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NSC --  a sinister organization that controls the President and foreign policy, and ensure  militarization of the USA foreign policy on behave of CIA and MIC

News Neofascism Recommended Links Viper nest of neocons in state department fuels Ukraingate John Bolton Was Eric Ciaramella a part of Obama/Brennan "Trump Task force" ? Fiona Hill as Nuland 2.0 H.R. McMaster
Michael Flynn Robert O’Brien, yet another neocon in Trump administration Alexander Vindman Mike "we killed up to 200 Russians" Pompeo: a liar, a killer, a war criminal, a lobbyist for MIC Rex Tillerson Nikki "Binomo" Haley -- yet another female neocon in best Madeleine Albright style Zbigniew Brzezinski -- an influencial anti-Russian bigot who helped to create Political Islam and modern jihadists Anatol Leiven on American Messianism
Disaster capitalism Predator state New American Militarism Hypocrisy and Pseudo-democracy Creepy neocon Joe Biden and fleecing of Ukraine Ukraine-gate as Russiagate 2.0 American Exceptionalism Blob attacks Trump: Viper nest of neocons in state department fuels Ukraingate
Ukrainian Security Services role in Spygate (aka Russiagate) USA-Russia Gas War "Fuck the EU": neocons show EU its real place  UA officials and security services  role in fueling Russiagate and Ukrainegate  FBI and CIA contractor Crowdstrike and very suspicious DNC leak saga Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources Diplomacy by deception Machiavellism
Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Media-Military-Industrial Complex Who Rules America The Iron Law of Oligarchy The Deep State Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Etc
 

The Rise of the American National Security State is about the militarization of U.S. foreign policy starting about midway through the 20th century, increasing during the Cold War era and, somewhat surprisingly, continuing in the post-Cold War period. Part I asserts that something called the Cold War consensus emerged quickly after the end of World War П, during the first few years of what became the Cold War. One result of the Cold War consensus was a critical piece of legislation that created the Defense Department, what became the intelligence community (beginning with the CIA) and the National Security Council (NSC) inside the executive branch — that is the presidency. From the very beginning NSC was designed  as the tool of such militarization:

Secret Wars, Forgotten Betrayals, Global Tyranny. Who Is Really in Charge of the U.S. Military – OffGuardian

Recall that there was an attempted military coup d’état, which was exposed by General Butler in a public address in 1933, against the Presidency of FDR who was only inaugurated that year. One could say that there was a very marked disapproval from shadowy corners for how Roosevelt would organise the government.

One key element to this reorganisation under Truman was the dismantling of the previously existing foreign intelligence bureau that was formed by FDR, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) on Sept 20, 1945 only two weeks after WWII was officially declared over. The OSS would be replaced by the CIA officially on Sept 18, 1947, with two years of an American intelligence purge and the internal shifting of chess pieces in the shadows.

In addition, de-facto President Truman would also found the United States National Security Council on Sept 18, 1947, the same day he founded the CIA. The NSC was a council whose intended function was to serve as the President’s principal arm for coordinating national security, foreign policies and policies among various government agencies.

In Col. Prouty’s book he states:

In 1955, I was designated to establish an office of special operations in compliance with National Security Council (NSC) Directive #5412 of March 15, 1954. This NSC Directive for the first time in the history of the United States defined covert operations and assigned that role to the Central Intelligence Agency to perform such missions, provided they had been directed to do so by the NSC, and further ordered active-duty Armed Forces personnel to avoid such operations. At the same time, the Armed Forces were directed to “provide the military support of the clandestine operations of the CIA” as an official function.

What this meant, was that there was to be an intermarriage of the foreign intelligence bureau with the military, and that the foreign intelligence bureau would act as top dog in the relationship, only taking orders from the NSC. Though the NSC includes the President, as we will see, the President is very far from being in the position of determining the NSC’s policies.

 

The main thesis is that from the late 1940s through the entirety of the Cold War, US foreign policy increasingly militarized. Then the Cold War ended interestingly (and somewhat paradoxically), US foreign policy continued to militarize rather than return to the inward-looking nation that existed prior to World War П even after dissolution of the USSR. The question is why?

Some years ago, Charles Kegley and the late Eugene Wittkopf defined U.S. foreign policy conceptually as follows. Kegley and Wittkopf asserted that U.S. foreign policy was the goals and/or objectives that policy makers sought to achieve abroad, the values that shaped the said objectives (affected them, constrained them, etc.), and the instruments used to accomplish them. It is as good as any definition and had the virtue of simplicity.

The Kegley-Wittkopf definition, though simple, included three main concepts (think of them as indicators of the dependent variable, y). The three indicators are (1) goals or objectives (whatever word the reader prefers), (2) the values that affect those objectives over time (one may think of this as America's ethos), and (3) the instruments by which the objectives are carried out or put into motion.

Any nation-state (or other actor) has things external, events outside its borders to which it reacts and responds: invasions, economic crises, various kinds of wars, balances of power, and the like, which cause policy makers to respond. Additionally, the United States has huge foreign policy bureaucracy (or rather, competing bureaucracies) including the defense and state departments, the intelligence community (from CIA to NSA to Naval intelligence), as well as other players, such as commerce department, treasury ( read Wall Street), department of agriculture, so forth that all affect the USA foreign policy.

The foreign policy  behemoth of the United States probably implements foreign policy more often than makes it, but its influence is felt in many ways. Bureaucracy often constrains rapid or dramatic change, for instance.

 Think of these government inputs as bureaucracy conforming, largely, to the rules of bureaucracy everywhere. Bureaucracy can create an impetus for change or it can constrain foreign policy—mostly the latter.

In the United States, key members of the president's cabinet—as will be seen—secretaries of state and defense, the president's advisers for security and counterterrorism, and Joint Chiefs of Staff—regularly meet with the president to address foreign policy challenges.

The reader will soon see a set of these advisers is called the National Security Council principals and the NSC was created by something called the National Security Act of 1947, an important focus of the present study.

 Each presidential adviser has personality and management idiosyncrasies and those differences have the potential to affect U.S. foreign policy (particularly in the NSC setting but elsewhere too). These are individual inputs of U.S. foreign policy and they include, importantly, individual presidents and their idiosyncratic differences.

By contrast to individual inputs, however, each of the mentioned positions has role expectations also. The American people expect the president and secretary of defense (and others) to behave in certain ways and those roles come to shape the individual, often more than the individual shapes the office or role. In addition to role expectations by the public when a candidate becomes president and nominates cabinet and NSC advisers, several of these positions also have role expectations and role shapes the office holder as often as the office holder shapes the role. These constitute role inputs.

singe the end of the WWII the main goal of the USA foreign  policy was attaining and maining the world hegemony -- Full spectrum dominance.  While America did not start out as an empire as early as  1812 it was already militaristic and warmongering nation, always ready to start war of expansion at slightest opportunity.

Initially the USA was concerted with expanding within North American continent and has modest foreign policy ambitions that turned around laissez-faire economics, freedom of navigation (necessary for capitalism), and eventually the Monroe Doctrine (dividing the European Hemisphere from our own),

But already in the War of 1812 the USA acted as predatory state. 

The NSC consists of three main parts. The first part is the NSC principals (after 1991 called the principals committee. The principals committee includes the advisers and members articulated in the National Security Act of 1947 (president, vice president, secretary of state, secretary of defense, what has become the national security adviser but began as an executive secretary) and a few others, such as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) and the head of civilian intelligence (originally the DCI but today called the Director of National Intelligence [DNI]). Presidents are allowed by statute to include others as they deem necessary. Sometimes a president will include the attorney general, director of home land defense, and others. The NSC principals committee did not fully emerge until the 1990s. Though not called the NSC principals originally. For example, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the "ExComm" or executive committee of the NSC met. The "ExComm" was essentially a meeting of the NSC principals along with some participation by others that we would today consider NSC deputies or ad hoc members (as opposed to statutory members) of the NSC. In each of the case studies in Part II, the same criteria or questions will be applied: whether the NSC (including the principals, deputies, and staff) have been used in a novel or unique way.

Most of the positions included in the NSC principals have deputies (e.g., the number two in Defense is the deputy secretary of defense) who run the day-to-day business of the department or bureaucracy. The NSC deputies committee meets more frequently than the NSC principals and tries to anticipate upcoming challenges to U.S. foreign policy. The deputies committee often will meet for preliminary discussion in order to prepare options to eventually be decided by the principals themselves.

The third and final part of the NSC is the NSC staff. NSC staffers are experts from various other executive agencies of the U.S. federal government such as Defense, State, the intelligence community (IC), Treasury, and others who are seconded to the NSC staff for limited time frames (two years or so). NSC staffers are invariably going to return to their home agency at some future point, but they often pass through the NSCs of different administrations for the sake of continuity.

It is important to note that these three entities have not always existed in the NSC. Rather, they evolved over time. Initially, the National Security Act of 1947 created a group of members and advisers who have evolved into the principals committee in modern times as well as an executive sec retary who evolved into the NSC adviser. The members were originally the president, the vice president, both secretaries of state and defense, and the NSC adviser.

The NSC adviser is actually called the special assistant to the president for national security affairs. When the position was the executive secretary of the NSC, it was a relatively weak paper pusher.

All three bureaucracies created by the National Security Act of 1947 (the NSC, department of defense, and today's intelligence community) evolved into rather autonomous from the executive branch  large bureaucracies. Given the laws of bureaucratic inertia and momentum, all three have try to hijack the foreign policy.

All three of the main creations of the National Security Act of 1947— Defense, the IC, and the NSC—have contributed in various ways to the militarization of U.S. foreign policy begun during World War П; each of the three continues to affect foreign policy today.

The NSC has become the apex of U.S. foreign policy making and the NSC is terribly understudied and underappreciated in academic and journalistic circles. Few foreign policy experts write about it or the power that has accrued to the presidency since its creation. Though the NSC was never considered a secret, and in fact Congress debated it in 1947, it has escaped proper scrutiny.


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[Jul 03, 2020] Podcast- Empire Has No Clothes, Episode 9, Foreign Policy Dissent Is Patriotic by DANIEL LARISON

Bolton is just "yet another MIC puppet", who has complete vacuum in his head as for morality and decency. In other words he is a typical Washington psychopath. Like many sociopaths he is a compulsive liar, undeniable careerist and self-promoter.
Jul 02, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

This week on Empire Has No Clothes, we spoke with Elizabeth Shackelford, a former Foreign Service Officer and author of The Dissent Channel: American Diplomacy in a Dishonest Age . Kelley Vlahos, Matt Purple and I talked about demoralization in the department, the reasons for her resignation, U.S. policy in South Sudan and Africa, and the need for greater accountability in our foreign policy. We also covered John Bolton's new book, his outdated foreign policy views, and whether anything he says can be trusted.

Listen to the episode in the player below, or click the links beneath it to subscribe using your favorite podcast app. If you like what you hear, please give us a rating or review on iTunes or Stitcher, which will really help us climb the rankings, allowing more people to find the show.

[Jul 03, 2020] The Iran Obsession Has Isolated the US

So former tank repairman decided again managed to make a make a mark in world diplomacy :-).
Notable quotes:
"... Mike Pompeo delivered an embarrassing, clownish performance at the U.N. on Tuesday, and his attempt to gain support for an open-ended conventional arms embargo on Iran was rejected the rest of the old P5+1: ..."
"... The Trump administration has abused our major European allies for years in its push to destroy the nuclear deal, and their governments have no patience with any more unilateral U.S. stunts. This is the result of two years of a destructive policy aimed solely at punishing Iran and its people. The administration's open contempt for international law and the interests of its allies has cost the U.S. their cooperation. ..."
"... Underscoring the absurdity of the Trump administration's arms embargo appeal were Pompeo's alarmist warnings that an end to the arms embargo would allow Iran to purchase advanced fighters that it would use to threaten Europe and India: ..."
"... This is a laughably unrealistic scenario. Even if Iran purchased advanced fighters, the last thing it would do is send them off on a suicide mission to bomb Italy or India. This shows how deeply irrational the Iran hawks' fearmongering is. Iran has already demonstrated an ability to launch precise attacks with drones and missiles in its immediate neighborhood, and it developed these capabilities while under the current embargo. ..."
"... The Secretary of State called on the U.N. to reject "extortion diplomacy." The best way to reject extortion diplomacy would be for them to reject the administration's desperate attempt to use America's position at the U.N. to attack international law. ..."
Jul 03, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Mike Pompeo delivered an embarrassing, clownish performance at the U.N. on Tuesday, and his attempt to gain support for an open-ended conventional arms embargo on Iran was rejected the rest of the old P5+1:

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Tuesday for an arms embargo on Iran to be extended indefinitely, but his appeal fell flat at the United Nations Security Council, where Russia and China rejected it outright and close allies of the United States were ambivalent.

The Trump administration is more isolated than ever in its Iran obsession. The ridiculous effort to invoke the so-called "snapback" provision of the JCPOA more than two years after reneging on the agreement met with failure, just as most observers predicted months ago when it was first floated as a possibility. As I said at the time, "The administration's latest destructive ploy won't find any support on the Security Council. There is nothing "intricate" about this idea. It is a crude, heavy-handed attempt to employ the JCPOA's own provisions to destroy it." It was never going to work because all of the other parties to the agreement want nothing to do with the administration's punitive approach, and U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA meant that it forfeited any rights it had when it was still part of the deal.

Opposition from Russia and China was a given, but the striking thing about the scene at the U.N. this week was that major U.S. allies joined them in rebuking the administration's obvious bad faith maneuver:

The pointedly critical tone of the debate saw Germany accusing Washington of violating international law by withdrawing from the nuclear pact, while Berlin aligned itself with China's claim that the United States has no right to reimpose U.N. sanctions on Iran.

The Trump administration has abused our major European allies for years in its push to destroy the nuclear deal, and their governments have no patience with any more unilateral U.S. stunts. This is the result of two years of a destructive policy aimed solely at punishing Iran and its people. The administration's open contempt for international law and the interests of its allies has cost the U.S. their cooperation.

Underscoring the absurdity of the Trump administration's arms embargo appeal were Pompeo's alarmist warnings that an end to the arms embargo would allow Iran to purchase advanced fighters that it would use to threaten Europe and India:

If you fail to act, Iran will be free to purchase Russian-made fighter jets that can strike up to a 3,000 kilometer radius, putting cities like Riyadh, New Delhi, Rome, and Warsaw in Iranian crosshairs.

This is a laughably unrealistic scenario. Even if Iran purchased advanced fighters, the last thing it would do is send them off on a suicide mission to bomb Italy or India. This shows how deeply irrational the Iran hawks' fearmongering is. Iran has already demonstrated an ability to launch precise attacks with drones and missiles in its immediate neighborhood, and it developed these capabilities while under the current embargo.

It has no need for expensive fighters, and it is not at all certain that their government would even be interested in acquiring them. Pompeo's presentation was a weak attempt to exaggerate the potential threat from a state that has very limited power projection, and he found no support because his serial fabrications about Iran have rendered everything he says to be worthless.

The same administration that wants to keep an arms embargo on Iran forever has no problem flooding the region with U.S.-made weapons and providing them to some of the worst governments in the world. It is these client states that are doing the most to destabilize other countries in the region right now. If the U.N. should be putting arms embargoes on any country, it should consider imposing them on Saudi Arabia and the UAE to limit their ability to wreak havoc on Yemen and Libya.

The Secretary of State called on the U.N. to reject "extortion diplomacy." The best way to reject extortion diplomacy would be for them to reject the administration's desperate attempt to use America's position at the U.N. to attack international law.

[Jul 01, 2020] Three Glaring Problems with the Russian Taliban Bounty Story by Barbara Boland

Highly recommended!
This is an attempt to move Trump in the direction of more harsher politics toward Russia. So not Bolton's but Obama ears are protruding above this dirty provocation.
Notable quotes:
"... According to the anonymous sources that spoke with the paper's reporters, the White House and President Trump were briefed on a range of potential responses to Moscow's provocations, including sanctions, but the White House had authorized no further action. ..."
"... Bolton is one of the only sources named in the New York Times article. Currently on a book tour, Bolton has said that he witnessed foreign policy malfeasance by Trump that dwarfs the Ukraine scandal that was the subject of the House impeachment hearings. But Bolton's credibility has been called into question since he declined to appear before the House committee. ..."
"... "Who can forget how 'successful' interrogators can be in getting desired answers?" writes Ray McGovern, who served as a CIA analyst for 27 years. Under the CIA's "enhanced interrogation techniques," Khalid Sheik Mohammed famously made at least 31 confessions, many of which were completely false. ..."
"... This story is "WMD [all over] again," said McGovern, who in the 1980s chaired National Intelligence Estimates and prepared the President's Daily Brief. He believes the stories seek to preempt DOJ findings on the origins of the Russiagate probe. ..."
"... The bungled media response and resulting negative press could also lead Trump to contemplate harsher steps towards Russia in order to prove that he is "tough," which may have motivated the leakers. It's certainly a policy goal with which Bolton, one of the only named sources in the New York Times piece, wholeheartedly approves. ..."
"... Not only did CIA et al.'s leak get even with Trump for years of insults and ignoring their reports (Trump is politically wounded by this story), but it also achieved their primary objective of keeping Putin out of the G7 and muzzling Trump's threats to withdraw from NATO because Russia is our friend (well his, anyway). ..."
"... Point 4: the whole point of the Talibans is to fight to the death whichever country tries to control and invade Afghanistan. They didn't need the Russians to tell them to fight the US Army, did they? ..."
"... Point 5: Russia tried to organise a mediation process between the Afghan government and the Talibans already in 2018 - so why would they be at the same time trying to fuel the conflict? A stable Afghanistan is more convenient to them, given the geographical position of the country. ..."
"... As much as I love to see everyone pile on trump, this is another example of a really awful policy having bad outcomes. If Bush, Obama, trump, or anyone at the pentagon gave a crap about the troops, they wouldn't have kept them in Afghanistan and lied about the fact they were losing the whole time. ..."
"... the idea is stupid. Russia doesn't need to do anything to motivate Afghans to want to boot the invaders out of their country, and would want to attract negative attention in doing so. ..."
"... Contrast with the CIA motivations for this absurd narrative. Chuck Schumer famously commented that the intelligence agencies had ways of getting back at you, and it looks like you took the bait, hook, line and sinker. ..."
"... And a fourth CIA goal: it undermines Trump's relationship with the military. ..."
"... Having failed in its Russia "collusion" and "Russia stole the election" campaigns to oust Trump, this is just the latest effort by the Deep State and mass media to use unhinged Russophobia to try to boost Biden and damage Trump. ..."
"... The contemporary left hate Russia , because Russia is carving out it own sphere of influence and keeping the Americans out, because it saved Assad from the western backed sunni head choppers (that the left cheered on, as they killed native Orthodox, and Catholic Christians). The Contempary left hate Russia because it cracks down on LGBT propaganda, banned porn hub, and return property to the Church , which the leftist Bolsheviks stole, the Contempaty left hate Russia because it cracked down on it western backed oligarchs who plundered Russia in the 90's. ..."
Jul 01, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Bombshell report published by The New York Times Friday alleges that Russia paid dollar bounties to the Taliban in Afghanistan to kill U.S troops. Obscured by an extremely bungled White House press response, there are at least three serious flaws with the reporting.

The article alleges that GRU, a top-secret unit of Russian military intelligence, offered the bounty in payment for every U.S. soldier killed in Afghanistan, and that at least one member of the U.S. military was alleged to have been killed in exchange for the bounties. According to the paper, U.S. intelligence concluded months ago that the Russian unit involved in the bounties was also linked to poisonings, assassination attempts and other covert operations in Europe. The Times reports that United States intelligence officers and Special Operations forces in Afghanistan came to this conclusion about Russian bounties some time in 2019.

According to the anonymous sources that spoke with the paper's reporters, the White House and President Trump were briefed on a range of potential responses to Moscow's provocations, including sanctions, but the White House had authorized no further action.

Immediately after the news broke Friday, the Trump administration denied the report -- or rather, they denied that the President was briefed, depending on which of the frenetic, contradictory White House responses you read.

Traditionally, the President of the United States receives unconfirmed, and sometimes even raw intelligence, in the President's Daily Brief, or PDB. Trump notoriously does not read his PDB, according to reports.

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said in a statement Saturday night that neither Trump nor Vice President Pence "were ever briefed on any intelligence alleged by the New York Times in its reporting yesterday."

On Sunday night, Trump tweeted that not only was he not told about the alleged intelligence, but that it was not credible."Intel just reported to me that they did not find this info credible, and therefore did not report it to me or @VP" Pence, Trump wrote Sunday night on Twitter.

Ousted National Security Advisor John Bolton said on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that Trump was probably claiming ignorance in order to justify his administration's lack of response.

"He can disown everything if nobody ever told him about it," said Bolton.

Bolton is one of the only sources named in the New York Times article. Currently on a book tour, Bolton has said that he witnessed foreign policy malfeasance by Trump that dwarfs the Ukraine scandal that was the subject of the House impeachment hearings. But Bolton's credibility has been called into question since he declined to appear before the House committee.

The explanations for what exactly happened, and who was briefed, continued to shift Monday.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany followed Trump's blanket denial with a statement that the intelligence concerning Russian bounty information was "unconfirmed." She didn't say the intelligence wasn't credible, like Trump had said the day before, only that there was "no consensus" and that the "veracity of the underlying allegations continue to be evaluated," which happens to almost completely match the Sunday night statement from the White House's National Security Council.

Instead of saying that the sources for the Russian bounty story were not credible and the story was false, or likely false, McEnany then said that Trump had "not been briefed on the matter."

"He was not personally briefed on the matter," she said. "That is all I can share with you today."

It's difficult to see how the White House thought McEnany's statement would help, and a bungled press response like this is communications malpractice, according to sources who spoke to The American Conservative.

Let's take a deeper dive into some of the problems with the reporting here:

1. Anonymous U.S. and Taliban sources?

The Times article repeatedly cites unnamed "American intelligence officials." The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal articles "confirming" the original Times story merely restate the allegations of the anonymous officials, along with caveats like "if true" or "if confirmed."

Furthermore, the unnamed intelligence sources who spoke with the Times say that their assessment is based "on interrogations of captured Afghan militants and criminals."

That's a red flag, said John Kiriakou, a former analyst and case officer for the CIA who led the team that captured senior al-Qaeda member Abu Zubaydah in Pakistan in 2002. "When you capture a prisoner, and you're interrogating him, the prisoner is going to tell you what he thinks you want to hear," he said in an interview with The American Conservative . "There's no evidence here, there's no proof."

"Who can forget how 'successful' interrogators can be in getting desired answers?" writes Ray McGovern, who served as a CIA analyst for 27 years. Under the CIA's "enhanced interrogation techniques," Khalid Sheik Mohammed famously made at least 31 confessions, many of which were completely false.

Kiriakou believes that the sources behind the report hold important clues on how the government viewed its credibility.

"We don't know who the source is for this. We don't know if they've been vetted, polygraphed; were they a walk-in; were they a captured prisoner?"

If the sources were suspect, as they appear to be here, then Trump would not have been briefed on this at all.

With this story, it's important to start at the "intelligence collection," said Kiriakou. "This information appeared in the [CIA World Intelligence Review] Wire, which goes to hundreds of people inside the government, mostly at the State Department and the Pentagon. The most sensitive information isn't put in the Wire; it goes only in the PDB."

"If this was from a single source intelligence, it wouldn't have been briefed to Trump. It's not vetted, and it's not important enough. If you caught a Russian who said this, for example, that would make it important enough. But some Taliban detainees saying it to an interrogator, that does not rise to the threshold."

2. What purpose would bounties serve?

Everyone and their mother knows Trump wants to pull the troops out of Afghanistan, said Kiriakou.

"He ran on it and he has said it hundreds of times," he said. "So why would the Russians bother putting a bounty on U.S. troops if we're about to leave Afghanistan shortly anyway?"

That's leaving aside Russia's own experience with the futility of Afghanistan campaigns, learned during its grueling 9-year war there in the 1980s.

If this bounty campaign is real, it would not appear to be very effective, as only eight U.S. military members were killed in Afghanistan in 2020. The New York Times could not verify that even one U.S. military member was killed due to an alleged Russian bounty.

The Taliban denies it accepted bounties from Russian intelligence.

"These kinds of deals with the Russian intelligence agency are baseless -- our target killings and assassinations were ongoing in years before, and we did it on our own resources," Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, told The New York Times . "That changed after our deal with the Americans, and their lives are secure and we don't attack them."

The Russian Embassy in the United States called the reporting "fake news."

While the Russians are ruthless, "it's hard to fathom what their motivations could be" here, said Paul Pillar, an academic and 28-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency, in an interview with The American Conservative. "What would they be retaliating for? Some use of force in Syria recently? I don't know. I can't string together a particular sequence that makes sense at this time. I'm not saying that to cast doubt on reports the Russians were doing this sort of thing."

3. Why is this story being leaked now?

According to U.S. officials quoted by the AP, top officials in the White House "were aware of classified intelligence indicating Russia was secretly offering bounties to the Taliban for the deaths of Americans" in early 2019. So why is this story just coming out now?

This story is "WMD [all over] again," said McGovern, who in the 1980s chaired National Intelligence Estimates and prepared the President's Daily Brief. He believes the stories seek to preempt DOJ findings on the origins of the Russiagate probe.

The NYT story serves to bolster the narrative that Trump sides with Russia, and against our intelligence community estimates and our own soldiers lives.

The stories "are likely to remain indelible in the minds of credulous Americans -- which seems to have been the main objective," writes McGovern. "There [Trump] goes again -- not believing our 'intelligence community; siding, rather, with Putin.'"

"I don't believe this story and I think it was leaked to embarrass the President," said Kiriakou. "Trump is on the ropes in the polls; Biden is ahead in all the battleground states."

If these anonymous sources had spoken up during the impeachment hearings, their statements could have changed history.

But the timing here, "kicking a man when he is down, is extremely like the Washington establishment. A leaked story like this now, embarrasses and weakens Trump," he said. "It was obvious that Trump would blow the media response, which he did."

The bungled media response and resulting negative press could also lead Trump to contemplate harsher steps towards Russia in order to prove that he is "tough," which may have motivated the leakers. It's certainly a policy goal with which Bolton, one of the only named sources in the New York Times piece, wholeheartedly approves.

Barbara Boland is TAC's foreign policy and national security reporter. Previously, she worked as an editor for the Washington Examiner and for CNS News. She is the author of Patton Uncovered , a book about General George Patton in World War II, and her work has appeared on Fox News, The Hill , UK Spectator , and elsewhere. Boland is a graduate from Immaculata University in Pennsylvania. Follow her on Twitter @BBatDC .


Tomonthebeach 9 hours ago • edited

Caitlin Johnstone was the first journalist to question this NYT expose' several days ago in her blog. After looking into it, I had to agree with her that the story was junk reporting by a news source eager to stick it to Trump for his daily insults. NYT must love the irony of a "fake news" story catching fire and burning Trump politically. After all, paying people to kill their own enemies? That is a "tip," not a bounty. It is more of an intel footnote than the game-changer in international relations as asserted by Speaker Pelosi on TV as she grabbed her pearls beneath her stylish COVID mask.

I was surprised that Ms. Boland could not think of any motivation for leaking the story right now given recent grousing on the Hill about Trump's inviting Putin to G7 over the objections of Merkel and several other NATO heads of state. I even posted a congratulatory message in Defense One yesterday to the US Intel community for mission accomplished.

Not only did CIA et al.'s leak get even with Trump for years of insults and ignoring their reports (Trump is politically wounded by this story), but it also achieved their primary objective of keeping Putin out of the G7 and muzzling Trump's threats to withdraw from NATO because Russia is our friend (well his, anyway).

Connecticut Farmer Tomonthebeach 3 hours ago

That "bounty" story never passed the smell test, even to my admittedly untrained nose. My real problem is that it's a story in the first place, given that Trump campaigned on a platform that included bringing the boys home from sand hills like Afghanistan; yet here we are, four years later, and we're still there.

Lavinia 6 hours ago

Point 4: the whole point of the Talibans is to fight to the death whichever country tries to control and invade Afghanistan. They didn't need the Russians to tell them to fight the US Army, did they?

Point 5: Russia tried to organise a mediation process between the Afghan government and the Talibans already in 2018 - so why would they be at the same time trying to fuel the conflict? A stable Afghanistan is more convenient to them, given the geographical position of the country.

This whole story is completely ridiculous. Totally bogus.

Wally 5 hours ago

As much as I love to see everyone pile on trump, this is another example of a really awful policy having bad outcomes. If Bush, Obama, trump, or anyone at the pentagon gave a crap about the troops, they wouldn't have kept them in Afghanistan and lied about the fact they were losing the whole time.

Of course people are trying to kill US military in Afghanistan. If I lived in Afghanistan, I'd probably hate them too. And let's not forget that just a few weeks ago the 82nd airborne was ready to kill American civilians in DC. The military is our enemy too!

If you are in the US military today, please quit.

https://www.washingtonpost....

Don't ever forget how they lied to us.

Feral Finster 4 hours ago

Moreover, the idea is stupid. Russia doesn't need to do anything to motivate Afghans to want to boot the invaders out of their country, and would want to attract negative attention in doing so.

The purported bounty program doesn't help Russia, but the anonymous narrative does conveniently serve several CIA purposes:
1. It makes it harder to leave Afghanistan.
2. It keeps the cold war with Russia going along.
3. It damages Trump (whose relationship with the CIA is testy at best).

Then there's the question of how this supposed intelligence was gathered. The CIA tortures people, and there's no reason to believe that this was any different.

Feral Finster Sidney Caesar 2 hours ago

1. Russia wants a stable Afghanistan. Not a base for jihadis.

2. The idea that Russia has to encourage Afghans to kill Invaders is a hoot. They don't ever do that on their own.

3. Not only do Afghans traditionally need no motivation to kill infidel foreign Invaders, but Russia would have to be incredibly stupid to bring more American enmity on itself.

Contrast with the CIA motivations for this absurd narrative. Chuck Schumer famously commented that the intelligence agencies had ways of getting back at you, and it looks like you took the bait, hook, line and sinker.

Either that, or you're just cynical. You'll espouse anything, however absurd and full of lies, as long as it damages Trump.

I detest Trump, but I am not a list.

Wally Feral Finster 3 hours ago

I don't have a clue if this bounty story is correct, but I can imagine plenty of reasons why the Russians would do it. It's easy enough to believe it or believe it was cooked up by CIA as you suggest.

Feral Finster Feral Finster 2 hours ago

And a fourth CIA goal: it undermines Trump's relationship with the military.

FND 4 hours ago

There will be one of these BS blockbusters every few weeks until the election. There are legions of buried-in democrat political appointees that will continue to feed the DNC press. It will be non-stop. The DNC press is shredding the 1st amendment.

former-vet FND 2 hours ago

Not shredding the First Amendment, just shining light on the pitfalls of a right to freedom of speech. There are others ramifications to free speech we consider social goods.

Kent FND 2 hours ago

These aren't buried-in democrats. These people could care less which political party the President is a member of. They only care that the President does what they say. Political parties are just to bamboozle the rubes. They are the real power.

Connecticut Farmer 4 hours ago

"U.S. Intelligence"-lol--a contradiction in terms. Just repeat three times: "George 'Slam Dunk' Tenet."

Sidney Caesar Connecticut Farmer 3 hours ago

Tenet knew his role- he said what his superiors wanted to hear: https://www.motherjones.com... The Iraq debacle was a top-down con job.

Stephen R Gould 3 hours ago • edited

The best defence that the WSJ and Fox News could muster was that the story wasn't confirmed as the NSA didn't have the same confidence in the assessment as the CIA. "Is there anything else to which you would wish to draw my attention?" "To the curious incident of the denial from the White House", "There was no denial from the White House". "That was the curious incident".

I note that Fox News had buried the story "below the scroll" on their home page - if they had though the story was fake, the headlines would be screaming at MSM.

maxsnafu 3 hours ago

I was suspicious when I saw it originated in Walter Duranty's newspaper.

The Derp State 3 hours ago

"What if Obama...." #4,267

former-vet 2 hours ago • edited

Pravda was a far more honest and objective news source than The New York Times is. I say that as someone who read both for long periods of time. The Times is on par with the National Enquirer for credibility, with the latter at least being less propagandistic and agenda-driven.

SatirevFlesti 2 hours ago

Having failed in its Russia "collusion" and "Russia stole the election" campaigns to oust Trump, this is just the latest effort by the Deep State and mass media to use unhinged Russophobia to try to boost Biden and damage Trump.

The extent to which the contemporary Left is driven by a level of Russophobia unseen even by the most stalwart anti-Communists on the Right during the Cold War is truly something to behold. I think at bottom it comes down to not liking Putin or Russia because they refuse to get on board with the Left's social agenda.

James SatirevFlesti 2 hours ago • edited

The contemporary left hate Russia , because Russia is carving out it own sphere of influence and keeping the Americans out, because it saved Assad from the western backed sunni head choppers (that the left cheered on, as they killed native Orthodox, and Catholic Christians). The Contempary left hate Russia because it cracks down on LGBT propaganda, banned porn hub, and return property to the Church , which the leftist Bolsheviks stole, the Contempaty left hate Russia because it cracked down on it western backed oligarchs who plundered Russia in the 90's.

The Contempary left wants Russia to be Woke, Broke, Godless, and Gay.

The democrats are now the cheerleaders of the warfare -welfare state,, the marriage between the neolibs-neocons under the Democrat party to ensure that President Trump is defeated by the invade the world, invite the world crowd.

WilliamRD TheSnark 44 minutes ago

"The Trumpies are right in that this was obviously a leak by the intel community designed to hurt Trump. But what do you expect...he has spent 4 years insulting and belittling them. They are going to get their pound of flesh."

Intel community was behind an attempted coup of Trump. He has good reason not to trust them and insulting is only natural. Hopefully John Durham will indict several of them

Kent an hour ago

I honestly don't find "unnamed officials", the CIA, the NSA, the NYT, John Bolton, or President Trump to be credible sources.

Sidney Caesar Kent an hour ago • edited

I've found myself to be the only honest and trustworthy person- everyone should just listen to me.

WilliamRD 42 minutes ago • edited

Montage: Mainstream Media Hype About Russia Collusion https://twitter.com/ggreenw...

WilliamRD 36 minutes ago

Russiagate's Last Gasp https://consortiumnews.com/...

phreethink 20 minutes ago • edited

Interesting take. I certainly take anything anyone publishes based on anonymous sources with a big grain of salt, especially when it comes from the NYT...

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

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

No Friend Of The Devil , says:

Control freaks that cannot even control their own criminal impulses!

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

[Jun 28, 2020] Russian position for Start talks: "We don't believe the US in its current shape is a counterpart that is reliable, so we have no confidence, no trust whatsoever".

Highly recommended!
Jun 28, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

START. Talks began in Vienna with a childish stunt by the American side . I wouldn't expect any results: the Americans are fatally deluded . As for the Russians: " We don't believe the U.S. in its current shape is a counterpart that is reliable, so we have no confidence, no trust whatsoever ".Russian has a word for that: недоговороспособны and it's characterised US behaviour since at least this event (in Obama's time). Can't make an agreement with them and, even if you do, they won't keep it.

[Jun 23, 2020] John Bolton's Mission was to Destroy Donald Trump's Detente with North Korea

Jun 23, 2020 | nationalinterest.org

Bolton, of course, dismissed the entire concept of diplomacy from the very start. He never bought into the notion that North Korean officials could be talked to sensibly because they were, well, insane. Bolton's version of North Korea diplomacy was to tighten the economic screws, brandish the U.S. military, and wait until one of two things happened: 1) the Kim regime surrendered its entire nuclear weapons program like Libya's Muammar al-Qaddafi, or 2) the Kim regime continued to spur Washington's demands, in which the White House would have no option but to use U.S. military force. Bolton's record is analogous to a stereotypical linebacker on an obscene amount of steroids -- smash your opponent to pieces and don't think twice about it. Top Beauty Surgeon Says "Forget Facelifts, This at Home Tip is My #1 Wrinkle Red Del Mar Laboratories Dr: This May Be the Best CBD Ever for Arthritis, Aching Joints & Inflammation Mirror News Online Enlarged Prostate Gone - Just Do This Before Bed (Watch) Newhealthylife 3 Ways Your Cat Asks for Help Dr. Marty The content you see here is paid for by the advertiser or content provider whose link you click on, and is recommended to you by Revcontent. As the leading platform for native advertising and content recommendation, Revcontent uses interest based targeting to select content that we think will be of particular interest to you. We encourage you to view our Privacy Policy and your opt out options here . Got it, thanks! Remove Content Link?

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The only problem: North Korea isn't some helpless punter with string bean arms and a lanky midsection. It's a nuclear weapons state fiercely proud of its independence and sovereignty, constantly on guard for the slightest threat from a foreign power, and cognizant of its weakened position relative to its neighbors. This is one of the prime reasons Bolton's obsession with the Libya-style North Korea deal, in which Pyongyang would theoretically discard its entire nuclear apparatus and allow U.S. weapons inspectors to take custody of its nuclear warheads before flying them back to the U.S. for destruction, was unworkable from the start. The Libya-model trumpeted by Bolton was a politically correct way of demanding Pyongyang's total surrender -- an extremely naive goal if there ever was one. When one remembers the fate of Qaddafi 8 years after he traded sanctions relief for his weapons of mass destruction -- the dictator was assaulted and humiliated before being executed in the desert -- even the word "Libya" is treated by the Kim dynasty as a threat to its existence. As Paul Pillar wrote in these pages more than two years ago, "Libya's experience does indeed weigh heavily on the thinking of North Korean officials, who have taken explicit notice of that experience, as a disincentive to reaching any deals with the United States about dismantling weapons programs."

One can certainly take issue with Trump's North Korea policy. Two years of personal diplomacy with Kim Jong-un have yet to result in the denuclearization Washington seeks (denuclearization is more of a slogan than a realistic objective at this point, anyway). But Trump's strategy aside, Bolton's alternative was worse. The president knew his former national security adviser's public insistence on the Libya model was dangerously inept. He had to walk back Bolton's comments weeks later to ensure the North Koreans didn't pull out of diplomacy before it got off the ground. Trump hasn't forgotten about the experience; on June 18, Trump tweeted that "Bolton's dumbest of all statements set us back very badly with North Korea, even now. I asked him, "what the hell were you thinking?"

[Jun 23, 2020] Chickenhawk B olton May Be a Beast, But He's Washington's Creature by Richard Hanania

Personally he is a bully and as such a coward: he can attack only a weaker opponent. His new book shows that however discredited and intellectually thin his foreign policy views are, they always rise to the top. To Bolton the country is simply a vehicle for smiting his enemies abroad.
Notable quotes:
"... Bolton's hawkishness is combined with an equally striking lack of originality. It is possible to be an unorthodox or partisan hawk, as we see in populists who want to get out of the Middle East but ramp up pressure on China, or Democrats who have a particular obsession with Russia. Bolton takes the most belligerent position on every issue without regards for partisanship or popularity, a level of consistency that would almost be honorable if it wasn't so frightening. No alliance or commitment is ever questioned, and neither, for that matter, is any rivalry. ..."
"... Bolton lacks any intellectual tradition or popular support base that he can call his own. Domestic political concerns are almost completely missing from his book, although we learn that he follows "Adam Smith on economics, Edmund Burke on society," is happy with Trump's judicial appointments, and favors legal, but not illegal, immigration. Other than these GOP clichés, there is virtually no commentary or concern about the state of American society or its trajectory. Unlike those who worry about how global empire affects the United States at home, to Bolton the country is simply a vehicle for smiting his enemies abroad. While Bolton's views have been called "nationalist" because he doesn't care about multilateralism, nation-building, or international law, I have never seen a nationalist that gives so little thought to his nation. ..."
"... Bolton recounts how his two top aides, Charles Kupperman and Mira Ricardel, had extensive experience working for Boeing. Patrick Shanahan similarly became acting Secretary of Defense after spending thirty years at that company, until he was replaced by Mark Esper, a Raytheon lobbyist. Why working for a company that manufactures aircraft and weapons prepares one for a job in foreign policy, the establishment has never felt the need to explain, any more than it needs to explain continuing Cold War-era military commitments three decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union. ..."
"... The most important question raised by the career of John Bolton is how someone with his views has been able to achieve so much power. While Bolton gets much worse press and always goes a step too far even for most of the foreign policy establishment, in other ways he is all too typical. Take James Mattis, a foil for Bolton throughout much of the first half of the book. Although more popular in the media, the "warrior monk" slow-walked and obstructed attempts by the president to pull out of the Middle East, and after a career supporting many of the same wars and commitments as Bolton, now makes big bucks in the private sector, profiting off of his time in government. ..."
Jun 23, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir, John Bolton, Simon & Schuster, 592 pages

The release of John Bolton's book today has become a Washington cultural event, because he is, by all measures, Washington's creature.

Those who dislike the Trump administration have been pleased to find in The Room Where It Happened confirmation in much of what they already believed about the Ukraine scandal and the president's lack of capacity for the job. Some accusations in the book, such as the story about Trump seeking reelection help from China through American farm purchases, are new, and in an alternative universe could have formed the basis of a different, or if Bolton had his way, more comprehensive, impeachment inquiry.

While Bolton's book has been found politically useful by the president's detractors, the work is also important as a first-hand account from the top of the executive branch over a 19-month period, from April 2018 to September 2019. It also, mostly inadvertently, reveals much about official Washington, the incentive structures that politicians face, and the kind of person that is likely to succeed in that system. Bolton may be a biased self-promoter, but he is nonetheless a credible source, as his stories mostly involve conversations with other people who are free to eventually tell their own side. Moreover, the John Bolton of The Room Where It Happened is no different from the man we know from his three-decade career as a government official and public personality. No surprises here.

There are three ways to understand John Bolton. In increasing order of importance, they are intellectually, psychologically, and politically -- that is, as someone who is both a product of and antagonist to the foreign-policy establishment -- in many ways typical, and in others a detested outlier.

On the first of these, there simply isn't much there. Bolton takes the most hawkish position on every issue. He wants war with North Korea and Iran, and if he can't have that, he'll settle for destroying their economies and sabotaging any attempts by Trump to reach a deal with either country. He takes the maximalist positions on great powers like China and Russia, and third world states that pose no plausible threat like Cuba and Venezuela. At one point, he brags about State reversing "Obama's absurd conclusion that Cuban baseball was somehow independent of its government, thus in turn allowing Treasury to revoke the license allowing Major League Baseball to traffic in Cuban players." How this helps Americans or Cubans is left unexplained.

Bolton's hawkishness is combined with an equally striking lack of originality. It is possible to be an unorthodox or partisan hawk, as we see in populists who want to get out of the Middle East but ramp up pressure on China, or Democrats who have a particular obsession with Russia. Bolton takes the most belligerent position on every issue without regards for partisanship or popularity, a level of consistency that would almost be honorable if it wasn't so frightening. No alliance or commitment is ever questioned, and neither, for that matter, is any rivalry.

Anyone who picks up Bolton's over 500-page memoir hoping to find serious reflection on the philosophical basis of American foreign policy will be disappointed. The chapters are broken up by topic area, most beginning with a short background explainer on Bolton's views of the issue. In the chapter on Venezuela, we are told that overthrowing the government of that country is important because of "its Cuba connection and the openings it afforded Russia, China, and Iran." The continuing occupation of Afghanistan is necessary for preventing terrorists from establishing a base, and, in an argument I had not heard anywhere before, for "remaining vigilant against the nuclear-weapons programs in Iran on the west and Pakistan on the east." Iran needs to be deterred, though from what we are never told.

Bolton lacks any intellectual tradition or popular support base that he can call his own. Domestic political concerns are almost completely missing from his book, although we learn that he follows "Adam Smith on economics, Edmund Burke on society," is happy with Trump's judicial appointments, and favors legal, but not illegal, immigration. Other than these GOP clichés, there is virtually no commentary or concern about the state of American society or its trajectory. Unlike those who worry about how global empire affects the United States at home, to Bolton the country is simply a vehicle for smiting his enemies abroad. While Bolton's views have been called "nationalist" because he doesn't care about multilateralism, nation-building, or international law, I have never seen a nationalist that gives so little thought to his nation.

The more time one spends reading Bolton, the more one comes to the conclusion that the guy just likes to fight. In addition to seeking out and escalating foreign policy conflicts, he seems to relish going to war with the media and the rest of the Washington bureaucracy. His book begins with a quote from the Duke of Wellington rallying his troops at Waterloo: "Hard pounding, this, gentlemen. Let's see who will pound the longest." The back cover quotes the epilogue on his fight with the Trump administration, responding "game on" to attempts to stop publication. He takes a mischievous pride in recounting attacks from the media or foreign governments, such as when he was honored to hear that North Korea worried about his influence over the President. Bolton is too busy enjoying the fight, and as will be seen below, profiting from it, to reflect too carefully on what it's all for.

Bolton could be ignored if he were simply an odd figure without much power. Yet the man has been at the pinnacle of the GOP establishment for thirty years, serving appointed roles in every Republican president since Reagan. The story of how he got his job in the Trump administration is telling. According to Bolton's account, he was courted throughout the transition process and the early days of the administration by Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner, ironic considering the reputation of the former as a populist opposed to forever wars and the latter as a more liberal figure within the White House. Happy with his life outside government, Bolton would accept a position no lower than Secretary of State or National Security Advisor. Explaining his reluctance to enter government in a lower capacity, Bolton provides a list of his commitments at the time, including "Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute; Fox News contributor; a regular on the speaking circuit; of counsel at a major law firm; member of corporate boards; senior advisor to a global private-equity firm."

Clearly, being an advocate for policies that can destroy the lives of millions abroad, and a complete lack of experience in business, have proved no hindrance to Bolton's success in corporate America.

Bolton recounts how his two top aides, Charles Kupperman and Mira Ricardel, had extensive experience working for Boeing. Patrick Shanahan similarly became acting Secretary of Defense after spending thirty years at that company, until he was replaced by Mark Esper, a Raytheon lobbyist. Why working for a company that manufactures aircraft and weapons prepares one for a job in foreign policy, the establishment has never felt the need to explain, any more than it needs to explain continuing Cold War-era military commitments three decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Ricardel resigned after a dispute over preparations for the First Lady's trip to Africa, an example of how too often in the Trump administration, nepotism and self-interest have been the only checks on bad policy or even greater corruption ("Melania's people are on the warpath," Trump is quoted as saying). Another is when Trump, according to Bolton, was less than vigorous in pursing destructive Iranian sanctions due to personal relationships with the leaders of China and Turkey. At the 2019 G7 summit, when Pompeo and Bolton try to get Benjamin Netanyahu to reach out to Trump to talk him out of meeting with the Iranian foreign minister, Jared prevents his call from going through on the grounds that a foreign government shouldn't be telling the President of the United States who to meet with.

The most important question raised by the career of John Bolton is how someone with his views has been able to achieve so much power. While Bolton gets much worse press and always goes a step too far even for most of the foreign policy establishment, in other ways he is all too typical. Take James Mattis, a foil for Bolton throughout much of the first half of the book. Although more popular in the media, the "warrior monk" slow-walked and obstructed attempts by the president to pull out of the Middle East, and after a career supporting many of the same wars and commitments as Bolton, now makes big bucks in the private sector, profiting off of his time in government.

In the coverage of Bolton, this is what should not be lost. The former National Security Advisor is the product of a system with its own internal logic. Largely discredited and intellectually hollow, and without broad popular support, it persists in its practices and beliefs because it has been extremely profitable for those involved. The most extreme hawks are simply symptoms of larger problems, with the flamboyant Bolton being much more like mainstream members of the foreign policy establishment than either side would like to admit.

Richard Hanania is a research fellow at the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University.

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[Jun 23, 2020] John Bolton Tells How Iran Hawks Set Up Trump's Syrian Kurdish Disaster

Notable quotes:
"... Bolton's account sheds light on how it happened: hawks in the administration, including Bolton himself, wanted U.S. forces in Syria fighting Russia and Iran. They saw the U.S.-Kurdish alliance against ISIS as a distraction -- and let the Turkish-Kurdish conflict fester until it spiralled out of control. ..."
Jun 23, 2020 | nationalinterest.org

The drama eventually ended with President Donald Trump pulling U.S. peacekeepers out of Syria -- and then sending them back in . One hundred thousand Syrian civilians were displaced by an advancing Turkish army, and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces turned to Russia for help. But U.S. forces never fully withdrew -- they are still stuck in Syria defending oil wells .

Bolton's account sheds light on how it happened: hawks in the administration, including Bolton himself, wanted U.S. forces in Syria fighting Russia and Iran. They saw the U.S.-Kurdish alliance against ISIS as a distraction -- and let the Turkish-Kurdish conflict fester until it spiralled out of control.

Pompeo issued a statement on Thursday night denouncing Bolton's entire book as "a number of lies, fully-spun half-truths, and outright falsehoods."

[Jun 22, 2020] MoA community discussion of Bolton book

Notable quotes:
"... let us not forget that bolton threatened a un officials kids because they guy wasn't going along with the iraq war propaganda. ..."
"... Close -- the threatened official was Jose Bustani, at that time (2002) the head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)as he had been for five years. ..."
"... Bustani had been working to bring Iraq and Libya into the organization, which would have required those two countries to eliminate all of their chemical weapons. ..."
"... The US, though, had other ideas -- chiefly invading and destroying both of those nations, and when Bustani insisted on continuing his efforts then Bolton threatened Bustani's adult children. ..."
Jun 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

pretzelattack , Jun 17 2020 21:49 utc | 14

let us not forget that bolton threatened a un officials kids because they guy wasn't going along with the iraq war propaganda.

Duncan Idaho , Jun 17 2020 22:03 utc | 15

Only with Late Stage Capitalism could we have a vicious war criminal write a book criticizing a psychopathic sociopath.
Anonymous , Jun 17 2020 22:06 utc | 16
The political establishment in Canada appeared dismayed at the prospect of Bolton as National Security Adviser. See these interviews with Hill + Knowlton strategies Vice-chairman, Peter Donolo, from 2018:

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/video/there-s-risk-trump-s-actions-are-driving-the-u-s-into-a-recession-peter-donolo~1342264
https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/video/trade-wars-easy-to-start-not-so-easy-to-finish-peter-donolo~1365104

So Bolton gets in, Meng Wangzhou is detained in Vancouver on the US request (that's another story), and in time, Canada appoints a new Ambassador to China - Mr. Dominic Barton.

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

Then Bolton gets fired. 'Nuff said. Just to let everyone know that Bolton is well and truly hated, as a government official, in certain circles.

AntiSpin , Jun 17 2020 22:07 utc | 17
@ pretzelattack | Jun 17 2020 21:49 utc | 14

Close -- the threatened official was Jose Bustani, at that time (2002) the head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)as he had been for five years.

Bustani had been working to bring Iraq and Libya into the organization, which would have required those two countries to eliminate all of their chemical weapons.

The US, though, had other ideas -- chiefly invading and destroying both of those nations, and when Bustani insisted on continuing his efforts then Bolton threatened Bustani's adult children.

Jpc , Jun 17 2020 22:32 utc | 18
Why was he appointment made in the first place anyone,?
Ian2 , Jun 17 2020 23:08 utc | 19
Jpc | Jun 17 2020 22:32 utc | 18:

My guess Trump went along with the tough guy image that Bolton projected in media and recommendations by others.

james , Jun 17 2020 23:13 utc | 20
let the lobbyists with the most money win... that's what defines the usa system, leadership and decision making process... no one in their right mind would support this doofus..
Jen , Jun 17 2020 23:40 utc | 21
At least the one saving grace about John Bolton's memoir is that it might be a tad closer to reality than Christopher Steele's infamous dossier and might prove valuable as a source of evidence in a court of law. Maybe Yosemite Sam himself should start quaking in his boots.
jen , Jun 17 2020 23:42 utc | 22
Jpc @ 18, Ian2 @ 19:

Personal interest on DJT's part? :-)

JC , Jun 17 2020 23:43 utc | 23
Posted by: Tower | Jun 17 2020 21:43 utc | 13

This is the most intelligent post so far.

Yes why not? If Obama awarded the Noble prize even before he begins serving his first term I can't see why Bolton not nominated now. America is a joke, not a banana republic. It deserves Obama, Trump, Bolton or Biden another stoopid joker.

Stoopid president elected by stoopid citizens

Don Bacon , Jun 17 2020 23:44 utc | 24
@ Jpc
When faced with Trump's behavior of employing warmongers, including several generals, some observers opined that Trump wanted people with contrasting opinions so that he could consider them and then say "no." He did more with Bolton eventually, sending him to Mongolia while he (Trump) went to Singapore (or somewhere over there).
A User , Jun 17 2020 23:47 utc | 25
re Ian2 | Jun 17 2020 23:08 utc | 19
who hazarded : My guess Trump went along with the tough guy image that Bolton projected in media and recommendations by others.
Not at all, if you go back to the earliest days of the orangeman's prezdency, you will see Trump resisted the efforts by Mercer & the zionist casino owner to give Bolton a gig.
He knew that shrub had problems with the boasts of Bolton and as his reputation was as an arsehole who sounded his own trumpet at his boss's expense orangeman refused for a long time. Trump believes the trump prezdency is about trump no one else.
Thing was at the time he was running for the prez gig trump was on his uppers, making a few dollars from his tv show, plus licensing other people's buildings by selling his name to be stuck on them. trump tower azerbnajan etc.
He put virtually none of his own money into the 'race' so when he won the people who had put up the dosh had power over him.
Bolton has always been an arse kisser to any zionist cause he suspects he can claw a penny outta, so he used the extreme loony end of the totally looney zionist spectrum to hook him (Bolton) up with a gig by pushing for him with trump.

It was always gonna end the way it did as Bolton is forever briefing the media against anyone who tried to resist his murderous fantasies. Trump is never gonna argue for any scheme that doesn't have lotsa dollars for him in it so he had plenty of run ins with Bolton who then went to his media mates & told tales.
When bolton was appointed orangey's stakes were at a really low ebb among DC warmongers, so he reluctantly took him on then spent the next 18 months getting rid of the grubby parasite.

div> Yosemite Sam did it better. I would prefer a Foghorn Leghorn-type character, for US diplomacy.

Posted by: Ribbit , Jun 18 2020 0:20 utc | 26

Yosemite Sam did it better. I would prefer a Foghorn Leghorn-type character, for US diplomacy.

Posted by: Ribbit | Jun 18 2020 0:20 utc | 26

Kristan hinton , Jun 18 2020 0:46 utc | 27
Real History: Candidate Trump praised Bolton and named him as THE number one Foreign Policy expert he (Trump) respected.

Imagine the mustachioed Mister Potatoe (sic) Head and zany highjinks!

Bolton and one of his first wives were regulars at Plato's Retreat for wife swapping orgies. The wife was not real keen on the behavior, but she allegedly found herself verbally and physically abused for objecting.

DannyC , Jun 18 2020 1:17 utc | 28
Trump is at fault for hiring him to appease the Zionist lobby. We all knew the guy was a warmonger and a scumbag. It's not a surprise. Trump surrounds himself with the worst people
jadan , Jun 18 2020 1:30 utc | 29
Did John Bolton put his personal interests above the will of congress in an attempt to extort the Ukrainian government? You're making a false equivalence. You seem to have a soft spot for Trump. Bolton is an in-your-face son of a bitch, but Trump, Trump is just human garbage.
Kay Fabe , Jun 18 2020 2:27 utc | 30
Pretty much a nothing burger if thats all he has got. Just a distraction. Trumps outrage just meant help Bolton sell some books. Lol. People are so easy to fool.

I still think Bolton managing the operations as COG in Cheneys old bunker. Coming out for a vacation while next phase is planned

Jackrabbit , Jun 18 2020 2:56 utc | 31
Kay Fabe @Jun18 2:27 #29
Pretty much a nothing burger if thats all he has got.

You underestimate the craftiness of this kayfabe.

The tiff with Bolton makes Trump look like a peace-loving moderate so that he's acceptable to Independent voters.

!!

Den lille abe , Jun 18 2020 3:03 utc | 32
Bolton is just another American arsehole. Nothing new. When they do not get their way, the y always turn on their superiors, or those in charge. Bolton is just another "Anhänger" personal gain is what motivates him.
He should have been a blot on his parents bedsheets or at least a forced abortion, but unfortunately that did not happen...
Piotr Berman , Jun 18 2020 3:53 utc | 33
The self-appointed Deep State has pretty much thwarted him (Trump) and his voters.

Posted by: bob sykes | Jun 17 2020 20:55 utc | 11

Trump thwarted Trump. Before he got elected, Trump mentioned his admiration of Bolton more than once. Voters of Trump elected a liar and an incoherent person -- at time, incomprehensible, a nice bonus. But it is worth noticing that Trump never liked being binded by agreement, like, say, an agreement to pay money back to creditors, or whatever international agreement would restrict USA from doing what they damn please.

Superficially, it is mysterious why Trump made an impression that he wants to negotiate with North Korea with some agreement at the end. Was he forced to make a mockery from the negotiation by someone sticking knife to his back?

Some may remember that Trump promised to abolish Affordable Care Act and replace it with "something marvelous". The latest version is that he will start thinking about it again after re-election. If you believe that...

Granted, Trump is more sane than Bolton, but just a bit, unlike Bolton he has some moments of lucidity.

In conclusion, I would advocate to vote for Biden. If you need a reason, that would be that Biden never tweets, or if he does, it is forgettable before the typing is done. Unlike the hideous Trumpian productions.

jason , Jun 18 2020 3:55 utc | 34
"men fit to be shaved," Tiberius, on Bolton and Friedman.

he is the best & brightest we have. when a dreadful mouth is called for. his insights into the Trump WH are probably as deep as his knowledge of VZ, Iran, Cuba, etc. he's a useful idiot, a willing fool. like Trump, he's the verbal equivalent of the cops on the street, in foreign "policy." another abusive father figure

reading the imperial steak turds - an American form of reading the tea leaves or goat livers or chicken flight or celestial what have you. an emperor craps out a big hairy one like Bolton and the priests and hierophants and lawyers and scribes come for a long, close up inspection and fact-gathering smell of another steaming pile of gmo-corn-and-downer-cow-fed, colon cancer causing, Kansas feed-lot raised, grade A Murkin BEEF. guess what they in their wisdom find? Trump stinks.

kiwiklown , Jun 18 2020 4:20 utc | 35
Scotch Bingeington @ 6 -- "Take a look at his face. It's obvious to me that even John Bolton does not enjoy being John Bolton. That mouth, it's drooping to an absurd degree. Comparable to Merkel's face, come to think of it.

At last, someone who notices physionomy!

That face drips with false modesty, kind of trying to make his face say, "... look at harmless old me..."

That walrus bushiness points at an attempt to hide, to camouflage his true thoughts, his malevolence.

That pretended stoop, with one hand clutching a sheaf of briefing papers, emulating the posture of deferential court clerks, speaks to a lifetime of a snake in the grass "fighting" from below for things important to himself.

But those of us who have been around the block a couple times will know to watch our backs around this type. Poisoned-tipped daggers are their fave weapons, and your backs are their fave "battle space". LOL

This statement by Jeffrey Sachs may as well also describe America's leadership crisis: "At the root of America's economic crisis lies a moral crisis: the decline of civic virtue among America's political and economic elite."

kiwiklown , Jun 18 2020 5:29 utc | 36
GeorgeV @ 8 -- "It's like standing on a street corner watching two prostitutes calling each other a whore! How low has the US sunk."

And the US "leadeship" sends these types out to lecture other peoples on "values"? on how to become "normal nations"? on how to "contain" old civilisations such as Iran, Russia, China?

It is axiomatic that the stupid do not know they are stupid. Same goes for morals. The immoral do not know they are immoral. Or, perhaps, as Phat Pomp-arse shows, they know they are immoral, but do not care. Which makes one rightly guess that people like Bolt-On and him must be depraved.

Yes, it may take centuries before the leadership in this depraved Exceptionally Indispensable Nation to become truly normal again.

snake , Jun 18 2020 5:38 utc | 37
Of course, Trump actually campaigned to leave Afghanistan and Syria, and he was elected to do so. The self-appointed Deep State has pretty much thwarted him and his voters. by: bob sykes 11

I wondered about He King claims that Trump actually attempted to do those awful things, . .. , I looked for evidence to prove the claim.. I asked just about every librarian I could find to please show me evidence that confirms the deep state over rode Mr. Trump's actual attempt to remove USA anything from Afghanistan and Syria. thus far, no confirming or supporting facts have been produced. to support such a claim. Mr. Trump could easily have tweeted to his supporters something to the effect that the damn military, CIA, homeland security, state department, foreign service, federal reserve, women's underwear association and smiley Joe's hamburger stand in fact every militant in the USA governed America were holding hands, locked in a conspiracy to block President Trumps attempt to remove USA anything from Afghanistan or Syria.. If Mr. Trump has asked for those things, they would have happened. The next day there would have been parties in the streets as the militant agency heads began rolling as Mr. Trump fired them each and everyone.. No firings happened, the party providers were disappointed, no troops, USA contractors or privatization pirates left any foreign place.. as far as I can tell. 500 + military bases still remain in Europe none have been abandoned.. and one was added in Israel. BTW i heard that Mr. Trump managed to get 17 trillion dollars into the hands of many who are contractors or suppliers to those foreign operations. I can't say I am against Trump, but i can ask you to show me some evidence to prove your claim.

Jackrabbit , Jun 18 2020 5:50 utc | 38
snake @Jun18 5:38 #36

As always, watch what they do, not what they say.

Trump is the Republican Obama. A faux populist 'insider' who pretends to be an 'outsider'.

Trump was selected to be the nationalist President that meets the challenge from Russia and China. And serves all the usual interests while doing so.

Americans fools keep electing these establishment stooges and then wonder why nothing seems to get any better.

!!

Mao , Jun 18 2020 6:25 utc | 39
Sack cartoon: Trump's 'swamp'

https://www.startribune.com/sack-cartoon-trump-s-swamp/401964365/

https://www.startribune.com/sack-cartoon-the-swamp/420668223/

Mao , Jun 18 2020 6:39 utc | 40
Trump searches for new slogan as he abandons Keep America Great amid George Floyd and covid turmoil

The president has taken to inserting the term 'Transition to Greatness' into his remarks. His 2016 slogan was 'Make America Great Again'. After election he polled audiences on whether to go with 'Keep America Great'. He told CPAC this year and said at the State of the Union 'The Best is Yet to Come'. Tweaks come as he trails Biden in new NBC and CNN polls, as the nation struggles with the coronavirus and protests over police violence.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8398993/Donald-Trump-searches-new-slogan-amid-cratering-polls-against-Joe-Biden.html

Mao , Jun 18 2020 6:44 utc | 41
Rudy W. Giuliani @RudyGiuliani

Ukrainian police seize $6 Million in bribes paid to kill the new case into crooked Burisma.

This money is a Followup to the multi-millions in bribes Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, and President Poroshenko earned to leverage their offices to kill the original case.

All covered up!

https://twitter.com/RudyGiuliani/status/1273298170966159366

Ghost Ship , Jun 18 2020 7:28 utc | 42
Christian J. Chuba @ 3
goals that you consider important are different from personal interests.

What personal interests has Trump actually advanced during his time as president. Leaving out the fake allegations, I'm hard put to think of any. If you look at Trump's actual behaviour rather than his bullshit or the bullshit aimed at him, I'm also hard put to think of anything illegal he's done while in office that wasn't done by previous administrations.
Mao , Jun 18 2020 7:41 utc | 43
US President Donald Trump sought help from Xi Jinping to win the upcoming 2020 election, "pleading" with the Chinese president to boost imports of American agricultural products, according to a new book by former national security adviser John Bolton. The accusations were included in an excerpt from The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir, which is set to be released on June 23. Bolton also wrote that Trump demonstrated other "fundamentally unacceptable behaviour", including privately expressing support for China's mass interment of Uygur Muslims and other ethnic minority groups in Xinjiang.*This video has been updated to fix a spelling mistake.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agk61kyDS1k

Yeah, Right , Jun 18 2020 8:35 utc | 44
@42 Mao I'm struggling to see how "pleading" with any country for it to purchase more US goods is "fundamentally unacceptable behaviour" from a US President.

Pleading to Xi for China to give, say, Israel preferential access to markets, sure.

Down South , Jun 18 2020 9:56 utc | 45
The Saker takes an interesting look at this "spontaneous or popular" revolt taking place in America

https://thesaker.is/what-kind-of-popular-revolution-is-this/#comments

Mao , Jun 18 2020 10:35 utc | 46
The Saker:

I have lived in the United States for a total of 24 years and I have witnessed many crises over this long period, but what is taking place today is truly unique and much more serious than any previous crisis I can recall. And to explain my point, I would like to begin by saying what I believe the riots we are seeing taking place in hundreds of US cities are not about. They are not about:

* Racism or "White privilege"
* Police violence
* Social alienation and despair
* Poverty
* Trump
* The liberals pouring fuel on social fires
* The infighting of the US elites/deep state

They are not about any of these because they encompass all of these issues, and more.

It is important to always keep in mind the distinction between the concepts of "cause" and "pretext". And while it is true that all the factors listed above are real (at least to some degree, and without looking at the distinction between cause and effect), none of them are the true cause of what we are witnessing. At most, the above are pretexts, triggers if you want, but the real cause of what is taking place today is the systemic collapse of the US society.

https://www.unz.com/tsaker/the-systemic-collapse-of-the-us-society-has-begun/

Steve , Jun 18 2020 10:57 utc | 47
The only time I'd be interested in anything Bolton had to say is if he were saying it from the docket at The Hague
Matt , Jun 18 2020 11:40 utc | 48
Don't really want to take sides between those two odious characters, but I think there's a difference in what the paper is saying.

One is about someone pursuing policy goals they favour, the other "personal interest". From what I have seen so far, Bolton's main definition of Trump's "personal interest" is his chances for re-election (rather than any personal business interest).

I think Bolton was happy for Trump to pursue the policy goals he favoured, at least when they coincided with Bolton's!

Tadlak Davidovitsh , Jun 18 2020 12:04 utc | 49
In modern Italy, mentioning Jupiter (Jove) and the ox (Bove) in the same sentence usually implies a demand that the two be treated the same.
450.org , Jun 18 2020 12:07 utc | 50
How many people have cashed in on Trump so far? Countless numbers of them. An ocean of them. Scathing books about Trump is one way to cash in on thr Trump effect, and the authors, many of whom don't even write the book themselves, get promoted and their books promoted in the mainstream media and elsewhere.

There is nothing new under the sun when it comes to Trump. We know everything there is to know about Trump. Some of us knew everything there was to know about him before he became POTUS. And yet, there he is, sitting like the Cheshire Cat in the Oval Office, untouchable and beyond reproach. Meanwhile, even more scathing books are in the pipeline because there's money, so much money, to be made don't you know.

Bolton is a shitbird every bit as much as Trump is and in fact an argument can be made Bolton is even worse and even more dangerous than Trump because if Bolton had his druthers, Iran would be a failed state right about now and America would be bogged down in a senseless money-making (for the defense contractors owned by the extractive wealthy elite) quagmire in Iran just as it was in Iraq and still is in Afghanistan.

Colbert is all into the Bolton book because he and his staff managed to secure an interview with Bolton. Bolton, of course, has agreed to this because it's a great way to promote his book to the likes of Cher who is the perfect example of the demographic Colbert caters to with his show. Some of the commercials during Colbert's show last night? One was an Old Navy commercial where they bragged about how they're giving to the poor. The family they used for the commercial, the recipients of this beneficence, was a black family. Biden is proud of Old Navy because don't you know, poor and black are one and the same. In otherwords, there are no poor people except black people. No, that's not racist. Not at all. Also, another commercial during Colbert's show was for the reopening of Las Vegas amidst the spreading pandemic. This is immediately after a segment where Colbert is decrying Republican governors for opening southern states too early. The hypocritical irony is so stark, you can cut it with a chainsaw.

kiwiklown , Jun 18 2020 12:24 utc | 51
Mao @ 45 quoting The Saker -- ".... the real cause of what is taking place today is the systemic collapse of the US society."

And the cause of American societal collapse has been corrupt US leadership.

In my 50 years of studying American society, I have learned to watch what US leaders do, not what they preach. More profitable is to look at what declassified US documents tell us about the truth, not what the presstitudes of the day pretend to dish up. Also, what other world leaders might, in a candid moment, tell us about America.

450.org , Jun 18 2020 12:30 utc | 52
@50
And the cause of American societal collapse has been corrupt US leadership.

I would argue that this is a symptom or a feature versus the root of the problem. Afterall, a system that allows for creeping entrenched endemic corruption, is a crappy system. It's the system that's the root of this and it's not just isolated to the United States. It's civilization itself that's the root and what enabled civilization -- the spirit in our genes as Reg asserts.

450.org , Jun 18 2020 12:47 utc | 53
@4
I'm fully expecting the Dem "left" to try and praise the monsterous Bolton for "going against Trump", as they did with war criminal Mad Dog Matis and Bush. Bolton has to be one of the most evil mass murders on the face of the Earth. The world will be an infinitely better place when he and his ilk like Netanyahu, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Chertoff..etc finally go back to hell.

I agree. They would, because they already have and continue to do so, coddle and provide apologia for any and all monsters who decry Trump. Hell, I'm convinced they would clamor for Derek Chauvin's exoneration if he vocally decried Trump. Chauvin would make the rounds on the media circuit excoriating Trump and telling the world, contritely of course, that it was Trump who made him do it and now he sees the error of his ways. He'd be on Morning Joe and Chris Cuomo's and Don Lemon's shows not to mention Ari Melber and Anderson Cooper and Lawrence O'Donnell. The conservatives and their networks, who have provided apologia for Chauvin thus far, would now be his worst enemy. Colbert and Kimmel would have him on and guffawing with him asking him how it felt to choke the life out of someone, laughing all the way so long as he hates Trump and tells the world how much he hates Trump.

This world is an insane asylum, especially America. All under the banner and aegis of progress. And to think, humanity wants to export this madness to space and the universe at large. Any intelligent life that would ever make its way to Planet Earth, if ever, would be well-advised to exterminate the species human before it spread its poison to the universe at large. Not that that is possible, but just in case the .000000000001% chance of that does miraculously manifest.

kiwiklown , Jun 18 2020 12:48 utc | 54
Mao @ 42

Concerning Trump "pleading" with Xi, it is only right for a leader to request others to buy more US farm produce. We have only Bolton's word that the request was a plea. We also have only Bolton's word that the request / plea was to seek "help from Xi Jinping to win the upcoming 2020 election". Too early to believe Bolton. Wait till we see the meeting transcripts.

Bolton also alleged that Trump exhibited "fundamentally unacceptable behaviour" concerning the Uygurs. Again, only Bolton's word. Even so, saying it is "unacceptable behavior" presumes that China does wrong to incarcerate Uygurs. If not, ie, China either does not incarcerate them, or if China has good moral grounds to do so, then Bolton is wrong to disagree with his boss for uttering the right sentiment. Judging by how the anglo-zios shout about China's "crime", I tend to think the opposite just might be the truth, and that says that Bolton is simply mudslinging to sell books; score brownie points with the anglo-zios, virtue-signalling for his next gig.

Sabine , Jun 18 2020 12:56 utc | 55
so is Trump or Biden the Yeltsin of the US? And who is gonna be the US version of Putin? Mr. Cotton from Arkansas?
vk , Jun 18 2020 13:00 utc | 56
The American people must decide if Trump is anti-China or Xi's bff. He can't be both at the same time.
murgen23 , Jun 18 2020 13:04 utc | 57
I don't see a contradiction with both sentences.

NYT writes Bolton direct US policy to fit his own political agenda,
while Bolton emphasizes Trump direct US policy in the way that pocket him most money.

Politician Bolton is consistent with his politician job (like it or not), Trump is corrupted.

This is how I understand.

450.org , Jun 18 2020 13:14 utc | 58
@56, I would argue that if one person could be both at the same time, that one person would be Donald Trump. He's already proven, like Chauncey Gardner, he can walk on water. Seriously, that excellent movie, Being There , starring the incomparable Peter Sellers, was about Donald Trump's ascension to the Oval Office.

There Are No Limits Except The Limits We Invent And Impose

augusto , Jun 18 2020 13:44 utc | 59
Using this 'quod licet jovi ...' the author apparently knows quite a bit of Latin, the dead language!
But seriously, the nomination of Bolton who had always behaved like 2nd rate advisor, a 3rd rate mcarthist cold warrior was a surprise to me. Such a short sighted heavily biased person could be, yes, chosen a Minister or advisor in a banana Republic but was picked up by the United states.
One can only conclude such a choice was driven by very specific interests of the deep state.They needed a bulldog and got it for one year and half and threw the stinky perro soon as the job was done.
BM , Jun 18 2020 14:05 utc | 60
And the cause of American societal collapse has been corrupt US leadership.
I would argue that this is a symptom or a feature versus the root of the problem.
Posted by: 450.org | Jun 18 2020 12:30 utc | 52

The primary cause of corrupt leadership is corrupt and corruption-accepting population.

Without a population that is fundamentally corrupt and immoral, corrupt leadership is unstable. Conversely - and this is important to recognise as the same phenomenon - democracy cannot exist if the population accepts and takes for granted corruption, as the two are mutually exclusive. In other words if you root out the corrupt leadership without dealing with the mentality of the population, the corruption will quickly come back and any democratic experiment will collapse very quickly.

There is one important qualifier - an overwhelming external influence (since WWII always the USA, either directly or as secondary effect) can leverage latent corruption so that it becomes more exaggerated than it normally would be.

Down South , Jun 18 2020 14:48 utc | 61
What is clear from only this account of the crucial role of big money foundations behind protest groups such as Black lives Matter is that there is a far more complex agenda driving the protests now destabilizing cities across America. The role of tax-exempt foundations tied to the fortunes of the greatest industrial and financial companies such as Rockefeller, Ford, Kellogg, Hewlett and Soros says that there is a far deeper and far more sinister agenda to current disturbances than spontaneous outrage would suggest.

https://m.journal-neo.org/2020/06/16/america-s-own-color-revolution/

michael888 , Jun 18 2020 15:53 utc | 62
Bolton pretended to be President, screwing up negotiations with his Libya Model talk, threatening Venezuela (and anywhere generally) and directing fleets all over the world (including Britain's to capture that Iranian oil tanker). Vindman revered "Ambassador" Bolton because he was keeping the Ukraine corruption in Americans (and Ukrainian Americans') hands, and daring the Russians to "start" WWIII. Bolton might have been a bit more bearable if he had ever been elected, but was happy to see him go. Trump seemed mystified by him.
juliania , Jun 18 2020 16:29 utc | 63
b has presented us (knowingly or not, but I wouldn't put it past him) with the Socratic question of the presumed identity between the morality of the State and personal morality, as best encountered in Plato's dialogue, 'The Republic' ['Politeia' in the Greek] That dialogue begins by examining personal morality, but changes to an examination of what would bring into being a perfect state. In doing the latter, however, it is how to create public spirited persons, in the best sense, which is the actual concern, and the conversation ranges far and wide, becoming more and more complex.

I've always thought that to consider the perfect state had to be an impossibility if the individual, the person him or herself isn't up to the task - and that is the point of the Politeia enterprise. Like the ongoing relay race on horseback that is happening at the same time in the Piraeus, the passing of the argument one person to another that happens in the dialogue demonstrates that what is most crucial for the state as well as for the individual is personal integrity.

I take as an example the message of Saker's essay, linked by Down South and commented on above by others. Saker is pointing out that the protests have been seized upon by the anti-Trumpists who have been disrupting things from the beginning of his administration. But he also says:

"My personal feeling is that Trump is too weak and too much of a coward to fight his political enemies"

Which comes first, the chicken or the egg? The discussion of different kinds of states, which we often have here pursued, or the discussion of what makes a person able to function in one or another state? I don't think Plato was saying that Greece had it made, that Greece needed to throw its weight around more to be great. He's pointing out that it had lost greatness, the same way every empire loses when it forgets that individual spark that is in a single person, his virtue. And the sad thing is it all comes down to the education of our young people in the values, the virtues that apply both to his own personal life and to the life of the state.

At its heart, the protests which are beginning, only beginning, and which are peaceful, may be politeia vs. republic, the 'polis' itself against 'things political'. A new and true enlightenment, multipolar.

karlof1 , Jun 18 2020 16:39 utc | 64
BM @60--

Corruption's been a fact of life in North America ever since it was "discovered." Bernard Bailyn captured it quite well in his The New England Merchants in the Seventeenth Century , that is during the very first stages of plantation, with most corruption taking place in Old England then exported to the West. Even the Founders were corrupt, although they didn't see themselves as such. Isn't Adam & Eve's corruption detailed in Genesis merely an indicator of a general human trait that needs to be managed via culture? That human culture has generally failed to contain and discipline corruption speaks volumes about both. John Dos Passos in his opus USA noted that everyone everywhere was on the "hustle"--from the hobo to the banker. "Every child gots to have its own" are some of the truest lyrics ever written. Will humanity ever transcend this major failure in its nature?

Allen Edmundson , Jun 18 2020 23:30 utc | 65
Who is behind the claim that China is imprisoning vast numbers of Uighurs in concentration camps and what evidence has been presented? See the Greyzone for its recent report on this.

Edmundson

Jpc , Jun 18 2020 23:39 utc | 66
Thanks to all of you for your insights on Bolton.
I still don't see anything to explain why he got a second gig in the Whitehouse.
Or anything that he did that enhanced US security long term.
And another guy who dodged active service.
Strange angry dude,!
Hoarsewhisperer , Jun 19 2020 14:47 utc | 67
Pat Lang believes that Bolton has breached a law requiring US Officials with access to Top Secret Stuff to submit personal memoirs for scrutiny before publishing. Col Lang is awaiting similar approval for a memoir of his own and thinks Bolton didn't bother waiting for the Official OK.
There's a diverse range of comments. Most commentators like the idea of Bolton being tossed in the slammer. Others speculate that as a Swamp Creature, Bolton will escape prosecution. It's interesting that no-one has asked to see the publisher's copy of the USG's signed & dated Approval To Publish document, relevant to Bolton's book.
arby , Jun 19 2020 19:34 utc | 68
Jut a little thread on Bolton and his book.

It is amazing the way these clowns sit around and talk about countries and people as if they were so much dirt. The arrogance and power is disgusting.

link

[Jun 22, 2020] Does John Bolton deserves a Nobel peace Price? In our perverted world why not.

Jun 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Tower , Jun 17 2020 21:43 utc | 13

It's just about time. John Bolton deserves the Nobel Peace Prize. At this point, why not?

JC , Jun 17 2020 23:43 utc | 23

Posted by: Tower | Jun 17 2020 21:43 utc | 13

This is the most intelligent post so far.

Yes why not? If Obama awarded the Noble prize even before he begins serving his first term I can't see why Bolton not nominated now. America is a joke, not a banana republic. It deserves Obama, Trump, Bolton or Biden another stoopid joker.

Stoopid president elected by stoopid citizens

[Jun 21, 2020] Leaker fell victim of the leak: The neocon-warhawk may not see a penny for his book as the PDf was leaked online

MIC eventually will pay this neocon prostitute for services, anyway
Jun 21, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
As Ben Garrison recent noted, in an interview Bolton stated that it was OK for the government agencies to lie to the American people if national security is at stake. And it always seems to be at stake for dominant men who want secrecy and power. Bolton is a dangerous liar and his anti-Trump screed cannot be trusted.

It's time to slam the book shut on Bolton.

[Jun 21, 2020] Paul R. Pillar who pointed out that U.S. sanctions are frequently peddled as a peaceful alternative to war fit the definition of 'crimes against peace'.

Highly recommended!
Jun 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Christian J. Chuba , Jun 21 2020 14:18 utc | 78

Re: the Nuremberg trials , I became fascinated by the writings of Paul R. Pillar who pointed out that U.S. sanctions are frequently peddled as a peaceful alternative to war fit the definition of 'crimes against peace' . This is when one country sets up an environment for war against another country. I'll grant you that this is vague but if this is applicable at all how is this not an accurate description of what we are doing against Iran and Venezuela?

In both cases, we are imposing a full trade embargo (not sanctions) on basic civilian necessities and infrastructures and threatening the use of military force. As for Iran, the sustained and unfair demonization of Iranians is preparing the U.S. public to accept a ruthless bombing campaign against them as long overdue. We are already attacking the civilian population of their allies in Syria, Yemen, and Lebanon.

How Ironic that the country that boasts that it won WW2 is now guilty of the very crimes that it condemned publicly in court.

[Jun 19, 2020] Bolton should be arrested and charged with any of a number of possible crimes

Jun 19, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Security screening of manuscripts I t is the law in the United States that those who have had legal access to the secrets of the government must submit private manuscripts for removal of such secrets BEFORE they are published or even presented to a potential publisher. Every department of government has an office charged with such work.

I know this process well because my memoir "Tattoo" has been in the hands of the appropriate Defense Department office for nigh on six months. The book is long, and I was so unlucky as to have DoD shut down its auxiliary services during my wait. I have thought of withdrawing it from screening but, surprisingly, the screeners tell me it has some worth for those who will come after. So, I will wait.

All this applies to John Bolton, a career State Department man whose adult life has been soaked in government secrets. I first noticed Bolton as a glowering presence at briefings I gave to selected State Department people with regard to national command authority projects I was running. His attitude was consistent. If the idea was not his, it was simply wrong.

Bolton's "kiss and tell" book about Trump is IMO as much caused by wounded ego as a desire to make money. He submitted the book for security review to DoD and the CIA. Why not State? Ah, Pompeo would tear it to pieces. Bolton evidently grew impatient with the pace of clearance and decided to go ahead with publication without clearance

To do this is a felony. The release of the book today completes the elements of proof for the crime.

Bolton should be arrested and charged with any of a number of possible crimes. pl


Jack , 18 June 2020 at 11:56 AM

Sir,

Let's see what Trump does with Bolton now that he has committed a felony.

My bet is that other than crying on Twitter, he'll not do much. His previous actions/inactions on these matters show weakness.

In any case bitching on Twitter makes him look like an executive with poor hiring judgement as he was the one that hired him. Just like he hired Mattis and Kelly as well as Rosenstein and Wray.

Barbara Ann , 18 June 2020 at 12:03 PM
Bolton being successfully charged with violations associated with his sour grapes hit piece memoir is analogous to Al Capone finally going down for tax evasion. But if that's the way it goes I will not be sad.

Re "Tattoo", your Memorial Day "Ap Bu Nho" extract alone makes "some worth" an amusingly ludicrous understatement. I wish you luck with the censors & very much look forward to one day reading "Tattoo".

eakens , 18 June 2020 at 12:05 PM
Who can we rely on to uphold the rule of law anymore? It's starting to appear we are living in a failed state.
Artemesia , 18 June 2020 at 01:22 PM
AIS

He was a convert to the neocon faith early in life and all else was mischief.

Posted by: turcopolier | 18 June 2020 at 12:21 PM

"He was a convert - - -"
I was going to ask what went wrong with Bolton: was he dropped on his head as an infant? No father in the home? The Dulles brothers spent their childhoods being harangued by their bible-thumping Calvinist grandfather (reports Kinzer in his useful bio on the brothers).

In Jeff Engel's book about the decision-making behind G H W Bush's decision to wage war against Saddam re Kuwait, he recounts that an argument by Brent Scowcroft was significant, AND that "Scowcroft, who was very short," confronted taller-than-average Bush while knees-to-knees in an airplane.
Bolton is shorter than the average American male. Does he have 'short-person' compulsion to compensate?

People psychologize Trump constantly, usually from ignorance and malice. But something is very wrong with Bolton. Pompeo as well. What is it?
"What huge imago made a psychopathic god?" (Auden, Sept. 1939)

Polish Janitor , 18 June 2020 at 04:11 PM
Col Lang,

#1 I read this WaPo article that argued because the recent DOJ's lawsuit against the release of the book is based on "prior restraint on speech before it occurs", meaning the Trump administration cannot censor speech before it happens, therefore there is no 1st amendment breach against the Trump admin by Bolton. As the court elaborated in Nebraska Press Association v. Stuart, prior restraints are "the most serious and the least tolerable infringement on First Amendment rights" and "one of the most extraordinary remedies known to our jurisprudence."

#2 Bolton took all of his notes containing classified intelligence with him after he was fired and nobody took an issue. How is that possible?

#3 The Wapo article says his manuscript was reviewed for four months by one Ellen Knight, an official (doesn't mention which department) responsible for reviewing publishing material and she gave it the green light for publication on April 27th.

#4 During a press conference, Bill Barr gave an unusual take on Bolton's book as if he was giving publicity to the book. He said he had never seen a book being written on Trump with such pace and in such quick time and that it had a lot of sensitive information and stuff. It sounded really odd what Bill Barr said. I dunno maybe I am reading to much between the lines...

#5 With regards to Pompeo, back in September during a press conference at the State, when asked by a reporter about Bolton's firing I specifically remember watching him on TV giving a big meaningful chuckle and a smile... it was revealed later that they clearly did not get along with each other and Pompeo had complained on numerous times that Bolton as NSA, who does not have executive authorities, had been doing a lot of policy stuff and running his own show in shadow.

On a final note, I don't think Bolton is a neocon in the mold of Perle, Wolfowitz, Feith, Abrams, Kagan, Kristol etc...There is this long piece by New Yorker published last year that really gets into detail of how and why Bolton is not a neocon, but adheres to a more hawkish Jacksonian nationalism approach rather than the liberal idealism of arch neocons I mentioned above. However, he does have quite similar F.P. views with neocon oldies such as Irving Kristol, Norman Podhoretz, and Jeane Kirkpatrick.

JohnH , 18 June 2020 at 04:39 PM
If Bolton does NOT get the book thrown at him, it will be pretty good evidence of the existence of the Deep State allowing those it favors to write their own rules. Of course, we already knew that after Clapper lied with impunity to Wyden when he was under oath.
TV , 18 June 2020 at 04:49 PM
He'll never be prosecuted and neither will Comey, Clapper and the rest of the swamp scum.
Strozk (lower on the food chain) might be the human sacrifice (with a sentence of "community service") but no one of any significance (or "royal" title) is ever prosecuted in the swamp.
Trump has tried, but his miserable lack of hiring experience and skill has not made a dent
Polish Janitor , 18 June 2020 at 04:53 PM
Artemisia,

I feel like I have a few words to say about Bolton if I may,

IMHO Bolton's view of the world is very dark and extremely Hobbesian. He is no slouch by any stretch of imagination, in fact he is extremely knowledgeable and masterful when it comes to policy-making and that basically how things are done in D.C. He has made a brand for himself as the most hawkish national security expert in all of America in my opinion. Honestly I cannot think of anyone else who espouses more hawkishness and zero diplomacy than Bolton, ever... maybe Tom Cotton or Liz Cheney but still not close. This is the reason why Trump hired him. In fact Trump did not want to hire him as the top brass in first place, citing his mustache as one reason that would not look good on TV and wanted to give him 2nd tier jobs at the State or as NSA early on, but Bolton refused. Trump, wanted to hire Bolton's "brand" not his policies or hawkishness to intimidate Nkorea, Iran, and China to force them come into making deals with him and him personally.

IMO Trump found out after the first Kim summit that Bolton was
such an ambitious and counterproductive foreign policy maker and one-man-team that if he allowed Bolton to get his way, there would be world war III (Trump's own words) and his most important promise to keep America out of forever wars which was his wining platform over neocons such as Hilary, Jeb and Rubio during 2016 election would disappear into thin air.

So, Trump found ways to check Bolton and keep him out of the loop in sensitive and crucial moments by Mattis, Kelly, Joe Dunford, Pompeo and even Melania (in the case of getting rid of Bolton's close confidant and neocon Mira Ricardel when she called for bombing Iranian forces back in September 2018 in respone to several rockets by iraqi militias hitting the ground close to the U.S. embassy in Baghdad), and even sent him to Mongolia last year on a goose chase to make an embarrassing example of him for undermining him (i.e. Trump's) authority in the case of sitting down with the Taliban in Camp David to discuss military pullout from Afghanistan back in Sep. whereas at the same time Pompeo was smart enough to tow the same line as Trump and survive.

I few years ago I came across this interesting but odd piece by B on the Moon of Alabama on Bolton. I honestly dunno what to make of it.

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2006/02/a_glasshouse_in.html

ked , 18 June 2020 at 05:11 PM
The book is already released in the hundreds. It will be on-line soon enough regardless of the niceties of Barr's attempt to slam shut the barn door, or what the legal system does with Bolton going fwd.
Those close to Trump know his emotional state must be appeased or they will soon be departing - unless there's a DNA match.
Reaction to it will be a test of one's ability to distinguish Bolton from the events he describes & their veracity. Is there anything of Trump's statements & acts (released so far) that surprises anyone... that rings untrue?
Those ideologically (or religiously) dependent upon the Trump Phenomenon for validating their core beliefs will demonstrate how creative true believers can be when attached to a personality.
A.I.S. , 18 June 2020 at 05:34 PM
For what its worth I am looking forward to buying it, should scratch that Peter Scholl Latour itch.

Another thing is that I just dont get the Neocons.
Their politics are bad both from a Machieavellian (dilutes US forces, creates enemies, considerably restricts creative ways in which US power could be employed) and from a moral (obviously) point of view. I also dont get their power, stupid/evil tends to be competed out. Heck, even if they are stupid/evil but very good at beurocratic backbiting stuff, they are still supposedly disadvantadged against skilled beurocratic backbiters that arent stupid/evil (or at least only evil and not stupid).
Is it internal cohesion or a much higher degree of ruthlessness that maintains their position?

PB , 18 June 2020 at 07:05 PM
I've for many years thought that the Bolton problem was best solved with a speedy trial and a swift execution, with remains thrown overboard somewhere in the Indian ocean.
turcopolier , 18 June 2020 at 07:13 PM
polish janitor

He signed an oath to safeguard the secrecy of the information when "read on" for it and another such when he was "read off." The 1st Amendment does not come into it at all

[Jun 18, 2020] Poor Johnny! What's sadder than being a crook, but an ineffective one? I think that's what he is. He may be infamous enough to be a household name, but he never really managed to make a career. Hardly ever did he stay on a job for more than 2 years

Jun 18, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

John , Jun 17 2020 19:24 utc | 4

I'm fully expecting the Dem "left" to try and praise the monsterous Bolton for "going against Trump", as they did with war criminal Mad Dog Matis and Bush. Bolton has to be one of the most evil mass murders on the face of the Earth. The world will be an infinitely better place when he and his ilk like Netanyahu, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Chertoff..etc finally go back to hell.

karlof1 , Jun 17 2020 19:33 utc | 5

Bolton deserves having a parasite named after him, if that.
Scotch Bingeington , Jun 17 2020 19:57 utc | 6
Poor Johnny! What's sadder than being a crook, but an ineffective one? I think that's what he is. He may be infamous enough to be a household name, but he never really managed to make a career. Hardly ever did he stay on a job for more than 2 years, before his fellow crooks deemed him unfit for his position, again and again. Says a lot.

I hope they will confiscate his book on some flimsy pretext, only to lose the piles of copies in storage, so they cannot possibly be released to bookstores again. Maybe some mice will make use of it to furnish their nests?

Take a look at his face. It's obvious to me that even John Bolton does not enjoy being John Bolton. That mouth, it's drooping to an absurd degree. Comparable to Merkel's face, come to think of it.

GeorgeV , Jun 17 2020 20:25 utc | 8
John Bolton's tell all book about his tenure with the Trump administration is a perfect example of the pot calling the kettle burned. It is a fitting description of the leadership of the US government and it's capitol city as a den of backstabbing, corkscrewing and double dealing vipers. It's like standing on a street corner watching two prostitutes calling each other a whore! How low has the US sunk.
bob sykes , Jun 17 2020 20:55 utc | 11
Of course, Trump actually campaigned to leave Afghanistan and Syria, and he was elected to do so. The self-appointed Deep State has pretty much thwarted him and his voters.
uncle tungsten , Jun 17 2020 21:00 utc | 12
karlof1 #5
Blastocystis hominis could be renamed easily enough. It is a pain in the gut and arse.

I will not bother to read any more on Bolton the man is beneath contempt. b has said more than enough.

Tower , Jun 17 2020 21:43 utc | 13
It's just about time. John Bolton deserves the Nobel Peace Prize. At this point, why not?
pretzelattack , Jun 17 2020 21:49 utc | 14
let us not forget that bolton threatened a un officials kids because they guy wasn't going along with the iraq war propaganda.
Duncan Idaho , Jun 17 2020 22:03 utc | 15
Only with Late Stage Capitalism could we have a vicious war criminal write a book criticizing a psychopathic sociopath.
Anonymous , Jun 17 2020 22:06 utc | 16
The political establishment in Canada appeared dismayed at the prospect of Bolton as National Security Adviser. See these interviews with Hill + Knowlton strategies Vice-chairman, Peter Donolo, from 2018:

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/video/there-s-risk-trump-s-actions-are-driving-the-u-s-into-a-recession-peter-donolo~1342264
https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/video/trade-wars-easy-to-start-not-so-easy-to-finish-peter-donolo~1365104

So Bolton gets in, Meng Wangzhou is detained in Vancouver on the US request (that's another story), and in time, Canada appoints a new Ambassador to China - Mr. Dominic Barton.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominic_Barton
Then Bolton gets fired. 'Nuff said. Just to let everyone know that Bolton is well and truly hated, as a government official, in certain circles.

AntiSpin , Jun 17 2020 22:07 utc | 17
@ pretzelattack | Jun 17 2020 21:49 utc | 14

Close -- the threatened official was Jose Bustani, at that time (2002) the head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)as he had been for five years.

Bustani had been working to bring Iraq and Libya into the organization, which would have required those two countries to eliminate all of their chemical weapons.

The US, though, had other ideas -- chiefly invading and destroying both of those nations, and when Bustani insisted on continuing his efforts then Bolton threatened Bustani's adult children.

james , Jun 17 2020 23:13 utc | 20
let the lobbyists with the most money win... that's what defines the usa system, leadership and decision making process... no one in their right mind would support this doofus..
Jen , Jun 17 2020 23:40 utc | 21
At least the one saving grace about John Bolton's memoir is that it might be a tad closer to reality than Christopher Steele's infamous dossier and might prove valuable as a source of evidence in a court of law. Maybe Yosemite Sam himself should start quaking in his boots.
Don Bacon , Jun 17 2020 23:44 utc | 24
@ Jpc
When faced with Trump's behavior of employing warmongers, including several generals, some observers opined that Trump wanted people with contrasting opinions so that he could consider them and then say "no." He did more with Bolton eventually, sending him to Mongolia while he (Trump) went to Singapore (or somewhere over there).
A User , Jun 17 2020 23:47 utc | 25
re Ian2 | Jun 17 2020 23:08 utc | 19
who hazarded : My guess Trump went along with the tough guy image that Bolton projected in media and recommendations by others.
Not at all, if you go back to the earliest days of the orangeman's prezdency, you will see Trump resisted the efforts by Mercer & the zionist casino owner to give Bolton a gig.
He knew that shrub had problems with the boasts of Bolton and as his reputation was as an arsehole who sounded his own trumpet at his boss's expense orangeman refused for a long time. Trump believes the trump prezdency is about trump no one else.
Thing was at the time he was running for the prez gig trump was on his uppers, making a few dollars from his tv show, plus licensing other people's buildings by selling his name to be stuck on them. trump tower azerbnajan etc.
He put virtually none of his own money into the 'race' so when he won the people who had put up the dosh had power over him.
Bolton has always been an arse kisser to any zionist cause he suspects he can claw a penny outta, so he used the extreme loony end of the totally looney zionist spectrum to hook him (Bolton) up with a gig by pushing for him with trump.

It was always gonna end the way it did as Bolton is forever briefing the media against anyone who tried to resist his murderous fantasies. Trump is never gonna argue for any scheme that doesn't have lotsa dollars for him in it so he had plenty of run ins with Bolton who then went to his media mates & told tales.
When bolton was appointed orangey's stakes were at a really low ebb among DC warmongers, so he reluctantly took him on then spent the next 18 months getting rid of the grubby parasite.

Kristan hinton , Jun 18 2020 0:46 utc | 26
Real History: Candidate Trump praised Bolton and named him as THE number one Foreign Policy expert he (Trump) respected.

Imagine the mustachioed Mister Potatoe (sic) Head and zany highjinks!

Bolton and one of his first wives were regulars at Plato's Retreat for wife swapping orgies. The wife was not real keen on the behavior, but she allegedly found herself verbally and physically abused for objecting.

DannyC , Jun 18 2020 1:17 utc | 27
Trump is at fault for hiring him to appease the Zionist lobby. We all knew the guy was a warmonger and a scumbag. It's not a surprise. Trump surrounds himself with the worst people

[Jun 17, 2020] Collusion with China, wanting to stay in office forever Leaked Bolton book excerpts cash in on anti-Trump frenzy

If we view Bolton as Adelson puppet, such a behaviour clearly does not make much sense. Or this is a single from Israel lobby to Trump "moor did his duty, moor can go"?
Notable quotes:
"... "a variety of instances when he sought to intervene in law enforcement matters for political reasons." ..."
"... "in effect, give personal favors to dictators he liked," ..."
"... "The pattern looked like obstruction of justice as a way of life, which we couldn't accept," ..."
"... "bombshells" ..."
"... "exactly the right thing to do." ..."
"... "systematic use of indoctrination camps, forced labor, and intrusive surveillance to eradicate the ethnic identity and religious beliefs of Uyghurs and other minorities in China." ..."
"... "Panda Hugger." ..."
"... The mustachioed warhawk had served as Trump's national security adviser from April 2018 to September 2019. While the exact reason for his firing was never revealed, Trump has since commented that Bolton was interfering with his peace initiatives and had "never seen a war he didn't like." ..."
"... Indeed, the "most irrational thing" Bolton accuses Trump of was to refuse to bomb Iran in June 2019, according to the New York Times excerpt. ..."
"... "soft on China" ..."
"... As for Trump supporters, many were indifferent about Bolton's betrayal, noting that Trump hired the neocon in the first place and kept him on for over a year, while ditching the faithful General Michael Flynn after less than two weeks on the job, following a FBI ambush and a Washington Post hit job. ..."
Jun 17, 2020 | www.rt.com
Former national security adviser John Bolton has leaked excerpts of his book to major newspapers, accusing President Donald Trump of colluding with leaders in China and Turkey, and obstruction of justice "as a way of life." Facing a DOJ lawsuit seeking to block the publication of his memoir for containing classified information, Bolton decided to go to the press, leaking parts of the book to the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.

Breaking News: John Bolton says in his new book that the House should have investigated President Trump for potentially impeachable actions beyond Ukraine https://t.co/8lpd4xAzYu

-- The New York Times (@nytimes) June 17, 2020

Bolton famously refused to testify before the Democrat-led impeachment proceedings against Trump over his alleged abuse of power regarding Ukraine, but now claims that they should have expanded the probe to "a variety of instances when he sought to intervene in law enforcement matters for political reasons."

He accuses Trump of wanting to "in effect, give personal favors to dictators he liked," bringing up companies in China and Turkey as examples, according to the Times. "The pattern looked like obstruction of justice as a way of life, which we couldn't accept," the Times quotes him as saying.

One of the Bolton "bombshells" is that he sought China's purchase of US soybeans in order to get re-elected, during trade negotiations with President Xi Jinping.

SOYBEAN DIPLOMACY: The WSJ has published an excerpt of @AmbJohnBolton 's forthcoming book, revealing Trump-Xi conversation and how the American president pleaded his Chinese counterpart to buy U.S. soybeans so he could win farm states in the 2020 presidential elections | #OATT pic.twitter.com/XKAogLCCtN

-- Javier Blas (@JavierBlas) June 17, 2020

An excerpt in the Wall Street Journal has Trump telling Xi that – alleged – concentration camps for Uighur Muslims in China's Xinjiang province were "exactly the right thing to do." It also alleges that Trump did Xi a favor by relaxing US sanctions on ZTE, a Chinese telecom company.

WSJ excerpt of Bolton book has Trump & China bombshells. Trump told Xi building concentration camps for Muslims "was exactly the right thing to do." Trump pleaded w/ Xi to help him w/ re-election by making US farm product buys. And Trump helped Xi w/ ZTE. https://t.co/4CSflQQqcL

-- Edward Wong (@ewong) June 17, 2020

This comes as Trump signed into law the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020, which mandates US sanctions against Chinese officials over "systematic use of indoctrination camps, forced labor, and intrusive surveillance to eradicate the ethnic identity and religious beliefs of Uyghurs and other minorities in China."

Another excerpt has Bolton referring to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin as a "Panda Hugger."

According to Bolton, Trump told Xi to "go ahead with building the camps" for imprisoned Uighurs.

-- Philip Wegmann (@PhilipWegmann) June 17, 2020

As another proof of Trump's perfidy, Bolton writes that the president told Xi that he would like to stay in office beyond the two terms the US Constitution would allow him. Bolton's one-time colleague Dinesh D'Souza commented that Bolton was unable to recognize a clear joke.

Really? This is it? John Bolton's smoking gun? Trump has been jokingly putting out memes about this for four years. This conversation, if it occurred at all, seems obviously jocular. Bolton, however, whom I knew quite well from AEI, doesn't have a jocular bone in his body pic.twitter.com/Qe8sXCAT58

-- Dinesh D'Souza (@DineshDSouza) June 17, 2020

Trump has on more than one occasion shared a meme showing him staying in power forever, triggering Democrats into denouncing him as an aspiring dictator. Apparently, Bolton thought the same.

According to John Bolton posting this meme was an impeachable offense https://t.co/q2BHlfVTEu

-- Will Chamberlain 🇺🇸 (@willchamberlain) June 17, 2020

The mustachioed warhawk had served as Trump's national security adviser from April 2018 to September 2019. While the exact reason for his firing was never revealed, Trump has since commented that Bolton was interfering with his peace initiatives and had "never seen a war he didn't like."

Indeed, the "most irrational thing" Bolton accuses Trump of was to refuse to bomb Iran in June 2019, according to the New York Times excerpt.

Pretty telling that the episode which pissed off Bolton the most during his tenure was Trump calling off airstrikes which would have killed dozens of Iranian soldiers in June 2019 https://t.co/ruFSInj2Mu pic.twitter.com/5zO7UrxMTM

-- Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) June 17, 2020

Arguing that Trump is being "soft on China" and colluding with Xi also happens to be a Democratic Party strategy for the 2020 presidential election, outlined in April and reported by Axios.

While Democrats and the mainstream media welcomed Bolton's bombshells as validating their position on Trump, he is unlikely to become a #Resistance hero, simply because they still remember he refused to say these things under oath during the impeachment hearings, when they – in theory – could have bolstered their case for getting Trump out of office.

As for Trump supporters, many were indifferent about Bolton's betrayal, noting that Trump hired the neocon in the first place and kept him on for over a year, while ditching the faithful General Michael Flynn after less than two weeks on the job, following a FBI ambush and a Washington Post hit job.

Do I care that Bolton is stabbing Trump in the back? Not at all. General Flynn was NSA and Trump made his choices. Being outraged on behalf of a 70+ year old man who makes poor choices is well beyond my job description.

-- Blue Flu Cernovich (@Cernovich) June 17, 2020

[Jun 13, 2020] Korea is just another distraction: false conflicts with China, North Korea, Russia and Iran are needed to keep support for MIC and Security State which cost 1.2 trillion a year

Highly recommended!
The saying "War is racket" means not only that conquered nations are loots, but the the USA taxpayers will be looted as well
Jun 13, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Kay Fabe , Jun 13 2020 0:10 utc | 35
Just another distraction.

Heck US aircraft carriers used to visit HK quite often until recently, even after the hand over. They anchored in the harbor while thousands of sailors headed to the Wanchai bars, although after the hand over they anchored in a less visible part of the harbor. China didn't have a problem.

I doubt China sweats a couple of aircraft carriers when we have large bases in Japan and South Korea, not to mention Guam.

False conflicts with China, North Korea, Russia and Iran are needed to keep support for MIC and Security State which cost 1.2 trillion a year.

If the US were serious about confronting China there would be sanctions and not tariffs. China and US are partners. We sell them chips that they put in our electronics and sell to us, so we can spy on our people, and they test out our social control technology on their own people. They clothe us, sell cheap API's for drugs and they invest in treasuries and other US assets and we educate their young talent and give them access to our research and technology and fund some of their own research and share numerous patents

[Jun 11, 2020] Brzezinski and the USA startagy of full spectrum dominance

Jun 11, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Vintage Red , Jun 11 2020 6:46 utc | 93

@occupatio | Jun 11 2020 5:19 utc | 89

Agree with your post but hope to deepen it -- this "geostrategy" goes way back before Brzezinski wrote about it in his The Grand Chessboard, or for that matter before Nixon's The Real War as well. Both followed in the footsteps of the US Admiral Alfred Mahan and the British strategist Halford Mackinder who laid the basis for this imperialist strategic vision of world domination over a century ago.

Mahan, author of The Influence of Sea Power upon History, in the late 1800s developed the worldview of seeing history as a series of confrontations between a Sea Power and a Land Power (Athens-Sparta, Rome-Carthage, Britain vs. a series of European Land Powers, etc.), paving the way for US "manifest destiny" to transcend North America to become truly global imperialism. One of Mahan's most famous concepts is that either the Land Power or Sea Power could win at any time, but that time was on the side of the Land Power since with more people and resources it could eventually just build a bigger navy than the Sea Power could match -- therefore the Sea Power had to go on an especially aggressive offensive early on to prevent this.

Mackinder in his 1904 presentation of The Geographical Pivot of History first developed the concept of the "world island" or "world continent" with its concentric "crescents". His most famous quote: "Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland; Who rules the Heartland commands the World Island; Who rules the World Island commands the World."

With the beginning of the "special relationship" between the US and UK after WW1 it was the easiest of mergers for these two imperialist strategic visions to join together. They've had various interpretations and refinements ever since, but Mahan and Mackinder are the originators of this "geostrategy" that predates the Cold War, WW2 and even WW1. That it predates the Russian and Chinese Revolutions indicates that it exists irrespective of ideology (thus the US's continued hostility to a non-subservient capitalist Russia), though anti-communism lends it an especially fevered tone, especially focused on China now.

At its outset this geostrategy was oriented toward European empires attempting to conquer the "heartland" or "pivot" to obtain the sheer imperial mass that would be needed for world conquest. But the Russian Revolution allowed the "heartland" to stand up as a Land Power in its own right, rapidly industrializing. Toward the end of his life Mackinder attempted to update his work, observing that if ever Eurasia were economically developed and spanned by rail and telecommunications lines from East Europe to the Pacific, this would result in a Land Power so vast -- with the majority of the world's people and resources -- that no Sea Power could conquer or even blockade it.

Sound familiar? For a number of reasons beyond our scope here the USSR fell and broke apart, but not before China could pick up that torch, rapidly industrialize itself and now bring forth the Belt and Road Initiative. Russia joining China in a strategic relationship that is for all intents and purposes an alliance (that the US brought on itself -- both Beijing and Moscow have read Mahan and Mackinder very thoroughly) is effectively Mackinder's nightmare made manifest. The antithesis of Manifest Destiny, LOL.

Nixon, Brzezinski and their wannabe successor Bannon are all simply continuing this more-than-century-old strategic tradition. But no "geostrategy" will save global capitalism from its own inner rot and sharpening contradictions, as the events of recent years have shown. This year especially recalls Lenin's observation that "There are decades where nothing happens, and weeks where decades happen."


[May 24, 2020] As its own infrastructure has been laid waste by the COLLASSAL MONEY PIT that is the Pentagon, its flagrant use of the most valuable energy commodity, oil, to maintain some 4000 bases worldwide, this rickety over-extended upside down version of old Anglo-Dutch trading empires, will finally collapse

Kissinger laid out the transition plan in 2014 in his WSJ Op-Ed: Henry Kissinger on the Assembly of a New World Order . USA Deep State are not the complete idiots that some want to make them seem.
China is still very vulnerable and the USA has multiple levers to force it to suffer.
May 24, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Kurt Zumdieck , May 22 2020 18:24 utc | 4
If Washington lured the Soviet Union into it's demise in Afghanistan, which left that minor empire in shambles - socially, militarily, economically - it was the nuclear conflagration at Chernobyl that put the corpse in the ground.....

(Watch the GREAT HBO five-part tragedy on it and you will see that the brutally heroic response of the Soviets, that saved the Western World at least temporarily, but is the portrait of self-sacrifice)

What was lost in the Soviets fumbling immediate post-explosion cover-up was the trust of their Eastern European satellite countries. That doomed that empire. So much military might was given up in Afghanistan, then on Chernobyl, it was not clear if the Soviets had the wherewithal to put down the rebellions that spread from Czechoslovakia to East Germany and beyond.

Covid-19 will do the same to the American Empire.

As its own infrastructure has been laid waste by the COLLASSAL MONEY PIT that is the Pentagon, its flagrant use of the most valuable energy commodity, oil, to maintain some 4000 bases worldwide, this rickety over-extended upside down version of old Anglo-Dutch trading empires, will finally collapse.

Loss of trust by the many craven satellites, in America's fractured response, to Covid-19 will put the final nail in its coffin.

A hot-shooting War may come next, but the empire cannot win it.


William Gruff , May 23 2020 14:25 utc | 79

"I will believe my eyes." --oldhippie @76

It would be nice if that were so, but it is very unlikely.

"So tired of reading propaganda."

Is that why you regurgitate it onto forums? Kinda like purging the system, eh?

If you are going to be judging China's economic health by their pollution levels then in the future you will find yourself convinced that they have never recovered, even when it becomes inescapably obvious that they have. The fact is that China's pollution levels are never going back to 2019 levels, but that has nothing to do with their economic health.

It really never ceases to amaze me how deeply rooted and pervasive the delusions and sense of exceptionality is in America. It is woven into the thinking, from the lowest levels to the very top of their thoughts, of even the very most intelligent Americans. It is apparently a phenomenon that operates at an even deeper level than mass media brainwashing, as it seems it was just as much a problem in every empire in history. That is, I am sure citizens of the Roman Empire had the same blinding biases embedded deep below their consciousness. I guess Marx was entirely correct to say that consciousness arises from material conditions, and being citizen of an empire must be one of those material conditions that gives rise to this all-pervasive and unconscious sense of exceptionality.

oldhippie , May 23 2020 11:47 utc | 71
Go over to EOSDIS Worldview and take a look at satellite photos of China. Simple toggle in lower left hand corner will take you to photos of same day, earlier years. Or any day in satellite record.

The skies over China are clear. Chinese industry is not back at work. It may be that China at 50% or even at 20% is a manufacturing powerhouse compared to a crumbling US. But until China is back at work the thread so far is about the historical situation six months ago.

Xi used to do elaborately staged state appearances with well planned camera angles, fabulous lighting, pomp and circumstance. He enjoyed the trappings of power and knew how to use the trappings of power. Hasn't done that kind of state appearance since January.

Paul , May 23 2020 12:47 utc | 72
The Empire has no respect for international agreements, laws or anything that interferes with maintaining US global hegemony.
lizzie dw , May 23 2020 12:55 utc | 73
China and the US are so different. The citizens of China cannot vote. The population's movements are micromanaged by the government. This is not the case here (yet). And I hope it is never the case. I agree with the premise that there are those in our government who are living in a dream of the past and that is over, unless we want to destroy the world. But China's government is so repressive. The rules must be obeyed. We seem to be compliant so far of some of our government officials stepping over the bounds allowed by our Constitution, due to the fear of C-19 engendered by the deep state (aka the bsmsm). But we will not do that forever and our government cannot just start shooting big crowds of us as they can and have done in China. Theirs is all top down rule, which is not the case here. Also, although it is probably heretical to say this I am glad that the US has many cases of C-19. We will eventually get herd immunity. IMO, China can lock down as many millions of citizens as they wish; they cannot stop this virus and as time goes by they will have as many deaths and as many cases as everybody else. Well, that is off the topic of the article. In the end I agree that we are fighting weird battles we can never win and we citizens need to keep informing our government employees that we just want to trade and make money, not threaten companies and countries and lose money.

[May 23, 2020] With a national election lurking on the horizon we will no doubt be hearing more about Exceptionalism from various candidates seeking to support the premise that the United States can interfere in every country on the planet because it is, as the expression goes, exceptional.

May 23, 2020 | www.unz.com

Realist , says: Show Comment May 23, 2020 at 12: 22 pm GMT

With a national election lurking on the horizon we will no doubt be hearing more about Exceptionalism from various candidates seeking to support the premise that the United States can interfere in every country on the planet because it is, as the expression goes, exceptional.

That is correct and that is because it works the majority of Americans are stupid.
Do you see a solution suggested here?

Realist , says: Show Comment May 23, 2020 at 12:27 pm GMT

It is also an unfortunate indication that the neoconservatives, pronounced dead after the election of Trump, are back and resuming their drive to obtain the positions of power that will permit endless war, starting with Iran.

The neocons never went anywhere. Trump is a minion of the Deep State and staffs his administration accordingly.

Realist , says: Show Comment May 23, 2020 at 12:32 pm GMT
@BL

My point is simple and ineluctable, whatever our demerits, our great republic is supposed to weed out psychopaths like Brennan long before they get as close as he has to destroying the whole shebang.

Never happens all administrations are full of psychopaths.

Hiram of Tyre , says: Show Comment May 23, 2020 at 1:19 pm GMT
Frankly nothing new. Every Empire sought to rule the world and committed a long list of atrocities in the process. "The empire on which the sun never sets", in reference to the British Empire (the one currently still ruling the world), comes from Xerxes' "We shall extend the Persian territory as far as God's heaven reaches. The sun will then shine on no land beyond our borders." as he invaded Greece.

That said, a word on the Rumsfeld-Cebrowski Doctrine and their Pentagon world map would be on point here

[May 22, 2020] No US president who can withdraw the USA from the Forever Wars

Highly recommended!
But may be coronavirus can. Although Perfumed Princes of Pentagon and MIC with it neocon fifth column will fiercely resist.
May 22, 2020 | www.unz.com

Nikolai Vladivostok , says: Website Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 6:21 am GMT

I've long since concluded, there is no president who can withdraw the US from the Forever Wars. Obama couldn't. Trump can't. Biden/Harris/Oprah/Gabbard/Pence won't.

There are a half-dozen permanent US policies that Americans don't get to vote on, and the Permawar is one of them.

Anon [151] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 6:36 am GMT
My God, Buchanan, I am staggered by the arrogance of this column. Where in the name of all that's holy did you ever get the idea that America has the right to impose on anyone, from Afghans through to Venezuelans, your (perceived) systems of thought, values and democracy? How many American soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan can even speak the local language? Understand the local customs? None!!! They swan around in their sunglasses and battle gear thinking that they are they return of the Terminator and wander why the locals absolutely hate their collective guts! It's time that you collectively learned that America is NOT the world's sheriff and that, as Benjamin Franklin said "A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still".
animalogic , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 7:00 am GMT
Pat is not entirely wrong -- he hints at the explanation for failure:
"As imperialists, we Americans are conspicuous failures.

Moreover, with us, the national interest inevitably asserts itself."
As Imperialists there has never been anything but the (Elite) "national interest".
In short, these so called "losing" wars have been wars of aggression -- ie "bad" wars. All Pat's talk of conversion, democracy etc is just so much nonsense.

swamped , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 8:14 am GMT
"While we can defeat our enemies in the air and on the seas and in cyberspace, we cannot persuade them to embrace secular democracy and its values any more than we can convert them to Christianity" although they might be better persuaded to convert to Christianity – traditional Christianity – than to embrace secular democracy and its "values".

Why would anyone want to embrace homosexuality, transgenderism, rad-feminism, opioids, prozac, inequality, broken homes, mass shootings, mountainous debt, corrupt media, puppet politicians & the rest of the filth & perversion that passes for "values" in secular democracies like America or Western Europe?

Indeed, why would anyone in these decadent countries even want to defend these venal "values", let alone try to spread them around the world like the Chinese plague?
No, "they are not trying to change us" but maybe they should.

Donald Duck , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 10:07 am GMT
As the British and French ultimately found out it costs more to run an empire than to loot it. So the long retreat ensues. One would have thought that the Americans might have learned this from history, but no! After all they were "the exceptional people, they stood taller than the others and saw further." Errrm, no they didn't. Like their forbears they got bogged down as well getting into debt which was only bailed out by their insistence that they would not convert the dollar into gold.

Human nature and stupidity has got a long track-record and it isn't going to end anytime soon.

paranoid goy , says: Website Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 12:30 pm GMT
The writer, and most commenters' are still under the erroneous belief that AMerica goes to war in places then AMerica wins or loses or wastes lives or kill children. This is the saddest part of the Yankee war machine: Americans joining the Army because they think theya re joining the fight to defend the American Dream.

You-all are corporate gunmonkeys, fighting and killing and burning and bombing, not in the name of freedom or apple pie, but in the name of Gulf Oil, Goldman Sachs, Citicorp, JPMorgan, Monsanto, PHBBillington, whatever Devil Rumsfeld calls his sack of shit these days .

America has not won any war anywhere, even their civil war was mostly just clearing the land for the banks. That is because it is not America at war, she just supplies the cannon fodder. And cannons. And radiactive scrapmetal to make bullets to mow down women and children in the name of Investor Confidence.
But then, that is what your Zionist bible tells you to do, isn't it?

Realist , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 1:26 pm GMT

What Does Winning Mean in a Forever War?

Winning a war is not in the interest of the Deep State. Being at war makes the Deep State more wealthy and powerful not winning at war.

Realist , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 1:30 pm GMT
@Anon

I just don't think the US has the immoral fortitude to engage in genocide, so it's hopeless trying to "win."

If by the US you mean most of the people you may be right. But the people in the US have no say in the actions of the US government which is controlled by psychopaths.

anonymous [400] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 1:49 pm GMT
Afghanistan is hardly even a country as the average American might define one. There's really nothing to "win"; we only occupy. The infrastructure is primitive so it's not cost effective to try to take whatever natural resources they may have, if any, so there's nothing they have that we want. The Taliban were not "ousted". In the face of massive firepower they split up and scattered; they're still there. After all, the US has been negotiating with them for a peace deal of some sort hasn't it? "Democracy crusades" is just a propaganda fig leaf to bamboozle stupid Americans. It's amazing that there's people who actually believe stuff like that but PT Barnum had it right. "Eventually, we give up and go home". That's because they live there and we don't. "They apparently have an inexhaustible supply of volunteers" willing to fight and die. They don't want foreign robo-soldiers pointing guns at them in their own country. We have our own version, it's called "Remember the Alamo", men who stood their ground against the odds.
Amerimutt Golems , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 2:03 pm GMT
@Anon

If a country is not willing to do that, and I would hope the United States is not willing to do that, then they (we) should go home and leave the Afghans to murder each other without our assistance. If they return to supporting terrorism or go whole hog in producing opium, perhaps the US should decapitate their entire government and let the next batch of losers give governing a try. I just don't think the US has the immoral fortitude to engage in genocide, so it's hopeless trying to "win."

The growth in opium cultivation correlates with CIA activities in the area and the $3 billion from American taxpayers which financed Mujahideen 'terrorism' against the Russians and their local proxies just to avenge the fall of Saigon.

In 1980 Afghanistan accounted for about only 5% of total world heroin production. This was mainly for the local market and neighbor Iran.

That is how you get forever wars.

Rurik , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 3:04 pm GMT

They refuse to surrender and submit because it is their beliefs, their values, their faith, their traditions, their tribe, their God, their culture, their civilization, their honor that they believe they are fighting for in what is, after all, their land, not ours.

If I may..

another way of looking at this, and I feel a profound respect for the Afghans, and only wish we were made of the same mettle. If only ((they)) could say of us..

They refuse to surrender and submit because it is their beliefs, their values, their faith, their traditions, their tribe, their God, their culture, their civilization, their honor that they believe they are fighting for in what is, after all, their land, not (((ours)))).

They are not trying to change ((((us. We))) are trying to change them. And they wish to remain who they are.

IOW, we white Westerners, have proved willing to surrender and submit to all of it. Without nary a peep of protest. Even as ((they)) send us around the globe to kill people like these Afghans, for being slightly inconvenient to their agenda. [And so the CIA can reconstitute its global heroin trafficking operation$.]

If only history would look back on this epic moment, at the last Death throes of the West, and say of whitey, that he refused to surrender his values and faith and traditions and tribe and God, and culture and civilization and honor.. to ((those)) who would pervert his values, and mock his faith, and trash his traditions, and exterminate his tribe, while mocking his God, and poisoning his culture, and destroying his civilization and all because at the end of the day, he had no honor.

These men may be backwater, illiterate villagers,

but at least they have enough mettle and honor, to tell the Beast that they would rather die killing as many of the Beast's stupid goons as they're able, than ever sacrifice their sacred honor- or lands or sovereignty, or the destinies of their children – over to the fiend, which is more than I can say for Western "man".

They are not trying to change us. We are trying to change them. And they wish to remain who they are.

Would that the Swedish people had a Nano-shred of the blood-honor of an Afghan, Barbara Spectre would be pounding sand.

Historically, the Afghans are fundamentalist, tribal and impervious to foreign intervention.

Obviously, there is a great deal we need to learn from them.

What will the Taliban do when we leave?

They will not give up their dream of again ruling the Afghan nation and people. And they will fight until they have achieved that goal and their idea of victory: dominance.

Um.. Pat. Whose land is it anyways? Is it such a horror that Afghans should be dominant in Afghanistan ?

The Taliban was welcomed into most of the regions it governed, because they drove out local war lords who often treated the villager's children as their sex toys, and the foreign (CIA) opioid growers and traffickers. And it was the Taliban that put an end to all of that. They're harsh, but they're effective, and that is their land, not ours.

Also, the Taliban offered to turn over Osama Bin Laden, if the West could provide a shred of proof that he had anything whatsoever to do with 9/11. (he didn't ; ) But the West had zero proof, (as the FBI admits to this day), that they have zero proof that ties Bin Laden to 9/11.

And n0w that we all know 9/11 was an Israeli false flag, intended to use the American military as their bitch, to burn down 'seven nations in five years' .. that the Jewish supremacists wanted destroyed, our whole pretext for being over there has been a sham from day one. Duh.
.
.
.
.
I remember long ago when I had a subscription to National Geographic and this photo came out, I cut the picture out, and stuck it somewhere to look at- it was so visceral and haunting.

Leave them alone. I don't care how many Jews at the WSJ demand whitey has to stay and die for Israel. (Afghanistan is on Iran's border, and that's why we have to stay, to menace all those anti-Semites over there, trying to gas all the Jews and make soap).

Good on Trump for calling out the ((WSJ)).

follyofwar , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 3:42 pm GMT
@paranoid goy I very much doubt if many are joining the military to "defend the American Dream." Most are more practical and are joining to escape poverty, even if it might cost them their lives. Recruiters will now be inundated with volunteers since there are no jobs in the covid depression.
Exile , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 4:15 pm GMT
If the neo-con clown car Trump has permitted to run foreign policy since his election gets us into a war with Iran and/or Venezuela before November, will Pat still be stumping for him, or will we see the return of non-election-year Pat?
VinnyVette , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 4:46 pm GMT
Excellent question Pat! Unfortunately there is no answer, we've been at "forever war" seemingly forever, and the whole point as Eisenhower so preciently warned us is THE objective.
Priss Factor , says: Website Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 5:36 pm GMT
It's not 'forever war'. It is Empire. Empire exists to continue and expand. War is about win or lose. Empire is about keep and dominate.

US wars are not to win and then depart. It is to keep occupying and controlling.

And US is rich enough to buy off the local elites as collaborators forever.

Marshal Marlow , says: Show Comment May 23, 2020 at 1:56 am GMT
@Anon

If they return to supporting terrorism

The thing is that the Afghan government wasn't supporting terrorism. Rather, it had no on-going control anywhere except the cities, which made the tribal areas useful hideouts / bases for a raft of groups.

I well remember the prelude to the invasion where the US was demanding that its government (which merely happened to be Taliban that year) hand over OBL in 72hrs. The truth was that the US knew Afghanistan didn't have the capability to do that and it merely wanted to use OBL as an excuse to invade and continue the encirclement of the old soviet states.

[May 07, 2020] Bolton and the culture of corruption and intimidation

May 07, 2020 | www.unz.com

Sam 12123 , says: Show Comment May 6, 2020 at 8:39 pm GMT

The OPCW is claimed to be an independent agency but we know that it suppressed the results of its own engineers when it reported that the Syrian government was responsible for the alleged chemical attack in Douma. The former head of the agency has publicly asserted that when John Bolton demanded that he step down, he added, "We know where your children live." The US has a history of corruption and intimidation. Any investigation would result in finding China responsible just as Russia was found to be responsible for the airliner that was shot down over Ukraine.

[May 03, 2020] Never in my country: COVID-19 and American exceptionalism by Jeanne Morefield

Notable quotes:
"... Because behind today's coronavirus-inspired astonishment at conditions in developing or lower income countries, and Trump's authoritarian-like thuggery, lies an actual military and political hegemon with an actual impact on the world; particularly on what was once called the "Third World." ..."
"... In physical terms, the U.S.'s military hegemony is comprised of 800 bases in over 70 nations – more bases than any other nation or empire in history. The U.S. maintains drone bases, listening posts, "black sites," aircraft carriers, a massive nuclear stockpile, and military personnel working in approximately 160 countries. This is a globe-spanning military and security apparatus organized into regional commands that resemble the "proconsuls of the Roman empire and the governors-general of the British." In other words, this apparatus is built not for deterrence, but for primacy. ..."
"... The U.S.'s global primacy emerged from the wreckage of World War II when the United States stepped into the shoes vacated by European empires. Throughout the Cold War, and in the name of supporting "free peoples," the sprawling American security apparatus helped ensure that 300 years of imperial resource extraction and wealth distribution – from what was then called the Third World to the First – remained undisturbed, despite decolonization. ..."
"... In fiscal terms, maintaining American hegemony requires spending more on "defense" than the next seven largest countries combined. Our nearly $1 trillion security budget now amounts to about 15 percent of the federal budget and over half of all discretionary spending. Moreover, the U.S. security budget continues to increase despite the Pentagon's inability to pass a fiscal audit. ..."
"... Foreign policy is routinely the last issue Americans consider when they vote for presidents even though the president has more discretionary power over foreign policy than any other area of American politics. Thus, despite its size, impact, and expense, the world's military hegemon exists somewhere on the periphery of most Americans' self-understanding, as though, like the sun, it can't be looked upon directly for fear of blindness. ..."
"... The shock of discovering that our healthcare system is so quickly overwhelmed should automatically trigger broader conversations about spending priorities that entail deep and sustained cuts in an engorged security budget whose sole purpose is the maintenance of primacy. And yet, not only has this not happened, $10.5 billion of the coronavirus aid package has been earmarked for the Pentagon, with $2.4 billion of that channeled to the "defense industrial base." Of the $500 billion aimed at corporate America, $17.5 billion is set aside "for businesses critical to maintaining national security" such as aerospace. ..."
"... To make matters worse, our blindness to this bloated security complex makes it frighteningly easy for champions of American primacy to sound the alarm when they even suspect a dip in funding might be forthcoming. Indeed, before most of us had even glanced at the details of the coronavirus bill, foreign policy hawks were already issuing dark prediction s about the impact of still-imaginary cuts in the security budget on the U.S.'s "ability to strike any target on the planet in response to hostile actions by any actor" – as if that ability already did not exist many times over. ..."
Apr 07, 2020 | responsiblestatecraft.org

This March, as COVID-19's capacity to overwhelm the American healthcare system was becoming obvious, experts marveled at the scenario unfolding before their eyes. "We have Third World countries who are better equipped than we are now in Seattle," noted one healthcare professional, her words echoed just a few days later by a shocked doctor in New York who described "a third-world country type of scenario." Donald Trump could similarly only grasp what was happening through the same comparison. "I have seen things that I've never seen before," he said . "I mean I've seen them, but I've seen them on television and faraway lands, never in my country."

At the same time, regardless of the fact that "Third World" terminology is outdated and confusing, Trump's inept handling of the pandemic has itself elicited more than one "banana republic" analogy, reflecting already well-worn, bipartisan comparisons of Trump to a " third world dictator " (never mind that dictators and authoritarians have never been confined solely to lower income countries).

And yet, while such comparisons provoke predictably nativist outrage from the right, what is absent from any of these responses to the situation is a sense of reflection or humility about the "Third World" comparison itself. The doctor in New York who finds himself caught in a "third world" scenario and the political commentators outraged when Trump behaves "like a third world dictator" uniformly express themselves in terms of incredulous wonderment. One never hears the potential second half of this comparison: "I am now experiencing what it is like to live in a country that resembles the kind of nation upon whom the United States regularly imposes broken economies and corrupt leaders."

Because behind today's coronavirus-inspired astonishment at conditions in developing or lower income countries, and Trump's authoritarian-like thuggery, lies an actual military and political hegemon with an actual impact on the world; particularly on what was once called the "Third World."

In physical terms, the U.S.'s military hegemony is comprised of 800 bases in over 70 nations – more bases than any other nation or empire in history. The U.S. maintains drone bases, listening posts, "black sites," aircraft carriers, a massive nuclear stockpile, and military personnel working in approximately 160 countries. This is a globe-spanning military and security apparatus organized into regional commands that resemble the "proconsuls of the Roman empire and the governors-general of the British." In other words, this apparatus is built not for deterrence, but for primacy.

The U.S.'s global primacy emerged from the wreckage of World War II when the United States stepped into the shoes vacated by European empires. Throughout the Cold War, and in the name of supporting "free peoples," the sprawling American security apparatus helped ensure that 300 years of imperial resource extraction and wealth distribution – from what was then called the Third World to the First – remained undisturbed, despite decolonization.

Since then, the United States has overthrown or attempted to overthrow the governments of approximately 50 countries, many of which (e.g. Iran, Guatemala, the Congo, and Chile) had elected leaders willing to nationalize their natural resources and industries. Often these interventions took the form of covert operations. Less frequently, the United States went to war to achieve these same ends (e.g. Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq).

In fiscal terms, maintaining American hegemony requires spending more on "defense" than the next seven largest countries combined. Our nearly $1 trillion security budget now amounts to about 15 percent of the federal budget and over half of all discretionary spending. Moreover, the U.S. security budget continues to increase despite the Pentagon's inability to pass a fiscal audit.

Trump's claim that Obama had "hollowed out" defense spending was not only grossly untrue, it masked the consistency of the security budget's metastasizing growth since the Vietnam War, regardless of who sits in the White House. At $738 billion dollars, Trump's security budget was passed in December with the overwhelming support of House Democrats.

And yet, from the perspective of public discourse in this country, our globe-spanning, resource-draining military and security apparatus exists in an entirely parallel universe to the one most Americans experience on a daily level. Occasionally, we wake up to the idea of this parallel universe but only when the United States is involved in visible military actions. The rest of the time, Americans leave thinking about international politics – and the deaths, for instance, of 2.5 million Iraqis since 2003 – to the legions of policy analysts and Pentagon employees who largely accept American military primacy as an "article of faith," as Professor of International Security and Strategy at the University of Birmingham Patrick Porter has said .

Foreign policy is routinely the last issue Americans consider when they vote for presidents even though the president has more discretionary power over foreign policy than any other area of American politics. Thus, despite its size, impact, and expense, the world's military hegemon exists somewhere on the periphery of most Americans' self-understanding, as though, like the sun, it can't be looked upon directly for fear of blindness.

Why is our avoidance of the U.S.'s weighty impact on the world a problem in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic? Most obviously, the fact that our massive security budget has gone so long without being widely questioned means that one of the soundest courses of action for the U.S. during this crisis remains resolutely out of sight.

The shock of discovering that our healthcare system is so quickly overwhelmed should automatically trigger broader conversations about spending priorities that entail deep and sustained cuts in an engorged security budget whose sole purpose is the maintenance of primacy. And yet, not only has this not happened, $10.5 billion of the coronavirus aid package has been earmarked for the Pentagon, with $2.4 billion of that channeled to the "defense industrial base." Of the $500 billion aimed at corporate America, $17.5 billion is set aside "for businesses critical to maintaining national security" such as aerospace.

To make matters worse, our blindness to this bloated security complex makes it frighteningly easy for champions of American primacy to sound the alarm when they even suspect a dip in funding might be forthcoming. Indeed, before most of us had even glanced at the details of the coronavirus bill, foreign policy hawks were already issuing dark prediction s about the impact of still-imaginary cuts in the security budget on the U.S.'s "ability to strike any target on the planet in response to hostile actions by any actor" – as if that ability already did not exist many times over.

On a more existential level, a country that is collectively engaged in unseeing its own global power cannot help but fail to make connections between that power and domestic politics, particularly when a little of the outside world seeps in. For instance, because most Americans are unaware of their government's sponsorship of fundamentalist Islamic groups in the Middle East throughout the Cold War, 9/11 can only ever appear to have come from nowhere, or because Muslims hate our way of life.

This "how did we get here?" attitude replicates itself at every level of political life making it profoundly difficult for Americans to see the impact of their nation on the rest of the world, and the blowback from that impact on the United States itself. Right now, the outsized influence of American foreign policy is already encouraging the spread of coronavirus itself as U.S. imposed sanctions on Iran severely hamper that country's ability to respond to the virus at home and virtually guarantee its spread throughout the region.

Closer to home, our shock at the healthcare system's inept response to the pandemic masks the relationship between the U.S.'s imposition of free-market totalitarianism on countries throughout the Global South and the impact of free-market totalitarianism on our own welfare state .

Likewise, it is more than karmic comeuppance that the President of the United States now resembles the self-serving authoritarians the U.S. forced on so many formerly colonized nations. The modes of militarized policing American security experts exported to those authoritarian regimes also contributed , on a policy level, to both the rise of militarized policing in American cities and the rise of mass incarceration in the 1980s and 90s. Both of these phenomena played a significant role in radicalizing Trump's white nationalist base and decreasing their tolerance for democracy.

Most importantly, because the U.S. is blind to its power abroad, it cannot help but turn that blindness on itself. This means that even during a pandemic when America's exceptionalism – our lack of national healthcare – has profoundly negative consequences on the population, the idea of looking to the rest of the world for solutions remains unthinkable.

Senator Bernie Sanders' reasonable suggestion that the U.S., like Denmark, should nationalize its healthcare system is dismissed as the fanciful pipe dream of an aging socialist rather than an obvious solution to a human problem embraced by nearly every other nation in the world. The Seattle healthcare professional who expressed shock that even "Third World countries" are "better equipped" than we are to confront COVID-19 betrays a stunning ignorance of the diversity of healthcare systems within developing countries. Cuba, for instance, has responded to this crisis with an efficiency and humanity that puts the U.S. to shame.

Indeed, the U.S. is only beginning to feel the full impact of COVID-19's explosive confrontation with our exceptionalism: if the unemployment rate really does reach 32 percent, as has been predicted, millions of people will not only lose their jobs but their health insurance as well. In the middle of a pandemic.

Over 150 years apart, political commentators Edmund Burke and Aimé Césaire referred to this blindness as the byproduct of imperialism. Both used the exact same language to describe it; as a "gangrene" that "poisons" the colonizing body politic. From their different historical perspectives, Burke and Césaire observed how colonization boomerangs back on colonial society itself, causing irreversible damage to nations that consider themselves humane and enlightened, drawing them deeper into denial and self-delusion.

Perhaps right now there is a chance that COVID-19 – an actual, not metaphorical contagion – can have the opposite effect on the U.S. by opening our eyes to the things that go unseen. Perhaps the shock of recognizing the U.S. itself is less developed than our imagined "Third World" might prompt Americans to tear our eyes away from ourselves and look toward the actual world outside our borders for examples of the kinds of political, economic, and social solidarity necessary to fight the spread of Coronavirus. And perhaps moving beyond shock and incredulity to genuine recognition and empathy with people whose economies and democracies have been decimated by American hegemony might begin the process of reckoning with the costs of that hegemony, not just in "faraway lands" but at home. In our country.

[May 01, 2020] American exceptionalism marriage to "Full spectrum Dominance" doctrine proved to be especially toxic: neocons were so preoccupied with remaking the world they failed to see that our country was falling apart

May 01, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The heart of the American exceptionalism in question is American hubris. It is based on the assumption that we are better than the rest of the world, and that this superiority both entitles and obligates us to take on an outsized role in the world.

In our current foreign policy debates, the phrase "American exceptionalism" has served as a shorthand for justifying and celebrating U.S. dominance, and when necessary it has served as a blanket excuse for U.S. wrongdoing. Seongjong Song defined it in an 2015 article for The Korean Journal of International Studies this way: "American exceptionalism is the belief that the US is "qualitatively different" from all other nations." In practice, that has meant that the U.S. does not consider itself to be bound by the same rules that apply to other states, and it reserves the right to interfere whenever and wherever it wishes.

American exceptionalism has been used in our political debates as an ideological purity test to determine whether certain political leaders are sufficiently supportive of an activist and interventionist foreign policy. The main purpose of invoking American exceptionalism in foreign policy debate has been to denigrate less hawkish policy views as unpatriotic and beyond the pale. The phrase was often used as a partisan cudgel in the previous decade as the Obama administration's critics tried to cast doubt on the former president's acceptance of this idea, but in the years since then it has become a rallying point for devotees of U.S. primacy regardless of party. There was an explosion in the use of the phrase in just the first few years of the 2010s compared with the previous decades. Song cited a study that showed this massive increase:

Exceptionalist discourse is on the rise in American politics. Terrence McCoy (2012) found that the term "American exceptionalism" appeared in US publications 457 times between 1980 and 2000, climbing to 2,558 times in the 2000s and 4,172 times in 2010-12.

The more that U.S. policies have proved "American exceptionalism" to be a pernicious myth at odds with reality, the more we have heard the phrase used to defend those policies. Republican hawks began the decade by accusing Obama of not believing in this "exceptionalism," and some Democratic hawks closed it out by "reclaiming" the idea on behalf of their own discredited foreign policy vision. There may be differences in emphasis between the two camps, but there is a consensus that the U.S. has special rights and privileges that other nations cannot have. That has translated into waging unnecessary wars, assuming excessive overseas burdens, and trampling on the rights of other states, and all the while congratulating ourselves on how virtuous we are for doing all of it.

The contemporary version of American exceptionalism is tied up inextricably with the belief that the U.S. is the "indispensable nation." According to this view, without U.S. "leadership" other countries will be unable or unwilling to respond to major international problems and threats. We have seen just how divorced from reality that belief is in just the last few months. There has been no meaningful U.S. leadership in response to the pandemic, but for the most part our allies have managed on their own fairly well. In the absence of U.S. "leadership," many other countries have demonstrated that they haven't really needed the U.S. Our "indispensability" is a story that we like to tell ourselves, but it isn't true. Not only are we no longer indispensable, but as Micah Zenko pointed out many years ago, we never were.


Vhailor 2 days ago

We would do well if we put away this boastful fantasy and learned how to live like a normal nation.

You won't. It always takes a humiliating military defeat or a societal collapse to reevalute such myths.

Megan S Vhailor a day ago
What has been the history of this country since the end of the cold war aside from humiliating military defeats and societal collapse?
Vhailor Megan S a day ago
The numerous foreign misadventures of the US military since 1989 are far from a humiliating military defeat, they are more of an embarassment for the ruling elites. Take for example Afganistan - how many soldiers did the US army lose there in 18 years? 2500? That's nothing compared to the strength and resources available to the Pentagon.

Societal collapse? I admit the living standards of the average working class Joe fell dramatically compared to the 90's, but you are far from a societal collapse. It won't happen as long as the US Dollar is the world currency. Believe me :)

Gary Sellars Vhailor a day ago • edited
The dollars days are numbered. You can't degrade a fiat currency by endless printing with reckless abandon and expect that the other nations of the planet will retain any trust that the scrip will remain a reliable store of value.

BTW Afghanistan is an unmitigated DISASTER. The "hyperpower" cannot impose its will on one of the most backward and impoverised nations on the planet. Heck the Soviets did better in their day, and they had to face a billion-dollar-a-year foreign-backed insurgency funded by US & Saudi, and backed to the hilt by Pakistan. By comparison, the Taliban have NO allies and no foreign funding, yet try as they might, neither the US nor its feckless puppet regime in Kabul can succeed in grinding them down.

Feral Finster Gary Sellars a day ago
Were to God that you are correct.
Inn caritas Vhailor a day ago
If I were a statistical man, I'd wager that civil war within the decade is highly unlikely if the current trajectory of US society continues
Inn caritas Inn caritas a day ago
Highly likely*
Vhailor Inn caritas a day ago
Hmmm... I wouldn't. Who would fight whom? Or would it be a free for all Mad Max style?

You Americans have this weird fascination with the apocalyptic. Seriously, just look at your movies - each year Hollywood dishes out at least half a dozen blockbusters dealing with societal collapse - be it due to an alien invasion, zombie plague, impact event or something else...

I admit, you have problems. The middle class is getting poorer each year, mass imigration from the southern side of your continent is tearing apart the social fabric and your elite got richer and more arrogant sice they embraced globalisation in the 90's. But this doesn't mean that the country is heading towards a civil war.

Inn caritas Vhailor a day ago
Well .... I'm not even American so I feel I can look at this somewhat More objectively than a hardcore blue or red stater. Still hard to tell whether covid will put a wrench in the trajectory or accelerate it. And if you want apocalypticism, go see Rod.
Gio Con Vhailor a day ago
Vietnam, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan -- how many more humiliating military defeats will it take for Americans to realize that they are anything but exceptional?
ZizaNiam Gio Con a day ago • edited
Americans view killing foreign men, women, and children as a successful endeavor of their efforts to fight for freedom. American also are not bothered if their soldiers torture and rape foreign men, women and children. So these wars are not seen as failures but successes, even if actual geopolitical goals are not realized.
Gutbomb Vhailor a day ago
"You won't. It always takes a humiliating military defeat or a societal collapse to reevalute such myths."

I would go a bit further and say that Americans won't reevaluate those myths until they personally feel the pain from those things and they blame their pain on the government that caused them. So much of our current policies are guided by the principal of making sure that Americans do not feel the pain of their government's actions. We eliminated the draft so most Americans have no skin in the game regarding military conflicts (not to mention no war taxes, no goods rationing, etc.). We have come to expect bottomless economic "stimulus," borrowed from our children's future labor, so we feel minimal pain from the poor preparation for the pandemic. Bread and circuses have proven to be powerful manipulation tools indeed.

Fazal Majid 2 days ago • edited
The US is remarkably insular, in large part because it is a mostly self-sufficient (or used to be) nation-continent, but the hubristic idea of exceptionalism also makes us resistant to good ideas invented elsewhere.

As concerns COVID-19, I have a number of physicians in my family, and it's only on March 16th that they awakened to the crisis, a week after France officially announced it was going into lockdown or after London basically became a ghost town. One of them even took her kids to Disneyland around that time, something that seemed the height of irresponsibility to us at the time. Thus obliviousness is not just a feature of the Trump administration. The lone exception is tech companies, perhaps because they are more globalized than most, but the Washington policy navel-gazing circle-jerk is mostly oblivious to the West Coast.

Now the idea that some crises can only be solved with US leadership is not without merit. Just because we cannot solve all doesn't mean there aren't some important categories where our military might and logistic prowess carry the day. That COVID-19 would prove to be an especially tough challenge for the US was entirely predictable. From our fractured decision-making due to federalism, our abysmally inefficient health-care system with its huge swathes of uninsured, our ideology of free market solutions to everything, and our polarized and ineffectual legislature, made this crisis almost tailor-made to expose the fault-lines in our brittle society in the worst possible light.

I don't think we need to ape the Chinese, but certainly we need to look outward for a change, shed our not-invented-here mentality and look at how South Korea or New Zealand succeeded where we failed, despite having a fraction of our resources.

Augustine Fazal Majid 9 hours ago • edited
What military might which has not been able to win any war that it started ever? What logistic prowess that cannot make PPEs for at least the healthcare workers, not to mention toilet paper for the people?
t44s 2 days ago
excellent article Daniel! My thoughts exactly!
Jeffrey Groom 2 days ago
Great article Daniel.
Wally 2 days ago
I would love to see all our political leaders (and their media friends) respond to the observations by Mr. Bacevich and Mr. Larison. Of course, I agree with both of them. Perhaps this economic crisis combined with the pandemic will finally break america. It's a shame it has come to this. Must we endure economic collapse, starvation, and the corruption / looting by the wealthy in order to finally stop caring about imaginary threats half way around the world? I suspect the answer is yes. Americans will never abandon their arrogance until they are laid low by something.
Feral Finster Wally a day ago
"A wolf, meeting with a Lamb astray from the fold, resolved not to lay violent hands on him, but to find some plea to justify to the Lamb the Wolf's right to eat him. He thus addressed him: "Sirrah, last year you grossly insulted me."

"Indeed," bleated the Lamb in a mournful tone of voice, "I was not then born."

Then said the Wolf, "You feed in my pasture."

"No, good sir," replied the Lamb, "I have not yet tasted grass."

Again said the Wolf, "You drink of my well."

"No," exclaimed the Lamb, "I never yet drank water, for as yet my mother's milk is both food and drink to me."
Upon which the Wolf seized him and ate him up, saying, "Well! I won't remain supperless, even though you refute every one of my imputations."

Moral: The tyrant will always find a pretext for his tyranny."

**************************

For a few more years, the US will have absolute power over other people and we will use that power in an absolutely corrupt way at the behest of our overlords in Riyadh and Jerusalem. When retribution finally comes our way, no one will shed a tear for us.

Nor should they, for we do evil.

Sidney Caesar Wally a day ago
I'd endorse restoring civics classes in American schools, with a reading list comprised of Daniel Larison, Andrew Bacevich, and Noam Chomsky.
JoeBu 2 days ago • edited
How long will it take and how bad will it get?

The Qianlong Emperor dismissed Lord Macartney's trade mission in 1792 because the celestial kingdom had no need for the manufacturers of barbarians.

China then got whooped in the first Opium War in 1841. It continued to rot for +100 years.

China had a major exceptionalism problem which hamstrung reform efforts for a century. Some of it is still ongoing (another topic).

I'm trying to figure out what psychological decompensation will look like and how long it will last.

Kent JoeBu 2 days ago
The US has long been a myth-making factory for the population. The average American has a pretty rough life. Generally strapped with debt (mortgage, cars), working a dead-end job with little protection should you lose it. But people are tribal and can get their sense of self-worth from the tribe. So to be constantly told you are "exceptional" and part of the "greatest nation the world has ever known" can cover up a lot of pain in real life. See New England Patriots fans or LSU Tigers fans.

So while being so exceptional, you get to spend hours trying to figure out which Obamacare policy won't cost so much that it takes up all of your extra monthly cash while simultaneously leaving you thousands in debt if you actually needed to use it.

JoeBu Kent 2 days ago • edited
Agree. So decompensation. Is it an opportunity to right the ship or does it get real ugly?
Kent JoeBu a day ago • edited
I tend to think the psychological decomposition is on-going. Americans know that something is terribly wrong, but they can't seem to put their collective finger on it. The Trump vote was a big signal that folks know something is wrong. The hope was that Trump could fix it, but he just knew something was wrong too. He didn't know how to fix it, but at least he is willing to talk about it.

But I don't see how you right the ship. What's wrong is that what got us to be a wealthy powerful country today isn't what is going to keep us that way going forward. That's very hard for people at all levels of society to understand and accept.

So I expect a continued devolution. Where it gets increasingly "real ugly" for a lot of people, while a lot of us continue to do fairly well. You have to have a lot of hope your kids can make it too.

Feral Finster Kent a day ago
Americans know that something is terribly wrong and getting worse by the day and by the crisis, but they seems to think that tribal solutions are the answer.
JoeBu Feral Finster a day ago
Agree.

America, as a society, has high functioning autism.

Something is wrong but in good times, it can really outperform and faults can be overlooked.

But when its routine is disrupted, it will have meltdowns and tantrums.

Feral Finster JoeBu 9 hours ago
Empires tend to do that, especially as they find that they are no longer as omnipotent as they think they are, or as they once were.
JoeBu Kent a day ago
Decompensation cratered China for over a century.

Modernity should speed up this cycle, no?

Russia cratered for a decade after the collapse of the Soviet Union. It has moderately recovered. Not so great but not 100 years.

kouroi Kent a day ago
So true. An eye opening set of essays goes to the hart of this: Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War Paperback by Joe Bageant.

However, that book hasn't received the same fame and traction as this other one (and I am looking at you TAC and Rod Dreher as well): Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance and this is because in the first the author focuses on the system as the one that produces certain results while on the other the author puts more weight on individual choices, the darling idea of conservatives, the lifting oneself by bootstraps, the American success story of rags to riches...

Feral Finster JoeBu a day ago
Opium is not native to China. The reason that the British pushed opium on China, in spite of the strenuous objections of the Chinese governments and officials of the time, is because before the Opium Wars, trade with China was causing a worldwide shortage of silver. Silver was about the only thing that non-Chinese had that Chinese wanted. Until opium.

In fact, at least one Chinse official wrote Queen Victoria a letter to the effect that opium is forbidden in Great Britain, so why are you trying to push it on us here?

EliteCommInc. 2 days ago
"The coronavirus pandemic is a curse. It should also serve as an opportunity, Americans at long last realizing that they are not God's agents. Out of suffering and loss, humility and self-awareness might emerge. We can only hope."

Laugh. ohhh you guys need to stop. The virus is not an indication that God is denying an exceptional role for the US. A star athlete is exceptional and may even be fascinating. However,

the reality remains that in order to stay exceptional, fascinating and "indispensable" ---- there are things that athelete must do and and there are things that athelete must avoid doing.

We have engaged in a lot of things we should avoid and neglected some matters that would be helpful in maintaining our own health and care --- damaging our exceptional performance.

Jesse Owens and the Bolt, Usain bolt don't participate in every event and they don't run in every race all the time . . .

It simply is unsustainable.

I of course reject all the whining bout how we, the US, are not exceptional --- and while dispensable, or value on the planet remains vital.

kouroi EliteCommInc. a day ago
"value"? more like "impact"... and "vital"? For about 100 years China was an object of history rather than subject, no biggie. The World would need a breather with a bit of hiatus concerning the US.
Wally EliteCommInc. a day ago
If the virus is not gods curse then the equally foolish notion that Americans are gods agents ought to be rejected as well. I think you have misunderstood the context of the reference to gods.
=marco01= EliteCommInc. a day ago
The virus is not an indication that God is denying an exceptional role for the US.

But a natural disaster striking a blue state, that totally is an indication God is punishing them for their degeneracy.

EmpireLoyalist 2 days ago
Two constitutional amendment movements must come out of this crisis:
1) Large metropolitan areas must be detached from the states in which they reside. It is beyond tragic to see civilised people, with deep roots and traditional values, come under the tyranny of brutal marxist regimes - as we see in so many places from Virginia to NY to Pennsylvania to Illinois. We have giant colonies of government dependents and cube-dwellers, which are being used by the Left as vote plantations. The governments they produce are then inflicted on normal decent innocent people who just happen to live within the same state lines. This can't be allowed to continue.
2) Anybody (like Bill Gates) who engages in planning or promoting policies that would treat humans as livestock (e.g., by tracking them with implanted micro-chips) should be charged with crimes against humanity.
It would be an uphill battle to achieve these goals, but if we do not start right away, the next crisis could be used by the Left to impose their sick vicious perverted social engineering programme - which would mean the end of human civilisation and of the human race as we know it.
Doug Fister EmpireLoyalist a day ago
wow, what a deranged, reality-free comment.
Freespeak EmpireLoyalist a day ago
Whoa amazing, this is like unreasoning.
gnt EmpireLoyalist a day ago
Who would want to implant chips in people who willingly pay hundreds of dollars for a portable device that facilitates tracking the owner?

As far as separating metropolitan areas from surrounding rural areas, it would exacerbate a problem that is already developing. The structure of Congress is already weighted toward rural states. Anything that increases that advantage will mean that more people are governed by fewer people. That's not going to make the US a more stable country.

Awake and Uttering a Song EmpireLoyalist a day ago
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EmpireLoyalist EmpireLoyalist a day ago • edited
The readership of TAC are predominantly committed Leftists.
This comment appears to have touched a nerve.
These measures would impede implementation of The Agenda.
Excellent.
Sidney Caesar EmpireLoyalist a day ago
While there are certainly leftists (like myself) among TAC readership, the thing that distinguishes most TAC readers from folks like yourself is that we reside on the left side of the sanity/insanity divide.
EmpireLoyalist Sidney Caesar a day ago
The commenters here seem to feel these two ideas are crazy:
1) Civilised people should not be placed under the power of people they view as primitive bloodthirsty degenerates.
2) Human beings should not be treated as livestock - tracked and managed by a post-human ruling class.
If The Left believes these ideas are insane, we have a big problem.
That is confirmation that the chasm between Western Civilisation and the marxist ideology is absolutely unbridgeable. There is zero overlap - zero common ground. [In fact, the two are so far apart that one can't see the other with a telescope on a clear day.]
We need to be moving toward some form of separation - whether that means a peaceful partition like the Soviet Union in the early nineties, a loose confederation like the British Commonwealth, or maybe a defence/foreign policy alliance based on the NATO model.
Sidney Caesar EmpireLoyalist a day ago
Ideas are just ideas.
It's the people with those ideas who are crazy.
EmpireLoyalist Sidney Caesar a day ago
"Sane people have crazy ideas. Crazy people have sane ideas."
It's gonna be tough to sell that one.
Are you really just saying that we should submit to an insane ideology because the people promoting it are just the coolest, most fabulous people ever?
The normal humans are not buying that garbage.
That's why marxism always turns to extreme violence.
Socialism cannot compete, so it must conquer. It cannot persuade, so it must coerce and terrorise.
gnt EmpireLoyalist a day ago
Have you not noticed that we seem to be doing our fair share of conquering, coercing and terrorizing in the last 40 years?
Ruth Harris EmpireLoyalist a day ago
Probably the difference is in who either side defines as "primitive bloodthirsty degenerates" and "a post-human ruling class."
gnt EmpireLoyalist a day ago
Every time I see the "the Left" used as the subject of a sentence, it always seems to follow that the writer does not know what he's talking about, and probably does not know any actual leftists who think or do what the writer is claiming they think or do. When you build straw men from information you get on Fox News, you're not likely to get much more than ill-founded generalizations.
Gutbomb gnt a day ago
Any time you see a comment that repeats "the Left/Liberals/Democrats believe X" and "the Right/Conservatives/Republicans believe Y" you can bet that it will not be insightful.

[Apr 24, 2020] Please Tell the Establishment That U.S. Hegemony is Over by Daniel Larison

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The truth is that decline was never a choice, but the U.S. can decide how it can respond to it. We can continue chasing after the vanished, empty glory of the "unipolar moment" with bromides of American exceptionalism. We can continue to delude ourselves into thinking that military might can make up for all our other weaknesses. Or we can choose to adapt to a changed world by prudently husbanding our resources and putting them to uses more productive than policing the world. ..."
"... Exit From Hegemony: The Unraveling of the American Global Order ..."
Apr 23, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
|

More than 10 years ago, the columnist Charles Krauthammer asserted that American "decline is a choice," and argued tendentiously that Barack Obama had chosen it. Yet looking back over the last decade, it has become increasingly obvious that this decline has occurred irrespective of what political leaders in Washington want.

The truth is that decline was never a choice, but the U.S. can decide how it can respond to it. We can continue chasing after the vanished, empty glory of the "unipolar moment" with bromides of American exceptionalism. We can continue to delude ourselves into thinking that military might can make up for all our other weaknesses. Or we can choose to adapt to a changed world by prudently husbanding our resources and putting them to uses more productive than policing the world.

There was a brief period during the 1990s and early 2000s when the U.S. could claim to be the world's hegemonic power. America had no near-peer rivals; it was at the height of its influence across most of the globe. That status, however, was always a transitory one, and was lost quickly thanks to self-inflicted wounds in Iraq and the natural growth of other powers that began to compete for influence. While America remains the most powerful state in the world, it no longer dominates as it did 20 years ago. And there can be no recapturing what was lost.

Alexander Cooley and Dan Nexon explore these matters in their new book, Exit From Hegemony: The Unraveling of the American Global Order . They make a strong case for distinguishing between the old hegemonic order and the larger international order of which it is a part. As they put it, "global international order is not synonymous with American hegemony." They also make careful distinctions between the different components of what is often simply called the "liberal international order": political liberalism, economic liberalism, and liberal intergovernmentalism. The first involves the protection of rights, the second open economic exchange, and the third the form of international order that recognizes legally equal sovereign states. Cooley and Nexon note that both critics and defenders of the "liberal international order" tend to assume that all three come as a "package deal," but point out that these parts do not necessarily reinforce each other and do not have to coexist.

While the authors are quite critical of Trump's foreign policy, they don't pin the decline of the old order solely on him. They argue that hegemonic unraveling takes place when the hegemon loses its monopoly over patronage and "more states can compete when it comes to providing economic, security, diplomatic, and other goods." The U.S. has been losing ground for the better part of the last 20 years, much of it unavoidable as other states grew wealthier and sought to wield greater influence. The authors make a persuasive case that the "exit" from hegemony is already taking place and has been for some time.

Many defenders of U.S. hegemony insist that the "liberal international order" depends on it. That has never made much sense. For one, the continued maintenance of American hegemony frequently conflicts with the rules of international order. The hegemon reserves the right to interfere anywhere it wants, and tramples on the sovereignty and legal rights of other states as it sees fit. In practice, the U.S. has frequently acted as more of a rogue in its efforts to "enforce" order than many of the states it likes to condemn. The most vocal defenders of U.S. hegemony are unsurprisingly some of the biggest opponents of international law -- at least when it gets in their way. Cooley and Nexon make a very important observation related to this in their discussion of the role of revisionist powers in the world today:

But the key point is that we need to be extremely careful that we don't conflate "revisionism" with opposition to the United States. The desire to undermine hegemony and replace it with a multipolar system entails revisionism with respect to the distribution of power, but it may or may not be revisionist with respect to various elements of international architecture or infrastructure.

The core of the book is a survey of three different sources for the unraveling of U.S. hegemony: major powers, weaker states, and transnational "counter-order" movements. Cooley and Nexon trace how Russia and China have become increasingly effective at wielding influence over many smaller states through patronage and the creation of parallel institutions and projects such as the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). They discuss a number of weaker states that have begun hedging their bets by seeking patronage from these major powers as well as the U.S. Where once America had a "near monopoly" on such patronage, this has ceased to be the case. They also track the role of "counter-order" movements, especially nationalist and populist groups, in bringing pressure to bear on their national governments and cooperating across borders to challenge international institutions. Finally, they spell out how the U.S. itself has contributed to the erosion of its own position through reckless policies dating back at least to the invasion of Iraq.

The conventional response to the unraveling of America's hegemony here at home has been either a retreat into nostalgia with simplistic paeans to the wonders of the "liberal international order" that ignore the failures of that earlier era or an intensified commitment to hard-power dominance in the form of ever-increasing military budgets (or some combination of the two). Cooley and Nexon contend that the Trump administration has opted for the second of these responses. Citing the president's emphasis on maintaining military dominance and his support for exorbitant military spending, they say "it suggests an approach to hegemony more dependent upon military instruments, and thus on the ability (and willingness) of the United States to continue extremely high defense spending. It depends on the wager that the United States both can and should substitute raw military power for its hegemonic infrastructure." That not only points to what Barry Posen has called "illiberal hegemony," but also leads to a foreign policy that is even more militarized and unchecked by international law.

Cooley and Nexon make a compelling observation about how Trump's demand for more allied military spending differs from normal calls for burden-sharing. Normally, burden-sharing advocates call on allies to spend more so the U.S. can spend less. But that isn't Trump's position at all. His administration pressures allied governments to increase their spending, while showing no desire to curtail the Pentagon budget:

Retrenchment entails some combination of shedding international security commitments and shifting defense burdens onto allies and partners. This allows the retrenching power, in principle, to redirect military spending toward domestic priorities, particularly those critical to long-term productivity and economic growth. In the current American context, this means making long-overdue investments in transportation infrastructure, increasing educational spending to develop human capital, and ramping up support for research and development. This rationale makes substantially less sense if retrenchment policies do not produce reductions in defense spending–which is why Trump's aggressive, public, and coercive push for burden sharing seems odd. Recall that Trump and his supporters want, and have already implemented, increases in the military budget. There is no indication that the Trump administration would change defense spending if, for example, Germany or South Korea increased their own military spending or more heavily subsidized American bases.

The coronavirus pandemic has exposed how misguided our priorities as a nation have been. There is now a chance to change course, but that will require our leaders to shift their thinking. U.S. hegemony is already on its way out; now Americans need to decide what our role in the world will look like afterwards. Warmed-over platitudes about "leadership" won't suffice and throwing more money at the Pentagon is a dead end. The way forward is a strategy of retrenchment, restraint, and renewal.


Tradcon 2 days ago

They can't possibly grapple with the fact that they were wrong and that their policies were catastrophic failures in almost every regard.
Kessler Tradcon 2 days ago
Yeah. US just happened to decline, a completely natural process, some universal constant, like gravity of which we have no control.

No. A decadent US population, informed by clueless media, put in charge incompetent and self-serving leaders, who made a series of very poor choices for the nation, but financially beneficial for themselves.

HenionJD Kessler a day ago • edited
And thus our betrayed America's version of the White Man's Burden. It's sad to think our children having to endure living in a world where they aren't called to die in God-forsaken hellholes for reasons that have nothing to do with this nation's core principles. Sad!
AlexanderHistory X Kessler a day ago
Lol. Sort of. Except the very oligarchs you speak of, on both sides, set the stage for all of it.
This is the inevitable result of voting as a right, ans they knew it. Universal suffrage is a tool of control, not liberty.
MPC AlexanderHistory X a day ago
The oligarchs are really just like other Americans, who got their hands on a whole lot of money. I have no doubt the rest of the population would behave like oligarchs if given the same resources.
JonF311 AlexanderHistory X a day ago
We don't have universal suffrage and voting is no where named as a right in the Constitution. The most it has to say is that voting can not be denied to people based on their membership in certain classes, nor limited based on the payment of a tax.
Meddersville 2 days ago
"it has become increasingly obvious that this decline has occurred irrespective of what political leaders in Washington want."

It isn't "irrespective of". It is because of what they wanted. They wanted and aggressively pushed for US foreign policy to serve the narrow regional interests of client states like Israel and Saudi Arabia. They got what they wanted, in spades, and now America's geopolitical and economic fortunes are in a tail-spin.

If America had ignored these people, with their stupid interventionism, their almost blatant service of foreign interests by demanding "no daylight" with "allies" who did nothing but suck our blood, we would have been far better off. We would have been far better able to anticipate, prepare for, and respond to the pandemic. It's impossible not to think ruefully of the trillions we wasted on Middle East wars and other interventions, money now so badly needed here at home.

Jason Kennedy 2 days ago
The US will pursue a similar path to Israel. Advantage is relative. Rather than repair the US economy it is simpler to destroy those of one's rivals. I see war as the only attractive option for the US elite as that is the only area where they still enjoy clear superiority (or believe they do, same thing policy-wise.)
Kathleen King a day ago
Cooley and Nevon's book appears to be a good read - I will put it on my 'to read so buy' book list. China is the next hegemon - this is inevitable due to design. As time goes by during this 'coronavirus pandemic' I have been waiting to hear a politician, any politician, assert that they will support legislation to require 'essential supply lines' to be returned to the U.S. Aside from 'murmurs', not a 'lucid' peep. Just 'sue china' legislation, or smoke and mirrors blame on those within the U.S. via the media or politicians. This is just embarrassing and surreal.

The priority should be to bring these supply lines back to the U.S. [i.e., medical]. Too hell if I am going to be forced to pay for 'Obamacare' or 'Medicare For All' like a Russian Serf, to the Corporations [vassals] of China [Tatars] - enforced by their 'Eunuchs', greedy politicians in Washington. {Eunuchs were castrated lackies of Emperors]. Yet Chinese slave labour on these medical products, including pharmaceutical ingredients, and precious metals for parts for the Department of Defense, keep profit margins very high.

Because of their cowardice one must ask: Why increase defense spending on any project - or be concerned with Iran or Venezuela or Russia or keeping NATO afloat? Allowing China to continue to be the 'sole source' provider of essential goods is just asking for another scenario like the one before us. If so, I am convinced that my country is nothing more than a 'dead carcass' being ripped apart by 'Corporate Vassals of China'. This, of course, includes the Tech Companies as well.

Bankotsu Kathleen King a day ago • edited
China won't be next hegemon. It has no ambition to be one.
joeo Bankotsu a day ago
Are Vietnam, the Philippines, Japan, South Korea, Australia and India aware of this?
Bankotsu joeo a day ago
Time will tell.
Feral Finster joeo a day ago • edited
China does not have ideal geography to be world hegemon.

For one thing, it is too easy to prevent any ships from leaving the South China Sea.

The fact that China has not gone to war with anyone since 1953, except for two sharp but short border conflicts in 1962 and 1979, should tell you something. Contrast with the peace-loving liberal democracy of the United States.

J Villain joeo a day ago
You mean the counties that have signed numerous trade and defence agreements with China?
Comicus Bankotsu 20 hours ago
China has seen the cost we've paid. I don't think they see the value.
dstraws Kathleen King a day ago
The answer of course is a functional international system--environmental protection, world health, a transparent financial system, world court, and policing. All agreed on by at least the major players which makes it costly for others not to participate.
Kathleen King dstraws a day ago
With good reason many 'mistrust' this int'l system given the threat to sovereignty of a country, most importantly the freedom of its citizens. An int'l system is asymmetrical, a radical 're-distribution' program that preys on citizens of the 'pseudo-wealthy' west. The United States will be, post-Corona Virus, potentially $30T in debt. Yet they contribute the most to the WHO. The largest contribution to the UN comes from the United States. This fact seems to rebut your 'costly for others not to participate'.

The Paris Agreement, like the UN and WHO, will rely on most of the funds coming from the U.S. and redistributed to other countries. And this will further destroy the standard of living in this country to the degree of crashing the economy. The expected Utopian Outcome for this so-called 'One-World' order will be a great disappointment to those that advocate for it. Because, after all, it is nothing more than a Utopian dream gambling on the cohesive nature of different demographic groups combined with significant reduction in freedoms for all - based on flawed models, including so-called 'man made global warming' models. To define the Demographic is use in the context of my response: does not = race; it equals culture. Right now this is being demonstrated in the super state of the EU. There can be no harmony in a world like this. It is like forcing a 'square peg' into a 'round hole'.

And who are these major players? The Eunuch Politicians in Washington and Western Europe? What are their priorities? Their wallets or their constituents? And I do not mean in a parental way. That is not the role of government.

Jim Chilton a day ago
Viewed from a global perspective at this time, there is a decline in American power and influence, but the vanity of politicians prevents them from seeing it and they don't want to let go.

The British government makes the same mistakes as it clings to an imaginary "prestige" as a world power - a power that vanished in 1914.

Lars a day ago
We don't have to collapse like the Western Roman Empire; we can adjust like the Byzantine Empire and stay around a thousand years longer.
Lee a day ago
After Eden was removed as PM post-Suez the new PM Harold McMillan came in and was honest with the British ppl in explaining their new role in the world, just 10-15 years after the triumph of WW2 a UK Prime Minister had the courage to tell the British people that they were no longer at the top table, that the age of Empire was over and to put in place the policies required to remove the burden of empire from Britain and adjust to its new role in the world. Do you see an American politician with the capability to tell some uncomfortable home truths to the American people and still win an election?
joeo Lee a day ago
i think that is why voters elected Trump. The citizens of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin have lived the decline of the United States. At least under trump there have been no new wars but the withdrawal from Iraq, Afghanistan NATO, Japan, Korea needs to occur with the Military-Industrial-Media Complex kicking and screaming.with each step. Also ending sanctions on Iran, Cuba, North Korea and Venezuela.
WolfNippleChips joeo a day ago
We are in Japan because it allows us to patrol the sea lanes which is vital for our economy and it gives us a large force ready to respond in case of Chinese or North Korean aggression. The Status of Forces Agreement and other treaties with Japan stipulate what percentage of costs are born by Japan.
joeo WolfNippleChips a day ago
Allowing Japan to destroy consumer electronics, damage steel and automotive is vital to our economy? Could we not patrol the sea lanes if we wanted to from Guam? Is not freedom of the sea just as vital to Japan, Europe and India? How is China or North Korea the aggressor when Japan, Korea and Taiwan have been client states of China with the US thousands of miles away?
Imperialism has bankrupt the United States just as it did Europe. The time has come to end these treaties.
MPC joeo a day ago
Ultra protectionism, retreat to our island and no one can find us, 'make America great again' I dare say, thinking is naive and unrealistic.

America wil be poorer, weaker, and more vulnerable if it tried to only make its own goods and had to rely on only its own labor. Trade is profit and profit is the ability to develop, build, and defend what we have. Where do the profits go is the question. Who loses in the trade is another question. Does the benefit from the former outweigh the latter?

I don't see Japanese trade as making much of a dent in employment rates. The profits go to the Japanese state and industry, who are important counterweights to Chinese ambitions in Asia, a mutual interest. So, the costs are few, and the profits are used in significant measure to mutual benefit.

The liberal hegemon is dead, yes our imperialism is dead even if it doesn't know it, but it is essential to remain strategically involved in the world around us. Even if we stop playing the game, the world around us does not. Did Russia have the luxury of turning into a turtle after the Cold War? No. Nations, which are all wolves, smell weakness. Yet the Trumpian right wants to hide, put its finger in its ear, and pretend that everything will be fine it seems.

Lee joeo 16 hours ago
What are these withdrawals from Iraq & Afghanistan you speak of? They just have not happened, like not even a little bit, so tired of people pushing this completely false narrative as if it is true, just maddening. A democracy cannot function if people exist in their own worlds with their own facts that are just not true
David Naas a day ago
The Brits after WW2 offer a lesson here. Hurt badly by WW1, their whole system began teetering as that illusion of the "natural superiority" of the British took massive hits in the various colonies of the Empire. By exposing the ordinariness of the administrators and soldiers, it encouraged revolt (see Gandhi in India). But WW2 arguably devastated the UK. It's "win" over Germany was Pyrrhic, as it needed both the USSR and the USA , and each took a chunk of prestige and of the "hegemon". George VI recognized this, and British politicians encouraged the shift from Empire to Commonwealth. (Which, if they had never involved themselves in the EU beyond trade and had kept up the Commonwealth as it was intended, would have been a better path than what they did, IMHO.) Nevertheless, they handled it better than I think we will.

As Jefferson said, "Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations-entangling alliances with none."

But to get there, we have a lot of nonsense -- damned nonsense - - to overcome.

John Achterhof a day ago
Excellent review and outlook on an encouraging transition from the compulsion of hegemony within a generally agreeable paradigm of economic liberalism (rules-based international markets).
john a day ago
Well this present regime is actively smashing "international organizations" constructed largely by the Americans after WW2. This makes it even easier for the Chinese to fill the vacuum we have created. It would be better to hold them in a Western biased "international organization"
engineerscotty a day ago
Would be nice if there were no global hegemon, actually.
NoNonsensingPlease engineerscotty a day ago
All indications are that ship has sailed. Will there be hegemons? Yes, but more than one. The US will not be the only hegemon and the COVID-19 helped the world see the emperor has no clothes.
MPC engineerscotty a day ago
I think that's the likely course, unless the US remains especially incompetent in ensuring that China isn't the one cleaning up at all the empire liquidation sales.

No nation should be entrusted with anything like the power the US has had.

WolfNippleChips a day ago
Until they start shooting down our airliners, sinking our cruise ships, attacking our Naval Bases, and invading their neighbors and committing genocide against people of other races and religions.

Then, the doves will wake up and realize that the Big Stick is what kept us safe afterall.

MPC WolfNippleChips a day ago
Yes, we need the Big Stick.

We just need a rethinking of strategy, since we're just hitting ourselves with it right now.

Some people feel inclined to toss away the stick to prevent the foolish use of it.

chris chuba WolfNippleChips a day ago
You mean fight people who actually threaten us rather than attack people because we dream up scenarios where it's possible or we just don't like them? I'll take that over preemptive genocide.

If we focused on actual defense 9/11 would not have happened. We ignored Al Qaeda despite the fact the bombed us multiple times because we were too busy bombing Serbia, blowing up their TV stations and expanding NATO to gobble up former Russian Republics.

Feral Finster a day ago
"Liberal international order" my royal Irish @ss.

The United States routinely ignores any international laws, whenever it sees fit. Anyway, the idea that United States hegemony is obligatory because muh international order is an argument from consequences.

AlexanderHistory X a day ago
Lol, America Is what's in the rear view, not just our status as the sole superpower.
People better get ready, this empire is getting ready to collapse.
NoNonsensingPlease AlexanderHistory X a day ago
Surely the shortest live empire in history.
JonF311 NoNonsensingPlease a day ago
Alexander's barely outlived his brief life.
M Orban AlexanderHistory X a day ago
You wouldn't be the first one to say that...
MPC AlexanderHistory X a day ago
Meh, people better get ready, we're getting ready to muddle along for the next several decades.

The American state is way too tasty a prize. No one is going to dismantle it, and people will unite against any threat that has the potential to. Eventually someone will figure out a Bernie/Trump fusion and that person will be our Peron or Putin. Radical leftists will be crushed by the police if they try anything, and the white nationalists will all be in prison.

We're somewhere between Argentina and Russia heading forward.

MPC a day ago
Sell the empire. Ignore the Middle East outside of the oil trade lanes. Reorient our trade networks on SE Asia, India, and Latin America - no more feeding China. End of hostile moves towards Russia - let Europe reconcile with Russia. Fully support multipolar world order.

Militarily we don't need the plodding battleship of a force we have now. No need to occupy whole countries with 'boots on the ground'. Maintain top notch special forces, advisor and coordination programs with allies, and anything useful for blowing up Chinese force projection especially the PLA navy. Subs and missiles.

Platonist_82 MPC 21 hours ago • edited
Lots of good ideas here. Would trading with India involve a "reorient[ation]?" (I don't know.) That is to say, would still trading with India mean that we have to maintain our current naval position, or would that still be consistent with some sort of drawdown? Or are you saying that since India is not a hostile force, we would not have to worry about it? Or does is that problem met with the "anything useful for blowing up Chinese force projection especially the PLA navy. Subs and missiles." Conceivably, China could increase its presence in the Indian Ocean to create problems, no? Overall, agree with a lot of it--I'm just curious about the logistics.
MPC Platonist_82 15 hours ago
India in the longer term could ostensibly do much of what China does for us now trade wise. Needs to finish developing its infrastructure and its manufacturing tech. SE Asia and Mexico are closer short term.

I think due to the commercial value of the seas our navy is our most cost effective means of force projection. Patrolling the Persian Gulf means we have our thumb on the number one petroleum artery. I would focus more on cost effective means to deny China (and Chinese trade) access to the seas in the event of tension. Carriers are expensive targets when subs and strategic missile emplacements can inspire even more fear due to unpredictability. But yes we still need bases and partnerships throughout the Indian and Pacific Oceans. China can roam around in peacetime as it wishes, what matters is that it stays totally bottled up in port, along with its maritime trade, in a conflict.

Allow these places to run up trade surpluses with us rather than China.

Platonist_82 a day ago • edited
I think Mr. Larison is on the right track. However, even if the logic of abandoning the Liberal International Order (LIO) is accepted--and the LIO most certainly should be abandoned--the entire story or narrative of post-World War II America narrative must be either abandoned or refashioned. It seems that the LIO functions as some sort of purpose for American citizens, and a higher-level theology for those who work in the United States Government, especially those who are involved in foreign policy making. Countering or reshaping the narrative of United States foreign policy and its link with domestic policy will be a challenge, but one that needs to be taken up, and taken up successfully. In personal conversations with those who support the LIO, they seem to take [my] criticisms of the LIO as some sort of ad hominem attack. This reaction is obviously illogical, but it is one that those who see the wisdom of abandoning the LIO must tactically and tactfully counter. Regrettably, supporting the LIO is conflated with being an American, or conflated with the raison d'etre of the existence of the United States. Many think the abandonment of the LIO cannot rationally be replaced and will necessarily be replaced with some sort of nihilism or the most cynical form of "realism," of which they mistakenly believe they possess understanding. For a start, reforming the educational system, insofar as it not already dominated by incorrect-but-fashionable far-leftist ideas that advocate a narrative of American history and purpose as false as it is pernicious, would seem to necessary. Many children grow into adulthood falsely thinking maintaining the LIO is their responsibility. It is, at root, a theological sickness.
MidnightDancer 9 hours ago
It is very difficult for me to see the U.S. changing course anytime soon. Neoliberal globalists, political, and financial, are in control.
Tony 7 hours ago
I hope it is over. To hell with the Europeans who have made a national sport of mocking Americans and all things America, while we risk nuclear war on their behalf. Let them face Putin and the Islamic invasion on their own - those problems are Europe's, not ours.
Frank Blangeard 7 hours ago
The United States is ramping up for the "Great Final War' with both Russia and China. Throw in Iran, Syria, North Korea etc. as an afterthought. The U.S. will bring the temple down on itself rather than give up the goal of 'Full Spectrum Dominance'.that it has been pursuing since the end of WWII.
Anti_Govt_Rebel 5 hours ago
Alexander Cooley and Dan Nexon may think the glory days are coming to an end, but I don't think Trump and the neocons got the memo yet. I see no evidence of any intent to change.
Matthew W. Hall 13 minutes ago
There is no "international order." That's just rhetoric that is useful for certain economic interests. A world without american hegemony will be divided and filled with conflict. Globalization can't work politically.

[Apr 21, 2020] What Will Be America's Mission in the World by Patrick J. Buchanan

Patrick forgot that Full spectrum Dominance is still the driving force of the USA foreign policy. And that will not change. So this is just a wishful thinking.
Apr 21, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

And after persevering for four decades, we prevailed.

What, then, did we do with our epochal victory?

We alienated Russia by moving our NATO military alliance into the Baltic and Black Seas. We launched bloody, costly crusades for democracy in the Middle East that, invariably, failed. We exported a huge slice of our manufacturing capacity and economic independence to a coddled China.

Historically, blunders of such magnitude have undone great powers.

Even before COVID-19, Americans had begun to realize the folly of decades of mindless interventionism over matters irrelevant to our vital interests. "Unsustainable" was the word commonly associated with our foreign policy.

But if our foreign policy was unsustainable during President Trump's economic boom, with unemployment at record lows and a bull market to rival the Roaring '20s, can an interventionist foreign policy be sustained after the losses of this major depression we have induced to kill the pandemic?

If the Democrats win in November, we know their priorities: national health insurance, carbon taxes, the Green New Deal, open borders, amnesty, reparations and wealth redistribution to reduce social and economic inequality -- an agenda costing trillions of dollars.

And Democrats will be looking at the defense budget as a slush fund to finance this new progressive era.

If the Republicans win, given the influence of hawks and neocons among the party elite, interventionism may get another run in the yard.

Having been exposed as naive beyond belief for their indulgence of China from the Bush I days to 2016, some Republicans are looking to make amends by casting China in the Soviet role in Cold War II.

There is talk on Capitol Hill of refusing to pay off U.S. bonds that Beijing holds and of suing China for the damages done by the coronavirus, as China failed to alert the world the pathogen was loose.

Americans should think long and hard before defaulting on U.S. government debt and consider the consequences if we open a door to claims against sovereign nations for past sins.

Iraq was invaded in 2003 to force it to give up illicit weapons of mass destruction it did not have. Baghdad could have a case in international court against America for the unprovoked war waged against that country.

While the U.S. appears determined to bring back manufacturing -- especially of products critical to the health, safety and defense of our nation -- there seems to be no stomach among the public for a war with China.

But again, with the democracy crusades now repudiated, what is America's cause, what is America's mission in the world?

... ... ...

To borrow from the title of historian Walter A. McDougall's classic work, America's future is as a promised land, not a crusader state.

Patrick J. Buchanan is co-founder of TAC and the author of Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.

[Apr 19, 2020] Who Is Really in Control of US Foreign Policy by Timothy Alexander Guzman

Notable quotes:
"... Baron Nathan Mayer de Rothschild once said "I care not what puppet is placed on the throne of England to rule the British Empire on which the sun never sets. The man that controls Britain's money supply controls the British Empire, and I control the British money supply." ..."
"... Unfortunately that system of control is evident in today's society. Special interests have been behind every US president including Trump. ..."
"... Trump is following his marching orders to big oil interests including his authorized theft of Syrian oil. ..."
"... Trump has given more support to Israel than any of his predecessors, which to the Pentagon is another important agenda. Israel is an important US ally in the Middle East besides Saudi Arabia. ..."
"... Trump first trip as President was to Saudi Arabia to sell more weapons, which is business as usual for the arms industry. ..."
"... "We will stop racing to topple foreign regimes that we know nothing about, that we shouldn't be involved with" ..."
"... "these events send a strong signal to the illegitimate regimes in Venezuela and Nicaragua that democracy and the will of the people will always prevail." ..."
"... 'War is a Racket.' ..."
"... "I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902–1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents" ..."
"... "This conjunction, of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry, is new in the American experience. The total influence – economic, political, even spiritual – is felt in every city, every state house, every office of the federal government. We recognise the imperative need for this development, yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes." ..."
"... (who was the emperor's private army by default is similar to Presidents relationship with the Military-Industrial Complex) ..."
"... "smash the CIA into a thousand pieces" ..."
"... "For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence–on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations. ..."
"... Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed. It conducts the Cold War, in short, with a war-time discipline no democracy would ever hope or wish to match." ..."
"... " tightly knit, highly efficient machine " ..."
"... 'The World According to Jesse' ..."
"... TruTV's 'Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura' ..."
"... "About a month after I was elected governor, I was requested into the basement of the capital to be interviewed by 23 members of the Central Intelligence Agency, the CIA, they were very formal, there was governor, sir and all that, but they put me in a chair and they were in a big half-moon around me, and I said to them, look before I answer any of your questions, I want to know what are you doing here? because in the CIA mission statement, it says that they are not operational inside the United States of America. Well, they wouldn't really give me an answer on that and then I said I want to go around the room and I want each one of you to tell me your name and what you do, half of them wouldn't. Now isn't that bizarre, I'm the governor and these guys wouldn't answer questions from me. Then they started questioning me and it was all about how I got elected. You know what was the most bizarre thing about it was? There was every array of person you could imagine, young people, old people, all nationalities and that's what really got to me. These were people you would see every day. They look like your neighbors." ..."
"... Presidents come and go, and even the parties in power change, but the main political direction does not change, That's why, in the grand scheme of things, we don't care who's the head of the United States, we know more or less what's going to happen. And so, in this regard, even if we wanted to, it wouldn't make sense for us to interfere ..."
"... Timothy Alexander Guzman writes on his blog, Silent Crow News, where this article was originally published. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research. ..."
Feb 22, 2020 | www.globalresearch.ca
First published on January 2, 2020

Baron Nathan Mayer de Rothschild once said "I care not what puppet is placed on the throne of England to rule the British Empire on which the sun never sets. The man that controls Britain's money supply controls the British Empire, and I control the British money supply."

Unfortunately that system of control is evident in today's society. Special interests have been behind every US president including Trump.

Trump is following his marching orders to big oil interests including his authorized theft of Syrian oil.

Trump has given more support to Israel than any of his predecessors, which to the Pentagon is another important agenda. Israel is an important US ally in the Middle East besides Saudi Arabia.

Trump first trip as President was to Saudi Arabia to sell more weapons, which is business as usual for the arms industry.

There is a power structure that sets the rules of the game in Washington. The Military-Industrial Complex (MIC) has an agenda and that is war. A US led war in the Middle East with Iran is increasingly coming close to reality. It would affect Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinians.

At some point, the war will reach Latin America targeting Venezuela because of its oil reserves since Trump likes the "oil". As of now, Bolivia, Chile and Ecuador are in chaos due to new US-backed fascistic governments that re-established neoliberal economic policies which will lead to the impoverishment of the masses.

The U.S. military has over 800 bases ranging from torture sites to drone hubs in over 70 countries. US tensions are more intense that in any period of time with Iran, Syria and Hezbollah as Trump signed off on a new defense budget worth $738 billion including funds for his new Space Force. Despite the fact that the Democrats are still angry over their election defeat to Trump and are still pushing the Russia collusion hoax and now the farcical impeachment scandal, but when it comes to foreign policy, both Democrats and Republicans are unified with the same war agenda. The Trump administration continues its regime change operations despite the fact that Trump said no more regime change wars when he was a candidate in 2016. "We will stop racing to topple foreign regimes that we know nothing about, that we shouldn't be involved with"

Fast-forward to 2019, Trump's CIA and others from his administration such as Eliot Abrams, a Reagan-era neocon was given the green-light to conduct another regime change operation with a nobody named Juan Guaido leading the Venezuelan opposition against the Maduro government which failed. Bolivia on the other hand was a success for Washington which was planned the day Evo Morales was elected President of Bolivia and was allied with Washington's adversaries in Latin America including Venezuela, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Brazil (before Balsonaro of course). Trump continued the pentagon's agenda when he praised the new fascist Bolivian regime who forced Morales from power with Washington's approval of course. Trump even threatened Nicaragua and Venezuela with new attempts of regime change when he said that "these events send a strong signal to the illegitimate regimes in Venezuela and Nicaragua that democracy and the will of the people will always prevail." In other words, Trump is not in charge.

US Presidents do have some room to make decisions concerning domestic issues such as taxes or healthcare, but when it comes to foreign policy, its a different story. It's not a conspiracy theory.

Soleimani's Assassination: An Act of Psychological Warfare

Many people in power has told the world who is really in charge from politicians, Wall Street bankers to military generals. In a 1935 speech by a Marine General Smedley titled 'War is a Racket.'

A veteran in the Spanish-American War who rose through the ranks during the course of his career. From 1898 until his retirement in 1931 he was part of numerous interventions all around the world. Butler was also the most decorated Marine ever with two Medals of Honor added to his resume. He said the following:

"I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902–1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents"

He was correct. General Butler could have given notorious gangsters such as Al Capone a few lessons in how to run a business empire. Then in 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower made it clear who had the real power inside Washington in a farewell address he gave to the American public. Eisenhower issued a stark warning on the dangers of the MIC posed to humanity.

Here is a part of the speech:

"This conjunction, of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry, is new in the American experience. The total influence – economic, political, even spiritual – is felt in every city, every state house, every office of the federal government. We recognise the imperative need for this development, yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes."

Eisenhower seemed like he was not in agreement with the deep state's decision to drop the atomic bombs during World War II, perhaps he was cornered by the growing power of the deep state. A comparison between the Roman Empire and America today is uncanny. In Rome for example, choosing an emperor was made difficult by the ruling elite, political debates dominated how new emperors were selected by old emperors, the senate, those who were influential and the Praetorian Guard which is today's version of the Military-Industrial Complex. The political and industrial heavyweights and its intelligence agencies select the best two candidates from the only two political parties who are bought and paid for by corporate and political interests make the important decisions. The Praetorian Guard (who was the emperor's private army by default is similar to Presidents relationship with the Military-Industrial Complex) had dominated the election process for the next century or so resulting in targeted assassinations of several emperors they did not want in power before Rome's collapse. They were assassinations and attempted assassinations on US presidents resulting in four deaths, the most notable assassination in the 20th century was President John F. Kennedy who wanted to "smash the CIA into a thousand pieces" gave a speech on April 27th, 1961 at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City, many believe, including myself, that it was the speech that eventually got him killed:

"For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence–on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations.

Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed. It conducts the Cold War, in short, with a war-time discipline no democracy would ever hope or wish to match."

The " tightly knit, highly efficient machine " Kennedy spoke about directs U.S. presidents to authorize wars or a covert operations to topple foreign governments. Kennedy exposed that fact and followed that same fate as those emperors in Rome. Even in Domestic politics, the U.S. government deep state apparatus is in control as the former Governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura , who is also a former Navy Seal, actor and professional wrestler who now has his own show on RT news called 'The World According to Jesse' admitted on TruTV's 'Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura' on how the CIA interrogated him shortly after he became governor:

"About a month after I was elected governor, I was requested into the basement of the capital to be interviewed by 23 members of the Central Intelligence Agency, the CIA, they were very formal, there was governor, sir and all that, but they put me in a chair and they were in a big half-moon around me, and I said to them, look before I answer any of your questions, I want to know what are you doing here? because in the CIA mission statement, it says that they are not operational inside the United States of America. Well, they wouldn't really give me an answer on that and then I said I want to go around the room and I want each one of you to tell me your name and what you do, half of them wouldn't. Now isn't that bizarre, I'm the governor and these guys wouldn't answer questions from me. Then they started questioning me and it was all about how I got elected. You know what was the most bizarre thing about it was? There was every array of person you could imagine, young people, old people, all nationalities and that's what really got to me. These were people you would see every day. They look like your neighbors."

The US president including all elected congress members are all bought and paid for by the arms industry, major corporations, bankers, Big Pharma, Big Oil, the media and a handful of lobbyists with the Israel lobby being the most powerful. Trump is no exception. He will follow the road given to him by those who are in charge and he will continue the path to a world war, an agenda that been long in the making. One of America's favorite enemies, Russian President Vladimir Putin was interviewed by Megan Kelly of NBC news in 2017 and was asked about the so-called Russian collusion conspiracy theory and he said the following:

Presidents come and go, and even the parties in power change, but the main political direction does not change, That's why, in the grand scheme of things, we don't care who's the head of the United States, we know more or less what's going to happen. And so, in this regard, even if we wanted to, it wouldn't make sense for us to interfere

Whether Trump wants war or even peace, it won't matter, he will do the right thing, for the deep state that is.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Timothy Alexander Guzman writes on his blog, Silent Crow News, where this article was originally published. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

[Apr 19, 2020] Will COVID-19 Retire the World's Policeman

Looks like wishful thinking... The neoliberal elite is desperate, and when they get desperate they play dirty
Apr 19, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
The Roosevelt has been ravaged by the coronavirus. As of Tuesday, 589 cases of COVID-19 were reported from a crew of 4,800. Four thousand sailors in Guam are in various stages of a 14-day isolation period in hotels and spare rooms across the island.

But it is not just the Roosevelt. Every U.S. warship -- carriers, cruisers, frigates, destroyers, subs -- has cramped quarters conducive to the spread of the coronavirus.

How many of these vessels will soon be doubling as hospital ships?

The same question might also be asked of the U.S. Army and Marine barracks in South Korea, Japan, Australia and Okinawa.

There are allegations that the coronavirus did not originate in the Wuhan "wet market" where bats are sold for food but instead escaped through a horrible blunder in a Chinese bioweapons laboratory a few miles away.

Whatever the truth, the Wuhan virus appears to have become the most effective means of disabling U.S. hard and soft power that we have encountered in many a decade.

Of those 10,000 Peace Corp volunteers, and scores of thousands of other Americans who have been repatriated home, how many of these "soft power" soldiers will be going back after they have been out of their host country for 18 months?

Will this pandemic prove the decisive factor in America's retreat from global hegemony?

With the U.S. budget deficit for 2020 originally set at $1 trillion, now triple that, there is going to be a hard reckoning for the allocation of our diminished resources after the nation reopens.

And policing the planet is likely to be seen as yesterday's priority, and a primary candidate for discard.

Clyde Schechter a day ago

Well, if the epidemic does lead to a more restrained foreign policy, that would be the silver lining in this awfully dark cloud. It might well end up saving more lives than are lost in the epidemic, too.

[Apr 01, 2020] For just $27K USD you can see John Bolton's relatives in natural environment

Apr 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Piotr Berman , Mar 31 2020 17:22 utc | 151

Given some time and currency, I guess Morocco would offer more value for money if you want some exotic customs and landscapes. If you have more money, you could spend them on a carbon-free cruise with stunning vistas and off-the-beaten route: North Pole on board of nuclear-powered ice breaker! It is wise to have swimming costume (a pool is on board, heated, I presume) and sensible apparel -- enough for normal winter (in Moscow). The number of places is below 150, with a little hospital on board too. In the latest ads I read about discounts, but the deal was that you can pay in rubbles with prices below the rubble plunged by 25%, still, for 27 k USD you can see John Bolton's relatives in natural environment (like mommy walrus taking care of youngsters), polar bears, seals, and landscapes of Franz Josef Land. Helicopter rides included. You can also take a plunge into the arctic water -- with safety precautions .

[Mar 20, 2020] On the psychology of Full Spectrum Dominance

Mar 20, 2020 | www.unz.com

Richard B says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 2:06 am GMT 700 Words @Kevin Barrett Does anyone ever really win a trade war?

I don't mean Argentina vs China, or anything like that.

I mean where both sides have a lot of money, or power, or both.

Today's coronavirus black swan, like 9/11, has all the characteristics of a trauma-based mass-mind-control op.

Not only do I agree, but I think it's so obvious that it's exasperating that, after all we've been through, it even needs to be pointed out. But it does.

It has already been used to demonize China in the same way 9/11 was used to demonize Islam: Just as we were supposed to hate the crazy suicidal Muslims yearning for harems of afterlife virgins, we are now supposed to feel disgust for Chinese slurpers of bat soup.

Here I respectfully disagree.

What Jewish Supremacy Inc. did after September 11th was,

1. Blame Islam
2. Shame Americans* for Blaming Islam

A better example of control through crazy-making would be impossible to imagine.

And it's exactly what they're doing now.

1. Blame China
2. Shame Americans for Blaming China

*or anyone else who refused or refuses to bow before the alter of Politically Correct Identity Politics (two tools essential to Full Spectrum Dominance).

As we have already seen, the consequences are immense.

Because if that kind of crazy-making is effective it's totally demoralizing. As learned helplessness sets in people won't even defend themselves. As happened in Italy, and not just Italy.

But there are other discernible patterns well worth pointing out.

1. Destroy The Evidence
2. Control The Narrative
3. Enforce The Law (on anyone looking for evidence to question the narrative)

Victimize – Blame Victim – Play Victim

Demonize Dissent and Pathologize Opposition

And all ending in what I've come to call the Supremacist Waltz

What makes a supremacist is not just making claims ("Our Superiority Is Absolute", or "We are the Chosen") or demands. No. It's that they have the power to effectuate the demands that support their claims.

And what are the demands they have the power to effectuate?

1. to be placed above criticism
2. loved unconditionally
3. blindly obeyed

It's The Rule of Man over The Rule of Law

It's a Culture of Blind Obedience over a Culture of Individual Conscience

It's Tyranny over Freedom

Hence The Great Replacement, accompanied by chants and taunts like "We Will Replace You!"

In other words, Full Spectrum Dominance.

But, there's a snake in this garden.

The kind of power they're interested in is fundamentally destablizing.

All top down authoritarian power destablizes social-institutions.

From the point of view of cultural history this is exactly why cultures emerged in the Western world that promoted democratic forms of governance. Because authoritarians cultures are ultimately so extraordinarily destructive and unsustainable. Like this one is. Isn't it obvious?

And, from the point of view of the bottom line, prolonged and profound social instability disrupts and even halts economic activity.

When that happens there's no alternative.

This is why civilization itself was created. Because any civilization's primary objective is and must be the circumnavigation of the use of force.

This is why what we're really witnessing is nothing less than

The Pyrrhic Victory of Jewish Supremacy Inc.

Because JSI's rise to power has been in direct proportion to the collapse of the very social-institutions that power controls. Pride Before The Fall, indeed.

And the reason is easy to see and devoid of any complexity or glamour.

JSI is no good at social-management.

And make no mistake about it, social-management is at its core an adaptational strategy, as are our social-institutions.

So, if we blow this, we're in no position to laugh at the dinosaurs for getting themselves extinct.

After all, they lasted a lot longer than we have so far.

Assuming the human race has a chance (in itself rather doubtful) perhaps its time to turn their words against them and say,

Treason Against Jewish Supremacy Inc. Is Loyalty To Humanity

Do we really need to ask them for permission to care about our children's future?

[Mar 01, 2020] That the whistleblower works for the CIA is a matter of public record, not some conspiracy theory

Notable quotes:
"... The Democrats did not want Adam Schiff to have to answer questions about the whistleblower, and they don't want the whistleblower's identity to be officially revealed. Such things do not contribute to the greatest cause of our time, the destruction of Donald Trump. ..."
"... The whole point of having the House impeachment investigation proceed from the House Intelligence Committee, headed by Adam Schiff, was to send the signal that Trump is unacceptable to the nefarious powers that make up the Deep State, especially the intelligence agencies, especially the CIA. ..."
"... What a world, then, when OP Democrats are cheering on John Bolton, hoping again for a savior to their sacred resistance cause, and meanwhile they aren't too excited about Rand Paul's intervention. For sure, it is a sign that a "resistance" isn't real when it needs a savior; it's not as if the French Resistance sat back waiting for Gen. de Gaulle. In any case, in the procession of horrible reactionary figures that Democrats have embraced, Bolton is probably the worst, and that's saying quite a lot. ..."
"... People are even talking about "getting used to accepting the help of the CIA with the impeachment," and the like. (I realize I'm being repetitious here, but this stuff blows my mind, it is so disturbing.) At least they are recognizing the reality -- at least partially; that's something. But then what they do with this recognition is something that requires epic levels of TDS -- and, somehow, a great deal of the Left is going down this path. ..."
"... The USA Deep State is a Five Eyes partner and as such Trump must be given the proverbial boot for being an uneducated boor lacking political gravitas & business gravitas with his narcissistic Smoot-Hawley II 2019 trade wars. Screw the confidence man-in-chief. He is a liability for the USA and global business. Trump is not an asset. ..."
"... Almost as a by product of his 2016 victory, Trump showed up the MSM hacks for what they were, lying, partisan shills utterly lacking in any integrity and credibility. The same applies to the intrigues and corruption of the Dirty Cops and Spookocracy. They had to come out from behind the curtain and reveal themselves as the dirty, lying, seditious, treasonous, rabid criminal scum they are. The true nature of the State standing in the spotlight for all the world to see. This cannot be undone. ..."
Mar 01, 2020 | off-guardian.org

First , the whistleblower was ruled out as a possible witness -- this was essentially done behind the scenes, and in reality can be called a Deep State operation, though one exposed to some extent by Rand Paul. This has nothing to do with protecting the whistleblower or upholding the whistleblower statute, but instead with the fact that the whistleblower was a CIA plant in the White House.

That the whistleblower works for the CIA is a matter of public record, not some conspiracy theory. Furthermore, for some time before the impeachment proceedings began, the whistleblower had been coordinating his efforts to undermine Trump with the head of the House Intelligence Committee, who happens to be Adam Schiff. It is possible that the connections with Schiff go even further or deeper. Obviously the Democrats do not want these things exposed.

... ... ...

In this regard, there was a very special moment on January 29, when Chief Justice John Roberts refused to allow the reading of a question from Sen. Rand Paul that identified the alleged whistleblower. Paul then held a press conference in which he read his question.

The question was directed at Adam Schiff, who claims not to have communicated with the whistleblower, despite much evidence to the contrary. (Further details can be read at here .) A propos of what I was just saying, Paul is described in the Politico article as "a longtime antagonist of Republican leaders." Excellent, good on you, Rand Paul.

Whether this was a case of unintended consequences or not, one could say that this episode fed into the case against calling witnesses -- certainly the Democrats should not have been allowed to call witnesses if the Republicans could not call the whistleblower. But clearly this point is completely lost on those working in terms of the moving line of bullshit.

One would think that Democrats would be happy with a Republican Senator who antagonizes leaders of his own party, but of course Rand Paul's effort only led to further "outrage" on the part of Democratic leaders in the House and Senate.

The Democrats did not want Adam Schiff to have to answer questions about the whistleblower, and they don't want the whistleblower's identity to be officially revealed. Such things do not contribute to the greatest cause of our time, the destruction of Donald Trump.

However, you see, there is a complementary purpose at work here, too. The whole point of having the House impeachment investigation proceed from the House Intelligence Committee, headed by Adam Schiff, was to send the signal that Trump is unacceptable to the nefarious powers that make up the Deep State, especially the intelligence agencies, especially the CIA.

The only way these machinations can be combatted is to pull the curtain back further -- but the Republicans do not want this any more than the Democrats do, with a few possible exceptions such as Rand Paul. (As the Politico article states, Paul was chastised publicly by McConnell for submitting his question in the first place, and for criticizing Roberts in the press conference.)

What a world, then, when OP Democrats are cheering on John Bolton, hoping again for a savior to their sacred resistance cause, and meanwhile they aren't too excited about Rand Paul's intervention. For sure, it is a sign that a "resistance" isn't real when it needs a savior; it's not as if the French Resistance sat back waiting for Gen. de Gaulle. In any case, in the procession of horrible reactionary figures that Democrats have embraced, Bolton is probably the worst, and that's saying quite a lot.

... ... ...

Now we are at a moment when "the Left" is recognizing the role that the CIA and the rest of the "intelligence community" is played in the impeachment nonsense. This "Left" was already on board for the "impeachment process" itself, perhaps at moments with caveats about "not leaving everything up to the Democrats," "not just relying on the Democrats," but still accepting their assigned role as cheerleaders and self-important internet commentators. (And, sure, maybe that's all I am, too -- but the inability to distinguish form from content is one of the main problems of the existing Left.)

Now, though, people on the Left are trying to get comfortable with, and trying to explain to themselves how they can get comfortable with, the obvious role of the "intelligence community" (with, in my view, the CIA in the leading role, but of course I'm not privy to the inner workings of this scene) in the impeachment process and other efforts to take down Trump's presidency.

People are even talking about "getting used to accepting the help of the CIA with the impeachment," and the like. (I realize I'm being repetitious here, but this stuff blows my mind, it is so disturbing.) At least they are recognizing the reality -- at least partially; that's something. But then what they do with this recognition is something that requires epic levels of TDS -- and, somehow, a great deal of the Left is going down this path.

They might think about the "help" that the CIA gave to the military in Bolivia to remove Evo Morales from office. They might think about the picture of Donald Trump that they find necessary to paint to justify what they are willing to swallow to remove him from office. They might think about the fact that ordinary Democrats are fine with this role for the CIA, and that Adam Schiff and others routinely offer the criticism/condemnation of Donald Trump that he doesn't accept the findings of the CIA or the rest of the intelligence agencies at face value.

The moment for the Left, what calls itself and thinks of itself as that, to break with this lunacy has passed some time ago, but let us take this moment, of "accepting the help of the CIA, because Trump," as truly marking a point of no return.

MASTER OF UNIVE ,

The USA Deep State is a Five Eyes partner and as such Trump must be given the proverbial boot for being an uneducated boor lacking political gravitas & business gravitas with his narcissistic Smoot-Hawley II 2019 trade wars. Screw the confidence man-in-chief. He is a liability for the USA and global business. Trump is not an asset.

paul ,

Trump, Sanders and Corbyn were all in their own way agents of creative destruction. Trump tapped into the popular discontent of millions of Americans who realised that the system no longer even pretended to work in their interests, and were not prepared to be diverted down the Identity Politics Rabbit Hole.

The Deep State was outraged that he had disrupted their programme by stealing Clinton's seat in the game of Musical Chairs. Being the most corrupt, dishonest and mendacious political candidate in all US history (despite some pretty stiff opposition) was supposed to be outweighed by her having a vagina. The Deplorables failed to sign up for the programme.

Almost as a by product of his 2016 victory, Trump showed up the MSM hacks for what they were, lying, partisan shills utterly lacking in any integrity and credibility. The same applies to the intrigues and corruption of the Dirty Cops and Spookocracy. They had to come out from behind the curtain and reveal themselves as the dirty, lying, seditious, treasonous, rabid criminal scum they are. The true nature of the State standing in the spotlight for all the world to see. This cannot be undone.

For all his pandering to Adelson and the Zionist Mafia, for all his Gives to Netanyahu, Trump has failed to deliver on the Big Ticket Items. Syria was supposed to have been invaded by now, with Hillary cackling demonically over Assad's death as she did over Gaddafi, and rapidly moving on to the main event with Iran. They will not forgive him for this.

They realise they are under severe time pressure. It took them a century to gain their stranglehold over America, and this is a wasting asset. America is in terminal decline, and may soon be unable to fulfil its ordained role as dumb goy muscle serving Zionist interests. And the parasite will find it difficult to find a replacement host.

George Mc ,

Haven't you just agreed with him here?

He thinks the left died in the 1960s, over a half century ago. It's pretty simple to identify a leftist: anti-imperialist/ anti-capitalist. The Democrats are imperialists. People who vote for the Democrats and Republicans are imperialists. This article is a confused mess, that's my whole point;)

If the Democrats and Republicans (and those who vote for them) are imperialists (which they are) then the left are indeed dead – at least as far as political representation goes.

Koba ,

He's sent more troops to Iraq and Afghanistan he staged several coups in Latin America and wanted to take out the dprk and thier nukes and wants to bomb Iran! Winding down?!

sharon marlowe ,

First, an attempted assassination-by-drone on President Maduro of Venezuela happened. Then Trump dropped the largest conventional bomb on Afghanistan, with a mile-wide radius. Then Trump named Juan Guido as the new President of Venezuela in an overt coup. Then he bombed Syria over a fake chemical weapons claim. He bombed it before even an investigation was launched. Then the Trump regime orchestrated a military coup in Bolivia. Then he claimed that he was pulling out of Syria, but instead sent U.S. troops to take over Syrian oil fields. trump then assassinated Gen. Solemeni. Then he claimed that he will leave Iraq at the request of the Iraqi government, the Iraqi government asked the U.S. to leave, and Trump rejected the request. The Trump regime has tried orchestrating a coup in Iran, and a coup in Hong Kong. He expelled Russian diplomats en masse for the Skripal incident in England, before an investigation. He has sanctioned Russia, Iran, North Korea, China, and Venezuela. He has bombed Yemen, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Those are the things I'm aware of, but what else Trump has done in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and South America you can research if you wish. And now, the claim of leaving Afghanistan is as ridiculous as when he claimed to be leaving Syria and Iraq.

Dungroanin ,

Yeah yeah and 'he' gave Maduro 7 days to let their kid takeover in Venezuela! And built a wall. And got rid of obamacare and started a nuke war with Rocketman and and and ...

sharon marlowe ,

There were at least nine people killed when Trump bombed Douma.

Only a psychopath would kill people because one of its spy drones was shot down. You don't get points for considering killing people for it and then changing your mind.

People should get over Hillary and pay attention to what Trump has been doing. Why even mention what Hillary would have done in Syria, then proceed to be an apologist for what Trump has done around the world in just three years? Trump has been quite a prolific imperialist in such a short time. A second term could well put him above Bush and Obama as the 21st century's most horrible leaders on earth.

Dungroanin ,

...If you think that the potus is the omnipotent ruler of everything he certainly seems to be having some problems with his minions in the CIA, NSA, FBI..State Dept etc.

Savorywill ,

Yes, what you say is right. However, he did warn both the Syrian and Russian military of the attack in the first instance, so no casualties, and in the second attack, he announced that the missiles had been launched before they hit the target, again resulting in no casualties. When the US drone was shot down by an Iranian missile, he considered retaliation. But, when advised of likely casualties, he called it off saying that human lives are more valuable than the cost of the drone. Yes, he did authorize the assassination of the Iranian general, and that was very bad. His claims that the general had organized the placement of roadside bombs that had killed US soldiers rings rather hollow, considering those shouldn't have been in Iraq in the first place.

I am definitely not stating that he is perfect and doesn't do objectionable things. And he has authorized US forces to control the oil wells, which is against international law, but at least US soldiers are not actively engaged in fighting the Syrian government, something Hillary set in motion. However, the military does comprise a huge percentage of the US economy and there have to be reasons, and enemies, to justify its existence, so his situation as president must be very difficult, not a job I would want, that is for sure.

The potus is best described (by Assad actually) as a CEO of a board of directors appointed by the shareholders who collectively determine their OWN interests.

Your gaslighting ain't succeeding round here – Regime! So desperate, so so sad 🤣

[Feb 29, 2020] Rand Paul says he will oppose John Bolton and Rudy Giuliani for Secretary of State

Notable quotes:
"... "Bolton is a longtime member of the failed Washington elite that Trump vowed to oppose, hell-bent on repeating virtually every foreign policy mistake the U.S. has made in the last 15 years - particularly those Trump promised to avoid as president," ..."
"... "It's important that someone who was an unrepentant advocate for the Iraq War, who didn't learn the lessons of the Iraq War, shouldn't be the secretary of state for a president who says Iraq was ..."
Nov 20, 2016 | rare.us

Senator Rand Paul said Tuesday in an op-ed for Rare that he would oppose President-elect Donald Trump's rumored selection of former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton as Secretary of State.

"Bolton is a longtime member of the failed Washington elite that Trump vowed to oppose, hell-bent on repeating virtually every foreign policy mistake the U.S. has made in the last 15 years - particularly those Trump promised to avoid as president,"

Paul wrote citing U.S. interventions in Iraq and Libya that Trump has criticized but that Bolton strongly advocated.

Reports since have indicated that former New York City mayor and loyal Trump ally, Rudy Giuliani is being considered for the post.

The Washington Post's David Weigel reports , "Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a newly reelected member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said this morning that he was inclined to oppose either former U.N. ambassador John Bolton or former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani if they were nominated for secretary of state."

"It's important that someone who was an unrepentant advocate for the Iraq War, who didn't learn the lessons of the Iraq War, shouldn't be the secretary of state for a president who says Iraq was a big lesson," Paul told the Post. "Trump said that a thousand times. It would be a huge mistake for him to give over his foreign policy to someone who [supported the war]. I mean, you could not find more unrepentant advocates of regime change."

Related: Rand Paul: Will Donald Trump betray voters by hiring John Bolton?

[Feb 28, 2020] Russia s Relationship With China Is Growing Despite Setbacks by Lyle J. Goldstein ,

Highly recommended!
Feb 23, 2020 | nationalinterest.org

Russia has closed major border crossings with China across the Far East due to the rapid spread of coronavirus. That constitutes a significant blow to a trading relationship that had only just begun to fully blossom. The closures come just as new auto and rail bridges spanning the Amur River are finally reaching completion.

The primary line of debate among Russia-China relations analysts is whether the "rapprochement" is robust and tending toward even a genuine alliance or whether it is weak and has little to show for decades of cooperation other than a few rhetorical flourishes. After all, the skeptics note, if this bilateral relationship is so robust, then why did it take so long to get those bridges built?

The China-Russia trading relationship does indeed remain underdeveloped and will evidently face additional headwinds in the near future (along with all of China's trading relationships, so it seems). But the importance of security ties can hardly be disputed, especially if one takes the long view. Could China have fought the United States to a stalemate in the Korean War without Soviet military assistance? Not a chance. More recently, Russia's sale of high-tech air and naval weaponry during the 1990s and 2000s created a solid foundation for today's muscle-bound dragon with both claws (DF-26) and sharp fangs (e.g. YJ-18). But will it go further?

A tantalizing hint was offered by Russian president Vladimir Putin at the Valdai Conference in early October 2019. During his remarks, he dropped the following bombshell: "I probably won't open a big secret. It'll become clear anyhow. We are now helping our Chinese partners to create a missile attack warning system. This is a very serious thing, which will increase the defense capability of the People's Republic of China in a fundamental way. Because now only the USA and Russia have such a system [Большой тайны, наверно, не открою. Все равно это станет ясно. Мы сейчас помогаем нашим китайским партнерам создать систему СПРН – систему предупреждения о ракетном нападении. Это очень серьезная вещь, которая капитальным, кардинальным образом повысит обороноспособность Китайской Народной Республики. Потому что сейчас такую систему имеют только США и Россия]." This seemingly major step forward in Russia-China military cooperation demands greater scrutiny. It also provides an interesting opportunity to gauge opinion among Russian strategists regarding the long-term viability of a close military partnership with the Middle Kingdom.

One impressively comprehensive Russian appraisal begins by stating that "Russia had to look for various options for answering Washington's actions" to withdraw from the INF Treaty. The same article notes somewhat ominously that the United States is preparing in case of "accidental nuclear war with Russia." Employing the Russian acronym "SPRN" literally "warning systems against rocket attack [системы предупреждения о ракетном нападении]" for early warning system, this assessment also makes the important point that Russia's SPRN has only recently completed a long process of upgrades meant to fill "gaps [разрывы]" caused by the collapse of the Soviet Union, when key facilities for early warning were located in non-Russian parts of the USSR.

The article quotes one Moscow defense expert, Igor Korotchenko [Игор Коротченко], as offering the following assessment: "This is really a huge contribution of Russia to strategic stability, since China receives a powerful tool in order not to become a victim of the first disarming blow from the United States." Another Russian expert, Konstantin Sivkov [Константин Сивков], maintained that this move would enhance "global stability" but also articulated some concern with respect to Russia's long-term interests. "When China has at its disposal all the technologies that Russia has at its disposal, or creates similar ones, it will cease to need Russia as a defender," Sivkov said. "And this could adversely affect Russian-Chinese relations." Korotchenko, however, is more bullish on the long-term prospects for the defense relationship with Beijing. He underlined the commercial prospects for Russian companies, and added that the early warning initiative will "contribute to the further rapprochement of Russia and China, building a common security policy [поспособствует дальнейшему сближению России и Китая, выстраиванию общей политики в области безопасности]."

That's an interesting disagreement among Russian security specialists, for sure, but another rather significant observation regarding these developments was offered in this same article by the former deputy commander of Russia's air defense command, Alexander Luzan [Александр Лузан]. He contends that Russia will benefit from the enhanced cooperation with Beijing on an early warning. Luzan explains that the ground components of Russia's SPRN are comprised of []long range "Voronezh" [Воронеж] radars that can see out four thousand to six thousand kilometers to detect ICBM launches. Short-range "Sunflower [Подсолнухи]" radars are more suitable for warning of short-range launches, but also offer ship-detection capabilities. Directly reflecting on operational advantages for the Russian military, Luzan observes: "Vladivostok and Primorye are protected here, but there is nothing 'in depth.' We once tried to deploy our facilities in Mongolia, but it didn't work out very well. Therefore, if the Chinese close this 'tongue,' it will be very important for Russia [Владивосток и Приморье у нас защищены, а 'в глубину' там ничего нет. Мы когда-то в Монголии пытались разместить свои комплексы, но не очень получилось. Потому если китайцы этот 'язычок' закроют, то для России это будет очень важно]." Again citing this Russian general, the article states that "a unified information space is created and data is exchanged with Chinese radars, [and therefore] 'the security of our country from the east will be even better.'"

Such interpretations are generally in accord with the analysis of Vladimir Petrovsky [Владимир Петровский,], a senior fellow and military specialist at Moscow's Institute of the Far East of the Russian Academy of Sciences. This analyst writes that many believe that Putin's announcement of this strategic cooperation initiative at Valdai signals that "the military alliance between Russia and China . . . has finally become real." Petrovsky also notes that other specialists have begun to speculate on the meaning of a "retaliatory strike" under such circumstances, wherein the early warning is relayed by a third country. He quotes the Russian president (speaking at Valdai) further on the matter of motives for new missile deployments in the Asia-Pacific region: "we suddenly heard from the American military that the first step in this direction would be taken just in Asia. But that step also impacts on us, because we need to understand: where in Asia, will Russian territory be endangered or not? By the way, it's immediately clear what was the root cause of the exit: not Russia and not mythical violations of the [Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces] Treaty by us. If they are going to put [U.S. missiles] in Asia, then Asia is the primary reason for withdrawing from this Treaty [вдруг услышали от американских военных, что первый шаг в этом направлении будет сделан как раз в Азии. Но он и нас затрагивает, потому что надо понять: где в Азии, будет доставать это российскую территорию или нет? Кстати говоря, сразу понятно, что было первопричиной выхода: не Россия и не мифические нарушения нами Договора. Если они собираются ставить в Азии, то Азия и является первопричиной выхода из этого Договора]." In other words, Putin's announcement of this initiative to accelerate military cooperation with China is intended, in part, as a response to the United States' move to exit the INF accord.

Strongly hinting that Beijing might well gain access to Russian early-warning radars based in the Arctic, Petrovsky observes, "Taking into account geography, it is quite possible to develop protocols for the exchange of data between national SPRN." He further contends that this early warning cooperation will be "mutually beneficial and not without compensation [эта помощь -- взаимовыгодная и небезвозмездная]." This military expert explains that China still can learn from Russian radar proficiency, but also implies that the Russian side may gain some advantages from China's evident prowess in microelectronics, for example. Moreover, he suggests, "a possible Chinese satellite constellation could be a good addition to Russian orbital facilities." Still, Petrovsky concludes that Russia and China "are not creating a military-political alliance. It is rather a matter of coordinating the military policies." Playing down the significance of this new initiative, this specialist also notes that Russia and China have been holding annual ballistic missile defense command and staff exercises for about a decade already.

[Feb 27, 2020] A Foreign Policy 'Consensus' Imposed from Above by Daniel Larison

Feb 27, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

ark Hannah observes that a bipartisan foreign policy consensus stifles legitimate debate and that it is antithetical to democratic politics:

In 1948, after bowing out of a bid to defeat Democratic President Harry Truman, Sen. Arthur Vandenberg (R-Mich.) declared, "We must stop politics at the water's edge." In other words, we should confine our disagreements to domestic policy and project unity to our foreign friends and foes. But that unity was merely a product of the geopolitical realities at the dawn of the Cold War. More often, an elite consensus feeds stale policy, allows bad ideas to go unchallenged and narrows the range of new proposals welcomed as legitimate. There's a word that describes a politically powerful person making a high-minded exhortation to "stop politics." That word is not "democracy."

There is no tradition of -- nor enduring allegiance to -- bipartisan consensus in America's international relations. Nor should there be.

Americans have always been divided on foreign policy questions, and it is only when there is a sufficiently grave external threat or there is a concerted effort to impose a particular view that those divisions recede temporarily. These divisions will always resurface because our country is too large and too diverse for our population to reach a settled consensus for very long. When there is a consensus among politicians and foreign policy professionals, it masks these divisions and frequently fails to represent the views of large numbers of Americans. The existence of such a consensus is not a case of politics "stopping at the water's edge." It is the establishment of a particular set of assumptions about U.S. power and its role in the world that define the boundaries of what is acceptable in foreign policy debate.

The bipartisan consensus that most of our political leaders subscribe to and reinforce is made first in Washington and then handed down to the country. It has been and continues to be very much a top-down process in which the public is offered a limited menu of options, and they are then told that even most of those options are unworkable. Once they are created, consensus views become excessively rigid, and the policies informed by them lag behind changing circumstances. That produces inadequate and unrealistic policies because new and unconventional ideas are discouraged or dismissed out of hand because they do not follow consensus assumptions. Like any working set of ideas, consensus views may start out being timely and appropriate for their circumstances, but when they settle and harden into an idol they become an impediment to informed and effective policymaking.

For example, the goal of North Korea policy across multiple administrations was to prevent North Korea from obtaining nuclear weapons and then to pressure North Korea into giving up the weapons that it had obtained. Perversely, the first policy contributed directly to its own failure by driving North Korea to leave the Non-Proliferation Treaty and to test its first nuclear device, and then the last two administrations have tried in vain to reverse that outcome. North Korea's denuclearization has been a consistent U.S. goal under presidents from both parties, but repeated failure has not yet forced our leaders to adapt and try something else. Everything else related to North Korea has been held hostage to this wild goose chase of seeking complete denuclearization that will never happen. The bipartisan consensus doesn't just enshrine mistaken assumptions as wisdom, but it actively fights against those that try to make the consensus more responsive to contemporary realities.

Defenders of the bipartisan consensus discourage and penalize analysts and writers that diverge too much from it on the assumption that the consensus is somehow integral to maintaining U.S. security. Instead of recognizing the rigidity of the consensus as a weakness that leads to repeated failures, defenders of the consensus see rejection of consensus assumptions as the real danger. This is what leads to ritual denunciations of "isolationists" and "appeasement" and "being soft" on this or that government. Adherence to consensus assumptions also means never having to say you're sorry for any costly policy failures that they produce. One reason why there is no real accountability in foreign policy is that adherents of the bipartisan consensus never penalize their own for causing debacles overseas, so that even the authors of the greatest crimes and blunders are gradually rehabilitated and feted as wise men and women. When so many of the same people with the same assumptions are permitted to set policy, we should expect to see one failure after another, and sure enough that is what we have had for decades.

One of the things that many advocates of restraint have talked about in recent years is the need to democratize U.S. foreign policy. That not only means holding the government accountable for what it does and insisting on Congress' role in matters of war, but it also means accepting a much wider range of views on how the U.S. should be acting in the world. It would mean actually forging a consensus that is much more representative of what Americans want our government to be doing in the world.

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

[Feb 25, 2020] How John Bolton and a Phony Script Brought Us to the Brink of War by Scott Ritter

Bolton is a typical "Full Spectrum Dominance" hawk, a breed of chickenhawks that recently proliferated in Washinton corridors of power and which are fed by MIC.
Notable quotes:
"... the way the IRGC came to be designated as an FTO is itself predicated on a lie. ..."
"... The person responsible for this lie is President Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton, who while in that position oversaw National Security Council (NSC) interagency policy coordination meetings at the White House for the purpose of formulating a unified government position on Iran. Bolton had stacked the NSC staff with hardliners who were pushing for a strong stance. But representatives from the Department of Defense often pushed back . During such meetings, the Pentagon officials argued that the IRGC was "a state entity" (albeit a "bad" one), and that if the U.S. were to designate it as a terrorist group, there was nothing to stop Iran from responding by designating U.S. military personnel or CIA officers as terrorists. ..."
"... The memoranda on these meetings, consisting of summaries of the various positions put forward, were doctored by the NSC to make it appear as if the Pentagon agreed with its proposed policy. The Defense Department complained to the NSC that the memoranda produced from these meetings were "largely incorrect and inaccurate" -- "essentially fiction," a former Pentagon official claimed. ..."
"... This was a direct result of the bureaucratic dishonesty of John Bolton. Such dishonesty led to a series of policy decisions that gave a green light to use military force against IRGC targets throughout the Middle East. ..."
Feb 25, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
President Trump's decision to assassinate Qassem Soleimani back in January took the United States to the brink of war with Iran.

Trump and his advisors contend that Soleimani's death was necessary to protect American lives, pointing to a continuum of events that began on December 27, when a rocket attack on an American base in Iraq killed a civilian translator. That in turn prompted U.S. airstrikes against a pro-Iranian militia, Khati'ab Hezbollah, which America blamed for the attack. Khati'ab Hezbollah then stormed the U.S. embassy in Baghdad in protest. This reportedly triggered the assassination of Soleimani and a subsequent Iranian retaliatory missile strike on an American base in Iraq. The logic of this continuum appears consistent except for one important fact -- it is all predicated on a lie.

On the night of December 27, a pickup truck modified to carry a launchpad capable of firing 36 107mm Russian-made rockets was used in an attack on a U.S. military compound located at the K-1 Airbase in Iraq's Kirkuk Province. A total of 20 rockets were loaded onto the vehicle, but only 14 were fired. Some of the rockets struck an ammunition dump on the base, setting off a series of secondary explosions. When the smoke and dust cleared, a civilian interpreter was dead and several other personnel , including four American servicemen and two Iraqi military, were wounded. The attack appeared timed to disrupt a major Iraqi military operation targeting insurgents affiliated with ISIS.

The area around K-1 is populated by Sunni Arabs, and has long been considered a bastion of ISIS ideology, even if the organization itself was declared defeated inside Iraq back in 2017 by then-prime minister Haider al Abadi. The Iraqi counterterrorism forces based at K-1 consider the area around the base an ISIS sanctuary so dangerous that they only enter in large numbers.

For their part, the Iraqis had been warning their U.S. counterparts for more than a month that ISIS was planning attacks on K-1. One such report, delivered on November 6, using intelligence dating back to October, was quite specific: "ISIS terrorists have endeavored to target K-1 base in Kirkuk district by indirect fire (Katyusha rockets)."

Another report, dated December 25, warned that ISIS was attempting to seize territory to the northeast of K-1. The Iraqis were so concerned that on December 27, the day of the attack, they requested that the U.S. keep functional its tethered aerostat-based Persistent Threat Detection System (PTSD) -- a high-tech reconnaissance balloon equipped with multi-mission sensors to provide long endurance intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR) and communications in support of U.S. and Iraqi forces.

Instead, the U.S. took the PTSD down for maintenance, allowing the attackers to approach unobserved.

The Iraqi military officials at K-1 immediately suspected ISIS as the culprit behind the attack. Their logic was twofold. First, ISIS had been engaged in nearly daily attacks in the area for over a year, launching rockets, firing small arms, and planting roadside bombs. Second, according to the Iraqis , "The villages near here are Turkmen and Arab. There is sympathy with Daesh [i.e., ISIS] there."

As transparent as the Iraqis had been with the U.S. about their belief that ISIS was behind the attack, the U.S. was equally opaque with the Iraqis regarding whom it believed was the culprit. The U.S. took custody of the rocket launcher, all surviving ordnance, and all warhead fragments from the scene.

U.S. intelligence analysts viewed the attack on K-1 as part of a continuum of attacks against U.S. bases in Iraq since early November 2019. The first attack took place on November 9, against the joint U.S.-Iraqi base at Qayarrah , and was very similar to the one that occurred against K-1 -- some 31 107mm rockets were fired from a pickup truck modified to carry a rocket launchpad. As with K-1, the forces located in Qayarrah were engaged in ongoing operations targeting ISIS, and the territory around the base was considered sympathetic to ISIS. The Iraqi government attributed the attack to unspecified "terrorist" groups.

The U.S., however, attributed the attacks to Khati'ab Hezbollah, a Shia militia incorporated with the Popular Mobilization Organization (PMO), a pro-Iranian umbrella organization that had been incorporated into the Iraqi Ministry of Defense. The PMO blamed the U.S. for a series of drone strikes against its facilities throughout the summer of 2019. The feeling among the American analysts was that the PMO attacked the bases as a form of retaliation.

The U.S. launched a series of airstrikes against Khati'ab Hezbollah bases and command posts in Iraq and Syria on December 29, near the Iraqi city of al-Qaim. These attacks were carried out unilaterally, without any effort to coordinate with America's Iraqi counterparts or seek approval from the Iraqi government.

Khati'ab Hezbollah units had seized al-Qaim from ISIS in November 2017, and then crossed into Syria, where they defeated ISIS fighters dug in around the Syrian town of al-Bukamal. They were continuing to secure this strategic border crossing when they were bombed on December 29.

Left unsaid by the U.S. was the fact that the al-Bukamal-al Qaim border crossing was seen as a crucial "land bridge," connecting Iran with Syria via Iraq. Throughout the summer of 2019, the U.S. had been watching as Iranian engineers, working with Khati'ab Hezbollah, constructed a sprawling base that straddled both Iraq and Syria. It was this base, and not Khati'ab Hezbollah per se, that was the reason for the American airstrike. The objective in this attack was to degrade Iranian capability in the region; the K-1 attack was just an excuse, one based on the lie that Khati'ab Hezbollah, and not ISIS, had carried it out.

The U.S. had long condemned what it called Iran's "malign intentions" when it came to its activities in Iraq and Syria. But there is a world of difference between employing tools of diplomacy to counter Iranian regional actions and going kinetic. One of the reasons the U.S. has been able to justify attacking Iranian-affiliated targets, such as the al-Bukamal-al-Qaim complex and Qassem Soleimani, is that the Iranian entity associated with both -- the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC -- has been designated by the U.S. as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), and as such military attacks against it are seen as an extension of the ongoing war on terror. Yet the way the IRGC came to be designated as an FTO is itself predicated on a lie.

The person responsible for this lie is President Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton, who while in that position oversaw National Security Council (NSC) interagency policy coordination meetings at the White House for the purpose of formulating a unified government position on Iran. Bolton had stacked the NSC staff with hardliners who were pushing for a strong stance. But representatives from the Department of Defense often pushed back . During such meetings, the Pentagon officials argued that the IRGC was "a state entity" (albeit a "bad" one), and that if the U.S. were to designate it as a terrorist group, there was nothing to stop Iran from responding by designating U.S. military personnel or CIA officers as terrorists.

The memoranda on these meetings, consisting of summaries of the various positions put forward, were doctored by the NSC to make it appear as if the Pentagon agreed with its proposed policy. The Defense Department complained to the NSC that the memoranda produced from these meetings were "largely incorrect and inaccurate" -- "essentially fiction," a former Pentagon official claimed.

After the Pentagon "informally" requested that the NSC change the memoranda to accurately reflect its position, and were denied, the issue was bumped up to Undersecretary of Defense John Rood. He then formally requested that the memoranda be corrected. Such a request was unprecedented in recent memory, a former official noted. Regardless, the NSC did not budge, and the original memoranda remained as the official records of the meetings in question.

President Trump designated the IRGC a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) in April 2018.

This was a direct result of the bureaucratic dishonesty of John Bolton. Such dishonesty led to a series of policy decisions that gave a green light to use military force against IRGC targets throughout the Middle East. The rocket attack against K-1 was attributed to an Iranian proxy -- Khati'ab Hezbollah -- even though there was reason to believe the attack was carried out by ISIS. This was a cover so IRGC-affiliated facilities in al-Bakumal and al-Qaim, which had nothing to do with the attack, could be bombed. Everything to do with Iran's alleged "malign intent." The U.S. embassy was then attacked. Soleimani killed. The American base at al-Assad was bombarded by Iranian missiles. America and Iran were on the brink of war.

All because of a lie.

Scott Ritter is a former Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD. He is the author of several books, most recently, Deal of the Century: How Iran Blocked the West's Road to War (2018).

[Feb 23, 2020] Welcome to the American Regime

Highly recommended!
Feb 23, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

4 hours ago

Is America a 'regime'?

In the language of the American Oligarchy and it's tame and owned presstitutes on the MSM, any country targeted for destabilisation, destruction and rape – either because it doesn't do what America tells it do (Russia), because it has rich natural resources or has a 'socialist' state (Venezuela) or because lunatic neo-cons and even more lunatic Christian Evangelicals (hoping to provoke The End Times ) want it to happen (Syria and Iran) – is first labelled as a 'regime'.

That's because the word 'regime' is associated with dictatorships and human rights abuses and establishing a non-compliant country as a 'regime' is the US government's and MSM's first step at manufacturing public consent for that country's destruction.

Unfortunately if you sit back and talk a cool-headed, factual look at actions and attitudes that we're told constitute a regime then you have to conclude that America itself is 'a regime'.

So, here's why America is a regime:

4 hours ago

America's Military is Killing – Americans!

In 2018, Republicans (AND Democrats) voted to cut $23 billion dollars from the budget for food stamps (42 million Americans currently receive them).

Fats forward to 21 December 2019 and Donald Trump signed off on a US defense budget of a mind boggling $738 billion dollars.

To put that in context  --  the annual US government Education budget is sround $68 billion dollars.

Did you get that  --  $738 billion on defense, $68 billion on education?

That means the government spends more than ten times on preparations to kill people than it does on preparing children for life in the adult world.

Wow!

How ******* psychotic and death-affirming is that? It gets even worse when you consider that that $716 billion dollars is only the headline figure – it doesn't include whatever the Deep State siphons away into black-ops and kick backs. And .America's military isn't even very good – it's hasn't 'won' a conflict since the second world war, it's proud (and horrifically expensive) aircraft carriers have been rendered obsolete by Chinese and Russian hypersonic missiles and its 'cutting edge' weapons are so good (not) that everyone wants to buy the cheaper and better Russian versions: classic example – the F-35 jet program will screw $1.5 TRILLION (yes, TRILLION) dollars out of US taxpayers but but it's a piece of **** plane that doesn't work properly which the Russians laughingly refer to as 'a flying piano'.

In contrast to America's free money for the military industrial complex defense budget, China spends $165 billion and Russia spends $61 billion on defense and I don't see anyone attacking them (well, except America, that is be it only by proxy for now).

Or, put things another way. The United Kingdom spent £110 billion on it's National Health Service in 2017. That means, if you get sick in England, you can see a doctor for free. If you need drugs you pay a prescription charge of around $11.50(nothing, if unemployed, a child or elderly), whatever the market price of the drugs. If you need to see a consultant or medical specialist, you'll see one for free. If you need an operation, you'll get one for free. If you need on-going care for a chronic illness, you'll get it for free.

Fully socialised, free at the point of access, healthcare for all. How good is that?

US citizens could have that, too.

Allowing for the US's larger population, the UK National Health Service transplanted to America could cost about $650 billion a year. That would still leave $66 billion dollars left over from the proposed defense budget of $716 billion to finance weapons of death and destruction   --  more than those 'evil Ruskies' spend.

The US has now been at war, somewhere in the world (i.e in someone elses' country where the US doesn't have any business being) continuously for 28 years. Those 28 years have coincided with (for the 'ordinary people', anyway) declining living standards, declining real wages, increased police violence, more repression and surveillance, declining lifespans, declining educational and health outcomes, more every day misery in other words, America's military is killing Americans. Oh, and millions of people in far away countries (although, obviously, those deaths are in far away countries and they are of brown-skinned people so they don't really count, do they?).

Time for a change, perhaps?

[Feb 23, 2020] Where Have You Gone, Smedley Butler The Last General To Criticize US Imperialism by Danny Sjursen

Here's a link to a free online copy of War is a Racket if anyone wants to read it. It's a short read. Pretty good too. https://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.html
From comments (Is the USA government now a "regime"): In 2018, Republicans (AND Democrats) voted to cut $23 billion dollars from the budget for food stamps (42 million Americans currently receive them). Regimes disobey international law. Like America's habit of blowing up wedding parties with drones or the illegal presence of its troops in Syria, Iraq and God knows where else. Regimes carry out illegal assassination programs – I need say no more here than Qasem Soleimani. Regimes use their economic power to bully and impose their will – sanctioning countries even when they know those sanctions will, for example, be responsible for the death of 500,000 Iraqi children (the 'price worth paying', remember?). Regimes renege on international treaties – like Iran nuclear treaty, for example. Regimes imprison and hound whistle-blowers – like Chelsea manning and Julian Assange. Regimes imprison people. America is the world leader in incarceration. It has 2.2 million people in its prisons (more than China which has 5 times the US's population), that's 25% of the world's prison population for 5% of the world's population, Why does America need so many prisoners? Because it has a massive, prison-based, slave labour business that is hugely profitable for the oligarchy.
Regimes censor free speech. Just recently, we've seen numerous non-narrative following journalists and organisations kicked off numerous social media platforms. I didn't see lots of US senators standing up and saying 'I disagree completely with what you say but I will fight to the death to preserve your right to say it'. Did you?
Regimes are ruled by cliques. I don't need to tell you that America is kakistocratic Oligarchy ruled by a tiny group of evil, rich, Old Men, do I?
Regimes keep bad company. Their allies are other 'regimes', and they're often lumped together by using another favourite presstitute term – 'axis of evil'. America has its own little axis of evil. It's two main allies are Saudi Arabia – a homophobic, women hating, head chopping, terrorist financing state currently engaged in a war of genocide (assisted by the US) in Yemen – and the racist, genocidal undeclared nuclear power state of Israel.
Regimes commit human rights abuses. Here we could talk about…ooh…let's think. Last year's treatment of child refugees from Latin America, the execution of African Americans for 'walking whilst black' by America's militarized, criminal police force or the millions of dollars in cash and property seized from entirely innocent Americans by that same police force under 'civil forfeiture' laws or maybe we could mention huge American corporations getting tax refunds whilst ordinary Americans can't afford decent, effective healthcare.
Regimes finance terrorism. Mmmm….just like America financed terrorists to help destroy Syria and Libya and invested $5 billion dollars to install another regime – the one of anti-Semites and Nazis in Ukraine…
Highly recommended!
Some comments edited for clarity...
Notable quotes:
"... But after retirement, Smedley Butler changed his tune. ..."
"... "I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service... And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street, and for the Bankers." ..."
"... Smedley Butler's Marine Corps and the military of his day was, in certain ways, a different sort of organization than today's highly professionalized armed forces. History rarely repeats itself, not in a literal sense anyway. Still, there are some disturbing similarities between the careers of Butler and today's generation of forever-war fighters. All of them served repeated tours of duty in (mostly) unsanctioned wars around the world. Butler's conflicts may have stretched west from Haiti across the oceans to China, whereas today's generals mostly lead missions from West Africa east to Central Asia, but both sets of conflicts seemed perpetual in their day and were motivated by barely concealed economic and imperial interests. ..."
"... When Smedley Butler retired in 1931, he was one of three Marine Corps major generals holding a rank just below that of only the Marine commandant and the Army chief of staff. Today, with about 900 generals and admirals currently serving on active duty, including 24 major generals in the Marine Corps alone, and with scores of flag officers retiring annually, not a single one has offered genuine public opposition to almost 19 years worth of ill-advised, remarkably unsuccessful American wars . As for the most senior officers, the 40 four-star generals and admirals whose vocal antimilitarism might make the biggest splash, there are more of them today than there were even at the height of the Vietnam War, although the active military is now about half the size it was then. Adulated as many of them may be, however, not one qualifies as a public critic of today's failing wars. ..."
"... The big three are Secretary of State Colin Powell's former chief of staff, retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson ; Vietnam veteran and onetime West Point history instructor, retired Colonel Andrew Bacevich ; and Iraq veteran and Afghan War whistleblower , retired Lieutenant Colonel Danny Davis . All three have proven to be genuine public servants, poignant voices, and -- on some level -- cherished personal mentors. For better or worse, however, none carry the potential clout of a retired senior theater commander or prominent four-star general offering the same critiques. ..."
"... Consider it an irony of sorts that this system first received criticism in our era of forever wars when General David Petraeus, then commanding the highly publicized " surge " in Iraq, had to leave that theater of war in 2007 to serve as the chair of that selection committee. The reason: he wanted to ensure that a twice passed-over colonel, a protégé of his -- future Trump National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster -- earned his star. ..."
"... At the roots of this system lay the obsession of the American officer corps with " professionalization " after the Vietnam War debacle. This first manifested itself in a decision to ditch the citizen-soldier tradition, end the draft, and create an "all-volunteer force." The elimination of conscription, as predicted by critics at the time, created an ever-growing civil-military divide, even as it increased public apathy regarding America's wars by erasing whatever " skin in the game " most citizens had. ..."
"... One group of generals, however, reportedly now does have it out for President Trump -- but not because they're opposed to endless war. Rather, they reportedly think that The Donald doesn't "listen enough to military advice" on, you know, how to wage war forever and a day. ..."
"... That beast, first identified by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, is now on steroids as American commanders in retirement regularly move directly from the military onto the boards of the giant defense contractors, a reality which only contributes to the dearth of Butlers in the military retiree community. For all the corruption of his time, the Pentagon didn't yet exist and the path from the military to, say, United Fruit Company, Standard Oil, or other typical corporate giants of that moment had yet to be normalized for retiring generals and admirals. Imagine what Butler would have had to say about the modern phenomenon of the " revolving door " in Washington. ..."
"... Today, generals don't seem to have a thought of their own even in retirement. And more's the pity... ..."
"... Am I the only one to notice that Hollywood and it's film distributors have gone full bore on "war" productions, glorifying these historical events while using poetic license to rewrite history. Prepping the numbheads. ..."
"... Forget rank. As Mr Sjursen implies, dissidents are no longer allowed in the higher ranks. "They" made sure to fix this as Mr Butler had too much of a mind of his own (US education system also programmed against creative, charismatic thinkers, btw). ..."
"... Today, the "Masters of the Permawars" refer to the international extortion, MIC, racket as "Defending American Interests"! .....With never any explanation to the public/American taxpayer just what "American Interests" the incredible expenditures of American lives, blood, and treasure are being defended! ..."
"... "The Americans follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous." - Jospeh Goebbels ..."
"... The greatest anti-imperialist of our times is Michael Parenti: ..."
"... The obvious types of American fascists are dealt with on the air and in the press. These demagogues and stooges are fronts for others. Dangerous as these people may be, they are not so significant as thousands of other people who have never been mentioned. The really dangerous American fascists are not those who are hooked up directly or indirectly with the Axis. The FBI has its finger on those. The dangerous American fascist is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power. ..."
"... If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful. Most American fascists are enthusiastically supporting the war effort. ..."
Feb 23, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Danny Sjursen via TomDispatch.com,

There once lived an odd little man - five feet nine inches tall and barely 140 pounds sopping wet - who rocked the lecture circuit and the nation itself. For all but a few activist insiders and scholars, U.S. Marine Corps Major General Smedley Darlington Butler is now lost to history. Yet more than a century ago, this strange contradiction of a man would become a national war hero, celebrated in pulp adventure novels, and then, 30 years later, as one of this country's most prominent antiwar and anti-imperialist dissidents.

Raised in West Chester, Pennsylvania, and educated in Quaker (pacifist) schools, the son of an influential congressman, he would end up serving in nearly all of America's " Banana Wars " from 1898 to 1931. Wounded in combat and a rare recipient of two Congressional Medals of Honor, he would retire as the youngest, most decorated major general in the Marines.

A teenage officer and a certified hero during an international intervention in the Chinese Boxer Rebellion of 1900, he would later become a constabulary leader of the Haitian gendarme, the police chief of Philadelphia (while on an approved absence from the military), and a proponent of Marine Corps football. In more standard fashion, he would serve in battle as well as in what might today be labeled peacekeeping , counterinsurgency , and advise-and-assist missions in Cuba, China, the Philippines, Panama, Nicaragua, Mexico, Haiti, France, and China (again). While he showed early signs of skepticism about some of those imperial campaigns or, as they were sardonically called by critics at the time, " Dollar Diplomacy " operations -- that is, military campaigns waged on behalf of U.S. corporate business interests -- until he retired he remained the prototypical loyal Marine.

But after retirement, Smedley Butler changed his tune. He began to blast the imperialist foreign policy and interventionist bullying in which he'd only recently played such a prominent part. Eventually, in 1935 during the Great Depression, in what became a classic passage in his memoir, which he titled "War Is a Racket," he wrote:

"I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service... And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street, and for the Bankers."

Seemingly overnight, the famous war hero transformed himself into an equally acclaimed antiwar speaker and activist in a politically turbulent era. Those were, admittedly, uncommonly anti-interventionist years, in which veterans and politicians alike promoted what (for America, at least) had been fringe ideas. This was, after all, the height of what later pro-war interventionists would pejoratively label American " isolationism ."

Nonetheless, Butler was unique (for that moment and certainly for our own) in his unapologetic amenability to left-wing domestic politics and materialist critiques of American militarism. In the last years of his life, he would face increasing criticism from his former admirer, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the military establishment, and the interventionist press. This was particularly true after Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany invaded Poland and later France. Given the severity of the Nazi threat to mankind, hindsight undoubtedly proved Butler's virulent opposition to U.S. intervention in World War II wrong.

Nevertheless, the long-term erasure of his decade of antiwar and anti-imperialist activism and the assumption that all his assertions were irrelevant has proven historically deeply misguided. In the wake of America's brief but bloody entry into the First World War, the skepticism of Butler (and a significant part of an entire generation of veterans) about intervention in a new European bloodbath should have been understandable. Above all, however, his critique of American militarism of an earlier imperial era in the Pacific and in Latin America remains prescient and all too timely today, especially coming as it did from one of the most decorated and high-ranking general officers of his time. (In the era of the never-ending war on terror, such a phenomenon is quite literally inconceivable.)

Smedley Butler's Marine Corps and the military of his day was, in certain ways, a different sort of organization than today's highly professionalized armed forces. History rarely repeats itself, not in a literal sense anyway. Still, there are some disturbing similarities between the careers of Butler and today's generation of forever-war fighters. All of them served repeated tours of duty in (mostly) unsanctioned wars around the world. Butler's conflicts may have stretched west from Haiti across the oceans to China, whereas today's generals mostly lead missions from West Africa east to Central Asia, but both sets of conflicts seemed perpetual in their day and were motivated by barely concealed economic and imperial interests.

Nonetheless, whereas this country's imperial campaigns of the first third of the twentieth century generated a Smedley Butler, the hyper-interventionism of the first decades of this century hasn't produced a single even faintly comparable figure. Not one. Zero. Zilch. Why that is matters and illustrates much about the U.S. military establishment and contemporary national culture, none of it particularly encouraging.

Why No Antiwar Generals

When Smedley Butler retired in 1931, he was one of three Marine Corps major generals holding a rank just below that of only the Marine commandant and the Army chief of staff. Today, with about 900 generals and admirals currently serving on active duty, including 24 major generals in the Marine Corps alone, and with scores of flag officers retiring annually, not a single one has offered genuine public opposition to almost 19 years worth of ill-advised, remarkably unsuccessful American wars . As for the most senior officers, the 40 four-star generals and admirals whose vocal antimilitarism might make the biggest splash, there are more of them today than there were even at the height of the Vietnam War, although the active military is now about half the size it was then. Adulated as many of them may be, however, not one qualifies as a public critic of today's failing wars.

Instead, the principal patriotic dissent against those terror wars has come from retired colonels, lieutenant colonels, and occasionally more junior officers (like me), as well as enlisted service members. Not that there are many of us to speak of either. I consider it disturbing (and so should you) that I personally know just about every one of the retired military figures who has spoken out against America's forever wars.

The big three are Secretary of State Colin Powell's former chief of staff, retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson ; Vietnam veteran and onetime West Point history instructor, retired Colonel Andrew Bacevich ; and Iraq veteran and Afghan War whistleblower , retired Lieutenant Colonel Danny Davis . All three have proven to be genuine public servants, poignant voices, and -- on some level -- cherished personal mentors. For better or worse, however, none carry the potential clout of a retired senior theater commander or prominent four-star general offering the same critiques.

Something must account for veteran dissenters topping out at the level of colonel. Obviously, there are personal reasons why individual officers chose early retirement or didn't make general or admiral. Still, the system for selecting flag officers should raise at least a few questions when it comes to the lack of antiwar voices among retired commanders. In fact, a selection committee of top generals and admirals is appointed each year to choose the next colonels to earn their first star. And perhaps you won't be surprised to learn that, according to numerous reports , "the members of this board are inclined, if not explicitly motivated, to seek candidates in their own image -- officers whose careers look like theirs." At a minimal level, such a system is hardly built to foster free thinkers, no less breed potential dissidents.

Consider it an irony of sorts that this system first received criticism in our era of forever wars when General David Petraeus, then commanding the highly publicized " surge " in Iraq, had to leave that theater of war in 2007 to serve as the chair of that selection committee. The reason: he wanted to ensure that a twice passed-over colonel, a protégé of his -- future Trump National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster -- earned his star.

Mainstream national security analysts reported on this affair at the time as if it were a major scandal, since most of them were convinced that Petraeus and his vaunted counterinsurgency or " COINdinista " protégés and their " new " war-fighting doctrine had the magic touch that would turn around the failing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, Petraeus tried to apply those very tactics twice -- once in each country -- as did acolytes of his later, and you know the results of that.

But here's the point: it took an eleventh-hour intervention by America's most acclaimed general of that moment to get new stars handed out to prominent colonels who had, until then, been stonewalled by Cold War-bred flag officers because they were promoting different (but also strangely familiar) tactics in this country's wars. Imagine, then, how likely it would be for such a leadership system to produce genuine dissenters with stars of any serious sort, no less a crew of future Smedley Butlers.

At the roots of this system lay the obsession of the American officer corps with " professionalization " after the Vietnam War debacle. This first manifested itself in a decision to ditch the citizen-soldier tradition, end the draft, and create an "all-volunteer force." The elimination of conscription, as predicted by critics at the time, created an ever-growing civil-military divide, even as it increased public apathy regarding America's wars by erasing whatever " skin in the game " most citizens had.

More than just helping to squelch civilian antiwar activism, though, the professionalization of the military, and of the officer corps in particular, ensured that any future Smedley Butlers would be left in the dust (or in retirement at the level of lieutenant colonel or colonel) by a system geared to producing faux warrior-monks. Typical of such figures is current chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army General Mark Milley. He may speak gruffly and look like a man with a head of his own, but typically he's turned out to be just another yes-man for another war-power -hungry president.

One group of generals, however, reportedly now does have it out for President Trump -- but not because they're opposed to endless war. Rather, they reportedly think that The Donald doesn't "listen enough to military advice" on, you know, how to wage war forever and a day.

What Would Smedley Butler Think Today?

In his years of retirement, Smedley Butler regularly focused on the economic component of America's imperial war policies. He saw clearly that the conflicts he had fought in, the elections he had helped rig, the coups he had supported, and the constabularies he had formed and empowered in faraway lands had all served the interests of U.S. corporate investors. Though less overtly the case today, this still remains a reality in America's post-9/11 conflicts, even on occasion embarrassingly so (as when the Iraqi ministry of oil was essentially the only public building protected by American troops as looters tore apart the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, in the post-invasion chaos of April 2003). Mostly, however, such influence plays out far more subtly than that, both abroad and here at home where those wars help maintain the record profits of the top weapons makers of the military-industrial complex.

That beast, first identified by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, is now on steroids as American commanders in retirement regularly move directly from the military onto the boards of the giant defense contractors, a reality which only contributes to the dearth of Butlers in the military retiree community. For all the corruption of his time, the Pentagon didn't yet exist and the path from the military to, say, United Fruit Company, Standard Oil, or other typical corporate giants of that moment had yet to be normalized for retiring generals and admirals. Imagine what Butler would have had to say about the modern phenomenon of the " revolving door " in Washington.

Of course, he served in a very different moment, one in which military funding and troop levels were still contested in Congress. As a longtime critic of capitalist excesses who wrote for leftist publications and supported the Socialist Party candidate in the 1936 presidential elections, Butler would have found today's nearly trillion-dollar annual defense budgets beyond belief. What the grizzled former Marine long ago identified as a treacherous nexus between warfare and capital "in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives" seems to have reached its natural end point in the twenty-first century. Case in point: the record (and still rising ) "defense" spending of the present moment, including -- to please a president -- the creation of a whole new military service aimed at the full-scale militarization of space .

Sadly enough, in the age of Trump, as numerous polls demonstrate, the U.S. military is the only public institution Americans still truly trust. Under the circumstances, how useful it would be to have a high-ranking, highly decorated, charismatic retired general in the Butler mold galvanize an apathetic public around those forever wars of ours. Unfortunately, the likelihood of that is practically nil, given the military system of our moment.

Of course, Butler didn't exactly end his life triumphantly. In late May 1940, having lost 25 pounds due to illness and exhaustion -- and demonized as a leftist, isolationist crank but still maintaining a whirlwind speaking schedule -- he checked himself into the Philadelphia Navy Yard Hospital for a "rest." He died there, probably of some sort of cancer, four weeks later. Working himself to death in his 10-year retirement and second career as a born-again antiwar activist, however, might just have constituted the very best service that the two-time Medal of Honor winner could have given the nation he loved to the very end.

Someone of his credibility, character, and candor is needed more than ever today. Unfortunately, this military generation is unlikely to produce such a figure. In retirement, Butler himself boldly confessed that, "like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical..."

Today, generals don't seem to have a thought of their own even in retirement. And more's the pity...

2 minutes ago
Am I the only one to notice that Hollywood and it's film distributors have gone full bore on "war" productions, glorifying these historical events while using poetic license to rewrite history. Prepping the numbheads.
14 minutes ago
TULSI GABBARD.

Forget rank. As Mr Sjursen implies, dissidents are no longer allowed in the higher ranks. "They" made sure to fix this as Mr Butler had too much of a mind of his own (US education system also programmed against creative, charismatic thinkers, btw).

The US Space Force has been created as part of a plan to disclose the deep state's Secret Space Program (SSP), which has been active for decades, and which has utilized, and repressed, advanced technologies that would provide free, unlimited renewable energy, and thus eliminate hunger and poverty on a planetary scale.

14 minutes ago
14 minutes ago

ALL wars are EVIL. Period .

29 minutes ago

Sadly enough, in the age of Trump, as numerous polls demonstrate, the U.S. military is the only public institution Americans still truly trust. Under the circumstances, how useful it would be to have a high-ranking, highly decorated, charismatic retired general in the Butler mold galvanize an apathetic public around those forever wars of ours. Unfortunately, the likelihood of that is practically nil, given the military system of our moment.

This is why I feel an oath keeping constitutionally oriented American general is what we need in power, clear out all 545 criminals in office now, review their finances (and most of them will roll over on the others) and punish accordingly, then the lobbyist, how many of them worked against the country? You know what we do with those.

And then, finally, Hollywood, oh yes I long to see that **** hole burn with everyone in it.

30 minutes ago
Republicrat: the two faces of the moar war whore.
32 minutes ago

Given the severity of the Nazi threat to mankind

Do tell, from what I've read the Nazis were really only a threat to a few groups, the rest of us didn't need to worry.

35 minutes ago
Today, the "Masters of the Permawars" refer to the international extortion, MIC, racket as "Defending American Interests"! .....With never any explanation to the public/American taxpayer just what "American Interests" the incredible expenditures of American lives, blood, and treasure are being defended!

Why are we sending our children out into the hellholes of the world to be maimed and killed in the fauxjew banksters' quest for world domination.

How stupid can we be!

41 minutes ago
(Edited) "Smedley Butler"... The last time the UCMJ was actually used before being permanently turned into a "door stop"!
49 minutes ago
He was correct about our staying out of WWII. Which, BTW, would have never happened if we had stayed out of WWI.
22 minutes ago
(Edited) Both wars were about the international fauxjew imposition of debt-money central bankstering.

Both wars were promulgated by the Financial oligarchyof New York. The communist Red Army of Russia was funded and supplied by the Financial oligarchyof New York. It was American Financial oligarchythat built the Russian Red Army that vexed the world and created the Cold War. How many hundreds of millions of goyim were sacrificed to create both the Russian and the Chinese Satanic behemoths.......and the communist horror that is now embedded in American academia, publishing, American politics, so-called news, entertainment, The worldwide Catholic religion, the Pentagon, and the American deep state.......and more!

How stupid can we be. Every generation has the be dragged, kicking and screaming, out of the eternal maw of historical ignorance to avoid falling back into the myriad dark hellholes of history. As we all should know, people who forget their own history are doomed to repeat it.

53 minutes ago
Today's General is a robot with with a DNA.
54 minutes ago
All the General Staff is a bunch of #asskissinglittlechickenshits
57 minutes ago
want to stop senseless Empire wars>>well do this

War = jobs and profit..we get work "THEY" get the profit.. If we taxed all war related profit at 99% how many wars would our rulers start? 1 hour ago

Here is a simple straightforward trading maxim that might apply here: if it works or is working keep doing it, but if it doesn't work or stops working, then STOP doing it. There are plenty of people, now poorer, for not adhering to that simple principle. Where is the Taxpayer's return on investment from the Combat taking place on their behalf around the globe? 'Nuff said - it isn't working. It is making a microscopic few richer & all others poorer so STOP doing it. 36 seconds ago We don't have to look far to figure out who they are that are getting rich off the fauxjew permawars.

How can we be so stupid???

1 hour ago

See also:

TULSI GABBARD

1 hour ago

The main reason you don't see the generals criticizing is that the current crop have not been in actual long term direct combat with the enemy and have mostly been bureaucratic paper pushers.

Take the Marine Major General who is the current commander of CENTCOM. By the time he got into the Iraq/Afghanistan war he was already a Lieutenant Colonel and far removed from direct action.

He was only there on and off for a few years. Here are some of his other career highlights aft as they appear on his official bio:

In short, these top guys aren't warriors they're bureaucrats so why would we expect them to be honest brokers of the truth?

51 minutes ago

are U saying Chesty Puller he's NOT? 1 hour ago
(Edited) The purpose of war is to ensure that the Federal Reserve Note remains the world reserve paper currency of choice by keeping it relevant and in demand across the globe by forcing pesky energy producing nations to trade with it exclusively.

It is a 49 year old policy created by the private owners of quasi public institutions called central banks to ensure they remain the Wizards of Oz doing gods work conjuring magic paper into existence with a secret spell known as issuing credit.

How else is a technologically advanced society of billions of people supposed to function w/out this divinely inspired paper?

1 hour ago

Goebbels in "Churchill's Lie Factory" where he said: "The Americans follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous." - Jospeh Goebbels, "Aus Churchills Lügenfabrik," 12. january 1941, Die Zeit ohne Beispiel

1 hour ago

The greatest anti-imperialist of our times is Michael Parenti:

Imperialism has been the most powerful force in world history over the last four or five centuries, carving up whole continents while oppressing indigenous peoples and obliterating entire civilizations. Yet, it is seldom accorded any serious attention by our academics, media commentators, and political leaders. When not ignored outright, the subject of imperialism has been sanitized, so that empires become "commonwealths," and colonies become "territories" or "dominions" (or, as in the case of Puerto Rico, "commonwealths" too). Imperialist military interventions become matters of "national defense," "national security," and maintaining "stability" in one or another region. In this book I want to look at imperialism for what it really is.

https://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/imperialism.html

49 minutes ago
"Imperialism has been the most powerful force in world history over the last four or five centuries, carving up whole continents while oppressing indigenous peoples and obliterating entire civilizations. Yet, it is seldom accorded any serious attention by our academics, media commentators, and political leaders."

Why would it when they who control academia, media and most of our politicians are our enemies.

1 hour ago

"The big three are Secretary of State Colin Powell's former chief of staff, retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson ; ..."

Yep, Wilkerson, who leaked Valerie Plame's name, not that it was a leak, to Novak, and then stood by to watch the grand jury fry Scooter Libby. Wilkerson, that paragon of moral rectitude. Wilkerson the silent, that *******.

sheesh,

1 hour ago
(Edited)

" A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people."

James Madison Friday June 29, 1787

https://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/debates_629.asp

"What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty.... Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins." (Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, spoken during floor debate over the Second Amendment [I Annals of Congress at 750, August 17, 1789])

http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/amendIIs6.html

1 hour ago

A particularly pernicious example of intra-European imperialism was the Nazi aggression during World War II, which gave the German business cartels and the Nazi state an opportunity to plunder the resources and exploit the labor of occupied Europe, including the slave labor of concentration camps. - M. PARENTI, Against empire

See Alexander Parvus

1 hour ago

Collapse is the cure. It's too far gone.

1 hour ago

Russia Wants to 'Jam' F-22 and F-35s in the Middle East: Report

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/russia-wants-jam-f-22-and-f-35s-middle-east-report-121041

1 hour ago

ZH retards think that the American mic is bad and all other mics are good or don't exist. That's the power of brainwashing. Humans understand that war in general is bad, but humans are becoming increasingly rare in this world.

1 hour ago

The obvious types of American fascists are dealt with on the air and in the press. These demagogues and stooges are fronts for others. Dangerous as these people may be, they are not so significant as thousands of other people who have never been mentioned. The really dangerous American fascists are not those who are hooked up directly or indirectly with the Axis. The FBI has its finger on those. The dangerous American fascist is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power.

If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful. Most American fascists are enthusiastically supporting the war effort.

https://truthout.org/articles/the-dangers-of-american-fascism/

2 hours ago
The swamp is bigger than the military alone. Substitute Bureaucrat, Statesman, or Beltway Bandit for General and Colonel in your writing above and you've got a whole new article to post that is just as true.
2 hours ago
(Edited) War = jobs and profit..we get work "THEY" get the profit..If we taxed all war related profit at 99% how many wars would our rulers start?
2 hours ago [edited for clarity]
War is a racket. And nobody loves a racket more than Financial oligarchy. Americans come close though, that's why Financial oligarchy use them to project their own rackets and provide protection reprisals.

[Feb 20, 2020] Will the 2020 Candidates End Our Pointless Wars by Doug Bandow

Notable quotes:
"... We are imperially overstretched and The Blob refuses to see it. Will the next president? ..."
"... The cost of Washington's endless wars fall most heavily on those who suffer under American bombs and drones. Yet the plight of foreigners is rarely mentioned. When asked about a half million Iraqi babies killed by American economic sanctions, then-UN ambassador Madeleine Albright famously replied: "We think the price is worth it." ..."
"... That was characteristic of Washington's overwhelming hubris. Members of "the Blob," as America's foreign policy elite has been called, believe they are uniquely qualified to run the world. Only they can predict the future, assess humanity's needs, develop solutions. And anyone who resists their dictates deserves his or her terrible fate. ..."
"... The Iraq Body Count has documented between 184,868 and 207,759 deaths in Iraq, but many killings in such a conflict go unreported. IBC suggested doubling its estimate to get a more accurate figure. Even that may be too few. A couple respected though contested surveys figure civilian deaths could top a million. The University of Michigan's Juan Cole defended the methodology: "I believe very large numbers of Iraqi families quietly bury their dead without telling the government of all people anything about it. Another large number of those killed is dumped in the Tigris river by their killers. Not to mention that for substantial periods of time since 2003 it has been dangerous in about half the country just to move around, much less to move around with dead bodies." ..."
"... Nor do casualties stop there. On top of those killed directly, noted the Watson Institute, "War deaths from malnutrition, and a damaged health system and environment likely far outnumber deaths from combat." For instance, in Yemen, the number of civilian dead due to famine, 85,000 by one count, vastly exceeds the number killed in the conflict, perhaps 12,000. A million people are thought to have suffered from cholera, resulting from the destruction of the country's commercial, health, social, and transportation infrastructure. Most of the damage has come from airstrikes by the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, which are backed by U.S. intelligence, munitions, and formerly refueling. ..."
Feb 20, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

We are imperially overstretched and The Blob refuses to see it. Will the next president?

The cost of Washington's endless wars fall most heavily on those who suffer under American bombs and drones. Yet the plight of foreigners is rarely mentioned. When asked about a half million Iraqi babies killed by American economic sanctions, then-UN ambassador Madeleine Albright famously replied: "We think the price is worth it."

That was characteristic of Washington's overwhelming hubris. Members of "the Blob," as America's foreign policy elite has been called, believe they are uniquely qualified to run the world. Only they can predict the future, assess humanity's needs, develop solutions. And anyone who resists their dictates deserves his or her terrible fate.

No doubt, foreign policy sometimes presents difficult choices. For instance, in World War II, the U.S. backed tyrannical Joseph Stalin's Soviet Union against monstrous Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany. During the Cold War, Washington allied with a variety of authoritarian regimes.

There was a logic to such decisions. However, those choices also left many policymakers with moral qualms. Such self-doubt seems to be almost completely absent from the Blob today. Who among advocates of the Iraq War have acknowledged the horrors they loosed upon the people of Iraq and its surrounding nations? Most resist taking any responsibility.

First, they simply deny that America is at war. President Barack Obama tried to avoid invoking the War Powers Act in Libya by arguing that the conflict did not qualify since Americans weren't doing the shooting. However, Defense Secretary Bob Gates admitted that the Libyans being targeted probably thought Washington was at war. And the consequences of that conflict were significant: violent chaos that continues to this day. Moreover, the precedent of taking out a leader who voluntarily surrendered his missile and nuclear programs could discourage future dictators from disarming.

Today some war enthusiasts deny that Americans are really fighting in the multiple conflicts in which they are engaged. Marc Thiessen, a speechwriter for President George W. Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, whose tenures were defined by the disastrous Iraq War, denounced the very concept of endless wars as a "canard." Yet casualties, though lower than before, continue with regularity in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.

More importantly, the risks of much larger conflict are real. American troops in Iraq have to confront Iranian-backed militias, and a recent round of mutual retaliation risked a full-blown conflict. The Pentagon has maintained forces in Syria for potential use against -- depending on who claims to be directing U.S. policy -- the Islamic State, and, without legal authority, the Damascus government, Iran, Turkey, and even Moscow. American and Russian troops recently confronted each other over Syrian oilfields that President Donald Trump ordered seized -- illegally. The potential for a much broader conflict remains serious.

Second, Washington's permanent War Party dismisses the harm their wars have caused. After the Obama administration headed to Libya and joined Saudi Arabia's war on Yemen, Samantha Power, perhaps the most visible advocate of supposedly humanitarian war-making, complained that Americans were discouraged by the Iraqi imbroglio: "I think there is too much of, 'Oh, look, this is what intervention has wrought' one has to be careful about overdrawing lessons."

The last two decades of war have had catastrophic consequences. The official costs are high enough, with the Pentagon having spent $1.55 trillion in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to the Congressional Research Service. A few billion dollars have gone into the anti-ISIS campaign in Iraq and Syria. Over $113 billion more has been spent on reconstruction in Afghanistan alone, though with little success, according to multiple reports from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.

And these figures dramatically underestimate the total financial cost. Noted Brown University's Watson Institute: "Through Fiscal Year 2020, the United States federal government has spent or obligated $6.4 trillion dollars on the wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq. This figure includes: direct Congressional war appropriations; war-related increases to the Pentagon base budget; veterans care and disability; increases in the homeland security budget; interest payments on direct war borrowing; foreign assistance spending; and estimated future obligations for veterans' care." Not included are macroeconomic costs due to the massive misallocation of valuable resources.

More important has been the human cost. CRS reported about 7,000 dead and 53,000 wounded among U.S. service personnel in Afghanistan and Iraq. The split by conflict was 38 percent/62 percent, respectively. Nearly 400 American military members have died elsewhere since 9/11. A million or more -- the latest available figures are years out of date -- disability claims have been filed by U.S. personnel. Suicide rates among the 2.7 million who have served in either Afghanistan or Iran are higher than among the civilian population.

Also significant are casualties among U.S. contractors: 3,400 dead and 39,000 wounded. However, the Pentagon's figures may be incomplete: the Watson Institute, with its Cost of War Project, figures the number of contractor deaths to be more than 8,000, higher than the number of dead uniformed personnel. Reliance on contractors may be controversial, but they essentially represent the U.S. government. The death of a contractor in Iraq triggered Washington's strike on an Iranian-backed militia, which almost sparked war between Tehran and Washington. Several hundred allied military personnel also have died, along with an estimated 110,000 local military and police.

Worse has been the civilian toll in those nations that Washington purports to be saving. American policymakers rarely speak of this cost. After all, they believe "the price is worth it," to quote Albright. As of November, figured the Watson Institute, 335,000 civilians in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, and Yemen had died in conflicts featuring U.S. military operations. Unfortunately, these numbers are low, perhaps dramatically so.

The Iraq Body Count has documented between 184,868 and 207,759 deaths in Iraq, but many killings in such a conflict go unreported. IBC suggested doubling its estimate to get a more accurate figure. Even that may be too few. A couple respected though contested surveys figure civilian deaths could top a million. The University of Michigan's Juan Cole defended the methodology: "I believe very large numbers of Iraqi families quietly bury their dead without telling the government of all people anything about it. Another large number of those killed is dumped in the Tigris river by their killers. Not to mention that for substantial periods of time since 2003 it has been dangerous in about half the country just to move around, much less to move around with dead bodies."

Nor do casualties stop there. On top of those killed directly, noted the Watson Institute, "War deaths from malnutrition, and a damaged health system and environment likely far outnumber deaths from combat." For instance, in Yemen, the number of civilian dead due to famine, 85,000 by one count, vastly exceeds the number killed in the conflict, perhaps 12,000. A million people are thought to have suffered from cholera, resulting from the destruction of the country's commercial, health, social, and transportation infrastructure. Most of the damage has come from airstrikes by the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, which are backed by U.S. intelligence, munitions, and formerly refueling.

Explained the Watson Institute: "People living in the war zones have been killed in their homes, in markets, and on roadways. They have been killed by bombs, bullets, fire, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and drones. Civilians die at checkpoints, as they are run off the road by military vehicles, when they step on a mine or cluster bomb, as they collect wood or tend to their fields, and when they are kidnapped and executed for purposes of revenge or intimidation. They are killed by the United States, by its allies, and by insurgents and sectarians in the civil wars spawned by the invasions."

War is not always avoidable. But since the end of the Cold War, every conflict started by the U.S. has been one of choice. America only ever had a serious interest at stake in Afghanistan -- to destroy al-Qaeda after 9/11 and punish the Taliban government. In that case, however, the U.S. mission should have ended by early 2002, not carried on for nearly two decades.

American policymakers should stop treating war as a first resort, a panacea for international conflict and tragedy. Washington is filled with ivory tower warriors. Their supposedly best intentions have spread chaos and death around the globe. What think this year's presidential candidates?

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan. He is the author of Foreign Follies: America's New Global Empire . He is currently scholar-in-residence with the Centre for Independent Studies in Sydney.

[Feb 20, 2020] NSC Official Moved To Energy Department; White House Rejects Rumors She s Anonymous Anti-Trump Author

Feb 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

The White House has denied rumors that Deputy National Security Adviser Victoria Coates is the author of an anonymous New York Times op-ed and subsequent book criticizing the Trump administration, after Coates was abruptly moved to the Energy Department.

... ... ...

On Monday, Axios reported that Coates role at the NSC was on the chopping block amid rumors she was the author.

A statement from the NSC also said that Coates' move will help "ensure the continued close alignment of energy policy with national security objectives," and that her new position in the Energy Department will be as a senior adviser to the secretary. Her new assignment is effective Monday, they said.

"We are enthusiastic about adding Dr. Coates to DOE, where her expertise on the Middle East and national security policy will be helpful," said Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette. "She will play an important role on our team."

National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien said that he is "sad to lose an important member of our team," but said Coates "will be a big asset to Secretary Brouillette as he executes the president's energy security policy priorities." - Fox News

On Tuesday, President Trump said "I know who it is," after a reporter questioned him on anonymous, adding that he won't reveal the name publicly. 38 minutes ago What was your haftarah, ****?

1 hour ago

By their very natures, homosexuals, and heterosexual females are security risks.

I would sleep better at night knowing they weren't in positions related to the defense of my country.

By all means, y'all keep on spreading that social engineering ********. Eventually, it will kill a whole bunch of people.

1 hour ago

So she keeps her pay grade and pension? **** That.

1 hour ago

So who's spreading the rumor that Coates is Anonymous and why?

1 hour ago

In corporate America they just let you go. It is time that all bureaucrats get the same treatment that the taxpayers get. Pensions? What at those?

1 hour ago

and "let you go" is defined as a large Security guard walking you back to your office to get your coat and keys and then watches you drive off the property. not offers you a no show job in the backoffice with full pension and benefits.

2 hours ago

Not sure that having a queer in charge of intelligence is the right way to go. Plenty of fodder for blackmail. History shows that homos (or fags if that's the preferred name) have more skeletons in their collective closets than 99.9% of normal people. Most of them are perverts with dark and sordid pasts.

[Feb 16, 2020] Looking at various indices like median household income and average wage, it seems as if living standards in Russia are substantially below western European levels and even slightly below central Europe

Feb 16, 2020 | www.quora.com

Likbez,

Looking at various indices like median household income and average wage, it seems as if living standards in Russia are substantially below western European levels and even slightly below central Europe. (Estonia and Poland are consistently slightly higher, Hungary often a bit lower.) Compared to China, going by the same sources and others, Russian wages are roughly twice as high as China's

That creates separatist movements within the country, including Islamist movements in Muslim-dominated regions.

So their posture is strictly defensive, and probably is not much more than a mild defensive reaction to "Full-spectrum Dominance" doctrine and the aggressive foreign policy conducted by the USA neocons (which totally dominate NSC and the State Department, as we saw from Ukrainegate testimonies)

The USA coup d'état in Ukraine actually have a blowback for the USA -- it neutralized influence and political status of Russia neoliberal fifth column (neoliberal compradors), and if not Putin (who is paradoxically a pro-Western neoliberal; although of "national neoliberalism" flavor similar to Trumpism ) some of them probably would be now hanging from the lamp posts. They are really hated by population after hardships, comparable with WWII hardships, imposed on ordinary Russian during Western-enforced neoliberalization under marionette Yeltsin government and attempt to grab Russian resources for pennies on a dollar. "Marshall plan" for Russia instead of economic rape would be a much better policy.

I think Obama-Nuland plot to turn Ukraine into the USA vassal state was yet another very dangerous move, which hurts the USA national security and greatly increased chances of military confrontation with Russia (aka mutual annihilation)

It was worse then a crime, it was a blunder. And now the USA needs to support this vassal with money we do not have.

The role of NSC in militarizing the USA foreign policy is such that it neutralizes any impulses of any US administration (if we assume they exist) to improve relations with Russia.

Neoliberal Dems now is a second war party which bet on neo-McCarthyism to weaken Trump. They went into the complete status of psychosis in this area. I view it as a psychotic reaction to the first signs of the collapse of the USA-centered global neoliberal empire (which will happen anyway independently of Russian moves)

That's actually a very dangerous situation indeed, and I am really afraid that the person who will replace Putin will not have Putin steel nerves, diplomatic talent, and the affinity with the West. Then what ? another Sarajevo and another war?

With warmongering "raptured" crazies like Mike, "we killed up to 200 Russians" Pompeo, the situation can really become explosive like before WWI. Again, after Putin leaves the political scene, the Sarajevo incident is easy to stage, especially with such incompetent marionette of the military-industrial complex like Trump at the helm.

I believe antagonizing Russia was a reckless, very damaging to the USA interest move, the move initiated by Clinton administration and supported by all subsequent administration as weakening and possibly dismembering Russia is one of the key aspect of Full Spectrum Dominance doctrine. . And we will pay a huge price for this policy.

See also Professor Stephen Cohen books on the subject.

Barkley Rosser February 16, 2020 9:19 pm

JimH,

Why do you pose this as antagonizing either Russsia or Iran? They are somewhat allied, so in fact antagonizing Iran as we are doing also antagonizes Russia.

Likbez,

The relative economic position of Russia in terms of median income is no different today than it was 30 years ago before Yeltsin, except for the rise of China. It was behind the European nations to its west, both those that were under its domination and those that were not, and it still is. So no big deal.

And somehow you have this fantasy that if it were not for Obama-Nuland, Ukrainians would just loooove to be under Russian domination. f you think this, you ser both foolish and very ignorant.

likbez February 16, 2020 10:30 pm

And somehow you have this fantasy that if it were not for Obama-Nuland, Ukrainians would just loooove to be under Russian domination. f you think this, you ser both foolish and very ignorant.

I might well be foolish and ignorant (I am far from being the specialist in the region), but I suspect Ukrainians do prefer the exchange rate ~8.5 hrivnas to a dollar (before the coup) to the current 25 hrivnas to a dollar.

Especially taking into account stagnant salaries and actual parity of prices in dollars for many types of food (especially meat), industrial products, and services between the USA and Ukraine.

I recently talked with one Ukrainian woman who told me that the "bribe" (unofficial payments due to low salaries for doctors and nurses in state clinics) for the child delivery was $1000 in Kiev in 2014 and she gave birth exactly at the time when hrivna jumped from 8.5 to over 20 per dollar. That was a tragedy for her and her family.

And please remember that the average SS pension in Ukraine is around 1500 hrivna a month (~ $60). So to me, it is completely unclear how pensioners can survive at all while the government is buying super expensive American weapons "to defend the country from Russian aggression."

I would strongly recommend you to read the recent Consortium news story https://consortiumnews.com/2020/02/14/understanding-the-ukraine-story/

[Feb 16, 2020] On American exceptionalism : America IS exceptional in many ways -- but exceptional does NOT always mean better

Feb 16, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

jackiebass , February 11, 2020 at 7:40 am

This isn't something new. The American people have been fed propaganda for decades to make them believe America was exceptional. It was the bed rock of our Imperialism. If you lookout at measures of well being, America was always down on the list in every category. About the only thing we led in was military spending. American exceptionalism was used as a tool to justify our bad behavior all over the planet. Our government is the biggest terror organization on the planet. We have killed or injured millions of people. All in the name of spreading democracy, something we actually don't have.

eg , February 11, 2020 at 1:21 pm

America IS exceptional in many ways -- but exceptional does NOT always mean better

[Feb 15, 2020] Escobar The Siren Call Of A System Leader by Pepe Escobar

Feb 14, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Asia Times,

A considerable spectrum of the liberal West takes the American interpretation of what civilization consists of to be something like an immutable law of nature. But what if this interpretation is on the verge of an irreparable breakdown?

Michael Vlahos has argued that the US is not a mere nation-state but a "system leader" – "a civilizational power like Rome, Byzantium, and the Ottoman Empire." And, we should add, China – which he did not mention. The system leader is "a universalistic identity framework tied to a state. This vantage is helpful because the United States clearly owns this identity framework today."

Intel stalwart Alastair Crooke, in a searing essay, digs deeper into how this "civilizational vision" was "forcefully unfurled across the globe" as the inevitable, American manifest destiny: not only politically – including all the accouterments of Western individualism and neo-liberalism, but coupled with "the metaphysics of Judeo-Christianity, too".

Crooke also notes how deeply ingrained the notion that victory in the Cold War "spectacularly affirmed" the superiority of the US civilizational vision among the US elite.

Well, the post-modern tragedy – from the point of view of US elites – is that soon this may not be the case anymore. The vicious civil war engulfing Washington for the past three years – with the whole world as stunned spectators – has just accelerated the malaise.

Remember Pax Mongolica

It's sobering to consider that Pax Americana may be destined to a shorter historical existence than Pax Mongolica – established after Genghis Khan, the head of a nomad nation, went about conquering the world.

Genghis first invested in a trade offensive to take over the Silk Roads, crushing the Kara-Kitais in Eastern Turkestan, conquering Islamic Khorezm, and annexing Bukhara, Samarkand, Bactria, Khorasan and Afghanistan. The Mongols reached the outskirts of Vienna in 1241 and the Adriatic Sea one year after.

The superpower of the time extended from the Pacific to the Adriatic. We can barely imagine the shock for Western Christendom. Pope Gregory X was itching to know who these conquerors of the world were, and could be Christianized?

In parallel, only a victory by the Egyptian Mamluks in Galilee in 1260 saved Islam from being annexed to Pax Mongolica.

Pax Mongolica – a single, organized, efficient, tolerant power – coincided historically with the Golden Age of the Silk Roads. Kublai Khan – who lorded over Marco Polo – wanted to be more Chinese than the Chinese themselves. He wanted to prove that nomad conquerors turned sedentary could learn the rules of administration, commerce, literature and even navigation.

Yet when Kublai Khan died, the empire fragmented into rival khanates. Islam profited. Everything changed. A century later, the Mongols from China, Persia, Russia and Central Asia had nothing to do with their ancestors on horseback.

A jump cut to the young 21st century shows that the initiative, historically, is once again on the side of China, across the Heartland and lining up the Rimland. World-changing, game-changing enterprises don't originate in the West anymore – as has been the case from the 16th century up to the late 20th century.

For all the vicious wishful thinking that coronavirus will derail the "Chinese century", which will actually be the Eurasian Century, and amid the myopic tsunami of New Silk Roads demonization, it's always easy to forget that implementation of myriad projects has not even started.

It should be in 2021 that all those corridors and axes of continental development pick up speed across Southeast Asia, the Indian Ocean, Central Asia, Southwest Asia, Russia and Europe, in parallel with the Maritime Silk Road configuring a true Eurasian string of pearls from Dalian to Piraeus, Trieste, Venice, Genoa, Hamburg and Rotterdam.

For the first time in two millennia, China is able to combine the dynamism of political and economic expansion both on the continental and maritime realms, something that the state did not experience since the short expeditionary stretch led by Admiral Zheng He in the Indian Ocean in the early 15th century. Eurasia, in the recent past, was under Western and Soviet colonization. Now it's going all-out multipolar – a series of complex, evolving permutations led by Russia-China-Iran-Turkey-India-Pakistan-Kazakhstan.

Every player has no illusions about the "system leader" obsessions: to prevent Eurasia from uniting under one power – or coalition such as the Russia-China strategic partnership; ensure that Europe remains under US hegemony; prevent Southwest Asia – or the "Greater Middle East" – from being linked to Eurasian powers; and prevent by all means that Russia-China have unimpeded access to maritime lanes and trade corridors.

The message from Iran

In the meantime, a sneaking suspicion creeps in – that Iran's game plan, in an echo of Donbass in 2014, may be about sucking US neocons into a trademark Russian cauldron in case the regime-change obsession is turbocharged.

There is a serious possibility that under maximum pressure Tehran might eventually abandon the JCPOA for good, as well as the NPT, thus openly inviting a US attack.

As it stands, Tehran has sent two very clear messages. The accuracy of the missile attack on the US Ayn Al-Asad base in Iraq, replying to the targeted assassination of Major General Qassem Soleimani, means that any branch of the vast US network of bases is now vulnerable.

And the fog of non-denial denials surrounding the downing of the CIA Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) – essentially an aerial spook shop – in Ghazni, Afghanistan also carries a message.

CIA icon Mike d'Andrea, known as 'Ayatollah Mike', The Undertaker, the Dark Prince, or all of the above, may or may not have been on board. Irrespective of the fact that no US government source will ever confirm or deny that Ayatollah Mike is dead or alive, or even that he exists at all, the message remains the same: your soldiers and spooks are also vulnerable.

Since Pearl Harbor, no nation has dared to stare down the system leader so blatantly, as Iran did in Iraq. Vlahos mentioned something I saw for myself in 2003, how "young American soldiers referred to Iraqis as 'Indians', as though Mesopotamia were the Wild West". Mesopotamia was one the crucial cradles of civilization as we know it. Well, in the end, that $2 trillion spent to bomb Iraq into democracy did no favors to the civilizational vision of the 'system leader'.

The Sirens and La Dolce Vita

Now let's add aesthetics to our "civilizational" politics. Every time I visit Venice – which in itself is a living metaphor for both the flimsiness of empires and the Decline of the West – I retrace selected steps in The Cantos , Ezra Pound's epic masterpiece.

Last December, after many years, I went back to the church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli, also known as "The jewel box", which plays a starring role in The Cantos. As I arrived I told the custodian signora that I had come for "The Sirens". With a knowing smirk, she lighted my way along the nave to the central staircase. And there they were, sculpted on pillars on both sides of a balcony: "Crystal columns, acanthus, sirens in the pillar head", as we read in Canto 20.

These sirens were sculpted by Tullio and Antonio Lombardo, sons of Pietro Lombardo, Venetian masters of the late 15th and early 16th century – "and Tullio Romano carved the sirens, as the old custode says: so that since then no one has been able to carve them for the jewel box, Santa Maria dei Miracoli", as we read in Canto 76.

Well, Pound misnamed the creator of the sirens, but, that's not the point. The point is how Pound saw the sirens as the epitome of a strong culture – "the perception of a whole age, of whole congeries and sequence of causes, went into an assemblage of detail, whereof it would be impossible to speak in terms of magnitude", as Pound wrote in Guide to Kulchur .

As much as his beloved masterpieces by Giovanni Bellini and Piero della Francesca, Pound fully grasped how these sirens were the antithesis of usura – or the "art" of lending money at exorbitant interest rates, which not only deprives a culture of the best of art, as Pound describes it, but is also one of the pillars for the total financialization and marketization of life itself, a process that Pound brilliantly foresaw, when he wrote in Hugh Selwyn Mauberley that, "all things are a flowing, Sage Heracleitus says; But a tawdry cheapness, shall reign throughout our days."

La Dolce Vita will turn 60 in 2020. Much as Pound's sirens, Fellini's now mythological tour de force in Rome is like a black and white celluloid palimpsest of a bygone era, the birth of the Swingin' Sixties. Marcello (Marcello Mastroianni) and Maddalena (Anouk Aimee), impossibly cool and chic, are like the Last Woman and the Last Man before the deluge of "tawdry cheapness". In the end, Fellini shows us Marcello despairing at the ugliness and, yes, cheapness intruding in his beautiful mini-universe – the lineaments of the trash culture fabricated and sold by the 'system leader' about to engulf us all.

Pound was a human, all too human American maverick of unbridled classical genius. The 'system leader' misinterpreted him; treated him as a traitor; caged him in Pisa; and dispatched him to a mental hospital in the US. I still wonder whether he may have seen and appreciated La Dolce Vita during the 1960s, before he died in Venice in 1972. After all, there was a little cinema within walking distance of the house in Calle Querini where he lived with Olga Rudge.

"Marcello!" We're still haunted by Anita Ekberg's iconic siren call, half-immersed in the Fontana di Trevi. Today, still hostages of the crumbling civilizational vision of the 'system leader', at best we barely muster, as TS Eliot memorably wrote, a "backward half-look, over the shoulder, towards the primitive terror."

[Feb 14, 2020] Damage: The Democrats on Russia

Full spectrum Dominance doctrine leaves no space for Russia. It needs to become a vassal or disappear in timi, dependents of the West statelests.
Feb 05, 2020 | responsiblestatecraft.org

Extracted from Presidential Election Politics are Damaging U.S. Foreign Policy Written by
Robert E. Hunter

It's not just the White House that is doing serious damage to U.S. interests abroad during this year's election campaign. Of even greater consequence (absent a new Middle East war) is the U.S. relationship with Russia. It's currently unthinkable that Washington will try to move beyond the status quo, even if Russian President Vladimir Putin were prepared to do so. Even before Trump was inaugurated, many Democrats began calling for his impeachment . Leading Democrats laid Hillary Clinton ' s defeat at the feet of Russian interference in the U.S. election -- a claim that stretched credulity past the breaking point. Further, as Democrats looked for grounds to impeach Trump (or at least terminally to reduce his reelection chances), the " Russia factor" was the best cudgel available. Charges included the notion that " Putin has something on Trump," which presumes he would sell out the nation ' s security for a mess of pottage.

All this domestic politicking ignores a geopolitical fact: while the Soviet Union lost the Cold War and, for some time thereafter, Russia could be dismissed, it was always certain that it would again become a significant power, at least in Europe. Thus, even before the Berlin Wall fell, President George H. W. Bush proposed creating a " Europe whole and free" and at peace. Bill Clinton built on what Bush began. Both understood that a renascent Russia could embrace revanchism, and for several years their efforts seemed to have a chance of succeeding.

Then the effort went off the rails. Putin took power in Russia, which made cooperation with the West difficult if not impossible. He worked to consolidate his domestic position, in part by alleging that the West was " disrespecting" Russia and trying to encircle it. For its part, the U.S. played into the Putin narrative by abandoning the Bush-Clinton vision of taking legitimate Russian interests into account in fashioning European security arrangements. The breaking point came in 2014, when Russia seized Crimea and sent " little green men" to fight in some other parts of Ukraine. The West necessarily responded, with economic sanctions and NATO's buildup of " trip wire" forces in Central Europe.

But despite the ensuing standoff, the critical requirement remains: the United States has to acknowledge Russia's inevitable rise as a major power while also impressing on Putin the need to trim his ambitions, if he is to avoid a new era of Russian isolation. There is also serious business that the two countries need to pursue, including strategic arms control, the Middle East (especially Iran), and climate change. Despite deep disagreements, including over Ukraine and parts of Central Europe, the U.S. needs to engage in serious discussions with Russia, which means the renewal of diplomacy which has been in the deep freeze for years.

All of this has been put in pawn by the role that the "Russia factor" has been permitted to play in American presidential politics, especially by Democrats. Longer-term U.S. interests are suffering, along with those of the European allies and Middle East partners. The task has been made even more difficult by those U.S. politicians, think tanks , and journalists who prefer to resurrect the term "cold war" rather than clearly examining the nation's strategic needs because of the blinkers imposed by domestic politics. Open discussion about alternatives in dealing with Russia is thus stifled, at serious cost to the United States and others.

In all three of these areas, the U.S. is paying a high price in terms of its national interests to the games political leaders, both Republicans and Democrats, are playing. Great efforts will be needed to dig out of this mess, beginning with U.S. willingness to do so. Leaders elsewhere must also be prepared to join in -- far from a sure thing! Unfortunately, there is currently little hope that, at least in the three critical areas discussed above, pursuit of U.S. interests abroad will prevail over today's parochial domestic politics.

[Feb 14, 2020] NSC Chief O'Brien on Vindmans: We're not a banana republic where a group of Lt. Colonels get together and decide what the policy is or should be

Are we? NSC hijecked functions of the Department of State and is a clear parallel structure, that functions in a way completely different from its initial role. They no longer serve they serve as the president's personal staff. NSC clearly strives to control foreign policy and thus control the President in this area.
And with people like Pompeo at the helm what are the benefits of expelling Vindmans
Feb 12, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
National Security Adviser told a room full of Atlantic Council attendees on Tuesday that significant cuts were under way at the leak-prone White House National Security Council, confirming a Monday report in the Washington Examiner that up to 70 positions would be cut.

Robert O'Brien says the NSC will be down between 115 to 120 staffers by the end of this week. pic.twitter.com/FpleaBFh85

-- Josh Cremeans "DirtyTruth" (@AKA_RealDirty) February 12, 2020

While O'Brien pitched it as a return to "a manageable size," he didn't mention what the Examiner reported - namely, that most of the cuts would be Obama-era holdovers such as anti-Trump impeachment witness Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, 44, and his twin brother Yevgeny, who were fired from the NSC last week and escorted out of the White House by security.

O'Brian noted that the Vindmans "weren't fired," according to the Epoch Times , rather "Their services were no longer needed."

"It's really a privilege to work in the White House. It's not a right," he continued. "At the end of the day, the president is entitled to staffers that want to execute his policy, that he has confidence in, and I think every president's entitled to that."

" We're not a banana republic where a group of Lt. Colonels get together and decide what the policy is or should be ," he added.

The reorganization was consistent with the "Scowcroft model" used by Brent Scowcroft, who served as national security adviser for Presidents Gerald Ford and George H. W. Bush, according to O'Brien. The model emphasizes that the national security adviser shouldn't "be an advocate for one policy or another." Instead, the adviser should "ensure that the president is well served by the cabinet, departments, and agencies in obtaining counsel and formulating his policies."

The policies are then decided on by the president and the adviser makes sure they're carried out.

Most of the staff on the council actually work for other departments and agencies and are part of the council for a certain length of time. O'Brien suggested that some might not be serving in the way that top officials think they should. - Epoch Times

" When they come to the White House, they serve as the president's personal staff and it is our view that while they are at the National Security Council, they should not represent the views of their parent agencies or departments," said O'Brien. " They're not there as liaison officers, and they certainly shouldn't represent their own personal views. "

"The president has to have confidence in the folks on his National Security Council staff to ensure that they are committed to executing the agenda that he was elected by the American people to deliver," not a "mini State Department, a mini Pentagon, a mini Department of Homeland Security."

[Feb 09, 2020] The Deeper Story Behind The Assassination Of Soleimani

Highly recommended!
Looks like the end of Full Spectrum Dominance the the USA enjoyed since 1991. Alliance of Iran, Russia and China (with Turkey and Pakistan as two possible members) is serious military competitor and while the USA has its set of trump cards, the military victory against such an alliance no longer guaranteed.
Jan 09, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Days after the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani, new and important information is coming to light from a speech given by the Iraqi prime minister. The story behind Soleimani's assassination seems to go much deeper than what has thus far been reported, involving Saudi Arabia and China as well the US dollar's role as the global reserve currency .

The Iraqi prime minister, Adil Abdul-Mahdi, has revealed details of his interactions with Trump in the weeks leading up to Soleimani's assassination in a speech to the Iraqi parliament. He tried to explain several times on live television how Washington had been browbeating him and other Iraqi members of parliament to toe the American line, even threatening to engage in false-flag sniper shootings of both protesters and security personnel in order to inflame the situation, recalling similar modi operandi seen in Cairo in 2009, Libya in 2011, and Maidan in 2014. The purpose of such cynicism was to throw Iraq into chaos.

Here is the reconstruction of the story:

[Speaker of the Council of Representatives of Iraq] Halbousi attended the parliamentary session while almost none of the Sunni members did. This was because the Americans had learned that Abdul-Mehdi was planning to reveal sensitive secrets in the session and sent Halbousi to prevent this. Halbousi cut Abdul-Mehdi off at the commencement of his speech and then asked for the live airing of the session to be stopped. After this, Halbousi together with other members, sat next to Abdul-Mehdi, speaking openly with him but without it being recorded. This is what was discussed in that session that was not broadcast:

Abdul-Mehdi spoke angrily about how the Americans had ruined the country and now refused to complete infrastructure and electricity grid projects unless they were promised 50% of oil revenues, which Abdul-Mehdi refused.

The complete (translated) words of Abdul-Mahdi's speech to parliament:

This is why I visited China and signed an important agreement with them to undertake the construction instead. Upon my return, Trump called me to ask me to reject this agreement. When I refused, he threatened to unleash huge demonstrations against me that would end my premiership.

Huge demonstrations against me duly materialized and Trump called again to threaten that if I did not comply with his demands, then he would have Marine snipers on tall buildings target protesters and security personnel alike in order to pressure me.

I refused again and handed in my resignation. To this day the Americans insist on us rescinding our deal with the Chinese.

After this, when our Minister of Defense publicly stated that a third party was targeting both protestors and security personnel alike (just as Trump had threatened he would do), I received a new call from Trump threatening to kill both me and the Minister of Defense if we kept on talking about this "third party".

Nobody imagined that the threat was to be applied to General Soleimani, but it was difficult for Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi to reveal the weekslong backstory behind the terrorist attack.

I was supposed to meet him [Soleimani] later in the morning when he was killed. He came to deliver a message from Iran in response to the message we had delivered to the Iranians from the Saudis.

We can surmise, judging by Saudi Arabia's reaction , that some kind of negotiation was going on between Tehran and Riyadh:

The Kingdom's statement regarding the events in Iraq stresses the Kingdom's view of the importance of de-escalation to save the countries of the region and their people from the risks of any escalation.

Above all, the Saudi Royal family wanted to let people know immediately that they had not been informed of the US operation:

The kingdom of Saudi Arabia was not consulted regarding the US strike. In light of the rapid developments, the Kingdom stresses the importance of exercising restraint to guard against all acts that may lead to escalation, with severe consequences.

And to emphasize his reluctance for war, Mohammad bin Salman sent a delegation to the United States. Liz Sly , the Washington Post Beirut bureau chief, tweated:

Saudi Arabia is sending a delegation to Washington to urge restraint with Iran on behalf of [Persian] Gulf states. The message will be: 'Please spare us the pain of going through another war'.

What clearly emerges is that the success of the operation against Soleimani had nothing to do with the intelligence gathering of the US or Israel. It was known to all and sundry that Soleimani was heading to Baghdad in a diplomatic capacity that acknowledged Iraq's efforts to mediate a solution to the regional crisis with Saudi Arabia.

It would seem that the Saudis, Iranians and Iraqis were well on the way towards averting a regional conflict involving Syria, Iraq and Yemen. Riyadh's reaction to the American strike evinced no public joy or celebration. Qatar, while not seeing eye to eye with Riyadh on many issues, also immediately expressed solidarity with Tehran, hosting a meeting at a senior government level with Mohammad Zarif Jarif, the Iranian foreign minister. Even Turkey and Egypt , when commenting on the asassination, employed moderating language.

This could reflect a fear of being on the receiving end of Iran's retaliation. Qatar, the country from which the drone that killed Soleimani took off, is only a stone's throw away from Iran, situated on the other side of the Strait of Hormuz. Riyadh and Tel Aviv, Tehran's regional enemies, both know that a military conflict with Iran would mean the end of the Saudi royal family.

When the words of the Iraqi prime minister are linked back to the geopolitical and energy agreements in the region, then the worrying picture starts to emerge of a desperate US lashing out at a world turning its back on a unipolar world order in favor of the emerging multipolar about which I have long written .

The US, now considering itself a net energy exporter as a result of the shale-oil revolution (on which the jury is still out), no longer needs to import oil from the Middle East. However, this does not mean that oil can now be traded in any other currency other than the US dollar.

The petrodollar is what ensures that the US dollar retains its status as the global reserve currency, granting the US a monopolistic position from which it derives enormous benefits from playing the role of regional hegemon.

This privileged position of holding the global reserve currency also ensures that the US can easily fund its war machine by virtue of the fact that much of the world is obliged to buy its treasury bonds that it is simply able to conjure out of thin air. To threaten this comfortable arrangement is to threaten Washington's global power.

Even so, the geopolitical and economic trend is inexorably towards a multipolar world order, with China increasingly playing a leading role, especially in the Middle East and South America.

Venezuela, Russia, Iran, Iraq, Qatar and Saudi Arabia together make up the overwhelming majority of oil and gas reserves in the world. The first three have an elevated relationship with Beijing and are very much in the multipolar camp, something that China and Russia are keen to further consolidate in order to ensure the future growth for the Eurasian supercontinent without war and conflict.

Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, is pro-US but could gravitate towards the Sino-Russian camp both militarily and in terms of energy. The same process is going on with Iraq and Qatar thanks to Washington's numerous strategic errors in the region starting from Iraq in 2003, Libya in 2011 and Syria and Yemen in recent years.

The agreement between Iraq and China is a prime example of how Beijing intends to use the Iraq-Iran-Syria troika to revive the Middle East and and link it to the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative.

While Doha and Riyadh would be the first to suffer economically from such an agreement, Beijing's economic power is such that, with its win-win approach, there is room for everyone.

Saudi Arabia provides China with most of its oil and Qatar, together with the Russian Federation, supply China with most of its LNG needs, which lines up with Xi Jinping's 2030 vision that aims to greatly reduce polluting emissions.

The US is absent in this picture, with little ability to influence events or offer any appealing economic alternatives.

Washington would like to prevent any Eurasian integration by unleashing chaos and destruction in the region, and killing Soleimani served this purpose. The US cannot contemplate the idea of the dollar losing its status as the global reserve currency. Trump is engaging in a desperate gamble that could have disastrous consequences.

The region, in a worst-case scenario, could be engulfed in a devastating war involving multiple countries. Oil refineries could be destroyed all across the region, a quarter of the world's oil transit could be blocked, oil prices would skyrocket ($200-$300 a barrel) and dozens of countries would be plunged into a global financial crisis. The blame would be laid squarely at Trump's feet, ending his chances for re-election.

To try and keep everyone in line, Washington is left to resort to terrorism, lies and unspecified threats of visiting destruction on friends and enemies alike.

Trump has evidently been convinced by someone that the US can do without the Middle East, that it can do without allies in the region, and that nobody would ever dare to sell oil in any other currency than the US dollar.

Soleimani's death is the result of a convergence of US and Israeli interests. With no other way of halting Eurasian integration, Washington can only throw the region into chaos by targeting countries like Iran, Iraq and Syria that are central to the Eurasian project. While Israel has never had the ability or audacity to carry out such an assassination itself, the importance of the Israel Lobby to Trump's electoral success would have influenced his decision, all the more so in an election year .

Trump believed his drone attack could solve all his problems by frightening his opponents, winning the support of his voters (by equating Soleimani's assassination to Osama bin Laden's), and sending a warning to Arab countries of the dangers of deepening their ties with China.

The assassination of Soleimani is the US lashing out at its steady loss of influence in the region. The Iraqi attempt to mediate a lasting peace between Iran and Saudi Arabia has been scuppered by the US and Israel's determination to prevent peace in the region and instead increase chaos and instability.

Washington has not achieved its hegemonic status through a preference for diplomacy and calm dialogue, and Trump has no intention of departing from this approach.

Washington's friends and enemies alike must acknowledge this reality and implement the countermeasures necessary to contain the madness.


Boundless Energy , 1 minute ago link

Very good article, straight to the point. In fact its much worse. I know is hard to swallow for my US american brother and sisters.

But as sooner you wake up and see the reality as it is, as better chances the US has to survive with honor. Stop the wars around the globe and do not look for excuses. Isnt it already obvious what is going on with the US war machine? How many more examples some people need to wake up?

Noob678 , 8 minutes ago link

For those who love to connect the dots:

Iran Situation from Someone Who Knows Something

Not all said in video above is accurate but the recent events in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Africa are all related to prevent China from overtaking the zionist hegemonic world and to recolonize China (at least the parasite is trying to hop to China as new host).

Trade war, Huawei, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Tibet ..... the concerted efforts from all zionist controlled media (ZeroHedge included) to slander, smearing, fake news against China should tell you what the Zionists agenda are :)

............

Trump Threatens to Kill Iraqi PM if He Doesn't Cancel China Oil Deal - MoA

The American President's threatened the Iraqi Prime Minister to liquidate him directly with the Minister of Defense. The Marines are the third party that sniped the demonstrators and the security men:

Abdul Mahdi continued:

"After my return from China, Trump called me and asked me to cancel the agreement, so I also refused, and he threatened me with massive demonstrations that would topple me. Indeed, the demonstrations started and then Trump called, threatening to escalate in the event of non-cooperation and responding to his wishes, so that the third party (Marines snipers) would target the demonstrators and security forces and kill them from the highest structures and the US embassy in an attempt to pressure me and submit to his wishes and cancel the China agreement, so I did not respond and submitted my resignation and the Americans still insist to this day on canceling the China agreement and when the defense minister said that who kills the demonstrators is a third party, Trump called me immediately and physically threatened me and defense minister in the event of talk about the third party."

.........


The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission found George W. Bush guilty of war crimes in absentia for the illegal invasion of Iraq. Bush, **** Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and their legal advisers Alberto Gonzales, David Addington, William Haynes, Jay Bybee and John Yoo were tried in absentia in Malaysia.

... ... ..

Thom Paine , 9 minutes ago link

When Iran has nukes, what then Trump?

I think Israel's fear is loss of regional goals if Iran becomes untouchable

TupacShakur , 13 minutes ago link

Empire is lashing out of desperation because we've crossed peak Empire.

Things are going downhill and will get more volatile as we go.

Buckle up folks because the final act will be very nasty.

Stalking Wolf , 12 minutes ago link

Unfortunately, this article makes a lot of sense. The US is losing influence and lashing out carelessly. I hope the rest of the world realizes how detached majority of the citizens within the states are from the federal government. The Federal government brings no good to our nation. None. From the mis management of our once tax revenues to the corrupt Congress who accepts bribes from the highest bidder, it's a rats best that is not only harmful to its own people, but the world at large. USD won't go down without a fight it seems... All empires end with a bang. Be ready

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

Highly recommended!
Feb 08, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

likbez , February 8, 2020 8:56 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Feb 05, 2020] Flynn was a friend of neocon Leeden, who essentially formulated the neocon foreign policy in his famous quote "Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business".

Feb 05, 2020 | off-guardian.org

Louis N. Proyect ,

"It does not take a poli sci major to figure out that Flynn's immediate removal from the Administration was essential to undermining Trump's entire foreign policy initiatives including no new interventionist wars, peace with Russia and US withdrawal from Syria and Afghanistan."

This is baloney, as I pointed out here: https://louisproyect.org/2017/02/19/deep-state-deep-confusion/

I always get a chuckle out of the notion that Trump and the neocons are mortal enemies. Do you know who co-wrote Michael Flynn's "The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies"? Does the name Michael Ledeen ring a bell? A profile on Flynn in the New Yorker Magazine revealed that much of the book is practically plagiarized from Ledeen's sorry body of books and articles. Ledeen is the Freedom Scholar at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. This is about as neocon as you can get with founder Clifford D. May now serving as President, who is also a member of the Henry Jackson Society, an outfit that is infamous for supporting the war in Iraq. Here is Ledeen on the countries posing the greatest threat to the USA:

It's no coincidence. Russia, Iran and North Korea are in active cahoots. They are pooling resources, including banking systems (the better to bust sanctions), intelligence and military technology, as part of an ongoing war against the West, of which the most melodramatic battlefields are in Syria/Iraq and Ukraine.

To judge by their language, the leaders of the three countries think the tide of world events is flowing in their favor. Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei delivered an ultimatum to the West, saying that Iran's war against "evil" would only end with the removal of America. Russian President Vladimir Putin marches on in Ukraine, blaming the West for all the trouble, and the North Koreans are similarly bellicose.

They are singing from the same hymnal. And they aim to do us in.

Right, they aim to do us in. So it turns out that the guy that Flynn is most closely allied to ideologically is ten times scarier than Hillary Clinton. If you still have doubts about Flynn's close ties to Ledeen, I recommend The New Yorker profile linked to above. It states:

Flynn and Ledeen became close friends; in their shared view of the world, Ledeen supplied an intellectual and historical perspective, Flynn a tactical one. "I've spent my professional life studying evil," Ledeen told me. Flynn said, in a recent speech, "I've sat down with really, really evil people" -- he cited Al Qaeda, the Taliban, Russians, Chinese generals -- "and all I want to do is punch the guy in the nose."

Get that, people? Flynn said he'd like to punch a Russian in the nose. People get confused over Flynn's ideological core beliefs by missing that his interest in Russia is solely based on its usefulness against ISIS. Just because he favored a united military front against ISIS, it does not mean that he has the same affinity for the Kremlin that someone like Stephen F. Cohen has. Just remember that the USA and Stalin were allied against Hitler. You know how far that went.

lundiel ,

Funny you should bring up Ledeen, just after I posted a comment about him, eh Louis?
For whatever reason, Flynn decided to work with Trump and his removal, by his compatriots, is testament to his problematic policy shift. Who knows if he had a paradigm shift or thought he knew which side his bread was buttered. The thing is, as Renee says, the FBI are very much involved in internal politics.

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

... ... ...

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

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

... ... ...

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

Alexandra Jones , September 15, 2019

The Untold History of the NSC

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

[Feb 03, 2020] Running the World The Inside Story of the National Security Council and the Architects of Americ

Feb 03, 2020 | www.amazon.com

>


Newton Ooi , July 22, 2017

Too much focus on the big names.

When it comes to US foreign policy, the names in the news usually include our President, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, National Security Advisor and a couple big name generals depending on the war. Of course, there are many more people involved, and the entire process is supposed to run through the National Security Council. Hence I bought this book with the intention of learning more about the decision making process from someone who has served in government and dealt with the NSC. The book is a chronological history of the NSC from its inception to the administration of George W. Bush post 9/11. It focuses on the major personalities that have served on the NSC, and how its functioning have changed with each administration under the guidance or negligence of the President. Some Presidents, like Eisenhower, made sure the NSC ran like a well-oiled machine that harnessed the wisdom, skills and opinions of all its members and their agencies. Other Presidents, like Nixon and W. Bush used it essentially as a committee to bottleneck ideas while they worked with their favorites on major decisions. The book does a great job showing how individuals as disparate as Henry Kissinger and Condoleeza Rice have utilized the NSC.

However, what I found lacking in this book is its complete minimization of the role of big corporations in affecting US foreign policy. A quick google search will show that every member of the NSC has sat on the boards of multiple corporations prior to joining the NSC. It is safe to assume that these corporations chose these board members due in large part to their ability to influence US foreign policy. And so the book covers very little in terms of tariffs and economic treaties. The biggest economic item covered by the book are trade sanctions, and even then focuses mainly on the sanctions applied to Iraq after the first Gulf War.

Also lacking in the book was any significant discussion on US efforts in combating the international trade in narcotics, weapons and slaves. Wars are a big issue, but I doubt they take up all the time of the NSC. Looking up the NSC in Wikipedia, one sees that it includes members tasked with fighting America's drug wars; and our drug wars are probably the big ticket item in dealing with Latin America. Yet narcotics, heroine, and cocaine do not even show up in the book's index. Overall, I consider this book an interesting read for those new to foreign policy, but it misses out on a lot.

Jack Lechelt , July 31, 2005
Interesting, important, and poorly edited

Why the rush? There are a surprising number of little mistakes that should have been picked up in the editing process. Granted, the topic is timely and important, but would the world have collapsed if the publishers held on to the book for an extra month for another round of read-throughs? Also, there is just too much writing. Editors should have crossed out a lot of unnecessary stuff.

There are two reasons I point out one factual error I came across. First, it makes me feel smarter. That is less important to everyone else, but it makes me feel good. Second, if I found one error, people who specialize in other areas may have noticed other errors, and those should be pointed out. Anyway, on pages 218-219, Rothkopf describes Reagan's National Security Planning Group (NSPG) as having been "chaired by Bush and [it] ended up dealing with issues like the spate of terrorist attacks and other crises that confronted the administration." The NSPG did indeed deal with important issues, and in some sense it probably dealt with the issues he pointed out, but Rothkopf is confusing the NSPG with the Crisis Management Team, which later became the Special Situations Group, both of which were chaired by VP Bush. The NSPG, however, was more accurately described by Bush's VP chief of staff, Craig Fuller: "The [NSPG] is the most restricted national security council meeting that is called. It is usually confined to the principals, meaning the Secretaries of State, Defense, Vice President, ... the Director of Central Intelligence, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, the President's Chief of Staff, [the National Security Adviser and deputy NSA] and ... usually the Attorney General and Secretary of the Treasury, but it can be expanded depending on the topic." No more than a dozen people usually attended, and only the President and Vice President brought their chiefs of staff (p. 923). There were usually two NSPG meetings per month. The Tower Commission report noted that the NSC meetings were becoming a bit too big for productive discussions among the principals, so the President turned to the NSPG. And from everything I have read, Reagan was at most of the meetings. This is not a major error, but at the same time, the NSPG was an incredibly important component of Reagan Administration foreign/national security policy. Perhaps there are other errors.

One of the funnier errors: the Washington Post Book World review pointed out that the picture on the cover is more likely from a Cabinet meeting. Elaine Chao, Secretary of Labor, who is not on the NSC, is clearly visible in the picture. Was it really that difficult to come up with a better, more accurate picture? If people do judge books by the cover, this one has not put its best foot forward.

The good stuff: Rothkopf's description of policy viewpoints is interesting. Rather than the constant chatter about the personal spats between major members of foreign policy (although those are included in the book too), we should hear more about what these people think. This important stuff is shaping the world. Another great aspect of the book is that Rothkopf got an amazing amount of access to the key players through interviews. These are the people who have shaped the world over the past four or so decades. The quotations, although a bit long, are practically a primary source of data for other researchers. Hopefully someday Rothkopf will make his interview transcripts available to other researchers. Great stuff there.

William Podmore , November 1, 2007
Useful, if over-enthusiastic, study of USA's ruling class

David J. Rothkopf was a junior member of the Clinton administration. In this fascinating book, he studies the post-1947 record of the American foreign policy élite, the National Security Council and its staff, about 200 people. This exclusive establishment, which he actually calls an `aristocracy', is the part of the US ruling class that runs national policy across Republican and Democrat administrations.

He contrasts 1947 with post-2001, finding `a stunningly different set of conclusions about what to do with American power and prestige'. He supports the multilateralism of NATO, the Marshall Plan, the IMF, the World Bank and the UN, under the slogan of globalisation, and argues against Bush's unilateralism, which puts the USA `above and beyond the influence of global institutions or the rule of law'. He agrees with Carter's national security advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, that terrorism is a tactic not an enemy.

He notes `the debacle in Iraq', yet misunderstands the region completely when he writes, "it is the decay of Middle Eastern civilisation that is the threat to us." Not the US state's unpopular alliances with the Saudi and Israeli states then!

He describes the USA's whole political system as suffering "an irresponsible separation between the will of the majority of America and the will of the representatives of the American people." But if the people's supposed representatives do not represent them, how can this be a democracy?

Finally, Rothkopf warns, "The real strategic threats come from those who would offer an alternative to our leadership." These "will argue that our system has exacerbated rather than resolved basic problems of inequity in the world." With some justice, since, as he admits, "the majority of the world's population are today effectively disenfranchised from reaping the benefit of the world we have been leading." If this US leadership, exercised through the institutions which he so admires, has not benefited the majority of the world's people, what good is it?

Izaak VanGaalen , September 18, 2005
Global Crisis Management

David J Rothkopf has written a valuable book about a government agency that one hears very little about in the daily news. "Running the World" is an insider's account of the inner workings of the National Security Council (created by the National Security Act of 1947). The National Security Council is an executive body within the White House that includes cabinet level officials involved in diplomacy and defense. Rothkopf's account is about the key players that were responsible for the successes and failures of the National Security Council's management of America's foreign policy since the end of World War II.

Rothkopf's insider credentials are impressive: he is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, he was under-secretary of commerce during the Clinton Administration, he served as managing director of Kissinger and Associates, he also served as Chairman and CEO of Intellibridge, and he is currently visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

There is an interesting section in this book called "Two Degrees of Henry Kissinger," which shows that the 13 national security advisors (NSAs) that followed Kissinger have either worked with him, for him, or worked with or for one of the members of his staff.

After Nixon was elected President, Kissinger was appointed NSA. Kissinger not only assembled one of the most talented teams in the history of the NSC (Lawrence Eagleberger, Anthony Lake, Alexander Haig, Brent Scowcroft, and Robert MacFarlane), he also took control, either directly or indirectly, of all the interagency policy groups. Kissinger was Nixon's entire inner circle in matters of foreign policy.

When the Watergate scandel broke, Nixon became distracted and virtually left Kissinger to his own devices. As a result, Kissinger may have been the most powerful non-elected official in American history and certainly every NSA since has operated in his shadow.

The title of this book "Running the World" is more than a little pretentious. As has been noted by other reviewers, it is an account of the old boys network written by an old boy and tends toward self-importance. A more accurate and humble title would have been the one I chose for this review: "Global Crisis Management." The NSC does not run the world. The NSC, which consists of the senior cabinet members and White House staff members, is more than likely trying to control crises as they occur than trying to direct the course of events. And as Rothkopf makes clear, the response to a given crisis depends very much on the personalities of the members who are in the president's favor at the given moment.

Rothkopf is very critical of the current Bush Administration's track record. He argues that they have lost sight of the liberal internationalist values set forth by Truman at the end of World War II when the council was founded. At the time, the US enjoyed a position of power that was not unlike its position after 9/11. The Truman Adminsistration established international institutions that deferred America's power to the good of international system. The Bush Administration, under the sway of Cheney, Rumsfeld, and other neoconservatives, decided to reassert American national interest through the use of military force, the consequences of which we are still suffering today.

Critics of this book have called Rothkopf an apologist for the Clinton administration. Far from it, Rothkopf has enumerated the foreign policy disasters that occured during Clinton's watch: namely, the failures in Somalia, Bosnia, Haiti, and Rwanda. The picture that Rothkopf paints of the NSC is not one that runs the world but rather one that tries to maintain the status quo in the face of an ever-changing world.

J. Adams , July 24, 2005
A report from a blind fly on the wall

I read the reviews of this book and made the mistake of buying it based upon them, but this is really a very superficial book. From a historical point of view, it shows us how the NSC was created by Truman, primarily because he was so out of the loop while Vice President that he didn't even know about the Manhattan project to build the atom bomb, but as the book moves into more current events, political slants take over the turn the book into a very one-sided view of the US options available in today's world. Rothkopf is a "pragmatist" in the Kissinger mold, which I guess he would have to be since he ran Kissinger's shop, but his opinions really show very little depth, and really no historical perspective of options available in dealing with bin Laden and terrorism back when it could have been much more easily dealt with. There are some insights about how Clinton seldom attended NSC meetings when tectonic changes were taking place as he dallied with Monica, but this book isn't really a very sophisticated examination of the world today and how we got here, other than to criticize W Bush for the state of the world today without looking at the limited hand he was dealt by his predecessors when it came to Islamic terrorism. I would have given the book one star but the book's history of the NSC gives it some redeeming social value, but the last half of the book is really pretty worthless because it is so unbalanced and political.

[Feb 02, 2020] The most interesting issue is the role of NSC in this impeachment story

Highly recommended!
Edited for clarity
Notable quotes:
"... Currently they can wrap themselves into constitution defenders flag and be pretty safe from any criticism. Because charges that Schiff brought to the floor are bogus, and probably were created out of thin air by NSC plotters. Senators on both sides understand this, creating a classic Kabuki theater environment. ..."
"... In any case, it is clear that Trump is just a marionette of more powerful forces behind him, and his impeachment does not means much, if those forces are untouchable. Impeachment Kabuki theatre is an attempt of restoration of NSC (read neocons) favored foreign policy from which Trump slightly deviated. ..."
Feb 02, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

likbez , February 2, 2020 10:40 pm

Far more interesting issue is the role of NSC in this impeachment story.

Potential whistleblower (actually CIA informant) was from NSC as were Fiona Hill, Alex Vindman and a couple of other major Ukrainegate players.

In this NSC coup d'état against the President or what ? About earlier role of NSC see

https://off-guardian.org/2020/02/01/secret-wars-forgotten-betrayals-global-tyranny-who-is-really-in-charge-of-the-u-s-military/

As for "evil republican senators", they would be viewed as evil by electorate if and only only if actual crimes of Trump regime like Douma false flag, Suleimani assassination (actually here Trump was set up By Bolton and Pompeo) and other were discussed.

Currently they can wrap themselves into constitution defenders flag and be pretty safe from any criticism. Because charges that Schiff brought to the floor are bogus, and probably were created out of thin air by NSC plotters. Senators on both sides understand this, creating a classic Kabuki theater environment.

Both sides are afraid to discuss real issues, real Trump regime crimes.

Schiff proved to be patently inept in this whole story even taking into account limitations put by Kabuki theater on him, and in case of Trump acquittal *which is "highly probable" borrowing May government terminology in Skripals case :-) to resign would be a honest thing for him to do.

Assuming that he has some honestly left. Which is highly doubtful with statements like:

"The United States aids Ukraine and her people so that we can fight Russia over there so we don't have to fight Russia here."

And

"More than 15,000 Ukrainians have died fighting Russian forces and their proxies. 15,000."

Actually it was the USA interference in Ukraine (aka Nulandgate) that killed 15K Ukrainians, mainly Donbas residents and badly trained recruits of the Ukrainian army sent to fight them, as well as volunteers of paramilitary "death squads" like Asov battalion financed by oligarch Igor Kolomyskiy

In any case, it is clear that Trump is just a marionette of more powerful forces behind him, and his impeachment does not means much, if those forces are untouchable. Impeachment Kabuki theatre is an attempt of restoration of NSC (read neocons) favored foreign policy from which Trump slightly deviated.

[Feb 02, 2020] Secret Wars, Forgotten Betrayals, Global Tyranny. Who Is Really in Charge of the U.S. Military by Cynthia Chung

Notable quotes:
"... One key element to this reorganisation under Truman was the dismantling of the previously existing foreign intelligence bureau that was formed by FDR, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) on Sept 20, 1945 only two weeks after WWII was officially declared over. The OSS would be replaced by the CIA officially on Sept 18, 1947, with two years of an American intelligence purge and the internal shifting of chess pieces in the shadows. ..."
"... In addition, de-facto President Truman would also found the United States National Security Council on Sept 18, 1947, the same day he founded the CIA. The NSC was a council whose intended function was to serve as the President's principal arm for coordinating national security, foreign policies and policies among various government agencies. ..."
"... What this meant, was that there was to be an intermarriage of the foreign intelligence bureau with the military, and that the foreign intelligence bureau would act as top dog in the relationship, only taking orders from the NSC. Though the NSC includes the President, as we will see, the President is very far from being in the position of determining the NSC's policies. ..."
"... Kennedy would inherit the CIA secret operation against Cuba, which Prouty confirms in his book, was quietly upgraded by the CIA from the Eisenhower administration's March 1960 approval of a modest Cuban-exile support program (which included small air drop and over-the-beach operations) to a 3,000 man invasion brigade just before Kennedy entered office. ..."
"... Humiliatingly, CIA Director Allen Dulles was part of formulating the conclusion that the Bay of Pigs op was a failure because of the CIA's intervention into the President's orders. This allowed for Kennedy to issue the National Security Action Memorandum #55 on June 28th, 1961, which began the process of changing the responsibility from the CIA to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. ..."
"... As Prouty states, "When fully implemented, as Kennedy had planned, after his reelection in 1964, it would have taken the CIA out of the covert operation business. This proved to be one of the first nails in John F. Kennedy's coffin." ..."
"... Rumours started to abound that JFK had cut a secret deal with Russian Premier Khrushchev, which was that the U.S. would not invade Cuba if the Soviets withdrew their missiles. Criticisms of JFK being soft on communism began to stir. ..."
"... This was to be the final nail in Kennedy's coffin. ..."
"... Kennedy was brutally shot down only one month later, on Nov, 22nd 1963. His death should not just be seen as a tragic loss but, more importantly, it should be recognised for the successful military coup d'état that it was and is. The CIA showed what lengths it was ready to go to if a President stood in its way. (For more information on this coup refer to District Attorney of New Orleans at the time, Jim Garrison's book . And the excellently researched Oliver Stone movie "JFK") ..."
"... Scattered black ops wars continued, but the next large scale-never ending war that would involve the world would begin full force on Sept 11, 2001 under the laughable title War on Terror, which is basically another Iron Curtain, a continuation of a 74 year Cold War. A war that is not meant to end until the ultimate regime changes are accomplished and the world sees the toppling of Russia and China. ..."
"... Iraq was destined for invasion long before the vague Gulf War of 1990 and even before Saddam Hussein was being backed by the Americans in the Iraq-Iran war in the 1980s. Iran already suffered a CIA backed regime change in 1979. ..."
"... Former CIA Deputy Director (2010-2013) Michael Morell, who was supporting Hillary Clinton during the presidential election campaign and vehemently against the election of Trump, whom he claimed was being manipulated by Putin, said in a 2016 interview with Charlie Rose that Russians and Iranians in Syria should be killed covertly to 'pay the price' . ..."
"... I would also not be quick to dismiss the timely release, or better described as leaked, draft letter from the US Command in Baghdad to the Iraqi government that suggests a removal of American forces from the country. Its timing certainly puts the President in a compromised situation. Though the decision to keep the American forces within Iraq or not is hardly a simple matter that the President alone can determine. In fact there is no reason why, after reviewing the case of JFK, we should think such a thing. ..."
"... Former CIA Director Mike Pompeo was recorded at an unknown conference recently , but judging from the gross laughter of the audience it consists of wannabe CIA agents, where he admits that though West Points' cadet motto is "You will not lie, cheat, or steal, or tolerate those who do.", his training under the CIA was the very opposite, stating: ..."
"... "Iran already suffered a CIA backed regime change in 1979." Ahem. Somehow I doubt the CIA had to do with THAT regime change 🙂 Try 1953? ..."
"... Reminiscent of Karl Rove's :"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 thats how things will sort out." ..."
"... It should be noted, that in 1963 shortly following JFK's assassination Truman stated in the Washington Post regret about establishing the CIA: "I think it has become necessary to take another look at the purpose and operations of our Central Intelligence Agency . For some time I have been disturbed by the way CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas." ..."
"... The entire bureaucratic leadership of the Nazis. And it proved to be a smashing success – transforming the U.S. into the fourth Reich. ..."
"... You see the same price gouging in the drug and insurance monopolies. A gigantic slush fund to buy foreign and domestic politicians and journalists like so many street corner whores. ..."
"... There is also a $100 billion "Intelligence" empire. ..."
"... That is why Oceania will always be at war with Eastasia, and why that war will never be won. Wars are not intended to be won, just to carry on for ever, making more and more money and providing more and more opportunities for graft for the people who matter. Weapons are not intended to work, just to make money. ..."
"... That's why flying turkeys like the F22 and F35 are produced. Like the cargo planes full of pallets of shrink wrapped $100 bills that were flown into Iraq that promptly disappeared. ..."
"... But JFK was not shot down like a dog in broad daylight with millions of people watching because he challenged these interests. It was because he was trying to stop the nuclear weapons programme of the Zionist Regime. That was what cost him his life. ..."
"... JFK also wanted to end the control of the US economy of the Federal Reserve, a coalition of private banks, nearly all controlled by Jewish interests. He really wanted to be hit, that fella. ..."
Feb 01, 2020 | off-guardian.org

There is a kind of character in thy life, That to the observer doth thy history, fully unfold."
William Shakespeare

Once again we find ourselves in a situation of crisis, where the entire world holds its breath all at once and can only wait to see whether this volatile black cloud floating amongst us will breakout into a thunderstorm of nuclear war or harmlessly pass us by.

The majority in the world seem to have the impression that this destructive fate totters back and forth at the whim of one man. It is only normal then, that during such times of crisis, we find ourselves trying to analyze and predict the thoughts and motives of just this one person.

The assassination of Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, a true hero for his fellow countrymen and undeniably an essential key figure in combating terrorism in Southwest Asia, was a terrible crime, an abhorrently repugnant provocation. It was meant to cause an apoplectic fervour, it was meant to make us who desire peace, lose our minds in indignation. And therefore, that is exactly what we should not do.

In order to assess such situations, we cannot lose sight of the whole picture, and righteous indignation, unfortunately, causes the opposite to occur. Our focus becomes narrower and narrower to the point where we can only see or react moment to moment with what is right in front of our face. We are reduced to an obsession of twitter feeds, news blips and the doublespeak of 'official government statements'.

Thus, before we may find firm ground to stand on regarding the situation of today, we must first have an understanding as to what caused the United States to enter into an endless campaign of regime-change warfare after WWII, or as former Chief of Special Operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff Col. Prouty stated, three decades of the Indochina war.

An Internal Shifting of Chess Pieces in the Shadows

It is interesting timing that on Sept 2, 1945, the very day that WWII ended, Ho Chi Minh would announce the independence of Indochina. That on the very day that one of the most destructive wars to ever occur in history ended, another long war was declared at its doorstep.

Churchill would announce his "Iron Curtain" against communism on March 5th, 1946, and there was no turning back at that point. The world had a mere 6 months to recover before it would be embroiled in another terrible war, except for the French, who would go to war against the Viet Minh opponents in French Indochina only days after WWII was over.

In a previous paper I wrote titled "On Churchill's Sinews of Peace" , I went over a major re-organisation of the American government and its foreign intelligence bureau on the onset of Truman's de facto presidency.

Recall that there was an attempted military coup d'état, which was exposed by General Butler in a public address in 1933 , against the Presidency of FDR who was only inaugurated that year. One could say that there was a very marked disapproval from shadowy corners for how Roosevelt would organise the government.

One key element to this reorganisation under Truman was the dismantling of the previously existing foreign intelligence bureau that was formed by FDR, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) on Sept 20, 1945 only two weeks after WWII was officially declared over. The OSS would be replaced by the CIA officially on Sept 18, 1947, with two years of an American intelligence purge and the internal shifting of chess pieces in the shadows.

In addition, de-facto President Truman would also found the United States National Security Council on Sept 18, 1947, the same day he founded the CIA. The NSC was a council whose intended function was to serve as the President's principal arm for coordinating national security, foreign policies and policies among various government agencies.

In Col. Prouty's book he states:

In 1955, I was designated to establish an office of special operations in compliance with National Security Council (NSC) Directive #5412 of March 15, 1954. This NSC Directive for the first time in the history of the United States defined covert operations and assigned that role to the Central Intelligence Agency to perform such missions, provided they had been directed to do so by the NSC , and further ordered active-duty Armed Forces personnel to avoid such operations. At the same time, the Armed Forces were directed to "provide the military support of the clandestine operations of the CIA" as an official function .

What this meant, was that there was to be an intermarriage of the foreign intelligence bureau with the military, and that the foreign intelligence bureau would act as top dog in the relationship, only taking orders from the NSC. Though the NSC includes the President, as we will see, the President is very far from being in the position of determining the NSC's policies.

An Inheritance of Secret Wars

There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare."
Sun Tzu

On January 20th, 1961, John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as President of the United States. Along with inheriting the responsibility of the welfare of the country and its people, he was to also inherit a secret war with communist Cuba run by the CIA.

JFK was disliked from the onset by the CIA and certain corridors of the Pentagon, they knew where he stood on foreign matters and that it would be in direct conflict for what they had been working towards for nearly 15 years.

Kennedy would inherit the CIA secret operation against Cuba, which Prouty confirms in his book, was quietly upgraded by the CIA from the Eisenhower administration's March 1960 approval of a modest Cuban-exile support program (which included small air drop and over-the-beach operations) to a 3,000 man invasion brigade just before Kennedy entered office.

This was a massive change in plans that was determined by neither President Eisenhower, who warned at the end of his term of the military industrial complex as a loose cannon, nor President Kennedy, but rather the foreign intelligence bureau who has never been subject to election or judgement by the people.

It shows the level of hostility that Kennedy encountered as soon as he entered office, and the limitations of a President's power when he does not hold support from these intelligence and military quarters.

Within three months into JFK's term, Operation Bay of Pigs (April 17th to 20th 1961) was scheduled. As the popular revisionist history goes; JFK refused to provide air cover for the exiled Cuban brigade and the land invasion was a calamitous failure and a decisive victory for Castro's Cuba.

It was indeed an embarrassment for President Kennedy who had to take public responsibility for the failure, however, it was not an embarrassment because of his questionable competence as a leader. It was an embarrassment because, had he not taken public responsibility, he would have had to explain the real reason why it failed.

That the CIA and military were against him and that he did not have control over them.

If Kennedy were to admit such a thing, he would have lost all credibility as a President in his own country and internationally, and would have put the people of the United States in immediate danger amidst a Cold War.

What really occurred was that there was a cancellation of the essential pre-dawn airstrike, by the Cuban Exile Brigade bombers from Nicaragua, to destroy Castro's last three combat jets. This airstrike was ordered by Kennedy himself.

Kennedy was always against an American invasion of Cuba, and striking Castro's last jets by the Cuban Exile Brigade would have limited Castro's threat, without the U.S. directly supporting a regime change operation within Cuba. This went fully against the CIA's plan for Cuba.

Kennedy's order for the airstrike on Castro's jets would be cancelled by Special Assistant for National Security Affairs McGeorge Bundy, four hours before the Exile Brigade's B-26s were to take off from Nicaragua, Kennedy was not brought into this decision.

In addition, the Director of Central Intelligence Allen Dulles, the man in charge of the Bay of Pigs operation was unbelievably out of the country on the day of the landings.

Col. Prouty, who was Chief of Special Operations during this time, elaborates on this situation:

Everyone connected with the planning of the Bay of Pigs invasion knew that the policy dictated by NSC 5412, positively prohibited the utilization of active-duty military personnel in covert operations. At no time was an "air cover" position written into the official invasion plan The "air cover" story that has been created is incorrect."

As a result, JFK who well understood the source of this fiasco, set up a Cuban Study Group the day after and charged it with the responsibility of determining the cause for the failure of the operation. The study group, consisting of Allen Dulles, Gen. Maxwell Taylor, Adm. Arleigh Burke and Attorney General Robert Kennedy (the only member JFK could trust), concluded that the failure was due to Bundy's telephone call to General Cabell (who was also CIA Deputy Director) that cancelled the President's air strike order.

Kennedy had them.

Humiliatingly, CIA Director Allen Dulles was part of formulating the conclusion that the Bay of Pigs op was a failure because of the CIA's intervention into the President's orders. This allowed for Kennedy to issue the National Security Action Memorandum #55 on June 28th, 1961, which began the process of changing the responsibility from the CIA to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

As Prouty states, "When fully implemented, as Kennedy had planned, after his reelection in 1964, it would have taken the CIA out of the covert operation business. This proved to be one of the first nails in John F. Kennedy's coffin."

If this was not enough of a slap in the face to the CIA, Kennedy forced the resignation of CIA Director Allen Dulles, CIA Deputy Director for Plans Richard M. Bissell Jr. and CIA Deputy Director Charles Cabell.

In Oct 1962, Kennedy was informed that Cuba had offensive Soviet missiles 90 miles from American shores. Soviet ships with more missiles were on their way towards Cuba but ended up turning around last minute.

Rumours started to abound that JFK had cut a secret deal with Russian Premier Khrushchev, which was that the U.S. would not invade Cuba if the Soviets withdrew their missiles. Criticisms of JFK being soft on communism began to stir.

NSAM #263, closely overseen by Kennedy, was released on Oct 11th, 1963, and outlined a policy decision "to withdraw 1,000 military personnel [from Vietnam] by the end of 1963" and further stated that "It should be possible to withdraw the bulk of U.S. personnel [including the CIA and military] by 1965." The Armed Forces newspaper Stars and Stripes had the headline U.S. TROOPS SEEN OUT OF VIET BY '65. Kennedy was winning the game and the American people.

This was to be the final nail in Kennedy's coffin.

Kennedy was brutally shot down only one month later, on Nov, 22nd 1963. His death should not just be seen as a tragic loss but, more importantly, it should be recognised for the successful military coup d'état that it was and is. The CIA showed what lengths it was ready to go to if a President stood in its way. (For more information on this coup refer to District Attorney of New Orleans at the time, Jim Garrison's book . And the excellently researched Oliver Stone movie "JFK")

Through the Looking Glass

On Nov. 26th 1963, a full four days after Kennedy's murder, de facto President Johnson signed NSAM #273 to begin the change of Kennedy's policy under #263. And on March 4th, 1964, Johnson signed NSAM #288 that marked the full escalation of the Vietnam War and involved 2,709,918 Americans directly serving in Vietnam, with 9,087,000 serving with the U.S. Armed Forces during this period.

The Vietnam War, or more accurately the Indochina War, would continue for another 12 years after Kennedy's death, lasting a total of 20 years for Americans.

Scattered black ops wars continued, but the next large scale-never ending war that would involve the world would begin full force on Sept 11, 2001 under the laughable title War on Terror, which is basically another Iron Curtain, a continuation of a 74 year Cold War. A war that is not meant to end until the ultimate regime changes are accomplished and the world sees the toppling of Russia and China.

Iraq was destined for invasion long before the vague Gulf War of 1990 and even before Saddam Hussein was being backed by the Americans in the Iraq-Iran war in the 1980s. Iran already suffered a CIA backed regime change in 1979.

It had been understood far in advance by the CIA and US military that the toppling of sovereignty in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Iran needed to occur before Russia and China could be taken over. Such war tactics were formulaic after 3 decades of counterinsurgency against the CIA fueled "communist-insurgency" of Indochina.

This is how today's terrorist-inspired insurgency functions, as a perfect CIA formula for an endless bloodbath.

Former CIA Deputy Director (2010-2013) Michael Morell, who was supporting Hillary Clinton during the presidential election campaign and vehemently against the election of Trump, whom he claimed was being manipulated by Putin, said in a 2016 interview with Charlie Rose that Russians and Iranians in Syria should be killed covertly to 'pay the price' .

Therefore, when a drone stroke occurs assassinating an Iranian Maj. Gen., even if the U.S. President takes onus on it, I would not be so quick as to believe that that is necessarily the case, or the full story.

Just as I would not take the statements of President Rouhani accepting responsibility for the Iranian military shooting down 'by accident' the Boeing 737-800 plane which contained 176 civilians, who were mostly Iranian, as something that can be relegated to criminal negligence, but rather that there is very likely something else going on here.

I would also not be quick to dismiss the timely release, or better described as leaked, draft letter from the US Command in Baghdad to the Iraqi government that suggests a removal of American forces from the country. Its timing certainly puts the President in a compromised situation. Though the decision to keep the American forces within Iraq or not is hardly a simple matter that the President alone can determine. In fact there is no reason why, after reviewing the case of JFK, we should think such a thing.

One could speculate that the President was set up, with the official designation of the IRGC as "terrorist" occurring in April 2019 by the US State Department, a decision that was strongly supported by both Bolton and Pompeo, who were both members of the NSC at the time.

This made it legal for a US military drone strike to occur against Soleimani under the 2001 AUMF, where the US military can attack any armed group deemed to be a terrorist threat. Both Bolton and Pompeo made no secret that they were overjoyed by Soleimani's assassination and Bolton went so far as to tweet "Hope this is the first step to regime change in Tehran." Bolton has also made it no secret that he is eager to testify against Trump in his possible impeachment trial.

Former CIA Director Mike Pompeo was recorded at an unknown conference recently , but judging from the gross laughter of the audience it consists of wannabe CIA agents, where he admits that though West Points' cadet motto is "You will not lie, cheat, or steal, or tolerate those who do.", his training under the CIA was the very opposite, stating:

I was the CIA Director. We lied, we cheated, we stole. It was like we had entire training courses. (long pause) It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment."

Thus, it should be no surprise to anyone in the world at this point in history, that the CIA holds no allegiance to any country. And it can be hardly expected that a President, who is actively under attack from all sides within his own country, is in a position to hold the CIA accountable for its past and future crimes.

Originally published at Strategic Culture

Cynthia Chung is a lecturer, writer and co-founder and editor of the Rising Tide Foundation (Montreal, Canada).


Gerda Halvorsen ,

"Iran already suffered a CIA backed regime change in 1979." Ahem. Somehow I doubt the CIA had to do with THAT regime change 🙂 Try 1953?

Doctortrinate ,

Is just another work of Theatre ..for all the world, a Staged play – along with legion of dramatic action to arouse spectator participation – its a merge inducing show – and each time the curtain falls, the crowd screams "more" so, extending its run.

Hugh O'Neill ,

Reminiscent of Karl Rove's :"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 thats how things will sort out."

George Cornell ,

Ah yes, the Roveing Lunatic.

Doctortrinate ,

" We're history's actors and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do "

Suskind/Rove.

and so it continues .. 🙂

Vierotchka ,

The actual quote:

The aide said that guys like me [Suskind] 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." I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. "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."

Charlotte Russe ,

It should be noted, that in 1963 shortly following JFK's assassination Truman stated in the Washington Post regret about establishing the CIA: "I think it has become necessary to take another look at the purpose and operations of our Central Intelligence Agency . For some time I have been disturbed by the way CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas."

Well, NO president after Kennedy tried to put that Genie back in the bottle. In fact, the Genie has taken total control and has mushroomed into thousands of bottles planted throughout the planet hatching multiple schemes designed to undermine and overthrow numerous nation-states.

What many don't know is that "decades after World War II, the C.I.A. and other United States agencies employed at least a thousand Nazis as Cold War spies and informants (this was known as Operation Paperclip) ..At the height of the Cold War in the 1950s, law enforcement and intelligence leaders like J. Edgar Hoover at the F.B.I. and Allen Dulles at the C.I.A. aggressively recruited onetime Nazis of all ranks as secret, anti-Soviet "assets," declassified records show. They believed the ex-Nazis' intelligence value against the Russians outweighed what one official called "moral lapses" in their service to the Third Reich. The CIA hired one former SS officer as a spy in the 1950s, for instance, even after concluding he was probably guilty of minor war crimes.

And in 1994, a lawyer with the C.I.A. pressured prosecutors to drop an investigation into an ex-spy outside Boston implicated in the Nazis' massacre of tens of thousands of Jews in Lithuania, according to a government official."

Is there no wonder, the CIA is so proficient at torture techniques, they learned from the very best–the Nazis.

https://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/27/us/in-cold-war-us-spy-agencies-used-1000-nazis.html

Richard Le sarc ,

They 'hired' Klaus Barbie, a in no ways 'minor' war criminal. The US took over the surviving Nazi terror apparatus, lock, stock and barrel.

nottheonly1 ,

The entire bureaucratic leadership of the Nazis. And it proved to be a smashing success – transforming the U.S. into the fourth Reich.

paul ,

You just have to look at existing realities. There is a military budget of $1,134 billion, greater than the rest of the world combined. This is the true figure, not the bogus official one.

There is a secret black budget of over $50 billion, with zero accountability to anyone.

$21 trillion, $21,000,000,000,000, has officially "gone missing" from the military budget. This sum is nearly as large as the official National Debt.

This represents a cornucopia of waste, graft, theft, corruption, and wholesale looting on an unimaginable scale.

A single screw can cost $500. You see the same price gouging in the drug and insurance monopolies. A gigantic slush fund to buy foreign and domestic politicians and journalists like so many street corner whores.

There is also a $100 billion "Intelligence" empire.

That is why Oceania will always be at war with Eastasia, and why that war will never be won. Wars are not intended to be won, just to carry on for ever, making more and more money and providing more and more opportunities for graft for the people who matter. Weapons are not intended to work, just to make money.

That's why flying turkeys like the F22 and F35 are produced. Like the cargo planes full of pallets of shrink wrapped $100 bills that were flown into Iraq that promptly disappeared.

Even with the best will in the world, even if all the people involved were persons of outstanding integrity, it would probably simply be impossible to control this vast sprawling octopus of mega arms corporations and competing military and spook and administrative fiefdoms. So you get different players and actors who are a law unto themselves, beyond any real control, pursuing their own agendas with little regard for their own government and its policies, and often blatantly opposing it.

Obama and Trump tried to make limited agreements with Russia over what was happening on the ground in Syria. These agreements were deliberately sabotaged by people like Ashton Carter in less than 24 hours. With complete impunity. Sensitive negotiations with North Korea were deliberately sabotaged by Bolton.

A great deal of the economic and military power of America is dissipated in this way. The same destructive turf wars between competing agencies were a characteristic feature of the Third Reich. A model of waste, corruption, muddle and inefficiency.

But JFK was not shot down like a dog in broad daylight with millions of people watching because he challenged these interests. It was because he was trying to stop the nuclear weapons programme of the Zionist Regime. That was what cost him his life.

Richard Le Sarc ,

JFK also wanted to end the control of the US economy of the Federal Reserve, a coalition of private banks, nearly all controlled by Jewish interests. He really wanted to be hit, that fella.

paul ,

Yes, any goys who threaten Chosen interests would do well to steer clear of grassy knolls.
JFK, Bernadotte, Arafat, Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein, Chavez, Soleimani, it's all the same story.
Corbyn could well have gone the same way if rigging the election against him had failed.

Antonym ,

Nice example of Richard Le Sarc's non-sensical anti Israelism: Here he writes that Lower Manhattan is run by Jews, while scrolling one page up he is telling that the US (=Fairfax county) took over the Nazi terror apparatus. Some combination!

Both places are run mainly by ex-Christian/ secular Americans, with only money/power as their God.

Richard Le Sarc ,

Leading Zionassties like Jabotinsky ('We'll kill anyone who gets in our way')were outright fascists, an, in his case, admirers of Mussolini. Yitzhak Shamir (I have an image of Shamir in my mind when I read your contributions)offered Jewish 'fighters' to work with the Nazis. German Zionists actively worked with the Nazis to transfer Jews and German investment to Palestine. And the similarities hardly end there. The Zionassties and the German Nazis both see themselves as Herrenvolk. They both desire lebensraum for their people, at the expense of Slavic or Palestinian and other Arab untermenschen. Both hold International Law in open contempt. However, the Zionassties have far more political power than the German Nazis ever dreamed of. And the German Nazis never had nukes, or only very primitive ones.

Harry Stotle ,

"The secret to understanding US foreign policy is that THERE IS NO SECRET. Principally, one must come to the realization that the United States strives to dominate the world, for which end it is prepared to use any means necessary. Once one understands that, much of the apparent confusion, contradiction, and ambiguity surrounding Washington's policies fades away. To express this striving for dominance numerically, one can consider that since the end of World War II the United States has:
1) Endeavored to overthrow more than 50 foreign governments, most of which were democratically elected;
2) Grossly interfered in democratic elections in at least 30 countries;
3) Attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders;
4) Dropped bombs on the people of more than 30 countries;
5) Attempted to suppress a populist or nationalist movement in 20 countries."
― William Blum, America's Deadliest Export: Democracy – The Truth About US Foreign Policy and Everything Else

Brian Harry ,

The older I get, the more I believe that it was the USA/CIA?MIC who made Australia's Prime Minister, Harold Holt, "disappear" in heavy surf off a Victorian beach on 17th, December 1967. His body was never found. I think he was getting "cold feet" about the "American War" in Vietnam as it was getting going, and possibly wanted 'out'.
It was said that a Chinese submarine took him, but, I don't think submarines are designed to operate in relatively shallow water and heavy surf.
Another Australian PM(Gough Whitlam) was "removed" in a Coup in 1975 which was heavily influenced by the British and American secret services

Richard Le Sarc ,

And Kevin Rudd was offed by a gang of hard Right Labor rats, led by US 'protected source' (as outlined in the Wikileaks from Manning)Bill Shorten. Principal among Rudd's crimes was a lack of enthusiasm for the anti-China campaign (his successor, the Clinton-loving Julia Gillard, was very happy to join the Crusade)and changes to Australia's votes re. Occupied Palestine in the UN. And he expelled a MOSSAD agent from the Israeli 'Embassy', after the MOSSAD stole Australian passport identities for operations like the ritual killing of a Hamas operative in Dubai. They had done it before, and 'promised' not to do it again. Rudd was advised by our 'intelligence', stooges of the USA one and all, to do this, which I suspect was a set-up to mobilise the local Sabbat Goyim.

Binra ,

Who is in control is the idea of Notional Security within a world of 'Threat' that is pre-emptively struck before it can speak – and analysed and engineered in all it is, does or says, for assets, allies, ammunition and narrative reinforcement. (Possession and control as marketising and weaponising – as the drive rising from fear of pain of loss).

Insanity is given 'control' by the fear-threat of an unowned projected mind of intention. The devil is cast out in illusion that is then underpinned by shadow forces that operate 'negatively' as the illusion of victory in subjugation or eradication of evils – that simply change form within a limiting and limited narrative account. This short term override has become set as our long term default consciousness and given allegiance and identity as our source of self-protection.

Imagination is Creative – and fear-framed imagination is the attempt to control an 'evil' imagination CAST OUTSIDE a notional self exceptionalism.

There is a pattern here that CAN be recognised but that the invested identity under fear of pain of loss does NOT WANT to allow and so refuses and includes the revealing of heart-felt truth as THREAT to established or surviving order – hence its association and demonisation with fear, treachery, heresy and evil power that must be denied Voice at ANY cost – because 'survival' depends on NOT hearing the Voice for truth – when survival is equated with separated or split minds – set apart from the living and over them – while struggling within a hateful world that fails the judging imagination of a private self-gratification.

Fascination with evil and the 'dynamic' of conflict is the willing investment of identity in its frame – as if THIS TIME – a meaningful result will follow from insane premises. And THIS TIME is repeated over and over – through millennia.

The 'dynamic' of conflict is the device by which Peace or Wholeness of being is denied awareness. A polarised play of shifting mutually exclusive and contradictory 'meanings' as a 'doublethink' by which to COVER over lack of substance and SEEM to be in control. Reactive resistance and opposition provides 'proof' or reinforcement to the narrative frame of the control. Such is the manipulative power struggle for dominance over the other' subjection or loss.

A world of sock puppets enacts the script given them.
The living dead willingly give themselves to the specialness that excepts them from feared lack and loss of validity as the claim to moral outrage or alignment in compliance with its dictate.

The realm of a phishing ruse is that of a mis-taken identity. At this level a simple error can set in motion the most complex deceit. Its signature is in the pride or self-inflation that sets up the 'fall' – and the fool.

Problems are set in forms that persist through apparent resolving. To truly resolve, heal or undo a problem, we have to go upstream to the level in which it was set up as a conflict-block – perhaps as an unseen consequence of a false sense of possession or attempt to control. At some point there will be no other option BUT to yield to truth – because there is a limit to our tolerance for pain of conflict, protected and worshipped as power over Life, and sustained as a bubble reality of exclusive and inverted 'meanings' while Infinity is all about you.

If a mistaken identity is the 'stealing of the mind of the king, and the realm and all it oversees, then the 'Naked Emperor' story is speaking to your ongoing and persistent loss of Sovereign will to a fear of being exposed invalid, revealed as without substance, and utterly undone of not only your self-presentations – but your right to be. IN the story it was visiting courtiers who insinuated a sense of lack in the Emperor's thought to then offer the means to cover over it with special and impressive presentation – as a masking that demanded sacrifice of truth in order to seem to be real.

This inversion operates from lack-based thinking that splits or disconnects from currently felt and shared presence to seek OUTSIDE itself for what it's thought frames it in being denied or deprived of.

How does one deal with a dissociated madman massively armed and beset with fears, grievance, betrayal, and a deep sense of being cornered with no where else to go?
This is our human predicament at this time.
For every instance of its manifestation will be a fear-framed narrative of struggle in ancient hate.

Willingness to open to that we may be wrong, is the release of the assertion of belief as 'knowing' and the opportunity to re-evaluate the belief in the light of a current relational honesty. 'Acceptance of 'not knowing' is the condition in which an innocence of being spontaneously moves us to recognise and release error from its presenting as true.

A false idea of power is being played out as a world of the corruption of the true.

I met this on a random find for a search yesterday:

FIRST RAY:

Pure qualities:
Traditionally as the ray of power and will, yet from a deeper understanding the first ray represents the creative drive. This is the desire for self-expression, a willingness to experiment, even when the outcome of the experiment cannot be known ahead of time. Also a willingness to flow with life and learn from every experience. The first ray gives rise to the sense that everything matters, that life is exciting and that the individual truly can make a positive difference. The first ray is also the key to your willingness to work for raising the whole, instead of raising only yourself.

Perversions:
The perversion of the creative will is a fear of the unknown, which is expressed as an ability to abuse power in order to control one's circumstances, including other people. There is a fear of engaging in activities where the outcome cannot be predicted or guaranteed, which obviously stifles creativity. People with perverted first ray qualities are often engaged in a variety of power games with other people, all based on the desire to control the outcome. This is an attempt to quell the very life force itself, which always points towards self-transcendence, and instead protect the separate self and what it thinks it can own in this world. This can lead to a sense of ownership over other people, which is one of the major sources of conflict on this planet. In milder cases, people have a fear of being creative and a sense of powerlessness, feeling that nothing really matters and that an individual cannot make a difference -- thus, why even bother trying.

From
http://www.ascendedmasteranswers.com/teachings/676-an-overview-of-the-seven-rays
(I was checking a reminder on the seven primary qualities of being).
The idea of a pure intent and it corrupted or perverted distortion is real to me.

I also like the pages opening three para:

Everything you do is done with the energy of one or several of the spiritual rays. The entire material world is made from the seven rays.
• Every limitation you face is created out of a perversion of one or more of the seven spiritual rays.
• The ONLY way to transcend a given limitation is to free yourself from a): the belief that created the limitation and b): the low-frequency energy that has been generated.
• The ONLY way to transform the low-frequency energy that is created by perverting a given ray is to invoke the pure energy of that ray. Any ray is the anti-dote to the perverted energy from that ray.

George Cornell ,

Pompeo's epic statement "we lied we cheated we stole" will be be an American catchphrase or hashtag for the ages.
In most of the world it would be a confession. In the US it is a boast.

wardropper ,

And after a short while it will no longer be considered to be worth a second thought.
Came, saw, conquered . . . might as well add lied, cheated, stole
Morality is stone dead in Washington. Might as well face it, then perhaps a serious search for ways of bringing it back to life can begin.

Richard Le Sarc ,

Lying is now the lingua franca of all Western kakistocracies. Here in Australia, not long ago, to be caught lying ended a political career. Now it is ubiquitous, inescapable and attended by a smug arrogance that says, 'You can do NOTHING about my personal and group moral insanity. WE have the power, and we will use it ANY way we, and our Masters in Washington and Tel Aviv wish to!' It is best and most suicidally seen in this denialist regime's utter contempt for science and facts, as the country alternatively burns down, or is pummeled by giant hail-stones and violent tempests, or inundated by record, unprecedented, deluges.

George Cornell ,

Sad but true

Antonym ,

Hear, hear!

An expert on lying opens his mouth again, and again, and again, and again, ..

lundiel ,

Very interesting article.

Hugh O'Neill ,

"Former CIA Director Mike Pompeo was recorded at an unknown conference recently, but judging from the gross laughter of the audience it consists of wannabe CIA agents, where he admits that though West Points' cadet motto is "You will not lie, cheat, or steal, or tolerate those who do.", his training under the CIA was the very opposite, stating: I was the CIA Director. We lied, we cheated, we stole".

Cynthia. The "unknown conference" you refer to was an address to Texas A&M University, which had former CIA director Robert Gates as President. Another former CIA spook teaches espionage for wannabe spooks. These are scoundrel patriots, devoid of any moral compass, self awareness or intelligence. Academics need not apply but liars, thieves, cheats, torturers and assassins are welcome.

The CIA has a stranglehold upon the American psyche. The oft quoted Bill Casey "Our work will be complete when everything Americans believe is false" cannot bode well for the glory of the American Experiment. If fat mafiosi thugs like Pompeo and ghouls devoid of any humanity like Bolton, Clinton, Allbright run the show, then the question must be asked: how can such amoral stupidity hold the world to ransom? That the CIA were able to assassinate JFK, MLK, RFK in broad daylight, aided and abetted by the MSM, means their masks have long fallen and demons boldly walk among us.

"Who is in charge of the US Military?" Well it certainly isn't the president. There is no doubt that both the military and the CIA are controlled by unelected faceless money men, which presumably is the MIC that Eisenhower warned about (as did Teddy Roosevelt). Perhaps "skull and bones" is indeed a satanic cult?

Gall ,

Yes the National Security Act sent the nation to hell from purgatory. The most insidious and Orwellian bill ever passed until the oxymoronic "Patriot Act" that is.

George Cornell ,

The West Point oath should be modified to " we will not lie, cheat or steal . as long as we have the CIA, the FBI, the Secretary of State, Congress, the MSM, and the DNC to do it for us. We're not stoopid."

George Mc ,

The majority in the world seem to have the impression that this destructive fate totters back and forth at the whim of one man.

Yes this magical thinking is still pretty widespread – although it's difficult to figure out how many think this way. The MSM project this magical view themselves and thereby project the notion that everyone believes it. Nevertheless, going by the talk I have with others, a lot do swallow this. It's a bit like the world fundamentalist Bible believers live in.

Richard Le Sarc ,

The really salient feature of the murder of Soliemani was the sheer treachery of inviting him to Iraq on a peace mission, only to set him up for butchery. It has the Zionasties blood-soaked paw-prints all over it.

Mike Ellwood ,

Ironically, it's the sort of stunt the Nazi's might have pulled, back in their day.

Brian Harry ,

I have asked the same question on other platforms and no one seems to know the Answer. "Who are the CIA, and the Pentagon answerable to?" They seem to operate outside of the control of the American Government. The CIA seemingly involved in "False Flags" at any point around the globe, like the attack on the American Warship, in the gulf of Tonkin which was the excuse for "The American War, in Vietnam(as it is known to the Vietnamese).
And, of course, the attack on Iraq, because Sadam Hussein had Weapons of Mass Destruction, which, to this day have never been found(whilst Hussein was hung) after being found guilty of 'something' by an American "military Court'.
The Pentagon has "lost TRILLIONS of dollars which it cannot account for, and nobody is even investigating the matter, seemingly the American President cannot demand it.
And, of course, the Israeli Airforce attack on the USS Liberty in the Mediterranean Sea in 1967, killing and wounding over 200 sailors, brought NO response whatsoever from the American Military.
President Eisenhower warned the USA(and the World) about the Military Industrial Complex when he left office, and it has been completely ignored.
It seems that Mossad("By deception, we will make War") are heavily involved in the CIA(and the MIC of course), so, WHO is in control of the USA?

Antonym ,

Follow the money. The CIA – military have unlimited funds -> the FED can print unlimited paper dollars -> oil and gas are traded in US dollars only via the New York FED -> Sunni Arab royals own a lot of oil and gas reserves but need body guards -> Anglo- Arab oil dollar protection pact made long ago.
A similar deal was not possible with the USSR before or with Iran now. Canada is the US back garden as is Venezuela.

The Israelis hitched on after 1974 and their job is to be punch ball to distract from the above in exchange for US & hidden Arab royals support.

So who are in charge of the US? A few dozen characters in Fairfax county, lower Manhattan and Riyadh with inputs from Caribbean tax heavens.

Richard Le Sarc ,

Silly stuff. The Zionasties and Judeofascists have taken charge in the USA since they bank-rolled Truman, got away with the USS Liberty atrocity and took over US politics through straight bribery. US Congress critters don't throw themselves to the floor in ecstasies of subservience, as they do for Bibi, when any Saudi potentate addresses the Congress. Come to think of it-has any Saudi ever had that 'honour'? Come to think of it, we'd better go back to 1913 when a coalition of private banks, nearly all Jewish-controlled took over the US economy as the so-called Federal Reserve.

Antonym ,

Israeli sand vs Saudi/ Kuwaiti/ UAE oil & gas: easy choice for American predators.

Richard Le Sarc ,

You keep forgetting the 'Binyamins', Antsie. What would you rather control-an inevitably diminishing pool of hydrocarbons, or the Federal Reserve that creates US dollars, ex nihilo, by the trillions?

Richard Le Sarc ,

The CIA is the US ruling class, armed and in love with murder and destruction. The nature and extent of US global power is the pre-eminent cause of the global Holocaust that is about to consume humanity.

Gal ,

What Fletcher Prouty mentioned in the above article called "Capitalism's Invisible Army".

Norn ,

Here is a list of what the CIA include: The FIVE-EYES branches operate as CIA branches (I think this is undisputable). The FIVE-EYES is a White Christian Fundementalist organisation, and they share their intelligence (surveillance data) with the Israelis. Their Israelis set many actions on the FIVE-EYES agenda.
Murdoch's press operate as a CIA shopfront, and so many of (maybe all of them?) the NGOs scattered around third world countries. Evangelists fully support the CIA agenda. What is the hell South Korean Evangelists doing in Syria as the war rages on?
Many Jihadist groups as well as unhinged Muslim preachers/Imams serve the CIA agenda very very well and receive considerable support from both Saudi Arabia and the US. Remember, the first Jihadist posters were printed by the CIA?. Of course, now the posters would have their brainwashing digital equivalent. And of course, there are full-timers and part-timers.
That's what we know from just reading the news. There are definitely large amounts of unkowns to humble folks. Who else would you think, make part of the list? 50% of politicians in Western so-called Democracies?

Barovsky ,

Outside the government? Are you that naive? This is a fantasy that was promoted as long ago as the time of Iran-Contra; the idea that the CIA is composed of a bunch of 'loose cannons', operating beyond the control of the capitalist state. Whilst it is true that the US security state has different tactics from different elements within it, the objectives are unvarying, achieving hegemony. What differs is the route chosen to achieve that end. Of course, competence (or otherwise) is involved, they're not omnipotent and quite obviously have no long term vision. I think the correct word is HUBRIS that leads them astray. We saw this in Vietnam; we see it Afghanistan; we see it in Syria.

The US empire is no British Empire of yore. When the leaders of the two dominant Imperialist powers of the 19th century, the UK and the US met in the 1890s, they drew up a plan for the next 100 years, that between them they could conquer the world for capitalism using the UK's control of the oceans and the industrial might of the US economy.

Surely the fact that the US is now 'led' by an ignoramus reveals the bankrupt nature of late capitalism?

milosevic ,

WHO is in control of the USA?

here's an informative article about that question:

Joël van der Reijden -- Four Establishment Model of western politics

also have a look at the rest of that website; it's rather eye-opening.

Vierotchka ,

There it this article too:

https://worldbeyondwar.org/shadow-government-controls-america-notes/

Richard Le Sarc ,

The 'Deep State' IS the State. The surface pantomime is a puppet play, perhaps a shadow play, where the real rulers manipulate the political marionettes to do their bidding, NOT that of the 'useless eaters'. Under capitalism politics is the shadow cast on society by Big Business, as John Dewey observed.

MASTER OF UNIVE ,

Every single solitary individual Central Intelligence Agency Civil Servant of the United States of America does indeed hold allegiance to the flag & country I assure you. Not only do they hold allegiance for their country but they most assuredly hold allegiance to their government paycheques too. Without their paycheques they would likely constitute further troubles systemically.

Governments hire skilled personnel in Intel. They are by & large likely normal people that work for bad governance. The CIA is headed by Bloody Gina Haspel. Read Jane Mayer's _The Dark Side_ to get Haspel's role.

Haspel epitomizes allegiance to CIA secrecy.

She is a bot.

MOU

Brian Harry ,

"Every single solitary individual Central Intelligence Agency Civil Servant of the United States of America does indeed hold allegiance to the flag & country I assure you".

You sound very naïve. How can you be so sure. There's no real evidence to back up your assurance. How can the Pentagon be allowed to get away with "losing" TRILLIONS of dollars, and no one's head has rolled? It is a ludicrous situation, and there's no investigation .WTF!

milosevic ,

How can you be so sure.

personal experience?

Authoritative pronouncements of this sort are typical of the disinfo troll personae. Apparently, they're supposed to impress the audience, as evidence of direct knowledge and expertise, to preclude any further doubts or questions about the Official Story.

MASTER OF UNIVE ,

I'm an unemployed Social Assistance recipient and have not had a full time job since 1985. If I had two nickels to scrape together I would not even be on Internet, frankly.
If I worked Intel I would not be on Off-G at all.

I guess life is more interesting for you when you fantasize about losers like moi being Intel operatives but I can assure you that I have never worked government Intel for even one hour in my lifetime.

When I applied to work Intel upon graduation I was flatly denied & turned down back in the late 90s. Today, I would have to get false teeth to be presentable for employment and as a welfare recipient I cannot afford dental work at all.

Stop being an accusatory jerk off, Milosevic.

MOU

George Cornell ,

Well I for one am saddened to hear of your circumstances. Your mind certainly seems sharp.

MASTER OF UNIVE ,

I am a Marxist by circumstance. In CANADA Marxist proponents are marginalized by the state & corporatocracy to the extent of abject poverty.
My professors at university made sure I was blacklisted so that I would never get any money or employment because of my political ethos & cosmology. Instead of promoting my career advancement they chose to excommunicate my membership in the cartel.

Being excluded from the work world & employment by the establishment is the reason why the establishment was taken down in 08. Excluding myself from employment & career opportunity only sufficed to annihilate the USA, EU, & Neoliberalism.

The end game is Zero Sum.

MOU

John Thatcher ,

Or in MoUs case ,a common or garden nutter.

George Cornell ,

He sounds like he is down on his luck and you find it in your heart to call him crazy? Is this what they call subhuman empathy?

milosevic ,

yes, down on his luck, and controlling the world:

Being excluded from the work world & employment by the establishment is the reason why the establishment was taken down in 08. Excluding myself from employment & career opportunity only sufficed to annihilate the USA, EU, & Neoliberalism. -- MASTER OF UNIVE

common nutter, or disinfo persona?

MASTER OF UNIVE ,

I was raised by a Chartered Accountant Civil Servant. The Pentagon accountants were assassinated by their bosses in the Pentagon as a warning to any & all that want to forensically investigate their double sets of books. The GAO-General Accountability Office gets to do the forensic accounting from a distance now.

No investigation is forthcoming because Congress has not initiated discovery yet.

MOU

Fair dinkum ,

'Who's in charge of the US military?' C'mon Cynthia, you know the answer to that. It's the owners, shareholders, directors and CEOs of the MIC. Nothing or no one, will stand in their way.

MASTER OF UNIVE ,

The 08 Great Financial Crisis not only stood in the way of the USA MIC & NATO but it forced BREXIT, TARP, & end to the Fractional Reserve Banking empire of the Western world.

Empiricism destroyed the USA & Capitalism hands down to leave it insolvent, destitute, & poised for global bankruptcy as the third world banana republic it really is helmed by a tin pot dictator like Trump stumping for Deutsche Bank so that his loans don't get called.

MOU

[Feb 02, 2020] JFK tried to put CIA under contol and was killed. NO president after Kennedy tried to put that Genie back in the bottle

Feb 02, 2020 | off-guardian.org

Charlotte Russe ,

It should be noted, that in 1963 shortly following JFK's assassination Truman stated in the Washington Post regret about establishing the CIA: "I think it has become necessary to take another look at the purpose and operations of our Central Intelligence Agency .
For some time I have been disturbed by the way CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas."

Well, NO president after Kennedy tried to put that Genie back in the bottle. In fact, the Genie has taken total control and has mushroomed into thousands of bottles planted throughout the planet hatching multiple schemes designed to undermine and overthrow numerous nation-states.

What many don't know is that "decades after World War II, the C.I.A. and other United States agencies employed at least a thousand Nazis as Cold War spies and informants (this was known as Operation Paperclip) ..At the height of the Cold War in the 1950s, law enforcement and intelligence leaders like J. Edgar Hoover at the F.B.I. and Allen Dulles at the C.I.A. aggressively recruited onetime Nazis of all ranks as secret, anti-Soviet "assets," declassified records show. They believed the ex-Nazis' intelligence value against the Russians outweighed what one official called "moral lapses" in their service to the Third Reich. The CIA hired one former SS officer as a spy in the 1950s, for instance, even after concluding he was probably guilty of minor war crimes.
And in 1994, a lawyer with the C.I.A. pressured prosecutors to drop an investigation into an ex-spy outside Boston implicated in the Nazis' massacre of tens of thousands of Jews in Lithuania, according to a government official."

Is there no wonder, the CIA is so proficient at torture techniques, they learned from the very best–the Nazis.

https://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/27/us/in-cold-war-us-spy-agencies-used-1000-nazis.html

[Feb 01, 2020] Bolton's mustache is trying to impeach his face: Trump tweets 'game over' after Bolton, Schiff videos resurface

Feb 01, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Matthew Rand , 22 hours ago

Bolton's mustache is trying to impeach his face.

G Blizzard , 1 day ago

Well, if his credibility is done, Michael Bolton can always go back to singing.


Curt Stolpe
, 1 day ago

"We can't beat him so we have to impeach him" no truer words were ever spoken. Too bad they couldn't come up with a reason. I think November will be a Democrat Slaughter.

IJJ , 1 day ago

Bolton & Schiff - Bozo 1 and Bozo 2 😂


MoralHi
, 1 day ago

That old man Bolton would sell his Gandma to sell his book !

[Feb 01, 2020] The Real John Bolton - CounterPunch.org

Notable quotes:
"... Washington Post, ..."
"... Bolton targeted every arms control and disarmament agreement over the past several decades, and played a major role in abrogating two of the most significant ones. As an arms control official in the Bush administration, he lobbied successfully for the abrogation of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972. As soon as he joined the Trump administration, he went after the Intermediate-Nuclear Forces Treaty, which was abrogated in 2018. He criticized the Nunn-Lugar agreement in the 1990s, which played a key role in the denuclearization of former Soviet republics, and maligned the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons as well as the Iran nuclear accord. He helped to derail the Biological Weapons Conference in Geneva in 2001. ..."
Feb 01, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org

It isn't enough for the corporate media to praise John Bolton for his timely manuscript that confirms Donald Trump's explicit linkage between military aid to Ukraine and investigations into his political foe Joe Biden. As a result, the media have made John Bolton a "man of principle," according to the Washington Post, and a fearless infighter for the "sovereignty of the United States." Writing in the Post , Kathleen Parker notes that Bolton isn't motivated by the money he will earn from his book (in the neighborhood of $2 million), but that he is far more interested in "saving his legacy." Perhaps this is a good time to examine that legacy.

Bolton, who used student deferments and service in the Maryland National Guard to avoid serving in Vietnam, is a classic Chicken Hawk. He supported the Vietnam War and continues to support the war in Iraq. Bolton endorsed preemptive military strikes in North Korea and Iran in recent years, and lobbied for regime change in Cuba, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. When George W. Bush declared an "axis of evil" in 2002 consisting of Iran, Iraq, and North Korea, Bolton added an equally bizarre axis of Cuba, Libya, and Syria.

When Bolton occupied official positions at the Department of State and the United Nations, he regularly ignored assessments of the intelligence community in order to make false arguments regarding weapons of mass destruction in the hands of Cuba and Syria in order to promote the use of force. When serving as President Bush's Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and Disarmament, Bolton ran his own intelligence program, issuing white papers on WMD that lacked support within the intelligence community. He used his own reports to testify to congressional committees in 2002 in effort to justify the use of military force against Iraq.

Bolton presented misinformation to the Congress on a Cuban biological weapons program. When the Central Intelligence Agency challenged the accuracy of Bolton's information in 2003, he was forced to cancel a similar briefing on Syria. In a briefing to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2005, the former chief of intelligence at the Department of State, Carl Ford, referred to Bolton as a "serial abuser" in his efforts to pressure intelligence analysts. Ford testified that he had "never seen anybody quite like Secretary Bolton in terms of the way he abuses his power and authority with little people."

The hearings in 2005 included a statement from a whistleblower, a former contractor at the Agency for International Development, who accused Bolton of using inflammatory language and even throwing objects at her. The whistleblower told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff that Bolton made derogatory remarks about her sexual orientation and weight among other improprieties. The critical testimony against Bolton meant that the Republican-led Foreign Relations Committee couldn't confirm his appointment as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. President Bush made Bolton a recess appointment, which he later regretted.

The United Nations, after all, was an ironic assignment for Bolton, who has been a strong critic of the UN and most international organizations throughout his career because they infringed on the "sovereignty of the United States." In 1994, he stated there was no such thing as the United Nations, but there is an international community that "can be led by the only real power left in the world," the United States. Bolton stated that the "Secretariat Building in New York has 38 stories," and that if it "lost ten stories, it wouldn't make any difference."

Bolton said the "happiest moment" in his political career was when the United States pulled out of the International Criminal Court. Years later, he told the Federalist Society that Bush's withdrawal from the UN's Rome Statute, which created the ICC, was "one of my proudest achievements."

Bolton targeted every arms control and disarmament agreement over the past several decades, and played a major role in abrogating two of the most significant ones. As an arms control official in the Bush administration, he lobbied successfully for the abrogation of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972. As soon as he joined the Trump administration, he went after the Intermediate-Nuclear Forces Treaty, which was abrogated in 2018. He criticized the Nunn-Lugar agreement in the 1990s, which played a key role in the denuclearization of former Soviet republics, and maligned the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons as well as the Iran nuclear accord. He helped to derail the Biological Weapons Conference in Geneva in 2001.

U.S. efforts at diplomatic reconciliation have drawn Bolton's ire. The two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian situation as well as Richard Nixon's one-China policy have been particular targets. He is also a frequent critic of the European Union, and a passionate supporter of Brexit. From 2013 to 2018, he was the chairman of the Gatestone Institute, a well-known anti-Muslim organization. He was the director of the Project for the New American Century, which led the campaign for the use of force against Iraq. The fact that he was a protege of former senator Jesse Helms should come as no surprise.

It is useful to have Bolton's testimony at the climactic moment in the current impeachment trial, but it should't blind us to his deceit and disinformation over his thirty years of opposition to U.S. international diplomacy. As an assistant attorney general in the Reagan administration, he fought against reparations to Japanese-Americans who had been held in internment camps during World War II. Two secretaries of state, Colin Powell and Condi Rice, have accused Bolton with holding back important information on important international issues, and Bolton did his best to sabotage Powell's efforts to pursue negotiations with North Korea. Bolton had a hand in the disinformation campaign against Iraq in the run-up to the U.S. invasion of 2003. The legacy of John Bolton is well established; his manuscript will not alter this legacy. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Melvin Goodman Melvin A. Goodman is a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and a professor of government at Johns Hopkins University. A former CIA analyst, Goodman is the author of Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA and National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism . and A Whistleblower at the CIA . His most recent book is "American Carnage: The Wars of Donald Trump" (Opus Publishing), and he is the author of the forthcoming "The Dangerous National Security State" (2020)." Goodman is the national security columnist for counterpunch.org .

[Jan 31, 2020] Tucker John Bolton has always been a snake

Bolton was appointed by Adelson.
Jan 27, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Bolton's tell-all book leaks during Senate trial. #FoxNews


Yamaha Venture , 3 days ago

Mitt Romney is a joke.

Michael Harvey , 2 days ago

John Bolton wants war everywhere to line his pockets with money.

Stephen C , 1 day ago

The "right" gets the left, but doesn't agree with them. The "left" doesn't understand the "right".

Citizen Se7en , 2 days ago

"Bolton's resignation was one of the highlights of the president's first term." Truer words have never been spoken.

Jack Albright , 2 days ago

This story is also called "the scorpion and the frog".

Ragnar Lothbrok , 3 days ago

John Bolton should be given a helmet and a gun and sent to the next war. Let's see how he likes it.

Stratchona , 1 day ago

Trump.." I don't know John Bolton,never met him,don't know what he does."

Jaret Glenn , 2 days ago

Time to investigate Romney's son working for the oil company in the Ukraine.

Regan Orr , 2 days ago

Romney's Holy Underwear is Cutting off the Blood Supply to his Deep St Brain!

Marjo , 2 days ago (edited)

I never liked Bolton. I sensed he was out for himself, at anyone's expense. War monger too. He had many people fooled.

Shara Kirkby , 3 days ago

Bolton wants war anywhere and forever!

David Dorrell , 1 day ago (edited)

Frickin' Globalist peckerwoods. John Bolton and his pal, Mitt Romney.

Olivier Bolton , 2 days ago

Bolton wanted war so he got the boot...the fact he brings out his book now just looks like vengean$$

Max Liftoff , 2 days ago

2:30 Because Bolton never served in the military he truly passionately loved war :)) LMAO Tucker nailed it.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ , 1 day ago

The left's championing of John Bolton is further proof that TDS has made their minds turn to sludge.

j abe , 3 days ago

Can someone expaine to me how mit romney is still geting votes from ppl

Mark Whitley , 2 days ago

Bolton is a war mongering narcissist that wanted his war, didn't get it, & is now acting like a spoilt child that didn't get his way & is laying on the floor kicking & screaming!

Tim Fronimos , 2 days ago

Regarding John Bolton's book, is this the first book that he's colored. just curious

newuserandhiscrew 22 , 2 days ago

Everyone: Bolton: "take me in oh tender woman, take me in for heaven's sake"

Brittany Ward , 1 day ago

I can't fathom that people actually believe everything the media says!

[Jan 31, 2020] Trump excoriates Bolton in tweets this morning

Highly recommended!
Trump is lying. Bolton was appointed by Adelson and Trump can't refuse Adelson protégé.
Jan 31, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Trump excoriates Bolton in tweets this morning:
"For a guy who couldn't get approved for the Ambassador to the U.N. years ago, couldn't get approved for anything since, 'begged' me for a non Senate approved job, which I gave him despite many saying 'Don't do it, sir,' takes the job, mistakenly says 'Libyan Model' on T.V., and ... many more mistakes of judgement [sic], gets fired because frankly, if I listened to him, we would be in World War Six by now, and goes out and IMMEDIATELY writes a nasty & untrue book. All Classified National Security. Who would do this?"

IMO, Trump is a fantastic POTUS for this day and age, but he wasn't on his A game when he brought Bolton onboard. He should have known better and, was, apparently, warned. Maybe Trump thought he could control him and use him as a threatening pit bull. Mistake. Bolton is greedy as well as vindictive.

Posted by: Eric Newhill | 29 January 2020 at 09:30 AM

[Jan 27, 2020] The Dangers of Conflating and Inflating Interests

Notable quotes:
"... Taylor exaggerates what the conflict is about by saying that Ukraine is defending "the West." That's not true. Ukraine is defending itself. The U.S. does not have a vital interest in this conflict, but Taylor talks about it as if we do. He says that the relationship with Ukraine is "key" to our national security, but that is simply false. To say that it is key to our national security means that we are supposed to believe that it is crucially important to our national security. That suggests that U.S. national security would seriously compromised if that relationship weakened, but that doesn't make any sense. We usually don't even talk about our major treaty allies this way, so what justification is there for describing a relationship with a weak partner government like this? ..."
"... The op-ed reads like a textbook case of clientitis, in which a former U.S. envoy ends up making the Ukrainian government's argument for them ..."
"... To support Ukraine is to support a rules-based international order that enabled major powers in Europe to avoid war for seven decades. It is to support democracy over autocracy. It is to support freedom over unfreedom. Most Americans do. ..."
"... These make for catchy slogans, but they are lousy policy arguments. This rhetoric veers awfully close to saying that you aren't on the side of freedom if you don't support a particular policy option. In my experience, advocates for more aggressive measures use rhetoric like this because the rest of their argument isn't very strong. It is possible to reject illegal military interventions of all governments without wanting to throw weapons at the problem. ..."
"... Taylor has set up the policy argument in such a way that there seems to be no choice, but the U.S. doesn't have to support Ukraine's war effort. He oversells Ukraine's importance to the U.S. to justify U.S. support, because an accurate assessment would make the current policy of arming their government much harder to defend. Ukraine isn't really that important to U.S. security and our security doesn't require us to provide military assistance to them. Of course, our government has chosen to do it anyway, but this is just one more optional entanglement that the U.S. could have avoided without jeopardizing American or allied security. ..."
Jan 27, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

ormer ambassador William Taylor wrote an op-ed on Ukraine in an attempt to answer Pompeo's question about whether Americans care about Ukraine. It is not very persuasive. For one thing, he starts off by exaggerating the importance of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine to make it seem as if the U.S. has a major stake in the outcome:

Here's why the answer should be yes: Ukraine is defending itself and the West against Russian attack. If Ukraine succeeds, we succeed. The relationship between the United States and Ukraine is key to our national security, and Americans should care about Ukraine.

Taylor exaggerates what the conflict is about by saying that Ukraine is defending "the West." That's not true. Ukraine is defending itself. The U.S. does not have a vital interest in this conflict, but Taylor talks about it as if we do. He says that the relationship with Ukraine is "key" to our national security, but that is simply false. To say that it is key to our national security means that we are supposed to believe that it is crucially important to our national security. That suggests that U.S. national security would seriously compromised if that relationship weakened, but that doesn't make any sense. We usually don't even talk about our major treaty allies this way, so what justification is there for describing a relationship with a weak partner government like this?

The op-ed reads like a textbook case of clientitis, in which a former U.S. envoy ends up making the Ukrainian government's argument for them. The danger of exaggerating U.S. interests and conflating them with Ukraine's is that we fool ourselves into thinking that we are acting out of necessity and in our own defense when we are really choosing to take sides in a conflict that does not affect our security. This is the kind of thinking that encourages people to spout nonsense about "fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them here." If we view Ukraine as "the front line" of a larger struggle, that will also make it more difficult to resolve the conflict. When a local conflict is turned into a proxy fight between great powers, the local people will be the ones made to suffer to serve the ambitions of the patrons. Once the U.S. insists that its own security is bound up with the outcome of this conflict, there is an incentive to be considered the "winner," but the reality is that Ukraine will always matter less to the U.S. than it does to Russia.

If this relationship were so important to U.S. security, how is it that the U.S. managed to get along just fine for decades after the end of the Cold War when that relationship was not particularly strong? As recently as the Obama administration, our government did not consider Ukraine to be important enough to supply with weapons. Ukraine was viewed correctly as being of peripheral interest to the U.S., and nothing has changed in the years since then to make it more important.

Taylor keeps repeating that "Ukraine is the front line" in a larger conflict between Russia and the West, but that becomes true only if Western governments choose to treat it as one. He concludes his op-ed with a series of ideological assertions:

To support Ukraine is to support a rules-based international order that enabled major powers in Europe to avoid war for seven decades. It is to support democracy over autocracy. It is to support freedom over unfreedom. Most Americans do.

These make for catchy slogans, but they are lousy policy arguments. This rhetoric veers awfully close to saying that you aren't on the side of freedom if you don't support a particular policy option. In my experience, advocates for more aggressive measures use rhetoric like this because the rest of their argument isn't very strong. It is possible to reject illegal military interventions of all governments without wanting to throw weapons at the problem.

Taylor has set up the policy argument in such a way that there seems to be no choice, but the U.S. doesn't have to support Ukraine's war effort. He oversells Ukraine's importance to the U.S. to justify U.S. support, because an accurate assessment would make the current policy of arming their government much harder to defend. Ukraine isn't really that important to U.S. security and our security doesn't require us to provide military assistance to them. Of course, our government has chosen to do it anyway, but this is just one more optional entanglement that the U.S. could have avoided without jeopardizing American or allied security.

[Jan 22, 2020] Trump is Right Afghanistan is a 'Loser War'

Notable quotes:
"... Washington Post ..."
"... A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump's Testing of America ..."
"... But it was and is true. Indeed, when I visited Afghanistan back when U.S. troop levels were near their highest, "off camera," so to speak, military folks were quite skeptical of the war. So were Afghans, who had little good to say about their Washington-created and -supported government unless they were collecting a paycheck from it. An incoming president could be forgiven for suspecting that his predecessor had poured more troops into the conflict only to put off its failure until after he'd left office. ..."
"... Accounts like that from Rucker and Leonnig are beloved by the Blob. America's role is to dominate the globe, irrespective of cost. Those officials pursuing this objective, no matter how poorly, are lauded. Any politician challenging Washington's global mission is derided. ..."
"... President Trump has done much wrong. However, he deserves credit for challenging a failed foreign policy that's been paid for by so many while benefiting so few. It is "crazy" and "stupid," as he reportedly said. Why should Americans keep dying for causes that their leaders cannot adequately explain, let alone justify? Let us hope that one day Americans elect a president who will act and not just talk. ..."
Jan 22, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

fter three years of the Trump presidency, the Washington Post is breathlessly reporting that Donald Trump is a boor who insults everyone, including generals used to respect and even veneration. He's had the impertinence to ask critical questions of his military briefers. For shame!

President Trump's limitations have been long evident. The Post 's discussion, adapted by Carol D. Leonnig and Philip Rucker from their upcoming book, A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump's Testing of America , adds color, not substance, to this concern. It seems that in the summer of 2017, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and others were concerned about the president's international ignorance and organized a briefing at the Pentagon to enlighten him.

Was that a worthwhile mission? Sure. Everyone in the policy world marvels at the president's lack of curiosity, absent knowledge, bizarre assumptions, and perverse conclusions. He doesn't get trade, bizarrely celebrates dictatorship, fixates on Iran, doesn't understand agreements, acts on impulse, and exudes absolute certainty. Yet he also captures the essence of issues and shares a set of inchoate beliefs held by millions of Americans, especially those who feel ignored, insulted, disparaged, and dismissed. Most important, he was elected with a mandate to move policy away from the bipartisan globalist conventional wisdom.

The latter was evidently the main concern of these briefers. The presentation as described by the article exuded condescension. That attitude very likely was evident to Trump. The briefing was intended to inform, but even more so to establish his aides' control over him. While they bridled at Trump's manners, they were even more opposed to his substantive opinions. And that made the briefing sound like a carefully choreographed attack on his worldview.

For instance, Mattis used charts with lots of dollar signs "to impress upon [the president] the value of U.S. investments abroad. [Mattis] sought to explain why U.S. troops were deployed in so many regions and why America's safety hinged on a complex web of trade deals, alliances, and bases across the globe." Notably, Mattis "then gave a 20-minute briefing on the power of the NATO alliance to stabilize Europe and keep the United States safe."

No doubt Secretary Mattis sincerely believed all that. However, it was an argument more appropriately made in 1950 or 1960. The world has since changed dramatically.

Of course, this is also the position of the Blob, Ben Rhodes' wonderful label for the Washington foreign policymaking community. What has ever been must ever be, is the Blob's informal mantra. America's lot in life, no matter how many average folks must die, is to litter the globe with bases, ships, planes, and troops to fight endless wars, some big, some small, to make the world safe for democracy, sometimes, and autocracy, otherwise. If America ever stops fulfilling what seems to be the modern equivalent of Rudyard Kipling's infamous "white man's burden," order will collapse, authoritarianism will advance, trade will disappear, conflict will multiply, countries will be conquered, friends will become enemies, allies will defect, terrorists will strike, liberal values will be discarded, all that is good and wonderful will disappear, and a new dark age will envelope the earth.

Trump is remarkably ignorant of the facts, but he does possess a commonsensical skepticism of the utter nonsense that gets promoted as unchallengeable conventional wisdom. As a result, he understood that this weltanschauung, a word he would never use, was an absolute fantasy. And he showed it by the questions he asked.

For instance, he challenged the defense guarantee for South Korea. "We should charge them rent," he blurted out. "We should make them pay for our soldiers." Although treating American military personnel like mercenaries is the wrong approach, he is right that there is no need to protect the Republic of Korea. The Korean War ended 67 years ago. The South has twice the population and, by the latest estimate, 54 times the economy of the North. Why is Seoul still dependent on America?

If the Blob has its way, the U.S. will pay to defend the ROK forever. Analysts speak of the need for Americans to stick around even after reunification. It seems there is no circumstance under which they imagine Washington not garrisoning the peninsula. Why is America, born of revolution, now acting like an imperial power that must impose its military might everywhere?

Even more forcefully, it appeared, did Trump express his hostile views of Europe and NATO. Sure, he appeared to mistakenly believe that there was an alliance budget that European governments had failed to fund. But World War II ended 70 years ago. The Europeans recovered, the Soviet Union collapsed, and Eastern Europeans joined NATO. Why is Washington expected to subsidize a continent with a larger population than, and economy equivalent to, America's, and far larger than Russia's? Mattis apparently offered the standard bromides, such as "This is what keeps us safe."

How? Does he imagine that without Washington's European presence, Russia would roll its tanks and march to the Atlantic Ocean? And from there launch a global pincer movement to invade North America? How does adding such behemoths as Montenegro keep the U.S. "safe"? What does initiating a military confrontation with Moscow over Ukraine, historically part of the Russian Empire and Soviet Union, have to do with keeping Americans "safe"? The argument is self-evidently not just false but ridiculous.

Justifying endless wars is even tougher. Rucker and Leonnig do not report what the president said about Syria, which apparently was part of Mattis's brief. However, Trump's skepticism is evident from his later policy gyrations. Why would any sane Washington policymaker insist that America intervene militarily in a multi-sided civil war in a country of no significant security interest to the U.S. on the side of jihadists and affiliates of al-Qaeda? And stick around illegally as the conflict wound down? To call this policy stupid is too polite.

Even more explosive was the question of Afghanistan, to which the president did speak, apparently quite dismissively. Unsurprisingly, he asked why the U.S. had not won after 16 years -- which is longer than the Civil War, World Wars I and II, and the Korean War combined. He also termed Afghanistan a "loser war." By Rucker's and Leonnig's telling, this did not go over well: "That phrase hung in the air and disgusted not only the military men and women in uniform sitting along the back wall behind their principals. They all were sworn to obey their commander in chief's commands, and here he was calling the way they had been fighting a loser war."

But it was and is true. Indeed, when I visited Afghanistan back when U.S. troop levels were near their highest, "off camera," so to speak, military folks were quite skeptical of the war. So were Afghans, who had little good to say about their Washington-created and -supported government unless they were collecting a paycheck from it. An incoming president could be forgiven for suspecting that his predecessor had poured more troops into the conflict only to put off its failure until after he'd left office.

The fault does not belong to combat personnel, but to political leaders and complicit generals, who have misled if not lied in presenting a fairy tale perspective on the conflict's progress and prognosis. And for what? Central Asia is not and never will be a vital issue of American security. Afghanistan has nothing to do with terrorism other than its having hosting al-Qaeda two decades ago. Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan. In recent years, it's Yemen that's hosted the most dangerous national affiliate of al-Qaeda. So why are U.S. troops still in Afghanistan?

Accounts like that from Rucker and Leonnig are beloved by the Blob. America's role is to dominate the globe, irrespective of cost. Those officials pursuing this objective, no matter how poorly, are lauded. Any politician challenging Washington's global mission is derided.

President Trump has done much wrong. However, he deserves credit for challenging a failed foreign policy that's been paid for by so many while benefiting so few. It is "crazy" and "stupid," as he reportedly said. Why should Americans keep dying for causes that their leaders cannot adequately explain, let alone justify? Let us hope that one day Americans elect a president who will act and not just talk.

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. He is a former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan and author of several books, including Foreign Follies: America's New Global Empire .

[Jan 21, 2020] Neocon foreign policy based on Full spectrum Dominance doctrine does not proceed well. Americans have been deceived by this militaristic doctrine, gangsterism in forign policy is not going to work

Jan 21, 2020 | www.unz.com

UncommonGround , says: Show Comment January 19, 2020 at 12:54 pm GMT

There were brutal sanctions against Iraq in the 90s. After that the country was devastated by the invasion of 2003. Hostility against Iran has been continuous. It's no suprise that things are not going well in the region and that American politics failed. But this was to be expected.

Good relations with Iran were possible. Even recently Iran thought that the nuclear agreement could lead to better relations with the West. Iran should be our best ally in the region because the middle classes there feel close to the West and are very friendly with Westerners who visit the country. We could have had better results if we had tryed a more reasonable politics. But it seems that there were other forces that wanted conflict with Iran and the destruction of Iraq independently of the interests of the US which would have gained from a more reasonable position. We can say the same about Russia.

After wars and sanctions the only way to hold everything together is through military means. There was as doctrine which promoted unbridled militarism and the use of force (wasn't there a saying that "Americans are from Mars, Europeans from Venus"?). Everybody who didn't submit to our rules and interests was viewed as an enemy, military force was seen as the solution to everything.

This is not functioning well. Americans have been decieved by this militaristic doctrine, this is not going to work. Russia has challenged this, a part of Europe isn't very happy, in South America you can only run the system ressorting to radical politicians like Bolsonaro who destroy the environment and create more poverty, in other places this politics created instability and enemies. I think it should be the time for the American elites to discuss seriously the ways that the country has been following simply because there are better ways to have better results.

Franklin Ryckaert , says: Show Comment January 20, 2020 at 7:10 am GMT
@anonymous Yes, for the American Empire to exist (and expand) it needs the Petro-dollar, because only if it is widely used in the world can its collapse be prevented. But why is the dollar so shaky? Because it is no real money, based on real value, but created out of thin air as debt and it can only function in an ever expanding pyramid scheme.

The origin of this fraud is the creation of the Federal Reserve Bank in 1913. And yes that was mainly a Jewish creation. Nobody, not even Ron Paul, dares to mention that.

Miro23 , says: Show Comment January 20, 2020 at 8:11 am GMT

Iraq's decision to dramatically increase its oil exports to China came just one day after the U.S. government threatened to cut off Iraq's access to its central bank account, currently held at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, an account that currently holds $35 billion in Iraqi oil revenue. The account was set up after the U.S. invaded and began occupying Iraq in 2003 and Iraq currently removes between $1-2 billion per month to cover essential government expenses. Losing access to its oil revenue stored in that account would lead to the "collapse" of Iraq's government, according to Iraqi government officials who spoke to AFP.

A very revealing article.

It doesn't make sense for any country to hold reserves in the US. The Zio-Glob CIA gangsters are ready to defraud or smash up any country that challenges their petrodollar system. Witness Iraq, Libya, Venezuela, Iran and their hostility to Russia and China.

Truth Jihad , says: Show Comment January 20, 2020 at 1:43 pm GMT
Iraqi officials say around $35 billion of the country's oil revenues are held at the US Federal Reserve, which means Washington's threat to restrict access could be a major problem
https://www.afp.com/en/news/15/iraq-warns-collapse-if-trump-blocks-oil-cash-doc-1nn3l14
Greg Bacon , says: Website Show Comment January 20, 2020 at 1:55 pm GMT
Hidden? Revealed?

You don't need to twist yourself into a pretzel to figure out why Trump whacked –the Mafia term–Soleimani.
Jared the Snake's Tel Aviv masters told him they wanted Zion Don to pull the trigger and their will was done.

I voted for a President Trump and instead, got President Shecky, beholden to Jew and Israeli interests who has bent over backwards to please the Israeli terrorists, but who will now go back to his old shtick; pretending to be MAGA or KAG until he gets re-elected, then it will be gloves off and most likely, another War for Israel and Wall Street in 2021.

Having an Israeli-Firster in the WH isn't unusual, but when you have a vain simpleton who doesn't understand foreign policy or is so damned lazy, he lets a slumlord take care of it is a prescription for a major disaster.

[Jan 21, 2020] The Geopolitics Of Epistemological Warfare From Babylon To Neocon

Jan 21, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

The Geopolitics Of Epistemological Warfare: From Babylon To Neocon by Tyler Durden Tue, 01/21/2020 - 00:00 0 SHARES

Authored by Matthew Ehret via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

I think any sane human being can agree that while war was never a good idea, war in the 21st century is an absolutely intolerable one. The problem we currently face is that many of the forces driving world events towards an all-out war of "Mutually Assured Annihilation" are anything but sane.

While I'm obviously referring here to a certain category of people who fall under a particularly virulent strain of imperial thinking which can be labelled "neo-conservative" and while many of these disturbing figures honestly believe that a total war of annihilation is a risk worth taking in order to achieve their goals of total global hegemony, I would like to make one subtle yet very important distinction which is often overlooked.

What is this distinction?

Under the broad umbrella of "neo-conservative" one should properly differentiate those who really believe in their ideology and are trapped under the invisible cage of its unexamined assumptions vs. that smaller yet more important segment that created and manages the ideology from the top. I brushed on this grouping in a recent 3 part study called Origins of the Deep State and Myth of the Jewish Conspiracy .

To re-state my meaning: This group doesn't necessarily believe in the ideological group they manage any more than a parent believes in that tooth fairy which they promote in order to achieve certain behavioral patterns in their children.

While belief in the tooth fairy is slightly less destructive than belief in a misanthropic neocon worldview of a Bolton, Pompeo or Cheney, the analogy is useful to communicate the point.

Cult Managers: Ancient Babylon and Now

Modern ideology-shapers serve the same role as those ancient high priests of Babylon, Persia and Rome who managed the many cults and countless pagan mystery religions recorded throughout the ages. It is well documented that any cult could comfortably exist under Rome's control, as long as said cult denied any claim to objective truthfulness- making the rise of Abrahamic monotheistic faiths more than a little antagonistic to empire.

Did the high priests necessarily BELIEVE in those dogmas which they created and managed?

Hell no.

Was it politically necessary to create them?

Of course.

Why?

Because an Empire, like everything in the world, exist as a whole with parts but since they deny any principle of natural law (justice, love, goodness, etc) , empires are merely a sum of parts and their rules of organization can be nothing but zero sum. Each cultish group may coexist as an echo chamber alongside other groups sacrificing to whatever deity they wish without judgement of moral right or wrong bounded only by a common blind faith in their group's beliefs- but nothing universal about justice, creative reason, or human nature is otherwise permitted. Here the a-moral "peace" of "equilibrium" can be achieved by an oligarchy which wishes to lord over the slaves. Whether we are dealing with Caesar Augustus, Lord Metternich's Congress of Vienna, Aldous Huxley, Sir Henry Kissinger, or Leo Strauss (father of modern neo-conservativism), "Peace" can never be anything more than a mathematical "balancing of parts".

Now it is a good moment to ask: What does this phenomenon look like in our modern age?

To answer this, let us leap over a couple of millennia and take a look at something a bit more personal: Adam Smith and the doctrine of free trade.

Smith at Her Majesty's Service

Do Smith's modern followers sincerely believe in the "self-regulating forces of the free market"?

Sure they do.

Did Adam Smith actually believe in his own system?

Whether he did or not, according to recent research conducted by historian Jeffrey Steinberg, Smith received his commission to compose his seminal book Wealth of Nations (published 1776) while riding with Lord Shelburne himself in a carriage ride from Edinburgh to London in 1763. The date 1776 is not a coincidence as this was the same Lord Shelburne who essentially managed the British Empire during the American Revolution and who always despised all colonial aspirations to use protective tariffs, emit productive credit or channel said credit towards internal improvements as Benjamin Franklin had championed in his 1729 Necessity of Paper Currency and Colonial Script.

Why develop Industry, asked Smith, when the new "Law" of "absolute advantage" demanded that everyone just do what they are good at for the best price possible? America has a lot of land, so they should stick with agriculture and slave-driven cotton. Britain had a lot of industry (don't ask how that happened because it wasn't through free trade), so they should stick with that! India had advanced textiles, but Britain had to destroy that so that India could then have a lot of opium fields so she could do that which China could then smoke to death under the watch of British Gunships. "Free Trade" demanded it so.

Let's look at another example: Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection

A Not-too-Natural Selection

Darwin's theory published in his Origins of Species (1859) was based on the assumption that all changes in the biosphere are driven by "laws" of "survival of the fittest" within an assumed closed ecosystem of diminishing returns. Just as Smith asserted that an "invisible hand" brought creative order to the chaos of unregulated vice and self-interest, Darwin asserted that creative order on the large scale evolution of species could be explained by chaotic mutations on the micro level beyond a wall that no power of reason, free will or God could pass.

Did Charles Darwin believe his system? Probably.

But how about Thomas Huxley (aka: "Darwin's Bulldog") whose efforts to destroy all competing theories which included "purpose", "meaning", or "design" were crushed and ridiculed into obscurity? Huxley himself was on record saying he did not believe in Darwin's system. So why was this theory promoted by forces (like Huxley's X Club ) who recognized its many flaws? Well, here again it helps to refer to Darwin's own account of his discovery from his autobiography where he wrote:

"In October 1838, fifteen months after I had begun my systematic inquiry, I happened to read for amusement Malthus on Population, and being prepared to appreciate the struggle for existence which everywhere goes on, from long-continued observation of the habits of animals and plants, it at once struck me that under these circumstances favourable variations would tend to be preserved, and unfavourable ones to be destroyed. The result would be the formation of a new species. Here then, I had at last got a theory by which to work".

Malthus's 'Dismal Science'

And here we have it! Reverend Thomas Malthus (the cold hearted "Man of God" who taught economics at the British East India Company's Haileybury College) provided the very foundation upon which Darwin's system stood! Thomas Huxley and the other "high priests" of Huxley's X Club were always Malthusian (even before there was Malthus) since empires have always been more focused on monopolizing the finite resources of an age, rather than encouraging creative discoveries and new inventions which would bring new resources into being- overcoming nature's "limits to growth" (a dis-equilibrium not to be tolerated). Whether Malthus actually believed in the system which bears his name, as generations of his adherents sincerely do, remains to be seen. However his own awareness of the needed extermination of the "unfit" by the Ubermenschen of the British Aristocracy preceded Social Darwinism by a full century when he coldly called for the encouragement of the plague and other "natural forms of destruction" to cull the herd of the unfit in his Essay on the Principle of Population ( 1799):

"We should facilitate, instead of foolishly and vainly endeavoring to impede, the operations of nature in producing this mortality; and if we dread the too frequent visitation of the horrid form of famine, we should sedulously encourage the other forms of destruction, which we compel nature to use. In our towns we should make the streets narrower, crowd more people into the houses, and court the return of the plague."

A little later, Malthus even argued for the early extermination of poor babies who were of low value to society when he said:

"I should propose a regulation to be made, declaring that no child born from any marriage taking place after the expiration of a year from the date of the law, and no illegitimate child born two years from the same date, should ever be entitled to parish assistance The infant is, comparatively speaking, of little value to society, as others will immediately supply its place."

The neo-Malthusian revivalists such as Princes Bernhardt, Philip Mountbatten and Huxley's own grandson Sir Julian who birthed the misanthropic deformity today called the Green New Deal were not ignorant to this tradition. The disastrous effect of this worldview upon races deemed "unfit" in the global south should also not be ignored. It is no coincidence that those three neo-Malthusian oligarchs founded the World Wildlife Fund, 1001 Nature Trust and Club of Rome which imposed a technological apartheid upon the third world over the bodies of countless statesmen during the Cold War.

The Danger of Creative Thought to an Empire

Encouraging creative thought and cooperation among diverse nations, linguistic, religious and ethnic groups tends to result in new uncontrolled systems of potential as humanity increases its capacity to sustain itself while imperial systems lose their ability to parasitically drain their host. In Lincoln's great 1859 speech , the martyred leader stood up against this Malthusian paradigm endemic of the British Empire when he said:

"All creation is a mine, and every man, a miner. The whole earth, and all within it, upon it, and round about it, including himself, in his physical, moral, and intellectual nature, and his susceptibilities, are the infinitely various "leads" from which, man, from the first, was to dig out his destiny Man is not the only animal who labors; but he is the only one who improves his workmanship. This improvement, he effects by Discoveries, and Inventions."

Lincoln's economic commitments to protective tariffs, state credit (greenbacks) and internal improvements are inextricably linked to this view of man also shared by the earlier Ben Franklin.

Today, the positive paradigm which Lincoln died to defend is most clearly represented by the leaders of such nations as Russia and China- both of whom have come out repeatedly attacking the post-truth neo-liberal order and also the win-lose philosophy of Hobbesian geopolitics. The folly of America's new dance with impeachment and the neocon hand shaping Trump's disastrous foreign policy agenda is tied to the oligarchy's absolute fear of losing America to a new Eurasian partnership which Trump has promoted repeatedly since entering office in 2017.

Xi Jinping and Putin have not only responded to this obsolete system by creating an alternative system of win-win cooperation driven by unbounded scientific and technological progress but they have also managed to expose the Achilles heal of the empire. These statesmen have demonstrated a clear recognition that those ideologies ranging from neo-liberalism to neo-conservativism are entirely unsustainable, and defeatable (but not militarily) . Xi expressed this insight most clearly during his recent trip to Greece.

Even though leaders like Putin and Xi understand this, citizens of the west will continue to be woefully unequipped to either make sense of these chaotic systems of belief, extract them from their own hearts if they are so contaminated or resist them effectively, without understanding that those who fabricated and manage these belief structures never truly believed in them.

Neoconservative founding fathers such as Leo Strauss, Sir Henry Kissinger and Sir Bernard Lewis absolutely never believed in the ideologies their cultish golems like Bolton, Cheney or Kristol have adhered to so religiously. Their belief was only that the sum-of-parts called humanity must ultimately be governed by a Hobbesian Leviathan (aka: a new globalized Roman Empire), and that Leviathan could only be created in response to an intolerably painful period of chaos which their twisted tooth fairies would usher into this world.

[Jan 19, 2020] Anyone who has studied the history of the Third Reich would note a curious similarity between Germany s behaviour under Hitler and the current behaviour of the US both internally and externally

Highly recommended!
Looks like Trump engaged his chances for reelection by killing Soleimani: he lost part of military votes and all anti-war-republican votes in one broad stroke. The core voters will remain but the question is whether there are enough of them. Please remember that part of sunders supports also voted for Trump. This will never happen again. Add to this desgrunted famers and Trump chances are considerably lower then in 2016, when his victory was a big surprise.
Due to impeachment his chances will increase, as impeachment definitely mobilize his base and he might even manage to get back some anti-war republican s and independents, but still his situation is rather complex. The impartment charged produced by the Schiff-Pelosi gang are fake and people understand that. The real impeachment ground -- killing high level Iran military officer on diplomatic mission as well as Douma false flag bombing of Syrian objects -- exists, but Dems are too complicit to use it.
Impeachment and Trump 2020 Will it destroy or boost re-election chances
Notable quotes:
"... Anyone who has studied the history of the Third Reich would note a curious similarity between Germany's behaviour under Hitler and the current behaviour of the US both internally and externally. ..."
"... The argument is correct. (Although the mafia label bespeaks a limited frame of reference and it's inappropriate in any event -- crime families do not have the reach or power of state assassination squads.) ..."
"... The truth of it is Trump murdered General Soleimani because the general was very effective in defeating ISIS - the U.S. created and funded - terrorists in Syria and Iraq. The neocons were none too pleased. ..."
"... In short, President Trump was engaged in months of what can best be described as gangsternomics in directing the course of Iraq's future economic and political development.[/] ..."
"... Iraq's importance goes much farther than just protecting the petrodollar to the U.S. It is the fulcrum now on which the entire U.S. defense against Eurasian integration rests. The entire region is slipping out of the grasp of the U.S. ..."
"... Trump's crude gangster tactics in Iraq, Venezuela, Bolivia and to a lesser extent in Syria cannot be hidden behind the false veil of moral preening and virtue signaling about bringing democracy to these benighted places.[/] ..."
"... Gangsternomics seems a good term for Trump's vision of US world power. Trump is pragmatic or realist in that he knows there is no court or authority to hold the US to account. ..."
"... This demonstrates that US attacks in Iraq over the last 30-40 years was mostly about the control (including transportation routes) and than profiting from its oil and gas reserves. ..."
"... A secondary reason is to put troop on the border with Iran to further destabilize it via state terrorism to overthrow the government and then take its oil and gas too. ..."
"... The Kurdish President of Iraq has stated that "Out of an eagerness to spare blood and preserve civil peace, I apologize for not naming Edani prime minister," the letter continued. "I am ready to submit my resignation to parliament." ..."
"... "Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr demanded that Iraqis stage a "million-man march" against the continued US military presence in the country" ..."
"... I believe Trump needs to be thought of as a CEO brought in to pull a company back from the edge of bankruptcy. I think that is the way he sees himself, and as I have put in previous comments, there are no rules. ..."
"... Basically, the value of the dollar that is low enough to re-industrialize America is far below the tipping point that would trigger a global sell-off of dollars. How could that mass sell-off be prevented? Threatening to nuke any country whose central bank sells their dollar reserves? ..."
"... the Gangsternomics have been going on for some time as chronicled in 'Shock Doctrine' and 'Confessions of an Economic Hitman'. ..."
"... the assassination plans and techniques by the exceptionalists... just ask the Cuban aides of Fidel Castro. Most of them alive today. They have a a helluva expertise on this business having foiled them for over 45 years. Against all odds cause at 90 miles from the enemy, the logistics were vastly against the cubans. ..."
Jan 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Dick , Jan 18 2020 23:25 utc | 44

Anyone who has studied the history of the Third Reich would note a curious similarity between Germany's behaviour under Hitler and the current behaviour of the US both internally and externally. Is it just me, or have other's noted the similarity of Pompeo to Herman Goering in looks and behaviour?

Likklemore , Jan 19 2020 0:10 utc | 49

I recall RT reported on December 31. 19 Trump warned

LINK

"This is not a Warning, it is a Threat," Trump declared in a tweet on Tuesday afternoon, adding that Iran will "pay a very BIG PRICE" for the embassy siege earlier in the day."

They sure did. So who is next? Yesterday Trump warned the supreme leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khameni:

'Be very careful with your words': Trump warns Iran's Khamenei after ayatollah delivers fiery sermon slamming 'American clowns'

US President Donald Trump has warned the supreme leader of Iran to watch his language, following a heated sermon in which Ayatollah Ali Khamenei slammed American leaders as "clowns."

Leading a prayer in Tehran on Friday, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei boasted that Iran had the "spirit to slap an arrogant, aggressive global power" in its retaliation to the assassination of Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani, which he said struck a "serious blow" to Washington's "dignity" – triggering a response from the US president.

"The so-called 'Supreme Leader' of Iran, who has not been so Supreme lately, had some nasty things to say about the United States and Europe," Trump tweeted. "Their economy is crashing, and their people are suffering. He should be very careful with his words!"

In his sermon, Khamenei blasted "American clowns," who he said "lie in utter viciousness that they stand with the Iranian people," referring to recent comments by Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

How dare he?

Pft , Jan 19 2020 0:28 utc | 50
Lets face it, assassinations are not a new thing. It became more organized with Lord Palmerstons gangs of thugs in the mid 19th century (one of which took out Lincoln) . Since the end of WWII the global mafia jumped across the pond and assassinations have been covert actions arranged by the CIA , with operations having a high degree of plausible deniability. But most higher ups had a pretty good idea who was behind it . Trumps just continued this but like Bush and Obama have made clear its their right to do so against terrorists . Of course the definition of terrorist has become rather broad. Trump recently said he authorized the hit because he said bad things about America. Maybe saying bad things about Trump can get you labelled the same. Watch out for those drones barflies.

So basically the main change is they no longer care about plausible deniability . They are proud to admit it. And nobody seems to care enough to express any outrage. Name any countries leader who has except in muted terms. Europe, Russia, China, etc everyone quiet as a mouse. China so outraged they signed a trade deal giving them nothing. UN? Might as well move it to Cuba , Iran or Venezuela for all the clout it has.

So you know, maybe the deterrence is working. Terrorism works both ways. The world seems terrorized and hardly anyone in the US dares criticize Trumps action without saying the general was evil and deserved it. Its not just drones they fear as financial terrorism (sanctions, denied access to USD) works quite well also (except in Irans case).

ChasMark , Jan 19 2020 0:30 utc | 51
james | Jan 18 2020 20:28 utc | 17

The argument is correct. (Although the mafia label bespeaks a limited frame of reference and it's inappropriate in any event -- crime families do not have the reach or power of state assassination squads.)

Ferencz does not have the moral standing to make the argument. It's like granting Ted Bundy credibility for criticizing police brutality.

Likklemore , Jan 19 2020 0:44 utc | 56

The truth of it is Trump murdered General Soleimani because the general was very effective in defeating ISIS - the U.S. created and funded - terrorists in Syria and Iraq. The neocons were none too pleased.

Release Jan.18 2020 21st centurywire audio Interview with Dr. Mohammad Marandi, Tehran University

America's Miscalculation with Iran

LINK

@ ChasMark 7 - not an ounce of integrity! Trump or Ferencz?

How is it I posted days ago that link to Ferencz's letter to New York Times and not a pips. Are you defending Trump's war crimes as against bringing the Nazis to justice?

How about the U.S. waterboarding and torturing Muslims at Gitmo? 19 years on with NO TRIALS!!! That's OK, right?

karlof1 , Jan 19 2020 0:58 utc | 57
As far as b's premise goes, he's proven it IMO. Looks like the CIA made the next move in Lebanon. IMO, Asia plus Russia & Belarus hold the geoeconomic and geopolitical deterrence cards. The Financial Parasite continues hollowing out what remains of US industry and retail helped along by Trump's Trade War. I presented the fundamental economic info and arguments on the prior threads, so I don't have anything to add.
pretzelattack , Jan 19 2020 1:08 utc | 58
the price of fake freedom is remaining ever vigilant to prevent peace breaking out. trump's as much a warmonger as any of them (which is to say impeachment won't make a bit of difference).
Likklemore , Jan 19 2020 1:27 utc | 59
F. William Engdahl asks,

Unintended Consequences: Did Trump just give the Middle East to China and Russia?

[Before] the US assassination of Soleimani, there were numerous back-channel efforts for détente in the costly wars that have raged across the region since the US-instigated Arab Spring between Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Iran and Iraq. Russia and China have both in different ways been playing a key role in changing the geopolitical tensions. At this juncture the credibility of Washington as any honest partner is effectively zero if not minus.

[.] The US president just tweeted his support for renewed anti-government Iran protests, in Farsi. We are clearly in for some very nasty trouble in the Middle East as Washington tries to deal with the unintended consequences of its recent Middle East actions.[.]

Run home as fast as you can. In this election year, an observation; 10% of companies are losing money but thanks to the Feds, the Markets are making ATH ...all time highs. On main street Joe and Jane are in a well of hurt "it's the economy, stupid."

Copeland , Jan 19 2020 1:28 utc | 60
There is nothing ambiguous about Pompeo's statement. It is evidence of a profound psychotic break. It is a megalomaniac delusion of godlike power, a deterance not attainable on a human scale. "In all cases, we have to do this."

The masters of the universe will kill those who do not comply. The projection of their psychic power to intimidate the world goes well beyond Iraq and Iran, brushing aside all the little insubstantial nations that are constantly underfoot. Russia and China are to take heed now, it is they too who must sleep with one eye open. The deterrence necessary to keep us all safe means to go ahead and challenge those islands China built in the South China Sea.

The smiling villains do not accept that Crimea is part of Russia. Pompeo compares Soleimani to bin Laden. There are so many departures from reality in the speech amidst all the levity that it seems like someone has opened the doors of the Asylum.

ak74 , Jan 19 2020 2:13 utc | 62
In the Orwellian value system of America, Mike Pompeo's idea of "deterrence" is really NewSpeak for America's brazen war crimes, wars of aggression, and shredding of international law.

America is a mafia nation masquerading as a democracy.

And Donald Trump is a two-bit New York mafioso don in charge of this America Mafia state.

Circe , Jan 19 2020 3:03 utc | 67
Trump recounts minute by minute details of Soleimani assassination at a fundraiser held at his Florida resort. Cause that's what normal people do; brag about murdering someone. I'll bet his fat cat Zionist friends emptied their coffers. SICK.

trump-brags-killed-2-for-price-of-1

Jackrabbit , Jan 19 2020 3:09 utc | 68
ak74 @62: Mike Pompeo's idea of "deterrence" is really NewSpeak ...

Exactly. And we might add:

"America First" means America is the Empire's Fist;

"Stand with the people of " is 'New World Order' psyop;

"Economic sanctions" is the economic part of hybrid warfare;

"War on terror" is the war on ALL enemies of the empire via terrorist destabilization;

"Russiagate" is McCarthyist war on dissent;

"Trump" is the latest dear leader whose flaws are blessings and whose 'gut instinct' is God's will. We know this because his fake enemies (like the Democrats, "fake news", and ISIS) always fail when they confront him.


!!
tjfxh , Jan 19 2020 3:54 utc | 76 Why does anyone gives either the president or US officials credence regarding what they say, especially Secretary Pompeo, not to mention POTUS? Taking Pompeo at this word and responding to it strikes me as a waste of time. These people are never going to say publicly what they are up to, which is world domination. Nor is it their own ideal. This has been the policy of the US elite at least since WWII, which was simply a transfer of the seat of power from London to Washington as the British Empire morphed into the Anglo-American Empire. Global domination through sea power was British policy for centuries and the US just recently joining the game, especially when the game expanded to air power as well. Arguably, this goes back to the end of WWI, if not the Spanish-American war that embarked the US on empire.
Peter AU1 , Jan 19 2020 4:39 utc | 78
Deterrence, I guess is the politically correct term for what Trump is doing. He sees that the Dollar hegemonic empire was crumbling same as most who don't rely on MSM for their news. Trump believes US can hold its position in the world through pure military power, or the threat of military power.

He wants to regain what he calls importance from early 90s when US was sole undisputed superpower. Iran though, he believes is a blot on USA's past that needs erasing. Throughout the election campaign, Trump's big thing was rebuilding US military. He believes this will restore US power in the world. Ruling through the world fear rather than soft power and blackmail.

ak74 , Jan 19 2020 5:09 utc | 81
The basis of the American Empire and its parasitic economy and Way of Life(TM) itself are premised on what should be called America's Dollar Dictatorship.

Because of the US Dollar, America is able to wage economic siege warfare (aka economic sanctions) on multiple nations around the planet--all in order to impose the Land of the Free's imperial dictates on them.

This is American global gangsterism in everything but name--and disguised behind the founding American deceptions of "Freedom and Democracy."

The vast majority Americans--including some fake "alternative media" shills--will attempt to spindoctor this issue by avoiding such blunt description of this system.

Instead, they prefer to employ Orwellian euphemisms about the "US PetroDollar" or the "US Dollar Reserve Currency" or how America's superpower status is dependent on this dollar syistem.

But former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accurately calls out this system for what it is: America's global dictatorship of the Dollar.

This is another reason why America has such hatred for Iran:

Dollar dictatorship the foundation of American empire - Iran's Ahmadinejad
https://www.rt.com/business/435310-dollar-us-empire-reorder-ahmadinejad/

America Escalates its "Democratic" Oil War in the Near East
https://michael-hudson.com/2020/01/america-escalates-its-democratic-oil-war-in-the-near-east/

Likklemore , Jan 19 2020 5:20 utc | 83
@ Peter AU1 78

Tom Luongo, who frequently cites b, has coined a new word for Trump's and his minions tactics. Tom asks:

Does Gangsternomics Meet its End in the Iraqi Desert?

In the aftermath of the killing of Iranian IRGC General Qassem Soleimani a lot of questions hung in the air. The big one was, in my mind, "Why now?"

There are a lot of angles to answer that question. Many of them were supplied by caretaker Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi who tried to let the world know through official (and unofficial) channels of the extent of the pressure he was under by the U.S.

In short, President Trump was engaged in months of what can best be described as gangsternomics in directing the course of Iraq's future economic and political development.[/]

Iraq's importance goes much farther than just protecting the petrodollar to the U.S. It is the fulcrum now on which the entire U.S. defense against Eurasian integration rests. The entire region is slipping out of the grasp of the U.S.

And this started with Russia moving into Syria in 2015 successfully. We are downstream of this as it has blown open the playbook and revealed it for how ugly it is.

Trump's crude gangster tactics in Iraq, Venezuela, Bolivia and to a lesser extent in Syria cannot be hidden behind the false veil of moral preening and virtue signaling about bringing democracy to these benighted places.[/]

What began in Syria with Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and China standing up together and saying, "No," continues today in Iraq. To this point Iran has been the major actor. Tomorrow it will be Russia, China and India.

And that is what is ultimately at stake here, the ability of the U.S. to employ gangsternomics in the Middle East and make it stick.[.]

By the time Trump is done threatening people over S-400's and pipelines the entire world will be happy to trade in yuan and/or rubles rather than dollars.[.]

full article here

Peter AU1 , Jan 19 2020 6:05 utc | 88
Likklemore 83

Thanks. Gangsternomics seems a good term for Trump's vision of US world power. Trump is pragmatic or realist in that he knows there is no court or authority to hold the US to account.

As to US holding power purely through military power, that can only happen long term if he gets hold of a good chunk of the worlds energy reserves (as in Persian gulf and Venezuela oil). If he doesn't achieve that, then the US goes down. Iran needs to ensure it stays under Russia's nuclear umbrella as there are no rules.

krollchem , Jan 19 2020 6:27 utc | 90
Sickening series of Trump interviews and speeches demanding that Iraq pay America and its allies over a trillion dollars for liberating Iraq (time stamp 8:20 to 12:00).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWZfDJerI0o

This demonstrates that US attacks in Iraq over the last 30-40 years was mostly about the control (including transportation routes) and than profiting from its oil and gas reserves.

A secondary reason is to put troop on the border with Iran to further destabilize it via state terrorism to overthrow the government and then take its oil and gas too.

It will get interesting when a pro Iranian new Prime minister takes office and China offers Iraq a line of credit equivalent to the funds that would be frozen in Western bank accounts if Iraq actually demands the troops to leave.

"The Iran-linked Binaa parliamentary voting bloc has nominated Asaad al-Edani, a former minister and governor of oil-rich Basra province. Binaa's bloc is mostly made up of the Fatah party led by militia leader turned politician Hadi al-Ameri, who is close to Tehran."

The Kurdish President of Iraq has stated that "Out of an eagerness to spare blood and preserve civil peace, I apologize for not naming Edani prime minister," the letter continued. "I am ready to submit my resignation to parliament."

https://time.com/5755588/iraq-president-resignation/

Currently, the rival Sairoon bloc, headed by populist Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, said it would not participate in the process of nominating a new premier."

https://www.ft.com/content/50f09fe4-27f4-11ea-9a4f-963f0ec7e134

However, "Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr demanded that Iraqis stage a "million-man march" against the continued US military presence in the country"

https://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13981025000319

I close with a visionary French rock opera Starmania "story of an alternate reality where a fascist millionaire (read Trump) famous for building skyscrapers is running for president on an anti-immigration policy, and where the poor are getting more and more desperate for their voices to be heard."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78LytR-6Xmk

Patroklos , Jan 19 2020 6:39 utc | 91
@hopehely | Jan 19 2020 6:00 utc | 85

... ... ...

2. Lebensraum was indeed a specific war aim of Hitler;
3. Under the Shah Anglo-American (not mention Dutch, French and other) interests skimmed all Iranian energy resources, kept the USSR under pressure on the southern coast of the Caspian Sea and provided a key friendly power in the most important region of central Asia. Petro-dollar supremacy could not have been established without control of the Persian Gulf. The Persian elite were given wonderful opportunities while the rest... well we know what the rest get.

hopehely , Jan 19 2020 7:08 utc | 93

... ... ...

The Persian elite were given wonderful opportunities while the rest... well we know what the rest get.

Not just the elite. Persian middle class was pretty well off too. Spending vacation in Europe was easy, quite affordable. Not any more. I know I know, those dang sanctions... well that is what you get when you piss off the big dawg.

Peter AU1 , Jan 19 2020 9:32 utc | 99
psychedelicatessen "Thinking he's successfully rebuilt the U.S. military could be the single most critical failure of his presidency."

I would be in agreement on the overall gist of your reply, but on Trump thinking he's successfully rebuilt the US military, I'm not so sure. He is a pragmatic gangster when it comes to world affairs which is why his Nuclear Posture Review lowered the threshold of first use of nukes. b's previous post on 'How Trump rebelled against the generals' also fits in with this line of thought.

I believe Trump needs to be thought of as a CEO brought in to pull a company back from the edge of bankruptcy. I think that is the way he sees himself, and as I have put in previous comments, there are no rules.

I had thought Trump may be adverse to pure terrorism but depending on what comes of the Ukie airliner shootdown in Iran, there may be absolutely no rules as far as Trump is concerned.

ralphieboy , Jan 19 2020 12:59 utc | 111
The attack on Solemani had little or nothing to do with policy, it was an attempt to distract from the other scandals coming to light with the opening of his Senate trial by provoking hostilities with Iran.
William Gruff , Jan 19 2020 13:00 utc | 112
Peter AU1 @103: "Monetary collapse as in low US$ but not US economic collapse"

I wonder how that could be arranged? There are far more US$ sitting in bank vaults as reserves and investment hedges than there are in circulation. If the dollar goes low enough to bring manufacturing home then it will also be low enough to no longer be a sound or wise investment in and of itself. Wise bankers and investors will attempt to realign their portfolios if the dollar shows signs of dropping like that.

Basically, the value of the dollar that is low enough to re-industrialize America is far below the tipping point that would trigger a global sell-off of dollars. How could that mass sell-off be prevented? Threatening to nuke any country whose central bank sells their dollar reserves?

As I see it, the dollar's value stays high or it tanks totally. I don't see how there could be a moderate balance point in between these extremes. There are just too many dollars in the world.

financial matters , Jan 19 2020 13:51 utc | 121
Likklemore @ 83. thanks for the great article by Tom Luongo.

Of course the Gangsternomics have been going on for some time as chronicled in 'Shock Doctrine' and 'Confessions of an Economic Hitman'.

But as Trump has often done, probably mostly by mistake, he has brought these actions more clearly into the public eye. This in combination with the new power dominance of Russia, China and Iran is definitely leading to a new reality.
---------

I like this quote from Perkins' 'Confessions of an Economic Hitman'

""Nearly every culture I know prophesies that in the late 1990s we entered a period of remarkable transition. At monasteries in the Himalayas, ceremonial sites in Indonesia, and the indigenous reservations in North America, from the depths of the Amazon to the peaks of the Andes and into the ancient Mayan cities of Central America, I have heard that ours is a special moment in human history, and that each of us was born at this time because we have a mission to accomplish.

The titles and words of the prophecies differ slightly. They tell variously of a New Age, the Third Millennium, the Age of Aquarius, the Beginning of the Fifth Sun, or the end of old calendars and the commencement of new ones. Despite the varying terminologies, however; they have a great deal in common, and "The Prophecy of the Condor and Eagle" is typical. It states that back in the mists of history; human societies divided and took two different paths: that of the condor (representing the heart, intuitive and mystical) and that of the eagle (representing the brain, rational and material). In the 1490s, the prophecy said, the two paths would converge and the eagle would drive the condor to the verge of extinction. Then, five hundred years later, in the 1990s, a new epoch would begin, one in which the condor and the eagle will have the opportunity to reunite and fly together in the same sky, along the same path. If the condor and eagle accept this opportunity, they will create a most remarkable offspring, unlike any ever seen before.

"The Prophecy of the Condor and Eagle" can be taken at many levels - the standard interpretation is that it foretells the sharing of indigenous knowledge with the technologies of science, the balancing of yin and yang, and the bridging of northern and southern cultures. However, most powerful is the message if offers about consciousness; it says that we have entered a time when we can benefit from the many diverse ways of seeing ourselves and the world, and that we can use these as a springboard to higher levels of awareness. As human beings, we can truly wake up and evolve into a more conscious species.

The condor people of the Amazon make it seem so obvious that if we are to address questions about the nature of what it is to be human in this new millennium, and about our commitment to evaluating our intentions for the next several decades, then we need to open our eyes and see the consequences of our actions - the actions of the eagle - in places like Iraq and Ecuador. We must shake ourselves awake. We who live in the most powerful nation history has ever known must stop worrying so much about the outcome of soap operas, quarterly balance sheets, and the daily Dow Jones average, and must instead reevaluate who we are and where we want our children to end up. The alternative to stopping to ask ourselves the important questions is simply too dangerous.""

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

Now that Trump has, probably inadvertently, helped open our eyes I see Tulsi Gabbard as the best person to help us fit in to a more multipolar world in a more responsible manner.

augusto , Jan 19 2020 14:07 utc | 122
Damascene, as to the assassination plans and techniques by the exceptionalists... just ask the Cuban aides of Fidel Castro. Most of them alive today. They have a a helluva expertise on this business having foiled them for over 45 years. Against all odds cause at 90 miles from the enemy, the logistics were vastly against the cubans.

As to the purposeful intent of bringing more pressure to foes in the future... just recall what happened to Muammar Khadafi. After the attempt to blow up his family tent in the desert he fairly but surely managed to build up FRIENDSHIP with the bosses of France, Italy and UK.

To no avail, since the rest if history. The lesson has been learned.

Sasha , Jan 19 2020 14:08 utc | 123
Why was US so mad with General #Soleimani?

https://twitter.com/PressTV/status/1218882845902626816

Condoleeza Rice on the 2006 War on Lebanon ( quoted by Qassem Soleimani in the interview posted above..): "These are the "birth pangs" of the Middle East"....

Sasha , Jan 19 2020 14:27 utc | 124
You can agree...may be in part...or not....Uncertainty is the plate of the day...I hope the ME players will change this forecast to their benefit...

2020 Forecast: Revealing the Future of the #MiddleEast by María and Shehab Makahleh for Russian Council ...

[Jan 19, 2020] Friedman s Hapless Fear-mongering

Notable quotes:
"... They have promoted dishonest claims about the JCPOA and made unfounded claims about Iran's so-called "nuclear ambitions" in order to make it seem as if the Iranian government is trying to acquire nuclear weapons. They have done this to justify their hard-line policies and to lay the groundwork for pursuing regime change and war. Every time that someone repeats false claims about a non-existent "nuclear weapons program" in Iran, it creates unnecessary fear and plays into the administration's hands. ..."
"... The administration is already working overtime to propagandize the public and scare Americans into supporting aggressive and destructive policies against Iran, and no one should be giving them extra help. ..."
"... "Friedman's claim that Iran restarted a "nuclear weapons program" is completely false. That isn't what the Iranian government did, and it is irresponsible to say this when it is clearly untrue." ..."
"... Friedman isn't usually thought of as a devotee of Truth, and the chance of him correcting even the most egregious falsehoods you point out is approximately zero. At heart he's a propaganda guy, not a fact-based analyst. ..."
"... Friedman does it for Israel. It is their line, their constant foreign policy push. The NYT lets him, seems to encourage it, due to its own complex ties to Israel. ..."
"... The Israel Lobby is behind vast wars, killing, and waste. It has become an endless evil. ..."
"... Friedman seems to forget that Iran is a signatory of the NPT and inspectors come and monitor activities, all outside JPCOA. But hey, Iraq had WMD at the time the international inspectors were saying that it didn't and their message and activities were obstructed and blocked by the US. Same as with the alleged gas attacks in Syria and the OPCW "mishandling" the reporting... US has learned since Iraq and wanted compliance from these types of organizations. ..."
theamericanconservative.com

Friedman's latest column obviously wasn't fact-checked before it was published:

And then, a few weeks later, Trump ordered the killing of Suleimani, an action that required him to shift more troops into the region and tell Iraqis that we're not leaving their territory, even though their Parliament voted to evict us. It also prompted Iran to restart its nuclear weapons program [bold mine-DL], which could well necessitate U.S. military action. And then, a few weeks later, Trump ordered the killing of Suleimani, an action that required him to shift more troops into the region and tell Iraqis that we're not leaving their territory, even though their Parliament voted to evict us. It also prompted Iran to restart its nuclear weapons program [bold mine-DL], which could well necessitate U.S. military action.
Friedman's claim that Iran restarted a "nuclear weapons program" is completely false. That isn't what the Iranian government did, and it is irresponsible to say this when it is clearly untrue. Iran has no nuclear weapons program, and it hasn't had anything like that for more than sixteen years. The Iranian government took another step in reducing its compliance with the JCPOA in the days following the assassination, but contrary to other misleading headlines their government did not abandon the nuclear deal. Iran has not repudiated its commitment to keep its nuclear program peaceful, and it doesn't help in reducing tensions to suggest that they have. Trump's recent actions are reckless and dangerous, but it is wrong to say that those actions have caused Iran to start up a nuclear weapons program. That isn't the case, and engaging in more threat inflation when tensions are already so high is foolish.

Friedman is not the only one to make this blunder, but it is the sort of sloppy mistake we expect from him. If this were just another error from Friedman, it would be annoying but it wouldn't matter very much. This has to do with the nature of our debate over Iran policy and the nuclear issue in particular. This matters because there is a great deal of confusion in this country about Iran's nuclear program that the Trump administration has deliberately encouraged. They have promoted dishonest claims about the JCPOA and made unfounded claims about Iran's so-called "nuclear ambitions" in order to make it seem as if the Iranian government is trying to acquire nuclear weapons. They have done this to justify their hard-line policies and to lay the groundwork for pursuing regime change and war. Every time that someone repeats false claims about a non-existent "nuclear weapons program" in Iran, it creates unnecessary fear and plays into the administration's hands.

The administration is already working overtime to propagandize the public and scare Americans into supporting aggressive and destructive policies against Iran, and no one should be giving them extra help. The second part of Friedman's sentence is also quite dangerous, because it encourages his readers to think that the U.S. would somehow be justified in attacking Iran in the unlikely event that they started developing a nuclear weapon. He suggests that an Iranian nuclear weapons program might "necessitate" military action, but any attack on Iran under those circumstances would be illegal and a war of choice just like the invasion of Iraq that Friedman supported almost 17 years ago. Even when Friedman seems to be skeptical of something that the government has done, he can't help but indulge in threat inflation and lend support to the idea of preventive war.

Friedman's claim that Iran restarted a "nuclear weapons program" is completely false. That isn't what the Iranian government did, and it is irresponsible to say this when it is clearly untrue. Iran has no nuclear weapons program, and it hasn't had anything like that for more than sixteen years. The Iranian government took another step in reducing its compliance with the JCPOA in the days following the assassination, but contrary to other misleading headlines their government did not abandon the nuclear deal. Iran has not repudiated its commitment to keep its nuclear program peaceful, and it doesn't help in reducing tensions to suggest that they have. Trump's recent actions are reckless and dangerous, but it is wrong to say that those actions have caused Iran to start up a nuclear weapons program. That isn't the case, and engaging in more threat inflation when tensions are already so high is foolish.

... ... ...

He suggests that an Iranian nuclear weapons program might "necessitate" military action, but any attack on Iran under those circumstances would be illegal and a war of choice just like the invasion of Iraq that Friedman supported almost 17 years ago. Even when Friedman seems to be skeptical of something that the government has done, he can't help but indulge in threat inflation and lend support to the idea of preventive war. The second part of Friedman's sentence is also quite dangerous, because it encourages his readers to think that the U.S. would somehow be justified in attacking Iran in the unlikely event that they started developing a nuclear weapon. He suggests that an Iranian nuclear weapons program might "necessitate" military action, but any attack on Iran under those circumstances would be illegal and a war of choice just like the invasion of Iraq that Friedman supported almost 17 years ago. Even when Friedman seems to be skeptical of something that the government has done, he can't help but indulge in threat inflation and lend support to the idea of preventive war.


Gospel Free3 days ago

"Friedman's claim that Iran restarted a "nuclear weapons program" is completely false. That isn't what the Iranian government did, and it is irresponsible to say this when it is clearly untrue."

Friedman isn't usually thought of as a devotee of Truth, and the chance of him correcting even the most egregious falsehoods you point out is approximately zero. At heart he's a propaganda guy, not a fact-based analyst.

Mark Thomason2 days ago
Friedman does it for Israel. It is their line, their constant foreign policy push. The NYT lets him, seems to encourage it, due to its own complex ties to Israel.

The Israel Lobby is behind vast wars, killing, and waste. It has become an endless evil.

Donna2 days ago
Friedman's readers are the choir, and he's just singing to them. People who have seen through his fabrications stopped reading him years ago. Friedman will always have his little clique of deluded pseudo-intellectuals, but truly intelligent people don't waste their time with him.
blimbax2 days ago
I think the picture of Friedman that accompanies this article tells a big part of the story. His furrowed brow, the intensity of his studied gaze, his penetrating and knowing look into the the complexities that only someone of his intelligence can unravel. It is really the picture of a stuffed shirt.

Friedman represents something really wrong with our society and culture: The incompetent, the ignorant, and the arrogant ones are given positions of power and influence, and the wise and knowledgeable are marginalized.

Taras772 days ago
It is difficult to name a more odious shill for Israel war mongering than friedman but than he does have competition in the NYT staff. NYT is a bugle for Israel.
FL_Cottonmouth2 days ago • edited
Mr. Friedman recently called Gen. Soleimani "the dumbest man in Iran" for sponsoring terrorist forces in Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen backing paramilitary forces fighting terrorism in Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen.

Mr. Friedman is one of the dumbest pundits in the media class and almost certainly the dumbest ever to work for The New York Times. He just can't help himself...

kouroia day ago
Friedman seems to forget that Iran is a signatory of the NPT and inspectors come and monitor activities, all outside JPCOA. But hey, Iraq had WMD at the time the international inspectors were saying that it didn't and their message and activities were obstructed and blocked by the US. Same as with the alleged gas attacks in Syria and the OPCW "mishandling" the reporting... US has learned since Iraq and wanted compliance from these types of organizations.

[Jan 18, 2020] The joke is on us: Without the USSR the USA oligarchy resorted to cannibalism and devour the American people

Highly recommended!
Jan 18, 2020 | www.theguardian.com

In another sense, however, the passing of the cold war could not have been more disorienting. In 1987, Georgi Arbatov, a senior adviser to the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev , had warned: "We are going to do a terrible thing to you – we are going to deprive you of an enemy."

...Winning the cold war brought Americans face-to-face with a predicament comparable to that confronting the lucky person who wins the lottery: hidden within a windfall is the potential for monumental disaster.

[Jan 03, 2020] "It remains to figure out how to save the current US administration, while avoiding a world war

Евгений Крутиков Последний шанс
Jul 30, 2014 | topwar.ru

"It remains to figure out how to save the current US administration, while avoiding a world war

"the Plane was shot down by Ukrainians, shot down by accident, there will be no investigation, no one needs it

in the blog print version

The expert debate about Boeing will now be about how many demons can fit on the tip of a needle. Everyone is already clear, it remains to figure out how to save the current US administration, while avoiding a world war.

All the latest news about the investigation of the disaster over the Donbass say only one thing: everything is clear, but the problems are still ahead.
The main theses are as follows: the plane was shot down by Ukrainians, shot down by accident, there will be no investigation, no one needs it. I'll explain in more detail.

A lot has been said about the information war: the Americans started it, and they are now out of it, sadly. There is no point in sorting through the array of objective evidence – we must give the American side the opportunity to get out of all this with honor, because if the United States does not succeed, we will all again face the threat of total war.

One

Never and under no circumstances will the Ukrainian side make public its means of objective control, if they exist at all. Most likely, they have already been destroyed. Recognition of the randomness of the shot – however it may be classified-is the last chance for the US to get out of the dirty Ukrainian swamp. Yes, an accident, it happens in war. But it needs to be explained to a Western audience.

And if it is impossible to understand, then you just have to remember: the Ukrainian army shoots where it wants and what it wants to objects. And sometimes nowhere at all.

Let me remind you that in old Yugoslavia for a long time hunted for the officers of the Serbian artillery, which with a rare drunk once (!) shot in the direction of Croatian Dubrovnik. They were found ten years later and sent to the Hague. Why? Because the Croatian side in time declared everywhere where reached, including UNESCO in which list the city-monument Dubrovnik is entered, about atrocities of the Serbian artillery.
Two
Yes, we are all here at the level of unfunny jokes know that the Ukrainian rocket, if you send it to the plane, will definitely fly to the tree. And vice versa. For those who were born and raised in the Soviet Union, this is a given. But the Westerner has to prove it and explain it. He, a Westerner, used to think that if a guy could speak APE English fluently, even if he had a strong accent, he was still our local guy. So it was with Saakashvili and Yushchenko. They were also married to Western ladies. And then with Yatsenyuk Turchynov, tied to both the American sect. They're twice their own.
The guy from the West used to think that if the missile system is put on combat duty, it is worth something. He can not explain that for twenty-three years, the Ukrainian army conducted only one air defense exercise – in 2001. And it ended up being shot down over the Black sea by a Russian plane. After that, no (!) and never (!) there were no exercises in Ukraine.
Three
References to the war in South Ossetia, in which it was the Ukrainian crews of "Buks" perfectly proved themselves by shooting down four Russian objects under the Georgian obscene hooting, also do not work. Georgians with great difficulty found across Ukraine two crews for all the same "Buks", whose commanders of calculations were Americans of Polish origin.
Most of these brave Ukrainian anti-aircraft gunners after the war 08.08.08 died under unclear circumstances, and the survivors were drunk (the city of Stryi, Lviv region, the former air defense base of the Carpathian military district of the USSR armed forces). And no one has tried to train the new crews as unnecessary.
Inventory of missiles, by the way, no one held, and it did not make sense, because the missiles were sold right and left, and that is especially sinful-it is to the left, that is, to countries that the same US declare "outcasts". Target capture guidance system-a complex thing, " Buk " is able to simultaneously conduct up to 24 goals, and it is not clear what exactly saw on the radar specific lad.
Four
The Boeing could give additional signals. It could be untried equipment, which will now be difficult to admit to the Malaysian airline.
Even if the "Boeing" shone an additional beacon-it could cause the launch of the rocket. And there were several objects on the radar that were moving towards the war zone – here a spontaneous launch of a missile is more than possible. During the cold war, passenger planes were very often used for reconnaissance purposes, loading them with photographic equipment. This, of course, is not our case, and the times are quite different – satellites fly with impunity, but still no one has yet shown how perfect was the plane itself, its crew and strange course.
Five
By the way, the base of American drones working for the Kiev government is located in Kanatovo near Dnepropetrovsk, just in the area of the flight of the "Boeing". This is an old abandoned Soviet air force base of those that grew sunflowers by the end of the 90's.
But recently there arrived Americans, all rebuilt, and now this former collective farm field is called the 66th separate brigade of the air force of Ukraine, although from the Ukrainian there are only signs and dogs. Live there American military, and are based only American drones, of which two have already been shot down. The first – in the spring on Perekop Russian fighter, the second-over Donetsk militia, and it almost entirely fell into their hands.
For the United States, the explanation of all that has happened is a kind of unintentional accident, or even better-the synergy of many accidents-almost the only way to calmly and technically get out of the game.
Technically, you just need to "chat" for a couple of weeks. And then the evidence from the "black boxes" will not be so relevant, and in General the whole story will be erased from memory, perhaps against the background of other circumstances.
Six
But it will not be possible to talk about the circumstances of what is happening in Novorossiya at all. Many found this place on the map. Many began to watch the news. And there, for example, the tone of CNN correspondents radically changed after they got access to Lugansk and Donetsk on the tail of Malaysian representatives.
No Western journalist had been in the combat zone for three months, and now they were impartially reporting live that civilians were being killed, that heavy artillery fire was being fired from Ukrainian positions on residential areas, and, most interestingly, the presenters in the Studio never interrupted them. And this on CNN and Foxnews do at times. But now the words are accompanied by a picture of the bodies of apparently civilians torn apart. And just like that, even Christian Amanpour won't interrupt anyone.
Seven
Most likely, it is the discussion of the set of accidents that led to the missile salvo that will soon become dominant. A half-trained or even never-learned APE with a grenade sat at the controls. She didn't identify the objects.
The fighter that accompanied (or whatever he was doing with this "Boeing", did not push out of the track?), seeing the rocket, was forced to make the same emergency evasion maneuver, which indicates the objective data of Russian surveillance-he abruptly went up to the limit and even beyond the height.
Something on several radars, presumably defined as a "small-sized, high-speed flying object", that is, a fighter, not a UFO, made a routine maneuver to evade a missile salvo from the ground. So taught in the Soviet flight schools. All Ukrainian pilots came out of the same greatcoat.
Scholastic dispute about whether it was exactly " Buk " or the old C-200, which is also the same 25 years of vodka brewed, does not make sense. Good people who are leading this highly professional dispute, come from some ideal circumstances, forgetting that all this-Ukraine.
The salvo was obviously spontaneous, and this-again-is the only thing that will save the West now.
* * *
But we will never hear or see this, because no one will drown Poroshenko now, he will drown himself in two or three months. The American security service is forced to "keep a face", because Barack Obama first said, and then there was objective tracking data, and how to get out of this – no one knows.
Further expert debate will be about how many demons can fit on the tip of the needle. Everyone is already clear, it remains to figure out how to save the current US administration, while avoiding a world war.
It is in the interest of world peace to ensure that the investigation into the deaths of nearly 300 people is delayed as long as possible. And then it was forgotten.
Is it possible? Yes, perhaps. We did not see the unfortunate relatives storming the building of Schiphol airport, although relatively recently the same crowd almost demolished the government of Malaysia because of the unknown where the disappeared similar "Boeing".
European governments can make sure that the relatives of the victims stop asking questions. Although they, those who lost loved ones, could be the driving force of the entire investigation. It's very cynical, Yes. But what other choice is there?."It remains to figure out how to save the current US administration, while avoiding a world war "the Plane was shot down by Ukrainians, shot down by accident, there will be no investigation, no one needs it

in the blog print version

The expert debate about Boeing will now be about how many demons can fit on the tip of a needle. Everyone is already clear, it remains to figure out how to save the current US administration, while avoiding a world war.
All the latest news about the investigation of the disaster over the Donbass say only one thing: everything is clear, but the problems are still ahead.
The main theses are as follows: the plane was shot down by Ukrainians, shot down by accident, there will be no investigation, no one needs it. I'll explain in more detail.
A lot has been said about the information war: the Americans started it, and they are now out of it, sadly. There is no point in sorting through the array of objective evidence – we must give the American side the opportunity to get out of all this with honor, because if the United States does not succeed, we will all again face the threat of total war.
One
Never and under no circumstances will the Ukrainian side make public its means of objective control, if they exist at all. Most likely, they have already been destroyed. Recognition of the randomness of the shot – however it may be classified-is the last chance for the US to get out of the dirty Ukrainian swamp. Yes, an accident, it happens in war. But it needs to be explained to a Western audience.
And if it is impossible to understand, then you just have to remember: the Ukrainian army shoots where it wants and what it wants to objects. And sometimes nowhere at all.
Let me remind you that in old Yugoslavia for a long time hunted for the officers of the Serbian artillery, which with a rare drunk once (!) shot in the direction of Croatian Dubrovnik. They were found ten years later and sent to the Hague. Why? Because the Croatian side in time declared everywhere where reached, including UNESCO in which list the city-monument Dubrovnik is entered, about atrocities of the Serbian artillery.
Two
Yes, we are all here at the level of unfunny jokes know that the Ukrainian rocket, if you send it to the plane, will definitely fly to the tree. And vice versa. For those who were born and raised in the Soviet Union, this is a given. But the Westerner has to prove it and explain it. He, a Westerner, used to think that if a guy could speak APE English fluently, even if he had a strong accent, he was still our local guy. So it was with Saakashvili and Yushchenko. They were also married to Western ladies. And then with Yatsenyuk Turchynov, tied to both the American sect. They're twice their own.
The guy from the West used to think that if the missile system is put on combat duty, it is worth something. He can not explain that for twenty-three years, the Ukrainian army conducted only one air defense exercise – in 2001. And it ended up being shot down over the Black sea by a Russian plane. After that, no (!) and never (!) there were no exercises in Ukraine.
Three
References to the war in South Ossetia, in which it was the Ukrainian crews of "Buks" perfectly proved themselves by shooting down four Russian objects under the Georgian obscene hooting, also do not work. Georgians with great difficulty found across Ukraine two crews for all the same "Buks", whose commanders of calculations were Americans of Polish origin.
Most of these brave Ukrainian anti-aircraft gunners after the war 08.08.08 died under unclear circumstances, and the survivors were drunk (the city of Stryi, Lviv region, the former air defense base of the Carpathian military district of the USSR armed forces). And no one has tried to train the new crews as unnecessary.
Inventory of missiles, by the way, no one held, and it did not make sense, because the missiles were sold right and left, and that is especially sinful-it is to the left, that is, to countries that the same US declare "outcasts". Target capture guidance system-a complex thing, " Buk " is able to simultaneously conduct up to 24 goals, and it is not clear what exactly saw on the radar specific lad.
Four
The Boeing could give additional signals. It could be untried equipment, which will now be difficult to admit to the Malaysian airline.
Even if the "Boeing" shone an additional beacon-it could cause the launch of the rocket. And there were several objects on the radar that were moving towards the war zone – here a spontaneous launch of a missile is more than possible. During the cold war, passenger planes were very often used for reconnaissance purposes, loading them with photographic equipment. This, of course, is not our case, and the times are quite different – satellites fly with impunity, but still no one has yet shown how perfect was the plane itself, its crew and strange course.
Five
By the way, the base of American drones working for the Kiev government is located in Kanatovo near Dnepropetrovsk, just in the area of the flight of the "Boeing". This is an old abandoned Soviet air force base of those that grew sunflowers by the end of the 90's.
But recently there arrived Americans, all rebuilt, and now this former collective farm field is called the 66th separate brigade of the air force of Ukraine, although from the Ukrainian there are only signs and dogs. Live there American military, and are based only American drones, of which two have already been shot down. The first – in the spring on Perekop Russian fighter, the second-over Donetsk militia, and it almost entirely fell into their hands.
For the United States, the explanation of all that has happened is a kind of unintentional accident, or even better-the synergy of many accidents-almost the only way to calmly and technically get out of the game.
Technically, you just need to "chat" for a couple of weeks. And then the evidence from the "black boxes" will not be so relevant, and in General the whole story will be erased from memory, perhaps against the background of other circumstances.
Six
But it will not be possible to talk about the circumstances of what is happening in Novorossiya at all. Many found this place on the map. Many began to watch the news. And there, for example, the tone of CNN correspondents radically changed after they got access to Lugansk and Donetsk on the tail of Malaysian representatives.
No Western journalist had been in the combat zone for three months, and now they were impartially reporting live that civilians were being killed, that heavy artillery fire was being fired from Ukrainian positions on residential areas, and, most interestingly, the presenters in the Studio never interrupted them. And this on CNN and Foxnews do at times. But now the words are accompanied by a picture of the bodies of apparently civilians torn apart. And just like that, even Christian Amanpour won't interrupt anyone.
Seven
Most likely, it is the discussion of the set of accidents that led to the missile salvo that will soon become dominant. A half-trained or even never-learned APE with a grenade sat at the controls. She didn't identify the objects.
The fighter that accompanied (or whatever he was doing with this "Boeing", did not push out of the track?), seeing the rocket, was forced to make the same emergency evasion maneuver, which indicates the objective data of Russian surveillance-he abruptly went up to the limit and even beyond the height.
Something on several radars, presumably defined as a "small-sized, high-speed flying object", that is, a fighter, not a UFO, made a routine maneuver to evade a missile salvo from the ground. So taught in the Soviet flight schools. All Ukrainian pilots came out of the same greatcoat.
Scholastic dispute about whether it was exactly " Buk " or the old C-200, which is also the same 25 years of vodka brewed, does not make sense. Good people who are leading this highly professional dispute, come from some ideal circumstances, forgetting that all this-Ukraine.
The salvo was obviously spontaneous, and this-again-is the only thing that will save the West now.
* * *
But we will never hear or see this, because no one will drown Poroshenko now, he will drown himself in two or three months. The American security service is forced to "keep a face", because Barack Obama first said, and then there was objective tracking data, and how to get out of this – no one knows.
Further expert debate will be about how many demons can fit on the tip of the needle. Everyone is already clear, it remains to figure out how to save the current US administration, while avoiding a world war.
It is in the interest of world peace to ensure that the investigation into the deaths of nearly 300 people is delayed as long as possible. And then it was forgotten.
Is it possible? Yes, perhaps. We did not see the unfortunate relatives storming the building of Schiphol airport, although relatively recently the same crowd almost demolished the government of Malaysia because of the unknown where the disappeared similar "Boeing".
European governments can make sure that the relatives of the victims stop asking questions. Although they, those who lost loved ones, could be the driving force of the entire investigation. It's very cynical, Yes. But what other choice is there?

[Dec 21, 2019] Government Warmongering Criminals Where Are They Now

Notable quotes:
"... The American people and most of the world bought into the lies and half-truths because they wanted to believe the fiction they were being spoon fed by the White House, but is there a whole lot of difference between what the US government did against Iraq in 2003 and what Hitler's government did in 1939 when it falsely claimed that Polish troops had attacked Germany? Was subsequent torture by the Gestapo any different than torture by a contractor working for Washington? ..."
"... A friend of mine recently commented that honest men who were formerly part of the United States government do not subsequently get hired by lobbying firms or obtain television contracts and "teaching" positions at prestigious universities. ..."
"... If the marketplace is anything to go by Feith and Tenet are running neck-and-neck on secondary book exchanges as George also can be had for $.01. ..."
"... The historian Livy summed up the significance of his act, writing "It is worthwhile for those who disdain all human things for money, and who suppose that there is no room either for great honor or virtue, except where wealth is found, to listen to his story." ..."
"... "Power is always dangerous. Power attracts the worst and corrupts the best." ..."
"... senior government officials and politicians routinely expect to be generously rewarded for their service and never held accountable for their failures and misdeeds ..."
"... One thing for sure about the Washington elite, you never have to say you're sorry. ..."
Jul 08, 2015 | The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity

The United States already has by far the per capita largest prison population of any developed country but I am probably one of the few Americans who on this Independence Day would like to see a lot more people in prison, mostly drawn from politicians and senior bureaucrats who have long believed that their status makes them untouchable, giving them license to steal and even to kill. The sad fact is that while whistleblowers have been imprisoned for revealing government criminality, no one in the federal bureaucracy has ever actually been punished for the crimes of torture, kidnapping and assassination committed during the George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama presidencies.

Why is accountability important? After the Second World War, the victorious allies believed it was important to establish responsibility for the crimes that had been committed by officials of the Axis powers. The judges at the Nuremberg Trials called the initiation of a war of aggression the ultimate war crime because it inevitably unleashed so many other evils. Ten leading Nazis were executed at Nuremberg and ninety-three Japanese officials at similar trials staged in Asia, including several guilty of waterboarding. Those who were not executed for being complicit in the actual launching of war were tried for torture of both military personnel and civilians and crimes against humanity, including the mass killing of civilians as well as of soldiers who had surrendered or been captured.

No matter how one tries to avoid making comparisons between 1939 and 2015, the American invasion of Iraq was a war of aggression, precisely the type of conflict that the framework of accountability provided by Nuremberg was supposed to prevent in the years after 1946. High level US government officials knew that Iraq represented no threat to the United States but they nevertheless described an imminent danger posed by Saddam Hussein in the most graphic terms, replete with weapons of mass destruction, armed drones flying across the Atlantic, terrorists being unleashed against the homeland, and mushroom clouds on the horizon. The precedent of Iraq, even though it was an abject failure, has led to further military action against Libya and Syria to bring about "regime change" as well as a continuing conflict in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the US has been waging a largely secret "long war" against terrorists employing torture and secret prisons. The American people and most of the world bought into the lies and half-truths because they wanted to believe the fiction they were being spoon fed by the White House, but is there a whole lot of difference between what the US government did against Iraq in 2003 and what Hitler's government did in 1939 when it falsely claimed that Polish troops had attacked Germany? Was subsequent torture by the Gestapo any different than torture by a contractor working for Washington?

Many Americans would now consider the leading figures in the Bush Administration aided and abetted by many enablers in congress from both political parties to be unindicted war criminals. Together they ignited a global conflict that is still running strong fourteen years later with a tally of more than 7,000 dead Americans and a minimum of hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis, Afghans, Libyans, Somalis and Syrians.

War breeds more war, due largely to the fact that guilty parties in Washington who piggyback on the prevailing narrative move onward and upward, rewarded in this life even if not necessarily so in the hereafter. A friend of mine recently commented that honest men who were formerly part of the United States government do not subsequently get hired by lobbying firms or obtain television contracts and "teaching" positions at prestigious universities. Though not 100% accurate as I know at least a couple of honorable former senior officials who wound up teaching, it would seem to be a generalization that has considerable validity. The implication is that many senior government officials ascend to their positions based on being accommodating and "political" rather than being honest and they continue to do the same when they switch over to corporate America or the equally corrupted world of academia.

I thought of my friend's comment when I turned on the television a week ago to be confronted by the serious, somewhat intense gaze of Michael Morell, warning about the danger that ISIS will strike the US over the Fourth of July weekend. Morell, a former senior CIA official, is in the terror business. He had no evidence whatsoever that terrorists were planning an attack and should have realized that maneuvering the United States into constantly going on alert based on empty threats is precisely what militant groups tend to do.

When not fronting as a handsomely paid national security consultant for the CBS television network Morell is employed by Beacon Global Strategies as a Senior Counselor, presumably warning well-heeled clients to watch out for terrorists. His lifestyle and substantial emoluments depend on people being afraid of terrorism so they will turn to an expert like him and ask serious questions that he will answer in a serious way suggesting that Islamic militants could potentially bring about some kind of global apocalypse.

Morell, a torture apologist, also has a book out that he wants to sell, positing somewhat ridiculously that he and his former employer had been fighting The Great War of Our Time against Islamic terrorists, something comparable to the World Wars of the past century, hence the title. Morell needs to take some valium and relax. He would also benefit from a little introspection regarding the bad guys versus good guys narrative that he is peddling. His credentials as a warrior are somewhat suspect in any event as he never did any military service and his combat in the world of intelligence consisted largely of sitting behind a desk in Washington and providing briefings to George W. Bush and Barack Obama in which he presumably told them what they wanted to hear.

Morell is one of a host of pundits who are successful in selling the military-industrial-lobbyist-congressional-intelligence community line of BS on the war on terror. Throw in the neocons as the in-your-face agents provocateurs who provide instant intellectual and media credibility for developments and you have large groups of engaged individuals with good access who are on the receiving end of the seemingly unending cash pipeline that began with 9/11. Frances Townsend, who was the Bush Homeland Security adviser and who is now a consultant with CNN, is another such creature as is Michael Chertoff, formerly Director of the Department of Homeland Security, who has successfully marketed his defective airport scanners to his former employer.

But the guys and gals who are out feathering their own nests are at least comprehensible given our predatory capitalist system of government. More to the point, the gang that ordered or carried out torture and assassination are the ones who should be doing some hard time in the slammer but instead they too are riding the gravy train and cashing in. To name only a few of those who knew about the torture and ordered it carried out I would cite George Tenet, James Pavitt, Cofer Black and Jose Rodriguez from the intelligence community. The assassination program meanwhile is accredited to John Brennan, currently CIA Director, during his tenure as Obama's Deputy National Security Advisor. And then there are Doug Feith and Paul Wolfowitz at the Pentagon together with John Yoo at Justice and Scooter Libby, Dick Cheney, and Condi Rice at the White House, all of whom outright lied, dissimulated and conspired their way to bring about a war of aggression against Iraq.

There are plenty of nameless others who were "only carrying out orders" and who should be included in any reckoning of America's crimes over the past fifteen years, particularly if one also considers the illegal NSA spying program headed by Michael Hayden, who defended the practice and has also referred to those who oppose enhanced interrogation torture as "interrogation deniers." And then there are Presidents Bush and Obama who certainly knew what was going on in the name of the American people as well as John Brennan, who was involved in both the torture and renditions programs as well as the more recent assassinations by drone.

So where are they now? Living in obscurity ashamed of what they did? Hardly. Not only have they not been vilified or marginalized, they have, in most cases, been rewarded. George W. Bush lives in Dallas near his Presidential Library and eponymous Think (sic) Tank. Cheney lives in semi-retirement in McLean Virginia with a multi-million dollar waterfront weekend retreat in St. Michaels Maryland, not too far from Donald Rumsfeld's similar digs.

George Tenet, the CIA Director notorious for his "slam-dunk" comment, a man who cooked the intelligence to make the Iraq war possible to curry favor with the White House, has generously remunerated positions on the boards of Allen & Company merchant bank, QinetiQ, and L-1 Identity Solutions. He sold his memoir At the Center of the Storm, which has been described as a "self-justifying apologia," in 2007 for a reported advance of $4 million. His book, ironically, admits that the US invaded Iraq for no good reason.

James Pavitt, who was the point man responsible for the "enhanced interrogation" program as Tenet's Deputy Director for Operations, is currently a principal with The Scowcroft Group and also serves on several boards. Cofer Black, who headed the Counter-Terrorism Center, which actually carried out renditions and "enhanced interrogations," was vice chairman of Blackwater Worldwide (now called Xe) and chairman of Total Intelligence Solutions, a Blackwater spin-off. He is now vice president of Blackbird Technologies, a defense and intelligence contractor. Rodriguez, who succeeded Black and in 2005 illegally destroyed video tapes made of Agency interrogations to avoid possible repercussions, is a senior vice president with Edge Consulting, a defense contractor currently owned by IBM that is located in Virginia.

John Yoo is a Professor of Law at the University of California Berkeley while Condoleezza Rice, who spoke of mushroom clouds and is widely regarded as the worst National Security Advisor and Secretary of State in history, has returned to Stanford University. She is a professor at the Graduate School of Business and a director of its Global Center for Business and the Economy as well as a fellow at the Hoover Institution. She is occasionally spoken of as either a possible GOP presidential candidate or as a future Commissioner of the National Football League. Her interaction with students is limited, but when challenged on her record she has responded that it was a difficult situation post 9/11, something that everyone understands, though few would have come to her conclusion that attacking Iraq might be a good way to destroy al-Qaeda.

Paul Wolfowitz, the Bush Deputy Secretary of Defense, is seen by many as the "intellectual" driving force behind the invasion of Iraq. He is currently a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and advises Jeb Bush on foreign policy. A bid to reward Wolfie for his zeal by giving him a huge golden parachute as President of the World Bank at a salary of $391,000 tax free failed when, after 23 months in the position, he was ousted over promoting a subordinate with whom he was having an affair. His chief deputy at the Pentagon Doug Feith left the Defense Department to take up a visiting professorship at the school of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, which was subsequently not renewed. He is reported to be again practicing law and thinking deep thoughts about his hero Edmund Burke, who no doubt would have been appalled to make Feith's acquaintance. Feith is a senior fellow at the neoconservative Hudson Institute and the Director of the Center for National Security Strategies. His memoir War and Decision did not make the best seller list and is now available used on Amazon for $.01 plus shipping. If the marketplace is anything to go by Feith and Tenet are running neck-and-neck on secondary book exchanges as George also can be had for $.01.

The over-rewarding of former officials who have in reality done great harm to the United States and its interests might well seem inexplicable, but it is all part of a style of bureaucracy that cannot admit failure and truly believes that all its actions are ipso facto legitimate because the executive and its minions can do no wrong. It is also a symptom of the classic American character flaw that all things are of necessity measured by money. Does anyone remember the ancient Roman symbol of republican virtue Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, who left his farm after being named Dictator in order to defeat Rome's enemies? He then handed power back to the Senate before returning to his plowing after the job was done. The historian Livy summed up the significance of his act, writing "It is worthwhile for those who disdain all human things for money, and who suppose that there is no room either for great honor or virtue, except where wealth is found, to listen to his story." George Washington was America's Cincinnatus and it is not a coincidence that officers of the continental army founded the Cincinnati Society, the nation's oldest patriotic organization, in 1783. It is also reported that Edward Snowden used the alias "Cincinnatus."

Lord Acton once observed that "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely." More recently essayist Edward Abbey put it in an American context, noting "Power is always dangerous. Power attracts the worst and corrupts the best." That senior government officials and politicians routinely expect to be generously rewarded for their service and never held accountable for their failures and misdeeds is a fault that is perhaps not unique to the United States but it is nevertheless unacceptable. Handing out a couple of exemplary prison sentences for the caste that believes itself untouchable would be a good place to start. An opportunity was missed with David Petraeus, who was fined and avoided jail time, and it will be interesting to see how the Dennis Hastert case develops. Hastert will no doubt be slapped on the wrist for the crime of moving around his own money while the corruption that was the source of that money, both as a legislator and lobbyist, will be ignored. As will his molestation of at least one and possibly several young boys. One thing for sure about the Washington elite, you never have to say you're sorry.

Reprinted with permission from Unz Review.

[Dec 21, 2019] Bill Clinton began humanitarian wars but it was Bush II and Obama who turned resource wars into routine practice and the USA into malignant overlords who decided when it is time to take it all.

Notable quotes:
"... oligarchic greed; a military dedicated to protecting the wealth of oligarchs; and, wars over resources. Granted Bill Clinton began the current charade about 'humanitarian wars' but it was Bush II and Obama who turned our focus into resource wars and the hegemons (Malignant Overlords) who decided it was time to take it all. ..."
www.nakedcapitalism.com

rg the lg | Oct 22, 2016 8:25:27 PM | 33

http://empireexposed.blogspot.com/

Long ago (1968) after returning from Vietnam with a bullet hole in my leg (my 90 wonder, post-ROTC officer shot me when he panicked) I wondered off to a down-at-the-heel cow college. There I took a class and C Wright Mills 'The Power Elite' was required reading.

I had just finished 'War is a fraud' and read an article by Paul Ehrlich an then 'The Population Bomb' shortly thereafter. The three books created an interesting fusion in my mind:

  1. More or less after the year 2000 the world would be plagued by resource wars;
  2. The primary role of the military is to enforce what capitalists want; and
  3. Behind the alleged scenes of our form of government hovered oligarchs who would demand more and more.

I recently found a paper I had written long ago. It wasn't very well written, but even then the handwriting was on the wall: oligarchic greed; a military dedicated to protecting the wealth of oligarchs; and, wars over resources. Granted Bill Clinton began the current charade about 'humanitarian wars' but it was Bush II and Obama who turned our focus into resource wars and the hegemons (Malignant Overlords) who decided it was time to take it all.

I guess the point of all of this is (except for the details) Ehrlich, Mills and Butler warned us. As did Huxley and Orwell ... we were just too damned dumb (or distracted) to see it.

Maybe with the Queen of Chaos, the above will result in either annihilation or in a severe reduction in the numbers of people ... (hopefully including all of the oligarchic class) and the chance to start over?

Nah ... we'll just fuck it up again ... as a species we refuse to learn. Sigh ...

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

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

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

Best analysis by a candidate for POTUS ever:

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

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

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

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

  • Teodoro Obiang Nguema, the president of Equatorial Guinea, is a kleptocrat, murderer, and alleged cannibal. This is him and his wife with Barack and