapter Eight- Belize -- Party Politics and Debt65
Chapter Nine- Belize -- Recommendations of the IMF83
Chapter Ten- Nicaragua 1522–193991
Chapter Eleven- Nicaragua -- The Somoza Dynasty107
Chapter Twelve- Nicaragua -- Opposition to the Sandinistas119
Chapter Thirteen- Nicaragua -- Implementing Neoliberalism133
Chapter Fourteen- El Salvador -- The Military and the Oligarchy151
Chapter Fifteen- El Salvador -- The War and Its Aftermath165
Chapter Sixteen- Honduras -- Land of Instability179
Chapter Seventeen- Honduras -- The Impact of the Contras191
Chapter Eighteen- Fast-Forward to a Volatile USA205
Bibliography227
Index25

[Sep 26, 2020] The origin of Full Spectrum Dominance Doctrine

Sep 26, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Anatol Lieven's recent piece, How the west lost , describes this moral defeat of the 'west' after its dubious 'victory' in the cold war:

Accompanying this overwhelmingly dominant political and economic ideology was an American geopolitical vision equally grandiose in ambition and equally blind to the lessons of history. This was summed up in the memorandum on "Defence Planning Guidance 1994-1999," drawn up in April 1992 for the Bush Senior administration by Under-Secretary of Defence Paul Wolfowitz and Lewis "Scooter" Libby, and subsequently leaked to the media. Its central message was:
...
While that 1992 Washington paper spoke of the "legitimate interests" of other states, it clearly implied that it would be Washington that would define what interests were legitimate, and how they could be pursued. And once again, though never formally adopted, this "doctrine" became in effect the standard operating procedure of subsequent administrations. In the early 2000s, when its influence reached its most dangerous height, military and security elites would couch it in the terms of "full spectrum dominance." As the younger President Bush declared in his State of the Union address in January 2002, which put the US on the road to the invasion of Iraq: "By the grace of God, America won the Cold War A world once divided into two armed camps now recognises one sole and pre-eminent power, the United States of America."

But that power has since failed in the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan, during the 2008 financial crisis and now again in the pandemic.

[Sep 26, 2020] What is predatory capitalism

Highly recommended!
Sep 26, 2020 | www.amazon.com

Extracted from: From Conflict to Crisis- The Danger of U.S. Actions by Jeanne M. Haskin

CHAPTER TWO: INSTILLING THE ILLUSION OF CHOICE

Selfishness may be exalted as the root and branch of capitalism, but it doesn't make you look good to the party on the receiving end or those whose sympathy he earns. For that, you need a government prepared to do four things, which each have separate dictums based on study, theorization, and experience. Coercion: Force is illegitimate only if you can't sell it. Persuasion: How do I market thee? Let me count the ways. Bargaining: If you won't scratch my back, then how about a piece of the pie? Indoctrination: Because I said so. (And paid for the semantics.)

Predatory capitalism is the control and expropriation of land, labor, and natural resources by a foreign government via coercion, persuasion, bargaining, and indoctrination.

At the coercive stage, we can expect military and/or police intervention to repress the subject populace. The persuasive stage will be marked by clientelism, in which a small percentage of the populace will be rewarded for loyalty, often serving as the capitalists' administrators, tax collectors, and enforcers. At the bargaining stage, efforts will be made to include the populace, or a certain percentage of it, in the country's ruling system, and this is usually marked by steps toward democratic (or, more often, autocratic) governance.

At the fourth stage, the populace is educated by capitalists, such that they continue to maintain a relationship of dependency.

The Predatory Debt Link

In many cases, post-colonial states were forced to assume the debts of their colonizers. And where they did not, they were encouraged to become in debt to the West via loans that were issued through international institutions to ensure they did not fall prey to communism or pursue other economic policies that were inimical to the West. Debt is the tie that binds nation states to the geostrategic and economic interests of the West.

As such, the Cold War era was a time of easy credit, luring postcolonial states to undertake the construction of useless monoliths and monuments, and to even expropriate such loans through corruption and despotism, thereby making these independent rulers as predatory as colonizers. While some countries were wiser than others and did use the funds for infrastructural improvements, these were also things that benefited the West and particularly Western contractors. In his controversial work Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, John Perkins reveals that he was a consultant for an American firm (MAIN), whose job was to ensure that states became indebted beyond their means so they would remain loyal to their creditors, buying them votes within United Nations organizations, among other things.

Predatory capitalists demand export-orientations as the means to generate foreign currency with which to pay back debt. In the process, the state must privatize and drastically slash or eliminate any domestic subsidies which are aimed at helping native industry compete in the marketplace. Domestic consumption and imports must be radically contained, as shown by the exchange rate policies recommended by the IMF. The costs of obtaining domestic capital will be pushed beyond the reach of most native producers, while wages must be depressed to an absolute bare minimum. In short, the country's land, labor, and natural resources must be sold at bargain basement prices in order to make these goods competitive, in what one author has called "a spiraling race to the bottom," as countries producing predominantly the same goods engage in cutthroat competition whose benefactor is the West.

Under these circumstances, foreign investment is encouraged, but this, too, represents a loaded situation for countries that open their markets to financial liberalization.

[Sep 26, 2020] Galloway- Lying industry may be the only sector of Western economies still in full production TAXPAYERS pay for it

Highly recommended!
Sep 26, 2020 | www.rt.com

If you have ever wondered why Syrian jihadists, or so-called 'moderate opposition', got support from the woke liberal West, a recent leak by Anonymous reveals it's because Western governments funded this propaganda.

In the end, it is the sheer childishness of the propaganda which amazes me most, not that our rulers lie about other countries – I have always known that. But somehow there was a kernel of truth around which the web of lies was spun, for example about life in the old Soviet Union.

I began to realise the scope of Western ability to literally invent the most baseless lies only in the run-up to the Iraq War in 2003, and only because I knew more about Iraq than any politician in Britain or America and ten times more than the average made-up telly-dolly chuntering through their auto-cued war propaganda. The women presenters weren't any better.

This all came flooding back to me when I received an email from Anonymous earlier this week and then read Ben Norton's excellent analysis of it all in The GrayZone.

If anyone ever wondered how the hordes of head-chopping throat-cutting heart-eating gay-murdering women-hating 'Jihadists' of the Syrian War ever managed to get a fair press in a 'woke' liberal West that gets hot under the lace collar about JK Rowling novels, the answers are all in the Anonymous leak . The principle answer is that you, the taxpayer, paid for it.

That's right. The blizzard of 'White Helmets' (who made it right up to the Oscars to thank everyone who'd helped them except those that had helped them the most), "chemical-weapons attacks" and all the paraphernalia of a newly "moderate opposition" in Syria – was all paid for by YOU. Millions of pounds of British taxpayers' money was revealed to have been spent secretly on UK support for the throat-cutting coalition of chaos, which for a decade massacred its way across Syria wearing a snow-white Western beard of respectability.

It would appear that while the US (or rather its milk-cows in the Gulf) was paying for the lethal-weapons, perfidious Albion was doing what it does best – lying through its teeth whilst making those being lied to, pay for the privilege. Now that – thanks to the leaks – we know this, it should put us on guard for the next one. Yet somehow it doesn't, at least not for the purveyors of the news.

The Lazarus-like resurrection (and photo-shoot) of Russia's opposition figure and Western darling Alexey Navalny after yet another alleged Novichok (believed to be 5-8 times more toxic than VX nerve agent) attack without so much as a tracheostomy to show for it is swallowed whole in yet another anti-Russian public relations offensive.

ALSO ON RT.COM Caitlin Johnstone: MSM smear merchants target critics of Establishment China narratives

Grown sane men call my television show to talk about 'concentration camps' in China in which, we are told, "a million Uighur Muslims" are being held and forcibly sterilised. This is despite the allegations being largely based on studies backed by the American government and statements by Western media favourite, German researcher Adrian Zenz. Zenz, who is part of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, a US-backed advocacy group, believes that he is "led by God" on his "mission" against China. Meanwhile, according to China's official statistics the Uighur population in Xinjiang province increased by over 25 percent between 2010 and 2018, while the Han Chinese rose by only two percent.

The lying industry may be the only sector of the Western economies still in full production. No need for furlough or bounce-back loans. The lie-machines never still. No smoke is usually detected from their chimneys, but inside, their pants are well and truly on fire.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.


[Sep 25, 2020] The End Of The 'Rules Based International Order'

Notable quotes:
"... Accompanying this overwhelmingly dominant political and economic ideology was an American geopolitical vision equally grandiose in ambition and equally blind to the lessons of history. This was summed up in the memorandum on "Defence Planning Guidance 1994-1999," drawn up in April 1992 for the Bush Senior administration by Under-Secretary of Defence Paul Wolfowitz and Lewis "Scooter" Libby ..."
"... In the early 2000s, when its influence reached its most dangerous height, military and security elites would couch it in the terms of "full spectrum dominance." ..."
"... Bhadrakumar describes how the 'west', through its own behavior, created a mighty block that now opposes its dictates. He concludes ..."
"... Quintessentially, Russia and China contest a set of neoliberal practices that have evolved in the post-World War 2 international order validating selective use of human rights as a universal value to legitimise western intervention in the domestic affairs of sovereign states. On the other hand, they also accept and continuously affirm their commitment to a number of fundamental precepts of the international order -- in particular, the primacy of state sovereignty and territorial integrity, the importance of international law, and the centrality of the United Nations and the key role of the Security Council. ..."
"... The rules are follow the dictates of our western neo-colonial institutions like the World Bank, the IMF et all. ..."
"... Its a pretty simple concept backed by the attack dog of the US military. ..."
"... 'Rules based order' was always a euphemism for exceptionalism of one kind or another. The term was invented to avoid having to say 'rule of law', which invited criticism because even the most minimal amount of law (such as Geneva conventions, ICC etc) was rejected in practice and in policy by the leading members of the actually existing world order. ..."
"... Rumor says the "Wolfowitz Doctrine" also envisioned the balkanization of Russia (the document is still classified, but it leaked to a NYT journalist at the time, who published a report on it). ..."
"... It is not over in the sense that the West hasn't given up in its attempts to take over the world. But as the "exceptionalist" western countries decline, they will go even crazier and crazier and there will be full blown hysteria. ..."
"... In this sense, the rule based order will be over as there will be only disorder and animalistic, crazed western rage and bullying. The West is like a trapped animal. It will start pouncing, raging and snarling like a wild animal. This is the real nature of the West. A hungry wild animal that needs to feed. ..."
"... But behind the liberal mask, there are hateful eyes and gnashing teeth, and hunger and greed for other people's resources. ..."
"... Expressed in words, the West's face says "I'm the best and you are nothing! Give me your stuff! And this is how it will forever be!" ..."
"... As Putin has said, the US is no longer agreement capable. ..."
"... Instead of bringing Russia into the Western liberal democracies (with the threat of major nuclear war now drastically reduced) the now Anglo-Zionist Empire just looted it. ..."
"... Actually the Trump Administration has done far more against Russia than all US administrations from the last 30 years. Do not listen what they say, look at what they do. Right now the US in a full blown Cold War with Russia with ever increasing attacks ..."
"... Rules based international order .... the U.S. functions as the the Supreme Court for the U.N. , 'we have invoked snapback sanctions and extended the arms embargo on Iran indefinitely and are enforcing it'. UN, 'but your vote failed'. ..."
"... Rules based International Order is the dog whistle for global private finance controlled economies. It is sad that we are in a civilization war with China/Russia about who runs international finance going forward and yet there is no discussion of the subject but instead all sorts of proxy conflicts. ..."
"... The US is not just facing relative decline -- the fact that others are catching up in key ways. The US is also facing absolute decline -- the fact that it is suffering a degradation of capacities and is losing competitive battles in key areas. Examples of absolute decline include the Russian and Chinese military-technological revolutions based on anti-ship and hypersonic missiles and air defense systems; Chinese 5G; China's demonstrative success in suppressing COVID and its overall manufacturing power; the declining quality of life for most Americans; and the collapse of American institutional competence. ..."
"... Related to this, we can't separate these dynamics from the political economy of the states in question. China, in particular, is showing that an interventionist state, with high levels of public ownership, is essential to qualitative power, human security, and economic and social development. ..."
"... Psssst, learning Russian is easier than Chinese and we already know a few Russian words, such as novichok. ..."
"... Russia after the Cold War was a shambles and today it remains a weak economy with a limited role on the world stage, concerned mainly with retaining some of its traditional areas of influence. China is a vastly more formidable competitor. If the US (and the UK, if as usual we tag along) approach the relationship with Beijing with anything like the combination of arrogance, ignorance, greed, criminality, bigotry, hypocrisy and incompetence with which western elites managed the period after the Cold War, then we risk losing the competition and endangering the world. [my emphasis] ..."
"... It is not over in the sense that the West hasn't given up in its attempts to take over the world. ..."
"... The contest between the Empire and the upstarts is not over by a long shot. What the West HAS lost is the "inevitability" argument. But for the upstarts to actually prevail in their "multi-lateral" vision, they have to actually entice countries to join them despite threats and intimidation from the Empire. ..."
"... The Empire's power-elite KNOW that Russia, China, and allies of Russia-China don't want to be subject to their "rules-based order". The Empire is actively working to undermine, subvert, and divide the countries that oppose it. While also securing their own territories/population via intimidation and propaganda. ..."
"... On rules based disorder and the capitulation of Merkel and her BND lapdogs to the 'hate Russia' fulminations of the UKUSA morons. I see that the German Parliament has NOT TAKEN its red pills these days and is reluctant to swallow the BS. ..."
"... My late father as an army officer prosecuted Japanese war criminals for their atrocities now the Anglo-Zionists are the pre-eminent war criminals and their leaders loudly proclaim "our values" as a pathological and propagandistic form of projection. Is it possible they are unaware of their blatant hypocrisy ? ..."
"... There is no "international law" and no "international order." There is only relative power. And when those powers clash, as seems inevitable, the world is in for a major nuclear war, and probably preceded by several more regional wars. Meanwhile, the US internally is collapsing into economic disaster, social unrest, political and social oppression, infrastructure failure, and medical disasters. We'll probably be in martial law sometime between November 3 and January 21 if not beyond that period, just for starters. ..."
"... America's "Rules-Based International Order" is a Goebbelsian euphemism for a Lies-Based Imperial Order, led by the USA and its war criminal allies (aka the self-styled Free World). ..."
"... The true nature of this America-led order is exposed by the USA's war of aggression against Iraq (which violated international law and had no United Nations sanction) and its decades-long War on Terrorism, which have murdered hundreds of thousands of people and maimed, immiserated, or refugeed millions of more people. ..."
"... The Empire is very much alive and dangerous. Ask Iran, ask Syria, as the Palestinians, ask the Russians, ask the Chinese. Ask numerous African nations. Even Pangloss was not so stupidly naive. ..."
"... quite right. 'Rules based order' was always a euphemism for exceptionalism of one kind or another. ie US and its "allies" is basically asking the rest of the world to finance their (the US et al) version of a welfare state. ..."
"... China and rest of the worlds foreign central banks stopped growing their foreign exchange reserves (on net) in 2014 leaving the US in a sort of limbo. ..."
"... "Major powers maintaining cooperation, at least not engaging in Cold War-style antagonism, is the important foundation of world peace. China is committed to maintaining cooperation among major powers, as well as being flexible in the balance of interests acceptable to all parties. The problem is the Trump administration is hysterically shaping decoupling and confrontation between Beijing and Washington, and has been mobilizing more forces to its side at home and abroad. Those US policymakers are deliberately splitting the world like during the Cold War. ..."
"... The first 'Cold War' was entirely contrived. The US knew the Soviet Union was weak and had no agenda beyond maintaining security and its own reconstruction after WW2. There was no threat of a Western European invasion, or of the USSR spreading revolution globally. All that Cold War ideology is a lie. And the same lying is taking place about China today. No difference. ..."
"... It's good to see discussion here of the nefarious role of the American far-right neocon warmongers in the State Department, intelligence services and military leadership just before the turn of the new century. What I have never seen clearly explained, however, is the connection between these very dangerous forces and the equally cynical and reactionary Israeli politicians and the Mossad, as well as Saudi Arabian officials. ..."
Sep 25, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

The 'western' countries, i.e. the United States and its 'allies', love to speak of a 'rules based international order' which they say everyone should follow. That 'rules based order' is a way more vague concept than the actual rule of law:

The G7 is united by its shared values and commitment to a rules based international order. That order is being challenged by authoritarianism, serious violations of human rights, exclusion and discrimination, humanitarian and security crises, and the defiance of international law and standards.

As members of the G7, we are convinced that our societies and the world have reaped remarkable benefits from a global order based on rules and underscore that this system must have at its heart the notions of inclusion, democracy and respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms, diversity, and the rule of law.

That the 'rules based international order' is supposed to include vague concepts of 'democracy', 'human rights', 'fundamental freedoms', 'diversity' and more makes it easy to claim that this or that violation of the 'rules based international order' has occurred. Such violations can then be used to impose punishment in the form of sanctions or war.

That the above definition was given by a minority of a few rich nations makes it already clear that it can not be a global concept for a multilateral world. That would require a set of rules that everyone has agreed to. We already had and have such a system. It is called international law. But at the end of the cold war the 'west' began to ignore the actual international law and to replace it with its own rules which others were then supposed to follow. That hubris has come back to bite the 'west'.

Anatol Lieven's recent piece, How the west lost , describes this moral defeat of the 'west' after its dubious 'victory' in the cold war:

Accompanying this overwhelmingly dominant political and economic ideology was an American geopolitical vision equally grandiose in ambition and equally blind to the lessons of history. This was summed up in the memorandum on "Defence Planning Guidance 1994-1999," drawn up in April 1992 for the Bush Senior administration by Under-Secretary of Defence Paul Wolfowitz and Lewis "Scooter" Libby, and subsequently leaked to the media. Its central message was:
...
While that 1992 Washington paper spoke of the "legitimate interests" of other states, it clearly implied that it would be Washington that would define what interests were legitimate, and how they could be pursued. And once again, though never formally adopted, this "doctrine" became in effect the standard operating procedure of subsequent administrations. In the early 2000s, when its influence reached its most dangerous height, military and security elites would couch it in the terms of "full spectrum dominance." As the younger President Bush declared in his State of the Union address in January 2002, which put the US on the road to the invasion of Iraq: "By the grace of God, America won the Cold War A world once divided into two armed camps now recognizes one sole and pre-eminent power, the United States of America."

But that power has since failed in the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan, during the 2008 financial crisis and now again in the pandemic. It also created new competition to its role due to its own behavior:

On the one hand, American moves to extend Nato to the Baltics and then (abortively) on to Ukraine and Georgia, and to abolish Russian influence and destroy Russian allies in the Middle East, inevitably produced a fierce and largely successful Russian nationalist reaction. ...

On the other hand, the benign and neglectful way in which Washington regarded the rise of China in the generation after the Cold War (for example, the blithe decision to allow China to join the World Trade Organisation) was also rooted in ideological arrogance.

Western triumphalism meant that most of the US elites were convinced that as a result of economic growth, the Chinese Communist state would either democratise or be overthrown; and that China would eventually have to adopt the western version of economics or fail economically. This was coupled with the belief that good relations with China could be predicated on China accepting a so-called "rules-based" international order in which the US set the rules while also being free to break them whenever it wished; something that nobody with the slightest knowledge of Chinese history should have believed.

The retired Indian ambassador M.K. Bhadrakumar touches on the same points in an excellent series about the new Chinese-Russian alliance:

Bhadrakumar describes how the 'west', through its own behavior, created a mighty block that now opposes its dictates. He concludes:

Quintessentially, Russia and China contest a set of neoliberal practices that have evolved in the post-World War 2 international order validating selective use of human rights as a universal value to legitimise western intervention in the domestic affairs of sovereign states. On the other hand, they also accept and continuously affirm their commitment to a number of fundamental precepts of the international order -- in particular, the primacy of state sovereignty and territorial integrity, the importance of international law, and the centrality of the United Nations and the key role of the Security Council.

While the U.S. wants a vague 'rules based international order' China and Russia emphasize an international order that is based on the rule of law. Two recent comments by leaders from China and Russia underline this.

In a speech in honor of the UN's 75th anniversary China's President Xi Jinping emphasized law based multilateralism :

China firmly supports the United Nations' central role in global affairs and opposes any country acting like boss of the world, President Xi Jinping said on Monday.
...
"No country has the right to dominate global affairs, control the destiny of others or keep advantages in development all to itself," Xi said.

Noting that the UN must stand firm for justice, Xi said that mutual respect and equality among all countries, big or small, is the foremost principle of the UN Charter.

No country should be allowed to do whatever it likes and be the hegemon or bully, Xi said. "Unilateralism is a dead end," he said.
...
International laws should not be distorted or used as a pretext to undermine other countries' legitimate rights and interests or world peace and stability, he added.

The Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov went even further by outright rejecting the 'western rules' that the 'rules based international order' implies:

Ideas that Russia and China will play by sets of Western rules under any circumstances are deeply flawed , Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with New York-based international Russian-language RTVI channel.

"I was reading our political scientists who are well known in the West. The following idea is becoming louder and more pronounced: it is time to stop applying Western metrics to our actions and stop trying to be liked by the West at any cost . These are very reputable people and a rather serious statement. It is clear to me that the West is wittingly or unwittingly pushing us towards this analysis. It is likely to be done unwittingly," Lavrov noted. "However, it is a big mistake to think that Russia will play by Western rules in any case, just like thinking this in terms of China."

As an alliance China and Russia have all the raw materials, energy, engineering and industrial capabilities, agriculture and populations needed to be completely independent from the 'west'. They have no need nor any desire to follow dubious rules dictated by other powers. There is no way to make them do so. As M.K. Bhadrakumar concludes :

The US cannot overwhelm that alliance unless it defeats both China and Russia together, simultaneously. The alliance, meanwhile, also happens to be on the right side of history. Time works in its favour, as the decline of the US in relative comprehensive national power and global influence keeps advancing and the world gets used to the "post-American century."

---
P.S.
On a lighter note: RT , Russia's state sponsored international TV station, has recently hired Donald Trump (vid). He will soon host his own reality show on RT . The working title is reportedly: "Putin's Apprentice". The apprenticeship might give him a chance to learn how a nation that has failed can be resurrected to its former glory.

Posted by b on September 22, 2020 at 17:59 UTC | Permalink


Kali , Sep 22 2020 18:18 utc | 1

The Liberal International Order or Pax Americana are synonyms for The Rules Based Order. The plan that was followed for years was the outline given by Zbigniew Brzezinski and the Trilateral Commission in The Grand Chessboard to "contain" the ambition of Russia, China, and Iran over their interest to expand into Central Asia and the Middle East. Brzezinski changed in 2016, so did Kissinger, Brzezinski wrote that it was time to make peace and to integrate with Russia, China and Iran. But the elites had changed by then, newer people had taken over and no longer followed Brzezinski.
circumspect , Sep 22 2020 18:27 utc | 2
The rules are follow the dictates of our western neo-colonial institutions like the World Bank, the IMF et all. We will own you and you will do what we say and those are the rules. Any challenge to our authority will lead to war, economic ruin or both.

Its a pretty simple concept backed by the attack dog of the US military.

ptb , Sep 22 2020 18:37 utc | 3
'Rules based order' was always a euphemism for exceptionalism of one kind or another. The term was invented to avoid having to say 'rule of law', which invited criticism because even the most minimal amount of law (such as Geneva conventions, ICC etc) was rejected in practice and in policy by the leading members of the actually existing world order.
Patrick Armstrong , Sep 22 2020 18:52 utc | 4
Can't resist tooting my own horn.
https://patrickarmstrong.ca/2017/04/29/the-west-actually-lost-the-cold-war-it-turned-victory-into-defeat/
vk , Sep 22 2020 19:05 utc | 5
Rumor says the "Wolfowitz Doctrine" also envisioned the balkanization of Russia (the document is still classified, but it leaked to a NYT journalist at the time, who published a report on it).

.. .. ..

Passer by , Sep 22 2020 19:43 utc | 9
It is not over in the sense that the West hasn't given up in its attempts to take over the world. But as the "exceptionalist" western countries decline, they will go even crazier and crazier and there will be full blown hysteria.

In this sense, the rule based order will be over as there will be only disorder and animalistic, crazed western rage and bullying. The West is like a trapped animal. It will start pouncing, raging and snarling like a wild animal. This is the real nature of the West. A hungry wild animal that needs to feed.

All the liberalism is just self-congratulation about how exceptionalist it is. It is born out of narcisism and self-obsession during the "good times" of the West.

But behind the liberal mask, there are hateful eyes and gnashing teeth, and hunger and greed for other people's resources.

The real face of it is hateful and snarling. And it will be fully exposed during the next 10 years, as the West goes crazy and it becomes a hungry wild animal that desperately needs to feed.

Expressed in words, the West's face says "I'm the best and you are nothing! Give me your stuff! And this is how it will forever be!"

Countries need to stay out from the wild animal and carry a big stick just in case, until it succumbs from its internal hatreds and contradictions.

gepay , Sep 22 2020 19:44 utc | 11

As Putin has said, the US is no longer agreement capable. As b. outlines. the US elites no longer follow the rule of law. This is even true within the US. The US inherited the role formerly played by the British Empire after WW2.

The national security apparatus of both the US and the Soviet Union kept the Cold War going. Notice how soon after JFK was assassinated Khrushchev was deposed. Gorbachev rightly stopped the Soviets superpower regime. As Dmitri Orlov points out - Empire hollowed out the Soviet Union and he sees it doing the same to the US.

Instead of bringing Russia into the Western liberal democracies (with the threat of major nuclear war now drastically reduced) the now Anglo-Zionist Empire just looted it. The life expectancy of Russians fell 7 years in a decade until rescued by Putin.

It can now be seen that the Nixon-Kissinger opening up to China was not to gain access to its large market potential but to gain access to hundreds of millions of cheap, disciplined, and educated workers. The elites starting in the 70s became greedier. Jet travel,electronic communication, and computers allowed the outsourcing of manufacture.

The spread of air conditioning allowed even the too hot south to be a location. First in the US as the factories began their march through the non union southern states onto Mexico. Management from the north could now live in air conditioned houses, drive air conditioned cars and work in air conditioned offices.

The 70s oil inflation led to stagnation as the unionized labor were powerful enough to get cost of living raises. With the globalization of labor union power in the US has been destroyed. As Eric X Li points out China's one party rule actually changes policies easier than the Western democracies.

So China's government hasn't joined in with the West in just creating wealth for the top 1% and debt for the real economy.

As b. pointed out, the Anglo Zionist policies created the mutual benefit partnership of Russia and China. The Chinese belt and road initiative appears to be intent on creating a large trading zone that could benefit those involved. The US is just using sanctions and the military to turn sovereign functioning countries that don't go along with it into failed states and their infrastructure turned to rubble

Roy G , Sep 22 2020 20:11 utc | 13
Now, the US is forced into puppeteering the UN in order to maintain the illusion of the 'rules based order,' even as it slides further and further away from any meaningful international cooperation:

Fortunately for the world, the United States took responsible action to stop this from happening. In accordance with our rights under UNSCR 2231, we initiated the snapback process to restore virtually all previously terminated UN sanctions, including the arms embargo. The world will be safer as a result.

The United States expects all UN Member States to fully comply with their obligations to implement these measures. In addition to the arms embargo, this includes restrictions such as the ban on Iran engaging in enrichment and reprocessing-related activities, the prohibition on ballistic missile testing and development by Iran, and sanctions on the transfer of nuclear- and missile-related technologies to Iran, among others. If UN Member States fail to fulfill their obligations to implement these sanctions, the United States is prepared to use our domestic authorities to impose consequences for those failures and ensure that Iran does not reap the benefits of UN-prohibited activity.

https://www.state.gov/the-return-of-un-sanctions-on-the-islamic-republic-of-iran/

Passer by , Sep 22 2020 20:15 utc | 16
Any type of enmity btw the two countries under Trump is pure theater.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Sep 22 2020 20:07 utc | 10

Actually the Trump Administration has done far more against Russia than all US administrations from the last 30 years. Do not listen what they say, look at what they do. Right now the US in a full blown Cold War with Russia with ever increasing attacks.

foolisholdman , Sep 22 2020 20:22 utc | 17
Pompeo talks more or less continually about "China's bullying behaviour". To me it is wonderful that he can say this with a straight face. (Perhaps it is a result of his lessons in the CIA on "how to lie better".)All the countries that have engaged with China have benefitted from it, whether as salesmen or as recipients of aid or loans at advantageous rates. The countries that have engaged with America have mostly (All?) lost. (The fifty+ countries invaded and wrecked since WW2 or the NATO "allies" or the countries attacked with sanctions.) Either their economies were destroyed or billions upon billions of dollars were paid to the US MIC. The NATO member countries have got what from their membership? Formerly, they had "Protection" from an imaginary Soviet threat, more recently "Protection" from an equally imaginary Russian threat! Some bargain, that!
Christian J. Chuba , Sep 22 2020 20:38 utc | 18
Rules based international order .... the U.S. functions as the the Supreme Court for the U.N. , 'we have invoked snapback sanctions and extended the arms embargo on Iran indefinitely and are enforcing it'. UN, 'but your vote failed'.

U.S, 'we have the right to seize cargo between any two countries transported in international waters based on U.S. federal appeals court decision even though the transaction in no way involves the U.S. We call this Freedom of Navigation and why we need to have aircraft carriers in the South China Sea and Arabian Gulf'

We are completely and totally insane.

psychohistorian , Sep 22 2020 20:41 utc | 19
Rules based International Order is the dog whistle for global private finance controlled economies. It is sad that we are in a civilization war with China/Russia about who runs international finance going forward and yet there is no discussion of the subject but instead all sorts of proxy conflicts.

Thanks for the posting b as it gets to the core myths around the global private finance jackboot on the neck of countries in the West.

profk , Sep 22 2020 20:59 utc | 22
The US is not just facing relative decline -- the fact that others are catching up in key ways. The US is also facing absolute decline -- the fact that it is suffering a degradation of capacities and is losing competitive battles in key areas. Examples of absolute decline include the Russian and Chinese military-technological revolutions based on anti-ship and hypersonic missiles and air defense systems; Chinese 5G; China's demonstrative success in suppressing COVID and its overall manufacturing power; the declining quality of life for most Americans; and the collapse of American institutional competence.

Related to this, we can't separate these dynamics from the political economy of the states in question. China, in particular, is showing that an interventionist state, with high levels of public ownership, is essential to qualitative power, human security, and economic and social development.

Capitalism might enrich a few, but it is the primary cause of America's relative and absolute decline.

jayc , Sep 22 2020 21:01 utc | 23
US and allied military analysts have been talking over the last year or so of the need to enter a single focus and total "wartime" posture throughout our societies, with all financial and industrial output directed to the "war". This has influenced the information/ propaganda efforts, but also the uptick in military manoeuvres around Taiwan and renewed NATO pressure directed at Russia (including the recent provocative B52 flights). Don't think Russia/China can be tricked into over-reacting, but some kind of loss-of-life military confrontation may be what the rules-based side is looking for as the population at large will probably not accept a "wartime sacrifice" regimen without such.
Kiza , Sep 22 2020 21:26 utc | 26
Very well written article.

Whilst Russia and China are creating a truly new, unique and creative alliance and a market of everything, in Australia the "authorities" are sicking their police dogs on poor grannies sitting on park benches. This image of five brainless armed state goons in a show of force over two quiet little grannies really puts things into perspective. It must be that New World Order that Soros and puppets always talked about.

Psssst, learning Russian is easier than Chinese and we already know a few Russian words, such as novichok.

Leser , Sep 22 2020 21:42 utc | 29
Great analysis b and connecting the dots.

The post scriptum stopped the clock for me. Has our host slipped into our drink there a profound prophecy, disguised as jesting?

Many agree something big will happen (break?) soon, possibly with the elections. The other thing is the Americans' ability to change course, drop all baggage, and run off in a new, even the opposite direction with unfettered enthusiasm (and ferocity). No people has a greater capacity for almost instant renewal, once it chooses to.

I also notice that the spoof takes good aim at The Donald's peculiarities, though in a fair and human way. The proverbial Russian warmth, or a humorous invitation?

Meanwhile, I enjoy my newfound optimism in these dark times. Thanks b!

uncle tungsten , Sep 22 2020 21:59 utc | 32
Thanks b and on Anatol Lieven in the Prospect story (fairy story?)...
Russia after the Cold War was a shambles and today it remains a weak economy with a limited role on the world stage, concerned mainly with retaining some of its traditional areas of influence. China is a vastly more formidable competitor. If the US (and the UK, if as usual we tag along) approach the relationship with Beijing with anything like the combination of arrogance, ignorance, greed, criminality, bigotry, hypocrisy and incompetence with which western elites managed the period after the Cold War, then we risk losing the competition and endangering the world. [my emphasis]

Lieven simply does not see it. Has it ever occurred to Lieven that colonialism just might be rejected by both Russia and China and that there might be no competition? Does Lieven watch too much football?

What is it that endangers the world in Lieven's petite cortex? This verbose Lieven tosh is littered with fancy sentences trawled from here and there but always presented to us from a narrow dimensional mind with limited analysis and seemingly zero interrogation.

again:- "then we risk losing the competition and endangering the world"...

So Lieven thinks the current behaviour of the US hegemon and its collaborator the UK is innocuous? These were the two nations that blithely squandered the "peace dividend" from the end of cold war as he describes and have led us to this time of perpetual war. A perpetual war that he does not mention, does not allude to, does not treat as an important driver behind the current global mistrust and disengagement from the USUK drive for global dominance.

Lieven is putting lipstick on his pig and screaming about losing the competition to the imagined wolf outside his prison.

Beneath contempt.

Jackrabbit , Sep 22 2020 22:09 utc | 33
Passer by @Sep22 19:43 #8
It is not over in the sense that the West hasn't given up in its attempts to take over the world.
I agree. The contest between the Empire and the upstarts is not over by a long shot. What the West HAS lost is the "inevitability" argument. But for the upstarts to actually prevail in their "multi-lateral" vision, they have to actually entice countries to join them despite threats and intimidation from the Empire.

_________________________________

Passer by @Sep22 20:15 #14

Right now the US in a full blown Cold War with Russia with ever increasing attacks.
Yes. We still see the narratives like of Trump as Putin-lover despite the debunking of Russiagate and the clear evidence of Cold War tensions. The incessant propaganda reeks of desperation.

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

Some seem to think that the Empire is cornered.

Aha! We've got you now, you scoundrels!

LOL.

The Empire's power-elite KNOW that Russia, China, and allies of Russia-China don't want to be subject to their "rules-based order". The Empire is actively working to undermine, subvert, and divide the countries that oppose it. While also securing their own territories/population via intimidation and propaganda.

!!

uncle tungsten , Sep 22 2020 22:53 utc | 36
On rules based disorder and the capitulation of Merkel and her BND lapdogs to the 'hate Russia' fulminations of the UKUSA morons. I see that the German Parliament has NOT TAKEN its red pills these days and is reluctant to swallow the BS. It would be satisfying to see the collective wisdom of the Parliament to exceed that of the BND. But then that is a low bar.
karlof1 , Sep 22 2020 22:55 utc | 37
An excellent look into the seemingly mundane but important business of negotiating arms control agreements is offered here: Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov's interview with the newspaper Kommersant, published on September 22, 2020 . Excerpt:

"For our part, we more than once described a balanced and mutually acceptable framework for future agreements in this sphere during our contacts with the American negotiators. Aware of the difficulties on the path forward in light of how widely different our approaches are, we proposed extending the New START as it was originally signed.

"We do not want any unilateral advantages, but we will not make any unilateral concessions either. A deal may be possible if the United States is ready to coordinate a new document on the basis of the balance of interests, parity and without expecting Russia to make unilateral concessions. But this will take time. We can have time to do this if the treaty is extended."

As predicted, the Outlaw US Empire makes an offer it knows will be refused so it can then blame Russia for being an unreliable negotiating partner--a trick we've all seen before.

Lavrov conducted a short interview with Sputnik mostly about Belarus and Ukraine and much of which is a rehash.

Passer by , Sep 22 2020 23:07 utc | 39
@Jackrabbit | Sep 22 2020 22:09 utc | 31

I agree. The contest between the Empire and the upstarts is not over by a long shot. What the West HAS lost is the "inevitability" argument. But for the upstarts to actually prevail in their "multi-lateral" vision, they have to actually entice countries to join them despite threats and intimidation from the Empire.

Yes, the big question remaining is to predict what will happen and when. This is what the real deal is. And I'm sure they are working on that in the Intel agencies. It can certainly be predicted that the US and the EU will be significantly weaker in 2030 that today. Will this be enough is the question.

We now have some new information about US long term health as published by CBO. Very interesting numbers.

They predict lower population growth and lower GDP growth for the US than previously estimated, as well as higher debt rates. US federal debt is to reach 195 % of GDP by 2050 under best case scenario.

http://www.crfb.org/papers/analysis-cbos-2020-long-term-budget-outlook

Analysts also seem to agree that the Covid 19 crisis further weakened the US vis a vis China, as the Chinese economy significantly outperformed almost everyone else this year, more than expected before the crisis.

I will also mention two important recent numbers. This year:

1. China, for the first time, became the biggest trading partner for the EU, beating the US.

2. China's retail market overtook the one of the US.

kiwiklown , Sep 22 2020 23:41 utc | 41
Posted by: vk | Sep 22 2020 19:05 utc | 4 -- "....Eurasia is where most of human civilization lives, it's the "World Island" - the world island not in the military sense, but in the economic sense. Every path to human prosperity passes through Eurasia - that's why the USA can't "let it alone" in the first place, while the reverse is not true, that is, Eurasia can give to the luxury of letting the Americas alone."

Excellent observation, VK.

Even if the World Island (thanks for your formulation) trades with itself, within itself, there is sufficient mass to last a century, during which the arrogantly exceptional West might just wake up from their Century of Humiliation.

Meanwhile, inertia alone will ensure that the West forgets that their vaunted "civilisation" was fed, watered, enriched by the Silk Route that came from the East -- from the Middle Kingdom (China) and from the Middle East (which is "middle", as you pointed out above, because all wealth passes through that region).

Paul , Sep 23 2020 0:02 utc | 43
Yes there are rules which are observed more by their breach than their observance: The Geneva Conventions. Just ask Julian Assange.

I find it incredible that the Anglo-Zionist captive nations can sign, ratify, incorporate into domestic law and then sign the additional protocol, making themselves high contracting parties, which requires them to report all and any breaches to Geneva, then ignore all the above commitments. One of these commitments includes educating their citizens on the basic provisions of the conventions. Again they haven't bothered, that could expose their hypocrisy to the public.

Even the bandit statelet signed but I am yet to see just one example of its application in the seventy plus years of its barbaric and bloodthirsty occupation of Palestine.

Interestingly, the conventions prohibit the occupied from signing away one iota of their territory to the occupier. So much for what Claude Pictet's Commentary to the Fourth Geneva Convention calls "alleged annexations." This book is available from the ICRC.

My late father as an army officer prosecuted Japanese war criminals for their atrocities now the Anglo-Zionists are the pre-eminent war criminals and their leaders loudly proclaim "our values" as a pathological and propagandistic form of projection. Is it possible they are unaware of their blatant hypocrisy ?

It seems the New World Order has some familiar and unsurprising antecedents:

https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/452693/New-world-order-pledged-to-Jews-80-years-ago

Hold on tight, hubris is always fatal:

https://asiatimes.com/2020/09/pompeo-threatens-to-light-the-fuse-in-persian-gulf/

Jen , Sep 23 2020 0:09 utc | 44
Uncle Tungsten @ 30:

Anatol Lieven comes from an educated and cultured family in Britain's upper middle class layer. His older siblings - he is the youngest of five children - include a High Court judge (Dame Natalie Lieven), a Cambridge University professor / historian (Dominic Lieven) and a psychologist / linguistics researcher (Elena Lieven). They haven't done badly for a family from the old Baltic German aristocratic elite that used to serve the Russian empire as administrators for the Livonia governorate.

The British Lievens might see themselves as gatekeepers and interpreters of what the ruling classes desire (or appear to desire) and communicate that down to us. Hence their positions in intellectual and academic occupations - no engineers, technicians or academics in the physical or biological sciences among their number.

Anatol Lieven is right though about "competition", in the sense I believe he is using it: it is "competition" for supposed global leadership and influence as only the British and Americans understand it. Life as British and American elites understand it is the annual football competition writ large; there can only be one winner and the worst position to be in is second place and every other place below it. Never mind that what Russia and China have in mind is a vision of the world with multiple and overlapping leadership roles dispersed among nations according to various criteria: this ideal is simply too much for the Anglosphere elites to understand, let alone digest and accept.

Still, I wonder why Anatol Lieven is teaching in a university in Qatar of all places. Family influence and reputation must only go so far.

Richard Steven Hack , Sep 23 2020 0:54 utc | 47
Posted by: lizard | Sep 22 2020 21:59 utc | 29

if you aren't at least a little prepared for a disruption in critical supplies, and choose instead to waste time commenting on online forums, it won't matter how up to date you are on "rules based international order" vs. "international law". at that point the reality will be something like this: if you aren't holding it, you don't have it, and if you can't defend it, you won't be keeping it for long.

Got that absolutely right.

There is no "international law" and no "international order." There is only relative power. And when those powers clash, as seems inevitable, the world is in for a major nuclear war, and probably preceded by several more regional wars. Meanwhile, the US internally is collapsing into economic disaster, social unrest, political and social oppression, infrastructure failure, and medical disasters. We'll probably be in martial law sometime between November 3 and January 21 if not beyond that period, just for starters.

This month is National Preparedness Month. I recommend watching the following videos from well-known "preppers" who have been warning about this stuff for years.

78 Days Will Determine the Fate of America
5 Things You Need To Do Before the U.S. Election

A playlist of 23 videos for National Preparedness Month:
30 Days of Preparedness Collaboration - 2020

And this one from The Urban Prepper, an IT guy who is exceptionally well organized and logical in his videos. I recommend subscribing to his channel. He avoids most of the excessive "doom and gloom" hype that afflicts a lot of prepper channels and is oriented more about urban survival than "backwoods bushcraft" since most people live in cities.
Prepping 101: Prepping Architecture Diagram for Gear Organization

And if you don't watch anything else, watch this one from Canadian Prepper - he's absolutely right in this one and it specifically applies to the barflies here:
What is Really Going On? Its WORSE Than You Think

Jun , Sep 23 2020 1:06 utc | 48
Meanwhile, inertia alone will ensure that the West forgets that their vaunted "civilisation" was fed, watered, enriched by the Silk Route that came from the East -- from the Middle Kingdom (China) and from the Middle East (which is "middle", as you pointed out above, because all wealth passes through that region).
Posted by: kiwiklown | Sep 22 2020 23:41 utc | 39

============================================================================================

Thereby we have the answer to America's longest war:

https://twitter.com/danieldumbrill/status/1290456155286900737?lang=en

Richard Steven Hack , Sep 23 2020 1:19 utc | 50
Oh, and this one from Canadian Prepper in which he muses about whether and why we actually *want* the SHTF situation to occur. This one would resonate with a lot of the commentary here about the social malaise and the psychological reasons for it. Maybe nothing really new for some, but definitely relevant.

Society is Collapsing: Prepare for the Next Phase

uncle tungsten , Sep 23 2020 1:47 utc | 51
Jen #42
Still, I wonder why Anatol Lieven is teaching in a university in Qatar of all places. Family influence and reputation must only go so far.

Thank you that backgrounder explains a lot. Perhaps like Englanders before him he finds Qatar, safe and rewarding PLUS mounds of finest hashish and titillating company. From my understanding it is a grotesque abuser of human rights and everyone has a price.

ak74 , Sep 23 2020 2:15 utc | 52
America's "Rules-Based International Order" is a Goebbelsian euphemism for a Lies-Based Imperial Order, led by the USA and its war criminal allies (aka the self-styled Free World).

The true nature of this America-led order is exposed by the USA's war of aggression against Iraq (which violated international law and had no United Nations sanction) and its decades-long War on Terrorism, which have murdered hundreds of thousands of people and maimed, immiserated, or refugeed millions of more people. These crimes against humanity have been justified by Orwellian American lies about "Weapons of Mass Destruction," "fighting terrorism," or the curious events of Sept. 11th.

This America "Rules-Based" order is one drenched in the blood of millions of people--even as it sanctimoniously disguises itself behind endless propaganda about defending liberal democracy or the rule of law.

Truly, America and its allies can take their malignant Rules-Based Disorder back to Hell, where they all belong.

Two decades of US "war on terror" responsible for displacing at least 37 million people and killing up to 12 million
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/09/09/cost-s09.html?view=print

Erelis , Sep 23 2020 3:01 utc | 53
Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 23 2020 0:50 utc | 44

"Thus your "side note" has no "relevance" whatsoever."

You sound like some podunk UN official from a podunk country trying to impress a waitress in a NYC bar. The Empire is very much alive and dangerous. Ask Iran, ask Syria, as the Palestinians, ask the Russians, ask the Chinese. Ask numerous African nations. Even Pangloss was not so stupidly naive.

uncle tungsten , Sep 23 2020 3:02 utc | 54
Jun #46

Thank you - YES that is the answer and always has been PLUS there will be no pipeline from Iran through Afghanistan to Pakistan and on to China. There will be NO overland pipeline or rail route to sound the death knell to the maritime mafia.

milomilo , Sep 23 2020 3:33 utc | 55
Please vote for trump 2020. no president destroy America from inside like what trump did. The goal is to accelerate American empire destruction and grip in this world. What better way to put such clown along his circus in white house. he will make a mess of everything and will definitely bring America down

i hope he win 2020 and America explode into civil war and chaos. With America destroyed internally , they wont have time to invade Venezuela or Iran

milomilo , Sep 23 2020 3:37 utc | 56
Remember , if Biden win 2020 , American foreign policy will revert into normalcy that means seeking alliance with EU and 5 eyes in a more meaningful way , aka giving them preferential treatment on trade..

all that to box in china and russia , reenable TPP , initiate the delayed venezuela overt invasion other than covert

this is dangerous for the whole world , not that it will save US in the long run but it will increase real shooting conflict with china and russia.. So focus on trump victory in 2020 , the more controversial the win the better , lets push america into chaos

defaultcitizen , Sep 23 2020 3:41 utc | 57
I appreciate the time and thought that goes into a post like this; all without a popup ad trying to sell me ANOTHER item I just bought via Amazon, in spite of the fact that I am among the least likely to want another right now. Voice of reason crying in the wilderness and all that.

The rule The Capitalist Ogres promote as the heart of Civilization is simply the age-old Golden Rule. Those with the gold, make the rules.

j. casey , Sep 23 2020 12:28 utc | 75
In the very short-term (3 months?) what is the outcome of US/Nato seizure of ships and cargo in international water?
chris m , Sep 23 2020 13:42 utc | 79
@ptb
quite right. 'Rules based order' was always a euphemism for exceptionalism of one kind or another. ie US and its "allies" is basically asking the rest of the world to finance their (the US et al) version of a welfare state.

as US et al can no longer fund their own unaffordable welfare promises made to their own electorates, they have to call on the rest of the world to do so (China has been effectively funding the US budget deficit since they entered the WTO.
and the EU (mainly Germany) was doing the same before China's entry into WTO)

China and rest of the worlds foreign central banks stopped growing their foreign exchange reserves (on net) in 2014
leaving the US in a sort of limbo.

chris m , Sep 23 2020 13:47 utc | 80
PS addendum: if you've ever wondered who has been financing the GWOT since 2001; it was the Chinese.
karlof1 , Sep 23 2020 15:21 utc | 82
chris m @80--

Well, you're sorta correct; it was all those nations including China that bought Outlaw US Empire debt. China certainly knows better now and for almost a decade now it's purchases--and those of the rest of the world -- of said debt have declined to the point where a huge crisis related to the debt pyramid threatens all those aside from the 1% living within the Outlaw US Empire. The Judo involved was very instructive.

karlof1 , Sep 23 2020 16:21 utc | 85
"Trump's UN address censured" headlines Global Times article that reviews yesterday's UNGA. Domestic BigLie Media didn't like what it heard from Trump:

"Commenting on the US' performance, many Western media tended to view US as being 'isolated,' and its unilateral efforts 'widely derided....'

"Some US media outlets cannot stand Trump's accusations. A WSJ report said many Democrats blamed Trump for "isolating the US and diluting American influence in the WHO or other bodies."

It went on to say Trump's threat of withdrawal is often used as leverage to "influence partner countries, or get allies to pay more for shared defense."

"Some US media linked Trump's address to his widely blamed effort to re-impose sanctions on Iran, saying his address came as 'UN members push back against Washington,' AP reported.

"Wednesday's Washington Post article reported that the Trump administration walked on a 'lonely path' at the UN where the US attacked WHO, and embarked on the 'widely derided' effort to snap back Iran sanctions.

"A week before the UN General Assembly, US media NPR predicted that the US 'appeared to be isolated' at this year's General Assembly, saying that Trump's 'America First' agenda left him out of sync with America's traditional allies as it has a long record of pulling out of international agreements, including one meant to tackle the world's climate crisis."

So, Trump's attack on China's environmental record was beyond hypocritical and ought to be termed psychopathic prevarication. The best comment from the article well describes the Trumptroll @53:

"'Trump's smears and attacks against China were apparently aimed at campaigning for his reelection. Only his die-hard fans - those who do not care about truth but support him - will buy his words ,' Ding Yifan, a researcher at the Institute of World Development of the Development Research Center of the State Council, told the Global Times." [My Emphasis]

And isn't that really the basic issue--the truth? 75 years of lies by the Outlaw US Empire to cover it's continuous illegalities and subversion of its own fundamental law while killing and displacing tens of millions of people. Guardian of the Free World my ass! More like Guardian of the Gates of Hell.

vk , Sep 23 2020 16:40 utc | 86
More on the situation of the "rules based international order":

The Eurozone economy stopped recovering and stagnated in September (PMI)

And here's a more general picture on the state of global capitalism today:

The 90% world economy (UNCTAD report)

karlof1 , Sep 23 2020 16:45 utc | 87
Yes, I'm biased, but anyone seeking truth and invoking the Rule of Law would find themselves at odds with the Outlaw US Empire. Today's Global Times Editorial makes the following key observations:

"Major powers maintaining cooperation, at least not engaging in Cold War-style antagonism, is the important foundation of world peace. China is committed to maintaining cooperation among major powers, as well as being flexible in the balance of interests acceptable to all parties. The problem is the Trump administration is hysterically shaping decoupling and confrontation between Beijing and Washington, and has been mobilizing more forces to its side at home and abroad. Those US policymakers are deliberately splitting the world like during the Cold War.

"The impulse to promote a cold war is the ultimate version of unilateralism, and shows dangerous and mistaken arrogance that the US is almighty. Everyone knows that the US is declining in its competitiveness under the rules-based international system the US itself initiated and created. It wants to build a new system more beneficial to itself, and allow the US to maintain its advantage without making any effort. This is simply impossible."

My research is pointing me to conclude the First Cold War was contrived so the Outlaw US Empire could impose privately owned finance and corporations and the political-economies connected to them upon the world lest the collective forces that were the ones to actually defeat Fascism gain control of their national governments and shape their political-economies into the public/collectively owned realm where the benefits would flow to all people instead of just the already powerful. That's also the intent of imposing a Second Cold War. Some seem to think there's no ideological divide at play, but as I've ceaselessly explained there most certainly is, thus the intense demonization of both Russia and China--the Strategic Competition also is occurring in the realm of Ideas. And the only tools available for the Outlaw US Empire to use are lies, since the truths involved would encourage any neutral nation to join the Win-Win vision of China and Russia, not the Zero-sum bankruptcy pushed by the Parasites controlling the Empire.

psychohistorian , Sep 23 2020 17:07 utc | 88
@ karlof1 | Sep 23 2020 15:56 utc | 84 and forward with the links and quotes...thanks

I do like the confirmation Pepe quote, thanks

It is sad to understand that much of the US population does not have the mental clarity to see that Trump is no different than Biden when it comes to fealty to the God of Mammon. Way too many Americans think that replacing Trump with Biden will make things all better.

The end of the rules based international order/global private finance cannot end soon enough, IMO

Timothy Hagios , Sep 23 2020 17:19 utc | 90
farm ecologist @ 89

Patrick Armstrong publishes the sitreps (and other content) at https://patrickarmstrong.ca/

karlof1 , Sep 23 2020 18:07 utc | 92
psychohistorian @88--

Thanks for your reply! As I discussed with the Missus last night, IMO only the people regaining control over the federal government can rescue themselves from the multiple dilemmas they face--the most pressing being the Debt Bomb and control of the monetary and fiscal systems by private entities as exemplified by the Federal Reserve and Wall Street, both of which employ the Financial Parasites preying on the nation's body-politic. Undoing all the past wrongs requires both Congress and the Executive be captured by The People who can then write the laws to end the wrongs while arresting and prosecuting those responsible for the last 20+ years of massive fraud. The biggest components would be ending the Federal Reserve, Nationalizing all the fraudster banks, writing down the vast majority of debt, and disbanding NATO thus ending the overseas empire. Those are the most fundamental steps required for the USA to avoid the coming calamity brought about by the Neoliberals. I also have finally developed my thesis on where, why and how that philosophy was developed and put into motion.

profk , Sep 23 2020 18:16 utc | 94
karlof,

The first 'Cold War' was entirely contrived. The US knew the Soviet Union was weak and had no agenda beyond maintaining security and its own reconstruction after WW2. There was no threat of a Western European invasion, or of the USSR spreading revolution globally. All that Cold War ideology is a lie. And the same lying is taking place about China today. No difference.

The key issues for the US were:

1. it needed western european capitalist states to buy US manufactured exports. Those states had to remain capitalist and subordinate to the US, i.e. to avoid what Acheson called 'neutralism' in world politics.

2. the US wanted gradual decolonization of the British and French empires so that US firms could access markets and resources in those same territories. but the US feared revolutionary nationalism in the colonies and the potential loss of market access by the former colonial powers, which would need resources from the post-colonial world to rebuild after WW2.

The key event which cemented the 'Cold War' in Europe was the division of Germany, which Carolyn Eisenberg shows was entirely an American decision, in her important book, Drawing the Line.

The driving force of all this, though, was the economic imperatives of US capitalism. The US needed to restore and save capitalism in Western Europe and Japan, and the Cold War was the ideological framework for doing so. The Cold War ideology also allowed the US to frame its meddling in Korea, Guatemala, Iran, etc.

The late historian Gabriel Kolko wrote the best analyses of these issues. His work is much better than the New Left 'revisionist' US historians.

karlof1 , Sep 23 2020 20:01 utc | 96
profk @94--

I agree with your recap and second your appraisal of Gabriel Kolko. Eisenberg's work somehow escaped my view but will no longer thanks to your suggestion.

But I see more to it all as the First Cold War had to occur to promote the financialization of the USA's industrial Capitalism which began within the USA in 1913 and was abruptly interrupted by the various market crashes, the failure of the international payments system and subsequent massive deflation and Great Depression. A similar plan to outsource manufactures to its colonies and commonwealth and financialize its economy was began in the UK sometime after the end of the US Civil War. At the time in England, the school of Classical Political-Economists and their political allies (CPE) were attempting to rid the UK and the rest of Europe of the last vestiges of Feudalism that resided in the Rentier and Banking Classes, the former being mostly populated by Royalty and its retainers. Land Rent was the primary source of their income while it was the stated intent of the CPE to change the tax burden from individuals and businesses to that of Land Rent and other forms of Unearned Income. That movement came swiftly on the heels of the abolition of the Slave Trade which was a vast source of Royal income. Recognizing this threat to the basis of their wellbeing, the Royals needed to turn the tables but in such a manner where their manipulation was secret because of the vast popularity of the CPE's agenda. Thus began the movement to discredit the CPE and remove their ideas from discourse and later completely from the history of political-economy. And there was another problem--German Banks and their philosophy inspired by Bismarck to be totally supportive of German industry, which provided the impetus for its own colonial pursuits primarily in Africa.

Within that paragraph is my thesis for the rise of Neoliberalism, much of which Dr. Hudson documents but hasn't yet gotten to/revealed the root cause of the counter revolution against the CPE. IMO, that reactionary movement underlies far more, particularly the growing animosity between the UK and Germany from 1875 to 1914. As Eisenberg's research proves, there's much more past to be revealed that helps to resolve how we arrived at the times we now face.

karlof1 , Sep 23 2020 20:16 utc | 97
CitizenX @95--

Indeed, as Hudson and Max Keiser ask: Why pay taxes at all since the Fed can create all the credit required. I've written about the pros and cons of Secession here before which are quite similar to those existing in 1861. In Washington for example, how to deal with all the Federal property located there. Just as Ft. Sumter didn't belong to South Carolina, the many military bases there don't belong to Washington. Trying to seize it as the South Carolinians attempted in 1861 merely creates the casus belli sought by Trump. Now if you could get the vast majority of the military stationed in Washington to support your cause, your odds of resisting would greatly improve.

IMO, trying to regain public control over the Federal government would be much easier.

uncle tungsten , Sep 23 2020 21:21 utc | 98
karlof1 #85

Thank you brother karlof1, YES, the minotaur indeed but where is Theseus and Ariadne when we need them? Please don't tell me that Biden and Harris are the 'chosen ones' - that would mock the legend and prove that the gods are truly crazy :))

karlof1 , Sep 23 2020 22:48 utc | 101
ooops *elicit* uncle tungsten @98--

Well, they've clearly been chosen; they're just not THE CHOSEN and IMO would never qualify.

By contrast, here's Maduro's UNGA statement , a man clearly superior in all respects to either Biden or Trump or any of their vassals.

karlof1 , Sep 24 2020 0:31 utc | 103
It seems to me that a review is required, that we need to turn back the clock to an earlier analysis whose veracity has only been boosted by subsequent events. So here from 2011: "On November 3, 2011, Alan Minsky interviewed me on KPFK's program, 'Building a Powerful Movement in the United States' in preparation for an Occupy L.A. teach-in." Here's a brief excerpt to remind people what this is all about:

"Once people realize that they're being screwed, that's a pre-revolutionary situation. It's a situation where they can get a lot of sympathy and support, precisely by not doing what The New York Times and the other papers say they should do: come up with some neat solutions. They don't have to propose a solution because right now there isn't one – without changing the system with many, many changes. So many that it's like a new Constitution. Politics as well as the economy need to be restructured. What's developing now is how to think about the economic and political problems that are bothering people. It is not radical to realize that the economy isn't working. That is the first stage to realizing that a real alternative is needed. We've been under a radical right-wing attack – and need to respond in kind. The next half-year probably will be spent trying to spell out what the best structure would be."

Billosky , Sep 24 2020 6:19 utc | 104
It's good to see discussion here of the nefarious role of the American far-right neocon warmongers in the State Department, intelligence services and military leadership just before the turn of the new century. What I have never seen clearly explained, however, is the connection between these very dangerous forces and the equally cynical and reactionary Israeli politicians and the Mossad, as well as Saudi Arabian officials.

Like many others, I have been slowly won over to the position that the attacks of 9-11, and especially the totally unprecedented collapses of the three WTC towers, could only have been caused by the precisely timed explosion of previously installed demolition materials containing nanothermite. But if one accepts that position the immediately subsequent question is "Who planned and carried out the attacks?" Many people have claimed it was the Mossad, others that it was the Mossad in concert with the US neocons etc., -- many of whom were Israeli/US dual citizens -- but even now, so many years after the horrific events, I can find no coherent account of how such conspirators, or any others for that matter, might actually have carried out WTC building demotions. Do any of you know of sources on the matter that have made good progress on connecting the dots and explaining what precisely happened -- the easier part -- and how exactly it was carried out, by whom, and how they have managed to get away with it for all this time?

Piotr Berman , Sep 24 2020 14:04 utc | 106
Lieven: If the US (and the UK, if as usual we tag along) approach the relationship with Beijing with anything like the combination of arrogance, ignorance, greed, criminality, bigotry, hypocrisy and incompetence with which western elites managed the period after the Cold War, then we risk losing the competition and endangering the world.[my emphasis]

Uncle Tungsten: Lieven simply does not see it. Has it ever occurred to Lieven that colonialism just might be rejected by both Russia and China and that there might be no competition? Does Lieven watch too much football?

What is it that endangers the world in Lieven's petite cortex?
-------
It is clear to me that Tungsten does not understand Lieven because Lieven does not cross all t's and dot all i's. There can be two reasons for Lieven style: (1) a British style, leaving some conclusions to the reader, it is not elegant to belabor the obvious (2) Lieven works in a pro-Western feudal state and that particular piece appeared in a neo-liberal outfit where it is already a clear outlier toward (what I see as) common sense. Neo-liberals view themselves as liberals, "tolerating a wide spectrum of opinion", but with clear limits about the frequency and content for the outliers of their tolerance.

Back to "endangering the world", how "loosing competition to China" can result in huge mayhem? I guess that Tungsten is a little dense here. The sunset of Anglo-Saxon domination can seem like the end of the world for the "members" of that domination. But a longer historical perspective can offer a much darker vision of the future. First, there is a clash of two blocks, one with superior industrial production, domination of markets of assorted goods -- both as importer and exporter, etc, the other with still superior military technology and combative spirit.

Recall (or check) the situation in east Asia ca. 1240 AD. One of the major power was Song China, after a calamitous defeat roughly 300 years later, diminished Song China succeeded in developing all kinds of practical and beautiful goods and vibrant commerce while having quite inept military. The second major power was the Mongols. You can look up the rest.

USA stresses the military types of pressures, and seeing its position slipping too far, they may resort to a series of gigantic "provocations" -- from confiscation of property by fiat, like they did to Venezuela, to piracy on open seas, no cargoes can move without their approval and tribute, from there things can escalate toward nuclear war.

More generally, western decline leads to decrease of wealth affecting the lower classes first but gradually reaching higher, enmity toward competitors, then hatred, such processes can have dire consequences.

Importantly, these are speculations, so stopping short of spelling them out is reasonable. However, give some credit to Lieven for "the combination of arrogance, ignorance, greed, criminality, bigotry, hypocrisy and incompetence with which western elites managed the period after the Cold War".

Noirette , Sep 24 2020 16:24 utc | 108
On the rule-based world order. Scattered thoughts.

The article by Lieven was good in one aspect: it at least mentioned the crazy economic template aka imho 'religion' that lead to a part of this mess. For the rest, hmm. The 'rules based international order' was always pretty much a phoney scaffold, used for presentation to hide, cover up, legitimised many goings on (after WW2 I mean.)

Like a power-point extolling xyz product, with invented or 'massaged' charts and all., with tick boxes for what it positive or followed. (Fairness, Democracy, etc. etc. as 'Natural' 'Organic' etc. Total BS.)

In these kinds of discussions I am always reminded of the 'rights of the child' which in CH are taught in grade 3-5, with a boiled down text, logo type pix, etc. It is very tough on teachers, and they often only pretend to push the content. There are many immigrant children in CH and the natives know that the 'rights' are not respected and not just in 'jungles' (anarchist / animalistic hot spots) as they say. The kids go nuts - as they still more or less believe that they 'have a voice' as it called -- the parents follow the kids, lotsa troubles. OK, these are aspirations - but 'democracy' (purposely used as a calling card following advice from a well-know ad agency..) is so as well. And presenting aspirations that can't possibly be achieved in any way, when not a smiley joke about meeting God or flying to Mars, and is socially important, is not well received.

Anyway, since the invasion of Iraq (totally illegal according to any standards) leading to the biggest demos in the world ever, a loud indignant cry, which invasion the UN condoned, ppl (in my experience, in CH, F, It) no longer have a shred of belief in 'international rules'. Which of course makes them more 'nationalist' in the sense of acting in the community, close at hand, as the Intl order is a shit-scene.

Passer by , Sep 24 2020 20:06 utc | 109
Do you have sources for the last two facts, about China overtaking the US as main trading partner to Europe and as retail market?

Posted by: fx | Sep 24 2020 11:41 utc | 105

China becomes EU's top trading partner from Jan-July: Eurostat

https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202009/17/WS5f63070da31024ad0ba7a2fa.html

China retail market expected to overtake US this year

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/china-overtake-u-world-largest-135614391.html

https://www.asiatimesfinancial.com/we-will-be-top-economy-by-year-end-china-media-outlet-says

[Sep 25, 2020] Fiona Hill still pushes "Russian Meddling" narrative

It is difficult to teach old chickenhawk a new tricks. Looks like she is a real "national security parasite" and will stay is this role till the bitter end.
"America's world management, NATO, the European Union and the construction of establishments and alliances the US constructed after World War II have taken a hit." took hit because of the crisis of neoliberalism not so much because of Russia resistance to the USA neoliberal domination and unwillingness to became a vassal state a la EU states, Japan and GB.
Her hostile remark confirms grave mistake of allowing immigrants to occupy high position in the US foreign policy hierarchy. They bring with themselves "ancient hatred"
Only a blind (or a highly indoctrinated/brainwashed) person is unable to see where all these neocon policies are leading...
Notable quotes:
"... America's world management, NATO, the European Union and the construction of establishments and alliances the US constructed after World War II have taken a hit ..."
"... "They lost the entire US political class ..."
Sep 25, 2020 | newschant.com

Fiona Hill, the National Security Council's senior director for European and Russian affairs till 2019, says divisions are rising inside the Kremlin over the knowledge of persevering with a "dirty tricks" marketing campaign that's had combined outcomes and will now face diminishing returns.

On the one hand, Russia's 2016 affect operations succeeded past the Kremlin's wildest goals. The US-dominated, unipolar world that Putin has lengthy railed in opposition to is now not. America's world management, NATO, the European Union and the construction of establishments and alliances the US constructed after World War II have taken a hit. "On that ledger, wow, yes, basically over-fulfilled the plan," mentioned Hill.

At the identical time, getting caught in the act of making an attempt to sabotage US democracy has proved pricey. "They lost the entire US political class and politicized ties so that the whole future of US-Russia relations now depends on who wins in November," she mentioned.

[Sep 25, 2020] I see Pompeo as the quintessential opportunist of this moment (beyond his spiritual master of course, B-Nut.)

Sep 25, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

vinnieoh , Sep 22 2020 21:41 utc | 27

Probably counting on the desperate vanity and ego of Trump with the looming election to not shorten the length of the leash on Pompass. Pompass must also have noticed that Trump is willing to shove the homeland into civil war in order to claim victory, so maybe Pompass finally has the latitude to slake his bloodthirstiness.

Since I'm wondering down the path of speculation, a bit further into the murk. If there is one thing that characterizes the US today from the highest to the low, it is corruption. I submit that this corruption finds its zenith in the military, and especially the procurement train: any engagement with a near-peer (or the coalition/bloc we're talking about here,) and the rot and corruption will collapse this empire in upon itself. I've had this suspicion for some time, and believe if the going got rough the collapse would come rather quickly and completely.

[Sep 25, 2020] US standard "negotiating" techniques

Highly recommended!
Sep 25, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ashino , Sep 23 2020 9:23 utc | 67

http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2020/09/russia-steals-everything.html
Comment by Reader Dark Fate
EXCERPTs

Following a long line of very arrogant american imperial "negotiators", mr oblivion billingslea used standard "negotiating" techniques like

(a) accusing the other side of crimes Americans have committed first and forever, eg, extreme lying, bad faith argumentation, military aggression, foreign government security breaching, assassination and poisoning [as in american presidents and independent thinkers], and of course, electoral cheating;

(b) putting the opponent in the "negotiation process" on the defensive or back foot by stating false news allegations amplified by the media controlled by the american empire;

(c) offering nothing useful or commitable to be done by the empire, and yet "magnanimously" demanding the moon as opponents' concessions, eg, russian, iranian and chinese nuclear weapons limits, but not for nato's development and deployment, and; (d) after making impossible demands, the imperials accuse the opponents of hostility and unwillingness to "negotiate".

The russians can skillfully agree by stating that they only require the americans to reduce their nukes to 320 pieces like china, and in less than five years.

This is why it is very important for sovereign nations to read the guidebook, called the "idiot's guide on running the american empire", and developing deep and lasting solutions.

As for the other american imperial military "advantages", eg, constellation of "aggression" satellites, andrei forgot to mention that these can be shot or burned down in minutes easily by russia, china and even iran, as these stations cannot hide or run away in earth orbits.

Replenishment of weapons and military supplies after 3 months is rather doomed as the cheap, mass production and manufacturing facilities do not exist. Which must be re-created somehow but now
American lands are the targets. Much, Much Different Than WW2 !!

And of course, russia can always nuke down the USA and its vassal countries, and thus permanently ruin their economies for a decade or more, they don't know how to run defense -- this was always the fatal weakness of all bullies - if they'll have enough time to "learn it"... let's see... I doubt this.

Let's see americans try to start and conduct a nuclear war after too many spy, internet and gps satellites are shot down. Russia can even do this today using conventional explosives, and the world will be shocked how helpless the american military and economy can be made even without using russian nukes.

There are countries still immune to the numerous american imperial diseases that are already documented daily in zerohedge postings. The better countries still have lots of parents telling their kids to study and work hard so they can have better lives than their ancestors.

In oregon and california, they teach unemployable kids to burn something or somebody sometime before dinner.

CdVision • 11 hours ago
I was about to say that what now comes out of the US & Trump's mouth in particular, is Orwellian. But that credits it with too much gravitas. The true comparison is Alice in Wonderland:
"Words mean whatever I want them to mean".

Ashino , Sep 23 2020 9:29 utc | 68
Reminiscence of the Future.. ( http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2020/09/russia-steals-everything.html)
Russia "Steals Everything" !! (Not just China, oops... ???!!!!)
And Jesus Christ was an American and was born in Kalamazoo, MI. It is a well-known fact. So Donald Trump, evidently briefed by his "utterly competent and crushingly precise aids", knows now that too! !!! LOL

Time For Daily Auto-Hypnosis, Comrades. !!!

https://vz.ru/news/2020/9/19/1061259.html
https://www.Путин-сегодня.ru/archives/108431
https://vk.com/deebeepublic?w=wall-197487820_23447
(Digital Translation)

> US President Donald Trump claims that Russia developed hypersonic weapons after allegedly stealing information from the United States.

> According to him, "Russia received this information from the Obama administration," Moscow "stole this information." Trump said that "Russia received this information and then created" the rocket, reports TASS.

> "We have such advanced weapons that President Xi, Putin and everyone else will envy us. They do not know what we have, but they know that it is something that no one has ever heard of. "

->We are the foremost and always number one. Everything is invented only by us, the rest can only either steal, or be gifted with our developments for good behavior. This situation is eternal, unchanging, everyone lags behind American Tikhalogii at least 50 years (the time frame was chosen so that even a 20-year-old would lose heart, "what's the point of trying to catch up, it won't work anyway, in my lifetime"). It was, is, and will be, this is the natural course of events.

All this is delivered in the format of the classic Sunday sermon of the American provincial Protestant church, coding the parishioners for further deeds and actions. And it worked effectively, creating in some basalt confidence "we are better because we are better", in others - "I don't mind anything for joining this radiant success, I'm ready for anything, I'll go for any hardships and crimes, if only There".

Only now it worked. In a situation where the frequency of pronouncing such mantras is more and more, emotions are invested in them too, but in fact everyone understands that this is what autohypnosis does not work.

The poor have stolen from the United States, if you look at it, literally everything. And 5G and the superweapon of the gods. Moreover, a pearl with a characteristic handwriting is not copy / paste, but move / paste, you bastards. Therefore, the United States does not even have any traces of developments left - the guys just sit in an empty room, shrug their hands, "here we have a farm of mechanical killer dolls, with the faces of Mickey Mouse overexposed, and now look - traces of bast shoes and candy wrappers from "Korkunov" only, ah-ah-ah, well, something like that, ah. "

At the same time, there are no cases of sabotage, espionage - whole projects were simply developed, developed, brought to a working product, and then the hob - and that's it, and disappeared. And this became noticeable only after years. And all the persons involved are like "wow, wow."

Psychiatric crazy fool of the head, no less.

But due to the fact that all of the above theses are driven very tightly into the template for the perception of the world, both those who voiced these theses and the listeners are satisfied.

Because the post-American post-hegemonic world is not terrible because in some ratings another country will be higher there, and Detroit will never be rebuilt "as it was". It is scary because it is not clear how to live for people who had no support in the form of global goals, faith, philosophy of life, and all this was replaced by narcissism on the basis of "successful success is my second self".

This means that the moment when this issue has to be resolved must be delayed to the last. Leaving the whole topic on the plane "we were offended, we are offended, we were dishonest, which means we have the right to any action" is not a bad move.

It's a pity that it doesn't really affect the essence of what is happening.

< >

[Sep 25, 2020] While the U.S. wants a vague 'rules based international order' China and Russia emphasize an international order that is based on the rule of law

After the dissolution of the USSR the US elite lost the traction with reality and became mad in a very literate sense of this word. A gang of exceptional idiots. Like in Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland. For Mad Hatter that was toxic substances (mercury) used in the hat industry, for the US elite it was toxic doze of exeptionalism and adoption of "Full spectrum dominance doctrine" promoted by crazy neocons like Wolfowitz and Libby. The best way to destroy the empire is to adopt "full spectrum Dominance Doctrine" which guarantee overextension and subsequent demise. The dominance disappears like The Cheshire Cat disappearance leaving only his grin, prompting Alice to remark that "she has often seen a cat without a grin but never a grin without a cat".
US officials like Pompeo now often sound like some podunk UN official from a podunk country trying to impress a waitress in a NYC bar.
Sep 25, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

But at the end of the cold war the 'west' began to ignore the actual international law and to replace it with its own rules which others were then supposed to follow. That hubris has come back to bite the 'west'.

[Sep 25, 2020] Andre Vltchek was a great warrior, the world was kept informed by this wonderful spirit and passionate mind. I am very sad to hear of his passing.

Sep 25, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

uncle tungsten , Sep 22 2020 22:15 utc | 34

Colm O' Toole #26
Andre Vltchek whose done some great reporting on China, Russia, and the Middle East over the years was found dead today in Turkey.

Vale great warrior, the world was kept informed by this wonderful spirit and passionate mind. I am very sad to hear of his passing.

His works.

David G , Sep 22 2020 22:23 utc | 35
Colm O' Toole | Sep 22 2020 21:41 utc | 26:

I learned about places I've never been reading Vltchek. He will be missed by many.

Jen , Sep 22 2020 23:03 utc | 38
Colm O'Toole @ 26, Uncle Tungsten @ 32, David G @ 33:

I am also sad to hear of Andre Vltchek's passing. He used to be an occasional contributor to Off-Guardian.org.

His death is being treated as suspicious by Turkish police authorities. I myself am rather puzzled by the decision to travel overnight by car from Samsun to Istanbul, given his state of health (according to the report that Colm O'Toole linked to) and the length of the car journey (about nine hours) when he could have travelled by plane.

willie , Sep 23 2020 7:20 utc | 64
R.I.P DR.Stephen Cohen.

R.I.P. Andre Vitchek.

Maybe his latest outcry hindered some :

https://www.opednews.com/articles/Now-West-Should-Sit-On-Its-by-Andre-Vltchek-Brainwashing_China_Colonialism_Denial-200912-597.html

[Sep 25, 2020] if I lived in Germany I might identify how my country helps American drone pilots like Brandon Bryant violate our constitution.

Sep 25, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
lizard , Sep 22 2020 21:59 utc | 31
our host misses the real challenge for humans on this planet, perhaps by design. I think Michael Krieger had it right, what we should be aiming for is the decentralizing of power. invest in localism. get to know your local power structure. get ready for trade and barter survival mode.

for example, if I lived in Germany I might identify how my country helps American drone pilots like Brandon Bryant violate our constitution. from the link:

On October 15, former U.S. drone operator Brandon Bryant testified before the German Parliament about the role the U.S. air base in Ramstein, Germany, plays in the U.S. drone program. Hours later, Shadowproof reported, two American Air Force officers showed up at the house of Bryant's mother in Missoula, Montana, to inform her that she was on the "hit list" of the Islamic State militant group (ISIS), which Bryant's attorney is calling a clear sign of whistleblower intimidation.

Bryant, now an outspoken critic of the U.S. drone program, left the Air Force after what he described as a moment of moral clarity. "We were hunting for Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen," he told a German parliamentary inquiry committee last week. "I suddenly realized that by doing what I was doing I was going against the American Constitution which I had sworn to protect. That was when I decided I had to get out."

Bryant came back to his hometown in Missoula and became active in local politics, culminating in a felony arrest for allegedly intimidating local council members over his criticism of how local officials use public funds. this was right before the pandemic, and since then there has been nothing in the news about his case. I would know, since I could possible be a witness in the case.

if you aren't at least a little prepared for a disruption in critical supplies, and choose instead to waste time commenting on online forums, it won't matter how up to date you are on "rules based international order" vs. "international law". at that point the reality will be something like this: if you aren't holding it, you don't have it, and if you can't defend it, you won't be keeping it for long.

[Sep 24, 2020] What Will Be The Foreign Policy Of The Next US President by Thierry MEYSSAN

Notable quotes:
"... Each of these two camps wields rhetoric that masks its true practice. Democrats and Republicans pose as heralds of the "free world" in the face of "dictatorships", as defenders of racial, gender and sexual orientation discrimination, and as champions of the fight against "global warming". The Jacksonians, for their part, take turns denouncing the corruption, perversity and ultimately hypocrisy of their predecessors while calling to fight for their nation and not for the empire. ..."
"... The two camps have in common only the same cult of force; whether it is at the service of the empire (Democrats and Republicans) or the nation (Jacksonians). ..."
Sep 08, 2020 | orientalreview.org

The U.S. 2020 presidential campaign pits two radically different visions of the United States: empire or nation?

On the one hand, Washington's claim to dominate the world by "containment" – a strategy articulated by George Kennan in 1946 and followed by all presidents until 2016 – and on the other hand, the rejection of imperialism and the desire to facilitate the fortunes of Americans in general – a strategy articulated by President Andrew Jackson (1829-37) and taken up only by President Donald Trump (2017-20).

Each of these two camps wields rhetoric that masks its true practice. Democrats and Republicans pose as heralds of the "free world" in the face of "dictatorships", as defenders of racial, gender and sexual orientation discrimination, and as champions of the fight against "global warming". The Jacksonians, for their part, take turns denouncing the corruption, perversity and ultimately hypocrisy of their predecessors while calling to fight for their nation and not for the empire.

The two camps have in common only the same cult of force; whether it is at the service of the empire (Democrats and Republicans) or the nation (Jacksonians).

The fact that the Jacksonians unexpectedly became a majority in the country and took control of the Republican Party adds to the confusion, but should not confuse Trumpism with what the Republican ideology has been since World War II.

In reality, Democrats and Republicans tend to be well-to-do people or professionals in new technologies, while Jacksonians – like the "yellow vests" in France – are rather poor and professionally tied to the land from which they cannot escape.

... ... ...

The Jacksonian agenda

As soon as he took office, Donald Trump questioned the Rumsfeld/Cebrowsky strategy of annihilating the state structures of all the countries of the "Broader Middle East" without exception and announced his wish to bring home the troops lost in the "war without end". This goal remains at the top of his priorities in 2020 ("Stop Endless Wars and Bring Our Troops Home").

As a result, he excluded the Director of the CIA and the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee from regular meetings of the National Security Council. In so doing, he deprived the supporters of imperialism of their main tool of conquest.

See:
- " Presidential Memorandum: Organization of the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council ", by Donald Trump, Voltaire Network , 28 January 2017. And " Donald Trump winds up "the" organization of US imperialism ", by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Anoosha Boralessa, Voltaire Network , 31 January 2017.

There followed a battle for the presidency of this council with the indictment of General Michael T. Flynn, then his replacement by General H. R. McMaster, the exceptionalist John R. Bolton, and finally Robert C. O'Brien.

In May 2017, Donald Trump called on U.S. allies to immediately cease their support for jihadists charged with implementing the Rumsfeld/Cebrowski strategy. This was the Riyadh speech to the Sunni heads of state and then to NATO heads of state and government. President Trump had declared NATO obsolete before changing his mind. However, he obtained not the abandonment of Russia's policy of containment, but the halving of the credits used for this purpose and the allocation of the funds thus preserved to the fight against jihadism. In doing so, it partially stopped making NATO an instrument of imperialism and turned it into a defensive alliance. It has therefore demanded that its members contribute to its budget. Support for jihadism, however, was pursued by the supporters of imperialism with private means, notably the KKR Fund.

See:
- " Presidential Memorandum: Plan to Defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria ", by Donald Trump, Voltaire Network , 28 January 2017.
- " Donald Trump's Speech to the Arab Islamic American Summit ", by Donald Trump, Voltaire Network , 21 May 2017.
- " Remarks by Donald Trump at NATO Unveiling of the Article 5 and Berlin Wall Memorials ", by Donald Trump, Voltaire Network, 25 May 2017.

Hence his watchwords: "Wipe Out Global Terrorists Who Threaten to Harm Americans" and "Get Allies to Pay their Fair Share.

Like the Democrats and Republicans, the Jacksonian Donald Trump is committed to restoring the capabilities of his armies ("Maintain and Expand America's Unrivaled Military Strength"). Unlike his predecessors, he did not seek to transform the Pentagon's delusional management by privatizing one department at a time, but rather developed a plan to recruit researchers to compete technologically once again with the Russian and Chinese armies.

See:
- " National Security Strategy of the United States of America ", December 2017. And " Donald Trump's National Security Strategy ", by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Pete Kimberley, Voltaire Network , 26 December 2017.

Only Donald Trump's desire to regain primacy in missile matters is supported by Democrats and Republicans, although they do not agree on how to achieve it ("Build a Great Cybersecurity Defense System and Missile Defense System") : the tenant of the White House wants the USA to equip itself alone with these weapons that it can eventually deploy on the territory of its allies, while its opponents want to involve the allies in order to maintain their hold on them. From the point of view of the Democrats and Republicans, the problem is obviously not withdrawing from the Cold War disarmament treaties to build a new arsenal, but the loss of means of diplomatic pressure on Russia.

A professional politician, Joe Biden hopes to restore the imperial status of the former First World Power.

The program of Democrats and non-party Republicans

Joe Biden proposes to focus on three objectives: (1) reinvigorate democracy (2) train the middle class to cope with globalization (3) regain global leadership.

- Reinvigorate democracy : in his words, this means basing public action on the "informed consent" of Americans. In doing so, he used Walter Lipmann's 1922 terminology, according to which democracy presupposes "manufacturing consent". This theory was discussed at length by Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky in 1988. It obviously has nothing to do with the definition formulated by President Abraham Lincoln: "Democracy is government of the people, by the people, for the people".

Joe Biden believes he is achieving his goal by restoring the morality of public action through the practice of "political correctness". For example, he condemns "the horrible practice [of President Trump] of separating families and placing the children of immigrants in private prisons," without saying that President Trump was merely applying a democratic law to show its futility. Or he announces that he wants to reaffirm the condemnation of torture that President Trump justified, without saying that the latter, like President Obama, has already banned the practice while maintaining life imprisonment without trial in Guantánamo.

He announced his intention to convene a Summit for Democracy to fight against corruption, to defend the "Free World" against authoritarian regimes, and to advance human rights. In view of his definition of democracy, it is a question of uniting allied states by denouncing scapegoats for what is wrong (the "corrupt") and promoting human rights in the Anglo-Saxon sense and especially not in the French sense. That is to say, to stop police violence and not to help citizens to participate in decision-making. This summit will launch an appeal to the private sector so that new technologies cannot be used by authoritarian states to monitor their citizens (but the USA and its NSA can always use them in the interest of the "Free World").

Finally, Joe Biden concludes this chapter by highlighting his role in the Transatlantic Commission for Electoral Integrity alongside his friends, former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who overthrew the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, and Michael Chertoff, former US Secretary of Homeland Security, who put all US citizens under surveillance. Not forgetting John Negroponte who organized the Contras in Nicaragua and Daesh in Iraq.

- Educating the middle class to cope with globalization . Joe Biden believes that the politics that have been pursued since the dissolution of the USSR have led to the rapid disappearance of the middle class, and that training the remaining middle class in the use of new technologies will prevent the relocation of their jobs.

- Renewing U.S. leadership . In the name of democracy, this means stopping the rise of "populists, nationalists and demagogues. This formulation helps us understand that democracy, according to Joe Biden, is not only the fabrication of consent, but also the eradication of the popular will. If demagogues pervert democratic institutions, populists serve the popular will and nationalists serve the community.

The Oval Office of the White House is looking for a tenant.

Joe Biden then specifies that he will stop wars "forever"; a formulation that seems to support the same goal as the Jacksonians, but differs in terminology. It is in fact a question of validating the current adaptation of the system to the limits imposed by President Trump: why make US soldiers die abroad when one can pursue the Rumsfeld/Cebrowski strategy with jihadists at a lower cost? All the more so since when he was only an opposition senator, Joe Biden gave his name to the plan to partition Iraq that the Pentagon was trying to impose.

A verse follows on the enlargement of NATO to include Latin American, African and Pacific allies. Far from being obsolete, the Alliance will once again become the heart of U.S. imperialism.

Finally, Joe Biden pleads for the renewal of the 5+1 agreement with Iran and disarmament treaties with Russia. The agreement with President Hassan Rohani aims to classically divide Muslim countries into Sunni and Shia, while the disarmament treaties aim to confirm that the Biden administration would not envisage a global confrontation, but the continued containment of its competitor.

The program of the Democratic Party candidate and non-party Republicans concludes with the assurance of joining the Paris Accord and taking leadership in the fight against global warming. Joe Biden specifies that he will not give gifts to China, which is relocating its most polluting industries along the Silk Road. On the other hand, he omits to say that his friend, Barack Obama, before entering politics, was the drafter of the statutes of the Chicago Carbon Emissions Trading Exchange. The fight against global warming is not so much an ecological issue as a matter for bankers.

Conclusion

It must be said that everything is opposed to a clarification. Four years of upheavals by President Trump have only succeeded in replacing the "endless wars" with a low-intensity private war. There are certainly far fewer deaths, but it is still war.

The elites who enjoy imperialism are not ready to give up their privileges.

So it is to be feared that the U.S. will be forced to go through an internal conflict, a civil war, and break up like the Soviet Union once did.

[Sep 24, 2020] Obama, his pet Wookie and Critical Race Theory

Sep 24, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Reign in Fact , 6 hours ago

"" President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday to stop funding to federal government contractors who hold critical race theory training sessions."

YES!! "Silence is complicity" as leftarded sheep often bleat, and silence in the face of this ultra-racist bullsh!t has gone on far too long. Never should've been allowed to begin with.

Son of Loki , 6 hours ago

Obama and his pet Wookie encouraged it.

Nunyadambizness , 4 hours ago

His pet Wookie Biden?

[Sep 24, 2020] We have lost a real giant (Stephen F. Cohen has died)! by Saker

Notable quotes:
"... Cohen had the courage to take on the entire ruling elites of this country and their messianic supremacist ideology by himself, almost completely alone. ..."
"... He opposed the warmongering nutcases during the Cold War, and he opposed them again when they replaced their rabid hatred of the Soviet Union with an even more rabid hatred of everything Russian. ..."
Sep 24, 2020 | thesaker.is

First, he was a man of immense kindness and humility . Second, he was a man of total intellectual honesty . I can't say that Cohen and I had the same ideas or the same reading of history, though in many cases we did, but here is what I found so beautiful in this man: unlike most of his contemporaries, Cohen was not an ideologue , he did not expect everybody to agree with him, and he himself did not vet people for ideological purity before offering them his friendship.

Even though it is impossible to squeeze a man of such immense intellect and honesty into any one single ideological category, I would say that Stephen Cohen was a REAL liberal , in the original, and noble, meaning of this word.

I also have to mention Stephen Cohen's immense courage . Yes, I know, Cohen was not deported to GITMO for his ideas, he was not tortured in a CIA secret prison, and he was not rendered to some Third Word country to be tortured there on behalf of the USA. Stephen Cohen had a different kind of courage: the courage to remain true to himself and his ideals even when the world literally covered him in slanderous accusations, the courage to NOT follow his fellow liberals when they turned PSEUDO-liberals and betrayed everything true liberalism stands for. Professor Cohen also completely rejected any forms of tribalism or nationalism, which often made him the target of vicious hatred and slander, especially from his fellow US Jews (he was accused of being, what else, a Putin agent).

Cohen had the courage to take on the entire ruling elites of this country and their messianic supremacist ideology by himself, almost completely alone.

Last, but most certainly not least, Stephen Cohen was a true peacemaker , in the sense of the words of the Holy Gospel I quoted above. He opposed the warmongering nutcases during the Cold War, and he opposed them again when they replaced their rabid hatred of the Soviet Union with an even more rabid hatred of everything Russian.

I won't claim here that I always agreed with Cohen's ideas or his reading of history, and I am quite sure that he would not agree with much of what I wrote. But one thing Cohen and I definitely did agree on: the absolute, number one, priority of not allowing a war to happen between the USA and Russia. It would not be an exaggeration to say that Stephen Cohen dedicated his entire life towards this goal.

... ... ...

[Sep 24, 2020] Stephen F. Cohen, 1938–2020 - The Nation

Sep 24, 2020 | www.thenation.com

first "met" Steve through his 1977 essay "Bolshevism and Stalinism." His cogent, persuasive, revisionist argument that there are always alternatives in history and politics deeply influenced me. And his seminal biography, Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution , challenging prevailing interpretations of Soviet history, was to me, and many, a model of how biography should be written: engaged and sympathetically critical.

At the time, I was too accepting of conventional wisdom. Steve's work -- and soon, Steve himself -- challenged me to be critical-minded, to seek alternatives to the status quo, to stay true to my beliefs (even if they weren't popular), and to ask unpopular questions of even the most powerful. These are values I carry with me to this day as editorial director of The Nation , which Steve introduced me to (and its editor, Victor Navasky) and for which he wrote a column ("Sovieticus") from 1982 to 1987, and many articles and essays beginning in 1979. His last book, War with Russia? was a collection of dispatches (almost all posted at thenation.com ) distilled from Steve's weekly radio broadcasts -- beginning in 2014–on The John Batchelor Show .

T he experiences we shared in Moscow beginning in 1980 are in many ways my life's most meaningful. Steve introduced me to realms of politics, history, and life I might never have experienced: to Bukharin's widow, the extraordinary Anna Mikhailovna Larina, matriarch of his second family, and to his eclectic and fascinating circle of friends -- survivors of the Gulag, (whom he later wrote about in The Victims Return ) dissidents, and freethinkers -- both outside and inside officialdom.

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From 1985 to 1991, when we lived frequently in Moscow, we shared the intellectual and political excitement, the hopes and the great achievements of those perestroika years. We later developed a close friendship with Mikhail Gorbachev, a man we both deeply admired as an individual and as a political leader who used his power so courageously to change his country and the world. Gorbachev also changed our lives in several ways.

Our marriage coincided with perestroika . In fact, Steve spent the very first day after our wedding, our so-called honeymoon, at the United Nations with Gorbachev and the news anchor Dan Rather (Steve was consulting for CBS News at the time). Then, on our first anniversary, in 1989, we were with President Bush (the first) and Gorbachev on Malta when they declared the end of the Cold War. And we think of our daughter, Nika, now 29 years old, as a perestroika baby because she was conceived in Russia during the Gorbachev years, made her first visit to Moscow in July 1991 and since then has been back some 40 times. In a moving moment, a year after Raisa Maksimovna died, Gorbachev remarked to Steve that our marriage and partnership reminded him of his with Raisa because we too seemed inseparable.

Steve has often regretted that many of the Russian friends he made after 1985 did not know about his earlier Moscow life. He first visited the Soviet Union in 1959. But it was those pre- perestroika years, 1975 to 1982, that gave Steve what he once told me was his "real education. Not only in Russian society but in Russian politics, because I began to understand the connection between trends in society, trends in the dissident movement, and trends in the nomenklatura." They were "utterly formative years for me."

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They also informed his writings, especially his pathbreaking book Rethinking the Soviet Experience , which was published at the very time Gorbachev came to power. "There was a lot of tragedy," Steve used to say, "but also a lot of humor and warmth when people had little more that personal friendships and ideas to keep them company." From 1980, when I first traveled to Moscow with Steve, to 1982 when neither of us could get a visa (until 1985 when Gorbachev became leader), we lived in that Russia, spending many nights in friends' apartments and kitchens drinking into the night, and listening to uncensored, often pessimistic, thinking about the present and future of Russia.

I later became Steve's collaborator in smuggling samizdat manuscripts out of Russia to the West, and bringing samizdat books back to Russia and distributing them. By the time I joined him, Steve had managed to send dozens of such books to Moscow, and satisfying friends with a selection ranging from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Varlam Shalamov, George Orwell, and Robert Conquest to the Kama Sutra and, of course, the samizdat version of Steve's own book on Bukharin. I learned from Steve that one had to keep forbidden documents and manuscripts on one's person at all times, knowing that the KGB frequently searched apartments and hotel rooms. At a certain point, Steve's shoulder bag became so heavy that he developed a hernia on his right side. After surgery, he started carrying his bag on his left side, but developed a second hernia there, as well. He liked to say that the worst the KGB ever did to him was to cause him two hernias!

In fact, it was samizdat manuscripts that first brought us together. In 1978, Steve heard that I had a diplomatic passport, which would have exempted me from a customs search, and was about to travel to Moscow. (At the time my father was the United States representative to the United Nations in Geneva.) Through a mutual friend, Steve asked if I would bring out samizdat documents being held for him in Moscow. I would have been happy to do so, but Steve had been misinformed. I didn't have a diplomatic passport.

S teve could sometimes seem like a tough guy, but those who won his trust knew he was a person of great generosity, loyalty, and kindness. He was known in our New York City neighborhood on the Upper West Side as an impresario/organizer and longtime supporter of basketball tournaments for local, often poor, kids. In the United States and Russia, Steve mentored and supported young scholars. In the last decade, he set up fellowships for young scholars of Russian history at the several universities where he'd he studied and taught: Indiana University, Princeton, New York University, and Columbia. He lent his support to the establishment of Moscow's State Museum of the History of the Gulag -- and to its young director and team.

Life with Steve was never boring. He was supremely independent, the true radical in our family, unfailingly going to the root of the problem. He spoke his mind. He had a CD with a dozen variations of "My Way" -- from Billy Bragg to Frank Sinatra. And as The Chronicle of Higher Education subtitled its 2017 profile of Steve, he "was the most controversial Russia expert in America."

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Through all our years together, Steve was my backbone, fortifying me for the battles Nation editors must wage (often with their own writers, sometimes including Steve!), and giving me the personal and political courage to do the right thing. But never more so than when we entered what might be called the "Russiagate era."

While Steve liked to say it's healthy to rethink, to have more questions than answers, there was a wise consistency to his political analysis. For example, as is clear from his many articles in The Nation in these last decades, he unwaveringly opposed American Cold War thinking both during the Cold War and since the end of the Soviet Union. He was consistent in his refusal to sermonize, lecture, or moralize about what Russia should do. He preferred to listen rather than preach, to analyze rather than demonize.

This stance was no recipe for popularity, which Steve professed to care little about. He was courageous and fearless in continuing to question the increasingly rigid orthodoxies about the Soviet Union and Russia. But in the last months, such criticism did take its toll on him. Along with others who sought to avert a new and more dangerous Cold War, Steve despaired that the public debate so desperately needed had become increasingly impossible in mainstream politics or media. Until his death he'd been working on a short article about what he saw as the "criminalization of détente." The organization he established, the American Committee on East-West Accord, tried mightily to argue for a more sane US policy toward Russia.

He fared better than I often did confronting the controversies surrounding him since 2014, in reaction to his views on Ukraine, Putin, election interference, and more. Positions he took often elicited slurs and scurrilous attacks. How many times could he be labeled "Putin's puppet"? "Putin's No.1 American apologist"? Endlessly, it seemed. But Steve chose not to respond directly to the attacks, believing -- as he told me many times when I urged him to respond -- that they offered no truly substantive criticism of his arguments, but were merely ad hominem attacks. What he did write about -- he was increasingly concerned about the fate of a younger generation of scholars -- was the danger of smearing those who thought differently about US policy toward Russia, thereby silencing skeptics and contributing to the absence of a needed debate in our politics, media, and academy.

M ikhail Gorbachev often told Steve how deeply influenced he was by his writings, especially his biography of Bukharin. Steve first met Gorbachev in 1987 at the Soviet Embassy in Washington. It was a reception for America's "progressive intelligentsia" -- which Steve found funny, because he considered himself a maverick and didn't like labels. But he was there that day, and within a few minutes a Kremlin aide told Steve that the general secretary wanted to talk to him. Minutes later, Mikhail Sergeevich approached and asked Steve, assuming the author of Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution must be eminent and of a "serious" age: " Deistvitelno [really] -- you wrote the book, or was it your father?"

Steve finally achieved that "serious" age Gorbachev spoke of! But his heart, spirit and mind remained youthful till the very end. Maybe it's because of his love of Jerry Lee Lewis's rock and roll, or New Orleans blues or Kentucky bluegrass, or his passion for basketball (shared with our daughter Nika and his 16-year-old grandson, Lucas), or his quest for a good anecdote (his annual anecdote lectures at Princeton and later NYU drew large crowds). Maybe it's because we continued our walks in nearby Riverside Park for as long as was possible -- walks full of loving and spirited argument and talk. Perhaps it's because, while Steve was a very serious person, he didn't take himself seriously.

O n Saturday, Mikhail Gorbachev sent these words about Steve:

Dear Katrina,
Please accept my sincere condolences on Steve's passing. He was one of the closest people to me in his views and understanding of the enormous events that occurred in the late 1980s in Russia and changed the world.
Steve was a brilliant historian and a man of democratic convictions. He loved Russia, the Russian intelligentsia, and believed in our country's future.
I always considered Steve and you my true friends. During perestroika and all the subsequent years, I felt your understanding and unwavering support. I thank you both.
Dear Katrina, I feel deep sympathy for your grief and I mourn together with you and Nika.
Blessed memory for Steve.
I embrace you,
Mikhail Gorbachev
19.09.20

F or 40 years, Steve was my partner, companion, co-conspirator, best friend, fellow traveler, mentor, husband (for 32 years), co-author. I will be forever grateful to him for introducing me to The Nation , to Russia, for a life that has been full of shared adventure, friendship and passion, and for our beloved daughter, Nika. MOST POPULAR 1

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Katrina vanden Heuvel TWITTER Katrina vanden Heuvel is editorial director and publisher of The Nation , America's leading source of progressive politics and culture. She served as editor of the magazine from 1995 to 2019.


Herbert Weiner says:

September 22, 2020 at 11:53 pm

My condolences for the passing of Stephen who fought the post Cold War policies against Russia with a balanced analysis--so contradictory to the intellectuals who gloat in our victory and are unrealistic to the "threat" posed by Russia which desperately needs peace and friendship with the West and, especially, us. He has shown that you can criticism and condemn Stalinism while also condemning our anti-Soviet policies. He walked that tightrope which I applaud. May his memory be a blessing.

Erwin Borda says: September 22, 2020 at 10:44 pm

Dear Katrina, at this time of America's political confusion, pain and intellectual despair, the lost of Steve is really big. He has been a source of inspiration to many, and the true defender of Russia in the middle of political adversity. Steve being an intellectual giant always exposed his ideas in a humble and honest way. What a lost for America and for the world!
Rest in Peace Steve! And for you Katrina and Nika my most sincere condolences!
God Bless you all!

Valera Bochkarev says: September 22, 2020 at 8:56 am

Boots, Applebaums, Kristols and Joffes of this world will come and go as specks of dirt clogging up our civilization while never measuring up to courageous moral and intellectual giants like Professor Cohen. His intellect, insight and humility will always be a shining beacon for those that have high hopes for humanity. Rest in peace, Steve Cohen. You've led a righteous and honorable life, Sir.

Pierre Guerlain says: September 22, 2020 at 2:43 am

I started reading Steve's articles in connection with the conspiracy theory that Russiagate is and then I watched many videos of him in interviews. I came to admire such a courageous man who was slandered by people who knew nothing, nothing about Russia, the country Steve knew so well but also nothing about geopolitics, international relations and the tricks of intel services. Always competent and with a gift for clear exposition, Steve warned about what is one of the gravest dangers: war with Russia. I too admired Gorbachev and saw how he was hoodwinked by people who unknowingly prepared Putin's rise. A great courageous thinker is gone and we miss him.

Ann Wright says: September 21, 2020 at 7:53 pm

I admired Steve's perspective from 1992 when I was in the second group that wasIn the US Embassy in Tashkent, Uzbekistan and two years later with the Us Embassy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan for two years from 1994-1996. I've been back to Russia twice in the past three years and I agree totally with His view of the stupidity of another Cold War!!!

John Stewart says: September 21, 2020 at 5:12 pm

Katrina, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I took two courses with Professor Cohen at Princeton in 1973 and 1974, and he was without question the best lecturer I had in seven years of higher education. He became my intellectual mentor, although I was too shy to ever really talk with him. I graduated in Politics and Russian Studies in 1977, and he was an inspiration. I am especially saddened by his death because I have been thinking of picking up Russian studies soon when I retire and I wanted his advice on where I should do a Masters degree, with whom, and what topics needed someone to pick up. He was a great man, and a voice of sense about Russia. He will be greatly missed.

John Connolly says: September 21, 2020 at 3:10 pm

Dear Katrina: Thank You for this personal sharing of Your life with Stephen Cohen; and sincere condolences to You, Nika and Lucas.
I really appreciate Your clarity and candor about the unique position Steve occupied in the academic, intellectual and political firmament ... never completely clear to me until Your explication. Steve regularly engaged and sometimes enraged me with some of his positions -- some of them seeming to me ill-considered defenses of cloddish Stalinist bureaucrats or malevolent Russian authoritarians ... but I read everything he wrote in 'The Nation' and anywhere else I came across him. As a longtime Trotskyist/ Socialist I could find plenty to argue about with Brother Cohen, but also found great appreciation for the fact that almost no one else was currently thinking and writing about Russia or the Soviet experience with the rigor, insight, depth of experience and skill that Stephen owned and shared with us all. It goes without saying he will be missed by You his dearest and closest ones; but he will be sorely missed too by those of us in Your extended 'Nation' Family, and the Progressive millions he so widely taught and influenced to 'think different'.

[Sep 23, 2020] Mattis Told Intel Chief They May 'Have to Take Collective Action' Against 'Unfit' Trump -- Woodward

Notable quotes:
"... Former defense secretary Jim Mattis appears to have been plotting a coup with then-Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats after growing furious with President Trump for banning transgenders from the military and moving to pull out of Afghanistan and Syria. ..."
"... Mattis quietly went to Washington National Cathedral [in May 2019] to pray about his concern for the nation's fate under Trump's command and, according to Woodward, told Coats, "There may come a time when we have to take collective action" since Trump is "dangerous. He's unfit." ..."
"... Translation: we may have to stage a coup to get him out of power. Plenty of Democrats and former and current intelligence officials are working on a Color Revolution come November as we speak . ..."
Sep 10, 2020 | www.blacklistednews.com

SOURCE: CHRIS MENAHAN, INFORMATION LIBERATION

Former defense secretary Jim Mattis appears to have been plotting a coup with then-Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats after growing furious with President Trump for banning transgenders from the military and moving to pull out of Afghanistan and Syria.

From The Washington Post :

Mattis quietly went to Washington National Cathedral [in May 2019] to pray about his concern for the nation's fate under Trump's command and, according to Woodward, told Coats, "There may come a time when we have to take collective action" since Trump is "dangerous. He's unfit."

Translation: we may have to stage a coup to get him out of power. Plenty of Democrats and former and current intelligence officials are working on a Color Revolution come November as we speak .

In a separate conversation recounted by Woodward, Mattis told Coats, "The president has no moral compass," to which the director of national intelligence replied: "True. To him, a lie is not a lie. It's just what he thinks. He doesn't know the difference between the truth and a lie."

Mattis doesn't know the difference between a male and a female. Trump reportedly accurately said his generals were a "bunch of pussies."

"Not to mention my f**king generals are a bunch of pussies. They care more about their alliances than they do about trade deals," Trump told White House trade adviser Peter Navarro at one point, according to Woodward.

No lie detected!

Ann Coulter, who has repeatedly tried to tell Trump today's generals have nothing in common with those of the past like Trump-favorite Gen. George Patton, responded to the news on Wednesday by saying Trump has won her back!

And he wins me back! https://t.co/7nhtSuC4k9

-- Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) September 10, 2020

[Sep 23, 2020] Obama is not the first black president. He is black on the outside, but a white liberal on the inside. The same is true of Kamala Harris

Obama in foreign policy was Bush III. Another puppet of MIC
Sep 23, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

FND 11 hours ago

" And now, America had elected a black man to the highest office in the land."

Obama is not the first black president. He is black on the outside, but a white liberal on the inside. The same is true of Kamala Harris. The first black president would be someone like Tim Scott or Al Sharpton. Someone who grew up in African American culture.

[Sep 23, 2020] Never Forget- Smoking Gun Intel Memo From 1990s Warned Of Frankenstein The CIA Created

Notable quotes:
"... knew and bluntly acknowledged ..."
"... War on The Rocks ..."
"... The U.S. State Dept.'s own numbers at the height of the war in Syria: access the full report at STATE.GOV ..."
Sep 23, 2020 | www.blacklistednews.com
SOURCE: ZEROHEDGE

As Americans pause to remember the tragic events of September 11, 2001 which saw almost 3,000 innocents killed in the worst terror attack in United States history, it might also be worth contemplating the horrific wars and foreign quagmires unleashed during the subsequent 'war on terror'.

Bush's so-called Global War on Terror targeted 'rogue states' like Saddam's Iraq, but also consistently had a focus on uprooting and destroying al-Qaeda and other armed Islamist terror organizations (this led to the falsehood that Baathist Saddam and AQ were in cahoots). But the idea that Washington from the start saw al-Qaeda and its affiliates as some kind of eternal enemy is largely a myth.

Recall that the US covertly supported the Afghan mujahideen and other international jihadists throughout the 1980's Afghan-Soviet War, the very campaign in which hardened al-Qaeda terrorists got their start. In 1999 The Guardian in a rare moment of honest mainstream journalism warned of the Frankenstein the CIA created -- among their ranks a terror mastermind named Osama bin Laden .

But it was all the way back in 1993 that a then classified intelligence memo warned that the very fighters the CIA previously trained would soon turn their weapons on the US and its allies. The 'secret' document was declassified in 2009, but has remained largely obscure in mainstream media reporting, despite being the first to contain a bombshell admission.

A terrorism analyst at the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research named Gina Bennett wrote in the 1993 memo "The Wandering Mujahidin: Armed and Dangerous," that --

"support network that funneled money, supplies, and manpower to supplement the Afghan mujahidin" in the war against the Soviets, "is now contributing experienced fighters to militant Islamic groups worldwide."

The concluding section contains the most revelatory statements, again remembering these words were written nearly a decade before the 9/11 attacks :

US support of the mujahidin during the Afghan war will not necessarily protect US interests from attack.

...Americans will become the targets of radical Muslims' wrath. Afghan war veterans, scattered throughout the world, could surprise the US with violence in unexpected locales.

There it is in black and white print: the United States government knew and bluntly acknowledged that the very militants it armed and trained to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars would eventually turn that very training and those very weapons back on the American people .

And this was not at all a "small" or insignificant group, instead as The Guardian wrote a mere two years before 9/11 :

American officials estimate that, from 1985 to 1992, 12,500 foreigners were trained in bomb-making, sabotage and urban guerrilla warfare in Afghan camps the CIA helped to set up .

But don't think for a moment that there was ever a "lesson learned" by Washington.

Instead the CIA and other US agencies repeated the 1980s policy of arming jihadists to overthrow US enemy regimes in places like Libya and Syria even long after the "lesson" of 9/11. As War on The Rocks recounted :

Despite the passage of time, the issues Ms. Bennett raised in her 1993 work continue to be relevant today. This fact is a sign of the persistence of the problem of Sunni jihadism and the "wandering mujahidin." Today, of course, the problem isn't Afghanistan but Syria. While the war there is far from over, there is already widespread nervousness, particularly in Europe, about what will happen when the foreign fighters return from that conflict.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1304385396692914177&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.blacklistednews.com%2Farticle%2F77999%2Fnever-forget-smoking-gun-intel-memo-from-1990s-warned-of-frankenstein-the-cia.html&theme=light&widgetsVersion=219d021%3A1598982042171&width=550px

On 9/11 we should never forget the innocent lives lost, but we should also never forget the Frankenstein of jihad the CIA created .

* * *

The U.S. State Dept.'s own numbers at the height of the war in Syria: access the full report at STATE.GOV

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[Sep 22, 2020] Americans had talent in diplomacy but they've lost it, Russian FM Lavrov says, as US triggers 'null and void' Iran sanctions -- RT Russia Former Soviet Union

Sep 22, 2020 | www.rt.com

US diplomacy is turning into the not-so-subtle art of making demands and ultimatums, Sergey Lavrov has lamented, as the Americans go it alone in restoring anti-Iran sanctions under a 2015 deal that no longer legally applies.

Washington's reasoning behind bringing back the UN sanctions against Iran looks "funny," as the majority of UN Security Council members – 13 out of 15 – do not support activating the 'snapback' mechanism, the Russian Foreign Minister said, in an exclusive interview with the Al Arabiya news channel.

The council "clearly stated that there is no legal position or moral reasons for anything close to the snapback and all the statements to the contrary are null and void," he reminded his audience. The 'snapback' issue leaves Washington at loggerheads with even its closest allies.

ALSO ON RT.COM US faces 'more' isolation after 'null & void' move to unilaterally reimpose UN sanctions, Tehran warns

Earlier on Sunday, the three European signatories to the Iran deal – Germany, France and the UK – stated the return of the sanctions will have no legal effect whatsoever.

However, the Trump administration continues to insist Washington now has the authority to target any country breaching the "re-imposed" sanctions. For Lavrov, this is telling, in terms of understanding the quality of US diplomacy.

The Americans lost any talent in diplomacy, unfortunately; they used to have excellent experts, [but] now what they're doing in foreign policy is to put a demand on the table, whether they're discussing Iran or anything else.

If their counterpart disagrees and refuses to toe the line, "they put an ultimatum, they give a deadline and then they impose sanctions, then they make the sanctions extra-territorial." Regrettably, the European Union also "is engaging in the same tricks more and more," Lavrov noted.

On Saturday, Washington moved to bring back sweeping UN sanctions against Tehran, insisting it was acting within its own right to do so as an original party to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the 2015 pact Iran sealed with major world powers. The US left the deal in 2018 following a decision by President Donald Trump.

ALSO ON RT.COM 'We've been through this in the Skripal case': West's Navalny poisoning claims driven by 'sanctions itch', Sergey Lavrov says

"I can only remind them that they should respect the hierarchy of the American administration, because their boss, President Trump, has personally signed an official decree withdrawing the United States from the JCPOA," Lavrov added sarcastically.

Sanctions aside, Washington is also busy trying to prevent the lifting of the UN arms embargo on Iran, set to expire on October 18. This endeavor doesn't make much sense either, the Russian minister commented. "There is no such thing as an arms embargo against Iran," he clarified. The UN Security Council reiterated the embargo will end on that date, and "there would be no limitations whatsoever after the expiration of this timeframe."

[Sep 22, 2020] Stephen F. Cohen -- In Memoriam by Gilbert Doctorow

Unfortunately in his brilliant analysis of USA-Russia relations Stephen Cohen never pointed out that the USA policy toward Russia is dictated by the interests of maintaining global neoliberal empire and the concept of "Full Spectrum Dominance" which was adopted by the USA neoliberal elite after the collapse of the USSR.
Like British empire the USA neoliberal empire is now overextended, metropolia is in secular stagnation with deterioration standard of living of the bottom 80% of population, so the USA under Trump became more aggressive and dangerous on the international arena. Trump administration behaves behaves like a cornered rat on international arena.
Notable quotes:
"... On Friday, 18 September, professor Steve Cohen passed away in New York City and we, the "dissident" community of Americans standing for peace with Russia – and for peace with the world at large – lost a towering intellectual and skillful defender of our cause who enjoyed an audience of millions by his weekly broadcasts on the John Batchelor Show, WABC Radio. ..."
"... from the start of the Information Wars against Russia during the George W. Bush administration following Putin's speech at the Munich Security Conference in February 2007, no voice questioning the official propaganda line in America was tolerated. Steve Cohen, who in the 1990s had been a welcome guest on U.S. national television and a widely cited expert in print media suddenly found himself blacklisted and subjected to the worst of McCarthyite style, ad hominem attacks. ..."
"... the opposition to Steve was led by experts in the Ukrainian and other minority peoples sub-categories of the profession who were militantly opposed not just to him personally but to any purely objective, not to mention sympathetic treatment of Russian leadership in the territorial expanse of Eurasia. ..."
"... Almost no one outside our 'dissident' community is concerned about the possibility of Armageddon in say two years' time due to miscalculations and bad luck in our pursuing economic, informational and military confrontation with Russia and China. ..."
"... My point in this discussion is that in the last decade of his life Stephen Cohen became one of the nation's most fearless and persistent defenders of the right to Free Speech. ..."
"... It was forced upon him by The New York Times, The Washington Post and other major media who pilloried him or blacklisted him over his unorthodox, unsanctioned, nonconformist views on the "Putin regime." It was forced upon him by university colleagues who sought to deny his right to establish graduate school fellowships in Russian affairs bearing his name and that of his mentor at Indiana University, Professor Tucker. ..."
"... In the face of vicious personal attacks from these McCarthyite forces, in the face of hate mail and even threats to his life, Steve decided to set up The American Committee and to recruit to its governing board famous, patriotic Americans and the descendants of the most revered families in the country. In this he succeeded, and it is to his credit that a moral counter force to the stampeding bulls of repression was erected and has survived to this day. ..."
Sep 22, 2020 | gilbertdoctorow.com

On Friday, 18 September, professor Steve Cohen passed away in New York City and we, the "dissident" community of Americans standing for peace with Russia – and for peace with the world at large – lost a towering intellectual and skillful defender of our cause who enjoyed an audience of millions by his weekly broadcasts on the John Batchelor Show, WABC Radio.

A year ago, I reviewed his latest book, War With Russia? which drew upon the material of those programs and took this scholar turned journalist into a new and highly accessible genre of oral readings in print. The narrative style may have been more relaxed, with simplified syntax, but the reasoning remained razor sharp. I urge those who are today paying tribute to Steve, to buy and read the book, which is his best legacy.

From start to finish, Stephen F. Cohen was among America's best historians of his generation, putting aside the specific subject matter that he treated: Nikolai Bukharin, his dissertation topic and the material of his first and best known book; or, to put it more broadly, the history of Russia (USSR) in the 20 th century. He was one of the very rare cases of an historian deeply attentive to historiography, to causality and to logic. I understood this when I read a book of his from the mid-1980s in which he explained why Russian (Soviet) history was no longer attracting young students of quality: because there were no unanswered questions, because we smugly assumed that we knew about that country all that there was to know. That was when our expert community told us with one voice that the USSR was entrapped in totalitarianism without any prospect for the overthrow of its oppressive regime.

But my recollections of Steve also have a personal dimension going back six years or so when a casual email correspondence between us flowered into a joint project that became the launch of the American Committee for East West Accord (ACEWA). This was a revival of a pro-détente association of academics and business people that existed from the mid-1970s to the early 1990s, when, following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the removal of the Communist Party from power, the future of Russia in the family of nations we call the 'international community' seemed assured and there appeared to be no further need for such an association as ACEWA.

I hasten to add that in the original ACEWA Steve and I were two ships that passed in the night. With his base in Princeton, he was a protégé of the dean of diplomats then in residence there, George Kennan, who was the leading light on the academic side of the ACEWA. I was on the business side of the association, which was led by Don Kendall, chairman of Pepsico and also for much of the 1970s chairman of the US-USSR Trade and Economic Council of which I was also a member. I published pro-détente articles in their newsletter and published a lengthy piece on cooperation with the Soviet Union in agricultural and food processing domains, my specialty at that time, in their collection of essays by leaders in the U.S. business community entitled Common Sense in U.S.-Soviet Trade .

The academic contingent had, as one might assume, a 'progressive' coloration, while the business contingent had a Nixon Republican coloration. Indeed, in the mid-1980s these two sides split in their approach to the growing peace movement in the U.S. that was fed by opposition in the 'thinking community' on university campuses to Ronald Reagan's Star Wars agenda. Kendall shut the door at ACEWA to rabble rousing and the association did not rise to the occasion, so that its disbanding in the early '90s went unnoticed.

In the re-incorporated American Committee, I helped out by assuming the formal obligations of Treasurer and Secretary, and also became the group's European Coordinator from my base in Brussels. At this point my communications with Steve were almost daily and emotionally quite intense. This was a time when America's expert community on Russian affairs once again felt certain that it knew everything there was to know about the country, and most particularly about the nefarious "Putin regime." But whereas in the 1970s and 1980s, polite debate about the USSR/Russia was entirely possible both behind closed doors and in public space, from the start of the Information Wars against Russia during the George W. Bush administration following Putin's speech at the Munich Security Conference in February 2007, no voice questioning the official propaganda line in America was tolerated. Steve Cohen, who in the 1990s had been a welcome guest on U.S. national television and a widely cited expert in print media suddenly found himself blacklisted and subjected to the worst of McCarthyite style, ad hominem attacks.

From my correspondence and several meetings with Steve at this time both in his New York apartment and here in Brussels, when he and Katrina van der Heuvel came to participate in a Round Table dedicated to relations with Russia at the Brussels Press Club that I arranged, I knew that Steve was deeply hurt by these vitriolic attacks. He was at the time waging a difficult campaign to establish a fellowship in support of graduate studies in Russian affairs. It was touch and go, because of vicious opposition from some stalwarts of the profession to any fellowship that bore Steve's name. Allow me to put the 'i' on this dispute: the opposition to Steve was led by experts in the Ukrainian and other minority peoples sub-categories of the profession who were militantly opposed not just to him personally but to any purely objective, not to mention sympathetic treatment of Russian leadership in the territorial expanse of Eurasia. In the end, Steve and Katrina prevailed. The fellowships exist and, hopefully, will provide sustenance to future studies when American attitudes towards Russia become less politicized.

At all times and on all occasions, Steve Cohen was a voice of reason above all. The problem of our age is that we are now not only living in a post-factual world, but in a post-logic world. The public reads day after day the most outrageous and illogical assertions about alleged Russian misdeeds posted by our most respected mainstream media including The New York Times and The Washington Post . Almost no one dares to raise a hand and suggest that this reporting is propaganda and that the public is being brainwashed. Steve did exactly that in War With Russia? in a brilliant and restrained text.

Regrettably today we have no peace movement to speak of. Youth and our 'progressive' elites are totally concerned over the fate of humanity in 30 or 40 years' time as a consequence of Global Warming and rising seas. That is the essence of the Green Movement. Almost no one outside our 'dissident' community is concerned about the possibility of Armageddon in say two years' time due to miscalculations and bad luck in our pursuing economic, informational and military confrontation with Russia and China.

I fear it will take only some force majeure development such as we had in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis to awaken the broad public to the risks to our very survival that we are incurring by ignoring the issues that Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Princeton and New York University was bringing to the airwaves week after week on his radio program.

Postscript

In terms of action, the new ACEWA was even less effective than its predecessor, which had avoided linking up with the peace movement of the 1980s and sought to exert influence on policy through armchair talks with Senators and other statesmen in Washington behind closed doors of (essentially) men's clubs.

However, the importance of the new ACEWA, and the national importance of Stephen Cohen lay elsewhere.

This question of appraising Stephen Cohen's national importance is all the more timely given that on the day of his death, 18 September, the nation also lost Supreme Justice Ruth Ginsburg, about whose national importance no Americans, whether her fans or her opponents, had any doubt.

My point in this discussion is that in the last decade of his life Stephen Cohen became one of the nation's most fearless and persistent defenders of the right to Free Speech. It was not a role that he sought. It was thrust upon him by the expert community of international affairs, including the Council on Foreign Relations, from which he reluctantly resigned over this matter.

It was forced upon him by The New York Times, The Washington Post and other major media who pilloried him or blacklisted him over his unorthodox, unsanctioned, nonconformist views on the "Putin regime." It was forced upon him by university colleagues who sought to deny his right to establish graduate school fellowships in Russian affairs bearing his name and that of his mentor at Indiana University, Professor Tucker.

In the face of vicious personal attacks from these McCarthyite forces, in the face of hate mail and even threats to his life, Steve decided to set up The American Committee and to recruit to its governing board famous, patriotic Americans and the descendants of the most revered families in the country. In this he succeeded, and it is to his credit that a moral counter force to the stampeding bulls of repression was erected and has survived to this day.

©Gilbert Doctorow, 2020

[If you found value in this article, you should be interested to read my latest collection of essays entitled A Belgian Perspective on International Affairs, published in November 2019 and available in e-book, paperback and hardbound formats from amazon, barnes & noble, bol.com, fnac, Waterstones and other online retailers. Use the "View Inside" tab on the book's webpages to browse.]

[Sep 22, 2020] The New US-Russian Cold War -- Who is to Blame

It was all about Full Spectrum Domination. McFaul is not intellectual, he is a propagandist. Actually mediocre, obnoxious propagandist. In like Professor Cohen, intellectually he is nothing with academic credentials.
The level and primitivism lies about Ukraine would name any serious academic flash. It was about encircling Russia.
McFaul was behind Magnitsky which in best conspiracy tradition raises questions whether he works for MI6? We now know who Browder was and suspicious that he was Magnitsky killer or facilitator/financer (by hiring the jail doctor who traded Magnitsky) are very strong in view of "cui bono" question.
Notable quotes:
"... He is definitely not at the same level as Stephen F.Cohen. This is very alarming for the US, that people like him could have any power decision on Foreign Policy, and could explain the slow decline of the USA. ..."
"... McFaul is intellectually incoherent and disingenuous. Cohen wasted him ..."
"... We all know the truth... US economy heavily dependent on producing weapons and ammunition ..."
"... Mc Faul is clearly not supposed to have been in the positions of power, where he was. Something is fundamentally wrong with America. I think there is a crisis of personnel. Where are all these incredibly smart, high IQ people Harvard, Princeton, and the Ivy Leagues are supposedly pumping out? ..."
Sep 22, 2020 | www.youtube.com

TheInstallations , 2 years ago

McFaul is definitely not an academic, but much more a mediocre high civil servant. He is also very post modern in his approach. He is here to sell his book, not to argue ideas. He is incapable of building a rhetorical argument, and of having any political vision or strong analytical intelligence.

He is definitely not at the same level as Stephen F.Cohen. This is very alarming for the US, that people like him could have any power decision on Foreign Policy, and could explain the slow decline of the USA.

Confronted to people like Putin who is obviously an Old fashion politician like de Gaulles or Churchill, the Cold War can only lead us to catastrophe.

Yevgeny Goncharov , 2 years ago

Great facts from Prof. Cohen. Faulty logic from McFaul ("you cannot use those variables..."). McFaul will not get far in understanding Russia with this twisted approach, ie pretending like nothing (NATO, missile treaty, regime changes) happens.

The Maverick Historian , 2 years ago

Very informative debate! I think McFaul has only contributed to the new cold war with the treaties he helped write and the ill-informed advice he provided to the neoconservative Obama administration. Mr. Stephen Cohen is brilliant and I only wish he was more influential in shaping today's foreign policy. Though thankfully, McFaul is also no longer influential in shaping U.S. foreign policy.

Yevgeny Goncharov , 2 years ago

Very low from McFaul. Bringing personal attacks on him from social media as "facts" and "arguments" ("McFaul is a pedophile") . This not a level of academic argument from McFaul. He is no match to Cohen.

Aleksandar Mali , 1 year ago

It's so easy to understand! Russia is doing same thing usa will do when china starts to open military bases in latin America. Its not hard to imagine and in decade or to you will not have to imagine you will have that reality. Many Latin America countries will be interconnected with china with economic and military agreements than one day they will try to brig Mexico in China's sphere of influence if they refuse china can let's say "help" opposition to come in power and sign everything China wants.

I would like to see what American "experts" will say. How many of them will think that Mexico as a sovereign natio have right to sign any agreement it wants maybe even Russia can open military base and bring nuclear weapons to border of USA. So what it's their democratic right, isn't it?

Peace and Love , 2 years ago

McFaul is intellectually incoherent and disingenuous. Cohen wasted him

Salam Ahmed , 10 months ago

1:13:33 - 1:13:58 I swear by the all-powerful Albert Einistine that you are lying AND YOU KNOW IT. Russians said A BILLION times that U.S.A slowly but SURELY preparing for what they called "a calamitous war" by moving its lethal weapons nearer and nearer to the Russian territories.

We all know the truth... US economy heavily dependent on producing weapons and ammunition but the very very very main reason [for harassing Russia and the rest of world] is because the Rothschild family wants GLOBAL DOMINATION. SOLD FACT (ask ANY Russian intelligence officer about it and you will see what i mean).

SvendBosanvovski , 1 year ago (edited)

I have read Professor Cohen's last two works ("Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives" and "War with Russia?") and found them very informative and persuasive, but seeing him here expanding upon his key arguments is even more rewarding.

He shouldn't have to be brave to hold to his position, given his reputation as a scholar, but regrettably he is made to appear out of step with the critical mass of opinion makers who see more value promoting conflict with Russia than working towards a sensible accommodation.

rd264 , 2 years ago

I'm not an "expert" from Stanford, but as I recall the USSR imploded and the US [CIA etc] was totally surprised -so called pundits and experts in the US did not see it coming, then the next thing we get is US mainstream media claimed victory in the cold war, just blanket assertions that US won the cold war because the US is virtuous and clean and good, and we did it by the clear superiority of US way of life or some such crap.

Charles Krauthammer, for example. Now so called media and historians try to convince us that Reagan lead disarmament, but as I recall he blocked it at most points, for example, it was Gorbachev not Reagan who was out front and did all the leading at Reykjavik, and Reagan threw away Gorbachev's historic offer to totally disarm on the grounds that Star Wars was a more important priority, on Richard Perle's advice.

Now we are seeing something similar under Trump in which the US is again uninterested in peace and far more interested in wars by proxies and drones and global hegemony and control running the 7 seas and space to boot.

Dmitriy A , 1 year ago

Michael Foley is a liar of course US was involved I was me in US Army force and my friends used to travel to Georgia way before 2008 and of course everybody knows 2008 Russia and Georgia went to war with each other but our soldiers US government soldiers were teaching Georgians fighting with the NATO forces and all orange resolutions and Geo like him involved in Overturning government was famous Victoria Nuland

a 19 , 9 months ago

Mcfaul should have stayed in Montana

Larry Galearis , 2 years ago

Interesting debate and I hope Cohen is right, and is not the first of its kind. But still the FIRST EVER free debate about the New Cold War in the United States is (so far) still on Youtube. While listening to the two professors I found myself noting the difference in the presentation of facts from a career oriented politician/academic who is influenced by a forced narrative (McFaul) and one (Cohen) who is an academic historian who is in dissent and can speak freely (he is retired).

Keep in mind that Prof. McFaul has a career to worry about. It shows a LOT! Here we can see how political pressure can influence a debate. McFaul is still quite deserving of accolades for his courage to even say what he did in this debate.

And note how much free speech is missing in American society in the fact that this sort of thing is very difficult to achieve in a collapsed democracy. Note also that McFaul also stuck to "the Narrative" big lies like the so-called Crimea "annexation" when he would have known the truth of it....There are other examples. Americans are denied the fact that the public vote taken in Crimea was over 90% IN FAVOUR of joining Russia (again). This fact is simply too large for McFaul to be unaware of and yet most Americans are wallowing in this fake news. Or censored omissions. FWIW, Galearis

blackjackpinoko , 1 year ago

McFaul sounded like Pompeo

Steven Bishop , 2 months ago

The Monroe Doctrine. Has McFly read it?

Davide Sinigoi , 1 year ago

Prof. McFaul is a partisan. He bases his opinion of detailed facts, so detailed that he misses the bigger picture. The bigger picture is that he claims to be a sovereigns, but only when it comes to the US sovereignty. How about Russia's sovereignty?

Or Ukraine's whose government has been toppled by a (among others) US sponsored coup? How about Syria sovereignty? He furthers the view that the US had a fair posture towards Russia, which is not. This is also demonstrated by his personal deep dislike of Putin, which is something that both a real statesman or a real scholar should not influence opinions and actions.

McFaul's perspective is also flawed by the conflation of his (and Obama's) wishes and reality: that is that they don't like Putin and think to deal with Russia as if Putin was not there, but he is. You deal with the reality, not with your wishes. Putin is legitimate and strong Russia's president, whether McFaul likes him or not. A real respect for sovereignty demands respect for the head of the state you deal with. You don't question his legitimacy, as well as they don't questioned Clinton's, Bush's, Obama or Trump legitimacy. His point of view is that everything goes on in the world should have the US sanction, otherwise is not good.

This is imperial hubris, this is arrogance. This flaws his opinion in so far everything is measured upon american likes and dislikes. THis is not statesmanship, this is not scholarship, this is partisanship. He is also intellectually dishonest because he confuses a debate on right and wrong, which should be based on certain assumptions, with a debate on party interests, which has nothing to do with right and wrong, and is based on different assumptions. Indeed he is the less fit person in a debate on responsibility for the New Cold War because he was involved in its development and acquisition.

Partisanship is admitted, but shouldn't be disguised as neutrality or given any relevance just because of knowledge of technical details he knows - much of them are, frankly, irrelevant. His points are weak and inconsistent with geopolitical and a realist view of the international relations, they are biased by universal-liberal ideology, they are US-centric, he forgets too many essential points about the whole story. For instance he talks about the missed chance for Russian democracy (here a debate about what democracy is: his assumption is that the US democracy is .... please, don't make me laugh), but he doesn't mention that Soviet people voted in referenda and overwhelmingly wanted the USSR to keep on existing, but he forgets this "detail".

He forgets how the so much beloved Elcin sent the tanks against the parliament, many people were killed, how he allowed the pillaging of Russian people and resources by criminal oligarchs (many of them happily hosted by the UK and presented as political dissidents), and how the Russian 1996 were HEAVILY rigged and meddled by the US in order to reconfirm Elcin as a president. He complains about Putin being appointed by Elcin out of nothing. Well I can't recall any American complaints at that time, maybe because they thought he could be an alcoholic puppet like Elcin and that was clearly something the US liked and supported. So what about Obama (fake) words about wishing a strong Russia?

Obama spoke derogatory words about Russia. The only American interests about Russia is that is a militarily and strategically weak provider of cheap natural resources and that is not in tne position of competing for anything. I will stop here, although I could write pages and pages about McFlaws .... ooops! McFaul's inconsistency both as a scholar and even more as a statesman's advisor, but the debate was among a great intellectual with a clear vision of the world, and a small professor taken with insignificant details and too much love for Obama and blind believe in liberal universal ideology.

Alex P. , 9 months ago

Mc Faul is clearly not supposed to have been in the positions of power, where he was. Something is fundamentally wrong with America. I think there is a crisis of personnel. Where are all these incredibly smart, high IQ people Harvard, Princeton, and the Ivy Leagues are supposedly pumping out?

Bob Trajkoski , 1 year ago

McFaul believes in his own propaganda, irrational person and dangerous at that

Adam Rihak , 3 months ago

Prof. Cohen astonishing realpolitik ingenuity when asked "what the security interests of Ukraine and Georgia are" ( 1:16:21 ) unveils to me his understanding of politics as kind of imperialistic chess game where the US stands against the USSR (or RF for that matter). I have experienced the same feelings from his other debates (I remember one memorable at Munk Debates in 2015) - as if the historic fears, desires and dreams (of NATO or EU membership as the only effective shield against Russian military power) of so many ex-soviet countries means absolutely nothing - as if they were mere puppets of US "regime". As though the legitimate wishes of these sovereign countries means nothing at all. He is so surprised by that question he suddenly can't retrieve even the definition of what security interests of a country actually means - a rather strange quality in a historian. Ultimately he comes up with "they should make peace with their neighbors" - say this to countries that were along their history subjects of Soviet violent repression, military invasions, ethnic genocides and such. "I don't think Russian is a threat to them". Absolutely ridiculous.


Jean-Pierre Delorraine
, 8 months ago (edited)

This Michael McFaul individual is such severe laughing-stock completely out of touch with reality. Stephen Cohen's version of the "new cold war" is much closer to reality and we should not forget the nefarious entities that pull the strings in D.C. U.S. covert involvement throughout eastern Europe and especially the Ukraine is more than evident. Putin and Russia in general is not stupid and see right through U.S. covert meddling on Russia's border. And those "peaceful demonstrators" in Syria that MacFaul dearly praises are mere agents of the CIA/Mossad complex. Where are they now?


Nikhilesh Surve
, 4 months ago

Monroe doctrine doesn't care about the democratic rights of countries in the western hemisphere to enter into any alliance or partnership with USA's rival. Also, there's still no evidence of Russian hacking which is basis of their religion of RUSSIA RUSSIA RUSSIA !

Pink Question , 3 months ago

Sure, since in Ukraine you guys didn't push money in mysterious organisations that would support the "democratic" narrative. I don't like NATO in my country and I see nato presence as an existential threat for Russia! Look back at the Cuba crisis it's exactly the SAME! You no good morally and ethically corrupt poor excuses of mouth pieces

Ser Korz , 2 years ago

Interesting how USA wants democracy for (all) others , but USA wants capitalist aristocracy for it self ( Jimmy Carter Tells Oprah America Is No Longer a Democracy, Now an Oligarchy https://mic.com/articles/125813/jimmy-carter-tells-oprah-america-is-no-longer-a-democracy-now-an-oligarchy#.AFxvdOCIa ).


Preben Soe
, 9 months ago

Either that Faul person is delusional or he is outright lying - Did Turkey not get threatened with sanctions when they decided to trade with Russia on anti missile weapons.

Eamonn Wright555 , 1 year ago

You know Obama is a straight faced liar . Furthermore , we genocided innocent Christians and Muslims in three countries and created a diaspora of migrants to Europe. So , we are supposed to believe that all those PhDs did not foresee that , most people think that it was your intentional outcome all along . So it goes now in Venezuela. Mcfaul is one of many who just carry the water and carry out orders . It's almost as if , the powers that be want the USA to fall . Because they can not be this stupid .

Paul Srochenski , 1 year ago

Call Cohen tells the truth the other guy just lying a United States started that whole thing in Syria they backed up Isis they backed up all the terrorists and because they want to split the country up and give Israel that major part of it cuz they want the natural resources the oil out of there and everything else because that's what they do everywhere they go they want a natural Resorts and they don't care how many people they kill

Eamonn Wright555 , 1 year ago

You know Obama is a straight faced liar . Furthermore , we genocided innocent Christians and Muslims in three countries and created a diaspora of migrants to Europe. So , we are supposed to believe that all those PhDs did not foresee that , most people think that it was your intentional outcome all along . So it goes now in Venezuela. Mcfaul is one of many who just carry the water and carry out orders . It's almost as if , the powers that be want the USA to fall . Because they can not be this stupid .

Davide Sinigoi , 1 year ago

Prof. McFaul is a partisan. He bases his opinion of detailed facts, so detailed that he misses the bigger picture. The bigger picture is that he claims to be a sovereignist, but only when it comes to the US sovereignty. How about Russia's sovereignity? Or Ukraine's whose government has been toppled by a (among others) US sponsored coup? How about Syria sovereignty? He furthers the view that the US had a fair posture towards Russia, which is not. This is also demonstrated by his personal deep dislike of Putin, which is something that both a real statesman or a real scholar should not influence opinions and actions. McFaul's perspective is also flawed by the conflation of his (and Obama's) wishes and reality: that is that they donì't like Putin and think to deal with Russia as if Putin was not there, but he is. You deal with the reality, not with your wishes. Putin is legitimate and strong Russia's president, whether McFaul likes him or not. A real respect for sovereignty demands respect for the head of the state you deal with. You don't question his legitimacy, as well as they don't questioned Clinton's, Bush's, Obama or Trump legitimacy. His point of view is that everything goes on in the world should have the US sanction, otherwise is not good. This is imperial hubris, this is arrogance. This flaws his opinion in so far everything is measured upon american likes and dislikes. THis is not statesmanship, this is not scholarship, this is partisanship. He is also intellectually dishonest because he confuses a debate on right and wrong, which should be based on certain assumptions, with a debate on party interests, which has nothing to do with right and wrong, and is based on different assumptions. Indeed he is the less fit person in a debate on responsibility for the New Cold War because he was involved in its development and acutisation. Partisanship is admitted, but shouldn't be disguised as neutrality or given any relevance just because of knowledge of technical details he knows - much of them are, frankly, irrelevant. His points are weak and inconsistent with geopolitical and a realist view of the international relations, they are biased by universal-liberal ideology, they are US-centric, he forgets too many essential points about the whole story. For instance he talks about the missed chance for Russian democracy (here a debate about what democracy is: his assumption is that the US democracy is .... please, don't make me laugh), but he doesn't mention that Soviet people voted in referenda and overwhelmingly wanted the USSR to keep on existing, but he forgets this "detail". He forgets how the so much beloved Elcin sent the tanks against the parliament, many people were killed, how he allowed the pillaging of Russian people and resources by criminal oligarchs (many of them happily hosted by the UK and presented as political dissidents), and how the Russian 1996 were HEAVILY rigged and meddled by the US in order to reconfirm Elcin as a president. He complains about Putin being appointed by Elcin out of nothing. Well I can't recall any American complaints at that time, maybe because they thought he could be an alcoholic puppet like Elcin and that was clearly something the US liked and supported. So what about Obama (fake) words about wishing a strong Russia? Obama spoke derogatory words about Russia. The only American interests about Russia is that is a militarly and strategically weak provider of cheap natural resources and that is not in tne position of competing for anything. I will stop here, although I could write pages and pages about McFlaws .... ooops! McFaul's inconsistency both as a scholar and even more as a statesman's advisor, but the debate was among a great intellectual with a clear vision of the world, and a small professor taken with insignificant details and too much love for Obama and blind believe in liberal universal ideology.

Alex P. , 9 months ago

Mc Faul is clearly not supposed to have been in the positions of power, where he was. Something is fundamentally wrong with America. I think there is a crisis of personnel. Where are all these incredibly smart, high IQ people Harvard, Princeton, and the Ivy Leagues are supposedly pumping out?

Rufus Leaking , 1 week ago

I won't, for a second, try to justify the expansion of N.A.T.O. up to the borders of Russia. But I simply cannot get past the belief that the N.A.T.O. expansion was fueled by a (not implausible) fear that a non-Soviet Russia would eventually try to surround its borders with Moscow-friendly governments, just as Stalin did before, during, and after WWII. Russia has been invaded from the west so many times that the lingering fear of it is almost in the Russian people's genetic code. What the rest of the world sees as Soviet & post-Soviet Russian paranoia and expansionism could plausibly be seen by the Russians as a prudent precaution against further western aggression. I don't AGREE with this, but I can imagine how the Russian psyche might be so inclined. I don't agree with the N.A.T.O. expansion, but I can also see how western paranoia about Russian expansionism would fuel the resulting western "encroachment". Ask people in Latvia, Lithuania & Estonia (and, for that matter, Finland) who were alive in WWII if their fear of Russian expansion is based in reality, or is merely paranoia. Be prepared for "VERY STRONG" answers.

Virgocygni56 , 9 months ago

What is the date of this debate Anyone can suggest?

Bob Trajkoski , 1 year ago

McFaul believes in his own propaganda, irrational person and dangerous at that

Alyson Mc Vitty , 1 year ago

2nd speaker - mcfaul - is and idiot sort of manic.

Jsmes Oercy , 1 year ago

Wow the second guy is such a schmuck ,,z,,trying to be funny and failing

Charles DuBois , 6 months ago

Why does 'our' US/Euro left leave me a pronounced impression that they have some special axe grinding on Russia? Is my take on this wrong? And try as I may to ignore it, my gut reaction to our younger author is highly unfavorable. I shall re-watch tomorrow hoping to listen more obectively.

James Registe , 4 months ago

Who ELSE is to blame, Russia has been making overtures since Kruschev

popiedo , 1 year ago

Mcfaul just rambles and tries to crack jokes.

Colonel Chuck , 1 year ago

McFaul sure runs his mouth about nothing.

Adam Rihak , 3 months ago

Prof. Cohen astonishing realpolitik ingenuity when asked "what the security interests of Ukraine and Georgia are" ( 1:16:21 ) unveils to me his understanding of politics as kind of imperialistic chess game where the US stands against the USSR (or RF for that matter). I have experienced the same feelings from his other debates (I remember one memorable at Munk Debates in 2015) - as if the historic fears, desires and dreams (of NATO or EU membership as the only effective shield against Russian military power) of so many ex-soviet countries means absolutely nothing - as if they were mere puppets of US "regime". As though the legitimate wishes of these sovereign countries means nothing at all. He is so surprised by that question he suddenly can't retrieve even the definition of what security interests of a country actually means - a rather strange quality in a historian. Ultimately he comes up with "they should make peace with their neighbors" - say this to countries that were along their history subjects of Soviet violent repression, military invasions, ethnic genocides and such. "I don't think Russian is a threat to them". Absolutely ridiculous.

Jean-Pierre Delorraine , 8 months ago (edited)

This Michael McFaul individual is such severe laughing-stock completely out of touch with reality. Stephen Cohen's version of the "new cold war" is much closer to reality and we should not forget the nefarious entities that pull the strings in D.C. U.S. covert involvement throughout eastern Europe and especially the Ukraine is more than evident. Putin and Russia in general is not stupid and see right through U.S. covert meddling on Russia's border. And those "peaceful demonstrators" in Syria that MacFaul dearly praises are mere agents of the CIA/Mossad complex. Where are they now?

varro We , 2 years ago (edited)

I think it's fair to say that the US won the cold war, the eastern block was broke, there soviet union was a nightmare for humanity, the west was seen as a bright light and it was. So let's put aside propaganda, ask anyone from the eastern block and they will tell you that what Russia created was a genocide. Just look how fast all of those counties jumped to enter NATO. Soviet union collapsed. It's a very nice discussion and I learn a lot from this, there are a lot of things that US and Russia could have done to prevent another cold war, I think what we are with is with a belief in human wisdom, if there is any left.

[Sep 21, 2020] Pompous Pompeo continues his antics: Pompeo mocked for saying 'no other state' can block MULTILATERAL sanctions US wants to impose on Iran despite UNSC pushback

Sanctions will cost money not only to Iran, but to the USA too.
Sep 21, 2020 | www.rt.com

"If at any time the United States believes Iran has failed to meet its commitments, no other state can block our ability to snap back those multilateral sanctions," Pompeo declared in a statement posted on his official Twitter account on Sunday evening.

The top US diplomat was referring to the avalanche of sanctions Washington has been hellbent on slapping on Tehran after the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) overwhelmingly rejected the US resolution to extend a 13-year arms embargo against the Islamic Republic past October earlier this week.

The humiliating defeat , which saw only one member of the 15-nation body (the Dominican Republic) siding with the US, while China and Russia opposed the resolution, and all other nations, including France and the UK, abstained, did not discourage Washington, which doubled down on its threat to hit Iran with biting sanctions.

... ... ...

"Of course other states can block America's ability to impose multilateral sanctions. The US can impose sanctions by itself, but can't force others to do it," Nicholas Grossman, teaching assistant professor at the Department of Political Science, University of Illinois, tweeted.

"That's what 'multilateral' means. Is our SecState really this dumb?" Grossman asked.

Daniel Larison, senior editor at the American Conservative, suggested that Pompeo might be having a hard time grasping the meaning of the word 'multilateral'.

Some argued that Pompeo could not be unaware of the contradictory nature of his statement. Dan Murphy, former Middle East and South Asia correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, called it "one of the most diplomatically illiterate sentences of all time."

"I guess the end game here is [to] alienate the rest of the world even further to feed his persecution complex?" Murphy wrote.

John Twomey, 16 August, 2020

Explanation. What Pompeo understands and what many others can't grasp is that the US decides if their sanctions are "multilateral" because the USA speaks for all other countries whether they like it or not.

My Opinion, 17 August, 2020

Reminiscing of his shady past as a new CIA recruit he said. "We lied, we cheated and we stole". Apparently, Mikey didn't do all too well in his literature classes, either and that's why the most suitable candidate from zionists perspective.

[Sep 21, 2020] Stephen F. Cohen- The Ukrainian Crisis - It s not All Putin s Fault

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... There is no chance of mending relations and even less of achieving some security partnership between US and Russia. The rift will only keep on widening as US political and financial elites are growing increasingly desperate (and thus even more aggressive) while Russia abandons its attempts to please the haters and moves its focus on to its future prospective partners who have genuine interest in cooperating with Russia and achieving common goals.... including opposing the common enemy if you like! Well at least I hope so: the only reason why US wish to get closer to Russia would be to stab it in the back... one more time! ..."
Sep 21, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Gerry Cooney , 3 years ago (edited)

Speaking as an Independent, I say that our country, the USA, has engineered past confilcts and wars in order to feed the military industrial complex. Not so much that it results in a nuke-shooting war, but in a regular non-nuke shooting war. The solution? Send the sons and daughters of the politicians into direct combat, every time they approve another war. That should keep things a bit more peaceful.

Playthell Benjamin , 3 years ago

Professor Cohen is this nation's most objective and therefore most valuable thinker on Russia! The charge that his views are "not patriotic" is a compliment rather than the insult they intended. A scholar's views are only valuable to the public and, more importantly, policy makers, if they are OBJECTIVE!!! Which is to say that he follows the FACTS wherever they lead!

Stratus Blue , 4 years ago

Any "discussion" with no mention of the supranational central bank cartel is intentional deceptive omission. The "brass ring" is forced use of petro-dollars. The central bank stock holders and bankers loaning all dollars into existence as national debt, do not care who owns land. They care who pays off national debts and interest on debt. Civil war is their racket. There are no sovereign nations. No genuine nations that create their medium of exchange publicly. No national people. Just participants in an extortion or its victims. The "Elite" collect on money they created as loans in their central banking accounts. All others are only human numbers assigned billing addresses.

Maria Schick , 4 years ago

Welcome to the New World Order ....where Multinational corporations rule & their profits are what are most important..... NOT nation states it's the 99.9% against the .01% and they use MSM propaganda & fear to control the DUMB masses thinking

Madaleine , 9 months ago

Global mafia in the background! Shut down funding cia ET Al

keepinitreal , 2 years ago

So infuriating that videos that carry the truth have 57k views, while nasty lying propaganda has millions!

SJ R , 4 years ago

I just discovered John Batchelor Show on which Cohen has a guest spot- I just was drawn to this man's thinking, probably because I had made up my mind about Russia during the Ukraine crises. Seeing the US has ruin every country we have gone into- I'm on Russia's side, especially where Russia and Ukraine has a history, on that side of the world.

Santos D , 4 years ago (edited)

38:49 - Apologies for the somewhat Utopian question here. I agree with everything Cohen has said, but regarding cause of jihadist terrorism ( ie implosion of the economies in the region), does it make sense to discuss primarily this game of terrorist whack a mole (bombing, invading and crushing Jihadist insurgencies)? Is there any point in talking about a pro active policy of recreating sustainable, stable economies in the region? What would that even look like?

Cezanne Monet , 11 hours ago

Brilliant scholar. RIP Prof Cohen. Watch if you want to understand today's geopolitical situation. The whole situation.

No Names , 4 years ago (edited)

Not very many average Americans would be able to easily access and watch this. Average Americans still consume mainly mainstream media. Too bad, because this lecture would have opened their eyes and have blown up their brain-contaminated minds by the CNN, the New York Times and alike.

Chris Bowers , 4 years ago

I agree wholeheartedly Loane. Have always been extremely impressed with and appreciative of Cohen's carefully & thoughtfully considered contribution. We in the US have gone a bit off the deep end when it comes to this deeply embedded belief in exceptionalism and superiority, and have been extremely rude to much of the rest of the world in the process. It amazes me how patient Russia has been with us, waiting for us to come around to a more sober understanding of the world we live in today. I have to conclude that what we are experiencing here in the US is a perennial phenomenon that comes with the end of all empires throughout history, the mission creep of over-extending resources and the big one, seemingly blind hubris.

M Ch , 4 years ago

There is no chance of mending relations and even less of achieving some security partnership between US and Russia. The rift will only keep on widening as US political and financial elites are growing increasingly desperate (and thus even more aggressive) while Russia abandons its attempts to please the haters and moves its focus on to its future prospective partners who have genuine interest in cooperating with Russia and achieving common goals.... including opposing the common enemy if you like! Well at least I hope so: the only reason why US wish to get closer to Russia would be to stab it in the back... one more time!

Raf Zam , 3 years ago (edited)

NATO'S reason to exist ended when the Warsaw Pact was demolished. It was created to confront the socialist Warsaw Pact but today ALL of the members of the pact are part of NATO, except Russia. So why is it still operating? Who are they confronting? They are a bunch of bureaucrats looking for a reason to stay employed in an organization that lost its excuse to be. However, their behavior has gone from increasing security to actually becoming a menace to trigger a nuclear war to destroy life on earth.

Donald Watts , 4 years ago

It will take a Republican President to turn our relationships with hostile nations around. For some irrational reasoning, the current administration refuses negotiation with it's enemies. Somehow this is going to create understanding. and a less dangerous world. I don't see a continuation of this Administrations policy anything but reckless . I am assuming this policy has been one determined through Clinton, and will remain so. Clinton has said on a number of occasions, it is the Obama Administration's policies that will be hers as well. As an ex cold warrior, who has spent a lot of time chasing Soviet boomers in the North Atlantic, I am not willing to gamble my children and grand children's lives . It is a dangerous and ego driven pissing match. Let us start talking , This administration and families can climb into their luxury nuclear bomb proof bunkers...... My family and most Americans don't have that luxury.

William Carr , 3 years ago

Dr. Cohen, so Putin gave the Northern Alliance to the USA after 911 to bludgeon Afghanistan for hiding Bin Laden? Paul Craig Robert, David Ray Griffin and a growing list of Americans believe 911 was a total bamboozle. If that is true which it looks increasingly like it was, does that mean Putin was playing along with the our Reichstag fire? What does that make Putin? NATO should have been totally remade after 1986, but it wasn't and we simply missed a huge opportunity not for worldwide U.S. hegemony, but for a new umbrella of security by super powers in alliance. Obviously, the proliferation of ethno-religious groups was in Putin's mind when he welcomed us into Afghanistan, but damn it man, tell people EXACTLY why we and the Russians want to be in the Golden Crescent besides the extraction of minerals.

[Sep 21, 2020] Stephen Cohen at the AJC 2017 Forum, about Russia and Terrorism

Highly recommended!
This was a really bright mind
Julia Ioffe is a joke -- she is essentially a typical "national security parasite" and of the level that surprisingly, is lower that Max Boor, although previously I thought this is impossible. Julia Ioffe is very typical of the anti-Russian thinking in the West.
Jun 23, 2017 | www.youtube.com

Stephen Cohen at the American Jewish Committee Forum 2017, about Russia and Terrorism. Full debate

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0rtr...


alo1, 3 years ago

And again, Cohen smashed these government employers singlehandedly.

Drew Hunkins, 3 years ago

This incessant Russophobia constantly being trumpeted by the Washington militarist imperialists must stop. It's putting the world on the brink of nuclear war.

Stephen Cohen's a godsend along with a handful of the other intellectuals out there speaking and writing the truth that penetrates the miasma of disinformation, half-truths and exaggerations emanating from the state-corporate nexus in the American mass media.

Cohen, along with John Pilger, James Petras, Robert Parry, Michael Parenti, John Pilger, Eva Bartlett, Diana Johnstone and Paul Craig Roberts must be read widely in order for folks to get a grasp of where the Washington imperialist ruling class is driving the world.

mitrovdan, 3 years ago

at 25:40 he just destroys her totally. what a point he made, amazing!! "thank you professor" the guy on the left wants to end Cohen's carnage of the so called experts. Cohen made minced meat out of em. Fact after fact...stonewalled em both. Listen to her, ISIS doesn't have nuke's, she obviously doesn't have a clue.

MrWebster, 3 years ago

Cohen is always cogent and convincing. One area I wish some historian would look into is how "Russia-gate" is not echoing Cold War themes, but echoing themes from the German Nazis in particular their belief about a great Jewish conspiracy against Europe.

Even Putin recently remarked on all these accusations: "It reminds me of anti-Semitism, A dumb man who can't do anything would blame the Jews for everything." Look at how Putin is drawn and pictured on major outlets. The NYTimes blamed resistance to TPP on Putin.

The Russians like the Jews are behind every social problem. Popular culture shows and speaks of Russia in the same way Nazi propagandists wrote about Russia.

Undermining Western liberal democracies, Jews were compared to spiders catching people in the webs. Same with Putin. Pick up Hitler's speech after the invasion of the Soviet Union justifying it., Echos? Accidental rhetoric of conspiracies ?

DSCdaP, 3 years ago

"to look past a long list of transgressions and abuses..." this is what I absolutely hate about America, they are all so stupid and ignorant to their own countries misdeeds it is unbelievable, infuriating beyond belief. The US is currently fighting 7 wars simultaneously, which it all started itself under false pretences and hid the real reason beneath a thick layer of BS propaganda and misinformation.

The secession of Crimea is the least egregious event of the entire conflicts history. The EU and US have pumped billions of dollars into the coup which took place weeks before the Crimean referendum, on the 20th of February 2014, 2 weeks prior to that, an intercepted phone conversation between Victoria Nuland (Assistant Secretary of State of the United States to Europe) and Geoffrey Pyatt (US Ambassador to the Ukraine) was leaked on February 4th, 2014. In this phone conversation, they describe key positions within the Ukrainian government being filled by Klitshko and Yatz... fast forward a few weeks, who do we see? Klitsh and Yatz! It was the most obvious sponsored coup in history.

Putin snatched the Crimean peninsula from NATO, who wanted to seize Russias military harbour in Sevastopol (which the Russians have used to supply Syria, this was one and a half years before they entered the conflict directly, apart from being a very important strategic harbour in general), by suggesting a referendum to the local government and they accepted.

Why? Because they were ethnic Russians and knew who gained power in Kiev, the neo-Nazi, Bandera-worshipping OUN, which the US has nourished, supported and developed for the last 100 years within the Ukrainian territory. These Nazis hate Russians, they have a deep seeded hatred of all things Russian which has been indoctrinated and drilled into them by the CIA for decades, the first thing they did after seizing power was to demote the Russian language from the official list of languages of the Ukraine.

They have since honoured Ukrainian Nazi-collaborators from WWII by erecting statues, renaming streets, creating new holidays etc. This is just one example of US misinformation and propaganda, nothing they say accurately describes the truth, nothing, not one thing has it's bases in reality. Be it about Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and what have you, it's all lies and propaganda to mask their intentions.

North Korea is another example. North Korea is a hornets nest they kick once in a while to scare the Japanese and South Koreans into tolerating US occupation longer. Everything North Korea does is a direct response to threats and intimidations by the US. They staged a drill off the coast of North Korea which they called "Decapitation" for F's sake.

They have ratcheted up the tension again these past few months to sneak in their THAAD weapons stations, before the new President was chosen. And these THAAD systems have absolutely nothing to do with North Korea, it's against China and Russia, North Korea is a pretext.

The still active war, which has merely been under a seize fire for decades, against North Korea, could have been ended before there was colour television, but the US needs North Korea to exist in order to justify their occupation of S.Korea and Japan.

MrRondonmon , 1 day ago

And by the way, the CrowdStrike guy testified in 2017 that there was ZERO PROOF that the Russians hacked the DNC, but Schiff hid that for 2 years until John Ratcliff threatened to declassify it, then Schiff's sorry ass released the interviews. So, this man was 100 percent right, there is ZERO PROOF the Russians or anyone hacked the DNC. Its a damned lie, and it was always a lie.

Patty Rogers , 3 years ago

As usual, the journalists and leftist have nothing to offer- no facts, no forensic evidence, no truth. Only speculation hyperbole and hysteria. I don't believe Russia are the good guys but give me a break in all this crap!

beija flor , 2 years ago (edited)

why did cohen tell everyone even potential 'terrorists' that there is too much of exactly what 'terrorists' wish to get their hands on in the former soviet states?!!? if he is 'so afraid' of 'terrorism...' WHY did he say THAT?!!? not very bright... or perhaps he is FOS. idk?! wth?! SMH. maybe e is trying to inform people who r not 'terrorists,' so that people know n can figure out how to address the issues...?

Yet, for any terrorists who wanted to know how to get materials he spoke of, now they may know a region where they could potentially go to attain the materials... maybe in 'terrorists' circles they all know this already? it just seems concerning, is all...

Beth Lemmon, 2 years ago (edited)

Love Stephen Cohen, he is spot on and right about most if not all points, he's fair, wicked smart and sober minded. However he isn't right about POTUS Trump. If anyone has been watching this type of discourse about world geopolitics it looks like the NWO wants wars to depopulate the earth, set up a OWG and a utopia. It's so blatantly obvious to those who are honest and not ideologically possessed.

They recruit their stupid Antifa army and zombie possessed minions to do their dirty work in the streets. They want send our amazing military to do the fighting wars that are just to feed the MIC, and does nothing for America's good.

[Sep 21, 2020] Stephen Cohen Has Died. Remember His Urgent Warnings Against The New Cold War by Caitlin Johnstone

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God
"... In a world that is increasingly confusing and awash with propaganda, Cohen's death is a blow to humanity's desperate quest for clarity and understanding. ..."
Sep 19, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org

Stephen F Cohen, the renowned American scholar on Russia and leading authority on US-Russian relations, has died of lung cancer at the age of 81.

As one of the precious few western voices of sanity on the subject of Russia while everyone else has been frantically flushing their brains down the toilet, this is a real loss. I myself have cited Cohen's expert analysis many times in my own work, and his perspective has played a formative role in my understanding of what's really going on with the monolithic cross-partisan manufacturing of consent for increased western aggressions against Moscow.

In a world that is increasingly confusing and awash with propaganda, Cohen's death is a blow to humanity's desperate quest for clarity and understanding.

I don't know how long Cohen had cancer. I don't know how long he was aware that he might not have much time left on this earth. What I do know is he spent much of his energy in his final years urgently trying to warn the world about the rapidly escalating danger of nuclear war, which in our strange new reality he saw as in many ways completely unprecedented.

The last of the many books Cohen authored was 2019's War with Russia? , detailing his ideas on how the complex multi-front nature of the post-2016 cold war escalations against Moscow combines with Russiagate and other factors to make it in some ways more dangerous even than the most dangerous point of the previous cold war.

"You know it's easy to joke about this, except that we're at maybe the most dangerous moment in US-Russian relations in my lifetime, and maybe ever," Cohen told The Young Turks in 2017. "And the reason is that we're in a new cold war, by whatever name. We have three cold war fronts that are fraught with the possibility of hot war, in the Baltic region where NATO is carrying out an unprecedented military buildup on Russia's border, in Ukraine where there is a civil and proxy war between Russia and the west, and of course in Syria, where Russian aircraft and American warplanes are flying in the same territory. Anything could happen."

Cohen repeatedly points to the most likely cause of a future nuclear war: not one that is planned but one which erupts in tense, complex situations where "anything could happen" in the chaos and confusion as a result of misfire, miscommunication or technical malfunction, as nearly happened many times during the last cold war.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/kqQbK_6meM8?feature=oembed

"I think this is the most dangerous moment in American-Russian relations, at least since the Cuban missile crisis," Cohen told Democracy Now in 2017. "And arguably, it's more dangerous, because it's more complex. Therefore, we -- and then, meanwhile, we have in Washington these -- and, in my judgment, factless accusations that Trump has somehow been compromised by the Kremlin. So, at this worst moment in American-Russian relations, we have an American president who's being politically crippled by the worst imaginable -- it's unprecedented. Let's stop and think. No American president has ever been accused, essentially, of treason. This is what we're talking about here, or that his associates have committed treason."

"Imagine, for example, John Kennedy during the Cuban missile crisis," Cohen added. "Imagine if Kennedy had been accused of being a secret Soviet Kremlin agent. He would have been crippled. And the only way he could have proved he wasn't was to have launched a war against the Soviet Union. And at that time, the option was nuclear war."

"A recurring theme of my recently published book War with Russia? is that the new Cold War is more dangerous, more fraught with hot war, than the one we survived," Cohen wrote last year . "Histories of the 40-year US-Soviet Cold War tell us that both sides came to understand their mutual responsibility for the conflict, a recognition that created political space for the constant peace-keeping negotiations, including nuclear arms control agreements, often known as détente. But as I also chronicle in the book, today's American Cold Warriors blame only Russia, specifically 'Putin's Russia,' leaving no room or incentive for rethinking any US policy toward post-Soviet Russia since 1991."

"Finally, there continues to be no effective, organized American opposition to the new Cold War," Cohen added. "This too is a major theme of my book and another reason why this Cold War is more dangerous than was its predecessor. In the 1970s and 1980s, advocates of détente were well-organized, well-funded, and well-represented, from grassroots politics and universities to think tanks, mainstream media, Congress, the State Department, and even the White House. Today there is no such opposition anywhere."

"A major factor is, of course, 'Russiagate'," Cohen continued. "As evidenced in the sources I cite above, much of the extreme American Cold War advocacy we witness today is a mindless response to President Trump's pledge to find ways to 'cooperate with Russia' and to the still-unproven allegations generated by it. Certainly, the Democratic Party is not an opposition party in regard to the new Cold War."

"Détente with Russia has always been a fiercely opposed, crisis-ridden policy pursuit, but one manifestly in the interests of the United States and the world," Cohen wrote in another essay last year. "No American president can achieve it without substantial bipartisan support at home, which Trump manifestly lacks. What kind of catastrophe will it take -- in Ukraine, the Baltic region, Syria, or somewhere on Russia's electric grid -- to shock US Democrats and others out of what has been called, not unreasonably, their Trump Derangement Syndrome, particularly in the realm of American national security? Meanwhile, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has recently reset its Doomsday Clock to two minutes before midnight."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/owbMRxC382A?feature=oembed

And now Stephen Cohen is dead, and that clock is inching ever closer to midnight. The Russiagate psyop that he predicted would pressure Trump to advance dangerous cold war escalations with no opposition from the supposed opposition party has indeed done exactly that with nary a peep of criticism from either partisan faction of the political/media class. Cohen has for years been correctly predicting this chilling scenario which now threatens the life of every organism on earth, even while his own life was nearing its end.

And now the complex cold war escalations he kept urgently warning us about have become even more complex with the addition of nuclear-armed China to the multiple fronts the US-centralized empire has been plate-spinning its brinkmanship upon, and it is clear from the ramping up of anti-China propaganda since last year that we are being prepped for those aggressions to continue to increase.

We should heed the dire warnings that Cohen spent his last breaths issuing. We should demand a walk-back of these insane imperialist aggressions which benefit nobody and call for détente with Russia and China. We should begin creating an opposition to this world-threatening flirtation with armageddon before it is too late. Every life on this planet may well depend on our doing so.

Stephen Cohen is dead, and we are marching toward the death of everything. God help us all.

medium.com

lay_arrow

novictim , 55 minutes ago

People are just now starting to realize that possible alternate path. But the Demoncrats in the USA must first be put down, politically euthanized, along with their neocon never-Trump Republican partners. And that cleaning up is on the way. Trump's second term will be the advancement of the USA-Russia initiative that is so long overdue.

PerilouseTimes , 48 minutes ago

Putin won't let western billionaires rape Russia's enormous natural resources and on top of that Putin is against child molesters, that is what this Russia bashing is all about.

awesomepic4u , 1 hour ago

Sad to hear this.

What a good man. It is a real shame that we dont have others to stand up to this crazy pr that is going on right now. Making peace with the world at this point is important. We dont need or want another war and i am sure that both Europe and Russia dont want it on their turf but it seems we keep sticking our finger in their eye. If there is another war it will be the last war. As Einstein said, after the 3rd World War we will be using sticks and stones to fight it.

Clint Liquor , 44 minutes ago

Cohen truly was an island of reason in a sea of insanity. Ironic that those panicked over climate change are unconcerned about the increasing threat of Nuclear War.

thunderchief , 41 minutes ago

One of the very few level headed people on Russia.

All thats left are anti Russia-phobic nut jobs.

Send in the clowns.

Stephen Cohen isn't around to call them what they are anymore.

Eastern Whale , 55 minutes ago

cooperate with Russia

Has the US ever cooperated with anyone?

fucking truth , 3 minutes ago

That is the crux. All or nothing.

Mustafa Kemal , 49 minutes ago

Ive read several of his books. They are essential, imo, if you want to understand modern russian history.

Normal , 1 hour ago

The bankers created the new CCP cold war.

evoila , 19 minutes ago

Max Boot is an effing idiot. Tucker wiped him clean too. It was an insult to Stephen to even put them on the same panel.

RIP Stephen.

Gary Sick is the equivalent to Stephen, except for Iran. He too is of an era of competence which is and will be missed as their voices are drowned out by neocon warmongers

thebigunit , 17 minutes ago

I heard Stephen Cohen a number of time in John Bachelor's podcasts.

He seemed very lucid and made a lot of sense.

He made it very clear that he thought the Democrat's "Trump - Russia collusion schtick" was a bunch of crap.

He didn't sound like a leftie, but I'm sure he never told me the stuff he discussed with his wife who was editor of the left wing "The Nation" magazine.

Boogity , 9 minutes ago

Cohen was a traditional old school anti-war Liberal. They're essentially extinct now with the exception of a few such as Tulsi Gabbard and Dennis Kucinich who have both been ostracized from the Democrat Party and the political system.

[Sep 20, 2020] Democratic-Defense-Against-Disinformation-2.0.pdf by Alina Polyakova and Daniel Fried

Counter disinformation network can't revive the dead chicken of neoliberal ideology.
Neoliberal elite lost legitimacy and as such has difficulties controlling the narrative. That's why all this frantic efforts were launched to rectify the situation.
Anti-Russian angle of Atlantic council revealed here quite clearly
Sep 20, 2020 | www.brookings.edu

The paper's biggest single recommendation was that the United States and EU establish a Counter-Disinformation Coalition, a public/private group bringing together, on a regular basis, government and non-government stakeholders, including social media companies, traditional media, Internet service providers (ISPs), and civil society groups. The Counter-Disinformation Coalition would develop best practices for confronting disinformation from nondemocratic countries, consistent with democratic norms. It also recommended that this coalition start with a voluntary code of conduct outlining principles and agreed procedures for dealing with disinformation, drawing from the recommendations as summarized above.

In drawing up these recommendations, we were aware that disinformation most often comes from domestic, not foreign, sources. 8 While Russian and other disinformation players are known to work in coordination with domestic purveyors of disinformation, both overtly and covertly, the recommendations are limited to foreign disinformation, which falls within the scope of "political warfare." Nevertheless, it may be that these policy recommendations, particularly those focused on transparency and social resilience, may be applicable to combatting other forms of disinformation.

[Sep 20, 2020] Darren Beattie Tucker Carlson Discuss Color Revolutions The Plot To Oust President Trump

Trump represent new "national neoliberalism" platform and the large part of the US neoliberal elite (Clinton gang and large part of republicans) support the return to "classic neoliberalism" at all costs.
Highly recommended!
The essence of color revolution is the combination of engineered contested election and mass organized protest and civil disobedience via creation in neoliberal fifth column out of "professionals", especially students as well as mobilizing and put on payroll some useful disgruntled groups which can be used as a foot soldiers, such as football hooligans. Large and systematic injection of dollars into protest movement. All with the air cover via domination in a part or all nation's MSM.
Norm Eisen - Wikipedia quote "From 1985 to 1988, between college and law school, Eisen worked as the Assistant Director of the Los Angeles office of the Anti-Defamation League . He investigated antisemitism and other civil rights violations, promoted Holocaust education and advanced U.S.–Israel relations ."
He served as US ambassador in Chich Republic from 2011 to 2014. Based on his experience wrote that book Democracy's Defenders published by The Brookings Institution, a neoliberal think tank, about the role of US embassy in neoliberal revolution in Czechoslovakia (aka Velvet Revolution of 1989) which led to the dissolution of the country into two. BTW demonstrations against police brutality were an essential part of the Velvet Revolution
Notable quotes:
"... Same tactics - color revolutions they (Soros, Nuland/Kagan, Eisen, McCain when alive) used to overthrow Orthodox countries in Eastern Europe. Belarus the latest. Ukraine (Orange, Maidan) 2014. Georgia (Rose rev). Serbia, Montenegro. Use young people who have bad sense of history and are more sympathetic to the "West." ..."
Sep 16, 2020 | www.youtube.com

P McGill , 3 days ago

This is, without ANY question, one of Tucker's most important segments that he has ever done. IT IS EXTREMELY-RARE THAT """they""" ARE EXPOSED, BY-NAME, SO OPENLY AND DIRECTLY, BUT, IT HAPPENED, TONIGHT.

CJ Daly , 4 days ago

Please bring back Dr. Darren Beattie back. More info. on the color revolutions, Mr. Eisen, crew, and their relationship to mail in voting fraud and their impact on the 2020 election is needed. If Mr. Eisens methods are to be used in the 2020 election mass awareness is needed.

john doe , 2 days ago

This is not about Trump. The endgame of the deep state is to enslave people through social division. The election is a wrestling match for entertainment.

Chuck Emmorll , 2 days ago

Norm Eisen's loyalty? Israel?

viewoftheaskew , 3 days ago (edited)

Norm Eisen..., "Obama's Ethics Czar" wow that's a triple oxymoron lol.

Hapa Nice Day , 3 days ago (edited)

Purple is the color of this revolution. Remember the outfits Bill and Hillary wore when Hillary conceded to Trump.

Dave being , 2 days ago

Sounds like what's happening in Venezuela.

John Singer , 1 day ago

The deep state are plotting against the American people 24/7. Russia hoax was a coup, they will try it again.

sandra macey , 3 days ago

Sheesh, he looks scared. I hope he's being well protected now. Darren is a very brave man who is trying to tell the citizens of the US that there is malice aforethought towards the President and this election. It is now not a choice between Republicans or Democrats, it is a fight between good and evil. I'm sure Trump and his team are aware of the playbook and will do everything they can to sort this, with God's help. It may get hairy, but trust the plan.

Jordan Spackman , 2 hours ago

I have a feeling dems will "rig for red" to frame republicans for voter fraud, overlooking the overwhelming amount of voter fraud in favor of Biden Harris. Causing outrage and calls to remove the President from office and saying Biden actually won. When he really did not. Be prepared. Stay strong.

Peter Jones , 3 days ago

Same tactics - color revolutions they (Soros, Nuland/Kagan, Eisen, McCain when alive) used to overthrow Orthodox countries in Eastern Europe. Belarus the latest. Ukraine (Orange, Maidan) 2014. Georgia (Rose rev). Serbia, Montenegro. Use young people who have bad sense of history and are more sympathetic to the "West."

Nick Name , 2 days ago

american people still don't know and can't understand what's happening and what their government is doing, even right now it's happening in Belarus, it happened in Ukraine, Venezuela, Hong Kong and etc. and now it's happening in your own country, wake up people and don't forget who's behind all this - a NGO founded by CIA called NED (National endowment for democracy), Soros and his NGOs and the deep state.

[Sep 19, 2020] The Kremlin Plans to Modernize Russia, Again - The Nation

Sep 19, 2020 | www.thenation.com

Putin's quest for a transformed nation and his own legacy. By Stephen F. Cohen FEBRUARY 21, 2020 fb tw mail Print Flag of Russian Federation with gilded coat of arms waving on the dome of Senate Palace of Moscow Kremlin

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T he US media's three-year obsession with the mostly fictitious allegations of "Russiagate" has all but obscured, even deleted, important, potentially historic, developments inside that nation itself, still the world's largest territorial country. One of the most important is the Putin government's decision to invest $300-to-$400 billion of "rainy day" funds in the nation's infrastructure, especially in its vast, underdeveloped provinces, and on "national projects" ranging from education to health care and family services to transportation and other technology. If successfully implemented, Russia would be substantially transformed and the lives of its people significantly improved.

Not surprisingly, however, the plan has aroused considerable controversy and public debate in Russia's policy elite, primarily for two reasons. The funds were accumulated largely due to high world prices for Russia's energy exports and the state's budgetary austerity during the decade after Putin came to power in 2000, and they have been hoarded as a safeguard against Western economic sanctions and/or a global economic depression. (Russia's economic collapse in the Yeltsin 1990s, perhaps the worst modern-day depression in peacetime, remains a vivid memory for policy-makers and ordinary citizens alike.)

There is also the nation's long, sometimes traumatic, history of "modernization from above," as it is termed. In the late 19th century, the czarist regime's program to industrialize the country, "to catch up" with other world powers, had unintended consequences that led, in the accounts of many historians, to the end of czarism in the 1917 revolution. And Stalin's "revolution from above" of the 1930s, based on the forced collectivization of the peasantry, which at the time accounted for more than 80 percent of the population, along with very rapid industrialization, resulted in millions of deaths and economic distortions that burdened Soviet and post-Soviet Russia for decades.

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Nor are Russia's alternative experiences of modernization from below inspiring or at least instructive. In the 1920s, during the years known as the New Economic Policy, or NEP, the victorious Bolsheviks pursued evolutionary economic development through a semi-regulated market economy. It had mixed -- and still disputed -- results, and it was brutally abolished by Stalin in 1929. Decades later, Yeltsin's "free-market reforms" were widely blamed for the ruination and widespread misery of the 1990s, which featured many aspects of actual de-modernization.

With all this "living history" in mind, Putin's plan for such large-scale (and rapid) investment has generated the controversy in Moscow and resulted in three positions within the policy class. One fully supports the decision on the essentially Keynesian grounds that it will spur Russia's annual economic growth, which has lagged below the global average for several years. Another opposes such massive expenditures, arguing that the funds must remain in state hands as a safeguard against the US-led "sanctions war" (and perhaps worse) against Russia. And, as usual in politics, there is a compromise position that less should be invested in civilian infrastructure and less quickly.

Running through the discussion is also Russia's long history of thwarted implementation of good intentions. To paraphrase a prime minister during the 1990s, Viktor Chernomyrdin , "We wanted things to turn out for the best, but they turned out as usual." In particular, it is often asked, what will be the consequences of putting so much money into the hands of regional and other local officials in provinces where corruption is endemic? How much will be stolen or otherwise misdirected?

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Nonetheless, Putin seems to be resolute. He is also insistent that his ambitious plan to transform Russia requires a long period of international peace and stability. Here again is plain evidence that those in Washington who insist Putin's primary goal is "to sow discord, divisions, and instability" in the world, especially in the West, where he hopes to find "modernizing partnerships," do not care about or understand what is actually unfolding inside Russia -- or Putin's vision of his own historical role and legacy.

Listen to the podcast here .

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Stephen F. Cohen Stephen F. Cohen is a professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University. A Nation contributing editor, his most recent book, War With Russia? From Putin & Ukraine to Trump & Russiagate , is available in paperback and in an ebook edition. His weekly conversations with the host of The John Batchelor Show , now in their seventh year, are available at www.thenation.com .

[Sep 19, 2020] Stephen F. Cohen, Influential Historian of Russia, Dies at 81 - The New York Times

Sep 19, 2020 | www.nytimes.com

By Robert D. McFadden

Stephen F. Cohen, an eminent historian whose books and commentaries on Russia examined the rise and fall of Communism, Kremlin dictatorships and the emergence of a post-Soviet nation still struggling for identity in the 21st century, died on Friday at his home in Manhattan. He was 81.

His wife, Katrina vanden Heuvel, the publisher and part owner of The Nation, said the cause was lung cancer.

From the sprawling conflicts of the 1917 Bolshevik revolution and the tyrannies of Stalin to the collapse of the Soviet Union and Vladimir V. Putin's intrigues to retain power, Professor Cohen chronicled a Russia of sweeping social upheavals and the passions and poetry of peoples that endured a century of wars, political repression and economic hardships.

A professor emeritus of Russian studies at Princeton University and New York University, he was fluent in Russian, visited Russia frequently and developed contacts among intellectual dissidents and government and Communist Party officials. He wrote or edited 10 books and many articles for The Nation, The New York Times and other publications, was a CBS-TV commentator and counted President George Bush and many American and Soviet officials among his sources.

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In Moscow he was befriended by the last Soviet leader, Mikhail S. Gorbachev, who invited him to the May Day celebration at Red Square in 1989. There, at the Lenin Mausoleum, Professor Cohen stood with his wife and son one tier below Mr. Gorbachev and the Soviet leadership to view a three-hour military parade. He later spoke briefly on Russian television to a vast audience about alternative paths that Russian history could have taken.

Loosely identified with a revisionist historical view of the Soviet Union, Professor Cohen held views that made him a controversial public intellectual. He believed that early Bolshevism had held great promise, that it had been democratic and genuinely socialist, and that it had been corrupted only later by civil war, foreign hostility, Stalin's malignancy and a fatalism in Russian history.

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A traditionalist school of thought, by contrast, held that the Soviet experiment had been flawed from the outset, that Lenin's political vision was totalitarian, and that any attempt to create a society based on his coercive utopianism had always been likely to lead, logically, to Stalin's state terrorism and to the Soviet Union's eventual collapse.

Professor Cohen was an enthusiastic supporter of Mr. Gorbachev, who after coming to power in 1985 undertook ambitious changes to liberate the nation's 15 republics from state controls that had originally been imposed by Stalin. Mr. Gorbachev gave up power as the Soviet state imploded at the end of 1991 and moved toward beliefs in democracy and a market economy.

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Mr. Cohen first came to international attention in 1973 with his biography of Lenin's protégé Nikolai Bukharin.

A prolific writer who mined Soviet archives, Professor Cohen first came to international attention in 1973 with "Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution," a biography of Lenin's protégé Nikolai Bukharin, who envisioned Communism as a blend of state-run industries and free-market agriculture. Critics generally applauded the work, which was a finalist for a National Book Award. Editors' Picks Who Gets Hurt When the World Stops Using Cash Films Hit Festivals Trying to Create Buzz Without a Crowd A Timely Collection of Vital Writing by Audre Lorde Continue reading the main story

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"Stephen Cohen's full-scale study of Bukharin is the first major study of this remarkable associate of Lenin," Harrison Salisbury's wrote in a review in The Times. "As such it constitutes a milestone in Soviet studies, the byproduct both of increased academic sophistication in the use of Soviet materials and also of the very substantial increase in basic information which has become available in the 20 years since Stalin's death."

After Lenin's death, Mr. Bukharin became a victim of Stalin's Moscow show trials in 1938; he was accused of plotting against Stalin and executed. His widow, Anna Mikhailovna Larina, spent 20 years in exile and in prison camps and campaigned for Mr. Bukharin's rehabilitation, which was endorsed by Mr. Gorbachev in 1988.

Ms. Larina and Professor Cohen became friends. Given access to Bukharin archives, he found and returned to her the last love letter that Mr. Bukharin wrote her from prison.

In "Rethinking the Soviet Experience" (1985), Professor Cohen offered a new interpretation of the nation's traumatic history and modern political realities. In his view, Stalin's despotism and Mr. Bukharin's fate were not necessarily inevitable outgrowths of the party dictatorship founded by Lenin.

Richard Lowenthal, in a review for The Times, called Professor Cohen's interpretation implausible. "While I do not believe that all the horrors of Stalinism were 'logically inevitable' consequences of the seizure of power by Lenin and his Bolshevik Party," Mr. Lowenthal wrote, "I do believe that Stalin's victory over Bukharin was inherent in the structure of the party's system."

As Professor Cohen and other scholars pondered Russia's past, Mr. Gorbachev's rise to power and his efforts toward glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring) cast the future of the Soviet Union in a new light, potentially reversing 70 years of Cold War dogma.

[Sep 19, 2020] Stephen F. Cohen, pre-eminent contemporary American scholar of Russia USSR, friend of Gorbachev advisor to Bush, dies at 81 -- RT Russia Former Soviet Union

Sep 19, 2020 | www.rt.com

19 Sep, 2020 11:44 / Updated 4 hours ago Get short URL Stephen F. Cohen, pre-eminent contemporary American scholar of Russia & USSR, friend of Gorbachev & advisor to Bush, dies at 81 Prof. Stephen F. Cohen © Getty Images via AFP / Eugene Gologursky 118 Follow RT on RT Stephen F. Cohen, the leading American Russia expert of his generation and a celebrated historian of Russia and the Soviet Union, who became a vocal critic of Washington's "new Cold War" with Moscow, has died at the age of 81.

Cohen succumbed to lung cancer at his home in Manhattan, on Friday, according to his wife Katrina vanden Heuvel, who is also the part-owner and publisher of The Nation magazine, where he worked as a contributing editor.

A native of Kentucky, he was a prolific and prominent scholar in his field, serving as a professor emeritus of Russian studies at Princeton University and New York University. As a frequent visitor to Russia, Cohen became well-connected among leading Soviet dissidents, politicians and thinkers in the 1980s, even befriending Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev.

Cohen also advised former US President George Bush, senior, in the late 1980s, and assisted Anna Larina, the widow of Nikolai Bukharin, to rehabilitate her husband's name during the Soviet era. He had earlier written a biography of the journalist and politician, which argued that had Bukharin succeeded Vladimir Lenin as Bolshevik leader, rather than Joseph Stalin, the Soviet Union would have enjoyed greater openness, and perhaps even democracy.

//www.youtube.com/embed/-wc94DRFCik

Breaking with many American academics and political commentators, Cohen was highly critical of Washington's approach to Russia following the collapse of the Soviet Union. He warned of the dangers of NATO expansion and argued that much of the economic devastation seen in Russia during the 1990s could be traced to bad-faith policies and advice from the United States.

His principled, and patriotic stand, led to smears from members of the think tank racket and both liberal and neoconservative interventionists, keen to stoke tensions with Moscow. Cohen was labelled a Putin apologist. He responded by saying that he saw him as being "in the Russian tradition of leadership, getting Russia back on its feet."

READ MORE Will the Mueller report make the New Cold War even worse? (by Stephen Cohen) Will the Mueller report make the New Cold War even worse? (by Stephen Cohen)

After the election of Donald Trump, Cohen found himself in the crosshairs of the mainstream media for challenging the now-debunked Russiagate narrative, which he said was being used to sabotage bilateral relations and trigger a "new Cold War" with Moscow.

The unsubstantiated claim that Trump's presidential campaign "colluded" with the Kremlin would likely make a US-Russia detente "impossible" and could even help fuel an actual war between the two nations, Cohen argued. He lamented that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe into the conspiracy theory, which found no evidence of collusion, would do little to tone down the fiery rhetoric and anonymously sourced media hysteria concerning Russia and its alleged influence over the US political system.

The author of numerous books and countless articles, Cohen was a frequent guest on RT, where he often used his air time to sound the alarm over the dangerous state of US-Russia relations, lamenting that the hostility was both unnecessary and potentially calamitous.

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[Sep 18, 2020] September 14, 2001- The Day America Became Israel - Antiwar.com Original

Notable quotes:
"... Apocalypse Now- ..."
"... Wall Street Journal ..."
"... War on the Rocks ..."
"... An Army Like No Other: How the Israel Defense Forces Made a Nation ..."
"... a defense industry with a country ..."
Sep 18, 2020 | original.antiwar.com

September 14, 2001: The Day America Became Israel

by Maj. Danny Sjursen, USA (ret.) Posted on September 18, 2020

This article is dedicated to the memory of an activist, inspiration, and recent friend: Kevin Zeese. Its scope, sweep, and ambition are meant to match that of Kevin's outsized influence. At that, it must inevitably fail – and its shortfalls are mine alone. That said, the piece's attempt at a holistic critique of 19 years worth of war and cultural militarization would, I hope, earn an approving nod from Kevin – if only at the attempt. He will be missed by so many; I count myself lucky to have gotten to know him. – Danny Sjursen

The rubble was still smoldering at Ground Zero when the U.S. House of Representatives voted to essentially transform itself into the Israeli Knesset , or parliament. It was 19 years ago, 11:17pm Washington D.C. time on September 14, 2001 when the People's Chamber approved House Joint Resolution 64, the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) "against those responsible for the recent attacks." Naturally, that was before the precise identities, and full scope, of "those responsible" were yet known – so the resolution's rubber-stamp was obscenely open-ended by necessity, but also by design.

The Senate had passed their own version by roll call vote about 12 hours earlier. The combined congressional tally was 518 to one. Only Representative Barbara Lee of California cast a dissenting vote , and even delivered a brief, prescient speech on the House floor. It's almost hard to watch and listen all these years later as her voice cracks with emotion amidst all that truth-telling :

I am convinced that military action will not prevent further acts of international terrorism against the United States. This is a very complex and complicated matter

However difficult this vote may be, some of us must urge the use of restraint. Our country is in a state of mourning. Some of us must say, let's step back for a moment and think through the implications of our actions today, so that this does not spiral out of control

Now I have agonized over this vote. But I came to grips with opposing this resolution during the very painful, yet very beautiful memorial service. As a member of the clergy so eloquently said, "As we act, let us not become the evil that we deplore."

For her lone stance – itself courageous, even had she not since been vindicated – Rep. Lee suffered insults and death threats so intense that she needed around-the-clock bodyguards for a time. It's hard to be right in a room full of the wrong – especially angry, scared, and jingoistic ones. Yet the tragedy is America has become many of the things we purport to deplore: the US now boasts a one-trick-pony foreign policy and a militarized society to boot.

Endless imperial interventions and perennial policing at home and abroad, counterproductive military adventurism, governance by permanent "emergency" fiat, and an ever more martial-society? We've seen this movie before; in fact it's still playing – in Israel. Without implying that Israel, as an entity, is somehow "evil," theirs was simply not a path the US need or ought to have gone down.

"A Republic, If You Can Keep It"

In the nearly two decades since its passing, the AUMF has been cited at least 41 times in some 17 countries and on the high seas . The specified nations-states included Afghanistan, Cuba (Guantanamo Bay), Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Iraq, Kenya, Libya, Philippines, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Jordan, Turkey, Niger, Cameroon, and the broader African "Sahel Region" – which presumably also covers the unnamed, but real, US troop presence in Nigeria, Chad and Mali. That's a lot of unnecessary digressions – missions that haven't, and couldn't, have been won. All of that aggression abroad predictably boomeranged back home , in the guise of freedoms constrained, privacy surveilled, plus cops and culture militarized.

Inevitably, just a few days ago, every publication, big and small, carried obligatory and ubiquitous 9/11 commemoration pieces. Far fewer will even note the AUMF anniversary. Yet it was the US government's response – not the attacks themselves – which most altered American strategy and society. For in dutifully deciding on immediate military retaliation, a "global war," even, on a tactic ("terror") and a concept ("evil") at that, this republic fell prey to the Founders' great obsession . Unable to agree on much else, they shared fears that the nascent American experiment would suffer Rome's " ancestral curse " of ambition – and its subsequent path to empire. Hence, Benjamin Franklin's supposed retort to a crowd question upon exiting the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, on just what they'd just framed: "A republic, if you can keep it!"

Yet perhaps a modern allegory is the more appropriate one: by signing on to an endless cycle of tit-for-tat terror retaliation on 9/14, We the People's representatives chose the Israeli path. Here was a state forged by the sword that it's consequently lived by ever since, and may well die by – though the cause of death, no doubt, would likely be self-inflicted. The first statutory step towards Washington transforming into Tel Aviv was that AUMF sanction 19 years ago tonight.

No doubt, some militarist fantasies came far closer on the heels of the September 11th suicide strikes: According to notes taken by aides, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld waited a whole five hours after Flight 77 impacted his Pentagon to instruct subordinates to gather the "best info fast. Judge whether good enough to hit [Saddam Hussein] at same time Not only [Osama Bin Laden]." As for the responsive strike plans, "Go massive," the notes quote Rumsfeld as saying. "Sweep it all up. Things related and not."

Nonetheless, it was Congress' dutiful AUMF-acquiescence that made America's Israeli-metamorphosis official. The endgame that ain't even ended yet has been dreadful. It's almost impossible to fathom, in retrospect, but remember that as of September 14, 2001, 7,052 American troops and, very conservatively, at least 800,000 foreigners (335,000 of them civilians) hadn't yet – and need not have – died in the ensuing AUMF-sanctioned worldwide wars.

Now, US forces didn't directly kill all of them, but that's about 112 September 11ths-worth of dead civilians by the very lowest estimates – perishing in wars of (American) choice. That's worth reckoning with; and needn't imply a dismissive attitude to our 9/11 fallen. I, for one, certainly take that date rather seriously.

My 9/11s

There are more than a dozen t-shirts hanging in my closet right now that are each emblazoned with the phrase "Annual Marty Egan 5K Memorial Run/Walk." This event is held back in the old neighborhood, honoring a very close family friend – a New York City fire captain killed in the towers' collapse. As my Uncle Steve's best bud, he was in and out of my grandparents' seemingly communal Midland Beach, Staten Island bungalow – before Hurricane Sandy washed many of them away – throughout my childhood. When I was a teenager, just before leaving for West Point, Marty would tease me for being "too skinny for a soldier" in the local YMCA weight-room and broke-balls about my vague fear of heights as I shakily climbed a ladder in Steve's backyard just weeks before I left for cadet basic training. Always delivered with a smile, of course.

Marty was doing some in-service training on September 11th, and didn't have to head towards the flames, but he hopped on a passing truck and rode to his death anyway. I doubt anyone who knew him would've expected anything less. Mercifully, Marty's body was one of the first – and at the time, only – recovered , just two days after Congress chose war in his, and 2,976 others' name. He was found wearing borrowed gear from engine company he'd jumped in with.

I was a freshman cadet at West Point when I heard all of this news – left feeling so very distant from home, family, neighborhood, though I was just a 90 minute drive north. Frankly, I couldn't wait to get in the fights that followed. It's no excuse, really: but I was at that moment exactly 18 years and 41 days old. And indeed, I'd spend the next 18 training, prepping, and fighting the wars I then wanted – and, ( Apocalypse Now- style ) "for my sins" – "they gave me."

Anyway, Marty's family – and more so his memory – along with the general 9/11 fallout back home, have swirled in and out of my life ever since. In the immediate term, after the attacks my mother turned into a sort of wake&funeral-hopper, attending literally dozens over that first year. As soon as Marty had a headstone in Moravian Cemetery – where my Uncle Steve once dug graves – I draped a pair of my new dog tags over it on a weekend trip home. It was probably a silly and indulgent gesture, but it felt profound at the time. Then, soon enough, the local street signs started changing to honor fallen first responders – including the intersection outside my church, renamed "Martin J. Egan Jr. Corner." (Marty used to joke , after all, that he'd graduated from UCLA – that is, the University, corner of Lincoln Avenue, in the neighborhood.)

Five years later, while I was fighting a war in a country (Iraq) that had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks, Marty's mother Pat still worked at the post office from which my own mom shipped me countless care packages. They'd chat; have a few nostalgic laughs; then Pat would wish me well and pass on her regards. When some of my soldiers started getting killed, I remember my mother telling me it was sometimes hard to look Pat in the eye on the post office trips – perhaps she feared an impending kinship of lost sons. But it didn't go that way.

So, suffice it to say, I don't take the 9/11 attacks, or the victims, lightly. That doesn't mean the US responses, and their results, were felicitous or forgivable. They might even dishonor the dead. I don't pretend to precisely know, or speak for, the Egan family's feelings. Still, my own sense is that few among the lost or their loved ones left behind would've imagined or desired their deaths be used to justify all of the madness, futility, and liberties-suppression blowback that's ensued.

Nevertheless, my nineteen Septembers 11th have been experienced in oft-discomfiting ways, and my assessment of the annual commemorations, rather quickly began to change. By the tenth anniversary, a Reuters reporter spent a couple of days on the base I commanded in Afghanistan. At the time the outpost sported a flag gifted by my uncle, which had previously flown above a New York Fire Department house. I suppose headquarters sent the journalist my way because I was the only combat officer from New York City – but the brass got more than they'd bargained for. By then, amidst my second futile war "surge," and three more of the lives and several more of the limbs of my soldiers lost on this deployment, I wasn't feeling particularly sentimental. Besides, I'd already turned – ethically and intellectually – against what seemed to me demonstrably hopeless and counterproductive military exercises.

Much to the chagrin of my career-climbing lieutenant colonel, I waxed a bit (un)poetic on the war I was then fighting – "against farm boys with guns," I not-so-subtly styled it – and my hometown's late suffering that ostensibly justified it. "When I see this place, I don't see the towers," I said, sitting inside my sandbagged operations center near the Taliban's very birthplace in Kandahar province. Then added: "My family sees it more than I do. They see it dead-on, direct. I'm a professional soldier. It's not about writing the firehouse number on the bullet. I'm not one for gimmicks." It was coarse and a bit petulant, sure, but what I meant – what I felt – was that these wars, even this " good " Afghan one (per President Obama), no longer, and may never have, had much to do with 9/11, Marty, or all the other dead.

The global war on terrorism (GWOT, as it was once fashionable to say) was but a reflex for a sick society pre-disposed to violence, symptomatic of a militarist system led by a government absent other ideas or inclinations. Still, I flew that FDNY flag – even skeptical soldiers can be a paradoxical lot.

Origin Myths: Big Lies and Long Cons

Although the final approved AUMF declared that "such acts [as terrorism] continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States," that wasn't then, and isn't now, even true . The toppled towers, pummeled Pentagon, and flying suicide machines of 9/11 were no doubt an absolute horror; and such visions understandably clouded collective judgment. Still, more sober statistics demonstrate, and sensible strategy demands, the prudence of perspective.

From 1995 to 2016, a total of 3,277 Americans have been killed in terrorist acts on US soil. If we subtract the 9/11 anomaly, that's just 300 domestic deaths – or 14 per year. Which raises the impolite question: why don't policymakers talk about terrorism the same way they do shark attacks or lightning strikes? The latter, incidentally, kill an average of 49 Americans annually. Odd, then, that the US hasn't expended $6.4 trillion, or more than 15,000 soldier and contractor lives , responding to bolts from the blue. Nor has it kicked off or catalyzed global wars that have directly killed – by that conservative estimate – 335,000 civilians.

See, that's the thing: for Americans, like the Israelis, some lives matter more than others. We can just about calculate the macabre life-value ratios in each society. Take Israel's 2014 onslaught on the Gaza Strip. In its fifty-day onslaught of Operation Protective Edge, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) killed 2,131 Palestinians – of whom 1,473 were identified as civilians, including 501 children. As for the wildly inaccurate and desperate Hamas rocket strikes that the IDF "edge" ostensibly "protected" against: those killed a whopping four civilians. To review: apparently one Israeli non-combatant is worth 368 Palestinian versions. Now, seeing as everything – including death-dealing is "bigger in Texas" – consider the macro American application. To wit, 3,277 US civilians versus 335,000 foreign innocents equals a cool 102-to-1 quotient of the macabre.

Such formulas become banal realities when one believes the big lies undergirding the entire enterprise. Here, Israel and America share origin myths that frame the long con of forever wars. That is, that acts of terror with stateless origins are best responded to with reflexive and aggressive military force. In my first ever published article – timed for Independence Day 2014 – I argued that America's post-9/11 "original sin" was framing its response as a war in the first place. As a result, I – then a serving US Army captain – concluded, "In place of sound strategy, we've been handed our own set of martyrs: more than 6,500 dead soldiers, airmen, sailors, and marines." More than 500 American troopers have died since, along with who knows how many foreign civilians. It's staggering how rare such discussions remain in mainstream discourse.

Within that mainstream, often the conjoined Israeli-American twins even share the same cruelty cheerleaders. Take the man that author Belen Fernandez not inaccurately dubs "Harvard Law School's resident psychopath:" Alan Dershowitz. During Israel's brutal 2006 assault on Lebanon, this armchair-murderer took to the pages of the Wall Street Journal with a column titled " Arithmetic of Pain ."

Dershowitz argued for a collective "reassessment of the laws of war" in light of increasingly blurred distinctions between combatants and civilians. Thus, offering official "scholarly" sanction for the which-lives-matter calculus, he unveiled the concept of a "continuum of 'civilianality." Consider some of his cold and callous language:

Near the most civilian end of this continuum are the pure innocents – babies, hostages at the more combatant end are civilians who willingly harbor terrorists, provide material resources and serve as human shields; in the middle are those who support the terrorists politically, or spiritually.

Got that? Leaving aside Dershowitz's absurd assumption that there are loads of Palestinians just itching to volunteer as "human shields," it's clear that when conflicts are thus framed – all manner of cruelties become permissible.

In Israel, it begins with stated policies of internationally- prohibited collective punishment. For example, during the 2006 Lebanon War that killed exponentially more innocent Lebanese than Israelis, the IDF chief of staff's announced intent was to deliver "a clear message to both greater Beirut and Lebanon that they've swallowed a cancer [Hezbollah] and have to vomit it up, because if they don't their country will pay a very high price." It ends with Tel Aviv's imposition of an abusive calorie-calculus on Palestinians.

In 2008, Israeli authorities actually drew up a document computing the minimum caloric intake necessary for Gaza's residents to suffer (until they yield), but avoid outright starvation. Two years earlier, that wonderful wordsmith Dov Weisglass, senior advisor to then Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, explained that Israeli policy was designed "to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger."

Lest that sound beyond the pale for we Americans, recall that it was the first female secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, who ten years earlier said of 500,000 Iraqi children's deaths under crippling U.S. sanctions: "we think, the price is worth it." Furthermore, it's unclear how the Trump administration's current sanctions- clampdown on Syrians unlucky enough to live in President Bashar al Assad-controlled territory is altogether different from the "Palestinian diet."

After all, even one of the Middle East Institute's resident regime-change-enthusiasts, Charles Lister, recently admitted that America's criminally-euphemized "Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act" may induce a "famine." In other words, according to two humanitarian experts writing on the national security website War on the Rocks , "hurting the very civilians it aims to protect while largely failing to affect the Syrian government itself."

It is, and has long been, thus: Israeli prime ministers and American presidents, Bibi and The Donald, Tel Aviv and Washington – are peas in a punishing pod.

Emergencies as Existences

In both Israel and America, frightened populations finagled by their uber-hawkish governments acquiesce to militarized states of "emergencies" as a way of life. In seemingly no time at all, the latest U.S. threshold got so low that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo matter-of-factly declared one to override a congressional-freeze and permit the $8.1 billion sale of munitions to Gulf Arab militaries. When some frustrated lawmakers asked the State Department's inspector general to investigate, the resultant report found that the agency failed to limit [Yemeni] civilian deaths from the sales – most bombed by the Saudi's subsequent arsenal of largesse. (As for the inspector general himself? He was " bullied ," then fired, by Machiavelli Mike).

Per the standard, Israel is the more surface-overt partner. As the IDF-veteran author Haim Bresheeth-Zabner writes in his new book , An Army Like No Other: How the Israel Defense Forces Made a Nation , Israel is the "only country in which Emergency Regulations have been in force for every minute of its existence."

Perhaps more worryingly, such emergency existences boomerang back to militarized Minneapolis and Jerusalem streets alike. It's worth nothing that just five days after the killing of George Floyd, an Israeli police officer gunned down an unarmed, autistic, Palestinian man on his way to a school for the disabled. Even the 19-year-old killer's 21-year-old commander (instructive, that) admitted the cornered victim wasn't a threat. But here's the rub: when the scared and confused Palestinian man ran from approaching police at 6 a.m. , initial officers instinctually reported a potential "terrorist" on the loose.

Talk about global terror coming home to roost on local streets. And why not here in the States? It wasn't but two months back that President Trump labeled peaceful demonstrators in D.C., and nationwide protesters tearing down Confederate statues, as "terrorists." That's more than a tad troubling, since, as noted, almost anything is permissible against terrorists, thus tagged.

In other words, the Israeli-American, post-9/11 (or -9/14) militarized connections go beyond the cosmetic and past sloganeering. Then again, the latter can be instructive. In the wake of the latest Jerusalem police shooting, protesters in Israel's Occupied Territories held up placards declaring solidarity with Black Lives Matter (BLM). One read: "Palestinians support the black intifada." Yet the roots of shared systemic injustices run far deeper.

Though it remains impolitic to say so here in the US, both "BLM and the Palestinian rights movement are [by their own accounts] fighting settler-colonial states and structures of domination and supremacy that value, respectively, white and Jewish lives over black and Palestinian ones." They're hardly wrong. All-but-official apartheid reigns in Occupied Palestine, and a de-facto two-tier system favoring Jewish citizens, prevails within Israel itself. Similarly, the US grapples with chattel slavery's legacy, lingering effects institutional Jim Crow-apartheid, and its persistent system of gross, if unofficial, socio-economic racial disparity.

Though there are hopeful rumblings in post-Floyd America, neither society has much grappled with the immediacy and intransigency of their established and routine devaluation of (internal and external) Arab and African lives. Instead, in another gross similarity, Israelis and Americans prefer to laud any ruling elites who even pretend towards mildly reformist rhetoric (rather than action) as brave peacemakers.

In fact, two have won the Nobel Peace Prize. In America, there was the untested Obama: he the king of drones and free-press-suppression – whose main qualification for the award was not being named George W. Bush. In Israel, the prize went to late Prime Minister Shimon Peres. According to Bresheeth-Zabner, Peres was the "mind behind the military-industrial complex" in Israel, and also architect of the infamous 1996 massacre of 106 people sheltering at a United Nations compound in South Lebanon. In such societies as ours and Israel's, and amidst interminable wars, too often politeness passes for principle.

Military Mirrors

Predictably, social and cultural rot – and strategic delusions – first manifest in a nation's military. Neither Israel's nor America's has a particularly impressive record of late. The IDF won a few important wars in its first 25 years of existence, then came back from a near catastrophic defeat to prevail in the 1973 Yom Kippur War; but since then, it's at best muddled through near-permanent lower-intensity conflicts after invading Southern Lebanon in 1978. In fact, its 22-year continuous counter-guerilla campaign there – against Palestinian resistance groups and then Lebanese Hezbollah – slowly bled the IDF dry in a quagmire often called " Israel's Vietnam ." It was, in fact, proportionally more deadly for its troops than America's Southeast Asian debacle – and ended (in 2000) with an embarrassing unilateral withdrawal.

Additionally, Tel Aviv's perma-military-occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip hasn't just flagrantly violated International law and several UN resolutions – but blown up in the IDF's face. Ever since vast numbers of exasperated and largely abandoned (by Arab armies) Palestinians rose up in the 1987 Intifada – initially peaceful protests – and largely due to the IDF's counterproductively vicious suppression, Israel has been trapped in endless imperial policing and low-to-mid-level counterinsurgency.

None of its major named military operations in the West Bank and/or Gaza Strip – Operations Defensive Shield (2002), Days of Penitence (2004), Summer Rains (2006), Cast Lead (2008-09), Pillar of Defense (2012), Protective Edge (2014), among others – has defeated or removed Hamas, nor have they halted the launch of inaccurate but persistent Katyusha rockets.

In fact, the wildly disproportionate toll on Palestinian civilians in each and every operation, and the intransigence of Israel's ironclad occupation has only earned Tel Aviv increased international condemnation and fresh generations of resistors to combat. The IDF counts minor tactical successes and suffers broader strategic failure. As even a fairly sympathetic Rand report on the Gaza operations noted, "Israel's grand strategy became 'mowing the grass' – accepting its inability to permanently solve the problem and instead repeatedly targeting leadership of Palestinian militant organizations to keep violence manageable."

The American experience has grown increasingly similar over the last three-quarters of a century. Unless one counts modern trumped-up Banana Wars like those in Grenada (1983) and Panama (1989), or the lopsided 100-hour First Persian Gulf ground campaign (1991), the US military, too, hasn't won a meaningful victory since 1945. Korea (1950-53) was a grinding and costly draw; Vietnam (1965-72) a quixotic quagmire; Lebanon (1982-84) an unnecessary and muddled mess ; Somalia (1992-94) a mission-creeping fiasco; Bosnia/Kosovo (1992-) an over-hyped and unsatisfying diversion. Yet matters deteriorated considerably, and the Israeli-parallels grew considerably, after Congress chose endless war on September 14, 2001.

America's longest ever war, in Afghanistan, started as a seeming slam dunk but has turned out to be an intractable operational defeat. That lost cause has been a dead war walking for over a decade. Operations Iraqi Freedom (2003-11) and Inherent Resolve (2014-) may prove, respectively, America's most counterproductive and aimless missions ever. Operation Odyssey Dawn, the 2011 air campaign in pursuit of Libyan regime change, was a debacle – the entire region still grapples with its detritus of jihadi profusion, refugee dispersion, and ongoing proxy war.

US support for the Saudi-led terror war on Yemen hasn't made an iota of strategic sense, but has left America criminally complicit in immense civilian-suffering. Despite the hype, the relatively young US Africa Command (AFRICOM) was never really "about Africans," and its dozen years worth of far-flung campaigns have only further militarized a long-suffering continent and generated more terrorists. Like Israel's post-1973 operations, America's post-2001 combat missions have simply been needless, hopeless, and counterproductive.

Consider a few other regrettable U.S.-Israeli military connections over these last two decades:

The wear and tear from the South Lebanon occupation and from decades of beating up on downtrodden and trapped Palestinians damaged Israel's vaunted military. According to an after-action review, these operations"weakened the IDF's operational capabilities." Thus, when Israel's nose was more than a bit bloodied in the 2006 war with Hezbollah, IDF analysts and retired officers were quick – and not exactly incorrect – to blame the decaying effect of endless low-intensity warfare.

At the time, two general staff members, Major Generals Yishai Bar and Yiftach Ron-Tal, "warned that as a result of the preoccupation with missions in the territories, the IDF had lost its maneuverability and capability to fight in mountainous terrain." Van Creveld added that: "Among the commanders, the great majority can barely remember when they trained for and engaged in anything more dangerous than police-type operations."

Similar voices have sounded the alarm about the post-9/11 American military. Perhaps the loudest has been my fellow West Point History faculty alum, retired Colonel Gian Gentile. This former tank battalion commander and Iraq War vet described "America's deadly embrace of counterinsurgency" as a Wrong Turn . Specifically, he's argued that "counterinsurgency has perverted [the way of] American war," pushed the "defense establishment into fanciful thinking," and thus "atrophying [its] core fighting competencies."

Instructively, Gentile cited "The Israeli Defense Forces' recent [2006] experience in Lebanon There were many reasons for its failure, but one of them, is that its army had done almost nothing but [counterinsurgency] in the Palestinian territories, and its ability to fight against a strident enemy had atrophied." Maybe more salient was Gentile's other rejoinder that, historically, "nation-building operations conducted at gunpoint don't turn out well" and tend to be as (or more) bloody and brutal as other wars.

Fast forward a decade, and B?n Tre's ghost was born again in the matter-of-fact admission of the IDF's then chief of staff, General Mordecai Gur. Asked if, during its 1978 invasion of South Lebanon, Israel had bombed civilians "without discrimination," he fired back : "Since when has the population of South Lebanon been so sacred? They know very well what the terrorists were doing. . . . I had four villages in South Lebanon bombarded without discrimination." When pressed to confirm that he believed "the civilian population should be punished," Gur's retort was "And how!" Should it surprise us then, that 33 years later the concept was rebooted to flatten presumably (though this has been contested) booby-trapped villages in my old stomping grounds of Kandahar, Afghanistan?

In sum, Israel and America are senseless strategy-simpatico. It's a demonstrably disastrous two-way relationship. Our main exports have been guns – $142.3 billion worth since 1949 (significantly more than any other recipient) – and twin umbrellas of air defense and bottomless diplomatic top-cover for Israel's abuses. As to the top-cover export, it's not for nothing that after the U.S. House rubber-stamped – by a vote of 410-8 – a 2006 resolution (written by the Israel Lobby) justifying IDF attacks on Lebanese civilians, the "maverick" Republican Patrick Buchanan labeled the legislative body as " our Knesset ."

Naturally, Tel Aviv responds in kind by shipping America a how-to-guide for societal militarization, a built-in foreign policy script to their benefit, and the unending ire of most people in the Greater Middle East. It's a timeless and treasured trade – but it benefits neither party in the long run.

"Armies With Countries"

It was once said that Frederick the Great's 18th century Prussia, was "not a country with an army, but an army with a country." Israel has long been thus. It's probably still truer of them than us. The Israelis do, after all, have an immersive system of military conscription – whereas Americans leave the fighting, killing, and dying to a microscopic and unrepresentative Praetorian Guard of professionals. Nevertheless, since 9/11 – or, more accurately, 9/14/2001 – US politics, society, and culture have wildly militarized. To say the least, the outcomes have been unsatisfying: American troops haven't "won" a significant war 75 years. Now, the US has set appearances aside once and for all and " jumped the shark " towards the gimmick of full-throated imperialism.

There are, of course, real differences in scale and substance between America and Israel. The latter is the size of Massachusetts, with the population of New York City. Its "Defense Force" requires most of its of-age population to wage its offensive wars and perennial policing of illegally occupied Palestinians. Israeli society is more plainly " prussianized ." Yet in broader and bigger – if less blatant – ways, so is the post-AUMF United States. America-the-exceptional leads the world in legalized gunrunning and overseas military basing . Rather than the globe's self-styled " Arsenal of Democracy ," the US has become little more than the arsenal of arsenals. So, given the sway of the behemoth military-industrial-complex and recent Israelification of its political culture, perhaps it's more accurate to say America is a defense industry with a country – and not the other way around.

As for 17 year-old me, I didn't think I'd signed up for the Israeli Defense Force on that sunny West Point morning of July 2, 2001. And, for the first two months and 12 days of my military career – maybe I hadn't. I sure did serve in its farcical facsimile, though: fighting its wars for an ensuing 17 more years.

Yet everyone who entered the US military after September 14, 2001 signed up for just that. Which is a true tragedy.

This originally appeared at Popular Resistance .

Danny Sjursen is a retired US Army officer and contributing editor at Antiwar.com His work has appeared in the NY Times, LA Times, The Nation, Huff Post, The Hill, Salon, Popular Resistance, and Tom Dispatch, among other publications. He served combat tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan and later taught history at his alma mater, West Point. He is the author of a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War, Ghostriders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge . His forthcoming book, Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War is now available for pre-order . Sjursen was recently selected as a 2019-20 Lannan Foundation Cultural Freedom Fellow . Follow him on Twitter @SkepticalVet . Visit his professional website for contact info, to schedule speeches or media appearances, and access to his past work.

Copyright 2020 Danny Sjursen

[Sep 18, 2020] New Documents Reveal Secret British Efforts To Arm, Assist And Propagandize 'Moderate Rebels' In Syria

Notable quotes:
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... Moon of Alabama ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... Moon of Alabama ..."
Sep 18, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

New Documents Reveal Secret British Efforts To Arm, Assist And Propagandize 'Moderate Rebels' In Syria

In November 2018 some anonymous people published a number of documents that had been liberated from a clandestine British propaganda organization, the Integrity Initiative .

The same group or person who revealed the Integrity Initiative papers has now released several dozens of documents about another 'Strategic Communication' campaign run by the British Foreign Office. The current release reveals a number of train and assist missions for 'Syrian rebels' as well as propaganda operations run in Syria and globally on behalf of the British government.

Moon of Alabama , as well as other sites , had published a series of pieces about the Integrity Initiative . There were also connections between the Integrity Initiative and the Skripal 'novichok poisoning' affair.

They newly released documents about British operations in Syria are accessible under:

All the now published documents archived in one file are available for download under:

Most of the documents are detailed company responses to several solicitations from the Foreign Office for global and local campaigns in support of the 'moderate rebels' who are fighting against the Syrian government and people.

The documents lay out large scale campaigns which have on-the-ground elements in Syria, training and arming efforts in neighboring countries, command and control elements in Jordan, Turkey and Iraq, as well as global propaganda efforts. These operations were wide spread.


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Most of the documents are from 2016 to 2019. They detail the organization of such operations and also portrait persons involved in these projects. They often refer back to previous campaigns that have been run from 2011/2012 onward. This is where the documents are probably the most interesting. They reveal what an immense effort was and is waged to fill the information space with pro-rebel/pro-Islamist propaganda.

The documents are not about the 'White Helmets' which were a separate British run Strategic Communication campaign financed by various governments. While the operations described in the new documents were coordinated with U.S. efforts they do not reference the CIA run campaigns in Syria which included similar efforts at a cost of $1 billion per year.

The various projects and the detailed commercial offers to implement them from various notorious companies are roughly described in the above two links. I will therefore refrain from repeating that here. Some of the documents' content will surely be used in future Moon of Alabama posts. But for now I will let you rummage through the stash.

Please let us know in the comments of the surprising bits that you might find.

Posted by b on September 18, 2020 at 15:51 UTC | Permalink


james , Sep 18 2020 16:22 utc | 1

thanks b... i will look at them and get back on this..
Red Ryder , Sep 18 2020 16:32 utc | 2
Documents the "war crimes industry" of the UK, and others, as expressed in Libya and Syria.

Assad has indicated he will pursue reparations from the nations that have killed 400,000 citizens, destroyed or stolen his industrial infrastructure (whole factories broken down and trucked into Turkey).

One reason why the US and UK and France want Assad dead is the tens of billions of dollars they will have to pay the Syrian people for the genocidal war waged for a decade in order to kill Assad and break Syria into pieces.

vk , Sep 18 2020 16:53 utc | 3
This confirms the UK has essentially kept the same military doctrine it adopted by necessity in 1945, which is: attach itself to the USA, focus on intelligence, punch above your weight. Ideologically, they rationalize that by attributing themselves the role of the cultured province of the USA; "Greece to the USA's Rome".

The British were always fascinated with intelligence/paramilitary forces. In their vision, it gives you (a nation) an air of sophistication, a civilizing aspect to the nation that wages this kind of warfare.

After the Suez fiasco of 1956, the UK gave up direct interventions in the Middle East. It now only intervenes there under the skirt of the USA. Of course, whenever they can, they do that with their weapon of choice, which is intelligence. So, yeah, these documents don't surprise me.

[Sep 18, 2020] Middle East Peace and Trump's New Art of the Deal by Larry Johnson - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Notable quotes:
"... He thinks the Palestinians will accept permanent helot status? Maybe so... But is that something we should relish? ..."
"... And what of Syria? What of Syria? Evidently Trump considered murdering President Assad two years ago. Is he going to abandon regime change now? is he going to abandon the policy of Pompeo and Jeffries? ..."
"... My guess is that the acceptability for Helot status of Palestinians will depend on how much worse it is compared to the status of Palestinian equivalents elsewhere. Syria and Lebanon certainly look far less attractive. ..."
"... Also, from my admittedly limited experience, Palestinians aren't exactly homogenous, Gaza =! West Bank. ..."
"... If the Israelis are smart (and I think they are), they will continue to exploit Palestinian disunity by not having one helot status but several, with privileges to repress and boss around the lesser helots (perhaps even some less desirable Israelis) awarded to the higher helots. ..."
"... The neocons have been firmly ensconced in ME policy since Reagan. At least Trump made a little bit of lemonade. Nothing earth shattering IMO but moved the ball forward 10 yds and away from own goals under the so-called experts & strategists of the past decades. ..."
"... Support for Israel and its maximalist dreams has always been bipartisan. ..."
"... The colonel has a much more realistic take on this: the intention is to co-opt the Arab states into forcing the Palestinians to accept permanent helot status. Not quite slaves but closes to it. ..."
"... There would be many ways to describe that, but I suspect "peace plan" would rank amongst the less accurate ones. ..."
"... I also remember when the Trump admin killed the Gen. Suleimani late last year the same people also touted it a national security success. This is shameful pattern. ..."
"... Just because Jared Kushner, Berkowitz (Kushner's mini-me), David Friedman and the Zionist anti-American paid shills of Christians United For Israel et.al put Israel's interest first does not make it a success for American interests abroad. Trump does not know two things about the ME. He just obeys orders from this outside 'advisors' when it comes to ME policy. ..."
"... When I read that " If you look at relatively successful integration/assimilations in history, jointly overcoming something that was threatening to both typically ranked pretty highly as a cause." I think that The Islamic Republic of Iran is what is being offered or used as that cause. ..."
"... But if the present and future Israelis believe this means that the total advantage is totally theirs to press, then present and future Palestinians will continue searching for ways to make their unhappiness felt. But that outcome would not be Trump's fault. That outcome would be the majority-likudnic Israelis' choice. ..."
"... the problem with "outside in" strategy is that implies that if conditions are bad enough for the Palestinians, they will agree to any deal Trump can force down their throats. Instead, Palestinians have been offered terrible deals since 2000 (ie., a state that is never going to be a real state with permanent Israeli control over its borders, air space, and water tables ..."
"... The smarter plan is to acknowledge that the Zionists killed the Two-State Solution, and Palestinians might as well push this into an anti-Apartheid struggle. ..."
Sep 18, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

turcopolier , 16 September 2020 at 08:52 AM

All

It is clear that the heat has gone away in the fabled "Arab Street" over the issue of Israel. If that were not so, the rulers would not have dared to do this. That being so ... It will be very interesting to see how many people from these two countries go to Israel to visit holy sites like the al-Aqsa Mosque. There have not been many religious tourists from Egypt and Jordan. This is what the Israelis call pilgrims. Trump thinks that he can bring Saudi Arabia into such a deal? Good! Let's see it. He thinks that Iran can be brought into such a deal? Wonderful! Let's see it.

He thinks the Palestinians will accept permanent helot status? Maybe so... But is that something we should relish?

And what of Syria? What of Syria? Evidently Trump considered murdering President Assad two years ago. Is he going to abandon regime change now? is he going to abandon the policy of Pompeo and Jeffries?

I suggest that security should be very tight on airline flights from Bahrein and the UAE.

eakens , 16 September 2020 at 10:03 AM

I suspect this has less to do with peace and more to do with lining up a coalition against Iran. He's signing peace deals at the white house the same day he not only threatens Iran for a make believe assassination plot against our South African Ambassador, but admits he wanted to assassinate Assad.

He's making a big mistake though if he thinks Iranians will behave and respond similarly to the Arabs, and they are certainly not North Koreans.

He's being frog marched into a war with Iran while his ego is being stroked under the guise of a Nobel peace prize.

nbsp; tjfxh , 16 September 2020 at 11:17 AM

What say about Alastair Crooke's "Maintaining Pretence Over Reality: 'Simply Put, the Iranians Outfoxed the U.S. Defence Systems'" at Strategic Culture Foundation?

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/09/14/maintaining-pretence-over-reality-simply-put-iranians-outfoxed-us-defence-systems/

A.I.S. , 16 September 2020 at 11:49 AM

@ turcopolier:

Excellent questions.

My guess is that the acceptability for Helot status of Palestinians will depend on how much worse it is compared to the status of Palestinian equivalents elsewhere. Syria and Lebanon certainly look far less attractive. The other issue is the degree with which Arab elites can "reroute" Anti Israeli into Anti Iranian sentiments on the Arab street.

Also, from my admittedly limited experience, Palestinians aren't exactly homogenous, Gaza =! West Bank.

If the Israelis are smart (and I think they are), they will continue to exploit Palestinian disunity by not having one helot status but several, with privileges to repress and boss around the lesser helots (perhaps even some less desirable Israelis) awarded to the higher helots.

I think this will be fairly hard though. Various Historical, religion and cultural issues specific to the situation make it quite hard for Arabs to actually assimilate into Israeli society. There is also a lack of a unifying foe to unite against. If you look at relatively successful integration/assimilations in history, jointly overcoming something that was threatening to both typically ranked pretty highly as a cause.

Leith , 16 September 2020 at 12:01 PM

"I suggest that security should be very tight on airline flights from Bahrein and the UAE."

Bingo! I won't be flying on Gulf Air or FlyDubai.

Jack , 16 September 2020 at 02:12 PM

The neocons have been firmly ensconced in ME policy since Reagan. At least Trump made a little bit of lemonade. Nothing earth shattering IMO but moved the ball forward 10 yds and away from own goals under the so-called experts & strategists of the past decades.

The TDS afflicted media couldn't bear that some lemonade was made. Wolf Blitzer interviewing Jared Kushner was all about pandemic nothing about the implications or process to having couple gulf sheikhs recognize Israel. The fact is that these gulf sheikhs only paid lip service to the plight of the Palestinians in any case. This formalizes what was reality. The "Arab Street" have always been a manifestation of whatever were powerful manipulations. The manipulators have been coopted in the current lemonade making. In any case Bibi must be very pleased. He didn't have to give up anything in his difficult domestic political predicament.

Jack , 16 September 2020 at 02:44 PM

https://twitter.com/partynxs/status/1306015487273377792?s=21

Support for Israel and its maximalist dreams has always been bipartisan.

Serge , 16 September 2020 at 05:18 PM

The arabs simply do not care anymore, from Morocco to Oman. Their spirit totally broken by the "Arab spring", youth disillusioned and jobless. The only dream left for most is to ape the western lifestyle. The others are fighting in wars.

I can see one of two futures, a Clean Break: Securing the Realm-style one in which all of the arabs live life as helots under the thumb of a Greater Israel. This would bring relative economic prosperity to most of the helots.

Yeah, Right , 16 September 2020 at 06:03 PM

I think I see the flaw in this article: ..."If that turns out to be the case and this maneuver succeeds in ultimately bringing about a two state solution for Israel and the Palestinians,"...

Surely you don't believe that these maneuvers are intended to bring about a Palestinian state?

The colonel has a much more realistic take on this: the intention is to co-opt the Arab states into forcing the Palestinians to accept permanent helot status. Not quite slaves but closes to it.

There would be many ways to describe that, but I suspect "peace plan" would rank amongst the less accurate ones.

Polish Janitor , 16 September 2020 at 06:14 PM

One running theme that I have been seeing from the former so-called neocon critics and ME wars opponents (Michael Scheuer comes to mind) is their uncontrollable exhilaration for any terrible so-called F.P. 'success' that the Trump admin achieves in the ME.

I also remember when the Trump admin killed the Gen. Suleimani late last year the same people also touted it a national security success. This is shameful pattern.

Just because Jared Kushner, Berkowitz (Kushner's mini-me), David Friedman and the Zionist anti-American paid shills of Christians United For Israel et.al put Israel's interest first does not make it a success for American interests abroad. Trump does not know two things about the ME. He just obeys orders from this outside 'advisors' when it comes to ME policy.

It it exactly what it is. Israel normalized relations with the most notorious dictatorships and wants to implement Pegasus spying program and wide-scale surveillance (among other nefarious things) in UAE and Bahrain. How is that a success for America? America should stay out of these Israeli-first trouble making schemes and stay neutral or out of there.

Let me tell you what a F.P. success is, OK? It would have been a huge success if America was able to lure Iran into its orbit to fend of the Chinese communists out of the region and out of our lives and have a stronger alliance with regards to its upcoming Cold War with China.

It would have been successful for America to balance China out with Iran, India, Turkey and Afghanistan, and not let China to invest billions in Haifa port (close to U.S. military forces there) a major hub of its Belt and Road initiative and a huge blow to U.S. new Cold war effort against China.

Think about it.

Allow me to raise a few points: first of all , every single one of these brutal backward Arab dictatorships has had low key but crucial relations with Israel since the Cold War and they just made it open, Big deal! Second, this joyfulness for a hostile anti-american country is quite sad for two reasons:

1. that Larry touts it as a success for America, which is anything but a success for America. It is a success for Bibi and Trump's evangelical/zionist sugar daddies to cough up some Benjamins for Trump's campaign and his GOP/Likudniks. I guess nowadays our judgement is so clouded and inverted that MAGA and MIGA are considered inseparable.

2. The delusion that dems are bitterly angry and anti-Israel (because they are anti-Trump) and therefore it automatically becomes an issue of partisan support for Trump and whatever he does. This idea is so absurd that I won't get into it. Dems were the first to congratulate Israel.

I would like Larry to tell me what he thinks of H.R. 1697 Israel Anti-Boycot Act which punishes American citizens for practicing their god-given 2nd Amendment rights. or the 3.8 billion of aid, or the the gifting of Golan heights to Bibi? Are these big foreign policy success too?

What the Arab-Israeli normalization means:

*The U.S. wants out of the ME to focus on China, a wet dream that Israel favors especially post Cold War. It does not want secular, (semi) democratic sovereign states around it, and if anyone pays attention close enough they do whatever they can to prevent any kind of political reform and change of government to occur among Arab nations. Israelis are staunch supporters of Saudi, Bahraini, UAE, Jordanian, and Egyptian dictatorships in the MENA region.

Israel will now be better positioned to roll-back any kind of grassroots reform in the ME with the help of their now openly pro-Israeli Arab rulers by directing policies to these backward rulers to divest from human development and political reform and instead invest more in security, tech, surveillance.

This trend also explains Israeli constant opposition to the Iran Deal, which would have had further ramifications for political reform and accelerated weakening of Hardliners in Tehran and a better position for America to pivot to China with the help of a moderated Iran. Israel does not want a powerful democratic nation near its borders, and especially not in Iran. Just take a look at Israel's neighbors and tell me how many of them are democratic and friendly with Israel and how does Israel behave when there are secular Arab democratic states around it?

John Merryman , 16 September 2020 at 10:17 PM

In the end, it's all just tribal superstition. Logically a spiritual absolute would be the essence of sentience, from which we rise, not an ideal of wisdom and judgement, from which we fell. The fact we are aware, than the myriad details of which we are aware.

One of the reasons we can't have a live and let live world is because everyone thinks their own vision should be universal, rather than unique. So the fundamentalists rule.

The reason nature is so diverse and dense is because it isn't a monoculture. Irrespective of our technology, we are still fairly primitive, in the grand scheme of things.

different clue , 17 September 2020 at 02:42 AM

A.I.S.,

When I read that " If you look at relatively successful integration/assimilations in history, jointly overcoming something that was threatening to both typically ranked pretty highly as a cause." I think that The Islamic Republic of Iran is what is being offered or used as that cause.

If this all ends up in the longest run leading to today's and tomorrow's Israelis accepting the lesser Israel that Rabin ended up deciding would be necessary for a lesser-but-still-real Palestine to emerge as a real country resigned with both resigned enough to that outcome that they would tolerate eachother's separate independence over the long term, then this will go somewhere good.

But if the present and future Israelis believe this means that the total advantage is totally theirs to press, then present and future Palestinians will continue searching for ways to make their unhappiness felt. But that outcome would not be Trump's fault. That outcome would be the majority-likudnic Israelis' choice.

Mathias Alexander , 17 September 2020 at 04:53 AM

To have a two state solution Israel will have to leave enough of Palestine without Jewish settlement for there to be room for another state. Their actions show that they have no intention of doing that.

Matthew , 17 September 2020 at 09:26 AM

Larry: the problem with "outside in" strategy is that implies that if conditions are bad enough for the Palestinians, they will agree to any deal Trump can force down their throats. Instead, Palestinians have been offered terrible deals since 2000 (ie., a state that is never going to be a real state with permanent Israeli control over its borders, air space, and water tables)

The smarter plan is to acknowledge that the Zionists killed the Two-State Solution, and Palestinians might as well push this into an anti-Apartheid struggle. The gerontocracy that rules the PA will soon pass away. The younger generation of Palestinians are much more sophisticated.

As a trial lawyer, I see this type of behavior all the time. If you offer someone essentially nothing, they lose nothing by rejecting it. The Arab dictators will not be around forever. And before Camp David, the Palestinians have suffered far worse than they are suffering now.

BABAK MAKKINEJAD , 17 September 2020 at 09:55 AM

Matthew:

For any kind of Peace in Palestine, Jerusalem must revert back to Muslim Sovereignty.

It is all about who calls the shots there; just as it was 800 years ago.

Artemesia , 17 September 2020 at 10:35 AM

Matthew: Your description of Trump's strategy is no different from Vladimir Jabotinsky's 1923 Iron Wall doctrine
http://www.marxists.de/middleast/ironwall/ironwall.htm
and
https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/quot-the-iron-wall-quot

In short: "We Jews know that Arabs (Palestinians) will never, ever voluntarily give up hope of resisting Jewish demands, and Jews will never stop with Jewish demands: that all of Palestine become Jewish.
Since 'voluntary' will not work, only force -- an Iron Wall -- will suffice.
Jabotinsky defines "Iron Wall" as the enforcement capacity of an outside power:

"we cannot promise anything to the Arabs of the Land of Israel or the Arab countries. Their voluntary agreement is out of the question. Hence those who hold that an agreement with the natives is an essential condition for Zionism can now say "no" and depart from Zionism. Zionist colonization, even the most restricted, must either be terminated or carried out in defiance of the will of the native population. This colonization can, therefore, continue and develop only under the protection of a force independent of the local population – an iron wall which the native population cannot break through. This is, in toto, our policy towards the Arabs. To formulate it any other way would only be hypocrisy.

Not only must this be so, it is so whether we admit it or not. What does the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate mean for us? It is the fact that a disinterested power committed itself to create such security conditions that the local population would be deterred from interfering with our efforts."

Be aware that Benjamin Netanyahu's father, Benzion, was Jabotinsky's administrative assistant, then replacement, in New York; that Bibi is very much heir to the ideological fervor of Jabotinsky & of Benzion; and that Benzion and Benjamin laid out the blueprint for the GWOT at the Jerusalem Conference July 4, 1979
https://www.amazon.com/International-Terrorism-Challenge-Benjamin-Netanyahu/dp/0878558942

Trump plays only a walk-on role in this carefully scripted 150 year old zionist drama.

turcopolier , 17 September 2020 at 10:58 AM

Babak

To "Muslim Sovereignty?" No. It should be an international city.

turcopolier , 17 September 2020 at 11:30 AM

james

"there isn't a lot of difference between KSA and these fiefdoms of uae and bahrain.." A total crock. you obviously have never been to either of these places.

BABAK MAKKINEJAD , 17 September 2020 at 11:46 AM

Col. Lang:

Who or what Legitimate Authority would administer such an International City?

None has ever existed.

Artemesia , 17 September 2020 at 12:00 PM

Jews can have Jerusalem if they return Washington, DC to full USA sovereignty.

[Sep 18, 2020] Exposing war crimes should always be legal. Committing and hiding them should not by Caitlin Johnstone

Sep 18, 2020 | www.rt.com

By Caitlin Johnstone , an independent journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Her website is here and you can follow her on Twitter @caitoz ...Amid all the pedantic squabbling over when it is and is not legal under US law for a journalist to expose evidence of US war crimes, we must never lose sight of the fact that (A) it should always be legal to expose war crimes, (B) it should always be illegal for governments to hide evidence of their war crimes, (C) war crimes should always be punished, (D) people who start criminal wars should always be punished, (E) governments should not be permitted to have a level of secrecy that allows them to start criminal wars, and (F) power and secrecy should always have an inverse relationship to one another.

The Assange case needs to be fought tooth and claw, but we must keep in mind that it is so very, very many clicks back from where we need to be as a civilization. In an ideal situation, governments should be too afraid of the public to keep secrets from them; instead, here we are begging the most powerful government in the world to please not imprison a journalist because he arguably did not break the rules that that government made for itself.

Do you see how far that point is from where we need to be?

It's important to remember this. It's important to remember that the amount of evil deeds power structures will commit is directly proportional to the amount of information they are permitted to hide from the public. We will not have a healthy world until power and secrecy have an inverse relationship to each other: privacy for rank-and-file individuals, and transparency for governments and their officials.

"But what about military secrets?" one might object. Yes, what about military secrets? What about the fact that virtually all military violence perpetrated by the world's largest power structures is initiated based on lies ? What about the utterly indisputable fact that the more secrecy we allow the war machine, the more wars it deceives the public into allowing it to initiate?

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=RT_com&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1028347374765318144&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rt.com%2Fop-ed%2F501031-caitlin-johnstone-exposing-war-crimes%2F&siteScreenName=RT_com&theme=light&widgetsVersion=219d021%3A1598982042171&width=550px

In a healthy world, the most powerful government on Earth wouldn't be trying to squint at its own laws in such a way that permits the prosecution of a journalist for telling the truth.

In a healthy world, the most powerful government on Earth wouldn't prosecute anyone for telling the truth at all.

In a healthy world, governments would prosecute their own war crimes, instead of those who expose them.

In a healthy world, governments wouldn't commit war crimes at all.

In a healthy world, governments wouldn't start wars at all.

In a healthy world, governments would see truth as something to be desired and actively sought, not something to be repressed and punished.

In a healthy world, governments wouldn't keep secrets from the public, and wouldn't have any cause to want to.

In a healthy world, if governments existed at all, they would exist solely as tools for the people to serve themselves, with full transparency and accountability to those people.

We are obviously a very, very far cry from the kind of healthy world we would all like to one day find ourselves in. But we should always keep in mind what a healthy world will look like, and hold it as our true north for the direction that we are pushing in.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

By Caitlin Johnstone , an independent journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Her website is here and you can follow her on Twitter @caitoz

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.


Reality007 3 hours ago 18 Sep, 2020 10:07 AM

Unfortunately, no criminals that have committed or covered up war crimes, decades ago to present, will ever be indicted. They are all above the law while all innocents that revealed the truths must pay highly. We can only pray and hope for the best for Julian Assange.
Fred Dozer Reality007 1 hour ago 18 Sep, 2020 12:16 PM
I see nothing wrong with robbing banks in criminal controlled countries. These governments, murder, cheat, lie, & steal.
T. Agee Kaye 2 hours ago 18 Sep, 2020 11:10 AM
The right of a people to know what their government is doing, and the potential consequences of those actions on the people, nation, and society, is inalienable. The exposure of war crimes and any corruption is not illegal and cannot be made illegal. The trial of Assange is not about the legality of Assange's actions. It is a display of the influence that criminal interests have over the government and judiciary. It is an attempt to create legitimacy by creating precedent. Murder has plenty of precedent. It will never be legitimate.
Jewel Gyn 3 hours ago 18 Sep, 2020 10:21 AM
Agreed but having said that, we are not living in a perfect world. Bully with big fists exist and the lesser countries just stood by frustrated and sucking their thumbs, silent lest they be targeted for voicing out. And you can see clearly why US is walking away from any form of organised voice eg UN.
Odinsson 2 hours ago 18 Sep, 2020 10:51 AM
What we need in the case of Julian Assange is factual reporting. While the motivation to prosecute Assange is most likely political, there would be no ability to prosecute him were it not for his active support of PFC Manning's hacking of a DOD information system. It is not unlawful to publish classified information which was provided to you, so long as you are not involved in the criminal acts leading to the exfiltration of the data. Had Assange not aided PFC Manning by looking up hash codes in spreadsheets of known password to hash code translations then the grand jury would not have indicted him. FWIW, it is my opinion that the statute of limitations expired long ago and this should be grounds for dismissal of all charges against him.
jholf 1 hour ago 18 Sep, 2020 12:04 PM
These world leaders, claim to be Christians, ... their God 'commands', "Thou shalt not kill." Yet, for more than 6 decades, that is exactly what each of these Christian Commanders in Chief, have done for no reason, other than to fill the pockets of the elite. A man is known by his deeds, Assange gave us truth, while these world leaders gave us war and destructi

[Sep 17, 2020] Military desperados and Mattis "military messiah syndrome" by Scott Ritter

Highly recommended!
I always assumed that Trump was the candidate of MIC in 2016 elections, while Hillary was the candidate of "Intelligence community." But it looks like US military is infected with desperados like Mattis and Trump was unable fully please them despite all his efforts.
But it looks like US military is infected with desperados like Mattis and Trump was unable fully please them despite all his efforts. Military desperados are not interested in how many American they deprived of decent standard of living due to outside military expenses. All they want is to dominate the word and maintain the "Full Spectrum Dominance" whatever it costs.
Sep 16, 2020 | www.rt.com

... ... ...

It is Trump's tortured relationship with the military that stands out the most, especially as told through the eyes of former Secretary of Defense Jim 'Mad Dog' Mattis, a retired marine general. It is clear that Bob Woodward spent hours speaking with Mattis -- the insights, emotions and internal voice captured in the book show a level of intimacy that could only be reached through in-depth interviews, and Woodward has a well-earned reputation for getting people to speak to him.

The book makes it clear that Mattis viewed Trump as a threat to the US' standing as the defender of a rules-based order -- built on the back of decades-old alliances -- that had been in place since the end of the Second World War.

It also makes it clear that Mattis and the military officers he oversaw placed defending this order above implementing the will of the American people, as expressed through the free and fair election that elevated Donald Trump to the position of commander-in-chief. In short, Mattis and his coterie of generals knew best, and when the president dared issue an order or instruction that conflicted with their vision of how the world should work, they would do their best to undermine this order, all the while confirming to the president that it was being followed.

This trend was on display in Woodward's telling of Trump's efforts to forge better relations with North Korea. At every turn, Mattis and his military commanders sought to isolate the president from the reality on the ground, briefing him only on what they thought he needed to know, and keeping him in the dark about what was really going on.

In a telling passage, Woodward takes us into the mind of Jim Mattis as he contemplates the horrors of a nuclear war with North Korea, and the responsibility he believed he shouldered when it came to making the hard decision as to whether nuclear weapons should be used or not. Constitutionally, the decision was the president's alone to make, something Mattis begrudgingly acknowledges. But in Mattis' world, he, as secretary of defense, would be the one who influenced that decision.

Mattis, along with the other general officers described by Woodward, is clearly gripped with what can only be described as the 'Military Messiah Syndrome'.

What defines this 'syndrome' is perhaps best captured in the words of Emma Sky, the female peace activist-turned adviser to General Ray Odierno, the one-time commander of US forces in Iraq. In a frank give-and-take captured by Ms. Sky in her book 'The Unravelling', Odierno spoke of the value he placed on the military's willingness to defend "freedom" anywhere in the world. " There is, " he said, " no one who understands more the importance of liberty and freedom in all its forms than those who travel the world to defend it ."

Ms. Sky responded in typically direct fashion: " One day, I will have you admit that the [Iraq] war was a bad idea, that the administration was led by a radical neocon program, that the US's standing in the world has gone down greatly, and that we are far less safe than we were before 9/11. "

Odierno would have nothing of it. " It will never happen while I'm the commander of soldiers in Iraq ."

" To lead soldiers in battle ," Ms. Sky noted, " a commander had to believe in the cause. " Left unsaid was the obvious: even if the cause was morally and intellectually unsound.

his, more than anything, is the most dangerous thing about the 'Military Messiah Syndrome' as captured by Bob Woodward -- the fact that the military is trapped in an inherited reality divorced from the present, driven by precepts which have nothing to with what is, but rather by what the military commanders believe should be. The unyielding notion that the US military is a force for good becomes little more than meaningless drivel when juxtaposed with the reality that the mission being executed is inherently wrong.

The 'Military Messiah Syndrome' lends itself to dishonesty and, worse, to self-delusion. It is one thing to lie; it is another altogether to believe the lie as truth.

No single general had the courage to tell Trump allegations against Syria were a hoax

The cruise missile attack on Syria in early April 2017 stands out as a case in point. The attack was ordered in response to allegations that Syria had dropped a bomb containing the sarin nerve agent on a town -- Khan Shaykhun -- that was controlled by Al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic militants.

Trump was led to believe that the 59 cruise missiles launched against Shayrat Airbase -- where the Su-22 aircraft alleged to have dropped the bombs were based -- destroyed Syria's capability to carry out a similar attack in the future. When shown post-strike imagery in which the runways were clearly untouched, Trump was outraged, lashing out at Secretary of Defense Mattis in a conference call. " I can't believe you didn't destroy the runway !", Woodward reports the president shouting.

" Mr. President ," Mattis responds in the text, " they would rebuild the runway in 24 hours, and it would have little effect on their ability to deploy weapons. We destroyed the capability to deploy weapons " for months, Mattis said.

" That was the mission the president had approved, " Woodward writes, clearly channeling Mattis, " and they had succeeded ."

The problem with this passage is that it is a lie. There is no doubt that Bob Woodward has the audio tape of Jim Mattis saying these things. But none of it is true. Mattis knew it when he spoke to Woodward, and Woodward knew it when he wrote the book.

There was no confirmed use of chemical weapons by Syria at Khan Shaykhun. Indeed, the forensic evidence available about the attack points to the incident being a false flag effort -- a successful one, it turns out -- on the part of the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamists to provoke a US military strike against Syria. No targets related to either the production, storage or handling of chemical weapons were hit by the US cruise missiles, if for no other reason than no such targets could exist if Syria did not possess and/or use a chemical weapon against Khan Shaykhun.

Moreover, the US failed to produce a narrative of causality which provided some underlying logic to the targets that were struck at Khan Shaykhun -- "Here is where the chemical weapons were stored, here is where the chemical weapons were filled, here is where the chemical weapons were loaded onto the aircraft." Instead, 59 cruise missiles struck empty aircraft hangars, destroying derelict aircraft, and killing at least four Syrian soldiers and up to nine civilians.

The next morning, the same Su-22 aircraft that were alleged to have bombed Khan Shaykhun were once again taking off from Shayrat Air Base -- less than 24 hours after the US cruise missiles struck that facility. President Trump had every reason to be outraged by the results.

But the President should have been outraged by the processes behind the attack, where military commanders, fully afflicted by 'Military Messiah Syndrome', offered up solutions that solved nothing for problems that did not exist. Not a single general (or admiral) had the courage to tell the president that the allegations against Syria were a hoax, and that a military response was not only not needed, but would be singularly counterproductive.

But that's not how generals and admirals -- or colonels and lieutenant colonels -- are wired. That kind of introspective honesty cannot happen while they are in command.

Bob Woodward knows this truth, but he chose not to give it a voice in his book, because to do so would disrupt the pre-scripted narrative that he had constructed, around which he bent and twisted the words of those he interviewed -- including the president and Jim Mattis. As such, 'Rage' is, in effect, a lie built on a lie. It is one thing for politicians and those in power to manipulate the truth to their advantage. It's something altogether different for journalists to report something as true that they know to be a lie.

On the back cover of 'Rage', the Pulitzer prize-winning historian Robert Caro is quoted from a speech he gave about Bob Woodward. " Bob Woodward ," Caro notes, " a great reporter. What is a great reporter? Someone who never stops trying to get as close to the truth as possible ."

After reading 'Rage', one cannot help but conclude the opposite -- that Bob Woodward has written a volume which pointedly ignores the truth. Instead, he gives voice to a lie of his own construct, predicated on the flawed accounts of sources inflicted with 'Military Messiah Syndrome', whose words embrace a fantasy world populated by military members fulfilling missions far removed from the common good of their fellow citizens -- and often at conflict with the stated intent and instruction of the civilian leadership they ostensibly serve. In doing so, Woodward is as complicit as the generals and former generals he quotes in misleading the American public about issues of fundamental importance.

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Scott Ritter

is a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer and author of ' SCORPION KING : America's Suicidal Embrace of Nuclear Weapons from FDR to Trump.' He served in the Soviet Union as an inspector implementing the INF Treaty, in General Schwarzkopf’s staff during the Gulf War, and from 1991-1998 as a UN weapons inspector. Follow him on Twitter @RealScottRitter

See also:

Whose side are generals on? As Joint Chiefs chairman APOLOGIZES for standing by Trump, Biden confident of military support The military is trapped in an inherited reality divorced from the present

Caitlin Johnstone: Tens of millions of people displaced by the 'War On Terror', the greatest scam ever invented Misleading the American public


Jewel Gyn 21 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 12:23 AM

Whichever construct you want to believe, the fact remains that US has continued to sow instability around the world in the name of defending the liberty and freedom. Which brings to the question how the world can continue to allow a superpower to dictate what's good or bad for a sovereign country.
Johan le Roux Jewel Gyn 18 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 03:42 AM
The answer you seek is not in the US's proclaimed vision of 'democracy' ot 'rescuing populations from the clutches of vile dictators.' They just say that to validate their actions which in reality is using their military as a mercenary force to secure and steal the resources of countries.
Joaquin Montano 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 04:57 PM
Bob Woodward was enshrined as a great, heroic like journalist by the Hollywood propaganda machine, but reality is he is a US Security agent pretending to be a well informed/connected journalist. And indeed, he is well informed/connected, since he was a Naval intelligence man, part responsible of the demise of the Nixon administration when it fell out of grace with the powerful elites, and the Washington Post being well connected with the CIA, the rest is history. And as they say, once a CIA man, always a CIA man.
DukeLeo Joaquin Montano 22 hours ago 16 Sep, 2020 11:36 PM
That is correct. Woodward is a Naval intelligence man. The elite in the US was not happy about Nixon's foreign policy and his detante with the Soviet Union. Watergate was invented, and Nixon had nothing to do with it. However, it brought him down, thank's to Woodward.
NoJustice Joaquin Montano 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:48 PM
But he also exposed Trump's lies about Covid-19.
lectrodectus 17 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 04:45 AM
Another first class article by ....Scott .. The book makes it clear that Mattis viewed Trump as a threat to the Us' standing as the defender of a " rules -based order -built on the back of decades -old alliances-that had been in place since the end of the second World War". It also makes it clear that " Mattis and the Military officials he oversaw placed defending this order above the implementing the will of the American People " These old Military Dinosaurs simply can't let go of the past, unfortunately for the American people / the World I can't see anything ever changing, it will be business as usual ie, war after War after War.
Jonny247364 lectrodectus 5 minutes ago 17 Sep, 2020 09:53 PM
Just because donny signs a dictact it does not equate to the will of the americian people. The americian people did not ask donny to murder Assad.
neeon9 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:56 PM
"a threat to the US’ standing as the defender of a rules-based order –" Who made that a thing? who voted for the US to be the policeman of the planet? and who said their "rules" are right? I sure didn't, nor did anyone I know, even my american friends don't know whose idea it was!
fezzie035fezzm 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:29 PM
It's interesting to note that every president since J.F.K. has got America into a military conflict, or has turned a minor conflict into a major one. Trump is the exception. Trump inherited conflicts (Afghanistan, Syria etc) but has not started a new one, and he has spent his three years ending or winding down the conflicts he had inherited.
NoJustice fezzie035fezzm 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:34 PM
Trump increased military deployment to the Middle East. He increased military spending. He had a foreign general assassinated. He had missiles fired into Syria. He vetoed a bill that would limit his authority to wage war. Trump is not an exception.
T. Agee Kaye 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 05:59 PM
Good op ed. 'Rage is built on a lie' applies to many things.
E_Kaos T. Agee Kaye 7 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 02:46 PM
True, the beginning of a new narrative and the continuation of an old narrative.
PYCb988 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 07:25 PM
Something's amiss here. Mattis was openly telling the press that there was no evidence against Assad. Just Google: Mattis Newsweek Assad.
erniedouglas 12 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 09:14 AM
What was Watergate? Even bet says there were tapes of a private relationship between Nixon and BB Rebozo.
allan Kaplan 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:03 PM
Continuation of a highly organized and tightly controlled disinformation campaign to do one singularly the most significant and historically one of the most illegal act of American betrayal... overthrow American elections at any and all costs to install one of the most deranged, demoralized sold out brain dead Biden and his equally brown nosing Harris only to unseat a legally and democratically elected US president according to our Constitution! Will their evil acts against America work? I doubt it! But at a price that America has never before seen. Let's sit back and watch this Rose Bowl parade of America's dirtiest of the dirty politics!
E_Kaos allan Kaplan 7 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 02:49 PM
"brown nosing harris", how apropos with the play on words.
Bill Spence allan Kaplan 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:29 PM
Both parties and their politicians are totally corrupt. Why would anyone support one side over the other? Is that because you believe the promises and lies?
custos125 17 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 04:35 AM
Is there any evidence that both Mattis and Woodward knew that the allegations of a Syrian use of chemical weapons by plane were not true, a false flag? On the assumption of this use, the capacity to fly such attack and deploy such weapons was destroyed for some time. I recommend reading of Rage, it is quite interesting, even if some people will not like it and try to keep people away from the book.
E_Kaos custos125 7 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 02:58 PM
My observations were: 1 - where were the bomb fragments 2 - why use rusted gas cylinders 3 - how do you attach a rusted gas cylinder to a plane 4 - were the rusted gas cylinders tossed out of a plane 5 - how did the rusted gas cylinders land so close to each other My conclusion - False Flag Incident
neeon9 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:58 PM
The is only one threat to peace in the world, and it's the US/Israeli M.I.C.. War mongering children, who actually believe, against all reason, that they are the most worthy and entitled race on earth! they are not. The US has been responsible for more misery in the world than any other state, which isn't surprising given how many Nazi's were resettled there by the Jews. They are also the only Ppl on the planet who think a nuclear war is winnable! How strange is that!
NoJustice 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:22 PM
So everything is a lie because Woodward didn't mention that there was no evidence found that linked the Syrian government to the chemical attack?
Strongbo50 6 minutes ago 17 Sep, 2020 09:58 PM
The left is firing up the Russian Interference narrative again, how Russia is trying to take the election. The real truth is in plain sight, The main stream media is trying to deliver Biden a win, along with google yahoo msn facebook and twitter. I say, come on Russia, if you can help stem that tide of lies please Mr Putin help. That's a joke but the media is real. And Woodward in his old age wants one more trophy on his mantle.
CuttySark 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 05:41 PM
Trump has become the great white whale. Seems like there are Ahab's everywhere willing to shoot their hearts upon the beast to bring it down whatever the cost. I think it was this kind of rage and attitude that got Adolf off to a good start.
NoJustice CuttySark 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 05:44 PM
He's an easy target because he keeps screwing up.
Gryphon_ 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:59 PM
The Washington Post is owned by Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon. Never in my life have I seen a newspaper that lies as much as the post. Bob Woodward works for the post.

[Sep 17, 2020] Why the Blob Needs an Enemy by ARTA MOEINI

Highly recommended!
Crisis of neoliberal undermines the USA supremacy and the US elite hangs by the stras to the Full Specturm Domionanc edoctrine, whih it now can't enforce and which is financially unsustainable for the USA.
Collapse of neoliberalism means the end of the USA supremacy and the whole political existence on the USA was banked on this single card.
Notable quotes:
"... In America, this unfortunate status quo in support of primacy persists even in the Trumpian Age and within debates around the eccentric and unconventional presidency of Donald Trump. In fact, despite all the talk of political polarization in the United States, it appears that when it comes to naming new threats and enemies to "contain," "deter," and deem "existential," bipartisan consensus is found swiftly and quite readily. ..."
"... In a recent speech delivered in Europe, the U.S. defense secretary and former corporate lobbyist for Raytheon, Mark Esper, unified these two faces of the Janus that embodies the North Atlantic foreign policy establishment. Esper referred to both China and Russia as disruptive forces working to unravel the international order, which "we have created together," and called on the international community to preserve that order by countering both powers. As it stands, we are on the path to a series of cold wars throughout this century, if not a hot conflict between rival great powers that could spiral into World War III. Despite increased calls for realism and restraint in foreign policy, primacy is alive and well. ..."
"... There is, however, a more significant psychosociological reason for the blob's remarkable persistence. When it comes to foreign policy, Western policymakers today suffer from a Manichean worldview, a caustic mindset crystalized during a decades-running Cold War with the Soviet Union. ..."
"... Frozen in this Cold War mindset, the Atlanticist blob has internalized the bipolar moment that followed the Second World War, treating it as a permanent fixture and the normal state of the international system. In fact, the bipolar and unipolar periods we have undergone over the past 75 years are nothing but aberrations and historical anomalies. In truth, the reality of the international system tends toward multi-polarity -- and at long last it appears that the system is self-correcting. The North Atlantic establishment came of age during that time of exception, forming its (liberal) identity through the process of "alterity" and in a nemetic opposition to communism. ..."
"... Not surprisingly then, the North Atlantic elites continue to seek adversaries to demonize and "monsters to destroy" in order to justify their moral universalism and presumed ideological superiority, doing so under the garb of a totalizing and absolutist idea of exceptionalism. ..."
Sep 09, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The international order is no longer bipolar, despite the elites' insistence otherwise. Fortunately there is hope for change.

Despite its many failings and high human, social, and economic costs, American foreign policy since the end of the Second World War has shown a remarkable degree of continuity and inflexibility. This rather curious phenomenon is not limited to America alone. The North Atlantic foreign policy establishment from Washington D.C. to London, which some have aptly dubbed the "blob," has doggedly championed the grand strategic framework of "primacy" and armed hegemony, often coated with more docile language such as "global leadership," "American indispensability," and "strengthening the Western alliance."

In America, this unfortunate status quo in support of primacy persists even in the Trumpian Age and within debates around the eccentric and unconventional presidency of Donald Trump. In fact, despite all the talk of political polarization in the United States, it appears that when it comes to naming new threats and enemies to "contain," "deter," and deem "existential," bipartisan consensus is found swiftly and quite readily.

On the Left, and in the wake of President Trump's election, the Democratic establishment began fixating its wrath on Russia–adopting a confrontational stance toward Moscow and fueling fears of a renewed Cold War. On the Right, the realigning GOP has increasingly, if at times inconsistently, singled out China as the greatest threat to U.S. national security, a hostile attitude further exacerbated in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Alarmingly, Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, has recently joined the hawkish bandwagon toward China, even attempting to outflank Trump on this issue and attacking the president's China policy as too weak and accommodating of China's rise.

In a recent speech delivered in Europe, the U.S. defense secretary and former corporate lobbyist for Raytheon, Mark Esper, unified these two faces of the Janus that embodies the North Atlantic foreign policy establishment. Esper referred to both China and Russia as disruptive forces working to unravel the international order, which "we have created together," and called on the international community to preserve that order by countering both powers. As it stands, we are on the path to a series of cold wars throughout this century, if not a hot conflict between rival great powers that could spiral into World War III. Despite increased calls for realism and restraint in foreign policy, primacy is alive and well.

Indeed, the dominant tendency among many foreign policy observers is to overprivilege the threat of rising superpowers and to insist on strong containment measures to limit the spheres of influence of the so-called revisionist powers. Such an approach, coupled with the prospect of ascendant powers actively resisting and confronting the United States as the ruling global hegemon, has one eminent International Relations scholar warning of the Thucydides Trap.

There are others, however, who insist that the structural shifts undermining the liberal international order mark the end of U.S. hegemony and its "unipolar moment." In realist terms, what Secretary Esper really means to protect, they would argue, is a conception of "rules-based" global order that was a structural by-product of the Second World War and the ensuing Cold War and whose very rules and institutions were underwritten by U.S. hegemony. This would be an exercise in folly -- not corresponding to the reality of systemic change and the return of great power competition and civilizational contestation.

What's more, the sanctimony of this "liberal" hegemonic order and the logic of democratic peace were both presumably vindicated by the collapse of the Soviet Union and its totalitarian system, a black swan event that for many had heralded the "end of history" and promised the advent of the American century. A great deal of lives, capital, resources, and goodwill were sacrificed by America and her allies toward that crusade for liberty and universality, which was only the most recent iteration of a radically utopian element in American political thought going back to Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine. Alas, as it had eluded earlier generations of idealists, that century never truly arrived, and neither did the empire of liberty and prosperity that it loftily aimed to establish.

Today, the emerging reality of a multipolar world and alternate worldviews championed by the different cultural blocs led by China and Russia appears to have finally burst the bubble of American Triumphalism, proving that the ideas behind it are "not simply obsolete but absurd." This failure should have been expected since the very project the idealists had espoused was built on a pathological "savior complex" and a false truism that reflected the West's own absolutist and distorted sense of ideological and moral superiority. Samuel Huntington might have been right all along to cast doubt on the long-term salience of using ideology and doctrinal universalism as the dividing principle for international relations. His call to focus, instead, on civilizational distinction, the permanent power of culture on human action, and the need to find common ground rings especially true today. Indeed, fostering a spirit of coexistence and open dialogue among the world's great civilizational complexes is a fundamental tenet of a cultural realism.

And yet, despite such permanent shifts in the global order away from universalist dichotomies and global hegemony and toward culturalism and multi-polarity, there exists a profound disjunction between the structural realities of the international system and the often business-as-usual attitude of the North Atlantic foreign policy elites. How could one explain the astonishing levels of rigidity and continuity on the part of the "blob" and the military-industrial-congressional complex regularly pushing for more adventurism and interventionism abroad? Why would the bipartisan primacist establishment, which their allies in the mainstream media endeavor still to mask, justify such illiberal acts of aggression and attempts at empire by weaponizing the moralistic language of human rights, individual liberty, and democracy in a world increasingly awakened to arbitrary ideological framing?

There are, of course, systemic reasons behind the power and perpetuation of the blob and the endurance of primacy. The vast economic incentives of war and its instruments, institutional routinization and intransigence, stupefaction and groupthink of government bureaucracy, and the significant influence of lobbying efforts by foreign governments and other vested interest groups could each partly explain the remarkable continuity of the North Atlantic foreign policy establishment. The endless stream of funding from the defense industry, neoliberal and neoconservative foundations, as well as the government itself keeps the "blob" alive, while the general penchant for bipartisanship around preserving the status quo allows it to thrive. What is more, elite schools produce highly analytic yet narrowly focused and conventional minds that are tamed to be agreeable so as to not undermine elite consensus. This conveyor belt feeds the "blob," supplying it with the army of specialists, experts, and wonks it requires to function as a mind melding hive, while in practice safeguarding employment for the career bureaucrats for decades to come.

There is, however, a more significant psychosociological reason for the blob's remarkable persistence. When it comes to foreign policy, Western policymakers today suffer from a Manichean worldview, a caustic mindset crystalized during a decades-running Cold War with the Soviet Union. The world might have changed fundamentally with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the bipolar structure of the international system might have ended irreversibly, but the personnel -- the Baby Boomer Generation elites conducting foreign policy in the North Atlantic -- did not leave office or retire with the collapse of the USSR. They largely remain in power to this day.

Every generation is forged through a formative crisis, its experiences seen through the prism that all-encompassing ordeal. For the incumbent elites, that generational crisis was the Cold War and the omnipresent threat of nuclear annihilation. The dualistic paradigm of the international system during the U.S.-Soviet rivalry bred an entire generation to see the world through a black-and-white binary. It should come as no surprise that this era elevated the idealist strain of thought and the crusading, neo-Jacobin impulse of U.S. foreign policy (personified by Thomas Jefferson and Woodrow Wilson) to new, ever-expanding heights. Idealism prizes a nemesis and thus revels in a bipolar order.

Frozen in this Cold War mindset, the Atlanticist blob has internalized the bipolar moment that followed the Second World War, treating it as a permanent fixture and the normal state of the international system. In fact, the bipolar and unipolar periods we have undergone over the past 75 years are nothing but aberrations and historical anomalies. In truth, the reality of the international system tends toward multi-polarity -- and at long last it appears that the system is self-correcting. The North Atlantic establishment came of age during that time of exception, forming its (liberal) identity through the process of "alterity" and in a nemetic opposition to communism.

Not surprisingly then, the North Atlantic elites continue to seek adversaries to demonize and "monsters to destroy" in order to justify their moral universalism and presumed ideological superiority, doing so under the garb of a totalizing and absolutist idea of exceptionalism. After all, a nemetic zeitgeist during which ideology reigned supreme and realism was routinely discounted was tailor-made for dogmatic absolutism and moral universalism. In such a zero-sum strategic environment, it was only natural to demand totality and frame the ongoing geopolitical struggle in terms of an existential opposition over Good and Evil that would quite literally split the world in two.

Today, that same kind of Manichean thinking continues to handicap paradigmatic change in foreign policy. A false consciousness, it underpins and promotes belief in the double myths of indispensability and absolute exceptionality, suggesting that the North Atlantic bloc holds a certain monopoly on all that is good and true. It is not by chance that such pathological renderings of "exceptionalism" and "leadership" have been wielded as convenient rationale and intellectual placeholders for the ideology of empire across the North Atlantic. This sense of ingrained moral self-righteousness, coupled with an attitude that celebrates activism, utopianism, and interventionism in foreign policy, has created and reinforced a culture of strategic overextension and imperial overreach.

It is this very culture -- personified and dominated by the Baby Boomers and the blob they birthed -- that has made hawkishness ubiquitous, avoids any real reckoning as to the limits of power, and habitually belittles calls for restraint and moderation as isolationism. In truth, however, what has been the exceptional part in the delusion of absolute exceptionalism is Pax Americana, liberal hegemony, and the hubris that animates them having gone uncontested and unchecked for so long. That confrontation could begin in earnest by directly challenging the Boomer blob itself -- and by propagating a counter-elite offering a starkly different worldview.

Achieving such a genuine paradigm shift demands a generational sea-change, to retire the old blob and make a better one in its place. It is about time for the old establishment to forgo its reign, allowing a new younger cohort from among the Millennial and post-Millennial generations to advance into leadership roles. The Millennials, especially, are now the largest generation of eligible voters (overtaking the Baby Boomers) as well as the first generation not habituated by the Cold War; in fact, many of them grew up during the "unipolar moment" of American hegemony. Hence, their generational identity is not built around a dualistic alterity. Free from obsessive fixation on ideological supremacy, most among them reject total global dominance as both unattainable and undesirable.

Instead, their worldview is shaped by an entirely different set of experiences and disappointments. Their generational crisis was brought on by a series of catastrophic interventions and endless wars around the world -- chief among them the debacles in Afghanistan and Iraq and the toppling of Libya's Gaddafi -- punctuated by repeated onslaughts of financial recessions and domestic strife. The atmosphere of uncertainty, instability, and general chaos has bred discontent, turning many Millennials into pragmatic realists who are disenchanted with the system, critical of the pontificating establishment, and naturally skeptical of lofty ideals and utopian doctrines.

In short, this is not an absolutist and complacent generation of idealists, but one steeped in realism and a certain perspectivism that has internalized the inherent relativity of both power and truth. Most witnessed the dangers of overreach, hubris, and a moralized foreign policy, so they are actively self-reflective, circumspect, and restrained. As a generation, they appear to be less the moralist and the global activist and more prudent, level-headed, and temperamentally conservative -- developing a keen appreciation for realpolitik, sovereignty, and national interest. Their preference for a non-ideological approach in foreign policy suggests that once in power, they will be less antagonistic and more tolerant of rival powers and accepting of pluralism in the international system. That openness to civilizational distinction and global cultural pluralism also implies that future Millennial statesmen will subscribe to a more humble, less grandiose, and narrower definition of interest that focuses on securing core objectives -- i.e., preserving national security and recognizing spheres of influence.

Reforming and rehabilitating the U.S. foreign policy establishment will require more than policy prescriptions and comprehensive reports: it needs generational change. To transform and finally "rein in" North Atlantic foreign policy, our task today must be to facilitate and expedite this shift. Once that occurs, the incoming Millennials should be better positioned to discard the deep-seated and routinized ideology of empire, supplanting it with a greater emphasis on partnership that is driven by mutual interests and a general commitment to sharing the globe with the world's other great cultures.

This new approach calls for America to lead by the power of its example, exhibiting the benefits of liberty and a constitutional republic at home, without forcibly imposing those values abroad. Such an outlook means abandoning the coercive regime change agendas and the corrosive projects of nation-building and democracy promotion. In this new multipolar world, America would be an able, dynamic, and equal participant in ensuring sustainable peace side-by-side the world's other great powers, acting as "a normal country in a normal time." Reflecting the spirit of republican governance authentically is far more pertinent now and salutary for the future of the North Atlantic peoples than is promulgating the utopian image of a shining city on a hill.

Arta Moeini is research director at the Institute for Peace and Diplomacy and a postdoc fellow at the Center for the Study of Statesmanship. Dr. Moeini's latest project advances a theory of cultural realism as a cornerstone to a new understanding of foreign policy.

The Institute for Peace and Diplomacy will be co-sponsoring "The Future of Grand Strategy in the Post-COVID World," with TAC, tonight at 6 p.m. ET. Register for free here .

[Sep 16, 2020] Fake News About Iran, Russia, China Is U.S. Journalism's Daily Bread

Notable quotes:
"... But CNN has and will continue to repeat the allegations as fact, so it's mission accomplished for the deep state. As another poster said on this board about manufacturing consent: "It is important to discuss the story, not its credibility, the more the discussion, the more the reaction and the more it reinforces the narrative." ..."
"... In the 1920s (or 30s), far-rightist Karl Popper coined the concept of systematic manipulation of "public opinion". This would become a hallmark of Western Civilization in the post-war. The public opinion theory states that the masses don't have an opinion for themselves or, if they have, it is sculpting/flexible. The dominant classes can, therefore, guide the masses like a shepherd, to its will. ..."
"... It is an insult to the noble profession, to call what the mainstream media in the west, especially in the USA do, journalism. In my opinion what they do is propaganda and stenography on behalf of those who are in power. I am not sure who coined the term but "presstitution" is not a bad attempt at describing their profession. ..."
"... While the western corporate media lie on a continuous basis - and that has the predictable effect - what is more insidious is not these acts of commissions ( meaning lies), but their acts of omission (meaning excluding or deemphasizing important contextual information) leading people to make the wrong conclusions. NPR in the US is an excellent example of such presstitution. ..."
"... Why are the US promoting conflict with China, with Russia? Why are they beating Europe, maybe with the intention to destroy it? Why is a new civil war in the US promoted? ..."
"... Normal (geopolitically interested) people would think: against China it is better to come together and unite, at least US & Europe, but eventually Russia included. For instance take the population of these three together: far less than China's. ..."
"... Journalism in the US is so superficial, it is a drop above the uppermost wavy comb. Not worth to pay attention to it. ..."
"... Other than few independent blog site such as this, every media outlet is in the service of its home government or foreign sponsors. Only born-suckers take the corporate media at face value. Modern journalism is nothing but an aggressive propaganda racket. ..."
"... Using lies (bearing false witness) to cause murder and theft are not exactly a new phenomenon. These 'groups of individuals', which are employing these fabricated deceptions, are doing nothing less than trying to commit murder and theft. ..."
"... Everything that was accomplished (albeit incompletely or moderately) through the New Deal and then the abortive Great Society absolutely spooked the oligarchy. Lifting much of the working class out of absolute wage slavery to the point where the next rung on Maslow's ladder was at least visible. And when it all culminated in the late 60's and early 70's with the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, the Surface Mining act, and various labor protection measures, the wealthy owner class decided the proles had gained too much power to influence "their" captive government. ..."
"... What differs, however, is the presentation. Trump is criticized (not praised) for being allegedly soft on Russia and Biden criticized for being allegedly soft on China. This clever trick ensures that just about everybody is onboard the bash-China-and-Russia train. ..."
"... In a violently polarized society, with red-blue antagonism reaching ridiculous heights, people tend to act exclusively in contradiction to the cult figure they hate so much. ..."
"... I've been saying for years here to watch the documentary - Century of the Self. If you want to learn about and understand America, its all here. Government, Corporations, Consumerism, Militarism, Deep State, Psychology, Individual selfishness and mental illness. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJ3RzGoQC4s ..."
Sep 16, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Every few days U.S. 'intelligence' and 'officials' produce fake claims about this or that 'hostile' country. U.S. media continue to reproduce those claims even if they bare any logic and do not make any sense.

On June 27 the New York Times and the Washington Post published fake news about alleged Russian payments to the Taliban for killing U.S. troops.

The stories ran on the outlets' front pages.

Two week later the story was shown to have no basis :

[T]hat the story was obviously bullshit did not prevent Democrats in Congress, including 'Russiagate' swindler Adam Schiff, to bluster about it and to call for immediate briefings and new sanctions on Russia .

Just a day after it was published the main accusation, that Trump was briefed on the 'intelligence' died. The Director of National Intelligence, the National Security Advisor and the CIA publicly rejected the claim. Then the rest of the story started to crumble. On June 2, just one week after it was launched, the story was declared dead .
...
The NYT buried the above quoted dead corpse of the original story page A-19.

Despite that the Democrats continued to use the fake story for attacks on Donald Trump.

Yesterday the commander of the U.S. forces in the Middle East drove a stake though the heart of the dead corpse of the original story:

Two months after top Pentagon officials vowed to get to the bottom of whether the Russian government bribed the Taliban to kill American service members , the commander of troops in the region says a detailed review of all available intelligence has not been able to corroborate the existence of such a program.

"It just has not been proved to a level of certainty that satisfies me," Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander of the U.S. Central Command, told NBC News. McKenzie oversees U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

But as one fake news zombie finally dies others get resurrected. Politico's 'intelligence' stenographer Natasha Bertrand produced this nonsensical claim :

The Iranian government is weighing an assassination attempt against the American ambassador to South Africa, U.S. intelligence reports say, according to a U.S. government official familiar with the issue and another official who has seen the intelligence.

News of the plot comes as Iran continues to seek ways to retaliate for President Donald Trump's decision to kill a powerful Iranian general earlier this year, the officials said. If carried out, it could dramatically ratchet up already serious tensions between the U.S. and Iran and create enormous pressure on Trump to strike back -- possibly in the middle of a tense election season.

U.S. officials have been aware of a general threat against the ambassador, Lana Marks, since the spring, the officials said. But the intelligence about the threat to the ambassador has become more specific in recent weeks. The Iranian Embassy in Pretoria is involved in the plot, the U.S. government official said.

Ambassador Lana Marks is known for selling overpriced handbags and for her donations to Trump's campaign. To Iran she has zero political or symbolic value. There is no way Iran would ever think about an attack on such a target. Accordingly the South African intelligence services do not believe that there is such a threat:

South African Minister of State Security Ayanda Dlodlo said the matter was "receiving the necessary attention" and that the State Security Agency (SSA) was "interacting with all relevant partners both in the country and abroad, to ensure that no harm will be suffered by the US Ambassador, including any other Diplomatic Officials inside the borders of our country."

However, an informed intelligence source told Daily Maverick that although the "matter has been taken seriously as we approach all such threats, specifically, there appears to be, from our perspective, no discernible threat. Least of all from the source that it purports to emanate from.

There was "no evidence or indicator", the source said, so the plot was "not likely to be real". The "associations made are not sustainable on any level but all precautions will be put in place".

The source suggested this was an instance of the "tail wagging the dog", of the Trump administration wielding a "weapon of mass distraction" to divert attention from its failures in the election campaign running up to President Donald Trump's re-election bid on November 3.

The spokesperson for the Iranian ministry of foreign affairs, Saeed Khatibzadeh, strongly denied the allegation in the Politico report which he called "hackneyed and worn-out anti-Iran propaganda".

In January the U.S. assassinated the Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad. Soleimani led the external campaigns of the Iranian Quds Forces. He was the one who orchestrated the campaign that defeated the Islamic State. His mythic-symbolic position for Iran and the resistance in the Middle East is beyond that of any U.S. figure.

There is simply no one in the U.S. military or political hierarchy who could be seen as his equal. Iran has therefore announced that it will take other ways to revenge the assassination of Soleimani.

As an immediate response to the assassination of Soleimani Iran had launched a precise missile attack against two U.S. bases in Iraq. It has also announced that it will make sure that the U.S. military will have to leave the Middle East. That program is in full swing now as U.S. bases in Iraq are again coming under daily missile attacks :

More than eight months after a barrage of rockets killed an American contractor and wounded four American service members in Kirkuk, Iraq, militia groups continue to target U.S. military bases in that country, and the frequency of those attacks has increased.

"We have had more indirect fire attacks around and against our bases the first half of this year than we did the first half of last year," Gen. Frank McKenzie, the commander of the U.S. Central Command, said. "Those attacks have been higher."
...
McKenzie's comments came just hours after he announced the United States would be cutting its footprint in Iraq by almost half by the end of September, with about 2,200 troops leaving the country .

Just hours agon two Katyusha rockets were fired against the U.S. embassy in Baghdad's Green Zone. Two British/U.S.convoys also came under attack . U.S. air defense took the missiles down but its anti-missile fire is only further disgruntling the Iraqi population.

These attacks are still limited and designed to not cause any significant casualties. But they will continue to increase over time until the last U.S. soldier is withdrawn from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and other Middle East countries. That, and only that, is the punishment Iran promised as revenge for Soleimani's death.

The alleged Iranian thread against the U.S. ambassador to South Africa is just another fake news propaganda story. It is useful only for lame blustering:

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump - 3:04 UTC · Sep 15, 2020

According to press reports, Iran may be planning an assassination, or other attack, against the United States in retaliation for the killing of terrorist leader Soleimani, which was carried out for his planning a future attack, murdering U.S. Troops, and the death & suffering...
...caused over so many years. Any attack by Iran, in any form, against the United States will be met with an attack on Iran that will be 1,000 times greater in magnitude!

The danger of such fake stories about Russia or Iran is that they might be used to justify a response in the case of a false flag attack on the alleged targets.

Should something inconvenient happen to Ambassador Lana Marks the Trump administration could use the fake story as an excuse to respond with a limited attack on Iran.

It is well known by now that U.S. President Donald Trump is lying about every time he opens his mouth. Why do U.S. journalists presume that the agencies and anonymous officials who work under him are more truthful in their utterings than the man himself is hard to understand. Why do they swallow their bullshit?

Posted by b on September 15, 2020 at 11:50 UTC | Permalink


jo6pac , Sep 15 2020 12:01 utc | 1

Amerikas propaganda machine never sleeps and sadly to many people believe the BS
Sunny Runny Burger , Sep 15 2020 12:27 utc | 2
US and European journalists are also lying constantly, that's why. Even when they make embarrassing attempts at "being unbiased" or "factual". Do they understand it? Many might not, but some do, perhaps fewer than anyone would think reasonable.

Btw a lot of these "journalists" in Europe in particular openly self-identify to "the left" or even as socialists and communists or "greens". So much for ideology as some kind of solution: entirely worthless and superficial.

Christian J. Chuba , Sep 15 2020 12:44 utc | 3
But CNN has and will continue to repeat the allegations as fact, so it's mission accomplished for the deep state. As another poster said on this board about manufacturing consent: "It is important to discuss the story, not its credibility, the more the discussion, the more the reaction and the more it reinforces the narrative."

Just for laughs, I looked at the reviews of Gordon Chang's book, 'The Coming Economic Collapse of China' to see if I could figure out the reasoning and one of the reviewers said that China weakens because they lack a free press to hold their govt accountable. I had a good laugh at that one.

vk , Sep 15 2020 12:54 utc | 4
There's an objective explanation for that.

In the 1920s (or 30s), far-rightist Karl Popper coined the concept of systematic manipulation of "public opinion". This would become a hallmark of Western Civilization in the post-war. The public opinion theory states that the masses don't have an opinion for themselves or, if they have, it is sculpting/flexible. The dominant classes can, therefore, guide the masses like a shepherd, to its will.

Friedrich von Hayek - a colleague of Popper and father of British neoliberalism (the man behind Thatcher) - then developed on the issue, by proposing the institutionalization of public opinion. He proposed a system of three or four tiers of intellectuals which a capitalist society should have. The first tier is the capitalist class itself, who would govern the entire world anonymously, through secret meetings. These meetings would produce secret reports, whose ideas would be spread to the second tier. The second tier is the academia and the more prominent politicians and other political leaderships. The third tier is the basic education teachers, who would indoctrinate the children. The fourth tier is the MSM, whose job is to transform the ideas and opinions of the first tier into "common sense" ("public opinion").

Therefore, it's not a case where the Western journalists are being fooled. Their job was never to inform the public. When they publish a lie about, say, Iran trying to kill an American ambassador in South Africa, they are not telling a lie in their eyes: they are telling an underlying truth through one thousand lies. The objective here is to convince ("teach") the American masses it is good for the USA if Iran was invaded and destroyed (which is a truth). They are like the modern Christian God, who teach its subjects the Truth through "mysterious ways".

Nathan Mulcahy , Sep 15 2020 12:56 utc | 5
It is an insult to the noble profession, to call what the mainstream media in the west, especially in the USA do, journalism. In my opinion what they do is propaganda and stenography on behalf of those who are in power. I am not sure who coined the term but "presstitution" is not a bad attempt at describing their profession.

Unfortunately they have been amazingly successful in brainwashing people. One current example, from numerous ones that could be cited, is the public's opinion on Julian Assange. .

While the western corporate media lie on a continuous basis - and that has the predictable effect - what is more insidious is not these acts of commissions ( meaning lies), but their acts of omission (meaning excluding or deemphasizing important contextual information) leading people to make the wrong conclusions. NPR in the US is an excellent example of such presstitution.

What I am saying is nothing new to the bar flies here. But I am extremely distressed when I see how poorly informed (propagandized, brainwashed) the vast majority of the people I know are. Let's say a decade ago, ideological polarization was the main reason why it was so difficult to have an open discussion on important issues the US. Today it has become even more difficult because, thanks to the success of the presstitutes, people also have different sets of "facts". And most alarmingly, after successfully creating a readership who believe in alternative "facts", the mainstream presstitutes are moving on to creating a logic-free narrative. Examples include Assad supposedly gassing his people when he was winning (even though that was guaranteed to produce western intervention against him). A more recent example is the Navalny affair. Sadly, very sadly, way too many people are affected.

Gerhard , Sep 15 2020 13:07 utc | 6
Hi, thanks, and sorry, but: why does nobody look behind the curtain?

Why are the US promoting conflict with China, with Russia? Why are they beating Europe, maybe with the intention to destroy it? Why is a new civil war in the US promoted?

Are these random developments of history? Are laws of history behind that?
NO!! Surely not!

Normal (geopolitically interested) people would think: against China it is better to come together and unite, at least US & Europe, but eventually Russia included. For instance take the population of these three together: far less than China's.

If something is going against the common sense, then there should be a reason behind. This reason I recommend You, with due respect, to find - and to uncover the plan.

Journalism in the US is so superficial, it is a drop above the uppermost wavy comb. Not worth to pay attention to it.

The actual demand is to understand and to show the forces playing deep underwater.
And to preview where these forces are determined to strike against.

Kind regards, Gerhard

DG , Sep 15 2020 13:30 utc | 7
They are all Judith Miller now.
morongobill , Sep 15 2020 13:39 utc | 8
Like the famed slogan of septic tank pumpers, the Gray Lady's masthead should read, "Your shit is our bread and butter!"
ptb , Sep 15 2020 13:53 utc | 9
Yep. We're into some pretty overt 1984 territory now... It's really a shame.
Richard Steven Hack , Sep 15 2020 14:37 utc | 10
Gareth Porter's latest on "Russian hacking"...

Dark Web Voter Database Report Casts New Doubts on Russian Election Hack Narrative

A new report showing that US state-level voter databases were publicly available calls into question the narrative that Russian intelligence "targeted" US state election-related websites in 2016.

The problem with these sorts of accusations about "state-sponsored" hacking is they assume that because a target has some connection to a state or some political activity that it means the hackers are "nation-state". In reality, personal identification information (PII) is a commodity on the black market, along with intellectual property - and *any* hacker will target *any* such source of PII. So the mere fact that it is an election year, and that voting organizations are loaded with PII, makes them an obvious target for any and every hacker.

"Oregon's chief information security officer, Lisa Vasa, told the Washington Post in September 2017 that her team blocks 'upwards of 14 million attempts to access our network every day."'

This is the usual ridiculous claim from almost every organization. They treat every Internet packet that hits their firewall as being an "attempt to access" the network (or worse, a "breach" - which it is not.) Which is technically true, but would only be relevant if they had *no* firewall - a setup which no organization runs these days. By definition, 99.99999% of those attempts are random mass scans of a block of IP addresses by either a hacker or some malware on someone else's machine - or even a computer security researcher attempting to find out how many sites are vulnerable.

Hoarsewhisperer , Sep 15 2020 14:52 utc | 11
"It just has not been proved to a level of certainty that satisfies me," Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander of the U.S. Central Command, told NBC News. McKenzie oversees U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Barflies should write Gen Frank McKenzie inside the back cover of their diaries, and count the days until we hear of/from him again. I've a feeling he's crossed a line and knows precisely what he's doing and why. Imo, the Swamp has just been put on notice.

Sakineh Bagoom , Sep 15 2020 14:54 utc | 12
Posted by: vk | Sep 15 2020 12:54 utc | 4
In the 1920s (or 30s), far-rightist Karl Popper coined the concept of "public opinion".

vk, I can't find anything regarding this coinage. Could you please provide a link.
Wiki is specially devoid of it and it goes back to 16 century.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_opinion The term public opinion was derived from the French opinion publique which was first used in 1588 by Michel de Montaigne in the second edition of his Essays

juliania , Sep 15 2020 15:12 utc | 13
Thank you, b. In this world of illusion that mainstream press provides it is forgivable that we cannot even convince members of our own families that are dear to us of the underlying truths behind what these masters of deception continue to print. Surely they only do so because livelihoods are threatened, and the public perceptions are reaching a critical point where belief in what they write, read by the diminishing numbers of faithful few, reaches a pinnacle of perception and spills chaotically down into a watershed of realization.

I remember when we were told what happens on the top floor of the New York Times. It opened my eyes. And perhaps here also, b is providing a chink through which we may glimpse what is happening in military circles in fields of operation where facts collide with fiction:

"We have had more indirect fire attacks around and against our bases the first half of this year than we did the first half of last year," Gen. Frank McKenzie, the commander of the U.S. Central Command, said. "Those attacks have been higher."
...
McKenzie's comments came just hours after he announced the United States would be cutting its footprint in Iraq by almost half by the end of September, with about 2,200 troops leaving the country.
vk , Sep 15 2020 15:13 utc | 14
@ Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Sep 15 2020 14:54 utc | 12

On Hayek's "tiering", google "IHS model" ("pyramid of social change") and his book "The Intellectuals and Socialism".

On Popper's conception of "public opinion", see "The Open Society and Its Enemies" (1945). Yes, the term itself is not Popper's invention - he never claimed to have done so. But he gave it a "twist", and we can say nowadays every Western journalist's conception of "public opinion" is essentially Popper's.

Kooshy , Sep 15 2020 15:36 utc | 18
Why do swallow their bullshit?

because on matters related to Iran, China and Russia, they are not independent, there is no real difference between the two camps in US, Biden' foreign policy which is endorsed and supported by NYT and WP is not that different than Trump's, if not more radical. There is no free press in US, as matter of fact, as long as this United Oligarchy of America exist there will be no free press.

Sakineh Bagoom , Sep 15 2020 15:50 utc | 20
OK, I admit it. I read this rag, just because Paul Pillar posts there. And yes, there is an "Iran derangement" syndrome in US, where people go to sleep and dream Iran. They wake up from wet dream of bloody Iranian babies, asking, have we sanctioned Iran today? https://responsiblestatecraft.org/2020/09/14/when-it-comes-to-iran-how-many-failures-is-enough-for-pompeo/
jayc , Sep 15 2020 16:01 utc | 22
As well, this fake news propaganda barrage continues in the context of determined censorship of alternative media and social media - a campaign which has been largely promoted by the liberal intelligentsia in the US, in the name of reducing "fake news." Having to live within an ever-widening swamp of utter BS is wearying and mind-numbing - also to the point, one may assume.
Kooshy , Sep 15 2020 16:19 utc | 23
Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Sep 15 2020 12:56 utc | 5

Yes, I agree, IMO/observation, the US Government, the political parties and their supportive media are rapidly ideologically polarizing their constituencies to two hard entrenched ideological camps (which as you say has become hard shelled impenetrable). Except on one common ideological point, which almost all the population has been and is being brain washed as young as first grade, this common used term, which shield you from needing to investigate or form any other opinion is: US has always been, is and will be a "force for good" by its constitution, no matter what she has done or will do. This sentence when fully believed and carved in one' mind from childhood is very difficult to erase and crack. These two ideologically opposing camps about 70% of the population will not want to hear any fact or not, other than what they are told and believed all their life.

Noirette , Sep 15 2020 16:59 utc | 31
Re. K. Popper and topic above:

"Unlike utopian engineering, piecemeal social engineering must be "small scale," Popper said, meaning that social reform should focus on changing one institution at a time. Also, whereas utopian engineering aims for lofty and abstract goals (for example, perfect justice, true equality, a higher kind of happiness), piecemeal social engineering seeks to address concrete social problems (for example, poverty, violence, unemployment, environmental degradation, income inequality). It does so through the creation of new social institutions or the redesign of existing ones. These new or reconfigured institutions are then tested through implementation and altered accordingly and continually in light of their effects. Institutions thus may undergo gradual improvement overtime and social ills gradually reduced. Popper compared piecemeal social engineering to physical engineering. Just as physical engineers refine machines through a series of small adjustments to existing models, social engineers gradually improve social institutions through "piecemeal tinkering." In this way, "[t]he piecemeal method permits repeated experiments and continuous readjustments" (Open Society Vol 1., 163).

Only such social experiments, Popper said, can yield reliable feedback for social planners. In contrast, as discussed above, social reform that is wide ranging, highly complex and involves multiple institutions will produce social experiments in which it is too difficult to untangle causes..."

from: https://iep.utm.edu/popp-pol/

So Top-Down with a vengeance, but softly, softly, hunting for 'good results', for what and how these are defined is left out entirely, and who exactly runs the process...? (Btw China sorta follows this approach with 'social experiments' gathering data that is analysed etc. to improve governance.)

Biswapriya Purkayast , Sep 15 2020 17:16 utc | 33
Don't forget that the only time the Amerikastani Empire's warmongering imperialist media called Trump "presidential" was when he launched missiles at Syria on false pretences in support of al Qaeda.
David G , Sep 15 2020 17:16 utc | 34
The statement by praetor McKenzie probably won't do much to remove the "Russian bounties" tale from the received Beltway belief structure, where it lodged immediately upon publication, any more than earlier refutations, or its inherent implausibility, did. I see the bounties regularly referred to by Dems and Dem-adjacent media as established fact.

In the same light, it's worthwhile to read the Politico article on the alleged Iranian designs on the purse princess and try to spot other fictions included as supposedly factual background, some qualified as being American assertions, but others presented as undisputed fact, such as:

This new one about the plot to get the ambassador in Pretoria may be too trivial to get sustained attention, but it will show up as background in some future Politico article or the like, joining the rest in the Beltway's version of reality, which at this point is made almost entirely of these falsehoods encrusting on each other, decade after decade, creating the phony geopolitical mindscape these people live in.

Mere factual refutation – even from otherwise establishment-approved sources – won't remove these barnacles. For instance, in February the NY Times itself published a debunking of the initial account that it was an Iran-backed Shia militia, as opposed to Salafist I.S.-affiliated forces, that killed that U.S. contractor last December. But the good (if delayed) reporting is forgotten; the lie persists. The same fate awaits McKenzie's dismissal of the Russian bounties nonsense.

conspiracy-theorist , Sep 15 2020 18:04 utc | 37
The thoughtful reader would at this point stop and ponder. "Fake News About Iran, Russia, China Is U.S. Journalism's Daily Bread". I agree with this statement. But not just U.S. Journalism. Minimally U.K. Journalism is on-board, if not tutoring the Yanks in the art of Journalism. And then there is Europe herself, she too has armies of Journalists and many Journals. They too mostly fake around in general.

Now then, that leave Journalism in "Iran, Russia, China". It is fine trait to root for underdogs but Journalism in these states is also subject to a highly controlled and managed environment. It is disingenuous to ignore these facts.

Given this congregation of "fakers", worldwide, it is very reasonable to question the very "fight" that these "fakers" keep telling us is on between the "adversaries".

vinnieoh , Sep 15 2020 18:24 utc | 40
Good to see so many being able to name the operation of the official narrative. It serves also another purpose, witnessed by one of the most consequential actions of all, the wanton abandonment of international law and accountability - the GWOT and the launching of same in Afghanistan and Iraq. That other purpose is to create cover for those, elected in our name, to avoid responsibility.

"Who knew?" asked the soulless Rumsfeld. And the refrain returned from the hollowed out halls of the Greatest Democracy On Earth (tm) - "We were misled!", "Look it says so right there in the official narrative, REMEMBER?" But the misleaders are never rounded up and never face any consequences, cause truth be told all that voted for the AUMF belong in the pokey. And the congressional class of '02-'03 would do the same thing all over again, 'cause the narrative's got their back.

karlof1 , Sep 15 2020 18:34 utc | 41
Despite the future grimness predicted by 1984 , the ability and effectiveness of Media Structures to openly lie and thus herd the public to embrace the preferred Narrative hasn't turned out quite the way Orwell thought it might. Former authoritarian blocs learned the hard way that it's better to tell their citizens the truth and actively engage them in governance, while the Anglo-Imperial powers have gone in the opposite direction, thus the question why? IMO, the longstanding Narrative related to the mythical Dream has greatly eroded in the face of Reality, while at the same time the Rentier Class and the Duopoly it controls needs to try and obfuscate what it's doing. And thus we've seen the rise of BigLie Media to be used for the purpose of Divide and Rule. There're numerous works detailing how and why; two of the more important are Manufacturing of Consent and J is for Junk Economics . Part of the overall process of dumbing-down populations is the deliberate destruction of the educational process, particularly in the areas of philosophy and political-economy/history, which are essentially connected as one when considering the History of Ideas or a sub-area like the Philosophy of Science.

Such a dumbing-down of a nation's populous can be measured, the USSR and its Warsaw Bloc being the most evident, but also The Inquisition and its affect on the advancement of science within the regions it ruled, and the inward turning of China during the Ming Dynasty which allowed for its subjugation by Western forces beginning in the 16th Century. Most recently, this is evident in China's passing the Outlaw US Empire in terms of geoeconomics and thus overall geopolitical power. An explanation for India's inability to match China's development can be found in its refusal to do away with its semi-feudal caste system and not educate its masses so they can become a similar collective dynamo as in China. At the beginning of his brief tenure, JFK noted the Knowledge Gap that existed between a USSR that was nearing its intellectual heights (although that wasn't known then) and the USA whose educational system effectively excluded @60% of students from having the opportunity to advance. There would never have been a Dot.Com economy without JFK's initiative to improve educational outcomes. There seems to be a notion within the Outlaw US Empire's elite that an well educated populace presents a danger to their rule and they can get by using AI and Robotics to further their future plans. Here I'd refer such thinkers to the lessons provided by the failure of Asimov's Galactic Empire in his Foundation series of books--particular their reliance on AI, robotics, dumbing-down the populace to the point where no one recalls how atomics functioned. The sort of balance sheet being constructed by the Fed cannot repair or replace crumbling infrastructure or train the engineers needed to perform the work.

So, what continual BigLie Media lies tell us is the continued downward spiral of the West's intellectual abilities will continue while an East that values the Truth and Discovery moves on to eclipse it, mainly because the West has stopped trying, thinking it's found a better way based on the continual amassing of Debt, which is seen as wealth on their balance sheets. Ultimately, the West thinks the one person holding all the assets as the winner of its Zero-sum Monopoly Game is a better outcome than having millions of people sharing the winnings of a Win-Win system that promotes the wellbeing of all. I can tell you now which philosophy will triumph, but you all ought to be capable of reasoning that outcome.

Steve , Sep 15 2020 18:59 utc | 43
After a sound and an in-depth analysis, b sometimes confounds me with his credulity. Take this sentence for example: "Why do U.S. journalist presume that the agencies and anonymous officials who work under him are more truthful in their uttering than the man himself is hard to understand. Why do swallow their bullshit?" Of course there is no daylight between the US, and indeed the whole Western governments, and its Press. Other than few independent blog site such as this, every media outlet is in the service of its home government or foreign sponsors. Only born-suckers take the corporate media at face value. Modern journalism is nothing but an aggressive propaganda racket.

Mark2 , Sep 15 2020 19:13 utc | 45

You only have to look at who owns the media and who their close friends are, to understand why the media says what it says or lies what it lies ! It's an industry promoting the elites self-interest, creating fictioous enemy countries to feed the arms industry and create US domestic mass paranoia. The Israeli lobby groups are at the wheel of the whole dam clown car.
chet380 , Sep 15 2020 19:45 utc | 46
Even more admiration for coining 'Vichy Press'.
uncle tungsten , Sep 15 2020 20:39 utc | 49
Biden is outed in his coup machinations by Fort Russ a tale told with a bit of media spin.
Josh , Sep 15 2020 20:40 utc | 50
Using lies (bearing false witness) to cause murder and theft are not exactly a new phenomenon. These 'groups of individuals', which are employing these fabricated deceptions, are doing nothing less than trying to commit murder and theft.
Josh , Sep 15 2020 20:41 utc | 51
These acts happen to constitute real crimes, or at least attempted criminal acts, in reality.
Yeah, Right , Sep 15 2020 22:07 utc | 53
No doubt the two propaganda streams will merge until we will be told that the CIA now believes that Iran will attempt plausible deniability by funnelling the money through Putin, who will offer it to the Taliban by way of a bounty on the Ambassador's head.

The CIA's wet dream: the Taliban does it, Putin arranged it, but it was all Iran's fault, leading to:
A) infinite occupation of the poppy fie.... sorry, Afghanistan
B) even more sanctions on Russia
C) war with Iran

What's not to like?

spindoctor , Sep 15 2020 23:18 utc | 56
Posted by: vk | Sep 15 2020 12:54 utc | 4
In the 1920s (or 30s), far-rightist Karl Popper coined the concept of "public opinion".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crystallizing_Public_Opinion published 1923.

spindoctor , Sep 15 2020 23:25 utc | 57
Posted by: vk | Sep 15 2020 12:54 utc | 4

From the link just cited:

'"Public opinion", according to Bernays, is an amorphous group of judgments which are not well elaborated even in the head of a single average individual. He extracts a quotation from Wilfred Trotter, which states that this average man has many strong convictions whose origin he can't explain (Instincts of the Herd in Peace and War, p. 36). People's minds have "logic-proof compartments" which must be approached by means beyond the rational. (pp. 61–68).'

vk , Sep 16 2020 1:12 utc | 58
@ Posted by: spindoctor | Sep 15 2020 23:18 utc | 56

Yes, I forgot to mention this very important book. If I'm not mistaken (and I may be), Popper got the term from Bernays.

Popper, von Hayek... these guys are the fathers of neoliberalism. I'm not mentioning backyard intellectuals here. They shaped the West as we know it today and, if you're a Westerner and wants to understand the civilization you live in, you have to know what they formulated.

Just to clear that off: I don't agree with Popper's (or Bernays, for that matter) conception on "public opinion". The Marxist conception of ideology is much more complete and precise scientifically.

ptb , Sep 16 2020 1:35 utc | 59
@karlof1 41

Speaking of education (although of science/tach, rather than critical thinking)...

Add in the migration of top-level educated individuals. In the US, an underdeveloped primary/secondary school system creates room at the university/grad level to absorb talent from the rest of the world. For many years, this was a source of competitive advantage -- imported human capital is better than home grown, because if you import, you take it away from someone else. Clever!

It was not that big a deal for the US if social mobility of native born lower and middle classes was stifled somewhat. (and I would say it still would not be a big deal if the resources of the country were not so grossly mismanaged/wasted/stolen).

But in the current century, or certainly the decade now ending, China alone can fill every US grad school science/tech program and still have people to spare for itself. Other parts of the world are right up there as well.

And then you have computers. Sometime between 2000 and 2010, computers became pretty much cheap enough that you could give one to a every kid, even in families of limited means. Provided the primary/secondary education system is there to support it, a country could develop as much tech talent as they had population. The first generation of kids whose childhood took place under this condition is now coming out of university - I would think vastly greater in numbers than any amount the US (or Euro) higher educational system can absorb. Should be a pretty serious shifting of gears in how human capital is distributed worldwide.

But none of this is about critical thinking. Few systems of organizing society actually promote that ... it tends to happen in spite of the organizing principles, rather than because of them. Nor are the most educated (regardless of country of origin) any less susceptible to the propaganda - if anything they are more so, due to the design of the message, because it is more important that they receive it. You want a book recommendation that talks about that, check out 'Disciplined Minds' by Jeff Schmidt (though perhaps with an overly pessimistic outlook -- people can recognize the reality he describes and deal with it... it is only the more naive/idealistic types who fall extra hard for the mythology and then find themselves in a conflict they can't handle). There are lots of other avenues to take too... about the psychology of self-discovery, discovery of self-vs-social-organism etc....

uncle tungsten , Sep 16 2020 4:34 utc | 61
Conspiracy-theorist #37

Exactly that and yet we are constantly fed a diet from the bottom of the barrel. NYT? WAPO? They are rags. Gutter press peddling drivel. Surely there are more erudite and critical publications in this world than these USA drivel sheets. I am aware of good journalism in Switzerland and elsewhere but currently separted from a device adequate to translate and quote.

Thank you Conspiracy-theorist it I way past time we escaped the neverending story of BS + HATE.

Greg L , Sep 16 2020 6:12 utc | 62
And this tidbit? Deep state is as deep state does... Trump Claims He Wanted To Assassinate Syrian President Assad, But Mattis Opposed It
vato , Sep 16 2020 7:49 utc | 63
A propos fake news, John Helmer reports on the Navalny saga and was lately on the Gorilla radio podcast with Chris Cook to discuss the newest events. It's a one-hour-talk but very enjoyable listening to Helmer. You can also follow his reports on his blog Dances With Bears .
vinnieoh , Sep 16 2020 12:55 utc | 64
karlof1 | Sep 15 2020 18:34 utc | 41

Try this on for size. This is a conclusion I arrived at several decades ago, wrote about several times, but not recently.

Everything that was accomplished (albeit incompletely or moderately) through the New Deal and then the abortive Great Society absolutely spooked the oligarchy. Lifting much of the working class out of absolute wage slavery to the point where the next rung on Maslow's ladder was at least visible. And when it all culminated in the late 60's and early 70's with the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, the Surface Mining act, and various labor protection measures, the wealthy owner class decided the proles had gained too much power to influence "their" captive government.

The princes and barons of industry and finance were very open about their complaints. The advance of regulation on their ability to pollute and to exploit must stop or they would take their bundles of riches and go elsewhere. It is what Saint Ronny was ALL about. And so all that got fat and filthy rich during the real American Century took their wealth where regulation and labor fairness and justice didn't exist to continue their exorbitant profit taking.

And then they imported those cheap products here to wreak what was left of our industrial base and to impress on all of us that they remain the boss, the real power. Drive down wages, destroy pensions and safety nets and put US proles back into wage slavery. Remember the 80's and 90's when Wal-Mart basically told established and storied US manufacturers "either you produce the goods we want for what our Asian suppliers can make them for, or you're finished." And that is exactly what happened. Wal-Mart was just the vanguard, it is now ubiquitous. Another aspect of this assault was forcing us proles into the stock market through our pensions and retirement funds so as to make us all sympathetic to de-regulation - so as not to hurt OUR bottom line. Many labor unions became just a sick symbiosis with the industries they "served."

Incomplete and observational, I am not erudite or lettered, but I think it is an accurate narrative.

Edward , Sep 16 2020 13:05 utc | 65
There is a curious schizophrenia where the U.S. press will treat presidential claims about foreign affairs as a sacred truth but treat claims denying adultery, such as in the Lewinski affair, as dismissible.
Geoff , Sep 16 2020 13:20 utc | 66
Living in the USA (Steve Miller classic) has always seemed to me about dealing with falsehood and deception. US highschool seemed like he time for me when the formidable pressure to conform became completely nonsensical, perhaps because it was so utterly cruel, but also because it seemed untruthful. You basically were required to accept modes if behavior and thought that seemed alien to human behavior, but were presented as the sine quo non of how to be. How to succeed, how to live. It seems to me that if you were attempting to retain truthfulness, this conformity was rife with logical fallacies of every sort which if you tried to deal with them, or confront them, you were ostracized or at worst outcast.

In the many years since, it seems like everything else, once a person adopts untruthful behavior, it is next to impossible to change course, so you deal with all kinds of people who have doubled down on their personal deceptions. Marriages based on financial success come to mind, and are like any deception, the cause of incredible dis ease and misey.

There is a philosophical concept I came upon called parrhesia that Foucault gives a fantastic series of lectures on which can be found by searching the web, that investigates the perils implicit in telling truth to falsehood, and the many disasters and tragedies that have befallen human kind in the attempts to do so.

I've come to think that humans by nature are basically incapable of avoiding whatever it is that is "truth." Because over and over life seems to present situations that are the unswervingly the same to everyone. Youth and aging, for example, and the end result never varies, like illness, death, and dying. And everyone has their own similar story navigating the human predicaments and facing an inalterable "truth," which might be in this example, death.

My wonder as I observe life as I age, is what is the damage done to those not only who try their honest best to remain truthful, but what is the damage done to those who cannot escape an adopted untruth and refuse to let go of it. I suppose in this moment of history, you need only look at pandemic, wildfires, and conflicts to see how far human beings have digressed from an Eden. But there must be a purpose to it all? Like, trying to cling to any kind of integrity.

Old and Grumpy , Sep 16 2020 13:31 utc | 67
You think international fake news is just a Trump thing? Just off the top of my head we have thins like Tonkin Bay, Kuwait babies being massacred by Iraqi troops, my personal favorite Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, and a multiple of mean Assads killing their people with poison. That is just a bipartisan few. We have one political party, who serves the deep state. The deep state serves the interests of Wall Street and more importantly the Rothschild world banking system. Give the spooks a lot of credit they let us have two "choices" while controlling both. Think of it as a neo fascism kinda thing that ironically finances the anti fascists. The press is just a means to an end. Assume everything is an agenda, and read the independents for some actual thought. I may not agree with you all the time, but I do love you MoA. Thank you for all your work.
ptb , Sep 16 2020 14:02 utc | 68
@64 vinnieoh

'spooked oligarchy...reforms..culminated in ..70s'

Yep. When committed Dem's go off on Trump, it's deeply felt but kindof a ritual rant. Bring Ralph Nader into the conversation, just mention him in passing, and the response becomes live! Betrayal, danger of being shown up again!

William Gruff , Sep 16 2020 14:12 utc | 69
Old and Grumpy @67 has a good point. Anyone suggesting that fake news is in any way related to Trump being President are big parts of the problem for why fake news persists in the first place. Suggesting that it is because of Trump, and thus implying that the fake news will go away when Trump does, is either profoundly ignorant, or profoundly deceitful, though probably both. Trump ranting about fake news exposed the problem and forced it into the public discourse. Those rants did not create the problem.
ptb , Sep 16 2020 14:36 utc | 70
Re: @Geoff 66

"You basically were required to accept modes if behavior and thought that seemed alien to human behavior ... ... forced to double down"

I had short but deeply influential conversation right out of college with a recruiter/HR manager from Raytheon, of all places. He talked about exactly what you said. He spoke, in a hypothetical third person, about a mid-career guy with a mortgage and family who finds themselves questioning the defense industry. How that isn't the best place to be in, mentally. I changed my career plans that day, forever thankful for the encounter.

However, regarding people being able to avoid unpleasant realities, he was of the opinion that for most people, it is possible to do so. Even beneficial. (Except of course for the recipients of his company's products. I didn't say that but I think he figured out that I was thinking it). The issue, from the point of view of running an effective organization, is what happens if the doubters and believers start to mix? Part of his assigned task was to simply keep out people curious enough to ask too many questions. That's one of the "benefits" of really polarizing politics too.

William Gruff , Sep 16 2020 15:33 utc | 71
Geoff @66:

"My wonder as I observe life as I age, is what is the damage done to those not only who try their honest best to remain truthful, but what is the damage done to those who cannot escape an adopted untruth and refuse to let go of it."

That's what modern pharmaceuticals are for, and why one in six Americans (officially) are prescribed them. If we include the numbers of Americans who self-medicate with alcohol and/or grey/black market pharmaceuticals, then the proportion would be a bit (quite a bit) larger. People who succeed at being truthful (mostly to themselves) are not confronted with cognitive dissonance mind-quakes; however, such individuals are confronted with experiencing the retch reflex when consuming mass media.

Is being truthful vs embracing the lies then half-dozen of one and six of the other? I find satisfactory peace of mind from being truthful and simply avoiding the primary vector of deception; the mass media. Noble individuals like our host and some of the posters here will slog through that vile cesspool of lies and fish out the little nuggets of truth that leak out. It is selfish of me to leave such dirty work to others, but at least I am not hermetically isolated on a mountain somewhere.

J Swift , Sep 16 2020 16:12 utc | 74
Kooshy @ 23

An interesting thought. I have long had the feeling that a large part of the obviously orchestrated drive to almost define both of the two US parties with really incredibly unimportant issues like bathroom preferences were designed to split the voters as equally as possible, so that to swing elections one had only to control the votes of a very small number of tie breakers. I still think this is likely true, but I do think you make an important point that a lot can be learned about what is truly important to the PTB by reflecting on the topics that aren't being argued over.

Compare the "two" US political parties, and you will note that while they seem to be getting ever more extreme and irreconcilable and quasi-religious in their differences, these differences are always on the periphery. Both parties are being indoctrinated with certain common beliefs they will take for granted because they are never talked about -- because these points are not allowed to be in contention. So while even something like climate change can be a big divider (no worries, there's money to be made on both sides of that issue, and means of control); but you will never hear debate about

1. America is the greatest ever!

2. America is always and unquestionably a force for good, and even it's proven bad things (kidnapping, rendition, and torture programs) are done "for the greater good."

3. Unbridled capitalism is the only way, and the privatization and unwinding of any vestiges of social programs, like education, social security, and even utilities and infrastructure, is always a good thing deserving of priority.

4. Individualism is the best, if not only, way. To be a hero you must strike alone against the bad guys/the system/the government; someone who rallies others, causes forces to be gathered and united, unionized, whatever are discouraged or ignored.

5. "Leadership" in the affairs of others around the world is American right, responsibility, and destiny. Having the largest, almost entirely offensively oriented military on earth is essential; and having it, we must use it to get our money's worth.

6. Omnipresent "intelligence" services equal safety and are absolutely required for life to be normal. I'm sure there are other examples of "universally agreed" doctrines in the US, but these are some that leap out.

Noirette , Sep 16 2020 16:32 utc | 75
These crazy MSM lies Anecdote. Last Sat (Geneva, Switz.) I spoke to 20 ppl whom I know somewhat, all know I like to discuss news etc. I said, weird news this week, making no mention of Navalny. 18/20 believed Putin poisoned Navalny and brought it up spontaneously! There is something so appealing and narratively 'seductive' about spies and 'opponents' (Skripal ) and mysterious poisons used by evil doers etc. that fiction just flows smoothly into fact or whatever is 'real.'

I had to mention Assange myself to most, but there the reaction was very mixed, most thought Assange was being persecuted, or it was 'not right', and took this story seriously in one way or another - 4 ppl claimed not to know the latest news. Here, NGOs, Leftists and Others have made demands for him to be offered asylum in Switz, so he has been front page.

In F.

https://www.lematin.ch/story/l-asile-pour-julian-assange-est-demande-a-la-suisse-327216661898

Besides that (I'm always interested in from-the-ground view-points, experiences, so post some myself) what is going on is monopoly consolidation:

Mega MSM in cahoots with the MIC, Big Pharma, Big Agri, Finance, and so on. Corporations joining up their positions bit by bit while also competing in some ways, bribing and owning the Pols. who are front-men and women tasked with providing a lot of drama, manufactured agitation, etc., which in turn is fodder for the MSM, etc.

Overall, the most important sector to watch is the GAFAM, 1, the reign of the middle men is close at hand (control information, both the channels and the content, and commerce up to a point.) All this leaves out energy considerations, another vital topic left aside.

1. google apple facebook amazon microsoft

karlof1 , Sep 16 2020 17:02 utc | 78
ptb @59--

Thanks for your reply! I've touched on the topic of human capital and its development occasionally here, positing it's the #1 asset of all nations. Those nations who neglect to develop their own human capital are bound to become deficient when it comes to basic comparative advantages with other nations, particularly as political-economy shifts from being materialistic to knowledge-based; thus Pepe Escobar agreeing wholeheartedly with my comment about India. (He added this article to his FB timeline and I posted my comment there.)

From 1999-2003, I was involved in developing distance learning platforms for the rapidly advancing ability to learn outside of a school's four walls. The other educators I worked with and myself had great hopes for the virtual classroom and what it might do to aide both teachers and students. At the time we thought this development would provide a great opportunity for the third member of the educational team--parents--to play a greater role in the process since active parental involvement was proven to generate better student outcomes. But for that to be properly implemented, equitable funding for all school districts became an even greater issue than it was already. This issue highlighted the huge problems related to financing education at a moment when BushCo Privatizers began to seriously threaten what was already in place. And that problem has only worsened, the vast disparities being very evident thanks to COVID-forced distance learning. The primary reason good teachers can't be retained is the entire system's a massive Clusterfuck. And computers aren't substitutes for even poor teachers. And parents are even more aloof from becoming involved in the process than ever before.

The dumbing-down I mention is now entering its third generation. The educational structure needs to be completely refitted nationally, but I wouldn't give that task to any of the fuckwits employed by the past three administrations--Yes, I'm arguing education needs to be a completely federal program instead of the 53 different school systems in states and territories; and yes, I'm aware of the pitfalls and potential corruption that poses, which is a microcosm of all the problems at the federal level of government. This problem is yet another very basic reason why the Duopoly and its backers need to be ousted from government and kept as far away as possible as the structure is torn down and rebuilt--The USA will never be great again until that is done.

jared , Sep 16 2020 17:16 utc | 79
@ J Swift | Sep 16 2020 16:12 utc | 74

I suggest that the reason that the media focus on the ridiculous is to convince the public that there is nothing important happening - except where the MSM wants the participation of the public as in with anti-Russia, anti_China, anti-Socialism, etc. Good to get the public participation directed at harmless targets.

They've got to fill the papers with something. The public must be kept warm, comfortable, semi-comatose, watching cat videos...

Last thing anybody wants is the involvement of the public, they will only screw everything-up or try anyway.

karlof1 , Sep 16 2020 17:40 utc | 80
vinnieoh @64--

Thanks for your reply! Your explanation sadly is correct, but it was put into motion prior to Reagan becoming POTUS. The tools used to undo the New Deal were put into place before FDR became POTUS. And FDR's unwillingness to prosecute those who attempted to overthrow his government provided that faction to infiltrate government and eventually attempt to undo the good that was done prior to WW2. When looked at closely, American society was generally quite Liberal in the positive aspects of that term and during the Depression was becoming ever more Collectivist with the war advancing that even further. At the war's end, it was paramount for the forces taking control of the nation to push the public to the right and away from its collectivist proclivities. Where we find ourselves today thus is not an accident of history but an engineered outcome. You may recall voices on the Right accusing Liberals and their organizations of engaging in Social Engineering. Those accusations were projections since it was actually forces on the Right that were maneuvering society to the Right while assiduously applying the principle of Divide and Rule to create a condition where they would be immune from political challenge, which is where we are now.

A few understand this ugly truth and how we arrived here. What's missing is scholarship that links the changes that began in the 1870s with today's situation. Yes, there're good examinations of various pieces of the overall puzzle. But it appears that only Hudson and those in his small circle have figured it out; yet, they haven't produced a complete history that encapsulates it all. And for us to have a realistic chance to undo what's been done, we need to know how it all transpired.

robin , Sep 16 2020 17:56 utc | 81
Antonym @ 60
"There are big differences between Trump and Biden regarding their foreign policies: Trump is hard on Xi-China and soft on Putin Russia, while Biden is the reverse."

I don't share your view. The current administration's foreign policy is very much aligned with that of past administrations and the diplomatic circus surrounding the Skripal affair alone is evidence that nobody is soft on Russia.

What differs, however, is the presentation. Trump is criticized (not praised) for being allegedly soft on Russia and Biden criticized for being allegedly soft on China. This clever trick ensures that just about everybody is onboard the bash-China-and-Russia train.

In a violently polarized society, with red-blue antagonism reaching ridiculous heights, people tend to act exclusively in contradiction to the cult figure they hate so much.

If a Trump hater hears the criticism that the president is too soft on Russia, he will readily grab the bash-Russia stick hoping to score a few hits on Trump. The same person's reaction to a criticism on Biden will be either indifference or angry denial. In either case, he will not be opposed to the bash-Russia nor the bash-China movement.

The dem hater's reaction is similar. Indifference to the soft-on-Russia claim (ie. no opposition to the bash-Russia movement) and active support for the China-bashing.

Curmudgeon , Sep 16 2020 18:13 utc | 82
The article and subsequent discussion brings to mind Dawkins discussion of Memes and Memetics. Not those pesky internet memes. The propaganda war is fierce, and almost without exception the people here are poking and prodding perhaps without being able to put the finger on the "EZ button". This is war, baby, so one thinks the following link may be useful:

https://www.thefreelibrary.com/Memetic+warfare%3a+the+future+of+war.-a0263040903

Wherein: " Ideally the virus of the mind being targeted will be overwritten with a higher fidelity, fecundity, and longevity memeplex in order to assure long term sustainability. When this is not practical, it is still possible to displace a dangerous memeplex, by creating a more contagious benign meme utilizing certain packaging, replication, and propagation tricks."

The lie is irrelevant, whether true or false, it must be believable, and it must successfully replicate.

J Swift , Sep 16 2020 20:34 utc | 85
karlof1 @ 80

You are right, the early FDR days were, in hindsight, one of the most important in setting the course of the US for the next century, and unfortunately Big Business won, taking us on a long, ugly road to the right. I agree this would be a most fascinating history book if some of those respected, genuinely knowledgeable people you often cite could collaborate on an opus.

Yes, most people do not know that the wide ranging labor laws implemented at that time were actually not meant to empower organized labor, but to limit it. Perhaps FDR thought it was the best he could do for the working class, but I tend to think it was more a case of him thinking that by outlawing general strikes, wildcat strikes, strikes in support of other unions, and setting up an NLRB with a lot of political control by business, the powers who had so recently let it be known they were ready to actively try to overthrow the government might be mollified. I think he feared the US was at the cusp of a revolution, and perhaps it was. Whether or not if would have been better had that been allowed to proceed is the big question.

lulu , Sep 16 2020 20:58 utc | 86
Anti-China activists funded by NED & Co make up all sorts of horrid stories online, which are then picked up by MSM and political NGOs to spoon feed world audiences/viewers. Viola, you have "fact-based" anti-China news!

Here is an example how an Uyghur activist in Canadian continue to her make-up-to-believe "1 million Uyghurs in concentration camp" is caught on Twitter red handed .

This is literally what these overseas Uyghur activists do all day. Putting a random caption on a video they ripped down from a medical worker's tiktok in China. And people believe it. They'd even believe if the follow up rebuttal is that this is a forced labour doctor.

Another one: There's a guy (Arslan Hidayat, Aussie Uighur) on Twitter who takes footage of ordinary people doing ordinary things, sets them in China and invents a fantastical and sinister scenario.

His twitter functions as the aggregator of fake anti-China propaganda from the past few years.

CitizenX , Sep 16 2020 21:11 utc | 87
Ed Bernays (Freuds Nephew)

Glad to see his name mentioned here. I've been saying for years here to watch the documentary - Century of the Self. If you want to learn about and understand America, its all here. Government, Corporations, Consumerism, Militarism, Deep State, Psychology, Individual selfishness and mental illness.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJ3RzGoQC4s

karlof1 , Sep 16 2020 21:34 utc | 88
j Swift @85--

Thanks for your reply! JK Galbraith in his American Capitalism: The Concept of Countervailing Power lamented what you recap in your 2nd paragraph and that there was thus no power capable of offsetting Big Business although one was sorely needed. As I wrote, some very sharp minds have written about small segments of the overall movement toward totalitarianism since the 1870s, Galbraith's 1952 book being one that's still worth reading.

[Sep 16, 2020] The Interface between Propaganda and War

Sep 16, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

snake , Sep 15 2020 22:09 utc | 54

Karlof 1 @ 32 attacks vk @4-- Your attempt to credit Karl Popper with the concept of public opinion is just as false as the stories b wrote about. Click here for a history of that concept. by: karlof1 | Sep 15 2020 17:04 utc | 32


What I like about what vk@ 4 said is that he has given this list a beginning to not only understand our plight as members of the governed classes, but also to analyze our experience with this stuff and to develop a set of rules that can allow us to defend our minds against being controlled by invisible hands of mind control.

can we on this list develop a defensive strategy and use it to teach the governed masses?

Around the globe and throughout history it can be observed that the oligarchs invent a collection of values and stuff them into structures they call nation states, culture, institutions and journalist are all designed to, and rewarded for supporting the values, while media is charged to keep the propaganda circulating.

The H&C propaganda model pulls together from across the political communications literature the variety of factors which essentially constrain journalist and means that they don't actually play the independent autonomous and watchdog role that we expect them to in a democracy ae Herman Chromsky talk about the importance oe size concentration ownership oe mainstream media the way in w/e ownership of most oe media outlets w/people go to for their information is essentially associated w/very large conglomerates w/h overlapping interests and overlapping interests with government and this produces a large structural constraint oe way the media operates.

The Interface between Propaganda and War: Prof.
The Propaganda Model: The filters (Herman & Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent, the political economy of the mass media).

[Sep 14, 2020] Israel Funds America's Israel Lobby, While U.S. Taxpayers Pay for Endless Fraud Against Themselves by Philip Giraldi

Sep 14, 2020 | geopolitics.co

SEPTEMBER 12, 2020 GEOPOLITICS101 1 COMMENT

Imagine for a moment that there is a foreign government that receives billions of dollars a year in "aid" and other benefits from the United States taxpayer. Consider beyond that, the possibility that that government might take part of the money it receives and secretly recycle it to groups of American citizens in the United States that exist to maintain and increase that money flow while also otherwise serving other interests of the recipient country.

That would mean that the United States is itself subsidizing the lobbies and groups that are inevitably working against its own interests. And it also means that U.S. citizens are acting as foreign agents, covertly giving priority to their attachment to a foreign country instead of to the nation in which they live.

I am, of course, referring to Israel. It does not require a brilliant observer to note how Israel and its allies inside the U.S. have become very skilled at milking the government in the United States at all levels for every bit of financial aid, trade concessions, military hardware and political cover that is possible to obtain.

The flow of dollars, goods, and protection is never actually debated in any serious way and is often, in fact, negotiated directly by Congress or state legislatures directly with the Israeli lobbyists. This corruption and manipulation of the U.S. governmental system by people who are basically foreign agents is something like a criminal enterprise and one can only imagine the screams of outrage coming from the New York Times if there were a similar arrangement with any other country.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/hmDyIYT3GYY?feature=oembed

The latest revelation about Israel's cheating involves subsidies that were paid covertly by Israeli government agencies to groups in the United States which in turn took direction from the Jewish state, often inter alia damaging genuine American interests. The groups involved failed to disclose the payments, which is a felony .

They also failed to register under the terms of the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, which mandates penalties for groups and individuals acting on behalf of foreign governments.

In particular, FARA mandates that the finances and relationships of the foreign affiliated organization be open to Department of the Justice inspection. It states that "any person who acts as an agent, representative, employee, or servant, or otherwise acts at the order, request, or under the direction or control of a foreign principal." Those who fail to disclose might be penalized by up to five years in prison and fines up to $250,000.

Israel's various friends and proxies, uniquely, have been de facto exempt from any regulation by the U.S. government. The last serious attempt to register a major lobbying entity was made by John F. Kennedy, who sought to have the predecessor organization to today's American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) comply with FARA. Kennedy was killed before he could complete the process.

To be sure, the U.S. government has recently been aggressive in demanding FARA registration for other nations as well as for Americans working for foreign powers. There have been several prominent FARA cases in the news.

Major Russian news agencies operating in the U.S. were compelled to register in 2017 because they were funded largely or in part by the Kremlin. Also, as part of their plea deals, the former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn both conceded that they had failed to comply with FARA when working as consultants with foreign governments.

A leading recipient of the Israeli government's largesse has been the Israel Allies Foundation (IAF), which has a presence in 43 countries worldwide, though it is registered in the U.S. as a non-profit . It received a grant of $100,000 from Israel's Strategic Affairs Ministry in 2019, part of the $6.6 million that was doled out to eleven American organizations in 2018-9.

Israel Allies particularly uses Lawfare to target the non-violent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), which has a large and growing presence on university campuses. Effective lobbying by IAF in the U.S. has resulted in more than half of all states passing legislation that bans or limits the BDS activity while legislation that would criminalize organizations working against Israel has also been moving through congress. IAF has been directly involved in drafting such legislation and has more recently been pushing for new laws that would legally define criticism of Israel as anti-Semitism.

The Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs initially, in 2015-7, tried to give money openly to diaspora organizations but found that many American Jewish groups, to their credit, would not take it due to concerns over FARA and being accused of "dual loyalty." So, the Ministry created an ostensibly non-government "public benefit company" cut-out to distribute the cash in a more secretive fashion. The mechanism was given the operational name Concert.

Concert's sole purpose was to provide money to diaspora advocacy groups that would work primarily against BDS and other efforts to delegitimize the Jewish state. Concert had an independent board, but its activity of directed by the Strategic Affairs Ministry's director-general.

Concert's internal documents are predictably vague in describing the activities that it was funding, and one might assume that they are purposely misleading. They refer to "defensive and offensive" actions, on "corporate responsibility," "the digital battlefield," and regarding "amplification units" that would provide "support for organizations in a pro-Israeli network."

The intention was to improve Israel's image due to the widespread and completely accurate perception that its human rights record is among the worst in the world . Concert was created to serve as a mechanism to be exploited where situations prevailed that "require an 'outside the government' discussion with the different target audiences [and] provide a rapid and coordinated response against the attempts to tarnish the image of Israel around the world."

Interestingly, one of the most recognizable recipients of Concert funds was Christians United for Israel (CUFI), America's largest pro-Israel group, which received nearly $1.3 million in February 2019 to pay for several 10 week-long "pilgrimages" to the Holy Land. Each pilgrimage involved thirty "influential Christian clerics from the U.S." who were clearly propagandized while they were in the Middle East. Other large disbursements went to predominantly Jewish student groups, presumably to provide them with both resources and necessary training to oppose campus critics of Israel.

The simple way to deal with the massive and illegal Israeli influencing operations that are being directed against the United States would be first of all to deduct every identifiable dollar that is being spent by the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to empower supporters in America from the $3.8 billion plus that Israel receives each year directly from the U.S. Treasury. Israel would not be concerned if the United States were to recover a paltry $10 million or so, but it would definitely send a message.

And then one might follow-up by requiring all the Israeli proxies that together make up the Israel Lobby to register under FARA. One might start with AIPAC, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) and the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) but there will be many, many more before the work is done. And CUFI, for sure. The fundamentalist Christian head cases that place Israel's interests ahead of those of their own country finally need to have their bell rung.

Philip Giraldi Ph.D., is an Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest. Josh SEPTEMBER 12, 2020 AT 11:31 PM

Yes. That is how any parasite operates upon its host. Basically.

[Sep 14, 2020] Is Biden an old-school right-wing Democrat war criminal.

Sep 14, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

booboo , 6 hours ago

"The Past is Prologue

It is September 2020. Americans are focused on an election between an Orange Fascist criminal and an old-school right-wing Democrat war criminal. Where Donald Trump projects chaos and disorder, Biden projects stability, order, and a return to normalcy. If Trump is the virus, then surely Biden is the cure"

so this *** clown spends 5000 words on the criminal operation in Libya under Obama/Biden/Clinton which leave the country in utter chaos and this is his money shot? Orange man bad fascist, old school democrat War Criminal normal.

what a load of tripe

Ace006 , 5 hours ago

A+. He provides much needed clarity and perspective on the Libyan tragedy and then crashes into the usual delusional, leftist landfill of fascism, murder of black youth, BLM (all hail), and Biden as, so help me, some kind of a cure for anything.

... ... ...

[Sep 14, 2020] The Plot Against Libya- An Obama-Biden-Clinton Criminal Conspiracy -

Sep 14, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

The Plot Against Libya: An Obama-Biden-Clinton Criminal Conspiracy


by Tyler Durden Fri, 09/11/2020 - 23:40 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print

Authored by Eric Draitser via Counterpunch.org,

The scorching desert sun streams through narrow slats in the tiny window. A mouse scurries across the cracked concrete floor, the scuttling of its tiny feet drowned out by the sound of distant voices speaking in Arabic. Their chatter is in a western Libyan dialect distinctive from the eastern dialect favored in Benghazi. Somewhere off in the distance, beyond the shimmering desert horizon, is Tripoli, the jewel of Africa now reduced to perpetual war.

But here, in this cell in a dank old warehouse in Bani Walid, there are no smugglers, no rapists, no thieves or murderers. There are simply Africans captured by traffickers as they made their way from Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Eritrea, or other disparate parts of the continent seeking a life free of war and poverty, the rotten fruit of Anglo-American and European colonialism. The cattle brands on their faces tell a story more tragic than anything produced by Hollywood.

These are slaves: human beings bought and sold for their labor. Some are bound for construction sites while others for the fields. All face the certainty of forced servitude, a waking nightmare that has become their daily reality.

This is Libya, the real Libya. The Libya that has been constructed from the ashes of the US-NATO war that deposed Muammar Gaddafi and the government of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. The Libya now fractured into warring factions, each backed by a variety of international actors whose interest in the country is anything but humanitarian.

But this Libya was built not by Donald Trump and his gang of degenerate fascist ghouls. No, it was the great humanitarian Barack Obama, along with Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Susan Rice, Samantha Power and their harmonious peace circle of liberal interventionists who wrought this devastation. With bright-eyed speeches about freedom and self-determination, the First Black President, along with his NATO comrades in France and Britain, unleashed the dogs of war on an African nation seen by much of the world as a paragon of economic and social development.

But this is no mere journalistic exercise to document just one of the innumerable crimes carried out in the name of the American people. No, this is us, the antiwar left in the United States, peering through the cracks in the imperial artifice – crumbling as it is from internal rot and political decay – to shine a light through the gloom named Trump and directly into the heart of darkness.

There are truths that must be made plain lest they be buried like so many bodies in the desert sand.

The War on Libya: A Criminal Conspiracy

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To understand the depth of criminality involved in the US-NATO war on Libya, we must unravel a complex story involving actors from both the US and Europe who quite literally conspired to bring about this war, while simultaneously exposing the unconstitutional, imperial presidency as embodied by Mr. Hope and Change himself.

In doing so, a picture emerges that is strikingly at odds with the dominant narrative about good intentions and bad dictators. For although Gaddafi was presented as the villain par excellence in this story told by the Empire's scribes in corporate media, it is in fact Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, former French President Nicholas Sarkozy, French philosopher-cum-neocolonial adventurist Bernard Henri-Levy, and former UK Prime Minister David Cameron, who are the real malevolent forces. It was they, not Gaddafi, who waged a blatantly illegal war on false pretenses and for their own aggrandizement. It was they, not Gaddafi, who conspired to plunge Libya into chaos and civil war from which it is yet to emerge. It was they who beat the war drums while proclaiming peace on earth and good will to men.

The US-NATO war on Libya represents perhaps one of the most egregious examples of US military aggression and lawlessness in recent memory. Of course, the US didn't act alone as a wide cast of characters played a role as the French and British were keen to involve themselves in the reassertion of control over a once lucrative African asset torn from European control by the evil Gaddafi. And this, only a few years after former UK Prime Minister and Iraq war criminal Tony Blair met with Gaddafi to usher in a new era of openness and partnership.

The story begins with Bernard Henri-Lévy, the French philosopher, journalist, and amateur foreign service officer who fancied himself an international spy. Having failed to arrive in Egypt in time to buttress his ego by capitalizing on the uprising against former dictator Hosni Mubarak, he quickly shifted his attention to Libya, where an uprising in the anti-Gaddafi hotbed of Benghazi was underway. As Le Figaro chronicled , Henri-Levy managed to talk his way into a meeting with then head of the National Transition Council (TNC) Mustapha Abdeljalil, a former Gaddafi official who became head of the anti-Gaddafi TNC. But Henri-Levy wasn't there just for an interview to be published in his French paper, he was there to help overthrow Gaddafi and, in so doing, make himself into an international star.

Henri-Levy quickly pressed his contacts and got on the phone with French President Nicholas Sarkozy to ask him, rather bluntly, if he'd agree to meet with Abdeljalil and the leadership of the TNC. Just a few days later, Henri-Levy and his colleagues arrived at the Élysée Palace with TNC leadership at their side. To the utter shock of the Libyans present, Sarkozy tells them that he plans to recognize the TNC as the legitimate government of Libya. Henri-Levy and Sarkozy have now, at least in theory, deposed the Gaddafi government.

But the little problem of Gaddafi's military victories and the very real possibility that he might emerge victorious from the conflict complicated matters as the French public had become aware of the scheme and was rightly lambasting Sarkozy. Henri-Levy, ever the opportunist, stoked the patriotic fervor by announcing that without French intervention, the tricolor flag flying over five-star hotels in Benghazi would be stained with blood. The PR campaign worked as Sarkozy quickly came around to the idea of military intervention.

However, Henri-Levy had a still more critical role to play: bringing the US military juggernaut into the plot. Henri-Levy organized the first of what would be several high-level talks between US officials from the Obama Administration and the Libyans of the TNC. Most importantly, Henri-Levy set up the meeting between Abdeljalil and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. While Clinton was skeptical at the time of the meeting, it would be a matter of months before she and Joe Biden, along with the likes of Susan Rice, Samantha Power, and others would be planning the political, diplomatic, and military route to regime change in Libya.

The Americans Enter the Fray

There would have been no war in Libya were it not for the US political, diplomatic, and military machine. In this sense, despite the relatively meager US military involvement, the war in Libya was an American war. That is to say, it was a war that could not have happened were it not for the active collaboration of the Obama Administration with its French and British counterparts.

As Jo Becker of the NY Times explained in 2016, Hillary Clinton met with Mahmoud Jibril, a prominent Libyan politician who would go on to become the new Prime Minister of post-Gaddafi Libya, and his associates, in order to assess the faction now garnering US support . Clinton's job, according to Becker, was "to take measure of the rebels we supported" – a fancy way of saying that Clinton attended the meeting to determine whether this group of politicians speaking on behalf of a diverse group of anti-Gaddafi voices (ranging from pro-democracy activists to outright terrorists affiliated with global terror networks) should be supported with US money and covert arms.

The answer, ultimately, was a resounding yes.

But of course, as with all America's warmongering misadventures, there was no consensus on military intervention. As Becker reported, some in the Obama Administration were skeptical of the easy victory and post-conflict political calculus. One prominent voice of dissent, at least according to Becker, was former Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Himself no dove, Gates was concerned that Clinton and Biden's hawkish attitude toward Libya would ultimately lead to an Iraq-style political nightmare that would undoubtedly end with the US having created and then abandoned a failed state – exactly what happened.

It is important to note that Clinton and Biden were two of the principal voices for aggression and war. Both were supportive of the No-Fly Zone from early on, and both advocated for military intervention. Indeed, the two have been simpatico in nearly every war crime committed by the US in the last 30 years, including perhaps most egregiously in support of Bush's crime against humanity that we call the second Iraq War.

As former Clinton lackey (Deputy Director of Secretary of State Clinton's Policy Planning staff) Derek Chollet explained, "[Libya] seemed like an easy case." Chollet, a principal participant in the American conspiracy to make war on Libya who later went on to serve directly under Obama and at the National Security Council, inadvertently illustrates in stark relief the imperial arrogance of the Obama-Clinton-Biden liberal interventionist camp. In calling Libya an "easy case" he of course means that Libya was a perfect candidate for a regime change operation whose primary benefit would be to boost politically those who supported it.

Chollet, like many strategic planners at the time, saw Libya as a slam dunk opportunity to turn the demonstrations and uprisings of 2010-2011, which quickly became known as the Arab Spring, into political capital from the Democratic camp of the US ruling class. This rapidly became Clinton's position. And soon, the consensus of the entire Obama Administration.

Obama's War Off the Books

One of the more pernicious myths of the US war on Libya was the notion – propagated dutifully by the defense lobbyists-cum-journalists at major corporate media outlets – that the war was a cheap little war that cost the US almost nothing. There were no American lives lost in the war itself (Benghazi is another mythology to be unraveled later), and very little cost in terms of "treasure", to use that despicable imperialist phrase.

But while the total cost of the war paled in comparison to the monumental-scale crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, the means by which it was funded has cost the US far more than dollars; the war on Libya was a criminal and unconstitutional endeavor that has further laid the groundwork for the imperial presidency and unconstrained executive power. As the Washington Post reported at the time:

Noting that Obama had said the mission could be paid for with money already appropriated to the Pentagon, [former House Speaker] Boehner pressed the president on whether supplemental funding would be requested from Congress.

Unforeseen military operations that require expenditures such as those being made for the Libyan effort normally require supplemental appropriations since they are outside the core Pentagon budget. That is why funds for Afghanistan and Iraq are separate from the regular Defense Department budget. The added costs for some of the operations in Libya are minimal But the expenditures for weapons, fuel and lost equipment are something else.

Because the Obama Administration did not seek congressional appropriations to fund the war, there is very little in the way of paper trail to do a proper accounting of the costs of the war. As the cost of each bomb, fighter jet, and logistical support vehicle disappeared into the abyss of Pentagon accounting oblivion, so too did any semblance of constitutional legality. In essence, Obama helped establish a lawless presidency that not only has little respect for constitutionally mandated checks and balances, but completely ignores the rule of law. Indeed, some of the crimes that Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr are guilty of have their direct corollary in the Obama Administration's prosecution of the Libya war.

So where did the money come from and where did it go? It's anybody's guess really, unless you're one of those rubes who likes taking the Pentagon's word for it. As a Pentagon spokesperson told CNN in 2011, "The price tag for U.S. Defense Department operations in Libya as of September 30 [was] $1.1 billion. This included daily military operations, munitions, the drawdown of supplies and humanitarian assistance." However, to illustrate the downright Orwellian impossibility of discerning the truth, Vice President Joe Biden doubled that number when speaking on CNN, suggesting that "NATO alliance worked like it was designed to do, burden-sharing. In total, it cost us $2 billion, no American lives lost."

As is painfully evident, there is no clear way to know how much was spent other than to take the word of those who prosecuted the war. With no congressional oversight, and no clear documentary record, the war on Libya disappears down the memory hole, and with it the idea that there is a separation of powers, Congressional authority to make war, or a functioning Constitution.

America's Dirty War in Libya

While the enduring memory of Libya for most Americans is the political theater that resulted from the attack on the US facility in Benghazi that killed several Americans, including US Ambassador Stevens, it is not nearly the most consequential. Rather, America's use of terrorist groups (and the insurgents who emerged from them) as military proxies may perhaps be the real legacy from a strategic perspective. For while the corporate media presented the narrative of spontaneous protests and uprisings to overthrow Gaddafi, it was in fact a loose network of terror groups that did the dirty work.

While much of this recent history has been buried by bad reporting, establi