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Andrew Bacevich on The New American Militarism

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  “As many frustrated Americans who have joined the Tea Party realize, we cannot stand against big government at home while supporting it abroad. We cannot talk about fiscal responsibility while spending trillions on occupying and bullying the rest of the world. We cannot talk about the budget deficit and spiraling domestic spending without looking at the costs of maintaining an American empire of more than 700 military bases in more than 120 foreign countries. We cannot pat ourselves on the back for cutting a few thousand dollars from a nature preserve or an inner-city swimming pool at home while turning a blind eye to a Pentagon budget that nearly equals those of the rest of the world combined.”

Ron Paul


Introduction

New American militarism is connected with the desire to establish global neoliberal empire ruled by the USA (the dream of total world dominance). It became official policy  since the collapse of the USSR  and involves "heliocentric" view on foreign policy, when the USA is the center of the world order and other states just rotate around it on various orbits. The US population is by-and-large-completely brainwashed into this vision.

Opposition to the US militarism is almost non-existent due contemporary US popular culture infused with the language of militarism and American exceptionalism. As Bacevich  noted:

In any Clancy novel, the international order is a dangerous and threatening place, awash with heavily armed and implacably determined enemies who threaten the United States. That Americans have managed to avoid Armageddon is attributable to a single fact: the men and women of America’s uniformed military and its intelligence services have thus far managed to avert those threats. The typical Clancy novel is an unabashed tribute to the skill, honor, extraordinary technological aptitude and sheer decency of the nation’s defenders. To read Red Storm Rising is to enter a world of ‘virtuous men and perfect weapons’, as one reviewer noted. ‘All the Americans are paragons of courage, endurance and devotion to service and country. Their officers are uniformly competent and occasionally inspired. Men of all ranks are faithful husbands and devoted fathers.’ Indeed, in the contract that he signed for the filming of Red October, Clancy stipulated that nothing in the film show the navy in a bad light.

The "New American militarism" or as it called "Neocon mentality" is not that different from the early Soviets militarism (of  Trotskyite variety), eager to spread the blessings of Scientific Socialism toward other countries on the tips of bayonets.  Here the role of scientific socialism is played by neoliberal ideology. With the slogan "Transnational elite unite" and Davos style Congresses of the new   "Neoliberal International" of comprador elites. While converting other countries into neoliberal model using color revolution of direct military invasion or combination of both) are disguised as spread of "democracy".

In this new Crusade for world hegemony the key ideas of Trotsky Permanent Revolution remains intact -- a crusade for establishing new social system on all counties on the Earth. This is just Great Neoliberal Crusade, instead of Communist Crusade.  This new justification for Crusades has the same problems as two previous. But it does not matter as the key role of democracy here is the same as in quote "the goal justifies the means" 

Professor Andrew Bacevich wrote several short books on the subject. he avoids the term neoliberalism and did not try to explain new American militarism in terms of the quest for neoliberal empire expansion. But he is a very good observer and the books contain many insights into US elite thinking and blunders. Among them we can note two:

While all three books are excellent and raise important issues,  they overlap. Probably the most original and the most important on them is Washington Rules, were Bacevich attempts to explain "Permanent War for Permanent Peace" that the USA practice since the end of WWII. All three books have the same weaknesses: Bacevich does not see connection between Neoliberalism demand for economic expansion and "New American Militarism" and regime of permanent wars that the USA pursue since WWII.

He provide sharp critique of neocons, but never ask the question: which political forces brought those pathetic second or third rate thinkers to the forefront of formulation of the US foreign policy and maintain them for more then a decade after Iraq debacle.

He also mistakenly believe that American people (who were completely estranged from any influence on nation's policies) bear some guilt for the policy which was formulated to benefit the first hundred of the largest US corporations. In other words he does not understand that the USA is yet another occupied country.

Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War; War as a natural state of the USA since 1945

[Neocons] advocate permanent war for permanent peace

Professor Basevich

The foreign policy of the USA since 1945, but especially, after 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 new epidemic of the US militarism started after the dissolution of the USSR was called by Professor Bacevich (who is former colonel of the US army)  it New American Militarism.

Bacevich's book  Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War  describe the "sacred trinity" of global US-led neoliberal empire:

Professor Bacevich had shown that the main driver of the US militarism is neocons domination of the US foreign policy, and, especially, neocons domination in State Department regardless of whether Republicans or Democrats are in power. They profess that the US that is 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 Iraq. And that establishing and maintaining the neoliberal empire is worth the price we pay as it will take the USA into the period of unprecedented peace.

Bacevich scored 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 "perpetual war for perpetual peace".

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.

Lessons that President Obama is clearly never able to learn. In this sense his book Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War is an excellent peace of research with sections that some may find very troubling as it suggest that the USA elite is suicidal and is ready to sacrifice the county for achieving its delusional goal of world domination.

Here is the summary from Bacevich - Washington Rules (2010) - Synopsis by Mark K. Jensen

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;

and (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). And the 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 "notretrenchment but reconfiguration" (147). The new mission was not American defense but facilitation of a new world order (148-50). After 9/11 this pretense was dropped and "[a]ctivism became the watchword" (150, emphasis in original;150-52). Resorting to war became "notably more frequent and less controversial" in 1980-2000, finding "its ultimate expression in the Bush Doctrine of preventive war" (152-53). Americans "passively assented" (154).

Behind the scenes, the shape this took was struggled over by the officer corps and civilian semi-warriors pushing RMA(Revolution in Military Affairs) (154-64).Initially, U.S. élites held that victory in Iraq demonstrated that speed could be substituted for mass in military campaigns (165-75). But the experience of the occupation revealed this to be a fantasy (175-81).

Ch. 5: Counterfeit COIN.

Counterinsurgency (COIN) doctrine, replacing "shock and awe" as "the Long War" replaced the "global war on terror," is the latest doctrinal effort to preserve the Washington rules (182-86). The so-called "surge" implicitly marked a quest for conditions allowing the U.S. to leave Iraq without admitting defeat (186-91).Gen. David Petraeus emerged as an advocate (and as salesman, through FM3-24, the manual he revised and which Bacevich insists is in its emphasis on narrative replete with postmodernism) of counterinsurgency doctrine as "a substitute [for warfare] suited to the exercise of great power politics in the twilight of modernity" (197; 191-97). Implicitly, the manual argues that "war as such . . . no longer worked" (198; 198-202). Petraeus took credit for progress in Iraq that he did not achieve (202-04).

The general with a Princeton Ph.D. was lionized with a view to normalizing war and lowering expectations, a view now embraced by the Obama administration(205-11). Proponents of global counterinsurgency (GCOIN) emerged, like John Nagl and Gen. Benet Sacolick (211-13). Obama embraced the GCOIN version of the Long War with Gen.Stanley McChrystal to carry it out in Afghanistan, forfeiting the opportunity to reassess American policy (213-21).

Ch. 6: Cultivating Our Own Garden.

Time-honored no-nonsense American pragmatism has turned into an absurdity-swallowing herd mentality (222-23). The problem set the U.S. faces has radically changed from the time of the early Cold War, but the "sacred trinity" (cf. 11-15) that proposes to address them remains essentially the same (224-25).Eisenhower would have been appalled(225-26). The size of the Pentagon budget, the size of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, and the extent of overseas military presence cannot be justified(226-27).

These persist because of the interests they serve, not the mission the fulfill, and are likely to do so for sometime (228-30). Bacevich invokes George Kennan, William Fulbright, and Martin Luther King Jr. in urging that the U.S. needs a new approach, to model freedom rather than impose it (231-37). First and foremost, America should save not the world but itself (237).

Bacevich proposes a new trinity:

  1. the purpose of the military is to defend the U.S. and its vital interests;
  2. soldiers' primary duty stations are on American soil;
  3. force should be used only as a last resort and in self-defense, in accord with the Just War tradition (238-41).

The American public must shoulder its complicity in what has happened, fostered by an all-volunteer force and debt-financed budgets (241-47). It is tragic that Barack Obama, elected to institute change, has lacked the courage to alter the Washington rules, instead "choosing to conform" (247-49). "If change is to come, it must come from the people"(249). The need for education "has become especially acute" (249; 249-50).

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 naíve 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.

Another useful review is from  Gerard De Groot -- Andrew Bacevich's Washington Rules and John Dower's Cultures of War  Here are some highlights:

"...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. "
September 12, 2010 | washingtonpost.com

WASHINGTON RULES: America's Path to Permanent War

This Story

By Andrew J. Bacevich

Metropolitan. 286 pp. $25

CULTURES OF WAR

Pearl Harbor/Hiroshima/9-11/Iraq

By John W. Dower

Norton. 596 pp. $29.95

"We need some great failures," the muckraking journalist Lincoln Steffens wrote in his autobiography. "Especially we ever-successful Americans -- conscious, intelligent, illuminating failures." What Steffens meant was that a people confident in righteousness need occasionally to be reminded of their fallibility. The past 50 years have produced failures aplenty -- the Bay of Pigs, Vietnam and Iraq among them. Unfortunately, as Andrew Bacevich and John Dower demonstrate, the light of failure has not penetrated the darkness of delusion. As a result, wars provide a repeating rhythm of folly.

"Washington Rules" and "Cultures of War" are two excellent books made better by the coincidence of their publication. In complementary fashion, they provide a convincing critique of America's conduct of war since 1941. Steffens would have liked these books, specifically for the way they use past failures to explain the provenance of our current predicament.

Read "Cultures of War" first. It's not an easy book, but it is consistently perceptive. Dower examines Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, Sept. 11 and the second Iraq War, drawing disconcerting linkages. Pearl Harbor and Iraq, he feels, demonstrate how otherwise intelligent leaders are drawn toward strategic imbecility. Both attacks were brilliantly executed in the short term, but neither paid sufficient attention to the long-term problem of winning a war. More controversially, Dower pairs Hiroshima with Sept. 11, both acts of terror born of moral certitude. Osama bin Laden and Harry Truman justified wanton killing with essentially the same Manichean rhetoric. Motives, context and scale might have been different; methods were not. For both leaders, the ability to separate good from evil made killing easy.

In 1941, Americans drew comfort from the stereotype of the irrational Oriental. They assumed that the Japanese would be easily defeated because they were illogical -- as their attack upon Pearl Harbor proved. That attack was indeed illogical (given the impossibility of defeating the United States in a protracted war), but it was not peculiarly Japanese. As Dower reveals, the wishful thinking, delusion and herd behavior within the court of Emperor Hirohito was a symptom of war, not ethnicity. The same deficiencies, in 2003, convinced those in the Oval Office that invading Iraq was a good idea.

Since the culture of war encourages patterned behavior, folly proliferates. This is the essence of the Washington rules that Bacevich elucidates. The rules dictate that protection of the American way of life necessitates a global military presence and a willingness to intervene anywhere. Power and violence are cleansed by virtue: Because America is "good," her actions are always benign. 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.

The alternative, according to Bacevich, is not isolationism or appeasement, two politically loaded words frequently used to pummel those who object to Washington's behavior. He advocates, instead, a more level-headed assessment of danger, advice all the more cogent since it comes from a former soldier. Iraq and Afghanistan did not threaten America; in fact, those countries and the world have become more dangerous because of heavy-handed American intervention. Nor does North Korea pose a threat. Nor did Vietnam.

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.

The power of virtue is Bacevich's most profound message. Instead of trying to fix Afghanistan's Helmand Province, he insists, Americans should fix Detroit and Cleveland. Instead of attempting to export notions of freedom and democracy to nations that lack experience of either, America should demonstrate, by her actions, that she is still a free, democratic and humane nation. Her real strength lies in her liberal tradition, not in her ability to kill.

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.

Those unexplored assumptions and entrenched convictions have now pushed the United States into a new quagmire. Despite that predicament, both Dower and Bacevich try to end positively. "If change is to come, it must come from the people," argues Bacevich. Dower agrees. But these feeble attempts at optimism are the least convincing parts of two otherwise brilliant books. 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.

Gerard De Groot is a professor of history at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and author of "The Bomb: A Life."

 Andrew Feldman review (Review Washington Rules - FPIF)

Army-officer-turned professor Andrew Bacevich makes the realist case against American expansionism.

By Andrew Feldman, August 26, 2010.

Print

For his first 40 years, Andrew Bacevich lived the conventional life of an army officer. In the military world where success depended on conformity, he followed the rules and “took comfort in orthodoxy…[finding] assurance in conventional wisdom.” Comfort, that is, until he had a chance to peer behind the Iron Curtain, and was shocked to find East Germany more third-world shambles than first-rate threat.

That experience, combined with the introspection that followed his subsequent retirement from the army, led Bacevich to reevaluate the relationship between truth and power. After having taken his superiors at their word for decades, he slowly came to understand “that authentic truth is never simple and that any version of truth handed down from on high…is inherently suspect. The exercise of power necessarily involves manipulation and is antithetical to candor.”

Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War is Bacevich’s fourth book on the subject of American exercise of power. This time, he takes up the question of the political calculations that have produced the basic tenets of American foreign policy since the beginning of the Cold War, examining how and why they came to exist and to survive all challenges to their supremacy.

Bacevich describes two components that define U.S. foreign policy.

These rules, Bacevich argues, are no longer vital to the existence of the United States, and have led to actions that threaten to break the army and bankrupt the treasury. Rather, they are kept in place by individuals who derive personal benefit from their continuance. Bacevich does not hesitate to blame a Washington class that “clings to its credo and trinity not out of necessity, but out of parochial self-interest laced with inertia.”

This is a theme that runs throughout the book: that those who make the rules also benefit from them, and thus their demands should always be regarded skeptically.

While abstaining from questioning the patriotism of past leaders, Bacevich is not reluctant to point out how many policies that were later widely embraced were originally trumpeted by ambitious men who had as much to gain personally by their acceptance as did the country:

The story of foreign policy, then, is not so much different than any government bureaucracy through which vast sums of money flow, and is driven as much by officials jockeying for status than by genuine concern for policy outcomes. Whether in disputes between the Army and the Air Force or the Pentagon and the White House, and whether over money or over purpose, different sectors of the national security establishment propose and promote new doctrines that necessitate increasing their budgets and enhancing their importance.

But Bacevich is not content to only blame leaders. In contrast to George Washington’s ideal of the citizen who would consider it his duty to actively serve his country, Bacevich finds today’s Americans “greedy and gullible,” pursuing personal gain in the stead of collective benefit. Any solution, he argues, must come from an awakened people who demand change from the people they put in office.

As for what that change should look like, Bacevich proposes a new credo and trinity. As a new mission statement, he offers: “America’s purpose is to be America, striving to fulfill the aspirations expressed in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution as reinterpreted with the passage of time and in light of hard-earned experience.”

As a new trinity, he suggests that “the purpose of the U.S, military is not to combat evil or remake the world but to defend the United States and its most vital interests…the primary duty station of the American soldier is in America…consistent with the Just War tradition, the United States should employ force only as a last resort and only in self defense.”

Bacevich writes in the short, clipped style with which he also speaks, presumably a legacy of his West Point education and decades in the military. His style allows for easy comprehension and neat packaging of his ideas, and readers will not get bogged down in flowery language.

Parts of Bacevich’s thinking require further scrutiny and remind readers of his self-identification as a conservative (lowercase “c”). Economically, he is no fan of stimulus spending, and socially he places blame on individual failings and personal flaws, choosing not to mention an unequal economic system that leaves tens of millions of Americans with barely the resources to take care of their families, much less have time to be informed and active citizens.

In fact, the emphasis throughout the book is on the fact that expansionism, at this particular moment, is not wrong but impossible. Bacevich is, after all, a realist when it comes to international relations theory, and though he happens to agree with liberal anti-imperials on many issues, it is often for different reasons.

However, debates over theory can wait for when the republic is in less immediate peril. This is the second work Bacevich has published under the auspices of the American Empire Project, a book series documenting America’s imperial adventures and their disastrous consequences. The contribution of conservative authors to this task is vital. They remind us that opposition to imperialism is hardly just a liberal cause, and in fact for much of American history was actually a rallying point for conservatives across the country.

Washington Rules is valuable for putting in print what those inside the military establishment don’t dare admit: that, even aside from moral concerns, U.S. international strategy is neither successful nor sustainable and maintained more by lies than by actual results. Bacevich can truly be said to be a realist in that he understand that leaders, when faced with the choice of admitting failure or lying, will almost always choose the latter.

Andrew Feldman is an intern with Foreign Policy In Focus.

 

The Limits of Power The End of American Exceptionalism

Here is one Amazon reader review of he first book (Amazon.com David R. Cook Dave Cook's review of The Limits of Power The End of American E...)

Cliche or not, this is a "Must Read" book

By David R. Cook on August 15, 2008

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase

This is the bluntest, toughest, most scathing critique of American imperialism as it has become totally unmoored after the demise of the Soviet Communist empire and taken to a new level by the Bush administration. Even the brevity of this book - 182 pages - gives it a particular wallop since every page "concentrates the mind".

In the event a reader knows of the prophetic work of the American theologian, Reinhold Niebuhr, you will further appreciate this book. Bacevich is a Niebuhr scholar and this book essentially channels Niebuhr's prophetic warnings from his 1952 book, "The Irony of American History". The latter has just been reissued by University of Chicago Press thanks to Andrew Bacevich who also contributed an introduction.

In essence, American idealism as particularly reflected in Bush's illusory goal to "rid the world of evil" and to bring freedom and democracy to the Middle East or wherever people are being tyrannized, is doomed to failure by the tides of history. Niebuhr warned against this and Bacevich updates the history from the Cold War to the present. Now our problems have reached crisis proportions and Bacevich focuses on the three essential elements of the crisis: American profligacy; the political debasing of government; and the crisis in the military.

What renders Bacevich's critique particularly stinging, aside from the historical context he gives it (Bush has simply taken an enduring American exceptionalism to a new level), is that he lays these problems on the doorstep of American citizens. It is we who have elected the governments that have driven us toward near collapse. It is we who have participated willingly in the consumption frenzy in which both individual citizens and the government live beyond their means. Credit card debt is undermining both government and citizenry.

This pathway is unsustainable and this book serves up a direct and meaningful warning to this effect. Niebuhrian "realism" sees through the illusions that fuel our own individual behavior and that of our government. There are limits to American power and limits to our own individual living standards and, of course, there are limits to what the globe can sustain as is becoming evident from climate changes.

American exceptionalism is coming to an end and it will be painful for both individual citizens and our democracy and government to get beyond it. But we have no choice. Things will get worse before they get better. Bacevich suggests some of the basic ways that we need to go to reverse the path to folly. He holds out no illusions that one political party or the other, one presidential candidate or the other, has the will or the leadership qualities to change directions. It is up to American citizens to demand different policies as well as to govern our own appetites.

While this is a sobering book, it is not warning of doomsday. Our worst problems are essentially of our own making and we can begin to unmake them. But we first have to come to terms with our own exceptionalism. We cannot manage history and there are no real global problems that can be solved by military means, or certainly not by military means alone.

Without Exception
By Edwin C. Pauzer VINE VOICE on September 24, 2008

This is one of those books you might find yourself sitting down to read chapter and verse over and over again, only because the writing is so intelligent and so profound. "The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism," by Andrew Bacevich, is one of those works that will enthrall the reader with its insight and analysis.

According to the author, the US has reached its limit to project its power in the world. His rationale for this conclusion are three central crises we now face: economic and cultural, political, and military, all of which are our own making.

The first crisis is one of profligacy. Americans want more, whether it is wealth, credit, markets, or oil, without consideration for cost or how these things are acquired. There is complete apathy in what policies are being produced as long as they provide plenty.

The political crisis was born of our mobilization in World War II to meet the threat of tyranny, and from the Cold War to meet the challenge of the Soviet Union. Both gave rise to unprecedented presidential power, an ineffectual Congress, and a disastrous foreign policy. Bacevich contends that our legislature no longer serves their constituents or the common good "but themselves through gerrymandering, doling out prodigious amounts of political pork, seeing to the protection of certain vested interests" with the paramount concern of being re-elected. Our presidents have been willing accomplices in keeping the American dream or greed alive by using our military as part of a coercive diplomatic tool to feed and fuel the first crisis.

Bacevich traces the end of the republic to the start of both wars, which gave rise to the "ideology of national security." The mission of the new Department of Defense is not defense, but to project power globally where we will view any nation as a threat that tries to match us in military might. At the same time, the largest intelligence agencies in the world are created to afford us more security, but after seventy years are unable to defend our cities and buildings in the US while it worries about intrigues worldwide. Competition and rivalry lead to a lack of cooperation, intelligence, and security when it was needed most.

The third crisis is our military which has been employed to satisfy the neuroses of the first and second crises. The author puts much of the blame squarely at the feet of inept military leadership, which he believes has confused strategy with operations. Content with the resilience of the American fighting man or woman, he is scathing in his critique of their leadership finding them "guilty of flagrant professional malpractice, if not outright fraud." He illustrates how improvised explosive devices that cost no more than a pizza have checked a military that is designed for speed and maneuver--that was considered invincible.

Andrew Bacevich contends that nothing will change as long as Americans are told to go to Disney World instead of making sacrifices, as long as the same one half percent of our population continue to populate the military that the president sees as his personal army, as long as an apathetic public and an ineffectual Congress continue to make periodic, grand gestures of curbing presidential power, the United States will have reached the limits of its power and exceptionalism.

This book profoundly moved me, and I was impressed by the insight that Professor Bacevich could bring in such few pages. Passages of this book should be plastered in the halls and offices of Congress, as well as the West Wing.

This book really stands out as a jewel in a sea of mediocre publications by radio and TV personalities who think they know what they are talking about when it comes to economics or geopolitics. The difference is that Andrew Bacevich does

--without exception.

Also Recommended:

The New American Militarism

There are several very insightful reviews of Bacevich latest book The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War (2005) on Amazon. I strongly recommend to read them.

Bacevich argues that the new militarism came about because of a convergence of several social forces (and as such has significant social base):

For your convenience some of  them which I judge to be the most insightful are reproduced below:

Andrew J. Bacevich's The New American Militarism: How Americans Are seduced By War, Oxford University Press, New York, 2005, ISBN 0-19-517338-4, is the most coherent analysis of how America has come to its present situation in the world that I have ever read. Bacevich, Professor of International Relations and Director of the Center for International Relations at Boston University, is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and holds a Ph.D. in history from Princeton. And he is retired military officer. This background makes him almost uniquely qualified to comment on the subject.

Bacevich admits to an outlook of moderate conservatism. But in ascribing fault for our plight to virtually every administration since W.W. II, he is even handed and clear eyed. Since he served in the military, he understands the natural bureaucratic instincts of the best of the officer corps and is not blinded by the almost messianic status that they have achieved in the recent past.

His broad brush includes the classic period, the American Revolution - especially the impact of George Washington, but he moves quickly to the influence of Woodrow Wilson and his direct descendants of our time, the Neoconservatives. The narrative accelerates and becomes relevant for us in the depths of the despair of Vietnam. At that juncture, neocon intellectuals awakened to the horror that without a new day for our military and foreign policy, the future of America would be at stake. At almost the same time, Evangelical Christians abandoned their traditional role in society and came to views not dissimilar to the neocons. America had to get back on track to both power and goodness. The results of Vietnam on American culture, society, and - especially - values were abhorrent to both these groups.

The perfect man to idealize and mythologize America's road back was Ronald Reagan. Again, Bacevich does not shrink from seeing through the surreal qualities brought to the Oval Office by Reagan to the realities beneath them. The Great Communicator transformed the Vietnam experience into an abandonment of American ideals and reacquainted America with those who fought that horrible war. Pop culture of the period, including motion pictures such as Top Gun and best selling novels by many, including Tom Clancy completely rehabilitated the image of the military.

The author describes how Evangelical leaders came to find common cause with the neocons and provided the political muscle for Reagan and his successors of both parties to discover that the projection of military might become a reason for being for America as the last century closed.

One of his major points is that the all volunteer force that resulted from the Vietnam experience has been divorced from American life and that sending this force of ghosts into battle has little impact on our collective psyche. This, too, fit in with the intellectual throw weight of the neocons and the political power of the Evangelicals.

Separate from but related to the neocons, Bacevich describes the loss of strategic input by the military in favor of a new priesthood of intellectual elites from institutions such as the RAND Corporation, The University of Chicago and many others. It was these high priests who saw the potential that technology provided for changing the nature of war itself and how American power might be projected with `smart weapons' that could be the equivalent of the nuclear force that could never be used.

So it was that when the war we are now embroiled in across the globe - which has its antecedents back more than twenty years - all of these forces weighed heavily on the military leaders to start using the force we'd bought them. The famed question by Secretary of State Madeline Albright to General Colin Powell: "What's the point of having this superb military that you're always talking about if we can't use it?" had to have an answer and the skirmishes and wars since tended to provide it.

Bacevich clearly links our present predicaments both at home and abroad to the ever greater need for natural resources, especially oil from the Persian Gulf. He demolishes all of the reasons for our bellicosity based on ideals and links it directly to our insatiable appetite for oil and economic expansion. Naturally, like thousands of writers before him, he points out the need for a national energy policy based on more effective use of resources and alternative means of production.

It is in his prescriptions that the book tends to drift. The Congress must do its constitutionally mandated jobs or be thrown out by the people. Some of his ideas on military education are creative and might well close the gap between the officer corps and civilians that he points to as a great problem.

But it is the clearly written analysis that makes this book shine. It should be a must read for those who wonder how we got to Iraq and where we might be heading as a society. The nation is in grave danger, and this is a book that that shows how we got to this juncture. Where we go from here is up to us. If we continue as we are, our options may narrow and be provided by others.

READ THIS BOOK

===This review is from: The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War (Hardcover)

In his book The New American Militarism (2005), Andrew Bacevich desacralizes our idolatrous infatuation with military might, but in a way that avoids the partisan cant of both the left and the right that belies so much discourse today. Bacevich's personal experiences and professional expertise lend his book an air of authenticity that I found compelling. A veteran of Vietnam and subsequently a career officer, a graduate of West Point and later Princeton where he earned a PhD in history, director of Boston University's Center for International Relations, he describes himself as a cultural conservative who views mainstream liberalism with skepticism, but who also is a person whose "disenchantment with what passes for mainstream conservatism, embodied in the present Bush administration and its groupies, is just about absolute." Finally, he identifies himself as a "conservative Catholic." Idolizing militarism, Bacevich insists, is far more complex, broader and deeper than scape-goating either political party, accusing people of malicious intent or dishonorable motives, demonizing ideological fanatics as conspirators, or replacing a given administration. Not merely the state or the government, but society at large, is enthralled with all things military.

Our military idolatry, Bacevich believes, is now so comprehensive and beguiling that it "pervades our national consciousness and perverts our national policies." We have normalized war, romanticized military life that formally was deemed degrading and inhuman, measured our national greatness in terms of military superiority, and harbor naive, unlimited expectations about how waging war, long considered a tragic last resort that signaled failure, can further our national self-interests. Utilizing a "military metaphysic" to justify our misguided ambitions to recreate the world in our own image, with ideals that we imagine are universal, has taken about thirty years to emerge in its present form. It is this marriage between utopians ends and military means that Bacevich wants to annul.

How have we come to idolize military might with such uncritical devotion? He likens it to pollution: "the perhaps unintended, but foreseeable by-product of prior choices and decisions made without taking fully into account the full range of costs likely to be incurred" (p. 206). In successive chapters he analyzes six elements of this toxic condition that combined in an incremental and cumulative fashion.

  1. After the humiliation of Vietnam, an "unmitigated disaster" in his view, the military set about to rehabilitate and reinvent itself, both in image and substance. With the All Volunteer Force, we moved from a military comprised of citizen-soldiers that were broadly representative of all society to a professional warrior caste that by design isolated itself from broader society and that by default employed a disproportionate percentage of enlistees from the lowest socio-economic class. War-making was thus done for us, by a few of us, not by all of us.
  2. Second, the rise of the neo-conservative movement embraced American Exceptionalism as our national end and superior coercive force as the means to franchise it around the world.
  3. Myth-making about warfare sentimentalized, sanitized and fictionalized war. The film Top Gun is only one example of "a glittering new image of warfare."
  4. Fourth, without the wholehearted complicity of conservative evangelicalism, militarism would have been "inconceivable," a tragic irony when you consider that the most "Christian" nation on earth did far less to question this trend than many ostensibly "secular" nations.
  5. Fifth, during the years of nuclear proliferation and the fears of mutually assured destruction, a "priesthood" of elite defense analysts pushed for what became known as the Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA). RMA pushed the idea of "limited" and more humane war using game theory models and technological advances with euphemisms like "clean" and "smart" bombs. But here too our "exuberance created expectations that became increasingly uncoupled from reality," as the current Iraq debacle demonstrates.
  6. Finally, despite knowing full well that dependence upon Arab oil made us vulnerable to the geo-political maelstroms of that region, we have continued to treat the Persian Gulf as a cheap gas station. How to insure our Arab oil supply, protect Saudi Arabia, and serve as Israel's most important protector has always constituted a squaring of the circle. Sordid and expedient self interest, our "pursuit of happiness ever more expansively defined," was only later joined by more lofty rhetoric about exporting universal ideals like democracy and free markets, or, rather, the latter have only been a (misguided) means to secure the former.

Bacevich opens and closes with quotes from our Founding Fathers. In 1795, James Madison warned that "of all the enemies of public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other." Similarly, late in his life George Washington warned the country of "those overgrown military establishments which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hotile to republican liberty."

K. Johnson:

 Relevant and Objective, January 3, 2007

Author Andrew Bacevich has superb credentials on military, diplomatic, and historical issues. A Vietnam Veteran, 25+ year career in the Army and now professor of International Relations, Bacevich is one of the few that has the experience *and* knowledge to dissect what has been occurring in American socio-political culture and society for the last several decades. Bacevich notes the current focus on the military to solve the world's problems and to promote America's interests is not the sole work of a President and Congress, but the combination of culture, mentality, political, and now primarily economic, interests. This book has tons of footnoting, which allows you to delve further into these issues on your own.

The author astutely reinforces the fact that the Militarist Mentality won't change, regardless of which political party is in control of the Executive and Houses of Congress in the United States. Here only some examples out of many:

Entry of the U.S. military into the Middle East:

THE CARTER DOCTRINE:

The Carter Doctrine was prescribed at the State of the Union Address in 1980. Another civilian prescription utilizing the military as medicine to alleviate and even cure, political symptoms. This Doctrine began a new era of U.S. involvement in the Middle East, specifically using the American military to enforce its economic interests and lifestyle dependence on oil. The Carter Doctrine was a major shift in American foreign policy in the Middle East. It specifically stated that use of the military can and will be used to enforce U.S. economic interests.

At his State of the Union Address, Carter stated:

"Any attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be declared as an assault on the vital interest of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force" (p. 181).

Worth noting is that the Carter Doctrine was declared during the Cold War, when there was a adversary to check U.S interests. Today, that rival is gone.

Some argue the so-called 'War on Terror' is merely a historical continuation of American foreign policy interests in using its military to promote its geo-political and economic interests.

WAR AS SPECTATOR SPORT:

War has been, and now is presented as a spectacle. No different than a spectator sport. Live reports, video display, and laymen presentations of new technology, usually via video, to the civilian public at press conferences.

One example of many are current U.S. newspaper reports: they don't use the term "wounded" when reporting about American soldiers in Iraq. They use the euphemistic term, "injured." "17 Iraqis 'wounded' and 3 American soldiers 'injured.'" Similar to a football game. Slogans such as "Shock and Awe, Support the Troops," and deck of cards identifying the most wanted Baath party members. "Freedom is not Free." Many American military personel (and civilians) have internalized this propaganda.

Using Hollywood To Enhance "Honor" and perpetuate myths:

Bacevich carefully details the planned and choreographed footage of George W. Bush dressed as a fighter pilot on the USS Abraham Lincoln. This was intentionally and specifically lifted from the movie "Top Gun." Immediately after this planned footage, an action figure doll was created and sold for $39.99. It was called the "Elite Force Aviator: George W. Bush: U.S. President and Naval Aviator" (p. 31).

Well-dressed, handsome, and beautiful anchors report about the war in such series as "The Week in War." More simulation of the spectator sport of war in our pop culture. One segment in the "Week in War program" is called "The Fallen," where the photo of a soldier, his name, age, and hometown are presented, and the date of his death. Then the cameramen go to his family's home. Often a family picture of the "fallen soldier" is shown. Then, an interview with the somber, and at times tearful family in their living room, sitting on their couch: "He was a good kid. He always wanted to help people."

The "Fallen" is related to a concept that the Germans began about 300 years ago. This concept is called the "Cult of the Fallen Soldier." When a soldier is killed in war he is elevated to a higher status because of his death. He is placed on a pedestal, because somehow, and in some enigmatic way, he "sacrificed" for a noble cause that is often abstract or confusing to the public. To further simplify the confusion and sullenness resulting from the soldier's death, religion is often injected into the deceased soldiers elevation on a pedestal. You can see this Cult of the Fallen Soldier in Arlington, Virgina today, and in many military cemeteries around the world.

GLORIFICATION OF THE MILITARY THROUGH MOVIES:

Bacevich notes moves and their role. "Top Gun" had a tremendous impact in many ways. Pop culture, and Navy recruiting sky-rocketing. As for the flurry of "Vietnam war movies," again the noble concepts of "courage, honor, fear, triumph" are latently and explicitly reinforced to the public of all ages and socio-economic levels.

It took me a chapter or two to get used to Bacevich's writing style, but I grew to like it.

Chapters: 1) Wilsonians Under Arms 2) The Military Professions at Bay 3) Left, Right, Center 4) California Dreaming 5) Onward 6) War Club 7) Blood for Oil 8) Common Defense

"Support" for the military is often incorrectly linked with one's "patriotism." This faulty thinking is perpetuated by the electronic and print media in often subtle forms but extremely effective forms, and at times very explicit and in aggressive manners. The government intentionally steers the publics' focus to the 'Military aspects of war' to avoid attention to the more realistic and vital 'political aspects.' The latter being at the real heart of the motivation, manner, and outcome of most *political* conflicts.

Bacevich notes journalists: journalist Thomas Friedman complained that a Super Bowl half-time show did not honor the "troops." He then drove to the Command Center to visit and speak with the "troops." Soon after, he carried on with his own self-centered interests, like everyone else.

The military in and of itself is not dangerous nor pernicious. The military doesn't formulate foreign policy. The military just implements it, carrying out the orders and instructions of elitist civilians who have never served in the armed forces. It's not the military nor the men and women serving in it, we must be wary of. It's the civilians masters with vested interests in the governmental and corporate world who must be held accountable.

General Creighton Abrams wanted to diminish the influence of civilian control over the military after Vietnam. Civilians and politicians were making military decisions. It seems the situation is similar in 2007. Chairman of the JCS Peter Pace sounds political. History will be the judge.

This is a very insightful book for those interested in recent history as well as the current situation the United States is in. The troops should be supported for what they do. Because unfortunately they are the ones that pay the price for elitist decisions made by upper-class civilians from the Ivy League cliques that run the U.S. politically and economically.

Highly recommended and relevant to our contemporary times and our future.

Andrew Bacevich did excellent research and writing in this book. I'll think we'll be hearing a lot more of him. Hopefully He'll get more access to the public. If - the mainstream media allows it.

Robert S. Frey
An Informed, Insightful, and Highly Readable Account of American Foreign Policy Today, December 23, 2006

Andrew J. Bacevich's "The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War," should be read and considered carefully by every member of the national political leadership in the United States as well as by adult Americans in general. Bacevich brings impeccable credentials to his work in this book--professor of history and international relations at Boston University, West Point graduate, and veteran of the Vietnam conflict. His writing is engaging, insightful, and historically well anchored. Importantly, this work is highly accessible and eminently readable. The level of documentation is very valuable as well. Finally, the book is not about fault-finding and finger-pointing toward any one national figure or group.

What I found most beneficial was that the book presented well-argued alternative historical "meta-narratives" that are much more closely aligned with post-World War II historical events and processes than the ones currently accepted as "conventional wisdom." A case in point is the periodization of World War IV beginning with President Carter's pronouncements regarding the Persian Gulf area in 1980 rather than with the terrorist attacks on America on 9/11. "The New American Militarism" carefully and credibly brings together the many seemingly disparate actions, decisions, and events of the past 60+ years (e.g., the atomic bombing of Japan, Vietnam, oil shortages of the 1970s and 80s, the end of the Cold War, the First Gulf War, etc.) and illustrates important patterns and trends that help to explain why United States' foreign policy is what it is today. Dr. Bacevich's book helps us understand and appreciate that the global projection of American military power today has deep roots in the national decisions and behaviors of the second half of the twentieth century.

Robert S. Frey, M.A., MBA, MSM
Adjunct Professor, History
Brenau University

Dr. Lee D. Carlson

Interesting, insightful, and motivating, October 21, 2006

Why is it that some people, including this reviewer, are reluctant to criticize the writings or verbalizations of those Americans that have been or are currently in the military? This is particularly true for those officers and soldiers who have served in combat. To be critical of someone is who has faced such horror would be a sacrilege. Their opinions on subjects, especially those related to war and the military, are given much higher weight than those that have never been in the military. What is the origin of this extreme bias and does it not thwart attempts to get at the truth in matters of war and politics? If a war is illegal or immoral, are not the soldiers who participate in it themselves war criminals, deserving the severest condemnation?

The author of this book sheds light on these questions and gives many more interesting opinions on what he has called the 'new American militarism.' If one examines carefully American history, it is fair to say that Americans have been reluctant to go to war, preferring instead to settle conflicts via negotiation and trade agreements. Americans have been led to the horrors of war kicking and screaming, and breath a sigh of relief when they are over. Historically, Americans have applied extreme skepticism to those politicians, like Woodrow Wilson, who wanted to participate in World War I to make the world "safe for democracy." So if Americans are "seduced by war", as the author contends they have been in recent decades, an explanation must be found. It is tempting to say that they have been merely "brainwashed", and contemporary neuroscience lends some credence to this claim, but one must still be open to alternative explanations, and let the evidence determine the proper interpretation. Once the causes have been identified, it becomes necessary to find methodologies and strategies to counter these causes, lest we find ourselves in another unnecessary and brutal conflict, initiated by some who do not directly participate in it, and have no intention ever to do so.

This book is not a scientific study, but instead is a collection of opinions, mostly supported by anecdotal evidence, to support the author's thesis. On the surface his opinions do seem plausible, but one must still apply to his writings the same level of skepticism applied to other studies of the same kind. It does seem reasonable to believe for example that current attitudes about war are governed by the American failure in Vietnam, Carter's supposed ineptitude in dealing with the resulting loss in "self-esteem" of the American populace, and Reagan's exploitation or correction of this loss. But more evidence is needed to set such a conclusion in stone.

The author though is intellectually honest enough to admit that he has not obtained the "definitive version of the truth" on the new American militarism within the pages of his book. His words are more "suggestive than conclusive" he writes, and he welcomes criticism and alternative interpretations. Vietnam, oil and energy considerations, 9-11, and the media all have a role to play in the current American attitudes about war he argues. Further analysis though is needed, and cognizance must be made that all readers, including this reviewer, are embedded in the same culture as the author, and subjected to the same ideological, historical, and media pressures. We must be extremely cautious in our acceptance of what we find in print and indeed in all information outlets. And we must learn that soldiers, active duty or otherwise, are not infallible and must be subjected to the same criticism as any other citizen. This is again, very difficult to do, and this difficulty is perhaps the best evidence for the author's thesis.

R. Albin:

 Exceptional Polemic; 4.5 Stars, October 19, 2006

This concise and well written book is the best kind of polemic; clear, well argued, and designed to provoke debate. Bacevich is definitely interested in persuading readers of the truth of his views but his calm and invective free prose, insistence on careful documentation, and logical presentation indicate that his primary concern is promote a high level of discussion of this important issue. Bacevich argues well that a form of militarism based on an exaggerated sense of both American mission and American power, specifically military power, has infected public life. He views this militarism as both leading to unecessary and dangerous adventures abroad, epitomized by the Iraq fiasco, and corrupting the quality of domestic debate and policy making. Beyond documenting the existence of this phenomenon, Bacevich is concerned with explicating how this form of militarism, which he views as contrary to American traditions, came to be so popular.

Bacevich argues well that the new militarism came about because of a convergence of actions by a number of different actors including our professional military, neoconservative intellectuals and publicists, evangelical Christians, resurgent Republican party activists, and so-called defense intellectuals. For a variety of reasons, these sometimes overlapping groups converged on ideas of the primacy of American military power and the need to use it aggressively abroad. Bacevich devotes a series of chapters to examining each of these actors, discussing their motivations and actions, often exposing shabby and inconsistent thinking. Some of these, like the role of neoconservative intellectuals and the Religous Right, are fairly well known.

Others, like the behavior of professional military over the last generation, will be novel to many readers. Bacevich's chapters have underlying themes. One is the persisent occurrence of ironic events as the actions of many of these groups produced events counter to their goals. The post-Vietnam professional military attempted to produce a large, vigorous military poised to fight conventional, WWII-like, combats. This force was intended to be difficult for politicians to use. But as these often highly competent professionals succeeded to restoring the quality of the American military, the temptation to use it became stronger and stronger, and control escaped the professionals back into the hands of politicians as varied as Bush II and Clinton. Another theme is that politicians seized on use military force as an alternative to more difficult and politically unpalatable alternatives. Jimmy Carter is described correctly as initiating the American preoccupation with control of the Persian Gulf oil supplies, which has generated a great deal of conflict over the past generation. Bacevich presents Carter as having to act this way because his efforts to persuade Americans to pursue sacrifice and a rational energy policy were political losers. Ronald Reagan is presented as the epitome of this unfortunate trend.

Bacevich is generally convincing though, perhaps because this is a short book, there are some issues which are presented onesidely. For example, its true that Carter began the military preoccupation with the Persian Gulf. But, its true as well that his administration established the Dept. of Energy, began a significant program of energy related research, moved towards fuel standards for vehicles and began the regulatory policies that would successfully improve energy efficiency for many household items. No subsequent administration had done more to lessen dependence on foreign oil.

Bacevich also omits an important point. As he points out, the different actors that sponsored the new militarism tended to converge in the Republican Party. But, as has been pointed out by a number of analysts, the Republican Party is a highly disparate and relatively unstable coalition. The existence of some form of powerful enemy, perceived or real, is necessary to maintain Republican solidarity. The new militarism is an important component of maintaining the internal integrity of the Republican party and at unconciously appreciated as such by many important Republicans.

An interesting aspect of this book is that Bacevich, a West point grad, former career Army officer, and self-described cultural conservative, has reproduced many of the criticisms put forward by Leftist critics.

Bacevich concludes with a series of interesting recommendations that are generally rational but bound to be controversial and probably politically impossible. Again, this is an effort to change the nature of the discussion about these issues.

Adam Bahner
How Permanent Military Deployment Became Congruent With World Peace, June 29, 2006

In The New American Militarism, Andrew J. Bacevich contends that American culture and policy since the end of the Cold War has merged a militaristic ethos with a utopian global imaginary. He notes that American militarism is a "bipartisan project" with "deep roots" that even garner support on the political margins, with some leftist activists seeing a humanitarian mission for U.S. global military hegemony. He traces these roots to the worldview of Woodrow Wilson, who envisioned a globe "remade in America's image and therefore permanently at peace." Yet Wilson's view was moderated by a public and policy perception of war as an ugly, costly, brutal, traumatic and unpredictable last resort. This is corroborated by the massive military demobilizations that followed U.S. involvement in both world wars. Bacevich also points to works of popular culture, from Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet On The Western Front to Oliver Stone's Platoon, that reflect on the inhumanity of war from World War I through Vietnam.

Bacevich sees a massive deviation from these historical trends after the end of the Cold War. While conceding that a permanent military mobilization was expected during the Cold War (from roughly NSC-68 to the fall of the Berlin Wall)--no significant demobilization followed. Forces slated for deactivation were quickly mobilized for Operation Desert Storm. No successful popular culture critiques of that war's brutality would emerge. The author sees the end of the cold war and Desert Storm as framing a period of "new American militarism" that breaks from historical precedent in several regards. He claims that since the 1988 presidential campaign, the character of the presidency has emphasized military more than civilian leadership. This contradicts previous presidents of military stature (e.g. Grant, Eisenhower) who obsessively positioned themselves as civilians. Post-Cold War military budgets have been dramatically larger despite no global adversary. The public has uncritically accepted a permanent military stance. The perception of war as ghastly and treacherous has been replaced with war as a clinical and technologically managed spectacle. The link between the covenant of citizenship and military service has been replaced by a specialized force of volunteers. The numbers of veterans serving in congress has steadily decreased since World War II. Bacevich correlates this with the shunning of military service by elites as the military has increasingly drawn from areas of the population that are poor and brown. Because of this, force is "outsourced" and in turn the stature of soldiers has dramatically increased through an infrastructure of praise by the majority who are not involved in military operations. Senior military officers have tremendous clout in politics, policy, and spending.

To understand this new militarism, Bacevich notes that it is point-for-point an inversion of Vietnam's military milieu. There, politicians up through the president framed themselves as civilians, officers felt out of touch with bureaucratic decisions, and war was perceived as carnal and bumbling. The book traces cultural responses to Vietnam that reformed the American relationship to militarism. As military leaders like Creighton Abrams sought to mandate broad political investment for military action by creating interdependence with reserves and to limit the criteria for deployment with the Weinberger doctrine, politicians like Ronald Reagan rehabilitated an American demoralization that peaked with Carter's failed Operation Eagle Claw by invoking popular culture mythologies like Rambo.

Bacevich is unabashedly religious. He ultimately couches America's outsourced and technocratic militarism as a departure from natural Gods in the pursuit of a scientistic idol that more perfectly regulates human affairs. He openly sees in this scientism the same flaw and outcome as Communism or Fascism. He suggests that affirmation of military service across economic privilege would raise the stakes of military engagements and help to contradict the cultural illusions that form the basis of American militarism. (That war is technical, distant, clinical, predictable, outsourced, humane, and everything contrary to what writers like Remarque tell us.) He meticulously synthesizes a new paradigm that relates the difficult subjects of military policy and popular sanction. In this regard, The New American Militarism is an exciting contribution to historical scholarship.

M. Ward:

The New American Militarism - A Bipolar Look at Todays State of Affairs, February 4, 2006

Andrew J. Bacevichs', The New American Militarism, gives the reader an important glimpse of his background when he wrote that, as a Vietnam veteran, the experience baffled him and he wrote this book in an effort to "sift through the wreckage left by the war." After the Vietnam War, the author stayed in the military because he believed being an American soldier was a "true and honorable" calling. Bacevich states he is a devoted Catholic and a conservative who became disillusioned with mainstream conservatism. He also states that he believes the current political system is corrupt and functions in ways inconsistent with genuine democracy.
Bacevich states that he tried to write this book using facts in an unbiased way. However, he cautions the reader that his experiences have shaped his views and that his views are part of this book. This is a way to tell the reader that although he tried to remain unbiased, his background and biases find voice in this book. I believe the authors warning are valid; he draws heavily upon his background and biases to support his thesis.

The book is about American militarism, which Bacevich describes as the "misleading and dangerous conceptions of war, soldiers, and military institutions" that have become part of the American conscience and have `perverted' US national security policy. According to Bacevich, American militarism has subordinated the search for the common good to the permanent value of military effectiveness that will bankrupt the US economically and morally. Bacevich supports this thesis by discussing issues that have contributed to this state of affairs.
Bacevich believes the current state of American militarism has roots dating back to the Wilson administration. Wilson's vision was to remake the world in America's image. God Himself willed the universal embrace of liberal democracies and Wilson saw the US as a `divine agent' to make the world a safe and democratic place. Today, with no serious threat to keep our military forces in check, we are now, more than ever, free to spread liberal democracy using military force, if necessary.
Considering the military, Bacevich makes the point that the militarism of America is also due, in part, to the officer corps of the US military trying to rehabilitate the image and profession of the soldier after the Vietnam War. Officers attempted to do this by reversing the roles of the soldiers and the politicians that was problematic during the Vietnam War. They tried to establish the primacy of the military over the civilians in decisions as to how to use the military. The Weinberger and Powell doctrines were the manifestation of this idea by spelling out conditions for the use of the US military in combat.

Neo-conservatives further enhanced the trend of militarism. They see US power as an instrument for good and the time was right to use the military to achieve the final triumph of Wilson's idea of spreading American liberal democracy around the globe.

Religion also played a role. According to Bacevich, evangelical Protestants see the US as a Christian nation singled out by God and Americans are His chosen people. These evangelicals believed the Vietnam War was not only a military crisis, but also a cultural and moral crisis threatening our status. Evangelicals looked to the military to play a pivotal role in saving the US from internal collapse due to the higher expression of morals and values found in the military. The military would become the role model to reverse the trend of godlessness and social decay.

Another set of actors that contributed to American militarism were the defense intellectuals whose main contribution was to bring the military back under civilian control. According to Bacevich, they laid the groundwork of our current policy of `preventative war' and reinforced American militarism.
Finally, Bacevich accuses politicians of deceiving the American public as to the true nature of American militarism by wrapping militarism in the comfortable trappings of nationalism. By using labels such as the Global War on Terrorism, politicians are using a political sleight-of-hand trick to hide our true militaristic nature in patriotic terms. Bacevich concludes his book with a list of recommendations to mitigate the current trend of American militarism.

Bacevich seems to create a mosaic of conspiracy perpetrated by sinister actors aimed at deceiving an unsuspecting public as to the true nature of American militarism. Until the last chapter where Bacevich tells the reader that there is no conspiracy, it is very easy to believe there might be one lurking in the shadows. I was shocked when I reached Bacevich's recommendations. The contrast between his recommendations and the rest of the book is astounding. I was expecting highly provocative recommendations that would match the tone of the rest of the book. However, his recommendations were solid and well thought out...delivered in the calm manner one would expect from a political scientist. Nevertheless, in the end, Bacevich's message leading up to his recommendations were hard to swallow. I believe he wrote this book not to enlighten but to be provocative in order to sell books and build his status in academic circles. If Bacevich's aim was to build a convincing argument on a serious subject, he needed to be less provocative and more clinical.

David Friedman:
What is militarism? What is it, particularly as applied to today's America? West Point educated Andrew Bacevich opens his book with a concise statement: "Today as never before in their history Amercans are enthralled with military power. The global military supremacy that the United States presently enjoys . . . has become central to our national identity." This is the basic premise of The New American Militarism. Anyone who does not accept the accuracy of this statement, or is unconcerned about its implications should probably not read this book--it will only annoy them. For those, however, who are concerned about how militarism is increasingly seeping into our core values and sense of national destiny, or who are disturbed by the current glaring disconnect between what our soldiers endure "over there", and the lack of any sacrifice or inconvenience for the rest of us "over here", this book is a must-read.

Refreshingly, Bacevich approaches the new American militarism as neither a Democrat nor Republican, from neither the left nor the right. No doubt, those with a stake in defending the policy of the present Administration no matter how foolish, or in castigating it as the main source of our current militarism, will see "bias" in this book. The truth though is that Bacevich makes a genuine effort to approach his subject in a spirit of open and disinterested inquiry. He has earned the right to say, near the end of his book, that "this account has not sought to assign or impute blame." As a result, he is not stymied by the possibility of embarrassing one political side or the other by his arguments or conclusions. This leads to a nuanced and highly independent and original treatment of the subject.

In chronicling the rise of American militarism, Bacevich rightly starts with Wilson's vision of American exceptionalism: an America leading the world beyond the slaughterhouse of European battlefields to an international order of peaceful democratic states. But where President Wilson wanted to create such a world for the express purpose of rendering war obsolete, Bacevich notes that today's "Wilsonians" want to export American democracy through the use of force. He follows this overview with an insider's thumbnail history of American military thinking from Vietnam to the first Gulf war. He explains how the military in effect re-invented itself after Vietnam so as to make it far more difficult "to send the Army off to fight while leaving the country behind." Today's highly professionalized and elite force is largely the result of this thinking. In turn this professional military presented to the country and its civilian leaders a re-invented model of war: war waged with surgical precision and offering "the prospect of decision rather than pointing ineluctably toward stalemate and quagmire." Gulf War I was the triumphant culmination of this model. The unintended and ironic consequence, of course, was that war and the aggressive projection of American military power throughout the world came to be viewed by some in our nation's leadership as an increasingly attractive policy option.

The body of the book analyzes how the legitimate attempt to recover from the national trauma of Vietnam led ultimately to a militarism increasingly reflected in crucial aspects of American life. In religion he traces how a "crusade" theory of warfare has supplanted the more mainstream "just war" theory. In popular culture he discusses the rise of a genre of pop fiction and movies reflecting a glamorized and uncritical idealization of war (he examines "An Officer and A Gentleman", "Rambo: First Blood Part II", and "Top Gun" as examples). In politics he identifies the neo-conservative movement as bringing into the mainstream ideas that "a decade earlier might have seemed reckless or preposterous"; for example the idea that the United States is "the most revolutionary force on earth" with an "inescapable mission" to spread democracy -- by the sword if necessary. Bacevich calls these ideas "inverted Trotskyism", and notes that the neo-conservative movement shares with Mao the assumption that revolution springs "from the barrel of a gun".

Bacevich concludes his book with a pithy ten-point critique offered as a starting point for "a change in consciousness, seeing war and America's relationship to war in a fundamentally different way." Among his points are greater fidelity to the letter and the spirit of the Constituional provisions regarding war and the military, and increased strategic self-sufficiency for America. Perhaps the most important points of his critique are those about ending or at least reducing the current disconnect between er how we might reduce

Patrick Connor

Careful observers will note the abolute claims that lie under the surface of these criticisms. If you criticize anything about the United States, you're automatically anti-Bush. If you question the wisdom of viewing the military as a first-option in handling international problems, you're even worse: a liberal anti-Bush peacenick. History supposedly demonstrates that diplomacy never works with any "tyrant" (whatever that is), while war allegedly always work. It's just one stark claim after another, with never any gray area in the middle.

If you read the book, this "you're either with us or with the terrorists, either dream war or hate President Bush" mentality should remind you of something. It very closely resembles the description Bacevich gives of neoconservatism, which he says engenders a worldview that is constantly in crisis mode. Things are always so dire for neocons, Bacevich explains, that only two feasible options present themselves at any given time: doing what the neocons want (usually deploying military force in pursuit of some lofty but unrealistic goal), or suffering irreversible and potentially fatal setbacks to our national cause.

Is it really surprising that the reviews of this book from a neocon mindset are also the reviews giving one star to a book that sytematically critiques and upends neoconservatism?

In actuality, as many have pointed out already, Bacevich is "anti-Bush" only insomuch as he is anti-neoconservative. Bacevich openly states that he throws his full weight behind traditionally conservative issues, like small government and lower taxes. Indeed, he is a devoutly religious social conservative who himself severed twenty years in the Army officer corps. This is why his exposee on America's new militarism has so much credibility.

Since he was in the military, he knows that sometimes the military is necessary to handle situations that develop in the world. However he also understands that the military is often grossly unfit to handle certain situations. This is the main theme of his book. At its core, the story is about how, in response to Vietnam, military leaders worked frightfully hard to rebuild the military and to limit the freedom of starry-eyed civilians to use the armed forces inappropriately.

Their most important objective was to ensure that no more Wilsonian misadventures (like Vietnam) would happen. The officer corps did this by carving out a space of authority for the top brass, from which they could have unprecedented input in policy decisions, and be able to guide strategy and tactics once the military deployed into action. After ascending to a position of greater prominence, they implemented the "Weinberger Doctrine," followed by the "Powell Doctrine," both specifically tailored to avoid Vietnam-style quagmires. The Gulf War, claims Bacevich, saw the fruition of fifteen years of hard work to accomplish these reforms. And they worked beautifully.

However, the end of the last decade saw the Neo-conservatives challenge the status quo. And with the election of W. Bush, they were finally in a position where their ideas could again have a disproportionate influence on foreign policy. What we now have in Iraq is another military quagmire, where the solution must be political, but where military occupation renders political solutions impossible.

This story is about how the military profession emerged from the post-Vietnam wilderness, dazzled the world during the first Gulf War, then once again lost its independent ability to craft related policies with the arrival of Rummie and the neocons.

It's a fascinating story, and Bacevich relates it skillfully.

Andrew S. Rogers:

 Baedecker on the road to perdition, December 5, 2005

I was sorry to see Andrew J. Bacevich dismiss Chalmers Johnson's 2004 The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic (The American Empire Project) quite as quickly as he did (on page 3 of the introduction, in fact), because I think these two books, taken together, provide probably the best -- and certainly the most historically-informed -- look at the rise and consequences of American empire. I endorse "The New American Militarism" as heartily as I did "The Sorrows of Empire."

Bacevich's capsule summary of Johnson's work notwithstanding, both these books take the long view of America's international military presence and are quick to grasp one key point. As Bacevich notes on page 205, "American militarism is not the invention of a cabal nursing fantasies of global empire and manipulating an unsuspecting people frightened by the events of 9/11. Further, it is counterproductive to think in these terms -- to assign culpability to a particular president or administration and to imagine that throwing the bums out will put things right."

In several insightful chapters, Bacevich traces the rise of militarism over the course of several administrations and many decades. A former Army officer himself, the author is particularly insightful in charting the efforts of the military's officer corps to recover from the stigma of Vietnam and reshape the *ethos* of the armed services as an elite intentionally separate from, and morally superior to, the society it exists to defend. But the officers are only one of the strands Bacevich weaves together. He also looks at the influence of the "defense intellectuals;" the importance of evangelical Christians and how their view of Biblical prophecy shapes their understanding of politics; the rise of (yes) the neo-conservatives; and even the role of Hollywood in changing America's understandings of the "lessons of Vietnam" and the re-glamorization of the military in films like "Top Gun."

The author is a sharp-eyed analyst, but also an engaging writer, and he gives the reader a lot to think about. I was intrigued, for example, by his discussion of how "supporting the troops" has become the *sine qua non* of modern politics and how doing so has replaced actual military service as an indicator of one's love of country. More fundamentally, his identification and analysis of "World War III" (already over) and "World War IV" (currently underway, and declared [surprisingly] by Jimmy Carter) struck me as a remarkably useful lens for interpreting current events.

In tying his threads together, Bacevich is not afraid to make arguments and draw conclusions that may make the reader uncomfortable. As the passage I quoted above makes clear, for example, someone looking for a straightforward declaration that "It's all Bush's fault!" will have to go someplace else. As a further implication of the above passage, Bacevich argues that the "defense intellectuals," the evangelicals, and even the neocons were and are doing what they believe are most likely to promote peace, freedom, and the security of the American people. "To the extent that we may find fault with the results of their efforts, that fault is more appropriately attributable to human fallibility than to malicious intent" (p. 207). Additionally, Bacevich is unashamed of his military service, holds up several military leaders as heroes, has some choice words for the self-delusions of leftist "peace activists," and even argues that federal education loans should be made conditional on military service.

This doesn't mean the president and his fellow conservatives get off much easier, though. Bacevich is roundly critical of Bush and his administration, including Colin Powell; dismisses the Iraq invasion ("this preposterous enterprise" [p. 202]); and in a move that will probably get him crossed off the Thayer Award nominations list, suggests officer candidates be required to graduate from civilian universities instead of West Point (his alma mater) or Annapolis -- intellectually-isolated institutions that reinforce the officer caste's separation from civil society.

So this book isn't one that will blindly reinforce anyone's prejudices. In part for that reason -- but mostly for its trenchant analysis, readable prose, and broad historical view -- I'm happy to list "The New American Militarism" as one of the best and most important books I've read in some time. Perhaps even since "The Sorrows of Empire."

Izaak VanGaalen:
 Militarism and Public Opinion, August 12, 2005

According to many of the custodians of public opinion, Andrew Bacevich has earned his right to a fair hearing. Not only is he a graduate of West Point, a Vietnam veteran, and a conservative Catholic, he is a professor of international relations and a contributor to "The Weekly Standard" and "The National Review." Obviously, if he were a left-leaning anti-war Democrat and a contributor to, say, "The Nation," he wouldn't be taken seriously as a critic of American militarism - he would be merely another "blame-America-first" defeatist.

Bacevich sees militarism manifesting itself in some disquieting ways. Traditionally America has always gauged the size of its military with the magnitude of impending threats. After the Civil War, World War I and II, the military was downsized as threats receded. Not so after the fall of the Soviet Union. The military budget has continued to grow and the expenditures are greater - by some measures - than all other countries combined. American military forces are now scaling the globe and the American public seems quiet comfortable with it. And everyone else is growing uneasy.

The mindset of the current officer corps is dominant control in all areas "whether sea, undersea, land, air, space or cyberspace." In other words, supremacy in all theaters. Self-restraint has given way to the normalization of using military force as a foreign policy tool. From 1989 (Operation Just Cause) to 2002 (Operation Iraqi Freedom) there have been nine major military operations and a number of smaller ones. The end of the Cold War has given the US a preponderance of military strength (the proverbial unipolar moment) that has enamoured successive administrations with the idea of using military force to solve international problems. In earlier times, war was always an option of the last resort, now it is a preventative measure.

War, according to Bacevich, has taken on a new aesthetic. During World War I and II, and also Vietnam and Korea the battlefield was a slaughterhouse of barbarism and brutality. Now, with the advent of the new Wilsonianism in Washington, wars are seen as moments of national unity to carry out a positive agenda, almost as if it were international social work.

The modern soldier is no longer looked upon as a deadbeat or a grunt, but rather as a skilled professional who is undertaking socially beneficial work. In fact, in a poll taken in 2003, military personnel consider themselves as being of higher moral standards than the nation they serve.

In the political classes, the Republicans have traditionallly been staunchly pro-military, but now even Democrats have thrown off their ant-military inclinations. When Kerry was running for president he did not question Bush's security policies, he was actually arguing that Bush had not gone far enough. Kerry wanted to invest more in military hardware and training. Even liberal Michael Ignatieff argues that US military intervention should be used to lessen the plight of the oppressed and that we should be assisting them in establishing more representative government.

But superpowers are not altruistic; they are only altruistic to the extent that it serves their self-interest. That's probably why Ignatieff will not get much of a hearing and Bacevich will. This book should give us pause as to why the range of opinion in the America on the use of military force is so narrow. If there is one voice that stands a chance of being heeded, it is from this conservative ex-soldier. \

Douglas Doepke:

The US may have been an expansionist and aggressive power as history shows. But unlike European peers, the American public never really took to the seductions of militarism. That is, until now. This is an important and occasionally brilliant book that tells a forty-year tale of creeping over-reliance on the military. And a heck-of an important story it is. I like the way Bacevich refuses to blame the Bush administration, even though they're the ones who've hit the accelerator. Actually the trend has been in motion for some time, especially since 1980 and Reagan's revival of military glory, contrived though it was.

Each chapter deals with an aspect of this growing militariism movement. How intellectual guru Norman Podhoretz and other elites got the big engine together, how twenty million evangelical passengers abandoned tradition and got on board, and how a crew of enthusiastic neo-cons charted a destination -- nothing less than world democracy guaranteed by American military might. All in all, the ride passes for a brilliant post-cold war move. Who's going to argue with freeing up the Will of the People, except for maybe a few hundred million Sharia fanatics. Yet, it appears none of the distinguished crew sees any contradiction between dubious means and noble end, nor do they seem particularly concerned with what anybody else thinks. (Sort of like the old Soviets, eager to spread the blessings of Scientific Socialism.) However, as Bacevich pounts out, there's a practical problem here the crew is very alert to. Policing the world means building up the institutions of the military and providing a covering mystique to keep John Q. Public supportive, especially with tax dollars and blood supply. In short, the mission requires sanitizing the cops on the beat and all that goes into keeping them there. It also means overcoming a long American tradition of minding-one's-own-business and letting the virtues of democratic self-governance speak for themselves. But then, that was an older, less "responsible" America.

Bacevich's remedies harken back to those older, quieter traditions -- citizen soldiers, a real Department of Defense, a revived Department of State, and a much more modest role in international affairs.With this book, Bacevich proves to be one of the few genuine conservatives around, (a breed disappearing even faster than the ranks of genuine liberals). Much as I like the book, especially the thoughtful Preface, I wish the author had dealt more with the economic aspects of build-up and conquest. But then that might require a whole other volume, as globalization and the number of billion-dollar servicing industries expands daily. At day's end, however, someone needs to inform a CNN- enthralled public that the military express lacks one essential feature. With all its hypnotizing bells and whistles, history shows the momentum has no brakes. Lessons from the past indicate that, despite the many seductions, aggressive empires make for some very unexpected and fast-moving train wrecks. Somebody needs to raise the alarm. Thanks Mr. Bacevich for doing your part.

Still his critique of neocons is a class of its own has value in itself as it comes from professional military officer. Professor Bacevich argues  that the US new militarism which emerged after the dissolution of the USSR is the result of a convergence of actions by a number of different groups including our professional military, neoconservative intellectuals and publicists, evangelical Christians, resurgent Republican party activists, and so-called defense intellectuals (see New American Militarism).

Andrew Bacevich has a wonderful essay, in the form of an open letter to Paul Wolfowitz, in the current Harper's. You have to subscribe to read it -- but, hey, you should be subscribing to any publication whose work you value. This essay isolates the particular role Wolfowitz had in the cast of characters that led us to war. As a reminder, they included:

But Paul Wolfowitz was in a category of his own because he was the one who provided the highest-concept rationale for the war. As James Galbraith of the University of Texas has put it, "Wolfowitz is the real-life version of Halberstam's caricature of McNamara" [in The Best and the Brightest].

Bacevich's version of this assessment is to lay out as respectfully as possible the strategic duty that Wolfowitz thought the U.S. would fulfill by invading Iraq. Back before the war began, I did a much more limited version of this assessment as an Atlantic article. As Bacevich puts it now, Wolfowitz was extending precepts from his one-time mentor, Albert Wohlstetter, toward a model of how the United States could maximize stability for itself and others.

As with the best argumentative essays, Bacevich takes on Wolfowitz in a strong rather than an oversimplified version of his world-view. You have to read the whole thing to get the effect, but here is a brief sample (within fair-use limits):

With the passing of the Cold War, global hegemony seemed America's for the taking. What others saw as an option you, Paul, saw as something much more: an obligation that the nation needed to seize, for its own good as well as for the world's....

Although none of the hijackers were Iraqi, within days of 9/11 you were promoting military action against Iraq. Critics have chalked this up to your supposed obsession with Saddam. The criticism is misplaced. The scale of your ambitions was vastly greater.

In an instant, you grasped that the attacks provided a fresh opportunity to implement Wohlstetter's Precepts, and Iraq offered a made-to-order venue....In Iraq the United States would demonstrate the efficacy of preventive war.... The urgency of invading Iraq stemmed from the need to validate that doctrine before the window of opportunity closed.

Bacevich explains much more about the Wohlstetter / Wolfowitz grand view. And then he poses the challenge that he says Wolfowitz should now meet:
One of the questions emerging from the Iraq debacle must be this one: Why did liberation at gunpoint yield results that differed so radically from what the war's advocates had expected? Or, to sharpen the point, How did preventive war undertaken by ostensibly the strongest military in history produce a cataclysm?
 

Not one of your colleagues from the Bush Administration possesses the necessary combination of honesty, courage, and wit to answer these questions. If you don't believe me, please sample the tediously self-exculpatory memoirs penned by (or on behalf of) Bush himself, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Tenet, Bremer, Feith, and a small squad of eminently forgettable generals...

What would Albert [Wohlstetter] do? I never met the man (he died in 1997), but my guess is that he wouldn't flinch from taking on these questions, even if the answers threatened to contradict his own long-held beliefs. Neither should you, Paul. To be sure, whatever you might choose to say, you'll be vilified, as Robert McNamara was vilified when he broke his long silence and admitted that he'd been "wrong, terribly wrong" about Vietnam. But help us learn the lessons of Iraq so that we might extract from it something of value in return for all the sacrifices made there. Forgive me for saying so, but you owe it to your country.
 

Anyone who knows Andrew Bacevich's story will understand the edge behind his final sentence. But you don't have to know that to respect the challenge he lays down. I hope Paul Wolfowitz will at some point rise to it.

For another very valuable assessment of who was right and wrong, when, please see John Judis's piece in The New Republic.


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[Dec 14, 2019] Why Do They Hate Us? by Jacob G. Hornberger

Dec 10, 2019 | www.fff.org

The recent shootings of three U.S. soldiers in Florida at the hands of a Saudi citizen raises a standard question in the U.S. government's perpetual "war on terrorism": "Why do they hate us?"

Soon after the 9/11 attacks, the official mantra began being issued: The terrorists just hate us for our "freedom and values." No other explanation for motive was to be considered. If anyone suggested an alternative motive -- such as "They are retaliating for U.S. governmental killings over there" -- U.S. officials and interventionists would immediately go on the attack, heaping a mountain of calumny on that person, accusing him of treason, hating America, loving the terrorists, and justifying their attacks.

It happened to me and other libertarians who dared to challenge the official motive behind the 9/11 attacks. Shortly after the attacks, I spoke at a freedom conference in Arizona consisting of both libertarians and conservatives. When I pointed out that the attacks were the predictable consequence of a foreign policy that kills people over there, another of the speakers was filled with anger and rage over such an "unpatriotic" suggestion. Then, a few weeks after the 9/11 attacks, FFF published an article by me entitled, " Is This the Wrong Time to Question Foreign Policy? " in which I pointed out the role that U.S. interventionism had played in the attacks. FFF was hit with the most nasty and angry attacks I have ever seen.

Eighteen years later, the evidence is virtually conclusive that the reason that the United States has been suffering a constant, never-ending threat of terrorism is because U.S. military and CIA forces have been killing people in the Middle East and Afghanistan since at least the end of the Cold War, and even before.

After all, if the terrorists hate us for our "freedom and values," why haven't they been attacking the Swiss? They have pretty much the same freedom and values that Americans have. And they are much closer geographically to Middle East terrorists than the United States is. Why haven't the terrorists been attacking them?

The answer is simple: the Swiss government, unlike the U.S. government, hasn't been killing, maiming, and injuring people and hasn't been bombing and destroying countries in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

A long history of U.S. interventionism

U.S. interventions in the Middle East began, of course, long before the 9/11 attacks. There was the 1953 CIA coup that destroyed Iran's experiment with democracy with a coup that replaced the democratically elected prime minister of the country with a tyrannical pro-U.S. dictator. Not surprisingly, that produced the violent Iranian revolution almost 25 years later. The Iranian revolutionaries didn't hate America for its "freedom and values." They hated America for the U.S. government's installation, training, and support of the tyrannical regime against which they revolted.

In the 1980s, there was the sending of U.S. troops into Lebanon as interventionist "peacekeepers." The terrorists ended up blowing up a Marine barracks, killing 241 U.S. soldiers. The terrorists didn't hate America for its "freedom and values." They hated America for the federal government's interventionism into Lebanon. As soon as all U.S. troops were withdrawn from Lebanon, which was the right thing to do, there were obviously no more deaths of U.S. soldiers in that country.

It was after the Pentagon and the CIA lost their official Cold War enemy, the Soviet Union (i.e., Russia), that they proceeded headlong into the Middle East and began killing multitudes of people. There was the Persian Gulf War, waged without the constitutionally required congressional declaration of war, where thousands of Iraqis were killed or injured. That was followed by a decade of brutal sanctions against Iraq, which contributed to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children.

Thus, when Ramzi Yousef, one of the terrorists who tried to bring down the World Trade Center with a bomb in 1993, appeared before a federal judge for sentencing, he angrily told the judge that it was U.S. officials who were the butchers, for killing multitudes of innocent children in Iraq.

As those Iraqi children were dying, there were retaliatory terrorist strikes on the USS Cole and the U.S. embassies in East Africa. Once again, however, U.S. officials continued to steadfastly maintain that was all about hatred for America's "freedom and values" and had nothing to do with the deadly and destructive U.S. interventionism in the Middle East.

Then came Osama bin Laden's declaration of war against the United States, in which he expressly cited U.S. interventionism in the Middle East as his motivating factor. That was followed by the 9/11 attacks, along with other terrorist attacks both here and abroad. Through it all, U.S. officials and interventionists have blindly maintained that the terrorists hate us for our "freedom and values," not because the U.S. government kills, maims, injures, and destroys people over there.

The recent Florida killings

And now we have the latest killing spree, this one at the hands of a Saudi citizen in Florida. According to a story in yesterday's Washington Post about the killing of three U.S. soldiers, the killer, Ahmed Mohammed al-Shamrani was described as "strange" and "angry." "He looked like he was angry at the world," said one person who knew him. Another said that he looked at people in an "angry, challenging" way.

The article says that "the FBI has not yet determined a motive for the mass shooting."

Well, of course it hasn't. That's undoubtedly because the FBI hasn't yet found any statements in which the killer states that he hates America for its "freedom and values."

But the Post article does point out something quite interesting. The article states: "The gunman, who was shot dead by a sheriff's deputy responding to the shooting, is thought to have written a 'will' that was posted to the account a few hours before the rampage. In it, he blasts U.S. policies in Muslim countries."

Well, isn't that interesting! Unfortunately, the Post didn't provide a verbatim transcript of the killer's "will" in which he "blasts U.S. policies in the Muslim countries." The Post does point out though that "the writer says he does not dislike Americans per se -- 'I don't hate you because of your freedoms,' he begins -- but that he hates U.S. policies that he views as anti-Muslim and 'evil.'"

I n an article at antiwar.com entitled, " Pensacola: Blowback Terrorism ," Scott Horton provides a verbatim transcript of the killer's "will," in which the killer states in part:

I'm not against you for just being American, I don't hate you for your freedom, I hate you because every day you supporting, funding, and committing crimes not only against Muslims but also humanity. I am against evil, and America as a whole has turned into a nation of evil. What I see from America is the supporting of Israel which is invasion of Muslim countrie, I see invasion of many countries by it's troops, I see Guantanamo Bay. I see cruise missiles, cluster bombs and UAV.

Now, if one goes back to Ramzi Yousef's sentencing hearing in 1995 -- some 24 years ago -- one will see that Yousef angrily said much the same thing to the federal judge who was getting ready to sentence him to jail for his 1993 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

Americans have a choice:

One, continue the U.S. government's decades-long killing spree in the Middle East, in which case America will continue to experience never-ending terrorist retaliation, the perpetual "war on terrorism, and the ongoing destruction of our liberty and privacy at the hands of our government, which is purportedly protecting us from the terrorist threats that it produces with its foreign interventionism.

Or, two, stop U.S. forces from killing any more people, bring them all home and discharge them, which would help get America back on the right track, one toward liberty, peace, prosperity, morality, normality, and harmony with the world.

This post was written by: Jacob G. Hornberger Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News' Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano's show Freedom Watch . View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context . Send him email .

[Dec 14, 2019] In a 1969 interview, Zahir Shah said that he is "not a capitalist. But I also don't want socialism. I don't want socialism that would bring about the kind of situation [that exists] in Czechoslovakia. I don't want us to become the servants of Russia or China or the servant of any other place

Dec 14, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

angie11 -> ID3119269 , 10 Dec 2019 16:05

"I wish that people would realize that to interfere, in any way shape or form in wars that occur in Islamic States is pissing into the wind.

We simply cannot and do not understand the religious/tribal and feudal component of these societies.

It is better that we just let them go at each other. Sooner or later one despot will end up being top dog - so be it."

Hmm. Do you know the history of colonialism in MENA? I did not think so.

My guess is that your 'knowledge' of Afghanistan and its history is based on your obvious xenophobia aka Islamophobia and lofty Western superiority complex. Don't feel alone, that's what folks use to make themselves feel better and able to sleep at night. Check this out:

"Despite close relations to the Axis powers, Zahir Shah refused to take sides during World War II and Afghanistan remained one of the few countries in the world to remain neutral. In 1944 and 1945, Afghanistan experienced a series of revolts by various tribes.[13] After the end of the Second World War, Zahir Shah recognised the need for the modernisation of Afghanistan and recruited a number of foreign advisers to assist with the process.[14] During this period Afghanistan's first modern university was founded.[14] During his reign a number of potential advances and reforms were derailed as a result of factionalism and political infighting.[15] He also requested financial aid from both the United States and the Soviet Union, and Afghanistan was one of few countries in the world to receive aid from both the Cold War enemies.[16] In a 1969 interview, Zahir Shah said that he is "not a capitalist. But I also don't want socialism. I don't want socialism that would bring about the kind of situation [that exists] in Czechoslovakia. I don't want us to become the servants of Russia or China or the servant of any other place."[17]

Zahir Shah was able to govern on his own during 1963[9] and despite the factionalism and political infighting a new constitution was introduced during 1964 which made Afghanistan a modern democratic state by introducing free elections, a parliament, civil rights, women's rights and universal suffrage.[14]"

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

[Dec 14, 2019] The military-industrial-congressional complex is largely insulated from public accountability

Notable quotes:
"... The Pentagon’s entire budget operates in much the same way: unprecedented amounts in unnecessary appropriations resulting in hundreds of billions of dollars in waste, fraud and abuse. Yet Congress continues to throw more and more money at the defense department every year without ever requiring it to account for how it spends the money. In fact, the war in Afghanistan is small potatoes by comparison. ..."
Dec 14, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

The easy answer is that there’s a long tradition in Washington, particularly among the foreign policy establishment, that self-reflection, taking responsibility and admitting failure is a big no-no. Heck, you can get convicted of lying to Congress about illegal arms sales, and cover up brutal atrocities and still get a job at the state department. Did you torture anyone? No problem.

While DC’s culture of no culpability certainly plays a role in this case, the more compelling answer lies somewhere near the fact that once the American war machine kicks into gear, no amount of facts undermining its very existence is going to get in the way.

Indeed, the United States has so far doled out nearly one trillion dollars for the war in Afghanistan (the true cost of the war will be trillions more) and everyone’s on the take: from defense industry executives, lobbyists and US political campaign coffers to Afghan government officials and poppy farmers to anyone and anything in between.

What’s more is that this military-industrial-congressional complex is largely insulated from public accountability, so what’s the incentive to change course? The Pentagon’s entire budget operates in much the same way: unprecedented amounts in unnecessary appropriations resulting in hundreds of billions of dollars in waste, fraud and abuse. Yet Congress continues to throw more and more money at the defense department every year without ever requiring it to account for how it spends the money. In fact, the war in Afghanistan is small potatoes by comparison.

The bottom line is that the Afghanistan Papers clearly show that a lot of people were killed, injured and subject to years, if not lifetimes, of psychological trauma and financial hardship because a bunch of men – yes, mostly men – in Washington didn’t want to admit publicly what they knew privately all along. If we don’t start holding these people to account – and it’s not just about Afghanistan – the DC foreign policy establishment will continue to act with impunity, meaning that it’s probably more likely than not that in 50 years there’ll be another batch of “papers” revealing once again that we’ve failed to learn obvious lessons from the past.

[Dec 13, 2019] Any particular American war has no purpose, but the USA waging it does.

Dec 13, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Richard Thorton , 10 Dec 2019 15:03

Any particular American war has no purpose, but the USA waging it does. The main points of what war does:

1. Transfers wealth from social services to the military industrial complex. Americans don't have education, infrastructure, or healthcare, but they do have a generation of soldiers with PTSD, national debt, worldwide hatred, and an ever increasing sense of exceptionalism.

2. Traps Americans in a cycle of fear and persecution. Americans don't need a bogeyman, but our corporate overlords do, its how they monetize the populace. Find some disparate population of brown people who want self autonomy, send in the CIA to fuck them up, and when they retaliate tell Americans that people who live in a 3rd world land locked country several thousands of miles away are a threat to their very existence and way of life because they don't like God and Walmart.


CourgetteDream , 10 Dec 2019 14:36

Sadly the US uses the MIC to keep a large chunk of its population under control, as well as providing a convenient coverup of the actual numbers of people who are unemployable or would be unemployed if it were'nt for the taxpayer funding humungous spending in the so-called defence sector, which needs a a constant supply of conflict to keep going. The frankly moronic 'thank you for your service' soundbite drives me insane but it shows how much the American public has been brainwashed.
jimbomatic -> Michael Knoth , 10 Dec 2019 14:36
For years my home state of Washington had a New Deal Democrat Senator named Henry Jackson, AKA the Senator from Boeing.
He did good things for the state & was hugely popular here. One reason being that because he brought the Federal pork back home.
IMO the things Gen. Butler wrote about in the 1920s are still the modus operandi of US foreign policy.
Rikyboy , 10 Dec 2019 14:11
If the Afghanistan war ends, the USA will go to war with someone else. You cannot spend so much on military & not be at war. America must have an enemy. And, don’t forget, they always have “God on our side!”
Mauryan , 10 Dec 2019 13:05
The neocons in power during 2001 were hell bent on taking out Saddam Hussein. When 9/11 happened, they were looking for avenues to blame Iraq so that they could launch the war on that nation. Since things could not be put together, and all evidence pointed to Afghanistan, they took a detour in their war plan with a half hearted approach.

In fact Afghanistan was never the problem - It was Pakistan that held Afghanistan on the string and managed all terror related activities. Everything related to 9/11 and beyond pointed directly at Pakistan. Whatever threat Bush and his cronies projected about Iraq was true in the case of Pakistan. The war was lost when they made Pakistan an ally on the war on terror. It is like allying with Al Capone to crack down on the mafia.

Pakistan bilked the gullible American war planners, protected its assets and deflected all the rage on to the barren lands of Afghanistan. They hid all key Al Qaeda operatives and handed off the ones that did not align with their strategic interests to the US, while getting reward for it. War in Iraq happened in a hurry because the Bush family had scores to settle in Iraq. Pressure was lifted on Afghanistan. This is when the war reached a dead end.

The Taliban knew time was on their hands and waited it out. Obama did understand the situation and tried to put Af-Pak together and tightened the grip on Pakistan. He got the troops out of Iraq. Pakistan is almost bankrupt now for its deep investment on terror infrastructure. The US has drained billions of dollars and lives in Afghanistan due to misdirected goals. I am surprised Bush and Cheney have not been sent to jail on lies to launch the Iraq war and botching the real war on terror.

[Dec 13, 2019] Lindsey Graham, Mattis, and Tillerson all opposed the withdrawal from Afghanistan and spoke to Trump in person about it. They all just kept saying that we needed troops in Afghanistan "to prevent the next 9/11."

Dec 13, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Redswordfish , 10 Dec 2019 15:05

I read Bob Woodward's book, "FEAR: Trump in the White House" which has a section talking about a time when Trump wanted to withdraw a substantial number of troops from Afghanistan. Lindsey Graham, Mattis, and Tillerson all opposed the withdrawl and spoke to him in person about it. They all just kept saying that we needed troops in Afghanistan "to prevent the next 9/11." Lindsey Graham was especially forceful about this. "If you withdraw those troops, then you're responsible for the next 9/11" he says [paraphrase].

This is the only section of the book where I actually found myself agreeing with Trump. How exactly does keeping troops in Afghanistan "prevent the next 9/11"? It seems like a bizarre non sequitur.

GalahadThreepwood , 10 Dec 2019 12:37
And this is a surprise because? There is a revolving door between Washington D.C. and defence contractors. When you have a multi trillion dollar industry making stuff that goes bang, the customers will want to use it. And the more the industry can encourage them to use it, the more money they make. Better still, when they have finished blowing a foreign country to hell, their friends in the civil engineering and construction companies can make more trillions rebuilding it all.

And if you then claim victory and withdraw enough of your troops, the incumbent Neanderthals can start slaughtering their own people all over again, giving the perfect excuse to go back in and blow it all to hell again.

With careful planning, you can maintain the cycle of profits for decades, if not centuries.

Next week - bears implicated in forest defecation scandal.

[Dec 13, 2019] Savages, indeed. Zero accountability and Britain still playing faithful lap dog.

Dec 13, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

cephalus , 10 Dec 2019 12:11

The US lied about the Gulf of Tonkin in order to justify attacking North Vietnam, it then proceeded to lie about the conduct of the war and the terrible genocide it was committing. No lesson learned because in a heartbeat the US was lying about Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Nicaragua and El Salvador, committing a wide range of atrocities in each.

Add Somalia, Libya, proxy wars in Angola and Yemen, efforts to destabilize Cuba, Venezuela and Iran, illegal wars in the Lebanon and Syria, the annihilation of Afghanistan in retaliation for what was actually a Saudi terrorist act, the destruction of modern Iraq and her people using trumped up claims, to say nothing of Clinton's cheery disregard for the welfare of Balkan residents when the US rained (illegal) uranium bombs down on the hapless inhabitants.

And now the WP and Congress are worked up over spending a trillion dollars when plainly they could care less about the Afghan casualties and American war crimes. Heck this goes back to Theodore Roosevelt seizing Cuba claiming he was saving it from the ravages of Spain or even further back to government backed settler land grabs "saving their white women from the savages". Savages, indeed. Zero accountability and Britain still playing faithful lap dog.

Irascible45 , 10 Dec 2019 12:08
My take on this is that the American Department of Defense war machine remained in a state of perpetual excitement after their successes in WW11.. almost as if they had to continuously invent an enemy in order to maintain their war time budget.. (and therefore demonstrate their ongoing prowess etc etc) in a cycle of wars starting with Korea and bringing us up to date with Afghanistan.. so that's nearly 70 years worth of international hubris on display.


All on the excuse of spreading their version of democracy.. is money talks!!

UnrepentantPunk -> NadaZero , 10 Dec 2019 11:57

It wasn't a mistake. It was a deliberate decision from a bunch of warmongers

The last patriotic Republican, President Dwight D Eisenhower, warned US against the military-industrial complex in his farewell address .

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

DoctorWibble , 10 Dec 2019 11:55
That both the Afghan war and the invasion of Iraq could happen at all tells us that the UN Security Council is not fit for purpose. These wars also told us that British pretense at being the voice of reason or the steadying hand that prevents US foreign policy being subsumed by the visceral and synthesised reactions of a US public is no more than empty cant.

If the US is unable to prevent foreign and defence policy being captured by money interests and remains inclined to deliver revenge to its public on demand howsoever it might be misdirected then the US should not be on the UN Security Council at all. They are fast becoming the number one major rogue state. And the outlook suggests this is more likely to get worse than improve. Whatever happens to Trump One more (and likely smarter) Trumps are coming down the track. More Dick Cheneys too. More Bushes, more Rumsfelds, more Nixons, Boltons, Kissingers, Johnsons and a host of others we'd all much rather were one offs. The US is the biggest extant threat to world peace. It is too powerful and far too easily played by warmongers and terrorists of every stripe and every persuasion. And by those seeking to profit from war.

BaronVonAmericano , 10 Dec 2019 11:54
To call war profiteering and murder a geopolitical "mistake" is to EXCUSE criminal activity.

Anyone responding to this latest revelation of military dishonest as a "mistake" is actually part of the crime. They are aiding the abettors. Everyone in Congress knows what everyone in this comments section knows: our military and its global actions are, first and foremost, a financial fraud.

thedisciple516 -> sijacks , 10 Dec 2019 11:50
But not American oil companies which were basically shut out outside of a few minor service and procurement contracts. Looks like all the "Blood for Oil" poster were BS.

The Iraq War was only partly, however, about big profits for Anglo-American oil conglomerates - that would be a bonus (one which in the end has failed to materialise - not for want of trying though).

- Nafeez Ahmen Guardian 2014

thedisciple516 -> Boltedhorse01 , 10 Dec 2019 11:42
Yes, and it made no conclusion as to whether the war was legal or not.

" The inquiry did not reach a view on the legality of the war , saying this could only be assessed by a "properly constituted and internationally recognised court", but did make a damning assessment of how the decision was made."

- Guardian 2016

Cronus Titan , 10 Dec 2019 11:40
Just think - the USA spends more on its military then the combined amount of the next 10 nations in the list (incl. China/Russia/India). That is a major major spend commitment. A small percentage of that could be used for US citizens to fund their healthcare - but I suppose they prefer to spend it to threaten and bomb other nations to their will.

Just to think - a similar report was produced post Vietnam and in the 50's even Eisenhower was worried about the US military backed by private companies becoming a perpetual spending machine.

capatriot , 10 Dec 2019 11:39

But there's one big question the Post report raises but does not address: why? Why did so many people – from government contractors and high-ranking military officers, to state department and National Security Council officials – feel the need to lie about how the war in Afghanistan was going?

Because "how the war is going" is not the operating question. Because it does not matter if the war is just or unjust, whether it's winnable or not winnable, nor whether it's supported in the "homeland" or not. No, the operating principle is that there is a war. By its existence, the war creates funding and jobs and profits for the people that matter, the people the author mentions, from the Security/Military complex corporations all the way to careerists in the Pentagon and State.

So, it is NOT a waste of $1 trillion dollars ... it is just as it was supposed to be. That is why the war president (W), the peace president (Obama), and the swamp drainer (Trump) have all supported it. The war is doing what it's supposed to do.

GraphiteCommando , 10 Dec 2019 11:36
In time, the US national debt will force them to rein in their military spending. By lowering taxes while continuing to spend like drunken sailors on military adventures the national debt is ballooning. US government debt is currently rated AA whereas Canada is AAA. US debt to GDP is significantly higher than Canada's. (and that's just Canada vs the US). Trump is trying to create a mafia style protection racket to force other countries to subsidize reckless US military spending. "Pay up or who knows what might happen?" It is high time US taxpayers ask why the US can't lower its' out of control military spending rather than pressuring others to match their profligate ways? Some US citizens say they pay low taxes but it seems they get nothing in return; no health care, no equal access to education, decaying public infrastructure, etc. The rest feel overtaxed when they realize they get nothing in return but don't question the elephant in the room. If other countries maintain responsible levels of military spending the US will dig itself deeper into debt until the debt markets force them to see sense.
DenryMachin , 10 Dec 2019 11:22
Military spending is a fine way to transfer wealth from the general population to the rich. War has always been a fabulous business opportunity, but what has never been so very clear is how, even for the winning side, it represents a major defeat as wealth is transferred from the common good into the hands of the rich.

In such matters always consider 'Who will prosper'.
Follow the money...

kropotkinsf , 10 Dec 2019 11:09
Considering the United States has been involved in one war or another, directly or indirectly, for all but about 20 years of its existence, this latest revelation shouldn't shock anyone. We're a violent country with a violent history and never more so than now, with our built-on-conflict empire losing steam. We point fingers ("It's the Russians!" "It's the Chinese!" It's the Iranians!") to deceive ourselves and others, but we're the real threat to peace. Us. The United States.
CTanner52 , 10 Dec 2019 11:09
Every time I see a person on the street nobly collecting 50ps or the odd fiver for a good cause like Cancer Research or some other charity, I wonder why they have to do this when the US has spent over a USD$1 trillion on the Afghan war and other militaries continue to soak up massive amounts of funding. How much more could we have achieved by now for the real good of humanity if these funds were focused on research and real human need?
damientrollope , 10 Dec 2019 11:09
Te US military has been practicing genocide around the world since WW2, millions have been murdered and still are. But hey, they are the leaders of the free world, the corruption in the US government, corporations, and military has no bounds. Their own poorer members of this society are dying in their thousands for lack of medical care, innocent black people are murdered by police, yet the greed must go on nothing else matters. The only question now being, which country will they invade next, which government will they plot to overthrow. How many will be murdered in the process, not that it matters, greed cannot be measured in dead people.
BaronVonAmericano , 10 Dec 2019 11:09
For crying out loud, it was never a mistake.

World peace and the safety of the American public has never been a priority. Entirely the opposite. Standard procedure: foment fear to wage immoral, endless, profitable war.

This isn't conjecture or "conspiracy theory"; it's as obvious as the sun rising. Anyone casting this in any other way is either behind the curve or dangerously soft pedaling -- or lying to stave off actual accountability.

Please stop pretending that our "leaders" are mistaken. They aren't They're doing the jobs for which they were paid.

manoftheworld , 10 Dec 2019 11:00
It's worse even than a crime... it's insanity to keep excusing a failed 18 year strategy costing a trillion dollars, resulting in the death of more than 100,000, and the country ending up worse than when they started. The military, politicians and the media are all to blame. The military for being too frightened and too stupid to admit they were losing and had no idea how to correct it.. the politicians for being too frightened to call out their beloved but incompetent military, and for not "getting it" after more than a trillion dollars had already been spent; the press and media for being embedded (sometimes literally) with the military and acting as no more than unquestioning cheerleaders for a self-evidently failed strategy. It is a terrible indictment of the US on so many levels... where were the public anti-war protests or activists? Couldn't they see or didn't they care? Either way it's pathetic.

Almost every year US generals stood before the media and politicians, jutting jaws and feeble minds, to say that this year was going to be decisive against the Taliban. The fact is, after Al Qaeda was scattered in 2001, the US picked on the Taliban pointlessly. They stayed pretending they were engaged in countering the return of al Qaeda (that was never going to happen) but actually made a new enemy of the Taliban by picking the wrong side in what was a civil war. The US never understood what it was trying to do so it lied and lied out of fear of being found out. I find it sickening that this country -the US - pretends it is a force for good in the world when they are quite prepared to keep killing innocent people in order to mask the generals' cowardice about facing the truth of their own incompetence.

tenientesnafu , 10 Dec 2019 10:55
A terrible but interesting dichotomy. You have Governments and a broad part of the public fiercely opposed to public spending and any kind of redistribution. It is all about the individual.

Yet they sport and actually worship an institution where the individual counts for naught. In the military it always is about the collective. They throw huge swaths of money to the military. Which is the only place in the US where dreaded universal healthcare, pensions and free education exists. Not only that, even the army shops sell goods as subsidised prices, something unthinkable outside the barracks.

lalaeuro -> GeraldLobOn , 10 Dec 2019 10:53
Entirely intentional according the PNAC document Rebuilding America's Defences, Orwellian for we're going to make a lot of pointless weapons with huge mark-ups for profit by bombing the shit out of foreigners.
kapsiolaaaaa , 10 Dec 2019 10:37
I was listening to NPR about how Veterans turned against the Vietnam war. The people of south Vietnam would collect shells and explosives that did not detonate and gave to US troops for a small financial reward. In one such case - the shell exploded killing few kids and injuring a girl. That girl was refused treatment from US medics because she was one of them. That soldier involved later joined the anti war movement.
All the veterans were surprised with the image that soldiers coming back from war were spat at and disrespected by the anti war protesters - this could not have been further from truth.

Back in Vietnam you were taught how to destroy a village, poison drinking water sources etc. And understandably many GIs fought back.

There are similar stories out of Afghanistan - the naked prisoners with soldiers acting as if they are engaging in a sexual act and many such shameless incidents. These soldiers were acquitted which is another way of saying - An Afghan and his life and honor are below us. It has de-stabilized the region for many decades.

There is a bright side to Donny and his conmen - maybe there will be less intervention and more introspection - which can only be good for the World.

[Dec 13, 2019] The process of waging war is lucrative - positive outcomes (gas and oil) are a bonus.

Dec 13, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

NickStanford , 10 Dec 2019 12:24

I think it should have been seen as a thirty year campaign and the same with Iraq and Libya. The northern Ireland campaign took 30 years and many people are as bitter as they ever were much of it secondhand from younger people who weren't even alive during the conflict. The idea of a quick war is a very big mistake I think and flawed short-term thinking.
Piet Pompies -> MrMopp , 10 Dec 2019 12:24
Most decorated Marine officer ever? I thought that was Chesty Puller?
sammer -> tenientesnafu , 10 Dec 2019 12:24
That was very well put. Thank you for being so succinct.
easterman -> MrMopp , 10 Dec 2019 12:23
The process of waging war is lucrative - positive outcomes (gas and oil) are a bonus.
MyViewsOnThis , 10 Dec 2019 12:22
The West and the USA in particular have always taken the stand that their ideology is the only right one. That they have a right to interfere in the interns, affairs of other countries but their own internal affairs are sacrosanct.

So - USA, with UK support decided that Saddam Hussein had to be removed. They moved in to do so - they killed Saddam but had no plan to return the country to a functioning nation. Instead they facilitated the unleashing of internal wars and have now left the citizens of that country in utter turmoil.

& then went and repeated the exercise n Libya.

Decades ago, Britain decided that Palestinians could be thrown out of their homes to make way for the creation of Israel and laid the foundation for the Middle-East turmoil that has caused untold misery and suffering. They followed that up with throwing out the Chagosians out of their homes and making them homeless. Invited Caribbean's to the 'Mother Country' to serve their erstwhile lords, ladies, masters and mistresses only to then drive to despair the children and grandchildren of the invitees who had contributed to the 'Mother Country' for decades.

easterman , 10 Dec 2019 12:21
Lest we forget Cheney salivating over the gas in the Caspian Basin http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/west_asia/37021.stm
Piet Pompies -> cephalus , 10 Dec 2019 12:19
Yep, biggest terrorist state in the world, ever.
KoreyD , 10 Dec 2019 12:19
We are 18 years into an illegal invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. We are the invaders, the terrorists. The Taliban are fighting for their country, they may use brutal methods but so did the French, Dutch, Russian freedom fighters during the Nazi invasions. America's puppet regime in Afghanistan is reminiscent of the Quislings of WW2. And to use drones to kill Afghans and to say it is progress that there is more transparency is the height of hubris. All it does is show the corrosive effect of unfettered power in America and it's military. Why do we tolerate this inhuman action on another country's society? America is by far the greatest contributor to the rise in terrorism in the world and if not somehow stopped the greatest threat to world peace. It keeps on invading country after country with it's MSM propaganda machine claiming it is spreading Democracy throughout the globe. Thank you America !

[Dec 13, 2019] On Rogues and Rogue States by Fred Reed

Dec 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

Guide to the Supervision of... Blogview Fred Reed Archive Blogview Fred Reed Archive On Rogues and Rogue States Old, New, and Improved Fred Reed December 10, 2019 1,600 Words 76 Comments Reply Listen ॥ ■ ► RSS

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I have just finished reading William Shirer's Berlin Diary . (This may not fascinate you, but I am coming to something.) I first encountered it in high school. It is of course Shirer's account as a correspondent in Germany of the rise of the Nazis. Most of it is well known to the educated. The Nazis, who had control over the domestic press, convinced the German population that the Poles were threatening Germany, as plausible as Guatemala threatening the United States. The Poles were said to be committing atrocities against Germans.

Then the Reich, with no justification whatever, having absolute air superiority, attacked Poland, bombing undefended cities and killing huge numbers of people. It was a German pattern several times repeated. Many reporters told of the smell of rotting bodies, of refugees dying of hunger and thirst. Today the Reich is endlessly remembered as a paragon of evil. It was.

How did Nazi Germany differ from the United States today? There is the same lying. Washington insisted that Iraq was about to get nuclear weapons, biological agents, that it had poisonous gas. None of this was true. The government, unimpeded by the media, persuaded over half of the American population that Iraq was responsible for Nine-Eleven. Now it says that Iran works to get nuclear weapons, and of course that the Russians are coming. The American press, informally but strictly controlled, carefully doesn't challenge any of this.

Having prepped the American public as the Nazis prepped theirs, Washington unleashed a savage attack against Iraq, deliberately destroying infrastructure, leaving the country without power or purified water. The slaughter was godawful. But, said America, the war was to rid the Iraqi people of an evil dictator, to bring them democracy, freedom, and human rights. (The oil was entirely incidental. The oil is always incidental.)

Fallujah, Iraq, after the American military brought it democracy, human rights, and freedom. Guernica, after the visit of the Kondor Legion. For the historically challenged, this was the Spanish city bombed during the Spánish Civil War by the Germans in support of the Falangists.

Washington never sleeps in its campaigns to improve the lives of people whose most fervent wish is that America stop improving their lives. To give the Afghans democracy, human rights, and American values, the US has for eighteen years been bombing, bombing, bombing a largely illiterate population in a nation where America has no business. It is a coward's war with warplanes butchering peasants who have no defenses. The pilots and drone operators who do this deserve contempt, as does the country that sends them. How many more years? For what purpose? And how were the German Nazis different?

The German Gestapo perpetrated sickening torture in hidden basements. America does the same, mainltaining torture prisons around the world. In these, men, and no doubt women, are hung by their wrists for days, naked in very cold rooms, kept awake and periodically beaten (exactly as described by survivors of Soviet torture. Nazis, whether American, Russian, or German, are Nazis.)

Photos of Iraqis at the American torture operation at Abu Ghraib showed prisoners, almost naked, lying in pools of blood. Tell me, please, how this differs from what was done by the Reich? (The bloodier photos are no longer online. Many that remain seem to have been edited.)

Abu Ghraib. A happy American girl soldier. Note rubber gloves. The US military used many female soldiers for this duty. They apparently were kinky, as they seemed to get a kick out of it. A female general ran the operation.

Gina Haspel, head of the CIA, is a sadist who tortured Moslem prisoners, reminiscent of Ilse Koch, the notorious Nazi torturess, who also worked in prisons. It is easy to find victims there, I suppose.

An Abu Ghraib pic apparently no longer online. I found it on an ancient memory stick. Are we having fun yet?

President Trump has just pardoned several American war criminals, saying he wanted to give US soldiers the "confidence to fight." This amounts to blanket permission to commit atrocities. A purpose of military training being to extirpate human decency and mercifulness, the obscene barbarism is not surprising. Atrocities are what soldiers do, and will do as long as the wars go on, being furiously denied by the government. (When I covered Force Recon, the Marine Corps Special Forces, the motto on the wall was "Crush Their Skulls and Eat Their Faces.")

Perhaps the best known example of implied approval was Nixon's pardon of Lt. Calley, who ordered the murder of Vietnamese villagers, for which he received three years of house arrest.

The Germans wanted empire, lebensraum, and resources, in particular oil. Americans want empire and oil, control of which allows control of the world They go about getting them by invasion and intimidation. Thus America wants to bring democracy and human rights to Iraq, Iran, Venezuela, and Nigeria, which have lots of oil, while it has occupation troops in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and elsewhere in the Mideast. What part of Syria is Trump occupying? Surprise, surprise! The part with the oil. Oil for the Americans, land for the Germans.

As Shirer points out, the German public was not enthusiastic about the war, at least not through 1940, as neither is the American public today. Neither public showed any concern about the hideousness its government inflicted around the world. What is the difference?

The parallels with the Reich are not complete. Washington does not essay genocide against Jews or blacks or any other internal population, being content with killing whoever its bombs fall upon. Trump cannot reasonably be likened to Hitler. He lacks the vision, the backbone, and apparently the viciousness. Hitler was a very smart, very evil man who knew exactly what he was doing, at least politically. This cannot be said of Trump. However, Hitler was, and Trump is, surrounded by freak-show curiosities of great bellicosity. Adolf had Goering, Goebbels, Himler, Rheinhardt Heydrich, Julius Streicher, Eichman. Trump has John Bolton, as amoral and pathologically aggressive as any in the Fuehrer's entourage, or under a log. Pompeo, a bloated toad of a man, bears an uncanny resemblance to Goering. Both he and Pence are Christian heretics, Evangelicals, who believe they are connected to God on broadband. O'Brien sounds like Bolton. All want war with Iran and perhaps with China and Russia. Sieg heil, and run like hell.

My Lai, after Lt. Calley of the SS Totenkopf Div excuse me, the Americal Division, I meant to say, brought human rights, freedom, and the American way.

Wikipedia: "Between 347 and 504 unarmed people were killed by U.S. Army soldiers Victims included men, women, children, and infants. Some of the women were gang-raped and their bodies mutilated as were children as young as 12.")

For this Calley got three years house arrest, less than the sentence for a bag of methamphetamine, until pardoned by Nixon. Many Americans said, and many still say, that he should not have been punished at all, that we needed to take the gloves off, let the troops fight. Again, this is what Trump said.

The German Nazis worshiped Blood and Soil, the land of Germany and the Teutonic race, which they believed to be genetically superior to all others. Americans can't easily worship race. Instead they think themselves Exceptional, Indispensable, a Shining City on a Hill, the greatest civilization the world has known. Same narcissism and arrogance, slightly different foundation.

Nazi Germany was, like Nazi America, intensely militaristic. The US has hundreds of bases around the world (China has one overseas base, in Djibouti), spends appallingly on the military despite the lack of a credible military enemy. It currently buys new missile submarines (the Columbia class), aircraft carriers (the Ford class), intercontinental nuclear bombers (the B21), and fighter planes (the F-35).

Nazi Germany attacked Poland, Norway, Belgium, France, Russia, America, and England. America? Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Syria, supports a brutal proxy war against Yemen (Yemen is a grave threat to America), threatens Venezuela, China, and Iran with attack, embargoes Cuba. These are recent. Going back a bit, we have Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, the intervention in Panama, on and on. Millions and millions killed.

The Third Reich was, and America is, the chief threat to peace on the planet, a truly rogue state.

Is this something to be proud of?

Other stuff

La FIL, Feria Internacional de Libros , International Book Fair, Guadalajara, an annual event. I post the photo with the joyous sense of mischief of an eleven-year-old poking a nest of wasps. It will infuriate the Dissident Right, or Alt Right, or Race Realists. Their leaders excepted, most of these are ill-tempered naifs who insist, and seem to hope desperately, that Latin Americans are illiterate. I occasionally have conservative friends down and they are astonished to find that Guadalajara, a large international city, has the sorts of bookstores had by large international cities. Duh. (If interested, here are a couple of dozen.)

Another and cherished conceit of the Dissident Right is that Latin Americans who can read must be white. Well, I guess. Why, you could easily mistake the crowd above for Norwegians. Their ancestors probably arrived with Leif Erikson.

Merry Christmas to all! Happy "Winter Holidays" to none.

Write Fred at jet.possum@gmail.com . Put the letters "pdq" anywhere in the subject line to avoid autodeletion. All read, reply not guaranteed due to volume.

This meritorious and beneficial column will go into hibernation until after New Year, after which it will likely return.

[Dec 13, 2019] It's almost a century since Smedley Butler wrote his incisive pamphlet War is a Racket

Dec 13, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

MrMopp , 10 Dec 2019 12:18

It's almost a century since Smedley Butler wrote his incisive pamphlet War is a Racket.

If you've never read it, it takes about 15-20 minutes to do so. It will astound, anger and depress you that the only thing that's changed is the number or zeroes on the eye waterering profits. Oh, and the players. What is it exactly that makes the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia untouchable? (Answers on a postcard C/O Beelzebub.)

Smedley Butler knew of what he lectured about, being the most decorated officer in the history of the Marine Corps.

A brief insight into this insightful all American action man man Hollywood seems to have overlooked:

"I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

"I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in.
I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street.

"The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

"During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents."

There's been a century of endless war and profits since then with this century shaping up nicely for the racketeers, whose finest day might well have been September 11th, 2001.

Anyway, here's a link to a pdf file of War is a Racket if you're interested.

https://ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.html

[Dec 13, 2019] The Afghanistan war is more than a $1 trillion mistake. It's a travesty Ben Armbruster Opinion The Guardian

Dec 13, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

he American people have known that the war in Afghanistan was a lost cause for quite some time. According to the Pew Research Center, Americans' views of the war started to go south right around the end of 2011, until eventually a majority started seeing the writing on the wall about two years later.

That's why the Washington Post report this week on the so-called "Afghanistan Papers", detailing how US officials "deliberately mislead the public" on the war's progress, is almost sort of unremarkable. If the piece took away any shred of innocence left from this ghastly enterprise, it's that perhaps some of us thought our leaders, while failing miserably at building a nation thousands of miles away, were at least acting in good faith.

At the same time, the Post report is rage inducing, not just because of the sheer stupidity of American leaders continuing to fight a war they knew they could not win, but also how their unwillingness to take responsibility for a failed policy caused so much death, destruction and heartbreak, particularly among those American families who have admirably dedicated their lives to serving their country, and the countless number of Afghan civilians trapped in a cycle of endless war they have nothing to do with.

Of course, the "Afghanistan Papers" immediately recalled memories of the Pentagon variety leaked to the New York Times nearly a half century ago because they too were government documents outlining how numerous American administrations had lied to the public about Vietnam – another long, costly and unnecessary war with no military solution.

But there's one major difference: the war in Afghanistan doesn't have as direct an impact on the lives of everyday Americans as the Vietnam war did, when the military draft meant that everyone had to deal with the cold war proxy conflict in south-east Asia one way or another . Therefore, it's entirely possible, likely even, that this major and important report from the Post will drift into the wilderness just like the dozens of Trump-era stories that would have, for example , taken down any other US president in "normal times".

But there's one big question the Post report raises but does not address: why? Why did so many people – from government contractors and high-ranking military officers, to state department and National Security Council officials – feel the need to lie about how the war in Afghanistan was going?

The easy answer is that there's a long tradition in Washington, particularly among the foreign policy establishment, that self-reflection, taking responsibility and admitting failure is a big no-no. Heck, you can get convicted of lying to Congress about illegal arms sales, and cover up brutal atrocities and still get a job at the state department . Did you torture anyone? No problem .

While DC's culture of no culpability certainly plays a role in this case, the more compelling answer lies somewhere near the fact that once the American war machine kicks into gear, no amount of facts undermining its very existence is going to get in the way.

Indeed, the United States has so far doled out nearly one trillion dollars for the war in Afghanistan (the true cost of the war will be trillions more ) and everyone's on the take: from defense industry executives, lobbyists and US political campaign coffers to Afghan government officials and poppy farmers to anyone and anything in between.

What's more is that this military-industrial-congressional complex is largely insulated from public accountability, so what's the incentive to change course? The Pentagon's entire budget operates in much the same way: unprecedented amounts in unnecessary appropriations resulting in hundreds of billions of dollars in waste, fraud and abuse. Yet Congress continues to throw more and more money at the defense department every year without ever requiring it to account for how it spends the money. In fact, the war in Afghanistan is small potatoes by comparison.

The bottom line is that the Afghanistan Papers clearly show that a lot of people were killed, injured and subject to years, if not lifetimes, of psychological trauma and financial hardship because a bunch of men – yes, mostly men – in Washington didn't want to admit publicly what they knew privately all along. If we don't start holding these people to account – and it's not just about Afghanistan – the DC foreign policy establishment will continue to act with impunity, meaning that it's probably more likely than not that in 50 years there'll be another batch of "papers" revealing once again that we've failed to learn obvious lessons from the past.

Ben Armbruster is the managing editor of ResponsibleStatecraft.org , the news and analysis publishing platform of the Quincy Institute

[Dec 13, 2019] The Afghan war is 18 years old now. It's no longer a minor in the eyes of the law. It's old enough to think for itself, to vote, to move out of the house and get it's own place

Dec 13, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Chiropolos , 10 Dec 2019 15:56

This war is 18 years old. It's no longer a minor in the eyes of the law. It's old enough to think for itself, to vote, to move out of the house and get it's own place. Afghanistan will figure it out. Once we withdraw to allow Afghanistan to return to self-governance.

[Dec 13, 2019] Why did so many people -- from government contractors and high-ranking military officers, to state department and National Security Council officials -- feel the need to lie about the wars the USA is engaged?

Notable quotes:
"... This is because it's easy cash cow for the old boys club by sending working class kids to be killed in a far off land. ..."
Dec 13, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

yemrajesh , 10 Dec 2019 16:54

Why did so many people -- from government contractors and high-ranking military officers, to state department and National Security Council officials -- feel the need to lie about how the war in Afghanistan was going?

This is because it's easy cash cow for the old boys club by sending working class kids to be killed in a far off land.

The pentagon with the full cooperation of MSM will sell it as we are defending our ways of life by fighting a country 10,000 kms away. This show the poor literacy, poor analytical thinking of US population constantly brain washed by MSM, holy men, clergy, other neo con organisations like National rifle club etc.

sorrymess , 10 Dec 2019 15:00

i been to Cambodia a few years ago.

I never knew USA dropped 2.7 millions tons of bombs and now so many left unexploded and its same in Vietnam, Cambodia as neutral,
but i met so many injured kids etc from the bombs,.

the total MADNESS OF USA IS NAZI SM AT ITS BEST,.NO SHAME OR COMPASSION FOR THE VICTIMS.

I cannot comprehend the money it cost USA,. AN ALSO PROFITS FOR SOME,.

Heisham , 10 Dec 2019 14:10
With the exceptions of two attacks on American soil-Pearl Harbor and 911- the American people and for the most part their legislative representatives in Congress- will always remain cluless what the United States Government does overseas.

This country runs on its own drum beats. The ordinary man on the street needs to take care of his economic needs. The Big Boys always take care of themselves. That includes the military establishment, that is always entitled to an absurd amounts of monies, fueled by an empire building machinery, pushed by the elites that control the fate of economic might, and political orchestra that feeds its ego and prestige.
Time and again, our American sociopaths in power have a strangle hold on us, regardless of the destruction and animosity they heap on distant peoples and lands the world over in the name of national security and the democratic spiel, as they like to tell us ....
Richard Nixon, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson- Vietnam and the South East Asian countries of Laos , Cambodia, are an example .
Years later, the establishment manufactures blatant cover-ups with lies upon lies to accuse on record, as general Powell eloquently presented at the United Nations: That Iraq has weapons of mass destruction and needs to be held accountable.And now, this report on Afghanistan with all this pathological violence.

Is it reasonable to conclude that our democracy and its pathological actors in government and big business will always purchase it by demagoguery and self vested interest, because the ordinary man whose vote should count will never have the ultimate say when it comes to war and destruction!

[Dec 13, 2019] The Silicon Valley Gulag

Dec 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

BeeGee , 9 hours ago link

I seem to be missing something here. Isn't Marxism where the proletariat own the means of production? So, doesn't this look more like fascism where the corporations own everything?

hoytmonger , 9 hours ago link

Fascism is private ownership, but state control, of the means of production.

The US has had a fascist economy for quite a while now.

Even Mussolini declared, "He is one of us!" after reading FDR's biography.

cosmic dwarf , 8 hours ago link

"The proletariat" don't make decisions collectively - it's not possible given the nature of man. Every authoritarian system is fascism in practice - where a cabal of chosen ones call the shots. Whether it's corporate execs, billionaire playboys, demagogues, bureaucrats, union bosses, soldiers, intellectuals, or aliens at the top... it really only changes the flavor.

BobPaulson , 7 hours ago link

Ok, so it's not just me. The repeating of the word Marx in that article was getting weird. Can we actually talk about what that guy wrote instead of the symbol that name has become? It seems very boomer-ish to be reviving the talk of communism all the time when that system is essentially dead. Now a bunch of retirees are red-baiting again when Russia isn't communist, China isn't communist, and about the only communist country on earth is Cuba.

Meanwhile, just about every country on earth is becoming an oligarchic bureaucracy. They don't generally give a **** about **** Marx was on about.

[Dec 09, 2019] One of the best indicators of imperial violence is displaced persons

Dec 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Russ , Dec 9 2019 9:32 utc | 77

A User , Dec 9 2019 7:13 utc | 72

One of things which concerns me most about this site and most others inhabited by contrarian blokes of a certain age is the way that topics discussed are most often the same topics as those fed to the mugs via corporate media.

Sure the opinions are vastly different, but the subjects are not. So much energy and time wasted on pointless topics like the amerikan prez when we all know that it really doesn't matter who jags that gig nothing meaningful will alter for amerikans or the people outside amerika oppressed by empire.

Now the prez thing is a bit of a troll since so many amerikans have been intensely indoctrinated right through their lives to believe that all the prezdency guff is meaningful when it so obviously isn't. That in reality the odds of any amerikan suddenly having an epiphany about the pointlessness of DC kibuki from reading this, or something similar written by someone else, are negligible.

So we have to accept, to a degree, that Washington Housewives and Days of Our Lives DC will continue to feature at MoA.

But what happens when the corporate media chooses not to consider much larger, more pernicious forms of imperialism than is currently occurring in the ME because that imperialism is nascent, awful things are being done to humans western populations who have not been sufficiently propagandised against, so may not greet the tales of murder and mayhem generated by the actions of french foreign legionaires, english SAS or amerikan special forces with sufficient approval?

Easy, we just don't talk about it except when told to or where there is no choice because some action by the imperial thugs for hire has attracted too much attention. In that case the barest of details make it into the news and we will be told that whoever it was who had their families butchered belonged to an organisation which 'western intelligence' said was 'associated with ISIS'. No specificity, not details at all apart from the one unsubstantiated claim, which lets face it says any village of humans anywhere that contains a single resident which western intelligence believes is somehow associated with ISIS, is worthy of being genocided out of existence.

I reckon one of the best indicators of imperial violence is displaced persons. We saw in the ME that various forms of ethnic cleansing were practised to persuade people to move off their traditional lands in order to either exploit the natural resources in the area (see Saudi Amerika driving tribes from the newly discovered hydrocarbon prospects in North Yemen), or to create lebensraum for another group of humans currently held in favour by the empire (see the shifting of arabs and Turkamen from North Syria to give ready made villages to Kurds which only lasted for as long as the Kurds were needed by empire).

So many people were displaced in the ME during the first half of the teens that shock, horror some european countries felt obliged to allow a few of those whose lives had been destroyed into their communities.

That was then, yet we still all talk about the ME as though it is where the empire is committing its most egregious harm, but that is no longer the case.

If you check this Pew Center article you will see The total number of people living in sub-Saharan Africa who were forced to leave their homes due to conflict reached a new high of 18.4 million in 2017, up sharply from 14.1 million in 2016 -- the largest regional increase of forcibly displaced people in the world" .

If one checks the chart Pew has provided we can see that the numbers of decent humans in the ME who have been displaced from their land is alleged to currently be 21.5 million while the number of persons displaced in sub-Sahara Africa is about 3 million less at 18.4 million.

See so more action in the ME still. No, firstly the ME curve has flattened right out over the years since 2016 meaning that new displacements are relatively low unless of course it is your whanau that has been displaced in which case it wouldn't feel nearly as benign.
Secondly if you look at the fine-print on that chart you will see the 21.5 million line is labelled "Middle East-North Africa".

Libya is an African state which happens to have a proportion of arabic speaking people in its population, it also contains Berbers (e.g. Muammar Ghadaffi) and what the chart calls "sub-Saharan Africans when they want say negro but the unfortunate connotations associated with that term (99% the result of horrific whitefella behaviour) means that negro is no longer a la mode in whitefella land.

Not enough to rape, steal & steal from black Africans, now we also remove the means to identify them as a distinct group.

The Libya africa/ME issue matters a great deal because prior to the fukusi rape of Libya, that nation acted as a bulwark for all the supra-saharan nations, some Saharan eg Niger and that was just as likely a reason for amerika to destroy Libya setting loose the ethno-centrists of Misratah to kill black africans, standover Berbers & Turks to ensure that only Arab speaking semites can get control. This is the deal the empire struck. Not to enable italy to get some of that sweet sweet crude at the sort of bargain basement prices Italy hadn't enjoyed since Mussolini invaded Libya - that was purely a minor side benefit, now the good colonel was no more, fukus became the only game in town.
There was no longer any white knight determined to protect his/her neigbours from the outright theft, extortion, bribery, rape & murder which are the empire's stock in trade.

It began with aa team of US military nuclear experts in Niger .

It is foolish and counterproductive to ignore the horrors that a US-led fukus mission which runs across the entire African continent has created in the name of more billions to the already rich.
Do it if you want, but all you are really achieving is enabling the arseholes.

There is a scarcity of relevant links for the usual reasons. Not only are you more likely to put faith in info from sources you already know & trust, getting there will help you comprehend this crime far better than something easily digestible from a user, and most importantly the final paras were done long after the sun rose over the yardarm here.

@ A User 72

All very true. I would place the de jure war onslaughts within the overall context of globalization and in particular the imperialistic assault of corporate industrial agriculture upon Africa, the last great semi-frontier which wasn't fully assimilated by the first "Green Revolution" onslaught. A main goal as the global empire faces decline or collapse is to seize control of all land and drive the people OUT.

Globalization acts to destroy all local production and distribution. It destroys this outright or seizes control of it in order to force it into the global commodity framework. It seizes control of indigenous land and resources. It dumps subsidized Western goods. It destroys any functional politics and democracy. It imposes the control of multinational corporations over every part of life it can. It does this purely in the power interests of Western elites. Any benefits it lets trickle down to locals are purely calculated payouts to accomplices. Much of the global South has been crushed under the corporate boot this way, and Africa has already been subject to the IMF and World Bank’s debt indenture shock treatment (“structural adjustment”).

All this has been accompanied by the systematic ravaging of African ecosystems, culminating in the rising climate chaos driven by the patterns of energy consumption, waste, and ecological destruction practiced and imposed by Western industrialized productionism and consumerism. Climate change is caused by these actions. Since corporate state elites and their supporters have long known this and in spite of lots of lip service have refused to do anything to avert the worst of it, it’s long been true that climate change is an intentional campaign of aggression against the Earth and all vulnerable peoples. Thus climate change takes its place as the most extreme and far-reaching of the corporate campaigns designed to cause disaster, destruction, and chaos. According to this pattern of disaster capitalism the corporations then proceed to use the crises they intentionally generate as further opportunities for aggression and profit. All corporate sectors practice this, and corporate agriculture is the most aggressive and destructive practitioner of all. Today Africa is its primary new target.

Corporate control of agriculture and food has always been at the core of the globalization onslaught. In accordance with its food weapon the US government systematically has waged economic, political, chemical, biological (both of the former in the form of poison-based agriculture and other pretexts for systemic and systematic environmental poisoning), and often literal shooting warfare. Throughout this history of war and sublimated war, corporate agriculture has been a constant weapon and battleground as well as its aggrandizement being a constant goal.

[Dec 09, 2019] Our Lying Military, Our Lying Government by Rod Dreher

Dec 09, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Everybody's talking about the FBI report today, but as far as I'm concerned, this long piece in the Washington Post is the real news. Here's how it begins:

The documents include transcripts of interviews with soldiers, diplomats, and others with direct experience in the war effort. Excerpts:

"We were devoid of a fundamental understanding of Afghanistan -- we didn't know what we were doing," Douglas Lute, a three-star Army general who served as the White House's Afghan war czar during the Bush and Obama administrations, told government interviewers in 2015. He added: "What are we trying to do here? We didn't have the foggiest notion of what we were undertaking."

"If the American people knew the magnitude of this dysfunction . . . 2,400 lives lost," Lute added, blaming the deaths of U.S. military personnel on bureaucratic breakdowns among Congress, the Pentagon and the State Department. "Who will say this was in vain?"

More:

"What did we get for this $1 trillion effort? Was it worth $1 trillion?" Jeffrey Eggers, a retired Navy SEAL and White House staffer for Bush and Obama, told government interviewers. He added, "After the killing of Osama bin Laden, I said that Osama was probably laughing in his watery grave considering how much we have spent on Afghanistan."

The documents also contradict a long chorus of public statements from U.S. presidents, military commanders and diplomats who assured Americans year after year that they were making progress in Afghanistan and the war was worth fighting.

Look at this:

Several of those interviewed described explicit and sustained efforts by the U.S. government to deliberately mislead the public. They said it was common at military headquarters in Kabul -- and at the White House -- to distort statistics to make it appear the United States was winning the war when that was not the case.

"Every data point was altered to present the best picture possible," Bob Crowley, an Army colonel who served as a senior counterinsurgency adviser to U.S. military commanders in 2013 and 2014, told government interviewers. "Surveys, for instance, were totally unreliable but reinforced that everything we were doing was right and we became a self-licking ice cream cone."

One more:

As commanders in chief, Bush, Obama and Trump all promised the public the same thing. They would avoid falling into the trap of "nation-building" in Afghanistan.

On that score, the presidents failed miserably. The United States has allocated more than $133 billion to build up Afghanistan -- more than it spent, adjusted for inflation, to revive the whole of Western Europe with the Marshall Plan after World War II.

The Lessons Learned interviews show the grandiose nation-building project was marred from the start.

Read it all.

If you can get through it all, good for you. I got so mad that I had to quit reading not long after the paragraph above. We have lost about 2,000 soldiers in Afghanistan, and sustained about 21,000 casualties of war. (Not to mention all the dead innocent Afghan civilians, and the dead and wounded troops of our NATO allies.) We have spent altogether almost $1 trillion on that country. The Afghan officials stole a fortune from us. We never knew what to do there. And every one of our leaders lied about it. Lied! All those brave American soldiers, dead or maimed for life, for a war that our leaders knew that we could not win, but in defense of which they lied.

It's the Pentagon Papers all over again. You know this, right.

Trump is negotiating now with the Taliban over the possibility of US withdrawal. The story says US officials fought the Post in court over these documents, and have said most recently that publishing them would undermine the administration's negotiating position. I don't care. Tell the truth, for once. Let's cut our losses and go before more Americans die in this lost cause. Poor Afghanistan is going to fall under the tyrannical rule of the mullahs. But if, after 18 years, a trillion dollars, and all those dead and wounded Americans, we couldn't establish a stable and decent Afghan regime, it's not going to happen.

If any of my children want to join the US military, I'm going to go to the mat to talk them out of it. I do not want them, or anybody's sons or daughters, sent overseas to die in hopeless countries in wars that we cannot win, and shouldn't have fought, but kept doing because of bipartisan Establishment foreign policy delusions. To be clear, we should have bombed the hell out of Afghanistan after 9/11. The Taliban government gave shelter to Al Qaeda, and brought retribution upon itself. But the Bush Administration's nation-building insanity was never going to work. Eight years of Obama did not fix this. Nor, so far, has three years of Trump, though maybe he will be the one to stop the bleeding. If he does withdraw, I hope he blasts the hell out of his two predecessors and the military leadership for what they've done here.

I've been writing lately in this space, and in the book I'm working on, about the parallels between late-imperial Russia and our own time and place. And I've been writing about what Hannah Arendt had to say about the origins of totalitarianism. Arendt says that one precursor of totalitarianism is a widespread loss of faith in a society's and a government's institutions. According to a 2019 Gallup poll, the US military is one of the few institutions that enjoys broad confidence. How can anybody possibly believe them after this? How can we believe our Commanders-in-Chief? According to the secret documents, the men in the field have been were their commanders for a long time that this Afghan thing was not working, and wasn't ever going to work. But they kept sending them back in.

Why? Pride? Too full of themselves to admit that it was a failure? As soldier John Kerry turned antiwar activist said back in the 1970s, about Vietnam, "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" No more American dying in and for Afghanistan. Bring the troops home. They did not fail. Their superiors did.

How do you convince young people to join an institution whose leadership -- civilian as well as military -- is prepared to sacrifice them for a lost cause, and then lie, and lie, and lie about it? How do you convince mothers and fathers to send their sons and daughters with confidence to that military? How do you convince taxpayers to support throwing more money into the sh*thole that is the Pentagon's budget?

The questions that are going to come up sooner than most of us think, and, in some version, from both the Left and the Right: just what kind of order do we have in America anyway? Why do I owe it my loyalty? What does it mean to be a patriot when you cannot trust the nation's leaders and institutions?

These are the kinds of questions that, depending on how they are answered, can lead to the unraveling, and even the overthrow, of a regime. It has been said that the Soviet defeat in Afghanistan was a prime mover in the ascension of Mikhail Gorbachev and the collapse of the Soviet system. We are not the Soviet Union -- but I wouldn't be so quick to take comfort in that, if I were a political or military leader.

We learned nothing from Vietnam, did we? Not a damn thing. It is beyond infuriating. It is beyond demoralizing. And you know, the only thing more infuriating and more demoralizing than this will be if there are no consequences for it, or if people fall back into partisan positions. The report makes clear that this is a disaster that was launched by a Republican administration, continued under a Democratic administration, and has been overseen by another Republican administration.

One of the reasons Donald Trump is president today, and not some other Republican, is he was the one Republican primary candidate who denounced the wars. If he can't get us out of Afghanistan, what good is he?

UPDATE: I was just thinking about something a military friend told me almost 15 years ago, based on his direct personal knowledge of the situation: that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was lying to the nation about how the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were going. And if Rumsfeld was lying, so was the administration. My friend was deeply discouraged. Rumsfeld left office in 2006 -- but the habit remained with our leadership.


Sid Finster 29 minutes ago • edited

The only thing that surprised me in the WaPo article was that it was published in the CIA's house organ.

EDIT: I should have added that the squandering of blood and treasure, fighting a pointless war that benefits nobody but the financiers, contractors, arms manufacturers and generals, all while the politicians and generals proclaim that victory is just at hand, we can't turn back now, - all this reminds me of nothing so much as a smaller scale WWI.

Tony55398 13 minutes ago
Trump wants us out of Afghanistan, but Iran is a different story. He's sending more troupes to Saudi Arabia to defend the Saudi's from Iran, how is that disentangling from the ME. I think the Saudi's Wahhabism, basically the same as ISIS practices, is the most dangerous religion in the word today and they are busy exporting it to the rest of the world. I really think Trump is a false prophet, a lying prophet, who serves first himself.
disqus_nocmkvBMwY 10 minutes ago
Didn't vote for Trump - but: He has attempted to stand up to the elite establishment intelligence-military-arms manufacturing complex and start cutting back the forever wars. Everyone attacks him for this--establishment Republicans, Democrats, State Department, Military, Intelligence, Media--everybody. The attacks are immediate and intense. He is almost always forced to pull back. He seems determined to keep trying, but, as is evident, they will do anything it takes to stop him.

[Dec 09, 2019] Newsweek Reporter Resigns After Accusing Outlet Of Suppressing OPCW Leak Story by Caitlin Johnstone

Notable quotes:
"... Haddad added that he is now seeking legal advice and looking into the possibility of whistleblower protections for himself, and said at the very least he will publish the information he has while omitting anything that could subject him to legal retaliation from his former employer. ..."
"... Newsweek has long been a reliable guard dog and attack dog for the US-centralized empire, with examples of stories that its editors did permit to go to print including an article by an actual, current military intelligence officer explaining why US prosecution of Julian Assange is a good thing, fawning puff pieces on the White Helmets , and despicable smear jobs on Tulsi Gabbard . ..."
"... Newsweek also recently published an article attacking Tucker Carlson for publicizing the OPCW scandal, basing its criticisms on a bogus Bellingcat article I debunked shortly after its publication . ..."
Dec 08, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

A Newsweek journalist has resigned after the publication reportedly suppressed his story about the ever-growing OPCW scandal, the revelation of immensely significant plot holes in the establishment Syria narrative that you can update yourself on by watching this short seven-minute video or this more detailed video here .

"Yesterday I resigned from Newsweek after my attempts to publish newsworthy revelations about the leaked OPCW letter were refused for no valid reason," journalist Tareq Haddad reported today via Twitter .

"I have collected evidence of how they suppressed the story in addition to evidence from another case where info inconvenient to US government was removed, though it was factually correct," Haddad said.

"I plan on publishing these details in full shortly. However, after asking my editors for comment, as is journalistic practice, I received an email reminding me of confidentiality clauses in my contract. I.e. I was threatened with legal action."

Haddad added that he is now seeking legal advice and looking into the possibility of whistleblower protections for himself, and said at the very least he will publish the information he has while omitting anything that could subject him to legal retaliation from his former employer.

"I could have kept silent and kept my job, but I would not have been able to continue with a clean conscience," Haddad said .

"I will have some instability now but the truth is more important."

This is the first direct insider report we're getting on the mass media's conspiracy of silence on the OPCW scandal that I wrote about just the other day . In how many other newsrooms is this exact same sort of suppression happening, including threats of legal action, to journalists who don't have the courage or ability to leave and speak out? There is no logical reason to assume that Haddad is the only one encountering such roadblocks from mass media editors; he's just the only one going public about it.

Newsweek has long been a reliable guard dog and attack dog for the US-centralized empire, with examples of stories that its editors did permit to go to print including an article by an actual, current military intelligence officer explaining why US prosecution of Julian Assange is a good thing, fawning puff pieces on the White Helmets , and despicable smear jobs on Tulsi Gabbard .

The outlet will occasionally print oppositional-looking articles like this one by Ian Wilkie questioning the establishment Syria narrative , but not without immediately turning around and publishing an attack on Wilkie's piece by Eliot Higgins, a former Atlantic Council Senior Fellow who is the cofounder of the NED-funded imperial narrative management firm Bellingcat.

Newsweek also recently published an article attacking Tucker Carlson for publicizing the OPCW scandal, basing its criticisms on a bogus Bellingcat article I debunked shortly after its publication .

The ubiquitous propagandistic tactic of fake news by omission distorts the public's worldview just as much as it would if mass media outlets were publishing bogus stories whole cloth every day, only if they were doing that it would be much easier to pin them down on their lies, hold them accountable, and discredit them.

A recent FAIR article by Alan MacLeod documents how the Hong Kong demonstrations are pushed front and center in mainstream consciousness despite the fact that to this day not one protester has been killed by security forces, while far more deadly violence is being directed at huge protests in empire-aligned nations like Haiti, Chile and Ecuador which have been almost completely ignored by these same outlets.

This deliberate omission causes a distorted worldview in casual and mainstream news media consumers in which protests are only happening in nations that are outside the US-centralized power alliance . We see the same kind of deliberate distortion-by-omission with the way mass media continually pushes the narrative that Donald Trump is "soft on Russia", while remaining completely silent on the overwhelming mountain of evidence to the contrary .

The time is now for everyone with a platform to start banging the drum about the OPCW scandal, because we're seeing more and more signs that the deluge of leaks hemorrhaging from that organisation is only going to increase. Mainstream propagandists aren't going to cover it, so if larger alternative media outlets want to avoid being lumped in with them and discredited in the same sweep it would be wise to start talking about this thing today. It's only going to get more and more awkward for everyone who chose to remain silent, and more and more validating for those who spoke out.

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[Dec 08, 2019] WSJ Article Runs Through The Greatest Hits of a Dysfunctional Foreign Policy Debate

Notable quotes:
"... Primacists use the security threats that are responding to the unnecessary use of U.S. military force to justify why the U.S. shouldn't stop, or in fact increase, the use of force. ..."
"... These stale arguments claim there will be consequences of leaving while conveniently ignoring the consequences of staying, which of course are far from trivial. For example, veteran suicide is an epidemics and military spending to perpetuate U.S. primacy continues at unnecessarily high rates. The presence of U.S. soldiers in these complex conflicts can even draw us into more unnecessary wars. The United States can engage the world in ways that don't induce the security dilemma to undermine our own security; reduce our military presence in the Middle East, engage Iran and other states in the region diplomatically and economically, and don't walk away from already agreed upon diplomatic arraignments that are favorable to all parties involved. ..."
"... September 11th was planned in Germany and the United States, the ability to exist in Afghanistan under the Taliban without persecution didn't enable 9/11, and denying this space wouldn't have prevented it. ..."
"... For those arguing to maintain the ongoing forever wars, American credibility will always be ruined in the aftermath of withdrawal. Here's the WSJ piece on that point: "When America withdraws from the Middle East unilaterally, the Russians internalize this and move into Crimea and Ukraine; the Chinese internalize it and move into the South China Sea and beyond in the Pacific." ..."
"... The exorbitant costs of the U.S.'s numerous military engagements around the world need to be justified by arguing that they secure vital U.S. interests. Without it, Primacists couldn't justify the cost in American lives. Whether the military even has the ability to solve all problems in international relations aside, not all interests are equal in severity and importance. ..."
"... This article originally appeared on LobeLog.com . ..."
Dec 08, 2019 | responsiblestatecraft.org

The unrivaled and unchallenged exertion of American military power around the world, or what's known as "primacy," has been the basis for U.S. Grand Strategy over the past 70 years and has faced few intellectual and political challenges. The result has been stagnant ideas, poor logic, and an ineffective foreign policy. As global security challenges have evolved, our foreign policy debate has remained in favor of primacy, repeatedly relying on a select few, poorly conceived ideas and arguments. Primacy's greatest hits arguments are played on repeat throughout the policy and journalism worlds and its latest presentation is in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, written by its chief foreign policy correspondent, titled, "America Can't Escape the Middle East." The piece provides a case study in how stagnant these ideas have become, and how different actors throughout the system present them without serious thought or contemplation.

Hyping the threat of withdrawal

The WSJ piece trotted out one of the most well-worn cases for unending American military deployments in the region. "The 2003 invasion of Iraq proved to be a debacle," it rightly notes. However, there's always a "but":[B]ut subsequent attempts to pivot away from the region or ignore it altogether have contributed to humanitarian catastrophes, terrorist outrages and geopolitical setbacks, further eroding America's standing in the world."

Primacists often warn of the dire security threats that will result from leaving Middle East conflict zones. The reality is that the threats they cite are actually caused by the unnecessary use of force by the United States in the first place. For example, the U.S. sends military assets to deter Iran, only to have Iran increase attacks or provocations in response. The U.S. then beefs up its military presence to protect the forces that are already there. Primacists use the security threats that are responding to the unnecessary use of U.S. military force to justify why the U.S. shouldn't stop, or in fact increase, the use of force.

These stale arguments claim there will be consequences of leaving while conveniently ignoring the consequences of staying, which of course are far from trivial. For example, veteran suicide is an epidemics and military spending to perpetuate U.S. primacy continues at unnecessarily high rates. The presence of U.S. soldiers in these complex conflicts can even draw us into more unnecessary wars. The United States can engage the world in ways that don't induce the security dilemma to undermine our own security; reduce our military presence in the Middle East, engage Iran and other states in the region diplomatically and economically, and don't walk away from already agreed upon diplomatic arraignments that are favorable to all parties involved.

Terrorism safe havens

And how many times have we heard that we must defend some undefined geographical space to prevent extremists from plotting attacks? "In the past, jihadists used havens in Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria and Iraq to plot more ambitious and deadly attacks, including 9/11," the WSJ piece says. "Though Islamic State's self-styled 'caliphate' has been dismantled, the extremist movement still hasn't been eliminated -- and can bounce back."

The myth of the terrorism safe havens enabling transnational attacks on the United States has persisted despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary and significant scholarly research that contradicts it. The myth persists because it provides a simple and comforting narrative that's easy to understand. September 11th was planned in Germany and the United States, the ability to exist in Afghanistan under the Taliban without persecution didn't enable 9/11, and denying this space wouldn't have prevented it.

Terrorists don't need safe havens to operate, and only gain marginal increases in capabilities by having access to them. Organizations engage in terrorism because they have such weak capabilities in the first place. These movements are designed to operate underground with the constant threat of arrest and execution. The Weatherman Underground in the United States successfully carried out bombings while operating within the United States itself. The Earth Liberation Front did the same by organizing into cells where no cell knew anything about the other cells to prevent the identification of other members if members of one cell were arrested. Organizations that engage in terrorism can operate with or without safe havens.

Although safe havens don't add significantly to a terrorist groups' capabilities, governing your own territory is something completely different. ISIS is a commonly used, and misused, example for why wars should be fought to deny safe havens. A safe haven is a country or region in which a terrorist group is free from harassment or persecution. This is different from what ISIS created in 2014. What ISIS had when it swept across Syria and Iraq in 2014 was a proto-state. This gave them access to a tax base, oil revenues, and governing resources. Safe havens don't provide any of this, at least not at substantial levels. The Islamic State's construction of a proto-state in Syria and Iraq did give them operational capabilities they wouldn't have had otherwise, but this isn't the same as the possible safe havens that would be gained from a military withdrawal from Middle Eastern conflicts. The conditions of ISIS's rise in 2014 don't exist today and the fears of an ISIS resurgence like their initial rise are unfounded .

Credibility doesn't work how you think it works

For those arguing to maintain the ongoing forever wars, American credibility will always be ruined in the aftermath of withdrawal. Here's the WSJ piece on that point: "When America withdraws from the Middle East unilaterally, the Russians internalize this and move into Crimea and Ukraine; the Chinese internalize it and move into the South China Sea and beyond in the Pacific."

Most commentators have made this claim without recognition of their own contradictions that abandoning the Kurds in Syria would damage American credibility. They then list all the other times we've abandoned the Kurds. Each of these betrayals didn't stop them from working with the United States again, and this latest iteration will be the same. People don't work with the United States because they trust or respect us, they do it because we have a common interest and the United States has the capability to get things done. As we were abandoning the Kurds this time to be attacked by the Turks, Kurdish officials were continuing to share intelligence with U.S. officials to facilitate the raid on ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi because both the United States and the Kurds wanted Baghdadi eliminated and only the United States had the capability to get it done.

Similarly, the idea that pulling out militarily in one region results in a direct chain of events where our adversaries move into countries or areas in a completely different region is quite a stretch of the imagination. Russia moved into Crimea because it's a strategic asset and it was taking advantage of what it saw as an opportunity: instability and chaos in Kiev. Even if we left troops in every conflict country we've ever been in, Russia would have correctly assessed that Ukraine just wasn't important enough to spark a U.S. invasion. When the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan, did the United States invade Cuba? What alliance did the Soviets or Chinese abandon before the United States entered the Korean War? Assessments of credibility , especially in times of crisis (like that in Ukraine), are made based on what leaders think the other country's interests are and the capabilities they have to pursue those interests. There is no evidence to support -- in fact there is a lot of evidence that contradicts -- the idea that withdrawing militarily from one region or ending an alliance has any impact on assessments of a country's reliability or credibility.

Not all interests are created equal

Threat inflation isn't just common from those who promote a primacy-based foreign policy, it's necessary. Indeed, as the WSJ piece claimed, "There is no avoiding the fact that the Middle East still matters a great deal to U.S. interests."

The exorbitant costs of the U.S.'s numerous military engagements around the world need to be justified by arguing that they secure vital U.S. interests. Without it, Primacists couldn't justify the cost in American lives. Whether the military even has the ability to solve all problems in international relations aside, not all interests are equal in severity and importance. Vital interests are those that directly impact the survival of the United States. The only thing that can threaten the survival of the United States is another powerful state consolidating complete control of either Europe or East Asia. This would give them the capabilities and freedom to strike directly at the territorial United States. This is why the United States stayed in Europe after WWII, to prevent the consolidation of Europe by the Soviets. Addressing the rise of China -- which will require some combination of cooperation and competition -- is America's vital interest today and keeping troops in Afghanistan to prevent a terrorism safe haven barely registers as a peripheral interest. There are U.S. interests in the Middle East, but these interests are not important enough to sacrifice American soldiers for and can't easily be secured through military force anyway.

Consequences

Most of these myths and arguments can be summarized by the claim that any disengagement of any kind by the United States from the Middle East comes with consequences. This isn't entirely wrong, but it isn't really relevant either unless compared with the consequences of continuing engagement at current levels. We currently have 67,000 troops in the Middle East and Afghanistan and those troops are targets of adversaries, contribute to instability, empower hardliners in Iran, and provide continuing legitimacy to insurgent and terrorist organizations fighting against a foreign occupation. One article in The Atlantic argued that the problem with a progressive foreign policy is that restraint comes with costs, almost ironically ignoring the fact that the U.S.'s current foreign policy also comes with, arguably greater, costs. A military withdrawal, or even drawdown, from the Middle East does come with consequences, but it's only believable that these costs are higher than staying through the perpetuation of myths and misconceptions that inflate such risks and costs. No wonder then that these myths have become the greatest hits of a foreign policy that's stuck in the past.

This article originally appeared on LobeLog.com .

[Dec 04, 2019] The central question of Ukrainegate is whether CrowdStrike actions on DNC leak were a false flag operation designed to open Russiagate and what was the level of participation of Poroshenko government and Ukrainian Security services in this false flag operation by Factotum

Highly recommended!
Highly recommended !
Republicans are afraid to raise this key question. Democrats are afraid of even mentioning CrowdStrike in Ukrainegate hearings. The Deep State wants to suppress this matter entirely.
Alperovisch connections to Ukraine and his Russophobia are well known. Did Alperovich people played the role of "Fancy Bear"? Or Ukrainian SBU was engaged? George Eliason clams that "I have already clearly shown the Fancy Bear hackers are Ukrainian Intelligence Operators." ... "Since there is so much crap surrounding the supposed hack such as law enforcement teams never examining the DNC server or maintaining control of it as evidence, could the hacks have been a cover-up?"
Notable quotes:
"... So far at least I cannot rule out the possibility that that this could have involved an actual 'false flag' hack. A possible calculation would have been that this could have made it easier for Alperovitch and 'CrowdStrike', if more people had asked serious questions about the evidence they claimed supported the 'narrative' of GRU responsibility. ..."
"... What she suggested was that the FBI had found evidence, after his death, of a hack of Rich's laptop, designed as part of a 'false flag' operation. ..."
"... On this, see his 8 October, 'Motion for Discovery and Motion to Accept Supplemental Evidence' in Clevenger's own case against the DOJ, document 44 on the relevant 'Courtlistener' pages, and his 'Unopposed Motion for Stay', document 48. Both are short, and available without a 'PACER' subscription, and should be compulsory reading for anyone seriously interested in ascertaining the truth about 'Russiagate.' (See https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6775665/clevenger-v-us-department-of-justice/ .) ..."
"... And here, is is also material that he may have had more than one laptop, that 'hard drives' can be changed, and that the level of computer skills that can be found throughout the former Soviet Union is very high. Another matter of some importance is that Ed Butowsky's 'Debunking Rod Wheeler's Claims' site is back up online. (See http://debunkingrodwheelersclaims.net ) ..."
"... The question of whether the 'timeline' produced by Hersh's FBI informant was accurate, or a deliberate attempt to disguise the fact that all kinds of people were well aware of Rich's involvement before his murder, and well aware of the fact of a leak before he was identified as its source, is absolutely central to how one interprets 'Russiagate.' ..."
"... Why did Crowdstrike conclude it was a "Russian breach", when other evidence does show it was an internal download. What was Crowdstrike's method and motivation to reach the "Russian" conclusion instead. Why has that methodology been sealed? ..."
"... Why did Mueller wholly accept the Crowdstrike Russian conclusion, with no further or independent investigation and prominently put this Crowdstrike generated conclusion in his Russiagate report? Which also included the conclusion the "Russians" wanted to help Trump and harm Clinton. Heavy stuff, based upon a DNC proprietary investigation of their own and unavailable computers. ..."
"... What were the relationships between Crowdstrike, DNC, FBI and the Mueller team that conspired to reach this Russian conclusion. ..."
"... Why did the Roger Stone judge, who just sent Stone away for life, refuse Stone's evidentiary demand to ascertain how exactly Crowdstrike reached its Russsian hacking conclusion, that the court then linked to Stone allegedly lying about this Russian link ..."
"... Indeed, let's set out with full transparency the Ukraine -- Crowsdtrike player links and loyalties to see if there are any smoking guns yet undisclosed. Trump was asking for more information about Crowdstrike like a good lawyer - never ask a question when you don't already know the right answer. Crowdstrike is owned by a Ukrainian by birth ..."
"... Among the 12 engineers assigned to writing a PGP backdoor was the son of a KGB officer named Dmitri Alperovich who would go on to be the CTO at a company involved in the DNC Hacking scandal - Crowdstrike. ..."
"... In addition to writing a back door for PGP, Alperovich also ported PGP to the blackberry platform to provide encrypted communications for covert action operatives. ..."
"... His role in what we may define as "converting DNC leak into DNC hack" (I would agree with you that this probably was a false flag operation), which was supposedly designed to implicated Russians, and possibly involved Ukrainian security services, is very suspicious indeed. ..."
"... Mueller treatment of Crowdstrike with "kid gloves" may suggest that Alperovich actions were part of a larger scheme. After all Crowdstike was a FBI contactor at the time. ..."
Dec 04, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Originally from: The Intelligence Whistleblower protection Act did not apply to the phone call ... Reposted - Sic Semper Tyrannis


Factotum , 20 November 2019 at 01:02 PM

The favor was for Ukraine to investigate Crowdstrike and the 2016 DNC computer breach.

Reliance on Crowdstrike to investigate the DNC computer, and not an independent FBI investigation, was tied very closely to the years long anti-Trump Russiagate hoax and waste of US taxpayer time and money.

Why is this issue ignored by both the media and the Democrats. The ladies doth protest far too much.

vig -> Factotum... , 21 November 2019 at 11:00 AM
what exactly, to the extend I recall, could the Ukraine contribute the the DNC's server/"fake malware" troubles? Beyond, that I seem to vaguely recall, the supposed malware was distributed via an Ukrainan address.

On the other hand, there seems to be the (consensus here?) argument there was no malware breach at all, simply an insider copying files on a USB stick.

It seems to either or. No?

What basics am I missing?

David Habakkuk -> vig... , 21 November 2019 at 12:53 PM
vig,

There is no reason why it should be 'either/or'.

If people discovered there had been a leak, it would perfectly natural that in order to give 'resilience' to their cover-up strategies, they could have organised a planting of evidence on the servers, in conjunction with elements in Ukraine.

So far at least I cannot rule out the possibility that that this could have involved an actual 'false flag' hack. A possible calculation would have been that this could have made it easier for Alperovitch and 'CrowdStrike', if more people had asked serious questions about the evidence they claimed supported the 'narrative' of GRU responsibility.

The issues involved become all the more important, in the light of the progress of Ty Clevenger's attempts to exploit the clear contradiction between the claims by the FBI, in response to FOIA requests, to have no evidence relating to Seth Rich, and the remarks by Ms. Deborah Sines quoted by Michael Isikoff.

What she suggested was that the FBI had found evidence, after his death, of a hack of Rich's laptop, designed as part of a 'false flag' operation.

On this, see his 8 October, 'Motion for Discovery and Motion to Accept Supplemental Evidence' in Clevenger's own case against the DOJ, document 44 on the relevant 'Courtlistener' pages, and his 'Unopposed Motion for Stay', document 48. Both are short, and available without a 'PACER' subscription, and should be compulsory reading for anyone seriously interested in ascertaining the truth about 'Russiagate.' (See https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6775665/clevenger-v-us-department-of-justice/ .)

It is eminently possible that Ms. Hines has simply made an 'unforced error.'

However, I do not – yet – feel able totally to discount the possibility that what is actually at issue is a 'ruse', produced as a contingency plan to ensure that if it becomes impossible to maintain the cover-up over Rich's involvement in its original form, his laptop shows 'evidence' compatible with the 'Russiagate' narrative.

And here, is is also material that he may have had more than one laptop, that 'hard drives' can be changed, and that the level of computer skills that can be found throughout the former Soviet Union is very high. Another matter of some importance is that Ed Butowsky's 'Debunking Rod Wheeler's Claims' site is back up online. (See http://debunkingrodwheelersclaims.net )

Looking at it from the perspective of an old television current affairs hack, I do think that, while it is very helpful to have some key material available in a single place, it would useful if more attention was paid to presentation.

In particular, it would be a most helpful 'teaching aid', if a full and accurate transcript was made of the conversation with Seymour Hersh which Ed Butowsky covertly recorded. What seems clear is that both these figures ended up in very difficult positions, and that the latter clearly engaged in 'sleight of hand' in relation to his dealings with the former. That said, the fact that Butowsky's claims about his grounds for believing that Hersh's FBI informant was Andrew McCabe are clearly disingenuous does not justify the conclusion that he is wrong.

It is absolutely clear to me – despite what 'TTG', following that 'Grub Street' hack Folkenflik, claimed – that when Hersh talked to Butowsky, he believed he had been given accurate information. Indeed, I have difficulty seeing how anyone whose eyes were not hopelessly blinded by prejudice, a\nd possibly fear of where a quest for the truth might lead, could not see that, in this conversation, both men were telling the truth, as they saw it.

However, all of us, including the finest and most honourable of journalists can, from time to time, fall for disinformation. (If anyone says they can always spot when they are being played, all I can say is, if you're right, you're clearly Superman, but it is more likely that you are a fool or knave, if not both.)

The question of whether the 'timeline' produced by Hersh's FBI informant was accurate, or a deliberate attempt to disguise the fact that all kinds of people were well aware of Rich's involvement before his murder, and well aware of the fact of a leak before he was identified as its source, is absolutely central to how one interprets 'Russiagate.'

Factotum -> vig... , 21 November 2019 at 01:45 PM
Several loose end issues about Crowdstrike:

1. Why did Crowdstrike conclude it was a "Russian breach", when other evidence does show it was an internal download. What was Crowdstrike's method and motivation to reach the "Russian" conclusion instead. Why has that methodology been sealed?

2. Why did Mueller wholly accept the Crowdstrike Russian conclusion, with no further or independent investigation and prominently put this Crowdstrike generated conclusion in his Russiagate report? Which also included the conclusion the "Russians" wanted to help Trump and harm Clinton. Heavy stuff, based upon a DNC proprietary investigation of their own and unavailable computers.

3. What were the relationships between Crowdstrike, DNC, FBI and the Mueller team that conspired to reach this Russian conclusion.

4. Why did the Roger Stone judge, who just sent Stone away for life, refuse Stone's evidentiary demand to ascertain how exactly Crowdstrike reached its Russsian hacking conclusion, that the court then linked to Stone allegedly lying about this Russian link .

5. Indeed, let's set out with full transparency the Ukraine -- Crowsdtrike player links and loyalties to see if there are any smoking guns yet undisclosed. Trump was asking for more information about Crowdstrike like a good lawyer - never ask a question when you don't already know the right answer. Crowdstrike is owned by a Ukrainian by birth .

likbez said in reply to Factotum... , 04 December 2019 at 01:29 AM

Hi Factotum,
Why did Mueller wholly accept the Crowdstrike Russian conclusion, with no further or independent investigation and prominently put this Crowdstrike generated conclusion in his Russiagate report? Which also included the conclusion the "Russians" wanted to help Trump and harm Clinton. Heavy stuff, based upon a DNC proprietary investigation of their own and unavailable computers.

Alperovich is really a very suspicious figure. Rumors are that he was involved in compromising PGP while in MacAfee( June 2nd, 2018 Alperovich's DNC Cover Stories Soon To Match With His Hacking Teams - YouTube ):

Investigative Journalist George Webb worked at MacAfee and Network Solutions in 2000 when the CEO Bill Larsen bought a small, Moscow based, hacking and virus writing company to move to Silicon Valley.

MacAfee also purchased PGP, an open source encryption software developed by privacy advocate to reduce NSA spying on the public.
The two simultaneous purchase of PGP and the Moscow hacking team by Metwork Solutions was sponsored by the CIA and FBI in order to crack encrypted communications to write a back door for law enforcement.

Among the 12 engineers assigned to writing a PGP backdoor was the son of a KGB officer named Dmitri Alperovich who would go on to be the CTO at a company involved in the DNC Hacking scandal - Crowdstrike.

In addition to writing a back door for PGP, Alperovich also ported PGP to the blackberry platform to provide encrypted communications for covert action operatives.

His role in what we may define as "converting DNC leak into DNC hack" (I would agree with you that this probably was a false flag operation), which was supposedly designed to implicated Russians, and possibly involved Ukrainian security services, is very suspicious indeed.

Mueller treatment of Crowdstrike with "kid gloves" may suggest that Alperovich actions were part of a larger scheme. After all Crowdstike was a FBI contactor at the time.

While all this DNC hack saga is completely unclear due to lack of facts and the access to the evidence, there are some stories on Internet that indirectly somewhat strengthen your hypothesis:

Enjoy and Happy Cyber Week shopping :-)

[Dec 04, 2019] Common Funding Themes Link 'Whistleblower' Complaint and CrowdStrike Firm Certifying DNC Russia 'Hack' by Aaron Klein

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Alperovitch is a nonresident senior fellow of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative at the Atlantic Council, which takes a hawkish approach toward Russia. The Council in turn is financed by Google Inc. ..."
"... In a perhaps unexpected development, another Atlantic Council funder is Burisma, the natural gas company at the center of allegations regarding Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. Those allegations were the subject of Trump's inquiry with Zelemsky related to Biden. The Biden allegations concern significant questions about Biden's role in Ukraine policy under the Obama administration. This took place during a period when Hunter Biden received $50,000 a month from Burisma. ..."
"... Google, Soros's Open Society Foundations, the Rockefeller Fund and an agency of the State Department each also finance a self-described investigative journalism organization repeatedly referenced as a source of information in the so-called whistleblower's complaint alleging Trump was "using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country" in the 2020 presidential race. ..."
"... Another listed OCCRP funder is the Omidyar Network, which is the nonprofit for liberal billionaire eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. ..."
"... Together with Soros's Open Society, Omidyar also funds the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, which hosts the International Fact-Checking Network that partnered with Facebook to help determine whether news stories are "disputed." ..."
Sep 28, 2019 | www.breitbart.com

There are common threads that run through an organization repeatedly relied upon in the so-called whistleblower's complaint about President Donald Trump and CrowdStrike, the outside firm utilized to conclude that Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee's servers since the DNC would not allow the U.S. government to inspect the servers.

One of several themes is financing tied to Google, whose Google Capital led a $100 million funding drive that financed Crowdstrike. Google Capital, which now goes by the name of CapitalG, is an arm of Alphabet Inc., Google's parent company. Eric Schmidt, the chairman of Alphabet, has been a staunch and active supporter of Hillary Clinton and is a longtime donor to the Democratic Party.

CrowdStrike was mentioned by Trump in his call with Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Perkins Coie, the law firm that represented the DNC and Hillary Clinton's campaign, reportedly helped draft CrowdStrike to aid with the DNC's allegedly hacked server.

On behalf of the DNC and Clinton's campaign, Perkins Coie also paid the controversial Fusion GPS firm to produce the infamous, largely-discredited anti-Trump dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele.

CrowdStrike is a California-based cybersecurity technology company co-founded by Dmitri Alperovitch.

Alperovitch is a nonresident senior fellow of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative at the Atlantic Council, which takes a hawkish approach toward Russia. The Council in turn is financed by Google Inc.

In a perhaps unexpected development, another Atlantic Council funder is Burisma, the natural gas company at the center of allegations regarding Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. Those allegations were the subject of Trump's inquiry with Zelemsky related to Biden. The Biden allegations concern significant questions about Biden's role in Ukraine policy under the Obama administration. This took place during a period when Hunter Biden received $50,000 a month from Burisma.

Besides Google and Burisma funding, the Council is also financed by billionaire activist George Soros's Open Society Foundations as well as the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Inc. and the U.S. State Department.

Google, Soros's Open Society Foundations, the Rockefeller Fund and an agency of the State Department each also finance a self-described investigative journalism organization repeatedly referenced as a source of information in the so-called whistleblower's complaint alleging Trump was "using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country" in the 2020 presidential race.

The charges in the July 22 report referenced in the whistleblower's document and released by the Google and Soros-funded organization, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), seem to be the public precursors for a lot of the so-called whistleblower's own claims, as Breitbart News documented .

One key section of the so-called whistleblower's document claims that "multiple U.S. officials told me that Mr. Giuliani had reportedly privately reached out to a variety of other Zelensky advisers, including Chief of Staff Andriy Bohdan and Acting Chairman of the Security Service of Ukraine Ivan Bakanov."

This was allegedly to follow up on Trump's call with Zelensky in order to discuss the "cases" mentioned in that call, according to the so-called whistleblower's narrative. The complainer was clearly referencing Trump's request for Ukraine to investigate the Biden corruption allegations.

Even though the statement was written in first person – "multiple U.S. officials told me" – it contains a footnote referencing a report by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).

That footnote reads:

In a report published by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) on 22 July, two associates of Mr. Giuliani reportedly traveled to Kyiv in May 2019 and met with Mr. Bakanov and another close Zelensky adviser, Mr. Serhiy Shefir.

The so-called whistleblower's account goes on to rely upon that same OCCRP report on three more occasions. It does so to:

Write that Ukraine's Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko "also stated that he wished to communicate directly with Attorney General Barr on these matters." Document that Trump adviser Rudi Giuliani "had spoken in late 2018 to former Prosecutor General Shokin, in a Skype call arranged by two associates of Mr. Giuliani." Bolster the charge that, "I also learned from a U.S. official that 'associates' of Mr. Giuliani were trying to make contact with the incoming Zelenskyy team." The so-called whistleblower then relates in another footnote, "I do not know whether these associates of Mr. Giuliani were the same individuals named in the 22 July report by OCCRP, referenced above."

The OCCRP report repeatedly referenced is actually a "joint investigation by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and BuzzFeed News, based on interviews and court and business records in the United States and Ukraine."

BuzzFeed infamously also first published the full anti-Trump dossier alleging unsubstantiated collusion between Trump's presidential campaign and Russia. The dossier was paid for by Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee and was produced by the Fusion GPS opposition dirt outfit.

The OCCRP and BuzzFeed "joint investigation" resulted in both OCCRP and BuzzFeed publishing similar lengthy pieces on July 22 claiming that Giuliani was attempting to use connections to have Ukraine investigate Trump's political rivals.

The so-called whistleblower's document, however, only mentions the largely unknown OCCRP and does not reference BuzzFeed, which has faced scrutiny over its reporting on the Russia collusion claims.

Another listed OCCRP funder is the Omidyar Network, which is the nonprofit for liberal billionaire eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.

Together with Soros's Open Society, Omidyar also funds the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, which hosts the International Fact-Checking Network that partnered with Facebook to help determine whether news stories are "disputed."

Like OCCRP, the Poynter Institute's so-called news fact-checking project is openly funded by not only Soros' Open Society Foundations but also Google and the National Endowment for Democracy.

CrowdStrike and DNC servers

CrowdStrike, meanwhile, was brought up by Trump in his phone call with Zelensky. According to the transcript, Trump told Zelensky, "I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say CrowdStrike I guess you have one of your wealthy people The server, they say Ukraine has it."

In his extensive report , Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller notes that his investigative team did not "obtain or examine" the servers of the DNC in determining whether those servers were hacked by Russia.

The DNC famously refused to allow the FBI to access its servers to verify the allegation that Russia carried out a hack during the 2016 presidential campaign. Instead, the DNC reached an arrangement with the FBI in which CrowdStrike conducted forensics on the server and shared details with the FBI.

In testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee in January 2017, then-FBI Director James Comey confirmed that the FBI registered "multiple requests at different levels," to review the DNC's hacked servers. Ultimately, the DNC and FBI came to an agreement in which a "highly respected private company" -- a reference to CrowdStrike -- would carry out forensics on the servers and share any information that it discovered with the FBI, Comey testified.

A senior law enforcement official stressed the importance of the FBI gaining direct access to the servers, a request that was denied by the DNC.

"The FBI repeatedly stressed to DNC officials the necessity of obtaining direct access to servers and data, only to be rebuffed until well after the initial compromise had been mitigated," the official was quoted by the news media as saying.

"This left the FBI no choice but to rely upon a third party for information. These actions caused significant delays and inhibited the FBI from addressing the intrusion earlier," the official continued.

... ... ...

Aaron Klein is Breitbart's Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, " Aaron Klein Investigative Radio ." Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.

Joshua Klein contributed research to this article.

[Dec 04, 2019] DNC Russian Hackers Found! You Won't Believe Who They Really Work For by the Anonymous Patriots

Highly recommended!
Jan 01, 2017 | themillenniumreport.com

"If someone steals your keys to encrypt the data, it doesn't matter how secure the algorithms are."

Dmitri Alperovitch, founder of CrowdStrike.

By the Anonymous Patriots
SOTN Exclusive

Russians did not hack the DNC system, a Russian named Dmitri Alperovitch is the hacker and he works for President Obama. In the last five years the Obama administration has turned exclusively to one Russian to solve every major cyber-attack in America, whether the attack was on the U.S. government or a corporation. Only one "super-hero cyber-warrior" seems to "have the codes" to figure out "if" a system was hacked and by "whom."

Dmitri's company, CrowdStrike has been called in by Obama to solve mysterious attacks on many high level government agencies and American corporations, including: German Bundestag, Democratic National Committee, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), the White House, the State Department, SONY, and many others.

CrowdStrike's philosophy is: "You don't have a malware problem; you have an adversary problem."

CrowdStrike has played a critical role in the development of America's cyber-defense policy. Dmitri Alperovitch and George Kurtz, a former head of the FBI cyberwarfare unit founded CrowdStrike. Shawn Henry, former executive assistant director at the FBI is now CrowdStrike's president of services. The company is crawling with former U.S. intelligence agents.

Before Alperovitch founded CrowdStrike in 2011, he was working in Atlanta as the chief threat officer at the antivirus software firm McAfee, owned by Intel (a DARPA company). During that time, he "discovered" the Chinese had compromised at least seventy-one companies and organizations, including thirteen defense contractors, three electronics firms, and the International Olympic Committee. He was the only person to notice the biggest cyberattack in history! Nothing suspicious about that.

Alperovitch and the DNC

After CrowdStrike was hired as an independent "vendor" by the DNC to investigate a possible cyberattack on their system, Alperovitch sent the DNC a proprietary software package called Falcon that monitors the networks of its clients in real time. According to Alperovitch, Falcon "lit up," within ten seconds of being installed at the DNC. Alperovitch had his "proof" in TEN SECONDS that Russia was in the network. This "alleged" evidence of Russian hacking has yet to be shared with anyone.

As Donald Trump has pointed out, the FBI, the agency that should have been immediately involved in hacking that effects "National Security," has yet to even examine the DNC system to begin an investigation. Instead, the FBI and 16 other U.S. "intelligence" agencies simply "agree" with Obama's most trusted "cyberwarfare" expert Dmitri Alperovitch's "TEN SECOND" assessment that produced no evidence to support the claim.

Also remember that it is only Alperovitch and CrowdStrike that claim to have evidence that it was Russian hackers . In fact, only two hackers were found to have been in the system and were both identified by Alperovitch as Russian FSB (CIA) and the Russian GRU (DoD). It is only Alperovitch who claims that he knows that it is Putin behind these two hackers.

Alperovitch failed to mention in his conclusive "TEN SECOND" assessment that Guccifer 2.0 had already hacked the DNC and made available to the public the documents he hacked – before Alperovitch did his ten second assessment. Alperovitch reported that no other hackers were found, ignoring the fact that Guccifer 2.0 had already hacked and released DNC documents to the public. Alperovitch's assessment also goes directly against Julian Assange's repeated statements that the DNC leaks did not come from the Russians.

The ridiculously fake cyber-attack assessment done by Alperovitch and CrowdStrike naïvely flies in the face of the fact that a DNC insider admitted that he had released the DNC documents. Julian Assange implied in an interview that the murdered Democratic National Committee staffer, Seth Rich, was the source of a trove of damaging emails the website posted just days before the party's convention. Seth was on his way to testify about the DNC leaks to the FBI when he was shot dead in the street.

It is also absurd to hear Alperovitch state that the Russian FSB (equivalent to the CIA) had been monitoring the DNC site for over a year and had done nothing. No attack, no theft, and no harm was done to the system by this "false-flag cyber-attack" on the DNC – or at least, Alperovitch "reported" there was an attack. The second hacker, the supposed Russian military (GRU – like the U.S. DoD) hacker, had just entered the system two weeks before and also had done "nothing" but observe.

It is only Alperovitch's word that reports that the Russian FSB was "looking for files on Donald Trump."

It is only this false claim that spuriously ties Trump to the "alleged" attack. It is also only Alperovitch who believes that this hack that was supposedly "looking for Trump files" was an attempt to "influence" the election. No files were found about Trump by the second hacker, as we know from Wikileaks and Guccifer 2.0's leaks. To confabulate that "Russian's hacked the DNC to influence the elections" is the claim of one well-known Russian spy. Then, 17 U.S. intelligence agencies unanimously confirm that Alperovitch is correct – even though there is no evidence and no investigation was ever conducted .

How does Dmitri Alperovitch have such power? Why did Obama again and again use Alperovitch's company, CrowdStrike, when they have miserably failed to stop further cyber-attacks on the systems they were hired to protect? Why should anyone believe CrowdStrikes false-flag report?

After documents from the DNC continued to leak, and Guccifer 2.0 and Wikileaks made CrowdStrike's report look foolish, Alperovitch decided the situation was far worse than he had reported. He single-handedly concluded that the Russians were conducting an "influence operation" to help win the election for Trump . This false assertion had absolutely no evidence to back it up.

On July 22, three days before the Democratic convention in Philadelphia, WikiLeaks dumped a massive cache of emails that had been "stolen" (not hacked) from the DNC. Reporters soon found emails suggesting that the DNC leadership had favored Hillary Clinton in her primary race against Bernie Sanders, which led Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the DNC chair, along with three other officials, to resign.

Just days later, it was discovered that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) had been hacked. CrowdStrike was called in again and once again, Alperovitch immediately "believed" that Russia was responsible. A lawyer for the DCCC gave Alperovitch permission to confirm the leak and to name Russia as the suspected author. Two weeks later, files from the DCCC began to appear on Guccifer 2.0's website. This time Guccifer released information about Democratic congressional candidates who were running close races in Florida, Ohio, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. On August 12, Guccifer went further, publishing a spreadsheet that included the personal email addresses and phone numbers of nearly two hundred Democratic members of Congress.

Once again, Guccifer 2.0 proved Alperovitch and CrowdStrike's claims to be grossly incorrect about the hack originating from Russia, with Putin masterminding it all. Nancy Pelosi offered members of Congress Alperovitch's suggestion of installing Falcon , the system that failed to stop cyberattacks at the DNC, on all congressional laptops.

Key Point: Once Falcon was installed on the computers of members of the U.S. Congress, CrowdStrike had even further full access into U.S. government accounts.

Alperovitch's "Unbelievable" History

Dmitri was born in 1980 in Moscow where his father, Michael, was a nuclear physicist, (so Dmitri claims). Dmitri's father was supposedly involved at the highest levels of Russian nuclear science. He also claims that his father taught him to write code as a child.

In 1990, his father was sent to Maryland as part of a nuclear-safety training program for scientists. In 1994, Michael Alperovitch was granted a visa to Canada, and a year later the family moved to Chattanooga, where Michael took a job with the Tennessee Valley Authority.

While Dmitri Alperovitch was still in high school, he and his father started an encryption-technology business. Dmitri studied computer science at Georgia Tech and went on to work at an antispam software firm. It was at this time that he realized that cyber-defense was more about psychology than it was about technology. A very odd thing to conclude.

Dmitri Alperovitch posed as a "Russian gangster" on spam discussion forums which brought his illegal activity to the attention of the FBI – as a criminal. In 2005, Dmitri flew to Pittsburgh to meet an FBI agent named Keith Mularski, who had been asked to lead an undercover operation against a vast Russian credit-card-theft syndicate. Alperovitch worked closely with Mularski's sting operation which took two years, but it ultimately brought about fifty-six arrests. Dmitri Alperovitch then became a pawn of the FBI and CIA.

In 2010, while he was at McAfee, the head of cybersecurity at Google told Dmitri that Gmail accounts belonging to human-rights activists in China had been breached. Google suspected the Chinese government. Alperovitch found that the breach was unprecedented in scale; it affected more than a dozen of McAfee's clients and involved the Chinese government. Three days after his supposed discovery, Alperovitch was on a plane to Washington where he had been asked to vet a paragraph in a speech by the secretary of state, Hillary Clinton.

2014, Sony called in CrowdStrike to investigate a breach of its network. Alperovitch needed just "two hours" to identify North Korea as the adversary. Executives at Sony asked Alperovitch to go public with the information immediately, but it took the FBI another three weeks before it confirmed the attribution.

Alperovitch then developed a list of "usual suspects" who were well-known hackers who had identifiable malware that they commonly used. Many people use the same malware and Alperovitch's obsession with believing he has the only accurate list of hackers in the world is plain idiocy exacerbated by the U.S. government's belief in his nonsense. Alperovitch even speaks like a "nut-case" in his personal Twitters, which generally have absolutely no references to the technology he is supposedly the best at in the entire world.

Dmitri – Front Man for His Father's Russian Espionage Mission

After taking a close look at the disinformation around Dmitri and his father, it is clear to see that Michael Alperovitch became a CIA operative during his first visit to America. Upon his return to Russia, he stole the best Russian encryption codes that were used to protect the top-secret work of nuclear physics in which his father is alleged to have been a major player. Upon surrendering the codes to the CIA when he returned to Canada, the CIA made it possible for a Russian nuclear scientist to become an American citizen overnight and gain a top-secret security clearance to work at the Oakridge plant, one of the most secure and protected nuclear facilities in America . Only the CIA can transform a Russian into an American with a top-secret clearance overnight.

We can see on Michael Alperovitch's Linked In page that he went from one fantastically top-secret job to the next without a break from the time he entered America. He seemed to be on a career path to work in every major U.S. agency in America. In every job he was hired as the top expert in the field and the leader of the company. All of these jobs after the first one were in cryptology, not nuclear physics. As a matter of fact, Michael became the top expert in America overnight and has stayed the top expert to this day.

Most of the work of cyber-security is creating secure interactions on a non-secure system like the Internet. The cryptologist who assigns the encryption codes controls the system from that point on .

Key Point: Cryptologists are well known for leaving a "back-door" in the base-code so that they can always have over-riding control.

Michael Alperovitch essentially has the "codes" for all Department of Defense sites, the Treasury, the State Department, cell-phones, satellites, and public media . There is hardly any powerful agency or company that he has not written the "codes" for. One might ask, why do American companies and the U.S. government use his particular codes? What are so special about Michael's codes?

Stolen Russian Codes

In December, Obama ordered the U.S. military to conduct cyberattacks against Russia in retaliation for the alleged DNC hacks. All of the attempts to attack Russia's military and intelligence agencies failed miserably. Russia laughed at Obama's attempts to hack their systems. Even the Russian companies targeted by the attacks were not harmed by Obama's cyber-attacks. Hardly any news of these massive and embarrassing failed cyber-attacks were reported by the Main Stream Media. The internet has been scrubbed clean of the reports that said Russia's cyber-defenses were impenetrable due to the sophistication of their encryption codes.

Michael Alperovitch was in possession of those impenetrable codes when he was a top scientist in Russia. It was these very codes that he shared with the CIA on his first trip to America . These codes got him spirited into America and "turned into" the best cryptologist in the world. Michael is simply using the effective codes of Russia to design his codes for the many systems he has created in America for the CIA .

KEY POINT: It is crucial to understand at this junction that the CIA is not solely working for America . The CIA works for itself and there are three branches to the CIA – two of which are hostile to American national interests and support globalism.

Michael and Dmitri Alperovitch work for the CIA (and international intelligence corporations) who support globalism . They, and the globalists for whom they work, are not friends of America or Russia. It is highly likely that the criminal activities of Dmitri, which were supported and sponsored by the FBI, created the very hackers who he often claims are responsible for cyberattacks. None of these supposed "attackers" have ever been found or arrested; they simply exist in the files of CrowdStrike and are used as the "usual culprits" when the FBI or CIA calls in Dmitri to give the one and only opinion that counts. Only Dmitri's "suspicions" are offered as evidence and yet 17 U.S. intelligence agencies stand behind the CrowdStrike report and Dmitri's suspicions.

Michael Alperovitch – Russian Spy with the Crypto-Keys

Essentially, Michael Alperovitch flies under the false-flag of being a cryptologist who works with PKI. A public key infrastructure (PKI) is a system for the creation, storage, and distribution of digital certificates which are used to verify that a particular public key belongs to a certain entity. The PKI creates digital certificates which map public keys to entities, securely stores these certificates in a central repository and revokes them if needed. Public key cryptography is a cryptographic technique that enables entities to securely communicate on an insecure public network (the Internet), and reliably verify the identity of an entity via digital signatures . Digital signatures use Certificate Authorities to digitally sign and publish the public key bound to a given user. This is done using the CIA's own private key, so that trust in the user key relies on one's trust in the validity of the CIA's key. Michael Alperovitch is considered to be the number one expert in America on PKI and essentially controls the market .

Michael's past is clouded in confusion and lies. Dmitri states that his father was a nuclear physicist and that he came to America the first time in a nuclear based shared program between America and Russia. But if we look at his current personal Linked In page, Michael claims he has a Master Degree in Applied Mathematics from Gorky State University. From 1932 to 1956, its name was State University of Gorky. Now it is known as Lobachevsky State University of Nizhni Novgorod – National Research University (UNN), also known as Lobachevsky University. Does Michael not even know the name of the University he graduated from? And when does a person with a Master's Degree become a leading nuclear physicist who comes to "visit" America. In Michael's Linked In page there is a long list of his skills and there is no mention of nuclear physics.

Also on Michael Alperovitch's Linked In page we find some of his illustrious history that paints a picture of either the most brilliant mind in computer security, encryption, and cyberwarfare, or a CIA/FBI backed Russian spy. Imagine that out of all the people in the world to put in charge of the encryption keys for the Department of Defense, the U.S. Treasury, U.S. military satellites, the flow of network news, cell phone encryption, the Pathfire (media control) Program, the Defense Information Systems Agency, the Global Information Grid, and TriCipher Armored Credential System among many others, the government hires a Russian spy . Go figure.

Michael Alperovitch's Linked In Page

Education:

Gorky State University, Russia, MS in Applied Mathematics

Work History:

Sr. Security Architect

VT IDirect -2014 – Designing security architecture for satellite communications including cryptographic protocols, authentication.

Principal SME (Contractor)

DISA -Defense Information Systems Agency (Manager of the Global Information Grid) – 2012-2014 – Worked on PKI and identity management projects for DISA utilizing Elliptic Curve Cryptography. Performed application security and penetration testing.

Technical Lead (Contractor)

U.S. Department of the Treasury – 2011 – Designed enterprise validation service architecture for PKI certificate credentials with Single Sign On authentication.

Principal Software Engineer

Comtech Mobile Datacom – 2007-2010 – Subject matter expert on latest information security practices, including authentication, encryption and key management.

Sr. Software Engineer

TriCipher – 2006-2007 – Designed and developed security architecture for TriCipher Armored Credential Authentication System.

Lead Software Engineer

BellSouth – 2003-2006 – Designed and built server-side Jabber-based messaging platform with Single Sign On authentication.

Principal Software Research Engineer

Pathfire – 2001-2002 – Designed and developed Digital Rights Management Server for Video on Demand and content distribution applications. Pathfire provides digital media distribution and management solutions to the television, media, and entertainment industries. The company offers Digital Media Gateway, a digital IP store-and-forward platform, delivering news stories, syndicated programming, advertising spots, and video news releases to broadcasters. It provides solutions for content providers and broadcasters, as well as station solutions.

Obama – No Friend of America

Obama is no friend of America in the war against cyber-attacks. The very agencies and departments being defended by Michael Alperovitch's "singular and most brilliant" ability to write encryption codes have all been successfully attacked and compromised since Michael set up the codes. But we shouldn't worry, because if there is a cyberattack in the Obama administration, Michael's son Dmitri is called in to "prove" that it isn't the fault of his father's codes. It was the "damn Russians", or even "Putin himself" who attacked American networks.

Not one of the 17 U.S. intelligence agencies is capable of figuring out a successful cyberattack against America without Michael and Dmitri's help. Those same 17 U.S. intelligence agencies were not able to effectively launch a successful cyberattack against Russia. It seems like the Russian's have strong codes and America has weak codes. We can thank Michael and Dmitri Alperovitch for that.

It is clear that there was no DNC hack beyond Guccifer 2.0. Dmitri Alperovitch is a "frontman" for his father's encryption espionage mission.

Is it any wonder that Trump says that he has "his own people" to deliver his intelligence to him that is outside of the infiltrated U.S. government intelligence agencies and the Obama administration ? Isn't any wonder that citizens have to go anywhere BUT the MSM to find real news or that the new administration has to go to independent news to get good intel?

It is hard to say anything more damnable than to again quote Dmitri on these very issues:
"If someone steals your keys to encrypt the data, it doesn't matter how secure the algorithms are." Dmitri Alperovitch, founder of CrowdStrike

Originally posted at: http://stateofthenation2012.com/?p=62536

[Dec 04, 2019] June 4th, 2017 Crowdstrike Was at the DNC Six Weeks by George Webb

Highly recommended!
A short YouTube with the handwritten timeline
Nov 27, 2019 | www.youtube.com
AwanContra - George Webb, Investigative Journalist

[Dec 04, 2019] Cyberanalyst George Eliason Claims that the "Fancy Bear" Who Hacked the DNC Server is Ukrainian Intelligence – In League with the Atlantic Council and Crowdstrike

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... And RUH8 is allied with the Atlantic Council and Crowdstrike. ..."
"... Russia was probably not one of the hacking groups. The willful destruction of evidence by the DNC themselves probably points to Russia not being one of the those groups. The DNC wouldn't destroy evidence that supported their position. Also, government spy agencies keep info like that closely held. They might leak out tidbits, but they don't do wholesale dumps, like, ever. ..."
"... That's what the DNC is lying about. Not that hacks happened (they undoubtedly did), but about who did them (probably not Russian gov), and if hacks mattered (they didn't since everything was getting leaked anyway). ..."
"... The DNC/Mueller/etc are lying, but like most practiced liars they're mixing the lies with half-truths and unrelated facts to muddy the waters: ..."
"... An interesting question is, since it's basically guaranteed the DNC got hacked, but probably not by the Russians, is, what groups did hack the DNC, and why did the DNC scramble madly to hide their identities? ..."
"... And while you think about that question, consider the close parallel with the Awan case, where Dems were ostensibly the victims, but they again scrambled to cover up for the people who supposedly harmed them. level 2 ..."
"... DNC wasn't even hacked. Emails were leaked. They didn't even examine the server. Any "evidence" produced is spoofable from CIA cybertools that we know about from wikileaks. It's important to know how each new lie is a lie. But man I am just so done with all this Russia shit. level 2 ..."
"... Crowdstrike claims that malware was found on DNC server. I agree that this has nothing to do with the Wikileaks releases. What I am wondering is whether Crowdstrike may have arranged for the DNC to be hacked so that Russia could be blamed. Continue this thread level 1 ..."
"... George Eliason promises additional essays: *The next articles, starting with one about Fancy Bear's hot/cold ongoing relationship with Bellingcat which destroys the JIT investigation, will showcase the following: Fancy Bear worked with Bellingcat and the Ukrainian government providing Information War material as evidence for MH17: ..."
"... Fancy Bear is an inside unit of the Atlantic Council and their Digital Forensics Lab ..."
Dec 04, 2018 | www.reddit.com

Cyberanalyst George Eliason has written some intriguing blogs recently claiming that the "Fancy Bear" which hacked the DNC server in mid-2016 was in fact a branch of Ukrainian intelligence linked to the Atlantic Council and Crowdstrike. I invite you to have a go at one of his recent essays:

https://off-guardian.org/2018/06/25/who-is-fancy-bear-and-who-are-they-working-for/

Since I am not very computer savvy and don't know much about the world of hackers - added to the fact that Eliason's writing is too cute and convoluted - I have difficulty navigating Eliason's thought. Nonetheless, here is what I can make of Eliasons' claims, as supported by independent literature:

Russian hacker Konstantin Kozlovsky, in Moscow court filings, has claimed that he did the DNC hack – and can prove it, because he left some specific code on the DNC server.

http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/366696-russian-hacker-claims-he-can-prove-he-hacked-dnc

Kozlovsky states that he did so by order of Dimitry Dokuchaev (formerly of the FSB, and currently in prison in Russia on treason charges) who works with the Russian traitor hacker group Shaltai Boltai.

https://www.newsweek.com/russian-hacker-stealing-clintons-emailshacking-dnc-putinsfsb-745555 (Note that Newsweek's title is an overt lie.)

According to Eliason, Shaltai Boltai works in collaboration with the Ukrainian hacker group RUH8, a group of neo-Nazis (Privat Sektor) who are affiliated with Ukrainian intelligence. And RUH8 is allied with the Atlantic Council and Crowdstrike.

https://off-guardian.org/2018/06/25/who-is-fancy-bear-and-who-are-they-working-for/

Cyberexpert Jeffrey Carr has stated that RUH8 has the X-Agent malware which our intelligence community has erroneously claimed is possessed only by Russian intelligence, and used by "Fancy Bear".

https://medium.com/@jeffreyscarr/the-gru-ukraine-artillery-hack-that-may-never-have-happened-820960bbb02d

Eliason has concluded that RUH8 is Fancy Bear.

This might help explain why Adam Carter has determined that some of the malware found on the DNC server was compiled AFTER Crowdstrike was working on the DNC server – Crowdstrike was in collusion with Fancy Bear (RUH8).

In other words, Crowdstrike likely arranged for a hack by Ukrainian intelligence that they could then attribute to Russia.

As far as I can tell, none of this is pertinent to how Wikileaks obtained their DNC emails, which most likely were leaked.

How curious that our Deep State and the recent Mueller indictment have had nothing to say about Kozlovsky's confession - whom I tend to take seriously because he offers a simple way to confirm his claim. Also interesting that the FBI has shown no interest in looking at the DNC server to check whether Kozlovsky's code is there.

I will ask Adam Carter for his opinion on this. 19 comments 84% Upvoted This thread is archived New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast Sort by View discussions in 1 other community level 1



zer0mas 1 point · 1 year ago

Its worth noting that Dimitri Alperovich's (Crowdstrike) hatred of Putin is second only to Hillary's hatred for taking responsibility for her actions. level 1

veganmark 2 points · 1 year ago

Thanks - I'll continue to follow Eliason's work. The thesis that Ukrainian intelligence is hacking a number of targets so that Russia gets blamed for it has intuitive appeal. level 1

alskdmv-nosleep4u -1 points · 1 year ago

I see things like this:

DNC wasn't even hacked.

and have to cringe. Any hacks weren't related to Wikileaks, who got their info from leakers, but that is not the same thing as no hack. Leaks and hacks aren't mutually exclusive. They actually occur together pretty commonly.

DNC's security was utter shit. Systems with shit security and obviously valuable info usually get hacked by multiple groups. In the case of the DNC, Hillary's email servers, etc., it's basically impossible they weren't hacked by dozens of intruders. A plastic bag of 100s will not sit untouched on a NYC street corner for 4 weeks. Not. fucking. happening.

Interestingly, Russia was probably not one of the hacking groups. The willful destruction of evidence by the DNC themselves probably points to Russia not being one of the those groups. The DNC wouldn't destroy evidence that supported their position. Also, government spy agencies keep info like that closely held. They might leak out tidbits, but they don't do wholesale dumps, like, ever.

That's what the DNC is lying about. Not that hacks happened (they undoubtedly did), but about who did them (probably not Russian gov), and if hacks mattered (they didn't since everything was getting leaked anyway).

The DNC/Mueller/etc are lying, but like most practiced liars they're mixing the lies with half-truths and unrelated facts to muddy the waters:

Any "evidence" produced is spoofable from CIA cybertools

Yes, but that spoofed 'evidence' is not the direct opposite of the truth, like I see people assuming. Bad assumption, and the establishment plays on that to make critic look bad. The spoofed evidence is just mud.


An interesting question is, since it's basically guaranteed the DNC got hacked, but probably not by the Russians, is, what groups did hack the DNC, and why did the DNC scramble madly to hide their identities?

And while you think about that question, consider the close parallel with the Awan case, where Dems were ostensibly the victims, but they again scrambled to cover up for the people who supposedly harmed them. level 2

alskdmv-nosleep4u 2 points · 1 year ago

What's hilarious about the 2 down-votes is I can't tell if their from pro-Russiagate trolls, or from people who who can't get past binary thinking. level 1

Honztastic 2 points · 1 year ago

DNC wasn't even hacked. Emails were leaked. They didn't even examine the server. Any "evidence" produced is spoofable from CIA cybertools that we know about from wikileaks. It's important to know how each new lie is a lie. But man I am just so done with all this Russia shit. level 2

veganmark 2 points · 1 year ago

Crowdstrike claims that malware was found on DNC server. I agree that this has nothing to do with the Wikileaks releases. What I am wondering is whether Crowdstrike may have arranged for the DNC to be hacked so that Russia could be blamed. Continue this thread level 1

Inuma I take the headspace of idiots 9 points · 1 year ago

So you mean to tell me that WWIII is being prepared by Mueller and it was manufactured consent?

I'd be shocked, but this only proves that the "Deep State" only cares about their power, consequences be damned. level 1

veganmark 8 points · 1 year ago

George Eliason promises additional essays: *The next articles, starting with one about Fancy Bear's hot/cold ongoing relationship with Bellingcat which destroys the JIT investigation, will showcase the following: Fancy Bear worked with Bellingcat and the Ukrainian government providing Information War material as evidence for MH17:

HillaryBrokeTheLaw Long live dead poets 10 points · 1 year ago

Nice.

I'm glad you're still following this. Crowdstrike is shady af. level 1

[Dec 04, 2019] Fancy Bear - Conservapedia

Highly recommended!
Dec 04, 2019 | www.conservapedia.com

Fancy Bear (also know as Strontium Group, or APT28) is a Ukrainian cyber espionage group. Cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike incorrectly has said with a medium level of confidence that it is associated with the Russian military intelligence agency GRU . CrowdStrike founder, Dmitri Alperovitch , has colluded with Fancy Bear. American journalist George Eliason has written extensively on the subject.

There are a couple of caveats that need to be made when identifying the Fancy Bear hackers. The first is the identifier used by Mueller as Russian FSB and GRU may have been true- 10 years ago. This group was on the run trying to stay a step ahead of Russian law enforcement until October 2016. So we have part of the Fancy bear hacking group identified as Ruskie traitors and possibly former Russian state security. The majority of the group are Ukrainians making up Ukraine's Cyber Warfare groups.

Eliason lives and works in Donbass. He has been interviewed by and provided analysis for RT, the BBC , and Press-TV. His articles have been published in the Security Assistance Monitor, Washingtons Blog, OpedNews, the Saker, RT, Global Research, and RINF, and the Greanville Post among others. He has been cited and republished by various academic blogs including Defending History, Michael Hudson, SWEDHR, Counterpunch, the Justice Integrity Project, among others.

Contents [ hide ] Fancy Bear is Ukrainian Intelligence Shaltai Boltai

The "Fancy Bear hackers" may have been given the passwords to get into the servers at the DNC because they were part of the Team Clinton opposition research team. It was part of their job.

According to Politico ,

"In an interview this month, at the DNC this past election cycle centered on mobilizing ethnic communities -- including Ukrainian-Americans -- she said that, when Trump's unlikely presidential campaign. Chalupa told Politico she had developed a network of sources in Kiev and Washington, including investigative journalists, government officials and private intelligence operatives. While her consulting work began surging in late 2015, she began focusing more on the research, and expanded it to include Trump's ties to Russia, as well." [1]

The only investigative journalists, government officials, and private intelligence operatives that work together in 2014-2015-2016 Ukraine are Shaltai Boltai, CyberHunta, Ukraine Cyber Alliance, and the Ministry of Information.

All of these hacking and information operation groups work for Andrea Chalupa with EuroMaidanPR and Irena Chalupa at the Atlantic Council. Both Chalupa sisters work directly with the Ukrainian government's intelligence and propaganda arms.

Since 2014 in Ukraine, these are the only OSINT, hacking, Intel, espionage , terrorist , counter-terrorism, cyber, propaganda , and info war channels officially recognized and directed by Ukraine's Information Ministry. Along with their American colleagues, they populate the hit-for-hire website Myrotvorets with people who stand against Ukraine's criminal activities.

The hackers, OSINT, Cyber, spies, terrorists, etc. call themselves volunteers to keep safe from State level retaliation, even though a child can follow the money. As volunteers motivated by politics and patriotism they are protected to a degree from retribution.

They don't claim State sponsorship or governance and the level of attack falls below the threshold of military action. Special Counsel Robert Mueller had a lot of latitude for making the attribution Russian, even though the attacks came from Ukrainian Intelligence. Based on how the rules of the Tallinn Manual 2.0 on the International Law Applicable to Cyber are written, because the few members of the coalition from Shaltai Boltai are Russian in nationality, Fancy Bear can be attributed as a Russian entity for the purposes of retribution. The caveat is if the attribution is proven wrong, the US will be liable for damages caused to the State which in this case is Russia.

How large is the Fancy Bear unit? According to their propaganda section InformNapalm, they have the ability to research and work in over 30 different languages.

This can be considered an Information Operation against the people of the United States and of course Russia. After 2013, Shaltay Boltay was no longer physically available to work for Russia. The Russian hackers were in Ukraine working for the Ukrainian government's Information Ministry which is in charge of the cyber war. They were in Ukraine until October 2016 when they were tricked to return to Moscow and promptly arrested for treason.

From all this information we know the Russian component of Team Fancy Bear is Shaltai Boltai. We know the Ukrainian Intel component is called CyberHunta and Ukraine Cyber Alliance which includes the hacker group RUH8. We know both groups work/ worked for Ukrainian Intelligence. We know they are grouped with InformNapalm which is Ukraine's OSINT unit. We know their manager is a Ukrainian named Kristina Dobrovolska. And lastly, all of the above work directly with the Atlantic Council and Crowdstrike's Dimitry Alperovich.

In short, the Russian-Ukrainian partnership that became Fancy Bear started in late 2013 to very early 2014 and ended in October 2016 in what appears to be a squabble over the alleged data from the Surkov leak.

But during 2014, 2015, and 2016 Shaltai Boltai, the Ukrainian Cyber Alliance, and CyberHunta went to work for the DNC as opposition researchers .

The First Time Shaltai Boltai was Handed the Keys to US Gov Servers

The setup to this happened long before the partnership with Ukrainian Intel hackers and Russia's Shaltai Boltai was forged. The hack that gained access to US top-secret servers happened just after the partnership was cemented after Euro-Maidan.

In August 2009 Hillary Clinton's Deputy Chief of Staff at the State Department Huma Abedin sent the passwords to her Government laptop to her Yahoo mail account. On August 16, 2010, Abedin received an email titled "Re: Your yahoo account. We can see where this is going, can't we?

"After Abedin sent an unspecified number of sensitive emails to her Yahoo account, half a billion Yahoo accounts were hacked by Russian cybersecurity expert and Russian intelligence agent, Igor Sushchin, in 2014. The hack, one of the largest in history, allowed Sushchin's associates to access email accounts into 2015 and 2016."

Igor Sushchin was part of the Shaltai Boltai hacking group that is charged with the Yahoo hack.

The time frame has to be noted. The hack happened in 2014. Access to the email accounts continued through 2016. The Ukrainian Intel partnership was already blossoming and Shaltai Boltai was working from Kiev, Ukraine.

So when we look at the INFRASTRUCTURE HACKS, WHITE HOUSE HACKS, CONGRESS, start with looking at the time frame. Ukraine had the keys already in hand in 2014.

Chalupa collusion with Ukrainian Intelligence
See also: Ukrainian collusion and Ukrainian collusion timeline

Alexandra Chalupa hired this particular hacking terrorist group, which Dimitry Alperovich and Crowdstrike dubbed "Fancy Bear", in 2015 at the latest. While the Ukrainian hackers worked for the DNC, Fancy Bear had to send in progress reports, turn in research, and communicate on the state of the projects they were working on. Let's face it, once you're in, setting up your Fancy Bear toolkit doesn't get any easier. This is why I said the DNC hack isn't the big crime. It's a big con and all the parties were in on it.

Hillary Clinton exposed secrets to hacking threats by using private email instead of secured servers. Given the information provided she was probably being monitored by our intrepid Ruskie-Ukie union made in hell hackers. Anthony Weiner exposed himself and his wife Huma Abedin using Weiner's computer for top-secret State Department emails. And of course Huma Abedin exposed herself along with her top-secret passwords at Yahoo and it looks like the hackers the DNC hired to do opposition research hacked her.

Here's a question. Did Huma Abedin have Hillary Clinton's passwords for her private email server? It would seem logical given her position with Clinton at the State Department and afterward. This means that Hillary Clinton and the US government top secret servers were most likely compromised by Fancy Bear before the DNC and Team Clinton hired them by using legitimate passwords.

Dobrovolska

Hillary Clinton retained State Dept. top secret clearance passwords for 6 of her former staff from 2013 through prepping for the 2016 election. [2] [3] Alexandra Chalupa was running a research department that is rich in (foreign) Ukrainian Intelligence operatives, hackers, terrorists, and a couple Ruskie traitors.

Kristina Dobrovolska was acting as a handler and translator for the US State Department in 2016. She is the Fancy Bear *opposition researcher handler manager. Kristina goes to Washington to meet with Chalupa.

Alexandra types in her password to show Dobrovolska something she found and her eager to please Ukrainian apprentice finds the keystrokes are seared into her memory. She tells the Fancy Bear crew about it and they immediately get to work looking for Trump material on the US secret servers with legitimate access. I mean, what else could they do with this? Turn over sensitive information to the ever corrupt Ukrainian government?

According to the Politico article, Alexandra Chalupa was meeting with the Ukrainian embassy in June of 2016 to discuss getting more help sticking it to candidate Trump. At the same time she was meeting, the embassy had a reception that highlighted female Ukrainian leaders.

Four Verkhovna Rada [parlaiment] deputies there for the event included: Viktoriia Y. Ptashnyk, Anna A. Romanova, Alyona I. Shkrum, and Taras T. Pastukh. [4]

According to CNN , [5] DNC sources said Chalupa told DNC operatives the Ukrainian government would be willing to deliver damaging information against Trump's campaign. Later, Chalupa would lead the charge to try to unseat president-elect Trump starting on Nov 10, 2016.

Accompanying them Kristina Dobrovolska who was a U.S. Embassy-assigned government liaison and translator who escorted the delegates from Kyiv during their visits to Albany and Washington.

Kristina Dobrovolska is the handler manager working with Ukraine's DNC Fancy Bear Hackers. [6] She took the Rada [parliament] members to dinner to meet Joel Harding who designed Ukraine's infamous Information Policy which opened up their kill-for-hire-website Myrotvorets. Then she took them to meet the Ukrainian Diaspora leader doing the hiring. Nestor Paslawsky is the surviving nephew to the infamous torturer The WWII OUNb leader, Mykola Lebed.

Fancy Bear's Second Chance at Top Secret Passwords From Team Clinton

One very successful method of hacking is called social engineering . You gain access to the office space and any related properties and physically locate the passwords or clues to get you into the hardware you want to hack. This includes something as simple as looking over the shoulder of the person typing in passwords.

The Fancy Bear hackers were hired by Alexandra Chalupa to work for DNC opposition research. On different occasions, Fancy Bear handler Kristina Dobrovolska traveled to the US to meet the Diaspora leaders, her boss Alexandra Chalupa, Irena Chalupa, Andrea Chalupa, US Dept of State personnel, and most likely Crowdstrike's Dimitry Alperovich. Alperovich was working with the hackers in 2015-16. In 2016, the only groups known to have Fancy Bear's signature tools called X-tunnel and X-Agent were Alperovich, Crowdstrike, and Fancy Bear (Shaltai Boltai, CyberHunta, Ukraine Cyber Alliance, and RUH8/RUX8. Yes, that does explain a few things.

Alleged DNC hack

There were multiple DNC hacks. There is also clear proof supporting the download to a USB stick and subsequent information exchange (leak) to Wikileaks . All are separate events.

At the same time this story developed, it overshadowed the Hillary Clinton email scandal. It is a matter of public record that Team Clinton provided the DNC hackers with passwords to State Department servers on at least 2 occasions, one wittingly and one not. Fancy Bear hackers are Ukrainian Intelligence Operators.

If the leak came through Seth Rich , it may have been because he saw foreign Intel operatives given this access from the presumed winners of the 2016 US presidential election . The leaker may have been trying to do something about it. I'm curious what information Wikileaks might have.

Alperovitch and Fancy Bear

George Eliason, Washingtonsblog: Why Crowdstrike's Russian Hacking Story Fell Apart- Say Hello to Fancy Bear. investigated. [7]

  • In the wake of the JAR-16-20296 dated December 29, 2016 about hacking and influencing the 2016 election, the need for real evidence is clear. The joint report adds nothing substantial to the October 7th report. It relies on proofs provided by the cyber security firm Crowdstrike that is clearly not on par with intelligence findings or evidence. At the top of the report is an "as is" statement showing this.
  • The difference bet enough evidence is provided to warrant an investigation of specific parties for the DNC hacks. The real story involves specific anti-American actors that need to be investigated for real crimes. For instance, the malware used was an out-dated version just waiting to be found. The one other interesting point is that the Russian malware called Grizzly Steppe is from Ukraine. How did Crowdstrike miss this when it is their business to know?
  • The bar for identification set by Crowdstrike has never been able to get beyond words like probably, maybe, could be, or should be, in their attribution. The bar Dimitri Alperovitch set for identifying the hackers involved is that low. Other than asking America to trust them, how many solid facts has Alperovitch provided to back his claim of Russian involvement?
  • information from outside intelligence agencies has the value of rumor or unsubstantiated information at best according to policy. Usable intelligence needs to be free from partisan politics and verifiable. Intel agencies noted back in the early 90's that every private actor in the information game was radically political.
  • Alperovitch first gained notice when he was the VP in charge of threat research with McAfee. Asked to comment on Alperovitch's discovery of Russian hacks on Larry King, John McAfee had this to say. "Based on all of his experience, McAfee does not believe that Russians were behind the hacks on the Democratic National Committee (DNC), John Podesta's emails, and the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. As he told RT, "if it looks like the Russians did it, then I can guarantee you it was not the Russians."
  • How does Crowdstrike's story part with reality? First is the admission that it is probably, maybe, could be Russia hacking the DNC. "Intelligence agencies do not have specific intelligence showing officials in the Kremlin 'directing' the identified individuals to pass the Democratic emails to Wiki Leaks." The public evidence never goes beyond the word possibility. While never going beyond that or using facts, Crowdstrike insists that it's Russia behind both Clinton's and the Ukrainian losses.
  • NBC carried the story because one of the partners in Crowdstrike is also a consultant for NBC. According to NBC the story reads like this."The company, Crowdstrike, was hired by the DNC to investigate the hack and issued a report publicly attributing it to Russian intelligence. One of Crowdstrike's senior executives is Shawn Henry , a former senior FBI official who consults for NBC News.
  • In June, Crowdstrike went public with its findings that two separate Russian intelligence agencies had hacked the DNC. One, which Crowdstrike and other researchers call Cozy Bear, is believed to be linked to Russia's CIA, known as the FSB. The other, known as Fancy Bear, is believed to be tied to the military intelligence agency, called the GRU." The information is so certain the level of proof never rises above "believed to be." According to the December 12th Intercept article "Most importantly, the Post adds that "intelligence agencies do not have specific intelligence showing officials in the Kremlin 'directing' the identified individuals to pass the Democratic emails to WikiLeaks."
  • The SBU, Olexander Turchinov, and the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense all agree that Crowdstrike is dead wrong in this assessment. Although subtitles aren't on it, the former Commandant of Ukrainian Army Headquarters thanks God Russia never invaded or Ukraine would have been in deep trouble. How could Dimitri Alperovitch and Crowdstrike be this wrong on easily checked detail and still get this much media attention?
  • Crowdstrike CEO Dmitri Alperovitch story about Russian hacks that cost Hillary Clinton the election was broadsided by the SBU (Ukrainian Intelligence and Security) in Ukraine. If Dimitri Alperovitch is working for Ukrainian Intelligence and is providing intelligence to 17 US Intelligence Agencies is it a conflict of interest?
  • Is giving misleading or false information to 17 US Intelligence Agencies a crime? If it's done by a cyber security industry leader like Crowdstrike should that be investigated? If unwinding the story from the "targeting of Ukrainian volunteers" side isn't enough, we should look at this from the American perspective. How did the Russia influencing the election and DNC hack story evolve? Who's involved? Does this pose conflicts of interest for Dmitri Alperovitch and Crowdstrike? And let's face it, a hacking story isn't complete until real hackers with the skills, motivation, and reason are exposed.
  • According to journalist and DNC activist Andrea Chalupa on her Facebook page "After Chalupa sent the email to Miranda (which mentions that she had invited this reporter to a meeting with Ukrainian journalists in Washington), it triggered high-level concerns within the DNC, given the sensitive nature of her work. "That's when we knew it was the Russians," said a Democratic Party source who has been directly involved in the internal probe into the hacked emails. In order to stem the damage, the source said, "we told her to stop her research."" July 25, 2016
  • If she was that close to the investigation Crowdstrike did how credible is she? Her sister Alexandra was named one of 16 people that shaped the election by Yahoo news. The DNC hacking investigation done by Crowdstrike concluded hacking was done by Russian actors based on the work done by Alexandra Chalupa ? That is the conclusion of her sister Andrea Chalupa and obviously enough for Crowdstrike to make the Russian government connection.
  • How close is Dimitri Alperovitch to DNC officials? Close enough professionally he should have stepped down from an investigation that had the chance of throwing a presidential election in a new direction. According to Esquire.com, Alperovitch has vetted speeches for Hillary Clinton about cyber security issues in the past. Because of his work on the Sony hack, President Barrack Obama personally called and said the measures taken were directly because of his work.
  • Alperovitch's relationships with the Chalupas, radical groups, think tanks, Ukrainian propagandists, and Ukrainian state supported hackers [show a conflict of interest]. When it all adds up and you see it together, we have found a Russian that tried hard to influence the outcome of the US presidential election in 2016.
  • The Chalupas are not Democrat or Republican. They are OUNb. The OUNb worked hard to start a war between the USA and Russia for the last 50 years. According to the Ukrainian Weekly in a rare open statement of their existence in 2011, "Other statements were issued in the Ukrainian language by the leadership of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (B) and the International Conference in Support of Ukraine. The OUN (Bandera wing) called for" What is OUNb Bandera? They follow the same political policy and platform that was developed in the 1930's by Stepan Bandera . When these people go to a Holocaust memorial they are celebrating both the dead and the OUNb SS that killed. [8] There is no getting around this fact. The OUNb have no concept of democratic values and want an authoritarian fascism .
  • Alexandra Chalupa- According to the Ukrainian Weekly , [9]
"The effort, known as Digital Miadan, gained momentum following the initial Twitter storms. Leading the effort were: Lara Chelak, Andrea Chalupa, Alexandra Chalupa, Constatin Kostenko and others." The Digital Maidan was also how they raised money for the coup. This was how the Ukrainian emigres bought the bullets that were used on Euromaidan. Ukraine's chubby nazi, Dima Yarosh stated openly he was taking money from the Ukrainian emigres during Euromaidan and Pravy Sektor still fundraises openly in North America. The "Sniper Massacre" on the Maidan in Ukraine by Dr. Ivan Katchanovski, University of Ottowa shows clearly detailed evidence how the massacre happened. It has Pravy Sektor confessions that show who created the "heavenly hundred. Their admitted involvement as leaders of Digital Maidan by both Chalupas is a clear violation of the Neutrality Act and has up to a 25 year prison sentence attached to it because it ended in a coup.
  • Andrea Chalupa-2014, in a Huff Post article Sept. 1 2016, Andrea Chalupa described Sviatoslav Yurash as one of Ukraine's important "dreamers." He is a young activist that founded Euromaidan Press. Beyond the gushing glow what she doesn't say is who he actually is. Sviatoslav Yurash was Dmitri Yarosh's spokesman just after Maidan. He is a hardcore Ukrainian nationalist and was rewarded with the Deputy Director position for the UWC (Ukrainian World Congress) in Kiev.
  • In January, 2014 when he showed up at the Maidan protests he was 17 years old. He became the foreign language media representative for Vitali Klitschko, Arseni Yatsenyuk, and Oleh Tyahnybok. All press enquiries went through Yurash. To meet Dimitri Yurash you had to go through Sviatoslav Yurash as a Macleans reporter found out.
  • At 18 years old, Sviatoslav Yurash became the spokesman for Ministry of Defense of Ukraine under Andrei Paruby. He was Dimitri Yarosh's spokesman and can be seen either behind Yarosh on videos at press conferences or speaking ahead of him to reporters. From January 2014 onward, to speak to Dimitri Yarosh, you set up an appointment with Yurash.
  • Andrea Chalupa has worked with Yurash's Euromaidan Press which is associated with Informnapalm.org and supplies the state level hackers for Ukraine.
  • Irene Chalupa- Another involved Chalupa we need to cover to do the story justice is Irene Chalupa. From her bio– Irena Chalupa is a nonresident fellow with the Atlantic Council's Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center. She is also a senior correspondent at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), where she has worked for more than twenty years. Ms. Chalupa previously served as an editor for the Atlantic Council, where she covered Ukraine and Eastern Europe. Irena Chalupa is also the news anchor for Ukraine's propaganda channel org She is also a Ukrainian emigre leader.
  • According to Robert Parry's article [10] At the forefront of people that would have taken senior positions in a Clinton administration and especially in foreign policy are the Atlantic Council . Their main goal is still a major confrontation with nuclear-armed Russia.
  • The Atlantic Council is the think tank associated and supported by the CEEC (Central and Eastern European Coalition). The CEEC has only one goal which is war with Russia. Their question to candidates looking for their support in the election was "Are you willing to go to war with Russia?" Hillary Clinton has received their unqualified support throughout the campaign.
  • What does any of this have to do with Dimitri Alperovitch and Crowdstrike? Since the Atlantic Council would have taken senior cabinet and policy positions, his own fellowship status at the Atlantic Council and relationship with Irene Chalupa creates a definite conflict of interest for Crowdstrike's investigation. Trump's campaign was gaining ground and Clinton needed a boost. Had she won, would he have been in charge of the CIA, NSA, or Homeland Security?
  • When you put someone that has so much to gain in charge of an investigation that could change an election, that is a conflict of interest. If the think tank is linked heavily to groups that want war with Russia like the Atlantic Council and the CEEC, it opens up criminal conspiracy.
  • If the person in charge of the investigation is a fellow at the think tank that wants a major conflict with Russia it is a definite conflict of interest. Both the Atlantic Council and clients stood to gain Cabinet and Policy positions based on how the result of his work affects the election. It clouds the results of the investigation. In Dmitri Alperovitch's case, he found the perpetrator before he was positive there was a crime.
  • Alperovitch's relationship with Andrea Chalupa's efforts and Ukrainian intelligence groups is where things really heat up. Noted above she works with Euromaidanpress.com and Informnapalm.org which is the outlet for Ukrainian state-sponsored hackers.
  • When you look at Dimitri Alperovitch's twitter relationships, you have to ask why the CEO of a $150 million dollar company like Crowdstrike follows Ukrainian InformNapalm and its hackers individually. There is a mutual relationship. When you add up his work for the OUNb, Ukraine, support for Ukraine's Intelligence, and to the hackers it needs to be investigated to see if Ukraine is conspiring against the US government. Crowdstrike is also following their hack of a Russian government official after the DNC hack. It closely resembles the same method used with the DNC because it was an email hack.
  • Crowdstrike's product line includes Falcon Host, Falcon Intelligence, Falcon Overwatch and Falcon DNS. Is it possible the hackers in Falcons Flame are another service Crowdstrike offers?
  • In an interview with Euromaidanpress these hackers say they have no need for the CIA. [11] They consider the CIA amateurish. They also say they are not part of the Ukrainian military Cyberalliance is a quasi-organization with the participation of several groups – RUH8, Trinity, Falcon Flames, Cyberhunta. There are structures affiliated to the hackers – the Myrotvorets site, Informnapalm analytical agency."
Although this profile says Virginia, tweets are from the Sofia, Bulgaria time zone and he writes in Russian. Another curiosity considering the Fancy Bear source code is in Russian. This image shows Crowdstrike in their network. Crowdstrike is part of Ukrainian nationalist hacker network. In the image it shows a network diagram of Crowdstrike following the Surkov leaks. The network communication goes through a secondary source. Although OSINT Academy sounds fairly innocuous, it's the official twitter account for Ukraine's Ministry of Information head Dimitri Zolotukin. It is also Ukrainian Intelligence. The Ministry of Information started the Peacekeeper or Myrotvorets website that geolocates journalists and other people for assassination. If you disagree with OUNb politics, you could be on the list.
  • Should someone tell Dimitri Alperovitch that Gerashchenko, who is now in charge of Peacekeeper recently threatened president-elect Donald Trump that he would put him on his "Peacemaker" site as a target? The same has been done with Silvio Berscaloni in the past.
  • Trying not to be obvious, the Head of Ukraine's Information Ministry (UA Intelligence) tweeted something interesting that ties Alperovitch and Crowdstrike to the Ukrainian Intelligence hackers and the Information Ministry even tighter. This single tweet on a network chart shows that out of all the Ukrainian Ministry of Information Minister's following, he only wanted the 3 hacking groups associated with both him and Alperovitch to get the tweet. Alperovitch's story was received and not retweeted or shared. If this was just Alperovitch's victory, it was a victory for Ukraine. It would be shared heavily. If it was a victory for the hacking squad, it would be smart to keep it to themselves and not draw unwanted attention.
  • These same hackers are associated with Alexandra, Andrea, and Irene Chalupa through the portals and organizations they work with through their OUNb. The hackers are funded and directed by or through the same OUNb channels that Alperovitch is working for and with to promote the story of Russian hacking.
  • When you look at the image for the hacking group in the euromaidanpress article, one of the hackers identifies themselves as one of Dimitri Yarosh's Pravy Sektor members by the Pravy Sektor sweatshirt they have on. Noted above, Pravy Sektor admitted to killing the people at the Maidan protest and sparked the coup.
  • Going further with the linked Euromaidanpress article the hackers say "Let's understand that Ukrainian hackers and Russian hackers once constituted a single very powerful group. Ukrainian hackers have a rather high level of work. So the help of the USA I don't know, why would we need it? We have all the talent and special means for this. And I don't think that the USA or any NATO country would make such sharp movements in international politics."
  • What sharp movements in international politics have been made lately? Let me spell it out for the 17 US Intelligence Agencies so there is no confusion. These state sponsored, Russian language hackers in Eastern European time zones have shown with the Surkov hack they have the tools and experience to hack states that are looking out for it. They are also laughing at US intel efforts.
  • The hackers also made it clear that they will do anything to serve Ukraine. Starting a war between Russia and the USA is the one way they could serve Ukraine best, and hurt Russia worst. Given those facts, if the DNC hack was according to the criteria given by Alperovitch, both he and these hackers need to be investigated.
  • According to the Esquire interview "Alperovitch was deeply frustrated: He thought the government should tell the world what it knew. There is, of course, an element of the personal in his battle cry. "A lot of people who are born here don't appreciate the freedoms we have, the opportunities we have, because they've never had it any other way," he told me. "I have."
  • While I agree patriotism is a great thing, confusing it with this kind of nationalism is not. Alperovitch seems to think by serving OUNb Ukraine's interests and delivering a conflict with Russia that is against American interests, he's a patriot. He isn't serving US interests. He's definitely a Ukrainian patriot. Maybe he should move to Ukraine.
  • The evidence presented deserves investigation because it looks like the case for conflict of interest is the least Dimitri Alperovitch should look forward to. If these hackers are the real Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear, they really did make sharp movements in international politics. By pawning it off on Russia, they made a worldwide embarrassment of an outgoing President of the United States and made the President Elect the suspect of rumor.
Obama, Brazile, Comey, and CrowdStrike

According to Obama the hacks continued until September 2016. According to ABC, Donna Brazile says the hacks didn't stop until after the elections in 2016. According to Crowdstrike the hacks continued into November.

Democratic National Committee Chair Donna Brazile said Russian hackers persisted in trying to break into the organization's computers "daily, hourly" until after the election -- contradicting President Obama's assertion that the hacking stopped in September after he warned Russian President Vladimir Putin to "cut it out."-ABC

This time frame gives a lot of latitude to both hacks and leaks happening on that server and still agrees with the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPs). According to Bill Binney , the former Technical Director for the NSA, the only way that data could move off the server that fast was through a download to a USB stick. The transfer rate of the file does not agree with a Guciffer 2.0 hack and the information surrounding Guciffer 2.0 is looking ridiculous and impossible at best.

The DNC fiasco isn't that important of a crime. The reason I say this is the FBI would have taken control over material evidence right away. No law enforcement agency or Intel agency ever did. This means none of them considered it a crime Comey should have any part of investigating. That by itself presents the one question mark which destroys any hope Mueller has proving law enforcement maintained a chain of custody for any evidence he introduces.

It also says the US government under Barrack Obama and the victimized DNC saw this as a purely political event. They didn't want this prosecuted or they didn't think it was prosecutable.

Once proven it shows a degree of criminality that makes treason almost too light a charge in federal court. Rest assured this isn't a partisan accusation. Team Clinton and the DNC gets the spotlight but there are Republicans involved.

Further reading

[Dec 04, 2019] June 2nd, 2018 Alperovich's DNC Cover Stories Soon To Match With His Hacking Teams by George Webb

Highly recommended!
Nov 27, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Investigative Jouralist George Webb worked at MacAfee and Network Solutions in 2000 when the CEO Bill Larsen bought a small, Moscow based, hacking and virus writing company to move to Silicon Valley.

MacAfee also purchased PGP, an open source encryption software developed by privacy advocate to reduce NSA spying on the public.

The two simultaneous purchase of PGP and the Moscow hacking team by Metwork Solutions was sponsored by the CIA and FBI in order to crack encrypted communications to write a back door for law enforcement.

Among the 12 engineers assigned to writing a PGP backdoor was the son of a KGB officer named Dmitri Alperovich who would go on to be the CTO at a company involved in the DNC Hacking scandal - Crowdstrike.

In addition to writing a back door for PGP, Alperovich also ported PGP to the blackberry platform to provide encrypted communications for covert action operatives.

[Dec 02, 2019] Hitchens If Bodies Like OPCW Cannot Be Trusted... World War 3 Could Be Started By A Falsehood

Notable quotes:
"... Authored by Peter Hitchens via The Mail On Sunday blog, ..."
"... I stood outside the safe house, in a road I cannot name, in a major European city I cannot identify, not sure what I might find inside. I had no way of being sure. ..."
"... In decades of journalism I have received quite a few leaks ..."
"... But I've never seen one like this. It scared me. ..."
"... If bodies such as the OPCW cannot be trusted, then World War Three could one day be started by a falsehood. ..."
Dec 02, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Peter Hitchens via The Mail On Sunday blog,

I stood outside the safe house, in a road I cannot name, in a major European city I cannot identify, not sure what I might find inside. I had no way of being sure.

I had travelled a long distance by train to an address I had been given over an encrypted email.

I was nervous that the meeting might be some sort of trap. Leaks from inside arms verification organisations are very sensitive matters. Powerful people mind about them.

I wasn't sure whether to be afraid of being followed, or to be worried about who might be waiting behind the anonymous door on a dark afternoon, far from home. I took all the amateurish precautions that I could think of.

As it happened, it was not a trap. Now, on carefully selected neutral ground, I was to meet a person who would confirm suspicions that had been growing in my mind over several years – that there is something rotten in the way that chemical weapons inspections are being conducted and reported. And that the world could be hurried into war on the basis of such inspections.

Inside the safe house, I was greeted by a serious, patient expert, a non-political scientist whose priority had until now always been to do the hard, gritty work of verification – travelling to the scenes of alleged horrors, sifting and searching for hard evidence of what had really happened. But this entirely honourable occupation had slowly turned sour.

The whiff of political interference had begun as a faint unpleasant smell in the air and grown until it was an intolerable stench. Formerly easy-going superiors had turned into tricky bureaucrats.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had become so important that it could no longer be allowed to do its job properly.

Too many of the big powers that sponsor and finance it were breathing down its neck, wanting certain results, whether the facts justified them or not.

My source calmly showed me various pieces of evidence that they were who they said they were, and knew what they claimed to know, making it clear that they worked for the OPCW and knew its inner workings. They then revealed a document to me.

This was the email of protest, sent to senior OPCW officials, saying that a report on the alleged Syrian poison gas attack in Douma, in April 2018, had been savagely censored so as to alter its meaning.

In decades of journalism I have received quite a few leaks : leaks over luxurious, expensive lunches with Cabinet Ministers, anonymous leaks that just turned up in envelopes, leaks from union officials and employers, diplomats and academics.

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But I've never seen one like this. It scared me. If it was true, then something hugely dishonest and dangerous was going on, in a place where absolute integrity was vital.

If bodies such as the OPCW cannot be trusted, then World War Three could one day be started by a falsehood.

Last week I reported on the first episode in this story. Within days the OPCW had confirmed that the email I leaked was authentic.

Nobody followed me home or threatened me. A few silly people on social media told blatant lies about me, insinuating that I was somehow a Russian patsy or a defender of the disgusting Syrian regime that I have been attacking in print for nearly 20 years. That was what I had expected.

But there is much more to come. And, as it grows harder for everyone to ignore this enormous, dangerous story, I suspect I shall be looking over my shoulder rather more than usual.

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[Dec 02, 2019] War is a force that gives us meaning

Notable quotes:
"... Yes. "War is a force that gives us meaning," as Chris Hedges wrote. It provides (false) meaning and purpose. It's an amazingly powerful force, which is one reason why only Congress should declare war. And the last time that happened in the USA was December of 1941. ..."
Dec 02, 2019 | bracingviews.com

Doug Barr December 1, 2019 at 7:24 PM

I just read your article in TD. In my opinion you buried the reason for never ending wars. You mention exceptionalism. I call that concept preeminence. With it is one of the few ways we try to fill the void, or as you said in fewer words, try to give meaning to life. There can be no doubt our lives are becoming increasingly meaningless so we double down and double down again with what we know despite the self-destruction. https://thelastwhy.ca/poems/2015/6/25/life-a-reaction-to-the-void

Like Like

wjastore December 1, 2019 at 7:46 PM
Yes. "War is a force that gives us meaning," as Chris Hedges wrote. It provides (false) meaning and purpose. It's an amazingly powerful force, which is one reason why only Congress should declare war. And the last time that happened in the USA was December of 1941.

Like Like

greglaxer December 2, 2019 at 12:13 AM
Doug Barr–It appears to me you are trying to blur some lines, or perhaps you are confused about, what one might call general human psychology and the official policies of a specific government, that of the USA. [As a student of Anthropology, I point out that though our primate ancestors are prone to outbursts of violence, there is no evidence that making war, especially in the contemporary phase of human society, fulfills an innate "need."] Yes, the US seeks to be "pre-eminent"–or to be blunter, DOMINANT–over the rest of the globe. Where "exceptionalism"–which I have designated the American Disease–enters the picture is the attempt to justify military aggression by suggesting (some are less subtle and openly assert) that the US somehow has been granted a "right" to do this by "a higher power." (Apparently God Himself revealed to George W. Bush that he was born to be "a war president" and the genius Rick Perry asserted recently that Donald Trump was put in the presidency by direct Divine action.) A "right" to send assassin drones anywhere, anytime, to target anyone who's been designated a Bad Guy. This is absurd, if not insane, on the face of it. (In olden times, Rudyard Kipling called it "the white man's burden" to bring civilization to less "enlightened" peoples.) If there was an international court that had some teeth, the US would be vigorously swatted down, ordered to cease and desist. But one of the greatest tragedies of our time is that there is no power on Earth that could stand up to this Monster (as John Kay and his band Steppenwolf rightly identified the US 50 years ago) even if it could find the backbone to make the attempt.

[Dec 01, 2019] The Short Road Democracy to Fascism - Global ResearchGlobal Research - Centre for Research on Globalization

Dec 01, 2019 | www.globalresearch.ca

The Short Road: Democracy to Fascism By Larry Romanoff Global Research, November 30, 2019 Region: USA Theme: History

Fascism is a political ideology fundamentally authoritarian in character, with a strong nationalism and an essentially belligerent militaristic outlook. Fascism carries primarily a corporate perspective as opposed to a socialist view, directed to satisfying the needs, values and objectives of finance and corporations, organising both the economy and the political system according to this agenda.

A fascist government actively suppresses any objection to its ideology and typically will crush any movement which opposes it. In keeping with their belligerent nature, fascist governments generally view violence and war as stimulants to national spirit and vitality.

Being politically Right-Wing, they maintain their position through firm control or compliance of the media, and most often engage in a vast array of lies and deception. These governments tend to be bigoted, if not racist, invariably require "enemies" to achieve public solidarity, and are often supremacist or at least 'exceptional' in their self-assessment. They either believe, or pretend to believe, that they have a license on truth. Large military budgets, the creation and demonisation of fictitious enemies to propagate fear and maintain population control, are all typical characteristics of a fascist regime, as is massive public surveillance.

In 1995 the Italian Scholar Umberto Eco produced a paper titled 'Eternal Fascism' (1) in which he examined the characteristics of fascist regimes. In 2003, Laurence W. Britt did an excellent and scholarly work in dissecting and categorising past fascist regimes (2), in which he revealed common threads that linked all of them in "patterns of national behavior and abuse of power". He wrote that "Even a cursory study of these fascist and protofascist regimes reveals the absolutely striking convergence of their modus operandi, (which is) not a revelation but useful to shed needed light on current circumstances." I am including here a composite of edited extracts from these two papers with additional commentary of my own. Significant statements by these two authors are in quotation marks. This is a list of the characteristics of fascist states, taken from Britt's original article:

Early Warning Signs of Fascism

If we examine the US on these categories, we find an almost perfect match. Certainly the US has the most strident nationalism of all nations today, with the hysteria of patriotism and flag-worship unabated and even increasing, with the delusional theory of American Exceptionalism as virulent as ever.

There is no question about military supremacy , with the US spending almost twice as much on its military as the rest of the world combined and being by an order of magnitude the world's largest arms manufacturer and dealer. Obama once stated flatly that for the US to remain 'peaceful and prosperous' it needed the world's largest and most powerful military to maintain an overwhelming military supremacy. Obsession with issues of national security is so common in the US today they have become objects of ridicule. Every manner of information is withheld, every manner of lie is told, every manner of crime is committed, all with the excuse of 'national security'. Britt noted that a national security apparatus was usually an instrument of oppression, operating in secret and beyond any constraints, with its actions always justified under the rubric of protecting "national security", and that questioning these oppressive activities is now often portrayed as unpatriotic or even treasonous.

All the fascist regimes have an obsession with crime and punishment, Britt stating that most "maintained Draconian systems of criminal justice with huge prison populations" – a perfect description of America today, including the 'unchecked power and rampant abuse' by the police. He also noted that in all these fascist states, 'normal' crime and political crime were almost interchangeable, "often merged into trumped-up criminal charges used against political opponents of the regime". These characteristics of crime, punishment and incarceration are all fields in which America leads the world by a wide margin today as we have already seen.

In terms of enemies being needed for solidarity and to maintain "a unifying cause", the US is also the outstanding world leader, creating real and fictitious enemies not only for itself, but doing a rather good job in creating animosities throughout the world. In fact, a signature feature of the US is its worldwide propagation of regional unrest, as we see in Asia today, and with interference in the Ukraine, Russia, China, and dozens of other countries. Creating political chaos and large military risks is a common fascist trait, which is partly why military supremacy is necessary, black and white America attempting to partition the world into ideological factions, often in preparation for war.

For some decades, the US milked the Cold War for all it was worth, casting the Soviet Union as a bitter enemy and creating animosity where none would have existed. With the fall of the USSR, the US turned immediately to other nations, never really forgetting Russia, and then created its 9-11 'Pearl Harbor Moment' that would permit it to have a permanent enemy in the person of 'terrorism', a war that will never be won since the US creates all the terrorist events to prolong it. It has the added advantage of demonising all the world's Muslims while equating all Arabs with terrorists. Enough enemies here for a lifetime of fascism.

A fundamental practice of a fascist or pre-fascist government is demonisation of 'the others', outsiders who are the enemy.

For the people, these (usually imaginary) enemies provide not only an essential cornerstone of the fascist state but an essential adhesive for their fabricated national identity. Being thus united against a common other, fascism becomes deeply racist by definition and in practice. This demonisation of selected enemies is so intense that pacifism or a lack of belligerence equate to treason, due to sympathising with the enemy or, in today's US lexicon, "giving aid and comfort to the enemy". In the world of fascism, disagreement is treason. George Bush and Dick Cheney: "If you aren't with us, you're against us". US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles: "There are only two kinds of people in the world: Christians who believe in capitalism, and the other kind."

The Global Rise of Fascism: Capitalism End Game?

In his study of these regimes, Britt wrote that "the most significant common thread" among them was this demonisation of other peoples as enemies of the state, "to divert attention, to shift blame, and to channel frustration into controlled directions". He claimed that their methods of choice – propaganda and misinformation – were usually effective. Britt noted that "Active opponents of these regimes were inevitably labeled as terrorists and dealt with accordingly", which is precisely what happens today in the US, where increasingly it occurs that challengers of the system are labeled as terrorists, even to the extent of those operating food banks being classified as 'food terrorists'.

No reasonable person can claim today that the US has any concern for human rights, certainly not any outside the continental US, and increasingly less within its borders. Except for Israel, the US has by far the worst record of human rights violations during the past several hundred years, far outstripping anything attributed to people like Stalin or Hitler, or even the Japanese. It is, after all, the US that built and still maintains the largest network of torture prisons and ships in the history of the world, even though the US media have removed this topic from the publishing list.

In terms of media control, the US government covers this not by ownership or direct censorship but by a cabal of closely-interwoven interests working on the same precise agenda, almost totally eliminating any necessity for overt acts.

Corruption and cronyism are as alive and virulent in American government today as they have ever been in any society at any time in recent history. The lobbies alone, working with the secret government, are more than sufficient evidence of this, with corruption increasing noticeably each year. Americans may quarrel with the point of an integration of religion and government but, while religion is theoretically separated from the state, it is joined at the hip in practice.

We have George Bush telling us God told him to invade and destroy Iraq, Obama telling us Christ's redemption of him provides him with solace on a daily basis, and a long list of other nonsense indicating that evangelical hysteria is never far removed from the government, even if only to mislead an ignorant population. Britt noted that religion and the ruling elite were tied together in some way .

"The fact that the ruling elite's behavior was incompatible with the precepts of the religion was generally swept under the rug. Propaganda kept up the illusion that the ruling elites were defenders of the faith and opponents of the 'godless'."

Fraudulent elections are more overtly creeping into the American electoral system every year. We had George Bush's brother removing more than 50,000 persons from the voter lists in Florida, all of whom were legitimate voters, and sufficient to provide an election victory. Even then, when votes were finally counted accurately, Bush was proven to have lost the election, but the consequences could not be reversed. As well, the new digital voting machines have been condemned even by those who designed them, as wide open to electoral fraud and manipulation to the extent of changing the outcome of every vote. Moreover, it is openly admitted that even without manipulation, an accurate count is not physically possible. But the government continues to roll out these systems, one would have to assume for their manipulation potential.

It is widely recognised the US has been dumbing-down education for decades, starving the educational systems of funds, using increasingly unqualified part-time and adjunct teachers and professors, increasing tuition costs to the point where education will soon be unaffordable. We don't need an education to see that the only possible result is an increasingly uneducated and ignorant population. In his study, Britt noted that "intellectual and academic freedom were considered subversive to national security and the patriotic ideal. Universities were tightly controlled; politically unreliable faculty harassed or eliminated. Unorthodox ideas or expressions of dissent were strongly attacked, silenced, or crushed." This forms a perfect description of the situation today in the US, certainly on the crushing of dissent. I have no observation to make on the arts, but the US appears to qualify solidly on every point in the above list, and I see no reason for Americans or indeed anyone else to take comfort in this. Is the US a fascist state? How do we avoid answering in the affirmative?

To people of a country like the US, who are deprived of a clear national identity, fascism creates one by stoking the fires of a false nationalism though propagandising the pathologically false conviction that "the world's greatest privilege is to be born or to live in this country", that every citizen "belongs to the best people in the world", all of whom are, by definition, "good". US President Calvin Coolidge:

"To live under the American Constitution is the greatest political privilege that was ever accorded to the human race".

Michael Hirsh used the same jingoistic nonsense to justify American cannibalisation of the world by stating that American global domination was "the greatest gift the world has received in possibly all of recorded history." Britt noted the powerful propagation and displays of nationalistic expression,

"From the prominent displays of flags and ubiquitous lapel pins, the fervor to show patriotic nationalism, both on the part of the regime itself and of citizens caught up in its frenzy, was always obvious. Catchy slogans, pride in the military, and demands for unity were common themes in expressing this nationalism."

To underscore the above, Global Research published an article in March of 2015 titled "The End of Canada in Ten Steps: A Conversation with Naomi Wolf" (3), in which it was noted that she studied "the way open societies were crushed from within by authoritarian elements", such as those existing in all Right-Wing countries today, and claimed there was "a 'blueprint' followed by all dictatorial rulers composed of ten steps" as follows:

Global Research finally noted that "In her 2007 book The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot, Naomi Wolf not only described this formula for fascism, she outlined how these repressive measures are in evidence in modern day America."

There is one other item pertaining to fascism in America that contains elements of all characteristics we've discussed, one which Hollywood and the media have taken great pains to develop though the ground was already very fertile indeed, and this category is heroes and super-heroes. The US has always glorified war and war heroes, describing American cannon-fodder as "sons of freedom giving their lives for democracy", when they were simply massacring impoverished civilians to enrich the bankers. Eco noted that "In every mythology the hero is an exceptional being, but in Fascist ideology heroism is the norm", with the fascist hero impatient to die, but who, in his impatience, "more frequently sends other people to death".

This black and white religious proto-fascism which has perhaps always existed in America was the seedbed for the worship of heroes and winners. Americans, in their desperate jingoistic desire to be "good" and to "win", and in a bid to prove their overwhelming moral superiority, turned from reality to fiction and gave us Superman, Batman, Spiderman and Captain America. All are Christian proto-fascists engaged in fictional battles of good against evil, with the Americans living vicariously through these imaginary beings, sharing in their awesome power and moral righteousness, and whose costumes inevitably bear labels saying "Made in America". And indeed we cannot watch an American movie without encountering this irritating white supremacist ideology. Think of movies like Avatar or Independence Day; their entire purpose is to fuel this ideological jingoism and make all viewers "proud to be American". But it's all a fiction. The real American heroes are not Superman or Spiderman but Curtis LeMay, Henry Kissinger, Ronald Reagan and Madeline Albright, all criminally-insane psychopathic killers.

It is interesting that a fascist government, with its instinctive hatred of socialism, propagates "fascist socialism" which nurtures and feeds corporations while normal socialism nurtures the general population. What we might call "corporate socialism", which is what exists today in the US, is a fairly precise definition of fascism.

Tax benefits that favor the rich either primarily or exclusively, a high income inequality, the dismantling of any social safety net, different laws for the rich and powerful than for the poor, corporate immunity for crimes, a lack of corporate regulation and oversight, are all typical characteristics. Britt noted that "Since organized labor was seen as the one power center that could challenge the political hegemony of the ruling elite and its corporate allies, it was inevitably crushed or made powerless. The US government and elites, except for one brief historical period, have always strived to destroy labor to protect the profits of big business. In Britt's study, "the poor formed an underclass, (and) being poor was considered akin to a vice." And in which nation today have color and poverty been criminalised? The world's largest fascist state – America.

He also noted rampant cronyism and corruption between the political and corporate elites and stated that "With the national security apparatus under control and the media muzzled, this corruption was largely unconstrained and not well understood by the general population." Corruption and cronyism are as alive and virulent in American government today as they have ever been in any society at any time in recent history. The lobbies alone, working with the secret government, are more than sufficient evidence of this, with corruption increasing noticeably each year. Similarly, no reasonable person can question any longer the suppression of labor and the protection and enhancement of corporate power in America. We have already covered in detail the trashing of the social contract, the destruction of labor protections and the evisceration of the middle class. No further evidence is necessary.

There is another alarming category that evidences even more strongly the threats to civil society from the authoritarian and fascist police-state mentality that is increasingly permeating all of the US, this involving trivial civil disputes that should in no case involve the police. In July of 2014, a Minneapolis man was ejected from a Southwest Airlines flight with his two children for questioning why he was qualified for priority boarding but his two children were not. He posted a Tweet that said, "Wow, rudest agent in Denver. Kimberly S, gate C39, not happy". Southwest Airlines' gate attendants saw the tweet, ejected Watson and his children from the flight, informing him he now qualified as a "safety threat", threatening to have him arrested unless he immediately deleted his post.

In the US today, kindergarten teachers regularly call the police to arrest children who misbehave. A Chinese woman tourist in New Hampshire was tasered and assaulted by police when a clerk at an Apple store complained she wanted to buy two phones. In another case, a father in New Hampshire attended a parent-school meeting to protest the classroom use of sexually-explicit reading material provided to his teen-age daughter. When the man exceeded the arbitrary maximum of two minutes speaking time, the principal called the police and had the man arrested. In each case, no 'law' was violated so the police used generic charges of "causing a public disturbance" or some other such nuisance charge.

These false charges may well be dismissed by a court but still present a serious violation of civil rights and a gross exaggeration of the ability of individuals to create their own laws and of the police to enforce them. In the Southwest Airlines case above, had the man refused to delete his negative post, the agent would certainly have called the police who, cast from the same authoritarian mold, would have automatically arrested and charged him, probably with 'Twitter Terrorism'. The man would likely have escaped in the end, but it would have been a long and expensive climb out from the bottom of that hole. In the case of the Apple store, the female customer was physically knocked to the ground and tasered by police immediately on their arrival. In neither case did the police make even minimal attempts to ascertain the facts. In fact, the only salient "fact" was that of a civilian challenging any kind of authority, even the kind that is so weak as to be invisible. No civilian has any practical defense against an airline agent or shop clerk who testifies that he "caused a public disturbance", nor against police charges for having done so. The only immunity comes from wealth or political power.

There are countless similar cases which all have in common an implicit assumption that anyone, even in a position of minimal authority such as a KFC clerk, has the power to dictate imaginary rules that obtain the force of law with the police and which, if challenged, will result in arrest. Individual private citizens, as least those lacking obvious wealth or power, are increasingly relegated to the social trash bin. Incidents such as these may appear individually trivial and unconnected, but they are not trivial in bulk and are indications of a frightening authoritarianism infecting all of America, part of the widespread rush to fascism occurring in all politically Right-Wing nations, especially in the US. That this should be such a common experience is a frightening and almost terrifying development, where one now fears to enter any dispute with even the most minor employee or clerk, in almost any context, and regardless of the justification.

When common citizens are afraid to challenge the most trivial injustices in civil society, when the people as individuals have been moved to the bottom of the priority list, when even store clerks have effective arrest authority, this is authoritarian fascism – a classic definition of a de facto fascist police state. In the US today there are so many similar examples where this, the most fundamental of civil rights – the right to voice complaint – has been converted to a criminal act. Those instances involved mostly the police badly exceeding their authority, but this category involves mere civilians with no actual invested civil authority of any kind, and yet in each case legal authority being presumed and exercised entirely at the whim of these same persons. While Americans please themselves by accusing China of being authoritarian, it is in fact the US that is both authoritarian and fascist. China is today a very human civil society compared to Transformed America.

*

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

Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai's Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr. Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. He can be contacted at: 2186604556@qq.com

Notes

(1) Umberto Eco: "Eternal Fascism

(2) The 14 Characteristics of Fascism, by Lawrence Britt

(3) https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-end-of-canada-in-ten-steps-a-conversation-with-naomi-wolf/5438017

The original source of this article is Global Research Copyright © Larry Romanoff , Global Research, 2019

[Nov 29, 2019] Manufacturing a pretext for the U.S. missile strike on Syria in April 2018 is nowhere near the biggest of OPCW's crimes. The OPCW is an accessory, both before and after the fact to the crime of mass murder.

Notable quotes:
"... The worst of these massacres happened in Ghouta in August 2013 when 2000 civilian hostages (rebel claim) were gassed to death by rebels and their pre-White Helmets "civil defence". The OPCW was there to cover up the crime and to fabricate evidence to assign blame to Syria. ..."
Nov 29, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Petri Krohn , Nov 29 2019 23:16 utc | 21

TAKE THEM TO THE HAGUE!

Manufacturing a pretext for the U.S. missile strike on Syria in April 2018 is nowhere near the biggest of OPCW's crimes. The OPCW is an accessory , both before and after the fact to the crime of mass murder.

It should now be clear to everyone that Syrian "rebels" gassed thousands of hostages in cellars, most likely with chlorine gas, and then paraded the victims in White Helmets snuff videos. OPCW conspired in this crime in both encouraging the terrorists to more murder and by protecting them afterward by assigning blame to Assad and the Syrian government.

The worst of these massacres happened in Ghouta in August 2013 when 2000 civilian hostages (rebel claim) were gassed to death by rebels and their pre-White Helmets "civil defence". The OPCW was there to cover up the crime and to fabricate evidence to assign blame to Syria.

We have been documenting these crimes and hoaxes at A Closer Look On Syria from December 2012. OPCW was used from the beginning to manufacture consent for war. See for example:


karlof1 , Nov 29 2019 23:52 utc | 24

Petri Krohn @21--

Of course, the OPCW is already there! I highly suggest Caitlin Johnstone's article b linked be read, which can be found here .

We should expand on Petri's number of people involved in this crime to include all the paid disinformation artists noted in Caitlin's essay at minimum. What becomes very clear in all this is the total collusion with OPCW upper level management--those whom the whistleblowers and their allies within OPCW petitioned--in these crimes as Petri contends. Until they are visibly replaced, nothing issued by OPCW has any credence.

Canthama , Nov 30 2019 0:21 utc | 26
OPCW has shown to be a pure political entity, used at will by few regimes in the UN to promote their agenda, b has done a tremendous job to humanity to bring the truth to the public worldwide. Syrians have paid the price for UN leaders support to global terrorism for too long. It must stop now.
iv>

/div

[Nov 29, 2019] Fascism - The Other F-Word And Trump

Notable quotes:
"... "They all are capitalists." ..."
"... In other words, the ruling class dictatorship can no longer rule by popular democratic ways. The principal contradiction in U.S. society remains in the alienation between labor and capital. Fascism is simply the only way to maintain capitalist rule, according to scientific socialism. ..."
"... Fascist movements are historically composed of their leaders, small capitalists, low-level bureaucrats or petty-bourgeois, farmers, and the declassed lumpenproletariat. Big capital sponsors and funds the movement. Big time capitalists, along with the top-tier leaders they create, then make up Fascism's ruling nobility. ..."
"... Among the characteristics of fascists: They are fiercely nationalistic and patriotic. Criticisms are unpatriotic or treasonous. Fascists are opposed to Marxism and any left politics, from moderate to progressive. Fascism infuses suspicion about foreigners, thuggery, and exudes an adversarial mentality, ..."
"... "Big capital sponsors and funds the movement." ..."
"... Fascism is always on war footing. All levels of government need to be in the line of march. Imprisonment and execution await any person that opposes the new norm. ..."
"... Fascism raises its ugly head without a revolution taking place. Their rule comes from the top of the anointed aristocracy. Corporate power reigns supreme. No workers' rights exist. Wars are made mainly to create markets. Fascism is supposed to liberate survivors of these wars in foreign lands – a justification for imperialism. Art, where it does not conform to Fascist culture, is destroyed. When Fascism does appear, Antifa will not save us. ..."
"... Dr. Ken Morgan is an activist scholar and internationalist. He can be reached at ..."
Nov 29, 2019 | blackagendareport.com

... ... ...

Trump Is a Demagogue, But Not Fascist

Often a demagogic politician such as Trump is called fascist because he won the election through bourgeois-democratic methods and his rightist policies. Trump won the election. He now leads through bourgeois-democratic practices. President Trump continues to exploit the prejudice and ignorance of the white working-class. The Donald overturned political norms; he used double meaning slogans such as "Make America great again," and "lock her up" that sounded like political rhetoric but appealed to racists as well.

Trump's win in 2016 remained predicated on Hillary Clinton's deficits and her asides about the "deplorable," white working-class, and her relationship to Barack Obama, who did nothing for white and black workers. Obama chose to rescue capitalist corporations at the expense of the working class and other lower-middle-income forces – many blacks that lost their houses.

Huey Long was a demagogue. Senator Joseph McCarthy provides an example of a demagogue, as do many of the Dixiecrats that Malcolm X so rightly railed against through his speeches and activism. George Wallace fits the criteria. When all said and done, they all are capitalists. They work on behalf of capitalists to perpetuate capitalism and spread worldwide imperialism.

"They all are capitalists."

Yes, both Mussolini and Hitler were demagogues, but their countries' underlying dire economic conditions made them and their administrations Fascists.

Trump is just another one of the forty-four U.S. presidents that held reign over capitalism and, after the beginning of the twentieth century, the advent of U.S. imperialism – the highest order of capitalism. They presided over state terrorism and genocide against world peoples.

Capitalism in the U.S. produces gross economic deprivations and inequalities, racism, sexism, and homophobia. Look at what Harry Truman did when he nuclear bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan. Like puppeteers, the capitalist ruling classes will, for as long as capitalism still exists, control politicians' strings. Yes, capitalism is in crisis and rotten to the core, but not yet failed.

You will not get rid of any of these things by impeaching Trump.

What Is Fascism?

Yes, Adolph Hitler and Mussolini were both demagogic and fascist. Fascism, according to Marxist precepts, observation and study, stems from a mass movement rooted in the capitalist ruling classes, that not able to survive without it. Benito Mussolini and Adolph Hitler are two historical examples of such fascists.

In other words, the ruling class dictatorship can no longer rule by popular democratic ways. The principal contradiction in U.S. society remains in the alienation between labor and capital. Fascism is simply the only way to maintain capitalist rule, according to scientific socialism.

Fascist movements are historically composed of their leaders, small capitalists, low-level bureaucrats or petty-bourgeois, farmers, and the declassed lumpenproletariat. Big capital sponsors and funds the movement. Big time capitalists, along with the top-tier leaders they create, then make up Fascism's ruling nobility.

Among the characteristics of fascists: They are fiercely nationalistic and patriotic. Criticisms are unpatriotic or treasonous. Fascists are opposed to Marxism and any left politics, from moderate to progressive. Fascism infuses suspicion about foreigners, thuggery, and exudes an adversarial mentality,

"Big capital sponsors and funds the movement."

Organizationally, there exists an iconic leader and secretive and selective capitalists. They scrutinize your every move at the job, and at schools. Fascism is always on war footing. All levels of government need to be in the line of march. Imprisonment and execution await any person that opposes the new norm.

Economic equality is a no-no. Immigrants obtain lower status than actual citizens. Equality in gender, religion, sex, and minority rights are forbidden. Backward religious beliefs often prevail. If you are not a Christian or an affiliated Catholic, you are out of the circle. Violence creates racial inferiority and the destiny of history.

Fascism raises its ugly head without a revolution taking place. Their rule comes from the top of the anointed aristocracy. Corporate power reigns supreme. No workers' rights exist. Wars are made mainly to create markets. Fascism is supposed to liberate survivors of these wars in foreign lands – a justification for imperialism. Art, where it does not conform to Fascist culture, is destroyed. When Fascism does appear, Antifa will not save us.

Summary

So yes, Trump is a demagogic leader with disdainful characteristics, but capitalism has not reached the point where actual fascism is the only way capitalists can rule. For now, understand that imperialism, racism, sexism, and homophobia are characteristics of capitalism. The rule of capitalist law and the capitalist form of democracy continues to exist. We, as black people, do not want to be disoriented into thinking that the U.S. and Trump are Fascist.

Dr. Ken Morgan is an activist scholar and internationalist. He can be reached at kmorgan2408@comcomcast.net .

[Nov 28, 2019] One of the observable differences between Republican and Democratic Parties in the USA is the difference in the level of authoritarism of the average member of the party., which has certain social implications as for policies that each of the parties favor most when in power

Notable quotes:
"... it's not that fascism is a personality trait, but rather fascism, or more generally right wing populism, is a social phenomenon where some personality traits are weaponised ..."
"... That's a good analogy. But this only means that the financial oligarchy can be a privileged social group crossing racial lines. The term "Jews" as used by fascists was, at least initially, directly at financial oligarchy, where this ethnic group was overrepresented. In general, anti-Semitism can be viewed as a scapegoating, a primitive and misguided protest against the excesses of capitalism. In this sense, "economic crises happen because banks are run by Jews, who are evil or not part of the community" has the real meaning "economic crises happen because banks are run by the financial oligarchy, which is evil or not part of the community." ..."
"... I see Brexit more of a spontaneous protest against neoliberal globalization, which is not that much connected with "conservative cultural values" but with more prosaic things like displacement of workers by foreigners, disappearance of good job due to relentless outsourcing/offshoring, automation and cost-cutting, reduction of national sovereignty (including inability to regulate labor flows) due to EU neoliberal policies, brazen betrayal by the New Labour of working and lower middle class economic and social interests, growth in inequality and gradual slide of the standard of living of working and lower middle class due to the redistribution of wealth up immanent under neoliberalism etc. ..."
"... The same set of reasons which in the USA led to the election of Trump and decimation of the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party (Hillary fiasco). After almost 30 years, US workers managed to understand that Clinton's democrats are essentially "wolfs in sheep's clothing" and decided to show them the middle finger, which as a side effect of the two-party system led to the election of Trump. ..."
"... And this process is irreversible, unless Democratic Party changes, and Clinton democrats brass is excluded from the party and sent to the dustbin of history, where they belong. That's why I am skeptical about Dem Party chances in 2020, unless one of the trio Warren/Sanders/Tulsi (who promote some level of changes) is the nominee. The train of history has left the station for the Corporate Democrats, and they are still standing on the old platform, hoping that it returns. ..."
"... And I view the resurgence of the far-right nationalism as a primitive form of social protest, which of course is hijacked, exploited and misdirected by sleek demagogy from the second branch of oligarchy that does not like the results of globalization, and resent FIRE and Silicon Valley branch, in full accordance with the dialectical view on Oligarchy, where with time neoliberal oligarchy inevitably splits and factions start fighting with each other tooth and nail. ..."
Nov 28, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 11.27.19 at 6:59 am

MisterMr 11.26.19 at 12:50 pm @69

So in the end the problem is, are "loyalty, authority, sanctity" actually fascist values? In my opinion largely yes,

That's a bridge too far. FYI fascism is an ideology of national socialism, or socialism for one privileged and racially defined group (eclectic, but still an ideology), not a system of badly defined personal traits, or values.

Moreover, loyalty (and a certain level of groupthink and conformism) can be legitimately viewed as a precondition of survival of any organized group. Look at religious group that adopt all those three values. Are all of them (or even most of them) fascist?

But one of the observable differences between Republican and Democratic Parties in the USA is the difference in the level of authoritarism of the average member of the party. That's an interesting difference that has certain social implications as for policies that each of the parties favor most when in power (I abstract here from the sad fact that the USA Corporate Dems recently became the second pro-war militarist party, and learned to love intelligence agencies; two things unimaginable in 60th and 70th. )

MisterMr 11.28.19 at 7:30 am 92

@likbez 83

I disagree. Fascism is not an ideology in the way we understand the term, it's just too muddled, and certainly is not socialism for a single ethnic group : Hitler and Mussolini even more used a lot of socialist buzzwords because at the time socialism polled well, but in reality many if not most of their policies were in direct opposition to that of the socialist parties of the time, and they came to power by beating and literally killing socialists.

At best we could say that fascism is closer to ordoliberalism, as they never put in question the role of property, but they saw some behaviors as a form of excessive capitalism. But even there they put it in moral terms, economic crises happen because banks are run by Jews, who are evil or not part of the community, or because of a Bolshevik Jewish American Masonic conspiracy (Mussolini).

What happens IMO is that currently right leaning parties would lose big time if they fought elections on economics, so they have to fight elections on cultural values. If they fight on cultural values they can get the support of many people of the working class who would otherwise give them the middle finger.

At some point the conservative cultural values may become prevalent even on the economic interests, as we see in the case of brexit, but this happens because conservative parties bet on conservative cultural values early on.

When we get to conservative cultural values, these are not really a specific set of values, or actually every society has its own traditional values. The point is that the right wing populists bet on the values that are perceived as traditional in that point of time, because such values have an appeal that goes beyond social class.

The values of "loyalty, authorithy and sacred" are certainly part of the human psyche, because everyone is loyal to something, respects some authority and holds this or that thing as sacred, but if you take them in the abstract they just mean "I'm part of a group and I will follow it", so in the way Haidt seems to discuss them they refer just to the perception of being part of a community and fighting off the outsiders, that dovetails with the weaponisation of traditional cultural values by the right.

So it's not that fascism is a personality trait, but rather fascism, or more generally right wing populism, is a social phenomenon where some personality traits are weaponised .

likbez 11.28.19 at 11:13 pm ( 95 )

MisterMr 11.28.19 at 7:30 am @92

This is a good comment that clarifies your views considerably. And with this clarification, I believe we are generally on the same page. Thank you.

At best, we could say that fascism is closer to ordoliberalism, as they never put in question the role of property, but they saw some behaviors as a form of excessive capitalism. But even there they put it in moral terms; economic crises happen because banks are run by Jews, who are evil or not part of the community, or because of a Bolshevik Jewish American Masonic conspiracy (Mussolini).

That's a good analogy. But this only means that the financial oligarchy can be a privileged social group crossing racial lines. The term "Jews" as used by fascists was, at least initially, directly at financial oligarchy, where this ethnic group was overrepresented. In general, anti-Semitism can be viewed as a scapegoating, a primitive and misguided protest against the excesses of capitalism. In this sense, "economic crises happen because banks are run by Jews, who are evil or not part of the community" has the real meaning "economic crises happen because banks are run by the financial oligarchy, which is evil or not part of the community."

What happens IMO is that, currently, right-leaning parties would lose big time if they fought elections on economics, so they have to fight elections on cultural values. If they fight on cultural values, they can get the support of many people of the working class who would otherwise give them the middle finger.

Not only right-leaning parties. All neoliberal parties. That's why identity politics is as important under neoliberalism as it was under classic national socialism. That's a classic application of "Divide and Conquer" principle in politics, which, in turn, is the Corollary of the Iron Law of Oligarchy, the way the oligarchic elite weakens threats to its rule by distracting population from actual issues, and imposing strict limits on what constitutes an 'acceptable' and 'respectable' political position. Neo-McCarthyism serves the same purpose.

At some point, the conservative cultural values may become prevalent even on the economic interests, as we see in the case of Brexit, but this happens because conservative parties bet on conservative cultural values early on.

I respectfully disagree. I see Brexit more of a spontaneous protest against neoliberal globalization, which is not that much connected with "conservative cultural values" but with more prosaic things like displacement of workers by foreigners, disappearance of good job due to relentless outsourcing/offshoring, automation and cost-cutting, reduction of national sovereignty (including inability to regulate labor flows) due to EU neoliberal policies, brazen betrayal by the New Labour of working and lower middle class economic and social interests, growth in inequality and gradual slide of the standard of living of working and lower middle class due to the redistribution of wealth up immanent under neoliberalism etc.

The same set of reasons which in the USA led to the election of Trump and decimation of the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party (Hillary fiasco). After almost 30 years, US workers managed to understand that Clinton's democrats are essentially "wolfs in sheep's clothing" and decided to show them the middle finger, which as a side effect of the two-party system led to the election of Trump.

And this process is irreversible, unless Democratic Party changes, and Clinton democrats brass is excluded from the party and sent to the dustbin of history, where they belong. That's why I am skeptical about Dem Party chances in 2020, unless one of the trio Warren/Sanders/Tulsi (who promote some level of changes) is the nominee. The train of history has left the station for the Corporate Democrats, and they are still standing on the old platform, hoping that it returns.

And I view the resurgence of the far-right nationalism as a primitive form of social protest, which of course is hijacked, exploited and misdirected by sleek demagogy from the second branch of oligarchy that does not like the results of globalization, and resent FIRE and Silicon Valley branch, in full accordance with the dialectical view on Oligarchy, where with time neoliberal oligarchy inevitably splits and factions start fighting with each other tooth and nail.

Russiagate and Ukrainegate (which is essentially Russiagate 2.0) are just two reflections of this internal political struggle within the USA oligarchy. Struggle that in some forms gradually became closer and closer to the civil war (or, at least, The War between Antony and Octavian) for political dominance as views on the ways to overcome the current crisis of neoliberalism in the USA of those two factions became more and more incompatible. Historically national socialism emerged as a way to overcome the crisis of capitalism at the beginning of the XX century.

it's not that fascism is a personality trait, but rather fascism, or more generally right wing populism, is a social phenomenon where some personality traits are weaponised.

I agree. That's an interesting angle to view the current resurgence of the far right. But it does not explain the fact why in the USA many members of trade unions voted for Trump. Also, please take a look at the phenomenon of Tucker Carson.

Thank you again for your insights into this complex social phenomenon.

[Nov 27, 2019] A Man Kills His Parents and Begs for Mercy Because He Is an Orphan

Nov 27, 2019 | wallwritings.me

July 7, 2009 by wallwritings By James M. Wall Barrier in Bethany

Since its creation in 1948, the modern state of Israel has steadily stolen Palestinian land and driven Palestinians from their homes, cities and villages.

Nothing has been done to halt Israel's steady march to tighten its absolute control of the Palestinian people with the obvious goal of ethnic cleansing, an historic fact well documented by Israeli scholar Ilan Pappe .

Under the protection of a security-obsessed military occupation, fully supported and underwritten by U.S. tax payers, Israel denies it has broken any laws. Israel makes its own self-preservation laws. It listens to no higher authority.

Israel has destroyed olive tree orchards and smothered stolen farmlands and pastures with modern malls where U.S. firms like Ace Hardware and Burger King enrich stock holders who don't know, or don't care, that they are taking part in the ugly crime of ethnic cleansing.

(The first time I saw an Ace Hardware store in a Ma'ale Adumim mall, I started my own personal boycott of Ace, an action unfair to employees of my local Ace outlet, but one that has increased the receipts of my small neighborhood hardware store.)

Those poor benighted U.S. media readers/viewers who are unaware of this reality live in a bubble of ignorance, protected by AIPAC and its political, media and religious allies .

The narrative of Israeli governments heeding no call but their own, has been with us all along, but U.S. media readers/viewers have avoided having to think about it, or do anything about it.

They live comfortably within their bubble of ignorance which is created and sustained for them by their newspapers, news magazines, television outlets, radio broadcasts, government leaders and, alas, their religious leaders.

It does not have to be this way. During the last decade, the narrative of settlements like Ma'ale Adumim has been available on the internet in reports like this one from Electronic Intafada , which begins :

It is only a fifteen minute bus ride from Jerusalem to the Ma'ale Adumim settlement. After entering through guarded gates, one's first impression is of a Miami-style suburb. The town at noon seems almost abandoned because the major part of Ma'ale Adumim residents head off to work in Jerusalem during the day. . . .

As soon as Barack Obama demanded from Israel the simple act of "freezing" its settlement expansion , Israel trotted out Public Relations Plan A for distribution to the media: Have a heart, settlement residents need room for their families to grow.

Israel operates on the logic of the man found guilty of killing his parents. The guilty man begged for mercy on the grounds that he was now an orphan.

To tell you about the Israeli settlers' plea for mercy, the Los Angeles Times (July 6) delivered its version of the orphan story: "Israel's settlements in West Bank present a major hurdle."

The opening paragraphs of the Times story set the tone for the plea with weasel words (Lobby talking points) used by writer Edmund Sanders:

Reporting from Ma'ale Adumim, West Bank -- This sprawling, well-manicured Israeli settlement -- with its rows of red-tile roofs, palm trees and air-conditioned shopping mall -- could almost pass for Orange County. Except the guards in this gated community sometimes pack automatic weapons.

Settlements such as the city-sized Ma'ale Adumim, about four miles east of Jerusalem in the West Bank, are viewed by much of the world as illegal because they are built on land seized by Israel during the 1967 Middle East War. Many Israelis see Ma'ale Adumim as part of their country.

Now let us review the weasel words.

The reference to the illegality of Ma'ale Adumim is softened by the qualifying rhetorical device, "viewed by much of the world as illegal". The phase "viewed by" suggests that the issue at hand is open to debate among reasonable people.

Reasonable, as, for example, as a story that might have appeared in a Birmingham, Alabama, newspaper, circa 1939, reporting that "segregation is viewed by many in the South as as a way to maintain harmony between the races and preserve our Southern Way of Life."

Should such an analysis have been open to debate? No, certainly not in the minds of a small number of courageous Southern liberals, and an increasingly impatient black population.

It required two more decades of U.S. racial oppression for that "debate"–for and against segregation–to reach a definitive conclusion with "all deliberate speed".

Now we have a 21st century debate. The Times' Monday story includes the phrase: "many Israelis see Ma'ale Adumim as part of their country." Do they, indeed? How many Israelis?

Most polls suggest that sentiment is largely confined to the pro-settler community, while "security-minded" government leaders continue to demand the inclusion of Ma'ale Adumimin a future Israeli state

To other more fair-minded Israelis the phrase "many Israelis see Ma'ale Adumim as part of their country", unpleasantly evokes the case of the parent-killer who begs for mercy because he is an orphan.

The Time s story continues:

Now the long-simmering dispute over this and other fast-growing settlements has become a major obstacle to restarting peace talks.

Settlement building is not a long-simmering dispute. It is part of decades of immoral and illegal actions by Israel and is much more than a "major obstacle" to peace talks. It is an indisputable violation of international law, which, if allowed to stand, will block any successful peace talks.

The parent-killer should mourn his Mom and Dad from his jail cell, not while sitting in the sun in his well-watered grass covered private backyard, shaded from the hot summer sun by a picnic umbrella purchased from a nearby Ace Hardware.

The LA Times reserves most of its early sympathy for the illegal settlers of an illegal city with these touching "facts":

"Why is President Obama interfering with our lives, telling us how many children we can have and whether we can get married?" asked Benny Kashriel, longtime mayor of Ma'ale Adumim. . . .

Talk about a possible freeze has many here worried.

"You can't freeze a city," Kashriel said. "If you freeze, you go backwards. Every month we are not building and people are not coming, it affects the economic situation of the city. . . . It's punishing."

A freeze, officials say, would threaten the opening of four new synagogues and seven sorely needed schools. Class sizes are already near the legal limit of 40 students per room.

An additional 400 units of housing in various stages of construction might also be shut down, leaving homeowners -- many of whom have already taken out mortgages up to $300,000 -- with monthly payments and no place to live.

The Times knew American readers would identify with those folks holding mortgages of up to $300,000 with monthly payments and no place to live. And those same readers can also identify with parents whose children are in schools "near the legal limit of 40 students per room".

Further down in the story, the Times reports on the Arab village of Aziriyeh, (in biblical times, the village of Bethany), where Lazarus was called from his grave by Jesus. (Or as the Times writes, carefully avoiding any validation of a religious belief, "where the biblical Lazarus is said to have risen from the dead").

The comparison of Aziriyeh (Bethany) with Ma'ale Adumim is fact-filled. The comparison also strains for a "balance" that is impossible to achieve between occupiers and the occupied.

Since 1967, the story reports, the village of Aziriyeh has had three-fourths of its land stolen to enlarge Ma'ale Adumim. Its mayor, Issam Faroun, makes a comparison between his citizens and those of the illegal citizens of Ma'ale Adumim. The facts are presented fairly. The comparative use of water is an example.

Mayor Faroun said:

. . . that as Ma'ale Adumim frets about the fate of its landscaped grounds or swimming pools, Azariyah residents receive water only once a week. The town gateway has turned into a junkyard of trash, scrap metal and old appliances. Schools have 45 students per class and unemployment is 50%, in part because the barrier prevents workers from reaching Jerusalem.

With no room to expand horizontally, families are adding second and third stories to their homes as children grow up and marry. Bassem abu Roomy, 31, still lives in his parents' house, sharing two rooms with his pregnant wife and two children. His younger brothers are not so lucky.

"We can't add any more stories because the foundation of the house can't support it," he said. "So they can't get married."

When did the relationship between Palestinians and Israelis in Aziriyeh (Bethany) and Ma'ale Adumim go wrong? When that first brick was laid in Maale Adumim soon after 1967? When Ma'ale Adumim gobbled up three fourths of Aziriyeh's farmland for its own use? Name your own moment in recent memory.

The LA Times wants us to look back no further than two decades when the biblical village of Lazarus and the modern Israeli city of Ma'ale Adumim had, as the Times describes it, their harmonious relations "strained".

A decade ago, the two communities lived somewhat harmoniously. Israelis shopped in Azariyah [Bethany] and Palestinians worked on housing projects in the settlement. But during the last Palestinian uprising, in 2000, two settlers were shot in the village and relations have been strained since.

The competing needs of these two communities have become part of the international debate.

So there you have it. Everything was fine until two Israeli settlers were shot. This is a case study on why the Israeli Lobby and the U.S. Congress are so grateful for news stories like this one that appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

For Sanders and the Times , the Arab village of Azariyah and the modern illegal city of Maale Adumim are merely playing a role in an "international debate".

No wonder that parent-killer failed to get any respect with his request for mercy because he was now an orphan. He did not have the support of his own personal lobby making a case for orphans who have killed their parents.

The picture above is of a barrier in the Arab village of Azariyah (Bethany). The break in the barrier has been covered by barbed wire. The wire is removed and replaced on a regular basis by Israeli authorities, who built the barrier in the first place. This photo is from the website of the World Council of Churches' Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel.

[Nov 27, 2019] Could your county use some extra money?

Highly recommended!
Nov 27, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

catherine , 26 November 2019 at 05:16 PM

Could your county use some extra money?

According to the US Census there are 3031 counties in the US.
If we redirected the $3.8 billion plus the 500,000,000 for missile defense that we give Israel to US counties budgets each county would receive about
$ 1.3 million.

If we included the $1.2 billion each we give to Egypt and Jordon for signing the Carter peace treaty with Israel that figure increases to $2.3 million for each county.

While $2.3 million may be a small figure for counties with metro cities, it would be a large amount for the majority of counties across the nation.

Since aid to Israel alone accounts for 50% of US foreign aid who would oppose this re direct of taxpayers money...besides the politicians...and how would the politicians explain their opposition to the districts they supposedly represent?

[Nov 26, 2019] The Real Reason the Navy Stood Up to Trump

Nov 26, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

=marco01= 13 hours ago • edited

"The difficulty here is that Trump thinks he's defending the military, when he's not"

No, this is not about Trump defending the military. What this is about is how Trump thinks war should be fought, "tough" in his words. What he means by this is troops should be utterly ruthless. They should murder and kill civilians, as this strikes fear into the enemy and shows them how "tough" we are. Plus of course Trump likes vengeance. No one should be surprised by this as Trump has voiced strong support for war crimes, he wants "strong" torture, he wants the families of terrorists, women, children, elderly murdered to punish the terrorists. Sad thing is, I've heard lots of support for this kind of warfighting among conservatives.

Trump has the mentality of an authoritarian dictator, thankfully he's not that smart.

SirMagpieDeCrow1 13 hours ago
Army Col. Keven Benson suggests Trump may have overplayed his hand, considering all the wreckage he wrought playing to his base at the possible cost of his legitimacy among those in uniform. Benson charges, too, that the president's decision to reverse the directives of senior Navy officers in disciplining one of their own might lose him support not only among senior officers, but among the rank and file -- a constituency that voted overwhelmingly to put him in the White House.

"You know, these guys, these three knuckleheads -- Lorance, Golsteyn and Gallagher -- might be welcome on Fox News," Benson says, "but they wouldn't be welcome in my platoon."

Damn.

If it is all the same to everyone, I think we shouldn't indulge in the kind of permissiveness that makes incidents like the My Lai Massacre or the Abu Graib prisoner abuse scandal possible.

George Hoffman 11 hours ago
I served as a medical corpsman in Vietnam (31 May 1967 - 31 May 1968). That is to be blunt, I served as an enlisted man which is equivalent to a working class peon in civilian life or an Indentured servant who didn't have the money to pay his passage to the American colony but promised to serve an extended period of apprenticeship to pay it off. In American society at that time an indentured servant was one rung above being a slave. So I am no fan of the brass. And I have never been a big fan of our Commander-in-Chief "Bone Spurs" given what I saw during my tour of duty in Vietnam.

But on his decision to deny the brass javing their way and giving them the fickle finger of fate, i.e. the middle finger if you don't get my drift, I support President Trump wholeheartedly. Anyone who can piss off the brass and make them whine like melting snowflakes must be doing something right. Also does Mr. Perry remember when President Richard Nixon pardoned Lt. William Calley after being convicted for the infamous My Lai Massacre?

The American people overwhelmingly supported Nixon's pardon.They will again support President Trump's decision. They do not read the TAC. Nor do they read any other high-falutin' journal of political opinion. But they are still patriots in their minds. But being populists they are not necessarily patriots when it comes to the brass who in their thinking are the equivalent of the 1% in civilian life.

It's historical class warfare that fuels populism even though these populists have probably never read Karl Marx. So the brass can disagree vehemently with Trump, They can also resign like Richard Spencer did and join the private sector. But they may be in for a rude awakening when they try to give an order to average civilians and are instead given fickle fingers of fate. And besides, let's be real about this latest crisis du jour, there are plenty more brass where these whiners came from. I bet you at the Pentagon the brass are literally bumping into each other just walking down the halls.

But they swore allegiance to our Constitution. The president gives orders to them as commander-in-chief. Not the other way around. Mr. Perry doesn't get how our country has changed since Trump won the election. I assume reading this essay, and if I am wrong I apologize here, he probably has never broken bread with the great unwashed given how he identifies with military authority. Trump was elected president surfing on a wave of populism. He played his populist cards in this tempest in a teapot. He gets it. He is playing to his base. He wants to get re-elected.

But I have one question for Mr. Perry. Why didn't the brass resign en masse against the Iraq War or all these useless Forever Wars we have been fighting?

Moe H 10 hours ago
These same people stood by and watched our military be socially engineered and gender normed to the point of incompetence. These are Obama sycophants pure and simple.
polistra24 10 hours ago
A "crisis" in Special Ops is good. Anything that weakens Deepstate is good. Trump didn't make his decision on this basis; he only needed to assuage his ego; but nevertheless he accidentally did the right thing.
Wally 9 hours ago
I don't much care about this since I consider most all US military to be war criminals. I suppose I just note the cosmic justice which punishes many of them with PTSD, drug addiction, and suicide. Now... let's get on with privatizing the VA.
tz1 8 hours ago
The desk jockey keyboard warrior officers in the Pentagon want to make examples even if they have to use prosecutorial misconduct to do it and that will help morale and discipline?

Trump should get rid of all the swamp Generals and Admirals. I'm sure they will enjoy retirement making millions at Lockheed and Raytheon. Trump supports the Troops, not the Bureaucrats.

Bob K. 7 hours ago
One gets the impression that the "Rules of Engagement" seem to have been the issue in the case discussed here but they were forgotten in the bureaucratic squabble between the military and the White House.
chris chuba 5 hours ago
People like Pete Hegseth call Chief Gallagher's service exemplary and repeat that he was acquitted of 'alleged war crimes'.

He was acquitted because a medic testified that after he and Gallagher stabilized a wounded, sedated prisoner after 20 minutes, Gallagher inexplicably stabbed him (non-fatally) below the collar bone, stormed off, and then the medic suffocated him before Iraqi security forces could torture him. Later Gallagher posed with his corpse.

This is not the sign of a well man or one who was making a snap, life or death decision. I'm not interested in punishing Gallagher but this hero worship of our military and failure to acknowledge that these long deployments are breaking down our military is self-deception. But I won't be surprised if I see a trifecta of Trump, Hegseth, and Gallagher at a campaign stop.

If we are being honest, I bet the IRGC has a better reputation than us in the M.E.

Bigfrog 5 hours ago
Julius Caesar was able to march on Rome because the soldiers gave their fealty to him over Rome. I find Trump's pardoning of soldiers accused of war crimes deeply disturbing.
gdpbull 5 hours ago • edited
The first and foremost principle that must be maintained is that the President has complete authority over the military. Its one of the central constructs of our republic. The most egregious offence was for Spencer to defy Trump's order. Regardless of what one's opinion on the state of the special forces is, we can't go down that road. To say that Trump is destroying the commanders authorities is bass ackwards. The US military, like it or not, MUST have civilians over and above them.

Having said that, I completely agree that there is something very bad wrong with the special forces and especially the Navy Seals. My experience with Green Berets in the Vietnam era is that they were very effective in working with indigenous populations, to include recruiting fighters to our side, spoke their language, were highly competent, tough as nails, and very humble. Out of uniform, one would not even know they were Green Berets. Likewise almost all Army Rangers are equally humble. Green Berets are recruited from the Rangers.

I never had any personal experiences with Navy Seals, but over the last decade or so at least, its obvious that a large percent of them are a bunch of braggadocios chest thumpers. There is something seriously wrong with the Navy Seal recruitment program or training or both. They have a very bad reputation of making their missions public, making jokes out of their security clearances and never seem to be held accountable for such violations.

Mother124 5 hours ago
That this president conducts Policy By Tweet is beyond ridiculous. The presidency is becoming a laughingstock.
thelastindependentYankee 4 hours ago
The regular military has always distrusted the SOF for the very reasons cited in this article. The Pentagon forbade the beret until JFK overruled the brass in 1963.

The Founding CO of that vaunted Tier 1 unit Seal team 6 was convicted of federal crimes and spent time in prison in the 1980s.

The Green Beret affair in 1965 resulted in the murder of a allied civilian in Vietnam. The military grew these units beyond reasonable levels and has misused and overused them since 9/11,

appleDwight 4 hours ago
One is left to wonder whether the president has really overplayed his hand or these naval officers are simply Trump-haters as is all too often the case these days. I'd have to go with let the Navy be the Navy and handle it's own business. But one has to question whether these officers would've objected as strongly had it been Obama giving the orders?
OrthoAnabaptist 4 hours ago
What a disgrace... I'm a dovish, pacifist peacenik, but even I understand maintaining organizational order, respect for authority, chain-of-command... (and have respect for many in the military for their desire and attempts to play by international rules and by-the-book procedures.)

Trump & Gallagher (who strikes me as a sadist) are a disgrace and Fox News is especially beyond the pale, giving Gallagher a platform to impugn his commanding officer! in public! Where has anyone ever gotten away with that before?... unbelievable.

I guess you could hope for some silver lining that this might undermine the DoD's global empire tendencies... but I'm not sure this is a good way to get that done (ie leaving or promoting arrogant, cruel men like Gallagher, with the stench of by-gone barbarism clinging to him, in the services:)

EliteCommInc. 3 hours ago
If I were one of this president's advisers, I would make one thing clear.

Don't tweet instructs to any department or department member because it is neither a proper channel for official communique's nor is it conducive to to effectively, management and more times than not creates more trouble that it solves.

After listing the reasons why "twitter" is an inappropriate forum. i would of course be fired. But I am deeply concerned that the president is conducting official business in open forums such as twitter.

The official in question was certainly being reasonable to request the order either direct communique or in riding. Given the nature of twitter, it was a reasonable expectation.

Laugh: I think there are plenty of issues with the military justice system. But that is another matter best left out of twitter feeds.

anon 2 hours ago
Why didn't anyone mention what the effect of these democracy wars are having on our soldiers considering they aren't actually protecting the country but helping the Muslims move over to it, not just here but to Europe as well.

Most of the terrorist fighters are coming and going from other countries and travel freely oh and besides in Syria we're really not fighting terrorists but over-throwing a government.

To top it all off these actions are helping to bankrupt our nation. I wonder how this plays for morale of our soldiers? I'm sure many don't care, the majority of people indluding those just coming in ro the country seem to hate the country anyway so why would anyone want to fight for them and then maybe there is another side who sees it all and cares, cares that they are losing their nation. What about the "fight them over there but love them and bow down to their diverstity"? What happens when you realize that you're not the savior you thought you would be and no one is greatful to have you around, they are fighting you endlessly and ruthlessly while you're ttying to be a gentle invader, not fighting to win but to install democracy and can't figure out why no one wants your gift of gentrification.
I'm not so sure I could take his rank from him either, maybe just give him a break from the war on the ground and the two sides of the war in his head.

Fran Macadam 2 hours ago
On the other hand we increasingly see an unwillingness by the military and Deep State to be ruled over by civilian government, and instead of a commander in chief, to make of elected Presidents mere puppets for their consensus.
3Monkeys 2 hours ago
I disagree with Lt.Col Milburns (Ret.) The UCMJ is military law and military law is part of federal law. The president has the right to pardon anyone convicted under the UCMJ but his authority stops where the law is concerned. The president isn't above the law, he can countermand the conviction but he can't force the military to withdraw the A@D given by the individual services. That remains the prerogative of the commanders. Discipline must be maintained and the commanders are responsible and accountable for that discipline.

CIC is a title conferred on a civilian president, he states that they are responsible for the strategic decisions used to justify the use of our military forces, the Presidents actions with regard to anything other than the pardon does not meet the criteria of a strategic decision.

And if water isn't involved in the mission then there really isn't need for SEALS to be there. Mission creep on the part of the Navy to increase Spec Ops budgets.

Not Kent 2 hours ago
Just another case of the stable genius not knowing what is good for the Armed Forces and trying to improve his reelection chances.
ScienceABC123 2 hours ago
Well, everyone is entitled to their opinion...
ketahburat 2 hours ago
Rank has their privilege and as far as I know, PDJT is the CiC. So either you - the un-elected bureaucrat, shut up and follow the order or put up and resign your commission.

[Nov 26, 2019] Support for Restraint Is on the Rise by Daniel Larison

Notable quotes:
"... 38% of respondents want to end the war in Afghanistan now or within one year, and another 31% support negotiations with the Taliban to bring the war to an end. A broad majority of Americans wants to bring the war to a conclusion. I already mentioned the survey's finding that there is majority support for reducing the U.S. military presence in East Asia last night. Americans not only want to get out of our interminable wars overseas, but they also want to scale back U.S. involvement overall. ..."
"... The survey asked respondents how the U.S. should respond if "Iran gets back on track with its nuclear weapons program." That is a loaded and potentially misleading question, since Iran has not had anything resembling a nuclear weapons program in 16 years, so there has been nothing to get "back on track" for a long time. Framing the question this way is likely to elicit a more hawkish response. In spite of the questionable wording, the results from this year show that there is less support for coercive measures against Iran than last year and more support for negotiations and non-intervention: ..."
"... With only around 10% favoring it, there is almost no support for preventive war against Iran. Americans don't want war with Iran even if it were developing nuclear weapons ..."
"... There is substantial and growing support for bringing our current wars to an end and avoiding unnecessary conflicts in the future. This survey shows that there is a significant constituency in America that desires a more peaceful and restrained foreign policy, and right now virtually no political leaders are offering them the foreign policy that they say they want. It is long past time that Washington started listening. ..."
Nov 26, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

he Eurasia Group Foundation's new survey of public opinion on U.S. foreign policy finds that support for greater restraint continues to rise:

Americans favor a less aggressive foreign policy. The findings are consistent across a number of foreign policy issues, and across generations and party lines.

The 2019 survey results show that most Americans support a more restrained foreign policy, and it also shows an increase in that support since last year. There is very little support for continuing the war in Afghanistan indefinitely, there is virtually no appetite for war with Iran, and there is a decline in support for a hawkish sort of American exceptionalism. There is still very little support for unilateral U.S. intervention for ostensibly humanitarian reasons, and support for non-intervention has increased slightly:

In 2018, 45 percent of Americans chose restraint as their first choice. In 2019, that has increased to 47 percent. Only 19 percent opt for a U.S.-led military response and 34 percent favor a multilateral, UN-led approach to stop humanitarian abuses overseas.

38% of respondents want to end the war in Afghanistan now or within one year, and another 31% support negotiations with the Taliban to bring the war to an end. A broad majority of Americans wants to bring the war to a conclusion. I already mentioned the survey's finding that there is majority support for reducing the U.S. military presence in East Asia last night. Americans not only want to get out of our interminable wars overseas, but they also want to scale back U.S. involvement overall.

The report's working definition of American exceptionalism is a useful one: "American exceptionalism is the belief that the foreign policy of the United States should be unconstrained by the parochial interests or international rules which govern other countries." This is not the only definition one might use, but it gets at the heart of what a lot of hawks really mean when they use this phrase. While most Americans still say they subscribe to American exceptionalism either because of what the U.S. represents or what it has done, there is less support for these views than before. Among the youngest respondents (age 18-29), there is now a clear majority that rejects this idea.

The survey asked respondents how the U.S. should respond if "Iran gets back on track with its nuclear weapons program." That is a loaded and potentially misleading question, since Iran has not had anything resembling a nuclear weapons program in 16 years, so there has been nothing to get "back on track" for a long time. Framing the question this way is likely to elicit a more hawkish response. In spite of the questionable wording, the results from this year show that there is less support for coercive measures against Iran than last year and more support for negotiations and non-intervention:

A strong majority of both Republicans and Democrats continue to seek a diplomatic resolution involving either sanctions or the resumption of nuclear negotiations. This year, there was an increase in the number of respondents across party lines who would want negotiations to resume even if Iran is a nuclear power in the short term, and a bipartisan increase in those who believe outright that Iran has the right to develop nuclear weapons to defend itself. So while Republicans might be more likely than Democrats to believe Iran threatens peace in the Middle East, voters in neither party are eager to take a belligerent stand against it.

With only around 10% favoring it, there is almost no support for preventive war against Iran. Americans don't want war with Iran even if it were developing nuclear weapons, and it isn't doing that. It may be that the failure of the "maximum pressure" campaign has also weakened support for sanctions. Support for the sanctions option dropped by almost 10 points overall and plunged by more than 20 points among Republicans. In 2018, respondents were evenly split between war and sanctions on one side or negotiations and non-intervention on the other. This year, support for diplomacy and non-intervention in response to this imaginary nuclear weapons program has grown to make up almost 60% of the total. If most Americans favor diplomacy and non-intervention in this improbable scenario, it is safe to assume that there is even more support for those options with the real Iranian government that isn't pursuing nuclear weapons.

There is substantial and growing support for bringing our current wars to an end and avoiding unnecessary conflicts in the future. This survey shows that there is a significant constituency in America that desires a more peaceful and restrained foreign policy, and right now virtually no political leaders are offering them the foreign policy that they say they want. It is long past time that Washington started listening.

[Nov 26, 2019] Repeal the Nearly Two-Decade-Old War Authorizations by Matthew Hoh

Nov 25, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

In 2001 and in 2002 Congress passed authorizations for war. While not declarations of war, these mandates, each titled an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) provided the legal framework for attacks against al-Qaeda in 2001 and in 2002 for the Iraq War. Both AUMFs are still in effect today. As Congress considers its annual authorization to fund the Pentagon our current members of Congress, both in the House and the Senate, are in positions of responsibility and ability to repeal these AUMFs.

The effect of the AUMFs :

Based on FBI and journalist investigations, al Qaeda had between 200-400 members worldwide in September of 2001. Al Qaeda now has affiliates in every corner of the world, their strength measures in the tens of thousands of members, and they control territory in Yemen, Syria and parts of Africa. In Afghanistan, the Taliban now control as much as 60 percent of the territory and, with regards to international terrorism, where there was one international terror group in Afghanistan in 2001, the Pentagon now reports twenty such groups .

ISIS was formerly al Qaeda in Iraq, an organization that came into existence solely due to the invasion and occupation of Iraq by the United States. US military , intelligence agencies, journalists and other international organizations continually report that the reason people join such groups is not out of ideology or religious devotion, but out of resistance to invasion and occupation, and in response to the killing of family, friends and neighbors by foreign and government forces. It is clear the AUMFs have worsened terrorism, not defeated it.

The cost of the AUMFs :

More than 7,000 US service members have been killed and more than 50,000 wounded in the wars since 9/11. Of the 2.5 million troops deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan as many as 20% percent are afflicted with PTSD, while 20 percent more may have traumatic brain injury. The Veterans Administration reports Afghan and Iraq veterans have rates of suicide 4-10 times higher than their civilian peers. This means almost two Afghan and Iraq veterans are die by suicide every day. Do the math and it is clear more Afghan and Iraq veterans are dying by suicide than by combat. The cost to the people overseas to whom we have brought these wars is hard to grasp. Between one and four million people have been killed, directly and indirectly, by these wars, while tens of millions more have been wounded or psychologically traumatized, and tens of millions more made homeless – the cause of the worst refugee crisis since WWII.

Financially, the cost of these wars is immense, at least $6 trillion. Of a vast many statistics that compose this incomprehensible figure of $6 trillion, is that nearly $1 trillion of it is simply just interest and debt payments. For any American, Democrat, Republican or independent, these interest and debt payments alone should cause them to reconsider these wars.

The AUMFs have allowed for wars to be waged without end by the executive branch, wars the American people, including veterans, say have not been worth fighting . Congress has the ability and responsibility to help bring about an end to these wars by ensuring the repeal of the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Matthew Hoh

Matthew Hoh is a member of the advisory boards of Expose Facts, Veterans For Peace and World Beyond War. In 2009 he resigned his position with the State Department in Afghanistan in protest of the escalation of the Afghan War by the Obama Administration. He previously had been in Iraq with a State Department team and with the U.S. Marines. He is a Senior Fellow with the Center for International Policy.

[Nov 26, 2019] The problem with the loyalty of government employees in the state that strive to dominate the world

Notable quotes:
"... America was feared by many intellectuals, both in the United States and Britain of the 1940s and 1950s, and their fears were not unwarranted. ..."
"... Big, brawny America – its power establishment – very much was inclined towards dominating the world after WWII. The whole tone of the American press and speeches of major political figures in the period was actually quite frightening. Any highly intelligent, sensitive type would be concerned by it. ..."
"... America wanted a monopoly on nuclear weapons, so that it would be in an unassailable position as it built its imperial apparatus after WWII, the time effectively it "took over" as world imperial power with so many potential competitors flattened. ..."
"... Later, the Pentagon actually planned things like an all-out first strike on the Soviets – it did that more once as well as doing so later for China – so there were indeed plenty of dark intentions in Washington. ..."
"... Spies and ex-spies often put disinformation into their books. Sometimes officials even insist they do so. ..."
Nov 26, 2019 | www.unz.com

Comments below are from Was Robert Oppenheimer a Soviet Agent, by John Wear - The Unz Review


JOHN CHUCKMAN , says: Website November 25, 2019 at 8:59 am GMT

The motives for so many Western spies serving the Soviet Union – and in the 1940s and 1950s the Soviets had the best "humint" on earth – were rather idealistic. This was largely true for the Cambridge Circle in Britain. They were concerned that America was going to "lord it over" the Russians and everyone else.

America was feared by many intellectuals, both in the United States and Britain of the 1940s and 1950s, and their fears were not unwarranted.

Big, brawny America – its power establishment – very much was inclined towards dominating the world after WWII. The whole tone of the American press and speeches of major political figures in the period was actually quite frightening. Any highly intelligent, sensitive type would be concerned by it.

You certainly did not have to be a communist to feel that way, but being one assisted with access to important Soviet contacts. They sought you out.

America wanted a monopoly on nuclear weapons, so that it would be in an unassailable position as it built its imperial apparatus after WWII, the time effectively it "took over" as world imperial power with so many potential competitors flattened.

It made little secret of its desire to keep such a monopoly, so brilliant people like Oppenheimer would be well aware of something they might well regard as ominous.

Later, the Pentagon actually planned things like an all-out first strike on the Soviets – it did that more once as well as doing so later for China – so there were indeed plenty of dark intentions in Washington.

A hugely important general like MacArthur was unblinkingly ready in 1950 to use atomic weapons in the Korean War to destroy North Korea's connections with China.

I read several major biographies of Oppenheimer, and there is little to nothing concerning Soviet intelligence work. When I came across the Sudoplatov book with its straightforward declaration of Oppenheimer's assistance, it was difficult to know how to weigh the claim.

Spies and ex-spies often put disinformation into their books. Sometimes officials even insist they do so.

Judging by what is suggested here, if Oppenheimer did help, it was in subtle ways like letting Klaus Fuchs, a fellow scientist and a rather distinguished one (but a Soviet spy), look at certain papers. But the scientific community always has some considerable tendency to share information, a tendency having nothing to do with spying.

In general, it should be understood, that Oppenheimer, despite all his brilliance, was a rather disturbed man all his life. Quite early on, as just one example, he attempted to poison someone he did not like. Only pure luck prevented the man's eating a lethally-laced apple. There were other disturbing behaviors too.

He was subject to severe emotional breakdowns.

SolontoCroesus , says: November 25, 2019 at 12:10 pm GMT

"the[y] . . . saw themselves as a new breed of superstatesmen whose mandate transcended national boundaries"

Like Vindman

another anon , says: November 25, 2019 at 12:20 pm GMT

Later they believed that equality of superpower status for the Soviet Union would contribute to world peace.

How dumb were these "scientists". Everyone knows that once Soviet Union fell, peace and freedom and democracy are flowering all over the world and United States are not waging any wars anymore.

[Nov 23, 2019] Never Believe Anything Until It Is Officially Denied: Now Epstein suicide looks like a a well orchestrated operation that terminated a man who could embarrass many elites

Notable quotes:
"... No, it was not suicide Mr. Barr, it was a well orchestrated operation that terminated a man who could embarrass many elites and other people who did not want to be embarrassed. It strikes at the heart of what the populace expects from government an expectation of "fairness." ..."
"... If anyone was truly interested in investigating Epstein his banking and communication records would have been secured. All of the people who interacted with him on a daily basis would have been interviewed. This did not happen and it will not happen because too many people just want him to be forgotten. ..."
Nov 23, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

bsdetector , 8 minutes ago link

I thought I liked Mr. Barr but I do not buy his opinion.

The usual investigation and takedown process was not followed in this case and someone should answer: why not?

Big planning had to be made to lure Epstein back to Teterboro and take him into custody immediately on deplaning.

He was immediately kept in isolation but no search and seizure warrants were executed with his takedown. Why would the crime scenes be left unsecured unless there was a plan?

Proper take down plans are prepared in minute detail. Don't tell us this was not well planned.

Well, there was a plan. Delay of the official investigation allowed the scenes to be sanitized before "official" search warrants were requested. No serious law enforcement plan would allow this process. What was the plan Mr. Barr and who was behind it? Can we have names please?

When the official search warrants were executed the most damaging evidence was gone. Everything else was for show.

Then Epstein was kept on ice in that "short of money" jail where cameras malfunctioned and were known to malfunction.

Mix in a few useful idiots for guards and Epstein was finished. He could not relocate his blackmail evidence after his takedown and because he was isolated he could not parlay his information to secure his release. He was done.

No, it was not suicide Mr. Barr, it was a well orchestrated operation that terminated a man who could embarrass many elites and other people who did not want to be embarrassed. It strikes at the heart of what the populace expects from government an expectation of "fairness."

If anyone was truly interested in investigating Epstein his banking and communication records would have been secured. All of the people who interacted with him on a daily basis would have been interviewed. This did not happen and it will not happen because too many people just want him to be forgotten.

Our government caters to the special interest. Unfortunately I hoped for fairness.

[Nov 22, 2019] The Independent Ukraine s painful journey through the five stages of grief by The Saker

Notable quotes:
"... Is it not possible to have an article on Ukraine without all the N@ZI references? Might have been a non-biased article, but many of us will never know... ..."
"... They certainly aren't National Socialists, and arguably not nationalists. Nationalists are open to what is best for "the nation" regardless of where it lies on the political spectrum. Since they don't consider the people in Donbas to be part of "the nation", that means, if anything, they are useful idiots of Zionism. ..."
Nov 22, 2019 | www.unz.com

In my July 25th article " Zelenskii's dilemma " I pointed out the fundamental asymmetry of the Ukrainian power configuration following Zelenskii's crushing victory over Poroshenko: while a vast majority of the Ukrainian people clearly voted to stop the war and restore some kind of peace to the Ukraine, the real levers of power in the post-Maidan Banderastan are all held by all sorts of very powerful, if also small, minority groups including:

The various "oligarchs" (Kolomoiskii, Akhmetov, etc.) and/or mobsters Arsen Avakov's internal security forces including some "legalized" Nazi death squads The various non-official Nazi deathsquads (Parubii) The various western intelligence agencies who run various groups inside the Ukraine The various western financial/political sponsors who run various groups inside the Ukraine The so-called "Sorosites" (соросята) i.e. Soros and Soros-like sponsored political figures The many folks who want to milk the Ukraine down to the last drop of Ukrainian blood and then run

These various groups all acted in unison, at least originally, during and after the Euromaidan. This has now dramatically changed and these groups are now all fighting each other. This is what always happens when things begin to turn south and the remaining loot shrinks with every passing day,

Whether Zelenskii ever had a chance to use the strong mandate he received from the people to take the real power back from these groups or not is now a moot point: It did not happen and the first weeks of Zelenskii's presidency clearly showed that Zelenskii was, indeed, in " free fall ": instead of becoming a "Ukrainian Putin" Zelenskii became a "Ukrainian Trump" – a weak and, frankly, clueless leader, completely outside his normal element, whose only "policy" towards all the various extremist minorities was to try to appease them, then appease them some more, and then even more than that. As a result, a lot of Ukrainians are already speaking about "Ze" being little more than a "Poroshenko 2.0". More importantly, pretty much everybody is frustrated and even angry at Zelenskii whose popularity is steadily declining.

... ... ...

Another major problem for Zelenskii are two competing narratives: the Ukronazi one and, shall we say, the "Russian" one. I have outlined the Ukronazi one just above and now I will mention the competing Russian one which goes something like this:

The Euromaidan was a completely illegal violent coup against the democratically elected President of the Ukraine, whose legitimacy nobody contested, least of all the countries which served as mediators between Poroshenko and the rioters and who betrayed their word in less than 24 hours (a kind of a record for western politicians and promises of support!).

... ... ...

Some of the threats made by these Ukronazis are dead serious and the only person who, as of now, kinda can keep the Ukrainian version of the Rwandan " Interahamwe " under control would probably be Arsen Avakov, but since he himself is a hardcore Nazi nutcase, his attitude is ambiguous and unpredictable. He probably has more firepower than anybody else, but he was a pure " Porokhobot " (Poroshenko-robot) who, in many ways, controlled Poroshenko more than Poroshenko controlled him. The best move for Zelenskii would be to arrest the whole lot of them overnight (Poroshenko himself, but also Avakov, Parubii, Iarosh, Farion, Liashko, Tiagnibok, etc.) and place a man he totally trusts as Minister of the Interior. Next, Zelenskii should either travel to Donetsk or, at least, meet with the leaders of the LDNR and work with them to implement the Minsk Agreements. That would alienate the Ukronazis for sure, but it would give Zelenskii a lot of popular support.

Needless to say, that is not going to happen. While Zelenskii's puppet master Kolomoiskii would love to stick this entire gang in jail and replace them with his own men, it is an open secret that powerful interest groups in the US have told Zelenskii "don't you dare touch them". Which is fine, except that this also means "don't you dare change their political course either".

...are going through the famous Kübler-Ross stages of griefs: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance: currently, most of them are zig-zagging between bargaining and depression; acceptance is still far beyond their – very near – horizon. Except that Zelenskii has nothing left to bargain with.


Alfred , says: November 14, 2019 at 9:51 am GMT

Thank you for a rational article about Ukraine. The sad thing is that it might take years to reach the "acceptance" phase.

It would take someone like Hitler to clean out the stables. Arrest is not a viable option as they will bribe their way out. These people need to be put down like rabid dogs. That is the only way to put an end to their mischief and it would be a deterrent to their replacements.

Personally, I suspect that the Ukraine is being deliberately depopulated to make way for waves of "refugees" from Israel. Another country that is still in the "denial" phase. Its military and political leaders know full-well that their strategic aims have all failed. The boot is now firmly on the other foot.

I suspect that Crimea was their preferred destination and hence the massive non-stop propaganda against Russia on that score. To give you an idea of how ridiculous it has all become, the UK no longer accepts medical degrees awarded by universities in Crimea.

AWM , says: November 14, 2019 at 1:56 pm GMT
Is it not possible to have an article on Ukraine without all the N@ZI references? Might have been a non-biased article, but many of us will never know...
Kateryna , says: November 14, 2019 at 5:18 pm GMT
It's "Ukraine", not "the Ukraine".
Spycimir Mendoza , says: November 14, 2019 at 5:30 pm GMT
Roman Dmowski, one of the creators of independent Poland, wrote in 1931 about Ukraine:
http://www.mysl-polska.pl/node/164
Commentator Mike , says: November 14, 2019 at 5:33 pm GMT
@Alfred

I suspect that the Ukraine is being deliberately depopulated to make way for waves of "refugees" from Israel.

You got that right – what it's all about is building a New Khazaria. But they're neither giving up on their Greater Israel project between the two rivers, and hence more wars, conflict and chaos to drive out the native Arabs from the Middle East.

I suspect that Crimea was their preferred destination and hence the massive non-stop propaganda against Russia on that score.

SeekerofthePresence , says: November 14, 2019 at 7:31 pm GMT
'Murka in boundless greed seizes Ukraine,
"Vital US national interest."
US now run by the likes of Strain,
'Nother hide to post in Pinterest.
Curmudgeon , says: November 14, 2019 at 9:47 pm GMT
@AWM They certainly aren't National Socialists, and arguably not nationalists. Nationalists are open to what is best for "the nation" regardless of where it lies on the political spectrum. Since they don't consider the people in Donbas to be part of "the nation", that means, if anything, they are useful idiots of Zionism.
tolemo , says: November 15, 2019 at 12:06 am GMT
@Curmudgeon They may not be real n@zis but they sure do look like it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vhw4IdIO6Lg&feature=youtu.be
Alfred , says: November 15, 2019 at 10:14 am GMT
@bob sykes Kolomoiskii is the real hidden owner/controller of the company that bribed the Bidens. He has a finger in lots of pies. His pretense to leaning towards Russia is his way to try to get the Americans to stop attempts to get at the many millions that he stole from his own Ukrainians bank – fake loans to his companies.

Of course, the Russians understand all of that. This theater is aimed at the Americans – not at the Russians.

Igor Kolomoisky Makes A Mistake, And The New York Times Does What It Always Does

Felix Keverich , says: November 15, 2019 at 9:43 pm GMT
For the Ukrainian state to break up, there need to be some forces interested in a break-up. You won't find such forces inside the Ukraine.

What is Ukrainian South-East? In pure political terms, "South-East" is a bunch of oligarchs, who are all integrated into Ukrainian system, and have no reason to seek independence from Kiev, especially if it means getting slapped with Western sanctions.

Even the Kremlin doesn't show much interest in breaking up the Ukraine, so why the hell would it break up?

It's worth pointing out that the so-called "Novorossia movement" started out as Akhmetov's project to win concessions from new Kiev regime. It was then quickly hijacked by Strelkov, a man who actually wanted to break up the Ukraine, and it is because of Strelkov, that Donetsk and Lugansk are now de-facto independent. Without similar figures to lead secessionist movements elsewhere in the Ukraine, this break-up that Saker keeps talking about will never happen.

Marshall Lentini , says: November 17, 2019 at 5:28 am GMT
Twenty-one occurrences of "Nazi".
Marshall Lentini , says: November 17, 2019 at 5:30 am GMT
@Nodwink Do you doubt it'll come to that? Krakow is on its way to becoming Little Bombay. Gotta have that "tech".
Carlton Meyer , says: Website November 17, 2019 at 6:31 am GMT
How 98% of Americans feel about the Ukraine BS:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Evj_qduJY7U?feature=oembed

Skeptikal , says: November 17, 2019 at 2:02 pm GMT
@Carlton Meyer Tucker nails it -- with humor, to boot.

His ratings must be sky-high, because otherwise I cannot imagine why Fox would allow him to continue to use their network as a medium to broadcast common sense.

Of course the Dems are making it so easy.
Schiff, Kent, Taylor, Yanovitch -- what a pathetic, nauseating crew.

[Nov 22, 2019] Giraldi on Intelligence Community Reform

Nov 22, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

" Lang cites numerous examples of "incompetence and malfeasance in the leadership of the 17 agencies of the Intelligence Community and the Federal Bureau of Investigation," to include the examples cited above plus the failure to predict the collapse of the Soviet Union. On the domestic front, he cites his personal observation of efforts by the Department of Justice and the FBI to corruptly "frame" people tried in federal courts on national security issues as well as the intelligence/law enforcement community conspiracy to "get Trump."

Colonel Lang asks "Tell me, pilgrims, why should we put up with such nonsense? Why should we pay the leaders of these agencies for the privilege of having them abuse us? We are free men and women. Let us send these swine to their just deserts in a world where they have to work hard for whatever money they earn." He then recommends stripping CIA of its responsibility for being the lead agency in spying as well as in covert action, which is a legacy of the Cold War and the area in which it has demonstrated a particular incompetence. As for the FBI, it was created by J. Edgar Hoover to maintain dossiers on politicians and it is time that it be replaced by a body that operates in a fashion "more reflective of our collective nation[al] values."" Giraldi

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/11/21/rethinking-national-security-cia-and-fbi-are-corrupt-but-what-about-congress/?fbclid=IwAR17hoQQec8kYaP3v34J0hRi8zkFHbEj6BkRiopjJf1FUtITCudoUYVjis4

[Nov 21, 2019] Washington Makes Endless War And Calls It Peace

Nov 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Washington Makes Endless War And Calls It Peace by Tyler Durden Sun, 11/17/2019 - 23:30 0 SHARES

Authored by Daniel Larison via TheAmericanConservative.com,

Andrew Bacevich rightly rejects the idea that there was ever a Pax Americana in the Middle East:

"It took many decades to build a Pax Americana in the Middle East," X writes. Not true: it took only a handful of hours - the time he invested in writing his essay. The Pax Americana is a figment of X's imagination.

Defenders of U.S. hegemony like to make what they think is a flattering comparison between the U.S. and the Roman Empire, but where the Romans made a desert and called it peace the U.S. has gone to war in the desert again and again with no end in sight.

Not only has the U.S. not brought peace, but there is little reason to think that our government is capable of doing so. More to the point, the U.S. has no right to keep meddling in the affairs of these nations. It would also be accurate to say that the more American involvement there has been in the region, the less pax there has been there. There is nowhere else in the world where our foreign policy is as intensely militarized, and it is no accident that it is also where our foreign policy is most destructive. If the U.S. genuinely desired stability and the security of energy supplies, it would not be waging an economic war on Iran, and it wouldn't be fueling a disgraceful war on Yemen. The author of that piece, William Wechsler, notably has nothing to say about either one of those policies.

Opponents of U.S. withdrawal from the Middle East make two major claims: that withdrawal would harm U.S. interests and that it would make the region worse off than it already is.

The second point is wrong but debatable, and the first one depends on an absurdly expansive definition of what U.S. interests are. The piece that Bacevich is answering asserts that "it would be a terrible mistake and deeply harmful to the United States" to withdraw from the region, but the author does not show that current troop levels of more than 50,000 people are necessary or even useful for securing U.S. interests. The U.S. didn't have and didn't need a large military presence in the Middle East for the entire Cold War, and it doesn't need to have one now. Having a military presence in the region has directly contributed to increased threats to U.S. security through terrorism, and it made the Iraq war debacle possible. The greatest harm to U.S. security has come from our ongoing extensive military involvement in this part of the world.

Neither does the author demonstrate that U.S. foreign policy up until now has actually been doing the job he thinks it has. For instance, he mentions "supporting a delicate balance of power that promotes regional stability and protects our allies," but looking back over just the last twenty years of U.S. foreign policy in the region there is no evidence that the U.S. has been supporting a balance of power or promoted regional stability. On the contrary, to the extent that there was a balance of power at the start of this century, the U.S. set about destroying it by overthrowing the Iraqi government, and it has further contributed to the destabilization of at least three other countries through direct or indirect involvement in military interventions. The clients that the U.S. has in the Middle East aren't allies and we aren't obliged to protect them, but the U.S. hasn't done a terribly good job of protecting them, either. The U.S. has managed to indulge its clients in reckless and atrocious behavior that has also made them less secure and undermined our own security interests. Support for the war on Yemen is a good example of that. Enabling the Saudi coalition's war has bolstered Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), devastated and fractured Yemen, and exposed Saudi Arabia to reprisal attacks that it had never suffered before.

The other major flaw with the Wechsler piece is that he is warning against something that isn't happening:

As campaign promises tend to become governing realities for American foreign policy, the prospect of a full U.S. withdrawal from the Middle East now stands before us.

If only that were true. The U.S. has more troops in the region than it did at the start of this year. There is no sign that those numbers will be reduced anytime soon. Support for the war on Yemen continues, and the president has gone out of his way to keep arming the Saudi coalition. Even in Syria, there will still be an illegal U.S. military presence for the foreseeable future. Full withdrawal is nowhere in sight right now. The U.S. is heading in the opposite direction. The author pretends that withdrawal is in the offing and then urges the next president to "reverse this course," but there is nothing for the next president to reverse. So why rail against something that hasn't happened and isn't likely to occur? This is an old tactic of making the option of withdrawing from the region seem so extreme and dangerous that it has to be rejected out of hand, but these scare tactics are less and less effective as we see the mounting costs of open-ended conflict and deep entanglement in the affairs of other countries.

The author wants the next administration "to reestablish American leadership in the Middle East, restore deterrence with our adversaries, and begin renewing trust with our partners and allies," but he has not made a persuasive case that "American leadership" in the region is worth "reestablishing" even if it were possible to get back to the way things were before the Iraq war. Many of the "partners and allies" in question are themselves unreliable and have become liabilities, and many of the adversaries do not really threaten the U.S. Bacevich concludes that there needs to be a radical overhaul of U.S. foreign policy in the region on account of its colossal failures:

Given the dimensions of that failure, the likelihood of resuscitating X's illusory Pax is essentially zero.

There is no going back to an imagined Golden Age of American statecraft in the Middle East. The imperative is to go forward, which requires acknowledging how wrongheaded U.S. policy in region has been ever since FDR had his famous tete-a-tete with King Ibn Saud and Harry Truman rushed to recognize the newborn State of Israel.

Once we acknowledge those errors, the next step is not to fall into the same patterns out of a misguided desire for "leadership" and domination. Instead of chasing after a fantasy of imposing peace in some other part of the world, we need to stop our destabilizing and destructive policies that perpetuate conflict and make new wars more likely.


Miss Informed , 17 minutes ago link

Did the author forget that USA is Netenyahu's little bitch?

khnum , 27 minutes ago link

Lets just be honest the USA is in the business of war,overthrowing governments and creating vassal states with murder and mayhem all the way,sponsoring fascists,dictators,drug lords and Christ knows what else along the way and there is no high moral ground as its average citizen is either watching football or Kim Kardashians *** and couldn't give a ****,no amount of whinging is ever going to change that the author is pissing in the wind.

Jam Akin , 42 minutes ago link

Bacevich's book "America's War for the Greater Middle East" is an excellent read. Highly recommended.

Roger Casement , 57 minutes ago link

https://russianmafiagangster.blogspot.com/2012/08/expose-little-odessas-hidden-world-of.html

https://www.davidicke.com/article/508513/russian-mafia-jewish-groomed-trump

Epstein101 , 1 hour ago link

http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=western_support_for_islamic_militancy_2049

NoMoreWars , 1 hour ago link

Bring the troops home and put them on our southern border. #1 reason why people voted for Trump.

TheLastMan , 1 hour ago link

Time magazine 2003 cover

" Peace is Hell"

Demented time magazine enjoys programming the folks

And so... "War is Heaven"?

Epstein101 , 1 hour ago link

Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel

ibeanbanned , 1 hour ago link

Joo boys want moar war. Always.

dogismycopilot , 1 hour ago link

Instead of replacing and upgrading infrastructure in the US, we have burned that money up in the desert fighting wars so the Chinese and Russian oil companies could waltz in and take all of marbles.

US Middle East policy has been failing since Eisenhower injected us into Iran an in the 1950s.

libtears , 1 hour ago link

It seems to me those people are intent on killing each other at all costs. No need to get in their way and suffer casualties. Seems like a population reduction in that region might improve the world

Nexus789 , 49 minutes ago link

Your ignorance is amazing. Before the US interventions a number of these countries were going down the path of having secular governments. Many had mixed communities from a religious and ethnic perspective. US bastardry has cost the lives of tens of thousands of people.

libtears , 1 hour ago link

Aside from the countless us blunders in the middle east.. The core issues are rooted in the barbaric religious beliefs that have plagued the region since Mohammed rose to power.

Epstein101 , 1 hour ago link

Moses was considerably earlier, Bub.

http://www.unz.com/article/the-holy-hook/

libtears , 1 hour ago link

So what Bub. You believe in Moses? No thanks

Justin Case , 1 hour ago link

Let them figure it out. Why stick yoar hook nose into someone else's problems? Ah there is something in it for the special group, and the tab goes to the tax payers.

The politicians should set the example by sending their kids to woar first. Trillions wasted and what benefit has that been to the tax payers? No money for healthcare or education, pensions, infrastructure etc. Lotsa money available for killing people.

libtears , 1 hour ago link

Agreed. The Jews were a relatively recent reintroduction to the region. It was a **** hole long before this time. Try to blame it all on them but it's a weak point of view. Unless you are looking at the last 70 years. But that **** hole status goes back far beyond this time frame

Roger Casement , 1 hour ago link

Empire of the City - Brief

Empire of the City - Knuth

artistant , 1 hour ago link

ALL MidEast terrorism, shenanigans, and warmongering are for and by APARTHEID Israhell.

Element , 1 hour ago link

Where did this ridiculously unrealistic author get the idea that it was the USA's job to bringing peace to the ME?

Snap out of it fool.

capital101 , 1 hour ago link

With the dollar on it's way out,

when all you have left is a hammer,

everything feels like the last nail in the coffin.

This is what the smart money is doing

Nelbev , 1 hour ago link

Perpetual war was always the plan since Reagan days to break up OPEC or cause in-fighting and destablize region. Iran/Iraq war, first Gulf war, Iraq war, ISIS, Syrian conflict, Yemen, Sunni/Shitte division, feed the fire on unofficial decades old plan still ongoing by CIA and State Dept lifers. Perpetual war in Mid-East was always the plan.

Justin Case , 1 hour ago link

destablize region

That way you keep down the competition. What do you think all the demonizing efforts are against China and Russia now? They are countries murica can't conquer.

Murica is isolating itself and the USD.

Archeofuturist , 42 minutes ago link

Perpetual war is a fact of human existence.

"War is as natural for man as eat or mating"

cforeman44z , 1 hour ago link

https://www.magicalquote.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/WAR-IS-PEACE.png

Elliott Eldrich , 1 hour ago link

War is a racket.

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

JailBanksters , 2 hours ago link

Peace through superior firepower

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0708783/?ref_=tt_ch

Epstein101 , 2 hours ago link

The author of the referenced article is a prototypical Atlantic Council Zionist *** chickenhawk ******** artist who pisses swampwater - William F. Wechsler.

His concern is Greater Israel, not what is best for Americans.

Justin Case , 1 hour ago link

Just look at congress.

TheVoicesInYourHead , 3 minutes ago link

Why would anybody want to volunteer to join, or stay in, the USA military when they know they are only fighting on behalf of Israel?

Risu , 2 hours ago link

All humanity, including us, have the right to survive and defend ourselves from obliteration. To do this we must hit when hit, and harder to eliminate the attack. beyond that, we need not fight. God will is in charge, not ours.

We are at risk of non-survival when we fail to recognize the difference between what we feel responsibly for, and what we can actually control. That is why we need a border. Defnding it gives us a line behidn which we can produce, and be productive. Once we cross that line, we begin to fall into a morass.

Generation O , 2 hours ago link

How long did it take America to exit Vietnam? You would think America had money and men to burn with these fruitless wars. Who benefits other than the vampires of the military-industrial complex, owners of cemetaries, and those who produce and market the Intel community's distracting and criminally-produced films and television offerings?

JuliaS , 1 hour ago link

Vietnam War started back when dollar debt was redeemable in gold. Back then debts had impact and the war spending was felt almost immediately though its effect on the economy. War was partially responsible for closing of the gold window by Nixon. They couldn't fake sustainability otherwise.

yaridanjo , 2 hours ago link

Justin Case , 1 hour ago link

US power and influence as a "major threat."

I don't blame them. Look at all the invasions and coups since WWII. Theft of gold, resources, death and destruction and poverty follows. No moar competition.

I hate cunton , 2 hours ago link

obama

libtears , 2 hours ago link

Obamao

Roger Casement , 1 hour ago link

Tweaker

OldFuddyDuddy , 1 hour ago link

Error message

Roger Casement , 1 hour ago link

Try this scroll down to Hussein on the right.

SocratesSolves , 2 hours ago link

Washington? We know what our founding father said about the Jews. He was right. Today, and even before the Federal Reserve "Black Magic Act" of 1913: Washington = Israel. There is no America any longer. It was 911'd inside and out by the Joker *** cult. And after they 911'd you they did a Joker dance, didn't they?

Justin Case , 1 hour ago link

Maybe people will better understand Germany's struggles in the 30's

DirtySanchez , 2 hours ago link

Only a matter of time before weaponized foreign sovereign drones are flying above jusa coastal cities.

Shortly after the second and absolutely devastating second civil war in this 3rd world banana republic.

Hang every bush, clinton, and bozo family member, and their entire administrations and staff.

rahrog , 2 hours ago link

America's Ruling Class never intended to bring peace to the ME

TBT or not TBT , 2 hours ago link

To be fair, the Middle East has been Islamic for a solid millennium or more, and Islam...isn't peace.

besnook , 2 hours ago link

it was never paxamericana. it was always paxjudaica, in other words war and chaos called peace the way jewlanders roll with their zionazi cocksuckers in tow.

SocratesSolves , 2 hours ago link

besnook: EXACTLY right.

"They [the Jews] work more effectively against us, than the enemy's armies. They are a hundred times more dangerous to our liberties and the great cause we are engaged in... It is much to be lamented that each state, long ago, has not hunted them down as pest to society and the greatest enemies we have to the happiness of America." -- George Washington

ed_209 , 2 hours ago link

The meaning of peace is the absence of opposition to socialism. Karl Marx

Epstein101 , 2 hours ago link

THE BOLSHEVIK TAKEOVER OF THE WEST

Schroedingers Cat , 2 hours ago link

Our new flag.

https://www.reddit.com/r/vexillology/comments/5qnu1r/redesigns_the_divided_states_of_america/

2banana , 2 hours ago link

Anyone remember Cindy Sheehan?

She was a nightly fixture on the evening news under Bush.

Entirely disappeared under obama. Along with the daily war dead count.

For now, I will take "not a single new war started" DJT and not care how hard the democrats/fake legacy media scream with a Syrian pullout.

[Nov 21, 2019] Beginning in 2008, Vindman became a Foreign Area Officer specializing in Eurasia. In this capacity he served in the U.S. embassies in Kiev, Ukraine, and Moscow, Russia.

Nov 21, 2019 | www.unz.com

APilgrim , says: November 20, 2019 at 2:20 pm GMT

Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Semyon Vindman (né Aleksandr Semyonovich Vindman) and his identical twin brother, Yevgeny, were born to a Jewish family in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Soviet Union. After the death of their mother, the three-year-old twins and their older brother, Leonid, were brought to New York in December 1979 by their father, Semyon (Simon). They grew up in Brooklyn's 'Little-Odessa' neighborhood. The twins appear briefly with their maternal grandmother in the Ken Burns documentary The Statue of Liberty. Vindman speaks fluent Russian, Ukrainian (& probably Hebrew).

I will posit that Vindman holds citizenship in: Ukraine, USA, & Israel. Dual-Citizens violate US Law, to wit the 1940s Nationality Act. I will NOT delve into the tangled loyalties, ambitions and/or 'greatness' expectations of Colonel Vindman in this post.

Beginning in 2008, Vindman became a Foreign Area Officer specializing in Eurasia. In this capacity he served in the U.S. embassies in Kiev, Ukraine, and Moscow, Russia. Returning to Washington, D.C. he was then a politico-military affairs officer focused on Russia for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Vindman served on the Joint Staff at the Pentagon from September 2015 to July 2018.

APilgrim , says: November 20, 2019 at 3:15 pm GMT
The Honorable Gordon David Sondland, United States Ambassador to the European Union, is probably ending his stint, today.

Ambassador Sondland was born to a Jewish family in Seattle, Washington, the son of Frieda (Piepsch) and Gunther Sondland. His mother fled Europe before the Second World War to Uruguay, where after the war she reunited with his father, who had served in the French Foreign Legion. In 1953, the Sondlands relocated to Seattle where they opened a dry-cleaning business. Sondland has a sister 18 years his senior. He attended the University of Washington but dropped out and became a commercial real estate salesman.

Does Ambassador Sondland hold dual-citizenship? Dual citizenship violates the 1940 Nationalities Act.

RadicalCenter , says: November 20, 2019 at 5:01 pm GMT
@Arioch Germans will likely be fleeing Germany in fairly large numbers as the Islamic / African takeover picks up steam. Same for Swedes from Sweden (soonest), French from France, English from England.

Ukraine is emptying out and has cheap land and space for new housing to be built, or old houses to be replaced or thoroughly renovated. The Western Europeans need somewhere safer and more civilized to run now that they have invited hostile invaders into their countries. It could be a match made in heaven.

Ukraine could offer only permanent residency, not citizenship, and it could require that white euro refugees pay in advance for a year or two years of good private medical and dental insurance so that they don't burden the already-broke Ukrainian treasury.

Let the Germans and other euro reinvigorate the Ukrainian economy -- possibly for a steady two decades or more -- by buying supplies and hiring workers and machinery to build or renovate several million houses. They have savings and pensions and can afford a lot in Ukraine. The Ukrainian treasury would take in massive receipts in VAT and other taxes paid by the euro permanent residents and by newly employed Ukrainians working on the refugees' new homes.

Ukrainian hospitals and dental offices could upgrade their equipment, staff, training, and capabilities enormously with the ongoing infusion of western euro refugee funds.

The euro refugees needn't change the demographic and cultural composition of Ukraine much longer-term, because they will, at least at first, mostly be people age 55-60 and up who can afford to retire and give up their careers in their home countries to flee East. They'll be beyond their childbearing/raising years. And, if the Ukrainians are wise, the western euros will never be eligible for citizenship (I.e. they will never be able to vote the same suicide for Ukraine as many of them allowed in their home countries).

Far, far better for Ukrainians to (1) have their own children and (2) stop antagonizing russia and work out favorable energy and other trade deals. But since neither of those is happening or seems likely in the near future, Ukraine should seek a steady infusion of peaceful, reasonably intelligent, culturally compatible white Europeans to help occupy the territory (instead of hostile aliens, the alternative) and spend billions of Euros from Ukrainian businesses and shops.

Malacaay , says: November 20, 2019 at 5:17 pm GMT
*half of – correction of previous post.

This is what the concept of odious debt means:

Odious debt, also known as illegitimate debt, is when a country's government misappropriates money it has borrowed from another country. A nation's debt is considered odious debt when government leaders use borrowed funds in ways that do not benefit its citizens, and to the contrary, often oppress them. Many believe individuals or countries doing the lending must have known, or should have known, of the oppressive conditions upon offering the credit.

http://faculty.wcas.northwestern.edu/~sjv340/odious_debt.pdf

AnonFromTN , says: November 20, 2019 at 6:28 pm GMT
@RadicalCenter Putin would be too old in ten years. What Russia needs is a decent successor, as intelligent and far-sighted as Putin, who would be interested in the country more than in his pocket, like Putin. While traitorous scum like Gorby or Yeltsin has no chance, the greatest danger is that someone nationalistic but not particularly smart rises to the top.

Putin understands the key thing: Russia does not need to do anything about the Empire or its EU vassals, they are their own worst enemy. As the saying goes, when you see your enemy committing suicide, do not interfere.

As far as Baltic vaudeville states are concerned, to the best of my knowledge (which might be faulty: I only visited Russia three times in the last 28 years, spending less than two months total there), most Russian residents are not interested in the Baltics.

Now that the port at Ust-Luga works at almost full capacity, Baltics aren't even useful economically: Russian exports mostly bypass them. Besides, placing NATO troops into these "countries" creates a significant financial and military burden on NATO, which is in the best Russian interests.

So, from Russian perspective, the same rule applies to Baltics and Ukraine (whatever remains of it in 5-10 years): "you broke it – you own it". So, the West would have to do something about those territories. Considering current policies of the EU, they will be populated by Muslims and Africans. Russian attitudes changed a lot in the last decades regarding Baltics and in the last five years regarding Ukraine: a lot of Russians believe that even Muslims and Africans are smarter than aborigines of those wannabe countries, so would make more sensible neighbors.

Arioch , says: November 20, 2019 at 8:16 pm GMT
@Malacaay "Ukrainian Republic" in 1914 ??? With presidents, parliaments, elections, sure, sure.

And having western borders in 1914 exactly by the line draw by Georgian dictator Jugashvili-Stalin 25 years later?

With Lwow being in 1914 city not of Poland (independent Poland in 1914 is yet another gem) but of the said Ukrainian Republic? And Transcarpatian Ruthenia too?

Wow, so in 1939 Jugashvili-Stalin just restored well known internationally borderlines of the glorious 1914 Ukrainian Republic, right?

Pal, you are high, you are totally on substances!

Anon [301] Disclaimer , says: November 20, 2019 at 8:40 pm GMT
@Arioch You consider Ukraine to be irrelevant, so why spend so much time on it??? Odd isn't it. Methinks you protesteth too much. You haven't proven Ukrainians can't do science, that they don't have a technical culture, and you haven't shown that grain production is irrelevant. You're just insulting farmers, and basic industry. Insult your own stomach. Don't eat bread. Food is power. All industrial economies are based on agriculture. You dismissing it is just sour grapes.

Pretend the Ukraine is dead. That's your business. Ukraine hasn't lost the ability to do science, engineering, etc. What do you think they do in universities there? Is there no higher education there? I'm not going to believe that. You're just spinning. Spin away. It's obvious you're just dismissing real activity there.

The finality with which you dismiss the logistics possibilities of the Ukraine is odd. It is a valuable resource. The country can take up the logistics possibilities in the future. They haven't disappeared. And that is what your argument is based on. Pretending that something can never ever be operational again ever, for any reason, even when the possibilities are obviously still there. Germany bounced back after the war. Russia bounced back after the 90s. But Ukraine? According to you, Ukrainians can't ever have any future possibilities. You dismiss the real activity that is there, and you dismiss future possibilities. So you can read the future? Do you also pretend to have super human ability to know the future? You don't like facts, just theatrics. Lots of arm waving and shouting and gesticulating. No proofs. If it is dead in your books, why are you wasting so much effort to prove it, without actually giving any proof? You really do protest too much.

Seraphim , says: November 21, 2019 at 12:10 am GMT
@Mr. Hack Why would I be disappointed in seeing your puppet master Kolomoisky, the 'Zhidobandera', and his puppet playing the presidents, Zelenski admitting (grudgingly) that "They're stronger anyway. We have to improve our relations"?
K: "People want peace, a good life, they don't want to be at war. And you [the U.S.] are forcing us to be at war, and not even giving us the money for it."
And begging for money from Russia?
AnonFromTN , says: November 21, 2019 at 7:45 pm GMT
@Anon First, participation or results of International Mathematical Olympiad that both of your links deal with do not necessarily reflect the state of science in the country. First, math is only one of the real sciences (others include physics, chemistry, biology, etc.). Second, the results of kids reflect the potential of young people, not the state of scientific research in the country. Remaining scientists in Ukraine (there aren't many of them left, unless you count bullshitters like Vyatrovich as scientists) bitterly complain that the government does not fund science at the level that can help it survive.

BTW, many branches of Russian science (e.g., biochemistry and cell biology that I know best) do not perform at the level that would put them on the map. There are very few world-class biochemical or cell biological labs in Russia today, even fewer than in Soviet times. In Ukraine today there are none, zero, zilch, nada. There used to be some decent labs in Ukraine before 1991, but they either died out or the quality of their research went way down. Those who awarded PhD to the girl I mentioned above are not scientists, at least not the honest ones. They are qualified to sweep floors in college, at best.

Anon [231] Disclaimer , says: November 21, 2019 at 9:05 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN More protesteth too much. More slurs, insults, hearsay, flailing away with no data of any kind.

Those kids have real capabilities. Not simply 'potential of young people'. dismissing them won't make them go away. 'Out damn'd spot'. Too bad the facts won't go away. To have kids with strong math ability means you have to have institutions and teachers with strong education capability. They don't learn to cut it in math by playing in the streets. Obviously they will have no difficulty doing engineering calculations, and doing computer science and physical sciences.

Making comparisons to the former SU is not valid for me. Comparison to other similar sized economies makes more sense. Ukraine population is similar to Colombia, Spain, Argentina, Uganda, Algeria, Sudan, Iraq. Looking at those countries, the capabilities of Ukraine don't look too bad. Certainly not looking like Ukraine is dead.

Why would any one think that Ukraine must be compared to much larger economies??? The other guy was doing that too. saker is way off to make such comparisons.
Comparing Ukraine to US, China, Russia, or prior SU or UkrainianSSR for me is not a valid comparison. The economics are too different.

Anon [231] Disclaimer , says: November 21, 2019 at 9:27 pm GMT
It's obvious what is going on is simply a political, prejudicial smear and dismissal of the Ukraine and Ukrainians rather than any kind of balanced assessment of capabilities and reality
AnonFromTN , says: November 21, 2019 at 9:47 pm GMT
@Anon Yes, those kids certainly had good teachers. It is quite likely that their math teachers were educated in the Ukrainian SSR. I hear from a lot of people in Russia that the quality of the teachers who graduated in Soviet times tends to be better than of those who graduated later. I got my school education in Ukrainian SSR and can't complain about it. Today Lugansk, where I went to school, is in Lugansk People's Republic, and judging by recent polling of the population, its chances or returning to Ukraine are about as great as my chances of living 500 years. Ukrainian bomb hit the school I went to, and Ukrainian shell hit the library where I used to borrow books when I went to school. Luckily, a few years ago Ukrainian troops were pushed by freedom fighters far enough from Lugansk, so they can't shell it any more.

Comparing Ukraine to US, China, Russia, or prior SU or UkrainianSSR for me is not a valid comparison.

Sorry, but Ukraine started by Ukrainian SSR becoming independent. It had what it had, and lost what it lost, including a big chunk of the population and economy.

You are welcome to believe anything you want. People have a long history of believing the most preposterous things. However, even fervent beliefs don't change the reality. That's why all societies have lunatic asylums.

Corvinus , says: November 22, 2019 at 12:28 am GMT
@AnonFromTN "Their "liberties", including drunk NATO soldiers peeing on their monuments, are perfectly safe from Russia."

Indeed, if both remain independent nations....

[Nov 21, 2019] Carlton Meyer

Nov 21, 2019 | www.unz.com

says: Website November 17, 2019 at 6:31 am GMT How 98% of Americans feel about the Ukraine BS:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Evj_qduJY7U?feature=oembed Read More


Antares , says: November 17, 2019 at 9:42 am GMT

@Alfred I had the same thoughts. Zelenskii should show a similar coffin with the text "This one is still empty" and then start rounding up the terrorists. He finally has a good excuse.
Anon [424] Disclaimer , says: November 17, 2019 at 9:58 am GMT
Thank you Saker and Unz for the very interesting article .

I wonder what has been the role of Germany in the Ukrainian disaster . ...I have the feeling , just the suspicion , that they contributed to the ucranian disaster out of their genetic Drang nach Osten Nordic greed , is that right ?

Anyway since the Ukrainian disaster the cohesion of the EU is going going down . Germany which was gifted with the german reunification , is less and less trusted spetially in south Europe , and even less in the EU far west , in England which is going out of the EU .

Most of the people in the EU would like to keep collaborating with the US , of course , but also with Russia and with the rest of the world . Most of the people in the UE are scared of the dark forces operating in Ukraine trying to provoke a war with Russia .

As a curiosity in 1945 the jewery asked Stalin to give Crimea to the jews , Stalin refused .
https://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/164673/crimea-as-jewish-homeland

Z-man , says: November 17, 2019 at 10:21 am GMT
@Mr. Hack Do you work for Victoria Nudleman?
awry , says: November 17, 2019 at 10:41 am GMT
The stupid name-calling like the term "ukronazi" makes this article look like a rant like North Korean communiques or the ravings of some Arab despot's propagandist. It is not better than calling "The Saker" a "Moskal", "Sovok" or "Putler's stooge" etc. He should keep this lingo to directly "debating" "Ukronazis" on twitter or youtube commentst etc. not for an article that is supposed to be a serious analysis.
I understand that it is hard for a Russian nationalist to accept that the majority of Ukrainians don't want to belong to their dream Russkiy Mir, they were seduced by the West, which is more attractive with all its failings, because mostly of simple materialistic reasons. Ukrainians happily go to EU countries that now allow them in as guest workers. The fact, like it or not that majority of them chose the West over Russkiy Mir despite being very close to Russians in culture, language, history etc. He is still in the first stage of grief it seems.
Beckow , says: November 17, 2019 at 12:38 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack Touching. (Really, no sarcasm implied.)

All in all, Ukrainians are probably way above average in most human characteristics. The area of Ukraine is by planetary standards one of the best available: arable land, great rivers, Black see, pleasant and liveable.

But it is 2019 and life in Ukraine is barely better than it was 25-50 years ago, population has actually dropped from its peak in early 1990's. Millions of Ukrainians live abroad (I know some of them) and have – to be polite – at best an ambivalent attitude towards their homeland. Almost all of them prefer to be somewhere else, even to become someone else.

Now why is that? A normal society would have enough introspection to discuss this, to look for answers. Throwing a temper-tantrum on a big square in Kiev every few years is not looking for a solution. That is escapism, Orange-this, Maidan-that, 'Russians bad', 'we are going West', 'golden toilets', and always 'Stalin did it'.

I don't agree with the facile name-calling that sees Nazis everywhere and exaggerates throw-away symbolism. But Ukraine has not been functioning and it can't go like this much longer. Not because it will collapse, it won't, but because during an era of general prosperity Ukraine can't be a unstable exception (oh, I get it, they are better than Moldova, good for them.)

Rebellions against geography are doomed. Projecting one's personal frustrations on external enemies (Kremlin!) has never worked. Ukraine needs rationality – accepting that they will not be in EU, that attempting to join Nato would destroy Ukraine, and that they can't beat Russia in a war. And following advise of half-mad and half-ignorant well-wishers from Washington or Brussels is a road to ruin. Nulands, Bidens and Tusks will never live in Ukraine, they really deeply don't care about it. They have no skin in that game, it is just entertainment for them.

Or alternatively you can pray that Russia collapses – good luck waiting for that.

Beckow , says: November 17, 2019 at 12:47 pm GMT
@Anon

.genetic drang nach osten nordic greed

There is not much 'drang' left in Germany, so I think this is mostly fingers on the ma