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America's alternative to war and empire is not "isolationism."
By Daniel Larison, June 11, 2014
Americans have grown understandably weary of foreign entanglements over the last 12 years of open-ended warfare, and they are now more receptive to a noninterventionist message than they have been in decades. According to a recent Pew survey, 52 percent of Americans now prefer that the U.S. “mind its own business in international affairs,” which represents the most support for a restrained and modest foreign policy in the last 50 years. That presents a challenge and an opportunity for noninterventionists to articulate a coherent and positive case for what a foreign policy of peace and prudence would mean in practice. As useful and necessary as critiquing dangerous ideas may be, noninterventionism will remain a marginal, dissenting position in policymaking unless its advocates explain in detail how their alternative foreign policy would be conducted.
A noninterventionist foreign policy would first of all require a moratorium on new foreign entanglements and commitments for the foreseeable future. A careful reevaluation of where the U.S. has vital interests at stake would follow. There are relatively few places where the U.S. has truly vital concerns that directly affect our security and prosperity, and the ambition and scale of our foreign policy should reflect that. A noninterventionist U.S. would conduct itself like a normal country without pretensions to global “leadership” or the temptation of a proselytizing mission. This is a foreign policy more in line with what the American people will accept and less likely to provoke violent resentment from overseas, and it is therefore more sustainable and affordable over the long term.
When a conflict or dispute erupts somewhere, unless it directly threatens the security of America or our treaty allies, the assumption should be that it is not the business of the U.S. government to take a leading role in resolving it. If a government requests aid in the event of a natural disaster or humanitarian crisis (e.g., famine, disease), as Haiti did following its devastating earthquake in 2010, the U.S. can and should lend assistance—but as a general rule the U.S. should not seek to interfere in other nations’ domestic circumstances.
If parties to a dispute request outside arbitration, the U.S. should be in a position to act as a neutral mediator—which presupposes that the U.S. is not actively backing one side against another. We have seen the futility and absurdity of trying to act as an “honest broker” while providing lopsided support to one side in a conflict, and this should have no place in a noninterventionist foreign policy. There could be a potentially large and active role for U.S. diplomats abroad, but not one in which the U.S. was attempting to dictate terms or to promote a particular cause. International engagement could not and would not cease in a noninterventionist foreign policy, but it would be of a very different kind.
One of the priorities of a noninterventionist agenda would be the scaling back of America’s numerous commitments overseas. This would be accomplished mainly by shifting burdens gradually to current allies and regional powers: ceding regional influence in Central Asia to India and Russia, for example, and encouraging a more independent foreign policy for allies such as Japan and Germany. In general, the states that have the most at stake in maintaining regional stability should be given the responsibility for securing it. U.S. commitments have been building up over decades, so it is neither realistic nor desirable to end them suddenly. Nonetheless, there are also far more commitments than the U.S. can afford, and many of them are relics of the struggle with the Soviet Union or the remains of a “War on Terror” that has expanded beyond anything that most Americans imagined when it began a decade ago. Cutting back security entanglements is a long-delayed and necessary adjustment that the U.S. should have been making for the last 20 years. But it will not be sufficient simply to return to status quo ante at the start of the 21st century. The U.S. was already overcommitted around the world before the Bush era and will still be so after the withdrawal from Afghanistan. Ideally, the U.S. would reduce its overseas military presence in the Near East to at most what it was in the years before Desert Storm in 1991, and continue to reduce its presence in Europe as European governments bear more of the costs of their own defense. To date, wealthy allies have been able to skimp on their military spending, on the safe assumption that the U.S. would be ready and willing to make up the difference, but this arrangement is neither sustainable nor in our best interests. It not only creates an unhealthy dependence that ends up dragging unwilling Europeans into U.S. wars of choice, but as we saw in Libya, it perversely pulls the U.S. into European wars of choice because Europe’s governments cannot fight them on their own.
NATO is outdated and unnecessary, but provided that it functions purely as a defensive alliance it wouldn’t necessarily have to be dissolved. If the alliance continued to exist, the U.S. should not use it or permit it to be used as cover for members’ wars of choice and “out of area” missions. It should go without saying that there would be no further NATO expansion, which does nothing except antagonize Russia to the detriment of regional stability. If the alliance’s security guarantees to current members are to mean anything, they shouldn’t be extended to countries that the U.S. and other member nations are not actually willing to defend. To that end, U.S. and NATO officials should stop giving false encouragement to would-be member states that will never be admitted.
A noninterventionist U.S. would keep the major treaty allies it has for the time being but would also review its relationships with the many client states that neither act like nor deserve the name of ally. Clients that expose the U.S. to unnecessary conflicts or create dangerous tensions with other major powers are liabilities, and the U.S. should alter relations with them accordingly. That doesn’t require the U.S. to have poor relations with those states, but it does mean that they would stop receiving support and indulgence when their interests and ours clearly diverge. Many client state relationships would need to be downgraded as a result, and U.S. aid to them would be correspondingly reduced or eliminated.
In keeping with President Washington’s exhortation in his Farewell Address, the U.S. would seek to “observe good faith and justice toward all nations” and to “cultivate peace and harmony with all.” That means that a noninterventionist U.S. would work to maintain normal and full diplomatic relations with as many states as possible, and it would restrict or cut off trade with other states only in the most extreme cases. A noninterventionist foreign policy would very rarely rely on sanctions as a tool, and then only when they are targeted specifically against regime officials rather than the civilian population. In general, an America following Washington’s advice would promote both trade and diplomatic engagement rather than employing the tactics of embargo and isolation.
The U.S. would also refuse to take sides in the internal quarrels of other countries. The sovereignty of other states would be respected much more consistently than in past decades. The U.S. would refrain from destabilizing foreign governments or aiding in their overthrow, and it would not make a habit of siding with whichever protest movement happened to be in the streets of a foreign capital. Likewise, it would refrain from propping up and subsidizing abusive and dictatorial regimes and would condition U.S. aid on how a government treats its people. While there may be a need to cooperate with authoritarian states on certain issues, governments that torture or violently suppress peaceful protests, including the current Egyptian government, shouldn’t be supported in any way by American taxpayers.
War might be necessary at some point, but if so it would be waged only in self-defense or the defense of a treaty ally. A noninterventionist U.S. would never wage a preventive war— which is contrary both to international law and morality—and would generally be wary of using force even when it could be justified. The U.S. should always avoid giving allies and clients the impression that they have a blank check from Washington, since that will tend to make them more combative and unreasonable in disputes with their neighbors. Allies and clients that wanted to pursue reckless and provocative courses of action would be actively discouraged, and it would be the responsibility of the U.S. to pull these states back from avoidable conflicts. A noninterventionist U.S. would manage relations with other major powers by seeking to cooperate on matters of common interest and by avoiding unnecessary disagreements on those issues where the U.S. has relatively little at stake. The U.S. and other major powers are bound to have conflicting interests from time to time, but these unavoidable disagreements shouldn’t be compounded by picking fights over every issue where we differ. As long as the U.S. has allies on the borders of other major powers, there will always be a certain degree of mistrust and tension in our relations. However, the U.S. shouldn’t make this worse by seeking to enlarge our alliances or increase our influence in countries that have historically been in the orbit of another major power. The goal here should be to keep tensions with other major powers at a tolerable minimum and to reduce the possibility of renewed great power conflict in the new century.
As George Washington also said: “In the execution of such a plan, nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated.” For that reason, a noninterventionist U.S. would be one that doesn’t seek to demagogue or exaggerate foreign threats, nor would it cultivate either hostility towards or adoration of any other country. Above all, it won’t seek to make the U.S. the champion of any other country’s interests at our expense.
Noninterventionism is a rather clunky and unappealing label for a set of very appealing ideas: that the U.S. should mind its own business, act with restraint, respect other nations, refrain from unnecessary violence, and pursue peace. If future administrations took just a few of these as guiding principles for the conduct of foreign policy, America and the world would both be better off.
Senior editor Daniel Larison blogs at TheAmericanConservative.com/Larison.
Libertarians (along will less numerous and less influential paleoconservatives) are the only more or less influential faction of the US society that oppose what Basevich called New American Militarism. The foreign policy of the USA since the dissolution of the USSR was and is "open militarism". Recently John Quiggin tried to define militarism is came to the following definition (crookedtimber.org):
100 years after the Battle of the Somme, it's hard to see that much has been learned from the catastrophe of the Great War and the decades of slaughter that followed it. Rather than get bogged down (yet again) in specifics that invariably decline into arguments about who know more of the historical detail, I'm going to try a different approach, looking at the militarist ideology that gave us the War, and trying to articulate an anti-militarist alternative. Wikipedia offers a definition of militarism which, with the deletion of a single weasel word, seems to be entirely satisfactory and also seems to describe the dominant view of the political class, and much of the population in nearly every country in the world.Militarism is the belief or desire of a government or people that a country should maintain a strong military capability and be prepared to use it
aggressively[^1] to defend or promote national interests
This new epidemic of the US militarism which started after Cold War ended was well analyzed by Professor Bacevich (who is former colonel of the US army) who called it New American Militarism. Bacevich's book Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War describe the "sacred trinity" of global military presence, global power projection, global interventionism is used to achieve those ends.
Professor Bacevich had shown that the main driver of the US militarism is neocons domination of the US foreign policy, and, especially, neocons domination in State Department regardless of whether Republicans or Democrats are in power. They profess that the US that we are uniquely qualified to take on the worldwide foes of peace and democracy, forgetting, revising, or ignoring the painful lessons of World War II, Vietnam, and beyond that might have taken the USA into periods of unprecedented peace, instead of numerous conflicts:
Bacevich scores a direct hit on the foundations of the American national security state with this scathing critique, and demolishes the unspoken assumptions that he believes have led the United States into a senseless, wasteful, and counter-productive posture of nearly perpetual war. These assumptions take the form of the "credo" -- which holds that the United States has the unique responsibility to intervene wherever it wants, for whatever purpose it wants, by whatever means it wants -- and the supporting "trinity" of requirements for the U.S. to maintain a global military presence, to configure its military forces for global power projection, and to counter threats by relying on a policy of global interventionism.
In other words they advocate permanent war for permanent peace. Lessons that the author shows President Obama is clearly in the midst of learning, using a modified sacred trinity. Written in engaging prose, his book Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War is an excellent peace of research with sections that some may find very troubling. Here is the summary:
UFPPC (www.ufppc.org) Digging Deeper CXXXVII: September 27, 2010, 7:00 p.m.
Andrew J. Bacevich, Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War (New York: Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt and Company, August 2010).
The Washington consensus on national security policy that constitutes convention wisdom in American foreign policy began with the Cold War and survived, remarkably, the Vietnam War and the disintegration of the Soviet Union, no longer serves American interests, but the failure of the Obama administration to alter it shows that change can only come from the American people.
Introduction: Slow Learner
The author's faith in orthodoxy began to crumble when visiting the BrandenburgGate in Berlin in the winter of 1990-1991(1-4). In October 1990 a visit to Jenarevealed the backwardness of EastGermany (4-6). During his years in the Army, Bacevich had kept down doubts; after the end of the Cold War he retired, and his loss of status freed him to educate himself (6-10).
"George W.Bush's decision to launch Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 pushed me fully into opposition" (10). "This book aims to take stock of conventional wisdom" (11). The past 60 years of American history shows continuity: a symbiotic "credo" (formulated by Henry Luce in 1941 as the "American Century") and a "sacred trinity" ("the minimum essentials of international peace and order require the United States to maintain a global military presence, to configure its forces for global power projection, and to counter existing or anticipated threats by relying on a policy of global interventionism") together define "the rules to which Washington adheres" (11-15).
In this book, "Washington" refers to the upper echelons of the three branches of government, the main agencies of the national security state, select think tanks and interest groups, "big banks and other financial institutions, defense contractors and major corporations, television networks and elite publications like the New York Times, even quasi-academic entities like the Council on Foreign Relations and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government" (15).
This book aspires to
(1) trace the history of the Washington rules;
(2) show who wins, who loses, and who pays under them;
(3) explain how itis perpetuated;
(4) show that the rules have lost what utility they might once have had;
and (5) re-legitimate "disreputable (or 'radical') views to our national security debates" (16).
The American Century is ending, and it "has become essential" to devise an "alternative to the reining national security paradigm" (16-18).
Ch. 1: The Advent of Semiwar.
As president, Barack Obama's efforts to change the U.S.'s exercise of power "have seldom risen above the cosmetic"(20). He made clear he subscribes to the "catechism of American statecraft," viz. that 1) the world must be organized, 2)only the U.S. can do it, 3) this includes dictating principles, and 4) not to accept this is to be a rogue or a recalcitrant (20-21).
It follows that the U.S. need not conform to the norms it sets for others and that it should maintain a worldwide network of bases (22-23).
Imagine if China acted in a comparable manner (23-25). The extraordinary American military posture in the world (25-27). To call this into question puts one beyond the pale(27). James Forrestal called this a permanent condition of semiwar, requiring high levels of military spending(27-28).
American citizens are not supposed to concern themselves with it (29-30). As to how this came about, the "standard story line" presents as the result of the decisions of a "succession of presidential administrations," though this conceals as much as it reveals (30-32).
Eisenhower's 1961 Farewell Address on the "military-industrial complex" was a rare exception (32-34). More important than presidents were Allen Dulles [1893-1969] and Curtis Lemay [1906-1990] (34-36).
Bacevich attributes the vision for an American-dominated post-World War II world with the CIA playing an active role to the patrician Dulles (36-43). The development of the U.S. military into a force capable of dominating the world, especially in the area of strategic weapons, he attributes to the hard-bitten Curtis LeMay, organizer of the StrategicAir Command (SAC) (43-52). Dulles and LeMay shared devotion to country, ruthlessness, a certain recklessness (52-55). They exploited American anxieties and insecurities in yin (Dulles's CIA) yang(LeMay's SAC) fashion, leaving the mainstay of American military power, the U.S. Army, in a relatively weak position(55-58).
Ch. 2: Illusions of Flexibility and Control
Kennedy kept Dulles and LeMay to signal continuity, but there was a behind-the-scenes struggle led by Gen. Maxwell Taylor to reassert the role of the U.S. Army by expanding and modernizing conventional forces that was "simultaneously masked by, and captured in, the phrase flexible response " (60; 59-63).
This agenda purported to aim at "resisting aggression" but really created new options for limited aggressive warfare by the U.S. (63-66).
McNamara engaged in a struggle with LeMay to control U.S. policy on nuclear weapons, but he embraced the need for redundancy based on a land-sea-air attack "triad" and LeMay et al. "got most of what they wanted" (66-72).
In the aftermath of the Bay of Pigs, Kennedy instituted the morally and legally "indefensible" Operation Mongoose," in effect, a program of state-sponsored terrorism" against Cuba (80; 72-82 [but Bacevich is silent on its wilder elements, like Operation Northwoods]).
U.S. recklessness caused the Cuban Missile Crisis, and to his credit Kennedy acknowledged this (albeit privately) and "suspended the tradition" in defusing the crisis (82-87).
Bacevich rejects as a romantic delusion the view that in the aftermath of this crisis Kennedy turned against the military-industrial complex and the incipient Vietnam war and shows no interest in Kennedy's assassination itself (87-92).
He sees a parallel between escalation in Vietnam and post-9/11 aggression as "fought to sustain the Washington consensus" (107; 92-107).
Ch. 3: The Credo Restored.
William Fulbright's The Arrogance of Power (1966) urged a rethinking of the Washington rules (109-15). A radicalized David Shoup, a Medal of Honor winner and former commandant of the MarineCorps, argued in "The New American Militarism" (Atlantic, April 1969) that the U.S. had become "a militaristic and aggressive nation" (120; 115-21). The 1960s Zeitgeist shift made LeMay "an embarrassment, mocked and vilified rather than venerated," which showed that the Washington rules had incurred serious damage in Vietnam; the Army was in dire shape (122; 121-27).
Yet astonishingly, in the subsequent decade the "sacred trinity" (cf. 11-15) was "fully restored" (127). As in post-1918 Germany, élites looked for scapegoats and worked to reverse "the war's apparent verdict" (128). The Council on Foreign Relations 1976 volume entitled The Vietnam Legacy: The War, American Society, and the Future of American Foreign Policy is an expression of élite consensus that the Vietnam war was insignificant, an anomaly (129-34).
By 1980, Democrats and Republicans were again on the same page (134-36).Reagan's election "sealed the triumph of Vietnam revisionism" (136; 136-38). Andthe end of the Cold War posed no challenge to the Washington rules, as Madeleine Albright's pretentious arrogance exemplifies (138-45).
Ch. 4: Reconstituting the Trinity
The period from 1980 to 2000 saw "not retrenchment but reconfiguration" (147). The
Except from Macmillan
Introduction: Slow Learner Worldly ambition inhibits true learning. Ask me. I know. A young man in a hurry is nearly uneducable: He knows what he wants and where he's headed; when it comes to looking back or entertaining heretical thoughts, he has neither the time nor the inclination. All that counts is that he is going somewhere. Only as ambition wanes does education become a possibility.
My own education did not commence until I had reached middle age. I can fix its start date with precision: For me, education began in Berlin, on a winter's evening, at the Brandenburg Gate, not long after the Berlin Wall had fallen. As an officer in the U.S. Army I had spent considerable time in Germany. Until that moment, however, my family and I had never had occasion to visit this most famous of German cities, still littered with artifacts of a deeply repellent history. At the end of a long day of exploration, we found ourselves in what had, until just months before, been the communist East. It was late and we were hungry, but I insisted on walking the length of the Unter den Linden, from the River Spree to the gate itself. A cold rain was falling and the pavement glistened. The buildings lining the avenue, dating from the era of Prussian kings, were dark, dirty, and pitted. Few people were about. It was hardly a night for sightseeing. For as long as I could remember, the Brandenburg Gate had been the preeminent symbol of the age and Berlin the epicenter of contemporary history.
Yet by the time I made it to the once and future German capital, history was already moving on. The Cold War had abruptly ended. A divided city and a divided nation had re united. For Americans who had known Berlin only from a distance, the city existed primarily as a metaphor. Pick a date— 1933, 1942, 1945, 1948, 1961, 1989—and Berlin becomes an instructive symbol of power, depravity, tragedy, defiance, endurance, or vindication. For those inclined to view the past as a chronicle of parables, the modern history of Berlin offered an abundance of material. The greatest of those parables emerged from the events of 1933 to 1945, an epic tale of evil ascendant, belatedly confronted, then heroically overthrown.
A second narrative, woven from events during the intense period immediately following World War II, saw hopes for peace dashed, yielding bitter antagonism but also great resolve. The ensuing stand-off—the "long twilight struggle," in John Kennedy's memorable phrase— formed the centerpiece of the third parable, its central theme stubborn courage in the face of looming peril. Finally came the exhilarating events of 1989, with freedom ultimately prevailing, not only in Berlin, but throughout Eastern Europe.
.... ... ...
Although commonly depicted as the most advanced and successful component of the Soviet Empire, East Germany more closely resembled part of the undeveloped world.
... ... ...
Briquettes of soft coal used for home heating made the air all but unbreathable and coated everything with soot. In the German cities we knew, pastels predominated—houses and apartment blocks painted pale green, muted salmon, and soft yellow. Here everything was brown and gray
... ... ...
Bit by bit, my worldview started to crumble. That worldview had derived from this conviction: that American power manifested a commitment to global leadership, and that both together expressed and affirmed the nation's enduring devotion to its founding ideals. That American power, policies, and purpose were bound together in a neat, internally consistent package, each element drawing strength from and reinforcing the others, was something I took as a given. That, during my adult life, a penchant for interventionism had become a signature of U.S. policy did not—to me, at least—in any way contradict America's aspirations for peace. Instead, a willingness to expend lives and treasure in distant places testified to the seriousness of those aspirations. That, during this same period, the United States had amassed an arsenal of over thirty-one thousand nuclear weapons, some small number of them assigned to units in which I had served, was not at odds with our belief in the inalienable right to life and liberty; rather, threats to life and liberty had compelled the United States to acquire such an arsenal and maintain it in readiness for instant use.2 I was not so naíve as to believe that the American record had been without flaws. Yet I assured myself that any errors or misjudgments had been committed in good faith. Furthermore, circumstances permitted little real choice. In Southeast Asia as in Western Europe, in the Persian Gulf as in the Western Hemisphere, the United States had simply done what needed doing. Viable alternatives did not exist. To consent to any dilution of American power would be to forfeit global leadership, thereby putting at risk safety, prosperity, and freedom, not only our own but also that of our friends and allies.
The choices seemed clear enough. On one side was the status quo: the commitments, customs, and habits that defined American globalism, implemented by the national security apparatus within which I functioned as a small cog. On the other side was the prospect of appeasement, isolationism, and catastrophe. The only responsible course was the one to which every president since Harry Truman had adhered. For me, the Cold War had played a crucial role in sustaining that worldview.
Given my age, upbringing, and professional background, it could hardly have been otherwise. Although the great rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union had contained moments of considerable anxiety — I remember my father, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, stocking our basement with water and canned goods — it served primarily to clarify, not to frighten.
The Cold War provided a framework that organized and made sense of contemporary history. It offered a lineup and a scorecard. That there existed bad Germans and good Germans, their Germans and our Germans, totalitarian Germans and Germans who, like Americans, passionately loved freedom was, for example, a proposition I accepted as dogma. Seeing the Cold War as a struggle between good and evil answered many questions, consigned others to the periphery, and rendered still others irrelevant.
Back in the 1960s, during the Vietnam War, more than a few members of my generation had rejected the conception of the Cold War as a Manichean struggle. Here too, I was admittedly a slow learner. Yet having kept the faith long after others had lost theirs, the doubts that eventually assailed me were all the more disorienting. Granted, occasional suspicions had appeared long before Jena and Berlin
My own Vietnam experience had generated its share, which I had done my best to suppress. I was, after all, a serving soldier. Except in the narrowest of terms, the military profession, in those days at least, did not look kindly on nonconformity. Climbing the ladder of career success required curbing maverick tendencies. To get ahead, you needed to be a team player. Later, when studying the history of U.S. foreign relations in graduate school, I was pelted with challenges to orthodoxy, which I vigorously deflected. When it came to education, graduate school proved a complete waste of time — a period of intense study devoted to the further accumulation of facts, while I exerted myself to ensuring that they remained inert.
Now, however, my personal circumstances were changing. Shortly after the passing of the Cold War, my military career ended. Education thereby became not only a possibility, but also a necessity. In measured doses, mortification cleanses the soul. It's the perfect antidote for excessive self-regard. After twenty-three years spent inside the U.S. Army seemingly going somewhere, I now found myself on the outside going nowhere in particular. In the self-contained and cloistered universe of regimental life, I had briefly risen to the status of minor spear carrier. The instant I took off my uniform, that status vanished. I soon came to a proper appreciation of my own insignificance, a salutary lesson that I ought to have absorbed many years earlier. As I set out on what eventually became a crablike journey toward a new calling as a teacher and writer—a pilgrimage of sorts—ambition in the commonly accepted meaning of the term ebbed. This did not happen all at once. Yet gradually, trying to grab one of life's shiny brass rings ceased being a major preoccupation.
Wealth, power, and celebrity became not aspirations but subjects for critical analysis.
History—especially the familiar narrative of the Cold War—no longer offered answers; instead, it posed perplexing riddles. Easily the most nagging was this one: How could I have so profoundly misjudged the reality of what lay on the far side of the Iron Curtain? Had I been insufficiently attentive? Or was it possible that I had been snookered all along? Contemplating such questions, while simultaneously witnessing the unfolding of the "long 1990s"— the period bookended by two wars with Iraq when American vainglory reached impressive new heights—prompted the realization that I had grossly misinterpreted the threat posed by America's adversaries. Yet that was the lesser half of the problem. Far worse than misperceiving "them" was the fact that I had misperceived "us." What I thought I knew best I actually understood least. Here, the need for education appeared especially acute.
George W. Bush's decision to launch Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 pushed me fully into opposition. Claims that once seemed elementary—above all, claims relating to the essentially benign purposes of American power— now appeared preposterous. The contradictions that found an ostensibly peace-loving nation committing itself to a doctrine of preventive war became too great to ignore. The folly and hubris of the policy makers who heedlessly thrust the nation into an ill-defined and open-ended "global war on terror" without the foggiest notion of what victory would look like, how it would be won, and what it might cost approached standards hitherto achieved only by slightly mad German warlords. During the era of containment, the United States had at least maintained the pretense of a principled strategy; now, the last vestiges of principle gave way to fantasy and opportunism. With that, the worldview to which I had adhered as a young adult and carried into middle age dissolved completely. *
What should stand in the place of such discarded convictions? Simply inverting the conventional wisdom, substituting a new Manichean paradigm for the old discredited version—the United States taking the place of the Soviet Union as the source of the world's evil—would not suffice. Yet arriving at even an approximation of truth would entail subjecting conventional wisdom, both present and past, to sustained and searching scrutiny. Cautiously at first but with growing confidence, this I vowed to do. Doing so meant shedding habits of conformity acquired over decades. All of my adult life I had been a company man, only dimly aware of the extent to which institutional loyalties induce myopia. Asserting independence required first recognizing the extent to which I had been socialized to accept certain things as unimpeachable. Here then were the preliminary steps essential to making education accessible. Over a period of years, a considerable store of debris had piled up. Now, it all had to go. Belatedly, I learned that more often than not what passes for conventional wisdom is simply wrong. Adopting fashionable attitudes to demonstrate one's trustworthiness—the world of politics is flush with such people hoping thereby to qualify for inclusion in some inner circle—is akin to engaging in prostitution in exchange for promissory notes. It's not only demeaning but downright foolhardy. This book aims to take stock of conventional wisdom in its most influential and enduring form, namely the package of assumptions, habits, and precepts that have defined the tradition of statecraft to which the United States has adhered since the end of World War II— the era of global dominance now drawing to a close. This postwar tradition combines two components, each one so deeply embedded in the American collective consciousness as to have all but disappeared from view.
The first component specifies norms according to which the international order ought to work and charges the United States with responsibility for enforcing those norms. Call this the American credo. In the simplest terms, the credo summons the United States—and the United States alone—to lead, save, liberate, and ultimately transform the world. In a celebrated manifesto issued at the dawn of what he termed "The American Century," Henry R. Luce made the case for this spacious conception of global leadership. Writing in Life magazine in early 1941, the influential publisher exhorted his fellow citizens to "accept wholeheartedly our duty to exert upon the world the full impact of our influence for such purposes as we see fit and by such means as we see fit." Luce thereby captured what remains even today the credo's essence.3 Luce's concept of an American Century, an age of unquestioned American global primacy, resonated, especially in Washington. His evocative phrase found a permanent place in the lexicon of national politics. (Recall that the neoconservatives who, in the 1990s, lobbied for more militant U.S. policies named their enterprise the Project for a New American Century.) So, too, did Luce's expansive claim of prerogatives to be exercised by the United States.
Even today, whenever public figures allude to America's responsibility to lead, they signal their fidelity to this creed. Along with respectful allusions to God and "the troops," adherence to Luce's credo has become a de facto prerequisite for high office. Question its claims and your prospects of being heard in the hubbub of national politics become nil. Note, however, that the duty Luce ascribed to Americans has two components. It is not only up to Americans, he wrote, to choose the purposes for which they would bring their influence to bear, but to choose the means as well. Here we confront the second component of the postwar tradition of American statecraft. With regard to means, that tradition has emphasized activism over example, hard power over soft, and coercion (often styled "negotiating from a position of strength") over suasion. Above all, the exercise of global leadership as prescribed by the credo obliges the United States to maintain military capabilities staggeringly in excess of those required for self-defense. Prior to World War II, Americans by and large viewed military power and institutions with skepticism, if not outright hostility. In the wake of World War II, that changed. An affinity for military might emerged as central to the American identity. By the midpoint of the twentieth century, "the Pentagon" had ceased to be merely a gigantic five-sided building.
Like "Wall Street" at the end of the nineteenth century, it had become Leviathan, its actions veiled in secrecy, its reach extending around the world. Yet while the concentration of power in Wall Street had once evoked deep fear and suspicion, Americans by and large saw the concentration of power in the Pentagon as benign. Most found it reassuring. A people who had long seen standing armies as a threat to liberty now came to believe that the preservation of liberty required them to lavish resources on the armed forces. During the Cold War, Americans worried ceaselessly about falling behind the Russians, even though the Pentagon consistently maintained a position of overall primacy. Once the Soviet threat disappeared, mere primacy no longer sufficed. With barely a whisper of national debate, unambiguous and perpetual global military supremacy emerged as an essential predicate to global leadership. Every great military power has its distinctive signature. For Napoleonic France, it was the levée en masse— the people in arms animated by the ideals of the Revolution. For Great Britain in the heyday of empire, it was command of the seas, sustained by a dominant fleet and a network of far-flung outposts from Gibraltar and the Cape of Good Hope to Singapore and Hong Kong. Germany from the 1860s to the 1940s (and Israel from 1948 to 1973) took another approach, relying on a potent blend of tactical flexibility and operational audacity to achieve battlefield superiority.
The abiding signature of American military power since World War II has been of a different order altogether. The United States has not specialized in any particular type of war. It has not adhered to a fixed tactical style. No single service or weapon has enjoyed consistent favor. At times, the armed forces have relied on citizen-soldiers to fill their ranks; at other times, long-service professionals. Yet an examination of the past sixty years of U.S. military policy and practice does reveal important elements of continuity. Call them the sacred trinity: an abiding conviction that the minimum essentials of international peace and order require the United States to maintain a global military presence, to configure its forces for global power projection, and to counter existing or anticipated threats by relying on a policy of global interventionism. Together, credo and trinity—the one defining purpose, the other practice—constitute the essence of the way that Washington has attempted to govern and police the American Century. The relationship between the two is symbiotic. The trinity lends plausibility to the credo's vast claims. For its part, the credo justifies the trinity's vast requirements and exertions.
Together they provide the basis for an enduring consensus that imparts a consistency to U.S. policy regardless of which political party may hold the upper hand or who may be occupying the White House. From the era of Harry Truman to the age of Barack Obama, that consensus has remained intact. It defines the rules to which Washington adheres; it determines the precepts by which Washington rules. As used here, Washington is less a geographic expression than a set of interlocking institutions headed by people who, whether acting officially or unofficially, are able to put a thumb on the helm of state. Washington, in this sense, includes the upper echelons of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the federal government. It encompasses the principal components of the national security state— the departments of Defense, State, and, more recently, Homeland Security, along with various agencies comprising the intelligence and federal law enforcement communities. Its ranks extend to select think tanks and interest groups. Lawyers, lobbyists, fixers, former officials, and retired military officers who still enjoy access are members in good standing. Yet Washington also reaches beyond the Beltway to include big banks and other financial institutions, defense contractors and major corporations, television networks and elite publications like the New York Times, even quasi-academic entities like the Council on Foreign Relations and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.
With rare exceptions, acceptance of the Washington rules forms a prerequisite for entry into this world. My purpose in writing this book is fivefold: first, to trace the origins and evolution of the Washington rules—both the credo that inspires consensus and the trinity in which it finds expression; second, to subject the resulting consensus to critical inspection, showing who wins and who loses and also who foots the bill; third, to explain how the Washington rules are perpetuated, with certain views privileged while others are declared disreputable; fourth, to demonstrate that the rules themselves have lost whatever utility they may once have possessed, with their implications increasingly pernicious and their costs increasingly unaffordable; and finally, to argue for readmitting disreputable (or "radical") views to our national security debate, in effect legitimating alternatives to the status quo. In effect, my aim is to invite readers to share in the process of education on which I embarked two decades ago in Berlin. The Washington rules were forged at a moment when American influence and power were approaching their acme. That moment has now passed. The United States has drawn down the stores of authority and goodwill it had acquired by 1945. Words uttered in Washington command less respect than once was the case. Americans can ill afford to indulge any longer in dreams of saving the world, much less remaking it in our own image. The curtain is now falling on the American Century. Similarly, the United States no longer possesses sufficient wherewithal to sustain a national security strategy that relies on global military presence and global power projection to underwrite a policy of global interventionism. Touted as essential to peace, adherence to that strategy has propelled the United States into a condition approximating perpetual war, as the military misadventures of the past decade have demonstrated.
To anyone with eyes to see, the shortcomings inherent in the Washington rules have become plainly evident. Although those most deeply invested in perpetuating its conventions will insist otherwise, the tradition to which Washington remains devoted has begun to unravel. Attempting to prolong its existence might serve Washington's interests, but it will not serve the interests of the American people.
Devising an alternative to the reigning national security paradigm will pose a daunting challenge—especially if Americans look to "Washington" for fresh thinking. Yet doing so has become essential. In one sense, the national security policies to which Washington so insistently adheres express what has long been the preferred American approach to engaging the world beyond our borders. That approach plays to America's presumed strong suit—since World War II, and especially since the end of the Cold War, thought to be military power. In another sense, this reliance on military might creates excuses for the United States to avoid serious engagement: Confidence in American arms has made it unnecessary to attend to what others might think or to consider how their aspirations might differ from our own.
In this way, the Washington rules reinforce American provincialism—a national trait for which the United States continues to pay dearly. The persistence of these rules has also provided an excuse to avoid serious self-engagement. From this perspective, confidence that the credo and the trinity will oblige others to accommodate themselves to America's needs or desires — whether for cheap oil, cheap credit, or cheap consumer goods—has allowed Washington to postpone or ignore problems demanding attention here at home.
Fixing Iraq or Afghanistan ends up taking precedence over fixing Cleveland and Detroit. Purporting to support the troops in their crusade to free the world obviates any obligation to assess the implications of how Americans themselves choose to exercise freedom. When Americans demonstrate a willingness to engage seriously with others, combined with the courage to engage seriously with themselves, then real education just might begin.
For the list of top articles see Recommended Links section
Feb 23, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
4 hours ago
Is America a 'regime'?
In the language of the American Oligarchy and it's tame and owned presstitutes on the MSM, any country targeted for destabilisation, destruction and rape – either because it doesn't do what America tells it do (Russia), because it has rich natural resources or has a 'socialist' state (Venezuela) or because lunatic neo-cons and even more lunatic Christian Evangelicals (hoping to provoke The End Times ) want it to happen (Syria and Iran) – is first labelled as a 'regime'.
That's because the word 'regime' is associated with dictatorships and human rights abuses and establishing a non-compliant country as a 'regime' is the US government's and MSM's first step at manufacturing public consent for that country's destruction.
Unfortunately if you sit back and talk a cool-headed, factual look at actions and attitudes that we're told constitute a regime then you have to conclude that America itself is 'a regime'.
So, here's why America is a regime:
- Regimes disobey international law. Like America's habit of blowing up wedding parties with drones or the illegal presence of its troops in Syria, Iraq and God knows where else.
- Regimes carry out illegal assassination programs – I need say no more here than Qasem Soleimani.
- Regimes use their economic power to bully and impose their will – sanctioning countries even when they know those sanctions will, for example, be responsible for the death of 500,000 Iraqi children (the 'price worth paying', remember?).
- Regimes renege on international treaties – like Iran nuclear treaty, for example.
- Regimes imprison and hound whistle-blowers – like Chelsea manning and Julian Assange.
- Regimes imprison people. America is the world leader in incarceration. It has 2.2 million people in its prisons (more than China which has 5 times the US's population), that's 25% of the world's prison population for 5% of the world's population, Why does America need so many prisoners? Because it has a massive, prison-based, slave labour business that is hugely profitable for the oligarchy.
- Regimes censor free speech. Just recently, we've seen numerous non-narrative following journalists and organisations kicked off numerous social media platforms. I didn't see lots of US senators standing up and saying 'I disagree completely with what you say but I will fight to the death to preserve your right to say it'. Did you?
- Regimes are ruled by cliques. I don't need to tell you that America is kakistocratic Oligarchy ruled by a tiny group of evil, rich, Old Men, do I?
- Regimes keep bad company. Their allies are other 'regimes', and they're often lumped together by using another favourite presstitute term – 'axis of evil'. America has its own little axis of evil. It's two main allies are Saudi Arabia – a homophobic, women hating, head chopping, terrorist financing state currently engaged in a war of genocide (assisted by the US) in Yemen – and the racist, genocidal undeclared nuclear power state of Israel.
- Regimes commit human rights abuses. Here we could talk about ooh let's think. Last year's treatment of child refugees from Latin America, the execution of African Americans for 'walking whilst black' by America's militarized, criminal police force or the millions of dollars in cash and property seized from entirely innocent Americans by that same police force under 'civil forfeiture' laws or maybe we could mention huge American corporations getting tax refunds whilst ordinary Americans can't afford decent, effective healthcare.
- Regimes finance terrorism. Mmmm .just like America financed terrorists to help destroy Syria and Libya and invested $5 billion dollars to install another regime – the one of anti-Semites and Nazis in Ukraine
Yup – America passes the 'sniff test' for Regime status.
If you're sick of being ruled by lying, psychopathic wankers then imagine a world, much like this one but subtly different where, instead of always getting away with it all the time, our psychopathic rulers occasionally got what they really, really deserved.
4 hours ago
America's Military is Killing – Americans!
In 2018, Republicans (AND Democrats) voted to cut $23 billion dollars from the budget for food stamps (42 million Americans currently receive them).
Fats forward to 21 December 2019 and Donald Trump signed off on a US defense budget of a mind boggling $738 billion dollars.
To put that in context -- the annual US government Education budget is sround $68 billion dollars.
Did you get that -- $738 billion on defense, $68 billion on education?
That means the government spends more than ten times on preparations to kill people than it does on preparing children for life in the adult world.
How ******* psychotic and death-affirming is that? It gets even worse when you consider that that $716 billion dollars is only the headline figure – it doesn't include whatever the Deep State siphons away into black-ops and kick backs. And .America's military isn't even very good – it's hasn't 'won' a conflict since the second world war, it's proud (and horrifically expensive) aircraft carriers have been rendered obsolete by Chinese and Russian hypersonic missiles and its 'cutting edge' weapons are so good (not) that everyone wants to buy the cheaper and better Russian versions: classic example – the F-35 jet program will screw $1.5 TRILLION (yes, TRILLION) dollars out of US taxpayers but but it's a piece of **** plane that doesn't work properly which the Russians laughingly refer to as 'a flying piano'.
In contrast to America's free money for the military industrial complex defense budget, China spends $165 billion and Russia spends $61 billion on defense and I don't see anyone attacking them (well, except America, that is be it only by proxy for now).
Or, put things another way. The United Kingdom spent £110 billion on it's National Health Service in 2017. That means, if you get sick in England, you can see a doctor for free. If you need drugs you pay a prescription charge of around $11.50(nothing, if unemployed, a child or elderly), whatever the market price of the drugs. If you need to see a consultant or medical specialist, you'll see one for free. If you need an operation, you'll get one for free. If you need on-going care for a chronic illness, you'll get it for free.
Fully socialised, free at the point of access, healthcare for all. How good is that?
US citizens could have that, too.
Allowing for the US's larger population, the UK National Health Service transplanted to America could cost about $650 billion a year. That would still leave $66 billion dollars left over from the proposed defense budget of $716 billion to finance weapons of death and destruction -- more than those 'evil Ruskies' spend.
The US has now been at war, somewhere in the world (i.e in someone elses' country where the US doesn't have any business being) continuously for 28 years. Those 28 years have coincided with (for the 'ordinary people', anyway) declining living standards, declining real wages, increased police violence, more repression and surveillance, declining lifespans, declining educational and health outcomes, more every day misery in other words, America's military is killing Americans. Oh, and millions of people in far away countries (although, obviously, those deaths are in far away countries and they are of brown-skinned people so they don't really count, do they?).
Time for a change, perhaps?
Feb 23, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
3 hours ago
No link to one of his speeches or book. Worth your time.
9 minute video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3_EXqJ8f-0
Full audio book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26O-2SVcrw0
4 hours ago
This article fails to mention his most important contribution . He tipped off Roosevelt that a fascist plot was being prepared to take over the American government "
The Wall Street Putsch, as it's known today, was a plot by a group of right-wing financiers.
"They thought that they could convince Roosevelt, because he was of their, the patrician class, they thought that they could convince Roosevelt to relinquish power to basically a fascist, military-type government," Denton says.
4 hours ago
The US foreign policy was never about Spreading Democracy, it's always about elevating the dictator we can do business with.
4 hours ago
Surprisingly, Butlers book The Plot to Seize the White House, where a cabal of bankers sought to use Butler as a front man to oust FDR getS little to no notice.
49 minutes ago
Feb 23, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Danny Sjursen via TomDispatch.com,
There once lived an odd little man - five feet nine inches tall and barely 140 pounds sopping wet - who rocked the lecture circuit and the nation itself. For all but a few activist insiders and scholars, U.S. Marine Corps Major General Smedley Darlington Butler is now lost to history. Yet more than a century ago, this strange contradiction of a man would become a national war hero, celebrated in pulp adventure novels, and then, 30 years later, as one of this country's most prominent antiwar and anti-imperialist dissidents.
Raised in West Chester, Pennsylvania, and educated in Quaker (pacifist) schools, the son of an influential congressman, he would end up serving in nearly all of America's " Banana Wars " from 1898 to 1931. Wounded in combat and a rare recipient of two Congressional Medals of Honor, he would retire as the youngest, most decorated major general in the Marines.
A teenage officer and a certified hero during an international intervention in the Chinese Boxer Rebellion of 1900, he would later become a constabulary leader of the Haitian gendarme, the police chief of Philadelphia (while on an approved absence from the military), and a proponent of Marine Corps football. In more standard fashion, he would serve in battle as well as in what might today be labeled peacekeeping , counterinsurgency , and advise-and-assist missions in Cuba, China, the Philippines, Panama, Nicaragua, Mexico, Haiti, France, and China (again). While he showed early signs of skepticism about some of those imperial campaigns or, as they were sardonically called by critics at the time, " Dollar Diplomacy " operations -- that is, military campaigns waged on behalf of U.S. corporate business interests -- until he retired he remained the prototypical loyal Marine.
But after retirement, Smedley Butler changed his tune. He began to blast the imperialist foreign policy and interventionist bullying in which he'd only recently played such a prominent part. Eventually, in 1935 during the Great Depression, in what became a classic passage in his memoir, which he titled "War Is a Racket," he wrote:
"I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service... And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street, and for the Bankers."
Seemingly overnight, the famous war hero transformed himself into an equally acclaimed antiwar speaker and activist in a politically turbulent era. Those were, admittedly, uncommonly anti-interventionist years, in which veterans and politicians alike promoted what (for America, at least) had been fringe ideas. This was, after all, the height of what later pro-war interventionists would pejoratively label American " isolationism ."
Nonetheless, Butler was unique (for that moment and certainly for our own) in his unapologetic amenability to left-wing domestic politics and materialist critiques of American militarism. In the last years of his life, he would face increasing criticism from his former admirer, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the military establishment, and the interventionist press. This was particularly true after Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany invaded Poland and later France. Given the severity of the Nazi threat to mankind, hindsight undoubtedly proved Butler's virulent opposition to U.S. intervention in World War II wrong.
Nevertheless, the long-term erasure of his decade of antiwar and anti-imperialist activism and the assumption that all his assertions were irrelevant has proven historically deeply misguided. In the wake of America's brief but bloody entry into the First World War, the skepticism of Butler (and a significant part of an entire generation of veterans) about intervention in a new European bloodbath should have been understandable. Above all, however, his critique of American militarism of an earlier imperial era in the Pacific and in Latin America remains prescient and all too timely today, especially coming as it did from one of the most decorated and high-ranking general officers of his time. (In the era of the never-ending war on terror, such a phenomenon is quite literally inconceivable.)
Smedley Butler's Marine Corps and the military of his day was, in certain ways, a different sort of organization than today's highly professionalized armed forces. History rarely repeats itself, not in a literal sense anyway. Still, there are some disturbing similarities between the careers of Butler and today's generation of forever-war fighters. All of them served repeated tours of duty in (mostly) unsanctioned wars around the world. Butler's conflicts may have stretched west from Haiti across the oceans to China, whereas today's generals mostly lead missions from West Africa east to Central Asia, but both sets of conflicts seemed perpetual in their day and were motivated by barely concealed economic and imperial interests.
Nonetheless, whereas this country's imperial campaigns of the first third of the twentieth century generated a Smedley Butler, the hyper-interventionism of the first decades of this century hasn't produced a single even faintly comparable figure. Not one. Zero. Zilch. Why that is matters and illustrates much about the U.S. military establishment and contemporary national culture, none of it particularly encouraging.Why No Antiwar Generals
When Smedley Butler retired in 1931, he was one of three Marine Corps major generals holding a rank just below that of only the Marine commandant and the Army chief of staff. Today, with about 900 generals and admirals currently serving on active duty, including 24 major generals in the Marine Corps alone, and with scores of flag officers retiring annually, not a single one has offered genuine public opposition to almost 19 years worth of ill-advised, remarkably unsuccessful American wars . As for the most senior officers, the 40 four-star generals and admirals whose vocal antimilitarism might make the biggest splash, there are more of them today than there were even at the height of the Vietnam War, although the active military is now about half the size it was then. Adulated as many of them may be, however, not one qualifies as a public critic of today's failing wars.
Instead, the principal patriotic dissent against those terror wars has come from retired colonels, lieutenant colonels, and occasionally more junior officers (like me), as well as enlisted service members. Not that there are many of us to speak of either. I consider it disturbing (and so should you) that I personally know just about every one of the retired military figures who has spoken out against America's forever wars.
The big three are Secretary of State Colin Powell's former chief of staff, retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson ; Vietnam veteran and onetime West Point history instructor, retired Colonel Andrew Bacevich ; and Iraq veteran and Afghan War whistleblower , retired Lieutenant Colonel Danny Davis . All three have proven to be genuine public servants, poignant voices, and -- on some level -- cherished personal mentors. For better or worse, however, none carry the potential clout of a retired senior theater commander or prominent four-star general offering the same critiques.
Something must account for veteran dissenters topping out at the level of colonel. Obviously, there are personal reasons why individual officers chose early retirement or didn't make general or admiral. Still, the system for selecting flag officers should raise at least a few questions when it comes to the lack of antiwar voices among retired commanders. In fact, a selection committee of top generals and admirals is appointed each year to choose the next colonels to earn their first star. And perhaps you won't be surprised to learn that, according to numerous reports , "the members of this board are inclined, if not explicitly motivated, to seek candidates in their own image -- officers whose careers look like theirs." At a minimal level, such a system is hardly built to foster free thinkers, no less breed potential dissidents.
Consider it an irony of sorts that this system first received criticism in our era of forever wars when General David Petraeus, then commanding the highly publicized " surge " in Iraq, had to leave that theater of war in 2007 to serve as the chair of that selection committee. The reason: he wanted to ensure that a twice passed-over colonel, a protégé of his -- future Trump National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster -- earned his star.
Mainstream national security analysts reported on this affair at the time as if it were a major scandal, since most of them were convinced that Petraeus and his vaunted counterinsurgency or " COINdinista " protégés and their " new " war-fighting doctrine had the magic touch that would turn around the failing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, Petraeus tried to apply those very tactics twice -- once in each country -- as did acolytes of his later, and you know the results of that.
But here's the point: it took an eleventh-hour intervention by America's most acclaimed general of that moment to get new stars handed out to prominent colonels who had, until then, been stonewalled by Cold War-bred flag officers because they were promoting different (but also strangely familiar) tactics in this country's wars. Imagine, then, how likely it would be for such a leadership system to produce genuine dissenters with stars of any serious sort, no less a crew of future Smedley Butlers.
At the roots of this system lay the obsession of the American officer corps with " professionalization " after the Vietnam War debacle. This first manifested itself in a decision to ditch the citizen-soldier tradition, end the draft, and create an "all-volunteer force." The elimination of conscription, as predicted by critics at the time, created an ever-growing civil-military divide, even as it increased public apathy regarding America's wars by erasing whatever " skin in the game " most citizens had.
More than just helping to squelch civilian antiwar activism, though, the professionalization of the military, and of the officer corps in particular, ensured that any future Smedley Butlers would be left in the dust (or in retirement at the level of lieutenant colonel or colonel) by a system geared to producing faux warrior-monks. Typical of such figures is current chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army General Mark Milley. He may speak gruffly and look like a man with a head of his own, but typically he's turned out to be just another yes-man for another war-power -hungry president.
One group of generals, however, reportedly now does have it out for President Trump -- but not because they're opposed to endless war. Rather, they reportedly think that The Donald doesn't "listen enough to military advice" on, you know, how to wage war forever and a day.What Would Smedley Butler Think Today?
In his years of retirement, Smedley Butler regularly focused on the economic component of America's imperial war policies. He saw clearly that the conflicts he had fought in, the elections he had helped rig, the coups he had supported, and the constabularies he had formed and empowered in faraway lands had all served the interests of U.S. corporate investors. Though less overtly the case today, this still remains a reality in America's post-9/11 conflicts, even on occasion embarrassingly so (as when the Iraqi ministry of oil was essentially the only public building protected by American troops as looters tore apart the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, in the post-invasion chaos of April 2003). Mostly, however, such influence plays out far more subtly than that, both abroad and here at home where those wars help maintain the record profits of the top weapons makers of the military-industrial complex.
That beast, first identified by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, is now on steroids as American commanders in retirement regularly move directly from the military onto the boards of the giant defense contractors, a reality which only contributes to the dearth of Butlers in the military retiree community. For all the corruption of his time, the Pentagon didn't yet exist and the path from the military to, say, United Fruit Company, Standard Oil, or other typical corporate giants of that moment had yet to be normalized for retiring generals and admirals. Imagine what Butler would have had to say about the modern phenomenon of the " revolving door " in Washington.
Of course, he served in a very different moment, one in which military funding and troop levels were still contested in Congress. As a longtime critic of capitalist excesses who wrote for leftist publications and supported the Socialist Party candidate in the 1936 presidential elections, Butler would have found today's nearly trillion-dollar annual defense budgets beyond belief. What the grizzled former Marine long ago identified as a treacherous nexus between warfare and capital "in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives" seems to have reached its natural end point in the twenty-first century. Case in point: the record (and still rising ) "defense" spending of the present moment, including -- to please a president -- the creation of a whole new military service aimed at the full-scale militarization of space .
Sadly enough, in the age of Trump, as numerous polls demonstrate, the U.S. military is the only public institution Americans still truly trust. Under the circumstances, how useful it would be to have a high-ranking, highly decorated, charismatic retired general in the Butler mold galvanize an apathetic public around those forever wars of ours. Unfortunately, the likelihood of that is practically nil, given the military system of our moment.
Of course, Butler didn't exactly end his life triumphantly. In late May 1940, having lost 25 pounds due to illness and exhaustion -- and demonized as a leftist, isolationist crank but still maintaining a whirlwind speaking schedule -- he checked himself into the Philadelphia Navy Yard Hospital for a "rest." He died there, probably of some sort of cancer, four weeks later. Working himself to death in his 10-year retirement and second career as a born-again antiwar activist, however, might just have constituted the very best service that the two-time Medal of Honor winner could have given the nation he loved to the very end.
Someone of his credibility, character, and candor is needed more than ever today. Unfortunately, this military generation is unlikely to produce such a figure. In retirement, Butler himself boldly confessed that, "like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical..."
Today, generals don't seem to have a thought of their own even in retirement. And more's the pity...2 minutes agoAm I the only one to notice that Hollywood and it's film distributors have gone full bore on "war" productions, glorifying these historical events while using poetic license to rewrite history. Prepping the numbheads.14 minutes agoTULSI GABBARD.14 minutes ago
Forget rank. As Mr Sjursen implies, dissidents are no longer allowed in the higher ranks. "They" made sure to fix this as Mr Butler had too much of a mind of his own (US education system also programmed against creative, charismatic thinkers, btw).
The US Space Force has been created as part of a plan to disclose the deep state's Secret Space Program (SSP), which has been active for decades, and which has utilized, and repressed, advanced technologies that would provide free, unlimited renewable energy, and thus eliminate hunger and poverty on a planetary scale.14 minutes ago
- What imperialism?
- We are spreading freedumb and dumbocracy.
- We are saving the world from socialism and communism.
- We are energy independent, with innate exceptionalism and #MAGA# will usher in a new era of American prosperity.
- Any and all accusations of USSA imperialism, are made by the "woke" and those jealous of the greatest Capitalist system in the world.
- The swamp is being drained as I speak, and therefore will continue with unwavering support for my 5x draft dodging, Zionist supporting, multiple times bankrupt, keeper of broken promises POTUS.
- Smedley Butler's book is not worthy of reading once you have the seminal work known as "The Art Of The Deal"
#MIGA#29 minutes ago
ALL wars are EVIL. Period .30 minutes ago
Sadly enough, in the age of Trump, as numerous polls demonstrate, the U.S. military is the only public institution Americans still truly trust. Under the circumstances, how useful it would be to have a high-ranking, highly decorated, charismatic retired general in the Butler mold galvanize an apathetic public around those forever wars of ours. Unfortunately, the likelihood of that is practically nil, given the military system of our moment.
This is why I feel an oath keeping constitutionally oriented American general is what we need in power, clear out all 545 criminals in office now, review their finances (and most of them will roll over on the others) and punish accordingly, then the lobbyist, how many of them worked against the country? You know what we do with those.
And then, finally, Hollywood, oh yes I long to see that **** hole burn with everyone in it.Republicrat: the two faces of the moar war whore.32 minutes ago35 minutes ago
Given the severity of the Nazi threat to mankind
Do tell, from what I've read the Nazis were really only a threat to a few groups, the rest of us didn't need to worry.Today, the "Masters of the Permawars" refer to the international extortion, MIC, racket as "Defending American Interests"! .....With never any explanation to the public/American taxpayer just what "American Interests" the incredible expenditures of American lives, blood, and treasure are being defended!41 minutes ago
Why are we sending our children out into the hellholes of the world to be maimed and killed in the fauxjew banksters' quest for world domination.
How stupid can we be!(Edited) "Smedley Butler"... The last time the UCMJ was actually used before being permanently turned into a "door stop"!49 minutes agoHe was correct about our staying out of WWII. Which, BTW, would have never happened if we had stayed out of WWI.22 minutes ago(Edited) Both wars were about the international fauxjew imposition of debt-money central bankstering.53 minutes ago
Both wars were promulgated by the Financial oligarchyof New York. The communist Red Army of Russia was funded and supplied by the Financial oligarchyof New York. It was American Financial oligarchythat built the Russian Red Army that vexed the world and created the Cold War. How many hundreds of millions of goyim were sacrificed to create both the Russian and the Chinese Satanic behemoths.......and the communist horror that is now embedded in American academia, publishing, American politics, so-called news, entertainment, The worldwide Catholic religion, the Pentagon, and the American deep state.......and more!
How stupid can we be. Every generation has the be dragged, kicking and screaming, out of the eternal maw of historical ignorance to avoid falling back into the myriad dark hellholes of history. As we all should know, people who forget their own history are doomed to repeat it.Today's General is a robot with with a DNA.54 minutes agoAll the General Staff is a bunch of #asskissinglittlechickenshits57 minutes agowant to stop senseless Empire wars>>well do this
War = jobs and profit..we get work "THEY" get the profit.. If we taxed all war related profit at 99% how many wars would our rulers start? 1 hour agoHere is a simple straightforward trading maxim that might apply here: if it works or is working keep doing it, but if it doesn't work or stops working, then STOP doing it. There are plenty of people, now poorer, for not adhering to that simple principle. Where is the Taxpayer's return on investment from the Combat taking place on their behalf around the globe? 'Nuff said - it isn't working. It is making a microscopic few richer & all others poorer so STOP doing it. 36 seconds ago We don't have to look far to figure out who they are that are getting rich off the fauxjew permawars.
How can we be so stupid???
1 hour agoSee also:
1 hour agoThe main reason you don't see the generals criticizing is that the current crop have not been in actual long term direct combat with the enemy and have mostly been bureaucratic paper pushers.
Take the Marine Major General who is the current commander of CENTCOM. By the time he got into the Iraq/Afghanistan war he was already a Lieutenant Colonel and far removed from direct action.
He was only there on and off for a few years. Here are some of his other career highlights aft as they appear on his official bio:
- 2006-07: he served as the Military Secretary to the 33rd and 34th Commandants of the Marine Corps
- 2008: he was selected by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to be the Director of the Chairman's New Administration Transition Team (CNATT)
- 2009: he reported to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kabul, Afghanistan to serve as the Deputy to the Deputy Chief of Staff (DCOS) for Stability. ..... Deputy to the Deputy for Stability ???? WTF is that?
- 2010: he was assigned as the Director, Strategy, Plans, and Policy (J-5) for the U.S. Central Command
- 2012: he reported to Headquarters Marine Corps to serve as the Marine Corps Representative to the Quadrennial Defense Review
In short, these top guys aren't warriors they're bureaucrats so why would we expect them to be honest brokers of the truth?
51 minutes agoare U saying Chesty Puller he's NOT? 1 hour ago(Edited) The purpose of war is to ensure that the Federal Reserve Note remains the world reserve paper currency of choice by keeping it relevant and in demand across the globe by forcing pesky energy producing nations to trade with it exclusively.
It is a 49 year old policy created by the private owners of quasi public institutions called central banks to ensure they remain the Wizards of Oz doing gods work conjuring magic paper into existence with a secret spell known as issuing credit.
How else is a technologically advanced society of billions of people supposed to function w/out this divinely inspired paper?
1 hour agoGoebbels in "Churchill's Lie Factory" where he said: "The Americans follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous." - Jospeh Goebbels, "Aus Churchills Lügenfabrik," 12. january 1941, Die Zeit ohne Beispiel
1 hour agoThe greatest anti-imperialist of our times is Michael Parenti:
Imperialism has been the most powerful force in world history over the last four or five centuries, carving up whole continents while oppressing indigenous peoples and obliterating entire civilizations. Yet, it is seldom accorded any serious attention by our academics, media commentators, and political leaders. When not ignored outright, the subject of imperialism has been sanitized, so that empires become "commonwealths," and colonies become "territories" or "dominions" (or, as in the case of Puerto Rico, "commonwealths" too). Imperialist military interventions become matters of "national defense," "national security," and maintaining "stability" in one or another region. In this book I want to look at imperialism for what it really is.
"Imperialism has been the most powerful force in world history over the last four or five centuries, carving up whole continents while oppressing indigenous peoples and obliterating entire civilizations. Yet, it is seldom accorded any serious attention by our academics, media commentators, and political leaders."
Why would it when they who control academia, media and most of our politicians are our enemies.
1 hour ago
1 hour ago
"The big three are Secretary of State Colin Powell's former chief of staff, retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson ; ..."
Yep, Wilkerson, who leaked Valerie Plame's name, not that it was a leak, to Novak, and then stood by to watch the grand jury fry Scooter Libby. Wilkerson, that paragon of moral rectitude. Wilkerson the silent, that *******.
" A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people."
James Madison Friday June 29, 1787
"What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty.... Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins." (Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, spoken during floor debate over the Second Amendment [I Annals of Congress at 750, August 17, 1789])
1 hour ago
A particularly pernicious example of intra-European imperialism was the Nazi aggression during World War II, which gave the German business cartels and the Nazi state an opportunity to plunder the resources and exploit the labor of occupied Europe, including the slave labor of concentration camps. - M. PARENTI, Against empire
See Alexander Parvus
1 hour ago
Collapse is the cure. It's too far gone.
1 hour ago
Russia Wants to 'Jam' F-22 and F-35s in the Middle East: Report
1 hour ago
ZH retards think that the American mic is bad and all other mics are good or don't exist. That's the power of brainwashing. Humans understand that war in general is bad, but humans are becoming increasingly rare in this world.
1 hour ago
The obvious types of American fascists are dealt with on the air and in the press. These demagogues and stooges are fronts for others. Dangerous as these people may be, they are not so significant as thousands of other people who have never been mentioned. The really dangerous American fascists are not those who are hooked up directly or indirectly with the Axis. The FBI has its finger on those. The dangerous American fascist is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power.2 hours ago
If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful. Most American fascists are enthusiastically supporting the war effort.
The swamp is bigger than the military alone. Substitute Bureaucrat, Statesman, or Beltway Bandit for General and Colonel in your writing above and you've got a whole new article to post that is just as true.2 hours ago
(Edited) War = jobs and profit..we get work "THEY" get the profit..If we taxed all war related profit at 99% how many wars would our rulers start?2 hours ago [edited for clarity]
War is a racket. And nobody loves a racket more than Financial oligarchy. Americans come close though, that's why Financial oligarchy use them to project their own rackets and provide protection reprisals.
Feb 19, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.comIs there a better time for a presidential townhall than on President's Day? And is there a better place than the Old Town Hall in the heart of Fairfax, Virginia? Built in 1900, this small, neoclassical-styled building, with wood pillars sprouting from floor to ceiling in the middle of its main room, brings to mind the same communal assemblies that the Old Dominion was founded on 400 years ago.
It was here that Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii spoke Monday to over 200 supporters gathered ahead of the March 3 Democratic primary.
And gather they did. An hour before she was supposed to speak, a line was already forming down the sidewalk. A man near the front door held a "Tulsi 2020" sign out towards the road. When asked if he was on her staff, he responded that he wasn't even a volunteer for the event; he had brought the sign from home. The other attendees were similarly clad in Tulsi gear, holding signs, wearing shirts, and sporting "Veterans for Gabbard" hats. These were not undecided voters on a curiosity trip, but the enthusiastic base of a candidate most of the people driving past wouldn't even recognize.
A combat veteran and major in the U.S. National Guard, Gabbard has made ending America's policy of "regime change wars" the core of her campaign platform. "She puts peace over war profiteering," said Carl Holland, introducing the candidate to unanimous applause. But on this occasion, foreign policy was not the focus of her stump speech.
"What is it that makes people hate politics?" she asked the crowd after her customary "aloha" greeting. She believes it's the same reasons that she finds it off-putting: "I hate the pay-to-play politics that rules the day in Washington." She hates the hyper-partisanship, the politicians "who love to talk a lot but refuse to actually listen," and the leaders who carelessly "send our nation's sons and daughters off to fight in wars that have nothing to do with our country's national security."
Taking advantage of the holiday, she spoke about being inspired by Abraham Lincoln and his 1858 "House Divided" speech. She described a country still divided today, on matters of politics, race, gender, and even "what cable news channel you watch."
Briefly contrasting what she hates with what she loves, Gabbard said unreservedly, "I love our country. I love the people of this country." Multiple times she used the phrase "Country First" to describe her policies and her movement. The difference in intentions between her slogan and Donald Trump's "America First" would be hard to parse.
Gabbard's example of putting Country First was the First Step Act, a criminal justice bill passed by large bipartisan majorities in December 2018. The law enacted new dignity provisions for prisoners and resulted in the release of 7,000 people. Gabbard described members of her party who "did not want to give Trump a win, who stood in the way of this legislation passing." To those legislators who "put politics ahead of people, shame on you," she said.
For Gabbard, the corruption in the system doesn't stop with her fellow elected officials or the "high-powered lobbyists [who] stack the odds against the people." It includes those in "the corporate media trying to silence our voices because we dare speak the truth" about regime change wars. Like clockwork, when a woman in the audience asked about the OPCW whistleblower who has challenged the United Nations' conclusions about the alleged Douma chemical attack in Syria, members of the print media darted their heads up and scurried closer to the stage to try to get a potentially scandalous soundbite .
Gabbard responded by saying she has sent multiple letters to the OPCW inquiring about the whistleblower situation, but had not yet received satisfactory answers. She promised to keep trying.
The candidate closed her speech by telling the crowd, "You have my personal commitment that as your president, my sole mission every single day will be serving you and only you ." Her strategy for winning the White House would be "not taking people for granted, reaching out, and treating every American with respect."
After answering questions about health care, small business, and climate change, Gabbard stepped away from the podium and her fans lined up for pictures and a handshake. Meanwhile, her husband Abraham walked the room, chatting with people and recording the event on his phone.
In the unscientific poll of raised hands, the attendees were one third Democrat, one third Republican, and one third "independent, Libertarian, or Green." They were overwhelmingly from Northern Virginia or Maryland, with very few from Washington, D.C. Multiple families attended, some of whose kids presented Tulsi with homemade drawings. One family, with their two adolescent children present and husky dog tied up outside, drove all the way from West Virginia.
When everyone had dispersed, The American Conservative was given an opportunity to ask a question. Gabbard has been explicit in her condemnations of "radical Islam," and she's referred to the war on terror as an ideological war as much as a military one. When asked to specify whether she believes the terrorism against the West is the result of religious extremism or if it's a consequence of foreign military interventions and their subsequent blowback, she appeared to lean more to the latter.
"It's a combination of the radical, Wahhabi-Salafist ideology that serves as the fuel and the recruiting ground for terrorist organizations like ISIS and al-Qaeda, that motivates them in their terror actions." Gabbard told TAC , "But it's also when you see how our regime change wars have had a direct impact. Not in going in and defeating terrorist groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda, but actually serving to only strengthen them."
A Monmouth poll released the day after her townhall listed Gabbard's support in Virginia at 1 percent. This is similar to the national polls where she places last among the eight candidates still running for the Democratic nomination. Gabbard has previously announced that she's declining to run for reelection to the House (after four terms) and that she's taking her presidential campaign all the way to the Democratic convention in June. Where this will put the 38-year-old come January 2021 is anyone's guess. But whether in the White House or retired from politics, Tulsi Gabbard plans to continue putting Country First.
Hunter DeRensis is a reporter with The National Interest and a regular contributor to The American Conservative. Follow him on Twitter @HunterDeRensis .
JessicaR Martin Ranger • 3 days agoYou are raising a valid question about why she is not doing better in the polls. While I have not done a statistical analysis of her press coverage, it appeared to me that the networks have largely shut her out.Osse JessicaR • 2 days ago
After her first debate, I watched CNN coverage of that debate on YouTube and noted the amount of coverage devoted to her. I was struck by how little was said about her. The story included her in a clip of candidates deriding Trump but gave her NO coverage of her other views, in spite of the fact that she did well in the debate and made some sound-byte worthy statements. In contrast, the mainstream candidates got lots of coverage.
It is my impression that this trend has continued throughout the primaries.
It is reminiscent of the ways the networks treat other strong opponents of war. 1, Dennis Kucinich, NBC had a rule that to be on one of their debates-in 2004 if I remember correctly--a candidate had to finish in the top three in a primary. Kucinich finished third in Nevada. NBC changed the rules on him. He took them to court. The court ruled that NBC was a private business and could set their own rules. 2. Bernie Sanders in 2016. The CNN website largely ignored his candidacy until he started winning primaries. When they couldn't ignore him anymore, they ran unflattering photos of him with his mouth open--how else could he talk?-but did not do so for Clinton.
Anyway, that is my impression.I think the lack of press coverage is part of it. She is also demonized by most liberals and even some leftists. I say “ demonized” because I think at least some of the criticisms are false, but I am not sure about the others.Alex (the one that likes Ike) MPC • 3 days ago • editedAnd I think you seriously underestimate the share of antiwar voters nationwide and overestimate the importance of those whom you, inexplicably from the Marxist point of view, call "left". Tulsi now holds a wild card.MPC Alex (the one that likes Ike) • 3 days ago
She's still under forty, which is almost a senior teenager by modern standards, and already on her way to becoming a kingmaker through being able to guarantee either party's candidates the support of a serious share of voters from both and of independents for years to come.diverick MPC • 2 days ago
...I do think she would appeal to just the type of person the Dems want to peel away from Trump. She'd be a play for independents.Alex (the one that likes Ike) Collin Reid • 2 days agoI do think she would appeal to just the type of person the Dems want to peel away from Trump.
I would agree only, from what I have seen thus far, her appeal to a possibly significant number of previous Trump voters is seen as a negative in the eyes of Dem activists, pundits, other candidates, etc. The Dems don't seem to have any interest in winning over previous Trump voters, no matter what the reason was for their 2016 Trump vote.
I think a more accurate phrasing of the sentence above would be, "I do think she would appeal to just the type of person the Dems should want to peel away from Trump."The only bridges she burned were those with the Democratic establishment, which is out of touch with reality and is doomed to soon repeat its Republican counterpart's inglorious end. Thus the fact that she burned those bridges actually shows that she, unlike so many other politicians, is capable of, at least, midterm planning. Not to mention that, as I've already said, she, given her strong cross-partisan appeal, can easily become a Republican now.RadicalCenter Alex (the one that likes Ike) • 2 days ago • edited
1) Did Sanders meet UN-recognized leaders of countries, against whom the neocon/neolib clique was waging illegal wars?
2) And that campaigning for Clinton cost Democrats the defection of many Sanders's voters to Trump's camp. Long-term planning, right.
3) 55% under a system which has recently shown how the votes are counted in all of its glory? Impressive.I applaud Tulsi's anti-war comments and have observed that the establishment media shut her out of meaningful coverage. But there is no reason to think that she can influence any large block of voters and influence them enough to be a kingmaker. Not even close.E_Conegliano MPC • a day ago
Andrew Yang, by contrast, could have some influence, though probably more in pushing the universal basic income idea than in inducing a particularly large number of voters to vote for this candidate or that. But he has achieved more influence than Tulsi for sure.Can you imagine the look on the face of AOC, Bernie's ambitious surrogate, if Bernie chose Tulsi for VP? IMO, Bernie has hitched his wagon to AOC's rock-star magnetism and Our Revolution's multicultural foot soldiers. No room for Tulsi, who favors closed borders and open discussions in contrast to open borders and PC lectures.channelclemente • 3 days agoShe completely botched the Assad - poison gas issue. She swallowed the propaganda whole cloth, and when it was proven she was just wrong she huffed off in denial.Collin Reid channelclemente • 2 days agoYea, that hurt her but the reality was it was crowded Primary with over 20 candidates and Gabbard had limited name recognition going into 2019!Xanadu channelclemente • 2 days agoActually, it appears that Americans and Western media bought the propaganda on alleged Assad use of poison gas (vice the al-Qaeda linked "rebels"): https://thegrayzone.com/202...Osse channelclemente • 2 days agoWhat are you talking about? If you mean Douma or the OPCW, it is more likely the mainstream which is in denial.Dodo • 3 days agoNeoconservatives' wars for their own ideologies have exhausted most Americans. They want to stop wars, regardless. In coming economic depression, this view will rampant Eventually, appeasement will happen again.EdMan • 3 days ago
Neconservatives and their supporters (regardless reasons) deserve this result but how about other Americans?Undoubtedly the finest candidate for president in the race. And by far the most presidential. Her campaign deserves more.dbriz • 3 days agoIf, still a large if, Sanders gets the nomination Gabbard makes a lot of sense as running mate. She appeals to the very votes needed to defeat Trump. Antiwar, libertarian oriented moderates. Any VP candidate with ties to the DNC will work against Sanders.Collin Reid • 2 days ago????? Gabbard is getting 2 -3% polls in the Democratic Primary and is sort of a candidate who is winning with Democrats that don't like the Party. Frankly I was Gabbard suspect early 2020 but I also realistic enough to know below 40 year candidate with little name recognition tend not to win Primaries their first try. And for a young Gabbard her true goal should have building her name in the current Primary that 20 other candidates. (And given that often incumbents win the Presidency, 2024 could have been a competitive Primary.)Xanadu • 2 days ago • edited
1) Originally I thought her biggest problem was past positions on gay rights and she was definitely behind curve on that one. And getting this weakness out of the way in 'trial test Primary' isn't the worst goal for young House member.
2) Sanders has much more anti-war candidate in 2020 than he was in 2016 so Gabbard message was not a lone voice here.
3) The dumbest thing Gabbard has done is give up her House seat in the completely D safe district in Hawaii. So why would the Sunday shows book an ex-House member in 2021? And the liberal punditry network is not as nearly as strong (or well paying) as the conservative pundits.I am a former Democrat, grew up lower middle class, and a legal immigrant. While I don't agree with all of her policy positions, I find Tulsi Gabbard's single-minded focus on the costs of foreign intervention THE most resonant/substantive topic for the United States, especially in a political system where Congress/Courts pass domestic legislation, and presidents only have absolute control of foreign policy.RadicalCenter • 2 days ago
What sets Tulsi a rare breed apart from other progressive Democrats is that she's unwilling to do 180s on core convictions as a reactionary take on Trump. The "whatever Trump is for, I'm against" transformation of Democratic lawmakers and media wonks has led them to support prolonging wars (Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq); red-baiting nuclear stand-offs with Russia; sudden embrace of corporatist "free trade" like TPP; silcening any criticism of anti-women Islamic customs; and even libertarian wet dreams of effectively open borders. Even Bernie is wavering in his long-held convictions.
In response to why Tulsi's campaign hasn't resonated to higher polls, it's important to remember that HER core issue -- anti-foreign intervention, ending forever wars -- remain resoundingly popular. However, her relative low-profile as a Hawaiian congresswoman (compare her favorable support vis-a-vis Julian Castro, for instance), the constant mainstream media attacks (compare her to the Mayor Pete love-fest), and most importantly, her unwillingness to be reflexively anti-Trump, is costing her the support of a feverish, vengeful Democratic primary base.She's a fool for giving up her Congressional seat. She would do better to win re-election to the House, make a national name for herself as the anti-war anti-military-profiteering voice in the Dem Party, and then run for the US Senate when one of the current white-hating establishment scum in the Hawaii Senate delegation finally retires.Fayez Abedaziz • 2 days ago
Hirono and Schatz took their Senate seats only in 2012 and 2013 and aren't old, unfortunately, but Tulsi is younger at only 38. She can become a fairly senior member of Congress and run to succeed Hirono in say, 2030. Tulsi will then still be only 48.Hi, the main reason the major media went out to try to stop Tulsi's campaign: From the Dem leadership like Pelosi and Schumer, to the folks at CNN, MSNBC and all the network 'news' shows, they worked to stop her because: They are neocons! And she's talking ending wars over there and there!steve Howell • 14 hours ago
That goes against hardliners like AIPAC, and in mentioning CNN, for example, Blitzer is a neocon guy and he is foremost an Israeli supporter and so on. What, are we just gonna keep kidding ourselves?
(he came from the Jerusalem Post, was a member of AIPAC.) What, something's wrong with pointing out facts? Shouldn't be.She is too liberal for me. And she is for gun control. so now ay would she ever get my vote. I do like some things she says.
Feb 22, 2020 | angrybearblog.com
IMO, all the preceding are being blinded by obsolete beliefs holding over from the 1950s. First consider that the purpose of government is to ensure the welfare of its citizens – & that's not protection against just foreign threats but also against domestic threats (like for-real life, liberty & happiness).
Feb 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Hal Duell , Feb 20 2020 22:36 utc | 60Bernie would prove to be such a disappointment. The other parrots on the perch not so much as they have brought nothing and will offer the same.
Tulsi was not invited. She has been denied oxygen in the press, denied a platform in the debates and generally airbrushed out of the picture. No surprise there. By speaking out against the forever-wars and against the prison gulag she committed the cardinal sin in US politics: You don't rock the boat, especially when pretending to do so! But how refreshing has her presence been in an otherwise dreary, dreary and predictable, landscape.
karlof1 , Feb 20 2020 22:38 utc | 62b4real @47--
Thanks for your comment and question. Within US History, there are several such changes of direction, the first coming with the elections that ratified the 1787 Constitution. Second would be the 1800 election that elected Jefferson and ended what's known as the Federalist Era; it's extremely unlikely the Federalists would have made the Louisiana Purchase because of their enmity toward France. In 1828, General Jackson gained the White House amidst the Battle of the Bank, the importance of which is touched on in most survey US History classes but never examined as deeply as it demands. 1844 brought in Polk dedicated to expanding slavery who showed Congress couldn't stop the executive thus showing the vast--and foreseen--problems of an unregulated president as he provoked Mexico and stole 1/2 its territory; Polk was clearly the model for GW Bush. The 4-way election of 1860 showcased the break-up of the National Democratic Party into two factions; brought Lincoln, and the nascent Republican Party, who goaded the South's Fire Eaters to commence the Civil War. The 13-15th amendments greatly altered the national social fabric. In 1896, D-Party candidate WJ Bryan's "Cross of Gold" speech elaborated the concept of Trickle-down Economics and firmly placed the D-Party as the party of the working-classes, which further compounded the D-Party's internal strife between its Northern urban political machines and Southern Segregationist politicos. 1912 again saw a 4-way race as T Roosevelt's split of the R-Party allowed Wilson to win and transfer the management of the government's financial affairs from the Treasury where they belonged to the privately controlled misnamed Federal Reserve Board, the woes of which we feel daily. 1920 saw the reversion from Wilsonian Internationalism to "Normalcy" as traditional US unilateralism regained ascendency with the rejection of the League of Nations. Although not perceived during the 1932 campaign since FDR didn't really know what he was going to do, a return to the social democratic republic commenced with the New Deal Era. 1944 didn't see an immediate change in policy course, but by June 1945 it was clear Truman was no FDR or Wallace; and by October, the Outlaw US Empire was born when the UN Charter came into force which was already being violated by Truman's government--we most certainly wouldn't have the CIA as a result of the 1947 National Security Act if Wallace had continued FDR's term, nor would there have been a Cold War. The only other change in direction (if it can be called that) was the adoption of Neoliberalism by Carter in 1978 and its rapid acceleration by Reagan/Bush which resulted in the Outlaw US Empire being even more aggressive than it was previously, a pace kept alive by the ascension of the Neocons in 2000.
Some of the directional changes occurred due to economic or social strife, but not all, nor arguably were they most important, IMO--1800, 1828, 1860, 1912, 1944. In 1932, if Hoover had regained his office, he would have had to get experimental just like FDR, and the evidence shows he was trying to get things to improve; it's been acknowledged by historians that neither had the intellectual tools required to fix the Depression. Here's a basic listing of the POTUS and there years in office. I should add 1876 as that election marked the end of Reconstruction and the beginning of big money corruption of the federal government. The loss by Bryan and the fused D- and Peoples Party in 1896 informed Conservatives like T Roosevelt and Taft that they had to listen to the people's demands for at least basic regulation of American Capitalism--remember, the first Progressives were Republicans, not Democrats.
Given more time to meditate on the question, I could probably cite further diversions in policy from one administration to the next. But the above provides a good overview. I should highlight Fedrick Jackson Turner's 1893 elucidation of his Frontier Thesis-- "The Significance of the Frontier in American History" --before the American Historical Association at Chicago's Colombian Exhibition since it made a huge impression on that era's elite and certainly prompted policy changes. A week's usually spent in grad seminar's discussing Turner's thesis.
Feb 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
JC , Feb 20 2020 23:37 utc | 70Posted by: SharonM | Feb 20 2020 20:29 utc | 41
"Bernie Sanders belonged on that stage with the other pro-war imperialists. With him, we get affordable healthcare, while millions of people around the world will suffer through coups, invasions, bombings, mass murder, and mass displacement. There is absolutely NOTHING (nothing) for an anti-war advocate to get excited about with a Sanders Presidency."
Exactly! I'm surprise even Tulsi Gabbard not invited to the debate many here still wanna her for VP. I an't voting for anyone but Tulsi Gabbard, I hates the Democratic more than Trump and will vote for Trump if necessary.
JC , Feb 20 2020 23:41 utc | 71
Forgot to include Brother Nathanael
Feb 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
A User , Feb 21 2020 3:04 utc | 101Frankly some people here seem to be living in la-la-land where impossible dreams come true.
How about some realpolitik as practiced by both halves of the amerikan empire party when the VP decision time comes around. Does anyone imagine Kennedy wanted Johnson as VP or Bush I, Dan Quayle or Oblamblam the crookedest man in the senate, Joe Biden?
Of course not they were told to take these hacks as a way for 'the party' to keep the hairy eyeball on 'their' Prez.
Let's just pretend for a moment that Sanders came to conference with sufficient delegates that the hope of the DNC to override Sanders with superdelegates was simply too much for the dem party to achieve without alienating a sizable chunk of potential dem voters for life (the odds of that occurring are slimmer than a 2 year old Yemeni, but let's pretend).
Even if Sanders had sufficient delegates to obviate a brokered conference, it wouldn't matter, the DNC would still insist on a 'sit down' with the Sanders crew and insist he took a particular person as his VP. Sanders could refuse, in which case he could expect zero $$$'s for his campaign from the dems and worse the DNC would tell him that the party money, in many cases donated to the DNC by naifs who 'wanted to give Bernie a hand', was going to be spent 'down ticket' assisting all the dem pols up for re-election who were committed to opposing Bernie's favourite policies such as single payer healthcare.
Bernie would be screwed as even if he beat orange moron as he wouldn't stand a shitshow in hell of getting any of these "radical pinko policies" through, which would be justified by the rightist dem senators & congress-creeps saying "Democrat voters, voted for a democratic president not a Marxist president" over and over until the idiots among the public had been sufficiently indoctrinated to believe that tosh. There is no way Gabbard will be permitted as Sanders' running-mate unless she has totally sold out already.
Maybe Sanders should open the bidding with Gabbard, after which the DNC might offer up 'Pete the cheat' to ensure Bernie is defeated, or some other less power-hungry, more malleable dem lick-spittle.
If Sanders is smart enough to play this game, he will already have worded up one or two slightly conservative DC hacks on the qt, then make out he's making a huge compromise by selecting her/him.
He could conceivably get away with that as long as the DNC mobsters are blindsided - remember most of those DC lowlifes will leap at the chance of the veep's gig since it puts you in the inside running to be the prez after yer running 'mate'. And offering it quietly early on would give Sanders the right to insist on blind loyalty - which he prolly wouldn't get totally, but he would have something close to that
Trouble is I don't reckon Sanders has the smarts to pull a rort like that off - we shall see. Whatever he does do the odds are high of him being stymied every time if he does make it
Likklemore , Feb 21 2020 3:25 utc | 102Posted by: Krollchem | Feb 21 2020 1:55 utc | 92psychedelicatessen , Feb 21 2020 4:04 utc | 103
In reply to my comment on the process, you wrote
"Actually this is not technically correct
and then you quoted Article 2 Section 2 of the Constitution.
You ignored the process
I wrote on the process in which jim and jane mainstreet vote [the 2nd part of the process] to select the State electors to the Electoral College: from Link (Archives.gov) provided @ 24 and fully detailed below:
November 3, 2020 -- Election Day
During the general election your vote helps determine your State's electors. When you vote for a Presidential candidate, you aren't actually voting for President. You are telling your State which candidate you want your State to vote for at the meeting of the electors. The States use these general election results (also known as the popular vote) to appoint their electors. The winning candidate's State political party selects the individuals who will be the electors.[.]
Who selects the electors?
Choosing each State's electors is a two-part process. First, the political parties in each State choose slates of potential electors sometime before the general election. Second, during the general election, the voters in each State select their State's electors by casting their ballots.
The first part of the process is controlled by the political parties in each State and varies from State to State. Generally, the parties either nominate slates of potential electors at their State party conventions or they chose them by a vote of the party's central committee. This happens in each State for each party by whatever rules the State party and (sometimes) the national party have for the process. This first part of the process results in each Presidential candidate having their own unique slate of potential electors.
Political parties often choose individuals for the slate to recognize their service and dedication to that political party. They may be State elected officials, State party leaders, or people in the State who have a personal or political affiliation with their party's Presidential candidate. (For specific information about how slates of potential electors are chosen, contact the political parties in each State.)
The second part of the process happens during the general election. When the voters in each State cast votes for the Presidential candidate of their choice they are voting to select their State's electors. The potential electors' names may or may not appear on the ballot below the name of the Presidential candidates, depending on election procedures and ballot formats in each State.
The winning Presidential candidate's slate of potential electors are appointed as the State's electors -- except in Nebraska and Maine, which have proportional distribution of the electors. In Nebraska and Maine, the State winner receives two electors and the winner of each congressional district (who may be the same as the overall winner or a different candidate) receives one elector. This system permits Nebraska and Maine to award electors to more than one candidate.[.]
Rob @ 99 - I don't think evidence of this form has been archived anywhere on the Internet. I would be particularly interested in seeing how much of a favorite Clinton was in 2016. I doubt she would have been more than 2/3, and the result not as shocking an upset were Trump actually 1/1. In any event, if the favorite an hour before the books closed always won, who then would ever consider the price on an underdog as an overlay? I'm not addressing any prediction of a winner; I'm observing the changes in public opinion as expressed through those who are willing to take a money position along the way. There would be no other prominent reason for Sanders to reclaim over Bloomberg in less than a week, the Democratic candidate top spot in betting odds, than his strong showing Wednesday night.Circe , Feb 21 2020 4:33 utc | 104
All of the legal gambling outlets will tend to keep fairly close in sync with changes in odds offered. Any one of them getting significantly out of sync is taking a position, attracting layoff action from one of the others. When someone makes an investment in this type of futures, it's with an eye toward spotting an overlay. That means a current line which is offering too strong a return on the investment. The books have several ways of adjusting. They can change the odds offered, lay off action with each other to balance their money position, or offer early resolution to certain ticket holders. For example, Trump opened at 5/2 and toward the end of 2018 had been bet down to 3/2. He is currently 8/13 which represents an extreme overlay if someone is holding a ticket with 3/2 odds. When this kind of situation occurs, all of the books are likely to sustain a loss. So, they will offer early resolution. A $2000 ticket on Trump at 3/2 will return $5000, however anyone holding this ticket may be offered $2750 today for early resolution. That's an immediate $750 profit for giving back their position.
Now to illustrate just how drastic changes in the futures betting can be, a few hours ago Sanders was 7/2, he's now 10/3. Bloomberg continues to slide, from 4/1 last week to 11/2 a few hours ago to now 7/1. Perhaps Bloomberg will be attractive enough to become an overlay at 10/1? I would consider that price might be worth taking a position on, if one thinks convention shenanigans will place him as the candidate. At that point (if correct) he'll drop to say 8/5 and will return a good profit from early resolution.
The changes in the betting lines appear more discernible to me, than a shift of a few percentage point amongst pollsters. Notice Pence is back on the board, so obviously some people think there's greater than a 300/1 chance Trump is deceased during this term.Aren't you being somewhat disingenuous by selectively nitpicking a few sentences out of Bernie's speech that merely express an opinion, not a declaration of political meddling, intervention or war, while leaving out the positive 90%, like his criticism of Bolsanaro, Netanyahu and Israel's racist unjust policies and his concern for the dire situation in Gaza?Cadence calls , Feb 21 2020 5:04 utc | 105
He rails against Saudi Arabia and MBS and the war on Yemen. He's critical of Sheldon Adelson's influence, the Koch brothers and Mercer and the corruption of goverment and the greed they represent. He's critical of the massive amounts of funding spent on the military. That's great, no?
He's sympathetic to the unjust imprisonment of Lula da Silva and talks about the necessity of addressing climate change and poverty and much more. WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT??? There's a Ziofascist in the White House right now who just brought on board Richard Grenell for DNI, (ironically mentioned in Bernie's speech last October... prophetic? Yes.), yet another Iranophobe! So you can guess what direction we're headed in?
Out of all the good that Bernie spoke you gripe about that small paragraph and use it to distort as still too aggressive his entire foreign policy vision and pov on issues few in Congress have the spine to address?
You think I'm just going to let slide this perversion of his message?
Just see how so many comments reek with that same type of distortion parotting YOUR CUE. Do you not feel any responsibilty to the truth and to the power your word may have to influence others to misjudge Bernie Sanders unfairly through your distorted lens?
I am sickened reading the comments that emanated from your small paragraph and bet you NO ONE BOTHERED TO READ THE ENTIRE SPEECH IN THE LINK AND RELIED INSTEAD ON THAT DROP FROM POISON PEN TO FORM A TOTALLY IGNORANT, BIASED OPINION.
I'm glad you at least gave him credit for defending well his positions in the midst of multiple attacks in the debate.
If Bernie can withstand the onslaught of unfair, disproportionate establishment and media attacks (your's included) and win the Nomination, it won't be thanks to the majority of you, but you will all in some way benefit from an improvement in foreign policy under a Sanders administration. OR DO YOU ACTUALLY PREFER TO DISCUSS WAR AND ATROCITY AND CONSPIRACY MACHINATIONS HERE ALL DAY, EVERY DAY IN PERPETUITY? Maybe that's the problem, maybe with Bernie as President you'll be less involved as armchair generals and have to settle for criticizing boring diplomacy for a change!
I don't know about you, but I really welcome most of what Bernie talked about and his vision for the future on this planet much more than discussing war with Iran, famine and climate disaster.
Bernie will make it in spite of haters, never Sanders, maligners, and distorters of the truth.
Oh, and he'll DESTROY Trump in November.
Jared suggests Bloomberg/Gabbard.
I guess you don't really know what Bloomberg's about. And you especially don't get Gabbard! She wouldn't be caught dead working for that Neocon warmonger!
SharonM and Jackrabbit
Get a room you professional koo-koo spinbots...preferrably in another Solar System where you can't damage impressionable minds. Ugh.I feel bad for the Bernie Bros.SharonM , Feb 21 2020 5:14 utc | 106
He's gonna sell them out again.
Dude has zero pull with his "party", and is facing a steamroller in Trump.
I would be happy to have a small dinner with Circe and friends after the convention.
We can commiserate over a few wodkas and goulash.@104 CircePenelope , Feb 21 2020 5:30 utc | 107
"SharonM and Jackrabbit
Get a room you professional koo-koo spinbots...preferrably in another Solar System where you can't damage impressionable minds. Ugh."
I'm against war. You're obviously just another loser imperialist.Since medical care figures so prominently in the election, might be a good idea to know why it costs so much now:Circe , Feb 21 2020 5:45 utc | 108
The Oligarch Takeover of US Pharma and Healthcare by Jon Hellevig
"The Awara study shows https://www.awaragroup.com/blog/us-healthcare-system-in-crisis/ that in addition to the original sin of corporate greed, the exorbitant costs of the US healthcare system stem from layers upon layers of distortions with which the system is infested. Each part of the healthcare industry contributes to what is a giant monopoly scam: the pharmaceutical companies, medical equipment manufacturers, drug wholesalers, drug stores, group purchasing organizations, health insurance companies, doctors, clinics and hospitals, and even what should be impartial university research. And on top of that, there's the government as a giant enabler of monopolized corporations running roughshod over the American consumer and patient.
"But it is worse than that. All the monopolists (in official parlance, oligopolies) are in turn owned by the same set of investors in what is called horizontal shareholding. The same some 15-20. investors have the controlling stake in all the leading companies of the entire pharma and healthcare industry.
"That's not all. Two of the investors, BlackRock and Vanguard, are the biggest owners in almost every single one of the leading companies.
"Furthermore, BlackRock is owned by Vanguard, BlackRock's biggest owner being a mystical PNC Services, whose biggest owner in turn is Vanguard. Vanguard itself is recorded directly as BlackRock's second biggest owner. Moreover, BlackRock and Vanguard are the two biggest owners of almost all the other 15-20 biggest investors, which most are cross-owned and together own the entire US pharma and healthcare sector. Ultimately, then we might have the situation that the whole healthcare sector and Big Pharma are controlled by one giant oligarch clan (and the very real people who stand behind them), one single interest group of oligarch investors." -- http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/52658.htm
PS: US is now 33d in life expectancy.Yesterday some dirty dog, Bloomberg or weasel Buttigieg, brought up the fact that Bernie has 2 million, and 3 homes, one in Washington, a house in Vermont his wife inherited from her parents and a cabin by a lake! OMG! QUICK! Call the Socialist police! He's 78, has a career in politics, wrote some bestsellers and he has to live like a monk otherwise, he's a hypocrite???Blue Dotterel , Feb 21 2020 6:19 utc | 109
The hypocrites are the ones criticizing him and not Warren who appeared in Forbes cause she has two expensive homes, and 12 MILLION. But, at the debate she was coy and uncommonly silent when they attacked Bernie for what is perfectly normal given his career, success as an author and his age!
But Lizabeth, she cares so much about poor mothers and babies, and shares Bernie's platform, and yet is too chicken to call herself a democratic socialist. Yeah, with 12 Mil in the bank and different investments she's got a big stake in Capitalism! And someone mentionned that during the commercial break she was getting quite friendly yacking it up with Bloomberg, AFTER she put on the Non-disclosure artifice (watch out for hidden mics, Mike!). And she's not big on democracy either, since she would rather go to a brokered convention, than give Bernie the nomination when he gets the majority of pledged delegates. Screw her!
Oh Lizzie, you showed all your true colors!
DONE, put a fork in it!
Against war and for Trump? 🤣🤣🤣
Trust me, Bernie's not starting any war at his age, and he's from a bucolic state. If you think Bernie's for war and I'm an imperialist, then must be a real bad judge of character.
You fool no one. You hate Bernie for some other stupid reason.Really, the Oligarch party composed of the Republican and Democrat branches will not make any significant changes to the status quo, even if Sanders is voted in to the presidency. Sanders' foreign policy is the Oligarch policy; Sanders domestic policy would never get past the Oligarch house without significant watering down to be totally irrelevant. Sanders only "threat" to the Oligarchs is that the presidency would give him a 4-year platform to continue to put forth his semi-socialist domestic views, seeding the brains of the ignorant masses with dangerous thoughts.Piotr Berman , Feb 21 2020 7:26 utc | 110
Voting for either branch of the Oligarch party is to vote for the status quo. All that is guaranteed are a few cosmetic changes of zero significance. Vote, but vote anyone but the Oligarch Party!A positive assessment of the chances of Sanders to win the nomination:YnO , Feb 21 2020 7:41 utc | 111
"Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg's presidential campaign called on former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to drop out of the Democratic presidential primary race in a memo released on Thursday, warning that Bloomberg's presence in the race would propel Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to the Democratic nomination. "
Pete could be more incisive by pointing that unlike his much more financially successful colleague from the race of nomination, he has no track record on making unwanted passes on women, or jokes that cannot be revealed to the publics. More seriously, American establishment is so vast that it is internally divided into various groups or cliques that detest each other. Pete is a darling of CIA circles, Bloomberg is so rich that he nearly makes an influence group by himself., but he may be popular among Wall Street denizens who donate to Metropolitan Opera and snicker at Trump who could not tell Verdi from Barbie doll. On political positions, I wonder if there is an ounce of difference.There is a lot of criticism in these comments about Sanders not going all out against the Democratic Party and playing too nice, but a counterpoint to consider is that we have a perfect example to contrast his behavior with: Tulsi Gabbard. Tulsi was vice chair of the DNC and considered one of their "rising stars" in part because of the elites' insipid love of identity politics, and she is demonstrating the country what happens when you go nuclear against the establishment. She burned her political capital to back Bernie in 2016 and went on the attack during the debates she was able to get into. Would Sanders really get better results doing what Tulsi is doing, and if so, why would he going that course be different?Krollchem , Feb 21 2020 8:27 utc | 112Likklemore@102james , Feb 21 2020 8:29 utc | 113
What you describe is what is generally done. If the State legislature chooses to ignore the vote then your argument is not valid.
Please see the US Constitution that I linked...@95 sharon.. thanks.. that sounds reasonable.. however at present either one of the war parties is going to win.. i suppose some will think bernie i war party lite or something, but regardless if he gets the nod - which i highly doubt - the war party is still in control.. something bigger has to happen for this to change.. collapse is a popular fantasy for some.. i am not sure if or when that could happen too.. it is hard being reasonable in this atmosphere.. i am inclined to more radical thinking as the answer at this point..BM , Feb 21 2020 8:58 utc | 114"It's time to give the elites a bigger say in electing the President"Seer , Feb 21 2020 10:26 utc | 115
Under Trump Bezos lost highly profitable interests, and under a second Trump term he would likely lose still more. If any of the elites' choices get the Dem nomination, Trump is certain to win. Perhaps Bezos' reasoning was to try to provoke Dem supporters to reject the elites because that is the only chance of getting back the business interests he lost.
Bezos is a nasty piece of work indeed, but to his credit, maybe he at least sees the need of a more acceptable candidate."They" have thrown down everything against Sanders yet he continues to rise. His support base is HUGE. Competition can't touch him. His victories will put him up so much that the DNC is rendered powerless.Paco , Feb 21 2020 10:29 utc | 116
Of all the candidates, Tulsi Gabbard is far away the closest in ideology to Sanders. She entered the race with Bernie's approval, before Bernie announced. Bernie knows that Tulsi is the only one (other than Nina Turner) that would totally have his back. I actually believe that Gabbard is the best candidate that the US has had in a LONG time. If she were selected as VP she would get a lot more exposure; the more exposure the more support she gets. I don't believe that Bernie needs to pick a VP in order to garner more votes; that is, it's not as strategically necessary as other candidates have required: I repeat: Bernie's base is HUGE. Tulsi is a BIG insurance policy. VP isn't a do-nothing position: it can cast a tie-breaking vote in the senate; it can act as collaborator with POTUS. In a more correct positioning of talents it would be Gabbard as POTUS and Sanders as VP. I'd be happy to see Nina Turner as VP but am worried that the pairing with Sanders would create too stark of a picture, one open to really ugly attacks: it's hard to attack Tulsi given her military experience (I hate that this needs to be played, but it's the reality we face). AND there's the VP debates: Tulsi vs Pence would be one for the history books.Turkey closed its airspace to russian airplanes flying to Syria and slowed down the so called Syrian Express. The straights would be closed in case of declared war but the flow can be slowed down by other means. Hard to think that war will be officially declared with all the joint projects in energy, but logistics would be a real problem for Russia if things get uglier.jared , Feb 21 2020 11:21 utc | 117
The second question of the 20 series to Putin is about Ukraine, as usual he comes across as well informed and with ease of verve.
CirceWilly2 , Feb 21 2020 11:34 utc | 118
I guess you don't really know what Bloomberg's about. And you especially don't get Gabbard! She wouldn't be caught dead working for that Neocon warmonger!
Please advise - What is Bloomberg about.
In my experience he is a conservative moderate.
Do we just describe everyone we dont like as zionist?- The american writer Thomas Frank has put this way: The Democrats had every opportuniy to win the presidential election of 2016 by focussing on the people in "fly-over land", on the people who felt "left bhind" but instead they focussed on the "creative class" (laywers, the "professional class", hollywood and people from the tech sector (GOOGLE, Facebook, etc.).Willy2 , Feb 21 2020 11:38 utc | 119
- It was the presidential campaign of Trump who saw the chance to win over the people from "fly-over country".@Jared (#117):Willy2 , Feb 21 2020 11:47 utc | 120
- Yes, Bloomberg is a moderate republican but he is also an establishment figure/person. So, he won't be the one that will bring about MAJOR changes that are going to hurt that same establishment. Including the "zionists" (with or without quotation marks).- The people who are commenting on this topic should take into account one thing. Over the years the Republican party has purged the party of "moderate Republicans". As a result of that Republican party shifted more and more to the right side of the political spectrum.William Gruff , Feb 21 2020 12:18 utc | 121About Butt-gig...Willy2 , Feb 21 2020 12:43 utc | 122
If you were running a giant organized crime group with cash flow in the hundreds of $billions, with tentacles deeply penetrating all of the mass media, with connections at the top of all major western multinational corporations, and you wanted to "manage" the political system of the country that finances the military that you occasionally need, how would you do that?
Run you own candidates, of course!
So it is 2015. You've already gotten one of your candidates elected twice, and you are confident that mass media cultivated "identity politics" played a big part in getting him into the White House. Because of this you are now running another "identity politics" compliant candidate, but you have some tricks up your sleeve to guarantee she wins. Most importantly you have an utter heel running against her who cannot possibly win.
So you [big mafia don] are confident that you have the 2016 and 2020 elections sewn up, but even though it is only 2015, now is the time to be thinking about 2024. You've already used up the woman and Black man identity issues, so what next? The gay man "identity politics" angle, of course! So now you need to introduce to the public a gay candidate that is under your control so the public can start to get used to him and he can become widely known by the time campaigning starts in 2023.
Remind me now when it was that Butt-gig "came out" as gay? Oh, yeah, that's right! It was 2015. He then "married" in 2018.
"But Butt-gig is so young!"
Sure. Realize that he wasn't supposed to be running until 2024, when he would be in his forties. 2016 and 2020 were supposed to be Clinton's turn in the White House, but things went all sideways for some reason. Now you have to move up the timetable.
Butt-gig is CIA.- Bernie Sanders has promised FREE education/college and FREE Healthcare. Although I have SERIOUS doubts how he is going to pay for all that FREE stuff, the large support he enjoys shows very well how Joe Sixpack is thinking about his own economic situation.Piotr Berman , Feb 21 2020 12:50 utc | 123
- There were A LOT OF voters who voted first for Sanders in the primaries. When it became clear that Sanders wasn't going to be the Democratic candidate these voters votes for Trump in november 2016.Blue Dotterel is not satisfied: >>Sanders only "threat" to the Oligarchs is that the presidency would give him a 4-year platform to continue to put forth his semi-socialist domestic views, seeding the brains of the ignorant masses with dangerous thoughts.Clueless Joe , Feb 21 2020 13:04 utc | 124
Voting for either branch of the Oligarch party is to vote for the status quo. All that is guaranteed are a few cosmetic changes of zero significance. Vote, but vote anyone but the Oligarch Party! Sanders only "threat" to the Oligarchs is that the presidency would give him a 4-year platform to continue to put forth his semi-socialist domestic views, seeding the brains of the ignorant masses with dangerous thoughts.<<
But the oligarchy and sectors close to oligarchy are already worried exactly about that. For example, certain David Brook is almost morose. A nightmare that is at least 170 years old reappeared:
>>Bernie Sanders is also telling a successful myth: The corporate and Wall Street elites are rapacious monsters who hoard the nation's wealth and oppress working families. This is not an original myth, either. It's been around since the class-conflict agitators of 1848. It is also a very compelling us vs. them worldview that resonates with a lot of people.
When you're inside the Sanders myth, you see the world through the Bernie lens.
This brings memories... agitators of 1848, revolution spread around Europe, Hapsburgs quelling a revolution in Vienna only to watch Hungary, nearly half of the empire, raising in rebelion that lasted until Czar send help a year later, stimulating dense Romantic poetry that till today children in Central Europe are forced to learn. Final stanza translated into English (it has a very compelilng rhytm in the original)
[the funeral of an agitator of 1848 turns into a march of specters that disturb comfortable city dwellers]
And we shall drag on the funeral procession, saddening sleeping cities
Banging upon gates with urns, whistling into the notches of hatchets
Until the walls of Jericho fall like logs
Fainting hearts shall be revived; nations shall clear their musty eyes
Onward-OnwardWilliam Gruff:SharonM , Feb 21 2020 13:14 utc | 125
So, do you basically imply that the next run, after Black, Woman and Gay, would be Latino? In which case they actually planned well ahead and AOC could be their card for 2032? Or would that be too far-fetched? (she seems to go a bit too far into leftism for that after all)@108 CirceSharonM , Feb 21 2020 13:20 utc | 126
Against war and for Trump? 🤣🤣🤣
Trust me, Bernie's not starting any war at his age, and he's from a bucolic state. If you think Bernie's for war and I'm an imperialist, then must be a real bad judge of character. You fool no one. You hate Bernie for some other stupid reason."
Here are some relevant questions with Bernie's answers:
*Question: Would you consider military force to pre-empt an Iranian or North Korean nuclear or missile test?
*Question: Would you consider military force for a humanitarian intervention?
*Question: If Russia continues on its current course in Ukraine and other former Soviet states, should the United States regard it as an adversary, or even an enemy?
*Question: Should Russia be required to return Crimea to Ukraine before it is allowed back into the G-7?
Don't care about your dumb opinion, Circe. But I don't want anyone else here to think I'm some supporter of the U.S. regimes two war parties. Bernie is just like Trump, Obama, the Bush and Clinton families--warmongering assholes all of them.@113 JamesVictor , Feb 21 2020 13:49 utc | 127
I agree. An actual revolution here would probably require masses of people on the verge of starvation. But perhaps there's a trigger event that we can't foresee?As long as Sanders treats Latin America with respect, I will vote for him. He just said that he backs Evo Morales in Bolivia. That is a good sign.john , Feb 21 2020 13:59 utc | 128Willy2 @ 122 says:Jackrabbit , Feb 21 2020 14:10 utc | 129
Bernie Sanders has promised FREE education/college and FREE Healthcare. Although I have SERIOUS doubts how he is going to pay for all that FREE stuff,...
and there's the rub, or the common denominator between domestic policy and foreign policy...i.e. lucre (and hellfire missiles are so much sexier , right?).
if a candidate is not clamoring loudly that the defense budget must be cut by at least 50%, he or she is being disingenuous, if not downright deceptive, about enacting any kind of national healthcare, education, or whatnot.james @113:Circe , Feb 21 2020 14:25 utc | 130[If Bernie wins] the war party is still in control.. i am inclined to more radical thinking ... at this point.
When reasonable, level-headed people like james are "inclined to more radical thinking" then the establishment is really in trouble.
Will they take heed? Nah, they'll just send out more Circe dembots.
!!@125 SharonMclickkid , Feb 21 2020 14:40 utc | 131
If you were an anti-war candidate running for President of a militarized security state that is so easily brainwashed by half a billion dollars in ads run by a war-mongering Ziofascist and one of the highest-circulated Zionist-run propaganda rags asked trap questions to test their definition of patriotism on you, you too would go through the motions and give them what they wanna hear so they would leave you the fock alone for the rest of the campaign.
Now, if you're looking to blow in 15 minutes your years in the making efforts to win the Presidency and use your power to change that security state mentality, then you would stupidly answer what you're suggesting.
You're a Trumpbot. AND I COULD GIVE A SHET WHAT YOU THINK.
Bernie wants to restore the Iran deal, and do diplomacy with Iran, and substantially reduce military spending. Bernie is as anti-war a politicisn as I've seen in my lifetime. I'll bank on his wisdom over your intellectual dishonesty ANY DAY, ANY TIME, ANY WHERE. Unlike you, a lousy judge of character, or just plain demonizing Trumpbot on a fool's mission, I am an excellent judge of character who had Ziofascist Trump pegged from day one and took two years of flak for it! Today, I've been vindicated in every way. Ziofascist Trump is the agent provocateur in the Middle East unilaterally, repeatedly resorting to multiple acts of war against the Palestinians, Syria, Iraq and Iran. If he didn't trigger war yet, it's not for lack of trying! Everyone is wisely on hold prevailing on their cool-headedness hoping Americans elect a SANE, and more humane President, and that President will be Bernie Sanders.
When Bernie shuts the door on that lunatic's orange-cake face the entire planet will breathe A COLLECTIVE SIGH.
Now go bark your fake purist bullshet at someone stupid enough to fall for it. I'm a firewall for the truth and you're barking up the wrong tree and messing with someone berning for justice.
PRESIDENT BERNIE SANDERS
Get used to it; it's happening.@ Circe | Feb 21 2020 14:25 utc | 130clickkid , Feb 21 2020 14:43 utc | 132
If Sanders actually got into the Presidency and threatened established interests, then he would be given a non-refusable invitation to vist Dallas and drive past the Texas Shoolbook Depositary.Or even the:SharonM , Feb 21 2020 14:43 utc | 133
Texas schoolbook depository@130 CirceBlue Dotterel , Feb 21 2020 14:49 utc | 134
Oh sure, Bernie is just playing 4d chess, right? We've been hearing that for years about Trump as he bombs countries, assassinates people, and overthrows governments. We'll have to relive it all hearing about Bernie's grand scheme to undermine the MIC by doing exactly what the MIC wants. You're just another fake following a warmonger.Piotr Berman,Circe , Feb 21 2020 14:52 utc | 135
"But the oligarchy and sectors close to oligarchy are already worried exactly about that. For example, certain David Brook is almost morose. A nightmare that is at least 170 years old reappeared"
Well if Sanders does manages to get the Dem. nomination, then go ahead and vote for him. Just, do not expect anything to change during his administration.
Otherwise, if someone else gets it, Sanders will be put out to pasture, and no one will hear from him again. He was pretty quiet the past three years. For Sanders, and his domestic ideas to blossom, he needs to be able to win the presidency, not just run for it. This is why the Oligarchy will probably tank him. Right now, very few people in the US are politically active. It is only the primaries after all. They are mostly ignored by the vast majority of the electorate despite CNN's propaganda polls (which read only 52% interest anyway). In fact, US elections for pres are regularly ignored by almost half the population, anyway.
If anyone else gets the dem nomination, there is no point voting for the Oligarch Party.@117 jaredLikklemore , Feb 21 2020 14:57 utc | 136
Do you realize the damage you're doing to your credibility and reputation tooting Bloomberg's horn here?
Bloomberg is a rabid Zionist who defied a flight ban making a cruel, pompous spectacle of himself flying into Tel Aviv during Israel's massive criminal assault on Gaza while vociferously supporting Israel's shelling of children, schools and hospitals.
Bloomberg is a Ziofascist Israel shill Neocon BUSH jr REPUBLICAN. Complete Presidential disqualification in one sentence.
Now run along with your leaky can of Bloomberg whitewash.
Sheesh, how pathetic!Walter , Feb 21 2020 15:03 utc | 137
Posted by: Krollchem | Feb 21 2020 8:27 utc | 112
If the State legislature chooses to ignore the vote then your argument is not valid.
Please see the US Constitution that I linked...
And you continue to ignore Process. Well, in Constitutional Law courses that very scenario is addressed. In Law, Process matters.
if the State legislature choses to ignore the vote.."[..]
if not members of the Parties elected to the Legislature, pray tell how is the Legislature comprised?
You do know when (ahead of the general election) the Republicans and Democratic Parties appoint their respective representative slate of electors they take into account Party Loyalists who are pledged to vote the presidential ticket?
On pledges of the electors: 29 states have laws forbidding the electors to violate their pledges.
In recent history: December 2016, Trump had the required electoral votes and the Hillary Mob attempted a full-throated campaign to have some of the Republican electors switch their votes at the Electoral College!!
How did that work out?
There were 7 "Faithless electors" who ignored their pledges. Oeps of the 7: five defected Democratic-loser Clinton and two the Republican president- elect. [Cases are on appeal before the Supreme Court; to be heard in 2019-2020 term]
When the Electors' switchero campaign did not succeed, Russiagate was the lever to frustrate Trump's presidency. Russiagate will continue as long as the orangeman occupies the White House.WP > "...After a senior U.S. intelligence official told lawmakers last week that Russia wants to see President Trump reelected..."Jackrabbit , Feb 21 2020 15:08 utc | 138
UNZ> "...Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Vice President Biden are being told that if they do not get out of the race and clear the lane for the mayor, they will get a socialist as their nominee, and the party will deserve the fate November will bring -- a second term for Trump..."
Now then, when will the intel dudes claim Buttboi and Buyiden and Klob are commie agents? Why already Wally suspects Putin's on the secret Badenov Shoe-phone with his vast army of verraters... I mean, there must be Some Truth, right?
And if (mirabele dictu) Burner get's 'lected and avoids Dallas... if that, then how will they change the story and tell us Burner is a Putin controlled Putin versteher?
("We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." (CIA Director Casey)
Karlofi mooted Beard's "Republic"... A proud attempt by Beard, but, alas (!) it reads like a sad comic... Painful.
Perhaps one interesting point there though > Lincoln's first inaugural.
I'll leave that for K-Man to discuss, if he likes.I'm all for disrupting the Democratic Party by voting for Sanders in the Primary.Circe , Feb 21 2020 15:23 utc | 139
But anyone that thinks that Sanders will be allowed to actually win the Primary is smoking something. And anyone that thinks that Sanders isn't working with the Democratic establishment to accomplish their goals is snorting something.
Sanders is there as window-dressing and to lure young voters into the Democratic Party fold as a "Democracy Works!" ploy (a form of 'stay in school' PSA) .
The Democratic Party won't actually nominate him because Americans would vote for Bernie's anti-oligarch program in droves. Anyone with any sense knows that the oligarchs have too much money and too much power and that government services monied interests instead of the people.
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We are now in a new Cold War. And we are on the brink of ANOTHER major war in the Middle East. It's long-past time to see through the bullshit propaganda, fakery, and scheming.
!!Copy/paste Jackrabbit who hasn't hatched an original thought in quite some time tries to project his professional troll gig on me. Dembot? Is that all you could come up with?Walter , Feb 21 2020 15:23 utc | 140
As with Bernie, I might be more like, hmmm... how would I describe myself?
The Dems worst nightmare⁉️ 😜
...soon to become the Trump-era TERMINATOR.
or, better yet, Circe unleashed.Jackrabbit | Feb 21 2020 15:08 utc | 138Copeland , Feb 21 2020 15:55 utc | 141
"...This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing Government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it..."
Wally is a bit shocked...here's Lincoln saying the Revolution is a Right... And he wuz smokin...what?
But yes, context matters...read the entire document>
First Inaugural Address of Abraham Lincoln
MONDAY, MARCH 4, 1861
Fellow-Citizens of the United States: (avalon / yale / edu an' all of that)All the slander being heaped upon Bernie is not going to drain one jot of energy from the momentum of his campaign. The trolls desire above all for a tide of chaos to wash over the country. The energy in this movement is going play out on the convention floor and beyond; and the spirit of the people is not about to be diminished or crushed.William Gruff , Feb 21 2020 16:29 utc | 142
It is best not to give up on the struggle, especially when the stakes have been made so clear as Bloomberg plants the flag of oligharchy in this election. Only Sanders and Warren had the decency to react with moral vigor to this outrage.
This is far from over. This is just getting interesting.Clueless Joe @124fnord , Feb 21 2020 16:40 utc | 143
Correct, as I see it that would be too far-fetched. I cannot see AOC being managed opposition, even if her behavior doesn't seem very leftish sometimes. The establishment's biggest concern with their management of the political process is to make sure that some of the things that AOC discusses remain outside the scope of acceptable political discourse. See Willy2 above with his "Free stuff!" narrative for how the establishment wants people to react... the establishment wants to prevent the public from even considering reallocating resources away from the military and corporate subsidies to so-called "Free stuff!" While AOC's ideology and support for Pelosi and such might leave some leftists unimpressed, the fact that she even discusses free-at-the-point-of-use healthcare and education as well as living wages strongly suggests that she is not part of the establishment's operation.
I honestly do not think the establishment has any plans for pandering very much to Latin American identity... there is far too much revolution in that identity. My guess is that the plans post-Butt-gig are to mix things up... say a Black lesbian or Black transsexual, for instance. Keep in mind this would be planned for 2028 (previously 2030) so whoever they have in mind would only be starting to get publicly groomed for the job now. The potential individuals may not have even had their debutante unveiling to the public yet.@Copeland, 141William Gruff , Feb 21 2020 17:01 utc | 144
The trolls desire above all for a tide of chaos to wash over the country.
Well, true, but we don't need much help. The Sanders campaign has been a gift to socialists who can piggy-back off of his demolition of decades of John Birch Society indoctrination against socialism. But as far as I'm concerned, that's the only good thing he's done. Him losing will be better for socialists - who can benefit from his supporters flocking to our organizations - rather than him winning and forcing us to take him in as "our guy" or us being tarred with any failures of his presidency."[Sanders] losing will be better for socialists..." --fnord @143Circe , Feb 21 2020 17:03 utc | 145
Not good strategy. People are not ready to go for real revolution yet. They need to try half measures first and see those half measures fail or be attacked and defeated by the oligarchs. Sanders losing will cause many people to either drop out of the movement or switch to the far right. Sanders victory is needed just to show the masses that victory is possible. People pursue socialist revolution out of a sense of optimism and open possibilities, not desperation. Desperation leads to fascism.Uh-Oh, Jackrabbit just got scorched by Walter's bern brilliance.Circe , Feb 21 2020 17:28 utc | 146
I'm a lover of pithy truth, and here's one to describe Bernie's movement:
The real revolution is the evolution of consciousness.
Here's one to prepare for Trump's Bernie strategy:
When a narcissist can no longer control you, they will instead try to control how others see you.
(In other words, always keep in mind; they're coming at you from a position of weakness.)
In my words:
The key to triumph over evil is to take the fight into the light and INSPIRE ALLEGIANCE.
That's Bernie's strength, and that's why Bernie Sanders will become the 46th President of the United States.
While Trump boasts he's the master of 4D chess; he will be outplayed by Bernie Sanders, the 4D Master of CHESED .
Bernie Sanders will defeat Donald J. Trump to become President of the United States.
Feb 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Kali , Feb 20 2020 17:54 utc | 11Many of Sanders supporters on Twitter will tell you that his foreign policy utterances are what "he has to do" so that the media doesn't increase their attacks on him. They say it is a con. A lot of others like the people at WSWS disagree completely. I don't know for sure, but it does make sense to play along with the establishment while you don't have power. And Tulsi is part of the Sanders Institute. As for Tulsi being VP, there would be unanimous outrage like you have never seen from so many liberals because Hinduphobia is rampant among so many of them. This explains how they have have been conned by a smear psy-op against Tulsi Gabbard: Anatomy of A Smear: How Liberals Have Become Willing Dupes of Foreign Political Psy-Ops
Adrian E. , Feb 20 2020 18:08 utc | 14I find some of Sanders' answers about foreign policy extremely hawkish:NemesisCalling , Feb 20 2020 19:35 utc | 32
The most extreme thing is that Sanders would consider military force to prevent even just a missile test.
He also says he would "consider" "humanitarian interventions" without saying anything about those "humanitarian interventions" based on lies that led to deterioration of the humanitarian situation.
Under normal situations, I would think that Sanders' foreign policy positions should disqualify him. But we are talking here about the United States of America, a country with extreme disregard for international law, and it is probably correct that all other candidates who have a chance of being elected would be even worse (compared to the extremists Biden, Bloomberg, Klobuchar, and Buttigieg, Sanders' hawkishness and aggressive rhetoric against Russia seems relatively harmless). Compared to Trump, Sanders is probably the lesser evil.
But I doubt he will be inclined to go against the neocons who dominate the foreign policy establishment and the secret services.
I used to think that if Sanders is president, Gabbard could be Secretary of State or vice president. But now, I think this is unlikely. First because of many jingoistic statements by Sanders, but second also because polls show that Tulsi Gabbard seems to be quite unpopular among the US population. It seems that, while in Sanders' case the smears in the media don't work well because people already know Sanders well enough, in Gabbard's case, the smears seem to have worked. Sanders probably will not want to burden his administration with someone who is so hated by a large part of the Democratic electorate.
I think Tulsi Gabbard will be needed for something else if Sanders is elected, for pressuring Sanders from outside the government.The question is not if Sanders should choose Gabbard as V.P., the question is why he wouldn't, and that my friends will tell you all you need to know about Sanders and his genuine interest in leading this country.bevin , Feb 20 2020 19:40 utc | 33
If Gabbard is left off his ticket he will lose. If he chooses her, it will excite the left like nobody's business and he will cruise to victory utilizing the antiwar vote that got Trump into office.
But...you do have the establishment left who may not want anything to do with the antiwar and populist conjoinment of Sanders/Gabbard. It may be too world-shaking for them and they may throw their lot in with Trump.
Either way, I think we are in good shape, barring a full Neocon push to colonize Trump's presidency.It is very curious that there seems to me something approaching unanimity-among the commenters- that Sanders is the candidate who is least trustworthy.Robert Shule , Feb 20 2020 19:44 utc | 34
I note that Jackrabbit even wheels out his old "Bernie the sheepdog" routine despite the fact that the rest of the Democrats continue to do all that they can to sabotage his campaign, ensuring that his supporters, when cheated in Convention, are going to walk out. Which, for those unacquainted with the logistics of pastoral agriculture, is not what sheepdogs-employed to gather the flocks together and deliver them to be clipped or butchered-do.
Of course the issue is imperialism. But imperialism is not an ideological but a material matter: among the material bases of the Empire is the superstition that the United States is under constant military threat and that, unless Americans voluntarily impoverish themselves, by giving vast sums to the MIC, they will lose everything. And the world will disintegrate. To undermine imperialism in the United States it is necessary to empower the only forces that can defeat the MIC-the masses, taxpayers working hours a week for the trillion dollar defense budget and workers afraid to stop making the rich ever richer and themselves poorer, less secure and more vulnerable.
Sanders challenges this view. And he does so from a very old-fashioned position. He is arguing that social and economic security should be the first priorities of government and that, in order to defend the constantly threatened benefits that exist and to extend them to such popular areas as healthcare and free tuition, it is necessary to restore the freedom to organise that existed before Taft Hartley.
The DNC and the anti Sanders forces are the current iteration of the coalition of Republican reactionaries and the Tammany/Jim Crow bosses that brought about Taft Hartley and the Cold War, the twin foundations of imperialist politics in the United States for more than seventy years.
As to Israel Sanders' position is one that is utter anathema to the Zionists- a clue being the enormous resources they are mobilising against him. A call for 'peace' and an end to the 'conflict' being the one policy that not only appeals to public opinion but cannot be countenanced by any of the Israeli parties all of which have committed their all to eradicating all traces of Palestine and dominating the middle east.In the Nevada debate I noticed how the candidates other than Bernie at many times were talking into the cameras and over the heads of the people in the audience while garbling out their resumes about how they are the best candidate to beat Trump as if that was the debate question put to them. In doing so, I think they are really out boot-licking for super delegates.Piotr Berman , Feb 20 2020 19:46 utc | 35
Sanders is a pro-war imperialist, clearly.Jackrabbit , Feb 20 2020 20:05 utc | 36
Posted by: SharonM | Feb 20 2020 18:57 utc | 28
Sanders does not seem a pro-war imperialist, and he has SOME positive statements on foreign policy now, and according to my observations in 2016, we is not interested in foreign policy and he wants to fight on one front. He also detests the leadership of Israel, but given his roots etc. he did not want to say anything on that, just some isolated statement when confronted in meetings with voters.
Now that he expected to be a front runner he hired the most progressive chaps from the mainline Democratic think tanks, and clearly, you can take them from CAP etc. but you cannot totally remove CAP etc. out of them. Coming from environment where "muscular liberals" keep taunting "so do you love dictators", after few years you prepare "appropriate defenses".
"Yes" on "Would you consider military action if Iran or North Korea did X" was a typical weaseling. "Not considering war under ANY circumstances" is still a third rail in American policies. So one "Yes" was placed in the questionaire. But he also had a long paragraph about diplomacy first, last resort, requesting advise and approval from Congress, so it was formal "considering", not "willingness". Your can interpreted differently, and that was the whole purpose.
I would ask something about economic warfare, sanctions etc., like how he would weight "applying pressure on regimes" versus "welfare of the population", how much of deprivation is too much. And selection criteria for the list of "regimes". Do absolute monarchies get exemption, perhaps on the account of reigning by the grace of G..d? When do we "worry" about events during vote counting (no worry on Honduras, grave concern on Bolivia). And so on.bevin @33: It is very curious ...lysias , Feb 20 2020 20:05 utc | 37
Well, it's very curious that Sanders accepts the party line on Russiagate/Russian meddling.
And it's very curious that Sanders attacks Maduro as a Dictator that must be removed.
And it's very curious that Sanders' bill to prevent US support for the war on Yemen had big loopholes.
And Sanders' 2016 campaigning was also very curious for his amazing deference to Hillary.
Also curious: how Sanders' candidacy is used as Democracy Works! propaganda to shore-up a corrupt. EMPIRE-FIRST political system.
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If WE can all see that the Democratic Party is scheming to have a brokered convention, WHY CAN'T BERNIE SEE IT? Well, of course he sees it. But he doesn't do anything about it. He plays into it by stressing his support for 'party unity'.
!!Gabbard as VP would be Sanders's best insurance against being assassinated.Piotr Berman , Feb 20 2020 20:05 utc | 38Jackrabbit, are you quoting someone or yourself, you use quotation paragraphs without attributing to anyone.waste , Feb 21 2020 0:06 utc | 75
Concerning tactical advise, I do not think that you tested it on "focus groups" or in any other way. Identity politics is a third rail in the territory to the left and center of the political centrum. Some aspects are OK, like changing attitude to work place sexual harassment or even demeaning. Shaming homosexual is medieaval (going back to a ancient Greek attitudes could be a step to far).
But there is a need to avoid alienating working class people who do not ascribe to political correctness. But what would you like to give up as an issue? The right to terminate pregnancy? Sanders made a choice that I fully approve: prying guns from the hands of the working people is a futile, alienating, and he did not win so many elections in a rural state full of hunters by trying that. He is correctly accused of never advocating gun control. But you cannot run in Democratic party AGAINST gun control, not because of DNC and other sinister powers (although they love the issue) but there is a wide constituency for it. As a hiker, I appreciate extensive state forests and game reserves created because of the wide support from the hunters, and the fact that the hunting in my state is forbidden on Sunday. "And on the seventh day thou shall hike".
Once I thought about a compromise good for running in the South, namely, why not agree to hand some commandments in public building, say, 5 out of 10? One could make a referendum choosing the "top 5".Thanks b for watching the debate for us :)M , Feb 21 2020 0:52 utc | 80
Even if sanders gets the nomination (a very very big if), don 't expect him to go all anti-systemic at all, more the opposite I would say. So Tulsi for VC is like a red herring, he would probably choose a "moderate" for VC.
The following article is a very interesting one, showing the type of socialist sanders is. His ideas about socialism are closer to the european socialdemocratic system after the 90s , and we all know what a trainwreck that is.
https://libcom.org/library/bernie-sanders-paradox-when-socialism-grows-oldTulsi won't be getting the hypothetical VP nod. Conservative voters may like her, but true-blue Democrats absolutely despise her. (You can thank the Clinton faction for both.) If Sanders picked her, the noisiest elements of the media would scream RUSSIA until their throats bled.
Sanders won't move very far rightward on the policy front as the general election approaches, which means he needs to appease the Sensible Liberals through other means. Bellicose rhetoric w/r/t Russia serves that purpose, and allows him to push back against insinuations that he benefited from or abetted Russia's Great Election Heist of 2016. Today's rhetoric may not become tomorrow's policy, though I won't be holding my breath.
The Jackrabbits who think Sanders doesn't stand a chance of being nominated are underestimating the ineptitude and unpopularity of the Democratic Party, the depth of which may somehow overcome even the most strenuous attempts at fixing the race's outcome. Sheepdog though he may be, I'm hoping to see Sanders herding politicians instead of voters come next February.
Feb 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
karlof1 , Feb 20 2020 20:43 utc | 43bevin @33--
Thanks for that bit of analysis!
I'll forever argue that the United States of America's government was designed to be a social democratic republic. Proof of this deliberate design is found within the rationale for the federal government as stated in the Constitution's Preamble:
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
I'll argue that establishing Justice and insuring domestic Tranquility means not to promote policies that result in economic divisiveness and massive disparities of wealth--what that hell's tranquil or justified about Bloomberg owning as much wealth as @160 million people: almost 1/2 of the populous?!?! How is it possible to secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity in the face of such unjust, immoral disparities?! And I could go on and rant a lot more, but I think my point's made. Clearly, the best political weapon and campaign asset Sanders could deploy is the Preamble and argue that the Oligarchs and their Establishment are UnAmerican at best and Traitors at worst.
As I wrote the other day echoing Solomon and Sanders, it's a Class War, and we need everyone to come to the barricades and the polling stations!! And the naysayers better get the hell out-of-the-way or be trampled underneath the masses clamoring for a huge change in direction, which we might call back to fundamentals.
Feb 21, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Master Slacker , 20 February 2020 at 02:41 PMThe longer this Democrat dog and pony show continues the more I have a sense that it is a false flag operation whereby the most unelectable (Feel the Bern) is being raised while the most competitive (Tulsi Gabbard) has been shunted aside leaving no trace.Tom Milton , 20 February 2020 at 04:51 PMMaster Slacker et alEureka Springs , 20 February 2020 at 05:06 PM
Was privileged to attend a Tulsi Town Hall last evening in Colorado Springs.
Very impressive from start to finish. Estimate 300 attended, many young military, and many there identified as Republicans including a former CO State Senator.
Try to catch this wonderful candidate in person. Her positions are available in considerable detail on Wikipedia.
She may be shunted aside by the MSM, but she's leaving way more than a trace for sure -- a redemptive force for a troubled and divided nation.With exception of Sanders I can't imagine any candidate on the stage last night offering Gabbards a position in their administration.divadab , 20 February 2020 at 05:54 PM
If Bernie Sanders were President of say any South American country every other Democrat on stage last night would be delighted as president themselves to covertly and overtly destroy him and his nation. Think Honduras, Paraguay, Venezuela and Bolivia for the most recent examples.
This country is getting a very clear lesson in the fact not only is not a democracy, it's anti-democratic to its core. I hope at long last it finally sinks in among the half of eligible voters who still legitimize it with their vote.The US of A should do as EVERY other advanced economy did - and implement single payer healthcare and eject the profiteers from the medical system, which is a public good. Germany has had universal medical care since Otto von Bismarck implemented in the 1870's to unify the country - most other countries implemented it in the 20th century (UK just after WW2; Canada in 1963' and so on). This will liberate US Americans from the advanced world's most expensive and inefficient health insurance system, with administrative costs of over 20% compared to Canada's 2-3% depending on province. And Bernie Sanders is the only Dem candidate who unequivocally stands for Medicare for all - the rest are to some degree or other captured by health industry cartel payoffs, much as the Dem party is.
Bernie or bust! He's not a commie; he's a democratic socialist, in the model of FDR's New Deal. Yes he's bad on foreign policy - do you-all really approve of what Trump has been doing on behalf of "client states" who really run the foreign policy show in their domains? I'm not sure if this will ever change - no president wants to end up like JFK. But what is important is to improve the lot of all of us poor citizens who get to pay for all these shitshow foreign SNAFU's - will they ever end? Not while the likes of Pompeus Maximus is in charge....
Feb 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.orgvk , Feb 20 2020 18:22 utc | 19I don't think we should be delving on Sanders' foreign policy too much.
Obama was elected on a "hope and change" platform - mentioning removing troops from Iraq, Afghanistan, closing Guantanamo etc. and then, boom, Libya, drones, private contractors and Syria happened.
Also, we have the Deep State, which is the true dictator of American foreign policy. This is the team of "experts" and "advisers" who will "educate" whoever is newly elected to the WH. So it doesn't really matter what the candidates state about foreign policy at this point.
It really doesn't matter what Sanders says on the FP front.
Piotr Berman , Feb 20 2020 20:43 utc | 44And Sanders' 2016 campaigning was also very curious for his amazing deference to Hillary .Bubbles , Feb 20 2020 21:30 utc | 51
Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 20 2020 20:05 utc | 36
I will not defend Sanders from basing his foreign policy on the progressive outliers of reactionary CAP. There is a distinct danger that he would be malleable on foreign policy, but also a hope... The hope is that he collected a lot of supporters who are less deferential to DC consensus than himself.
The deference to Hillary was a good tactical choice in my humble opinion. He leads the insurgents who do not favor the current DNC and party apparatus. To win a national elections he does need cooperation across party spectrum. PUMA is a real danger against that (search PUMA 2008 election). So he can (a) challenge and shame possible repeaters of PUMA (b) give good example (c) rely on his feared supporters who are guaranteed to be suspicious and grumpy.
Bloomberg as the champion of moderate democrats reminds me the candidate for Polish presidency that Nationalists put forth in 1922. He was the top aristocrat, with vast holdings. Nationalists had hopes of attracting the larger and very moderate peasant party, but moderate as they were, they just could not vote for Aristocrat Number One. A lot of Democrats prefer Sanders over Bloomberg, even the moderate ones. If Sanders becomes top in delegate count and Bloomberg second, brokering the convention against Sanders will be hard.I started out to say that Sanders can't compete in the American Political sham reality if he goes ball to the wall against Israel's aggression's and totally illegal behaviour which is supported by Democrats and Republican's alike because of the monetary power the Zionist fifth column in America wields with their "Benjamins"Patroklos , Feb 20 2020 22:30 utc | 59
Hat tip to that tiny girl born in Somalia for calling a spade a spade. Courage should be rewarded, not attacked by those who disrespect truth and decency.On Sanders' foreign policy: we shouldn't forget that democracies are belligerent, that the link between war and high citizen participation in decision-making was the hallmark of classical antiquity. More recently, the icing on FDR's New Deal was ww2. It doesn't surprise me that a shift to social democracy does not imply a decrease in external belligerence. In fact moderate right-wing libertarians tend on the whole to be the least fond of war, unless it's about protecting their interests. But when the interests at stake are understood by the deliberative citizen body (e.g. SPQR or ὁ δῆμος) to be those of the collective citizen body, then war is endemic. I am reminded too that one of the most left-wing institutions (in spirit at least) in the US is the Marine Corps: the polis is a warrior-guild (Max Weber)waste , Feb 21 2020 0:06 utc | 75Thanks b for watching the debate for us :)Jackrabbit , Feb 21 2020 0:27 utc | 78
Even if sanders gets the nomination (a very very big if), don 't expect him to go all anti-systemic at all, more the opposite I would say. So Tulsi for VC is like a red herring, he would probably choose a "moderate" for VC.
The following article is a very interesting one, showing the type of socialist sanders is. His ideas about socialism are closer to the european socialdemocratic system after the 90s , and we all know what a trainwreck that is.
https://libcom.org/library/bernie-sanders-paradox-when-socialism-grows-oldkarlof1 @62, b4real @73
Whether he realizes it or not, karlof1 is exposing a version of the establishment-friendly "best of all worlds" (BOAW) political theory
BOAW was popular when Obama the deceiver was President. It fits well with his neoliberal hucksterism aka "social choice theory".
BOAW says that if something is wrong or can be improved, it will get attention and be addressed because people will get behind the change necessary to make it happen.
But the Empire and great wealth disparity has distorted democratic processes into something garish - like fun house mirrors. BOAW is now recognized as simply hopium propaganda and is hardly ever even mentioned anymore.
Feb 16, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
1. Bernie Sanders is a Marxist who is not afraid to stand up in public for himself. His honeymoon in the USSR is not likely to be forgotten. He is a communist fellow traveler who has become a member of the rentier class. He wants to abolish private health insurance. Really! De Blasio and AOC, two more open Marxists are on his team? Really?
2. IMO Elizabeth Warren is an obvious serial liar who reminds me of a second grade teacher with enthusiasms for projects that the little children had better get on board for, or else! Another millionaire in socialist clothing.
3. And, there is Mayor Pete, the darling of the Wall Street population and all the world's bankers. Somehow the creatures of the coastal cities don't understand that the American electorate is not ready to elect a cute, openly homosexual man who will live in the White House with his husband and child. It is not going to happen this time around.
4. Amy Klobuchar - An obscure Mid-Western senator who shows signs of an idealism that might be a problem for the professional pols. She might do something not in their script.
5. Mikey Bloomberg - The People's Party is going to put forward a guy worth over $60 billion? Really? If that were not bad enough, the man has a long history of total ineptitude in human relations involving blacks and women? Really? Watch him try to mix with ordinary people in crowds. Sad.
6. Hillary? Old Deplorable herself? Trump beat her once already in the Electoral College, where the fraud in California's popular vote did not matter. A lot of people loath her.
7. Tulsi Gabbard. God bless her. I would vote for her but the Gays and the Zionists are both against her. This is not going to happen.
8. Tom Steyr - Ho hum. A taller version of Bloomberg, he made his money by investing in coal mines and now is a fanatic "climate change" guy.
9. Joe Biden. He was asked by Jorge Ramos "why did you and Obama lock up so many illegal kids on the border?" He replied "we were taking care of them." IMO he is and has always been a crooked, not too smart politician from a very small state. Hell! In Delaware you can know most of the electorate personally. He is done.
All of these folks are addicted to private jets that they hire if they do not actually own one or two. Naughty! Naughty!
And! On the other side we have the orange man. He will be quite happy to run against these guys. BTW I doubt that he has a billion in cash. That is probably why he doesn't want to release his tax returns. He came into office with little understanding of the differences between government and business and still knows little about that. He wants to believe that everyone in the Executive Branch is his personal employee. He is wrong about that.
BTW. McCabe IS NOT "off the hook." The particular charge DoJ is not going to try him for is the least of his problems.
Ah! The Bonfire of the Vanities. pl
Flavius , 16 February 2020 at 10:10 AM"BTW. McCabe IS NOT "off the hook." The particular charge DoJ is not going to try him for is the least of his problems."divadab , 16 February 2020 at 11:35 AM
So true...and he knows it. You'll notice they haven't yet indicted the FBI lawyer who made a material misrepresentation on the Page FISC affidavit either. Comey, McCabe, Clapper, Brennan are being investigated for their roles in having blown up the Presidential electoral process in the United States. The DoJ is not about to make itself up front look petty, vindictive, and stupid by indicting McCabe for spitting on the sidewalk. The Democrats would love to take advantage of that opportunity.
For those paying attention, this provides a welcome contrast to the way the political jihadists under Mueller conducted themselves - Flynn, Manafort, Stone, Papanobody. Ditto the Schiff impeachment debacle. Pure chickenshit made into red meat by an obliging institutional media.
It's heartening to see some evidence of judgement has returned to the Department.Sir - if Bernie Sanders is a Marxist so was FDR. They are both New Deal Democrats, representing the working people against the rapacious oligarchs.turcopolier , 16 February 2020 at 12:02 PM
Further, Medicare for All is a bare minimum of what is required to uplift the citizens of this nation. It seems increasingly that we cannot stop the warmongers in their desire to dominate or destroy so the best policy is to improve the lot of the citizens. That's what Bernie is about.
Incidentally, a proposed Bloomberg/Clinton ticket epitomises the corruption and stupidity and incompetence of the Dem elite. Contemptible scum.divadabJack , 16 February 2020 at 12:12 PM
Oh, BS! FDR was nothing like Bernie. What, he created Social Security and that made him a commie? Medicare for all would beggar us unless we ration care like they do in places like Canada.Sir,NancyK , 16 February 2020 at 12:43 PM
The optics of the non-prosecution of McCabe is not looking good when the DOJ have prosecuted Stone and Flynn for the same thing. There's no doubt we have a 2-tier justice system with a very corrupt prosecutorial system and a judiciary in lock step with them. The FISA court exemplifies this.
As far as the Orangeman is concerned he seems not much different than all the others. At the end of the day he hired Rosenstein, Wray, Sessions, Barr, Bolton, Kelly and Mattis. While he's got the prerogative to declassify he shirked each time and passed the buck. His shtick of being the representative of the Deplorables is just that. He only cares about his own skin.
He's completely in thrall of the Saudi bonesaw and Bibi's maximalist visions.
The bottom line in my opinion is we have a broken political, media and governmental system as the people the voters encourage to run it are as corrupt as in any tinpot banana republic.
Personally I'd like to see Trump vs Bernie as it would implode the Democrats and show clearly how polarized the electorate really is and how venal the media have become. What will they do when they hate both candidates?divadad,Sam Iam , 16 February 2020 at 12:58 PM
rationed care is better than no care at all or care that bankrupts the family. I think most Canadian's prefer their system than ours. Having said that I don't agree with Medicare for all but I do think that individuals and families who cannot afford medical insurance should have affordable options available to them.Sir,D , 16 February 2020 at 01:06 PM
To help clarify Sander's world view, I'll present to this this snippet from a recent interview where he brings up modern-day China:
"It wasn't so many decades ago that there was mass starvation in China. All right? There is not mass starvation today and people have got -- the government has got to take credit for the fact that there is now a middle class in China. No one denies that more people in China have a higher standard of living than use to be the case. All right? That's the reality.
On the other hand, China is a dictatorship. It does not tolerate democracy, i.e., what they're doing in Hong Kong. They do not tolerate independent trade unions and the Communist Party rules with a pretty iron fist. So, and by the way, in recent years, Xi has made the situation even worse. So, I mean, I'll give, you give people credit where it is due. But you have to maintain values of democracy and human rights and certainly that does not exist in China."One bonfire that refuses to die and flamed up again today - Crowdstrike and the media's total refusal to even mention its name, which was the really critical part of the Ukrainian phone call. Not their phony quid pro quo.b , 16 February 2020 at 01:10 PM
All Democrat candidates need to questioned about Crowdstrike, since it led to two failed major Democrat-led actions against President Trump - The Mueller investigation and the Democrat impeachment.
Following article underscores what Larry Johnson has been reporting for years:
https://thenationalsentinel.com/2020/02/15/crowdstrike-claim-that-russia-hacked-dnc-server-remains-at-center-of-2016-spygate-scandal-hoax/Sander is a no 'Marxist' at all. I agree with this quote from Krugman (a Clinton guy):D , 16 February 2020 at 01:13 PMThe thing is, Bernie Sanders isn't actually a socialist in any normal sense of the term. He doesn't want to nationalize our major industries and replace markets with central planning; he has expressed admiration, not for Venezuela, but for Denmark. He's basically what Europeans would call a social democrat -- and social democracies like Denmark are, in fact, quite nice places to live, with societies that are, if anything, freer than our own.
The social democrat have always hated and fought against the communists who are the real Marxists.FDR strongly warned not to unionize government employees.Fred , 16 February 2020 at 01:16 PM
Sanders demands all workers shall be unionized, which is the backbone of the Green New Deal - mandatory union membership, creating vast slush funds of union dues going directly to the Democrat party.Divadab,D , 16 February 2020 at 01:16 PM
Just what has Bernie accomplished in 30 years in federal office, besides becoming a multimillionaire?What happened to the speculation that breaking the whole " Trump coup" conspiracy would take down all government agencies, including the Gang of 8?John Merryman , 16 February 2020 at 01:20 PM
Consequently, more than the Democrats are interested in burying any loose threads that could cause something much larger to unravel? Wolfe gets off. McCabe gets off. Page/Strozk leer smugly over glasses of wine. Clapper-Bernnan-Comey free as birds.The reality should not be so much about the personalities, as the processes driving them. We have this ideal of a nation of laws, not men, but the principle doesn't run that deep.eakens , 16 February 2020 at 01:45 PM
The medical situation, for instance, is rife with fraud and abuse. While some waste is necessary, the whole trial and error thing, our country's medical system is more about siphoning value out of the community, than effectively understanding the necessities of healthcare and trying to adequately provide for them, to the extent possible.
Which is not so much a healthcare issue, as it is a financial system issue. Here is a very insightful essay from Naked Capitalism, that could be applied across many fields;
Focus on the people distracts from the real issues.Good luck getting rid of the private insurance companies, lobbies, lawyers, accountants, and other third party beneficiaries of the private insurance market. United Healthcare has revenues of nearly a quarter trillion dollars just by itself. It's better to focus on what is possible instead of what is noble.james , 16 February 2020 at 02:53 PM
It is the same reason we won't be able to end all the wars, and simplify the tax code in a meaningful way. Intuit (the maker of TurboTax) is one of the largest supporters of complicating the forms and processes by which to file taxes.
The bottom line is that these are massive, structural changes that they would take constitutional amendments to fix since every 4-8 years some carpetbagger shows up seeking to undo what the other carpetbaggers did, and the only thing they do is create another cottage industry regulated by an equally large bureaucracy.
If you want to champion anything, start with campaign finance reform since everything else is just noise.basically you're saying 'the usa is screwed." that is what it sounds like to me..Dwight , 16 February 2020 at 03:17 PMOur current system already beggars most of us. Expensive yet insecure coverage that potentially bankrupts us all from surprise billing. Incredible time-suck to protect yourself from such predatory practices. (Though it appears Medicare recipients are protected from such price gouging.).Diana Croissant , 16 February 2020 at 03:30 PM
Employer-based coverage constrains job changes, and leaves people without coverage when they get laid off because of illness. I see Medicare for All as enhancing liberty. Tying health care to your employer is kind of feudal. Take away the tax breaks at least so the market is fair. I wouldn't mind paying premiums and copays, with monthly maximum, but wouldn't mind paying through taxes either.I am sorry, but my comment to this summary of the Democratic contenders is totally facetious. (Perhaps that is because if find all but Tulsi people who have been put forward by an obviously facetious group of people running the Democratic Party now.divadab , 16 February 2020 at 03:42 PM
Does anyone else suspect that Elizabeth Warren is making money on the side doing the voice for Pinocchio in the GEICO ads?Whoa! Quite a few responses - will try to answer in order:ISL , 16 February 2020 at 03:45 PM
@turcopolier - well I have direct experience of the Canadian system and based on many experiences, the Canadian universal single-payer system is not "rationed" in any way wrt urgent care. Yes if you have elective surgery like an arthroscopic knee repair of which I've had two and my choice was wait 3-5 months in Canada or pay $5,000 stateside and get it done next week. I paid. The choice of paying for service should never go away IMHO and this is a flaw among many which I note with Bernie's plan. Nonetheless he is articulating a bargaining position to attain something I think essential to re-organize the US health insurance system. WHy as a society are we paying twice as a percentage of gdp than Canada? It's profiteering. ANd Inefficiency. Probably in reverse order of importance, but they each feed the other.
@NancyK - some mix of a universal medicaire-style system with extra insurance available for those who want to pay for it (private room, immediate service, that kind of upgrade) might work, don't you think?
@fred - well, since you ask, and tho I'm no expert in the history of Bernie I do know this - he was mayor of Burlington VT for quite a while and you should take a walk around and see how some of his intitiatives have made Burlington more livable. ALso he garnered between 20 and 40 % of the Republican vote in his long run as Congressman from VT. As Representative and Senator he is well known for his successful amendements to the benefit of ALL
rather than for the benefit of the few, or, himself. He is only recently a millionaire, I understand, as he wrote a very successful book which made him a couple of million. Other than that, he owns real estate - who of his vintage who bought real estate has not made money?
Anyhoo, Bernie or bust!Dear Colonel,Dwight , 16 February 2020 at 03:49 PM
I find I agree completely with all your points, except (respectfully) the intensity of your Bernie blast. If medicare for all is such a bad idea, then I await Trump to propose revoking ALL the communistic gov't medical care programs (including the free one congress gets).
Spark!!! spark!!! spark!!! Third rail.
Also, I note that Tulsi's has many more enemies. I continue supporting her (she is doing better than Steyer and Yang) in the hope that Bernie has had her as VP in mind all along or else that she will spend the next four years building a support base for 2024.
Barring the economy cracking or a new ME mess (perhaps by an Iranian proxy in revenge), I agree that the Dems will get trounced outside their coastal enclaves, particularly if the Dems continue to cheat the process. Nothings says stay home like having your vote stolen.
In the economic regards, the Corona Virus is a potentially massive black swan event - the Fed already has been printing 100 billion per month to stave off economic collapse for five months now (socialism for the banks!!!! Get a pitchfork) and no intention to slowdown for the foreseeable future, so it's not clear they have the bullets to deal with a, at a minimum, Corona shutdown of US supply chains. With a up to 24 day before symptoms appear, and false negatives of up to 80% in the very few who are tested, efforts to date by the US are just security theater.Even if Bernie were a communist rather than a moderate social democrat, we have checks and balances, and the Fifth Amendment protecting property rights.turcopolier , 16 February 2020 at 05:10 PMDwightturcopolier , 16 February 2020 at 05:12 PM
Just kidding yourself about how much damage he could do while president. Do you feel that way about Trump?ISLturcopolier , 16 February 2020 at 05:16 PM
1. His plan would forbid insurance outside it. 2. The cost is massively prohibitive.Jamesturcopolier , 16 February 2020 at 06:12 PM
No. Trump is doing a good job except in the ME.divadabturcopolier , 16 February 2020 at 06:16 PM
"wrt urgent care." What would you do if there were no available sources of treatment in the US?b (old adversary) You may not like to admits that I know a lot about various forms of leftism but I (like many other former USI officers know a lot about you) I personally recruited quite a few "Social Democrats" who were really agents of the USSR until they switched sides. They were tested a lot. I admit that Bernie evidently never voted for the Communist Party candidate for president as John Brennan did, but his honeymoon on an Intourist visa in the USSR speaks volumes. As I recall you were quite pro-Warsaw Pact and anti-NATO during the Cold War.D , 16 February 2020 at 07:00 PMDenmark retains its Lutheran sensibilities, if not their daily practice. It is very strict about immigration - very few are allowed in, closed borders, must speak Danish, turn over assets to the government, and no complaints about pork being on the menus.
Hygge celebrates thrift, simplicity and austerity. If you want Danish social democracy, you have to participate in the whole package. (Being of Danish heritage myself, I see nothin wrong with this but don't see many others living up to their unique lifestyle standards -
(NB: re-read Garrison Kielor's Lake Woebegon for further insights into Scandinavian heritage in the US - particuarly his footnoted treatise on 100 drawbacks being raised Scandinavian - US Scandinavians will laugh in self-recognition and also sadly nod in full agreement)
Danes laugh at our US welfare state and recognize it has nothing to do with their version of social welfare. Danish "socialism" provides workers with buy-in medical plans for more efficient delivery systems. It is by no means free government run health care or social welfare for all.
Norwegians are closer to this idealized model of "free stuff", but with even stricter about immigration controls and their system floats on massive amounts of fossil fuel extraction cash. Sweden, Finland, Iceland -- all have uniqiness in their social welfare systems that cannot translate to the US polyglot, poly-cultural model.
Danes also have suffered from high rates of depression and suicide. So Bernie, be sure to sign up for the whole package, and stop glossing over the missing details of your proposal for "Danish socialism".
Their system does work for the Danes and has a lot to like about it - but you have to plug in all the variables, so start by undoing the US welfare state plantation first and expect everyone to be a maker; not a taker.
Then give everyone a bike to replace their cars, and only then can you start handing out free health care - Danish style because their far more active lifestyle will define new models for health care needs.
Feb 16, 2020 | off-guardian.org
Dungroanin ,It seems that history is about to repeat. The highwater mark in SEAsia was the helicopters evacuating the last invaders from Saigon. The highwater mark in the ME is going to be similar scenes in Iraq.
A final warning has been issued to US troops there – 40 days after Soleimanis assassination – the Resistance is ready to move, an irresistible force about to meet a not so immovable object.
Along with Idlib and Allepo its been amazing start to 2020. And its not even spring!
Feb 16, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
hen a crisis in the 17th-century Holy Roman Empire about princely authority and autonomy spiraled into sectarian warfare, Central Europe was plunged into the Thirty Years War. It was to be a conflict so debilitating and deadly that it would prove more proportionally costly in casualties for what is now Germany than even the Second World War. When the Peace of Westphalia finally brought the nightmare to a close in 1648, it was clear that domestic politics had to be separated from diplomacy for any stability to return to Europe. So came an emphasis on the sovereignty of states to police their own affairs while retaining a standardized system for dealing with each other as (ostensible) equals in the international realm.
While no system can guarantee peace free from geopolitical upset, The Westphalian Peace was nonetheless an improvement over the religious wars of the past. Something like it would also be an improvement over the rampant, American-led liberal hegemony of today. The ideologies of permanent war have had disproportionate influence over the ruling cliques in Washington, D.C., from the Clintonite neoliberals to the Dick Cheney neoconservatives. There are very real material reasons for this, of course, such as defense contracting and the powerful lobbying behind it. But it was on purely ideological terms that America's dangerous imperial overstretch was sold to a domestic audience.
Those like former U.N. ambassador Samantha Power would have us believe that there are teeming masses of people abroad just yearning to have American bombs rained down upon them as a solution for their domestic woes. Yet for most of American history, this was not so. The early and rising United States was a nation of diplomats who had taken the lessons of Westphalia to heart. From George Washington and John Quincy Adams up through the start of the 20th century, the importance of keeping domestic ideological arrangements out of sober realist diplomacy was usually understood. It was Woodrow Wilson who departed from this arrangement with his commitment to establishing the United States as guarantor not only of the rights of its own citizens but also the people of foreign nations abroad. His unrealistic vision was rejected by both Congress and most of the world's other great powers. Still, Britain and America were influenced enough by his thinking to stand aghast when first Japan and then Italy and Germany went about sabotaging the fragile postwar order. It would take a second, more destructive war, with the United States and the U.S.S.R. creating a peace out of their victorious power, to undo the damage that had been done. Two countries that could not have been more internally different became the crux of the most important wartime alliance of the 20th century. Largely forgotten was that the top crime pursued by the allies during the Germans' postwar trial was that of " waging aggressive war ."
Since the end of the Cold War, and with the checks on America's ambitions largely removed, we have seen this Wilsonian messianism return, and stronger than before. America's cultural history of puritanism and faith in its own (culturally and historically specific) institutions has merged with an unchecked hubris. Interventions unrelated to the interests of the average American came in the Balkans and Somalia, and then expanded to nearly the entire Middle East and large swathes of Africa. The justification is always the 9/11 terror attacks. The Bush administration in particular merged all of these trends by marrying the images of apocalyptic religious struggle to the Wilsonian quest for a world order founded on a universal conception of rights. When weapons of mass destruction, the ostensible reason for the invasion of Iraq, failed to turn up, Bush quickly pivoted to another argument: that we would build a new and better Iraq Americanized through our concept of civil society. What we got was the rise of ISIS, sectarian strife, and an empowered Iran greatly expanding its influence throughout that region. It was an outcome abundantly obvious to the many experts who were opposed to the war from the outset.
This turn towards militarized humanism became even more overt as the Obama administration reacted to the Arab Spring. Lacking the WMD excuse and post-9/11 bellicosity, the administration that was elected in large part to replace and undo the Bush legacy decided to topple the government of Libya and indirectly try to do the same in Syria. The administration tapped into a large network of human rights NGOs to fill the media with stories of atrocities, many of which were exaggerated or even outright false .
What was the result? Libya is a now a Somalia-level failed state with street-side slave markets that's fueled a European refugee crisis. The Syrian Civil War continues towards a now inevitable conclusion, heavily extended in length by the interventions of countries like Turkey and Saudi Arabia working hand-in-hand with the United States . Those interventions were sold to the public under the guise of upholding universal standards of government as imagined by the United States, but have only contributed to global instability and alienation of much of the world from Washington .
In order to inoculate the American public, media, and (dare one hope) policymaking class against future foolhardy adventures, the Westphalian Peace should be reintroduced into the disussion. The foreign policy establishment is largely controlled by a class of professionals in love with their own image as upholders of liberal hegemony and oblivious to the results of their actions. From empowering al-Qaeda in the Middle East to driving Russia and China together, the consequences have proven catastrophic. It is time to stick up for the concept of national sovereignty as the core principle of diplomacy once again.
It was the France, the Catholic power willing to ally with Protestants against its greater Hapsburg foe regardless of domestic politics, that won the most out of the Thirty Years War and at the lowest cost. Such realism in pursuit of modest goals should inform our diplomatic thinking today.
Christopher Mott is a research fellow at Defense Priorities and a former academic and researcher at the State Department. His book on Central Asian geopolitical history, The Formless Empire , was published by Westholme Publishing in 2015.
Sammacdon • 3 days ago"America's cultural history of puritanism and faith in its own (culturally and historically specific) institutions has merged with an unchecked hubris."Baruch Dreamstalker Sammacdon • 3 days ago
Does America have faith in its culturally and historically specific institutions?
Which ones?America still supports the Bill of Rights for oneself, but not always for others. Listen to how "religious freedom" differs when articulated by a liberal and a conservative.Baruch Dreamstalker • 3 days agoThere's a new player since Westphalia, the soldiers without borders known commonly as terrorists. Arguing about whose fault it is that they exist is as fruitless as "Who lost China?" The article, alas, deals with them only as epiphenomena of great-power actions. C+.JonF311 Baruch Dreamstalker • 3 days agoBut if we weren't poking a big old wasp's nest in the Middle East would any of those terrorists give a hoot about us? We would still have to worry about domestic terrorists, of course.Baruch Dreamstalker JonF311 • 3 days agoAbsolutely, about domestic terrorists, who are an old story from the days they were called "clinic bombers."Begemot Baruch Dreamstalker • 2 days ago
"Our enemies are our fault" is an invitation to become extinct. I don't go there.
Soldiers without borders are part of the picture now, and the most persuasive assignment of responsibility for them may take gold in the 50-Yard Blame Toss, but is still a "should" non-answer to an "is" problem.David Naas • 3 days agosoldiers without borders known commonly as terrorists
Also known as mercenaries, who aren't new at all. In fact, they've enjoyed something of a revitalization since 2001 with such 'private military contractors" as Blackwater/Xe Services/Academi and its imitators. Courtesy of the US government.Many times in history one can point to as the embodiment of "realism" in international affairs. After Westphalia came the Napoleonic wars and the Congress of Vienna. Some time later came WW1/WW2/Cold War (really one conflict) and no real settlement (with the USA presuming a foolish "End of History" and a faux Superpower hegemony.)kouroi • 3 days ago
I am reminded that Henry Kissinger was supposed to be a master of realpolitik , and we saw how well that worked. The last real decent politician who understood things may have been Otto von Bismarck, and he was cast aside by a neurotic Kaiser who hated his English grandmother.
The author makes a very good point... That waging aggressive wars is a crime for which we hung people at Nuremberg. But let us not forget the reality of realism, the Roman maxim of, "If you have trouble at home, stir up a war abroad." Works like a charm, or always has before.High goal in the United States of Amnesia.... remembering something...Disqus10021 • 2 days ago • edited
If anything, the elites would like to bury as much as possible... so that the conclusion is always their alternative only...Unless there are members of Congress who were European history majors, I doubt that any of them could tell you much about the Peace of Westphalia. I would be satisfied if they could at least learn some lessons from WWI. One of the best takeaways from that war that I have read was David Stockman's (Reagan's first Budget Director) observation that if the US had just stayed out of the war, the major belligerents would eventually have come to a cease fire and Germany would not have been plunged into chaos after the war. Another takeaway comes from William Shirer's "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich". The German government paid for its war costs by issuing bonds and when its access to the bond market became exhausted, it simply resorted to printing money. After the war, it not only did not raise taxes to pay off its reparations and other war debts but lowered them.Dr. Rieux • 2 days ago • edited
Germany's Weimar constitution which was approved in 1919 looked good on paper and was very democratic for its time. But it never worked well in practice. The country was beset by a series of weak coalition governments during the Weimar years, governments which were incapable of stopping the runaway inflation of the early 1920's and incapable of dealing with the economic fallout as the Great Depression spread from the US to Europe in the early 1930's.I doubt our foreign policy "elites" are oblivious to the results of their actions. That degree of self-imposed ignorance even Washinton's "best" and "brightest" couldn't possibly achieve.mark • 2 days ago
What they are is immune to the consequences of their actions, never called to account for the millions of innocent lives they helped to ruin or to completely snuff out.Baruch says "There's a new player since Westphalia, the soldiers without borders known commonly as terrorists. "Connecticut Farmer • a day ago • edited
Terrorism has suffered a lazy and opportunistic amount of definition creep in recent decades. I go by the old idea that it's about using unforeseen violence against civilians for political ends.
However to me, the vast bulk of terrorism is state terror and states really hate it when privateers muscle in on their act. For example the morning after the 9-11 bombings (I live a long way from the US) I had two immediate thoughts. First and foremost was sadness for the dead and their families. Second was an awful foreboding for the many thousands of innocent brown foreign civilians who'd die in misplaced criminal revenge aka state terror."It was the France, the Catholic power willing to ally with Protestants against its greater Hapsburg foe regardless of domestic politics, that won the most out of the Thirty Years War and at the lowest cost."Paul De Palma • 21 hours ago
Be reminded, however, France's victory lasted 115 years--ten minutes in historical terms--coming to an end with the Treaty of Paris in 1763 which ended The Seven Years War which resulted in bankruptcy for the Bourbon monarchy and eventual domestic upheaval commencing in 1789. After the defeat of Napoleon (the inevitable result of said upheaval) and as a result of the Congress of Vienna in 1815 France was pretty much finished off as a world power. Nothing is ever permanent. Except war.
"Those like former U.N. ambassador Samantha Power would have us believe that there are teeming masses of people abroad just yearning to have American bombs rained down upon them as a solution for their domestic woes."
The author is engaging in a bit of hyperbole here. Changing "have American bombs rained down upon them" to "enjoy the fruits of American-style democracy" would suffice. Same conclusion. Same results.Thanks for such an incisive framing of US foreign policy over the last century and, in particular, the last twenty years. In its crispness and clarity, your piece is on par with Andrew Bacevich's work. It deserves a wide readership.
Feb 16, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
by Tyler Durden Sat, 02/15/2020 - 21:30 Authored by Daniel McAdams via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity,
Those hoping the non-interventionist cause would be given some real muscle if a couple of oligarchs who've made fortunes from global interventionism team up and pump millions into Washington think tanks will be sorely disappointed by the train wreck that is the Koch/Soros alliance.
The result thus far has not been a tectonic shift in favor of a new direction, with new faces and new ideas, but rather an opportunity for these same old Washington think tanks, now flush with even more money, to re-brand their pet interventionisms as "restraint."
The flagship of this new alliance, the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, was sold as an earth-shattering breakthrough - an "odd couple" of "left-wing" Soros and "right-wing" Koch boldly tossing differences aside to join together and "end the endless wars."
That organization is now up and running and it isn't pretty.
To begin with, the whole premise is deeply flawed. George Soros is no "left-winger" and Koch is no "right-winger." It's false marketing, like the claim that drinking Diet Coke will make you skinny. Both are globalist oligarchs who continue to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to create the kind of world where the elites govern with no accountability except to themselves, and " the interagency ," rather than an elected President of the US, makes US foreign policy.
As libertarian intellectual Tom Woods once famously quipped , "No matter whom you vote for, you always wind up getting John McCain." That is exactly the world Koch and Soros want. It's a world of Davos with fangs, not Mainstreet, USA.A 'New Vision'?
Anyone doubting that Quincy is just a mass re-branding effort for the same failed foreign policies of the past two decades need look no further than that organization's first big public event , a February 26th conference with Foreign Policy Magazine, to explore "A New Vision for America in the World."
Like pouring old wine into new bottles, this "new vision" is being presented by the very same people and institutions who gave us the "old vision" - you know, the one they pretend to oppose.
How should anyone interested in restraining foreign policy - let alone actual non-interventionism - react to the kick-off presentation of the Quincy Institute's conference, "Perspective on U.S. Global Leadership in the 21st Century," going to disgraced US General David Petraeus?
Petraeus is, among many other things, an architect of the disastrous and failed "surge" policy in Iraq. He is still convinced (at least as of a few years ago) that " we won " in Iraq...but that we dare not end the occupation lest we lose what we "won." How's that for "restraint"?
While head of the CIA, he teamed up with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to develop and push the brilliant idea of directly and overtly training and equipping al-Qaeda and other jihadists to overthrow the secular government of Bashar Assad. How's that for "restraint"?
When a tape leaked of Fox News contributor Kathleen T. McFarland meeting with Petraeus at the behest of then-Fox Chairman Roger Ailes to convince him to run for US president, Petraeus told her that the CIA in his view is "a national asset...a treasure." He then went on to speak favorably of the CIA's role in Libya.
But the absurdity of leading the conference with such an unreconstructed warmongering interventionist is only the beginning of the trip down the Quincy conference rabbit hole.Rogues' Gallery of Washington's Worst
Shortly following the disgraced general is a senior official from the German Marshal Fund , Julianne Smith, to give us "A New Vision for America's Role in the World." Her organization, readers will recall, is responsible for some of the most egregious warmongering propaganda.
The German Marshal Fund launched and funds the Alliance for Securing Democracy , an organization led by such notable proponents of "restraint" as neoconservative icon William Kristol, John McCain Institute head David Kramer, Michael " Trump is an agent of Putin " Morell, and, among others, the guy who made millions out of scaring the hell out of Americans, former Homeland-Security-chief-turned-airport-scanner-salesman Michael Chertoff.
The Alliance for Securing Democracy was responsible for the discredited "Hamilton 68 Dashboard," a magic tool they claimed would seek and destroy "Russian bots" in the social media. After the propaganda value of such a farce had been reaped, Alliance fellow Clint Watts admitted the whole thing was bogus .
Moving along, so as not to cherry pick the atrocities in this conference, moderating the section on the Middle East is one "scholar," Mehdi Hasan, who actually sent a letter to Facebook demanding that the social media company censor more political speech! He has attacked what he calls "free speech fundamentalists."
Joining the "Regional Spotlight: Asia-Pacific" is Patrick Cronin of the thoroughly - and proudly - neoconservative Hudson Institute. Cronin's entire professional career consists of position after position at the center of Washington's various "regime change" factories. From a directorial position at the mis-named US Institute for Peace to "third-ranking position" at the US Agency for International Development to "senior director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the [ neoconservative ] Center for a New American Security." This is a voice of "restraint"?
Later, the segment on "Ending Endless War" features at least two speakers who absolutely oppose the idea. Rosa Brooks, Senior Fellow at the "liberal interventionist" New America Foundation, wrote not long ago that, "There's No Such Thing as Peacetime." In the article she argued the benefits of "abandon[ing] the effort to draw increasingly arbitrary lines between peacetime and wartime and instead focus[ing] on developing institutions and norms capable of protecting rights and rule-of-law values at all times." In other words, war is endless so man up and get used to it.
This may be the key for how you end endless war. Just stop calling it "war."
Brooks' fellow panelist, Tom Wright, hails from the epicenter of liberal interventionism, the Brookings Institution, where he is director of the "Center on the United States and Europe." Brookings loves "humanitarian interventions" and has published pieces attempting to convince us that the attack on Libya was not a mistake .
Wright himself is featured in the current edition of the Council on Foreign Relations' publication Foreign Affairs arguing that old interventionist shibboleth that the disaster in Iraq was not caused by the US invasion, but rather by Obama's withdrawal.
This Quincy Institute champion of "restraint" concludes his latest piece arguing that:
Now is not the time for a revolution in U.S. strategy. The United States should continue to play a leading role as a security provider in global affairs.
The moderator of that final panel in the upcoming Quincy Institute first conference is Loren DeJonge Schulman, a deputy director at the above-named Center for a New American Security. Before joining that neoconservative think tank, Schulman served as Senior Advisor to National Security Advisor Susan Rice! Among her other international crimes, readers will recall that Rice was a chief architect of the US attack on Libya.
Schulman's entire career is, again, in the service of, alternatively, the war machine and the regime change machine.
The Quincy Institute's first big event, which it bills as a showcase for a new foreign policy of "restraint," is in fact just another gathering of Washington's usual warmongers, neocons, and " humanitarian " interventionists.
Quincy has been received with gushing praise from people who should know better . Any of those gushers who look at this first Quincy conference and continue to maintain that a revolution in foreign policy is afoot are either lying to us or lying to themselves.But Wait...There's More!
Sadly, the fallout extends beyond just this particular new institute and this particular event.
Those who continue to push the claim that Koch and Soros are changing their spots and now supporting restraint and non-interventionism should be made to explain why the most egregiously warmongering and interventionist organizations are finding themselves on the receiving end of oligarch largese.
Just days ago a glowing article in Politico detailed the recipients of millions of Koch dollars to promote "restraint." Who is leading the Koch brigades in the battle for a non-interventionist, "restrained" foreign policy?
Libertarian business tycoon Charles Koch is handing out $10 million in new grants to promote voices of military restraint at American think tanks, part of a growing effort by Koch to change the U.S. foreign policy conversation.
The grants, details of which were shared exclusively with POLITICO, are being split among four institutions: the Atlantic Council ; the Center for the National Interest; the Chicago Council on Global Affairs; and the RAND Corporation.
The Atlantic Council has been pushing US foreign policy toward war with Russia for years, pumping endless false propaganda and neocon lies to fuel the idea that Russia is engaged in an "asymmetric battle" against the US, that the mess in Ukraine was the result of a Russian out-of-the-blue invasion rather than an Obama Administration coup d'etat , that Russia threw the elections to Putin's agent Trump, and that Moscow is seeking to to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.
The Atlantic Council's " Disinfo Portal ," a self-described "one-stop interactive online portal and guide to the Kremlin's information war," is raw, overt war propaganda. It is precisely the kind of war propaganda that has fueled three years of mass hysteria called "Russiagate," which though proven definitively to be an utter fraud, continues to animate most of Washington's thinking on the Left and Right to this day.
The Atlantic Council, through something it calls a " Digital Forensic Research Lab ," works with giant social media outlets to identify and ban any independent or alternative news outlets who deviate from the view that the US is besieged by enemies, from Syria to Iran to Russia to China and beyond, and that therefore it must continue spending a trillion dollars per year to maintain its role as the unipolar hyperpower. Thus, the Atlantic Council - a US government funded entity - colludes with social media to silence any deviation from US government approved foreign policy positions.
And these are the kinds of organizations that Koch and Soros claim are going to save us from Washington's interventionist foreign policy?
Equally upsetting is the "collateral damage" that the Koch/Soros alliance and its love child Quincy hath wrought. To see once-vibrant and reliably non-interventionist upstarts like The American Conservative Magazine (TAC) lured away from the vision of its founders, Pat Buchanan and Taki Theodoracopulos, to slip into the warm Hegelian embrace of well-funded compromise is truly heartbreaking. It is to witness the soiling of that once-brave publication's vindication for being right about Iraq War 2.0 while virtually all of Washington was wrong.
Incidentally, and to add insult to injury, it is precisely these kinds of Washington institutions who most viciously attacked TAC in those days who now find themselves trusted partners and even "expert" sources !
TAC! Beware! It's not too late to wake up and smell the deception!How to End Endless Wars (The Easy Way)
If a Soros-Koch alliance was actually interested in ending endless US wars and re-orienting our currently hyper-interventionist foreign policy toward "restraint," it would simply announce that not another penny in campaign contributions would go to any candidate for House, Senate, or President who did not vow publicly in writing to vote against or veto any legislation that did not reduce military spending, that imposed sanctions overseas, that threatened governments overseas, that appropriated funds in secret or overtly to destabilize or overthrow governments overseas, or that sent foreign "aid" to any government overseas.
It would cost pennies to make such an announcement and stick to it, and the result would be a massive shift in the American body politic toward what the current alliance advertises itself as promoting.
But Koch/Soros don't really want to end endless US interventions overseas. They want to fund the same old think tanks who are responsible for the disaster that is US foreign policy, re-brand interventionism as non-interventionism, and hope none of us rubes in flyover country notices.
To paraphrase what Pat Buchanan said about Democrats in his historic 1992 convention speech, the whitewashing of Washington's most egregiously interventionist institutions and experts as "restrained" non-interventionists is "the greatest single exhibition of cross-dressing in American political history."
Feb 15, 2020 | caucus99percent.com
Bernie didn't win in '16. Rigging certainly but he had no nationwide general electoral opportunity to enter the WH. Instead, the Berniecrat progressive fire has continued burning slowly and steadily. Progressivism, in its various flavors, is now THE ascendant movement of the Left. It grew slowly, steadily. This is the comparison which is relevant to Tulsi's candidacy. Barring a miracle, Tulsi will not be the Dem nominee in November facing off El Trumpo. But she has lit a fire under hundreds of thousands which will continue to spread due to the gentle breezes of her campaign speeches. Perhaps 2024 is her year. If not, 2028 could realistically be the date she becomes POTUS.
My previous essay, It's the economy, was negative. Negative if one believes there is even a remote chance Saint Bernie gets to run against Trump. Yes, he, like the rest of the D's is running against Trump but what are the plans? Open Borders? Medicare for Illegal aliens? Bernie's got other proposals, meritorious ones deserving of support. But too much baggage. He is collecting baggage as adroitly as Liz Warren. Look what that's done to her campaign.
Kind-hearted Bernie is taking up survivors from the Warren life rafts, many of whom are armed with rubber penetrating pins.
Tulsi does not genuflect.
The same type of integrity-diminishing stances Liawatha has adopted, are now afflicting Saint Bernie. Pandering on open borders. Retreating before Culinary Union attacks without personally facing it down NOW--NOW when it counts.
The last man standing will be a woman. The rest are craven characatures of sincere humans, so phony that even a blind monkey could detect.
Who did Warren Harding defeat for President? Don't look it up--people don't remember losers. In 20 years, H. Rodent Clinton will be merely a bad dream, to be recalled in memory only by those interested in calamity.
Bernie started a movement. But, like Moses, he will never enter the Promised Land. His name will be remembered by even his opponents as someone who began steering the ship of state into better waters. But his portrait will not hang in the WH.
Tulsi is the future
on the cusp on Sat, 02/15/2020 - 8:10pmI am not completely sure Tulsi is anything in the future.edg on Sat, 02/15/2020 - 8:14pm
She is not running for re-election. At the time of the next presidential election, she will be a private citizen.
She will have less leverage for endorsement of her colleagues than she does now.
For all we know, in 2 or 3 years, she may be out of the political realm completely.
I concede she is the type of person, or the sort of person that would take us forward, but she has little in the way of base right now, and will have an unknown base in a few years.
Bernie, no matter how I despise his foreign policy, is the poll leader, is a half-assed socialist, might actually improve/save lives of the working class and poor, and he is the start of a left swing we need now. Tulsi or some young leftie can knock it out of the park if we can just show people that social programs work, and work extremely well.Speculation about Tulsi's future...snoopydawg on Sat, 02/15/2020 - 8:23pm
@on the cusp
"The 2022 Hawaii gubernatorial election will take place on November 8, 2022, to elect the Governor of Hawaii. Incumbent Democratic Governor David Ige is term-limited and cannot seek re-election to a third term."InterestingRantingRooster on Sat, 02/15/2020 - 8:39pm
But why would she give up her seat in congress for being governor? She sees things in Hawaii she wants to fix or being governor is a better shot at being president? I admit that I don't know much about her congressional record. I just don't understand why people feel so strongly against her. Once upon a time they wanted the wars to stop. Now they are hung ho for warring with Russia through Ukraine.
"The 2022 Hawaii gubernatorial election will take place on November 8, 2022, to elect the Governor of Hawaii. Incumbent Democratic Governor David Ige is term-limited and cannot seek re-election to a third term."Dude
Are you having a senior moment?
Don't get me wrong, there is much I like about Tulsi, but establishment democrats hate her, more than they hate Bernie. She openly defied them and quit the DNC on Bernie's behalf, and help bring down Debbie what-her-name as chairperson for the DNC.
Feb 15, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.orgPatroklos , Feb 15 2020 21:58 utc | 57jared , Feb 15 2020 19:18 utc | 19
Tulsi is the new JFK. But seems America is not ready for decent honest politian with ideals and aspirations. She think America is capable of greatness. I doubt it. But I will write her name in if thats what it takes. For what its worth.Does that mean that the US is now officially a 'shithole country' too? Long gone are the days when a national leader was a former railway engine cleaner who lived in a little house in a country town, a man who would go on to enact a legislative program that embraced a whole community recovering from war .
The West is very very broken.
Feb 15, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Kali , Feb 15 2020 18:54 utc | 7Bloomberg is not going to get people to vote in large enough numbers to be a contender, he had zero write-in votes in NH. So he is about running to gain support just enough to force a second vote in order to for superdelegates to over turn the will of the people for Bernie at the convention.
Some people want Tulsi to drop out and endorse Bernie, like Kyle Kulinski, but those people are not thinking right because they act as if Bernie is not a VERY OLD man who has had health issues recently. If Tulsi drops out and endorses Bernie and then Bernie a few months from now has health issues which force him out---THEN WHAT KYLE? You want Warren who is a proven con artist and neocon?
See Tulsi Gabbard is The Steely Dan of Politics or: Perfection Isn't For Everyone
Feb 15, 2020 | www.wsws.org
The Trump administration ordered the January 3 assassination of Major General Qassem Suleimani, one of Iran's most senior officials, not because he posed some "imminent threat," but rather in a calculated bid to disrupt Tehran's attempts to reach an accommodation with Washington's allies in the region.
This is the inescapable conclusion flowing from a report published Thursday in the New York Times , citing unnamed senior officials from the US, Iran and other countries in the Middle East.
It recounts the arrival last September in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, of a plane carrying senior Iranian officials for talks aimed at achieving a bilateral peace agreement between the two countries.
The trip came in the context of a steady sharpening of US-Iranian tensions as a result of Trump's abrogation of the Iranian nuclear agreement in 2018 along with the imposition of a punishing sanctions regime tantamount to a state of war. This was followed by a major escalation of the US military presence in the region a year later.
While the US dispatched an aircraft carrier strike group and a B-52-led bomber task force to the region in May of last year, the same month saw the use of limpet mines to damage four oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, the strategic "chokepoint" through which 20 percent of the world's oil is shipped.
In June of last year, the Iranians downed a US Navy spy drone over the same area, with the Trump White House first ordering and then calling off retaliatory air strikes against Iran. And in September, Saudi oil installations came under a devastating attack from drones and cruise missiles.
Washington blamed both the attacks on the oil tankers and the strike against the Saudi oil installations -- for which the Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed responsibility -- on Iran, charges that Tehran denied.
As early as last August, there were reports indicating concerns within Washington that the UAE was veering away from the anti-Iran front that the US has attempted to cobble together, based upon Israel and the Gulf oil sheikdoms. The Emirates' coast guard had signed a maritime security agreement with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and the UAE had clashed openly with Saudi Arabia over the control of southern Yemen's port city of Aden. At the time, the Washington Post warned that the UAE "is breaking ranks with Washington, calling into question how reliable an ally it would be in the event of a war between the United States and Iran."
According to the Times report, the meeting with the Iranian delegation in Abu Dhabi, which had been kept secret from Washington, "set off alarms inside the White House ... A united front against Iran -- carefully built by the Trump administration over more than two years -- seemed to be crumbling."
Both the Emirati monarchy and its counterpart in Saudi Arabia had become increasingly distrustful of Washington's Iran policy and concerned that they would find themselves on the frontline of any confrontation without any guarantee of the US defending them.
Saudi Arabia also began a secret diplomatic approach to Tehran, using the Iraqi and Pakistani governments as intermediaries. Suleimani played the central role in organizing the talks with both Gulf kingdoms, the Times reports.
In October, according to the report, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flew to Tel Aviv for a meeting with Yossi Cohen, the chief of Mossad, who warned him that "Iran was achieving its primary goal: to break up the anti-Iran alliance."
Last month's assassination of General Suleimani was initially defended by Trump and administration officials as a preemptive strike aimed at foiling supposedly "imminent" attacks on US personnel or interests in the Middle East. This pretext soon fell apart, however, and the US president and his aides fell back to justifying the extra-judicial murder of a senior state official as revenge for his support for Shia militias that resisted the US occupation of Iraq 15 years earlier and retaliation for a missile strike that killed an American military contractor last December.
That strike was launched against a military base housing American troops in the northern Iraqi province of Kirkuk. Iraqi security officials have since contradicted the US claim that an Iranian-backed Shia militia was responsible for the attack. They have pointed out that the missiles were launched from a predominantly Sunni area where the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is active, and that Iraqi intelligence had warned US forces in November and December that ISIS was preparing to target the base.
The US responded to the missile strike on the base in Iraq by targeting Iraqi Shia militia positions on the Syria-Iraq border, killing 25 members of the Kataib Hezbollah militia. The attack provoked an angry demonstration that laid siege to the US embassy in Baghdad on December 31.
Two days later, a US Reaper drone fired missiles into a convoy at Baghdad International Airport, killing Suleimani along with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a central leader of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces, the coalition of militias that constitutes an arm of Iraq's security forces, as well as eight others.
In the wake of the drone assassinations, US Secretary of State Pompeo sarcastically told the media: "Is there any history that would indicate that it was remotely possible that this kind gentleman, this diplomat of great order -- Qassem Suleimani -- had traveled to Baghdad for the idea of conducting a peace mission? We know that wasn't true."
As the Times report indicates, that was precisely what Suleimani was doing in Baghdad, the US knew it and that is why it assassinated him. Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi said at the time that General Suleimani had flown into the country, on a commercial flight and using his diplomatic passport, for the express purpose of delivering an Iranian response to a message from Saudi Arabia as part of talks aimed at de-escalating tensions.
The more that emerges about the assassination of Suleimani, the more the abject criminality of his murder becomes clear. It was carried out neither as a reckless act of revenge nor to ward off unspecified attacks. Rather, it was a calculated act of imperialist terror designed to disrupt talks aimed at defusing tensions in the Persian Gulf and to convince the wavering Gulf monarchies that Washington is prepared to go to war against Iran.
This is the policy not merely of the Trump administration. Among the most significant moments in Trump's State of the Union address earlier this month was the standing ovation by Democratic lawmakers as he gloated over the murder of Suleimani, a war crime.
The resort to such criminal actions is a measure of the extreme crisis of a capitalist system that threatens to drag humanity into a new world war.
Jan 22, 2020 | responsiblestatecraft.org
The threat of a new war with Iran that might have replicated what has been the worst disaster in the history of America's international misadventures -- George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq based on fabricated lies -- sucked the air out of all other international diplomatic activity, not least of what used to be called the Middle East peace process.
Yet the failure of the peace process has not been the consequence of recent mindless and destructive actions by Donald Trump and of the clownish shenanigans of his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who was charged with helping Israeli hardliners in nailing down permanently the Palestinian occupation. For all the damage they caused (mainly to Palestinians), prospects for a two-state solution actually ended during President Barack Obama's administration, despite Secretary of State John Kerry's energetic efforts to renew the stalled negotiations. They were not resumed because Obama, like his predecessors, failed to take the tough measures that were necessary to overcome Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's determination to prevent the emergence of a Palestinian state, notwithstanding his pledge in his Bar-Ilan speech of 2009 to implement the agreements of the Oslo accords.
Yes, Obama and Kerry did warn that Israel's continued occupation might lead to an Israeli apartheid regime. But knowing how deeply the accusation of an incipient Israeli apartheid could anger right-wingers in Israel and in the U.S., they repeatedly followed that warning with the assurance that "America will always have Israel's back." It was the sequence of this two-part statement that convinced Netanyahu that AIPAC had succeeded in getting American presidents to protect Israel's impunity. Had Obama and Kerry reversed that sequence, first noting that the U.S. had always had Israel's back, and then warning that Israel is now on the verge of trading its democracy for apartheid, the warning might have had quite different implications for Israel's government.
The peace process and the two-state solution failed because America -- the only country on which Israel could count on for generous diplomatic, military and economic support, and therefore the only country that has the necessary leverage to influence Israel's policies -- allowed it to fail. Consequently, most Israelis, including many belonging to the Blue/White party, headed by General Benny Gantz, oppose granting any future Palestinian entity the most basic features of sovereignty, including control of its own borders. Gantz refused to form a unity government with the Likud because of Netanyahu's indictment for multiple crimes, not because of differences over peace policy. What doubts anyone might have had on this subject were removed when Gantz just announced that he embraces Netanyahu's intention to annex the Jordan Valley to Israel.
For the Palestinians, territory is the most critical of the final status issues. The current internationally recognized borders that separate Israel and the Occupied Territories reduced the territory originally assigned to Palestinians in the U.N. Partition Plan of 1947 from roughly half of Palestine to 22 percent. Israel, which was assigned originally roughly the other half of Palestine, now has 78 percent, not including Palestinian territory Israel has confiscated for its illegal settlements.
No present or prospective Palestinian leadership will accept any further reduction of territory from their promised state. Given the territory they already lost in 1947, and again in 1949, and given Israel's refusal to accept the return of Palestinian refugees to Israel, is it really reasonable to expect Palestinians to give up any further territory? Where else other than the West Bank could Palestine refugees return to?
The one-state solution that is preferred by many Israelis is essentially a continuation of the present de facto apartheid. It is not the one-state alternative any Palestinian would accept. Repeated polling has shown that a majority of Jewish Israelis are unprepared to grant equal rights to Palestinians in a one-state arrangement. This opposition is unsurprising, for the inclusion in Israel's body politic of West Bank and Gaza Palestinians would mean the end of Israel as a Jewish state, for Israel's non-Jewish citizens would then outnumber its Jewish ones, and may already do so. Of course, Israel could contrive a non-voting status for the West Bank's Palestinians, something many Jewish Israelis and political parties actually advocate, but that would not deceive anyone. It would mean the formal end of Israel's democracy.
The foregoing notwithstanding, I have long maintained that if Israel were compelled to choose between one state that grants full equality to Palestinians now under occupation and two states that conform substantially to existing agreements and international law, and no other options were available to it, the majority of Israelis would opt for two states. Why? Because as noted above, the overwhelming majority of Israelis oppose any arrangement that might produce a Palestinian majority with the same rights Israeli Jewish citizens enjoy. Of course, Israel has never been compelled to make such a choice, nor will they be compelled to do so by the international community.
However, they could be compelled to do so by the Palestinians, but only if Palestinians were finally to expel their current leadership and choose a more honest and courageous one. That new leadership would have to shut down the Palestinian Authority, which its present leaders allowed Israel to portray as an arrangement that places Palestinians on the path to statehood, of course in some undefined future. Israel has deliberately perpetuated that myth to conceal its real intention to keep the current occupation unchanged. The new Palestinian leadership would have to declare that since Israel has denied them their own state and established a one-state reality, Palestinians will no longer deny that reality. Consequently, the national struggle will now be for full citizenship in the one state that Israel has forced them into. I have argued for the past two decades that the one-state option is far more likely to open a path to a two-state solution, however counter intuitive that may seem to be. Palestinians rejected it categorically from the outset, but younger Palestinians have come around to accepting it -- even preferring it to the two-state model.
Unlike the struggle for a two-state solution, a goal that has so easily been manipulated by Israel to mean whatever serves their real goal of preventing such an outcome -- and also so easily allowed international actors to pretend they have not given up their efforts to achieve that outcome, an anti-apartheid struggle does not lend itself to such deceptions. South Africa has taught the world too well what apartheid looks like, as well as how the international community could deal with it. Of course, South Africa has also shown how long and bloody a struggle against apartheid can be, and the terrible price paid by the victims of such a regime. But Palestinians already live in such a regime, and have for long been paying a terrible price for their subjugation.
Yet deeper and more troubling questions are raised by the choices that now face Israel, including whether the original idea of the Zionist movement of a state that is both Jewish and democratic is not deeply oxymoronic, a question that not only Israelis but Jews outside of Israel must address. That question is underscored by the challenges to India's democracy posed by its prime minister's decision to turn his country into a Hindu nation. It is a question that did not escape some of the founders of the Zionist movement, who argued that Zionism should define the state as Jewish only in its ethnic and secular cultural dimensions. But that this is not how Jewish identity is treated in Israel is undeniable.
Imagine if Israel's laws defining national identity and citizenship, as recently reformulated by Israel's Knesset, were adopted by the U.S. Congress or by other Western democratic countries, and if Christianity in its "cultural dimensions" were declared to be their national identity, with citizenship also granted by conversion to the dominant religion, as is now the case in Israel, where arrangements for Jewish religious conversions are part of the Prime Minister's office.
Is this not what America's founders, and the waves of immigrants, including European Jews, sought to escape from? And how would Jews react today to legislation in the U.S. Congress that would explicitly seek to maintain the majority status of Christians in the U.S.? Are Jews to take pride in a Jewish state that adopts citizenship requirements that mirror those advocated by white Christian supremacists? These supremacists have already proclaimed jubilantly that Israel's policies vindicate the ones they have long been advocating.
It is true, of course, that for some Jews, aware of the history of anti-Semitism that has spanned the ages, and especially the Holocaust, Zionism's contradictions with democratic principles are an unpleasant but inescapable dilemma they can live with. As a survivor of the Holocaust, I can understand that. But I also understand that the likely consequences of these contradictions are not benign, and can yield their own terrible outcomes, particularly when they lead to the dalliances by the prime minister of a Jewish state with right-wing racist and xenophobic heads of state and of political parties that have fascist and anti-Semitic parentage.
Legislation proposed in the U.S. Congress and by Trump, and recently celebrated by his son-in-law Kushner in a New York Times op-ed, proposing that criticism of Zionism be outlawed as antisemitism , would be laughable, were it not so clearly -- and outrageously -- intended to deny freedom of speech on this subject. Yet laughable it is, for its first target would have to be Jews -- not liberal left-wingers but the most Orthodox Jews, known as Haredim, in Israel and in America.
At the very inception of the Zionist movement 150 years ago, not only the Haredim but the overwhelming majority of Orthodox Jewry everywhere was opposed to Zionism, which it considered to be a Jewish heresy, not only because the Zionists were mostly secularists, but because of an oath taken by Jewish leaders after the destruction of the Second Temple following their exile from Palestine, that Jews would not reestablish a Jewish kingdom except following the messianic era. Zionism was also bitterly opposed by much of the world's Jewish Reform movement, many of whose leaders insisted that Jewishness is a religion, not a political identity.
Much of Orthodox Jewry did not end its opposition to Zionism until after the war of 1967, but many if not most Haredis continue to oppose Zionism as heresy. Most of its members refuse to serve in Israel's military, to celebrate Israel's Independence Day, sing its national anthem, and do not allow prayers in their synagogues for the wellbeing of Israel's political leaders. Trump, Kushner, and the U.S. Congress would have to arrest them as anti-Semites.
I have no doubt that Trump's rage at the Jewish chairmen of the two Congressional committees that led the procedures for his impeachment will sooner or later explode in anti-Semitic expletives. The only reason it has not done so yet is because of Trump's fear of jeopardizing Evangelical support and Sheldon Adelson's mega bucks. After all, Trump already told us that the neo-Nazi rioters in Charlottesville declaiming "Jews will not replace us" included "very fine people." Netanyahu never criticized Trump's statement, for he too does not want to jeopardize certain relationships, namely the "very fine people" he has embraced -- leaders in Hungary, Poland, Austria, Italy, Brazil, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, and elsewhere.
If Trump's son-in-law is searching for anti-Semites, he should have been told they are far closer at hand than in America's schools, for they are ensconced in the White House. They are also to be found in Jerusalem where they are being accorded honors by Netanyahu. The anti-Semitic dog whistling contained in Trump's attacks on the two Jewish congressmen were not misunderstood by his hardcore supporters -- who now include the entire leadership of the Republican party -- who Trump needs to take him to victory in the coming presidential elections, or to keep him in the White House were he to lose those elections.
If apartheid is coming (or has come) out of Zion, it should not shock that what may come out of Washington is a repeat by Trump's Republican shock troops of what occurred in Berlin in 1933, when the Bundestag was taken over by the Nazi party and ended Germany's democracy.
Feb 10, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Caroline Dorminey and Sumaya Malas do an excellent job of making the case for extending New START:
One of the most critical arms control agreements, the New Strategic Reduction Arms Treaty (New START), will disappear soon if leaders do not step up to save it. New START imposes limits on the world's two largest nuclear arsenals, Russia and the United States, and remains one of the last arms control agreements still in effect. Those limits expire in exactly one year from Wednesday, and without it, both stockpiles will be unconstrained for the first time in decades.
Democrats in Congress already express consistent support for the extension of New START, turning the issue into a Democratic Party agenda item. But today's hyper-partisan landscape need not dictate that arms control must become solely a Democratic priority. Especially when the treaty in question still works, provides an important limit on Russian nuclear weapons, and ultimately increases our national security.
Dorminey and Malas are right that there should be broad support for extending the treaty. The treaty's ratification was frequently described as a "no-brainer" win for U.S. national security when it was being debated ten years ago, and the treaty's extension is likewise obviously desirable for both countries. The trouble is that the Trump administration doesn't judge this treaty or any other international agreement on the merits, and only a few of the Republicans that voted to ratify the treaty are still in office. Trump and his advisers have been following the lead of anti-arms control ideologues for years. That is why the president seized on violations of the INF Treaty as an excuse to get rid of that treaty instead of working to resolve the dispute with Russia, and that is why he expressed his willingness to pull out of the Open Skies Treaty. Trump has encountered no resistance from the GOP as he goes on a treaty-killing spree, because by and large the modern Republican Party couldn't care less about arms control.
Like these hard-liners, Trump doesn't think there is such a thing as a "win-win" agreement with another government, and for that he reason he won't support any treaty that imposes the same restrictions on both parties. We can see that the administration isn't serious about extending the treaty when we look at the far-fetched demands they insist on adding to the existing treaty. These additional demands are meant to serve as a smokescreen so that the administration can let the treaty die, and the administration is just stalling for time until the expiration occurs. The Russian government has said many times that it is ready and willing to accept an extension of the treaty without any conditions, and the U.S. response has been to let them eat static.
It would be ideal if Trump suddenly changed his position on all this and just extended the treaty, but all signs point in the opposite direction. What we need to start thinking about is what the next administration is going to have to do to rebuild the arms control architecture that this administration has demolished. There will be almost no time for the next president to extend the treaty next year, so it needs to be a top priority. If New START lapses, the U.S. and Russia would have to negotiate a new treaty to replace it, and in the current political climate the odds that the Senate would ratify an arms control treaty (or any treaty) are not good. It would be much easier and wiser to keep the current treaty alive, but we need to start preparing for the consequences of Trump's unwillingness to do that.
Feb 08, 2020 | responsiblestatecraft.org
In a key piece of actual extensive, on-the-ground reporting , the New York Times's Alissa Rubin has raised serious questions about the official US account of who it was that attacked the K-1 base near Kirkuk, in eastern Iraq, on December 27. The United States almost immediately accused the Iran-backed Ketaib Hizbullah (KH) militia of responsibility. But Rubin quotes by name Brig. General Ahmed Adnan, the chief of intelligence for the Iraqi federal police at the same base, as saying, "All the indications are that it was Daesh" -- that is, ISIS.
She also presents considerable further detailed reporting on the matter. And she notes that though U.S. investigators claim to have evidence about KH's responsibility for the attack, they have presented none of it publicly. Nor have they shared it with the Iraqi government.
KH is a paramilitary organization that operates under the command of the Iraqi military and has been deeply involved in the anti-ISIS campaigns throughout the country.
The December 27 attack killed one Iraqi-American contractor and was cited by the Trump administration as reason to launch a large-scale attack on five KH bases some 400 miles to the west which killed around 50 KH fighters. Outraged KH fighters then mobbed the US embassy in Baghdad, breaking through an outside perimeter on its large campus, but causing no casualties. On January 2, Pres. Trump decided to escalate again, ordering the assassination of Iran's Gen. Qasem Soleimani and bringing the region and the world close to a massive shooting war.
The new evidence presented by Rubin makes it look as if Trump and his advisors had previously decided on a broad-scale plan to attack Iran's very influential allies in Iraq and were waiting for a triggering event– any triggering event!– to use as a pretext to launch it. The attack against the K-1 base presented them with that trigger, even though they have not been able to present any evidence that it was KH that undertook it.
This playbook looks very similar to the one that Ariel Sharon, who was Israel's Defense Minister in summer 1982, used to launch his wide attack against the PLO's presence in Lebanon in June that year. The "trigger" Sharon used to launch his long-prepared attack was the serious (but not fatal) wounding of Israel's ambassador in London, Shlomo Argov, which the Israeli government immediately blamed on the PLO.
Regarding London in 1982, as regarding K-1 last December, the actual identity of the assailant(s) was misreported by the government that used it as a trigger for escalation. In London, the police fairly speedily established that it was not the PLO but operatives of an anti-PLO group headed by a man called Abu Nidal who had attacked Argov. But by the time they had discovered and publicized that fact, Israeli tanks were already deep inside Lebanon.
The parallels and connections between the two cases go further. If, as now seems likely, the authors of the K-1 attack were indeed Da'esh, then they succeeded brilliantly in triggering a bitter fight between two substantial forces in the coalition that had been fighting against them in Iraq. Regarding the 1982 London attack, its authors also succeeded brilliantly in triggering a lethal conflict between two forces (one substantial, one far less so) that were both engaged in bitter combat against Abu Nidal's networks.
Worth noting: Abu Nidal's main backer, throughout his whole campaign against the PLO, was Saddam Hussein's brutal government in Iraq. (The London assailants deposited their weapons in the Iraqi embassy after completing the attack.) Many senior strategists and planners for ISIS in Iraq were diehard remnants of Saddam's formerly intimidating security forces.
Also worth noting: Three months in to Sharon's massive 1982 invasion of Lebanon, it seemed to have successfully reached its goals of expelling the PLO's fighting forces from Lebanon and installing a strongly pro-Israeli government there. But over the longer haul, the invasion looked much less successful. The lengthy Israeli occupation of south Lebanon that followed 1982 served to incubate the birth and growth of the (pro-Iranian) Hizbullah there. Today, Hizbullah is a strong political movement inside Lebanon that commands a very capable fighting force that expelled Israel's last presence from Lebanon in 2000, rebuffed a subsequent Israeli invasion of the country six years later, and still exerts considerable deterrent power against Israel today
Very few people in Israel today judge the 1982 invasion of Lebanon to have been a wise move. How will the historians of the future view Trump's decision to launch his big escalation against Iran's allies in Iraq, presumably as part of his "maximum pressure" campaign against Tehran?
This article has been republished with permission from Just World News .
Jun 02, 2017 | www.counterpunch.org
In early June of 1967, at the onset of the Six Day War, the Pentagon sent the USS Liberty from Spain into international waters off the coast of Gaza to monitor the progress of Israel's attack on the Arab states. The Liberty was a lightly armed surveillance ship.
Only hours after the Liberty arrived it was spotted by the Israeli military. The IDF sent out reconnaissance planes to identify the ship. They made eight trips over a period of three hours. The Liberty was flying a large US flag and was easily recognizable as an American vessel.
Soon more planes came. These were Israeli Mirage III fighters, armed with rockets and machine guns. As off-duty officers sunbathed on the deck, the fighters opened fire on the defenseless ship with rockets and machine guns.
A few minutes later a second wave of planes streaked overhead, French-built Mystere jets, which not only pelted the ship with gunfire but also with napalm bomblets, coating the deck with the flaming jelly. By now, the Liberty was on fire and dozens were wounded and killed, excluding several of the ship's top officers.
The Liberty's radio team tried to issue a distress call, but discovered the frequencies had been jammed by the Israeli planes with what one communications specialist called "a buzzsaw sound." Finally, an open channel was found and the Liberty got out a message it was under attack to the USS America, the Sixth Fleet's large aircraft carrier.
Two F-4s left the carrier to come to the Liberty's aid. Apparently, the jets were armed only with nuclear weapons. When word reached the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara became irate and ordered the jets to return. "Tell the Sixth Fleet to get those aircraft back immediately," he barked. McNamara's injunction was reiterated in saltier terms by Admiral David L. McDonald, the chief of Naval Operations: "You get those fucking airplanes back on deck, and you get them back down." The planes turned around. And the attack on the Liberty continued.
After the Israeli fighter jets had emptied their arsenal of rockets, three Israeli attack boats approached the Liberty. Two torpedoes were launched at the crippled ship, one tore a 40-foot wide hole in the hull, flooding the lower compartments, and killing more than a dozen American sailors.
As the Liberty listed in the choppy seas, its deck aflame, crew members dropped life rafts into the water and prepared to scuttle the ship. Given the number of wounded, this was going to be a dangerous operation. But it soon proved impossible, as the Israeli attack boats strafed the rafts with machine gun fire. No body was going to get out alive that way.
After more than two hours of unremitting assault, the Israelis finally halted their attack. One of the torpedo boats approached the Liberty. An officer asked in English over a bullhorn: "Do you need any help?"
The wounded commander of the Liberty, Lt. William McGonagle, instructed the quartermaster to respond emphatically: "Fuck you."
The Israeli boat turned and left.
A Soviet destroyer responded before the US Navy, even though a US submarine, on a covert mission, was apparently in the area and had monitored the attack. The Soviet ship reached the Liberty six hours before the USS Davis. The captain of the Soviet ship offered his aid, but the Liberty's conning officer refused.
Finally, 16 hours after the attack two US destroyers reached the Liberty. By that time, 34 US sailors were dead and 174 injured, many seriously. As the wounded were being evacuated, an officer with the Office of Naval Intelligence instructed the men not to talk about their ordeal with the press.
The following morning Israel launched a surprise invasion of Syria, breaching the new cease-fire agreement and seizing control of the Golan Heights.
Within three weeks, the Navy put out a 700-page report, exonerating the Israelis, claiming the attack had been accidental and that the Israelis had pulled back as soon as they realized their mistake. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara suggested the whole affair should be forgotten. "These errors do occur," McNamara concluded.
In Assault on the Liberty , a harrowing first-hand account by James Ennes Jr., McNamara's version of events is proven to be as big a sham as his concurrent lies about Vietnam. Ennes's book created a media storm when it was first published by Random House in 1980, including (predictably) charges that Ennes was a liar and an anti-Semite. Still, the book sold more than 40,000 copies, but was eventually allowed to go out of print. Now Ennes has published an updated version, which incorporates much new evidence that the Israeli attack was deliberate and that the US government went to extraordinary lengths to disguise the truth.
It's a story of Israel aggression, Pentagon incompetence, official lies, and a cover-up that persists to this day. The book gains much of its power from the immediacy of Ennes's first-hand account of the attack and the lies that followed.
Now, decades later, Ennes warns that the bloodbath on board the Liberty and its aftermath should serve as a tragic cautionary tale about the continuing ties between the US government and the government of Israel.
The Attack on the Liberty is the kind of book that makes your blood seethe. Ennes skillfully documents the life of the average sailor on one of the more peculiar vessels in the US Navy, with an attention for detail that reminds one of Dana or O'Brien. After all, the year was 1967 and most of the men on the Liberty were certainly glad to be on a non-combat ship in the middle of the Mediterranean, rather than in the Gulf of Tonkin or Mekong Delta.
But this isn't Two Years Before the Mast. In fact, Ennes's tour on the Liberty last only a few short weeks. He had scarcely settled into a routine before his new ship was shattered before his eyes.
Ennes joined the Liberty in May of 1967, as an Electronics Material Officer. Serving on a "spook ship", as the Liberty was known to Navy wives, was supposed to be a sure path to career enhancement. The Liberty's normal routine was to ply the African coast, tuning in its eavesdropping equipment on the electronic traffic in the region.
The Liberty had barely reached Africa when it received a flash message from the Joint Chiefs of Staff to sail from the Ivory Coast to the Mediterranean, where it was to re-deploy off the coast of the Sinai to monitor the Israeli attack on Egypt and the allied Arab nations.
As the war intensified, the Liberty sent a request to the fleet headquarters requesting an escort. It was denied by Admiral William Martin. The Liberty moved alone to a position in international waters about 13 miles from the shore at El Arish, then under furious siege by the IDF.
On June 6, the Joint Chiefs sent Admiral McCain, father of the senator from Arizona, an urgent message instructing him to move the Liberty out of the war zone to a position at least 100 miles off the Gaza Coast. McCain never forwarded the message to the ship.
A little after seven in the morning on June 8, Ennes entered the bridge of the Liberty to take the morning watch. Ennes was told that an hour earlier a "flying boxcar" (later identified as a twin-engine Nord 2501 Noratlas) had flown over the ship at a low level.
Ennes says he noticed that the ship's American flag had become stained with soot and ordered a new flag run up the mast. The morning was clear and calm, with a light breeze.
At 9 am, Ennes spotted another reconnaissance plane, which circled the Liberty. An hour later two Israeli fighter jets buzzed the ship. Over the next four hours, Israeli planes flew over the Liberty five more times.
When the first fighter jet struck, a little before two in the afternoon, Ennes was scanning the skies from the starboard side of the bridge, binoculars in his hands. A rocket hit the ship just below where Ennes was standing, the fragments shredded the men closest to him.
After the explosion, Ennes noticed that he was the only man left standing. But he also had been hit by more than 20 shards of shrapnel and the force of the blast had shattered his left leg. As he crawled into the pilothouse, a second fighter jet streaked above them and unleashed its payload on the hobbled Liberty.
At that point, Ennes says the crew of the Liberty had no idea who was attacking them or why. For a few moments, they suspected it might be the Soviets, after an officer mistakenly identified the fighters as MIG-15s. They knew that the Egyptian air force already had been decimated by the Israelis. The idea that the Israelis might be attacking them didn't occur to them until one of the crew spotted a Star of David on the wing of one of the French-built Mystere jets.
Ennes was finally taken below deck to a makeshift dressing station, with other wounded men. It was hardly a safe harbor. As Ennes worried that his fractured leg might slice through his femoral artery leaving him to bleed to death, the Liberty was pummeled by rockets, machine-gun fire and an Italian-made torpedo packed with 1,000-pounds of explosive.
After the attack ended, Ennes was approached by his friend Pat O'Malley, a junior officer, who had just sent a list of killed and wounded to the Bureau of Naval Personnel. He got an immediate message back. "They said, 'Wounded in what action? Killed in what action?'," O'Malley told Ennes. "They said it wasn't an 'action,' it was an accident. I'd like for them to come out here and see the difference between an action and an accident. Stupid bastards."
The cover-up had begun.
The Pentagon lied to the public about the attack on the Liberty from the very beginning. In a decision personally approved by the loathsome McNamara, the Pentagon denied to the press that the Liberty was an intelligence ship, referring to it instead as a Technical Research ship, as if it were little more than a military version of Jacques Cousteau's Calypso.
The military press corps on the USS America, where most of the wounded sailors had been taken, were placed under extreme restrictions. All of the stories filed from the carrier were first routed through the Pentagon for security clearance, objectionable material was removed with barely a bleat of protest from the reporters or their publications.
Predictably, Israel's first response was to blame the victim, a tactic that has served them so well in the Palestinian situation. First, the IDF alleged that it had asked the State Department and the Pentagon to identify any US ships in the area and was told that there were none. Then the Israeli government charged that the Liberty failed to fly its flag and didn't respond to calls for it to identify itself. The Israelis contended that they assumed the Liberty was an Egyptian supply ship called El Quseir, which, even though it was a rusting transport ship then docked in Alexandria, the IDF said it suspected of shelling Israeli troops from the sea. Under these circumstances, the Israeli's said they were justified in opening fire on the Liberty. The Israelis said that they halted the attack almost immediately, when they realized their mistake.
"The Liberty contributed decisively toward its identification as an enemy ship," the IDF report concluded. This was a blatant falsehood, since the Israelis had identified the Liberty at least six hours prior to the attack on the ship.
Even though the Pentagon knew better, it gave credence to the Israeli account by saying that perhaps the Liberty's flag had lain limp on the flagpole in a windless sea. The Pentagon also suggested that the attack might have lasted less than 20 minutes.
After the initial battery of misinformation, the Pentagon imposed a news blackout on the Liberty disaster until after the completion of a Court of Inquiry investigation.
The inquiry was headed by Rear Admiral Isaac C. Kidd. Kidd didn't have a free hand. He'd been instructed by Vice-Admiral McCain to limit the damage to the Pentagon and to protect the reputation of Israel.
The Kidd interviewed the crew on June 14 and 15. The questioning was extremely circumscribed. According to Ennes, the investigators "asked nothing that might be embarrassing to Israeland testimony that tended to embarrass Israel was covered with a 'Top Secret' label, if it was accepted at all."
Ennes notes that even testimony by the Liberty's communications officers about the jamming of the ship's radios was classified as "Top Secret." The reason? It proved that Israel knew it was attacking an American ship. "Here was strong evidence that the attack was planned in advance and that our ship's identity was known to the attackers (for it its practically impossible to jam the radio of a stranger), but this information was hushed up and no conclusions were drawn from it," Ennes writes.
Similarly, the Court of Inquiry deep-sixed testimony and affidavits regarding the flag-Ennes had ordered a crisp new one deployed early on the morning of the attack. The investigators buried intercepts of conversations between IDF pilots identifying the ship as flying an American flag.
It also refused to accept evidence about the IDF's use of napalm during the attacks and choose not to hear testimony regarding the duration of the attacks and the fact that the US Navy failed to send planes to defend the ship.
"No one came to help us," said Dr. Richard F. Kiepfer, the Liberty's physician. "We were promised help, but no help came. The Russians arrived before our own ships did. We asked for an escort before we ever came to the war zone and we were turned down."
None of this made its way into the 700-page Court of Inquiry report, which was completed within a couple of weeks and sent to Admiral McCain in London for review.
McCain approved the report over the objections of Captain Merlin Staring, the Navy legal officer assigned to the inquiry, who found the report to be flawed, incomplete and contrary to the evidence.
Staring sent a letter to the Judge Advocate General of the Navy disavowing himself from the report. The JAG seemed to take Staring's objections to heart. It prepared a summary for the Chief of Naval Operations that almost completely ignored the Kidd/McCain report. Instead, it concluded:
that the Liberty was easily recognizable as an American naval vessel; that it's flag was fully deployed and flying in a moderate breeze; that Israeli planes made at least eight reconnaissance flights at close range; the ship came under a prolonged attack from Israeli fighter jets and torpedo boats.
This succinct and largely accurate report was stamped Top Secret by Navy brass and stayed locked up for many years. But it was seen by many in the Pentagon and some in the Oval Office. But here was enough grumbling about the way the Liberty incident had been handled that LBJ summoned that old Washington fixer Clark Clifford to do damage control. It didn't take Clifford long to come up with the official line: the Israelis simply had made a tragic mistake.
It turns out that the Admiral Kidd and Captain Ward Boston, the two investigating officers who prepared the original report for Admiral McCain, both believed that the Israeli attack was intentional and sustained. In other words, the IDF knew that they were striking an American spy ship and they wanted to sink it and kill as many sailors as possible. Why then did the Navy investigators produce a sham report that concluded it was an accident?
Twenty-five years later we finally found out. In June of 2002, Captain Boston told the Navy Times: "Officers follow orders."
It gets worse. There's plenty of evidence that US intelligence agencies learned on June 7 that Israel intended to attack the Liberty on the following day and that the strike had been personally ordered by Moshe Dayan.
As the attacks were going on, conversations between Israeli pilots were overheard by US Air Force officers in an EC121 surveillance plane overhead. The spy plane was spotted by Israeli jets, which were given orders to shoot it down. The American plane narrowly avoided the IDF missiles.
Initial reports on the incident prepared by the CIA, Office of Naval Intelligence and the National Security Agency all reached similar conclusions.
A particularly damning report compiled by a CIA informant suggests that Israeli Defense minister Moshe Dayan personally ordered the attack and wanted it to proceed until the Liberty was sunk and all on board killed. A heavily redacted version of the report was released in 1977. It reads in part:
"[The source] said that Dayan personally ordered the attack on the ship and that one of his generals adamantly opposed the action and said, 'This is pure murder.' One of the admirals who was present also disapproved of the action, and it was he who ordered it stopped and not Dayan."
This amazing document generated little attention from the press and Dayan was never publicly questioned about his role in the attack.
The analyses by the intelligence agencies are collected in a 1967 investigation by the Defense Subcommittee on Appropriations. Two and half decades later that report remains classified. Why? A former committee staffer said: "So as not to embarrass Israel."
More proof came to light from the Israeli side. A few years after Attack on the Liberty was originally published, Ennes got a call from Evan Toni, an Israeli pilot. Toni told Ennes that he had just read his book and wanted to tell him his story. Toni said that he was the pilot in the first Israeli Mirage fighter to reach the Liberty. He immediately recognized the ship to be a US Navy vessel. He radioed Israeli air command with this information and asked for instructions. Toni said he was ordered to "attack." He refused and flew back to the air base at Ashdod. When he arrived he was summarily arrested for disobeying orders.
How tightly does the Israeli lobby control the Hill? For the first time in history, an attack on an America ship was not subjected to a public investigation by Congress. In 1980, Adlai Stevenson and Barry Goldwater planned to open a senate hearing into the Liberty affair. Then Jimmy Carter intervened by brokering a deal with Menachem Begin, where Israel agreed to pony up $6 million to pay for damages to the ship. A State Department press release announced the payment said, "The book is now closed on the USS Liberty."
It certainly was the last chapter for Adlai Stevenson. He ran for governor of Illinois the following year, where his less than perfect record on Israel, and his unsettling questions about the Liberty affair, became an issue in the campaign. Big money flowed into the coffers of his Republican opponent, Big Jim Thompson, and Stevenson went down to a narrow defeat.
But the book wasn't closed for the sailors either, of course. After a Newsweek story exposed the gist of what really happened on that day in the Mediterranean, an enraged Admiral McCain placed all the sailors under a gag order. When one sailor told an officer that he was having problems living with the cover-up, he was told: "Forget about it, that's an order."
The Navy went to bizarre lengths to keep the crew of the Liberty from telling what they knew. When gag orders didn't work, they threatened sanctions. Ennes tells of the confinement and interrogation of two Liberty sailors that sounds like something right out of the CIA's MK-Ultra program.
"In an incredible abuse of authority, military officers held two young Liberty sailors against their will in a locked and heavily guarded psychiatric ward of the base hospital," Ennes writes. "For days these men were drugged and questioned about their recollections of the attack by a 'therapist' who admitted to being untrained in either psychiatry or psychology. At one point, they avoided electroshock only by bolting from the room and demanding to see the commanding officer."
Since coming home, the veterans who have tried to tell of their ordeal have been harassed relentlessly. They've been branded as drunks, bigots, liars and frauds. Often, it turns out, these slurs have been leaked by the Pentagon. And, oh yeah, they've also been painted as anti-Semites.
In a recent column, Charley Reese describes just how mean-spirited and petty this campaign became. "When a small town in Wisconsin decided to name its library in honor of the USS Liberty crewmen, a campaign claiming it was anti-Semitic was launched," writes Reese. "And when the town went ahead, the U.S. government ordered no Navy personnel to attend, and sent no messages. This little library was the first, and at the time the only, memorial to the men who died on the Liberty."
So why then did the Israelis attack the Liberty?
A few days before the Six Days War, Israel's Foreign Minister Abba Eban visited Washington to inform LBJ about the forthcoming invasion. Johnson cautioned Eban that the US could not support such an attack.
It's possible, then, that the IDF assumed that the Liberty was spying on the Israeli war plans. Possible, but not likely. Despite the official denials, as Andrew and Leslie Cockburn demonstrate in Dangerous Liaison, at the time of the Six Days War the US and Israel had developed a warm covert relationship. So closely were the two sides working that US intelligence aid certainly helped secure Israel's devastating and swift victory. In fact, it's possible that the Liberty had been sent to the region to spy for the IDF.
A somewhat more likely scenario holds that Moshe Dayan wanted to keep the lid on Israel's plan to breach the new cease-fire and invade into Syria to seize the Golan.
It has also been suggested that Dayan ordered the attack on the Liberty with the intent of pinning the blame on the Egyptians and thus swinging public and political opinion in the United States solidly behind the Israelis. Of course, for this plan to work, the Liberty had to be destroyed and its crew killed.
There's another factor. The Liberty was positioned just off the coast from the town of El Arish. In fact, Ennes and others had used town's mosque tower to fix the location of the ship along the otherwise featureless desert shoreline. The IDF had seized El Arish and had used the airport there as a prisoner of war camp. On the very day the Liberty was attacked, the IDF was in the process of executing as many as 1,000 Palestinian and Egyptian POWs, a war crime that they surely wanted to conceal from prying eyes. According to Gabriel Bron, now an Israeli reporter, who witnessed part of the massacre as a soldier: "The Egyptian prisoners of war were ordered to dig pits and then army police shot them to death."
The bigger question is why the US government would participate so enthusiastically in the cover-up of a war crime against its own sailors. Well, the Pentagon has never been slow to hide its own incompetence. And there's plenty of that in the Liberty affair: bungled communications, refusal to provide an escort, situating the defenseless Liberty too close to a raging battle, the inability to intervene in the attack and the inexcusably long time it took to reach the battered ship and its wounded.
That's but par for the course. But something else was going on that would only come to light later. Through most of the 1960s, the US congress had imposed a ban on the sale of arms to both Israel and Jordan. But at the time of the Liberty attack, the Pentagon (and its allies in the White House and on the Hill) was seeking to have this proscription overturned. The top brass certainly knew that any evidence of a deliberate attack on a US Navy ship by the IDF would scuttle their plans. So they hushed it up.
In January 1968, the arms embargo on Israel was lifted and the sale of American weapons began to flow. By 1971, Israel was buying $600 million of American-made weapons a year. Two years later the purchases topped $3 billion. Almost overnight, Israel had become the largest buyer of US-made arms and aircraft.
Perversely, then, the IDF's strike on the Liberty served to weld the US and Israel together, in a kind of political and military embrace. Now, every time the IDF attacks defenseless villages in Gaza and the West Bank with F-16s and Apache helicopters, the Palestinians quite rightly see the bloody assaults as a joint operation, with the Pentagon as a hidden partner.
Thus, does the legacy of Liberty live on, one raid after another.
A version of this essay appeared in The Politics of Anti-Semitism by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair.
Jan 21, 2020 | www.unz.com
SolontoCroesus , says: Show Comment January 21, 2020 at 5:20 pm GMTZ-man , says: Show Comment January 21, 2020 at 7:05 pm GMT
That Iraq is to say the least unstable is attributable to the ill-advised U.S. invasion of 2003.
Nothing to do with 9 years of sanctions on Iraq that killed a million Iraqis, "half of them children," and US control of Iraqi air space, after having killed Iraqi military in a turkey-shoot, for no really good reason other than George H W Bush seized the "unipolar moment" to become king of the world?
Maybe it's just stubbornness: I think Papa Bush is responsible for the "imperial pivot," in the Persian Gulf war aka Operation Desert Storm, 29 years and 4 days ago -- January 17, 1991.
According to Jeffrey Engel, Bush's biographer and director of the Bush library at Southern Methodist University, Gorbachev harassed Bush with phone calls, pleading with him not to go to war over Kuwait
(It's worth noting that Dennis Ross was relatively new in his role on Jim Baker's staff when Baker, Brent Skowcroft, Larry Eagleburger & like minded urged Bush to take the Imperial Pivot.)
According to Vernon Loeb, who completed the writing of King's Counsel after Jack O'Connell died, Jordan's King Hussein, in consultation with retired CIA station chief O'Connell, parlayed with Arab leaders to resolve the conflict on their own, i.e. Arab-to-Arab terms, and also pleaded with Bush to stay out, and to let the Arabs solve their own problems. Bush refused.
See above: Bush was determined to "seize the unipolar moment."
Once again insist on entering into the record: George H Bush was present at the creation of the Global War on Terror, July 4, 1979, the Jerusalem Conference hosted by Benzion and Benjamin Netanyahu and heavily populated with Trotskyites – neocons.
International Terrorism: Challenge and Response, Benjamin Netanyahu, ed., 1981.
(Wurmser became Netanyahu's acolyte)@SolontoCroesus
I think Papa Bush is responsible for the "imperial pivot," in the Persian Gulf war aka Operation Desert Storm, 29 years and 4 days ago -- January 17, 1991.
Yes I remember it well. I came back from a long trip & memorable vacation, alas I was a young man, to the television drama that was unfolding with Arthur Kent 'The Scud Stud' and others reporting from the safety of their hotel balconies filming aircaft and cruise missiles. It was surreal.
You are correct of course.
Jan 09, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation,
Days after the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani, new and important information is coming to light from a speech given by the Iraqi prime minister. The story behind Soleimani's assassination seems to go much deeper than what has thus far been reported, involving Saudi Arabia and China as well the US dollar's role as the global reserve currency .
The Iraqi prime minister, Adil Abdul-Mahdi, has revealed details of his interactions with Trump in the weeks leading up to Soleimani's assassination in a speech to the Iraqi parliament. He tried to explain several times on live television how Washington had been browbeating him and other Iraqi members of parliament to toe the American line, even threatening to engage in false-flag sniper shootings of both protesters and security personnel in order to inflame the situation, recalling similar modi operandi seen in Cairo in 2009, Libya in 2011, and Maidan in 2014. The purpose of such cynicism was to throw Iraq into chaos.
Here is the reconstruction of the story:
[Speaker of the Council of Representatives of Iraq] Halbousi attended the parliamentary session while almost none of the Sunni members did. This was because the Americans had learned that Abdul-Mehdi was planning to reveal sensitive secrets in the session and sent Halbousi to prevent this. Halbousi cut Abdul-Mehdi off at the commencement of his speech and then asked for the live airing of the session to be stopped. After this, Halbousi together with other members, sat next to Abdul-Mehdi, speaking openly with him but without it being recorded. This is what was discussed in that session that was not broadcast:
Abdul-Mehdi spoke angrily about how the Americans had ruined the country and now refused to complete infrastructure and electricity grid projects unless they were promised 50% of oil revenues, which Abdul-Mehdi refused.
The complete (translated) words of Abdul-Mahdi's speech to parliament:
This is why I visited China and signed an important agreement with them to undertake the construction instead. Upon my return, Trump called me to ask me to reject this agreement. When I refused, he threatened to unleash huge demonstrations against me that would end my premiership.
Huge demonstrations against me duly materialized and Trump called again to threaten that if I did not comply with his demands, then he would have Marine snipers on tall buildings target protesters and security personnel alike in order to pressure me.
I refused again and handed in my resignation. To this day the Americans insist on us rescinding our deal with the Chinese.
After this, when our Minister of Defense publicly stated that a third party was targeting both protestors and security personnel alike (just as Trump had threatened he would do), I received a new call from Trump threatening to kill both me and the Minister of Defense if we kept on talking about this "third party".
Nobody imagined that the threat was to be applied to General Soleimani, but it was difficult for Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi to reveal the weekslong backstory behind the terrorist attack.
I was supposed to meet him [Soleimani] later in the morning when he was killed. He came to deliver a message from Iran in response to the message we had delivered to the Iranians from the Saudis.
We can surmise, judging by Saudi Arabia's reaction , that some kind of negotiation was going on between Tehran and Riyadh:
The Kingdom's statement regarding the events in Iraq stresses the Kingdom's view of the importance of de-escalation to save the countries of the region and their people from the risks of any escalation.
Above all, the Saudi Royal family wanted to let people know immediately that they had not been informed of the US operation:
The kingdom of Saudi Arabia was not consulted regarding the US strike. In light of the rapid developments, the Kingdom stresses the importance of exercising restraint to guard against all acts that may lead to escalation, with severe consequences.
And to emphasize his reluctance for war, Mohammad bin Salman sent a delegation to the United States. Liz Sly , the Washington Post Beirut bureau chief, tweated:
Saudi Arabia is sending a delegation to Washington to urge restraint with Iran on behalf of [Persian] Gulf states. The message will be: 'Please spare us the pain of going through another war'.
What clearly emerges is that the success of the operation against Soleimani had nothing to do with the intelligence gathering of the US or Israel. It was known to all and sundry that Soleimani was heading to Baghdad in a diplomatic capacity that acknowledged Iraq's efforts to mediate a solution to the regional crisis with Saudi Arabia.
It would seem that the Saudis, Iranians and Iraqis were well on the way towards averting a regional conflict involving Syria, Iraq and Yemen. Riyadh's reaction to the American strike evinced no public joy or celebration. Qatar, while not seeing eye to eye with Riyadh on many issues, also immediately expressed solidarity with Tehran, hosting a meeting at a senior government level with Mohammad Zarif Jarif, the Iranian foreign minister. Even Turkey and Egypt , when commenting on the asassination, employed moderating language.
This could reflect a fear of being on the receiving end of Iran's retaliation. Qatar, the country from which the drone that killed Soleimani took off, is only a stone's throw away from Iran, situated on the other side of the Strait of Hormuz. Riyadh and Tel Aviv, Tehran's regional enemies, both know that a military conflict with Iran would mean the end of the Saudi royal family.
When the words of the Iraqi prime minister are linked back to the geopolitical and energy agreements in the region, then the worrying picture starts to emerge of a desperate US lashing out at a world turning its back on a unipolar world order in favor of the emerging multipolar about which I have long written .
The US, now considering itself a net energy exporter as a result of the shale-oil revolution (on which the jury is still out), no longer needs to import oil from the Middle East. However, this does not mean that oil can now be traded in any other currency other than the US dollar.
The petrodollar is what ensures that the US dollar retains its status as the global reserve currency, granting the US a monopolistic position from which it derives enormous benefits from playing the role of regional hegemon.
This privileged position of holding the global reserve currency also ensures that the US can easily fund its war machine by virtue of the fact that much of the world is obliged to buy its treasury bonds that it is simply able to conjure out of thin air. To threaten this comfortable arrangement is to threaten Washington's global power.
Even so, the geopolitical and economic trend is inexorably towards a multipolar world order, with China increasingly playing a leading role, especially in the Middle East and South America.
Venezuela, Russia, Iran, Iraq, Qatar and Saudi Arabia together make up the overwhelming majority of oil and gas reserves in the world. The first three have an elevated relationship with Beijing and are very much in the multipolar camp, something that China and Russia are keen to further consolidate in order to ensure the future growth for the Eurasian supercontinent without war and conflict.
Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, is pro-US but could gravitate towards the Sino-Russian camp both militarily and in terms of energy. The same process is going on with Iraq and Qatar thanks to Washington's numerous strategic errors in the region starting from Iraq in 2003, Libya in 2011 and Syria and Yemen in recent years.
The agreement between Iraq and China is a prime example of how Beijing intends to use the Iraq-Iran-Syria troika to revive the Middle East and and link it to the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative.
While Doha and Riyadh would be the first to suffer economically from such an agreement, Beijing's economic power is such that, with its win-win approach, there is room for everyone.
Saudi Arabia provides China with most of its oil and Qatar, together with the Russian Federation, supply China with most of its LNG needs, which lines up with Xi Jinping's 2030 vision that aims to greatly reduce polluting emissions.
The US is absent in this picture, with little ability to influence events or offer any appealing economic alternatives.
Washington would like to prevent any Eurasian integration by unleashing chaos and destruction in the region, and killing Soleimani served this purpose. The US cannot contemplate the idea of the dollar losing its status as the global reserve currency. Trump is engaging in a desperate gamble that could have disastrous consequences.
The region, in a worst-case scenario, could be engulfed in a devastating war involving multiple countries. Oil refineries could be destroyed all across the region, a quarter of the world's oil transit could be blocked, oil prices would skyrocket ($200-$300 a barrel) and dozens of countries would be plunged into a global financial crisis. The blame would be laid squarely at Trump's feet, ending his chances for re-election.
To try and keep everyone in line, Washington is left to resort to terrorism, lies and unspecified threats of visiting destruction on friends and enemies alike.
Trump has evidently been convinced by someone that the US can do without the Middle East, that it can do without allies in the region, and that nobody would ever dare to sell oil in any other currency than the US dollar.
Soleimani's death is the result of a convergence of US and Israeli interests. With no other way of halting Eurasian integration, Washington can only throw the region into chaos by targeting countries like Iran, Iraq and Syria that are central to the Eurasian project. While Israel has never had the ability or audacity to carry out such an assassination itself, the importance of the Israel Lobby to Trump's electoral success would have influenced his decision, all the more so in an election year .
Trump believed his drone attack could solve all his problems by frightening his opponents, winning the support of his voters (by equating Soleimani's assassination to Osama bin Laden's), and sending a warning to Arab countries of the dangers of deepening their ties with China.
The assassination of Soleimani is the US lashing out at its steady loss of influence in the region. The Iraqi attempt to mediate a lasting peace between Iran and Saudi Arabia has been scuppered by the US and Israel's determination to prevent peace in the region and instead increase chaos and instability.
Washington has not achieved its hegemonic status through a preference for diplomacy and calm dialogue, and Trump has no intention of departing from this approach.
Washington's friends and enemies alike must acknowledge this reality and implement the countermeasures necessary to contain the madness.
Boundless Energy , 1 minute ago linkNoob678 , 8 minutes ago link
Very good article, straight to the point. In fact its much worse. I know is hard to swallow for my US american brother and sisters.
But as sooner you wake up and see the reality as it is, as better chances the US has to survive with honor. Stop the wars around the globe and do not look for excuses. Isnt it already obvious what is going on with the US war machine? How many more examples some people need to wake up?Thom Paine , 9 minutes ago link
For those who love to connect the dots:
Iran Situation from Someone Who Knows Something
Not all said in video above is accurate but the recent events in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Africa are all related to prevent China from overtaking the zionist hegemonic world and to recolonize China (at least the parasite is trying to hop to China as new host).
Trade war, Huawei, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Tibet ..... the concerted efforts from all zionist controlled media (ZeroHedge included) to slander, smearing, fake news against China should tell you what the Zionists agenda are :)
Trump Threatens to Kill Iraqi PM if He Doesn't Cancel China Oil Deal - MoA
The American President's threatened the Iraqi Prime Minister to liquidate him directly with the Minister of Defense. The Marines are the third party that sniped the demonstrators and the security men:
Abdul Mahdi continued:
"After my return from China, Trump called me and asked me to cancel the agreement, so I also refused, and he threatened me with massive demonstrations that would topple me. Indeed, the demonstrations started and then Trump called, threatening to escalate in the event of non-cooperation and responding to his wishes, so that the third party (Marines snipers) would target the demonstrators and security forces and kill them from the highest structures and the US embassy in an attempt to pressure me and submit to his wishes and cancel the China agreement, so I did not respond and submitted my resignation and the Americans still insist to this day on canceling the China agreement and when the defense minister said that who kills the demonstrators is a third party, Trump called me immediately and physically threatened me and defense minister in the event of talk about the third party."
The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission found George W. Bush guilty of war crimes in absentia for the illegal invasion of Iraq. Bush, **** Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and their legal advisers Alberto Gonzales, David Addington, William Haynes, Jay Bybee and John Yoo were tried in absentia in Malaysia.
... ... ..TupacShakur , 13 minutes ago link
When Iran has nukes, what then Trump?
I think Israel's fear is loss of regional goals if Iran becomes untouchableStalking Wolf , 12 minutes ago link
Empire is lashing out of desperation because we've crossed peak Empire.
Things are going downhill and will get more volatile as we go.
Buckle up folks because the final act will be very nasty.
Unfortunately, this article makes a lot of sense. The US is losing influence and lashing out carelessly. I hope the rest of the world realizes how detached majority of the citizens within the states are from the federal government. The Federal government brings no good to our nation. None. From the mis management of our once tax revenues to the corrupt Congress who accepts bribes from the highest bidder, it's a rats best that is not only harmful to its own people, but the world at large. USD won't go down without a fight it seems... All empires end with a bang. Be ready
Feb 09, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
" Don't tell the Democrats, but they are ignoring their best candidate for president. That candidate is Tulsi Gabbard. She is the congresswoman from Hawaii who would have the best chance of picking up the votes of independents and even some Republicans in November. But at the moment she is being ostracized by party leaders." Mulshine
Daniel McAdams , 08 February 2020 at 10:47 PMWe had her on the program Friday: https://youtu.be/SlCeGEkWApkAlex stumm , 08 February 2020 at 11:17 PMAgreed. But she's anti-war, so no chance of being supported by "party leaders" ( those "leaders" is a bit of a misnomer)The Twisted Genius , 08 February 2020 at 11:26 PMTulsi bet all her chips on New Hampshire just like Mayor Pete did in Iowa. I was up in the Conway region last August and saw billboards for Tulsi all over the place. There was nothing for other candidates. She held well over a hundred town halls in the state. I'm hoping this strategy works for her. I like EVERYTHING about her including her antiwar foreign policy stance and her genuinely progressive domestic policy.james , 08 February 2020 at 11:33 PM
I just received this message from her campaign:
"Tulsi is on the rise in New Hampshire and we need to be doing all we can right now to keep this upward momentum going!"
"First: Local paper The Caledonian Record yesterday released an online poll showing a whopping 67.3% of voters chose Tulsi as the candidate they would "like to see win the Primary.""
"Then: CNN/UNH polling released today shows Tulsi moving into 5th, within striking distance of Elizabeth Warren, with HALF of voters still uncommitted and up for grabs."
"It's the height of irony that CNN's OWN most recent polling shows Tulsi ahead of Amy Klobuchar, Andrew Yang, Tom Steyer and Deval Patrick -- all of whom were given nationally televised CNN town halls worth millions just this week, while the establishment network refused to let Tulsi speak. This blatant censorship denied New Hampshire voters (half undecided) the opportunity to hear from all the candidates, and then make an informed opinion about who to support."
I hope she does well in New Hampshire. It will be much harder for for the press to ignore her if she does.follow the money - usa state religion.. the donors are being looked after..
Mar 06, 2013 | www.zcommunications.org
Source: Le Monde Diplomatique
The Iraq war was about oil. Recently declassified US government documents confirm this ( 1 ), however much US president George W Bush, vice-president Dick Cheney, defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld and their ally, the British prime minister Tony Blair, denied it at the time.
When Bush moved into the White House in January 2001, he faced the familiar problem of the imbalance between oil supply and demand. Supply was unable to keep up with demand, which was increasing rapidly because of the growth of emerging economies such as China and India. The only possible solution lay in the Gulf, where the giant oil-producing countries of Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq, and the lesser producing states of Kuwait and Abu Dhabi, commanded 60% of the world's reserves.
For financial or political reasons, production growth was slow. In Saudi Arabia, the ultra-rich ruling families of the Al-Saud, the Al-Sabah and the Zayed Al-Nayan were content with a comfortable level of income, given their small populations, and preferred to leave their oil underground. Iran and Iraq hold around 25% of the world's hydrocarbon reserves and could have filled the gap, but were subject to sanctions -- imposed solely by the US on Iran, internationally on Iraq -- that deprived them of essential oil equipment and services. Washington saw them as rogue states and was unwilling to end the sanctions.
How could the US get more oil from the Gulf without endangering its supremacy in the region? Influential US neoconservatives, led by Paul Wolfowitz, who had gone over to uninhibited imperialism after the fall of the Soviet Union, thought they had found a solution. They had never understood George Bush senior's decision not to overthrow Saddam Hussein in the first Gulf war in 1991. An open letter to President Bill Clinton, inspired by the Statement of Principles of the Project for the New American Century, a non-profit organisation founded by William Kristol and Robert Kagan, had called for a regime change in Iraq as early as 1998: Saddam must be ousted and big US oil companies must gain access to Iraq. Several signatories to the Statement of Principles became members of the new Republican administration in 2001.
In 2002, one of them, Douglas Feith, a lawyer who was undersecretary of defense to Rumsfeld, supervised the work of experts planning the future of Iraq's oil industry. His first decision was to entrust its management after the expected US victory to Kellog, Brown & Root, a subsidiary of US oil giant Halliburton, of which Cheney had been chairman and CEO. Feith's plan, formulated at the start of 2003, was to keep Iraq's oil production at its current level of 2,840 mbpd (million barrels per day), to avoid a collapse that would cause chaos in the world market.
Experts were divided on the privatisation of the Iraqi oil industry. The Iraqi government had excluded foreign companies and successfully managed the sector itself since 1972. By 2003, despite wars with Iran (1980-88) and in Kuwait (1990-91) and more than 15 years of sanctions, Iraq had managed to equal the record production levels achieved in 1979-1980.
The experts had a choice -- bring back the concession regime that had operated before nationalisation in 1972, or sell shares in the Iraqi National Oil Company (INOC) on the Russian model, issuing transferrable vouchers to the Iraqi population. In Russia, this approach had very quickly led to the oil sector falling into the hands of a few super-rich oligarchs.
Bush approved the plan drawn up by the Pentagon and State Department in January 2003. The much-decorated retired lieutenant general Jay Gardner, was appointed director of the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance, the military administration set up to govern post-Saddam Iraq. Out of his depth, he stuck to short-term measures and avoided choosing between the options put forward by his technical advisers.
Reassuring the oil giants
The international oil companies were not idle. Lee Raymond, CEO of America's biggest oil company ExxonMobil, was an old friend of Dick Cheney. But where the politicians were daring, he was cautious. The project was a tempting opportunity to replenish the company's reserves, which had been stagnant for several years, but Raymond had doubts: would Bush really be able to assure conditions that would allow the company to operate safely in Iraq? Nobody at ExxonMobil was willing to die for oil. (Its well-paid engineers do not dream of life in a blockhouse in Iraq.) The company would also have to be sure of its legal position: what would contracts signed by a de facto authority be worth when it would be investing billions of dollars that would take years to recover?
In the UK, BP was anxious to secure its own share of the spoils. As early as 2002 the company had confided in the UK Department of Trade and Industry its fears that the US might give away too much to French, Russian and Chinese oil companies in return for their governments agreeing not to use their veto at the UN Security Council ( 2 ). In February 2003 those fears were removed: France's president Jacques Chirac vetoed a resolution put forward by the US, and the third Iraq war began without UN backing. There was no longer any question of respecting the agreements Saddam had signed with Total and other companies (which had never been put into practice because of sanctions).
To reassure the British and US oil giants, the US government appointed to the management team Gary Vogler of ExxonMobil and Philip J Carrol of Shell. They were replaced in October 2003 by Rob McKee of ConocoPhilips and Terry Adams of BP. The idea was to counter the dominance of the Pentagon, and the influential neocon approach (which faced opposition from within the administration). The neocon ideologues, still on the scene, had bizarre ideas: they wanted to build a pipeline to transport Iraq's crude oil to Israel, dismantle OPEC (Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) and even use "liberated" Iraq as a guinea pig for a new oil business model to be applied to all of the Middle East. The engineers and businessmen, whose priorities were profits and results, were more down-to-earth.
In any event, the invasion had a devastating impact on Iraq's oil production, less because of the bombing by the US air force than because of the widespread looting of government agencies, schools, universities, archives, libraries, banks, hospitals, museums and state-owned enterprises. Drilling rigs were dismantled for the copper parts they were believed to contain. The looting continued from March to May 2003. Only a third of the damage to the oil industry was caused during the invasion; the rest happened after the fighting was over, despite the presence of the RIO Task Force and the US Corps of Engineers with its 500 contractors, specially prepared and trained to protect oil installations. Saddam's supporters were prevented from blowing up the oil wells by the speed of the invasion, but the saboteurs set to work in June 2003.
Iraq's one real asset
The only buildings protected were the gigantic oil ministry, where 15,000 civil servants managed 22 subsidiaries of the Iraq National Oil Company. The State Oil Marketing Organisation and the infrastructure were abandoned. The occupiers regarded the oil under the ground as Iraq's one real asset. They were not interested in installations or personnel. The oil ministry was only saved at the last minute because it housed geological and seismic data on Iraq's 80 known deposits, estimated to contain 115bn barrels of crude oil. The rest could always be replaced with more modern US-made equipment and the knowhow of the international oil companies, made indispensible by the sabotage.
Thamir Abbas Ghadban, director-general of planning at the oil ministry, turned up at the office three days after the invasion was over, and, in the absence of a minister for oil (since Iraq had no government), was appointed second in command under Micheal Mobbs, a neocon who enjoyed the confidence of the Pentagon. Paul Bremer, the US proconsul who headed Iraq's provisional government from May 2003 to June 2004, presided over the worst 12 months in the oil sector in 70 years. Production fell by 1 mbpd -- more than $13bn of lost income.
The oil installations, watched over by 3,500 underequipped guards, suffered 140 sabotage attacks between May 2003 and September 2004, estimated to have caused $7bn of damage. "There was widespread looting," said Ghadban. "Equipment was stolen and in most cases the buildings were set on fire." The Daura refinery, near Baghdad, only received oil intermittently, because of damage to the pipeline network. "We had to let all the oil in the damaged sections of the pipeline burn before we could repair them." Yet the refinery continued to operate, no mean achievement considering that the workers were no longer being paid.
The senior management of the national oil company also suffered. Until 1952 almost all senior managers of the Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC) were foreigners, who occupied villas in gated and guarded compounds while the local workforce lived in shantytowns. In 1952 tension between Iraq and Muhammad Mossadegh's Iran led the IPC to review its relations with Baghdad, and a clause of the new treaty concerned the training of Iraqi managers. By 1972, 75% of the thousand skilled jobs were filled by Iraqis, which helped to ensure the success of the IPC's nationalisation. The new Iraq National Oil Company gained control of the oilfields and production reached unprecedented levels.
Purge of the Ba'ath
After the invasion, the US purged Ba'athist elements from INOC's management. Simply belonging to the Ba'ath, Iraq's single political party, which had been in power since 1968, was grounds for dismissal, compulsory retirement or worse. Seventeen of INOC's 24 directors were forced out, along with several hundred engineers, who had kept production high through wars and foreign sanctions. The founding fathers of INOC were ousted by the Deba'athification Commission, led by former exiles including Iraq's prime minister Nuri al-Maliki, who replaced them with his own supporters, as incompetent as they were partisan.
Rob McKee, who succeeded Philip J Carrol as oil adviser to the US proconsul, observed in autumn 2003: "The people themselves are patently unqualified and are apparently being placed in the ministry for religious, political or personal reasons... the people who nursed the industry through Saddam's years and who brought it back to life after the liberation, as well as many trained professionals, are all systematically being pushed to the sidelines" ( 3 ).
This purge opened the door to advisers, mostly from the US, who bombarded the oil ministry with notes, circulars and reports directly inspired by the practices of the international oil industry, without much concern for their applicability to Iraq.
The drafting of Iraq's new constitution and an oil law provided an opportunity to change the rules. Washington had decided in advance to do away with the centralised state, partly because of its crimes against the Kurds under Saddam and partly because centralisation favours totalitarianism. The new federal, or even confederal, regime was decentralised to the point of being de-structured. A two-thirds majority in one of the three provinces allows opposition to veto central government decisions.
Only Kurdistan had the means and the motivation to do so. Where oil was concerned, power was effectively divided between Baghdad and Irbil, seat of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), which imposed its own interpretation of the constitution: deposits already being exploited would remain under federal government control, but new licenses would be granted by the provincial governments. A fierce dispute arose between the two capitals, partly because the KRG granted licenses to foreign oil companies under far more favourable conditions than those offered by Baghdad.
The quarrel related to the production sharing agreements. The usual practice is for foreign companies that provide financial backing to get a share of the oil produced, which can be very significant in the first few years. This was the formula US politicians and oil companies wanted to impose. They were unable to do so.
Iraq's parliament, so often criticised in other matters, opposed this system; it was supported by public opinion, which had not forgotten the former IPC. Tariq Shafiq, founding father of the INOC, explained to the US Congress the technical reasons for the refusal ( 4 ). Iraq's oil deposits were known and mapped out. There was therefore little risk to foreign companies: there would be no prospecting costs and exploitation costs would be among the lowest in the world. From 2008 onwards, Baghdad started offering major oil companies far less attractive contracts -- $2/barrel for the bigger oilfields, and no rights to the deposits.
ExxonMobil, BP, Shell, Total, and Russian, Chinese, Angolan, Pakistani and Turkish oil companies nevertheless rushed to accept, hoping that things would turn to their advantage. Newsweek (24 May 2010) claimed Iraq had the potential to become "the next Saudi Arabia." But although production is up (over 3 mbpd in 2012), the oil companies are irritated by the conditions imposed on them: investment costs are high, profits are mediocre and the oil still underground is not counted as part of their reserves, which affects their share price.
ExxonMobil and Total disregarded the federal government edict that threatened to strip rights from oil companies that signed production-sharing agreements relating to oilfields in Kurdistan. Worse, ExxonMobil sold its services contract relating to Iraq's largest oilfield, West Qurna, where it had been due to invest $50bn and double the country's current production. Baghdad is now under pressure: if it continues to refuse the conditions requested by the foreign oil companies, it will lose out to Irbil, even if Kurdistan's deposits are only a third of the size of those in the south. Meanwhile, Turkey has done nothing to improve its relations with Iraq by offering to build a direct pipeline from Kurdistan to the Mediterranean. Without the war, would the oil companies have been able to make the Iraqis and Kurds compete? One thing is certain: the US is far from achieving its goals in the oil sector, and in this sense the war was a failure.
Alan Greenspan, who as chairman of the US Federal Reserve from 1987 to 2006 was well placed to understand the importance of oil, came up with the best summary of the conflict: "I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil" ( 5 ).
Feb 08, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Bill Maher interviewed Pete Buttigieg a few days ago on January 31, 2019. Bill Maher said, "You are the only military veteran in this."
Buttigieg nodded along and said, "Yeah."
It was a critical test of character for Mayor Pete, and Buttigieg showed his true colors. Instead of acknowledging Major Tulsi Gabbard -- the first female combat veteran to ever run for the presidency, who volunteered to deploy twice to the warzones of the Middle East at the height of the war, who has served in the Army National Guard for 17 years and is still serving today -- Buttigieg chose to allow the audience to believe the falsehood that he was the only military veteran running for president because it benefits him politically.
Furthermore, when Buttigeig's campaign posted the interview on social media, they chose to cut out the first part of Maher's statement (i.e.
"You are the only military veteran in this.") C'est un arriviste : mon opinion
Check this article:
Before I dive into Shortest Way Home's account of the life and career of Peter Buttigieg, let me be up front about my bias. I don't trust former McKinsey consultants. I don't trust military intelligence officers. And I don't trust the type of people likely to appear on "40 under 40" lists, the valedictorian-to-Harvard-to-Rhodes-Scholarship types who populate the American elite. I don't trust people who get flattering reams of newspaper profiles and are pitched as the Next Big Thing That You Must Pay Attention To, and I don't trust wunderkinds who become successful too early. Why? Because I am somewhat cynical about the United States meritocracy. Few people amass these kind of résumés if they are the type to openly challenge authority. Noam Chomsky says that the factors predicting success in our "meritocracy" are a "combination of greed, cynicism, obsequiousness and subordination, lack of curiosity and independence of mind, [and] self-serving disregard for others." So when journalists see "Harvard" and think "impressive," I see it and think "uh-oh."
Posted by: The Beaver | 07 February 2020 at 02:03 PM DNC and Media have black balled Gabbard.
Thrashing Kamala and Hillary is an unforgivable sin for the current DNC.
Democratic party is poorly served by DNC corruption and incompetence.
The top of their ticket reminds me of the decrepit party hacks the politburo put forward in the early 80s.
Moral and intellectual bankrupt.
Noting that McCain and Romney were the previous GOP nominees does not inspire confidence either
Posted by: sbin | 07 February 2020 at 02:23 PM I'm not normally into conspiracy theories, but I am suspicious of his direct commission into Naval intelligence. His educational background and a few other things makes me think he might be a CIA stooge.
And yes, pretty dishonest and arrogant to not mention Tulsi.
Posted by: Eric Newhill | 07 February 2020 at 02:36 PM I had heard Mayor Pete had been an engineer in the military but in a The Atlantic interview he says he was Naval Intelligence. He also spent time as a consultant for McKinsey in the Afghanistan but in neither case was he in much danger--unlike Tulsi.
In his own words: "Four years later, Buttigieg would return to Afghanistan as a Naval intelligence officer. He stayed on bases for the most part, venturing out only as an armed escort on an occasional trip. On the McKinsey work, they were outside the wire more, but "there was no moment of great adventure or danger for me, other than just the fact of we drove from Kabul to Jalalabad. That was a little risky. But in Iraq we were on base, or at least in the Green Zone, almost all the time."
How does a mayor of a small mid-west town wake up one day and decide he is qualified to run for the highest political office in the land and believe he can win. He's either insane or has friends inm high places. After the fudging of the numbers in Iowa in his favor, I'd say the latter.
Posted by: optimax | 07 February 2020 at 02:41 PM I have a low opinion of his personal integrity. But then I have a lot opinion of the President's personal integrity. Its probably time saving to say who does appear to have integrity rather than doesnt. At the moment I am prepared to believe Steyer, Gabbard, Sanders and Yang have some decency. But I could easily be wrong about any of them.
Posted by: Harry | 07 February 2020 at 02:51 PM Gabbard should run as an independent if she doesn't get the nomination. I believe Gabbard said she won't but I hope she change her mind.
Posted by: Ian | 07 February 2020 at 03:01 PM Since my background is strictly civilian, I cannot state . . . anything. But perhaps I can ask, could we refer to this as " foam-rubber valor"? Or "cardboard-replica valor"?
And it confirms a new emerging nickname I am seeing here and there for Mayor Pete . . . Pete the Cheat, Cheater Peter, Cheatin' Pete.. .
Posted by: different clue | 07 February 2020 at 03:23 PM
Feb 08, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
"The first man who, having fenced in a piece of land, said 'This is mine", and found people naïve enough to believe him, that man was the true founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars, and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows: Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody.
-- Rousseau 1754"
I gave up my Friday Night trivial enjoyments to watch the Democratic Party debate in New Hampshire. I did it for you, pilgrims, for you and because SWMBO forced me to do it.
As you can see, I support TG for president, whatever the odds, but she was not allowed on the stage. This morning she was on the TeeVee with one or another of the babbling anchors and when pressed over Trump's expulsion from his household of Sunderland, the EU ambassador and the execrable Vindmans from the NSC staff said reluctantly (and correctly) that the president has a right to whomever he wants as his subordinates in the Executive Branch. BTW, something generally ignored is that the two Vindmans are still US Army officers. What they have lost are their current assignments.
But, to return to the subject of last night's debate - it was evident that all of them (even Joe) are running on the basis of Rousseau's bald assertion that mankind has fallen from a "state of nature" in which humans existed in a classless economic equality and that said humans are hopelessly corrupted by the chains created by the notion of private property. To one extent or another all the Democrats in the debate say they want "social justice," meaning a basic re-distribution of goods, (well, maybe not their own goods) as well as a way of life (for most people) in which Mother Earth is not despoiled of her treasures. In such a world bison and bears would presumably roam Central Park in The Big Apple where they could be played with by shaggy men and women in costumes made from grass and other Vegan materials. In that world there would a somewhat higher incidence of infectious diseases but there would be balance in the universe.
It is no wonder that the absent Bloomberg (the littlest one) thinks he can win the nomination. pl
Feb 08, 2020 | angrybearblog.com
likbez , February 8, 2020 8:56 pm
NSC Russia expert freshly appointed Andrew Peek, who was walked out like Vindman, with him only freshly appointed after Fiona Hill and the Tim Morrioson resigned.
There is a big problems with "experts" in NSC -- often they represent interests of the particular agency, or a think tank, not that of the country.
Look at former NSC staffer Fiona Hill. She can be called "threat inflation" specialist.
NSC tries to usurp the role of the State Department and overly militarize the USA foreign policy, while having much lower class specialists. It is a kind of CIA backdoor into defining the USA foreign policy.
I would advocate creating "shadow NSC" by the party who is in opposition, so that it can somehow provide countervailing opinions. But with both parties being now war parties, this is no that effective.
Cutting NSC staff to the bones, so that such second rate personalities like Fiona Hill and Vindman are automatically excluded might also help a little bit.
The size above a dozen or two is probably excessive, as like any bureaucracy, it will try to control the President, not so much help him/her.
( https://docs.house.gov/meetings/FA/FA00/20160908/105276/HHRG-114-FA00-Transcript-20160908.pdf ):
One common explanation is that the NSC mission creep results from the NSC staff growing too large and the easy solution is to limit the size of the staff. I am sympathetic to that feeling because we don't want it to
be too large and we don't want it to be usurping things that the State Department or the Agency should do.
Feb 07, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
I mentioned a while ago that the 2020 election will make the surrealism, and indeed idiocy, of the counter-Trump forces in 2016 look tame. It looks like the Democrats have decided to start right here and right now with the Iowa shambles and Nancy's tantrum, and it can only get better (worse). I suggest the circus has enough clowns on duty to ensure it goes on for much longer than a couple of days.
Will their attempts to clean up their appearances be based on trying to resolve their tribal differences, or to just paper over the cracks ? I think the latter, with one outcome being they may well go crawling to Tulsi at the last minute begging her to save them from themselves.
She might refuse, after all she has plenty of time to watch the dinosaurs die in their own tar pit.
Posted by: PRC90 | 05 February 2020 at 10:24 PM
Mar 20, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org
The war on Iraq won't be remembered for how it was waged so much as for how it was sold. It was a propaganda war, a war of perception management, where loaded phrases, such as "weapons of mass destruction" and "rogue state" were hurled like precision weapons at the target audience: us.
To understand the Iraq war you don't need to consult generals, but the spin doctors and PR flacks who stage-managed the countdown to war from the murky corridors of Washington where politics, corporate spin and psy-ops spooks cohabit.
Consider the picaresque journey of Tony Blair's plagiarized dossier on Iraq, from a grad student's website to a cut-and-paste job in the prime minister's bombastic speech to the House of Commons. Blair, stubborn and verbose, paid a price for his grandiose puffery. Bush, who looted whole passages from Blair's speech for his own clumsy presentations, has skated freely through the tempest. Why?
Unlike Blair, the Bush team never wanted to present a legal case for war. They had no interest in making any of their allegations about Iraq hold up to a standard of proof. The real effort was aimed at amping up the mood for war by using the psychology of fear.
Facts were never important to the Bush team. They were disposable nuggets that could be discarded at will and replaced by whatever new rationale that played favorably with their polls and focus groups. The war was about weapons of mass destruction one week, al-Qaeda the next. When neither allegation could be substantiated on the ground, the fall back position became the mass graves (many from the Iran/Iraq war where the U.S.A. backed Iraq) proving that Saddam was an evil thug who deserved to be toppled. The motto of the Bush PR machine was: Move on. Don't explain. Say anything to conceal the perfidy behind the real motives for war. Never look back. Accuse the questioners of harboring unpatriotic sensibilities. Eventually, even the cagey Wolfowitz admitted that the official case for war was made mainly to make the invasion palatable, not to justify it.
The Bush claque of neocon hawks viewed the Iraq war as a product and, just like a new pair of Nikes, it required a roll-out campaign to soften up the consumers. The same techniques (and often the same PR gurus) that have been used to hawk cigarettes, SUVs and nuclear waste dumps were deployed to retail the Iraq war. To peddle the invasion, Donald Rumsfeld and Colin Powell and company recruited public relations gurus into top-level jobs at the Pentagon and the State Department. These spinmeisters soon had more say over how the rationale for war on Iraq should be presented than intelligence agencies and career diplomats. If the intelligence didn't fit the script, it was shaded, retooled or junked.
Take Charlotte Beers whom Powell picked as undersecretary of state in the post-9/11 world. Beers wasn't a diplomat. She wasn't even a politician. She was a grand diva of spin, known on the business and gossip pages as "the queen of Madison Avenue." On the strength of two advertising campaigns, one for Uncle Ben's Rice and another for Head and Shoulder's dandruff shampoo, Beers rocketed to the top of the heap in the PR world, heading two giant PR houses: Ogilvy and Mathers as well as J. Walter Thompson.
At the State Department Beers, who had met Powell in 1995 when they both served on the board of Gulf Airstream, worked at, in Powell's words, "the branding of U.S. foreign policy." She extracted more than $500 million from Congress for her Brand America campaign, which largely focused on beaming U.S. propaganda into the Muslim world, much of it directed at teens.
"Public diplomacy is a vital new arm in what will combat terrorism over time," said Beers. "All of a sudden we are in this position of redefining who America is, not only for ourselves, but for the outside world." Note the rapt attention Beers pays to the manipulation of perception, as opposed, say, to alterations of U.S. policy.
Old-fashioned diplomacy involves direct communication between representatives of nations, a conversational give and take, often fraught with deception (see April Glaspie), but an exchange nonetheless. Public diplomacy, as defined by Beers, is something else entirely. It's a one-way street, a unilateral broadcast of American propaganda directly to the public, domestic and international, a kind of informational carpet-bombing.
The themes of her campaigns were as simplistic and flimsy as a Bush press conference. The American incursions into Afghanistan and Iraq were all about bringing the balm of "freedom" to oppressed peoples. Hence, the title of the U.S. war: Operation Iraqi Freedom, where cruise missiles were depicted as instruments of liberation. Bush himself distilled the Beers equation to its bizarre essence: "This war is about peace."
Beers quietly resigned her post a few weeks before the first volley of tomahawk missiles battered Baghdad. From her point of view, the war itself was already won, the fireworks of shock and awe were all after play.
Over at the Pentagon, Donald Rumsfeld drafted Victoria "Torie" Clarke as his director of public affairs. Clarke knew the ropes inside the Beltway. Before becoming Rumsfeld's mouthpiece, she had commanded one of the world's great parlors for powerbrokers: Hill and Knowlton's D.C. office.
Almost immediately upon taking up her new gig, Clarke convened regular meetings with a select group of Washington's top private PR specialists and lobbyists to develop a marketing plan for the Pentagon's forthcoming terror wars. The group was filled with heavy-hitters and was strikingly bipartisan in composition. She called it the Rumsfeld Group and it included PR executive Sheila Tate, columnist Rich Lowry, and Republican political consultant Rich Galen.
The brain trust also boasted top Democratic fixer Tommy Boggs, brother of NPR's Cokie Roberts and son of the late Congressman Hale Boggs of Louisiana. At the very time Boggs was conferring with top Pentagon brass on how to frame the war on terror, he was also working feverishly for the royal family of Saudi Arabia. In 2002 alone, the Saudis paid his Qorvis PR firm $20.2 million to protect its interests in Washington. In the wake of hostile press coverage following the exposure of Saudi links to the 9/11 hijackers, the royal family needed all the well-placed help it could buy. They seem to have gotten their money's worth. Boggs' felicitous influence-peddling may help to explain why the references to Saudi funding of al-Qaeda were dropped from the recent congressional report on the investigation into intelligence failures and 9/11.
According to the trade publication PR Week, the Rumsfeld Group sent "messaging advice" to the Pentagon. The group told Clarke and Rumsfeld that in order to get the American public to buy into the war on terrorism, they needed to suggest a link to nation states, not just nebulous groups such as al-Qaeda. In other words, there needed to be a fixed target for the military campaigns, some distant place to drop cruise missiles and cluster bombs. They suggested the notion (already embedded in Rumsfeld's mind) of playing up the notion of so-called rogue states as the real masters of terrorism. Thus was born the Axis of Evil, which, of course, wasn't an "axis" at all, since two of the states, Iran and Iraq, hated each other, and neither had anything at all to do with the third, North Korea.
Tens of millions in federal money were poured into private public relations and media firms working to craft and broadcast the Bush dictat that Saddam had to be taken out before the Iraqi dictator blew up the world by dropping chemical and nuclear bombs from long-range drones. Many of these PR executives and image consultants were old friends of the high priests in the Bush inner sanctum. Indeed, they were veterans, like Cheney and Powell, of the previous war against Iraq, another engagement that was more spin than combat .
At the top of the list was John Rendon, head of the D.C. firm, the Rendon Group. Rendon is one of Washington's heaviest hitters, a Beltway fixer who never let political affiliation stand in the way of an assignment. Rendon served as a media consultant for Michael Dukakis and Jimmy Carter, as well as Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Whenever the Pentagon wanted to go to war, he offered his services at a price. During Desert Storm, Rendon pulled in $100,000 a month from the Kuwaiti royal family. He followed this up with a $23 million contract from the CIA to produce anti-Saddam propaganda in the region.
As part of this CIA project, Rendon created and named the Iraqi National Congress and tapped his friend Ahmed Chalabi, the shady financier, to head the organization.
Shortly after 9/11, the Pentagon handed the Rendon Group another big assignment: public relations for the U.S. bombing of Afghanistan. Rendon was also deeply involved in the planning and public relations for the pre-emptive war on Iraq, though both Rendon and the Pentagon refuse to disclose the details of the group's work there.
But it's not hard to detect the manipulative hand of Rendon behind many of the Iraq war's signature events, including the toppling of the Saddam statue (by U.S. troops and Chalabi associates) and videotape of jubilant Iraqis waving American flags as the Third Infantry rolled by them. Rendon had pulled off the same stunt in the first Gulf War, handing out American flags to Kuwaitis and herding the media to the orchestrated demonstration. "Where do you think they got those American flags?" clucked Rendon in 1991. "That was my assignment."
The Rendon Group may also have had played a role in pushing the phony intelligence that has now come back to haunt the Bush administration. In December of 2002, Robert Dreyfuss reported that the inner circle of the Bush White House preferred the intelligence coming from Chalabi and his associates to that being proffered by analysts at the CIA.
So Rendon and his circle represented a new kind of off-the-shelf PSYOPs , the privatization of official propaganda. "I am not a national security strategist or a military tactician," said Rendon. "I am a politician, and a person who uses communication to meet public policy or corporate policy objectives. In fact, I am an information warrior and a perception manager."
What exactly, is perception management? The Pentagon defines it this way: "actions to convey and/or deny selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives and objective reasoning." In other words, lying about the intentions of the U.S. government. In a rare display of public frankness, the Pentagon actually let slip its plan (developed by Rendon) to establish a high-level den inside the Department Defense for perception management. They called it the Office of Strategic Influence and among its many missions was to plant false stories in the press.
Nothing stirs the corporate media into outbursts of pious outrage like an official government memo bragging about how the media are manipulated for political objectives. So the New York Times and Washington Post threw indignant fits about the Office of Strategic Influence; the Pentagon shut down the operation, and the press gloated with satisfaction on its victory. Yet, Rumsfeld told the Pentagon press corps that while he was killing the office, the same devious work would continue. "You can have the corpse," said Rumsfeld. "You can have the name. But I'm going to keep doing every single thing that needs to be done. And I have."
At a diplomatic level, despite the hired guns and the planted stories, this image war was lost. It failed to convince even America's most fervent allies and dependent client states that Iraq posed much of a threat. It failed to win the blessing of the U.N. and even NATO, a wholly owned subsidiary of Washington. At the end of the day, the vaunted coalition of the willing consisted of Britain, Spain, Italy, Australia, and a cohort of former Soviet bloc nations. Even so, the citizens of the nations that cast their lot with the U.S.A. overwhelmingly opposed the war.
Domestically, it was a different story. A population traumatized by terror threats and shattered economy became easy prey for the saturation bombing of the Bush message that Iraq was a terrorist state linked to al-Qaeda that was only minutes away from launching attacks on America with weapons of mass destruction.
Americans were the victims of an elaborate con job, pelted with a daily barrage of threat inflation, distortions, deceptions and lies, not about tactics or strategy or war plans, but about justifications for war. The lies were aimed not at confusing Saddam's regime, but the American people. By the start of the war, 66 per cent of Americans thought Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11 and 79 per cent thought he was close to having a nuclear weapon.
Of course, the closest Saddam came to possessing a nuke was a rusting gas centrifuge buried for 13 years in the garden of Mahdi Obeidi, a retired Iraqi scientist. Iraq didn't have any functional chemical or biological weapons. In fact, it didn't even possess any SCUD missiles, despite erroneous reports fed by Pentagon PR flacks alleging that it had fired SCUDs into Kuwait.
This charade wouldn't have worked without a gullible or a complicit press corps. Victoria Clarke, who developed the Pentagon plan for embedded reports, put it succinctly a few weeks before the war began: "Media coverage of any future operation will to a large extent shape public perception."
During the Vietnam War, TV images of maimed GIs and napalmed villages suburbanized opposition to the war and helped hasten the U.S. withdrawal. The Bush gang meant to turn the Vietnam phenomenon on its head by using TV as a force to propel the U.S.A. into a war that no one really wanted.
What the Pentagon sought was a new kind of living room war, where instead of photos of mangled soldiers and dead Iraqi kids, they could control the images Americans viewed and to a large extent the content of the stories. By embedding reporters inside selected divisions, Clarke believed the Pentagon could count on the reporters to build relationships with the troops and to feel dependent on them for their own safety. It worked, naturally. One reporter for a national network trembled on camera that the U.S. Army functioned as "our protectors." The late David Bloom of NBC confessed on the air that he was willing to do "anything and everything they can ask of us."
When the Pentagon needed a heroic story, the press obliged. Jessica Lynch became the war's first instant celebrity. Here was a neo-gothic tale of a steely young woman wounded in a fierce battle, captured and tortured by ruthless enemies, and dramatically saved from certain death by a team of selfless rescuers, knights in camo and night-vision goggles. Of course, nearly every detail of her heroic adventure proved to be as fictive and maudlin as any made-for-TV-movie. But the ordeal of Private Lynch, which dominated the news for more than a week, served its purpose: to distract attention from a stalled campaign that was beginning to look at lot riskier than the American public had been hoodwinked into believing.
The Lynch story was fed to the eager press by a Pentagon operation called Combat Camera, the Army network of photographers, videographers and editors that sends 800 photos and 25 video clips a day to the media. The editors at Combat Camera carefully culled the footage to present the Pentagon's montage of the war, eliding such unsettling images as collateral damage, cluster bombs, dead children and U.S. soldiers, napalm strikes and disgruntled troops.
"A lot of our imagery will have a big impact on world opinion," predicted Lt. Jane Larogue, director of Combat Camera in Iraq. She was right. But as the hot war turned into an even hotter occupation, the Pentagon, despite airy rhetoric from occupation supremo Paul Bremer about installing democratic institutions such as a free press, moved to tighten its monopoly on the flow images out of Iraq. First, it tried to shut down Al Jazeera, the Arab news channel. Then the Pentagon intimated that it would like to see all foreign TV news crews banished from Baghdad.
Few newspapers fanned the hysteria about the threat posed by Saddam's weapons of mass destruction as sedulously as did the Washington Post. In the months leading up to the war, the Post's pro-war op-eds outnumbered the anti-war columns by a 3-to-1 margin.
Back in 1988, the Post felt much differently about Saddam and his weapons of mass destruction. When reports trickled out about the gassing of Iranian troops, the Washington Post's editorial page shrugged off the massacres, calling the mass poisonings "a quirk of war."
The Bush team displayed a similar amnesia. When Iraq used chemical weapons in grisly attacks on Iran, the U.S. government not only didn't object, it encouraged Saddam. Anything to punish Iran was the message coming from the White House. Donald Rumsfeld himself was sent as President Ronald Reagan's personal envoy to Baghdad. Rumsfeld conveyed the bold message than an Iraq defeat would be viewed as a "strategic setback for the United States." This sleazy alliance was sealed with a handshake caught on videotape. When CNN reporter Jamie McIntyre replayed the footage for Rumsfeld in the spring of 2003, the secretary of defense snapped, "Where'd you get that? Iraqi television?"
The current crop of Iraq hawks also saw Saddam much differently then. Take the writer Laura Mylroie, sometime colleague of the New York Times' Judy Miller, who persists in peddling the ludicrous conspiracy that Iraq was behind the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.
How times have changed! In 1987, Mylroie felt downright cuddly toward Saddam. She wrote an article for the New Republic titled "Back Iraq: Time for a U.S. Tilt in the Mideast," arguing that the U.S. should publicly embrace Saddam's secular regime as a bulwark against the Islamic fundamentalists in Iran. The co-author of this mesmerizing weave of wonkery was none other than Daniel Pipes, perhaps the nation's most bellicose Islamophobe. "The American weapons that Iraq could make good use of include remotely scatterable and anti-personnel mines and counterartillery radar," wrote Mylroie and Pipes. "The United States might also consider upgrading intelligence it is supplying Baghdad."
In the rollout for the war, Mylroie seemed to be everywhere hawking the invasion of Iraq. She would often appear on two or three different networks in the same day. How did the reporter manage this feat? She had help in the form of Eleana Benador, the media placement guru who runs Benador Associates. Born in Peru, Benador parlayed her skills as a linguist into a lucrative career as media relations whiz for the Washington foreign policy elite. She also oversees the Middle East Forum, a fanatically pro-Zionist white paper mill. Her clients include some of the nation's most fervid hawks, including Michael Ledeen, Charles Krauthammer, Al Haig, Max Boot, Daniel Pipes, Richard Perle, and Judy Miller. During the Iraq war, Benador's assignment was to embed this squadron of pro-war zealots into the national media, on talk shows, and op-ed pages.
Benador not only got them the gigs, she also crafted the theme and made sure they all stayed on message. "There are some things, you just have to state them in a different way, in a slightly different way," said Benador. "If not, people get scared." Scared of intentions of their own government.
It could have been different. All of the holes in the Bush administration's gossamer case for war were right there for the mainstream press to expose. Instead, the U.S. press, just like the oil companies, sought to commercialize the Iraq war and profit from the invasions. They didn't want to deal with uncomfortable facts or present voices of dissent.
Nothing sums up this unctuous approach more brazenly than MSNBC's firing of liberal talk show host Phil Donahue on the eve of the war. The network replaced the Donahue Show with a running segment called Countdown: Iraq, featuring the usual nightly coterie of retired generals, security flacks, and other cheerleaders for invasion. The network's executives blamed the cancellation on sagging ratings. In fact, during its run Donahue's show attracted more viewers than any other program on the network. The real reason for the pre-emptive strike on Donahue was spelled out in an internal memo from anxious executives at NBC. Donahue, the memo said, offered "a difficult face for NBC in a time of war. He seems to delight in presenting guests who are anti-war, anti-Bush and skeptical of the administration's motives."
The memo warned that Donahue's show risked tarring MSNBC as an unpatriotic network, "a home for liberal anti-war agenda at the same time that our competitors are waving the flag at every opportunity." So, with scarcely a second thought, the honchos at MSNBC gave Donahue the boot and hoisted the battle flag.
It's war that sells.
There's a helluva caveat, of course. Once you buy it, the merchants of war accept no returns.
This essay is adapted from Grand Theft Pentagon.
Feb 04, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Daniel McAdams via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity,
There is a real danger for foreign policy advisors and analysts – and especially those they serve – when they are in a bubble, an echo chamber, and all of their conclusions are based on faulty inputs. Needless to say it's even worse when they believe they can create their own reality and invent outcomes out of whole cloth.
Things seldom go as planned in these circumstances.
President Trump was sold a bill of goods on the assassination of Iran's revered military leader, Qassim Soleimani, likely by a cabal around Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the long-discredited neocon David Wurmser. A former Netanyahu advisor and Iraq war propagandist, Wurmser reportedly sent memos to his mentor, John Bolton, while Bolton was Trump's National Security Advisor (now, of course, he's the hero of the #resistance for having turned on his former boss) promising that killing Soleimani would be a cost-free operation that would catalyze the Iranian people against their government and bring about the long-awaited regime change in that country. The murder of Soleimani – the architect of the defeat of ISIS – would "rattle the delicate internal balance of forces and the control over them upon which the [Iranian] regime depends for stability and survival," wrote Wurmser.
As is most often the case with neocons, he was dead wrong.
The operation was not cost-free. On the contrary. Assassinating Soleimani on Iraqi soil resulted in the Iraqi parliament – itself the product of our "bringing democracy" to the country – voting to expel US forces even as the vote by the people's representatives was roundly rejected by the people who brought the people the people's representatives. In a manner of speaking.
Trump's move had an effect opposite to the one promised by neocons. It did not bring Iranians out to the street to overthrow their government – it catalyzed opposition across Iraq's various political and religious factions to the continued US military presence and further tightened Iraq's relationship with Iran. And short of what would be a catastrophic war initiated by the US (with little or no support from allies), there is not a thing Trump can do about it.
Iran's retaliatory attack on two US bases in Iraq was initially sold by President Trump as merely a pin-prick. No harm, no foul, no injuries. This despite the fact that he must have known about US personnel injured in the attack. The reason for the lie was that Trump likely understands how devastating it would be to his presidency to escalate with Iran. So the truth began to trickle out slowly – 11 US military members were injured, but it was just "like a headache." Now we know that 50 US troops were treated for traumatic brain injury after the attack. This may not be the last of it – but don't count on the mainstream media to do any reporting.
The Iranian FARS news agency reported at the time of the attack that US personnel had been injured and the response by the US government was to completely take that media outlet off the Internet by order of the US Treasury !
Last week the US House voted to cancel the 2002 authorization for war on Iraq and to prohibit the use of funds for war on Iran without Congressional authorization. It is a significant, if largely symbolic, move to rein in the oft-used excuse of the Iraq war authorization for blatantly unrelated actions like the assassination of Soleimani and Obama's thousands of airstrikes on Syria and Iraq .
President Trump has argued that prohibiting funds for military action against Iran actually makes war more likely, as he would be restricted from the kinds of military-strikes-short-of-war like his attack on Syria after the alleged chemical attack in Douma in 2018 (claims which have recently fallen apart ). The logic is faulty and reflects again the danger of believing one's own propaganda. As we have seen from the Iranian military response to the Soleimani assassination, Trump's military-strikes-short-of-war are having a ratchet-like effect rather than a pressure-release or deterrent effect.
As the financial and current events analysis site ZeroHedge put it recently:
[S]ince last summer's "tanker wars", Trump has painted himself into a corner on Iran, jumping from escalation to escalation (to this latest "point of no return big one" in the form of the ordered Soleimani assassination) -- yet all the while hoping to avoid a major direct war. The situation reached a climax where there were "no outs" (Trump was left with two 'bad options' of either back down or go to war).
The Iranians have little to lose at this point and America's European allies are, even if impotent, fed up with the US obsession with Saudi Arabia and Israel as a basis for its Middle East policy.
So why open this essay with a photo of Trump celebrating his dead-on-arrival "Deal of The Century" for Israel and Palestine? Because this is once again a gullible and weak President Trump being led by the nose into the coming Middle East conflagration. Left without even a semblance of US sympathy for their plight, the Palestinians after the roll-out of this "peace" plan will again see that they have no friends outside Syria, Iran, and Lebanon. As Israel continues to flirt with the idea of simply annexing large parts of the West Bank, it is clear that the brakes are off of any Israeli reticence to push for maximum control over Palestinian territory. So what is there to lose?
Trump believes he's advancing peace in the Middle East, while the excellent Mondoweiss website rightly observes that a main architect of the "peace plan," Trump's own son-in-law Jared Kushner, "taunts Palestinians because he wants them to reject his 'peace plan.'" Rejection of the plan is a green light to a war of annihilation on the Palestinians.
It appears that the center may not hold, that the self-referential echo chamber that passes for Beltway "expert" analysis will again be caught off guard in the consequence-free profession that is neocon foreign policy analysis. "Gosh we didn't see that coming!" But the next day they are back on the teevee stations as great experts.
Minamoto , 23 minutes ago linkfrancis scott falseflag , 41 minutes ago link
It is hard to believe that Trump has any confidence in Jared Kushner. Yet, he does enough to go public with a one-sided plan developed without Palestinian input.Ruler , 1 hour ago link
a real danger for foreign policy advisors and analysts – and especially those they serve – when they are in a bubble, an echo chamber, and all of their conclusions are based on faulty inputs.
The same is true of the economists and financial analysts who live in the bubble of the NSYE and the echo chamber of Manhattan. All of their conclusions are based on faulty inputs.Bokkenrijder , 1 hour ago link
The problem all incompetent leaders have, is seeing how their opponents see them.RafterManFMJ , 1 hour ago link
If Trump continues to be 'dumb' enough to consistently hire these people and consistently listen to them, and if his supporters continue to be dumb enough to consistently believe all the lies and excuses, then Trump and his supporters are 100% involved in the neoCON.
Dude, it's 666D chess!
The Real John Bolton
Feb 01, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org
Tom Luongo February 1, 2020 © Photo: Flickr / Gage Skidmore For months now I've been convinced that Hillary Clinton will be entering the fray that is the Democratic Party primary season. The affair to date has been a nothing short of high comedy.
Recent events have me more convinced than ever that she will be returning, like some zombie whose head we forgot to cut off, to haunt voters one more time this fall.
After the beginning of an obvious (and planned) PR campaign last week with the release of a big campaign ad documentary on Netflix and a big splash in the Hollywood Reporter Hillary finally stopped being coy. And she announced this week that she now 'has the urge' to run again against Donald Trump.
Save us, please, from Hillary's urges . Shudder.
And she did so making sure that everyone knew what she thought of the real front-runner for the nomination, Bernie Sanders.
As various anointed ones have dropped out of the race – Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Robert O'Rourke – others have faltered despite huge ad spends while the media and pollsters do their level best to convince us all that Joe Biden's a serious candidate to take on Donald Trump this fall.
In fact, the only reason Biden is still in the race is to make the impeachment theater going on right now seem relevant and cogent. But, like Biden himself, it is neither.
Then again neither is Hillary, but never underestimate this woman's narcissistic solipsism.
If you look back on the race to date it's clear that most of the people running are there to try and distract voters away from the two candidates that resonate most with voters, Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard.
Yes, Gabbard is polling low but if you look at poll numbers versus money spent and/or raised to this point, she's clearly got cache and the ability to build a real following. And as the field shrinks those distractions become irrelevant. Her poll numbers are rising the more the field winnows.
Neither of them is acceptable in any way to the DNC. They are outsiders within their party. I'm no fan of Bernie Sanders. In fact, I think he's a terrible candidate -- because, you know, commie! -- but that's not the point of this article.
Bernie is surging in the early states and panic is setting in with the DNC. And they must have a plan to stop him from running away with the nomination otherwise we could have two outsiders headlining this fall's reality show.
And that plan starts with the impeachment and potential removal of Donald Trump.
The impeachment is a distraction for Trump but it is a real problem for the Senators running for the Democratic nomination. They have to spend all day listening to Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler lie while they could be out campaigning and raising money.
This hurts Bernie the most because Bernie is the one who will get zero help from the DNC's big donors. None of them are behind him and with good reason. He's hostile to most of them (and most of us as well, but that's a different article).
Of the people running for President as Democrats the only person less acceptable to Wall St. than Elizabeth Warren is Bernie Sanders. Warren's entire campaign has been designed to push Bernie farther left by out-lefting him at every turn. Bernie says 70% top marginal tax rate, Warren says 77%. Bernie wants debt restructuring? Warren says forgive all student loan debt.
Her job is to make Bernie as unacceptable to mainstream U.S. voters as possible. Unfortunately, that makes Bernie more and more acceptable to a lot of people voting in the Democratic primaries. And this Catch-22 is beginning to show up in the polls for Iowa and New Hampshire.
Then there's the serious money behind Pete Buttigieg trying to create slightly gayer version of Barack Obama. Again, he's just another distraction to suck support away from Sanders and keep the field relatively close and the odds of an uncommitted primary season high.
Because the goal is to get to a brokered convention this summer. So, the impeachment was slowed down to hurt Sanders, Warren and Amy Klobuchar and help give Biden the bump he needs to get some momentum coming into Iowa.
It's not working.
But I also don't think it's going to matter. If you keep watching the headlines the attack dogs are out in full to discredit and hurt Sanders. They know he's a real force to be reckoned with. And worse, his attack dog, Gabbard, has been muzzled by keeping her off the debate stage so she can't take anyone else out, like she roasted that pig Kamala Harris last summer.
But I truly feel the DNC is looking to steal the nomination again from Sanders. And the impeachment of Trump continues to somehow, against all odds, get worse for him, even though his party is supposed to be in charge of the proceedings.
I told everyone back in September when Nancy Pelosi announced she was going through with the impeachment process that this was all about getting rid of Trump. But it was in October when Hillary went after Tulsi Gabbard that Gabbard's response was beyond epic and I wrote about it then.
Great! Thank you @HillaryClinton . You, the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain. From the day I announced my candidacy, there has been a
-- Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) October 18, 2019
concerted campaign to destroy my reputation. We wondered who was behind it and why. Now we know -- it was always you, through your proxies and
-- Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) October 18, 2019
powerful allies in the corporate media and war machine, afraid of the threat I pose.
It's now clear that this primary is between you and me. Don't cowardly hide behind your proxies. Join the race directly.
-- Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) October 18, 2019
Gabbard throws down the gauntlet here outing Hillary as the mastermind behind the DNC strategy of allowing the current crop of future losers to fall all over themselves to alienate as many centrist voters as possible.
This paves the way for Hillary to swoop in on her broom, pointed hat in hand, and declare herself the savior of the Democratic Party's chances to defeat Donald Trump next November.
So, Hillary's running, the DNC is trying to stop Bernie and Tulsi Gabbard is still an also-ran in New Hampshire and Iowa, polling between 5% and 7%. So what?
Well, I feel at this point it's been game-planned by Gabbard and Sanders that they know what's coming. I felt the endorsement from Joe Rogan of Sanders was timed to distract from Hillary's attack on Bernie in that Hollywood Reporter piece.
Rogan is far more influential than the dead tree media Hillary's publicist works with. And her attack dogs were out in full to attack Rogan and smear Sanders with their typical guilt-by-association nonsense.
I don't tweet much folks, but this one gets to the truth of what's going on in the murk and slime of Democratic Party politics.
If you ever wanted proof that hyper-sensitive identity politics was nothing more than a cheap political tool of the worst kind. I give you Joe Rogan is a Nazi.
Wake up, get unwoke profit https://t.co/la7bgSKS7f
-- Tom Luongo (@TFL1728) January 24, 2020
Sanders and Gabbard know the DNC is out to destroy him. And the question then becomes what's next?
What do they do to combat this? Gabbard is not running for re-election in Hawaii. She says she's committed to running for President. I don't think she's getting the nomination and, frankly, I don't think she is either.
She just filed a defamation of character lawsuit against Hillary for the smears Hillary threw around I linked to above. She puts financial pressure on Hillary knowing that the Clintons couldn't drum up support and dollars last year during their expensive speaking tour no one went to.
Gabbard denies any kind of third party run, getting the Ron Paul treatment from the media. But, she's a very acceptable person to a lot of disaffected Trump voters like myself. She speaks to them and can help carry Bernie as his running mate if he somehow makes it through the convention to be the Democratic nominee.
So, yes, Gabbard isn't running for re-election because she's running as Sanders' Vice-Presidential candidate.
And it may not be for the Democratic party in the end. That's the part you have to factor in here.
Game-planning this out, these two are running a real insurgency within the DNC to either get the nomination or split off and run as Independents. This is Bernie's last kick at the can. He's already gotten the gold watch from the DNC in 2016, living the high life only a high member of the Politburo can.
Gabbard has burned all the bridges within the DNC she can, almost gleefully. That makes her a person of integrity, of authenticity, in a U.S. political wasteland of charlatans, reality show hucksters and outright thieves.
The quicker she climbs out of the basement in Pelosi's House, the better off she'll be.
... ... ...
The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.
Flanked by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu but no Palestinian leader, President Donald Trump unveiled “a vision for peace” in the Middle East on Tuesday which permits Israel to annex much of the occupied West Bank immediately, offering the Palestinians only local control in isolated Bantustans surrounded by Israeli territory.
As many Israeli political observers noted, the timing of the announcement, just hours after Netanyahu was indicted on corruption charges in Jerusalem, looked like an effort to boost the prime minister’s bid to win reelection in March, his best hope for avoiding prison.
A US President facing impeachment and an Israeli Prime Minister indicted for corruption, leading an interim minority government, are about to announce a plan to solve the conflict with the Palestinians, without any Palestinian present. Unbelievable farce. — Anshel Pfeffer (@AnshelPfeffer) January 28, 2020
The release of the 180-page plan — which was drafted by aides to Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and an old family friend of Netanyahu — was staged as a celebration, and acted as a dual campaign rally, with the American president and the Israeli prime minister boasting of all they had achieved for Israel to a room filled with far-right supporters of the Jewish state, including business magnate Sheldon Adelson, the Republican and Likud megadonor who spent millions of dollars to elect both leaders.
Trump, who intervened in a previous Israeli election campaign on Netanyahu’s behalf — by recognizing Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights last year — gave the embattled prime minister a podium at the White House to detail conditions imposed on the Palestinians which sounded like terms of surrender.
To start with, Netanyahu said, the Palestinians would be required to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, cede the entire Jordan Valley, disarm Hamas, and abandon hope for both the return of refugees who fled homes in what is now Israel and for a capital in Jerusalem’s Old City.
pic.twitter.com/RmKVVWh9F2 — Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) January 28, 2020
“Your peace plan offers the Palestinians a pathway to a future state,” Netanyahu told Trump. “I know that it may take them a very long time to reach the end of that path; it may even take them a very long time to get to the beginning of that path,” he added.
??????: ???? ???? ??? ???? ?? ????????? ?? ???? ?????? ?????. ?????? ????? ?????? > https://t.co/uNITb9vblN pic.twitter.com/JR6LzrKTz8 — ?????? (@NewsChannelIL) January 28, 2020
In fact, as Crisis Group analyst Tareq Baconi observed, “The plan sets out parameters that are impossible for Palestinians to accept, and effectively provides Israel with a blueprint to sustain the one-state reality that exists on the ground.”
That sentiment was echoed by Hagai El-Ad, the executive director of B’Tselem, an Israeli rights group that monitors the occupation. “What the Palestinians are being ‘offered’ now is not rights or a state, but a permanent state of Apartheid. No amount of marketing can erase this disgrace or blur the facts,” El-Ad wrote. “The reality on the ground is already one of full Israeli control over the entire area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea and everyone living in it. It is a reality of one, inherently undemocratic, state.”
The plan was rejected by Palestinian rights activists in the region and abroad.
Netanyahu logic: If Palestinians agree to land theft, annexation, no refugee return, subjugation and no means of defense, Israel will negotiate with us. — Diana Buttu (@dianabuttu) January 28, 2020
They want to put us in permanent, high-tech cages and call it peace. #DealOfTheCentury #ApartheidDeal #Palestine #PalestinianFreedom — Noura Erakat (@4noura) January 28, 2020
CNN interviews Palestinian human rights attorney on the Trump plan. "This is not a deal, this is a plan to consolidate Israel's colonial takings." @4noura https://t.co/dFfNuKnH08 — Mairav Zonszein ??? ??????? (@MairavZ) January 29, 2020
The US is a colonial state trying to broker a "solution" which favors another settler-colonial state. The only message is, commit enough massacres, create enough judicial procedures, create enough diplomatic jargon, and all is allowed. #Palestine #TrumpDeal — ???? ???????? (@MariamBarghouti) January 28, 2020
#Palestinian refugees in Lebanon's Ein El-Helweh camp who have been deprived of a homeland for years protest and say NO to the so-called #DealOfTheCentury and tell Trump: Our fate is not for you to decide. pic.twitter.com/Y7We93iIRA — We Are Not Numbers #Gaza (@WeAreNotNumbers) January 28, 2020
“An impeached and bigoted President works in tandem with a criminally indicted and racist Prime Minister to perpetuate the reality of apartheid and subjugation,” Jamil Dakwar, a Palestinian American who was born in Haifa and now leads the ACLU’s human rights program, wrote on Twitter. “Palestinians will not be coerced to give up their human rights to live as free and equal human beings.”
Saeb Erekat, the chief negotiator for the Palestine Liberation Organization, described the plan delivered by Kushner to Trump as “100 percent the ideas I personally heard many times from Netanyahu and his negotiators. I can assure you that the American so-called peace team have only copied and pasted Netanyahu’s and the settlers’ councils plan.”
Amid accusations that his plan was largely based on concepts and details dictated by Netanyahu, Kushner cast himself as an independent expert on the conflict in an interview with Sky News Arabia on Tuesday. “I’ve been studying this now for three years,” he told Sky News Arabia, “I’ve read 25 books on the subject.”
At least one of those books appears to have been written by Netanyahu, however. As Dylan Williams of the liberal, pro-Israel group J Street pointed out, Kushner’s plan appeared at one point to borrow language from one of the Israeli prime minister’s books.
On the left, an excerpt from Netanyahu’s book “A Durable Peace.”
On the right, the Trump/Kushner “peace” proposal.
I don’t know an academic integrity panel at any university that would let this fly. pic.twitter.com/NvgzWOsL2r — Dylan Williams (@dylanotes) January 29, 2020
In a subsequent interview, Kushner even seemed unaware of the length of the proposal released by his team, referring to the 181-page document as “an over 80-page proposal.” He appeared to be echoing an error made by Trump during his prepared remarks the White House ceremony when he said, “our plan is 80 pages.”
Speaking in Ramallah, at a rare gathering of leaders of the major Palestinian factions, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that the proposal was not “the deal of the century,” as Trump and the Israelis described it, but “the slap of the century.”
“Trump, Jerusalem is not for sale. Our rights are not for sale. Your conspiracy deal will not pass,” Abbas said, in comments reported by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
While Trump said that Palestinians could eventually have a capital in Jerusalem, the plan suggested that this would be outside of the city, in a neighborhood close to, but not in the city, as Telegraph correspondent Raf Sanchez pointed out.
IMPORTANT: the detail plan of the plan confirms that Palestinians will not get any part of Jerusalem inside the security barrier.
That means they get a few far-flung eastern neighbourhoods as their capital but none of the Old City or areas where most East Jerusalemites live. pic.twitter.com/ZL6AJVJ565 — Raf Sanchez (@rafsanchez) January 28, 2020
Within hours of the plan’s release, Netanyahu said that his government would move on Sunday to formally annex the 131 Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank, all of which are illegal under international law, as well as the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea. The plan’s map of the newly expanded Greater Israel, and the fragmented Palestinian enclaves, were shared on Twitter by Trump.
??? ?? ?? ???? ???? ???? ?????? ?????????? ?????? ?? ????? ?? ????? ???????. pic.twitter.com/CFuYwwjSso — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 28, 2020
In his remarks, Trump said that Netanyahu had “authorized the release of a conceptual map” showing the contours of the land to be annexed, and their two governments would soon form a joint committee “to convert the conceptual map into a more detailed and calibrated rendering so that recognition can be immediately achieved.”
Because the Israeli settlement blocs, which are home to more than 400,000 settlers, are stitched together with a network of roads and checkpoints that restrict the freedom of movement of Palestinians, the territory Trump said his plan “allocated” for a future Palestinian state would exist only as a series of enclaves inside Israel.
As Ben Silverstein of J Street, a liberal pro-Israel lobbying group in Washington, explained, the “conceptual map” included in the plan gave an “appearance of contiguity” that facts on the ground would make impossible.
This map is verrrrry generously shaded to give appearance of contiguity.
100% final map will appear closer to archipelago map on the right. pic.twitter.com/pLcaWak4R2 — Ben Silverstein (@bensilverstein) January 28, 2020
Yousef Munayyer, who directs the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, noted on Twitter that the reality would look a lot more like what the French illustrator Julien Bousac sketched out more than a decade ago for Le Monde Diplomatique to show the impossibility of a functioning state compromised of enclaves.
The West Bank Archipelago pic.twitter.com/FBIeOKmnUd — (((YousefMunayyer))) (@YousefMunayyer) January 28, 2020
Daniel Seidemann, director of Terrestrial Jerusalem, pointed out that previous administrations had privately accepted the erosion of Palestinian hopes for a contiguous state.
Perspective, for those who think this started with Trump.
This is a slide/map, I presented to a senior official in the Obama White House. His chilling response: you’re probably right, but the sun still will rise, birds sing, and life will go on.
Sound familiar? Look familiar? pic.twitter.com/mJ2ZQPzgef — Daniel Seidemann (@DanielSeidemann) January 28, 2020
Shibley Telhami, a scholar of the region at the University of Maryland, pointed to another disturbing detail of the plan: a provision to further ethnically cleanse Israel by revoking the citizenship of Palestinians living in one section of the state, and forcing that region to merge with those parts of the West Bank not annexed by Israel.
One shocking feature of Trump's "American" plan is that Israel would carve out Israeli-Arab towns in the "Triangle" region, strip them of Israeli citizenship, and place them under Palestinian jurisdiction -- something majorities oppose. Un-American Plan. https://t.co/eQNFzRLvdG pic.twitter.com/bn143hVSRr — Shibley Telhami (@ShibleyTelhami) January 28, 2020
Trump’s plan was denounced by both Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, among the leading contenders for the Democratic nomination to challenge Trump for the presidency. While Sanders called the plan “unacceptable,” Warren went further, promising to “oppose unilateral annexation in any form — and reverse any policy that supports it.”
Trump's "peace plan" is a rubber stamp for annexation and offers no chance for a real Palestinian state. Releasing a plan without negotiating with Palestinians isn't diplomacy, it's a sham. I will oppose unilateral annexation in any form—and reverse any policy that supports it. — Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) January 28, 2020
It must end the Israeli occupation and enable Palestinian self-determination in an independent state of their own alongside a secure Israel. Trump's so-called 'peace deal' doesn't come close, and will only perpetuate the conflict. It is unacceptable. — Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 28, 2020
Former Vice President Joe Biden, a staunch defender of Netanyahu who reportedly frustrated Obama administration efforts to confront him over the occupation, did not immediately comment on the plan.
Politico reported on Tuesday that the Democratic Majority for Israel, a pro-Israel super PAC led by the Democratic pollster Mark Mellman, plans to run an attack ad in Iowa this week “that raises concerns about Bernie Sanders’ 2019 heart attack and calls him too liberal to beat President Donald Trump.”
As I reported earlier this year, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the conservative pro-Israel lobbying group known as AIPAC, paid for a pressure campaign on Facebook targeting Sanders, who would be the first Jewish president of the United States — one who has expressed concern for Palestinian rights and described Netanyahu as “a racist.”
Feb 02, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
paul , Feb 2 2020 16:56 utc | 5The US calls for apartheid and ethnic cleansing in its primary ME protectorate. Global powers supposedly concerned with uphholding international law smile knowingly and applaud gently. Yes it was always going to end this way. Mmmmmm. Might Makes Right. Mmmmmmm. That alone is international law. Mmmmmmm. More champagne? More vodka?
Walter , Feb 2 2020 17:01 utc | 7Paul, I'm not so sure. Dynamite has a two state solution.
Might is not a static circumstance, and neither are the interests of the numerous "voters"- those with power.
The one thing that never stops, despite the pols' great effort, is Time.
I try to keep in mind that world affairs is perhaps similar to a multi-body problem with an insane Alice-in Wonderland mathematics.
Feb 02, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
"The Arab League rejected Trump's plan, saying in a communique it would not lead to a just peace deal and adding it will not cooperate with the United States to execute the plan.
The ministers affirmed Palestinian rights to create a future state based on the land captured and occupied by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war, with East Jerusalem as capital, the final communique said.
Israeli officials expressed hope Saturday that the League's rejection could bring the U.S. closer to green-lighting unilateral annexation of parts of the West Bank, in light of the fact that Jared Kushner opposed immediate steps toward annexation because he thought the Arab League might support the plan. " Haaretz
Well, pilgrims, the truth is that nobody in the States who matters gives a damn about what happens to the Palestinians and it was always thus. Kushner's "peace plan" is just another real estate scam. pl
Posted at 01:24 PM in Israel , Middle East , Palestine | Permalink | Comments (1) But..but...Jared said that he had read 25 books on the conflict!!!
King Salman called Abbas to reassure him of Saudi support on the agreed upon outline drawn up long ago. MbS thinks otherwise, and he is the one who really runs Saudi policy.
Posted by: Jane | 01 February 2020 at 02:50 PM
Feb 02, 2020 | www.nytimes.com
Opinion Every Time Palestinians Say 'No,' They Lose Things rarely go well for those who try to live history backward.
By Bret Stephens SimonEsposito 2 days ago ( Edited ) Functionally, this proposition makes no sense. The imbalance of power is so great that Palestinians couldn't stop any amount more of encroachment on the occupied territories. So why would the encroachment stop at this arbitrary point?
It's absurd to think that the settler movement is going to be stopped by the proposed four-year freeze. (I view that as a booby-trap planted by Likud - and they surely must be expecting a fair chance of defeat - to make the next government quickly use up its political capital fighting media-savvy settlers.) Max21c 3 days ago If these things are decided on the basis of "might makes right" then the position of the PRC to take sea-space in the South China Sea is acceptable to Washington and its supporters? Similar per a variety of other territorial disputes around the globe? Max21c 3 days ago ( Edited ) Prior UN Resolutions hold precedent until such times as the parties themselves agree upon a mutually agreed solution.
Modus Vivendi not Modus Dictatum! Max21c 3 days ago The United States Senate ratified the United Nations Charter on July 28, 1945. Article 6 of the Constitution of the United States maintains that "all treaties made...under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land..." The United States is a signatory to the UN Charter and it has passed the US Senate. There is no Treaty which transfers the Golan Heights to the State of Israel. There is no Treaty which transfers Palestinian lands to the State of Israel. The Constitution of the United States of America does not construct, create, convey, or confer the power or authority to the President of the United States of America to change the borders of other peoples, lands, or countries. An American President can say whatever they want as to policy. The United States is not necessarily bound by such situ per statements, proclamations, declarations, pronouncements, announcements, dictatum, et cetera. There is a well known and existing mechanism for the exchange of lands and territories between nation states via diplomacy, diplomatic negotiations, resolution of the dispute by treaty, or genuine negotiations & diplomacy and resolution in accordance with International law, et cetera. An American President holds exclusive authority over foreign policy and diplomacy with the exception of passage of a treaty by the US Senate. The existing mechanisms and ways of International Law and diplomacy are brought into American Constitutionality by way of the Supremacy Clause, thus, there exists a potential exclusive instance of an exclusion to a President's authority per differentiation between the "policy" of an Administration or pronouncements thereof and the "laws of the land." Thus one could well surmise that the United States is on an ongoing basis bound by the laws of the land rather than the pro tempore policy statements in this instance. An American President is neither a Global Sovereign nor King of the World. Border disputes generally remain the domain between the corresponding sovereigns, sovereign nations, or bordering parties. The role of the United States as a third party is generally limited to diplomacy. The United States can assist, facilitate, or provide guidance on the potential resolution of the dispute. The United States can propose solutions, fanciful or not, well meaning or not, realistic or reasonable or not, reasoned or not, genuine or not, bonne foi or not, yet it cannot impose such solutions unless the agreement of the parties be gained according to the fashion, manner, and mechanisms that are well know and existing under International law and well recognized within the realm of the community of nations and the diplomacy therein. zbarski 3 days ago ( Edited ) UN resolutions are not treaties. The former are generic opinions or recommendations, which have no legal effect, unless accepted by a sovereign.
Treaties, unlike UN resolutions, become laws of the land once ratified by a sovereign's parliament.
So, all your UN resolutions on Israel and fake Palestinians are pieces of toilet paper. Max21c 3 days ago It's none of Washington's business. They should let the parties themselves work out an agreement if they can. It's not up to Washingtonians to impose a solution.
If the parties cannot come to a settlement at this time then the status quo prior borders remain. Washington should abide by the existing regimen and provisions thereof until or if the parties themselves alter such by mutual agreement. The borders can only be changed by agreement between the parties.
There are long established, longstanding, and well know mechanisms for discussing and possibly resolving territorial disputes and those pathways and methods should be followed by both sides.
Respect 1 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag zbarski 3 days ago ( Edited ) First, you come up with bogus definitions. Next, when I take apart those, you respond: it's none of Washington's business. LOL.
The fact stands: UN resolutions are generic/advisory/opinions. The have no legal significance, unless accepted by a sovereign. Last time I checked, Israel has not accepted any... .
Having said that, I agree with you that Washington should leave the issue to the parties. It is the US, which has been preventing Israel from resolving the territorial dispute. Any other country would have resolved the issue long time ago. That Israel can't or won't do it, is a crime against the Jews.
Think of this: what would the US do, if let's say, Quebec had separated from the rest of Canada and then started launching rockets at Vermont? Hint: Quebec would have been nuked...
Respect 2 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag Max21c 3 days ago Washington should abide by International law and respect the existing UN resolution per lands/borders until such time as the parties themselves resolve the situ.
The US should not become a party to the dispute.
Respect 1 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag GLA 3 days ago you are right. the United States is not a world government. Our government can make recommendations and offer support. that is it.
The United Nations is an organization formed to promote peace among nations. It is not a world government, it is not a legislative body, and it has no lawmaking authority.
Respect 2 Reply reply Share link Copy Report GLA 3 days ago Palestinian leadership should develop and present their own peace plan. That is their right. Palestinian leadership should hold town hall meetings in Gaza and the West Bank on their peace plan and give voice to every Palestinian. That is their right. Respect 2 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag Mike_71 2 days ago But the Palestinian leaderships of both Hamas and Fatah have never done that, as allowing the average Palestinian to participate in nominating and electing their own candidates and publicly voicing their own opinions, particularly when they contradict those of the leadership, is no more tolerated in the Palestinian Territories, than it is in the Peoples' Republic of China. The leadership of the soon to be dissolved "Palestinian Authority" will be by "President for Life" Mahmoud Abbas, now in the 16th year of the four year term to which he was elected in 2005. Likewise, Ismael Haniyeh, Yoyo Sinwar and others in Hamas, have never faced a Palestinian electorate at the ballot box.
Respect 1 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag Orville 3 days ago One thing Mr. Mackey leaves out is the US's treating the Golan Heights as Israeli territory, rather than occupied Syrian territory. Mike_71 2 days ago While International Law unequivocally condemns initiating wars of aggression for the purpose of acquiring territory, it is silent when the victim of that aggression retains land captured in a "defensive war of necessity." Thus, like the Soviet Union retaining land captured in the "Great Patriotic War" until 1991, Israel's retaining the Golan Heights, likewise captured in a "defensive war of necessity," the 1967 "Six Day War," does not violate International Law. As the victorious belligerent in a "defensive war of necessity," Israel may retain the Golan Heights until such time as possession is modified by treaty. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uti_possidetis
(Latin: As you possess, you may possess henceforth) Note that the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula, likewise captured by Israel in the "Six Day War," was returned to Egyptian sovereignty after an agreement was negotiated and after a withdrawal period, pursuant to the terms of the Egyptian-Israeli peace agreement. As in the instance of the Egyptian Sinai, the Golan Heights could be returned to Syria, were the Syrians willing to negotiate a peace agreement with Israel.
Respect 1 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag xochtl 3 days agoSettler colonialism, white supremacy, and the "special relationship" between the U.S. and Israel 10 March 2015Respect 3 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag Wnt 3 days ago I still would like to see an actual graph: Palestinian land area as a function of time, number of Palestinians as a function of time. We should be able to extrapolate not if but when a final solution to the crisis becomes inevitable.
Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions/From our Staff and Members/Voices of JVP February 24, 2015 talk by JVP Deputy Director Cecilie Surasky at Portland State University from Environmental Destruction and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement: a panel on international resistance
1. The 'special relationship' between Israel and the United States is rooted in our common national narratives and founding mythology. 2. Settler colonialism and white supremacy is the right, holistic frame with which to understand Israel and Palestine, as well as the U.S. -- it helps us understand what we're really struggling against, and holds us accountable to ways we may inadvertently be serving the status quo. 3. If the basis of the special relationship is a common narrative of 'manifest destiny', and the feelings of superiority over others that it engenders, then to resist we must counter that narrative. One question we often ask ourselves is why Americans so easily accept the dominant Israeli narrative without question, and I think the answer is obvious. We have literally been primed, for generations, by our own national narrative ttler colonialism, white supremacy, and the "special relationship" between the U.S. and Israel We all are well versed with language about the "special relationship" between Israel and the United States. And in fact, it is real. Over time, no other country in the world has been the recipient of more economic and military aid from the U.S., or from any other country for that matter. Furthermore, many of us hold a power analysis which says that the key to ending Israel's ongoing occupation and oppression of Palestinians is ending that unconditional special relationship -- so understanding the roots of this relationship is not idle curiosity. It's essential if we are to ever achieve a just and durable peace, for both peoples. There are many reasons for this so-called special relationship, and it has evolved over time, but I think the foundational aspects of it relate to remarkably similar national narratives which shape, in an ongoing way, how we see and understand ourselves and our actions as representatives of a collective national identity -- how we justify killing, extraction, land theft, and so on, in transcendent moral terms. We have mythical national narratives of two settler colonial peoples, who both believe that we have a divine mandate, to settle a so-called empty or savage land, and make it into a kind of heaven on earth. Ethnic cleansing, even genocide -- these are all divinely justified. Israel is to be a light unto nations. What would become the United States, a kind of heaven on earth. Both peoples believe ourselves to be somehow specially chosen by God. As Donald E. Pease, Dartmouth literary critic wrote about this land, in The New American Exceptionalism: "Virgin Land" depopulated the landscape in the imaginary register so that it might be perceived as unoccupied territory in actuality. The metaphor turned the landscape into a blank page, understood to be the ideal surface onto which to inscribe the history of the nation's Manifest Destiny". "Virgin Land narratives placed the movement of the national people across the continent in opposition to the savagery attributed to the wilderness as well as the native peoples who figured as indistinguishable from the wilderness, and, later, it fostered an understanding of the campaign of Indian removal as nature's beneficent choice of the Anglo-American settlers over the native inhabitants for its cultivation " Sounds familiar doesn't it? The Zionist version is the famous slogan -- a Land with No People for a People with No Land. And Israel's "miraculous" military victories have always been seen as signs of God the adjudicator's hand. Of course, that notion of heaven on earth, or A Light Unto Nations, is predicated on a system of racial and ethnic superiority -- who gets to be human and "civilized", and who is subhuman. Who exists, and who is invisible or must be disappeared. Who can claim the land, and who has no rights to it. And the fundamental root of all that we like to call the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is this essential fact -- it was a land with people. And specifically, the wrong people who by definition could not be part of an ethnic exclusivist state. Remember that the original violence of the Nakba, the ethnic cleansing of the land of Palestinians, continues on a daily basis to this day. The process of colonization never stopped. Although today we call them "facts on the ground", and Palestinians are talked about, not as equal human beings with the same hopes aspirations and rights to freedom, but rather as a "demographic threat."
European Colonialism and White Supremacy What makes this issue so complex and deeply challenging is that early European Zionists, who first started coming to Palestine in the late 1800s, had themselves suffered from a profoundly long history of fierce Christian European anti-Jewish oppression -- forced conversions, ghettoes, pogroms, institutional repression and discrimination and so on, which as we know, culminated in the horrific genocide during World War II, the Holocaust or Shoah. They believed the only solution to this history was for Jews to have a state of their own. But while all genocides and acts of violence have their unique features, and they must be studied and understood, I believe it is critical to situate the genocide of Jews, in a broader context -- and not as an exceptional, metaphysically unique event. Some 6 million Jews died, but another 5 million people were also targeted for annihilation because they were considered less than human, including the Roma people, gays, Poles, Ukrainians and so on, totaling 11 million. In Poland alone, Nazis murdered 3 million ethnic Poles and 3 million Polish Jews. Had they not been stopped, those numbers would have been infinitely higher in their march to the East. Further, to state the obvious, the Holocaust did not mark the sudden and inexplicable birth of the white European capacity to commit genocide. No one knows this better than the indigenous people of this continent, or the descendants of enslaved Africans. Or the people of the Congo, where 10 million died under the rule of King Leopold of Belgium. I could go on. I could also go on about U.S. Empire. In Europe, while the specifics looked different, one could be Jewish or a colonized subject and be called an insect, vermin, an animal -- subhuman. In other words, it is important that we situate what is happening in Israel and Palestine today, and the work we must do in the US for justice, as part of a lengthy historical cascade of impacts rooted in European colonialism, white racism, US Empire, anti-Muslim and anti-Jewish oppression, corporate greed and so on. I'm underscoring this because similarly, even though we understand that historic Palestine was colonized by the British, there is a tendency to also remove the story of Israel and Palestine from broader historical contexts and the sweep of history and to see it as somehow utterly unique, beyond time, and as saying something essential about Jews and the Arab world especially. The extreme and bigoted versions of this essentializing view is: -- you either believe that the only story that matters is that the world and especially Muslims hate Jews and always will, that the hatred of Jews is an essential part of humanity -- or you believe that Jews are exceptionally powerful and devious, and have managed to manipulate an otherwise beneficent and inherently just and reasonable U.S. foreign policy establishment into doing wrong by the Palestinians. Talk about divide and conquer. If we believe either of these stories, all of us who are natural allies in the struggle against corporate greed, the destruction of our world, systemic racism and settler colonialism and so on -- we remain divided from each other. We literally can't build a unified and strong movement. We create a circular firing range, and we unwittingly become the agents of that which we should be fighting against. Which is why understanding our struggles as connected -- which is what's happening on campuses throughout the U.S. and world today -- is so unbelievably powerful, and threatening. I have seen these views manifest in the movement for Palestinian liberation: sometimes people chant "2-4-6-8 Israel is a racist state", or decry the disappearance 400 Palestinian villages when Israel was created, without even a hint of irony or self-reflection that one is literally standing on land built on slavery and the (still happening) genocide of indigenous peoples. In some cases, we have seen Israeli human rights advocates try to emphasize the growth of Israeli racism by comparing it unfavorably to racism here, where presumably, they suggest we have mostly won the battle. All of that said, what is also absolutely clear is that Early Zionist leaders were simultaneously both the victims of, and willing agents of white supremacist colonialism. In fact, they made their case quite explicitly to British colonizers who they knew did not want Jews at home but who did want to maintain colonial designs on the Middle East. As the Israeli analyst Tom Segev reports in One Palestine Complete: "The Jewish state in Palestine, Theodor Herzl wrote, would be Europe's bulwark against Asia. "We can be the vanguard of culture against barbarianism." And about early Zionist leader and writer Max Nordau: "..Max Nordau believed the Jews would not lose their European culture in Palestine and adopt Asia's inferior culture, just as the British had not become Indians in America, Hottentots in Africa, or Papuans in Australia. "We will endeavor to do in the Near East what the English did in India. It is our intention to come to Palestine as the representatives of culture and to take the moral borders of Europe to the Euphrates River." Early Zionist leaders actually appealed to the anti-Jewish hatred of European colonizers, making the case that helping to create a Jewish state elsewhere was a win-win because it would help them get rid of the Jews. Theodore Herzl wrote, "the anti-Semites will become our most dependable friends, the anti-Semitic countries our allies" And they internalized the same white supremacist hierarchy which had been used against them. The "new Jew" was blond, blue eyed, healthy and muscular, vs. the shtetl Jew who was small, dark, hunched over, religious, an embarrassment. I want to recognize there is sensitivity about even raising this issue- but this has nothing to do with Jews specifically and everything to do with human beings. Virtually every colonized or oppressed group internalizes the eyes, in some way, of their oppressors, as Frantz Fanon wrote about so eloquently. Women can be the agents of the patriarchy, blacks can internalize white supremacy, LGBT people can internalize transphobia and homo-phobia. In a sense, we're all colonized in some way. This shouldn't be a controversial observation, it's just fact about what it means to be human. The fact remains that many early European Zionist leaders' disdain for the local Arab populations was only matched by their disdain for other Jews from the Middle East. The founder of Zionist Revisionism, precursor to Likud, Zev Jabotinsky wrote: "We Jews have nothing in common with what is called the 'Orient,' thank God. To the extent that our uneducated masses have ancient spiritual traditions and laws that call the Orient, they must be weaned away from them, and this is in fact what we are doing in every decent school, what life itself is doing with great success. We are going in Palestine, first for our national convenience, [second] to sweep out thoroughly all traces of the 'Oriental soul.' As for the [Palestinians] Arabs in Palestine, what they do is their business; but if we can do them a favor, it is to help them liberate themselves from the Orient.'" (One Palestine Complete, Tom Segev) And the effort was "successful". As Arab Jewish scholar Ella Shohat has written, "in a generation or two, millennia of rooted Oriental civilization, unified even in its diversity," had been wiped out. Jews from Arab countries were forced to choose between being either Arab or Jewish, but they could not be both. ( Ella Shohat, "Sephardim in Israel: Zionism from the Standpoint of its Jewish Victims," Social Text, No.19/20 (1988)) Of course those Jews who survived had the right to their homes after they were ripped from their homes, and their world literally obliterated -- but it wasn't Palestinians or the Arab world that owed them reparations or a homeland. It was Europe. But thanks to settler colonialism, it has been Palestinians who have been forced to pay the price ever since.
The Manipulation of Jewish Trauma I can't underscore enough the extent to which the profound Jewish trauma over genocide and oppression has been manipulated and deliberately retriggered over and over by people and institutions who have instrumentalized Jewish suffering to justify Israeli expansionism and repression. Everyone from Abraham Foxman and the Anti-Defamation League to the Simon Wiesenthal Center perform this role effectively through a steady-drip of "the world hates us" iconography, statements, and Boy-Cries-Wolf overwrought hysteria, which of course cheapens the charge of anti-Semitism. I grew up with a tante who would literally shake with rage when she described her childhood in Poland. My father didn't talk about his family story, so as kids we didn't understand. But later we learned the horror stories, realized it was our own extended families in those pictures of pogroms and prisoner camps, and we internalized the sense of perpetual fear. After the war, Jews did not talk about the Holocaust, there was much shame. But it eventually became our central access to our identity, thanks in no small part to efforts to give the young nation of Israel a perpetual free pass. And in the process, it was given a kind of mystical exceptionalism. Rather than teaching us lessons about systems of oppression, it became the horror to end all horrors, which cast a shadow over history's other horrors. Many children would be taught to ask, not Why throughout history groups of people hated other groups? or Why do governments oppress people? We were taught to ask instead, "Why does everyone hate the Jews? " Further, from a U.S. Empire perspective, it makes sense that the Shoah is commemorated in a massive museum on the Mall in DC, while there is still no national slavery museum or indigenous genocide museum. Better to point the finger elsewhere, while shoring up our sense of collective superiority as heroic Americans. To this day, Jews and our aspirations for freedom have been unwittingly made a tool of Empire- the struggle against anti-Jewish hatred has been coopted into the effort to demonize the Arab and Muslim world in order to justify US wars and intervention- for profit. And of course, to justify Israeli expansionism. When Netanyahu encourages Danish or French Jews to mass migrate to Israel -- he's cynically exploiting real fear and trauma to push his expansionist agenda -- new immigrants will be sent to settlements, not inside 67 borders. Similarly, classic anti-Semitism itself is a tool of Empire– Jews are scapegoated as a 'secret cabal' that controls the world's finances, conveniently distracting potential resistance movements from the actual corporate, government and military sources of global economic exploitation and control. In the end, if we don't fight this, we all lose. Rather than joining together to resist power, we instead end up fighting each other over manufactured hatreds and bigotries. Narrative If the root of this special relationship is not as much AIPAC and money, as much as it is our national narrative and the feelings it engenders -- and an unquestioning belief that Israel has an infinite right to expand onto other people's land, then it is narrative that holds unconditional support in place, and our resistance must also be at the level of narrative. So let's start with ourselves. All of us in this movement have to decolonize our minds -- and it is a constant process, we stumble all the time -- because we are fighting the very air we breathe. But here is our work: We must insist that Israel does not get a free pass, and nor do I as a white Jew, or anyone else, only because of a personal or collective history of oppression. We all have to be held accountable to the power we hold when we hold it, like anyone else, like any other country. Because it is not only possible but likely that many of us will hold multiple positions at one time- marginalized in some ways and possessing power and privilege in others. We have to be mindful of Orientialism on the left: just as the left has projected on, fetishized, related transactionally to many native peoples, it happens in this movement. There is a tendency to want all Palestinians to either be helpless grandmothers waiting for a Great White Hope (heroic in the streets activists) -- or Che Guevera. Well , Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank are also sports fans, software developers, and capitalists. Freedom is freedom. The Palestinian struggle is not simply an excuse for us to reflect on how moral the Jewish or Christian or leftist or (fill in the blank) people are. It is not the surface on which we write our own story, or a mirror that interests us only because it shows us our own reflection. We have to simply be allies who love, yes love, our Palestinian friends and colleagues enough to simply say: Tell me how I can support you? Knowing, also, with humility, that in the past, present or future–we too need support in our struggles. And for those of us given a platform because we are "safe" because we are white or Jewish, for example, we have to know when to shut up, and cede the platform to our Palestinian friends. Most important, rather than framing the story of Palestinian struggle for freedom and justice in a historical and political vacuum -- as many do -- and as a unique and exceptional story, for example, about a reasonable US foreign policy hijacked by an all-powerful Jewish lobby, we should understand it as part of a much longer unfolding of Christian European Colonialism, greed, and white supremacy -- that continues to this day and operates everywhere. Narrative's power is not just about knowing facts, it is a means to exert psychological control, and to dampen the will to resist. Palestinian American scholar Steven Salaita wrote in The Holy Land in Transit, Colonialism and the Quest for Canaan: Ethnic cleansing is the removal of humans in order that narratives will disappear .a blinding of the national imagination so colonial history will be removed along with the dispossessed. It is only through ethnic cleansing that the average American can accept without nagging guilt the history of her nation, which is known to all but decontextualized from its present " The same is true for the Jewish settler, living in a home that once belonged to a Palestinian family. Salaita goes on: "It is a mistake to conceptualize ethnic cleansing simply as a physical act. It's importance lies in its psychological power." Which is why in the US, we are waging this struggle at the level of narrative. And why universities are on the very front line of this battle. As even Zev Jabotinsky wrote about years ago, this is war of attrition. Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) campaigns create a moral crisis, and replace either a conspiracy of total silence, or the monologue of the Israeli narrative masquerading as a dialogue -- and it places the Palestinian story right where it belongs -- up front. One of the beautiful elements of the BDS movement is the way that is has challenged the engineered invisibility of the Palestinian narrative and analysis -- divestment and boycott votes demand real communication, revealing that what often passes for dialogue, is monologue. We have to reprogram our neural pathways -- through social media, through BDS campaigns, through reinterpreting, re-covering and re-writing our own religious and cultural language. Campuses are the front line, but so are artists and religious practitioners and community-builders. And we must rewrite our own language. We began with a slogan -- a land with no people for a people with no land. But now I'll leave with a new slogan to help us tell a new story -- a rewriting we have embraced in my community of Jews -- all of us unwavering in our belief that never again means never again for all people, unwavering in our pursuit of justice and freedom unwavering in our belief that Jewish liberation and Palestinian liberation are not opposed, but intertwined That new slogan is: All people are chosen, All land is holy. NationalismSettler-Colonialism Jewish Voice for Peace is a national member-driven organization dedicated to a U.S. foreign policy based on peace, human rights, and respect for international law.
Respect 2 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag lchabin 3 days ago Stop whining. The Palestinians haven't accepted any offers of peace. They could have had their own state a long time ago. Wake up folks; a number of Arab states seem just fine with this peace proposal. Israel isn't going anywhere, and they get it.
@Richard Pierce - so much bile and ignorance. Yes, Israel is a democracy, and Iran not a democracy. It takes a lot of hate and/or ignorance not to understand that. Seeing a few of your posts, my money is on hate. Respect 3 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag zbarski 3 days agoIt takes a lot of hate and/or ignorance not to understand thatIt also takes a few missing chromosomes.
Respect 2 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag Richard_Pearce 3 days ago No, just takes being old enough to remember when folks used your sort of 'reasoning' to call the White State in South Africa an 'island of civilisation amongst savages', the Shah the 'beloved leader' of Iran, Saddam Hussein AND Osama bin Laden good guys, Nelson Mandela a radical terrorist, and spent a few years dealing with guys who's survival often came down to their ability to lie to others convincingly, and who's ability to look in the mirror and see something they didn't hate came down to their ability to reject reality even more fervently than supporters of the Israeli regime have to, street addicts.
That results in a finely honed male cow patty detector, as well as robust immunity to bullying and peer pressure.
Respect 4 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag Richard_Pearce 4 days ago If you present the American population a choice between the 'one state solution' (one country 'between the river and the sea' with equal rights for all) and the 'two state solution' (which requires voiding the Geneva Conventions, the UN charter, close to a dozen human rights laws, barring the ICC and ICJ from exerting jurisdiction, and the rewriting of the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid and 2002 Rome Statute of the ICC) they're about equally split.
Guess what happens if you tell them the truth, that the 'two state solution' is a fraud that will never be accepted and therefore is not an option.
If you guessed that the vast majority of the American population chooses to support the same solution that the 'terrorist' Hamas and the 'genocidal' Iranian government support.
Respect 2 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag Mike_71 2 days ago If you prefer the "one state solution" with equal rights for all citizens living between the river and the sea, then Israel has been that "single state" since June 10, 1967, when it prevailed in a "defensive war of necessity" against Palestinian and Arab invaders. Since that time, the Palestinians have rejected all Israeli offers for negotiating for peace and a state of their own, which Palestinians rejected in 1967, 2000, 2008 and more recently. There is no "Apartheid," or "ethnic cleansing" in Israel, despite Palestinian efforts to impose them there. In an "Orwellian Inversion (war is peace, poverty is plenty and ignorance is strength)," Palestinians seek to impose a 20% minority "Arab Supremacist Apartheid Regime," over a 75 % Israeli Jewish majority population. How that would differ from the former "Apartheid South Africa," once ruled by a 10% minority "White Supremacist Apartheid Regime" over a 90% Black and Mixed Race African majority, they refuse to explain, or justify. Just as South Africans are entitled to democratic and majority rule in their nation, Israelis are entitled to those same rights in theirs.
Have you ever studied the founding documents of both the P.L.O. and Hamas? Both call for the "ethic cleansing"of Jews from their ancestral homeland in which they were indigenous for over 3,000 years. Read them here:
The P.L.O Charter: https://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/plocov.asp
The Hamas Covenant: https://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/hamas.asp
In rejecting the two state solution, as provided under UNGAR 181 in 1947 and numerous Israeli offers since, the Palestinians have forfeited all rights to statehood, thus by default making Israel the "one state" solution, with equal rights for all Israeli citizens, Arabs, Christians, Druze and Jews. Preferring to remaining stateless to having a state of their own, Palestinians have sealed their fate. There is no "two state" solution, as Palestinians never wanted it.
Palestinian "rejectionists" seek to accomplish by propaganda that which they are unable to achieve through war and terrorism. The Palestinians violated the 1949 Geneva Conventions during the "Second Intifada" in deliberately targeting and killing over 1,000 Israeli civilians in bus and cafe bombings in acts defined as "War Crimes, " violating the human rights of Israeli citizens. The I.C.C has no jurisdiction, as Israel was never a party to the Rome Statute creating the Court, and "Palestine" is not a "state," as required to become a signatory to the Rome Statute. Having failed in all other means, including war and terrorism, Palestinians are grasping at straws to try to achieve statehood, which they can only obtain through direct negotiation with Israel. The conflict will continue until such time as Palestinians adopt the requirements of UNSCR 242 and 338, which require:
"Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and political independence of every state in the area and the right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from fear or acts of force."
The Palestinian demand for a "one state" solution has backfired on them, making Israel the "one state" solution, while making themselves stateless, impoverished and isolated in a rapidly changing Middle-East.
Respect 1 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag Richard_Pearce 4 days ago If the propasals the US has put forward are 'peace plans', then this https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/79/278375333_dfc587574c.jpg is brain surgery. Dysnomia 4 days ago The U.S. itself is a settler-colonial state that only exists because of its genocide of Native Americans. U.S. victory over the native population, and U.S. control from the Atlantic to the Pacific, is now a fait accompli, and that's exactly what they want for Israel. Max21c 4 days ago ( Edited )Lebensraum. Definition: the territory that a state or nation believes is needed for its natural development. The German concept of Lebensraum comprises policies and practices of settler colonialism which proliferated in Germany from the 1890s to the 1940s.Strikingly ironic that they seeks lands in the East!
Irredentism: a policy of advocating the restoration to a country of any territory formerly belonging to it.Both sides are wrong. Both sides yield to or harbor irredentist notions, practices, policies, factions, groups, and beliefs. Some Israelis want to practice irredentist beliefs and restore the lands of ancient Israel or its Kingdoms. Other Israelis want to harken back to their heyday when they had freshly captured Gaza and the West Bank and return to or retain some form of the status quo that prevailed from winning battles. There are various other groups that want some degree or flavor of irredentism. Some Palestinians want the Israelis gone entirely and an end to the Israeli state. Some want a return to earlier borders. The "right of return" is in itself a form of irredentism as those seeking are essentially seeking political power and control within Israel.
Trump plan is dead. It's DOA DEAD. It's double DOA dead! Hopefully, it won't lead to too many deaths or be the cause of future warfare or wars.
There are alternatives. There are alternate paths. Peace can be built in the region. Just not this way and likely not now. There are good and better pathways that can at some point be explored in the search for peace! mgr 4 days ago Sounds not unlike the way the neocons of the Bush admin plunged headlong and chest out into the briar patch, er, Iraq, where grateful citizens waited eagerly to throw flowers on these conquering heroes as they marched on to Iran. Castles made of sand... Toots 4 days ago OK, we know how the Palestinians will feel about this, but what cards do they hold? 4 days ago The only card the Palestinians hold is resistance.
Maybe it's time for the PLO to withdraw from the Oslo Accords, and the PA to be dissolved. Everyone knows that the PA/Fatah is a collaborationist organization. The illusion of Palestinian sovereignty in PA-"controlled" areas is too useful to Israel. It lets them pretend they don't really exercise full control from the river to the sea and deny they're running an apartheid system. Let there be no illusions.
Respect 4 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag Richard_Pearce 4 days ago The same one that the Bantus held.
It's only one card, undervalued, dismissed, at least when genuine (The forgeries, ironically, are over valued and loudly proclaimed, but their fake nature causes them to turn to dust) but durable enough to wear all the others to dust over time.
Respect 2 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag REALITYCHECK 4 days ago They did the experiment on giving land back to Islamists in Gaza and Lebanon. They wont be making that mistake again. Respect 3 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag TheManj 4 days ago Spare us your tired lies. Respect 3 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag Krasny 4 days ago Women and homosexuals are protected in Israel...if you care about them.
Respect 1 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag PerfunctoryUsername 4 days ago Pfft. Just yell "SQUIRREL" and save everyone some time. Respect 1 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag Art 4 days agoThey did the experiment on giving land back to Islamists in Gaza and Lebanon.Gaza? The world's largest open-air prison?! HA! Some "give back," with thousands of innocents assassinated while peacefully protesting their captivity.
You condone murder and assassination.
Respect 5 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag REALITYCHECK 4 days ago Progs and other useful idiots, you are going to have to learn to live with Islamist control of only 99.8% of the land area of the Middle East and 51 Islamic Apartheid nations. Need a hankey? Respect 3 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag TheManj 4 days ago 'Hankey' is the Hebrew spelling, I suppose. Respect 1 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag Orville 3 days ago Fortunately, the Islamists only control Saudi Arabia, portions of Libya, chunks of Afghanistan and Pakistan, various segments of Africa, and (thanks to Syria, Iran, and Russia) a declining amount of Syria. Respect 2 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag ljg500 4 days ago Disgusting. It is tragic that a nation forged under the horrific tragedy of the Holocaust, should now bow to virulent racism- obliterating its legitimacy in exchange for puerile and cynical politics. Respect 7 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag Alex 3 days ago NOW?? LEGITIMACY??
It's time to wake up and realize that Zionism has always been an extremely racist, supremacist, violent form of European settler-colonialism which is exactly the reason this creation never had any legitimacy at all.
The Zionist plans for the violent colonisation and ethnical cleansing of Palestine from it's native population have been made decades before Hitler even appeared on the political stage. Actually the reason that Zionists and Nazis cooperated so well, were their common believe that members of a self-declared master race are free to steal and murder sub-humans.
Respect 1 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag Mike_71 2 days ago Zionism is the National Liberation Movement of the Jewish people. Like the Vietnamese National Liberation Front, it has had to fight racist, colonialist, supremacist, bigoted and Imperialist forces to win national independence. In the pre-state periods of their respective national struggles, in 1946 David Ben Gurion and Ho Chi Minh met in Paris, where the two founders of their respective nations developed an affinity, with Ho offering Ben Gurion a Jewish homeland in Vietnam. Ben Gurion declined Ho's offer, as the indigenous Jewish homeland was in the Middle-East, not Vietnam. In 1975, Vietnam finally won its national struggle and since a border clash with China in 1979, Vietnam has not engaged in war since. For Israel, however, the "armed struggle" continues!
Don't believe this historic meeting of two revolutionary founders? Google Israeli-Vietnamese relations and learn about the Gallil (assault rifle) factory Israel built in Vietnam and negotiations for joint Israeli-Vietnamese army training and operations. You will be amazed and educated!
Respect 1 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag CraigPurcell 4 days ago Do I detect foreign influence (like Trump) in the campaign against Sanders ? With Facebook ads and all the rest. No doubt business would pay many to get rid of Sanders. Respect 1 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag SimonEsposito 4 days ago One point that maybe isn't being brought out adequately is that this deal won't satisfy Jewish nationalists either. This is one of those situations where everything you need to assess the situation is obvious from just one wide-scale map. Nationalists will still see this as a territorial threat at the heart of Israel, and the use of settlements as an unofficial security strategy will continue.
And, in any case, the allocated Palestinian territories are not just broken into dozens of islands, they will be subject to years of being negotiated down even further. No-one will stop the settler movement continuing to encroach in the meantime, especially because the territories shown have no stable logic or legal viability to them. (The last remotely viable territorial unit is 1967.)
So it's actually a plan to formalize and stabilize the gains made so far in the making of one single territorial state in Palestine. Rinse and repeat.
I like that Elizabeth Warren is emphatically supporting the legitimate status quo - for the purposes of the two-state solution - of international law and traditional US policy. It should not be for outsiders to impose the one-state solution, which is what Western far-right politicians know they are doing. This is opening Israel-Palestine up to the hazards of historic struggle, and the potential for great suffering, to decide the character of its one state. What they are unleashing is no more likely to end in ethno-religious apartheid (as some on the far right explicitly want) than it is in an inclusive constitutional democracy.
For all practical purposes, by this plan, there will soon be two equal and coterminous sovereignties in the lands from the Jordan River to the sea (including Gaza and Golan). No involuntary shrinking of Palestinian sovereignty beyond 1967 borders has moral force, and in fact the unilateral abrogation of 1967 leaves the entire territory constitutionally up for grabs.
Progressive politics in the US can at least start articulating the characteristics of a state that deserves a continuing security guarantee from the US, or at least continuing aid. For me it's common rights for all the inhabitants of Israel-Palestine, under a constitution built on the spirit of Israel's declaration of independence, based on a belief that the best friends the Jews and non-Jews of Palestine could ever have in the world are each other.
Respect 2 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag SimonEsposito 4 days ago One of the most difficult problems in a dignified constitutional settlement, where international help would be needed (for Jordan and Lebanon as well as Israel-Palestine) - and where international aid needs to be directed - is to agree on some form of negotiated-down right of return, with just compensation. The Kushner-Netanyahu plan appears to simply cancel the right altogether, unilaterally. Respect 2 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag Art 4 days agoWhat they are unleashing is no more likely to end in ethno-religious apartheid...I hate to have to break it to you but unfortunately Israel is already an Apartheid state.
Respect 4 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag SimonEsposito 2 days ago I guess, to be really precise about it, what it is now is "proto-apartheid". It's a piecemeal collection of segregationist measures, failures to administer existing law justly, and the perverse outcomes of repeated decisions by the US to veto efforts to uphold the 1967 "reference standard". The Kushner-Netanyahu plan is a scheme to break 1967 forever, legitimize settlements, and create a permanent apartheid structure embedded in international law.
The only way two states can work is on the basis of 1967. And actually I don't see why a Palestine on pre-1967 borders couldn't include a large Jewish minority, in a mirror image of Israel. So when Elizabeth Warren re-affirmed the "reference standard" without equivocation, there's an subtle radicalism there. The settler movement can't finally extinguish 1967, as a theoretical option at least, unless it forms a Jewish majority in the occupied territories.
To be generous to the administrations that used the veto, I think it was originally intended to protect the ability of the Zionist left to win the case for two states in friendship. The veto protection should really have been ended before 2000. On the other hand, it was always likely that the Israeli far right would win the political contest.
So, however this works out, the best anyone can do is allow Israel-Palestine's future to be the result of self-determination by its inhabitants. That doesn't exclude boycotts and sanctions, though, or the suspension of various forms of aid, because that is the sovereign decision of other polities about who is "fit and proper" to deal with. (Conciliation within the South African system was still fundamentally self determined, despite the steady pressure of boycotts.)
It remains the case that Jewish nationalists are the ones with the deep choice to make: accept the unalterable reality of 1967 for the foundation of two states, or open up a long struggle to determine the character (and level of isolation) of one state with its competing sovereignties. Respect Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag Mike_71 2 days ago But, the Palestinians seek to impose a minority dominated "Arab Supremacist Apartheid Regime," over a conquered and subjugated Jewish majority population, which would then be subjected to "ethnic cleansing." As the Palestinians have unequivocally rejected the concept of "two states for two peoples," in favor of a "single state," the question thus becomes will it become a "majority ruled" state, as 75% of the Israeli population is Jewish, or a "minority ruled" state, like the former "White Supremacist Apartheid Regime" of South Africa, as only 20% of the Israeli population is Arab. It becomes more an issue of minority rule vs majority rule, as opposed to "Apartheid vs "Non-Apartheid." Minority ruled racist regimes, such as the former "White Supremacist Apartheid Regime" of South Africa, tend to be unstable and subject to violent internal revolts, such as those led by Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress, as would a minority ruled "Arab Supremacist Apartheid Regime. Minority ruled racist "Apartheid Regimes," like that of South Africa, cannot last when subjected to repeated popular revolt!
Respect 1 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag Art 2 days ago It's the zionist Jewish colonialists who have - or should have - no rights to the place whatsoever.
Respect 1 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag Mike_71 22 hours ago Even the United Nations, today hardly a rampant pro-Zionist organization, recognized the rights of the Jews to a significant part of their ancestral homeland in 1947, pursuant to UNGAR 181, the UN partitioned the former British Mandate into two proposed states, "one Arab and one Jewish." The Israelis accepted the proposal, while the Palestinians, joined by the Arab League member nations, rejected it by declaring war on Israel. They lost that war, as well as the subsequent 1967 "Six Day War," resulting in the capture of all West Bank land, for which the Palestinians refused to negotiate peace to obtain its return. See my discussion concerning about the difference between "wars of aggression" for the purpose of territorial expansion and territory captured in the course of "defensive wars of necessity" and the comparison of land captured by the U.S.S.R. in the "Great Patriotic War" and Israel in the 1967 "Six Day War." If the Palestinian - Israeli Conflict is strictly a "one to the exclusion of the other" proposition, and a compromise through direct negotiations is not an option, as specified in the founding documents of both the P.L.O. and Hamas, then Israel is entitled to the entirety of the land captured in the 1967 "Six Day War," a "defensive war of necessity." One does not "colonize," or "occupy" one's ancestral homeland of over 3,000 years. "From the river to the sea, Palestine will never be!"
Respect 1 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag Art 59 minutes ago Ardent Zionists like you will never acknowledge anything like justice for Palestinians.
Respect 1 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag The_Wolf 4 days ago Wow, only 7 comments. Guess there are other things going on. Respect 2 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag Toots 4 days ago You're smart. You think just like me. Respect Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag Art 4 days ago I guess the zionists are busy on other comment boards. But don't worry, they'll come back here in a day or so.
Respect 1 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag Mona 4 days ago "How I How Israel exploits Holocaust Remembrance Day" https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/how-israel-exploits-holocaust-remembrance-day
Surviving AuschwitzRespect 14 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag Art 4 days ago Good excerpt.
Esther Bejarano, now in her nineties, was sent to Auschwitz as a girl. There she played in the women's orchestra – as long as the camp commanders were happy, she and her fellow musicians avoided being murdered. She is still a performing musician today. Her parents Rudolf and Margarethe Loewy did not survive. They were murdered by the Nazis in Lithuania in 1941. After the war, Bejarano emigrated to Palestine, but eventually returned to her native Germany, disgusted at how Palestinians were being treated. She says that even she – an Auschwitz survivor – has been labeled an anti-Semite for speaking out for Palestinian rights. Yet she is not deterred. Refusing to be silent, she told The Electronic Intifada in 2018 that Israel's government is "fascist" and that she supports BDS – boycott, divestment and sanctions – if it helps challenge Israel's persecution of Palestinians. Jacques Bude, a retired professor from Belgium, survived the Nazi genocide because he was saved by farmers who hid him as a child. His parents were deported and murdered in Auschwitz. After the war, he was sent to Palestine against his will as a Zionist settler. "I really felt in exile," Bude told The Electronic Intifada in 2017. "I was destroyed by German militarism and I came to Israel and again encountered militarism." He returned home to Belgium. The Nazi ideology "led to the genocide of the Jews, the Roma, the Sinti, homosexuals and the mentally disabled," Bude said. "It is the worst dehumanization that happened until today. It was industrial and they went all the way. They dehumanized them completely, to a pile of hair and gold." "So the duty of memory is to say never more dehumanization," Bude added. "If we say 'never again,' we have to decide where we stand and condemn it." And that includes condemning Israel's crimes: "I am against ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, which is a form of dehumanization." Hajo Meyer was deported to Auschwitz in 1944. After surviving the war, he returned to the Netherlands where he had a long career as a physicist. He was also a fierce anti-Zionist and staunch supporter of Palestinian rights. That made him a target of relentless smears from Israel's supporters, even after his death in 2014. But he too was never silenced by such attacks. In his last interview, which was with The Electronic Intifada, Meyer urged Palestinians "not to give up their fight," even if that meant armed struggle. The lesson Israel wants us to take from the Holocaust is that it has the right to do whatever it wants to Palestinians with impunity in the name of protecting Jews. But the right lesson to take – and it is more urgent than ever – is that all of us must stand together against racial and religious hatred and oppression, no matter who its victims are.
Respect Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag AtheistInChief 4 days ago The control over Palestinians is SO complete, that Palestinians don't have rights not only to the water under their feet, but also to the earth's magnetic field that passes through the air (lest they make electricity out of it). But you'd have to read Max Blumenthal to find that kind of stuff out, definitely not the apartheid complicit NYTimes.
Respect 4 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag Andrew_Nichols 4 days ago The Euros will mumble some indignation ...and then pursue business as usual...beating up on Palestinian rights like BDS , selling Irrael more weapons anmd inviting them to join NATO training. ...all to be expected from cowardly vassals. Respect 6 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag photosymbiosis 4 days ago If anything demonstrates the sheer scale of propagandistic media control in the United States and around the world, it's the Israel story. It's just the same old tedious boilerplate narrative, from the 'left' to the 'right'. The glaring issues just are not allowed to get any air. These issues are:
1) Israel has a 'covert' nuclear weapons program, and under the terms of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, it's a violation of the treaty to for a nuclear signatory to that treaty to assist another country with their nuclear weapons program ; the USA's NNSA (DOE division) has close relations with the Israeli nuclear weapons program. There are other treaty violations with other countries relating to the Pakistani and Indian nuclear weapons programs as well, but the silence on Israel is pretty hilarious. They've got over 100 ballistic-weapon capable boosted fission-fusion nukes with working delivery systems! Yes, they're not going to give them up, fine, but at least make them admit to it in international forums. And about that $4 billion a year in U.S. taxpayer money... why do they need that, again?
2) Israel and Saudi Arabia, the closest US Empire allies, are not democracies. You cannot claim to be a democracy while giving special rights to one religious or ethnic group , and the only way Israel would become a real democracy is to grant the Arab Muslim population the same rights as the European Jewish population has, on immigration, land ownership, and yes, that means giving all the human beings in the West Bank and Gaza Strip voting rights in the Israeli national elections, I mean that's just common sense. Okay, you then have parity between Jews and Muslims, who cares, it's like the Protestants vs. the Catholics in medieval Europe, and ditto for the Sunnis and Shias in Saudi Arabia. Why are we involved with these backwards feudal assholes anyway? We don't need the oil, we don't need the money, we don't need the entangling relationships with dictators and crooks, just get out already.
Even from the whole imperial perspective, I mean, the whole rationale for being involved in the region was control of the oil and the money from the oil, and since the world is getting off oil, the Middle East will soon become as economically attractive as sub-Saharan Africa, so why not just limit involvement to arms-length diplomacy and let the maniacs try to solve their own problems themselves?
As far as all the anti-Semitism claims, how about a proposal to spend oh, $2 billion year rebuilding all the synagogues the Nazis destroyed across Europe instead, and cut off all aid to Israel? Now, that would really piss off the real anti-Semites, wouldn't it?
Respect 13 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag Art 4 days ago Yep, good post.
Respect 3 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag Wnt 4 days ago A cute idea, but technically rebuilding synagogues would be establishment of religion, whether inside or outside the U.S., and therefore unconstitutional. But our politicians don't seem to have any problem with not being racist against blacks while not giving them money, and they were impoverished by our version of nazis, not nazis from europe.
Respect 1 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag The_Wolf 4 days ago ( Edited ) Establishment of religion is an American constitutional precept. Not sure about European countries in which the Nazis destroyed synagogues.
Good points otherwise, and in fact the Nazis from Europe actually looked to the segregated American south and Jim Crow as a model for how to impose their racist ideology on the people of Germany and the countries they were to conquer in Europe.Bill Moyers: You begin the book with a meeting of Nazi Germany's leading lawyers on June 5, 1934, which happens, coincidentally, to be the day I was born. James Whitman: Oh boy, you were born under a dark star.https://billmoyers.com/story/hitler-america-nazi-race-law/
Moyers: A stenographer was present to record a verbatim transcript of that meeting. Reading that transcript you discovered a startling fact. Whitman: Yes -- the fact is that they began by discussing American law. The minister of justice presented a memorandum on American race law that included a great deal of detailed discussion of the laws of American states. American law continued to be a principle topic throughout that meeting and beyond. It's also a startling fact that the most radical lawyers in that meeting -- the most vicious among the lawyers present -- were the most enthusiastic for the American example.
Respect 3 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag mgr 4 days ago ( Edited ) photo: Well put. Slightly related, I understand that Tom Perez, in addition to lobbyists, added a number of Israeli-firsters to the DNC nomination council for the 2020 election.
Respect 1 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag Wnt 4 days ago I think the acid test of any such plan would be an airport. I mean, in theory "Palestine", the nation, can have an international airport, right? Somebody can get on board a plane in Russia, land in "Palestine", walk through Customs & Immigration, make a claim for asylum or citizenship at the courthouse, right?
I think it would be interesting if the Palestinians would try this, just to see whether the Israelis have the courage to shoot down civilian airplanes on regular flights in the name of stopping terrorism. I have little doubt they would disappoint ... my expectations, that is.
Any word on whether the "peace" plan explicitly would ban this?
Respect 1 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag zbarski 4 days ago ( Edited ) If they do, you can take all commenters above with you (take Mackey + Electronik Intifada too) and go on that flight. If the plane doesn't get shut down, you could walk through the customs and ask for polutical asylum.
Indeed, it'll be interesting to see...
Respect 2 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag Wnt 4 days ago With millions of their own citizens locked on the wrong side of a border for almost a century simply because they fled to avoid a war zone for a little while, I think Palestine's immigration agency, if they ever get one, is going to have quite a backlog to clear before they get around to any actual foreigners.
Respect 1 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag zbarski 3 days agoif they ever get one, is going to have quite a backlog to clear before they get around to any actual foreigners.Ahh. What a pity. Such a deserving crowd above.
Respect 2 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag Alex 3 days ago What happened to Gaza Airport? Donor nations invested millions, it operated about 2 years under israeli control and then the Judeonazis bombed it....
There is absolutely no reason to believe, that anything invested/built in Kushner's "Palestinian State" would meet a better fate.
Respect 2 Reply reply Share link Copy Report flag zbarski 3 days ago Still recovering from your:The story that Iran shut down the Ukranian airliner is BS. Iran is perfectly capable of distinguishing between civilian and military objects.
Feb 01, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) announced Friday afternoon that the criteria for making the debate stage will no longer include a requirement about individual donors -- allowing Bloomberg, whose campaign is largely self-funded, to join the candidates if his polling numbers reach the new threshold.Comedian and writer Jack Allison took a wry look at the changes and what they mean about the party. "Remember when they wouldn't even think of changing them for like Cory Booker," Allison tweeted . "This is what we mean when we talk about the DNC cheating, obviously and out in the open."
"Thankfully seeing Bloomberg speak can only hurt his standing," Allison added, "but still."
But it was outspoken filmmaker Michael Moore that really went off on the DNC's decision. Speaking Friday night at a Sanders rally in Clive, Iowa, Moore went on an expletive-filled rant against the party.
Coram Justice , 17 minutes ago link
Gosh Bernie, haven't you read about yourself in Profiles of Corruption . If you can be corrupt why can't the DNC be corrupt? It's only fair. How do you expect the people running the DNC to become millionaires like you? Shouldn't they be able to pocket a little of Mike Bloomberg's $325,000? Don't be a poor loser. Maintain dignity.
Feb 01, 2020 | news.yahoo.com
By Michelle Nichols
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft warned the Palestinians on Friday that bringing their displeasure with the U.S. peace plan to the world body would only "repeat the failed pattern of the last seven decades."
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will speak in the U.N. Security Council in the next two weeks about the plan, Palestinian U.N. envoy Riyad Mansour said on Wednesday, adding that he hoped the 15-member council would also vote on a draft resolution on the issue.
However, the United States is certain to veto any such resolution, diplomats said. That would allow the Palestinians to take the draft text to the 193-member U.N. General Assembly, where a vote would publicly show how the Trump administration's peace plan has been received internationally.
Craft said that while the Palestinians' initial reaction to the plan was anticipated, "why not instead take that displeasure and channel it into negotiations?"
"Bringing that displeasure to the United Nations does nothing but repeat the failed pattern of the last seven decades. Let's avoid those traps and instead take a chance on peace," she told Reuters.
Craft said the United States was ready to facilitate talks and that she was "happy to play any role" that contributes to the Israeli-Palestinian peace plan unveiled by U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday.
Mansour said on Thursday: "There is not a single Palestinian official (who) will meet with American officials now after they submitted an earthquake, the essence of it the destruction of the national aspirations of the Palestinian people. This is unacceptable."
Israel's U.N. mission signaled on Tuesday that it was preparing for the Palestinians to pursue U.N. action, saying in a statement that it was "working to thwart these efforts, and will lead a concerted diplomatic campaign with the U.S."
Jan 31, 2020 | www.unz.com
Old and grumpy , says: Show Comment January 31, 2020 at 1:18 pm GMT@TG The swamp only sorta fears Tulsi Gabbard. Bernie is an annoying blowhard to them. Plus Bernie doesn't want to win, just fill the coffers of his PAC. Maybe get another house. Understandable since his wife's source of easy money went belly up.
Jan 31, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Mao , Jan 31 2020 13:53 utc | 178Kushner: Palestinians Have Never Done Anything Right in Their Sad, Pathetic Lives
The first son-in-law has warned Palestinians not to "screw up this opportunity" at peace that he's so graciously given to them.
Jan 29, 2020 | off-guardian.org
There are obviously some serious linguistic issues and disagreements between the West and the rest of the world. Essential terms like "freedom", "democracy", "liberation", even "terrorism", are all mixed up and confused; they mean something absolutely different in New York, London, Berlin, and in the rest of the world.
Before we begin analyzing, let us recall that countries such as the United Kingdom, France, Germany and the United States, as well as other Western nations, have been spreading colonialist terror to basically all corners of the world.
And in the process, they developed effective terminology and propaganda, which has been justifying, even glorifying acts such as looting, torture, rape and genocides. Basically, first Europe, and later North America literally "got away with everything, including mass murder".
The native people of Americas, Africa and Asia have been massacred, their voices silenced. Slaves were imported from Africa. Great Asian nations, such as China, what is now "India" and Indonesia, got occupied, divided and thoroughly plundered.
And all was done in the name of spreading religion, "liberating" people from themselves, as well as "civilizing them".
Nothing has really changed.
To date, people of great nations with thousands of years of culture, are treated like infants; humiliated, and as if they were still in kindergarten, told how to behave, and how to think.
Sometimes if they "misbehave", they get slapped. Periodically they get slapped so hard, that it takes them decades, even centuries, to get back to their feet. It took China decades to recover from the period of "humiliation". India and Indonesia are presently trying to recuperate, from the colonial barbarity, and from, in the case of Indonesia, the 1965 U.S.-administered fascist coup.
But if you go back to the archives in London, Brussels or Berlin, all the monstrous acts of colonialism, are justified by lofty terms. Western powers are always "fighting for justice"; they are "enlightening" and "liberating". No regrets, no shame and no second thoughts. They are always correct!
Like now; precisely as it is these days.
Presently, the West is trying to overthrow governments in several independent countries, on different continents. From Bolivia (the country has been already destroyed) to Venezuela, from Iraq to Iran, to China and Russia. The more successful these countries get, the better they serve their people, the more vicious the attacks from abroad are, the tougher the embargos and sanctions imposed on them are. The happier the citizens are, the more grotesque the propaganda disseminated from the West gets.
In Hong Kong, some young people, out of financial interest, or out of ignorance, keep shouting: "President Trump, Please Liberate Us!" Or similar, but equally treasonous slogans. They are waving U.S., U.K. and German flags. They beat up people who try to argue with them, including their own Police Force.
So, let us see, how the United States really "liberates" countries, in various pockets of the world.
Let us visit Iran, a country which (you'd never guess it if consuming only Western mass media) is, despite the vicious embargos and sanctions, on the verge of the "highest human development index bracket" (UNDP). How is it possible? Simple. Because Iran is a socialist country (socialism with the Iranian characteristics). It is also an internationalist nation which is fighting against Western imperialism. It helps many occupied and attacked states on our planet, including Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia (before), Syria, Yemen, Palestine, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Iraq, to name just a few.
So, what is the West doing? It is trying to ruin it, by all means; ruin all good will and progress. It is starving Iran through sanctions, it finances and encourages its "opposition", as it does in China, Russia and Latin America. It is trying to destroy it.
Then, it just bombs their convoy in neighboring Iraq, killing its brave commander, General Soleimani. And, as if it was not horrid enough, it turns the tables around, and starts threatening Teheran with more sanctions, more attacks, and even with the destruction of its cultural sites.
Iran, under attack, confused, shot down, by mistake, a Ukrainian passenger jet. It immediately apologized, in horror, offering compensation. The U.S. straightway began digging into the wound. It started to provoke (like in Hong Kong) young people. The British ambassador, too, got involved!
As if Iran and the rest of the world should suddenly forget that during its attack on Iraq, more than 3 decades ago, Washington actually shot down an Iranian wide-body passenger plane (Iran Air flight 655, an Airbus-300), on a routine flight from Bandar Abbas to Dubai. In an "accident", 290 people, among them 66 children, lost their lives. That was considered "war collateral".
Iranian leaders then did not demand "regime change" in Washington. They were not paying for riots in New York or Chicago.
As China is not doing anything of that nature, now.
The "Liberation" of Iraq (in fact, brutal sanctions, bombing, invasion and occupation) took more than a million Iraqi lives, most of them, those of women and children. Presently, Iraq has been plundered, broken into pieces, and on its knees.
Is this the kind of "liberation" that some of the Hong Kong youngsters really want?
No? But if not, is there any other performed by the West, in modern history?
Washington is getting more and more aggressive, in all parts of the world. It also pays more and more for collaboration. And it is not shy to inject terrorist tactics into allied troops, organizations and non-governmental organizations. Hong Kong is no exception.
Iran, Iraq, Syria, Russia, China, Venezuela, but also many other countries, should be carefully watching and analyzing each and every move made by the United States. The West is perfecting tactics on how to liquidate all opposition to its dictates.
It is not called a "war", yet. But it is. People are dying. The lives of millions are being ruined.
Rhisiart Gwilym ,Thank god the US is heading, quite unmistakably now, down the same flush which swallowed the USSR!
Gall ,Yep. America bringing "freedom and democracy" to the world one bomb and bullet at a time. Pretty soon they'll be nobody left to freedomize and democratize.
Hey we voted against all this BS but what does that matter in what they call "democracy" or even "republicanism" in the land of the free fire zone?
Charlotte Russe ,The Democrats deplore humanitarian reasons prior to invading a sovereign nation-state, while Republicans says militarism will keep us safe, however, in actuality the objectives of the political duopoly as reflected in the military/security/surveillance corporate state is rather consistent they're interested in usurping precious resources by acquiring hegemony over significant geostrategic territories.
Norn ,150 years ago, The US saw Korea as too isolationist and decided to [what else?] ' liberate ' the Koreans.
Western Disturbance in the Shinmi 1871 year – Korea
On 10 June 1871, about 650 American invaders landed [on korean shores] and captured several forts, killing over 200 Korean troops with a loss of only three American dead.
Tallis Marsh ,Orwellian speech aside, everything currently boils down to genuine freedom in all its forms not just physical slavery (like in the neoliberal/neocon/zionist wars and its outcomes) but also the mental slavery that leads us to physical slavery. Unfortunately we do not live at the best of times currently, the net of complete neo- slavery is almost upon us and we only have a small window of opportunity to try to stop it. The Smart Grid/IoT system is almost on top of us. Let's fight it with sharing info; and hopefully as a very large population make the establishment listen to us through sustained, strategic non-violent civil disobedience.
To make a start: are you as confused as I am/was about why too many of the general public are just not informed, not 'awake? Why they do not seem to know the reality about the lies & corruption by a small global-establishment; how our world is really run; who is running it; and what their plans and ultimate agenda is? The following video so precisely pin-points how & why; it would be a terrible shame if people did not watch it and share it. Thank you to a leader who did share it – so much appreciated!
The Eight Veils:
tonyopmoc ,Tallis Marsh, Great video, and I agree with a lot of it, but I think the numerology stuff is bollocks, as is the idea that "the elite" have this secret very advanced technology, and can perform "magic powers", beyond the basic principles of physics and maths.
However, the Truth is quite horrendous. I personally felt, I had been physically kicked very hard in my guts, and to the depths of my soul, when in a moment, I became personally convinced that the Official US Government story of 9/11 was impossible, because it did not comply with the basic principles of physics and maths.
I understood all the implications in that moment in February 2003. It was not an alien culture, that I did not understand, that did this atrocity, it was my culture, and I knew almost exactly what was going to happen.
Most people, don't want to know, and won't even look, because they are not mentally capable of tolerating the horror. The truth will send many such people mad. They are better off not knowing, carrying on their lives as best they can. Most people are good, and not guilty of anything. It's just that they won't be able to cope with the truth, that it is our culture, our governments, our institutions, and our religions, which are so evil.
Why isn't Tony Blair on trial for War Crimes Against Humanity?
Its because the entire system is rotten to the core, and will eventually collapse.
Tallis Marsh ,I have a few questions (that imo are vital). How would you define magic/magick?
What about magic/magick being the manipulation of sound and vision to influence/control others?
Observe our industries like the publishing industry – newspapers, academic books, brands, logos, internet; tv, film internet video industry; music industry Who founded and instituted all these industries using the particular system of 'words', numerals, symbols, music and sounds – these are now all-pervasive in our world; who is using them to manipulate us and for what purposes? What are the meanings of these sounds and symbols, etc? E.g. What are the hidden meanings of words/parts of words e.g. el as in elder, elite, election, elevate ? Traditionally 'el' was Saturn.
What is the real history of our world, country, local area (and who is in charge of academia, publishing of all kinds – are they the ones who have rewritten history in order to keep almost all of us in the dark)? How can we find out the true history of our world and know its accuracy? E.g. Why are the worshipers of El/Saturn; and all their Saturnalian symbols around us in the world? e.gs: black gowns worn by the judiciary, priests, graduates; black cubes/squares found on hats of religious leaders, graduates' hats and black cubes found as monuments in such culturally-different places around the world like Saudi Arabia, NYC, Denmark, Australia?
Note: I do not have the answers (I'm still researching) but are these not good questions to explore because the more you look/hear, the more you see that many of the things mentioned above seem to be related; and some would call this magic/magick. To be clear, I am not superstitious and I do not believe in or practice these things myself but as far as I know, a group with immense power do seem to believe these things described.
Tallis Marsh ,For symbols, a good place to start for research is geometry and alchemy. Traditionally, a major part of elite education studied/studies geometry (including 'sacred geometry') and ancient education studied alchemy/chemistry and subjects like astrology/astronomy? Part of the Seven Liberal Arts (the trivium and quadrivium combined), I think.
For history, it is good to research the ancient places and cultures of Phoenicia, Canaan, Ur, Sumeria and Babylon (apparently all of which were brought together into a hidden eclectic culture through the elites which moved into ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome and then moved into/by Celtic/Druidic culture in Central and Northern Europe and now practised in various forms (some hidden but apparent in symbols) in major religions, the freemasons and modern royalty?
Tallis Marsh ,Re: Saturnalian symbols. Forgot to mention – almost all, if not all corporate brand logos (which companies buy for extortionate prices?! Who and why gives out the ideas for brand logos?) seem to be a variation of Saturnalian symbols like the planet's rings, the colour black, cubes, hexagrams; and parts of these things like XX, swish, etc
Tim Drayton ,Not confused, frankly. The ruling classses must always devote massive resources to promoting the dominant ideology that underpins their rule or else they are finished. The hight priests who pump out this ideology have always had high status – look at Rupert Murdoch.
nottheonly1 ,Just remember one 'thing(k)':
EVERYTHING you know was told to you by another human.
Everything human believes in was made up by human to suit his needs.
Human makes stuff up as it goes.
God/religion/the unknown – is all evidence for 'not knowing'.
For it is the one who sees and hears 'thinks' the way they are.
That everything is and human has absolutely no clue as to why.
No whatsoever clue. But lots of all kinds of stories.
There is only one veil – the veil of delusion. To be deluded enough not
to understand that 'The Universe' is an Organism (with all kinds of organs)
that lives and grows.
On Earth, this Organism has cancer. Mankind is that cancer on The Universe.
Mankind is Earth's cancer.
Those who have the porential to look through it all – already do.
Those who don't have the potential to look through it all – never will.
One day, the 'history' of mankind will also become just another story.
With no one to listen to.
Gary Weglarz ,After 500+ years of Western colonial & now neocolonial plunder and mayhem, maybe it's time to look a bit deeper into how Western cultural narratives have shaped a way of seeing ourselves, others and the world not shared by literally most of the human family. The WEIRD research is an illuminating and interesting examination of some of these differences and how they challenge the very concept of "human nature" associated with Western societies.
lundiel ,I like it but I don't know how to achieve it.
Dungroanin ,"To date, people of great nations with thousands of years of culture, are treated like infants; humiliated, and as if they were still in kindergarten, told how to behave, and how to think."
As happenned right HERE in the UK last month at the polls – when they were offered the first REAL hope of lifting the yoke of the ancient imperialist forces for over half a century- the election of a GENUINE social democratic Labour government.
"..the West is trying to overthrow governments in several independent countries, on different continents." confirms Vltchek.
As the West (the ancient imperialists to be exact) DID overthrow what should be the current UK government BEFORE it could take office – a Advance Coup – avoiding all the nastiness of having actual military parking its tanks in Whitehall and having Betty supporting it as beardy gets dragged off for crucifixion.
Achieved by the dirtiest election EVER in UK history using the combined forces of the 5+1 eyed Empire ordered into action, by Up Pompeo Caesar General, who visits his latest victorious battlefield today. Here to collect his tributes for delivering his Gauntlet to stop the Corbynite Labour government taking office – by vote rigging using the favourite DS big data Canadian company CGI and its monopoly, of the privatised postal vote system of the UK.
Here to celebrate a brexit so long planned and also to deliver the final final solution victory for a Israeli APARTHEID state – which like a lightning rod is doomed to be struck by such forces.
A coup. A junta. At the heart of a diseased, decrepit, shrinking Empire – doomed just like Rome.
Morbidly persuing a 'last ditch' master plan to reverse the decline from ever deeper bunker mentality and hoping to form a Singapore on Thames to keep its ancient City home.
Huzzah! the crowds lining the grand avenues sceam as he arrives to claim his triumph.
In his dreams.
UP POMPEO! UP YOURS!
Francis Lee ,"As happenned right HERE in the UK last month at the polls – when they were offered the first REAL hope of lifting the yoke of the ancient imperialist forces for over half a century- the election of a GENUINE social democratic Labour government."
Errrm the Labour party is not a genuine social-democratic formation. It is a pantomime horse consisting of the party in the country and the Parliamentary party – a parliamentary party that is thoroughly Blairite and shows no signs of becoming anything other. Moreover, there is the 'Labour Friends of Israel' a zionist-front organisation consisting of a majority in the Parliamentary party which takes its its foreign policy cue from Tel Aviv. In this respect it has accepted the IHRA definition of anti-semitism. Jewish members of the Labour have been expelled for alleged anti-semitism. Bizarre or what.
You see the problem with the Labour party is that it wants to be thought of as being respectable, moderate, non-threatening and so forth. Therefore, it is Pro monarchy, pro-NATO, pro-Trident, pro-FTTP, pro-Remainer and consists of a Shadow cabinet key positions of inter alia, Emily Thornberry, Keir Starmer, John MacDonnell, who seems to have had a Damascene conversion. The position left vacant by the departure of Tom Watson is still unfilled. Is this the team that is going to lead us to the social democratic society. In short it is a thoroughly conservative (small c)political party and organization being pulled in several different directions at the same time. It has only gained office (I say office rather than power) by detaching itself from its radicalism and then sucking up to a new constituency of the professional and managerial middle class, which is precisely where its leadership is drawn from.
But socialism or even social-democracy if it wants to be taken seriously as a movement which fundamentally change the landscape of British politics must cease this sucking up to the PTB and playing their game and stop being nice, cuddly and respectable. Unfortunately I do not see any sign of this happening, now or in at any time in the future.
Dungroanin ,Ah Francis "Errrm the Labour party is not a genuine social-democratic formation."
I would guess you would say the same of the 1945 Labour party too.
You 'Marxist' tools of the bankers since the C19th have like a religious order been insistent on promoting nationalist rebellion against a social democratic world.
Thats why you sell not just brexit but a HARD brexit while incantating Marxsist creed – for your Banker masters if two centuries.
Enjoy your damp squib celebrations in two days – 11 pm,not midnight, because the bankers don't even control time anymore!
As the FartAgers embarrassed us all with their willy waving union jocks the rest of the EU held hands and sang Auld lang syne to us.
paul ,Labour is a waste of space and a waste of a man's rations. The sooner it consigns itself to oblivion the better.
nottheonly1 ,There are obviously two Andre Vitschek.
But if you go back to the archives in London, Brussels or Berlin, all the monstrous acts of colonialism, are justified by lofty terms. Western powers are always "fighting for justice"; they are "enlightening" and "liberating". No regrets, no shame and no second thoughts. They are always correct!
It is much worse. The fascists rewrite history as we type. Everywhere. Soon, WWII was started by Russia and brave American murderers taught the Bolsheviks a lesson: Get Nukes!!!
Here is the Holy Grail of fascism. The God of fascism. The real 'uniter'. All the lies about how bad Hitler was are Bolshevik propaganda and character defamation – against which a dead person cannot protest.
Some say that not all humans are like that. Like those who recklessly and generously dispose off the well being of others, including their lives. Someone, however, must have told them that it is okay to perpetrate crimes against humanity when you call them 'collateral damages'. But there is truth to that.
Humanity will experience the collateral damages of the religious freaks that are – see above – ready to follow the worst dictator ever – or others – into ruins. Based on the story that there is an 'Afterlife'. People who seriously believe in someone standing there at a gate in the sky dtermining if you are allowed to eternally be with virgins, or do whatever is now worthless, because there are no one-sided situations in a world of action and reaction.
Homo Sapiens is dead. He was replaced by Homo Consumos, Homo Gullibilitens, Homo Terroristicus, Homo Greediensis, Homo Friocorazoniens and Homo Networkiens Isolatiens et insane al.
This is not working. Because close to eight billion people are helpless, because it would take one billion to remove the one million that have hijacked the evolution of Homo Sapiens into a being that better goes extinct before it can further spread.
That's the little fact that goes a very long way.
Samsara, so to speak.
Gall ,All ya gotta do is read Mein Kampt to realize that uncle 'Dolf was nuttier than a fruit cake and a total loony tune and that he should have been transferred from Landsberg to the nearest sanitarium but then they took him seriously and as they say the rest is history
Gezzah Potts ,Millions upon millions of fellow human beings dead due to the direct consequences of imperialism, neo colonialism, sanctions and rampant neoliberal economic policies that destroy people's lives and the notions of solidarity and compassion.
Today, one of my mag customers said to me: "people have become disposable and forgotten about now, especially those struggling to survive". I couldn't have said it better myself. It's all like a dog eat dog race to the bottom for most of us. So many human beings just disposable and thrown on the scrap heap to die while the billionaires gorge themselves from the rank exploitation and deaths of so many people.
How many of them would have shares in the merchants of death like Raytheon or Lockheed Martin or the Big Banks? Such dizzying levels of vast wealth and opulence next to grinding poverty, despair and chasms of inequality.
Here's a quote from an article called 'Depoliticization Is A Deadly Weapon of Neoliberal Fascism' by Henry Giroux:
"Closely related to the depoliticising practices of neoliberalism, the politics of social atomisation and a failed sociality is the existence of a survival of the fittest ethos that drives oppressive narratives used to define both agency and our relationship to others. Mimicking the logic of a war culture, neoliberal pedadogy creates a predatory culture in which the demand of hyper – competitiveness pits individuals against each other through a market based logic in which compassion and caring for the other is replaced by a culture of winners and losers"
And meanwhile, most of us stare, trance like, at our digital screens or we shop shop shop till we drop, or sadly, the more sensitive souls fully lose themselves in drugs or gambling or alcohol to deaden the gnawing pain of living in a dystopic, cruel, neoliberal society.
Or as Thatcher said: 'there is no such thing as society'. Bitch. And things are only going to get worse. I really really get your anger and frustration Andre.
Or as Thatcher said: 'there is no such thing as society'. Bitch.
There is a song (electronic music) by Haldolium that uses a Thatcher impersonator to repeat throughout the song:
"Yes, I am with You all the way – to the end of the government."
We are witnessing the transfer of governance into private hands. The hands of the owner class. Let's see how they see the problems of the many, the masses. Oh? They're not even looking?
Yes, this is a Dead End.
lundiel ,Don't rely on music. Stormsy & Co won't liberate you. They are supporting the establishment. I who love R&B, the music of struggle, know corporate bursaries to enter the class system when I see them.
Gezzah Potts ,N probably already told you, but there's a huge site called Neoliberalism Softpanorama with many hundreds of linked articles (if you have lots and lots of spare time!). Every subject imaginable related to this warped cancer, espec the role of the media presstitutes.
Will check out that song later. Music helps keep me sane, as well as venting my spleen here and elsewhere! Bands such as Hammock, Whale Fall, Maiak, Hiva Oa, Yndi Halda. Six Organs Of Admittance to name just a handful in my collection. Highly contemplative and soothing. Especially knowing how things are and what's coming, what most of us see.
Richard Le Sarc ,Neo-liberalism ends in neo-feudalism, with 99.9% of humanity serfs and villeins, and a tiny ruling elite controlling EVERYTHING. The project proceeds apace, with road-kill like Corbyn and the 500,000 'antisemites' who joined Labour littering the road to Hell on Earth.
Gezzah Potts ,Yes it does. You see where all this is heading. I see where all this is heading (tho can be a bit naive at times) and except for our pet trolls who visit here, nearly everyone else at OffG can see where all this is heading.
It's bloody frustrating that the large majority refuse to open their eyes, even when you explain what is happening, and direct them to sites like here or The Saker or The Grayzone, etc.
Things are going to get really ugly and brutal, tho they already are for the tens of millions just discarded like a bit of flotsam, all the homeless, and those living in grinding poverty, those one or two paychecks away from losing their homes . Society has become very callous and judgemental and atomised. Just how the 0.01% planned it.
Richard Le Sarc ,It's like the Protocols. Whether a 'forgery' by the Russians, or created as a pre-emptive fabrication by certain Jewish figures (in order for the truth to be distorted and denied)it describes behaviour that we do see. Just as all the 'antisemitic conspiracy theories' that are denounced, concerning the attempts by Jewish and Zionist elites to control the West, are attested by evidence that is impossible to deny. Except it MUST be denied. It is like the JFK, RFK hits, the 9/11 fiasco and countless other examples. The truth is out there, and it does NOT come anywhere near the Official Version. Meanwhile the Sabbat Goy Trump, and the Zionist terrorist thug, simply eviscerate International Law in Occupied Palestinians, and NOT ONE Western MSM presstitute scum-bag dares to say so. That is power.
Gezzah Potts ,Yes, the much heralded, deal of the century, Peace Plan, another stinking pile of lies and garbage to further (if that's possible) screw the Palestinians into the dirt and rob them of everything.
With scores more dead kiddies blown up or shot in the head or burned alive by the settler fascists, and the World's most moral army. Kiddie killers.
I'll have a look at Mondoweiss and Electronic Intifada shortly.
This outrage, decade after decade, is another main reason I boycott the whore filth masquerading as . 'journalists'.
paul ,People talk about the Protocols either as a genuine document or a forgery.
I think it is more likely to have been something of a dystopian piece of writing, like Orwell's 1984.
– This is what lies in store for you if you don't watch out, etc.
Looking at the Zionist stranglehold over the world today, the author would probably say, "You can't say I didn't warn you."
Fair dinkum ,Andre, Chris and Mr Fish are on the same page here>>
lundiel ,Seriously, how do we get the "woke" generation to stop dicking around with identity and "social media influencers" and see just what they've bought into? It's not like it's even hard to understand, there seems to be a miasma over Britain with the old seeking solace in social conservatism and the young resigned to neoliberalism, debt, multiple careers, impossible targets, performance evaluation, micromanagement, Specific, Measurable, Ambitious, Realistic and Time specified goals (SMART) for your "stakeholders and customers". It's all so Disney. No wonder people are going mad.
Fair dinkum ,Just when I thought business jargon couldn't get any slimier.
'SMART' sounds like an MBA having a wet dream.
Harry Stotle ,When working men and women were sent off to die in the trenches during WWI most, I suspect, would have known virtually nothing about the geopolitics driving the conflict.
Now we have boundless information streams yet the public is more outraged by some dickhead sounding off on Twitter than they are about cruelty and trauma arising from brutal regime change wars.
Surely it is glaringly obvious that this kind of carnage is orchestrated by amoral politicians acting at the behest of rapacious corporations and a crazed military?
What has gone wrong: unlike earlier generations they do not have the excuse of saying we didn't know what has happening?
They do, or should know, for example, that around 3 million Vietnamese were killed because of a childish theory (the domino theory), yet to them Twitter etiquette seems the more pressing issue.
Gall ,Twatter's useless. Jack and his team of imperial censors shadowban anything that might upset the comfortable applecart of consumerism. This is why you don't see anything relevant other than the latest football, basket ball and baseball scores. If I was into sports betting I'd be on twatter otherwise it's a waste of time.
nottheonly1 ,You should stop dicking around with identity.
Fair dinkum ,The history of (mainly) white men and their religions, whether they be Christian or Mammon, is a history of exploitation, human and ecological.
As a white western male I am ashamed.
Extinction will be too good for us.
Jasper ,As a brown western male, I can say that you should not be ashamed. You are also one of the exploited, the 'cannon fodder' during the wars contained high proportions of white western males and we can see the contempt with which white working class communities are treated in the west today.
Gall ,True what they call "white trash" are beat up multiculturally as well as by the self righteous white limousine liberal elitists. I'd say they are the most oppressed group in the country right now.
Some of their trailer parks have worse poverty than Pine Ridge and that's saying something. Many of them go to the city looking for gainful employment end up living on the streets or in their cars even when they have job because the cost of living exceeds their income.
San Francisco is a perfect example.
Peter Charles ,Not "The history of (mainly) white men "
People only think that because that is the modern (edited at that) history we are familiar with. Look a little deeper and we can see it is the history of Man, period, throughout our existence. Man, black, white, yellow or anything in-between is and always has been greedy, acquisitive, violent and jealous, it is our innate nature, likely the exact reason we are the most successful animal species on the planet. Probably because we developed our intelligence during the drastic changes that drove our predecessors from the trees to the plains and then out of Africa. Civilisation and a satisfactory quality of life somewhat tempers these natural urges but as soon as things get difficult we revert.
At the same time we have a small proportion of people that make these characteristics the bedrock of their lives and for the majority of people they are the pack alphas they all too willingly look up to and follow.
Fair dinkum ,Most successful?
Reckon the cockroach family might prove that wrong.
Peter Charles ,Hence the reason I included 'animal' in the phrase, or do you maintain that there has been another animal more successful than Man?
Fair dinkum ,Point taken Peter.
Rhisiart Gwilym ,"Successful", Peter? "Man"? Really?
anonymous bosch ,"Throughout our existence, Man, black, white, yellow or anything in-between is and always has been greedy, acquisitive, violent and jealous, it is our innate nature, likely the exact reason we are the most successful animal species on the planet."
Firstly, so that is our 'innate nature' ? I wonder how many would agree with that assertion ? Secondly, in respect of "we are the most successful animal species on the planet", I must question the use of the word "successful" here – for what have "succeeded" in doing right up until now has actually brought us to the brink of extinction – are you suggesting that our "innate nature" is to bring an end to everything ?
greedy, acquisitive, violent and jealous, it is our innate nature
To be closer to truth this is just one side of the "innate nature". We are not black OR white (inside) we are BOTH. that means we are also loving, compassionate, collaborative creatures. Like in that native american tale: there are two wolves (black&white) the one you feed is the one that prevails.
Unfortunately, humanity-from the very beggening- fed the black wolf : the rapacious predator and elevated the most egregious of all beigns to positions of leadership. They were made kings, presidents, prime ministers.
Meanwhile, the white wolfs were given a cross and placed at an almost unreachable distance venerated with our tongue, desacrated with our actions.
This behaviour has reached its peak and today, competition, killing, betrayal, economical success, hedonism have been elevated to the level of virtues.
Interestingly, those characteristic you mention (greedy, acquisitive, violent and jealous) Buddha calls them: poisons of the mind, the defining symptom of a deranged mind ..but well, that was another white wolf: Buddha, a MAN not a HU-man.
We'll do well and not wrong, if we took some time for internal exporation . To continue to postpone our internal growth means postponing humanity's survival.
Gall ,Not true. Some cultures are more willing to share with others. What you're are talking about are those who have embraced the Social Darwinist "philosophy" of survival of the fittest which is dominated mainly by whites but there are also other races who embrace this twisted 'philosophy" then there are those who consider themselves the "chosen ones" 'cause the bible or torah or talmud tells them so.
As China is not doing anything of that nature, now.
Only if you close your eyes
How China Is Interfering in Taiwan's Election
Who is hiding behind bully no.1, the CIA/FED US?
Bully no.2, Xi / CCP-China.
Richard Le Sarc ,Coming from an apologist for the planet's Number Two bully-boy, Israel, with its hatred of others, belligerence, aggression, utter hateful contempt for International Law, dominance of industries of exploitation like arms trafficking, surveillance methodologies and equipment, 'blood diamonds', human organs trafficking,sex trafficking, pornography, 'binary options', online gambling, pay-day lending etc,that takes real CHUTZPAH.
Antonym ,All that with just 6.5 million Israeli Jews in total; Compare that to 1.3 billion Chinese in China or 1.4 billions Sunnis.
Fair dinkum ,The Chinese do not claim to be perfect, but then they also make no claim to be the chosen.
Antonym ,No, China just calls itself modestly "Zhongguo" Central or Middle Kingdom, while for Sunnis all others are infidel s.
Richard Le Sarc ,Chinese civilization aims for harmony within society and between societies. Talmudic Judaism sees all non-Jews as inferior, barely above animals, and enemies. Chalk and cheese.
Richard Le Sarc ,Yes, you really are busy little beavers, aren't you. With perhaps 40% of Israeli Jews actually opposed to Israeli State fascism and terror, the numbers become even more stark. But what counts is the money, the 'Binyamins' as they say in Brooklyn, and the CONTROL that they purchase.
Antonym ,Sure, plenty of Jews are not happy with Netanyahu's hard line. Your number reduces the supporting Israelis to 3.9 million, even less. One big city size in the ME.
Money / control: Ali Baba's cave with gold and treasure is not in Lower Manhattan -paper dollars + little gold- but along the Arabian West coast- real oil and gas. The Anglo American and Brit 0.1% know that, but you don't apparently.
Richard Le Sarc ,Very poor quality hasbara. The Sauds are rich, the petro-dollar vital to US economic dominance, but compared to Jewish elite control of Western finances, of US politics, of US MSM, of the commanding heights of US Government and of the Ivy League colleges, it is PEANUTS. And, in any case, the Sauds are doenmeh.
Richard Le Sarc ,Jewish control of the West is mediated by the number of 'Binyamins' dispensed to the political Sabbat Goyim, not the numbers of Jewish people. You know that-why dissemble? Can't help yourself, can you.
paul ,Olga Guerin at the state controlled, Zionist BBC, is apparently the latest Corbyn style rabid anti-semite to be unmasked by the Board of Deputies.
In her coverage of the Holocaust Industry's Auschwitz Jamboree, she made a very brief passing reference to Palestinians living under occupation, and apparently that is unpardonable anti Semitism.
Capricornia Man ,Rich. you forgot to mention gross, systematic interference in the politics of the UK, US, Australia and who knows how many other countries.
paul ,There are some grounds for optimism despite the utter undisguised barbarism of the US, Israel and their satellites.
These vile regimes are having their last hurrah.
The US is on the brink of imploding. It will collapse politically, financially, economically, socially, culturally, morally and spiritually.
When it does, its many satraps and satellites in the EU, the Gulf dictatorships, Israel, will go down with it. It will be like eastern Europe in 1989.
All it takes is for the front door to be kicked in and the whole rotten structure will come crashing down. Some sudden crisis or unforeseen event will bring this about. A sudden unwinding of the Debt and Derivatives time bombs. Another war or crisis in any one of a number of destabilised regions, Iran being an obvious favourite. There are many possibilities.
And the blueprint for a better world already exists. In fact, it is already being implemented.
Russia, China and Iran have survived the aggression directed against them. They have been left with few illusions about the nature of the US regime and the implacable hatred and violence they can expect from it.
These are the key players in the Belt And Road, which provides a new template for development and mutual prosperity throughout the planet.
China has built infrastructure and industry in Africa and elsewhere in a single generation which colonial powers neglected to provide in centuries of genocide, slaughter, slavery and rapacious exploitation. It is not surprising that these achievements have been denigrated and traduced by western regimes, who seek to ascribe and transfer their own dismal record of behaviour to China.
The Zio Empire is lashing out like a wounded beast. It is even attacking its own most servile satellites and satraps. It just has to be fended off and left to die like a mad dog. Then a better world will emerge.
George Cornell ,Taiwan has been a US vassal for a very long time and its location next to China, its history as a part of China and its lack of recognition should not be ignored. Its people are ethnically Chinese, speak Chinese and follow most Chinese customs. For you to equate this to the presence of American bases all over the world, meddling in hundreds of elections, assassinating elected leaders who won't kowtow, invading country after country and causing millions of deaths for "regime changes" is absolutely ridiculous.
paul ,Taiwan is just another part of China that was brutally hacked off its body by rapacious western imperial powers. Like Hong Kong, Tsingtao and Manchuria.
paul ,Or Shanghai. No self respecting nation would accept this, but China has been a model of restraint in not using force, but patient diplomacy, to rectify this imperial plunder.
Antonym ,Or the Tibet, Aksai Chin, the Shaksgam Valley or the South China Sea. What's next, Siberia?
paul ,Tibet was Chinese before the United Snakes or Kosherstan even existed.
The South China Sea was recognised as Chinese until 1949, when the US puppet Chiang Kai Shek was booted out and skulked around on Taiwan.
Then suddenly the SC Sea was no longer Chinese. Lord Neptune in Washington decreed otherwise.
Martin Usher ,I remember the downing of flight 655 because it was on the evening news in the US. Literally. The Vincennes, the ship that shot down the airliner, had a news crew on board and they recorded the entire incident, the excitement of the incoming threat, the firing of a couple of Standard missiles at the threat, the cheering when the threat was neutralized followed by the "Oh, shit!" moment when they realized what they had done. This was in the pre-youTube days and the footage was only shown once to the best of my recollection so its probably long gone and buried. The lessons learned from that incident was that the crew needed better training -- they appeared to be near panic -- and you shouldn't really have those sorts of weapons near civilian airspace. Another lesson that's worth remembering is that this was 30 years ago, far enough in the past that the state of the art missile carrier has long been scrapped as obsolete (broken up in 2011). Put another way, we (the US) have effectively been in a state of war with Iran for over 40 years. Its expensive and pointless but I suppose the real goal is to keep our aerospace companies supplied with work.
johny conspiranoid ,Yes, I remember that news clip as well. It was shown in the UK. There was one young 'dude' on a swivel seat working the aiming device and a bunch of people cheering him on, then "oh shit!" as you say. I also wonder if the whole thing was staged latter though, for damage limitation.
Grafter ,It's all here .. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Onk_wI3ZVME
Frank Speaker ,I remember seeing clips at the time, but this documentary is excellent, thanks for sharing. The Capt of the USS Vincennes should have been put behind bars.
Richard Le Sarc ,But he got a medal! The Vincennes returned to the USA to a 'heroes' welcome'. 'Warriors' one and all.
Gall ,No surprise. Many of the low life cretins that were responsible for the Wounded Knee Massacre received the Congressional Medal of Honor. Ironic that many of the post humous awards and the Purple Hearts received were those wounded or killed by the 7th's own "friendly fire".
Jan 31, 2020 | off-guardian.org
Norn ,"nice" Americans: .. Here is a sample of nice Americans who want to control our breath: Pompeo , Fri 24 Jan 2020: "You Think Americans Really Give A F**k About Ukraine?"
Michael Richard Pompeo (57 y.o.) is the United States secretary of state. He is a former United States Army officer and was Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from January 2017 until April 2018
Nuland , earlier than Feb 2014: "Fuck the EU."
Victoria Jane Nuland (59 y.o) is the former Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs at the United States Department of State. She held the rank of Career Ambassador, the highest diplomatic rank in the United States Foreign Service. She is the former CEO of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), and is also a Member of the Board of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED)
Jan 30, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Peter , Jan 30 2020 18:19 utc | 67Here a view by someone who since his stance against the Iraq war as an UN inspector I respect very much
Trump and his Israeli partners are betting on Palestine's Arab friends to recognize the finality of the window of opportunity that has presented itself and prevail upon the Palestinian people to act accordingly.
For Israel, a rejection of this ultimatum benefits them far more than any Palestinian acceptance. This fact, more than anything else, opens the door to the possibility that the Palestinians can be dissuaded from their current hardline position rejecting the deal.
Jan 30, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Bubbles , Jan 30 2020 18:37 utc | 72Posted by: Peter | Jan 30 2020 18:19 utc | 67
The so called deal makes me think of a mobster saying Nice home you have there, be a shame if something happened to it.
Watch this interview with Kushner, if you can stand it, and see what comes to mind.
Jan 30, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Likklemore , Jan 30 2020 19:30 utc | 82Kushner lost his hymnal. Contradicts Bibi.
Most see this deal as cover for Israel's annexation of Occupied Palestine. The deal was made public yesterday. Bibi rushed home today for the vote on Sunday to annex the Jordan Valley and West Bank Settlements. This agreement was constructed for the occupiers and negotiations did not include proprietors of the land.
Read on it is for the sole benefit of Israel.
Why the rush?
Kushner said not so soon...wait a month. but in Israel ......
"We have been working on this for three years, hundreds of hours, to bring the best agreement in Israel," the source noted, adding that Trump's move to recognize the application of Israeli law to the Jordan Valley, the Northern Dead Sea, Judea and Samaria was "a huge thing" and an undeniable success for Israel.
The source clarified that the US side had preferred an Israeli annexation of these territories "all at once" instead of a slice-by-slice approach, calling this a "technical problem" but emphasizing that there was "no argument about the essence" of the matter.[.]
Well, King Donald Trump giveth. The same king who abrogates international treaties has no respect for the rights of others.
Ok btw. Mike Bloomberg is not really running a campaign to be president. He said, "I am spending my money to get rid of Trump." Thing is whoever comes after must be approved by the landlords.
Jan 30, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
uncle tungsten , Jan 30 2020 22:27 utc | 117Thanks b, that is a mighty good post:
This man had a mighty wish too
There is no shortage of great intellects in the Middle East to follow in his extraordinary footsteps.
Bemildred , Jan 30 2020 23:27 utc | 126Posted by: Patroklos | Jan 30 2020 23:02 utc | 124
I think they were trying to start a war when they killed Soleimani, and the Iranians decided to use it against them instead. Which is smart. Neocons talk a lot but they are not smart. They are bullies and cowards.
At present what I notice is what you do, there is a lot going on, but you won't find it in the MSM. They are busy reducing their audience share with propaganda.
They kicked the jams out when they droned Soleiman. No more "deals".
But I expect Iran to do these things while this is going on:
1.) Annoy Trump and his minions and USG political class as much as possible, stay in their face.
2.) Watch, and help their "proxies" work on making life unbearable in the Middle East for us.
The Houthis seem to have just kicked the shit out of the Saudi coalition again. Quite a few damaged ships and down aircraft reports too, not just Afghanistan.
Jan 30, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Likklemore , Jan 30 2020 21:45 utc | 108Visions and intentions in reverse. For this news, with b's blessing, any thread is appropriate: Guess this goes with the impeaching-
Bush-era Iraq war authorization voted out by US House
The House of Representatives has voted along party lines to repeal a 2002 law authorizing the US to wage war on Iraq. The law was used by the Trump administration to justify the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.The House voted 236 to 166 to kill the 2002 Authorization for Military Force (AUMF) on Iraq. The law was drafted during the presidency of George W. Bush to authorize the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and has been used by subsequent administrations to continue military activity in the country – most recently to justify the US drone assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad earlier this month.[.]
The bill was one of two pieces of legislation passed by the House on Thursday aimed at curbing Trump's warmaking powers. Prior to its passage, a bill prohibiting Trump from using federal funds for "unauthorized military force against Iran" cleared the House floor, again along party lines, with a vote of 228-175.[.]
Jan 29, 2020 | twitter.com
"Turkey: The goal of American peace is to destroy and plunder Palestine."
"Turkish Foreign Ministry:
The fake US plan for peace in the Middle East was born 'dead'.
We will not allow actions to legitimize Israeli occupation and oppression."
Yet another cord in the knot tying Turkey to the West is severed. Word is the Turkish convoy has turned around and will not be constructing another OP near Saraqib.
This may surprise some people :
"Denouncing Trump Plan as 'Unacceptable,' Sanders Declares It Is Time to 'End the Israeli Occupation:'
"'Trump's so-called 'peace deal,' warned the White House hopeful, 'will only perpetuate the conflict, and undermine the security interests of Americans, Israelis, and Palestinians.'"
But isn't that exactly what the plan's supposed to do?
Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 28 2020 21:12 utc | 33
Posted by: dltravers | Jan 28 2020 21:23 utc | 35 Laguerre @28--
"Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba Statement on Peace Plan:
"The United Arab Emirates appreciates continued US efforts to reach a Palestine-Israel peace agreement. This plan is a serious initiative that addresses many issues raised over the years. (1/3)"
From what I've read, Egypt also favors the plan, although I've yet to read anything official from Egypt's government. But Hezbollah's correct, IMO.
"The only way to guarantee a lasting solution is to reach an agreement between all concerned parties. The UAE believes that Palestinians and Israelis can achieve lasting peace and genuine coexistence with the support of the international community. (2/3)"
"The plan announced today offers an important starting point for a return to negotiations within a US-led international framework. (3/3)"
"This deal would not have taken place without the collusion and treason of a number of Arab regimes, both secret and public. The peoples of our nation will never forgive those rulers who forsook resistance to maintain their fragile thrones."
Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 28 2020 21:26 utc | 36
Oman and Bahrain join UAE :
"Trump greenlights Netanyahu to annex at least 1/3 of the West Bank.
"Never forget that Oman, Bahrain and the UAE were present in that room [where the speech was made]."
I'm very surprised at Oman. This indicates to me both the Iranian and Russian collective security proposals are now dead and the situation will now escalate further.
Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 28 2020 21:41 utc | 39
But isn't that exactly what the plan's supposed to do?
Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 28 2020 21:12 utc | 33
"In the remaining weeks before the March 2 Israeli elections, and the few months left until elections in the United States, Trump's peace plan will primarily serve the goal for which it was designed: election propaganda for Israel's right-wing."
+Bonus prize = Stay out of jail card for Netanyahu if he remains Prime Minister.
"In the near term, the 80-page plan is most likely to stir up Israeli and American politics. Mr. Trump is sure to cite the plan's pro-Israel slant on the 2020 campaign trail to win support from conservative Jewish Americans in Florida and other key states, along with the Evangelical Christians who are some of his strongest backers and support Israeli expansion in the Holy Land."
Let's not forget the far right Zionist money men AIPAC members who lavish millions on trump and GOP campaigns. ie Sheldon Adelson was seated in the front row when trump and netanyahu made their announcement. I would say these are the things it's intended to do.
Posted by: Bubbles | Jan 28 2020 21:44 utc | 40
Jan 29, 2020 | caucus99percent.com
Via RT.com Jan. 27, ' Iran slams Trump's 'delusional' Middle East peace plan, calls on US to accept Tehran's proposal instead'
Instead of a delusional "Deal of the Century" -- which will be D.O.A. -- self-described "champions of democracy" would do better to accept Iran's democratic solution proposed by Ayatollah @khamenei_ir :A referendum whereby ALL Palestinians -- Muslim, Jew or Christian -- decide their future .
-- Javad Zarif (@JZarif) January 27, 2020
"In anticipation of a strongly pro-Israeli plan, Palestinian leaders in Ramallah and Gaza have also condemned the upcoming deal and called for a "day of rage" on Tuesday. They urged Palestinians to boycott American goods, and remove all US symbols remaining in the West Bank."
'Remarks by President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu of the State of Israel Upon Arrival', January 27, 2020 , whitehouse.gov (a stomach-churning read, but not as much as the joint presser in the Rose Garden above)
The jerusalem post has some very partial transcripts:
'Deal of Century establishes Palestinian state, Jewish control of Jerusalem; "I have to do a lot for the Palestinians or it just wouldn't be fair.", Jan 28, 202O
"US President Donald Trump unveiled his "Deal of the Century" together with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the White House on Tuesday.
The peace plan, which Trump said was already supported by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his main rival Blue and White head Benny Gantz, would give Israel full control of the settlements and its undivided capital in Jerusalem.
"If they are genuinely prepared to make peace with the Jewish state," Netanyahu said, "Israel will be there. Israel will be prepared to negotiate peace right away."
Trump said that the United States will recognize Israeli sovereignty over any land that "my vision provides to to be part of the State of Israel" and will require the Palestinians to recognize Israel as the Jewish state and to agree to solve the refugee problem outside of Israel.
The plan also establishes a Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem .
As part of the plan, Trump will reveal a map delineating Israeli and Palestinian state borders. He said the map will make clear the "territorial sacrifices that Israel is willing to make for peace."
Trump said the plan will "more than double Palestinian territory No Palestinians will be uprooted from their homes."
Moreover, he said that although Israel will maintain control of Jerusalem, the status quo will remain on the Temple Mount and Israel will work with Jordan to ensure that all Muslims who want to pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque will be able to do so.
The president said that if the Palestinians choose to accept the plan, some $50 billion will be infused into this new Palestinian state.
"There are many countries that want to partake in this," he said. "The Palestinian poverty rate will be cut in half and their GDP will double and triple." He then called for "peace and prosperity for the Palestinian people."
But Trump noted that the transition to the two-state solution will present "no incremental security risk to the State of Israel whatsoever.
But Trump noted that the transition to the two-state solution will present "no incremental security risk to the State of Israel whatsoever.
"Peace requires compromise, but we will never require Israel to compromise on it security," he continued.
Netanyahu in his speech said that he has agreed to negotiate peace with the Palestinians on the basis of Trump's peace plan. The prime minister noted several key reasons, but namely that rather than "pay lip service to Israel's security," the president "recognizes that Israel must have sovereignty in places that enable Israel to defend itself by itself.
"For too long, the heart of Israel has been outrageously branded as illegally occupied territory," Netanyahu continued . "Today, Mr. President, you are puncturing this big lie. You are recognizing Israel's sovereignty over all Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria – large and small alike."
However, Israel agreed that it will maintain the status quo in all areas that the peace plan does not designate as Jewish for four years to allow for an opportunity for negotiation. At the same time, as per the plan, Israel will immediately apply sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and other areas that the plan does recognize as Israeli .
'The 'Deal of the Century': What are its key points?', jpost.com, Jan. 28, 2020
Borders: Trump's plan features a map of what Israel's new borders will be should it enact the plan fully. Israel retains 20% of the West Bank, and will lose a small amount of land in the Negev, near the Gaza-Egypt border. The Palestinians will have a pathway to a state on 80% of the West Bank. Israel will maintain control of all borders. This is the first time a US president has provided a detailed map of this kind.
Jerusalem: The Palestinians will have a capital in Jerusalem based on northern and eastern neighborhoods that are outside the Israeli security fence – Kfar Aqab, Abu Dis and half of Shuafat.
Settlements: Israel would retain the Jordan Valley and all Israeli settlements in the West Bank, in the broadest definition possible, meaning not the municipal borders of each settlement, but their security perimeters. This also includes 15 isolated settlements , which will be enclaves within an eventual Palestinian state, unable to expand for four years. The IDF will have access to the isolated settlements . In order for the settlement part of the plan to go into effect, Israel will have to take action to apply sovereignty to the settlements.
Security: Israel will be in control of security from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. The IDF will not have to leave the West Bank. No change to Israel's approach to Judea and Samaria would be needed.
Palestinian State: The plan does not include immediate recognition of a Palestinian state; rather, it expects a willingness on Israel's part to create a pathway towards Palestinian statehood based on specific territory, which is 80% of Judea and Samaria, including areas A and B and half of Area C. The state will only come into existence in four years if the Palestinians accept the plan, if the Palestinian Authority stops paying terrorists and inciting terror, and Hamas and Islamic Jihad put down its weapons . In addition, the American plan calls on the Palestinians to give up corruption, respect human rights, freedom of religion and a free press, so that they don't have a failed state. If those conditions are met, the US will recognize a Palestinian state and implement a massive economic plan to assist it.
Refugees: A limited number of Palestinian refugees and their descendants will be allowed into the Palestinian state. None will enter Israel ."
On the other hand, from mondoweiss.net: ' The 'Deal of the Century' is Apartheid, Sheena Anne Arackal January 28, 2020 (some outtakes)
"With great fanfare, President Trump finally unveiled his long-anticipated Middle East peace proposal. The proposal was labeled 'The Deal of the Century' because it was supposed to offer an even-handed and just solution to one of the world's most intractable conflicts. Instead it does something very different. The 'Deal of the Century' resurrects and restores grand apartheid, a racist political system that should have been left in the dustbins of history.
Under President Trump's newly unveiled peace plan, the Palestinians will be granted limited autonomy within a Palestinian homeland that consists of multiple non-contiguous enclaves scattered throughout the West Bank and Gaza. The government of Israel will retain security control over the Palestinian enclaves and will continue to control Palestinian borders, airspace, aquifers, maritime waters, and electromagnetic spectrum . Israel will be allowed to annex the Jordan Valley and Jewish communities in the West Bank. The Palestinians will be allowed to select the leaders of their new homeland but will have no political rights in Israel , the state that actually rules over them."
'Trump unveils peace plan, promising more land and control for Israel', Yumna Patel, January 28, 2020 , mondowiess.net (a few snippets)
"The room was filled with familiar faces -- Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, Jason Greenblatt, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Sara Netanyahu, and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer -- and dozens of Israel's supporters, who clapped and cheered throughout the announcement.
"After the press conference, reports surfaced saying that Netanyahu would be announcing Israel's full annexation of the settlements in the West Bank on Sunday, and that Ambassador Friedman expressed that Israel was "free to annex settlements in the West Bank at any time "
While Trump boasted that his plan would promise a contiguous Palestinian state, doubled in size from its current form, the "conceptual map" released by his administration shows a fragmented and dwindling territory, connected by a series of proposed bridges and tunnels."
"We are asking the Palestinians to meet the challenges of peaceful coexistence," Trump said.
"This includes adopting basic laws enshrining human rights, protecting against political and financial corruption ending incitement of hatred against Israel, and ending financial compensation to terrorists," he said, referring to pensions paid by the Palestinian Authority to the families of prisoners and martyrs.
In his speech, Netanyahu demanded that Palestinians recognize Israel as the Jewish State , and that Israel will maintain military control of the entire Jordan Valley to establish a permanent eastern border in the area."
"Throughout his speech, Trump repeatedly praised Israel for "wanting peace badly," and praised Netanyahu for "willing to endorse the plan as the basis for direct negotiations."
He boasted about everything he has done for Israel, listing off the recognition of Jerusalem as its capital, moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, and recognizing Israel's sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights."
"Over the next 10 years, 1 million great new Palestinian jobs will be created," he said, adding that the poverty rate will be cut in half, and the Palestinian GDP will "double and triple."
"Our vision will end the cycle of Palestinian dependency on charity and financial aid. They will do fine by themselves. They are a very capable people ," he said."
What none of the above coverage had included was that in the video Bibi had high-fived Trump for ridding the Middle East of the greatest terrorist in the world (or close to that, meaning the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani. Bibi'd also laughed and said 'It takes someone [like Trump] who knows real estate'.
The White House is pleased to share President @realDonaldTrump 's Vision for a comprehensive peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. https://t.co/7o3jPHpcLv
-- The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 28, 2020
The so-called "Vision for Peace" is simply the dream project of a bankruptcy-ridden real estate developer.
But it is a nightmare for the region and the world
And, hopefully, a wake-up call for all the Muslims who have been barking up the wrong tree. #LetsUniteForPalestinians pic.twitter.com/j2CJ9JaH9c
-- Javad Zarif (@JZarif) January 28, 2020
(cross-posted from Café Babylon ) Tags: continuing war crimes against Palestinians up 5 users have voted.
humphrey on Tue, 01/28/2020 - 5:57pmThe Onion gets it.
White House Rolls Out Middle East Peace Plan https://t.co/Cke1QOPW6d #WhatDoYouThink ? pic.twitter.com/eXWDjAmvhn
-- The Onion (@TheOnion) January 28, 2020
Jan 28, 2020 | www.globalresearch.caInformed Comment 27 January 2020 Region: Middle East & North Africa , USA Theme: Law and Justice In-depth Report: PALESTINE
The Palestinian leadership has entirely rejected what is known of the Trump plan for Israel and Palestine, and warned that they see it as destroying the Oslo Peace accords. The Trump administration did not consult the Palestinians in drawing up the plan, which gives away East Jerusalem and 30% of the Palestinian West Bank to Israel. The Palestinians may as well, Palestine foreign minister Saeb Erekat said, just withdraw from the 1995 Interim Agreement on Oslo.
Trump appears to have decided to unveil the Israel-Palestine plan on Tuesday to take the pressure off from his Senate impeachment trial and to shore up his support from the Jewish and evangelical communities. A majority of Americans in polls say they want Trump impeached and removed from office.
Trump's plan may also bolster beleaguered Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu , who has been indicted for corruption and is fighting for his political life as Israel's third election in a year approaches. Rushing the details of an important policy like Israel and Palestine for the sake of politics, however, could backfire big time.
Erekat also warned that the plan virtually assures that Israel will ultimately have to absorb the Palestinians, and give them the vote inside Israel. Mr. Erekat may, however, be overly optimistic, since it is much more likely that the Palestinians will be kept in a Warsaw Ghetto type of situation and simply denied a meaningful vote entirely.The Future of Statehood: Israel & Palestine
Al-Quds al-`Arabi reports that Donald Trump attempted to call Palestine president Mahmoud Abbas during the past few days and that Mr. Abbas refused to take the call.
The plan, according to details leaked to the Israeli press, will propose a Palestinian statelet on 70% of the West Bank, to be established in four years. The hope is apparently that Mahmoud Abbas will no longer be president of Palestine in four years, and his successor will be more pliable.
This so-called state, however, will be demilitarized and will lack control over borders and airspace, and will be denied the authority to make treaties with other states. In other words, it will be a Bantustan of the sort the racist, Apartheid South African government created to denaturalize its Black African citizens.
Netanyahu has pledged that there will be no Palestinian state as long as he is prime minister.
Palestinians are under Israeli military rule and are being deprived of basic human rights, including the right to have citizenship in a state. They do not have passports but only laissez-passer certificates that are rejected for travel purposes by most states. Israeli squatters continually steal their land and property and water, and Palestinians have no recourse, being without a state to protect them.
Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.
Juan Cole is the founder and chief editor of Informed Comment. He is Richard P. Mitchell Professor of History at the University of Michigan and an adjunct professor, Gulf Studies Center, Qatar University. He is author of, among many other books, Muhammad: Prophet of Peace amid the Clash of Empires . Follow him on Twitter at @jricole or the Informed Comment Facebook PageThe original source of this article is Informed Comment Copyright © Juan Cole , Informed Comment , 2020
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Jan 28, 2020 | sputniknews.com
The announcement comes after Trump met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his main political rival Benjamin 'Benny' Gantz. The Palestinian authorities have repeatedly objected to the plan, as its details were trickling out, and mass protests are expected in the Palestinian territories as Israel tightens security measures. US President Donald Trump has unveiled his long-anticipated Middle East plan – effectively his administration's vision for the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Trump said that under his plan Jerusalem will remain Israel's 'undivided' capital.
Israel's West Bank settlements would be recognised by the United States.
However, Israel would freeze the construction of new settlements on Palestinian territories for four years while Palestinian statehood is negotiated. Trump said that the US will open an embassy to Palestine in East Jerusalem.
The US president said that his Palestine-Israel map would "more than double" the Palestinian territory."I want this deal to be a great deal for the Palestinians, it has to be. Today's agreement is a historic opportunity for the Palestinians to finally achieve an independent state of their own," Trump said. "These maps will more than double Palestinian territory and provide a Palestinian capital in Eastern Jerusalem where America will proudly open its embassy."
He added that the US and Israel would create a committee to implement the proposed peace plan."My vision presents a win-win opportunity for both sides, a realistic two-state solution that resolves the risk of Palestinian statehood to Israel's security," Trump said during a press conference.
On Monday, Donald Trump held separate meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and opposition leader Benny Gantz. Neither of the two managed to achieve a decisive victory in general elections in April or September last year, and a third vote is scheduled for March to break the impasse.
Benny Gantz, the leader of the centre-right Blue and White alliance, praised Trump's plan following Monday's meeting in Washington and promised to put it into practice if he wins the March election. Netanyahu has not commented publicly on it yet.
There has been some speculation in the media that Trump wants Netanyahu and Gantz to work together toward implementing the plan.No Palestinians at the table
Trump had not met with any Palestinian representatives prior to the announcement; Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had reportedly turned down several offers to discuss the proposal.
Palestinian leaders in the West Bank and Gaza have called for mass protests against the peace plan, prompting the Israeli military to reinforce troops in the Jordan Valley.
President Abbas reportedly greenlighted a "Day of Rage" over the Trump plan on Wednesday, paving the way for violent clashes between protesters and Israeli forces. He is currently holding an emergency meeting of the executive bodies of the Palestine Liberation Organisation and the Fatah party.
Palestinians have also floated the possibility of quitting the Oslo accords, which created the Palestinian Authority and regulate its relations with the state of Israel.
The Oslo accords, signed in the 1990s, officially created the Palestinian Authority as a structure tasked with exercising self-governance over the territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.A long path behindTrump was adamant that Palestinians would be forced to accept his plan in the end. "We have the support of the prime minister, we have the support of the other parties, and we think we will ultimately have the support of the Palestinians, but we're going to see," he said on Monday.
Trump has largely outsourced the creation of the plan to his adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner. The initial idea was to publish it after the April 2019 election in Israel, but the uncertainty hanging over the Knesset over the past year has delayed the announcement.
Jared Kushner unveiled the economic portion of the plan this past summer at a conference in Bahrain, but failed to shore up support from Palestinians and faced widespread condemnation instead.
Israelis and Palestinians have been embroiled in a conflict ever since the State of Israel came into existence. Previous American administrations, in line with the United Nations's approach, had long favoured an arrangement that envisaged an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, with its capital in East Jerusalem.
The Trump administration reversed that policy and made a series of decidedly pro-Israel moves in the past three years. Those included moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognising the Golan Heights (which it annexed illegally from Syria) and Israeli settlements in the West Bank (illegal under international law) as parts of Israel.
Jan 28, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
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Jan 28, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
A P , Jan 27 2020 21:39 utc | 64Unless the operatives on the US spy plane were carrying ID the Taliban can find, we'll never know who they really were. As if we could trust that either. (remember Colonel Flagg from MASH? New fake/cover ID every time he showed up) And funny how those "soldiers" with brain damage from the Iranian missile strikes have disappeared of the MSM news cycle... And the "American" interpreter's death that triggered the Soleimani assassination was a dual US/Iraqi citizen... doesn't the US often offer citizenship to useful locals in return for betraying their home country? Sometimes treason doesn't pay.
Jan 28, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
S , Jan 27 2020 16:43 utc | 7One of the main Taliban Twitter accounts, @Zabehulah_M33 , has posted the following tweets (machine translated):US invasion plane crashes in Ghazni, killing scores of officers
Following a raid today in Sadukhel district of Dehik district of Ghazni province, a US special aircraft carrier was flying over an intelligence mission in the area.
The aircraft was destroyed with all its crew and crew, including the major US intelligence officers (CIA).
It is noteworthy that recently, in the provinces of Helmand, Balkh and some other parts of the country, large numbers of enemy aircraft and helicopters have fallen and fallen.
( source )# Important News:
A Ghazni helicopter crashed in the area near Sharana, the capital of Paktika province, this evening after the Ghazni incident.
The helicopter crew and the soldiers were all destroyed.
( source )
So Taliban has not taken responsibility for the E-11A crash (although many news outlets are reporting it, including Russian ones). Meanwhile, yet another helicopter crashed after the E-11A crash, so it's two crashes in one day.
c1ue , Jan 27 2020 16:17 utc | 4If the $1.6 trillion cost of the US military being in Afghanistan is correct, then the loss of 4 helicopters and even the E11 won't significantly increase US overall spend there. $1.6 trillion over 18 years is a tad under $250 million per dayPiotr Berman , Jan 27 2020 17:15 utc | 13When a colonial war goes wrong, one salient question was: who sold guns to the savages?
Among more recent examples, who explained technologically inept Iraqis how to make IEDs?
In the case of smaller weapons, the usual suspect is responsible. NYT By C. J. Chivers Aug. 24, 2016
... In all, Overton found, the Pentagon provided more than 1.45 million firearms to various security forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, including more than 978,000 assault rifles, 266,000 pistols and almost 112,000 machine guns. These transfers formed a collage of firearms of mixed vintage and type: Kalashnikov assault rifles left over from the Cold War; recently manufactured NATO-standard M16s and M4s from American factories; machine guns of Russian and Western lineage; and sniper rifles, shotguns and pistols of varied provenance and caliber, including a large order of Glock semiautomatic pistols, a type of weapon also regularly offered for sale online in Iraq.
That said, one needs something more sophisticated against helicopters and planes. I suspect that even if Iran were inclined to provide them to Taliban, it would not give them their own products, and, for sure, they cannot purchase Western missiles on regular markets. However, as valiant freedom fighters in Syria are provided with such weapons while being woefully underpaid...