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

News Neoconservatism Recommended Links Paleoconservatism 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
From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss  Color revolutions John Dilulio letter Mayberry Machiavellians Madeleine Albright Anatol Leiven on American Messianism Leo Strauss and the Neocons
Neoliberalism as a New form of Corporatism Deception as an art form The History of Media-Military-Industrial Complex Concept Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism The ability and willingness to employ savage methods Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism   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 Guardian paper LA Times Paper by Neal Gabler   Washington Post paper by Mike Allen    
Mayberry Machiavellians Corporatism Hong Cong Color Revolution of 2014   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 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.

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.

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 and several European nations such as GB and France. 

In Russia neocons supported radical Islam and Wahhabism promoting it in such areas as Chechnya and Dagestan, 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). Organized by them putsch against the legitimate (albeit corrupt) government of Yanukovich. 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.

Iraq was a huge, humiliating disaster. Probably the biggest one. 

Afghanistan was a disaster of lesser scale.

Libya were another, more small scale disaster.

Syria is a potentially huge disaster, due to international consequences of creating ISIS in this region. 

Ukraine is a huge and very expensive disaster, which might lead to the WWIII, a nuclear holocaust (neocons like to speculate on tragedy of Jewish population during the WWII but now are acting like Nazi and ally with far right extremists)

They successfully revived the threat of nuclear war with Russia (probably in the name of "US security", as neocons understand it ;-). Moreover they moved Russia closer to China, which is no way is in the USA geopolitical interests.

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. 

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. 

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 Kaplan and Ferguson 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

[Jun 19, 2018] How The Last Superpower Was Unchained by Tom Engelhardt

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... However, the truth – at least in retrospect – was that, in the Cold War years, the Soviets were actually doing Washington a strange, if unnoted, favor. Across much of the Eurasian continent, and other places from Cuba to the Middle East, Soviet power and the never-ending contest for influence and dominance that went with it always reminded American leaders that their own power had its limits. ..."
"... This, as the 21st century should have (but hasn't) made clear, was no small thing. It still seemed obvious then that American power could not be total. There were things it could not do, places it could not control, dreams its leaders simply couldn't have. Though no one ever thought of it that way, from 1945 to 1991, the United States, like the Soviet Union, was, after a fashion, "contained." ..."
"... In those years, the Russians were, in essence, saving Washington from itself. Soviet power was a tangible reminder to American political and military leaders that certain areas of the planet remained no-go zones (except in what, in those years, were called "the shadows"). ..."
"... The Soviet Union, in short, rescued Washington from both the fantasy and the hell of going it alone, even if Americans only grasped that reality at the most subliminal of levels. ..."
Jun 19, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Tom Engelhardt via The Asia Times,

Think of it as the all-American version of the human comedy: a great power that eternally knows what the world needs and offers copious advice with a tone deafness that would be humorous, if it weren't so grim.

If you look, you can find examples of this just about anywhere. Here, for instance, is a passage in The New York Times from a piece on the topsy-turvy Trumpian negotiations that preceded the Singapore summit. "The Americans and South Koreans," wrote reporter Motoko Rich, "want to persuade the North that continuing to funnel most of the country's resources into its military and nuclear programs shortchanges its citizens' economic well-being. But the North does not see the two as mutually exclusive."

Think about that for a moment. The US has, of course, embarked on a trillion-dollar-plus upgrade of its already massive nuclear arsenal (and that's before the cost overruns even begin). Its Congress and president have for years proved eager to sink at least a trillion dollars annually into the budget of the national security state (a figure that's still rising and outpaces by far that of any other power on the planet), while its own infrastructure sags and crumbles. And yet it finds the impoverished North Koreans puzzling when they, too, follow such an extreme path.

"Clueless" is not a word Americans ordinarily apply to themselves as a country, a people, or a government. Yet how applicable it is.

And when it comes to cluelessness, there's another, far stranger path the United States has been following since at least the George W Bush moment that couldn't be more consequential and yet somehow remains the least noticed of all. On this subject, Americans don't have a clue. In fact, if you could put the United States on a psychiatrist's couch, this might be the place to start.

America contained

In a way, it's the oldest story on Earth: the rise and fall of empires. And note the plural there. It was never – not until recently at least – "empire," always "empires." Since the 15th century, when the fleets of the first European imperial powers broke into the larger world with subjugation in mind, it was invariably a contest of many. There were at least three or sometimes significantly more imperial powers rising and contesting for dominance or slowly falling from it.

This was, by definition, the history of great powers on this planet: the challenging rise, the challenged decline. Think of it for so many centuries as the essential narrative of history, the story of how it all happened until at least 1945, when just two "superpowers," the United States and the Soviet Union, found themselves facing off on a global scale.

Of the two, the US was always stronger, more powerful, and far wealthier. It theoretically feared the Russian Bear, the Evil Empire , which it worked assiduously to " contain " behind that famed Iron Curtain and whose adherents in the US, always modest in number, were subjected to a mania of fear and suppression.

However, the truth – at least in retrospect – was that, in the Cold War years, the Soviets were actually doing Washington a strange, if unnoted, favor. Across much of the Eurasian continent, and other places from Cuba to the Middle East, Soviet power and the never-ending contest for influence and dominance that went with it always reminded American leaders that their own power had its limits.

This, as the 21st century should have (but hasn't) made clear, was no small thing. It still seemed obvious then that American power could not be total. There were things it could not do, places it could not control, dreams its leaders simply couldn't have. Though no one ever thought of it that way, from 1945 to 1991, the United States, like the Soviet Union, was, after a fashion, "contained."

In those years, the Russians were, in essence, saving Washington from itself. Soviet power was a tangible reminder to American political and military leaders that certain areas of the planet remained no-go zones (except in what, in those years, were called "the shadows").

The Soviet Union, in short, rescued Washington from both the fantasy and the hell of going it alone, even if Americans only grasped that reality at the most subliminal of levels.

That was the situation until December 1991 when, at the end of a centuries-long imperial race for power (and the never-ending arms race that went with it), there was just one gigantic power left standing on Planet Earth. It told you something about the thinking then that, when the Soviet Union imploded, the initial reaction in Washington wasn't triumphalism (though that came soon enough) but utter shock, a disbelieving sense that something no one had expected, predicted, or even imagined had nonetheless happened. To that very moment, Washington had continued to plan for a two-superpower world until the end of time.

America uncontained

Soon enough, though, the Washington elite came to see what happened as, in the phrase of the moment, " the end of history ." Given the wreckage of the Soviet Union, it seemed that an ultimate victory had been won by the very country its politicians would soon come to call "the last superpower," the " indispensable " nation, the " exceptional " state, a land great beyond imagining (until, at least, Donald Trump hit the campaign trail with a slogan that implied greatness wasn't all-American any more).

In reality, there were a variety of paths open to the "last superpower" at that moment. There was even, however briefly, talk of a "peace dividend" – of the possibility that, in a world without contesting superpowers, taxpayer dollars might once again be invested not in the sinews of war-making but of peacemaking (particularly in infrastructure and the well-being of the country's citizens).

Such talk, however, lasted only a year or two and always in a minor key before being relegated to Washington's attic. Instead, with only a few rickety "rogue" states left to deal with – like gulp North Korea, Iraq and Iran – that money never actually headed home, and neither did the thinking that went with it.

Consider it the good fortune of the geopolitical dreamers soon to take the reins in Washington that the first Gulf War of 1990-1991, which ended less than a year before the Soviet Union collapsed, prepared the way for quite a different style of thinking. That instant victory led to a new kind of militarized dreaming in which a highly tech-savvy military, like the one that had driven Iraqi autocrat Saddam Hussein's forces out of Kuwait in such short order, would be capable of doing anything on a planet without serious opposition.

And yet, from the beginning, there were signs suggesting a far grimmer future. To take but one infamous example, Americans still remember the Black Hawk Down moment of 1993 when the world's greatest military fell victim to a Somali warlord and local militias and found itself incapable of imposing its will on one of the least impressive not-quite-states on the planet (a place still frustrating that military a quarter-century later).

In that post-1991 world, however, few in Washington even considered that the 20th century had loosed another phenomenon on the world, that of insurgent national liberation movements, generally leftist rebellions, across what had been the colonial world – the very world of competing empires now being tucked into the history books – and it hadn't gone away. In the 21st century, such insurgent movements, now largely religious, or terror-based, or both, would turn out to offer a grim new version of containment to the last superpower.

Unchaining the indispensable nation

On September 11, 2001, a canny global jihadist by the name of Osama bin Laden sent his air force (four hijacked US passenger jets) and his precision weaponry (19 suicidal, mainly Saudi followers) against three iconic targets in the American pantheon: the Pentagon, the World Trade Center, and undoubtedly the Capitol or the White House (neither of which was hit because one of those jets crashed in a field in Pennsylvania). In doing so, in a sense bin Laden not only loosed a literal hell on Earth, but unchained the last superpower.

William Shakespeare would have had a word for what followed: hubris. But give the top officials of the Bush administration (and the neocons who supported them) a break. There had never been a moment like it: a moment of one. A single great power left alone, triumphant, on planet Earth. Just one superpower – wealthy beyond compare, its increasingly high-tech military unmatched, its only true rival in a state of collapse – had now been challenged by a small jihadist group.

To president Bush, vice-president Dick Cheney, and the rest of their crew, it seemed like nothing short of a heaven-sent opportunity. As they came out of the shock of 9/11, of that " Pearl Harbor of the 21st century ," it was as if they had found a magic formula in the ruins of those iconic buildings for the ultimate control of the planet. As secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld would instruct an aide at the Pentagon that day, "Go massive. Sweep it up. Things related and not."

Within days, things related and not were indeed being swept up. The country was almost instantly said to be "at war," and soon that conflict even had a name, the Global War on Terror. Nor was that war to be against just al-Qaeda, or even one country, an Afghanistan largely ruled by the Taliban. More than 60 countries said to have "terror networks" of various sorts found themselves almost instantly in the administration's potential gunsights. And that was just to be the beginning of it all.

In October 2001, the invasion of Afghanistan was launched. In the spring of 2003, the invasion of Iraq followed, and those were only the initial steps in what was increasingly envisioned as the imposition of a Pax Americana on the Greater Middle East.

There could be no doubt, for instance, that Iran and Syria, too, would soon go the way of Iraq and Afghanistan. Bush's top officials had been nursing just such dreams since, in 1997, many of them formed a think-tank (the first ever to enter the White House) called the Project for the New American Century and began to write out what were then the fantasies of figures nowhere near power. By 2003, they were power itself and their dreams, if anything, had grown even more grandiose.

In addition to imagining a political Pax Republicana in the United States, they truly dreamed of a future planetary Pax Americana in which, for the first time in history, a single power would, in some fashion, control the whole works, the Earth itself.

And this wasn't to be a passing matter either. The Bush administration's "unilateralism" rested on a conviction that it could actually create a future in which no country or even bloc of countries would ever come close to matching or challenging US military power. The administration's National Security Strategy of 2002 put the matter bluntly: The US was to "build and maintain" a military, in the phrase of the moment, " beyond challenge ."

They had little doubt that, in the face of the most technologically advanced, bulked-up, destructive force on Earth, hostile states would be "shocked and awed" by a simple demonstration of its power, while friendly ones would have little choice but to come to heel as well. After all, as Bush said at a Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in 2007, the US military was "the greatest force for human liberation the world has ever known."

Though there was much talk at the time about the "liberation" of Afghanistan and then Iraq, at least in their imaginations the true country being liberated was the planet's lone superpower. Although the Bush administration was officially considered a "conservative" one, its key officials were geopolitical dreamers of the first order and their vision of the world was the very opposite of conservative. It harkened back to nothing and looked forward to everything.

It was radical in ways that should have, but didn't, take the American public's breath away; radical in ways that had never been seen before.

Shock and awe for the last superpower

Think of what those officials did in the post-9/11 moment as the ultimate act of greed. They tried to swallow a whole planet. They were determined to make it a planet of one in a way that had never before been seriously imagined.

It was, to say the least, a vision of madness. Even in a moment when it truly did seem – to them at least – that all constraints had been taken off, an administration of genuine conservatives might have hesitated. Its top officials might, at least, have approached the post-Soviet situation with a modicum of caution and modesty.

But not George W Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and pals. In the face of what seemed like the ultimate in possibilities they proved clueless when it came to the possibility that anything on Earth might have a shot at containing them.

Even among their critics, who could have imagined then that, more than 16 years later, having faced only lightly armed enemies of various sorts, still wealthy beyond compare, still with a military funded in a way the next seven countries couldn't cumulatively match, the United States would have won literally nothing?

Who could have imagined that, unlike so many preceding imperial powers (including the US of the earlier Cold War era), it would have been able to establish control over nothing at all; that, instead, from Afghanistan to Syria, Iraq deep into Africa, it would find itself in a state of " infinite war " and utter frustration on a planet filled with ever more failed states , destroyed cities , displaced people , and right-wing "populist" governments, including the one in Washington?

Who could have imagined that, with a peace dividend no longer faintly conceivable, this country would have found itself not just in decline, but – a new term is needed to catch the essence of this curious moment – in what might be called self-decline?

Yes, a new power, China, is finally rising – and doing so on a planet that seems itself to be going down . Here, then, is a conclusion that might be drawn from the quarter-century-plus in which America was both unchained and largely alone.

The Earth is admittedly a small orb in a vast universe, but the history of this century so far suggests one reality about which America's rulers proved utterly clueless: After so many hundreds of years of imperial struggle, this planet still remains too big, too disparate, too ornery to be controlled by a single power. What the Bush administration did was simply take one gulp too many and the result has been a kind of national (and planetary) indigestion.

Despite what it looked like in Washington once upon a time, the disappearance of the Soviet Union proved to be no gift at all, but a disaster of the first order. It removed all sense of limits from America's political class and led to a tale of greed on a planetary scale. In the process, it also set the US on a path to self-decline.

The history of greed in our time has yet to be written, but what a story it will someday make. In it, the greed of those geopolitical dreamers will intersect with the greed of an ever wealthier, ever more gilded 1%, of the billionaires who were preparing to swallow whole the political system of that last superpower and grab so much of the wealth of the planet, leaving so little for others.

Whether you're talking about the urge to control the planet militarily or financially, what took place in these years could, in the end, result in ruin of a historic kind. To use a favored phrase from the Bush years, one of these days we Americans may be facing little short of "regime change" on a planetary scale. And what a piece of shock and awe that's likely to prove to be.

All of us, of course, now live on the planet Bush's boys tried to swallow whole. They left us in a world of infinite war, infinite harm, and in Donald Trump's America where cluelessness has been raised to a new power.

[Jun 19, 2018] Counterdrug Programs Come With Increased Drug Production - Where Does The Money Go

Notable quotes:
"... Here's a thought: If the USG was truly interested in controlling opium production in Afghanistan it would simply use the counternarcotics money to buy up the crop directly from the farmers. The price at that level would be incredibly cheap compared to the "street value" of the drug. The farmers would happily sell to such a reliable buyer and not need to fear the risk of military interference. The current Afghan government would likely earn the goodwill of the farmers and it would cut off funding to the Taliban. It will never happen, however; because our military project in Afghanistan is mostly about enriching private military contractors while keeping the the "threat" of terrorism alive and well. War is a racket. ..."
"... b, have you read "Whiteout" by Alexander Cockburn (RIP) and Jeffrey St. Clair? It was written decades ago but is still relevant. I'm sure the CIA DOES make money from drugs although the CIA black books budget is so large they hardly need the cash. But one imagines it's nice to have a few millions completely out of government accountability--for lining their own pockets if nothing else. ..."
"... I highly recommend Doug Valentine's book, "CIA as Organized Crime." CIA Director William Colby gave him free access to interview CIA officials who had been involved in the Phoenix program in South Vietnam. Since all those CIA officers/agents had Colby's blessing, they assumed Valentine was on their side. Oops! Bottom line: There is ZERO difference between CIA and the Mafia. They are essentially one and the same, though they generally have different spheres of action. One upon which they overlap is drug production, smuggling and distribution. ..."
"... I would add that there is ZERO difference between supra-national finance and the Mafia. For instance, the bank, HSBC was founded to launder opium money after Great Britain fought the Opium Wars forcing China to permit them to import opium into China. Former FBI Director and on again/off again hero of the partisans, James Comey left his career with the US Government to work for HSBC after they were finally fined for laundering cash from both drug smuggling and terrorist groups. His job was to help them "negotiate" the new "oversight" placed on the bank. ..."
"... John Ehrlichman, who served as President Richard Nixon's domestic policy chief admitted back in 1994 that the "War on Drugs" was actually a political tool to crush leftist protesters and black people. "We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did." ..."
"... Mike Ruppert was an associate of Gary Webb's, was a Los Angeles detective and knew a lot about the CIA's involvement in the Crips/Bloods Drug Wars and its massive importation of drugs into the nation. His investigation was used as his website URL , copvcia, although its name was From The Wilderness. Until 911, his investigation was his passion, then he discovered he had another and it was connected to the former. Here's a page many will want to view . It's hard not to reread the entire website. Unfortunately, Mike saved and only released much of the juicier evidence to his subscribers--he had to eke out a living in some manner. ..."
"... Back in 2002, when the poppy production too off, the idea of flooding Russia was in vogue, it may still be in the game. Transit through Iran to Turkey was also in play. Money laundering started out in "Polish Zlotys", through the banks there. ..."
"... I presume much of that counternarcotics money ends up being cash in hand to thousands of foot-soldiers working for local warlords in Afghanistan as farmers, security personnel, soldiers, prostitutes and what-not, in a way similar to how part of Victoria Nuland's $5 billion investment in Ukraine ended up as cash incentives to entice people from as far as Lvov to travel to Kiev to participate in the Maidan demonstrations over the winter of 2013 / 2014. ..."
"... This in addition to the billions being used to buy weapons, train and send jihadists to fight in other parts of western and central Asia, and line people's pockets at every stage of the drug money trail whether in Afghanistan, Wall Street or various tax havens around the planet. ..."
"... And to the east, I remember reading that one of the first things the US did was to build a bridge and highway towards the east; shortly thereafter, heroin flooded into Russia. ..."
"... Alfred W. McCoy is the authority on drugs and CIA. He's still doing great work, publishing books.His first, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia is a classic.His latest, In the Shadows of the American Century, is brilliant analysis. Some videos on youtube, also. He has traveled, researched every ratline trail and outpost all over the globe. Read him if you want the real facts. ..."
Jun 19, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

james , Jun 18, 2018 1:30:38 PM | 2

thanks b... the speculation has always been in my mind anyway - that the money is controlled by the cia... covert money for covert projects and on and on it goes...
LXV , Jun 18, 2018 1:47:36 PM | 3
b wrote: "I am not aware of any sound evidence that shows that the CIA reaped financial profits from drug dealing."

Define 'sound evidence, b... For some, it's a kilo of stash; for others (like myself), it's suffice with the testimony of (suicided) insiders, like Gary Webb (RIP).

ben , Jun 18, 2018 2:06:01 PM | 4
james @ 2 said:" covert money for covert projects and on and on it goes..."

Yes, and what they don't spend on "projects", goes to their minions and sycophants..

ken , Jun 18, 2018 2:16:06 PM | 5
The Taliban curtailed the poppy growing without any problem. Shortly after the US invasion under the guise of capturing OBL. Almost 18 years later, long after the death of OBL (in reality and in US military BS) the poppy production has increased exponentially. There are Pics of US military personnel walking through poppy fields.
Other than drug production there is no need for the US to be in Afghanistan except maybe to use it as a launching platform to attack Iran. Drugs are an excellent source for funding black ops.

Not only is the US allowing the production, considering how easy it would be for them to kill the crops, and IMHO it as also assisting in the transportation of drugs to the West.

librul , Jun 18, 2018 3:16:16 PM | 11

b says the efforts appear counterproductive. Here is why:

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/afghanistan-the-making-of-a-narco-state-20141204#

If you understand the Afghan government as a narco state, then the fact that opium production has actually increased –while the U.S. spent billions on counternarcotics efforts and troop numbers surged – starts to make sense. A completely failed state – Afghanistan in 2001 – can't really thrive in the drug trade. Traffickers have no reason to pay off a toothless government or a nonexistent police force. In such a libertarian paradise, freelance actors – like Saleem, the heroin cook – flourish.

But as the government builds capacity, officials can start to demand a cut. It's not that there's a grand conspiracy at the center of government, but rather that, in the absence of accountability and the rule of law, officials start to orient themselves around a powerful political economy. Big drug barons with links to the government take over the trade. People who don't pay, or who fall out with government officials, might find themselves killed or arrested.

In this light, U.S. counternarcotics programs, which have cost nearly $8 billion to date, and the Afghan state-building project in general, are perversely part of the explanation for the growing government involvement in the drug trade. Even the newly rebuilt Afghan Air Force has been investigated by the U.S. military for alleged trafficking. In many places, the surge had the effect of wresting opium revenue from the Taliban and handing it to government officials. For example, in Helmand's Garmsir District, which sits on key trafficking routes between the rest of the province and Baramcha, a big Marine offensive in 2011 finally pushed out the Taliban and handed the district back to the Afghan government. The result? The police began taking a cut from those drug routes. "There are families, as in Mafia-style, that have the trade carved up between them, and when some outsider tries to get in on it, they serve him up as a success for drug interdiction," one Western official who worked in Garmsir told me.

I just luv-ed this next paragraph. Glad I wasn't sipping Coca Cola
while I read it. Would have chortled cola out my nose!

Here is government BS-speak at it's vacuous best (enjoy):

The U.S. government, for its part, acknowledged that there are no quick solutions at hand. "The U.S. interagency is developing an updated counternarcotics strategy for Afghanistan," says Jen Psaki, the State Department's spokeswoman. "These are long-term efforts that build the foundation for eventual reductions in opium harvests."
Chris G , Jun 18, 2018 4:04:03 PM | 14
Here's a thought: If the USG was truly interested in controlling opium production in Afghanistan it would simply use the counternarcotics money to buy up the crop directly from the farmers. The price at that level would be incredibly cheap compared to the "street value" of the drug. The farmers would happily sell to such a reliable buyer and not need to fear the risk of military interference. The current Afghan government would likely earn the goodwill of the farmers and it would cut off funding to the Taliban. It will never happen, however; because our military project in Afghanistan is mostly about enriching private military contractors while keeping the the "threat" of terrorism alive and well. War is a racket.
WorldBLee , Jun 18, 2018 4:08:12 PM | 15
b, have you read "Whiteout" by Alexander Cockburn (RIP) and Jeffrey St. Clair? It was written decades ago but is still relevant. I'm sure the CIA DOES make money from drugs although the CIA black books budget is so large they hardly need the cash. But one imagines it's nice to have a few millions completely out of government accountability--for lining their own pockets if nothing else.
Daniel , Jun 18, 2018 4:32:10 PM | 17
I highly recommend Doug Valentine's book, "CIA as Organized Crime." CIA Director William Colby gave him free access to interview CIA officials who had been involved in the Phoenix program in South Vietnam. Since all those CIA officers/agents had Colby's blessing, they assumed Valentine was on their side. Oops! Bottom line: There is ZERO difference between CIA and the Mafia. They are essentially one and the same, though they generally have different spheres of action. One upon which they overlap is drug production, smuggling and distribution.

I would add that there is ZERO difference between supra-national finance and the Mafia. For instance, the bank, HSBC was founded to launder opium money after Great Britain fought the Opium Wars forcing China to permit them to import opium into China. Former FBI Director and on again/off again hero of the partisans, James Comey left his career with the US Government to work for HSBC after they were finally fined for laundering cash from both drug smuggling and terrorist groups. His job was to help them "negotiate" the new "oversight" placed on the bank.

Daniel , Jun 18, 2018 4:37:37 PM | 18
John Ehrlichman, who served as President Richard Nixon's domestic policy chief admitted back in 1994 that the "War on Drugs" was actually a political tool to crush leftist protesters and black people. "We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did."
karlof1 , Jun 18, 2018 5:29:48 PM | 20
Mike Ruppert was an associate of Gary Webb's, was a Los Angeles detective and knew a lot about the CIA's involvement in the Crips/Bloods Drug Wars and its massive importation of drugs into the nation. His investigation was used as his website URL , copvcia, although its name was From The Wilderness. Until 911, his investigation was his passion, then he discovered he had another and it was connected to the former. Here's a page many will want to view . It's hard not to reread the entire website. Unfortunately, Mike saved and only released much of the juicier evidence to his subscribers--he had to eke out a living in some manner.

The CIA is the planet's #1 Terrorist Organization, and it has all 3 types of Weapons of Mass Destruction. It's often hard to determine which poses a greater threat to humanity: The CIA or its parent the Outlaw US Empire. If humanity's to have any chance at a viable future, both the CIA and its Imperial parent must be destroyed for their many crimes.

Ornot , Jun 18, 2018 5:49:10 PM | 21
Seymore Hersh first (to my knowledge) first looked at CIA drug links when people exited buildings not using the stairs.
https://www.nytimes.com/1975/07/10/archives/family-plans-to-sue-cia-over-suicide-in-drug-test-family-planning.html

That CIA was experimenting with narcotics as a tool seemed to have metasticised into something else during the Air America years, which in turn seems to have morphed via Barry Seal (& Gary Webb's investigation)and the Cocaine Coyboys onward into Silk Airways (famed by weapons to Syria scandal) -
https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/books/first/c/cockburn-white.html

https://www.globalresearch.ca/oliver-north-worked-with-cocaine-traffickers-to-arm-terrorists-now-hell-be-president-of-the-national-rifle-association-nra/5640431
Whatever the post WWII period there seems to be a airline moving illicit product(s) across borders and a rouge militia force hook up. While powder is not as convertable as say Bitcoin, it leaves no paper trail.

Good luck with the research - its a long dark deep rabbit hole, leading to many fingers in many pies.

https://nsarchive2.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB2/
https://www.minnpost.com/eric-black-ink/2009/03/investigative-reporter-seymour-hersh-describes-executive-assassination-ring

Eugene , Jun 18, 2018 6:36:02 PM | 23
Back in 2002, when the poppy production too off, the idea of flooding Russia was in vogue, it may still be in the game. Transit through Iran to Turkey was also in play. Money laundering started out in "Polish Zlotys", through the banks there.

Addicts were given small sums to deposit in the banks, by the thousands, which didn't draw attention. A lot of the money was sent to the U.S. to buy "American Muscle Cars", which were then shipped back to the E.U. and resold again.

Pakistan was also a transit country where the "Labs" were first set up to process the opium to heroin. How time fly's when having fun. Addiction to "drugs" isn't the only addiction nor the addicts involved either. Only one leaf in the book of the minds of those who believe they are doing the right thing.

Jen , Jun 18, 2018 6:54:58 PM | 26
I presume much of that counternarcotics money ends up being cash in hand to thousands of foot-soldiers working for local warlords in Afghanistan as farmers, security personnel, soldiers, prostitutes and what-not, in a way similar to how part of Victoria Nuland's $5 billion investment in Ukraine ended up as cash incentives to entice people from as far as Lvov to travel to Kiev to participate in the Maidan demonstrations over the winter of 2013 / 2014.

Also a big portion of the counternarcotics dosh must be going to teams of people digging up and burning opium and also to teams of people planting new opium seeds in the areas where the first lot of opium was eradicated later on. Similar to stories people used to hear about what supposedly happened during the 1930s Great Depression, when teams of people were employed to dig ditches and then other teams of people were employed to fill up the ditches which would be dug up again at a later time.

This in addition to the billions being used to buy weapons, train and send jihadists to fight in other parts of western and central Asia, and line people's pockets at every stage of the drug money trail whether in Afghanistan, Wall Street or various tax havens around the planet.

frances , Jun 18, 2018 7:06:21 PM | 28
reply to:
".. and IMHO it as also assisting in the transportation of drugs to the West."
Posted by: ken | Jun 18, 2018 2:16:06 PM | 5

And to the east, I remember reading that one of the first things the US did was to build a bridge and highway towards the east; shortly thereafter, heroin flooded into Russia.

oldenyoung , Jun 18, 2018 7:08:31 PM | 29
The level of US "counter-narcotic" investment seems to be about right to support the GROWTH of the narcotics industry...not the otherway around...its black and its dirty

regards

OY

Mark2 , Jun 18, 2018 7:14:33 PM | 30
Every comment on this post is like a fine champagne of reality. how do people get by with out wanting to know the truth. keep the comments coming I need more! Brilliant links. The doors of perception just opened for me. Who the hell runs our TVs stations that they can turn a blind I to this lot.
-------
I to find great strength in music, to find the truth. For me it is reggae any group in society that has sufferd what we discuss on this site for 300 years, but have survived got stronger and put it to music, I feel needs listening to!!!
Daniel Bruno , Jun 18, 2018 7:51:32 PM | 32
The "War on Drugs" was conceived to put black people in jail en masse as Jim Crow came to an end. Nixon's aides admitted this. Read "The New Jim Crow" for the full story. Marijuana laws were first introduced in the early 20th century as a tool to arrest and deport Mexicans from the American southwest. Google it.

The bullshit "War on Drugs" is as phony as the bullshit "War on Terror" in the wake of 3 skyscrapers that were demolished and collapsed at freefall speed.

The real money is to be made in the bullshit wars spawned by these 2 hoaxes that boggle the mind in their scope.

Basically, these two cornerstones of American domestic and foreign policy are frauds of biblical proportions.

An empire built on these foundations will come crashing down as fast as WTC 7 on the afternoon of September 11, 2001.

0use4msm , Jun 18, 2018 8:35:04 PM | 33
"O my, cocaine" is an anagram of "CIA economy".

Various Contra-cocaine type operations of un/controlled shipments of drugs existed in the early 1990s, some of which existed in order to arm Bosnia (local fighters and foreign mujahideen), thereby undermining the UN's arms embargo of former Yugoslav states.

Between 1988 and 1992, 22 tons of cocaine was brought into the US via Venezuela by a team consisting of Mark McFarlin (head of the CIA's counter-narcotics center), Jim Campbell (the CIA's chief of station in Venezuela) and General Guillén (head of the Venezuelan National Guard in the pre-Chavez era).
Anti-Drug Unit of C.I.A. Sent Ton of Cocaine to U.S. in 1990

At roughly the same time Albanian mobsters had built a heroin smuggling network for the purpose of illegally supplying arms to the Bosnian mujahideen.
Drugs Paying for Conflict in Europe

In the summer of 1991, Dutch drug lord Klaas Bruinsma, who had connections with members of the Dutch elite (corporate and royal), the Colombian Cali cartel and the Yugoslav mafia, was assassinated by either former cop Martin Hoogland (possibly working for intelligence), or the Yugoslav mobster Branco Marianovic. In that same summer, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 713 (the Yugoslav arms embargo), and soon after elements within Dutch customs and police, in cooperation with Bruinsma's business heirs/infiltrators, started the controlled shipment of large amounts of cocaine (estimated 25,000 kilo) and hashish (estimated 500,000 kilo) under the name "Operation Delta". The customs officials involved in Operation Delta were most likely protected by their boss Fred Teeven, later rewarded by given the job of State Secretary for Security and Justice. Mabel Wisse-Smit, daughter of a top banker (possibly drug money launderer) and future sister-in-law of the current Dutch king, was first the lover of drug lord Bruinsma (until his assassination, possibly she was sent to spy on him) and then the lover of Wall St. banker Mohamed Sacirbey (Bosnia's ambassador to UN in 1992, Bosnia's foreign minister in 1995). Wisse-Smit (later a George Soros protégé) co-founded the Dutch charity foundation War Child, which was used as a cover for arms lobbying during the Bosnia war, and she is reported by Bosnian media to have been involved in a specific arms deal with Egypt.

Red Ryder , Jun 18, 2018 8:41:17 PM | 34
Alfred W. McCoy is the authority on drugs and CIA. He's still doing great work, publishing books.His first, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia is a classic.His latest, In the Shadows of the American Century, is brilliant analysis. Some videos on youtube, also. He has traveled, researched every ratline trail and outpost all over the globe. Read him if you want the real facts.
Curtis , Jun 18, 2018 9:44:25 PM | 36
It's good to know so many are well informed on this. I've read Rupert/Webb's stuff and have Dark Alliance. There's a good movie/documentary out there about Webb but I can't recall the name right now. Levine wrote about his undercover work in South American being thwarted by the CIA. And Bo Gritz was trying to set up a deal where the US would buy up Khun Sa's opium before it could be distributed but the USG wasn't interested. The amazing thing about the Afghan ramp up in supply was seeing pictures of US soldiers patrolling in the middle of poppy fields. Meanwhile at home, congress takes bribes (lobbying efforts) to help protect the legal drug pushers from prosecution by the DEA shoving millions of pills across the country. A friend's term for this kind of thing is "racket science."
Lozion , Jun 18, 2018 9:56:06 PM | 37
@36 "Kill the messenger" with Jeremy Renner..
Pft , Jun 18, 2018 9:59:20 PM | 38
Red Ryder@34

Yeah, his updated edition is a must read. They do not handle the money directly, they let the guerillas/rebels/revolutionaries handle that as a reward and provide protection from legal authorities and access to markets using various agencies and mafia at both ends of the supply-distribution chain. The dollars from the drugs pay for the weapons and support. The profits go into nameless offshore Eurodollar accounts which then flow into London and Wall Street as eurodollar loans in many multiples of the deposits (not to be confused with the euro) to speculate in various markets and drive up asset prices. When the Taliban shut down opium production we had the Dot.com crash (coincidence?). 100 billion a year can generate 1 trillion in dollars for speculators, and that was sorely missed (along with Clinton running a surplus instead of a deficit)

There is so much evidence that in many places where they were or are engaged that drug flows in the region increased and production increased in those areas known for growing the stuff. Like any organization only those with a need to know have an idea and the majority are clean and without information

psychohistorian , Jun 18, 2018 10:11:18 PM | 39
While we are discussing history of the War on Drugs another example of a major consumer organization (at the time of print) being turned into a vacuous shell....

Licit and Illicit Drugs is a 1972 book on recreational drug use by medical writer Edward M. Brecher and the editors of Consumer Reports.

The WIkipedia summary
"
The book describes the effects and risks of psychoactive drugs which were common in contemporary use for recreational and nonmedical purposes.[2] The New York Times paraphrased some major arguments from the book, saying "'Drug-free' treatment of heroin addiction almost never works", "Nicotine can be as tough to beat as heroin", and "Good or bad, marijuana is here to stay. The billions spent to fight it are wasted dollars."[3] The book identifies marijuana as the most popular drug after tobacco, alcohol, and nicotine.[4] A reviewer for the Journal of the American Medical Association summarized it by saying that "Brecher holds that the division of drugs into licit and illicit categories is medically irrational and rooted mainly in historical and sociological factors."[5]
"

Daniel , Jun 18, 2018 10:52:53 PM | 40
karlof1. Amazing that you knew Mike. And yes, the willful ignorance is horribly frustrating.

The way I see it, almost all "Westerners" are willfully ignorant. We all must know that the only way we live to the "standards" we do is because of the plunder of both our colonial past and neoliberal present. But most choose to look aside.

For those who haven't seen it, please spend 17 minutes to see Mallence Bart-Williams give an incredible talk.

Alogon , Jun 19, 2018 12:58:19 AM | 41
I have nothing to add to this except to say great article b and excellent comments from posters.

[Jun 19, 2018] U.S. Humiliates South Korea, Threatens North Korea, by David William Pear - The Unz Review

Notable quotes:
"... The declaration of the DPRK came after the US- backed Rhee declared the ROK and reneged on peninsula-wide elections that had been agreed to at the UN. I guess you can call it a civil war, but that really isn't germane to the question: Why can the US not stomach any rapprochement between the two de facto Koreas two-thirds of a century later, while it was willing to accept a reunification of a historically more aggressive Germany? ..."
"... According to I.F. Stone in his "Hidden History of the Korean War" (1952), the intent of the Korean War was to destabilize the Chinese Revolution which had consolidated power the year before. ..."
Jun 19, 2018 | www.unz.com

David William Pear January 17, 2018 2,800 Words 115 Comments Reply

Fearing that peace might break out with the two Koreas talking to each other, Washington instructed South Korean President Moon Jae-in to keep the message about anything but peace . It is not just Trump. A former top official for the Obama administration warned Moon that South Korea was not going to get anywhere with the North Koreans unless they have the "US behind them". Humiliating, that is like saying that Moon's "button" is not as big as Kim's. The metaphor is exactly how the Washington elite see South Korea: as Washington's obedient eunuch. The official went on to say, "If South Koreans are viewed as running off the leash, it will exacerbate tension within the alliance". Running off the leash! Now more humiliation, is South Korea a US poodle? Instead President Moon Jae-in is showing that he has teeth, and that South Koreans want their country back from US humiliating domination.

During the talks it was agreed for North Korea to participate in the Winter Olympics in February. The two countries will even march together under a common flag, and future talks between the two are planned to reduce tension. Trump continues to bluster, while the two Koreas have " engaged in the most substantive direct talks in years". Neocons such as John Bolton are outraged that North Korea has proven once again that it is willing to come to the negotiation table. Bolton says it is a dirty trick and that North Korea is "taking advantage of a weak South Korean government", adding more insulting humiliation. To Washington, South Korea talking peace is weak, running off the leash and going it alone without its US master. The North using the peace option is seen as a provocation and propaganda that Washington will not tolerate. In retaliation the US sent more nukes to Guam, and put the state of Hawaii on a full alert that a " ballistic missile was inbound ". The nukes outbound to Guam are real; the ones inbound to Hawaii were fake, just like the ability of the billion dollar THAADS to shoot them down. Too conveniently the Hawaii false alarm comes just as the US and its vassals are readying for what the US plots to be a show of solidarity and unity on killer sanctions against North Korea. The US wants its chorus to perform the tragedy of telling North Korea to obey or watch 500,000 of their children die. As Madeleine Albright said about Iraq's 500,000 dead children from US sanctions, " the price is worth it ". The US does not think the price of diplomacy is worth it though.

The US continues to block efforts at diplomacy, and express its contempt for South Korea's elected President Moon Jae-in. He was elected on a peace platform by the South Korean people. Moon's predecessor Park Geun-hye sang from the US hymnbook until she got caught with her hand in the cookie jar. In 2017 the South Korean people went to the street and demanded the granddaughter of former dictator Park Chung Hee be impeached, and now she is in prison. Peace is not anything that Washington's plutocrats want to hear, although the South Korean people like the sound of it, and elected Moon their president by a wide margin. The self-interests in Washington preferred the corrupt warmonger Park. She carried the US's tune with perfect pitch, even ( allegedly ) conspired to assassinate the North's Kim Jong-Un. The message of the humiliation from US apparatchiks is that if Moon does not change his tune the US will try to undermine South Korea's democracy with a regime change project might be in his future. The US habitually meddles in other's elections, and wants to keep tensions high on the Korean peninsula, keep the South Koreans in line, make North Korea a boogeyman, frighten the American people, station 30,000 US troops in South Korea with wartime operational control, buy more multi-billion dollar THAADS from Lockheed Martin, and divide the Korean people. Even at the risks of a nuclear war, which the US proposes making easier .

The establishment nearly went to war with North Korea in 1994 until Bill Clinton negotiated peace. The neocons in Washington and the mainstream media keep saying that North Korea refused to come to the negotiating table. Clinton's decision to use diplomacy instead of threats proved the warmongers wrong again. It was the US all along that refused to talk, preferring belligerence and threats just as it does now. Once Clinton showed a willingness to bargain, then a nuclear deal was struck. The deal was called the Agreed Framework . What North Korea wanted then for it to suspend its nuclear program was for the US to halt the massive military exercises on North Korea's border, a non-aggression guarantee, compensation for abandoning its needed electric producing nuclear reactors, and relations with the US. Now the situation with North Korea is back to where it was in 1994. George W. Bush reversed the path of peace when he came into the White House. In 2001 he tore up the Agreed Framework, put North Korea on the Axis of Evil list in 2002, invaded Iraq in 2003, and hanged Saddam Hussein in 2006. Very predictably North Korea resumed its nuclear program for self-defense against a paranoid and unpredictable USA that sees enemies to attack under every bed.

Bush scrapped the Agreed Framework, and told then South Korean President Kim Dae-jung that future talks with North Korea were dead. Kim Dae-jung had come to visit Bush shortly after winning the Nobel Peace Prize for his Sunshine Policies of peace with North Korea. Instead of welcoming President Kim and his peace efforts, Bush humiliated him by shockingly calling North Korea's leader Kim Jong-il a dwarf. North Korea predictably withdrew from the Non-Proliferation Treaty in 2003 and resumed work on its nuclear program. A month later Bush called out North Korea to pay particular attention to Libya as an example of how a country is welcomed into the international community when it unilaterally gives up its nuclear defense program. North Korea paid attention and it was listening when Muammar Gaddafi said in a 2008 speech that " one of these days America may hang us like they did Saddam ". In 2011 Gaddafi met a brutal death at the hands of US proxies; he was anally raped with a bayonet and left to rot on public display in a meat locker. Before Gaddafi's corpse was even cold a hysterically glowing Hillary Clinton cackled " we came, we saw, he died", hahaha ". Now fast forward to 2018 and the US is threatening war against North Korea again.

The US has been abusing Korea since 1871 when it first invaded it with an expeditionary force of Marines to forcibly open trade. Korea just wanted to be left alone, but the US forced Korea to sign an exclusive trade treaty in 1882 at the point of a gun. In exchange for that unequal trade agreement the US promised Korea protection. In 1910 the US proved that its promise was worthless. Instead of protection, President Theodore Roosevelt stabbed Korea in the back by conspiring with Japan. Roosevelt had enthusiastically supported Japan in the Russo-Japanese War. Japan pre-emptively attacked the Russian fleet at Port Arthur in a sneak attack. Teddy congratulated Japan for their brilliance in 1941 his nephew Franklin would call a Japanese sneak attack "a day of infamy". After Japan and Russia ground down to a bloody stalemate, Japan secretly appealed to Teddy to open negotiations. Roosevelt acted as a (dis)honest broker in negotiating the Treaty of Portsmouth, for which he won the Nobel Peace Prize. Japan won the spoils of the war. Roosevelt had a secret deal that Japan could have Korea and the US would take the Philippines. In 1945 the US deceived Korea again. Instead of liberating Korea from the Japanese occupation, the US occupied Korea for 3 more years until 1948 and then blocked its independence. The US was largely responsible for the division of Korea and backing dictatorships in South Korea until 1993. Americans do not know the US treachery, but Koreans do. Why would they trust the USA now?

In order to understand North Korea, one must start with the "anticolonial and anti-imperial state growing out of a half-century of Japanese colonial rule and a half-century of continuous confrontation with a hegemonic United States", as Bruce Cumings writes in his book North Korea: Another Country . In order to understand South Korea one should take a similar approach. The Japanese colonization of Korea in 1910 was greeted with cheers from the USA. Teddy Roosevelt encouraged Japan to have its own Japanese Monroe Doctrine for Northeast Asia. The Japanese were harsh rulers, and Koreans remember colonial times as a national humiliation. Under the Japanese the Korean economy grew rapidly, but Koreans will rightly argue that little of it helped the average Korean. Like the Korean "comfort women" sex slaves during World War Two, Koreans were forced to obey their Japanese masters. Some Koreans complied reluctantly, some willingly and some enthusiastically. Many, but not all of the enthusiastic collaborators came from the landed aristocratic class of Koreans known as the yangban . Other collaborators were traitors that saw advancing their economic and social status by collaborating. After the division of Korea in 1945 many of the yangban class and collaborators fled to the South where they felt safe with the US occupation army, and for good reasons. The North was redistributing the yangban's vast landholdings. Many of the yangban and collaborators were safer in the US occupied south. Some went on to achieve leadership in business and government in South Korea. For instance, the future South Korean dictator Park Chung-hee (from 1963 until his assassination in 1979) had collaborated with the Japanese as a lieutenant in the Japanese army in Manchuria fighting against the Korean resistance fighters.

Korea has a long history of thousands of years. It united as one people in the 7 th century and remained so until after World War Two. The US had started planning for the occupation of Korea six months after Pearl Harbor, according to Bruce Cumings. The day after Japan surrendered a future Secretary of State Dean Rusk drew a line at the 38 th Parallel where the US proposed that Korea be divided, and the Russian allies agreed. Thousands of Koreans protested in the streets. They were told that a trusteeship was temporary until elections. Instead the US feared that the people would elect a communist government, and so they rigged a fraudulent election for a separate government in the South. The United Nations rubber stamped it. As in the South, the North then held separate elections for the Supreme People's Assembly which then elected Kim Il Sung, a famous anti-Japanese guerilla resistance leader since 1932. The US and South Korean propaganda portray that North Korea was a puppet and satellite project of the Soviet Union. This is probably the US projecting its own imperial intentions. Cummings says that no evidence exists that the Soviets had any long-term designs on Korea. They withdrew all of their military from North Korea in 1948.

North Korea has experience with US brutality. During the Korean War the US bombed Korea for 3 years, wiped out 20% of its population and destroyed every city, village and vital structure. President Truman threatened to bomb them with the atomic bomb, and General Douglas MacArthur planned to use 30 nuclear bombs which were shipped to a US base in Okinawa. Truman fired MacArthur not because MacArthur wanted to use nukes, but because Truman wanted someone more loyal he could trust with them. Truman preauthorized MacArthur's replacement General Matthew Ridgeway to use the nuclear bombs at his discretion. The US public is oblivious to US recklessness with nuclear bombs and is passive about what is done in their name. The Korean War (1950 to 1953) is called the Forgotten War because the US public has amnesia. Whatever propaganda they do remember is a flawed version of history put out by the US government. Oblivious, passive and amnesia are why all US wars of aggression are quickly forgotten as the US moves on to the next one.

After the US military occupation of South Korea from 1945 to 1948, South Korea was ruled by US backed repressive dictators until the first democratic election in 1993. The first despot that the US installed was Syngman Rhee in 1948. Rhee was a practically unknown in Korea because he had lived in the USA from 1912 until 1945, when he was flown back to Korea by the US military. The US pumped billions of dollars into South Korea to make it a showplace of US-style capitalism during the Cold War, but South Korea did not develop under either democracy or a free market, according to Ha-Joon Chang, the author of Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism .

For many decades North Korea outpaced South Korea in economic development and in their standard of living until the 1970's. With the 1991 demise of its most important trading partner the Soviet Union, North Korea fell on very hard economic times. Then it suffered two floods and a drought in the 1990′s that resulted in famines. On top of that the US has imposed killer economic sanctions. So now US propaganda constantly reinforces the belief that North Korea is an economic failure that cannot even feed its own people. While the US touts that South Korea is an economic miracle of democracy, capitalism and free markets. Little is ever mentioned about the economic collapse of South Korea in 1997, which the US had to rescue with a financial bailout package that reached $90 Billion. The package included IMF loans that came with humiliating conditionalities of austerity. The minister of finance Lim Chang Yuel went on TV, humiliated and begging for the South Korean people's forgiveness.

Despite all the propaganda otherwise, North Korea is not only willing to sit down at the table with the US, but it has long been proposing negotiations to a deaf USA ear. What North Korea says it wants today are the same things that were negotiated with Clinton in the Agreed Framework: security, compensation, and economic relations with the US. There is nothing unreasonable that North Korea is asking for, and that is probably why the US refuses to negotiate. It does not want peace for its own insane naked imperialism reasons. Instead the US wants continued hostilities; otherwise if it wanted peace it would welcome diplomacy.

It is the US that is unpredictable. One day Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says that the US is willing to hold unconditional talks with North Korea. Then he says the US won't . Trump says that he will destroy North Korea with fire and fury, and then he says he would " absolutely talk to North Korea's Kim on the phone". It is the US that is paranoid and finding enemies everywhere: Cuba, Afghanistan, Syria, Venezuela, Iran, and Russia to name just a few. The US enemies list has nothing to do with democracy, freedom and human rights. If it did the US would not be friends, allies, and benefactors to brutal kingdoms, monarchies, dictators, fascists and human rights abusers such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, Honduras, Haiti, and Ukraine, for example. US foreign policy is based on hegemony, empire, power, corporate interests, corruption and self-interests of the high and mighty, not democracy and human rights.

Who is paranoid? Compare how much of a threat the US is compared to North Korea. Since World War Two North Korea has not invaded anybody. The Korean War (1950 to 1953) was a civil war and authoritative historians such as I. F. Stone, Bruce Cumings, and David Halberstam agree that the South was responsible for instigating it too. Korea itself has not invaded anybody since the 16 th century. The US has attacked at least 32 countries just since WW2. North Korea has a defense budget of only $7.5 billion , compared to the US $1 Trillion. North Korea has developed nuclear weapons because the US has been threatening it with nuclear destruction since 1950, introduced nuclear weapons into South Korea in 1957 in violation of the armistice agreement and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The US keeps practicing regime change decapitation invasions and nuclear attacks against North Korea. North Korea has an estimated arsenal of 20 nuke bombs that are not a threat to the US's 15,000 nuclear arsenal. Instead the US is an asymmetrical and existential threat to North Korea and every other non-compliant small country. North Korea has nuclear weapons because it does not want to humiliate itself by being a US poodle. When are the American people going to wise up to the US propaganda and false cries that the evil wolf is at the door again?

References:

"North Korea: Another Country", by Bruce Cumings.

"The China Mirage: The Hidden History of American Disaster in Asia," by James Bradley.

"Korean Mind: Understanding Contemporary Korean Culture", by Boye Lafayette De Mente

(Republished from The Greanville Post by permission of author or representative)


Singh , January 19, 2018 at 12:33 am GMT

USA also culturally & spiritually enslaved many South Koreans।।
KA , January 19, 2018 at 3:49 am GMT
and the war that America forgot come back as peace and American can't handle it . Do they still ask themselves that question "Why do they hate us" ?
Nexus321 , January 19, 2018 at 5:03 am GMT
@KA

United Sh-thole of America. The people in Washington are degenerates. They want to murder millions of Koreans and tens of thousands of their own people.

Renoman , January 19, 2018 at 11:51 am GMT
Since World War Two North Korea has not invaded anybody. Not much more needs to be said.
sid18 , January 19, 2018 at 4:08 pm GMT
South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Singapore always have been usa poodles
reiner Tor , January 19, 2018 at 7:30 pm GMT
This article is too easy on the Norks, who are no angels themselves. It's quite unlikely that the South started the war, when the South didn't have adequate weaponry or effective armed forces, unlike the North. North Korea has done some horrible things in the past, most recently the (likely) sinking of a South Korean vessel.

But overall, yes, in the current situation the US could easily avoid war, but doesn't want to.

nsa , January 20, 2018 at 6:13 am GMT
Absolutely zero chance of JUSA attacking Korea for the obvious reason that there is nothing in it for the jooies. Why would the clever conniving jooies waste their satrap's military assets on Korea when they could be used to further the main jooie goal of destroying the ME and Iran? Think about it ..
sarz , January 20, 2018 at 6:30 am GMT
Could be that the Trump administration is playing a game of hyper-aggression that always goes 'wrong', uniting everyone against the empire and bringing America down in the least bad of hard landings from its imperial role. Trump's kind words vis-a-vis Kim might have served as an assurance that Kim could trust his channel. That purpose having been served, Trump was back in hyper-aggressive mode with his "I'd" versus "I" explanation.

Trump's statements regarding Jerusalem, Iran and Pakistan/Afghanistan all follow the same pattern.

We do have President Moon's statement, cited by a seemingly clueless Patrick Buchanan, that he is nonetheless grateful to Trump for bringing the North Koreans to the table. Trump's overtly bad behavior makes it easier for Kim to move against the entrenched forces on his own side.

Just a possibility. But it fits Trump's personality, if you go by indications over the decades rather than the last two years.

Biff , January 20, 2018 at 7:05 am GMT
The sex slave trade out of South Korea to America is massive, and forgotten too.
Anonymous Disclaimer , January 20, 2018 at 7:43 am GMT
@reiner Tor

So what? America is not an angel either. Doesn't give America the right to interfere. I'm glad other countries have the balls to give America a bloody nose. Never has there been such a dishonest and immoral country.

Where are you from Europe lol?

Hope your not expecting your obedience to pay off someday.

ThatDamnGood , January 20, 2018 at 8:00 am GMT
"When are the American people going to wise up to the US propaganda and false cries that the evil wolf is at the door again?"

The hippie paradigm, if the people have awareness, they will care and change things

I think you underestimate the % of people who don't care and those understand, better them than me. Trump was quoted as saying about the next Korean war, better Seoul nuked than us or something to that effect. Do Trump supporters mind what he said that the USA should take the oil at the very least with regards to Iraq?

Da Wei , January 20, 2018 at 9:56 am GMT
@Nexus321

Nexus321, please, a little respect for our own country. We are the United States of America. Do not curse the family. Now, we are, all of us, disappointed with misdeeds done in our name. But, we are Americans and we can fix this.

We should not judge the essence of ourselves as a nation by what some wayward politician whores do. Check their motives and see on whose behalf they are working. It ain't ours. If what they do keeps the war game alive, ask who benefits. Where does the buck lead? There lies the snake. Curse that. Bad deeds done in our government's name shame us all, but that shame should make us citizens mature and determined, not adolescent and whiny. I repeat, do not curse the family.

We are a good country founded on solid, moral principles. Act like a white man, Nexus321. Let's take this country back and delouse it.

padre , January 20, 2018 at 1:07 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

I don't know, what were you trying to say? That North Korea should be nuked, since they are "no angels"? no matter what your personal opinion of them is, the fact, that they didn't attack anybody is still true!

The Alarmist , January 20, 2018 at 1:24 pm GMT
@Renoman

"Since World War Two North Korea has not invaded anybody."

North Korea inarguably invaded the South. The arguable point might be whether or not it was provoked and therefore a response.

I haven't read the histories the author cites, but I am aware of the history and the case that can be made, and it is generally consonant with the gist of this article. The declaration of the DPRK came after the US- backed Rhee declared the ROK and reneged on peninsula-wide elections that had been agreed to at the UN. I guess you can call it a civil war, but that really isn't germane to the question: Why can the US not stomach any rapprochement between the two de facto Koreas two-thirds of a century later, while it was willing to accept a reunification of a historically more aggressive Germany?

Anonymous Disclaimer , January 20, 2018 at 2:08 pm GMT
@ThatDamnGood

Absolutely. There are suburbs coast to coast that depend on weapons manufacturing and all things defense. They'll stick to the script. I'm disappointed the author didn't embellish the truth of the Korean war – the way the US went after civilians like the Nazis and used biological agents. Empire has a lot of secrets about fightin' communism they still hide.

bluedog , January 20, 2018 at 2:15 pm GMT
@Da Wei

Screw the "family" mafia for the family is just as corrupt as the leaders you curse, do you really think the family gives a shit about how many we killed in Asia, do you really think the family gives a shit about how many we kill in the Mid-East or anywhere else for that matter,and what the country was founded on has no bearing to what it is today, corrupt to the core, immoral degenerate with a fascist type government which the "family" is just as guilty of as its leaders .

TonyVodvarka , January 20, 2018 at 3:44 pm GMT
According to I.F. Stone in his "Hidden History of the Korean War" (1952), the intent of the Korean War was to destabilize the Chinese Revolution which had consolidated power the year before. As Iraq was told that it was acceptable to the USA if it reunified with Kuwait in 1993, so North Korea was suckered into attempting to reunify their country. Those thirty atomic bombs were not intended for Korea which had already been utterly destroyed by conventional weapons, they were meant for China. McArthur sacrificed a Marine division by sending it without support to the border of China and predictably brought that country into the war; he then demanded the nuclear bombing of China. Truman didn't go along and MacArthur was soon replaced. A fine article from Mr. Pear.
Anon Disclaimer , January 20, 2018 at 4:02 pm GMT
Lots of good stuff but too sympathetic to North Korea which is ruled by a truly vile regime. North Korea is not about nationalism. It's about dynasticism. Also, 'Kim Il Sung' was not the real Kim Il Sung. His real name was Kim Sung Ju and he appropriated the name of a guerrilla fighter. And his cult of personality was obnoxious.

Bak Jung-Hi worked for the Japanese, but collaboration is par for the course when resistance is futile. Resistance became futile under Japanese who were only defeated by great powers. Sukarno collaborated with Japanese too. And Kim collaborated with the Soviets. North Korea redistributed land to the peasants but then state collectivized the land, and the peasants became slaves of the state. The fact that Red China and communist Vietnam turned to market economics is proof that capitalism works better than communism. Communism is like City Hall running all the economy of a big city. Who wants that?

anonymous Disclaimer , January 20, 2018 at 4:49 pm GMT
The US has been threatening to use nukes against the DPRK during and since the war. Is it any wonder that they decided to nuke up themselves as a deterrent? They're not going to give up their nuclear deterrent under the bombast of threats of annihilation but are more likely to dig in and expand it. This doesn't seem to be particularly complex or difficult to understand. Where does the US think it can go from here, what does it think it could realistically do to them? It might be a good first step to stop the bluffing. Can we say 'self-inflicted' when it comes to this confrontation?
Avery , January 20, 2018 at 5:10 pm GMT
@anonymous

{ Can we say 'self-inflicted' when it comes to this confrontation}

The confrontation is not 'inflicted ' as such: it was and is carefully planned. This is not the first time South Korea has tried to approach North Korea: US previously also threatened SK leaders, and forced them to back off. US needs maximum tension on the Korean peninsula to have an excuse to keepa large contingent of armed forces in the region. If South and North Korean make peace, US will be asked to leave SK. Next might be Japan. Then US is completely cut out of the region.

So in desperation, US will do anything, possibly even instigating a military clash, to stay in SK and Japan. Last thing US MIC wants anywhere in the world is peace: it's bad for business.

Anonymous Disclaimer , January 20, 2018 at 5:43 pm GMT
What we need are more psyops like the recent drill in Hawaii. More fear and loathing so empire can create a virtual camp x-ray with live updates from Facebook and twitter to coddle the sheep. It's a shame North Korea can't buy Democracy to keep it from Dying in Darkness. But how dare Russia try to use our twitter weapon that we use on Americans that the Russians want to use on Americans too.

Pussy hat controlled resistance, doom porn and fake antiwar will continue to play an important part of the lives of the American porn consumer. In the name of security the CIA may give us the race war, or hatred of the wealthy or the ol' immigrant rat trap. The possibilities are endless but the dictatorship is making itself clear with endless promotion of scarcity through their scribes in social media.

Post on social media everyday – what you think matters!

Anonymous Disclaimer , January 20, 2018 at 7:01 pm GMT
To make matters much more confusing, we have hypocritical stealth DOD contractors like Code Pink play up fake resistance to the threat of war. Barging into meetings as if the whores on Capitol Hill are calling the shots is an uniquely insidious form of stunt based propaganda. The motive for groups like Code Pink is to have a group that part of the press can immediately call "far left, unpatrioric" endearing them to at least half the sheep who are convinced they are the real McCoy of antiwar dynamite.

Code Pink first crushes any questions about whether Democracy even exists in the USA. "Look at us, we are right here where it matters isn't the country wonderful"

Then the absolute suffocation of anyone who dares question empires' gun running operations outside of state approved stunt idiocy and clown show electoral politics.

Carroll Price , January 20, 2018 at 7:13 pm GMT
Dying North Koreans Prove US Sanctions are Working. https://www.rt.com/usa/416354-tillerson-un-sanctions-north-korea/
Hapalong Cassidy , January 20, 2018 at 7:47 pm GMT
It must be especially galling and humiliating to be dominated by a country that on average is 10 points lower in IQ (per the Lynn study).
reiner Tor , January 20, 2018 at 8:14 pm GMT
@Carroll Price

He managed to achieve Madeleine Albright level depravity after less than a year in office. Sad!

Alden , January 20, 2018 at 8:15 pm GMT
@Biff

Why did you omit the fact that the S Korean sex trade is completely run by S Koreans not Americans? I do remember an American colonel in the occupation forces stating that he basically ran a brothel.

EliteCommInc. , January 20, 2018 at 8:57 pm GMT
@Carroll Price

The US has had sanctions on N. Korea for more than forty years. During that period, more than one S, Korean government has entertained re-unification. The reason we might challenge that reunion if because should we actually have to go to war at some point with China, a friendly Korea with China would be a problem.

But what is driving unification at least when I visited was the population.

But the choice by Pres Trump to entertain conversation -- is a wise choice.

Carroll Price , January 20, 2018 at 10:02 pm GMT
@Alden

So? Most of the propaganda put out during the Cold War by the Soviet Union turned out to be more accurate and closer to the truth than propaganda put out by the United States government though the US State Department. For instance, Russia's version (at the time) as of what transpired immediately prior to and after Francis Gary Powers was shot down over Russia in 1959 (?) turned out to be much more accurate than the US's version which was essentially a pack of lies.

Carroll Price , January 20, 2018 at 10:20 pm GMT
@Carroll Price

Brief history of the Francis Gary Powers fiasco. https://history.state.gov/milestones/1953-1960/u2-incident

daniel le mouche , January 20, 2018 at 10:58 pm GMT
@Joe Hide

No idea what you're talking about with 'the Truth'. This article is highly accurate, it seems to me: it's description of endless and ongoing US atrocities is absolutely true, as is the author's statement that never has such a rotten, lying government existed, a government that perpetually provokes any and all countries on earth, that hates peace, that destroys any attempts at decency. I have only read IF Stone, cited here, 'The Hidden History of the Korean War' or something similar. It is a staggering book. Essentially the war was a military exercise, a chance for troops to see action, test out new machines and weaponry. Most importantly, my interpretation here, it presented a vast theater for psy ops and 'country building' ie utter destruction. These kinds of great experiments are a Brit and by extension US govt specialty. This is really thinking big, thinking long term. Cut countries in two after first murdering millions and utterly destroying literally everything–in this case, for example, Seoul was literally first evacuated then set on fire by US troops, just kinda for fun. It's the kind of really big thinking going on now too (and in all the intervening years), eg with the utter destruction of Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Yemen. Britain (a misnomer–it is really England but wants others to share the burden. I mean, the Welsh??) did this to Ireland four centuries ago, to India more recently, to mention nothing of Africa and others.

daniel le mouche , January 20, 2018 at 11:04 pm GMT
@Michael Kenny

'Then there's a whole range of wild attacks and accusations going all the way back to 1871(!).' It's called history, not an American specialty. But rather important to understanding the present and future. Your whole post is very ignorant.

Seraphim , January 20, 2018 at 11:36 pm GMT
@sid18

You forgot Australia. The poodle who wants to play the pit bull.

JVC , January 21, 2018 at 12:35 am GMT
@The Alarmist

It was the same in VietNam–we installed a dictator (Diem) who had lived mostly in the US, and reneged on the national elections that had been agreed on as a part of the peace agreement after the French defeat.

After JFK tried and lost, nothing has been able to stop the Military bla bla bla complex that actually rules this country.

JVC , January 21, 2018 at 12:41 am GMT
@Vinteuil

If South Korea officially requested this, would the US refuse?

Of course the USG would refuse such a request -- it thinks it is master of the world. The greatest hindrance to world peace since WWII is the monster on the Potomac.

Erebus , January 21, 2018 at 1:07 am GMT
@Ilyana_Rozumova

I do have to side with you this time.

Michael Kenny's comment ignores the fact that the rocket motors could have been airshipped from the Dnipro factory directly to DPRK, or even shipped by sea.
Maybe they came via China. The bottom line is we don't know when or how they got there.

What we do know is that Rocket Man's displays of prowess have brought things to a head in one of the Empire's critical nodes. The background for this crisis is ROK's desire to participate in China's BRI. The chaebols are drooling over the opportunities, but DPRK isolates them in the southern end of the Korean peninsula. Hence, Putin & Moon's joint announcement in Vladivostok of the "9 Bridges" initiative bringing DPRK into the Eurasian fold.

It would appear DPRK likes the idea, and the suddenness of the thaw in North – South relations is an indication that big wheels are turning behind the scenes. The US' recent statements indicate it finally dawned on them as well, and that they are, in their typically knee-jerk fashion, actively trying to torpedo further peaceful developments.

If ROK loosens its tethers to the US sufficiently to gain direct land access to the rest of Eurasia, Japan's Keiretsu will not allow themselves to be sidelined. Abe & Putin have met 17 times, perhaps as a result of the pressures Abe is already feeling from them.

The US' absurd statements, the patently silly "Vancouver Summit", the flip-flopping, all indicate that the US and its Imperial satraps have no idea what to do in the face of Rocket Man's exposure of their irrelevance in the N.W. Pacific.

Vinteuil , January 21, 2018 at 1:14 am GMT
@JVC

So let them, officially, invite us to leave. My bet – and certainly my hope – is that we'd bow out, more or less gracefully. And if we refused – well, that would certainly clarify things.

NJ Transit Commuter , January 21, 2018 at 1:20 am GMT
@The Alarmist

The Korean Peninsula is cursed by geography. Reunification of Korea would mean one of two things.

1. A Korean Peninsula allied with the US. This would put US troops on the Chinese border. No one should want this. Too easy for a border incident to escalate into a war between the two most powerful countries and economies on the planet.

2. A non-aligned Korean Peninsula. No way this would happen. Without US support the entire peninsula would become a Chinese satellite. Japan fought two wars because it saw Chinese / Russian control of Korea as an existential threat. Japan would get nukes if this happened and the entire NW Pacific would be greatly destabilized.

The sad reality is that a buffer state in the north part of the Korean Peninsula is in the best interest of South Korea, China, Russia, Japan and the US. What everyone needs to figure out is how to make N. Korea more like East Germany, and less like Stalinist Russia at its worse.

Grandpa Charlie , January 21, 2018 at 1:27 am GMT
@Anon

"North Korea is not about nationalism. It's about dynasticism." -- Anon

Except that the current Kim may actually be a Korean nationalist, not a North Korean nationalist, in which respect he is in agreement with all the Korean people. Korea will become reunited, but the price of reunification may be, probably will be, that it will become part of Han China.

China regards Korea as it does Tibet, only more so -- as now and since ever throughout all time, as part of China, speaking and writing Mandarin, integrated into the PRC economically, culturally and politically.

I'm sure this will please the anti-USA crowd gathering here around this article by Pear -- as they always do to show support for any Leftist revisionist supporter of the "USA==Evil" dogma.

Anon Disclaimer , January 21, 2018 at 2:48 am GMT
@Grandpa Charlie

"Except that the current Kim may actually be a Korean nationalist, not a North Korean nationalist, in which respect he is in agreement with all the Korean people. Korea will become reunited, but the price of reunification may be, probably will be, that it will become part of Han China."

No, Little Rocket Man is a self-centered spoiled brat who puts himself above all else. He was raised as a spoiled princeling and acts like it.

"China regards Korea as it does Tibet, only more so -- as now and since ever throughout all time, as part of China, speaking and writing Mandarin, integrated into the PRC economically, culturally and politically."

No, China always regarded Korea as a separate kingdom and left it alone as long as Korea paid tribute. It was Japan that tried to swallow Korea twice, not China.
The only time Korea became part of Han Empire was when China itself was conquered by foreigners. Mongols conquered China and Korea. Later, Manchus, using Mongol archers, also conquered China and Korea. It was not China conquering Korea but non-Chinese conquering both.
Even so, the Manchus regarded Korea as a separate kingdom in the end.

Tibet is a different because of its small population. It's a huge area and had less than a million people when it came under Han hegemony. Same with the Turkic Northwest. It's like US could easily swallow Alaska and sparsely populated SW territories but didn't try to take Mexico proper.

In a way, Mongols really changed China and Russia. If not for Mongols, Russia might be much smaller and China too. Both Russia and China were conservative powers. Russian expansion was paradoxically defensive as, lacking sufficient natural barriers, Russia could only survive as an empire. Even so, Russians might not have been interested in East Siberia and North Asia if not for concerns of invasions from the East. Pacifying Siberia and North Asia became a priority because of the memory of threat from the East. Also, the Mongols proved that the vast area could be traversed if the people had the will to do so.

And if not for Mongols, Current China might be much smaller. Han China used to be much smaller and was restricted to the East Coast. Chinese were very conservative and not very adventurous, exploratory, and/or invasive. Instead of trying to conquer northern territories, China just built walls to keep the barbarians out. And Chinese had little interest in areas outside Han areas.

So, for most of Chinese history, their civilization was mostly along the east coast.

The massive expansion of Chinese borders happened under Mongols who were adventurous and expansive. Mongols not only invaded China but went far beyond.
Later, the Manchus, using Mongol archers and warriors, expanded much further into the West, regions that the Han Chinese mostly neglected. These semi-barbarian warlords had the aggressive zeal that the conservative Han Chinese lacked.

Thus, it was Manchu-Mongol ambitions that expanded the size of China, and when the Manchus and Mongols were either expelled from or dissolved into Han China, their conquests became absorbed into China. Mongolia would be part of China too if not for Soviets. Like Tibet, Mongolia is huge and sparsely populated. Easier for Chinese to control. Also, both Mongols and Tibetans are less developed than Koreans who are more adept at imitation.

Likewise, Byzantine Greeks had an empire they inherited from the Romans.

Anon Disclaimer , January 21, 2018 at 3:03 am GMT
@reiner Tor

"Highly unlikely. He called himself Kim Il Sung already when people who have met the original Kim Il Sung were still around. Such change of identity is not impossible, but not too easy either."

No, 'Kim Il Sung' was a fraud. He had been part of some resistance movement, but he was not THE Kim Il Sung who's more legend, like Robin Hood.

Kim was so unknown in Korea that Soviets initially had trouble installing him as leader. Most people saw him as Soviet stooge, which was what he was.
So, as in the South, the domestic patriots had to be repressed or executed, and a cult of personality had to be built up around Kim that became more and more ridiculous.

Kim was an unimaginative Stalinist.

That said, I don't see how his 'invasion' of South was a bad thing. How can a Korean invade Korea? The north/south divide was artificially imposed by great powers on a nation. As idiotic as both Kim and Rhee were, there was nothing wrong in their dream of reuniting the nation. The great wrong was in the (1) division of Korea itself (2) installing puppet rulers in both artificially created entities.

Suppose China and Russia divided Israel into north and south. Would it be wrong if either Israel, north or south, tried to reunify the nation? If north Israel entered south Israel to unify the nation once again, would that be 'invasion'?

Kim's Stalinism and personality cult would have been bad for Korea, but I don't see anything wrong with his desire to unify his nation. And in that, Rhee had every right to want to unify the nation.

Where Rhee and Kim were idiotic was in blaming one another instead of blaming the great powers that divided their nation. But how could either blame his sponsor? If not for USSR, Kim would not have been installed as leader of north. If not for US, Rhee would not have been shoehorned in as leader of south. They gained power as dogs to foreign masters.

If they really had sense, both would have stepped down as leader(as both were installed by empires) and graciously allowed for unification and new leadership chosen by the people than by foreign powers. But both had petty egos, and Kim wanted to be ruler of all Korea, and Rhee wanted to be ruler of all Korea. Neither blamed the great powers but just one another.

If Israel were divided by great powers, I think Jews would have enough sense to come together and act in unison. After all, Israel itself was created by the coming together of all kinds of Jews: capitalist, communist, socialist, liberal, conservative, secular, religious. Jews may be neurotic and crazy, but they have enough sense of world affairs and the nature of power.

But Koreans are a stupid people. Divide them and set them against each other like dogs, and they are like two pitbulls. A culture of slavish servitude and emotions-over-reason made them act like dogs than sensible humans.

Astuteobservor II , January 21, 2018 at 3:47 am GMT
@daniel le mouche

When the british empire ended, I think a lot of borders were drawn to create ever lasting problems/conflicts. Israel was also it's creation with american backing of course.

Astuteobservor II , January 21, 2018 at 3:56 am GMT

When are the American people going to wise up to the US propaganda and false cries that the evil wolf is at the door

I doubt the masses will ever awake from the constant propaganda. I mean, all major information outlet is controlled. and besides, the smart ones also believe it is necessary to keep their way of life.

ask any american if their way of life will end, everything will become 100% more expensive, they can no longer take vacations, work twice as hard for the same pay or less, they will instantly think nothing of the current wars

very, very very few people are selfless humanists.

I am just scare of the fact if usa attacks NK unilaterally in the near future, china will get involved = WW3 + maybe nuclear war.

Carroll Price , January 21, 2018 at 3:59 am GMT
@JVC

The United States uses the economic sanctions as a substitute for diplomacy.

Grandpa Charlie , January 21, 2018 at 4:40 am GMT
@Anonymous

I read similar drooling nonsense to what you just wrote all over the internet: "Look, first off, I don't support the guy but this is obvious lefty slander".

Ok. You don't support the guy but you need to qualify that non-support by saying he's being impuded. In other words you support the guy, warning of the coming leftists

– Anonymous

What am I supposed to asy? "I feel your pain" or what? I mean you have to read "similar drooling nonsense all over the internet" so what?

First off, it's not that I don't support Pear, but I actually condemn him as a Leftist revisionist. And then there's no' but', there's an 'and' it's obvious lefty drool. BTW, my "non-support" for Pear is unqualified, as is my disrespect for you,, Anonymous. Are yoo actually Pear writing under that pseudonym?

reiner Tor , January 21, 2018 at 11:15 am GMT
@Anon

No, 'Kim Il Sung' was a fraud. He had been part of some resistance movement, but he was not THE Kim Il Sung who's more legend, like Robin Hood.

He was made into such a legend by North Korean propaganda after Kim became the leader. He was the most daring Korean guerrilla commander, but that's not saying very much, because he couldn't do much against the Japanese.

Kim was an unimaginative Stalinist.

Oh, he had a lot of imagination and original ideas. They led to a dystopia, but original he was. He also was a skillful and daring politician, who managed to get rid of his pro-China and pro-Soviet factions simultaneously in the late 1950s, at a time when he depended on both. That was quite bold and required a lot of political skills. Founding a dynasty in a nominally Marxist-Leninist society was not very easy either. There was some opposition to it even among his otherwise loyal associates, who wanted a normal communist succession with one of the top dogs becoming the new leader.

Anon Disclaimer , January 21, 2018 at 4:32 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

"Oh, he had a lot of imagination and original ideas. They led to a dystopia, but original he was."

He was shrewd, not original. But then, he was surrounded by second-raters and hacks, not men of talent.

"He also was a skillful and daring politician, who managed to get rid of his pro-China and pro-Soviet factions simultaneously in the late 1950s, at a time when he depended on both. That was quite bold and required a lot of political skills."

No, purges were quite common in Stalinist systems. Stalin, Mao, Tito, and the rest all purged 'bad elements'. Nothing original about that.
And it's not so much that he got rid of pro-China-elements and pro-Soviet-elements as he balanced them out. If not for the Korean War, he would have leaned to the USSR. But China played such a huge role in the war that it gave him an opportunity to lean to China as well. so, he played on both USSR and China for aid. Now, where he was skillful was maintaining this balance even after the Sino-Soviet rift.

"Founding a dynasty in a nominally Marxist-Leninist society was not very easy either. There was some opposition to it even among his otherwise loyal associates, who wanted a normal communist succession with one of the top dogs becoming the new leader."

It turned out to be pretty easy because he did it and then his son did it too. It was easy because North Korea under Kim was more about the dynasty than ideology. People were raised to worship Kim, not to think ideologically. And Kim surrounded himself with yes-men and hacks. If there was overt opposition, it was easily dealt with. The gulag.

Kim was a stupid bumpkin who got to leader because Stalin saw him as pliable and obedient.

anon Disclaimer , January 22, 2018 at 5:01 am GMT
@AndrewR

Excellent point. Their only other neighbors are China and Russia.

Bach , January 22, 2018 at 8:05 am GMT
@David William Pear

Just a few corrections:

The US was largely responsible for the division of Korea and backing dictatorships in South Korea until 1993. Americans do not know the US treachery, but Koreans do. Why would they trust the USA now?

Most SKoreans do not know, either. And those who do and talk about it probably risk imprisonment for treason.

Moon's predecessor Park Geun-hye sang from the US hymnbook until she got caught with her hand in the cookie jar. In 2017 the South Korean people went to the street and demanded the granddaughter of former dictator Park Chung Hee be impeached, and now she is in prison.

She is the daughter.

Korea itself has not invaded anybody since the 16th century.

Korea was invaded by Japan in the 16th century. It's difficult to pinpoint when Korea invaded anyone. We'd have to go back to a time prior to their nominal unification at least in the 7th century.

Bach , January 22, 2018 at 8:15 am GMT
@NJ Transit Commuter

The Korean Peninsula is cursed by geography. Reunification of Korea would mean one of two things.

It's the 21st century. There's no curse of geography. It's a global village. Trade is global. Communication is global. Cultural exchange is global. It has a combined population of 70M. SKorea is technologically/economically advanced. Its biggest threat is its own lethargy/apathy.

The sad reality is that a buffer state in the north part of the Korean Peninsula is in the best interest of South Korea, China, Russia, Japan and the US.

No, that's only in the best interest of the US and Japan.

Bach , January 22, 2018 at 8:27 am GMT
@Alden

Why did you omit the fact that the S Korean sex trade is completely run by S Koreans not Americans?

Sounds familiar. That's what Japan says about WWII sex slaves.

I do remember an American colonel in the occupation forces stating that he basically ran a brothel.

The subtext being that SKorea turned itself into a brothel? US forces, war and starvation had nothing to do with women selling their bodies to survive?

hopsing , February 13, 2018 at 6:32 pm GMT
I agree. As much as I hate to admit as much, and also being a veteran, the USA government is rotten to the core. Manipulation and coercion all across the board. Hard to escape the feeling we will pay for these misdeeds somewhere along the way. Cosmic Justice demands as much. Neither nation nor person can continue on in such manner indefinitely. USA is the agitator. If the Koreans could just tell Uncle Sam (er . Sap) to pack his bags and get out of Dodge, they would be on their way to a much better future. nx
Josh Stewart , March 13, 2018 at 3:29 am GMT
@Singh

You're just going along with this article and making up shit. That's not something Americans did. Your people are the ones who are mentally and spiritually enslaved by the British till this day. Your people are so engrained with wanting to be White, even after your motherland was invaded, occupied, murdered by the British, that your people bleach their skin and praise, put a whites on a pedestal, and strive to be like their oppressors.

Josh Stewart , March 13, 2018 at 3:50 am GMT
@The Alarmist

The reason why the United States doesn't want the two Koreas to reunify, is because if they reunite, the United States loses its revenue. South Korea pays to have American soldiers stationed in their country. The U.S. sells it's weapons to South Korea, out of fear mongering. The longer the U.S. can keep the two Koreas separated, the more they can make money off of the fear of war. War creates revenue for the United States. That's why we keep going at it with the Middle East. It's always the U.S. going to war with others, usually, over false pretenses. Let's not forget, how we lied about weapons of mass destruction to go to war with Iraq. Fear mongering, allows the U.S. government to sell weapons to not only South Korea, but to other countries in Asia. That's why.

Josh Stewart , March 13, 2018 at 6:09 am GMT
@NJ Transit Commuter

Korea, is actually blessed by geography. They're not in Europe & part of the E.U. So they're not forced to have migrants by the millions in their country against their will, with open borders. They're not located where the U.S. is, where Latinos invade their country by the thousands. They're not where Japan is, to get butt raped by mother nature and thank goodness, they're not located where china is. I visited china. It was horrid. Korea's ecosystem is rich, diverse & unique because it's a peninsula. China, never controlled Korea. If anything, Korea fought against china, defeating them many times throughout history. They did this before America existed. Koreans are clever people who have a strong military and several decades of stockpiled weapons on hand, along with new ones. They don't need American soldiers in Korea after reunification, to protect them. Japan, is afraid Korea will reunify, because that means Korea will be even stronger. The same goes for china. A stronger one unified Korea, is a threat to other Asian countries.

Josh Stewart , March 13, 2018 at 3:51 pm GMT
@Daniel Chieh

You've worked for "Samsung." Lol. and I'm the King of England. China, has the highest suicide rate per capita. 22.24 for every 100,000. That makes them the country with the highest suicide rate in the world. Japan is close behind.

Josh Stewart , March 13, 2018 at 3:56 pm GMT
@Anon

By the way, japan, has the lowest birth rate in Asia. They're not reproducing enough male japanese babies to replace the old, sickly, & dying in the work place. Japan, is screwed. Again, deflecting other's short comings on to Korea.

Josh Stewart , March 13, 2018 at 6:44 pm GMT
@Anon

It's actually the Middle East, Dubai, that is the plastic surgery capital of the world. They get the most rhinoplasties. Plastic surgeons go there months out of the year, to make the most amount of money in the shortest amount of time. Then it's the United States & the UK close behind. Plastic surgery is on the rise in ethnic chinese countries, like taiwan, hong kong, & singapore, china, japan, & in southeast asian countries, like philippines, thailand, veitnam, and indonesia, more than ever. As of 2017, these asian countries get the most procedures done & they compete with each other in who does it the most percentage wise. No one wants to admit their race of people get plastic surgeries, so they deflect, finger point to others, especially to better looking people as an excuse as to why others are far more attractive than their ugly selves. (I'm pointing at you.) Asians do it out of jealousy. They can't stand seeing a Korean get compliments. Whites get the most plastic surgeries in the West, but asians don't finger point at them, unless they're discriminated by Whites, because asians think Koreans are far better looking than Whites. I'll have to remind you that if Korea, in which this is all true, have a technologically advanced country, are an advanced people, who excel in intelligence, inventions, sports, have a booming economy, are talented, have the most popular genres of music in the world and one of the most addictive forms of entertainment, (K pop) and Korean dramas, movies, have the most amazing style unlike other races & nationalities, both men and women have the best complexions, their skincare products are the most popular in the world, that do what they say, have two electrictronic companies in which one has completely dominated the globe, a successful car manufacturing industry, Korean foods & alcohol, that all races love, an amazing rich history unlike any other, which draws people in to want to learn more about Koreans, the first in asia to always break records and make history, before any other asian country, the most popular race in asia, and the best looking in asia and in my opinion, better looking than any other race of people other than some Whites. So with all these great attributes Korea has, there's no reason to think and hate on them or to think they're less in any way, unless one is a jealous person or a whole jealous race of people who only hate online, because they themselves, don't have any of these attributes the Koreans have, hence, making them haters like you, whether you're asian or not.

[Jun 19, 2018] Will the Real Donald Trump Please Stand Up by Philip Giraldi

Notable quotes:
"... Trump's vision would seem to include protection of core industries, existing demographics and cultural institutions combined with an end of "democratization," which will result in an acceptance of foreign autocratic or non-conforming regimes as long as they do not pose military or economic threats. ..."
"... Sounds good, I countered but there is a space between genius and idiocy and that would be called insanity, best illustrated by impulsive, irrational behavior coupled with acute hypersensitivity over perceived personal insults and a demonstrated inability to comprehend either generally accepted facts or basic norms of personal and group behavior. ..."
"... Trump's basic objections were that Washington is subsidizing the defense of a wealthy Europe and thereby maintaining unnecessarily a relationship that perpetuates a state of no-war no-peace between Russia and the West. ..."
"... And the neoconservatives and globalists are striking back hard to make sure that détente stays in a bottle hidden somewhere on a shelf in the White House cloak room. Always adept at the creation of new front groups, the neocons have now launched something called the Renew Democracy Initiative (RDI), with the goal of "uni[ting] the center-left and the center-right." Its founders include the redoubtable Max Boot, The Washington Post's Anne Appelbaum, the inevitable Bill Kristol, and Richard Hurwitz of Council on Foreign Relations. RDI's website predictably calls for "fresh thinking" and envisions "the best minds from different countries com[ing] together for both broad and discrete projects in the service of liberty and democracy in the West and beyond." It argues that "Liberal democracy is in crisis around the world, besieged by authoritarianism, nationalism, and other illiberal forces. Far-right parties are gaining traction in Europe, Vladimir Putin tightens his grip on Russia and undermines democracy abroad, and America struggles with poisonous threats from the right and left." ..."
"... There are also the internal contradictions in what Trump appears to be doing, suggesting that a brighter future might not be on the horizon even if giving the Europeans a possibly deserved bloody nose over their refusal to spend money defending themselves provides some satisfaction. In the last week alone in Syria the White House has quietly renewed funding for the so-called White Helmets, a terrorist front group. It has also warned that it will take action against the Syrian government for any violation of a "de-escalation zone" in the country's southwest that has been under the control of Washington. That means that the U.S., which is in Syria illegally, is warning that country's legitimate government that it should not attempt to re-establish control over a region that was until recently ruled by terrorists. ..."
"... In Syria there have been two pointless cruise missile attacks and a trap set up to kill Russian mercenaries. Washington's stated intention is to destabilize and replace President Bashar al-Assad while continuing the occupation of the Syrian oil fields. And in Afghanistan there are now more troops on the ground than there were on inauguration day together with no plan to bring them home. It is reported that the Pentagon has a twenty-year plan to finish the job but no one actually believes it will work. ..."
"... The United States is constructing new drone bases in Africa and Asia. It also has a new military base in Israel which will serve as a tripwire for automatic American involvement if Israel goes to war and has given the green light to the Israeli slaughter of Palestinians. ..."
"... And then there are the petty insults that do not behoove a great power. A friend recently attended the Russian National Day celebration at the embassy in Washington. He reported that the U.S. government completely boycotted the event, together with its allies in Western Europe and the anglosphere, resulting in sparse attendance. It is the kind of slight that causes attitudes to shift when the time comes for serious negotiating. It is unnecessary and it is precisely the sort of thing that Russian President Vladimir Putin is referring to when he asks that his country be treated with "respect." The White House could have sent a delegation to attend the national day. Trump could have arranged it with a phone call, but he didn't. ..."
"... Winston Churchill once reportedly said that to "Jaw, jaw, jaw is better than war, war, war." As one of the twentieth century's leading warmongers, he may not have actually meant it, but in principle he was right. So let us hope for the best coming out of Singapore and also for the G-7 or what replaces it in the future. But don't be confused or diverted by presidential grandstanding. Watch what else is going on outside the limelight and, at least for the present, it is not pretty. ..."
"... Phil nails it as usual. Like him, I'm not very optimistic. Whether overall one approves or disapproves of Trump (and count me as a disapprover), it is obvious that most of the government is operating outside his control and this includes many of his own appointees. The continuities of US policy are far deeper than the apparent discontinuities. ..."
Jun 19, 2018 | www.unz.com

I had coffee with a foreign friend a week ago. The subject of Donald Trump inevitably came up and my friend said that he was torn between describing Trump as a genius or as an idiot, but was inclined to lean towards genius. He explained that Trump was willy-nilly establishing a new world order that will succeed the institutionally exhausted post-World War 2 financial and political arrangements that more-or-less established U.S. hegemony over the "free world." The Bretton Woods agreement and the founding of the United Nations institutionalized the spread of liberal democracy and free trade, creating a new, post war international order under the firm control of the United States with the American dollar as the benchmark currency. Trump is now rejecting what has become an increasingly dominant global world order in favor of returning to a nineteenth century style nationalism that has become popular as countries struggle to retain their cultural and political identifies. Trump's vision would seem to include protection of core industries, existing demographics and cultural institutions combined with an end of "democratization," which will result in an acceptance of foreign autocratic or non-conforming regimes as long as they do not pose military or economic threats.

Sounds good, I countered but there is a space between genius and idiocy and that would be called insanity, best illustrated by impulsive, irrational behavior coupled with acute hypersensitivity over perceived personal insults and a demonstrated inability to comprehend either generally accepted facts or basic norms of personal and group behavior.

Inevitably, I have other friends who follow foreign policy closely that have various interpretations of the Trump phenomenon. One sees the respectful meeting with Kim Jong-un of North Korea as a bit of brilliant statesmanship, potentially breaking a sixty-five year logjam and possibly opening the door to further discussions that might well avert a nuclear war. And the week also brought a Trump welcome suggestion that Russia should be asked to rejoin the G-7 group of major industrialized democracies, which also has to be seen as a positive step. There has also been talk of a Russia-U.S. summit similar to that with North Korea to iron out differences, an initiative that was first suggested by Trump and then agreed to by Russian President Vladimir Putin. There will inevitably be powerful resistance to such an arrangement coming primarily from the U.S. media and from Congress, but Donald Trump seems to fancy the prospect and it just might take place.

One good friend even puts a positive spin on Trump's insulting behavior towards America's traditional allies at the recent G-7 meeting in Canada. She observes that Trump's basic objections were that Washington is subsidizing the defense of a wealthy Europe and thereby maintaining unnecessarily a relationship that perpetuates a state of no-war no-peace between Russia and the West. And the military costs exacerbate some genuine serious trade imbalances that damage the U.S. economy. If Trumpism prevails, G-7 will become a forum for discussions of trade and economic relations and will become less a club of nations aligned military against Russia and, eventually, China. As she put it, changing its constituency would be a triumph of "mercantilism" over "imperialism." The now pointless NATO alliance might well find itself without much support if the members actually have to fully fund it proportionate to their GDPs and could easily fade away, which would be a blessing for everyone.

My objection to nearly all the arguments being made in favor or opposed to what occurred in Singapore last week is that the summit is being seen out of context, as is the outreach to Russia at G-7. Those who are in some cases violently opposed to the outcome of the talks with North Korea are, to be sure, sufferers from Trump Derangement Syndrome, where they hate anything he does and spin their responses to cast him in the most negative terms possible. Some others who choose to see daylight in spite of the essential emptiness of the "agreement" are perhaps being overly optimistic while likewise ignoring what else is going on.

And the neoconservatives and globalists are striking back hard to make sure that détente stays in a bottle hidden somewhere on a shelf in the White House cloak room. Always adept at the creation of new front groups, the neocons have now launched something called the Renew Democracy Initiative (RDI), with the goal of "uni[ting] the center-left and the center-right." Its founders include the redoubtable Max Boot, The Washington Post's Anne Appelbaum, the inevitable Bill Kristol, and Richard Hurwitz of Council on Foreign Relations. RDI's website predictably calls for "fresh thinking" and envisions "the best minds from different countries com[ing] together for both broad and discrete projects in the service of liberty and democracy in the West and beyond." It argues that "Liberal democracy is in crisis around the world, besieged by authoritarianism, nationalism, and other illiberal forces. Far-right parties are gaining traction in Europe, Vladimir Putin tightens his grip on Russia and undermines democracy abroad, and America struggles with poisonous threats from the right and left."

There are also the internal contradictions in what Trump appears to be doing, suggesting that a brighter future might not be on the horizon even if giving the Europeans a possibly deserved bloody nose over their refusal to spend money defending themselves provides some satisfaction. In the last week alone in Syria the White House has quietly renewed funding for the so-called White Helmets, a terrorist front group. It has also warned that it will take action against the Syrian government for any violation of a "de-escalation zone" in the country's southwest that has been under the control of Washington. That means that the U.S., which is in Syria illegally, is warning that country's legitimate government that it should not attempt to re-establish control over a region that was until recently ruled by terrorists.

And then there is also Donald Trump's recent renunciation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), eliminating a successful program that was preventing nuclear proliferation on the part of Iran and replacing it with nothing whatsoever apart from war as a possible way of dealing with the potential problem. Indeed, Trump has been prepared to use military force on impulse, even when there is no clear casus belli. In Syria there have been two pointless cruise missile attacks and a trap set up to kill Russian mercenaries. Washington's stated intention is to destabilize and replace President Bashar al-Assad while continuing the occupation of the Syrian oil fields. And in Afghanistan there are now more troops on the ground than there were on inauguration day together with no plan to bring them home. It is reported that the Pentagon has a twenty-year plan to finish the job but no one actually believes it will work.

The United States is constructing new drone bases in Africa and Asia. It also has a new military base in Israel which will serve as a tripwire for automatic American involvement if Israel goes to war and has given the green light to the Israeli slaughter of Palestinians. In Latin America, Washington has backed off from détente with Cuba and has been periodically threatening some kind of intervention in Venezuela. In Europe, it is engaged in aggressive war games on the Russian borders, most recently in Norway and Poland. The Administration has ordered increased involvement in Somalia and has special ops units operating – and dying – worldwide. Overall, it is hardly a return to the Garden of Eden.

And then there are the petty insults that do not behoove a great power. A friend recently attended the Russian National Day celebration at the embassy in Washington. He reported that the U.S. government completely boycotted the event, together with its allies in Western Europe and the anglosphere, resulting in sparse attendance. It is the kind of slight that causes attitudes to shift when the time comes for serious negotiating. It is unnecessary and it is precisely the sort of thing that Russian President Vladimir Putin is referring to when he asks that his country be treated with "respect." The White House could have sent a delegation to attend the national day. Trump could have arranged it with a phone call, but he didn't.

Winston Churchill once reportedly said that to "Jaw, jaw, jaw is better than war, war, war." As one of the twentieth century's leading warmongers, he may not have actually meant it, but in principle he was right. So let us hope for the best coming out of Singapore and also for the G-7 or what replaces it in the future. But don't be confused or diverted by presidential grandstanding. Watch what else is going on outside the limelight and, at least for the present, it is not pretty.


Mishra , June 19, 2018 at 4:11 am GMT

The Establishment (which includes both major political parties) is furious that Trump may be defusing the (very real) nuclear threat from Kim for the price of a few plane tickets and dinners, while the Establishment was gung-ho for throwing away a few trillion dollars, hundreds of thousands of innocent lives, and our nation's once-good reputation in the process of neutralizing Saddam Hussein, who didn't even have any nukes to begin with. Yep, they're sore all right.
Kirt , June 19, 2018 at 4:20 am GMT
Phil nails it as usual. Like him, I'm not very optimistic. Whether overall one approves or disapproves of Trump (and count me as a disapprover), it is obvious that most of the government is operating outside his control and this includes many of his own appointees. The continuities of US policy are far deeper than the apparent discontinuities.

[Jun 18, 2018] 'Deep Throat' was fiction, the CIA had all the info, the CIA fake 'leaker' is another big distraction game getting repeated

Notable quotes:
"... Counting the shooting of JFK in 1963, and the shooting-wouding of Ronald Reagan in 1981 by a guy whose father was working for George Bush's brother (!), plus the two arguably-staged 'impeachments' of Richard Nixon (ending 1974) and Bill Clinton (ending 1999), you have a 40% removal-programme hit rate on the previous 10 US Presidents. ..."
Jun 18, 2018 | www.unz.com

Brabantian , Website June 18, 2018 at 8:42 am GMT

Nice account of 'getting woke' from Ron Unz quite appreciate the tidbits such as the mention of the once-very-famous Dorothy Kilgallen of the 'What's My Line?' TV show (1950-67)

Counting the shooting of JFK in 1963, and the shooting-wouding of Ronald Reagan in 1981 by a guy whose father was working for George Bush's brother (!), plus the two arguably-staged 'impeachments' of Richard Nixon (ending 1974) and Bill Clinton (ending 1999), you have a 40% removal-programme hit rate on the previous 10 US Presidents.

Maybe even more hidden from public knowledge, is the truth of the Watergate 'Silent Coup' (Colodny / Gettlin book). Bob Woodward was a US Navy intelligence agent under Admiral Maurer, and when Maurer became head of the US Joint Chiefs and thus the entire US military, Woodward was planted at the CIA's Washington Post to be the fake 'brave reporter' for the coup d'état of 'Watergate', entirely a US Joint Chiefs -- CIA operation. Bob Woodward was apparently such an idiot re journalism at first he needed lots of remedial coaching to meet minimal standards.

'Deep Throat' was fiction, the CIA had all the info, the CIA fake 'leaker' is another big distraction game getting repeated (Daniel Ellsberg; Deep Throat; Wikileaks Assange who was admitted by both Brzezinski and Netanyahu to be fake, seems he isn't even really 'living' at the London Ecuador Embassy, faker Edward Snowden , first 'leaking' to the CIA's Washington Post, ha!, with Glenn Greenwald posing as the latest Jewish 'brave journalist'; Mossad-historian-supervised 'Panama Papers', etc.)

Another 'impeachment' farce was the Deep State 'Monica Lewinsky' nonsense against Bill Clinton, fired up when Bill balked in nausea, at the thought of ordering the war-crime bombing of Serbia that would kill thousands. For Clinton-Lewinsky, another Jewish figure, Matt Drudge, was propped up to play the Woodward role of 'great investigative reporter' When Clinton consented to approve the war as his way to stay alive, he was 'acquitted' -- the bombings of Serbia began shortly afterwards. Clearly, the Deep State cannot even trust its highly pre-vetted White House occupants.

Now that the Unz site is on board with collusion in US President removals, we still have to get Unz site writers woke on the laughably fake 9 'trips to the moon' with 6 alleged 'moon landings' of 1968-72 regarding which director Stanley Kubrick even admitted before in March 1999 before he died, that he faked the 'moon landing' NASA videos (CIA movie studios, Laurel Canyon, California) 50th anniversary of the 'trips to the moon' starts this December a good time for Unz debunking

[Jun 18, 2018] In criminal investigations the first question always is 'who benefits'. The weird thing in political suspicious deaths is that this question is seldom asked

Counting the shooting of JFK in 1963, and the shooting-wouding of Ronald Reagan in 1981 by a guy whose father was working for George Bush's brother (!), plus the two arguably-staged 'impeachments' of Richard Nixon (ending 1974) and Bill Clinton (ending 1999), you have a 40% removal-programme hit rate on the previous 10 US Presidents.
Notable quotes:
"... Counting the shooting of JFK in 1963, and the shooting-wouding of Ronald Reagan in 1981 by a guy whose father was working for George Bush's brother (!), plus the two arguably-staged 'impeachments' of Richard Nixon (ending 1974) and Bill Clinton (ending 1999), you have a 40% removal-programme hit rate on the previous 10 US Presidents. ..."
"... Ron's suspicions may be correct. However, I am bothered by two things left out of his article: the identity of the conspirators and their motivation. What was President Kennedy doing that had to be stopped? ..."
Jun 18, 2018 | www.unz.com

Not Raul , June 18, 2018 at 5:41 am GMT
One of the main reasons why "conspiracy theory" is used in the pejorative sense:

After JFK was killed, there were many articles and books written claiming a conspiracy. And then nothing happened.

At some level, most Americans are still convinced that the police and prosecutors are looking out for them: If it really were proved that there was a conspiracy to kill JFK, of course the conspirators would be prosecuted, right?

The same is true of the "suicide" of Gary Webb, the man who uncovered Iran Contra. He was found with an alleged suicide note, and two gunshot wounds to the back of the head. The coroner ruled his death a suicide. Case closed.

Technomad , June 18, 2018 at 6:11 am GMT
The thing is, the kind of high-level people who're generally accused of wanting to murder poor, poor, innocent JFK both knew that at worst, he'd be gone by January 21, 1969, and knew more than enough about him to come up with a much better plan. Getting "Dr. Feelgood," with or without his conscious cooperation, to give JFK a "hot shot" would do the trick just fine, as would sending in a "bimbo" with a cyanide injector in her beehive hairdo. First rule of this as in many other things -- KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid!)

The kinds of scenarios I've seen from conspiracy believers are so complicated and iffy that they make Jimmy Carter's "Operation Eagle Claw" look like a sure-fire, can't-lose winner. Having Oswald be the only shooter makes sense, and comports with what we know of Oswald's personality. The men who've murdered other presidents were generally attention sponges with an exaggerated view of their importance in the scheme of things. Oswald thought he was rightfully a world-shaking hero, instead of the twerp he was, but compared to Charles Guiteau (who shot James Garfield) Oswald was a shrinking violet.

jilles dykstra , June 18, 2018 at 6:46 am GMT
In criminal investigations the first question always is 'who benefits'. The weird thing in political suspicious deaths is that this question is seldom asked.
This is the case with, to name a few, Sikorsky, Kennedy, Palme, Anna Lyndh, Hammarskjöld, Diana, Hess, Pearl Harbour, Sept 11, MH17, MH370, Bernadotte, Barschel, there must be more.

In the Kennedy case, he was killed some two weeks after he had threatened Israel not to sell weapons any more, if they continued building the atomic bomb.

utu , June 18, 2018 at 6:48 am GMT
Both patsies Harvey Lee Oswald and Sirhan Sirhan were selected with respect to the legends, real or synthetic, that could be used in the post assassination story spin off. In both cases the legends were to deflect the attention form the actual conspirators. In the case of Oswald it was his defection to the USSR. Involvement of Soviets in the assassination was an option that was not played in the media in the end but it could have been if the lone nut assassin narrative for some reason could not gain the traction. In the case of Sirham his legend as a disgruntled Palestinian who was upset with RFK's alleged support for Israel was played to the full extent. It was done for two reasons: (1) to decouple JFK assassination from RFK assassination; crazy lone nut Texan American and crazy lone nut Arab Palestinian had only one thing in common: being a crazy lone nut, and (2) paint RFK as a martyr for his pro Israel views. The second spin off was risky because it brought Israel into the story, nevertheless the conspirators thought it was important and took the risk so the could make out of RFK the first (and the only one so far afaik) American politician who died for his pro Israel position. This certainly pushed away any suspicions that Israel might have been involved or could have benefited from his assassination. Sirhan Sirhan legend was also used to foreshadow Palestinian terrorism that began to grow in the wake of the Six Day War of 1967.
Anon [138] Disclaimer , June 18, 2018 at 6:48 am GMT
Try taking a look at 'Prayer Man', most likely the image of Lee Harvey Oswald on the front steps of the TSBD building shortly after the shooting. A good introduction can be found at http://22november1963.org.uk/prayer-man-jfk-assassination
utu , June 18, 2018 at 7:07 am GMT
The 1991 Oliver Stone movie unblocked many Americans to think about and consider the conspiracy behind the assassination. Still four years earlier Stanley Kubrick was reinforcing the meme of Lee Harvey Oswald in Full Metal Jacket:
JohnnyWalker123 , June 18, 2018 at 7:09 am GMT
Excellent article, Ron. Thankyou for writing this.

On his deathbed, CIA Agent E. Howard Hunt confessed to being involved in the JFK assassination. He implicated other intelligence agents and Vice-President LBJ. Watch this short video here in which he confesses.

If anyone wants to understand the JFK assassination in more detail, I highly recommend watching Oliver Stone's movie JFK. Here's a very good part of the movie that explains how Oswald couldn't have shot JFK, as Oswald was behind JFK and JFK's head snaps back and to the left. So the true assassin must've been in the front (his shot knocked JFK's head back) – and couldn't have been Oswald. Watch the video below. "Back and to the left."

Here's an interesting video on how many JFK assassination witnesses died mysterious deaths. Start watching this video from 1:50. Particularly interesting is that on the day when the House tried to get George De Mohrenschildt (a close friend of Oswald and a very prominent socialite in Dallas) to testify, he was found death. The death was ruled a suicide.

Jack Ruby (the Dallas club owner who assasinated Oswald) claimed that LBJ had JFK assassinated. See video below.

He also claimed a conspiracy was keeping him from speaking. See video below.

When JFK was assassinated, there was a man with an umbrella who was right next to the president. It was an extremely sunny day in Dallas on that day. Why was the man holding the umbrella? Reporter Bill O'Reilly reports evidence that the "Umbrella Man" may have used the umbrella to fire a dart into JFK. Interestingly, the CIA had developed a dart weapon before that date. See this video below. Starts at 40 seconds.

Dr. Charles Crenshaw (who treated JFK's bullet wound and went on to become ) claimed that the entry points of 2 of the wounds he observed were in the front of JFK's throat. Therefore, the assassin must've been in the front and couldn't have been Oswald. He also claimed that the wound was tampered with to make it seem the bullet came from behind.

"Dark Journalist" has a very good video on the JFK assassination.

Here's an interesting video of Dan Rather lying about the JFK assassination. This news clip was made shortly after the assassination. Dan Rather told the American viewing public that JFK's head went forward after he was shot. Later, it would be revealed that Dan Rather had lied that day.

By the way, you always hear the Warren Commission found that there was no conspiracy and that Oswald was the "lone gunman." However, in 1976, the House of Representatives investigated the matter and concluded that there was a conspiracy behind the JFK assassination. The assasination involved multiple gunmen. The media never reports this.

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

The United States House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) was established in 1976 to investigate the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. The HSCA completed its investigation in 1978 and issued its final report the following year, concluding that Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy. In addition to acoustic analysis of a police channel dictabelt recording,[1] the HSCA also commissioned numerous other scientific studies of assassination-related evidence that corroborate the Warren Commission's findings.[2]

JohnnyWalker123 , June 18, 2018 at 7:35 am GMT
LBJ wanted JFK dead sooner than that.

Here's a very persuasive History Channel video on how LBJ had JFK killed.

Also, the military-industrial complex wanted to escalate the war in Vietnam.

By the way, it's sort of interesting how the mysterious Gulf of Tonkin incident led to a huge war in Vietnam.

This video demonstrates how wildly implausible it was that Oswald pulled the trigger. The FBI couldn't replicate Oswald's supposed shooting with their best shooters.

FBI didn't find a palm print on Oswald's rifle. Then, a week later, a Dallas policeman found a palm print on the rifle.

"We're through the looking glass people. White is black – and black is white."

Biff , June 18, 2018 at 7:53 am GMT
@Technomad

One trip to Dealy Plaza, and the Oswald story crumbles. Keep trying though.

LondonBob , June 18, 2018 at 8:00 am GMT
Of course the highly reputable confessions by Chauncey Holt and E Howard Hunt have been studiously ignored.
Brabantian , Website June 18, 2018 at 8:42 am GMT
Nice account of 'getting woke' from Ron Unz quite appreciate the tidbits such as the mention of the once-very-famous Dorothy Kilgallen of the 'What's My Line?' TV show (1950-67)

Counting the shooting of JFK in 1963, and the shooting-wouding of Ronald Reagan in 1981 by a guy whose father was working for George Bush's brother (!), plus the two arguably-staged 'impeachments' of Richard Nixon (ending 1974) and Bill Clinton (ending 1999), you have a 40% removal-programme hit rate on the previous 10 US Presidents.

Maybe even more hidden from public knowledge, is the truth of the Watergate 'Silent Coup' (Colodny / Gettlin book). Bob Woodward was a US Navy intelligence agent under Admiral Maurer, and when Maurer became head of the US Joint Chiefs and thus the entire US military, Woodward was planted at the CIA's Washington Post to be the fake 'brave reporter' for the coup d'état of 'Watergate', entirely a US Joint Chiefs – CIA operation. Bob Woodward was apparently such an idiot re journalism at first he needed lots of remedial coaching to meet minimal standards.

'Deep Throat' was fiction, the CIA had all the info, the CIA fake 'leaker' is another big distraction game getting repeated (Daniel Ellsberg; Deep Throat; Wikileaks Assange who was admitted by both Brzezinski and Netanyahu to be fake, seems he isn't even really 'living' at the London Ecuador Embassy, faker Edward Snowden , first 'leaking' to the CIA's Washington Post, ha!, with Glenn Greenwald posing as the latest Jewish 'brave journalist'; Mossad-historian-supervised 'Panama Papers', etc.)

Another 'impeachment' farce was the Deep State 'Monica Lewinsky' nonsense against Bill Clinton, fired up when Bill balked in nausea, at the thought of ordering the war-crime bombing of Serbia that would kill thousands. For Clinton-Lewinsky, another Jewish figure, Matt Drudge, was propped up to play the Woodward role of 'great investigative reporter' When Clinton consented to approve the war as his way to stay alive, he was 'acquitted' – the bombings of Serbia began shortly afterwards. Clearly, the Deep State cannot even trust its highly pre-vetted White House occupants.

Now that the Unz site is on board with collusion in US President removals, we still have to get Unz site writers woke on the laughably fake 9 'trips to the moon' with 6 alleged 'moon landings' of 1968-72 regarding which director Stanley Kubrick even admitted before in March 1999 before he died, that he faked the 'moon landing' NASA videos (CIA movie studios, Laurel Canyon, California) 50th anniversary of the 'trips to the moon' starts this December a good time for Unz debunking

Laurent Guyénot , June 18, 2018 at 9:07 am GMT
Follow the Jack Ruby trail: If Oswald was "just a patsy," the first thing to do is to investigate on the man who silenced Oswald, thereby preventing any doubts being raised in a court case. Strangely enough, no one (not even Ruby's biographer Seth Kantor) seem to care that Jack Ruby's real name was Jacob Leon Rubenstein.

Allow me to quote from my earlier article, and add a few details: Ruby, the son of Jewish Polish immigrants, was a member of the Jewish underworld. He was a friend of Los Angeles gangster Mickey Cohen, whom he had known and admired since 1946. Cohen was the successor of the famed Benjamin Siegelbaum, aka Bugsy Siegel, one of the bosses of Murder Incorporated.

Cohen was infatuated with the Zionist cause, as he explained in his memoirs: "Now I got so engrossed with Israel that I actually pushed aside a lot of my activities and done nothing but what was involved with this Irgun war". Mickey Cohen was in contact with Menachem Begin, the former Irgun chief, with whom he even "spent a lot of time," according to Gary Wean, former detective sergeant for the Los Angeles Police Department. So there is a direct line connecting Jack Ruby, via Mickey Cohen, to the Israeli terrorist ring, and in particular to Menachem Begin, a specialist in false flag terror. We also know that Ruby phoned Al Gruber, a Mickey Cohen associate, just after Oswald's arrest; no doubt he received then "an offer he couldn't refuse," as they say in the underworld. Ruby's defense lawyer William Kunstler wrote in his memoirs that Ruby told him he had killed Oswald "for the Jews," and Ruby's rabbi Hillel Silverman received the same confession when visiting Ruby in jail.

Probably as a cryptic message to Johnson, whom he expected to pardon him, Ruby made the following odd statements to the Warren Commission: "There will be a certain tragic occurrence happening if you don't take my testimony and somehow vindicate me so my people don't suffer because of what I have done." He said that feared that his act would be used "to create some falsehood about some of the Jewish faith."

According to a declassified US State Department document, Israeli Foreign Minister Golda Meir reacted to the news that Ruby had just killed Oswald with this sentence: "Ruby is alive, Oy vaaboy if we get caught!" (quoted in Alan Hart, Zionism , vol. 2, p. 279).

Laurent Guyénot , June 18, 2018 at 9:27 am GMT
Make it three assassinated Kennedys, with JFK Jr. Hell, make it four, counting his unborn child : On July 20, 1999, the New York Daily News published a piece by Joel Siegel titled: "JFK Jr. Mulled Run for Senate in 2000". The page seems to have just been deleted, but I had saved it, so I reproduce the first lines : "A private poll in 1997 found that John F. Kennedy Jr. was by far the state's most popular Democrat, and two friends said yesterday they believed he would have run for office some day. Earlier this year, in one of the best-kept secret in state politics, Kennedy considered seeking the seat of retiring Sen. Daniel Moynihan " Moynihan was a former Kennedy associate, so it is likely that he would have supported JFK Jr.'s bid. And recall that the same seat had once been held by RFK. So JFK Jr. was walking on his father's and his uncle's footsteps. They saw him coming, and decided to eliminate him before his ambitions even became public. Guess who won the seat, after JFK Jr. died in a mysterious plane crash: Hillary Clinton.

What would JFK Jr. have done next if he had been allowed to walk this path? Well, if you want to know what was on his mind, check some of the covers of his magazine George on https://www.vfiles.com/vfiles/16372 You will see that he was obsessed with "conspiracy theories":

In a special "Conspiracy Issue", October 1998, George published a piece by Oliver Stone, director of the film JFK, titled "Paranoid and Proud of it". Earlier in December 1996, the cover announces an article on "TWA Conspiracy Theories" (about TWA 800). And in March 1997, another conspiracy theory under the title "Who was behind the killing of Yitzhak Rabin?". And so on.

Considering that JFK Jr.'s unborn child also died with him, and if we follow the logic of Ronald Kessler, author of The Sins of the Father: Joseph P. Kennedy and the Dynasty He Founded (1996) (a message to JFK Jr.?), then three generations of Kennedys were punished for "the sins of the father". That fulfills Exodus 20:5: "I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous god and I punish a parent's fault in the children, the grandchildren, and the great-grandchildren among those who hate me."

Chase , June 18, 2018 at 10:03 am GMT
@Not Raul

People conspire all the time. A board of directors gathering for their annual meeting is literally a conspiracy: they are conspiring to plan the company's trajectory over some period of time.

Do people ever conspire nefariously? Well, what is the first thing investigators will do when looking into a company like Enron? That's right, they will subpoena email records, because despite the negative connotation surrounding the term "conspiracy theory," people implicitly sense and really know that *this is exactly the kind of shit that happens all the time*.

For example, the Seth Rich murder, as its official story goes is literally a conspiracy. Two MS-13 members conspired to rob Mr. Rich while he was walking home from a bar. Why is it that people will believe that two people will conspire over a few hundred bucks, but refuse to believe powerful people will conspire over tens or hundreds of billions? Only because of media programming.

Once you unplug from the Matrix, so much that never made sense comes into clarity. Thanks, Mr. Unz for your tireless work and financial contributions to the American Pravda series. I've learned so much and it has been integral to my eyes being opened over the last four years.

kikl , June 18, 2018 at 10:08 am GMT
I think we all know the JFK-assassination was a conspiracy. Oswald was the patsy. But, we do not know for sure who participated in the conspiracy.

The report by the Warren commission was a cover up. CIA Director McCone was "complicit" in a Central Intelligence Agency "benign cover-up" by withholding information from the Warren Commission, according to a report by the CIA Chief Historian David Robarge released to the public in 2014.[24] According to this CIA report, CIA officers had been instructed to give only "passive, reactive, and selective" assistance to the commission, in order to keep the commission focused on "what the Agency believed at the time was the 'best truth' -- that Lee Harvey Oswald, for as yet undetermined motives, had acted alone in killing John Kennedy."

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/10/jfk-assassination-john-mccone-warren-commission-cia-213197

Witholding evidence in order to cover up a crime is usually done because of involvement in the crime. Thus, it is most likely that the CIA was involved in the Kennedy Assassination.

bj , June 18, 2018 at 10:16 am GMT
What evil consumes the innocents? What witch stages these mind control spectacles? I add one bread crumb to the Ron Unz Trail, through the deep dark forest of the fairy tale of our lives.

No matter who you are, we have a vector for you!

"Lane, it should be noted, was in U.S. Army intelligence in post-war Germany in 1945-47. This is the branch that became the C.I.A. after the war. Lane was paid some $5 million in legal fees by the Liberty Lobby, according to a veteran of the lobby. None of this is widely known among the people who read and support American Free Press. It is important because it shows how a Zionist Jew from the C.I.A. can actually control a movement that purports to be working for the American patriot audience. "

http://www.bollyn.com/the-liberty-lobbys-mark-lane-and-the-jonestown-massacre/

Anonymouse , June 18, 2018 at 11:01 am GMT
Ron's suspicions may be correct. However, I am bothered by two things left out of his article: the identity of the conspirators and their motivation. What was President Kennedy doing that had to be stopped? Fifty-five years have passed without any conspirator's deathbed confession. Gerald Posner's Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of J. F. K. seemed convincing to me when I read it many years ago. One fact that struck me as specially persuasive was that the kindly Quaker woman who was sheltering Marina Oswald and baby saw an ad in the paper for a job at the Book Depository building and pointed it out to Oswald who applied for the job and got it sometime before the route of the Kennedy drive past the building was chosen and published. Perhaps Mr. Unz might share his opinion of Posner's book with us.
Iris , June 18, 2018 at 11:06 am GMT
@syonredux

Take the pain to read actual eyewitness testimonies from medical personnel who attended President Kennedy when taken to Parkland hospital after being shot.

That may stop you from embarrassing yourself defending the ludicrous lone gunman theory.

justagoon , June 18, 2018 at 11:16 am GMT
Hmmm at this rate you'll question whether 19 Arabs with box cutters crashed planes into buildings by about 2049. /sarc

Well better late than never I guess.

jilles dykstra , June 18, 2018 at 11:22 am GMT
Wonder if anyone read the Warren Report. Reading it I got the same feeling as, in the seventies, when I still believed mainstream history, reading Churchill's memoirs: too good to be true. Harold Weisberg, 'Whitewash – the report on the Warren Report', 1965, 1966, New York tears Warren to shreds.
Bardon Kaldian , June 18, 2018 at 11:28 am GMT
It is a sad comment on mental pliability of US public that someone as perspicacious as Ron Unz could have for so long subscribed to "single gunman" (alright, he was not single, Oswald was married) "theory".

Whatever one may think of Stone's JFK, he is doubtless mostly correct in this short interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unpZuynt4Gw

Tyrion 2 , Website June 18, 2018 at 11:38 am GMT
I came of age much more recently and my encounters with JFK and RFK's assassinations were all about supposed conspiracies. If anything, there seems to be a conspiracy to make you think there's a conspiracy.

Furthermore, it is pretty easy to kill someone so, if there was a conspiracy to kill those two, goodness knows why the conspirators would not just use more subtle methods

All of these types of theories always seem to end up with their hypothesiser pointing out inconsistencies in the historical account of incredibly complex events while, at best, only proposing a much more inconsistent alternative.

Conspirator super genius: how shall we kill him?

Conspirator normal: we could give him an aneurysm so he dies in his sleep in the middle of the night. It would be utterly untraceable and medically unsuspicious. Indeed, if we do it when he has one of his girls round, then that will stop further questions.

Conspirator super genius: no, we should stage an assasination in the open. With bullets that might miss, a patsy who might blab or get away and our target could easily survive and take revenge. It will also make everyone suspicious and will need endless effort to keep quiet.

Conspirator B: wtf

CF , June 18, 2018 at 11:43 am GMT
If you examine the first page of JFK's death certificate, (easily done on your search engine) you will see that the President died of "gunshot wounds to the head and neck." and that he was killed by a "High Velocity Rifle". At that time a High Velocity Rifle had a muzzle velocity speed of 2500/600 feet per second, now I believe it is up to 3000 feet per second.

The only weapon associated with Lee Harvey Oswald on the day of the assassination was a Manlicher Carcano 6.5mm as agreed by the Warren Commission, Pozner (Case Closed) and Bugliosi. This rifle is not only notoriously inaccurate but has a muzzle velocity of 2000 feet per second and therefore could not have inflicted the wounds to JFK's head and neck that killed him.

Oswald may have tried to kill the President (personally I doubt it) from the sixth floor of the Book Depository overlooking Dealy Plaza but he didn't because JFK was killed by a High Velocity weapon and Oswald didn't have one.

Case Closed.

[Jun 18, 2018] Aircraft of the American coalition bombarded one of our military positions in the area of Al-Hari southeast of Albu Kamal

Notable quotes:
"... "Aircraft of the American coalition bombarded one of our military positions in the area of Al-Hari southeast of Albu Kamal" ..."
Jun 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Oui | Jun 17, 2018 11:13:00 PM | 21

Syria state media says US-led coalition hits regime position in east

Syrian state media said overnight Sunday to Monday that US-led coalition aircraft had carried out a deadly strike on a regime position in the country's east near the Iraqi border.

"Aircraft of the American coalition bombarded one of our military positions in the area of Al-Hari southeast of Albu Kamal" town in Deir Ezzor, state news agency SANA reported a military source as saying, adding a number of people had been killed.

Dave G , Jun 17, 2018 7:04:41 PM | 14
Interesting article from the Independent. Just like in Syria, alqaeda is our ally now:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/al-qaeda-group-leader-claims-fighting-alongside-us-backed-coalition-forces-yemen-a7713321.html

Red Ryder , Jun 17, 2018 9:06:59 PM | 15
Not US air strike, not coalition air strike, thus an Israeli air strike, right?

https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201806181065498477-usa-bombs-syrian-positions/

Read the US denials and they finger who else but IDF?

Doing what the US wants done and what Israel rationalizes as its next war--Syria/Iran.

Russia would know. De-confliction would have been arranged if US or coalition.

[Jun 18, 2018] ASSAD US and Israeli intervention prevents reconciliation in Syria (Interview) by Frank Sellers

Notable quotes:
"... Assad is adamant that the price demanded by the Americans, that of absolute US hegemony, is one that Syria will never pay ..."
"... For the Americans, there is a general principle they follow in dealing with any problem in the world. The only price they ask for is absolute hegemony, regardless of the issue and the place. Of course, we shall never provide that price; otherwise we wouldn't have fought this war for years . We have been fighting for the independence of Syrian decision-making, for the Syrian homeland, and for the unity of Syrian territory. As for Iran in particular, let me be very clear: the Syrian-Iranian relationship is a strategic one not subject to a deal in the south or in the north. This relationship, in terms of its implications and results on the ground, is linked to the present and future of the region ..."
Jun 18, 2018 | theduran.com

Assad is adamant that the price demanded by the Americans, that of absolute US hegemony, is one that Syria will never pay

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad revealed in a recent interview with Iranian media al-Alam TV that attempts at achieving non military resolutions to conflicts inside Syria via reconciliation is being actively prevented by intervention from Israel and the US. He is adamant that the price demanded by the Americans, that of absolute US hegemony, is one that Syria will never pay. Video of the interview is furnished below in English, courtesy of Press TV , followed by a transcript obtained from Syria 360 Internationalist News Agency . Added emphasis on certain statements is mine.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/RbLONDCe3Ro

13 June، 2018
Damascus, SANA

President Bashar al-Assad affirmed that the Syrian south is in front of two options; reconciliation or liberation by force, indicating that at this point, there are no concrete results for a simple reason which is Israeli and American interference, for they put pressure on the terrorists in that area in order to prevent reaching any compromise or peaceful resolution.

The President added in an interview given to Iran's Al-ALAM TV that the Syrian-Iranian relation is strategic not subject to a deal and it is linked to the present and future of the region , affirming that neither Syria nor Iran has floated this relationship on the international political bazaar for it to be subject to haggling.

President al-Assad affirmed that since the beginning of the war, particularly when it started to have a clear military nature on the southern front in particular, the Israelis used to shell Syrian forces continuously, and consequently provide direct support to the terrorists. Israeli artillery and aircraft are the terrorists' artillery and aircraft Despite Israeli support to the terrorists, we have been doing our job, and the Syrian Army is fighting its way towards the southern front, and has liberated a number of areas within the limits of its capabilities. So, with or without its approval, the decision is a Syrian one, and this is a national duty we shall carry out.

Following the full text of the interview;

Question 1: Mr. President, there are many issues which we will talk about, but in the light of the victories you have achieved, the main focus remains the south of Syria. What's happening exactly, or what is the nature of what is happening in the south of Syria?

President Assad: To put it simply, after the liberation of al-Ghouta, it was suggested that we should move south. We were faced with two options, as is the case in all other areas in Syria: reconciliation or liberation by force. At this point, the Russians suggested the possibility of giving reconciliation an opportunity, similar to what happened in other areas, in order to restore the situation that prevailed before 2011. In other words, for the Syrian Army to be deployed in that area, which is an area of confrontation with the Zionist enemy. And of course the terrorists should leave the area. This proposition suits us. Up till now, there are no concrete results for a simple reason which is Israeli and American interference; for they put pressure on the terrorists in that area in order to prevent reaching any compromise or peaceful resolution . That is how the situation stands now.

Question 2: So, it hasn't been decided whether to move towards a military operation or towards reconciliation?

President Assad: No, contacts are still ongoing between the Russians, the Americans, and the Israelis, while nobody is communicating with the terrorists, because they are mere tools, and they implement what their masters decide ultimately. This is what happened, i.e. there was an opportunity to reach reconciliation, but the American and Israeli interference prevented that possibility .

Question 3: Of course, this is the reality there. But on the other hand, there are those who talk about many things taking place in the south. Mr. President, is there a certain deal, what is the price? Is there really a price for concluding this deal in the south? Let me talk frankly about the issue of getting the Iranians to leave the southern region in return for al-Tanf, for example. What did the Americans demand, or let's say, what was the price the Americans asked to approve the reconciliation process in the south?

President Assad: For the Americans, there is a general principle they follow in dealing with any problem in the world. The only price they ask for is absolute hegemony, regardless of the issue and the place. Of course, we shall never provide that price; otherwise we wouldn't have fought this war for years . We have been fighting for the independence of Syrian decision-making, for the Syrian homeland, and for the unity of Syrian territory. As for Iran in particular, let me be very clear: the Syrian-Iranian relationship is a strategic one not subject to a deal in the south or in the north. This relationship, in terms of its implications and results on the ground, is linked to the present and future of the region. Consequently, it is not subject to the price tags of the international bazaar. Neither Syria nor Iran has floated this relationship on the international political bazaar for it to be subject to haggling. The proposition was made by the Israelis with the objective of provoking and embarrassing Iran. At the same time, this comes in line with the international propaganda campaign launched against Iran regarding the nuclear file. It is not a separate issue; for everything happening now is linked to Iran in order to create an international position against it. As for us in Syria, the decision concerning our land is an exclusively Syrian decision. We are fighting the same battle, and when we have a decision concerning Iran, we will talk about it with the Iranians and not with any other party .

Question 4: Of course, we will talk more about Iran and in more detail, but since we are talking about the southern front, let's explore it further. Practically, in the same context, there is the MOC which hasn't stopped its operations since the beginning of the war on Syria about eight years ago. It is working and is still active, and is directly linked to the Israelis. But we have noticed recently that it has been reactivated, and there are more communications. Mr. President, does this mean that the Syrian state is practically moving towards a military decisive action in the south regardless of the consequences, whether things reach a stalemate or not? Is a decisive action in the cards for the Syrian leadership?

President Assad: No, MOC has nothing to do with this decision. MOC has been linked to the presence and the role of the terrorists since the beginning of the war on Syria. That's why it existed: in order to lead them militarily. Consequently, the continued existence of this operations room means the continuation of the role given to these terrorists, i.e. they are equipped and prepared to carry out more terrorist acts. MOC is linked to the terrorists and not to the role of the Syrian state. Our role has nothing to do with it. Our decision has been clear from the beginning: we will liberate all Syrian lands. As to when to move south, north, east, or west, this is a purely military issue. But regardless of MOC, we have moved towards the south and we are giving the political process a chance. If that doesn't succeed, we have no other option but to liberate it by force.

Question 5: But there is a confrontation in the south, and the issue is not limited geographically to Syria in the larger political sense. There are the Americans, the Russians, the Iranians, the Israelis, and Hezbollah. All these parties are there in the area. What does that mean? How are you going to deal with this?

President Assad: You are talking about two axes: one supporting terrorism, and represented by the US, Israel, and some flunkies in the region including some Arab and non-Arab states, and an anti-terrorist axis. The first axis supports terrorism and seeks hegemony, while the second axis seeks independence. So, there can be only one result for this confrontation, i.e. the victory of one of these axes. At least, as far as the anti-terrorist axis is concerned, it will not give up the process of cleaning Syria and the region of terrorism and will not give up on the unity of Syrian territory .

As to the other axis, will it change as a result of the reality on the ground? Let's wait and see. But in terms of substance and convictions, it will not change, while in terms of the political practices dictated by reality and the facts on the ground, it might.

Question 6: Will the Americans leave al-Tanf?

President Assad: The Americans say they are ready, but everyone knows that the Americans are historically professional liars in politics. So why should we believe them? Also, we have to wait and see.

Question 7: Mr. President, what's happening now in Jordan? Is it linked to what's happening on the southern front in particular, i.e. is it linked to what is being plotted in that region, in your view?

President Assad: In fact, the only information we have is what we hear in the media. In any case, we wish Jordan stability, not chaos, because the latter will have a negative impact on us.

Question 8: Since we are talking about the south, let's close this file. Mr. President, what would make the Israeli occupation agree to the return of the Syrian Army to the borders, i.e. a return to the situation which existed at the beginning of 2011, after seven years of repeated Zionist attempts, directly and indirectly, to undermine the Syrian state, the regime in Syria, and stability in Syria. Why would it agree now to the return of the Syrian Army to the borders and to the occupied Golan?

President Assad: Certainly, neither conviction, morality, nor international law means anything to the Israelis. Since the beginning of the war, particularly when it started to have a clear military nature on the southern front in particular, the Israelis used to shell Syrian forces continuously, and consequently provide direct support to the terrorists. Israeli artillery and aircraft are the terrorists' artillery and aircraft. That applies to Jabhat al-Nusra of course . Nothing is going to change this Israeli approach. As far as we are concerned, Israel's approval had no role at all. Despite Israeli support to the terrorists, we have been doing our job, and the Syrian Army is fighting its way towards the southern front, and has liberated a number of areas within the limits of its capabilities. So, with or without its approval, the decision is a Syrian one, and this is a national duty we shall carry out.

Question 9: So, a return of the Syrian Army is better than having resistance in the Golan, for instance?

President Assad: For the Israelis?

Journalist: Yes.

President Assad: I think the two options are bad for the Israelis. Both of them are bad. Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah has repeatedly talked about Syria's relationship with the resistance and a Syrian role in the resistance. So, how would the Israelis choose between two bad things for them?

Question 10: As you said, Mr. President, Israel has financed, supported, and more dangerously was capable of enlisting a large number of Syrians, some of whom were treated inside occupied Palestine. They talked about it. In the future, how would you deal with this large number of Israeli agents? Maybe some of them were misled and Israel might have exploited the financial and living conditions of some; and some have chosen to side with the Israelis. How would you deal with them in the future?

President Assad: This is true; we cannot put everyone in the same basket. There are different reasons for moving in this wrong direction; and these people have wronged the homeland and every Syrian citizen. Ultimately, they are the children of this homeland, and we all bear responsibility for this problem, not only those who have done wrong. When crime, for instance, becomes widespread in a certain country, the whole society bears responsibility for this crime, not only the security agencies or the criminals themselves. The first thing that should be done is to accommodate these people. Second, we need to address the root causes which led to this case of weak patriotism. The causes here are many and complicated, and the scope of this interview doesn't allow for all of them to be mentioned.

Question 11: In the same context, while you are talking about restoring the Syrian air defense systems and confronting the Zionist occupation, statements have been made by leaders of the Israeli entity that they will strike at the depth of Syrian territory. How would you deal with that situation, particularly that balance has been achieved recently, i.e. balance between Israeli aggressions and Syrian responses?

President Assad: Basically, we haven't stopped responding. First of all, we haven't stopped fighting terrorists, and at the same time we haven't stopped responding to Israeli aggression within the capabilities available to us, militarily and technically. Moreover, the more these capabilities improve; the response will be better and higher. But in fact the strongest response to Israel now is to strike the Israeli army existing in Syria which consists practically of the terrorists .

Journalist: You consider them an Israeli army?

President Assad: Of course, for they are acting clearly and starkly in Israel's interest. The first acts they carried out were attacks against the air defense systems. What is the link between air defense systems and the terrorists acting as infantry on the ground? This was an Israeli order. It was an Israeli-American order because it is the same thing. So, they are Israel's army inside Syria; and the first strike against Israel, politically, militarily, and in every other area, is to strike Israel's terrorists inside Syria, whether they belong to ISIS, al-Nusra, or the other groups linked to the Israeli plan and strategy.

Journalist: If Israel escalates, are you prepared to respond more forcefully?

President Assad: This is what's happening. It is escalating, and we are responding. Ultimately, we are fighting the war within the capabilities available to us, and we are doing our best within these capabilities. A response does not need a political decision. I stress that responding or not responding is not a political decision. It is a national decision, and it was taken from day one. But implementing this decision depends on what we can do militarily and not politically.

Question 12: In terms of capabilities, there is one issue in the media which we are always following, i.e. the S300 Russian missiles. Russia says, "We will deliver these missiles", and then says, "We will not deliver them", which means that the issue is not clear. What is happening exactly? Why this Russian hesitation, in your view, in delivering the S300 missiles to Syria, while some other countries have been seeking S400, i.e. they are ahead of us in this regard.

President Assad: You know that military action and military considerations are part of political considerations. Consequently, a statement, even if it is of a military nature, carries at the same time political messages. So, why did the Russians say that they want to send or not send? This is a statement that the Russians should be asked about because it might be part of their political tactics. As to the military aspect of the statement, which concerns Syria, it's not our custom to talk about the weapon which will be delivered or not delivered. The evidence was that the weapons used in response to the last two aggressions, the tripartite aggression and after that the Israeli aggression, were not announced by Syria. We traditionally do not announce cases of a technical military nature.

Journalist: So, even the nature of the response is not linked to the issue of the S300 missiles?

President Assad: No. The same applies. Even if the S300 missiles will be provided or not provided, we will not say that they were delivered to Syria. A weapon is used when it must be used.

Journalist: Is there a possibility that you have developed certain weapons?

President Assad: This remains a possibility. In any case, the result is the same: weapons shouldn't be talked about until they are used. Weapons announce themselves only when they are used.

Question 13: Mr. President, let's return to the political aspect, since we are talking about the southern front. Regarding the general situation, in light of all that has been achieved on the Syrian arena today, the most prominent actor is the tripartite alliance, or what is being called the tripartite alliance. I mean Syria, Iran, and Russia. What is the nature of this alliance? Is it a temporary alliance, in the sense that it is linked to fighting terrorism or to certain developments on the Syrian arena? Recently, we have started to see – or let's say some have focused on certain points in order to show – a certain fracture in this alliance. What is your take on that and what is the actual reality of this alliance?

President Assad: If we talk first about the Syrian-Iranian part, for 40 years, and in the different conditions that the Middle East region has gone through, this alliance remained solid. So, there is no reason to say that it is temporary or otherwise. The new element in the war on Syria is the Russian element, and that's why this tripartite alliance came into existence. Our relationship with Russia is now about seven decades old. Despite the fluctuations and the fall of the Soviet Union, the rule of President Yeltsin, and the deterioration of these relations to a large degree for us, it has never reached the stage of reversing this relationship with Syria. Russia continued to deal with Syria as a friendly state, and we have imported everything from Russia, including weapons, during the different stages of the sanctions imposed on Syria. It is not in the nature of the Russians to build temporary or self-serving alliances or to sell out on relations in order to get deals done. The relationship is definitely a strategic one, but the political statements allowed for these speculations.

These statements also aim at sending messages in different directions. Maybe, sometimes the language or the choice of particular terminology might not be helpful and might take the statement in a different direction at odds with the content of the statement. This happens from time to time. However, these statements shouldn't be taken out of context: the Russian view of the relationship with Iran is a strategic one. As for Syria, the Russians do not interfere in Syrian affairs. If they have a certain opinion, they raise it with us and say that in the end, the decision is that of the Syrian leadership and the Syrian people. This is a constant principle for Russia. Therefore, the alliance is a strategic one, and if there are differences, such differences happen within the Syrian state, and you see differences within the Iranian state and within the Russian state. It is natural for us to differ on daily tactical details, for why conduct a dialogue if we agree on everything? We meet extensively in order to reach agreement.

Journalist: So, this tripartite alliance is being consolidated.

President Assad: Of course. This is dictated by reality, interest, and international changes that make it necessary for this alliance to be consolidated. As long as the other axis supports terrorism, and as long as we, together with Iran and Russia, feel the danger of terrorism, not only in Syria, but also on all these countries and on the whole world, and as long as Syria, Iran, and Russia realize the importance of abiding by international law, these facts make the existence of this alliance necessary.

Question 14: But there are those who say that Syria will get a price if the Iranians leave Syrian territories. Is there a certain political, moral, or military price in this regard?

President Assad: As I said in the beginning, as long as this relationship is not floated in the bazaar, they cannot offer a price, and the answer will be clear. That's why they don't dare suggest this price. This issue was raised by different countries, including Saudi Arabia for instance, at the beginning of the war, and not only at the beginning, but at different stages. The proposition was that if Syria cut its relationship with Iran, the situation in Syria will be normal. This principle is basically rejected by us.

Journalist: So, there were initiatives, so to speak, made in this regard by Saudi Arabia.

President Assad: During the war?

Journalist: Yes.

President Assad: Of course, more than once, and in a clear manner.

Journalist: Directly?

President Assad: Directly. The relationship with Iran was the basis for every proposition; and Saudi Arabia's position on this subject is public. I'm not revealing a secret.

Question 15: An issue is raised, whether in Syria, Iran, or Lebanon, about the nature of Iranian presence in Syria. Some call them Iranian advisors. Even the Syrian Foreign Minister used the same term. At the same time, we notice that there are Iranian martyrs. Frankly, Mr. President, what is the nature of Iranian presence in Syria now?

President Assad: The term adviser is sometimes used in a broad manner, i.e. these advisers have been with us, through the longstanding relationship with Iran, even before the war, because the military relationship is close. When a military formation moves to a fighting position, the adviser becomes a fighter. So, the word can be used in different senses. There are certainly Iranian advisers in Syria, and there are groups of Iranian volunteers who came to Syria, and they are led by Iranian officers. Iran has fought with and defended the Syrian people. It offered blood. That's why when we say "advisers" this is a generic term, but this doesn't mean that we are ashamed of any Iranian presence, even if it is official. But we use the word "advisers" because there are no regular Iranian fighting units in Syria.

Journalist: Full formations.

President Assad: Exactly. There are no battalions, or brigades, or divisions. First, we can't hide them, and then why should we be ashamed of that? When we invited the Russians legally to come to Syria, we were not ashamed of that. And if there were an Iranian formation, we would announce it, because such relations need agreements between the two states endorsed by parliaments. Such relations cannot be concealed.

Journalist: And you invited Iranian advisers to come?

President Assad: Of course, from the beginning we invited the Iranians, and then we invited the Russians. We needed the support of these countries, and they answered the call.

Journalist: Mr. President, you said more than once that there are no Iranian bases in Syria.

President Assad: That's correct.

Journalist: Why there are no Iranian bases, while we notice that there are a number of Russian bases?

President Assad: There's nothing that prevents the existence of such bases as long as Iran is an ally as is Russia.

Journalist: This means that if Iran requested the existence of such bases, you would agree?

President Assad: If we ask. We will ask them to agree. I mean that we could ask for the existence of such forces to support us. Iran has never asked and does not have an interest except in fighting terrorism. But the evolution of the war made it necessary to develop the nature of this presence.

This happened as far as the Russians are concerned. In the beginning, Russian support, like Iranian support, was different from what it is today. The support for terrorism has developed internationally and globally when the Syrian Army confronted those terrorists, and with that Russian and Iranian military presence developed. At a certain stage, we found – with the Russians of course – that the existence of air bases was necessary to provide air support to the Syrian Army. And now, if we find, in cooperation, coordination, or dialogue with the Iranians, that there is a need for Iranian military bases, we will not hesitate. But now, Iranian support in its present form is good and effective.

Question 16: Why haven't you visited Iran so far, although you visited Russia more than once?

President Assad: That's correct. In fact, there was a scheduled visit to Iran a few months ago, and it was postponed and not cancelled. It was postponed because of an emergency in Syria related to the development of battles. There is certainly no reason which prevents such a visit, and I'll visit Iran hopefully soon on the earliest opportunity. This is natural, but the issue is logistic, no more, no less.

Question 17: Mr. President, I move to another file. Last week, it was the Jerusalem International Day, and the Palestinian cause is going through its most difficult stages. We are talking about the "deal of the century", and moving the American Embassy to occupied Jerusalem. What do you have to say about Palestine? Is Syria still capable of supporting the Palestine cause? Basically, wasn't one of the most important objectives of the war on Syria to get Syria out of the axis of resistance and to prevent it from supporting resistance, whether in Lebanon or Palestine?

President Assad: The Palestine context, since 1948 up till now, has been a complicated one, because the regional context is complicated. Of course, it is complicated because the colonial West, which is particularly supportive of Israel, has always created elements which aim at one single thing. First, to drive to desperation the Arab citizen who is historically attached to the cause of Palestine and who has always considered it a pan-Arab cause that touched him even on the national level.

The other objective has been to distract the Arab peoples together with states or societies in general to marginal causes so that they do not have time to think about Israel. And they have succeeded to a great extent, most recently through the so-called Arab spring which has aimed at destroying the political, military, and psychological infrastructure of Arab societies.

Nevertheless, recent development have proven that the Arab people is still conscientiously attached to the cause of Palestine. As for Syria – since it has been part of these plots to undermine the Arab condition in general – first, for Syria to support the cause of Palestine, it should first of all destroy the Israeli army in Syria. Restoring stability in Syria, striking terrorism, and foiling the Israeli plot in Syria is certainly part of supporting the cause of Palestine. The support might be indirect with direct consequences, but these direct consequences are linked to the internal Palestinian condition. We shouldn't forget that the Palestinians are divided between groups which resist Israel and are genuinely linked to the cause of Palestine, and other groups which are against the resistance and support surrenderist and defeatist peace, while there are other groups which use resistance as a title in order to achieve their political objectives under the slogan of religion. This is of course the Muslim Brotherhood's approach.

Question 18: Are you prepared to offer whatever the resistance asks of you, whether in the form of political, military, or any other form of support?

President Assad: Politically, we haven't changed. The Palestinian question for us is still as it was ten years ago and decades ago. It hasn't changed. As to what we can offer, this has to do with two things: first, Syria's current capabilities; and there's no doubt that the priority is given now to cleaning Syria of terrorism. Second, it has to do with the Palestinian condition and the parties with which we can deal within the Palestinian arena.

Question 19: Since we are talking about resistance, there is the other side. In addition to some countries which stood beside Syria in fighting terrorism, there was also a role played by the resistance in Lebanon, particularly Hezbollah, which provided a great deal and contributed to fighting terrorism. What do you say, Mr. President, to resistance fighters and families of martyrs and the wounded?

President Assad: When all these groups of resistance get together to defend Syrian soil and Syrian citizens, including the Lebanese resistance and the brothers who came from Iraq some of whom reproached me for not mentioning them by name, I take this opportunity to stress that there are brothers from Iraq to whom we give the same weight of any resistance fighter who came from any other country.

There are also the families of resistance fighters who came from Iran and sacrificed their blood in Syria. We should put all these in the same basket next to the Syrian martyrs, fighters, and their families. To those I say that all the letters, the words, the sentences, and the whole of literature are much less than a single drop of blood. Therefore, words are of a much lesser value than what they have offered. What's more important is what history will write about them.

In fact, when we talk about writing history, we need to highlight that history needs a strategy and needs tactics, but the fact remains that strategy without implementation on the ground has no value. It remains mere thought which we might include in books and essays. But the reality is that these individuals in these countries, this group of resistance fighters, not politics, write history. I would like to use the answer to this question to express to them all my love, respect, and appreciation, and my reverence to the fighters, the wounded, and martyrs, and to all their families who are courage incarnated and who sent these individuals to Syria to defend it and fight terrorism, so that these families become models of morality and principles for present and future generations.

Question 20: Have you asked Hezbollah to leave Syria? A few days ago His Eminence Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah talked about this issue and said that nobody can get us out of Syria unless the Syrian leadership asked us to do so.

President Assad: The battle is long and ongoing. When we talk about this tripartite alliance – and if we consider it a quadruple alliance when we add Hezbollah, we talk about the tripartite alliance in terms of the states included, but in the end Hezbollah is a basic element in this war – the battle is long, and the need for these military forces will continue for a long time. When there is a need, and when Hezbollah, Iran, or others believe that terrorism has been eliminated, they will tell us that they want to go home. As Sayyed Hasan said, they have families and daily interests, which is normal, but it is still early to talk about this subject.

Question 21: Up till now, there are still areas under the control of terrorism and areas under occupation. At the same time, regretfully, some Arab countries, and here I am talking particularly about Saudi Arabia, announced that it is ready to send forcers to Syria. On the other hand, a few days ago popular tribal units were formed to resist occupation. Are these really popular resistance units? Do they receive support from the Syrian government? Does this mean that the army cannot liberate those areas, and that's why it is asking for the help of the tribes? What is the nature of this issue?

President Assad: There are different forms of this resistance which appeared a few years ago. In the beginning they were fighting ISIS before they started to fight the occupiers. They were against ISIS in the central and eastern regions, and there were cases where they appeared in other regions which were not given media coverage and about which we hear sometimes through information and indications.

Now, this situation has started to expand. So, it's not one single case. There are a number of cases which might be individual sometimes, or in the form of small groups not affiliated to an organization. In any case, our position as a state has been from the beginning to support any act of resistance, whether against terrorists or against occupying forces, regardless of their nationality, i.e. American, French, Turkish, or Israeli. We support these resistance forces based on our national role as a government.

Question 22: What about Saudi Arabia and sending Saudi forces to Syria?

President Assad: First, when we talk about a state, we should assume that such a state can take decisions independently. That's why we will not talk about the role of Saudi Arabia. You better ask me about the American decision on this issue.

Question 23: On the other hand, there are a number of Arab countries which we talk about and which had a role or contributed to the role or to the destruction of Syria. These countries are now trying to get to Syria through the reconstruction process. What do you say in this regard, particularly that these countries are the ones which have capital and huge financial power? How are you going to deal with that?

President Assad: Reconstruction in Syria is not a cause for concern for us. It needs two factors: first, the human factor which is more important than the financial factor. When a country like Syria possesses the human factor, the financial cost will be less when it comes to reconstruction. This is self-evident, and we possess all these factors despite the fact that many competent and qualified Syrians have immigrated because of the war.

But we still have the capability to start reconstruction. And the evidence is clear now, for the state is moving forward and reconstruction has begun. As to money, the Syrian people have financial capabilities, capital, most of which is not in Syria, but outside Syria. But there is capital waiting for reconstruction to begin, so it will begin investing. On the other hand, there are the friendly countries which have capabilities and have the desire; and we have the desire to have them participate in reconstruction, so that they benefit and we Syrians benefit from this process. In the end, we do not need those countries and we will never allow them to be part of reconstruction.

Journalist: Never?

President Assad: Absolutely.

Journalist: Not even if there was a need in this regard, I mean in terms of financial resources?

President Assad: Financial resources are not everything. As I said, this is available. There are different sources in the world and in Syria for capital.

Question 24: With these tough years, we are talking about the legendary steadfastness of the Syrian Army, the Syrian people, the Armed Forces. If you wanted to talk about two cases, the most difficult case or incident that you have encountered during these years, and on the other hand the best and most beautiful case.

President Assad: It is natural, at the heart of the military battle, for the best and worst cases to be linked to the development of the military battle. If I say that the worst cases were when terrorists used to control a certain area, this is self-evident, but it is related more to specific battles, particularly when the area is strategic or the city is big with a large population. Consequently, the impact will be much greater psychologically and in terms of morale.

But there was an ongoing situation which we are still living and we must think about: when a martyr or a group of martyrs fall, and this is ongoing on a weekly basis for us, we must think that a family lost a dear one who cannot be compensated. He might be compensated by achieving victory at a certain stage, but on the family, psychological and human level, you cannot compensate a dear one lost to a certain family, or maybe a friend. This is a very painful situation which we have lived and continue to live. This will not stop until the war itself stops. But there were painful cases at the beginning of the war, when you see this huge lack of patriotism. They were perhaps a minority, but a large minority, of individuals who were prepared to sell the homeland and trade it together with their principles, if they had ones, in return for money or a certain interest, in addition to a certain percentage of extremism.

On the other hand, there were victories, particularly when victories started in the city of al-Qsair in 2013, and culminated in the city of Aleppo in 2016, that was the beginning of the major victories. That was followed by Deir Ezzor, and today we are living the joy of liberating Damascus and its countryside. This is a situation we have all lived through, and you were with us, and I am sure you feel the same joy.

Question 25: Have you felt tired at a certain moment? Have you felt hesitant at a certain moment, in light of all the decisions you have taken, have you ever, even for a moment, thought of leaving? Haven't you said to yourself: let me save my family and resign, as some people did at a certain point in time?

President Assad: This question might be raised in a personal manner. When I am faced with a personal situation as an individual, I might feel despair after a few months. I might feel tired or bored or I might want to move to a different situation, or give up. That is possible.

Journalist: As an individual?

President Assad: Of course, as an individual, but the case you are proposing is not personal, it is national. Imagine yourself in a different condition, perhaps building something on your own. You feel tired, but when you see a large number of people helping you build it and share the same determination, you forget the tiredness.

Now we are in a national situation. We are talking about millions of Syrians. When you see a shell striking and victims falling anywhere in Syria, you feel frustrated. But when you see life being restored to the same area after one hour, your psychological condition changes. When you see that the electricity worker, the oil worker, the teacher, the employee, are moving side by side with fighters, moving without despair and without tiredness, how can you feel tired? This is a collective condition not related to me as a person. It has to do with our human condition when we are together as a society. How do we live? This defines whether you are tired or not. Would the Syrian society have arrived at this stage of despair and surrender, I would certainly have been with it. I would have surrendered because I do not have the necessary elements for steadfastness. This is self-evident.

Journalist: Thank you very much, Mr. President, for giving us this opportunity, and for your candidness in answering these questions. Thank you very much.

[Jun 18, 2018] Real Takeaway The FBI Influenced the Election of a President by Peter Van Buren

In a way we now can talk about Intelligence Industrial complex
Notable quotes:
"... The good news is the Deep State seems less competent than we originally feared. ..."
"... In a damning passage , the 568 page report found it "extraordinary and insubordinate for Comey to conceal his intentions from his superiors for the admitted purpose of preventing them from telling him not to make the statement, and to instruct his subordinates in the FBI to do the same. By departing so clearly and dramatically from FBI and department norms, the decisions negatively impacted the perception of the FBI and the department as fair administrators of justice." Comey's drafting of a press release announcing no prosecution for Clinton, written before the full investigation was even completed, is given a light touch though in the report, along the lines of roughly preparing for the conclusion based on early indications. ..."
"... Enough: The DOJ Must Show Its Cards to the American Public A Higher Loyalty is Jim Comey's Revenge, Served Lukewarm ..."
"... Attorney General Loretta Lynch is criticized for not being more sensitive to public perceptions when she agreed to meet privately with Bill Clinton aboard an airplane as the FBI investigation into Hillary unfolded. "Lynch's failure to recognize the appearance problem and to take action to cut the visit short was an error in judgment." Her statements later about her decision not to recuse further "created public confusion and didn't adequately address the situation." ..."
"... Page and Strzok also discussed cutting back the number of investigators present for Clinton's in-person interview in light of the fact she might soon be president, and thus their new boss. Someone identified only as Agent One went on to refer to Clinton as "the President" and in a message told a friend "I'm with her." The FBI also allowed Clinton's lawyers to attend her interview, even though they were also witnesses to a possible crimes committed by Clinton. ..."
"... Page and Strzok were among five FBI officials the report found expressed hostility toward Trump and have been referred to the FBI's internal disciple system. The report otherwise makes only wishy-washy recommendations about things every agent should already know, like "adopting a policy addressing the appropriateness of department employees discussing the conduct of uncharged individuals in public statements." ..."
"... In that sense, the IG just poured a can of jet fuel onto the fires of the 2016 election and walked away to watch it burn. ..."
"... One concrete outcome, however, is to weaken a line of prosecution for Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The chief Russiagate investigator has just seen a key witness degraded -- any defense lawyer will characterize Comey's testimony as tainted now -- and a possible example of obstruction weakened. ..."
"... The report thus underscores one of the stated reasons for Comey's dismissal. Firing someone for incompetence isn't obstructing justice; it's the boss' job. ..."
"... the most important conclusion of the report: there is no longer a way to claim America's internal intelligence agency, the FBI, did not play a role in the 2016 election. There is only to argue which side they favored and whether they meddled via clumsiness, as a coordinated action, or as a chaotic cluster of competing pro- and anti- Clinton/Trump factions inside the Bureau. And that's the tally before anyone brings up the FBI's use of a human informant inside the Trump campaign, the FBI's use of both FISA warrants and pseudo-legal warrantless surveillance against key members of the Trump team, the FBI's use of opposition research from the Steele Dossier , and so on. ..."
Jun 18, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com
June 15, 2018 The good news is the Deep State seems less competent than we originally feared.

It will be easy to miss the most important point amid the partisan bleating over what the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General report on the FBI's Clinton email investigation really means.

While each side will find the evidence they want to find proving the FBI, with James Comey as director, helped/hurt Hillary Clinton and/or maybe Donald Trump, the real takeaway is this: the FBI influenced the election of a president.

In January 2017 the Inspector General for the Department of Justice, Michael Horowitz (who previously worked on the 2012 study of "Fast and Furious"), opened his probe into the FBI's Clinton email investigation, including public statements Comey made at critical moments in the presidential campaign. Horowitz's focus was always to be on how the FBI did its work, not to re-litigate the case against Clinton. Nor did the IG plan to look into anything regarding Russiagate.

In a damning passage , the 568 page report found it "extraordinary and insubordinate for Comey to conceal his intentions from his superiors for the admitted purpose of preventing them from telling him not to make the statement, and to instruct his subordinates in the FBI to do the same. By departing so clearly and dramatically from FBI and department norms, the decisions negatively impacted the perception of the FBI and the department as fair administrators of justice." Comey's drafting of a press release announcing no prosecution for Clinton, written before the full investigation was even completed, is given a light touch though in the report, along the lines of roughly preparing for the conclusion based on early indications.

Enough: The DOJ Must Show Its Cards to the American Public A Higher Loyalty is Jim Comey's Revenge, Served Lukewarm

Attorney General Loretta Lynch is criticized for not being more sensitive to public perceptions when she agreed to meet privately with Bill Clinton aboard an airplane as the FBI investigation into Hillary unfolded. "Lynch's failure to recognize the appearance problem and to take action to cut the visit short was an error in judgment." Her statements later about her decision not to recuse further "created public confusion and didn't adequately address the situation."

The report also criticizes in depth FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who exchanged texts disparaging Trump before moving from the Clinton email to the Russiagate investigation. Those texts "brought discredit" to the FBI and sowed public doubt about the investigation, including one exchange that read, "Page: "[Trump's] not ever going to become president, right? Strzok: "No. No he's not. We'll stop it." Another Strzok document stated "we know foreign actors obtained access to some Clinton emails, including at least one secret message."

Page and Strzok also discussed cutting back the number of investigators present for Clinton's in-person interview in light of the fact she might soon be president, and thus their new boss. Someone identified only as Agent One went on to refer to Clinton as "the President" and in a message told a friend "I'm with her." The FBI also allowed Clinton's lawyers to attend her interview, even though they were also witnesses to a possible crimes committed by Clinton.

Page and Strzok were among five FBI officials the report found expressed hostility toward Trump and have been referred to the FBI's internal disciple system. The report otherwise makes only wishy-washy recommendations about things every agent should already know, like "adopting a policy addressing the appropriateness of department employees discussing the conduct of uncharged individuals in public statements."

But at the end of it all, the details really don't matter, because the report broadly found no political bias, no purposeful efforts or strategy to sway the election. In aviation disaster terms, it was all pilot error. Like an accident of sorts, as opposed to the pilot boarding drunk, but the plane crashed and killed 300 people either way.

The report is already being welcomed by Democrats -- who feel Comey shattered Clinton's chances of winning the election by reopening the email probe just days before the election -- and by Republicans, who feel Comey let Clinton off easy. Many are now celebrating it was only gross incompetence, unethical behavior, serial bad judgment, and insubordination that led the FBI to help determine the election. No Constitutional crisis.

A lot of details in those 568 pages to yet fully parse, but at first glance there is not much worthy of prosecution (though Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he will review the report for possible prosecutions and IG Horowitz will testify in front of Congress on Monday and may reveal more information.) Each side will point to the IG's conclusion of "no bias" to shut down calls for this or that in a tsunami of blaming each other. In that sense, the IG just poured a can of jet fuel onto the fires of the 2016 election and walked away to watch it burn.

One concrete outcome, however, is to weaken a line of prosecution for Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The chief Russiagate investigator has just seen a key witness degraded -- any defense lawyer will characterize Comey's testimony as tainted now -- and a possible example of obstruction weakened. As justification for firing Comey, the White House initially pointed to an earlier Justice Department memo criticizing Comey for many of the same actions now highlighted by the IG (Trump later added concerns about the handling of Russiagate.) The report thus underscores one of the stated reasons for Comey's dismissal. Firing someone for incompetence isn't obstructing justice; it's the boss' job.

It will be too easy, however, to miss the most important conclusion of the report: there is no longer a way to claim America's internal intelligence agency, the FBI, did not play a role in the 2016 election. There is only to argue which side they favored and whether they meddled via clumsiness, as a coordinated action, or as a chaotic cluster of competing pro- and anti- Clinton/Trump factions inside the Bureau. And that's the tally before anyone brings up the FBI's use of a human informant inside the Trump campaign, the FBI's use of both FISA warrants and pseudo-legal warrantless surveillance against key members of the Trump team, the FBI's use of opposition research from the Steele Dossier , and so on.

The good news is the Deep State seems less competent than we originally feared. But even if one fully accepts the IG report's conclusion that all this -- and there's a lot -- was not intentional, at a minimum it makes clear to those watching ahead of 2020 what tools are available and the impact they can have. While we continue to look for the bad guy abroad, we have already met the enemy and he is us.

Peter Van Buren, a 24-year State Department veteran, is the author of We Meant Well : How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People and Hooper's War : A Novel of WWII Japan. Follow him on Twitter @WeMeantWell .

[Jun 18, 2018] The next year the strategic position of Ukraine might get worse

Jun 18, 2018 | www.unz.com

Beckow , June 16, 2018 at 12:24 am GMT

If Kiev wants to attack Donbas they better hurry. After World Cup, and definitely next year when the pipelines bypassing Ukraine will be ready, Ukraine's strategic situation will get worse. We are in a transition phase: sh..t happened in 2013-15 that is impossible to undo, but there were fortunately constraints on all sides that prevented a meltdown. In a year or two most of those constraints will be gone.

Saker is correct that EU countries will not work with Russia. Blaming it all on Washington was always stupid – there are forces in Europe, in all countries, who want a confrontation with Russia. Any event, real or fake, will be used to escalate. West cannot lose this one without another fight. And if they sit on their hands, they will eventually lose with a disillusioned Ukraine and slowly disintegrating EU. Populist energy needs to be re-directed eastward, and for that a more aggressive policy is required. This is not pessimism, there simply is no way for EU elite to climb down. How could UK make up with Russia without looking like complete idiots? Or Macron and Merkel? The hostility is at this point inherent in the situation – what started out as a badly thought-out attempt to get some quick goodies (bases in Crimea, Nato expansion, sell weapons) has evolved into a real death spiral.

We are one Franz Ferdinand moment away from a catastrophe. Let's enjoy the games while we still can. Trump knows this, so he is trying desperately to organize a summit or send some messages of conciliation. But he is powerless and it might be too late for that. Hubris never dissipates, it requires a disaster and an elite turnover to cure hubris.

Mattheus , June 16, 2018 at 2:06 pm GMT
Saker is once again completely wrong. His theories fall short to explain lots of real events. He got hooked on his "Anglo-Zionist" theory and "one Hegemon", which is far from explaining the reality on the ground. There is no one single hegemon, but two powerful interest groups in the west. One of the power centers is dominated by the Rothschilds from the City of London and the other ruled by the Rockerfellers which is based in the US.
The powers described above are sometimes working in collusion but sometimes work against each other (They were in collusion during the Soviet Afghan war for instance). Currently, we don't see a collusion but a war being waged in between these two groups. I think it is highly self evident, so much so that it is happening almost all in the open. In the modern history we haven't witnessed such a openly fought war ever before (between these two powers). All is at stake and the war in between these two is vicious. Thus you can explain Trump's attitude towards EU, everlasting character assasination of Trump by certain opposing circles in the US, high level resignations, the state of confusion of Nato and much more. If this theory is right (and I think it is much more viable than any other theory that I came across in the Alt-Med), this makes Russia firmly embedded into one of the camps. Unfortunately, the position that Russia took makes him not a sovereign power but on contrary puts him into a subservient role. The late actions of Russia, especially in Syria, is quite telling. I know people who admire Russia get quite frustrated when they hear such a scenario and outcome, but this is possibly the only way Putin believes that Russia can survive. Thus it explains his latest house clean-up of Euroasian integrists. Even worse, if you believe in this scenario, it brings Russia and China against each other especially in the long run. This scenario also put a full stop to the idealist Euroasian multi-polar world order.
Here is the link to an older video in Russian with English subtitles. The guy's name is Andrei Fursov and he has some interesting things to say regarding this subject. This interview was just before Obama was elected but is still quite relevent. His newer videos seems to have lost steam, possibly because he is working for some state connected Russian institutions and think-thanks and thus I think he is somewhat restricted. After all it is again the famous "Game Theory", isn't it?
byrresheim , June 16, 2018 at 6:39 pm GMT
As long as the Author keeps talking about Ukronazis, we know that he is not at all prepared to see any problems on the Russian side at all.

Which serves devalue his argument, even if there are a lot of valid points otherwise.

Beckow , June 17, 2018 at 1:39 am GMT
@Philip Owen

I don't think you realize that armies need supplies. To break into Donbas cities would be hard enough, but to re-supply them would be impossible. Civilians would mostly evacuate, so there would be little to 'hide in'. Kiev cannot win militarily as long as Russia opposes it. Russia can always blast their bases from air, or with missiles. Don't kid yourself, if Russia has the will, they will prevail.

Since you mentioned 2014, there was a perfect opportunity for Maidanistas to avoid this. All they had to do was to be friendly and accommodating to its Russian minority. Offer them autonomy, re-assure them, promise that trade and ties with Russia would continue. Kiev did the exact opposite, an extremely bad tactic. US kept on telling them to cool it, that one doesn't win by attacking before ready. But in Kiev emotions prevailed, and so we are where we are.

Sooner or later a more accommodating government in Kiev will try the 'let bygones be bygones' tactic on Russia. If we are lucky enough to make it that far.

[Jun 18, 2018] Obama had two groups to satisfy, the populace and the elite. The populace got empty words, the elite got what they wanted.

Notable quotes:
"... Then behind the scenes Obama did very little to back up his speeches with actions as he went with the flow. ..."
"... Obama had two groups to satisfy, the populace and the elite. The populace got empty words, the elite got what they wanted. ..."
Jun 18, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

John Wright , , June 17, 2018 at 10:54 am

You wrote:

> Unlike Obama who played up his anti-Iraq War vote.

Obama was not in the US Senate at the time to vote.

From https://www.factcheck.org/2016/09/obamas-war-stance-revisited/

"The rally featured a pointed anti-war speech from Obama, then a fairly anonymous state lawmaker, who deemed the impending Iraq engagement 'a dumb war.'"

The political entertainer Obama gave a number of speeches advocating transparency in government, advocating for financial reform and even mentioned "we tortured some folks" decrying torture.

Then behind the scenes Obama did very little to back up his speeches with actions as he went with the flow.

Obama's Illinois anti-war speech served him well, as he could milk this "anti-war" stance for years while running military actions as President.

Obama had two groups to satisfy, the populace and the elite. The populace got empty words, the elite got what they wanted.

Bernie Sanders actually DID vote against the Authorization to Use Military Force in Iraq

[Jun 17, 2018] Is Anti-War Fever Building in the US by Gaius Publius

Notable quotes:
"... It wasn't just bad intelligence, it was consistently purposeful bad intelligence. The consequences have been dire for the world, and our country as well. The Russians in that period never represented a serious military threat even to the continent of Europe, far less the US. ..."
"... You are correct. The forever wars are just one of the ways to bleed the Middle Class dry. The media propaganda and rule by the 10% can't let the suckers know what is really going on. There are always enough men to man the colonial wars but they are unwinnable unless the whole nation is involved. ..."
"... Then behind the scenes Obama did very little to back up his speeches with actions as he went with the flow. ..."
"... Obama had two groups to satisfy, the populace and the elite. The populace got empty words, the elite got what they wanted. ..."
"... The MSM is waging a propaganda campaign at every level completely obscuring the truth. And the politicians play the fear card at every level. I don't believe any of us is in "happy compliance" at the airport. I for one, grind my teeth and cuss out the crooked corporations (including that bastard "skull" Chertoff who personally benefited from the x-ray screening machines) that reap a bundle of money from the so called screening and invasive body searches. Travel has become something to dread. ..."
"... The officer corps might be an opponent but I think that America has been badly served by them due to how officers are selected & trained and who makes it to the top. The only time they balk is when some idiot in Washington pushes them to fight the Russians or the Chinese. And most people don't really care in any case so long as the US wins. Out of sight, out of mind as they say. ..."
"... It's harder and harder to sell these military actions to the public. What are we in Korea and Japan for? To contain China? If you ask most people, they'll probably tell you that China won, or at very least our bosses are in league with their bosses. ..."
"... The Borg moves without regard to public sentiment, so we have to replace politicians with those who'll bring it to heel. That's a death sentence, but I feel like enough people have the guts to try and make it happen. ..."
"... *sigh* someone please trot out that Goering quote again: To the extent that public opinion matters, public opinion is easy to arrange. ..."
"... I don't mean to suggest that there isn't a solid electoral reason to have nice vague policies, not least because a campaign against foreign wars would be an excellent way for the left to make common cause with some parts of the right, such as the paleoconservatives and isolationists. ..."
"... It did for Russia. There is now an ongoing civil war on its border in Ukraine. NATO went to war with Serbia in the later 1990's. The breakup of the Atlantic Alliance will splinter Europe. Humans being humans. The strong will try to steal from the weak. ..."
"... The old adage that our country rallies around a war president is no longer operative IMHO. In a nation tired of perpetual war, the commander-in-chief would get at best a short-term surge in public approval by opening up a new battle zone, before slipping precipitously in the polls. Why on earth have the Democrats eagerly embraced the role of the war party, while our country literally crumbles for lack of public investment? Could there be a more effective losing strategy? ..."
"... Why on earth have the Democrats eagerly embraced the role of the war party, while our country literally crumbles for lack of public investment? Could there be a more effective losing strategy? ..."
"... Those are their constituents: beltway bandits, private contractors, public/private partnerships, insurance companies, arms companies, private equity firms, military contractors, and whatever other combinations you want to come up with. ..."
"... I remember when Tim Kaine gleefully suggested that we needed an "intelligence surge" to protect the country. I almost gagged. It was a not so subtle message of "prepare for the handouts to the private military contractor industry". ..."
"... How does positioning 2,000 – 4,000 US troops in Syria fit into your "Trump is a peace-maker" narrative? How about the comment Wednesday that the US will attack Syrian forces if they attack Sunni jihadis (er "moderate rebels") in SW Syria? ..."
"... How about us aiding and abetting a famine in Yemen that could kills tens of thousands? ..."
"... I think you are attributing a sentiment to juliania that her comment does not actually contain. She doesn't say Trump is a peace-maker, she says he was far in front of Bernie in using "anti-war rhetoric as a strategy." The example of Nixon doing the same thing indicates that juliania is well aware that strategic rhetoric and actual decisions are not the same thing. ..."
"... I know a fair number of Trump voters, and my read is similar to juliania's: Trump's anti-war rhetoric was a big draw for a lot of people, and helped many be able to hold their nose and vote for him. Understanding this and commenting on it does not make one a Trump supporter, obviously, or indicate that one puts any credence in his dovish rhetoric. ..."
"... You might be correct and my apologies to juliania if I misread her post. I have heard so much of the "Trump is fighting [the deep state, Wall Street, the neocons]" on other blogs that I am a bit hypersensitive and go off on a rant when I see or perceive that argument. From my perspective, Trump is doing everything in his power to entrench Wall Street, the neocons, etc. ..."
"... The war in Yemen is to secure the Saudi monarchy and our interest in their vast reserves of oil and gas. ..."
"... Are militarism* and democracy compatible? I'm not so sure they are. ..."
"... A lot depends on how you define "democracy", "will of the people" etc.. What the role of "finance" in a context of "capitalism" and "democracy" should be, e.g., citizens united(note orwellian language) may be considered a " reason why they would not be compatible" and even antithetical. ..."
"... America itself is the most destabilizing force on the planet. i would love to see what America leaving the world to its' own devices would look like. Like Weimar/Nazi Germany, nothing good comes from these kind of "American Values." ..."
"... The military is A-ok with Trump and this is what seems to matter. The roar of hysteria from the media over Trump first 2-3 months in office died down considerably when he showed a willingness to engage in a show of force by striking Syria (remember when he was so concerned about the welfare of children?) ..."
"... Only a *faction" of the security establishment is anti-Trump because he is skeptical of *neoliberal* globalism. ..."
"... Meanwhile, the Prez who can't seem to enact *anything* to make lives better for the people who put him in office, is magically able to enact the agenda of the 1%. This repeat of the 1% 's manipulations is one I can do without. ..."
"... Regarding the question posed by this post I think there is very little evidence of an anti-war "fever" and even if there were, and if it were projected into the streets and/or ballot box, I am pessimistic that it could have any effect on the U.S. government of today. I don't think the U.S. government cares what the American people think or feel about anything -- except of course as those cares and feelings affect the mechanisms of control through the propaganda pushed through our media, the levels of surveillance and suppression, and the increased viciousness of our "laws" and their enforcement. ..."
"... I believe the U.S. government is run by several powerful and competing interests. So I think I'll ask a different question -- though in the same vein as that posed by the title of this post. Are those interests who compete with the interests of the MIC and Spook Industrial Complex (SIC) beginning to see the futility and stupidity of our endless wars? ..."
"... "Peaceniks are Kremlin stooges!" It's depressing when you can predict the media's response six months in advance. ..."
Jun 17, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Is anti-war fever building in the U.S.? One would not think so given all the signs -- apparent public apathy toward multiple military involvements, happy compliance with "security" at the increasingly painful airport, lack of protests and so on.

Yet there are two signs I'd like to put forward as indicating a growing willingness to forgo foreign "entanglements" (undeclared wars), springing either from a weariness with them, a nascent abhorrence of them, or a desire to focus U.S. dollars on U.S. domestic solutions, like the hugely popular Medicare for All . (Click to see just how popular Medicare for All, called "Medicare Buy-In" at the link, is across party lines.)

The first sign is Bernie Sanders, the most popular politician in America and by far its most popular senator, making statements like these in the speech linked and discussed in the video at the top of this piece. For example, at 9:00 in the clip, Sanders says (emphasis his):

SANDERS: In other words, what we have seen in time and time again, disasters occur when administrations, Democrat and Republican, mislead Congress and the American people. And when Congress fails to do its constitutional job in terms of asking the questions of whether or not we should be in a war. And I think we need to ask that very hard question today.

And here is the point that I hope the American people are asking themselves. Is the war on terror, a perpetual, never-ending war, necessary to keep us safe?

I personally believe we have become far too comfortable with the United States engaging in military interventions all over the world. We have now been in Afghanistan for 17 years. We have been in Iraq for 15 years. We are occupying a portion of Syria, and this administration has indicated that it may broaden that mission even more.

We are waging a secretive drone war in at least five countries. Our forces, right now, as we speak, are supporting a Saudi-led war in Yemen which has killed thousands of civilians and has created the worst humanitarian crisis on the planet today.

Talk like this is anathema in our militarized state, comments usually relegated to the fringes of public discourse. For Sanders to say this (and similarly anathemic remarks elsewhere in the speech) certainly denotes a shift, especially since Sanders during the campaign was not considered strong on foreign policy, especially progressive (non-orthodox) foreign policy.

As Jimmy Dore said in reply to the last sentence quoted above, "It's not Syria? Can you [say] "stop the butcher" is the worst? No. Turns out what we're doing is the 'worst humanitarian crisis in the world today,' committing siege warfare in Yemen, which is a war crime. And we're doing it, with Saudi Arabia."

Sanders also says we're "fighting terror" in 76 countries. Let that sink in, as Sanders wishes it to -- we're engaged in military conflict in 76 countries, almost a third of the nations in the world. I'm not sure many in the lay public appreciate the importance, or the likely consequences, of that surprising fact. (For one example of those consequences, consider that foreign wars often come home .)

Elsewhere in the video Dore asks, "Do you see Chuck Shumer saying our wars have had 'dire consequences'?" Sanders, it seems to me, is launching a toe-to-toe battle with what right-wingers have lately been calling the American "deep state" and I've been calling the security establishment.

The second sign comes from Donald Trump during the campaign. This isn't just Sanders going out on a limb -- taking a flier, as it were -- on a deeply unpopular position. Consider how often Donald Trump, the campaign version, made similar statements:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/H4ThZcq1oJQ

He also famously said this about NATO and its mission:

What I'm saying is NATO is obsolete. NATO is -- is obsolete and it's extremely expensive for the United States, disproportionately so. And we should readjust NATO.

If the U.S. security establishment is working to get rid of Trump, to take him out by whatever means necessary, campaign statements like that would be one of many reasons.

If Americans Could Vote Against the Forever War, Would They Do It?

I recently noted how different the outcomes are when the public indicates policy preferences with their votes versus polling data. DC politicians of both parties ignore polling with impunity. Votes, on the other hand, especially in party primaries, can force change -- witness the Trump nomination and the Sanders (stolen) near-nomination.

In some ways, small but not insignificant, the 2016 election was a test of the anti-war waters, with Trump asking questions about the need and mission of NATO, for example, that haven't been asked in over a generation, and Clinton, the proud choice of the neocon left and right, in strong disagreement .

It's too much or too early to say that Trump's public pullback from U.S. hegemony helped his election, though that's entirely possible. But it's certainly true that his anti-Forever War sentiments did not hurt him in any noticeable way.

I'll go further: If Sanders runs in 2020 and adds anti-war messaging to his program, we'll certainly see the title question tested.


Rob P , June 16, 2018 at 12:56 am

If the U.S. security establishment is working to get rid of Trump, to take him out by whatever means necessary, campaign statements like that would be one of many reasons.

Bernie had better watch his back then. Make sure no one associated with him has any contact with any Russians or Iranians or whatever.

JTMcPhee , June 16, 2018 at 8:42 am

The "security establishment/Blob" no coubt has already filled its supply chain with anti-Bernie Bernays-caliber ordnance, ready to deploy. I don't doubt that there are plenty of James Earl Rays out there, happy to be the ones who will "rid the Blob of this troublesome politician." Just remember that Bernie has a summer house, and his wife was president of a failed college, and he's a GD Socialist, for Jeebus' sake!

Any stick to beat a dog

cocomaan , June 16, 2018 at 12:14 pm

There's far less than six degrees of separation between any one person and someone who is Russian or Chinese or Iranian or whatever. Even two degrees of separation is enough for a headline these days.

Lambert Strether , June 16, 2018 at 1:56 am

Districts with military casualties correlate to Trump votes. I'd would be nice to see Sanders do a Town Hall on the empire, in six months or so when this speech has time to sink in, in one such district.

hemeantwell , June 16, 2018 at 9:11 am

Yes. Sanders is going to have to pull off a communicative high wire act bridging relatively acceptable criticism of "unnecessary and expensive foreign entanglements" to hinting at the idea that the US citizens have to understand the expansive pressures that flow from capitalism and the MIC. I've appreciated the regular links here to American Conservative and Unz articles. They are valuable reminders that some on the Right aren't in complete denial, at least about the MIC.

One scenario would see a revival of the terms of discussion that briefly saw daylight in at least the late 1940s, when state planners openly linked a "defensive" military posture with a need for markets. It would at least get the cards out on the table and assist in clarifying how world politics isn't just a matter of great and secondary powers inevitably pushing each other around. The idea of Realpolitik is a fundamental and fatal ground of reification.

johnnygl , June 16, 2018 at 10:48 am

Presidential ambitions aside, it would be a good idea to pressure trump's crew that are plotting to attack Iran. Plus, any chance to push back against the awful Dem leadership is also a positive. We need to see more grassroots pushback against that leadership. Sanders is the best around at generating that grassroots pushback.

Pookah Harvey , June 16, 2018 at 3:33 pm

Bernie makes many salient points on the Military Industrial Complex in a floor speech concerning the Defense Dept. budget bill. I especially like the part where he is trying to add an amendment that would limit the compensation of CEOs of defense contractors to no more than the Secretary of Defense ($205,000). This speech will not make him any friends among the military corporate contractors. (26 min.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psWHpTJ26lk

cocomaan , June 16, 2018 at 12:15 pm

Exactly. NATO is a suicide pact. It's absurd.

Lambert Strether , June 16, 2018 at 12:50 pm

We are in the world's most favorable geopolitical position. We have the Atlantic to the east, the Pacific to the West, Canada to the North, and Mexico to the South. We have enough nukes to blow up the world many times over. I don't know why we don't don't treat the entire imperial enterprise as a sunk cost and get out, starting with the Middle East (and by get out, I mean cut off all funding, too).

cocomaan , June 16, 2018 at 4:38 pm

Strangely, I think we're in a "Trump Peace". Yes, there are still brushfire wars raging, but this just happened:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-44507090

The Taliban announced the three-day halt to hostilities earlier this month, days after a unilateral ceasefire lasting until Wednesday was ordered by the government.

It is the Taliban's first ceasefire since the government they ran was toppled by the 2001 US-led invasion.

I don't know if it's Trump or it's just coincidence. But peace has broken out in Korea for hte first time in decades, and now peace has broken out in Afghanistan for the first time in decades.

I'm just happy it's happening.

Richard , June 16, 2018 at 2:59 am

You should take a look at The Threat by Andrew Cockburn. Fairly exhaustive detail about how Russian military might was inflated, in the 70s and 80s, in virtually every possible way. From badly coordinated civil defense, to the complete inreadiness of its airforce, to the caste system pervading the army that had reduced morale to almost nothing, the overall picture is pretty stunning, compared to the magnitude of the threat that was presented to the US public.

It wasn't just bad intelligence, it was consistently purposeful bad intelligence. The consequences have been dire for the world, and our country as well. The Russians in that period never represented a serious military threat even to the continent of Europe, far less the US. Nor do they now, spending less than a tenth on their military than the US. The 80 billion dollar incease in the US military budget this year was more than the entire Russian military budget. Meanwhile,our own bases encompass the globe, and we wage war and threaten genocide wherever we choose.

The facts are abundantly clear, that our own military represents by far the greatest threat to human life on this planet.

I want to tell you, that you and I and everyone in this damned country, we are not just the most lied to people in the world. We're arguably the most lied to people in history, at least if you consider the number and frequency of lies. It's a wonder we get anything right at all! I encourage you to read more, and read more widely, and to start at a position of distrust, with any foreign policy reporting that isn't based on first hand knowledge.

I am heartened by the position Bernie is taking, even as I disagree with him on the Russia hysteria and wonder at some of his qualifications like "blunder" to describe out and out imperialism. We need to start somewhere, and why not start with "let the people and the people's representatives decide when we use our military"?

Ashburn , June 16, 2018 at 9:52 am

I know many progressives on the left have questioned Bernie's foreign policy positions and for not going far enough in opposing our imperial wars. Personally, I think Bernie knows exactly how stupid, immoral, illegal, and costly our wars are, especially as it "crowds out spending" on his favored domestic policies. Bernie is also smart enough to know how he would be attacked by our right-wing corporate media and the Military-Industrial-Congressional complex if he were too outspoken. So, he tempers his statements, not just because his domestic agenda is most important to him, but also because he knows attacking our militarized foreign policy will not play well with the working class base he needs to appeal to. Unlike Obama who played up his anti-Iraq War vote, only to expand our wars across the Middle East and Africa (after collecting his Nobel Peace Prize), Bernie is holding his cards closer to the vest.

Lambert Strether , June 16, 2018 at 12:53 pm

> play well with the working class base he needs to appeal to

I think the working class in the flyover states is ready to hear that the endless war needs to end. It's tricky message to convey, because "Are you saying my child died in vain?" But Trump saying Iraq was a strategic blunder went over very well, and military casualties correlate with Trump votes . I think Sanders (or his as-yet-unknown successor) must deliver that message, but it's going to be tricky, if only because it will smash an enormous number of rice bowls in the national security and political classes (which overlap). Maybe we could move all the uniform-worshippers to an island, give them a few billion dollars, and let them play war games among themselves. Cheap at twice the price.

UPDATE I would bet "addiction" would work as a trope in the flyover states; "the war machine is a needle in America's arm" is the concept. Especially because veterans are prone to opioid addiction . Again, the rhetoric would be tricky to avoid blaming victims or "hating the troops," but I think there's good messaging to be found here. (People do horrid things when trapped in addictive systems. That's why they seek cure )

The Heretic , June 16, 2018 at 3:58 pm

Sanders needs to protect the people who are part of the 95% who work for the military industrial complex. He does this not by raising welfare (which Americans find humiliating), not by only giving extensive retraining benefits, (which in an opportunity starved country like America, will only lead to work stints at an Amazon Warehouse) but by repurposing the capitol and retraining the working people to issues that must be addressed for the future, such as energy sustainability or infrastructure that can resist increasingly severe climate chaos. Furthermore, he must announce and do both simultaneously, probably via an MMT program and raising Taxes on rhe elite 2% and via transaction taxes on all capitol outflow from the USA.

Stopping the war machine, but putting people out of work, will never be acceptable to those who work for the war machine or the friends and family of those people.

VietnamVet , June 16, 2018 at 5:52 pm

You are correct. The forever wars are just one of the ways to bleed the Middle Class dry. The media propaganda and rule by the 10% can't let the suckers know what is really going on. There are always enough men to man the colonial wars but they are unwinnable unless the whole nation is involved.

The Bolshevik Revolution and the Bonus Army were within living memory of WWII leaders. The new global aristocracy has lost all history and doesn't perceive the inevitable consequences of inequality. My personal opinion was that for Marshall and Truman one of the reasons for the use of atomic weapons on Japan was that they did not want millions of combat tested soldiers traveling across the USA by train with the ultimate destination a number of deadly invasions of the Japanese Islands. Each worse than Okinawa. They were afraid of what the soldiers would do. This is also the reason why these Vets got a generous GI Bill.

ArcadiaMommy , June 16, 2018 at 6:52 pm

You reminded me of Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq. She protesteted at the GWB TX compound if you recall and remains an activist to this day. I can't speak for her but it seems to me like she understands that her son should not have died to further this ugly, pointless war.

http://cindysheehanssoapbox.blogspot.com

I can't begin to understand the pain of losing a child, spouse, parent, etc., but I can wrap my head around it enough that I don't want anyone to experience it. And I have no doubt that facing the true causes of the war would make the pain worse. But every time I hear this nonsense about how some poor kid "didn't die in vain" in VietRaq, I want to scream "yes they did! Now what are we going to do to stop it from happening again???".

The tropes of "supporting the troops", yellow ribbons, "they are protecting us", etc. just keeps the propaganda ballon inflated. Here is how I support the troops: I'm against war.

The Heretic , June 16, 2018 at 7:42 pm

This reminds me of Forest Gump where some well meaning hippies call Forest Gump a baby killer. The peace activists must refrain from blaming and shaming soldiers as a group; specfic criminals (such as those who committed crimes at my lai) should investigated, shamed and punished, the whistleblowers should be greatly honoured, and soldiers ad a group should be respected and not blamed for going to war, as indeed many do not know the truth for why the war was fought. On the other hand, politicians, lobby groups, and venal media and intelligence agencies should be exorciated for the lies that they believe or spread, as indeed it should be their business to try to discern the truth.

Hence it was very admirable when members of the Mossad leaked out facts that Iran was not pursuing development of the Nuclear bomb, even while Netanyahoo was pursuing a media blitz to justify greater economic and ultimately military aggression against Iran

ArcadiaMommy , June 16, 2018 at 8:06 pm

Who is "blaming and shaming" anyone? I'm saying that I agree with this mother who lost her child that we should be extremely skeptical about the motivation for war of any kind. And the lack of skepticism (expressed or not) impedes any real movement away from war without end.
The Sheehans are real people who lost a son and brother. Forest Gump is just some character from a dumb movie. Good grief.

a different chris , June 17, 2018 at 9:19 am

Think Heretic was fleshing out your thoughts, not disagreeing?

ChrisPacific , June 17, 2018 at 11:22 pm

I think that you can respect the sacrifice and commitment of people who sign up to fight for their country while still criticizing the uses that leaders have chosen to put them to. In fact I think that makes the message stronger: the willingness of our friends, family, children etc. to sign up to fight and die for America places a duty and obligation on our leaders to ensure they are deployed wisely and for the betterment of America and the world. Those leaders – the ones we elected – have failed in that trust, and continue to fail. Our military friends and family haven't let us down – we've let them down, by not holding our government accountable. It's time we changed that!

John Wright , June 17, 2018 at 10:54 am

You wrote:

> Unlike Obama who played up his anti-Iraq War vote.

Obama was not in the US Senate at the time to vote.

From https://www.factcheck.org/2016/09/obamas-war-stance-revisited/

"The rally featured a pointed anti-war speech from Obama, then a fairly anonymous state lawmaker, who deemed the impending Iraq engagement 'a dumb war.'"

The political entertainer Obama gave a number of speeches advocating transparency in government, advocating for financial reform and even mentioned "we tortured some folks" decrying torture.

Then behind the scenes Obama did very little to back up his speeches with actions as he went with the flow.

Obama's Illinois anti-war speech served him well, as he could milk this "anti-war" stance for years while running military actions as President.

Obama had two groups to satisfy, the populace and the elite. The populace got empty words, the elite got what they wanted.

Bernie Sanders actually DID vote against the Authorization to Use Military Force in Iraq

Montanamaven , June 17, 2018 at 3:13 pm

Obama was not in the Senate until 2005. He could not vote against the Iraq war. He gave a speech in Chicago prior to the war.

Lambert Strether , June 17, 2018 at 3:31 pm

Sadly, there is no contemporaneous transcript* or recording . I remember the 2008 controversy vividly, because the Obama campaign released a campaign ad that purported to be Obama delivering the Chicago 2002 speech, but it quickly emerged that he had re-recorded it for the campaign (see the link).

This site purports to have a 2002 transcript, but the Wayback machines says the material was first posted in 2007 . So.

Adding, I can't even find a contemporaneous link to Obama's "dumb war" formulation , though with Google's crapification, who knows.

oh , June 16, 2018 at 10:40 am

I think we're more than being lied to. The MSM is waging a propaganda campaign at every level completely obscuring the truth. And the politicians play the fear card at every level. I don't believe any of us is in "happy compliance" at the airport. I for one, grind my teeth and cuss out the crooked corporations (including that bastard "skull" Chertoff who personally benefited from the x-ray screening machines) that reap a bundle of money from the so called screening and invasive body searches. Travel has become something to dread.

marku52 , June 16, 2018 at 2:55 pm

You can tell a lot about a country's intent by the design of the army they assemble. Here is a deep technical description about the new army the Russians are putting together. Hint: it is not designed to attack.

"The decision to create a tank army (armoured corps in Western terminology) is an indication that Russia really does fear attack from the west and is preparing to defend itself against it. In short, Russia has finally come to the conclusion that NATO's aggression means it has to prepare for a big war."

Interesting technical take on the whole thing. Worth a read.

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2016/04/russia-prepares-for-a-big-war-the-significance-of-a-tank-army.html#more

Lambert Strether , June 16, 2018 at 3:45 pm

That is a very good link, both parts one and two.

Oregoncharles , June 16, 2018 at 3:36 pm

The preventive for tank warfare isn't more tanks, it's effective anti-tank weapons, preferably at the foot soldier level.

Those exist; even Hezbollah has them. The disadvantage is that they're relatively cheap, compared to tanks, and much more defensive.

Plenue , June 17, 2018 at 2:28 pm

Well, Russia could probably triumph over the austerity-racked countries of the EU, with the possible exception of France. But it wouldn't be able to hold much for long if it had to occupy anything. And it would take a mauling in the process, a mauling that would be prohibitively expensive to repair. The modern Russian military simply isn't organized in a fashion that is conducive to large scale conquest. It has exactly one fully integrated, combined arms unit suitable for full-scale armored warfrare, the 1st Guards Tank Army, which was reactivated in 2014.

The nightmare visions of armor pouring through the Fulda Gap were basically always delusional. In 2018 they're downright laughable.

Kk , June 16, 2018 at 2:21 am

If the economic crisis of 2007 was the modern Depression then we are about due for a really big war.

The Rev Kev , June 16, 2018 at 3:48 am

I don't think that the US can stop at this point. As an example, the one time the people were asked if they wanted to bomb Syria the answer was a definite 'no' so the next time they never even bothered asking them. There is far too much money, power and prestige at stake too consider stopping.

The officer corps might be an opponent but I think that America has been badly served by them due to how officers are selected & trained and who makes it to the top. The only time they balk is when some idiot in Washington pushes them to fight the Russians or the Chinese. And most people don't really care in any case so long as the US wins. Out of sight, out of mind as they say.

America is more likely to get single-payer health than for the US armed forces to pull back as any suggestion of the later brings charges of being 'unpatriotic'. At least with single-payer health you only get charged with being a 'socialist'. Know a good place to start? The US Special Operations Command has about 70,000 people in it and they want more. The US would be better served by cutting this force in half and giving their jobs back to regular formations.

These are the people that want constant deployments in more and more countries hence cutting them back would be a good idea. I expect things to go along until one day the US armed forces will be sent into a war where they will take casualties not seen since the bad days on 'Nam. Then there will be the devil to pay and him out to lunch.

Pespi , June 16, 2018 at 4:18 am

It's harder and harder to sell these military actions to the public. What are we in Korea and Japan for? To contain China? If you ask most people, they'll probably tell you that China won, or at very least our bosses are in league with their bosses.

The Borg moves without regard to public sentiment, so we have to replace politicians with those who'll bring it to heel. That's a death sentence, but I feel like enough people have the guts to try and make it happen.

Sid_finster , June 16, 2018 at 3:38 pm

*sigh* someone please trot out that Goering quote again: To the extent that public opinion matters, public opinion is easy to arrange.

PlutoniumKun , June 16, 2018 at 5:37 am

One issue I have right now with 'anti-War' is that to be 'anti' is one thing, but to make serious arguments you have to be able to present arguments about what you are actually 'for'. For example, if the US were to suddenly withdraw from the eastern Pacific, the effect could be highly destabilising and could actually increase the chance of war. These are questions that need to be answered.

Just to take one example of I think a positive idea – there is research here which argues that the 'optimum' nuclear deterrent is less than 100 warheads. This is of course a difficult argument to put into political play, but its important I think to put the militarists on the back foot in order to make arguments for withdrawal from empire and peace mainstream.

kiwi , June 16, 2018 at 9:18 am

So who is calling for a sudden withdrawal?

Nice strawperson there.

The Rev Kev , June 16, 2018 at 9:35 am

It would be OK so long as it was not premature.

kiwi , June 16, 2018 at 9:27 am

I would bet that most people think that being anti-war encompasses the following:

-being for peace
-being for stability
-being for more social spending instead of military spending
-being for fewer civilians being killed
-being for fewer military deaths

Is that enough to meet your ridiculous threshold for 'serious arguments?'

tegnost , June 16, 2018 at 11:16 am

you're being cavalier. PK makes a great point, and your vague and oyerly broad "fors" remind me of many arguments regarding the 2016 election. The democrat side (Brock and CTR et al) couldn't say what they were for outside of abstract bernaysian generalities. If you want to convince people (and I have this difficulty, as do I'm sure most of the readers here, trying to get dems off of the russia russia russia putins bitch train)

You really need to focus on slow walking through complicated and dangerous waters, and just shut up sometimes when certain people are just not going to listen, but if you can get that one cogent, not hysterical argument into the minds of the people you want to convince, then you have a chance to stem the tide. Read some of the fantastic commentary regarding brexit from our european commenters as an example of what works in discourse, and how to puts facts on the ground in a way people can relate to.

Lambert Strether , June 16, 2018 at 1:04 pm

> You really need to focus on slow walking through complicated and dangerous waters . Read some of the fantastic commentary regarding brexit from our european commenters as an example of what works in discourse, and how to puts facts on the ground in a way people can relate to.

That's a cogent argument. I don't mean to imply in my comments that "getting out" will be easy. ("You must do it, Catullus, you must do it. You must do it whether it can be done or not.")

We might begin by renaming the "Department of Defense" to the "Department of War," just to be truthful, and then ask ourselves what kind of wars we want to fight. And I think most people would be very willing to cross anything that looked like Iraq off the list, followed (it is to be hoped) with a willingness to rethink self-licking ice cream cones as our industrial policy. In a way, the project would have the same feel as my hobbyhorse, gutting the administrative layers of the universities as not central to mission.

PlutoniumKun , June 16, 2018 at 1:33 pm

Thanks tegnost. I don't mean to suggest that there isn't a solid electoral reason to have nice vague policies, not least because a campaign against foreign wars would be an excellent way for the left to make common cause with some parts of the right, such as the paleoconservatives and isolationists.

The problem as I see it with policies 'against' something is that you end up a little like Five Star in Italy – having gotten into power on opposing everything bad about Italy, they are now facing a 'now what' moment, and are seemingly clueless about what to do. As usual, the right makes the running.

marku52 , June 16, 2018 at 2:58 pm

Yes, exactly, It is not enough to be against something. As HRC found out

kiwi , June 16, 2018 at 7:55 pm

Well, there is this.

https://caucus99percent.com/content/grassroots-anti-war-movement-gaining-traction

Maybe some on this site need to jump in and tell those people to get those white papers out ASAP.

diptherio , June 16, 2018 at 12:43 pm

The war-mongers will always find "serious arguments" for why we musn't end the American empire. Their arguments will be nuanced and filled with details that would take the average citizen months, if not years, to verify and analyze. When the best minds in the American empire can fail to forsee the fall of the Soviet Union or the response to their coup on Chavez, why should we put credence in their "serious" analyses?

Meanwhile, the case against war is a simple and easily verifiable. "My son is dead." "My friend came home a broken person." etc. Telling poor Americans that their family members need to keep dying because allowing them to come home would, maybe, make war more likely in a country they've only seen on a map is an argument not likely to find much traction. It is also, in my mind, ethically vapid -- an argument that presses for a guaranteed evil as a means of avoiding a possible evil.

Trying to forsee the outcome of major (or even minor) changes to a system as complex as the American empire is a sucker's game. Anyone who tells you otherwise is likely a sucker themselves. In situations of such complexity, the only way forward is the ontological one. All teleology is sheer fantasy. We should act, therefore, not on the basis of what we think will happen as a result of our actions, but rather on the basis of what the just thing to do is. You can't base your actions on ends (as in "the ends justify the means") because the situation is so complex that there is no way to credibly predict the ends that any action might lead to.

IMHO, the ethical policy is to bring 'em home. All of 'em. Let them protect our country, as they've sworn to do. Let us put them to work rebuilding our infrastructure, assisting those who need it, and making the country better than it is, rather than filling it up with more walking wounded from our endless imperial adventuring.

Ape , June 16, 2018 at 4:01 pm

Did the Soviet withdrawal destabilize eastern Europe? I think this is pseudo-strategizing.

VietnamVet , June 16, 2018 at 8:28 pm

It did for Russia. There is now an ongoing civil war on its border in Ukraine. NATO went to war with Serbia in the later 1990's. The breakup of the Atlantic Alliance will splinter Europe. Humans being humans. The strong will try to steal from the weak.

The question is how to restore the West's middle class. Without a middle class; revolts, religious and ethnic wars will inevitable break out all over. The unrest right now is due to democracy not being compatible with globalization.

Edward , June 16, 2018 at 7:53 am

It was not just Bush who told lies to justify an invasion of Iraq. Members of Congress and the press did as well. Sen. Biden, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee then, would only allow pro-war people to testify to his committee. At the time a lobbyist told me that the leadership of the Democratic party had decided to promote this war. They felt this would remove this issue from the next election, which would then focus on economic issues that would play to their strength.

Carolinian , June 16, 2018 at 9:40 am

Thanks for this. Another reason to break up the MIC is all the money that would be freed up for health care, infrastructure and the country's many other needs. Perhaps Sanders now realizes that the balance in USG priorities needs to be restored and he is making an economic, and not just humanitarian argument.

As for Trump, it's just possible he meant what he said about NATO and all the rest. If one believes his real priorities are his family and business it's hard to see what he gets out of perpetual war. That's more Obama and Hillary's bag.

Which doesn't make the above true. But we should at least entertain the possibility that it could be true.

Newton Finn , June 16, 2018 at 11:48 am

As one who could never bring himself to vote for Trump (or for Clinton, for that matter), let me make a counter-intuitive prediction. If Trump allows the MIC to goad him into starting a new war with Iran, he will lose if he decides to run again.

If, on the other hand, he starts no new war against Iran or any other country that does not threaten us militarily, then he will be re-elected should he decide to go for another term.

The old adage that our country rallies around a war president is no longer operative IMHO. In a nation tired of perpetual war, the commander-in-chief would get at best a short-term surge in public approval by opening up a new battle zone, before slipping precipitously in the polls. Why on earth have the Democrats eagerly embraced the role of the war party, while our country literally crumbles for lack of public investment? Could there be a more effective losing strategy?

tegnost , June 16, 2018 at 11:52 am

Why on earth have the Democrats eagerly embraced the role of the war party, while our country literally crumbles for lack of public investment? Could there be a more effective losing strategy?

They do it for the money, pretty much everyone in congress is a millionaire, including the ones who were not millionaires when they got elected hmmmmmm .

cocomaan , June 16, 2018 at 12:30 pm

Those are their constituents: beltway bandits, private contractors, public/private partnerships, insurance companies, arms companies, private equity firms, military contractors, and whatever other combinations you want to come up with.

I remember when Tim Kaine gleefully suggested that we needed an "intelligence surge" to protect the country. I almost gagged. It was a not so subtle message of "prepare for the handouts to the private military contractor industry".

https://www.cnn.com/2016/10/06/politics/clinton-intelligence-surge-nsa-data/index.html

Lambert Strether , June 16, 2018 at 1:09 pm

> Another reason to break up the MIC is all the money that would be freed up for health care, infrastructure and the country's many other needs

Since Federal taxes don't fund Federal spending, the connection between gutting the MIC and more money for health care is not direct.

However, if you think in terms of real resources , the effect is as you say. (The same reasoning applies to finance, where enormous salaries sucked in the best talent that might otherwise have been put to non-parasitical purposes.)

John k , June 16, 2018 at 3:13 pm

Mt is not yet sellable to the public, will take years. Best story is that foreign wars strip resources from local spending and jobs, which is also what most pols seem to think. Bills should be presented as less for mil and mor for infra. Starve mic

juliania , June 16, 2018 at 11:13 am

You don't have to go back to the last campaign to see anti-war rhetoric as a strategy. Trump is already, in his meeting with Kim, starting the ball rolling. (Moon of Alabama.com has a good recent post on the subject). Sorry Bernie, you are late to the party, too late. Reminds me a bit of 1968. Nixon got in promising to end that war (which he didn't.) But it is good to see anti-war stuff going mainstream at last. May it bear fruit this time around!

And yes, Gaius Publius, anti-war statements Trump made during his first campaign DID make a huge difference. They won him the presidency, in my opinion.

Schmoe , June 16, 2018 at 11:49 am

How does positioning 2,000 – 4,000 US troops in Syria fit into your "Trump is a peace-maker" narrative? How about the comment Wednesday that the US will attack Syrian forces if they attack Sunni jihadis (er "moderate rebels") in SW Syria?

How about us aiding and abetting a famine in Yemen that could kills tens of thousands?

Is setting us on a potential course for war with Iran further evidence of your "dovish" Trump?

diptherio , June 16, 2018 at 12:53 pm

I think you are attributing a sentiment to juliania that her comment does not actually contain. She doesn't say Trump is a peace-maker, she says he was far in front of Bernie in using "anti-war rhetoric as a strategy." The example of Nixon doing the same thing indicates that juliania is well aware that strategic rhetoric and actual decisions are not the same thing.

I know a fair number of Trump voters, and my read is similar to juliania's: Trump's anti-war rhetoric was a big draw for a lot of people, and helped many be able to hold their nose and vote for him. Understanding this and commenting on it does not make one a Trump supporter, obviously, or indicate that one puts any credence in his dovish rhetoric.

Schmoe , June 16, 2018 at 1:14 pm

You might be correct and my apologies to juliania if I misread her post. I have heard so much of the "Trump is fighting [the deep state, Wall Street, the neocons]" on other blogs that I am a bit hypersensitive and go off on a rant when I see or perceive that argument. From my perspective, Trump is doing everything in his power to entrench Wall Street, the neocons, etc.

I was also receptive to the idea that Trump might be less hawkish than HRC (although I did not vote for him) but have now been thoroughly disabused of that notion.

Sid_finster , June 16, 2018 at 3:41 pm

Provide a link to the recent statement.

I believe you, just always looking for more ammunition to demolish "we're fighting ISIS" arguments.

Schmoe , June 16, 2018 at 5:36 pm

SW Syria does not have Kurds active, so these are Sunni jihadi-lites. They are however not HTS, which we re-branded from Al-Nusra and had been classified as an Al Qaeda affiliate at one time. Of course we are framing it as a de-escalation zone; others call it a jihadi base.

https://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/US-says-will-take-firm-measures-against-Syria-violations-near-Israel-border-560057

Susan the other , June 16, 2018 at 12:00 pm

The war in Yemen is to secure the Saudi monarchy and our interest in their vast reserves of oil and gas. The war in Syria is to secure our preferred pipeline feeding the EU. Our entrenched position surrounding Iran is no accident – we are an existential threat to Iran and intend to remain that way. If China discovered a giant oil field under its western desert we'd be there too. One rationale for all this control freakery is that we think we can maintain our "capitalist" economy, our silly pretenses about a free market, etc. But Karma is the real truth-teller here: Free markets do not work. So it follows logically that privatization also does not work. And to continue, at some point, forced capitalism fails. Markets fail. Profit seeking could be the thing that brings it all down. It's a strangely comforting thought because it leaves us with a clear vision of what not to do anymore. Unfortunately, people are not angels. If we attempt to invoke the ghost of John Foster Dulles and not engage in little wars but just sell arms to every tin pot dictator it will be worse chaos than it is now. And worse still, chaos in a time of environmental devastation. The only good option is the Mr. Scrooge option. Instead of arms and WMD and fascist control for the sake of preventing uprisings, we should skip the fascist control part and directly mainline the resources to make civilization thrive. Since that's definitely not capitalism, we'll have to think up a new ism.

Lambert Strether , June 16, 2018 at 1:11 pm

> sell arms to every tin pot dictator

Yes, let's devote enormous real resources to fabricating bespoke military aircraft that catch fire on the runway. Meanwhile, we don't have any machine shops anymore .

Summer , June 16, 2018 at 12:14 pm

Yes, there is more anti-war sentiment. And will they or won't they (Congress) continue to legislate away their ability to authorize war/use of force?

I say they continue to absolve themselves of the responsibility. Bounding their own hads behind their backs, smirking at the concept of peace.

And it puts people more in taxation without representation territory.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , June 16, 2018 at 12:19 pm

I have the feeling that Sanders here is reacting to all the ex-CIA (but not 100% ex) candidates taking over the D Party.

Will the road to the White House in 2020 be journeyed through another vehicle?

Lambert Strether , June 16, 2018 at 1:17 pm

> I have the feeling that Sanders here is reacting to all the ex-CIA (but not 100% ex) candidates taking over the D Party.

That is an excellent point. (I don't think it's just CIA, though; it's CIA and military personnel generally.* That's why I voted against ranked Jared Golden low, because Golden (like Seth Moulton in MA) fits that template, which is vile.

UPDATE * "Professional authoritarians," we might call them. That would fit all this neatly into Thomas Frank's framework.

flora , June 16, 2018 at 1:33 pm

People ask if capitalism and democracy are compatible, and I think they are, at least I don't see any inherent reason why they would not be compatible.

Another question: Are militarism* and democracy compatible? I'm not so sure they are.

*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Militarism

Sid_finster , June 16, 2018 at 3:54 pm

Ancient Athens was on some level democratic, and the populist party typically favored war and expansion. E.g.Pericles and the peloponesian war come to mind. By contrast, the aristocratic parties were generally less in favor of military adventurism.

However, a constitutional republic is not compatible with empire.

Therein lies the problem.

Schmoe , June 16, 2018 at 5:57 pm

The link between populism and war featured prominently in "Electing to fight. Why emerging democracies go to war" This is a fairly obscure book (one review in Amazon), but – by a wide margin – the best book I have ever read about politics or political science. The last 100 pages are cliff notes versions of the politics underlying the start of many wars; the first 150 pages are a really dense read.

Sid_finster , June 16, 2018 at 6:10 pm

Thanks.

Alejandro , June 16, 2018 at 8:19 pm

A lot depends on how you define "democracy", "will of the people" etc.. What the role of "finance" in a context of "capitalism" and "democracy" should be, e.g., citizens united(note orwellian language) may be considered a " reason why they would not be compatible" and even antithetical. Noting that "militarism" depends on public funding, where should the power to influence this funding be? Neo-cons, dominated by militarists, and neo-liberals, dominated by de-regulated banksters, may not be the same but certainly seem like symbionts in the context of 326MM people.

Bernard , June 16, 2018 at 1:50 pm

America itself is the most destabilizing force on the planet. i would love to see what America leaving the world to its' own devices would look like. Like Weimar/Nazi Germany, nothing good comes from these kind of "American Values."

the Ugly American is what American Values signify, and mostly always have. America is the most destabilizing force i ever read of or heard of. Americans have just taken the Nazi theme of One People, One Land and One Leader on a Global scope. and it ain't good. Either do as America tells you, or we will bring American Democracy to your country.

Maybe there's hope, as Caitlyn Johnstone implies in her last essay, i sure doubt it, though, as long as America/the Empire continues to destabilize not just the Pacific but everywhere else in the world. Why does anything think the South/Central Americans come to America. The American Empire has screwed up the Western Hemisphere so badly, these "refugees hope to escape from the American made Plantations the Western Hemisphere has been carved into. These immigrants are just part of the blowback from the American Way.

also makes me wonder if the Europeans don't understand why there are refugees coming through Greece and via boats, primarily to Italy. dont they see it's America's Wars in MENA that are causing this "invasion." gosh, what a black and white cause and effect. Germany needs workers due to the low birth rate. so, open the doors to the chaos America has made in the Middle East, and voila, cheap labor and departure from an America made hell in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Palestine, Algeria, the whole "New American Century" Project the Neocons have us in and paying for.

Doesn't the average European see how American and Apartheid Israeli support for forces like the Taliban, Al Queda, Wahabbism, and the ongoing media censored Yemeni/Palestinian Holocaust, wars of profit, i.e. created the refugess that are streaming into Europe. Maybe the Europeans are also stymied by the Rich who keep the wars going and the Media who profit off the death of the "deplorables" who no longer "matter."

i know in America most Americans are ignorant due to total control of the Media and the "narrative" that controls what can be said. Americans have no shame when it comes to getting what they want, politically. no enough blowback. no sense of connection between here and there or anywhere outside the Media Narrative.

as a bumper sticker from long ago said, "if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." The Empire will not give up until it can't go on.

Ape , June 16, 2018 at 4:12 pm

No most people with influence don't see how the system that gives them influence also is sending waves of refugees.

Bruce Walker , June 17, 2018 at 7:36 am

Every American should have to read your post twice a day, until maybe they get it. The best post I have read in ages, Thumbs Up Bernard.

grayslady , June 16, 2018 at 3:12 pm

Thanks for calling attention to this. I noticed the same thing immediately, and I gave the remainder of the article less credence because of it. A true leftie knows the difference between Improved Medicare for All and a Medicare buy-in program.

kiwi , June 16, 2018 at 2:50 pm

To me, making the argument that one must be 'for' something is simply a way to dismiss whatever the 'anti' side represents, whether or not PK meant to be dismissive.

And it reminds me of the efforts to impede and dismiss the anti-war or occupy-type movement outright – "what, you people don't have any policies (and nothing for us to analyze to death and criticize??) !!!! How dare you speak up about something!!! Go away until you go to Harvard and produce a few papers. Until then, your silly notions mean nothing to us!!" and the underlying elitism of the concept.

So, that is what I am reminded of, again, whether or not PK meant it that way.

tegnost , June 16, 2018 at 11:33 pm

you spoke up with a thought provoking comment, you want to make the next occupy movement succeed. Make a good argument is all.

Oregoncharles , June 16, 2018 at 3:28 pm

(Before reading the comments) "If Americans Could Vote Against the Forever War, Would They Do It?"

Sadly, I think the answer is no, mainly because Americans do not vote based on foreign policy unless it "comes home," eg in the form of body bags – a lot of them. The "wasted money" argument, which brings it home, might be the most effective; that's a pitfall of MMT. Of course, as a practical matter there's a POLITICAL choice between guns and butter, whether or not the economics is valid.

In those remarks, Sanders is filling in the gaping hole in his resume. It may be an indication that he plans to run in 2020.

Finally: I question whether the 2016 nomination was actually "stolen." Certainly there was a good deal of cheating by the party, but I'm not convinced it was decisive (there's no way to be sure). The actual votes ran about 47% for Sanders, and that's including Oregon and California. I think that reflects the actual nature of the Democratic Party.

The reason is that its membership has been falling, if not plummeting, at the same time that its policies have become more and more right-wing. Affiliation, which is a poll result, is down near 30%; I suspect registrations have fallen, too, but I haven't seen numbers. Given the variations in state law, registrations aren't very indicative. All that means that the remaining party members are a remnant that has been selected for conservatism. The primary vote reflects that. (This doesn't change the argument that the Dems knowingly chose their weaker candidate; it just means that the voters did, too.)

precariat , June 16, 2018 at 3:31 pm

Observations : Trump, scandals, security state

The military is A-ok with Trump and this is what seems to matter. The roar of hysteria from the media over Trump first 2-3 months in office died down considerably when he showed a willingness to engage in a show of force by striking Syria (remember when he was so concerned about the welfare of children?)

Only a *faction" of the security establishment is anti-Trump because he is skeptical of *neoliberal* globalism. However this faction is doing a great job of re-enacting the framework used to deny/disrupt/disable during the Clinton administration: scandals and selective corruption investigations. This serves a purpose: to martyr the Prez with the constituents who *should* be holding the Prez accountable on lack of follow through and betrayal of promises made on the camapign trail.

Trump voters can't make him hold himaccountable; they are too busy feeling he has been victimized -- and many Trump voters are victims, so the identification is real.

Meanwhile, the Prez who can't seem to enact *anything* to make lives better for the people who put him in office, is magically able to enact the agenda of the 1%. This repeat of the 1% 's manipulations is one I can do without.

precariat , June 16, 2018 at 3:40 pm

Sorry for the typos, jumping cursor! It occurs to me that what I have described is a recipe for info-ops or how to hijack a 'democracy.'

Jeremy Grimm , June 16, 2018 at 4:05 pm

Regarding the question posed by this post I think there is very little evidence of an anti-war "fever" and even if there were, and if it were projected into the streets and/or ballot box, I am pessimistic that it could have any effect on the U.S. government of today. I don't think the U.S. government cares what the American people think or feel about anything -- except of course as those cares and feelings affect the mechanisms of control through the propaganda pushed through our media, the levels of surveillance and suppression, and the increased viciousness of our "laws" and their enforcement.

I believe the U.S. government is run by several powerful and competing interests. So I think I'll ask a different question -- though in the same vein as that posed by the title of this post. Are those interests who compete with the interests of the MIC and Spook Industrial Complex (SIC) beginning to see the futility and stupidity of our endless wars? Are those interests growing anxious at enriching their share of the pie by shoving aside the budget gluttons feasting on war? Are any of those interests whose long-term, and often short-term interests are damaged by endless wars and their ongoing deconstruction of American Empire finally growing weary of how those wars undermine the American Empire? War may be a racket but the burning of bridges and collapse of Empire isn't a racket I would hope even the most clueless of our masters will continue to tolerate. Have the MIC and SIC assumed power?

WorkerPleb , June 16, 2018 at 9:09 pm

"Peaceniks are Kremlin stooges!" It's depressing when you can predict the media's response six months in advance.

Massinissa , June 17, 2018 at 3:18 am

The media already said that 40 years ago about the Hippies. Some things don't really change.

[Jun 17, 2018] Mattis Putin Is Trying To Undermine America s Moral Authority by Caitlin Johnstone

Highly recommended!
The current anti-Russian hysteria is the attempt to unite the society which become hostile to neoliberal elite.
Notable quotes:
"... A casual glance at facts and history makes it instantly clear that the United States has no "moral authority" of any kind whatsoever, and is arguably the hub of the most pernicious and dangerous force ever assembled in human history. But the establishment Russia narrative really is that cartoonishly ridiculous: you really do have to believe that the US government is 100 percent pure good and the Russian government is 100 percent pure evil to prevent the whole narrative from falling to pieces. ..."
"... In reality, Russia is nothing other than a rival power structure that the US-centralized empire wants to either collapse or absorb, but they can't just come right out and tell the public that they're dangerously escalating tensions with a nuclear superpower because westerners live in an invisible empire ruled by insatiably greedy plutocrats, so they make up nonsense about Putin being some kind of omnipotent supervillain who has infiltrated the highest levels of US government and is trying to take over the world. ..."
"... All this new cold war hysteria and nuclear brinkmanship has basically been America acting like a bitchy high school drama queen because Russia is saying mean things about it behind its back? How does a guy named "Mad Dog" get to be such a thin-skinned little snowflake? ..."
"... As we've been discussing a lot recently, control of the narrative is absolutely essential for rulers to maintain their rule. When you hear establishment policy makers babbling about "Russian propaganda" and Putin's attempts to "undercut and compromise our belief in our ideals," all that they are saying is that the plutocrats who rule America need to be able to control the way Americans think and vote, and that the Russian government is making it a bit harder for them to do that. ..."
"... It seems to be that every criticism leveled at Russia, and China even, is a simple reflection of what the USA is doing. Deflection. Classic 'pot calling the kettle black' stuff. ..."
"... You're paying more respect to it than it deserves by giving it a clinical diagnosis, implying "projection" as a psychological defense. Let's call it by its simple name: dirty rotten lying, propaganda, trickery. It's not like the assholes don't know they are lying – of course they do! And they know we know it, too, and don't care. ..."
Jun 17, 2018 | caitlinjohnstone.com

At a graduation ceremony for the US Naval War College (barf), US Secretary of Defense James Mattis asserted that Russian President Vladimir Putin "aims to diminish the appeal of the western democratic model and attempts to undermine America's moral authority," and that "his actions are designed not to challenge our arms at this point but to undercut and compromise our belief in our ideals."

This would be the same James Mattis who's been overseeing the war crime s committed by America's armed forces during their illegal occupation of Syria. This would be the same United States of America that was born of the genocide of indigenous tribes and the labor of African slaves, which slaughtered millions in Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Iraq, Libya and Syria for no legitimate reason, which is partnered with Ukrainian Nazis , jihadist factions in Syria and Iranian terror cultists , which supports 73 percent of the world's dictators , which interferes constantly in the electoral processes of other countries as a matter of policy, which stages coups around the world , which has encircled the globe with military bases , whose FBI still targets black civil rights activists for persecution to this very day , which routinely enters into undeclared wars of aggression against noncompliant governments to advance plutocratic interests , which remains the only country ever to use nuclear weapons on human beings after doing so completely needlessly in Japan, and which is functionally a corporatist oligarchy with no meaningful "democratic model" in place at all .

https://www.youtube.com/embed/8JdurtVYp2E

A casual glance at facts and history makes it instantly clear that the United States has no "moral authority" of any kind whatsoever, and is arguably the hub of the most pernicious and dangerous force ever assembled in human history. But the establishment Russia narrative really is that cartoonishly ridiculous: you really do have to believe that the US government is 100 percent pure good and the Russian government is 100 percent pure evil to prevent the whole narrative from falling to pieces. If you accept the idea that the exchange is anything close to 50/50, with Russia giving back more or less what it's getting and simply protecting its own interests from the interests of geopolitical rivals, it no longer makes any sense to view Putin as a leader who poses a unique threat to the world. If you accept the idea that the west is actually being far more aggressive and antagonistic toward Russia than Russia is being toward the west, it gets even more laughable.

In order to believe that the US has anything resembling "moral authority" you have to shove your head so far into the sand you get lava burns, but that really is what is needed to keep western anti-Russia hysteria going. None of the things the Russian government has been accused of doing (let alone the very legitimate questions about whether or not they even did all of them) merit anything but an indifferent shrug when compared with the unforgivable evils that America's unelected power establishment has been inflicting upon the world, so they need to weave a narrative about "moral authority" in order to give those accusations meaning and relevance. And, since the notion of America having moral authority is contradicted by all facts in evidence, that narrative is necessarily woven of threads of fantasy and denial.

Establishment anti-Russia hysteria is all narrative, no substance. It's sustained by the talking heads of plutocrat-owned western media making the same unanimous assertions over and over again in authoritative, confident-sounding tones of voice without presenting any evidence or engaging with the reality of what Russia or its rivals are actually doing. The only reason American liberals believe that Putin is a dangerous boogieman who has taken over their government, but don't believe for example that America is ruled by a baby-eating pedophile cabal, is because the Jake Tappers and Rachel Maddows have told them to believe one conspiracy theory and not the other. They could have employed the exact same strategy with any other wholly unsubstantiated conspiracy narrative and had just as much success.

In reality, Russia is nothing other than a rival power structure that the US-centralized empire wants to either collapse or absorb, but they can't just come right out and tell the public that they're dangerously escalating tensions with a nuclear superpower because westerners live in an invisible empire ruled by insatiably greedy plutocrats, so they make up nonsense about Putin being some kind of omnipotent supervillain who has infiltrated the highest levels of US government and is trying to take over the world.

Of equal interest to the Defense Secretary's "moral authority" gibberish is his claim that Putin's actions "are designed not to challenge our arms at this point but to undercut and compromise our belief in our ideals."

I mean, like what? So Russia isn't challenging America militarily and isn't taking any actions to attempt to, but it's trying to, what, hurt America's feelings? All this new cold war hysteria and nuclear brinkmanship has basically been America acting like a bitchy high school drama queen because Russia is saying mean things about it behind its back? How does a guy named "Mad Dog" get to be such a thin-skinned little snowflake?

I'm just playing. Actually, when Mattis says that the Russian government is trying to "undercut and compromise our belief in our ideals," he is saying that Moscow is interrupting the lies that Americans are being told about their government by the plutocrat-owned media. As we've been discussing a lot recently, control of the narrative is absolutely essential for rulers to maintain their rule. When you hear establishment policy makers babbling about "Russian propaganda" and Putin's attempts to "undercut and compromise our belief in our ideals," all that they are saying is that the plutocrats who rule America need to be able to control the way Americans think and vote, and that the Russian government is making it a bit harder for them to do that.

More and more, the threads of the establishment narrative are ceasing to be unconsciously absorbed and are being increasingly consciously examined instead. This development has ultimately nothing to do with Russia and everything to do with our species moving out of its old relationship with mental narrative as it approaches evolve-or-die time in our challenging new world. I am greatly encouraged by what I am seeing.

* * *

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Harry S Nydick / June 17, 2018

This is so right on that it is scary. The only problem, while more are questioning, is the fact that the majority of Americans actually believe the bullshit that people like Mattis says. And, with a nickname like Mad Dog, it's a wonder that he hasn't been put down yet.

Even today I had to deal with a typical American – 'swallow-it-hook-line-and-sinker' – idiot.

"The stock market is honest and above board.' 'All immigrants don't belong here.' 'It's fine if the government violates your civil rights' 'Oh and immigrants don't have any.'

I could go on, but I learned long ago to say my piece and move on. For some people, there is no changing their minds, nor even opening them up to considering the truth. There are the descendants of those who were protested against in the 1960s. The 'My country right or wrong' people. Most likely they never had the balls, as children, to speak back to their parents, when those adults were in the wrong. I always wondered whether intellectual blindness is a learned trait. I'm pretty sure that it must be.

William / June 17, 2018
Much or most of what you write about the American narrative is true. However, you weave it into a narrative that ignores central historical facts and themes. Examples; Russia's behavior in Poland after WW2, the Hungarian revolution, the Check invasion and oppression, the take over of Manchuria in the last weeks of WW2.

Stalin killing 20-40 million of his own people, Chechnya, the Korean war, the Berlin wall. Not to mention recent assassinations of its own citizens. Yes, America has done cruel and horrific things in many countries, but it pales to what the Russians have done throughout the ages. It would be akin to comparing what the Nazis did to what the French underground did in response. Both killed, both did things that were horrific, but the French did it in response and not nearly in the same magnitude. Historical contrast is very important when viewing these issues. It is very easy to criticize one's own country but balance is called for. Was Russia justified in taking Crimea, perhaps, but then was Hitler justified in taking the Sudetenland?

JRGJRG / June 17, 2018
What Lee Yates just did there is a beautiful example of Advantageous Comparison defense in Bandera's Moral Disengagement Theory. Yes, the US is morally bankrupt, but so what? The Soviets or Hitler or somebody else was worse. Sorry, that is bullshit.

What did the US overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran have to do with the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia? Nothing. And he brings up Russian Crimea, which voted 95% to rejoin Russia, an example of democracy in action.

william / June 17, 2018
The so what is this: when dealing with monsters one has to stoop as low to defend against it. What happened in Iran was Brittain's provocation. They approached Eisenhower once previously and he refused to intervene. It was only after they convinced him that it was a Russian plot to take over the oil fields that he relented. So yes it was wrong and even monstrous but put in the historical perspective at the time, it made sense. At that time, France was in danger of collapsing and with it the rest of Europe. I am of Middle Eastern ethnicity so I too am sensitive to Western colonialization of the region. However, things are not always as simple as we would like them to be.
I really enjoy when people lower themselves to using vulgarities because they disagree with a point of view-most flattering and intelligent.
JRGJRG / June 17, 2018
Just more evasive moral disengagement. So the Dulles boys finally duped Ike into giving the green light to the overthrow of democratically elected Mossadegh installing a bloodthirsty tyrant that ended up destabilizing the Middle East for the next 50years and running, based on the pretext of Russia hysteria.

Was it true the Russians were really going to take over the oilfields? I never heard that story before. I doubt it very much. History teaches a different lesson. Mossadegh had the temerity to want to share oil profits with the Iranian people who owned it. Thats too much democracy for any country.

Just like Truman was tricked into Korea. Or Johnson was duped into Vietnam.

And so how do you explain why the CIA overthrew Arbenz in Guatemala beginning a reign of terror with genocude lasting 50 years against unarmed peasant villages? East Timor? Chile? Brazil and Argentina? Greece? Angola?

This is just more Advantageous Comparison to justify moral bankruptcy. Sorry, sometimes things are as simple as they look.

No I respectfully disagree. If these seem like difficult moral choices to you, I pity you.

JRGJRG / June 17, 2018
Although I must apologize for not recognizing your rank as a cut above the usual G-7 troll with your knowledge of the advanced techniques of argument for moral disengagement, defending your country against the indefensible. Tough job that calls for an expert.

You must be one of those G-12 trolls called to fill in for overtime duty on fathers day. I'm sorry your wife and kids are going to be missing you today. You can make it up to them tomorrow.

William / June 18, 2018
Funny thing, I agree that the overthrow was wrong, and horrible. I also think it was wrong and perhaps criminal when we invaded both Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of my relatives were killed by tyrants in the Middle East and much of what has happened there is ugly. But again, I do not stoop to personal disparagement. It has no place in honest debate. Same tactic used by the deplorable . Trump and McCarthy for that matter, and of course, now you. As for Mossadegh, he was truly a statesman. England owned the oil fields and he went to the UN to mediate the purchase of the oil fields at market value. The English refused and tried to convince Eisenhower that it was a Russian plot. He tried again and finally Eisenhower relented, wrongly I might add. But do remember, that Eisenhower also stopped the English and French when they wanted to invade Egypt to take over the Suez.
Lee Yates / June 17, 2018
Thank You, JRGJRG. I did not know that I knew that much philosophy. What I said was more in light of current events circa the 1990s. Our "bankers" went to Russia and "helped" them get capitalism. Well they got it, and now their gangsters/bankers are just as wealthy and sophisticated as ours, or more so. Politically, I cannot really blame Putin for holding a grudge about our meddling in Russia and general promotion of Boris Yeltsin. Still I doubt that he would make it easy for us to install another Yeltsin or buy all of Russia's resources either, so why would we make it easy for him to meddle in our country, or do what we do overseas?
jrgjrg / June 17, 2018
This is what you're doing, even if you don't recognize it. If you understand this you will begin to understand the errors of your own ways. This is how totalitarianship develops. Read and learn.

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

Harry S Nydick / June 17, 2018
Take off the blinders and fully explain how the U.S. genocide of native Americans – and the ongoing horrific treatment of them – pales in comparison to anything except, possibly, the unnecessary dropping of two nuclear bombs on Japan.

Sorry, but your dissertation of an excuse just doesn't cut the mustard – or maybe your mother never told you that two wrongs don't make a right. Or in the case of the U.S., dozens of never ending wrongs. Unless you really open your eyes and mind and understand the truth, you will never come off as anything more than an apologist for the top 1/10th of the top 1%.

Harry S Nydick / June 17, 2018
This was a reply to William, but comes off looking as an original comment and criticism of Caity, with whom I am in complete agreement on todays article.
jrgjrg / June 18, 2018
Not just the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japan, but remember that Gen. LeMay firebombed every city in Japan before the bombs were dropped, causing at least another half million deaths. Robert MacNamara said in an interview that if the US had lost the Second World War they both would have been tried as war criminals, and it would be right. See:

https://player.vimeo.com/video/149799416

AriusArmenian / June 17, 2018
Always impressed by Caitlin driving a bulldozer through lying narratives. We need more Caitlin's; we need an antiwar mass movement of Caitlin's. But the antiwar movement is very weak and it is divided against itself.

In the 1990's there was a coming together of the Chronicles paleoconservatives and the CounterPunch progressives against the US/NATO attack on Yugoslavia. But today Thomas Fleming and Chronicles have retreated and those controlling CounterPunch have explicitly rejected an alliance with the 'right' against the US march to war.

I wish I could share the Caitlin enthusiasm for the future but I am depressed and fearful for the future. The US public is asleep. The US is gearing up for war in Europe and Asia. Starting with Clinton each president has murdered about a million souls. They are gearing up for a bigger war in the MENA and even Eastern Europe with Iran as the major target and will likely claim another million+.

From Jungian psychology I learned that unless the opposites come close together change (a birth out of the tyranny of the status quo) will not happen. The elites in control of the US use the fake dialectic of the major two parties to keep us apart. Those in charge of each pole of the fake dialectic derive power from defending it against the 'other' and see alliance with the 'other' as a diminution of their power (a good example is those in control of CounterPunch arguing against antiwar alliance with the 'right'; that they are captured by their power drive is plain to see).

Liberals (neolibs) and many progressives have walked straight into a trap set by the CIA that engineered a Cold War v2. They knew the neocons would come along. The CIA, Wall Street, military, NSA are marching to war. They thirst for their holy war. They are the supremacist 'exceptional and indispensable' while the rest of the world is unexceptional and dispensable.

If the left and right do not come together in an antiwar alliance then how can the warmongering trajectory of the US change?

geoffreyskoll / June 17, 2018
It's just like you, Caitlin, to bring up such quibbles as genocide, slavery, torture, and a few others too minor to even mention. We're talking IDEALS here. You know like complete global domination, slavish catering to the most exploitive class in human history–the stuff that makes America great!
Lee Yates / June 17, 2018
I agree that the U.S. is Imperialist and has been for a long time. However, it is false that Russia opposes the US kleptocracy or represents anything other than the same bankster/gangsters that run the West. They came into the fold after the end of the Soviet Union, and there they remain, probably not too happy about it, but neither are we right. The elites from all over launder money, hide wealth enjoy power and luxury beyond our imagination. A small spat between them is death sentence for the rest of us, but they will make up and enjoy their stolen wealth again.

The moral authority that the West or USA enjoys is a hollow thing, much like Christianity at the height of the Church's power. But the words are still there maybe some day a true believer will come along and do something about them.

ger / June 17, 2018
Forgive me, I could not get beyond the 'undermine America's moral authority'. I take it, Mattis means the 'moral authority' to starve the Yemenis to death and deny them medicine while they are dying . aided by our French Poodle and a mad woman from the Isles! Or maybe the 'moral authority' of Albright when she said killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children 'was worth it'. Or maybe it was 'moral authority' of Clinton, giggling over the sadist murder of Kaddafi. Some how, as an American I don't feel 'moral authority' , all I feel is the pain of inhumanity.
jrgjrg / June 17, 2018
No, no, no, you're still not getting it. Let me explain it to you. It means the authority of the autocrats to determine what's moral for you. They themselves are above morality, like Nietzsche taught, remember? Authoritarianism.

Now do you understand?

elkojohn / June 17, 2018
As was hinted at by the FBI-IG report, neither political party in the criminal U.S. government is complying with law (domestic nor international). The U.S. government system is an organized crime syndicate of liars, thieves and murders. The ruling class and the inside players of the secret government consider the common folk to be deplorable, trailer-park trash.

That's the mind-set of the "holier-than-thou" professionals working inside the U.S. government. Whatever trust, loyalty and respect citizens had for this government has been completely squandered – and voters (not Putin) gave the FU finger to the status quo by electing Trump.

The treasonous, seditious, murdering 2-party dictatorship has absolutely NO ONE to blame but themselves. The time has come to eliminate and defund the secret espionage agencies that run our government, – and which have morphed into crime syndicates. Ditto the two political parties. Until we see all the top level law-breakers in jail (i.e., Clinton, Bush, Obama), until we witness 2/3's of the House and the Senate being purged and replaced, until we witness the complete dismantling of the FED, until we witness ALL military bases around the world being closed and our troops brought home, until we witness the M-I-C's budget cut down to 1/4th and used ONLY for national protection, until we witness a purge of the CIA/FBI cartel, until we witness manufacturing being restored to this country, until we witness the USA cutting all special interest lobbying (in particular, Israel and Saudi Arabia), until we witness the break-up of the death grip that Wall St. and the banking monopoly has on our economy, until we witness the full restoration of the "rule of law" in our government, – until then, it will be the absolute, open, in-your-face, tyrannical, 24/7, lawlessness of the U.S. government that destroys this nation.

So I disagree with James Mattis, that the U.S. holds the moral high ground.

jrgjrg / June 17, 2018
You're paying more respect to it than it deserves by giving it a clinical diagnosis, implying "projection" as a psychological defense. Let's call it by its simple name: dirty rotten lying, propaganda, trickery. They're playing the "I'm rubber and you're glue" game. It's not like the assholes don't know they are lying – of course they do! And they know we know it, too, and don't care.
WillD / June 17, 2018
Mattis didn't realise how well he described Trump. When you look at what Trump's regime has done since taking office last year, it 'trumps' [pun intended] Putin's efforts, such as they are, by a mile. Putin could never hope to achieve so much in such a short time, if that's what he wanted to do.

It seems to be that every criticism leveled at Russia, and China even, is a simple reflection of what the USA is doing. Deflection. Classic 'pot calling the kettle black' stuff.

All one has to do is change a few names in the narrative – replace Putin with Trump, Russia / China with USA. That's it. Easy.

jrgjrg / June 17, 2018
You're paying more respect to it than it deserves by giving it a clinical diagnosis, implying "projection" as a psychological defense. Let's call it by its simple name: dirty rotten lying, propaganda, trickery. It's not like the assholes don't know they are lying – of course they do! And they know we know it, too, and don't care.
WillD / June 17, 2018
No, you misunderstood what I was saying. I'm not saying he/they use it as a defense, but that they don't realize how close it is to what it (the USA) is doing.

Believe me, I have no respect for Mattis & that mob, nor Putin for that matter. None of them deserve respect.

I agree with you on the dirty rotten lying, too. They do know they are lying, but don't know how close to the truth it is when applied to them.

jrgjrg / June 17, 2018
No worries. We are in the "post-truth era." That sounds crazy, I know. The plutocrats are discussing this exact topic this year at the Bilderberg Conference.

[Jun 17, 2018] As for Putin, it could be, that he is, for now, on a footing of equal to the insiders of above, he must somehow understand (Putin gives a public impression to be cognitively superior to all other political tarts of the moment) that real problems are global

Jun 17, 2018 | www.unz.com

m___ , June 17, 2018 at 9:24 am GMT

@mikkkkas

Dramatic shift in analysis of Saker,

As yours truly, we noticed the drastic shift as to pointing to supranational guidance of international political events. As for his mention, blaming Trump and Netanyahu to be suppreme leaders and deciders, we see them rather as spokespersons, blowing and hissing publicly the script of what Saker calls the Anglo-Jewish maffia, the only subgroup that sorted for quality, not quantity in strategy(global evidently and necessarily) and membership for in-group only benefit. Elitist, subjectively better organized than any entity other, territorially mostly independent in case of emergency, and moral conviction based on historical Judaist values, strategies and tactics. Play all sides and stay invisible.

Below the prudent lines of Saker quoted.

The AngloZionist Empire is not based in the US, or in the EU, or Israel, or anywhere else on the planet. It is a trans-national entity with regional variations and which includes different interest groups under its umbrella. You can think of it as a gigantic criminal gang racketeering the entire planet for "protection". To think that by presenting a "liberal" face to these thugs will gain you their support is extremely naive as these guys don't care about your face: what they want is your submission.

As for Putin, it could be, that he is, for now, on a footing of equal to the insiders of above, he must somehow understand (Putin gives a public impression to be cognitively superior to all other political tarts of the moment) that real problems are global, and Russian nationalism, or international expansion based on Russian nationalism are just a political tool to rally bulk humanity. Very similar to the palm oil, corn syrup and digital porn obese consumerism of the West promotion. At most bickering and infighting can be done by visible actors as Putin, Trump, Xi (affected indirectly), but there must be a scenario, and war cannot be anything more then policing.

To be noticed, that it pleads for Saker's intellectualism to correct and even reverse, after due analysis his opinions unlike a Tom Engelhardt(at that qualitative rather inferior). No "to big to fail" here. Let's wait and see, how Saker's intuition can take him into quantitative analysis of what moves beyond and against nationalist and EU, US, Russia, China dialectics. The old adagio of the information age: networks, was historically present in International Jewry. One can be a policeman, be a thief, but foremost one is a Jew.

Honest writing of Saker.

How good are these supranational, corporatacracy (another commenter), "globally organized elites" groups with better cohesion? To our definite impression, not good enough, though way above the bulk of humanity and most of the middle class media comprehension. Two singular dramas of our age, that will decide the twenty-first century. Better and not good enough. Only to be arrested by bringing in AI, eugenetics, rebranding goals and focus. It is in itself a pocket drama repeated over and over that analysis is mostly litterary, never relies on the best of information, is fragmented. Even today indexing big data lumps could solve this partly. Alternative media in the first place apply the same archaic methods while better tools are available. That said unz.com is above the fray in focussing and searching methods. It should spark some hidden outliers glued into the bulk of the deplorables by individual fate.

War-ing and economics, the epistomology of politics, the focus of daily news, should be seen as consequences, not prime causes of attention. In the end they impose toxicity, migrations, excess population densities, excess total human numbers. The goal itself of humanity should be reasserted as quality of life for all standing and future humans. Then strategy and tactics derive from there. Why? Well the same supra national elites, the only ones that can take on the essentials tend to forget they are frogging in the same tub, that nature probably using more disruptive method will take care of the human plague if not.

[Jun 17, 2018] the dominant political forces in EU are anti-Russia

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... There is a strong, EU domestic anti-Russian population based on hundreds of years of history, resentment over losses (Germany, Poland, Sweden, Finland), self-brainwashing about perceived abuse (Poland, Baltics, eastern Europeans in general), hatred and contempt towards anything 'eastern', and the traditional anglo anti-Russian policies. Recently new emotional hatreds have been added with endless demonising Russia about xenophobia, hooligans, gays, stray dogs, anything the creative propagandists can push. Most Europeans turn out on reflection to be quite gullible and stupid. ..."
"... There are a few minor exceptions and some Latin nations are more level headed. There is also a minority view in the German world, mostly based on their business realism that is neutral toward Russia, but not pro-Russian. There will be no political rapprochement between EU and Russia. There will be better business relations because water flows downhill and EU-Russia economic ties are such an obvious fit. The cultural hatred and political hostility will go on. ..."
"... After WWII it took most Europeans less than a generation to revert to the traditional anti-Russian attitudes. In some cases, nations that were literally saved from extermination were more resentful than grateful. In Poland it took less than a year, in Czech Republic 20 years, but the old visceral hatreds emerged again. ..."
Jun 17, 2018 | www.unz.com

renfro

Saker is correct that EU countries will not work with Russia. Blaming it all on Washington was always stupid
Bullshit. ...try to keep up with whats actually happening.

U.S. Is Trying to Kill Major Gas Deal Between Russia and Germany
By Tom O'Connor On 5/18/18 at 2:41 PM
http://www.newsweek.com/us-trying-kill-major-gas-deal-between-russia-germany-934603

The U.S. has warned both Russia and Germany against pursuing a planned gas pipeline that would run between the two countries, threatening to impose sanctions and claiming the project would threaten the security of its European allies.

Construction has recently begun for the Nord Stream 2 project, a planned pipeline that would extend from Russia along an existing pipeline through the Baltic Sea into northeastern Germany. Once finished, Nord Stream 2 would reportedly double the amount of gas that Russia could provide Europe. State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary Sandra Oudkirk told reporters in Berlin Thursday that the project could bolster Russia's "malign influence" in the region and that Washington was "exerting as much persuasive power" as it could to stop it, according to the Associated Press.

Europe in diplomatic push to ease Russia sanctions | Financial Times

https://www.ft.com/content/9b9bbd3c-44a5-11e8-93cf-67ac3a6482fdApr 20, 2018 - A Europe-wide diplomatic push is under way to persuade the Trump administration to ease US sanctions targeting Russia, as fears mount that ...

Beckow , June 17, 2018 at 6:01 pm GMT

We are talking apples and oranges. EU wants cheap, reliable energy from Russia and to export to Russia as much as possible without interference from US. That is pure business. But the dominant political forces in EU are anti-Russia, some because they are fed by the security-military-academic spending, some because they 'studied' and were politically formed in US or UK. Some because that's just the way they are.

There is a strong, EU domestic anti-Russian population based on hundreds of years of history, resentment over losses (Germany, Poland, Sweden, Finland), self-brainwashing about perceived abuse (Poland, Baltics, eastern Europeans in general), hatred and contempt towards anything 'eastern', and the traditional anglo anti-Russian policies. Recently new emotional hatreds have been added with endless demonising Russia about xenophobia, hooligans, gays, stray dogs, anything the creative propagandists can push. Most Europeans turn out on reflection to be quite gullible and stupid.

There are a few minor exceptions and some Latin nations are more level headed. There is also a minority view in the German world, mostly based on their business realism that is neutral toward Russia, but not pro-Russian. There will be no political rapprochement between EU and Russia. There will be better business relations because water flows downhill and EU-Russia economic ties are such an obvious fit. The cultural hatred and political hostility will go on.

After WWII it took most Europeans less than a generation to revert to the traditional anti-Russian attitudes. In some cases, nations that were literally saved from extermination were more resentful than grateful. In Poland it took less than a year, in Czech Republic 20 years, but the old visceral hatreds emerged again.

My advise to Russia would be to mind its own business and not try to sacrifice for the others or to help them. It has always backfired because the cultural milieu in Europe is naturally resentful of Russia and the east in general. Business doesn't change that.

[Jun 17, 2018] Can the EU become a partner for Russia by The Saker

Notable quotes:
"... comprador elite ..."
"... The bottom line is this: currently, the EU is most unlikely to become a viable partner for Russia and the future does look rather bleak. ..."
"... They do not want to humiliate us, they want to subdue us, solve their problems at our expense ..."
"... either Russia is a sovereign country, or there is no Russia ..."
Jun 17, 2018 | www.unz.com

... ... ...

First, there is no "EU", at least not in political terms . More crucially, there is no "EU foreign policy". Yes, there are EU member states, who have political leaders, there is a big business community in the EU and there are many EU organizations, but as such, the "EU" does not exist, especially not in terms of foreign policy. The best proof of that is how clueless the so-called "EU" has been in the Ukraine, then with the anti-Russian sanctions, in dealing with an invasion of illegal immigrants, and now with Trump. At best, the EU can be considered a US protectorate/colony, with some subjects "more equal than others" (say, the UK versus Greece). Most (all?) EU member states are abjectly obedient to the US, and this is no surprise considering that even the so-called "EU leader" or "EU heavyweight" – Germany – only has very limited sovereignty. The EU leaders are nothing but a comprador elite which doesn't give a damn about the opinions and interests of the people of Europe. The undeniable fact is that the so-called "EU foreign policy" has gone against the vital interests of the people of Europe for decades and that phenomenon is only getting worse.

Second, the single most powerful and unified organization in Europe is not even an EU organization, but NATO. And NATO, in real terms, is no less than 80% US . Forget about those fierce looking European armies, they are all a joke. Not only do they represent no credible force (being too small, too poorly trained, under-equipped and poorly commanded), but they are completely dependent on the US for a long list of critical capabilities and " force multipliers ": command, control, communications, intelligence, networking, surveillance, reconnaissance, target acquisition, logistics, etc. Furthermore, in terms of training, force planning, weapon systems procurement, deployment and maintenance, EU states are also totally dependent on the US. The reason? The US military budget totally dwarfs anything individual EU states can spend, so they all depend on Uncle Sam. Of sure, the NATO figurehead – the Secretary General – is usually a non-entity which makes loud statements and is European (I think of that clown Stoltenberg as the prefect example), but NATO is not run by the NATO Secretary General. In reality, it is run by the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), who is the head of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) and these guys are as red, white and blue as it gets. Forget about the "Eurocorps" or any other so-called "European armies" – it's all hot air, like Trudeau's recent outburst at Trump. In reality in the EU, as in Canada, they all know who is boss. And here is the single most important fact: NATO desperately needs Russia as justification for its own existence: if relations with Russia improve, then NATO would have no more reason to exist. Do you really think that anybody will let that happen? I sure don't! And right now, the Europeans are busy asking for more US troops on their soil, not less and they are all pretending to be terrified by a Russian invasion , hence the need for more and bigger military exercises close to the Russian border . And just to cover all its bases, NATO is now gradually expanding into Latin America .

Third, there is a long list of EU governments which vitally need further bad relationships with Russia . They include:

  1. Unpopular governments which need to explain their own failures by the nefarious actions of an external bogyman . A good example is how the Spanish authorities blamed Russia for the crisis in Catalonia. Or the British with their "Brexit". The Swedes are doing even better, they are already preparing their public opinion for a "Russian interference" in case the election results don't turn out to be what they need.
  2. Governments whose rhetoric has been so hysterically anti-Russian that they cannot possibly back down from it. Best examples: the UK and Merkel. But since most (but not all) EU states did act on the Skripal false-flag on the basis of the British "highly likely" and in the name of "solidarity", they are now all stuck as accomplices of this policy. There is no way they are simply going to admit that they were conned by the Brits.
  3. EU prostitutes : states whose only policy is to serve the US against Russia. These states compete against each other in the most abject way to see who can out-brown-nose each other for the position of "most faithful and willing loyal servant of the US". The best examples are, of course, the three Baltic statelets, but the #1 position has to go to the "fiercely patriotic Poles" who are now willing to actually pay Uncle Sam to be militarily occupied (even though the very same Uncle Sam is trying to racketeer them for billions of dollars ). True, now that EU subsidies are running out, the situation of these states is becoming even more dire, and they know that the only place where they can still get money is the US. So don't expect them to change their tune anytime soon (even if Bulgaria has already realized that nobody in the West gives a damn about it ).
  4. Governments who want to crack down on internal dissent by accusing any patriotic or independent political party/movement to be "paid by the Kremlin" and representing Russian interests. The best example is France and how it treated the National Front. I would argue that most EU states are, in one way or another, working on creating a "national security state" because they do realize (correctly) that the European people are deeply frustrated and oppose EU policies (hence all the anti-EU referendums lost by the ruling elites).

Contrary to a very often repeated myth, European business interests do not represent a powerful anti-russophobic force . Why? Just look at Germany: for all the involvement of Germany (and Merkel personally) in the Ukraine, for all the stupid rhetoric about "Russia being an aggressor" which "does not comply with the Mink Agreements", North Stream is going ahead! Yes, money talks, and the truth is that while anti-Russian sanctions have cost Europe billions, the big financial interests (say the French company Total) have found ways to ignore/bypass these sanctions. Oh sure, there is a pro-trade lobby with Russian interest in Europe. It is real, but it simply does not have anywhere near the power the anti-Russian forces in the EU have. This is why for years now various EU politicians and public figures have made noises about lifting the sanctions, but when it came to the vote – they all voted as told by the real bosses.

Not all EU Russophobia is US-generated , by the way. We have clearly seen that these days when Trump suggested that the G7 (or, more accurately, the G6+1) needed to re-invite Russia, it was the Europeans who said "nope!". To the extend that there is a "EU position" (even a very demure and weak one), it is mostly anti-Russian, especially in the northern part of Europe. So when Uncle Sam tells the Europeans to obey and engage in the usual Russia-bashing, they all quickly fall in line, but in the rare case when the US does not push a rabidly anti-Russian agenda, EU politicians suddenly find enough willpower to say "no". By the way, for all the Trump's statements about re-inviting Russia into the G6+1 the US is still busy slapping more sanctions on Russia .

The current mini-wars between the US and the EU (on trade, on Iran, on Jerusalem) do not at all mean that Russia automatically can benefit from this . Again, the best example of this is the disastrous G6+1 summit in which Trump basically alienated everybody only to have the G6 reiterate its anti-Russian position even though the G6+1 needs Russia far more than Russia needs the G7 (she really doesn't!). Just like the US and Israeli leaders can disagree and, on occasion, fight each other, that does not at all mean that somehow they are not fundamentally joined at the hip. Just think of mob "families" who can even have "wars" against each other, but that does not at all mean that this will benefit the rest of the population whom all mobsters prey upon.

The Ukrainian crisis will only benefit anti-Russian forces in Europe . There is a very high probability that in the near future the Ukronazi regime will try to reconquer Novorussia (DNR/LRN). I submit that the outcome of such an attack is not in doubt – the Ukronazis will lose. The only question is this: to whom will they lose:

I will admit that there is still a small possibility that a Ukronazi attack might not happen. Maybe Poroshenko & Co. will get cold feet (they know the real condition of the Ukie military and "dobrobat" death squads) and maybe Putin's recent not-so-veiled threat about " grave consequences for the Ukrainian statehood " will have the needed effect. But what will happen even if this attack does not take place? The EU leaders and the Ukronazi regime in Kiev will still blame Russia for the Ukraine now clearly being a failed state. Whatever scenario you find more likely for the Ukraine, things there will only get worse and everybody will blame Russia.

The crisis in Syria will only benefit anti-Russian forces in Europe. It is becoming pretty clear that the US is now attempting a reconquista of Syria or, at least, a break-up of Syria into several zones, including US-controlled ones. Right now, the US and the "good terrorists" have lost the war, but that does not stop them from re-igniting a new one, mostly by reorganizing, retraining, redeploying and, most importantly, re-branding the surviving "bad terrorists" into "good ones". This plan is backed by Saudi money and Israeli firepower. Furthermore, Russia is now reporting that US Special Forces are already working with the (new) "good terrorists" to – you guessed it – prepare yet another fake chemical attack and blame it on the Syrians. And why not? It worked perfectly already several times, why not do that again? At the very least, it would give the US another try at getting their Tomahawks to show their effectiveness (even if they fail again, facts don't matter here). And make no mistake, a US "victory" in Syria (or in Venezuela) would be a disaster not only for the region, but for every country wanting to become sovereign (see Andre Vltchek's excellent article on this topic here ). And, again, Russia will be blamed for it all and, with certifiable nutcasts like Bolton, Russian forces might even be attacked. As I wrote already many times, this is far from over . Just as in the Ukrainian case, some deal might be made (at least US and Russian military officials are still talking to each other ) but my personal opinion is that making any kind of deal with Trump is as futile as making deals with Netanyahu: neither of them can be trusted and they both will break any and all promises in a blink of an eye. And if all hell breaks loose in Syria and/or Iran, NATO will make sure that the Europeans all quickly and obediently fall in line ("solidarity", remember?).

The bottom line is this: currently, the EU is most unlikely to become a viable partner for Russia and the future does look rather bleak.

One objection to my pessimism is the undeniable success of the recent Saint Petersburg summit and the Parliamentary Forum. However, I believe that neither of these events was really centered around Europe at all, but about the world at large (see excellent report by Gilbert Doctorow on this topic here ). Yes, Russia is doing great and while the AngloZionist media loves to speak about the "isolation" of Russia, the truth is that it is the Empire which is isolated, while Russia and China are having tremendous success building the multi-polar world they want to replace the Empire with. So while it is true that the western leaders might prefer to see a liberal "economic block" in the new Russian government, the rest of the world has no such desire at all (especially considering how many countries out there have suffered terrible hardships at the hands of the WTO/WB/IMF/etc types).

Conclusion :

The AngloZionist Empire is not based in the US, or in the EU, or Israel, or anywhere else on the planet. It is a trans-national entity with regional variations and which includes different interest groups under its umbrella. You can think of it as a gigantic criminal gang racketeering the entire planet for "protection". To think that by presenting a "liberal" face to these thugs will gain you their support is extremely naive as these guys don't care about your face: what they want is your submission. Vladimir Putin put it best when he said " They do not want to humiliate us, they want to subdue us, solve their problems at our expense ".

However, if the EU is, for all practical purposes, non-existent, Russia can, and will, engage with individual EU member states. There is a huge difference between, say, Poland and Italy, or the UK and Austria. Furthermore, the EU is not only dysfunctional, it is also non-viable. Russia would immensely benefit from the current EU either falling apart or being deeply reformed because the current EU is a pure creation of the US-backed Bilderberger types and not the kind of Europe the European people need. In fact, I would even argue that the EU is the single biggest danger for the people of the European continent. Thus Russia should use her resources to foster bi-lateral cooperation with individual EU member states and never take any action which would strengthen (or even legitimize) EU-derived organizations such as the EU Parliament, the European Court of Human Rights, etc. These are all entities which seek to undermine the sovereignty of all its members, including Russia. Again, Putin put it best when he recently declared that " either Russia is a sovereign country, or there is no Russia ".

Whatever the ideology and slogans, all empires are inherently evil and inherently dangerous to any country wanting to be truly sovereign. If Russia (and China) want to create a multi-polar world, they need to gradually disengage from those trans-national bodies which are totally controlled by the Empire, it is really that simple. Instead, Russia needs to engage those countries, political parties and forces who advocate for what de Gaulle called " the Europe of fatherlands ". Both the AngloZionist Empire and the EU are undergoing the most profound crisis in their history and the writing is on the wall. Sooner rather than later, one by one, European countries will recover their sovereignty, as will Russia. Only if the people of Europe succeed in recovering their sovereignty could Russia look for real partnerships in the West, if only because the gradually developing and integrating Eurasian landmass offer tremendous economic opportunities which could be most beneficial to the nations of Europe. A prosperous Europe " from the Atlantic to the Urals " is still a possibility, but that will happen only when the current European Union and NATO are replaced by truly European institutions and the current European elites replaced by sovereignists.

The people of Russia, EU and, I would argue, the United States all have the same goal and the same enemy: they want to recover their sovereignty, get rid of their corrupt and, frankly, treacherous elites and liberates themselves from the hegemony of the AngloZionist Empire. This is why pushing the issue of "true sovereignty" (and national traditional values) is, I believe, the most unifying and powerful political idea to defeat the Empire. This will be a long struggle but the outcome is not in doubt.


peterAUS , June 17, 2018 at 12:54 am GMT

The usual Saker, but, there are a couple of not bad snippets:

The EU leaders are nothing but a comprador elite which doesn't give a damn about the opinions and interests of the people of Europe.

The AngloZionist Empire is not based in the US, or in the EU, or Israel, or anywhere else on the planet. It is a trans-national entity with regional variations and which includes different interest groups under its umbrella.

They do not want to humiliate us, they want to subdue us, solve their problems at our expense".

As for this:

If Russia (and China) want to create a multi-polar world, they need to gradually disengage from those trans-national bodies which are totally controlled by the Empire, it is really that simple.

can't wait

Mattheus , June 16, 2018 at 2:06 pm GMT
Saker is once again completely wrong. His theories fall short to explain lots of real events. He got hooked on his "Anglo-Zionist" theory and "one Hegemon", which is far from explaining the reality on the ground. There is no one single hegemon, but two powerful interest groups in the west. One of the power centers is dominated by the Rothschilds from the City of London and the other ruled by the Rockerfellers which is based in the US.
The powers described above are sometimes working in collusion but sometimes work against each other (They were in collusion during the Soviet Afghan war for instance). Currently, we don't see a collusion but a war being waged in between these two groups. I think it is highly self evident, so much so that it is happening almost all in the open. In the modern history we haven't witnessed such a openly fought war ever before (between these two powers). All is at stake and the war in between these two is vicious. Thus you can explain Trump's attitude towards EU, everlasting character assasination of Trump by certain opposing circles in the US, high level resignations, the state of confusion of Nato and much more. If this theory is right (and I think it is much more viable than any other theory that I came across in the Alt-Med), this makes Russia firmly embedded into one of the camps. Unfortunately, the position that Russia took makes him not a sovereign power but on contrary puts him into a subservient role. The late actions of Russia, especially in Syria, is quite telling. I know people who admire Russia get quite frustrated when they hear such a scenario and outcome, but this is possibly the only way Putin believes that Russia can survive. Thus it explains his latest house clean-up of Euroasian integrists. Even worse, if you believe in this scenario, it brings Russia and China against each other especially in the long run. This scenario also put a full stop to the idealist Euroasian multi-polar world order.
Here is the link to an older video in Russian with English subtitles. The guy's name is Andrei Fursov and he has some interesting things to say regarding this subject. This interview was just before Obama was elected but is still quite relevent. His newer videos seems to have lost steam, possibly because he is working for some state connected Russian institutions and think-thanks and thus I think he is somewhat restricted. After all it is again the famous "Game Theory", isn't it?
renfro , June 17, 2018 at 5:34 am GMT
@Beckow

Saker is correct that EU countries will not work with Russia. Blaming it all on Washington was always stupid

Bullshit. try to keep up with whats actually happening.

U.S. Is Trying to Kill Major Gas Deal Between Russia and Germany By Tom O'Connor On 5/18/18 at 2:41 PM (http://www.newsweek.com/us-trying-kill-major-gas-deal-between-russia-germany-934603

The U.S. has warned both Russia and Germany against pursuing a planned gas pipeline that would run between the two countries, threatening to impose sanctions and claiming the project would threaten the security of its European allies.

Construction has recently begun for the Nord Stream 2 project, a planned pipeline that would extend from Russia along an existing pipeline through the Baltic Sea into northeastern Germany. Once finished, Nord Stream 2 would reportedly double the amount of gas that Russia could provide Europe. State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary Sandra Oudkirk told reporters in Berlin Thursday that the project could bolster Russia's "malign influence" in the region and that Washington was "exerting as much persuasive power" as it could to stop it, according to the Associated Press.

Europe in diplomatic push to ease Russia sanctions | Financial Times
https://www.ft.com/content/9b9bbd3c-44a5-11e8-93cf-67ac3a6482fdApr 20, 2018 – A Europe-wide diplomatic push is under way to persuade the Trump administration to ease US sanctions targeting Russia, as fears mount that

JR , June 17, 2018 at 7:55 am GMT
EU clueless?

http://www.imi-online.de/2015/06/26/expansion-assoziation-konfrontation/

Yes, the EU is immoral , imperialistic megalomaniac but definitely not clueless.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/war-in-ukraine-a-result-of-misunderstandings-between-europe-and-russia-a-1004706.html

Kiza , June 17, 2018 at 8:18 am GMT
@Beckow

Excellent comment as usual Beckow, I could have typed the same. In fact, I have been commenting online since 1992 that neither EU, nor most European states can be friends of Russia. This was based on how those treated Yugoslavia/Serbia during the recent Balkan wars that the same entities helped initiate. Because Serbia is Russia without nuclear weapons. Russia would have gotten exactly the same treatment (Barbarossa 2) as Yugoslavia if it did not have them. Nobody expected Russia to recover so quickly from Yeltsin and even develop the world leading stand-off weapons on a budget. This is the only reason that Barbarossa 2 will never happen. But they cannot stop hoping for a US-lead miracle.

Yet, the economic interest is there and if China and Russia manage to economically integrate Europe and Asia, then the Euro-doggies will stop yapping and biting at the Russian heels and will fall in line. What else could one expect from such pathetic shameless trash? Give the One-Road another 15 years and watch this unfurle.

Finally, although I believed that Ukronazis would attack Novorussians, I now think that Ukraine may have run out of suicidal dumb maniacs. It is much cheaper to make noise and beat your Galician chest then to engage the enemy protected by Russia. Ukraine is, unfortunately, already a total economic basket case, plus all One-Road plans circumvent it (as MH17 should have, due to instability). Will there ever be a better example than Ukraine of the benevolent influence of the Anglo-Zionist on a country?

The Anglo-Zionists versus OneRoad.
For more information disregard the dumb title and watch this Pepe Escobar interview: http://thesaker.is/interview-of-pepe-escobar-the-world-is-waiting-for-the-apocalypse-if-there-is-a-conflict-between-america-and-russia/
I watched his other interviews and it is interesting how Pepe is not so open when interviewed by the Westerners.

m___ , June 17, 2018 at 9:24 am GMT
@mikkkkas

Dramatic shift in analysis of Saker,

As yours truly, we noticed the drastic shift as to pointing to supranational guidance of international political events. As for his mention, blaming Trump and Netanyahu to be suppreme leaders and deciders, we see them rather as spokespersons, blowing and hissing publicly the script of what Saker calls the Anglo-Jewish maffia, the only subgroup that sorted for quality, not quantity in strategy(global evidently and necessarily) and membership for in-group only benefit. Elitist, subjectively better organized than any entity other, territorially mostly independent in case of emergency, and moral conviction based on historical Judaist values, strategies and tactics. Play all sides and stay invisible.

Below the prudent lines of Saker quoted.

The AngloZionist Empire is not based in the US, or in the EU, or Israel, or anywhere else on the planet. It is a trans-national entity with regional variations and which includes different interest groups under its umbrella. You can think of it as a gigantic criminal gang racketeering the entire planet for "protection". To think that by presenting a "liberal" face to these thugs will gain you their support is extremely naive as these guys don't care about your face: what they want is your submission.

As for Putin, it could be, that he is, for now, on a footing of equal to the insiders of above, he must somehow understand(Putin gives a public impression to be cognitively superior to all other political tarts of the moment) that real problems are global, and Russian nationalism, or international expansion based on Russian nationalism are just a political tool to rally bulk humanity. Very similar to the palm oil, corn syrup and digital porn obese consumerism of the West promotion. At most bickering and infighting can be done by visible actors as Putin, Trump, Xi(affected indirectly), but there must be a scenario, and war cannot be anything more then policing.

To be noticed, that it pleads for Saker's intellectualism to correct and even reverse, after due analysis his opinions unlike a Tom Engelhardt(at that qualitative rather inferior). No "to big to fail" here. Let's wait and see, how Saker's intuition can take him into quantitative analysis of what moves beyond and against nationalist and EU, US, Russia, China dialectics. The old adagio of the information age: networks, was historically present in International Jewry. One can be a policeman, be a thief, but foremost one is a Jew.

Honest writing of Saker.

How good are these supranational, corporatacracy(another commenter), "globally organized elites" groups with better cohesion? To our definite impression, not good enough, though way above the bulk of humanity and most of the middle class media comprehension. Two singular dramas of our age, that will decide the twenty-first century. Better and not good enough. Only to be arrested by bringing in AI, eugenetics, rebranding goals and focus. It is in itself a pocket drama repeated over and over that analysis is mostly litterary, never relies on the best of information, is fragmented. Even today indexing big data lumps could solve this partly. Alternative media in the first place apply the same archaic methods while better tools are available. That said unz.com is above the fray in focussing and searching methods. It should spark some hidden outliers glued into the bulk of the deplorables by individual fate.

War-ing and economics, the epistomology of politics, the focus of daily news, should be seen as consequences, not prime causes of attention. In the end they impose toxicity, migrations, excess population densities, excess total human numbers. The goal itself of humanity should be reasserted as quality of life for all standing and future humans. Then strategy and tactics derive from there. Why? Well the same supra national elites, the only ones that can take on the essentials tend to forget they are frogging in the same tub, that nature probably using more disruptive method will take care of the human plage if not.

jilles dykstra , June 17, 2018 at 9:56 am GMT
@Quartermaster

The CIA seems to have spent five billion $ in Ukraine.
Who wants to incorporate Ukraine in the west therefore is not clear, the USA, NATO or EU, or all of them ?
In any case, many in Europe see Putin just as an honest gas supplier.
Trump's gas is much more expensive.

Heros , June 17, 2018 at 10:03 am GMT

The usual Saker

Definitely. He stays well within the Judeo-Overton window. He is kosher, so to speak. Sure, like Alex Jones, he will make the occasional slap at Israel or Zionism, but he will not verge outside of the window's "Nazi Germany was the ultimate evil" or the holy 6 million martyrs. I also have never read any of his work where he delves into 9/11, and what it means about everything that has happened since.

You have three "not bad snippets" that I don't really agree with:

The EU leaders are nothing but a comprador elite which doesn't give a damn about the opinions and interests of the people of Europe.

It is not that they don't give a damn, it is that they take their orders from a higher source. Euro-serfs see the coerced passage of Lisbon and Maastricht, the ongoing 3rd world invasion, the restriction of free speech, the increasing criminality, the ECB destruction and removal of elected officials in Greece and Italy. They know it is a sham, they just don't understand why, because they are constantly being lied to. Saker is not helping here.

The AngloZionist Empire is not based in the US, or in the EU, or Israel, or anywhere else on the planet. It is a trans-national entity with regional variations and which includes different interest groups under its umbrella.

Saker is not willing to tell us exactly who this entity is. He is not going to take us outside of the Judeo-Overton window.

They do not want to humiliate us, they want to subdue us, solve their problems at our expense

With this dog whistle he is treading on thin ice. Sure, "their problems" could describe past crimes like Maidan that may be catching up with them, but it could also cover such things as Gaza, the Liberty, the King David Hotel, or even the targeting of Nagasaki in 1945. As usual though, he won't confront the serpent.

Jake , June 17, 2018 at 11:26 am GMT
"At best, the EU can be considered a US protectorate/colony, with some subjects "more equal than others" (say, the UK versus Greece)."

That nails it as well as it can be done, though I'd say that some states are far more equal than others and add Germany to the UK in that category.

Jake , June 17, 2018 at 11:57 am GMT
@jilles dykstra

Yes, but also while allowing Germany to dominate the EU in every way, especially economically to the detriment of other EU states.

Miro23 , June 17, 2018 at 12:50 pm GMT

The best examples are, of course, the three Baltic statelets, but the #1 position has to go to the "fiercely patriotic Poles" who are now willing to actually pay Uncle Sam to be militarily occupied (even though the very same Uncle Sam is trying to racketeer them for billions of dollars).

Talking about individual EU countries, the Poles need to realize that they're no longer dealing with Imperial Russia or the Soviet Union, and try exploring avenues for productive co-operation with Russia. It's working with "historic enemy" Germany, so why not with "historic enemy" Russia?

There are plenty of opportunities, with the first one surely being shutting down US bases on Polish territory and getting US missiles out of Poland. The current USA and the UK are under UZA management which is clearly hostile to everything modern Poland stands for.

bj