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Neoconservatism

Neocons are attack dogs of neoliberalism and lobbyists for MIC:  "national security parasites".

"Being  a neoconservative should receive at least as much vitriolic societal rejection as being a Ku Klux Klan member or a child molester" Caitlin Johnstone

"There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare." ~Sun Tzu

News American Imperialism, Transnational Capitalist Class and Globalization of Capitalism Recommended Links Wolfowitz Doctrine American Exceptionalism Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA
Blob attacks Trump: Viper nest of neocons in state department fuels Ukraingate Adam Schiff Witch Hunt Nancy Pelosi impeachment gambit Was Eric Ciaramella a part of Obama/Brennan "Trump Task force" ? Alexander Vindman role in Ukrainegate House Democrats attempt to backstab Barr and derail his investigation into the origin of Russiagate
New American Militarism "F*ck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place Anatol Leiven on American Messianism Demonization of Putin Anti Trump Hysteria Anti-Russian hysteria
The Great Democratic Party Betrayal: Pro-War Democrats as Vichy Left War is Racket Predator state Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton Obama: a yet another Neocon National Socialism and Military Keysianism
James Burnham -- renegade Trotskyite and American Machiavelli Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Noble Lie Neocons Credibility Scam Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Nation under attack meme
Ciaramella as potential fake whistleblower, the sacrificial pawn for Brennan Blob attackes Trum: Viper nest of neocons in state department fuels Ukraingate Robert Kagan Bill Kristol Samantha Power Susan Rice
Eastern European Diaspora influence on the USA foreign policy Max Boot Madeleine Albright Alexander Vindman role in Ukrainegate Alexandra Chalupa role in fueling Russiagate  
Media-Military-Industrial Complex National Security State / Surveillance State Senator McCain Conservatives Without Conscience  Gangster Capitalism: The United States and the Globalization of Organized Crime Merkel as Soft Cop in Neocon Offensive on Eastern Europe and Russia
Neoliberalism as a New form of Corporatism Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism IMF as the key institution for neoliberal debt enslavement Machiavellism Mayberry Machiavellians Power abroad rests on justice and decency at home
Leo Strauss and the Neocons Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime Two Party System as polyarchy Neoliberal Propaganda: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few Krauthammer
Color revolutions Neoliberal Compradors and lumpenelite From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss Russian White Revolution of 2011-2012 PNAC  
The Deep State War is a Racket - Incredible Essay by General Smedley Butler Media domination strategy Bureaucracy as a Political Coalition Bureaucratic avoidance of responsibility Bureaucratic Collectivism
Fighting Russophobia Neo-fascism Anti-Americanism Torture Politically Incorrect Humor Etc

Due to the size an introduction was converted to a separate page Neoconservatism, an introduction

Years ago, whilst this reactionary putsch was still in it's infancy,
 my mom would listen to the "news" on the local CBS affiliate,
and many times I heard her gasp and say, referring to the "reporters"
jabbering, "My God, they're a bunch of dopes!"

The dopes areascendant; stupid, scared, violent-minded, and very well-paid.

Comment from Veteran NBC-MSNBC Journalist Blasts Network in Resignation

Neoconservatives, which like Bolsheviks in the past are mostly Jewish intellectuals, are frequently described as ideologues with pro-Israel and anti-Russian bent, but the truth is that they are far more interested in gaining access to money and power. Most of them are useless smacks with degree in journalism or history and they would starve if not fed by military industrial complex. Being a lobbyist of military industrial complex is the only job they can get. Add to that that most of them are personal cowards and chicken hawks and you get the picture: they are just bottom-feeders. "National security parasites" is a very apt definition for this category of people.

The ideology of Neoconservatism was explicitly formulated in Wolfowitz Doctrine which contains the key postulates of Neoconservatism in foreign policy. They can be summarized as "America has, and intends to keep, military strengths beyond challenge". That partially explains unprecedented level of military expenses of the USA since 1991 (after the dissolution of the USSR) when, effectively, the USA has not external enemies and those money can be used to improve well being of common people in the USA. But neoliberal elite engage in building global neoliberal empire rules from Washington and that empire needed the dominant military force to protect and  expand it .  From other  point of view that was an attempt of the US MIC to preserve its position acquired during the Cold War, if necessary by inventing or creating a new threats.  Neocons just happen perfectly suit the role of lobbyists of MIC interest in Washington  and thus were financially and politically supported by MIC.

Large part of neocons consist of so-called "elite-wannabes," often well-educated and highly capable, who has been denied access to elite positions and who decided to use warmongering backdoor to get there.

Proselytizing their own brand of global regime change is just a mean to sustain the access to funds and political power.  They know perfectly well which side of the bread is buttered and by whom.   We can suspect that for many of them (Max Boot is a good example here) access to money from MIC and Israel lobby is the primary driving force. Often they are viewed as Likud lobby in the USA:  "The definition of a neocon is somebody who has great difficulty distinguishing between the strategic interests of Israel, on the one hand, and the strategic interests of the United States on the other. Israel wants bedlam in Syria, and they’ve got it." ( Israel lobby in the United States - Wikipedia ):

The formal component of the Israel lobby consists of organized lobby groups, political action committees (PACs), think tanks and media watchdog groups. The Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks all lobbies and PACs, describes the ‘background’ of those ‘Pro-Israel’ as, “A nationwide network of local political action committees, generally named after the region their donors come from, supplies much of the pro-Israel money in US politics. Additional funds also come from individuals who bundle contributions to candidates favored by the PACs. The donors' unified goal is to build stronger US-Israel relations and to support Israel in its negotiations and armed conflicts with its Arab neighbors.”[24]

According to Mitchell Bard, there are, three key formal lobbying groups:

... ... ...

A summary of pro-Israel campaign donations for the period of 1990–2008 collected by Center for Responsive Politics indicates current totals and a general increase in proportional donations to the US Republican party since 1996.[46] The Center for Responsive Politics' 1990–2006 data shows that "pro-Israel interests have contributed $56.8 million in individual, group and soft money donations to federal candidates and party committees since 1990."[47] In contrast, Arab-Americans and Muslim PACs contributed slightly less than $800,000 during the same (1990–2006) period.[48] In 2006, 60% of the Democratic Party’s fundraising and 25% of that for the Republican Party's fundraising came from Jewish-funded PACs. According to a Washington Post estimate, Democratic presidential candidates depend on Jewish sources for as much as 60% of money raised from private sources.[49]

... ... ...

AIPAC does not give donations directly to candidates, but those who donate to AIPAC are often important political contributors in their own right. In addition, AIPAC helps connect donors with candidates, especially to the network of pro-Israel political action committees. AIPAC president Howard Friedman says “AIPAC meets with every candidate running for Congress. These candidates receive in-depth briefings to help them completely understand the complexities of Israel’s predicament and that of the Middle East as a whole. We even ask each candidate to author a ‘position paper’ on their views of the US-Israel relationship – so it’s clear where they stand on the subject.”[43]

.... ... ...

Mearsheimer and Walt state that “pro-Israel figures have established a commanding presence at the American Enterprise Institute, the Center for Security Policy, the Foreign Policy Research Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Hudson Institute, the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA). These think tanks are all decidedly pro-Israel and include few, if any, critics of US support for the Jewish state.”[50]

When strategic interests of Israeli (for example remaking of the Middle East so that Israel can exercise dominant power in this region; which includes fragmentation of several existing states) deviate from the strategic interests of the USA (which mostly are interested in uninterruptable supply of cheap oil) neocons do betray the USA national interests with ease. The US-Israel relationship significantly damages the relationship between the United States and the Arab world. They also were serving as propagandists and influencers for all recent Middle East military adventures and regime change efforts.  Recently that was the case in Syria: in no way Assad government represented a threat to the USA interests. Still the pressure of "likudniks" was such that the USA engaged in the "regime change" efforts.

But in reality they should be viewed more like lobbing group of MIC then lobbing group of Israel. As well as transnational corporations interested in opening new markets. But recently facts that Israel spend large sums on money on trying to influence the USA politicians came to light and to this extent one gets impression that the tail is wagging the dog. 

They should probably be viewed as the lobbying and propaganda arm of military industrial complex. Is both Republican and Democratic Party position themselves as a "War Party" they represent an important political force on the USA political landscape.  The fact that some of staunch neocons  such  as Max Boot recently defected to Democratic Party just confirm the fact that in forign policy there is only one party in the usa -- the neocon party. 

And there is not much conservative in neocon ideology -- it is basically a revamped Trotskyism, if not neo-fascism. Just look at Nuland's fraternization with Ukrainian far right nationalists despite her Jewish roots (and despite the fact that this movement was hell-bent on killing Jewish people during WWII and served as capos in concentration camps). This was not accidental; this was a conscious political choice -- they are birds of the feather.

Ideologically they are a more militant flavor of neoliberals ("neoliberals with the gun", so to speak). They also are more openly statist, then a typical neoliberal. But their neo-Trotskyites roots are mostly demonstrated in foreign policy (they do not have a coherent domestic policy; but generally their views in this area are more aligned with the  Democratic Party than Republican Party views). 

All-in-all, we will essentially view them as lobbyists of MIC, "neoliberals with a gun".


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[Mar 28, 2020] This Pandemic Is Exposing The Futility Of The National Security State by Andrew Bacevich

Mar 28, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Andrew Bacevich via TomDispatch.com,

Americans are facing "A Spring Unlike Any Before." So warned a front-page headline in the March 13th New York Times .

That headline, however hyperbolic, was all too apt. The coming of spring has always promised relief from the discomforts of winter. Yet, far too often, it also brings its own calamities and afflictions.

According to the poet T.S. Eliot, "April is the cruelest month." Yet while April has certainly delivered its share of cataclysms , March and May haven't lagged far behind. In fact, cruelty has seldom been a respecter of seasons. The infamous influenza epidemic of 1918 , frequently cited as a possible analogue to our current crisis, began in the spring of that year, but lasted well into 1919.

That said, something about the coronavirus pandemic does seem to set this particular spring apart. At one level, that something is the collective panic now sweeping virtually the entire country. President Trump's grotesque ineptitude and tone-deafness have only fed that panic. And in their eagerness to hold Trump himself responsible for the pandemic, as if he were the bat that first transmitted the disease to a human being, his critics magnify further a growing sense of events spinning out of control.

Yet to heap the blame for this crisis on Trump alone (though he certainly deserves plenty of blame) is to miss its deeper significance. Deferred for far too long, Judgment Day may at long last have arrived for the national security state.

ORIGINS OF A COLOSSUS

That state within a state's origins date from the early days of the Cold War. Its ostensible purpose has been to keep Americans safe and so, by extension, to guarantee our freedoms. From the 1950s through the 1980s, keeping us safe provided a seemingly adequate justification for maintaining a sprawling military establishment along with a panoply of "intelligence" agencies -- the CIA, the DIA, the NRO, the NSA -- all engaged in secret activities hidden from public view. From time to time, the scope, prerogatives, and actions of that conglomeration of agencies attracted brief critical attention -- the Cuban Bay of Pigs fiasco in 1961, the Vietnam War of the 1960s and early 1970s, and the Iran-Contra affair during the presidency of Ronald Reagan being prime examples. Yet at no time did such failures come anywhere close to jeopardizing its existence.

Indeed, even when the implosion of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War removed the original justification for its creation, the entire apparatus persisted. With the Soviet Empire gone, Russia in a state of disarray, and communism having lost its appeal as an alternative to democratic capitalism, the managers of the national security state wasted no time in identifying new threats and new missions.

The new threats included autocrats like Panama's Manuel Noriega and Iraq's Saddam Hussein, once deemed valuable American assets, but now, their usefulness gone, classified as dangers to be eliminated. Prominent among the new missions was a sudden urge to repair broken places like the Balkans, Haiti, and Somalia, with American power deployed under the aegis of "humanitarian intervention" and pursuant to a "responsibility to protect." In this way, in the first decade of the post-Cold War era, the national security state kept itself busy. While the results achieved, to put it politely, were mixed at best, the costs incurred appeared tolerable. In sum, the entire apparatus remained impervious to serious scrutiny.

During that decade, however, both the organs of national security and the American public began taking increased notice of what was called "anti-American terrorism" -- and not without reason. In 1993, Islamic fundamentalists detonated a bomb in a parking garage of New York's World Trade Center . In 1996, terrorists obliterated an apartment building used to house US military personnel in Saudi Arabia. Two years later, the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were blown up and, in 2000, suicide bombers nearly sank the USS Cole , a Navy destroyer making a port call in Aden at the tip of the Arabian peninsula. To each of these increasingly brazen attacks, all occurring during the administration of President Bill Clinton, the national security state responded ineffectually .

Then, of course, came September 11, 2001. Orchestrated by Osama bin Laden and carried out by 19 suicidal al-Qaeda operatives, this act of mass murder inflicted incalculable harm on the United States. In its wake, it became common to say that "9/11 changed everything."

In fact, however, remarkably little changed. Despite its 17 intelligence agencies, the national security state failed utterly to anticipate and thwart that devastating attack on the nation's political and financial capitals. Yet apart from minor adjustments -- primarily expanding surveillance efforts at home and abroad -- those outfits mostly kept doing what they had been doing, even as their leaders evaded accountability. After Pearl Harbor, at least, one admiral and one general were fired . After 9/11, no one lost his or her job. At the upper echelons of the national security state, the wagons were circled and a consensus quickly formed: No one had screwed up.

Once President George W. Bush identified an " Axis of Evil " (Iraq, Iran, and North Korea), three nations that had had nothing whatsoever to do with the 9/11 attacks, as the primary target for his administration's "Global War on Terrorism," it became clear that no wholesale reevaluation of national security policy was going to occur. The Pentagon and the Intelligence Community, along with their sprawling support network of profit-minded contractors, could breathe easy. All of them would get ever more money. That went without saying. Meanwhile, the underlying premise of US policy since the immediate aftermath of World War II -- that projecting hard power globally would keep Americans safe -- remained sacrosanct.

Viewed from this perspective, the sequence of events that followed was probably overdetermined. In late 2001, US forces invaded Afghanistan, overthrew the Taliban regime, and set out to install a political order more agreeable to Washington. In early 2003, with the mission in Afghanistan still anything but complete, US forces set out to do the same in Iraq. Both of those undertakings have dragged on, in one fashion or another, without coming remotely close to success. Today, the military undertaking launched in 2001 continues, even if it no longer has a name or an agreed-upon purpose.

Nonetheless, at the upper echelons of the national security state, the consensus forged after 9/11 remains firmly in place: No one screws up. In Washington, the conviction that projecting hard power keeps Americans safe likewise remains sacrosanct.

In the nearly two decades since 9/11, willingness to challenge this paradigm has rarely extended beyond non-conforming publications like TomDispatch . Until Donald Trump came along, rare was the ambitious politician of either political party who dared say aloud what Trump himself has repeatedly said -- that, as he calls them, the " ridiculous endless wars " launched in response to 9/11 represent the height of folly.

Astonishingly enough, within the political establishment that point has still not sunk in. So, in 2020, as in 2016, the likely Democratic nominee for president will be someone who vigorously supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Imagine, if you will, Democrats in 1880 nominating not a former union general (as they did) but a former confederate who, 20 years before, had advocated secession. Back then, some sins were unforgivable. Today, politicians of both parties practice self-absolution and get away with it.

THE REAL THREAT

Note, however, the parallel narrative that has unfolded alongside those post-9/11 wars. Taken seriously, that narrative exposes the utter irrelevance of the national security state as currently constituted. The coronavirus pandemic will doubtless prove to be a significant learning experience. Here is one lesson that Americans cannot afford to overlook.

Presidents now routinely request and Congress routinely appropriates more than a trillion dollars annually to satisfy the national security state's supposed needs. Even so, Americans today do not feel safe and, to a degree without precedent, they are being denied the exercise of basic everyday freedoms. Judged by this standard, the apparatus created to keep them safe and free has failed. In the face of a pandemic, nature's version of an act of true terror, that failure, the consequences of which Americans will suffer through for months to come, should be seen as definitive.

But wait, some will object: Don't we find ourselves in uncharted waters? Is this really the moment to rush to judgment? In fact, judgment is long overdue.

While the menace posed by the coronavirus may differ in scope, it does not differ substantively from the myriad other perils that Americans have endured since the national security state wandered off on its quixotic quest to pacify Afghanistan and Iraq and purge the planet of terrorists. Since 9/11, a partial roster of those perils would include: Hurricane Katrina (2005), Hurricane Sandy (2012), Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria (2017), and massive wildfires that have devastated vast stretches of the West Coast on virtually an annual basis. The cumulative cost of such events exceeds a half-trillion dollars. Together, they have taken the lives of several thousand more people than were lost in the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Earlier generations might have written all of these off as acts of God. Today, we know better. As with blaming Trump, blaming God won't do. Human activities, ranging from the hubristic reengineering of rivers like the Mississippi to the effects of climate change stemming from the use of fossil fuels, have substantially exacerbated such "natural" catastrophes.

And unlike faraway autocrats or terrorist organizations, such phenomena, from extreme-weather events to pandemics, directly and immediately threaten the safety and wellbeing of the American people. Don't tell the Central Intelligence Agency or the Joint Chiefs of Staff but the principal threats to our collective wellbeing are right here where we live.

Apart from modest belated efforts at mitigation, the existing national security state is about as pertinent to addressing such threats as President Trump's cheery expectations that the coronavirus will simply evaporate once warmer weather appears. Terror has indeed arrived on our shores and it has nothing to do with al-Qaeda or ISIS or Iranian-backed militias. Americans are terrorized because it has now become apparent that our government, whether out of negligence or stupidity, has left them exposed to dangers that truly put life and liberty at risk. As it happens, all these years in which the national security state has been preoccupied with projecting hard power abroad have left us naked and vulnerable right here at home.

Protecting Americans where they live ought to be the national security priority of our time. The existing national security state is incapable of fulfilling that imperative, while its leaders, fixated on waging distant wars, have yet to even accept that they have a responsibility to do so.

Worst of all, even in this election year, no one on the national political scene appears to recognize the danger now fully at hand.

[Mar 27, 2020] Now's the Time to Become a Truly 'America First' Military by Doug Bandow

Mar 26, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
|

12:01 am

Congress is preparing to vote to spend trillions of dollars Washington doesn't have to keep afloat an economy staggering under the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Even before Uncle Sam was hopelessly overdrawn, expecting to run an annual trillion dollar deficit well into the future.

Yet the bipartisan war lobby continues to promote confrontation and conflict with nations as diverse as Venezuela, Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, and China. Even in good economic times it was increasingly difficult to underwrite Washington's attempt to run the world. Today the effort is pure folly.

Last year the Congressional Budget Office published The 2019 Long-Term Budget Outlook . Among the conclusions of this profoundly depressing read:

Uncle Sam's fiscal collapse has been swift. Noted CBO, at the end of 2007 federal debt was but 35 percent of GDP (not counting intra-government borrowing tied to Social Security). However, "By the end of 2012, debt as a share of GDP had doubled, reaching 70 percent. The upward trajectory has generally continued since then, and debt is projected to be 78 percent of GDP by the end of this year -- a very high level by historical standards." The average over the last half century was just 42 percent.

Washington's spendthrift ways when economic growth was strong make more difficult responding to the latest economic crisis. The long-term prognosis is dismal. The better case, suggested CBO, was to "Increase the likelihood of less abrupt, but still significant, negative economic and financial effects, such as expectations of higher rates of inflation and more difficulty financing public and private activity to international markets."

Worse, however, federal improvidence could "Increase the risk of a fiscal crisis -- that is, a situation in which the interest rate on federal debt rises abruptly because investors have lost confidence in the U.S. government's fiscal position." That is increasingly likely. Already, figures economic Laurence Kotlikoff at Boston University, the federal government has unfunded liabilities, or a "fiscal gap," of $239 trillion -- promises made with no money to meet them.

There is no easy solution. Revenues already are projected to rise as a share of GDP and above the average over the last half century. Washington is spending ever faster than it is taxing.

To cut, presidents and Congresses typically focus on domestic discretionary spending, but that only makes up about 15 percent of federal outlays. Eliminate it -- stop paying federal employees, close the Washington monument, end all federal grants, and slash everything else -- the deficit remains. Five program areas make up the rest of the budget: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, interest, and the military.

America's growing elderly population is unlikely to sacrifice benefits seniors believe they have paid for. There is no cheap way to fund health care for the poor. Only repudiating the national debt can lower interest payments by fiat. Draconian cuts are unlikely in any let alone all of them.

Which leaves military outlays. Much of current spending has nothing to do with "defense." Today America is constantly at war, but usually to attack rather than defend. Even when "defense" is theoretically the objective, Washington is protecting other nations, mostly prosperous, populous allies, rather than the U.S.

The result is extraordinarily high expenditures, since it costs far more to project power to the far reaches of the globe than to prevent other nations from harming America. Indeed, the Pentagon budget should be seen as the price of Washington's highly interventionist foreign policy, which sees every other nations' problems as America's own.

Last year the president requested $718 billion for the military in 2020, a two percent real, inflation-adjusted increase. Although the administration projected no real rise through 2024, the real growth rate between 2017 and 2020 had been 3.5 percent. Moreover, observed CBO, "the cost of DOD's plans would increase by 13 percent from 2024 to 2034, after adjusting for inflation." Based on historical experience, the agency figured that actual spending likely "could be about two higher than DOD estimates and about four percent higher from 2020 to 2034."

That likely is the floor. The bipartisan war lobby is constantly pushing to do and spend more. In 2018 the congressionally mandated National Defense Strategy Commission urged real increases of between three and five percent annually. Reported CBO, the consequences of such a hike, "starting from the 2017 budget request, would result in a defense budget of between $822 billion and $958 billion (in 2020 dollars) by 2025, and between $1.1 trillion and $1.5 trillion (in 2020 dollars) by 2034."

For what would this cash tsunami be used?

The Constitution sets the "common defense" as a core federal responsibility. That actually is rather easy today. The U.S. is geographically secure, with large oceans east and west and weak, peaceful neighbors south and north.

The only other state with an equal nuclear force capable of destroying America is Russia, which has no reason to do so and a good reason not to, since it would be destroyed in response. No hostile power might is going to dominate Eurasia. Moscow can't. Anyway, its security objectives appear to be much more mundane, ensuring that the West takes its interests into account. Europe can't and couldn't imagine doing so.

Which leaves the People's Republic of China. It might become America's military peer, but even then it won't be able to conquer or cow nuclear-armed Russia or more distant, economically advanced Europe. Beijing's Asian neighbors are well able to deter aggression, especially if, someday, they develop nuclear weapons. China's "threat" to the U.S., if it should be called that, is that the PRC might gain the sort of dominant influence in its neighborhood that America enjoys in the Western hemisphere. Discomfiting for Washington, yes. Existential threat to the U.S., no. And probably not worth fighting a largescale conventional and possibly nuclear war over.

The Middle East has lost its strategic significance as the oil market has diversified. Israel is able to deter attack, eliminating a heretofore major political issue in Washington. Africa holds economic promise and raises humanitarian concerns, but rests at the bottom of America's security list. Latin America will always gain U.S. attention but little that happens there will matter much to North America's global colossus.

Yet the supposedly isolationist-leaning Trump administration is anything but. The U.S. recently verged on war with Iran as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other administration hawks pushed to retaliate against Tehran for attacks by pro-Iran militias in Iraq, which Washington continues to occupy. The U.S. underwrites Saudi Arabia's brutal, aggressive war against Yemen and has sent troops to act as the royal family's bodyguards against Iran. The U.S. has steadily increased its force presence and fiscal outlays to confront Russia in Europe.

Despite his professed desire to leave Syria, the president ordered the illegal occupation of Syrian oil fields; his officials hope to use that presence to confront the Damascus government as well as Iran and Russia. This week Pompeo flew to Afghanistan to revive a "peace" agreement that, after nearly two decades of combat, can be effectively enforced only with a continued U.S. military presence.

Under congressional pressure, the administration has temporized over Pentagon proposals to withdraw forces from numerous conflicts across Africa. Venezuela remains in crisis but in opposition to America, with military intervention oft proposed as the remedy. Before talking with North Korea the president threatened "fire and fury." The administration is taking an increasingly hard line against China, raising military as well as economic and diplomatic tensions.

Required is a truly America First defense. The U.S. should focus on preventing hostile threats to this hemisphere, while being ready to sustain critical allies if they face threats from hegemonic powers potentially dangerous to America. Washington has other interests, but advancing them normally would be matters of choice, rarely, if ever, warranting military action.

Washington would reduce its force structure and military outlays accordingly. The biggest cuts would be made in the army, while placing greater emphasis on the Reserves. The U.S. would become something much closer to a "normal country."

Today America is following an imperial policy without an empire's resources. Alas, the federal government is essentially bankrupt, facing nothing but red ink in coming years and decades. Ultimately domestic outlays must be curbed. But military spending which does not advance the "common defense" also should be slashed. The U.S. no longer can afford to play-act as global gendarme.

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. He is a former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan and author of several books, including Foreign Follies: America's New Global Empire .


Amicus Brevis 2 days ago • edited

Even before Uncle Sam was hopelessly overdrawn, expecting to run an annual trillion dollar deficit well into the future.

Donald Trump has been mimicking the Reagan economic policy of "borrow and spend"
Now we are faced with another crash and we have no choice - but we never paid off any of the debt or closed the budget deficit. I cannot imagine that anyone believes that "Borrow when things are good and borrow more when they are bad!", is sustainable.

Gutbomb Amicus Brevis a day ago • edited
Yes. That has been the economic elephant in the room for decades, especially in the last twenty years. With every crisis we are less prepared to spend our way out of it than the last time. We were in a smoking hot economy with a mature bull market and yet running higher deficits than ever (with continuously low interest rates), while essentially ignoring our core problems at home (infrastructure, health care) and spending shocking amounts of money in wars that do us no good. Now things are exponentially worse. It's inexcusable. Every bit of it.
Amicus Brevis Gutbomb a day ago
Yes, the wars and continual low level conflicts represent the absolute worst of our irresponsible spending. In my view, that is indisputable and therefore ripe for calling out as you do. And not even the hyper-partisans of either side can find a flaw in your argument. I would just like to add that the contribution of low level conflicts to the problem is greatly underrated. They amount to trillions over decades.
Feral Finster Gutbomb a day ago
Notice how the crises seem to be happening more and more frequently, even though the emergency measures from the last crisis never get fully phased out? What are we on now, QE 4.0 or is it 5.0?
Gutbomb Feral Finster a day ago
Two trillion here, three trillion there. The numbers stop meaning anything, especially since we're putting the debt on the national credit card and our children and grandchildren will be the ones to suffer under its weight, while we carry on unawares. This ruse can continue until the creditors turn off the spigot. By then, I suppose our elites will have wired out their cash, packed up their things, and schlepped off to foreign lands leaving the dehydrated shell of this nation behind.
Feral Finster Amicus Brevis a day ago
Keynesian "save during good times to spend during bad times" actually makes sense, if you have a treasury with the discipline to stick to it.

After all, we already have socialism in the United States right now. Just it's socialism for the rich.

Astral Traveller a day ago
1 trillion for "shovel ready" and now 2.5 trillion for the horrible COV19 infection at the Kennedy center and NPR. What's to worry about?
kalendjay Astral Traveller a day ago
These fat college endowments, which do nothing to reduce tuition or increase admissions, they can't pay for Kennedy Center?
Tom Sadlowski a day ago • edited
Taxes? No where in the article does it recommend the obvious: return to the prior rate of taxation that existed even two decades ago, let alone three or four. Perhaps having Amazon pay taxes would be a step in the right direction? Then, mandating that all employers have to pay for health insurance and benefits for their employees, rather than skirting the issue by limiting their hours (Walmart, Amazon, Home Depot, Lowes, McDonalds, CVS, etc), while raising the minimum hourly wage to a level where a family could live off of. Add in taxing the wealthy back to prior levels, and restoring the inheritance tax. Put a cap on executive pay and benefits. Restrict stock market selling, eliminating short selling and other modern inventions which creates a more volatile market, as well as companies grossly manipulated and over-valued. Then stop socializing risks, and privatizing profits; either choose true socialism or true capitalism, or perhaps inverse the concerns for once. Stop letting private companies mine American assets for their private profit. Support small businesses as the foundation of our economy, which will instill innovation. Eliminate incentives to private companies without any return (NY state gave Tesla over $1 Billion to build a largely automated factory, where is the incentive for the state?). -- The root of this issue requires transformative change, with a paradigm shift of how American culture conducts itself. What nation do we wish to be?
Feral Finster Tom Sadlowski a day ago
but but but making companies pay taxes is communism! /sarc/
Feral Finster a day ago
Look at government debt as a percentage of GDP and US trade deficits from 2008-2020.

That's the "amazing Obama recovery!" (for Team D cultists) and the "Astounding Trump economy!" (for Team R cultists) right there.

Rkramden66 Feral Finster a day ago
Why begin at 2008? let's look at 2000-2020. Afghan and Iraq wars plus the Great Big Cheney Tax Cuts and the Cheney TARP bailout were significant contributors. Got the ball rolling, as it were.

Obama was a big disappointment to me, especially with how quickly he folded to the MIC, but standing next to Bush/Cheney and Trump, he was a pillar of financial and personal rectitude, IMO. At least he occasionally addressed average Americans as though he thought some of us might be adults,

Now, standing expectantly in line, we see Joe Biden. It is enough to make me want to drink heavily, or worse...

Feral Finster Rkramden66 a day ago
No argument there regarding economics. For that matter, we could go back to 1980 if you like. Or even 1965, when LBJ started running bigger deficits to pay for the War on Vietnam and The Great Society simultaneously.

I chose 2008 because that was when the purported Great Recovery began, and because the recovery accelerated the trends we have been seeing since before I was born, throwing them into even sharper relief.

Feral Finster Rkramden66 a day ago
Found on internet:

"I remember when the dems had control of the house, senate, and presidency under Obama. I remember Obama choosing to fill his cabinet with people not tied in with wall street. I remember how hard dems fought to get single payer health care and to protect SS, Medicare, Medicaid, and workers' rights. I remember how they bailed out the people first and then gave a little help to wall street. I remember how Obama saved 10 million families from foreclosure and losing their homes and kept small businesses afloat with interest-free loans. I remember how Obama and Biden put on their comfortable shoes and walked the picket lines with the teachers in Wisconsin. I remember how obama's justice dept. prosecuted the wall street gang responsible for the great recession. I remember how Obama protected whistleblowers like Ed Snowden and Chelsea Manning. I remember that when democrats ran into obstruction by the republicans, they stood firm on their principles and fought for the american people. {{{alarm clock}}} Wait, what? (wipes eyes) I had a dream ."

https://www.nakedcapitalism...

Rkramden66 Feral Finster 20 hours ago • edited
Well, I guess that counts as one person's opinion, doesn't it? But is it supposed to prove something?

I'm sure I could find plenty of unsympathetic interpretations of Obama, if I took a few hours to do it. Lord knows I've read many, and I even said he was a disappointment to me. I'm not even going to comb the internet to prove or disprove any, let alone all, of those loaded assertions from that website.

Sure, it was very telling that they didn't jail any of the Wall Street bandits.But I must say, "...walked the picket lines with the teachers in Wisconsin..." is really a howler. Jesus Christ, what president ever would have done anything like that?! Plus that was in 2011. i don't know who nakedcapitalism.com is, but that point would get laughed out of a junior high school debate. I have no doubt, though, that the writer really hates Obama.

If you're trying to intimate that both parties are the same as to sharing an overwhelming commitment to global capitalism and the primacy of the military-indiustrial complex as a vehicle for world hegemony, then I agree with you. If you're making the point that Obama was the same breed of cat as Bush/Cheney and Trump, I'm sorry, but I must demur.

Those guys are provable, life-long hustlers, scumbags and underachievers. Obama was a wide-eyed, idealistic (relatively) guy who found out that winning an election didn't really make him all that powerful.

If the Obama presidency changed my mind about anything, it was that. That is, at this point, changing the power structure is beyond the reach of any president. It's a big system, made up of gangs of very powerful people, many of whose names we don't even know. We're not going to get out of this until the whole system crashes, which could happen sooner, than anyone thinks.

This pandemic has shown that no one in the world cares what the U,S. does or thinks anymore. No one looks to us for "leadership." That's an enormous change from just a few short years ago, in my opinion...and that's all it is...my opinion.

Tecumseh1768 Rkramden66 9 hours ago
The difference between Obama and Bush is Barry didn't come up on the WASP country club circuit. Still, the closest he ever came to real work was his time spent slacking at Baskin Robbins.
Feral Finster Rkramden66 5 hours ago
1. It was Obama that claimed that he'd put on his comfortable shoes and walk that picket line. Foolish to take him seriously.

2. Nobody is arguing in favor of Bush/Cheney here. Nor is anyone suggesting that Trump is a paragon of leadership. He simply says the quiet parts out loud.

Although, considering the evils that US leadership has wrought since 1991 or so, Team R and Team D, the world could do with a little less such "leadership".

Feral Finster Rkramden66 5 hours ago
BTW, contrary to the "poor little Obama" narrative, he fought hard for the things he actually wanted.

Like the renewal and extension of the "Patriot Act". There was something of a rebellion in Congress until the administration snuffed that one out.

Kent a day ago
Sorry Mr. Bandow. Conservatives can't play the "deficits bad" card anymore. That ship sailed with Reagan.
Gutbomb Kent a day ago
So anybody that self-identifies (or is otherwise identified) as a conservative can't argue for financial and fiscal responsibility? Let's put our impulse to label things "conservative" or "liberal" in the dust bin.
Rkramden66 a day ago
Dream on. Military, intelligence and domestic police budgets will be the last to go.
Disqus10021 a day ago
When Bill Clinton left the White House, the Federal government was actually running a small annual surplus (at least by government accounting standards). For a very short time, economists wondered how the Fed would conduct monetary policy if all of the Treasury debt were retired in the coming decade. They need not have worried. Bush 43 reversed that fiscal improvement with his tax cuts and his very expensive Middle East wars. Even before the coronavirus pushed the presidential race off of the front page of newspapers and web sites, the country was wallowing in debt. The latest crisis will make matters that much worse.
We need to stop thinking of ourselves as exceptional and we certainly cannot afford to continue playing the role of policeman of the world. Westchester County, NY which is home to some of the wealthiest people in the country, now has more virus cases than all of Canada, with the former's population being only about 1/35th of our northern neighbor. The county's property taxes are among the highest in the country. I don't know how New York state will cope with this fiscal disaster without driving out even more businesses and high income residents.
kalendjay Disqus10021 a day ago
This state among others will face a fiscal crisis no later than 2022 and will reorganize at the point of a gun, because it does not have enough cred in DC to get a bailout, and its establishment is now viewed as a barrier to any reform.
kouroi a day ago
Change the name of DoD to the Department of War. There is nothing defensive in DoD and in US general Foreign policy. The National Security issue that drives US Foreign Policy is to be the No 1 and the Hegemon and extract obedience and profits from every other economy of the world. Just a protection racket that Russians, Chinese, Iranians, etc. do not want to pay.
Osse a day ago
I don't agree with Cato guys on economics, but on foreign policy they are usually dead right from what I have seen. Defending our country does not mean engaging in endless destructive and failing interventions overseas.

And I hope everyone realizes at this point that we can't even agree on how to run our own country, so why would anyone think we could successfully remake another very different society even if we had the right to do so?

Not that I think our intentions are actually all that noble. But even if they were, there is no reason to trust our competence.

Barry_D a day ago
Yup, people are expecting Trump to lose in November, and laying that groundwork for the 'Dems must cut the deficit above all else' phase of the cycle.
Feral Finster a day ago
End the stupid wars? America First®?

Don't make me laff. The virus is a great distraction while the administration ramps up the stupid wars.

john anderson a day ago
Sound advice but there is a powerful propaganda machine screaming over the top of you. Strange thing is that many voters will agree with the idea of reeling in military adventurism until they get a dose of spin about the next adventure in 'protecting our freedoms'. One problem is that both America First and the idea of being the worlds policeman have been anointed with the red white and blue. Also agree with Tom Sadlowski!
Doug Wallis a day ago
I do agree that the US no longer has the money for the vast network of military bases all over the world nor do we have the money for endless fruitless proxy wars for (so called) allies. The US must focus strategically on what areas of the world we have a real interest, we have real allies and where we have real threats. Trump has already started to draw that map with his trade deals but even Trump can be swayed by the neocons and the lobbyists and the military industrial complex...and where Trump cannot be swayed the Congress and Senate can!

However the US must also face the cold hard fact that even a prudent examination of our defense and homeland security spending will not make much of a dent in our deficits. THE US MUST TACKLE LYNDON BAYNES JOHNSON'S GREAT SOCIETY AND THAT INCLUDES THE 1965 IMMIGRATION ACT. I STRONGLY OPPOSE AN ACROSS THE BOARD CUT IS SOCIAL SECURITY OR DISABILITY OR MEDICARE BENEFITS BECAUSE IT IS NOT FAIR FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE PAID INTO THE SYSTEM THEIR ENTIRE LIVES TO BE RATIONED BENEFITS BECAUSE THE PROGRAMS HAVE BEEN STUFFED TO THE GILLS WITH IMMIGRANTS. THESE PROGRAMS NEED TO BE PAIRED BACK TO COVER WHAT THEY WERE INTENDED TO COVER AND NOT EVERY IMMIGRANT WHO MANAGED TO GET CITIZENSHIP. FURTHER IMMIGRATION LOTTERY, E1B, H1B VISAS FOR EDUCATION AND WORK, REFUGEE, ASYLUM, BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP, ETC AND ALL THE GOVT PROGRAMS FROM WELFARE TO FOOD STAMPS TO MEDICAID NEED TO BE ELIMINATED. THE US WILL NEVER TACKLE ENTITLEMENT REFORM WITHOUT STANDING UP TO THE BUSINESS LOBBY THAT WANTS CHEAP IMMIGRANT FOREIGN LABOR. ONE WAY THE US COULD STAND UP TO THE BUSINESS LOBBY IS TO TAX EACH EMPLOYER OF A FOREIGN WORKER $100,000 FOR THE COST OF IMMIGRANT SOCIAL SERVICES.

THE SAME SHOULD BE SAID FOR PLANNED PARENTHOOD, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, GOVT GUARANTEED STUDENT LOANS AND GRANTS WHICH INDENTURE STUDENTS WITH WORTHLESS GARBAGE DEGREES WHILE ENRICHING COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES. ITS THESE WORTHLESS GARBAGE DEGREES THAT ARE CREATING THE STUDENT FINANCIAL LOAN CRISIS AND JOBLESS RADICAL ANTI-AMERICAN ANARCHISTS.

kalendjay a day ago
Trade with China only feeds Maoist militarists, and fuels the arms race. And who supplies Xi with submarines, jet engines and space technology? Why Putin of course. Ending his oil stranglehold would be the most positive short term measure I could think of to reduce the MIC.
Rossbach 20 hours ago
Maybe we should change our national motto from "E pluribus unum" to "Après moi le déluge".
joeo 8 hours ago
What might help is lifting the cap on FICA contributions and limiting tax exempt status to truly religious activities. No more "religious" theme parks. This would mean Liberal and Conservatives would see the value of limiting government expenditures since all would be paying taxes.
Personan0ngrata 7 hours ago
Five program areas make up the rest of the budget: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, interest, and the military.

America's growing elderly population is unlikely to sacrifice benefits seniors believe they have paid for.

Side note:

Americans pay for these programs with a direct tax on their labor/earnings.

Social security taxes are 6.2% from employee earnings with a matching 6.2% from employer.

Medicare taxes are 1.45% from employee earnings with a matching 1.45% from employer.

https://www.thebalancesmb.c...

These programs are not gifts nor entitlements from the US government. They are the fruits of a persons lifetime of labor which are extracted via threats of implied coercion without the ability for a person to say no thank you and opt-out.

Disqus10021 Personan0ngrata 6 hours ago
A lot of people paid little or nothing in FICA taxes, especially stay at home spouses whether they had children or not. Single people are also subject to Medicare premium surcharges and the Obamacare tax on investment income at much lower income levels than married couple filing a joint return.
peter mcloughlin 7 hours ago
Russia insists the "West takes its interests into account". And a power ignores the core interests of an opponent at its own peril. Removing existential threat – or the conditions that might lead to it – is the ultimate aim of any state: but history warns that foreign policy can create the very dénouement the nation is aiming to avoid.
https://www.ghostsofhistory...

[Mar 26, 2020] Pompeo is on record having said that our government "lies, cheats, and steals" in order to accomplish its anti-Christian objectives.

Mar 26, 2020 | www.unz.com

Sokrates , says: Show Comment March 25, 2020 at 11:54 am GMT

@37 Yesterday I went to Home Depot to buy some water tubing for my ice-maker.

I noticed all doors were blocked with a tape, except one with at least 25 people waiting to get in and a female employee holding a sign "the line starts here".

I ask the lady what was all about and she said because of the virus etc.

I said to her "You must be kidding" and I start going back to my car.

Some old lady from the line waiting to get in she scream to me something about "we protect ourselves" and similar nonsense.

I turn around and I said to her: Quit watching TV you idiot. They rob your money on broad daylight and send your kids to die fighting israels enemies.

RichardTaylor , says: Show Comment March 25, 2020 at 12:01 pm GMT
The overreaction to the virus makes no sense. Is something being hidden from us? The freak out over this virus – to the tune of $trillions – is all out of proportion.

2.8 million Americans die every year. Why the obsession with this one virus which may kill in the thousands?

Something is off. But Trump should have known early if there was some other hidden danger. If there is some hidden suspicion by the people obsessing over this, please share it!

[Mar 26, 2020] The face of Trump in foreign policy is Pompeo and it is wicked, ungly face of a gangster

Yet another Gofgather
Notable quotes:
"... The more I watch these moves by Pompeo the more sympathetic I become to the most sinister theories about COVID-19, its origins and its launch around the world. Read Pepe Escobar's latest to get an idea of how dark and twisted this tale could be . ..."
March 24, 2020 < Older
No Respite for the Wicked, Pompeo Unleashed Written by Tom Luongo Tuesday

There are few things in this life that make me more sick to my stomach than watching Secretary of State Mike Pompeo talking. He truly is one of the evilest men I've ever had the displeasure of covering.

Into the insanity of the over-reaction to the COVID-19 outbreak, Pompeo wasted no time ramping up sanctions on firms doing any business with Iran, one of the countries worse-hit by this virus to date.

It's a seemingly endless refrain, everyday, more sanctions on Chinese, Swiss and South African firms for having the temerity in these deflating times to buy oil from someone Pompeo and his gang of heartless psychopaths disapprove of.

This goes far beyond just the oil industry. Even though I'm well aware that Russia's crashing the price of oil was itself a hybrid war attack on US capital markets. One that has had, to date, devastating effect.

While Pompeo mouths the words publicly that humanitarian aid is exempted from sanctions on Iran, the US is pursuing immense pressure on companies to not do so anyway while the State Dept. bureaucracy takes its sweet time processing waiver applications.

Pompeo and his ilk only think in terms of civilizational warfare. They have become so subsumed by their big war for the moral high ground to prove American exceptionalism that they have lost any shred of humanity they may have ever had.

Because for Pompeo in times like these to stick to his talking points and for his office to continue excising Iran from the global economy when we're supposed to be coming together to fight a global pandemic is the height of soullessness.

And it speaks to the much bigger problem that infects all of our political thinking. There comes a moment when politics and gaining political advantage have to take a back seat to doing the right thing.

I've actually seen moments of that impulse from the Democratic leadership in the US Will wonders never cease?!

Thinking only in Manichean terms of good vs. evil and dehumanizing your opponents is actually costlier than reversing course right now. Because honey is always better at attracting flies than vinegar.

But, unfortunately, that is not the character of the Trump administration.

It can only think in terms of direct leverage and opportunity to hold onto what they think they've achieved. So, until President Trump is no longer consumed with coordinating efforts to control COVID-19 Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper are in charge of foreign policy. They will continue the playbook that has been well established.

Maximum pressure on Iran, hurt China any way they can, hold onto what they have in Syria, stay in Iraq.

To that end Iraqi President Barham Salei nominated Pompeo's best choice to replace Prime Minister Adil Abdel Mahdi to throw Iraq's future into complete turmoil. According to Elijah Magnier, Adnan al-Zarfi is a US asset through and through .

And this looks like Pompeo's Hail Mary to retain US legal presence in Iraq after the Iraqi parliament adopted a measure to demand withdrawal of US troops from the country. Airstrikes against US bases in Iraq continue on a near daily basis and there have been reports of US base closures and redeployments at the same time.

This move looks like desperation by Pompeo et.al. to finally separate the Hashd al-Shaabi from Iraq's official military. So that airstrikes against them can be carried out under the definition of 'fighting Iranian terrorism.'

As Magnier points out in the article above if al-Zarfi puts a government together the war in Iraq will expand just as the US is losing further control in Syria after Turkish President Erdogan's disastrous attempt to remake the front in Idlib. That ended with his effective surrender to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The more I watch these moves by Pompeo the more sympathetic I become to the most sinister theories about COVID-19, its origins and its launch around the world. Read Pepe Escobar's latest to get an idea of how dark and twisted this tale could be .

It is sad that, to me, I see no reason to doubt Pompeo and his ilk in the US government wouldn't do something like that to spark political and social upheaval in those places most targeted by US hybrid war tactics.

But, at the same time, I can see the other side of it, a vicious strike back by China against its tormentors. And China's government does itself, in my mind, no favors threatening to withhold drug precursors and having officials run their mouths giving Americans the excuse they need to validate Trump and Pompeo's divisive rhetoric.

Remaining on the fence about this issue isn't my normal style. But everyone is dirty here and the reality may well be this is a natural event terrible people on both sides are exploiting.

And I can only go by what people do rather than what they say to assess the situation. Trump tries to buy exclusive right to a potential COVID-19 vaccine from a German firm and his administration slow-walks aid to Iran.

China sends aid to Iran and Italy by the container full. Is that to salve their conscience over its initial suppression of information about the virus? Good question. But no one covers themselves in glory by using the confusion and distraction to attempt further regime change and step up war-footing during a public health crisis, manufactured or otherwise.

While Pompeo unctuously talks the talk of compassion and charity, he cannot bring himself to actually walk the walk. Because he is a despicable, bile-filled man of uncommon depravity. His prosecuting a hybrid war during a public health crisis speaks to no other conclusion about him.

It's clear to me that nothing has changed at the top of Trump's administration. I expect COVID-19 will not be a disaster for Trump and the US. It can handle this. But the lack of humanity shown by its diplomatic corps ensures that in the long run the US will be left to fend for itself when the next crisis hits.

Reprinted with permission from Strategic Culture Foundation .


Related

[Mar 24, 2020] This weaponizing of random indignation is a classic tool of the Western propaganda

Highly recommended!
Mar 24, 2020 | www.unz.com

Dacian Julien Soros , says: Show Comment March 22, 2020 at 2:54 pm GMT

This weaponizing of random indignation is a classic tool of the Western propaganda. In Romania, we heard for a decade how the national-populists masquerading as socialists are to blame for the lack of highways. It's been a few years since idiot Romanians gather in random cities to complain that their city is not yet hooked to the Austro-Hungarian highway system, despite the lack of traffic between their city and Austro-Hungary.

It is my understanding that, once highway construction will start, there will be protests about natural or archeological treasures presumably endangered by the construction. It has been decently working in Russia, with that Khimki forest.

Anything that can be thrown at a government threatening to leave the NWO will be used. It's even worse for governments that are already one foot out, like Russia / China, or completely out, like Iran / North Korea. Putin will be blamed for epidemics, earthquakes, tsunamis, and even eclipses. If an earthquake would kill only a few, we will hear about "failure to respond". If the earthquake doesn't kill anybody. we will be told that Putin exploited it for propaganda.

One of the ways that CIA and Soros use, in order to weaponize Romania's presumed lack of highways, is to pay some useful idiots, who call themselves "The Association for the Betterment of Highways", "The Pro-Infrastructura Brigade", and so on. Most of these NGOs consist of a single person, who posts videos of them ranting next to a construction site. Using the model that BoJo used for the upcoming marriage (three men and one dog), the more Soros/CIA-resistant types call them "The One-Incel-And-His-Drone Association".

By that same standard, I suspect we call this Doctors' Alliance "Vasilievna-and-her-thermometer Association". Whatever she says about Moscow hospitals is probably informed by her thermometer anyway. I doubt you can tell how things are in a 10-million city, especially if you are a marginal clown.

Is she an ophthalmologist, like The Part-Time Virologist Martyr of Wuhan? Dentist, perhaps?

[Mar 24, 2020] Western vs Russian propaganda

Mar 24, 2020 | www.unz.com

Ms Karlin-Gerard , says: Show Comment March 23, 2020 at 12:32 am GMT

@Dmitry Can you show me even ONE article or report from Izvestiya, life, kp. Vz, RBK, vesti, Channel 1 etc that is stupid about the west? I can't because most of them are extremely well written.
The inverse situation? . I have just read 3 cretinous western lie reports about Russia/coronavirus in the last half an hour! Each one born out of jealousy or CIA psyops There is no comparison to make at all. You are doing false equivalence.

Gayropa DOES exist. It is a thing, an ideology

Your premise is absurd-50 % because Russian journalists are a lot more intellectual than their western counterparts . and the other 50 % is quite naturally because millions of Russians have closely admired or studied or been influenced by western practises and popular culture in the last 30 years .. than vice versa.

Kiselyov has had an American wife, speaks English, family in Germany and has done many excellent reports on western countries.

Brilyev speaks perfect English and is a British citizen.

Solovyov knows Italy and the US very well and on his talk shows he has done many objective, constructive/positive comments about American business climate and bureaucracy, for instance.

Can you compare any of those guys to their dumb as f ** k western counterparts trying to do a report on Russia?

Different matter if you are talking about RT – that is lowest of the low, anti-russian, garbage.

who cares? Half of Russian articles are 10 times more stupid than US ones

Who cares ? Because the culmination of these deceitful idiot scumbag stories is what creates the momentum to ban Russia from the Olympics based on "collective" not individual punishment , pull Ukraine away from Russia, make a friend of mine be too scared to come to Russia on holiday because "the police will arrest you there for no reason" BS.,dissuade investors from billions in investment because of PR, not practical reasons. create the conditions so that self-discrediting freaks like Browder and Rodchenkov can say any BS as a pretext to sanction russia with zero chance of getting refuted because of the "they will get killed" by Russian agents if they go into the public (whilst going to the public) theory- a hypothesis based on other lie reporting.

Russian media will make clear that its a disgrace the number of people the US police shoot dead each year- but they won't say or imply that Russian tourists will get shot by US police or dissuade them from going on holiday there.

[Mar 22, 2020] Intelligence agencies and the virus

Highly recommended!
Mar 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

kiwiklown , Mar 22 2020 10:11 utc | 128

@Jackrabbit | Mar 21 2020 22:32 utc | 50

"These officials "failed us" in the same way that our media "fails us": they serve the interests of the EMPIRE-FIRST Deep State."

Yuppp. Our error is to assume all 17 intelligence agencies; the presstitudes; and US "leadership" exist to serve the American people. And so, yes, they "fail" the people. But, from the point of view of the controllers of those agencies and of those "leaders", they hardly ever fail !!!

While the people argue over virulent minutae, they are once again helping themselves to the US Treasury.... Trillions of USDs.... LOL

kiwiklown , Mar 22 2020 10:36 utc | 132

@Jackrabbit | Mar 21 2020 23:10 utc | 54

"Caitlin Johnstone also sees the response being manipulated to focus hate on China...."

Yuppp, blaming China, hating on China achieves several objectives:

Just look at how US leadership has been hating on Russia for the last 100 years, waiting to whack them with a sneak attack if feasible.

kiwiklown , Mar 22 2020 11:25 utc | 137
@Jackrabbit | Mar 22 2020 2:45 utc | 79

".... was then told to STOP TESTING...... A medical person would not try to suppress testing. That would be a "management decision" and its the Nation Security Council that was running the show (and which had classified all discussions related to virus preparations)...."

Thanks for reminding us of Dr Chu's story. What if the US leadership:

[Mar 21, 2020] When reading any article concerning current events (ie. Ukraine, Syria, Iran, Venezuela, or Coronavirus) consider how the The Seven Principles of Propaganda may apply

Highly recommended!
Mar 22, 2020 | https://www.moonofalabama.org

Dick | Mar 22 2020 0:48 utc | 66

When reading any article concerning current events (ie. Ukraine, Syria, Iran, Venezuela, or Coronavirus) consider how the The Seven Principles of Propaganda may apply. (repost):

  1. Avoid abstract ideas - appeal to the emotions. When we think emotionally, we are more prone to be irrational and less critical in our thinking. I can remember several instances where this has been employed by the US to prepare the public with a justification of their actions. Here are four examples:

    The Invasion of Grenada during the Reagan administration was said to be necessary to rescue American students being held hostage by Grenadian coup authorities after a coup that overthrew the government. I had a friend in the 82nd airborne division that participated in the rescue. He told me the students said they were hiding in the school to avoid the fighting by the US military, and had never been threatened by any Grenadian authority and were only hiding in the school to avoid all the fighting. Film of the actual rescue broadcast on the mainstream media was taken out of context; the students were never in danger.

    The invasion of Panama in the late 80's was supposedly to capture the dictator Manual Noriega for international crimes related to drugs and weapons. I remember a headline covered by all the media where a Navy lieutenant and his wife were detained by the police. His wife was sexually assaulted while in custody, according to the story. Unfortunately, it never happened. It was intended to get the public emotionally involved to support the action.

    The invasion of Iraq in the early 90's was preceded by a speech by a girl describing the Iraqi army throwing babies out of incubators so the equipment could be transferred to Iraq. It turns out the girl was the daughter of one of the Kuwait's ruling sheiks and the event never occurred. However, it served its purpose by getting the American public involved emotionally supporting the war.

    During the build up to the bombing campaign by NATO against Libya, a woman entered a hotel where reporters were staying claiming she was raped by several police officers of the Gaddafi security services. The report was carried by most media outlets as representative of the brutality of the Gaddafi regime. I was not able to verify if this story was true or not, but it fits the usual method employed to gain public support through propaganda for military interventions.

    The greatest emotion in us is fear and fear is used extensively to make us think irrationally. I remember growing up during the cold war having the fear of nuclear war or 'The Russians are coming!' After the cold war without an obvious enemy, it was Al Qaeda even before 911, so we had 'Al Qaeda is coming!' Now we have 'ISIS is coming!' with media blasting us with terrorist fears. Whenever I hear a government promoting an emotional issue or fear mongering, I ignore them knowing there is a hidden Truth behind the issue.

  2. Constantly repeat just a few ideas. Use stereotyped phrases. This could be stated more plainly as 'Keep it simple, stupid!' The most notorious use of this technique recently was the Bush administration. Everyone can remember 'We must fight them over there rather than over here' or my favourite 'They hate us for our freedoms'. Neither of these phrases made any rational sense despite 911. The last thing Muslims in the Middle East care about is American's freedoms, maybe it was all the bombs the US was dropping on them.
  3. Give only one side of the argument and obscure history. Watching mainstream media in the US, you can see all the news is biased to the American view as an example. This is prevalent within Australian commercial media and newspapers giving only a western view, but fortunately, we have the SBS and the ABC that are very good, certainly not perfect, at providing both sides of a story. In addition, any historical perspective is ignored keeping the citizenry focused on the here and now. Can any of you remember any news organisation giving an in depth history of Ukraine or Palestine? I cannot.
  4. Demonize the enemy or pick out one special "enemy" for special vilification. This is obvious in politics where politicians continuously criticise their opponents. Of course, demonization is more productively applied to international figures or nations such as Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Gaddafi in Libya, Assad in Syria, the Taliban and just recently Vladimir Putin over the Ukraine, Crimea and Syria. It establishes a negative emotional view of either a nation (i.e. Iran) or a known figure (i.e. Putin) making us again think emotionally, rather than rationally, making it easier to promote evil acts upon a nation or a known figure. Certainly some of these groups or individuals were less than benign, but not necessarily demons as depicted in the west.
  5. Appear humanitarian in work and motivations. The US has used this technique often to validate foreign interventions or ongoing conflicts where the term 'Right to Protect' is used for justification. Everyone should remember the many stories about the abuse of women in Afghanistan or Saddam Hussein's supposed brutality toward his people. The recent attack on Syria by the US, UK, and France was depicted as an Humanitarian intervention by the UK Government, which was far from the truth. One thing that always amazes me is when the US sends humanitarian aid to a country it is accompanied by the US military. In Haiti some years back, the US sent troops with no other country doing so. The recent Ebola outbreak in Africa saw US troops sent to the area. How are troops going to fight a medical outbreak? No doubt, they are there for other reasons.

  6. Obscure one's economic interests. Who believes the invasion of Iraq was for weapons of mass destruction? Or the constant threats against Iran are for their nuclear program? Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction and no one has presented firm evidence Iran intends to produce nuclear weapons. The West has been interfering in the Middle East since the British in the late 19th century. It is all about oil and the control over the resources. In fact, if one researches the cause of wars over the last hundred years, you will always find economics was a major component driving the rush to war for most of them.

  7. Monopolize the flow of information. This is the most important principle and mainly entails setting the narrative by which all subsequent events can be based upon or interpreted in such a way as to reinforce the narrative. The narrative does not need to be true; in fact, it can be anything that suits the monopoliser as long as it is based loosely on some event. It is critical to have at least majority control of media and the ability to control the message so the flow of information is consistent with the narrative. This has been played out on mainstream media concerning the Ukrainian conflict, Syrian conflict, and the Skirpal affair. Just over the last couple of years, we have all been subjected to propaganda in one form or another. Remember the US wanting to bomb Syria because of the sarin gas attack, it was later determined to be false (see Seymour Hersh 'Whose Sarin'). The shoot down of MH17 was immediately blamed on Russia by the west without any convincing proof (setting the narrative). It amazes me just how fast the story died after the initial saturation in the media. When I awoke that morning in July, I heard on the news PM Tony Abbot blaming Russia for the incident only hours afterward. How could he know Russia shot down the plane? The investigation into the incident had not even begun, so I suspect he was singing from the West's hymnbook in a standard setting the narrative scenario.

[Mar 21, 2020] Tucker Senator Burr sold shares after virus briefing - YouTube

Highly recommended!
Mar 21, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Bowhead31 , 5 hours ago

The problem is these people no longer see themselves as public servants.

Maria Summers , 6 hours ago

The Georgia Senator is just as guilty as the rest of them, regarding "Insider Trading".

shane passey , 3 hours ago

She's a crook just like the rest of the politicians. They say they be there for the people. But they're really there to make themselves rich

[Mar 21, 2020] Tulsi Gabbard says insider traders should be 'investigated prosecuted,' as Left and Right team up on profiteering senators --

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "better prepared than ever ..."
"... "akin to the 1918 pandemic." ..."
"... "Congress/staff who dumped stocks after private briefings on impending coronavirus epidemic should be investigated and prosecuted for insider trading," ..."
"... "Members of Congress should not be allowed to own stocks." ..."
"... "stomach churning," ..."
"... "For a public servant it's pretty hard to imagine many things more immoral than doing this," ..."
"... "Richard Burr had critical information that might have helped the people he is sworn to protect. But he hid that information and helped only himself." ..."
"... "If you find out about a nation-threatening pandemic and your first move is to adjust your stock portfolio you should probably not be in a job that serves the public interest," ..."
"... "calling for immediate investigations" ..."
"... "for possible violations of the STOCK Act and insider trading laws." ..."
"... Think your friends would be interested? Share this story! ..."
Mar 21, 2020 | www.rt.com

Tulsi Gabbard says insider traders should be 'investigated & prosecuted,' as Left and Right team up on profiteering senators 21 Mar, 2020 21:19 Get short URL Tulsi Gabbard says insider traders should be 'investigated & prosecuted,' as Left and Right team up on profiteering senators FILE PHOTO: Tulsi Gabbard speaks during the US Democratic presidential debate in Atlanta, Georgia, November 20, 2019 © Reuters / Brendan McDermid Follow RT on RT In a rare moment of bipartisanship, commenters from all sides have demanded swift punishment for US senators who dumped stock after classified Covid-19 briefings. Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has called for criminal prosecution. As chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) has received daily briefings on the threat posed by Covid-19 since January. Burr insisted to the public that America was ready to handle the virus, but sold up to $1.5 million in stocks on February 13, less than a week before the stock market nosedived, according to Senate filings . Immediately before the sale, Burr wrote an op-ed assuring Americans that their government is "better prepared than ever " to handle the virus.

Also on rt.com Liberal icon Sean Penn wants a 'compassionate' army deployment to fight Covid-19

After the sale, NPR reported that he told a closed-door meeting of North Carolina business leaders that the virus actually posed a threat "akin to the 1918 pandemic." Burr does not dispute the NPR report.

In a tweet on Saturday, former 2020 presidential candidate and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard called for criminal investigations. "Congress/staff who dumped stocks after private briefings on impending coronavirus epidemic should be investigated and prosecuted for insider trading," she wrote.

"Members of Congress should not be allowed to own stocks."

Congress/staff who dumped stocks after private briefings on impending coronavirus epidemic should be investigated & prosecuted for insider trading (the STOCK Act). It is illegal & abuse of power. Members of Congress should not be allowed to own stocks. https://t.co/rbVfJxrk3r

-- Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) March 21, 2020

Burr was not the only lawmaker on Capitol Hill to take precautions, it was reported. Fellow Intelligence Committee member Dianne Feinstein (D-California) and her husband sold off more than a million dollars of shares in a biotech company five days later, while Oklahoma's Jim Inhofe (R) made a smaller sale around the same time. Both say their sales were routine.

Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Georgia) attended a Senate Health Committee briefing on the outbreak on January 24. The very same day, she began offloading stock, dropping between $1.2 and $3.1 million in shares over the following weeks. The companies whose stock she sold included airlines, retail outlets, and Chinese tech firm Tencent.

She did, however, invest in cloud technology company Oracle, and Citrix, a teleworking company whose value has increased by nearly a third last week, as social distancing measures forced more and more Americans to work from home. All of Loeffler's transactions were made with her husband, Jeff Sprecher, CEO of the New York Stock Exchange.

Meanwhile, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (New York) and Ilhan Omar (Minnesota) have joined the clamor of voices demanding punishment. Ocasio-Cortez described the sales as "stomach churning," while Omar reached across the aisle to side with Fox News' Tucker Carlson in calling for Burr's resignation.

I am 💯 with him on this 😱 https://t.co/Gbi3i2BagY

-- Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) March 20, 2020

"For a public servant it's pretty hard to imagine many things more immoral than doing this," Carlson said during a Friday night monolog. "Richard Burr had critical information that might have helped the people he is sworn to protect. But he hid that information and helped only himself."

As of Saturday, there are nearly 25,000 cases of Covid-19 in the US, with the death toll heading towards 300. Now both sides of the political aisle seem united in disgust at the apparent profiteering of Burr, Loeffler, and Feinstein.

Right-wing news outlet Breitbart savaged Burr for voting against the STOCK Act in 2012, a piece of legislation that would have barred members of Congress from using non-public information to profit on the stock market. At the same time, a host of Democratic figures - including former presidential candidates Andrew Yang and Kirsten Gillibrand - weighed in with their own criticism too.

"If you find out about a nation-threatening pandemic and your first move is to adjust your stock portfolio you should probably not be in a job that serves the public interest," Yang tweeted on Friday.

If you find out about a nation-threatening pandemic and your first move is to adjust your stock portfolio you should probably not be in a job that serves the public interest.

-- Andrew Yang🧢 (@AndrewYang) March 20, 2020

Watchdog group Common Cause has filed complaints with the Justice Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Senate Ethics Committee "calling for immediate investigations" of Burr, Loeffler, Feinstein and Inhofe "for possible violations of the STOCK Act and insider trading laws."

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

[Mar 20, 2020] On 9/11, readers may enjoy

Mar 20, 2020 | www.unz.com

John Chuckman , says: Website Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 10:55 pm GMT

@anon8383892 On 9/11, readers may enjoy:

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2016/09/11/john-chuckman-comment-a-survivor-says-even-the-simplest-questions-around-911-have-not-been-answered-by-government-yes-and-some-disturbing-truths-around-those-events-the-saudi-arabian-nonsense/

Iris , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 10:15 pm GMT
@Greg Bacon

The Israeli masterminded 9/11 false flag has been almost consecrated–like the holocaust–and anyone who dares to question the official lies, stands to lose their jobs, stature and be endlessly vilified for asking historical questions. Punitive measures that Mr. Barrett has first-hand knowledge of.

Good to remember that Dr Barrett is unambiguously proven to be right by the immutable laws of Physics and Engineering:

– A September 2019 University of Alaska PhD thesis, using state-of-the-art civil engineering design software, proved that WTC7 could have only been destroyed by controlled demolition.

– Due to the witnesses around, it would have been impossible to bring and install explosives into WTC7 during the time window after the collapse of the Twin Towers.

– Hence the explosives used to blow up WTC7 were already in place before the alleged WTC "plane attack" onto the Twin Towers took place.

– Hence the perpetrators are those who had control the WTC7 and were represented by Larry "Pull It" Silverstein.

[Mar 20, 2020] Pompeo myth that USA and the West were unprepared because China withheld information about the virus.

Mar 20, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

occupatio , Mar 19 2020 20:16 utc | 161

@b Another myth to add to your collection ...

... that USA and the West were unprepared because China withheld information about the virus.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 19 2020 18:20 utc | 106

The "Report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on COVID-19" states that China transparently reported the identification of virus to the WHO and the international community on January 3rd, and a WHO investigative team was invited to Wuhan a week after that.

From January 3rd, 2020, information on COVID-19 cases has been reported to WHO daily.

On January 7th, full genome sequences of the new virus were shared with WHO and the international community immediately after the pathogen was identified.

On January 10th, an expert group involving Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwanese technical experts and a World Health Organization team was invited to visit Wuhan.

From page 31 of:
https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/who-china-joint-mission-on-covid-19-final-report.pdf

[Mar 20, 2020] Tucker Carlson and China bashing

Mar 20, 2020 | www.unz.com

Minnesota Mary , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 11:37 pm GMT

@FB I, too, have been disappointed in Tucker Carlson's China bashing. I have thought that he was the best on FOX News, but now he is getting to be as bad as Sean Hannity.

We may never know the origin of the coronavirus. It is foolish to try and assign blame at this point.

[Mar 20, 2020] The virus and the Deep state

Notable quotes:
"... Both financial systems and economies were clearly crashing beginning in early September. Now the elites get to blame all the troubles on a virus ..."
Mar 20, 2020 | www.unz.com

Ron Unz , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 3:43 am GMT

Well, I think there's a certain amount of circumstantial evidence suggesting that the Coronavirus outbreak may have been an American bioweapon attack against China (and Iran).

But if so, I'm *extremely* skeptical that the perpetrators ever intended or imagined that it would leak back into the US and inflict the horrific economic and social damage that now seems unavoidable. How to explain this lack lack of foresight?

The most obvious answer is that they were stupid and incompetent, but here's another point to consider

In late 2002 there was the outbreak of SARS in China, a related virus but that was far more deadly and somewhat different in other characteristics. The virus killed hundreds of Chinese and spread into a few other countries before it was controlled and stamped out. The impact on the US and Europe was negligible, with just a small scattering of cases and only a death or two.

So if American biowarfare analysts were considering a Coronavirus attack against China, isn't it quite possible they would have said to themselves that since SARS never significantly leaked back into the US or Europe, we'd similarly remain insulated from the Coronavirus?

Obviously, such an analysis was foolish and mistaken, but would it have seemed so implausible at the time?

https://www.unz.com/article/was-coronavirus-a-biowarfare-attack-against-china/#comment-3775042

Father O'Hara , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 3:55 am GMT
Well, I have only recently heard of a guy named Francis Boyle,a law professor out of the Univ. Of Illinois. He is apparently an expert on bio-warfare treaties. He claims covid-19 is manmade,period.
That is a very scary notion,from which most people will flee.
As I have accepted that 9/11 was "the usual suspects," I guess it is definitely possible.
Sasha , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 4:00 am GMT
@Ron Unz Maybe, but my take is an engineered market crash. This looks to me like a Nathan Rothschild sort of trick (according to legend) – propagating fake news about Napoleon's victory at Waterloo, crashing the markets, then snapping up the whole LSE for a penny to the pound. If so, you have to admire it, the sheer genius, the psychopathic beauty of it all.

As a bonus, the Reichstag Fire also is an extremely efficient delivery system for the eugenics payload – a very virulent strain that almost exclusively targets the social burden (pensioners and already ill) while leaving alone the tax-farm base! Never in the history of tax-farming have the sheeple been stampeded and fleeced so thoroughly! Bravo!

Flubber , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 4:13 am GMT
"The US cannot win a trade war with China."

What kind of bollocks is this.

Of course the US can win a trade war.

The US is the customer, with the enormous trade deficit. Trump has been hugely effective with his tariff's policy in rehoming manufacturing to the US – a process that will vastly accelerate thanks to the Corona virus outbreak.

I agree that 9-11 stink to high heaven and that PNAC are unmitigated bastards, but this capitulation to China is balls.

Delta G , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 4:16 am GMT
@Ron Unz Stupidity is certainly an American Military essential behavior for promotion and success in the current US Armed Forces.

But you can't have someone clever enough to create a Recombinant Designer Pathogen and be in the US Military.

However, the psyops fucks would likely be ready to game the system should a natural outbreak occur which would be called a Pandemic even when its not and make everyone of our low quality leaders $hit their pants and go totally crazy. A mild fart with the claim its poison gas would make the Stock Markets Collapse.

Carlton Meyer , says: Website Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 4:22 am GMT

But if so, I'm *extremely* skeptical that the perpetrators ever intended or imagined that it would leak back into the US and inflict the horrific economic and social damage that now seems unavoidable. How to explain this lack lack of foresight?

This is the same issue with cyberwar viruses. One can infect computers in Iran, but with the internet they may be passed onto the entire world, just like rap music.

antibeast , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 4:41 am GMT
@Ron Unz

But if so, I'm *extremely* skeptical that the perpetrators ever intended or imagined that it would leak back into the US and inflict the horrific economic and social damage that now seems unavoidable. How to explain this lack lack of foresight?

One word: Trump. Because he could very well lose his reelection bid if the pandemic causes an economic recession which now seems highly likely given the stock market collapse.

Cui Bono ? The people OPPOSED to Trump, variously referred to as the "Deep State" or the "National Security State" as described by Gore Vidal in his book which by the way Julian Assange was holding while being hauled away from the Ecuadorian Embassy.

After Russiagate and Ukrainegate, THEY finally hit the bullseye with Coronagate.

Si1ver1ock , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 5:05 am GMT
This is a pretty good article. I'll probably link to it.

Some people think this is coming from City of London types. The US pursued a "strategy of tension" with China that may have allowed third party actors to intervene and get them fighting each other.

There has been some Bad Blood between British elites and China for awhile now. It's not clear why.

In this scheme, the US is the patsy, the Oswald to take the blame.

Anonymous [392] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 5:16 am GMT
@Polemos Check this link out:

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/03/17/coronavirus-universal-basic-income-andrew-yang-134922

The real gem in the whole article are the observations made by Yang himself:

YANG: That's what freaks me out about the whole thing. What we're doing is saying things like, "Keep your social distance," and trying to stop the spread that way, which is fine. But we have shit for data. Like, we don't know what the infection rate is. And so, there's no reason we would ever be able to give the 'all-clear.' If you don't have any data, this whole thing is a nightmare that doesn't end. When you close schools, what gives you the all-clear to say, "OK, open them again"? Nothing. There's no data to compare it to. This whole thing is a fear-based approach with no end in sight. There's no catalyst to ever sound the all-clear. This whole thing is so fucked up.

YANG: I think the nature of that guidance has to be different, personally. I think they need to be transparent about what kind of data we're relying on, to give people a sense of the timeline. Right now, our sense of the future is so cloudy. And you get the sense the president went from not taking this seriously to suddenly realizing its seriousness, and now we're reacting in various ways to slow the spread of the virus. But then what? I would be clearer as to what the timeline looks like, what data we're going to rely upon, how we're going to get that data, what steps we're taking to increase testing capacity and just give people a sense of the future.

We need to know now what the future can look like under different scenarios and then be presented with what scenario we're in when that time comes. We've been on lockdown for half a week. Right now, the American people don't have any visibility into whether it's going to be four more weeks or four more months, and we don't know how those judgments are going to determined. As president, I would say, "Look, here's the information, here's the dashboard, here's what we're lining up, here's what we're hoping for, here's how circumstances could change, and thank you for doing your part -- if you proceed with like the rest of the country in flattening the curve and keeping things under this level, then we can look forward to this. " You know, so we could actually have a sense of accomplishment and purpose.

So here we have it, replicated throughout the whole of the Western world. An open-ended clamp-down based on fear, with no timeline or road map, and no conditions set on when (or IF) things will get back to normal.

For now, smells really fishy. Even if DS (Deep State) did not intentionally engineer this circumstance, they are decisively and very swiftly exploiting it to exert extreme control over everything .

Franklin Ryckaert , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 5:31 am GMT
@antibeast On the contrary, for the deep state Trump is the ideal puppet. Those who are against Trump belong to the surface state , i.e. Democrats, Leftists in general and the equally Leftist main stream media. Real policy in the US is only made by the deep state .
bobbybobbob , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 5:57 am GMT
Let me cut through all this speculative noise with Occam's Razor.

The virus is natural. The CCP elites are using it in exactly the same way the USG and EU elites are. Both financial systems and economies were clearly crashing beginning in early September. Now the elites get to blame all the troubles on a virus (which isn't actually killing anyone in interesting numbers). Absent the WuFlu they'd all risk getting strung up pretty soon. Now instead of being called out for the decade+ of ineptitude that lead to a collapsing global bubble economy, they get to be praised as heroes that saved everyone from dying.

Now that I've cleared up all that nonsense about a bioweapon and grand scheme to kneecap China, I have to say that the "China inevitably taking over" narrative is rather ridiculous, flu or not. Japan re-ascendant and taking back Manchokou is more believable. As the USA washes its hands of these messes overseas and pulls back homeward, China is in the worst position. All its neighbors hate it and will check it. China has been the #1 beneficiary of Pax Americana this century. Well, Americans are rapidly losing interest in that project.

Malcolms_brother , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 6:01 am GMT
@Ron Unz

But if so, I'm * extremely * skeptical that the perpetrators ever intended or imagined that it would leak back into the US and inflict the horrific economic and social damage that now seems unavoidable. How to explain this lack lack of foresight?

Dr. Unz,

That's because -- if it indeed is a bio-weapon -- the value of the attack for this particular case does not lie in the attack itself. The goal is the propaganda that can be generated from the attack, i.e. the propaganda value . Words in general (and therefore propaganda) have real-world material power. It affects people's thinking, which in turn affects people's actions and behavior, which in turn have real-world consequences. Propaganda of this sort would then utterly damage the world's perception of China, which could then affect China's economic, diplomatic, and political dealings.

If the infection were contained within China's borders or within isolated parts of East Asia, then not much of a big fuss could be made about it. The infection needs to spread for it to have propaganda value. Note that Covid-19 has a very low fatality rate compared to SARS or other recent infection outbreaks. Yet it is very infectious (meaning, many people getting infected / high rate of infection). Covid-19 is a virus that is very infectious BUT has a low fatality rate -- exactly the kind of virus you want if you wanted something to spread.

Also, the elites are willing to incur losses in the short-run. They'll weather whatever short-run losses just fine, and they'll make up for it in other ways. The real people that will get hit economically in a permanent way are the low-income, the middle-class, and even the upper middle-class. The oligarchs won't.

What they're really concerned about is the long-run, and that's smart on them. They'll have real losses in the long-run if China completes its rise. China is set to complete its overall rise (not on everything, but just overall) in the probably the next 5 to 10 years. Much of the indicators for this has been covered by that Godfree guy and by others. So something must be done to stop it.

Anonymous [428] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 6:07 am GMT
@Trinity And don't forget to add that such a magical cure – should it be created – would become weaponized to exclude the usual suspects (Iran, Syria, Taliban-Afghanistan, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, Iraq, possibly war-ravaged Libya and who knows, even impoverished shee-thole nations like Haiti and African countries) from having access to it. Also include the offer by Trump to German firm CureVac to move its Covid-19 vaccine research operations to the US so the vaccine could be used exclusively for Americans.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/coronavirus-vaccine-trump-us-cases-germany-carevac-a9403646.html

refl , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 6:36 am GMT

After Russiagate and Ukrainegate, THEY finally hit the bullseye with Coronagate.

And Coronagate contains just about as much reality as those other "gates" – the experience of gateology tell us that once the story is up and runing,it does not matter, if the back story resembles anything in the real world.

The Chinese at first might really have believed that they were under a bioweapons attack. They would have kept it secret at first, not to further the panic.
After they had inflicted tremendous damage on their own economy they could not confess that they had been taken in by a panic. So, they play along with the story that there really is a dangerous virus around.
This way, they force the same debilitating countermessures on western economies. While they can overcome the blow, European economies are so weak by now that they will fold. Which leaves China even gaining from their gambit.

As for the US, it has long been established that the anti trumpers will stop at nothing and blow their country to pieces ten times over, if it only carried a minimal chance of hurting Trump.

It is China and the Zionists who will be cashing in on this. A hell of a combination.

Sparkon , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 6:53 am GMT
@Flubber T his passage you have plagiarized is commonly misattributed to Cicero, but it was penned by Taylor Caldwell in her 1965 work A Pillar of Iron , a fictional novel about the Roman orator.

A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and he carries his banners openly against the city. But the traitor moves among those within the gates freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears no traitor; he speaks in the accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their garments, and he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation; he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of a city; he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to be feared.

-- Taylor Caldwell, A Pillar of Iron (1965) ch. 56

https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref/9780191843730.001.0001/q-oro-ed5-00017226

FB , says: Website Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 7:55 am GMT
@Ron Unz

So if American biowarfare analysts were considering a Coronavirus attack against China, isn't it quite possible they would have said to themselves that since SARS never significantly leaked back into the US or Europe, we'd similarly remain insulated from the Coronavirus?

The SARS virus may not be an apt comparison for the simple reason that it is far too deadly apparently [I'm not a virus expert] viruses that kill a lot aren't successful because the only way they can reproduce is through a host

Viruses live on a delicate balance, don't they? They have to be able to thrive without killing their host.

Right. The ones that kill off their host quickly will disappear. With the SARS virus, it's no surprise that killing 10 percent of its host, it wasn't able to establish itself as a pandemic virus on this planet.

Are there any signs that this coronavirus will kill itself?

This one has a lower pathogenicity. The lower its virulence, the more likely it'll become part of an endemic, part of a seasonal event. That's one of the big things that's going to be a worry.

–Leading Virologist Dennis Carroll

FB , says: Website Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 8:03 am GMT

The US cannot win a trade war with China. It cannot win a nuclear war. It cannot win a conventional land war. Yet from the neocon perspective it needs some kind of war ASAP before China grows too strong.

Of course those are plain facts that are clear to thinking people very few of which will be commenting on this particular website I notice the yowls of protest are already starting on this thread brace for many more

Strategic analysts agree that the necessary prelude to ramped up US-vs.-China warfare would be a decoupling of the US and Chinese economies. That decoupling is happening now, thanks to coronavirus.

True again, and an important point I was surprised to see the often-sensible Tucker Carlson going into full China bashing today calling exactly for this kind of economic decoupling from China and encouraging Trump in his belligerent tone towards China

https://www.youtube.com/embed/5W9vjsFQUUU?feature=oembed

FB , says: Website Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 8:14 am GMT
@Flubber Flubbering Idiot says

the Chinese authorities suppression of the initial medical analysis of the outbreak.

Total BS

These agit-prop China-bashing stories have been totally discredited by the great results the Chinese have achieved very effective and very efficient let's see now how the US copes [why do I have the feeling it won't be nearly as smooth ?]

Greg Bacon , says: Website Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 8:18 am GMT

"So the United States is run by lunatics, by psychopaths who are entirely capable of launching World War 3 by way of a biological warfare attack on China and Iran, with the Iran component presumably led by Israel. That's the most likely explanation for what we're seeing."

This is the kind of rot Press TV publishes.

The US is run by lunatics who are absolutely devoid of empathy for anyone else, unless it's their fellow war mongers or their colonial master, Israel.

The list of false flags the ruling US clique have used–to accomplish their goals–go back to the Spanish-American war and have only gotten bloodier and more sophisticated.

Take this excerpt from the PNAC declaration:

And advanced forms of biological warfare that can target specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool" (p. 60).

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3249.htm

Don't know about UNZ readers, but creating bio-weapons that target specific genotypes sounds like what took place in China, then Iran, where the virus mutated to target Persians.

If you go to the PNAC doc and read the names of the directors, staff and signatories, it reads like a Bar Mitzah guest list, that even has our old friend, former Pentagon comptroller Rabbi Dov S. Zakheim listed. Wonder if the good Rabbi ever found those missing Pentagon trillions?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_for_the_New_American_Century#People_associated_with_the_PNAC

The Israeli masterminded 9/11 false flag has been almost consecrated–like the holocaust–and anyone who dares to question the official lies, stands to lose their jobs, stature and be endlessly vilified for asking historical questions. Punitive measures that Mr. Barrett has first-hand knowledge of.

Monty Ahwazi , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 8:26 am GMT
Thank you Kevin Barrett for another informative article. Also thank you to UNZ for his support!
I just have one simple comment for both of you. I love the other fat man and I think his last name is something like Pimpeo! He expanded the US sanctions against Iran to include the antiviral medications this past Tuesday! He justified his action to furthering "extreme pressure" on Iranians and then he said the Iranian government is the corona virus in the region! Meaning it has to be exterminated! Isn't Mr Pimpeo a real good person?
You may want to add the Pimpeo's action against the Iranians to the list of your justifications that this virus was a man made virus and spread for evil reasons! Perhaps you are giving the stupid planners and executioner of the plan more credit than they deserve by saying that this plan may eventually save the western imperialism! As you said a bunch of inept and incompetent people planned and executed the spread of this virus but it blew up in their faces beyond their imagination. They just didn't realize that this virus can walk, spread and ultimately not discriminating against anyone, weak and strong or rich and poor!
Been_there_done_that , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 8:32 am GMT

" I spent most of 2004 through 2006 blaming Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld for 9/11.

With 2020 hindsight I can now see that I should have interpreted 9/11 as a likely false flag immediately, based on cui bono."

Better late than never. To anybody following that event on television back then, it should have already been obvious by the end of that same day that this was a professionally planned operation, based on the following clues:

• As the event was still unfolding, Ehud Barak was at BBC headquarters to provide the desired narrative;

• George W. Bush was not immediately whisked away from elementary school by his security agents.

• Symmetrical destruction of twin towers was inconsistent with consequences from a plane impact;

• Third tower collapsed rapidly for no apparent or plausible reason except a controlled demolition;

• Implausibility of emerging story involving coordinated Muslim hijackings with box cutter blades;

• Repetitive (scripted) "New Pearl Harbor " mantra by newscasters preceded by movie all summer long.

And a few weeks later it should have been obvious that the continuing molten metal and bedrock at ground-zero was a lingering effect of the nuclear detonations below the three buildings that precipitated their collapse. Even after so many years, some critics have still been reluctant to acknowledge this particularly hideous aspect of the operation.

" The question of whether the virus is naturally evolved or man-made is still open. "

A month ago Professor Boyle at University of Illinois publicly reported the findings from the scientific literature, that the virus had obviously been manipulated to provide "gain of function" properties, in other words, weaponized. In the meantime, virtually nobody in alternative media believes the official story purporting that the virus evolved naturally from animals.

However, had the virus been released intentionally during the Wuhan military games prior to Halloween, then the mass epidemic effects would definitely have already been conspicuously apparent by Thanksgiving, in late November, due to the rapid exponential infection rates in such a huge metropolis, instead of at least a month later, toward the end of the year. So the specific conspiratorial conjecture presented here – virus released in late October to then cause maximum damage three months later while remaining exclusively constrained within China– is already necessarily flawed and therefore implausible.

Since there has been so much talk over the past years, for instance by Alex Jones, of plans to use the need to protect a population against a biological weapons attack as a convenient pretext for governments to curtail everyone's freedoms and thereby condition people to accept such measures, this now evolving scenario was surely in the back of many people's minds. With such contingencies already in place, it is easy to presume that, once an accidental release had actually occurred, those who advocated such a new type of authoritarianism would not miss the opportunity to exploit the crisis in an attempt to shape future events accordingly.

Yet this new event can also be effectively harnessed by those who oppose the many adverse manifestations of " Globalism " (open borders facilitating mass migration, labor arbitrage through outsourcing, interdependent international supply chains, authoritarian government, curtailing public criticism through imposed censorship, disrupting social cohesion, etc.), so that type of endeavor to resist these globalist trends would be a worthwhile focus.

slashslashdele , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 8:45 am GMT
The big players, even as they are fighting one another, will agree that the current outbreak is an excellent opportunity to test a few things and to increase their control over their respective populations. Whether the virus came from a bat or a lab, they will take note, but in the end it matters little as they are all engaged in the same neverending campaign of theft and murder.
Agent76 , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 4:51 pm GMT
Sep 6, 2019 9/11 Whistleblowers

In the early 2000s, Kevin Ryan was the site manager at Environmental Health Laboraties. On November 11, 2004, he wrote directly to Frank Gayle, the director of NIST's Twin Towers investigation. The following week, he was fired. This is his story.

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

2.3 TRillion Dollars Missing from DOD Day before 9/11/ 2001

SEPTEMBER 10, 2001 Defense Business Practices

Secretary Rumsfeld and other officials talked with reporters about the need to refine the Defense Department's business practices. An opening ceremony will kick off Acquisition and Logistics Excellence Week.

http://www.c-span.org/video/?165947-1/defense-business-practices

Curmudgeon , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 5:08 pm GMT
@dimples

Possibly the virus is an engineered product, I don't know, that is up to those with bio-molecular expertise and experience. But released on purpose? A stretch to be sure given the all too predictable consequences.

I think you are being naive. This happened where I live:
https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/u-s-secretly-tested-carcinogen-in-western-canada-during-the-cold-war-researcher-discovers
Winnipeg and the surrounding area have unusually high rates of bowel cancer and bowel disease.

Greg Bacon , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 5:13 pm GMT
@Robert White

Engineered bat virus stirs debate over risky research

An experiment that created a hybrid version of a bat coronavirus -- one related to the virus that causes SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) -- has triggered renewed debate over whether engineering lab variants of viruses with possible pandemic potential is worth the risks.

https://www.nature.com/news/engineered-bat-virus-stirs-debate-over-risky-research-1.18787?WT.mc_id=TWT_NatureNews

Looks like someone has been working behind your back.

Does anyone truly think that the nation that dropped multiple thousands of tons of Napalm & Agent Orange on Vietnamese peasants, used Iraq for a weapons testing ground in 1991 and ever since 2003, especially in Fallujah, where we murdered wholesale anyone left in town after the Army brass told them to vamoose, then brought in bulldozers to bury the evidence.
And the nation that is so tough, that it uses pimply-faced kids, sitting in an AC bunker 9,000 miles away and commands them to sic Hellfire missiles onto weddings, apartments, mosques, hospitals and markets, do you really think that nation would stoop so low as to use bio-weapons?

All this butchery is affecting someone, like our vets, whose conscience wouldn't shut up, so over 60,000 committed suicide between 2008-2017

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2019/09/23/alarming-va-report-totals-decade-veteran-suicides.html

Guess I should add that the USA Deep State helped Israel pull off the 9/11 false flag, but I won't.

Astuteobservor II , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 5:13 pm GMT
@AnonFromBeijing There is a theory that Christianity in the west has been co opted by the Jews. Basically it means Christians who got twisted into serving jewish/zionist interests. This process started as early as the start of the 20th century.

It is why you have 45% of the US population who consider Israel/ Jerusalem to be holy land. They are evangelicals. They are the ones who put bush Jr and trump into the white house.

I personally would consider every single war since 2000 has been for israels benefit, maybe not wholely, but at least half.

Ron Unz , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 5:20 pm GMT
Well, I think I'll take the liberty of republishing portions of a couple of my recent comments from other threads for those who haven't seen them:

here's my analogy

Suppose two neighbors are feuding, and one of them has a psychopathic teenage son, who sneaks out late at night and starts an arson fire next door to "teach them a lesson."

But the victimized family smells smoke, wakes up, and using heroic effort puts the fire out with only fairly minor damage.

Meanwhile, the fire spreads back to the teenager's own house, and since the family is too lazy and incompetent to bother doing anything, the house catches on fire and burns to the ground, killing several relatives and leaving everyone homeless.

Under such a scenario, wouldn't it be more sensible for the attacked family to just quietly gloat a little and maybe offer condolences rather than to plot further vengeance?

https://www.unz.com/isteve/arguably-wrong-potential-american-deaths-range-from-5k-to-5-million/#comment-3772963

If this was a bioweapon released by the Us. The US would most certainly have a cure.

Well, that would make perfect sense unless elements of the American national security establishment were criminal, crazy, and totally incompetent. However, they ARE criminal, crazy, and totally incompetent.

Let's focus on an important point about which I think we can all now agree

According to official US government estimates published in the NYT, it's expected that up to 1.7 million Americans will die from the Coronavirus. Actually, the true figure may be far higher since they estimate that something like 200 million Americans will become infected, and 200 million infections would probably lead to many millions of deaths.

Over the last couple of months, China locked down its entire country in quarantine and stamped out the disease. South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan took immediate action to avert the disaster, and have successfully avoided substantial fatalities.

Meanwhile, during the same period the American government was so incredibly stupid, crazy, and incompetent that it did absolutely nothing, meaning that millions of Americans may quite possibly die as a consequence.

So everyone can agree that the American government is so stupid, crazy, and incompetent that millions of Americans may soon die.

Therefore, isn't it plausible that elements of a government so stupid, crazy, and incompetent as to cause the deaths of millions of Americans might also be so stupid, crazy, and incompetent as to have deployed a deadly bioweapon against China (and Iran)?

https://www.unz.com/article/was-coronavirus-a-biowarfare-attack-against-china/#comment-3773960

Alfred , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 5:21 pm GMT
@Chroniccough I strongly recommend the work of Martin Armstrong. He forecast this thing 3 years ago – 10 March 2020. Here is his blog. He is a very wealthy man and is doing this as a public service. I was a cynic to start with.

https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/blog/

He is forecasting that after this drop, there will be a rise to a higher level than ever before. He also forecast the current rise in the USD. Everyone else – especially in the commentary in blogs such as this one – has been suggesting that the end of the dollar was neigh.

Here is his letter today to Trump. He has advised heads of state for 40 years. He believes Trump is receiving bad advice.

Asking for Your Help – Forward This Letter To Whoever You May Think Will Help | Armstrong Economics

Bill Jones , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 5:27 pm GMT
@Anonymous "I originally thought the Coronavirus was a bioweapon targeted against China. But that doesn't make sense now that the virus has gone global and has hit US shores. "

Your reservations seem to be based on an assumption of competence of the perpetrators.

It is not one I share.

John Chuckman , says: Website Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 5:30 pm GMT
@Ron Unz IMPORTANT PERSPECTIVES ON THE CORONAVIRUS:

http://www.yourdestinationnow.com/2020/03/most-of-those-infected-wont-even-know.html

https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/17/a-fiasco-in-the-making-as-the-coronavirus-pandemic-takes-hold-we-are-making-decisions-without-reliable-data/

http://www.domigood.com/2020/03/nobel-prize-winner-who-predicted-china.html

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2020/03/false-claims-about-the-novel-coronavirus-and-how-to-debunk-them.html#more

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-0820-9

cranc , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 5:36 pm GMT
Worth looking at this thread by Swiss Propaganda Research which links to the recently published data from Italy (amongst many other things) :
https://swprs.org/a-swiss-doctor-on-covid-19/
Almost everyone who has died out there had at least one cause of comorbidity. They were majoritively old and ill.
I've been critical of OffGuardian's line on the matter of the virus (i.e. that COVID response is basically exaggerated beyond all proportion and is best considered as driven by media hype and an undisclosed agenda) , but am now taking it seriously, as it appears to be at least partially backed up by the Italian ISS data. Hat tip to them.
Zarathustra , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 5:45 pm GMT
Everything is only speculation.
But this one certainly makes sense.
Alfred , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 5:46 pm GMT
@DaveE

It took us years to put the 9/11 pieces together and realize the gargantuan Zionist scam

When my mother in London phoned me to tell me that "something was happening in New York", I got to see on TV the second building being hit. Later, when I saw huge chunks of matter flying heavenwards, I realised that it was a controlled-demolition.

I studied civil engineering 50 years ago. Maybe they no longer teach engineers the Laws of Motion of Isaac Newton. I don't know. But the silence by the engineering profession has been deafening my ears ever since.

There is not need to analyze anything. The videos give the game away to any scientifically-educated person.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/CYCuAa0eFKg?feature=oembed

Rev. Spooner , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 5:51 pm GMT
@Malcolms_brother And pray tell, how the oligarchs will/or have escaped being infected? Have they and their progeny been secretly vaccinated? With all flights being cancelled, how are they going to bolt to their burrows.
The only way to tell is check on the fatality rate among the super rich in the days to come.
Malcolms_brother , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 5:55 pm GMT
@Ron Unz The 200 million infection figure for the U.S. that you suggest is hyper-octane hyperbole. Not sure where you got that number from or how. Whatever the original source, that's clearly propaganda coming from them.

You do realize 200 mil would be nearly two-thirds of the U.S. population, no? The U.S. population is 330 mil. The Spanish Flu never infected that many people, nor Swine Flu, nor Bird Flu, NOR the SEASONAL FLU itself, nor this, nor that and so on and so forth.

I'd imagine the infection at it's very highest could be in the low single-digit millions, but unlikely.

Also, the 5k to 5 mil deaths cited by Steve Sailer is also nonsense. Anything of such a wide range tells you that the original person who came up with it really has no clue and is just pulling a figure out of his backside.

If 5 mil deaths, that would mean more than 166 mil infected (166,666,666 to be more exact), given a 3% fatality rate. That's way more than one-third of the U.S. population.

5k deaths is way more reasonable and more likely. That would mean 166,666 infections in the U.S.

Alfred , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 5:56 pm GMT
Let's take a look at the media of Israel. It will be interesting to see how many Jews die – if any. Let's not forget that the Israelis are past masters at manipulating their casualties of war and conflict.

To me, the number of "serious" cases is remarkably low – especially when compared to Iran. I guess it is because Iranian doctors are so bad. /sarc

Jump of 96 sick people over day earlier, partially due to increase in number of tests given; most patients doing well, 6 remain in serious condition

Number of confirmed virus cases hits 529 (Israel) as testing ramps up

Sean , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 5:57 pm GMT
@AnonStarter When an author is trying to convert the public to what is very much a minority view (in this post that a Deep State cabal is trying to start WW3 with a bioweapons attack on China), his readers have a reasonable expectation that his education and achievements or other qualifications validating his heterodox views will not be concealed by use of a pseudonym, and indeed Barrett did not use one.

I was not the one who said Barrett is held in such low regard by public opinion that it is counter productive for him to use his own name, and he is not worth neutralising even by something that would attract little attention such as fraudulent IRS tax audit, framing for having illegal pornography, wrongly diagnosed as a danger to himself and others or civil suits of the type that silenced the Sandy Hook Truthers. You did, and you said that Barrett lost his credibility by having already gone public under his own name as a 9/11 Truther critical of Israel. I suggested that as someone unknown under his own name you could step up and prevent WW3, but for the fact that your resume was far less impressive than Doctor Barrett's.

Mick Jagger gathers no mosque , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 5:57 pm GMT
Bioweapon? Prolly not as this pandemic was predicted in 2017

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/china-ground-zero-future-pandemic-180965213/

FB , says: Website Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 6:07 pm GMT
@Greg Bacon

advanced forms of biological warfare that can target specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool

Thanks for digging that up [from page 60 of the Project for the New American Century think tank's 90-page report Rebuilding America's Defenses, which is summarized at the link you posted ]

Although it may take several decades for the process of transformation to unfold, in time, the art of warfare on air, land, and sea will be vastly different than it is today, and 'combat' likely will take place in new dimensions: in space, 'cyber-space,' and perhaps the world of microbes.

Nobody can look at this and say this isn't the work of madmen but fast-forward twenty years since that insane screed was published, and those policies embarked upon, and where is the US now ?

Losing badly on every single front, that's where just in the last several days the US military has had to flee from some of their bases in Iraq, due to being rocketed by increasingly hostile anti-occupation groups Afghanistan is a lost cause and the US has agreed to a peace deal with the Taliban that amounts to the same kind of 'peace with honor' capitulation as Nixon sought in Vietnam

The US military might which these neocon crazies assumed would reign supreme, has been shown to be a paper tiger cowed and humiliated by an Iranian missile attack on a US military base in Iraq in January that produced dozens of casualties

The US project for regime change in Syria has been thoroughly defeated its Saudi allies are getting completely routed in Yemen Libya is completely out of reach now there is not a single conflict that the US has started in the last twenty years that it is not completely defeated [only Israel hangs on to its brutal apartheid occupied territory, but for how much longer ?]

The dream of 'dominating' space relies on Russian rocket engines to put US spy sats and other vital national security payloads into orbit because the US is incapable of producing such technology on its own the so-called 'missile defense' system has proved a complete papier-mâché joke, as North Korean missiles fly over the heads of dozens of 'missile defense' ships in the Sea of Japan

Didn't really take all that long for this grandiose wishcasting by the neocons to go up in a puff of smoke, now did it talk about delusional

Of course much of this utter failure was completely predictable at the time and many did forecast exactly such an unraveling of this insane scheme

Gabriel Kolko, research professor emeritus at York University and author of Another Century of War? (The New Press, 2002), in his article published in CounterPunch, and William Rivers Pitt, in Truthout, respectively, argued that the PNAC's goals of military hegemony exaggerated what the military can accomplish, that they failed to recognize 'the limits of US power'

Aqualung , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 6:10 pm GMT
@Anonymous Or China discovered a new strain of Corona virus, which is nothing special because it's a common flu virus which is always mutating, and they weaponized the idea instead of he virus. They know in any given flu season a large percent of people will get a Corona virus, which a test can pick up on, so if they do more
Testing, it will appear Cassie's are going up. They decide to put on a huge show with them shutting down cities and building hospitals at lightning speed. This Fuels media hysteria, not just in China, but globally. Iran eventually joins China and starts their own media storm about Corona, maybe give some politicians and clerics an early retirement, but make sure the news coming out is pure doom. Now the fear factor is getting real, and the media is non stop Corona doom, drawing in everyone, right wing left wing and feeding on its own hysteria. Italy, another global player who is friendly with China, starts reporting pandemonium. Never mind the fact that average age of people dying is 80 and 99% had preexisting illness or disease. Americans are panicking as usual, and in the process destroying their economy. China/Iran/Russia sit back and laugh as America descends into self induced anarchy
A123 , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 6:14 pm GMT
@Quintus The U.S. is promoting generic chloroquine to fight WUHAN-19 virus. (1)

President Donald Trump promoted the use of the anti-malaria drug chloroquine at the White House on Thursday, the purpose of which is to treat people infected with the coronavirus.

"We're going to be able to make that drug available almost immediately," Trump said at the White House press briefing on Thursday.
.
FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn said that under the president's direction he would move quickly for a chloroquine clinical trial to test its ability to treat the coronavirus.

In the meantime, doctors can ask for experimental drugs to use to treat their patients as part of a "compassionate use" program.

Normally 'experimental drugs' are cost prohibitive. However in this case, chloroquine is a generic already used to fight malaria.

Now all Trump has to do is make sure GlobalistPharma is kept at bay while single drug therapy is tried. No doubt the anti-Citizen CorporateLeft backing Quid Pro Joe will only want to test a 'cocktail' that includes at least one high cost component.

PEACE
_______

(1) https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/03/19/donald-trump-chloroquine-treatment-coronavirus-showing-tremendous-results/

PetrOldSack , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 6:17 pm GMT
@Sasha

Maybe, but my take is an engineered market crash

, obvious, yet there are other elements of ambition. As you might well know, 2008 was no less engineered. Again catering to the surplus US population, the wizardy might stick, to the elites in other power centers of the world though, all this hoaxing looks misery.

Now for China, or Russia, all significant players, none would hold back and answers must be in the make. All players know each other´s unlimited ambitions. Nothing new @any of them. To our knowledge, there is no single serious plan to deploy technology, science and social and political harnessing, economic sustainability, global population quality and sustainable numbers tuning into a "vision" other then washed out models, conflictive stances, base psychology. The ambition to play God, is not the same as assuming the responsibility of the Gods.

To the credit of Putin and Xi, their public figures at the least look and feel more consistent and reposed. The American elites, pulling out all tricks, pandering about look ridiculous to the rest of the world. Covid-19 cannot change that. Re-assessing the accounting is just not credible any longer. Existing historical models are inadequate, will allow for a few more loops maybe, but then, either new lines of thought or bust.

Ron Unz , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 6:19 pm GMT
@Malcolms_brother

The 200 million infection figure for the U.S. that you suggest is hyper-octane hyperbole. Not sure where you got that number from or how. Whatever the original source, that's clearly propaganda coming from them You do realize 200 mil would be nearly two-thirds of the U.S. population, no?

Well, what do I know? I'm not a professional epidemiologist.

But the estimate of something like 200 million infected Americans came from an official government CDC report that was published in my morning NYT. Right around then, Trump and all the politicians in DC got all agitated and began proposing massive national measures.

The British government estimated that 60-70% of their own population would end up getting infected, and the German government said pretty much the same thing. So the US CDC estimates were hardly extreme outliers.

A highly contagious disease which is spread for 1-2 weeks before the illness becomes apparent and to which no one has any immunity tends to increase exponentially. Someone claimed that the doubling-time of Coronavirus infections in the US was around five days. So what would stop 200 million people from getting infected?

ld , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 6:19 pm GMT
@Sean Since when has Empire cared about how obvious they are? There is a long list of wars, happy accidents murders and heart attacks where they offer the most transparent excuse and ignore the tsunami of questions and accusations from the annoying populace. Their contempt for Joe citizen has never been more apparent.
St-Germain , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 6:22 pm GMT
@St-Germain

Sorry! Forgot to mention twofresh news items: 1. a French research group led by Didier Roault issued an invitation to health professionals only to participate in testing the anti-malaria agent hydroxichloroquine against corona virus because France and the Chinese among others have found it very effective in preventing that new corona virus parasitic infection. 2. The U.S. government offered $1 billion for control of Germany's top vaccine manufacturer with the stipulation that all rights to its prospective cornna remedy would go to the United State only. Smelling an "offer it couldn't refuse" the company alerted the German government, which replaced the CEO who had been invited to the White House and said the company was not for sale. It said any vaccine it makes would be for the whole world, not for just one country.

So, there's aconnection between malaria drug develpment, a U.S. Army specialty since 1963, and the corona virus vaccine race. Both malaria and corona come from blood parasites, although the former is mosquito-borne. Looks now like the same class of drugs can also kill two birds with one shot. Coincidence?

A123 , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 6:45 pm GMT
@Ron Unz -1- The most likely explanation is still natural. If a simple malaria drug chloroquine is effective, that strongly suggests that WUHAN-19 is not a weaponized virus.

The other likely scenarios are:

-2- Escape from the Wuhan viral lab. Poorly paid workers need money for big holidays. If an employee was likely to do something foolish, it is logical & unsurprising that the WUHAN-19 escape would align with a holiday spending need.

-3- Indiscriminate Mass Attack on multiple nations -- U.S., China, etc..
. -3a- Erdogan dislikes both the U.S. & China. Plus he is crazy enough to infect the world.
. -3b- Sociopath Khameni also has no restraint and would be willing to exterminate all life on the planet.
. -3c- Non-State terrorist group, such as Islamic Jihad or Islamic State.

-4- Intentional Chinese false flag to blame the U.S.
. Far fetched, but still vastly more likely than the 0% chance of a U.S. attack. WUHAN-19 would have guaranteed world wide spread while allowing the Chinese government to appear to be taking action.
_____

There is no plausible reason to believe the Trump administration ordered this attack.

The U.S. Trade Negotiating Team lead by Robert E. Lighthizer has been beating the helpless Chinese totally senseless on every front. No one attacks a loser. The loser is already losing .

A high spread choice, such as WUHAN-19 makes no sense. Any U.S. attack would have selected something more easily contained in China.

If you believe that an Obama appointed traitor did this to over throw Trump, that should be classified as an anti-U.S. attack even if the material was illicitly & treasonously obtained from a U.S. facility.

PEACE

Anonymous [392] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 6:51 pm GMT
@Astuteobservor II I would like to add to this, if I may.

Are you aware of the religious group/cult from China called the Falun Gong? They were (past tense) a group of mutually-supporting, silently-conspiring Han Chinese who almost never spoke of their affiliation with their "cult".

That they had their own specific religious practices was never a problem. If they had stayed simply a religion, they would have been left alone.

But, it was noticed by wider Chinese society that they tended to collude with other Falun Gong religious practitioners, and to be slowly and quietly placing their members into influential and sometimes even powerful positions in wider Chinese society. Everything from governments (local, provincial and even national), the educational system, the media, the military, and industry and finance.

Of course, maybe the media and educational infiltration would not have gotten very far given the Chinese "censors" and the . . . "thought regulators", but the attempt to infiltrate and hijack society was clearly being made. The Falun Gong conspiracy had been patiently operating in the shadows for quite a long time.

This finally incited alarm and fury among the masses and the leadership. The Chinese state (through-out history) has always had strong safeguards against alien/foreign infiltration, apart from the innate paranoia and suspicions of the people themselves.

So the PRC government swung into action , banning Falun Gong, arresting many members at all levels (all the way to the National), throwing a huge number (a VERY huge number, including families, it is said) into "re-education camps".

They forced, by various means (use your imagination), members of the group to turn each other in. Every Falun Gong sympathizer was uncovered and stripped of influence. Teachers pointed out officials, who pointed out businessmen, who denounced Party members, who turned in PLA officers. An unknown number of executions followed, and rather more consigned to the prison camps.

Falun Gong influence was thoroughly purged from Chinese life.

And that, IMHO, is the source of much of the championing of Falun Gong (some of whom escaped) by the Western MSM, and its owners and controllers.

After all, if China can purge and then destroy people clearly their own (full-blooded Chinese, albeit engaged in conspiracy against society), how could those very clearly alien manage to subvert and manipulate the Chinese into being their slaves? And how could China be destroyed from within?

Well, it VERY probably cannot.

A123 , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 6:55 pm GMT
@St-Germain

The U.S. government offered $1 billion for control of Germany's top vaccine manufacturer with the stipulation that all rights to its prospective cornna remedy would go to the United State only.

This Fake Stream Media [FSM] lie was already thoroughly debunked days ago. (1)

German newspaper claiming that President Donald Trump wanted to secure exclusive American access to a coronavirus vaccine has proven to be false, but only after the story was repeated and spread by mainstream media outlets including Reuters, The Guardian, and Business Insider.

Reuters later stealth-edited its story to incorporate official statements denying the original newspaper report. But a New York Times journalist had already shared the Reuters article before it was altered. An MSNBC producer also shared the story.

German media deceivers are no different than than the rest of the FSM. DW=CNN

Please stop repeating their lies.

PEACE
_______

(1) https://www.breitbart.com/the-media/2020/03/16/reuters-stealth-edits-debunked-story-claiming-trump-sought-monopoly-on-covid-19-vaccine/

Aqualung , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 6:55 pm GMT
@refl China/Iran weaponized common flu simply by putting on a great show. Shuttering cities, building hospitals at lightning pace, imposing draconian travel bans and leaking questionable videos. Iran does the same and sends some clerics and politicians to early retirement. Max doom from their media, feeds into ours. Left or right, it's bipartisan fear. Corona is one of the more common flu viruses, thousands get it every year, so slowly ramping up testing specifically for that virus will inevitably lead to a perceived exponential spike especially if you never compare it to other flues this year or last. Anyway, America destroys their economy in the panic.
FB , says: Website Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 6:57 pm GMT
@AnonFromBeijing

Your elite and your people deserve each other, just like master and slaves deserve each other

LOL you're way too intelligent for this website, friend you will get bored here very quickly I predict

Jew & Israel, have to serve the Anglo since Zionist have no backups no hidings, some times function as scapegoats and get given up or set up by the Anglo to ease the angry of common white or other elite.

That's pretty much it you will find plenty of these 'common white' here on this website they're entire existence revolves around blaming the wrong people for their misery mostly 'commies' and Jews

'The public must be put in its place so that each of us may live free of the trampling and roar of the bewildered herd.'

–Walter Lippman, Society in its Place

'You have to control people by control of beliefs and attitudes' [when the people] are spectators not participants, then you'll have a properly functioning democracy the idea is to try to control everyone they want to create an uninformed electorate which will make irrational choices often against their own interests

–Noam Chomsky

So you see what has happened here is that the smart people [those with the intelligence and the money and power] have basically created a completely fantastic parallel universe that has nothing to do with reality [commies killed a gazillion people] that very effectively steers the sheeple right into the box of rampant ignorance that the elite want them to inhabit

The sheeple of course are weak-minded, unable to think for themselves, and simply gravitate to easy solutions and scapegoats pre-manufactured for them by the intelligentsia ie blame others, go and vent in this direction just don't blame us, your rulers, who are the real source of your misery LOL

It is amazingly effective you will find on this very website proof of this at least a thousand times a day it's like unruly children who are given toys on which they can take out their frustrations, while the parents go about their business in peace and quiet

UK , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 6:59 pm GMT
The US did better in the 2019 Military Games than the 2015 ones. You conspiracy theorist loons can't be bothered to check anything.
Kevin Barrett , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 7:15 pm GMT
@Sean My favorite Yiddish saying is: "If you tell the truth, make it funny, or they'll kill you."

So I write satire as life insurance: https://kevinbarrett.heresycentral.is/category/satire/

It has worked fine so far.

Anon [123] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 7:16 pm GMT
The ability of the biowarfare or biotec scientists to manipulate DNA or RNA to achieve a particular result either in disease or ethnocentric targeting is wildly overestimated in the press and otherwise.

It is hyped by Biowarfare "Experts" in governments seeking funding and in biotec by scientists trying to IPO or sell themselves to big-pharma.

The ability of big pharma to do this is non-exisitent as they are monopolist bankers and never invent anything despite the enourmos R&D budgets.

That an existing disease and possible candidate for biowarfare, could escape from the new Wuhan lab, (certified 2015 and the only level 4 lab in China) is far more plausible, given Chinese attitudes towards quality control rules and regulations.

Iran's intense interaction with China because of the sanctions over the past years has facilitated spread through increased travel between Wuhan and Quom.

Some of the same Chinese trade facilatators traveled to Italy negotiating the belt and road, which is a comedy heading to a unfortunate end despite however much Panda boy pays Pepe to shill for him.

I don't see any plausible link to Israel here, but Bill Gates is mighty strange.

FB , says: Website Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 7:17 pm GMT
@AnonFromBeijing And just to illustrate my earlier point about the predictable stupidity of the noisy, indoctrinated sheeple that puzzle you here an example from one such ruminant

White Europeans have the dubious distinction of being hated and despised most passionately by jews and this is why powerful jewish forces have been deliberately flooding every single historic White European nation on Earth with millions of non-white aliens from the third world.

This is the 'Great Replacement' agenda.

So the influx of millions of desperate folks willing to work for peanuts and thus drive down the wages of ordinary Americans and Europeans in the turbo-capitalist system is not due to any desire to profit on our labor but is simply motivated by the hate of Jews towards whites ?

You decide if that passes even the most basic human logic ?

And these same indoctrinated fools, their heads filled with koolaid about the glory of capitalism will stand up and actually defend the right of billionaires to just keep on fleecing everybody

You will also see them railing most passionately against the 'Chicoms' even as China's people continue to ascend to ever greater heights of prosperity, while their own beloved, capitalism buries them ever deeper into bondage

Again, you decide whether these 'highly intelligent' white folks are shooting at the right target LOL

tomo , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 7:17 pm GMT
@antibeast Too many of us assume these psychopaths in charge of our Idiocracy are actually wise, knowledgeable and even honorable (mostly thanks to the loudest megaphone the same psychopaths own and control to spread disinformation)

Psychopaths don't think that way – they are kind of like HIV in how they act

9-11 and Coronavirus is exactly something they would do – especially because it seems anti-intuitive.
The same way blaming their victims for their crimes does – and that's why psychopaths use these tricks to manage us.

Normal people find such behavior hard to believe – and that is exactly why psychopaths and psychopathic 'cultures' use them.
It's all about confusing their victims before they try to destroy them completely.
it's a 100% predatory mindframe.
And don't forget most of these 'wealthy' (in money only perhaps) people got their wealth from their equally dumb and clueless parents whose only skill also is kissing ass to their wealthy parents so to inherit the ill-gotten $$.
After a few generation of such degenerated incompetent people in power – you end up where we are now – Trump as a ruler of world's biggest idiocracy ever

9/11 Inside job , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 7:32 pm GMT
jamesfetzer.org :"The only pandemic in America is that of unbridled fear and a total lack of intelligent thought" By Gary D.Burnett :
"Can the common flu cause people in America and worldwide to lose their minds and their ability to think?Apparently that is the case , as Americans have gone insane over a monster created in thin air called Coronavirus . I have anticpated a scenario such as this, and written about it for a decade or more , but the response by the people of this country is more ridiculous than even I could have imagined It is my belief that the regular flu is being used as a cover for this fake virus and will serve to hide fault of a State-created economic collapse Trump and his entourage are actually preparing the sheep for ongoing martial law."
anon [182] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 7:58 pm GMT
M. Unz's analogy to domestic arson is appealing but inaccurate in this case. What we have here is an act subject to two institutionalized legal processes: international criminal law and state responsibility for internationally wrongful acts. These are two complementary means of righting wrongs but they don't provide for either vengeance or gloating.

Since use of COVID-19 is an undeclared act of war, the international criminal law at issue is that governing crimes against peace:

https://legal.un.org/ilc/texts/instruments/english/commentaries/7_4_1996.pdf

This is in a late stage of development, but formal acceptance of the code doesn't matter because for the gravest crimes, the principle is, you should know better.

Now another way to handle CIA's germ warfare is to treat it as an internationally wrongful act in breach of jus cogens. This provides for restitution, reparations, satisfaction, and compensation with interest for the consequences of CIA use of COVID-19. The rules are different, but they articulate with international criminal law because satisfaction may involve prosecution of designated suspects (Robert Gates, Hayden, Haspel, etc.) The procedure is analogous in function to domestic tort law.

https://legal.un.org/ilc/texts/instruments/english/commentaries/9_6_2001.pdf
(This is a draft because the annotations help explain the precedents and rationale.)

So this is what's gonna happen to the DO psychos. After the war.

Ron Unz , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 8:40 pm GMT
@anon

M. Unz's analogy to domestic arson is appealing but inaccurate in this case Since use of COVID-19 is an undeclared act of war, the international criminal law at issue is that governing crimes against peace: Now another way to handle CIA's germ warfare is to treat it as an internationally wrongful act in breach of jus cogens. This provides for restitution, reparations, satisfaction, and compensation with interest for the consequences of CIA use of COVID-19.

Well, first of all there's no solid evidence that the Coronavirus outbreak was a biowarfare attack, and there may never be

But let's suppose a case is somehow made and reasonably proven. The consequences will have been trillions of dollars of damage to the American economy, hundreds of millions of Americans severely inconvenienced or financially damaged, and (if we're lucky!) maybe only tens of thousands of American deaths. This would quite possibly be one of the worst national disasters in our entire history.

If it were reasonably proven that certain individuals in the CIA or some other government agency were responsible, do you think there would be enough pieces left of their bodies to consider applying "jus cogens" or anything else??!!

S , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 8:46 pm GMT
Great article.

Whether the virus was 'planned' (ie created) or not, it can be used for all sorts of things:

1) Should it mutate, or, as it is, simply be handled completely incompetently, it may be used to push global population down closer to the five hundred million 'sustainable' figure which has long been touted by some powerful people and their hangers on.

2) To break the US economically by 'shutting everything down', and to thereby cause the 'Fall of Capitalism' (paralleling Communism's 'fall' thirty years ago), so that the two wings of this manufactured and broadly controlled Hegelian Dialectic which has been at play since 1776 and 1789 can be pushed forward towards final 'synthesis' in global Multi-Culturalism, and the establishment of a long sought after world state/empire.

[Not to worry, 'true believers' in Capitalism, as just as with Communism's purported demise decades ago, there will still be gigantic chunks of Capitalism around, and probably (just as now) it will remain in the superior position vis-a-vis the remnants of Communism, the way it always has been. True believers in Communism will be allowed and encouraged to think they are responsible for Capitalism's purported 'fall' as a consolation for thirty years ago.]

3) Trump and Xi, as ultimately likely controlled opposition of each other, could very well be used to steer the US/UK and China/Russia into WWIII. The almost cartoon like insistence of Trump saying 'Chinese flu' of late could be a very small part of that at the moment, as is China's recently suggesting the US military was behind the flu's introduction in Wuhan. In any such war, as is now standard procedure, the US/UK would strive to have it at least appear that China/Russia struck the first blow. WWIII, with probable massive casualties possibly far out stripping the human losses of WWI and WWII, would work towards global depopulation. [See #1 above]

4) A world war, one not going as well as initially expected, ie 'badly', combined with economic collapse, would in certain ways recreate conditions parallelling late 1917 Russia in the United States. This would further energize the already radicalized 'Bernie Bros' and much of the Democratic party, and may tempt them to seriously consider revolutionary action, ie a 'Red October 2.0' type of event to seize power, to be followed by a vicious Russian style 'civil war'. This civil war would also work towards global depopulation. [See #1 above]

No doubt this virus can be used for other purposes as well.

As late in the day as it is, what can people do?

As individuals (and groups) people can stop buying into this manufactured and contrived supposedly 'progressive' and 'enlightened' dialectic which has been at work between Capitalism and Communism the past two hundred plus years, and offer something better, to both yourself and others.

It shouldn't take much to have something a lot better, as this now centuries old hatred driven dialectical 'cure' which has been offered humanity, and now has the peoples of the world on the cusps of WWIII, is 'worse than the disease'.

DaveE , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 8:48 pm GMT
@Alfred I agree. I'm an engineer also (electronics) and it took me a little longer to put it all together, but not by much. My comment was directed more at the goobers than the way-above-intelligence types like engineers. It's taken them a little longer (maybe a LOT longer) but they're onto the truth, these days.

I have daily contact with a bunch of dirt-poor, uneducated white people and even they are totally onto the "coronavirus" hoax. They ain't buying a word of it. Although they realize that a lot of the shortages and product hoarding is simply a poor man's hedge fund, just in case the virus is an engineered pathogen and is "somewhat" a concern. Better prepared than not – and I can't fault that logic.

But panicked and hysterical they are definitely NOT.

Hope you find this as heartening as I do.

Thomasina , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 8:51 pm GMT
@Ron Unz "So if American biowarfare analysts were considering a Coronavirus attack against China, isn't it quite possible they would have said to themselves that since SARS never significantly leaked back into the US or Europe, we'd similarly remain insulated from the Coronavirus?"

Yes, except they seemed to willingly let it in. After the outbreak in China was officially announced, planeload after planeload of potential virus carriers were landing in the U.S., U.K., Australia, Canada, and the E.U. countries every single day. I'm surprised there's anybody left in China!

Now, if it was an American biowarfare attack, and considering what I said above, it could be they developed the weapon to specifically target Chinese/Asian people. That might explain why they willingly let them fly in, because they already knew it wouldn't do that much damage to the host population.

SARS mainly attacked Chinese people. It would be interesting to know whether the people being affected in the U.S. and Canada, for instance, are mainly Asians.

Sean , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 8:54 pm GMT
There is a key point about coronavirus being spread by not yet obviously ill people that was made in Sean Carroll's podcast with Tara Smith yesterday. She also said that SARS is completely different because the SARS virus is only shed from really sick people. So American bioweapons experts would also understand that, and not expect the late 2002 outbreak of SARS in China failing to spread all across the globe to be a guide to how a coronavirus epidemic would behave.
ploni almoni , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 8:56 pm GMT
@anon Did you say Dis-information officers? Captain Ilan Rabinovich wants to see you in his office right away.
K. W. , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 8:57 pm GMT
Dr. Barret, in your article you cite a study that you quote (incorrectly) as saying: Other sources claim "The spike glycoprotein of 2019-nCoV contains a cleavage absent in CoV – showing that it was engineered rather than evolved." Indeed, the journal article itself does not claim that it must have been "engineered rather than evolved". I'm agnostic on whether it was engineered or evolved, but would urge you to remove "engineered rather than evolved" at least from the hyperlinked part and leave it as normal text so that people do not mistakenly assume that the article itself openly claims this
Arnieus , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 9:01 pm GMT
Blow back also serves a purpose.
Whether or not blowback was foreseen it serves as a scapegoat for Trump. The media that lies about everything keep saying this will end Trump. I don't think so. The great economy he pats himself on the back for is made of several trillion more dollars on our US credit card. Many prognosticators predicted the bubble could not sustain till election. Many didn't want it to. Now the air is out of the bubble and Trump can avoid blame at least to his supporters.

The shutdown is a massive power grab and anti-China propaganda. Governments of all sizes and shapes assume the authority to shut down the economy on every level. This is the 2×4 to the head to get the attention of main street. At the same time China gets the blame. It is so reminiscent of the 1930s when many diplomats like Joe Kennedy were highly concerned about the western media vilification of Germany and Japan. Sure enough events were manipulated to incite "the good war".

One thing is sure IMO. The virus did not come from a bat. Given the list of coinsidences of location and timing, just months after the Globalist Event 201 I lean toward it not being China's fault. That is China's opinion as well apparently. I for one don't really want another good war.

Sasha , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 9:06 pm GMT
@9/11 Inside job Trudeau I consider to be the bumbling front-man, while the power behind the throne is the former FM and now current Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. She is a close friend of George Soros, and was slated to be his official biographer. Not exactly comforting to me, but the vast majority of Canadians are incredibly ignorant and complacent. Will never venture outside of the Overton Window. Good piece concerning her right here. https://off-guardian.org/2017/09/29/canadian-fm-freeland-was-slated-to-be-george-soros-authorized-biographer/ , and this alarming report – https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-trudeau-would-be-replaced-by-freeland-if-unable-to-perform-duties-amid/
cranc , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 9:07 pm GMT
@Ron Unz The data from Italy shows that 99.2% of deaths atrributed to Covid19 are actually deaths of people who already have serious diseases. We do not know if they died with Covid or from Covid.
https://swprs.org/a-swiss-doctor-on-covid-19/
This is data from the Italian National Health Institute, it is official government numbers.
What will likely kill many more people than the virus are the actions of our governments, destroying the global economy and sending us over the edge into social breakdown due the ever growing lockdown.
https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/17/a-fiasco-in-the-making-as-the-coronavirus-pandemic-takes-hold-we-are-making-decisions-without-reliable-data/
DaveE , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 9:13 pm GMT
@Ron Unz The economy was gonna tank anyway. When you have a "market" selling shares with P-E ratios of 100 or more, common, what other possibility is there?

But "never let a good crisis go to waste" is the guiding M.O. of the zionists. Maybe they just gave it gentle "push" and that was all it took.

I predict this is all just groundwork for something MUCH bigger in the near future. A little pain and suffering to get us ready, IOW.

Wyatt , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 9:28 pm GMT
@SethF1968 The rest of the article does say it might not be true. I trust the Chinese to be malicious, duplicitous scumbags, but I don't trust them to be competent with that. Given two scenarios:

1. The Chinese are successfully engineering a bio-weapon that a careless scientist just happens to get into his rice during lunch or,
2. The Chinese are trying to engineer a bio-weapon, doing a piss poor job of it and when it escapes from the lab, it has the propensity to mutate dangerously like it's goddamn Resident Evil,

I'll pick the latter. The CCP is a litany of continuous fuckups that would have been handled decades ago if our own government wasn't filled with self serving degenerates and tards.

anon [392] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 9:30 pm GMT
Many thanks for your thought-provoking reply! If, M. Unz, by solid evidence you mean proof, that may be true for now. The bill of indictment took a long time to complete in the case of JFK and 9/11, but now the open-source evidence meets forensic standards, notwithstanding state secrecy, Section 202, the operational files exemption, the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, deference upon deference, the political questions doctrine, and all the other legal pretexts CIA has set up to obscure attribution of its crimes. The cases are open and shut but there's no way to prosecute CIA here at home, by design. The last time somebody gave it a try (Church and Pike,) Don Gregg threatened martial law and that was that.

This case is different because the whole world has a beef. CIA's impunity setup don't work so good offshore. The sovereign victims are already on the case.

I'm not sure Americans would tear em apart if they found out. Americans are the most brainwashed population in the world. They make North Koreans look like Spinoza. The trick of equating America and the government is sunk in deep. They fall for it every time. The trick of confounding adverse information with foreign dictators works equally well on left and right. (We all saw the left blame Putin for the Queen of Mena's 2016 party putsch because it failed.) CIA will never be made to pay without outside pressure. It's a problem for the world. Good thing they're on it.

Iva , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 9:33 pm GMT
I wouldn't worry about beeing calld "antisemite" , "this is the trick we always use ." says former Israeli minister on Amy Godman show Democracy Now.
Sparkon , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 9:34 pm GMT
@Flubber W hen you fail to attribute a quotation, and fail to enclose it within quotation marks (or use the blockquote tag), it is plagiarism, irrespective of your intentions or ignorance, either one.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the verb "to plagiarize" means:

"to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own : use (another's production) without crediting the source "

How To Avoid Plagiarism in Your Work:

1 Cite your source
When alluding to an idea or wording that's not your own, add a citation in your writing that identifies the full name of the source, the date it was published, and any other citation element that's required by the style guide you're adhering to.

2 Include quotations
If you insert a source's words into your writing, verbatim, one of the most simple yet obvious ways to avoid plagiarism is by using quotation marks around the text to denote that the words aren't your own. A direct quote should also cite the source so that readers know who the quote is from.

https://www.grammarly.com/blog/5-most-effective-methods-for-avoiding-plagiarism/

(my bolds)

I see you are having trouble with English in a number of ways, so perhaps it is not your first language. Please take the opportunity to learn from the experience, and improve your English.

anon8383892 , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 9:37 pm GMT
@Alfred Yes absolutely correct.

I saw the planes hit that morning from desert suburbia AZ, then when they exploded (the language in the news was "collapsed" but it is clear from direct visual intuition that they went off something like "Roman candles") I was like "no way! They fucking exploded! "
It was obvious to me at the time that they were rigged." And yet, somehow I convinced myself in the following months that the buildings had collapsed. I convinced myself after careful study of the NYT that the buildings had suffered "progressive collapse". Complete subservience of reason and sense to authority, and I was someone regarded as a renegade, maverick, free-thinker.
By late 2002 my suspicions of the neo-cons had me thinking they'd cultivated and allowed the terror attack to go through in order to reap the benefits. I started hearing theories about controlled demolition at WTC and a missile at Pentagon I thought no way they would take the associated operational risk (of exposure and justice), plus the NYT had convinced to disregard my lying eyes A few years later I realized my mistake, saw research and documentaries on the nano-thermite angle, WTC-7 etc

The moral of the story is how gullible and naive even a supposed high-iq independent thinker can be.

And yeah, it's amazingly obvious that those buildings exploded/burned (nano-thermite) like roman-candles.

The other moral of the story is just how dishonorable -- I think the term "cucked" is popular these days -- a nation can be. Right in your face, and you do nothing, pretend you didn't see it. All the conformists, people afraid of suffering for something.

Hempus , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 9:39 pm GMT
@ Kevin Barrett

Thanks for this great article! I know you from the time when Ahmadinejad was president of Iran and when at Presstv was the possibility to leave comments. This changed with Rouhani but I followed your writings also at VT.

I think this Covid-19 plot is especially designed to weaken China, but especially also because China is a supporter of Iran, Iraq, Syria..the main countries of the resistance against the greater Israel project.

The first person in Iran who died of "covid-19" was an 83 year old man after (!) a covid-19 "quick test" was made.
Covid-19 is probably all over the world and especially to find in old people homes where the inmates had recently a flu or those people with an acute flu.

Coronaviruses mutate permanently. It seems Covid -19 is an old mutation because its common all over the world and people who have the antibodies actually dont need a vaccination to create exactly those antibodies.
The special danger is when there is a mutation of this virus and you dont have the antibodies.

This testing is nonsense!
Those tests are even dangerous because the poor people who are tested positive are told that they have a deadly virus and this people tend to get in panic and fear, becomming breathlessness and eventually get an acute pneumonia fibrosis which leads sometimes to death.
Pneumonia fibrosis is not caused by a virus but by wrong breathing habits and bad air and especially by panic breathing!

Once more I like to give the link to Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg a German lung medical doctor who gives an excellent view into this insane virus hysteria.

https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/international-news/disease/dr-wolfgang-wodarg-confirms-this-is-an-insane-panic/

I am a breathing therapist and worked on the front line also during the AIDS hysteria. Kevin Barrett, I know you have still excellent contacts to presstv and It would make me happy to help solving this nightmare in Iran.

Pft , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 9:42 pm GMT
Its seems to me there is a Chinese-American collaboration at work. Much of the apparent conflict is fake wrestling. Leaders of countries need external enemies to control their own citizens.

If you look at the research thats been done on corona viruses gain of function and corona virus/ebola/zika virus vaccines you run into the same names a lot, Chinese scientists, American scientists, Wuhan , UNC, Duke all funded by DARPA, NSAID, NIH , chinese military, chinese cdc Bill Gates, etc, often in collaboration with each other. George Gao of China CDC attended Event 201.

The goal is creation of Authoritarian states throughout the world modeled after China, as elaborated in Lock Step. Moving away from the Global Village concept, each region/country will duplicate the firewall China has built for internet to isolate its citizens from foreign ideas and internal censorship, although the elites and multinationals corporations and institutions will be united and interlocked. Travel between countries and foreign residence/immigration will become more difficult for the non-elite. Walls will be built to keep ordinary people in. Mandatory vaccinations and health care (medicare for all-appropriately rationed) . Digital ID, enhanced tracking/surveillance. Robots will replace illegal immigrant workers. Conditions will be ripe to implement the green economy, enforce a cashless society and ration energy consumption through 5G/IoT and smart meters, and universal income

The economic crash like all crashes was planned. As Mnuchin said, they are great buying opportunities for the rich so as to accumulate more wealth at a discount (paper losses are future tax breaks). Former CDC director sold half her Merck Shares on jan 13 for 9.11 million. Bezos sold off billions of Amazon stock, etc. Maybe they knew what was coming.

Mefobills , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 9:46 pm GMT
@Kevin Barrett It may be a moot, to point fingers at this juncture.

The models for replication are predicated on X transmission rate. Where X doesn't assume there is part of the population that is naturally resistant.

Also, the models don't predicate for temperature and humidity. All of the hot spots are in a narrow band of temperature and humidity.

Turkey is not reporting high levels of infection, while they are in that "zone" right now. They are probably lying.

https://www.asbmb.org/asbmb-today/science/020620/could-an-old-malaria-drug-help-fight-the-new-coron

If above study is right, an inexpensive pill can be sent to the hot spots.

Thomasina , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 9:49 pm GMT
@cranc "We do not know if they died with Covid or from Covid."

Excellent point! If they are purposely looking to get the numbers of dead up, then they died "from" Covid.

The regular flu went through my uncle's old-age home. Killed him and many others, just pushed them over the edge, with pneumonia, just like Corona has.

Iva , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 9:55 pm GMT
https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2020-03-18/coronavirus-could-reshape-global-order &#8230 ; some people say that we should take seriously what CFR's magazine Foreign Affairs say in its articles. They give us clues what GFR's globalists are planing for our world. Just as they set and ended communism in Central and Eastern Europe , they can end US hegemony in the world. If they will decide it is China's tern to be in power, that it will be.
Moti Nissani , says: Website Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 10:03 pm GMT
This is a courageous, thought-provoking, article. It will take a while to piece this story together, but for now, this theory is at least as likely as the official explanation. If correct, this theory leads to a few interesting predictions. Among them:

1. No member of high standing of the Deep State, e.g., Gates, the Rockefeller Clan, Netanyahoo, will die from this virus.
2. Per capita, there will be less fatalities in Israel than anywhere else.

I'm not sure Barrett pointed this out: The psychopaths in charge did not hesitate to slaughter some 3,000 Americans on 9/11, nor any number of European allies during Operation Gladio. Everyday, they have their police kill 3 Americans. They would be very willing, perhaps even glad, to sacrifice millions of Americans–or people of any nationality–to achieve their goals.

As Barrett notes, the parallels to 9/11 are indeed striking.

St-Germain , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 10:03 pm GMT
@A123 Two German cabinet members commented angrily on this matter. Either they are lying or it's the media sources you quote. And why was the American CEO of the company suddenly canned?
bjondo , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 10:04 pm GMT
https://gizadeathstar.com/2017/11/putin-someone-collecting-russian-dna-usaf-admits/

https://www.rt.com/news/408416-russians-biological-samples-research/

Was similar collecting done from Chinese/Chinese Americans,
from Iranians/Iranian Americans, others?

5ds

SBaker , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 10:04 pm GMT
@Just Passing Through Ouch. Antimuslim comments will raise the hair on a pig. Ever notice how the Muslims and the other Semites, the Jews led the impeachment/coup against Trump. These two groups were completely united together with the Semite controlled old media, and yet, commenters here call Trump their puppet.
Scott Locklin , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 10:09 pm GMT

Other sources claim "The spike glycoprotein of 2019-nCoV contains a cleavage absent in CoV – showing that it was engineered rather than evolved." Perhaps readers more familiar with the science than I am can arbitrate such disputes in the comments section.

Yeah, I'll ajudicate the "dispute," you unspeakable dingus: the word "engineered" and the phrase "showing that it was engineered rather than evolved" are not in the paper, and the paper makes no assertion remotely like your misquotation. The paper merely notes how the virus differs from other CoV viruses.

Unz review has really turned into something Alex Jones tier. Except with Steve Sailer and Whitney Webb.

SBaker , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 10:11 pm GMT
@Sean There is a key point about coronavirus being spread by not yet obviously ill people that was made in Sean Carroll's podcast with Tara Smith yesterday. She also said that SARS is completely different because the SARS virus is only shed from really sick people. So American bioweapons experts would also understand that, and not expect the late 2002 outbreak of SARS in China failing to spread all across the globe to be a guide to how a coronavirus epidemic would behave.""

Sean, the Wuhan corona is far more contagious than either the SARS or MERS corona viruses. People with the Wuhan shed large viral loads prior to the onset of disease and mild cases will never get tested.

Iris , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 10:15 pm GMT
@Greg Bacon

The Israeli masterminded 9/11 false flag has been almost consecrated–like the holocaust–and anyone who dares to question the official lies, stands to lose their jobs, stature and be endlessly vilified for asking historical questions. Punitive measures that Mr. Barrett has first-hand knowledge of.

Good to remember that Dr Barrett is unambiguously proven to be right by the immutable laws of Physics and Engineering:

– A September 2019 University of Alaska PhD thesis, using state-of-the-art civil engineering design software, proved that WTC7 could have only been destroyed by controlled demolition.

– Due to the witnesses around, it would have been impossible to bring and install explosives into WTC7 during the time window after the collapse of the Twin Towers.

– Hence the explosives used to blow up WTC7 were already in place before the alleged WTC "plane attack" onto the Twin Towers took place.

– Hence the perpetrators are those who had control the WTC7 and were represented by Larry "Pull It" Silverstein.

anon [414] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 10:17 pm GMT
@ploni almoni So I wonder why they're here so far away from their people? I'm not their people.
Robjil , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 10:18 pm GMT
This is a second 9-11.

It is even using the same numbers to start the game.

Purim this year was March 9-11.

March 9th Queen Esther fast, March 10 Purim, March 11 Walled city ( Jerusalem is one) Purim

The World Health Organization declared it a pandemic on the last day of Purim – walled city Purim – March 11, 2020. Ever since March 11, our MSM has been building up more and more hysteria about this disease. It is literally another nine eleven, same number game, promoted by our MSM.

http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2020/03/deeply-concerned-who-declares-covid-19-pandemic

Mar 11, 2020

The World Health Organization (WHO) today declared COVID-19 a pandemic, pushing the threat beyond the global health emergency it had announced in January.

AnonStarter , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 10:19 pm GMT
@Sean I was not the one who said Barrett is held in such low regard by public opinion

Come now, Sean You did exactly this in your opening salvo.

I suggested that as someone unknown under his own name you could step up and prevent WW3, but for the fact that your resume was far less impressive than Doctor Barrett's.

This would be quite humorous but for the fact that I haven't bothered to advance any theories thus far.

I just enjoy the hissing sound your posts make after we punch 'em with a thumbtack. A nice, short, sharp jab does the trick every time.

onebornfree , says: Website Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 10:22 pm GMT
@Commentator Mike You are velkum my frend

Regards, onebornfree

S , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 10:24 pm GMT

"And advanced forms of biological warfare that can 'target' specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool." The Project for a New American Century, Rebuilding America's Defenses (September 2000)

That is interesting.

I was aware of the PNAC report and it's 'Pearl Harbor' comment, but had forgotten about the bio warfare statement.

As a related aside, the very 'progressive' H G Well's in the circa 1935 movie Things to Come has it that a future biological war will kill over half the world's population. To humanity's rescue (and I kid you not as to the script's wording) will come a Mr John 'Cabal' representing the 'new order' with it's 'freemasonry of science'.

Not to be outdone (I suppose) the also very 'progressive' Gene Roddenberry in 1968 had a Star Trek episode (See links below) whose plot revolves around a parallel Earth which in the distant past had a global biological war fought between Red China (Khoms) and the United States (Yangs). The Chinese are victorious and over run the planet, while meanwhile the shattered remnants of what had been the US is living out a stone age existance.


Yang vs Kohm ('Yank' vs 'Commie')

'The virus still exists.'

MCCOY: The infection resembles one developed by Earth during their bacteriological warfare experiments in the 1990s. Hard to believe we were once foolish enough to play around with that The virus still exists. Then over the years, nature built up these natural immunising agents in the food, the water, and the soil.

http://www.chakoteya.net/StarTrek/54.htm

https://www.unz.com/akarlin/corona-will-kill-millions-crater-the-world-economy/#comment-3739964

Minnesota Mary , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 10:32 pm GMT
"Yet from the neocon perspective it needs some kind of war ASAP before China grows too strong."

That was the very reason Britain and France picked World War I with Germany. Germany was becoming and economic power house, and the Brits and the French resented it. So they had to slap Germany down before she became even stronger. It backfired on them until the U.S. came in and pulled the chestnuts out of the fire for them. Will anyone pull the chestnuts out of the fire for Uncle Sam? I doubt it.

CanSpeccy , says: Website Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 10:39 pm GMT
@Ron Unz

Well, that would make perfect sense unless elements of the American national security establishment were criminal, crazy, and totally incompetent. However, they ARE criminal, crazy, and totally incompetent.

Love the capitalization "ARE". That'll really convince the rubes. Soon, the debate will be reduced to the exchange of 'tis and 'tisn't for all the substance of the Unzian thesis.

Iris , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 10:42 pm GMT
@Alfred

I studied civil engineering 50 years ago. Maybe they no longer teach engineers the Laws of Motion of Isaac Newton. I don't know. But the silence by the engineering profession has been deafening my ears ever since.

There is an astounding number of Engineering and Physics pieces of evidence which prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Twin Towers were brought down by controlled demolition.

But there is one fact which is so, so superior to any other evidence that it instantly destroys the "risible work of fiction" known as the 9/11 Commission report:

– The WTC footprint radiated heat from the footprint of the demolished towers for about 4 months, recorded by satellite infrared cameras.
– The amount of heat released was calculated, using the classic, centuries-old exponential heat decay equation for heat transfer by free convection.
– A low estimate for the amount of heat realesed by the WTC was an astounding 10^15 Joules (one peta Joules).
– This amount of heat is equivalent to the energy produced over a month by a 900 MW nuclear reactor.

In other terms, the amount of heat released by the WTC after its collapse was so high that it was mandatorily of nuclear origin.

This is what the American people and the rest of humankind are up against: a bunch of Zionist psychopaths deranged enough to use nuclear weapons in the heart of New York.

Nonny Mouse , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 10:44 pm GMT
@Wyatt So you're saying these Chinese continuous fuckups ended decades ago if they could have been handled decades ago, but the US fuckups are intrinsic to
their mad system of government, continue, can't be handled, Bush will never be hanged for the naked aggression against Iraq? Is that what you mean?
John Chuckman , says: Website Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 10:55 pm GMT
@anon8383892 On 9/11, readers may enjoy:

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2016/09/11/john-chuckman-comment-a-survivor-says-even-the-simplest-questions-around-911-have-not-been-answered-by-government-yes-and-some-disturbing-truths-around-those-events-the-saudi-arabian-nonsense/

A123 , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 11:02 pm GMT
@St-Germain

Two German cabinet members commented angrily on this matter

German cabinet ministers under Mutti Mullah Merkel who serves George Soros and elite Globalsm.

Everyone should be 99.99%+ sure that Team Soros/Germany is lying.

PEACE

JohnnyWalker123 , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 11:08 pm GMT
@Ron Unz

#BREAKING Gov. Newsom says 56% of Californians are expected to be infected with coronavirus "over an eight week period." https://t.co/Mk5A6B7dtN pic.twitter.com/qjaQJkbFI7

-- ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) March 19, 2020

SaneClownPosse , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 11:24 pm GMT
@Delta G "But you can't have someone clever enough to create a Recombinant Designer Pathogen and be in the US Military. "

Does not preclude such a person, clever and psychopathic, working as a civilian for the military or intelligence.

I believe the focus on Who, should include those who operate above the national governments. The type of individuals who have no allegiance, except to other elite families and largely to profiting, without regard for human concerns.

Hence, the focus is on whether the USA or China, or a third nation, did it, is a deliberate "look over there" misdirection.

The 9/11 equivalent would be the 9/11 families continuing to focus on suing the Saudi government as the responsible party. No planes, no Saudis. What we do have is "five dancing Israelis" and "Israeli art students running wires for an art project", along with Larry Silverstein's "Pull It!".

The US Dollar is overdue for its demise.
The Petrodollar was just extending the inevitable reckoning.

We may be nearing the flash point of the French Revolution, the moment when the French Treasury was discovered to be empty. USA is $23T in the hole and coincidentally the Department of Perpetual War cannot account for $22T.

JamesinNM , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 11:26 pm GMT
Definitely another inside job. Fear and hate dominate, and the is no room left for truth.
Crazy Horse , says: Website Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 11:29 pm GMT
@Kim Riiiight as if the terror trilogy of the IMF, WB and IBS isn't "a debt trap for all of those impoverished nations". I could be wrong but I think that your concern is that the Anglo-American-Zionist Alliance which is more like SPECTRE than anything else is losing global domination.
JamesinNM , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 11:30 pm GMT
@Nonny Mouse At the final judgement all evil will suffer the second death and burn for eternity. Matthew 10 28And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Minnesota Mary , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 11:37 pm GMT
@FB I, too, have been disappointed in Tucker Carlson's China bashing. I have thought that he was the best on FOX News, but now he is getting to be as bad as Sean Hannity.

We may never know the origin of the coronavirus. It is foolish to try and assign blame at this point.

AB_Anonymous , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 11:43 pm GMT
@Sean Defending one outstanding false-flag with another – how ingenious !
Just like using (if I'm not mistaken, habitually with some variations) logical
chains based on : "if you're not utterly destroyed (one way or another),
you just can't be the one telling the truth".
This is a mob logic, but you probably have to wait for a few more high caliber false-flags
to be swallowed by the millions world-wide before it becomes absolutely legit.
hetro , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 11:55 pm GMT
@ΑΖ Do we have a price yet on how much it will cost to get vaccinated? As with in six weeks more time, after a second three week sheltering spell, so we're all ready to get back out on the streets and into the pubs as long as we're vaccinated, you see. Having been scared the black plague is waiting at the door all this time, we'll rush to the vaccination markets? Hundred fifty a shot maybe?
utu , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 11:59 pm GMT
@Anonymous Not the first time for Sean. He made similar innuendos towards Ron Unz, iirc.
Desert Fox , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 12:06 am GMT
If anyone is interested in why the elites created the coronavirus, go to davidicke.com and watch his interview by london real, it is 2 hours of brutal truth.
Per/Norway , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 12:09 am GMT
@Just Passing Through Do you really have so little knowledge that you dont know the difference btween a wahabi takfir and a muslim?
Twodees Partain , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 12:18 am GMT
@9/11 Inside job So, you read Winterwatch too. I think that Russ checks in here sometimes. I've been reading his crime archives lately. There are some really interesting articles on unsolved and memory holed crimes there.
Nonny Mouse , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 12:23 am GMT
@SBaker The Jews aren't Semites. They're unrelated to the ancient Hebrews, who became the Palestinians. And the Iranians and Afghans and Malays aren't Semites. You sound pretty clueless, SBaker.

Okay, the Jews insist they are Semites, but everything about them is fraud.

Anon [144] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 12:25 am GMT
@Been_there_done_that

virtually nobody in alternative media believes the official story purporting that the virus evolved naturally from animals.

"b" of moon of alabama .

B is trying to "flatten the curve" of comprehending how fast our liberties are "vanishing" (according to the New York Times). At least he won't be fining offending "bar flies" 13,000 something something.

New York Times is right. It will "vanish". "Our way of life". Because our reality is in fact manufactured, including our "alternative" reality.

Twodees Partain , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 12:26 am GMT
@follyofwar Well, as the Cheyenne used to say, "It's a good day to die". If the ones who think they can rule over others push it too far," then the the sun will shine upon a good day to die". I remember that line from the novel "Little Big Man".

It used to be part of the American ethos, the idea that it's better to die on your feet than to live on your knees. Levon Helm wrote a line in a song in the '80s: "You give your life to live your life". Some of us still see it that way.

EdNguyen , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 12:27 am GMT
@dimples A good many of those in the loop on an operation like this also have the skills and opportunity to make a great fortune on a 1929, or worse, financial catastrophe. Don't assume that blowback isn't anticipated or even welcome.
Ron Unz , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 12:27 am GMT
@JohnnyWalker123 Whoa! CA Gov. Newsom says that 25M Californians are expected to get infected within an eight week period

Apparently, that figure may have been the projection prior to the statewide lockdown he declared earlier this week. At least I really, *really* hope that's not what the experts think will still happen after the lockdown.

25M California infections over a couple of months would totally collapse the health care system, and probably result in at least a million deaths. In California alone. Over just a few weeks. Projecting that out, we'd be talking about something like 10M dead Americans.

Suppose it did turn out that this was all unintended blowback from some "clever ploy" by the Deep State Neocons to take China (and Iran) down a notch or two. Can anyone imagine what people would do to them?

Daniel Rich , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 12:35 am GMT
@AnonFromBeijing

It's noticed that some rich Jews today live in China are very active in media and entertainment.

Wait until they get involved in [Chinese] politics and you're in for a hoot and a 1/2

Some people see China as the US of Asia. May you fare better and be spared where we are now.

anon [837] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 12:38 am GMT
It seems the so-called National Bolsheviks, Third Positionists, Strasserites were visionaries. Everything wrong with the world today is a result of Jewish finance capitalism and degenerate post-modern liberalism.
A123 , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 12:44 am GMT
@Ron Unz

Suppose it did turn out that this was all unintended blowback from some "clever ploy" by the Deep State Neocons to take China (and Iran) down a notch or two. Can anyone imagine what people would do to them?

If the NeoConDemocrats did this in an attempt to overthrow the Constitution, it would guarantee GOP majority until the end of time.

The Globalist Left is certainly unhinged However risking a total forces CHINA-US nuclear war?

Hillary prefers the (im)plausible deniability of eliminating individuals a defenseless ambassador or prisoner or lawyer or reporter.

PEACE

hetro , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 12:52 am GMT
@JohnnyWalker123 That would be something like 20 million Californians. Note also predictions from guests (John Ross, for one) on Sputnik Loud and Clear Radio (Tuesday and Wednesday of this week) 2 million will die in the US by June of this year.

Now 2 mill figures out to about 10% of those getting infected will die (according to Newsome), which is contradicted by various studies (some mentioned in this thread), including that 15% of elderlies will die (or maybe it's only 8% and particularly those with pre-existing conditions); 5% of people in their 50's; and .02% of children.

In short Gavin Newsom is being irresponsible with this kind of talk, but now we know why the drastic shutdown has taken place in Northern California, no doubt following his alarmist lead.

We drastically need scientific studies particularizing vs generalizing the dangers as to which people, how, what, why, under what conditions/circumstances, instead of the hysterical over-reaction now underway by our "leaders."

Check out the following from this thread (sorry to those who posted the following if I don't mention you, and thank you very much for guiding me to them):

Swiss study

https://swprs.org/a-swiss-doctor-on-covid-19/

In German, but worth pursuing the translation:

https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/international-news/disease/dr-wolfgang-wodarg-confirms-this-is-an-insane-panic/

Kevin Barrett , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 12:57 am GMT
@Franklin Ryckaert Avoidable mortality expert Gideon Polya breaks down the 9/11-triggered 27 million Muslim Holocaust: https://www.patreon.com/posts/gideon-polya-on-14190770

Since Muslims are not as insane as Jews, you can claim the real figure is actually only 26.9 without fear of imprisonment.

utu , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 1:01 am GMT
@Arnieus Thanks, good comment.
Thomasina , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 1:02 am GMT
Kevin Barrett – excellent article!

There are so many scenarios. I haven't read all of the comments, so what I'm about to say may already have been touched on.

1. The virus happened naturally, transferred from a bat and eventually to humans.

2. The virus accidentally escaped the Wuhan lab.

3. The globalists did it. The globalists (the Chinese elite in concert with the U.S. multinational corporate elite) don't want things to change as both groups of elites are getting filthy rich off of the offshoring of jobs to China.

Trump is a nationalist. He is upsetting their apple cart as he's placing tariffs on the goods manufactured in China by the U.S. multinational corporations, trying to force the U.S. multinationals to come back home. They don't want to, so they manufactured the virus thinking it would bring down the economy/stock market, thereby bringing down Trump.

China plays along, feigns ignorance, and accuses the U.S. of trying to infect their citizens, Xi wears a mask. A few thousand old people dying is a small price to pay, in their minds.

4. The U.S. multinational corporate elite did it alone, without China's knowledge, for the same reasons as stated in #3, to throw a wrench in the works, purposely sink the economy. With Trump gone, globalism could continue.

5. The U.S. did it alone, without China's knowledge. The U.S. globalists realize globalism is ending and they have acquiesced to the U.S. nationalists. They are angry that China has not followed through with their part of the original deal, which is that China gets the offshored jobs, their elite get rich, and they get money to modernize, but she must open up more to the U.S. corporations and financial firms, which she has been reluctant to do.

6. The nationalists did it in order to bring down globalism, put an end to it once and for all. Once people realize that supply lines (especially pharmaceuticals) thousands of miles away is a recipe for disaster, they'll scream for things to be changed. Trump has said he likes President Xi and the Chinese people, this is nothing personal, but he wants the jobs to return.

7. China did it alone. The Chinese elite realize that globalism is ending, and they know the Chinese citizens will blame them for the loss of their jobs. The Chinese elite worry that the citizens will wonder why they've become filthy rich and they haven't. The Chinese elite plant the virus, but blame it on the U.S.

8. The world elites, in collusion with the central banks, have blown massive financial bubbles.
They realize they can't continue blowing the bubbles any bigger, but they don't see any way out without being blamed. They plant the virus in order to bring down the world economy, deflate the bubble. The virus takes the blame, not them. China blames the U.S., the U.S. blames China, some old people are sacrificed, and they raise a glass to the devil.

I'm leaning towards #8.

Just another serf , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 1:04 am GMT
@Ron Unz

Suppose it did turn out that this was all unintended blowback from some "clever ploy" by the Deep State Neocons to take China (and Iran) down a notch or two. Can anyone imagine what people would do to them?

I would hope that people would treat such individuals with compassion. Recognize that we all make mistakes. Their plans for these microbes never involved the suffering and death of millions of innocent people and simply got out of control. Certainly a stern letter of admonishment should be added to their files. But their names should not be made public.

Agent76 , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 1:12 am GMT
Mar 19, 2020 Corona crazy, strengthen your immune system

With between 90 to 99 percent of people who get this Corona virus recover , this virus panic will pass, the loss of freedoms will continue, strengthen you immune system.

04/16/2010 100 Years of US Medical Fascism

One hundred years ago today, on April 16, 1910, Henry Pritchett, president of the Carnegie Foundation, put the finishing touches on the Flexner Report. No other document would have such a profound effect on American medicine, starting it on its path to destruction up to and beyond the recently passed (and laughably titled) Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA), a.k.a., "Obamacare." Flexner can only be accurately understood in the context of what led up to it.

https://mises.org/library/100-years-us-medical-fascism

Iris , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 1:14 am GMT
@Ron Unz This study from respected epidemiologists at Imperial College London has forecast death rates for various scenarios of suppression and mitigation measures relating to the Covid-19 pandemic.

While there are far too many parameters at play to reach figures with reasonable certainty, they have calculated that doing nothing to mitigate the pandemic would result in 81% of the US and UK population being infected after a course of 3 months of spreading epidemic, resulting in "only" 2.2 million and 0.5 million deaths respectively.

The non-linear relation is due to the US' larger geographic scale.

https://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/medicine/sph/ide/gida-fellowships/Imperial-College-COVID19-NPI-modelling-16-03-2020.pdf

I guess that the fascist NeoCons won't be too concerned killing "only" 2,2 million Americans, considering how many are already being genocided with drugs.

SolontoCroesus , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 1:22 am GMT
@Ron Unz Un intended blowback ?

ATMs are cranking out crisp new Steve Mnuchin $20 paper.

A lot of planning went into these "unintended" events, and yes, I believe some influencers have enough hate in them, that they've been nursing as well as gaming for years, that a trigger was aimed and pulled deliberately, not accidentally.

Kevin Barrett wrote a pretty good essay, but I would not have used the term/concept Black Swan.

Suppose it did turn out that this was . . . some "clever ploy" by the Deep State Neocons to take China (and Iran) down a notch or two. Can anyone imagine what people would do to them?

What would they do, Ron? Write a stern letter to their congressman?
Vote for Biden instead of Trump?
Hang Mark Dubowitz in effigy and get tossed in jail for it?

This Forum is the only place I know that people even write about, um, redressing certain injustices. I'm one of your biggest fans so no disrespect, but where has that gotten us?

9/11 Inside job , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 1:31 am GMT
@JohnnyWalker123 I believe that Gavin Newsom is another 33rd degree mason whose fingerprints seem to be all over this "faux pandemic '/psyop or a "hoax " according to Trump(Knights Templar/Scottish Rite freemason ?)
see: "Coronavirus Hoax World Tour hits California -Gavin Newsom 33 Masonic hoax!" bitchute.com
President John Quincy Adams warned Americans about the secret oaths of the Freemasons but his warnings have been forgotten.
Anonymous [392] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 1:39 am GMT
@Wyatt Looks like somebody's really forgetting the Korean (direct mano-a-mano), Indo-China (proxy fight) and Vietnam Wars (proxy fight) in which the "West" attempted to handle the "CCP fuckups".

They were starving and dirt-poor back then, so it should have been a piece of cake, each time.

And Every.Single.Time, the result was bloody failure, and humiliation.

And today's China isn't the China of the 1960s, or of our younger years, or even of 10 years ago – oh hell no. Kinda makes one THINK, eh?

Franklin Ryckaert , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 1:47 am GMT
@FB 'Highly intelligent' folks can also think in terms of "both and" instead of only "either or". White entrepreneurs can desire more cheap labor out of irresponsible greed, while at the same time Jews can promote mass non-White immigration out of hatred for Whites. You see Jews in politics and media do just that, while selfish White entrepreneurs welcome it. The Jewish problem is always a problem of Jewish destructive behavior in cooperation with immorality of some Gentiles.
Tor597 , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 1:48 am GMT
@Ron Unz Too many Americans are stuck on Pax Americana la la land and will never admit something so grave to American status. We saw exactly this during 9/11.
SafeNow , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 1:59 am GMT
@Ron Unz It was just yesterday (Wednesday) that Newsom said his "modeling" predicts 56% of Californians will be infected. Thus, it was said WITH distancing already in effect. Newsom wants the hospital ship Mercy to be moored in LA.; his 56% was probably a sales pitch to influence the mooring-location decision. BTW, speaking of the hospital ship, the number-of-beds figure being given is fallacious. I looked at images of the wards of the Mercy, and the patients are packed together. Images of coronavirus wards in hospitals show a wide spacing of patients.
Iris , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 2:03 am GMT
@SolontoCroesus

This Forum is the only place I know that people even write about, um, redressing certain injustices. I'm one of your biggest fans so no disrespect, but where has that gotten us?

Then the blowback will come from outside the US, Solonto.

I don't know whether you realise how the rest of the world is feeling at the moment: people are stunned as if the Apocalypse has come. They are worried about their very survival, and things are only going to get worse because the containment, lockdown, military special powers will likely extend for weeks and months ahead, as it will take months to gain control over the epidemic.

The Chinese have officially accused the US to have, at a minimum, covered up early Covid-19 infections that took place in America several weeks before the epidemic broke out in Wuhan.

Separate Japanese and Taiwanese epidemiologists have previously determined that only the US had the five strains of Coronavirus that could have generated the Covid-19:

https://www.globalresearch.ca/covid-19-further-evidence-virus-originated-us/5706078

The Chinese have scientists, military might and a powerful voice in the concert of nations.
They are respected and credible, because they respect others' sovereignty and help in time of crisis.
They won't passively stand accused of a crime committed by the US Zionist NeoCons, and for which the whole world will soon want to hold somebody accountable for.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here I respectfully disagree.

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

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

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

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

1. Blame China
2. Shame Americans for Blaming China

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

As we have already seen, the consequences are immense.

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

But there are other discernible patterns well worth pointing out.

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

Victimize – Blame Victim – Play Victim

Demonize Dissent and Pathologize Opposition

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

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

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

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

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

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

It's Tyranny over Freedom

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

In other words, Full Spectrum Dominance.

But, there's a snake in this garden.

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

All top down authoritarian power destablizes social-institutions.

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

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

When that happens there's no alternative.

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

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

The Pyrrhic Victory of Jewish Supremacy Inc.

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

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

JSI is no good at social-management.

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

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

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

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

Treason Against Jewish Supremacy Inc. Is Loyalty To Humanity

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

Franklin Ryckaert , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 2:09 am GMT
@Kevin Barrett Gideon Polya seems to be an "expert" in extreme exaggeration. From your link :

" In 2013, he published, "American Holocaust, Millions Of Untimely American Deaths And $40 Trillion Cost Of Israel To Americans,"[2] and tallied $30 trillion based on "A $125 trillion cost associated with 15.6 million preventable American deaths since September 2001, of which about $30 trillion can be attributed to US fiscal perversion supporting Apartheid Israel "

$30 trillion of costs to Israel, 15,6 millions of dead Americans he deserves the Nobel price for exaggeration!

Anonymous [392] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 2:16 am GMT
@Minnesota Mary

"Yet from the neocon perspective it needs some kind of war ASAP before China grows too strong."

Will anyone pull the chestnuts out of the fire for Uncle Sam? I doubt it.

If we attacked first, if WE essentially commit a Pearl Harbor-style aggression against a competitor (a competitor , not an enemy – very big difference), we would deserve to lose.

Maybe the "Other-Dimensional/Space-Time/Genetic/Nano-tech/Robotic/AI/Alien/angels/gods/Spirit-Beings/from The Future" (whew – that's a mouthful) will save us.

Either that, or . . . we lose.

anon [837] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 2:20 am GMT
@Richard B I disagree. Jews are fanning anti-Asian sentiment as a scapegoat for economic collapse, virus, all the bullshit they created. Asians receive zero protection in this system, it's only reserved for the right minorities. It's a shame the so-called Holocaust never happened, I might have had some beautiful lampshades by now.
Justsaying , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 2:20 am GMT
@Flubber I wonder if Trump would have the courage to call Covid-19 a Jewish virus, had it originated from Israel.
E_Perez , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 2:25 am GMT
@Digital Samizdat "For the first time in my life, not only did I truly understand our history, but even the very current events transpiring before my eyes.
And that's how I became a Nazi."

Dont worry, nobody cannot avoid becoming a "Nazi" once he understands our history and sees the current events. The Germans were the only white tribe warning what was in store for us.

Franklin himself would be a Nazi, if these evil Germans had not entered his beloved Holland.

FB , says: Website Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 2:30 am GMT
@Franklin Ryckaert There may be 'both' instead of 'either' but there is also the word 'mostly' which is what applies here

John McCain used to go around saying that Americans wouldn't do farm labor if you paid them fifty bucks an hour as if that is somehow obscene rather than a good living wage, so naturally Mexicans need to be imported to do that work even Trump recently said recently that we need more legal immigrants because we have too many jobs

And this in a country where a King Bezos gets tens of millions in tax 'holidays' from states and municipalities falling over each other to host the King's new HQ, as he flees from Seattle to avoid paying taxes [I guess the folks punching a clock at Boeing should pick up the tab for schools, roads and everything else that the King's Amazon employees use ?]

But nobody says boo about that nor any of the other plutocrats paying no taxes [even Warren Buffet has said it has gone too far, noting that he pays less tax than his secretary ]

Fact is it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that mass immigration is simply the other half of offshoring of factories they are both part and parcel of labor arbitrage and the larger agenda of beggaring ordinary folks

There has been a concerted effort to wipe out the middle class for the last forty years now when are these 'highly intelligent' American sheeple going to wake up ?

The Chinese people's living standard is going nowhere but up, while Americans are headed for the toilet all of this is mostly due to capitalism, and the idiotic support for this wretched system by fools who don't understand what's good or bad for them

I suggest you watch the Noam Chomsky doc I posted today industry is ten percent of the economy, while banking is 30 union membership has gone from 30 to practically nothing why did this happen ?

Nothing happens without a cause, and the cause is that the plutocracy and oligarchy decided in the 1970s to start rolling back the freedoms and standard of living that the people had gained under the New Deal starting with getting rid of Nixon, who was in fact the last New Deal president and brought a lot of good things into being

We can vividly see that timeline here, showing the share of the richest 0.1 percent of total wealth, over the last 100 years

Twodees Partain , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 2:42 am GMT
@DaveE Dave, I agree with everything except the combat boots thing. That's why I didn't just use an agree tag.
Daniel Rich , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 2:45 am GMT
@SaneClownPosse

I believe the focus on Who, should include those who operate above the national governments.

As someone one famously said, "It doesn't matter who hires the assassin. Focus on who pays for the bullets."

To remain objective and informed is quite a daunting task lately, but not something one should think lightly of or entertain thoughts of giving up altogether. There's only one way: forward.

Twodees Partain , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 2:50 am GMT
@Trinity See that's why jews like that guy don't go into beer joints in the south. In a beer joint, the method of debate is different from what they have on TV talk shows. About the time the guy started his spiel, he'd get KTFO or at least hit from three different directions at once.

Southerners don't play that shit in their own beer joints. The rule is that someone saying something snotty is fair game for punching. It sounds uncivilized, but it does tend to keep a conversation more civil.

Daniel Rich , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 2:55 am GMT
@9/11 Inside job

Fortunately for the Privately owned FED , the United States Treasury Department (and its Bureau of Printing and Engraving) still has printing presses , ink and paper .

And it lends the money, so, in the end, we, the ' footing-the-bill ' suckers pay for it anyway. Like you say, it can't be emphasized enough Privately owned FED should be mutually exclusive [of course it isn't]. What a swindle. When will it end and who's going to end it?

aandrews , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 2:58 am GMT
@Agent76 "This too shall pass" is actually my overall take on this thing.
Twodees Partain , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 3:02 am GMT
@SBaker "It's beyond dispute that the novel coronavirus officially known as COVID-19originated in Wuhan, China."

No, it's being disputed every day. That "beyond dispute" phrase is what retards like Mike Pompeo use to try to shut down a discussion in which he's getting his fat ass kicked.

"The degree of hypocrisy and divisiveness displayed by the MSM at a time of national crisis is simply unacceptable."

Now, I'll bet you a beer that you stole that idiotic line from somebody like Sean Hannity. Look, S, the MSM created this fake 'national crisis'. Without the MSM, there would be no crisis.

I hope somebody pulls that flagstaff out of your butt for you. It's making you say the most ridiculous things.

Trinity , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 3:04 am GMT
@Justsaying haha. EXCELLENT QUESTION. Answer: HELL NO. But then again not a single damn POTUS in the last 100 years would have the sack to say it. One poster called it the "Jew Flu" which is hilarious.

Didn't we have the Spanish Flu and the Ebola Virus? How about poor Lou Gehrig, they named a whole disease after one man. haha. ( stole those examples from the David Duke radio show at DavidDuke.com . Git-r-Done.

obwandiyag , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 3:10 am GMT
@Kim Nonsense. They can frack. You can frack almost anywhere.
Milton , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 3:10 am GMT
Well, here in PA, the Governor has ordered the shutdown of all non-life-sustaining businesses, and he intends to enforce it with the State Police and other agencies starting Saturday. He said the enforcement will last "indefiintely." This is like something out of a bad horror movie: https://www.pennlive.com/news/2020/03/all-non-life-sustaining-businesses-in-pa-must-close-gov-wolf.html
FB , says: Website Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 3:13 am GMT
@Minnesota Mary

We may never know the origin of the coronavirus. It is foolish to try and assign blame at this point.

Exactly but that is exactly the first reaction of a lot of dumb people blame China even though it is now clear that they have done an absolutely remarkable job in containing this, whatever its source

obwandiyag , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 3:15 am GMT
@Delta G First of all, why couldn't they just have released a naturally occurring virus as a bioweapon?

But more importantly, out of all the people who have died in Italy, only two did not have serious other diseases, heart problems and cancer, that was killing them anyway. I think that there is something fishy going on here.

https://personalliberty.com/corona-bologna-italy-the-truth-begins-to-leak-out/

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

Mar 20, 2020 | www.unz.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here I respectfully disagree.

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

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

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

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

1. Blame China
2. Shame Americans for Blaming China

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

As we have already seen, the consequences are immense.

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

But there are other discernible patterns well worth pointing out.

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

Victimize – Blame Victim – Play Victim

Demonize Dissent and Pathologize Opposition

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

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

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

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

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

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

It's Tyranny over Freedom

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

In other words, Full Spectrum Dominance.

But, there's a snake in this garden.

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

All top down authoritarian power destablizes social-institutions.

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

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

When that happens there's no alternative.

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

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

The Pyrrhic Victory of Jewish Supremacy Inc.

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

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

JSI is no good at social-management.

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

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

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

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

Treason Against Jewish Supremacy Inc. Is Loyalty To Humanity

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

[Mar 20, 2020] That "beyond dispute" phrase is what retards like Mike Pompeo use to try to shut down a discussion in which he's getting his fat ass kicked.

Mar 20, 2020 | www.unz.com

Twodees Partain , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 3:02 am GMT

@SBaker "It's beyond dispute that the novel coronavirus officially known as COVID-19originated in Wuhan, China."

No, it's being disputed every day. That "beyond dispute" phrase is what retards like Mike Pompeo use to try to shut down a discussion in which he's getting his fat ass kicked.

[Mar 20, 2020] How NGO get funding, how they influence policies and priorities, the money flow, and billions in taxpayer dollars.

Mar 20, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Mao , Mar 20 2020 0:15 utc | 239

How do NGOs rule the world, while bleeding us dry? This is a comprehensive breakdown on who runs the healthcare industry (and other industries), how they do it, how they get funding, how they influence policies and priorities, the money flow, and billions in taxpayer dollars.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsCCz3MBjK4

[Mar 17, 2020] Russia Strikes Back Where It Hurts American Oil by Scott Ritter

Mar 17, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

R ussia and Saudi Arabia are engaged in an oil price war that has sent shockwaves around the world, causing the price of oil to tumble and threatening the financial stability, and even viability, of major international oil companies.

On the surface, this conflict appears to be a fight between two of the world's largest producers of oil over market share. This may, in fact, be the motive driving Saudi Arabia, which reacted to Russia's refusal to reduce its level of oil production by slashing the price it charged per barrel of oil and threatening to increase its oil production, thereby flooding the global market with cheap oil in an effort to attract customers away from competitors.

Russia's motives appear to be far different -- its target isn't Saudi Arabia, but rather American shale oil. After absorbing American sanctions that targeted the Russian energy sector, and working with global partners (including Saudi Arabia) to keep oil prices stable by reducing oil production even as the United States increased the amount of shale oil it sold on the world market, Russia had had enough. The advent of the Coronavirus global pandemic had significantly reduced the demand for oil around the world, stressing the American shale producers. Russia had been preparing for the eventuality of oil-based economic warfare with the United States. With U.S. shale producers knocked back on their heels, Russia viewed the time as being ripe to strike back. Russia's goal is simple: to make American shale oil producers " share the pain ".

The United States has been slapping sanctions on Russia for more than six years, ever since Russia took control (and later annexed) the Crimean Peninsula and threw its weight behind Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. The first sanctions were issued on March 6, 2014, through Executive Order 13660 , targeting "persons who have asserted governmental authority in the Crimean region without the authorization of the Government of Ukraine that undermine democratic processes and institutions in Ukraine; threaten its peace, security, stability, sovereignty, and territorial integrity; and contribute to the misappropriation of its assets."

The most recent round of sanctions was announced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on February 18, 2020, by sanctioning Rosneft Trading S.A., a Swiss-incorporated, Russian-owned oil brokerage firm, for operating in Venezuela's oil sector. The U.S. also recently targeted the Russian Nord Stream 2 and Turk Stream gas pipeline projects.

Russia had been signaling its displeasure over U.S. sanctions from the very beginning. In July 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that U.S. sanctions were "driving into a corner" relations between the two countries, threatening the "the long-term national interests of the U.S. government and people." Russia opted to ride out U.S. sanctions, in hopes that there might be a change of administrations following the 2016 U.S. Presidential elections. Russian President Vladimir Putin made it clear that he hoped the U.S. might elect someone whose policies would be more friendly toward Russia, and that once the field of candidates narrowed down to a choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, Putin favored Trump .

"Yes, I did," Putin remarked after the election, during a joint press conference with President Trump following a summit in Helsinki in July 2018. "Yes, I did. Because he talked about bringing the U.S.-Russia relationship back to normal."

Putin's comments only reinforced the opinions of those who embraced allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election as fact and concluded that Putin had some sort of hold over Trump. Trump's continuous praise of Putin's leadership style only reinforced these concerns.

Even before he was inaugurated, Trump singled out Putin's refusal to respond in kind to President Obama's levying of sanctions based upon the assessment of the U.S. intelligence community that Russia had interfered in the election. "Great move on delay (by V. Putin) – I always knew he was very smart!" Trump Tweeted . Trump viewed the Obama sanctions as an effort to sabotage any chance of a Trump administration repairing relations with Russia, and interpreted Putin's refusal to engage, despite being pressured to do so by the Russian Parliament and Foreign Ministry, as a recognition of the same.

This sense of providing political space in the face of domestic pressure worked both ways. In January 2018, Putin tried to shield his relationship with President Trump by calling the release of a list containing some 200 names of persons close to the Russian government by the U.S. Treasury Department as a hostile and "stupid" move .

"Ordinary Russian citizens, employees and entire industries are behind each of those people and companies," Putin remarked. "So all 146 million people have essentially been put on this list. What is the point of this? I don't understand."

From the Russian perspective, the list highlighted the reality that the U.S. viewed the entire Russian government as an enemy and is a byproduct of the "political paranoia" on the part of U.S. lawmakers. The consequences of this, senior Russian officials warned, "will be toxic and undermine prospects for cooperation for years ahead."

While President Trump entered office fully intending to " get along with Russia ," including the possibility of relaxing the Obama-era sanctions , the reality of U.S.-Russian relations, especially as viewed from Congress, has been the strengthening of the Obama sanctions regime. These sanctions, strengthened over time by new measures signed off by Trump, have had a negative impact on the Russian economy, slowing growth and driving away foreign investment .

While Putin continued to show constraint in the face of these mounting sanctions, the recent targeting of Russia's energy sector represented a bridge too far. When Saudi pressure to cut oil production rates coincided with a global reduction in the demand for oil brought on by the Coronavirus crisis, Russia struck.

The timing of the Russian action is curious, especially given the amount of speculation that there was some sort of personal relationship between Trump and Putin that the Russian leader sought to preserve and carry over into a potential second term. But Putin had, for some time now, been signaling that his patience with Trump had run its course. When speaking to the press in June 2019 about the state of U.S.-Russian relations, Putin noted that "They (our relations) are going downhill, they are getting worse and worse," adding that "The current [i.e., Trump] administration has approved, in my opinion, several dozen decisions on sanctions against Russia in recent years."

By launching an oil price war on the eve of the American Presidential campaign season, Putin has sent as strong a signal as possible that he no longer views Trump as an asset, if in fact he ever did. Putin had hoped Trump could usher in positive change in the trajectory of relations between the two nations; this clearly had not happened. Instead, in the words of close Putin ally Igor Sechin , the chief executive of Russian oil giant Rosneft, the U.S. was using its considerable energy resources as a political weapon, ushering in an era of "power colonialism" that sought to expand U.S. oil production and market share at the expense of other nations.

From Russia's perspective, the growth in U.S. oil production -- which doubled in output from 2011 until 2019 -- and the emergence of the U.S. as a net exporter of oil, was directly linked to the suppression of oil export capability in nations such as Venezuela and Iran through the imposition of sanctions. While this could be tolerated when the target was a third party, once the U.S. set its sanctioning practices on Russian energy, the die was cast.

If the goal of the Russian-driven price war is to make U.S. shale companies "share the pain," they have already succeeded. A similar price war, initiated by Saudi Arabia in 2014 for the express purpose of suppressing U.S. shale oil production, failed, but only because investors were willing to prop up the stricken shale producers with massive loans and infusion of capital. For shale oil producers, who use an expensive methodology of extraction known as "fracking," to be economically viable, the breakeven price of oil per barrel needs to be between $40 and $60 dollars. This was the price range the Saudi's were hoping to sustain when they proposed the cuts in oil production that Russia rejected.

The U.S. shale oil producers, saddled by massive debt and high operational expenses, will suffer greatly in any sustained oil price war. Already, with the price of oil down to below $35 per barrel, there is talk of bankruptcy and massive job layoffs -- none of which bode well for Trump in the coming election.

It's clear that Russia has no intention of backing off anytime soon. According to the Russian Finance Ministry , said on Russia could weather oil prices of $25-30 per barrel for between six and ten years. One thing is for certain -- U.S. shale oil companies cannot.

In a sign that the Trump administration might be waking up to the reality of the predicament it faces, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin quietly met with Russia's Ambassador to the U.S., Anatoly Antonov. According to a read out from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the two discussed economic sanctions, the Venezuelan economy, and the potential for "trade and investment." Mnuchin, the Russians noted, emphasized the "importance of orderly energy markets."

Russia is unlikely to fold anytime soon. As Admiral Josh Painter, a character in Tom Clancy's "The Hunt for Red October," famously said , "Russians don't take a dump without a plan."

Russia didn't enter its current course of action on a whim. Its goals are clearly stated -- to defeat U.S. shale oil -- and the costs of this effort, both economically and politically (up to and including having Trump lose the 2020 Presidential election) have all been calculated and considered in advance. The Russian Bear can only be toyed with for so long without generating a response. We now know what that response is; when the Empire strikes back, it hits hard.

Scott Ritter is a former Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD. He is the author of several books, including his forthcoming, Scorpion King: America's Embrace of Nuclear Weapons From FDR to Trump (2020).

[Mar 15, 2020] US seeking to carve out Sunni state as its influence in Iraq wanes: Wehrmacht occupying Ukraine vs US occupying Iraq.

Mar 15, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Kali , Mar 14 2020 18:26 utc | 18

The neocons trying to control Trump are going to have a hard time this year because of the election. Trump knows his people voted for him because of his promises to get the troops back home. Of course the neocons want to build up more and more troops in Iraq or even split Iraq into 3 different countries. The Iraqi and Iranian leaders with the Syrians to a lesser degree will try to take advantage of Trump's dilemma. The Kurds are involved also. This is all explored by Pam Ho How Much Do You Suck (To lose a popularity contest with Saddam Hussein)

Willy2 , Mar 14 2020 18:32 utc | 19

- The US knows it "influence" is waning and tries to "carve out" a sunni "rump state" in North-West Iraq. First the US fights ISIS in that same area/region from the year 2014 onwards and now they are supposed to fight in FAVOUR of the sunnis/ISIS ?

"US seeking to carve out Sunni state as its influence in Iraq wanes"

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/us-seeking-carve-out-sunni-state-its-influence-iraq-wanes

- Some politicians are recognizing that the killing of Qassam Sulemani has weakened the US position in the Middle East.

"Killing Soleimani made US 'weaker' in Middle East, US senator says".

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/killing-soleimani-made-us-weaker-middle-east-us-senator-says

arata , Mar 14 2020 19:37 utc | 29
General McKenzie said they have bombed a civilian air port in Karbala was a right decision, Iraqi police force who were killed, they shouldn't be there!
See the video 13:00 onward.
Peter AU1 , Mar 14 2020 19:50 utc | 32
arata 29
Rueters had a piece on it which I linked in the last Iraq thread. Total yank arrogance and exceptionalism.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iraq-security-usa-iran-retaliation-mi/iraq-condemns-u-s-air-strikes-warns-of-consequences-idUSKBN2101AD?il=0
""These locations that we struck are clear locations of terrorist bases," said Marine General Kenneth McKenzie, head of the U.S. military's Central Command.

"If Iraqis were there and if Iraqi military forces were there, I would say it's probably not a good idea to position yourself with Kataib Hezbollah in the wake of a strike that killed Americans and coalition members," he told a Pentagon news briefing."

dltravers , Mar 14 2020 21:40 utc | 40
Despite Trump the Iraq policy transcends his administration and will continue in some form in the future. There will be a continued presence in some form and in some part of the country. Our beloved ally in the region demands our presence.

They smartly keep the presence small with no draft remembering that is what took them out of Nam. An angry draft worthy populace, a counter culture disillusioned with the murder of their liberal anti war leadership by the state, and ample media coverage of the war carnage.

All of that is long gone, and even with the age of internet reporting the populace has been bought off with entertainment, amazon, porn, and bullshit.

Abe , Mar 15 2020 0:39 utc | 54
@43

Parallel is IMO very interesting, Wehrmacht occupying Ukraine and US occupying Iraq. In both cases there was minority that welcomed occupier with open arms, wanting to oppress majority of own country folks due to earlier grievances. In both cases, invader didn't want to bother with using that minority to own goals, as they saw them all as inferior race. And invader was in both cases more interested in conquering more powerful neighbor to the east.

Irony is that, if Nazi Germany/US didn't look at Ukraine/Iraq people as inferior race they could use them for own goal to fight Russia/Iran. But, dumb as they are, they stuck all those Ukrainians into camps(lot of them sympathizers to Germany/rabidly against Russia)/ disbanding ex. Saddam's army and made kernel of future anti US force into region, not to mention Kurdish question.


Peter AU1 , Mar 15 2020 0:39 utc | 55
53 Snake put up a link back up the thread.
https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2020/03/14/620858/Iraq-military-demands-foreign-forces-swiftly-withdraw-following-US-air-raids
"Iraqi lawmakers unanimously approved a bill on January 5, demanding the withdrawal of all foreign military forces..."

"Later on January 9, former Iraqi prime minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi called on the United States to dispatch a delegation to Baghdad tasked with formulating a mechanism for the move.

According to a statement released by his office at the time, Abdul-Mahdi "requested that delegates be sent to Iraq to set the mechanisms to implement the parliament's decision for the secure withdrawal of (foreign) forces from Iraq" in a phone call with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo."

US in response moved to a few bases they intended to occupy and give the two finger salute to Iraq. Trump threatened sanctions and theft of Iraq's oil money which is in the US. Pentagon now moving patriots in.

Jackrabbit , Mar 15 2020 2:43 utc | 69
Question to b @53: ... it was a non-binding resolution.

It's "non-binding" on USA only because the Prime Minister conducts foreign policy and there's no current written basing agreement between Iraq and USA that can be terminated. The resolution demands that the Prime Minister arrange for the departure of US troops.

The resolution is binding on the Prime Minister because it was a valid vote in accordance with Iraqi Parliamentary procedure.

USA refused to discuss leaving Iraq and claimed that the Parliamentary vote was "non-binding" because it was unrepresentative (USA got their Sunni and Kurd sympathizers to boycott the vote). But Parliament still had a quorum, so the vote is legal and binding.

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

Is it enforceable?

USA/NATO are very unlikely to leaving willingly. We are seeing the start of a civil war in Iraq because most Sunnis and Kurds support USA/NATO remaining while Shia want USA/NATO to leave.

!!

james , Mar 15 2020 2:36 utc | 67
just start with the first lie and go from their... usa / uk lied the world into going to war on iraq... and from their the lies just keep on getting stacked.. if you can't acknowledge the first lie, you probably are incapable of recognizing all the other lies that have been thrown on the same bullshit pile... one big pile of lies and bullshite - a specialty of the exceptional country..
james , Mar 15 2020 2:25 utc | 65
@ 63 question.. you like this usa style bullshit that buys politicians in iraq and when that doesn't work, they go on to the next attempt at installing a politician willing to agree to their bullshite? interesting bullshit concept of democracy if you ask me... everything has a price tag and honour is something you can pick up at the grocery store... right..

[Mar 13, 2020] Daffy Duck. cartoon was made in 1953 and like many Looney Tune cartoon's, they are an extreme parody of life. It dawned on me that this cartoon is an almost perfect description of US Military policy and action.

Highly recommended!
Mar 13, 2020 | thesaker.is

Vaughan on March 12, 2020 , · at 7:43 pm EST/EDT

Recently, I was watching the old Looney Tunes Cartoons with my Grandchild and we were watching, "Duck Dodges in the 21st and a Half Century"
I don't know if you've watched this cartoon starring Daffy Duck. You can view it here
https://vimeo.com/76668594

This cartoon was made in 1953 and like many Looney Tune cartoon's, they are an extreme parody of life. But while watching this cartoon, it dawned on me that this cartoon is an almost perfect description of US Military policy and action.
I could write an article on this but I think we'll leave it as a note with a snide laugh to be had by all.

Patricia Ormsby on March 12, 2020 , · at 8:16 pm EST/EDT
Laughter is one of the best medicines. Thank you for this!

[Mar 12, 2020] How 'Bernie Bros' Were Invented, Then Smeared as Sexist, Racist and unAmerican as Borscht by Jonathan Cook

Looks like DNC run a pretty sophisticated smear campaign against Sanders ...
Notable quotes:
"... It really isn't about who the candidates are – hurtful as that may sound to some in our identity-saturated times. It is about what the candidate might try to do once in office. In truth, the very fact that nowadays we are allowed to focus on identity to our heart's content should be warning enough that the establishment is only too keen for us to exhaust our energies in promoting divisions based on those identities ..."
"... The Republican and Democratic leaderships are there to ensure that, before a candidate gets selected to compete in the parties' name, he or she has proven they are power-friendly. Two candidates, each vetted for obedience to power. ..."
Mar 12, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org

The Democratic presidential nomination race is a fascinating case study in how power works – not least, because the Democratic party leaders are visibly contriving to impose one candidate, Joe Biden, as the party's nominee, even as it becomes clear that he is no longer mentally equipped to run a local table tennis club let alone the world's most powerful nation.

Biden's campaign is a reminder that power is indivisible. Donald Trump or Joe Biden for president – it doesn't matter to the power-establishment. An egomaniacal man-child (Trump), representing the billionaires, or an elder suffering rapid neurological degeneration (Biden), representing the billionaires, are equally useful to power. A woman will do too, or a person of colour. The establishment is no longer worried about who stands on stage – so long as that person is not a Bernie Sanders in the US, or a Jeremy Corbyn in the UK.

It really isn't about who the candidates are – hurtful as that may sound to some in our identity-saturated times. It is about what the candidate might try to do once in office. In truth, the very fact that nowadays we are allowed to focus on identity to our heart's content should be warning enough that the establishment is only too keen for us to exhaust our energies in promoting divisions based on those identities. What concerns it far more is that we might overcome those divisions and unify against it, withdrawing our consent from an establishment committed to endless asset-stripping of our societies and the planet.

Neither Biden nor Trump will obstruct the establishment, because they are at its very heart. The Republican and Democratic leaderships are there to ensure that, before a candidate gets selected to compete in the parties' name, he or she has proven they are power-friendly. Two candidates, each vetted for obedience to power.

Although a pretty face or a way with words are desirable, incapacity and incompetence are no barrier to qualifying, as the two white men groomed by their respective parties demonstrate. Both have proved they will favour the establishment, both will pursue near-enough the same policies , both are committed to the status quo, both have demonstrated their indifference to the future of life on Earth. What separates the candidates is not real substance, but presentation styles – the creation of the appearance of difference, of choice.

Policing the debate

The subtle dynamics of how the Democratic nomination race is being rigged are interesting. Especially revealing are the ways the Democratic leadership protects establishment power by policing the terms of debate: what can be said, and what can be thought; who gets to speak and whose voices are misrepresented or demonised. Manipulation of language is key.

As I pointed out in my previous post , the establishment's power derives from its invisibility. Scrutiny is kryptonite to power.

The only way we can interrogate power is through language, and the only way we can communicate our conclusions to others is through words – as I am doing right now. And therefore our strength – our ability to awaken ourselves from the trance of power – must be subverted by the establishment, transformed into our Achilles' heel, a weakness.

The treatment of Bernie Sanders and his supporters by the Democratic establishment – and those who eagerly repeat its talking points – neatly illustrates how this can be done in manifold ways.

Remember this all started back in 2016, when Sanders committed the unforgivable sin of challenging the Democratic leadership's right simply to anoint Hillary Clinton as the party's presidential candidate. In those days, the fault line was obvious and neat: Bernie was a man, Clinton a woman. She would be the first woman president. The only party members who might wish to deny her that historic moment, and back Sanders instead, had to be misogynist men. They were supposedly venting their anti-women grudge against Clinton, who in turn was presented to women as a symbol of their oppression by men.

And so was born a meme: the "Bernie Bros". It rapidly became shorthand for suggesting – contrary to all evidence – that Sanders' candidacy appealed chiefly to angry, entitled white men. In fact, as Sanders' 2020 run has amply demonstrated, support for him has been more diverse than for the many other Democratic candidates who sought the nomination.

So important what @ewarren is saying to @maddow about the dangerous, threatening, ugly faction among the Bernie supporters. Sanders either cannot or will not control them. pic.twitter.com/LYDXlLJ7bi

-- Mia Farrow (@MiaFarrow) March 6, 2020

How contrived the 2016 identity-fuelled contest was should have been clear, had anyone been allowed to point that fact out. This wasn't really about the Democratic leadership respecting Clinton's identity as a woman. It was about them paying lip service to her identity as a woman, while actually promoting her because she was a reliable warmonger and Wall Street functionary . She was useful to power.

If the debate had really been driven by identity politics, Sanders had a winning card too: he is Jewish. That meant he could be the United States' first Jewish president. In a fair identity fight, it would have been a draw between the two. The decision about who should represent the Democratic party would then have had to be decided based on policies, not identity. But party leaders did not want Clinton's actual policies, or her political history, being put under the microscope for very obvious reasons.

Weaponisation of identity

The weaponisation of identity politics is even more transparent in 2020. Sanders is still Jewish, but his main opponent, Joe Biden, really is simply a privileged white man. Were the Clinton format to be followed again by Democratic officials, Sanders would enjoy an identity politics trump card. And yet Sanders is still being presented as just another white male candidate , no different from Biden.

(We could take this argument even further and note that the other candidate who no one, least of all the Democratic leadership, ever mentions as still in the race is Tulsi Gabbard, a woman of colour. The Democratic party has worked hard to make her as invisible as possible in the primaries because, of all the candidates, she is the most vocal and articulate opponent of foreign wars. That has deprived her of the chance to raise funds and win delegates.)

. @DanaPerino I'm not quite sure why you're telling FOX viewers that Elizabeth Warren is the last female candidate in the Dem primary. Is it because you believe a fake indigenous woman of color is "real" and the real indigenous woman of color in this race is fake? pic.twitter.com/VKCxy2JzFe

-- Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) March 3, 2020

Sanders' Jewish identity isn't celebrated because he isn't useful to the power-establishment. What's far more important to them – and should be to us too – are his policies, which might limit their power to wage war, exploit workers and trash the planet.

But it is not just that Democratic Party leaders are ignoring Sanders' Jewish identity. They are also again actively using identity politics against him, and in many different ways.

The 'black' establishment?

Bernie Sanders' supporters have been complaining for some time – based on mounting evidence – that the Democratic leadership is far from neutral between Sanders and Biden. Because it has a vested interest in the outcome, and because it is the part of the power-establishment, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is exercising its influence in favour of Biden. And because power prefers darkness, the DNC is doing its best to exercise that power behind the scenes, out of sight – at least, unseen by those who still rely on the "mainstream" corporate media, which is also part of the power-establishment. As should be clear to anyone watching, the nomination proceedings are being controlled to give Biden every advantage and to obstruct Sanders.

But the Democratic leadership is not only dismissing out of hand these very justified complaints from Bernie Sanders' supporters but also turning these complaints against them, as further evidence of their – and his – illegitimacy. A new way of doing this emerged in the immediate wake of Biden winning South Carolina on the back of strong support from older black voters – Biden's first state win and a launchpad for his Super Tuesday bid a few days later.

It was given perfect expression from Symone Sanders, who despite her surname is actually a senior adviser to Biden's campaign. She is also black. This is what she wrote: "People who keep referring to Black voters as 'the establishment' are tone deaf and have obviously learned nothing."

People who keep referring to Black voters as "the establishment" are tone deaf and have obviously learned nothing.

-- Symone D. Sanders (@SymoneDSanders) March 3, 2020

Her reference to generic "people" was understood precisely by both sides of the debate as code for those "Bernie Bros". Now, it seems, Bernie Sanders' supporters are not simply misogynists, they are potential recruits to the Ku Klux Klan.

The tweet went viral, even though in the fiercely contested back-and-forth below her tweet no one could produce a single example of anyone actually saying anything like the sentiment ascribed by Symone Sanders to "Bernie Bros". But then, tackling bigotry was not her real goal. This wasn't meant to be a reflection on a real-world talking-point by Bernie supporters. It was high-level gaslighting by a senior Democratic party official of the party's own voters.

Survival of the fittest smear

What Symone Sanders was really trying to do was conceal power – the fact that the DNC is seeking to impose its chosen candidate on party members. As occurred during the confected women-men, Clinton vs "Bernie Bros" confrontation, Symone Sanders was field-testing a similar narrative management tool as part of the establishment's efforts to hone it for improved effect. The establishment has learnt – through a kind of survival of the fittest smear – that divide-and-rule identity politics is the perfect way to shield its influence as it favours a status-quo candidate (Biden or Clinton) over a candidate seen as a threat to its power (Sanders).

In her tweet, Symone Sanders showed exactly how the power elite seeks to obscure its toxic role in our societies. She neatly conflated "the establishment" – of which she is a very small, but well-paid component – with ordinary "black voters". Her message is this: should you try to criticise the establishment (which has inordinate power to damage lives and destroy the planet) we will demonise you, making it seem that you are really attacking black people (who in the vast majority of cases – though Symone Sanders is a notable exception – wield no power at all).

Symone Sanders has recruited her own blackness and South Carolina's "black voters" as a ring of steel to protect the establishment. Cynically, she has turned poor black people, as well as the tens of thousands of people (presumably black and white) who liked her tweet, into human shields for the establishment.

It sounds a lot uglier put like that. But it has rapidly become a Biden talking-point, as we can see here:

NEW: @JoeBiden responds to @berniesanders saying the "establishment" is trying to defeat him.

"The establishment are all those hardworking, middle class people, those African Americans they are the establishment!" @CBSNews pic.twitter.com/43Q2Nci5sS

-- Bo Erickson CBS (@BoKnowsNews) March 4, 2020

The DNC's wider strategy is to confer on Biden exclusive rights to speak for black voters (despite his inglorious record on civil rights issues) and, further, to strip Sanders and his senior black advisers of any right to do so. When Sanders protests about this, or about racist behaviour from the Biden camp, Biden's supporters come out in force and often abusively, though of course no one is upbraiding them for their ugly, violent language. Here is the famous former tennis player Martina Navratilova showing that maybe we should be talking about "Biden Bros":

Sanders is starting to really piss me off. Just shut this kind of crap down and debate the issues. This is not it.

-- Martina Navratilova (@Martina) March 6, 2020

Being unkind to billionaires

This kind of special pleading by the establishment for the establishment – using those sections of it, such as Symone Sanders, that can tap into the identity politics zeitgeist – is far more common than you might imagine. The approach is being constantly refined, often using social media as the ultimate focus group. Symone Sanders' successful conflation of the establishment with "black voters" follows earlier, clumsier efforts by the establishment to protect its interests against Sanders that proved far less effective.

Billionaires should not exist. https://t.co/hgR6CeFvLa

-- Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) September 24, 2019

Remember how last autumn the billionaire-owned corporate media tried to tell us that it was unkind to criticise billionaires – that they had feelings too and that speaking harshly about them was "dehumanising". Again it was aimed at Sanders, who had just commented that in a properly ordered world billionaires simply wouldn't exist. It was an obvious point: allowing a handful of people to control almost all the planet's wealth was not only depriving the rest of us of that wealth (and harming the planet) but it gave those few billionaires way too much power. They could buy all the media, our channels of communication, and most of the politicians to ringfence their financial interests, gradually eroding even the most minimal democratic protections.

That campaign died a quick death because few of us are actually brainwashed enough to accept the idea that a handful of billionaires share an identity that needs protecting – from us! Most of us are still connected enough to the real world to understand that billionaires are more than capable of looking out for their own interests, without our helping them by imposing on ourselves a vow of silence.

But one cannot fault the power-establishment for being constantly inventive in the search for new ways to stifle our criticisms of the way it unilaterally exercises its power. The Democratic nomination race is testing such ingenuity to the limits. Here's a new rule against "hateful conduct" on Twitter, where Biden's neurological deficit is being subjected to much critical scrutiny through the sharing of dozens of videos of embarrassing Biden "senior moments".

Twitter expanding its hateful conduct rules "to include language that dehumanizes on the basis of age, disability or disease." https://t.co/KmWGaNAG9Z

-- Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) March 5, 2020

Yes, disability and age are identities too. And so, on the pretext of protecting and respecting those identities, social media can now be scrubbed of anything and anyone trying to highlight the mental deficiencies of an old man who might soon be given the nuclear codes and would be responsible for waging wars in the name of Americans. Twitter is full of comments denouncing as "ableist" anyone who tries to highlight how the Democratic leadership is foisting a cognitively challenged Biden on to the party.

Maybe the Dem insiders are all wrong, but it's true that they are saying it. Some are saying it out loud, including Castro at the debate and Booker here: https://t.co/0lbi7RFRqG

-- Ryan Grim (@ryangrim) March 6, 2020

Russian 'agents' and 'assets'

None of this is to overlook the fact that another variation of identity politics has been weaponised against Sanders: that of failing to be an "American" patriot. Again illustrating how closely the Democratic and Republican leaderships' interests align, the question of who is a patriot – and who is really working for the "Russians" – has been at the heart of both parties' campaigns, though for different reasons.

Trump has been subjected to endless, evidence-free claims that he is a secret "Russian agent" in a concerted effort to control his original isolationist foreign policy impulses that might have stripped the establishment – and its military-industrial wing – of the right to wage wars of aggression, and revive the Cold War, wherever it believes a profit can be made under cover of "humanitarian intervention". Trump partly inoculated himself against these criticisms, at least among supporters, with his "Make America Great Again" slogan, and partly by learning – painfully for such an egotist – that his presidential role was to rubber-stamp decisions made elsewhere about waging wars and projecting US power.

I'm just amazed by this tweet, which has been tweeted plenty. Did @_nalexander and all the people liking this not know that Mueller laid out in the indictments of a number of Russians and in his report their help on social media to Sanders and Trump. Help Sanders has acknowledged https://t.co/vuc0lmvvKP

-- Neera Tanden (@neeratanden) December 8, 2019

Bernie Sanders has faced similar smear efforts by the establishment, including by the DNC's last failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton – in his case, painting him as a "Russian asset". ("Asset" is a way to suggest collusion with the Kremlin based on even more flimsy evidence than is needed to accuse someone of being an agent.) In fact, in a world where identity politics wasn't simply a tool to be weaponised by the establishment, there would be real trepidation about engaging in this kind of invective against a Jewish socialist.

One of the far-right's favourite antisemitic tropes – promoted ever since the publication of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion more than 100 years ago – is that Jewish "Bolsheviks" are involved in an international conspiracy to subvert the countries they live in. We have reached the point now that the corporate media are happy to recycle evidence-free claims, cited by the Washington Post, from anonymous "US officials" and US intelligence agencies reinventing a US version of the Protocols against Sanders. And these smears have elicited not a word of criticism from the Democratic leadership nor from the usual antisemitism watchdogs that are so ready to let rip over the slightest signs of what they claim to be antisemitism on the left.

But the urgency of dealing with Sanders may be the reason normal conventions have been discarded. Sanders isn't a loud-mouth egotist like Trump. A vote for Trump is a vote for the establishment, if for one of its number who pretends to be against the establishment. Trump has been largely tamed in time for a second term. By contrast, Sanders, like Corbyn in the UK, is more dangerous because he may resist the efforts to domesticate him, and because if he is allowed any significant measure of political success – such as becoming a candidate for president – it may inspire others to follow in his footsteps. The system might start to throw up more anomalies, more AOCs and more Ilhan Omars.

So Sanders is now being cast, like Trump, as a puppet of the Kremlin, not a true American. And because he made the serious mistake of indulging the "Russiagate" smears when they were used against Trump, Sanders now has little defence against their redeployment against him. And given that, by the impoverished standards of US political culture, he is considered an extreme leftist, it has been easy to conflate his democratic socialism with Communism, and then conflate his supposed Communism with acting on behalf of the Kremlin (which, of course, ignores the fact that Russia long ago abandoned Communism).

Sen. Bernie Sanders: "Let me tell this to Putin -- the American people, whether Republicans, Democrats, independents are sick and tired of seeing Russia and other countries interfering in our elections." pic.twitter.com/ejcP7YVFlt

-- The Hill (@thehill) February 21, 2020

Antisemitism smear at the ready

There is a final use of weaponised identity politics that the Democratic establishment would dearly love to use against Sanders, if they need to and can get away with it. It is the most toxic brand – and therefore the most effective – of the identity-based smears, and it has been extensively field-tested in the UK against Jeremy Corbyn to great success. The DNC would like to denounce Sanders as an antisemite.

In fact, only one thing has held them back till now: the fact that Sanders is Jewish. That may not prove an insuperable obstacle, but it does make it much harder to make the accusation look credible. The other identity-based smears had been a second-best, a make-do until a way could be found to unleash the antisemitism smear.

The establishment has been testing the waters with implied accusations of antisemitism against Sanders for a while, but their chances were given a fillip recently when Sanders refused to participate in the annual jamboree of AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a prominent lobby group whose primary mission is to ringfence Israel from criticism in the US. Both the Republican and Democratic establishments turn out in force to the AIPAC conference, and in the past the event has attracted keynote speeches from Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

But Sanders has refused to attend for decades and maintained that stance this month, even though he is a candidate for the Democratic nomination. In the last primaries debate, Sanders justified his decision by rightly calling Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu a "racist" and by describing AIPAC as providing a platform "for leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights".

Trump's Vice-President, Mike Pence, responded that Sanders supported "Israel's enemies" and, if elected, would be the "most anti-Israel president in the history of this nation" – all coded suggestions that Sanders is antisemitic.

But that's Mike Pence. More useful criticism came from billionaire Mike Bloomberg, who is himself Jewish and was until last week posing as a Democrat to try to win the party's nomination. Bloomberg accused Sanders of using dehumanising language against a bunch of inclusive identities that, he improbably suggested, AIPAC represents. He claimed :

"This is a gathering of 20,000 Israel supporters of every religious denomination, ethnicity, faith, color, sexual identity and political party. Calling it a racist platform is an attempt to discredit those voices, intimidate people from coming here, and weaken the US-Israel relationship."

Where might this head? At the AIPAC conference last week we were given a foretaste. Ephraim Mirvis, the chief rabbi of the UK and a friend to Conservative government leader Boris Johnson, was warmly greeted by delegates, including leading members of the Democratic establishment. He boasted that he and other Jewish leaders in the UK had managed to damage Jeremy Corbyn's electoral chances by suggesting that he was an antisemite over his support, like Sanders, for Palestinian rights.

His own treatment of Corbyn, he argued, offered a model for US Jewish organisations to replicate against any leadership contender who might pose similar trouble for Israel, leaving it for his audience to pick up the not-so-subtle hint about who needed to be subjected to character assassination.

WATCH: "Today I issue a call to the Jews of America, please take a leaf out of our book and please speak with one voice."

The Chief Rabbi speaking to the 18,000 delegates gathered at the @AIPAC General Session at their Policy Conference in Washington DC pic.twitter.com/BOkan9RA2O

-- Chief Rabbi Mirvis (@chiefrabbi) March 3, 2020

Establishment playbook

For anyone who isn't wilfully blind, the last few months have exposed the establishment playbook: it will use identity politics to divide those who might otherwise find a united voice and a common cause.

There is nothing wrong with celebrating one's identity, especially if it is under threat, maligned or marginalised. But having an attachment to an identity is no excuse for allowing it to be coopted by billionaires, by the powerful, by nuclear-armed states oppressing other people, by political parties or by the corporate media, so that they can weaponise it to prevent the weak, the poor, the marginalised from being represented.

It is time for us to wake up to the tricks, the deceptions, the manipulations of the strong that exploit our weaknesses – and make us yet weaker still. It's time to stop being a patsy for the establishment. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Jonathan Cook

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are " Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East" (Pluto Press) and " Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair " (Zed Books). His website is http://www.jonathan-cook.net/

[Mar 12, 2020] Americans are told every day that Russians are interfering in our politics. We've been interfering in Russia's for a century. -

Notable quotes:
"... Nonetheless much of this Cold War rivalry played out within a set of rules. Since 1990, when the Soviet Union collapsed, those rules have largely evaporated. The end of the Cold War marked the beginning of a new American effort to bring Russia into the Western fold -- to make it, in Washington-speak, a "responsible partner in the rules-based international order." We sought a cooperative Russian leader -- one who would play the pro-Western role once envisioned for Admiral Kolchak. ..."
"... In 1996 President Boris Yeltsin, who had presided over an epic collapse of living standards in Russia, seemed headed for electoral defeat. That threatened America's influence over Russia. President Bill Clinton told his advisers, " I want this guy to win so bad it hurts ." A team of American political consultants flew to Russia, took over Yeltsin's campaign and, using media techniques not previously seen there, steered him to an improbable victory. This direct intervention in Russian politics was hardly clandestine. Time magazine published a gleeful account soon afterward, with a drawing of Yeltsin on the cover waving an American flag over the headline " Yanks to the Rescue ." ..."
Mar 12, 2020 | www.bostonglobe.com

Shots rang out beside a frozen Siberian river one century ago, and a famous commander fell dead. Members of the firing squad dumped his body through a hole in the ice. With that, the Russian civil war took a decisive turn. Communists consolidated power and set in motion events that still shape Russia.

Observing the anniversary of this fateful execution helps explain why Russia today feels besieged by the United States. The victim, Admiral Alexander Kolchak, was recognized by Western powers as the legitimate ruler of Russia. He and his White Army were waging an epic war to overthrow Lenin and the Reds. In 1919 President Woodrow Wilson, horrified at the rise of Bolshevik power, sent 13,000 American soldiers to Russia.

Although Americans have largely forgotten this episode, Russians have not. They know from their history books that the United States and other powers sent a potent army on an ill-fated mission deep inside their country. Many see that intervention as the beginning of a century during which the United States has relentlessly interfered in Russia's internal affairs. This has created a narrative of encirclement -- a view that the West relentlessly threatens Russia and does whatever possible to destabilize and weaken it.

Americans are told every day that Russia is interfering in our internal politics. This is said to be an effort to erode American society and weaken our democracy. Portrayals of Russia in the American press are unfailingly negative, President Vladimir Putin is presented as demonic, and any politician who advocates better relations with Moscow risks being accused of treason. Presidential candidates compete to be more virulently anti-Russian than their rivals, as if this is a measure of patriotism. Tensions between the two countries are in some ways higher than during the worst days of the Cold War.

The American and Russian governments have adopted startlingly similar views of each other. Each believes that the other is systematically and malignantly intervening in its internal politics. This feeds a spiral of mistrust and anger. We have not yet returned to the extreme of 1919, when the United States sent combat troops to Russia in an attempt to preserve Western influence there. Yet Russians have reason to suspect that the United States is still trying to guide the course of their history. We lost Admiral Kolchak 100 years ago but haven't given up.

Kolchak was a celebrated scientist and polar explorer who rose to high positions in the Russian Navy. He visited the United States in 1917, and upon his return began marshalling forces to fight the Bolsheviks. Despite receiving troves of weaponry from the British, his forces could not win. He fell into Bolshevik hands and, at dawn on February 7, 1920, was marched toward a tributary of the Angara River. Ever the gentleman, he refused a blindfold and asked the commander of the firing squad to send a final message of love to his wife and son. The commander replied, "I will if I don't forget."

With Kolchak gone, the White Army weakened and finally succumbed. Russia remained Communist for seven decades. During that entire period, with the notable exception of their alliance against Nazi power in World War II, Moscow and Washington were intense global rivals. Americans overlaid the worst qualities of our World War II enemies onto Russia: since the Japanese had attacked us without warning, the Russians probably would too, and since the Nazis had invaded other countries and brutalized their people, Russians were likely to do the same.

Nonetheless much of this Cold War rivalry played out within a set of rules. Since 1990, when the Soviet Union collapsed, those rules have largely evaporated. The end of the Cold War marked the beginning of a new American effort to bring Russia into the Western fold -- to make it, in Washington-speak, a "responsible partner in the rules-based international order." We sought a cooperative Russian leader -- one who would play the pro-Western role once envisioned for Admiral Kolchak.

In 1996 President Boris Yeltsin, who had presided over an epic collapse of living standards in Russia, seemed headed for electoral defeat. That threatened America's influence over Russia. President Bill Clinton told his advisers, " I want this guy to win so bad it hurts ." A team of American political consultants flew to Russia, took over Yeltsin's campaign and, using media techniques not previously seen there, steered him to an improbable victory. This direct intervention in Russian politics was hardly clandestine. Time magazine published a gleeful account soon afterward, with a drawing of Yeltsin on the cover waving an American flag over the headline " Yanks to the Rescue ."

In the years since Putin's emergence, the United States has returned to its default view of Russia as a bloodthirsty enemy. We have imposed a maze of sanctions on Russian individuals and corporations. Our military surrounds Russia just as Russians would surround us if they had bases across Canada and Mexico. We have renounced treaties that once restrained our rivalry. Depending on one's point of view, these steps are either aggressive provocations or simply measured responses to Russian threats and misdeeds. Either way, Russians may be forgiven for believing that the United States wishes their country neither prosperity nor stability. Admiral Kolchak's execution one hundred years ago this winter marked an epochal failure of Western efforts to bend Russia to our will. We're still trying.

[Mar 12, 2020] Levada poll is financed by the USA in violation of Russian laws

Mar 12, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Peter AU1 , Mar 11 2020 7:43 utc | 84

Helmer prefers Levada poll.
https://tass.com/politics/898199
A Justice Ministry source told TASS that a random check carried out by the ministry's Moscow branch had established that the Levada Center was financed by foreign sources and was involved in political activities in the territory of Russia in the interests of its foreign sponsors. The center prepares and distributes by means of modern information technologies their opinion on decisions passed by Russian bodies of state power and their policy and forms socio-political views and convictions.

"The inspection revealed that the Analytical Center of Yuri Levada had received a large part of its funds from the United States, including a grant from the University of Wisconsin - Madison, which is curated by the U.S. Department of Defense," the source said.

On things Russian, I think a Russian funded poll might be more accurate than a US government funded NGO.

uncle tungsten , Mar 11 2020 9:11 utc | 85

Peter AU1 #83

On things Russian and USA funding I just discovered this piece at Unz Review in regard to Kevin Rothrock.

Apart from the direct links to State Department and Soros funds, I thought of Integrity Initiative and is jolly band of stenographers at large.

[Mar 11, 2020] Levada poll is financed by the USA in violation of Russian laws

Mar 11, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Peter AU1 , Mar 11 2020 7:43 utc | 84

Helmer prefers Levada poll.
https://tass.com/politics/898199
A Justice Ministry source told TASS that a random check carried out by the ministry's Moscow branch had established that the Levada Center was financed by foreign sources and was involved in political activities in the territory of Russia in the interests of its foreign sponsors. The center prepares and distributes by means of modern information technologies their opinion on decisions passed by Russian bodies of state power and their policy and forms socio-political views and convictions.

"The inspection revealed that the Analytical Center of Yuri Levada had received a large part of its funds from the United States, including a grant from the University of Wisconsin - Madison, which is curated by the U.S. Department of Defense," the source said.

On things Russian, I think a Russian funded poll might be more accurate than a US government funded NGO.

uncle tungsten , Mar 11 2020 9:11 utc | 85

Peter AU1 #83

On things Russian and USA funding I just discovered this piece at Unz Review in regard to Kevin Rothrock.

Apart from the direct links to State Department and Soros funds, I thought of Integrity Initiative and is jolly band of stenographers at large.

[Mar 10, 2020] The American conference in Bratislava in the Slovak Republic in April 2000 made the American goal for Europe clear: An Iron Curtain between the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea, with hopefully Russia be eventually divided or broken up into smaller states

Mar 10, 2020 | www.unz.com

Malbrough , says: Show Comment March 10, 2020 at 2:50 am GMT

In an op-ed in the Financial Times on March 4th, he [Soros] urged that "Europe must stand with Turkey over Putin's war crimes in Syria," an astonishing misreading of the situation in the region as Turkey is the aggressor while Russia is fighting to eliminate the last major terrorist enclave in Idlibt.

" Defender 2020" is a "maneuvre of shame"
by Willy Wimmer
former State Secretary at the German Ministry of Defence

"The German Chancellor, Dr Angela Merkel, is breaking a taboo by allowing German soldiers to participate in the biggest NATO manoeuvre since the end of the Cold War against Russia .

It is therefore no wonder that the German Federal Government in May 2019 did not commemorate the "Versailles" of one hundred years ago, nor did the German President do so in a commemoration ceremony for which he can be held accountable. Versailles does not only mean "the demon of revenge", but also a deliberate inability to strive for peace.

This way of thinking is expressed once again in the NATO major manoeuvre, deliberately planned for the 9 May, the day the war ended in 1945. As if the fact had needed further proof that the "NATO West" cannot make peace, it can only make war, be that war cold or hot.

The American conference in Bratislava in the Slovak Republic in April 2000 made the American goal for Europe clear: An Iron Curtain between the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea, Russia can stay anywhichwhere, and be divided or broken up into smaller states. The NATO manoeuvre called "Defender 2020" is a "manoeuvre of shame" that only serves the warmongers . "

[Mar 10, 2020] Trump's Second Term? Not Worth Freaking Out About by Ted Rall

Looks like Trump is already lame duck President. And this will not change with the elections
Notable quotes:
"... I'm not suggesting that President Trump deserves a second term. He didn't deserve a first one. He's a terrible person and an awful president. What I'm saying is that it is more likely than not that he has already done most of the damage that he can do. ..."
"... An achievement-filled second term would be a major reversal of recent historical precedent. Things may get worse under four more years of this idiot, but not much worse as the Democratic doomsday cult warns. ..."
"... I hope Obama enjoyed all those trips to Martha's Vineyard because that's pretty much all he has to show for term number two. ..."
"... George W. Bush screwed up one thing after another during his second four years in office, which was bookended by his hapless non-response to the destruction of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina and his role in the ineffective and wasteful bailout of Wall Street megabanks during the subprime mortgage financial crisis. What began as an illegal war of aggression against Iraq became, after reelection, a catastrophic quagmire that destroyed America's international reputation. ..."
"... Reagan was both senile and bogged down in Iran Contra. ..."
"... "If Trump wins a second term this November," James Pethokoukis writes in The Week, Trump "might propose more tax cuts, but they are more likely to be payroll tax cuts geared toward middle-class workers instead of income tax cuts for rich people and corporations. ..."
Mar 06, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org

You've heard it so often that you may well believe it's true: Trump's second term would be a disaster. For the Democratic Party. For the United States. For democracy itself. "The reelection of Donald Trump," warns Nancy Pelosi, "would do irreparable damage to the United States."

But would it really?

Exceptions are a normal part of history but the record suggests that Trump would not be one of the few presidents who get much done during their second terms. There are three reasons for the sophomore slump:

By definition, political honeymoons expire (well) before the end of a president's first term. Elections have consequences in the form of policy changes that make good on campaign promises. But turning a pledge into reality comes at a cost. Capital gets spent, promises are broken, alliances shatter. Oftentimes, those changes prove disappointing. Recent example: Obamacare. Voters often express their displeasure by punishing the party that controls the White House with losses in Congress in midterm elections.

The permanent campaign fed by the 24-7 news cycle makes lame ducks gimpier than ever. Before a president gets to take his or her second oath of office, news media and future hopefuls are already looking four years ahead.

Scandals come usually home to roost during second terms. It's tough to push laws through a Congress that is dragging your top officials through one investigation after another.

I'm not suggesting that President Trump deserves a second term. He didn't deserve a first one. He's a terrible person and an awful president. What I'm saying is that it is more likely than not that he has already done most of the damage that he can do.

Pundits and Democratic politicians have been pushing a self-serving narrative that implies that everything Trump has done so far was merely a warm-up for the main event, that he would want and be able to go even further if given the chance if November 2020 goes his way.

That doesn't make sense. Who in their right mind thinks Trump has been holding anything back? Which president has failed to go big within a year or two?

An achievement-filled second term would be a major reversal of recent historical precedent. Things may get worse under four more years of this idiot, but not much worse as the Democratic doomsday cult warns.

President Obama didn't get much done during his second term, which began with the bungled rollout of the federal and state "health exchanges." He signed the Paris climate accord, renewed diplomatic relations with Cuba and negotiated the nuclear deal with Iran. But the ease with which his successor canceled those achievements showcased both the ephemerality of policies pushed through without thorough public propaganda and a general sense that second-term laws and treaties are easy to annul. I hope Obama enjoyed all those trips to Martha's Vineyard because that's pretty much all he has to show for term number two.

George W. Bush screwed up one thing after another during his second four years in office, which was bookended by his hapless non-response to the destruction of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina and his role in the ineffective and wasteful bailout of Wall Street megabanks during the subprime mortgage financial crisis. What began as an illegal war of aggression against Iraq became, after reelection, a catastrophic quagmire that destroyed America's international reputation.

Whatever the merits of Bill Clinton's legislative and policy agenda -- welfare reform, NAFTA and bombing Kosovo would all have happened under a Republican president -- having anything substantial or positive to point to was well in the rearview mirror by his second term, when he found himself embroiled in the Monica Lewinsky affair and impeachment.

Reagan was both senile and bogged down in Iran Contra.

Even the most productive and prolific president of the 20th century had little to show for his second term. FDR's legacy would be nearly as impressive today if he'd only served four years.

Anything could happen. Donald Trump may use his second term to push dramatic changes. If there were another terrorist attack, for example, he would probably try to exploit national shock and fear to the political advantage of the right. Another Supreme Court justice could pass away. On the other hand, Trump is old, clinically obese and out of shape. He might die. It's doubtful that Mike Pence, a veep chosen for his lack of charisma, would be able to carry on the Trump tradition as more than the head of a caretaker government.

Analysts differ on what Trump 2.0 might look like. Regardless of their perspective, however, no one expects anything big.

"If Trump wins a second term this November," James Pethokoukis writes in The Week, Trump "might propose more tax cuts, but they are more likely to be payroll tax cuts geared toward middle-class workers instead of income tax cuts for rich people and corporations. He'll look for a new Federal Reserve chair less worried about inflation than current boss Jerome Powell, who deserves at least partial credit for the surging stock market and continuing expansion. Trump will let the national debt soar rather than trimming projected Medicare and Social Security benefits. And there will be more protectionism, although it may be called 'industrial policy.'"

"The early outlines of the [second-term] agenda are starting to emerge," Andrew Restuccia reports in The Wall Street Journal. "Among the issues under consideration: continuing the administration's efforts to lower prescription drug prices, pushing for a broad infrastructure bill and taking another crack at reforming the country's immigration system, [White House] officials said." They also want to reduce the deficit.

Under Trump, immigration reform is never a good thing. But it's hard to imagine anything major happening without Democratic cooperation.

Internationally, many observers expect Trump to continue to nurture his isolationist tendencies. But President Bernie Sanders would probably have similar impulses to focus on America First.

By all means, vote against Trump. But don't freak out at the thought of a second term.

Mourn what happened under the first one instead -- and work to reverse it.

[Mar 10, 2020] Once sheep dog, always sheep dog

9 March 2020
Notable quotes:
"... The consolidation of the Democratic Party behind Biden is a damning exposure, not merely of the politically reactionary character of this organization, but of the contemptible falsification on which the Sanders campaign has been based: that it is possible to transform the Democratic Party, the oldest American capitalist party, into the spearhead of a "political revolution" that will bring about fundamental social change. ..."
"... It is evident that the Democratic Party leadership in Congress, as well as the Biden campaign and the Democratic National Committee, aims to run the 2020 campaign on the exact model of Hillary Clinton's campaign in 2016: portraying Trump as personally unqualified to be president and as a Russian stooge, while opposing any significant social reform and delivering constant reassurances to the ruling financial aristocracy that a restored Democratic administration will follow in the footsteps of Obama, showering trillions on Wall Street and doing the bidding of the military-intelligence apparatus. ..."
"... One could ask of the nine ex-candidates who have now endorsed Biden, why they were candidates in the first place? Why did they bother to run against the former vice president, clearly the preferred candidate of the party establishment? None of them voices any significant political differences with Biden. All of them hail the right-wing political record of the Obama-Biden administration, even though that administration produced the social and economic devastation that made possible the election of Donald Trump. ..."
"... African American Democratic Party leaders, including Representative James Clyburn in South Carolina and hundreds of others, represent one of the most right-wing and politically corrupt sections of the party. ..."
"... The thinking of this layer was summed up in a column Saturday in the Washington Post ..."
"... What the Washington Post ..."
"... the entire black Democratic Party establishment has lined up behind Biden -- including, most recently, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Senator Kamala Harris. ..."
"... Sanders seeks to counter this all-out Democratic Party campaign for Biden by seeking to woo sections of the trade union bureaucracy with appeals to economic nationalism. ..."
"... More than 13 million people, mainly workers and youth, voted for Sanders in 2016 in the Democratic primaries and caucuses. Millions more continue to support him this year, with the same result. Sanders will wrap up his campaign by embracing the right-wing nominee of the Democratic Party and telling his supporters that this is the only alternative to the election, and now re-election of Trump. ..."
Mar 10, 2020 | www.wsws.org

The campaign of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is making a last-ditch stand in the Michigan primary Tuesday, amid mounting indications that the Democratic Party as a whole has moved decisively into the camp of his main rival, former Vice President Joe Biden. Sanders cancelled rallies in Mississippi, Missouri and Illinois -- all states where he trails Biden in the polls -- in order to concentrate all his efforts in Michigan, where he won an upset victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016.

On Sunday, Senator Kamala Harris endorsed Biden, the latest of nine former presidential contenders to announce their support for their one-time rival, joining Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Michael Bloomberg, Beto O'Rourke, John Delaney, Seth Moulton, Tim Ryan, and Deval Patrick. Harris is to join Biden for a campaign rally in Detroit Monday.

The consolidation of the Democratic Party behind Biden is a damning exposure, not merely of the politically reactionary character of this organization, but of the contemptible falsification on which the Sanders campaign has been based: that it is possible to transform the Democratic Party, the oldest American capitalist party, into the spearhead of a "political revolution" that will bring about fundamental social change.

Former Vice President Biden is the personification of the decrepit and right-wing character of the Democratic Party. In the past 10 days alone, Biden has declared himself a candidate for the US Senate, rather than president, confused his wife and his sister as they stood on either side of him, called himself an "Obiden Bama Democrat," and declared that 150 million Americans died in gun violence over the past decade. This is not just a matter of Biden's declining mental state: it is the Democratic Party, not just its presidential frontrunner, that is verging on political senility.

It is evident that the Democratic Party leadership in Congress, as well as the Biden campaign and the Democratic National Committee, aims to run the 2020 campaign on the exact model of Hillary Clinton's campaign in 2016: portraying Trump as personally unqualified to be president and as a Russian stooge, while opposing any significant social reform and delivering constant reassurances to the ruling financial aristocracy that a restored Democratic administration will follow in the footsteps of Obama, showering trillions on Wall Street and doing the bidding of the military-intelligence apparatus.

One could ask of the nine ex-candidates who have now endorsed Biden, why they were candidates in the first place? Why did they bother to run against the former vice president, clearly the preferred candidate of the party establishment? None of them voices any significant political differences with Biden. All of them hail the right-wing political record of the Obama-Biden administration, even though that administration produced the social and economic devastation that made possible the election of Donald Trump.

Even more revolting, if that is possible, is the embrace of Biden by the black Democratic politicians. The former senator from Delaware is identified with some of the most repugnant episodes in the history of race relations in America: the abusive treatment of Anita Hill, when she testified against the nomination of Clarence Thomas, before Biden's Judiciary Committee; an alliance with segregationist James Eastland on school integration in the early 1970s, highlighted at a debate by Kamala Harris, eight months before she endorsed Biden; and the passage of a series of "law-and-order" bills that disproportionately jailed hundreds of thousands of African Americans, all of them pushed through the Senate by Biden.

How did a politician who boasted of his close relationships with Eastland and Strom Thurmond become the beneficiary of a virtual racial bloc vote by African Americans in the Southern states? Because African American Democratic Party leaders, including Representative James Clyburn in South Carolina and hundreds of others, represent one of the most right-wing and politically corrupt sections of the party.

The thinking of this layer was summed up in a column Saturday in the Washington Post by Colbert King, a former State Department official and local banker, a prominent member of the African American elite in the nation's capital, who wrote in outrage, "America's black billionaires have no place in a Bernie Sanders world."

King denounced the suggestion that black CEOs and billionaires are "greedy, corrupt threats to America's working families or the cause of economic disparities and human misery." Voicing the fears of his class, he continued, "I know there are those out there who buy the notion that America consists of a small class of privileged, rapacious super-rich lording over throngs of oppressed, capitalist-exploited workers. You can see it in poll numbers showing the share of Americans who prefer socialism to capitalism inching upward."

What the Washington Post columnist reveals is what Bernie Sanders has done his best to cover up: the Democratic Party is a party of the capitalist class. It can no more be converted to socialism than the CIA can become an instrument of the struggle against American imperialism.

True, Sanders can dredge up Jesse Jackson for a last-minute endorsement, proof that demagogues engaged in diverting mass left-wing sentiment into the graveyard of the Democratic Party recognize and embrace each other across the decades. But with that exception, the entire black Democratic Party establishment has lined up behind Biden -- including, most recently, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Senator Kamala Harris.

Harris's statement is worth quoting. "I have decided that I am with great enthusiasm going to endorse Joe Biden for president of the United States," she said. "I believe in Joe. I really believe in him, and I have known him for a long time." The senator was no doubt responding to the incentives dangled in front of her by Biden after she left the race last December, when he gushed, "She is solid. She can be president someday herself. She can be the vice president. She can go on to be a Supreme Court justice. She can be an attorney general."

Sanders seeks to counter this all-out Democratic Party campaign for Biden by seeking to woo sections of the trade union bureaucracy with appeals to economic nationalism. New Sanders television ads in Michigan feature a United Auto Workers member declaring that his state "has been decimated by trade deals," while Sanders declares that Biden backed NAFTA, drawing the conclusion, "With a record like that, we can't trust him to protect American jobs or defeat Donald Trump." The Vermont senator will find that very few auto workers follow the political lead of the corrupt gangsters who head the UAW.

More than 13 million people, mainly workers and youth, voted for Sanders in 2016 in the Democratic primaries and caucuses. Millions more continue to support him this year, with the same result. Sanders will wrap up his campaign by embracing the right-wing nominee of the Democratic Party and telling his supporters that this is the only alternative to the election, and now re-election of Trump.

Indeed, in appearances on several Sunday television interview programs, Sanders went out of his way to repeat, as he said on Fox News, "Joe Biden is a friend of mine. Joe Biden is a decent guy. What Joe has said is if I win the nomination, he'll be there for me, and I have said if he wins the nomination, I'll be there for him "

[Mar 10, 2020] The Long Roots of Our Russophobia by Jeremy Kuzmarov

Notable quotes:
"... Creating Russophobia: From the Great Religious Schism to Anti-Putin Hysteria ..."
"... Mettan defines Russophobia as the promotion of negative stereotypes about Russia that associate the country with despotism, treachery, expansion, oppression and other negative character traits. In his view, it is "not linked to specific historical events" but "exists first in the head of the one who looks, not in the victim's alleged behavior or characteristics." ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... Russophobia in the United States has been advanced most insidiously by the nation's foreign policy elite who have envisioned themselves as grand chess-masters seeking to checkmate their Russian adversary in order to control the Eurasian heartland. ..."
"... This view is little different than European colonial strategists who had learned of the importance of molding public opinion through disinformation campaigns that depicted the Russian bear as a menace to Western civilization. ..."
Mar 06, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org
For the last five years, the American media has been filled with scurrilous articles demonizing Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Putin has been accused of every crime imaginable, from shooting down airplanes, to assassinating opponents, to invading neighboring countries, to stealing money to manipulating the U.S. president and helping to rig the 2016 election.

Few of the accusations directed against Putin have ever been substantiated and the quality of journalism has been at the level of "yellow journalism."

In a desperate attempt to sustain their political careers, centrist Democrats like Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton accused their adversaries of being Russian agents – again without proof.

And even the progressive hero Bernie Sanders – himself a victim of red-baiting – has engaged in Russia bashing and unsubstantiated accusations for which he offers no proof.

Guy Mettan's book, Creating Russophobia: From the Great Religious Schism to Anti-Putin Hysteria (Atlanta: Clarity Press, 2017) provides needed historical context for our current political moment, showing how anti-Russian hysteria has long proliferated as a means of justifying Western imperialism.

Mettan is a Swiss journalist and member of parliament who learned about the corruption of the media business when his reporting on the world anticommunist league rankled his newspapers' shareholders, and when he realized that he was serving as a paid stenographer for the Bosnian Islamist leader Alija Izetbegovic in the early 1990s.

Mettan defines Russophobia as the promotion of negative stereotypes about Russia that associate the country with despotism, treachery, expansion, oppression and other negative character traits. In his view, it is "not linked to specific historical events" but "exists first in the head of the one who looks, not in the victim's alleged behavior or characteristics."

Like anti-semitism, Mettan writes, "Russophobia is a way of turning specific pseudo-facts into essential one-dimensional values, barbarity, despotism, and expansionism in the Russian case in order to justify stigmatization and ostracism."

The origins of Russophobic discourse date back to a schism in the Church during the Middle Ages when Charlemagne was crowned emperor of the Roman empire and modified the Christian liturgy to introduce reforms execrated by the Eastern Orthodox Churches of the Byzantine empire.

Mettan writes that "the Europe of Charlemagne and of the year 1000 was in need of a foil in the East to rebuild herself, just as the Europe of the 2000s needs Russia to consolidate her union."

Before the schism, European rulers had no negative opinions of Russia. When Capetian King Henri I found himself a widower, he turned towards the prestigious Kiev kingdom two thousand miles away and married Vladimir's granddaughter, Princess Ann.

A main goal of the new liturgy adopted by Charlemagne was to undermine any Byzantine influence in Italy and Western Europe.

Over the next century, the schism evolved from a religious into a political one.

The Pope and the top Roman administration made documents disappear and truncated others in order to blame the Easterners.

Byzantium and Russia were in turn rebuked for their "caesaropapism," or "Oriental style despotism," which could be contrasted which the supposedly enlightened, democratic governing system in the West.

Russia was particularly hated because it had defied efforts of Western European countries to submit to their authority and impose Catholicism.

In the 1760s, French diplomats working with a variety of Ukrainian, Hungarian and Polish political figures produced a forged testament of Peter 1 ["The Great"] purporting to reveal Russia's 'grand design' to conquer most of Europe.

This document was still taken seriously by governments during the Napoleanic wars; and as late as the Cold War, President Harry Truman found it helpful in explaining Stalin.

In Britain, the Whigs, who represented the liberal bourgeois opposition to the Tory government and its program of free-trade imperialism, were the most virulent Russophobes, much like today's Democrats in the United States.

The British media also enflamed public opinion by taking hysterical positions against Russia – often on the eve of major military expeditions.

The London Times during the 1820s Greek Independence war editorialized that no "sane person" could "look with satisfaction at the immense and rapid overgrowth of Russian power." The same thing was being written in The New York Times in the 2010s.

A great example of the Orientalist stereotype was Bram Stoker's novel Dracula , whose main character was modeled after Russian ruler, Ivan the Terrible. As if no English ruler in history was cruel either.

The Nazis took Russo-phobic discourse to new heights during the 1930s and 1940s, combining it with a virulent anti-bolshevism and anti-semitism.

A survey of German high school texts in the 1960s found little change in the image of Russia. The Russians were still depicted as "primitive, simple, very violent, cruel, mean, inhuman, cupid and very stubborn."

The same stereotypes were displayed in many Hollywood films during the Cold War, where KGB figures were particularly maligned. No wonder that when a former KGB agent, Vladimir Putin, took power, people went insane. Russophobia in the United States has been advanced most insidiously by the nation's foreign policy elite who have envisioned themselves as grand chess-masters seeking to checkmate their Russian adversary in order to control the Eurasian heartland.

This view is little different than European colonial strategists who had learned of the importance of molding public opinion through disinformation campaigns that depicted the Russian bear as a menace to Western civilization.

Guy Mettan has written a thought-provoking book that provides badly needed historical context for the anti-Russian delirium gripping our society.

Breaking the taboo on Russophobia is of vital importance in laying the groundwork for a more peaceful world order and genuinely progressive movement in the United States. Unfortunately, recent developments don't inspire much confidence that history will be transcended. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Jeremy Kuzmarov Jeremy Kuzmarov is the author of The Russians are Coming, Again: The First Cold War as Tragedy, the Second as Farce (Monthly Review Press, 2018) and Obama's Unending Wars: Fronting for the Foreign Policy of the Permanent Warfare State (Atlanta: Clarity Press, 2019).

[Mar 09, 2020] COVID-19 burst the asset price bubble. In a new low, Pompeo passes buck to Beijing

Mar 09, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

CitizenX , Mar 9 2020 2:58 utc | 57

"Perhaps this will finally burst the out-of-control asset price bubble and drop-kick the Outlaw US Empire's economy into the sewer as the much lower price will rapidly slow the recycling of what remains of the petrodollar. Looks like Trump's reelection push just fell into a massive sinkhole as the economy will tank."

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 9 2020 1:29 utc | 49
....

Call me crazy- but this Virus provides great cover as to why the economy plummets, the Murikan sheeple will eat it up. Prepare for the double media blitz on the virus AND the economy tanking as its result.

Don't worry...just continue to go shopping and take those selfies.


vk , Mar 9 2020 3:37 utc | 60

Pompeo accuses China of giving "imperfect data" on COVID-19, blame it for US failure in containing the virus:

In new low, Pompeo passes buck to Beijing

It will be hard for the American people to swallow that one. From day 1 I've read a lot of "articles" and "papers" from know-it-all Western doctors and researchers from commenters here in this blog, all of them claiming to have very precise and definitive data on what was happening. A lot of bombastic conclusions I've read here (including one that claimed R0 was through the roof - it's funny how the R0 is being played down after it begun to infect the West; suddenly, it's all just a stronger cold...).

And that's just here, in MoA's comment section. Imagine what was being published in the Western MSM. I wouldn't be surprised there was a lot of rednecks popping their beers celebrating the fall of China already.

--//--

China to back global virus fight with production boost

Since China allegedly had a lot of idle industrial capacity - that is, if we take the Western MSM theories seriously (including the fabled "ghost towns" stories) - then boosting production wouldn't be a problem to China.

Disclaimer: it's normal for any kind of economy - socialist or capitalist - to have a certain percentage of idle capacity. That's necessary in order to insure the economy against unexpected oscillations in demand and to give space of maneuvre for future technological progress. Indeed, that was one of the USSR's mistakes with its economy: they instinctly thought unemployment should be zero, and waste should also be zero, so they planned in a way all the factories always sought to operate at 100% capacity. That became a problem when better machines and better methods were invented, since the factory manager wouldn't want to stop production so that his factory would fall behind the other factories in the five-year plan's goals. So, yes, China indeed has idle capacity - but it is mainly proposital, not a failure of its socialist planning.

--//--

... ... ...

vk , Mar 9 2020 3:56 utc | 61
This is important. The only reason I didn't comment about it is I hadn't the data:

Follow the money: Understanding China's battle against COVID-19

By the latest count, in addition to yuan loans worth 113 billion U.S. dollars granted by financial institutions and more than 70 billion U.S. dollars paid out by insurance companies, the Chinese government has allocated about 13 billion U.S. dollars to counter fallout from the outbreak.

The numbers could look abstract. However, breaking the data down reveals how the money is being carefully targeted. The government is allocating the money based on a thorough evaluation of the system's strengths.

...

Local governments are equipped with more local knowledge that allows them to surgically support key manufacturers or producers that are struggling.

Together, they have borne the bulk of the financial responsibility with an allocation of equivalently more than nine billion U.S. dollars. It is carefully targeted, divided into hundreds of thousands of individual grants that are tailor-made by and for each county, town, city and business.

This is the mark of a socialist system.

The affected capitalist countries will simply use monetary devices (so the private sector can offset the losses) and burn their own reserves with non-profitable palliatives such as masks, tests, other quarantine infrastructure etc.

Pft , Mar 9 2020 4:44 utc | 64
Sounds like US socialism. Basically corporate socialism. Loans are just dollars created out of thin air, same as in US. Insurance payouts come from premiums, nothing socialist about that, pure capitalism. Government hand outs to provinces, cities, state owned corporations,well all of these are run by the party elite, its called pork. US handed out a lot of pork during the last financial crisis. None of it trickled down to the little people. I doubt it does in China either.

All crisis are opportunities for the elite to get richer. Those Biolake firms in Wuhan will make out like bandits. Chinese firms will double the price of API's sold to India and US. China will knock out the small farmer in the wake of concurrent chicken and swine flu so the big enterprises take over, a mimicry of the US practice over the last century. China tech firms will double up on surveillance apps, censoring tools, surveillance and toughen up social credit restrictions. 5G will allow China to experiment with nanobots to monitor citizens health from afar (thanks to Harvards Dr Leiber).

Oh yes, socialism with Chinese characteristics is a technocratic capitalists dream. Thats why the West has never imposed sanctions on China since welcoming them to the global elites club. Sanctions are reserved for those with true socialism, especially those who preach equality and god forbid, democracy.

uncle tungsten , Mar 9 2020 8:35 utc | 83

CitizenX #57

Call me crazy- but this Virus provides great cover as to why the economy plummets, the Murikan sheeple will eat it up. Prepare for the double media blitz on the virus AND the economy tanking as its result.


Don't forget the Russians.. They have to be to blame. See they just kept the price of oil low so now the rest of the world gets gas cheaper than the USA. The USA motorist now has to bail out the dopey frackers and shale oil ponzis.

Global envy will eat murica. Maybe they will just pull out all their troops and go home. ;)

[Mar 09, 2020] Defender of Europe 2020: a Dangerous Provocation on Russia's Border

Mar 09, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org
by Ellen Taylor At this very moment thousands of US soldiers are disembarking from troop transports in six European countries and rushing toward prepositioned munitions around Europe, to deploy weapons as swiftly as possible.

This excitement marks the beginning of "Defender Europe 2020", the largest military exercises to be staged in Europe in over 25 years. Strategists will record how swiftly our forces can reach the Russian border, and test our NATO allies.

There has already been a massive US build-up in the countries bordering Russia.

In the words of Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, "The last 18 years of conflict built muscle memory in counterinsurgency, but with this came atrophy in other areas. We are now engaging these other muscle groups."

General Tod Wolters, Commander of US forces in Europe and of NATO, has stated, "I'm in favor of a flexible first-use (nuclear weapon) policy."

The US has withdrawn from the INF treaty.

Most diabolical and chilling of all: the exercises will come to a climax in June, which is the 75 th anniversary of Operation Barbarossa, Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, which killed 27 million people. Russians born in 1930 turn 90 this year. They remember. The heart and soul of Russia remembers as well.

Russian Chief General Gerasimov is convinced the US is preparing for war. All it would take for an attack is one false-flag operation.

The people of the world lie in helpless ignorance. And the Doomsday clock moves 20 seconds closer to midnight.

[Mar 09, 2020] Tucker Carlson was correct when pointed out that Biden Super Tuesday victory was cruel and unusual punishment of Dem voters on the part of the DNC

DNC installing a man with obvious cognitive impairment is a staggering display of arrogance. While Bush and Obama were empty suits this is completly another level.
In way I think Stupor Tuesday was a huge win for Trump.
Mar 09, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Vegetius , 07 March 2020 at 03:48 PM

The oldest organized political party on the planet is advancing a senile globalist meatpuppet (with a son known to be a philandering crackhead) to handle nuclear launch codes.
Mathias Alexander , 08 March 2020 at 04:37 AM
Choosing Biden hands the election to Trump and that's a deal that has already been made. The DNC don't like Sanders because they are adraid he might win, not because they are afraid he might loose.
Jack , 07 March 2020 at 03:56 PM

I agree with you that it is not going to be a slam dunk for Trump. Just like Trump wasn't damaged by the Access Hollywood tapes, Biden's not going to be damaged by his senility, gaffes and his prior plagiarism, Wall St cronyism and corruption. The vote for the "lesser evil" mindset will consolidate along traditional lines. The Obama machine will run Biden's campaign and consolidate the Democrat support. The election will hinge on a few states in particular Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

.... ... ...

[Mar 08, 2020] Times changed and FoxNews changed with them: the most highly rated show on Fox, Tucker Carlson is vehemently anti-imperialist and consistently hurls insults at neocons such as Lindsey Graham

Mar 08, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

NemesisCalling , Mar 7 2020 0:11 utc | 56

Furthermore, the most highly rated show on Fox, Tucker Carlson is vehemently anti-imperialist and consistently hurls insults at gay assholes such as Lindsey Graham

What you are hearing is the last vestiges of neocon and neolibs grasping at straws and trying to drag China through the mud. No one is listening, just as no one really cares about CNN or MSNBC (ironic, though, that Foxnews is now indeed the most "fair and balanced" of the major networks) or any political trifles.

... ... ...

[Mar 07, 2020] The neoliberal establishment does firmly control 2020 elections. The regular voters just does not matter

Identity groups are user proved to be powerful forces to derail undesirable candidates.
Mar 07, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

tempestteacup , March 6, 2020 at 2:40 pm

I'm going to take my chance while I have it and before having to say "I hate to be that old Marxist but "

I am 36 years old and therefore the same age as most of those speaking for millenials in the DSA, writing for Jacobin, and organising for Bernie or those of his satellites on their respective fool's errands in opposition to the entrenched Democratic Party panjandrums.

Half American and half British, I have also experienced some similar issues with the Corbyn/Momentum movement and its recent car crash with ruling class reality.

Just as an intro because of course I am going to say, "I hate to say this but "

The DSA and the semi-organised American left are selling their increasingly, justifiably radical followers a pig in a poke. In a sense, I except Bernie from that condemnation – running for President, it is what it is. But those who are supposed to be to his left are performing an invidious game by preventing further political education or raising consciousness in favour of peddling the myth of reforming the Democratic Party from within that have been tried, and have failed, so many times in the last 120 years.

The fact that these same groups are doing the same thing when it comes to labour struggles, endlessly shepherding wildcat momentum behind union leadership and justifying sell-out deals instead of fostering a realistic preparation for the struggles ahead, suggests that this is not an accident.

The cognitive dissonance is almost as horrible as that on offer when technocrats like Obama and Clinton accept the facts of climate change while endlessly sandbagging real responses to it. Which shouldn't be surprising, since the American and British new left is engaged in an infernal slow dance with their liberal or corporate beefcakes.

If I sound flippant, I apologise – I don't mean to. I also don't necessarily disbelieve in the potential for at least some change within existing conditions – but historically such changes have been won because there was a more radical extra-electoral/parliamentary movement of workers leveraging their strength, not because it was all within one cosy political bubble.

And that only happens when workers and students are educated about the struggles involved in forcing changes in the teeth of ruling class interests, institutions and political heft. Peddling illusions about the all-encompassing power of the electoral process, or complaining endlessly about the the latest example of back-stabbing from whichever corporate liberal stooge last wielded the shank, is increasingly not just useless but something worse – an expected part of the system itself as it reproduces its frozen dialectics of power and exploitation.

This is not (at least not entirely) a call for revolution. But I am increasingly certain that change is impossible without first preparing a broad swathe of people to fight, fight, fight instead of entrusting the struggle to this or that figurehead (Bernie, AOC), let alone their clarion-callers in an increasingly cosy upper middle class den of pseudo-leftists.

Lambert Strether Post author , March 6, 2020 at 2:52 pm

You might read that Politico article on the DSA. I found it rather encouraging but you might differ. If so, I'd like to know your opinion of the concrete details.

> peddling the myth of reforming the Democratic Party from within

If the ultimate outcome were to split the Democrats, would you change your mind?

tempestteacup , March 6, 2020 at 3:20 pm

Reading the Politico article now. You're right – it is encouraging, at least in the sense that it features articulate, radicalised individuals and their early attempts to organise. It chronicles absolutely necessary early steps in the process. I am very encouraged with the justified, even pragmatic, way they look beyond presidential politics in a dialectical way – both the wider context and the more local, direct implications.

So far, so good.

But there are problems. The sudden, total collapse of the International Socialist Organization is an example of what can happen to a seemingly lively left(ish) group when it grows on shaky ground. You have chronicled some of the contortions of the DSA in their regional elections and controversies. Growing pains – or something more fundamental?

What I'm trying to say is what are they about and how do they reconcile disparate forces and interests without tearing themselves apart? The DSA has its own particular history in the wider context of the American left and its sudden expansion doesn't make that go away. Without adequate theory your praxis will tend to fall apart when it collides with reality.

To give a concrete example that is suggested in the Politico piece, I'm not sure how they are discussing and understanding the identity politics education of the (upper)middle class students drawn to the movement with the different perspectives of the labour movement or, beyond that, the exciting, potentially revolutionary hinterland of the actual working class(!!!)

Lenin didn't know what identity politics was but he described it in a different context: haggling for privileges. I don't want to make this a diatribe on one subject or to suggest that I'm not sensitive to the discrete forms of oppression facing different groups but – and I know you write about this brilliantly – without some kind of radical reckoning with these issues, groups like the DSA are liable to sectarian disasters of exactly the kind envisioned (I suspect) by those who have most insidiously articulated identity over class as the most significant feature of our social relations.

I would say similar things about Extinction Rebellion. I have friends who are deeply involved in it and they are brilliantly committed to its cause. But they struggle when it comes to connecting the realities they rightly identify with the material pathologies that produce them. They are not interested in why, for example, the ER leaders ban socialist sub-groups as "political" while welcoming those for bosses or landlords(?!)

These are, to me, fundamental problems. If you cannot identify your enemy you cannot plan your campaign. And I worry that the DSA, or ER, dine out on identifying symptoms while studiously avoiding an uncomfortable meeting with their cause. And that doesn't mean, either, a schematic link of every social ill with capitalism, nor a demand that everyone be schooled in the dialectic. Just a plan to educate, to find other forms of solidarity, and gird ourselves for the struggle to come.

But that's probably more than enough! In answer to your last question -- - I think a serious split with the Democratic Party is an absolute necessity for anything that follows. It will come one way or another – even if Bernie wins the nomination, then the presidency, I fully expect he will be sandbagged by Democrats at every turn. At some point, it will be necessary to realise that the Democratic Party is not called the graveyard of social movements for nothing – and that American duopoly is the greatest impediment to democracy, no different really from the Congress of All-Russian Soviets in its day.

Billy , March 6, 2020 at 4:06 pm

Forget splitting the Democrats. I like the idea I first saw here, of turning to and leveraging the Republicans as the party of progressive change. Let the Democrat donors hold their bag of defeated candidates while harnessing progressive populists, like Tucker Carlson, or Josh Hawley, as an example, to change the country for the better. My vote in November is for Bernie if he's on the ballot. If not, Tulsi.

Lambert Strether Post author , March 7, 2020 at 2:37 am

> Forget splitting the Democrats

The Democrat Establishment may not split (though as I think Taibbi pointed out, Sanders might have been able to peel off some opportunists with a Texas win).

However, the Democrat base may split. Taking "Bernie Bro" and "He's not a real Democrat" as a proxies, the Democrat gerontocracy (to use the term for the Breshnev era) is systematically and openly alienating the Latin vote, youth generally, young blacks, and younger women. As for the working class, they are not even a mental category for liberals. That reduces their base to older Blacks and the PMC, especially PMC women. As 2016 showed, and as the (PMC women) Warren campaign showed, that's barely enough to win an election, and its certainly not enough to rule.

At some point, the contradictions have to break out into the open, as it becomes obvious the Democrats have failed to represent -- indeed, have disenfranchised -- too many people. As Lincoln wrote to Lyman Trumbull in 1860..

Stand firm. The tug has to come, & better now, than any time hereafter.

The Iron Law of Institutions is looking better every day.

Left in Wisconsin , March 6, 2020 at 4:15 pm

Look, no one knows the future and everyone is always flying by the seat of their pants. This is always true, only more apparent now. I would speculate that at least half of the newly motivated DSA membership couldn't really articulate a vision of socialism if you asked them to. In the future that might be a problem but it is certainly not a problem now. I am much more skeptical of those people now claiming to have "fundamental" answers.

Most of us have a clear if general sense of the enemy (capitalists) and their henchmen (politicians, "policy advocates," etc.). On the other hand, as Stoller points out, we are really bereft of people who actually understand production. I would argue that is our biggest problem, not lack of ideological clarity. Because once we gain power we need to know how to wield it.

tempestteacup , March 6, 2020 at 4:29 pm

Fair enough but I'm not really talking about ideological clarity or sectarian strife. I think we agree – I also mean a thorough understanding of how the world works. But that also means rigorous critique of where things might go wrong – and, for example when it concerns identity politics (a phrase I hate and apologise for using!) I think we have a good example. That doesn't mean class above all, by the way – just not ceding intellectual ground to liberal formulations of who we are and why we are that way!

(I didn't really mean to harp on about identity stuff but I think of it when I think of, for example, the DSA, and some of the divisive disputes that have bedevilled them)

Lost in OR , March 6, 2020 at 7:34 pm

I attended one DSA meeting. The order of business was something like this:
Each person declared how they chose to be identified.
The group overruled those who didn't want to do anything until some minorities could be recruited.
Some movers and shakers volunteer to draw up the chapter charter. As they were all men, they would recuse themselves from further action so the chapter wouldn't be dominated by men. The group was about 90% men.
The Patriarchy was soundly denounced.

I haven't been back.

Carey , March 6, 2020 at 8:43 pm

Similar experience with DSA in Central CA: so much talk about preffered pronouns and the like that I felt not getting to the point *was* the point..

divide 'n' rule is working really, really well.

Lambert Strether Post author , March 7, 2020 at 2:42 am

> divide 'n' rule is working really, really well.

Yes. I don't see this as malevolent; the impulses are good-hearted (which is exactly what makes "intersectionality" so dangerous). Kimberle Crenshaw endorsed Warren, by the way. OTOH, one of the Combahee River Collective founders endorsed Sanders. Of course, Crenshaw's a lawyer. PMC class solidarity is an impressive thing .

dearieme , March 6, 2020 at 4:55 pm

Look, no one knows the future

Marxists always did – or so they claimed.

tempestteacup , March 6, 2020 at 5:30 pm

Playing the long game -- so ask me what happens to the price of nectarines next week!

Lambert Strether Post author , March 7, 2020 at 3:02 am

> Marxists always did – or so they claimed.

What with a billionaire openly purchasing a large portion of the political class, I'd say The Bearded One is looking pretty good right now.

Deplorado , March 6, 2020 at 4:28 pm

You write forcefully and lucidly; if you write or post anywhere online, please share – I want to read it and follow it!

Also if you speak as you write, you will be a formidable leader.

Lambert Strether Post author , March 7, 2020 at 3:06 am

> Lenin didn't know what identity politics was but he described it in a different context: haggling for privileges . I don't want to make this a diatribe on one subject or to suggest that I'm not sensitive to the discrete forms of oppression facing different groups but – and I know you write about this brilliantly – without some kind of radical reckoning with these issues, groups like the DSA are liable to sectarian disasters of exactly the kind envisioned (I suspect) by those who have most insidiously articulated identity over class as the most significant feature of our social relations.

"Brilliant" [lambert blushes modestly]. Back at ya for "haggling for privileges."

> At some point, it will be necessary to realise that the Democratic Party is not called the graveyard of social movements for nothing

History is a hard teacher. And where its lesson has been sadly confined to a small group of cadres, as it were, this lesson is now going to be taught to millions by the Democrat Establishment, and with whacks to the knuckles and expulsions, too. That's why I put up that link to Mike Duncan on the Russian Revolution of 1905 the other day .

a different chris , March 6, 2020 at 3:25 pm

And when you answer that, can you make clear which context you are steeped in? I don't know which side of the pond you live on, but our hallowed Constitution, in hindsight, pretty much leads us here. It just ratchets everything rightward.

The claim is – and I am not sophisticated enough to either support or deny it, but others I respect have made it – that our political structure via said Constitution will only support more than two parties for only an election cycle or two. Lincoln introduced himself as a Whig, but had to run as a Republican.

Yes, it goes that far back. Given today's sophisticated hold on the media levers by our Elites, I think an effective third party is less likely than ever. Sure there's things called the Working Families Party and stuff here and there, but their job is basically wrenching Dem primaries.

PS: I actually am registered Green. It's my attempt to signal where my vote is. Little good that seems to have done me.

inode_buddha , March 6, 2020 at 3:12 pm

In America at least, it's easy to be leftist when your personal well-being is not at stake -- the left in the US has always had an upper-class tint and co-opted by the professional-managerial class. BUT their well being does not depend on the outcome like it does for the working classes. The UK and other countries have stronger social safety nets and that does make a difference in people's politics.

As an older worker ( I could be your father) I know how these fights go -- it takes decades of sheer intransigence to get anywhere. In a zillion little ways, every day, for years. I don't know if Millenials understand this, its not a dress rehearsal. It's real. I do believe the movement needs solid organizers and figureheads though -- most likely AOC will be next, I hope. There needs to be a clear method of succession, among people who do *not* compromise. A single stated set of goals, for a decade. And those who get out and volunteer and vote.

Titus , March 6, 2020 at 4:12 pm

+10

tempestteacup , March 6, 2020 at 4:25 pm

I agree with some of what you write but I have yet to see any really adequate figureheads of the sort you suggest as necessary. AOC, after her praise for John McCain is not one of them.

I know this makes me sound intransigent and sectarian but it is and has always been a problem in the left to fight beyond just nation-based working class interests. I'm not saying AOC does that but she, like so many before her, have definitely sacrificed critique of imperialism for a certain amount of mainstream coverage as far as her social democratic advocacy goes.

AOC praised John McCain, Bernie has played up to Russiagate and the enduring myths about Castro's Cuba despite making an obvious, uncontroversial point in the first place. This is how it goes. And that's what I mean – it is a standard thing for Western politicians to throw foreign affairs over the side when they are pressed – especially because the Borg is most concerned with matters of Empire and therefore will attack on that above all else (knowing, too, that the voting public cares much less about such issues than, say, Medicare for All). Corbyn did the same thing when it came to Trident renewal, then Iraq, and finally Israel.

(By the way, such capitulation got him nowhere – he was still slandered as an anti-semite and I just finished an awful book about Oleg Gordievsky in which it is suggested he was a useful idiot for the Czech intelligence services, along with Michael Foot!)

Socialism does not exist without a critique of imperialist/capitalist wars is what I mean.

But I'm sorry, I know this isn't what you were talking about. The reason I brought it up, however, is to illustrate the insidious ways in which freshly elected, occasionally 'radical' politicians are institutionalised. It doesn't happen with bread and butter domestic issues but rather foreign affairs, those distant concerns of experts and spooks.

And yet bringing this up gives a kind of window of opportunity and hope. There is no group with better understanding of the real-world consequences of Empire than the urban and rural working class. They are the ones providing sons and daughters for endless wars. The overextension of empire is always going to provide its weakest points.

Sorry, I've rambled – these are just some thoughts as I try and get to grips with what is to be done!

inode_buddha , March 6, 2020 at 5:04 pm

Well, no, actually its a good thing that you rambled -- I completely agree but from a different angle perhaps.

The fact that socialism is even in contention in the US I think is a referendum on imperialism and capitalism.
And the US way has certainly opened itself to criticism.

Frankly it amazes me that it is even happening at all, being that the Overton window has been dragged so far to the Right in my lifetime.

I remember watching Nixon on TV, stating that he was not a crook. Today, he would be considered to be an unelectable liberal, too far left.

I am not completely happy with the way that AOC and Sanders have had to toe the line with the Establishment regarding foreign policy and etc. (and I don't think McCain was any kind of saint). But I do believe that AOC and Sanders are trying to please multiple Masters. If they don't do the whole "red-baiting" routine then they lose credibility with the system they are part of -- and thereby lose influence. The voters are a different issue -- foreign affairs are just not on the radar at all for most of the working class. The sole exception is those who have family in the armed services. And yet without those voters, they wouldn't have any influence to lose.

So basically, its a chess game. Washington DC has never ran on the truth. I'm pretty sure AOC was just mouthing the words so she can accomplish some of her own left-wing goals. And maybe Sanders is too --

Grachguy , March 6, 2020 at 6:49 pm

If I might inject my two cents into this very interesting discussion, I believe tempestteacup's ultimate point still stands: the Blob/industrialists/parties will suffer no contest to their claims on power. Sure, they allow the occasional voice in the wilderness – to do otherwise would lead to more radical activity I imagine – but the power structures themselves seem quite robust to disturbances from the likes of Sanders and AOC. While I agree that they are likely mouthing the words (Sanders once discussed abolishing the CIA and one does not simply reconsider that view once one has reached that point ideologically), I question whether it even matters It seems to me that a realistic vision of socialism must be brought about independently of the existing state. After all, the social groups that dominate the state also control the media, the military, the educational institutions, and just about every other organ of power. In this framework, hijacking the state as it exists is a tall order and actually reforming it within the rules of the game is even more difficult. Isn't it worth considering the idea that left energy is better devoted to forming alternative institutions and power structures?

The circle of wagons we are seeing around Biden's husk shows that they will fight tooth and nail to keep from implementing even the most benign and basic social democratic reforms. I can only see someone like Bernie or AOC winning real power in the face of a massive economic meltdown and even then, they can win the social democratic reforms (which are desirable) but why couldn't that same opportunity + working class radicalism be channeled into actual systemic change; ie destroying the state as it currently exists and replacing it with a people's democracy? (not the Chinese type please). This would require decades of hard work, but so would replacing the democratic party with our version of Labour (and look where they are).

inode_buddha , March 6, 2020 at 10:36 pm

Isn't it worth considering the idea that left energy is better devoted to forming alternative institutions and power structures?

Very much agree -- I don't think I'm disagreeing with tempestteacup so much as looking from a different angle.

For any of it to work, I think we will have to establish parallel institutions on a far greater scale than Sander's campaign. One favorite of mine is worker co-ops, particularly in the Rust Belt and Midwest.

I dream of being able to unite and organize existing co-ops and strengthen them to the point that they could replace the old Sears Roebuck. Effectively workers would have to work two jobs and participate in two different economies, to the extent that they were able -- but having a fallback via co-op would certainly give them far more autonomy and power than any existing structure.

The only reason the existing structures have any power at all, is due to their death grip on the economy, and directly on peoples lives via economic means. Breaking that grip will also require economic means I think.

Grachguy , March 7, 2020 at 1:32 pm

I agree wholeheartedly with everything you said!

[Mar 07, 2020] Joint Chiefs Chair Retires, Immediately Becomes Paid F-35 Cheerleader

Mar 06, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Joint Chiefs Chair Retires, Immediately Becomes Paid F-35 Cheerleader

Dunford defended the troubled plane and was rewarded with a Lockheed position within months of leaving the Pentagon. Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Joseph Dunford. Credit: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff/Flickr

Jason Paladino

In 2015, things weren't looking great for the Marine Corps' F-35B fighter jet. Reports from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and Department of Defense inspector general had found dozens of problems with the aircraft. Engine failures, software bugs, supply chain issues, and fundamental design flaws were making headlines. The program was becoming synonymous in the press with "boondoggle."

Lockheed Martin, the program's lead contractor, desperately needed a win.

Luckily for Lockheed, it had a powerful ally in the commandant of the Marine Corps, General Joseph Dunford . Five years later, Dunford would be out of the service and ready to collect his first Lockheed Martin paycheck as a member of its board of directors.

Back in 2015, the F-35 program, already years behind schedule, faced a key program milestone. The goal was to have the F-35B ready for a planned July initial operational capability (IOC) declaration, a major step for the program, greenlighting the plane to be used in combat. The declaration is a sign that the aircraft is nearly ready for full deployment, that things are going well, that the contract, awarded in 2006, was finally producing a usable product. The ultimate decision was in Dunford's hands.

About a week before the declaration, some in the Pentagon expressed serious doubts about the aircraft. The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) obtained a memo from the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation that called foul on the test that was meant to demonstrate the ability of the F-35B to operate in realistic conditions.

Dunford, however, said he had " full confidence " in the aircraft's ability to support Marines in combat, despite the testing office's report stating that if the aircraft encountered enemies, it would need to " avoid threat engagement " -- in other words, to flee at the first sign of an enemy.

Ignoring the issues raised internally, Dunford signed off on the initial operational capability. Lockheed Martin was thrilled . "Fifty years from now, historians will look back on the success of the F-35 Program and point to Marine Corps IOC as the milestone that ushered in a new era in military aviation," the company said in a statement.

Lockheed's CEO was apparently elated, declaring it "send a strong message to everyone that this program is on track."

But problems continued to plague the "combat ready" aircraft in the months afterwards. And Dunford downplayed cost overruns and sang the aircraft's praises at a press event in 2017. When the moderator asked routine questions submitted by the audience (Will the aircraft continue as a program? Is it too expensive to maintain?), Dunford responded by calling the questions loaded and accusing the audience member of having an "agenda."

Retirement and a Reward

On September 30, 2019, Dunford, the military's highest ranked official, stepped down from his position as chairman of the Joint Chiefs. He had served in the Marine Corps since 1977, working his way up to the highest tier of the armed services over 42 years.

Just four months and 11 days later, he joined the Pentagon's top contractor, Lockheed Martin, as a director on the board.

In announcing Dunford's hire, a January press release from Lockheed Martin quotes CEO Marillyn Hewson: "General Dunford's service to the nation at the highest levels of military leadership will bring valuable insight to our board."

Dunford's consistent cheerleading of the F-35 and his subsequent hiring at its manufacturer create the perception of a conflict of interest and raised the eyebrows of at least one former senior military official.

"Here he is having been an advocate for it, having pressed it, having pushed for it and now he's going to work for the company that makes the aircraft, that just, to me, stinks to high heavens," retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as special assistant to Colin Powell when he led the Joint Chiefs, told POGO.

Dunford's Rolodex of Pentagon decision-makers is valuable to defense contractors, and with just over four months to "cool off," many of those relationships will likely be intact.

Lockheed Martin was the top recipient of Department of Defense dollars in fiscal year 2019, taking in over $48 billion , according to government data. The company spent over $13 million lobbying the federal government in 2019, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.

The Revolving Door Spins On

"I think anybody that gives out these big contracts should never ever, during their lifetime, be allowed to work for a defense company, for a company that makes that product," then-President-elect Donald Trump said in a December 2016 rally in Louisiana. "I don't know, it makes sense to me."

Fast forward more than three years and the revolving door is spinning right along, defense stocks are surging , and Lockheed Martin has arecord backlogof unfulfilled contracts . While Trump did issue an ethics executive order for his appointees, it did not include a lifetime ban on lobbying for contractors.

A POGO analysis of the post-government employment of retired chairs of the Joint Chiefs found that only four of the 19 people who previously held the position went immediately to work for a major defense contractor within two years after leaving the government. In addition to Dunford, Admiral William J. Crowe joined General Dynamics , General John Shalikashvili joined the boards of Boeing and L-3, and General Richard Myers joined the boards of Northrop Grumman and United Technologies Corp.

Former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs have many lucrative career opportunities that don't create conflicts, actual or implied. Retired General Martin Dempsey, who held the position before Dunford, went on to teach at Duke University and was elected chairman of USA Basketball. Admiral Michael Mullen, who preceded Dempsey, joined the board of General Motors and later telecom giant Sprint.

According to Wilkerson, then-Chairman Powell was conscious of the appearance of conflicts of interest and instilled in his employees a sensitivity.

Wilkerson recalled a conversation he had with Powell right after his retirement. "What's next, boss?" Wilkerson asked Powell. "Well, it'll not be some defense contractor or some beltway bandit. That practice is pernicious," he responded. Powell spoke to various members of Congress about their responsibility to rein in the practice, and tried to raise awareness of how widespread it was becoming, according to Wilkerson.

Current ethics laws include cooling off periods that limit a former government employee's job options. But a POGO study of the revolving door in 2018 found that current ethics regulations are insufficient, rely on self-reporting, and are full of loopholes. These cooling off periods range from a few years to a lifetime, depending on how much an individual was personally involved in the decisions to award contracts. This means top officials actually have fewer restrictions than contracting officers that were directly involved in the awards, even though they have more influence and likely more valuable connections. And the restrictions mostly prevent former officials from taking positions that involve representing or lobbying for a contractor, which is why there was no restriction on Dunford joining Lockheed's board.

The Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told POGO that Dunford "has certain post-government employment restrictions," but wouldn't go into more detail. Dunford "at all times complied with his ethics obligations related to post-government employment," according to the emailed statement. POGO has filed Freedom of Information Act Requests to learn more about Dunford's ethical restrictions.

Additionally, enforcement of the regulations is rare, with only four former Pentagon employees prosecuted for violations in the past 16 years. It is impossible to know if the low frequency of prosecutions in the current system is due to inadequate enforcement or high compliance with lax laws.

Loading Boards with Political Influence

Since 2008, POGO found 42 senior defense officials "revolved" into Lockheed within two years of leaving the government.

The boards of the top five defense contractors all have at least two sitting former high-ranking military officials. General Dynamics and Raytheon had four each, Lockheed, Boeing and Northrop Grumman had two each.

The full number of revolvers is difficult to determine. POGO's database currently contains 408 individuals who either went to work directly with defense contractors that were awarded over $10 million that year or went to work with lobbying firms that list defense industry clients. The POGO database relies on open source information. Another study found that between 2009 and 2011, 70% of three and four-star generals and admirals who retired took gigs with defense contractors or consultancies.

A GAO study found that in 2006, about 86,000 military and civilian personnel who had left service since 2001 were employed by 52 major defense contractors. The study also found that 1,581 former senior officials were employed by just seven contractors. The office estimated that 422 former officials could have worked on contracts related to their former agencies.

From 25 Hearings in One Year, to None in 60 Years

This issue is far from new. In a 1959 alone, there were 25 hearings before the House Armed Services Committee's Subcommittee for Special Investigations on the topic of the revolving door and its malign influences. President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave his famous farewell address warning of the military-industrial complex just two years later.

An analysis by POGO did not find a congressional hearing explicitly on the issue of the Pentagon revolving door in over 60 years.

There is some hope that the law will soon start to catch up. In May of last year, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA) introduced legislation that would impose a four-year ban on contactors hiring senior officials who managed that company's contracts, and extend existing bans. It would also require contractors to submit annual reports on the employment of former senior officials and would ban senior officials from owning stock in major defense contractors. Another bill , passed by the House in March 2019, would broaden ethics rules and expands prohibitions on former officials receiving compensation from contractors. It is sitting on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's desk.

The American public should be able to be confident that our top military officials are making decisions in the interest of national security, not to secure a cushy board position.

Jason Paladino is the National Security Investigative Reporter for the Straus Military Reform Project at the Project on Government Oversight (POGO).

[Mar 07, 2020] The Surprising and Sobering Science of How We Gain and Lose Influence

Mar 07, 2020 | getpocket.com

Stories to fuel your mind. "We rise in power and make a difference in the world due to what is best about human nature, but we fall from power due to what is worst." Brain Pickings |

Art by Shaun Tan for a special edition of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales .

Thoreau wrote as he contemplated how silence ennobles speech . In the century and a half since, we have created a culture that equates loudness with leadership, abrasiveness with authority. We mistake shouting for powerful speech much as we mistake force for power itself. And yet the real measure of power is more in the realm of Thoreau's "fine things."

So argues UC Berkeley psychologist Dacher Keltner in The Power Paradox: How We Gain and Lose Influence ( public library ) -- the culmination of twenty years of research exploring what power is, what confers it upon an individual, and how it shapes the structure of a collective, a community, and a culture. Drawing on a wealth of social science studies and insights from successful teams ranging from companies like Pixar and Google to restorative justice programs in San Quentin State Prison, he demonstrates "the surprising and lasting influence of soft power (culture, ideas, art, and institutions) as compared to hard power (military might, invasion, and economic sanctions)."

Keltner writes:

Life is made up of patterns. Patterns of eating, thirst, sleep, and fight-or-flight are crucial to our individual survival; patterns of courtship, sex, attachment, conflict, play, creativity, family life, and collaboration are crucial to our collective survival. Wisdom is our ability to perceive these patterns and to shape them into coherent chapters within the longer narrative of our lives.

Power dynamics, Keltner notes, are among the central patterns that shape our experience of life, from our romantic relationships to the workplace. But at the heart of power is a troubling paradox -- a malignant feature of human psychology responsible for John Dalberg-Acton's oft-cited insight that "power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Keltner explains the psychological machinery of this malfunction and considers our recourse for resisting its workings:

The power paradox is this: we rise in power and make a difference in the world due to what is best about human nature, but we fall from power due to what is worst. We gain a capacity to make a difference in the world by enhancing the lives of others, but the very experience of having power and privilege leads us to behave, in our worst moments, like impulsive, out-of-control sociopaths.

How we handle the power paradox guides our personal and work lives and determines, ultimately, how happy we and the people we care about will be. It determines our empathy, generosity, civility, innovation, intellectual rigor, and the collaborative strength of our communities and social networks. Its ripple effects shape the patterns that make up our families, neighborhoods, and workplaces, as well as the broader patterns of social organization that define societies and our current political struggles.

[...]

Much of what is most unsettling about human nature -- stigma, greed, arrogance, racial and sexual violence, and the nonrandom distribution of depression and bad health to the poor -- follows from how we handle the power paradox.

Art by Olivier Tallec from Louis I, King of the Sheep, an illustrated parable of how power changes us .

What causes us to mishandle the power paradox, Keltner argues, is our culture's traditional understanding of power -- a sort of time-capsule that no longer serves us. Predicated on force, ruthlessness, and strategic coercion, it was shaped by Niccolò Machiavelli's sixteenth-century book The Prince -- but it is as antiquated today as the geocentric model of the universe that dominated Machiavelli's day. What governs the modern world, Keltner demonstrates through two decades of revelatory studies, is a different kind of power -- softer, more relational, predicated on reputation rather than force, measured by one's ability to affect the lives of others positively and shift the course of the world, however slightly, toward the common good. He writes:

Perhaps most critically, thinking of power as coercive force and fraud blinds us to its pervasiveness in our daily lives and the fact that it shapes our every interaction, from those between parents and children to those between work colleagues.

[...]

Power defines the waking life of every human being. It is found not only in extraordinary acts but also in quotidian acts, indeed in every interaction and every relationship, be it an attempt to get a two-year-old to eat green vegetables or to inspire a stubborn colleague to do her best work. It lies in providing an opportunity to someone, or asking a friend the right question to stir creative thought, or calming a colleague's rattled nerves, or directing resources to a young person trying to make it in society. Power dynamics, patterns of mutual influence, define the ongoing interactions between fetus and mother, infant and parent, between romantic partners, childhood friends, teens, people at work, and groups in conflict. Power is the medium through which we relate to one another. Power is about making a difference in the world by influencing others.

In a sentiment that parallels Thoreau's wisdom on silence and shouting, Keltner adds:

A new wave of thinking about power reveals that it is given to us by others rather than grabbed. We gain power by acting in ways that improve the lives of other people in our social networks.

One key consequence of the fact that power is given to us by others is its reputational nature -- an insight both disquieting to the ego and comforting to the soul, for we are inescapably social creatures. Keltner observes:

Our influence, the lasting difference that we make in the world, is ultimately only as good as what others think of us. Having enduring power is a privilege that depends on other people continuing to give it to us.

"Enduring" is an operative word in Keltner's premise. The "power paradox" is paradoxical precisely because those who manage to wrest power forcibly by the Machiavellian model may have power, or perceived power, for a certain amount of time, but that amount is finite. Its finitude springs from the attrition of the person's reputation. But the most troubling aspect of the power paradox is that even if a person rises to power by counter-Machiavellian means -- kindness, generosity, concern with the common good -- power itself will eventually warp her priorities and render her less kind, less generous, less concerned with the common good, which will in turn erode her power as her reputation for these counter-qualities grows.

Keltner cites a number of studies demonstrating these tendencies empirically -- poor people give to charity a greater portion of their income than rich people, those in positions of power exhibit more entitled behaviors, people who drive expensive cars are significantly crueler to pedestrians at crosswalks, and so forth.

But in reading these alarmingly consistent studies, I had to wonder about one crucial confound that remains unaddressed: People in positions of power also tend to be busier -- that is, they tend to have greater demands on their time. We know from the now-iconic 1970s Good Samaritan study that the single greatest predictor of uncaring, unkind, and uncompassionate behavior, even among people who have devoted their lives to the welfare of others, is a perceived lack of time -- a feeling of being rushed. The sense of urgency seems to consume all of our other concerns -- it is the razor's blade that severs our connection to anything outside ourselves, anything beyond the task at hand, and turns our laser-sharp focus of concern onto the the immediacy of the self alone.

Art from Anne Sexton's little-known children's book .

We know this empirically, and we know its anecdotal truth intimately -- I doubt I'm alone in the awareness that despite a deep commitment to kindness, I find myself most likely to, say, be impatient with a fellow cyclist when I feel pressed for time, when I know I'm running late. Even Keltner's famous and tragicomical study, which found that drivers of expensive cars are most inconsiderate to pedestrians, might suffer from the same confound -- those who can afford expensive cars are typically people we would deem "successful," who also typically have far greater demands on their time. So could it be that a scarcity of time -- that inescapable hum of consciousness -- rather than an excess of power is the true corrupting agent of the psyche?

And so another paradox lives inside the power paradox -- the more powerful a person becomes, the busier and more rushed she is, which cuts her off from the very qualities that define the truly powerful. What would the studies Keltner cites look like if we controlled not only for power, but for time -- for the perception of being rushed and demand-strained beyond capacity? (Kierkegaard condemned the corrosive effect of busyness nearly two centuries ago.)

Still, Keltner's central point -- that power in the modern world is "gained and maintained through a focus on others" -- remains valid and important. He considers the conscious considerations we can make in order to bypass the perils of the power paradox:

Handling the power paradox depends on finding a balance between the gratification of your own desires and your focus on other people. As the most social of species, we evolved several other-focused, universal social practices that bring out the good in others and that make for strong social collectives. A thoughtful practitioner of these practices will not be misled by the rush of the experience of power down the path of self-gratification and abuse, but will choose instead to enjoy the deeper delights of making a lasting difference in the world. These social practices are fourfold: empathizing, giving, expressing gratitude, and telling stories. All four of these practices dignify and delight others. They constitute the basis of strong, mutually empowered ties. You can lean on them to enhance your power at any moment of the day by stirring others to effective action.

But "power" is one of those words -- like "love" and "happiness" -- to have become grab-bag terms for a constellation of behaviors, states, emotions, and phenomena. Noting that "a critical task of science is to provide clear nomenclature -- precise terms that sharpen our understanding of patterned phenomena in the outside world and inside the mind," Keltner offers elegant and necessary definitions of the distinct notions comprising the constellation of power in modern society:

POWER your capacity to make a difference in the world by influencing the states of other people.

STATUS the respect that you enjoy from other people in your social network; the esteem they direct to you. Status goes with power often but not always.

CONTROL your capacity to determine the outcomes in your life. You can have complete control over your life -- think of the reclusive hermit -- but have no power.

SOCIAL CLASS the mixture of family wealth, educational achievement, and occupational prestige that you enjoy; alternatively, the subjective sense you have of where you stand on a class ladder in society, high, middle, or low. Both forms of social class are societal forms of power.

In the remainder of The Power Paradox , Keltner goes on to examine, through a robust body of research bridged with intelligent insight, what we can do both as individuals and as a society to cultivate the qualities that empower us by empowering others and counter those that feed the most selfish and small-spirited tendencies of human nature. Complement it with Blaise Pascal's timeless 17th-century wisdom on the art of persuasion and philosopher Martha Nussbaum on human dignity and the nuanced relationship between agency and victimhood .

HT Shankar Vedantam / Hidden Brain

[Mar 07, 2020] Note of Trump deals: they are not worth paper they are printed on

Mar 07, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

False Solace , March 6, 2020 at 5:04 pm

Well they signed the agreement with the Taliban and two days later the DOD was bombing them again so who knows what happens there.

Trump has declared all sorts of deals that ultimately turned into puffs of smoke -- the non-deal with North Korea comes to mind. I consider pulling out of the TPP and tariffs against China more indicative of bucking the consensus, but those can be reversed by Trump or any other president whenever they feel like it.

[Mar 07, 2020] Dr. Drew Pinsky Threat Of Coronavirus An Overblown Press-Created Hysteria Video

Notable quotes:
"... We have in the United States 24 million cases of flu-like illness, 180,000 hospitalizations, 16,000 dead from influenza. ..."
Mar 07, 2020 | www.realclearpolitics.com

After a community transmitted case of coronavirus was reported in California,

Dr. Drew Pinsky talks about the coronavirus:

PINSKY: I don't know what they're talking about. We used to point at the way Indiana responded to the opiate and the HIV epidemic as the model for the country. I don't know what they're talking about. The only reason I felt comfortable with Pence as Vice President was I was aware of his track record in Indiana in handling these serious problems, and they handled them better than most states did, almost any other state. So, I don't know what the hell people are talking about. That is fake news...

We have in the United States 24 million cases of flu-like illness, 180,000 hospitalizations, 16,000 dead from influenza. We have zero deaths from coronavirus. We have almost no cases. There are people walking around out there with the virus that don't even know they have it, it's so mild.

So it's going to be much more widespread than we knew. It's going to be much milder than we knew. The 1.7% fatality rate is going to fall. Where was the press during the Mediterranean Corona outbreak, where the fatality rate was 41%? Why didn't they get crazed about MERS or SARS?

This is an overblown press-created hysteria. This thing is well in hand. President Trump is absolutely correct.

[Mar 06, 2020] Paul Singer vulture fund, has reportedly snapped up a four percent ($1 billion) stake in Twitter, nominating four directors to its board as the start of a bid to oust Dorsey.

Mar 06, 2020 | www.rt.com

by Helen Buyniski , RT A notorious hedge-funder who's left a trail of broken companies (and countries) in his wake has set his sights on ousting Twitter's Jack Dorsey. Users complaining about new features should know the platform may never be the same. Elliott Management, euphemistically called an "activist investor" by timid media who fear its legendary founder Paul Singer, has reportedly snapped up a four percent ($1 billion) stake in Twitter, nominating four directors to its board as the start of a bid to oust Dorsey. The hedge fund supposedly resents the CEO dividing his attentions between Twitter, Square, and a six-month move to Africa, believing Twitter is capable of churning out bigger profits. Like any good hedge fund – so the narrative goes – they just want the value of the company to increase (stock jumped seven percent on the news).

What this coverage leaves out – and what makes Twitter's plight more than the usual business scrap – is Singer's history. A major Republican donor and huge booster for Israel, he's also a notoriously ruthless businessman who embodies "vulture capitalism," leaving a trail of asset-stripped companies and even a few economically-ruined countries in his wake over his insanely profitable career. Media coverage of Singer's interest in Twitter has gone to great lengths to present his interest in the platform as " strictly business-related ," however, and some conservatives have even gotten excited by the thought that the neocon Singer will end the ideologically-motivated censorship they claim to experience on the platform – but nothing could be further from reality.

Here come the vultures

Fox News' Tucker Carlson profiled Elliott Management's strategy in December thus: "Buy a distressed company, outsource the jobs, liquidate the valuable assets, fire middle management, and once the smoke has cleared, dump what remains to the highest bidder, often in Asia." Amid the financial crash of 2008, Elliott, with other hedge funds, acquired distressed US auto parts supplier Delphi, took billions in bailout money from the Obama government (a transaction the president's "auto-czar" compared to "extortion" ), then offloaded so many jobs overseas that 25 factories were forced to close, putting tens of thousands of union and white-collar workers out on the street, as well as slashing pensions. Elliott Management made over $1 billion from the deal .

Also on rt.com Laid-off IT workers plan to sue UC San Francisco as jobs outsourced to India

When Singer's fund sinks its teeth into its prey, it does not let go, and most victims have learned to give up and hope for a quick death. When Elliott bought an 11 percent stake in outdoors retailer Cabela's, it began pushing for a sale of what was then a profitable company. The management so feared Singer that it sold within a year, sending stock prices through the roof but putting almost 2,000 people out of their jobs, setting off a downward spiral that, Carlson says, "destroyed" Cabela's hometown of Sidney, Nebraska, whose residents feared to even speak about the hedge funder on camera four years later. AT&T similarly ran for its life when Singer's fund bit off a $3.2 billion stake of the company in September, acquiescing to several demands within a month (and there's still time for the rest).

Those who don't acquiesce are guaranteed to suffer. After Elliott Management bought up a chunk of its debt, the country of Argentina defaulted, holding out for 15 years on Singer's attempts to collect. A 13-year legal battle ensued, during which Singer's fund seized an Argentine naval ship to prove they were serious about getting paid. Then-president Cristina Fernandez denounced the "Vulture Lord," but her replacement, Mauricio Macri, finally agreed in 2016 to pay up – just in time for the threat of another debt default .

Also on rt.com Argentina not negotiating multimillion debt, say holdout creditors

Peru and Congo have similarly felt the sting of Elliott Management's tactics, having their distressed debt snapped up and then weaponized against them in court. And even when Singer doesn't win, his opponents lose. Korean electronics giant Samsung was able to fight off his takeover efforts when he tried to block a move by the Lee family to consolidate their holdings, but the bitter battle ended in a five-year prison sentence for company head Jay Y. Lee on bribery charges and the impeachment of South Korean president Park Geun-hye.

the ideologically-motivated vultures, that is

Singer's corporate interests overseas don't stop at outsourcing to cut costs, however. He founded an organization called Start-Up Nation Central to facilitate the transfer of huge chunks of the US tech industry to Israel. The initiative seeks to counter the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement by making Israel essentially boycott-proof, and Singer has accordingly used his billions to push American tech firms into Israel – Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple all have research and development centers there as of 2016. If he gets control of Twitter, the company's US employees may be surprised to find their replacements speaking Hebrew, not Chinese.

As for the conservatives who think Singer will defend them from Twitter censorship? Singer was a hardcore anti-Trumper in 2015, backing Florida Senator Marco Rubio and funding the prototype of the notorious Steele dossier. Former Trump campaign strategist Steve Bannon " declared war " on the billionaire in 2017 upon learning of his involvement. While Singer financially backs Trump now, journalist Philip Weiss and others have suggested the hedge funder "cut a deal with Trump on Israel," offering his support in exchange for Trump going all-in on "protecting" the Jewish State.

Singer is the second-largest donor to the bloodthirsty think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies and also supports JINSA and the American Enterprise Institute – all dyed-in-the-wool neocon groups cheerleading for war with Iran as they did in Iraq. If Trump's "America-first" base thinks Singer is going to fight for their free speech on Twitter, they're about to get a rude awakening. Anti-war voices on both sides of the spectrum will likely find the censorship intensified to the point where they long for the days of mere shadow banning.

Battle of the billionaires

Dorsey is prepared to stand and fight – for now. He announced on Thursday he'd put his plans to live in Africa for six months on hold, supposedly due to the coronavirus epidemic. Meanwhile, Dorsey's fellow tech tycoon Elon Musk has pledged to help him fight the takeover, tweeting his support on Monday, and Twitter employees pledged their support with the #webackjack hashtag.

Also on rt.com 'NO ONE asked for this': Twitter testing self-destructing post feature as users beg for 'edit' button instead

Twitter users complaining about the "Snapchatization" of their beloved platform should realize they're looking at something quite a bit more serious than the rollout of an unpopular feature. Twitter, despite its numerous flaws, remains a vital communication channel for many. Whatever lies ahead for the platform – a stripped-down MySpace-esque husk, a megaphone for the never-Trump wing of the GOP, another addition to Israel's Silicon Wadi – only one thing can be certain: it will be profitable for Elliott Management.

Subscribe to RT newsletter to get stories the mainstream media won't tell you.

[Mar 05, 2020] Here Is What Each Of The Pentagon's Air-Launched Missiles And Bombs Actually Cost by Joseph Trevithick

Notable quotes:
"... Contact the author: joe@thedrive.com ..."
Feb 18, 2020 | www.thedrive.com

... ... ...

What follows are the unit prices, rounded to the nearest dollar, that the various branches of the U.S. military expect to pay for various air-launched weapons in the 2021 Fiscal Year as they appear in the official budget documents. Air-to-Air Missiles: Air-to-Surface Missiles: Precision-Guided Bombs:

It's important to note that a number of air-launched munitions that are in active service across the U.S. military, such as the AGM-65E Maverick laser-guided missiles, AGM-154 Joint Stand Off Weapon (JSOW) glide bombs, AGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship cruise missiles, and Paveway laser and multi-mode guidance kits for various types of bombs, are not mentioned above. This is because the services are not planning to buy new stocks of them in the 2021 Fiscal Year or they are included include broader sections of the budget where their exact unit cost is not readily apparent. There are requests for funds for sustainment of many of those weapons, as well as modifications and upgrades, too. The Navy is notably expecting to begin purchasing a powered derivative of the AGM-154, known as the JSOW-Extended Range (JSOW-ER), in the 2022 Fiscal Year.

Regardless, now, the next time you see a U.S. military combat aircraft, drone or helicopter, you'll have a head start figuring out just how much its loadout of bombs and missiles actually cost.

Contact the author: joe@thedrive.com

[Mar 05, 2020] Swamp russsiagators at work again: Apparent US Intel Meddling in US Election, With 'Report' Russia is Aiding Sanders Consortiumnews

Looks like Putin have always been eating CIA homework...
Notable quotes:
"... The New York Times ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... Consortium News ..."
Feb 21, 2020 | consortiumnews.com
Apparent US Intel Meddling in US Election, With 'Report' Russia is Aiding Sanders

96 Comments

Without any proof, The New York Times and Washington Post run "Russia helping Sanders" stories, and Sanders responds by bashing Russia, writes Joe Lauria.

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

W ith Democratic frontrunner Bernie Sanders spooking the Democratic establishment, The Washington Post Friday reported damaging information from intelligence sources against Sanders by saying that Russia is trying to help his campaign.

If the story is true and if intelligence agencies are truly committed to protecting U.S. citizens, the Sanders campaign would have been quietly informed and shown evidence to back up the claims.

Instead the story wound up on the front page of the Post , "according to people familiar with the matter." Zero evidence was produced to back up the intelligence agencies' assertion.

"It is not clear what form that Russian assistance has taken," the Post reported. That would tell any traditional news editor that there was no story until it is known.

Instead major U.S. media are again playing the role of laundering totally unverified "information" just because it comes from an intelligence source. Reporting such assertions without proof amounts to an abdication of journalistic responsibility. It shows total trust in U.S. intelligence despite decades of deception and skullduggery from these agencies.

Centrist Democratic Party leaders have expressed extreme unease with Sanders leading the Democratic pack. Politico reported Friday that former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg's entry into the race is explicitly to stop Sanders from winning on the first ballot at the party convention.

A day after The New York Times reported , also without evidence, that Russia is again trying to help Donald Trump win in November, the Post reports Moscow is trying to help Sanders too, again without substance. Both candidates whom the establishment loathes were smeared on successive days.

In a Tough Spot

The Times followed the Post report Friday by making it appear that Sanders himself had chosen to make public the intelligence assessment about "Russian interference" in his campaign.

But Sanders had known for a month about this assessment and only issued a statement after the Post asked him for comment before publishing its uncorroborated story based on anonymous sources.

Sanders was put in a difficult spot. If he said, "Show me the proof that Russia is trying to help me," he ran the risk of being attacked for disbelieving (even disloyalty to) U.S. intelligence, and, by default, defending the Kremlin.

So politician that he is, and one who is trying to win the White House, Sanders told the Post :

"I don't care, frankly, who Putin wants to be president. My message to Putin is clear: Stay out of American elections, and as president I will make sure that you do. In 2016, Russia used Internet propaganda to sow division in our country, and my understanding is that they are doing it again in 2020."

The Times quoted Sanders as calling Russian President Vladimir Putin an "autocratic thug." The paper reported Sanders saying in a statement: "Let's be clear, the Russians want to undermine American democracy by dividing us up and, unlike the current president, I stand firmly against their efforts and any other foreign power that wants to interfere in our election."

Responding to a cacophony of criticism that Sanders' supporters are especially vicious online, as opposed to the millions of other vicious people online, Sanders attempted to use Russia as a scapegoat, the way the Clinton campaign did in 2016. He said: "Some of the ugly stuff on the Internet attributed to our campaign may well not be coming from real supporters."

But no matter how strong Sander's denunciations of Russia, his opponents will now target him as being a tool of the Kremlin.

Mission accomplished.

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for T he Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe , Sunday Times of London and numerous other newspapers. He can be reached at joelauria@consortiumnews.com and followed on Twitter @unjoe .


Juan M Escobedo , February 24, 2020 at 10:55

Let`s face it,even though Bernie is a moderate Social Democrat,at best.He`s the only one capable of beating "the Orange"version of Hitler.But he sounds as if the DNC,big wigs,decide to deny him the nomination;he`d go along with it.Just like before;when he even campaigned for the"Crooked One(Hillary).I guess we`ll see.

Kim Dixon , February 24, 2020 at 04:31

The most-important element missed in this piece is this: Sanders is helping the DNC and the MIC gin up fear of, and hatred for, the only other nuclear superpower on earth.

If you were around during the McCarthy years, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the '73 Arab/Israeli war, and all the other almost-Armageddon crises of Cold War One, you know that nothing could be stupider and more-dangerous than that. The missiles still sit in their silos, waiting for the next early-warning misunderstanding or proxy-war miscalculation to send them flying.

Sanders lived through it all. He's supposed to be the furthest-Left pol in Congress. So how can he possibly advocate for anything but detente and disarmament?

SteveK9 , February 24, 2020 at 20:18

I would really like to support Bernie, but statements like this make me shake my head. It's more a reflection of America today I guess. Politicians believe to a man (or woman) that they must put the hate on Putin and Russia or they have no chance. It doesn't matter that the Russia garbage is 100% false. And, I don't mean they 'interfered' only a little there was nothing, nothing at all. Even Trump has to go along with this propaganda. I don't know how anyone can believe this idiotic (and incredibly dangerous, as you point out) rubbish at this point. But you can't call your friends blanking morons.

J Gray , February 25, 2020 at 02:55

I think he successfully dodged a bullet but set himself up to offer comprehensive election reform if he pulls out a victory .

or it is an early sign that he, the DNC & MIC are coming to terms. It doesn't have that ring to it to me, like when Trump called for regime-change war in Venezuela & defunding schools to build a space army. That was a clear on-the-record sell-out & got him off the Impeachment hook the next day. Similar to when the Clinton signed the Telecom Act to get off his.

They are still coming after Sanders too hard w/their McCarthiast attacks to feel like he is siding with them. I think he has to do this because they are bundling his movement, Venezuela and Russia into the new Red Scare.

Tony Kevin , February 23, 2020 at 21:49

"#JoeLauria's piece in #ConsortiumNews is excellent. He calmly sets out #Sanders' political dilemma. The latest line from US intelligence agency stenographer media like #NYTimes is that #Russians are helping both #Trump and Sanders because they simply want to sow discord and cynicism about US democracy , they do not care who wins. #CaitlinJohnstone neatly satirises this by writing a spoof article claiming that US intelligence agencies have discovered #Bloomberg is being helped by Russians because he has two Russian grandfathers.

It has reached the point , as Lauria shows, where any criticism of such US MSM nonsense leaves the speaker open to the allegation that he is soft on/ naive about/complicit in Russian election meddling. Without being a Trump supporter, one can understand Trump's rage and contempt for what is going on .

Justin Glyn. Consortium News. Joe Lauria. Tony Kevin"

Tony Kevin , February 23, 2020 at 21:32

Sanders and Trump will survive this Deep State manipulation and attempted blackmail . They will see off the Clintonistas and Deep State moles, and will go on to fight a tough but fair election. Americans are sick of Russophobia.

jack , February 24, 2020 at 15:25

agreed – the Russiagate psyop is past its shelf life – BUT Deep State will carry on – it's a global entity and they're into literally everything – no idea how any known, normal governing structure can deal with it

Susan J Leslie , February 23, 2020 at 10:40

Enough with the "Russia" BS already! It is clear to me the wealthy corporate Dems and the MSM are behind all of the smear tactics against Bernie and anyone else who serves the people

Susan J Leslie , February 23, 2020 at 10:40

Enough with the "Russia" BS already! It is clear to me the wealthy corporate Dems and the MSM are behind all of the smear tactics against Bernie and anyone else who serves the people

Dfnslblty , February 23, 2020 at 09:07

Front page drama plus zero evidence began long ago with 'anonymous sources said "!
Complete lack of accountability on the part of the sources and on the part of the reporters.
Thus we receive a "reality teevee " potus , and we are pleased to be hypnotised and titillated.
A true revolution would demand CN-quality reportage and reject msm pablum.

JohnDoe , February 23, 2020 at 03:43

It's enough to look at the news on mainstream media to understand who's, as usual, meddling in the elections. In the latest period for the first time I saw a lot of enthusiastic comments and articles about Bernie Sanders. It's clear they are pushing him. But why those who isolated him in during the primaries against Clinton are now supporting him? It's obvious, that they want to get rid of Elizabeth Warren, first push ahead the weaker candidates, then they'll switch their support towards another candidate, probably Bloomberg.

delia ruhe , February 23, 2020 at 00:14

Well, thank you Joe Lauria! I am in trouble in several comment threads for suggesting that the intel community is at it again, trying to ruin two campaigns by identifying the candidates with Putin and the Kremlin. Now I can quote you. Excellent piece, as usual.

Deniz , February 22, 2020 at 22:44

Imagine Sanders and Trump, putting their differences aside and declaring war on the deep state during a debate. They have the same enemies.

The same people who planted Steele's dirty dosier are going to try to steal Sanders election from him. It wont be Trump and the Republicans who rigs the election against Sanders.

SteveK9 , February 24, 2020 at 20:21

Trump actually seemed to want to help Bernie a bit (well, he keeps calling him 'Crazy Bernie as well). He put out some tweet calling this latest rubbish, Hoax #7. But Bernie would rather say something stupid, like 'I'm not a friend of Putin he is' talk about 5-year olds.

Deniz , February 25, 2020 at 00:49

Its disappointing. Sanders heart seems to be in the right place, but when it comes time to face the sinister forces that run the country for their own benefit, he will be absolutely crushed.

Linda Jean Doucett , February 22, 2020 at 21:32

This will never end.
No president will ever change anything.
The deep state tentacles will eventually kill us all.
I am going to go and enjoy what's left.

Marko , February 22, 2020 at 20:24

" But Sanders had known for a month about this assessment and only issued a statement after the Post asked him for comment before publishing its uncorroborated story based on anonymous sources Sanders was put in a difficult spot. If he said, "Show me the proof that Russia is trying to help me," he ran the risk of being attacked for disbelieving (even disloyalty to) U.S. intelligence, and, by default, defending the Kremlin. "

I suspect that Sanders was given a classified briefing a month ago , which he couldn't disclose to the public. If so , and given that he didn't make this clear immediately after being accused of withholding this information , he has only himself to blame for the resulting "bad look".

JWalters , February 22, 2020 at 19:06

The corporate media has revealed itself to be a monopoly behind the scenes, working in unison to trash Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard. Even though Gabbard is only at a few percent in the polls, her message is potentially devastating to the war profiteers who own America's Vichy MSM.

"Congressman Oscar Callaway lost his Congressional election for opposing US entry into WW 1. Before he left office, he demanded investigation into JP Morgan & Co for purchasing control over America's leading 25 newspapers in order to propagandize US public opinion in favor of his corporate and banking interests, including profits from US participation in the war."
war * profiteerstory. * blogspot. * com/p/war-profiteers-and-israels-bank.html

Thankfully, there is still a free American press, of which Consortium News is a stellar example.

elmerfudzie , February 22, 2020 at 13:25

The CIA and DIA (it has about a dozen agencies under it and is much larger than any other Intel agency) are supposed to monitor threats to our national security, that originate abroad. Aside from a few closed door sessions with a select group of congresspersons, our Intel agencies have practically no real democratic oversight and remain, for all intents and purposes, a parallel government(s) well hidden from public view. In particular how they are financed and what their actual annual budgets really are. How these agencies every managed to seep into any electioneering process what so ever, is beyond me, since they are all intentionally very surreptitious- by design. We ask questions and these Intel agencies are quick to tout the usual phrase; that subject area is secret and needs to be addressed in closed session, blah, blah, blah. Of course "secrecy" translates into, we do what we want when we want and use information any way we want because our parallel governments represent the best example(s) of a perpetual motion machine that does not require outside monitoring. The origins of these "parallel entities" can be traced to the Rockefeller brothers and their associated international corporations. There's the rub folks. Our citizens at large will never overtake for the purposes of real monitoring, this empire and elephant in the room, directly. However we do have one avenue left and it requires a rank and file demand from the people to their state representatives demanding two long standing issues, they remain unresolved and until a solution is found, will permit dark powers to side step every level of democratic governments-anywhere.

The first is true campaign finance reform and the second is assigning, or rather, removing the status of person-hood to corporate entities. The Rockefeller's used their corporate power and wealth to influence legislative, judicial and executive bodies. They cannot help but do as the puppet master commands! Be it some form of, corporatism, fascism, feudalism, monarchy, oligarchy, even bankster-ism or any other "ism We as citizens at large must make every effort to again, obtain true campaign finance reform and remove the lobbying presence inside the beltway. Today, the corporate entity has risen to a level that completely overtakes and smothers any authentic democratic representation, of and by the people. Originally (circa the early1800's) American corporations were permitted to exist and papers were drawn based on the specific duties they were about to perform, this for the benefit of the local community for example, building a bridge. Once the job was completed, the incorporation was either liquidated or remanded over to the relevant governing body for the purposes of reevaluating the necessity of re-certifying the original incorporation papers. Old man Rockefeller changed the governance and oversight privilege by forcing and promulgating legislation(s) such as limited liability clauses, strategies to oppose competition, tax evasion schemes and (eventually) assigning person-hood to corporate entities, thus creating a parallel government within the government. It all began in Delaware and until we clear our heads and assign names to the actual problems, as I've itemized here, our citizenry will never experience the freedom to fashion our destiny. Please visit TUC radio's two part expose' by Richard Grossman. It will help CONSORTIUMNEWS readers to understand just what a monumental task is ahead for all of us. Work for a fair and equitable future in America, demand campaign finance reform and kick the hustling lobbyists out of our government. Voters being choked to death with senseless debates and useless candidates.

Jeff Harrison , February 22, 2020 at 12:36

The real threats to our democracy are our unaccountable surveillance state and the craven politicians in Washington, DC. And, no, Ben, we can't keep our republic because we don't have a sufficient mass of critical thinkers to run it. If we did, this kind of BS, having been shot full of holes once, wouldn't get any air.

Alan Ross , February 22, 2020 at 10:37

Sanders may win the nomination and the election but he cannot get a break from some purists on the left. His reaction may have been quite astute. When Sanders says that we should station troops on the borders of Russia or arm the Ukrainians, then you can say he really is anti-Russian. I have not heard all that he has said, but what I have heard sounds so much like hot air put out by a left politician trying to deal with the ages-old establishment and right wing smear that he is a pawn of the commies, a fellow traveler, a pinko, and now an agent of a foreign power, a Russian asset and so on. There is real criticism of Sanders, but his statements about Putin and Russia do not add up to much.

Skip Scott , February 22, 2020 at 09:51

Anyone who is still under the influence of the MSM hypnosis of RussiaGate, led by Rachel Madcow, needs to think long and hard about this latest propaganda campaign. The real message here is unless you support corporate sponsored warmonger from column A or B, you are a tool of the "evil Rooskies". And the funny thing is, Sanders is "weak tea" when it comes to issues of war and peace, and the feeding of the war machine at the government trough with no limits.

The purpose of this BIG LIE of the "Intelligence" agencies is to make it impossible for someone to be against the Forever War without being tarred as a "Foreign Agent", or at least a "useful idiot", of the "EVIL ROOSKIES". To simply want peaceful coexistence on its own merits is impossible.

Imagine if Sanders dared to mention that Putin enjoys substantial majority support inside Russia, and seeks peaceful coexistence in a multi-polar world, instead of calling him an "autocratic thug". Often for politicians, speaking the truth is a "bridge too far". I wonder if Sanders (like Hillary) finds it necessary to hold "private" positions that differ from his "public" positions? Or does he really believe his own BS?

Jacquelynn Booth , February 22, 2020 at 09:19

I had not seen Mr Joe Lauria's article when I commented on Mr Ben Norton's story, but my reply could fit here as well.
The idiot American public dismays me. To them, the "MSM news" and "celebrity gossip reports" are equal and both to be wholeheartedly believed.
There is no point in trying to educate a resistant public in the differences between data and gossip -- public doesn't care.
I weep for what we have lost -- a Constitution, a nation of free thinkers. My heart breaks for the world's people, and what my country tries to do to them, with only a few resistant other countries confronting and challenging America.
It is so difficult to know the truth of a situation and yet to know that almost no one (statistically speaking) believes you.

Jim Hartz , February 23, 2020 at 12:04

A better distinction might be, concerning the intelligence of the American public, the one Chomsky has used, rooted in Ancient Greek culture, that between KNOWLEDGE and OPINION. Americans, of course, have OPINIONS about everything, but little KNOWLEDGE about much of anything. And it seems their idea of FREEDOM is related to, bound up with, their having OPINIONS about virtually EVERYTHING.

So much for our being a HIGHER life form.

We're in the process of destroying EVERYTHING, not just HIGHER LIFE FORMS [us], but all flora and fauna, water and air on the planet–as I said, EVERYTHING. To paraphrase from memory a citation by Perry Anderson from the work of heterodox Italian Marxist, Sebastiano Timpanaro, "What we are witnessing is not the triumph of man over history, but the victory of nature over man."

Tony , February 22, 2020 at 07:40

The Trump administration has pulled out of the INF missile treaty citing totally unproven claims of Russian violations.
It also looks like allowing the START treaty on strategic nuclear missiles to lapse if we do not stop it.

And so, in what sense would Putin want Trump to get re-elected?

Van Jones of CNN once described the original allegations of Russian meddling in US elections as a 'great big nothing burger'.

Sounds right to me.

Sam F , February 22, 2020 at 07:24

When the secret agencies and mass media stop manipulating public opinion, despite their oligarchy masters' ability to control election results anyway, we will know that they no longer need deception to control the People. Simple force will do the job, with a few marketing claims to assist in hiring goons to suppress any popular movement. Democracy is completely lost, and the pretense of democracy will soon follow.

michael , February 22, 2020 at 07:03

Another foray into domestic politics by the CIA, with anonymous sources and no evidence shown (as no evidence exists). Perhaps the CIA (which probably works for Putin, or Bloomberg, or anyone who pays them best, but they are loyal to the US dollar only; and maybe heroin?) is even now making up another Chris Steele/ Fusion GPS/ CrowdStrike dossier, getting that Russian caterer to the Kremlin to pump out clickbait and sink both Trump and Sanders. Because RUSSIANS!!! are "genetically driven" to interfere in American democracy. Next we'll have the DNC (CIA) pushing Superpredator tropes such as "this enormous cohort of black and Latino males" who "don't know how to behave in the workplace" and "don't have any prospects." With this Clintonian (and Biden and Bloomberg) mindset, America will be increasing incarceration once again. That $500,000 bribe the Clintons took from Putin in 2010 when Hillary was Secretary of State probably plays a role.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon and Defense Secretary Mark Esper have surprisingly noted that China, not Russia, is America's #1 concern: "America's concerns about Beijing's commercial and military expansion should be your concerns as well." Since Bill Clinton's Chinagate fiasco in 1996, Communist China, for a measly $million or so in illegal campaign donations, gained permanent trade status, took millions of American jobs, and suddenly were allowed access to advanced, even military technologies. This was the impetus for China's rise to be the strongest nation in the world. There are no doubt statues of the Clintons all over China, and soon to Hunter Biden, if his Chinese backed hedge funds do well. There are some rumors that Bloomberg has transacted business with China, although doubtful he tried to build a hotel in Beijing or Moscow, or the CIA would be all over it (for a cut)!

Realist , February 24, 2020 at 00:22

Esper is a dangerously deranged man who seems, at least to me, to be telegraphing his intent, and certainly his desire, to get into a kinetic war with both Russia and China (Washington already has most of the hybrid war tactics already fully operational), unless English usage has changed so drastically that insults, overt threats and unrestrained bombast are now part of calm, rational cordial diplomacy. I would not be surprised if neocon mouthpieces like Esper are not secretly honing their rhetorical style to emulate the exaggerated volume and enunciation of der ursprüngliche Führer.

Ma Laoshi , February 22, 2020 at 06:04

"So politician that he is" -- isn't this already on the slippery slope towards double standards, that is, would say Hillary get a similar pass for making McCarthyite statements like this? Isn't a dispassionate reading of the situation that Bernie is an inveterate liar , and moreover specializing in the particular brand of lies that could get us all into nuclear war? Whether it's character or merely age, haven't we seen enough to conclude that Mr. Sanders would be much weaker still vis-a-vis the Deep State than Donald Trump turned out to be?

For those without a dog in this fight, shouldn't it cause great merriment if the various RussiaGaters devour each other? Mr. Sanders has seen for years that the "muh Putin" hoax will be turned against him whenever needed. If he nonetheless persists, doesn't that show his resignation that his role in this election circus is a very temporary one, like in '16? How was that definition of insanity again?

If you want to fix America, then the Empire and Zionism are your enemies; so is the Dem party that is inextricably wedded to these forces. Play along with them and–well what can you expect.

aNanyMouse , February 22, 2020 at 13:29

Yeah, and Bernie sucked up to the Dem brass on the impeachment crap, even tho Tulsi had the stones to at least abstain. How sad.

GMCasey , February 21, 2020 at 22:33

Dear DNC:
KNOCK IT OFF! The only person I am voting for President is the only one who is capable -- and that is Bernie Sanders.
And really, with NATO breaking the agreement where they agreed to NOT go up to Russia's border : it is getting very sad and embarrassing to be an American because the elected ones make agreements and yet break so many. What with Turkey and Israel and Saudi Arabia trying to disrupt the area, I am sure that Russia is too busy to bother disrupting America . Lately America seems to disrupt itself for many ridiculous reasons. I am sorry that the gossip rags, which used to be important newspapers have failed in supporting their First Amendment right of Free speech . I just finished reading "ALL the Presidents Men. " What has happened to you, Washington Post, because as a newspaper, you really used to be somebody. Please review your past and become what you once were, a real genuine news source.

Sam F , February 23, 2020 at 09:18

Wikipedia: "In October 2013, the paper's longtime controlling family, the Graham family, sold the newspaper to Nash Holdings, a holding company established by Jeff Bezos, for $250 million in cash."

Jim Hartz , February 23, 2020 at 12:37

One of the craziest ongoing media phenomena, prevalent in the Impeachment Hearings, is the repeated claim that RUSSIA IS AT WAR WITH UKRAINE.

What kind of "Higher Life Form" enthusiastically EATS IT'S OWN SHIT?

Sam F , February 21, 2020 at 22:10

Mass media denouncing politicians based upon "information" from secret agencies are propaganda operations, and should be sued for proof of their claims. But of course the judiciary are tools of oligarchy as much as the mass media. No one has constitutional rights in the US under our utterly corrupt judiciary, only paid party privileges.

Eddie S , February 21, 2020 at 21:55

Hmmm.. so those oh-so-clever Russkies (I mean they MUST-BE if they were able to outwit ALL the US politicos -- who are immersed in the US political culture 24/7 as well as having grown-up in this country and having billions of $ to spend -- in 2016 with a mere $100k of Facebook ads) messed-up this time! They're supporting OPPOSING candidates, effectively canceling-out their efforts ? Kinda strange, unless that whole 'Russia meddling' thing was a vastly exaggerated distraction by a losing hawkish candidate and her party, further inflated by a sensationalistic media and a predictably antagonistic military & intelligence community??

dale t hood , February 21, 2020 at 22:42

There is NO "intel"; plenty of un-intel, shameless mendacity from these info=dictators zionazi NYT and Wapoop drivel; hopefully the insouciant public is starting to see what a sham these rats are. Hearst outdistanced.

Daniel , February 22, 2020 at 10:45

"Kinda strange, unless that whole 'Russia meddling' thing was a vastly exaggerated distraction by a losing hawkish candidate and her party, further inflated by a sensationalistic media and a predictably antagonistic military & intelligence community??"

Exactly. Shame on Hillary Clinton and all who view the electorate with such disdain as to have pushed this propaganda on us for the last three years, and continue to do so, obviously. If either Hillary Clinton or the "sensationalistic media and a predictably antagonistic military & intelligence community" had any integrity at all, they would have beaten Trump handily in 2016, just as they condescendingly told us they would. They did not, though, and have been outraged to have been exposed as the frauds they are ever since.

When your political party is nothing more than a marketing scheme designed to fool the population, that population will turn on you. Imagine that. And no amount of Russia-gating will save you. Shame on all who would continue this charade.

John Drake , February 21, 2020 at 21:33

Gosh I wish those so called intel people could make up their mind about whom the big bad Ruskies are trying to help. One week its Trump, the next it is Sanders. Frankly on the face, it sounds like bad intel to me.
But fortunately I am a regular reader of this site and Ray McGovern; and know it's all, to put it politely , disinformation; or less politely a pile of diarrhea invented by Hillarybots after a really really bad election day three years ago.
The only thing that disturbs me is the way Bernie buys into this Russiagate thing himself. Maybe you all could send him a trove of articles debunking the whole mess, especially Ray and Bill's forensics.

Fred Dean , February 23, 2020 at 03:52

When Durham starts indicting people and the story of the Deep State coup against the President becomes common knowledge, Bernie's statements on Russiagate will be a liability. Trump's people are digging up whatever videos they can of Bernie talking smack about Trump/Russia. It is a crack in Bernie's armor and we can expect Trump to exploit. Bernie has been such a toadie to the DNC. He cowers to the Democratic establishment because he fears they will pull his credentials to run as a Democrat.

OlyaPola , February 23, 2020 at 08:08

"Gosh I wish those so called intel people could make up their mind about whom the big bad Ruskies are trying to help."

Output is a function of framing and consequently the intelligence community/opponents are helping others including the Russians who encourage such help by doing nothing.

KiwiAntz , February 21, 2020 at 21:26

What a shambolic mess of a Nation that America is! Nothing more than a Billionaire's Banana Republic? A International laughingstock ruled by a Oligarchy, masquerading as a Democracy? And if all else fails to get rid of Bernie Saunders by vote rigging or gerrymandering or other nefarious acts of sabotage with Superdelegates stealing the nominations then resurrect the bogus Russiagate Conspiracy, a ridiculous failed & faked experiment to gaslight, spook & confuse the population again? Wouldn't it be delicious if Russiagate was actually TRUE, it would be payback for the USA, a Nation that meddles in the affairs & politics of every other Country on Earth, overthrowing & regime changing everyone who doesn't "bend the knee" to America, the most corrupt & evil Nation on Earth since Nazi Germany! I've never seen a more propagandised or mindf**ked People on Earth than the American people! It must be soul destroying to live in this Country & have to put up with this nonsense, day in, day out?

Ian , February 22, 2020 at 02:47

Yes, it is. Living with the infuriating unreality and militaristic worldview that is so cultivated here takes a personal emotional and intellectual toll. No place is perfect, but when I travel to Europe I feel a weight lifted.

Broompilot , February 22, 2020 at 03:50

Kiwi you may have a point.

ML , February 22, 2020 at 09:19

Yep. But for those of us with our critical thinking skills intact, we won't let it be soul destroying, Kiwi. Still, the daily crapload of bs we are fed in the "legacy" press is aggravating beyond the beyonds. Cheers, fellow Earthling.

Daniel , February 22, 2020 at 11:09

I hear you, KiwiAntz. It IS soul destroying to withstand this onslaught of disinformation each and every day. There is a rhythm to it that is undeniable, too. One can almost predict when the next propaganda hit will come, as here – after their latest would-be savior, Mike Bloomberg, imploded on live TV, and with Bernie looking more and more inevitable.

Our reality in the US today is that we have to fight against our own media to approach anything resembling a reasonable discussion about what is important to vast majorities (mean tweets and fake memes aren't it) or to champion candidates who display even the slightest integrity. But, of course, it is not 'our' media. It is 'theirs.' And they will continue to abuse us with it until we reject it completely.

robert e williamson jr , February 23, 2020 at 20:31

I see things pretty clearly for what they are and the billionaire democrats are heading for a train wreck and I hate to admit I cannot look away.

Trump is just another self serving U.S. president leaving a stain in America's underwear adding to the humongous pile of America's dirty laundry.

When the demographics finally dictate it change will come and likely not before. On that note I wold like to reach out here. Justin King, who goes as Beau on the net runs a site called the Fifth Column News and does a ton of informative and educational videos on many various topics. .

If you go to youtube, search and watch each of the videos I'm about to list here you stand to learn quite a lot about how Americans got screwed by the two party system without really realizing it. Plenty of blame to go around , no doubt though. You will also learn of the changing demographics in American politics. Many of the poor, minorities and youth of the country are coming into politics for they stand to lose everything if they don't change the status quo.

Feb 11 2020 runs 6:21 minutes and seconds- Search terms, Beau Lets talk about the parties switching and the party of trump

Feb 15 2020 runs 4:11 Search terms, Beau Lets talk about dancing left and dancing right

Feb 20 2020 runs 10:44 Search terms, Beau Lets talk about misunderstanding Bernie's supporters

This last video is a long video by Justin's standards. Most of his videos are under 7 minutes.

Much thanks to CN this site and the Fifth Column New site give me strength and bolster my courage by allowing me to know that there are those of us who know what gong on and know things must change.

[Mar 05, 2020] Who needs the Russians to meddle in the US elections when the DNC is much better at undermining the democratic process?

NY Times is citing "people familiar with the situation." How the mighty have fallen. What about Shadow, and the Iowa caucuses, and Buttigieg? That was real. This is absolute horseshit.
Mar 05, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

jmg , February 22, 2020 at 11:32

> Apparent US Intel Meddling in US Election With 'Report' Russia is Aiding Sanders

It looks like the CIA is short of ideas on how to meddle in the elections. Trump had a very similar briefing on January 6, 2017 -- with Brennan, Clapper, Rogers, and Comey -- on Russia allegedly aiding his campaign. As well without any evidence.

Charlene Richards , February 22, 2020 at 14:47

Russia couldn't possibly do the damage to Sanders that the DNC and Democrat Establishment elites are doing out in the open every day with the MSM as their prime propagandists.

As they say in wrestling, it's all "a work".

richard baker , February 22, 2020 at 10:55

Bart Hansen , February 22, 2020 at 18:27

Looking at the comments at the Post and Times, I'd say you are on target. Oh, for the Kool Aid contract at those organs of misinformation and omission.

[Mar 05, 2020] The real threats to our democracy are our unaccountable surveillance state and the neoliberal politicians in Washington

Notable quotes:
"... the parties are two arguing heads on the same rapacious beast. or in the case of the primaries, a multi-headed beast. ..."
Mar 05, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

Jeff Harrison , February 22, 2020 at 12:36

The real threats to our democracy are our unaccountable surveillance state and the craven politicians in Washington, DC.

And, no, Ben, we can't keep our republic because we don't have a sufficient mass of critical thinkers to run it. If we did, this kind of BS, having been shot full of holes once, wouldn't get any air.

Ground Owl Eats Fox , February 22, 2020 at 21:49

I don't think the Democrats have been very coordinated, and they (the establishment in general) is growing more desperate. They're acting less and less rationally.

My hunch is that Sanders is going to be assassinated. Even if a low chance per industry (5% for MIC; 5% for Wall Street; 5% for Hillary Clinton, etc ) the sheer number of powerful enemies and tens of trillions of dollars (and power) potentially at stake IMO makes it likely that this'll happen, whether coordinated or not. I'm guessing before the convention, if his lead is looking formidable.

He needs to pick a safety VP to make killing him less attractive, and also needs to wear a vest, ride around in a Popemobile-style vehicle, and have trustworthy chemists and doctors to check his food and umbrellas and everything else. And lots of documenters with cameras so if they do kill him in a violent hit maybe they won't get away with it.

tim ashby , February 22, 2020 at 10:38

how on earth could any entity, foreign or domestic, create any outcome in our burlesque electoral process that's worse than any other? the parties are two arguing heads on the same rapacious beast. or in the case of the primaries, a multi-headed beast.

the political circus can be likened to condi rice's concept of "constructive chaos" in the middle east. instead of nonfunctional endless war to render malleable a target for exploitation, we have endless functionless nitpicking blather to render popular leadership impossible.

[Mar 04, 2020] Russiagate should be viewed as classic, textbook case of gaslighting and projecting election interference

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... I tried to sorta warm people on other sites that while they were looking for Russians at the front door, the gop was coming in the bad door for some rather nasty election interference. ..."
"... Of course what we are seeing now is democrats cheating other democrats. But that reality will never be acknowledged because, hey, it never happened before. Just unintentional mistakes like in Iowa (farm folk cheating -- no way) or Brooklyn. ..."
Mar 04, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

MrWebster on Wed, 03/04/2020 - 1:00pm

What you describe is probably why Russiagate spread so easily to so many people. Nothing happened in previous elections? Everything you describe never happened as you point out. The American electoral system was and is pristine and virginal.

Until the Russians came and destroyed American democracy through social media themes, memes, and retweets.

The American electoral system was never brutally corrupted by rigged votes, voter suppression on the scale of hundreds of thousands, deliberately miscounted votes, voter fraud, etc. Americans never did to each other anything as bad as what the Russians did to Americans.

Of course, for me never worked as I worked in primaries of a democratic machine dominated city. I tried to sorta warm people on other sites that while they were looking for Russians at the front door, the gop was coming in the bad door for some rather nasty election interference.

Of course what we are seeing now is democrats cheating other democrats. But that reality will never be acknowledged because, hey, it never happened before. Just unintentional mistakes like in Iowa (farm folk cheating -- no way) or Brooklyn.

[Mar 04, 2020] The Quincy Institute Off to a Decent Start

Mar 04, 2020 | libertarianinstitute.org

Non-interventionists are not used to having a seat at the power table. Lacking any amount of institutional influence, believers in the anti-war cause are used to spending careers tinkering at the margins of the conversation, living from hand to mouth off of minimal fundraising. No one ever got rich towing the line for "Big Peace."

This unfortunate situation has, over decades, left a cynicism for anything located in the beltway of Washington D.C. That's where principles go to die, and good people go to sell out, don't you know?

This characterization is far from unfounded. There is an endless list of grifters, double-crossers, and Fausts who have sold their soul for a couple zeros added to their paychecks. But should past betrayals define our attitudes to the possibilities of the future?

In the past week, the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft held its first event since its inaugural launch in December. Named after former secretary of state John Quincy Adams and founded through big money donations from billionaires Charles Koch and George Soros (among others), the think tank was established, in the words of Chairwoman Suzanne DiMaggio, "to bring about a fundamental reorientation in U.S. foreign policy."

The event , titled "A New Vision for America in the World," was pilloried before it even occurred. Criticism revolved around the speaker's list, which included individuals who had spent years advocating, defending, and even participating in military adventurism overseas. This is where a dose of context is important.

The event was pitched as a forum between the Quincy Institute and Foreign Policy , whose conception of its eponymous topic is decidedly status quo hegemony. Registration, the speaker's list, and the day's schedule were available exclusively on Foreign Policy 's website. Quincy was discernably the junior partner in the conversation.

Each side chose its champion. Foreign Policy originated the idea to host disgraced former Major General David Petraeus, who commanded U.S. forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Since his conviction for sharing state secrets with his mistress as Director of the CIA, Petraeus has spent years attempting to rehabilitate his image and spread the gospel of counterinsurgency that failed American forces in the Middle East.

In opposition stood Democratic Congressman Ro Khanna of California. A self-described "progressive capitalist," since his election in 2016 Khanna has made a name for himself as a voice for military restraint in Washington. He's done more legwork to stop American support for the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen than any other member of congress.

The event's original conception was to have a debate between Petraeus and Khanna on stage, where the two could challenge each other directly. Petraeus refused to countenance this option, a Quincy insider revealed to the Libertarian Institute. So instead each man sat down, back-to-back, with their respective interlocutors; Petraeus with Foreign Policy Editor-In-Chief Jonathan Tepperman, and Khanna with the Charles Koch Institute's Vice President for Research and Policy Will Ruger.

Tepperman opened his segment with a joke that fell on deaf ears. "Our next guest will be immediately recognizable to all of you, I'm sure, unless you've been living under a rock for the last twenty years," he smiled. "That's 'under a rock,' not 'living in Iraq,' in which case you would definitely recognize him." Try telling that one-liner to the Iraqi teenagers who have gone their entire lives without clean drinking water, or the Iraqi men who continue to live without arms or legs, or the Iraqi mothers who gave birth to babies with abominable birth defects because of America's use of depleted uranium ammunition. Yes, I'm sure they'd definitely recognize David Petraeus.

The proceeding twenty-four minutes of dialogue was the same insipid pablum that Petraeus has used to justify his speaking fees for a decade. The United States must remain stationed in Afghanistan to keep an Al-Qaeda sanctuary from being reestablished, he argued. "There is some affinity they have for Eastern Afghanistan," the former general said, even though the reasoning "was lost on me."

Would Petraeus be open to a reassessment of U.S. strategic interests; the kind of retrenchment advocated by the Quincy Institute? "I think, to be perfectly honest, the debate here -- should we be more restrained -- of course we should be more restrained," he answered coyly. "Until we shouldn't."

When Congressman Khanna began his segment afterwards, he wasted no time in cutting Petraeus down to size. "I thought the title of this conference is 'A New Vision for American Foreign Policy,'" Khanna said, "and I was wondering when he was going to say something new that we haven't heard for the last twenty years."

"If I understood General Petraeus, he's basically saying we need to have a permanent troop presence around the world, in any place that's a failed state. I mean I thought we were a republic. I thought that was totally counter to what our founder's envisioned," explained Khanna.

While he displayed a depth of knowledge on U.S. conduct overseas far exceeding the average representative, it was Khanna's conception of America's metaphysical place in the world that stood out most prominently. When foreigners think of the United States, he hopes their first thoughts are "our culture, our art, our technology, our writings [that] reflect those values."

"I don't want the first thing when they think about the United States [to be] our military or bombs," he said resolutely. This sentiment brought to mind that cataloger of American localism, Bill Kauffman, who lambasted the "sham patriotism" of "the chickenhawk who loves little of his country beyond its military might."

Ro Khanna holds to that older notion of America, of a republic on a human scale that focuses on its own betterment, not the siren song of empire. "I think every member of congress should read John Quincy Adams. He's more eloquent than all of us put together," he counseled.

Unfortunately, Petraeus had already departed out the side door before he could be infected with anyone else's perspective. He had a better exit strategy from the conference than he ever did in Iraq or Afghanistan.

So lopsided was the "exchange" that after Khanna concluded Tepperman felt the need to defend his interviewee. "There was a big mismatch between Petraeus and Khanna. In the sense that, Ro Khanna is a politician. David Petraeus is not a politician," he said, eliciting an eyeroll from Ruger. The absurdity to claim that Petraeus, who earned the antagonism of his fellow commanders by being one of the most outwardly political generals in modern American history, obliged Tepperman to admit moments later that, "Petraeus is a better politician than most."

Outside the main attraction, the conference also included a discussion between two other House members, and three theater-focused foreign policy panels. Each panel's membership was split between people selected by Quincy and those selected by Foreign Policy, allowing a more open exchange of ideas than usually seen in the beltway. The Quincy Institute's staff, particularly Managing Director for Research and Policy Sarah Leah Whitson, ably articulated the concepts of realism and drawing back from our seemingly endless wars.

Some purists will still complain that the Quincy Institute soiled itself by cohosting its first conference with Foreign Policy , and for allowing the likes of Petraeus to speak. But the fact is, Quincy created a space where a sitting congressman could publicly clown the man who lost America's two twenty-first century invasions. It created a space where renowned Pentagon reporter Mark Perry could rile the audience into a frenzy like a Rockstar performing a set of his greatest hits. And it created a space where Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin could be cheered by a crowd for interrogating a panelist about his financial connections to Saudi Arabia.

This new, freer environment is something to be celebrated. The Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft might have started the forum as the unofficial junior partner to Foreign Policy , but it closed it by punching above its weight class.

[Mar 04, 2020] The Syria Deception by Mark Taliano

Mar 04, 2020 | www.globalresearch.ca

What is the Syria war about?

Contrary to the depiction in Western media, the Syria war is not a civil war. This is because the initiators, financiers and a large part of the anti-government fighters come from abroad .

Nor is the Syria war a religious war, for Syria was and still is one of the most secular countries in the region, and the Syrian army – like its direct opponents – is itself mainly composed of Sunnis.

But the Syria war is also not a pipeline war, as some critics suspected, because the allegedly competing gas pipeline projects never existed to begin with, as even the Syrian president confirmed .

Instead, the Syria war is a war of conquest and regime change , which developed into a geopolitical proxy war between NATO states on one side – especially the US, Great Britain and France – and Russia, Iran, and China on the other side.

In fact, already since the 1940s the US has repeatedly attempted to install a pro-Western government in Syria, such as in 1949, 1956, 1957, after 1980 and after 2003, but without success so far. This makes Syria – since the fall of Libya – the last Mediterranean country independent of NATO.

Thus, in the course of the „Arab Spring" of 2011, NATO and its allies, especially Israel and the Gulf States, decided to try again. To this end, politically and economically motivated protests in Syria were used and were quickly escalated into an armed conflict.

NATO's original strategy of 2011 was based on the Afghanistan war of the 1980s and aimed at conquering Syria mainly through positively portrayed Islamist militias (so-called „rebels"). This did not succeed, however, because the militias lacked an air force and anti-aircraft missiles.

Hence from 2013 onwards, various poison gas attacks were staged in order to be able to deploy the NATO air force as part of a „humanitarian intervention" similar to the earlier wars against Libya and Yugoslavia. But this did not succeed either, mainly because Russia and China blocked a UN mandate.

As of 2014, therefore, additional but negatively portrayed Islamist militias („terrorists") were covertly established in Syria and Iraq via NATO partners Turkey and Jordan, secretly supplied with weapons and vehicles and indirectly financed by oil exports via the Turkish Ceyhan terminal.

ISIS: Supply and export routes through NATO partners Turkey and Jordan (ISW / Atlantic, 2015)

Media-effective atrocity propaganda and mysterious „terrorist attacks" in Europe and the US then offered the opportunity to intervene in Syria using the NATO air force even without a UN mandate – ostensibly to fight the „terrorists", but in reality still to conquer Syria and topple its government.

This plan failed again, however, as Russia also used the presence of the „terrorists" in autumn 2015 as a justification for direct military intervention and was now able to attack both the „terrorists" and parts of NATO's „rebels" while simultaneously securing the Syrian airspace to a large extent.

By the end of 2016, the Syrian army thus succeeded in recapturing the city of Aleppo.

From 2016 onwards, NATO therefore switched back to positively portrayed but now Kurdish-led militias (the SDF) in order to still have unassailable ground forces available and to conquer the Syrian territory held by the previously established „terrorists" before Syria and Russia could do so themselves.

This led to a kind of „race" to conquer cities such as Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor in 2017 and to a temporary division of Syria along the Euphrates river into a (largely) Syrian-controlled West and a Kurdish (or rather American) controlled East (see map below).

This move, however, brought NATO into conflict with its key member Turkey, because Turkey did not accept a Kurdish-controlled territory on its southern border. As a result, the NATO alliance became increasingly divided from 2018 onwards.

Turkey now fought the Kurds in northern Syria and at the same time supported the remaining Islamists in the north-western province of Idlib against the Syrian army, while the Americans eventually withdrew to the eastern Syrian oil fields in order to retain a political bargaining chip.

While Turkey supported Islamists in northern Syria, Israel more or less covertly supplied Islamists in southern Syria and at the same time fought Iranian and Lebanese (Hezbollah) units with air strikes, though without lasting success: the militias in southern Syria had to surrender in 2018.

Ultimately, some NATO members tried to use a confrontation between the Turkish and Syrian armies in the province of Idlib as a last option to escalate the war. In addition to the situation in Idlib, the issues of the occupied territories in the north and east of Syria remain to be resolved, too.

Russia, for its part, has tried to draw Turkey out of the NATO alliance and onto its own side as far as possible. Modern Turkey, however, is pursuing a rather far-reaching geopolitical strategy of its own, which is also increasingly clashing with Russian interests in the Middle East and Central Asia.

As part of this geopolitical strategy, Turkey in 2015 and 2020 even used the so-called "weapon of mass migration" , which may serve to destabilize both Syria (so-called strategic depopulation ) and Europe, as well as to extort financial, political or military support from the European Union.

Syria: The situation in February 2020

What role did the Western media play in this war?

The task of NATO-compliant media was to portray the war against Syria as a „civil war", the Islamist „rebels" positively, the Islamist „terrorists" and the Syrian government negatively, the alleged „poison gas attacks" credibly and the NATO intervention consequently as legitimate.

An important tool for this media strategy were the numerous Western-sponsored „media centres" , „activist groups" , „Twitter girls" , „human rights observatories" and the like, which provided Western news agencies and media with the desired images and information.

Since 2019, NATO-compliant media moreover had to conceal or discredit various leaks and whistleblowers that began to prove the covert Western arms deliveries to the Islamist „rebels" and „terrorists" as well as the staged „poison gas attacks" .

But if even the „terrorists" in Syria were demonstrably established and equipped by NATO states, what role then did the mysterious „caliph of terror" Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi play? He possibly played a similar role as his direct predecessor , Omar al-Baghdadi – who was a phantom .

Thanks to new communication technologies and on-site sources, the Syria war was also the first war about which independent media could report almost in real-time and thus for the first time significantly influenced the public perception of events – a potentially historic change.

*

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.

All images in this article are from SPR


Order Mark Taliano's Book "Voices from Syria" directly from Global Research.

Mark Taliano combines years of research with on-the-ground observations to present an informed and well-documented analysis that refutes the mainstream media narratives on Syria.

[Mar 04, 2020] In Defense of Elitism Why I'm Better Than You and You are Better Than Someone Who Didn't Buy Thi

This guy does not understand (or do not what to understand) what neoliberalism is. Do not buy this book. It is junk. Look at the idiotic quite beloe. Tha guy is unable to think coherently. When Hillary called her opponents "deplorable" she clearly means thos who oppose neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization and who suffered from outsourcing and financialization craziness, that destroyed the USA manufacturing. She means those who do not belong to the neoliberal elite, independent of their IQ.
Notable quotes:
"... The tragic flaw of elites is that they fail to see the hypocrisy in their own cries for tolerance and equality. ..."
"... It was the "deplorables" moment that opened my eyes to the current trajectory of America. I fear that intellectual elites, of which I am admittedly one, have not learned from this unfortunate blunder. And time is running out for us. Perhaps all we elites need to start toting Reader's Digest crosses. ..."
Mar 04, 2020 | www.amazon.com

The populist revolution succeeded tonight for the same reason it did nearly two centuries ago. The main reason Trump won wasn't economic anxiety. It wasn't sexism. It wasn't racism. It was that he was anti-elitist. Hillary Clinton represented Wall Street, academics, policy papers, Davos, international treaties, and peo- ple who think they're better than you. People like me. Trump represented something far more appealing, which is beating up people like me. A poll taken a month before the 2016 election showed that only 24 percent of voters disagreed with the statement "The real struggle for America is not between Democrats and Republicans but between mainstream America and the ruling political elites."

People are foolish to get rid of us. Elites are people who think; populists are people who believe. Elites de- fer to experts; populists listen to their own guts. Elites value cooperation; populists are tribal. Elites arc masters at delayed gratification, long-range planning, and
controlling our emotions...

...We can t afford that. Populists believe our complex society is so secure that disaster is near impossible no matter who is in charge. Elites know it's not. Most of our work is calculating risk and planning for contingencies. We invented reinsurance, and if you give us a few years, we'll come up with rereinsurance. The myth that the elite are selfishly rigging the system while do- ing nothing useful conveniently ignores the fact that the system we've built is great. If this were a book about any other group of people besides the elite, this would be the part where I list all the amazing contributions we've made throughout history. I do not need to do that because elites created everything that ever existed...

4.0 out of 5 stars Hamartia of Elitism Exposed Reviewed in the United States on December 27, 2019 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase With In Defense of Elitism, Joel Stein goes where few elites would dare step foot, intellectually or literally - to the panhandle, bible-thumping, gun-toting town of Miami, Texas.

At this first stop on his tour of populist and elite hotspots of America, Stein elucidates a no-brainer: nobody is always right all the time about everybody else. That includes we elites.

What is my takeaway from this marvelous book, besides the fact that Stein is completely hilarious? That elites need a crash course in tolerance. Populists could use a big dose of it too, but at least when they do not demonstrate this virtue, they don't pretend to possess it. The tragic flaw of elites is that they fail to see the hypocrisy in their own cries for tolerance and equality.

It was the "deplorables" moment that opened my eyes to the current trajectory of America. I fear that intellectual elites, of which I am admittedly one, have not learned from this unfortunate blunder. And time is running out for us. Perhaps all we elites need to start toting Reader's Digest crosses.

>

Bonnie Cobert Millender , Reviewed in the United States on December 4, 2019

Important Message Delivered with Humor and Insight!

Joel Stein's new book is both engaging and enlightening. He begins by immersing himself in the small town culture of rural Miami, Texas, where he mingles with the locals and tries to understand their customs. He enjoys their hospitality but examines their values with a critical eye. The rest of the book is mostly a comparison of "elitism" with the ethos of Miami. He distinguishes between two kinds of elitism: "boat elitism" which worships money and power, and "intellectual elitism" which elevates reason and intelligence. Stein obviously champions intellectual elitism which he feels is imperative for a successful democracy: "Democracy is a government of the nerds, by the nerds and for the nerds. And the Boat Elite do not respect nerds." Ultimately, Stein concludes, "The elite, with our pesky qualifiers and annoying exceptions, are the thin line between democracy and tyranny." The great charm of this excellent book is that these very valid truths are presented with so much humor and insight that the reader cannot help but agree with Joel Stein's illuminating conclusions.

Chele Hipp , Reviewed in the United States on November 10, 2019
If This Book Were a High School Debate, Mr. Stein Would Lose

If this book was evaluated like an elite high school debate held on the Stanford campus each year, Mr. Stein would be winning the debate handily in each round and scoring exceedingly high speaker points. But, in the end, while he would still get the Top Speaker Award, he would not win the tournament trophy because he gave up his argument in his closing statement. This book is written five parts, four of which are hilarious and compelling arguments for finding connection with every type of elite and populist one can come across. Those four parts make equally compelling arguments for why having experts and intellectual elites run the world does the greatest good for society as a whole. Mr. Stein is winning the debate with compassion, good humor, and style. I'm rooting for him to win the debate! My debate judge objectivity has flown out the window. And then part five happens. His closing argument. Oh no! Mr. Stein decides to withdraw from the battle for expert and intellectual elite leadership. He says it's not our time. It's time to wait out the populists. That we can do that. That we must do that. And then he says that the need for human connection is greater than anything - that humility is the job elites need to pursue. Wait. What? You just contradicted your entire case. You surrendered your position. Your conclusion is the opposite of your thesis! That's it. You lose on technical failure. Victory awarded to your opponent. If this book were a research project using the scientific method, it would be entirely possible to have a conclusion that did not match the hypothesis. But the title of the book, "In Defense of Elitism" is suggestive of a debate or an argument. And, in such case, the conclusion must necessarily match the opening statement. If I were to recommend this book to a friend, which I still may very likely do, I would recommend that my friend read only parts one through four. Or, maybe read all five parts with very low expectations for intellectual follow-through on part five. Mr. Stein still has my utmost respect and admiration for both his efforts and his humor. I almost wonder if his editor insisted on a soft landing for the book and the conclusion was a negotiated settlement.

Flying Scot , Reviewed in the United States on November 10, 2019
Elite People Make Superior Choices

The thing I most admire about intellectual elites is how skillfully they choose their parents.

José Sotolongo , Reviewed in the United States on February 7, 2020
A Sly Sociological Study

In self-deprecating, often hilarious language, Joel Stein gives us a study of the gulf between the bicoastal United States and the heartland. The socially and politically conservative, religious citizens of Miami, Texas, vastly different from the author in values, religion, and background, are profiled with humor and affection. By establishing common ground with these citizens and shedding light on their beliefs, Stein lets us understand them despite the different, even foreign ideas compared to those of us who are "elites." By "elites" the author means reasonably educated, anti-racist, not-very-religious-if-at-all folks who tend to vote for progressive candidates. The middle of the book puts us back in California, where Stein lives, and his gimlet eye skewers the elites that surround him, again with humor and insight. I am somewhat surprised that this impressive work, which has so much to say about the present divisions and polarization in our country, has not been better promoted by the publisher. A search in the New York Times fails to find a review or even mention of it, and a full web search renders scant results. Highly recommended.

Reginald H. Henderson , Reviewed in the United States on November 2, 2019
Elite by cheating your way to wealth, versus an elite level of intelligence

Being anti-elite can make sense if you're against the elite due to wealth gained by taking advantage of people (Stein refers to as the "boat elite"), but being against elite by intelligence doesn't make sense (the "intellectual elite"). Stein talks with anit-elite Scott Adams (Dilbert creator) who talks about a medical issue for which he had to go to the most elite doctor there was to be cured, and Scott somehow concludes that this is why doctors are useless and he knows better than them. Stein points out Sarah Palin bragging that she will never claim to know more than anyone else, instead of trying to study and learn more. You read about people striving to make a difference, and somehow Republican America rejecting intelligent elite and embracing wealthy elite (which is the opposite of what a democratic government should do, it should reign in those that gain all the power through wealth). The jokes make this serious and passionate subject fun to read.

Reviewer Dr. Beth , Reviewed in the United States on December 30, 2019
Make America elite again

How can one be both self-deprecating and aggrandizing at the same time? Somehow author Joel Stein manages this. A long-time humorist writer for TIME (who was eventually fired, as he points out), Stein offers a book that is as insightful as it is funny. Stein's humor ranges from cheap to clever, and yet is unfailingly smart and on the mark. The premise of this book has already been thoroughly covered. Stein seeks to explain the backlash against so-called elites which led to the election of Trump. He starts by visiting the county in the US which had the highest percentage of Trump voters in the 2016 election. He finds many things that he expected to find (religion, guns) and many things he did not. Does he leave Miami, Texas thinking that the Trump voters were right? No. But he leaves with a better appreciation of people different from him and less of an us versus them mindset. After spending time with the populists, Stein visits with his own group, the elites, providing a short and somewhat mocking look at our country's most privileged...living in ivory towers, maybe, but also doing great work. Next come the populist elites, a group which includes Stein's "boat elites," or people like Trump. The section on elite populists is the shortest in the book; obviously elites generally aren't wining any popularity contests. Finally, in "Saving the Elite," Stein attempts to figure out how elites can re-emerge on top, where they belong. Solutions include fighting back, which many liberals seem to be doing to little or no avail; taking the high road, which appeals to the self-satisfied nature of elitists but which tends to be ultimately frustrating; and moving towards change, perhaps through greater humility, kindness, and--dare we say it?--love. Stein himself admits both that he is smug...and also that his smugness is his downfall. We cannot dismiss those with whom we do not agree. Stein makes this point in a way that is intelligent, compelling, moving...and also very, very funny.

Ryan Mease , Reviewed in the United States on December 19, 2019
Fun Tour of (Right-Wing) Populism in America

This is a sometimes-humorous, sometimes-serious review of different populist voices in the Trump era. Klein scored a number of perfect interviews with figureheads in / critics of the populist movement -- Tucker Carlson, the Dilbert guy and Bill Kristol. It's a shame he couldn't get Steve Bannon. He's very effective at interviewing opponents. I actually walked away from the Tucker chapter feeling less confused about Tucker's position on race and immigration. I can see his journey and his current rhetorical postures seem wrong, but reasonable. He has a point of view that's well-reasoned. The Dilbert guy is another story. I'm not even sure if he belongs in this book; he's just a sophist like Ann Coulter or Milo. I'm trying to use that term precisely, in the elitist Plato's dialogue sense of the term. If you read the book or listen to an interview with him, you'll understand what I mean. He's a bad faith relativist who enjoys attention. There's a lot more to this book! I didn't even mention the long opening section where the author travels to Texas to interview Trump supporters while living with them for an extended period. There are moments in the book where we're allowed to see how we might heal our national wounds. The major flaw here is the lack of depth concerning left-wing populism. The author points to Bernie Sanders and the populist left without really interviewing anyone or considering those voices too carefully. That's a shame, because they would have made an excellent companion chapter to the content on Tucker. The author ends up luring elite readers to a place where they feel comfortable receiving criticism. It would have been nice to hear that critique from each side. This was a fun read. Definitely recommended.

plubius tullius , Reviewed in the United States on February 22, 2020
Less about elite, more about [neoliberal] aristocracy

I listened to this as an audiobook, read by Joel Stein himself. Even as read by the author, I can't tell if this book is a joke or supposed to be taken seriously. An honest discussion of experts vs non-experts would be useful. This is not it. Stein picks points that back his views up, which extend well beyond expertise, and into entitlement, connection, and general condescension to the "great unwashed." For example, he interviews cartoonist Scott Adams... why not Nassim Nicholas Taleb - on the fallacy of expertise. Of course, lots and lots of name dropping in this book. Figures - thats how those insecure in their elitist claims attempt to establish their membership.

[Mar 04, 2020] US national politics is gang warfare. The Crips vs. the Bloods. Two criminal enterprises with roughly the same aims and tactics, fighting for turf

Notable quotes:
"... US national politics is gang warfare. The Crips vs. the Bloods. Two criminal enterprises with roughly the same aims and tactics, fighting for turf. With minor differences of style. Trump upsets the leadership of the Bloods in 2016, but it turns out that, outrageous as he is, he is good for business, so all the Bloods but the wimps with a weak stomach fall in behind him. ..."
"... But let's just suppose that the old Crips are not quite as pathetic as they look. Let's imagine that they actually learned something in 2016. It was supposed to be easy for them in 2016, and they were surprised. So they have had four years to hone their election-stealing skills. And most of the traditional election stealing organizations in this country seem largely to hate Trump. ..."
"... So let's posit that the FBI & CIA, or whoever it is manages to prop up Biden, and succeed in stealing the election for him. Who would object to that? ..."
"... Not two gangs but one Deep State political mafia with two families running a protection racket (MIC), prostitution (media propaganda, psyops), drugs (industry incentives), and gambling (overseas adventurism) ..."
Mar 04, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Eric in Kansas , Mar 4 2020 5:00 utc | 122

Okay, here's a little speculative fiction.

The setup: US national politics is gang warfare. The Crips vs. the Bloods. Two criminal enterprises with roughly the same aims and tactics, fighting for turf. With minor differences of style. Trump upsets the leadership of the Bloods in 2016, but it turns out that, outrageous as he is, he is good for business, so all the Bloods but the wimps with a weak stomach fall in behind him.

The Crips are bloated and in decline. A bunch of naïve, starry eyed nobodies mount a campaign to take the Crips legit. The old Crips are irritated that they have to take time out from grifting so as to squash the upstart pests.

That is where I see us today. But let's just suppose that the old Crips are not quite as pathetic as they look. Let's imagine that they actually learned something in 2016. It was supposed to be easy for them in 2016, and they were surprised. So they have had four years to hone their election-stealing skills. And most of the traditional election stealing organizations in this country seem largely to hate Trump.

So let's posit that the FBI & CIA, or whoever it is manages to prop up Biden, and succeed in stealing the election for him. Who would object to that?

Yes, exactly – all the Trump die-hards, and 'tribal' gang bangers would object. It could get really nasty.

And so far, I have not seen any evidence that any of the characters that would be willing to play such a gambit have any inclination to give a shit for the consequences for us little people.

Jackrabbit , Mar 4 2020 5:23 utc | 125

Eric in Kansas @121: gang warfare

Not two gangs but one Deep State political mafia with two families running a protection racket (MIC), prostitution (media propaganda, psyops), drugs (industry incentives), and gambling (overseas adventurism)...

... aka "Tammany on the Potomac."

Wikipedia describes Tammany as :

The Tammany Society emerged as the center for Democratic-Republican Party politics in the city in the early 19th century. After 1854, the Society expanded its political control even further by earning the loyalty of the city's rapidly expanding immigrant community, which functioned as its base of political capital. The business community appreciated its readiness, at moderate cost, to cut through red tape and legislative mazes to facilitate rapid economic growth... Tammany Hall also served as an engine for graft and political corruption, perhaps most infamously under William M. "Boss" Tweed in the mid-19th century....

[Tweed's biographer wrote:]

It's hard not to admire the skill behind Tweed's system ... The Tweed ring at its height was an engineering marvel, strong and solid, strategically deployed to control key power points: the courts, the legislature, the treasury and the ballot box. Its frauds had a grandeur of scale and an elegance of structure: money-laundering, profit sharing and organization.

!!

kiwiklown , Mar 4 2020 8:32 utc | 141
trailertrash @6 --- Americans have been railroaded into endless squabbling about voting and democracy instead of demanding good governance. How does choosing between two similarly corrupt parties deliver good governance?

Voting in the lesser evil is still choosing evil.

What does it profit a nation to have voting every 4 years when excrement covers her sidewalks? and vets suicide themselves daily? and soldiers get raped daily by fellow soldiers?

[Mar 04, 2020] Why Are We Being Charged? Surprise Bills From Coronavirus Testing Spark Calls for Government to Cover All Costs by Jake Johnson

Highly recommended!
Notes of disaster capitalism in action...
Notable quotes:
"... The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is not billing patients for coronavirus testing, according to Business Insider . "But there are other charges you might have to pay, depending on your insurance plan, or lack thereof," Business Insider noted. "A hospital stay in itself could be costly and you would likely have to pay for tests for other viruses or conditions." ..."
"... Congress needs to immediately pass a bill appropriating funding to cover 100% of the cost of all coronavirus testing & care within the United States. We will not have a chance at containing it otherwise. @tedlieu - as my rep, can you please ensure this is brought up? ..."
"... In the case of the Wucinskis, Kliff reported that "the ambulance company that transported [them] charged the family $2,598 for taking them to the hospital." ..."
"... Last week, the Miami Herald reported that Osmel Martinez Azcue "received a notice from his insurance company about a claim for $3,270" after he visited a local hospital fearing that he contracted coronavirus during a work trip to China. ..."
"... Did anyone expect the unconscionable greed of capitalism to cease when a public health crisis emerges? This is just testing for the virus, wait until a vaccine has been developed so expensive that the majority of the US populace can not afford it at all and people are dropping like flies. Wall Street, never-the-less, will continue to have its heydays ..."
"... The very idea that the defense and "Homeland" security budgets are bloated and additional funding approved year after year but the citizens of this country are not afforded 100% health coverage In a time of global health crisis that could become a pandemic. ..."
Mar 03, 2020 | www.commondreams.org

"Huge surprise medical bills [are] going to make sure people with symptoms don't get tested. That is bad for everyone." by Jake Johnson, staff writer Public health advocates, experts, and others are demanding that the federal government cover coronavirus testing and all related costs after several reports detailed how Americans in recent weeks have been saddled with exorbitant bills following medical evaluations.

Sarah Kliff of the New York Times reported Saturday that Pennsylvania native Frank Wucinski "found a pile of medical bills" totaling $3,918 waiting for him and his three-year-old daughter after they were released from government-mandated quarantine at Marine Corps Air Station in Miramar, California.

"My question is why are we being charged for these stays, if they were mandatory and we had no choice in the matter?" asked Wucinski, who was evacuated by the U.S. government last month from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.

"I assumed it was all being paid for," Wucinski told the Times . "We didn't have a choice. When the bills showed up, it was just a pit in my stomach, like, 'How do I pay for this?'"

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is not billing patients for coronavirus testing, according to Business Insider . "But there are other charges you might have to pay, depending on your insurance plan, or lack thereof," Business Insider noted. "A hospital stay in itself could be costly and you would likely have to pay for tests for other viruses or conditions."

Lawrence Gostin, a professor of global health law at Georgetown University, told the Times that

"the most important rule of public health is to gain the cooperation of the population."

"There are legal, moral, and public health reasons not to charge the patients,"

Gostin said.

Congress needs to immediately pass a bill appropriating funding to cover 100% of the cost of all coronavirus testing & care within the United States. We will not have a chance at containing it otherwise. @tedlieu - as my rep, can you please ensure this is brought up?

-- William LeGate (@williamlegate) March 2, 2020

In the case of the Wucinskis, Kliff reported that "the ambulance company that transported [them] charged the family $2,598 for taking them to the hospital."

"An additional $90 in charges came from radiologists who read the patients' X-ray scans and do not work for the hospital," Kliff noted.

The CDC declined to respond when Kliff asked whether the federal government would cover the costs for patients like the Wucinskis.

The Intercept 's Robert Mackey wrote last Friday that the Wucinskis' situation spotlights "how the American government's response to a public health emergency, like trying to contain a potential coronavirus epidemic, could be handicapped by relying on a system built around private hospitals and for-profit health insurance providers."

We should be doing everything we can to encourage people with #COVIDー19 symptoms to come forward. Huge surprise medical bills is going to make sure people with symptoms don't get tested. That is bad for everyone, regardless of if you are insured. https://t.co/KOUKTSFVzD

-- Saikat Chakrabarti (@saikatc) March 1, 2020

Play this tape to the end and you find people not going to the hospital even if they're really sick. The federal government needs to announce that they'll pay for all of these bills https://t.co/HfyBFBXhja

Last week, the Miami Herald reported that Osmel Martinez Azcue "received a notice from his insurance company about a claim for $3,270" after he visited a local hospital fearing that he contracted coronavirus during a work trip to China.

"He went to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he said he was placed in a closed-off room," according to the Herald . "Nurses in protective white suits sprayed some kind of disinfectant smoke under the door before entering, Azcue said. Then hospital staff members told him he'd need a CT scan to screen for coronavirus, but Azcue said he asked for a flu test first."

Azcue tested positive for the flu and was discharged. "Azcue's experience shows the potential cost of testing for a disease that epidemiologists fear may develop into a public health crisis in the U.S.," the Herald noted.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, highlighted Azcue's case in a tweet last Friday.

"The coronavirus reminds us that we are all in this together," Sanders wrote. "We cannot allow Americans to skip doctor's visits over outrageous bills. Everyone should get the medical care they need without opening their wallet -- as a matter of justice and public health."

Last week, as Common Dreams reported , Sanders argued that the coronavirus outbreak demonstrates the urgent need for Medicare for All.

The coronavirus reminds us that we are all in this together. We cannot allow Americans to skip doctor's visits over outrageous bills.

Everyone should get the medical care they need without opening their wallet -- as a matter of justice and public health. https://t.co/c4WQMDESHU

-- Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) February 28, 2020

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. surged by more than two dozen over the weekend, bringing the total to 89 as the Trump administration continues to publicly downplay the severity of the outbreak.

Dr. Matt McCarthy, a staff physician at NewYork–Presbyterian Hospital, said in an appearance on CNBC 's "Squawk Box" Monday morning that testing for the coronavirus is still not widely available.

"Before I came here this morning, I was in the emergency room seeing patients," McCarthy said. "I still do not have a rapid diagnostic test available to me."

"I'm here to tell you, right now, at one of the busiest hospitals in the country, I don't have it at my finger tips," added McCarthy. "I still have to make my case, plead to test people. This is not good. We know that there are 88 cases in the United States. There are going to be hundreds by middle of week. There's going to be thousands by next week. And this is a testing issue."

Our work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Feel free to republish and share widely.


Harry_Pjotr 13h

Did anyone expect the unconscionable greed of capitalism to cease when a public health crisis emerges? This is just testing for the virus, wait until a vaccine has been developed so expensive that the majority of the US populace can not afford it at all and people are dropping like flies. Wall Street, never-the-less, will continue to have its heydays

Smerl fern 12h

A wall street bank or private predator may own your emergency room. A surprise bill may await your emergency treatment above insurance payments or in some instances all of the bill.

An effort was made recently in congress to stop surprise billings but enough dems joined repubs to kill it. More important to keep campaign dollars flowing than keep people alive. fern Smerl 12h I know emergency rooms are being purchased by organizations like Tenet (because they are some of the most expensive levels of care) and M.D.s provided by large agencies. I'm not as up on this as I should be but a friend of mine tells me that some of this is illegal. I have received bills that were later discharged by challenge. This is worth investigating further. Atlas oldie 11h Hmmmm A virus that overwhelmingly kills the elderly and/or those with pre-exisitng conditions.

Sounds like a medical insurance companies wet dream. As well as .gov social security/medicare wet dream.

Just sayin'

Ticki 11h

The very idea that the defense and "Homeland" security budgets are bloated and additional funding approved year after year but the citizens of this country are not afforded 100% health coverage In a time of global health crisis that could become a pandemic. And as has been stated, the unconscionable idea suggested that a possible vaccine (a long way away or perhaps not developed at all) might not be affordable to the workers who pay the taxes that fund the government? That's insane.

leftonadoorstep 11h

Another example of "American Exceptionalism." China doesn't charge its coronavirus patients, neither does South Korea. I guess they are simply backward countries.

Barton 11h

I own my own home after years of hard work paying it off. It's the only thing of value, besides my old truck, that I have. If I get the virus, I will stay home and try to treat it the best I can. I can't afford to go to the hospital and pay thousands in medical bills, with the chance that they'll come after my possessions. America, the land of the _______. Fill in the blank. (Hint: it's no longer free).

fern 1 Barton 11h

There are other ways to protect your home. Homesteading or living trust. I'm not good at this but I know there are ways to do it. Hopefully, it would never come to that but outcomes are not certain even with treatment in this case.

Giovanna-Lepore oldie 11h

As someone who lost a mother at 5 years old I can sympathize with your grief in losing a daughter-in-law and especially seeing her four children orphaned. However, I think you miss the point here: This is about we becoming a society invested in each others welfare and not a company town that commodifies everything including the health and well being of us all.

fern 1 Giovanna-Lepore 11h

I'm going by: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/1129/text

As a revision it is better but flawed. It is a cost containment bill based on the same research as the republican plan with global budgets and block grants.

Edited: I encourage you to read this:
-ttps://www.rand.org/blog/2018/10/misconceptions-about-medicare-for-all.html Giovanna-Lepore 10h oldie:

Part D

Higher education is not free but they do need to become free for the students and payed by us as a society.

Part D is a scam, a Republican scam also supported by corporate democrats because of its profit motive and its privatization

Medicare only covers 80% and does not cover eye and dental care and older folks especially need these services. Medicaid helps but there are limits and one cannot necessarily use it where one needs to go. Expanded, Improved Medicare For All is a vast improvement. because it covers everyone in one big pool and, therefore, much more dignified than the rob Paul to pay peter system we have.

Social Security too can be improved. Why should it simply be based on the income of the person which means that a person working in a low paying job in a capitalist system gone wild with greed will often work until they die.

Pell grants can be eliminated when we have what the French have: publicly supported education for everyone.

The demise of unions certainly did not help but it was part of the long strategy of the Right to privatize everything to the enrichment of the few.

Yunzer SuspiraDeProfundis 10h

Thank goodness for the "/s". Poe's Law you know

The overall competence that Canada is handling this outbreak, compared to the USA, is stark. First world (Canada) versus third-world (USA). Testing is practically available for free, to any suspect person, sick or not, as Toronto alone can run 1000 tests a day and have results in 4 hours. That is far more than all the US's capacity for 330 million people.

I wonder how long before Canada closes its borders to USAns? Me and my wife (both in a vulnerable age/medical group) should seriously consider fleeing to my brother's place in Toronto as the first announced cases in Pittsburgh are probably only days away. What about our poor cat though? We could try to smuggle her across the border, but she is a loud and talkative kitty

Greenwich 10h

Don't want to discourage anyone from any protective measures – but the "low down" from my veggie store today was that a lot of health professionals shop there and they think it's being hyped by media. Did get this from my NJ Sen. Menendez –

Center for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC)

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, everyday preventive actions can help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases:

  • Wash your hands often
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • For more information : htps://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html
  • How it spreads : The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. [Read more.]
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/transmission.html )
  • Symptoms : For confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases, reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death. Symptoms can include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
Seeker 9h Greenwich:

Don't want to discourage anyone from any protective measures – but the "low down" from my veggie store today was that a lot of health professionals shop there and they think it's being hyped by media.

I agree it is being hyped by the media to the point of being fear mongering. At the same time it is being ignored by the administration to such an extent that really little almost nothing is being done. At some point the two together will create an even bigger problem.

It is like the old adage: "Just because you are paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you." Each over/under reach in considering the reality of the situation has its own problem, which multiply when combined. Every morning when I wake up I say a little atheistic prayer to myself before I get out of bed: "Another day and for better or worse...".

Seeker 8h

Well, two reported here in Florida tonight. One in my county, one in the county next door. And more of the "we already knew, but told you late". One person checked into the hospital on Wednesday. We hear it Monday night. Both were ignored far a long time it seems, and 84 in particular are being watched (roommates, friends, hospital workers not alerted for several days, the usual). But no one knows every place they had been since becoming infected.

Oh, and they have tested a handful of people. No worry?

I can't see anyway that this level of incompetency is an accident. Spring break is just starting usually a 100's of thousand tourist bonanza.

So the question is do they want to kill us, or just keep us in fear?

I think the later. But the end result is a crap shoot. So once again, it is a gamble with our lives.

Archie1954 7h

The business of America is business. Sometimes that can go too far and this is one of those times. Making money from the loss, distress, harm and suffering of others is perverse beyond belief.

[Mar 04, 2020] One of the tensions between globalism and populism, is that the latter often nationalistic and anti-globalization

Mar 04, 2020 | www.unz.com

All the talk today is of the tensions between globalism and populism, the latter often nationalistic. The globalists have generally been too optimistic in their rhetoric, wishfully thinking that the time of nations and states is simply over. In fact, the nation-state remains an irreducible reality in politics everywhere, even as this entity is undeniably in decline.

The "national" is in decline in two distinct ways. Firstly, Western nations are disintegrating everywhere, their respective core ethnies losing ground to rapidly-expanding Hispanic, Asian, African, and Islamic settlements, notably in the large cities and, in the United States, across all the southernmost states from west to east.

Many of the major cities are simply lost. London can no longer be said to be part of the English nation in any meaningful sense. Indeed, London's government under Sadiq Khan has been at pains to emphasize this fact, arguing that, I quote, "London is anyone, London is everyone." In the same way, Paris is no longer really part of the French nation, nor can Los Angeles and New York City be said to be part of the same nation as the American Midwest.

Secondly, Western elites are more and more apatride – nationless – psychologically. The residents of these same "global cities" simply no longer identify with the core of their historic nations and, indeed, are possessed by various degrees of fear and loathing for the rural folk who have the audacity to vote for the (more-or-less insipid) right-wing parties and not be in tune with the metropolitan classes' latest ideological fashions. Thus, these elites feel no need to defend the economic, cultural, and demographic interests of their own citizens – which is at best considered selfish and at worst "racism," the gravest of sins. Today, many left-wing parties show open contempt for the very idea of borders and nationhood, let alone national solidarity.

The phenomenon of an apatride elite is part of the reason why many have come to believe the "statal" part of "nation-state" is also in decline today. But this is quite inaccurate. The state shows no signs of decline and indeed has become all-encompassing and outright obese. If the state does not take action today in the face of the winds of globalization – on immigration, on economics – it is not because it no longer has the means, but simply because the elites have lost the desire to defend their constituents.

There is no point getting worked into an impotent rage regarding these trends. Rather, we should reflect on why the nation-state arose and why it is declining.

I think we need to consider the basic facts of human life, namely our psychology, which is more or less fixed, at least in broad makeup, and our technology, which has enabled spectacular changes in day-to-day human life over the past thousands of years.

Psychologically, the key issue seems to me to be that of identification. Ethnic identification appears to be a hard-wired human impulse, much akin to children's aptitude for adopting languages. This is evident in the fact that even infants instinctively identify different races and accents , and show a preference for the race and accent of their parents. If we look at modern history, we find that again and again societies fail to consolidate into a common ethno-national identity because of the lack of a common language (Austria-Hungary, Canada, Belgium, the Soviet Union . . .) and/or race (United States of America, Brazil, South Africa, Malaysia . . .). Of course, additional cultural and religious factors can further subdivide people into further ethnies but, as a rule, it seems shared language and continental ancestry are the two basic ingredients for forming an ethnicity.

Identification seems to stem in large part from socialization. An infant, assuming he or she is of the same continental race as their parents, will come to identify ethnically with them through constant contact, seeing their features, and hearing their voices. By contrast, transracial adoptees – a black child raised by white parents or vice versa – is likely to develop highly conflicted feelings and not feel wholly part of his adoptive ethnicity. This can even be the case for multiracial children, such as one Barack Obama , who despite being exactly half-white and half-black, felt no affinity for Europe. As he explained in his memoirs: "And by the end of the first week or so [in Europe], I realized that I'd made a mistake. It wasn't that Europe wasn't beautiful; everything was just as I'd imagined it. It just wasn't mine."

The family – especially if the two parents are of the same ethnicity – seems to be a powerful driver of ethnic identity creation. All across Europe, the society may speak one language, the state may prescribe another, but if enough families speak another language at home, then we have an autonomous ethnic group and resulting ethnic tensions. See: Catalonia, Flanders, and indeed most of the Balkans.

Family is obviously one of the chief ways people socialize. But there are others: the street, school, the workplace, church, as well as through mediating technologies, namely books, newspapers, radio, television, and the Internet.

It seems to me that the expression and potency of ethnic and religious identity has fluctuated throughout human history through the emergence of these technologies.

In very ancient times, people seemed to have chiefly identified with their tribe, each one having their own gods, prescribing loyalty only to their own blood.

With the invention of writing, it became possible to create long-lasting and homogeneous imperial and religious bureaucracies that went beyond the individual tribe. Hence, in time the purely particularistic identification of the Greeks and other ancient nations came to be replaced by the "dual citizenship" of the Roman Empire. Cicero is emblematic in expressing both the local patriotism of his hometown and imperial Roman patriotism.

Empires and religions (and languages, for that matter) spread much more easily than did peoples, who tend to be very "viscous" as soon as there is any significant population density. Great emperors like Constantine and Ashoka appear to have seized upon Christianity and Buddhism, in part, as means of giving a common identity to their otherwise very diverse subjects. Throughout the Middle Ages, people had various local identities and a common Christian identity. Publications were chiefly in Latin rather than the local language, also encouraging a Christian identity among intellectuals.

Conditions have dramatically changed since the Middle Ages, notably in Europe, with the steady spread of literacy and of local vernaculars, suddenly promoted to national languages. National identity is evident among the intellectuals as early as the Renaissance (if not earlier in some cases, as in the eleventh-century Song of Roland ). Machiavelli's notorious The Prince concludes with a rousing call to unite Italy and expel the (French and Spanish) barbarians; Luther exhorted the German nobility in German to free themselves from the yoke of a decadent Papacy; and Montaigne in his cheeky Essays is already speaking in stereotyped terms of Frenchmen's Gaulish ancestors.

Thus, from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries, we observe the steady rise of national identity as more and more people were socialized in linguistically-discrete memetic networks: the printing press, mass literacy, newspapers, national schooling . . . The nation marks the entry of the masses into society and we are not surprised if war, by 1914, reaches a hysterical nationalistic pitch.

The nation had become everything by then. One's family, one's society, one's state, one's newspaper, one's books, one's school, one's territory . . . everything was dominated by the national fact, working in harmony and reinforcing one another, dominating every facet of one's existence. Thus, when a Frenchman crossed the border to Italy or landed in England, he could feel to be entering a really different world with wholly different rules. This is certainly no longer the case today.

The nation was an existential fact within which one lived and died, and potentially flourished and . . . transcended one's individuality. Thus we cannot be surprised if so many great men invested their participation and sacrifice for their nation in existential terms. Hence, Charles de Gaulle felt France was "like a princess in the fairy tales or the madonna of the frescoes, fated for an eminent and exceptional destiny" while the Romanian Petre Țuțea – with the same exhilarating and empowering pathos – explained that "the Balkans are the ass of Europe." Solzhenitsyn, Hitler, etc, etc.

Only religion and business escaped this rule. Yet religion often wrapped itself in the national flag and business had to adapt to local conditions.

Sociologically, the peak of the nation-state really was achieved in the postwar era: 1950s America, 1960s France. This was the moment in which our educational and other bureaucracies became ends in themselves, excuses for wasting time and distributing money. It was the time of television. This era saw the inception of globalism, which was adopted by elites, thus there was a French globalism, an American globalism, etc. There was as of yet no unified globalist class as such.

Today, people spend a greater and greater part of their daily life in front of screens. Notwithstanding the restrictions of copyright and national ecosystems (Iran, China, Russia), in the West Internet use is basically deterritorialized. I could be writing these lines from Paris, Dubai, or Timbuktu. An American in Paris can work in an English-speaking company, inform himself through American media, and basically live in an Anglo expat bubble. An Arabic immigrant can similarly live in his own Arabo-Islamic online sphere, wherever he happens to live, besides frequenting the local Saudi-funding Wahhabite mosque.

These screens enable deterritorialized work – and thus big companies, research institutes, prestigious – are increasingly detaching from their nations.

The proposed Spencerian Ethnostate, a kind of Transatlantic Roman Empire, seems outlandish today. However, once the Germans become as functionally Anglophone as the Dutch and the Nordics – which is perhaps a matter of only 20 years – there will certainly be no linguistic barriers to Occidental unity.

Why should "champagne" – quality bubbly wine – only be produced in the geographical region of Champagne? By what law would it be impossible to make good ramen outside of the territory of Japan?

Thus, we will inevitably see a steady denationalization of our societies, both from below through Third-World immigration, and from above through "Anglo-globalization." The small, rootless international clique has given rise to a rather large and growing Expat Class . The chief problem is our effeminate lifestyle. People spend their entire amidst the omnipresent fakery of the "education" system, office make-work, and screens. It also means a pure and simple biological weakening – witness the decline in testosterone levels – as our comfortable lives make us less and less capable of bearing pain, discomfort, or sustained effort. This makes us unable to recognize painful truths – and lord knows how many truths are painful – let alone affirm them and live by them.

To deny these trends, which are in large part technologically determined, is simply wishful thinking.

[Mar 04, 2020] The Myth of Moderate Nuclear War

Mar 04, 2020 | ronpaulinstitute.org

There are many influential supporters of nuclear war, and some of these contend that the use of "low-yield" and/or short-range weapons is practicable without the possibility of escalation to all-out Armageddon. In a way their argument is comparable to that of the band of starry-eyed optimists who thought, apparently seriously, that there could be such a beast as a "moderate rebel."

In October 2013 the Washington Post reported that "The CIA is expanding a clandestine effort to train opposition fighters in Syria amid concern that moderate, US-backed militias are rapidly losing ground in the country's civil war," and the US Congress gave approval to then President Barack Obama's plan for training and arming moderate Syrian rebels to fight against Islamic State extremists. The belief that there could be any grouping of insurgents that could be described as "moderate rebels" is bizarre and it would be fascinating to know how Washington's planners classify such people. It obviously didn't dawn on them that any person who uses weapons illegally in a rebellion could not be defined as being moderate. And how moderate is moderate? Perhaps a moderate rebel could be equipped with US weapons that kill only extremists? Or are they allowed to kill only five children a month? The entire notion was absurd, and predictably the scheme collapsed, after expenditure of vast amounts of US taxpayers' money.

And even vaster amounts of money are being spent on developing and producing what might be classed as moderate nuclear weapons, in that they don't have the zillion-bang punch of most of its existing 4,000 plus warheads. It is apparently widely believed in Washington that if a nuclear weapon is (comparatively) small, then it's less dangerous than a big nuclear weapon.

In January 2019 the Guardian reported that "the Trump administration has argued the development of a low-yield weapon would make nuclear war less likely, by giving the US a more flexible deterrent. It would counter any enemy (particularly Russian) perception that the US would balk at using its own fearsome arsenal in response to a limited nuclear attack because its missiles were all in the hundreds of kilotons range and 'too big to use', because they would cause untold civilian casualties."

In fact, the nuclear war envisaged in that scenario would be a global catastrophe -- as would all nuclear wars, because there's no way, no means whatever, of limiting escalation. Once a nuclear weapon has exploded and killed people, the nuclear-armed nation to which these people belonged is going to take massive action. There is no alternative, because no government is just going to sit there and try to start talking with an enemy that has taken the ultimate leap in warfare.

It is widely imagined -- by many nuclear planners in the sub-continent, for example -- that use of a tactical, a battlefield-deployed, nuclear weapon will in some fashion persuade the opponent (India or Pakistan) that there is no need to employ higher-capability weapons, or, in other words, longer range missiles delivering massive warheads. These people think that the other side will evaluate the situation calmly and dispassionately and come to the conclusion that at most it should itself reply with a similar weapon. But such a scenario supposes that there is good intelligence about the effects of the weapon that has exploded, most probably within the opponent's sovereign territory. This is verging on the impossible.

War is confusing in the extreme, and tactical planning can be extremely complex. But there is no precedent for nuclear war, and nobody -- nobody -- knows for certain what reactions will be to such a situation in or near any nation. The US 2018 Nuclear Posture Review stated that low-yield weapons "help ensure that potential adversaries perceive no possible advantage in limited nuclear escalation, making nuclear employment less likely." But do the possible opponents of the United States agree with that? How could they do so?

The reaction by any nuclear-armed state to what is confirmed as a nuclear attack will have to be swift. It cannot be guaranteed, for example, that the first attack will not represent a series. It will, by definition, be decisive, because the world will then be a tiny step from doomsday. The US nuclear review is optimistic that "flexibility" will by some means limit a nuclear exchange, or even persuade the nuked-nation that there should be no riposte, which is an intriguing hypothesis.

As pointed out by Lawfare :

...the review calls for modification to 'a small number of existing submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) warheads' to provide a low-yield option.

It also calls for further exploration of low-yield options, arguing that expanding these options will 'help ensure that potential adversaries perceive no possible advantage in limited nuclear escalation, making nuclear employment less likely.' This is intended to address the argument that adversaries might think the United States, out of concern for collateral damage, would hesitate to employ a high-yield nuclear weapon in response to a 'lower level' conflict, in which an adversary used a low-yield nuclear device. The review argues that expanding low-yield options is 'important for the preservation of credible deterrence,' especially when it comes to smaller-scale regional conflicts.

"Credible deterrence" is a favourite catch-phrase of the believers in limited nuclear war, but its credibility is suspect. Former US defence secretary William Perry said last year that he wasn't so much worried about the vast number of warheads in the world as he was by open proposals that these weapons are "usable". It's right back to the Cold War and he emphasises that "The belief that there might be tactical advantage using nuclear weapons – which I haven't heard being openly discussed in the United States or in Russia for a good many years – is happening now in those countries which I think is extremely distressing." But the perturbing thing is that while it is certainly being discussed in Moscow, it's verging on doctrine in Washington.

In late February US Defence Secretary Esper was reported as having taken part in a "classified military drill in which Russia and the United States traded nuclear strikes." The Pentagon stated that "The scenario included a European contingency where you're conducting a war with Russia and Russia decides to use a low-yield, limited nuclear weapon against a site on NATO territory." The US response was to fire back with what was called a "limited response."

First of all, the notion that Russia would take the first step to nuclear war is completely baseless, and there is no evidence that this could ever be contemplated. But ever if it were to be so, it cannot be imagined for an instant that Washington would indulge in moderate nuclear warfare in riposte. These self-justifying wargames are dangerous. And they bring Armageddon ever closer.

Reprinted with permission from Strategic Culture Foundation .

[Mar 03, 2020] The "Russian meddling" fraud: Tulsi Gabbard denounces election interference by US intelligence agencies by Patrick Martin

Notable quotes:
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Washington Post, ..."
"... World Socialist Web Site ..."
"... The author also recommends: ..."
Mar 03, 2020 | www.wsws.org

In a remarkable statement that has gone virtually unreported in the American media, Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, publicly denounced US intelligence agencies for interfering in the presidential contest and attempting to sabotage the campaign of Democratic frontrunner Bernie Sanders.

In an opinion column published February 27 by the Hill , Gabbard attacked the article published by the Washington Post on February 21, the eve of the Nevada caucuses, which claimed that Russia was intervening in the US election to support Sanders. She also criticized the decision of billionaire Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, to repeat the anti-Russia slander against Sanders during the February 25 Democratic presidential debate in South Carolina.

Gabbard is a military officer in a National Guard medical unit who has been deployed to Iraq and Kuwait and has continuing and close contact with the Pentagon. She is obviously familiar with the machinations of the US military-intelligence apparatus and knows whereof she speaks. Her harsh and uncompromising language is that much more significant.

She wrote:

Enough is enough. I am calling on all presidential candidates to stop playing these dangerous political games and immediately condemn any interference in our elections by out-of-control intelligence agencies. A "news article" published last week in the Washington Post, which set off yet another manufactured media firestorm, alleges that the goal of Russia is to trick people into criticizing establishment Democrats. This is a laughably obvious ploy to stifle legitimate criticism and cast aspersions on Americans who are rightly skeptical of the powerful forces exerting control over the primary election process.

We are told the aim of Russia is to "sow division," but the aim of corporate media and self-serving politicians pushing this narrative is clearly to sow division of their own -- by generating baseless suspicion against the Sanders campaign. It's extremely disingenuous for "journalists" and rival candidates to publicize a news article that merely asserts, without presenting any evidence, that Russia is "helping" Bernie Sanders -- but provides no information as to what that "help" allegedly consists of.

Gabbard continued:

If the CIA, FBI or any other intelligence agency is going to tell voters that "Russians" are interfering in this election to help certain candidates -- or simply "sow discord" -- then it needs to immediately provide us with the details of what exactly it's alleging.

After pointing out that the Democratic Party establishment and the corporate media have had little interest in measures to actually improve election security, such as requiring paper ballots or some other form of permanent record of how people vote, Gabbard demanded:

The FBI, CIA or any other intelligence agency should immediately stop smearing presidential candidates with innuendo and vague, evidence-free assertions. That is antithetical to the role those agencies play in a free democracy. The American people cannot have faith in our intelligence agencies if they are pushing an agenda to harm candidates they dislike.

As socialists, we do not share Gabbard's belief that the intelligence agencies have a positive role to play or that the American people need to have faith in them. As her military career demonstrates, she is a supporter of American imperialism and of the capitalist state. However, her opposition to the "dirty tricks" campaign against Sanders is entirely legitimate and puts the spotlight on a deeply anti-democratic operation by the military-intelligence apparatus.

Gabbard denounces this "new McCarthyism" and calls on her fellow candidate to rebuff the CIA smears and "defend the freedoms enshrined in our Constitution." Not a single one of the remaining candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination -- including Sanders himself -- has responded to her appeal.

Her statement concludes that the goal of the "mainstream corporate media and the warmongering political establishment" was either to block Sanders from winning the nomination, or, if he does become the nominee, to "force him to engage in inflammatory anti-Russia rhetoric and perpetuate the new Cold War and nuclear arms race, which are existential threats to our country and the world."

Despite Gabbard's appeal for the Democratic candidates not to be "manipulated and forced into a corner by overreaching intelligence agencies," the Democratic Party establishment has been working in lockstep with the intelligence agencies in the anti-Russia campaign against Trump, which began even before election day in 2016, metastasized into the Mueller investigation and then the effort to impeach Trump over his delay in the dispatch of military aid to Ukraine for its war with Russian-backed separatist forces.

Her comments are a complete vindication of what the World Socialist Web Site has written about the anti-Russia campaign and impeachment: these were efforts by the Democratic Party, acting as the representative of the military-intelligence apparatus, to block the emergence of genuine left-wing popular opposition to Trump, and to channel popular hostility to this administration in a right-wing and pro-imperialist direction.

Gabbard herself was the only House Democrat to abstain on impeachment, although she did not voice any principled grounds for her vote, such as opposition to the intelligence agencies. She has based her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination largely on an appeal to antiwar sentiment, particularly opposing US intervention in Syria. She has also said that if elected, she would drop all charges against Julian Assange and pardon Edward Snowden.

These views led to a vicious attack by Hillary Clinton, the defeated Democratic presidential candidate in 2016, who last October called Gabbard "a Russian asset," claiming that she was being groomed by Russia to serve as a third-party candidate in 2020 who would take votes away from the Democratic nominee and help re-elect President Trump. "She's the favorite of the Russians," Clinton claimed.

Since Clinton's attack, the Democratic National Committee has excluded Gabbard from its monthly debates, manipulating the eligibility requirements so that billionaire Michael Bloomberg would qualify even for debates held in states where he was not on the ballot but Gabbard was, such as Nevada and South Carolina.

The author also recommends:

Democratic Party deploys Russian meddling smear against Sanders
[24 February 2020]

US intelligence agencies meddle in Nevada primary to sabotage Sanders
[22 February 2020]

Hillary Clinton slanders Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, Green Party candidate Jill Stein as Russian spies

[Mar 03, 2020] The Democratic Party oligarchy are the world champions at every sort of electoral malfeasance

Mar 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

bevin , Mar 3 2020 18:04 utc | 25

The thing to watch today will be the vote stealing by the Democrat oligarchy. They are the world champions at every sort of electoral malfeasance. Remember in 2016 how Bernie almost won New York until Brooklyn, his hometown, was counted and more than 20,000 voters disappeared? Then there was California where millions of votes went uncounted and Hillary was called the winner.


The Democrats are not really a political party in the sense that europeans understand the term, more like an agglomeration of electoral machines, controlled by politicians owned by vested interests, making up the rules as they go along.

With both Biden and Warren desperate for anything that can be portrayed as momentum expect the unexpected: repeats of the sort of nonsense we saw in Iowa and local precincts in which 110% of the electorate give unanimous support to the candidate most likely to take away their social security and wave 'bye-bye' as they die untreated of diseases. Or malnutrition.
A
nd the cherry on top of the electoral sundae in today's primaries will be the near unanimity with which the most glaring irregularities are ignored by the media, and anyone suggesting that 2+2= anything as predictable as 4 will be called a conspiracy theorist, working for Putin and the KGB.

[Mar 03, 2020] Let s Talk About Your Alleged #Resistance by Joe Giambrone

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Clinton also lied to the country about "Weapons of Mass Destruction" in Iraq and voted for that obviously illegal war. This after 8 years of her husband's genocidal sanctions killed a minimum of 500,000 innocent Iraqi children . ..."
"... What Bernie Sanders suffered and endured in 2016 was outrageous. Yet, he persisted and to this day attempts to help common Americans as much as he can. He does what he believes to be the right thing. His integrity and his record of fighting for working Americans are not the points of contention in this race. ..."
"... Today, however, Senator Bernie Sanders is the only Democrat who beats Trump in poll after poll . The only one. This is no small matter. Trump needs to be beaten in the tangled Electoral College, where a simple numerical victory isn't enough. ..."
"... Bernie is the best choice, but it is interesting that you brought up the genocidal sanctions on Iraq. Bernie supported those sanctions. He also supported the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 which reaffirmed US support for the sanctions even after 500,000 children had been killed. ..."
"... Well, the BBC is bigging up Joe Biden right now, yet another of its ridiculous pieces of propaganda utterly devoid of its duty to serve its license payors, who are the British people, not the neoconservative banking elite. ..."
"... How interesting, it's Obama who gave the "cue" for Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Beto, Rice, and the entire slippery gang to circle the wagons in support of the most reactionary warmongering candidate running. The same Obama who released drones every Tuesday morning killing brown and blacks throughout the Middle East and Africa– the majority of slaughtered were innocent women and children. ..."
"... The desperation of the national security state is reflected by The DNC's Shenanigans. The security state would rather promote a crooked, warmongering, lying, racist who barely can put together two logical thoughts then accept a candidate who represents a hopeful future for the next generation. ..."
"... The DNC's message is very clear– they're a "private party" and the working-class are NOT invited. ..."
"... But this by far is the most frightening thought, Biden, does not have all his marbles–it's obvious–we can only guess it's some type of dementia. So if Biden, slides through deploying a multitude of underhanded machinations and becomes the nominee, Trump, will make mincemeat of him during the debates. ..."
"... I'm not in the Orange Baboon's Fan Club, but I find it sad and a little bit pathetic the way people still invest their hopes and put their faith in figures like Bernie, Tulsi or Jezza. Bernie got shafted in 2016 and just saluted smartly and fell into line behind Crooked Hillary. When she lost, he started singing from the approved hymn sheet. The evil Putin stole the election for Kremlin Agent Trump. He has been parroting the same nonsense for the past 4 years. ..."
"... Jeez people get a clue. How many times do you need to fall for the "this candidate is so much better and will solve everything" ruse? Remember Obama? The exact same bullshit was going around back then. ..."
"... We have hope😁 . We have change😁 . We have hope and change you can believe in😁 . Well, yeah, we all know what happened during Obombers 8 years. The entire thing is nothing but Kabuki theatre. For all those still believing the United States is a democracy. ..."
"... 'In the democratic system, the necessary illusions cannot be imposed by force. Rather, they must be instilled in the public mind by more subtle means. A totalitarian state can be satisfied with lesser degrees of allegiance to required truths. It is sufficient that people obey; what they think is a secondary concern. But in a democratic political order, there is always the danger that independent thought might be translated into political action, so it is important to eliminate the threat at its root. ..."
"... Debate cannot be stilled, and indeed, in a properly functioning system of propaganda, it should not be, because it has a system-reinforcing character if constrained within proper bounds. What is essential is to set the bounds firmly. Controversy may rage as long as it adheres to the presuppositions that define the consensus of elites, and it should furthermore be encouraged within these bounds, thus helping to establish these doctrines as the very condition of thinkable thought while reinforcing the belief that freedom reigns ..."
"... Every opportunity to push back Neo liberalism should be taken. ..."
"... Once again, Mark Twain sums up my feeling: "If voting made any difference, they wouldn't let us do it." ..."
"... Where's yours? That's impertinent. Our voting process was programmed, close to 100% by two guys, at one point not many years ago, with the same last name, the brothers Urosevich. The machine owners claim that, as it is their proprietary software, the public is excluded from the vote-counting. ..."
Mar 03, 2020 | off-guardian.org

Editor Joe Giambrone

In 2016, Hillary Clinton deserved to lose, and she did. Her deception, her cheating in the primary elections , was well-documented, despicable, dishonest, untrustworthy. Her money-laundering scheme at DNC should have been prosecuted under campaign finance laws.

Her record of warmongering and gleefully gloating over death and destruction was also well established. On national TV she bragged about the mutilation of Moammar Qaddafi: "We came, we saw, he died!"

Clinton also lied to the country about "Weapons of Mass Destruction" in Iraq and voted for that obviously illegal war. This after 8 years of her husband's genocidal sanctions killed a minimum of 500,000 innocent Iraqi children .

This person was undeserving of anyone's support.

What Bernie Sanders suffered and endured in 2016 was outrageous. Yet, he persisted and to this day attempts to help common Americans as much as he can. He does what he believes to be the right thing. His integrity and his record of fighting for working Americans are not the points of contention in this race.

His opponents have instead opted for every nonsensical conspiracy theory and McCarthyite smear they can concoct, including the most ridiculous of all: the Putin theory , without a single shred of evidence to support it.

Today, however, Senator Bernie Sanders is the only Democrat who beats Trump in poll after poll . The only one. This is no small matter. Trump needs to be beaten in the tangled Electoral College, where a simple numerical victory isn't enough.

Bernie wins, and he has the best overall shot of changing the course of history, steering America away from plutocracy and fascism.

That crucial race is happening right now in the primaries . If Bernie Sanders doesn't secure 50% of all delegates, then DNC insiders have already signaled that they will steal the nomination and give it to someone else -- who will lose to Trump. The real election for the future of America is on Super Tuesday.

It's either Trump or Bernie. That's your choice. Your only choice.

Where is your so-called "#Resistance" now?


Ben Barbour ,

Bernie is the best choice, but it is interesting that you brought up the genocidal sanctions on Iraq. Bernie supported those sanctions. He also supported the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 which reaffirmed US support for the sanctions even after 500,000 children had been killed.

Bernie also voted for Clinton's 1999 bombing campaign on Kosovo.

All that said, yes, Bernie is the best option.

Rhys Jaggar ,

Well, the BBC is bigging up Joe Biden right now, yet another of its ridiculous pieces of propaganda utterly devoid of its duty to serve its license payors, who are the British people, not the neoconservative banking elite.

When they spout bullshit that 20% of UK workers could miss work 'due to coronavirus', when we have had precisely 36 deaths in a population of 65 million plus, you know that like climate change, they spout the 1% probability as the mainstream narrative .

It just shows what folks are up against when media is so cravenly serving those who do not pay them.

Charlotte Russe ,

"If Bernie Sanders doesn't secure 50% of all delegates, then DNC insiders have already signaled that they will steal the nomination and give it to someone else -- who will lose to Trump. The real election for the future of America is on Super Tuesday."

While Bernie spent more than three decades advocating for economic social justice Biden spent those same three decades promoting social repression."

"The 1990s saw Biden take aim at civil liberties, authoring anti-terror bills that, among other things, "gutted the federal writ of habeas corpus," as one legal scholar later reflected. It was this earlier legislation that led Biden to brag to anyone listening that he was effectively the author of the Bush-era PATRIOT ACT, which, in his view, didn't go far enough. He inserted a provision into the bill that allowed for the militarization of local law enforcement and again suggested deploying the military within US borders."

How interesting, it's Obama who gave the "cue" for Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Beto, Rice, and the entire slippery gang to circle the wagons in support of the most reactionary warmongering candidate running. The same Obama who released drones every Tuesday morning killing brown and blacks throughout the Middle East and Africa– the majority of slaughtered were innocent women and children.

The desperation of the national security state is reflected by The DNC's Shenanigans. The security state would rather promote a crooked, warmongering, lying, racist who barely can put together two logical thoughts then accept a candidate who represents a hopeful future for the next generation.

The DNC's message is very clear– they're a "private party" and the working-class are NOT invited. In fact, they're saying more than that–if uninvited workers and the marginalized dare to enter they'll be tossed out on their arse

In plain sight the mainstream media news is telling millions that NO one can stop the military/security/surveillance/corporate state from their stranglehold over the corrupt political duopoly.

I say fight and don't give-up! Be prepared–organize a million people march and head to Milwaukee– the future of the next generation is on the line.

But this by far is the most frightening thought, Biden, does not have all his marbles–it's obvious–we can only guess it's some type of dementia. So if Biden, slides through deploying a multitude of underhanded machinations and becomes the nominee, Trump, will make mincemeat of him during the debates.

But if Biden, makes it to the Oval Office he'll be "less" than a figurehead. Biden, will be as mentally acute as the early bird diner in a Florida assisted living facility after a recent stroke. The national security state will seize control– handing the "taxidermied Biden" a pen to idiotically sign off on their highly insidious agenda ..

Ken Kenn ,

Pretty straightforward for me ( I don't know about Bernie? ) but if the Super delegates and the DNC hierarchy decide to hand the nomination over to Biden then Bernie should stand as an independent. At least even in defeat a left marker would be placed on the US political table away from the Corporate owners and the shills that hack for them in the media and elsewhere. At least ordinary US people would know that someone is on their side.

Corbyn in the UK was described as a ' Marxist' by the Tories and the unquestioning media. Despite all that ' Marxist ' Labour got 33% of the vote. People will vote for a ' socialist '

Charlotte Ruse ,

Unfortunately, Bernie won't abandon the Democratic Party. However, there's a ton of Bernie supporters who will vote Third Party if Bernie doesn't get the nomination.

paul ,

I'm not in the Orange Baboon's Fan Club, but I find it sad and a little bit pathetic the way people still invest their hopes and put their faith in figures like Bernie, Tulsi or Jezza. Bernie got shafted in 2016 and just saluted smartly and fell into line behind Crooked Hillary. When she lost, he started singing from the approved hymn sheet. The evil Putin stole the election for Kremlin Agent Trump. He has been parroting the same nonsense for the past 4 years.

That's when he hasn't been shilling for regime change wars in Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia and elsewhere against "communist dictators."

Bernie will get shafted again shortly and fall into line behind Epstein's and Weinstein's best mate Bloomberg or Creepy Joe, or Pocahontas, or whoever.

If by some miracle they can't quite rig it this time and Bernie gets the nomination, the DNC will just fail to support him, and allow Trump to win. They would rather see Trump than Bernie in the White House.

Just like Starmer, Thornberry, Phillips and all the Blairite Backstabber Friends of Israel were more terrified of seeing Jezza in Number Ten than any Tory.
Dr. Johnson said that getting remarried represented the triumph of hope over experience.

The same applies to people expecting any positive change from people like Bernie, Tulsi, or Jezza.

The system just doesn't allow it.

pete ,

Jeez people get a clue. How many times do you need to fall for the "this candidate is so much better and will solve everything" ruse? Remember Obama? The exact same bullshit was going around back then.

Gezzah Potts ,

We have hope😁 . We have change😁 . We have hope and change you can believe in😁 . Well, yeah, we all know what happened during Obombers 8 years. The entire thing is nothing but Kabuki theatre. For all those still believing the United States is a democracy.

clickkid ,

"The real election for the future of America is on Super Tuesday." Sorry Joe, but where have you been for the last 50 years" Elections are irrelevant. Events change the world – not elections. The only important aspect of an election is the turnout. If you vote in an election, then at some level you still believe in the system.

Willem ,

Sometimes Chomsky can be useful

'In the democratic system, the necessary illusions cannot be imposed by force. Rather, they must be instilled in the public mind by more subtle means. A totalitarian state can be satisfied with lesser degrees of allegiance to required truths. It is sufficient that people obey; what they think is a secondary concern. But in a democratic political order, there is always the danger that independent thought might be translated into political action, so it is important to eliminate the threat at its root.

Debate cannot be stilled, and indeed, in a properly functioning system of propaganda, it should not be, because it has a system-reinforcing character if constrained within proper bounds. What is essential is to set the bounds firmly. Controversy may rage as long as it adheres to the presuppositions that define the consensus of elites, and it should furthermore be encouraged within these bounds, thus helping to establish these doctrines as the very condition of thinkable thought while reinforcing the belief that freedom reigns.'

If true, the question is, what are we not allowed to say? Or is Chomsky wrong, and are we allowed to say anything we like since TPTB know that words cannot, ever, change political action as for that you need power and brutal force, which we do not have and which, btw Chomsky advocates to its readers not to try to use against the nation state?

So maybe Chomsky is not so useful after all, or only useful for the status quo.

Chomsky's latest book, sold in book stores and at airports, where, apparantly, opinions of dissident writers whose opinions go beyond the bounds of the consensus of elites, are sold in large amounts to marginalize those opinions out of society, is called 'Optimism over despair', a title stolen from Gramsci who said: 'pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will.'

But every time I follow Chomsky's reasoning, I end in dead end roads of which it is quite hard to find your way out. So perhaps I should change that title into 'nihilism over despair'. If you follow Chomsky's reasoning

clickkid ,

Your Chomsky Quote: "'In the democratic system, the necessary illusions cannot be imposed by force. .. " Tell that to the Yellow Vests.

ajbsm ,

Despite the deep state stranglehold .on the whole world there seems to be a 'wind' blowing (ref Lenin) of more and more people turning backs on the secret service candidates – not just in America. Power, money and bullying will carry on succeeding eventually the edifice is blown away – this will probably happen, it will be ugly and what emerges might not even be better(!) But the current controllers seem to have a sell by date.

Ken Kenn ,

I'm not convinced of the theory that the more poor/whipped/ spat upon people become the more likely they are to revolt. A revolution can only come about when the Bourgeoisie can no longer continue to govern in the old way. In other words it becomes more than a want – more of a necessity of change to the ordinary person.

We have to remember that in general ( it's a bit of a guess but just to illustrate a point ) that a small majority of people in any western nation are reasonably content – to an extent. They are not going to rock the boat that Kennedy tried to make the tide rise for or that Thatcher and her mates copied with home owner ship and the right to get into serious debt. This depends on whether you had/have a boat in the first place. If not you've always been drowning in the slowly rising tide.

Sanders as I've said before is not Castro. He has many faults but in a highly parameterised p Neo liberal economic loving political and media world he is the best hope. Not great stuff on offer but a significant move away from the 1% and the 3% who work for them ( including Presidents and Prime Misister ) so even that slight shift is plus for the most powerful country on planet earth.

I have in the past worked alongside various religious groups as an atheist as long as they were on the right( or should that be left?) side on an issue.

Now is not the time for the American left to play the Prolier than though card.

Every opportunity to push back Neo liberalism should be taken.

wardropper ,

I'm not convinced of the theory that the more poor/whipped/ spat upon people become the more likely they are to revolt. But didn't the Storming of the Bastille happen for that very reason? I think people are waiting for just one spark to ignite their simmering fury – just one more straw to break the patient camel's back. Understandably, the "elite" (which used to mean exalted above the general level) are in some trepidation about this, but, like all bullies their addiction to the rush of power goes all the way to the bitter end – the bitter end being the point at which their target stands up and gives them a black eye. It's almost comical how the bully then becomes the wailing victim himself, and we have all seen often enough the successfully-resisted dictatorial figure of authority resorting to the claim that he is now being bullied himself. But this is a situation of his own making, and our sympathy for him is limited by our memory of that fact.

Ken Kenn ,

Where's the simmering fury in the West. U.S. turnout is pathetically low. Even in the UK the turnout in the most important election since the First World War was 67%. I see the result of the " simmering fury " giving rise to the right not the left. Just that one phrase or paragraph of provocative words will spark the revolution?

... ... ...

wardropper ,

My point, which I thought I made clearly enough, was that the fury is simmering , and waiting for a catalyst. I also think an important reason for turnout being low is simply that people don't respond well to being treated like idiots by an utterly corrupt establishment. They just don't want to participate in the farce.

Once again, Mark Twain sums up my feeling: "If voting made any difference, they wouldn't let us do it."

I'm not trying to be argumentative, and, like you, I am quite happy to back Sanders as by far the best of a pretty rotten bunch. Perhaps China is indeed leading in many respects right now, but becoming Chinese doesn't seem like a real option for most of us at the moment . . . Incidentally I have been to China and I found the people there as interesting as people anywhere else, although I particularly enjoyed the many things which are completely different from our western cultural roots.

Rhisiart Gwilym ,

Speaking of the Clintons' death toll, didn't Sanders too back all USAmerica's mass-murdering, armed-robbery aggressions against helpless small countries in recent times? And anyway, why are we wasting time discussing the minutiae of the shadow-boxing in this ridiculous circus of a pretend-democratic 'election'? Watching a coffin warp would be a more useful occupation.

I go with Dmitry Orlov's reckoning of the matter: It doesn't matter who becomes president of the US, since the rule of the deep state continues unbroken, enacting its own policies, which ignore the wishes of the common citizens, and only follow the requirements of the mostly hyper-rich gics (gangsters-in-charge) in the controlling positions of this spavined, failing empire. (My paraphrase of Dmitry.)

USPresidents do what their deep-state handlers want; or they get impeached, or assassinated like the Kennedy brothers. And they all know this. Bill Hick's famous joke about men in a smoke-filled room showing the newly-'elected' POTUS that piece of film of Kennedy driving by the grassy knoll in Dealy Plaza, Dallas, is almost literally true. All POTUSes understand that perfectly well before they even take office.

Voting for the policies you prefer, in a genuinely democratic republic, and actually getting them realised, will only happen for USAmericans when they've risen up and taken genuine popular control of their state-machine; at last!

Meanwhile, of what interest is this ridiculous charade to us in Britain (on another continent entirely; we never see this degree of attention given to Russian politics, though it has a much greater bearing on our future)? Our business here is to get Britain out of it's current shameful status, as one of the most grovelling of all the Anglozionist empire's provinces. We have a traitorous-comprador class of our own to turn out of power. Waste no time on the continuous three-ring distraction-circus in the US – where we in Britain don't even have a vote.

wardropper ,

The upvotes here would seem to show what thinking people appreciate most. Seeing through the advertising bezazz, the cheerleaders and the ownership of the media is obviously a top priority, and I suspect a large percentage of people who don't even know about the OffG would agree.

John Ervin ,

Where's yours? That's impertinent. Our voting process was programmed, close to 100% by two guys, at one point not many years ago, with the same last name, the brothers Urosevich. The machine owners claim that, as it is their proprietary software, the public is excluded from the vote-counting. And that much still holds true. Game. Set. Match. Any questions?

Antonym ,

What Bernie Sanders suffered and endured in 2016 was outrageous.

US deep state ate him for breakfast in 2016: they would love him to become string puppet POTUS in 2020. Trump is more difficult to control so they hate him.

John Ervin ,

Just one more Conspiracy Realist, eh! When will we ever learn? "The deep state ate him for breakfast in 2016 ." That gives some sense of the ease with which they pull strings, nicely put. One variation on the theme of your metaphor: "They savored him as one might consume a cocktail olive at an exclusive or entitled soirée."

It is painfully clear by any real connection of dots that he is simply one of their stalking horses for other game. And that Homeland game (still) doesn't know whether a horse has four, or six, legs.

*****

"Puppet Masters, or master puppets?"

Antonym ,

It is painfully clear that US Deep state hates Trump simply by looking at the Russiagate they cooked him up.

Fair dinkum ,

The US voters have surrounded themselves with a sewer, now they have to swim in it.

[Mar 03, 2020] It is shocking to see such a disgusting piece of human garbage like Joe Biden get so many working class voters to vote for him. Biden has never missed a chance to stab the working class in the back in service to his wealthy patrons.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... It's astonishing that so many people will just blindly accept what they are told, that Biden is. "moderate." Biden is so far to the right, he makes Nixon look like Trotsky. ..."
Mar 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

TG , Mar 3 2020 22:02 utc | 56

Yet another circus. The proles get to scream and holler, and when all is done, the oligarchy gets the policies it wants, the public be damned. Our sham 'democracy' is a con to privatize power and socialize responsibility.

Although it is shocking to see such a disgusting piece of human garbage like Joe Biden get substantial numbers of people to vote for him. Biden has never missed a chance to stab the working class in the back in service to his wealthy patrons.

The issue is not (for me) his creepiness (I wouldn't much mind if he was on my side), nor even his Alzheimer's, but his established track record of betrayal and corruption.

From wiping out the ability of regular folks to declare bankruptcy (something supported by our founding fathers who were NOT socialists), to shipping our industrial base to communist China (which in less enlightened days would have been termed treason), to spending tens of trillions of dollars bailing out and subsiding the big banks (that's not a misprint), to supporting "surprise medical billing," to opening the borders to massive third-world immigration so that wages can be driven down and reset and profits up (As 2015 Bernie Sanders pointed out), Backstabbing Joe Biden is neoliberal scum pure and simple.

It's astonishing that so many people will just blindly accept what they are told, that Biden is. "moderate." Biden is so far to the right, he makes Nixon look like Trotsky. Heck, he makes Calvin Coolidge look like Trotsky.

Mao , Mar 3 2020 22:01 utc | 55

Ian56:

Joe Biden is a crook and a con man.

He has been lying his whole life.

Claimed in his 1988 Campaign to have got 3 degrees at college and finished in top half of his class.

Actually only got 1 degree & finished 76th out of 85 in his class.

[VIDEO]

https://twitter.com/Ian56789/status/1234914227963518977

[Mar 03, 2020] Americans "must remain aware that foreign actors continue to try to influence public sentiment and shape voter perceptions

Is not this a direct attempt of intelligence agencies to influence election by delegitimizing Sanders and Tulsi ?
Mar 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Mao , Mar 3 2020 22:20 utc | 57
NBC News:

JUST IN: State Dept., DOJ, FBI and others issue joint statement ahead of #SuperTuesday:

Americans "must remain aware that foreign actors continue to try to influence public sentiment and shape voter perceptions."

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ESImtGRWoAYJyus.jpg

[Mar 03, 2020] Russia hysteria re-purposed by the neoliberal establishment to attack the left of the center politicians like Sanders

Mar 03, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Originally from: Dems Converge Around Dementia-Addled Warmonger Ahead Of Super Tuesday Zero Hedge

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

Back in January, well before the Democratic primary race had taken on its current composition, independent journalist Ruth Ann Oskolkoff reported that a source had heard from high-level Democratic Party insiders that they were planning to install Joe Biden as the party's nominee, and to smear Bernie Sanders as a Russian asset.

"On January 20, 2020 at 8:20 p.m. PDT I received a communication from a reliable source," Oskolkoff wrote.

"This person had interactions earlier that evening with high level party members and associates of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) who said that they have now selected Biden as the Democratic Party nominee, with Warren as the VP. They also said the plan is to smear Bernie as a Russian asset."

Now, immediately before Super Tuesday, we are seeing establishment candidates Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar drop out of the race, both of whom, along with former candidate Beto O'Rourke , are now suddenly endorsing Biden. Elizabeth Warren, the only top-level candidate besides Sanders who could be labeled vaguely "left" by any stretch of the imagination, has meanwhile outraged progressives by remaining in the race, to the Vermont senator's detriment.

The day before Super Tuesday also saw The Daily Beast , whose corporate owner IAC has Chelsea Clinton on its board of directors , publishing an article titled " Kremlin Media Still Like Bernie, 'Cause They Love Trump " which aggressively smears Sanders as a tool of the Kremlin.

Prior to the South Carolina primary, Russian state media were touting Bernie Sanders as the most likely Democratic nominee, and it won't be surprising if they do the same after Super Tuesday https://t.co/mH98PVmcjr

-- The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) March 2, 2020

This latter development is becoming a conspicuously common line of attack against Sanders and, while we're on the subject, also tracks with a prediction made by journalist Max Blumenthal back in July of 2017. Blumenthal told Fox's Tucker Carlson that "this Russia hysteria will be re-purposed by the political establishment to attack the left and anyone on the left -- a Bernie Sanders-like politician who steps out of line on the issues of permanent war or corporate free trade, things like that -- will be painted as Russia puppets. So this is very dangerous, and people who are progressive who are falling into it need to know what the long-term consequences of this cynical narrative are."

So we're seeing things unfold exactly as some have predicted. We're seeing the clear frontrunner smeared as a tool of Vladimir Putin, accompanied by a deluge of op-eds and think pieces from all the usual warmongering mass media narrative managers calling on so-called "moderates" to rally around the former Vice President on Super Tuesday.

Sanders has not been pulling in anywhere near the numbers he'd need to pull to prevent a contested convention. This means that even if he gets more votes than any of his primary opponents, party leaders can still overrule those votes and appoint Biden as their nominee to run against Trump. Establishment spinmeisters as well as all Sanders' primary opponents have been working to normalize this ahead of time.

"Whatever the case for either Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren...neither is going to be the nominee. And...it's not going to be Mike Bloomberg either. So it's Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden." Tomorrow, if you live in one of 14 states, you can choose Biden. https://t.co/btuPbGtWxG

-- Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) March 2, 2020

And the prediction markets have seen a massive surge for Biden and plunge for Bernie...

With Biden now surging into the lead

The only problem? Biden's brain is turning into sauerkraut.

There are two new clips of video footage making the rounds today, one featuring Biden at a rally telling his supporters that tomorrow is "Super Thursday" , and another featuring the former VP saying (and this is a direct quote ), "We hold these truths to be self-evident. All men and women created -- by the -- you know, you know the thing."

I've written about Biden's recent struggles to form coherent sentences before, and it seems to be getting worse. There's simply no comparing the befuddled, fuzz-brained man we see before us today with the sharp, lucid speaker we were seeing even a few years ago . The man's brain does not work.

And yeah, it's unpleasant to have to keep pointing this out. I'm not loving it myself. I resent Biden's handlers and the Democratic Party establishment for making it necessary to continually point out an old man's obvious symptoms of cognitive decline. But it does need to be pointed to, and it's creepy and weird that they're continuing to prop up this crumbling husk of a man while pretending that everything's fine.

Imagine putting all your eggs in the Joe Biden basket. https://t.co/nRPX4gqol5

-- Krystal Ball (@krystalball) March 3, 2020

Not that Biden would be an acceptable leader of the most powerful government on earth even with a working brain; he's a horrible war hawk with an inexcusable track record of advancing right-wing policies. But even rank-and-file Americans who don't pay attention to that stuff would plainly see a man on the debate stage opposite Trump who shouldn't be permitted near heavy machinery, much less the nuclear codes. And Trump will happily point that out.

It's been obvious since 2016 that the Dems were going to once again sabotage the only candidate with a chance of beating Trump in favor of a scandalously inappropriate candidate, but wheeling out an actual, literal dementia patient for the role is something not even I would have imagined.

2020 is weird, folks. And it's going to get a whole lot weirder . Buckle up.

[Mar 03, 2020] "Predatory capitalism", which clearly describes what neoliberalism is.

Highly recommended!
Mar 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

chu teh , Mar 4 2020 0:50 utc | 80

Tonymike | Mar 3 2020 18:08 utc | 26

re ... Your house foreclosed upon by shady bank: naked capitalism, .0001% paid on interest savings: naked capitalism, poor wages: naked capitalism, dangerous workplace: naked capitalism, etc. ...

"naked capitalism" is not a clear description. Consider using "predatory capitalism", which clearly describes what it is.

Here's the Wiki dictionary definition:

Predatory--

1. relating to or denoting an animal or animals preying naturally on others.
synonyms: predacious, carnivorous, hunting, raptorial, ravening;
Example: "predatory birds".

2. seeking to exploit or oppress others.
synonyms: exploitative, wolfish, rapacious, greedy, acquisitive, avaricious
Example: "I could see a predatory gleam in his eyes"

Note where the word comes from:
The Latin "praedator", in English meaning "plunderer".

And "plunderer" helps the reader understand and perhaps recognize what is happening.

Every plunderer understands.

[Mar 03, 2020] Hillary Clinton regarding the primaries: "Let's follow the rules"

Mar 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

librul , Mar 3 2020 15:06 utc | 2

Quote of the Day
or
Quote of the Millennia?

Hillary Clinton regarding the primaries:

"Let's follow the rules"

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/485646-hillary-clinton-responds-to-sanders-on-delegates-lets-follow-the-rules


Trailer Trash , Mar 3 2020 15:49 utc | 6

Is there any other nation state that has 50 separate official elections, mostly run and paid for by the public, just so a private club masquerading as a political party can select its leader? To the rest of the world, this must look completely insane, but few people anywhere even seem to notice how ridiculous it all looks.
Nathan Mulcahy , Mar 3 2020 22:54 utc | 62
Stop calling it USA. It is USO (United States of Oligarchs).

[Mar 03, 2020] All politicians should serve two terms. One in office and one in prison

Mar 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Posted by: Shadow | Mar 3 2020 19:39 utc | 41

[Mar 03, 2020] Neoliberals curse

Mar 03, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

It took a rabid nationalist like Donald Trump to end the war in Afghanistan , whereas faithful neoliberal Barack Obama kept the war around because it provided "markets" for weapons corporations.

[Mar 03, 2020] Whacking Rich is a reminder to Sanders what the party establishmen is capable of

Highly recommended!
Mar 03, 2020 | www.unz.com

An alternative view that has been circulating for several years suggests that it was not a hack at all, that it was a deliberate whistleblower-style leak of information carried out by an as yet unknown party, possibly Rich, that may have been provided to WikiLeaks for possible political reasons, i.e. to express disgust with the DNC manipulation of the nominating process to damage Bernie Sanders and favor Hillary Clinton.

There are, of course, still other equally non-mainstream explanations for how the bundle of information got from point A to point B, including that the intrusion into the DNC server was carried out by the CIA which then made it look like it had been the Russians as perpetrators. And then there is the hybrid point of view, which is essentially that the Russians or a surrogate did indeed intrude into the DNC computers but it was all part of normal intelligence agency probing and did not lead to anything. Meanwhile and independently, someone else who had access to the server was downloading the information, which in some fashion made its way from there to WikiLeaks.

Both the hack vs. leak viewpoints have marshaled considerable technical analysis in the media to bolster their arguments, but the analysis suffers from the decidedly strange fact that the FBI never even examined the DNC servers that may have been involved. The hack school of thought has stressed that Russia had both the ability and motive to interfere in the election by exposing the stolen material while the leakers have recently asserted that the sheer volume of material downloaded indicates that something like a higher speed thumb drive was used, meaning that it had to be done by someone with actual physical direct access to the DNC system. Someone like Seth Rich.

... ... ...

Given all of that back story, it would be odd to find Trump making an offer that focuses only on one issue and does not actually refute the broader claims of Russian interference, which are based on a number of pieces of admittedly often dubious evidence, not just the Clinton and Podesta emails.

Which brings the tale back to Seth Rich. If Rich was indeed responsible for the theft of the information and was possibly killed for his treachery, it most materially impacts on the Democratic Party as it reminds everyone of what the Clintons and their allies are capable of.

It will also serve as a warning of what might be coming at the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee in July as the party establishment uses fair means or foul to stop Bernie Sanders. How this will all play out is anyone's guess, but many of those who pause to observe the process will be thinking of Seth Rich.


plantman , says: Show Comment February 29, 2020 at 9:35 pm GMT

Excellent roundup.

I don't ascribe to the idea that the intel agencies kill American citizens without a great deal of thought, but in Rich's case, they probably felt like they had no choice. Think about it: The DNC had already rigged the primary against Bernie, the Podesta emails had already been sent to Wikileaks, and if Rich's cover was blown, then he would publicly identify himself as the culprit (which would undermine the Russiagate narrative) which would split the Democratic party in two leaving Hillary with no chance to win the election.

I can imagine Hillary and her intel connections looking for an alternative to whacking Rich but eventually realizing that there was no other way to deflect responsibility for the emails while paving the way for an election victory.

If Seth Rich went public, then Hillary would certainly lose.

I imagine this is what they were thinking when they decided there was really only one option.

james charles , says: Show Comment February 29, 2020 at 11:14 pm GMT
"I have watched incredulous as the CIA's blatant lie has grown and grown as a media story – blatant because the CIA has made no attempt whatsoever to substantiate it. There is no Russian involvement in the leaks of emails showing Clinton's corruption."
https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2016/12/cias-absence-conviction/

"The FBI Has Been Lying About Seth Rich"
https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/

niteranger , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 12:08 am GMT
@plantman It's more than Hillary losing. It would have been easy to connect the dots of the entire plot to get Trump. Furthermore, it would have linked Obama and his cohorts in ways that the country might have exploded. This was the beginning of a Coup De'tat that would have shown the American political process is a complete joke.

... ... ...

Carlton Meyer , says: Website Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 1:04 am GMT
To understand why the DNC mobsters and the Deep State hate him, watch this great 2016 interview where Assange calmly explains the massive corruption that patriotic FBI agents refer to as the "Clinton Crime Family." This gang is so powerful that it ordered federal agents to spy on the Trump political campaign, and indicted and imprisoned some participants in an attempt to pressure President Trump to step down. It seems Trump still fears this gang, otherwise he would order his attorney general to drop this bogus charge against Assange, then pardon him forever and invite him to speak at White House press conferences.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/_sbT3_9dJY4?feature=oembed

Ron Unz , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 3:18 am GMT
Well, here was my own take on the controversy a couple of years ago, and I really haven't seen anything to change my mind:

Well, DC is still a pretty dangerous city, but how many middle-class whites were randomly murdered there that year while innocently walking the streets? I wouldn't be surprised if Seth Rich was just about the only one.

Julian Assange has strongly implied that Seth Rich was the source of the DNC emails that cost Hillary Clinton the presidency. So if Seth Rich died in a totally random street killing not long afterward, isn't that just the most astonishing coincidence in all of American history?

Consider that the leaks effectively nullified the investment of the $2 billion or so that her donors had provided, and foreclosed the flood of good jobs and appointments to her camp-followers, not to mention the oceans of future graft. Seems to me that's a pretty good motive for murder.

Here's my own plausible speculation from a couple of months ago:

Incidentally, I'd guess that DC is a very easy place to arrange a killing, given that until the heavy gentrification of the last dozen years or so, it was one of America's street-murder capitals. It seems perfectly plausible that some junior DNC staffer was at dinner somewhere, endlessly cursing Seth Rich for having betrayed his party and endangered Hillary's election, when one of his friends said he knew somebody who'd be willing to "take care of the problem" for a thousand bucks

https://www.unz.com/announcement/new-software-releaseopen-thread/#comment-1959442

https://www.unz.com/isteve/was-seth-rich-murdered-by-the-russians-the-democratic-elite-or-the-democratic-base/#comment-2069185

Let's say a couple of hundred thousand middle-class whites lived in DC around then, and Seth Rich was about the only one that year who died in a random street-killing, occurring not long after the leak.

Wouldn't that seem like a pretty unlikely coincidence?

Mustapha Mond , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 3:45 am GMT
"If Rich was indeed responsible for the theft of the information and was possibly killed for his treachery ."

Heroism is the proper term for what Seth Rich did. He saw the real treachery, against Bernie Sanders and the democratic faithful who expect at least a modicum of integrity from their Party leaders (even if that expectation is utterly fanciful, wishful thinking), and he decided to act. He paid for it with his life. A young, noble life.

In every picture I've seen of him, he looks like a nice guy, a guy who cared. And now he's dead. And the assholes at the DNC simply gave him a small plaque over a bike rack, as I understand it.

Seth Rich: American Hero. A Truth-Teller who paid the ultimate price.

Great reporting, Phil. Another home run.

(And thanks to Ron for chiming in. Couldn't agree more. As a Truth-Teller extraordinaire, please watch your back, Bro. And Phil, too. You both know what these murderous scum are capable of.)

Biff , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 3:46 am GMT
When the FBI doesn't fully investigate a crime(DNC-emails/9-11/JFK-murder) the only conclusion is " coverup ".
John Chuckman , says: Website Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 7:31 am GMT
I suppose American security services could have been involved.

That would explain the poor police investigation and lack of information and questions answered.

But Hillary and her dirty associates were quite capable of hiring a hit.

That would also explain the lack of information, since DC, unlike any other city, is literally controlled by the Federal government.

This is a very vicious woman despite her clownishly made-up face.

Her words after Gaddafi's murder were chilling.

She is said to have been responsible too for pressuring for the final push to get Waco out of the headlines. 80 folks incinerated.

She also joked about Assange, "can't we just drone him or something?"

And there was the dirty business at Benghazi.

She is indeed a woman capable of anything. A contemporary Borgia.

Daniel Rich , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 9:33 am GMT
Because the {real} killers of JFK, MLK and RFK were never detained and jailed/hanged, why would one expect a lesser known, more ordinary individual's murder [Seth] to be solved?
hobo , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 10:27 am GMT
Seymour Hersh, in a taped phone conversation, claimed to have access to an FBI report on the murder. According to Hersh, the report indicated tha FBI Cyber Unit examined Rich's computer and found he had contacted Wikileaks with the intention of selling the emails.

Seymour Hersh discussing Wikileaks DNC leaks Seth Rich & FBI report ( 7 min)

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

Antiwar7 , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 10:33 am GMT
Another reason Assange may not want to reveal it, if Seth Rich was a source for Wikileaks, could be that Seth Rich didn't act alone, and revealing Seth's involvement would compromise the other(s).

Or it could simply be that Wikileaks has promised to never reveal a source, even after that source's death, as a promise to future potential sources, who may never want their identities revealed, to avoid the thought of embarrassment or repercussions to their associates or families.

Incidentally, they only started really going after Assange after the Vault 7 leaks of the CIA's active bag of software tricks. I think, for Assange's sake, they should instead have held on to that, and made it the payload of a dead man's switch.

Chet Roman , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 11:05 am GMT
I'm not sure how credible the source is but Ellen Ratner, the sister of Assange's former lawyer and a journalist, told Ed Butowsky that Assange told her that it was Seth Rich. She asked Butowsky to contact Rich's parents. She confirms the Assange meeting in an interview, link below. Butowsky does not seem to be a credible source but Ratner does. If it was Seth Rich then I have no doubt that his brother knows the details and the family does not want to lose another son.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/_YyuWpjTbg0?feature=oembed

The story has gone nowhere.

Chet Roman , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 11:42 am GMT
"According to Assange's lawyers, Rohrabacher offered a pardon from President Trump if Assange were to provide information that would attribute the theft or hack of the Democratic National Committee emails to someone other than the Russians."

Not to quibble on semantics but Rohrabacher met with Assange to ask if he would be willing to reveal the source of the emails then Rohrabacher would contact Trump and try to make deal for Assange's freedom. Rohrabacher clarified that he never talked to Trump or that he was authorized by Trump to make any offer.

The MSM has been using the "amnesty if you say it was not the Russians" narrative to hint at a coverup by Russian agent Trump. Normal for the biased MSM.

Giraldi's link "Assange did not take the offer" has nothing to do with Rohrabacher's contact. It's just a general piece on Assange acting as a journalist should act.

https://www.rohrabacher.com/news/my-meeting-with-julian-assange

Alfred , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 12:01 pm GMT
@plantman I can imagine Hillary and her intel connections looking for an alternative to whacking Rich

Have you never had to deal with a psychopath? That is not the way they reason.

She would have done it in the "national interest"

DaveE , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 2:21 pm GMT
I'm of the opinion Ron Unz seems to share, that Rich was not a particularly "big hitter" in the DNC hierarchy and that his murder was more likely the result of a very nasty inter-party squabble. I seem to recall a LOT of very nasty talk between the Jewish neocons in the Bush era and the decent, traditional "small-government" style Republicans who greatly resented the neocons' hijacking of the GOP for their demonic zionist agenda.

Common sense would suggest that the zionist types who have (obviously) hijacked the DNC are at least as nasty and ruthless as the neocons who destroyed any decency or fair-play within the GOP. It's not exactly hard to believe that these Murder, Inc. types (also lefties of their era) wouldn't hesitate to whack someone like Rich for merely uttering a criticism of Israel, for example.

Hell, Meyer Lansky ordered the hit-job on Bugsy Seigel for forgetting to bring bagels to a sit-down ! There was a great web-site by a mobster of that era, long since taken down, who described the story in detail. I forget the names .. but I'll see if I can't find a copy of some of the pieces posted at least a decade ago .

It's not exactly hard to imagine some very nasty words being exchanged between the Rahm Emmanuel types and decent Chicago citizens, for example, who genuinely cared for their city and weren't afraid of The Big Jew and his mobster cronies . to their detriment I'm sure.

We're talking about organized crime, here, folks. The zionists make the so-called (mostly fictitious) Sicilian Mafia look like newborn puppies. They wouldn't hesitate to whack a guy like Rich for taking their favorite space in the bicycle rack.

Rev. Spooner , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 3:27 pm GMT
@John Chuckman A long time ago I read in the London Guardian ( before it's reputation was in tatters) that the witch kept a list of all who pissed her off and updated it every night.
A quick search and here it is https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/jan/14/hillary-clinton-hitlist-spreadsheet-grudge
Altai , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 3:33 pm GMT
My only trouble with the Seth Rich thing is, it seems a bit extreme, they seem quite callous in murdering foreigners but US citizens in the US who are their staffers? If they really were prepared to go out and kill in this way, they're be a lot more suspicious deaths.

What makes the case most compelling is the very quick investigation by police that looks like they were told by somebody concerned about how the whole thing looked to close up the case nice and quickly. That and the fact that he was shot in the back, which doesn't make sense for an attempted robbery turned murder.

However, it may also be that as in so many cities in the US, murder clearance rates for street shootings (Little forensic evidence, can only go by witness accounts or through poor alibis from usual suspects and their associates. In this case there is also no connection between Rich and any possible shooter with no witnesses.) are just so very low that DC police don't bother and Seth Rich's death just happened to be one such case that attracted some scrutiny.

But then maybe for the reasons above a place like DC is perfect to just murder somebody on the street and that's why they were so brazen about it.

Ron Unz , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 3:47 pm GMT
@Altai

Seth Rich's death just happened to be one such case that attracted some scrutiny.

Well, upthread someone posted a recording of a Seymour Hersh phone call that confirmed Seth Rich was the fellow who leaked the DNC emails to Wikileaks, thereby possibly swinging the presidential election to Trump and overcoming $2 billion of Democratic campaign advertising.

Shortly afterwards, he probably became about the only middle-class white in DC who died in a "random street killing" that year. If you doubt this, see if you can find any other such cases that year.

I think it is *extraordinarily* unlikely that these two elements are unconnected and merely happened together by chance.

[Mar 03, 2020] The USA policy is to destroy Iran for the crime of existence.

Mar 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Trailer Trash , Mar 2 2020 17:53 utc | 97

>Bernie Sanders will also restore the JCPOA

This is like a new gangster who takes control of a neighborhood and reduces the required weekly protection payment. Hurray For Less Extortion!

Hey Bernie, how about throw away the JCPOA, restore normal diplomatic and commercial relations, and apologize for 40 years of economic warfare?

But that will never happen, because the Dummycrat policy is to destroy Iran for the crime of existence. How is it the Bernie people don't notice that Bernie always caucuses with the Dummycrats in Congress and is running on the Dummycrat ticket? We are supposed to believe that someone elected on the Dummycrat ticket won't follow Dummycrat party polices?


Russ , Mar 2 2020 17:59 utc | 99

"Bernie Sanders will also restore the JCPOA"

He must think the Iranians are really stupid if he thinks he can get them to fall for that one again.

fnord , Mar 2 2020 18:18 utc | 101
@Trailer Trash, 97
We are supposed to believe that someone elected on the Dummycrat ticket won't follow Dummycrat party polices?

The way American electoral politics works, Sanders doesn't really have a choice except to try and steal the Democratic party's ballot line. An independent bid would split the left vote and make it impossible to win the general election, which is winner take all.

At least that's what his supporters say. I think there's a grain of truth there. If Bernie wants to win, and not merely be a protest candidate, he has to take the ballot line of the party with the most left-wing voters, and that's not the Republican party.

[Mar 02, 2020] Last Ditch Effort to Stop Sanders

Mar 02, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

Rick Wilson has a plan for Obama to help snatch the White House away from Trump

.. GOP strategist and avid Never Trumper Rick Wilson said ... Obama needs to throw his full weight behind Biden before Super Tuesday in a way that will shake up the race ... Obama can transform this race in a hot second. ... It's now or never ... Biden beat Sanders like a rented mule. The exit polls told the tale; it was a crushing defeat across almost every demographic group ...

Gotta love these Republicans who have our best interests at heart.

Last week in Nevada it was Sanders who beat Biden like a rented mule, inflicting a crushing defeat across almost every demographic group. But that was then, this is now, and a Republican stratigist says "It's now or never" to defeat Sanders Trump.

Super Tuesday is ... Tuesday. Biden, as I noted yesterday, hasn't visited any Super Tuesday state in a month, has almost no money, is not on the air, has little or no ground game. Early voting is already in progress in several states. What can be done in one day to turn things around?

Realistically, nothing. Yes, a big endorsement by Obama could have an impact, but how many voters would even hear about it before voting? Biden will definitely get a bounce from his win in SC, but how big will it be? How much did Sanders' win in Nevada help him in SC?

Then there's this:

Why Biden still needs Klobuchar and Warren in the race

Team Biden believes having Klobuchar in the race through Super Tuesday is incredibly helpful to them.
Why? It blocks Bernie Sanders in the Minnesota primary on Tuesday.
"If Amy gets out, that gives Minnesota to Bernie,"
...
Four years ago, Sanders crushed Hillary Clinton in Minnesota, winning 62% to 38% ...
The Biden campaign wants Warren to be in the race through Super Tuesday, when Massachusetts voters weigh in.

Not to win. Not to hoard delegates for a convention fight. But just taking every opportunity to slow Bernie down.

Finally, and I only saw one tweet about this and can't find any confirmation, that Bloomberg hasn't made any ad buys beyond Super Tuesday. Anyone know anything about this?

Steyer has spent $200 million, got nothing for it, and has dropped out. I'm hoping that's what we see for Bloomberg as well. Is Bloomberg trying to win? Or just to stop Bernie? Super Tuesday will tell the tale.


laurel on Sun, 03/01/2020 - 2:18pm

It's interesting how each of them

@WoodsDweller -- Biden, Bloomberg, Warren, Klobuchar -- is stepping in to do his or her part for the overall goal of stopping Bernie. They are 100% loyal to the Dem establishment which is 100% loyal to the neocon, neoliberal, oligarchic, globalist Deep State. They know the Dem establishment will reward them -- and you can practically smell the certainty of that knowledge on Liz. She'll do and say whatever they ask of her.

Anja Geitz on Sun, 03/01/2020 - 10:42am
Frankly, I never believed Bernie's candidacy was going to be met

with anything but a full on assault by the DNC, the media, and their respective surrogates. What I didn't expect, especially from dubious "progressives" like Warren, was to hear non-viable candidates openly talking about blunting Bernie's momentum with their only goal being to collect delegates into the convention. Yes, most of us anticipated this was going to turn into a contested convention by design, but I don't know how many of us believed they'd tip their hand so blatantly and so soon into the process. Now that they have, it gives Bernie time to prepare his own strategy for meeting their threat at the convention. Maybe someone could refresh his memory on how effective the bus loads of people that GWB arranged were in shaping the media narrative of "civil disruption vs. accurate counting" in Florida? Taking a page out of that playbook, Bernie's people really need to start thinking about organizing an army of supporters in strength that rivals his numbers at his rallys, and descend onto Wisconsin. And maybe as an added bonus, conjure up the image of the 1968 convention Buttigieg seems to believe Bernie is so nostalgic about resurrecting. If the Establishment is going to twart the will of the people, let the will of the people be heard.

doh1304 on Sun, 03/01/2020 - 2:03pm
There are threee possible scenarios

for how the pre primary polls were so far off:

First, a wild methodological error. Bernie actually received more votes yesterday than in 2016. Perhaps only people who voted in 2016 were polled.

Second, everyone knows that Bernie is the person most likely to defeat Trump and Biden is the worst possible candidate. Perhaps thousands of Trump supporters came out pretending to be Democrats to vote for Biden. This has supposedly happened before.

Third, the quisling Democrats have given up all pretense of being honest and are blatantly stealing the nomination from Bernie. This is the most likely.

FreeSociety on Sun, 03/01/2020 - 3:18pm
2016 Deja Vu

.
In many ways, this race is now the same exact contest that was fought back in 2016. It has come down to Joe Biden -- The Establishment choice -- despite his obvious Ukraine corruption, family payoffs, obstruction of justice and abuse of office, etc. -- and despite Biden being 100% wrong on every issue from the Iraq War to NAFTA to the TPP to Syria (more Regime Change) to Libya to saying China is not an economic threat , etc. -- and despite him being a bumbling buffoon and gaffe machine who doesn't even know what State he is in, and constantly mangles sentences, and arrogantly yells at or insults prospective voters -- and despite him on multiple occasions caught sniffing the hair and fondling young girls in public.

How is this different from Hillary Clinton .. just without the Cackle ?

Bernie Sanders, as in 2016, is the only other option now that has a multi-state Campaign support structure. While Mike Bloomberg can buy million dollar Ads and saturate them everywhere across TV and the Internet .. he has no real voter base, a phony message, and no charisma.

So it is Sanders .vs. Biden , which is essentially a rematch between Sanders and Clinton -- or -- essentially a rematch between Sanders and the DNC Establishment (who also control the rules of the game).

My question is, who in earth would ever want to vote for the doddering and incoherent Joe Biden under any circumstance? Clearly, Biden just represents the anti-Sanders vote here, and The Establishment, with Bloomberg, Buttiburger, and Klobachar all failing, has closed ranks to consolidate around the one dog-faced, pony soldier left standing in the race: Quid Pro Joe.

Come on man! Get down and do some pushups Jack. I don't want your vote.

Polls and Votes and super delegates and Media narratives will all now be fixed around Biden from this point on (if they weren't already). So expect a whole lot of Malarkey upcoming, and this means that Sanders will have to win by big margins, and win a whole lot more States than he did in 2016, in order to survive.

--

[Mar 02, 2020] Truthdig

Mar 02, 2020 | www.truthdig.com

Feb 24, 2020 Print Bookmark Opinion | TD originals The Zionist Colonization of Palestine comments

Mr. Fish / Truthdig
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not the product of ancient ethnic hatreds. It is the tragic clash between two peoples with claims to the same land. It is a manufactured conflict, the outcome of a 100-year-old colonial occupation by Zionists and later Israel, backed by the British, the United States and other major imperial powers. This project is about the ongoing seizure of Palestinian land by the colonizers. It is about the rendering of the Palestinians as non-people, writing them out of the historical narrative as if they never existed and denying them basic human rights. Yet to state these incontrovertible facts of Jewish colonization -- supported by innumerable official reports and public and private communiques and statements, along with historical records and events -- sees Israel's defenders level charges of anti-Semitism and racism.

Rashid Khalidi , the Edward Said professor of modern Arab studies at Columbia University, in his book " The Hundred Years' War on Palestine : A History of Settler Colonization and Resistance, 1917-2017" has meticulously documented this long project of colonization of Palestine. His exhaustive research, which includes internal, private communications between the early Zionists and Israeli leadership, leaves no doubt that the Jewish colonizers were acutely aware from the start that the Palestinian people had to be subjugated and removed to create the Jewish state. The Jewish leadership was also acutely aware that its intentions had to be masked behind euphemisms, the patina of biblical legitimacy by Jews to a land that had been Muslim since the seventh century, platitudes about human and democratic rights, the supposed benefits of colonization to the colonized and a mendacious call for democracy and peaceful co-existence with those targeted for destruction.

"This is a unique colonialism that we've been subjected to where they have no use for us," Khalidi quotes Said as having written. "The best Palestinian for them," Said wrote, "is either dead or gone. It's not that they want to exploit us, or that they need to keep us there in the way of Algeria or South Africa as a subclass."

Zionism was birthed from the evils of anti-Semitism. It was a response to the discrimination and violence inflicted on Jews, especially during the savage pogroms in Russia and Eastern Europe in the late 19th century and early 20th century that left thousands dead. The Zionist leader Theodor Herzl in 1896 published "Der Judenstaat," or "The Jewish State," in which he warned that Jews were not safe in Europe, a warning that within a few decades proved terrifyingly prescient with the rise of German fascism.

Britain's support of a Jewish homeland was always colored by anti-Semitism. The 1917 decision by the British Cabinet, as stated in the Balfour Declaration , to support "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people" was a principal part of a misguided endeavor based on anti-Semitic tropes. It was undertaken by the ruling British elites to unite "international Jewry" -- including officials of Jewish descent in senior positions in the new Bolshevik state in Russia -- behind Britain's flagging military campaign in World War I. The British leaders were convinced that Jews secretly controlled the U.S. financial system. American Jews, once promised a homeland in Palestine, would, they thought, bring the United States into the war and help finance the war effort. To add to these bizarre anti-Semitic canards, the British believed that Jews and Dönmes -- or "crypto-Jews" whose ancestors had converted to Christianity but who continued to practice the rituals of Judaism in secret -- controlled the Turkish government. If the Zionists were given a homeland in Palestine, the British believed, the Jews and Dönmes would turn on the Turkish regime, which was allied with Germany in the war, and the Turkish government would collapse. World Jewry, the British were convinced, was the key to winning the war.

"With 'Great Jewry' against us," warned Britain's Sir Mark Sykes , who with the French diplomat François Georges-Picot created the secret treaty that carved up the Ottoman Empire between Britain and France, there would be no possibility of victory. Zionism, Sykes said, was a powerful global subterranean force that was "atmospheric, international, cosmopolitan, subconscious and unwritten, nay often unspoken."

The British elites, including Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour , also believed that Jews could never be assimilated in British society and it was better for them to emigrate. It is telling that the only Jewish member of Prime Minister David Lloyd George's government, Edwin Montagu, vehemently opposed the Balfour Declaration. He argued that it would encourage states to expel its Jews. "Palestine will become the world's ghetto," he warned.

This turned out to be the case after World War II when hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees, many rendered stateless, had nowhere to go but Palestine. Often, their communities had been destroyed during the war or their homes and land had been confiscated. Those Jews who returned to countries like Poland found they had nowhere to live and were often victims of discrimination as well as postwar anti-Semitic attacks and even massacres.

The European powers dealt with the Jewish refugee crisis by shipping victims of the Holocaust to the Middle East. So, while leading Zionists understood that they had to uproot and displace Arabs to establish a homeland, they were also acutely aware that they were not wanted in the countries from which they had fled or been expelled. The Zionists and their supporters may have mouthed slogans such as "a land without a people for a people without a land" in speaking of Palestine, but, as the political philosopher Hannah Arendt observed, European powers were attempting to deal with the crime carried out against Jews in Europe by committing another crime, one against Palestinians. It was a recipe for endless conflict, especially since giving the Palestinians under occupation full democratic rights would risk loss of control of Israel by the Jews.

Ze'ev Jabotinsky, the godfather of the right-wing ideology that has dominated Israel since 1977, an ideology openly embraced by Prime Ministers Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Shamir, Ariel Sharon, Ehud Olmert and Benjamin Netanyahu, wrote bluntly in 1923: "Every native population in the world resists colonists as long as it has the slightest hope of being able to rid itself of the danger of being colonized. That is what the Arabs in Palestine are doing, and what they will persist in doing as long as there remains a solitary spark of hope that they will be able to prevent the transformation of 'Palestine' into the 'Land of Israel.' "

This kind of public honesty, Khalidi notes, was rare among leading Zionists. Most of the Zionist leaders "protested the innocent purity of their aims and deceived their Western listeners, and perhaps themselves, with fairy tales about their benign intentions toward the Arab inhabitants of Palestine," he writes. The Zionists -- in a situation similar to that of today's supporters of Israel -- were aware it would be fatal to acknowledge that the creation of a Jewish homeland required the expulsion of the Arab majority. Such an admission would cause the colonizers to lose the world's sympathy. But among themselves the Zionists clearly understood that the use of armed force against the Arab majority was essential for the colonial project to succeed. "Zionist colonization can proceed and develop only under the protection of a power that is independent of the native population -- behind an iron wall, which the native population cannot breach," Jabotinsky wrote.

The Jewish colonizers knew they needed an imperial patron to succeed and survive. Their first patron was Britain, which sent 100,000 troops to crush the Palestinian revolt of the 1930s and armed and trained Jewish militias known as the Haganah. The savage repression of that revolt included wholesale executions and aerial bombardment and left 10% of the adult male Arab population killed, wounded, imprisoned or exiled. The Zionists' second patron became the United States, which now, generations later, provides more than $3 billion a year to Israel. Israel, despite the myth of self-reliance it peddles about itself, would not be able to maintain its Palestinian colonies but for its imperial benefactors. This is why the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement frightens Israel. It is also why I support the BDS movement.

The early Zionists bought up huge tracts of fertile Palestinian land and drove out the indigenous inhabitants. They subsidized European Jewish settlers sent to Palestine, where 94% of the inhabitants were Arabs. They created organizations such as the Jewish Colonization Association, later called the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association, to administer the Zionist project.

But, as Khalidi writes, "once colonialism took on a bad odor in the post-World War II era of decolonization, the colonial origins and practice of Zionism and Israel were whitewashed and conveniently forgotten in Israel and the West. In fact, Zionism -- for two decades the coddled step-child of British colonialism -- rebranded itself as an anticolonial movement."

"Today, the conflict that was engendered by this classic nineteenth-century European colonial venture in a non-European land, supported from 1917 onward by the greatest Western imperial power of its age, is rarely described in such unvarnished terms," Khalidi writes. "Indeed, those who analyze not only Israeli settlement efforts in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the occupied Syrian Golan Heights, but the entire Zionist enterprise from the perspective of its colonial settler origins and nature are often vilified. Many cannot accept the contradiction inherent in the idea that although Zionism undoubtedly succeeded in creating a thriving national entity in Israel, its roots are as a colonial settler project (as are those of other modern countries: the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand). Nor can they accept that it would not have succeeded but for the support of the great imperial powers, Britain and later the United States. Zionism, therefore, could be and was both a national and a colonial settler movement at one and the same time."

One of the central tenets of the Zionist and Israeli colonization is the denial of an authentic, independent Palestinian identity. During the British control of Palestine, the population was officially divided between Jews and "non-Jews." "There were no such thing as Palestinians they did not exist," onetime Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir quipped. This erasure, which requires an egregious act of historical amnesia, is what the Israeli sociologist Baruch Kimmerling called the "politicide" of the Palestinian people. Khalidi writes, "The surest way to eradicate a people's right to their land is to deny their historical connection to it."

The creation of the state of Israel on May 15, 1948, was achieved by the Haganah and other Jewish groups through the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians and massacres that spread terror among the Palestinian population. The Haganah, trained and armed by the British, swiftly seized most of Palestine. It emptied West Jerusalem and cities such as Haifa and Jaffa, along with numerous towns and villages, of their Arab inhabitants. Palestinians call this moment in their history the Nakba, or the Catastrophe.

"By the summer of 1949, the Palestinian polity had been devastated and most of its society uprooted," Khalidi writes. "Some 80 percent of the Arab population of the territory that at war's end became the new state of Israel had been forced from their homes and lost their lands and property. At least 720,000 of the 1.3 million Palestinians were made refugees. Thanks to this violent transformation, Israel controlled 78 percent of the territory of former Mandatory Palestine, and now ruled over the 160,000 Palestinian Arabs who had been able to remain, barely one-fifth of the prewar Arab population."

Since 1948, Palestinians have heroically mounted one resistance effort after another, all unleashing disproportionate Israeli reprisals and a demonization of the Palestinians as terrorists. But this resistance has also forced the world to recognize the presence of Palestinians, despite the feverish efforts of Israel, the United States and many Arab regimes to remove them from historical consciousness. The repeated revolts, as Said noted, gave the Palestinians the right to tell their own story, the "permission to narrate."

The colonial project has poisoned Israel, as feared by its most prescient leaders, including Moshe Dayan and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated by a right-wing Jewish extremist in 1995. Israel is an apartheid state that rivals and often surpasses the onetime savagery and racism of apartheid South Africa. Its democracy -- which was always exclusively for Jews -- has been hijacked by extremists, including current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who have implemented racial laws that were once championed mainly by marginalized fanatics such as Meir Kahane . The Israeli public is infected with racism. "Death to Arabs" is a popular chant at Israeli soccer matches. Jewish mobs and vigilantes, including thugs from right-wing youth groups such as Im Tirtzu, carry out indiscriminate acts of vandalism and violence against dissidents, Palestinians, Israeli Arabs and the hapless African immigrants who live crammed into the slums of Tel Aviv. Israel has promulgated a series of discriminatory laws against non-Jews that eerily resemble the racist Nuremberg Laws that disenfranchised Jews in Nazi Germany. The Communities Acceptance Law permits exclusively Jewish towns in Israel's Galilee region to bar applicants for residency on the basis of "suitability to the community's fundamental outlook." The late Uri Avnery, a left-wing politician and journalist, wrote that "Israel's very existence is threatened by fascism."

In recent years, up to 1 million Israelis have left to live in the United States , many of them among Israel's most enlightened and educated citizens. Within Israel, human rights campaigners, intellectuals and journalists -- Israeli and Palestinian -- have found themselves vilified as traitors in government-sponsored smear campaigns, placed under state surveillance and subjected to arbitrary arrests. The Israeli educational system, starting in primary school, is an indoctrination machine for the military. The Israeli army periodically unleashes massive assaults with its air force, artillery and mechanized units on the largely defenseless 1.85 million Palestinians in Gaza, resulting in thousands of Palestinian dead and wounded. Israel runs the Saharonim detention camp in the Negev Desert, one of the largest detention centers in the world, where African immigrants can be held for up to three years without trial.

The great Jewish scholar Yeshayahu Leibowitz, whom Isaiah Berlin called "the conscience of Israel," saw the mortal danger to Israel of its colonial project. He warned that if Israel did not separate church and state and end its colonial occupation of the Palestinians it would give rise to a corrupt rabbinate that would warp Judaism into a fascistic cult. "Religious nationalism is to religion what National Socialism was to socialism," said Leibowitz, who died in 1994. He saw that the blind veneration of the military, especially after the 1967 war in which Israel captured the West Bank and East Jerusalem, would result in the degeneration of the Jewish society and the death of democracy.

"Our situation will deteriorate to that of a second Vietnam [a reference to the war waged by the United States in the 1970s], to a war in constant escalation without prospect of ultimate resolution," Leibowitz wrote. He foresaw that "the Arabs would be the working people and the Jews the administrators, inspectors, officials, and police -- mainly secret police. A state ruling a hostile population of 1.5 million to 2 million foreigners would necessarily become a secret-police state, with all that this implies for education, free speech and democratic institutions. The corruption characteristic of every colonial regime would also prevail in the State of Israel. The administration would have to suppress Arab insurgency on the one hand and acquire Arab Quislings on the other. There is also good reason to fear that the Israel Defense Force, which has been until now a people's army, would, as a result of being transformed into an army of occupation, degenerate, and its commanders, who will have become military governors, resemble their colleagues in other nations."

The Zionists could never have colonized the Palestinians without the backing of Western imperial powers whose motives were tainted by anti-Semitism. Many of the Jews who fled to Israel would not have done so but for the virulent European anti-Semitism that by the end of World War II saw 6 million Jews murdered. Israel was all that many impoverished and stateless survivors, robbed of their national rights, communities, homes and often most of their relatives, had left. It became the tragic fate of the Palestinians, who had no role in the European pogroms or the Holocaust, to be sacrificed on the altar of hate.

[Mar 02, 2020] It appears the US-Taliban interim peace arrangement has hit a snag:

Mar 02, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Likklemore , Mar 1 2020 20:58 utc | 30

appears the US-Taliban interim peace arrangement has hit a snag:

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani rejects Taliban prisoner release under U.S deal


Afghan President Ashraf Ghani rejected on Sunday a Taliban demand for the release of 5,000 prisoners as a condition for talks with Afghanistan's government and civilians – included in a deal between the United States and the Islamist militants.

"The government of Afghanistan has made no commitment to free 5,000 Taliban prisoners," Ghani told reporters in Kabul, a day after the deal was signed in Qatar to start a political settlement aimed at ending the United States' longest war.[.]

was the Afghan government not a party to the negotiations? Strange!

[Mar 02, 2020] The myth of the mujaheddin victory over the Soviets

It was a stalemate, in which Afghan government held power over central towns and mujahidins over part of provinces. Neither can defeat each other. This stalemate was ruptured by the collapse of the USSR.
Mar 02, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Ghost Ship , Mar 1 2020 18:54 utc | 17
Afghanistan
Now that the Americans have been defeated in Afghanistan perhaps they'll go back with a more critical eye to look at what happened in the Afghan-Soviet war against the mujaheddin. The Soviet Union decided to withdraw because it had reached a stalemate but the communist government managed to soldier on for three more years, and it was the collapse of the Soviet Union for financial reasons that resulted in funds being cutoff to the communist government that in turn led to the collapse of the government, so the Soviet Union was not brought down/defeated by the mujaheddin.
Will coronavirus lead to the collapse of the Washington establishment? I don't know if it will but the descendants of the mujaheddin will no doubt claim responsibility for the defeat of the United States if it occurs.
Yet again, Washington demonstrates that it doesn't really understand war.

[Mar 02, 2020] China Is Prepared to Reap the Strategic Rewards of Its Relationship With Russia The National Interest

Mar 02, 2020 | nationalinterest.org

China Is Prepared to Reap the Strategic Rewards of Its Relationship With Russia

February 29, 2020 Topic: Security Region: Eurasia Tags: China Russia Military Weapons War China Is Prepared to Reap the Strategic Rewards of Its Relationship With Russia

Moscow has transferred more than five hundred aircraft -- large military transports, early warning aircraft, refueling aircraft, attack jets, and fighter interceptors -- to Beijing since 1990.

by Lyle J. Goldstein ,

Chinese air power these days is something to behold. In the course of just about thirty years, Beijing's aerial inventory has gone from quite obsolete to cutting edge. It's worth noting, moreover, that Chinese airpower is but one tool that Beijing can wield in the skies. If its massive missile forces perform as expected, destroying adversary runways, then there will be few enemy aircraft getting into the air to contest the supremacy of China's fighters and bombers -- or at least very few of them will be able to gain access to much of the western Pacific.

https://lockerdome.com/lad/12130885885741670?pubid=ld-12130885885741670-935&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fnationalinterest.org&rid=eastwestaccord.com&width=550

[Mar 01, 2020] Sanders defeat will be the next step indelitimization of the US corrupt regime

Mar 01, 2020 | off-guardian.org

paul ,

Sanders was shafted in 2016 by the corrupt DNC machine, and he is being shafted again.He will probably be sidelined in favour of some third rate hack like Buttplug, or some other synthetic, manufactured nonentity.

If he isn't, and by some miracle does secure the nomination, they will fail to support him and just allow him to be defeated by Trump. It doesn't matter.

There are millions of decent people who have long been persuaded to play the game of Lesser Evils. They will be as disenchanted as was Trump's Base by a transparently corrupt, rigged system, and finally withdraw their support. This has to be seen as a positive development.

They can no longer paper over the cracks.

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

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

MASTER OF UNIVE ,

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

paul ,

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

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

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

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

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

George Mc ,

Haven't you just agreed with him here?

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

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

Koba ,

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

sharon marlowe ,

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

Dungroanin ,

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

sharon marlowe ,

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

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

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

Dungroanin ,

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

Savorywill ,

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

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

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

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

[Mar 01, 2020] Countering Nationalist Oligarchy by Ganesh Sitaraman

Highly recommended!
The article is mostly junk. But it contains some important insights into the rise of Trympism (aka "national neoliberalism") -- nationalist oligarchy. Including the following " the governments that have emerged from the new populist moment are, to date, not actually pursuing policies that are economically populist."
The real threat to liberal democracy isn't authoritarianism -- it's nationalist oligarchy. Here's how American foreign policy should change. The real threat to liberal democracy isn't authoritarianism -- it's nationalist oligarchy. Here's how American foreign policy should change.
Notable quotes:
"... Fascism: A Warning ..."
"... Can it Happen Here? Authoritarianism in America ..."
"... the governments that have emerged from the new populist moment are, to date, not actually pursuing policies that are economically populist. ..."
"... The better and more useful way to view these regimes -- and the threat to democracy emerging at home and abroad because of them -- is as nationalist oligarchies. Oligarchy means rule by a small number of rich people. In an oligarchy, wealthy elites seek to preserve and extend their wealth and power. In his definitive book titled Oligarchy ..."
"... Oligarchies remain in power through two strategies: first, using divide-and-conquer tactics to ensure that a majority doesn't coalesce, and second, by rigging the political system to make it harder for any emerging majority to overthrow them. ..."
"... Rigging the system is, in some ways, a more obvious tactic. It means changing the legal rules of the game or shaping the political marketplace to preserve power. Voting restrictions and suppression, gerrymandering, and manipulation of the media are examples. The common theme is that they insulate the minority in power from democracy; they prevent the population from kicking the rulers out through ordinary political means. ..."
"... Classical Greek Oligarchy ..."
"... Framing today's threat as nationalist oligarchy not only clarifies the challenge but also makes clear how democracy is different -- and what democracy requires. Democracy means more than elections, an independent judiciary, a free press, and various constitutional norms. For democracy to persist, there must also be relative economic equality. If society is deeply unequal economically, the wealthy will dominate politics and transform democracy into an oligarchy. And there must be some degree of social solidarity because, as Lincoln put it, "A house divided against itself cannot stand." ..."
"... We see a number of disturbing signs the United States is breaking down along these dimensions. ..."
"... The view that money is speech under the First Amendment has unleashed wealthy individuals and corporations to spend as much as they want to influence politics. The "doom loop of oligarchy," as Ezra Klein has called it, is an obvious consequence: The wealthy use their money to influence politics and rig policy to increase their wealth, which in turn increases their capacity to influence politics. Meanwhile, we're increasingly divided into like-minded enclaves, and the result is an ever-more toxic degree of partisanship. ..."
"... The Counterinsurgent's Constitution: Law in the Age of Small Wars ..."
"... The Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution: Why Economic Inequality Threatens our Republic ..."
Dec 31, 2019 | democracyjournal.org
from Winter 2019, No. 51 – 31 MIN READ

Tagged Authoritarianism Democracy Foreign Policy Government nationalism oligarchy

Ever since the 2016 election, foreign policy commentators and practitioners have been engaged in a series of soul-searching exercises to understand the great transformations taking place in the world -- and to articulate a framework appropriate to the challenges of our time. Some have looked backwards, arguing that the liberal international order is collapsing, while others question whether it ever existed. Another group seems to hope the current messiness is simply a blip and that foreign policy will return to normalcy after it passes. Perhaps the most prominent group has identified today's great threat as the rise of authoritarianism, autocracy, and illiberal democracy. They fear that constitutional democracy is receding as norms are broken and institutions are under siege.

Unfortunately, this approach misunderstands the nature of the current crisis. The challenge we face today is not one of authoritarianism, as so many seem inclined to believe, but of nationalist oligarchy. This form of government feeds populism to the people, delivers special privileges to the rich and well-connected, and rigs politics to sustain its regime.

... ... ..

Authoritarianism or What?

Across the political spectrum, commentators and scholars have identified -- and warned of -- the global rise of autocracies and authoritarian governments. They cite Russia, Hungary, the Philippines, and Turkey, among others. Distinguished commentators are increasingly worried. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright recently published a book called Fascism: A Warning . Cass Sunstein gathered a variety of scholars for a collection titled, Can it Happen Here? Authoritarianism in America .

The authoritarian lens is familiar from the heroic narrative of democracy defeating autocracies in the twentieth century. But as a framework for understanding today's central geopolitical challenges, it is far too narrow. This is mainly because those who are worried about the rise of authoritarianism and the crisis of democracy are insufficiently focused on economics. Their emphasis is almost exclusively political and constitutional -- free speech, voting rights, equal treatment for minorities, independent courts, and the like. But politics and economics cannot be dissociated from each other, and neither are autonomous from social and cultural factors. Statesmen and philosophers used to call this "political economy." Political economy looks at economic and political relationships in concert, and it is attentive to how power is exercised. If authoritarianism is the future, there must be a story of its political economy -- how it uses politics and economics to gain and hold power. Yet the rise-of-authoritarianism theorists have less to say about these dynamics.

To be sure, many commentators have discussed populist movements throughout Europe and America, and there has been no shortage of debate on the extent to which a generation of widening economic inequality has been a contributing factor in their rise. But whatever the causes of popular discontent, the policy preferences of the people, and the bloviating rhetoric of leaders, the governments that have emerged from the new populist moment are, to date, not actually pursuing policies that are economically populist.

The better and more useful way to view these regimes -- and the threat to democracy emerging at home and abroad because of them -- is as nationalist oligarchies. Oligarchy means rule by a small number of rich people. In an oligarchy, wealthy elites seek to preserve and extend their wealth and power. In his definitive book titled Oligarchy , Jeffrey Winters calls it "wealth defense." Elites engage in "property defense," protecting what they already have, and "income defense," preserving and extending their ability to hoard more. Importantly, oligarchy as a governing strategy accounts for both politics and economics. Oligarchs use economic power to gain and hold political power and, in turn, use politics to expand their economic power.

Those who worry about the rise of authoritarianism and fear the crisis of democracy are insufficiently focused on economics.

The trouble for oligarchs is that their regime involves rule by a small number of wealthy elites. In even a nominally democratic society, and most countries around the world today are at least that, it should be possible for the much larger majority to overthrow the oligarchy with either the ballot or the bullet. So how can oligarchy persist? This is where both nationalism and authoritarianism come into play. Oligarchies remain in power through two strategies: first, using divide-and-conquer tactics to ensure that a majority doesn't coalesce, and second, by rigging the political system to make it harder for any emerging majority to overthrow them.

The divide-and-conquer strategy is an old one, and it works through a combination of coercion and co-optation. Nationalism -- whether statist, ethnic, religious, or racial -- serves both functions. It aligns a portion of ordinary people with the ruling oligarchy, mobilizing them to support the regime and sacrifice for it. At the same time, it divides society, ensuring that the nationalism-inspired will not join forces with everyone else to overthrow the oligarchs. We thus see fearmongering about minorities and immigrants, and claims that the country belongs only to its "true" people, whom the leaders represent. Activating these emotional, cultural, and political identities makes it harder for citizens in the country to unite across these divides and challenge the regime.

Rigging the system is, in some ways, a more obvious tactic. It means changing the legal rules of the game or shaping the political marketplace to preserve power. Voting restrictions and suppression, gerrymandering, and manipulation of the media are examples. The common theme is that they insulate the minority in power from democracy; they prevent the population from kicking the rulers out through ordinary political means. Tactics like these are not new. They have existed, as Matthew Simonton shows in his book Classical Greek Oligarchy , since at least the time of Pericles and Plato. The consequence, then as now, is that nationalist oligarchies can continue to deliver economic policies to benefit the wealthy and well-connected.

It is worth noting that even the generation that waged war against fascism in Europe understood that the challenge to democracy in their time was not just political, but economic and social as well. They believed that the rise of Nazism was tied to the concentration of economic power in Germany, and that cartels and monopolies not only cooperated with and served the Nazi state, but helped its rise and later sustained it. As New York Congressman Emanuel Celler, one of the authors of the Anti-Merger Act of 1950, said, quoting a report filed by Secretary of War Kenneth Royall, "Germany under the Nazi set-up built up a great series of industrial monopolies in steel, rubber, coal and other materials. The monopolies soon got control of Germany, brought Hitler to power, and forced virtually the whole world into war." After World War II, Marshall Plan experts not only rebuilt Europe but also exported aggressive American antitrust and competition laws to the continent because they believed political democracy was impossible without economic democracy.

Framing today's threat as nationalist oligarchy not only clarifies the challenge but also makes clear how democracy is different -- and what democracy requires. Democracy means more than elections, an independent judiciary, a free press, and various constitutional norms. For democracy to persist, there must also be relative economic equality. If society is deeply unequal economically, the wealthy will dominate politics and transform democracy into an oligarchy. And there must be some degree of social solidarity because, as Lincoln put it, "A house divided against itself cannot stand."

We see a number of disturbing signs the United States is breaking down along these dimensions. Electoral losers in places like North Carolina seek to entrench their power rather than accept defeat. The view that money is speech under the First Amendment has unleashed wealthy individuals and corporations to spend as much as they want to influence politics. The "doom loop of oligarchy," as Ezra Klein has called it, is an obvious consequence: The wealthy use their money to influence politics and rig policy to increase their wealth, which in turn increases their capacity to influence politics. Meanwhile, we're increasingly divided into like-minded enclaves, and the result is an ever-more toxic degree of partisanship.

Addressing our domestic economic and social crises is critical to defending democracy, and a grand strategy for America's future must incorporate both domestic and foreign policy. But while many have recognized that reviving America's middle class and re-stitching our social fabric are essential to saving democracy, less attention has been paid to how American foreign policy should be reformed in order to defend democracy from the threat of nationalist oligarchy.

The Varieties of Nationalist Oligarchy

Just as there are many variations on liberal democracy -- the Swedish model, the French model, the American model -- there are many varieties of nationalist oligarchy. The story is different in every country, but the elements of nationalist oligarchy are trending all over the world.

... ... ...

... the European Union funds Hungary's oligarchy, as Orbán draws on EU money to fund about 60 percent of the state projects that support "the new Fidesz-linked business elite." Nor do Orbán and his allies do much to hide the country's crony capitalist model. András Lánczi, president of a Fidesz-affiliated think tank, has boldly stated that "if something is done in the national interest, then it is not corruption." "The new capitalist ruling class," one Hungarian banker comments, "make their money from the government."

The commentator Jan-Werner Müller captures Orbán's Hungary this way: "Power is secured through wide-ranging control of the judiciary and the media; behind much talk of protecting hard-pressed families from multinational corporations, there is crony capitalism, in which one has to be on the right side politically to get ahead economically."

Crony capitalism, coupled with resurgent nationalism and central government control, is also an issue in China. While some commentators have emphasized "state capitalism" -- when government has a significant ownership stake in companies -- this phenomenon is not to be confused with crony capitalism. Some countries with state capitalism, like Norway, are widely seen as extremely non-corrupt and, indeed, are often held up as models of democracy. State capitalism itself is thus not necessarily a problem. Crony capitalism, in contrast, is an "instrumental union between capitalists and politicians designed to allow the former to acquire wealth, legally or otherwise, and the latter to seek and retain power." This is the key difference between state capitalism and oligarchy.

... ... ...

Ganesh Sitaraman is a professor of law and Chancellor's faculty fellow at Vanderbilt Law School, and the author of The Counterinsurgent's Constitution: Law in the Age of Small Wars and The Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution: Why Economic Inequality Threatens our Republic .

[Mar 01, 2020] Hollywood Goes Full Blacklist and Fails to Grasp the Irony by Larry C Johnson

Notable quotes:
"... It is especially galling to see how the Hollywood Community has embraced the era of red-baiting Joseph McCarthy as the new standard for what is acceptable. There was a time that a few brave souls in Hollywood (I am thinking Lucille Ball, Kirk Douglas and Gregory Peck), spoke out against the blacklisting of actors, writers and directors for their past political ties to the Soviet Union. ..."
"... This was an ugly, awful and evil time in America. It was a period of time fed by fear and ignorance. While it is true that there were Americans who identified as Communists and embraced the politics of the Soviet Union, we scared ourselves into believing that communist subversion was everywhere and that America was teetering on the brink of being submerged in a red tide. ..."
"... Hillary Clinton's crazy rant accusing U.S. Army Major and Member of Congress, Tulsi Gabbard, as a Kremlin puppet is not a deviation from the norm. Clinton exemplifies the terrifying norm of the political and cultural elite in this country. Accusing political opponents of being controlled by foreign enemies, real or imagined, is an old political tactic. Makes me wonder what Edward R. Murrow or Dalton Trumbo would say if we could bring them back from the dead. ..."
"... "Hillary Clinton's crazy rant accusing U.S. Army Major and Member of Congress, Tulsi Gabbard, as a Kremlin puppet is not a deviation from the norm." ..."
"... Ms. President is the closest facsimile to Lady Macbeth that American politics has been able to produce. She'd have murdered her own husband if she had thought succession would have fallen to her. As it was, the only thing that kept him alive was that she needed him for the run she had in mind for herself. The debris that this woman has left in her wake boggles the mind. That she came within a whisker of the job where she would perhaps have left the country in that debris field is a sobering thought to think about what American presidential politics has become in the 21st c. Alas, what passes for her failure and the Country's good fortune, her loved ones in the Arts are still not over. And so they are left commiserating and caterwauling over the Donald this, and the Donald that, while all this good material and their celebrity goes down the tube. Good riddance to them both. ..."
"... Trump campaigned on Drain the Swamp in 2016. The Swamp attempted to take him down with the Russia Collusion hoax that included Spygate and the Mueller special counsel investigation. ..."
Feb 14, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

In the wake of the latest Hollywood buffoonery displayed at the Oscars, I think it is time for the American public to denounce in the strongest possible terms the rampant hypocrisy of sanctimonious cretins who make their living pretending to be someone other than themselves. Brad Pitt, Joaquin Phoenix and Barbara Streisand pop to mind as representative examples. All three are eager to lecture the American public on the need for equality and non-discrimination. Yet, not one of the recipients of the Oscar gift bags worth $225,000 spoke out against that extraordinary excess nor demanded that the money spent purchasing these "gifts" be used to benefit the poor and the homeless. Nope, take the money and run.

It is especially galling to see how the Hollywood Community has embraced the era of red-baiting Joseph McCarthy as the new standard for what is acceptable. There was a time that a few brave souls in Hollywood (I am thinking Lucille Ball, Kirk Douglas and Gregory Peck), spoke out against the blacklisting of actors, writers and directors for their past political ties to the Soviet Union.

Now I have lived long enough to see the so-called liberals in Hollywood rail against Donald Trump and his supporters as "agents of Russia." Many in Hollywood, who weep crocodile tears over the abuses of the Hollywood Blacklist, are now doing the same damn thing without a hint of irony.

If you are a film buff (and I consider myself one) you should be familiar with these great movies that remind the viewer of the horrors visited upon actors, writers and directors during the Hollywood Blacklist:

This was an ugly, awful and evil time in America. It was a period of time fed by fear and ignorance. While it is true that there were Americans who identified as Communists and embraced the politics of the Soviet Union, we scared ourselves into believing that communist subversion was everywhere and that America was teetering on the brink of being submerged in a red tide.

Thirty years ago I reflected on this era and wondered how such mass hysteria could happen. Now I know. We have lived with the same kind of madness since Donald Trump was tagged as a Russian agent in the summer of 2016. And the irony is extraordinary. The very same Hollywood elite that heaped opprobrium on Director Elia Kazan for naming names in Hollywood in front of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee, are now leading the charge in labeling anyone who dares speak out against the failed coup as "stooges" of the Kremlin or Putin.

Hillary Clinton's crazy rant accusing U.S. Army Major and Member of Congress, Tulsi Gabbard, as a Kremlin puppet is not a deviation from the norm. Clinton exemplifies the terrifying norm of the political and cultural elite in this country. Accusing political opponents of being controlled by foreign enemies, real or imagined, is an old political tactic. Makes me wonder what Edward R. Murrow or Dalton Trumbo would say if we could bring them back from the dead.


Bill H , 11 February 2020 at 10:20 AM

Very well said. And I would extend the same opprobrium to those who label as "racist" anyone who does not agree with their open border policies. Etc.
plantman , 11 February 2020 at 10:32 AM
Trump Derangement Syndrome is a vast understatement. You never could have convinced me 4 years ago that virtually all of my liberal friends would have completely lost touch with reality due to their visceral hatred of one man.

It no longer matters if you agree with people on social policy, entitlements, student loans, homelessness, drug addiction or even wealth distribution.

If you do not share their irrational hatred of Trump, you're going to be lambasted, shunned and treated like a pariah.

I've never seen anything like it. It's whacko!

Jim Henely , 11 February 2020 at 10:34 AM
Hillary Clinton has become the poster child for the corruption that has captured and paralyzed our political parties and government institutions. Why is she above prosecution? Is the corruption complete? Can we look to any individual or group to restore our Republic? Wake me when the prosecutions begin.
Flavius , 11 February 2020 at 11:35 AM
"Hillary Clinton's crazy rant accusing U.S. Army Major and Member of Congress, Tulsi Gabbard, as a Kremlin puppet is not a deviation from the norm."

Ms. President is the closest facsimile to Lady Macbeth that American politics has been able to produce. She'd have murdered her own husband if she had thought succession would have fallen to her. As it was, the only thing that kept him alive was that she needed him for the run she had in mind for herself. The debris that th