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Relentless militarism and reckless jingoism of the US neoliberal elite

As large part of the US GDP (financial services part) is fake,
 the current level of military expenses can bankrupt the country

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War . . . the lie, about war, about ourselves, is imploding our democracy

By Chris Hedges
Online Journal Guest Writer

It is impossible to understand the current wave of the US militarism without understanding neoliberalism and, especially, Neoconservatism -- the dominant force in the US foreign policy since Reagan.

From Wikipedia

Militarism - Wikipedia

Militarism is the belief or the desire of a fascist government or a people that a country should maintain a strong military capability and be prepared to use it aggressively to defend or promote national interests; examples of militarist states include North Korea, the United States of America, Nazi Germany, and the Soviet Union, as well as most Imperial states, such as the Roman Empire.[1]

It may also imply the glorification of the military and of the ideals of a professional military class and the "predominance of the armed forces in the administration or policy of the state"[2] (see also: stratocracy and military junta).

Militarism has been a significant element of the imperialist or expansionist ideologies of several nations throughout history.

Jingoism - Wikipedia

Jingoism is nationalism in the form of aggressive foreign policy.[1] Jingoism also refers to a country's advocacy for the use of threats or actual force, as opposed to peaceful relations, in efforts to safeguard what it perceives as its national interests. Colloquially, it refers to excessive bias in judging one's own country as superior to others—an extreme type of nationalism.

June 17, 2005  | DemocracyRising.US

The vanquished know war. They see through the empty jingoism of those who use the abstract words of glory, honor, and patriotism to mask the cries of the wounded, the senseless killing, war profiteering, and chest-pounding grief. They know the lies the victors often do not acknowledge, the lies covered up in stately war memorials and mythic war narratives, filled with words of courage and comradeship. They know the lies that permeate the thick, self-important memoirs by amoral statesmen who make wars but do not know war.

The vanquished know the essence of war—death. They grasp that war is necrophilia. They see that war is a state of almost pure sin with its goals of hatred and destruction. They know how war fosters alienation, leads inevitably to nihilism, and is a turning away from the sanctity and preservation of life. All other narratives about war too easily fall prey to the allure and seductiveness of violence, as well as the attraction of the godlike power that comes with the license to kill with impunity.

But the words of the vanquished come later, sometimes long after the war, when grown men and women unpack the suffering they endured as children, what it was like to see their mother or father killed or taken away, or what it was like to lose their homes, their community, their security, and be discarded as human refuse. But by then few listen. The truth about war comes out, but usually too late. We are assured by the war-makers that these stories have no bearing on the glorious violent enterprise the nation is about to inaugurate. And, lapping up the myth of war and its sense of empowerment, we prefer not to look.

We see the war in Iraq only through the distorted lens of the occupiers. The embedded reporters, dependent on the military for food and transportation as well as security, have a natural and understandable tendency, one I have myself felt, to protect those who are protecting them. They are not allowed to report outside of the unit and are, in effect, captives. They have no relationships with the occupied, essential to all balanced reporting of conflicts, but only with the Marines and soldiers who drive through desolate mud-walled towns and pump grenades and machine-gun bullets into houses, leaving scores of nameless dead and wounded in their wake. The reporters admire and laud these fighters for their physical courage. They feel protected as well by the jet fighters and heavy artillery and throaty rattle of machine guns. And the reporting, even among those who struggle to keep some distance, usually descends into a shameful cheerleading.

There is no more candor in Iraq or Afghanistan than there was in Vietnam, but in the age of live satellite feeds the military has perfected the appearance of candor. What we are fed is the myth of war. For the myth of war, the myth of glory and honor sells newspapers and boosts ratings, real war reporting does not. Ask the grieving parents of Pat Tillman. Nearly every embedded war correspondent sees his or her mission as sustaining civilian and army morale. This is what passes for coverage on FOX, MSNBC or CNN. In wartime, as Senator Hiram Johnson reminded us in 1917, "truth is the first casualty."

All our knowledge of the war in Iraq has to be viewed as lacking the sweep and depth that will come one day, perhaps years from now, when a small Iraqi boy or girl reaches adulthood and unfolds for us the sad and tragic story of the invasion and bloody occupation of their nation.

I have spent most of my adult life in war. I began two decades ago covering wars in Central America, where I spent five years, then the Middle East, where I spent seven, and the Balkans where I covered the wars in Bosnia and Kosovo. My life has been marred, let me say deformed, by the organized industrial violence that year after year was an intimate part of my existence. I have watched young men bleed to death on lonely Central American dirt roads and cobblestone squares in Sarajevo. I have looked into the eyes of mothers, kneeling over the lifeless and mutilated bodies of their children. I have stood in warehouses with rows of corpses, including children, and breathed death into my lungs. I carry within me the ghosts of those I worked with, my comrades, now gone.

I have felt the attraction of violence. I know its seductiveness, excitement and the powerful addictive narcotic it can become. The young soldiers, trained well enough to be disciplined but encouraged to maintain their naive adolescent belief in invulnerability, have in wartime more power at their fingertips than they will ever have again. They catapult from being minimum wage employees at places like Burger King, facing a life of dead-end jobs with little hope of health insurance and adequate benefits, to being part of, in the words of the Marines, "the greatest fighting force on the face of the earth." The disparity between what they were and what they have become is breathtaking and intoxicating. This intoxication is only heightened in wartime when all taboos are broken. Murder goes unpunished and often rewarded. The thrill of destruction fills their days with wild adrenaline highs, strange grotesque landscapes that are hallucinogenic, all accompanied by a sense of purpose and comradeship, overpowers the alienation many left behind. They become accustomed to killing, carrying out acts of slaughter with no more forethought than they take to relieve themselves. And the abuses committed against the helpless prisoners in Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo are not aberrations but the real face of war. In wartime all human beings become objects, objects either to gratify or destroy or both. And almost no one is immune. The contagion of the crowd sees to that.

"Force," Simon Weil wrote, "is as pitiless to the man who possess it, or thinks he does, as it is to his victim. The second it crushes; the first it intoxicates."

This myth, the lie, about war, about ourselves, is imploding our democracy. We shun introspection and self-criticism. We ignore truth, to embrace the strange, disquieting certitude and hubris offered by the radical Christian Right. These radical Christians draw almost exclusively from the book of Revelation, the only time in the Gospels where Jesus sanctions violence, peddling a vision of Christ as the head of a great and murderous army of heavenly avengers. They rarely speak about Christ's message of love, forgiveness and compassion. They relish the cataclysmic destruction that will befall unbelievers, including those such as myself, whom they dismiss as "nominal Christians." They divide the world between good and evil, between those anointed to act as agents of God and those who act as agents of Satan. The cult of masculinity and esthetic of violence pervades their ideology. Feminism and homosexuality are forces, believers are told, that have rendered the American male physically and spiritually impotent. Jesus, for the Christian Right, is a man of action, casting out demons, battling the Anti-Christ, attacking hypocrites and castigating the corrupt. The language is one not only of exclusion, hatred and fear, but a call for apocalyptic violence, in short the language of war.

As the war grinds forward, as we sink into a morass of our own creation, as our press and political opposition, and yes even our great research universities, remain complacent and passive, as we refuse to confront the forces that have crippled us outside our gates and are working to cripple us within, the ideology of the Christian Right, so intertwined with intolerance and force, will become the way we speak not only to others but among ourselves.

In war, we always deform ourselves, our essence. We give up individual conscience—maybe even consciousness—for contagion of the crowd, the rush of patriotism, the belief that we must stand together as nation in moments of extremity. To make a moral choice, to defy war's enticement, to find moral courage, can be self-destructive.

The attacks on the World Trade Center illustrate that those who oppose us, rather than coming from another moral universe, have been schooled well in modern warfare. The dramatic explosions, the fireballs, the victims plummeting to their deaths, the collapse of the towers in Manhattan, were straight out of Hollywood. Where else, but from the industrialized world, did the suicide bombers learn that huge explosions and death above a city skyline are a peculiar and effective form of communication? They have mastered the language we have taught them. They understand that the use of indiscriminate violence against innocents is a way to make a statement. We leave the same calling cards. We delivered such incendiary messages in Vietnam, Serbia, Afghanistan and Iraq. It was Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara who in the summer of 1965 defined the bombing raids that would kill hundreds of thousands of civilians north of Saigon as a means of communication to the Communist regime in Hanoi.

The most powerful anti-war testaments, of war and what war does to us, are those that eschew images of combat. It is the suffering of the veteran whose body and mind are changed forever because he or she served a nation that sacrificed them, the suffering of families and children caught up in the unforgiving maw of war, which begin to tell the story of war. But we are not allowed to see dead bodies, at least of our own soldiers, nor do we see the wounds that forever mark a life, the wounds that leave faces and bodies horribly disfigured by burns or shrapnel. We never watch the agony of the dying. War is made palatable. It is sanitized. We are allowed to taste war's perverse thrill, but spared from seeing war's consequences. The wounded and the dead are swiftly carted offstage. And for this I blame the press, which willingly hides from us the effects of bullets, roadside bombs and rocket-propelled grenades, which sat at the feet of those who lied to make this war possible and dutifully reported these lies and called it journalism.

War is always about this betrayal. It is about the betrayal of the young by the old, idealists by cynics and finally soldiers by politicians. Those who pay the price, those who are maimed forever by war, however, are crumpled up and thrown away. We do not see them. We do not hear them. They are doomed, like wandering spirits, to float around the edges of our consciousness, ignored, even reviled. The message they bring is too painful for us to hear. We prefer the myth of war, the myth of glory, honor, patriotism and heroism, words that in the terror and brutality of combat are empty, meaningless and obscene.

We are losing the war in Iraq. We are an isolated and reviled nation. We are pitiless to others weaker than ourselves. We have lost sight of our democratic ideals. Thucydides wrote of Athens expanding empire and how this empire led it to become a tyrant abroad and then a tyrant at home. The tyranny Athens imposed on others it finally imposed on itself. If we do not confront the lies and hubris told to justify the killing and mask the destruction carried out in our name in Iraq, if we do not grasp the moral corrosiveness of empire and occupation, if we continue to allow force and violence to be our primary form of communication, if we do not remove from power our flag-waving, cross-bearing versions of the Taliban, we will not so much defeat dictators such as Saddam Hussein as become them.

Chris Hedges has been a war reporter for 15 years most recently for the New York Times. He is author of "What Every person Should Know About War," a book that offers a critical lesson in the dangerous realities of war. He's also author of "War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning."

War as a natural state of the USA since 1945


"...These rules have pushed the United States to a state of perpetual war. With enemies supposedly everywhere, the pursuit of security has become open-ended. "
"...One is reminded of John Winthrop, who, in 1630, told the future residents of Massachusetts Bay Colony: "We shall be as a City upon a Hill, the eyes of all people are upon us." Over subsequent decades, Winthrop's sermon became the American mission, fired by self-righteousness and fueled by self-confidence. From that mission emerged the idea of Manifest Destiny -- American ideals should spread across the continent and around the globe. Along the way, Americans lost sight of what Winthrop actually meant. His words were both inspiration and warning: Aspire to greatness, but remain honorable. Power lies in virtue. Winthrop envisaged a shining beacon, worthy of emulation. He saw no need to come down from the hill and ram ideals down the throats of the recalcitrant. "
"...Back in 1963, the Kennedy administration was faced with a steadily disintegrating situation in Vietnam. At a turbulent cabinet meeting, Attorney General Robert Kennedy asked: If the situation is so dire, why not withdraw? Arthur Schlesinger, present at the meeting, noted how "the question hovered for a moment, then died away." It was "a hopelessly alien thought in a field of unexplored assumptions and entrenched convictions." The Washington rules kept the United States on a steady course toward disaster. "
"...Barack Obama once promised that change was coming, but then quickly adhered to the old rules by escalating an unwinnable and certainly unaffordable war in Afghanistan. Failures, as Steffens hoped, have been illuminating, but after each flash of light, darkness has prevailed. "

[Neocons] advocate permanent war for permanent peace

Professor Basevich

 

The foreign policy of the USA since the dissolution of the USSR was and is "open militarism". Recently  John Quiggin  tried to define militarism is came to the following definition (crookedtimber.org):

100 years after the Battle of the Somme, it's hard to see that much has been learned from the catastrophe of the Great War and the decades of slaughter that followed it. Rather than get bogged down (yet again) in specifics that invariably decline into arguments about who know more of the historical detail, I'm going to try a different approach, looking at the militarist ideology that gave us the War, and trying to articulate an anti-militarist alternative. Wikipedia offers a definition of militarism which, with the deletion of a single weasel word, seems to be entirely satisfactory and also seems to describe the dominant view of the political class, and much of the population in nearly every country in the world.

Militarism is the belief or desire of a government or people that a country should maintain a strong military capability and be prepared to use it aggressively[^1] to defend or promote national interests

This phenomenon of  New American Militarism was well analyzed by Professor Bacevich (who is a former colonel of the US army). Bacevich's book  Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War  describe the "sacred trinity" of:

 Professor Bacevich shows that neocons dominate the US foreign policy regardless of whether Republicans or Democrats are in power. They profess that the US in the only country uniquely qualified to take on the worldwide foes of peace and democracy, forgetting, revising, or ignoring the painful lessons of World War II, Vietnam, and beyond that might have taken the USA into periods of unprecedented peace, instead of numerous conflicts.

Bacevich scores a direct hit on the foundations of the American national security state with this scathing critique, and demolishes the unspoken assumptions that he believes have led the United States into a senseless, wasteful, and counter-productive posture of nearly perpetual war. These assumptions take the form of the "credo" -- which holds that the United States has the unique responsibility to intervene wherever it wants, for whatever purpose it wants, by whatever means it wants -- and the supporting "trinity" of requirements for the U.S. to maintain a global military presence, to configure its military forces for global power projection, and to counter threats by relying on a policy of global interventionism.

In other words they advocate permanent war for permanent peace. Lessons that the author shows President Obama is clearly in the midst of learning, using a modified sacred trinity. Written in engaging prose, his book Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War is an excellent peace of research with sections that some may find very troubling. Here is the summary:

UFPPC (www.ufppc.org) Digging Deeper CXXXVII: September 27, 2010, 7:00 p.m. 

Andrew J. Bacevich, Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War (New York: Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt and Company, August 2010).

Thesis

The Washington consensus on national security policy that constitutes convention wisdom in American foreign policy began with the Cold War and survived, remarkably, the Vietnam War and the disintegration of the Soviet Union, no longer serves American interests, but the failure of the Obama administration to alter it shows that change can only come from the American people.

Introduction: Slow Learner

The author's faith in orthodoxy began to crumble when visiting the BrandenburgGate in Berlin in the winter of 1990-1991(1-4). In October 1990 a visit to Jenarevealed the backwardness of EastGermany (4-6). During his years in the Army, Bacevich had kept down doubts; after the end of the Cold War he retired, and his loss of status freed him to educate himself (6-10).

"George W.Bush's decision to launch Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 pushed me fully into opposition" (10). "This book aims to take stock of conventional wisdom" (11). The past 60 years of American history shows continuity: a symbiotic "credo" (formulated by Henry Luce in 1941 as the "American Century") and a "sacred trinity" ("the minimum essentials of international peace and order require the United States to maintain a global military presence, to configure its forces for global power projection, and to counter existing or anticipated threats by relying on a policy of  global interventionism") together define "the rules to which Washington adheres" (11-15).

In this book, "Washington" refers to the upper echelons of the three branches of government, the main agencies of the national security state, select think tanks and interest groups, "big banks and other financial institutions, defense contractors and major corporations, television networks and elite publications like the New York Times, even quasi-academic entities like the Council on Foreign Relations and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government" (15).

This book aspires to

  1. trace the history of the Washington rules;
  2. show who wins, who loses, and who pays under them;
  3. explain how itis perpetuated;
  4. show that the rules have lost what utility they might once have had;
  5. re-legitimate "disreputable (or 'radical') views to our national security debates" (16).

The American Century is ending, and it "has become essential" to devise an "alternative to the reining national security paradigm" (16-18).

Ch. 1: The Advent of Semiwar.

As president, Barack Obama's efforts to change the U.S.'s exercise of power "have seldom risen above the cosmetic"(20). He made clear he subscribes to the "catechism of American statecraft," viz. that 1) the world must be organized, 2)only the U.S. can do it, 3) this includes dictating principles, and 4) not to accept this is to be a rogue or a recalcitrant (20-21).

It follows that the U.S. need not conform to the norms it sets for others and that it should maintain a worldwide network of bases (22-23).

Imagine if China acted in a comparable manner (23-25). The extraordinary American military posture in the world (25-27). To call this into question puts one beyond the pale(27). James Forrestal called this a permanent condition of semiwar, requiring high levels of military spending(27-28).

American citizens are not supposed to concern themselves with it (29-30). As to how this came about, the "standard story line" presents as the result of the decisions of a "succession of presidential administrations," though this conceals as much as it reveals (30-32).

Eisenhower's 1961 Farewell Address on the "military-industrial complex" was a rare exception (32-34). More important than presidents were Allen Dulles [1893-1969] and Curtis Lemay [1906-1990] (34-36).

Bacevich attributes the vision for an American-dominated post-World War II world with the CIA playing an active role to the patrician Dulles (36-43). The development of the U.S. military into a force capable of dominating the world, especially in the area of strategic weapons, he attributes to the hard-bitten Curtis LeMay, organizer of the StrategicAir Command (SAC) (43-52). Dulles and LeMay shared devotion to country, ruthlessness, a certain recklessness (52-55). They exploited American anxieties and insecurities in yin (Dulles's CIA) yang(LeMay's SAC) fashion, leaving the mainstay of American military power, the U.S. Army, in a relatively weak position(55-58).

Ch. 2: Illusions of Flexibility and Control

Kennedy kept Dulles and LeMay to signal continuity, but there was a behind-the-scenes struggle led by Gen. Maxwell Taylor to reassert the role of the U.S. Army by expanding and modernizing conventional forces that was "simultaneously masked by, and captured in, the phrase flexible response " (60; 59-63).

This agenda purported to aim at "resisting aggression" but really created new options for limited aggressive warfare by the U.S. (63-66).

McNamara engaged in a struggle with LeMay to control U.S. policy on nuclear weapons, but he embraced the need for redundancy based on a land-sea-air attack "triad" and LeMay et al. "got most of what they wanted" (66-72).

In the aftermath of the Bay of Pigs, Kennedy instituted the morally and legally "indefensible" Operation Mongoose," in effect, a program of state-sponsored terrorism" against Cuba (80; 72-82 [but Bacevich is silent on its wilder elements, like Operation Northwoods]).

U.S. recklessness caused the Cuban Missile Crisis, and to his credit Kennedy acknowledged this (albeit privately) and "suspended the tradition" in defusing the crisis (82-87).

Bacevich rejects as a romantic delusion the view that in the aftermath of this crisis Kennedy turned against the military-industrial complex and the incipient Vietnam war and shows no interest in Kennedy's assassination itself (87-92).

He sees a parallel between escalation in Vietnam and post-9/11 aggression as "fought to sustain the Washington consensus" (107; 92-107).

Ch. 3: The Credo Restored.

William Fulbright's The Arrogance of Power (1966) urged a rethinking of the Washington rules (109-15). A radicalized David Shoup, a Medal of Honor winner and former commandant of the MarineCorps, argued in "The New American Militarism" (Atlantic, April 1969) that the U.S. had become "a militaristic and aggressive nation" (120; 115-21). The 1960s Zeitgeist shift made LeMay "an embarrassment, mocked and vilified rather than venerated," which showed that the Washington rules had incurred serious damage in Vietnam; the Army was in dire shape (122; 121-27).

Yet astonishingly, in the subsequent decade the "sacred trinity" (cf. 11-15) was "fully restored" (127). As in post-1918 Germany, élites looked for scapegoats and worked to reverse "the war's apparent verdict" (128). The Council on Foreign Relations 1976 volume entitled The Vietnam Legacy: The War, American Society, and the Future of American Foreign Policy is an expression of élite consensus that the Vietnam war was insignificant, an anomaly (129-34).

By 1980, Democrats and Republicans were again on the same page (134-36).Reagan's election "sealed the triumph of Vietnam revisionism" (136; 136-38). Andthe end of the Cold War posed no challenge to the Washington rules, as Madeleine Albright's pretentious arrogance exemplifies (138-45).

Ch. 4: Reconstituting the Trinity

 The period from 1980 to 2000 saw "not retrenchment but reconfiguration" (147). The 

Except from Macmillan

Introduction: Slow Learner Worldly ambition inhibits true learning. Ask me. I know. A young man in a hurry is nearly uneducable: He knows what he wants and where he's headed; when it comes to looking back or entertaining heretical thoughts, he has neither the time nor the inclination. All that counts is that he is going somewhere. Only as ambition wanes does education become a possibility.

My own education did not commence until I had reached middle age. I can fix its start date with precision: For me, education began in Berlin, on a winter's evening, at the Brandenburg Gate, not long after the Berlin Wall had fallen. As an officer in the U.S. Army I had spent considerable time in Germany. Until that moment, however, my family and I had never had occasion to visit this most famous of German cities, still littered with artifacts of a deeply repellent history. At the end of a long day of exploration, we found ourselves in what had, until just months before, been the communist East. It was late and we were hungry, but I insisted on walking the length of the Unter den Linden, from the River Spree to the gate itself. A cold rain was falling and the pavement glistened. The buildings lining the avenue, dating from the era of Prussian kings, were dark, dirty, and pitted. Few people were about. It was hardly a night for sightseeing. For as long as I could remember, the Brandenburg Gate had been the preeminent symbol of the age and Berlin the epicenter of contemporary history. 

Yet by the time I made it to the once and future German capital, history was already moving on. The Cold War had abruptly ended. A divided city and a divided nation had re united. For Americans who had known Berlin only from a distance, the city existed primarily as a metaphor. Pick a date— 1933, 1942, 1945, 1948, 1961, 1989—and Berlin becomes an instructive symbol of power, depravity, tragedy, defiance, endurance, or vindication. For those inclined to view the past as a chronicle of parables, the modern history of Berlin offered an abundance of material. The greatest of those parables emerged from the events of 1933 to 1945, an epic tale of evil ascendant, belatedly confronted, then heroically overthrown.

A second narrative, woven from events during the intense period immediately following World War II, saw hopes for peace dashed, yielding bitter antagonism but also great resolve. The ensuing stand-off—the "long twilight struggle," in John Kennedy's memorable phrase— formed the centerpiece of the third parable, its central theme stubborn courage in the face of looming peril. Finally came the exhilarating events of 1989, with freedom ultimately prevailing, not only in Berlin, but throughout Eastern Europe.

.... ... ...

Although commonly depicted as the most advanced and successful component of the Soviet Empire, East Germany more closely resembled part of the undeveloped world.

... ... ...

Briquettes of soft coal used for home heating made the air all but unbreathable and coated everything with soot. In the German cities we knew, pastels predominated—houses and apartment blocks painted pale green, muted salmon, and soft yellow. Here everything was brown and gray

... ... ...

Bit by bit, my worldview started to crumble. That worldview had derived from this conviction: that American power manifested a commitment to global leadership, and that both together expressed and affirmed the nation's enduring devotion to its founding ideals. That American power, policies, and purpose were bound together in a neat, internally consistent package, each element drawing strength from and reinforcing the others, was something I took as a given. That, during my adult life, a penchant for interventionism had become a signature of U.S. policy did not—to me, at least—in any way contradict America's aspirations for peace. Instead, a willingness to expend lives and treasure in distant places testified to the seriousness of those aspirations. That, during this same period, the United States had amassed an arsenal of over thirty-one thousand nuclear weapons, some small number of them assigned to units in which I had served, was not at odds with our belief in the inalienable right to life and liberty; rather, threats to life and liberty had compelled the United States to acquire such an arsenal and maintain it in readiness for instant use.2 I was not so naive as to believe that the American record had been without flaws. Yet I assured myself that any errors or misjudgments had been committed in good faith. Furthermore, circumstances permitted little real choice. In Southeast Asia as in Western Europe, in the Persian Gulf as in the Western Hemisphere, the United States had simply done what needed doing. Viable alternatives did not exist. To consent to any dilution of American power would be to forfeit global leadership, thereby putting at risk safety, prosperity, and freedom, not only our own but also that of our friends and allies.

The choices seemed clear enough. On one side was the status quo: the commitments, customs, and habits that defined American globalism, implemented by the national security apparatus within which I functioned as a small cog. On the other side was the prospect of appeasement, isolationism, and catastrophe. The only responsible course was the one to which every president since Harry Truman had adhered. For me, the Cold War had played a crucial role in sustaining that worldview.

Given my age, upbringing, and professional background, it could hardly have been otherwise. Although the great rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union had contained moments of considerable anxiety — I remember my father, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, stocking our basement with water and canned goods — it served primarily to clarify, not to frighten.

The Cold War provided a framework that organized and made sense of contemporary history. It offered a lineup and a scorecard. That there existed bad Germans and good Germans, their Germans and our Germans, totalitarian Germans and Germans who, like Americans, passionately loved freedom was, for example, a proposition I accepted as dogma. Seeing the Cold War as a struggle between good and evil answered many questions, consigned others to the periphery, and rendered still others irrelevant.

Back in the 1960s, during the Vietnam War, more than a few members of my generation had rejected the conception of the Cold War as a Manichean struggle. Here too, I was admittedly a slow learner. Yet having kept the faith long after others had lost theirs, the doubts that eventually assailed me were all the more disorienting. Granted, occasional suspicions had appeared long before Jena and Berlin

My own Vietnam experience had generated its share, which I had done my best to suppress. I was, after all, a serving soldier. Except in the narrowest of terms, the military profession, in those days at least, did not look kindly on nonconformity. Climbing the ladder of career success required curbing maverick tendencies. To get ahead, you needed to be a team player. Later, when studying the history of U.S. foreign relations in graduate school, I was pelted with challenges to orthodoxy, which I vigorously deflected. When it came to education, graduate school proved a complete waste of time — a period of intense study devoted to the further accumulation of facts, while I exerted myself to ensuring that they remained inert.

Now, however, my personal circumstances were changing. Shortly after the passing of the Cold War, my military career ended. Education thereby became not only a possibility, but also a necessity. In measured doses, mortification cleanses the soul. It's the perfect antidote for excessive self-regard. After twenty-three years spent inside the U.S. Army seemingly going somewhere, I now found myself on the outside going nowhere in particular. In the self-contained and cloistered universe of regimental life, I had briefly risen to the status of minor spear carrier. The instant I took off my uniform, that status vanished. I soon came to a proper appreciation of my own insignificance, a salutary lesson that I ought to have absorbed many years earlier. As I set out on what eventually became a crablike journey toward a new calling as a teacher and writer—a pilgrimage of sorts—ambition in the commonly accepted meaning of the term ebbed. This did not happen all at once. Yet gradually, trying to grab one of life's shiny brass rings ceased being a major preoccupation.

Wealth, power, and celebrity became not aspirations but subjects for critical analysis.

History—especially the familiar narrative of the Cold War—no longer offered answers; instead, it posed perplexing riddles. Easily the most nagging was this one: How could I have so profoundly misjudged the reality of what lay on the far side of the Iron Curtain? Had I been insufficiently attentive? Or was it possible that I had been snookered all along? Contemplating such questions, while simultaneously witnessing the unfolding of the "long 1990s"— the period bookended by two wars with Iraq when American vainglory reached impressive new heights—prompted the realization that I had grossly misinterpreted the threat posed by America's adversaries. Yet that was the lesser half of the problem. Far worse than misperceiving "them" was the fact that I had misperceived "us." What I thought I knew best I actually understood least. Here, the need for education appeared especially acute.

George W. Bush's decision to launch Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 pushed me fully into opposition. Claims that once seemed elementary—above all, claims relating to the essentially benign purposes of American power— now appeared preposterous. The contradictions that found an ostensibly peace-loving nation committing itself to a doctrine of preventive war became too great to ignore. The folly and hubris of the policy makers who heedlessly thrust the nation into an ill-defined and open-ended "global war on terror" without the foggiest notion of what victory would look like, how it would be won, and what it might cost approached standards hitherto achieved only by slightly mad German warlords. During the era of containment, the United States had at least maintained the pretense of a principled strategy; now, the last vestiges of principle gave way to fantasy and opportunism. With that, the worldview to which I had adhered as a young adult and carried into middle age dissolved completely. *

What should stand in the place of such discarded convictions? Simply inverting the conventional wisdom, substituting a new Manichean paradigm for the old discredited version—the United States taking the place of the Soviet Union as the source of the world's evil—would not suffice. Yet arriving at even an approximation of truth would entail subjecting conventional wisdom, both present and past, to sustained and searching scrutiny. Cautiously at first but with growing confidence, this I vowed to do. Doing so meant shedding habits of conformity acquired over decades. All of my adult life I had been a company man, only dimly aware of the extent to which institutional loyalties induce myopia. Asserting independence required first recognizing the extent to which I had been socialized to accept certain things as unimpeachable. Here then were the preliminary steps essential to making education accessible. Over a period of years, a considerable store of debris had piled up. Now, it all had to go. Belatedly, I learned that more often than not what passes for conventional wisdom is simply wrong. Adopting fashionable attitudes to demonstrate one's trustworthiness—the world of politics is flush with such people hoping thereby to qualify for inclusion in some inner circle—is akin to engaging in prostitution in exchange for promissory notes. It's not only demeaning but downright foolhardy. This book aims to take stock of conventional wisdom in its most influential and enduring form, namely the package of assumptions, habits, and precepts that have defined the tradition of statecraft to which the United States has adhered since the end of World War II— the era of global dominance now drawing to a close. This postwar tradition combines two components, each one so deeply embedded in the American collective consciousness as to have all but disappeared from view.

The first component specifies norms according to which the international order ought to work and charges the United States with responsibility for enforcing those norms. Call this the American credo. In the simplest terms, the credo summons the United States—and the United States alone—to lead, save, liberate, and ultimately transform the world. In a celebrated manifesto issued at the dawn of what he termed "The American Century," Henry R. Luce made the case for this spacious conception of global leadership. Writing in Life magazine in early 1941, the influential publisher exhorted his fellow citizens to "accept wholeheartedly our duty to exert upon the world the full impact of our influence for such purposes as we see fit and by such means as we see fit." Luce thereby captured what remains even today the credo's essence.3 Luce's concept of an American Century, an age of unquestioned American global primacy, resonated, especially in Washington. His evocative phrase found a permanent place in the lexicon of national politics. (Recall that the neoconservatives who, in the 1990s, lobbied for more militant U.S. policies named their enterprise the Project for a New American Century.) So, too, did Luce's expansive claim of prerogatives to be exercised by the United States.

Even today, whenever public figures allude to America's responsibility to lead, they signal their fidelity to this creed. Along with respectful allusions to God and "the troops," adherence to Luce's credo has become a de facto prerequisite for high office. Question its claims and your prospects of being heard in the hubbub of national politics become nil. Note, however, that the duty Luce ascribed to Americans has two components. It is not only up to Americans, he wrote, to choose the purposes for which they would bring their influence to bear, but to choose the means as well. Here we confront the second component of the postwar tradition of American statecraft. With regard to means, that tradition has emphasized activism over example, hard power over soft, and coercion (often styled "negotiating from a position of strength") over suasion. Above all, the exercise of global leadership as prescribed by the credo obliges the United States to maintain military capabilities staggeringly in excess of those required for self-defense. Prior to World War II, Americans by and large viewed military power and institutions with skepticism, if not outright hostility. In the wake of World War II, that changed. An affinity for military might emerged as central to the American identity. By the midpoint of the twentieth century, "the Pentagon" had ceased to be merely a gigantic five-sided building.

Like "Wall Street" at the end of the nineteenth century, it had become Leviathan, its actions veiled in secrecy, its reach extending around the world. Yet while the concentration of power in Wall Street had once evoked deep fear and suspicion, Americans by and large saw the concentration of power in the Pentagon as benign. Most found it reassuring. A people who had long seen standing armies as a threat to liberty now came to believe that the preservation of liberty required them to lavish resources on the armed forces. During the Cold War, Americans worried ceaselessly about falling behind the Russians, even though the Pentagon consistently maintained a position of overall primacy. Once the Soviet threat disappeared, mere primacy no longer sufficed. With barely a whisper of national debate, unambiguous and perpetual global military supremacy emerged as an essential predicate to global leadership. Every great military power has its distinctive signature. For Napoleonic France, it was the levée en masse— the people in arms animated by the ideals of the Revolution. For Great Britain in the heyday of empire, it was command of the seas, sustained by a dominant fleet and a network of far-flung outposts from Gibraltar and the Cape of Good Hope to Singapore and Hong Kong. Germany from the 1860s to the 1940s (and Israel from 1948 to 1973) took another approach, relying on a potent blend of tactical flexibility and operational audacity to achieve battlefield superiority.

The abiding signature of American military power since World War II has been of a different order altogether. The United States has not specialized in any particular type of war. It has not adhered to a fixed tactical style. No single service or weapon has enjoyed consistent favor. At times, the armed forces have relied on citizen-soldiers to fill their ranks; at other times, long-service professionals. Yet an examination of the past sixty years of U.S. military policy and practice does reveal important elements of continuity. Call them the sacred trinity: an abiding conviction that the minimum essentials of international peace and order require the United States to maintain a global military presence, to configure its forces for global power projection, and to counter existing or anticipated threats by relying on a policy of global interventionism. Together, credo and trinity—the one defining purpose, the other practice—constitute the essence of the way that Washington has attempted to govern and police the American Century. The relationship between the two is symbiotic. The trinity lends plausibility to the credo's vast claims. For its part, the credo justifies the trinity's vast requirements and exertions.

Together they provide the basis for an enduring consensus that imparts a consistency to U.S. policy regardless of which political party may hold the upper hand or who may be occupying the White House. From the era of Harry Truman to the age of Barack Obama, that consensus has remained intact. It defines the rules to which Washington adheres; it determines the precepts by which Washington rules. As used here, Washington is less a geographic expression than a set of interlocking institutions headed by people who, whether acting officially or unofficially, are able to put a thumb on the helm of state. Washington, in this sense, includes the upper echelons of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the federal government. It encompasses the principal components of the national security state— the departments of Defense, State, and, more recently, Homeland Security, along with various agencies comprising the intelligence and federal law enforcement communities. Its ranks extend to select think tanks and interest groups. Lawyers, lobbyists, fixers, former officials, and retired military officers who still enjoy access are members in good standing. Yet Washington also reaches beyond the Beltway to include big banks and other financial institutions, defense contractors and major corporations, television networks and elite publications like the New York Times, even quasi-academic entities like the Council on Foreign Relations and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

With rare exceptions, acceptance of the Washington rules forms a prerequisite for entry into this world. My purpose in writing this book is fivefold: first, to trace the origins and evolution of the Washington rules—both the credo that inspires consensus and the trinity in which it finds expression; second, to subject the resulting consensus to critical inspection, showing who wins and who loses and also who foots the bill; third, to explain how the Washington rules are perpetuated, with certain views privileged while others are declared disreputable; fourth, to demonstrate that the rules themselves have lost whatever utility they may once have possessed, with their implications increasingly pernicious and their costs increasingly unaffordable; and finally, to argue for readmitting disreputable (or "radical") views to our national security debate, in effect legitimating alternatives to the status quo. In effect, my aim is to invite readers to share in the process of education on which I embarked two decades ago in Berlin. The Washington rules were forged at a moment when American influence and power were approaching their acme. That moment has now passed. The United States has drawn down the stores of authority and goodwill it had acquired by 1945. Words uttered in Washington command less respect than once was the case. Americans can ill afford to indulge any longer in dreams of saving the world, much less remaking it in our own image. The curtain is now falling on the American Century. Similarly, the United States no longer possesses sufficient wherewithal to sustain a national security strategy that relies on global military presence and global power projection to underwrite a policy of global interventionism. Touted as essential to peace, adherence to that strategy has propelled the United States into a condition approximating perpetual war, as the military misadventures of the past decade have demonstrated.

To anyone with eyes to see, the shortcomings inherent in the Washington rules have become plainly evident. Although those most deeply invested in perpetuating its conventions will insist otherwise, the tradition to which Washington remains devoted has begun to unravel. Attempting to prolong its existence might serve Washington's interests, but it will not serve the interests of the American people.

Devising an alternative to the reigning national security paradigm will pose a daunting challenge—especially if Americans look to "Washington" for fresh thinking. Yet doing so has become essential. In one sense, the national security policies to which Washington so insistently adheres express what has long been the preferred American approach to engaging the world beyond our borders. That approach plays to America's presumed strong suit—since World War II, and especially since the end of the Cold War, thought to be military power. In another sense, this reliance on military might creates excuses for the United States to avoid serious engagement: Confidence in American arms has made it unnecessary to attend to what others might think or to consider how their aspirations might differ from our own.

In this way, the Washington rules reinforce American provincialism—a national trait for which the United States continues to pay dearly. The persistence of these rules has also provided an excuse to avoid serious self-engagement. From this perspective, confidence that the credo and the trinity will oblige others to accommodate themselves to America's needs or desires — whether for cheap oil, cheap credit, or cheap consumer goods—has allowed Washington to postpone or ignore problems demanding attention here at home.

Fixing Iraq or Afghanistan ends up taking precedence over fixing Cleveland and Detroit. Purporting to support the troops in their crusade to free the world obviates any obligation to assess the implications of how Americans themselves choose to exercise freedom. When Americans demonstrate a willingness to engage seriously with others, combined with the courage to engage seriously with themselves, then real education just might begin.

In their article ‘The American Century’ Has Plunged the World Into Crisis. What Happens Now?" Conn Hallinan and Leon Wofsy outlined important reasons  of the inevitability of the dominance of chicken hawks and jingoistic foreign policy in the USA political establishment:

June 22, 2015 | fpif.org

U.S. foreign policy is dangerous, undemocratic, and deeply out of sync with real global challenges. Is continuous war inevitable, or can we change course?

There’s something fundamentally wrong with U.S. foreign policy.

Despite glimmers of hope — a tentative nuclear agreement with Iran, for one, and a long-overdue thaw with Cuba — we’re locked into seemingly irresolvable conflicts in most regions of the world. They range from tensions with nuclear-armed powers like Russia and China to actual combat operations in the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa.

Why? Has a state of perpetual warfare and conflict become inescapable? Or are we in a self-replicating cycle that reflects an inability — or unwillingness — to see the world as it actually is?

The United States is undergoing a historic transition in our relationship to the rest of the world, but this is neither acknowledged nor reflected in U.S. foreign policy. We still act as if our enormous military power, imperial alliances, and self-perceived moral superiority empower us to set the terms of “world order.”

While this illusion goes back to the end of World War II, it was the end of the Cold War and collapse of the Soviet Union that signaled the beginning of a self-proclaimed “American Century.” The idea that the United States had “won” the Cold War and now — as the world’s lone superpower — had the right or responsibility to order the world’s affairs led to a series of military adventures. It started with President Bill Clinton’s intervention in the Yugoslav civil war, continued on with George W. Bush’s disastrous invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and can still be seen in the Obama administration’s own misadventures in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and beyond.

In each case, Washington chose war as the answer to enormously complex issues, ignoring the profound consequences for both foreign and domestic policy. Yet the world is very different from the assumptions that drive this impulsive interventionism.

It’s this disconnect that defines the current crisis.

Acknowledging New Realities

So what is it about the world that requires a change in our outlook? A few observations come to mind.

First, our preoccupation with conflicts in the Middle East — and to a significant extent, our tensions with Russia in Eastern Europe and with China in East Asia — distract us from the most compelling crises that threaten the future of humanity. Climate change and environmental perils have to be dealt with now and demand an unprecedented level of international collective action. That also holds for the resurgent danger of nuclear war.

Second, superpower military interventionism and far-flung acts of war have only intensified conflict, terror, and human suffering. There’s no short-term solution — especially by force — to the deep-seated problems that cause chaos, violence, and misery through much of the world.

Third, while any hope of curbing violence and mitigating the most urgent problems depends on international cooperation, old and disastrous intrigues over spheres of influence dominate the behavior of the major powers. Our own relentless pursuit of military advantage on every continent, including through alliances and proxies like NATO, divides the world into “friend” and “foe” according to our perceived interests. That inevitably inflames aggressive imperial rivalries and overrides common interests in the 21st century.

Fourth, while the United States remains a great economic power, economic and political influence is shifting and giving rise to national and regional centers no longer controlled by U.S.-dominated global financial structures. Away from Washington, London, and Berlin, alternative centers of economic power are taking hold in Beijing, New Delhi, Cape Town, and Brasilia. Independent formations and alliances are springing up: organizations like the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa); the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (representing 2.8 billion people); the Union of South American Nations; the Latin American trade bloc, Mercosur; and others.

Beyond the problems our delusions of grandeur have caused in the wider world, there are enormous domestic consequences of prolonged war and interventionism. We shell out over $1 trillion a year in military-related expenses even as our social safety net frays and our infrastructure crumbles. Democracy itself has become virtually dysfunctional.

Short Memories and Persistent Delusions

But instead of letting these changing circumstances and our repeated military failures give us pause, our government continues to act as if the United States has the power to dominate and dictate to the rest of the world.

The responsibility of those who set us on this course fades into background. Indeed, in light of the ongoing meltdown in the Middle East, leading presidential candidates are tapping neoconservatives like John Bolton and Paul Wolfowitz — who still think the answer to any foreign policy quandary is military power — for advice. Our leaders seem to forget that following this lot’s advice was exactly what caused the meltdown in the first place. War still excites them, risks and consequences be damned.

While the Obama administration has sought, with limited success, to end the major wars it inherited, our government makes wide use of killer drones in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, and has put troops back into Iraq to confront the religious fanaticism and brutality of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) — itself a direct consequence of the last U.S. invasion of Iraq. Reluctant to find common ground in the fight against ISIS with designated “foes” like Iran and Syria, Washington clings to allies like Saudi Arabia, whose leaders are fueling the crisis of religious fanaticism and internecine barbarity. Elsewhere, the U.S. also continues to give massive support to the Israeli government, despite its expanding occupation of the West Bank and its horrific recurring assaults on Gaza.

A “war first” policy in places like Iran and Syria is being strongly pushed by neoconservatives like former Vice President Dick Cheney and Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain. Though it’s attempted to distance itself from the neocons, the Obama administration adds to tensions with planned military realignments like the “Asia pivot” aimed at building up U.S. military forces in Asia to confront China. It’s also taken a more aggressive position than even other NATO partners in fostering a new cold war with Russia.

We seem to have missed the point: There is no such thing as an “American Century.” International order cannot be enforced by a superpower alone. But never mind centuries — if we don’t learn to take our common interests more seriously than those that divide nations and breed the chronic danger of war, there may well be no tomorrows.

Unexceptionalism

There’s a powerful ideological delusion that any movement seeking to change U.S. foreign policy must confront: that U.S. culture is superior to anything else on the planet. Generally going by the name of “American exceptionalism,” it’s the deeply held belief that American politics (and medicine, technology, education, and so on) are better than those in other countries. Implicit in the belief is an evangelical urge to impose American ways of doing things on the rest of the world.

Americans, for instance, believe they have the best education system in the world, when in fact they’ve dropped from 1st place to 14th place in the number of college graduates. We’ve made students of higher education the most indebted section of our population, while falling to 17th place in international education ratings. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation, the average American pays more than twice as much for his or her education than those in the rest of the world.

Health care is an equally compelling example. In the World Health Organization’s ranking of health care systems in 2000, the United States was ranked 37th. In a more recent Institute of Medicine report in 2013, the U.S. was ranked the lowest among 17 developed nations studied.

The old anti-war slogan, “It will be a good day when schools get all the money they need and the Navy has to hold a bake sale to buy an aircraft carrier” is as appropriate today as it was in the 1960s. We prioritize corporate subsidies, tax cuts for the wealthy, and massive military budgets over education. The result is that Americans are no longer among the most educated in the world.

But challenging the “exceptionalism” myth courts the danger of being labeled “unpatriotic” and “un-American,” two powerful ideological sanctions that can effectively silence critical or questioning voices.

The fact that Americans consider their culture or ideology “superior” is hardly unique. But no other country in the world has the same level of economic and military power to enforce its worldview on others.

The United States did not simply support Kosovo’s independence, for example. It bombed Serbia into de facto acceptance. When the U.S. decided to remove the Taliban, Saddam Hussein, and Muammar Gaddafi from power, it just did so. No other country is capable of projecting that kind of force in regions thousands of miles from its borders.

The U.S. currently accounts for anywhere from 45 to 50 percent of the world’s military spending. It has hundreds of overseas bases, ranging from huge sprawling affairs like Camp Bond Steel in Kosovo and unsinkable aircraft carriers around the islands of Okinawa, Wake, Diego Garcia, and Guam to tiny bases called “lily pads” of pre-positioned military supplies. The late political scientist Chalmers Johnson estimated that the U.S. has some 800 bases worldwide, about the same as the British Empire had at its height in 1895.

The United States has long relied on a military arrow in its diplomatic quiver, and Americans have been at war almost continuously since the end of World War II. Some of these wars were major undertakings: Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq (twice), Libya. Some were quick “smash and grabs” like Panama and Grenada. Others are “shadow wars” waged by Special Forces, armed drones, and local proxies. If one defines the term “war” as the application of organized violence, the U.S. has engaged in close to 80 wars since 1945.

The Home Front

The coin of empire comes dear, as the old expression goes.

According Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, the final butcher bill for the Afghanistan and Iraq wars — including the long-term health problems of veterans — will cost U.S. taxpayers around $6 trillion. One can add to that the over $1 trillion the U.S. spends each year on defense-related items. The “official” defense budget of some half a trillion dollars doesn’t include such items as nuclear weapons, veterans’ benefits or retirement, the CIA and Homeland Security, nor the billions a year in interest we’ll be paying on the debt from the Afghan-Iraq wars. By 2013 the U.S. had already paid out $316 billion in interest.

The domestic collateral damage from that set of priorities is numbing.

We spend more on our “official” military budget than we do on Medicare, Medicaid, Health and Human Services, Education, and Housing and Urban Development combined. Since 9/11, we’ve spent $70 million an hour on “security” compared to $62 million an hour on all domestic programs.

As military expenditures dwarf funding for deteriorating social programs, they drive economic inequality. The poor and working millions are left further and further behind. Meanwhile the chronic problems highlighted at Ferguson, and reflected nationwide, are a horrific reminder of how deeply racism — the unequal economic and social divide and systemic abuse of black and Latino youth — continues to plague our homeland.

The state of ceaseless war has deeply damaged our democracy, bringing our surveillance and security state to levels that many dictators would envy. The Senate torture report, most of it still classified, shatters the trust we are asked to place in the secret, unaccountable apparatus that runs the most extensive Big Brother spy system ever devised.

Bombs and Business

President Calvin Coolidge was said to have remarked that “the business of America is business.” Unsurprisingly, U.S. corporate interests play a major role in American foreign policy.

Out of the top 10 international arms producers, eight are American. The arms industry spends millions lobbying Congress and state legislatures, and it defends its turf with an efficiency and vigor that its products don’t always emulate on the battlefield. The F-35 fighter-bomber, for example — the most expensive weapons system in U.S. history — will cost $1.5 trillion and doesn’t work. It’s over budget, dangerous to fly, and riddled with defects. And yet few lawmakers dare challenge the powerful corporations who have shoved this lemon down our throats.

Corporate interests are woven into the fabric of long-term U.S. strategic interests and goals. Both combine to try to control energy supplies, command strategic choke points through which oil and gas supplies transit, and ensure access to markets.

Many of these goals can be achieved with standard diplomacy or economic pressure, but the U.S. always reserves the right to use military force. The 1979 “Carter Doctrine” — a document that mirrors the 1823 Monroe Doctrine about American interests in Latin America — put that strategy in blunt terms vis-à-vis the Middle East:

 “An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.”

It’s no less true in East Asia. The U.S. will certainly engage in peaceful economic competition with China. But if push comes to shove, the Third, Fifth, and Seventh fleets will back up the interests of Washington and its allies — Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, and Australia.

Trying to change the course of American foreign policy is not only essential for reducing international tensions. It’s critically important to shift the enormous wealth we expend in war and weapons toward alleviating growing inequality and social crises at home.

As long as competition for markets and accumulation of capital characterize modern society, nations will vie for spheres of influence, and antagonistic interests will be a fundamental feature of international relations. Chauvinist reaction to incursions real or imagined — and the impulse to respond by military means — is characteristic to some degree of every significant nation-state. Yet the more that some governments, including our own, become subordinate to oligarchic control, the greater is the peril.

Finding the Common Interest

These, however, are not the only factors that will shape the future.

There is nothing inevitable that rules out a significant change of direction, even if the demise or transformation of a capitalistic system of greed and exploitation is not at hand. The potential for change, especially in U.S. foreign policy, resides in how social movements here and abroad respond to the undeniable reality of: 1) the chronic failure, massive costs, and danger inherent in “American Century” exceptionalism; and 2) the urgency of international efforts to respond to climate change.

There is, as well, the necessity to respond to health and natural disasters aggravated by poverty, to rising messianic violence, and above all, to prevent a descent into war. This includes not only the danger of a clash between the major nuclear powers, but between regional powers. A nuclear exchange between Pakistan and India, for example, would affect the whole world.

Without underestimating the self-interest of forces that thrive on gambling with the future of humanity, historic experience and current reality elevate a powerful common interest in peace and survival. The need to change course is not something that can be recognized on only one side of an ideological divide. Nor does that recognition depend on national, ethnic, or religious identity. Rather, it demands acknowledging the enormous cost of plunging ahead as everything falls apart around us.

After the latest U.S. midterm elections, the political outlook is certainly bleak. But experience shows that elections, important as they are, are not necessarily indicators of when and how significant change can come about in matters of policy. On issues of civil rights and social equality, advances have occurred because a dedicated and persistent minority movement helped change public opinion in a way the political establishment could not defy.

The Vietnam War, for example, came to an end, despite the stubbornness of Democratic and Republican administrations, when a stalemate on the battlefield and growing international and domestic opposition could no longer be denied. Significant changes can come about even as the basic character of society is retained. Massive resistance and rejection of colonialism caused the British Empire and other colonial powers to adjust to a new reality after World War II. McCarthyism was eventually defeated in the United States. President Nixon was forced to resign. The use of landmines and cluster bombs has been greatly restricted because of the opposition of a small band of activists whose initial efforts were labeled “quixotic.”

There are diverse and growing political currents in our country that see the folly and danger of the course we’re on. Many Republicans, Democrats, independents, and libertarians — and much of the public — are beginning to say “enough” to war and military intervention all over the globe, and the folly of basing foreign policy on dividing countries into “friend or foe.”

This is not to be Pollyannaish about anti-war sentiment, or how quickly people can be stampeded into supporting the use of force. In early 2014, some 57 percent of Americans agreed that “over-reliance on military force creates more hatred leading to increased terrorism.” Only 37 percent believed military force was the way to go. But once the hysteria around the Islamic State began, those numbers shifted to pretty much an even split: 47 percent supported the use of military force, 46 percent opposed it.

It will always be necessary in each new crisis to counter those who mislead and browbeat the public into acceptance of another military intervention. But in spite of the current hysterics about ISIS, disillusionment in war as an answer is probably greater now among Americans and worldwide than it has ever been. That sentiment may prove strong enough to produce a shift away from perpetual war, a shift toward some modesty and common-sense realism in U.S. foreign policy.

Making Space for the Unexpected

Given that there is a need for a new approach, how can American foreign policy be changed?

Foremost, there is the need for a real debate on the thrust of a U.S. foreign policy that chooses negotiation, diplomacy, and international cooperation over the use of force.

However, as we approach another presidential election, there is as yet no strong voice among the candidates to challenge U.S. foreign policy. Fear and questionable political calculation keep even most progressive politicians from daring to dissent as the crisis of foreign policy lurches further into perpetual militarism and war. That silence of political acquiescence has to be broken.

Nor is it a matter of concern only on the left. There are many Americans — right, left, or neither — who sense the futility of the course we’re on. These voices have to be represented or the election process will be even more of a sham than we’ve recently experienced.

One can’t predict just what initiatives may take hold, but the recent U.S.-China climate agreement suggests that necessity can override significant obstacles. That accord is an important step forward, although a limited bilateral pact cannot substitute for an essential international climate treaty. There is a glimmer of hope also in the U.S.-Russian joint action that removed chemical weapons from Syria, and in negotiations with Iran, which continue despite fierce opposition from U.S. hawks and the Israeli government. More recently, there is Obama’s bold move — long overdue — to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba. Despite shifts in political fortunes, the unexpected can happen if there is a need and strong enough pressure to create an opportunity.

We do not claim to have ready-made solutions to the worsening crisis in international relations. We are certain that there is much we’ve missed or underestimated. But if readers agree that U.S. foreign policy has a national and global impact, and that it is not carried out in the interests of the majority of the world’s people, including our own, then we ask you to join this conversation.

If we are to expand the ability of the people to influence foreign policy, we need to defend democracy, and encourage dissent and alternative ideas. The threats to the world and to ourselves are so great that finding common ground trumps any particular interest. We also know that we won’t all agree with each other, and we believe that is as it should be. There are multiple paths to the future. No coalition around changing foreign policy will be successful if it tells people to conform to any one pattern of political action.

So how does the call for changing course translate to something politically viable, and how do we consider the problem of power?

The power to make significant changes in policy ranges from the persistence of peace activists to the potential influence of the general public. In some circumstances, it becomes possible — as well as necessary — to make significant changes in the power structure itself.

Greece comes to mind. Greek left organizations came together to form Syriza, the political party that was successfully elected to power on a platform of ending austerity. Spain’s anti-austerity Podemos Party — now the number-two party in the country — came out of massive demonstrations in 2011 and was organized from the grassroots up. We do not argue one approach over the over, but the experiences in both countries demonstrate that there are multiple paths to generating change.

Certainly progressives and leftists grapple with the problems of power. But progress on issues, particularly in matters like war and peace and climate change, shouldn’t be conceived of as dependent on first achieving general solutions to the problems of society, however desirable.

... ... ...

Conn Hallinan is a journalist and a columnist for Foreign Policy In Focus. His writings appear online at Dispatches From the Edge. Leon Wofsy is a retired biology professor and long-time political activist. His comments on current affairs appear online at Leon’s OpEd.


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[Oct 24, 2020] Treason in America- An Overview of the FBI, CIA and Matters of 'National Security'

In America, Truth is a Foreign Agent and World Peace is a threat to National Security.
Oct 24, 2020 | themadtruther.com

The tragedy of Hamlet does not just lie in the action (or lack of action) of one man, but rather, it is contained in the choices and actions of all its main characters. Each character fails to see the longer term consequences of their own actions, which leads not only to their ruin but towards the ultimate collapse of Denmark. The characters are so caught up in their antagonism against one another that they fail to foresee that their very own destruction is intertwined with the other.

This is a reflection of a failing system.

A system that, though it believes itself to be fighting tooth and nail for its very survival, is only digging a deeper grave. A system that is incapable of generating any real solutions to the problems it faces.

The only way out of this is to address that very fact. The most important issue that will decide the fate of the country is what sort of changes are going to occur in the political and intelligence apparatus, such that a continuation of this tyrannical treason is finally stopped in its tracks and unable to sow further discord and chaos.

When the Matter of "Truth" Becomes a Threat to "National Security"

When the matter of truth is depicted as a possible threat to those that govern a country, you no longer have a democratic state. True, not everything can be disclosed to the public in real time, but we are sitting on a mountain of classified intelligence material that goes back more than 60 years.

How much time needs to elapse before the American people have the right to know the truth behind what their government agencies have been doing within their own country and abroad in the name of the "free" world?

From this recognition, the whole matter of declassifying material around the Russigate scandal in real time , and not highly redacted 50 years from now, is essential to addressing this festering putrefaction that has been bubbling over since the heinous assassination of President Kennedy on Nov. 22 nd , 1963 and to which we are still waiting for full disclosure of classified papers 57 years later.

If the American people really want to finally see who is standing behind that curtain in Oz, now is the time .

These intelligence bureaus need to be reviewed for what kind of method and standard they are upholding in collecting their "intelligence," that has supposedly justified the Mueller investigation and the never-ending Flynn investigation which have provided zero conclusive evidence to back up their allegations and which have massively infringed on the elected government's ability to make the changes that they had committed to the American people.

Just like the Iraq and Libya war that was based off of cooked British intelligence (refer here and here ), Russiagate appears to have also had its impetus from our friends over at MI6 as well. It is no surprise that Sir Richard Dearlove, who was then MI6 chief (1999-2004) and who oversaw and stood by the fraudulent intelligence on Iraq stating they bought uranium from Niger to build a nuclear weapon, is the very same Sir Richard Dearlove who promoted the Christopher Steele dossier as something "credible" to American intelligence.

In other words, the same man who is largely responsible for encouraging the illegal invasion of Iraq, which set off the never-ending wars on "terror," that was justified with cooked British intelligence is also responsible for encouraging the Russian spook witch-hunt that has been occurring within the U.S. for the last four years over more cooked British intelligence, and the FBI and CIA are knowingly complicit in this.

Neither the American people, nor the world as a whole, can afford to suffer any more of the so-called "mistaken" intelligence bumblings. It is time that these intelligence bureaus are held accountable for at best criminal negligence, at worst, treason against their own country.

When Great Figures of Hope Are Targeted as Threats to "National Security"

The Family Jewels report , which was an investigation conducted by the CIA to investigate itself , was spurred by the Watergate Scandal and the CIA's unconstitutional role in the whole affair. This investigation by the CIA reviewed its own conduct from the 1950s to mid-1970s.

The Family Jewels report was only partially declassified in June 25, 2007 (30 years later). Along with the release of the redacted report included a six-page summary with the following introduction:

" The Central Intelligence Agency violated its charter for 25 years until revelations of illegal wiretapping, domestic surveillance, assassination plots , and human experimentation led to official investigations and reforms in the 1970s. " [emphasis added]

Despite this acknowledged violation of its charter for 25 years, which is pretty much since its inception, the details of this information were kept classified for 30 years from not just the public but major governmental bodies and it was left to the agency itself to judge how best to "reform" its ways.

On Dec. 22, 1974, The New York Times published an article by Seymour Hersh exposing illegal operations conducted by the CIA, dubbed the "family jewels". This included, covert action programs involving assassination attempts on foreign leaders and covert attempts to subvert foreign governments, which were reported for the first time . In addition, the article discussed efforts by intelligence agencies to collect information on the political activities of U.S. citizens.

Largely as a reaction to Hersh's findings, the creation of the Church Committee was approved on January 27, 1975, by a vote of 82 to 4 in the Senate.

The Church Committee's final report was published in April 1976, including seven volumes of Church Committee hearings in the Senate.

The Church Committee also published an interim report titled "Alleged Assassination Plots Involving Foreign Leaders", which investigated alleged attempts to assassinate foreign leaders, including Patrice Lumumba of Zaire, Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic, Ngo Dinh Diem of Vietnam, Gen. René Schneider of Chile and Fidel Castro of Cuba. President Ford attempted to withhold the report from the public, but failed and reluctantly issued Executive Order 11905 after pressure from the public and the Church Committee.

Executive Order 11905 is a United States Presidential Executive Order signed on February 18, 1976, by a very reluctant President Ford in an attempt to reform the United States Intelligence Community, improve oversight on foreign intelligence activities, and ban political assassination.

The attempt is now regarded as a failure and was largely undone by President Reagan who issued Executive Order 12333 , which extended the powers and responsibilities of U.S. intelligence agencies and directed leaders of the U.S. federal agencies to co-operate fully with the CIA, which was the original arrangement that CIA have full authority over clandestine operations (for more information on this refer to my papers here and here ).

In addition, the Church Committee produced seven case studies on covert operations, but only the one on Chile was released, titled " Covert Action in Chile: 1963–1973 ". The rest were kept secret at the CIA's request.

Among the most shocking revelation of the Church Committee was the discovery of Operation SHAMROCK , in which the major telecommunications companies shared their traffic with the NSA from 1945 to the early 1970s. The information gathered in this operation fed directly into the NSA Watch List. It was found out during the committee investigations that Senator Frank Church, who was overseeing the committee, was among the prominent names under surveillance on this NSA Watch List.

In 1975, the Church Committee decided to unilaterally declassify the particulars of this operation, against the objections of President Ford's administration (refer here and here for more information).

The Church Committee's reports constitute the most extensive review of intelligence activities ever made available to the public. Much of the contents were classified, but over 50,000 pages were declassified under the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992.

President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on Nov. 22 nd , 1963. Two days before his assassination a hate-Kennedy handbill (see picture) was circulated in Dallas accusing the president of treasonous activities including being a communist sympathizer.

On March 1 st , 1967 New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison arrested and charged Clay Shaw with conspiring to assassinate President Kennedy, with the help of David Ferrie and others. After a little over a one month long trial, Shaw was found not guilty on March 1 st , 1969.

David Ferrie, a controller of Lee Harvey Oswald, was going to be a key witness and would have provided the "smoking gun" evidence linking himself to Clay Shaw, was likely murdered on Feb. 22 nd , 1967, less than a week after news of Garrison's investigation broke in the media.

According to Garrison's team findings, there was reason to believe that the CIA was involved in the orchestrations of President Kennedy's assassination but access to classified material (which was nearly everything concerning the case) was necessary to continue such an investigation.

Though Garrison's team lacked direct evidence, they were able to collect an immense amount of circumstantial evidence, which should have given the justification for access to classified material for further investigation. Instead the case was thrown out of court prematurely and is now treated as if it were a circus. [Refer to Garrison's book for further details and Oliver Stone's excellently researched movie JFK ]

To date, it is the only trial to be brought forward concerning the assassination of President Kennedy.

The Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) was created in 1994 by the Congress enacted President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992, which mandated that all assassination-related material be housed in a single collection within the National Archives and Records Administration. In July 1998, a staff report released by the ARRB emphasized shortcomings in the original autopsy.

The ARRB wrote , "One of the many tragedies of the assassination of President Kennedy has been the incompleteness of the autopsy record and the suspicion caused by the shroud of secrecy that has surrounded the records that do exist." [emphasis added]

The staff report for the Assassinations Records Review Board contended that brain photographs in the Kennedy records are not of Kennedy's brain and show much less damage than Kennedy sustained.

The Washington Post reported :

" Asked about the lunchroom episode [where he was overheard stating his notes of the autopsy went missing] in a May 1996 deposition, Finck said he did not remember it. He was also vague about how many notes he took during the autopsy but confirmed that "after the autopsy I also wrote notes" and that he turned over whatever notes he had to the chief autopsy physician, James J. Humes.

It has long been known that Humes destroyed some original autopsy papers in a fireplace at his home on Nov. 24, 1963. He told the Warren Commission that what he burned was an original draft of his autopsy report. Under persistent questioning at a February 1996 deposition by the Review Board, Humes said he destroyed the draft and his "original notes."

Shown official autopsy photographs of Kennedy from the National Archives, [Saundra K.] Spencer [who worked in "the White House lab"] said they were not the ones she helped process and were printed on different paper. She said "there was no blood or opening cavities" and the wounds were much smaller in the pictures [than what she had] worked on

John T. Stringer, who said he was the only one to take photos during the autopsy itself, said some of those were missing as well. He said that pictures he took of Kennedy's brain at a "supplementary autopsy" were different from the official set that was shown to him. " [emphasis added]

This not only shows that evidence tampering did indeed occur, as even the Warren Commission acknowledges, but this puts into question the reliability of the entire assassination record of John F. Kennedy and to what degree evidence tampering and forgery have occurred in these records.

We would also do well to remember the numerous crimes that the FBI and CIA have been guilty of committing upon the American people such as during the period of McCarthyism. That the FBI's COINTELPRO has been implicated in covert operations against members of the civil rights movement, including Martin Luther King Jr. during the 1960s. That FBI director J. Edgar Hoover made no secret of his hostility towards Dr. King and his ludicrous belief that King was influenced by communists, despite having no evidence to that effect.

King was assassinated on April 4th, 1968 and the civil rights movement took a major blow.

In November 1975, as the Church Committee was completing its investigation, the Department of Justice formed a Task Force to examine the FBI's program of harassment directed at Dr. King, including the FBI's security investigations of him, his assassination and the FBI conducted criminal investigation that followed. One aspect of the Task force study was to determine "whether any action taken in relation to Dr. King by the FBI before the assassination had, or might have had, an effect, direct or indirect, on that event."

In its report , the Task Force criticized the FBI not for the opening, but for the protracted continuation of, its security investigation of Dr. King:

" We think the security investigation which included both physical and technical surveillance, should have been terminated in 1963. That it was intensified and augmented by a COINTELPRO type campaign against Dr. King was unwarranted; the COINTELPRO type campaign, moreover, was ultra vires and very probably felonious. "

In 1999, King Family v. Jowers civil suit in Memphis, Tennessee occurred, the full transcript of the trial can be found here . The jury found that Lloyd Jowers and unnamed others, including those in high ranking positions within government agencies, participated in a conspiracy to assassinate Dr. King.

During the four week trial, it was pointed out that the rifle allegedly used to assassinate King did not have a scope that was sighted, which meant you could not have hit the broad side of a barn with that rifle, thus it could not have been the murder weapon .

This was only remarked on over 30 years after King was murdered and showed the level of incompetence, or more likely, evidence tampering that was committed from previous investigations conducted by the FBI.

The case of JFK and MLK are among the highest profile assassination cases in American history, and it has been shown in both cases that evidence tampering has indeed occurred, despite being in the center of the public eye. What are we then to expect as the standard of investigation for all the other cases of malfeasance? What expectation can we have that justice is ever upheld?

With a history of such blatant misconduct, it is clear that the present demand to declassify the Russiagate papers now, and not 50 years later, needs to occur if we are to address the level of criminality that is going on behind the scenes and which will determine the fate of the country.

The American People Deserve to Know

Today we see the continuation of the over seven decades' long ruse, the targeting of individuals as Russian agents without any basis, in order to remove them from the political arena. The present effort to declassify the Russiagate papers and exonerate Michael Flynn, so that he may freely speak of the intelligence he knows, is not a threat to national security, it is a threat to those who have committed treason against their country .

On Oct. 6 th , 2020, President Trump ordered the declassification of the Russia Probe documents along with the classified documents on the findings concerning the Hillary Clinton emails. The release of these documents threatens to expose the entrapment of the Trump campaign by the Clinton campaign with help of the U.S. intelligence agencies.

The Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe released some of these documents recently, including former CIA Director John Brennan's handwritten notes for a meeting with former President Obama, the notes revealing that Hillary Clinton approved a plan to "vilify Donald Trump by stirring up scandal claiming interference by the Russian security service."

Trey Gowdy, who was Chair of the House Oversight Committee from June 13 th , 2017 – Jan. 3 rd , 2019, has stated in an interview on Oct. 7 th , 2020 that he has never seen these documents. Devin Nunes, who was Chair of the House Intelligence Committee from Jan. 3 rd , 2015 – Jan. 3 rd , 2019, has also said in a recent interview that he has never seen these documents.

And yet, both the FBI and CIA were aware and had access to these documents and sat on them for four years, withholding their release from several government-led investigations that were looking into the Russiagate scandal and who were requesting relevant material that was in the possession of both intelligence bureaus. Do these intelligence bureaus sound like they are working for the "national security" of the American people?

The truth must finally be brought to light, or the country will rot from its head to tail.

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[Oct 24, 2020] The USA foreign policy establishment, including Joe Biden, as vulgar bullies

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... There is no fool like an old American fool. Like Joe Biden, for instance. In the last presidential "debate" he called Xi Jinping and Putin "thugs." What does this tell you about the state of American diplomacy? ..."
Oct 24, 2020 | www.unz.com

macilrae , says: October 23, 2020 at 5:37 pm GMT

I'm not even a US American but I recall deep my embarrassment when watching the vulgar Hillary Clinton handling herself in the presence of Sergey Lavrov – around the time of the excruciating "reset" event.

And today you guys have Pompeo for Christ sake! How can you stand the shame – where do you get these people?

OK, I do know where, alas.

Robert Konrad , says: October 23, 2020 at 6:05 pm GMT

There is no fool like an old American fool. Like Joe Biden, for instance. In the last presidential "debate" he called Xi Jinping and Putin "thugs." What does this tell you about the state of American diplomacy?

Sure, Joe is trying to win cheap political points by catering to the abysmally ignorant and savagely russophobic average American voters. But at what political cost to the country he represents! And what exactly does this old American fool want to do when he says that Russia and China will "pay a price."

What can America do to the world's supreme military power (Russia) and to the world's supreme economic power (China)? Particularly now that these two superpowers are working together.

How senile and stupid has Biden become! He stopped developing intellectually about 50 years ago. And now he never will.

Notsofast , says: October 23, 2020 at 10:17 pm GMT
@Robert Konrad

The senility may be new but joe biden has always been stupid. One of the only people on the planet that can stick both of his feet in his mouth at the same time.

[Oct 24, 2020] The World Order: New Rules or a Game Without Rules. So, what is happening now? Regrettably, the game without rules is becoming increasingly horrifying and sometimes seems to be a fait accompli."

Oct 24, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

gm , Oct 22 2020 19:00 utc | 9

@Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 22 2020 18:19 utc | 6

Re: "...Thus, six years ago, in 2014, we spoke about this issue when we discussed the theme The World Order: New Rules or a Game Without Rules. So, what is happening now? Regrettably, the game without rules is becoming increasingly horrifying and sometimes seems to be a fait accompli."

Putin said this virtually in the same breath directly after his previous paragraph you excerpted where he speaks of the serious ongoing challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

What that says to me is that he is hinting with his trademark subtlety that he thinks the CV pandemic may not be a naturally arising event. In other words, a plandemic.


karlof1 , Oct 22 2020 19:12 utc | 12

gm @9--

Yes, that's the ongoing rhetorical battle between the Collectivist nations who uphold the sanctity of International Law and the Neoliberal Nations controlled by Financial Parasites that can't survive under a functional International Law System. That distinction is constantly becoming clearer particularly to those residing within the Neoliberal nations as they watch their lives being destroyed. IMO, we're on the cusp of entering the most critical decade of this century which will determine humanity's condition when 2101 is reached.

[Oct 23, 2020] Hating Russia is a full time and well paid job

Neocons do not want to fight Russia, they just want to profit from Russophobia while getting nice money from the US MIC.
Oct 23, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Mister Delicious , 7 hours ago

  1. Introduction
  2. The euphemisms
  3. Hostility to Putin's Russia is largely a Jewish phenomenon
  4. The media
  5. A de facto violation of free speech
  6. Shutting down an honest examination of Russian history
  7. The best alt-media journalists are neutered
  8. Much of what is written about Russian relations and history becomes meaningless and deceptive
  9. A lesson in relevance from the Alt-Right
  10. Malice towards none
  11. The problem extends to all areas of public life
  12. We need serious scholarship and analysis
  13. Low expectations from the existing alt-media
  14. A call for articles and support
  15. https://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/hating-russia-is-a-full-time-job/
ebear , 6 hours ago

Has any nation on Earth suffered more destruction and loss of life in the 20th century? And yet, there they still are.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btff8DmOg1k

John Hansen , 7 hours ago

I'd have more hope for Russia if the Russian ruling class weren't so obsessed with the West and didn't send their children to Western (woke) schools, etc.

theallseeinggod , 7 hours ago

They're not doing that well, but they're not repeating many of the west's mistakes.

Normal , 5 hours ago

Now the West has rules only for poor people.

Helg Saracen , 6 hours ago

Advice to Americans (for the sake of experiment): prohibit lobbying in US and the right of citizens with dual citizenship to hold public office in US. I assure - you will be surprised how quickly Russians go from non-kosher to kosher for Americans and how American politicians, the media will convince Americans of this at every intersection. :) Ha ha ha

Nayel , 5 hours ago

If the [Vichy] Left in America weren't so determined to project their own Bolshevik leanings on to a possible great ally that their ideology now fears, Russia would be just that: a great ally that could help America shake the Bolsheviks that have infiltrated the American government and plan the same program their Soviet forefathers once held over Russia...

Arising 2.0 , 1 hour ago

Western zionist controlled propaganda reminds me of Mohamed Ali- he used to talk up the ******** so much before a fight that when the time came to fight the opponent was usually traumatised or confused. Until Ali met with Joe Frazier (Russia) who didn't fall for all the pre-fight BS.

ThePinkHole , 39 minutes ago

Time for a pop quiz! Name the two countries below:

Country A - competency, attention to first principles, planning based on reality, consistency of purpose, and unity of execution.

Country B - incompetency, interfering in everything everywhere, planning based on hubris and sloppy assumptions, confusion, and disunity.

(Source: Adapted from Patrick Armstrong)

foxenburg , 3 hours ago

This one is always good for a laugh....the Daily Telegraph's Con Coughlin explaining in 2015 how Putin will fail in Syria...

https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/6990/russia-failure-syria

Money-Liberty , 6 hours ago

We have all this talk of the 'Ruskies' when in fact it is not the ordinary Russian people but rather a geopolitical power struggle. The ordinary US citizen or European just wants to maintain their liberty and be able to profit from their endeavours. The rich and powerful globalists who hide behind their military are the ones that play these games. I am no friend of Putin but equally I am no friend of our own political establishment that have been captured by Wall Street. I care about Main Street and as the US dollar loses its privilege there will be real pain to share amongst our economies. The last thing we need is for the elites of the Western alliance to profit with cold/hot wars on the backs of ourselves.

Having been behind the iron curtain as a young Merchant Navy Officer I found ordinary citizens fine and even organized football matches with the local communist parties. People have the same desires and aspirations and whether rich or poor we should respect each others cultures and territories. http://www.money-liberty.com/gallery/Predictions-2021.pdf

[Oct 23, 2020] Russia has been a fixture of the US military-industrial complex for a reason: they need more money and threat inflation is possible only with a suitable bogeyman

Oct 23, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

rotorhead1871 , 5 hours ago

..they have always been the reason for the industrial-military complex....but now, who needs them.....we got china to point the finger at. so having 2 useful idiot countries...will keep the weapons boys going for quite some time....

Snaffew , 7 hours ago

...he boogeyman has never been Russia, it resides right here in the US under the guise of government, military, mainstream media, propaganda and sanctions, sanctions, sanctions against anyone that rightfully takes our slice of entitled pie because they built a far better and far cheaper mousetrap.

Oh the horrors of claiming to be a democracy and a capitalist nation when you just can't seem to play by the rules. **** America---we have let the elites take us down the road to ruins. We are as much at fault as they are for believing their nonsensical bs the whole while all the evidence was smoking right in front of our face. Who's more stupid...them or us? I'd tell everyone to take a good long look in the mirror if you are looking for an answer to that question---

[Oct 23, 2020] A stark note from Lavrov about the USA neoliberal elite

In America, Truth is a Foreign Agent and World Peace is a threat to National Security.
Oct 23, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
kiwiklown , Oct 22 2020 9:05 utc | 7

The Russians ( Putin / Lavrov) say ever so politely that the US is not agreement-capable.

I add that the US ( politicians, Wall Streeters, MSM, think tanks ) are:

What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, but loses his soul? He turns into a ghoul without a soul, says I, a devil without human-ness! How dare they call us deplorables when they are the despicables?

[Oct 21, 2020] Like rise of the Praetorian Guard in Rome, the rise of political role of US intelligence agencies and an ominous sign by cynthia chung

Notable quotes:
"... When the matter of truth is depicted as a possible threat to those that govern a country, you no longer have a democratic state. True, not everything can be disclosed to the public in real time, but we are sitting on a mountain of classified intelligence material that goes back more than 60 years. ..."
"... From this recognition, the whole matter of declassifying material around the Russigate scandal in real time, and not highly redacted 50 years from now, is essential to addressing this festering putrefaction that has been bubbling over since the heinous assassination of President Kennedy on Nov. 22nd, 1963 and to which we are still waiting for full disclosure of classified papers 57 years later. ..."
"... These intelligence bureaus need to be reviewed for what kind of method and standard they are upholding in collecting their "intelligence," that has supposedly justified the Mueller investigation and the never-ending Flynn investigation which have provided zero conclusive evidence to back up their allegations and which have massively infringed on the elected government's ability to make the changes that they had committed to the American people. ..."
"... Just like the Iraq and Libya war that was based off of cooked British intelligence (refer here and here ), Russiagate appears to have also had its impetus from our friends over at MI6 as well. It is no surprise that Sir Richard Dearlove, who was then MI6 chief (1999-2004) and who oversaw and stood by the fraudulent intelligence on Iraq stating they bought uranium from Niger to build a nuclear weapon, is the very same Sir Richard Dearlove who promoted the Christopher Steele dossier as something "credible" to American intelligence. ..."
"... In other words, the same man who is largely responsible for encouraging the illegal invasion of Iraq, which set off the never-ending wars on "terror," that was justified with cooked British intelligence is also responsible for encouraging the Russian spook witch-hunt that has been occurring within the US for the last four years over more cooked British intelligence, and the FBI and CIA are knowingly complicit in this. ..."
"... "The Central Intelligence Agency violated its charter for 25 years until revelations of illegal wiretapping, domestic surveillance, assassination plots, and human experimentation led to official investigations and reforms in the 1970s." [emphasis added] ..."
"... On Dec. 22, 1974, The New York Times published an article by Seymour Hersh exposing illegal operations conducted by the CIA, dubbed the "family jewels". This included, covert action programs involving assassination attempts on foreign leaders and covert attempts to subvert foreign governments, which were reported for the first time. In addition, the article discussed efforts by intelligence agencies to collect information on the political activities of US citizens. ..."
"... Largely as a reaction to Hersh's findings, the creation of the Church Committee was approved on January 27, 1975, by a vote of 82 to 4 in the Senate. ..."
"... In addition, the Church Committee produced seven case studies on covert operations, but only the one on Chile was released, titled " Covert Action in Chile: 1963–1973 ". The rest were kept secret at the CIA's request. ..."
"... Among the most shocking revelation of the Church Committee was the discovery of Operation SHAMROCK , in which the major telecommunications companies shared their traffic with the NSA from 1945 to the early 1970s. The information gathered in this operation fed directly into the NSA Watch List. It was found out during the committee investigations that Senator Frank Church, who was overseeing the committee, was among the prominent names under surveillance on this NSA Watch List. ..."
"... According to Garrison's team findings, there was reason to believe that the CIA was involved in the orchestrations of President Kennedy's assassination but access to classified material (which was nearly everything concerning the case) was necessary to continue such an investigation. ..."
"... Though Garrison's team lacked direct evidence, they were able to collect an immense amount of circumstantial evidence, which should have given the justification for access to classified material for further investigation. Instead the case was thrown out of court prematurely and is now treated as if it were a circus. [Refer to Garrison's book for further details and Oliver Stone's excellently researched movie JFK ] ..."
"... On Oct. 6th, 2020, President Trump ordered the declassification of the Russia Probe documents along with the classified documents on the findings concerning the Hillary Clinton emails. The release of these documents threatens to expose the entrapment of the Trump campaign by the Clinton campaign with help of the US intelligence agencies. ..."
"... Trey Gowdy, who was Chair of the House Oversight Committee from June 13th, 2017 – Jan. 3rd, 2019, has stated in an interview on Oct. 7th, 2020 that he has never seen these documents. Devin Nunes, who was Chair of the House Intelligence Committee from Jan. 3rd, 2015 – Jan. 3rd, 2019, has also said in a recent interview that he has never seen these documents. ..."
"... Reprinted with permission from Strategic Culture Foundation . ..."
Oct 20, 2020 | ronpaulinstitute.org

"Treason doth never prosper; what is the reason? Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason." – Sir John Harrington.

As Shakespeare would state in his play Hamlet, "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark," like a fish that rots from head to tail, so do corrupt government systems rot from top to bottom.

This is a reference to the ruling system of Denmark and not just the foul murder that King Claudius has committed against his brother, Hamlet's father. This is showcased in the play by reference to the economy of Denmark being in a state of shambles and that the Danish people are ready to revolt since they are on the verge of starving. King Claudius has only been king for a couple of months, and thus this state of affairs, though he inflames, did not originate with him.

Thus, during our time of great upheaval we should ask ourselves; what constitutes the persisting "ruling system," of the United States, and where do the injustices in its state of affairs truly originate from?

The tragedy of Hamlet does not just lie in the action (or lack of action) of one man, but rather, it is contained in the choices and actions of all its main characters. Each character fails to see the longer term consequences of their own actions, which leads not only to their ruin but towards the ultimate collapse of Denmark. The characters are so caught up in their antagonism against one another that they fail to foresee that their very own destruction is intertwined with the other.

This is a reflection of a failing system.

A system that, though it believes itself to be fighting tooth and nail for its very survival, is only digging a deeper grave. A system that is incapable of generating any real solutions to the problems it faces.

The only way out of this is to address that very fact. The most important issue that will decide the fate of the country is what sort of changes are going to occur in the political and intelligence apparatus, such that a continuation of this tyrannical treason is finally stopped in its tracks and unable to sow further discord and chaos.

When the Matter of "Truth" Becomes a Threat to "National Security"

When the matter of truth is depicted as a possible threat to those that govern a country, you no longer have a democratic state. True, not everything can be disclosed to the public in real time, but we are sitting on a mountain of classified intelligence material that goes back more than 60 years.

How much time needs to elapse before the American people have the right to know the truth behind what their government agencies have been doing within their own country and abroad in the name of the "free" world?

From this recognition, the whole matter of declassifying material around the Russigate scandal in real time, and not highly redacted 50 years from now, is essential to addressing this festering putrefaction that has been bubbling over since the heinous assassination of President Kennedy on Nov. 22nd, 1963 and to which we are still waiting for full disclosure of classified papers 57 years later.

If the American people really want to finally see who is standing behind that curtain in Oz, now is the time.

These intelligence bureaus need to be reviewed for what kind of method and standard they are upholding in collecting their "intelligence," that has supposedly justified the Mueller investigation and the never-ending Flynn investigation which have provided zero conclusive evidence to back up their allegations and which have massively infringed on the elected government's ability to make the changes that they had committed to the American people.

Just like the Iraq and Libya war that was based off of cooked British intelligence (refer here and here ), Russiagate appears to have also had its impetus from our friends over at MI6 as well. It is no surprise that Sir Richard Dearlove, who was then MI6 chief (1999-2004) and who oversaw and stood by the fraudulent intelligence on Iraq stating they bought uranium from Niger to build a nuclear weapon, is the very same Sir Richard Dearlove who promoted the Christopher Steele dossier as something "credible" to American intelligence.

In other words, the same man who is largely responsible for encouraging the illegal invasion of Iraq, which set off the never-ending wars on "terror," that was justified with cooked British intelligence is also responsible for encouraging the Russian spook witch-hunt that has been occurring within the US for the last four years over more cooked British intelligence, and the FBI and CIA are knowingly complicit in this.

Neither the American people, nor the world as a whole, can afford to suffer any more of the so-called "mistaken" intelligence bumblings. It is time that these intelligence bureaus are held accountable for at best criminal negligence, at worst, treason against their own country.

When Great Figures of Hope Are Targeted as Threats to "National Security"

The Family Jewels report , which was an investigation conducted by the CIA to investigate itself, was spurred by the Watergate Scandal and the CIA's unconstitutional role in the whole affair. This investigation by the CIA reviewed its own conduct from the 1950s to mid-1970s.

The Family Jewels report was only partially declassified in June 25, 2007 (30 years later). Along with the release of the redacted report included a six-page summary with the following introduction:

"The Central Intelligence Agency violated its charter for 25 years until revelations of illegal wiretapping, domestic surveillance, assassination plots, and human experimentation led to official investigations and reforms in the 1970s." [emphasis added]

Despite this acknowledged violation of its charter for 25 years, which is pretty much since its inception, the details of this information were kept classified for 30 years from not just the public but major governmental bodies and it was left to the agency itself to judge how best to "reform" its ways.

On Dec. 22, 1974, The New York Times published an article by Seymour Hersh exposing illegal operations conducted by the CIA, dubbed the "family jewels". This included, covert action programs involving assassination attempts on foreign leaders and covert attempts to subvert foreign governments, which were reported for the first time. In addition, the article discussed efforts by intelligence agencies to collect information on the political activities of US citizens.

Largely as a reaction to Hersh's findings, the creation of the Church Committee was approved on January 27, 1975, by a vote of 82 to 4 in the Senate.

The Church Committee's final report was published in April 1976, including seven volumes of Church Committee hearings in the Senate.

The Church Committee also published an interim report titled "Alleged Assassination Plots Involving Foreign Leaders", which investigated alleged attempts to assassinate foreign leaders, including Patrice Lumumba of Zaire, Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic, Ngo Dinh Diem of Vietnam, Gen. René Schneider of Chile and Fidel Castro of Cuba. President Ford attempted to withhold the report from the public, but failed and reluctantly issued Executive Order 11905 after pressure from the public and the Church Committee.

Executive Order 11905 is a United States Presidential Executive Order signed on February 18, 1976, by a very reluctant President Ford in an attempt to reform the United States Intelligence Community, improve oversight on foreign intelligence activities, and ban political assassination.

The attempt is now regarded as a failure and was largely undone by President Reagan who issued Executive Order 12333 , which extended the powers and responsibilities of US intelligence agencies and directed leaders of the US federal agencies to co-operate fully with the CIA, which was the original arrangement that CIA have full authority over clandestine operations (for more information on this refer to my papers here and here ).

In addition, the Church Committee produced seven case studies on covert operations, but only the one on Chile was released, titled " Covert Action in Chile: 1963–1973 ". The rest were kept secret at the CIA's request.

Among the most shocking revelation of the Church Committee was the discovery of Operation SHAMROCK , in which the major telecommunications companies shared their traffic with the NSA from 1945 to the early 1970s. The information gathered in this operation fed directly into the NSA Watch List. It was found out during the committee investigations that Senator Frank Church, who was overseeing the committee, was among the prominent names under surveillance on this NSA Watch List.

In 1975, the Church Committee decided to unilaterally declassify the particulars of this operation, against the objections of President Ford's administration (refer here and here for more information).

The Church Committee's reports constitute the most extensive review of intelligence activities ever made available to the public. Much of the contents were classified, but over 50,000 pages were declassified under the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992.

President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on Nov. 22nd, 1963. Two days before his assassination a hate-Kennedy handbill (see picture) was circulated in Dallas accusing the president of treasonous activities including being a communist sympathizer.

On March 1st, 1967 New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison arrested and charged Clay Shaw with conspiring to assassinate President Kennedy, with the help of David Ferrie and others. After a little over a one month long trial, Shaw was found not guilty on March 1st, 1969.

David Ferrie, a controller of Lee Harvey Oswald, was going to be a key witness and would have provided the "smoking gun" evidence linking himself to Clay Shaw, was likely murdered on Feb. 22nd, 1967, less than a week after news of Garrison's investigation broke in the media.

According to Garrison's team findings, there was reason to believe that the CIA was involved in the orchestrations of President Kennedy's assassination but access to classified material (which was nearly everything concerning the case) was necessary to continue such an investigation.

Though Garrison's team lacked direct evidence, they were able to collect an immense amount of circumstantial evidence, which should have given the justification for access to classified material for further investigation. Instead the case was thrown out of court prematurely and is now treated as if it were a circus. [Refer to Garrison's book for further details and Oliver Stone's excellently researched movie JFK ]

To date, it is the only trial to be brought forward concerning the assassination of President Kennedy.

The Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) was created in 1994 by the Congress enacted President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992, which mandated that all assassination-related material be housed in a single collection within the National Archives and Records Administration. In July 1998, a staff report released by the ARRB emphasized shortcomings in the original autopsy.

The ARRB wrote , "One of the many tragedies of the assassination of President Kennedy has been the incompleteness of the autopsy record and the suspicion caused by the shroud of secrecy that has surrounded the records that do exist." [emphasis added]

The staff report for the Assassinations Records Review Board contended that brain photographs in the Kennedy records are not of Kennedy's brain and show much less damage than Kennedy sustained.

The Washington Post reported :

Asked about the lunchroom episode [where he was overheard stating his notes of the autopsy went missing] in a May 1996 deposition, Finck said he did not remember it. He was also vague about how many notes he took during the autopsy but confirmed that 'after the autopsy I also wrote notes' and that he turned over whatever notes he had to the chief autopsy physician, James J. Humes.

It has long been known that Humes destroyed some original autopsy papers in a fireplace at his home on Nov. 24, 1963. He told the Warren Commission that what he burned was an original draft of his autopsy report. Under persistent questioning at a February 1996 deposition by the Review Board, Humes said he destroyed the draft and his 'original notes.'

Shown official autopsy photographs of Kennedy from the National Archives, [Saundra K.] Spencer [who worked in 'the White House lab'] said they were not the ones she helped process and were printed on different paper. She said 'there was no blood or opening cavities' and the wounds were much smaller in the pictures [than what she had] worked on

John T. Stringer, who said he was the only one to take photos during the autopsy itself, said some of those were missing as well. He said that pictures he took of Kennedy's brain at a 'supplementary autopsy' were different from the official set that was shown to him. [emphasis added]

This not only shows that evidence tampering did indeed occur, as even the Warren Commission acknowledges, but this puts into question the reliability of the entire assassination record of John F. Kennedy and to what degree evidence tampering and forgery have occurred in these records.

We would also do well to remember the numerous crimes that the FBI and CIA have been guilty of committing upon the American people such as during the period of McCarthyism. That the FBI's COINTELPRO has been implicated in covert operations against members of the civil rights movement, including Martin Luther King Jr. during the 1960s. That FBI director J. Edgar Hoover made no secret of his hostility towards Dr. King and his ludicrous belief that King was influenced by communists, despite having no evidence to that effect.

King was assassinated on April 4th, 1968 and the civil rights movement took a major blow.

In November 1975, as the Church Committee was completing its investigation, the Department of Justice formed a Task Force to examine the FBI's program of harassment directed at Dr. King, including the FBI's security investigations of him, his assassination and the FBI conducted criminal investigation that followed. One aspect of the Task force study was to determine "whether any action taken in relation to Dr. King by the FBI before the assassination had, or might have had, an effect, direct or indirect, on that event."

In its report , the Task Force criticized the FBI not for the opening, but for the protracted continuation of, its security investigation of Dr. King:

"We think the security investigation which included both physical and technical surveillance, should have been terminated in 1963. That it was intensified and augmented by a COINTELPRO type campaign against Dr. King was unwarranted; the COINTELPRO type campaign, moreover, was ultra vires and very probably felonious."

In 1999, King Family v. Jowers civil suit in Memphis, Tennessee occurred, the full transcript of the trial can be found here . The jury found that Lloyd Jowers and unnamed others, including those in high ranking positions within government agencies, participated in a conspiracy to assassinate Dr. King.

During the four week trial, it was pointed out that the rifle allegedly used to assassinate King did not have a scope that was sighted, which meant you could not have hit the broad side of a barn with that rifle, thus it could not have been the murder weapon.

This was only remarked on over 30 years after King was murdered and showed the level of incompetence, or more likely, evidence tampering that was committed from previous investigations conducted by the FBI.

The case of JFK and MLK are among the highest profile assassination cases in American history, and it has been shown in both cases that evidence tampering has indeed occurred, despite being in the center of the public eye. What are we then to expect as the standard of investigation for all the other cases of malfeasance? What expectation can we have that justice is ever upheld?

With a history of such blatant misconduct, it is clear that the present demand to declassify the Russiagate papers now, and not 50 years later, needs to occur if we are to address the level of criminality that is going on behind the scenes and which will determine the fate of the country.

The American People Deserve to Know

Today we see the continuation of the over seven decades' long ruse, the targeting of individuals as Russian agents without any basis, in order to remove them from the political arena. The present effort to declassify the Russiagate papers and exonerate Michael Flynn, so that he may freely speak of the intelligence he knows, is not a threat to national security, it is a threat to those who have committed treason against their country.

On Oct. 6th, 2020, President Trump ordered the declassification of the Russia Probe documents along with the classified documents on the findings concerning the Hillary Clinton emails. The release of these documents threatens to expose the entrapment of the Trump campaign by the Clinton campaign with help of the US intelligence agencies.

The Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe released some of these documents recently, including former CIA Director John Brennan's handwritten notes for a meeting with former President Obama, the notes revealing that Hillary Clinton approved a plan to "vilify Donald Trump by stirring up scandal claiming interference by the Russian security service."

Trey Gowdy, who was Chair of the House Oversight Committee from June 13th, 2017 – Jan. 3rd, 2019, has stated in an interview on Oct. 7th, 2020 that he has never seen these documents. Devin Nunes, who was Chair of the House Intelligence Committee from Jan. 3rd, 2015 – Jan. 3rd, 2019, has also said in a recent interview that he has never seen these documents.

And yet, both the FBI and CIA were aware and had access to these documents and sat on them for four years, withholding their release from several government-led investigations that were looking into the Russiagate scandal and who were requesting relevant material that was in the possession of both intelligence bureaus. Do these intelligence bureaus sound like they are working for the "national security" of the American people?

The truth must finally be brought to light, or the country will rot from its head to tail.

Reprinted with permission from Strategic Culture Foundation .


[Oct 21, 2020] How Trump Got Played By The Military-Industrial Complex by Akbar Shahid Ahmed

Highly recommended!
Tramp was essentially the President from military industrial complex and Israel lobby. So he was not played. That's naive. He followed the instructions.
Oct 21, 2020 | www.huffpost.com

On March 20, 2018, President Donald Trump sat beside Saudi crown prince Muhammed bin Salman at the White House and lifted a giant map that said Saudi weapons purchases would support jobs in "key" states -- including Pennsylvania, Michigan, Florida and Ohio, all of which were crucial to Trump's 2016 election victory .

"Saudi Arabia has been a very great friend and a big purchaser of equipment but if you look, in terms of dollars, $3 billion, $533 million, $525 million -- that's peanuts for you. You should have increased it," Trump said to the prince, who was (and still is) overseeing a military campaign in Yemen that has deployed U.S. weaponry to commit scores of alleged war crimes.

Trump has used his job as commander-in-chief to be America's arms-dealer-in-chief in a way no other president has since Dwight Eisenhower, as he prepared to leave the presidency, warned in early 1961 of the military-industrial complex's political influence. Trump's posture makes sense personally ― this is a man who regularly fantasizes about violence, usually toward foreigners ― and he and his advisers see it as politically useful, too. The president has repeatedly appeared at weapons production facilities in swing states, promoted the head of Lockheed Martin using White House resources, appointed defense industry employees to top government jobs in an unprecedented way and expanded the Pentagon's budget to near-historic highs ― a guarantee of future income for companies like Lockheed and Boeing.

Trump is "on steroids in terms of promoting arms sales for his own political benefit," said William Hartung, a scholar at the Center for International Policy who has tracked the defense industry for decades. "It's a targeted strategy to get benefits from workers in key states."

In courting the billion-dollar industry, Trump has trampled on moral considerations about how buyers like the Saudis misuse American weapons, ethical concerns about conflicts of interest and even part of his own political message, the deceptive claim that he is a peace candidate. He justifies his policy by citing job growth, but data from Hartung , a prominent analyst, shows he exaggerates the impact. And Trump has made clear that a major motivation for his defense strategy is the possible electoral benefit it could have.

Next month's election will show if the bargain was worth it. As of now, it looks like Trump's bet didn't pay off ― for him, at least. Campaign contribution records, analysts in swing states and polls suggest arms dealers have given the president no significant political boost. The defense contractors, meanwhile, are expected to continue getting richer, as they have in a dramatic way under Trump.

Playing Corporate Favorites

Trump has thrice chosen the person who decides how the Defense Department spends its gigantic budget. Each time, he has tapped someone from a business that wants those Pentagon dollars. Mark Esper, the current defense secretary, worked for Raytheon; his predecessor, Pat Shanahan, for Boeing; and Trump's first appointee, Jim Mattis, for General Dynamics, which reappointed him to its board soon after he left the administration.

Of the senior officials serving under Esper, almost half have connections to military contractors, per the Project on Government Oversight. The administration is now rapidly trying to fill more Pentagon jobs under the guidance of a former Trump campaign worker, Foreign Policy magazine recently revealed ― prioritizing political reasons and loyalty to Trump in choosing people who could help craft policy even under a Joe Biden presidency.

Such personnel choices are hugely important for defense companies' profit margins and risk creating corruption or the impression of it. Watchdog groups argue Trump's handling of the hiring process is more evidence that lawmakers and future presidents must institute rules to limit the reach of military contractors and other special interests.

"Given the hundreds of conflicts of interest flouting the rule of law in the Trump administration , certainly these issues have gotten that much more attention and are that much more salient now than they were four years ago," said Aaron Scherb, the director of legislative affairs at Common Cause, a nonpartisan good-government group.

The theoretical dangers of Trump's approach became a reality last year, when a former employee for the weapons producer Raytheon used his job at the State Department to advocate for a rare emergency declaration allowing the Saudis and their partner the United Arab Emirates to buy $8 billion in arms ― including $2 billion in Raytheon products ― despite congressional objections. As other department employees warned that Saudi Arabia was defying U.S. pressure to behave less brutally in Yemen, former lobbyist Charles Faulkner led a unit that urged Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to give the kingdom more weapons. Pompeo pushed out Faulkner soon afterward, and earlier this year, the State Department's inspector general criticized the process behind the emergency declaration for the arms.

Red Crescent medics walk next to bags containing the bodies of victims of Saudi-linked airstrikes on a Houthi detention cente MOHAMED AL-SAYAGHI / REUTERS
Red Crescent medics walk next to bags containing the bodies of victims of Saudi-linked airstrikes on a Houthi detention center in Yemen on Sept. 1, 2019. The Saudis military campaign in Yemen has relied on U.S. weaponry to commit scores of alleged war crimes.

Even Trump administration officials not clearly connected to the defense industry have shown an interest in moves that benefit it. In 2017, White House economic advisor Peter Navarro pressured Republican lawmakers to permit exports to Saudi Arabia and Jared Kushner, the president's counselor and son-in-law, personally spoke with Lockheed Martin's chief to iron out a sale to the kingdom, The New York Times found.

Subscribe to the Politics email. From Washington to the campaign trail, get the latest politics news.

When Congress gave the Pentagon $1 billion to develop medical supplies as part of this year's coronavirus relief package, most of the money went to defense contractors for projects like jet engine parts instead, a Washington Post investigation showed .

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"It's a very close relationship and there's no kind of sense that they're supposed to be regulating these people," Hartung said. "It's more like they're allies, standing shoulder to shoulder."

Seeking Payback

In June 2019, Lockheed Martin announced that it would close a facility that manufactures helicopters in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, and employs more than 450 people. Days later, Trump tweeted that he had asked the company's then-chief executive, Marillyn Hewson, to keep the plant open. And by July 10, Lockheed said it would do so ― attributing the decision to Trump.

The president has frequently claimed credit for jobs in the defense industry, highlighting the impact on manufacturing in swing states rather than employees like Washington lobbyists, whose numbers have also grown as he has expanded the Pentagon's budget. Lockheed has helped him in his messaging: In one instance in Wisconsin, Hewson announced she was adding at least 45 new positions at a plant directly after Trump spoke there, saying his tax cuts for corporations made that possible.

Trump is pursuing a strategy that the arms industry uses to insulate itself from political criticism. "They've reached their tentacles into every state and many congressional districts," Scherb of Common Cause said. That makes it hard for elected officials to question their operations or Pentagon spending generally without looking like they are harming their local economy.

Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, a Democrat who represents Coatesville, welcomed Lockheed's change of course, though she warned, "This decision is a temporary reprieve. I am concerned that Lockheed Martin and [its subsidiary] Sikorsky are playing politics with the livelihoods of people in my community."

The political benefit for Trump, though, remains in question, given that as president he has a broad set of responsibilities and is judged in different ways.

"Do I think it's important to keep jobs? Absolutely," said Marcel Groen, a former Pennsylvania Democratic party chair. "And I think we need to thank the congresswoman and thank the president for it. But it doesn't change my views and I don't think it changes most people's in terms of the state of the nation."

With polls showing that Trump's disastrous response to the health pandemic dominates voters' thoughts and Biden sustaining a lead in surveys of most swing states , his argument on defense industry jobs seems like a minor factor in this election.

Hartung of the Center for International Policy drew a parallel to President George H.W. Bush, who during his 1992 reelection campaign promoted plans for Taiwan and Saudi Arabia to purchase fighter jets produced in Missouri and Texas. Bush announced the decisions at events at the General Dynamics facility in Fort Worth, Texas, and the McDonnell Douglas plant in St. Louis that made the planes. That November, as Bill Clinton defeated him, he lost Missouri by the highest margin of any Republican in almost 30 years and won Texas by a slimmer margin than had become the norm for a GOP presidential candidate.

President Donald Trump greets then-Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson at the Derco Aerospace Inc. plant in Milwaukee on July MANDEL NGAN VIA GETTY IMAGES
President Donald Trump greets then-Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson at the Derco Aerospace Inc. plant in Milwaukee on July 12, 2019. Trump does not appear to be winning his political bet that increased defense spending would help his political fortunes.

Checking The Receipts

The defense industry can't control whether voters buy Trump's arguments about his relationship with it. But it could, if it wanted to, try to help him politically in a more direct way: by donating to his reelection campaign and allied efforts.

Yet arms manufacturers aren't reciprocating Trump's affection. A HuffPost review of Federal Election Commission records showed that top figures and groups at major industry organizations like the National Defense Industrial Association and the Aerospace Industries Association and at Lockheed, Trump's favorite defense firm, are donating this cycle much as they normally do: giving to both sides of the political aisle, with a slight preference to the party currently wielding the most power, which for now is Republicans. (The few notable exceptions include the chairman of the NDIA's board, Arnold Punaro, who has given more than $58,000 to Trump and others in the GOP.)

Data from the Center for Responsive Politics shows that's the case for contributions from the next three biggest groups of defense industry donors after Lockheed's employees.

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One smaller defense company, AshBritt Environmental, did donate $500,000 to a political action committee supporting Trump ― prompting a complaint from the Campaign Legal Center, which noted that businesses that take federal dollars are not allowed to make campaign contributions. Its founder told ProPublica he meant to make a personal donation.

For weapons producers, backing both parties makes sense. The military budget will have increased 29% under Trump by the end of the current fiscal year, per the White House Office of Management and Budget. Biden has said he doesn't see cuts as "inevitable" if he is elected, and his circle of advisers includes many from the national security world who have worked closely with ― and in many cases worked for ― the defense industry.

And arms manufacturers are "busy pursuing their own interests" in other ways, like trying to get a piece of additional government stimulus legislation, Hartung said ― an effort that's underway as the Pentagon's inspector general investigates how defense contractors got so much of the first coronavirus relief package.

Meanwhile, defense contractors continue to have an outsize effect on the way policies are designed in Washington through less political means. A recent report from the Center for International Policy found that such companies have given at least $1 billion to the nation's most influential think tanks since 2014 ― potentially spending taxpayer money to influence public opinion. They have also found less obvious ways to maintain support from powerful people, like running the databases that many congressional offices use to connect with constituents, Scherb of Common Cause said.

"This goes into a much bigger systemic issue about big money in politics and the role of corporations versus the role of Americans," Scherb said.

Given its reach, the defense industry has little reason to appear overtly partisan. Instead, it's projecting confidence despite the generally dreary state of the global economy: Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun has said he expects similar approaches from either winner of the election, arguing even greater Democratic control and the rise of less conventional lawmakers isn't a huge concern.

In short, whoever is in the White House, arms dealers tend to do just fine.

[Oct 20, 2020] Internet Resources Become Weaponized by Philip Giraldi

Oct 20, 2020 | www.unz.com

Internet Resources Become Weaponized High Tech Oligarchs threaten democracy PHILIP GIRALDI OCTOBER 20, 2020 1,200 WORDS 90 COMMENTS REPLY Tweet Reddit 3 Share Share 2 Email Print More 5 SHARES

The current electoral campaign differs from that of 2016 in that the media, both conventional and online, has realized its power and has been openly playing a major role in what might well prove to be a victory across the board for the Democratic Party. At least that is the expectation, bolstered by a flood of possibly suspect opinion polls that appear to make the triumph of Joe Biden and company inevitable while at the same time denigrating President Donald Trump and covering up for Democratic Party missteps.

Most Americans no longer trust what is being reported in the mainstream media but when they look for "real" information they frequently turn to online resources that they believe to be more politically objective. That has never been true, however, and what most newshounds are actually seeking is commentary that reflects their own views. In reality, the news provided is almost always either spun or distorted and sometimes completely blocked, note particularly the resistance to reporting the tale of the shenanigans of Hunter Biden.

The New York Post is claiming that a trove of emails from a laptop reveals that "Hunter Biden introduced his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, to a top executive at a Ukrainian energy firm less than a year before the elder Biden pressured government officials in Ukraine into firing a prosecutor who was investigating the company."

The emails include a message of appreciation that Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to the board of Burisma, allegedly sent Hunter Biden on April 17, 2015, about a year after Hunter joined the oil company Burisma's board at a reported salary of up to $50,000 a month. "Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together. It's realty [sic] an honor and pleasure," the email reads. An earlier email from May 2014 also shows Pozharskyi, reportedly Burisma's No. 3 exec, asking Hunter for "advice on how you could use your influence" on the company's behalf.

The correspondence, if authentic, disproves Joe Biden's claim that he's " never spoken to his son about his overseas business dealings ." One would think that the story would be a real blockbuster, welcomed by self-respecting journalists but the reality has been that the mainstream media is doing its best to kill it. Facebook and Twitter have both blocked it though Twitter has since relented, and much of the rest of the liberal media is regarding it as a hoax .

Facebook has in fact become something of a leader in reversing its self-promotion as a site for free exchange of ideas. It has removed large numbers of users and alleged suspect sites and has blocked any "denial or distortion" of the so-called holocaust in response to what it regards as a surge in anti-Semitism. It has hired a former Israeli government official to lead the censorship effort on the site.

As Facebook and Twitter are private companies, they can legally do whatever they want to set the rules for the use of their sites, but when the two most powerful social media companies choose to censor a major newspaper's story about a presidential candidate's possibly corrupt son less than three weeks before the election it suggests a more sinister agenda. They are quite likely banking on a Democratic victory and will expect to be rewarded afterwards.

Indeed, it should be assumed that Facebook and the other social media giants are reconfiguring themselves for the post-electoral environment in expectation that they will be more than ever politically and economically indispensable to aspiring politicians. This willingness to engage with politically powerful forces has led to increased involvement in the various mostly left-wing movements that have shaken the United States over the past five months. Television and radio stations as well as corporations and local businesses have rushed to endorse and even fund black lives matter without considering the damage that the group has been doing to property and persons that have had the misfortune to cross its path, not to mention some of the group's long-term more radical objectives. Individuals identified as blm leaders have demanded mandatory training to reprogram whites as well as punitive reparations, to include "white people" turning over their homes to blacks.

Some of the developments are quite dangerous, most notably the compiling of lists of organizations and individuals that are considered to be "enemies" of the new social justice order that intends to take over the United States. One has noted the desire for revenge permeating many of the comments on sites like Facebook (which claims to delete "threats" from its commentary), to include some material in recent weeks that has called for the "elimination" of Americans who do not go along with the new normal.

One of the most invidious steps taken by any of the corporate social media is a recent decision by Yelp to allow Antifa to compile the raw material on so-called "fascist businesses" that will be included on a list of "Businesses Accused of Racist Behavior Alerts." The list itself was set up to appease demands coming from the blm movement.

Yelp is a review site that provides grades and commentary on a broad range of goods and services, to include many businesses that cater to the public. The potential for abuse is enormous as Yelp is an information site that has no capability to investigate whether complaints of "racism" are true or not and Antifa, which is recognized as being at least in part behind the devastating Portland riots, is far from an objective observer. In fact, this is what Antifa has tweeted about its new role , which will allow group members to submit names of "non-friendly" businesses, defined as "also known as (AKA) any company that's hanging blue lives garbage in their store or anything else that's anti the BLM movement."

The Antifa intention is clearly to put unfriendly shops and restaurants out of business, so it will not exactly be interested in engaging in constructive criticism or changing behavior through negotiation. Using the intimidation provided by the "Alerts" list and direct threats of violence from Antifa and blm, businesses will be coerced into supporting radical groups lest they be targeted. It is somewhat reminiscent of the old Mafia protection rackets, and who can doubt that demands for money will follow on to the verbal threats?

The rise of the internet oligarchs might indeed do more serious damage to the freedoms that still survive in the United States than will victory by either Biden or Trump. What Americans are allowed to think and how they perceive themselves and the world have taken a serious hit over the past twenty years and it can only get worse.

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

[Oct 20, 2020] George Koo linked to a Youtube video of Mike Pompeous and the Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic at a press conference in Dubrovnik. Watch how Plenkovic deals with Pompeosity!

Oct 20, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

MARK CHAPMAN October 19, 2020 at 4:41 pm

YES!! This.

https://asiatimes.com/2020/10/pompeos-record-a-litany-of-failure/

We all like to have our worldview affirmed by a corroborating voice, even if that, too, is an opinion. This, for me, was like lying back in a hot bath.

I have said as far back as I can remember, during Pompeo's tenure as Giant Blasphemous Cream Puff of State, that the damage he was doing to the relationship between America and her allies was significant and perhaps irreparable. The article, if accurate, reveals a China which is quite a bit like Russia in its official treatment of minorities – subordinate ethnicities are recognized as distinct societies if their population meets a reasonable threshold, and where an ethnic population is regionally dominant, an autonomous government is established to facilitate local governance by people of the same ethnic background.

I was not aware that during the term of China's one-child policy – a dreadful time which led to the abortion or other more-horrible disposals of unwanted baby girls – mothers among ethnic minorities were permitted two or even three children.

The article is obviously written in defense of China, but the authors seem to have substantiated their claims satisfactorily where such material is offered. Unsubstantiated opinion is often a close match with those offered by commenters on this forum.

JEN October 19, 2020 at 5:51 pm

George Koo linked to a Youtube video of Mike Pompeous and the Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic at a press conference in Dubrovnik. Watch how Plenkovic deals with Pompeosity!

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

I swear I saw the Pompous One deflate considerably after Plenkovic's speech about China's BRI initiative. Good thing the wind was up and active otherwise the smell would have been horrific and everyone would have been knocked unconscious.

PATIENT OBSERVER October 19, 2020 at 4:51 pm

Mike Pompeo, otherwise known as the international man of catastrophe,

You knew it was going to be good from the first sentence.


[Oct 20, 2020] Treason In America- An Overview Of The FBI, CIA, And Matters Of -National Security- -

Oct 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Treason In America: An Overview Of The FBI, CIA, And Matters Of "National Security"


by Tyler Durden Mon, 10/19/2020 - 23:40 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print

Authored by Cynthia Chung via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

"Treason doth never prosper; what is the reason? Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason."

– Sir John Harrington.

As Shakespeare would state in his play Hamlet , " Something is rotten in the state of Denmark ," like a fish that rots from head to tail, so do corrupt government systems rot from top to bottom.

This is a reference to the ruling system of Denmark and not just the foul murder that King Claudius has committed against his brother, Hamlet's father. This is showcased in the play by reference to the economy of Denmark being in a state of shambles and that the Danish people are ready to revolt since they are on the verge of starving. King Claudius has only been king for a couple of months, and thus this state of affairs, though he inflames, did not originate with him.

Thus, during our time of great upheaval we should ask ourselves; what constitutes the persisting "ruling system," of the United States, and where do the injustices in its state of affairs truly originate from?

The tragedy of Hamlet does not just lie in the action (or lack of action) of one man, but rather, it is contained in the choices and actions of all its main characters. Each character fails to see the longer term consequences of their own actions, which leads not only to their ruin but towards the ultimate collapse of Denmark. The characters are so caught up in their antagonism against one another that they fail to foresee that their very own destruction is intertwined with the other.

This is a reflection of a failing system.

A system that, though it believes itself to be fighting tooth and nail for its very survival, is only digging a deeper grave. A system that is incapable of generating any real solutions to the problems it faces.

The only way out of this is to address that very fact. The most important issue that will decide the fate of the country is what sort of changes are going to occur in the political and intelligence apparatus, such that a continuation of this tyrannical treason is finally stopped in its tracks and unable to sow further discord and chaos.

When the Matter of "Truth" Becomes a Threat to "National Security"

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When the matter of truth is depicted as a possible threat to those that govern a country, you no longer have a democratic state. True, not everything can be disclosed to the public in real time, but we are sitting on a mountain of classified intelligence material that goes back more than 60 years.

How much time needs to elapse before the American people have the right to know the truth behind what their government agencies have been doing within their own country and abroad in the name of the "free" world?

From this recognition, the whole matter of declassifying material around the Russigate scandal in real time , and not highly redacted 50 years from now, is essential to addressing this festering putrefaction that has been bubbling over since the heinous assassination of President Kennedy on Nov. 22nd, 1963 and to which we are still waiting for full disclosure of classified papers 57 years later.

If the American people really want to finally see who is standing behind that curtain in Oz, now is the time .

These intelligence bureaus need to be reviewed for what kind of method and standard they are upholding in collecting their "intelligence," that has supposedly justified the Mueller investigation and the never-ending Flynn investigation which have provided zero conclusive evidence to back up their allegations and which have massively infringed on the elected government's ability to make the changes that they had committed to the American people.

Just like the Iraq and Libya war that was based off of cooked British intelligence (refer here and here ), Russiagate appears to have also had its impetus from our friends over at MI6 as well. It is no surprise that Sir Richard Dearlove, who was then MI6 chief (1999-2004) and who oversaw and stood by the fraudulent intelligence on Iraq stating they bought uranium from Niger to build a nuclear weapon, is the very same Sir Richard Dearlove who promoted the Christopher Steele dossier as something "credible" to American intelligence.

In other words, the same man who is largely responsible for encouraging the illegal invasion of Iraq, which set off the never-ending wars on "terror," that was justified with cooked British intelligence is also responsible for encouraging the Russian spook witch-hunt that has been occurring within the U.S. for the last four years over more cooked British intelligence, and the FBI and CIA are knowingly complicit in this.

Neither the American people, nor the world as a whole, can afford to suffer any more of the so-called "mistaken" intelligence bumblings. It is time that these intelligence bureaus are held accountable for at best criminal negligence, at worst, treason against their own country.

When Great Figures of Hope Are Targeted as Threats to "National Security"

The Family Jewels report , which was an investigation conducted by the CIA to investigate itself , was spurred by the Watergate Scandal and the CIA's unconstitutional role in the whole affair. This investigation by the CIA reviewed its own conduct from the 1950s to mid-1970s.

The Family Jewels report was only partially declassified in June 25, 2007 (30 years later). Along with the release of the redacted report included a six-page summary with the following introduction:

" The Central Intelligence Agency violated its charter for 25 years until revelations of illegal wiretapping, domestic surveillance, assassination plots , and human experimentation led to official investigations and reforms in the 1970s. " [emphasis added]

Despite this acknowledged violation of its charter for 25 years, which is pretty much since its inception, the details of this information were kept classified for 30 years from not just the public but major governmental bodies and it was left to the agency itself to judge how best to "reform" its ways.

On Dec. 22, 1974, The New York Times published an article by Seymour Hersh exposing illegal operations conducted by the CIA, dubbed the "family jewels". This included, covert action programs involving assassination attempts on foreign leaders and covert attempts to subvert foreign governments, which were reported for the first time . In addition, the article discussed efforts by intelligence agencies to collect information on the political activities of U.S. citizens.

Largely as a reaction to Hersh's findings, the creation of the Church Committee was approved on January 27, 1975, by a vote of 82 to 4 in the Senate.

The Church Committee's final report was published in April 1976, including seven volumes of Church Committee hearings in the Senate.

The Church Committee also published an interim report titled "Alleged Assassination Plots Involving Foreign Leaders", which investigated alleged attempts to assassinate foreign leaders, including Patrice Lumumba of Zaire, Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic, Ngo Dinh Diem of Vietnam, Gen. René Schneider of Chile and Fidel Castro of Cuba. President Ford attempted to withhold the report from the public, but failed and reluctantly issued Executive Order 11905 after pressure from the public and the Church Committee.

Executive Order 11905 is a United States Presidential Executive Order signed on February 18, 1976, by a very reluctant President Ford in an attempt to reform the United States Intelligence Community, improve oversight on foreign intelligence activities, and ban political assassination.

The attempt is now regarded as a failure and was largely undone by President Reagan who issued Executive Order 12333 , which extended the powers and responsibilities of U.S. intelligence agencies and directed leaders of the U.S. federal agencies to co-operate fully with the CIA, which was the original arrangement that CIA have full authority over clandestine operations (for more information on this refer to my papers here and here ).

In addition, the Church Committee produced seven case studies on covert operations, but only the one on Chile was released, titled " Covert Action in Chile: 1963–1973 ". The rest were kept secret at the CIA's request.

Among the most shocking revelation of the Church Committee was the discovery of Operation SHAMROCK , in which the major telecommunications companies shared their traffic with the NSA from 1945 to the early 1970s. The information gathered in this operation fed directly into the NSA Watch List. It was found out during the committee investigations that Senator Frank Church, who was overseeing the committee, was among the prominent names under surveillance on this NSA Watch List.

In 1975, the Church Committee decided to unilaterally declassify the particulars of this operation, against the objections of President Ford's administration (refer here and here for more information).

The Church Committee's reports constitute the most extensive review of intelligence activities ever made available to the public. Much of the contents were classified, but over 50,000 pages were declassified under the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992.

President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on Nov. 22nd, 1963. Two days before his assassination a hate-Kennedy handbill (see picture) was circulated in Dallas accusing the president of treasonous activities including being a communist sympathizer.

On March 1st, 1967 New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison arrested and charged Clay Shaw with conspiring to assassinate President Kennedy, with the help of David Ferrie and others. After a little over a one month long trial, Shaw was found not guilty on March 1st, 1969.

David Ferrie, a controller of Lee Harvey Oswald, was going to be a key witness and would have provided the "smoking gun" evidence linking himself to Clay Shaw, was likely murdered on Feb. 22nd, 1967, less than a week after news of Garrison's investigation broke in the media.

According to Garrison's team findings, there was reason to believe that the CIA was involved in the orchestrations of President Kennedy's assassination but access to classified material (which was nearly everything concerning the case) was necessary to continue such an investigation.

Though Garrison's team lacked direct evidence, they were able to collect an immense amount of circumstantial evidence, which should have given the justification for access to classified material for further investigation. Instead the case was thrown out of court prematurely and is now treated as if it were a circus. [Refer to Garrison's book for further details and Oliver Stone's excellently researched movie JFK ]

To date, it is the only trial to be brought forward concerning the assassination of President Kennedy.

The Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) was created in 1994 by the Congress enacted President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992, which mandated that all assassination-related material be housed in a single collection within the National Archives and Records Administration. In July 1998, a staff report released by the ARRB emphasized shortcomings in the original autopsy.

The ARRB wrote , "One of the many tragedies of the assassination of President Kennedy has been the incompleteness of the autopsy record and the suspicion caused by the shroud of secrecy that has surrounded the records that do exist." [emphasis added]

The staff report for the Assassinations Records Review Board contended that brain photographs in the Kennedy records are not of Kennedy's brain and show much less damage than Kennedy sustained.

The Washington Post reported :

" Asked about the lunchroom episode [where he was overheard stating his notes of the autopsy went missing] in a May 1996 deposition, Finck said he did not remember it. He was also vague about how many notes he took during the autopsy but confirmed that "after the autopsy I also wrote notes" and that he turned over whatever notes he had to the chief autopsy physician, James J. Humes.

It has long been known that Humes destroyed some original autopsy papers in a fireplace at his home on Nov. 24, 1963. He told the Warren Commission that what he burned was an original draft of his autopsy report. Under persistent questioning at a February 1996 deposition by the Review Board, Humes said he destroyed the draft and his "original notes."

Shown official autopsy photographs of Kennedy from the National Archives, [Saundra K.] Spencer [who worked in "the White House lab"] said they were not the ones she helped process and were printed on different paper. She said "there was no blood or opening cavities" and the wounds were much smaller in the pictures [than what she had] worked on

John T. Stringer, who said he was the only one to take photos during the autopsy itself, said some of those were missing as well. He said that pictures he took of Kennedy's brain at a "supplementary autopsy" were different from the official set that was shown to him. " [emphasis added]

This not only shows that evidence tampering did indeed occur, as even the Warren Commission acknowledges, but this puts into question the reliability of the entire assassination record of John F. Kennedy and to what degree evidence tampering and forgery have occurred in these records.

We would also do well to remember the numerous crimes that the FBI and CIA have been guilty of committing upon the American people such as during the period of McCarthyism. That the FBI's COINTELPRO has been implicated in covert operations against members of the civil rights movement, including Martin Luther King Jr. during the 1960s. That FBI director J. Edgar Hoover made no secret of his hostility towards Dr. King and his ludicrous belief that King was influenced by communists, despite having no evidence to that effect.

King was assassinated on April 4th, 1968 and the civil rights movement took a major blow.

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In November 1975, as the Church Committee was completing its investigation, the Department of Justice formed a Task Force to examine the FBI's program of harassment directed at Dr. King, including the FBI's security investigations of him, his assassination and the FBI conducted criminal investigation that followed. One aspect of the Task force study was to determine "whether any action taken in relation to Dr. King by the FBI before the assassination had, or might have had, an effect, direct or indirect, on that event."

In its report , the Task Force criticized the FBI not for the opening, but for the protracted continuation of, its security investigation of Dr. King:

" We think the security investigation which included both physical and technical surveillance, should have been terminated in 1963. That it was intensified and augmented by a COINTELPRO type campaign against Dr. King was unwarranted; the COINTELPRO type campaign, moreover, was ultra vires and very probably felonious. "

In 1999, King Family v. Jowers civil suit in Memphis, Tennessee occurred, the full transcript of the trial can be found here . The jury found that Lloyd Jowers and unnamed others, including those in high ranking positions within government agencies, participated in a conspiracy to assassinate Dr. King.

During the four week trial, it was pointed out that the rifle allegedly used to assassinate King did not have a scope that was sighted, which meant you could not have hit the broad side of a barn with that rifle, thus it could not have been the murder weapon .

This was only remarked on over 30 years after King was murdered and showed the level of incompetence, or more likely, evidence tampering that was committed from previous investigations conducted by the FBI.

The case of JFK and MLK are among the highest profile assassination cases in American history, and it has been shown in both cases that evidence tampering has indeed occurred, despite being in the center of the public eye. What are we then to expect as the standard of investigation for all the other cases of malfeasance? What expectation can we have that justice is ever upheld?

With a history of such blatant misconduct, it is clear that the present demand to declassify the Russiagate papers now, and not 50 years later, needs to occur if we are to address the level of criminality that is going on behind the scenes and which will determine the fate of the country.

The American People Deserve to Know

Today we see the continuation of the over seven decades' long ruse, the targeting of individuals as Russian agents without any basis, in order to remove them from the political arena. The present effort to declassify the Russiagate papers and exonerate Michael Flynn, so that he may freely speak of the intelligence he knows, is not a threat to national security, it is a threat to those who have committed treason against their country .

On Oct. 6th, 2020, President Trump ordered the declassification of the Russia Probe documents along with the classified documents on the findings concerning the Hillary Clinton emails. The release of these documents threatens to expose the entrapment of the Trump campaign by the Clinton campaign with help of the U.S. intelligence agencies.

The Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe released some of these documents recently, including former CIA Director John Brennan's handwritten notes for a meeting with former President Obama, the notes revealing that Hillary Clinton approved a plan to "vilify Donald Trump by stirring up scandal claiming interference by the Russian security service."

Trey Gowdy, who was Chair of the House Oversight Committee from June 13th, 2017 – Jan. 3rd, 2019, has stated in an interview on Oct. 7th, 2020 that he has never seen these documents. Devin Nunes, who was Chair of the House Intelligence Committee from Jan. 3rd, 2015 – Jan. 3rd, 2019, has also said in a recent interview that he has never seen these documents.

And yet, both the FBI and CIA were aware and had access to these documents and sat on them for four years, withholding their release from several government-led investigations that were looking into the Russiagate scandal and who were requesting relevant material that was in the possession of both intelligence bureaus. Do these intelligence bureaus sound like they are working for the "national security" of the American people?

The truth must finally be brought to light, or the country will rot from its head to tail.

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play_arrow FreemonSandlewould , 22 minutes ago

Problem here is when you suggest that killing a president is justified you eliminate any possibility of democracy / republic whatever you name it. You are installing being ruled at the wrong end of a barrel.

Miffed Microbiologist , 27 minutes ago

I have to agree with you. My mother was an investigative reporter who worked for Pierre Salinger. She told me some pretty interesting things that were going on in the White House during Camelot which the press shielded from the public. However to be fair, I honestly think this was nothing unusual. Truth and politics rarely go together.

Miffed

Duke6 , 13 minutes ago

LOL. Compared to the globalist animals running the country after his death , the above is poor at attempt at deflection.

https://youtu.be/FnkdfFAqsHA

MrBoompi , 27 minutes ago

If JFK flopped it was because he was taken out. He was also too promiscuous for his own good. He really pissed some people off, which is the reason behind the gruesome public assassination.

USGrant , 3 minutes ago

"Some people" was the MIC. His reluctance to fight a war in Vietnam and the firing of Allen Dulles in the spring of 1962 set the stage. Johnson OKed it and the first full day as president had a meeting with the military chiefs to ramp up the war. The red seal ones and fives issued directly by the Treasury with no debt backing may have gotten the old money in Europe involved as well.

[Oct 19, 2020] The Emails Are Russian- Will Be The Narrative, Regardless Of Facts Or Evidence by Caitlin Johnstone

Highly recommended!
Oct 19, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via CaitlinJohnstone.com,

Fight it all you want, but there's nothing you can do. "The emails are Russian" is going to be the official dominant narrative in mainstream political discourse, and there's nothing you can do to stop it. Resistance is futile.

Like the Russian hacking narrative, the Trump-Russia collusion narrative, the Russian bounties in Afghanistan narrative, and any other evidence-free framing of events that simultaneously advances pre-planned cold war agendas, is politically convenient for the Democratic party and generates clicks and ratings, the narrative that the New York Post publication of Hunter Biden's emails is a Russian operation is going to be hammered and hammered and hammered until it becomes the mainstream consensus. This will happen regardless of facts and evidence, up to and including rock solid evidence that Hunter Biden's emails were not published as a result of a Russian operation.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1317449899860951040&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Femails-are-russian-will-be-narrative-regardless-facts-or-evidence&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

This is happening. It's following the same formula all the other fact-free Russia hysteria narratives have followed. The same media tour by pundits and political operatives saying with no evidence but very assertive voices that Russia is most certainly behind this occurrence and we should all be very upset about it.

"To me, this is just classic textbook Soviet Russian tradecraft at work," Russiagate founder and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper is heard assuring CNN's audience .

"Joe Biden – and all of us – SHOULD be furious that media outlets are spreading what is very likely Russian propaganda," begins and eight-part thread by Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, who claims the emails are "Kremlin constructed anti-Biden propaganda."

"It's not really surprising at all, this was always the play, but still kind of head-spinning to watch all the players from 2016 run exactly the same hack-leak-smear op in 2020. Even with everyone knowing exactly what's happening this time," tweets MSNBC's Chris Hayes.

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"How are you all circling the wagons instead of being embarrassed for peddling Russian ops 18 days before the election. It's not enough that you all haven't learned from your atrocious handling of 2016 -- you are doubling down," Democratic Party think tanker Neera Tanden tweeted in admonishment of journalists who dare to report on or ask questions about the emails.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1317307227963678721&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Femails-are-russian-will-be-narrative-regardless-facts-or-evidence&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

Virtually the entirety of the Democratic Party-aligned political/media class has streamlined this narrative of Russian influence into the American consciousness with very little inertia, despite the fact that neither Joe nor Hunter Biden has disputed the authenticity of the emails and despite a complete absence of evidence for Russian involvement in their publication.

This is surely the first time, at least in recent memory, that we have ever seen such a broad consensus within the mass media that it is the civic duty of news reporters to try and influence the outcome of a presidential general election by withholding negative news coverage for one candidate. There was a lot of fascinated hatred for Trump in 2016, but people still reported on Hillary Clinton's various scandals and didn't attack one another for doing so. In 2020 that has changed, and mainstream news reporters have now largely coalesced along the doctrine that they must avoid any reporting which might be detrimental to the Biden campaign.

"Dem Party hacks (and many of their media allies) genuinely believe it's immoral to report on or even discuss stories that reflect poorly on Biden. In reality, it's the responsibility of journalists to ignore their vapid whining and ask about newsworthy stories, even about Biden," tweeted The Intercept 's Glenn Greenwald recently.

"You don't even have to think the Hunter Biden materials constitute some kind of earth-shattering story to be absolutely repulsed at the authoritarian propaganda offensive being waged to discredit them -- primarily by journalists who behave like compliant little trained robots ," tweeted journalist Michael Tracey.

Last month The Spectator 's Stephen L Miller described how the consensus formed among the mainstream press since Clinton's 2016 loss that it is their moral duty to be uncritical of Trump's opponent.

"For almost four years now, journalists have shamed their colleagues and themselves over what I will call the 'but her emails' dilemma," Miller writes. "Those who reported dutifully on the ill-timed federal investigation into Hillary Clinton's private server and spillage of classified information have been cast out and shunted away from the journalist cool kids' table. Focusing so much on what was, at the time, a considerable scandal, has been written off by many in the media as a blunder. They believe their friends and colleagues helped put Trump in the White House by focusing on a nothing-burger of a Clinton scandal when they should have been highlighting Trump's foibles. It's an error no journalist wants to repeat."

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-2&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1316900508775280642&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Femails-are-russian-will-be-narrative-regardless-facts-or-evidence&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

So "the emails are Russian" narrative serves the interests of political convenience, partisan media ratings, and the national security state's pre-planned agenda to continue escalating against Russia as part of its slow motion third world war against nations which refuse to bow to US dictates, and you've got essentially no critical mainstream news coverage putting the brakes on any of it. This means this narrative is going to become mainstream orthodoxy and treated as an established fact, despite the fact that there is no actual, tangible evidence for it.

Joe Biden could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and the mainstream press would crucify any journalist who so much as tweeted about it. Very little journalism is going into vetting and challenging him, and a great deal of the energy that would normally be doing so is going into ensuring that he slides right into the White House.

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If the mainstream news really existed to tell you the truth about what's going on, everyone would know about every questionable decision that Joe Biden has ever made, Russiagate would never have happened, we'd all be acutely aware of the fact that powerful forces are pushing us into increasingly aggressive confrontations with two nuclear-armed nations, and Trump would be grilled about Yemen in every press conference.

But the mainstream news does not exist to tell you the truth about the world. The mainstream news exists to advance the interests of its wealthy owners and the status quo upon which they have built their kingdoms. That's why it's so very, very important that we find ways to break away from it and share information with each other that isn't tainted by corrupt and powerful interests.

* * *

Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack , which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported , so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook , following my antics on Twitter , throwing some money into my tip jar on Patreon or Paypal , purchasing some of my sweet merchandise , buying my books Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers . For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I'm trying to do with this platform, click here . Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I've written) in any way they like free of charge.

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[Oct 19, 2020] New report shows more than $1B from war industry and govt. going to top 50 think tanks

Highly recommended!
Oct 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Richard Steven Hack , Oct 17 2020 23:20 utc | 76

New report shows more than $1B from war industry and govt. going to top 50 think tanks
Esper's speech demonstrates a confluence of policies, ideas, and funds that permeate through the system, and are by no means unique to a single service, think tank, or contractor.

First, Esper consistently situated his future expansion plans in a need to adapt to "an era of great power competition." CNAS is one of the think tanks leading the charge in highlighting the threat from Beijing.

They also received at least $8,946,000 from 2014-2019 from the U.S. government and defense contractors, including over $7 million from defense contractors like Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Huntington Ingalls, General Dynamics, and Boeing who would stand to make billions if the 500-ship fleet were enacted.

It's all about the money. Foreign and domestic policy is always all about the money, either directly or indirectly. Of course, the ultimate goal is power - or more precisely, the ultimate goal is relief of the fear of death, which drives every single human's every action, and only power can do that, and in this world only money can give you power (or so the chimpanzees believe.)

[Oct 18, 2020] Does This Explain Why Facebook Was So Quick To Suppress Hunter Biden Revelations- -

Oct 18, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Does This Explain Why Facebook Was So Quick To Suppress Hunter Biden Revelations? by Tyler Durden Sun, 10/18/2020 - 15:20 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print

Authored by Andrea Widburg via AmericanThinker.com,

The moment the New York Post reported on some of the sleazy, corrupt details contained on Hunter Biden's hard drive, Twitter and Facebook, the social media giants most closely connected to the way Americans exchange political information, went into overdrive to suppress the information and protect Joe Biden. In the case of Facebook, though, perhaps one of those protectors was, in fact, protecting herself.

The person currently in charge of Facebook's election integrity program is Anna Makanju . That name probably doesn't mean a lot to you, but it should mean a lot – and in a comforting way -- to Joe Biden.

Before ending up at Facebook, Makanju was a nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council. The Atlantic Council is an ostensibly non-partisan think tank that deals with international affairs. In fact, it's a decidedly partisan organization.

In 2009, James L. Jones, the Atlantic Council's chairman left the organization to be President Obama's National Security Advisor. Susan Rice, Richard Holbrooke, Eric Shinseki, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Chuck Hagel, and Brent Scowcroft also were all affiliated with the Atlantic Council before they ended up in the Obama administration.

The Atlantic Council has received massive amounts of foreign funding over the years. Here's one that should interest everyone: Burisma Holdings donated $300,000 dollars to the Atlantic Council, over the course of three consecutive years, beginning in 2016. The information below may explain why it began paying that money to the Council.

Not only was the Atlantic Council sending people into the Obama-Biden administration, but it was also serving as an outside advisor. And that gets us back to Anna Makanju, the person heading Facebook's misleadingly titled "election integrity program."

Makanju also worked at the Atlantic Council. The following is the relevant part of Makanju's professional bio from her page at the Atlantic Council (emphasis mine):

Anna Makanju is a nonresident senior fellow with the Transatlantic Security Initiative. She is a public policy and legal expert working at Facebook, where she leads efforts to ensure election integrity on the platform. Previously, she was the special policy adviser for Europe and Eurasia to former US Vice President Joe Biden , senior policy adviser to Ambassador Samantha Power at the United States Mission to the United Nations, director for Russia at the National Security Council, and the chief of staff for European and NATO Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. She has also taught at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and worked as a consultant to a leading company focused on space technologies.

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Makanju was a player in the faux Ukraine impeachment. Early in December 2019, when the Democrats were gearing up for the impeachment, Glenn Kessler mentioned her in an article assuring Washington Post readers that, contrary to the Trump administration's claims, there was nothing corrupt about Biden's dealings with Ukraine. He made the point then that Biden now raises as a defense: Biden didn't pressure Ukraine to fire prosecutor Viktor Shokin to protect Burisma; he did it because Shokin wasn't doing his job when it came to investigating corruption.

Kessler writes that, on the same day in February 2016 that then-Ukrainian President Poroshenko announced that Shokin had offered his resignation, Biden spoke to both Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. The White House version is that Biden gave both men pep talks about reforming the government and fighting corruption. And that's where Makanju comes in:

Anna Makanju, Biden's senior policy adviser for Ukraine at the time, also listened to the calls and said release of the transcripts would only strengthen Biden's case that he acted properly. She helped Biden prepare for the conversations and said they operated at a high level, with Biden using language such as Poroshenko's government being "nation builders for a transformation of Ukraine."

A reference to a private company such as Burisma would be "too fine a level of granularity" for a call between Biden and the president of another country, Makanju told The Fact Checker. Instead, she said, the conversation focused on reforms demanded by the International Monetary Fund, methods to tackle corruption and military assistance. An investigation of "Burisma was just not significant enough" to mention, she said.

Let me remind you, in case you forgot, that Burisma started paying the Atlantic Council a lot of money in 2016, right when Makanju was advising Biden regarding getting rid of Shokin.

In other words, there's a really good chance that Sundance was correct when he wrote at The Conservative Treehouse :

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That's right folks, the Facebook executive currently blocking all of the negative evidence of Hunter and Joe Biden's corrupt activity in Ukraine is the same person who was coordinating the corrupt activity between the Biden family payoffs and Ukraine.

You just cannot make this stuff up folks.

The incestuous networking between Democrats in the White House, Congress, the Deep State, the media, and Big Tech never ends. That's why the American people wanted and still want Trump, the true outsider, to head the government. They know that Democrats have turned American politics into one giant Augean Stable and that Trump is the Hercules who (we hope) can clean it out.

[Oct 14, 2020] Trump's latest arms sales to Taiwan aimed at winning votes by 'getting tough' on China but risks war -- RT Op-ed

Oct 14, 2020 | www.rt.com

Trump's latest arms sales to Taiwan aimed at winning votes by 'getting tough' on China but risks war Finian Cunningham Finian Cunningham is an award-winning journalist. For over 25 years, he worked as a sub-editor and writer for The Mirror, Irish Times, Irish Independent and Britain's Independent, among others. 14 Oct, 2020 14:56 / Updated 3 hours ago Get short URL Trump's latest arms sales to Taiwan aimed at winning votes by 'getting tough' on China but risks war Five US-made F16 jets fly over the Presidential Office during Taiwan's National Day. 10.10.2020 TAIPEI, TAIWAN © Getty Images / Walid Berrazeg / SOPA Images / LightRocket 17 Follow RT on RT In a reckless provocation to China, the Trump administration has given notice of three major arms deals with Taiwan. The rocket launcher and missiles on offer are advanced attack systems. Beijing is infuriated and vows to respond.

The timing of the weapons deals strongly suggests a calculated move by the Trump White House to deliberately antagonize China. After all, the Republican president and his Democrat rival have been sparring over which one is tougher towards Beijing. Riling up China would therefore play into President Donald Trump's hawkish posturing.

With recent opinion polls showing Trump losing ground to Joe Biden only three weeks from the ballot, it looks like the incumbent is throwing everything including the kitchen sink to boost his re-election chances. Announcing sped-up troop withdrawals from Afghanistan, as well as a touted nuclear arms agreement with Russia (dismissed by Moscow as overblown), seems to be part of a last-gasp effort by the Trump campaign to scrape up votes.

But offensive weapons sales to Taiwan is taking electioneering to recklessly dangerous levels. Trump may be betting that China will huff and puff and then a turn blind eye, thereby permitting him to make political gain without any real damage done – like starting a war.

READ MORE Trump's claim he'll 'make China pay' is more pre-election saber-rattling and he'll up the ante even further over next three weeks Trump's claim he'll 'make China pay' is more pre-election saber-rattling and he'll up the ante even further over next three weeks

It's more precarious than that. The Trump administration has been using Taiwan as a catspaw against China for too long. The latest weapons deals being proposed are just part of a slew of advanced armaments that the Trump White House has overseen in its determination to aggravate Beijing.

The moves by the Trump administration to increase supply of offensive weapons systems to Taiwan are unprecedented. Since Washington formally broke ties with Taiwan in 1979, as part of its One China policy to placate Beijing's territorial claims, previous administrations have limited arms sales to the breakaway island to "defensive" armaments.

Under Trump, however, Washington has signaled it is abandoning its One China policy by explicitly moving towards supporting Taiwan and its separatist position. Selling offensive missiles, torpedoes, anti-ship mines and F-16s to Taiwan over the past year alone is letting China know that the US is threatening to back the island in an armed confrontation with the mainland.

In recent months, the Trump administration has sent the most senior US officials on high-profile visits to Taiwan since 1979. Last month, Kelly Craft, the American ambassador to the UN, declared support for Taiwan to have official representation at the world body. Those high-level state acknowledgements have coincided with Washington sending high-powered military forces to the Taiwan Strait in the form of warships and nuclear-capable B-52 bombers.

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These provocative moves have been met by China escalating its military forces in a show of strength to underpin its self-declared right to retake Taiwan, which Beijing views as a renegade state since the 1949 civil war when the defeated nationalist faction exiled there.

The anti-China hostility generated in Washington is a bipartisan position adopted by Republicans and Democrats. That means the weapons sales lined up by Trump for Taiwan will likely be voted through, no matter who wins the presidential contest on November 3. There's also at least another four major arms packages reportedly in the works due at a later stage.

READ MORE The Vatican's calculated snub of Mike Pompeo exposes the limits of his evangelical, ideological, China-hating foreign policy The Vatican's calculated snub of Mike Pompeo exposes the limits of his evangelical, ideological, China-hating foreign policy

The US foreign policy establishment and the Pentagon – as seen in several planning documents over recent years – have targeted China as a great power rival. The antagonism that Trump has certainly lent his brash personality to is not going away even if he loses the election next month.

Piling on weapons sales to Taiwan is not merely a reprehensible electioneering ploy which Trump might cynically calculate benefits him. It is part of a growing dynamic of belligerence out of Washington towards Beijing. Whether it's Trump or Biden sitting in the White House, that doesn't alter the disastrous collision course that Washington is charting towards Beijing based on the former's presumed imperialist prerogatives.

It's a foreboding sign of the times when China's President Xi Jinping this week warned combat marines to be prepared for war in defense of the nation's sovereignty.

America's cowardly habit of beating up on other people for its own political ego trips sooner or later goes too far. Washington messing around with China's sovereignty and national security as seen with incorrigible and increasingly offensive weapons sales to Taiwan is playing with fire. A fire that could be just one spark away.

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

[Oct 14, 2020] The Vatican's calculated snub of Mike Pompeo exposes the limits of his evangelical, ideological, China-hating foreign policy -- RT Op-ed

Oct 14, 2020 | www.rt.com

The Vatican's calculated snub of Mike Pompeo exposes the limits of his evangelical, ideological, China-hating foreign policy 30 Sep, 2020 16:19 Get short URL The Vatican's calculated snub of Mike Pompeo exposes the limits of his evangelical, ideological, China-hating foreign policy FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo © Getty Images / Alex Wong 182 1 Follow RT on RT

Tom Fowdy is a British writer and analyst of politics and international relations with a primary focus on East Asia.

His Holiness declining to meet the US secretary of state when he visited the Vatican on his European tour further proves that his misguided America-first chauvinism is alienating more nations than it's winning as friends.

Pompeo, everyone's favourite Cold Warrior and American chauvinist, is on a European tour . Visiting Greece, Italy, Croatia, and notably, the Vatican, the secretary of state is on a roll to win support for American security and energy interests across the region. But he wasn't welcomed by all. Attending the Holy See today, the US' 'top diplomat' found himself snubbed by the Pope as he rolled into town peddling his vitriolic anti-China agenda, and demanding the Church take on Beijing and refuse to renew a deal that gives it a say in the appointment of bishops within that country. Pope Francis wasn't too impressed and refused to meet him accordingly.

The snub is significant, because it reflects more broadly how Pompeo's highly aggressive and evangelical foreign policy agenda is being received around the world. In short, it's a shambles. Rather than respectfully and constructively engage with the interests of other countries, on his watch, the State Department does nothing but pressure other nations. And it does this while parroting the clichéd talking points of American exceptionalism, hysterical anti-Communism, and a refusal to take into account the interests and practicalities faced by its partners. The Vatican has its differences with Beijing, but how would embarking on a collision course help it or the cause of Catholics in China? It wouldn't.

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Pompeo is repeatedly described by major US newspapers, the Washington Post among them, as " the worst secretary of state in American history," and it's no surprise why. Diplomacy requires the skills of understanding, prudence, compromise, calibration, and negotiation. The current man in charge of America's relations with the rest of the world has none of those in his armoury – only a one-sided diatribe about how every nation Washington holds a grudge against is evil and a threat to the world, and the US' own political system is far superior (as demonstrated by last night's presidential debate, perhaps ?). Pompeo repeatedly positions himself as speaking on behalf of other nations' people against their governments, while pushing a policy that amounts to little more than bullying.

A look at Pompeo and the State Department's Twitter feed shows it to be a unilateral, repetitive loop of the following topics: 'The Chinese Communist Party is evil and a threat to the world', 'Iran is an evil terrorist state', American values are the best', 'We stand with the people of X', and so on, ad nauseam. To describe it as hubris would be generous, and, of course, it does nothing to support the equally inadequate foreign policy of the United States in practice. This is further distorted by the unilateralist and anti-global governance politics of Donald Trump, which place emphasis only on the projection of power to force other countries into capitulating to American demands.

Against such a backdrop, it's no surprise that a toxic mixture of foreign policymaking has led to other countries not being willing to take notice of Washington. It's winning neither hearts nor minds, and it's this that has set the stage for not only the Vatican snub, but the largely fruitless outcomes of his European adventures. Pompeo's visit to Greece produced no meaningful agreements or outcomes of note , and he failed to get Athens to publicly commit to any anti-China measures or even statements. A similar non-result was achieved from his visit to the Czech Republic a month or so ago – the Czech prime minister even came out and played down Pompeo's comments , after he engaged in a spree of anti-Beijing vitriol.

So, what's at stake for the Vatican? Undoubtedly, religion is a sensitive topic in mainland China. The Chinese state sees unfettered religion as a threat to social stability, or as a potential vehicle for imperialism against the country, and thus has aimed to strongly regulate it under terms and conditions set by the state.

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This has caused tensions with the Roman Catholic Church, which maintains a strict ecclesiastical hierarchy, answering to the Vatican and not national governments. With China being the world's most populous country, having among its vast population nine million Catholics, this means the Church has had to negotiate and compromise with the Beijing government to maintain its influence and control, and to secure the rights of its members to worship. This has resulted in a 'deal' whereby the Vatican can have a say in the appointment of its bishops in China, rather than the Church being completely subordinate to the government.

But Pompeo doesn't care about these sensitivities – he wants one thing: Cold War. He wants unbridled, unrestrained, and evangelical condemnation of China and, as noted above, is utilizing his 'diplomatic visits' to push that demand. However, building a foreign policy on preaching America First unilateralism, chauvinism, and zero compromise not surprisingly has its limitations. As a result, Pompeo is finding himself isolated and ignored in more than a few areas. Thus it was that, rather than completely squandering the Vatican's interests in diplomacy with China, Pope Francis simply refused to meet him. For someone as fanatically religious and pious as Pompeo, that's a pretty damning indictment of the incompetence within the US State Department right now.

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[Oct 11, 2020] Putin on the US Presidential race and the myth that Trump, one of the most hostile to Russia presidents in history, is somehow a "Putin puppet"

Highly recommended!
The problem with American imperialism that like tiger it can't change its spots. In this sense Trump vs Biden is false dilemma. "Bothe aare worse" as Stalin quipped on the other occasion. Both still profess "Full Spectrum Dominance" doctrine at the expense of the standard of living of the USA people (outside of top 10 or 20%)
The problem with Putin statement is that both candidates are marionette of more powerful forces. Trump is a hostage of Izreal lobby, which in the USA are mostly consist of rabid Russophobes (look art Schiff, Schumer and other members of this gang). Biden is a classic neoliberal warmonger, much like Hillary was, who voted for Iraq war, contributed to color revolution in Ukraine, and was instrumental in the conversion of Dems into the second war party. So there is zero choice in the coming election unless you want to punish Trump for the betrayal of his electorate, which probably is the oonly valid reason to vote for Biden in key states; otherwise you san safely ignore the elections as youn; influence anythng. In a deep sense this is a simply legitimization procedure for the role of the "Deep State", not so much real elections as both cadidates were already vetted by neoliberal establishment
The key problem with voting for Bide is that this way you essentially legitimizing Obama administration RussiaGate false flag operation. But as Putin said, chances for extending the Start treaty might worse this self-betrayal.
Oct 11, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Like much of the American public, the Russian public is no doubt weary of the prior couple years of non-stop 'Russiagate' headlines and wild accusations out of Western press, which all are now pretty much in complete agreement came to absolutely nothing. This is also why the whole issue has been conspicuously dropped by the Biden campaign and as a talking point among the Democrats, though in some corners there's been meek attempts to revive it, especially related to claims of "expected" Kremlin interference in the impending presidential election.

Apparently seeing in this an opportunity for some epic trolling, Russian President Vladimir Putin in an interview with Rossiya 1 TV days ago said it was actually the Democratic Party and the Communist Party which have most in common.

Putin was speaking in terms of historic Soviet communism in the recent interview (Wednesday) detailed in Newsweek. "The Democratic Party is traditionally closer to the so-called liberal values, closer to social democratic ideas," Putin began. "And it was from the social democratic environment that the Communist Party evolved."

"After all, I was a member of the Soviet Communist Party for nearly 20 years" Putin added. "I was a rank-and-file member, but it can be said that I believed in the party's ideas. I still like many of these left-wing values. Equality and fraternity. What is bad about them? In fact, they are akin to Christian values."

"Yes, they are difficult to implement, but they are very attractive, nevertheless. In other words, this can be seen as an ideological basis for developing contacts with the Democratic representative."

The Russian president also invoked that historically Russian communists in the Soviet era would have been fully on board the Black Lives Matter movement and other civil rights related causes. "So, this is something that can be seen, to a degree, as common values, if not a unifying agent for us," the Russian president said. "People of my generation remember a time when huge portraits of Angela Davis, a member of the U.S. Communist Party and an ardent fighter for the rights of African Americans, were on view around the Soviet Union."

So there it is: Putin is saying his own personal ideological past could be a basis of "shared values" with a Biden presidency, again, it what appears to be a sophisticated bit of trolling that he knows Biden won't welcome one bit. Or let's call it a 'Russian endorsement Putin style'. The Associated Press and others described it as Putin "hedging his bets", however.

Another interesting part of the interview is where the Russian TV presenter asked Putin the following question:

"The entire world is watching the final stage of the US presidential race. Much has happened there, including things we could never imagine happening before but the one constant in recent years is that your name is mentioned all the time," Zarubin said. "Moreover, during the latest debates, which have provoked a public outcry, presidential candidate Biden called candidate Trump 'Putin's puppy.'"

"Since they keep talking about you, I would like to ask a question which you probably will not want to answer," the interviewer continued. "Nevertheless, here it is: Whose position in this race, Trump's or Biden's, appeals to you more?"

And here's Putin's response:

"Everything that is happening in the United States is the result of the country's internal political processes and problems," Putin said. "By the way, when anyone tries to humiliate or insult the incumbent head of state, in this case in the context you have mentioned, this actually enhances our prestige, because they are talking about our incredible influence and power. In a way, it could be said that they are playing into our hands, as the saying goes."

But on a more serious note Putin pointed out that contrary to the notion some level of sympathy between the Trump administration and the Kremlin, much less the charge of "collusion", it remains that US-Russia relations have reached a low-point in recent history under Trump. The record bears this out.

Putin underscored that "the greatest number of various kinds of restrictions and sanctions were introduced [against Russia] during the Trump presidency."

"Decisions on imposing new sanctions or expanding previous ones were made 46 times. The incumbent's administration withdrew from the INF treaty. That was a very drastic step. After 2002, when the Bush administration withdrew from the ABM treaty, that was the second major step. And I believe it is a big danger to international stability and security," Putin explained.

"Now the US has announced the beginning of the procedure for withdrawing from the Open Skies Treaty. We have good reason to be concerned about that, too. A number of our joint projects, modest, but viable, have not been implemented – the business council project, expert council, and so on," he concluded.

But then on Biden specifically Putin said that despite "rather sharp anti-Russian rhetoric" from the Democratic nominee, it remains "Candidate Biden has said openly that he was ready to extend the New START or to sign a new strategic offensive reductions treaty."

"This is already a very significant element of our potential future cooperation," Putin added of a potential Biden presidency.

[Oct 10, 2020] Neocons are addicted to regime change like narcoaddicts to heroin

Oct 10, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Originally from: Another Opinion Columnist Pushing War With Iran Who Doesn't Actually Exist - The American Conservative


Tradcon a month ago

Not very surprising to be honest, some people simply cannot go without regime change to the point where they have to parade people about who weren't even born in Iran and who have little to no support in the country as "dissidents" to try to guilt people into supporting intervention. Of course with that comes slander against those who warn against that, which unfortunately means TAC.

dragnet20 Tradcon a month ago

Exactly--these folks are addicted to regime change like heroin. Ignoring them is one thing Trump absolutely got right during his first term.

Clyde Schechter dragnet20 a month ago

Trump ignored them??? Hardly. He hired John Bolton as his national security advisor, and Rudy Giuliani is his personal attorney. Both of those guys are heavily tied to this organization and advocate its line. And while he did stop short of actually invading Iran, he was on the brink of doing so recently, talked out of it only at the last minute. I'll give him credit for not going all the way with them, but he's given them far too wide a berth and much too much influence in his foreign policy if you ask me.

Blood Alcohol Clyde Schechter a month ago

He did not go all the way with them because he was told by the military and others, who take their jobs and missions to server the American people seriously, that his attacks on Iran - invasion was not "the table" at all - would face a humiliating defeat at the same level of what happened to his efforts to extend the weapons sanctions at the UNSC. Pompeo was sent home with his tail between his legs.

dragnet20 Blood Alcohol a month ago

The idea that Trump would have invaded if allowed doesn't pass the smell test. He spent much of the 2016 railing against regime change and foreign wars. His recent instincts on this topic have been largely correct.

Carpenter E Clyde Schechter a month ago

Trump did not want more war, and wanted to end the existing wars, that much is clear. At the same time as he believes the Israeli line about Iran. But he did not want war with Iran - he knows they would mine the Strait of Hormuz shut, and the U.S. economy would go into a depression along with the world economy. No president would survive that.

But, he has had to appease top donor *Sheldon Adelson, in order to prevent a GOP revolt in the Congress. The threat was always that they'd join the Democrats in impeaching him, that Mike Pence would call for the same, and people would leave his cabinet. So he caved by sanctioning Iran and destroying the lives of millions of people. And he had to appease Israel by taking Syria's oil fields via the Marxist Kurd mercenaries, and let them burn the wheat fields. But he did not start a war, and did not want a war.

J Villain Tradcon a month ago

"The list of MEK disinformation tactics"

Lets be honest here. It isn't MEK disinformation tactics it is the tactics
of the US wrapped up and packaged as MEK. Just as Falon Gong is backed
by the CIA. MEK is a bunch of backwards ass hats with terrorist
tendencies. They are not some national level intelligence agency. This
is most likely crud made up by the US intelligence agencies sold as MEK
and pushed on the American people to convince them that Iran will be
dropping nuclear weapons on their house any minute now if they can stop
eating babies long enough, so they need to push their government to go
to WAR!!!!! with Iran and kill some Muslims. The gullibility of the
American people is why there will never be a time when they are not at
war.

Blood Alcohol J Villain a month ago

Throw in "Saudi" Arabia and Israel, and France (the home of their leader) then you've got all of them in the same room.

Carpenter E J Villain a month ago

Possibly, but the MEK does have an online presence and such. But of course, it is all with Washington's money, and Washington's assistance.

For those who don't know: The MEK is a Marxist-Islamist group that initially supported the Revolution, but turned against Ayatollah Khomeini as they didn't get to share power. Because no one liked them. And Marxists were not allowed in revolutionary Iran - the MEK was chased out along with the Soviet-installed communist party in northern Iran.

The MEK have been killing Iranian police, bureaucrats and local administrators. This is their "revolution". They kill people mainly with bombs. The present Ayatollah's left arm is withered after one of their bomb attacks.

The MEK have been killing Iranian physics professors and technicians. They kill them with car bombs in traffic - a motorbike with two killers drive up to a car by a traffic stop and attach a bomb with magnets. Of course, you can wonder where they got the bombs, and money and transport. This is classic Mossad strategy. Likewise, dozens of technicians and professors in Iraq have been murdered. Israel hopes for a counter-reaction which the U.S. can exploit.

Rest assured, the political opposition in Iran hates the Marxist-Islamist MEK as much as the government does. Which Washington and Israel don't acknowledge.

The MEK was housed by Saddam Hussein in an old military base. They had to leave Iraq eventually after the overthrow of Hussein. The U.S. then shipped them to a brand new training base in Albania. Crazy as it might seem. Albania's government is of course as eager to be a paid Washington agent as the Kurds are.

Absurdly, this explicitly terrorist group has been taken off the terror list by Washington. While Iran is called "terrorist" for helping Hezbollah, who formed to fight back when Israel invaded Lebanon and massacred Shia villagers in the south with artillery, because they lived close to the Palestinian refugee camps. And then kept fighting when Israel occupied part of southern Lebanon, Shia land, as a "buffer zone" for many years.

Carpenter E Carpenter E a month ago

The MEK killed thousands of people, including Americans. But the Lobby always gets what it wants.

The MEK was founded in 1965 by three Islamic leftists with the goal of toppling the U.S.-supported regime of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

In the 1970s it undertook a campaign of assassinating U.S. advisers and bombing U.S. corporations in Iran. It supported the 1979 Revolution in Iran, but in 1981 it turned its guns against the Tehran government and began a campaign of assassinations and terrorist operations that resulted in the death of thousands of Iranians, including the executions of its own supporters by government officials, soldiers, police officers, and ordinary people.

It then moved its headquarters to Iraq, made a pact with the regime of Saddam Hussein, which was fighting a ferocious war with Iran. The MEK spied on Iranian troops for Iraq, attacked Iran at the end of Iran-Iraq war with Hussein's support, and helped Hussein put down the uprisings by the Iraqi Kurds in the north and Shi'ites in the south after the Persian Gulf War of 1990-91.

The MEK is despised by the vast majority of Iranians for what they consider to be treason committed against their homeland.

disgustoo a month ago

"As a matter of journalistic ethics any organization engaging in systematic dishonesty like this has provided a very good reason to blacklist them. ...This is not a matter of foreign policy differences: if you wish to see the U.S. pursue regime change in Iran, the MEK does not help make that case. Any publishers or think tanks who are aware of this dishonesty and still treat them like a legitimate opposition group should be considered part of a campaign not wholly different from the last time we were lied into a Mideast war."

If MEK does NOT help to make the case for regime change in Iran - & outside sponsored regime change is not ethical - then it would be unethical not to support them, in order to help prevent unethical regime change. Although that's probably not what horrible Hillary had in mind when, as Sec. of State in 2012, she de-listed them from the U.S. official list of terrorist organizations. But if anyone will lie "us" into a war with Iran, it will be AIPAC & innumerable other dishonest zionist organizations working on behalf of the Jewish terror state, & it's new Saudi terror state partner; both of whom look with favor on MEK as a bit partner in their joint effort to take out the government of Iran. MEK is pretty small potatoes compared to The Lobby, who are waging another campaign not wholly different from the last time they pushed us into a M.E. war to benefit lying israel.

Blood Alcohol Guest a month ago

Why, do you "like" sock puppets"?!

Dodo a month ago

Don't fall into this trap.

People tell you - You are a conservative, so do I. I support XYZ thus you should also support them.

Before the 2003 Iraqi War, Many then Bush administration officials and self-anointed "conservative opinion leaders" went on TV to lie to people to support their war. Today, we still suffer the consequence but they are preaching to us other wars.

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

Schopenhauer Dodo a month ago • edited

In no way should the Bush administration's handling of the Iraq War be excused, nor should "conservative opinion leaders" be let off the hook, but the Congress was complicit, the Senate was complicit, the military was complicit, the intelligence community was complicit, and the majority of the electorate was complicit. Nobody cared whether the reason for the war was valid, people just wanted to vent their frustrations against terrorists on an unrelated Arab country that the US had already used as a whipping boy. What could happen?

Almost twenty years later and-- surprise! surprise!-- suddenly everyone recognizes the war for the folly it was. Some people, like Dreher, seem to have genuinely changed their stance based on what happened subsequently. But we'll all see what happens the next time the war mongers-- from both sides of the aisle and from all over the country-- start rattling their sabers.

IllinoisPatriot Schopenhauer a month ago

Then there are the appeasers and anti-war peace-niks that would rather surrender than fight for liberty or that (if they are willing to fight) will on risk OTHER PEOPLE's (other American) lives, thus removing the need to ever put themselves at risk of learning what actually goes in in the countries they are so sympathetic to.

Charles IllinoisPatriot a month ago • edited

"Then there are the appeasers and anti-war peace-niks that would rather surrender than fight for liberty"

Would you expound on that vis a vis current situations. Your sentence is straight out of the Vietnam era,

EliteCommInc. Charles a month ago

The complete idiocy regarding Vietnam is the anti-war rhetoric surrounding. But has laid the framework for installing fear into anyone who doesn't tow the ridiculousness of what is argued by protesters -- which in every way has nearly every argument backwards.

Since the aggressors in Vietnam were the communists of four countries, it is very safe to say that those opposed to defending an independent S. Vietnam were in fact appeasing communist aggression and that is accurate.

The nation of Vietnam has rarely known peace and the lines during the conflict generally mark the region that separated the country's territorial history. The South Vietnamese sound reason to seek defend their territorial and political independence and we had sound reason to defend the same.

It was during that era that the liberal foundations showed their true colors. And if one doubt it --- just look at the anti-Vietnam advocates -- the managers of the Iraq and Afghanistan missteps and p[perhaps even worse their willingness to destroy the lives of anyone who challenged their rational based on the very case they made -- which was unsupportable.

There are some issues which simply are not really issues,

1. the lives of black people in the country and how they were/are socialized and the consequence

2.what the civil war was really about

3.Mexican invasion of US territory to retake territory they lost to band of squatters (lousy immigration enforcement) a war that is now taking place via our failure to enforce border protection.)

4.loss of the War of 1812
and

5. the colonial revolution and its justification

Blood Alcohol EliteCommInc. a month ago • edited

"Since the aggressors in Vietnam were the communists of four countries, it is very safe to say that those opposed to defending an independent S. Vietnam were in fact appeasing communist aggression and that is accurate."
It's safe to say that BS like this is not hard to come by in the right wing nutjobs' circles. No Vietnamese had/has ever attempted to attack, invade, kill and spray Agent Orange anywhere in the US. So how come they became the aggressors?!
Viet Nam became truly independent AFTER expelling the American military.

Schopenhauer Blood Alcohol a month ago

When it comes to discussing Vietnam with this guy-- it's Chinatown, there's nothing you can do.

Shiek Yerbooti Dodo a month ago

If you're talking about Bush I think the quote is more like this:

"fool me once, shame on -- shame on you. Fool me -- you can't get fooled again."

Wallstreet Panic Dodo a month ago

"There's an old saying in Tennessee -- I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee -- that says, fool me once, shame on -- shame on you. Fool me -- you can't get fooled again. You've got to understand the nature of the regime we're dealing with. This is a man who has delayed, denied, deceived the world." George W. Bush, September 17, 2002

chris chuba a month ago

Bless you for writing this but you are spitting into the wind. There are too many people who want to believe this. The IRaq war analogy is apt. You have govt in exile types like MEK (remember Chalabi) who have a vested interest in lying to us. You have the hyper-pro Israel crowd and the newly accepted pro-Saudi crowd w/money to burn. I actually expect and don't begrudge foreigners for trying to get the U.S. into their fights. I resent the MSM that is simply in love with U.S. military conflicts who accuse people who oppose them of being anti-American, conspiracy theorists.

The most laughable example was CNN accepting the notion that Iran has a massive cyber presence in influencing our elections because our Intel Agencies told them so. Iran is detested by the U.S. public as we steal civilian cargo from them that would make the lives of people in other countries better. We sell the stolen goods for our benefit and call them terrorists for their trouble. To suggest that they have sway over us is laughable yet this passes for journalism.

Iran will be the next Iraq. If there is a God it will be the rock that breaks us. If not then a crime of shocking proportions.

Fletcher chris chuba a month ago

I largely agree but I think there's room for optimism, the US military particular the army is largely a broken instrument, morale is not good except for the contractors, General maintenance is down in favor of expensive toys that largely do not work. For all of the bluster of this generation of sociopaths the military in general is a shadow of itself not to mention we live in times of a rising China and the reemergence Russia, neither of which would allow in on opposed attack on Iran.

Blood Alcohol Fletcher a month ago

True, but the military has also been the biggest obstacle for tRump to make his Saudi/Israeli clients happy.

Fletcher Blood Alcohol a month ago

How so? Our government seems to be providing the Saudi's with with as many bombs as they need, Air Force retirees to fly in the backseatair of Saudi planes, we have slowed down on the transfer of Thermo nuclear Technology as well as I assume the the delivery systems for them true but that was likely just a temporary Flash of Conscience it'll probably never happen again for that individual but if there something I'm missing please do tell.

Blood Alcohol Fletcher a month ago • edited

Look at it this way. Either the Saudi/UAE themselves have to deal militarily with Iran, or the US. The US military-industrial complex is for selling weapons to these client states whole-heartedly for obvious reasons. The Saudi/UAE has always expected and often demanded the US is the one to "cut the snake's head" as "king" Abdullah of the "Saudi" Arabia demanded frequently. These states know very well neither the "version" of the weaponry they buy from the West is capable of performing in a real war with a powerful enemy like Iran, nor are their personnel capable of operating them effectively. So what they say to the US is, OK we'll buy your junk, but you need to do the job. In other words, they want to fight Iran to the last AMERICAN soldier. The Pentagon wants none of that. But happy to run the cash register. I hope I made my point clear.

Sorosh Nabi a month ago

MEK have no support in Iran. If a MEK member would walk down the street there the people would tear them to shreds. When they started killing Iranians and cooperating with Saddam during the Iran-Iraq war they committed political suicide.

EliteCommInc. Sorosh Nabi a month ago

You know, this really doesn't carry much weight. I am not going to dismiss the complaints of a group because the majority don't support them. That is not a case for regime change. I don't see a case for that as yet. But I don't buy this nonsense about Iran land of peace ----

They were instrumental in destabilizing any peace in Iraq and remain so. Their Islamic revolution has not passed and their ambitions are not as benign as as many including Iranians like to pretend.

Sorosh Nabi EliteCommInc. a month ago

What does that have to do with anything that I said? If you want to come to power you need the support of the people MEK don't have that so they will never gain power. Also MEK are responsible for the revolution in the first place, they are the ones that carried out bombing and assassinations even of Americans in Iran. They are the ones that attacked the US embassy in Iran and held Americans hostage. There is a reason they were on the US terror list until 2012. As far as Iran being the land of peace not sure where you got that from, Iran has never claimed that and infact Iran will conduct foreign policy that benefits its goals, which is true of any nation. You should try to stay on topic when you reply to somebody though.

Blood Alcohol EliteCommInc. a month ago • edited

Yes, as you know the Iranians attacked, invaded and looted Iraq's oil and cultural heritage. Had in not been for the US "rescue mission" Iranian would still be there. You must be tone deaf.

Feral Finster a month ago

Same playbook as in the runup to the War on Iraq.

Gutbomb Feral Finster a month ago

Mostly. They won't be bothering with the U.N. this time, though.

IllinoisPatriot Feral Finster a month ago

... or Trump's run-up to the 2016 election.....

Thump the conspiracy theories and emphasize the hard-line approach with no idea or intent to actually go through with anything should he actually win. I see reference to Q-anon and I immediately think Trumpian conspieracy.

I'll pass.

john a month ago

Conservatives are easy to target, they are prepared to believe all sorts of nonsense. Qanon aside they are prepared to believe that tax cuts pay for themselves and you can lose weight on a vinegar and ice cream diet.

CPT john a month ago

As opposed to the people who believe that a man can become a "real woman" just by saying so, and nod approvingly when CNN shows the chyron "Mostly peaceful protests continue" over footage of burning buildings.

Fletcher john a month ago

Really, that's pretty damn funny like you retards don't believe in a bunch of conspiracy nonsense and by the way don't put down Q is good fun to the geriatric Community on the other hand you clowns are playing footsie with actual Nazis in Ukraine while you accuse the right of being fascist that's beautiful congratulations it's going to be great in a couple years when this country has seceded from each other and all of you non-producers get to sort it out for yourselves, it's going to be magic.

hooly a month ago

Fake dissident groups. Wow! Not even the Chinese are this duplicitous. And people whine and complain about Russian and Chinese 'infiltration' and 'meddling' ??

Iustitiae Semper Valet hooly a month ago

Which fale dissident groups? I missed that. I am not being sarcastic. I see people who have been named as fake contributors all over the place. But I didn't see a reference to a fake dissident group.

IllinoisPatriot Iustitiae Semper Valet a month ago

I'm still looking for the proof one way or the other of who the "good guys" are here.

Fake this, fake that I can get from Trump every time he opens his mouth about "fake news".

What I don't get from Trump (or from this article) is any references, documentation, or solid proof of any kind other than accusations and counter-accusations -- one side I'm supposed to believe because the author said so.

I'm not buying it without objective proof and trustworthy corroboration -- not just more sock-puppets.

PointyTailofSatan . a month ago

I don't understand. The MEK hates the current Iranian government. Why the would the American Conservative be dissing them?

Blood Alcohol PointyTailofSatan . a month ago • edited

They are being dissed by many smart conservatives and others, because they have become a tool of Saudi/Israel. They practically spearheaded killing Americans during the Shah, and now they are enjoying American political and financial support. In that vein the adage, my enemy's enemy is my friend, does not apply here. But if you are a money hungry Giuliani, Kennedy, Bolton or Howard Dean being a gang of killers, Saddam Husein mercenaries, and Saudi/Israeli agents don't matter.

Steve Blood Alcohol a month ago

Bravo for this comment!! loved it!

Feral Finster PointyTailofSatan . 19 days ago

Anyone remember Ahmad Chalabi's "Iraqi National Congress" or whatever it was called?

Same schtick, new players, same CIA..

Dyerville a month ago

"We are especially on guard when it comes to unsolicited foreign policy commentary.""

So one would hope, but foreign meddling is rife. At least the Washington Examiner makes an effort, whereas the Washington Free Beacon functions almost openly as an Israeli organ inside the United States.

el disgustador a month ago

Ehem...The Israelis have admitted they essentially founded, financed and thoroughly and continuously infiltrated the Palestinian revolutionary group, HAMAS to counter the PLO achieve the ongoing ethnic destruction of Palestinian land freedom and society...the MEK and their front group, the National Council of Resistance of Iran are comparable Israeli emanations whose ultimate goal is the land grab from the Nile to the Euphrates known as the Greater Israel project. This is Israeli history text book material, it is not conjecture...Read what former Israeli officials such as Brig. Gen. Yitzhak Segev, former Israeli military governor in Gaza in the early 1980s. had to say the New York Times in that he had helped finance the Palestinian Islamist movement as a "counterweight" to the secularists and leftists of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Fatah party, led by Yasser Arafat (who himself referred to Hamas as "a creature of Israel.") "The Israeli government gave me a budget," the retired brigadier
general confessed, "and the military government gives to the mosques." Moreover, "Hamas, to my great regret, is Israel's creation," said Avner Cohen, a former Israeli religious affairs official who worked in Gaza for more than two decades to the Wall Street Journal in 2009. Deliberately planned, as far back as the mid-1980s, according to Cohen in an official report to his superiors playing the divide-and-rule in the Occupied Territories, by backing Palestinian Islamists against Palestinian secularists, HAMAS was built up to become an "existential threat" fake tool of nuclear mighty Israel. In his report Cohen wrote, "I suggest focusing our efforts on finding ways to break up this monster before this reality jumps in our face," he wrote. That was the point exactly, poor victimized Israel "endowed with the right to defend itself". With Palestine now Kushnerized into oblivion, Iran is next ...Go figure...

Go figure...

chris a month ago

propaganda is unending when isn'treal wants more war isn't it?

Billo a month ago

Let the Israel Jews fight and die in their own war. Iran is not our enemy, Israel is.

Ram2017 Billo a month ago

Who is funding the MEK ?

ddearborn a month ago • edited

Hmmm
Means, motive, opportunity and who benefits spells out in no uncertain terms that the entire create a justification and then go to war with Iran originates in Israel and is being sold by the Zionists and Israel's literal army of jewish/Zionist/pro-Israel agents masquerading as "lobbyists", "activists", "think tanks" "academics", the Media, Hollywood, Congress, most of the White House Staff, etc., etc., here in the US. In other words, by an Israeli controlled army in America made up of traitors, liars and criminals.... A group who collectively ALWAYS put Israel Uber Alles.

[Oct 06, 2020] Polls are usually wrong as people typically respond in a politically correct way to them, hiding there actual preferences

That's where random sampling became a scam. People who hold minority views or views that they think are opposite of the reviewer often will not respond honestly creating false narrative that MSM propagate.
Notable quotes:
"... Philip Giraldi, Ph.D. is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest ..."
"... So don't worry! As long as enough Americans keep playing Red v Blue, the Establishment will be just fine. ..."
Oct 06, 2020 | www.unz.com

Originally from: What They Are Not Talking About- War and Peace, Healthcare and Jobs Are Non-Issues, by Philip Giraldi - The Unz Review

Watching the network news on television or reading about current events in the newspapers seemingly transports one to an alternate universe where nothing seems to make sense. The profit driven news cycle in the United States is admittedly a poor mechanism for actually gaining an understanding of what is going on, but seven days of Ruth Bader Ginsburg worship hardly addresses what is ailing the country, particularly as questions about how she earned many millions of dollars while serving as a judge as well as some unsavory aspects of her career have been carefully buried.

A friend who is a retired U.S. Army general made an interesting comment several days ago, observing that when it comes to politics and voting patterns the so-called "silent majority" is indeed silent. What he meant was that many Americans who hold currently unpopular conservative views will not respond honestly to a call from an unknown pollster regarding voting intentions. This is particularly true of the current campaign in which Donald Trump is being reviled by the media and depicted by the Democrats as no less than a threat to American democracy. Biden by way of comparison pretty much gets a free pass, to include forgiveness for his frequent faux pas and mental lapses. In other words, Trump is being framed as someone poised to mount a totalitarian takeover of the United States, which in and of itself would disincline many voters to indicate openly that they would support him over Biden.

My friend was suggesting that the polls on the upcoming election just might be more than usually wrong. I would add to that the general vapidity of what one might expect from the presidential debates, which are similarly being framed in such a fashion as to avoid any topics that might really matter. But the polls do reveal two things. First, that there is a lack of any confidence in the integrity of politicians at all levels, and second, that jobs and healthcare are the principal concerns of nearly all voter demographics as they directly impact on quality of life.

Healthcare is admittedly a complicated issue given the fact that the entire system in the United States would have to be reformed, with considerable government intervention. The respected British medical journal The Lancet recently published "Measuring universal health coverage based on an index of effective coverage of health services in 204 countries and territories" . The study revealed, to no one's surprise, that the United States has by far the world's most expensive medical care, at around $9,000 per person per year while at the same time delivering poorer results than virtually any other industrialized nation. Medical expenses are in fact a leading cause of personal bankruptcy by Americans.

So, what are the two parties saying about health care? The Republicans want to overturn so-called Obamacare and replace it with something else which they cannot describe while the Democrats insist that they want to keep Obamacare in place while also blaming the president for the response to the coronavirus. That's it. There is plenty of blame to go around on Covid-19 and Obamacare is in fact a bad program. It is good if the government is footing the bill for you, but anyone who is paying for his or her own insurance has seen the rates treble and even quadruple since the program became active. It has become a gold mine for the health care industry, which now assumes that it can charge whatever it wants and the suffering customer will be obliged to pay for it. That there is no effective regulation of health care is due to the fact that Big Pharma and other providers have completely corrupted Congress through political donations to make sure that the highly profitable status quo remains untouched.

And when it comes to the other great concern, "The Economy," which means jobs, the two major parties have even less to say since they know deep down that they have both conspired in the gutting of America's industrial and manufacturing infrastructure.

But another area dear to my own heart which the parties have been silent about is Foreign Policy, which also subsumes National Security, a related issue that the opinion polls do not specifically address. Both parties are strong on issuing position papers that refer to supporting allies, meaning Israel followed by everyone else, confronting threats from Russia and China, and maintaining the world's number one military. Beyond that it gets a bit vague. We have recently learned from a possibly unreliable source named Bob Woodward that President Trump sought to assassinate Syria's President Bashar al-Assad but was talked out of it. Trump did order the assassination of senior Iranian General Qassim Soleimani, whom he and Secretary of State have recently described as the "world's leading terrorist," which is manifestly untrue. Is assassinating foreign leaders something that the United States wants to engage in? Why is no one talking about it?

And then there are the "hot wars" being fought in Syria, Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan. None of those wars benefit from a constitutionally mandated declaration of war by Congress and they have cost the U.S. taxpayer trillions of dollars. Shouldn't that be under discussion? Or the "maximum pressure" economic wars being waged against Venezuela, Cuba, Syria and Iran? Those "wars" have collectively killed tens of thousands of civilians and have done nothing to enhance the security of the United States. Shouldn't Trump and Biden be talking about that?

Instead, we will see much finger pointing and hear a lot about how dangerous a win by either presidential candidate will be, all couched in general terms based on a lot of "what-ifs." But what the American public needs, particularly the silent majority, is a viable plan for decent and affordable healthcare similar to what most of the rest of the world enjoys. And a new government also must act decisively to challenge corporate offshoring interests to bring manufacturing jobs back home. But most of all, the United States needs peace after nineteen years of spreading chaos all over the globe. End the wars and bring the troops home. Do it now.

Philip Giraldi, Ph.D. is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest


Exile , says: Website October 2, 2020 at 1:09 am GMT

Much respect, Phil, but you know the news cycle in America is not driven by "profit" but rather by agenda. If profit drove the news CNN and MSNBC would be podcasts by now. (((Big Other))) is willing to lose a lot of money in the short-mid term to drive their long term agenda.

Alfa158 , says: October 2, 2020 at 2:19 am GMT

"What They Are Not Talking About: War and Peace, Healthcare and Jobs Are Non-Issues"
I'm not aware that either party has any credible idea what to do to really fix jobs and healthcare so they basically have nothing to talk about.
Trump wants less war and the Deep State would like more war but even if President Biden and then President Harris are willing to give it to them, the Covid Great Depression means we really can't afford them any more so there is no point in talking about that either.
The election comes down to how many people really hate Trump + how many Republicans and neutrals are willing to give him a second chance + how much the Democrats can stuff the ballot boxes. Every thing else is just WWF noise.

jsinton , says: October 2, 2020 at 8:06 am GMT

This article really hits it on the head for me. The last four years I've been screaming that the issues are:
1. End the forever wars, strengthen diplomacy
2. Jobs
3. More better jobs
4. Even more better jobs
5. Fix the trade balance (jobs)
6. End the healthcare boondoggle.

These are all issues that NO ONE talks about anymore.

obwandiyag , says: October 2, 2020 at 8:25 am GMT

People generally don't vote on issues. Except for fundamentalists, who vote on only one issue, abortion, which is precisely equivalent to not voting on any issues at all.

What they vote on is "like" and "dislike." If they "like" a candidate, then they vote for them. If they don't "like" a candidate, then they don't vote for them.

Very mature.

Tommy Thompson , says: October 2, 2020 at 8:34 am GMT

observing that when it comes to politics and voting patterns the so-called "silent majority" is indeed silent.

Thanks, that statement sums up the underlining problem, that is why the massive problems of the US are running out of control, with no fix in sight.

The general Middle Class public will not stand up for their own and true interests or even want to comprehend what those interests might be until they are in a jobless claims line. They go silent and let corrupted politicians of all shades run the show as if they dont have a dog in the fight.

Trump supporters should call him out where he goes off the reservation to serve Special interests and not their and the same goes for all others.

anonymous [245] Disclaimer , says: October 2, 2020 at 12:15 pm GMT
@jsinton ct exploiting a viral dempanic with its trillion$ for Wall Street, another handful of 401Kibble to prevent snarling among the professional and managerial class who tend to read and think, and a paid vacation for the proles.

But Beltway politics abhors a vacuum, and draws its breath from strife. Which is why people have to be distracted and divided over transgender statues and Confederate bathrooms, strung along by the hopes/fears of Barr Durham indictments, and rallied to vote in the next Most Important Election Ever by food fights over robed, unelected politicians whose real job is to sanctify rule of a country and as much of the world as can be grabbed by Washington.

So don't worry! As long as enough Americans keep playing Red v Blue, the Establishment will be just fine.

anon [437] Disclaimer , says: October 2, 2020 at 1:49 pm GMT

This is the absolute crux of the matter. Debates are a ceremonial pissing contest. They always censor any of your principal concerns. As with all official US propaganda, you can categorically say there's never any mention of your rights.

Two things will happen in November. There will be a futile ritual to decide which CIA puppet ruler fucks you over. Then on November 9th, the whole world is going to talk about your rights. Unlike your parties, they ask you what you want. They encourage you, yes you, to demand what you want and they give you a platform in front of the whole world, in the most public forum on earth. You can watch it live. Hell, you can go there and have your say. A bunch of Americans will. Actual democracy. Holy fucking shit.

Think of it. You have two coincident four-year cycles of governance. One is phony bullshit. One is exactly what you need. The whole world is pushing your right to peace, to health, to a livelihood, to your culture, all your other rights you don't even know you got. It's like the whole world is yelling in your face, loud as they can, "Why do you put up with that shit?" The world is trying to teach you how you run a grown-up country – go through your rights systematically like a checklist, and make your government respect them. And your horseshit regime in DC makes sure you never hear a peep about this great institution of yours.

We could shitcan parties and elections, pick politicians by lot and run the country with human rights reviews. It's that simple. This is how we get rid of this parasitic, predatory US police state.

https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/USindex.aspx

https://ushrnetwork.org/news/111/100/Upcoming-Universal-Periodic-Review-Hold-the-US-Accountable-to-its-Human-Rights-Obligations

https://www.upr-info.org/en/review/United-States

Realist , says: October 2, 2020 at 2:05 pm GMT
@Harold Smith

All I can say is: Welcome to "Mystery Babylon"; where the "government" has become an image of the beast.

Yes, the Deep State is in total control.

Pascal , says: October 2, 2020 at 2:16 pm GMT

If there's a constant in history, it's that politicians never talk about the things that matter to people because the solutions to the problems are too divisive – apart from the fact that they're clueless anyway beyond a few barfly level notions.
They'd rather concentrate on looks.
In France, in 1981, socialist candidate François Mitterrand came up with 120 propositions that nobody read but his campaign adviser, Jacques Séguéla, a publicist, thought he looked like a vampire and said to him: "If you don't have your canines filed down, you'll always inspire distrust. You'll never get elected to the presidency with such a set of teeth".
So he had his canines filed down.

TG , says: October 2, 2020 at 2:25 pm GMT

Because it's SYSTEMIC RACISM! That is the source of all of our problems.

And the thing about systemic racism is that it's invisible, the only way to fight it is to scream loudly about how bad it is, bend the knee when the national anthem is being played, and give your nice local diversity officer a raise and a corner office. Jobs? Healthcare? That just won't work, so don't even think about it.

Antiwar7 , says: October 2, 2020 at 3:36 pm GMT

Both main parties in the US (Republican and Democrat) are fundamentally controlled by billionaires and corporations (billionaire robots), so they have no interest in helping the little people.

Certain elements benefit from the broken medical system in the US. Ditto for offshoring jobs, fighting wars with and selling expensive weapons, ruining the environment, and welcoming third world immigration.

And the same forces control the media (MSM and big tech) which influences greatly what people see and what they care about, get emotional about.

That's why they won't be addressed.

Unless people wake up to the above.

How to get that to happen?

Carlton Meyer , says: Website October 2, 2020 at 6:42 pm GMT

There was no discussion of the destruction of Syria, which was spared when Russia intervened. If Wallace wanted to corner Trump, he could have mentioned that Trump said American troops would be withdrawn from Syria several times, but it never happened. Why? And what would Biden say if asked if American troops should leave Syria and Iraq?

https://www.youtube.com/embed/P512QBpjoq4?feature=oembed

Dutch Boy , says: October 2, 2020 at 7:18 pm GMT

Whatever health care system the Dems concoct will crash and burn because they will make the care available to illegal aliens while ceasing to control the influx of same.

[Oct 06, 2020] Max Boot is pro-Zionism and anti-White nationalism, forgetting that Zionism is a far right nationalist ideology

Oct 06, 2020 | www.unz.com

One morning a couple of years ago I received an urgent email from a moderately prominent libertarian figure strongly focused on antiwar issues. He warned me that our publication had been branded a "White Supremacist website" by the Washington Post , and urged me to immediately respond, perhaps by demanding a formal retraction or even taking legal action lest we be destroyed by that totally unfair accusation.

When I looked into the matter, my own perspective was rather different. Apparently Max Boot, one of the more agitated Jewish Neocons, had written a column fiercely denouncing some recent criticism of pro-Israel policies that Philip Giraldi had published in our webzine, and the "White Supremacist" slur was merely his crude means of demonizing the author's views for those of his readers who might be less than wholeheartedly enthusiastic about Benjamin Netanyahu and his policies.

After pointing this out to my correspondent, I also noted that a good 10% or more of our writers were probably "White Nationalists," and perhaps a few of them might even arguably be labeled "White Supremacists." So although Boot's description of our website was certainly wrong, it was probably less wrong than the vast majority of his other writing, which was typically focused on American military policy and the Middle East.

Our webzine is quite unusual in its willingness to feature a smattering of writers who provide a White Nationalist perspective. Such individuals are almost totally excluded from other online publications, except for those marginalized websites devoted to their ideas, which often tend to focus on such topics and related issues to the near exclusion of anything else. However, I believe that maintaining this sort of ideological quarantine or "ghettoization" greatly diminishes the ability to understand many important aspects of our world.

[Oct 03, 2020] Top US general rushes to defend Pentagon after Trump accuses it of colluding with weapon manufacturers to fight endless wars

Oct 03, 2020 | www.rt.com

foxenburg 9 September, 2020 9 Sep, 2020 01:48 AM

An interviewer should test this man's integrity with a simple question, such as.. "When you retire, will promise to live off your generous pension....like Eisenhower in his rocking chair....and not go to work for an arms manufacturer or think tank or any other paid position?"
Rocky_Fjord 9 September, 2020 9 Sep, 2020 05:18 AM
John boy McCain just went into apoplexy in hell.

[Oct 02, 2020] Who is who in Ukrainegate

Oct 02, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com


4 play_arrow

protrumpusa , 4 hours ago

President Trump has gotten rid just about everyone in this article I found 3 years ago
> The ATLANTIC COUNCIL is funded by BURISMA, GEORGE SOROS OPEN SOCIETY FOUNDATION & others. It was a CENTRIST, MILITARISTIC think tanks,now turned leftist group

> JOE BIDEN extorted Ukraine to FIRE the prosecutor investigating BURISMA, HUNTER's employer.

> LTC VINDMAN & FIONA HILL met MANY TIMES with DANIEL FRIED of the ATLANTIC COUNCIL. FIONA HILL is a former CoWorker of CHRISTOPHER STEELE !

> AMBASSADOR YOVANOVITCH is connected to the ATLANTIC COUNCIL, is PRAISED in their documents, gave Ukraine a "do not prosecute" list, was involved in PRESSURING Ukraine to not prosecute GEORGE SOROS Group.

> BILL TAYLOR has a financial relationship with the ATLANTIC COUNCIL and the US UKRAINE BUSINESS COUNCIL (USUBC) which is also funded by BURISMA.

> TAYLOR met with THOMAS EAGER (works for ADAM SCHIFF) in Ukraine on trip PAID FOR by the ATLANTIC COUNCIL. This just days before TAYLOR first texts about the "FAKE" Quid Pro Quo !

> TAYLOR participated in USUBC Events with DAVID J. KRAMER (JOHN MCCAIN advisor) who spread the STEELE DOSSIER to the media and OBAMA officials.

> JOE BIDEN is connected to the ATLANTIC COUNCIL, he rolled out his foreign policy vision while VP there, He has given speeches there, his adviser on Ukraine, MICHAEL CARPENTER (heads the Penn Biden Center) is a FELLOW at the ATLANTIC COUNCIL.

> KURT VOLKER is now Senior Advisor to the ATLANTIC COUNCIL, he met with burisma

[Oct 01, 2020] Steve's insistence on speaking the truth about Ukraine and US-Russia relations cost him -- but he never gave up by Lev Golinkin

Highly recommended!
I draw your attention to the irrefutable fact that Mr. Cohen said that the Buk missile, which brought down Malaysian Flight 370 over the skies of Donbas, was the Ukraine government "playing with its new toys and made a big mistake." -- and I draw your attention to the irrefutable fact that Mr. Cohen said that the Buk missile, which brought down Malaysian Flight 370 over the skies of Donbas, was the Ukraine government "playing with its new toys and made a big mistake."
He was a real giant in comparison with intellectual scum like Fiona Hill, Michael McFaul and other neocons.
Notable quotes:
"... I tried to explain to American friends what was happening, but quickly realized that ultimately, even friends believe what they read in the newspapers, and the newspapers were pushing the Washington line. Except for Steve Cohen. Steve was the only major figure in America who insisted on remembering the Russian-speaking Ukrainians who, like my family members, distrusted and hated the new Kiev government. He spoke of neo-Nazi paramilitiaries who fought for the US-backed government committing war crimes against civilians in eastern Ukraine. He spoke the truth, regardless of how unwieldy it was. ..."
"... There's a lot to say about Steve. He was extraordinarily kind, never forgetting that in geopolitics, the ones who have the most to lose aren't strategists but everyday individuals impacted by policy. He was a consummate teacher, insisting on giving mentees the skills to navigate the world, a real proponent of the Teach a man to fish philosophy. He had facets and stories and memories; he lived life with empathy and gusto. ..."
"... Steve's insistence on speaking the truth about Ukraine and US-Russia relations drew all sorts of attention. America was hurtling toward a new cold war with Russia, and Steve well, from the perspective of Washington's foreign policy establishment, Steve was fucking up the narrative. Steve talked about inconvenient things, things like US-backed war criminals and America's own meddling in Russian affairs; in the process, he himself had become inconvenient. ..."
"... After all, this wasn't some random blogger. This was one of America's foremost Russia experts, a tenured professor at Princeton and New York University, someone who didn't just write about history but had dinner with it, had briefed US presidents, and was friends with legends like Mikhail Gorbachev. Steve had clout earned from decades of brilliant work; by 2014, he was using that clout to throw a wrench in the think tank world. ..."
"... It was something far colder, more sustained, something that ironically the Soviets did to dissidents: a relentless crusade to render the target untouchable, a leper without a platform. The barrage of articles and diatribes hurled at Steve in the national press painted him as not just a dissenter but a supporter of dictators and murderers. It was a vicious, prolonged assault carried out by think tank toadies, the kind of people who win races by kneecapping the competition. ..."
"... I'd often talk with Steve after a new hatchet job or smear on national television. Of course, the attacks were hurtful -- the only way to not be affected was to not care, and Steve cared. But I also noticed he was remarkably free of bitterness. Every time I thought he'd snap, he'd return the next day to write, discuss, keep fighting. ..."
"... It took me a couple of years to understand that what kept Steve going was faith in his beloved institutions. He believed in academia, in scholarship, in discourse, debate, and civility. He believed in the capacity of everyday people to explore and engage with their world, he believed in Russia, and he always believed in America. He believed in these things far more than he believed in the power of today's warmongers. ..."
"... In 1967 Noam Chomsky wrote an article in the NY Review entitled "the Responsibility of Intellectuals" the first sentence ran like this: "IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY of intellectuals to speak the truth and to expose lies.". Stephen Cohen did precisely that when all the parrots and pundits were lined up against him. ..."
"... Always I was skeptical of prevailing scholarly interpretive trends on the Soviet experience that were echoed by colleagues claiming expertise on the subject. Cohen provided the foundation for my skepticism and invigorated my lectures on American foreign policy. ..."
"... Once Cohen plied his knowledge against the hysterical narrative that culminated in 4 years of frothing neo-McCarthyism (by the freakin' "left," no less), we were no longer gonna see him on the PBS newshour any more likely than we would and will see chris hedges, chomsky, or margaret kimberly. ..."
"... His book War With Russia? was an oasis of counter-narrative when I picked it up. Losing voices like his is immeasurable as we hurtle toward total war with Russia and/or China, both of whom are finally, naturally, and perfectly predictably beginning to draw a line in the sand. ..."
Oct 01, 2020 | www.thenation.com

I first reached out to Stephen Cohen because I was losing my mind.

In the spring of 2014, a war broke out in my homeland of Ukraine. It was a horrific war in a bitterly divided nation, which turned eastern Ukraine into a bombed-out wasteland. But that's not how it was portrayed in America. Because millions of eastern Ukrainians were against the US-backed government, their opinions were inconvenient for the West. Washington needed a clean story about Ukraine fighting the Kremlin; as a result, US media avoided reporting about the "wrong" half of the country. Twenty-plus million people were written out of the narrative, as if they never existed.

I tried to explain to American friends what was happening, but quickly realized that ultimately, even friends believe what they read in the newspapers, and the newspapers were pushing the Washington line. Except for Steve Cohen. Steve was the only major figure in America who insisted on remembering the Russian-speaking Ukrainians who, like my family members, distrusted and hated the new Kiev government. He spoke of neo-Nazi paramilitiaries who fought for the US-backed government committing war crimes against civilians in eastern Ukraine. He spoke the truth, regardless of how unwieldy it was.

And so I e-mailed him, asking for guidance as I began my own writing career. Of course, there were many who clamored for Steve's time, but I had an advantage over others. Steve and I were both night owls, real night owls, the kind who have afternoon tea at three am. It was then, when the east coast was sleeping, that he became my mentor and friend.

There's a lot to say about Steve. He was extraordinarily kind, never forgetting that in geopolitics, the ones who have the most to lose aren't strategists but everyday individuals impacted by policy. He was a consummate teacher, insisting on giving mentees the skills to navigate the world, a real proponent of the Teach a man to fish philosophy. He had facets and stories and memories; he lived life with empathy and gusto.

But one thing Steve taught me is to stick to my strengths, and truth be told, there are others who can describe his life better than I. I'll stick to what I learned during our conversations at three in the morning, which is that, above all else, Stephen F. Cohen was a man of faith.

Steve's insistence on speaking the truth about Ukraine and US-Russia relations drew all sorts of attention. America was hurtling toward a new cold war with Russia, and Steve well, from the perspective of Washington's foreign policy establishment, Steve was fucking up the narrative. Steve talked about inconvenient things, things like US-backed war criminals and America's own meddling in Russian affairs; in the process, he himself had become inconvenient.

After all, this wasn't some random blogger. This was one of America's foremost Russia experts, a tenured professor at Princeton and New York University, someone who didn't just write about history but had dinner with it, had briefed US presidents, and was friends with legends like Mikhail Gorbachev. Steve had clout earned from decades of brilliant work; by 2014, he was using that clout to throw a wrench in the think tank world.

The DC apparatchiks couldn't discredit Steve's credentials or track record -- he'd predicted events in Ukraine and elsewhere years before they occurred. They couldn't intimidate him -- he'd faced far worse threats, like the KGB. Instead, they set out to turn him into an America-hating, Putin-loving pariah.

This went beyond an ad hominem campaign. It was something far colder, more sustained, something that ironically the Soviets did to dissidents: a relentless crusade to render the target untouchable, a leper without a platform. The barrage of articles and diatribes hurled at Steve in the national press painted him as not just a dissenter but a supporter of dictators and murderers. It was a vicious, prolonged assault carried out by think tank toadies, the kind of people who win races by kneecapping the competition.

I'd often talk with Steve after a new hatchet job or smear on national television. Of course, the attacks were hurtful -- the only way to not be affected was to not care, and Steve cared. But I also noticed he was remarkably free of bitterness. Every time I thought he'd snap, he'd return the next day to write, discuss, keep fighting.

It took me a couple of years to understand that what kept Steve going was faith in his beloved institutions. He believed in academia, in scholarship, in discourse, debate, and civility. He believed in the capacity of everyday people to explore and engage with their world, he believed in Russia, and he always believed in America. He believed in these things far more than he believed in the power of today's warmongers.

Steve liked movies and would often end a lecture with a movie reference to drive home the thesis. When I think of him, I think of the ending of The Shawshank Redemption , the line about Andy Dufresne crawling through filth and coming out clean on the other side. Steve didn't live in a movie; I can't claim he emerged unscathed. What he did was come through without bitterness or cynicism. He refused to turn away from the ugliness, but he didn't allow it to blind him to beauty. He walked with grace. And he lost neither his convictions nor his faith.

Lev Golinkin Lev Golinkin is the author of A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka, Amazon's Debut of the Month, a Barnes & Noble's Discover Great New Writers program selection, and winner of the Premio Salerno Libro d'Europa. Golinkin, a graduate of Boston College, came to the US as a child refugee from the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkov (now called Kharkiv) in 1990. His writing on the Ukraine crisis, Russia, the far right, and immigrant and refugee identity has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, CNN, The Boston Globe, Politico Europe, and Time (online), among other venues; he has been interviewed by MSNBC, NPR, ABC Radio, WSJ Live and HuffPost Live.


Pierre Guerlain says: October 1, 2020 at 12:42 pm

In 1967 Noam Chomsky wrote an article in the NY Review entitled "the Responsibility of Intellectuals" the first sentence ran like this: "IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY of intellectuals to speak the truth and to expose lies.". Stephen Cohen did precisely that when all the parrots and pundits were lined up against him. He was a Mensch. History will bear him the historian out.

Valera Bochkarev says to Lance Haley: October 1, 2020 at 11:09 am

Hmm, who's the apologist here ?

If the Ukraine is SO sovereign how is it I did not see any outrage in your diatribe against 'Toria, Pyatt and the rest orchestrating the Maidan putsch or the $5Billion US spent on softening up the ukraine for the regime change ?

I believe in numbers, as in the number of military bases any given country has surrounding the ones it wants to subvert, in the amount of money allocated to vilify and eventually bring down the "unwanted" regimes and the quantity and 'quality' of sanctions imposed against those regimes; and the sum of all of the above perpetrated against humanity in the past 75 or so years.

Your vapid drivel, Mr Haley, evaporates almost without a trace once seen with those parameters in mind.

Numbers don't lie.

Michael Batinski says: September 30, 2020 at 5:48 pm

Let me add from the perspective of an American historian who taught for forty years in a midwestern university. From the start I depended on William Appleman Williams to keep perspective and to counter prevailing interpretive trends.

Always I was skeptical of prevailing scholarly interpretive trends on the Soviet experience that were echoed by colleagues claiming expertise on the subject. Cohen provided the foundation for my skepticism and invigorated my lectures on American foreign policy.

I will always be thankful.

Michael Batinski

Tim Ashby says: September 30, 2020 at 2:37 pm

The smothering agitprop in America trumps even Goebbels and co. with its beautifully dressed overton window and first-amendment-free-press bullshit.

Once Cohen plied his knowledge against the hysterical narrative that culminated in 4 years of frothing neo-McCarthyism (by the freakin' "left," no less), we were no longer gonna see him on the PBS newshour any more likely than we would and will see chris hedges, chomsky, or margaret kimberly.

Let's face it, we were lucky to win the editorial fight to even give him space in the Nation.

His book War With Russia? was an oasis of counter-narrative when I picked it up. Losing voices like his is immeasurable as we hurtle toward total war with Russia and/or China, both of whom are finally, naturally, and perfectly predictably beginning to draw a line in the sand.

[Oct 01, 2020] Getting Rid of the Myth of 'Isolationism' -

Notable quotes:
"... The Tragedy of American Diplomacy ..."
Oct 01, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Getting Rid Of The Myth Of 'Isolationism'

'Isolationism' is not real, and never has been. It is an insult thrown at realists by the architects of senseless wars. (By Mike Focus/Shutterstock)

SEPTEMBER 30, 2020

|

12:01 AM

DANIEL LARISON

No one claims to be an isolationist, but foreign policy analysts keep imagining and fearing a "resurgence" of isolationism around every corner. This fear was on display in a recent Atlantic article by Charles Kupchan, who tries to rehabilitate the label in order to oppose the substance of a policy of nonintervention and non-entanglement. Kupchan allows that a policy of avoiding entangling alliances and staying out of European wars was important for the growth and prosperity of the United States, but then rehearses the same old and misleading story about the terrible "isolationist" interwar years that we have heard countless times before. This misrepresents the history of that period and compromises our ability to rethink our foreign policy today.

Kupchan's article is not just an exercise in beating a dead horse, since he fears that the same thing that happened between the world wars is happening again: "If the 19th century was isolationism's finest hour, the interwar era was surely its darkest and most deluded. The conditions that led to this misguided run for cover are making a comeback." Kupchan wants to borrow a little from the people he calls "isolationists" so that the U.S. will remain thoroughly ensnared in most of its global commitments.

https://lockerdome.com/lad/13045197114175078?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13045197114175078-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theamericanconservative.com&rid=www.theamericanconservative.com&width=838

At the same time that he warns that "U.S. statecraft has become divorced from popular will," he seems to want to keep it this way by rejecting what he calls the "isolationist temptation." If "a majority of the country favors either America First or global disengagement," as he says, the goal seems to be to ignore what the majority wants in favor of making a few tweaks to the same old strategy of U.S. primacy. Those tweaks aren't going to lessen popular support for a reduced U.S. role in the world, and they will likely make the public even more disillusioned with the remaining costs and demands of U.S. "leadership."

The key thing to remember in all this is that the U.S. has never been isolationist in its foreign relations. The thing that Kupchan calls America's "default setting" is not real. Isolationism is the pejorative term that expansionists and interventionists have used over the last century to ridicule and dismiss opposition to unnecessary wars. Isolationism as U.S. policy in the 1920s and 1930s is a myth , and the myth is deployed whenever there has been a serious challenge to the status quo in post-1945 U.S. foreign policy. Bear Braumoeller summed it up very well in his article , "The Myth of American Isolationism," this way: "the characterization of America as isolationist in the interwar period is simply wrong." We can't learn from the past if we insist on distorting it. As William Appleman Williams put it in The Tragedy of American Diplomacy , "It not only deforms the history of the decade from 1919 to 1930, but it also twists the story of American entry into World War II and warps the record of the cold war." Williams also remarked in a note that the use of the term isolationist "has thus crippled American thought about foreign policy for 50 years." Today we can say that it has done so for a century.

Our government eschewed permanent alliances for most of its history, and it refrained from taking sides in the European Great Power conflicts of the nineteenth century, but it never sought to cut itself from the world and could not have done that even if it had wished to do so. The U.S. was a commercial republic from the start, and it cultivated economic and diplomatic ties with as many states as possible. You can call the steady expansion of the U.S. across North America and into the Pacific and Caribbean "isolationism," but that just shows how misleading and inaccurate the label has always been.

Post-WWI America was a rising power and increasingly involved in the affairs of the world. Its economic and diplomatic engagement with the world increased during these years. If it wasn't involved in the way that later internationalists would have liked, that didn't make the U.S. isolationist. Braumoeller makes this point explicitly: "America was not isolationist in affairs relating to international security in Europe for the bulk of the period: in fact, it was perhaps more internationalist than it had ever been." The U.S. was behaving as a great power, but one that strove to maintain its neutrality. That was neither deluded nor disastrous, and we need to stop pretending that it was if we are ever going to be able to make the needed changes to our foreign policy today.

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Kupchan acknowledges that there has to be an "adjustment" after the last several decades of overreach, but he casts this as a way of preventing more significant retrenchment: "The paramount question is whether that adjustment takes the form of a judicious pullback or a more dangerous retreat." No one objects to the desire for a responsible reduction in U.S. commitments, but one person's "judicious pullback" will often be denounced as a "dangerous retreat" by others. Just consider how many times we have been warned about a U.S. "retreat" from the Middle East over the last 11 years. Even now, the U.S. is still taking part in multiple wars across the region, and the "retreat" we have been told has happened several times never seems to take place. Warning about the perils of an "isolationist comeback" hardly makes it more likely that these withdrawals will ever happen.

He recommends that "judicious retrenchment should entail shedding U.S. entanglements in the periphery, not in the strategic heartlands of Europe and Asia." Certainly, any reduction in unnecessary U.S. commitments is welcome, but a thorough rethinking of U.S. foreign policy has to include every region. Kupchan is right to criticize slapdash, incompetent withdrawals, but one gets the impression that he thinks there shouldn't be any withdrawals except from the Middle East. He cites "Russian and Chinese threats" as the main reasons not to pull back at all in Europe or Asia, but this seems like an uncritical endorsement of the status quo.

It is in East Asia where the U.S. might be fighting a war against a major, nuclear-armed power in the future, and it is also there where the U.S. has some of the wealthiest and most capable allies. If the U.S. can't reduce its exposure to the risk of a major war where that risk is the greatest and its allies are strongest, when will it ever be able to do that? Reducing the U.S. military presence in East Asia will make it easier to manage U.S.-Chinese tensions, and it will give allies an additional incentive to assume more responsibility for their own security.

The U.S. has far more security commitments than it can afford and far more than can possibly be justified by our own security interests. That includes, but is not limited to, our overcommitment to the Middle East. Our foreign entanglements have been allowed to grow and spread to such an extent over the last seventy-five years that modest pruning won't be good enough to put U.S. foreign policy on a sound footing that will have reliable public support. There needs to be a much more comprehensive review of all U.S. commitments to determine which ones are truly necessary for our security and which ones are not. Ruling out the bulk of those commitments as untouchable in advance is a mistake.

There is broad public support for constructive international engagement, but there is remarkably little backing for preserving U.S. hegemony in its current form. In order to have a more sustainable foreign policy, the U.S. needs to scale back its ambitions in most parts of the world, and it needs to shift more of the security burdens for different regions to the countries that have the most at stake. That should be done deliberately and carefully, but it does need to happen if we are to realign our foreign policy with protecting the vital interests of the United States. ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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 .



Gaius Gracchus
19 hours ago

Richard Hofsteder is largely responsible for this falsehood, like he is for making "populist" a by-word, as Thomas Frank points out in his new book.

I prefer the term "non-interventionist" or Washingtonian, myself. I continue to be stuck by the amazing wisdom of Washington's Farewell Address (largely written by Hamilton). It really should be our guide to this day.

Room_237 13 hours ago

The US had an active and fairly successful foreign policy in the 1920s. What hurt our foreign policy activities was the Great Depression.

bournite Room_237 11 hours ago

Try a seance and tell this Augusto Cesar Sandino. Two American brothers who owned a gold mine in his country had another brother at the State Department. That's how FP was "successful." https://en.wikipedia.org/wi...

Disqus10021 bournite 9 hours ago

Europe would have been better off if the US had stayed out of WWI and let major belligerents fight it out until they reached a cease fire on their own. The US entry into the war, tipped the scales in favor of Britain and France and resulted in a very harsh peace treaty being imposed on Germany in 1919. Four years later, Germany's currency collapsed, wiping out the savings of millions of average Germans. The Smoot-Hawley tariff of 1930 made economic conditions for people in central Europe very bad and conrtibuted to the rising popularity of the Nazi party in Germany.

RAF 12 hours ago • edited

The world is so much smaller today than it was when this country was formed and organized by the Founding Fathers. (Mothers were not allowed)

The idea of international associations and cooperation is required with today's world. When some country like China sneezes, the whole world needs a face mask!

The Age of Daniel Boone is dead. America must be fully engaged in world matters. That does not mean going into every country with our military. America needs to continue to give some leadership in world affairs. It would be suicidal to close the windows to the rest of the world.

rayray RAF 4 hours ago

I agree. The world is interconnected, engagement is a necessity. The problem with the US FP at this point is to see every issue as an opportunity to throw around our military weight and call it "engagement". Being fully engaged in the world is a state department issue - smart and educated diplomats working the lines of communication and cooperation with every nation to build a reputation for US leadership, to foment peace, and to build prosperity. Obviously, under Trump and Pompeo this is a waste of breath.

Worth noting, a friend of mine, ex-CIA, has made an absolute fortune off of our military preoccupations. And even he said (perhaps exaggerating) that you could get rid of 90% of the traditional military with little or no loss in actual national security. Most of it is, as he said, corporate welfare and window dressing.

(Of course he then said you should spend what you've saved entirely on cyber-security)

bournite 12 hours ago

Using the 'I' Word for War and Profit
Column by Tim Hartnett, posted on April 03, 2013
in War and Peace
Column by Tim Hartnett.

Exclusive to STR

For about a century now, Humpty-Dumpty has been the go-to man for fans of elaborate American foreign adventures. Unwelcome inquiries are put down with a one word incantation that blesses and immunizes government-funded schemes that are always cash cows for somebody. "Isolationist" means exactly what its users mean it to mean--no more and no less. Every entry on the first page of my online search for the word "isolationism" provided the same definition: "The national policy of abstaining from political or economic relations with other countries." Nobody on the furthest fringes of the political spectrum who gets ink or air time comes close calling for a plan fitting that description.

The word remains in healthy circulation despite the total absence of public figures advocating anything of the kind. Its real linguistic purpose is to obstruct examination of extra-territorial programs that don't work and often do considerable harm.

Most of us first learned of the dreaded I-beast in grade school study of WWI. Back in that good old day, the authorities had sense enough to put these naysayers in prisons after allowing hostile crowds to have at 'em for an hour or so. If the folks at The Weekly Standard, the Heritage Foundation, AEI, Fox News et al get their way, hoosegow entrepreneurs will be back in that market before too long. How could anyone oppose US entry into The Great War, anyway? It's what catapulted us to the top of the economic heap. We are probably only one good war away from reclaiming that title.

The first people to stoke lynch mobs with the "I" word claimed we were fighting a war "to make the world safe for democracy." The Irish, Indians, Algerians, Pacific Islanders, Russian peasants, Filipinos, the Congolese and millions of other Africans were not educated well enough to accept this as readily as freedom-loving Americans did. Without guys like J.P. Morgan, J.D. Rockefeller, Charles Schwab and others who hired PR men to keep the country thinking right thoughts, foreigners are often easily misled. Isolationists are as rare on Wall Street as atheists are in foxholes.

To understand the perfidious way that isolationism works, try and visualize a typical slice of American policy from say 1968. Some experts and officers in a room at the Pentagon decide a spot on the map could use a good bombing, and the order is relayed via satellite to South Vietnam. At five they leave work to fight rush hour traffic and get home in time for a smoke with Walter Cronkite. Some Navy fliers get dispatched, and once the napalm is fixed to the jets, they're airborne. Thirty-five minutes later, the right patch below them, it's bombs away and a U-turn. An undernourished five year old girl foolishly lives nearby and an eight ounce blob of gel burning at 1,800 degrees lands on her back. She is immediately screaming and burns for six minutes until an adult manages to put the incinerating child out.

Meanwhile, the flyboys are on terra firma again with beers, joints, Steppenwolf on the turntable and much lamenting of St. Louis' undeserved defeat at the hands of Detroit. The little girl's screaming still pierces the tropical air. The engineers and the chemists who designed the people-melting device are on the other side of the world asleep in their suburban beds. And the tiny thing can't stop screaming. The next day at Harvard, William Kristol is expounding on communism, the domino theory, social responsibility, moral courage and careful reading. And the 32 lb. waif is still going through an endless agony that no man of oxen strength should ever have to endure in a lifetime. Isolating on these kinds of details misses the "big picture," I've been told. Only communists, terrorists and other abominable -ists focus on this kind of inhumane minutiae.

Forty years later, John McCain was wittily singing the lyrics "bomb Iran" while doubtless a child was on fire somewhere that US ordnance had exploded. The one certain outcome of such events is a profit for weapons manufacturers. Isolationists are oddly skeptical of the many benefits anti-isolationists find in all-purpose bombing campaigns. What's always clear is that people who speak publicly about their love for humanitarian bombing expect to be paid for it.

There are a lot of things that "isolationists" just don't know, and it must be for this ignorance they are so despised by both mainstream media and Wall Street's favorite politicians. They don't know why we have 50,000 soldiers in Germany or another 30,000 in Japan. Why we paid to keep an incorrigible thug like Mubarak in business for 30 years. Why we need missiles in Eastern Europe. Why we helped every bloodthirsty, misanthropic power monger in Central America. Why we needed to help Turkey get Ocalan. Why South Ossetia's nationalistic prerogatives are our business. Why foreign governments should be pressured by our diplomats on Wall Street's behalf. Why our government takes some kind of stand in every foreign war, election, national event or internal matter of almost any kind. How we can indict one country for human rights violations while buddying up to worse offenders like Saudi Arabia regularly. Why our foreign initiatives proceed based on fantastic ideologies in contempt of facts. These are just a few of the quandaries that afflict the minds of people who aren't buying the divine right of American altruist aristocracy to fine tune the rest of the world. They aren't exactly keen on the hyper-interventionist tendencies that keep so many beltway bandits in the chips, either.

What they also don't know is why the elite media, the experts and elected officials, if they truly understand these things, can't be called upon to explain any of them to the rest of us satisfactorily. On March 20, Dana Milbank called Rand Paul an "isolationist" in his column without any explanation. In the future, he might want to right click on Microsoft Word and choose the Look up option before deploying the term.

After American involvement in Vietnam ended, many proponents of the action claimed the death toll there would have been even worse without our presence. Others go so far as to maintain that fighting in such conflicts protects US citizens' privileges, like freedom of speech, here at home. They expect us all to believe that "Isolationists," by any definition, wouldn't get away with spouting their un-American propaganda in public places, or on television if any were allowed there, but for a policy that napalms little girls.

While people smeared with the I-word persistently point out that they are merely against policies that are misguided, immoral and often murderous, their detractors insist that what they really oppose is America. In the "big picture" mindset of the interventionist, you can't have one without the other.

kouroi 9 hours ago

Beat them over the head with a stick, that might do it.

As for the entanglements in east Asia, none of the countries under direct US vassalage have major disputes with China and do not need US protection. And it is likely that without the US Korea would be on a path to reunification. The US is trying to beat everyone in line to show who's the boss... So it seems, this K guy, like all his ilk are presenting things in a very Manichean way: either primacy or "isolationism". There is so much in between these two...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From http://orgyofthewill.net

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Germans are a totally deracinated and brainwashed people.

Germany sold Israel submarines capable of launching nuclear missiles!

A more cucked-up people are impossible to find!

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

It was granted to them, willingly.

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

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

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

Most Americans believe Israel is our greatest ally.

This is sad, but it is true.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A bit off topic but RIP Steven F. Cohen.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Heil Judea!

Realist

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

@lavoisier

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

Exactly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peace.

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

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

Sep 29, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

ET AL September 27, 2020 at 9:17 am

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

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

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

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

####

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

MARK CHAPMAN September 27, 2020 at 12:19 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

pl

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


ISL , 27 September 2020 at 04:03 PM

Dear Colonel agreed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Babak makkinejad , 27 September 2020 at 05:10 PM

ISL

No, no, no.

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

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

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

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

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

Diana Croissant , 28 September 2020 at 07:45 AM

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

BABAK MAKKINEJAD , 28 September 2020 at 09:14 AM

Ishmael Zechariah

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

fakebot , 28 September 2020 at 10:43 AM

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

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

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

[Sep 28, 2020] I wonder if anybody here have considered a possibility that the neoliberal cabal now in power in the US wants to destroy the standard of living of common people and eliminate all social protections of the New Deal, living in place for the police state and oversized the military

Recruiting for military is much easier if there is no jobs.
Notable quotes:
"... They want to eliminate the EPA, vacate the State Dept and many other Depts, except for a few high-placed cronies, wipe all financial, labour, consumer and environmental regulations off the books; eliminate or reduce to a bare minimum federal health insurance, medicaid, medicare and Social Security, crush public education, privatize everything they can sell, and so on. They are not in power to "govern" but to destroy government. This is all being done with a fairly unified agenda: to free "the market" from any restrictions whatsoever, so that they -- global elites -- can make as much money as possible. It's a cabal of global corporations, militarists, Christian sovereign white supremacists, fossil fuel giants and bankers ..."
Sep 28, 2020 | peterturchin.com

Shaun Bartone February 27, 2017 at 3:47 pm

I wonder if any of the commentators here have considered that the [neoliberal] cabal now in power in the US (not elsewhere) are not in power to "take power" except for a temporary period. They don't want to run the federal government, they want to destroy it, except for the police state and the military.

They want to eliminate the EPA, vacate the State Dept and many other Depts, except for a few high-placed cronies, wipe all financial, labour, consumer and environmental regulations off the books; eliminate or reduce to a bare minimum federal health insurance, medicaid, medicare and Social Security, crush public education, privatize everything they can sell, and so on. They are not in power to "govern" but to destroy government. This is all being done with a fairly unified agenda: to free "the market" from any restrictions whatsoever, so that they -- global elites -- can make as much money as possible. It's a cabal of global corporations, militarists, Christian sovereign white supremacists, fossil fuel giants and bankers , and I think there's a high degree of cooperation for the agenda. The revolution is the cabal run by Trump/Bannon who are more extreme and ideological than any previous faction, who have no tolerance for compromise. They have an apocalyptic vision of grinding it all down to a bare minimum police state.

[Sep 27, 2020] Should Trump be changed as a war criminal along with Obama, Bush, Clinton's, and Dick Cheney

Sep 27, 2020 | www.unz.com

Harold Smith , says: September 26, 2020 at 8:24 pm GMT

@Robert Dolan

"Trump doesn't even have the balls to go after the people who spied on him and tried to remove him from office. This is actually the greatest political scandal in American history, yet nothing will be done about it."

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

Biff , says: September 27, 2020 at 12:45 am GMT
@Harold Smith

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

We are talking about thee most brazen pack of hypocrites, but charging Trump with war crimes with Obama, Bush, Clinton's, and Dick Cheney just standing around just might be a bridge too far.

Harold Smith , says: September 27, 2020 at 5:30 am GMT
@Biff

However, unlike other candidates for the presidency, war and aggression will not be my first instinct. You cannot have a foreign policy without diplomacy. A superpower understands that caution and restraint are really truly signs of strength."

And as we've seen all of it was a lie. Trump's whole campaign was a calculated bait-and-switch fraud. In order to win the election the con man had to steal votes from antiwar voters such as myself just the same as if he'd rigged voting machines.

Trump is a lying, mass-murdering, psychotic, psychopathic, traitorous, Israel-first, America-last hard core militant zionist extremist.

[Sep 25, 2020] Do a search on "Danchenko and Fiona Hill", the latter being one of those who testified with Marie Yovanovich and was sainted by the media.

Sep 25, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Bart Hansen , Sep 25 2020 17:42 utc | 6

Do a search on "Danchenko and Fiona Hill", the latter being one of those who testified with Marie Yovanovich and was sainted by the media.


karlof1 , Sep 25 2020 17:48 utc | 7

If all the energy wasted on peddling Russiagate had instead been used to push real political alternatives to Trump's programs the Democrats and their voters would likely be in a better position.

The Ds defeated that possibility when they conspired to derail Sanders and promote Clinton. As a result, Obama's legacy is Trump. But there was a Deep State faction pulling Obama's strings that's likely supporting the attempt to foment a domestic Color Revolution, yet for the life of me I can't see why as all the grifters are getting billions--unless--it's perceived that Trump's stalled their imperialist projects or stopped what they hoped to accomplish via JCPOA. In other words, we need a better motive for Russiagate than the mere disruption of Trump's administration.

Red Ryder , Sep 25 2020 18:03 utc | 8
The Nexus is Ukraine, where the DNC, Obama and others were heavily involved with corruption, money into their pockets and money laundered for campaign uses, illegally brought back into the US.

It was never Russia or Russians. It was always the Podesta-Clinton-Obama operatives and their true believers in FBI and DOJ, working with the Russophobes in NGOs and the State Dept.

The desperation as Trump became a real possible President and then an actual elected President was to cover their crimes in Ukraine and the illegal actions to spy on Trump and set up Trump campaign associates.

The difficult call now is how high up do the present investigators have cover to save the institutions of the FBI and DOJ? A real take down would go to Obama, Biden, Clapper, Comey, Brennan, Podesta, Clinton and all their lieutenants. It would collapse the CIA, State, FBI, DOJ, and all the lying experts on Russia who perjured to Congress.

c , Sep 25 2020 18:12 utc | 9
Yes, this is pretty much beating a dead horse.
profk , Sep 25 2020 18:17 utc | 10
Red Ryder gets it -- Ukraine is the specific catalyst, linked to the New Cold War against Russia and the corruption of the Democrats involved in that conflict.

There is also Flynn and his dirt on Obama's Syria/ISIS policy -- remember his Al Jazeera interview about Obama's "wilful decision" to ignore DIA reports on ISIS. Flynn knows the US and its allies had some kind of links to ISIS and Nusra Front (Al Qaeda) in Syria.

And there is also the more general concern, raised by Karlof1, about the Presidency and the empire.

karlof1 , Sep 25 2020 18:45 utc | 12
I found this barb delivered by Lavrov during his presser with Zarif I linked to on the open thread to be very curious when thought about in the context of Russiagate:

"The fact that the United States has threatened to impose sanctions on those who defy the American interpretation of the current situation serves as further proof of Washington's desire to move like a bull in a china shop, putting ultimatums to everyone and punishing everyone indiscriminately because, in my view, the incumbent US administration has lost its diplomatic skills almost for good ." [My Emphasis]

Red Ryder @8 & profk @10 connect Ukraine and the outing of the Empire's role in the creation of Daesh. Yes, it seems much is related to Russia's Phoenix-like rise and outwitting the Empire's buffoons beginning in 2013 that's generated the above behavior noted by Lavrov. If TrumpCo does get a second term, unless the entire foreign policy team is dumped and replaced, its agenda will go nowhere other than further into the hole they've dug for themselves over the past 20 years--almost every nation is now against Bush's USA as many now know who the terrorists really are and where they live.

dan of steele , Sep 25 2020 19:44 utc | 13
David G | Sep 25 2020 17:36 utc | 3

here is the link to "excluded from the published analysis"

Old and Grumpy , Sep 25 2020 19:47 utc | 14
What if the goal of 2016 election was to set up the 2020 American color revolution? If so Trump needed to win. Obama and the FBI did the groundwork here at home. There is some debate if the first Trump dossier was actually the second one to cover for the Cody Shearer one that was given to Strobe Talbot to give to Christopher Steele. Still it had the same goal as to foster doubt about the legitimacy of 2016 that is currently culminating with the gun toting, fire bombing hissy fit of the children of liberal privilege. Now if those blasted supreme righties would just show up, and the whole thing can go really hot like it did in Ukraine, Libya, Egypt, almost Syria, and any country I might be forgetting. Notice the Trump administration is parroting the left's white supremacist conspiracy. Its all really bad theater, but does anyone really care the crumbing infrastructure and the looming economic collapse when you can instead root for your team. Yes, I am guilty of the later too. Added bonus we already have a twofer of enemies (Russian and China) for yet another elitist war.
H.Schmatz , Sep 25 2020 19:54 utc | 15
I very doubt that it was "Russiagate" who make it difficult for Trump to pursue the policies he had been advocating during his election campaign...In fact, "Russiagate" has long ago been debunked and we have not seen Trump worrying a bit about the average American Joe, most flagrant during this pandemic...I doubt he would had behaved different were the "Russiagate" to have never existed..

Simply, electoral "promises" almost never are fullfilled in the already dating decades neoliberal order, both from the right or the "alleged" liberal left...

On the same grounds, we could affirm then that conspiracy theories about Obama´s birth place made it difficult for Obama to pursue the policies he had been advocating during his election campaign....

That Trump has ties to Russian oligarchs is, to my view, out of doubt for anyone following a bit some writers who use to deeply research their analyses out there like John Helmer.... That these oligarchas had anything to do, in this respect, with the Kremlin, it is doubtful, but highly likely related to business shenanigans amongst them and Trump & Co...related to illegal bribes and money laundering...

What have been largely proved is that Trump and his administration have been using big data management corporations and social networks engineering to manipulate elections and give coups eveywhere ( as the thorough research I posted at the Week in Review leaves in evidence it happened in several countries in Latin America , which leads us to suspect that they would not resist the desire to use the same methods in the US...before...and after the 2016 elections...having Bannon ad chief of campaign and then as chief of staff in 2016 so as that does not add for tranquility, with what legal methods is respected for achieving whatever goal..as the last events have clearly showed...

It was during Trump´s mandate that the war on Yemen continued towards total erradication of Yemenis, especially of Shia belief, by indiscriminate bombing and blockade of essential goods...that Qasem Soleimani was murdered without any justified reason...that NATO started a cheeky build up in Russian borders who remained still free of it...that the US withdrew from most international agreements leaving US/Russia, US/Iran, US/LatinAmerican relations at its lowest levels, by underminig any remaining trust...Trump reinstated and made even harsher sanctions against everybody who was not already a "puppet regime", including Venezuela, Cuba, Argentina, Russia, Iran, China, and, even looping the loop, against puppet governments in the EU...

I very doubt it was Russiagate which kept him from releasing his tax records as requested by governance transparecny, returning the ammounts of money defrauded in the "University Loans" affair, clarifying his ties to Epstein network, stopping sowing hatred and divide amongst US population, build the most world wide network of far-right extremists since post WWII around the world but especially in Europe to undermine what of "democracy" remains left, labeled and declared as "terrorists" any political party abroad who does not go along and oppose his puppet government´s corrupt policies anywhere, lit the Middle East on fire by continuously provoking Iran, Lebanon, Syria, sent his regime envoys to the EU to twist arm so that the European countries dedicate more budget to buy provedly ineffective arms from the US when the money is most needed for socio-economic and health issues in the middle of a pandemic, not to mention the requisition of health supplies´ cargos in the very Chinese tarmac which had been previously ordered and bought by European countries which needed them urgently, criminalized, and tried to label them as second cathegory citizens, a great part of US population of non-white foreign descent through whose hard work and shameful labor conditions US thrived along all these decades, well, you name it, the list would be almost for a book...or two...

To blame all this mess on "Russiagate" is, well, in the best case, underestimating the readership here...

Ma Laoshi , Sep 25 2020 19:54 utc | 16
Oh please, b: "legal jeopardy", don't make me laugh. It's been four years . The whole political part of Trump's career he's been under the tutelage of mafia consigliere Roy Cohn. Even better known, he's flown on the Lolita Express, and the FBI has a trove of videos etc from Epstein's safe (hmm, what else does the latter have in common with Roy Cohn besides the Trump connection). Bottom line, he's a deeply compromised individual who's concluded long ago, and correctly, that he's in over his head and better off just playing along. He's had no reservations appointing professional Russophobes like Fiona Hill; in fact, which of his appointees has not been a Cold Warrior besides perhaps T-Rex, who was a mere Venezuela hawk because of some old Exxon bad blood, and who was quickly ditched anyway. Even now, his own FBI director spouts RussiaGate red meat, and the Donald is doing squat about it.

What does it all matter to Trump? He doesn't have a good name to clear. He didn't run for president expecting to win, let alone to carry out this or that specific program. This Vale Tudo carnival atmosphere clearly suits him: if his opponents can make baseless accusations, so can he. If they can expect to skate beyond some meaningless fall guys, so can he. To actually uphold the law--it's just not how he rolls.

Had he mostly contented himself with playing president on TV and enjoying the perks of the office, and understood you can't just let a pandemic kill off your own voters, all would've been dandy. But, predictably, his ego got the better of him, and he just had to be the statesman who was finally going to bring China to heel. Again, merely tweeting about it could've been ignored, but by appointing an array of rabid ideologues who went to work on "decoupling", he's sided with a Deep State which will hate him regardless, against Corporate America which went into China to, you know, make money. In this way, he's made himself enemies a Republican can ill afford; combine this with his personal style (or lack of it), and just about nobody has his back any more. So the machine goes about purging this alien body from its system.

snake , Sep 25 2020 19:56 utc | 17
when do the American people get to investigate Truman, Ike, John McCain, JFK, Johnson, Bush, Obama, FBI, Trump, 9/11, CIA, invasion of Iraq, wall street, the US Treasury, the military, Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and the like..?
,==He did it==> he did not do it, <=someone else did it, ==>avoids the basic problem:

America has a government that
a.) conducts wars to protect the economic interest of its favored few.
b.) uses law , to grant feudal lords wealth creating by extracting bits of wealth from Americans.
c.) conducts nearly all its affairs in classified secret..
d.) is un accountable for the money it spends.
e.) is un accountable for the genocides it conducts in foreign lands.
f.) has two crime families which divide and conquer the citizens to control all election outcomes
g.) has given to private bankers, its power to print money, control the economy, and tax the people.
h.) has not adhered to the Bill of Rights or the un amended constitution.
i.) refuses to require private media to speak only the truth.
j.) Refuses to comply with and orto enforce the 1st and 4th amendment<=papers and effects t/b secure
expand this list as you like

and

Americans have
a.) no access to the USA. <= 3 votes, insolation of state or voting district,
out 527 positions don't get it & none for the President
b.) must pay to the USA taxes and have no input as to how such taxes are collected or used,
c.) must register their presence to the USA with id numbers
d.) must obey USA laws which Americans had no say in writing, or passing.
e.) must endure foreign wars and domestic programs that serve no legitimate domestic interest.
expand this list as you like.

vk , Sep 25 2020 19:59 utc | 18
This kind of stuff have always happened in the USA.

The question to be made is this: why is this time more damaging to the social fabric of the USA?

H.Schmatz , Sep 25 2020 20:24 utc | 19
Because the US Deep State WANTED to initiate a new McCarthyism

@Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 25 2020 17:37 utc | 5

You are onto something there...I do not recall whose US think tank analyse I read about US youth tending ideologically to the left...the same could be said of any youth around the world after they have been left without future prospect and past opportunities to rise through the social ladder by rampant savage neoliberal capitalism...

I said at the time that the Ukrainian experiment of 2014 was a general dressed rehearsal for a future planned authoritarian fascist rule in most of the world, especially the West, once the prospects, already known by the elites, of collapsing capitalism are obvious for the general public and cause the consequent uprising..It is in this context that the pandemic and its sudden impoverishing outcome fits, along with the "orchestrated" violent riots at various locations, to justify martial law...

Notice that "rewritting of history of WWII" in favor of fascism is a feature of any US administration since the fall of the USSR...

Past days I read that Roger Stone, former Trump advisor, if i am not wrong also implied in a corruption case, advised Trump to declare martial law after winning in Novemeber...It is in that context that all the noise we have been hearing all these past months about the riots, militias, coups, and so on fit...What we have not heard about is about hundreds of thousands of evictions, inacabable line ups for food banks, and the total socio-economic disaster more than anything willingly built by TPTB...

Recal that they "built their own reality, and when you are catching up with that reality, they build another one"...

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sep 25, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

vinnieoh , Sep 22 2020 21:41 utc | 27

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

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

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

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

Ashino , Sep 23 2020 9:23 utc | 67

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Psychiatric crazy fool of the head, no less.

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

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

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

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

< >

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

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

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

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

Sep 25, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

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

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

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

His works.

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

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

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

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

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

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

R.I.P. Andre Vitchek.

Maybe his latest outcry hindered some :

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

The Jacksonian agenda

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The program of Democrats and non-party Republicans

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

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

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

SOURCE: CHRIS MENAHAN, INFORMATION LIBERATION

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

From The Washington Post :

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

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

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

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

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

No lie detected!

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

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

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

[Sep 22, 2020] Stephen F. Cohen -- In Memoriam by Gilbert Doctorow

Unfortunately in his brilliant analysis of USA-Russia relations Stephen Cohen never pointed out that the USA policy toward Russia is dictated by the interests of maintaining global neoliberal empire and the concept of "Full Spectrum Dominance" which was adopted by the USA neoliberal elite after the collapse of the USSR.
Like British empire the USA neoliberal empire is now overextended, metropolia is in secular stagnation with deterioration standard of living of the bottom 80% of population, so the USA under Trump became more aggressive and dangerous on the international arena. Trump administration behaves behaves like a cornered rat on international arena.
Notable quotes:
"... On Friday, 18 September, professor Steve Cohen passed away in New York City and we, the "dissident" community of Americans standing for peace with Russia – and for peace with the world at large – lost a towering intellectual and skillful defender of our cause who enjoyed an audience of millions by his weekly broadcasts on the John Batchelor Show, WABC Radio. ..."
"... from the start of the Information Wars against Russia during the George W. Bush administration following Putin's speech at the Munich Security Conference in February 2007, no voice questioning the official propaganda line in America was tolerated. Steve Cohen, who in the 1990s had been a welcome guest on U.S. national television and a widely cited expert in print media suddenly found himself blacklisted and subjected to the worst of McCarthyite style, ad hominem attacks. ..."
"... the opposition to Steve was led by experts in the Ukrainian and other minority peoples sub-categories of the profession who were militantly opposed not just to him personally but to any purely objective, not to mention sympathetic treatment of Russian leadership in the territorial expanse of Eurasia. ..."
"... Almost no one outside our 'dissident' community is concerned about the possibility of Armageddon in say two years' time due to miscalculations and bad luck in our pursuing economic, informational and military confrontation with Russia and China. ..."
"... My point in this discussion is that in the last decade of his life Stephen Cohen became one of the nation's most fearless and persistent defenders of the right to Free Speech. ..."
"... It was forced upon him by The New York Times, The Washington Post and other major media who pilloried him or blacklisted him over his unorthodox, unsanctioned, nonconformist views on the "Putin regime." It was forced upon him by university colleagues who sought to deny his right to establish graduate school fellowships in Russian affairs bearing his name and that of his mentor at Indiana University, Professor Tucker. ..."
"... In the face of vicious personal attacks from these McCarthyite forces, in the face of hate mail and even threats to his life, Steve decided to set up The American Committee and to recruit to its governing board famous, patriotic Americans and the descendants of the most revered families in the country. In this he succeeded, and it is to his credit that a moral counter force to the stampeding bulls of repression was erected and has survived to this day. ..."
Sep 22, 2020 | gilbertdoctorow.com

On Friday, 18 September, professor Steve Cohen passed away in New York City and we, the "dissident" community of Americans standing for peace with Russia – and for peace with the world at large – lost a towering intellectual and skillful defender of our cause who enjoyed an audience of millions by his weekly broadcasts on the John Batchelor Show, WABC Radio.

A year ago, I reviewed his latest book, War With Russia? which drew upon the material of those programs and took this scholar turned journalist into a new and highly accessible genre of oral readings in print. The narrative style may have been more relaxed, with simplified syntax, but the reasoning remained razor sharp. I urge those who are today paying tribute to Steve, to buy and read the book, which is his best legacy.

From start to finish, Stephen F. Cohen was among America's best historians of his generation, putting aside the specific subject matter that he treated: Nikolai Bukharin, his dissertation topic and the material of his first and best known book; or, to put it more broadly, the history of Russia (USSR) in the 20 th century. He was one of the very rare cases of an historian deeply attentive to historiography, to causality and to logic. I understood this when I read a book of his from the mid-1980s in which he explained why Russian (Soviet) history was no longer attracting young students of quality: because there were no unanswered questions, because we smugly assumed that we knew about that country all that there was to know. That was when our expert community told us with one voice that the USSR was entrapped in totalitarianism without any prospect for the overthrow of its oppressive regime.

But my recollections of Steve also have a personal dimension going back six years or so when a casual email correspondence between us flowered into a joint project that became the launch of the American Committee for East West Accord (ACEWA). This was a revival of a pro-détente association of academics and business people that existed from the mid-1970s to the early 1990s, when, following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the removal of the Communist Party from power, the future of Russia in the family of nations we call the 'international community' seemed assured and there appeared to be no further need for such an association as ACEWA.

I hasten to add that in the original ACEWA Steve and I were two ships that passed in the night. With his base in Princeton, he was a protégé of the dean of diplomats then in residence there, George Kennan, who was the leading light on the academic side of the ACEWA. I was on the business side of the association, which was led by Don Kendall, chairman of Pepsico and also for much of the 1970s chairman of the US-USSR Trade and Economic Council of which I was also a member. I published pro-détente articles in their newsletter and published a lengthy piece on cooperation with the Soviet Union in agricultural and food processing domains, my specialty at that time, in their collection of essays by leaders in the U.S. business community entitled Common Sense in U.S.-Soviet Trade .

The academic contingent had, as one might assume, a 'progressive' coloration, while the business contingent had a Nixon Republican coloration. Indeed, in the mid-1980s these two sides split in their approach to the growing peace movement in the U.S. that was fed by opposition in the 'thinking community' on university campuses to Ronald Reagan's Star Wars agenda. Kendall shut the door at ACEWA to rabble rousing and the association did not rise to the occasion, so that its disbanding in the early '90s went unnoticed.

In the re-incorporated American Committee, I helped out by assuming the formal obligations of Treasurer and Secretary, and also became the group's European Coordinator from my base in Brussels. At this point my communications with Steve were almost daily and emotionally quite intense. This was a time when America's expert community on Russian affairs once again felt certain that it knew everything there was to know about the country, and most particularly about the nefarious "Putin regime." But whereas in the 1970s and 1980s, polite debate about the USSR/Russia was entirely possible both behind closed doors and in public space, from the start of the Information Wars against Russia during the George W. Bush administration following Putin's speech at the Munich Security Conference in February 2007, no voice questioning the official propaganda line in America was tolerated. Steve Cohen, who in the 1990s had been a welcome guest on U.S. national television and a widely cited expert in print media suddenly found himself blacklisted and subjected to the worst of McCarthyite style, ad hominem attacks.

From my correspondence and several meetings with Steve at this time both in his New York apartment and here in Brussels, when he and Katrina van der Heuvel came to participate in a Round Table dedicated to relations with Russia at the Brussels Press Club that I arranged, I knew that Steve was deeply hurt by these vitriolic attacks. He was at the time waging a difficult campaign to establish a fellowship in support of graduate studies in Russian affairs. It was touch and go, because of vicious opposition from some stalwarts of the profession to any fellowship that bore Steve's name. Allow me to put the 'i' on this dispute: the opposition to Steve was led by experts in the Ukrainian and other minority peoples sub-categories of the profession who were militantly opposed not just to him personally but to any purely objective, not to mention sympathetic treatment of Russian leadership in the territorial expanse of Eurasia. In the end, Steve and Katrina prevailed. The fellowships exist and, hopefully, will provide sustenance to future studies when American attitudes towards Russia become less politicized.

At all times and on all occasions, Steve Cohen was a voice of reason above all. The problem of our age is that we are now not only living in a post-factual world, but in a post-logic world. The public reads day after day the most outrageous and illogical assertions about alleged Russian misdeeds posted by our most respected mainstream media including The New York Times and The Washington Post . Almost no one dares to raise a hand and suggest that this reporting is propaganda and that the public is being brainwashed. Steve did exactly that in War With Russia? in a brilliant and restrained text.

Regrettably today we have no peace movement to speak of. Youth and our 'progressive' elites are totally concerned over the fate of humanity in 30 or 40 years' time as a consequence of Global Warming and rising seas. That is the essence of the Green Movement. Almost no one outside our 'dissident' community is concerned about the possibility of Armageddon in say two years' time due to miscalculations and bad luck in our pursuing economic, informational and military confrontation with Russia and China.

I fear it will take only some force majeure development such as we had in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis to awaken the broad public to the risks to our very survival that we are incurring by ignoring the issues that Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Princeton and New York University was bringing to the airwaves week after week on his radio program.

Postscript

In terms of action, the new ACEWA was even less effective than its predecessor, which had avoided linking up with the peace movement of the 1980s and sought to exert influence on policy through armchair talks with Senators and other statesmen in Washington behind closed doors of (essentially) men's clubs.

However, the importance of the new ACEWA, and the national importance of Stephen Cohen lay elsewhere.

This question of appraising Stephen Cohen's national importance is all the more timely given that on the day of his death, 18 September, the nation also lost Supreme Justice Ruth Ginsburg, about whose national importance no Americans, whether her fans or her opponents, had any doubt.

My point in this discussion is that in the last decade of his life Stephen Cohen became one of the nation's most fearless and persistent defenders of the right to Free Speech. It was not a role that he sought. It was thrust upon him by the expert community of international affairs, including the Council on Foreign Relations, from which he reluctantly resigned over this matter.

It was forced upon him by The New York Times, The Washington Post and other major media who pilloried him or blacklisted him over his unorthodox, unsanctioned, nonconformist views on the "Putin regime." It was forced upon him by university colleagues who sought to deny his right to establish graduate school fellowships in Russian affairs bearing his name and that of his mentor at Indiana University, Professor Tucker.

In the face of vicious personal attacks from these McCarthyite forces, in the face of hate mail and even threats to his life, Steve decided to set up The American Committee and to recruit to its governing board famous, patriotic Americans and the descendants of the most revered families in the country. In this he succeeded, and it is to his credit that a moral counter force to the stampeding bulls of repression was erected and has survived to this day.

©Gilbert Doctorow, 2020

[If you found value in this article, you should be interested to read my latest collection of essays entitled A Belgian Perspective on International Affairs, published in November 2019 and available in e-book, paperback and hardbound formats from amazon, barnes & noble, bol.com, fnac, Waterstones and other online retailers. Use the "View Inside" tab on the book's webpages to browse.]

[Sep 21, 2020] Pompous Pompeo continues his antics: Pompeo mocked for saying 'no other state' can block MULTILATERAL sanctions US wants to impose on Iran despite UNSC pushback

Sanctions will cost money not only to Iran, but to the USA too.
Sep 21, 2020 | www.rt.com

"If at any time the United States believes Iran has failed to meet its commitments, no other state can block our ability to snap back those multilateral sanctions," Pompeo declared in a statement posted on his official Twitter account on Sunday evening.

The top US diplomat was referring to the avalanche of sanctions Washington has been hellbent on slapping on Tehran after the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) overwhelmingly rejected the US resolution to extend a 13-year arms embargo against the Islamic Republic past October earlier this week.

The humiliating defeat , which saw only one member of the 15-nation body (the Dominican Republic) siding with the US, while China and Russia opposed the resolution, and all other nations, including France and the UK, abstained, did not discourage Washington, which doubled down on its threat to hit Iran with biting sanctions.

... ... ...

"Of course other states can block America's ability to impose multilateral sanctions. The US can impose sanctions by itself, but can't force others to do it," Nicholas Grossman, teaching assistant professor at the Department of Political Science, University of Illinois, tweeted.

"That's what 'multilateral' means. Is our SecState really this dumb?" Grossman asked.

Daniel Larison, senior editor at the American Conservative, suggested that Pompeo might be having a hard time grasping the meaning of the word 'multilateral'.

Some argued that Pompeo could not be unaware of the contradictory nature of his statement. Dan Murphy, former Middle East and South Asia correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, called it "one of the most diplomatically illiterate sentences of all time."

"I guess the end game here is [to] alienate the rest of the world even further to feed his persecution complex?" Murphy wrote.

John Twomey, 16 August, 2020

Explanation. What Pompeo understands and what many others can't grasp is that the US decides if their sanctions are "multilateral" because the USA speaks for all other countries whether they like it or not.

My Opinion, 17 August, 2020

Reminiscing of his shady past as a new CIA recruit he said. "We lied, we cheated and we stole". Apparently, Mikey didn't do all too well in his literature classes, either and that's why the most suitable candidate from zionists perspective.

[Sep 21, 2020] Stephen F. Cohen- The Ukrainian Crisis - It s not All Putin s Fault

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... There is no chance of mending relations and even less of achieving some security partnership between US and Russia. The rift will only keep on widening as US political and financial elites are growing increasingly desperate (and thus even more aggressive) while Russia abandons its attempts to please the haters and moves its focus on to its future prospective partners who have genuine interest in cooperating with Russia and achieving common goals.... including opposing the common enemy if you like! Well at least I hope so: the only reason why US wish to get closer to Russia would be to stab it in the back... one more time! ..."
Sep 21, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Gerry Cooney , 3 years ago (edited)

Speaking as an Independent, I say that our country, the USA, has engineered past confilcts and wars in order to feed the military industrial complex. Not so much that it results in a nuke-shooting war, but in a regular non-nuke shooting war. The solution? Send the sons and daughters of the politicians into direct combat, every time they approve another war. That should keep things a bit more peaceful.

Playthell Benjamin , 3 years ago

Professor Cohen is this nation's most objective and therefore most valuable thinker on Russia! The charge that his views are "not patriotic" is a compliment rather than the insult they intended. A scholar's views are only valuable to the public and, more importantly, policy makers, if they are OBJECTIVE!!! Which is to say that he follows the FACTS wherever they lead!

Stratus Blue , 4 years ago

Any "discussion" with no mention of the supranational central bank cartel is intentional deceptive omission. The "brass ring" is forced use of petro-dollars. The central bank stock holders and bankers loaning all dollars into existence as national debt, do not care who owns land. They care who pays off national debts and interest on debt. Civil war is their racket. There are no sovereign nations. No genuine nations that create their medium of exchange publicly. No national people. Just participants in an extortion or its victims. The "Elite" collect on money they created as loans in their central banking accounts. All others are only human numbers assigned billing addresses.

Maria Schick , 4 years ago

Welcome to the New World Order ....where Multinational corporations rule & their profits are what are most important..... NOT nation states it's the 99.9% against the .01% and they use MSM propaganda & fear to control the DUMB masses thinking

Madaleine , 9 months ago

Global mafia in the background! Shut down funding cia ET Al

keepinitreal , 2 years ago

So infuriating that videos that carry the truth have 57k views, while nasty lying propaganda has millions!

SJ R , 4 years ago

I just discovered John Batchelor Show on which Cohen has a guest spot- I just was drawn to this man's thinking, probably because I had made up my mind about Russia during the Ukraine crises. Seeing the US has ruin every country we have gone into- I'm on Russia's side, especially where Russia and Ukraine has a history, on that side of the world.

Santos D , 4 years ago (edited)

38:49 - Apologies for the somewhat Utopian question here. I agree with everything Cohen has said, but regarding cause of jihadist terrorism ( ie implosion of the economies in the region), does it make sense to discuss primarily this game of terrorist whack a mole (bombing, invading and crushing Jihadist insurgencies)? Is there any point in talking about a pro active policy of recreating sustainable, stable economies in the region? What would that even look like?

Cezanne Monet , 11 hours ago

Brilliant scholar. RIP Prof Cohen. Watch if you want to understand today's geopolitical situation. The whole situation.

No Names , 4 years ago (edited)

Not very many average Americans would be able to easily access and watch this. Average Americans still consume mainly mainstream media. Too bad, because this lecture would have opened their eyes and have blown up their brain-contaminated minds by the CNN, the New York Times and alike.

Chris Bowers , 4 years ago

I agree wholeheartedly Loane. Have always been extremely impressed with and appreciative of Cohen's carefully & thoughtfully considered contribution. We in the US have gone a bit off the deep end when it comes to this deeply embedded belief in exceptionalism and superiority, and have been extremely rude to much of the rest of the world in the process. It amazes me how patient Russia has been with us, waiting for us to come around to a more sober understanding of the world we live in today. I have to conclude that what we are experiencing here in the US is a perennial phenomenon that comes with the end of all empires throughout history, the mission creep of over-extending resources and the big one, seemingly blind hubris.

M Ch , 4 years ago

There is no chance of mending relations and even less of achieving some security partnership between US and Russia. The rift will only keep on widening as US political and financial elites are growing increasingly desperate (and thus even more aggressive) while Russia abandons its attempts to please the haters and moves its focus on to its future prospective partners who have genuine interest in cooperating with Russia and achieving common goals.... including opposing the common enemy if you like! Well at least I hope so: the only reason why US wish to get closer to Russia would be to stab it in the back... one more time!

Raf Zam , 3 years ago (edited)

NATO'S reason to exist ended when the Warsaw Pact was demolished. It was created to confront the socialist Warsaw Pact but today ALL of the members of the pact are part of NATO, except Russia. So why is it still operating? Who are they confronting? They are a bunch of bureaucrats looking for a reason to stay employed in an organization that lost its excuse to be. However, their behavior has gone from increasing security to actually becoming a menace to trigger a nuclear war to destroy life on earth.

Donald Watts , 4 years ago

It will take a Republican President to turn our relationships with hostile nations around. For some irrational reasoning, the current administration refuses negotiation with it's enemies. Somehow this is going to create understanding. and a less dangerous world. I don't see a continuation of this Administrations policy anything but reckless . I am assuming this policy has been one determined through Clinton, and will remain so. Clinton has said on a number of occasions, it is the Obama Administration's policies that will be hers as well. As an ex cold warrior, who has spent a lot of time chasing Soviet boomers in the North Atlantic, I am not willing to gamble my children and grand children's lives . It is a dangerous and ego driven pissing match. Let us start talking , This administration and families can climb into their luxury nuclear bomb proof bunkers...... My family and most Americans don't have that luxury.

William Carr , 3 years ago

Dr. Cohen, so Putin gave the Northern Alliance to the USA after 911 to bludgeon Afghanistan for hiding Bin Laden? Paul Craig Robert, David Ray Griffin and a growing list of Americans believe 911 was a total bamboozle. If that is true which it looks increasingly like it was, does that mean Putin was playing along with the our Reichstag fire? What does that make Putin? NATO should have been totally remade after 1986, but it wasn't and we simply missed a huge opportunity not for worldwide U.S. hegemony, but for a new umbrella of security by super powers in alliance. Obviously, the proliferation of ethno-religious groups was in Putin's mind when he welcomed us into Afghanistan, but damn it man, tell people EXACTLY why we and the Russians want to be in the Golden Crescent besides the extraction of minerals.

[Sep 21, 2020] Stephen Cohen at the AJC 2017 Forum, about Russia and Terrorism

Highly recommended!
This was a really bright mind
Julia Ioffe is a joke -- she is essentially a typical "national security parasite" and of the level that surprisingly, is lower that Max Boor, although previously I thought this is impossible. Julia Ioffe is very typical of the anti-Russian thinking in the West.
Jun 23, 2017 | www.youtube.com

Stephen Cohen at the American Jewish Committee Forum 2017, about Russia and Terrorism. Full debate

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0rtr...


alo1, 3 years ago

And again, Cohen smashed these government employers singlehandedly.

Drew Hunkins, 3 years ago

This incessant Russophobia constantly being trumpeted by the Washington militarist imperialists must stop. It's putting the world on the brink of nuclear war.

Stephen Cohen's a godsend along with a handful of the other intellectuals out there speaking and writing the truth that penetrates the miasma of disinformation, half-truths and exaggerations emanating from the state-corporate nexus in the American mass media.

Cohen, along with John Pilger, James Petras, Robert Parry, Michael Parenti, John Pilger, Eva Bartlett, Diana Johnstone and Paul Craig Roberts must be read widely in order for folks to get a grasp of where the Washington imperialist ruling class is driving the world.

mitrovdan, 3 years ago

at 25:40 he just destroys her totally. what a point he made, amazing!! "thank you professor" the guy on the left wants to end Cohen's carnage of the so called experts. Cohen made minced meat out of em. Fact after fact...stonewalled em both. Listen to her, ISIS doesn't have nuke's, she obviously doesn't have a clue.

MrWebster, 3 years ago

Cohen is always cogent and convincing. One area I wish some historian would look into is how "Russia-gate" is not echoing Cold War themes, but echoing themes from the German Nazis in particular their belief about a great Jewish conspiracy against Europe.

Even Putin recently remarked on all these accusations: "It reminds me of anti-Semitism, A dumb man who can't do anything would blame the Jews for everything." Look at how Putin is drawn and pictured on major outlets. The NYTimes blamed resistance to TPP on Putin.

The Russians like the Jews are behind every social problem. Popular culture shows and speaks of Russia in the same way Nazi propagandists wrote about Russia.

Undermining Western liberal democracies, Jews were compared to spiders catching people in the webs. Same with Putin. Pick up Hitler's speech after the invasion of the Soviet Union justifying it., Echos? Accidental rhetoric of conspiracies ?

DSCdaP, 3 years ago

"to look past a long list of transgressions and abuses..." this is what I absolutely hate about America, they are all so stupid and ignorant to their own countries misdeeds it is unbelievable, infuriating beyond belief. The US is currently fighting 7 wars simultaneously, which it all started itself under false pretences and hid the real reason beneath a thick layer of BS propaganda and misinformation.

The secession of Crimea is the least egregious event of the entire conflicts history. The EU and US have pumped billions of dollars into the coup which took place weeks before the Crimean referendum, on the 20th of February 2014, 2 weeks prior to that, an intercepted phone conversation between Victoria Nuland (Assistant Secretary of State of the United States to Europe) and Geoffrey Pyatt (US Ambassador to the Ukraine) was leaked on February 4th, 2014. In this phone conversation, they describe key positions within the Ukrainian government being filled by Klitshko and Yatz... fast forward a few weeks, who do we see? Klitsh and Yatz! It was the most obvious sponsored coup in history.

Putin snatched the Crimean peninsula from NATO, who wanted to seize Russias military harbour in Sevastopol (which the Russians have used to supply Syria, this was one and a half years before they entered the conflict directly, apart from being a very important strategic harbour in general), by suggesting a referendum to the local government and they accepted.

Why? Because they were ethnic Russians and knew who gained power in Kiev, the neo-Nazi, Bandera-worshipping OUN, which the US has nourished, supported and developed for the last 100 years within the Ukrainian territory. These Nazis hate Russians, they have a deep seeded hatred of all things Russian which has been indoctrinated and drilled into them by the CIA for decades, the first thing they did after seizing power was to demote the Russian language from the official list of languages of the Ukraine.

They have since honoured Ukrainian Nazi-collaborators from WWII by erecting statues, renaming streets, creating new holidays etc. This is just one example of US misinformation and propaganda, nothing they say accurately describes the truth, nothing, not one thing has it's bases in reality. Be it about Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and what have you, it's all lies and propaganda to mask their intentions.

North Korea is another example. North Korea is a hornets nest they kick once in a while to scare the Japanese and South Koreans into tolerating US occupation longer. Everything North Korea does is a direct response to threats and intimidations by the US. They staged a drill off the coast of North Korea which they called "Decapitation" for F's sake.

They have ratcheted up the tension again these past few months to sneak in their THAAD weapons stations, before the new President was chosen. And these THAAD systems have absolutely nothing to do with North Korea, it's against China and Russia, North Korea is a pretext.

The still active war, which has merely been under a seize fire for decades, against North Korea, could have been ended before there was colour television, but the US needs North Korea to exist in order to justify their occupation of S.Korea and Japan.

MrRondonmon , 1 day ago

And by the way, the CrowdStrike guy testified in 2017 that there was ZERO PROOF that the Russians hacked the DNC, but Schiff hid that for 2 years until John Ratcliff threatened to declassify it, then Schiff's sorry ass released the interviews. So, this man was 100 percent right, there is ZERO PROOF the Russians or anyone hacked the DNC. Its a damned lie, and it was always a lie.

Patty Rogers , 3 years ago

As usual, the journalists and leftist have nothing to offer- no facts, no forensic evidence, no truth. Only speculation hyperbole and hysteria. I don't believe Russia are the good guys but give me a break in all this crap!

beija flor , 2 years ago (edited)

why did cohen tell everyone even potential 'terrorists' that there is too much of exactly what 'terrorists' wish to get their hands on in the former soviet states?!!? if he is 'so afraid' of 'terrorism...' WHY did he say THAT?!!? not very bright... or perhaps he is FOS. idk?! wth?! SMH. maybe e is trying to inform people who r not 'terrorists,' so that people know n can figure out how to address the issues...?

Yet, for any terrorists who wanted to know how to get materials he spoke of, now they may know a region where they could potentially go to attain the materials... maybe in 'terrorists' circles they all know this already? it just seems concerning, is all...

Beth Lemmon, 2 years ago (edited)

Love Stephen Cohen, he is spot on and right about most if not all points, he's fair, wicked smart and sober minded. However he isn't right about POTUS Trump. If anyone has been watching this type of discourse about world geopolitics it looks like the NWO wants wars to depopulate the earth, set up a OWG and a utopia. It's so blatantly obvious to those who are honest and not ideologically possessed.

They recruit their stupid Antifa army and zombie possessed minions to do their dirty work in the streets. They want send our amazing military to do the fighting wars that are just to feed the MIC, and does nothing for America's good.

[Sep 21, 2020] Stephen Cohen Has Died. Remember His Urgent Warnings Against The New Cold War by Caitlin Johnstone

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God
"... In a world that is increasingly confusing and awash with propaganda, Cohen's death is a blow to humanity's desperate quest for clarity and understanding. ..."
Sep 19, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org

Stephen F Cohen, the renowned American scholar on Russia and leading authority on US-Russian relations, has died of lung cancer at the age of 81.

As one of the precious few western voices of sanity on the subject of Russia while everyone else has been frantically flushing their brains down the toilet, this is a real loss. I myself have cited Cohen's expert analysis many times in my own work, and his perspective has played a formative role in my understanding of what's really going on with the monolithic cross-partisan manufacturing of consent for increased western aggressions against Moscow.

In a world that is increasingly confusing and awash with propaganda, Cohen's death is a blow to humanity's desperate quest for clarity and understanding.

I don't know how long Cohen had cancer. I don't know how long he was aware that he might not have much time left on this earth. What I do know is he spent much of his energy in his final years urgently trying to warn the world about the rapidly escalating danger of nuclear war, which in our strange new reality he saw as in many ways completely unprecedented.

The last of the many books Cohen authored was 2019's War with Russia? , detailing his ideas on how the complex multi-front nature of the post-2016 cold war escalations against Moscow combines with Russiagate and other factors to make it in some ways more dangerous even than the most dangerous point of the previous cold war.

"You know it's easy to joke about this, except that we're at maybe the most dangerous moment in US-Russian relations in my lifetime, and maybe ever," Cohen told The Young Turks in 2017. "And the reason is that we're in a new cold war, by whatever name. We have three cold war fronts that are fraught with the possibility of hot war, in the Baltic region where NATO is carrying out an unprecedented military buildup on Russia's border, in Ukraine where there is a civil and proxy war between Russia and the west, and of course in Syria, where Russian aircraft and American warplanes are flying in the same territory. Anything could happen."

Cohen repeatedly points to the most likely cause of a future nuclear war: not one that is planned but one which erupts in tense, complex situations where "anything could happen" in the chaos and confusion as a result of misfire, miscommunication or technical malfunction, as nearly happened many times during the last cold war.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/kqQbK_6meM8?feature=oembed

"I think this is the most dangerous moment in American-Russian relations, at least since the Cuban missile crisis," Cohen told Democracy Now in 2017. "And arguably, it's more dangerous, because it's more complex. Therefore, we -- and then, meanwhile, we have in Washington these -- and, in my judgment, factless accusations that Trump has somehow been compromised by the Kremlin. So, at this worst moment in American-Russian relations, we have an American president who's being politically crippled by the worst imaginable -- it's unprecedented. Let's stop and think. No American president has ever been accused, essentially, of treason. This is what we're talking about here, or that his associates have committed treason."

"Imagine, for example, John Kennedy during the Cuban missile crisis," Cohen added. "Imagine if Kennedy had been accused of being a secret Soviet Kremlin agent. He would have been crippled. And the only way he could have proved he wasn't was to have launched a war against the Soviet Union. And at that time, the option was nuclear war."

"A recurring theme of my recently published book War with Russia? is that the new Cold War is more dangerous, more fraught with hot war, than the one we survived," Cohen wrote last year . "Histories of the 40-year US-Soviet Cold War tell us that both sides came to understand their mutual responsibility for the conflict, a recognition that created political space for the constant peace-keeping negotiations, including nuclear arms control agreements, often known as détente. But as I also chronicle in the book, today's American Cold Warriors blame only Russia, specifically 'Putin's Russia,' leaving no room or incentive for rethinking any US policy toward post-Soviet Russia since 1991."

"Finally, there continues to be no effective, organized American opposition to the new Cold War," Cohen added. "This too is a major theme of my book and another reason why this Cold War is more dangerous than was its predecessor. In the 1970s and 1980s, advocates of détente were well-organized, well-funded, and well-represented, from grassroots politics and universities to think tanks, mainstream media, Congress, the State Department, and even the White House. Today there is no such opposition anywhere."

"A major factor is, of course, 'Russiagate'," Cohen continued. "As evidenced in the sources I cite above, much of the extreme American Cold War advocacy we witness today is a mindless response to President Trump's pledge to find ways to 'cooperate with Russia' and to the still-unproven allegations generated by it. Certainly, the Democratic Party is not an opposition party in regard to the new Cold War."

"Détente with Russia has always been a fiercely opposed, crisis-ridden policy pursuit, but one manifestly in the interests of the United States and the world," Cohen wrote in another essay last year. "No American president can achieve it without substantial bipartisan support at home, which Trump manifestly lacks. What kind of catastrophe will it take -- in Ukraine, the Baltic region, Syria, or somewhere on Russia's electric grid -- to shock US Democrats and others out of what has been called, not unreasonably, their Trump Derangement Syndrome, particularly in the realm of American national security? Meanwhile, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has recently reset its Doomsday Clock to two minutes before midnight."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/owbMRxC382A?feature=oembed

And now Stephen Cohen is dead, and that clock is inching ever closer to midnight. The Russiagate psyop that he predicted would pressure Trump to advance dangerous cold war escalations with no opposition from the supposed opposition party has indeed done exactly that with nary a peep of criticism from either partisan faction of the political/media class. Cohen has for years been correctly predicting this chilling scenario which now threatens the life of every organism on earth, even while his own life was nearing its end.

And now the complex cold war escalations he kept urgently warning us about have become even more complex with the addition of nuclear-armed China to the multiple fronts the US-centralized empire has been plate-spinning its brinkmanship upon, and it is clear from the ramping up of anti-China propaganda since last year that we are being prepped for those aggressions to continue to increase.

We should heed the dire warnings that Cohen spent his last breaths issuing. We should demand a walk-back of these insane imperialist aggressions which benefit nobody and call for détente with Russia and China. We should begin creating an opposition to this world-threatening flirtation with armageddon before it is too late. Every life on this planet may well depend on our doing so.

Stephen Cohen is dead, and we are marching toward the death of everything. God help us all.

medium.com

lay_arrow

novictim , 55 minutes ago

People are just now starting to realize that possible alternate path. But the Demoncrats in the USA must first be put down, politically euthanized, along with their neocon never-Trump Republican partners. And that cleaning up is on the way. Trump's second term will be the advancement of the USA-Russia initiative that is so long overdue.

PerilouseTimes , 48 minutes ago

Putin won't let western billionaires rape Russia's enormous natural resources and on top of that Putin is against child molesters, that is what this Russia bashing is all about.

awesomepic4u , 1 hour ago

Sad to hear this.

What a good man. It is a real shame that we dont have others to stand up to this crazy pr that is going on right now. Making peace with the world at this point is important. We dont need or want another war and i am sure that both Europe and Russia dont want it on their turf but it seems we keep sticking our finger in their eye. If there is another war it will be the last war. As Einstein said, after the 3rd World War we will be using sticks and stones to fight it.

Clint Liquor , 44 minutes ago

Cohen truly was an island of reason in a sea of insanity. Ironic that those panicked over climate change are unconcerned about the increasing threat of Nuclear War.

thunderchief , 41 minutes ago

One of the very few level headed people on Russia.

All thats left are anti Russia-phobic nut jobs.

Send in the clowns.

Stephen Cohen isn't around to call them what they are anymore.

Eastern Whale , 55 minutes ago

cooperate with Russia

Has the US ever cooperated with anyone?

fucking truth , 3 minutes ago

That is the crux. All or nothing.

Mustafa Kemal , 49 minutes ago

Ive read several of his books. They are essential, imo, if you want to understand modern russian history.

Normal , 1 hour ago

The bankers created the new CCP cold war.

evoila , 19 minutes ago

Max Boot is an effing idiot. Tucker wiped him clean too. It was an insult to Stephen to even put them on the same panel.

RIP Stephen.

Gary Sick is the equivalent to Stephen, except for Iran. He too is of an era of competence which is and will be missed as their voices are drowned out by neocon warmongers

thebigunit , 17 minutes ago

I heard Stephen Cohen a number of time in John Bachelor's podcasts.

He seemed very lucid and made a lot of sense.

He made it very clear that he thought the Democrat's "Trump - Russia collusion schtick" was a bunch of crap.

He didn't sound like a leftie, but I'm sure he never told me the stuff he discussed with his wife who was editor of the left wing "The Nation" magazine.

Boogity , 9 minutes ago

Cohen was a traditional old school anti-war Liberal. They're essentially extinct now with the exception of a few such as Tulsi Gabbard and Dennis Kucinich who have both been ostracized from the Democrat Party and the political system.

[Sep 18, 2020] September 14, 2001- The Day America Became Israel - Antiwar.com Original

Notable quotes:
"... Apocalypse Now- ..."
"... Wall Street Journal ..."
"... War on the Rocks ..."
"... An Army Like No Other: How the Israel Defense Forces Made a Nation ..."
"... a defense industry with a country ..."
Sep 18, 2020 | original.antiwar.com

September 14, 2001: The Day America Became Israel

by Maj. Danny Sjursen, USA (ret.) Posted on September 18, 2020

This article is dedicated to the memory of an activist, inspiration, and recent friend: Kevin Zeese. Its scope, sweep, and ambition are meant to match that of Kevin's outsized influence. At that, it must inevitably fail – and its shortfalls are mine alone. That said, the piece's attempt at a holistic critique of 19 years worth of war and cultural militarization would, I hope, earn an approving nod from Kevin – if only at the attempt. He will be missed by so many; I count myself lucky to have gotten to know him. – Danny Sjursen

The rubble was still smoldering at Ground Zero when the U.S. House of Representatives voted to essentially transform itself into the Israeli Knesset , or parliament. It was 19 years ago, 11:17pm Washington D.C. time on September 14, 2001 when the People's Chamber approved House Joint Resolution 64, the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) "against those responsible for the recent attacks." Naturally, that was before the precise identities, and full scope, of "those responsible" were yet known – so the resolution's rubber-stamp was obscenely open-ended by necessity, but also by design.

The Senate had passed their own version by roll call vote about 12 hours earlier. The combined congressional tally was 518 to one. Only Representative Barbara Lee of California cast a dissenting vote , and even delivered a brief, prescient speech on the House floor. It's almost hard to watch and listen all these years later as her voice cracks with emotion amidst all that truth-telling :

I am convinced that military action will not prevent further acts of international terrorism against the United States. This is a very complex and complicated matter

However difficult this vote may be, some of us must urge the use of restraint. Our country is in a state of mourning. Some of us must say, let's step back for a moment and think through the implications of our actions today, so that this does not spiral out of control

Now I have agonized over this vote. But I came to grips with opposing this resolution during the very painful, yet very beautiful memorial service. As a member of the clergy so eloquently said, "As we act, let us not become the evil that we deplore."

For her lone stance – itself courageous, even had she not since been vindicated – Rep. Lee suffered insults and death threats so intense that she needed around-the-clock bodyguards for a time. It's hard to be right in a room full of the wrong – especially angry, scared, and jingoistic ones. Yet the tragedy is America has become many of the things we purport to deplore: the US now boasts a one-trick-pony foreign policy and a militarized society to boot.

Endless imperial interventions and perennial policing at home and abroad, counterproductive military adventurism, governance by permanent "emergency" fiat, and an ever more martial-society? We've seen this movie before; in fact it's still playing – in Israel. Without implying that Israel, as an entity, is somehow "evil," theirs was simply not a path the US need or ought to have gone down.

"A Republic, If You Can Keep It"

In the nearly two decades since its passing, the AUMF has been cited at least 41 times in some 17 countries and on the high seas . The specified nations-states included Afghanistan, Cuba (Guantanamo Bay), Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Iraq, Kenya, Libya, Philippines, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Jordan, Turkey, Niger, Cameroon, and the broader African "Sahel Region" – which presumably also covers the unnamed, but real, US troop presence in Nigeria, Chad and Mali. That's a lot of unnecessary digressions – missions that haven't, and couldn't, have been won. All of that aggression abroad predictably boomeranged back home , in the guise of freedoms constrained, privacy surveilled, plus cops and culture militarized.

Inevitably, just a few days ago, every publication, big and small, carried obligatory and ubiquitous 9/11 commemoration pieces. Far fewer will even note the AUMF anniversary. Yet it was the US government's response – not the attacks themselves – which most altered American strategy and society. For in dutifully deciding on immediate military retaliation, a "global war," even, on a tactic ("terror") and a concept ("evil") at that, this republic fell prey to the Founders' great obsession . Unable to agree on much else, they shared fears that the nascent American experiment would suffer Rome's " ancestral curse " of ambition – and its subsequent path to empire. Hence, Benjamin Franklin's supposed retort to a crowd question upon exiting the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, on just what they'd just framed: "A republic, if you can keep it!"

Yet perhaps a modern allegory is the more appropriate one: by signing on to an endless cycle of tit-for-tat terror retaliation on 9/14, We the People's representatives chose the Israeli path. Here was a state forged by the sword that it's consequently lived by ever since, and may well die by – though the cause of death, no doubt, would likely be self-inflicted. The first statutory step towards Washington transforming into Tel Aviv was that AUMF sanction 19 years ago tonight.

No doubt, some militarist fantasies came far closer on the heels of the September 11th suicide strikes: According to notes taken by aides, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld waited a whole five hours after Flight 77 impacted his Pentagon to instruct subordinates to gather the "best info fast. Judge whether good enough to hit [Saddam Hussein] at same time Not only [Osama Bin Laden]." As for the responsive strike plans, "Go massive," the notes quote Rumsfeld as saying. "Sweep it all up. Things related and not."

Nonetheless, it was Congress' dutiful AUMF-acquiescence that made America's Israeli-metamorphosis official. The endgame that ain't even ended yet has been dreadful. It's almost impossible to fathom, in retrospect, but remember that as of September 14, 2001, 7,052 American troops and, very conservatively, at least 800,000 foreigners (335,000 of them civilians) hadn't yet – and need not have – died in the ensuing AUMF-sanctioned worldwide wars.

Now, US forces didn't directly kill all of them, but that's about 112 September 11ths-worth of dead civilians by the very lowest estimates – perishing in wars of (American) choice. That's worth reckoning with; and needn't imply a dismissive attitude to our 9/11 fallen. I, for one, certainly take that date rather seriously.

My 9/11s

There are more than a dozen t-shirts hanging in my closet right now that are each emblazoned with the phrase "Annual Marty Egan 5K Memorial Run/Walk." This event is held back in the old neighborhood, honoring a very close family friend – a New York City fire captain killed in the towers' collapse. As my Uncle Steve's best bud, he was in and out of my grandparents' seemingly communal Midland Beach, Staten Island bungalow – before Hurricane Sandy washed many of them away – throughout my childhood. When I was a teenager, just before leaving for West Point, Marty would tease me for being "too skinny for a soldier" in the local YMCA weight-room and broke-balls about my vague fear of heights as I shakily climbed a ladder in Steve's backyard just weeks before I left for cadet basic training. Always delivered with a smile, of course.

Marty was doing some in-service training on September 11th, and didn't have to head towards the flames, but he hopped on a passing truck and rode to his death anyway. I doubt anyone who knew him would've expected anything less. Mercifully, Marty's body was one of the first – and at the time, only – recovered , just two days after Congress chose war in his, and 2,976 others' name. He was found wearing borrowed gear from engine company he'd jumped in with.

I was a freshman cadet at West Point when I heard all of this news – left feeling so very distant from home, family, neighborhood, though I was just a 90 minute drive north. Frankly, I couldn't wait to get in the fights that followed. It's no excuse, really: but I was at that moment exactly 18 years and 41 days old. And indeed, I'd spend the next 18 training, prepping, and fighting the wars I then wanted – and, ( Apocalypse Now- style ) "for my sins" – "they gave me."

Anyway, Marty's family – and more so his memory – along with the general 9/11 fallout back home, have swirled in and out of my life ever since. In the immediate term, after the attacks my mother turned into a sort of wake&funeral-hopper, attending literally dozens over that first year. As soon as Marty had a headstone in Moravian Cemetery – where my Uncle Steve once dug graves – I draped a pair of my new dog tags over it on a weekend trip home. It was probably a silly and indulgent gesture, but it felt profound at the time. Then, soon enough, the local street signs started changing to honor fallen first responders – including the intersection outside my church, renamed "Martin J. Egan Jr. Corner." (Marty used to joke , after all, that he'd graduated from UCLA – that is, the University, corner of Lincoln Avenue, in the neighborhood.)

Five years later, while I was fighting a war in a country (Iraq) that had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks, Marty's mother Pat still worked at the post office from which my own mom shipped me countless care packages. They'd chat; have a few nostalgic laughs; then Pat would wish me well and pass on her regards. When some of my soldiers started getting killed, I remember my mother telling me it was sometimes hard to look Pat in the eye on the post office trips – perhaps she feared an impending kinship of lost sons. But it didn't go that way.

So, suffice it to say, I don't take the 9/11 attacks, or the victims, lightly. That doesn't mean the US responses, and their results, were felicitous or forgivable. They might even dishonor the dead. I don't pretend to precisely know, or speak for, the Egan family's feelings. Still, my own sense is that few among the lost or their loved ones left behind would've imagined or desired their deaths be used to justify all of the madness, futility, and liberties-suppression blowback that's ensued.

Nevertheless, my nineteen Septembers 11th have been experienced in oft-discomfiting ways, and my assessment of the annual commemorations, rather quickly began to change. By the tenth anniversary, a Reuters reporter spent a couple of days on the base I commanded in Afghanistan. At the time the outpost sported a flag gifted by my uncle, which had previously flown above a New York Fire Department house. I suppose headquarters sent the journalist my way because I was the only combat officer from New York City – but the brass got more than they'd bargained for. By then, amidst my second futile war "surge," and three more of the lives and several more of the limbs of my soldiers lost on this deployment, I wasn't feeling particularly sentimental. Besides, I'd already turned – ethically and intellectually – against what seemed to me demonstrably hopeless and counterproductive military exercises.

Much to the chagrin of my career-climbing lieutenant colonel, I waxed a bit (un)poetic on the war I was then fighting – "against farm boys with guns," I not-so-subtly styled it – and my hometown's late suffering that ostensibly justified it. "When I see this place, I don't see the towers," I said, sitting inside my sandbagged operations center near the Taliban's very birthplace in Kandahar province. Then added: "My family sees it more than I do. They see it dead-on, direct. I'm a professional soldier. It's not about writing the firehouse number on the bullet. I'm not one for gimmicks." It was coarse and a bit petulant, sure, but what I meant – what I felt – was that these wars, even this " good " Afghan one (per President Obama), no longer, and may never have, had much to do with 9/11, Marty, or all the other dead.

The global war on terrorism (GWOT, as it was once fashionable to say) was but a reflex for a sick society pre-disposed to violence, symptomatic of a militarist system led by a government absent other ideas or inclinations. Still, I flew that FDNY flag – even skeptical soldiers can be a paradoxical lot.

Origin Myths: Big Lies and Long Cons

Although the final approved AUMF declared that "such acts [as terrorism] continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States," that wasn't then, and isn't now, even true . The toppled towers, pummeled Pentagon, and flying suicide machines of 9/11 were no doubt an absolute horror; and such visions understandably clouded collective judgment. Still, more sober statistics demonstrate, and sensible strategy demands, the prudence of perspective.

From 1995 to 2016, a total of 3,277 Americans have been killed in terrorist acts on US soil. If we subtract the 9/11 anomaly, that's just 300 domestic deaths – or 14 per year. Which raises the impolite question: why don't policymakers talk about terrorism the same way they do shark attacks or lightning strikes? The latter, incidentally, kill an average of 49 Americans annually. Odd, then, that the US hasn't expended $6.4 trillion, or more than 15,000 soldier and contractor lives , responding to bolts from the blue. Nor has it kicked off or catalyzed global wars that have directly killed – by that conservative estimate – 335,000 civilians.

See, that's the thing: for Americans, like the Israelis, some lives matter more than others. We can just about calculate the macabre life-value ratios in each society. Take Israel's 2014 onslaught on the Gaza Strip. In its fifty-day onslaught of Operation Protective Edge, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) killed 2,131 Palestinians – of whom 1,473 were identified as civilians, including 501 children. As for the wildly inaccurate and desperate Hamas rocket strikes that the IDF "edge" ostensibly "protected" against: those killed a whopping four civilians. To review: apparently one Israeli non-combatant is worth 368 Palestinian versions. Now, seeing as everything – including death-dealing is "bigger in Texas" – consider the macro American application. To wit, 3,277 US civilians versus 335,000 foreign innocents equals a cool 102-to-1 quotient of the macabre.

Such formulas become banal realities when one believes the big lies undergirding the entire enterprise. Here, Israel and America share origin myths that frame the long con of forever wars. That is, that acts of terror with stateless origins are best responded to with reflexive and aggressive military force. In my first ever published article – timed for Independence Day 2014 – I argued that America's post-9/11 "original sin" was framing its response as a war in the first place. As a result, I – then a serving US Army captain – concluded, "In place of sound strategy, we've been handed our own set of martyrs: more than 6,500 dead soldiers, airmen, sailors, and marines." More than 500 American troopers have died since, along with who knows how many foreign civilians. It's staggering how rare such discussions remain in mainstream discourse.

Within that mainstream, often the conjoined Israeli-American twins even share the same cruelty cheerleaders. Take the man that author Belen Fernandez not inaccurately dubs "Harvard Law School's resident psychopath:" Alan Dershowitz. During Israel's brutal 2006 assault on Lebanon, this armchair-murderer took to the pages of the Wall Street Journal with a column titled " Arithmetic of Pain ."

Dershowitz argued for a collective "reassessment of the laws of war" in light of increasingly blurred distinctions between combatants and civilians. Thus, offering official "scholarly" sanction for the which-lives-matter calculus, he unveiled the concept of a "continuum of 'civilianality." Consider some of his cold and callous language:

Near the most civilian end of this continuum are the pure innocents – babies, hostages at the more combatant end are civilians who willingly harbor terrorists, provide material resources and serve as human shields; in the middle are those who support the terrorists politically, or spiritually.

Got that? Leaving aside Dershowitz's absurd assumption that there are loads of Palestinians just itching to volunteer as "human shields," it's clear that when conflicts are thus framed – all manner of cruelties become permissible.

In Israel, it begins with stated policies of internationally- prohibited collective punishment. For example, during the 2006 Lebanon War that killed exponentially more innocent Lebanese than Israelis, the IDF chief of staff's announced intent was to deliver "a clear message to both greater Beirut and Lebanon that they've swallowed a cancer [Hezbollah] and have to vomit it up, because if they don't their country will pay a very high price." It ends with Tel Aviv's imposition of an abusive calorie-calculus on Palestinians.

In 2008, Israeli authorities actually drew up a document computing the minimum caloric intake necessary for Gaza's residents to suffer (until they yield), but avoid outright starvation. Two years earlier, that wonderful wordsmith Dov Weisglass, senior advisor to then Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, explained that Israeli policy was designed "to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger."

Lest that sound beyond the pale for we Americans, recall that it was the first female secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, who ten years earlier said of 500,000 Iraqi children's deaths under crippling U.S. sanctions: "we think, the price is worth it." Furthermore, it's unclear how the Trump administration's current sanctions- clampdown on Syrians unlucky enough to live in President Bashar al Assad-controlled territory is altogether different from the "Palestinian diet."

After all, even one of the Middle East Institute's resident regime-change-enthusiasts, Charles Lister, recently admitted that America's criminally-euphemized "Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act" may induce a "famine." In other words, according to two humanitarian experts writing on the national security website War on the Rocks , "hurting the very civilians it aims to protect while largely failing to affect the Syrian government itself."

It is, and has long been, thus: Israeli prime ministers and American presidents, Bibi and The Donald, Tel Aviv and Washington – are peas in a punishing pod.

Emergencies as Existences

In both Israel and America, frightened populations finagled by their uber-hawkish governments acquiesce to militarized states of "emergencies" as a way of life. In seemingly no time at all, the latest U.S. threshold got so low that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo matter-of-factly declared one to override a congressional-freeze and permit the $8.1 billion sale of munitions to Gulf Arab militaries. When some frustrated lawmakers asked the State Department's inspector general to investigate, the resultant report found that the agency failed to limit [Yemeni] civilian deaths from the sales – most bombed by the Saudi's subsequent arsenal of largesse. (As for the inspector general himself? He was " bullied ," then fired, by Machiavelli Mike).

Per the standard, Israel is the more surface-overt partner. As the IDF-veteran author Haim Bresheeth-Zabner writes in his new book , An Army Like No Other: How the Israel Defense Forces Made a Nation , Israel is the "only country in which Emergency Regulations have been in force for every minute of its existence."

Perhaps more worryingly, such emergency existences boomerang back to militarized Minneapolis and Jerusalem streets alike. It's worth nothing that just five days after the killing of George Floyd, an Israeli police officer gunned down an unarmed, autistic, Palestinian man on his way to a school for the disabled. Even the 19-year-old killer's 21-year-old commander (instructive, that) admitted the cornered victim wasn't a threat. But here's the rub: when the scared and confused Palestinian man ran from approaching police at 6 a.m. , initial officers instinctually reported a potential "terrorist" on the loose.

Talk about global terror coming home to roost on local streets. And why not here in the States? It wasn't but two months back that President Trump labeled peaceful demonstrators in D.C., and nationwide protesters tearing down Confederate statues, as "terrorists." That's more than a tad troubling, since, as noted, almost anything is permissible against terrorists, thus tagged.

In other words, the Israeli-American, post-9/11 (or -9/14) militarized connections go beyond the cosmetic and past sloganeering. Then again, the latter can be instructive. In the wake of the latest Jerusalem police shooting, protesters in Israel's Occupied Territories held up placards declaring solidarity with Black Lives Matter (BLM). One read: "Palestinians support the black intifada." Yet the roots of shared systemic injustices run far deeper.

Though it remains impolitic to say so here in the US, both "BLM and the Palestinian rights movement are [by their own accounts] fighting settler-colonial states and structures of domination and supremacy that value, respectively, white and Jewish lives over black and Palestinian ones." They're hardly wrong. All-but-official apartheid reigns in Occupied Palestine, and a de-facto two-tier system favoring Jewish citizens, prevails within Israel itself. Similarly, the US grapples with chattel slavery's legacy, lingering effects institutional Jim Crow-apartheid, and its persistent system of gross, if unofficial, socio-economic racial disparity.

Though there are hopeful rumblings in post-Floyd America, neither society has much grappled with the immediacy and intransigency of their established and routine devaluation of (internal and external) Arab and African lives. Instead, in another gross similarity, Israelis and Americans prefer to laud any ruling elites who even pretend towards mildly reformist rhetoric (rather than action) as brave peacemakers.

In fact, two have won the Nobel Peace Prize. In America, there was the untested Obama: he the king of drones and free-press-suppression – whose main qualification for the award was not being named George W. Bush. In Israel, the prize went to late Prime Minister Shimon Peres. According to Bresheeth-Zabner, Peres was the "mind behind the military-industrial complex" in Israel, and also architect of the infamous 1996 massacre of 106 people sheltering at a United Nations compound in South Lebanon. In such societies as ours and Israel's, and amidst interminable wars, too often politeness passes for principle.

Military Mirrors

Predictably, social and cultural rot – and strategic delusions – first manifest in a nation's military. Neither Israel's nor America's has a particularly impressive record of late. The IDF won a few important wars in its first 25 years of existence, then came back from a near catastrophic defeat to prevail in the 1973 Yom Kippur War; but since then, it's at best muddled through near-permanent lower-intensity conflicts after invading Southern Lebanon in 1978. In fact, its 22-year continuous counter-guerilla campaign there – against Palestinian resistance groups and then Lebanese Hezbollah – slowly bled the IDF dry in a quagmire often called " Israel's Vietnam ." It was, in fact, proportionally more deadly for its troops than America's Southeast Asian debacle – and ended (in 2000) with an embarrassing unilateral withdrawal.

Additionally, Tel Aviv's perma-military-occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip hasn't just flagrantly violated International law and several UN resolutions – but blown up in the IDF's face. Ever since vast numbers of exasperated and largely abandoned (by Arab armies) Palestinians rose up in the 1987 Intifada – initially peaceful protests – and largely due to the IDF's counterproductively vicious suppression, Israel has been trapped in endless imperial policing and low-to-mid-level counterinsurgency.

None of its major named military operations in the West Bank and/or Gaza Strip – Operations Defensive Shield (2002), Days of Penitence (2004), Summer Rains (2006), Cast Lead (2008-09), Pillar of Defense (2012), Protective Edge (2014), among others – has defeated or removed Hamas, nor have they halted the launch of inaccurate but persistent Katyusha rockets.

In fact, the wildly disproportionate toll on Palestinian civilians in each and every operation, and the intransigence of Israel's ironclad occupation has only earned Tel Aviv increased international condemnation and fresh generations of resistors to combat. The IDF counts minor tactical successes and suffers broader strategic failure. As even a fairly sympathetic Rand report on the Gaza operations noted, "Israel's grand strategy became 'mowing the grass' – accepting its inability to permanently solve the problem and instead repeatedly targeting leadership of Palestinian militant organizations to keep violence manageable."

The American experience has grown increasingly similar over the last three-quarters of a century. Unless one counts modern trumped-up Banana Wars like those in Grenada (1983) and Panama (1989), or the lopsided 100-hour First Persian Gulf ground campaign (1991), the US military, too, hasn't won a meaningful victory since 1945. Korea (1950-53) was a grinding and costly draw; Vietnam (1965-72) a quixotic quagmire; Lebanon (1982-84) an unnecessary and muddled mess ; Somalia (1992-94) a mission-creeping fiasco; Bosnia/Kosovo (1992-) an over-hyped and unsatisfying diversion. Yet matters deteriorated considerably, and the Israeli-parallels grew considerably, after Congress chose endless war on September 14, 2001.

America's longest ever war, in Afghanistan, started as a seeming slam dunk but has turned out to be an intractable operational defeat. That lost cause has been a dead war walking for over a decade. Operations Iraqi Freedom (2003-11) and Inherent Resolve (2014-) may prove, respectively, America's most counterproductive and aimless missions ever. Operation Odyssey Dawn, the 2011 air campaign in pursuit of Libyan regime change, was a debacle – the entire region still grapples with its detritus of jihadi profusion, refugee dispersion, and ongoing proxy war.

US support for the Saudi-led terror war on Yemen hasn't made an iota of strategic sense, but has left America criminally complicit in immense civilian-suffering. Despite the hype, the relatively young US Africa Command (AFRICOM) was never really "about Africans," and its dozen years worth of far-flung campaigns have only further militarized a long-suffering continent and generated more terrorists. Like Israel's post-1973 operations, America's post-2001 combat missions have simply been needless, hopeless, and counterproductive.

Consider a few other regrettable U.S.-Israeli military connections over these last two decades:

The wear and tear from the South Lebanon occupation and from decades of beating up on downtrodden and trapped Palestinians damaged Israel's vaunted military. According to an after-action review, these operations"weakened the IDF's operational capabilities." Thus, when Israel's nose was more than a bit bloodied in the 2006 war with Hezbollah, IDF analysts and retired officers were quick – and not exactly incorrect – to blame the decaying effect of endless low-intensity warfare.

At the time, two general staff members, Major Generals Yishai Bar and Yiftach Ron-Tal, "warned that as a result of the preoccupation with missions in the territories, the IDF had lost its maneuverability and capability to fight in mountainous terrain." Van Creveld added that: "Among the commanders, the great majority can barely remember when they trained for and engaged in anything more dangerous than police-type operations."

Similar voices have sounded the alarm about the post-9/11 American military. Perhaps the loudest has been my fellow West Point History faculty alum, retired Colonel Gian Gentile. This former tank battalion commander and Iraq War vet described "America's deadly embrace of counterinsurgency" as a Wrong Turn . Specifically, he's argued that "counterinsurgency has perverted [the way of] American war," pushed the "defense establishment into fanciful thinking," and thus "atrophying [its] core fighting competencies."

Instructively, Gentile cited "The Israeli Defense Forces' recent [2006] experience in Lebanon There were many reasons for its failure, but one of them, is that its army had done almost nothing but [counterinsurgency] in the Palestinian territories, and its ability to fight against a strident enemy had atrophied." Maybe more salient was Gentile's other rejoinder that, historically, "nation-building operations conducted at gunpoint don't turn out well" and tend to be as (or more) bloody and brutal as other wars.

Fast forward a decade, and B?n Tre's ghost was born again in the matter-of-fact admission of the IDF's then chief of staff, General Mordecai Gur. Asked if, during its 1978 invasion of South Lebanon, Israel had bombed civilians "without discrimination," he fired back : "Since when has the population of South Lebanon been so sacred? They know very well what the terrorists were doing. . . . I had four villages in South Lebanon bombarded without discrimination." When pressed to confirm that he believed "the civilian population should be punished," Gur's retort was "And how!" Should it surprise us then, that 33 years later the concept was rebooted to flatten presumably (though this has been contested) booby-trapped villages in my old stomping grounds of Kandahar, Afghanistan?

In sum, Israel and America are senseless strategy-simpatico. It's a demonstrably disastrous two-way relationship. Our main exports have been guns – $142.3 billion worth since 1949 (significantly more than any other recipient) – and twin umbrellas of air defense and bottomless diplomatic top-cover for Israel's abuses. As to the top-cover export, it's not for nothing that after the U.S. House rubber-stamped – by a vote of 410-8 – a 2006 resolution (written by the Israel Lobby) justifying IDF attacks on Lebanese civilians, the "maverick" Republican Patrick Buchanan labeled the legislative body as " our Knesset ."

Naturally, Tel Aviv responds in kind by shipping America a how-to-guide for societal militarization, a built-in foreign policy script to their benefit, and the unending ire of most people in the Greater Middle East. It's a timeless and treasured trade – but it benefits neither party in the long run.

"Armies With Countries"

It was once said that Frederick the Great's 18th century Prussia, was "not a country with an army, but an army with a country." Israel has long been thus. It's probably still truer of them than us. The Israelis do, after all, have an immersive system of military conscription – whereas Americans leave the fighting, killing, and dying to a microscopic and unrepresentative Praetorian Guard of professionals. Nevertheless, since 9/11 – or, more accurately, 9/14/2001 – US politics, society, and culture have wildly militarized. To say the least, the outcomes have been unsatisfying: American troops haven't "won" a significant war 75 years. Now, the US has set appearances aside once and for all and " jumped the shark " towards the gimmick of full-throated imperialism.

There are, of course, real differences in scale and substance between America and Israel. The latter is the size of Massachusetts, with the population of New York City. Its "Defense Force" requires most of its of-age population to wage its offensive wars and perennial policing of illegally occupied Palestinians. Israeli society is more plainly " prussianized ." Yet in broader and bigger – if less blatant – ways, so is the post-AUMF United States. America-the-exceptional leads the world in legalized gunrunning and overseas military basing . Rather than the globe's self-styled " Arsenal of Democracy ," the US has become little more than the arsenal of arsenals. So, given the sway of the behemoth military-industrial-complex and recent Israelification of its political culture, perhaps it's more accurate to say America is a defense industry with a country – and not the other way around.

As for 17 year-old me, I didn't think I'd signed up for the Israeli Defense Force on that sunny West Point morning of July 2, 2001. And, for the first two months and 12 days of my military career – maybe I hadn't. I sure did serve in its farcical facsimile, though: fighting its wars for an ensuing 17 more years.

Yet everyone who entered the US military after September 14, 2001 signed up for just that. Which is a true tragedy.

This originally appeared at Popular Resistance .

Danny Sjursen is a retired US Army officer and contributing editor at Antiwar.com His work has appeared in the NY Times, LA Times, The Nation, Huff Post, The Hill, Salon, Popular Resistance, and Tom Dispatch, among other publications. He served combat tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan and later taught history at his alma mater, West Point. He is the author of a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War, Ghostriders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge . His forthcoming book, Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War is now available for pre-order . Sjursen was recently selected as a 2019-20 Lannan Foundation Cultural Freedom Fellow . Follow him on Twitter @SkepticalVet . Visit his professional website for contact info, to schedule speeches or media appearances, and access to his past work.

Copyright 2020 Danny Sjursen

[Sep 18, 2020] Middle East Peace and Trump's New Art of the Deal by Larry Johnson - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Notable quotes:
"... He thinks the Palestinians will accept permanent helot status? Maybe so... But is that something we should relish? ..."
"... And what of Syria? What of Syria? Evidently Trump considered murdering President Assad two years ago. Is he going to abandon regime change now? is he going to abandon the policy of Pompeo and Jeffries? ..."
"... My guess is that the acceptability for Helot status of Palestinians will depend on how much worse it is compared to the status of Palestinian equivalents elsewhere. Syria and Lebanon certainly look far less attractive. ..."
"... Also, from my admittedly limited experience, Palestinians aren't exactly homogenous, Gaza =! West Bank. ..."
"... If the Israelis are smart (and I think they are), they will continue to exploit Palestinian disunity by not having one helot status but several, with privileges to repress and boss around the lesser helots (perhaps even some less desirable Israelis) awarded to the higher helots. ..."
"... The neocons have been firmly ensconced in ME policy since Reagan. At least Trump made a little bit of lemonade. Nothing earth shattering IMO but moved the ball forward 10 yds and away from own goals under the so-called experts & strategists of the past decades. ..."
"... Support for Israel and its maximalist dreams has always been bipartisan. ..."
"... The colonel has a much more realistic take on this: the intention is to co-opt the Arab states into forcing the Palestinians to accept permanent helot status. Not quite slaves but closes to it. ..."
"... There would be many ways to describe that, but I suspect "peace plan" would rank amongst the less accurate ones. ..."
"... I also remember when the Trump admin killed the Gen. Suleimani late last year the same people also touted it a national security success. This is shameful pattern. ..."
"... Just because Jared Kushner, Berkowitz (Kushner's mini-me), David Friedman and the Zionist anti-American paid shills of Christians United For Israel et.al put Israel's interest first does not make it a success for American interests abroad. Trump does not know two things about the ME. He just obeys orders from this outside 'advisors' when it comes to ME policy. ..."
"... When I read that " If you look at relatively successful integration/assimilations in history, jointly overcoming something that was threatening to both typically ranked pretty highly as a cause." I think that The Islamic Republic of Iran is what is being offered or used as that cause. ..."
"... But if the present and future Israelis believe this means that the total advantage is totally theirs to press, then present and future Palestinians will continue searching for ways to make their unhappiness felt. But that outcome would not be Trump's fault. That outcome would be the majority-likudnic Israelis' choice. ..."
"... the problem with "outside in" strategy is that implies that if conditions are bad enough for the Palestinians, they will agree to any deal Trump can force down their throats. Instead, Palestinians have been offered terrible deals since 2000 (ie., a state that is never going to be a real state with permanent Israeli control over its borders, air space, and water tables ..."
"... The smarter plan is to acknowledge that the Zionists killed the Two-State Solution, and Palestinians might as well push this into an anti-Apartheid struggle. ..."
Sep 18, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

turcopolier , 16 September 2020 at 08:52 AM

All

It is clear that the heat has gone away in the fabled "Arab Street" over the issue of Israel. If that were not so, the rulers would not have dared to do this. That being so ... It will be very interesting to see how many people from these two countries go to Israel to visit holy sites like the al-Aqsa Mosque. There have not been many religious tourists from Egypt and Jordan. This is what the Israelis call pilgrims. Trump thinks that he can bring Saudi Arabia into such a deal? Good! Let's see it. He thinks that Iran can be brought into such a deal? Wonderful! Let's see it.

He thinks the Palestinians will accept permanent helot status? Maybe so... But is that something we should relish?

And what of Syria? What of Syria? Evidently Trump considered murdering President Assad two years ago. Is he going to abandon regime change now? is he going to abandon the policy of Pompeo and Jeffries?

I suggest that security should be very tight on airline flights from Bahrein and the UAE.

eakens , 16 September 2020 at 10:03 AM

I suspect this has less to do with peace and more to do with lining up a coalition against Iran. He's signing peace deals at the white house the same day he not only threatens Iran for a make believe assassination plot against our South African Ambassador, but admits he wanted to assassinate Assad.

He's making a big mistake though if he thinks Iranians will behave and respond similarly to the Arabs, and they are certainly not North Koreans.

He's being frog marched into a war with Iran while his ego is being stroked under the guise of a Nobel peace prize.

nbsp; tjfxh , 16 September 2020 at 11:17 AM

What say about Alastair Crooke's "Maintaining Pretence Over Reality: 'Simply Put, the Iranians Outfoxed the U.S. Defence Systems'" at Strategic Culture Foundation?

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/09/14/maintaining-pretence-over-reality-simply-put-iranians-outfoxed-us-defence-systems/

A.I.S. , 16 September 2020 at 11:49 AM

@ turcopolier:

Excellent questions.

My guess is that the acceptability for Helot status of Palestinians will depend on how much worse it is compared to the status of Palestinian equivalents elsewhere. Syria and Lebanon certainly look far less attractive. The other issue is the degree with which Arab elites can "reroute" Anti Israeli into Anti Iranian sentiments on the Arab street.

Also, from my admittedly limited experience, Palestinians aren't exactly homogenous, Gaza =! West Bank.

If the Israelis are smart (and I think they are), they will continue to exploit Palestinian disunity by not having one helot status but several, with privileges to repress and boss around the lesser helots (perhaps even some less desirable Israelis) awarded to the higher helots.

I think this will be fairly hard though. Various Historical, religion and cultural issues specific to the situation make it quite hard for Arabs to actually assimilate into Israeli society. There is also a lack of a unifying foe to unite against. If you look at relatively successful integration/assimilations in history, jointly overcoming something that was threatening to both typically ranked pretty highly as a cause.

Leith , 16 September 2020 at 12:01 PM

"I suggest that security should be very tight on airline flights from Bahrein and the UAE."

Bingo! I won't be flying on Gulf Air or FlyDubai.

Jack , 16 September 2020 at 02:12 PM

The neocons have been firmly ensconced in ME policy since Reagan. At least Trump made a little bit of lemonade. Nothing earth shattering IMO but moved the ball forward 10 yds and away from own goals under the so-called experts & strategists of the past decades.

The TDS afflicted media couldn't bear that some lemonade was made. Wolf Blitzer interviewing Jared Kushner was all about pandemic nothing about the implications or process to having couple gulf sheikhs recognize Israel. The fact is that these gulf sheikhs only paid lip service to the plight of the Palestinians in any case. This formalizes what was reality. The "Arab Street" have always been a manifestation of whatever were powerful manipulations. The manipulators have been coopted in the current lemonade making. In any case Bibi must be very pleased. He didn't have to give up anything in his difficult domestic political predicament.

Jack , 16 September 2020 at 02:44 PM

https://twitter.com/partynxs/status/1306015487273377792?s=21

Support for Israel and its maximalist dreams has always been bipartisan.

Serge , 16 September 2020 at 05:18 PM

The arabs simply do not care anymore, from Morocco to Oman. Their spirit totally broken by the "Arab spring", youth disillusioned and jobless. The only dream left for most is to ape the western lifestyle. The others are fighting in wars.

I can see one of two futures, a Clean Break: Securing the Realm-style one in which all of the arabs live life as helots under the thumb of a Greater Israel. This would bring relative economic prosperity to most of the helots.

Yeah, Right , 16 September 2020 at 06:03 PM

I think I see the flaw in this article: ..."If that turns out to be the case and this maneuver succeeds in ultimately bringing about a two state solution for Israel and the Palestinians,"...

Surely you don't believe that these maneuvers are intended to bring about a Palestinian state?

The colonel has a much more realistic take on this: the intention is to co-opt the Arab states into forcing the Palestinians to accept permanent helot status. Not quite slaves but closes to it.

There would be many ways to describe that, but I suspect "peace plan" would rank amongst the less accurate ones.

Polish Janitor , 16 September 2020 at 06:14 PM

One running theme that I have been seeing from the former so-called neocon critics and ME wars opponents (Michael Scheuer comes to mind) is their uncontrollable exhilaration for any terrible so-called F.P. 'success' that the Trump admin achieves in the ME.

I also remember when the Trump admin killed the Gen. Suleimani late last year the same people also touted it a national security success. This is shameful pattern.

Just because Jared Kushner, Berkowitz (Kushner's mini-me), David Friedman and the Zionist anti-American paid shills of Christians United For Israel et.al put Israel's interest first does not make it a success for American interests abroad. Trump does not know two things about the ME. He just obeys orders from this outside 'advisors' when it comes to ME policy.

It it exactly what it is. Israel normalized relations with the most notorious dictatorships and wants to implement Pegasus spying program and wide-scale surveillance (among other nefarious things) in UAE and Bahrain. How is that a success for America? America should stay out of these Israeli-first trouble making schemes and stay neutral or out of there.

Let me tell you what a F.P. success is, OK? It would have been a huge success if America was able to lure Iran into its orbit to fend of the Chinese communists out of the region and out of our lives and have a stronger alliance with regards to its upcoming Cold War with China.

It would have been successful for America to balance China out with Iran, India, Turkey and Afghanistan, and not let China to invest billions in Haifa port (close to U.S. military forces there) a major hub of its Belt and Road initiative and a huge blow to U.S. new Cold war effort against China.

Think about it.

Allow me to raise a few points: first of all , every single one of these brutal backward Arab dictatorships has had low key but crucial relations with Israel since the Cold War and they just made it open, Big deal! Second, this joyfulness for a hostile anti-american country is quite sad for two reasons:

1. that Larry touts it as a success for America, which is anything but a success for America. It is a success for Bibi and Trump's evangelical/zionist sugar daddies to cough up some Benjamins for Trump's campaign and his GOP/Likudniks. I guess nowadays our judgement is so clouded and inverted that MAGA and MIGA are considered inseparable.

2. The delusion that dems are bitterly angry and anti-Israel (because they are anti-Trump) and therefore it automatically becomes an issue of partisan support for Trump and whatever he does. This idea is so absurd that I won't get into it. Dems were the first to congratulate Israel.

I would like Larry to tell me what he thinks of H.R. 1697 Israel Anti-Boycot Act which punishes American citizens for practicing their god-given 2nd Amendment rights. or the 3.8 billion of aid, or the the gifting of Golan heights to Bibi? Are these big foreign policy success too?

What the Arab-Israeli normalization means:

*The U.S. wants out of the ME to focus on China, a wet dream that Israel favors especially post Cold War. It does not want secular, (semi) democratic sovereign states around it, and if anyone pays attention close enough they do whatever they can to prevent any kind of political reform and change of government to occur among Arab nations. Israelis are staunch supporters of Saudi, Bahraini, UAE, Jordanian, and Egyptian dictatorships in the MENA region.

Israel will now be better positioned to roll-back any kind of grassroots reform in the ME with the help of their now openly pro-Israeli Arab rulers by directing policies to these backward rulers to divest from human development and political reform and instead invest more in security, tech, surveillance.

This trend also explains Israeli constant opposition to the Iran Deal, which would have had further ramifications for political reform and accelerated weakening of Hardliners in Tehran and a better position for America to pivot to China with the help of a moderated Iran. Israel does not want a powerful democratic nation near its borders, and especially not in Iran. Just take a look at Israel's neighbors and tell me how many of them are democratic and friendly with Israel and how does Israel behave when there are secular Arab democratic states around it?

John Merryman , 16 September 2020 at 10:17 PM

In the end, it's all just tribal superstition. Logically a spiritual absolute would be the essence of sentience, from which we rise, not an ideal of wisdom and judgement, from which we fell. The fact we are aware, than the myriad details of which we are aware.

One of the reasons we can't have a live and let live world is because everyone thinks their own vision should be universal, rather than unique. So the fundamentalists rule.

The reason nature is so diverse and dense is because it isn't a monoculture. Irrespective of our technology, we are still fairly primitive, in the grand scheme of things.

different clue , 17 September 2020 at 02:42 AM

A.I.S.,

When I read that " If you look at relatively successful integration/assimilations in history, jointly overcoming something that was threatening to both typically ranked pretty highly as a cause." I think that The Islamic Republic of Iran is what is being offered or used as that cause.

If this all ends up in the longest run leading to today's and tomorrow's Israelis accepting the lesser Israel that Rabin ended up deciding would be necessary for a lesser-but-still-real Palestine to emerge as a real country resigned with both resigned enough to that outcome that they would tolerate eachother's separate independence over the long term, then this will go somewhere good.

But if the present and future Israelis believe this means that the total advantage is totally theirs to press, then present and future Palestinians will continue searching for ways to make their unhappiness felt. But that outcome would not be Trump's fault. That outcome would be the majority-likudnic Israelis' choice.

Mathias Alexander , 17 September 2020 at 04:53 AM

To have a two state solution Israel will have to leave enough of Palestine without Jewish settlement for there to be room for another state. Their actions show that they have no intention of doing that.

Matthew , 17 September 2020 at 09:26 AM

Larry: the problem with "outside in" strategy is that implies that if conditions are bad enough for the Palestinians, they will agree to any deal Trump can force down their throats. Instead, Palestinians have been offered terrible deals since 2000 (ie., a state that is never going to be a real state with permanent Israeli control over its borders, air space, and water tables)

The smarter plan is to acknowledge that the Zionists killed the Two-State Solution, and Palestinians might as well push this into an anti-Apartheid struggle. The gerontocracy that rules the PA will soon pass away. The younger generation of Palestinians are much more sophisticated.

As a trial lawyer, I see this type of behavior all the time. If you offer someone essentially nothing, they lose nothing by rejecting it. The Arab dictators will not be around forever. And before Camp David, the Palestinians have suffered far worse than they are suffering now.

BABAK MAKKINEJAD , 17 September 2020 at 09:55 AM

Matthew:

For any kind of Peace in Palestine, Jerusalem must revert back to Muslim Sovereignty.

It is all about who calls the shots there; just as it was 800 years ago.

Artemesia , 17 September 2020 at 10:35 AM

Matthew: Your description of Trump's strategy is no different from Vladimir Jabotinsky's 1923 Iron Wall doctrine
http://www.marxists.de/middleast/ironwall/ironwall.htm
and
https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/quot-the-iron-wall-quot

In short: "We Jews know that Arabs (Palestinians) will never, ever voluntarily give up hope of resisting Jewish demands, and Jews will never stop with Jewish demands: that all of Palestine become Jewish.
Since 'voluntary' will not work, only force -- an Iron Wall -- will suffice.
Jabotinsky defines "Iron Wall" as the enforcement capacity of an outside power:

"we cannot promise anything to the Arabs of the Land of Israel or the Arab countries. Their voluntary agreement is out of the question. Hence those who hold that an agreement with the natives is an essential condition for Zionism can now say "no" and depart from Zionism. Zionist colonization, even the most restricted, must either be terminated or carried out in defiance of the will of the native population. This colonization can, therefore, continue and develop only under the protection of a force independent of the local population – an iron wall which the native population cannot break through. This is, in toto, our policy towards the Arabs. To formulate it any other way would only be hypocrisy.

Not only must this be so, it is so whether we admit it or not. What does the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate mean for us? It is the fact that a disinterested power committed itself to create such security conditions that the local population would be deterred from interfering with our efforts."

Be aware that Benjamin Netanyahu's father, Benzion, was Jabotinsky's administrative assistant, then replacement, in New York; that Bibi is very much heir to the ideological fervor of Jabotinsky & of Benzion; and that Benzion and Benjamin laid out the blueprint for the GWOT at the Jerusalem Conference July 4, 1979
https://www.amazon.com/International-Terrorism-Challenge-Benjamin-Netanyahu/dp/0878558942

Trump plays only a walk-on role in this carefully scripted 150 year old zionist drama.

turcopolier , 17 September 2020 at 10:58 AM

Babak

To "Muslim Sovereignty?" No. It should be an international city.

turcopolier , 17 September 2020 at 11:30 AM

james

"there isn't a lot of difference between KSA and these fiefdoms of uae and bahrain.." A total crock. you obviously have never been to either of these places.

BABAK MAKKINEJAD , 17 September 2020 at 11:46 AM

Col. Lang:

Who or what Legitimate Authority would administer such an International City?

None has ever existed.

Artemesia , 17 September 2020 at 12:00 PM

Jews can have Jerusalem if they return Washington, DC to full USA sovereignty.

[Sep 18, 2020] Exposing war crimes should always be legal. Committing and hiding them should not by Caitlin Johnstone

Sep 18, 2020 | www.rt.com

By Caitlin Johnstone , an independent journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Her website is here and you can follow her on Twitter @caitoz ...Amid all the pedantic squabbling over when it is and is not legal under US law for a journalist to expose evidence of US war crimes, we must never lose sight of the fact that (A) it should always be legal to expose war crimes, (B) it should always be illegal for governments to hide evidence of their war crimes, (C) war crimes should always be punished, (D) people who start criminal wars should always be punished, (E) governments should not be permitted to have a level of secrecy that allows them to start criminal wars, and (F) power and secrecy should always have an inverse relationship to one another.

The Assange case needs to be fought tooth and claw, but we must keep in mind that it is so very, very many clicks back from where we need to be as a civilization. In an ideal situation, governments should be too afraid of the public to keep secrets from them; instead, here we are begging the most powerful government in the world to please not imprison a journalist because he arguably did not break the rules that that government made for itself.

Do you see how far that point is from where we need to be?

It's important to remember this. It's important to remember that the amount of evil deeds power structures will commit is directly proportional to the amount of information they are permitted to hide from the public. We will not have a healthy world until power and secrecy have an inverse relationship to each other: privacy for rank-and-file individuals, and transparency for governments and their officials.

"But what about military secrets?" one might object. Yes, what about military secrets? What about the fact that virtually all military violence perpetrated by the world's largest power structures is initiated based on lies ? What about the utterly indisputable fact that the more secrecy we allow the war machine, the more wars it deceives the public into allowing it to initiate?

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=RT_com&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1028347374765318144&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rt.com%2Fop-ed%2F501031-caitlin-johnstone-exposing-war-crimes%2F&siteScreenName=RT_com&theme=light&widgetsVersion=219d021%3A1598982042171&width=550px

In a healthy world, the most powerful government on Earth wouldn't be trying to squint at its own laws in such a way that permits the prosecution of a journalist for telling the truth.

In a healthy world, the most powerful government on Earth wouldn't prosecute anyone for telling the truth at all.

In a healthy world, governments would prosecute their own war crimes, instead of those who expose them.

In a healthy world, governments wouldn't commit war crimes at all.

In a healthy world, governments wouldn't start wars at all.

In a healthy world, governments would see truth as something to be desired and actively sought, not something to be repressed and punished.

In a healthy world, governments wouldn't keep secrets from the public, and wouldn't have any cause to want to.

In a healthy world, if governments existed at all, they would exist solely as tools for the people to serve themselves, with full transparency and accountability to those people.

We are obviously a very, very far cry from the kind of healthy world we would all like to one day find ourselves in. But we should always keep in mind what a healthy world will look like, and hold it as our true north for the direction that we are pushing in.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

By Caitlin Johnstone , an independent journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Her website is here and you can follow her on Twitter @caitoz

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


Reality007 3 hours ago 18 Sep, 2020 10:07 AM

Unfortunately, no criminals that have committed or covered up war crimes, decades ago to present, will ever be indicted. They are all above the law while all innocents that revealed the truths must pay highly. We can only pray and hope for the best for Julian Assange.
Fred Dozer Reality007 1 hour ago 18 Sep, 2020 12:16 PM
I see nothing wrong with robbing banks in criminal controlled countries. These governments, murder, cheat, lie, & steal.
T. Agee Kaye 2 hours ago 18 Sep, 2020 11:10 AM
The right of a people to know what their government is doing, and the potential consequences of those actions on the people, nation, and society, is inalienable. The exposure of war crimes and any corruption is not illegal and cannot be made illegal. The trial of Assange is not about the legality of Assange's actions. It is a display of the influence that criminal interests have over the government and judiciary. It is an attempt to create legitimacy by creating precedent. Murder has plenty of precedent. It will never be legitimate.
Jewel Gyn 3 hours ago 18 Sep, 2020 10:21 AM
Agreed but having said that, we are not living in a perfect world. Bully with big fists exist and the lesser countries just stood by frustrated and sucking their thumbs, silent lest they be targeted for voicing out. And you can see clearly why US is walking away from any form of organised voice eg UN.
Odinsson 2 hours ago 18 Sep, 2020 10:51 AM
What we need in the case of Julian Assange is factual reporting. While the motivation to prosecute Assange is most likely political, there would be no ability to prosecute him were it not for his active support of PFC Manning's hacking of a DOD information system. It is not unlawful to publish classified information which was provided to you, so long as you are not involved in the criminal acts leading to the exfiltration of the data. Had Assange not aided PFC Manning by looking up hash codes in spreadsheets of known password to hash code translations then the grand jury would not have indicted him. FWIW, it is my opinion that the statute of limitations expired long ago and this should be grounds for dismissal of all charges against him.
jholf 1 hour ago 18 Sep, 2020 12:04 PM
These world leaders, claim to be Christians, ... their God 'commands', "Thou shalt not kill." Yet, for more than 6 decades, that is exactly what each of these Christian Commanders in Chief, have done for no reason, other than to fill the pockets of the elite. A man is known by his deeds, Assange gave us truth, while these world leaders gave us war and destructi

[Sep 17, 2020] Military desperados and Mattis "military messiah syndrome" by Scott Ritter

Highly recommended!
I always assumed that Trump was the candidate of MIC in 2016 elections, while Hillary was the candidate of "Intelligence community." But it looks like US military is infected with desperados like Mattis and Trump was unable fully please them despite all his efforts.
But it looks like US military is infected with desperados like Mattis and Trump was unable fully please them despite all his efforts. Military desperados are not interested in how many American they deprived of decent standard of living due to outside military expenses. All they want is to dominate the word and maintain the "Full Spectrum Dominance" whatever it costs.
Sep 16, 2020 | www.rt.com

... ... ...

It is Trump's tortured relationship with the military that stands out the most, especially as told through the eyes of former Secretary of Defense Jim 'Mad Dog' Mattis, a retired marine general. It is clear that Bob Woodward spent hours speaking with Mattis -- the insights, emotions and internal voice captured in the book show a level of intimacy that could only be reached through in-depth interviews, and Woodward has a well-earned reputation for getting people to speak to him.

The book makes it clear that Mattis viewed Trump as a threat to the US' standing as the defender of a rules-based order -- built on the back of decades-old alliances -- that had been in place since the end of the Second World War.

It also makes it clear that Mattis and the military officers he oversaw placed defending this order above implementing the will of the American people, as expressed through the free and fair election that elevated Donald Trump to the position of commander-in-chief. In short, Mattis and his coterie of generals knew best, and when the president dared issue an order or instruction that conflicted with their vision of how the world should work, they would do their best to undermine this order, all the while confirming to the president that it was being followed.

This trend was on display in Woodward's telling of Trump's efforts to forge better relations with North Korea. At every turn, Mattis and his military commanders sought to isolate the president from the reality on the ground, briefing him only on what they thought he needed to know, and keeping him in the dark about what was really going on.

In a telling passage, Woodward takes us into the mind of Jim Mattis as he contemplates the horrors of a nuclear war with North Korea, and the responsibility he believed he shouldered when it came to making the hard decision as to whether nuclear weapons should be used or not. Constitutionally, the decision was the president's alone to make, something Mattis begrudgingly acknowledges. But in Mattis' world, he, as secretary of defense, would be the one who influenced that decision.

Mattis, along with the other general officers described by Woodward, is clearly gripped with what can only be described as the 'Military Messiah Syndrome'.

What defines this 'syndrome' is perhaps best captured in the words of Emma Sky, the female peace activist-turned adviser to General Ray Odierno, the one-time commander of US forces in Iraq. In a frank give-and-take captured by Ms. Sky in her book 'The Unravelling', Odierno spoke of the value he placed on the military's willingness to defend "freedom" anywhere in the world. " There is, " he said, " no one who understands more the importance of liberty and freedom in all its forms than those who travel the world to defend it ."

Ms. Sky responded in typically direct fashion: " One day, I will have you admit that the [Iraq] war was a bad idea, that the administration was led by a radical neocon program, that the US's standing in the world has gone down greatly, and that we are far less safe than we were before 9/11. "

Odierno would have nothing of it. " It will never happen while I'm the commander of soldiers in Iraq ."

" To lead soldiers in battle ," Ms. Sky noted, " a commander had to believe in the cause. " Left unsaid was the obvious: even if the cause was morally and intellectually unsound.

his, more than anything, is the most dangerous thing about the 'Military Messiah Syndrome' as captured by Bob Woodward -- the fact that the military is trapped in an inherited reality divorced from the present, driven by precepts which have nothing to with what is, but rather by what the military commanders believe should be. The unyielding notion that the US military is a force for good becomes little more than meaningless drivel when juxtaposed with the reality that the mission being executed is inherently wrong.

The 'Military Messiah Syndrome' lends itself to dishonesty and, worse, to self-delusion. It is one thing to lie; it is another altogether to believe the lie as truth.

No single general had the courage to tell Trump allegations against Syria were a hoax

The cruise missile attack on Syria in early April 2017 stands out as a case in point. The attack was ordered in response to allegations that Syria had dropped a bomb containing the sarin nerve agent on a town -- Khan Shaykhun -- that was controlled by Al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic militants.

Trump was led to believe that the 59 cruise missiles launched against Shayrat Airbase -- where the Su-22 aircraft alleged to have dropped the bombs were based -- destroyed Syria's capability to carry out a similar attack in the future. When shown post-strike imagery in which the runways were clearly untouched, Trump was outraged, lashing out at Secretary of Defense Mattis in a conference call. " I can't believe you didn't destroy the runway !", Woodward reports the president shouting.

" Mr. President ," Mattis responds in the text, " they would rebuild the runway in 24 hours, and it would have little effect on their ability to deploy weapons. We destroyed the capability to deploy weapons " for months, Mattis said.

" That was the mission the president had approved, " Woodward writes, clearly channeling Mattis, " and they had succeeded ."

The problem with this passage is that it is a lie. There is no doubt that Bob Woodward has the audio tape of Jim Mattis saying these things. But none of it is true. Mattis knew it when he spoke to Woodward, and Woodward knew it when he wrote the book.

There was no confirmed use of chemical weapons by Syria at Khan Shaykhun. Indeed, the forensic evidence available about the attack points to the incident being a false flag effort -- a successful one, it turns out -- on the part of the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamists to provoke a US military strike against Syria. No targets related to either the production, storage or handling of chemical weapons were hit by the US cruise missiles, if for no other reason than no such targets could exist if Syria did not possess and/or use a chemical weapon against Khan Shaykhun.

Moreover, the US failed to produce a narrative of causality which provided some underlying logic to the targets that were struck at Khan Shaykhun -- "Here is where the chemical weapons were stored, here is where the chemical weapons were filled, here is where the chemical weapons were loaded onto the aircraft." Instead, 59 cruise missiles struck empty aircraft hangars, destroying derelict aircraft, and killing at least four Syrian soldiers and up to nine civilians.

The next morning, the same Su-22 aircraft that were alleged to have bombed Khan Shaykhun were once again taking off from Shayrat Air Base -- less than 24 hours after the US cruise missiles struck that facility. President Trump had every reason to be outraged by the results.

But the President should have been outraged by the processes behind the attack, where military commanders, fully afflicted by 'Military Messiah Syndrome', offered up solutions that solved nothing for problems that did not exist. Not a single general (or admiral) had the courage to tell the president that the allegations against Syria were a hoax, and that a military response was not only not needed, but would be singularly counterproductive.

But that's not how generals and admirals -- or colonels and lieutenant colonels -- are wired. That kind of introspective honesty cannot happen while they are in command.

Bob Woodward knows this truth, but he chose not to give it a voice in his book, because to do so would disrupt the pre-scripted narrative that he had constructed, around which he bent and twisted the words of those he interviewed -- including the president and Jim Mattis. As such, 'Rage' is, in effect, a lie built on a lie. It is one thing for politicians and those in power to manipulate the truth to their advantage. It's something altogether different for journalists to report something as true that they know to be a lie.

On the back cover of 'Rage', the Pulitzer prize-winning historian Robert Caro is quoted from a speech he gave about Bob Woodward. " Bob Woodward ," Caro notes, " a great reporter. What is a great reporter? Someone who never stops trying to get as close to the truth as possible ."

After reading 'Rage', one cannot help but conclude the opposite -- that Bob Woodward has written a volume which pointedly ignores the truth. Instead, he gives voice to a lie of his own construct, predicated on the flawed accounts of sources inflicted with 'Military Messiah Syndrome', whose words embrace a fantasy world populated by military members fulfilling missions far removed from the common good of their fellow citizens -- and often at conflict with the stated intent and instruction of the civilian leadership they ostensibly serve. In doing so, Woodward is as complicit as the generals and former generals he quotes in misleading the American public about issues of fundamental importance.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

Scott Ritter

is a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer and author of ' SCORPION KING : America's Suicidal Embrace of Nuclear Weapons from FDR to Trump.' He served in the Soviet Union as an inspector implementing the INF Treaty, in General Schwarzkopf’s staff during the Gulf War, and from 1991-1998 as a UN weapons inspector. Follow him on Twitter @RealScottRitter

See also:

Whose side are generals on? As Joint Chiefs chairman APOLOGIZES for standing by Trump, Biden confident of military support The military is trapped in an inherited reality divorced from the present

Caitlin Johnstone: Tens of millions of people displaced by the 'War On Terror', the greatest scam ever invented Misleading the American public


Jewel Gyn 21 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 12:23 AM

Whichever construct you want to believe, the fact remains that US has continued to sow instability around the world in the name of defending the liberty and freedom. Which brings to the question how the world can continue to allow a superpower to dictate what's good or bad for a sovereign country.
Johan le Roux Jewel Gyn 18 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 03:42 AM
The answer you seek is not in the US's proclaimed vision of 'democracy' ot 'rescuing populations from the clutches of vile dictators.' They just say that to validate their actions which in reality is using their military as a mercenary force to secure and steal the resources of countries.
Joaquin Montano 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 04:57 PM
Bob Woodward was enshrined as a great, heroic like journalist by the Hollywood propaganda machine, but reality is he is a US Security agent pretending to be a well informed/connected journalist. And indeed, he is well informed/connected, since he was a Naval intelligence man, part responsible of the demise of the Nixon administration when it fell out of grace with the powerful elites, and the Washington Post being well connected with the CIA, the rest is history. And as they say, once a CIA man, always a CIA man.
DukeLeo Joaquin Montano 22 hours ago 16 Sep, 2020 11:36 PM
That is correct. Woodward is a Naval intelligence man. The elite in the US was not happy about Nixon's foreign policy and his detante with the Soviet Union. Watergate was invented, and Nixon had nothing to do with it. However, it brought him down, thank's to Woodward.
NoJustice Joaquin Montano 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:48 PM
But he also exposed Trump's lies about Covid-19.
lectrodectus 17 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 04:45 AM
Another first class article by ....Scott .. The book makes it clear that Mattis viewed Trump as a threat to the Us' standing as the defender of a " rules -based order -built on the back of decades -old alliances-that had been in place since the end of the second World War". It also makes it clear that " Mattis and the Military officials he oversaw placed defending this order above the implementing the will of the American People " These old Military Dinosaurs simply can't let go of the past, unfortunately for the American people / the World I can't see anything ever changing, it will be business as usual ie, war after War after War.
Jonny247364 lectrodectus 5 minutes ago 17 Sep, 2020 09:53 PM
Just because donny signs a dictact it does not equate to the will of the americian people. The americian people did not ask donny to murder Assad.
neeon9 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:56 PM
"a threat to the US’ standing as the defender of a rules-based order –" Who made that a thing? who voted for the US to be the policeman of the planet? and who said their "rules" are right? I sure didn't, nor did anyone I know, even my american friends don't know whose idea it was!
fezzie035fezzm 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:29 PM
It's interesting to note that every president since J.F.K. has got America into a military conflict, or has turned a minor conflict into a major one. Trump is the exception. Trump inherited conflicts (Afghanistan, Syria etc) but has not started a new one, and he has spent his three years ending or winding down the conflicts he had inherited.
NoJustice fezzie035fezzm 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:34 PM
Trump increased military deployment to the Middle East. He increased military spending. He had a foreign general assassinated. He had missiles fired into Syria. He vetoed a bill that would limit his authority to wage war. Trump is not an exception.
T. Agee Kaye 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 05:59 PM
Good op ed. 'Rage is built on a lie' applies to many things.
E_Kaos T. Agee Kaye 7 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 02:46 PM
True, the beginning of a new narrative and the continuation of an old narrative.
PYCb988 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 07:25 PM
Something's amiss here. Mattis was openly telling the press that there was no evidence against Assad. Just Google: Mattis Newsweek Assad.
erniedouglas 12 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 09:14 AM
What was Watergate? Even bet says there were tapes of a private relationship between Nixon and BB Rebozo.
allan Kaplan 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:03 PM
Continuation of a highly organized and tightly controlled disinformation campaign to do one singularly the most significant and historically one of the most illegal act of American betrayal... overthrow American elections at any and all costs to install one of the most deranged, demoralized sold out brain dead Biden and his equally brown nosing Harris only to unseat a legally and democratically elected US president according to our Constitution! Will their evil acts against America work? I doubt it! But at a price that America has never before seen. Let's sit back and watch this Rose Bowl parade of America's dirtiest of the dirty politics!
E_Kaos allan Kaplan 7 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 02:49 PM
"brown nosing harris", how apropos with the play on words.
Bill Spence allan Kaplan 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:29 PM
Both parties and their politicians are totally corrupt. Why would anyone support one side over the other? Is that because you believe the promises and lies?
custos125 17 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 04:35 AM
Is there any evidence that both Mattis and Woodward knew that the allegations of a Syrian use of chemical weapons by plane were not true, a false flag? On the assumption of this use, the capacity to fly such attack and deploy such weapons was destroyed for some time. I recommend reading of Rage, it is quite interesting, even if some people will not like it and try to keep people away from the book.
E_Kaos custos125 7 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 02:58 PM
My observations were: 1 - where were the bomb fragments 2 - why use rusted gas cylinders 3 - how do you attach a rusted gas cylinder to a plane 4 - were the rusted gas cylinders tossed out of a plane 5 - how did the rusted gas cylinders land so close to each other My conclusion - False Flag Incident
neeon9 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:58 PM
The is only one threat to peace in the world, and it's the US/Israeli M.I.C.. War mongering children, who actually believe, against all reason, that they are the most worthy and entitled race on earth! they are not. The US has been responsible for more misery in the world than any other state, which isn't surprising given how many Nazi's were resettled there by the Jews. They are also the only Ppl on the planet who think a nuclear war is winnable! How strange is that!
NoJustice 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:22 PM
So everything is a lie because Woodward didn't mention that there was no evidence found that linked the Syrian government to the chemical attack?
Strongbo50 6 minutes ago 17 Sep, 2020 09:58 PM
The left is firing up the Russian Interference narrative again, how Russia is trying to take the election. The real truth is in plain sight, The main stream media is trying to deliver Biden a win, along with google yahoo msn facebook and twitter. I say, come on Russia, if you can help stem that tide of lies please Mr Putin help. That's a joke but the media is real. And Woodward in his old age wants one more trophy on his mantle.
CuttySark 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 05:41 PM
Trump has become the great white whale. Seems like there are Ahab's everywhere willing to shoot their hearts upon the beast to bring it down whatever the cost. I think it was this kind of rage and attitude that got Adolf off to a good start.
NoJustice CuttySark 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 05:44 PM
He's an easy target because he keeps screwing up.
Gryphon_ 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:59 PM
The Washington Post is owned by Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon. Never in my life have I seen a newspaper that lies as much as the post. Bob Woodward works for the post.

[Sep 17, 2020] Why the Blob Needs an Enemy by ARTA MOEINI

Highly recommended!
Crisis of neoliberal undermines the USA supremacy and the US elite hangs by the stras to the Full Specturm Domionanc edoctrine, whih it now can't enforce and which is financially unsustainable for the USA.
Collapse of neoliberalism means the end of the USA supremacy and the whole political existence on the USA was banked on this single card.
Notable quotes:
"... In America, this unfortunate status quo in support of primacy persists even in the Trumpian Age and within debates around the eccentric and unconventional presidency of Donald Trump. In fact, despite all the talk of political polarization in the United States, it appears that when it comes to naming new threats and enemies to "contain," "deter," and deem "existential," bipartisan consensus is found swiftly and quite readily. ..."
"... In a recent speech delivered in Europe, the U.S. defense secretary and former corporate lobbyist for Raytheon, Mark Esper, unified these two faces of the Janus that embodies the North Atlantic foreign policy establishment. Esper referred to both China and Russia as disruptive forces working to unravel the international order, which "we have created together," and called on the international community to preserve that order by countering both powers. As it stands, we are on the path to a series of cold wars throughout this century, if not a hot conflict between rival great powers that could spiral into World War III. Despite increased calls for realism and restraint in foreign policy, primacy is alive and well. ..."
"... There is, however, a more significant psychosociological reason for the blob's remarkable persistence. When it comes to foreign policy, Western policymakers today suffer from a Manichean worldview, a caustic mindset crystalized during a decades-running Cold War with the Soviet Union. ..."
"... Frozen in this Cold War mindset, the Atlanticist blob has internalized the bipolar moment that followed the Second World War, treating it as a permanent fixture and the normal state of the international system. In fact, the bipolar and unipolar periods we have undergone over the past 75 years are nothing but aberrations and historical anomalies. In truth, the reality of the international system tends toward multi-polarity -- and at long last it appears that the system is self-correcting. The North Atlantic establishment came of age during that time of exception, forming its (liberal) identity through the process of "alterity" and in a nemetic opposition to communism. ..."
"... Not surprisingly then, the North Atlantic elites continue to seek adversaries to demonize and "monsters to destroy" in order to justify their moral universalism and presumed ideological superiority, doing so under the garb of a totalizing and absolutist idea of exceptionalism. ..."
Sep 09, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The international order is no longer bipolar, despite the elites' insistence otherwise. Fortunately there is hope for change.

Despite its many failings and high human, social, and economic costs, American foreign policy since the end of the Second World War has shown a remarkable degree of continuity and inflexibility. This rather curious phenomenon is not limited to America alone. The North Atlantic foreign policy establishment from Washington D.C. to London, which some have aptly dubbed the "blob," has doggedly championed the grand strategic framework of "primacy" and armed hegemony, often coated with more docile language such as "global leadership," "American indispensability," and "strengthening the Western alliance."

In America, this unfortunate status quo in support of primacy persists even in the Trumpian Age and within debates around the eccentric and unconventional presidency of Donald Trump. In fact, despite all the talk of political polarization in the United States, it appears that when it comes to naming new threats and enemies to "contain," "deter," and deem "existential," bipartisan consensus is found swiftly and quite readily.

On the Left, and in the wake of President Trump's election, the Democratic establishment began fixating its wrath on Russia–adopting a confrontational stance toward Moscow and fueling fears of a renewed Cold War. On the Right, the realigning GOP has increasingly, if at times inconsistently, singled out China as the greatest threat to U.S. national security, a hostile attitude further exacerbated in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Alarmingly, Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, has recently joined the hawkish bandwagon toward China, even attempting to outflank Trump on this issue and attacking the president's China policy as too weak and accommodating of China's rise.

In a recent speech delivered in Europe, the U.S. defense secretary and former corporate lobbyist for Raytheon, Mark Esper, unified these two faces of the Janus that embodies the North Atlantic foreign policy establishment. Esper referred to both China and Russia as disruptive forces working to unravel the international order, which "we have created together," and called on the international community to preserve that order by countering both powers. As it stands, we are on the path to a series of cold wars throughout this century, if not a hot conflict between rival great powers that could spiral into World War III. Despite increased calls for realism and restraint in foreign policy, primacy is alive and well.

Indeed, the dominant tendency among many foreign policy observers is to overprivilege the threat of rising superpowers and to insist on strong containment measures to limit the spheres of influence of the so-called revisionist powers. Such an approach, coupled with the prospect of ascendant powers actively resisting and confronting the United States as the ruling global hegemon, has one eminent International Relations scholar warning of the Thucydides Trap.

There are others, however, who insist that the structural shifts undermining the liberal international order mark the end of U.S. hegemony and its "unipolar moment." In realist terms, what Secretary Esper really means to protect, they would argue, is a conception of "rules-based" global order that was a structural by-product of the Second World War and the ensuing Cold War and whose very rules and institutions were underwritten by U.S. hegemony. This would be an exercise in folly -- not corresponding to the reality of systemic change and the return of great power competition and civilizational contestation.

What's more, the sanctimony of this "liberal" hegemonic order and the logic of democratic peace were both presumably vindicated by the collapse of the Soviet Union and its totalitarian system, a black swan event that for many had heralded the "end of history" and promised the advent of the American century. A great deal of lives, capital, resources, and goodwill were sacrificed by America and her allies toward that crusade for liberty and universality, which was only the most recent iteration of a radically utopian element in American political thought going back to Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine. Alas, as it had eluded earlier generations of idealists, that century never truly arrived, and neither did the empire of liberty and prosperity that it loftily aimed to establish.

Today, the emerging reality of a multipolar world and alternate worldviews championed by the different cultural blocs led by China and Russia appears to have finally burst the bubble of American Triumphalism, proving that the ideas behind it are "not simply obsolete but absurd." This failure should have been expected since the very project the idealists had espoused was built on a pathological "savior complex" and a false truism that reflected the West's own absolutist and distorted sense of ideological and moral superiority. Samuel Huntington might have been right all along to cast doubt on the long-term salience of using ideology and doctrinal universalism as the dividing principle for international relations. His call to focus, instead, on civilizational distinction, the permanent power of culture on human action, and the need to find common ground rings especially true today. Indeed, fostering a spirit of coexistence and open dialogue among the world's great civilizational complexes is a fundamental tenet of a cultural realism.

And yet, despite such permanent shifts in the global order away from universalist dichotomies and global hegemony and toward culturalism and multi-polarity, there exists a profound disjunction between the structural realities of the international system and the often business-as-usual attitude of the North Atlantic foreign policy elites. How could one explain the astonishing levels of rigidity and continuity on the part of the "blob" and the military-industrial-congressional complex regularly pushing for more adventurism and interventionism abroad? Why would the bipartisan primacist establishment, which their allies in the mainstream media endeavor still to mask, justify such illiberal acts of aggression and attempts at empire by weaponizing the moralistic language of human rights, individual liberty, and democracy in a world increasingly awakened to arbitrary ideological framing?

There are, of course, systemic reasons behind the power and perpetuation of the blob and the endurance of primacy. The vast economic incentives of war and its instruments, institutional routinization and intransigence, stupefaction and groupthink of government bureaucracy, and the significant influence of lobbying efforts by foreign governments and other vested interest groups could each partly explain the remarkable continuity of the North Atlantic foreign policy establishment. The endless stream of funding from the defense industry, neoliberal and neoconservative foundations, as well as the government itself keeps the "blob" alive, while the general penchant for bipartisanship around preserving the status quo allows it to thrive. What is more, elite schools produce highly analytic yet narrowly focused and conventional minds that are tamed to be agreeable so as to not undermine elite consensus. This conveyor belt feeds the "blob," supplying it with the army of specialists, experts, and wonks it requires to function as a mind melding hive, while in practice safeguarding employment for the career bureaucrats for decades to come.

There is, however, a more significant psychosociological reason for the blob's remarkable persistence. When it comes to foreign policy, Western policymakers today suffer from a Manichean worldview, a caustic mindset crystalized during a decades-running Cold War with the Soviet Union. The world might have changed fundamentally with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the bipolar structure of the international system might have ended irreversibly, but the personnel -- the Baby Boomer Generation elites conducting foreign policy in the North Atlantic -- did not leave office or retire with the collapse of the USSR. They largely remain in power to this day.

Every generation is forged through a formative crisis, its experiences seen through the prism that all-encompassing ordeal. For the incumbent elites, that generational crisis was the Cold War and the omnipresent threat of nuclear annihilation. The dualistic paradigm of the international system during the U.S.-Soviet rivalry bred an entire generation to see the world through a black-and-white binary. It should come as no surprise that this era elevated the idealist strain of thought and the crusading, neo-Jacobin impulse of U.S. foreign policy (personified by Thomas Jefferson and Woodrow Wilson) to new, ever-expanding heights. Idealism prizes a nemesis and thus revels in a bipolar order.

Frozen in this Cold War mindset, the Atlanticist blob has internalized the bipolar moment that followed the Second World War, treating it as a permanent fixture and the normal state of the international system. In fact, the bipolar and unipolar periods we have undergone over the past 75 years are nothing but aberrations and historical anomalies. In truth, the reality of the international system tends toward multi-polarity -- and at long last it appears that the system is self-correcting. The North Atlantic establishment came of age during that time of exception, forming its (liberal) identity through the process of "alterity" and in a nemetic opposition to communism.

Not surprisingly then, the North Atlantic elites continue to seek adversaries to demonize and "monsters to destroy" in order to justify their moral universalism and presumed ideological superiority, doing so under the garb of a totalizing and absolutist idea of exceptionalism. After all, a nemetic zeitgeist during which ideology reigned supreme and realism was routinely discounted was tailor-made for dogmatic absolutism and moral universalism. In such a zero-sum strategic environment, it was only natural to demand totality and frame the ongoing geopolitical struggle in terms of an existential opposition over Good and Evil that would quite literally split the world in two.

Today, that same kind of Manichean thinking continues to handicap paradigmatic change in foreign policy. A false consciousness, it underpins and promotes belief in the double myths of indispensability and absolute exceptionality, suggesting that the North Atlantic bloc holds a certain monopoly on all that is good and true. It is not by chance that such pathological renderings of "exceptionalism" and "leadership" have been wielded as convenient rationale and intellectual placeholders for the ideology of empire across the North Atlantic. This sense of ingrained moral self-righteousness, coupled with an attitude that celebrates activism, utopianism, and interventionism in foreign policy, has created and reinforced a culture of strategic overextension and imperial overreach.

It is this very culture -- personified and dominated by the Baby Boomers and the blob they birthed -- that has made hawkishness ubiquitous, avoids any real reckoning as to the limits of power, and habitually belittles calls for restraint and moderation as isolationism. In truth, however, what has been the exceptional part in the delusion of absolute exceptionalism is Pax Americana, liberal hegemony, and the hubris that animates them having gone uncontested and unchecked for so long. That confrontation could begin in earnest by directly challenging the Boomer blob itself -- and by propagating a counter-elite offering a starkly different worldview.

Achieving such a genuine paradigm shift demands a generational sea-change, to retire the old blob and make a better one in its place. It is about time for the old establishment to forgo its reign, allowing a new younger cohort from among the Millennial and post-Millennial generations to advance into leadership roles. The Millennials, especially, are now the largest generation of eligible voters (overtaking the Baby Boomers) as well as the first generation not habituated by the Cold War; in fact, many of them grew up during the "unipolar moment" of American hegemony. Hence, their generational identity is not built around a dualistic alterity. Free from obsessive fixation on ideological supremacy, most among them reject total global dominance as both unattainable and undesirable.

Instead, their worldview is shaped by an entirely different set of experiences and disappointments. Their generational crisis was brought on by a series of catastrophic interventions and endless wars around the world -- chief among them the debacles in Afghanistan and Iraq and the toppling of Libya's Gaddafi -- punctuated by repeated onslaughts of financial recessions and domestic strife. The atmosphere of uncertainty, instability, and general chaos has bred discontent, turning many Millennials into pragmatic realists who are disenchanted with the system, critical of the pontificating establishment, and naturally skeptical of lofty ideals and utopian doctrines.

In short, this is not an absolutist and complacent generation of idealists, but one steeped in realism and a certain perspectivism that has internalized the inherent relativity of both power and truth. Most witnessed the dangers of overreach, hubris, and a moralized foreign policy, so they are actively self-reflective, circumspect, and restrained. As a generation, they appear to be less the moralist and the global activist and more prudent, level-headed, and temperamentally conservative -- developing a keen appreciation for realpolitik, sovereignty, and national interest. Their preference for a non-ideological approach in foreign policy suggests that once in power, they will be less antagonistic and more tolerant of rival powers and accepting of pluralism in the international system. That openness to civilizational distinction and global cultural pluralism also implies that future Millennial statesmen will subscribe to a more humble, less grandiose, and narrower definition of interest that focuses on securing core objectives -- i.e., preserving national security and recognizing spheres of influence.

Reforming and rehabilitating the U.S. foreign policy establishment will require more than policy prescriptions and comprehensive reports: it needs generational change. To transform and finally "rein in" North Atlantic foreign policy, our task today must be to facilitate and expedite this shift. Once that occurs, the incoming Millennials should be better positioned to discard the deep-seated and routinized ideology of empire, supplanting it with a greater emphasis on partnership that is driven by mutual interests and a general commitment to sharing the globe with the world's other great cultures.

This new approach calls for America to lead by the power of its example, exhibiting the benefits of liberty and a constitutional republic at home, without forcibly imposing those values abroad. Such an outlook means abandoning the coercive regime change agendas and the corrosive projects of nation-building and democracy promotion. In this new multipolar world, America would be an able, dynamic, and equal participant in ensuring sustainable peace side-by-side the world's other great powers, acting as "a normal country in a normal time." Reflecting the spirit of republican governance authentically is far more pertinent now and salutary for the future of the North Atlantic peoples than is promulgating the utopian image of a shining city on a hill.

Arta Moeini is research director at the Institute for Peace and Diplomacy and a postdoc fellow at the Center for the Study of Statesmanship. Dr. Moeini's latest project advances a theory of cultural realism as a cornerstone to a new understanding of foreign policy.

The Institute for Peace and Diplomacy will be co-sponsoring "The Future of Grand Strategy in the Post-COVID World," with TAC, tonight at 6 p.m. ET. Register for free here .

[Sep 16, 2020] Fake News About Iran, Russia, China Is U.S. Journalism's Daily Bread

Notable quotes:
"... But CNN has and will continue to repeat the allegations as fact, so it's mission accomplished for the deep state. As another poster said on this board about manufacturing consent: "It is important to discuss the story, not its credibility, the more the discussion, the more the reaction and the more it reinforces the narrative." ..."
"... In the 1920s (or 30s), far-rightist Karl Popper coined the concept of systematic manipulation of "public opinion". This would become a hallmark of Western Civilization in the post-war. The public opinion theory states that the masses don't have an opinion for themselves or, if they have, it is sculpting/flexible. The dominant classes can, therefore, guide the masses like a shepherd, to its will. ..."
"... It is an insult to the noble profession, to call what the mainstream media in the west, especially in the USA do, journalism. In my opinion what they do is propaganda and stenography on behalf of those who are in power. I am not sure who coined the term but "presstitution" is not a bad attempt at describing their profession. ..."
"... While the western corporate media lie on a continuous basis - and that has the predictable effect - what is more insidious is not these acts of commissions ( meaning lies), but their acts of omission (meaning excluding or deemphasizing important contextual information) leading people to make the wrong conclusions. NPR in the US is an excellent example of such presstitution. ..."
"... Why are the US promoting conflict with China, with Russia? Why are they beating Europe, maybe with the intention to destroy it? Why is a new civil war in the US promoted? ..."
"... Normal (geopolitically interested) people would think: against China it is better to come together and unite, at least US & Europe, but eventually Russia included. For instance take the population of these three together: far less than China's. ..."
"... Journalism in the US is so superficial, it is a drop above the uppermost wavy comb. Not worth to pay attention to it. ..."
"... Other than few independent blog site such as this, every media outlet is in the service of its home government or foreign sponsors. Only born-suckers take the corporate media at face value. Modern journalism is nothing but an aggressive propaganda racket. ..."
"... Using lies (bearing false witness) to cause murder and theft are not exactly a new phenomenon. These 'groups of individuals', which are employing these fabricated deceptions, are doing nothing less than trying to commit murder and theft. ..."
"... Everything that was accomplished (albeit incompletely or moderately) through the New Deal and then the abortive Great Society absolutely spooked the oligarchy. Lifting much of the working class out of absolute wage slavery to the point where the next rung on Maslow's ladder was at least visible. And when it all culminated in the late 60's and early 70's with the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, the Surface Mining act, and various labor protection measures, the wealthy owner class decided the proles had gained too much power to influence "their" captive government. ..."
"... What differs, however, is the presentation. Trump is criticized (not praised) for being allegedly soft on Russia and Biden criticized for being allegedly soft on China. This clever trick ensures that just about everybody is onboard the bash-China-and-Russia train. ..."
"... In a violently polarized society, with red-blue antagonism reaching ridiculous heights, people tend to act exclusively in contradiction to the cult figure they hate so much. ..."
"... I've been saying for years here to watch the documentary - Century of the Self. If you want to learn about and understand America, its all here. Government, Corporations, Consumerism, Militarism, Deep State, Psychology, Individual selfishness and mental illness. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJ3RzGoQC4s ..."
Sep 16, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Every few days U.S. 'intelligence' and 'officials' produce fake claims about this or that 'hostile' country. U.S. media continue to reproduce those claims even if they bare any logic and do not make any sense.

On June 27 the New York Times and the Washington Post published fake news about alleged Russian payments to the Taliban for killing U.S. troops.

The stories ran on the outlets' front pages.

Two week later the story was shown to have no basis :

[T]hat the story was obviously bullshit did not prevent Democrats in Congress, including 'Russiagate' swindler Adam Schiff, to bluster about it and to call for immediate briefings and new sanctions on Russia .

Just a day after it was published the main accusation, that Trump was briefed on the 'intelligence' died. The Director of National Intelligence, the National Security Advisor and the CIA publicly rejected the claim. Then the rest of the story started to crumble. On June 2, just one week after it was launched, the story was declared dead .
...
The NYT buried the above quoted dead corpse of the original story page A-19.

Despite that the Democrats continued to use the fake story for attacks on Donald Trump.

Yesterday the commander of the U.S. forces in the Middle East drove a stake though the heart of the dead corpse of the original story:

Two months after top Pentagon officials vowed to get to the bottom of whether the Russian government bribed the Taliban to kill American service members , the commander of troops in the region says a detailed review of all available intelligence has not been able to corroborate the existence of such a program.

"It just has not been proved to a level of certainty that satisfies me," Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander of the U.S. Central Command, told NBC News. McKenzie oversees U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

But as one fake news zombie finally dies others get resurrected. Politico's 'intelligence' stenographer Natasha Bertrand produced this nonsensical claim :

The Iranian government is weighing an assassination attempt against the American ambassador to South Africa, U.S. intelligence reports say, according to a U.S. government official familiar with the issue and another official who has seen the intelligence.

News of the plot comes as Iran continues to seek ways to retaliate for President Donald Trump's decision to kill a powerful Iranian general earlier this year, the officials said. If carried out, it could dramatically ratchet up already serious tensions between the U.S. and Iran and create enormous pressure on Trump to strike back -- possibly in the middle of a tense election season.

U.S. officials have been aware of a general threat against the ambassador, Lana Marks, since the spring, the officials said. But the intelligence about the threat to the ambassador has become more specific in recent weeks. The Iranian Embassy in Pretoria is involved in the plot, the U.S. government official said.

Ambassador Lana Marks is known for selling overpriced handbags and for her donations to Trump's campaign. To Iran she has zero political or symbolic value. There is no way Iran would ever think about an attack on such a target. Accordingly the South African intelligence services do not believe that there is such a threat:

South African Minister of State Security Ayanda Dlodlo said the matter was "receiving the necessary attention" and that the State Security Agency (SSA) was "interacting with all relevant partners both in the country and abroad, to ensure that no harm will be suffered by the US Ambassador, including any other Diplomatic Officials inside the borders of our country."

However, an informed intelligence source told Daily Maverick that although the "matter has been taken seriously as we approach all such threats, specifically, there appears to be, from our perspective, no discernible threat. Least of all from the source that it purports to emanate from.

There was "no evidence or indicator", the source said, so the plot was "not likely to be real". The "associations made are not sustainable on any level but all precautions will be put in place".

The source suggested this was an instance of the "tail wagging the dog", of the Trump administration wielding a "weapon of mass distraction" to divert attention from its failures in the election campaign running up to President Donald Trump's re-election bid on November 3.

The spokesperson for the Iranian ministry of foreign affairs, Saeed Khatibzadeh, strongly denied the allegation in the Politico report which he called "hackneyed and worn-out anti-Iran propaganda".

In January the U.S. assassinated the Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad. Soleimani led the external campaigns of the Iranian Quds Forces. He was the one who orchestrated the campaign that defeated the Islamic State. His mythic-symbolic position for Iran and the resistance in the Middle East is beyond that of any U.S. figure.

There is simply no one in the U.S. military or political hierarchy who could be seen as his equal. Iran has therefore announced that it will take other ways to revenge the assassination of Soleimani.

As an immediate response to the assassination of Soleimani Iran had launched a precise missile attack against two U.S. bases in Iraq. It has also announced that it will make sure that the U.S. military will have to leave the Middle East. That program is in full swing now as U.S. bases in Iraq are again coming under daily missile attacks :

More than eight months after a barrage of rockets killed an American contractor and wounded four American service members in Kirkuk, Iraq, militia groups continue to target U.S. military bases in that country, and the frequency of those attacks has increased.

"We have had more indirect fire attacks around and against our bases the first half of this year than we did the first half of last year," Gen. Frank McKenzie, the commander of the U.S. Central Command, said. "Those attacks have been higher."
...
McKenzie's comments came just hours after he announced the United States would be cutting its footprint in Iraq by almost half by the end of September, with about 2,200 troops leaving the country .

Just hours agon two Katyusha rockets were fired against the U.S. embassy in Baghdad's Green Zone. Two British/U.S.convoys also came under attack . U.S. air defense took the missiles down but its anti-missile fire is only further disgruntling the Iraqi population.

These attacks are still limited and designed to not cause any significant casualties. But they will continue to increase over time until the last U.S. soldier is withdrawn from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and other Middle East countries. That, and only that, is the punishment Iran promised as revenge for Soleimani's death.

The alleged Iranian thread against the U.S. ambassador to South Africa is just another fake news propaganda story. It is useful only for lame blustering:

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump - 3:04 UTC · Sep 15, 2020

According to press reports, Iran may be planning an assassination, or other attack, against the United States in retaliation for the killing of terrorist leader Soleimani, which was carried out for his planning a future attack, murdering U.S. Troops, and the death & suffering...
...caused over so many years. Any attack by Iran, in any form, against the United States will be met with an attack on Iran that will be 1,000 times greater in magnitude!

The danger of such fake stories about Russia or Iran is that they might be used to justify a response in the case of a false flag attack on the alleged targets.

Should something inconvenient happen to Ambassador Lana Marks the Trump administration could use the fake story as an excuse to respond with a limited attack on Iran.

It is well known by now that U.S. President Donald Trump is lying about every time he opens his mouth. Why do U.S. journalists presume that the agencies and anonymous officials who work under him are more truthful in their utterings than the man himself is hard to understand. Why do they swallow their bullshit?

Posted by b on September 15, 2020 at 11:50 UTC | Permalink


jo6pac , Sep 15 2020 12:01 utc | 1

Amerikas propaganda machine never sleeps and sadly to many people believe the BS
Sunny Runny Burger , Sep 15 2020 12:27 utc | 2
US and European journalists are also lying constantly, that's why. Even when they make embarrassing attempts at "being unbiased" or "factual". Do they understand it? Many might not, but some do, perhaps fewer than anyone would think reasonable.

Btw a lot of these "journalists" in Europe in particular openly self-identify to "the left" or even as socialists and communists or "greens". So much for ideology as some kind of solution: entirely worthless and superficial.

Christian J. Chuba , Sep 15 2020 12:44 utc | 3
But CNN has and will continue to repeat the allegations as fact, so it's mission accomplished for the deep state. As another poster said on this board about manufacturing consent: "It is important to discuss the story, not its credibility, the more the discussion, the more the reaction and the more it reinforces the narrative."

Just for laughs, I looked at the reviews of Gordon Chang's book, 'The Coming Economic Collapse of China' to see if I could figure out the reasoning and one of the reviewers said that China weakens because they lack a free press to hold their govt accountable. I had a good laugh at that one.

vk , Sep 15 2020 12:54 utc | 4
There's an objective explanation for that.

In the 1920s (or 30s), far-rightist Karl Popper coined the concept of systematic manipulation of "public opinion". This would become a hallmark of Western Civilization in the post-war. The public opinion theory states that the masses don't have an opinion for themselves or, if they have, it is sculpting/flexible. The dominant classes can, therefore, guide the masses like a shepherd, to its will.

Friedrich von Hayek - a colleague of Popper and father of British neoliberalism (the man behind Thatcher) - then developed on the issue, by proposing the institutionalization of public opinion. He proposed a system of three or four tiers of intellectuals which a capitalist society should have. The first tier is the capitalist class itself, who would govern the entire world anonymously, through secret meetings. These meetings would produce secret reports, whose ideas would be spread to the second tier. The second tier is the academia and the more prominent politicians and other political leaderships. The third tier is the basic education teachers, who would indoctrinate the children. The fourth tier is the MSM, whose job is to transform the ideas and opinions of the first tier into "common sense" ("public opinion").

Therefore, it's not a case where the Western journalists are being fooled. Their job was never to inform the public. When they publish a lie about, say, Iran trying to kill an American ambassador in South Africa, they are not telling a lie in their eyes: they are telling an underlying truth through one thousand lies. The objective here is to convince ("teach") the American masses it is good for the USA if Iran was invaded and destroyed (which is a truth). They are like the modern Christian God, who teach its subjects the Truth through "mysterious ways".

Nathan Mulcahy , Sep 15 2020 12:56 utc | 5
It is an insult to the noble profession, to call what the mainstream media in the west, especially in the USA do, journalism. In my opinion what they do is propaganda and stenography on behalf of those who are in power. I am not sure who coined the term but "presstitution" is not a bad attempt at describing their profession.

Unfortunately they have been amazingly successful in brainwashing people. One current example, from numerous ones that could be cited, is the public's opinion on Julian Assange. .

While the western corporate media lie on a continuous basis - and that has the predictable effect - what is more insidious is not these acts of commissions ( meaning lies), but their acts of omission (meaning excluding or deemphasizing important contextual information) leading people to make the wrong conclusions. NPR in the US is an excellent example of such presstitution.

What I am saying is nothing new to the bar flies here. But I am extremely distressed when I see how poorly informed (propagandized, brainwashed) the vast majority of the people I know are. Let's say a decade ago, ideological polarization was the main reason why it was so difficult to have an open discussion on important issues the US. Today it has become even more difficult because, thanks to the success of the presstitutes, people also have different sets of "facts". And most alarmingly, after successfully creating a readership who believe in alternative "facts", the mainstream presstitutes are moving on to creating a logic-free narrative. Examples include Assad supposedly gassing his people when he was winning (even though that was guaranteed to produce western intervention against him). A more recent example is the Navalny affair. Sadly, very sadly, way too many people are affected.

Gerhard , Sep 15 2020 13:07 utc | 6
Hi, thanks, and sorry, but: why does nobody look behind the curtain?

Why are the US promoting conflict with China, with Russia? Why are they beating Europe, maybe with the intention to destroy it? Why is a new civil war in the US promoted?

Are these random developments of history? Are laws of history behind that?
NO!! Surely not!

Normal (geopolitically interested) people would think: against China it is better to come together and unite, at least US & Europe, but eventually Russia included. For instance take the population of these three together: far less than China's.

If something is going against the common sense, then there should be a reason behind. This reason I recommend You, with due respect, to find - and to uncover the plan.

Journalism in the US is so superficial, it is a drop above the uppermost wavy comb. Not worth to pay attention to it.

The actual demand is to understand and to show the forces playing deep underwater.
And to preview where these forces are determined to strike against.

Kind regards, Gerhard

DG , Sep 15 2020 13:30 utc | 7
They are all Judith Miller now.
morongobill , Sep 15 2020 13:39 utc | 8
Like the famed slogan of septic tank pumpers, the Gray Lady's masthead should read, "Your shit is our bread and butter!"
ptb , Sep 15 2020 13:53 utc | 9
Yep. We're into some pretty overt 1984 territory now... It's really a shame.
Richard Steven Hack , Sep 15 2020 14:37 utc | 10
Gareth Porter's latest on "Russian hacking"...

Dark Web Voter Database Report Casts New Doubts on Russian Election Hack Narrative

A new report showing that US state-level voter databases were publicly available calls into question the narrative that Russian intelligence "targeted" US state election-related websites in 2016.

The problem with these sorts of accusations about "state-sponsored" hacking is they assume that because a target has some connection to a state or some political activity that it means the hackers are "nation-state". In reality, personal identification information (PII) is a commodity on the black market, along with intellectual property - and *any* hacker will target *any* such source of PII. So the mere fact that it is an election year, and that voting organizations are loaded with PII, makes them an obvious target for any and every hacker.

"Oregon's chief information security officer, Lisa Vasa, told the Washington Post in September 2017 that her team blocks 'upwards of 14 million attempts to access our network every day."'

This is the usual ridiculous claim from almost every organization. They treat every Internet packet that hits their firewall as being an "attempt to access" the network (or worse, a "breach" - which it is not.) Which is technically true, but would only be relevant if they had *no* firewall - a setup which no organization runs the