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

News Neoconservatism Recommended Links Israel lobby Resurgence of neofascism as reaction on crisis of neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization "F*ck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place New American Militarism
Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton Hillary role in Syria bloodbath Obama: a yet another Neocon Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS Wolfowitz Doctrine Hillary role in Libya disaster Lock her up movement
Mayberry Machiavellians Robert Kagan Max Boot Paul Wolfowitz Madeleine Albright Anatol Leiven on American Messianism Leo Strauss and the Neocons
From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism The History of Media-Military-Industrial Complex Concept Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism The ability and willingness to employ savage methods  IMF as the key institution for neoliberal debt enslavement  
American Exceptionalism Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Robert Kagan Samantha Power Jeb "Wolfowitz Stooge" Bush Corporatism Big Uncle is Watching You
Fifth Column of Neoliberal Globalization  Color revolutions Guardian paper LA Times Paper by Neal Gabler Washington Post paper by Mike Allen Deception as an art form Neoliberalism as a New form of Corporatism
Mayberry Machiavellians Corporatism John Dilulio letter   Neoliberal Propaganda: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few Politically Incorrect Humor Etc
Note: This page is partially based on Wikipedia materials.

Introduction

  The Neocons never cease to amaze me and their latest stunt with Venezuela falls into this bizarre category of events which are both absolutely unthinkable and simultaneously absolutely predictable. This apparent logical contradiction is the direct result of a worldview and mindset which is, I believe, unique to the Neocons: a mix of imperial hubris and infinite arrogance, a complete lack of decency, a total contempt for the rest of mankind, crass ignorance, a narcissist/sociopath's inability to have any kind of empathy or imagine another guy's reaction and, finally, last but most certainly not least, crass stupidity.

Saker, The US aggression against Venezuela as a diagnostic tool Feb 4, 2019

The greater the hawkishness, the greater the ignorance.

Max Blumenthal, sited from Zero Hedge

In his volume Cultural Insurrections, Kevin MacDonald has accurately described neoconservatism as “a complex interlocking professional and family network centered around Jewish publicists and organizers flexibly deployed to recruit the sympathies of both Jews and non-Jews in harnessing the wealth and power of the United States in the service of Israel.”[3]Kevin MacDonald, Cultural Insurrections: Essays on Western Civilizations, Jewish Influence, and Anti-Semitism, The Occidental Press, 2007, p. 122. The proof of the neocons’ crypto-Israelism is their U.S. foreign policy:

“The confluence of their interests as Jews in promoting the policies of the Israeli right wing and their construction of American interests allows them to submerge or even deny the relevance of their Jewish identity while posing as American patriots. […]

Indeed, since neoconservative Zionism of the Likud Party variety is well known for promoting a confrontation between the United States and the entire Muslim world, their policy recommendations best fit a pattern of loyalty to their ethnic group, not to America.”[4]Kevin McDonald, Cultural Insurrection, op. cit., p. 66.

Laurent Guyénot, The Unz Review. Apr 8, 2019

 

The neoconservative impulse became visible in modern American foreign policy since Reagan, but it became dominant ideology and foreign policy practice during criminal George W. Bush administration, which unleashed disastrous for American people Iraq war and destabilized the region, which eventually led to creation of ISIS. Those disastrous neoconservative policies were continued during Obama administration ("Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place. Especially sinister role was played  Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton  while she was the Secretary of State. She was the butcher of Libya and Syria.

Unlike traditionalist conservatism (which in the USA survived in the form of Paleoconservatism and preaches noninterventionism), Neoconservatism has nothing to do with conservative doctrine at all. This is neoliberal interpretation of Trotskyism -- neoTrotskyism.

Like neofascism it glorifies militarism (in the form of New American Militarism as described by Professor Bacevich), emphasizes confrontation, and regime change in countries hostile to the interests of global corporations, and which are a barrier of spread of neoliberalism and extension of global, US dominated neoliberal empire. It is an extremely jingoistic creed.  All Secretaries of State starting from Madeleine "not so bright" Albright subscribed to neocon thinking. And the US Department of State since 1980 was the citadel of neoconservatives. To the extent that when Trump was elected a bunch of those jingoistic honchos wrote a letter of protest in best color revolution style. Unfortunately Trump proved to be weak they were not summarily fired without pension for this attempt to stage a color revolution (such a "diplomats letter" how this trick is called, widely publicized by MSMs supporting the particular color revolution is as classic method to put heat on opposite side, probably as popular as false flag sniper shootings from rooftops of protester and police attributed to the government).

The unspoken assumptions of neocon cult, which have led the United States into a senseless, wasteful, and counter-productive posture of nearly perpetual wars of neoliberal conquest is that "wars are the health of the state".   But in  reality wars is the "health of MIC" not the state. Foreign war launched by  neocons since 1980th overextended the USA as a country and further lowered the standard living of population  of affected countries, as neoliberalism has nothing to do with raising of standard of living of population. It is about the redistribution of wealth to the top.

All-in-all neocons serve as lobbyists of MIC  providing yet another confirmation of Eisenhower warning. They are "wardogs" of MIC.

The unspoken assumptions of neocon cult have led the United States into a senseless, wasteful, and counter-productive posture of nearly perpetual wars of neoliberal conquest.  Which overextended the USA as a country and lowered the standard living of population further, as if neoliberalism alone was not enough. They serve as lobbyists of MIC  providing yet another confirmation of Eisenhower warning.

It also led to destabilization of the whole regions. It was the USA that launched political Islam into its current position, which at the end resulted in creation of ISIS and "institutionalization" of  suicide bombings as the only means to fight against global neoliberal empire by people deprived of regular military means.  From which many nations, suffered especially Russia. But also several European nations such as GB and France which supported the US policies.

In Russia neocons supported radical Islam and Wahhabism promoting it in such areas as Chechnya and Dagestan. They financially and logistically supported terrorist networks and facilitated import of extremists (sponsored by Saudi Arabia and Gulf monarchies). Like in Afghanistan before that they considered Wahhabi extremists as a useful political tool in their attempts to dismember Russia, as the lesser evil.

In Ukraine neocons supported far right nationalists with distinct national socialism leanings and history of crimes against humanity (Massacres of Poles in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia - Wikipedia). They organized and financed the putsch against the legitimate (albeit corrupt) government of Yanukovich riding of the wave of population discontent with the slow standard of living and the corruption by (installed by the West) neoliberal government. And instead of promised  Euro Integration and an "instant" raise of the standard of living to European level promised by  pro-coup propaganda they got three times drop of standard of living (to African level of poverty for the most of the population) and civil war in Donbass.  Which was done with full support of several EU nations which also now have imperial ambitions and wanted to cut the country from Russia and use it the market for EU goods as well as the source of cheap commodities and labor for EU.

EuroMaydan as this color revolution was called made the country a debt slave of IMF and dropped already low standard of living of population almost three times. Making the Ukraine probably the poorest country in Europe where large percent of population (especially pensioners and single mothers) needs to survive of less the $2 a day. Average (note the word "average")  pension in Ukraine is about $1500 grivna which at the current exchange rate is approximately $60. It was three times higher before the Maydan color revolution which State Department so skillfully organized.

Everywhere neocons bring wars and disasters. And they impoverish the US middle class. To say nothing about desperate, completely robbed 50 or so million people with McJobs, who are liming essentially in the third world country that exists within the USA now  (Food Stamp Beneficiaries Exceed 46,000,000 for 38 Straight Months ). 

They are concerned mainly with enriching themselves and their masters from military industrial complex and bloated government bureaucracy, especially "national security parasites"). In other words they behave like the USSR nomenklatura -- a privileged, above the law class, degeneration of which eventually led to collapse of the USSR. Such a conservatives. And not unlike Party bureaucracy of the Third Reich, despite being disproportionally Jewish. 

In foreign policy they were a real, unmitigated  disaster.  Or more correctly series of disaster of varying magnitudes.

For their petty mercantile purposes (reckless jingoism is the credo of any MIC lobbyist) they successfully revived the threat of nuclear war with Russia (in the name of "US security", as MIC lobbyists understand it ;-). Moreover they moved Russia closer to China, which is no way is in the USA geopolitical interests.  Such a despicable "security parasites" (they really are the "security parasites")

Starting from Clinton administration their attitude to Russia was essentially was: be our vassal, or you have no right to exist. Which is reckless attitude to the second most powerful nuclear armed state in the world.  Even taking into account huge difficulties and huge deterioration of the Russia military capabilities after the dissolution of the USSR they were playing with fire initiating  the rearmament of Russia (which negatively affected the well-being of Russian people).  And they are enjoying every minute of their destructive actions.  Just look at glib face of Robert Kagan (the husband of Victoria Nuland, who was appointed as advisor to State Department by Hillary Clinton) during his public speeches. This man is definitely enjoying himself and his wit. 

 

For their petty mercantile purposes (recless jingoism is the credo of any MIC lobbyist) they successfully revived the threat of nuclear war with Russia (in the name of "US security", as MIC lobbyists understand it ;-). Moreover they moved Russia closer to China, which is no way is in the USA geopolitical interests.  Such a despicable "security parasites" (they really are the "security parasites")

...And they are enjoying every minute of their destructive actions.  Just look at glib face of Robert Kagan (the husband of Victoria Nuland, who was appointed as advisor to State Department by Hillary Clinton) during his public speeches. This man is definitely enjoying himself and his wit. 

An assertion that the fundamental determinant of the relationship between states rests on military power and the willingness to use it, is clearly wrong. It is a foreign policy equivalent to Al Capone idea that "You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone". It is very close to neo-Nazi idea that "War is a natural state, and peace is a utopian dream that induces softness, decadence and pacifism." The problem here is that it's the person who promotes this creed can be shot. Of course neocons are chickenhawks and prefer other people die for their misguided adventures.  Almost non of them served in Vietnam.

The idea  that disagreement about some unrealistic postulates (such as "full spectrum dominance") is tantamount to defeatism is simply silly. "Global unilateralism" promoted by neocon since dissolution of the USSR is capable to bankrupt the USA and it awakened  really powerful countervailing forces. The military alliance of Russia, China and Iran now is a distinct possibility at least in certain areas, despite all differences. Pakistan might be  the next to join this alliance.  That's more  then 1.5 billion people hostile to the USA interests. Usually when the enemy is twise the size the fight againat it became very difficult indeeed.  And EU can't be counted as a reliable  ally any longer , as it now has its own geopolitical interests, which are not fully aligned with the  USA, especially as for China, which is tremendously important market  for Germany manifacturing. 

Democracy promotion was a nice racket (via color revolutions) until probably 2008, but now way too many countries understand the mechanics of color revolutions and created mechanism to defend themselves from such attempts. bout. They failed in Russia in 2012 and in Hong Cong later.   Their last success was EuroMaydan in Ukraine which can well turn in Pyrrhic victory.

Neocon policies created the level of anti-American sentiment at Middle East unheard before,  provoked rearmament of Russia and armament of China which together represent a formidable force able to turn the USA into radioactive ash no less effectively then the USA can turn them. 

Despite disastrous results of the Neocon foreign policy neocons remain a powerful, dominant political force in Washington. In recent Presidential race neocons were represented by Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton which managed to get almost half of the votes (or steal then for Sanders, to be exact -- DNC pushed Sanders under the bus).

After the defeat they launched anti-Russian hysteria (as the way of rallying the nation around the flag and preventing loss of power of Clinton's wing of the Democratic Party) and then the color revolutions against Trump (with heavy involvement of FBI and CIA). Russiagate will remain one of the most sordid stories in the US political life, next to McCarthyism  

Neoconservatives are attempting to build an American Empire, seen as successor to the British Empire

From Wikipedia

John McGowan, professor of humanities at the University of North Carolina, states, after an extensive review of neoconservative literature and theory, that neoconservatives are attempting to build an American Empire, seen as successor to the British Empire, its goal being to perpetuate a Pax Americana. As imperialism is largely considered unacceptable by the American media, neoconservatives do not articulate their ideas and goals in a frank manner in public discourse. McGowan states,[68]

Frank neoconservatives like Robert Kaplan and Niall Ferguson recognize that they are proposing imperialism as the alternative to liberal internationalism. Yet both Ka

 
uson also understand that imperialism runs so counter to American's liberal tradition that it must... remain a foreign policy that dare not speak its name...

While Ferguson, the Brit, laments that Americans cannot just openly shoulder the white man's burden, Kaplan the American, tells us that "only through stealth and anxious foresight" can the United States continue to pursue the "imperial reality [that] already dominates our foreign policy", but must be disavowed in light of "our anti-imperial traditions, and... the fact that imperialism is delegitimized in public discourse"...

The Bush administration, justifying all of its actions by an appeal to "national security", has kept as many of those actions as it can secret and has scorned all limitations to executive power by other branches of government or international law.

Neoconservatism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In foreign policy, the neoconservatives' main concern is to prevent the development of a new rival. Defense Planning Guidance, a document prepared during 1992 by Under Secretary for Defense for Policy Paul Wolfowitz, is regarded by Distinguished Professor of the Humanities John McGowan at the University of North Carolina as the "quintessential statement of neoconservative thought". The report says:[68]
"Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power."

.... For its opponents it is a distinct political ideology that emphasizes the blending of military power with Wilsonian idealism...

Donald Rumsfeld and Victoria Nuland at the NATO-Ukraine consultations in Vilnius, Lithuania, October 24, 2005

Democracy promotion as the universal door opener

See also Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair

Neoconservative foreign policy is a descendant of so-called Wilsonian idealism. Neoconservatives endorse democracy promotion by the US and other democracies, based on the claim  that human rights belong to everyone, while killing thousand hundred people in their attempt to install puppet regimes in various countries in the globe. They practice so call liberation by killing, or "in order to free the village you need to destroy it". They hypocritically criticized the United Nations and, in the past, the  detente with the USSR not understanding the existence of the USSR, while disastrous to Russian people, were the main factor that protected the middle class in the USA from looting by financial oligarchy and prevented the US elite from self-destructive impulses, which became apparent after 1991.

Democracy promotion is allegedly derived from a belief that "freedom" (understood as the rule of neoliberal oligarchy subservant to the USA) is a universal human right and by opinion polls showing majority support for democracy in countries with authoritarian regimes. But the neocons driven "democracy promotion" provided fertile ground to the rise of Radical Islamism the most anti-democratic regime in existence. This essentially created ISIS. They also consider medieval Saudi Arabia to be the US ally and close eyes on horrible social condition of woman in this country.  Such a despicable hypocrites.

Another Neoconservative myth is that democratic regimes are less likely to start wars. The USA is perfect count-argument to that (although  the idea that it is a democratic country is open to review -- empires usually are not democracies, and not even republics). If we assume that the USA is still a republic, it is the most war-hungry and aggressive republic in the history of the world. Being  a direct successor of British empire, they actually managed to beat British in this respect, which is not easy, taking into account British record of mass murders in India, Opium wars and like.

Neocons argue that not extreme debilitating poverty, but the lack of freedoms, lack of economic opportunities, and the lack of secular general education in authoritarian regimes promotes radicalism and extremism. At the same time they promote nationalism and islamist extremists movement in Russia ("divide and conquer" strategy). In short  neoconservatives advocate democracy promotion to regions of the world with natural resources to loot, such  the Arab nations, Iran, Russia, and China.

During April 2006 Robert Kagan wrote in The Washington Post that Russia and China may be the greatest "challenge [neo]liberalism faces today":

"The main protagonists on the side of autocracy will not be the petty dictatorships of the Middle East theoretically targeted by the Bush doctrine. They will be the two great autocratic powers, China and Russia, which pose an old challenge not envisioned within the new "war on terror" paradigm. ... Their reactions to the "color revolutions" in Ukraine, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan were hostile and suspicious, and understandably so. ... Might not the successful liberalization of Ukraine, urged and supported by the Western democracies, be but the prelude to the incorporation of that nation into NATO and the European Union -- in short, the expansion of Western liberal hegemony?"[77]

During July 2008 Joe Klein wrote in TIME magazine that today's neoconservatives are more interested in confronting enemies than in cultivating friends.  In other words in foreign policy they tend to behave like a bully. He questioned the sincerity of neoconservative interest in exporting democracy and freedom, saying, "Neoconservatism in foreign policy is best described as unilateral bellicosity cloaked in the utopian rhetoric of freedom and democracy."[78]

"Neoconservatism in foreign policy is best described as unilateral bellicosity cloaked in the utopian rhetoric of freedom and democracy." ~  Joe Klein

Support of Israel as the key goal

During February 2009 Andrew Sullivan wrote that he no longer took Neoconservatism seriously because its basic tenet became the defense of Israel:[79]

The closer you examine it, the clearer it is that neoconservatism, in large part, is simply about enabling the most irredentist elements in Israel and sustaining a permanent war against anyone or any country who disagrees with the Israeli right. That's the conclusion I've been forced to these last few years. And to insist that America adopt exactly the same constant-war-as-survival that Israelis have been slowly forced into... But America is not Israel. And once that distinction is made, much of the neoconservative ideology collapses.

Neoconservatives respond to charges of merely rationalizing aid for Israel by noting that their "position on the Middle East conflict was exactly congruous with the neoconservative position on conflicts everywhere else in the world, including places where neither Jews nor Israeli interests could be found – - not to mention the fact that non-Jewish neoconservatives took the same stands on all of the issues as did their Jewish confrères."[80]

Wolfowitz Doctrine as quintessential Neoconservatism

Wolfowitz Doctrine is an unofficial name given to the initial version of the Defense Planning Guidance for the 1994–99 fiscal years (dated February 18, 1992) authored by Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Paul Wolfowitz and his deputy Scooter Libby. Not intended for public release, it was leaked to the New York Times on March 7, 1992,[1] and sparked a public controversy about U.S. foreign and defense policy. The document was widely criticized as imperialist as the document outlined a policy of unilateralism and pre-emptive military action to suppress potential threats from other nations and prevent any other nation from rising to superpower status.

Such was the outcry that the document was hastily re-written under the close supervision of U.S. Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell before being officially released on April 16, 1992. Many of its tenets re-emerged in the [2] which was described by Senator Edward M. Kennedy as "a call for 21st century American imperialism that no other nation can or should accept."[3]

Superpower status

The doctrine announces the US’s status as the world’s only remaining superpower following the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War and proclaims its main objective to be retaining that status.

Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.

This was substantially re-written in the April 16 release.

Our most fundamental goal is to deter or defeat attack from whatever source... The second goal is to strengthen and extend the system of defense arrangements that binds democratic and like-minded nations together in common defense against aggression, build habits of cooperation, avoid the renationalization of security policies, and provide security at lower costs and with lower risks for all. Our preference for a collective response to preclude threats or, if necessary, to deal with them is a key feature of our regional defense strategy. The third goal is to preclude any hostile power from dominating a region critical to our interests, and also thereby to strengthen the barriers against the re-emergence of a global threat to the interests of the U.S. and our allies.

U.S. primacy

The doctrine establishes the US’s leadership role within the new world order.

The U.S. must show the leadership necessary to establish and protect a new order that holds the promise of convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests. In non-defense areas, we must account sufficiently for the interests of the advanced industrial nations to discourage them from challenging our leadership or seeking to overturn the established political and economic order. We must maintain the mechanism for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role.

This was substantially re-written in the April 16 release.

One of the primary tasks we face today in shaping the future is carrying long standing alliances into the new era, and turning old enmities into new cooperative relationships. If we and other leading democracies continue to build a democratic security community, a much safer world is likely to emerge. If we act separately, many other problems could result.

Unilateralism

The doctrine downplays the value of international coalitions.

Like the coalition that opposed Iraqi aggression, we should expect future coalitions to be ad hoc assemblies, often not lasting beyond the crisis being confronted, and in many cases carrying only general agreement over the objectives to be accomplished. Nevertheless, the sense that the world order is ultimately backed by the U.S. will be an important stabilizing factor.

This was re-written with a change in emphasis in the April 16 release.

Certain situations like the crisis leading to the Gulf War are likely to engender ad hoc coalitions. We should plan to maximize the value of such coalitions. This may include specialized roles for our forces as well as developing cooperative practices with others.

Pre-emptive intervention

The doctrine stated the US’s right to intervene when and where it believed necessary.

While the U.S. cannot become the world's policeman, by assuming responsibility for righting every wrong, we will retain the preeminent responsibility for addressing selectively those wrongs which threaten not only our interests, but those of our allies or friends, or which could seriously unsettle international relations.

This was softened slightly in the April 16 release.

While the United States cannot become the world's policeman and assume responsibility for solving every international security problem, neither can we allow our critical interests to depend solely on international mechanisms that can be blocked by countries whose interests may be very different than our own. Where our allies interests are directly affected, we must expect them to take an appropriate share of the responsibility, and in some cases play the leading role; but we maintain the capabilities for addressing selectively those security problems that threaten our own interests.

Russian threat

The doctrine highlighted the possible threat posed by a resurgent Russia.

We continue to recognize that collectively the conventional forces of the states formerly comprising the Soviet Union retain the most military potential in all of Eurasia; and we do not dismiss the risks to stability in Europe from a nationalist backlash in Russia or efforts to reincorporate into Russia the newly independent republics of Ukraine, Belarus, and possibly others....We must, however, be mindful that democratic change in Russia is not irreversible, and that despite its current travails, Russia will remain the strongest military power in Eurasia and the only power in the world with the capability of destroying the United States.

This was removed from the April 16 release in favor of a more diplomatic approach.

The U.S. has a significant stake in promoting democratic consolidation and peaceful relations between Russia, Ukraine and the other republics of the former Soviet Union.

Middle East and Southwest Asia

The doctrine clarified the overall objectives in the Middle East and Southwest Asia.

In the Middle East and Southwest Asia, our overall objective is to remain the predominant outside power in the region and preserve U.S. and Western access to the region's oil. We also seek to deter further aggression in the region, foster regional stability, protect U.S. nationals and property, and safeguard our access to international air and seaways. As demonstrated by Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, it remains fundamentally important to prevent a hegemon or alignment of powers from dominating the region. This pertains especially to the Arabian peninsula. Therefore, we must continue to play a role through enhanced deterrence and improved cooperative security.

...

The April 16 release was more circumspect and it reaffirmed U.S. commitments to Israel as well as its Arab allies.

In the Middle East and Persian Gulf, we seek to foster regional stability, deter aggression against our friends and interests in the region, protect U.S. nationals and property, and safeguard our access to international air and seaways and to the region's oil. The United States is committed to the security of Israel and to maintaining the qualitative edge that is critical to Israel's security. Israel's confidence in its security and U.S.-Israel strategic cooperation contribute to the stability of the entire region, as demonstrated once again during the Persian Gulf War. At the same time, our assistance to our Arab friends to defend themselves against aggression also strengthens security throughout the region, including for Israel.

Neocon architects of American foreign policy are destroying American national security

Regular Americans can't even imagine the level of hate and resentment that neocon policies produce. . And those feeling became material force when they are shared by the majority of people of a particular country. In some countries it is now really uncomfortable to be an America tourist. I know the cases then American tourists in Spain pretended being from other country to avoid this resentment. But spectrum of problems neocons inflict on the USA are much wider and more dangerous. Professor Stephen Cohen recently gave a very insightful interview to  Patrick L. Smith in salon.com (Architects of American policy towards Russia and Ukraine are destroying American national security) which we will reproduce verbatim:

“Architects of American policy towards Russia and Ukraine are destroying American national security”: Stephen F. Cohen on the truths U.S. media and politicians hide

Myths of American nationalism busted as our interview with noted scholar concludes

Patrick L. Smith

If there is a lesson in Stephen F. Cohen’s professional fortunes over the past year, it is the peril of advancing a dispassionate reading of our great country’s doings abroad. Cohen’s many pieces in The Nation on the Ukraine crisis and the consequent collapse of U.S.-Russia relations now leave him in something close to a state of siege. “My problem with this begins with the fact that… I don’t have a vested interest in one of the ‘isms,’ or ideologies,” Cohen says in this, the second part of a long interview conducted last month. 

The problem lies with the ideologues infesting the waters wherein Cohen swims. Terminally poisoned by Cold War consciousness, they cannot abide disinterested thought. Cohen has been mostly scholar, partly journalist, since the 1970s. His “Sovieticus” column, launched in The Nation in the 1980s, put a magazine traditionally tilted toward domestic issues among the few American publications providing consistent analysis of Russian affairs. At this point, Cohen’s Nation essays are the bedrock scholarly work to which those (few) writing against the orthodoxy turn.

The first half of our exchange, last week on Salon, began with events during the past year and advanced toward the post-Soviet origins of the current crisis. In part two, Cohen completes his analysis of Vladimir Putin’s inheritance and explains how he came to focus his thinking on “lost alternatives”—outcomes that could have been but were not. Most surprising to me was the real but foregone prospect of reforming the Soviet system such that the suffering that ensued since its demise could have been averted.

Salon: Putin inherited a shambles, then—as he would say, “a catastrophe.”

Stephen F. Cohen: As Russia’s leader, Putin has changed over the years, especially in foreign policy but also at home. His first impulse was toward more free-market reforms, anti-progressive taxes. He enacted a 13 percent flat tax—Steve Forbes would’ve been ecstatic, right? He offers [George W.] Bush what Clinton never really offered Yeltsin: a full partnership. And what does he do? On September 11, 2001, he called George and said, Whatever you want, we’re with you. Bush says, Well, I think we’re going to have to go to war in Afghanistan. And Putin said, I can help you. We’ve got major resources and assets in Afghanistan. I even have an army over there called the Northern Alliance. I’ll give it to you! You want overflight? It’s all yours!

How many American lives did Putin save during our land war in Afghanistan? And do you know what a political price he paid in Russia for that? Because his security people were completely against it.

They were? Please explain.

Oh, yeah. You think they minded seeing America being brought to its knees? They’d been invaded so often; let America get a taste of it! But Putin assumes he’s achieved what Yeltsin couldn’t and that this benefits the Russian state. He has a real strategic partnership with America. Now, remember, he’s already worried about his radical Islamic problem because Russia has nearly 20 million Muslim citizens of its own. Russia sits in the East and in the West; it’s on the front lines.

What does Bush give him in return? He expands NATO again and he unilaterally withdraws the United States from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the bedrock of Russia’s nuclear security— it’s a complete betrayal. Is that how you repay somebody who’s helped you save the lives of your citizens? This is where the word “betrayal” begins to enter into the discourse.

It’s an important word for Putin.

It’s not only Putin; [Dmitry] Medvedev uses it, too, when he becomes president [in 2008]. America has broken its word, it’s betrayed us, it’s deceived us, and we no longer take America at its word— well, they never should’ve in the first fucking place, just as Gorbachev should have got the promise not to expand NATO in writing. We’d have done it anyway, but at least they would have had a talking point.

This trust, this naive trust on the part of Russians, that there’s something about American presidents that makes them honorable—it suggests they need a crash course in something. This was betrayal for Putin, and for the entire Russian political class, and Putin paid a price.

I’ve heard him called, among right-wing Russian intellectuals, an appeaser of the West. Soft. You can hear this today: Mariupol? Odessa? Should’ve taken them a year ago; they belong to us. What’s he thinking? Why is he discussing it? [Mariupol and Odessa are two contested cities in the southeastern region of Ukraine.]

So Putin sets his course, and then comes this famous speech he gives in 2007 in Munich, with McCain sitting in the front row. Putin says just what I told you. He says, Look, we want to be your partner; this is what we’ve wanted to be since Gorbachev. We believe in the common European home. But every time we turn to you or we negotiate with you or we think we have an agreement with you, you act like a hegemon and everybody has to do exactly what you say if they want to be on your side. 

Putin has come to tell them that America is risking a new Cold War with more than a decade of bad behavior towards post-Soviet Russia. John McCain interprets this as the declaration of a new Cold War.

But the demonization of Putin came earlier, before the Munich speech, when he began to drive a few favorite American oligarchs [oil companies] out of the country. I looked it up: No major oil-producing country permits majority foreign ownership of its oil. So there’s a long a long history of how Putin goes from a democrat for sure in the U.S. media and an aspiring partner of America to becoming the Hitler of today, as Hillary Clinton put it. You can see what a disease it’s become, this Putin-phobia….

RT just aired a documentary in which Putin explains exactly when and why he decided to move as he did in Crimea. It’s striking: The deliberations began the night President Yanukovych was ousted in the American-supported coup last year. Can you talk about Putin’s thinking on the Crimea question, leading to the annexation? 

Putin, in my judgment, did some wrong-headed things. We now know much more about Crimea, but even given what he has said, there was an argument. It wasn’t quite as clear-cut as he says it was. There was a debate with two sides.

One side said, “Take Crimea now or fight NATO there later.” The other said, “Let the referendum [on association with Russia, held in March 2014] go forward and they’re going to vote 80-plus percent to join Russia. We don’t have to act on it; they’ve just made a request and we’ll say what we think about it. Meanwhile, we see what happens in Kiev.” The Kremlin had done polling in Crimea. And it’s the best bargaining chip Putin will have. He’ll have Crimea wanting to join Russia and he can say to Washington, Well, you would like the Crimea to remain in Ukraine? Here’s what I’d like in return: an eternal ban on NATO membership and federalization of the Ukrainian constitution, because I have to give my Crimean brethren something.

But those arguing that Crimea was the biggest bargaining chip Putin was ever going to have lost. The other side prevailed.

Now, Putin took all the credit, but that’s not what really happened. They were all dependent on intelligence coming out of Kiev and Crimea and Donbass. You see now, if you watch that film, what a turning point the overthrow of Yanukovych was. Remember, the European foreign ministers—Polish, German, and French—had brokered an agreement saying that Yanukovych would form a coalition government and stay in power until December, and that was burned in the street. I’ll never forget the massive Klitschko [Vitali Klitschko, a prizefighter-turned-political oppositionist, currently Kiev’s mayor] standing on a platform at Maidan, all 6’ 8” of him, announcing this great triumph of negotiation, and some smaller guy whipping away the microphone and saying, Go fuck yourself. This thing is going to burn in the streets. The next day it did. That night you saw what an undefeated heavyweight champion looks like when he’s terror-stricken.

This is the turning point, and “It’s all due to Putin,” but it’s all due to Putin because demonization has become the pivot of the analysis.

What do we do from here to resolve the Ukraine question? You used the word “hope” when talking about the February cease-fire, Minsk II—“the last, best hope.” It tripped me up. Hope’s a virtue, but it can also be very cruel.

Anyone of any sense and good will knows that it [the solution] lies in the kind of home rule they negotiated in the U.K.—and don’t call it a federated Ukraine if that upsets Kiev. As the constitution stands, the governors of all the Ukrainian provinces are appointed by Kiev. You can’t have that in eastern Ukraine. Probably can’t even have that in Western and Central Ukraine anymore. Ukraine is fragmenting.

I want to turn this around: what is your view of America’s strategic goal? I ask in the context of your analysis, in “Failed Crusade,” of “transitionology,” as you term the paradigm wherein Russia was supposed to transition into a free-market paradise. As the book makes clear, it amounted to the elevation and protection of crooks who asset-stripped most of an entire nation. Now we don’t hear much about Russia’s “transition.” What is Washington’s ambition now?

I think the Ukrainian crisis is the greatest blow to American national security— even greater than the Iraq war in its long-term implications— for a simple reason: The road to American national security still runs through Moscow. There is not a single major regional or issue-related national security problem we can solve without the full cooperation of whoever sits in the Kremlin, period, end of story.

Name your poison: We’re talking the Middle East, we’re talking Afghanistan, we’re talking energy, we’re talking climate, we’re talking nuclear proliferation, terrorism, shooting airplanes out of the sky, we’re talking about the two terrorist brothers in Boston.

Look: I mean American national security of the kind I care about—that makes my kids and grandkids and myself safe—in an era that’s much more dangerous than the Cold War because there’s less structure, more non-state players, and more loose nuclear know-how and materials…. Security can only be partial, but that partial security depends on a full-scale American-Russian cooperation, period. We are losing Russia for American national security in Ukraine as we talk, and even if it were to end tomorrow Russia will never, for at least a generation, be as willing to cooperate with Washington on security matters as it was before this crisis began.

Therefore, the architects of the American policy towards Russia and Ukraine are destroying American national security—and therefore I am the patriot and they are the saboteurs of American security. That’s the whole story, and any sensible person who doesn’t suffer from Putin-phobia can see it plainly.

Is it too strong to say that the point is to destabilize Moscow?

What would that mean? What would it mean to destabilize the country that may have more weapons of mass destruction than does the U.S.?

Is that indeed the ambition?

I don’t think there’s any one ambition. I come back to the view that you’ve got various perspectives in discussion behind closed doors. I guess Mearsheimer [John Mearsheimer, the noted University of Chicago scholar] is right in the sense of saying that there’s a faction in Washington that is behaving exactly as a great power would behave and trying to maximize its security, but it doesn’t understand that that’s what other great powers do, too. That’s its failure. Gorbachev and Reagan, though it wasn’t originally their idea, probably agreed on the single most important thing: Security had to be mutual. That was their agreement and they built everything on that. We have a military build-up you’re going to perceive as a threat and build up, and I will perceive your build-up as a threat… and that’s the dynamic of permanent and conventional build-up, a permanent arms race. And that’s why Gorbachev and Reagan reasoned, We’re on the edge of the abyss. That’s why we are going to declare the Cold War over, which they did.

That concept of mutual security doesn’t mean only signing contracts: It means don’t undertake something you think is in your security but is going to be perceived as threatening, because it won’t prove to be in your interest. Missile defense is the classic example: We never should have undertaken any missile defense program that wasn’t in cooperation with Russia, but, instead, we undertook it as an anti-Russian operation. They knew it and we knew it and scientists at MIT knew it, but nobody cared because some group believed that you’ve got to keep Russia down.

The truth is, not everything depends on the president of the United States. Not everything, but an awful lot does, and when it comes to international affairs we haven’t really had a president who acted as an actual statesman in regard to Russia since Reagan in 1985-88. Clinton certainly didn’t; his Russia policy was clownish and ultimately detrimental to U.S. national security interests. Bush’s was reckless and lost one opportunity after another, and Obama’s is either uninformed or completely out to lunch. We have not had a statesman in the White House when it comes to Russia since Reagan, and I am utterly, totally, 1000 percent convinced that before November 2013, when we tried to impose an ultimatum on Yanukovych—and even right now, today—that a statesman in the White House could end this in 48 hours with Putin. What Putin wants in the Ukraine crisis is what we ought to want; that’s the reality.

Interesting.

What does Putin want? He’s said the same thing and he’s never varied: He wants a stable, territorial Ukraine—Crimea excepted—and he knows that’s possible only if Ukraine is free to trade with the West and with Russia but is never a member of NATO. However, somebody’s got to rebuild Ukraine, and he’s not going to take that burden on himself, but he will help finance it through discounted energy prices. It could all be done tomorrow if we had a statesman in the White House. Tomorrow! Nobody else has to die.

I think Chancellor Merkel understands this, too.

I think she’s come to, but how strong she is and whether Washington will cut her legs out from under her as they’re trying to do now… [Shortly before this interview Senator McCain delivered a blunt attack on Merkel at a security conference in Munich for opposing the supply of lethal weapons to Ukraine. The Arizona Republican was similarly critical when Merkel began to explore a diplomatic solution in Ukraine in spring 2013.]

They have very little respect for her, which is wrong.

What Lindsay Graham and McCain did in Germany, in her own country, on German national television, to her face—and the fact that she’s a woman didn’t help, either. The way they spoke to her, I can’t think of a precedent for that.

Parts of your work are very moving, and that’s not a word a lot of scholarship prompts. The enormous value the Soviet Union accreted—most Americans know nothing of this; with the media’s encouragement, we’re completely ignorant of this. There’s nothing encouraging us to understand that the hundreds of billions of misappropriated assets during the 1990s was essentially the misappropriation of Soviet wealth.

A lot of it came here, to the United States.

Can you talk about this?

I can tell you about a guy who was formerly very high up in the CIA. I called him about a something I was writing on Russian wealth smuggled through the banks into the United States, and he said, We have informed the FBI exactly where all this wealth is in the United States but we are under strict political orders to do nothing about it. Now, the interesting thing is, why now? Well, it would have badly damaged the Yeltsin regime, which the Clinton administration had unconditionally embraced, but also because that money became part of the flourishing stock and real estate markets here at that time.

Even today in Russia, when you ask people if they wish the Soviet Union hadn’t ended, you’re still getting over 60 percent, among young people, too, because they hear the stories from their parents and grandparents. It requires a separate study, but it’s not rocket science. If young kids see their grandparents dying prematurely because they’re not being paid their pensions, they’re going to resent it. When the bottom fell out of the Soviet welfare state and out of the professions, what happened in the 1990s was that the Soviet middle class— which was one of the most professional and educated, and had some savings and which therefore should have been the building block of a Russian free market sector— that middle class was wiped out, and it’s never been recreated. Instead, you got a country of impoverished people and of very, very rich people—with a small middle class serving the rich. That changed under Putin; Putin has rebuilt the middle class, gradually.

The Russian middle class isn’t the same as ours. A lot of Russia’s middle class are people who are on the federal budget: Army officers, doctors, scientists, teachers—these are all federal budget people. They’re middle class, but they don’t become middle class as autonomous property owners. A lot of my friends are members of this class, and a lot of them are very pro-Putin, but a lot of my friends are very anti-Putin, too. The thing about the Soviet Union can be summarized very simply: The Soviet Union lasted 70-plus years, so that would be less than the average life of an American male today. A person cannot jump out of his or her autobiography any more than they can jump out of their skin; it’s your life. You were born in the Soviet Union, you had your first sexual experience in the Soviet Union, you were educated, you got a career, you got married, you raised your kids: That was your life. Of course you miss it, certainly parts of it.

There were ethnic nationalities in the Soviet Union who hated it and wanted to break away, and this became a factor in 1991, but for a great many people— certainly the majority of Russians and a great many Ukrainians and Belorussians and the central Asians— it’s not surprising that 25 years later, those adults still remember the Soviet Union with affection. This is normal, and I don’t find anything bad in it. You know, Putin wasn’t actually the first to say this but he did say it and it’s brilliant and tells you who Putin is and who most Russians are. He said this: Anyone who doesn’t regret the end of the Soviet Union has no heart. Anyone who thinks you can recreate the Soviet Union has no head. That’s it, that’s exactly right!

Didn’t Putin say that the end of the Soviet Union was the 20th century’s greatest catastrophe?

It all has to do with the word “the.” There’s no “the” in Russian. Did Putin say, in translation, that the end of the Soviet Union was “the” greatest catastrophe of the 20th century? If so, there’s something wrong with that, because for Jews it was the Holocaust. Or did he say, “one of” the greatest catastrophes?

I would have guessed the latter.

All four professional translators I sent Putin’s phrase to said you have to translate it as “one of the greatest catastrophes of the 20th century.” Now, we can have a discussion. He’s taken a moderate position, but what are the others? Fair enough, but catastrophe for whom? Americans don’t think it was a catastrophe. Putin would say, “Look, 20 million Russians found themselves outside the country when the Soviet Union broke up, that was a tragedy for them, a catastrophe. Seventy or 80 percent plunged into poverty in the 1990s, lost everything. Can I put that on the list of “one of the greatest?” I would say sure, because for everybody there’s a greater catastrophe. For the Jews there’s no catastrophe greater than the Holocaust. For the Armenians, their genocide. Again, people can’t jump out of their history. A tolerant, democratic person acknowledges that. Each people and nation has its own history. I’d like to write an article about this, but I’m not going to live long enough to write all the articles or books I want to write. We say, for example, the Russians have not come to grips with and fully acknowledged the horrors of Stalinism and its victims. I would argue in this article that they have done more to acknowledge the horrors of Stalinism than we have of slavery.

Interesting.

For example, do we have a national museum of the history of slavery in the United States? They’re building a large one in Moscow to commemorate Stalin’s victims. He recently signed a decree mandating a monument in central Moscow to those victims.

In the way of being moved by some of the things you write, I’ve wanted to ask you about this for years. It has to do with the sentiments of Russians and what they wanted, their ambitions for themselves, some form of… as I read along in these passages I kept saying, “I wonder if he’s going to use the phrase ‘social democracy.’” And, sure enough, you did. These passages got me to take Rudolph Bahro [author of “The Alternative in Eastern Europe”] off the shelf. The obvious next step after East-West tension subsided was some form of social democracy. I don’t know where you want to put it. I put it between Norway and Germany somewhere. To me what happened instead is a horrific tragedy, not only for Russia but for Eastern Europe.

My problem with this begins with the fact that I’m not a communist, I’m not a socialist, a social democrat. I’d like to have enough money to be a real capitalist, but it’s a struggle. [Laughs.] I don’t have a vested interest in one of the “isms” or the ideologies, but I agree with you. I don’t know about Eastern Europe, let’s leave it aside, but look at Russia. You’d have thought that the logical outcome of the dismantling of the Stalinist Communist system, because the system was built primarily by Stalin from the 1930s on, would have been Russian social democracy and that, of course, was what Gorbachev’s mission was. Lots of books have been written, most persuasively by Archie Brown, the great British scholar, who knows Gorbachev personally, probably as well as I do, that Gorbachev came to think of himself as a European social democrat while he was still in power. That’s what his goal was. He had this close relationship with the Social Democratic prime minister of Spain, I forget his name.

Zapatero?

I don’t remember, but I remember that they did a lot of social democratic socializing and talking.

Felipe Gonzalez, I think it was.

Gonzalez, that’s right. Gorbachev was a very well-informed man and his advisors during his years in power were mostly social democrats and had been for years. Their mission had been to transform the Soviet Union. Now, remember, Lenin began as a social democrat, and the original model for Lenin had been not only Marx but the German Social Democratic Party. The Bolshevik or Communist Party was originally the Russian Social Democratic Party, which split into Bolsheviks and Mensheviks. So in a way, and I once said this to Gorbachev, historically you want to go back to Lenin before he became a Bolshevik. He said, “Well that’s kind of complicated.” Then Gorbachev said, “Everybody agrees Russia is a left-of-center country.”

The Russian people are left of center. They’re a welfare-state country. Gorbachev had this interesting conversation with Putin, when he went to tell Putin that he, Gorbachev, was going to start a social democratic party. There had been several start-ups and they never went anywhere. And Putin said that’s the right thing to do, because Russia really is a left-of-center country. So Putin said the same thing. And so Russia is, if you look at the history of Russia…

Are you talking about Russia very early, thinking about Russian givenness to community and all that?

However you put it all together, the peasant tradition, the urban tradition, the socialist tradition. Almost all the revolutionary parties were socialist. You didn’t have a Tea Party among them. This is a Russian tradition. Now, it’s obviously changed, but I would say that today, looking at the polls, most Russians overwhelmingly believe that the state has obligations that include medical care, free education, and guaranteeing everybody a job. In fact, it’s in the Russian constitution, the guarantee of a job. Most Russians feel there should not be a “free market” but a social or regulated market, that some things should be subsidized, that the government should regulate certain things, and that nobody should be too rich or too poor. For that you get 80 percent of the vote every time. So that’s a social democratic program, right? Why don’t they have it?

I ask everybody in Russia who wants a social democratic party. They exist, but not a party that can win elections? What’s the problem here? I think know, but I want to hear Russians tell me what’s right. People cite what you and I would guess. First of all, there’s the hangover from communism, which was social democratic and somewhat socialist, in some form.

Second, and this is probably the key thing, social democratic movements tended to grow out of labor movements—labor unions, historically, in England and Scandinavia and Germany. They became the political movement of the labor movement, the working class movement. So you normally get a labor movement that favors political action instead of strikes, creates a political party, you have a parliamentary system, they begin to build support in the working class, elements of the middle class join them, and you end up eventually with European social democracy.

Old Labour in Britain is a perfect example.

Well, the labor unions in Russia are a complete mess. I shouldn’t say that, but they’re complicated. The major one remains the old Soviet official one, which is in bed deeply with state employers. The independent one, or ones, haven’t been able to get enough traction. In almost every European country there were circumstances, you might say the political culture was favorable. Those objective circumstances don’t exist [in Russia]. First, you have an insecure savaged middle class that’s seen its savings confiscated or devalued repeatedly in the last 25 years. You’ve got a working class trapped between oligarchs, state interests and old industries, and private entrepreneurs who are very vulnerable. In other words, the working class itself is in transition. Its own insecurities don’t lead it to think in terms of political organizations but in terms of issues—of whether Ford Motor Company is going to fire them all tomorrow. They’re localized issues.

Then you don’t have a leadership. Leadership really matters. No one has emerged, either in the Russian parliament or in Russian political life. By the 1990s Gorbachev was past his prime and too hated for what had happened to the country. He hoped to be, when he ran for president that time [in 1996] and got 1 percent, he hoped to be the social democratic leader. There are a couple guys in Parliament who aspire to be the leader of Russian social democracy…. When I’m asked, and I’ve told this to young social democrats and to Gennady Zyuganov, whom I’ve known for 20 years, the leader of the Russian Communist Party, the only real electoral party, that Russia needs social democracy with a Russian face….

What this means is that the most important force in Russia, and people were wrong to say Putin created it, is nationalism. This began, in fact, under Stalin. It was embedded during the Brezhnev years, and it was overshadowed during perestroika in the late-1980s. Then there was an inevitable upsurge as a result of the 1990s. You cannot be a viable political candidate in Russia today unless you come to grips with nationalism.

Therefore, the best way, in my judgment, if you also want democracy, is social democracy with a Russian nationalist face. What’s interesting is the guy who was until recently the most popular opposition leader, Navalny [Alexei Navalny, the noted anti-corruption activist], who got nearly 30 per cent of the vote in the Moscow mayoral elections and then blew it by becoming again a foe of the entire system instead of building on his electoral success—he’s too nationalistic for the taste of a lot of democrats.

Truly? You wouldn’t know it from what you read.

He’s got a bad history in regards to the Caucasus people, among others. But what’s interesting in this regard is, we don’t ever speak of American nationalism. We call it patriotism. It’s weird, isn’t it? We don’t have a state, we have a government….

Every American politician who seeks the presidency in effect tries to make American nationalism the program of his or her candidacy, but they call it patriotism. They’re fully aware of the need to do this, right? So why they think Putin doesn’t have to do it, too, is completely beyond me. There’s no self-awareness.

In Russia, people had lost hope tremendously after 1991 but their hope later attached to Putin—imagine what he faced. For example, can you imagine becoming the leader of such a country and for the sake of consensus having a textbook putting together Tsarist, Soviet and post-Soviet history? Our presidents had a hard time dealing with slave and post-slave, Civil War and post-Civil War history. How do they do it? Each president did it differently, but Putin inherited this conflicting history, and the way he’s tried to patch all three together into a consensual way for Russians to view their history and to teach kids in school is very interesting. Now, of course, it’s being ruptured again with this war and with Crimea and with this new nationalism.

I’d like to change the subject. Often in the books you mention an interest in alternatives: What could’ve happened if this or that hadn’t. We just covered one, the missed opportunity for a historically logical social democratic outcome in Russia. How do you account for this tendency in your thinking?

We have formative experiences—what shaped you, at least so you think when you look back. You don’t know it at the time, you don’t know a formative experience is formative until later. You’d agree with that.

It’s only in hindsight. “Reality takes form only in memory.” Proust.

For me it was growing up in the segregated South. But the reality was valid in retrospect, because I later realized that what I was doing had been so shaped by growing up in the segregated South, the way I reacted to that and the way I learned from it later, actually, in a strange way, led me to Russia.

You suggested this in the book on gulag returnees, “The Victims Return.” I wonder if you could explain the connection. How did growing up in Kentucky [Cohen was raised in Owensboro] lead you to Russian studies, and what does it do for your analysis of the Russian situation? How does a Kentucky childhood keep you alert to alternatives?

Well, you have to remember what segregation was. I didn’t understand this as a little boy, but it was American apartheid. Owensboro, probably had fewer than  20,000 people then, including the farmers. For a kid growing up in a completely segregated county, first of all, the world you’re born into is the normal world. I had no questions about it…. I didn’t perceive the injustice of it.

And then you get older and you begin to see the injustice and you wonder, how did this happen?… At Indiana University I run into this professor who becomes my mentor, Robert C. Tucker, [Tucker, who died in 2010, was a distinguished Russianist and author of a celebrated biography of Stalin]. I’d been to Russia—accidentally, I went on a tour—and he asked, “What in Russia interests you?” And I said, “Well, I’m from Kentucky, and I’ve always wondered if there was an alternative in Kentucky’s history between being deep South and not being deep South.” And Tucker said, “You know, one of the biggest questions in Russian history is lost alternatives. Nobody ever studies them.” And I said, “Aha!”

So the title of your 2009 book, “Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives,” is in his honor?

I began to live in Russia in 1976, for two or three months a year until they took my visa away in 1982. This is when I got deeply involved in the dissident movement, smuggling manuscripts out and books back in and all these things. I begin to think, how does Russia change today? And my mind reverted to segregation and the end of segregation and the friends and foes of change…. I wrote an article called “The Friends and Foes of Change” about reformism and conservatism in the Soviet system, because I thought that it was institutions, it was culture, it was history and leaders and that you needed a conjunction of these events before you could get major change in Russia and the Soviet Union…. I published that as an article in 1976 or 1977 and I expanded it for a book I wrote, “Rethinking the Soviet Experience,” which was published in 1985, a month before Gorbachev came to power. And everybody would later say, “He foresaw Gorbachev.”

Actually I didn’t quite. What I foresaw was perestroika. For me it wasn’t about the name of the leader, but the policy such leader would enact. I got one thing wrong. Because it was so hard to make this argument in Cold War America, that the Soviet Union had a capacity for reform awaiting it, if factors came together. I didn’t think to carry the argument beyond liberalization to actual democratization. So I didn’t foresee a Gorbachev who would enact actual democratization, free voting, and dismantle the Communist Party…. But I always thought that thinking about the history of Kentucky, living through segregation, watching the change, seeing the civil rights movement, seeing the resistance to it and why helped me think more clearly about the Soviet Union under Brezhnev and about my dissident friends. And I also knew reformers in the party bureaucracy pretty well, and when we would talk at night, I never mentioned this but my mind would always kind of drift back.

The connection is not at all obvious but you explain it very well and it’s clear once you do. 

Well, sometimes people read a book that opens their eyes. I think the whole secret, particularly as you get older… Trotsky I think wrote that after some age, I think he said 39 or 45, all we do is document our prejudices. And there’s some truth to that, obviously. But one of the ways that you avoid becoming dogmatic about your own published views is to keep looking for things that challenge what you think. You try to filter them through whatever intellectual apparatus you’ve been using for, in my case, 40 years.

I thought it would be interesting to get through those sections of Kennan’s journals [“The Kennan Diaries,” 2014] that would be germane to our exchange. What struck me coming away from them was the enormous sadness and pessimism that hung over him in the later years. I wonder if you share that.

My position has always been, America doesn’t need a friend in the Kremlin. We need a national security partner. Friendships often don’t last. Partnerships based on common interests, compatible self-interests, do.

I have always known such a partnership would be difficult to achieve because there are so many differences, conflicts, and Cold War landmines. There were numerous chances to enhance the relationship—during the Nixon-Brezhnev détente period, Gorbachev and Reagan, Gorbachev and Bush, even with Putin after 9/11, when he helped [George W.] Bush in Afghanistan. But they all became lost opportunities, those after 1991 lost mainly in Washington, not Moscow.

When I speak of lost alternatives I do not mean the counter-factuals employed by novelists and some historians—the invention of “what-ifs.” I mean actual alternatives that existed politically at turning points in history, and why one road was taken and not the other. Much of my work has focused on this large question in Soviet and post-Soviet Russian history and in U.S.-Russian relations.

So you ask if I’m disappointed by the lost opportunities for an American-Russian partnership, especially in light of the terrible confrontation over Ukraine? Having struggled for such a partnership for about 40 years, yes, of course, I’m personally disappointed—and even more so by the Ukraine crisis because I think it may be fateful in the worst sense.

On the other hand, as an historian who has specialized in lost alternatives, well, now I have another to study, to put in historical context and analyze. And it’s my historical analysis—that an alternative in Ukraine was squandered primarily in Washington, not primarily in Moscow—that those who slur me don’t like.

To which I reply, Let them study history, because few of them, if any, seem ever to have done so.

Patrick Smith is the author of “Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century.” He was the International Herald Tribune’s bureau chief in Hong Kong and then Tokyo from 1985 to 1992. During this time he also wrote “Letter from Tokyo” for the New Yorker. He is the author of four previous books and has contributed frequently to the New York Times, the Nation, the Washington Quarterly, and other publications. Follow him on Twitter, @thefloutist.

More Patrick L. Smith.  

Nulandgate as an example of disastrous neocon foreign policy

While moving Ukraine closer to the West might be a worthwhile goal, but handing of this geopolitical task by the USA is a classic case of "elephant in china store". Level of incompetence, Chutzpah demonstrated by Nuland and her neocon friends in State Department is simply staggering. With the level of control of Yanukovich they demonstrated  during EuroMaydan events, including their ability simply buy some key government figures (and control of a part of Ukrainian security apparatus, inherited by Yanukovich from Yushchenko, who was a pro-Western president)  the need to violet overthrow of his government is highly questionable.

As a result, Ukrainians (like Iranian and Libyans before them) became another victim of Washington's dirty geopolitical games. And they are paying for those games with their lives,  with dramatically (to the level of starvation of pensioners; and I am not exaggerating) diminished standard of living and destroyed infrastructure, completely broken economic ties with Russia -- which was the major economic partner and major market for Ukrainian goods.

While rise of Ukrainian nationalism was given, taking into account the mere fact of independence, the forms which it took are definitely sub optional. Now they have a civil war in the South East, with all the associated cruelty and destruction. In other words "Somalization" of Ukraine proceeded after February 22, 2014 at full speed. It's very easy to destroy a civil order in a fragile country, but it will take decades to repair the damage and bring citizens back to their previous level of well-being and security.

Victoria Nuland will probably enter the history as a person who instigated the start of civil war in Ukraine. Generally Ukraine proved to be another colossal failure of the USA foreign policy: they tried to hit Russia, but got closer alliance of Russia and China. And like elephant in China store they hit Ukraine first, breaking country into peaces,  destroying the economy in the process. And what West needed is a new market for manufacturing, not a new hot spot. Not another failed country that now needs to be financed and maintained by Western loans which have little chance to be repaid.  Actually the role of Germany and personally Angela Merkel in all this mess is pretty negative too, although Germans definitely can't match the level of Chitzpah of their transatlantic masters.

Important factor contributing to the failures of the US foreign policy in recent years is the decrease of the intellectual potential of the "foreign policy establishment". To see the trend it's enough to compare Kissinger or Brzezinski, with the current Secretary Kerry and Victoria Nuland. The result is the degradation of quality of the USA foreign policy, which now creates a lot of unnecessary anger and indignation in large part of Europe and Asia. Even when goals of the USA are not that imperialistic per se. 

Unlike McFaul who got Ph.D, Nuland has just BA from Brown University (1983) where she studied Russian literature, political science, and history. She never served in Russian or even any Eastern European embassy. Her major previous position were  U.S. ambassador to NATO and State Department spokeswoman. Both positions required very little diplomacy and destructive influence of being the State Department spokeswoman (which is the propagandist, not a diplomat) were clearly detrimental to her current role.  Especially, her previous position as the US ambassador to NATO which essentially conditions a person to view Russia only via hairlines. And she lacks real, native diplomatic skills which the following dialogs clearly attests:

The start of this trend toward the intellectual degradation probably has began with the collapse of the USSR. At that time, the USA elite suddenly became the actual "master of the world", which does not need to be engaged in maneuvers in international politics, but can simply to impose their will through various levers of political and economic coercion, and, if necessary, by military operations. So the USA became a bully.

The first robin of this degradation was "not so bright" Madeleine (not so bright) Albright -- an interesting example if not a female sociopath, then a pretty much borderline personality. Those personalities do not care about building lasting fundament of international relations based on UN (which was created as an effort for preventing the repeat of WWII), they were hell bent on destroying this framework to provide the USA maximum political and economic advantages in the unipolar world. As such they all work toward WWIII ( Jen, July 13, 2014 at 6:11 pm ):

Since when Madeleine Albright (she who uttered the notorious line “What’s the point of having this superb military that you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?” to Colin Powell) was US State Secretary, the US State Department has more or less acted as a rogue element within the US government. Not that this particular gallery of rogues has been the only one with a mind of its own. The US Treasury is dominated by Goldman Sachs management, some of whose people have investments and links with arms companies and thus clear conflicts of interest. Plus US economic and foreign policies have been dictated by University of Chicago alumni who worship Friedrich Hayek / Milton Friedman free market economics and Leo Strauss’s faux-Platonian Republic political philosophy in which a ruling elite tells lies to its subjects to keep them all under control.

Nuland can also can be viewed as example of a related trend: the trend for the appointment to senior posts in the State Department people on the criteria of loyalty to a particular clan of the political elite to the detriment of the interests of the state as a whole. This trend started under Reagan and which got in full force under Bush II and continued under Barack Obama administration. Victoria Nuland was a member of Cheney's Cabal of Zealots:

'Cabal' of Zealots - Wilkerson calls Cheney’s inner group a “cabal” of arrogant, intensely zealous, highly focused loyalists. Recalling Cheney’s staff interacting in a variety of interagency meetings and committees, “The staff that the vice president sent out made sure that those [committees] didn’t key anything up that wasn’t what the vice president wanted,” says Wilkerson.

“Their style was simply to sit and listen, and take notes. And if things looked like they were going to go speedily to a decision that they knew that the vice president wasn’t going to like, generally they would, at the end of the meeting, in great bureaucratic style, they’d say: ‘We totally disagree. Meeting’s over.’” The committee agendas were generally scuttled.

And if something did get written up as a “decision memo” bound for the Oval Office, Cheney himself would ensure that it died before ever reaching fruition.”

It does not help that Nuland is married to Washington Post columnist and neoconservative historian Robert Kagan, who helped sell the case for the Iraq War, advised both Mitt Romney and John McCain’s presidential campaigns, and co-founded the Project for a New American Century think tank with Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol. His credentials as neocon chickenhawk in the conservative foreign policy establishment are unimpeachable. Obama has spoken fondly of some of Kagan’s work as well.

And it does not help that her previous job was State Department spokesmen, the job which definitely further  radicalized her into right-wing neocon zealot. And would negatively effect the political views of  even more moderate person then Nuland was at the moment of her appointment.  Now she is definitely far tot he right from her husband Robert Kagan, who along with Wolfowitz is a leading US neocon:

Nuland is married to Washington Post columnist and neoconservative historian Robert Kagan, who helped sell the case for the Iraq War, advised both Mitt Romney and John McCain’s presidential campaigns, and co-founded the Project for a New American Century think tank with Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol. Obama has spoken fondly of some of Kagan’s work as well, but his credentials in the conservative foreign policy establishment are unimpeachable.

"Republicans are good at wielding power, but they're not so wonderful when it comes to the more idealistic motives of liberal internationalism. The Democrats are better at liberal internationalism, but they're not so good at wielding power. I would say that if there were a Joe Lieberman/John McCain party, I'm in the Joe Lieberman/John McCain party."

- Robert Kagan

Leading antiwar blogger Marcy Wheeler called her a “former Cheney hack.” In both Bush and Obama State Departments when such people commit errors, some of which had all the signs of intentional crimes, they are swiped under the carpet. This has created favorable conditions for creation of the situation when real national interests and the security of the USA were sacrificed to the private interests of individual corporations and oligarchic clans, which enriched themselves using "sacred" neoliberal principle: " profits to private corporations, expenses to the state."

This reduction of the intellectual potential of the American elite contributed to gradual replacement of real experts in the higher echelons of power with incompetents who are sometimes called "effective managers" - people with close, often family connection to powerful clans (such as neoconservatives) and who after obtaining particular position try to advance interests of those clans on international arena. Occupying senior positions, such "effective managers" select the relevant employees. Both Hillary Clinton and Victoria Nuland can be viewed as examples of this trend.

Foreign policy became yet another area in which, in best traditions of neoliberalism, the objective interests of the United States as a state are sacrificed to the interests of private corporations. for example by driving the United States into military conflicts, in result of which the country suffers tremendous losses -- both material and image-related -- and only certain corporations reap huge profits (Iraq). There are similar signs of the same intellectual degradation in other areas, for example development of new types of military hardware based on unproven technologies. Which gives zero results but still generating huge profits for military-industrial complex.

This intellectual degradation strengthen Messianic elements in the USA foreign policy, the confidence that only the USA should solely determine all the elements of the new world order in all countries. And for this trend EuroMaidan in general and Victoria Nuland in particular is a textbook example.

See more in "Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place

Instead of conclusions: Neocons are the War Party

Justin Raimondo aptly described neocons as the war party:

Such phrases as "the War Party" (yes, capitalized like that), and casual mention of "the neocons" – language pretty much confined to this site, until relatively recently – are now commonplace. The anti-interventionist lexicon is defining the terms of the debate, and I think Antiwar.com can take much of the credit.

All during the period leading up to the Kosovo war – and long after – we warned of the danger posed by the neoconservatives, and their doctrine of "benevolent global hegemony," as Bill Kristol, their Lenin, put it in 1996. In my first column, dated February 26, 1999, I wrote:

"Well-funded and well-connected, the War Party is such a varied and complex phenomenon that a detailed description of its activities, and its vast system of interlocking directorates and special interests, both foreign and domestic, would fill the pages of a good-sized book. The alternative is to break down the story, and serve up its constituent parts in brief glimpses, portraits of individuals and organizations that lobbied hard for this war and its bloody prosecution."

Except that the war I was referring to was the Kosovo war, those words might easily have been written today. The face of the enemy is unchanged: what's changed is that it is increasingly recognized, and resented. That is what we have been doing, here at www.antiwar.com: revealing, with every link and article, the many faces of the War Party – in all its aspects, and from a wide variety of viewpoints.

Our eclecticism has been the focus of criticism by some: David Frum, the ex-White House speechwriter turned neocon enforcer of political correctness, recently took us to task for running links to pieces by John Pilger, Noam Chomsky, Gore Vidal, Alexander Cockburn, and other demons of the right-wing imagination. It is typical of Commissar Frum that he would misunderstand the whole purpose of linking in this way: the very concept of the internet, with its constant cross-referencing interconnectivity, is utterly alien to the party-lining neocon mentality.

Another problem for the neocons is that it's much harder to smear someone on the internet than it is on paper, without showing up the smearer as a liar. In criticizing the views of an opponent, one is obliged to come up with a link – so that readers can see for themselves if the criticism is fair. The artful use of ellipses no longer works, because the entire context of a statement is readily available. Of course, one always can do what Commissar Frum did in his National Review screed against antiwar libertarians and conservatives, and not provide any links to the targets of abuse. But that isn't very convincing. Indeed, it is highly suspicious: no wonder many conservatives are now rising up against the self-appointed arbiters of political correctness on the Right. The neocon campaign to smear conservative opponents of the Iraq war as "anti-American" has backfired badly – and we at Antiwar.com take a special pride in knowing that this site had a lot to do with that.

We have, from the beginning, cultivated anti-interventionist sentiment on the Right, not only among libertarians – who already accept it as a defining principle of their ideology – but also among conservatives. The idea that we cannot be a republic and an empire is finally beginning to dawn on the advocates of limited government -–as they see the national security state swallowing up the last of our freedoms. Big Brother reads our email and tracks our every move, while Big Government just keeps on getting bigger.

Conservatives are catching on, and, while Antiwar.com alone can't take credit for this, what we can take credit for is amplifying and popularizing anti-interventionist views on the right, injecting them into the national debate.

Over the years Antiwar.com has presented a wide range of opinion, from left to right and all points in between, yet we have always been pretty up-front about our own ideological predilections. We are libertarians: we stand for the free market, and we don't take the view that American culture and American capitalism are the repositories of all that is wrong with the world. We reserve that role for governments –notably, and especially lately, the U.S. federal government.

We support the antiwar movement, yet we are not uncritical: far from it. We have tried to promote some sense of self-awareness, and of responsibility, while doing our best to correct what we view as the mistakes and misconceptions that are rife in antiwar circles. You may not always agree with our analysis – of tactics, or of general principles – but it is hard to contend that we haven't consistently tried to broaden and deepen the anti-interventionist current, in America and internationally.

Looking back on where we've been, I am filled with pride – and a sense of optimism. Looking ahead, however, to the prospect of future wars, I can feel only a gathering sense of dread.

My friend Pat Buchanan has recently posed the question: "Is the Neoconservative Moment Over?" He makes the case that the worst may already be behind us:

"The salad days of the neoconservatives, which began with the president's Axis-of-Evil address in January 2002 and lasted until the fall of Baghdad may be coming to an end. Indeed, it is likely the neoconservatives will never again enjoy the celebrity and cachet in which they reveled in their romp to war on Iraq.

"…the high tide of neoconservatism may have passed because the high tide of American empire may have passed. 'World War IV,' the empire project, the great cause of the neocons, seems to have been suspended by the President of the United States."

It's a nice thought, but I don't believe it for a moment. Not when the same propaganda campaign once directed at Iraq is now being launched against Iran; not when leading politicians declare that U.S. troops may have to go after Hamas – and certainly not as long as the President of the United States reserves the "right" to carry out a policy of "regime change" as a means of preemptive "defense."

The empire project may or may not be temporarily suspended: perhaps stalled is the right word. We can be sure, however, that the War Party isn't going away. As long as they're around, and more active than ever, Antiwar.com is a necessity. But our continued existence is by no means assured.

Unlike the interventionists, who lavish billions – much of it taxpayer dollars – on their permanent propaganda campaign, Antiwar.com doesn't have access to unlimited funding. Arrayed against us is the whole complex of neocon think tanks, newspaper chains, radio networks and special interests that keep the arteries of the media clogged with a constant stream of warmongering disinformation and outright fabrications. We have no Rupert Murdoch, no "merchants of death," and no government subsidies to fill our coffers. We depend on you, our readers, for the support we need to survive.

... ... ...


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The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." ... "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.

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

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

Reality-based community - Wikipedia

[Apr 22, 2019] Brzezinski s Warning to America by Mike Whitney

Notable quotes:
"... What most people don't realize about Brzezinski, is that he dramatically changed his views on global hegemony a few years after he published his 1997 masterpiece The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperative. In his 2012 book, Strategic Vision, Brzezinski recommended a more thoughtful and cooperative approach that would ease America's unavoidable transition (decline?) without creating a power vacuum that could lead to global chaos. ..."
"... Haass's critique illustrates the level of denial among elites who are now gripped by fear of an uncertain future. ..."
"... Confrontation will only accelerate the pace of US decline and the final collapse of the liberal world order. ..."
"... "The liberal world order, which lasted from the end of World War 2 until today" Thanks for the laugh. It was over with the passing of the 1947 National Security Act. ..."
"... It is not a coincidence that this anti-Russian climate of hatred started back when Putin showed up the left's president, Barack Obama, over Libya. ..."
"... political globalists who wanted a liberal world order but didn't think about the economic side of things much and so let their economic policy be decided by the central banking mafia ..."
"... You should think more about US being aced. Syria was a masterstroke, but so was Ukraine, and not for Russia. Russia lost an extremely valuable ally and a trully brother nation, maybe forever. Ukraine, in the grand scheme of things, is a huge defeat for Russia. ..."
"... You definitely missed last 25 years of Russian-Ukrainian relations. You also, evidently, have very vague understanding of the Ukrainian inner dynamics. I am not sure we can speak of "brother nation" because Ukraine as political nation (and she did form as such by early 2000s) can not be "brother nation" to Russia by definition. In fact, being anti-Russia is the only natural state of Ukrainian political nation ..."
"... As it turned out, Russia is doing just fine without Ukraine. In a long run, if what is called Ukraine today decides to commit suicide by the cop, she sure can try to place US military bases East of Dniepr and we will observe a rather peculiar case of fireworks. ..."
"... It would have been a total catastrophe for Russia had she lost Sebastopol; but so long as Crimea is safely in Moscow's hands, Ukraine is not make-or-break. Russia's global position now, in fact, is even stronger than it was in 2014. ..."
"... Western corporations have been competing with each other (for decades now) to offshore everything to reduce costs /increase profits. The idea is to sell at Western prices and produce at Eastern prices, and this arbitrage has reached crazy proportions. ..."
"... Jews also hate nationalism since it threatens their (minority) power and highlights dual loyalty (or no loyalty) so the Zio-Glob are on one side, and the public on the other, with little common ground between them. ..."
"... At least Brzezinski became well aware of this shift. So many of America's neo-conservatives have largely failed in expressing this defeat. Between Brzezinski and Boot, & the Others, they've all turned out to be fanatic ideologues. ..."
Apr 22, 2019 | www.unz.com

The liberal world order, which lasted from the end of World War 2 until today, is rapidly collapsing. The center of gravity is shifting from west to east where China and India are experiencing explosive growth and where a revitalized Russia has restored its former stature as a credible global superpower. These developments, coupled with America's imperial overreach and chronic economic stagnation, have severely hampered US ability to shape events or to successfully pursue its own strategic objectives. As Washington's grip on global affairs continues to loosen and more countries reject the western development model, the current order will progressively weaken clearing the way for a multipolar world badly in need of a new security architecture. Western elites, who are unable to accept this new dynamic, continue to issue frenzied statements expressing their fear of a future in which the United States no longer dictates global policy.

At the 2019 Munich Security Conference, Chairman Wolfgang Ischinger, underscored many of these same themes. Here's an excerpt from his presentation:

"The whole liberal world order appears to be falling apart – nothing is as it once was Not only do war and violence play a more prominent role again: a new great power confrontation looms at the horizon. In contrast to the early 1990s, liberal democracy and the principle of open markets are no longer uncontested .

In this international environment, the risk of an inter-state war between great and middle powers has clearly increased .What we had been observing in many places around the world was a dramatic increase in brinkmanship, that is, highly risky actions on the abyss – the abyss of war .

No matter where you look, there are countless conflicts and crises the core pieces of the international order are breaking apart, without it being clear whether anyone can pick them up – or even wants to. ("Who will pick up the pieces?", Munich Security Conference )

Ischinger is not alone in his desperation nor are his feelings limited to elites and intellectuals. By now, most people are familiar with the demonstrations that have rocked Paris, the political cage-match that is tearing apart England (Brexit), the rise of anti-immigrant right-wing groups that have sprung up across Europe, and the surprising rejection of the front-runner candidate in the 2016 presidential elections in the US. Everywhere the establishment and their neoliberal policies are being rejected by the masses of working people who have only recently begun to wreak havoc on a system that has ignored them for more than 30 years. Trump's public approval ratings have improved, not because he has "drained the swamp" as he promised, but because he is still seen as a Washington outsider despised by the political class, the foreign policy establishment and the media. His credibility rests on the fact that he is hated by the coalition of elites who working people now regard as their sworn enemy.

The president of the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations, Richard Haass, summed up his views on the "weakening of the liberal world order" in an article that appeared on the CFR's website. Here's what he said:

"Attempts to build global frameworks are failing. Protectionism is on the rise; the latest round of global trade talks never came to fruition. .At the same time, great power rivalry is returning

There are several reasons why all this is happening, and why now. The rise of populism is in part a response to stagnating incomes and job loss, owing mostly to new technologies but widely attributed to imports and immigrants. Nationalism is a tool increasingly used by leaders to bolster their authority, especially amid difficult economic and political conditions .

But the weakening of the liberal world order is due, more than anything else, to the changed attitude of the U.S. Under President Donald Trump, the US decided against joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership and to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. It has threatened to leave the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Iran nuclear deal. It has unilaterally introduced steel and aluminum tariffs, relying on a justification (national security) that others could use, in the process placing the world at risk of a trade war .America First" and the liberal world order seem incompatible." ("Liberal World Order, R.I.P.", Richard Haass, CFR )

What Haass is saying is that the cure for globalisation is more globalization, that the greatest threat to the liberal world order is preventing the behemoth corporations from getting more of what they want; more self-aggrandizing trade agreements, more offshoring of businesses, more outsourcing of jobs, more labor arbitrage, and more privatization of public assets and critical resources. Trade liberalization is not liberalization, it does not strengthen democracy or create an environment where human rights, civil liberties and the rule of law are respected. It's a policy that focuses almost-exclusively on the free movement of capital in order to enrich wealthy shareholders and fatten the bottom line. The sporadic uprisings around the world– Brexit, yellow vests, emergent right wing groups– can all trace their roots back to these one-sided, corporate-friendly trade deals that have precipitated the steady slide in living standards, the shrinking of incomes, and the curtailing of crucial benefits for the great mass of working people across the US and Europe. President Trump is not responsible for the outbreak of populism and social unrest, he is merely an expression of the peoples rage. Trump's presidential triumph was a clear rejection of the thoroughly-rigged elitist system that continues to transfer the bulk of the nation's wealth to tiniest layer of people at the top.

Haass's critique illustrates the level of denial among elites who are now gripped by fear of an uncertain future.

As we noted earlier, the center of gravity has shifted from west to east, which is the one incontrovertible fact that cannot be denied. Washington's brief unipolar moment –following the breakup of the Soviet Union in December, 1991 -- has already passed and new centers of industrial and financial power are gaining pace and gradually overtaking the US in areas that are vital to America's primacy. This rapidly changing economic environment is accompanied by widespread social discontent, seething class-based resentment, and ever-more radical forms of political expression. The liberal order is collapsing, not because the values espoused in the 60s and 70s have lost their appeal, but because inequality is widening, the political system has become unresponsive to the demands of the people, and because US can no longer arbitrarily impose its will on the world.

Globalization has fueled the rise of populism, it has helped to exacerbate ethnic and racial tensions, and it is largely responsible for the hollowing out of America's industrial core. Haass's antidote would only throw more gas on the fire and hasten the day when liberals and conservatives form into rival camps and join in a bloody battle to the end. Someone has to stop the madness before the country descends into a second Civil War.

What Haass fails to discuss, is Washington's perverse reliance on force to preserve the liberal world order, after all, it's not like the US assumed its current dominant role by merely competing more effectively in global markets. Oh, no. Behind the silk glove lies the iron fist, which has been used in over 50 regime change operations since the end of WW2. The US has over 800 military bases scattered across the planet and has laid to waste one country after the other in successive interventions, invasions and occupations for as long as anyone can remember. This penchant for violence has been sharply criticized by other members of the United Nations, but only Russia has had the courage to openly oppose Washington where it really counts, on the battlefield.

Russia is presently engaged in military operations that have either prevented Washington from achieving its strategic objectives (like Ukraine) or rolled back Washington's proxy-war in Syria. Naturally, liberal elites like Haass feel threatened by these developments since they are accustomed to a situation in which 'the world is their oyster'. But, alas, oysters have been removed from the menu, and the United States is going to have to make the adjustment or risk a third world war.

What Russian President Vladimir Putin objects to, is Washington's unilateralism, the cavalier breaking of international law to pursue its own imperial ambitions. Ironically, Putin has become the greatest defender of the international system and, in particular, the United Nations which is a point he drove home in his presentation at the 70th session of the UN General Assembly in New York on September 28, 2015, just two days before Russian warplanes began their bombing missions in Syria. Here's part of what he said:

"The United Nations is unique in terms of legitimacy, representation and universality .We consider any attempt to undermine the legitimacy of the United Nations as extremely dangerous. It may result in the collapse of the entire architecture of international relations, leaving no rules except the rule of force. The world will be dominated by selfishness rather than collective effort, by dictate rather than equality and liberty, and instead of truly sovereign nations we will have colonies controlled from outside."(Russian President Vladimir Putin at the 70th session of the UN General Assembly )

Putin's speech, followed by the launching of the Russian operation in Syria, was a clear warning to the foreign policy establishment that they would no longer be allowed to topple governments and destroy countries with impunity. Just as Putin was willing to put Russian military personnel at risk in Syria, so too, he will probably put them at risk in Venezuela, Lebanon, Ukraine and other locations where they might be needed. And while Russia does not have anywhere near the raw power of the US military, Putin seems to be saying that he will put his troops in the line of fire to defend international law and the sovereignty of nations. Here's Putin again:

"We all know that after the end of the Cold War the world was left with one center of dominance, and those who found themselves at the top of the pyramid were tempted to think that, since they are so powerful and exceptional, they know best what needs to be done and thus they don't need to reckon with the UN, which, instead of rubber-stamping the decisions they need, often stands in their way .

We should all remember the lessons of the past. For example, we remember examples from our Soviet past, when the Soviet Union exported social experiments, pushing for changes in other countries for ideological reasons, and this often led to tragic consequences and caused degradation instead of progress.

It seems, however, that instead of learning from other people's mistakes, some prefer to repeat them and continue to export revolutions, only now these are "democratic" revolutions. Just look at the situation in the Middle East and Northern Africa already mentioned by the previous speaker. Instead of bringing about reforms, aggressive intervention indiscriminately destroyed government institutions and the local way of life. Instead of democracy and progress, there is now violence, poverty, social disasters and total disregard for human rights, including even the right to life.

I'm urged to ask those who created this situation: do you at least realize now what you've done?" (Russian President Vladimir Putin at the 70th session of the UN General Assembly)

Here Putin openly challenges the concept of a 'liberal world order' which in fact is a sobriquet used to conceal Washington's relentless plundering of the planet. There's nothing liberal about toppling regimes and plunging millions of people into anarchy, poverty and desperation. Putin is simply trying to communicate to US leaders that the world is changing, that nations in Asia are gaining strength and momentum, and that Washington will have to abandon the idea that any constraint on its behavior is a threat to its national security interests.

Former national security advisor to Jimmy Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski, appears to agree on this point and suggests that the US begin to rethink its approach to foreign policy now that the world has fundamentally changed and other countries are demanding a bigger place at the table.

What most people don't realize about Brzezinski, is that he dramatically changed his views on global hegemony a few years after he published his 1997 masterpiece The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperative. In his 2012 book, Strategic Vision, Brzezinski recommended a more thoughtful and cooperative approach that would ease America's unavoidable transition (decline?) without creating a power vacuum that could lead to global chaos. Here's a short excerpt from an article

he wrote in 2016 for the American Interest titled "Toward a Global Realignment":

"The fact is that there has never been a truly "dominant" global power until the emergence of America on the world scene .That era is now ending .As its era of global dominance ends, the United States needs to take the lead in realigning the global power architecture .The United States is still the world's politically, economically, and militarily most powerful entity but, given complex geopolitical shifts in regional balances, it is no longer the globally imperial power.

America can only be effective in dealing with the current Middle Eastern violence if it forges a coalition that involves, in varying degrees, also Russia and China .

A constructive U.S. policy must be patiently guided by a long-range vision. It must seek outcomes that promote the gradual realization in Russia that its only place as an influential world power is ultimately within Europe. China's increasing role in the Middle East should reflect the reciprocal American and Chinese realization that a growing U.S.-PRC partnership in coping with the Middle Eastern crisis is an historically significant test of their ability to shape and enhance together wider global stability.

The alternative to a constructive vision, and especially the quest for a one-sided militarily and ideologically imposed outcome, can only result in prolonged and self-destructive futility.

Since the next twenty years may well be the last phase of the more traditional and familiar political alignments with which we have grown comfortable, the response needs to be shaped now . And that accommodation has to be based on a strategic vision that recognizes the urgent need for a new geopolitical framework." ("Toward a Global Realignment", Zbigniew Brzezinski, The American Interest )

This strikes me as a particularly well-reasoned and insightful article. It shows that Brzezinski understood that the world had changed, that power had shifted eastward, and that the only path forward for America was cooperation, accommodation, integration and partnership. Tragically, there is no base of support for these ideas on Capital Hill, the White House or among the U.S. foreign policy establishment. The entire political class and their allies in the media unanimously support a policy of belligerence, confrontation and war. The United States will not prevail in a confrontation with Russia and China any more than it will be able to turn back the clock to the post war era when America, the Superpower, reigned supreme. Confrontation will only accelerate the pace of US decline and the final collapse of the liberal world order.


Walt , says: April 13, 2019 at 11:22 pm GMT

Zbig has fially admitted that America needs to become friends with Russia. We can not handle the world alone,but with Russia we would have 90% of the worlds nuclear weapons and vast geopolitical ifluence. Americans do hot have anything against Russia. It is the neocon cabal that is fostering conflict . Thet just can not get over the fact that they tried and failed to take control of Russia. They are trying to do so to the u.S.A.
Walt , says: April 13, 2019 at 11:24 pm GMT
Zbig is right. We need to be friends with Russia , not enemies.
China girl , says: April 14, 2019 at 2:30 am GMT
"2. Russia should become the real leader of the new process. (It has already become it but not yet aware of the fact.) The West and Israel need a strategic alliance with the Muslim world more than anything else, and this alliance is possible only through Russia. Only Russia in an alliance with the Muslim world can keep China in check without conflicts, helping it find its new place in the world as another super-power.

3. Leaders of Russia, America, Israel, Europe, Iran, India, and international financial capitals must initiate a dialogue over leaving this crisis behind and preventing events like those which swept America on September 11.

A time of change is upon us, and it's futile to wish we were living in some other era. We have to change ourselves and change the world "

Novaya Gazeta
No. 75
October 2001
THE THIRD FORCE OF WORLD WAR III

[MORE]

"THE AMERICANS DON'T REALIZE IT YET, BUT CHINA HAS WRITTEN ITS OWN SCRIPT FOR SQUEEZING THE UNITED STATES OFF THE WORLD STAGE. CHINA SUPPORTS ACTIONS OF THE WEST AIMED AT MUTUALLY ASSURED DESTRUCTION OF RUSSIA AND THE MUSLIM WORLD. THE WEST, RUSSIA, ISRAEL, AND THE MUSLIM WORLD MUST WORK TOGETHER.

THE WESTERN SCRIPT

[ ]

"Using techniques of manipulating public opinion, the West is trying to establish the illusion of a global forces with the fascist- like ideology of Wahhabi fundamentalism. As far as the West is concerned, Wahhabi and Islam are the same thing. It is because of this that the essential terrorism of Wahhabi ideas is being formulated so simply for public consumption: all Muslims are terrorists by nature.

The preliminary objective of brainwashing (Islam is the basis of terrorism) is thus achieved. "

"This script becomes possible when we assume that some Western elites and secret services made a kind of covert pact with this still-unknown Player."

THE CHINESE SCRIPT

[ ]

" Throw a great deal of dollars into the market all at once, and the dollar will crash. A conflict with Taiwan may follow. It will be a conflict waged with American money, with American weapons, investment, and high technology. Add the nuclear factor here. Suffice it to recall the recent scandal when Chinese intelligence obtained all major nuclear secrets of the United States. "

Author: Viktor Minin
[from WPS Monitoring Agency, http://www.wps.ru/e_index.html%5D

http://www.russialist.org/archives/5497-14.php

MarkinLA , says: April 14, 2019 at 3:24 am GMT
What most people don't realize about Brzezinski, is that he dramatically changed his views on global hegemony a few years after he published his 1997 masterpiece The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperative. In his 2012 book, Strategic Vision, Brzezinski recommended a more thoughtful and cooperative approach that would ease America's unavoidable transition (decline?) without creating a power vacuum that could lead to global chaos.

So somebody put forth a deluded crack-pot idea that got great traction and made a lot of people very rich and powerful who want to stay that way, but the originator now says he was wrong and we should change. Yeah, those rich and powerful people just have to agree to give up some of that. How likely is that without a major catastrophe forcing them, given what we know about human nature?

Maybe the lesson is to have realistic ideas about foreign policy and relations in the future. Did anybody seriously believe countries with long histories like Russia and China were always going to be happy playing second fiddle to the US?

Andrei Martyanov , says: Website April 14, 2019 at 6:08 am GMT

Haass's critique illustrates the level of denial among elites who are now gripped by fear of an uncertain future.

True, but their problem is compounded with their fear which is anchored in the past, whose real history blows all current, being discredited as I type this, narratives out of the water. This, plus most of them, Haas and CFR included, do not operate with actual facts and data.

anon [423] Disclaimer , says: April 14, 2019 at 12:45 pm GMT
"The West and Israel need a strategic alliance with the Muslim world"

Unfortunately, this is probably not entirely feasible considering the United States's inappropriately close relationship to Israel and the American government's radical stance of forcing LGBTQ issues; as San Jose proves, these people aren't simply going to leave you alone, but rather they will make you conform under threat. Probably what will happen in the future is a Japan-EU-Russia alliance that makes peace with the Middle East and contains the Chinese military as much as possible.

The US could very well find itself cut out at some point. It has already proved itself both reckless and incompetent with its handling of Iran, Israel, and Venezuela. Also, I suspect that neither ordinary EU citizens nor Asians will want to be ruled over by a group of POC racists who discriminate against Europeans, Asian males, and traditional families.

I think the rest of the world should begin considering alternate defense arrangements. The US cannot afford to defend their interests forever with an aging, shrinking white Caucasian population and a growing, less capable and less conscientious replacement population less willing to die in imperial wars. Increasingly, the US will be less capable of defending others in the Pacific from China as it Affirmative Actions its air force; Obama was trying to do that throughout the whole of the American military and accomplished his objective by lowering standards. I think this process should continue in the future with disastrous results.

In the future, Asia will try to make peace with China before they get too strong and China will reciprocate with generous territorial concessions in exchange for neutrality. For example, the Chinese may relinquish territorial claims in the Philippines in exchange for a treaty stating that the Philippines will not base the American military or buy weapons from them, but they would be allowed to buy weapons from third parties such as the Russians. A series of moves like this might dramatically weaken the American position in the region, allowing China to jumpskip to Africa and the Middle East more effectively. Perhaps a similar deal will be worked out with Taiwan: autonomy and a peace treaty in exchange for no weapon purchases or defense arrangements with the US, but Taiwan could still buy Russian weapons.

"Zbig has fially admitted that America needs to become friends with Russia."

As Karlin has noted, I don't see this happening in the near future, not with the insane levels of anti-Russian hate coming from the American left, some of which is just pure racial hatred of whites projected onto Russians.

bro3886 , says: April 14, 2019 at 1:08 pm GMT
All this is irrelevant in the long run. America will be a third-world country in 50 years or less. Imagine a government filled with AOCs, Omars, and Bookers, with a constituency that matches. Brazil of the North isn't going to be a superpower. We can look on that as a silver lining.
Republic , says: April 14, 2019 at 1:35 pm GMT

The United States will not prevail in a confrontation with Russia and China any more than it will be able to turn back the clock to the post war era when America, the Superpower, reigned supreme. Confrontation will only accelerate the pace of US decline and the final collapse of the liberal world order.

Very dangerous times are ahead. A declining superpower in late empire mode may make risky decisions. I wonder if America will have a Suez event in the upcoming decade? The 1956 Suez crisis heralded the rise of a new superpower and the eclipse of another one.

dearieme , says: April 14, 2019 at 1:37 pm GMT
@anon some of which is just pure racial hatred of whites projected onto Russians

That hadn't occurred to me. But can it be true?

Bill Jones , says: April 14, 2019 at 1:53 pm GMT
"The liberal world order, which lasted from the end of World War 2 until today" Thanks for the laugh. It was over with the passing of the 1947 National Security Act.
Bill Jones , says: April 14, 2019 at 1:57 pm GMT
@Walt I don't know how fucked up you have to be to use "We" to refer to the murderous US State but you should seek competent professional psychiatric assistance, Soon.
anon [275] Disclaimer , says: April 14, 2019 at 3:42 pm GMT
"That hadn't occurred to me. But can it be true?"

The attitudes and political beliefs of your average Russian are very similar to many Red State conservatives, as has been noted on this webzine at least once in recent memory (and with an accompanying political map with similarities noted between American Blue and Red States compared with Russia). The American left projects its racist hate onto the Russians in response to those similarities.

It is not a coincidence that this anti-Russian climate of hatred started back when Putin showed up the left's president, Barack Obama, over Libya.

That also explains the left's hypocrisy on war: their tribe's racial leader, Obama, wanted war in Libya, so war is now good; Russia opposed it and later prevented war in Syria (which Obama wanted), so the Russians are now the bad guys. It's purely a matter of tribal affiliation and racial hate on the part of the American left.

Andrei Martyanov , says: Website April 14, 2019 at 4:21 pm GMT
@Republic

I wonder if America will have a Suez event in the upcoming decade?

She already had it and one is unfolding right this moment. For an empire of this size and influence, granted declining dramatically, it takes a sequence of events. "Suez Moment" for Britain happened during WW II, the actual Suez crisis was merely a nominal conclusion to British Empire dying in WW II.

Anon [332] Disclaimer , says: April 14, 2019 at 4:51 pm GMT
""Suez Moment" for Britain happened during WW II, the actual Suez crisis was merely a nominal conclusion to British Empire dying in WW II."

True. Syria might have been the American Suez Moment. We'll see in the coming years if we get a crisis that lays it all bare.

Andrei Martyanov , says: Website April 14, 2019 at 5:22 pm GMT
@Anon

We'll see in the coming years if we get a crisis that lays it all bare.

Ongoing real Revolution in Military Affairs and US losing conventional (and nuclear) arms race is what unfolds right now. Realistically, Putin's March 1, 2018 Speech to Federal Assembly was also one of these moments -- as I said, the process is protracted and at each of its phases US geopolitical cards have been aced and trumped, NO pun intended.

notanon , says: April 14, 2019 at 6:04 pm GMT
when i read these people i get the impression there are two camps:

1) political globalists who wanted a liberal world order but didn't think about the economic side of things much and so let their economic policy be decided by the central banking mafia

and

2) The central banking mafia who understood globalization was simply their criminal looting of the West backed up by a big military who could be rented out from a corrupted political class.

it seems the first group still don't understand that it was the banking mafia's neoliberal economics
– currency debasement
– usury
– cheap labor
that destroyed their dream.

the same three things have been destroying civilizations for 3000 years.

notanon , says: April 14, 2019 at 6:12 pm GMT

The West and Israel need a strategic alliance with the Muslim world more than anything else, and this alliance is possible only through Russia.

i think this is short-sighted. The global north needs to combine to contain the global south or the central banking mafia will eventually use them to destroy the north's genetic advantages and all our descendants will end up as 85 IQ slave-cattle.

Priss Factor , [AKA "Asagirian"] says: Website April 14, 2019 at 8:37 pm GMT
The liberal world order, which lasted from the end of World War 2 until today, is rapidly collapsing.

Really? Where? US is still in Middle East and now threatens war with Iran. Venezuela is on the brink. Japan and EU are the ever loyal dogs of the US. If they've been upset with Trump, it's not because he wants to exert more influence but less.

Republic , says: April 14, 2019 at 10:48 pm GMT
@Andrei Martyanov

the actual Suez crisis was merely a nominal conclusion to British Empire dying in WW II

The Atlantic charter signed aboard the HMS Prince of Wales, in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland on August 14, 1941 by FDR and Churchill was probably the moment when the old British empire traded places with the new global power, the United States. So you are correct in your analysis.

hgw , says: April 14, 2019 at 10:50 pm GMT
@MarkinLA This is not really about history, it is about power. Many of the US allies have much longer histories, but that does not help them in the power department. China and Russia have enough power to stand only on their own two feet.
hgw , says: April 14, 2019 at 10:54 pm GMT
@Andrei Martyanov You should think more about US being aced. Syria was a masterstroke, but so was Ukraine, and not for Russia. Russia lost an extremely valuable ally and a trully brother nation, maybe forever. Ukraine, in the grand scheme of things, is a huge defeat for Russia.
Anon [341] Disclaimer , says: April 14, 2019 at 11:13 pm GMT

The West and Israel need a strategic alliance with the Muslim world more than anything else, and this alliance is possible only through Russia.

Sberbank calls on UAE businesses to invest in Russia, offers help

"According to the statement, the Gulf countries' total capital available for investment is estimated at more than $3.2 trillion but only "a small part" of capital earmarked for investing in Russia has actually gone into Russia-based projects."

"The Russian visitors set out Sberbank's technology strategy and described achievements by the Moscow-based lender in artificial intelligence development.

They also "pointed out interest in Islamic finance", the statement said."

http://emergingmarkets.me/sberbank-calls-on-uae-businesses-to-invest-in-russia-offers-help/

Andrei Martyanov , says: Website April 15, 2019 at 12:00 am GMT
@hgw

Ukraine, in the grand scheme of things, is a huge defeat for Russia.

You definitely missed last 25 years of Russian-Ukrainian relations. You also, evidently, have very vague understanding of the Ukrainian inner dynamics. I am not sure we can speak of "brother nation" because Ukraine as political nation (and she did form as such by early 2000s) can not be "brother nation" to Russia by definition. In fact, being anti-Russia is the only natural state of Ukrainian political nation.

There is another twist to all this–these are Russians now, who do not want to deal with Ukraine in any of her manifestations and, to rub the salt into the wound, Zbig was delusional when thought that denying Ukraine to Russia would spell the end of Russian "imperialism". As it turned out, Russia is doing just fine without Ukraine. In a long run, if what is called Ukraine today decides to commit suicide by the cop, she sure can try to place US military bases East of Dniepr and we will observe a rather peculiar case of fireworks.

Andrei Martyanov , says: Website April 15, 2019 at 12:11 am GMT
@Republic

The Atlantic charter signed aboard the HMS Prince of Wales,in Placentia Bay,Newfoundland on August 14, 1941 by FDR and Churchill was probably the moment when the old British empire traded places with the new global power, the United States.

This happened in 1941 at secret ABC (America-Britain-Canada) consultations where Lord Halifax was trying to recruit American resources for defense of Britain's imperial interests. US "politely" declined. Big Three became Big Two and a Half at 1943 Tehran Conference at which Stalin was very specific that USSR wanted American as a head of Overlord.

All this pursuant to a strategic scandal between US and British Empire at Casablanca where General Stanley Embick of Marshall's OPD accused Britain in his memorandum of avoiding fighting main Nazi forces due to Britain's imperial interests. Churchill knew the significance of Tehran and suffered non-stop bouts of jealousy and suspicion towards FDR and Stalin.

I am sure Sir Winston knew that FDR wanted to meet Stalin without him. Stalin refused to do so without Churchill. As per "global power"–sure, except for one teeny-weeny fact (or rather facts), since WW II "global power" didn't win a single war against even more-or-less determined enemy.

Digital Samizdat , says: April 15, 2019 at 11:16 am GMT
@hgw

Ukraine, in the grand scheme of things, is a huge defeat for Russia.

It would have been a total catastrophe for Russia had she lost Sebastopol; but so long as Crimea is safely in Moscow's hands, Ukraine is not make-or-break. Russia's global position now, in fact, is even stronger than it was in 2014.

neutral , says: April 15, 2019 at 12:22 pm GMT
@bro3886

Brazil of the North

It will be much worse than Brazil, Brazil managed to cover up the reality that whites dominate politics and the economy (although there is a new push to copy the American affirmative action ideology). In America whites will not be able to do what is happening in Brazil, all politics will be non white dominated, likewise the woke corporate blue haired brigade will ensure that non whites dominate all companies, no exceptions allowed. The end result of this is predictable, Americans will be wishing they were like Brazil.

neutral , says: April 15, 2019 at 1:31 pm GMT
@Republic No it was earlier, it was when it decided to declare war on the Third Reich. It decided that Poland was more important than keeping its empire.
Miro23 , says: April 15, 2019 at 2:07 pm GMT

Globalization has fueled the rise of populism, it has helped to exacerbate ethnic and racial tensions, and it is largely responsible for the hollowing out of America's industrial core.

Western corporations have been competing with each other (for decades now) to offshore everything to reduce costs /increase profits. The idea is to sell at Western prices and produce at Eastern prices, and this arbitrage has reached crazy proportions.

The US has in fact exported whole industrial sectors (with the jobs and innovation). Same in Europe with a company such as Decathlon (Europe's Nº1 sport goods supplier) entirely sourcing its products outside Europe.

Conclusion that if globalization fails, then so do these companies, and they have a massive incentive buy political protection from Western governments – which they are doing. Nationalism and America First are anathema to them and they have (amazingly) managed to built globalization and open frontiers into the ethos of the EU and US – with all the self-serving multicultural Save the World blah.

Jews also hate nationalism since it threatens their (minority) power and highlights dual loyalty (or no loyalty) so the Zio-Glob are on one side, and the public on the other, with little common ground between them.

This doesn't mean that it's impossible to stop outsourcing. If it happened, then Decathlon would either go bankrupt or have to switch production to Rumania or Portugal = higher prices, but at least the money would stay in Europe. Same with the other industries, and the first step has to be to cut down the power of the EU bureaucracy and Washington.

notanon , says: April 15, 2019 at 6:39 pm GMT
@neutral the banking mafia wanted war cos Hitler closed down the German branch of the central bank.

the rest was puppetry.

Willie , says: Website April 18, 2019 at 12:22 am GMT
Just prepare fort the impending surge in Totalitarian methods to halt the inevitable in the USA.
The rest of the world is not our playground.
Good luck.
Alfred , says: April 20, 2019 at 5:42 am GMT
@Andrei Martyanov Haas and CFR included, do not operate with actual facts and data.

Absolutely correct. Without an honest media, it is impossible to make good decisions.

Those Zionists who control the media in the West are deluding themselves. They will be the biggest losers when ordinary people finally wake up to the fact that they have been lied to for over 100 years – WW1, WW2, Palestine, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Ukraine, Russia, Crimea, MH-17, Skripals, Iraq, Iran, Venezuela, Syria, 9/11 and many other instances.

Oristayne , says: April 20, 2019 at 6:36 am GMT
This is a phenomenal article. What an incredibly written piece; much respect to you Mike Whitney.
Ma Laoshi , says: April 20, 2019 at 7:20 am GMT
Not so fast. OK, so maybe Zbig had some second thoughts about the whole project in 2012. But didn't the same Zbig opine in 2015, at the start of Russia's Syria intervention, that the US should strike hard and fast before the Russkies managed to complete their buildup there? To me that sounded rather much like an unprovoked attack on Russian troops, who were legally in Syria at the invitation of its internationally recognized government.

Bottom line, for all of his far-too-long career Mr. Brzezinski has been exactly what one would expect from the spiritual father of al-Qaeda: a vile and reckless individual. Anyone looking that way for salvation needs some time out for reflection.

Iris , says: April 20, 2019 at 10:58 am GMT

This strikes me as a particularly well-reasoned and insightful article. It shows that Brzezinski understood that the world had changed, that power had shifted eastward,

This is an excellent article, which addresses the key historic driver of our time. By 2015, world GDP had already passed the threshold where the GDP share of the West had become lesser than the share of the Rest.

The major share of global wealth shifting towards Asia is an ineluctable historic re-alignment; it is a natural return to the long-term historic balance pre-Industrial Revolution.

Western politicians ' problem is that they don't want to "break the news" to their people that Western standards of living are going to degrade ineluctably over the coming years , because that would expose their incompetence, as well as highlight the need to address wealth inequality in the West .

It is easier instead to the blame the disenfranchised, pauperised citizens voting for Trump, Brexit, and other "extreme" political parties.

Ahuehuete , says: April 20, 2019 at 4:37 pm GMT
@bro3886 When you think about it, the USA is going to become the next South Africa.
Zbig , says: April 20, 2019 at 10:48 pm GMT
Zbig was, and still is, even tho' he is dead now. He was the original zio-neocon illuminist satantic globalist elite.
Rubby2 , says: April 21, 2019 at 3:24 am GMT
@Walt

At least Brzezinski became well aware of this shift. So many of America's neo-conservatives have largely failed in expressing this defeat. Between Brzezinski and Boot, & the Others, they've all turned out to be fanatic ideologues.

Endgame Napoleon , says: April 21, 2019 at 11:48 pm GMT
@notanon Ralph Nader used to say the big issue is money in politics -- the money that "Congress Critters" use to get their government jobs at $174k. To get one of those government jobs, you don't have to understand something as complex as the banking system, which is made more opaque by the globalist neoliberals who want to maintain the Cheap Labor Lobby's beloved status quo.

You don't have to be Nomi Prins, someone who actually worked on Wall Street and knows its nooks and crannies, to get a Congress Critter job. You just have to be the right kind of pander bear with the right kind of faux outrage at selective moments.

The other problem is that -- like most of us in the general public -- Congress Critters have to rely on people in the financial system to navigate the terrain. It's a math-heavy field. Politicians have apparently always done this. They have created more than one era with too-big-to-fail institutions. That is what one of Prins' books describes.

But it does not matter whether it's bankers or the manufacturers, employing welfare-assisted illegal aliens or foreign nationals on foreign soil. And it does not matter that Congress Critters occasionally put the bigwigs on the hot seat as a PR stunt. They aren't going to do anything to actually change policy unless the corporate masters who fund their campaigns give them the go ahead. And they don't really even understand why.

[MORE]

If you think Congress Critters understand the global banking system, you should watch the banking committee hearing on C-SPAN, where they grilled the Treasury Secretary, dressing him down like he was a $10-per-hour call center worker. It makes for good theater.

Just like at a call center, the humiliation parade had nothing to do with the details of the work or getting anything done other than convincing voters that a bunch of fabulously wealthy legislators (every one) with a 212-day work year really care, especially about predatory factors in the financial system that supposedly affect only oppressed skin-pigmentation factions, located in their districts.

You vicariously enjoy rebellious facial expressions that you could never exhibit during a frequently absentee mom manager's tirades for fear of being fired from a churn job that does not cover the cost of rent that has risen by 72% over 25 years, even when you add any paltry commission for taking the trouble to always meeting your numbers. But that will be the extent of it. It is for show.

My favorite part was Empire-related; it involved the Rep. from Guam, a Congress Critter from one of US's far-flung territories. His mild and precise disposition made a strong contrast with the Chairwoman's fiery ambiguity. Since his questions were math-related and about specific budgetary matters, the Treasury Secretary seemed more frazzled than when he was receiving the emotional Sermon from the gavel-happy chairwoman.

Guam Rep asked the Treasury Secretary about a massive transference of funds from the budget, affecting things like the territory's education budget, trying to clarify whether the Earned Income Tax Credit was actually a "liability."

The language of most of our legislators reflects how bought off they are by the Cheap Labor Lobby. Which is why this Rep from Guam's straight-forward language was so refreshing.

By design, the "Child" "Tax" "Credit" and the Earned Income Tax Credit sound like things that would not subtract from the overall budget to me, too, but this is not money going to people who paid too much income tax. This is money that is credited back to people who make too little to pay income tax.

The moms often call it their "taxes," when explaining to you what they plan to spend it on. It is not education, Rep. from Guam. It is stuff like trips to the beach with a boyfriend and tattoos. That's doable for many low-wage mom workers since their major monthly bills are covered by government.

I enjoyed the Treasury Secretary's facial expressions at this point as well. It appeared to be two math types who didn't really thrive on the process of figuring out how to spin this fiscal irresponsibility, squirming in their chairs and / or looking kind of aghast at the absurdity of the situation.

It would have been nice if the Rep from Guam had been honest enough to narrow that down even more, explaining that the small amount of EITC money going to non-womb-productive, non-welfare-eligible citizens who mostly don't bother to claim such a paltry sum is the not the big issue.

It is the Refundable Child Tax Credit up to $6,431, not so much the smaller maximum EITC of up to $451. It is the big check, given as an additional reward to single-breadwinner, womb-productive households that also often receive free EBT food, reduced-cost rent, monthly cash assistance and free electricity when the single breadwinner works part-time, keeping her income under the earned-income limits for the programs.

He mentioned that Guam has a lot of poor workers like that, but so does the mainland. It is one of the big reasons for the impending collapse: undremployment of prime-aged citizens.

If it is due to technology, it is just because employers of office workers now mostly need data entry people since advanced software does most of the mid-level analytical work. And employers love to hire a near-100% womb-productive "diversity"of childbearing-aged moms with spousal income, rent-covering child support or welfare and refundable child tax credit cash who do not need decent pay or full-time hours. "It would mess them up with the government," as one all-mom employer put it.

Employers benefit from a welfare-fueled workforce that does not need higher pay. The Cheap Labor Lobby benefits. Congress Critters at $174k benefit via fat campaign war chests, but the many welfare-ineligible job seekers who need for pay alone to cover all household bills are screwed royally in this rigged system.

It is also screwing the SS Trust Fund that is no longer running surpluses and a lot of other things.

Guam Rep asked the Treasury Secretary if he was responsible and, specifically, what could he done to help restore fiscal order. Of course, the Treasury Secretary isn't responsible for the mid-allocation of funds. Pandering Congress Critters are. They have the "power of the purse" per US Constitution. The Treasury Sec. just tries to balance the books.

But it was nice that at least one of them showed some non-theatrical concern for finding out which of the six-figure Critters is responsible. He sounded like he wanted constructive action to stop the Neoliberal House of Cards from just putting more structurally unsound cards on the deck.

Good luck with that

[Apr 21, 2019] As a journalist, I find it quite amazing that there's no question raised with Pelosi, with Schumer, with any of the leading Democrats. What is going on? You attack Trump for everything. How come you don't attack him for giving Netanyahu a blank check to do what he wants?

Apr 21, 2019 | www.truthdig.com

So, you have a very odd circumstance where we have a lot of discussion about Russia's influence here. They have got nothing. They have sanctions, nothing. As a journalist, I find it quite amazing that there's no question raised with Pelosi, with Schumer, with any of the leading Democrats. What is going on? You attack Trump for everything. How come you don't attack him for giving Netanyahu a blank check to do what he wants? It must be frustrating to an observer like yourself, no?

[Apr 21, 2019] The US Deserves Its Own Nuremberg Trials

Mar 23, 2019 | www.truthdig.com

Gordon begins her comparison by exploring the main charge levied against Nazis during the Nuremberg trials, which was committing a crime against peace due to Germany's breach of the 1928 Kellogg-Briand Pact, which, she explains, "essentially outlawed war." American prosecutors in the mid-20th century insisted that this initial crime was the unlawful act from which all other crimes committed by the Nazis originated.

"By comparison," the author tells Scheer, "I look at the Bush-Cheney administration's decision to make an unnecessary and illegal war, both in Afghanistan and especially in Iraq.

"It's very clear from the documentary record that exists that the main reason people were being tortured [by the U.S. before the Iraq War began] was because they wanted to get somebody somewhere to say that Saddam Hussein was in league with al-Qaida, so that there could be an excuse for invading Iraq," Gordon says.

Throughout the so-called war on terror, the ethics expert says, the U.S. has also violated several rules set forth in just-war theory, including what constitutes collateral damage and proportionality, in its slaughter of countless Iraqi civilians.

"We took what had been one of the most vibrant, developed and cosmopolitan countries in that part of the world -- which was Iraq -- and we essentially did what [U.S. military officials] used to say they wanted to do to North Vietnam: bombed it back to the Stone Age," Gordon says.

Listen to Scheer and Gordon discuss a range of moral issues that Americans for several generations have swept under the rug as the government both openly and secretly commits crimes in their name abroad. You can also read a transcript of the interview below the media player.

Robert Scheer: Hi, this is Robert Scheer with another edition of Scheer Intelligence. The intelligence comes from my guests. In this case, it's Rebecca Gordon. And she has her doctorate in ethics and social theory. I teach ethics at USC; you teach at the University of San Francisco, which is a Catholic school, so presumably with all their difficulties they're still concerned about ethics. And actually we have a good pope, in major ways, who's dealing with the subject I want to talk to you about: the ethics of war making, and the violence that has been unleashed on the world. And you wrote two very important books, maybe the most important in some ways. One is called Mainstreaming Torture, and another is called American Nuremberg. So the question I want to ask you, you know, because we've always treated the crimes of others, particularly the Germans, the worst crimes of modern history, as an aberration in the development of the human race. Those people went berserk, crazy, and they were evil; now we have another category, Muslims are evil, they do terrible things. We're recording this on a day where in New Zealand, some 48 people trying to practice their religion were killed. So we see a lot of crime against Muslims, as there was obviously a lot of crimes against Jews and other people. And in your writing, you're very clear that the crimes of Nuremberg, of the Nazis, are a low level of evil. But the real question is, the Germans are so much like Americans. They were–largest number of immigrants in this country were Germans; they're a white, Anglo-Saxon population; they're highly educated, probably the highest level of music and science at that point. And can it happen here?

Rebecca Gordon: And that, of course, is the question many of us have been asking at least since the election of 2016, and probably before that. And the answer in some ways, of course, is that it did happen here with the invasion of the Americas by people from Europe, and the destruction of all the peoples who were living here at the time. So there has been a genocide on this continent and in South America that, you know, we just forget about, because it happened a while ago. But coming to Nuremberg, what I was trying to do in the book is to say how important the principle was that was established at Nuremberg, which is that international law is real law. And when you break international law, there are genuine consequences, and people can and should be held accountable. So what I looked at was the conduct of this so-called War on Terror in the post-September 11th period, and asked: Could the United States be accused of the same categories of crimes for which the Nazi leadership were held accountable? And there were three categories that were established by the prosecution, and these were crimes against peace; ordinary war crimes, which had already been well described in the body of international law; and a new category, crimes against humanity, which was created in order to take in the enormity of what had been done in Europe by the Nazis. But what was very interesting is that it was Americans who insisted that the first of these crimes should be crimes against peace. So what's that? That means making an aggressive war. It means starting a war that was not a war of self-defense, that was not a war of so-called necessity, but making an aggressive war. Why was that illegal? It was illegal because Germany and the United States and many other countries in Europe had signed a treaty in 1928 called the Kellogg–Briand Treaty, which essentially outlawed war. It said that nations will not use war to settle their disputes. And the argument that the U.S. prosecutors made was that all the other crimes that the Germans committed actually sprang from this first crime of making this aggressive, unnecessary, illegal war. And so by comparison, I look at the Bush-Cheney administration's decision to make an unnecessary and illegal war, both in Afghanistan and especially in Iraq. And just as the Nazi crimes arose from this making of a war that was wrong and illegal, the U.S. crimes–and specifically now because my area of expertise is torture, I look at the reasons why the United States became involved in torture. And in the beginning, it's very clear from the documentary record that exists, that the main reason people were being tortured, both in the CIA dark sites and also at Guantanamo under the Department of Defense, was because they wanted to get somebody somewhere to say that Saddam Hussein was in league with Al-Qaeda, so that there could be an excuse for invading Iraq. And so the other crimes–

RS: But wait, let's be very clear about that. This would be like the Nazis saying, Jewish bankers destroyed our economy and colluded with Western powers, and therefore made life untenable in Germany. That was the vicious scapegoating argument to justify Nazi expansion and destruction of other societies. So this thing of whether Bush–you know, it's kind of become part of folklore–they lied us into the war in Iraq. But what you're saying, and very clearly, the very idea of going to war in Iraq over the 9/11 incident, which not only did Saddam Hussein have–

RG: Nothing to do with.

RS: –nothing to do with, but actually he was opposed to Al-Qaeda, and it was the one country where Al-Qaeda could not operate in, was Iraq. But instead of going to war with Pakistan, or going to war, you know, elsewhere–no. We–

RG: Or Saudi Arabia.

RS: Well, of course, Saudi Arabia, where 15 of the 19 hijackers–

RG: Came from.

RS: –came from. You could actually make an argument to go into–hey, you attacked us, you supplied the money and so forth. No, we whitewashed the Saudi Arabia thing and went to war with Iraq. So your analogy, listeners should understand, is very precise. It is inventing an excuse, a defensive excuse, to engage an offensive invasion.

RG: Exactly. And from that spring all of these other kinds of crimes. So then I look at ordinary war crimes, and if you go over the Geneva Conventions and the various other laws of war, you can see that there are a number of categories of crimes. Many of them have to do with failing to make the distinction between civilians and fighters, combatants. And of course the Bush-Cheney administration very early on decided to create a third, nonexistent category called unlawful combatants. But this designation doesn't exist in the International Red Cross's understanding; it doesn't exist in the Geneva Convention's. It was just a convenient way of saying this particular group of people, whoever it is that we choose to capture, detain forever, torture–they have no legal standing in the world. They exist outside of international law.

RS: So let me pick up on that also. And I don't want to lose the earlier thread of the invention of war, and connecting with this incredibly important work you've done on torture. And you made the statement, which I think people should ponder: the reason we were torturing these people was not to get information about a future attack. We already had Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and everything, we knew everything about it, and so forth. The real reason for it was to invent an alibi for the invasion, to get somebody to say Saddam Hussein was backing them. And I think that's a very important–a reason, by the way, to read your book, Mainstreaming Torture ; let me give a plug here. But this other argument is also interesting, the whole idea of the noncombatant. And we are doing this interview at a time when Chelsea Manning, formerly Bradley Manning, is in prison–

RG: Yes.

RS: –again, because they want to fabricate a story about WikiLeaks and all that, and get everybody off the hook for all of the crimes and torture and everything they've done. But the interesting thing is, if you look at what did WikiLeaks–and they were just like in the position of the Washington Post with the Pentagon Papers, they're the publisher–what did Chelsea Manning reveal? She revealed the death of noncombatants, including journalists. So why don't you develop that a little bit, because that is so critical to the moment, that no one–no one has been prosecuted for those attacks that she revealed with the data. But she is now sitting in prison.

RG: And this is, of course–the fate of whistleblowers all over the world, and certainly in this country, is exactly that. That the matters that they have revealed disappear in a story that becomes about the crimes of the revealer. And of course in the war in Iraq, there was tremendous amounts of civilian death. And it falls into a number of categories; one category is those people who had actually been detained and were being held by U.S. forces. And for example at Abu Ghraib, we know–which is the prison outside of Baghdad that had been Saddam Hussein's major torture site, and which the U.S. decided in its wisdom would be the perfect place to hold detainees, and where we know a group of reservists ended up torturing people. But the real torture was going on upstairs, by the employees of various C.I.A. contractors, and by the C.I.A. itself. And that's where people actually died. So there's that whole category of people, but that's a much smaller category than the category of ordinary civilians whose lives were either ended or destroyed by the regular U.S. use of warfare in places like Fallujah and other cities. So that we took what had been one of the most vibrant, developed, and cosmopolitan countries in that part of the world–which was Iraq–and we essentially did what they used to say they wanted to do to North Vietnam, bombed it back to the Stone Age. And so in just war theory, there are these rules about discriminating between combatants and noncombatants, and you are permitted a certain number of civilian deaths as long as they are side effects of your attempt to go after some legitimate military target. And this is called collateral damage; it's, collateral means on the side, right? But in fact, in Iraq, we don't know because there are many different counts, but anywhere between 500,000 and a million people have died in the U.S. invasion and occupation in Iraq. And when you lay that against the 3,000 people who died on September 11th, none of whom were killed by anyone even from Iraq, you also see that we have violated another rule of just war theory, which is proportionality. We have destroyed human life out of all proportion.

RS: And let me just–you know, it's so difficult to grapple with these questions. And you are teaching at one of the major Catholic universities here.

RG: It's a Jesuit university, and that's a little different. And these are the left-wing Jesuits.

RS: I'm not putting down your school. [Laughter] Hey, I teach ethics at the University of Southern California–

RG: Enough said.

RS: –and clearly, yes, we are ethically challenged at this moment. I was about to actually celebrate the pope in this regard. And so there is a certain necessity for being consistent in the application of these principles, or they mean nothing.

RG: Exactly.

RS: And I think that's the body of your life's work, to remind us of that. So in a sense, you are at a good place where you're teaching. I'm just wondering, how is this disregarded so widely? I mean, people make a big deal about don't kill the unborn child. You know, I could see arguments about that. But if that's the beginning of a consistent, pro-life position, yes, it makes certain sense. If it's the end of a pro-life position, and then you end welfare and you don't care what happens to the baby and so forth, you're into a deep immorality. And it seems to me you're at a very interesting place. Because for better or worse, this pope seems to be the only one able to challenge, let's call it U.S. imperialism or imperial ventures, on a moral basis.

RG: I think that's right. He certainly is doing a better job of that than either of his last two predecessors.

RS: Or the major–

RG: Other major, yeah. No, I think that's right. And I think, you know, it's interesting that at USF, we have Reserve Officers' Training Corps. We have people who are training to be second lieutenants when they leave university in the U.S. Army. And I have had students tell me, I had a student from Guam who told me, you know, Professor Gordon, I know that when they send me to basic training, they're going to try to take me apart and change me from being a person into being a soldier. And I just want you to know that I'm not going to let them do that to me. He said, but you know, ROTC was my ticket off the island, and I have a duty now to follow through with my promise. And I just, my heart broke for him. Because what they do to you in basic training is actually a slightly lighter version of what they do when they train torturers. Everyone who becomes a torturer–and people don't just torture on a whim; people are trained to be torturers. And part of that training involves being brutalized first yourself, and having survived that ordeal, you emerge with this sense of yourself as an elite person who therefore has the right, as a superior being, and now the skills, to turn around and abuse and torture people who come along behind you. And the U.S. has its own methods of training, and its own locations where this happens.

RS: [omission for station break] I'm back after our break with Professor and Doctor Rebecca Gordon. And we were just talking about how we train people to be torturers. And this is fascinating, because if you don't consider this question, that you're getting basically good people to do horrible things, you're missing the whole point. But I just want to say something about the good German. Because the basic appeal of Hitler was the solid–you know, he was going to make Germany great again. And this is, I'm not demonizing Germans here, but Donald Trump's father was obviously familiar with this in his lineage, in that tradition. And the whole appeal, even though this dictator Hitler was this funny-looking guy, hardly the Aryan model–was to a notion of order. And even in the concentration camps, keeping direct bookkeeping of how many teeth you pulled and gold you found in the teeth, and so forth. But it's not–manners. They had the manners. And what bothers me about the very simplistic Trumpwashing that we're going through now, that Trump is uniquely evil–it's all about manners. He's crude, he's boorish, he's a misogynist, he says these things, he does these things, he grabs people's private parts, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. That's not his crime. His crime is he's continuing a tradition of bombing people who we have no right to bomb. And so I want to push this a little bit more, the whole question of manners. Because what Nuremberg did is unmask the manners. And this was also true in the Eichmann trial that Hannah Arendt talked about, when she talked about the banality of evil. Evil can be masked by manners. Smile while you learn to kill, right?

RG: That's exactly right. And I especially know, when you talk about the meticulous records that they kept, this is a hallmark of torture regimes all over the world. This very careful record-keeping, this documentation of the work that's been done–because there's no shame about the work. The process of becoming a torturer includes developing a sense of yourself as doing something uniquely courageous, uniquely necessary, a unique sacrifice that you as the torturer, more in sorrow than in anger, are being forced to do by the tremendous evil that confronts you. And so you're absolutely right that especially among upper-class liberals in the United States, the objection to Trump is his manner, and his manner is crude and obnoxious, as you say. But what he's really doing is not only continuing to kill people, and in fact increasing the number of drone strikes, for example, over the already great number that the Obama administration–

RS: A man of impeccable manners. Barack Obama. I even feel that way about Bill Clinton. When Bill Clinton's on television, I smile. I like him. He's warm, he's encouraging. And then I forget, he's the guy that ended the welfare system, for example. Yes.

RG: Exactly. Exactly right. And you know, Trump is now with his, I don't know if you've taken a look at his so-called budget, but he's planning to take away our Medicare and Medicaid, just in case you might have wanted to have healthcare. Obviously, that's dead on arrival. But nonetheless, the point is that he is masking what he is actually doing by distracting us with this bombastic display. And in fact, one of his officials in the EPA actually recently said exactly that, that they've been able to make all these regulatory changes because every time it looks as though the press is going to notice, Trump fires off a tweet, and everybody's like, ooh, shiny!

RS: This is a really important point. Because if you look at the Nuremberg Trial or you look at the Eichmann trial, these people all hid behind manners. They were well spoken, they were well educated, and they were following a Charlie Chaplinesque figure, a ludicrous figure; Hitler was certainly a, yes, he was a more ludicrous figure than Trump, in terms of manners and style and everything. But his popularity was largely based on being a sort of comic figure, in a way. He inspired a whole nation of logical, scientific, well-educated–probably the best-educated population in the world. And so I've had this experience, I've talked to people in the business community and they say well, you know, but Trump is good for business. And we did have a mess before, and then look at what's happened to unemployment, and so forth and so on. And so we are really at the limit of manners as a guide. And that's really what Nuremberg is about. Nuremberg was unmasking manners. Now, we didn't continue after that; we had the brief Eichmann trial. But what we didn't really ever do in this country–and this is why I want people to listen or to read your book, better to read it, although listening is great–we never really took apart the Nazi experience. Because we wanted the ex-Nazis and other Germans to be our allies in the Cold War. So we have never had that investigation of how an incredibly well-educated, Christian, law-and-order nation goes into madness.

RG: Not only that, we never did what the next step was supposed to be, which is establish a venue in which U.S. war crimes could also be examined in World War II. And there were a number of people who developed the Nuremberg principles, and worked on the original trial, who really honestly believed that this would be the prelude to establishing an international court for trying offenses committed during war, and expected that the United States would in fact be held accountable, not only for the firebombing of German cities, but for the destruction of up to 60 Japanese cities which were constructed of wood and paper and reduced to ashes, in a campaign that really very few people in this country even know about. Although Robert McNamara actually describes it in that excellent documentary–

RS: The Fog of War , yeah.

RG: -- The Fog of War.

RS: And it's excellent because you see that McNamara was involved in designing the bombing of Japan and Germany. But also, I mean–like, we talk about Korea. Oh, North Korea, animals, and Kim Il-sung and his progeny–nobody I ever run into knows we leveled every single structure in North Korea during the Korean War. Again, a war that was not needed; it was an attempt to get a Chinese communist who had come to power the year before. I mean, it's bizarre. Then you look at what we did to North Vietnam, and the carpet bombing, and everything. So this is critical. American exceptionalism–I've mentioned this a number of times on this podcast–to my mind, is a really, it's the most profound problem that American people have to face.

RG: It's a vicious idea. And it's been taken up in different ways by both the liberal democratic world, and by the, you know, the hard right in this country. The idea that by definition, the United States can do no wrong, because we are the leader of the so-called free world. Which is a locution I don't even understand anymore, given that we're not competing anymore with the unfree communist world that supposedly we were in opposition to. But the idea that–and this was the argument, actually, that the Bush administration made about torture. By definition, the United States is a country that does not torture. Therefore, whatever it is that you are observing, it cannot be torture, because that would be a logical contradiction, because we are the nation that doesn't do that. And it's almost impossible to enter into that understanding of the world, because no amount of evidence that you can present to the person who believes that is going to break that worldview. And so American exceptionalism allows us not only to have military bases in over 100 countries around the world; not only to conduct secret wars that the people in this country don't even know about–we just suddenly woke up and said, oh my gosh, we're having a war in Somalia! Who knew. And not to mention Yemen–I was very heartened to see that the Senate had actually voted with the House to reprimand the U.S. alliance with Saudi Arabia in Yemen. But leave that aside. This whole idea that we are a unique bearer of human rights and democracy in the world–it's very hard to break, because it's a concealed, hermetically sealed worldview that people imbibe in grade school. And they imbibe it as they grow up, and it takes a lot of effort to break through. And one of the sad things that I see, especially with younger people that I've worked with in organizations like War Times/Tiempo de Guerras, is that once you've broken through, it then becomes very hard to imagine that the United States is not permanently and always going to be the hegemon. It almost, having made the effort and understood the danger the U.S. actually presents to the world, it becomes almost impossible to recognize when the U.S. actually loses one. And I think it's very important we claim our victories.

RS: Well you know, you hit it clearly with this, the abandonment by the Democratic Party of any serious oppositional role. [With] control of the House now, there should be hearings about what are we doing in these different countries. And instead they're actually criticizing Trump for being, kind of selling out by getting out of Afghanistan, or not fighting more aggressively in Syria. And we've actually sort of lost the peace movement, in a way, is a theme I get back to once in a while here. And we forget, actually, most of the terrible wars since World War II have been fought under democrats, and financed enthusiastically. So I want to get back to basic moral principles, because they don't mean anything if you're not consistent. You have to call out people on the left or on the right, you have to call out war crimes, you have to call out the attacks on homosexuals, black people, Jewish people–anybody, any other, and so forth. It's something that Jesus reminded us of in the tale of the Good Samaritan, if you can believe that Luke is the word of God, and not the others, [Laughter] where the Good Samaritan doesn't appear. I don't want to get into your whole Catholic university thing here. But it's interesting to me, this notion of consistency. Because it's painful to be consistent. It requires examining the motives of people you voted for. And this was the problem of Germany: people forget Hitler was elected. People forget Germany had all the trappings of a–

RG: Of a democracy.

RS: –of a democracy. And more important, the conceit that somehow education–education, and manners–will prevent genocide is a lie. Maybe it's time to recognize this whole notion of American greatness is the end of thought; if you are by definition great, there's nothing to question. And it seems to me that main religions that we've had, their one demand that they have in common is you must question not only your nation's morality, but your own. The devil is in you. We have to struggle with this devil, we have to struggle with these forces. Yet as a nation, we think America the beautiful absolves us all. And that's what you're saying in your torture book. That basically, you take these young recruits that have a very limited knowledge of our history, and you convince them that they are the agents, really, of a higher power.

RG: Absolutely right. And in doing that, you pervert the very virtues that we say the United States is supposed to represent. The virtue of courage, for example, becomes the courage to suppress your squeamishness at causing pain to another human being. And justice becomes the idea that you give the punishment first and the trial later, if ever. Right? And this is exactly what we see in the way our detainees have been treated. And honestly, another locus of this that we don't often recognize is what goes on on the U.S. soil prisons and jails in this country, where we have 2.2 million people locked up in cages, and where torture is a regular feature of prison life. It's no accident that the reservists who were downstairs at Abu Ghraib, they were from West Virginia, and most of them in their civilian life were prison guards. They were corrections officers. And there's a famous email that one of the ringleaders, Charles Graner, sent home which said: The Christian in me knows it's wrong, but the corrections officer in me loves to see a grown man piss himself. And that is exactly the attitude of the people who are caging up 2.2 [million] largely, vastly disproportionately, black and Latino, Latinx, people in this country today. And so torture actually is a red thread that runs through the entire history of the United States, beginning with the Native American population. Slavery itself would not have been as successful as it was at allowing the amassing of capital–which is, you know if you're a good Marxist, the congealed labor of these unpaid, captive people, who when they got to the United States, or what was not even yet the United States, would not work unless, the farmers figured out, they were caused physical pain. And it was the use, the concerted, intentional, well-documented use of physical pain in the cotton fields a century later that forced people to develop a physical technology of their bodies that allowed them, in the course of 40 years, to multiply by eight times the amount of cotton a human being could pick in a day, because the alternative was to have the skin taken off your back with a whip.

RS: You know, increasingly in my life I have been a bad Marxist. And I've embraced some truths that seemed to come out of these religions that, growing up, really frightened me or were intimidating, and also were on the wrong side. But let's take it back to the pope, let's take it back to the Jesuit school, University of San Francisco, where you teach. There's a wisdom that I daresay Karl Marx did not sufficiently embrace. It is that we all have a capacity for evil. That we have virtue; we care, we bring children into this world, we nurture them, we care about others, we can cry over a refugee. On the other hand, the 2.2 million–I've been on Death Row quite recently interviewing Kevin Cooper, who I believe is an innocent man. And fortunately, the governor of California has suspended the death penalty, and I think Gavin Newsom deserves great credit for his courage. But–and it is a cage, and we don't care; we don't care about these people. And we don't care about the people we bomb, and we don't care–they're expendable, they're throwaway people. You want them out of sight, out of mind. It's very deliberate. And the problem is, if Marxism were accurate [Laughter]–I don't know, not too many people care, anyway, but since the two of us are talking about it–you know, if it was just the economic motive, we'd probably do better. The libertarians, for instance–to the degree that they're right, they're right, yes. But the wars don't make sense. And growing that cotton that way didn't ultimately make sense. And slavery didn't make sense. Except–except if we have a barbaric part of our nature, if we have a need to exploit others. Not just for economic reasons; if power corrupts. And this, not to quote Marx, but to quote Jefferson or Washington, these people who came to power in this great experiment of ours, with all its contradictions–I repeat this ad nauseum on these podcasts. All their, yes, white, male, I got it, I got it, slave owners, the whole thing–they were on to a wisdom about their own corruption. And the reason we have the First Amendment, the reason we have all the amendments, the reason we have separation of powers, is that power corrupts.

RG: Absolutely.

RS: And what comes through in these torture stories and so forth–I talked, I have one student, just like you, I've had students go off to these wars. I had one who ended up at Abu Ghraib and at Guantanamo, a reserve officer. He was outside with the families. I'm not going to compromise his privacy. But he told me what shook him up was he was being told all these things about the people inside the jail, but his job was to herd the families that were trying to visit. And he could not deny that there was some kind of humanity going on with these people inside, or why would all these people care so much about them. And I think we need to be reminded of our own capacity for evil. I think that's what Nuremberg was about, that the people who commit evil don't present as evil and are not inherently more evil than we are.

RG: Exactly.

RS: And we have to struggle with this. And the good liberals who accommodate this, and say well, you know, Barack Obama had to do this with the drones, and governor so-and-so had to kill these people even though he didn't believe in the death penalty–we have to challenge that. Because that is the fount of evil.

RG: So, my favorite virtue, Aristotle calls it phronesis, or practical wisdom. St. Thomas Aquinas calls it prudentia, prudence. But what it really is, is that capacity of the mind that allows you to actually understand the moral questions that are in front of you. And not to be fooled by the fog of American exceptionalism, by the distraction of a Trumpian tweet, but to be able to actually examine and really see, in this case, the effects of U.S. policy on actual human beings around the world. And this requires a kind of courage to be willing to accept that your own self-understanding, and the understanding of your people, your country, might be wrong. But it also requires a willingness to look, to actually see and examine what's in front of you. And if there's one virtue I would like to see developed, and that I try to develop in my own students, it's this virtue of practical wisdom, where you actually are responsible for what the effects of your actions can reasonably be foreseen to be. And this is something that we in the United States really don't have. It's trained out of us, we don't have it. And part of it, yes, is that capacity to understand that the ability to do evil things exists in all of us, and it's also to understand that when you multiply that capacity by the technological and economic power that a country like the United States has, the results–well, the results

[Apr 21, 2019] Psywar: Propaganda during Iraq war and beyond

Highly recommended!
Powerful video about US propaganda machine. Based on Iraq War propaganda efforts. This is a formidable machine.
Shows quite vividly that most US politicians of Bush era were war criminal by Nuremberg Tribunal standards. Starting with Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld. They planned the war of aggression against Iraq long before 9/11.
Apr 21, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Desolation Row , Apr 20, 2019 10:21:11 PM | link

Desolation Row | Apr 20, 2019 10:09:06 PM | 41

Psywar

Source: https://vimeo.com/14772678 @ 48:15

[Apr 21, 2019] John Brennan's Police State USA

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Sadly, Brennan's propaganda coup only works on what the Bell Curve crowd up there would call the dumbest and most technologically helpless 1.2σ. Here is how people with half a brain interpret the latest CIA whoppers. ..."
"... Convincing Americans in Russia's influence or Russia collusion with Trump was only a tool that would create pressure on Trump that together with the fear of paralysis of his administration and impeachment would push Trump into the corner from which the only thing he could do was to worsen relations with Russia. What American people believe or not is really secondary. With firing of Gen. Flynn Trump acted exactly as they wanted him to act. This was the beginning of downward slope. ..."
"... Anyway, the mission was accomplished and the relations with Russia are worse now than during Obama administration. Trump can concentrate on Iran in which he will be supported by all sides and factions including the media. Even Larry David will approve not only the zionist harpies like Pam Geller, Rita Katz and Ilana Mercer. ..."
"... The only part that is absurd is that Russia posed a bona fide threat to the US. I'm fine with the idea that he ruined Brennen's plans in Syria. But thats just ego we shouldn't have been there anyway. ..."
"... No one really cares about Ukraine. And the European/Russian trade zone? No one cares. The Eurozone has its hands full with Greece and the rest of the old EU. I have a feeling they have already gone way too far and are more likely to shrink than expand in any meaningful way ..."
"... " ..factions within the state whose interests do not coincide with those of the American people." ..."
"... All the more powerfully put because of its recognisably comical. understatement. Thank you Mr Whitney. Brilliant article that would be all over the mainstream media were the US MSM an instrument of American rather than globalist interests. ..."
"... A sad story, how the USA always was a police state, where the two percent rich manipulated the 98% poor, to stay rich. When there were insurrections federal troops restored order. Also FDR put down strikes with troops. ..."
"... The elephant in the room is Israel and the neocons , this is the force that controls America and Americas foreign policy , Brennan and the 17 intel agencies are puppets of the mossad and Israel, that is the brutal fact of the matter. ..."
"... "The absence of evidence suggests that Russia hacking narrative is a sloppy and unprofessional disinformation campaign that was hastily slapped together by over confident Intelligence officials who believed that saturating the public airwaves with one absurd story after another would achieve the desired result " ..."
"... But it DID achieve the desired result! Trump folded under the pressure, and went full out neoliberal. Starting with his missile attack on Syria, he is now OK with spending trillions fighting pointless endless foreign wars on the other side of the world. ..."
"... I think maybe half the US population does believe the Russian hacking thing, but that's not really the issue. I think that the pre-Syrian attack media blitz was more a statement of brute power to Trump: WE are in charge here, and WE can take you down and impeach you, and facts don't matter! ..."
"... Sometimes propaganda is about persuading people. And sometimes, I think, it is about intimidating them. ..."
"... The Brit secret service, in effect, created and trained not merely the CIA but also the Mossad and Saudi Arabia's General Intelligence Presidency. All four are defined by endless lies, endless acts of utterly amoral savagery. All 4 are at least as bad as the KGB ever was, and that means as bad as Hell itself. ..."
"... Traditional triumphalist American narrative history, as taught in schools up through the 60s or so, portrayed America as "wart-free." Since then, with Zinn's book playing a major role, it has increasingly been portrayed as "warts-only," which is of course at least equally flawed. I would say more so. ..."
"... Anyway, the mission was accomplished and the relations with Russia are worse now than during Obama administration. ..."
"... That pre-9/11 "cooperation" nearly destroyed Russia. Nobody in Russia (except, perhaps, for Pussy Riot) wants a return to the Yeltsin era. ..."
"... The CIA is the world largest criminal and terrorist organization. With Brennan the worst has come to the worst. The whole Russian meddling affair was initiated by the Obama/Clinton gang in cooperation with 95 percent of the media. Nothing will come out of it. ..."
"... [The key figures who had primary influence on both Trump's and Bush's Iran policies held views close to those of Israel's right-wing Likud Party. The main conduit for the Likudist line in the Trump White House is Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law, primary foreign policy advisor, and longtime friend and supporter of Netanyahu. Kushner's parents are also long-time supporters of Israeli settlements on the occupied West Bank. ..."
"... Another figure to whom the Trump White House has turned is John Bolton, undersecretary of state and a key policymaker on Iran in the Bush administration. Although Bolton was not appointed Trump's secretary of state, as he'd hoped, he suddenly reemerged as a player on Iran policy thanks to his relationship with Kushner. Politico reports that Bolton met with Kushner a few days before the final policy statement was released and urged a complete withdrawal from the deal in favor of his own plan for containing Iran. ..."
"... Putin's dream of Greater Europe is the death knell for the unipolar world order. It means the economic center of the world will shift to Central Asia where abundant resources and cheap labor of the east will be linked to the technological advances and the Capital the of the west eliminating the need to trade in dollars or recycle profits into US debt. The US economy will slip into irreversible decline, and the global hegemon will steadily lose its grip on power. That's why it is imperative for the US prevail in Ukraine– a critical land bridge connecting the two continents– and to topple Assad in Syria in order to control vital resources and pipeline corridors. Washington must be in a position where it can continue to force its trading partners to denominate their resources in dollars and recycle the proceeds into US Treasuries if it is to maintain its global primacy. The main problem is that Russia is blocking Uncle Sam's path to success which is roiling the political establishment in Washington. ..."
"... Second, Zakharova confirms that the western media is not an independent news gathering organization, but a propaganda organ for the foreign policy establishment who dictates what they can and can't say. ..."
"... Such a truthful portrait of reality ! The ruling elite is indeed massively corrupt, compromised, and controlled by dark forces. And the police state is already here. For most people, so far, in the form of massive collection of personal data and increasing number of mandatory regulations. But just one or two big false-flags away from progressing into something much worse. ..."
"... Clearly the CIA was making war on Syria. Is secret coercive covert action against sovereign nations Ok? Is it legal? When was the CIA designated a war making entity – what part of the constitution OK's that? Isn't the congress obliged by constitutional law to declare war? (These are NOT six month actions – they go on and on.) ..."
"... Syria is only one of many nations that the CIA is attacking – how many countries are we attacking with drones? Where is congress? ..."
"... Close the CIA – give the spying to the 16 other agencies. ..."
Oct 22, 2017 | www.unz.com

Fran Macadam , October 20, 2017 at 3:08 pm GMT

A credible reading of the diverse facts, Mike.
Kirk Elarbee , October 20, 2017 at 8:27 pm GMT
Sadly, Brennan's propaganda coup only works on what the Bell Curve crowd up there would call the dumbest and most technologically helpless 1.2σ. Here is how people with half a brain interpret the latest CIA whoppers.

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/10/everyone-hacked-everyone-hacked-everyone-spy-spin-fuels-anti-kaspersky-campaign.html

utu , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 5:18 am GMT
Again Mike Whitney does not get it. Though in the first part of the article I thought he would. He was almost getting there. The objective was to push new administration into the corner from which it could not improve relations with Russia as Trump indicated that he wanted to during the campaign.

Convincing Americans in Russia's influence or Russia collusion with Trump was only a tool that would create pressure on Trump that together with the fear of paralysis of his administration and impeachment would push Trump into the corner from which the only thing he could do was to worsen relations with Russia. What American people believe or not is really secondary. With firing of Gen. Flynn Trump acted exactly as they wanted him to act. This was the beginning of downward slope.

Anyway, the mission was accomplished and the relations with Russia are worse now than during Obama administration. Trump can concentrate on Iran in which he will be supported by all sides and factions including the media. Even Larry David will approve not only the zionist harpies like Pam Geller, Rita Katz and Ilana Mercer.

Pamela Geller: Thank You, Larry David

http://www.breitbart.com/big-hollywood/2017/10/19/pamela-geller-thank-larry-david/

anon , Disclaimer Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 5:54 am GMT
OK.

The only part that is absurd is that Russia posed a bona fide threat to the US. I'm fine with the idea that he ruined Brennen's plans in Syria. But thats just ego we shouldn't have been there anyway.

No one really cares about Ukraine. And the European/Russian trade zone? No one cares. The Eurozone has its hands full with Greece and the rest of the old EU. I have a feeling they have already gone way too far and are more likely to shrink than expand in any meaningful way

The one thing I am not positive about. If the elite really believe that Russia is a threat, then Americans have done psych ops on themselves.

The US was only interested in Ukraine because it was there. Next in line on a map. The rather shocking disinterest in investing money -- on both sides -- is inexplicable if it was really important. Most of it would be a waste -- but still. The US stupidly spent $5 billion on something -- getting duped by politicians and got theoretical regime change, but it was hell to pry even $1 billion for real economic aid.

ThereisaGod , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 6:37 am GMT
" ..factions within the state whose interests do not coincide with those of the American people."

All the more powerfully put because of its recognisably comical. understatement. Thank you Mr Whitney. Brilliant article that would be all over the mainstream media were the US MSM an instrument of American rather than globalist interests.

jilles dykstra , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 6:46 am GMT
I am reading Howard Zinn, A Peoples History of the USA, 1492 to the Present. A sad story, how the USA always was a police state, where the two percent rich manipulated the 98% poor, to stay rich. When there were insurrections federal troops restored order. Also FDR put down strikes with troops.
Logan , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 11:16 am GMT
@jilles dykstra

You should be aware that Zinn's book is not, IMO, an honest attempt at writing history. It is conscious propaganda intended to make Americans believe exactly what you are taking from it.

DESERT FOX , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 1:30 pm GMT
The elephant in the room is Israel and the neocons , this is the force that controls America and Americas foreign policy , Brennan and the 17 intel agencies are puppets of the mossad and Israel, that is the brutal fact of the matter.

Until that fact changes Americans will continue to fight and die for Israel.

TG , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 2:03 pm GMT
"The absence of evidence suggests that Russia hacking narrative is a sloppy and unprofessional disinformation campaign that was hastily slapped together by over confident Intelligence officials who believed that saturating the public airwaves with one absurd story after another would achieve the desired result "

But it DID achieve the desired result! Trump folded under the pressure, and went full out neoliberal. Starting with his missile attack on Syria, he is now OK with spending trillions fighting pointless endless foreign wars on the other side of the world.

I think maybe half the US population does believe the Russian hacking thing, but that's not really the issue. I think that the pre-Syrian attack media blitz was more a statement of brute power to Trump: WE are in charge here, and WE can take you down and impeach you, and facts don't matter!

Sometimes propaganda is about persuading people. And sometimes, I think, it is about intimidating them.

Anonymous , Disclaimer Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 2:05 pm GMT
Whitney is another author who declares the "Russians did it" narrative a psyop. He then devotes entire columns to the psyop, "naww Russia didn't do it". There could be plenty to write about – recent laws that do undercut liberty, but no, the Washington Post needs fake opposition to its fake news so you have guys like Whitney in the less-mainstream fake news media.

So Brennan wanted revenge? Well that's simple enough to understand, without being too stupid. But Whitney's whopper of a lie is what you're supposed to unquestionably believe. The US has "rival political parties". Did you miss it?

Jake , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 2:32 pm GMT
The US is doing nothing more than acting as the British Empire 2.0. WASP culture was born of a Judaizing heresy: Anglo-Saxon Puritanism. That meant that the WASP Elites of every are pro-Jewish, especially in order to wage war, physical and/or cultural, against the vast majority of white Christians they rule.

By the early 19th century, The Brit Empire's Elites also had a strong, and growing, dose of pro-Arabic/pro-Islamic philoSemitism. Most of that group became ardently pro-Sunni, and most of the pro-Sunni ones eventually coalescing around promotion of the House of Saud, which means being pro-Wahhabi and permanently desirous of killing or enslaving virtually all Shiite Mohammedans.

So, by the time of Victoria's high reign, the Brit WASP Elites were a strange brew of hardcoree pro-Jewish and hardcore pro-Arabic/islamic. The US foreign policy of today is an attempt to put those two together and force it on everyone and make it work.

The Brit secret service, in effect, created and trained not merely the CIA but also the Mossad and Saudi Arabia's General Intelligence Presidency. All four are defined by endless lies, endless acts of utterly amoral savagery. All 4 are at least as bad as the KGB ever was, and that means as bad as Hell itself.

Logan , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:04 pm GMT
@Grandpa Charlie

Fair enough. I didn't know that about the foreword. If accurate, that's a reasonable approach for a book.

Here's the problem.

Back when O. Cromwell was the dictator of England, he retained an artist to paint him. The custom of the time was for artists to "clean up" their subjects, in a primitive form of photoshopping.

OC being a religious fanatic, he informed the artist he wished to be portrayed as God had made him, "warts and all." (Ollie had a bunch of unattractive facial warts.) Or the artist wouldn't be paid.

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2013/nov/08/cromwell-portraitist-samuel-cooper-exhibition

Traditional triumphalist American narrative history, as taught in schools up through the 60s or so, portrayed America as "wart-free." Since then, with Zinn's book playing a major role, it has increasingly been portrayed as "warts-only," which is of course at least equally flawed. I would say more so.

All I am asking is that American (and other) history be written "warts and all." The triumphalist version is true, largely, and so is the Zinn version. Gone With the Wind and Roots both portray certain aspects of the pre-war south fairly accurately..

America has been, and is, both evil and good. As is/was true of every human institution and government in history. Personally, I believe America, net/net, has been one of the greatest forces for human good ever. But nobody will realize that if only the negative side of American history is taught.

Wally , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:16 pm GMT
@Michael Kenny

Hasbarist 'Kenny', you said:

"There must be something really dirty in Russigate that hasn't yet come out to generate this level of panic."

You continue to claim what you cannot prove.

But then you are a Jews First Zionist.

Russia-Gate Jumps the Shark
Russia-gate has jumped the shark with laughable new claims about a tiny number of "Russia-linked" social media ads, but the US mainstream media is determined to keep a straight face

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2017/10/robert-parry/jumping-the-shark/

Yet Another Major Russia Story Falls Apart. Is Skepticism Permissible Yet?

https://theintercept.com/2017/09/28/yet-another-major-russia-story-falls-apart-is-skepticism-permissible-yet/

+ review of other frauds

Logan , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:20 pm GMT
@Jake

Most of that group became ardently pro-Sunni, and most of the pro-Sunni ones eventually coalescing around promotion of the House of Saud, which means being pro-Wahhabi and permanently desirous of killing or enslaving virtually all Shiite Mohammedans.

Thanks for the laugh. During the 19th century, the Sauds were toothless, dirt-poor hicks from the deep desert of zero importance on the world stage.

The Brits were not Saudi proponents, in fact promoting the Husseins of Hejaz, the guys Lawrence of Arabia worked with. The Husseins, the Sharifs of Mecca and rulers of Hejaz, were the hereditary enemies of the Sauds of Nejd.

After WWI, the Brits installed Husseins as rulers of both Transjordan and Iraq, which with the Hejaz meant the Sauds were pretty much surrounded. The Sauds conquered the Hejaz in 1924, despite lukewarm British support for the Hejaz.

Nobody in the world cared much about the Saudis one way or another until massive oil fields were discovered, by Americans not Brits, starting in 1938. There was no reason they should. Prior to that Saudi prominence in world affairs was about equal to that of Chad today, and for much the same reason. Chad (and Saudi Arabia) had nothing anybody else wanted.

Grandpa Charlie , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:25 pm GMT
@Michael Kenny

'Putin stopped talking about the "Lisbon to Vladivostok" free trade area long ago" -- Michael Kenney

Putin was simply trying to sell Russia's application for EU membership with the catch-phrase "Lisbon to Vladivostok". He continued that until the issue was triply mooted (1) by implosion of EU growth and boosterism, (2) by NATO's aggressive stance, in effect taken by NATO in Ukraine events and in the Baltics, and, (3) Russia's alliance with China.

It is surely still true that Russians think of themselves, categorically, as Europeans. OTOH, we can easily imagine that Russians in Vladivostok look at things differently than do Russians in St. Petersburg. Then again, Vladivostok only goes back about a century and a half.

Seamus Padraig , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:39 pm GMT
@utu

Anyway, the mission was accomplished and the relations with Russia are worse now than during Obama administration.

I generally agree with your comment, but that part strikes me as a bit of an exaggeration. While relations with Russia certainly haven't improved, how have they really worsened? The second round of sanctions that Trump reluctantly approved have yet to be implemented by Europe, which was the goal. And apart from that, what of substance has changed?

Seamus Padraig , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:45 pm GMT
@Grandpa Charlie

That pre-9/11 "cooperation" nearly destroyed Russia. Nobody in Russia (except, perhaps, for Pussy Riot) wants a return to the Yeltsin era.

Ludwig Watzal , Website Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:46 pm GMT
It's not surprising that 57 percent of the American people believe in Russian meddling. Didn't two-thirds of the same crowd believe that Saddam was behind 9/11, too? The American public is being brainwashed 24 hours a day all year long.

The CIA is the world largest criminal and terrorist organization. With Brennan the worst has come to the worst. The whole Russian meddling affair was initiated by the Obama/Clinton gang in cooperation with 95 percent of the media. Nothing will come out of it.

This disinformation campaign might be the prelude to an upcoming war.
Right now, the US is run by jerks and idiots. Watch the video.

anonymous , Disclaimer Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:50 pm GMT
Only dumb people does not know that TRUMP IS NETANYAHU'S PUPPET.

The fifth column zionist jews are running the albino stooge and foreign policy in the Middle East to expand Israel's interest against American interest that is TREASON. One of these FIFTH COLUMNISTS is Jared Kushner. He should be arrested.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/donald-trumps-likudist-campaign-against-iran/5614264

[The key figures who had primary influence on both Trump's and Bush's Iran policies held views close to those of Israel's right-wing Likud Party. The main conduit for the Likudist line in the Trump White House is Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law, primary foreign policy advisor, and longtime friend and supporter of Netanyahu. Kushner's parents are also long-time supporters of Israeli settlements on the occupied West Bank.

Another figure to whom the Trump White House has turned is John Bolton, undersecretary of state and a key policymaker on Iran in the Bush administration. Although Bolton was not appointed Trump's secretary of state, as he'd hoped, he suddenly reemerged as a player on Iran policy thanks to his relationship with Kushner. Politico reports that Bolton met with Kushner a few days before the final policy statement was released and urged a complete withdrawal from the deal in favor of his own plan for containing Iran.

Bolton spoke with Trump by phone on Thursday about the paragraph in the deal that vowed it would be "terminated" if there was any renegotiation, according to Politico. He was calling Trump from Las Vegas, where he'd been meeting with casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, the third major figure behind Trump's shift towards Israeli issues. Adelson is a Likud supporter who has long been a close friend of Netanyahu's and has used his Israeli tabloid newspaper Israel Hayomto support Netanyahu's campaigns. He was Trump's main campaign contributor in 2016, donating $100 million. Adelson's real interest has been in supporting Israel's interests in Washington -- especially with regard to Iran.]

Miro23 , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 4:56 pm GMT
A great article with some excellent points:

Putin's dream of Greater Europe is the death knell for the unipolar world order. It means the economic center of the world will shift to Central Asia where abundant resources and cheap labor of the east will be linked to the technological advances and the Capital the of the west eliminating the need to trade in dollars or recycle profits into US debt. The US economy will slip into irreversible decline, and the global hegemon will steadily lose its grip on power. That's why it is imperative for the US prevail in Ukraine– a critical land bridge connecting the two continents– and to topple Assad in Syria in order to control vital resources and pipeline corridors. Washington must be in a position where it can continue to force its trading partners to denominate their resources in dollars and recycle the proceeds into US Treasuries if it is to maintain its global primacy. The main problem is that Russia is blocking Uncle Sam's path to success which is roiling the political establishment in Washington.

American dominance is very much tied to the dollar's role as the world's reserve currency, and the rest of the world no longer want to fund this bankrupt, warlike state – particularly the Chinese.

First, it confirms that the US did not want to see the jihadist extremists defeated by Russia. These mainly-Sunni militias served as Washington's proxy-army conducting an ambitious regime change operation which coincided with US strategic ambitions.

The CIA run US/Israeli/ISIS alliance.

Second, Zakharova confirms that the western media is not an independent news gathering organization, but a propaganda organ for the foreign policy establishment who dictates what they can and can't say.

They are given the political line and they broadcast it.

The loosening of rules governing the dissemination of domestic propaganda coupled with the extraordinary advances in surveillance technology, create the perfect conditions for the full implementation of an American police state. But what is more concerning, is that the primary levers of state power are no longer controlled by elected officials but by factions within the state whose interests do not coincide with those of the American people. That can only lead to trouble.

At some point Americans are going to get a "War on Domestic Terror" cheered along by the media. More or less the arrest and incarceration of any opposition following the Soviet Bolshevik model.

CanSpeccy , Website Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 5:11 pm GMT
@utu

On the plus side, everyone now knows that the Anglo-US media from the NY Times to the Economist, from WaPo to the Gruniard, and from the BBC to CNN, the CBC and Weinstein's Hollywood are a worthless bunch of depraved lying bastards.

Thales the Milesian , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 5:53 pm GMT
Brennan did this, CIA did that .

So what are you going to do about all this?

Continue to whine?

Continue to keep your head stuck in your ass?

So then continue with your blah, blah, blah, and eat sh*t.

You, disgusting self-elected democratic people/institutions!!!

AB_Anonymous , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 5:59 pm GMT
Such a truthful portrait of reality ! The ruling elite is indeed massively corrupt, compromised, and controlled by dark forces. And the police state is already here. For most people, so far, in the form of massive collection of personal data and increasing number of mandatory regulations. But just one or two big false-flags away from progressing into something much worse.

The thing is, no matter how thick the mental cages are, and how carefully they are maintained by the daily massive injections of "certified" truth (via MSM), along with neutralizing or compromising of "troublemakers", the presence of multiple alternative sources in the age of Internet makes people to slip out of these cages one by one, and as the last events show – with acceleration.

It means that there's a fast approaching tipping point after which it'd be impossible for those in power both to keep a nice "civilized" face and to control the "cage-free" population. So, no matter how the next war will be called, it will be the war against the free Internet and free people. That's probably why N. Korean leader has no fear to start one.

Art , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 6:18 pm GMT
An aside:

All government secrecy is a curse on mankind. Trump is releasing the JFK murder files to the public. Kudos! Let us hope he will follow up with a full 9/11 investigation.

Think Peace -- Art

Mr. Anon , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 7:07 pm GMT
@utu

The objective was to push new administration into the corner from which it could not improve relations with Russia as Trump indicated that he wanted to during the campaign.

Good point. That was probably one of the objectives (and from the point of view of the deep-state, perhaps the most important objective) of the "Russia hacked our democracy" narrative, in addition to the general deligitimization of the Trump administration.

Art , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 7:11 pm GMT
And, keep in mind, Washington's Sunni proxies were not a division of the Pentagon; they were entirely a CIA confection: CIA recruited, CIA-armed, CIA-funded and CIA-trained.

Clearly the CIA was making war on Syria. Is secret coercive covert action against sovereign nations Ok? Is it legal? When was the CIA designated a war making entity – what part of the constitution OK's that? Isn't the congress obliged by constitutional law to declare war? (These are NOT six month actions – they go on and on.)

Are committees of six congressman and six senators, who meet in secret, just avoiding the grave constitutional questions of war? We the People cannot even interrogate these politicians. (These politicians make big money in the secrecy swamp when they leave office.)

Syria is only one of many nations that the CIA is attacking – how many countries are we attacking with drones? Where is congress?

Spying is one thing – covert action is another – covert is wrong – it goes against world order. Every year after 9/11 they say things are worse – give them more money more power and they will make things safe. That is BS!

9/11 has opened the flood gates to the US government attacking at will, the various peoples of this Earth. That is NOT our prerogative.

We are being exceptionally arrogant.

Close the CIA – give the spying to the 16 other agencies.

Think Peace -- Art

Rurik , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 7:12 pm GMT
@Ben10

right at 1:47

when he says 'we can't move on as a country'

his butt hurt is so ruefully obvious, that I couldn't help notice a wry smile on my face

that bitch spent millions on the war sow, and now all that mullah won't even wipe his butt hurt

when I see ((guys)) like this raging their inner crybaby angst, I feel really, really good about President Trump

MAGA bitches!

Mr. Anon , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 7:15 pm GMT
@jilles dykstra

I am reading Howard Zinn, A Peoples History of the USA

A Peoples History of the USA? Which Peoples?

Tradecraft46 , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 8:04 pm GMT
I am SAIS 70 so know the drill and the article is on point.

Here is the dealio. Most reporters are dim and have no experience, and it is real easy to lead them by the nose with promises of better in the future.

[Apr 21, 2019] Deciphering Trumps Foreign Policy by Oscar Silva-Valladares

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Donald Trump's presidency, like preceding ones, is trapped by the interests of the power elite that has ruled America since World War II. The constraints imposed on domestic policy by this elite inevitably have a direct impact on America's foreign policy. ..."
"... The growing misalignment between government policies and people's yearnings coincides with the ascent of the military establishment within the power elite that rules America. Despite the country's aggressive expansionism, America's power elite was initially driven mainly by political and economic forces and much less by its growing military strength. It is fair to say that the military establishment, as an influential component of the American power elite, only appeared in the context of World War II. Nowadays, it is a dominant player. ..."
"... Today's power elite in America is fundamentally the same as the one that emerged after World War II and which was accurately described by C. Wright Mills in the 1950s. Consequently, the main forces shaping US domestic and foreign policies have not changed since then. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War did not make irrelevant the existing power elite at that time. The elite only became more vocal in its efforts to justify itself and this explains today's existence of NATO, for instance. ..."
"... Despite its economic and entrepreneurial might, the US distilled version of capitalism is unable to attain the needs of a growing number of its population, as the Great Recession of 2008 has shown. Within the OECD, arguably the club with the highest levels of economic and social development in the world, US rankings are abysmal, for instance concerning education and health, as it lays at the bottom in learning metrics and on critical health measures such as obesity. The wealth gap has widened and the social fabric is broken. American economic decline is evident and growing social conflict across economic, social and geographic lines is just a reaction to this decline. ..."
"... Concerning China, Trump is learning about the limits of his ability to successfully challenge it economically. It seems virtually impossible to reverse China's momentum which, if it continues, will consolidate its economic domination. ..."
"... A fundamental weakness of American foreign policy is its inability to understand war in all its different dimensions ..."
"... Despite the need to see through Trump's true intentions beyond his pomp and circumstance, there is an important warning to be made. Trump's eventual inability to fulfill his promises, combined with his bravado and America's incapacity to take a more sobering approach to world events is a dangerous combination. ..."
Oct 28, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org

Donald Trump's presidency, like preceding ones, is trapped by the interests of the power elite that has ruled America since World War II. The constraints imposed on domestic policy by this elite inevitably have a direct impact on America's foreign policy. Alternative social forces, like the ones behind Trump's presidential triumph, only have a limited impact on domestic and ultimately on foreign policy. A conceptual detour and a brief on history and on Trump's domestic setting when he was elected will help clarifying these theses.

Beyond the different costumes that it wears (dealing with ideology, international law, and even religion), foreign policy follows domestic policy. The domestic policy actors are the social forces at work at a given point of time, mainly the economic agents and their ambitions (in their multiple expressions), including the ruling power elite. Society's aspirations not only relate to material welfare, but also to ideological priorities that population segments may have at a given point of time.

From America's initial days until the mid 1800s, there seems to have been a broad alignment of US foreign policy with the wishes of its power elite and other social forces. America's expansionism, a fundamental bulwark of its foreign policy from early days, reflected the need to fulfill its growing population's ambitions for land and, later on, the need to find foreign markets for its excess production, initially agricultural and later on manufacturing. It can be said that American foreign policy was broadly populist at that time. The power elite was more or less aligned in achieving these expansionist goals and was able to provide convenient ideological justification through the writings of Jefferson and Madison, among others.

As the country expanded, diverging interests became stronger and ultimately differing social forces caused a significant fracture in society. The American Civil War was the climax of the conflicted interests between agricultural and manufacturing led societies. Fifty years later, a revealing manifestation of this divergence (which survived the Civil War), as it relates to foreign policy, is found during the early days of the Russian Revolution when, beyond the ideological revulsion of Bolshevism, the US was paralyzed between the agricultural and farming businesses seeking exports to Russia and the domestic extractive industries interested in stopping exports of natural resources from this country.

The growing misalignment between government policies and people's yearnings coincides with the ascent of the military establishment within the power elite that rules America. Despite the country's aggressive expansionism, America's power elite was initially driven mainly by political and economic forces and much less by its growing military strength. It is fair to say that the military establishment, as an influential component of the American power elite, only appeared in the context of World War II. Nowadays, it is a dominant player.

Today's power elite in America is fundamentally the same as the one that emerged after World War II and which was accurately described by C. Wright Mills in the 1950s. Consequently, the main forces shaping US domestic and foreign policies have not changed since then. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War did not make irrelevant the existing power elite at that time. The elite only became more vocal in its efforts to justify itself and this explains today's existence of NATO, for instance.

Despite its economic and entrepreneurial might, the US distilled version of capitalism is unable to attain the needs of a growing number of its population, as the Great Recession of 2008 has shown. Within the OECD, arguably the club with the highest levels of economic and social development in the world, US rankings are abysmal, for instance concerning education and health, as it lays at the bottom in learning metrics and on critical health measures such as obesity. The wealth gap has widened and the social fabric is broken. American economic decline is evident and growing social conflict across economic, social and geographic lines is just a reaction to this decline.

Trump won his presidency because he was able to get support from the country's growing frustrated white population. His main social themes (bringing jobs to America by stopping the decline of its manufacturing industry, preventing further US consumer dependence on foreign imports and halting immigration) fitted well with the electors' anger. Traditional populist themes linked to foreign policy (like Russophobia) did not play a big role in the last election. But whether or not the Trump administration can align with the ruling power elite in a manner that addresses the key social and economic needs of the American people is still to be seen.

Back to foreign policy, we need to distinguish between Trump's style of government and his administration's actions. At least until now, focusing excessively on Trump's style has dangerously distracted from his true intentions. One example is the confusion about his initial stance on NATO which was simplistically seen as highly critical to the very existence of this organization. On NATO, all that Trump really cared was to achieve a "fair" sharing of expenditures with other members and to press them to honor their funding commitments.

From immigration to defense spending, there is nothing irrational about Trump's foreign policy initiatives, as they just reflect a different reading on the American people's aspirations and, consequently, they attempt to rely on supporting points within the power elite which are different from the ones used in the past.

Concerning China, Trump is learning about the limits of his ability to successfully challenge it economically. It seems virtually impossible to reverse China's momentum which, if it continues, will consolidate its economic domination. A far-reaching lesson, although still being ignored, is that China's economic might is showing that capitalism as understood in the West is not winning, much less in its American format. It also shows that democracy may not be that relevant, as it is not necessarily a corollary or a condition for economic development. Perhaps it even shows the superiority of China's economic model, but this is a different matter.

As Trump becomes more aware about his limitations, he has naturally reversed to the basic imprints of America's traditional foreign policy, particularly concerning defense. His emphasis on a further increase in defense spending is not done for prestigious or national security reasons, but as an attempt to preserve a job generating infrastructure without considering the catastrophic consequences that it may cause.

On Iran, Obama's initiative to seek normalization was an attempt to walk a fine line (and to find a less conflictive path) between supporting the US traditional Middle East allies (mainly the odd combination of Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey) and recognizing Iran's growing aspirations. Deep down, Obama was trying to acknowledge Iran's historical viability as a country and a society that will not disappear from the map, while Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, may not be around in a few years. Trump's Iran policy until now only represents a different weighing of priorities, although it is having far reaching consequences on America's credibility as a reliable contractual party in international affairs.

In the case of Afghanistan, Trump's decision to increase boots on the ground does not break the inertia of US past administrations. Aside from temporary containment, an increasing military presence or a change in tactics will not alter fundamentally this reality.

Concerning Russia, and regardless of what Trump has said, actions speak more than words. A continuous deterioration of relations seems inevitable.

Trump will also learn, if he has not done so already, about the growth of multipolar forces in world's events. Russia has mastered this reality for several years and is quite skillful at using it as a basic tool of its own foreign goals. Our multipolar world will expand, and Trump may even inadvertently exacerbate it through its actions (for instance in connection with the different stands taken by the US and its European allies concerning Iran).

While fulfilling the aspirations of the American people seems more difficult within the existing capitalist framework, there are also growing apprehensions coming from America's power elite as it becomes more frustrated due to its incapacity of being more effective at the world level. America's relative adolescence in world's history will become more and more apparent in the coming years.

A fundamental weakness of American foreign policy is its inability to understand war in all its different dimensions. The US has never suffered the consequences of an international conflict in its own backyard. The American Civil War, despite all the suffering that it caused, was primarily a domestic event with no foreign intervention (contrary to the wishes of the Confederation). The deep social and psychological damage caused by war is not part of America's consciousness as it is, for instance in Germany, Russia or Japan. America is insensitive to the lessons of history because it has a very short history itself.

Despite the need to see through Trump's true intentions beyond his pomp and circumstance, there is an important warning to be made. Trump's eventual inability to fulfill his promises, combined with his bravado and America's incapacity to take a more sobering approach to world events is a dangerous combination.

Oscar Silva-Valladares is a former investment banker that has lived and worked in North and Latin America, Western & Eastern Europe, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the Philippines and Western Africa. He currently chairs Davos International Advisory, an advisory firm focused on strategic consulting across emerging markets.


Related

[Apr 21, 2019] Whenever someone inconveniences the neoliberal oligarchy, the entire neoliberal MSM mafia tells us 24 x7 how evil and disgusting that person is. It's true of the leader of every nation which rejects neoliberal globalization as well as for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

Highly recommended!
Apr 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Have you ever noticed how whenever someone inconveniences the dominant western power structure, the entire political/media class rapidly becomes very, very interested in letting us know how evil and disgusting that person is? It's true of the leader of every nation which refuses to allow itself to be absorbed into the blob of the US-centralized power alliance, it's true of anti-establishment political candidates, and it's true of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Corrupt and unaccountable power uses its political and media influence to smear Assange because, as far as the interests of corrupt and unaccountable power are concerned, killing his reputation is as good as killing him. If everyone can be paced into viewing him with hatred and revulsion, they'll be far less likely to take WikiLeaks publications seriously, and they'll be far more likely to consent to Assange's imprisonment, thereby establishing a precedent for the future prosecution of leak-publishing journalists around the world. Someone can be speaking 100 percent truth to you, but if you're suspicious of him you won't believe anything he's saying. If they can manufacture that suspicion with total or near-total credence, then as far as our rulers are concerned it's as good as putting a bullet in his head.

Those of us who value truth and light need to fight this smear campaign in order to keep our fellow man from signing off on a major leap in the direction of Orwellian dystopia, and a big part of that means being able to argue against those smears and disinformation wherever they appear. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find any kind of centralized source of information which comprehensively debunks all the smears in a thorough and engaging way, so with the help of hundreds of tips from my readers and social media followers I'm going to attempt to make one here. What follows is my attempt at creating a tool kit people can use to fight against Assange smears wherever they encounter them, by refuting the disinformation with truth and solid argumentation.

This article is an ongoing project which will be updated regularly where it appears on Medium and caitlinjohnstone.com as new information comes in and new smears spring up in need of refutation.

[Apr 20, 2019] Is Trump for Detente or Militarism - RAI with Stephen Cohen (2-5)

Notable quotes:
"... Great points, Mr. Cohen....this protracted attack on Russia via the phoney "Russiagate" investigation has set back relations with Russia for years to come. ..."
"... That Trump represents a thinking that the post Soviet reality is not of a uni-superpower world, but one of a multi-polar world dominated by US economic empire. ..."
"... After reading "Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century" in 2005, I came to the idea that the most dangerous section of the American elite were those that posited this uni-superpower world order idea; ..."
"... The problem is the incorrigible Big C (Capital) that wanted to eat away Russian minerals that Putin stopped in national interest. Any subsequent cooperation from the Russian side was probably was only for strategic cooperation with the U.S. to have world peace. ..."
"... Not a word in Cohen's appraisal about US criminality. Jay was pushing in that direction. I hope they get around to the criminality of the Deep State Mafia. ..."
"... Despite all the chaos and the moral panics that keep rocking the White House, Trump's three National Security Advisors - Flynn, McMaster, Bolton - had one core commonality: they want war with Iran. Watching the sinister neo-con Jim Woolsey betray the frothing neo-con Flynn to Joe Biden was a comedy of neo-con infighting. A major part of Russiagate was the older 'Atlanticist' neo-cons boxing in the boorish 'Trumpist' neo-cons. Whether Atlantic Council or US-homegrown both flavors of neo-conservatism want war with Iran. ..."
Apr 20, 2019 | therealnews.com

PAUL JAY: Welcome back to Reality Asserts Itself on The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay.

And we're continuing our series of discussions with Stephen Cohen. And his biography is down below the video player, and you really should watch the first few segments anyway and you'll get where we are. Thanks for joining us again.

STEPHEN COHEN: Thank you.

PAUL JAY: So I've watched several of your interviews. You've done Larry King and others, and you've been positive about Trump's attitude towards sort of a detente, lowering tensions with Russia. And in terms of my personal view, I think you're right. I think anything that lowers tensions between two nuclear powers is a good thing, and I think this self-righteous American attitude towards Putin and Russia– when you look at the scale of crimes committed by countries internationally, there is nothing that Russia has done that compares to the Iraq war, and go on and on with the United States has done, and to have some self-righteous attitude Two, it's clear it's so hypocritical to worry about political rights in Russia, because it's clear in terms of U.S. foreign policy if you can ally with Saudi Arabia, the Israeli occupation, and you name it how many dictators the United States has supported over the years, it's not about democracy.

So whatever Trump's intent is, I think I agree that this is a good thing. I actually think Trump framed it quite well himself, where he said, "Russia is not our adversary, they're our competitor, the way other big capitalist countries are our competitors." I think all that makes sense. Where I push back is I think you need to add that one of the prime reasons Trump wants to diminish tensions with Russia–assuming he really does, because some of the people that work for him, Nikki Haley in the UN and others, have said as outrageous stuff about Russia as any Democrat has said.

All that being said, I think the Trump presidency is one of the most dangerous presidencies ever, and he is planning and his whole foreign policy agenda has been regime change in Iran. And I think that if they don't accomplish that through economic warfare against Iran, with John Bolton there, the possibility of some kind of at least bombing attack on Iran before 2020 is very possible. One of the reasons I think he wants to lower tensions with Russia is so he can go after China. His acting defense secretary justified this new military expenditure, the new budget, the 765 billion dollar budget, with three words, "China, China, China." Their strategic vision–and you can see this in Steve Bannon's interviews and language–is diminish the tensions with Russia, go after Iran and go after China. And I think one needs to say this, otherwise it kind of looks like Trump is some kind of peacenik. And far from it, I think they're militarists.

STEPHEN COHEN: Not sure what the question is, though. Is it about–

PAUL JAY: Well, my question is, I think when you are saying positive things about Trump diminishing tensions with Russia, which I think is correct, but I think you need to add this guy does not have peaceful intentions, he's very dangerous.

STEPHEN COHEN: I live in a social realm–to the extent that I have any social life at all anymore– where people get very angry if I say, or anybody says, anything positive about Donald Trump. When Trump was campaigning in 2016, he said, "I think it would be great to cooperate with Russia." All of my adult life, my advocacy in American foreign policy–I've known presidents, the first George Bush invited me to Camp David to consult with him before he went to the Malta Summit. I've known presidential candidates, Senators and the rest, and I've always said the same thing. American national security runs through Moscow, period. Nothing's changed.

In the era of weapons of mass destruction, not only nuclear, but primarily nuclear, ever more sophisticated, the Russians now have a new generation of nuclear weapons–Putin announced them on March 1, they were dismissed here, but they're real–that can elude any missile defense. We spent trillions on missile defense to acquire a first strike capability against Russia. We said it was against or Iran, but nobody believed it. Russia has now thwarted us; they now have missile defense-evading nuclear weapons from submarines, to aircraft, to missiles. And Putin has said, "It's time to negotiate an end to this new arms race," and he's 100 percent right. So when I heard Trump say, in 2016, we have to cooperate with Russia, I had already become convinced–and I spell this out in my new book, War with Russia?–that we were in a new cold war, but a new cold war more dangerous than the preceding one for reasons I gave in the book, one of them being these new nuclear weapons.

So I began to speak positively about Trump at that moment–that would have been probably around the summer of 2016–just on this one point, because none of the other candidates were advocating cooperation with Russia. And as I told you before, Paul, all my life I've been a detente guy. Detente means cooperate with Russia. I saw in Trump the one candidate who said this is necessary, in his own funny language. Mrs. Clinton, on the other hand, was very much a hawk. When she said publicly that Vladimir Putin has no soul, you could not commit or utter a more supreme statement of anti-diplomacy, and particularly addressing the Russians, who put a lot of stock in soul. To say somebody has no soul and then go on to equate him with Hitler, I found that so irresponsible. I didn't vote for Trump, but I did begin to write and broadcast that this was of vital importance that we have this discussion, that we needed a new detente because of the new and more dangerous Cold War.

Since he's been president, I think he's been ineffective in regard to pursuing detente with Russia for a couple of reasons. I think that the people who invented Russiagate were the enemies of detente, and they piled on. So they've now demonized Russia, they've crippled Trump. Anything he does diplomatically with Putin is called collusion. No matter what Mueller says, it's collusion. This is anti-democracy, and detente is pursued through democracy. So whatever he really wants to do–it's hard to say–he's been thwarted. I think it's also one of the reasons why he put anti-detente people around him.

PAUL JAY: Why didn't he pull out of the arms treaty?

STEPHEN COHEN: So this is a separate issue now, and a complicated one. We have been in violation–let's be clear for folks which treaty we're talking about. We're talking about the so-called Intermediate-Range Treaty. This band of deployment of missiles that could fly roughly from 500, I think, to 3000 miles, they were exceedingly dangerous. The American ones have been based in Europe. They were very dangerous because they tested high-alert systems. They flew low, fast, they could elude radar. They were dangerous. Reagan and Gorbachev abolished them in 1987, correct? Now, stop and think for a minute, Paul. What Reagan and Gorbachev did in 1987 was the first ever, ever in history, act of nuclear abolitionism. They abolished an entire category of nuclear weapons. That was a sacred act. It needed to be cherished and preserved forever, no matter what difficulties emerged.

But then comes the history, and we need to remember the history. In 2002, the second President Bush withdrew the United States unilaterally from the Antiballistic Missile Treaty, correct? Now, this treaty was related, because it forbid the deployment of so-called missile defense in a way that either side, American or Russian, could think that it had such great missile defense, it had a first strike capability. And everybody agreed nobody should think that. Mutually assured destruction had kept us safe in the nuclear age. But if Russia or the United States gets a first strike capability, then you don't have assured mutual destruction, and some crazy person might be tempted to risk it. So how did the Russians react to that? They began to develop–as I said before, when we began to deploy missile defense–a new generation of weapons. In other words, you're getting this classic action, reaction, action, reaction that drove the previous nuclear arms race, and now it's happening again.

So that brings us to Trump's decision. We don't know yet where it's going to lead, because Trump has said we're withdrawing. He said the Russians have been in violation. But in fact, we've been in violation since we deployed the missile defense systems. Just for the record, by the way–and professor Theodore Postol at MIT has been very good about this–these missile defense installations that we've installed around Russia, land, air, and sea, can actually fire cruise missiles. They are in violation of that Intermediate-Range Treaty, so we've been in systematic violation. Pushes come to shove, we withdrew, the Russians have now withdrawn. But Trump has said two things that are interesting and maybe correct, that technically the treaty was out of date because of the new weaponry. And secondly, who has the most cruise missiles? China. 30 years ago in 1987, it was only the United States and Russia, the Soviet Union. But now China, because of its vast regional presence, has all these intermediate range missiles.

So Trump says offhandedly, maybe in a Tweet, "Have you ever looked at the military budget of Russia, China, and the United States? It's obscene. We should cut it." What does that mean? What does that mean? It's a good idea, right? Then he said, "We can't have such a treaty without China." The Russians know this too, so let us hope that what they're stumbling toward is a new, modernized intermediate-range ban that would include China. China, however, will never sign it. But if they begin the negotiations and China doesn't deploy any more during the negotiations, and the negotiations go on indefinitely, we are safer than we now are. Now, do I think that Trump is cunning and thought this up? I'm not sure, but he's got China on the mind, and I don't quite agree with you that–he's got a kind of dualistic attitude toward China. It's a threat, but every time he makes a new trade deal with China, he brags on it that it's great for us.

You would agree with that, right? He's always talking about, "We're going to have this wonderful trade agreement with China, it's going to be so good for us." So in his mind, Trump's mind, China is kind of potentially–in his businessman mind–this big economic plus that he alone is going to get right. Let him try.

PAUL JAY: I don't know how much of this policy at all is Trump or not Trump. I think the brains behind a lot of this policy now is Bolton and some of the other neocon crazies around him.

STEPHEN COHEN: But Trump has been saying the same thing about cooperating with Russia long before he took on Bolton. There's two ways to look at this.

PAUL JAY: But his attitude towards China–

STEPHEN COHEN: Well, just stay for one minute on Russia, because the China thing is worth talking about too. But he says, almost alone, for the first time–how long has it been since we had a president really pursue detente? It's been a very long time. Obama called it a reset, but it was fraudulent. It was basically saying to the Russians, "Give us everything, and we aren't going to give you anything." It was doomed from the beginning. Plus, they wagered that Putin wouldn't return to the presidency. Do you know, by the way, speaking of meddling, that Biden went to Moscow and told Putin not to return to the presidency in 2012?

PAUL JAY: No.

STEPHEN COHEN: Wrap your head around that a minute. The vice president of the United States goes to Moscow and tells Putin, who's now prime minister because he termed out, but he could return, "We don't think you should return to the presidency." So you know what I'm wondering, I'm wondering whether Biden's calling up Putin today and asking Putin whether Biden should get into the presidential race here. I mean, what the hell? What the hell? And we talk about meddling? So the point about Trump, to finish this, is for the first time in many, many years, a presidential candidate, one that I didn't vote for and didn't care for, had said it's necessary to cooperate with Russia.

PAUL JAY: OK, but I've got to contextualize it. Because it's not enough–because first of all, Trump's a big liar, and everyone, from beginning to end, for real.

STEPHEN COHEN: Politicians lie, Paul. Welcome to the world,

PAUL JAY: No, but I think he lied on Russia.

STEPHEN COHEN: About what?

PAUL JAY: Well, on two things. I think number one–I think two things drove his Russia–

STEPHEN COHEN: Let me get my word in. Then I'll give it to you, I promise I'll pass it right to you, because this is going to set you up beautifully. When he said, Trump, 2016, "It's necessary to cooperate with Russia," there are two ways to interpret that. He was wise and smart, or the Kremlin had something on him.

PAUL JAY: No, I don't think either of those are true.

STEPHEN COHEN: And then we go straight to Russia.

PAUL JAY: Neither of those are true.

STEPHEN COHEN: Well, I'm not saying you say that, but that's the way it was taken.

PAUL JAY: No, I think there's two things drove the Russia thing. Number one, they wanted sanctions lifted because Tillerson and the American oil companies, especially Exxon, wanted a big energy play in Russia, and they needed to lift the sanctions to do it, and Tillerson was all positioned for it. And if it hadn't been for this whole Russiagate stuff, they would have sailed along, had a detente, lifted the sanctions, and had a whole realm of new energy.

STEPHEN COHEN: You mean under Trump.

PAUL JAY: Under Trump. And I think that would have been a good thing. I'm not critiquing that in the sense that anything that reduces tensions between the United States and Russia is a good, thing normalizing, even if it's exploitive and ripping off the Russian people in their oil, I don't care. The nuclear threat is so paramount, anything that reduces those tensions are good. But these are not peacenik intentions.

STEPHEN COHEN: Where do we disagree? You've lost me.

PAUL JAY: I'm not saying we necessarily disagree on this. The second part of it is–and this is where I think is the dangerous part. Because I think sometimes when Trump and Putin get together and talk quietly, part of that conversation could well be about Iran. Because when they had the first big round of sanctions on Iran, Russia supported them, Russia came in on it. And if your foreign policy objective–and clearly it is, between whether it was Flynn, or whether it was Mattis, or whether it was Bolton, all of them are "regime change in Iran is the prime objective." And if you want to do that, wouldn't you want Russia to at the very least step back a little bit?

STEPHEN COHEN: I got you now, I see where you're going.

PAUL JAY: Number one. And number two, the big strategic guns are focused on China. So if you want to focus on China, wouldn't it be nice to have a strategic normalization with Russia, try to split Russia from China? Because in their minds, the real enemy is not Russia, the real enemy is a superpower economy–

STEPHEN COHEN: In whose mind?

PAUL JAY: Much of the American foreign policy establishment, both Democrat and Republican.

STEPHEN COHEN: The real enemy is ?

PAUL JAY: China. Because that's the global economy, that's going to be the competing superpower.

STEPHEN COHEN: Let's say you're right.

PAUL JAY: And that doesn't in any way say it's still, in the final analysis, a good thing if Trump can diminish these tensions. But let's give it the whole context.

STEPHEN COHEN: Well, but it doesn't–I'm not sure what the whole context is. It seems to me you just said to me that Trump or these people were playing for Russia's support against Iran in China.

PAUL JAY: As one piece of this, yeah.

STEPHEN COHEN: Well, if so, it's a fool's folly. Russia is leaving the West. I mean, it can't leave the West geopolitically, because Russia is so big, it's half in the West and a half in the un-West geographically. But American foreign policy, NATO expansion, the unwise policies made in Brussels and Washington, are driving Russia from the West.

PAUL JAY: No doubt.

STEPHEN COHEN: And when you leave the West, where do you end up, Paul?

PAUL JAY: They are pushing exactly the kind of a line–

STEPHEN COHEN: Where do you go?

PAUL JAY: Well, with China, of course.

STEPHEN COHEN: And not only China, where else? All major powers that are not members of NATO, including Iran. So when Putin came to power, he was very much in the tradition of Gorbachev and Yeltsin. He wanted a strategic alliance with the United States. Who was the first person to call up Bush after 9/11? Putin. And he said, "George, anything." And if you go back and look at what the Russians did to help the American ground war in Afghanistan against the Taliban, whether you think it was a good idea or not, that ground war, Russia did more to save American lives–Russian soldiers fighting in Afghanistan–than any NATO country did.

PAUL JAY: No, Iran did more than any NATO country to help America.

STEPHEN COHEN: But Russia had assets, unbelievable assets, and corridors for transportation, and even an army, the Northern Alliance, that it kept in Afghanistan. It gave it all to the United States. Putin wanted a strategic alliance with the United States, and what did he get in return? He got from Bush, the second Bush, more NATO expansion right to Russia's borders, and as I mentioned before, American withdrawal from the Antiballistic Missile Treaty, which had been the bedrock of Russian nuclear security for 30 or 40 years. He got betrayed, and they use that word, "We were betrayed by Washington." This is serious stuff.

The pivot away from the West begins there and continues with these crazy policies that Washington has pursued toward Russia. It doesn't mean that Russia is gone forever from the West, but if you look at the billions of dollars of investment, you look at which way the pipelines flow, you look at Russia–Putin meets like six times a year, maybe more, with the leader of China. They've each called each other their best friend in politics. Trump meets with Putin and we think, "Oh my god, how can he meet with him." I mean, it's normal.

PAUL JAY: Netanyahu just met with Putin; nobody said a word.

STEPHEN COHEN: But the point here is that Russia has been torn between East and the West forever. Its best policy, in its own best interest, is to straddle East and West, not to be of the East or the West, but it's impossible in this world today. And U.S.-led Western policy since the end of the Soviet Union, and particularly since Putin came to power in 2000, has persuaded the Russian ruling elite that Russia can not count any longer, economically, politically, militarily, on being part of the West. It has to go elsewhere. So all this talk about wanting to win Russia to an American position that's anti-Iranian and anti-Chinese is conceived in disaster and will end in disaster. They should think of some other foreign policy.

PAUL JAY: I agree, but I think that's what Trump's–the people around Trump that wanted the detente–

STEPHEN COHEN: We should get new people.

PAUL JAY: Well

STEPHEN COHEN: I'll tell you truthfully, if Trump really wants to cooperate with Russia for the sake of American national security, if we forget all this Russiagate stuff and we say, "The guy is a little dim, but his ideas are right, you've got to cooperate with Russia," he has to get some new advisors. Because the people around him don't have a clue how to do it.

PAUL JAY: I don't think that is the intent, the intent is make money. I don't think there's any other intent. Make money for arms manufacturers, fossil fuel–

STEPHEN COHEN: Well, hope dies with us. I just don't see that constant bashing of Trump demeaning him, though it's so easy to do, helps us think clearly about American national interests.

PAUL JAY: I don't think bashing Trump by dredging up the demons of the Cold War is anything but war mongering. On the other hand, I don't think we should create any illusions about who Trump is.

STEPHEN COHEN: So let me give you the part with a paradox. We shouldn't have any illusions about who Trump is, that seems like–

PAUL JAY: Or who the system is, really.

STEPHEN COHEN: OK. So let's say–I mean, that seems a sensible point of view. But let me ask you a question. Why was it that American presidents since Eisenhower could do detente with Soviet communist leaders, and they weren't demonized after Stalin, but we're not permitted–and certainly Trump is not permitted–to do detente with a Russian Kremlin anti-communist leader, which Putin is? Did we like the communists better than the anti-communists in the Kremlin?

PAUL JAY: No. I'll give you what I think, it's just a layman's opinion. I think the foreign policy establishment, the elite, they were absolutely furious that after all these decades of trying to overthrow the Soviet Union, and they finally accomplish–although I think it was mostly an internal phenomenon, but still–and then they get Yeltsin and they have open Wild West, grabbing all these resources. I think they were really pissed that a state emerged, led by Putin, that said, "Hold on, it may be oligarchs, but they're going to be Russian, and you Americans aren't going to have a free-for–all, taking up the resources and owning the finance. We're not going to be a third world country to your empire."

STEPHEN COHEN: That's correct.

PAUL JAY: And they're pissed off at that.

STEPHEN COHEN: They, meaning ?

PAUL JAY: The Americans.

STEPHEN COHEN: Our people.

PAUL JAY: Our people. Well, I don't want to even take ownership for it.

STEPHEN COHEN: Don't run away. I don't know your age–

PAUL JAY: I'm 67.

STEPHEN COHEN: So we've established that I'm older than you.

PAUL JAY: No doubt. But you look younger, and I'm pissed at that.

STEPHEN COHEN: Well, that's a separate subject.

PAUL JAY: You've got more hair.

STEPHEN COHEN: I've got more hair. You've distracted me. What we share, despite the age difference, is that we grew up at a time when we were told–whether you or I believed it or not, but our generations, two generations, were told we are against Russia because it's communist. We were told that for decade after decade after decade. Now, Russia, the Kremlin, is not communist, it's anti-communist, and we're still against Russia. How do Russian intellectuals and policy-makers interpret that turnabout, that it was never about communism, it was about Russia? There's a saying in Russia formulated by a philosopher, his name was Zinoviev, he passed on but he was very influential, they were shooting–meaning the West–they were shooting at communism, but they were aiming at Russia.

And the view, very widespread among the Russian policy intellectual class today, is that Washington, in particular, will never accept Russia as an equal great power in world affairs, regardless of whether Russia is communist or anti-communist. And if that is so, Russia has to entirely reconceive its place in the world and its thinking about the West. And that point of view is ascending in Russia today due to Western policy. But just remember the view that all during the previous Cold War, they claim they were shooting at communism, but it was really Russia. And they still are today.

PAUL JAY: Yeah, I agree with that. I just–

STEPHEN COHEN: But we don't–you and I may agree, but we don't want Russians to think that way.

PAUL JAY: But I think the view coming out of World War II about being the global hegemon, the superpower, what that also means is you can't have any adversarial regional powers. And whether it's Russia or Iran, if you're not in the smaller American sphere of influence, the umbrella, you can't be there.

STEPHEN COHEN: It's funny you say that. I mean, I'm not a Putin apologist or a Trump apologist, but I do like intellectual puzzles. If you're saying that we have to give up our thinking about a multipolar world, so to speak, that there'll be other regional superpowers or great powers, then isn't Trump the first American president who seems to be OK with that? I don't see in Trump much a demand that we be number one.

PAUL JAY: Oh, I think Make America Great Again?

STEPHEN COHEN: But he didn't say Make American Number One Again. Maybe that's what he means, but you don't have Trump–

PAUL JAY: I don't think it kind of matters what the hell Trump thinks or says. And I think–

STEPHEN COHEN: Have you heard Trump say this thing that Obama and Madeleine Albright ran around saying for years, that American is "the indispensable nation?" Do you know how aggravated that made other states in the world? I mean, stop and think about it. Who runs around saying "we're indispensable?" I haven't heard Trump say that, maybe he has.

PAUL JAY: I just don't think we should put too much weight into whatever Trump says. I think he's a vehicle, he's a vessel.

STEPHEN COHEN: You take what you can get these days.

PAUL JAY: He's a vessel, first and foremost, for the arms manufacturers, for the fossil fuel industry. He's a vessel for right-wing evangelical politics. He's not a philosopher king. He's not a peacenik.

STEPHEN COHEN: You have to have priorities.

PAUL JAY: I think he's rather banal.

STEPHEN COHEN: Yeah, probably, but you have to have priorities. My priority in international affairs is to avoid a military conflict with Russia. In my book, my new book, War with Russia?, when I start writing that book in 2013, I never intended to give it that title. But as I worked and watched events unfold since 2013 to 2019, for the first time in my long career, I thought war with Russia was possible. I didn't even think there was going to be a war–as I remember it, I don't remember it vividly–during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Today, I assure you, the new Cold War is fraught with multiple Cuban Missile Crises. Take your pick; in the Baltic area where NATO is building up, in Ukraine where we've got ourselves involved in a proxy war, in Georgia where NATO is trespassing again as we talk, in Syria where American and Russian forces are flying and fighting on the ground in close proximity. By the way, Trump was absolutely right in withdrawing those–what were they–3000 Americans in Syria because whatever, Russia had killed just one of them.

With Trump in the White House, the trip wires, a war between nuclear Russia and nuclear America, are far greater and more multiple than they have ever been. That's the danger. Therefore, at this moment, if Trump says it's necessary to cooperate with Russia, on that one issue we must support him. It's existential at this moment. And believe me, and believe me, people love to hate on Putin in this country; "Putin's evil, Putin's bad." It's nonsense. Putin is a recognizable leader in Russia's tradition. Putin, as you said I think before, came to power wanting an alliance with the United States. He's spoken of his own illusions publicly. Leaders very rarely admit they ever had an illusion, rights, it's not something they do. He is reproached in Russia, reproached in Russia, for still having illusions about the West. You know what they say about him in high places in Russia? "He's not proactive, he just reacts, he waits for the West to do something abysmal to Russia, and then he acts. Why doesn't he first see what's coming?" What do they cite? They cite Ukraine.

PAUL JAY: Well, that's the next segment, because my question to you is going to be, "Did Putin make a mistake in Crimea?" So please join us for the continuation of our series of interviews with Stephen Cohen on Reality Asserts Itself on The Real News Network.


Pax et Bonum 2 days ago ,

In a country where the media runs the lives of gullible citizens, it is easy to believe that all the moves are being made for the peace and well being of all. Behind the curtains, a narcissistic and egotistic machine is hard at work trying to sell war for peace. This business only benefits a few and causes great suffering on others ... but who am I kidding, no one cares, as long money is being made ... no one really cares!

0040 Pax et Bonum 2 days ago ,

The US Constitution and other supporting documents have long stymied attempts at direct democracy in the US. Beware of anyone claiming to be a strict Constitutionalist ! They hate democracy and embrace slavery in all its disguises.

Marilynne L. Mellander 19 hours ago ,

Great points, Mr. Cohen....this protracted attack on Russia via the phoney "Russiagate" investigation has set back relations with Russia for years to come....of course, even here in Bezerkeley, there were signs posted everywhere before the 2016 election: "Hillary=WWIII (just sayin')".....even the libs around here knew the Clinton cabal wanted a war with Russia ASAP

Michael Holloway 18 hours ago ,

That Trump represents a thinking that the post Soviet reality is not of a uni-superpower world, but one of a multi-polar world dominated by US economic empire.

I think that's true.

After reading "Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century" in 2005, I came to the idea that the most dangerous section of the American elite were those that posited this uni-superpower world order idea; an impossibility in this age of technology (one in which even small economies like Canada could lead the world in nuclear physics understandings and implementation, and one where our collective wealth of scientific understanding and method, plus systems management, can 'leap' a large agrarian/industrial economy (China) to a 2nd generation industrial world power in 50 years, proves that understanding).

gchakko 20 hours ago ,

I haven't read the first part. But what the second part reveals is not that unravelling. American power is despotic. No principles. Money gain only. Russia turned democratic after enlightened brains like Yuri Andropov (Jewish-born ex-KGB Chief), old fox Andrei Gromyko, Gorbachev plus- plus, decided to change the system. In other words, Russia was willing for openness. But American oligarchs wanted to usurp Russian wealth with a hand stroke after Soviet State implosion.

Second, why did Rothschild-Rockefeller Banker vassals like Henry Kissinger, Schultz under Edward Teller influence, sabotage the Reagan-Gorbachev understanding to eliminate nuclear weapons entirely in Reykjavik, insisting unilateral Star Wars capability for the U.S. to remain as sole Superpower.

The problem is the incorrigible Big C (Capital) that wanted to eat away Russian minerals that Putin stopped in national interest. Any subsequent cooperation from the Russian side was probably was only for strategic cooperation with the U.S. to have world peace.

Steve belongs to that lone group of handful, distinguished U.S. intellectuals who see problems as they are in eventual meaningfulness for objective U.S. politics. I admire his talent and courage and support him.

George Chakko, former U.N. correspondent, now retiree in Vienna, Austria.
Vienna, 20/04/2019 06:05 am CET

Fat 18 hours ago ,

Not a word in Cohen's appraisal about US criminality. Jay was pushing in that direction. I hope they get around to the criminality of the Deep State Mafia.

That is the narrative that will get the most results. Trump is greedy and the neocons have already attacked him on two fronts: Russiagate and his need for money. He will likely do what the New World Order folks want him to do. Russiagate will turn out to be a benefit as long as he sticks with the program that the Neocons want. Who has pushed the US hard to get into war with Russia? Hilary, Obama, Cheney, now Bolton --all New World Order soldiers who will commit any crime to rule the world. This is what we are facing.

Jack Lomax a day ago ,

Trump like every POTUS since JFK does the bidding of the Zionist masters. Every POTUS except Nixon and Carter that is, and they were demonised and side tracked respectively. Nixon for his feral decision to recognise China and Jimmy Carter for being a dangerous liberal. But Trump is a normal run of the mill POTUS minus the PR masking tape. Perhaps the system has decided that the nice respectable masking tape is now an unnecessary add-on and every future president (if there are any or many) will do the will of Wall St and Tel Aviv as openly as does Trump and the msm will assure us that this is good and necessary. Good fo the economy and necessary to protect the poor suffering Jewish nation from the anti Semitic hatred of the deluded Palestinian lovers

nina sakun a day ago ,

and finally i think Putin is for Russian greatness, trump is for money for himself and his family, but also for a white America if that can fit in with his money making schemes.

mikjall • a day ago ,

I'm sorry, but Paul Jay, whom I sincerely admire, though with some reservations, sounds in this--very important--interview as if he were suffering from attention deficit syndrome. You see it most of all in the transcript. Stephen Cohen attempted to keep the discussion coherent and focused, and Paul injected irrelevancies. Paul, please keep your eye on the ball. Stephen Cohen is presenting an important message. It's OK to disagree with it, if you have coherent reasons, but it's important even if it's wrong.

michael nola a day ago ,

I think it's a mistake to take Trump at his word on anything that doesn't directly benefit himself. He is two things; an economic animal and a con man, and his motives are no more complicated than those of a cat. Unlike HRC, Bolton, Cheney Bush etc. he's no ideologue for war, however, I don't think he has any deep seated dislike of it either, so taking him at his word, either for or against any military action is foolish; basically, he's running a con and seeing where it goes, especially if there's any money in it for him or his family, a very obvious characteristic of his relationship with the Saudis and his continuing support of their genocidal war in Yemen, a gift he inherited from our Nobel Peace Prize president.

In the long run, there will be no stopping an alliance between the PRC and Russia, especially given our political elites' inability to see we are living in a world they can no longer dominate through an institution, the military, that few have ever been in, and those of Vietnam war draft eligibility, avoided at all costs, and they will continue that losing effort until the combined economic might of those nations and their geographic location on the world's most important land mass, Eurasia, and its proximity to resource rich Africa, eventually bring about the downfall of the American Empire.

antiparasites 2 days ago ,

1) Trump personally doesn"t want wars, never mind a war with Russia, though he's no philosopher or angel.

2) the neolibs, who almost had Russia in the bag before Putin came to power, have been pissed off at Putin and want regime change in Russia.

3) the same neolibs also want to pit russia, iran, and china against each other, in order to complete and maintain their New World Order.

4) the same neolibs panicked at Trump's election victory but has reined him in since with Russiagate. so whatever Trump wants matters not at the moment.

5) the same neolibs have miserably failed in their pursuit of 2) and 3) because of the alliance of the three, russia, china, and iran. now the entire arab world has declared independence from the US of Israel, because they now see an alternative bloc of russia, china, and iran to work with.

all the above are true. more and more people see the truth and reject the neolibs that the DNC leadership represents.

Trump will be reelected in 2020, if he fires bolton / pompeo / mnuchin / abrams etc. so far, he's been all bark but no bite, which is a good sign.

Yo 2 days ago ,

Ever noticed how contradictory people you know can be? Ever noticed how contradictory in yourself, in your own attitudes and deeds you can be? So why be surprised that Trump can be Stephen Cohen's Trump as much as Paul Jay's Trump? No problem really :-)

Luther Blissett • 2 days ago ,

There is no contraction between Cohen's observation that Trump is a voice of sanity on Russia (it just shows how bad US discourse on Russia is) and Jay's concern that detente with Russia is part of larger plan for war (economic, kinetic or hybrid) against Iran and China.

Real or fake, Trump's isolationism has produced no more peace than Obama's tepid liberalism did and Trump's veto of a bipartisan resolution to forced an end to American military involvement in Yemen has shown any arguments for an 'anti-war' Trump were pure self-delusion.

Despite all the chaos and the moral panics that keep rocking the White House, Trump's three National Security Advisors - Flynn, McMaster, Bolton - had one core commonality: they want war with Iran. Watching the sinister neo-con Jim Woolsey betray the frothing neo-con Flynn to Joe Biden was a comedy of neo-con infighting. A major part of Russiagate was the older 'Atlanticist' neo-cons boxing in the boorish 'Trumpist' neo-cons. Whether Atlantic Council or US-homegrown both flavors of neo-conservatism want war with Iran.

0040 2 days ago ,

Wonderful article with Mr Jay playing the role of village idiot ? Mr Cohen speaks with extreme clarity on Russia, which is totally unacceptable in for profit America by all sides, where arms sales are us. In regards to Crimea , I'd ask Mr Jay, did Bush 1 make a mistake in Panama where we killed 4 thousand civilians in keeping China from acquiring an interest in the Panama canal?

Doug Latimer 2 days ago ,

There are so many contradictions under the tent of Killer Clown's circus that it really isn't possible to make clear sense of them, is there?

I'll just say that he absolutely pimps "Amerika über alles", as it's the putrid patriotic red white and blue meat he throws his base.

Does he buy his own sales pitch? He does whatever his tiny but tricky little mind tells him is to his benefit. He'd be perfectly happy as a Russian oligarch or Saudi prince (as long as Putin or MBS let him bloviate to his heart's content).

His only allegiance is to the state of his ego and bank account.

[Apr 20, 2019] Is Russian 'Meddling' an Attack on America - RAI with Stephen Cohen

Notable quotes:
"... Sanctions are road rage. When you don't have a real policy, you do sanctions. But what's the logic of the sanctions? The sanction is we put this punishment on you. But when you change your behavior we will remove the punishment. Isn't that what we say with sanctions? Therefore sanctions have to be discussed if you're going to have diplomacy. So I would expect an American president to say to the Kremlin we need to have a lot of discussions, including the discussion of sanctions. The ones we've imposed. ..."
"... Actually, by now, depending on what comes next, I don't think the Kremlin cares very much. They've coped very nicely with the sanctions. Though it's hurting their ability to roll over their loans with Western banks, it's true. But generally speaking, they've managed. And Europe wants the sanctions ended, because it's hurt European manufacturers, I think there's 9,000 German firms that were or are making a profit in Russia. It's hurt European -- we have almost no trade with Russia, the United States. Sanctions is -- hurting Europe. ..."
"... Flynn was a professional intelligence officer. Let's repeat that. A professional intelligence officer. He knew everybody was listened to. It didn't bother him. The president had told him to have conversations with the Russian ambassador. There was a tradition of doing this. He had nothing to hide. ..."
"... The psychopaths in the Clinton campaign had no concern that the Russiagate meme would cause enormous consequences in the US relationships with important governments around the globe. Hillary Clinton attempted to damage Trump, the candidate that she wished for the Republicans to nominate, by alleging he was "Putin's puppet." More importantly, Clinton wanted to change the subject from her corruption that was evidenced in her leaked emails (likely by the murdered Seth Rich to Assange). The emails, among other things, proved that she and her toady Debbie Wasserman Schultz et al schemed to steal the nomination from Bernie Sanders. ..."
"... It's about Russian interference alright, but not in the election, rather with Washington's hegemonic ambitions in Eastern Europe (Ukraine), then in the Middle East (Syria) and now in South America (Venezuela). Charles Krauthammer's "unipolar moment" is over, the Bear is back. ..."
Apr 20, 2019 | therealnews.com

PAUL JAY: Welcome to Reality Asserts Itself on The Real News Network. And I'm Paul Jay.

People that follow this show know I particularly like to interview people that stick their neck out and stick to their guns for what they believe in, what they're fighting for. And our next guest is someone who's done both of those things under a lot of pressure. So this is the story, to begin with, of Stephen Cohen. Stephen is emeritus professor of politics at Princeton University, professor emeritus of Russian studies and history at New York University, and his most recent book: War with Russia? From Putin and Ukraine to Trump and Russia. Thanks for joining us again.

STEPHEN COHEN: Thanks, Paul.

PAUL JAY: So a lot of people were rather happy with Barr's summary of the Mueller report. And as we sit here talking today we haven't seen the Mueller report, it hasn't been given to Congress yet, and it may even happen tomorrow. We don't know. And it may change what we think of what I'm about to ask, but I don't think it's going to change too much about what I'm going to ask.

Obviously President Trump's pretty happy so far with the no collusion argument. And that was pretty clear from what Mueller said; what Barr says Mueller said. There's a quote from Mueller in Barr's summary. But I thought some people who've been critical of Russiagate were a little bit too happy about this, because the more important, I thought, substance of what Mueller says is that, in fact, Russia did interfere in the elections. And he takes it very seriously. And the more important part of Russiagate narrative, I don't think, was ever the collusion part. In fact, we all knew Mueller was not heading down any big collusion road anyway, because as you pointed out in one of your interviews, I don't know if it was Larry King, you know, you could see from how other people were being charged, Manafort and others, there was no breadcrumb leading you to a collusion argument with Trump. The real problem is the underlying idea is that this is an existential threat to American democracy, and Mueller more or less confirms that.

And I thought people shouldn't be so happy about that part of it, because the substantial argument -- and I'll quote you again -- is that whatever they did it was low-level stuff. It happens all the time between these countries. They all interfere in each other's elections. And then it gets raised to the existential level. That's the problem. And Mueller more or less confirms that.

STEPHEN COHEN: You are absolutely right, only not right enough. This expression, which has become a truth in the media and for too many politicians that "Russia attacked America during the 2016 presidential election" is both exceedingly dangerous and a complete falsehood. Why is it dangerous? Because if a great power is attacked, that great power has to eventually attack back, counterattack. This is a ticking time bomb in relations with Russia. No attack on America occurred in 2016. I was awake, present, and observant. I saw no missiles descending on our country. No Russian paratroopers. No Russian submarines. No Russian combat planes. Nothing. It's a complete fiction.

It's a form, I guess, of hyperbole. Did the Russians meddle? Some Russians? I don't know. I'm not even sure the Kremlin knew anything about it. But the Russiagate story is that Putin decided he wanted Trump to be in the White House. So he attacked American elections and rigged it. So Trump is now in the White House. I don't know how many people actually believe this. But too many continue to say it, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC. Too many influential news outlets are putting out an exceedingly dangerous fiction which is a form of warmongering. It didn't happen, but they won't let go of it.

So I agree with you. There was no attack on America. But they're keeping this up. Was there meddling? As you say, sure. So let's do the -- briefly -- the history of Russian-American meddling in each other's politics. Where would you like to begin? Should we begin with the American intervention in the Russian Civil War in 1918? I mean, Wilson sent about 8,000 American troops to try to help overthrow the new red Communist government. Was that meddling? Really, is it meddling? You tell me. Sounds like meddling to me.

PAUL JAY: It's armed intervention.

STEPHEN COHEN: It's armed intervention. All right. What about, to leap forward, 1996? I was in Moscow, I observed it. Then-president of post-Soviet Russia Boris Yeltsin stood no chance of being reelected. No chance whatsoever. He was like 3 percent in the polls. But the Clinton administration desperately needed to keep him in power. So they meddled, big time. They sent electoral experts -- not unlike, by the way, Paul Manafort. Guys who make a living advising other countries about how to rig elections. We've got lots of them who do this for big money. So they set up in the presidential hotel. You could see them. Clinton arranged, I think, it was $10 billion, I may be wrong there, IMF loan to Yeltsin so Yeltsin could pay pensions and salaries he hadn't paid for five years. I mean, we did the whole -- I mean this was a massive intervention into Russia's election. And basically we kept Russia, Yeltsin, in the presidency. Is that meddling? Is that meddling?

PAUL JAY: Yeah, of course.

STEPHEN COHEN: What happened with Russian meddling in 2016, compared to the kind of meddling both sides have done, was jaywalking. The only reason it became one of the worst scandals, and I think most damaging in American history, because of the loathing for Trump and because the Clinton people couldn't accept that she was defeated fair and square. So they made up a story. You know, there's this book Shattered which tells about how they sat around and said we'll blame it on the Russians. However, it's exceedingly unpatriotic. It's warmongering. It's damaging our institutions of the presidency.

I mean, if it's true -- for example, let's say it's true that the Kremlin can put Trump in the White House. Then evidently our electoral system in this country is not reliable. And why not a governor, or a senator, or a member of the Congress that Putin likes? And what about the next one? I think it's going to erode confidence in our electoral system on the part of American voters. And what about the presidency itself? I mean, people actually say that a Kremlin puppet sits in the presidency. Do they think that the damage done to the institution of the presidency is going to end when Trump leaves? And do they think Republicans aren't going to do something similar to the next Democratic president?

And the media's scandalous coverage of this, abandoning their own standards. I mean, you don't get your virginity back quite that easily. I mean, they've got a lot to atone for, but at the moment they're not even prepared to say they did anything wrong. Just the other day the heads of these -- CNN, the executive editor of the New York Times and the Washington Post -- all said they thought their coverage of Russiagate had been great. I mean, really? Really? I mean, that's like a brain surgeon missing cancer, and then saying he thought he did a good job. I mean, it's preposterous.

So we have a major problem here. And the myth -- there was no Russian attack. The Russians meddled. Mainly what made the meddling different from the kind of meddling that went on, for example, when there were Russian-backed American communist parties, for example, in this country, is social media. It was a social media thing.

And a final point. Let's say that the Russians -- they didn't -- launched a major social media attack to distort the thinking of American voters, and were successful. Because that's one of the premises, right? People are saying that, right?

PAUL JAY: Yeah.

STEPHEN COHEN: What does that say for American voters? What contempt people have for American voters. So-called American Democrats have contempt for American voters. And now what are they doing? They're out busy censoring social media so that we won't get any information that might disorient an American voter. You can't -- if you don't believe that the electorate will reach a rational decision in voting by whatever interests individual voters have, you're not a democrat. I don't mean a member of the Democratic Party. You're not a democratic person. If you don't believe in voters you can't be a democratic person. Then you're an authoritarian.

PAUL JAY: The story that got completely lost as they focused on low-level meddling that was mostly -- that I think anyone can determine rather ineffective -- was the Cambridge Analytica story, and Bannon, and the use of troll farms, American-controlled troll farms, to do this targeted social media manipulation. And that's out there, including an arm of Cambridge Analytica which helped shape the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom. And the role of Robert Mercer, who funded Bannon and Kellyanne Conway and originally backed Cruz, and then helped create Trump as president, I mean, that's the real story of the Trump presidency. Not this low-level meddling. And they've never really told that story in mainstream media. We did a whole documentary on it on The Real News. This whole thing's been lost about the real kind of sinister dark side to the 2016 elections.

STEPHEN COHEN: What worries me more, though, is the way Russiagate, Russiagaters, the zealots of Russiagate, have criminalized contacts with Russia. I think that this Clinton organization -- what's it called, Center for American Progress, or something, CAP, which has a website called Thought Progress or something -- has some posted 150 Trump-related contacts with Russia. I mean, I've had most of those contacts with Russia. I mean, I've had contacts with Russian intelligence agents. One was a good friend of mine. Five or six of them I worked with in a historical archive, and we did smoking breaks and lunch breaks together, and we talked. I mean, I've had all sorts of contacts in my nearly 50 years of dealing with Russia. There was a time when contacts were supposed to be good because it was a way of understanding and avoiding conflict. Part of detente. Part of diplomacy. But Russiagate, the allegations -- and I don't believe any of them, by the way -- the allegations have criminalized contacts.

Incidentally, as we talk, this young Russian woman, Marina Butina -- sometimes pronounced here BuTIna, but it's BUtina, B-U-T-I-N-A -- has been sitting in an American prison for more than six months, most of it in solitary, for doing nothing other than what many Americans do in Russia, and that is go around talking about how good the American political system is to Russia, Russians. She went around bragging on Putin and the Russian political system here. For that she's been kept in prison, and was, as Russians say, finally broken. Literally. That's how Russians break people. They lock you away to you confess. We call confession a plea. So she -- and she's still in prison, even though she pled.

What did she plead guilty to? Coming here and advocating Russian perspectives without registering as a foreign agent. This is a Soviet practice, Paul. One of the things that worries me is that Russiagate has generated too many Soviet-style practices by American authorities. The use of informers. People who were sent to inform on members of Trump's team, like Papadopoulos, for example. Holding people's families hostage. I mean, Mueller held General Flynn's son hostage, essentially, until Flynn pled. And Flynn never should have pled guilty. Never. In fact, he said the other day he regretted it.

Let's talk about Flynn, for example, to see how bogus this is. Flynn was taped, as he knew he would be, making contact after Trump was elected, before Trump came President, with the Russian ambassador, correct? That was how the story began.

PAUL JAY: And they had to know they were being listened to.

STEPHEN COHEN: Of course they [inaudible].

PAUL JAY: Or he should have.

STEPHEN COHEN: Well, so you would say if he knew he was being listened to, why would he go forward and have this meeting, or discussions, with the Russian ambassador? Because Trump had told him to do it. And the reason is very simple to anyone who knows even a little history. At least since Nixon -- maybe since Eisenhower and Kennedy -- but at least since Nixon, every American president-elect has made a so-called back channel connection with the Russians, with the Kremlin, before taking office. End of story. And we know -- I mean, Kissinger did it for Nixon.

PAUL JAY: But Nixon did it with the North Vietnamese, and Johnson called it treason.

STEPHEN COHEN: I don't care. The point of it is it's become traditional standard practice for the president-elect to reach out to the Russians to say basically chill out, we're going to discuss everything. I mean, you got to remember what happened. I mean, this was dangerous. Obama, to his eternal disgrace, threatened the Russians with a cyberattack. He threatened them. He said we've implanted in your infrastructure some kind of cyber thing.

PAUL JAY: And passed sanctions.

STEPHEN COHEN: But forget the sanctions. Forget the sanctions. He threatened them with a secret attack on their infrastructure. Did it mean their medical system? Did it mean their banking system? Did it mean their nuclear control system? And then the nitwit Vice President -- Obama's -- goes out and tells jokes about it on late night TV. Yeah, hey, we got him. What kind of behavior is this?

So I think Trump did absolutely the right thing. He told General Flynn, after Obama had made this reckless statement, but after Trump was elected, but not yet president, told Flynn, go tell the Russians not to overreact to what Obama said. Don't do anything crazy. We'll sort this out when I take office. I personally am grateful he did that, because there were people in Moscow arguing to Putin that they had to wage some kind of counterattack first. I mean, this was a very dangerous moment that Obama created, unnoticed in this country. Unreported on.

But not only was it the tradition that the president-elect made contact with the Russians. Backdoor. Everyone had done it. But in this case it was essential, because the crazies in Moscow were urging Putin to do something based on what Obama had said. By the way, who's vanished. On the question of Russiagate, Obama has disappeared himself. I mean Russiagate began on Obama's watch as president. You'd think he'd have something to say. He hadn't said a word.

PAUL JAY: But let me counter. I mean, I think the sanctions Obama put on Russia for Russia's meddling in the U.S. elections was uncalled for; aggressive, and so on. And a continuation of a bunch of aggressive policy. But their argument is Obama was the president, and the sanctions had been implemented. And Trump was saying to Putin, don't worry, we're going to get rid of them.

STEPHEN COHEN: No there's no record. This is-

PAUL JAY: I thought that was Flynn's conversation.

STEPHEN COHEN: No. No. What Flynn told Kislyak, so far as we know, I haven't heard the tape, was do not overreact to this statement by Obama that your infrastructure is going to be attacked, and we will discuss everything, maybe he said including sanctions, when Trump takes the White House.

Now, let's back up a minute. Why shouldn't we discuss sanctions? The logic -- I don't believe in sanctions. They're road rage. I mean, as we talk, a few nitwit senators are up on the Hill trying to think up some new sanctions. And if you ask them what they're sanctioning Russia for today, they couldn't tell you. Everything. In fact, they do tell you. It's called for Putin's malign behavior in the world. It's not about Crimea anymore. It's not about voter interference. It's just basically he's a malign character, and you can't have too many sanctions.

Sanctions are road rage. When you don't have a real policy, you do sanctions. But what's the logic of the sanctions? The sanction is we put this punishment on you. But when you change your behavior we will remove the punishment. Isn't that what we say with sanctions? Therefore sanctions have to be discussed if you're going to have diplomacy. So I would expect an American president to say to the Kremlin we need to have a lot of discussions, including the discussion of sanctions. The ones we've imposed.

Actually, by now, depending on what comes next, I don't think the Kremlin cares very much. They've coped very nicely with the sanctions. Though it's hurting their ability to roll over their loans with Western banks, it's true. But generally speaking, they've managed. And Europe wants the sanctions ended, because it's hurt European manufacturers, I think there's 9,000 German firms that were or are making a profit in Russia. It's hurt European -- we have almost no trade with Russia, the United States. Sanctions is -- hurting Europe.

PAUL JAY: Well, let's get back to Flynn. How could he not know that's being listened to? And I guess they assume that this was not abnormal for an incoming president to have a conversation like this.

STEPHEN COHEN: Flynn was a professional intelligence officer. Let's repeat that. A professional intelligence officer. He knew everybody was listened to. It didn't bother him. The president had told him to have conversations with the Russian ambassador. There was a tradition of doing this. He had nothing to hide.

PAUL JAY: OK. There's a part of this that I don't think we're going to agree on, and we're going to talk about that in the next-

STEPHEN COHEN: I don't even know you were disagreeing with me. Those are just facts I gave you.

PAUL JAY: I didn't disagree up until this point. We might agree on something and then disagree in the next segment. So please join us for the next segment of our series of interviews with Stephen Cohen.


Infarction 4 days ago ,

Stephen Cohen: "... [B]ecause of the loathing for Trump and because the Clinton people couldn’t accept that she was defeated fair and square. So they made up a story. You know, there’s this book Shattered which tells about how they sat around and said we’ll blame it on the Russians."

The psychopaths in the Clinton campaign had no concern that the Russiagate meme would cause enormous consequences in the US relationships with important governments around the globe. Hillary Clinton attempted to damage Trump, the candidate that she wished for the Republicans to nominate, by alleging he was "Putin's puppet." More importantly, Clinton wanted to change the subject from her corruption that was evidenced in her leaked emails (likely by the murdered Seth Rich to Assange). The emails, among other things, proved that she and her toady Debbie Wasserman Schultz et al schemed to steal the nomination from Bernie Sanders.

0040 Infarction 3 days ago ,

In fact Billary won the "election" by 3 million votes. But since we are not a democracy it did not matter. Trump was appointed by America's elites, claiming otherwise just serves the status quo. I'm sure Mr Cohen knows that?

Putin Apologist 4 days ago ,

It's about Russian interference alright, but not in the election, rather with Washington's hegemonic ambitions in Eastern Europe (Ukraine), then in the Middle East (Syria) and now in South America (Venezuela). Charles Krauthammer's "unipolar moment" is over, the Bear is back.

antiparasites 4 days ago ,

right on point, Mr. cohen, right on the money. looking forward to the next installment.

RandyM 4 days ago ,

Just a question Paul. Who is "too happy" that no collusion was found? Can you name names? Russiagate debunkers like Glenn Greenwald and Aaron Mate may feel vindicated, but I don't see happiness in the fact that the whole episode probably helps Trump.

antiparasites RandyM 4 days ago ,

truth should set good people free and thus make them very happy. you're not too happy? well then you know what you are.

Marko 4 days ago ,

"But I thought some people who’ve been critical of Russiagate were a little bit too happy about this, because the more important, I thought, substance of what Mueller says is that, in fact, Russia did interfere in the elections..."

If there was interference , it was , as Cohen says , on the level of jaywalking in its seriousness. What would really constitute "an existential threat to American democracy" is if this whole affair began and continued as a fabricated-from-whole-cloth stitch-up of a candidate and then sitting President , orchestrated and implemented at the highest levels of the CIA , FBI , Justice and State Depts. , etc., and possibly all the way up to ex-Pres. Obama. If the origin of this whole mess is ever investigated properly , as it should be , I hope TRNN will cover it and the ramifications of its findings at least as thoroughly as it has the hoax itself , and will invite Stephen Cohen back to contribute to that analysis. You certainly won't hear from him on the MSM , where such honesty and clarity of thought are effectively banned.

EarthView 4 days ago ,

Where is part 2? What is it that Paul Jay disagrees with Cohen? Sanctions are utterly stupid. ALL sanctions against all countries should be removed, including those on Russia, Iran, Venezuela, China and even North Korea. No self-respecting counties will submit to the ridiculous demands of the terrorist empire because of sanctions.

0040 EarthView 3 days ago ,

Sanctions, embargoes, and tariffs, are a forms of taxation that harm the masses in the state that applies them, while their rulers blame others for the resulting shortages and higher prices.

antiparasites EarthView 4 days ago ,

fewer and fewer parties are concerning themselves about the US sanctions. not "even" north korea, according to their latest communique. maybe that's why cohen says "forget the sanctions."

Mark Swanson 3 days ago ,

Okay, Mr. Cohen spends a lot of time trashing the Clintons but is almost an apologist for the Trump administration. He states correctly that the U.S. has meddled in Russian politics in the past, notably in the 1920s and 1990s, which we probably shouldn't have done but that does not make it okay for the Russians to do the same to us. His position seems to be, tit-for-tat, eye-for-an-eye, so what, forget it. He dismisses, with contempt, the idea that Russia meddled at all, but no one knows how much they meddled or what the effects were because no one has looked into it.

Mr. Cohen states that Russia did not attack the U.S. by which he means militarily with troops and missles. Obviously, that is true but so what. Is cyberassault not something the U.S. should worry about? Also Mr. Cohen seems to imply that Vladimir Putin is not that bad as leaders go, despite the poisonings, the assassinations, the imprisonment of critics and banning of political opponents, and most egregious, the invasion of the Ukraine and occupation of Crimea. He seems to think invading other countries is okay and that the Europeans don't care because sanctions against Russia cause them economic hardship. I suspect that many Europeans care very much about European countries invading each other. He criticizes President Obama for placing sanctions on Russia and states that Obama did so because the U.S. doesn't have a strategy regarding Russia. How does he think the U.S. should respond? What does he think U.S. policy should be towards Russia?

Mr. Cohen defends Michael Flynn stating all new administrations contact Russia to reassure them. Maybe so but that doesn't explain why Mr. Flynn failed to register as a lobbyist for Turkey. Mr. Mueller would not have been able to hold Mr. Flynn's son "hostage" if neither Flynn or his son had not done something illegal. Cohen also defends Ms. Butina even though she was in contact with the National Rifle Association.

Altogether I don't find Mr. Cohen persuasive because of his dismissive arrogance of everything supporting the Russiagate scandal. At this point no on is in a position to accurately critique Russiagate until the report by Mr. Mueller is released.

It would have helped his case if he had expressed as much contempt for the Trump Administration as he did of the Clinton and the Democrats such as some acknowledgement that Trump is a dispicable, cruel, vicious and pathological narcissist. It also did not help that Mr. Jay seemed embarrassed to question or critique Mr. Cohen's assertions. Unfortunately in making his points Mr. Cohen takes too much information out of context and leaves out far too many details of the Russiagate scandal.

Paul McArthur Mark Swanson 3 days ago ,

I think if you listen more to professor Cohen (try Stephen Cohen John Batchelor show) , you find acknowledgement of all of Trumps faults as well that you accurately described and realize his "dismissive arrogance" relates to his informed knowledge of the Russiagate scandal.

Oracle Mark Swanson 3 days ago ,

I couldn’t have put it any more coherently. I don’t find Mr. Cohen persuasive at all, particularly after watching the Russian intelligence and counter intelligence cohort at the House Intelligence Committee hearing. (They were extremely knowledgeable.) After hearing them, this guy seems unbelievable to me. But! Paul got his anti-Mueller report guy. At this point, this country is like a boulder ready to roll down a cliff and finish democracy for good. Two of the issues I found ironic was that Mr. Cohen 1) feels that Democrats must not think voters are very smart if they are swayed by the Social Networks (ha!) and 2) he really believes (straight face) that our voting system and elections in this country are solid and uncorrupted. Where has he been? Thank you, Mark Swanson, for your eloquent analysis.

Marilynne L. Mellander 19 hours ago ,

Finally - an interview with someone who doesn't suffer from Trump Derangement Syndrome - great stuff!!

TomG 3 days ago ,

So simple yet so true, "Sanctions are road rage. When you don't have effective policy, you implement sanctions."

Maricata • 4 days ago ,

The NYT or WAPO, both, are CIA outlets that ALWAYS lied to the world

miomyo 4 days ago ,

I say, now is the time to invest in tinfoil.

0040 4 days ago ,

An historically factual and informative article once again based based on a false premise. Trump was not elected. Billary won the election by 3 million votes. Trump was appointed POTUS by the Electoral College, as Bush2 was appointed by the SCOTUS and then employed a government official in Ohio to stuff electronic ballot boxes to secure himself a second term, and the US media forced fed to desperate but credulous Americans the empty suit Obomber turned out to be to. The US is not and has never been a Democracy, more a police state run by Plutocrats . Mr Cohen simply trumpets the corporate approved narrative offering incrementalism for obedience. Kissinger and friends, investment advisers to most of the worlds tyrants, continues to facilitate Putin's end run around US sanctions helping him invest his enormous fortune.

antiparasites 0040 4 days ago ,

you don't like the rules? then change the rules first. Trump won the election fair and square, following the rules. if the rules had been different, voters and candidates would have behaved totally differently as well in terms of campaign strategies and voting. Trump could have won the popular vote by a landslide. ever thought about that? no.

0040 antiparasites 3 days ago ,

The rules are , there are no longer any rules just the cloying greed of our rulers, whose minions will promote/support any lie in their service.

[Apr 20, 2019] Here is an interesting interpretation of Trumps selection of cabinet and advisor positions

Notable quotes:
"... Trump's main problem in this respect is that the diversity of viewpoints within the military, the NSA or other government agencies might already be too narrow and he needs a Republican version of Stephen Cohen who has always advocated for engagement with Russia, along with other people from outside Washington DC but with experience in state legislatures for the various departments. ..."
"... I agree and I suspect Trump regards Putin as a fellow CEO and perhaps the best one on the planet. ..."
"... A more fundamental problem is that the US has not yet reached rock bottom. So, its delusions remain strong. Trump, as said before, may be a false dawn unless the bottom is closer than suspected and he has new allies (perhaps foreign allies). ..."
Nov 20, 2016 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Patient Observer , November 19, 2016 at 8:41 am

Here is an interesting interpretation of Trump's selection of cabinet and advisor positions:

https://sputniknews.com/politics/201611191047623363-trump-administration-analysis/

It is not about politics, but Trump's peculiar management style, Timofey Bordachev, Director of the Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies of the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs at Russia's High School of Economics, told RIA Novosti.

"Those who have been studying the business biography of the newly elected president have noted that he has always played off his high-ranking employees against each other. While doing so he remained above the fight," he said.

And

Gevorg Mirzayan, an assistant professor of the Political Science department at the Financial University in Moscow pointed out two purposes for the nominations.

"Trump needs to consolidate the Republican Party, hence he should nominate representatives of different party groups to key positions in his administration to win the support of the whole party," he told RIA Novosti. Surveillance © Photo: Pixabay Trump National Security Team Reportedly Wants to Dismantle Top US Spy Agency The second purpose is to form an administration that doesn't look too "dovish" or too "hawkish" to be able to avoid further accusations of excessive loyalty towards Moscow, he suggested. Thus without an image of a 'dove" who neglects the national interests, he will be able to normalize Russian-American relations, the expert said.

The above brings rationality to the diverse selections made by Trump.

However, the black swan event will be an economic collapse (fast or protracted over several years). That will be the defining event in the Trump presidency. I have no inkling how he or those who may replace him would respond.

Jen , November 19, 2016 at 12:18 pm
I had guessed myself that Trump was going to run the government as a business corporation. Surrounding himself with people of competing viewpoints, and hiring on the basis of experience and skills (and not on the basis of loyalty, as Hillary Clinton might have done) would be two ways Trump can change the government and its culture. Trump's main problem in this respect is that the diversity of viewpoints within the military, the NSA or other government agencies might already be too narrow and he needs a Republican version of Stephen Cohen who has always advocated for engagement with Russia, along with other people from outside Washington DC but with experience in state legislatures for the various departments.

If running the US government as a large mock business enterprise brings a change in its culture so it becomes more open and accountable to the public, less directed by ideology and identity politics, and gets rid of people engaged in building up their own little empires within the different departments, then Trump might just be the President the US needs at this moment in time.

Interesting that Russian academics have noted the outlines of Trump's likely cabinet and what they suggest he plans to do, and no-one else has. Does this imply that Americans and others in the West have lost sight of how large business corporations could be run, or should be run, and everyone is fixated on fake "entrepreneurship" or "self-entrepreneur" (whatever that means) models of running a business where it's every man, woman, child and dog for itself?

Patient Observer , November 19, 2016 at 5:21 pm Patient Observer , November 19, 2016 at 5:21 pm
I agree and I suspect Trump regards Putin as a fellow CEO and perhaps the best one on the planet. Trump may have noted how Putin did an incredible turnaround of Russia and it all started with three objectives: restore the integrity of the borders, rebuild the industrial base and run off the globalists/liberals/kreakles. I am certainly not the first one to say this and I think that there is a lot of basis for that analysis. However, Trump will have a far more difficult challenge and frankly I don't think he has enough allies or smarts to pull it off.

A more fundamental problem is that the US has not yet reached rock bottom. So, its delusions remain strong. Trump, as said before, may be a false dawn unless the bottom is closer than suspected and he has new allies (perhaps foreign allies).

[Apr 20, 2019] What shocked me most from the recent story here about Torturer Gina Haspel lying to Trump wasn't that she did it. The woman has no scruples at all, and her misbehavior is hardly a surprise.

Apr 20, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Zachary Smith , Apr 18, 2019 5:09:48 PM | 7 ">link

Assuming that it is correct, who might be the most likely culprit?

Making that assumption, I want to focus on this part:

The U.S. embassy in Kuwait contacted a contracted private company to send the package to the U.S. on board of an American airline.

Government is evil. Therefore hiring enough vetted US citizens to run an embassy is to be avoided if a Private Company can be paid to do the same job. It's been done in the Military. NASA. National Intelligence has been "privatized". (think Edward Snowden)

What shocked me most from the recent story here about Torturer Gina Haspel lying to Trump wasn't that she did it. The woman has no scruples at all, and her misbehavior is hardly a surprise. The NYT piece was just another story about an ignorant old man who can be easily managed. No, here is the part which jumped out at me.

"Houseflies buzzing around the Oval Office were drawing his attention, and ire.

After reading that I'd be surprised if there is a competent core of White House GOVERNMENT workers remaining there. Nobody to manage the flying vermin. It took the director of the CIA to send over some flypaper!

I doubt if the Trumpies could organize a 1-float parade, so the lax security could be almost anywhere in the chain of events. But my present vote is on a Private Company. It might be the transport company. If they don't have junior staffers in the Embassy to run simple missions like delivering a package, they probably don't have an in-house cleaning staff, either. So they may hire some locals to come in and mop and sweep the joint. Inexpensive Outsiders.

[Apr 19, 2019] The USA> creation of political Islam and supporting islamist fighters in Afhanistan created preconditions for the 9/11

So the USA helped to re-install medieval treatment of woman in Afghanistan and then called it progress toward human rights...
Notable quotes:
"... But, yes, 'somebody did something'. You don't need a conspiracy theory, because a conspiracy is a secret agreement to commit a crime, and this crime is right out in the open. Millions of people killed for fun and profit. Not that there weren't other conspiracies as well. ..."
Apr 18, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Behind the Omar Outrage Suppressed History of 9-11 By Max Blumenthal

Trump's demagogic ploy with the freshman lawmaker raises the more serious question of who and what led to the "Day of Planes," writes Max Blumenthal.

... ... ...

To effectively puncture Trump's demagogic ploys, the discussion of 9/11 must move beyond a superficial defense of Omar and into an exploration of a critical history that has been suppressed. This history begins at least 20 years before the attacks occurred, when "some people did something." Many of those people served at the highest levels of U.S. government, and the things they did led to the establishment of Al Qaeda as an international network – and ultimately, to 9/11 itself.

Taliban 'Unimportant'

Back in 1979, some people initiated a multi-billion-dollar covert operation to trap the Red Army in Afghanistan and bleed the Soviet Union at its soft underbelly. They put heavy weapons in the hands of Islamist warlords such as Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, dispatched Salafi clerics such as "Blind Sheikh" Omar Abdel Rahman to the battlefield, and printed millions of dollars worth of textbooks for Afghan children that contained math equations encouraging them to commit acts of violent martyrdom against Soviet soldiers. They did anything they could to wreak havoc on the Soviet-backed government in Kabul.

These people were so hellbent on smashing the Soviet Union that they made common cause with the Islamist dictatorship of Pakistan's Zia-ul-Haq and the House of Saud. With direct assistance from the intelligence services of these U.S. allies, Osama bin Laden, the scion of Saudi wealth, set up his Services Bureau on the Afghan border as a waystation for foreign Islamist fighters.

These people even channeled funding to bin Laden so he could build training camps along the Afghan-Pakistan border for the so-called freedom fighters of the mujahideen. And they kept watch over a ratline that shepherded young Muslim men from the West to the front lines of the Afghan proxy war, using them as cannon fodder for a cold-blooded, imperial operation marketed by the Wahhabi clergy in Saudi Arabia as a holy obligation.

These people were in the CIA, USAID, and the National Security Council. Others, with names like Charlie Wilson, Jesse Helms, Jack Murtha, and Joe Biden, held seats on both sides of the aisle in Congress.

When they finally got what they wanted, dislodging a secular government that had provided Afghan women with unprecedented access to education, their proxies plunged Afghanistan into a war of the warlords that saw half of Kabul turned to rubble, paving the way for the rise of the Taliban. And these people remained totally unrepentant about the monster they had created.

"Can you imagine what the world would be like today if there was still a Soviet Union?" remarked Zbigniew Bzezinski, the former NSC director who sold President Jimmy Carter on the Afghan proxy war. "So yes, compared to the Soviet Union, and to its collapse, the Taliban were unimportant."

To some in Washington, the Taliban were a historical footnote. To others, they were allies of convenience. As a top State Department diplomat commented to journalist Ahmed Rashid in February 1997, "The Taliban will probably develop like Saudi Arabia. There be [the Saudi-owned oil company] Aramco, pipelines, an emir, no parliament and lots of Sharia law. We can live with that."

CIA Cover-ups and Blowback

Back in the U.S., some people fueled the blowback from the Afghan proxy war. The Blind Sheikh was given a special entry visa by the CIA as payback for the services he provided in Afghanistan, allowing him to take over the al-Kifah Center in New York City, which had functioned as the de facto U.S. arm of Al Qaeda's Services Bureau. Under his watch and with help from bin Laden, some people and lots of aid were shuttled to the front lines of U.S. proxy wars in Bosnia and Chechnya while the Clinton administration generally looked the other way.

Though the Blind Sheikh was eventually convicted in a terror plot contrived by a paid informant for the FBI, some people in federal law enforcement had been reluctant to indict him. "There was a whole issue about [Abdel-Rahman] being given a visa to come into this country and what the circumstances were around that," one of his defense lawyers, Abdeed Jabara told me. "The issue related to how much the government was involved with the jihadist enterprise when it suited their purposes in Afghanistan and whether or not they were afraid there would be exposure of that. Because there's no question that the jihadists were using the Americans and the Americans were using the jihadists. There's a symbiotic relationship."

During the 1995 trial of members of the Blind Sheikh's New York-based cell, another defense lawyer, Roger Stavis, referred to his clients before the jury as "Team America," emphasizing the role they had played as proxy fighters for the U.S. in Afghanistan. When Stavis attempted to summon to the witness stand a jihadist operative named Ali Abdelsauod Mohammed who had trained his clients in firearms and combat, some people ordered Mohammed to refuse his subpoena. Those people, according to journalist Peter Lance, were federal prosecutors Andrew McCarthy and Patrick Fitzgerald.

The government lawyers were apparently fretting that Mohammed would be exposed as an active asset of both the CIA and FBI, and as a former Army sergeant who had spirited training manuals out of Fort Bragg while stationed there during the 1980s. So Mohammed remained a free man, helping Al Qaeda plan attacks on American consular facilities in Tanzania and Kenya while the "Day of the Planes" plot began to take form.

In early 2000, some people gathered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to prepare the most daring Al Qaeda operation to date. Two figures at the meeting, Saudi citizens named Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Midhar, were on their way to the United States. While in Kuala Lumpur, the duo's hotel room was broken into by CIA agents, their passports were photographed, and their communications were recorded. And yet the pair of Al Qaeda operatives was able to travel together with multiple-entry visas on a direct flight from Kuala Lumpur to Los Angeles. That's because for some reason, some people from the CIA failed to notify any people at the FBI about the terror summit that had just taken place. The "Day of Planes" plot was moving forward without a kink.

In Los Angeles, some people met Hazmi and Midhar at the airport, provided the two non-English speakers with a personal caretaker and rented them apartments, where neighbors said they were routinely visited each night by unknown figures in expensive cars with darkened windows. Those people were Saudi Arabian intelligence agents named Omar Bayoumi and Khaled al-Thumairy.

Crawford , Texas

It was not until August 2001 that Midhar was placed on a terrorist watch list. That month, some people met at a ranch in Crawford, Texas, and reviewed a classified document headlined, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike Inside the US." The bulletin was a page-and-a-half long, with detailed intelligence on the "Day of Planes" plot provided by Ali Mohammed, the Al Qaeda-FBI-CIA triple agent now registered as "John Doe" and disappeared somewhere in the federal prison system. Those people reviewed the document for a few minutes before their boss, President George W. Bush, moved on to other matters.

According to The Washington Post , Bush exhibited an "expansive mood" that day, taking in a round of golf. "We are going to be struck soon, many Americans are going to die, and it could be in the U.S.," CIA counterterrorism chief Cofer Black warned days later. Bush did not meet with his cabinet heads again to discuss terrorism until Sept. 4.

A week later, on Sept. 11, some people did something.

They hijacked four civilian airliners and changed the course of American history with little more than box cutter blades in their hands. Fifteen of those 19 people, including Hazmi and Midhar, were citizens of Saudi Arabia. They were products of a Wahhabi school system and a politically stultifying society that had thrived under the protection of a special relationship with the U.S. Indeed, the U.S. had showered theocratic allies like Saudi Arabia with aid and weapons while threatening secular Arab states that resisted its hegemony with sanctions and invasion. The Saudis were the favorite Muslims of America's national security elite not because they were moderate, which they absolutely were not, but because they were useful.

In the days after 9/11, the FBI organized several flights to evacuate prominent Saudi families from the U.S., including relatives of Osama bin Laden. Meanwhile, Islamophobia erupted across the country, with even mainstream personalities such as TV news anchor Dan Rather taking to the airwaves to claim without evidence that Arab-Americans had celebrated the 9/11 attacks.

Unable to find a single operational Al Qaeda cell in the country, the FBI turned to an army of paid snitches to haul in mentally unstable Muslims, dupes and idlers like the Lackawanna 6 in manufactured plots. Desperate for a high-profile bust to reinforce the "war on terror" narrative, the bureau hounded Palestinian Muslim activists and persecuted prominent Islamic charities like the Holy Land Foundation, sending its directors to prison for decades for the crime of sending aid to NGOs in the occupied Gaza Strip.

As America's national security state cracked down on Muslim civil society at home, it turned to fanatical Islamist proxies abroad to bring down secular and politically independent Arab states. In Libya, the U.S. and UK helped arm the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, a longtime affiliate of Al Qaeda, using it as a proxy to depose and murder Muammar Gaddafi. As that country transformed from a stable, prosperous state into an Afghanistan-style playground for rival militias, including a chapter of the Islamic State, the Obama administration moved to do the same to Damascus.

In Syria, the CIA armed an outfit of supposedly "moderate rebels" called the Free Syrian Army that turned out to be nothing more than a political front and weapons farm for an array of extremist insurgent factions including Al Qaeda's local affiliate and the Islamic State. The latter two groups were, of course, products of the sectarian chaos of Iraq, which had been ruled by a secular government until the U.S. came knocking after 9/11.

The blowback from Iraq, Libya and Syria arrived in the form of the worst refugee crises the world has experienced since World War II. And then came the bloodiest terror attack to hit the UK in history – in Manchester. There, the son of a Libyan Islamic Fighting Group member, who traveled to Libya and Syria on an MI6 ratline, slaughtered concert-goers with a nail bomb.

Cataclysmic social disruptions like these were like steroids for right-wing Islamophobes, electrifying Trump's victorious 2016 presidential campaign, a wing of the Brexit "Leave" campaign in the UK, and far-right parties across Europe. But as I explain in "The Management of Savagery," these terrifying trends were byproducts of decisions undertaken by national security elites more closely aligned with the political center – figures who today attempt to position themselves as leaders of the anti-Trump resistance.

Which people did which things to drag us into the political nightmare we're living through? For those willing to cut through the campaign season bluster, Ilhan Omar's comments dare us to name names.

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and the author of books including best-selling " Republican Gomorrah ," " Goliath ," " The Fifty One Day War " and " The Management of Savagery ," published in March 2019 by Verso. He has also produced numerous print articles for an array of publications, many video reports and several documentaries including " Killing Gaza " and " Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie ." Blumenthal founded the Grayzone in 2015 to shine a journalistic light on America's state of perpetual war and its dangerous domestic repercussions. 36 comments for "Behind the Omar Outrage: Suppressed History of 9/11"


Jeff Harrison , April 19, 2019 at 11:24

The US doesn't seem to have the ability to see ourselves as others see us. This explains why we don't understand why other countries/peoples react badly towards us. This will get worse as we move into a more imperialistic mode. We continue to use the anachronistic phrase "leader of the free world" all the while missing out on the fact that the rest of the world has, in essence, become free and they, for the most part, don't want us leading them.

bill haymes , April 19, 2019 at 05:20

everyone who has not examined ALL THE EVIDENCE of 9/11 WITH AN OPEN MIND is imo simply whistling in the wind

Anarcissie , April 19, 2019 at 11:12

I suppose, then, that that would mean going back to the earliest days of the 20th century, when the British leadership, considering that its future navy, a main pillar of its empire, would have to be fueled with oil instead of coal, and that there was a lot of oil in the Middle East, began its imperial projects there, which of course involved wars, police, spies, economic blackmail, and other tools of empire. The US seized or wangled or inherited the imperial system from the British and thus acquired the associated regional, ethnic, and religious hostilities as well. Since the Arabs and other Muslims were weak compared with the Great Powers, resistance meant terrorism and guerrilla warfare on one side and massive intervention and the support of local strongmen, Mafia bosses, dictators, and so on on the other.

After 9/11. mentioning this important fact became 'justifying bin Laden' or 'spitting on the graves of the dead' so you couldn't talk about it.

But, yes, 'somebody did something'. You don't need a conspiracy theory, because a conspiracy is a secret agreement to commit a crime, and this crime is right out in the open. Millions of people killed for fun and profit. Not that there weren't other conspiracies as well.

Abe , April 18, 2019 at 23:23

Behind the Omar Outrage: Suppressed History of the pro-Israel Lobby

Max Blumenthal's article and his 2019 book, The Management of Savagery: How America's National Security State Fueled the Rise of Al Qaeda, ISIS, and Donald Trump (2019), is an impressive exercise in burying the leads.

Blumenthal does chronicle a decades-long panoply of active measures by numerous pro-Israel Lobby figures, groups and think tanks. Yet he fails to explicitly recognize the connection between pro-Israel Lobby efforts and the covert operations and overt invasions of America's national security state.

Julian Assange of Wikileaks was more explicit. Assange named the "country that has interfered in U.S. elections, has endangered Americans living or working overseas and has corrupted America's legislative and executive branches. It has exploited that corruption to initiate legislation favorable to itself, has promoted unnecessary and unwinnable wars and has stolen American technology and military secrets. Its ready access to the mainstream media to spread its own propaganda provides it with cover for its actions and it accomplishes all that and more through the agency of a powerful and well-funded domestic lobby [ ] That country is, of course, Israel."

frank scott , April 18, 2019 at 22:55

i really like her and support her but if she just had the good sense to have simply said "some people did something terrible" none of the present chapter of "islamophobia" would be acted out..no matter how much we think we know about the real truth(?) what happened that day did not blow up the white house, congress or the ruling class of america but nearly three thousand pretty ordinary folks yes, just like what "we" do repeatedly, but nevertheless, and considering the overwhelming mind fuck that went on with replaying the tragedy on tv for days so that millions across the nation were put in shock, we need to be just a little more considerate and possibly understanding both about how many people might feel and how some people might use any opportunity to perform this second rate islamophobia, which is a tiny fractional form of the original monstrous behavior that has destroyed nations, governments and millions of people in the islamic world..that is islamophobia, not the reactionary crap that passes for it which should be as understandable – under the circumstances – as terrorism!

Zhu , April 18, 2019 at 22:32

It should have been obvious that our government had made enemies around the world & that some would attempt revenge some day. Instead, we all thought that what we did to other people could never happen to us.

Joe Tedesky , April 18, 2019 at 21:41

This is a must read for the skeptics who doubt any questioning of the official 9/11 Commission Report. This investigative reporting by Max Blumenthal is another good reason to read the Consortium.

hetro , April 18, 2019 at 17:18

Max Blumenthal's emphasis on "somebody did something" in echo to Ilhan Omar's comments, plus his emphasis on what has been "suppressed," will hopefully lead on to further disclosures of what took place for the 9/11 event.

Anyone who watches the Omar video will see she is mainly emphasizing a disgraceful demonizing of Muslims in general. Additionally, what has brought on all the hatred to her, she did not speak with the "quasi-theological understanding" that demands the official narrative, with hushed tones, while speaking of the event:

Max Blumenthal above:

". . . by reinforcing the quasi-theological understanding of 9/11 that leaves anti-Muslim narratives unchallenged. "The memory of 9/11 is sacred ground, and any discussion of it must be done with reverence," insisted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi."

It would be a fine thing for CN, despite Mr. Parry's former reservations, to open up enquiry into further discussion of what has been "suppressed"–or at the very least to the very serious questions that have not yet been answered on that horrible day.

OlyaPola , April 18, 2019 at 14:17

"Trump's demagogic ploy with the freshman lawmaker raises the more serious question of who and what led to the "Day of Planes," writes Max Blumenthal."

All processes of suppression tend to spread that which is being suppresed facilitating de-suppression of much that is being suppressed leaving a residual.

Framing and access to sources may continue the lack of perception of this residual and hence facilitate misrepresentation through ommission.

"Back in 1979, some people initiated a multi-billion-dollar covert operation to trap the Red Army in Afghanistan and bleed the Soviet Union at its soft underbelly."

Restriction of frame is a tool of obfuscation and choice of point of initiation a tool of misrepresentation.

During the early 1970's due to internal factors primarily but not wholly in the period of 1964 to 1970, the Politburo of the Soviet Union agreed detente on the bases of spheres of influence with the United States of America facilitating the creation of a greater assay of and reliance upon the US dollar fiat currency, further butressed by commodity arrangements including but not restricted to the petro-dollar, in part to underpin the United States of America economic recovery including recovering their control over their perceived threats within their sphere of influence, particularly but not exclusively Japan.

In reaction/attempt at circumvention in 1973 Mitsui-Mitsubishi representing the zaibatsu sought to jointly develop the Trans-Siberian railway, the port of Nahodka and other industrial options including in Japan primarily in Northern Honshu and in Hokkaido with the Soviet Union but this project was terminated by the Politburo, the reason given being potential threats from China after confrontation including on the Amur and the need to build BAM (Baikal-Amur Railway) to the north of the Trans-Siberian Railway – the projects rejected were ancestor of the present OBOR project with differing participants re-explored from 1993 onwards.

These opportunities and trajectories in the 1970's were explained to the Politburo in the 1970's but rejected by the Politburo.

The Soviet Union was invited into Afghanistan by the Afghani government and hence never "invaded" Afghanistan.

The Politburo accepted the invitation of the Afghani government despite the advice of those practiced in strategic evaluation – the illusion that the Politburo was practiced in strategic evaluation endured in an ideological half-life post August 1968 but increasingly was ignored in practice.

During the 1970's there was an oscillating aspect of contrariness and attempt to regain perceived control in many of the decision of the Politburo led by the man who loved medals and awards Mr. Brezhnev.

Consequently the Politburo and the Soviet Union was complicit in facilitating opportunities for " Back in 1979, some people initiated a multi-billion-dollar covert operation to trap the Red Army in Afghanistan and bleed the Soviet Union at its soft underbelly."

However the targets of these operations were not restricted to the Soviet Union but included as part of an ongoing "strategy" "to underpin the United States of America economic recovery/maintainence including recovering/maintaining their control over their perceived threats within their sphere of influence, particularly but not exclusively Japan." and the location of these efforts were chosen the middle of Central Asia in reaction to experiences in Vietnam, Saudi Arabia and Israel post 1973.

The above are necessarily thumbnails in confirmation and extension of the not widely perceived causation/facilitation/ history/trajectories/time horizons which may aid perception, as may testing the hypotheses that Ms. Omar is being attacked for challenging myth irrespective of which myth she attempts to challenge.

[Apr 19, 2019] Jimmy Carter: US 'Most Warlike Nation in History of the World' by Brett Wilkins

Apr 19, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

The only US president to complete his term without war, military attack or occupation has called the United States "the most warlike nation in the history of the world."

During his regular Sunday school lesson at Maranatha Baptist Church in his hometown of Plains, Georgia, Jimmy Carter revealed that he had recently spoken with President Donald Trump about China. Carter, 94, said Trump was worried about China's growing economy and expressed concern that "China is getting ahead of us."

Carter, who normalized diplomatic relations between Washington and Beijing in 1979, said he told Trump that much of China's success was due to its peaceful foreign policy.

"Since 1979, do you know how many times China has been at war with anybody?" Carter asked.
"None, and we have stayed at war." While it is true that China's last major war -- an invasion of Vietnam -- occurred in 1979, its People's Liberation Army pounded border regions of Vietnam with artillery and its navy battled its Vietnamese counterpart in the 1980s. Since then, however, China has been at peace with its neighbors and the world.

Carter then said the US has been at peace for only 16 of its 242 years as a nation. Counting wars, military attacks and military occupations, there have actually only been five years of peace in US history -- 1976, the last year of the Gerald Ford administration and 1977-80, the entirety of Carter's presidency. Carter then referred to the US as "the most warlike nation in the history of the world," a result, he said, of the US forcing other countries to "adopt our American principles."

China's peace dividend has allowed and enhanced its economic growth, Carter said. "How many miles of high-speed railroad do we have in this country?" he asked. China has around 18,000 miles (29,000 km) of high speed rail lines while the US has "wasted, I think, $3 trillion" on military spending. According to a November 2018 study by Brown University's Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs, the US has spent $5.9 trillion waging war in Iraq,

Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other nations since 2001.

"It's more than you can imagine," Carter said of US war spending. "China has not wasted a single penny on war, and that's why they're ahead of us. In almost every way."

"And I think the difference is if you take $3 trillion and put it in American infrastructure you'd probably have $2 trillion leftover," Carter told his congregation. "We'd have high-speed railroad. We'd have bridges that aren't collapsing, we'd have roads that are maintained properly. Our education system would be as good as that of say South Korea or Hong Kong."

While there is a prevalent belief in the United States that the country almost always wages war for noble purposes and in defense of freedom, global public opinion and facts paint a very different picture. Most countries surveyed in a 2013 WIN/Gallup poll identified the United States as the greatest threat to world peace, and a 2017 Pew Research poll found that a record number of people in 30 surveyed nations viewed US power and influence as a "major threat."

The US has also invaded or bombed dozens of countries and supported nearly every single right wing dictatorship in the world since the end of World War II. It has overthrown or attempted to overthrow dozens of foreign governments since 1949 and has actively sought to crush nearly every single people's liberation movement over that same period. It has also meddled in scores of elections, in countries that are allies and adversaries alike. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Brett Wilkins

Brett Wilkins is editor-at-large for US news at Digital Journal. Based in San Francisco, his work covers issues of social justice, human rights and war and peace.

[Apr 19, 2019] The USSR was a kind of guarantor of sanity of the USA elite, supressing built-in suisidal tendences. With it gove they went off the rail

For Western world, especially people of the USA, the collapse of the USSR was really geopolitical catastrophe, as Putin once put it. It unleaseshed cannibalistic instincts of neoliberal elite.
Apr 19, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Drew Hunkins , April 18, 2019 at 12:39

" "Can you imagine what the world would be like today if there was still a Soviet Union?" remarked Zbigniew Bzezinski "

Yeah, I can.

There never would have been a war on Iraq in 1991 nor an obliteration of Iraq in 2003, which has lasted until the present day. The destruction of Yugoslavia never would have taken place and the wars and proxy wars on Syria and Libya would have only existed in the twisted and depraved imaginations of the Zionist and militarist psychos in our midst.

TINA never would have been an imperative and the working people of the Western world (primarily the U.S.) wouldn't be in a race to the bottom as it comes to wages, healthcare insurance, poverty levels, infant mortality, life-expectancy, union power in the workplace, secure retirements, and outlandish housing costs. With the demise of the USSR the millionaire capitalist-investor class really took the gloves off and saw no reason to provide the working masses with certain life-affirming policies, it was time to really sock it to the bottom 90%.

Despite some its faults, the world's people have been paying dearly for the demise of the USSR.

For further reading on what I've outlined above:
"Blood Lies" by Grover Furr
"Blackshirts and Reds" by Michael Parenti
"Fool's Crusade" by Diana Johnstone
"Against Empire" by Michael Parenti
essays and articles by Paul Craig Roberts
essays and articles by Andre Vltchek

Al Pinto , April 18, 2019 at 13:31

In short, without an antidote, the US does what the neocons and Israel decide to do. Welcome to the world of "my way, or the highway" cowboy mentality

Rob Roy , April 18, 2019 at 20:26

Actually, people in the USSR lived lives of constant fear (they call it the “Time of Terror”) that their friends, relatives, neighbors, strangers, even their children, would “tattle” on them and they would wind up in the torture chambers. They lived in stark, nearly unbearable poverty; the only comfort was that they all were in the same godforsaken boat. Communism might be a good idea on paper, but in reality, because of the ignorance of the bureaucratic leadership, it was a dismal failure.

The demise of the USSR would have no effect whatsoever on the hegemonic madness of the US which, under the guiding light of the Monroe Doctrine (established way before the USSR), carries on destroying one country after another. I would ask, “What would the world do without the USA?” Live in a much more peaceful world for sure. As for Omar, I wish her the fortitude to continue telling the truth. Again, Max Blumenthal proves himself one of the world’s best reporters.

OlyaPola , April 19, 2019 at 05:33

“constant fear”

The years of 1928 to 1953 were not constant since there were the years 1954 and subsequent.

Drew Hunkins , April 19, 2019 at 10:22

That’s not true Rob Roy. You’re parroting Western capitalist talking points. A whole host of brand new scholarly literature has hit the shelves in just the last few years proving the USSR was nowhere near as horrible as the Washington imperialist media made it out to be. In fact, under Stalin the Soviet Union made substantial gains in women’s rights, literacy, healthcare and industrial wages. Also, had it not been for Stalin’s agrarian plan there would have been more famines and more severe famines.

And as everyone knows, if Stalin never crash course industrialized the country they never would have defeated Nazi Germany.

Far from the USSR being a police-state it was often seen as a giant trough in which, for example, rent wouldn’t be paid and no one would come around to collect it.

Please see the following books for a truth trip: “Blood Lies” by Grover Furr and “Stalin, Waiting for the Truth” by Grover Furr. Also, Michael Parenti’s “Blackshirts and Reds is excellent.

Dump Pelousy , April 18, 2019 at 20:52

Micheal Perenti is the best. He was the Truth To Power voice before 9/11, before all the yuppie reporters sold their souls for “access” and a talking heads show. I watched it happen in slow motion with great dismay.

mp66 , April 18, 2019 at 22:23

Spot on. The western owner class was forced to share at least one plate with the rest of the population to make the west appear superior in material terms, and with that incentive or threat gone, there is no more need for a plate, few crumbs under the table should be sufficient. But as usual, greed goes along with stupidity, they forgot that doing so for decades undermines the stability of the system. Trump, Brexit, trade wars, abrogations of treaties, blatant disregard for bare basics of international law etc. are just symptoms of deeper discontent across the globe.

[Apr 19, 2019] Haftar's LNA has won this war, though many battles will be fought ahead, the LNA has brought a very united support from Egypt, KSA and UAE and with that it brings France, Russia and now the US in supporting it, either as opportunistic, individual agenda or simply to speed up the peaceful process.

Apr 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Canthama , Apr 19, 2019 4:17:22 PM | link

The military offensive against Tripoli is more political than in fact a military offensive to overwhelm the enemy. Of course battles are fought but just the fact that heavy weapons (tanks, artillery etc...) were not used in the first few weeks could indicate that the attack was somehow aiming to be fast, to aim fo tribal allegiance shifts or just to make a point. Only in the past week or so we have seen tanks and air strikes taking place, which seems an escalation of the conflict.

Haftar's LNA has won this war, though many battles will be fought ahead, the LNA has brought a very united support from Egypt, KSA and UAE and with that it brings France, Russia and now the US in supporting it, either as opportunistic, individual agenda or simply to speed up the peaceful process.

The fact is the GNA is becoming seriously isolated, very few support besides Turkey, Qatar and Italy, all the indication that there is a good chance for Tripoli to saved from destruction in a mix of military/political solution in weeks to come. Key tribal vocal and on the ground support, like Zittan's, will be crucial for this peace process.
Then Misrata will be a totally different animal, here Muslin Brotherhood/al Qaeda and ISIS are packed and strong, support from Turkey and Qatar is abundant, there is no peaceful solution for Misrata, only annihilation of the filthy terrorists, like in Idlib in Syria.


Circe , Apr 19, 2019 5:07:48 PM | link

Trump is supporting Haftar because he is STILL a CIA asset and to keep Russia's hands off Libya. Haftar is also friends with the Egyptian Zionist Sissy and likewise, MbinSaw.

So now, there's only one smart thing for Putin to do; support THE OTHER SIDE. If he doesn't do this, the U.S. has a CIA stooge ruling Libya, who is friends with all its allies including the most lunatic state of the 3 -- Israel, though all three are ruled by despot nutjobs.

Putin should at worst remain neutral or support the other side to mess with Trump's geo-engineering.

Now that Putin and Kim will be holding a summit soon; it would be nice to see Putin f...ck up U.S. plans in Libya too!

It's about putting up roadblocks to the Empire's geopolitical grab. That's the way you balance power. If ever war breaks out, you want to have as many allies, friendly air space and allied ports as possible. It doesn't mean a World War will happen again, but it could, and geostrategy is good INSURANCE. The U.S. will never be Russia's natural ally, not even close, therefore Putin better play it smart always planning for the worst while hoping for the best.

Alas, I'm not sure what Putin's thinking lately allowing the lunatic state to attack Iranian military assets in Syria! Too many Zionist oligarchs in Putin's sphere. One day Putin will utter Caesar's last words: Et tu, Brute? Because you sure as hell can't trust a Zionist when it comes to securing your own power!

Curtis , Apr 19, 2019 5:27:20 PM | link
So if we want to find who to blame for the increase in oil/gas prices, we should look at Trump's actions?

AP points to a "rogues' gallery of militias" fighting "Hifter"
https://apnews.com/76313fb7c3654a1a9270bbd7b4bd96f2

But only the LNA and GNA are mentioned. I thought there were 3 governments in Libya - one west, one east, and one pushed by the UN. Wikipedia's Libyan Civil War entry adds the National Salvation Army to the LNA and GNA. But the NSA may no longer play a part with the militias rising to the fore. And do the militias support the UN-backed GNA? From what I've read the militias are working together against "one-man rule" of Haftar.

ADKC , Apr 19, 2019 5:30:50 PM | link
Circe @12

Libya is a broken country, Haftar brings stability, the end of the militias, Islamists and slavery. Haftar has already won that is why the US are now supporting him.

Russia has had a long standing dialogue with Haftar. Haftar will probably gain some sort of independence by balancing these conflicting powers (Russia and US). The US will get oil at the price they want (need) but I expect that Russia will gain most from Haftar coming out on top.

Haftar was part of the revolution that brought Gadaffi to power - I doubt that he is a CIA poodle.

Circe , Apr 19, 2019 5:42:32 PM | link
Haftar was part of the revolution that brought Gadaffi to power - I doubt that he is a CIA poodle.

Posted by: ADKC | Apr 19, 2019 5:30:50 PM

Hogwash. You left out the part where Haftar joined the revolution that deposed and murdered Gaddafi after returning to Libya from Langley! Haftar is a ruthless power-lusting butcher and not trustworthy at all!

Circe , Apr 19, 2019 5:42:32 PM | link karlof1 , Apr 19, 2019 6:35:39 PM | link
Prestigious Valdai Club offers two new papers about the Libya situation, "Tripoli: Haftar's Blitzkrieg Failed. What's Next?" from today, and "Libya: Tug of War and Foreign Policy Aspects" from yesterday.

Keep abreast of this important Think Tank's numerous papers, presentations and discussions by watching its Twitter account for announcements.

ADKC , Apr 19, 2019 6:36:56 PM | link
Circe @16

Yes he was part of the forces that overthrew Gaddafi and also connected to the CIA - I didn't mean to suggest otherwise. I would very much prefer Gaddafi to still be in power - Libyans almost certainly feel the same (the vast majority felt the same when the uprising happened).

But Haftar has won and the alternative to Haftar is criminal gangs and Islamist militias. So what choice is there really? Haftar brings a much greater likelihood of peace and stability. But, he won't be bringing back the life that Libyans had when Gaddafi was in charge.

It appears that he instigated his war in 2015 without the agreement/support of US & CIA and this may well indicate that he is his own person - but this might just be a smokescreen. Regardless, what real choice is there for ordinary Libyans - continuing war, chaos and conflict or accepting that Haftar has won?

Circe , Apr 19, 2019 7:05:43 PM | link
ADKC@18

But Haftar has won and the alternative to Haftar is criminal gangs and Islamist militias. So what choice is there really?

Wrong. It's not an either Haftar or terrorists situation, dynamic whatever. This falsehood is UAE, SAUDI bullshet propaganda. Wahhabism is trying to take over Libya and Sudan! Wherever the Saudis are involved trouble follows lest you forget Syria and Yemen!

Haftar is bad for Libya PERIOD. More proof is that before Trump called Haftar to offer his support, he spoke with UEA's MBZ. It all stinks! Leave Libya alone -- hands off! All foreign influence out! That's the best option.

financial matters , Apr 19, 2019 7:08:35 PM | link
Nice to see Russia and the US on the same side actually fighting real terrorism. This is a win against the deep state.
Piotr Berman , Apr 19, 2019 7:11:45 PM | link
The US doesn't care what murderous thug is in charge.
Posted by: BraveNewWorld | Apr 19, 2019 3:22:46 PM | 9

My first thought was -- now they are telling us?

Of course, HRC put it nicely in a debate with Trump: "you will never see me singing praises for a dictator or strongmen who does no love America." Qaddafi, RIP, did not love America, so he had to go once an opportunity emerged. Maduro does not love America. Sisi may have a kind word now and then etc.

Circe , Apr 19, 2019 7:13:50 PM | link
@20 financial matters

This is not a win against anything or a fight against real terrorism. Quit the bull propaganda!

[Apr 19, 2019] US creation of political Islam and supporting islamist fighters in Afhanistan created preconditions for the 9/11

Notable quotes:
"... But, yes, 'somebody did something'. You don't need a conspiracy theory, because a conspiracy is a secret agreement to commit a crime, and this crime is right out in the open. Millions of people killed for fun and profit. Not that there weren't other conspiracies as well. ..."
Apr 18, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Behind the Omar Outrage Suppressed History of 9-11 By Max Blumenthal

Trump's demagogic ploy with the freshman lawmaker raises the more serious question of who and what led to the "Day of Planes," writes Max Blumenthal.

... ... ...

To effectively puncture Trump's demagogic ploys, the discussion of 9/11 must move beyond a superficial defense of Omar and into an exploration of a critical history that has been suppressed. This history begins at least 20 years before the attacks occurred, when "some people did something." Many of those people served at the highest levels of U.S. government, and the things they did led to the establishment of Al Qaeda as an international network – and ultimately, to 9/11 itself.

Taliban 'Unimportant'

Back in 1979, some people initiated a multi-billion-dollar covert operation to trap the Red Army in Afghanistan and bleed the Soviet Union at its soft underbelly. They put heavy weapons in the hands of Islamist warlords such as Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, dispatched Salafi clerics such as "Blind Sheikh" Omar Abdel Rahman to the battlefield, and printed millions of dollars worth of textbooks for Afghan children that contained math equations encouraging them to commit acts of violent martyrdom against Soviet soldiers. They did anything they could to wreak havoc on the Soviet-backed government in Kabul.

These people were so hellbent on smashing the Soviet Union that they made common cause with the Islamist dictatorship of Pakistan's Zia-ul-Haq and the House of Saud. With direct assistance from the intelligence services of these U.S. allies, Osama bin Laden, the scion of Saudi wealth, set up his Services Bureau on the Afghan border as a waystation for foreign Islamist fighters.

These people even channeled funding to bin Laden so he could build training camps along the Afghan-Pakistan border for the so-called freedom fighters of the mujahideen. And they kept watch over a ratline that shepherded young Muslim men from the West to the front lines of the Afghan proxy war, using them as cannon fodder for a cold-blooded, imperial operation marketed by the Wahhabi clergy in Saudi Arabia as a holy obligation.

These people were in the CIA, USAID, and the National Security Council. Others, with names like Charlie Wilson, Jesse Helms, Jack Murtha, and Joe Biden, held seats on both sides of the aisle in Congress.

When they finally got what they wanted, dislodging a secular government that had provided Afghan women with unprecedented access to education, their proxies plunged Afghanistan into a war of the warlords that saw half of Kabul turned to rubble, paving the way for the rise of the Taliban. And these people remained totally unrepentant about the monster they had created.

"Can you imagine what the world would be like today if there was still a Soviet Union?" remarked Zbigniew Bzezinski, the former NSC director who sold President Jimmy Carter on the Afghan proxy war. "So yes, compared to the Soviet Union, and to its collapse, the Taliban were unimportant."

To some in Washington, the Taliban were a historical footnote. To others, they were allies of convenience. As a top State Department diplomat commented to journalist Ahmed Rashid in February 1997, "The Taliban will probably develop like Saudi Arabia. There be [the Saudi-owned oil company] Aramco, pipelines, an emir, no parliament and lots of Sharia law. We can live with that."

CIA Cover-ups and Blowback

Back in the U.S., some people fueled the blowback from the Afghan proxy war. The Blind Sheikh was given a special entry visa by the CIA as payback for the services he provided in Afghanistan, allowing him to take over the al-Kifah Center in New York City, which had functioned as the de facto U.S. arm of Al Qaeda's Services Bureau. Under his watch and with help from bin Laden, some people and lots of aid were shuttled to the front lines of U.S. proxy wars in Bosnia and Chechnya while the Clinton administration generally looked the other way.

Though the Blind Sheikh was eventually convicted in a terror plot contrived by a paid informant for the FBI, some people in federal law enforcement had been reluctant to indict him. "There was a whole issue about [Abdel-Rahman] being given a visa to come into this country and what the circumstances were around that," one of his defense lawyers, Abdeed Jabara told me. "The issue related to how much the government was involved with the jihadist enterprise when it suited their purposes in Afghanistan and whether or not they were afraid there would be exposure of that. Because there's no question that the jihadists were using the Americans and the Americans were using the jihadists. There's a symbiotic relationship."

During the 1995 trial of members of the Blind Sheikh's New York-based cell, another defense lawyer, Roger Stavis, referred to his clients before the jury as "Team America," emphasizing the role they had played as proxy fighters for the U.S. in Afghanistan. When Stavis attempted to summon to the witness stand a jihadist operative named Ali Abdelsauod Mohammed who had trained his clients in firearms and combat, some people ordered Mohammed to refuse his subpoena. Those people, according to journalist Peter Lance, were federal prosecutors Andrew McCarthy and Patrick Fitzgerald.

The government lawyers were apparently fretting that Mohammed would be exposed as an active asset of both the CIA and FBI, and as a former Army sergeant who had spirited training manuals out of Fort Bragg while stationed there during the 1980s. So Mohammed remained a free man, helping Al Qaeda plan attacks on American consular facilities in Tanzania and Kenya while the "Day of the Planes" plot began to take form.

In early 2000, some people gathered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to prepare the most daring Al Qaeda operation to date. Two figures at the meeting, Saudi citizens named Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Midhar, were on their way to the United States. While in Kuala Lumpur, the duo's hotel room was broken into by CIA agents, their passports were photographed, and their communications were recorded. And yet the pair of Al Qaeda operatives was able to travel together with multiple-entry visas on a direct flight from Kuala Lumpur to Los Angeles. That's because for some reason, some people from the CIA failed to notify any people at the FBI about the terror summit that had just taken place. The "Day of Planes" plot was moving forward without a kink.

In Los Angeles, some people met Hazmi and Midhar at the airport, provided the two non-English speakers with a personal caretaker and rented them apartments, where neighbors said they were routinely visited each night by unknown figures in expensive cars with darkened windows. Those people were Saudi Arabian intelligence agents named Omar Bayoumi and Khaled al-Thumairy.

Crawford , Texas

It was not until August 2001 that Midhar was placed on a terrorist watch list. That month, some people met at a ranch in Crawford, Texas, and reviewed a classified document headlined, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike Inside the US." The bulletin was a page-and-a-half long, with detailed intelligence on the "Day of Planes" plot provided by Ali Mohammed, the Al Qaeda-FBI-CIA triple agent now registered as "John Doe" and disappeared somewhere in the federal prison system. Those people reviewed the document for a few minutes before their boss, President George W. Bush, moved on to other matters.

According to The Washington Post , Bush exhibited an "expansive mood" that day, taking in a round of golf. "We are going to be struck soon, many Americans are going to die, and it could be in the U.S.," CIA counterterrorism chief Cofer Black warned days later. Bush did not meet with his cabinet heads again to discuss terrorism until Sept. 4.

A week later, on Sept. 11, some people did something.

They hijacked four civilian airliners and changed the course of American history with little more than box cutter blades in their hands. Fifteen of those 19 people, including Hazmi and Midhar, were citizens of Saudi Arabia. They were products of a Wahhabi school system and a politically stultifying society that had thrived under the protection of a special relationship with the U.S. Indeed, the U.S. had showered theocratic allies like Saudi Arabia with aid and weapons while threatening secular Arab states that resisted its hegemony with sanctions and invasion. The Saudis were the favorite Muslims of America's national security elite not because they were moderate, which they absolutely were not, but because they were useful.

In the days after 9/11, the FBI organized several flights to evacuate prominent Saudi families from the U.S., including relatives of Osama bin Laden. Meanwhile, Islamophobia erupted across the country, with even mainstream personalities such as TV news anchor Dan Rather taking to the airwaves to claim without evidence that Arab-Americans had celebrated the 9/11 attacks.

Unable to find a single operational Al Qaeda cell in the country, the FBI turned to an army of paid snitches to haul in mentally unstable Muslims, dupes and idlers like the Lackawanna 6 in manufactured plots. Desperate for a high-profile bust to reinforce the "war on terror" narrative, the bureau hounded Palestinian Muslim activists and persecuted prominent Islamic charities like the Holy Land Foundation, sending its directors to prison for decades for the crime of sending aid to NGOs in the occupied Gaza Strip.

As America's national security state cracked down on Muslim civil society at home, it turned to fanatical Islamist proxies abroad to bring down secular and politically independent Arab states. In Libya, the U.S. and UK helped arm the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, a longtime affiliate of Al Qaeda, using it as a proxy to depose and murder Muammar Gaddafi. As that country transformed from a stable, prosperous state into an Afghanistan-style playground for rival militias, including a chapter of the Islamic State, the Obama administration moved to do the same to Damascus.

In Syria, the CIA armed an outfit of supposedly "moderate rebels" called the Free Syrian Army that turned out to be nothing more than a political front and weapons farm for an array of extremist insurgent factions including Al Qaeda's local affiliate and the Islamic State. The latter two groups were, of course, products of the sectarian chaos of Iraq, which had been ruled by a secular government until the U.S. came knocking after 9/11.

The blowback from Iraq, Libya and Syria arrived in the form of the worst refugee crises the world has experienced since World War II. And then came the bloodiest terror attack to hit the UK in history – in Manchester. There, the son of a Libyan Islamic Fighting Group member, who traveled to Libya and Syria on an MI6 ratline, slaughtered concert-goers with a nail bomb.

Cataclysmic social disruptions like these were like steroids for right-wing Islamophobes, electrifying Trump's victorious 2016 presidential campaign, a wing of the Brexit "Leave" campaign in the UK, and far-right parties across Europe. But as I explain in "The Management of Savagery," these terrifying trends were byproducts of decisions undertaken by national security elites more closely aligned with the political center – figures who today attempt to position themselves as leaders of the anti-Trump resistance.

Which people did which things to drag us into the political nightmare we're living through? For those willing to cut through the campaign season bluster, Ilhan Omar's comments dare us to name names.

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and the author of books including best-selling " Republican Gomorrah ," " Goliath ," " The Fifty One Day War " and " The Management of Savagery ," published in March 2019 by Verso. He has also produced numerous print articles for an array of publications, many video reports and several documentaries including " Killing Gaza " and " Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie ." Blumenthal founded the Grayzone in 2015 to shine a journalistic light on America's state of perpetual war and its dangerous domestic repercussions. 36 comments for "Behind the Omar Outrage: Suppressed History of 9/11"


Jeff Harrison , April 19, 2019 at 11:24

The US doesn't seem to have the ability to see ourselves as others see us. This explains why we don't understand why other countries/peoples react badly towards us. This will get worse as we move into a more imperialistic mode. We continue to use the anachronistic phrase "leader of the free world" all the while missing out on the fact that the rest of the world has, in essence, become free and they, for the most part, don't want us leading them.

bill haymes , April 19, 2019 at 05:20

everyone who has not examined ALL THE EVIDENCE of 9/11 WITH AN OPEN MIND is imo simply whistling in the wind

Anarcissie , April 19, 2019 at 11:12

I suppose, then, that that would mean going back to the earliest days of the 20th century, when the British leadership, considering that its future navy, a main pillar of its empire, would have to be fueled with oil instead of coal, and that there was a lot of oil in the Middle East, began its imperial projects there, which of course involved wars, police, spies, economic blackmail, and other tools of empire. The US seized or wangled or inherited the imperial system from the British and thus acquired the associated regional, ethnic, and religious hostilities as well. Since the Arabs and other Muslims were weak compared with the Great Powers, resistance meant terrorism and guerrilla warfare on one side and massive intervention and the support of local strongmen, Mafia bosses, dictators, and so on on the other.

After 9/11. mentioning this important fact became 'justifying bin Laden' or 'spitting on the graves of the dead' so you couldn't talk about it.

But, yes, 'somebody did something'. You don't need a conspiracy theory, because a conspiracy is a secret agreement to commit a crime, and this crime is right out in the open. Millions of people killed for fun and profit. Not that there weren't other conspiracies as well.

Abe , April 18, 2019 at 23:23

Behind the Omar Outrage: Suppressed History of the pro-Israel Lobby

Max Blumenthal's article and his 2019 book, The Management of Savagery: How America's National Security State Fueled the Rise of Al Qaeda, ISIS, and Donald Trump (2019), is an impressive exercise in burying the leads.

Blumenthal does chronicle a decades-long panoply of active measures by numerous pro-Israel Lobby figures, groups and think tanks. Yet he fails to explicitly recognize the connection between pro-Israel Lobby efforts and the covert operations and overt invasions of America's national security state.

Julian Assange of Wikileaks was more explicit. Assange named the "country that has interfered in U.S. elections, has endangered Americans living or working overseas and has corrupted America's legislative and executive branches. It has exploited that corruption to initiate legislation favorable to itself, has promoted unnecessary and unwinnable wars and has stolen American technology and military secrets. Its ready access to the mainstream media to spread its own propaganda provides it with cover for its actions and it accomplishes all that and more through the agency of a powerful and well-funded domestic lobby [ ] That country is, of course, Israel."

frank scott , April 18, 2019 at 22:55

i really like her and support her but if she just had the good sense to have simply said "some people did something terrible" none of the present chapter of "islamophobia" would be acted out..no matter how much we think we know about the real truth(?) what happened that day did not blow up the white house, congress or the ruling class of america but nearly three thousand pretty ordinary folks yes, just like what "we" do repeatedly, but nevertheless, and considering the overwhelming mind fuck that went on with replaying the tragedy on tv for days so that millions across the nation were put in shock, we need to be just a little more considerate and possibly understanding both about how many people might feel and how some people might use any opportunity to perform this second rate islamophobia, which is a tiny fractional form of the original monstrous behavior that has destroyed nations, governments and millions of people in the islamic world..that is islamophobia, not the reactionary crap that passes for it which should be as understandable – under the circumstances – as terrorism!

Zhu , April 18, 2019 at 22:32

It should have been obvious that our government had made enemies around the world & that some would attempt revenge some day. Instead, we all thought that what we did to other people could never happen to us.

Joe Tedesky , April 18, 2019 at 21:41

This is a must read for the skeptics who doubt any questioning of the official 9/11 Commission Report. This investigative reporting by Max Blumenthal is another good reason to read the Consortium.

hetro , April 18, 2019 at 17:18

Max Blumenthal's emphasis on "somebody did something" in echo to Ilhan Omar's comments, plus his emphasis on what has been "suppressed," will hopefully lead on to further disclosures of what took place for the 9/11 event.

Anyone who watches the Omar video will see she is mainly emphasizing a disgraceful demonizing of Muslims in general. Additionally, what has brought on all the hatred to her, she did not speak with the "quasi-theological understanding" that demands the official narrative, with hushed tones, while speaking of the event:

Max Blumenthal above:

". . . by reinforcing the quasi-theological understanding of 9/11 that leaves anti-Muslim narratives unchallenged. "The memory of 9/11 is sacred ground, and any discussion of it must be done with reverence," insisted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi."

It would be a fine thing for CN, despite Mr. Parry's former reservations, to open up enquiry into further discussion of what has been "suppressed"–or at the very least to the very serious questions that have not yet been answered on that horrible day.

OlyaPola , April 18, 2019 at 14:17

"Trump's demagogic ploy with the freshman lawmaker raises the more serious question of who and what led to the "Day of Planes," writes Max Blumenthal."

All processes of suppression tend to spread that which is being suppresed facilitating de-suppression of much that is being suppressed leaving a residual.

Framing and access to sources may continue the lack of perception of this residual and hence facilitate misrepresentation through ommission.

"Back in 1979, some people initiated a multi-billion-dollar covert operation to trap the Red Army in Afghanistan and bleed the Soviet Union at its soft underbelly."

Restriction of frame is a tool of obfuscation and choice of point of initiation a tool of misrepresentation.

During the early 1970's due to internal factors primarily but not wholly in the period of 1964 to 1970, the Politburo of the Soviet Union agreed detente on the bases of spheres of influence with the United States of America facilitating the creation of a greater assay of and reliance upon the US dollar fiat currency, further butressed by commodity arrangements including but not restricted to the petro-dollar, in part to underpin the United States of America economic recovery including recovering their control over their perceived threats within their sphere of influence, particularly but not exclusively Japan.

In reaction/attempt at circumvention in 1973 Mitsui-Mitsubishi representing the zaibatsu sought to jointly develop the Trans-Siberian railway, the port of Nahodka and other industrial options including in Japan primarily in Northern Honshu and in Hokkaido with the Soviet Union but this project was terminated by the Politburo, the reason given being potential threats from China after confrontation including on the Amur and the need to build BAM (Baikal-Amur Railway) to the north of the Trans-Siberian Railway – the projects rejected were ancestor of the present OBOR project with differing participants re-explored from 1993 onwards.

These opportunities and trajectories in the 1970's were explained to the Politburo in the 1970's but rejected by the Politburo.

The Soviet Union was invited into Afghanistan by the Afghani government and hence never "invaded" Afghanistan.

The Politburo accepted the invitation of the Afghani government despite the advice of those practiced in strategic evaluation – the illusion that the Politburo was practiced in strategic evaluation endured in an ideological half-life post August 1968 but increasingly was ignored in practice.

During the 1970's there was an oscillating aspect of contrariness and attempt to regain perceived control in many of the decision of the Politburo led by the man who loved medals and awards Mr. Brezhnev.

Consequently the Politburo and the Soviet Union was complicit in facilitating opportunities for " Back in 1979, some people initiated a multi-billion-dollar covert operation to trap the Red Army in Afghanistan and bleed the Soviet Union at its soft underbelly."

However the targets of these operations were not restricted to the Soviet Union but included as part of an ongoing "strategy" "to underpin the United States of America economic recovery/maintainence including recovering/maintaining their control over their perceived threats within their sphere of influence, particularly but not exclusively Japan." and the location of these efforts were chosen the middle of Central Asia in reaction to experiences in Vietnam, Saudi Arabia and Israel post 1973.

The above are necessarily thumbnails in confirmation and extension of the not widely perceived causation/facilitation/ history/trajectories/time horizons which may aid perception, as may testing the hypotheses that Ms. Omar is being attacked for challenging myth irrespective of which myth she attempts to challenge.

[Apr 19, 2019] The situation in Syria is concerning. The CIA is implementing an intense strategy of sabotage against any form of energy supply. The aim is to prevent reconstruction and therefore make life impossible for its people.

Apr 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Bart Hansen , Apr 19, 2019 3:57:48 PM | link

The situation in Syria is concerning. Meyssan has a piece on the geopolitics of oil. An excerpt:

"The attitude of the White House towards Syria is different, insofar as this country is currently unable to exploit its reserves, and Russia is allowing time to pass. The aim is to prevent reconstruction and therefore make life impossible for its people. The CIA is implementing an intense strategy of sabotage against any form of energy supply. The majority of the population, for example, has no more gas for heating their homes, nor for cooking purposes."

War by other means...

[Apr 19, 2019] Why Russiagate Will Never Go Away by Rob Urie

With 240,000 people employed by DHS to find terrorists, terrorists will be found
Apr 19, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

Given that Russia's economy today is smaller than Italy's and its military budget wouldn't buy a toilet seat or hammer in the U.S. military procurement system, the question of why Russia would seem a great mystery outside of history. And left unstated is that the U.S. defense industry needs enemies to survive. 'Radical Islam,' an invention of oil and gas industry flacks that turned out to be serviceable for marketing Tomahawk missiles and stealth fighter jets as well, lost some of its luster when ISIS and Al Qaeda came over to 'our side.' And humanitarian intervention ain't what it used to be with Libya reduced to rubble and open-air slave markets now dotting the landscape.

From 1948 through the early 1990s Russia was Pennywise the evil clown, helping to sell bananas, nuclear weapons and cut-rate underwear around the globe wherever American empire alighted. Costumed 'communists,' locals paid a day-rate to dress up and shout whatever slogans conveyed evil most effectively, were a staple of CIA interventions from Iran to Guatemala to the streets of New York, Boston and Los Angeles. Never mind that the slayer of monsters is more monstrous than an army of evil clowns, as the Koreans, Vietnamese, Laotians, Cambodians, Nicaraguans, El Salvadorans, Chileans, Iraqis, Afghanis, Yemenis and on and on, were to learn.

The big why (?) here would suggest an eternal mystery were it not for the arithmetic we learned as tykes. The U.S. has an annual military budget that is larger than the next seven evil empires combined. Killing people and blowing shit up is what America does. Stated reverse-wise, what is the point of being able to end all human life on earth more than once? Yet the U.S. can do it 3X -- 5X or 30X -- 50X, depending on which analysis is chosen. And while it would be anti-historical to remove mal-intent as motive, an alternative explanation of the militarization of the police is 'overstock,' that there is nothing else to do with the stuff that the Pentagon produces.

This would seem a tremendous waste of resources under any reasonable theory of their efficient use (e.g. capitalism). The explanation of 'national defense' reads as legitimate until history is brought back in. For a few thousand years, the argument against maintaining a standing army was that standing armies tend to get used. Preparations for armed conflict facilitate armed conflict. The mobilizations for WWI and WWII were mobilizations, not drawdowns from existing military inventory. There is something to be said for wars requiring large expenditures of time, effort and resources from everyone for whom they are undertaken. Otherwise, they are likely to be started lightly.

The U.S. has long been the most militaristic nation in the world. This probably doesn't read right to most Americans. 'We' are a peace-loving nation that only sends in the military as a last resort, goes the myth. And 'we' changed the name from the Department of War to the Department of Defense. It was early in the twentieth century that U.S. General Smedley Butler proclaimed that 'war is a racket' (racket = organized crime) as he described his military career as a ' gangster for capitalism .' The business of war in support of capitalism had long been a business in its own right, just ask Wall Street.

When the George W. Bush administration created the Department of Homeland Security following 9/11, the obvious question from people who thought about such things was: what are these people going to do all day? With daily briefings presented to Mr. Bush entitled ' Bin Laden determined to strike in U.S. 'before 9/11, the only intelligence failure, if that is what it was, occurred in the White House. Mr. Bush's entourage had been rumbling about going back to Iraq to 'finish the job' since the end of his father's war. How much of a leap was it then to assume that Mr. Bush's WMD scam was a pretext for re-invading Iraq?

But the question isn't rhetorical. With 240,000 people employed by DHS to find terrorists, terrorists will be found. The basic insight is that justifying one's employment is crucial to keeping it. In this light, the FBI counter-terrorism unit spent its time since 2001 enticing poor and desperate people to claim each other as terrorists. The first person to point out that there are no terrorists would be the first to receive a pink slip. And the same is true of government contracting. Brave entrepreneurs who feed at the trough of military largesse need to justify their existences. If they don't, some other proud patriot will step forward and do so. A logic of necessity becomes a legitimating belief system More broadly, one could argue that manufacturing terrorists has been the strategic goal of U.S. military operations for much of the last century. If you bomb enough villages and wedding parties, people will fight back. Wasn't this the implied storyline of anti-communist agitprop like Red Dawn and anti-Muslim agitprop like Zero Dark Thirty -- if you invade 'our' country and / or bomb 'our' villages and wedding parties, we will fight back. As a business proposition, the more people that are killed, the more legitimate the operation is made to appear. Make the weapons, then employ hundreds of thousands of people to explain why 'we' need to bomb villages. Then make more weapons.