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In Foreign Events Coverage Guardian Presstitutes Slip Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment

Reporters without conscience: once a nominally left of centre liberal publication became firmly embedded part of the Foreign Office, MI6 and the US Department of State

Skepticism > Political Skeptic > Media-Military-Industrial Complex > Propaganda

News Neoliberal Brainwashing: Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Recommended Links Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak US and British media are servants of security apparatus Do the foreign state influence the US Presidential elections ? Steele dossier
NeoMcCartyism Luke Harding a pathetic author of rehash of Steele Dossier book Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump by neocons and DemoRats MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage Pussy Riot Provocation and Deranged Pussy Worship Syndrome Brexit as the start of the reversal of neoliberal globalization Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17?
Hypocrisy of British elite Charlie Hebdo - more questions then answers Manchester attack vs Charlie Hebdo Media as a weapon of mass deception Putin-did-it fiasco Edward Lucas as agent provocateur American Exceptionalism
The importance of controlling the narrative Patterns of Propaganda The Real War on Reality Lewis Powell Memo Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Co-opting of the Human Rights to embarrass governments who oppose neoliberalism Manipulation of the term "freedom of press"
Diplomacy by deception Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources Color revolutions Ukraine: From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss Media-Military-Industrial Complex Manufactured consent The Iron Law of Oligarchy
Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Neo-fascism Nation under attack meme Nineteen Eighty-Four Totalitarian Decisionism & Human Rights: The Re-emergence of Nazi Law Bullshit as MSM communication method Big Uncle is Watching You
Groupthink Soft propaganda Fighting Russophobia Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Propaganda Quotes Humor Etc

Naturally the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

Hermann Goering, President of the Reichstag, Nazi Party, and Luftwaffe Commander in Chief

  • Lapdog is easy role, watchdog is hard.
  • Lapdogs are lazy but get fed, watchdogs stand out in the cold, and get kicked.
  • Lapdogs get rich, watchdogs remain poor.
  • Lapdogs eat shit, and watchdogs kick ass.
  • Lapdogs need many masters, watchdogs are their own master.
  • Lapdogs are part of the problem, watchdogs are part of the solution.

@RIP, lapdogs are dismissed even by the asses they kissed, while history remembers watchdogs for the asses they kicked.

Backbutton

10 October 2014 3:46pm

When Gerald Celente branded the American media “presstitutes,” he got it right. The US print and TV media (and NPR) whore for Washington and the corporations. Reporting the real news is their last concern. The presstitutes are a Ministry of Propaganda and Coverup. This is true of the entire Western media, a collection of bought-and-paid-for whores.

by Paul Craig Roberts, June 4, 2013,

A lot of our problems come from the unwillingness of honest people to call out the liars, cranks, wh*res and hacks.

A Brief Theory of Very Serious People — Crooked Timber

Due to the size an introduction was converted to a separate page Guardian as a neoliberal propaganda mouthpeace


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[Mar 20, 2019] The Opportunity Cost of America s Disastrous Foreign Policy by Vlad Sobell

Foreign policy is no longer controlled by the President of the USA. It is controlled by the Deep state. This article is from 2015 but can easily be written about Trump administration
Notable quotes:
"... Indeed, as Putin himself had proposed in his visionary October 2011 article, the Eurasian Union could have become one of the pillars of a huge harmonized economic area stretching from Lisbon to Vladivostok and based on the EU's single-market rules (acquis communautaire). ..."
"... First and foremost, because the self-proclaimed "exceptional" power (actually, a mere "outlying island" in the Atlantic, according to the founder of geopolitics, Halford Mackinder) and its dysfunctional "deep-state" officialdom did not want it to be. How could they have permitted such a thing? How could they have allowed other countries to get on with improving the lives of their citizens without being obliged to seek Washington's approval every step of the way? ..."
"... In order to make sure that they were not side-lined, the US elites had to intervene. The Western propaganda machine started churning out all sorts of nonsense that Putin is a new Hitler who is bent on restoring the Soviet empire and who is bullying Europe, while continuing to bang on about his "increasingly autocratic rule". ..."
"... Deadly attacks by chauvinistic proxies were launched on the Russophone people in South Ossetia, Georgia in 2008 and more recently in Ukraine. ..."
"... Stuck in an Orwellian nightmare, Europe has to demonstrate its unfailing loyalty to Big Brother and go along with the view that Russia, an intrinsic and valuable part of the European mainstream both historically and culturally, represents universal evil and that the Earth will not be safe until the Federation has been dismembered and Putinism wiped out once and for all. ..."
"... Having self-destructed in two world wars, it has become an easy and even willing prey to an arrogant, ignorant and power-drunk predator that has never experienced the hardships and horrors that Europe has. ..."
"... Even more terrifying, intellectually third-rate Washington viceroys such as Victoria Nuland and the freelancing armchair warrior Senator McCain are allowed to play God with our continent. ..."
"... Indeed, the damage extends beyond the economy. By aligning with the forces of chaos – such as chauvinistic extremists in Ukraine – Washington and its Euro-vassals are corrupting the moral (and intellectual) core of the West. ..."
"... 'My Ph.D. dissertation chairman, who became a high Pentagon official assigned to wind down the Vietnam war, in answer to my question about how Washington gets Europeans to always do what Washington wants replied: "Money, we give them money." "Foreign aid?" I asked. "No, we give the European political leaders bagfuls of money. They are for sale. We bought them. They report to us." Perhaps this explains Tony Blair's $50 million fortune one year out of office'. ..."
"... "We, the [CENSORED] people, control America and the Americans know it." -- Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of [CENSORED] ..."
Mar 18, 2015 | Russia Insider

Washington is betraying the best interests of the American people through its current foreign policy... European democracy is threatened by US, not Russian, foreign policy

The avalanche of commentary since the Ukrainian crisis erupted a year ago has overshadowed any reflections on the immense forgone benefits (technically speaking, the "opportunity cost") of what might have been if Washington had been working for peace and stability instead of war and chaos.

Imagine the following: After the unraveling of the Communist bloc, Europe, in partnership with the US, had forged a new security system in which Russia was treated as a valued and equal partner – one whose interests were respected. Russia, decimated by a century of wars and Communist imperialism, would doubtless have eagerly reciprocated in kind. Most countries of the former Soviet Union would have then proceeded to build a new Eurasian structure of which Russia would have served as the natural umbrella, given its long-standing interaction with the region's diverse nations and cultures.

Indeed, as Putin himself had proposed in his visionary October 2011 article, the Eurasian Union could have become one of the pillars of a huge harmonized economic area stretching from Lisbon to Vladivostok and based on the EU's single-market rules (acquis communautaire).

The rising Far Eastern economic powerhouse, with the world's most populous country, China, at its centre, would have linked up with the world's largest economy (the EU). An enormous Eurasian production and financial bloc would have been created – one that drew primarily on secure supplies of Russian energy and other natural resources. Untold investment opportunities would have opened up in Siberia and Russia's Far East as well as in Central Asia. Hundreds of millions of people in Eurasia and elsewhere would have been lifted out of poverty. And, not least, the EU would have been refashioned as an integral part of the dynamic trans-Eurasian economy (rather than as a German-centred empire, as appears to be the case today), thereby making a major contribution to overcoming the ongoing global economic depression.

All of this was not to be, however. Why not? First and foremost, because the self-proclaimed "exceptional" power (actually, a mere "outlying island" in the Atlantic, according to the founder of geopolitics, Halford Mackinder) and its dysfunctional "deep-state" officialdom did not want it to be. How could they have permitted such a thing? How could they have allowed other countries to get on with improving the lives of their citizens without being obliged to seek Washington's approval every step of the way?

European democracy is threatened by US, not Russian, foreign policy

In order to make sure that they were not side-lined, the US elites had to intervene. The Western propaganda machine started churning out all sorts of nonsense that Putin is a new Hitler who is bent on restoring the Soviet empire and who is bullying Europe, while continuing to bang on about his "increasingly autocratic rule".

Deadly attacks by chauvinistic proxies were launched on the Russophone people in South Ossetia, Georgia in 2008 and more recently in Ukraine.

And in what is eerily reminiscent of Stalinist "bloc discipline", the EU/NATO nomenclature was ordered to implement the absurd strategy of severing the Russian economy from the EU. For their part, the cowering Eurocrats willingly obliged by imposing sanctions on Russia that, perversely, have had a negative impact on their own economies (but, let it be stressed, not that of the US). No questions raised and no public debate on the wisdom of such a strategy permitted.

Stuck in an Orwellian nightmare, Europe has to demonstrate its unfailing loyalty to Big Brother and go along with the view that Russia, an intrinsic and valuable part of the European mainstream both historically and culturally, represents universal evil and that the Earth will not be safe until the Federation has been dismembered and Putinism wiped out once and for all.

This abuse and humiliation of Europe is unparalleled. The continent that gave the world the wonders of the Antiquity, modern democracy, the industrial revolution and what is arguably the greatest tradition of philosophy, fine arts and classical music is being bullied by its oversized offspring. Having self-destructed in two world wars, it has become an easy and even willing prey to an arrogant, ignorant and power-drunk predator that has never experienced the hardships and horrors that Europe has. War and extermination camps are etched into the European DNA. America "knows" about them only from afar – and, not least, from the Hollywood entertainment industry.

Even more terrifying, intellectually third-rate Washington viceroys such as Victoria Nuland and the freelancing armchair warrior Senator McCain are allowed to play God with our continent. The so-called European "leaders" are colluding with them in plunging Europe into the abyss and thereby risking nuclear confrontation.

America, too, is a loser

But this is not just a tragedy for Europe and Eurasia. We are also witnessing the wilful misrule of America and, by default, of the entire West. Indeed, Washington is betraying the best interests of the American people through its current foreign policy. The "democracy-promoters" running Washington's foreign-policy apparatus apparently do not understand that America has nothing to lose and a lot to gain from the Eurasian economic project: the rising tide of global economic welfare would lift everyone's boats, including its own. Why should it matter to Washington if the rising tide comes from other quarters beyond its control?

Indeed, the damage extends beyond the economy. By aligning with the forces of chaos – such as chauvinistic extremists in Ukraine – Washington and its Euro-vassals are corrupting the moral (and intellectual) core of the West. If it continues to support such forces against Russia, united Europe will lose not only its backbone but its very soul. The moral consequences of this loss will be enormous and could lead to the precipitous erosion of Western democracy.

The 'autocrats' want to work with the West, not against it

US and EU leaders believe that the Russian and Chinese "autocrats" are out to destroy the West because the latter hate freedom (as George W. Bush might have put it). And hence, they argue, the autocrats must be stopped in their tracks. The simple truth is that Western leaders are too blinkered to understand that far from desiring to destroy the West, Russia and China want it to prosper so that they can work with it to everyone's benefit. Having enjoyed a privileged position over several centuries and having attained unprecedented prosperity in recent decades, the West simply cannot understand that the rest of humanity has no interest in fomenting the "clash of civilizations" but rather craves peace and stability so that it can finally improve its economic lot.

Perhaps, however, all is not yet lost. It is still possible that reason – and economic forces – will prevail and force the West to correct the errors of its ways. What we need, perhaps, more than ever is the ability to step out of the box, question our fundamental assumptions (not least about Russia and China) and find the courage to change policies that have proved disastrous. After all, critical thought, dispassionate analysis and the ability to be open to new ideas is what made the West so successful in the past. If we are to thrive once again in the future, we must resurrect these most valuable and unsurpassed assets.

Vlad Sobell teaches political economy in Prague and Berlin Europeans Look On as US Sows Discord on the Continent Wed, Nov 2

Tom Welsh

What I cannot understand is the naive belief that elected politicians would act in the interests of those whom they represent. Under what other circumstances do we see human beings act with disinterested altruism? So why would a bunch of people who have been ruthlessly selected for selfishness, arrogance, and callousness - a bunch of carefully chosen psychopaths, if you will - behave in that way?

'My Ph.D. dissertation chairman, who became a high Pentagon official assigned to wind down the Vietnam war, in answer to my question about how Washington gets Europeans to always do what Washington wants replied: "Money, we give them money." "Foreign aid?" I asked. "No, we give the European political leaders bagfuls of money. They are for sale. We bought them. They report to us." Perhaps this explains Tony Blair's $50 million fortune one year out of office'.

- Paul Craig Roberts

jabirujoe

"Washington is betraying the best interests of the American people through its current foreign policy".

Not only it's foreign policy but it's domestic policy as well. Let's call it for what it really is. The Wall Street/Corporate policy which is the driving force behind behind everything the US does

Toddrich

"We, the [CENSORED] people, control America and the Americans know it." -- Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of [CENSORED]

"When we're done with the U.S. it will shrivel up and blow away." -- Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of [CENSORED]

The welfare or future of the American people are not part of the equation.

[Mar 20, 2019] Obama was the first African American who sold out his fellow African Americans to be a president. To big money

Michelle is the same blatant liar as her husband, the king of "bait and switch" Obama. From comments: "Yea heard the speech - can I throw up now? How can anyone be taken in by the total insincerity of the whole charade. Hypocrisy rules the political roost and people just love it."... "Obama's old lady was as cheesy as the rest of them. Shallow words from shallow people."
-> www.theguardian.com

Scottarm 1h ago

Sucker born every minute over there!

Sounded like a speech made by a mother on the PTA committee , talk about hyperbole and one sided reporting.

GODsaysBRESCAPE , 2016-07-26 11:20:12
Yeah, they are good with words the Obama. They can talk the talk. But they don't walk the walk. All we got from Obama was more wars, more regime changes, more torture prisons, hundreds of thousands of more dead women and children in the middle east, more racist killer cops at home and a new cold war. And Hilary will bring more of the same. Now that is something to cry about.
tb4911 -> -> ShanghaiGuy , 2016-07-26 11:40:30
Libya but Hillary was the real driving force.
Michael109 , 2016-07-26 11:12:00
Collective amnesia here. The speech brought me to tears also, tears for a once proud Dem party. The Obamas are backing a person, Clinton, who was "extremely careless" with emails in relation to national security (FBI words) and who clearly lied under oath to Congress and who is also clearly behind rigging the Dem nomination process to shaft Sanders and the millions of young people who supported him, absolutely shameless
pentreifan , 2016-07-26 11:11:46
Caring Hillary? A woman who said of Gadaffi's murder "We came, we saw, he died." He was, apparently, sodomised with a bayonet beforehand. And Obama's care for children seems limited by borders. Doesn't seem to care much about the kids of Afghanistan or Yemen.

http://www.salon.com/2015/09/10/what_hillary_clinton_wants_you_to_forget_her_disastrous_record_as_a_war_hawk /

Here's John Pilger on Obama:

" In 2009, President Obama stood before an adoring crowd in the centre of Prague, in the heart of Europe. He pledged himself to make "the world free from nuclear weapons". People cheered and some cried. A torrent of platitudes flowed from the media. Obama was subsequently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

It was all fake. He was lying.

The Obama administration has built more nuclear weapons, more nuclear warheads, more nuclear delivery systems, more nuclear factories. Nuclear warhead spending alone rose higher under Obama than under any American president. The cost over thirty years is more than $1 trillion."

Link: http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/03/23/a-world-war-has-begun-break-the-silence

Rob Lewis , 2016-07-26 10:56:02
Michelle said (Hillary) "Advocating for kids with disabilities as a young lawyer" This is the same Lawyer that bragged about getting a 41 year old pedophile off the hook for raping a 12 year old girl.

https://www.intellihub.com/video-hillary-clinton-brags-getting-pedophile-off-hook /

Sid Debgupta , 2016-07-26 10:44:03
Wow -- I am all weepy --

Where to next Madam Obama ? You have a few months left to scrounge on the taxpayer dime, so where is the next multi-million dollar all-expenses paid vacation with Mammy, the kids and the entire entourage gonna be ?

Frontignan , 2016-07-26 10:39:50
Yea heard the speech - can I throw up now? How can anyone be taken in by the total insincerity of the whole charade. Hypocricy rules the political roost and people just love it.
Yarkob , 2016-07-26 10:39:38
Christ, the astroturfers are out big today.

Did she mention the over 4000 people (of who estimates vary between 500-3000 civilian deaths) her husband has murdered with drone strikes since being in office?

So inspiring!

Chuck3 , 2016-07-26 10:25:28
Don't Americans understand how incredibly arrogant it sounds when they say theirs is the "greatest country on earth"?

What a load of jingoistic garbage. I've lived there. It most definitely is not the "greatest country on earth".

Flooch , 2016-07-26 10:08:44
Usual shouty American nonsense. If you don't have an intelligent point to make, just shout. You know it makes no sense.
BlackForester , 2016-07-26 10:08:13
I adore great men and women who know how to hire a competent team of ghostwriters.
MarkoRam , 2016-07-26 10:05:18
Lol. So much for 'open, independent and fearless' journalism.
NuttyNietzsche , 2016-07-26 10:00:46
An overpopulated planet, a poisoned biosphere, a militant and violent global insurgency by a 7th Century tribal faith; a potential woman in the Whitehouse (and what a gleaming example of womanhood she is!)? A complete irrelevance. Bread and circuses and maudlin hyperbole that will keep the tiny minds of SJWs happy but which won't solve a thing.
Potyka Kalman , 2016-07-26 09:37:50
Only Obama obviously wasn't the first "African American" president. He was the first African American who sold out his fellow African Americans to be a president. To big money.

BTW he's preparing to go on his conference tour. If you think about all the public money he used to save the banking sector (without any consequence for the banking sector), he should be touring at the end of his life. Poor Hillary. She so wanted the job Obama got.

Piggy256 , 2016-07-26 09:19:51
The Americans are so good at farce (Trump) or heart-rending tear-jerkers (Michelle) that are always somewhat repulsive or embarrassing, shall I say, to our European ears. It is a form of popular catharsis that is second-nature to artists and politicians there.
whoarethey , 2016-07-26 09:19:12
Moved to tears, really, well I suppose being Americans they are full of mush and hypocrisy --
DaveMerkin , 2016-07-26 09:11:06
These conventions seem like well managed cult get together. Both republicans and democrats seem like mindless zombies. Obama's old lady was as cheesy as the rest of them. Shallow words from shallow people.
Iconoclastick , 2016-07-26 09:00:06
I recall when she came to an inner city girls' school in London a couple of years back, on what's despairingly referred to as a sink estate. She gave one of those syrupy, nuero linguistic programming speeches, favoured by her dark arts husband's, TelePrompTer speech writing team. Full of all that usual suspect; "hopey, changey, reach for the stars, you can do it if you believe and want it bad enough" nonsense to the assembled teenage girls. And there in lies the point of the Obamas; they're an antidepressant, a simple and effective calming drug for sections of the masses.
IvoryT , 2016-07-26 08:58:53
There's an impressive speechwriter in their team. And the delivery coach is also worth the money.

[Mar 20, 2019] Donald Trump may or may not suffer from sleep deprivation. He definitely suffers from something called NPD, Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

NYT is pro-Hillary neocon establishment influenced rag. One apt observation from NYT comments: "Trump's assertions about sleep should be taken with the grain of salt that all his other grandiose proclamations deserve. I suspect he makes those claims just to prove what an exceptional human he is. He doesn't even need to sleep much!"
Trumps come and go, but the deluded, totally brainwashed electorate will stay. That's the real problem. Degradation of democracy into oligarchy (the iron law of oligarchy) is an objective process. Currently what we see is some kind revolt against status quo. that's why Trump and Sanders get so many supporters.
Another one from comments: "Over the years, Pew surveys show that at least 60% of those polled can't name two branches of the government. Current campaigns, including that of Sanders, imply that the POTUS has a wide range of powers that are to be found nowhere in the Constitution." So none of Repug candidates understand this document. And still I must admit that "Trump is the best in breed when it comes to this GOP dog show." I agree that "Trump punches above his weight in debates "
NYT will never tell you why Hillary will be even more dangerous president.
Only a sleep disorder physician following a full-night study could tell us whether the diagnosis is clinically sound. This guy from NYT is a regular uneducated journo, not a certified physician. Why insult people who truly suffer from sleep deprivation? So all of them are obnoxious maniacs? To me a large part of his behavior is a typical alpha-male behavior. There are, in fact, a number of brilliant, driven alpha-males who function well with a bare amount of sleep. That may be an evolutionary trait that help them to achieve dominance. For example, Napoleon rarely slept more than 2-3 hours per 24-hour period, according to several historians. Churchill stayed up several nights in a row reading Hansard in his formative years and he was a gifted orator, one of the sharpest wits. He also was an alcoholic. Several famous famous mathematicians were among sleep deprived people. Like photographic memory this is a unique idiosyncrasy that is more frequent in alpha-males, not necessary a disease. BTW Angela Merkel is noted for her ability not to sleep for several nights, wearing her opponents into shreds via sleep deprivation and enforcing her decisions over the rest. That was last demonstrated in Minsk were she managed even to get Putin to agree on her terms.
He mentions this term "alpha male" despite the fact that it provides an alternative explanation. Also as one reader commented "So please explain the positions (and behaviors ) of Ayatollah Cruz and rubber man Rubio." Those two backstabbing pseudo-religious demagog got implicit support from the article.
How about this from sleep deprived person vs one definitely non-sleep deprive person (Jeb!): "Donald Trump joins the fight to release the secret 28 Pages of the 9/11 Report."
Notable quotes:
"... This is Tim's contribution to the growing movement to discredit Trump. Every candidate can be similarly eviscerated for their weaknesses, including character flaws. The problem is that our American system of electing leadership is deeply flawed and easily manipulated by advertising. The humiliating process of campaigning drives away our best prospects, leaving the country with weak, inconsistent leadership. ..."
"... gemli, Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton pursued a regime change in Libya, Syria and Ukraine. They got away with their foolish adventure by saying that Gaddafi was a bad guy, Assad is a bad guy and Putin is a bad guy. ..."
"... Mr. Trump is the sole American politician who is willing to say that we should cooperate with Putin. He is the only Republican to be open to single payer health care, the only Republican to say something good about Planned Parenthood and the only Republican to say that Bush should have been impeached for the Iraq war. ..."
"... Hillary Rodham and Marco Rubio are so awful that we would be better off with a nasty, sleep-deprived Trump. Besides, there is still a much better alternative: the irascible Bernie Sanders. He may be angry, but you would have to be crazy to not be angry with the mess we now have to live with: a rigged economy, "free trade", politics corrupted by money, and an insatiable Military Industrial Complex. ..."
"... A lot of people are angry and Trump is channeling that anger. Sanders is channeling a different anger but he is too nice, and will lose to Mrs. Clinton who is supported by the establishment. ..."
"... He, I believe is also the first American politician to say openly that we have to cooperate with Russia if we are really serious about taking on ISIS. Mr. Obama, with his Harvard education, has NO idea what to do about the ME and is floundering around. Meanwhile Russia and Assad and the Kurds are taking the lead, and our "allies" Turkey and Saudi Arabia are actually undermining the war against ISIS. ..."
"... I would not vote for Trump but if he does become president, we might actually have peace in the Middle East and we might actually have single payer health care. On the second, almost all the Democrats will support him and so will at least some Republicans. ..."
"... Trump is not a nice man but he might not be a disaster as president. ..."
"... Mr. Egan, Donald Trump may or may not suffer from sleep deprivation. He definitely suffers from something called NPD, Narcissistic Personality Disorder. He has the classic symptoms which are described as follows, according to the Mayo Clinic ..."
"... Trump is right about one thing, He does make your head spin. ..."
"... I just finished reading 4 opinion columns by Bruni, Brooks, Krugman and lastly Tim Egan's, all published on Feb 26th. (May the last be first and the first last.) I hope Kasich wins to invoke a civil exchange of ideas in American politics, but I will vote for Bernie ..."
"... I imagine the Asians and/or Europe all laughing at us now, but at least the're not shouting and acting like children. Help me, I'm drowning. Give me a leader who can compromise in that great noble tradition which benefits everyone. It's called compassion for the global family. ..."
"... Ambler in "Background to Danger" has a small meditation about politics being not much of anything other than a face behind which the true story goes on, one of big business interests--or in general, economic interests. ..."
"... With Donald Trump the Republican party in the U.S. seems to have dropped the politics mask -- you have a combination of business and fascistic impulses. The question however, is why. Could it be because now all nations in the world find themselves hemmed, with a landlocked feeling like Germany had prior to outbreak of WW2? These business/authoritarian impulses today are not confined to the U.S. alone. ..."
"... how to satisfy in simple basics the restless masses of millions upon millions of people, everything else, not to mention culture, just collapsing in a crowd discussion of who gets what, when, where, why, and how. ..."
"... What's defective about Trump? He is obviously doing very well for himself - he is the likely Republican nominee and is not exactly starving despite multiple bankruptcies. ..."
"... There are real problems with politics in the US and Trump is getting support partly because he at least shows some signs, however delusionary, of addressing the concerns of the 99%. ..."
"... Why are Democrats so concerned that Donald Trump might be the Republican Party's nominee for President that the NY Times trots out editorials psychobabbling about his sleep deprivation? ..."
"... Trump may be all that the intellectual elite deride him for. Guess what? The people who support him don't care. They are tired of being told how to think by people who suppose themselves to be their betters. They will cast their votes and throw their support behind whomever they please, thank-you very much. ..."
"... And really, does Timothy Egan really believe Donald Trump doesn't know what he's doing or saying? Because of sleep deprivation? Note to Mr. Egan: Whatever is Trump's sleep schedule, it seems to be working well for him. He's winning. ..."
"... Trump functions well enough to understand this: (1) The media is deceptive with an agenda of its own. (2) Big donors and big money control the career politicians. 93) Politicians can talk talk talk and make plans and policy and get nothing done. ..."
"... Trump and his supporters are on to all this now. The corrupt media, the corrupt big money and the all talk no action politicians. That is functioning well enough. Trump does not need to function beyond that. His supporters know it and he knows it. ..."
"... So far the best and the brightest highly educated intellectuals have let the USA down . Trump has a certain kind of intelligence that might be just what we need. He effectively cut through a crowded Republican field packed with ideological purists like a knife through butter. He is a very talented New Yorker who grew up in the 60s and went to Fordham before he went to Wharton. If you want to stick your finger in the collective eye of the "elite". vote for Trump. ..."
"... The republican party is the reactionary party. They are a little like the Sicilians described in the novel "The Leopard" where it is said that" In Sicily it doesn't matter whether things are done well or done badly; the sin which we Sicilians never forgive is simply that of 'doing' at all." ..."
"... The Taibbi piece can be found here at this link: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/how-america-made-donald-trump-... ..."
"... Better a sleep deprived bully than a well rested one, which what the rest of the bunch are. They clearly know exactly how to ruin the country and antagonize our allies. ..."
"... As you are reading this, recall how a stressful event in your own life interfered with your sleep. Well, given the frantic nature of the current Republican primary season, the travel, the debates, the probing press, the TV interviews, the speeches, the insults and what's at stake, all of the candidates must be sleep deprived. If they were not they wouldn't be human. Donald will do just fine once he becomes president and gets use to the job (or not). ..."
"... But what about those who hold those same obnoxious ideas arguably sans sleep deprivation? Palin, Cruz, Carson? Please do a series of columns linking the apparent absence of reason in many of the GOP candidates with the current DSM. ..."
"... I used to ridicule President Reagan's legendary afternoon naps. Now I am the age Reagan was as president, and I don't think I could function without napping when I don't get enough sleep at night. ..."
"... What is happening now is not about Trump. It's about what he represents. I don't normally read Peggy Noonan but she nails it today. "There are the protected and the unprotected. The protected make public policy. The unprotected live in it. The unprotected are starting to push back, powerfully. ..."
Feb 26, 2016 | The New York Times
michael kittle
vaison la romaine, france 17 hours ago

This is Tim's contribution to the growing movement to discredit Trump. Every candidate can be similarly eviscerated for their weaknesses, including character flaws. The problem is that our American system of electing leadership is deeply flawed and easily manipulated by advertising. The humiliating process of campaigning drives away our best prospects, leaving the country with weak, inconsistent leadership.

The founding fathers rejected a parliamentary system because it was like England's, but history indicates America could have avoided many political debacles if it had been easier to remove incompetent presidents when their decisions threatened the country. Modernizing our electoral system, shortening the campaign time, and raising the level of debate could improve the choices Americans are given.

Rohit
New York 8 hours ago

gemli, Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton pursued a regime change in Libya, Syria and Ukraine. They got away with their foolish adventure by saying that Gaddafi was a bad guy, Assad is a bad guy and Putin is a bad guy.

And maybe they are right about these people being bad guys. But the regime change policy has been a disaster. WE did not spend a trillion dollars and no AMERICAN troops died. But hundreds of thousands of Syrians are dead, millions knocking at Germany's door and Greece is overwhelmed with refugees. This was all the doing of the "Obama team".

Mr. Trump is the sole American politician who is willing to say that we should cooperate with Putin. He is the only Republican to be open to single payer health care, the only Republican to say something good about Planned Parenthood and the only Republican to say that Bush should have been impeached for the Iraq war.

YOU just see a nasty man in the Republican debates who talks nonsense and has no trouble lying. And that nasty mean does seem to be there, although given Trump, the nasty man might well be a façade who will vanish as soon as he faces the general election.

And you need to be aware of the fact that some of his positions are actually sensible and he is the only politician who has all these positions.

Unfortunately you guys hate Republicans so much that you see red any time you see one and that red in your eyes prevents you from seeing clearly.

Timothy Bal

Central Jersey 16 hours ago
A sleep-deprived Trump is still much better than a fully rested tool of the elites from either political party.

Hillary Rodham and Marco Rubio are so awful that we would be better off with a nasty, sleep-deprived Trump. Besides, there is still a much better alternative: the irascible Bernie Sanders. He may be angry, but you would have to be crazy to not be angry with the mess we now have to live with: a rigged economy, "free trade", politics corrupted by money, and an insatiable Military Industrial Complex.

Rohit, New York 9 hours ago
A lot of people are angry and Trump is channeling that anger. Sanders is channeling a different anger but he is too nice, and will lose to Mrs. Clinton who is supported by the establishment.

Trump is mean enough to take on the establishment, and win. And he is the first Republican brave enough to say that Planned Parenthood DOES do some good work. Like him, I do NOT think they should receive federal funding but that some or most of their work is actually health related is a fact.

He, I believe is also the first American politician to say openly that we have to cooperate with Russia if we are really serious about taking on ISIS. Mr. Obama, with his Harvard education, has NO idea what to do about the ME and is floundering around. Meanwhile Russia and Assad and the Kurds are taking the lead, and our "allies" Turkey and Saudi Arabia are actually undermining the war against ISIS.

I would not vote for Trump but if he does become president, we might actually have peace in the Middle East and we might actually have single payer health care. On the second, almost all the Democrats will support him and so will at least some Republicans.

Trump is not a nice man but he might not be a disaster as president.

Bob SE PA 6 hours ago

Mr. Egan, Donald Trump may or may not suffer from sleep deprivation. He definitely suffers from something called NPD, Narcissistic Personality Disorder. He has the classic symptoms which are described as follows, according to the Mayo Clinic http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/narcissistic-personality-d... :

"DSM-5 criteria for narcissistic personality disorder include these features:

  1. Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
  2. Expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
  3. Exaggerating your achievements and talents
  4. Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
  5. Believing that you are superior and can only be understood by or associate with equally special people
  6. Requiring constant admiration
  7. Having a sense of entitlement
  8. Expecting special favors and unquestioning compliance with your expectations
  9. Taking advantage of others to get what you want
  10. Having an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
  11. Being envious of others and believing others envy you
  12. Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner"

bill b new york 16 hours ago

Trump is right about one thing, He does make your head spin.

Paul Greensboro, NC 11 hours ago

I just finished reading 4 opinion columns by Bruni, Brooks, Krugman and lastly Tim Egan's, all published on Feb 26th. (May the last be first and the first last.) I hope Kasich wins to invoke a civil exchange of ideas in American politics, but I will vote for Bernie or Hilary assuming an asteroid does not hit the earth before then.

I imagine the Asians and/or Europe all laughing at us now, but at least the're not shouting and acting like children. Help me, I'm drowning. Give me a leader who can compromise in that great noble tradition which benefits everyone. It's called compassion for the global family.

Daniel12 Wash. D.C. 14 hours ago

Donald Trump?

I'm on a project to read four (the four I could find so far) of the six Eric Ambler novels written prior to WW2. I'm on the second, "Background to Danger", now. Ambler in "Background to Danger" has a small meditation about politics being not much of anything other than a face behind which the true story goes on, one of big business interests--or in general, economic interests.

With Donald Trump the Republican party in the U.S. seems to have dropped the politics mask -- you have a combination of business and fascistic impulses. The question however, is why. Could it be because now all nations in the world find themselves hemmed, with a landlocked feeling like Germany had prior to outbreak of WW2? These business/authoritarian impulses today are not confined to the U.S. alone.

Worse, the opposition to big business, the other big economic theory of past decades, the socialistic/communistic trend, has been seen in practice whether we speak of Cuba or the Soviet Union or Venezuela or China. It seems all the masks of politics are coming off, all the ideals such as democracy, rights, communism, what have you and instead the argument is turning to actual and naked discussion of interests pure and simple, right and left wing economics, how to satisfy in simple basics the restless masses of millions upon millions of people, everything else, not to mention culture, just collapsing in a crowd discussion of who gets what, when, where, why, and how.

The open boat.

skeptonomist is a trusted commenter Tennessee 11 hours ago

What's defective about Trump? He is obviously doing very well for himself - he is the likely Republican nominee and is not exactly starving despite multiple bankruptcies.

What needs analysis is why so many people support Trump - what's up with them? And what defects in the establishments of both parties cause so many people to reject their selected dynastic picks.

There are real problems with politics in the US and Trump is getting support partly because he at least shows some signs, however delusionary, of addressing the concerns of the 99%.

Beachbum Paris 14 hours ago

This is all thanks to Rupert Murdoch

S.D.Keith Birmigham, AL 7 hours ago

Why are Democrats so concerned that Donald Trump might be the Republican Party's nominee for President that the NY Times trots out editorials psychobabbling about his sleep deprivation?

This is hilarious stuff. Trump may be all that the intellectual elite deride him for. Guess what? The people who support him don't care. They are tired of being told how to think by people who suppose themselves to be their betters. They will cast their votes and throw their support behind whomever they please, thank-you very much. That, much to the chagrin of the Progressive idealists who always believe they know better what people should need and want, is democracy in action. It may be ugly at times, but it is much preferred over every other form of governance.

In fact, articles like this, while red meat for establishmentarian dogs, serve only to strengthen Trump's bona fides among his supporters.

And really, does Timothy Egan really believe Donald Trump doesn't know what he's doing or saying? Because of sleep deprivation? Note to Mr. Egan: Whatever is Trump's sleep schedule, it seems to be working well for him. He's winning.

J. San Ramon 9 hours ago

Trump functions well enough to understand this: (1) The media is deceptive with an agenda of its own. (2) Big donors and big money control the career politicians. 93) Politicians can talk talk talk and make plans and policy and get nothing done.

Trump and his supporters are on to all this now. The corrupt media, the corrupt big money and the all talk no action politicians. That is functioning well enough. Trump does not need to function beyond that. His supporters know it and he knows it.

Scott, NYC 7 hours ago

Another cheap hit piece by the Times. Just to fact check Mr. Egan. Trump just did very, very well with Hispanics in Nevada. So who's delusional?

AVT, Glen Cove, NY 7 hours ago

So far the best and the brightest highly educated intellectuals have let the USA down . Trump has a certain kind of intelligence that might be just what we need. He effectively cut through a crowded Republican field packed with ideological purists like a knife through butter. He is a very talented New Yorker who grew up in the 60s and went to Fordham before he went to Wharton. If you want to stick your finger in the collective eye of the "elite". vote for Trump. This message brought to you by a hugely "bigly" educated Queens lawyer. go Redmen

Excellency, is a trusted commenter Florida 9 hours ago

The republican party is the reactionary party. They are a little like the Sicilians described in the novel "The Leopard" where it is said that" In Sicily it doesn't matter whether things are done well or done badly; the sin which we Sicilians never forgive is simply that of 'doing' at all."

Imagine a man of action like Trump navigating that population, from which great jurists like Scalia emerge, and you have Trump behaving much as Egan describes and succeeding. Indeed, in that same novel it is said that "to rage and mock is gentlemanly, to grumble and whine is not."

S.R. Simon, Bala Cynwyd, Pa. 9 hours ago

Matt Taibbi's pitch-perfect HOW AMERICA MADE DONALD TRUMP UNSTOPPABLE (Rolling Stone, Feb. 24) says it all, and to perfection. The Taibbi piece can be found here at this link: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/how-america-made-donald-trump-...

Nora01, New England 9 hours ago

Better a sleep deprived bully than a well rested one, which what the rest of the bunch are. They clearly know exactly how to ruin the country and antagonize our allies.

nzierler, New Hartford 9 hours ago

Ever wonder why Trump invokes the name of Carl Ihkan every chance he gets? Both engage in hostile takeovers. That's the predatory side of business. But how does that qualify Trump to be the Commander-In-Chief? I would not be surprised if a frustrated President Trump threatened to punch Vladimir Putin in the face. The very thought of President Trump is a nightmare, but no less a nightmare than President Cruz or President Rubio.

Dan Weber, Anchorage, Alaska 9 hours ago

John Kenneth Galbraith, who was in parts of his career intimate with government (including being American ambassador to India during the 1962 China-India War) said in his autobiography that sleep deprivation was the least-appreciated weakness of high-level decision makers in times of crisis.

Somewhere I've read of an experiment that concluded that someone who hasn't slept for 36 hours is as dysfunctional as if he were legally intoxicated. And I recall Colin Powell praising Ambien as the only thing that allowed him to travel as he had to. That's interesting, given Ambien's well-known potential amnesic side-effects.

Mike, San Diego 9 hours ago

As you are reading this, recall how a stressful event in your own life interfered with your sleep. Well, given the frantic nature of the current Republican primary season, the travel, the debates, the probing press, the TV interviews, the speeches, the insults and what's at stake, all of the candidates must be sleep deprived. If they were not they wouldn't be human. Donald will do just fine once he becomes president and gets use to the job (or not).

Carrollian, NY 9 hours ago

But what about those who hold those same obnoxious ideas arguably sans sleep deprivation? Palin, Cruz, Carson? Please do a series of columns linking the apparent absence of reason in many of the GOP candidates with the current DSM.

Richard Grayson, Brooklyn, NY 11 hours ago

Good call, though I suspect most presidential candidates need a lot more sleep. A friend of mine who lived near Michael Dukakis saw him a few weeks after the 1988 election, and he recounted that the Democratic presidential candidate said he was now sleeping so much better, that in the hectic pace of a campaign, he wasn't able to take the time to learn "what was really going on" and to process everything.

I used to ridicule President Reagan's legendary afternoon naps. Now I am the age Reagan was as president, and I don't think I could function without napping when I don't get enough sleep at night.

There's a campaign trope about who you want to be in the White House when an emergency call about a serious world crisis comes in at 3 a.m. I want him or her to be someone who didn't just go to sleep at 2 a.m.

CNNNNC, CT 11 hours ago

What is happening now is not about Trump. It's about what he represents. I don't normally read Peggy Noonan but she nails it today. "There are the protected and the unprotected. The protected make public policy. The unprotected live in it. The unprotected are starting to push back, powerfully.

The protected are the accomplished, the secure, the successful-those who have power or access to it. They are protected from much of the roughness of the world. More to the point, they are protected from the world they have created."

http://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-and-the-rise-of-the-unprotected-145644...

Making the election about Trump personally conveniently ignores this new reality.

[Mar 14, 2019] Neoliberalism: the deep story that lies beneath Donald Trump triumph by George Monbiot

Nov 14, 2016 | www.theguardian.com
The book was The Constitution of Liberty by Frederick Hayek . Its publication, in 1960, marked the transition from an honest, if extreme, philosophy to an outright racket. The philosophy was called neoliberalism . It saw competition as the defining characteristic of human relations. The market would discover a natural hierarchy of winners and losers, creating a more efficient system than could ever be devised through planning or by design. Anything that impeded this process, such as significant tax, regulation, trade union activity or state provision, was counter-productive. Unrestricted entrepreneurs would create the wealth that would trickle down to everyone.

This, at any rate, is how it was originally conceived. But by the time Hayek came to write The Constitution of Liberty, the network of lobbyists and thinkers he had founded was being lavishly funded by multimillionaires who saw the doctrine as a means of defending themselves against democracy. Not every aspect of the neoliberal programme advanced their interests. Hayek, it seems, set out to close the gap.

He begins the book by advancing the narrowest possible conception of liberty: an absence of coercion. He rejects such notions as political freedom, universal rights, human equality and the distribution of wealth, all of which, by restricting the behaviour of the wealthy and powerful, intrude on the absolute freedom from coercion he demands.

Democracy, by contrast, "is not an ultimate or absolute value". In fact, liberty depends on preventing the majority from exercising choice over the direction that politics and society might take.

He justifies this position by creating a heroic narrative of extreme wealth. He conflates the economic elite, spending their money in new ways, with philosophical and scientific pioneers. Just as the political philosopher should be free to think the unthinkable, so the very rich should be free to do the undoable, without constraint by public interest or public opinion.

The ultra rich are "scouts", "experimenting with new styles of living", who blaze the trails that the rest of society will follow. The progress of society depends on the liberty of these "independents" to gain as much money as they want and spend it how they wish. All that is good and useful, therefore, arises from inequality. There should be no connection between merit and reward, no distinction made between earned and unearned income, and no limit to the rents they can charge.

Inherited wealth is more socially useful than earned wealth: "the idle rich", who don't have to work for their money, can devote themselves to influencing "fields of thought and opinion, of tastes and beliefs". Even when they seem to be spending money on nothing but "aimless display", they are in fact acting as society's vanguard.

role="main" itemtype="http://schema.org/NewsArticle" itemscope="" data-test-id="article-root"> Thatcherism and Reaganism were not ideologies in their own right: they were just two faces of neoliberalism. Their massive tax cuts for the rich, crushing of trade unions, reduction in public housing, deregulation, privatisation, outsourcing and competition in public services were all proposed by Hayek and his disciples. But the real triumph of this network was not its capture of the right, but its colonisation of parties that once stood for everything Hayek detested.

Bill Clinton and Tony Blair did not possess a narrative of their own. Rather than develop a new political story, they thought it was sufficient to triangulate . In other words, they extracted a few elements of what their parties had once believed, mixed them with elements of what their opponents believed, and developed from this unlikely combination a "third way".

It was inevitable that the blazing, insurrectionary confidence of neoliberalism would exert a stronger gravitational pull than the dying star of social democracy. Hayek's triumph could be witnessed everywhere from Blair's expansion of the private finance initiative to Clinton's repeal of the Glass-Steagal Act , which had regulated the financial sector. For all his grace and touch, Barack Obama, who didn't possess a narrative either (except "hope"), was slowly reeled in by those who owned the means of persuasion.

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As I warned in April, the result is first disempowerment then disenfranchisement. If the dominant ideology stops governments from changing social outcomes, they can no longer respond to the needs of the electorate. Politics becomes irrelevant to people's lives; debate is reduced to the jabber of a remote elite. The disenfranchised turn instead to a virulent anti-politics in which facts and arguments are replaced by slogans, symbols and sensation. The man who sank Hillary Clinton's bid for the presidency was not Donald Trump. It was her husband.

The paradoxical result is that the backlash against neoliberalism's crushing of political choice has elevated just the kind of man that Hayek worshipped. Trump, who has no coherent politics, is not a classic neoliberal. But he is the perfect representation of Hayek's "independent"; the beneficiary of inherited wealth, unconstrained by common morality, whose gross predilections strike a new path that others may follow. The neoliberal thinktankers are now swarming round this hollow man, this empty vessel waiting to be filled by those who know what they want. The likely result is the demolition of our remaining decencies, -> beginning with the agreement to limit global warming .

Those who tell the stories run the world. Politics has failed through a lack of competing narratives. The key task now is to tell a new story of what it is to be a human in the 21st century. It must be as appealing to some who have voted for Trump and Ukip as it is to the supporters of Clinton, Bernie Sanders or Jeremy Corbyn.

A few of us have been working on this, and can discern what may be the beginning of a story. It's too early to say much yet, but at its core is the recognition that – as modern psychology and neuroscience make abundantly clear – human beings, by comparison with any other animals, are both remarkably social and remarkably unselfish . The atomisation and self-interested behaviour neoliberalism promotes run counter to much of what comprises human nature.

Hayek told us who we are, and he was wrong. Our first step is to reclaim our humanity.

The stories you need to read, in one handy email Sign up to The Guardian Today and get the must-read stories delivered straight to your inbox each morning Read more

Hayek softened his opposition to monopolies and hardened his opposition to trade unions. He lambasted progressive taxation and attempts by the state to raise the general welfare of citizens. He insisted that there is "an overwhelming case against a free health service for all" and dismissed the conservation of natural resources. It should come as no surprise to those who follow such matters that he was awarded the Nobel prize for economics .

By the time Thatcher slammed his book on the table, a lively network of thinktanks, lobbyists and academics promoting Hayek's doctrines had been established on both sides of the Atlantic, abundantly financed by some of the world's richest people and businesses , including DuPont, General Electric, the Coors brewing company, Charles Koch, Richard Mellon Scaife, Lawrence Fertig, the William Volker Fund and the Earhart Foundation. Using psychology and linguistics to brilliant effect, the thinkers these people sponsored found the words and arguments required to turn Hayek's anthem to the elite into a plausible political programme.

[Mar 13, 2019] Jared Kushner challenged on conflicts of interest by Trump aides, book claims by Jon Swaine

Notable quotes:
"... Ward reports that Tillerson blamed Kushner for Trump's abrupt endorsement of a provocative blockade and diplomatic campaign against Qatar by Saudi Arabia and several allies in June 2017. ..."
"... "You've got to be crazy," Cohn is said to have told Kushner in front of others. Kushner met the executives around the time he hosted Chinese government officials at the Fifth Avenue tower. The building was eventually refinanced by a Qatari-backed investment fund. ..."
"... Ward's book portrays Kushner and Ivanka Trump as relentlessly ambitious operators who are loathed by many forced to work with them. She reports that White House staffers mocked Kushner as the "secretary of everything" for his wide-ranging meddling and derided Ivanka Trump's team as Habi – "home of all bad ideas". ..."
"... Bannon recalls Kushner furiously shouting at him at the White House in 2017 after he confronted Kushner about holding secret talks with senators on immigration reform. "He goes from a little boy to, like, this fucking devil," Bannon is quoted as saying. ..."
"... Bannon also claims to have told Ivanka Trump: "Go fuck yourself you are nothing" in front of her father, during an argument over who was the bigger leaker to the media. Ivanka Trump is said to have called Bannon a "fucking liar". ..."
Mar 13, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

The Guardian

Revealed: Donald Trump's son-in-law challenged by Rex Tillerson and Gary Cohn for mixing personal interests with US foreign policy

Jared Kushner was told by the secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, that his interference had 'endangered the US', while his wife Ivanka's team was derided as the 'home of all bad ideas'. Photograph: Jim Bourg/Reuters Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner , was confronted by two of the most senior US government officials for mixing his personal interests with US foreign policy, according to a new book.

Kushner, an envoy to the Middle East for his father-in-law, is said to have been robustly challenged by both Rex Tillerson, then secretary of state, and Gary Cohn, formerly Trump's top economic adviser.

The confrontations are detailed in Kushner Inc by the journalist Vicky Ward, who also describes interference in foreign relations by Kushner's wife, Ivanka Trump . The book is scheduled to be released on 19 March. A copy was obtained by the Guardian.

https://www.theguardian.com/email/form/plaintone/4300

Ward reports that Tillerson blamed Kushner for Trump's abrupt endorsement of a provocative blockade and diplomatic campaign against Qatar by Saudi Arabia and several allies in June 2017. The US has thousands of troops stationed in Qatar.

Tillerson "told Kushner that his interference had endangered the US", an unidentified Tillerson aide tells Ward. Tillerson is also said to have read negative "chatter" about himself in intelligence reports after Kushner belittled him to Kushner's friend Mohammed bin Salman, the controversial Saudi crown prince.

Meanwhile, Cohn is said to have rebuked Kushner in January 2017 after it was revealed Kushner had dined with executives from the Chinese financial corporation Anbang, which was considering investing in the Kushner family's troubled tower at 666 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

The heart of the US-Saudi relationship lies in the Kushner-prince friendship | Mohamad Bazzi Read more

"You've got to be crazy," Cohn is said to have told Kushner in front of others. Kushner met the executives around the time he hosted Chinese government officials at the Fifth Avenue tower. The building was eventually refinanced by a Qatari-backed investment fund.

Ivanka Trump is reported to have interfered in telephone calls between her father and foreign dignitaries despite having overseas business interests. "Thanks so much for the CD you sent me," she is quoted as having told an Indian leader by someone who heard the call. The Trump Organization owns several residential towers in India.

Ward's book portrays Kushner and Ivanka Trump as relentlessly ambitious operators who are loathed by many forced to work with them. She reports that White House staffers mocked Kushner as the "secretary of everything" for his wide-ranging meddling and derided Ivanka Trump's team as Habi – "home of all bad ideas".

John Kelly, formerly Trump's chief of staff and homeland security secretary, is quoted as dismissing the couple as "just playing government".

The book also details disagreements between them and Steve Bannon, Trump's former campaign chief and top White House strategist. Bannon clashed with the couple, who are former Democrats, while pushing to convert Trump's aggressively nationalist campaign rhetoric into government policy.

Bannon recalls Kushner furiously shouting at him at the White House in 2017 after he confronted Kushner about holding secret talks with senators on immigration reform. "He goes from a little boy to, like, this fucking devil," Bannon is quoted as saying.

Bannon also claims to have told Ivanka Trump: "Go fuck yourself you are nothing" in front of her father, during an argument over who was the bigger leaker to the media. Ivanka Trump is said to have called Bannon a "fucking liar".

For her part, Ivanka Trump is focused on cementing a Trump dynasty to rival the Kennedys and Bushes by becoming commander-in-chief herself one day, according to Ward. "She thinks she's going to be president of the United States," Cohn is quoted as saying.

[Mar 07, 2019] Wooing the Russians: how Spain and Italy are trying to lure back lost tourists by Stephen Burgen & Stephanie Kirchgaessner & Alec Luhn

This is from 2015. Not much changes since the introduction of sanctions.
Sep 04, 2015 | The Guardian

MaoChengJi -> andy4248 4 Sep 2015 22:10

"Russians are brainwashed daily that the West is an awful place and we are going to invade them at any moment. " Oh rather you're brainwashed daily that Russia is an awful place where Russians are brainwashed daily that the West is an awful place and we are going to invade them at any moment.

I'm pretty sure not a single Russian believes that the west is going to invade. For reasons that are obvious, or should be obvious.

runner911 -> notoriousANDinfamous 5 Sep 2015 04:23

You must be joking ! 70 per cent of Americans do not know what the Constitution is, and six per cent don't even know when Independence Day falls. In a recent survey just over a half of Americans didn't know what the Taliban are , despite the fact they led the charge in Afghanistan.

When looking at a map of the world, young Americans had a difficult time correctly identifying Iraq (1 in 7) and Afghanistan (17%). This isn't that surprising, but only a slim majority (51%) knew where New York was. According to Forbes and National Geographic, an alarming 29% couldn't point to the Pacific Ocean.

Many didn't know where Europe is let alone Spain.

Americans cultural ? What a hoot !

runner911 -> jezzam 5 Sep 2015 04:09

Be assured Russia is more than capable of defending itself against Western ( USA ) aggression, plus they hold the biggest nuclear arsenal on the planet , so lets be clear no-one is going to attack Russia and risk nuclear annihilation in return. As regards being surrounded by NATO, how do you think the yanks would react if the same were to apply to the USA and that sad corrupt country was surrounded by Russian Forces ? The last time it happened in 1962, as I recall the yanks were whining like whipped dogs, but eventually agreed to dismantle their missiles in Turkey provided the Russians did the same in Cuba.

Beckow -> notoriousANDinfamous 5 Sep 2015 11:59

You lost the argument, so you are trying to change the subject. Now we can see why Western media doesn't allow an open discussion - you don't have much to say.

East-central Europe was invaded by Germans, Russians, Ottomans, French, even the Swedes. Germans murdered about 15 million people here. Ottomans (Turks) about 10 million. Russians liberated us from a murderous German occupation after WWII and stayed way too long...

Russian victims are in tens of thousands. Given that Russians lost about 1.5 million soldiers liberating us from Germans and saved us from planned extermination by Nazis over time, we keep some perspective about it. But I am not sure your ideological and slogan-driven thinking would understand any of it...

EugeneGur -> zenithmaster 5 Sep 2015 11:43

This has zero to do with Russia's poor relations with the EU and everything to do the Russians' smaller spending power.

This is not quite true. You underestimate the power of the sentiment. One example: Russian tourism to Estonia dropped 60% after the scandal with the Bronze soldier in 2007, long before any decrease in the buying power, and it never recovered.

You are right, of course, that the decreased value of the ruble affected mass tourism, but the effect was multiplied by the anger towards Europe, believe me, it was. Going through the visa process was always annoying and humiliating but under the present circumstances it became unbearable. This one thing that affects all European countries whether its Bulgaria or Italy.

MaoChengJi -> jezzam 5 Sep 2015 09:56

Yeah, something like what thecorporateclass said above.

I'll add this: deep down even people like you don't believe in any Russian 'invasion' in Ukraine. They know: if Russia did invade, it would've been over long time ago. The question, rather, is about Kiev regime's control of the border, which would amount to a blockade of Donetsk-Lugansk republics; blocking all the supplies, attacking from all directions, and exterminating people who feel ethnically Russian.

This can not happen: it would've brought the Russian government down, and therefore no Russian government could participate in it; be it led by Putin, Dugin, or Navalny, or anyone at all. It's just a physical impossibility. IMO.

TheCorporateClass -> jezzam 5 Sep 2015 06:37

The West agrees to drop this missile shield, Putin agrees to stop his military interference in Ukraine.

This needs correcting IF it is to work as a solution.

The West agrees to drop this missile shield, agrees to stop it's interventions into Ukrainian government and it's politics, agrees to stop FUNDING and GUIDING far right neo-nazi militias and their political wings, agrees to stop making intentionally false/unproven/fictional accusations against Russia & Putin's Government, stops providing military intelligence to Ukraine (a non-Nato country), and admits to the direct connection between the externally caused "political and social" instability in Ukraine begun by EU/NATA and the externally caused "political and social" instability and then Civil War in Syria with oil/gas supplies from Russia and Qatar ... then that would be a great first step towards the truth of matters bullshit.

Then all of Russia and Putin at their ELECTED President would no doubt agree to stop his humane military interference in Ukraine on behalf of those people having their human rights and lives taken by ideologically driven psychopaths and their corrupt crazies from Washington, Berlin, Riyadh, Doha, and Tel Aiv.

Simple really.

HollyOldDog -> raffine 5 Sep 2015 04:59

Whereas there are convoys of Russian trucks that are stopping the East Ukrainians of starving to death. The only 'gifts' that West Ukraine gives to their East compatriates is constant shelling, grad missile fire, mine fields and snipers that shoot any East Ukrainians on sight whether they are men ,women or children.

MaoChengJi -> jezzam 4 Sep 2015 23:48

I believe the western anti-missile installations along the Russian borders give the impression that the US is trying to break the MAD balance and create, at some point in the future, a defense against retaliatory nuclear strike. That seems like the only rational explanation for those installations. For do you think they are for?

MaoChengJi -> andy4248 4 Sep 2015 22:10

"Russians are brainwashed daily that the West is an awful place and we are going to invade them at any moment. "

Oh rather you're brainwashed daily that Russia is an awful pleace where Russians are brainwashed daily that the West is an awful place and we are going to invade them at any moment.

I'm pretty sure not a signle Russian believes that the west is going to invade. For reasons that are obvious, or should be obvious.

crackling -> MaoChengJi 4 Sep 2015 22:03

fingerprints is copying GWBush's data collection on citizens and visitors to the US - last night I just had my photo and fingerprints taken on customs entry to Taiwan - I expect it's becoming the norm these days.

Beckow -> notoriousANDinfamous 4 Sep 2015 21:22

Address Obama's admission that "US assisted in the transition of power", why do you skip over it? $15 billion was a loan and it was used for the Ukrainian budget. If someone stole some of it, prove it and charge them.

I never said that Russians didn't try to influence Kiev, but so did US - listen to the recording, it assigns roles for different protest leaders. Ashton was an EU official and she was standing with the protestors - so were many others, incl. Nuland, ambassador, etc... - that goes way beyond "trade agreement".

I am a Slovak and I comment on anything I feel like. If you have a problem with that, maybe you don't understand democracy and freedom of speech. By the way, most people in my part of Europe (from Budapest to Vienna to Prague) roughly share my view of the situation. We know Russians, we know Ukrainians, and we can judge for ourselves.

Popeyes -> andy4248 4 Sep 2015 19:45

It's very sad but Russians are for more aware of what's going on politically than their Western counterparts. The fact that they have a low opinion of Westerners is hardly surprising and they certainly don't have to be " brainwashed ' by the Kremlin to know what's going on. They only have to look at Iraq, Libya, and Syria, Ukraine the list is endless to figure it out. You could blame GM food for the fact that Americans seem to be pretty dim and clueless on Europeans affairs, but as for the rest of Europeans I guess they are the ones that are really "brainwashed".

Beckow -> notoriousANDinfamous 4 Sep 2015 19:32

Thou protest too much.

The "baroness" was an EU foreign secretary, that's pretty high up. In addition: US ambassador, assistant sec for Europe (Nuland), and a number of other officials were at the Maidan protests - videos and all.

The recording was very specific about who (Yats) should be Prime Minister and how it should be done. If US also does that in Spain, that's even a bigger problem.

$5bn is a lot of "civil organizations" - most of it in the last 5-10 years. Russia gave a loan - that is very different.

Finally, Obama literally said "we assisted with the transition of power in Ukraine"
what other proof can one possible have than an admission by the chief?

By the way I used the term "assist in an overthrow". To "orchestrate" is more pro-active. Given what has been made public there definitely was "assistance" (see Obama's statement above), whether that amounts to "orchestrate" like in 1953 Iran, I would leave to the historians.

Beckow -> notoriousANDinfamous 4 Sep 2015 18:52

There are videos of dozens of Western leaders standing on the podium with the demonstrators on Maidan (just imagine Lavrov joinig an Occupy protest in New York or London).

There are recordings of Nuland deciding on who will run Ukraine ("f...k Europe").

US spent 5 billion in 20 years on "civil groups" in Ukraine.

If you prefer an infantile denial, I can't help you. Just don't be surprised if you become irrelevant.

Beckow -> dmitryfrommoscow 4 Sep 2015 18:34

Yes it was always mostly about the visa-free access to EU. Ukrainians want to move to Europe for jobs, benefits, school, etc... That was what drove Maidan energy (and US took advantage of it).

But your numbers are off. There are about 1 million Ukrainians now in EU, mostly in UK, Czech, Hungary and Poland. E.g. Poland has about 400,000 new Ukrainian migrants. The real large numbers are yet to come. I think they will - they are watching the Syrians and getting jealous, worried that all the empathy will be used up. Slovakia (my country) has camps ready on the border. We also suddenly have a lot of Ukrainians who have discovered the Slovak (or Czech) heritage. The same thing is going on in Poland, Romania and Hungary.

Millions are coming. And they won't be tourists or have money for Italian hotels. But I am sure the Western media will find a way to blame it on Russia. Such are the pleasures of dead-end ideologies, everything is very simple: "Putin did it!."

Beckow -> notoriousANDinfamous 4 Sep 2015 18:26

"US didn't orchestrate a coup in Ukraine and hasn't offered Kiev a military alliance"

I suppose that would depend on your definition of "orchestrate" and a "coup". Most rational observers would agree that US at a minimum assisted with the Maidan revolution (or a coup). There are videos, recordings, financial transfers. Until the whole Maidan thing went bad, the US State Department was very open about the assistance that they had provided on Maidan, Obama said "we assisted with the transition of power in Ukraine" (actual quote).

US has said since 2008 that Ukraine will join Nato. They reiterated it last year and Ukraine has an official policy of joining Nato. There are joint exercises and training with Nato. It is rather conclusive that US and Ukraine are having a "military alliance".

Given those two facts how can you deny it? Or do you also deny the nose between your eyes?

magicmirror1 4 Sep 2015 18:11

Fingerprints to get a visa.

Welcome to democratic EU. This is the future European leaders are building and I cannot understand why.

dmitryfrommoscow -> Ola Smith 4 Sep 2015 16:46

Ola, the problem is there are no 45 million people in Ukraine these days. As many as 2.8 million people with Ukrainian passports work and live in Russia alone. And I think twice as many live and work in the EU. And about five to seven million are in a crouch start position to rush elsewhere at the first opportunity that avails itself. After all the Maidan hullabaloo was about getting free access to European -- and probably North American -- job markets and disappearing there for good. Let's throw aside all that talk about 'democracy and values' and be honest about it.

[Mar 07, 2019] Are you ready? Here is all the data Facebook and Google have on you by Dylan Curran

Highly recommended!
Google stores your location (if you have location tracking turned on) every time you turn on your phone. You can see a timeline of where you've been from the very first day you started using Google on your phone. After reading this you might start sympathizing to Ted Kaczynski ;-)
Notable quotes:
"... Google stores search history across all your devices. That can mean that, even if you delete your search history and phone history on one device, it may still have data saved from other devices . ..."
"... Google stores information on every app and extension you use. They know how often you use them, where you use them, and who you use them to interact with. That means they know who you talk to on Facebook, what countries are you speaking with, what time you go to sleep. ..."
"... Google stores all of your YouTube history, so they probably know whether you're going to be a parent soon, if you're a conservative, if you're a progressive, if you're Jewish, Christian, or Muslim, if you're feeling depressed or suicidal, if you're anorexic ..."
"... Facebook also stores what it thinks you might be interested in based off the things you've liked and what you and your friends talk about (I apparently like the topic "girl"). ..."
"... The data they collect includes tracking where you are, what applications you have installed, when you use them, what you use them for, access to your webcam and microphone at any time, your contacts, your emails, your calendar, your call history, the messages you send and receive, the files you download, the games you play, your photos and videos, your music, your search history, your browsing history, even what radio stations you listen to. ..."
Mar 28, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

The harvesting of our personal details goes far beyond what many of us could imagine. So I braced myself and had a look .

A slice of the data that Facebook keeps on the author: 'This information has millions of nefarious uses.' Photograph: Dylan Curran W ant to freak yourself out? I'm going to show just how much of your information the likes of Facebook and Google store about you without you even realising it. Google knows where you've been

Google stores your location (if you have location tracking turned on) every time you turn on your phone. You can see a timeline of where you've been from the very first day you started using Google on your phone.

Here is every place I have been in the last 12 months in Ireland. You can see the time of day that I was in the location and how long it took me to get to that location from my previous one.

Google stores search history across all your devices. That can mean that, even if you delete your search history and phone history on one device, it may still have data saved from other devices .

Click on this link to see your own data: myactivity.google.com/myactivity

Why have we given up our privacy to Facebook and other sites so willingly?
Google has an advertisement profile of you

Google creates an advertisement profile based on your information, including your location, gender, age, hobbies, career, interests, relationship status, possible weight (need to lose 10lb in one day?) and income.

Click on this link to see your own data: google.com/settings/ads/

Google knows all the apps you use

Google stores information on every app and extension you use. They know how often you use them, where you use them, and who you use them to interact with. That means they know who you talk to on Facebook, what countries are you speaking with, what time you go to sleep.

Click on this link to see your own data: security.google.com/settings/secur

Google has all of your YouTube history

Google stores all of your YouTube history, so they probably know whether you're going to be a parent soon, if you're a conservative, if you're a progressive, if you're Jewish, Christian, or Muslim, if you're feeling depressed or suicidal, if you're anorexic

Click on this link to see your own data: youtube.com/feed/history/s

The data Google has on you can fill millions of Word documents

Google offers an option to download all of the data it stores about you. I've requested to download it and the file is 5.5GB big , which is roughly 3m Word documents.

Manage to gain access to someone's Google account? Perfect, you have a diary of everything that person has done

This link includes your bookmarks, emails, contacts, your Google Drive files, all of the above information, your YouTube videos, the photos you've taken on your phone, the businesses you've bought from, the products you've bought through Google

They also have data from your calendar, your Google hangout sessions, your location history, the music you listen to, the Google books you've purchased, the Google groups you're in, the websites you've created, the phones you've owned, the pages you've shared, how many steps you walk in a day

Click on this link to see your own data: google.com/takeout

Facebook has reams and reams of data on you, too

Facebook offers a similar option to download all your information. Mine was roughly 600MB, which is roughly 400,000 Word documents.

This includes every message you've ever sent or been sent, every file you've ever sent or been sent, all the contacts in your phone, and all the audio messages you've ever sent or been sent.

Click here to see your data: https://www.facebook.com/help/131112897028467

Facebook Twitter Pinterest 'A snapshot of the data Facebook has saved on me.' Photograph: Dylan Curran Facebook stores everything from your stickers to your login location

Facebook also stores what it thinks you might be interested in based off the things you've liked and what you and your friends talk about (I apparently like the topic "girl").

Somewhat pointlessly, they also store all the stickers you've ever sent on Facebook (I have no idea why they do this. It's just a joke at this stage).

They also store every time you log in to Facebook, where you logged in from, what time, and from what device.

And they store all the applications you've ever had connected to your Facebook account, so they can guess I'm interested in politics and web and graphic design, that I was single between X and Y period with the installation of Tinder, and I got a HTC phone in November.

(Side note, if you have Windows 10 installed, this is a picture of just the privacy options with 16 different sub-menus, which have all of the options enabled by default when you install Windows 10)

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Privacy options in Windows 10. Photograph: Dylan Curran They can access your webcam and microphone

The data they collect includes tracking where you are, what applications you have installed, when you use them, what you use them for, access to your webcam and microphone at any time, your contacts, your emails, your calendar, your call history, the messages you send and receive, the files you download, the games you play, your photos and videos, your music, your search history, your browsing history, even what radio stations you listen to.

Facebook told me it would act swiftly on data misuse – in 2015 | Harry Davies
Here are some of the different ways Google gets your data

I got the Google Takeout document with all my information, and this is a breakdown of all the different ways they get your information.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest 'My Google Takeout document.' Photograph: Dylan Curran

Here's the search history document, which has 90,000 different entries, even showing the images I downloaded and the websites I accessed (I showed the Pirate Bay section to show how much damage this information can do).

Facebook Twitter Pinterest 'My search history document has 90,000 different entries.' Photograph: Dylan Curran Google knows which events you attended, and when

Here's my Google Calendar broken down, showing all the events I've ever added, whether I actually attended them, and what time I attended them at (this part is when I went for an interview for a marketing job, and what time I arrived).

Facebook Twitter Pinterest 'Here is my Google calendar showing a job interview I attended.' Photograph: Dylan Curran And Google has information you deleted

This is my Google Drive, which includes files I explicitly deleted including my résumé, my monthly budget, and all the code, files and websites I've ever made, and even my PGP private key, which I deleted, that I use to encrypt emails.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Google can know your workout routine

This is my Google Fit, which shows all of the steps I've ever taken, any time I walked anywhere, and all the times I've recorded any meditation/yoga/workouts I've done (I deleted this information and revoked Google Fit's permissions).

Facebook Twitter Pinterest And they have years' worth of photos

This is all the photos ever taken with my phone, broken down by year, and includes metadata of when and where I took the photos

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Google has every email you ever sent

Every email I've ever sent, that's been sent to me, including the ones I deleted or were categorised as spam.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest And there is more

I'll just do a short summary of what's in the thousands of files I received under my Google Activity.

First, every Google Ad I've ever viewed or clicked on, every app I've ever launched or used and when I did it, every website I've ever visited and what time I did it at, and every app I've ever installed or searched for.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest 'They have every single Google search I've made since 2009.'

They also have every image I've ever searched for and saved, every location I've ever searched for or clicked on, every news article I've ever searched for or read, and every single Google search I've made since 2009. And then finally, every YouTube video I've ever searched for or viewed, since 2008.

This information has millions of nefarious uses. You say you're not a terrorist. Then how come you were googling Isis? Work at Google and you're suspicious of your wife? Perfect, just look up her location and search history for the last 10 years. Manage to gain access to someone's Google account? Perfect, you have a chronological diary of everything that person has done for the last 10 years.

This is one of the craziest things about the modern age. We would never let the government or a corporation put cameras/microphones in our homes or location trackers on us. But we just went ahead and did it ourselves because – to hell with it! – I want to watch cute dog videos.

NOTE: A caption was corrected on 28 March 2018 to replace "privacy options in Facebook" with "privacy options in Windows 10".

Dylan Curran is a data consultant and web developer, who does extensive research into spreading technical awareness and improving digital etiquette

[Mar 05, 2019] Chilean coup 40 years ago I watched Pinochet crush a democratic dream Discussion The Guardian

Notable quotes:
"... Empire builders cannot allow the middle class to get too large as it will end up with too much power and threaten the elite. ..."
"... You are also aware that Pinochet made a fortune out of illegal dealings with cocaine? ..."
"... Which is why ten years after the coup poverty had nearly doubled and Chile was in the greatest economic crisis of its history ..."
"... Total right-wing horseshit. Pinochet destroyed democracy in Chile in order to save the wealthy landowners and industrialist. He outlawed political parties, murdered those opposed to him by the thousands and imprisoned them by the hundreds of thousands. Protest and demonstrations were outlawed, the free press was destroyed, all TV and radio networks were controlled by the regime and ten years after he came to power poverty had nearly doubled in Chile while the rich were making out like bandits. But no one profited more from his dictatorship that Pinochet himself who robbed the nation of millions, if not billions of dollars during his reign. ..."
"... The beginning of the neoliberal nightmare everywhere. They did it more slowly in the UK, but they are getting there. Unions neutered, loss of nationalised industries and the NHS, schools to be privatised - and everyone in deb peonage to the banks. We were spared the torture and killing though. ..."
"... Just a gift from Murder Inc and the Nobel Piece Prize winner Henry Kissinger. ..."
Mar 05, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

Chilean coup: 40 years ago I watched Pinochet crush a democratic dream How the drama and repression developed as a US-backed coup overthrew Allende's government on 11 September 1973

Hugh O'Shaughnessy

Sat 7 Sep 2013 12.52 EDT First published on Sat 7 Sep 2013 12.52 EDT Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via Email

Chilean troops make arrests during the military coup that overthrew President Salvador Allende. Photograph: Universal History Archive/Rex Features Few foreign reporters were left in Santiago on the spring morning of Tuesday 11 September 1973 when Augusto Pinochet , head of the army, was pulling off his trick.

The previous Saturday he had finally joined in preparations for the long brewing coup d'état against a fairly elected government and, only three days later, was revealing his capacity for terrorism, torture and treason with a foreign power. Only now was he throwing in his lot with a US government that detested the idealistic but ramshackle coalition of six parties headed by Dr Salvador Allende, the country doctor and upstanding freemason who was set on introducing elements of social democracy in a country long organised for the benefit of the landowners, industrialists and money men.

For months the original plotters had kept Pinochet at a distance, judging him too loyal to the elected – and, as the results of the recent local elections showed, increasingly popular – Allende, and too loyal to the constitution to be allowed into the conspiracy.

Most foreign journalists had given up and left Chile after weeks of waiting, many returning from deprived and poor Santiago – proud but provincial – to bustling Buenos Aires and their homes across the Andes. The Washington Post had a correspondent, but not the New York Times; Newsweek, but not Time magazine.

As troops fanned out in the town awaiting the arrival of Hawker Hunter jets to bomb and destroy civilian government, Allende desperately but vainly tried to contact Pinochet and for a few hours was convinced that his military commander had been kidnapped and silenced by the insurgents.

Many of we foreign reporters in the weeks before September 1973 had got into the habit of gathering in the snug downstairs bar of the Carrera hotel – across the square from Allende's sober and unadorned presidential palace, the Moneda – where many of us were staying. Endlessly, over scotches and pisco sours, we tossed about our conjectures for the future, those with US passports rightly forecasting the worst for Chile's "socialist experiment".

On Tuesday, the counter-revolution was in full flood, telephone and telex lines were cut and the airports closed. Before 10am my friend and colleague, Stewart Russell of Reuters, and I trekked through deserted streets to the British embassy, above the Bank of London and South America, in search of a line that would take our story to London. No line was available but, as the firing in the streets increased, we were given house room and refreshments and could not but observe the unalloyed joy of many in the embassy, notably the British naval representatives, at the coup.

At that time Admiral Gustavo Carvajal, one of the plotters, was on the phone to Allende offering him a plane if he would leave the country. But the president, a man with high blood pressure, was trenchant: "Who do you think you are, you treacherous shits? Stuff your plane up your arses! You are talking to the president of the republic! And the president elected by the people doesn't surrender."

On the roof of our building a resister with a .22 rifle loosed off the occasional shot until he was killed by a passing helicopter. By four in the afternoon the city, ringed by its Andean peaks, was quieter, so Stewart and I, robbed of connections with London, marched out of the bronze doors down the centre of the deserted streets to our hotels, our hands in the air.

Back within the well-shuttered Carrera and gathering in its imposing reception area sheathed in black glass, Pinochet's many moneyed supporters toasted him with champagne, and his three fellow members of the junta from the navy, air force and gendarmerie. They whooped as he announced on television the closing down of congress, the political parties, the trade unions and the judges.

The terrified staff gathered in a corner and watched their country's fate being played out. As a precaution, for our safety, they had prepared beds for us past the laundry in the hotel's sub-basement. After a good night's sleep we emerged to watch the flames continuing to consume the Moneda . Under curfew the stadium began filling with Pinochet's prisoners: some were summarily shot, others were sent to concentration camps in the Atacama deserts of the north or the frigid sub-Antarctic south. At the beginning, when the curfew was clamped down at 6pm, there was a nightly rush for transport, public and private, as people scrambled to get indoors promptly.

The soldiers were initially frightening with their battledress and machine guns as they blundered in, messed up the houses of suspects and carried off whatever took their fancy. Foreigners who were fleeing persecution – in Brazil, for instance – and who had been given political asylum by Allende were in particular danger, as were office holders in the trade unions. Later on, the squaddies, many of them country boys, came to be seen as figures of fun as they took the presence of books on cubism, for instance, as evidence that the householder was an admirer of Fidel Castro and thus worthy of being arrested and interrogated. Comedians on television joked nervously about stupid people being as thick as a soldier without a car.

A rash of denunciations saw many imprisoned unjustly by the military, who would seldom confess who they had in prison and who they didn't. Over the weeks at the Moneda the flames consumed what they could, leaving a thick layer of ash.

Thus had started 17 years of Pinochet's dictatorship – he soon reduced his fellow members of the junta to a cipher – held together by terrorism. As had already been the case after the military coups in Brazil in 1964 and then in Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina, and as was to be the case latterly in modern Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay, the military and police torturers were ready with their electrodes, thumbscrews and waterboarding equipment to defend "western Christian civilisation". Many had been brought to a peak of perfection in their trade in the US itself or in its bases in the Panama canal zone by US instructors.

Seven years before, at a dinner party in 1966 during a prolonged stay in the Chilean capital with my wife Georgie, I met Allende and his wife Hortensia "Tencha" for the first time. He and I got on famously right up until he was killed in the attack on the presidential palace. Our host Álvaro introduced us jokily to the leader of the left, saying: "This man has already made attempts to win the presidency and wants to have another go. But he'll never get there." Allende equally jokily chimed in: "Young man, do you know what's going to be on my tombstone?"

"No, doctor," I replied politely. "What is going to be on your tombstone?"

Amid renewed laughter Chile's future head of state replied using his full name: "Here lies Salvador Allende Gossens, future president of Chile."

On 21 September 1970, Allende had been declared victor of clean elections, but before he took over the presidency, after a fruitless effort by Chilean conservatives and their US allies to have the victory declared unconstitutional, Edward Korry, the US ambassador in Santiago , reported to Henry Kissinger, the foreign strategist of President Richard Nixon: "Once Allende comes to power we shall do all within our power to condemn Chile and the Chileans to utmost deprivation and poverty."

A few days earlier Richard Helms, director of the CIA, had scribbled notes on a meeting in Washington with Nixon, Kissinger and John Mitchell, the US attorney general, where the president demanded a coup. They read: "One in 10 chance perhaps, but save Chile! /worth spending /not concerned risks involved /no involvement of embassy /$10,000,000 available, more if necessary/ best men we have/ game plan/ make the economy scream /48 hours for plan of action."

After Allende's enemies finally claimed their victory against him on 11 September, Chileans protected themselves as best they could while Pinochet and his cohorts, well favoured now by Washington, turned to making themselves fortunes from the privatisation of public services and, quietly, from the trade in cocaine from Bolivia which the US never seemed to want to criticise or attack.

So confident was Pinochet in his protectors in "the free world" that on 17 September 1976 he ordered the killing of Orlando Letelier , Allende's former defence minister, with a bomb planted in his car in Sheridan Circle in the diplomatic heart of Washington itself. Such an atrocity, had it been committed by any Arab or Iranian, or indeed a Muslim of any persuasion, would have brought down instant punishment, or even war. But Pinochet was in no danger. After all, he had been Nixon's man all along.

Hugh O'Shaughnessy is the author of Pinochet, The Politics of Torture, published by Latin America Bureau and New York University Press Chilean coup: 40 years ago I watched Pinochet crush a democratic dream Comments This is our basic commenting system. For the full range of features, use one of our recommended browsers .


santiagogooner -> Estanislao Deloserrata , 9 Sep 2013 21:48

In the 1958 election Jorge Alessandri was elected president with 31% of the vote.

That was the system,

Squiff811 -> Nyarlat , 9 Sep 2013 10:28
tea party proponents don't know the difference between fascism, communism, socialism nor capitalism. Conservers of familial myth are anti-sociable by nurture.
Squiff811 -> Nyarlat , 9 Sep 2013 10:21
to be fair humankind is rather nice apart from the idiots that claim superiority, they are merely conserving the myth of exclusivity to preserve their ignorance.
chrisramsey , 9 Sep 2013 02:19
See http://www.forviemedia.co.uk/articles_268378.html Victor Jara article http://www.forviemedia.co.uk/articles_268378
farabundovive -> KingCranky , 8 Sep 2013 21:53

Not even close to a satisfying outcome

And what happened to all the millions pilfered from the Chilean state? I bet they weren't restored to the Exchequer.

richardmuu , 8 Sep 2013 20:40
Re Time Magazine, I just remembered another detail. Eisendrath told us about the loss of telecommunications. I believe he traveled to the Argentine border and from there sent a story about the coup to...I don't know if it was Buenos Aires or the U.S. I do remember that he claimed that he broke the story in the U.S. press.
richardmuu , 8 Sep 2013 20:29
Mr. O'Shaughnessy,

I believe Time Magazine had someone in Santiago. It was Charles Eisendrath, who was I believe at the time the bureau chief based in Buenos Aires. He was in Santiago that morning, in a hotel across from the presidential palace, because he said he had an interview scheduled with President Allende for that morning. Mr. Eisendrath shared this story in a seminar with his journalism graduate students in 1983 or 1984. I recall feeling there was something unusual about his account but I never followed up on it with him.

MarquisDeMoo -> James Rufus , 8 Sep 2013 19:51
So was Hitler democratically elected as were the Mensheviks. Many a totalitarian government of the left and right were democratically elected but how long before people rallying to your call demand a one party state because the right or the left cannot be trusted?
Vocalista -> zvakanaka , 8 Sep 2013 17:18
...and the rest of western civilisation...
Vocalista -> 3gGene , 8 Sep 2013 17:15
Empire builders cannot allow the middle class to get too large as it will end up with too much power and threaten the elite.

Hence the crushing of the middle classes we see around the World right now.

peter_glazier , 8 Sep 2013 16:03
I used to travel to Chile regularly before and after Allende. A country self sufficient in virtually everything and an exporter of raw materials had been reduced to begging for everything with Cuban militias patrolling the streets, empty shelves in the supermarkets, dairy herds slaughtered for meat etc etc. The military saw themselves as saviours of the nation and the Constitution. Violent they were in an openly disgraceful manner but no more so than the imported "gangs".

The US was behind the coup, no doubt, but was Cuba not behind Allende? Allende was democratically elected but under a very unusual system. The people did not vote for the Cuban revolution to be imported. Once elected he proceeded to destroy the country economically and politically. Chile had become the Spain of the second half of the century. We all knew the outcome of that so what was the surprise?

OstanesAlchemy -> stoptheslavepress2 , 8 Sep 2013 15:56
40 years on and the majority of Chilean people don't see that progress that you are talking about. Now, if you meant economic progress to the ultra right wing people of the UDI party, high rank military personnel and the international corporation companies from USA, UK, France, Canada, Spain and others, exploiting the minerals and other essentials services in Chile, you are right to say progress. Chile is economically and socially divided than ever before.

You must remember, to a wingnut, success is measured in GDP terms. The fact that 99% of that GDP is taken by 1% of the population is further proof of the success of a government. Look at the upper class warriors people like this vote for in the UK!

OstanesAlchemy -> ChukTatum , 8 Sep 2013 15:54
I guess you think those Chilean CIA operatives you've been talking to are representative? Or more likely, you're an American fantasist, still clinging to the notion that the Chileans was "saved" by Pinochet.
OstanesAlchemy -> ghuujjnjmhh123 , 8 Sep 2013 15:50
"Elements of social democracy" included large scale nationalization and the expropriation of farms as small as 200 acres.

I fail to see the problem here.

Mumsche -> ChukTatum , 8 Sep 2013 15:43
Funny. Because all the Chileans I know were refugees. Hell, a landlord of a flat I was renting was even rounded up in Santiago's football stadium and got tortured as a young man. Because he was a student and it was assumed, as a student, he was pro-Allende. A girl's father I know had to flee to Britain. He had a Victor Jara record with him. Would he have been found, he would have been shot on the spot.

So no, I don't think that many Chileans have a favorable view of Pinochet... I mean, except those that maybe made a killing out of other peole's suffering...

BlackjackX -> curiouswes , 8 Sep 2013 15:38
Ok, I misread you. But, the hate reason ais not good enough to impeach. Laugh at and make him wear the dunce hat, yes!
RoetFuss -> gr0711 , 8 Sep 2013 15:36
Interestingly, when given the chance, they got rid of him. So much for a benign leader.
RoetFuss -> ghuujjnjmhh123 , 8 Sep 2013 15:34
None of what you've said justifies the coup and what followed. If Allende's government was a disaster, then the Chilean electorate should have been given the chance to boot him out and get someone else in place. Instead they were robbed of the chance (and that is one of the least problematic things with what followed...)
ArfurTowcrate -> Flyper , 8 Sep 2013 15:34
Don't forget that Labour's Jack Straw let Pinochet go home rather than extradite him to Spain
Mumsche -> ChukTatum , 8 Sep 2013 15:31
Sorry, but it's clearly you who looks at a criminal unquestionably responsible for the murder and torture of thousands of innocent people through rosé tinted spectacles. You are also aware that Pinochet made a fortune out of illegal dealings with cocaine? Rose tinted spectacles...?! Sorry man, what drugs are you on??
RoetFuss -> Nyarlat , 8 Sep 2013 15:25

Of course it was not to make us rich but to have us back against the Russians.

and/or to create a nice market for American products.

curiouswes -> BlackjackX , 8 Sep 2013 15:13
How about lying about a reason to go to war: numerous dead; mucho dollars spent? "They hate us for our freedom?"
ID9845712 , 8 Sep 2013 14:55
and since then, the Americans have been active in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lybia, and now thinking of helping the Syrians out... When is the rest of the world going to tell them to STOP... maybe, when they march on Poland!
curiouswes -> MarquisDeMoo , 8 Sep 2013 14:39
the truth is that the US used white phosphorus in Fallujah, Iraq. That sort of makes it difficult to blame Israel for doing it.
BlackjackX -> stoptheslavepress2 , 8 Sep 2013 14:26
Nor will they ever without removing the shackles of domination and bribes for the few.
BlackjackX -> stoptheslavepress2 , 8 Sep 2013 14:21
"time period", Hmn , does that mean the US should have just bombed Chile straight away?
BlackjackX -> ChukTatum , 8 Sep 2013 14:18
Is that "desperation" the same as we see in lil obama and kery? Or is that to big a grotesque for you?
curiousaltruistic -> WithoutMalice , 8 Sep 2013 14:11
Yes, you are right - it is an old problem with sometimes 'powers' choosing to battle on others territory )(convenient - isnt it!?) Anyway, only some countries still behave like that - chiefly The United States of America - does that mean they think they are entitled to an opinion on how the southern bit is run as well !?
Dimitri , 8 Sep 2013 13:53
The Chilean success story thus far:

71% of Chilean children, according to a Unicef report ( 4th Study on Child Abuse - Santiago, Oct. 2012 ) suffer from domestic violence (physical, mental, sexual abuse), and pretty much so on an equal basis at all socio-economic levels of society.

The country's youth, as a consequence, are high users of legal and illegal stimulants (alcohol, drugs, particularly marijuana and frequently the highly toxic coca paste (a cocktail of kerosene, sulphuric acid, ammonia and cocaine). School children are also near the top of the global league for dependence on cigarettes, a habit which the local tobacco firm used to enjoy supporting by handing out free fags at concerts and other youth events.

According to the National Socio-Economic Characterisation Survey (CASEN - the official mechanism for calculating inequality and poverty indicators in Chile), approximately 14% of the population live on or below the poverty line, hailed as a great success story of the ever-expanding Chilean economy, down from the 50% + that was hit by the dictatorship when their first attempt at neo-liberal nirvana ended (early 80s) in tears, retributions, and frustrated future billionaires. However, some social scientists and economists believe this figure to be highly questionable , and point out that the shopping basket used to calculate the poverty line is still the original, i.e. dates from 1986, a fact once pointed out by the present Minister of Finance, Felipe Larraín:

"The problem is that the official poverty figures are overly optimistic and seem to correspond to what people perceive. Simply, the poor are far more than official statistics claim, because the stick with which they have been measured, the so-called poverty line, is obsolete."

A rough estimate given by one prominent government economist was that with an updated basket, poverty in Chile may be somewhere between 28 and 30% of the population, basically the difference between 2 and 4 million inhabitants, or perhaps more...

This last is another sticking point in Chile, as no one seems to really know how many Chileans there are, given that the last reliable census of the country was probably that of 1970, with the results of 1982 (dictatorship) 1992, 2002 and 2012 possibly having a cumulative margin of error now between 9% and 15%, i.e. the difference between 17 and 23 million Chileans, a situation currently being investigated by international experts.

The consequences of central government not knowing the exact population figure can be serious. They are particularly felt in funding received for regional and municipal development and services, with negative repercussions for education, health care, housing, social services, public transport, childcare, etc. How this manifests is the general down-trodden nature and appearance of the country's urban and rural environs, the exceptions, to an extent, being Santiago and a few other university cities located mainly on the coast.

At the end of the day, there is certainly great wealth in Chile, it's just not being fairly distributed, the gap between haves and have-nots widening to dangerous levels with respect to social well-being and harmony. There are just too many poorly-educated Chileans living in squalid, depressing, stressful and unhealthy conditions, and social violence (domestic, particularly against children, and on the street) is ever increasing.

A success story? Not in my opinion.

WithoutMalice -> gr0711 , 8 Sep 2013 13:40
Which is why ten years after the coup poverty had nearly doubled and Chile was in the greatest economic crisis of its history.
WithoutMalice -> ghuujjnjmhh123 , 8 Sep 2013 13:39
Nationalization of resources was already taking place before Allende became president and his call to nationalize even more of Chile's resources received 100% of the support of congress.
WithoutMalice -> ChukTatum , 8 Sep 2013 13:35
Total right-wing horseshit. Pinochet destroyed democracy in Chile in order to save the wealthy landowners and industrialist. He outlawed political parties, murdered those opposed to him by the thousands and imprisoned them by the hundreds of thousands. Protest and demonstrations were outlawed, the free press was destroyed, all TV and radio networks were controlled by the regime and ten years after he came to power poverty had nearly doubled in Chile while the rich were making out like bandits. But no one profited more from his dictatorship that Pinochet himself who robbed the nation of millions, if not billions of dollars during his reign.
Sean Casey , 8 Sep 2013 13:31
A US-Backed coup that came about when Allende refused the Soviet order to use the military on the right-wing unions that were striking. Once he refused, USSR withdrew their backing of his government.

I visited Chile this year, I went to the home of chilean poet and diplomat Pablo Neruda in Santiago which was incredible. The guide explained how the army altered the stream flowing at the back of the house (his home was on a hill in front of a zoo) to flood it and then had a little book BBQ too.

I also went to the Museum of Memory and Human Rights which was very painful: http://www.museodelamemoria.cl/

The French President (Pompidou) really helped as he offered safety to refugees escaping Chile which is a lot more than ever Thatcher did.

WithoutMalice -> curiousaltruistic , 8 Sep 2013 13:29
It's worth noting that the US involvement in Chile started in the early 19th century through efforts of the US to rid Chile of British influence.
James Rufus -> MrDavedc , 8 Sep 2013 12:52
The same as David Cameron and more than any of Thatcher's victories in march 1973(senate election). Chile today is very unequal
anewdawn , 8 Sep 2013 11:39
The beginning of the neoliberal nightmare everywhere. They did it more slowly in the UK, but they are getting there. Unions neutered, loss of nationalised industries and the NHS, schools to be privatised - and everyone in deb peonage to the banks.
We were spared the torture and killing though.
curiouswes -> curiousaltruistic , 8 Sep 2013 11:23
Your post is a curious one. I assume every post is being stored in some super computer in Utah. As far as the US is concerned, the first amendment is already under duress. Why should I be any more cautious because of "neo-trolls"?

(not being critical, just inquiring minds want to know) I've been accused of being too "gloom and doom" on this blog.

gottliebvera , 8 Sep 2013 11:19
And hasn't the US been disturbing the shit since the end 1800s??? A country I have totally lost respect for.
prairie , 8 Sep 2013 11:08
Just a gift from Murder Inc and the Nobel Piece Prize winner Henry Kissinger.
curiouswes -> suprabrew , 8 Sep 2013 11:05
It does appear as though we are heading for martial law (assuming we aren't already there). Have you seen these FEMA camps, or is there any way that I can verify that they exist?
curiouswes -> suprabrew , 8 Sep 2013 10:57

So you agree with me Obama should be overthrown, given a speedy public trial and quick execution?

I cannot support this thinking. We can't impeach for lying. What has this president done that this congress and its predecessors haven't given him the authority to do? How is this president any worse than his predecessor? I believe Obama, Bush (GW), and Clinton all deserve impeachment. But to view his transgressions in a vacuum hardly sounds reasonable.

Feinstein is just as culpable as Obama in this NSA thing because she's been in a position to stop it, long before Obama came to "power". Obama is being manipulated like a puppet and as well informed as you are, I'm sure you realize this. Congress doesn't have the moral authority to impeach this president.

[Feb 27, 2019] Ukraine government in armed standoff with nationalist militia

This is from 2015. Not much changed... But relevant for Venezuela. So what will happen with Venesuellians if the color revolution suceeed, is easy to predict using Ukrainian example
Notable quotes:
"... Ukraine, what a mess. As though it was ever about the people. It was a grab for resources, 19-century style. But with 21st-century stakes. You can see what the West is after when you look at the US-Ukraine Business Council. ..."
"... Meanwhile last night & this morning, just to distract the people of what is going on in the West, Kiev launched a massive shelling over Donetsk and other places in Donbass using weapons forbbiden by the Minsk agreements, including Tor missiles, one of which fell at a railway station but didn't explode... it was defused by emergency workers but the proof is there if you care to see... it was thesecond biggest attack since the cease fire... ..."
"... This is the IMF hired guns now going after the very people who helped the Wall Street IMF shysters in the illegitimate coup and the set up of the illegitimate Kiev junta, a mix of half Ukrainian and non-Ukrainian mongrels. ..."
"... Furthermore, instead of bringing in the people who helped overthrow Janukovich into the government fold, the IMF is placing it's foreign collaborators in ministerial positions by making them instant Ukrainian citizens, while keeping the right wing, without whose help the coup would not have succeeded, out of government and slowly trying to eliminate them with their private foreign mercenary force. ..."
"... Madame "F*ck the EU Nuland from the US state department bordello, a devout Zionist, enticed these supposed Ukrainian NAZIs to help her in her dirty deeds, no doubt with promises of power sharing. ..."
"... She no doubt got her position not by intelligence but by connections. More than 6000 Ukrainians, human beings, innocent men women and children, have died in madame Nuland's engineered coup, putting her in league with her mentor, Henry Kissinger, aka the butcher of Vietnam. ..."
"... The Ukrainian sub-saharan African minimum wage is now being accompanied by Somali-style politics. ..."
"... The BBC are bravely sticking to their decision not to report this story. Congratulations are in order for such dedication. The graun protected its readership from this confusing information for 24 hours and then caved to the temptation to report news. Too bad. ..."
"... Can we officially congratulate Nuland for a crappy job and also for providing Putin with all the tools he needed to bring back Ukraine under his wing. False flag operations for American private interests must stop now. They are immoral, unethical and only bring death and destruction to otherwise stable societies. The UN should have a say. ..."
"... Neither Azov nor Right Sector want peace. On 3 July 4,000 men from these units protested in Kiev, calling for resumption of the war against the eastern provinces. They favour ethnic cleansing. ..."
"... The west would not have dialogue with Russia because it was not what Washington wanted. Washington wanted to push a wedge between Russia and EU at any cost even 6500 lives and unfortunately they succeeded ..."
"... The Right Sector does not exist, or if it does, it has been created by Moscow. The crisis in Greece is also the work of Russian agents. The ISIS is financed and trained by Putin. Ebola was cooked up in a laboratory in Saint Petersburg. Look for the Russian! ..."
"... this is what happens when you play with fire: you get burned. Using Neo-Nazi's to implement Nato expansionist policies was always a very bad idea. It's just a shame it is not people like Victoria 'fuck the EU' Nuland who will have to suffer the blowback consequences- it is the poor Ukrainian people. This is not that different to what has happened in Libya- where Islamic extremists were used as a proxy force to oust Gaddafi. ..."
"... the jihadists in Ukraine are the integral part of Iraqization of Ukraine. The lovers of Nuland's cookies are still in denial that Ukraine was destined by the US plutocrats to become a sacrificial lamb in a fight to preserve the US dollar hegemony. ..."
"... Why, don't you know? They infiltrated Ukraine, the CIA (and NATO and the EU somehow) created Maidan, their agents killed the protesters, then they overthrew a legitimate government and installed a neo-nazi one, proceeded to instigate a brutal oppression against Russian speakers, then started a war against the peaceful Eastern Ukrainians and their innocent friends in the Kremlin, etc etc. Ignorant question that, by now you should know the narrative! ..."
"... The BBC investigative reported earlier this year that a section of Maidan protesters deliberately started shooting the police. This story was also reported in the Guardian. Google and you will easily find it. The BBC also reported that the Prosecutors Office in Kiev was forbidden by Rada officials from investigating Maiden shooters. ..."
"... have you ever studied geography? If yes, you should remember the proximity of Ukraine to Russia (next door) and the proximity of Ukraine to the US (thousands miles away). Also, have you heard about the CIA Director Brennan and his covert visit to Kiev on the eve of the beginning of the civil war in Ukraine? This could give you an informed hint about the causes of the war. Plus you may be interested to learn about Mrs. Nuland-Kagan (Ms. Nudelman), her cookies, and her foul language. She is, by the way, a student of Dick Cheney. If you were born before 2000, you might know his name and his role in the Iraq catastrophe. Mrs. Nuland-Kagan (and the family of Kagans she belongs to) finds particular pleasure in creating military conflicts around the globe. It is not for nothing that the current situation in Ukraine is called Iraqization of Eastern Europe. ..."
"... This newspaper and other western media documented the armed members of far right groups on Maidan. One BBC journalist was actually shot at by a Svoboda sniper, operating from Hotel Ukraina - the video is still on the BBC website. ..."
"... As predicted the real civil war in Ukraine is still to happen. The split between the east and the ordinary Ukrainian was largely manufactured ..."
"... "When the Guardian claims to be a fearless champion of investigative journalism - as it is, in some areas - why did it obey the dictats of the US neocon media machine which rules all Western mainstream media over the Ukrainian land grab, instead of telling the truth, at that time?" ..."
"... in time Ukrainians will regard Maidan's aftermath as most of them view the Orange Revolution -- with regret and cynicism. ..."
"... Of course the Guardian doesn't like to explain that 'Right Sector' are genuine fascists - by their own admission! These fascists, who wear Nazi insignia, were the people who overthrew the elected government of Ukraine in the US / EU-supported coup - which the Guardianistas and other PC-brainwashed duly cheered on as a supposed triumph of democracy. Since that glorious US-financed and EU-backed coup, wholly illegal under international law, Ukraine's economy has collapsed, as has Ukrainians' living standards. ..."
The Guardian

HollyOldDog gimmeshoes 13 Jul 2015 20:40

The Georgian authorities have asked Interpol to put a Red notice on Mikheil Saakashvili as the request to Ukraine to return him for trial in Georgia was refused.
ww3orbust PrinceEdward 13 Jul 2015 20:22
That does not detract from the fact that the Ukrainian cabinet has been chosen by the US state department. Natives of the US, Georgia and Lithuania were hastily granted Ukrainian citizenship in order to maintain an iron grip on Ukraine, while accusing Putin of appointing majors or governors - in his capacity as head of state?
ww3orbust 13 Jul 2015 20:16
Amazing, nothing at all mentioned by the BBC. It does not fit in to their narrative to see the country descend into a new stage of anarchy, between the people who murdered police and protesters on Maidan square, and the US state department installed cabinet. Presumably if Right Sector refuse to disarm and continue torturing civilians and murdering police, the BBC will continue to ignore it and focus instead on its Russo-phobic narrative, while accusing Russia of propaganda with the self-righteous piety that only the BBC are capable of. Or god forbid, more stories about what colour stool our future king has produced this week.
jgbg Omniscience 13 Jul 2015 18:42

Diverse Unity sounds much better than Nazi

http://rt.com/files/news/russia-national-unity-day-celebrations-976/russian-attend-demonstration-national-261.jpg

The thing is, Ukraine is unique in allowing their Nazi thugs to be armed and have some semi-official status. Everywhere else (including Russia), governments are looking to constrain the activities of Nazis and prosecute them where possible.

jgbg Pwedropackman 13 Jul 2015 18:26

If it was not for the right sector, Ukraine would still be one united nation.

Them and Svoboda. If it had just been Orange Revolution II, with a simple change of Jewish oligarchs in charge, there might have been some complaints but little more. It is the Russian-hating far right that has brought about the violence and everything that has happened since.

PrinceEdward GreatMountainEagle 13 Jul 2015 18:22

Last I heard, Ukraine owes China billions for undelivered Grain.

HollyOldDog gimmeshoes 13 Jul 2015 18:11

But the Euro Maidan press is just an Ukrainian rag that invents stories to support its corrupt government in Kiev.

jgbg PrinceEdward 13 Jul 2015 17:54

I forget the article, but in the comments I mentioned that multiple Georgians were being appointed to high level positions by Kiev, and some Russophobe called me a liar.

Not a few days later, Shakashvilli was appointed governor of Odessa. An ex-president of another country, as governor of a province in another one! Apparently, none of the millions upon millions of Ukrainians were qualified for the job.

Sakashvilli's former Minister of Internal Affairs in Georgia, Eka Zguladze, is First Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine. Of course, the Georgian people removed these chumps from power the first chance they got but the Ukrainian electorate haven't had any say in the appointments of foreigners in their country.

Vatslav Rente , 13 Jul 2015 17:44

Well ... when it comes to Ukraine, the need to stock up on popcorn. This bloody and unpredictable plot is not even in the "Game of Thrones." And this is only the middle of the second season.
Today Speaker of the "RS" Andrew Sharaskin, said: Sports Complex in Mukachevo where the shooting occurred, was used as the base of the separatists DNR.
- A place 1,000 kilometers from Donetsk! But it's a great excuse to murder the guard in the café and wounded police officers.
I think tomorrow will say that there have seen Russian Army tanks and Putin - 100%
"Ukraine is part of Europe" - the slogans of the Maidan in action...

jgbg gimmeshoes , 13 Jul 2015 17:42

Pravyi Sektor were not wrong. However, you cannot have armed groups cleaning up corruption outside the law...that only works in Gotham City.

Right Sector weren't trying to clean up corruption, they were simply trying to muscle in on the cigarette smuggling business. If Right Sector cared about crime and public order, they wouldn't be driving around, armed to the teeth, in vehicles stolen in the EU. (In the video linked in the article, all of their vehicles have foreign number plates. At least one of those vehicles is on the Czech police stolen vehicle database: http://zpravy.idnes.cz/pravy-sektor-mel-v-mukacevu-auta-s-ceskymi-spz-fqj-/zahranicni.aspx?c=A150713_102110_zahranicni_jj)

Right Sector are no strangers to such thuggery - remember their failed attempt to extort a casino in Odessa?

Laurence Johnson, 13 Jul 2015 17:18
The EU and the US have stated on many occasions that there are "No Right Wing Nationalists" operating in Ukraine and its simply propaganda by Putin.

So there shouldn't be anything to worry about should there ?

Stas Ustymenko hfakos 13 Jul 2015 15:15

Yes, yes. You seem to tolerate Medvedchuk and Baloga mafias way better, for years. Transcarpathian Region is the most corrupt in all of Ukraine (which is quite a fit). What we see here is a gang war in fatigues.

tanyushka Jeff1000 13 Jul 2015 15:14

sorry i posted the same above... i was just to hasty.. sorry again...

in the main picture of the same article it's interesting to notice the age of most of the conscripted soldiers... they are in their 30's, theirs 40's and even in their 50's... it's forced conscription, they are not volunteers... while all the DPR & LPR soldiers are real volunteers...

an uncle, the father of a cousin, was conscripted in Kherson... my cousin had to run away to South American to say with an aunt to avoid conscription... many men are doing it in Ukraine nowadays... not because they are cowards but because they don't want to kill their brothers & sisters for the benefit of the oligarchs and their NATO masters (and mistresses...)

did you know that all the conscripts have to pay for their own uniforms and other stuff, while in the National Guard and the oligarchs batallions everything is top quality and for free... including bulletproof vests and other implements courtesy of NATO

Demi Boone 13 Jul 2015 15:13

Well finally they reveal themselves. These Ukraine Nationalists are the people who instigated the anarchy and shootings at Maidan and used it as an excuse to wrongfully drive out an elected President and in the chaos that followed bring in a coup Government which represents only West-Ukraine and suppress' East-Ukraine. You are looking at the face of the real Maidan and not the dream that a lot of people have tried to paint it to be.

Stas Ustymenko MartinArvay 13 Jul 2015 15:11

Many Right Sector members are indeed patriots. But it looks like the organisation itself is, sadly, much more useful for providing thugs for hire than "justice".

BMWAlbert PrinceEdward 13 Jul 2015 14:20

But seriously, the naval base is probably the reason, it is too important for some interests to have a less-reliable (Ukrainian) in charge, this is a job only for the most trusted poodles. If things had gone differently, the tie-eatimng chap would have been appointed Mayor of Sebastopol.

BMWAlbert PrinceEdward 13 Jul 2015 14:15

There appears to be a Quisling-shortage in Ukraine at present.

Stas Ustymenko obscurant 13 Jul 2015 13:32

More accurately, Kolomoyskiy is Ukrainian oligarch. Who happens to be ethnically, culturally and, by all accounts, religiously, a Jew.

Stas Ustymenko Kaiama 13 Jul 2015 13:24

Ukrainian Volunteer Corps of the Right Sector fighting in Donbass is two battalions. How is this a "key organization"? They are a well-known brand and fought bravely on some occasions, but the wider org is way too eager to brandish arms outside of combat or training. They will be reigned in, one way or another, and soon.

GameOverManGameOver Jeff1000 13 Jul 2015 12:02

Shh shh shh. This news does not exist yet in the western media, therefore it's nothing but Russian propaganda.

Jeff1000 13 Jul 2015 11:54

It gets worse - soldiers from the UA are now refusing to follow orders in protest against the total anarchy sweeping the chain of command, and their lack of rest and equipment.

Story here.

EugeneGur , 13 Jul 2015 11:21

Tensions have been rising between the government and the Right Sector militia that has helped it fight pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country.

Finally, the Guardian decided to report the actual new after satisfying itself with ample discussion of the quality of Russian cheeses. Right sector "helped" to fight "separatists"? Really? Does Alec Luhn know that there are currently two (!) RS battalions at the front and 19 (!) inside Ukraine? They are some warriors. Now they are occupying themselves fighting as criminals they are for the control of contraband.

At the ATO zone, they help consists of plundering, murdering and raping the local population. They enter a village, take everything of value from houses and then blow them up. They rape women and girls as young as 10 years old. They've been doing this for more than a year, and we've been telling you that for more than a year. But apparently in the fight against "pro-Russian separatists" everything is good. These crimes are so widespread, even the Ukrainian "government" is worried this will eventually becomes impossible to deny. Some battalions such as Shakhtersk and Aidar have been officially accused of crimes and ompletely or partially reformed.
Examples:
http://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/EUR50/040/2014/en/
http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=bfb_1413804655

Jeremn, 13 Jul 2015 11:16

Ukraine, what a mess. As though it was ever about the people. It was a grab for resources, 19-century style. But with 21st-century stakes. You can see what the West is after when you look at the US-Ukraine Business Council. It bring NATO, Monsanto and the Heritage Foundation under one roof:

The US-Ukraine Business Council's 16-member Executive Committee is packed with US agribusiness companies, including representatives from Monsanto, John Deere, DuPont Pioneer, Eli Lilly, and Cargill.

The Council's 20 'senior Advisors' include James Greene (Former Head of NATO Liason Office Ukraine); Ariel Cohen (Senior Research Fellow for The Heritage Foundation); Leonid Kozachenko (President of the Ukrainian Agrarian Confederation); six former US Ambassadors to Ukraine, and the former ambassador of Ukraine to the US, Oleh Shamshur.

Stas Ustymenko Jeremn 13 Jul 2015 11:14

You'd be surprised, but I like Bandera (controversial as he was) way more than I trust some people who wrap themselves in his red-and-black Rebel banner. Yarosh included. Banderite rebellion ended 60 years ago. Its major goal was establishing a "united, free Ukrainian state"; by contrast, stated ultimate goals of the Right Sector are way murkier; I'm not sure even most of the movement's members are clear on what these are.

With present actions, Right Sector has a huge image problem in the West. If it will come to all-out conflict, no doubt the West will back Poroshenko government over a loose confederation of armed dudes linked by the thin thread of 30ies ideology (suspect even then). And the West will be right.

Stas Ustymenko Nik2 13 Jul 2015 11:03

Methinks you're way overselling a thug turf war as "major political event. Truth is, the region has been long in the hands of organized crime. The previous regime incorporated and controlled almost all organized crime in the country, hence no visible conflict. Now, individual players try to use temporary uncertainty to their advantage.

Right Sector claims they were trying to fight the smuggling, but this doesn't sound plausible. The word is, what's behind the events is struggle for control over lucrative smuggling between two individuals (who are both "businessmen" and "politicians", members of Parliament). Both are old-school players, formerly affiliated with Yanukovitch party. One just was savvy enough to buy himself some muscle under Right Sector banner. Right Sector will either have to straighten out its fighters (which it may not be able to do) or disappear as a political player. I fail to see how people see anything "neo-Nazi" in this gang shootout.

PaddyCannuck Cavirac 13 Jul 2015 10:21

Nobody here is an apologist for Stalin, who was a brutal and cruel despot, and the deportations of the Crimean Tatars were quite indefensible. However, a few observations might lend some perspective.

1. Crimea has been invaded and settled by an almost endless succession of peoples over the millennia. The Crimean Tatars (who are of Turkic origin) were by no means the first, nor indeed the last, and cannot in any meaningful sense be regarded as the indigenous people of Crimea.
2. The Crimean Tatars scarcely endeared themselves to the Russians, launching numerous raids, devastating many towns, including the burning of Moscow in 1571, and sending hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Russians into slavery in the Ottoman Empire.
3. The deportations took place in 1942 - 1943 against the backdrop of World War II, when a lot of bad stuff happened, including -
4. The American (and also Canadian) citizens of Japanese ethnicity who had their property confiscated and were likewise shipped off to camps. Their treatment, if anything, was worse.

Sevastopol, Pearl Harbor. What's the difference? What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

tanyushka Pwedropackman 13 Jul 2015 10:10

http://rt.com/news/207899-un-anti-nazism-resolution/

http://www.un.org/en/ga/third/69/docs/voting_sheets/L56.Rev1.pdf

do these links answer your question?

tanyushka 13 Jul 2015 09:55

Meanwhile last night & this morning, just to distract the people of what is going on in the West, Kiev launched a massive shelling over Donetsk and other places in Donbass using weapons forbbiden by the Minsk agreements, including Tor missiles, one of which fell at a railway station but didn't explode... it was defused by emergency workers but the proof is there if you care to see... it was thesecond biggest attack since the cease fire...

Nik2 6i9vern 13 Jul 2015 09:53

Not exactly. By now, BBC has made good coverage of these events in Ukrainian and Russian languages, but not in English. It looks like BBC considers that Western public does not deserve the politically sad truth about armed clashes between "champions of Maidan Revolution" and "new democratic authorities, fighting corruption". Western public should not be in doubt about present-day "pro-European" Ukraine. And "The Guardian" still has only one article on the issue that could be a turning point in Ukrainian politics. This is propaganda, not informing about or analyzing really serious political events.

VictorWhisky 13 Jul 2015 09:51

This is the IMF hired guns now going after the very people who helped the Wall Street IMF shysters in the illegitimate coup and the set up of the illegitimate Kiev junta, a mix of half Ukrainian and non-Ukrainian mongrels.

Furthermore, instead of bringing in the people who helped overthrow Janukovich into the government fold, the IMF is placing it's foreign collaborators in ministerial positions by making them instant Ukrainian citizens, while keeping the right wing, without whose help the coup would not have succeeded, out of government and slowly trying to eliminate them with their private foreign mercenary force.

Madame "F*ck the EU Nuland from the US state department bordello, a devout Zionist, enticed these supposed Ukrainian NAZIs to help her in her dirty deeds, no doubt with promises of power sharing.

So madame Nuland was perfectly willing to get in bed with the Ukrainian NAZI devils (her Jewish friend should be proud) and when the dirty deed was done, she is now turning against Ukrainian nationalists in the attempt to have outside forces in control of Ukraine. Madame Nuland is not as intelligent or capable as portrayed, because if she was, she would have known Ukraine has a very delicate and very complicated political structure and history with nearly half the country speaking Russian and more loyal to the Russians than to the US.

An intelligent person familiar with Ukrainian history would know any attempt of placing a US stooge in Kiev would certainly result in a civil war.

She no doubt got her position not by intelligence but by connections. More than 6000 Ukrainians, human beings, innocent men women and children, have died in madame Nuland's engineered coup, putting her in league with her mentor, Henry Kissinger, aka the butcher of Vietnam. That intelligent idiot's policies resulted in the death of 3 million Vietnamese and 50,000 young Americans. Does madame Nuland intend to sacrifice that many Ukrainians to prove her ultimate stupidity?

Jeremn Luminaire 13 Jul 2015 09:51

The conscripts didn't want to shoot their fellow Ukrainians. The nationalists don't believe the people in the east are their fellow Ukrainians.

Jeremn DrMacTomjim 13 Jul 2015 09:43

Yes. But meanwhile the Atlantic Council tells us this is why more Ukrainians admire nationalists.

Because they were lovely guys, evidently, and their "popularity" has nothing to do with armed thugs beating you up if you say anything against them (or the state prosecuting you for denying or questioning their heroism).

Jeremn jezzam 13 Jul 2015 09:35

Ukrainian media, reporting Ukrainian government official:

In his article for the Dzerkalo Tyzhnia (Weekly Mirror) newspaper Ukrainian Prosecutor General Vitaliy Yarema wrote that 74 peaceful citizens and 12 policemen had been killed in Kyiv downtown on February 18-20, 2014, while 180 citizens and over 180 law enforcers had suffered gunshot wounds.

12 police dead in two days, 180 wounded with gunshot wounds.

Still Kremlin lies?

Jeff1000 13 Jul 2015 09:30

Thank God Ukraine is finally free and democratic. The old autocratic regime actually had the gall to make running street battles illegal - but those dark days are in the past. In the liberated Ukraine you are free spend the dollar a day you get paid on a bullet proof vest so the rampant Nazi street gangs don't kill you.

Jeremn SHappens 13 Jul 2015 09:26

You'd be surprised, there are Bandera-lovers in the UK too. There's a Bandera museum. And there is this lot, teaching Christian values to children. And telling them that Bandera was a hero. Future Right Sector supporters being crafted as we type.

6i9vern 13 Jul 2015 09:24

The Ukrainian sub-saharan African minimum wage is now being accompanied by Somali-style politics. Luckily, the Russians have liberated Crimea so piracy on the high seas isn't an option for the Ukrainians.

6i9vern 13 Jul 2015 09:18

Apparently, UAVs generously supplied to Ukrainians by the Canadian taxpayers are being put to good use smuggling cigarettes into Slovakia.

6i9vern 13 Jul 2015 09:12

The BBC are bravely sticking to their decision not to report this story. Congratulations are in order for such dedication. The graun protected its readership from this confusing information for 24 hours and then caved to the temptation to report news. Too bad.

aucontraire2 13 Jul 2015 08:36

Can we officially congratulate Nuland for a crappy job and also for providing Putin with all the tools he needed to bring back Ukraine under his wing. False flag operations for American private interests must stop now. They are immoral, unethical and only bring death and destruction to otherwise stable societies. The UN should have a say.

SomersetApples 13 Jul 2015 08:25

The country is bankrupt; the Kiev putschists are selling off the country's assets to their New York allies, the oligarchs and Nazis are at war against each other and the illegal putschist government and now toilet mouth Nuland is back on the scene. Looks like a scene form Dante's Inferno.

todaywefight Polvilho 13 Jul 2015 07:54

Which Russian invasion will this be the of he approximately 987 mentioned by Poroshenko and our man Yatz...or are you referring to the people of the AUTONOMOUS REPUBLIC OF CRIMEA's (yes that was what was called after the 1994 referendum) massive wishes to (like Donbass) go against a government who illegally dismissed an elected president a wish that was reflected on a referendum which was allowed by their constitution 18(7)

Bosula Scepticbladderballs 13 Jul 2015 07:38

Yes. Most of the protesters are good people who just want a better deal in life.

monteverdi1610 13 Jul 2015 06:54

Remember all those CIF threads when those of us who pointed to the neo-Nazis in Ukraine were immediately called ' Putinbots ' ?
PS/ Apologies would be the order of the day , perhaps ?

Sturney 13 Jul 2015 06:49

Apparently this conflict is over. Temporarily over. Anyway in ever-contracting economy, in a Mariana trench between Russia and EU, in the most totalitarian country in history, such conflicts will continue. Since Nuland tossed yeast in the outhouse nobody can stop fermentation of sh*t. Help yourself with some beer and shrimps. I am looking forward when these masses splash out to EU, preferably to Poland. Must be fun to watch. (Lipspalm)

Justin Obisesan 13 Jul 2015 06:33

In the run-up to the Euro 2012 football tournament, jointly hosted by Poland and Ukraine, I remember how the media in this country worked themselves into a frenzy harping on about the presence of violent neo-Nazi groups in Ukraine. After the removal of Mr Yanukovych from office, the same media organisations changed their tune by describing any talk of neo- Nazis in Ukraine as "Russian propaganda". The Western media coverage of the Ukrainian crises has been so blatantly pro-Kiev and anti-Donbass that their claims of impartiality and objectivity cannot be taken seriously anymore.


Jeremn jgbg 13 Jul 2015 06:16

It is fine when they are shooting at Donetsk, but not so good when they use the same tactics in western Ukraine.

Azov are the same, violent neo-Nazi thugs given authority, and this article notes that PrivatBank is the bank that services requests for donations to the Azov funds, using J P Morgan as intermidiary.

Neither Azov nor Right Sector want peace. On 3 July 4,000 men from these units protested in Kiev, calling for resumption of the war against the eastern provinces. They favour ethnic cleansing.

Jeremn William Fraser 13 Jul 2015 06:10

The people who support Bandera are in western Ukraine. They are the ones who say Stalin starved the Ukrainian people.

Trouble is, in the 1930s, western Ukraine belonged to Poland.

It was the Russians, eastern Ukrainians and other Soviet people who starved, not the western Ukrainians.

Kefirfan 13 Jul 2015 06:02

Good, good. Let the democracy flow through you...

Pwedropackman SHappens 13 Jul 2015 05:53

It will be interesting to see which side the US and Canada will support. Probably Poroshenko and the Oligarchs because the Right Sector is not so happy about the ongoing sales of Ukraine infrastructure to US corporates.

SHappens 13 Jul 2015 05:14

Harpers' babies are out manifesting, supporting the good guys:

"Supporters of Ukraine's Right Sector extremist group rallied in Ottawa Sunday amid the radicals' ongoing standoff with police in western Ukraine."

The rally outside the Ukrainian embassy was organized by the Right Sector's representative office in the Canadian capital, 112 Ukraine TV channel reported, citing the Facebook account of the so-called Ukrainian Volunteer Corps.

careforukraine 13 Jul 2015 05:09

I wonder how long it will be before the us denounces nazi's in ukraine? Kind of seems like we have seen this all before. Almost like how ISIS were just freedom fighters that needed our support until ?..... Well we all know what happened there.

Pwedropackman 13 Jul 2015 05:04

If it was not for the right sector, Ukraine would still be one united nation.

GameOverManGameOver Chris Gilmore 13 Jul 2015 04:41

Yes, I agree, they do wreck the economy. That was my point. Russia want's strong economies to do business with, not broken economies that only ask for financial aid.

Like I said, no evidence of Russian troops in Donbass and South Ossetia asked for the presence of Russian troops to deter the Georgian government from trying another invasion.

And organisations like CIS are meant to expand economic ties. Just like the EU I suppose. They function in pretty much the same way with everyone getting a chance to lead. So I don't know why that should be a bad thing. Since the EU is not interested in admitting Russia why can't Russia go to other organisations?

VladimirM Dmitriy Grebenyuk 13 Jul 2015 04:26

It's a poisonous sarcasm, I think. But I've heard that RS accuse the Ukrainian government of being pro-Putin as the government accuse them of being Russian agents. Surreal a bit.

stewfen FOHP46 13 Jul 2015 04:24

The west would not have dialogue with Russia because it was not what Washington wanted. Washington wanted to push a wedge between Russia and EU at any cost even 6500 lives and unfortunately they succeeded

GameOverManGameOver Chris Gilmore 13 Jul 2015 03:54

I'll admit that frozen conflicts could be useful to Russia. But only from a security point of view. And why not, exactly? NATO is Russia's biggest threat, so it would make sense for the government to want to avoid it expanding any further. I understand your misgivings since you're speaking from the position that NATO should expand to deter Russi I mean 'Iran', but surely you understand that Russia wanting to prevent that makes logical sense? Sure, it's at someone else's expense but let's not pretend that big countries doing something at someone else's expense is a new and revolutionary concept reserved only to Russia. And the Georgian conflict dates back to the very early 90's.

From an economic point of view though, no sense at all. Frozen conflicts usually bring economic barriers. Believe it or not Russia's priority isn't expansion, but the economy. And trade with it's neighbours is an important element of the Russian economy. It's very hard to trade with areas that are in the middle of a frozen conflict. So in that sense the last thing Russia would want are profitable areas in a frozen conflict around it's borders hampering it's economic growth.

And none of this has anything to do with Marioupol.

Debreceni 13 Jul 2015 03:38

The Right Sector does not exist, or if it does, it has been created by Moscow. The crisis in Greece is also the work of Russian agents. The ISIS is financed and trained by Putin. Ebola was cooked up in a laboratory in Saint Petersburg. Look for the Russian!

Kaiama PrinceEdward 13 Jul 2015 02:50

We don't know if PS were also doing it as well or just poking their noses into someone else's business. Who started it? I doubt the correct answer will ever be known. Two unsavoury groups arguing about an illegal business. The problem is that the MP is an MP whereas PS is a national organisation.

DrMacTomjim 13 Jul 2015 02:04

"Note to Ukraine: Time to Reconsider Your Historic Role Models" Someone wrote this a bit late.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nikolas-kozloff/note-to-ukraine-time-to-r_b_7453506.html

DrMacTomjim hisimperialmajesty 13 Jul 2015 02:01

"neo-Chekists" That's new to me.... Are you sure they are not "Just doing their jobs" ? Did you read the Nafeez Ahmed piece someone linked ? Here (if you didn't) https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/secret-pentagon-report-reveals-west-saw-isis-as-strategic-asset-b99ad7a29092

And this from Foreign Affairs https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/libya/2015-02-16/obamas-libya-debacle

It's never the US....it's never the West..... (you know, to balance things) : )

todaywefight 13 Jul 2015 01:53

If any one on the other side, the dark side, ever thought that these lot will hold hands with any one, lay down their arms and sing Kumbaya, uou are either utterly naive or willfully ignorant. Apparently, these lot have 23 battalions, armed to their teeth, the added bonus for the Privy Sektor is that , due to expedience and cowardice , they have just made legal and incorporated into the Ukrainian army, Kyiv is in a highway to nowhere.

Incidentally, unlike the maidan demonstrations which essentially were only in Kyiv there are demonstrations in more than a dozen cities, and have established dozen of check points already and Yarosh a member of the VT. have clearly instructed them to fight if necessary.

GameOverManGameOver Omniscience 13 Jul 2015 01:35

So? Yes there are nationalists in Russia, just like everywhere else. You get a gold star for googling. Shall I get some articles with European and American nationalists to parade around to make a vague point? If you want I can get you an article of Lithuanians dressed up as the Waffen SS parading around Vilnius. That's Lithuania the EU and Nato member. Funny how EU principles disappear when it's one of their own violating them.

You seem to be missing the point entirely. While all countries have their nationalists, those nationalists are a very small minority, have no power, have no popular support, have no seats in government, usually derided by the majority of the population and they certainly aren't armed to the teeth roaming around the country killing, torturing and kidnapping people with the blessing of their government

HollyOldDog Joe way 13 Jul 2015 00:09

The Right Sector were / are Ukrains Storm Troopers who have had more advanced training by the Americans. If the Right Sector turn on the Kiev Government they will be difficult to defeat, and who knows if the civilian population of Ukraine may join in the 'fun' by ousting the current unpopular Ukrainian government.

sorrentina 12 Jul 2015 23:35

this is what happens when you play with fire: you get burned. Using Neo-Nazi's to implement Nato expansionist policies was always a very bad idea. It's just a shame it is not people like Victoria 'fuck the EU' Nuland who will have to suffer the blowback consequences- it is the poor Ukrainian people. This is not that different to what has happened in Libya- where Islamic extremists were used as a proxy force to oust Gaddafi.

annamarinja jgbg 12 Jul 2015 23:31

The threshold has been guessed impatiently by the US neocons (while the provocateur Higgins/ Bellingcat fed the gullible the fairy tales about Russian army in Ukraine). The US needs desperately a real civil war in Ukraine, the Ukrainians be damned. Just look what the US-sponsored "democracy on the march" has produced in the Middle East. Expect the same bloody results in eastern Europe.

annamarinja obscurant 12 Jul 2015 23:25

perhaps you do not realize that your insults are more appropriate towards the poor Ukrainians that have been left destitute by the cooky-carrying foreigners and their puppets in Kiev. The Ukrainian gold reserve has disappeared... meanwhile, the US Congress has shamed the US State Dept for collaborating with Ukrainian neo-nazis. Stay tuned. But do not expect to hear real news from your beloved Faux News.

annamarinja quorkquork 12 Jul 2015 23:14

the jihadists in Ukraine are the integral part of Iraqization of Ukraine. The lovers of Nuland's cookies are still in denial that Ukraine was destined by the US plutocrats to become a sacrificial lamb in a fight to preserve the US dollar hegemony.

Bud Peart 12 Jul 2015 22:59

Well we always knew it would end this way. With a stalemate in the war with the East the Right wing paramilitaries and private oligarch militias (whom the west funded and trained) have gone completely feral and are now in fighting directly with whats left of the Ukrainian National Army. This is pretty much the rode to another breakaway in Galacia which would effectively end the Ukraine as a functional state.

The government should move as fast as possible to get a decent federal structure (copy switzerland) in place before the whole of the West goes into revolt as well.

DelOrtoyVerga LostJohnny 12 Jul 2015 22:38

That is what you get when you put fascists in your government.

I rather reword it to

That is what you get when you enable and rely on thugish pseudo-fascist radical para-military groups to impose order by force and violence against dissident segments of your own population (which is armed to the teeth probably by Russia)

Bosula Scepticbladderballs 12 Jul 2015 22:37

What do you think it is?

There were several people identified directly or indirectly in this BBC story whose stories should have been formally pursued by legal authorities in Kiev.

If you lived in the West you would understand that we call these references as possible 'leads' - you follow these 'leads' and see where they take you. That is what Western police do.

The story says that Kiev didn't want to follow up any of these points. Why? What harm could this do?

You state that you do not understand the point that this BBC journalist was making. But I have in a fair way tried to to explain the point that the BBC was making.

This story caused quite a stir went it came out - and the BBC chose to stick with it and support their British reporter. In an edited and shorter form the story is still on the BBC - the editing is also acknowledged by the BBC.

Do you think the BBC should have blocked or not published this investigative piece?

If so - why?

And why hasn't Kiev followed up these issues?

Have I addressed your point yet?

HollyOldDog Scepticbladderballs 12 Jul 2015 21:34

I am just watching a program recorded earlier. Hiroshima: The Aftermath. I have got past the part when the Japanese 'survivors' had to drink from the pools of Black Rain ( highly radioactive) and watched the part when American Army Tourists visited the city to take a few photos ( no medical help though) while gawking at the gooks. In fact the Japanese civilians recieved no medical assistance at all from the Americans. The commentator just said that they were just there to study the effects of nuclear radiation on a civilian population. These nuclear bombs were just dropped on Japan to save One Day of the surrender of the Japanese forces.

The next documtary I will watch another day is the sinking of the Tirpitz by the RAF using Tallboy bombs. At least this had a useful pupose in helping to stop the destruction of the North Atlantic convoys, sending aid to Russia. That aid along with the rebuilding of the Soviet Armies helped the Soviet Union to destroy the invading Nazi forces and provided a Second Front to the Western Allies to invade Normandy. A lot of good can be achieved when the East and West work together - maybe avoiding the worst effects of Global Warming but the Americans only seem to want to spend Trillions $ building more powerful nuclear weapons. Is this all that America has now, an Arms Industry - I can see it now, cooling the planet with a Nuclear Winter.

HollyOldDog Scepticbladderballs 12 Jul 2015 20:33

The USA caused the chaos in Ukraine so they must pay the billions of $ to fix it then leave Ukraine alone.

6i9vern 12 Jul 2015 20:29

One of the amusing features of the Soviet media was the long silences it maintained on possibly embarrassing breaking news until it became clear what the Party Line was. Eventually, a memo would go out from Mikhail Suslov's office to various media outlets and the silence would be broken. At least everyone knew exactly how that system worked. What is happening with the British media is much more murky.

The beeb/graun seem to be the Pravda/Izvestia, whilst the torygraph is a sort of Trybuna Ludu - ie real news very occasionally appears in it.

6i9vern 12 Jul 2015 20:08

So, after a mere 24 hours the Graun ran a story on Mukachevo. The Torygraph actually had the nerve to run the AFP wire report more or less straight away. The BBC are still keeping shtum.

The Beeb/Graun complex have well and truly had the frighteners put on them.

PrinceEdward Kaiama 12 Jul 2015 20:07

There's no doubt. I agree that the MP was probably running cigarettes, but also Right Sektor was going to muscle in.

If you asked somebody 3 years ago if Ukraine would be rocked by armed bands with RPGs and Light Machine Guns fighting in towns, they would have thought you were crazy.

This isn't Russia, this is the Ultranats/Neo-Nazis.


PrinceEdward obscurant 12 Jul 2015 20:05

Right, it's the people in Donbass who bury 14th SS Division veterans with full honors, push for full pensions to surviving Hiwi and SS Collaborators... not those in Lvov. Uh huh.


BMWAlbert 12 Jul 2015 20:04

11 months of investigations by the newKiev regime, attempting to implicate the the prior one for the murder of about 100 people in Kiev early last year was unsuccessful. There may be better candidates here.

fragglerokk ploughmanlunch 12 Jul 2015 19:55

It always amazes me that the far right never learn from history. The politicians and oligarchs always use them as muscle to ensure coup success then murder/assasinate the leaders to make sure they dont get any ideas about power themselves. Surprised its taken so long in ukraine but then the govt is barely hanging onto power and the IMF loans have turned to a trickle so trouble will always be brewing, perhaps theyve left it too long this time. Nobody will be shedding any tears for the Nazis and Banderistas.

hisimperialmajesty Scepticbladderballs 12 Jul 2015 19:54

Why, don't you know? They infiltrated Ukraine, the CIA (and NATO and the EU somehow) created Maidan, their agents killed the protesters, then they overthrew a legitimate government and installed a neo-nazi one, proceeded to instigate a brutal oppression against Russian speakers, then started a war against the peaceful Eastern Ukrainians and their innocent friends in the Kremlin, etc etc. Ignorant question that, by now you should know the narrative!

Kaiama gimmeshoes 12 Jul 2015 19:53

If you think Pryvi Sektor want to "clean up" then yes, but not in the way you imagine - they just want the business for themselves.

Geordiemartin 12 Jul 2015 19:51

I am reminded of AJP Taylor premise that Eastern Europe has historically had either German domination or Russian protection.

The way that the Ukrainian government had treated their own Eastern compatriots leaves little reason to believe they would be welcome back into the fold and gives people of Donbass no reason to want to rejoin the rest of the country.

If government is making an effort to reign in the likes of Right sector it is a move in the right direction but much much more will be needed to establish any trust.

Some Guy yataki 12 Jul 2015 19:45

just because they are nazis doesnt mean they are happy about doing any of this... now. look at greece and the debacle that has unfolded over the past week has been . the west ukraine wanted to be part of the euro zone and wanted some of that ecb bail out money. now they are not even sure if they could skip out on the bill and know they are fighting for nothing . russia gave them 14 bil dollars . the west after the coup only gave the 1 bil

Andor2001 Kaiama 12 Jul 2015 19:44

According to the eyewitnesses the RS shot a guard when he refused to summon the commanding officer. It was the beginning of the fight.

Andor2001 yataki 12 Jul 2015 19:41

Remember Shakespeare "Othello"? Moor has done his job, Moor has to go.. The neo-Nazis have outlived their usefulness.

Bosula caaps02 12 Jul 2015 19:39

The BBC investigative reported earlier this year that a section of Maidan protesters deliberately started shooting the police. This story was also reported in the Guardian. Google and you will easily find it. The BBC also reported that the Prosecutors Office in Kiev was forbidden by Rada officials from investigating Maiden shooters.

Maybe the BBC is telling us a lie? The BBC investigation is worth a read - then you can make up your own mind.

Bosula William Fraser 12 Jul 2015 19:29

Kazakhstan had the highest percentage of deaths from Stalin's policies in this period when he prevented the nomad herders moving from the mountains to the planes to take advantage of the benefits of seasons and weather. Stalin forced the nomads to stay in one area and they perished in the cold of the mountains or the heat of the summer plains (whichever zone they were forced to stay in).

Some of my family is Ukrainian and some recognise that Stalin's policies weren't specifically aimed at Ukrainians - the people of Kazakhstan suffered the most (as a percentage of population). Either way, there is no genetic difference between Slavs or Russian or Ukrainian origin in Ukraine or Russia - they are all genetically the same people. This information should be better taught in Ukraine.

The problem is that it would undermine the holy grail story of right wing nationalism in Ukraine.

quorkquork annamarinja 12 Jul 2015 19:27

There are already jihadist groups fighting in Ukraine! IN MIDST OF WAR, UKRAINE BECOMES GATEWAY FOR JIHAD
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/02/26/midst-war-ukraine-becomes-gateway-europe-jihad/

Havingalavrov obscurant 12 Jul 2015 18:33

It's been one of the biggest mistakes ( although Ukraine's military started in a desperately poor condition ) , to allow militia groups to get so powerful. Right sector should not have arms and guns... The national Ukraine military should, If members of Right sector want to fight , they should leave Right sector and join the army.

This was and will happen if they don't disband such armed groups.

annamarinja silvaback 12 Jul 2015 18:18

have you ever studied geography? If yes, you should remember the proximity of Ukraine to Russia (next door) and the proximity of Ukraine to the US (thousands miles away). Also, have you heard about the CIA Director Brennan and his covert visit to Kiev on the eve of the beginning of the civil war in Ukraine? This could give you an informed hint about the causes of the war. Plus you may be interested to learn about Mrs. Nuland-Kagan (Ms. Nudelman), her cookies, and her foul language. She is, by the way, a student of Dick Cheney. If you were born before 2000, you might know his name and his role in the Iraq catastrophe. Mrs. Nuland-Kagan (and the family of Kagans she belongs to) finds particular pleasure in creating military conflicts around the globe. It is not for nothing that the current situation in Ukraine is called Iraqization of Eastern Europe.

Bev Linington JJRichardson 12 Jul 2015 18:10

Ukrainians shot down the plane. East, West does not matter as they were all Ukrainians before the government overthrow. Leaders of the new government could not look past some Ukrainian citizens ethnicity, instead of standing together united, they decided to oppress which lead to the referendum in Crimea and the rise of separatists in the East.

jgbg Chirographer 12 Jul 2015 17:53

And for the Pro-Russian posters the newsflash is that could also describe the situation inside the Donbass.

It certainly describes the situation in Donbass where Right Sector or the volunteer battalions are in charge. In Dnepropetrovsk, Right Sector would simply turn up at some factory or other business and order the owner to sign document transferring the enterprise to them. In other cases, they have kidnapped businessmen for ransom. Some people have simply disappeared under such circumstances.

The Ukrainian National Guard simply break into homes left empty by people fleeing the war and steal the contents. Such was the scale of looting, the Ukrainian postal service have now refused to ship electrical goods out of the ATO area unless the senders have the original boxes and receipts.

jgbg AlfredHerring 12 Jul 2015 17:45

Maybe Kiev just needs to bomb them some more.

Putin promised to protect the Russian speaking people in Ukraine - but he hasn't really done that. His government has indicated that they would not allow Kiev to simply overrun or obliterate the people of Donbass. Quite where their threshold of actual intervention lies is anyone's guess.

jgbg caaps02, 12 Jul 2015 17:34

The "pro-Russian" government that you refer to was only elected because it promised to sign the EU trade agreement. It then reneged on that promise...

Yanukovych's government was elected the previous one was useless and corrupt.

Yanukovych wanted to postpone the decision to sign for six months, while he attempted to extract more from both the EU and Russia. Under Poroshenko, the implementation of the EU Association Agreement has been delayed for 15 months, as the governments of Ukraine, the EU and Russia all recognised that Russian trade (with the favourable terms which Ukraine enjoys) are vitail to Ukraine's economic recovery. Expect that postponement to be extended.

.... severely and brutally curtailing freedom of speech and concentrating all power in the hands of Yanukovich's little clan...

As opposed to sending the military to shell the crap out of those who objected to an elected government being removed by a few thousand nationalists in Kiev.

There was no "coup".

An agreement had been signed at the end of February 2014, which would see elections in September 2014. The far right immediately moved to remove the government (as Right Sector had promised on camera in December 2013). None of the few mechanisms for replacing the president listed in the Ukrainian constitution have been followed - that makes it a coup.

The Maidan protesters were not armed

This newspaper and other western media documented the armed members of far right groups on Maidan. One BBC journalist was actually shot at by a Svoboda sniper, operating from Hotel Ukraina - the video is still on the BBC website.

....the interim government that was put in place by the parliament in late February and the government that was elected in May and Oct. of 2014 were and are not fascist.

The interim government included several ministers from Svoboda, formerly the Socialist Nationalist Party of Ukraine. These were the first Nazi ministers in a European government since Franco's Spanish government that ended in the 1970's. In a 2013 resolution, the EU parliament had indicated that no Ukrainian government should include members of Svoboda or other far right parties.

pushkinsideburn vr13vr 12 Jul 2015 16:45

There has been a marked change in rhetoric over the last few weeks. Even CiF on Ukraine articles seems to attract less trolls (with a few notable exceptions on this article - though they feel more like squad trolls than the first team). Hopefully a sign of deescalation or perhaps just a temporary lull before the MH17 anniversary this week?

pushkinsideburn calum1 12 Jul 2015 16:38

His other comments should have been the clue that arithmetic, like independent critical thinking, is beyond him.

normankirk 12 Jul 2015 16:19

Right sector were the first to declare they wouldn't abide by the Minsk 2 peace agreement.Nevertheless, Dmitry Yarosh, their leader is adviser to Ukraine's Chief of staff. Given that he only received about 130,000 votes in the last election, he has a disproportionate amount of power.

pushkinsideburn sashasmirnoff 12 Jul 2015 16:13

That quote is a myth https://www.metabunk.org/debunked-the-cia-owns-everyone-of-any-significance-in-the-major-media.t158/

Though doesn't mean it's not true of course

greatwhitehunter 12 Jul 2015 15:47

As predicted the real civil war in Ukraine is still to happen. The split between the east and the ordinary Ukrainian was largely manufactured . In the long term no body would be able to live with the right sector or more precisely the right sector cant share a bed with anyone else.

sashasmirnoff RicardoJ 12 Jul 2015 15:44

"When the Guardian claims to be a fearless champion of investigative journalism - as it is, in some areas - why did it obey the dictats of the US neocon media machine which rules all Western mainstream media over the Ukrainian land grab, instead of telling the truth, at that time?"

This may be why: "The CIA owns everyone of any significance in the major media." - former CIA Director William Colby

Alexander_the_Great 12 Jul 2015 15:43

This was so, so predictable. The Right Sector were the main violent group during the coup in 2014 - in fact they were the ones to bring the first guns to the square following their storming of a military warehouse in west Ukraine a few days before the coup. It was this factor that forced the Police to arm themselves in preparation.

Being the vanguard of the illegal coup, they then provided a useful tool of manipulation for the illegal Kiev government to oppress any opposition, intimidate journalists who spoke the truth and lead the war against the legally-elected ELECTED governments of Donetsk and Lugansk.

Having failed in the war against the east, western leaders have signalled the right sector has now outlived its usefulness and has become an embarrassment to Kiev and their western backers.

The Right Sector meanwhile, feel betrayed by the establishment in Kiev. They have 19 battalions of fighters and they wont go away thats for sure. I think one can expect this getting more violent in the coming months.

SHappens jezzam 12 Jul 2015 15:40

Putin is a Fascist dictator.

Putin is not a dictator. He is a statist, authoritarian-inclined hybrid regime ruler that possesses some democratic elements and space for opposition groups. He has moderate nationalist tendencies in foreign affairs; his goal is a secure a strong Russia. He is a patriot and has a charismatic authority. Russians stay behind him.

ploughmanlunch samuel glover 12 Jul 2015 15:31

'this notion that absolutely everything Kiev does follows some master script drawn up in DC and Brussels is simplistic and tiresome'

Agreed. As is everything is Russia's fault.

ConradLodziak 12 Jul 2015 15:26

This is just the latest in a string of conflicts involving the right sector, as reported by RT, Russian media and until recently many Ukrainian outlets. The problem, of course, is that Porostinko has given 'official' status to the right sector. Blow back time for him.

CIAbot007 William Fraser 12 Jul 2015 15:06

Yes, Russia (USSR) from the USSR foundation had been forcing people of the then territory of Ukraine to identify themselves as Ukrainians under the process of rootisation - Ukrainization, then gave to Ukraine Donbass and left side Dniepr and Odessa, Herson and Nikolaev, and then decided to ethnically cleane them.. It doesn't make sense, does it? Oh, wait, sense is not your domain.

annamarinja William Fraser 12 Jul 2015 15:05

let me help you with arithmetics: 72 years ago Europe was inflamed with the WWII. There was a considerable number of Ukrainians that collaborated with Hitler' nazis: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/14th_Waffen_Grenadier_Division_of_the_SS_(1st_Galician)

Now moving to the present. The US-installed oligarchs in Kiev have been cooperating closely with Ruropean neo-nazis (the followers of the WWII scum): http://rt.com/news/155364-ukraine-nazi-division-march/

In short, your government finds it is OK to glorify the perpetrators of genocide in Europe during the WWII.

Nik2 12 Jul 2015 15:04

These tragic events, when YESTERDAY, on Saturday afternoon, several civilians were unintentionally wounded in gun battles in previously peaceful town near the Hungary and Slovakia borders, vividly exposes Western propaganda. Though mass media in Ukraine and Russia are full of reports about this from the start, The Guardian managed to give first information exactly 1 day later, and BBC was still keeping silence a few minutes ago. Since both sides are allies of the West (the Right Sector fighters were the core of the Maidan protesters at the later stages, and Poroshenko regime is presumably "democratic"), the Western media preferred to ignore the events that are so politically uncomfortable. Who are "good guys" to be praised? In fact, this may be the start of nationalists' revolt against Ukrainian authorities, and politically it is very important moment that can fundamentally change Ukrainian politics. But the West decides to be silent ...

annamarinja William Fraser 12 Jul 2015 14:59

Do your history book tell you that the Holodomor was a multiethnic endeavor? That the Ukrainians were among the victims and perpetrators and that the whole huge country had suffered the insanely cruel policies of multiethnic bolsheviks? The Holodomor was almost a century ago, whereas the Odessa massacre and the bombardments of civilian population in east Ukraine by the neo-nazi thugs (sent by Kiev), has been going during last year and half. Perhaps you have followed Mr. Brennan and Mrs. Nuland-Kagan too obediently.

foolisholdman zonzonel 12 Jul 2015 14:58

zonzonel

Oops, the presumably fascist govt. is fighting a fascist group.
What is a poor troll to do these days??
Antiukrainian copywriting just got more difficult, perhaps a raise is needed? Just sayin.

What's your problem? Never heard of Fascist groups fighting each other? Never heard of the "Night of the Long Knives"? Fascists have no principles to unite them. They believe in Uebermenschen and of course they all think that either they themselves or their leader is The Ueberuebermensch. Anyone who disagrees is an enemy no matter how Fascist he may be.

samuel glover ploughmanlunch 12 Jul 2015 14:55

Y'know, I'm no fan of the Russophobic hysteria that dominates English-language media. I've been to Ukraine several times over the last 15 years or so, and I'm sorry to say that I think that in time Ukrainians will regard Maidan's aftermath as most of them view the Orange Revolution -- with regret and cynicism.

That said, this notion that everything, absolutely everything Kiev does follows some master script drawn up in DC and Brussels is simplistic and tiresome. Most post-revolution regimes purge one end or the other of the current ideological wings. Kiev has already tangled with the oligarch and militia patron Igor Kolomoisky. So perhaps this is another predictable factional struggle. Or maybe, as another comment speculates, this is a feud over cigarette tax revenue.

In any case, Ukraine is a complex place going through an **extremely** complex time. it's too soon to tell what the Lviv skirmish means, and **far** too soon to lay it all on nefarious puppetmasters.

TheTruthAnytime ADTaylor 12 Jul 2015 14:49

The only thing that makes me reconsider is their service to their country,...

Is the CIA their country? So far they've only seemed to serve the interests of American businesspeople, not Ukrainian interests. Also, murdering eastern Ukrainians cannot really be considered such a great service to Ukraine, can it?

annamarinja ID075732 12 Jul 2015 14:44

Maidan was indeed a popular apprising, but it was utilized by the US strategists for their geopolitical games. The Ukrainians are going to learn hard way that the US have never had any interest in well-being of the "locals" and that the ongoing civil war was designed in order to create a festering wound on a border with the Russia. The Iraqization of Ukraine was envisioned by the neocons as a tool to break both Russia and Ukraine. The sooner Ukrainians come to a peaceful solution uniting the whole Ukraine (for example, to federalization), the better for the general population (but not for the thieving oligarchs).

vr13vr 12 Jul 2015 14:38

"Couple of hundred Right Sector supporters demonstrated in Kiev?" Come on! Over the last week, there have been enough of videos of thousands of people in fatigues trying to block access to government buildings and shouting rather aggressive demands. The entire battalions of "National Guard." This is much bigger than just 100 people on a peaceful rally. Ukraine might be heading towards Maidan 3.0.

ID075732 12 Jul 2015 14:26

The situation in Ukraine has been unravelling for months and this news broke on Friday evening.

The Minsk II cease fire has not been honoured by Poroshenko, who has not managed to effect any of the pledges he signed up to. The right sector who rejected the cease-fire from the start are now refusing the rule of their post coup president in Kiev.

Time for Victoria Nuland to break out the cookies? Or maybe it's too late for that now. The country formerly know as Ukraine is turning out to be another outstanding success of American post -imperial foreign policy.

Meanwhile in UFA the BRIC's economic forum is drawing to a close, with representatives from the developing world and no reporting of the aspirations being discussed there of over 60% of the world's population. It's been a major success, but if you want to learn about it, you will have to turn to other media sources - those usually reported as Russian propaganda channels or Putin's apologists.

The same people who have been reporting on the deteriorating situation in Kiev since the February coup. Or as Washington likes to call it a popular up rising.


Dennis Levin 12 Jul 2015 13:29

Canadian interviewed, fighting for 'Right Sector'.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j65dBEWd7go
The Right Sector of Euromaidan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yFqUasBOUY
Lets reflect for a moment on the Editorial directives, that would have 'MORE GUNS' distributed to NAZIS..
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/feb/01/putin-stopped-ukraine-military-support-russian-propaganda
The Guarn publishes, 'Britain should arm Ukraine, says Tory donor' - http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/11/britain-should-arm-ukraine
Al Jazeera says,'t's time to arm Ukraine' - http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2015/02/arms-ukraine-russia-separatists-150210075309643.html
Zbigniew Brzezinski: The West should arm Ukraine - http://www.kyivpost.com/opinion/op-ed/zbigniew-brzezinski-the-west-should-arm-ukraine-354770.html


ploughmanlunch ADTaylor 12 Jul 2015 13:06

'The only thing that makes me reconsider is their service to their country'

Don't get me wrong. I detest the fascist militias and their evil deeds.

However, despite their callousness, brutality and stupidity, they have been the most effective fighting force for Kiev ( more sensible Ukrainians have been rather more reluctant to kill their fellow countrymen ).

Deluded ? Yes. Cowardly ? No.

Even more reprehensible, in my opinion are the calculating and unprincipled Kiev Government that have attempted to bully a region of the Ukraine that had expressed legitimate reservations, using those far right battalions, but accepting no responsibility for the carnage that they carried out.

mario n 12 Jul 2015 12:52

I think it's time Europe spoke up about dangers of Ukrainian nationalism. 72 years ago Ukrainian fascists committed one of the most hideous and brutal acts of genocide in the human history. Details are so horrifying it is beyond imagination. Sadly not many people remembers that, because it is not politically correct to say bad things about Ukraine. Today mass murderers are hailed as national heroes and private battalions and ultranationalist groups armed to the teeth terrorise not only Donbas but now different parts of the country like Zakarpattia where there is strong Hungarian, Russian and Romanian minority.

How many massacres and acts of genocide Europe needs before it learns to act firmly?

SHappens 12 Jul 2015 12:49

Kiev has allowed nationalist groups including Right Sector to operate despite allegations by groups like Amnesty International, that Right Sector has tortured civilian prisoners.

You know what, you dont play with fire or you will get burnt. It was written on the wall that these Bandera apologists would eventually turn to the hand that fed them. I wonder how Kiev will manage to blame the russians now.

RicardoJ 12 Jul 2015 12:33

Of course the Guardian doesn't like to explain that 'Right Sector' are genuine fascists - by their own admission! These fascists, who wear Nazi insignia, were the people who overthrew the elected government of Ukraine in the US / EU-supported coup - which the Guardianistas and other PC-brainwashed duly cheered on as a supposed triumph of democracy. Since that glorious US-financed and EU-backed coup, wholly illegal under international law, Ukraine's economy has collapsed, as has Ukrainians' living standards.

The US neocons are losing interest in their attempted land grab of Ukraine - and the EU cretins who backed the coup, thinking it would be a nice juicy further territorial acquisition for the EU, are desperately looking the other way, now that both the US and EU realize that Ukraine is a financial black hole.

When the Guardian claims to be a fearless champion of investigative journalism - as it is, in some areas - why did it obey the dictats of the US neocon media machine which rules all Western mainstream media over the Ukrainian land grab, instead of telling the truth, at that time?

jgbg 12 Jul 2015 12:15

The move came after a gunfight broke out on Saturday, when about 20 Right Sector gunmen arrived at a sports complex controlled by MP Mikhail Lano. They had been trying to stop the traffic of cigarettes and other contraband, a spokesman for the group said.

Put another way, one group of gangsters tried to muscle in on the cigarette smuggling operation of another group of gangsters. Smuggling cigarettes into nearby EU countries is extremely lucrative. Here's some video of some of the events:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hexRskhproc&feature=youtu.be

Note the registration plates driven by both Right Sector and the other gangsters i.e. not Ukrainian. In all likelihood, these cars are all stolen. Right Sector and fighters from "volunteer battalions" have become accustomed to muscling in on other people's activities (legal or not) in Donbass. This sort of thuggery is routine when these folk come to town. It is only when since they have continued such activities on their home turf in west and central Ukraine that the authorities have taken any notice.

[Feb 27, 2019] UK's panicked neoliberal regime desperate to build a third loyal party to halt Corbyn's progressive counterattack

Feb 27, 2019 | failedevolution.blogspot.com

Right after the seven neoliberal Blairites left the Labour party towards the formation of a new "independent" party, three Tories decided to join them.

As the Guardian reported : "

Three Conservatives have quit their party to join the new Independent Group of MPs, declaring that hard Brexiters have taken over and that the modernising wing of the party has been 'destroyed'. Anna Soubry, Sarah Wollaston and Heidi Allen explained their decision to join the new group, founded this week by seven Labour MPs, who also left their party. "

It all happened too fast and someone would be rather naive to believe that these moves were not pre-agreed and fully coordinated.
All the picks appear to be carefully selected. The establishment takes back those who has raised carefully with the 'principles' of the neoliberal ideology in order to save them from the collapsing conservative party and the Corbynism-'contaminated' Labour. Next step, a third 'independent' party with the mission to save neoliberalism.

It's not hard to guess the source of funding of this new party. It is the part of the big capital, especially the financial sector and the pro-Israeli lobby in the UK, that benefits from the neoliberal globalization. Therefore, it is the part of the big capital that seeks to reverse Brexit at all costs and shares common ideas and interests with the lobbies that control the EU.

[Feb 23, 2019] Guardian neoliberal presstitutes: Trump's bid to upend Russia inquiry unprecedented, experts say

Feb 23, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

pretzelattack , Feb 22, 2019 9:58:52 AM | link

for the first time in weeks (months?) i don't see anything about mueller or russia on the featured articles at the guardian. are they implicitly going to admit it was all bullshit, without ever acknowledging it? (by "they" i mean the msm).
Ghost Ship , Feb 22, 2019 1:06:41 PM | link
>>>>: pretzelattack | Feb 22, 2019 9:58:52 AM | 3
for the first time in weeks (months?) i don't see anything about mueller or russia on the featured articles at the guardian

You spoke too soon :

'Even Nixon wasn't like him': Trump's bid to upend Russia inquiry unprecedented, experts say

And now they've gone "live" about Manafort .

One last hurrah, one Hail Mary before Mueller says there was no provable collusion.

[Feb 18, 2019] Facebook labelled 'digital gangsters' by report on fake news Technology by David Pegg

Notable quotes:
"... The report accuses Mark Zuckerberg , Facebook's co-founder and chief executive, of contempt for parliament in refusing three separate demands for him to give evidence, instead sending junior employees unable to answer the committee's questions. ..."
Feb 18, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

Company broke privacy and competition law and should be regulated urgently, say MPs

Facebook deliberately broke privacy and competition law and should urgently be subject to statutory regulation, according to a devastating parliamentary report denouncing the company and its executives as "digital gangsters".

The final report of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee's 18-month investigation into disinformation and fake news accused Facebook of purposefully obstructing its inquiry and failing to tackle attempts by Russia to manipulate elections.

"Democracy is at risk from the malicious and relentless targeting of citizens with disinformation and personalised 'dark adverts' from unidentifiable sources, delivered through the major social media platforms we use every day," warned the committee's chairman, Damian Collins.

The report accuses Mark Zuckerberg , Facebook's co-founder and chief executive, of contempt for parliament in refusing three separate demands for him to give evidence, instead sending junior employees unable to answer the committee's questions.

Warns British electoral law is unfit for purpose and vulnerable to interference by hostile foreign actors, including agents of the Russian government attempting to discredit democracy. Calls on the British government to establish an independent investigation into "foreign influence, disinformation, funding, voter manipulation and the sharing of data" in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, the 2016 EU referendum and the 2017 general election.

[Feb 18, 2019] How California became the leader of the resistance against Trump

Notable quotes:
"... I'm not against capitalism per se but unfettered free market capitalism is a disaster for everyone except the very few. The moves we've been making in that direction on both sides of the Atlantic over the past decades can clearly be shown to have concentrated wealth in the hands of the fewer and fewer. This is not a good thing. ..."
"... But there is an opportunity for Democrats. Trump has made a serious mess by being divisive and a liar. ..."
"... Would there be any practical difference on issues between Kamala Harris and Hillary Clinton? She reminds me of Hillary a lot more than more than Warren does. ..."
"... Warren's entire campaign will probably contain fewer P.R. fuckups than Trump does in any single week. I think people will get over her Native American mistake. ..."
"... Anyone who thinks truly unregulated Capitalism won't fuck the public, needs to go back to history class. It's been experimented with just like Communism has. ..."
"... I disagree. This gave us the industrial revolution and the gilded age. It didn't give us the middle class. The unions did that and we wouldn't have needed the "new deal" if is wasn't for Wilson. Wilson gave us the great depression. ..."
"... The reason I think of myself as a capitalist is because I want the means of production to stay with the private sector. Wilson gave monetary control to the private sector. I think fiscal and monetary control should have remained in the public sector. ..."
"... The Democrats push policies that also are bad policy. Affirmative action fundamentally is based on racism. It has not lead to a colorblind society and it serves as a convenient way to ignore problems rather than deal with them. Obamacare pushed expensive health care programs on people without cost controls. Democrats need to focus on infrastructure. ..."
"... I'm a self proclaimed capitalist. I just don't think deregulation will lead to anywhere other than where Marx said it would ..."
"... I do think Trump will be defeated in 2020. There are some serious, solid Democratic candidates on offer, and I think one of them will get the nomination ..."
"... Average white Americans support the GOP because the average white American fears facing minorities as a minority themselves, because they know how they've treated others. ..."
"... In has final state of the union address, Obama told the people that they get the government they deserve. I'm not really an Obama fan because a neoliberal is just a neocon wearing a blue blazer, but Obama was right and I gave him a lot more respect after he said it. ..."
"... I think the opioid crisis is caused by economic woes of the guy who can't get a living wage job. That problem isn't going away despite how well Trump says things are going (#2). Trickle down econ has never worked for the little guy and if the democrats nominate the right person, Trump will lose. ..."
Feb 18, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

Surrealistic -> libertate , 18 Feb 2019 08:55

I'm glad to take this opportunity to side with Wes here. I'm not against capitalism per se but unfettered free market capitalism is a disaster for everyone except the very few. The moves we've been making in that direction on both sides of the Atlantic over the past decades can clearly be shown to have concentrated wealth in the hands of the fewer and fewer. This is not a good thing.
memo10 -> Scott Anderson , 18 Feb 2019 05:44

But there is an opportunity for Democrats. Trump has made a serious mess by being divisive and a liar. Trump is a would be dictator. It is unlikely Trump will get reelected since a lot of people see him for the psychopath that he is. But he may get reelected if Democrats select a tone deaf person like Elizabeth Warren to lead them. She falsely claimed to be an Indian. She reminds me of Hillary Clinton.

Democrats need someone who does not have faults similar to Trump. Amy Klobuchar, Kamala Harris, or someone else may be the best choice. Democrats need to recognize how much of a disaster Hillary Clinton was for them.

Would there be any practical difference on issues between Kamala Harris and Hillary Clinton? She reminds me of Hillary a lot more than more than Warren does.

Warren's entire campaign will probably contain fewer P.R. fuckups than Trump does in any single week. I think people will get over her Native American mistake.

I know Trump has a nickname for Warren. He's gonna come up with nicknames for anyone he runs against. If that is a deal-breaker then Trump will be running unopposed.

memo10 -> libertate , 18 Feb 2019 05:21
Anyone who thinks truly unregulated Capitalism won't fuck the public, needs to go back to history class. It's been experimented with just like Communism has.

It failed for the same reason that Communism did -- you cannot make a few minor tweaks to human nature so the system works better. You have to work with human nature exactly the way it really is.

curiouswes -> libertate , 18 Feb 2019 03:25

Free market capitalism is a very simple concept: voluntary transactions among free people. This is what lifted the masses out of poverty, created the middle class

I disagree. This gave us the industrial revolution and the gilded age. It didn't give us the middle class. The unions did that and we wouldn't have needed the "new deal" if is wasn't for Wilson. Wilson gave us the great depression.

The reason I think of myself as a capitalist is because I want the means of production to stay with the private sector. Wilson gave monetary control to the private sector. I think fiscal and monetary control should have remained in the public sector.

Your idea of capitalism will wind up with all the money in the hands of a few (no middle class) because people can make more money without competition that with it. Deregulation leads to collision and the formation of cartels. The real hero was Teddy Roosevelt (not FDR). He was the trust buster. When two competitors form a trust, that isn't capitalism by the free market. Instead that is two capitalists trying to corner the market. That is a monopoly and together those two start to lock the small business man out of the market. It kills the middle class.

Scott Anderson , 18 Feb 2019 02:08
The reality is political parties don't do a good job governing. Trump is a train wreck. But there are a lot of Republicans who hate immigrants and black people. And that is his base. It is not just Republicans who push bad policy.

The Democrats push policies that also are bad policy. Affirmative action fundamentally is based on racism. It has not lead to a colorblind society and it serves as a convenient way to ignore problems rather than deal with them. Obamacare pushed expensive health care programs on people without cost controls. Democrats need to focus on infrastructure.

But there is an opportunity for Democrats. Trump has made a serious mess by being divisive and a liar. Trump is a would be dictator. It is unlikely Trump will get reelected since a lot of people see him for the psychopath that he is. But he may get reelected if Democrats select a tone deaf person like Elizabeth Warren to lead them. She falsely claimed to be an Indian. She reminds me of Hillary Clinton.

Democrats need someone who does not have faults similar to Trump. Amy Klobuchar, Kamala Harris, or someone else may be the best choice. Democrats need to recognize how much of a disaster Hillary Clinton was for them.

California has always been a leader among the States. Whether that continues remains to be seen. I hope it does.

The US may look weak right now to other countries. But I think that is a wrong conclusion. Our economy is strong despite poor political leadership over the last fifty years. Trump is an aberration. I don't see China overtaking the US. In particular, Xi Jinping will be dictator for life and he makes bad decisions. He likely will strike an alliance with Russia and find out too late that he made a mistake. Putin seeks to turn China into a colony. Democracy may not be pretty, but it auto-corrects itself over time.

libertate -> curiouswes , 18 Feb 2019 01:26

However "capitalism" isn't capitalism for the poor and socialism for the rich.

No, that is known as progressivism. Free market capitalism is a very simple concept: voluntary transactions among free people .

This is what lifted the masses out of poverty, created the middle class, and has not existed in the "free world" since Wilson saddled us with the income tax and the central bank (a.k.a the Federal Reserve) and FDR sealed the deal by imposing his fascist, disastrous New Deal.

I'm a self proclaimed capitalist.

Please. You said this just a few hours ago:

I am a self proclaimed capitalist. I detest deregulation and I'm pro union

Have you ever heard the term doublethink ?

You are no more a capitalist than I am an Etruscan. You are a big-government statist that likes just enough "free enterprise" to support the ruling class who will pass on some of their loot to whomever you think deserves it. You don't realize that "regulation" is a ruse to protect large business interests from competition while providing the appearance of accountability.

In other words, you are a progressive, just like most of the U.S. population, be they the left-wing Dems or so-called right-wing GOP.

Together, they have utterly corrupted and bankrupted the nation, just as leftists do everywhere and always when they seize control of a nation.

memo10 -> libertate , 17 Feb 2019 21:20

Given that socialists of one flavor or another slaughtered " https://fee.org/articles/death-by-government/?gclid=CjwKCAiAqaTjBRAdEiwAOdx9xnneMhaqvHwARaE8iFvo3WVN265UO8PYklsV_XOTpjoRd78M97ulYRoC7fQQAvD_BwE">slaughtered close to 170 million souls in the last century, I'm not sure "tribal" is the proper term.

To this day, one can walk the streets of major western cities and see ignorant barbarian leftists (or do I repeat myself) glorifying their favorite mass-murderers such as Lenin, Mao and Che on T-Shirts and windows.

And now, of course, in Congress, where borderline morons like AOC want to accomplish a "massive transformation of our society" via a "special panel" of commissars to dictate all aspects of the energy economy.

One can only speculate if during her Boston University education she was ever exposed to the terms "Bolshevik", "USSR", "Dictatorship of the Proletariat", "Purge", "Holodomor", and, particularly apropos, "Politburo" and "Cultural Revolution".

If she was, any lesson to be learned was clearly lost in the vacuous fog wafting about between her ears.

You can call the rejection and demonization of these wannabe totalitarian monsters, along with the "community organizers" and "educators" that taught them to be useful idiots "tribalism" if you like.

Those of us who actually know something of history and reality will just keep calling it "saving civilization

So I guess you hate the 1940s-70s America the.

This proposed "transformation of society" is not to a new form, it's to undo the right-wing transformation since Reagan.

We already tried it your way. We've done it for 40 years. Every time we got the opposite effect of what was promised, we tried doubling down harder on it. It just kept getting WORSE. It's time for the right wing to admit it that it has been a total trainwreck. If this was your idea of a good plan then your judgment is flawed.

Ideology < Facts

curiouswes -> apacheman , 17 Feb 2019 20:02

We agree on the plausibility of the scenario.

Great. we can have a rational conversation if you like

As for moving elsewhere, why should we?

You shouldn't. if you love the constitution then stay and fight for her. Your posts were sounding like you were trying to get around her. Seemed like it would just be easier to move away. We need help. Rational people can help. Patriotic Americans will help
curiouswes -> libertate , 17 Feb 2019 19:20
I call it tribalism when one wishes to see things as either supply-side econ or socialism. I'm a self proclaimed capitalist. I just don't think deregulation will lead to anywhere other than where Marx said it would.

Socialism isn't the answer per se because it doesn't work as well as capitalism. However "capitalism" isn't capitalism for the poor and socialism for the rich. Capitalism is only self regulating when competition is preserved, so if the people at the top believe "competition is a sin" the so called free market isn't free any more. If you can talk about that, you aren't being tribal. If you cannot, reason isn't really a part of this. It is more about whose side you are on and less about who is trying to look at this using reason.

I hate totalitarianism

TheBorderGuard -> curiouswes , 17 Feb 2019 17:13

Unfortunately the way the democrats silenced Omar, I'm betting they have no intention of nominating somebody that can beat Trump.

I don't think Ilhan Omar was silenced, only (and justly) criticised for her use of anti-Semitic tropes. Criticism of the Israeli government's actions and policies, OTOH, are fair game. And I do think Trump will be defeated in 2020. There are some serious, solid Democratic candidates on offer, and I think one of them will get the nomination. (I'm backing John Delaney , BTW.)

curiouswes -> apacheman , 17 Feb 2019 13:48

What I've been discussing is the feasibility of seceding and the reasons for it.

I would argue that it is definitely feasible. However I don't think it is plausible. There are a few different directions you could go and I don't think you are picking the path that is:
1. most likely to succeed and
2. the least painful whether it is successful or not

Why you want to secede is well articulated even if I don't agree. If you want what you want, take the best means in order to achieve the goal. For example, if you like authoritarianism, wouldn't it be easier to move to China rather than risk killing a bunch of people and doing it your way? You say you like the constitution but instead of learning about who is messing with it, you assume the people with whom you agree, don't threaten it. They do. They don't like the 2nd amendment. They don't like the electoral college. They'd just as soon rewrite the constitution rather than read it first.

apacheman -> curiouswes , 17 Feb 2019 12:47
Average white Americans support the GOP because the average white American fears facing minorities as a minority themselves, because they know how they've treated others.

You know, that "Do unto others" thing? That's what a large lot white Americans fear, and why they support the GOP. The ones who don't tend to live in California and other West Coast states.

curiouswes -> Kennyryan1 , 17 Feb 2019 08:54
In has final state of the union address, Obama told the people that they get the government they deserve. I'm not really an Obama fan because a neoliberal is just a neocon wearing a blue blazer, but Obama was right and I gave him a lot more respect after he said it.
  1. Some people just want to be told the truth.
  2. Others don't even care what the truth is.

I think the opioid crisis is caused by economic woes of the guy who can't get a living wage job. That problem isn't going away despite how well Trump says things are going (#2). Trickle down econ has never worked for the little guy and if the democrats nominate the right person, Trump will lose.

Unfortunately the way the democrats silenced Omar , I'm betting they have no intention of nominating somebody that can beat Trump. Both parties are in bed with AIPAC. That means their constituents come second and the rationally thinking person isn't inspired by the democrats.

curiouswes -> PepperoniPizza , 17 Feb 2019 01:37

Why is that so hard for people to grasp?

its the media; they are brainwashing people and it is working. if there was no free internet, they'd have an excuse, but anybody with access to the G ought to know better. The media BS doesn't stand up in the face of honest debate and hyperlinks.

this 2 hour interview sheds so much light on things inquiring minds would like to know, imho.

curiouswes -> apacheman , 17 Feb 2019 01:27

Most of the rest chose to cast their lot with Trump and the Republicans, and with supply-side economics and trickle down, with predictable and predicted results.

I'm not a supply sider, but I am a self proclaimed capitalist. I detest deregulation and I'm pro union. Trump should have been impeached the day he went on TV and told why he fired Comey.
1. The media is broken
2. Congress is broken

It may be a better chess move to try to fix what is broken (don't expect a broken Congress to impeach Trump), instead of trying to make an enemy of the most powerful military on earth by trying to leave the union. You don't have the legal right nor the military means to pull that off.

curiouswes -> TheBorderGuard , 17 Feb 2019 01:16

Where do you get your news from?

first thing I found: https://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasdelbeccaro/2018/04/19/the-top-four-reasons-california-is-unsustainable/#9f461533a239

[Feb 13, 2019] The guardian "stands by the story" by censoring critical comments, while never bothering to try to defend the actual reporting

What "pretzelattack" does not understand is for whom Luke Harding actually works. Intelligence agencies control The Guardian and shape forums in the direction they consider beneficial.
Notable quotes:
"... As far as upholding our Community Standards is concerned, The Guardian has decided to stand by the article and thus The Guardian views comments such as yours as misrepresentation. ..."
Feb 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

pretzelattack , Feb 13, 2019 11:07:59 AM | link

fu guardian.
Hello "pretzelattack",

When you take issue with Editorial decisions of the Guardian, the Moderation team is the wrong place to address it. You would have better luck following the procedures outlined on https://www.theguardian.com/info/complaints-and-corrections.

As far as upholding our Community Standards is concerned, The Guardian has decided to stand by the article and thus The Guardian views comments such as yours as misrepresentation.

There is also the matter that most of your removed comments are Off Topic for the discussions on which you post them, which breaches point 8 of our Community Standards.

8. Keep it relevant. We know that some conversations can be wide-ranging, but if you post something which is unrelated to the original topic ("off-topic") then it may be removed, in order to keep the thread on track. This also applies to queries or comments about moderation, which should not be posted as comments.

Premoderation is usually only a temporary measure. Post consistently in line with the community standards you agreed to abide by when creating your account and the sanction will be lifted and full commenting privileges restored to your account. Post consistently against the spirit of the community standards and you risk a permanent ban.

Best wishes

Meg,

Community Moderator

Links: The Guardian's Community Standards & FAQs

This was about the blatant bullshit, by Luke Harding, about Assange and manning meeting at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

"The guardian stands by the story" by censoring critical comments, while never bothering to try to defend the actual reporting.

Of course, that would be difficult since there is no evidence that Manafort somehow whisked himself (maybe a dr. who tardis) in and out of one of the most heavily surveilled sites in the world.

"Independent journalism" at its finest.

[Feb 11, 2019] Neoliberalism has caused 'misery and division', Bernie Fraser says Business The Guardian

Feb 10, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

Political ideologies appear to have contributed to inequality and disadvantage in Australia in that time, he argues.

Fraser in large part blames "neoliberalism" and its influence on policymaking for the "disconnect between Australia's impressive economic growth story and its failure on so many markers to show progress towards a better, fairer society".

"Favouring the market system ahead of the state system, and individual interests ahead of community interests, can lead to profoundly unfair social outcomes.

ss="rich-link"> More than three million Australians living in poverty, Acoss report reveals Read more

"Those unable to afford access to decent standards of housing, healthcare, and other essential services have to settle for inferior arrangements, or go without."

Fraser says charitable organisations see the effects of "real poverty" that result in "misery, anxiety and loss of self-esteem of mothers unable to put food on the table for their kids, of old and young homeless people, and the victims of domestic violence and drug overdoses".

Fraser summarises the key thrusts of neoliberalism as "the pursuit of the lowest possible rates of income and most other taxes and the maximum restraint on government interventions and spending programs".

Evidence in Australia and overseas shows the influence of neoliberalism on fiscal policy "and the misery and social polarisation that has come with it", he says.

The global financial crisis "should have" marked a tipping point, when the "idealised view of financial markets being self-regulating" was shattered. While Australia "avoided the worst traumas of the GFC" with prompt fiscal and monetary policy responses, in Europe "taxes were increased and spending programs slashed", resulting in a further five or six years of severe recession.

Fraser says that all political ideologies -- taken to extremes -- can be divisive and cause damage, including an ideology "based on a state system".

But the former Reserve Bank governor focuses on neoliberalism because it "remains in vogue". The Morrison government "continues to reaffirm its over-riding commitment to lower taxation, and to assert that this is the best way to increase investment, jobs and economic growth" - despite the lack of evidence to support the theory .

Although Fraser recognises that politics never can or should be taken out of policymaking, he suggests the best course is to "hammer away" at flaws of particular approaches.

For example, Fraser praises "the avoidance of costly tax cuts accruing to large corporations" as a positive development -- referring to the Turnbull government abandoning the big business component of its $50bn 10-year company tax cut plan.

He suggests the "quick done-deal" of Labor signing up to the Coalition's proposed acceleration of the cut to taxes on small and medium business was an example that "political interests are always lurking nearby".

In a separate presentation Keating -- who headed PM&C from 1991 to 1996 -- warns the government's promise to cap expenditure while simultaneously cutting taxes and returning the budget to surplus is based on overly optimistic assumptions of growth in GDP, wages and productivity.

ss="rich-link"> Why are stock markets falling and how far will they go? Read more

According to Keating, the government must stop assuming there have been no structural changes in the relationship between unemployment and the rate of wage increases.

He notes that predictions of a tightening labour market leading to higher wages are predicated on assumptions of growth averaging 3% or as much as 3.5%.

He will also say a sustained return to past rates of economic growth will be impossible unless we can ensure a reasonably equitable distribution of income, involving a faster rate of wage increases, especially for the low-paid.


Matt Quinn , 19 Oct 2018 12:33

Excellent that neoliberalism is being put under the spotlight. To fully understand it, and the root causes of its "thrusts", one need only refer to its history, helpfully chronicled by economist Mason Gaffney in his little known but devastating 1994 work The Corruption of Economics . It begins:

Neoclassical economics is the idiom of most economic discourse today. It is the paradigm that bends the twigs of young minds. Then it confines the florescence of older ones, like chicken-wire shaping a topiary.

It took form about a hundred years ago, when Henry George and his reform proposals were a clear and present political danger and challenge to the landed and intellectual establishments of the world.

Few people realize to what degree the founders of Neo-classical economics changed the discipline for the express purpose of deflecting George and frustrating future students seeking to follow his arguments.

It can be argued that the 20th century was a disastrous wrong-turn leading to the subversion of a rising economic democracy for the benefit of rent-takers. Unnecessary privation, war and destruction of the living world were it's necessary consequence, but it's not to late to revisit the keen insights of a (deliberately) forgotten genius like Henry George.

How Land Barons, Industrialists and Bankers Corrupted Economics , Dierdre Kent 2016.

In a nutshell, Land (aka nature) causes Wealth causes Money for some definition of wealth and money:
What Money is : Seven Deadly Innocent Frauds of Economic Policy , Mosler 2010 P1.
What Wealth is : Progress and Poverty , Henry George 1879, esp intro, ch3, 17.
How we got to Now : The Corruption of Economics , Mason Gaffney 1994 p 29-44. Excellent Prologue by Fred Harrison: Who's Afraid of Henry George? .

For sincere and willing truth-seekers, this short list cannot fail to deeply reward even a cursory treatment.

petesweetbix -> FelixKruell , 19 Oct 2018 04:00
And you appear not to understand the difference between an "average" and a "median". The median measure the mid-point, above and below which 50% of the sample population falls. The average is just an average over all, and become increasingly different from the median, the more the inequalities (i.e., skewness of the distribution) increase. This is precisely what has happened in most western societies since the 1980s. The report mentions AVERAGE wealth, but this hides a large spread, with large increases at the top, while the bottom 10 to 20% in most western societies have almost nothing, and have not seen their new wealth increase for decades. How can it, if you don't own a house and don't have shares/super, etc.?? I think you are generalising too much from your own (probably limited) social circle and experiences.
MobileAtheist -> PieSwine , 17 Oct 2018 23:54
Your welcome, yes its an informative site, I might add, Neo-liberalism is only half the problem Globalisation goes hand in hand with it and both are supported if not controlled by the IMF, with the aim of crushing the working people of third world nations, and the ALP explicitly support Globalisation whilst emphatically deny involvement with Neoliberalism.
justdreamingguss , 17 Oct 2018 06:21
Wages have stagnated and corporate profits have soared! Privatisation of public assets and corporatization in this capitalist system, is the biggest fail of all times for the majority of our society! Back in my day, If there were two working, (Which there wasn't) my wage was enough to own my own house in 2.8 years.
The system is defunct and fucked!
justdreamingguss , 17 Oct 2018 05:52
Neoliberalism seems to be a nice name, conjured up by a nasty think tank. given to a system that enhances massive profits for the few. A system that allows public owned assets (Infrastructure) to be sold at devalued prices and a system where people are to be considered as a commodity, with those of no use to their system being skinned and left out to dry.
RUSiriUs , 17 Oct 2018 05:29
I have been hammering the same line for years now, it so good to have someone as articulate and respected as Bernie Fraser damning neoliberalism for what it is as an economic cover story for implementing right-wing ideology. Trickle down theory has been routinely assessed as a failure to deliver equity and as a result the LNP are polarising society.
HofBrisbane , 17 Oct 2018 04:34
When neoliberalism is broken down, it's just the same old chestnut of socialism for the privileged (via lobbying to create an environment best for rent seekers) and capitalism for the rest of us where if we fail, too bad so sad.
Friarbird , 17 Oct 2018 04:18
Neoliberalism is fraud.
It is the speedo wound back, that 'glorious beachside situation' under water, a pea-and-thimble trick to baffle and fleece the suckers.
Being the creation of Libertarians, it has their trademark ideological motivation, a visceral loathing of government, in whatever form.
That determination to demonise and even dismantle govt is made plain by Neoliberalism's numerous facilitating porkies, pushed as the unvarnished truth.
One example.
Neoliberal ideologues dogmatically insist the Commonwealth needs to somehow 'borrow' to fund the deficit.
This assertion has no basis in reality.
It is a whopper designed to serve the needs of ideology, nothing more.
For Neoliberal ideologues, this piece of deceit kicks two significant goals.
First, it enables them to depict govt as so inherently inefficient, so inept, it cannot even raise dollar one of the very currency which it is allegedly controls.
Down, down goes disgraced govt.
From where can it obtain the desperately-needed funds?
Here comes the second goal.
To fund the deficit, the C' wealth goes crawling, cap-in-hand, to the private sector.
Fearless, freedom-loving, shit-hot-and-shiny private sector !
But it's total myth.
The Commonwealth is a sovereign currency issuer.
Ergo sum, it always has its own money, AUD.
Saying it needs to borrow something it creates and controls-- and of which it has an infinite supply-- only makes sense as a propaganda-driven porkie.

It's like claiming you need to borrow somebody else's piss.

20reeds , 17 Oct 2018 03:28
Neoliberalism (ie rule market forces) is a binary system - it produces winners and losers.

The winners are those paid to lobby, write the legislation, secure the profits, get the shares, run the corporations, the banks, the accountancies, the insurers etc.

The losers are the majority us who remain outside in the cold. The winners are not going to change their ways and why should they - they hold the power and we the masses pose no threat to them.

Its way past time that those who are not winning in this binary game started to threaten the winners. This is what McManus is doing with her ACTU 'change the rules' campaign - it is seriously threatening the neoliberal agenda.

The Wentworth by-election is threatening the Morrison neoliberal coalition with annihilation and just might be the turning point for Australians to take back their democracy and their economy from the thieves who hold power.

Banter76 -> Lovedogg , 17 Oct 2018 03:12
No. With a couple of exceptions the communities that delivered the highest Brexit vote tended to have the least migrants.

I am advocating Social Democracy, a mixed economy where there is a private sector and a state sector and more state intervention to stop communities being 'left behind'. Investment in education & training and renationalisation of natural monopolies such as water and rail is what's needed in the UK.

For far too long all the mainstream MSM including the BBC and this paper have acted as a propaganda machine for the Neoliberal outsourcing of workers to undermine salaries while putting money into the off shore accounts of fat cats.

Meanwhile the Mail, Sky & Sun (Murdoch) and Express, LBC radio have jumped on the opportunity of a divided Britain to encourage hatred of the other.

Colinn -> FelixKruell , 17 Oct 2018 02:01
I used to buy crap chinese marine ply, my new supplier has Australian made, high quality marine ply for 2/3 the price. I always prefer to keep my money local.
2/3 of Australia isn't surviving, they're drowning, not waving.
It is about the 1% who think robbing the poor is good business. The strongest economy in Australia was when wage growth was good. Businesses only look at their small picture and the larger economy is none of their concern. Business has been able to buy politicians for their own profit, not the good of the country.
RobLeighton , 17 Oct 2018 01:58
Obviously, everything is horrible in Australia these days and is getting worse.
Even though Australia is ranked #3 on the Human Development Index out of some
192 countries and has an awesomely high per capita GDP. Australia is also among the
most respected, most reputable countries on the planet and has 3 cities in the top 10
of best cities in the world to live in. Other than that, it is horrible there.
Banter76 , 17 Oct 2018 01:31
"Favouring the market system ahead of the state system, and individual interests ahead of community interests, can lead to profoundly unfair social outcomes"

Australians take note. Neoliberalism has led to the rise of the far right in the UK and across EU countries. Doesn't help that people like Murdoch encourage finger pointing at foreigners while supporting the right-wing economic policies creating the massive division and job insecurity.

PieSwine -> CosmoCrawley , 16 Oct 2018 23:14
Neo-liberalism: low taxes to encourage employment; deregulation of labour market and business "red-tape" and privatisation of public assets and utilities. You may also throw in an unhealthy obsession with micro economics and interest rates.

All of which have been shown to have negligible impact on their stated goals (see lower taxes) and have been terrible for consumers, workers and society.

daveinbalmain -> Foxlike , 16 Oct 2018 23:09
Seventy years (give or take) have passed since the end of WW2.

In Europe, the first half of that period could broadly be described as social democracy, the second as neo-liberal.

To your point Fox, let's see the data on a simple line chart:

Real individual wages per capita
GDP per capita
National indebtedness
Private indebtedness

I'm willing to be corrected but I'd bet you London to a brick that the social democratic shits all over the neo-liberal from a great height when it comes to improvements in these core data.

HellBrokeLuce -> leon depope , 16 Oct 2018 22:26
That's it.. the world moved to the right back in the mid to late 80's ..as the Soviet Union collapsed ..and the wall came down.

Now both Russia and China are on the free market merry go round.. except that they keep controls on certain aspects .. of the economy, an iron fist control, taking advantage and abusing the free market to meet their own ends. Conservatism is about individualism .. as put forward by Howard.. aspirational to achieve for yourself.. Nothing to do with your community. That's why they hate the UN.. generally and particularly in regards to climate change.. the world acting as one community for the benefit of all communities.. So they want to build walls.. trade barriers... it's all characterized as impinging on the countries sovereignty.. The interesting thing is ..that back in the 80's ..the left was all about protectionism.. and isolationist policy. So to speak.. now Trump wants to turn back the clock.. 40 years or so. It's a bit late for that.

So...never give conservatism a chance. Actually..the inevitable consequence of climate change making the world re calibrate economics ..through sustainability, not greed first, will put and end to conservatism. It's a high price to pay.. but I have no doubt it will happen.

Pararto , 16 Oct 2018 22:25
Income is important, but it has been the progressive concentration of wealth that is causing the real damage and polarization. If we no longer belong in the same society, if we no longer care for others as being our own, if we no longer look at other living things as our relations, then we are looking into a catastrophic void.

[Feb 10, 2019] Neoliberalism is dead. Now let's repair our democratic institutions by Richard Denniss

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The opposite of a neoliberal economic agenda isn't a progressive economic agenda, but democratic re-engagement. Neoliberalism taught us that "there is no alternative" to cutting taxes, cutting services and letting the banks treat us as they see fit. But of course not even the Coalition believes that any more. These days they proudly subsidise their friends and regulate their enemies in order to reshape Australia in their preferred form. ..."
"... While the hypocrisy is staggering, at least voters can now see that politics, and elections, matter. Having been told for decades that it was "global markets" that shaped our society, it's now clear that it is actually the likes of Barnaby Joyce and Tony Abbott who decide whether we get new coal mines or power stations. Luckily, millions of voters now realise that if it's OK to subsidise new coal mines, there's no reason we can't subsidise renewables instead. ..."
"... So, what to nationalise? What new machinery of state should we build first? Should we create a national anti-corruption watchdog, replace the productivity commission with a national interest commission, or abolish the failed network of finance sector regulators and build a new one from scratch? ..."
"... The death of neoliberalism means we can finally have a national debate about the size and role of government, and the shape of the economy and society we want to build. ..."
"... class warfare (by the rich against the 99%, though I should not need to say that) is still very much alive. ..."
"... The rise of nationalism is indeed worrying situation.. but its clear that mass discontent is driving a 'shift' away from the status quo and that opportunists of every creed are all trying to get in on the action.. ..."
"... the elephant in the room that no one wants to discuss is population growth and lack of natural resources and meaningful 'employment' .. which self serving politicians are exploiting via playing the fear card and creating further division in society in order to embrace and increase their own power. Further more, no one, it seems, has any valid answers as regards resolving the division and creating a path forward.. thereby making more conflict an inevitability. ..."
"... Like Octopus, the globalists have every one of their eight legs in a different pot of gold. On their arms, suction cups maintain an iron grip. Trying to pull those suckers out, leaves us raw and bleeding. To release their grip, without hurting ourselves, we must aim for the brain. ..."
"... Murdoch's media empire has arms in every Democracy on earth. As his poisonous ink spread across our lands, we wallowed in the dark. ..."
"... The Oil and Coal Tycoons have arms in every black hole on earth. As their suckers pull black gold from the land beneath our feet, we choke on the air we breathe. ..."
"... The Financial Tyrants have arms in our buildings, factories, farms and homes. Their suckers stripped our pockets bare and we ran out of money. ..."
"... The False Prophets spread their arms into our private lives. Their suckers turned our modest, humble faiths into global empires filled with mega-churches, televangelists, jet-setting preachers and evangelical armies Hell bent on disruption and destruction. ..."
"... Neoliberalism may be dead but the former Trotskyites who invented it are still alive and they still have an agenda. ..."
"... Neo Liberalism was a project cooked up back in the late 1970s by the Capital owning classes & enacted by successive govts of "right" or "left" ever since. They feared the growing power of the working & middle classes which they felt threatened their own power & wealth. So they set out to destroy any ability of the working class to organise & to gut the middle class. ..."
"... Key to this was decoupling wages from productivity & forcing us all into debt peonage. Deregulation of the financial markets & the globalization of capital markets, disastorous multilateral trade deals & off shoring jobs, slashing state social programmes, Union busting laws all part of the plan. All covered with a lie that we live in meritocracies & the "best & brightest" are in charge. The result has been evermore riches funneled to the wealthiest few percent & a wealth gap bigger than that of the gilded age ..."
"... The majority press are so organised around the idea that neoliberalism in the sense captured economically and to some extent socially as construed in the article above; ..."
"... Rumours of neoliberalism's death have been somewhat exaggerated. Its been on life support provided by the LNP since John Howard and there are still a few market fundamentalists lurking in the ranks of the ALP, just waiting for their chance to do New Labor MkII in memory of Paul Keating. ..."
"... Neoliberalism's lasting legacy will not be the ludicrous economic programs, privatizations and deregulation, those can all be rolled back if some party would grow a spine. The real damage was caused by the aping of the US and UK's cult of individual responsibility, the atomizing effects of neoliberal anti-social policy and demonization of collective action including unionism. ..."
Oct 31, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

The opposite of a neoliberal economic agenda isn't a progressive economic agenda, but democratic re-engagement. Neoliberalism taught us that "there is no alternative" to cutting taxes, cutting services and letting the banks treat us as they see fit. But of course not even the Coalition believes that any more. These days they proudly subsidise their friends and regulate their enemies in order to reshape Australia in their preferred form.

While the hypocrisy is staggering, at least voters can now see that politics, and elections, matter. Having been told for decades that it was "global markets" that shaped our society, it's now clear that it is actually the likes of Barnaby Joyce and Tony Abbott who decide whether we get new coal mines or power stations. Luckily, millions of voters now realise that if it's OK to subsidise new coal mines, there's no reason we can't subsidise renewables instead.

Neoliberalism: the idea that swallowed the world Read more

The parliament is filling with people of all political persuasions who, if nothing else, decry the neoliberal agenda to shrink our government and our national vision. While there's obviously quite a distance between MPs who want to build the nation, one new coal mine at a time, and those who want to fill our cities with renewable energy, the whole purpose of democracy is to settle such disputes at the ballot box.

The Liberals want to nationalise coal-fired power stations and pour public money into Snowy 2.0 . The ALP want much bigger renewable energy targets and to collect more revenue by closing billions of dollars in tax-loopholes . The Greens want a publicly owned bank and some unions are pushing to nationalise aged care. It's never been a more exciting time to support a bigger role for government.

So, what to nationalise? What new machinery of state should we build first? Should we create a national anti-corruption watchdog, replace the productivity commission with a national interest commission, or abolish the failed network of finance sector regulators and build a new one from scratch?

... ... ...

The death of neoliberalism means we can finally have a national debate about the size and role of government, and the shape of the economy and society we want to build. But we need to do more than talk about tax and regulation. Australia is one of the oldest parliamentary democracies in the world, and we once helped lead the world in the design of democratic institutions and the creation of an open democratic culture. Let's not allow the legacy of neoliberalism to be a cynical belief that there is no point repairing and rebuilding the democratic institutions that ensure not just our economy thrives, but our society as well. A quick look around the world provides clear evidence that there really are a lot of alternatives.

Richard Denniss is chief economist for the Australia Institute


R_Ambrose_Raven , 1 Nov 2018 16:38

Mmmm, well, class warfare (by the rich against the 99%, though I should not need to say that) is still very much alive.

Globalisation-driven financial deregulation was commenced here by Hawke Labor from 1983 as a Laberal facade for the Australian chapter of the transnational ruling class policy of self-enrichment. It was sold to the aspirationals as the ever-popular This Will Make You Rich - as ever-rising house prices did, for home-owners then (paid for now through housing unaffordability for their descendants). Then, transnational capital was able to loot both aspirationals' productivity gains (easily 10% of GDP) plus usurious interest from the borrowings made by the said aspirationals (easily 6% of GDP) to keep up with the Joneses. Now, it loots 90% of all increases in GDP, leaving just 10% in crumbs from the filthy rich man's table for 15 million workers to share.

We don't notice as much as we should, because the mainstream (mainly but not only Murdoch) media is very good at persuading us - then and now - that there is nothing to see. It is a tool of that transnational class, its role being to manufacture our consent to our own exploitation. Thus they play the man because it is politically easier than open demands that the public be robbed. In the case of penalty rates, thus adopting the obvious hypocrisy of which "The Australian" accuses Shorten. Or they play the woman, in the case of the ferocious, relentless media vilification of Julia Gillard and Gillard Labor – five years after the demonization of Gillard Labor's Great Big New (Carbon) Tax, the need for one is now almost universally accepted. Or they play the players, hence a focus on Dutton's challenge that pretends that he has meaningful policies.

Labor's class traitors clearly intended to aggressively apply the standard neoliberal model – look at how it helps their careers after politics (ask Anna Blight)! Shorten is not working to promote some progressive agenda, he is doing as little as possible, and expects to simply be voted into The Lodge as a committed servant of transnational capitalism.

Colinn -> bushranga , 1 Nov 2018 16:14
Wait till the revolution comes and we get the bastards up against the wall.
Colinn , 1 Nov 2018 15:53
I stopped voting 40 years ago because the voting system is mathematically rigged to favor the duopoly. Until a large number of minor parties can share their preferences and beat the majors, which is now starting to happen. This is not just voting for a good representative, but voting against the corrupt parties. A minority government should lead to proper debate in parliament. More women will lead to lower levels of testosterone fuelled sledging and better communication. A "Coalition of Representative Independents" could form government in the future, leading by consensus and constantly listening to the community.
tjt77 -> BlueThird , 1 Nov 2018 11:35
The rise of nationalism is indeed worrying situation.. but its clear that mass discontent is driving a 'shift' away from the status quo and that opportunists of every creed are all trying to get in on the action..

The big nut to crack is HOW do we collectively find sane and honest leadership ? A huge part of the problem is the ongoing trend of disdain for government in favor of embracing private monopolies as the be all and end all for solving the ongoing societal rift. .. which has created a centralization of wealth and the power that that wealth yields.. allied to the fact that huge swaths of the population in EVERY nation were hiding when the brains were allocated.. and hence are very easy to dupe..

the elephant in the room that no one wants to discuss is population growth and lack of natural resources and meaningful 'employment' .. which self serving politicians are exploiting via playing the fear card and creating further division in society in order to embrace and increase their own power. Further more, no one, it seems, has any valid answers as regards resolving the division and creating a path forward.. thereby making more conflict an inevitability.

MeRaffey , 1 Nov 2018 08:05
Like Octopus, the globalists have every one of their eight legs in a different pot of gold. On their arms, suction cups maintain an iron grip. Trying to pull those suckers out, leaves us raw and bleeding. To release their grip, without hurting ourselves, we must aim for the brain.

Murdoch's media empire has arms in every Democracy on earth. As his poisonous ink spread across our lands, we wallowed in the dark.

The Oil and Coal Tycoons have arms in every black hole on earth. As their suckers pull black gold from the land beneath our feet, we choke on the air we breathe.

The Financial Tyrants have arms in our buildings, factories, farms and homes. Their suckers stripped our pockets bare and we ran out of money.

The False Prophets spread their arms into our private lives. Their suckers turned our modest, humble faiths into global empires filled with mega-churches, televangelists, jet-setting preachers and evangelical armies Hell bent on disruption and destruction.

Denniss offers us the cure! Start thinking fresh and new and starve the globalists to death. They fed us BS, we ate BS and now we are mal-nourished. We need good, healthy ideas.

Land. Infrastructure. Time.

Time - "WE" increased productivity and the globalists stole the rewards. Time to increase our FREE time. 32 hours is the NEW full time. Pay us full time wages, give us full time benefits, and reduce our work days by 20% and suddenly we have 20% more jobs. As the incomes of billionaires drop, the money in circulation will increase. We are the job creators - not globalists.

21st Century Infrastructure is about healthy human beings - not the effing economy. Think healthcare, education, senior care and child care. If we find out you have sent your money off-shore, your local taxes will increase by ten. So please, do, send your money off-shore - our cities and towns would love to increase taxes on your stores, offices and real estate by ten.

No more caps on taxes. If you are a citizen, you pay social taxes on every dime you get. In America you will be paying 15.3% of every dollar to social security. That's $153,000.00 a year for every million dollars you take out of our economy.

Land is not something you put in a museum, lock away in a vault, or wear on your neck. Think fresh and new. If you own land, you are responsible for meeting community rules.

No more empty, weed filled lots allowed. If you have empty land, you better put in a nice garden, pretty trees and walkways or we will do it for you and employ "eminent-domain" on your bank accounts to pay for it.

No more empty buildings. If you own an empty building you will put it to good use, or we will do it for you - and keep the profits to fund our local governments, schools, hospitals, and senior/child care centers.

No more slumlords allowed. We have basic standards, for everyone. If we catch you renting a slum to anyone, we will make repairs for you, and if you do not pay the bill, we will put a lien on your building and wait until you sell it to pay ourselves back.

We do not trust you big-box types anymore. If you want to build your mega-store in our cities, towns or communities, you must, first, deposit the entire cost of tearing it down, and landscaping a park, or playground when you leave. While you stay, we will invest your deposit in index funds and assure ourselves enough money down the road.

Sorry you BIG guys and gals, but you will find our countries are very expensive places for you to invest. We put our families, our neighborhoods and our lives first.

Proselytiser -> FarmerDave , 1 Nov 2018 07:30
That would be fantastic.

However - and it's a big however - there is a very real danger that at the next election the libs will again win by default due to the fact that many traditional labour voters are defecting to the greens instead. Sadly, LNP supporters are a lot less likely to vote green. Our best hope is to wipe the LNP out at the next election by voting labour, and then at the election after that establishing the greens in opposition. It is unfortunatly unlikely to happen at the next election....and I just hope that voters in certain seats understand that by voting for the greens they might be in fact unwittingly handing the reins back to the least green party of all: the LNP.

childofmine , 1 Nov 2018 04:04
Neoliberalism may be dead but the former Trotskyites who invented it are still alive and they still have an agenda.
Idiotgods , 1 Nov 2018 03:25
Neo Liberalism was a project cooked up back in the late 1970s by the Capital owning classes & enacted by successive govts of "right" or "left" ever since. They feared the growing power of the working & middle classes which they felt threatened their own power & wealth. So they set out to destroy any ability of the working class to organise & to gut the middle class.

Key to this was decoupling wages from productivity & forcing us all into debt peonage. Deregulation of the financial markets & the globalization of capital markets, disastorous multilateral trade deals & off shoring jobs, slashing state social programmes, Union busting laws all part of the plan. All covered with a lie that we live in meritocracies & the "best & brightest" are in charge. The result has been evermore riches funneled to the wealthiest few percent & a wealth gap bigger than that of the gilded age

Phalaris -> fabfreddy , 1 Nov 2018 03:18
The essential infrastructure to ensure a base level quality of life for all. Really it's not difficult. What are you afraid of?
Phalaris , 1 Nov 2018 03:15
The majority press are so organised around the idea that neoliberalism in the sense captured economically and to some extent socially as construed in the article above; as normal and natural that nothing can be done. As the system folds we see in its place Brexit, neoconservatism, Trump.

This is not new found freedom or Liberatarianism but a post liberal world where decency and open mindedness and open nuanced debate take a a back seat to populism and demagoguery.

Citizen0 , 1 Nov 2018 00:52
The whole purpose of Anglophone liberal democracy has been twofold: 1. to establish and protect private property rights and 2. TO guarantee some individual liberties. Guess who benefits from the enshrinement of private property rights as absolute? Big owners, and you know who they are. ... Individual tights are just not that sacred, summon the latest bogeyman, and they can be shrunken or tossed.
Alan Ritchie , 31 Oct 2018 22:24
Neoliberalism, the economic stablemate of big religion's Prosperity Evangelism cult. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosperity_theology . Dual streams of bull shit to confuse the citizens while the Country's immense wealth is stolen.
PaulC_Fitzroy -> Bearmuchly , 31 Oct 2018 22:19
I certainly agree with you.

It seems there's been a turning point recently though in the ideas of neoliberalism, as pointed out by Denniss that suddenly it's okay for all and sundry to talk about nationalising industries and infrastructure. It will probably take a couple of decades to turn things around in practical ways. And there are surely plenty of powerful supporters of the ideas of neoliberalism still around.

HonestQuestion , 31 Oct 2018 19:00
Is neo-liberalism really dead or is it wishful thinking?
If neo-liberalism really is on the decline in Australia, all i can say is bravo to Australia, use this opportunity to build a stronger government and regain the terrain that was lost during the TINA (there is no alternative) years.
Here in Canada neo-liberalism is stronger than ever, maybe because of the proximity to the cancerous tumor at the south, so when i read this article, i did it with a bit of skepticism but also with a bit of envy and a bit of hope for the future.
MrTallangatta , 31 Oct 2018 18:58
Neoliberalism is *not* dead, and it is counter-productive to claim that it is. It is clearly the driver of what passes for policy by the LNP government. Just as trickle-down economics remains as the basis of the government's economic actions.
sangela -> mikedow , 31 Oct 2018 18:50
I love it!!
Nintiblue , 31 Oct 2018 18:48
It will look like it's dead when back bone services and infrastructure utilities are returned to public ownership.

Those things are not fit for market style private ownership for a few big reasons:

They are by their nature natural monopolies (so a market private ownership won't work and will rapidly creep up prices of reduced service precisely because they not in a natural market context.

These core services and utilities are mega scale operations beyond a natural market ROI value.

These core sovereign services and utilities, are nation critical to the national economy and political stability. The last thing we want to do is hand that sovereign power over to private control.

PaulMan , 31 Oct 2018 18:47
Australia is a very fortunate country. It enjoys national sovereignty, unshackled by crippling bonds to anything like the neoliberal EU. It is thus able to concentrate on solving its own issues.
StephenO -> ildfluer , 31 Oct 2018 18:47
When The Guardian's editorial staff goes down to Guatamala City, they can stand on a soap box in front of Subway sandwich or McDonalds or Radio Shack.

Europe doesn't do socialism. It's a capitalist system with a high rate of taxes to support a generous social welfare.

sangela -> Matt4720 , 31 Oct 2018 18:46
Jane is too radical and progressive for Warringah...maybe they don't know that?
sangela , 31 Oct 2018 18:45
Great article. Must say that we do have more than one vote per electorate. They're called preference votes. Kerryn Phelps get 23% of the primary PLUS a heap of preferences! But a proportional system would change a whole lot of results
ildfluer -> Matt4720 , 31 Oct 2018 18:41
Yes. But only if she relinquishes her British citizenship in time.
Fred1 -> Alpo88 , 31 Oct 2018 18:38
Firstly we are not in America. America is a basket case and has been since, well, forever.

Secondly the so called "housing crisis" is a simple consequence of a growing population. In the 1950s there were just 8m people in Australia, there 10m in the 1960s and 12m in the 1970s. And, no, neo-liebralism didn't cause the growing population. People having sex and living longer caused the growing population. It is therefore all the more remarkable that we have actually built enough houses to house a population which has doubled in size.

Thirdly, in the last 30 years 1 billion people have been lifted out of poverty. When you talk about huge, unprecedented, un-fucking-believable levels of poverty, super-massive inequality, dissatisfaction (Really? This is now a measure?), unemployment/sub-employment and casualization, collapse (collapse?) of public services, high(er) costs of living.....do you think you're being a little overly dramatic?

Do you really think it all comes to back to one silly economic theory?

Nothing to do with the reality of automation, globalisation, growing populations and the realities of living in 2018 rather than 1978?

Are voters around the world going hard against Neoliberalism? (I note it's now a capitalised term).

In the US they voted for a billionaire who blamed immigrants for people's problems while promising tax and spending cuts.....sounds like an even more extreme version of neo-liberlaism to me.

In Britain they voted for Brexit to....oh that's right....kick out immigrants and burn "red tape".

In Brazil, yep, more neo-liberalism on steroids.

In fact, looking around the world it's actually the far right which are seizing power.

And this is the issue with the obsessive preoccupation with community decline. It feeds directly into the hands of fascism and the far right.

I'm not saying things are perfect. I would prefer to see much more government investment. The only way we'll get that is to educate ourselves about how government finances work so that we're not frightened off by talk of deficits.

However, by laying this all on the door of one rather silly economic theory is to ignore that economics is nothing without human beings. It is human beings who are responsible for all of the good and bad in the world. No theory is going change that. If the world is the way it is it's because humans made it like this.

The "deterioration of the environment"? We did that not neo-liberalism .....

JustInterest , 31 Oct 2018 18:37
In answer to the headline article question, yes WE citizens should collectively strive to think radically, bigger and better than the existing status quo.

PAY CITIZENS TO VOTE!

We must bypass the vested interests and create a new system which encourages active, regular participation in democracy.... lest we wake up one day and realise too late that, by stealth and citizen apathy, the plutocrats and their corporate fascist servants have usurped our nation state, corrupted our law and weakened our institutions, to such a point that our individual rights are permanently crushed.

Change is coming, like it or not. This century - there is great risk to society that advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics and lifespan enhancing genetic engineering will be used by ultra-rich plutocrats to make the vast majority of humanity redundant (within a couple of generations).

Citizens should advocate for DIRECT DEMOCRACY in which citizens are PAID on a per vote per issue basis (subject to verification checks that support the rewarding of effort- citizens should be asked to first demonstrate that they have made effort to obtain sufficient knowledge on a particular topic, prior to being rewarded for their service of voting. Such a process can be opt-in, those who want to be paid, work to do so by learning about the governance issue which is to be voted upon. In this way, a minimum wage can be obtained by direct citizen participation in the governance of communities and our nation). We have the technologies TODAY to undertake open-ledger, smart-phone enabled, digital/postal voting on a per issue basis... which can be funded by EFFECTIVE taxation on large multinational corporations and ultra-wealthy (foreign) shareholders. Citizen will is needed to influence change - the major political parties did not want a Federal ICAC and they certainly will not support paid direct citizen democracy unless voters overwhelming demand it.

Citizens already accept that politicians are paid to vote (and frequently "rewarded" for their "service" to large corporations and wealthy (foreign) shareholders by unethical, corrupt means). Thus, in principle, why can society not collectively accept direct payment to citizens for their individual vote upon an issue? Why do citizens continue to accept archaic systems of democracy which have clearly FAILED to meet the needs of our population in the 21st century?

Citizens are not sufficiently politically engaged in democracy and their civic responsibilities BECAUSE they are not incentivised to do so and because they are economic slaves without the luxury of time to sort through deliberate overload of disinformation, distortion, distraction and deception. Citizens are struggling to obtain objective understanding and to think critically because these crucial functions of democracy are innately discouraged by our existing 20th century economy (that is, slaves are busy support the systems of plutocrats in order that they may live, ants to a queen).

We must advocate for change in the systems of democracy which are failing our communities, our nation, our planet. For too long, plutocrats and their servants have maintained control over economic slaves and the vast majority of the population because citizens have accepted the status quo of being governed by the powerful.

Technology has permanently changed our species. We must all collectively act before innate human greed, lust for power and fear of loss of control (by the wealthy few) lead the majority on an irrational path toward destruction - using the very technologies which helped set us free from the natural world!

JustInterest -> NoSoupforNanna , 31 Oct 2018 18:35
In answer to the headline article question, yes WE citizens should collectively strive to think radically, bigger and better than the existing status quo.
PAY CITIZENS TO VOTE!

We must bypass the vested interests and create a new system which encourages active, regular participation in democracy.... lest we wake up one day and realise too late that, by stealth and citizen apathy, the plutocrats and their corporate fascist servants have usurped our nation state, corrupted our law and weakened our institutions, to such a point that our individual rights are permanently crushed.

Change is coming, like it or not. This century - there is great risk to society that advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics and lifespan enhancing genetic engineering will be used by ultra-rich plutocrats to make the vast majority of humanity redundant (within a couple of generations).

Citizens should advocate for DIRECT DEMOCRACY in which citizens are PAID on a per vote per issue basis (subject to verification checks that support the rewarding of effort- citizens should be asked to first demonstrate that they have made effort to obtain sufficient knowledge on a particular topic, prior to being rewarded for their service of voting. Such a process can be opt-in, those who want to be paid, work to do so by learning about the governance issue which is to be voted upon. In this way, a minimum wage can be obtained by direct citizen participation in the governance of communities and our nation). We have the technologies TODAY to undertake open-ledger, smart-phone enabled, digital/postal voting on a per issue basis... which can be funded by EFFECTIVE taxation on large multinational corporations and ultra-wealthy (foreign) shareholders. Citizen will is needed to influence change - the major political parties did not want a Federal ICAC and they certainly will not support paid direct citizen democracy unless voters overwhelming demand it.

Citizens already accept that politicians are paid to vote (and frequently "rewarded" for their "service" to large corporations and wealthy (foreign) shareholders by unethical, corrupt means). Thus, in principle, why can society not collectively accept direct payment to citizens for their individual vote upon an issue? Why do citizens continue to accept archaic systems of democracy which have clearly FAILED to meet the needs of our population in the 21st century?

Citizens are not sufficiently politically engaged in democracy and their civic responsibilities BECAUSE they are not incentivised to do so and because they are economic slaves without the luxury of time to sort through deliberate overload of disinformation, distortion, distraction and deception. Citizens are struggling to obtain objective understanding and to think critically because these crucial functions of democracy are innately discouraged by our existing 20th century economy (that is, slaves are busy support the systems of plutocrats in order that they may live, ants to a queen).

We must advocate for change in the systems of democracy which are failing our communities, our nation, our planet. For too long, plutocrats and their servants have maintained control over economic slaves and the vast majority of the population because citizens have accepted the status quo of being governed by the powerful.

Technology has permanently changed our species. We must all collectively act before innate human greed, lust for power and fear of loss of control (by the wealthy few) lead the majority on an irrational path toward destruction - using the very technologies which helped set us free from the natural world!

exTen , 31 Oct 2018 17:13
Richard went off the rails in his opening sentence: "The opposite of a neoliberal economic agenda isn't a progressive economic agenda, but democratic re-engagement."

I say this because economically misinformed democratic engagement is a shackle around democracy, at best, if not fatal to democracy. And the biggest and most fundamental misinformation, spouted every bit as much by ALP and Greens as the Libs, is that we must strive for a "sustainable surplus".

As Richard rightly observes, "Neoliberalism taught us that "there is no alternative" to cutting taxes, cutting services and letting the banks treat us as they see fit. But of course not even the Coalition believes that any more." But that doesn't stop them, or Labor, or the Greens from guaranteeing the continuance of the neoliberal cut & privatise mania by insisting that they believe in "budget repair" and "return to surplus" - an insistence which their economically illiterate or misled supporters accept. If you believe in the obviously ridiculous necessity for a currency issuer to run balanced budgets, you are forced into invalid neoliberal thinking, into accepting a false "necessity" for cuts and privatisations, or economy-sedating taxation increases.

Thorlar1 , 31 Oct 2018 08:13
Rumours of neoliberalism's death have been somewhat exaggerated. Its been on life support provided by the LNP since John Howard and there are still a few market fundamentalists lurking in the ranks of the ALP, just waiting for their chance to do New Labor MkII in memory of Paul Keating.

Neoliberalism's lasting legacy will not be the ludicrous economic programs, privatizations and deregulation, those can all be rolled back if some party would grow a spine. The real damage was caused by the aping of the US and UK's cult of individual responsibility, the atomizing effects of neoliberal anti-social policy and demonization of collective action including unionism.

All of which have hastened the atrophy of our democracy.

First things first lets get rid of the neo-liberal national dinosaurs still wallowing in parliament unaware of the mass extinction awaiting them in March next year. At the same time vote in a minority Labor government with enough independent cross benchers, including a preponderance of Greens to keep the bastards honest.

Then just maybe we can start looking at the wider project of repairing Australian society and democracy while we try and reverse the near-decade of damage the LNP have done with their dangerous pro-fossil fuel stance, their insane climate change denial and hypocritical big business friendly economic policies.

Should be a snap!

exTen -> Loco Jack , 31 Oct 2018 08:05
The irony is that it's simple. It's the Heath Robinson contraptions that the economic priesthood for the plutocracy snow us with that are complicated, that turn us off economic thinking because they are impenetrable and make no sense. The simplicity comes from accepting the blinding obvious truth, once you think about it. The federal government is the monopoly issuer of the AUD. The rest of the world are users, not issuers. Its "budgets" are not our budgets. Nothing like them. Kind of the opposite. Its surpluses are the economy's deficits. Its deficits are the economy's surpluses.

[Feb 10, 2019] Neoliberalism's great strength is its ability to divide and rule effectively via its emphasis on individual responsibility and its insistence (as Thatcher cynically thundered) that there is no such thing as society.

Feb 10, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

KiwiInStraya , 16 Oct 2018 22:14

Neoliberalism is about maintaining success to the successful. As such, the policy has delivered as promised.
Runerunner -> Fred1 , 16 Oct 2018 22:08
No fred but I've seen a lot of places with the 9 billion and there isn't much there now, just ruined deserts.

Just seeing the chaos in Egypt in 2012 was enough and that huge population fighting over fuel, water and food is around 75% under the age of 25.

I don'r believe we do have bigger problems than the population explosion.

CaptainFlacid , 16 Oct 2018 22:06
Neoliberalism has been a spectacular failure that has seen the rich get richer and the poor more indebted to them.
20thcenturycoyote , 16 Oct 2018 21:55
Show me a neoliberal and I'll show you a self-serving prick with an over-inflated sense of self-entitlement.
Mikey70 , 16 Oct 2018 21:36
Former RBA governor says "Coalition pursues low-tax road to jobs and growth despite lack of evidence to support it"

The incumbent political cabal of grifters and leaners aren't interested in evidence, for the self righteous it has always been inconvenient & unnecessary.

Bearmuchly , 16 Oct 2018 21:34
Neo liberal capitalism is based on the premise that the Govt. sector
has a minimal role to play in the economy in a regulatory manner
, in the provision of goods/services and in redistributing wealth
........basically, the less Govt. the better.

As a starting point, it is best to consider what level of services
society expects from Govt. and to cost these, that then gives
you an amount of revenue required to fund these.......in Australia
our figure in 2017 was 28.2% of GDP (which also allowed for a
$6.2b. deficit and for some debt repayment)...the Federal share of this
was 21.6 % of GDP. In the world of wealthy countries (the OECD)
we sit at 27th of 35 ie: we are a low taxing country....the OECD average
is 34.3%.

The next part of any debate is what range and quality of services we expect
...in the US their social services/$'s provided by Govt. has plummeted by 50%
since neo liberalism was introduced (the Reagan era) whilst, for example Defence/
Security has risen by 5% of GDP and is by far the highest proportion in the world.
In Australia our proportions have changed far less......even with Medicare,
PBS, Child care subsidies, Education spending etc. our revenue rate has
dropped from an average of 33.5% of GDP to an average of 26.2% since the
1980's. (NDIS is too recent to be included but will up the ante).

The next step to consider is WHERE will the revenue come from and this
is where we have NOT followed the US in their lunacy.......since Reagan
their tax take from corporate profits and income taxes from the rich have
plummeted (and their deficits risen inexorably).

Putting it simply, Australia has indeed swallowed the neoliberal pill, but
has largely preserved its social amenity and the size of its Govt. sector.
It has privatised much but kept many aspects in public hands eg; much
of our healthcare. The pressures continue to privatise more, however
it still sees the Govt. being the funder but not the provider.....THAT has
been our massive change. Our reality has also been that household
incomes have been stagnant for years for at least 50% of our population
(it is worse in the US) as have been our income support payments ie:
Pensions and benefits (especially the latter that have gone backwards).
and our social mobility ie: the support/opportunity for people to move
from low to higher incomes (mostly via higher educational achievement)
have also stagnated in many cohorts.......in other words neoliberalism
has changed Australia, it has allowed the affluent and rich to improve
their situations but has seen stagnation for everyone else .......not
exactly a success after > 35 years, but at least not as bad as the US !

LovelyDaffodils , 16 Oct 2018 21:32
Neo-liberalism and it's form of capitalism is obviously not working; it's more of a Ponzi scheme, and causes societal division and inequality to an extreme. These intransigent politicians will keep taking us down the road of destruction unless we stop them.

Morrison and his cohort are dangerous, very dangerous, and will become even worse because what they do is transparent, and we let them get away with it. To them, they see their positions of power, and their actions, as being approved by the voting public to keep the unethical behaviour going.

Cosmo_Wilson , 16 Oct 2018 21:32
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Bewareofnazihippies , 16 Oct 2018 21:32
Neo-liberalism = Failed Democracy/Corrupt government/Corporate feudalism.
Really no other way to describe it, and it's consequences.
And more and more people are waking up to this fact.
It's the 'what to do about it' that is the problem.
Overturn the government?
Revolution?
Bring back the tumbrils?
Personally, I'd think an aware, involved, and empowered citizenry would be the best solution.
Runerunner -> happylittledebunkera , 16 Oct 2018 21:30
Capitalism has brought lots of debt to the masses. $4 trillion of it in fact and that will lead to poverty and misery if it can't be paid back readily.
Capitalism is fine until it enters this debt binge stage and then it needs a great big correction to get it back on an even keel.
leon depope -> HellBrokeLuce , 16 Oct 2018 21:29
Since the 1980's and Thatcher and Reagan, the dominant political and economic rational has been neo-liberalism. Even under Blair and Brown (labour PM's in the UK) the thinking was neo-liberalism, as it largely was under Rudd and Gillard in Australia.
It is decades of right wing thinking which has been all pervasive in western societies and it will take decades to correct the faults that have been created in society; starting with changing the perceived accepted idea that govts do not exist to create jobs and that we exist, as individuals, to serve the economy (as is evidenced by the punishing of the unemployed and the drive to get women back into work as soon as possible after having children).
Thorlar1 , 16 Oct 2018 20:24
Its not so much polarisation as atomisation.

Neoliberalism's great strength is its ability to divide and rule effectively via its emphasis on individual responsibility and its insistence (as Thatcher cynically thundered) that there is no such thing as society.

In the absence of any kind of inspirational narrative or indeed hope, the morally bankrupt LNP have actually come to believe their own TINA propaganda. Their impoverished imaginations just can't imagine any other way of maintaining the status quo for their constituency than by keeping as much of the population as possible undereducated but surviving sufficiently to be jealous of what they have and fearful of the state taking it away.

An atomised population is one in which daily life, in the words of Thomas Hobbes, is a 'war of all against all'. How pathetic that conservative governments in 2018 remain intent on driving us back to a 'state of nature' Hobbes was condemning in 1651.

While our governments continue to be run by and for the benefit of big business and the wealthy at the expense of the rest of society, low-taxing neoliberal dogma will remain the order of the day.

Oneron , 16 Oct 2018 20:19
Dear Bernie, when have ideologues of any persuasion ever, ever relied on evidence...

The Neo-liberal project was conceived as an ideology- a way to hollow out the democratic legitimacy, and replace it with a Corporatocracy... This was based less on an economic rationale but more as a reaction to the democratization of voices and the challenges they posed to the 'old world' spheres of authority and power that emerged front he 60's and early 70's.
The Washington Consensus was the ideological product of this reaction- so vigorously championed by Reagan and Thatcher- who could forget her silly remark that there is no such thing as a society...
That's why the electorate in today's democratic countries seem to be only left with "rhetorical" Leaders- windbags, whose pronouncements signify nothing.

Fred1 , 16 Oct 2018 20:08
I'm not a conspiracy theorist but* if was I would say that the lizard people introduced the word "neo-liberalism" to distract people from the real issues......

But seriously, what the hell do people even mean by this term? darkbluedragon bless his/her/their/its cotton socks has done his/her/their/its best to explain what it is. In fact, if in 2019 we no longer identify along the lines of traditional gender roles why does anyone think we can agree on a over-arching economic theory which apparently is responsible for all of the woes in the world?

And actually the premise of all of this is of course how shit everything is today. People love talking about how the world was so much better 40 years ago or whenever. You know when women and minorities were discriminated against and so there were more jobs for white men. Good times I say.

The reality is that the world is the way it is because of people. If neo-liberalism is all about greed and meanness then frankly it's because people are greedy and mean. 100 years ago we were killing each other with bayonets. Bankers screwing vulnerable customers is an improvement compared to that shit.

Many people who talk about "neo-liebralism" in the political sense instead of the economic sense are also terrified of government deficits and think government finances are like a households. So what are you going to do?

If we're all going to become economists overnight (which I would strongly advise against) then we may as well go the whole hog and understand the other side of the coin i.e. the different monetary theories. But no side of the coin is going to be perfect because....because....people, people. People in the shit sense and a people in the glorious sense. People in all senses....

*Why does "I'm not.....but" always mean "I am"? I'm not racist but...I don't mean to be rude but........

JustAnotherPenguin , 16 Oct 2018 20:06
During their undergraduate years future politicians and business people learn about ideas that then form the foundations of their understanding of the world and how it works. Unfortunately, while the scholarship moves on, the politicians and business people don't, having dedicated their lives to their careers. So we end up with governments of people operating on principles some decades out of date, and often discredited. And when they want advice, who do they turn to? Not academia (and if they do they usually ignore it), but to business people, who are working off the same base.
It is often noticed that politicians in the twenty-first century seem to be applying nineteenth century solutions to twentieth century problems. What can be done?
Foxlike , 16 Oct 2018 19:55
Bring on the royal commission into privatisation!

In the absence of an RC, then at least a twenty-year comparative analysis of the economic and social 'benefits' (few) and costs (incalculable) of privatisation to the taxpayers of Australia, and the 'benefits' (massive) and costs (none) to the private sector. Surely someone has his data at their fingertips?

1908kangaroos , 16 Oct 2018 19:48
Neoliberalism is usually just a term to justify selfish arseholes making more money, usually by ripping off workers..
Bho Ghan-Pryde , 16 Oct 2018 19:33
At long freaking last some sanity is creeping back into the discussion of economics amongst those who have run the economy. Neo-liberal capitalism has run its course. It ended ten years ago in the GFC and probably before. Whatever good it has done is being undone in its extremes.


Even the capitalists at capitalist central do not believe in capitalism. When broke during the GFC they declared they were "too big to fail" and so market forces no longer applied to them. The people who own and run the capitalist system have long abandoned it but the Corporate State and its serfs - such as the liberal party - want to foist it on the peasants as a means of control.


The "too big to fail" capitalists park their business risk in the treasuries of the West and pocket the profits and then blame the poor for the lack of public money. It would be funny if it wasn't doing so much damage.

On climate change capitalism has failed. It has no way to deal with such an emergency. Capitalism has always taken such things as clean air, water and land from others without compensation and turned them into massive profit for the few. It can never tackle climate change as it means paying for environmental damage and other public resources and that contradict centuries of capitalist exploitation.
The answer for the right-wing neo-liberal capitalist is what it has always been when confronted with the contradictions of capitalism. Racism and division. Exactly what the IPA-liberal party has been about this last week big time. It is all normal for this system.

Isitruegoodoruseful , 16 Oct 2018 19:21
Because its based on Neo-Classical economics. A universally enforced scam economic dogma designed by and for the rich landowning classes to destroy any attempt at land value taxation.
https://www.prosper.org.au/2007/11/07/the-corruption-of-economics /

[Feb 10, 2019] Can Elizabeth Warren reclaim her role as Democrats' top foil to Trump? by Sabrina Siddiqui in

Notable quotes:
"... The job paid minimum wage and exposed Warren firsthand to the topics that would later define her career: the power of corporations and the effects of bankruptcy on the American consumer. ..."
"... Warren, who had been sharply critical of Clinton in part over her ties to Wall Street, ultimately chose not to challenge her for the Democratic party's nomination and endorsed the former secretary of state's campaign. It was also during this time that Warren proved among the few capable of getting under then candidate Donald Trump's skin. ..."
"... At the same time, Warren became a top target of conservatives and Trump himself. The president has repeatedly mocked Warren with the derisive nickname "Pocahontas" – including at an event intended to honor Native Americans. ..."
"... Republicans first tried to push the notion that Warren used her Native American ancestry to further her career in the 2012 Senate race, homing in on a single questionnaire in which she claimed mixed ancestry. ..."
"... But the matter did not end there. The Washington Post published a story revealing Warren listed her race as "American Indian" while seeking a Texas bar registration card in 1986. ..."
"... Warren's platform includes the single-payer healthcare system Medicare for All, debt-free college tuition and anti-corruption legislation designed to restore accountability in government. She is also poised to unveil a proposal that would impose a wealth tax on Americans worth over $50m. ..."
Feb 10, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

Warren's official entry into the race has differed sharply from when she captured widespread liberal enthusiasm in her unlikely bid for the Senate seven years ago.

The two-term senator will join a crowded Democratic primary field with no clear frontrunner – and several contenders jockeying to claim the progressive mantle that she aspires to grasp. She has also found herself contending with a lingering controversy for previously identifying as Native American over the course of nearly two decades.

The question now is whether Warren, who moved early to build an expansive field operation in anticipation of her presidential run, can overcome early setbacks and reclaim her role as the Democratic party's top foil to Donald Trump.

divider

Born to middle-class parents in Norman, Oklahoma , Warren has spoken candidly about how her family's livelihood was upended when her father's heart attack forced him out of work. Addressing crowds across the country, Warren often recalls how her late mother – determined not to lose the family's home – "pulled on her best dress" and got her first paying job at the department store Sears.

The job paid minimum wage and exposed Warren firsthand to the topics that would later define her career: the power of corporations and the effects of bankruptcy on the American consumer.

Her research in bankruptcy law – and the impact on the average person's medical bills, mortgage payments and other installments – led Warren to become a leading expert on the subject and rise in the academia world.

"These are the issues she still cares about," said Charles Fried, a professor at Harvard Law School who helped recruit Warren to its faculty.

"I think she is extraordinary for this reason, that she got into politics because she cared about some issues. She didn't get into politics because she wanted to be in office and then tried to figure out what issues she cared about."

Warren cultivated a profile as a populist firebrand against the backdrop of the Great Recession, earning the ire of Wall Street by spearheading the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – an agency established under the Obama administration as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill of 2010.

Upon being passed over to head the agency she helped create, Warren decided to continue the fight from within the government, embarking on a campaign to win back the late senator and liberal icon Ted Kennedy's seat from the Republican incumbent, Scott Brown, in the high-profile 2012 Massachusetts Senate race.

Roughly $70m was spent on the bitterly waged contest, which catapulted Warren to the national stage.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Elizabeth Warren speaks during day two of the Democratic national convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, on 5 September 2012. Photograph: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The race also saw Warren cement herself as a leader of the burgeoning progressive movement within the Democratic party; branding the choice before voters as "Wall Street versus you", Warren viewed the election as an opportunity to hand a major defeat to what she once dubbed as "the largest lobbying force ever assembled on the face of the earth".

Following her victory, Warren's profile grew so rapidly that speculation swiftly emerged over a potential White House run in 2016, despite the inevitability of Hillary Clinton's candidacy. A group of progressives even mounted a #DraftWarren campaign.

Warren, who had been sharply critical of Clinton in part over her ties to Wall Street, ultimately chose not to challenge her for the Democratic party's nomination and endorsed the former secretary of state's campaign. It was also during this time that Warren proved among the few capable of getting under then candidate Donald Trump's skin.

After Trump derided Clinton as a "nasty woman", Warren famously riffed: "Get this, Donald. Nasty women are tough, nasty women are smart and nasty women vote, and on November 8, we nasty women are going to march our nasty feet to cast our nasty votes to get you out of our lives forever."

The 2016 presidential election did not, however, produce the groundswell of unified opposition to Trump that Democrats had hoped for. Instead, it left the party in search of a clear leader to fill the void left by Obama's departure from the White House.

For Warren, it looked as though her moment had arrived.

In the early days of the Trump administration, Warren quickly emerged as the face of the Democratic opposition, matching the president's tweets with sharp ripostes of her own and holding his cabinet nominees to account when they appeared for consideration before congressional committees.

During the confirmation process for the former attorney general Jeff Sessions, Warren famously read a letter written 30 years prior by Coretta Scott King, in which the widow of Dr Martin Luther King Jr warned of Sessions' civil rights record from the time of his nomination for a federal judgeship.

Silenced by Republicans mid-speech on the Senate floor, Warren read the letter on Facebook Live. The hashtag #LetLizSpeak trended on Twitter and the phrase "Nevertheless, she persisted" was coined.

At the same time, Warren became a top target of conservatives and Trump himself. The president has repeatedly mocked Warren with the derisive nickname "Pocahontas" – including at an event intended to honor Native Americans.

Although Warren long ignored the president's taunts, she took the unusual step of addressing the issue head on in October by making public the results of a DNA test revealing that she did, in fact, have some Native American ancestry.

Rather than putting the topic to rest, Warren's move was rebuked by some tribal leaders, who felt it politicized their identity, and reignited the story.

Republicans first tried to push the notion that Warren used her Native American ancestry to further her career in the 2012 Senate race, homing in on a single questionnaire in which she claimed mixed ancestry.

An exhaustive investigation by the Boston Globe found no evidence that Warren benefited from doing so, and nearly every living Harvard law professor involved in her hiring has said it was not a factor in their votes to offer her a tenured position.

"When we brought her to Harvard, no one had a clue that she thought of herself as Native American," said Laurence Tribe, the school's professor of constitutional law.

"I think she's had an unfair rap," he added. "I don't think it's the case that she ever exploited her family's background or ancestry in a way that some people seem to think she did."

The Cherokee nation, one of the groups that was critical of Warren, said she privately apologized to to tribal leaders.

But the matter did not end there. The Washington Post published a story revealing Warren listed her race as "American Indian" while seeking a Texas bar registration card in 1986. Warren apologized once more, telling reporters: "I'm not a tribal citizen.

"My apology is an apology for not having been more sensitive about tribal citizenship and tribal sovereignty. I really want to underline the point, tribes and only tribes determine tribal citizenship."

Warren remains a popular figure in the Democratic party and was easily re-elected to a second Senate term in the 2018 midterm elections.

Even so, she received fewer votes in her home state than Charlie Baker, the Republican governor of Massachusetts, prompting Warren's hometown paper to urge the senator to reconsider a presidential bid.

"While Warren won re-election, her margin of victory in November suggests there's a ceiling on her popularity," the Boston Globe editorial board wrote. "Baker garnered more votes than she did in a state that is supposed to be a Democratic haven."

She's hard-edged, not personally, but ideologically. She takes very sharp and controversial positions

Barney Frank

"While Warren is an effective and impactful senator with an important voice nationally, she has become a divisive figure," the board added. "A unifying voice is what the country needs now after the polarizing politics of Donald Trump." Those close to Warren dismissed the editorial as having more to do with the personal biographies and inclinations of those who sit on the board. "She's hard-edged, not personally, but ideologically," said Frank. "She takes very sharp and controversial positions."

"So, yeah, they're going to be people who are unhappy with her."

More challenging for Warren, friends and former colleagues said, would be the task of distinguishing herself within a diverse field of Democratic candidates that includes at least three of her Senate colleagues and a record number of women seeking the party's nomination.

Warren's platform includes the single-payer healthcare system Medicare for All, debt-free college tuition and anti-corruption legislation designed to restore accountability in government. She is also poised to unveil a proposal that would impose a wealth tax on Americans worth over $50m.

Fried, who served as solicitor general under Ronald Reagan, said he disagreed with some of the more expansive economic policies touted by Warren. But her greatest asset as a candidate, he acknowledged, would be to approach the campaign with the same steely resolve to elevate the middle class that endeared her to voters seven years ago.

Although he is only occasionally in touch with Warren as she embarks on what will undoubtedly be a grueling campaign for America's highest office, Fried recalled recently sending Warren a lengthy article about capitalism and income inequality.

To his surprise, he received a response from Warren 10 days later. She had not only taken the time to read the article, but highlighted a portion that stood out to her. "How many presidential candidates would do that?" Fried asked. In her email, Warren also recounted to her old colleague how not very long ago they sat together on a flight discussing the prospects of a Clinton presidency. That day never came to fruition, Warren noted. "I don't know what lies ahead," she added. "But I know what I'm fighting for."

[Feb 10, 2019] 'Rigged system': will Warren's rage against the rich win over 2020 voters? by Josh Wood

Feb 09, 2019 | -> www.theguardian.com

While controversy around her heritage lingers, voters call the Democrat's fight against economic injustice 'inspiring' On a cold, blustery January day in 1912, immigrant women walked out of the Everett Mill in the -> Massachusetts factory town of Lawrence demanding higher wages and better working conditions. Mill owners and city government responded in a swift and heavy-handed manner; local militias and police forces were called to the streets. Protesters died. Many more were arrested.

On a cold, blustery February day 117 years later, the Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren stood in front of Everett Mill -> to announce her candidacy for president of the United States , channeling the spirit of those women as she told her supporters that they were in a fight for their lives against a rigged system that favors the rich and powerful.

ss="rich-link"> Why women 2020 candidates face 'likability' question even as they make history Read more

"These workers – led by women – didn't have much. Not even a common language. Nevertheless, they persisted," she said. "The story of Lawrence is about how real change happens in America. It's a story about power – our power – when we fight together."

For Warren, who grew up in an economically struggling Oklahoma household and who first rose to mainstream prominence by handing out practical financial advice to American families, the word "fight" is central to her platform and political ethos – it was a word peppered throughout her speech.

But on Saturday, she made clear that hers was not just a fight against president Donald Trump, but against a system she described as one where the rich, privileged and powerful oppress the rest of the country.

-> Facebook Twitter Pinterest Supporters in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Photograph: Brian Snyder/Reuters

"The man in the White House is not the cause of what is broken, he is just the latest – and most extreme – symptom of what's gone wrong in America, a product of a rigged system that props up the rich and the powerful and kicks dirt on everyone else," she said. "So once he's gone, we can't pretend that all of this never happened."

The backdrop of the mill, where the so-called Bread and Roses strikes originated, was symbolic. But so too was the choice of the modern day city of Lawrence, which is one of those places in America that has felt left behind in recent times. To many in New England, Lawrence is synonymous with crime, drugs and poverty. The Republican governors of Maine and New Hampshire have invoked the city's name when laying blame for the opioid crises in their states. As was the case at the time of the strikes, Lawrence is a working class city of immigrants, with a population that is about 80% Latino. It is a city where wealth is nearby, but out of reach for many.

Sebastian Brown, 31, moved to Lawrence five years ago. While he had yet to choose a candidate to support, he was excited by Warren's message and was happy Warren chose the town as the site of her announcement.

ass="inline-garnett-quote inline-icon ">

I think we need a woman president and I think it will be the fight of our lives

Vicki Ward, rally attendee

"This is a working class city. And I think her – and Bernie [Sanders] – are running on platforms that speak to the working class and how they're being screwed over by the rich and powerful," he said. "And I think she's a great messenger for it."

While there was optimism about Warren's candidacy at her rally, she enters an already crowded Democratic field amid -> r enewed controversy over her past identification as Native American.

For years now – since even before he was president – -> Trump has needled Warren on the issue , calling her "Pocahontas". He and others accuse Warren of falsely presenting herself as Native American to gain unfair advantages in life.

The controversy was re-ignited last week when the Washington Post -> published Warren's 1986 registration card for the Texas State Bar. In it, she listed "American Indian" as her race.

Warren has now apologised repeatedly for identifying as Native American, saying in recent days that she "should have been more mindful of the distinction with tribal citizenship and tribal sovereignty". She still maintains that Native American ancestry was part of her family's story passed down to her.

-> Facebook Twitter Pinterest Elizabeth Warren called Donald Trump the 'most extreme' symptom of a broken system. Photograph: Cj Gunther/EPA

How damaging the controversy will be remains to be see. Warren enters a diverse Democratic field where other candidates belong to minority groups: New Jersey senator -> Cory Booker is African American ; -> California senator Kamala Harris was born to an Indian mother and a Jamaican father. -> Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is both the first Hindu and first Samoan-American member of Congress, and the former San Antonio mayor -> Julián Castro is Latino . When the Democratic race gets heated, Warren's portrayal of race could prove to be a point of attack.

Peter Devlin, a 56-year-old dentist from the nearby town of North Andover, said he was at the rally to hear what Warren had to say but said that the Native American controversy "is going to be a problem" for her campaign.

"I voted for her as senator, but I'm concerned about her electability," he said. "It's going to be a tough run. She's got a bit of baggage and she's so sort of cliche progressive liberal that I think there's a lot of America that's not up for that. But I want to hear what she's up to."

ss="rich-link"> Stacey Abrams on the ticket? Democrat's star turn fuels talk for 2020 Read more

However, other attendees, like 64-year-old Vicki Ward, who drove two hours to the event from Vermont, were ready to throw their support behind Warren on the first day of the senator's presidential campaign.

"I think she's got the qualities that we need," she said. "I think we need a woman president and I think it will be the fight of our lives."

Maryann Johnson, who came to Warren's announcement from New Hampshire, also said she was already sold on Warren.

"I basically agreed with everything she said. We need to have more equality, there needs to be less corruption in government," she said. "She's inspiring."

Topics -> Elizabeth Warren -> US elections 2020 -> Massachusetts -> Democrats -> US politics analysis Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

[Feb 09, 2019] There are only two ways to remove Maduro

Feb 09, 2019 | off-guardian.org

vexarb says Feb, 4, 2019

Analyst Canthama agrees with Pepe (BTL SyrPer #286513):

The Saker has a nice article on Venezuela, few days old, but quite balanced on his analysis, people could disagree with one or two things but in general quite to the point on all fronts.

http://www.unz.com/tsaker/the-us-aggression-against-venezuela-as-a-diagnostic-tool/

Though Colombia and Brazil border Venezuela on its West and South, any sort of military invasion from those directions will first have to conquer nature.

So there are only two ways to remove Maduro:

1) US cruise missiles hitting hundreds of spots in Venezuela would be completely unacceptable for any Latina America population, a violence that would cause the US to lose support even its most vassal States.
In parallel, such violence would spark the return of the Colombian guerrilla, blowback will be very bad and wide spread. Thus military intervention is not likely.

2) The second option is assassination of Maduro , and this is where some of Venezuela's allies are trying to help, either with security guards, intel and direct protection.

As in Syria, time is an ally for Venezuela, the Venezuela Government will become stronger and diplomacy will take shape, There is a real danger though for a false flag, and this is in fact what Bolton and Pompeo are preparing with Guaidó's supporters knowledge [as in Syria].

Time is also important since the US regime and its dying fiat economy, 2019 will be a tough year for the G7, meaning theses regimes will either have to create another massive QE that will bring them down or start a big war, which the vast majority of their country citizens will never support, see France with yellow vest, many more countries would see the same -- even the US.

So, time is good friend to the Venezuela, they must push it as long as they can, and things will be all right.

vexarb says Feb, 4, 2019
Pepe Escobar gives the global view; with Venezuela, Iran, Russia and China abandoning the mythical petrodollar, Uncle $cam's fiat currency is heading for the dustbin of history: https://thesaker.is/venezuela-lets-cut-to-the-chase/
vexarb says Feb, 4, 2019
Latest from MOA. Uncle $cam is couped in all alone: https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/02/us-coup-attempt-in-venezuela-lacks-international-support.html
Frank Russell says Feb, 3, 2019

https://www.youtube.com/embed/R_2sf6qnuNU?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Frank Russell says Feb, 3, 2019
https://youtu.be/R_2sf6qnuNU
vexarb says Feb, 2, 2019
UN rejects Venezuela's Guaido, will only cooperate with recognized government of Maduro: https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/02/01/587387/UN-reject-Guaido-cooperate-Maduro
vexarb says Feb, 1, 2019
Refusal to hand over Venezuelan gold means end of Britain as a financial center -- Prof. Wolff

https://www.rt.com/business/450144-venezuela-gold-boe-wolff/

"That is a signal to every country that has or may have difficulties with the US, [that they had] better get their money out of England and out of London because it's not the safe place as it once was," he said.

"One of the few things left for Britain is to be the financial center that London has been for so long. And one of the ways you stay a financial center is if you don't play games with other people's money," he said.

Lochearn says Feb, 1, 2019
Jimmy Dore, Abby Martin and others on Venezuela: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98pBLXe7Bmk

crank says Feb, 1, 2019

Listening to David Graeber in this interview there is no mention of declining energy surpluses in the discussion of the economic paradigm of the coming future. No consideration of the role of the labour of fossil fuels in the economy of the past two centuries. It's amazing, the argument seems not to have reached them, such that it is doesn't even get a look in. (Listen from 40 min mark, and you will hear a completely opposite view of what is to come -- " We are not going to have the problem of how to deploy scarce resources, given an only moderate level of productivity ").
https://novaramedia.com/2019/02/01/david-graeber-bullshit-jobs-direct-democracy-the-end-of-capitalism/

Fittingly, there is a fascinating section (52.min 30 sec onwards) exploring Graeber's new book project about how much of the enlightenment thinking of pre-revolutionary France was either a pilfering of, or a reaction to, the ideas of social organisation coming from pre-European Americans.

DunGroanin says Feb, 1, 2019

The Graun seems to have been anti-Chavez from the get go. With a set of 'journalists' who seem to jave made it their lifes work to reverse that democratic revolution. It is not easy to find their biogs.
Johan Meyer says Jan, 31, 2019
This whole business of "recognizing a president" not yet in power has a precedent: Rwanda.

When the bUgandan army invaded Rwanda (with US, Canadian, British and Belgian backing) in 1990 (1 October), or in propaganda terms, the RPA started its "liberation," the US moved its embassy to Mulindi, and sent the bUgandan chief of intelligence from his IMET junket at Fort Leavenworth, to take over in northern Rwanda. I refer to Paul Kagame.

International institutions also started to deal with Mulindi, rather than Kigali. Accusations of genocide within a year

Glasshopper says Jan, 31, 2019
Loathsome though he is, Bolton is probably the only honest neocon around. In Iraq, while the likes of Blair were banging on about 45 minutes, human rights and democracy etc, Bolton always made it clear that is was simply a matter of US interests. AKA Oil. He has never pretended to represent anything but rapacious US self interest.

Fair play. At least you know what you're getting with that tash.

Stonky says Jan, 31, 2019
Prior to being assigned to Latin America, Phillips was the Guardian's China correspondent for five years or so. His task, which he diligently accomplished, was to produce a couple of articles a week on "Why China Is No Good" . I don't think he ever once found anything positive to say about the place.

As an individual he's a complete Jodrell, but there are few to compare with him in his ability to relentlessly toe the Washington neocon line. You couldn't get a fag paper in between him and Luke Harding. I wonder if he's paid for it, or whether it's just that seductive sense of 'belonging' that comes from rubbing shoulders with really powerful people .

Tim Jenkins says Jan, 31, 2019
Principally, the principles , better said the absence of statute & principle in Law, behind mass surveillance, was what Snowden was desperate to highlight and that the public's principal concern of the Guardian's hard drives, were the least of our problems, legally speaking , coz' other copies existed already elsewhere, anyway

OFFG could always ask Glen Greenwald to explain why he ceased to 'copulate' with the Guardian and maybe even 'intercept' an opinion or two from Snowden, whilst he's at it intercepting. Indeed , a few extra nails in the Guardian's coffin , could be delivered quite speedily & succinctly , with some professional journalistic exchange of Question & Answer, with nail-gun loaded & mutual benefit would seem to be an all round obvious win-win debate on matters of principle, legal permissions & submissions.

Andy says Jan, 31, 2019
In some ways it is refreshing to have these power hungry narcissists in charge of the US as they cannot seem to not blurt out their naked ambitions, which in this example ftom the ft basically shows kidnap is an agreeable part of trade negotiation.

'Five days after a top executive of Huawei, the Chinese telecoms group, was arrested on a US request in Canada, President Donald Trump said he was willing to intervene -- if it helped secure "the largest trade deal ever made". The detention of Meng Wanzhou, one of China's best known executives, was undoubtedly an incendiary step, escalating trade tensions with Beijing. But presidential interference in the case would send entirely the wrong message about the US justice system -- and about how the administration conducts international affairs.

The US and western allies have legitimate concerns about China's reputation for digital espionage and theft of intellectual property. They agree a more robust stance is needed towards Beijing. But arresting a star of Chinese business -- Ms Meng has been called China's Sheryl Sandberg -- on a Canadian stopover en route to Mexico from Hong Kong is not the way to persuade Beijing to change its behaviour.

Even if the Huawei chief financial officer was held on unrelated charges of violating US sanctions on Iran, the move smacks of using individuals as pawns in negotiations. It is seen in Beijing as Washington rewriting the rules of engagement. Such waywardness and unpredictability from a country that used to portray itself as a pillar of the international rules-based order will tempt China to respond in kind, leading to a downward spiral of tit-for-tat behaviour. Indeed, the detention of a former Canadian diplomat, Michael Kovrig, in Beijing looks worryingly like retaliation.

It may be necessary to take at face value Mr Trump's claims that he was unaware of the US extradition application, and of the detention itself -- which occurred on the day he was holding talks on a trade truce with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Buenos Aires. Had he known, even Mr Trump seems unlikely to have been cynical enough not to mention the arrest to Mr Xi. Presidential ignorance, however, offers little reassurance.

That Mr Trump would not be notified of such a sensitive case by his justice department strengthens the impression of a dysfunctional administration, whose different arms pursue their agendas with little co-ordination, if not in open competition. It strains credibility that his recent presidential predecessors would have been left in the dark in similar situations. The Huawei incident comes in the same week that John Kelly's departure as chief of staff seemed to confirm the extent to which the Trump White House defies conventional management.

The president's offer to do "whatever's good for this country" regarding Ms Meng's case reflects a dealmaker's desire to put his talks with Mr Xi back on track, while extracting whatever advantage he can. But it amounts, in effect, to saying he is holding the Huawei CFO hostage as a trade negotiating chip. The situation carries echoes of the White House's reversal in July of a seven-year executive ban on ZTE, the Chinese telecoms equipment maker, on purchasing critical equipment from the US, in what appeared a tactical concession to Beijing.

Presidential interference in Ms Meng's case would send a worse signal: that rule of law in the US is a function of the whim of the chief executive, or that illegal behaviour can be up for negotiation. It risks creating an impression that there is little difference between America's judicial system and that of, say, Turkey -- or indeed China. The Huawei executive's detention was damaging. It is, however, not for the White House, but for independent courts in Canada and -- if Ms Meng is extradited -- the US to determine what happens next.'

lundiel says Jan, 31, 2019
It all depends on your acceptance of "legality" of American sanctions on Iran. I don't, therefore American action against Ms Meng imo is political and nothing to do with the rule of law. Mr Trump's opinions are irrelevant.
Jen says Jan, 31, 2019
President Trump's comments and opinions as expressed on Twitter will become relevant in Sabrina Meng's court case. Her legal defence could use Trump's opinions as evidence that her arrest was politically motivated and therefore she should not be extradited.

Canadian PM Justin Bieber Trudeau sacked the Ambassador to China for saying this and expressing other opinions, among them Canada's view as to whether the current (and new) US sanctions on Iran are binding on Canada.

harry stotle says Jan, 31, 2019
Just to add I see the US are sending their finest war criminals to 'help' Venezuela.

Elliot Abrams really is a piece of work -- perhaps not everybody realises quite how bad this guy is.

Absolutely shocking allegations here.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/IrcT3GJuh0A?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Kathy says Jan, 31, 2019
The hypocrisy of the MSM in all this is yet again. So blatant it is sickening. At the same time as Yemen is being battered by bombs with the Wests names on them. Deliberately starved to death. With Western MSM indifference. Not to even mention. All the other countries Western powers have illegally devastated. The hand ringing over the plight of the Venezuelan people under Maduro is suddenly more then they can all bare. Western sanctioning and deliberate sabotage by the West against the country. Undermining any chance of peace. Don't get a peep of a mention by the MSM.
Here we go again. Roll up roll up. This is the latest hypocritical propaganda media show. Maduro is evil we must save his country from this evil. Saintly peace bringing Western alliance must save Venezuela. All that's needed is a more pliant Western puppet or chaos and civil war. Oil Opps sorry shh don't mention the oil. Does any one really buy into this deranged demented narrative any more. For gods sake how many more times do we have to say. NO NOT IN MY NAME.
Yarkob says Jan, 31, 2019
This is good: https://grayzoneproject.com/2019/01/29/the-making-of-juan-guaido-how-the-us-regime-change-laboratory-created-venezuelas-coup-leader/

same old characters..OTPOR in particular has a rosy past. Mixed up with DynCorp and the Serbian "police" abuse fiasco

wardropper says Jan, 31, 2019
The likes of Bolton haven't seen any reason to conceal their wicked agenda for some time. They are so sure that their god has made them untouchable.
mark says Jan, 31, 2019
$13 billion in Venezuelan assets have been stolen by Uncle Sam and his satraps over the past few days. Why oh why oh why do countries and foreign individuals persist in keeping their assets in the US/ UK??????. Billions were stolen from Libya in a few days in 2011. Where it all went is one of life's big mysteries. Cameron even stole a boat load of Libyan currency that had been printed in the UK.
Francis Lee says Jan, 31, 2019
Yes, guilt by omission, the preferred mendacity of the MSM. 'When truth is met by silence, silence is a lie.' Yevgeny Yevtushenko.
mark says Feb, 3, 2019
A Parliamentary Committee has been set up to agitate for sanctions against China on behalf of the "poor oppressed Uighurs" in China. Shedding buckets of tears over the lack of "yuman rights." While supplying British sniper rifles to the Zionists to gun down Palestinian kids with dum dum bullets and planes, cluster bombs and RAF advisors to slaughter kids in Yemen.
harry stotle says Jan, 31, 2019
Trump imposed broader economic sanctions on Venezuela because;
*serious human rights abuses (by Maduro),
*antidemocratic actions, and,
*responsibility for the deepening humanitarian crisis.
https://fas.org/sgp/crs/row/IF10715.pdf

So definitely nothing to do with the oil, or international relations between Venezuela and other powers that neocons are at war with (wars being conducted in the media, financial markets and on the ground) while the phony who preceeded Trump (Obama) claimed Venezeula posed an "unusual and extraordinary threat" to US national security (which is a bit like Tyson Fury saying he is frightened by a 90 year old woman who is blind and only has one leg).
https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/12885

Isn't there just one soul at the Guardian who will stand up for what is really happening here (as in all other parts of the world where the US has harmed so many people because of its insatiable pursuit of oil and power) -- just one?

I must admit I am not getting my hopes up -- while the Guardian excels at drawing attention to Maduros failings they seem to be deaf, dumb and blind to the geopolitical context in which Venezuela is doing its utmost to escape the tentacles of US-backed neocons in their endless quest for violent regime change.

Maggie says Jan, 31, 2019
Here is a most excellent expose by Jimmy Dore:
?v=whgOvbw53WY

Article 7 of the Rome Statute says US sanctions are illegal because they were not sanctioned by the UN.

So WHY THE FCK DON;'T THEY TURN THE UN TROOPS ON THEM.:
Oh, I know why.. because they are toothless windbags.

Time to sanction the US,,,, NOW!!!

harry stotle says Jan, 31, 2019
Jimmy is an exception.

In general those in the know loath the MSM because of the role they play in backing the gangsters.

"Our own fate as Latin American writers is linked to the need for profound social transformations. To narrate is to give oneself: it seems obvious that literature, as an effort to communicate fully, will continue to be blocked so long as misery and illiteracy exist, and so long as the possessors of power continue to carry on with impunity their policy of collective imbecilization through the mass media. (Open veins of Latin America -- Eduardo Galeano)

http://library.uniteddiversity.coop/More_Books_and_Reports/Open_Veins_of_Latin_America.pdf

Ingwe says Jan, 31, 2019
A good article on the Graun's pro-USA stance on Venezuela. But the analysis in the linked article provides a more nuanced analysis of what's really going on there and it's not just about oil.
https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/01/30/trumps-coup-in-venezuela-the-full-story/
vexarb says Jan, 31, 2019
Ingwe, I started reading the Counter Punch, agreed it was not _only_ the oil so what were the other motives for U$ Grand Theft Larceny Fraud with Violence? Got as far as this:

"It should be remembered that the Obama Administration had imposed sanctions against Moscow in March 2014 over the Russian annexation of Crimea, and later involvement in the civil war in Eastern Ukraine."

Could not read follow that, because I remember no such things as Russian annexation of Crimea (at least, not since Catherine the Great), nor do I remember a civil war in Eastern Ukraine (though quite aware that the U$-imposed Jewish Junta with their neo-Nazi stormtroops are continually shelling Russian-speaking Eastern Ukraine).

Ingwe says Jan, 31, 2019
vexarb, pity you didn't bother to read further for, if you did, you'd get a rather more serious analysis than "USA bad and after the oil; Russia good and bringing enlightenment to the world" .
Francis Lee says Jan, 31, 2019
Excuse me but where did Vexarb say or intimated that 'Russia was good and bringing enlightenment to the world.' I can't seem to find this.
Antonym says Jan, 31, 2019
Why is anyone sane still reading (or referring to) the Guardian?
RealPeter says Jan, 31, 2019
I think the reason some of us still look at the Graun is that we can't quite believe how appalling it's got, especially when, like me, you're old enough to remember the old newspaper from the time when it had some principles and a lot of good writing. It has the sickly fascination of something you know is really bad for you, like Nutella or reality TV shows. You end up wallowing in its sheer awfulness, unlike, say, the Mail and the Sun, which you always know from the start are going to be barking mad and have no element of surprise.
bc says Jan, 31, 2019
It's pretty obvious Anthony. Because the Guardian, like the BBC and C4 News, presents itself as and is widely regarded to be an authorititative, non-biased news source. Hence it is hugely influential in forming opinion in the corridors of power and in educated society. Opinion that allow bad things to happen and ends up impacting lives. That is reality regardless of comments dismissing these news sources on the internet. And it is why it is appropriate for offguardian and others to try and highlight and expose the dangerous lies and omissions of these wide-reaching propagandists.
bevin says Jan, 31, 2019
It's good for cricket: the best paper in Canada for cricket news. Also for cycling. Since I first began to read the Manchester Guardian for Neville Cardus's famous writing on cricket, I stick with it.
As for foreign affairs, once it has been told by the Foreign Office, who the current enemies are it goes for them. Those who recall the 'good old days' when Latin America and the Middle East, including Palestine got reasonable coverage which sometimes was very good indeed, ought to bear in mind that, in those Cold War days, the main enemy was the Soviet Union and it was necessary to be equivocal about liberation struggles. After all, 'we' were pretending to be desperately sorry about the sufferings of the Russian people, and those of eastern Europe, so it was necessary to tone down the imperialist message.
Now the Establishment is dead set on recovering Latin America in toto, banishing alien (Chinese Russian) influences and consolidating its base in the western hemisphere.
Here comes the Atlantic Treaty Organisation ATO.
Jen says Jan, 31, 2019
Why is anyone sane still reading (or referring to) the Guardian?

This is like the old Soviet joke: Why are the capitalist nations on the edge of a precipice?

Answer: To get a better view of us down here.

The reason sane people still occasionally read or refer to The Guardian is to see how far gone down the abyss the newspaper has descended.

George Cornell says Feb, 1, 2019
Because the people they represent are the biggest threats to world peace.
George Cornell says Feb, 1, 2019
Because they represent and front the interests of the greatest threats to world peace.
George Cornell says Feb, 1, 2019
Sorry about the echolalia
Richard Audet says Jan, 31, 2019
Can't resist.

The oft-used cliche of the kid (not brain washed yet) saying out loud that the emperor has no clothes amongst a crowd propagandized, hypnotized and incentivized not to see and not to know truth from falsehood.

The role of the MSM it seems is to perpetrate this mass denial. Thanks to kids like Kit and those that support sites such as this other kids are catching on. But, alas we are just kids after all and the grown ups have the power to spank us for such blasphemy. It is a risk we kids take to speak the truth we see. When you see and when you know remaining silent can make you sick (despair, anhedonia, addiction etc.). I'll take my chances with the spanking and say as loud as I can that the emperor is a fucking war-mongering liar and thief.

rogerglewis says Jan, 31, 2019
https://d.tube/#!/v/tonefreqhz/2zkhc50m This Russel Brand film did get a limited general release but was quickly dispatched to the memory hole,

This David Malone FIlm Icon Earth got him into a ton of trouble at the Beeb back in 1995 it presages stage 2 of the Liberalisation process

https://d.tube/#!/v/tonefreqhz/siz03mvr

I have uploaded various things to DTube and Steemit This film from the Guardian is very good and relevant to Venezuela its on Bit CHute and survives on Youtube for now.

https://www.bitchute.com/video/uvnkjQDcIxCD/

https://steemit.com/deathsquds/@tonefreqhz/from-el-salvador-to-iraq-washington-s-man-behind-brutal-police-squads

https://www.youtube.com/embed/0iEhXHITAsQ?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&start=2&wmode=transparent

Gezzah Potts says Jan, 31, 2019
Thank you Kit (and others) for starting up OffGuardian. Its a very precious place to vent, and to read the very enlightened, highly informative, and at times profound comments of all the other commenters here. Have made numerous comments about the situation in Venezuela on other recent stories here, so not going to keep repeating myself. Regards the state of the World: surreal and orwellian and just plain bonkers much of the time seems to be the case. At least Bolton was honest in stating the bleedin obvious, which anyone with even one eye open already knew. Thanks for your work.
Loverat says Jan, 31, 2019
Indeed. I came across Off Guardian not long ago and I'm highly impressed by the quality. A site to vent -- yes but that's just a small part of it. What is it now -- 3,000 articles published in just nearly 4 years?. A level of committment by its founders not matched in many places elsewhere that I can see.

What I like about this is the quality and depth of the articles -- and the fact each attracts a large number of readers commenting.

I've been looking around various sites lately. It seems to be a mixture of those which produce good articles but don't seem to have the following -- or at least there's a lack of reader participation. Or sites where the analysis is not so good but attract a large volume of comments not necessarily of great quality.

Off G seems to have struck a really good balance which I think means it has more potential to grow further and build on its success.

I wonder (maybe this has been done before) if Off G thought about organising an event to celebrate its next birthday. Might be a good way to raise funds and further interest.

David William Pear says Jan, 31, 2019
I am surprised that the Guardian even mentioned oil and Venezuela in the same story. Did they also say it has lots of gold, coltron, and many other natural resources. Neoliberals just can't stand seeing all those profits going to "waste on the serfs".
notheonly1 says Jan, 31, 2019
Very likely McCain. Fortunately though, he already croaked. There was never a regime change or war he did not support, or demand. The sooner his warmongering Fascist buddies follow him, the better for mankind. I can imagine what "Bomb. bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" would have said about Venezuela. As I said before, Venezuela is venomous to those who want to destroy it. For all American sheeple to understand: The Bucket stops here. Exactly here.
Jerry Alatalo says Jan, 31, 2019
Bolton's casual mention of U.S. oil corporations going into Venezuela and controlling operation of the nation's oil sector, as if it's already a "done deal", goes right along with Pompeo's focused use of the term "former president Maduro" in the psychological operation aspect of the fully-mapped out coup's full court press. Someone famously described the U.S.-led coup in Ukraine of February 2014 as the most blatant, obvious coup ever, but amazingly this one involving Venezuela has even surpassed Ukraine in insane illegal boldness.

USA Inc.'s use of criminal aggressive war as a business tactic since false flag 9/11 resulted in the self-destruction of American reputation in the Middle East and North Africa region. For that reason the attack on the Venezuelan people for their oil was not surprising. Who will stand for peace? People might think creatively and act to prevent any repeat of senseless violence and horror as experienced by people in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen.

Peace.

Tim Jenkins says Jan, 31, 2019
For the record, the "USA Inc.'s use of criminal aggressive war as a business tactic since false flag 9/11 resulted in the self-destruction of American reputation " Globally.

Sorry to correct you, but no matter where I go, my first test of any persons intellect is "What do you think happened to WTC 7 ?" and until you get that sorted , the USA is the laughing stock of the 'brave new world' outside Government & MSM >>> Fact , clearly "you cannot be serious", nor the Guardian nor the BBC nor Die Zeit nor Swiss national Television, nor Le Monde &&& and the whole damn network of partners in deep state crimes against innocent people , to further corporate goals.

to even contemplate something in Venezuela is so absurd , when US Governance is so infiltrated with Deep State Dictators & actors, bolstered by Hollywood >>> get own house in order , before becoming guests elsewhere. This clearly applies to Britain & France , as well, indeed all NATO partners.

Trump is gonna' have a real tough time with Xi, coz' you don't get to insult the Chinese in public & arrest CFO's for extradition , without some form of comeback & consequence and Chinese & Russian Military towards region Panama seems almost assured and the USS Fitzgerald warning ? how quickly people forget the 7 dead ! from just a container ship, lol connect the 9 Dot line -- -- --

The world does not want and never needed policing by the U$A, nor their methods of financial control & strangulation with credit on a scale far greater than Ponzi himself. And as for WTC 7 , this made not only the USA a laughing stock in the minds of all intelligent people, it dragged down & outed the very IN-credibility of every single politician in the western world , who accepted the award winning WTC 7 TonyAndyPandy story for CHILDREN !

it's time we got adults back into politics , coz' at present all we have, without exception, is precisely what George Carlin described in 'a few cultural issues' "Garbage in Garbage out" !

and we can be 100% sure that they are all GARBAGE, because they cannot even recognise a controlled explosion, let alone cooking the history books >>> not even one !

The USA has YANKed all their strings, on behalf of Zion and corporate control >>> fact, not one politician permitted to call a spade a spade or WTC 7 a controlled demolition let alone MSM.

Long live the revolution & evolution of political conscience !

[Feb 09, 2019] Post Coup Agenda Items

Feb 09, 2019 | off-guardian.org

mark says Jan, 31, 2019

Post Coup Agenda Items:-

1. Switch payment for Venezuelan oil from yuan back to dollars.
2. Confiscate Chinese and Russian oil investments in Venezuela.
3. Privatise Venezuelan oil to Wall Street at knock down prices.

Or, as the Orange Baboon himself croaked like a two bit Mafia hood, "Grab the oil! Grab the oil! Grab the oil!!"

[Feb 09, 2019] The reality of neoliberal dominatin is not pretty: What we are experiencing today is the worst and most extreme form of predatory and parasitic financialised monopoly crony capitalism (crapitalism), allied with blatant aggressive jingoistic militarism and the crudest form of imperialist exploitation

Feb 09, 2019 | off-guardian.org

mark says Feb, 7, 2019

What we are experiencing today is the worst and most extreme form of predatory and parasitic financialised monopoly crony capitalism (crapitalism), allied with blatant aggressive jingoistic militarism and the crudest form of imperialist exploitation.

I'm not sure even Marx envisaged anything this corrupt and degraded. This must be the terminal stage of crapitalism's death throes. It can only end in war and complete collapse.

It comes as no surprise to see the Faux Left Blairite Backstabbers and the Oh-So-Right-On-Politically-Correct Trudeau Regime leading the charge for a bog standard Pinochet style US coup behind the likes of Trump, Bolton, Pompeo and recycled neocon war criminal and death squad queen Abrams.

They have taken off the mask and showed their true colours. The final outcome is uncertain but the fall out will extend way beyond Venezuela. It may well sound the death knell of our current system.

Archie1954 says Feb, 7, 2019
Isn't it amazing how the scum of the Earth arrange to get into high places? I am totally outraged that Canada had anything to do with fostering a coup in Venezuela! It disturbs my sense of national sovereignty and I rue the day that Trudeau made this apostosy a member of his cabinet. What a poor choice for a Minister of Foreign Affairs! Just consider Canada's recent problems with Saudi Arabia, the Meng problem with /China, the chastising of Russia because it protected its sole military base on the Black Sea and now this foolish interference in Venezuela's internal affairs brought on by US sanctions. Canada's stupidity in all these matters makes me bilious.
Michael says Feb, 7, 2019
Trudeau made Soros' protege Chrystia Freeland part of his cabinet because it was on that condition that Soros generously funded and otherwise caused Trudeau's election bid to be well supported. Billionaires make "democratic" politics so very easy. Canadians, naive, unquestioning, insouciant, swayed by very well rewarded PR & media and with the transacted aquiesence of the other two warmongering neoliberal parties (Conservative & NDP) voted their hopes and Justin Trudeau to PM. But positioning Chrystia Freeland on the global stage and creating a neoliberal path to imperious fascist globalization is the assigned purpose of the swish disposable Canadian Dauphin. Harper played his Soros assigned role, Trudeau will play his and Chrystia hers and they, as quislings all, will exit rewarded as pet functionaries of Soros and his overly entitled ilk. We authorize Soros by wishing & believing this coup is at worst simply a flawed democracy. Ukraine was a Soros coup, Canada is a Soros coup and Venezuela is a Soros coup. All very, very profitable. Don't look, this is how omelettes are made. Our political parties are always for rent by billionaires –that is the main function of political parties. Being corrupt is a design characteristic not a flaw. Buying political parties in supposed democracies is easier, less risky and much more profitable than stealing candy from babies. Canada is undefended against billionaires, invest here, concentrated public assets and resources are available and the quaint people are professionally deactivated. m\\

[Feb 09, 2019] Trump making Bolton look like the paragon of discretion re oil

Feb 09, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Andy says Jan, 31, 2019

Trump making Bolton look like the paragon of discretion re oil https://youtu.be/4huS-3-Gs74

[Feb 08, 2019] The US dollar is used for the international oil and gas trade and a wide part of global trade. This gives the US an exorbitant privilege to sanction countries it opposes and impose its conditions for oil trading

Feb 08, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Narrative says Feb, 1, 2019

Nations should explore better system to break US hegemony

"The US dollar is used for the international oil and gas trade and a wide part of global trade. This gives the US an exorbitant privilege to sanction countries it opposes.
..
The latest sanctions on Venezuela's state-owned oil company aim to cut off source of foreign currency of Venezuelan strongman Nicolas Maduro's government and eventually force him to step down.
..
A new mechanism should be devised to thwart such a vicious circle"

http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1137847.shtml

crank says Feb, 1, 2019
Francis Lee; Big B,

OK I phrased that badly.

My question is really about those at the top of the power pyramid (those few hundred families who own the controling share of the wealth of the world) -- those who position idiots like Bolton to do their work, do they comprehend 'exergy' decline ?

If we can, then can they not? I agree with Parenti that they are not 'somnambulists'. They are strategists looking out for their own interests, and that means scrutinising trends in political movements, culture, technology and, well, just about everything. I find it hard, the idea that all these people -- people who have seen their businesses shaped by resource discovery, exploitation and then depletion, have no firm grasp on the realities of dwindling returns on energy.

The models were drawn up 47 years ago. I think that some of them at least, do understand that economic growth is coming to a halt, and have understood for decades. If true then they are planning that transition in their favour.

These hard to swallow facts about oil are still on the far fringes of any political conversation. The neoliberal cultists are deaf to them for obvious reasons; the socialist idealists believe that a 'New Deal' can lead us off the death train, but mostly ignore the intractable relationship between energy decline and financial problems; even the anarchists want their work free utopia run by robots and AI but stop short of asking whether solar panels and wind turbines can actually provide the power for all that tech. It's the news that nobody wants to think about, but which they will be forced to thinking about in the very near future.

The Twitter feed 'Limits to Growth' has less than 800 followers (excellent though it is).

BigB says Feb, 1, 2019
Crank

I do not want to get into the mind of the Walrus of Death Bolton! I do not want to know what he does, as he does. But at lower levels of government, and corporatism, there is an awareness of surplus energy economics. And as Nafeez has also pointed out, the military (the Pentagon) are taking an interest. And though it could rapidly change, who really appreciates the nuances of EROEI? I'm guessing at less than a single percent of all populations? And how many include its effects in a integrated political sense?

Its appreciation is sporadic: ranging from tech-utopia hopium to a defeated fatalism of the inevitability of collapse. Unless and until people want to face the harshness of the reality that capitalism has created: we are going to be involved in a marginal analysis. There are very few people who have realised that capitalism is long dead.

Dr Tim Morgan estimates that world capitalism has conservatively had $140tn in stimulus since 2008 -- without stimulating anything or reviving it at all. In fact, that amounts to the greatest robbery in history -- the theft of the future. Inasmuch as they can, those unrepayable debts -- transferred to inflate the parasitic assets of capitalists -- will be socialised. Except they cannot be. Not without surplus energy.

https://surplusenergyeconomics.wordpress.com/2019/01/20/145-fire-and-ice-part-two/

Brexit, gilets jaunes, Venezuela, unending crises in MENA, China's economic slowdown, etc -- all linked by EROEI.

It is a common socio-politico-economic energy nexus -- but linked together by whom? And the emergent surplus energy-mind-environmental ecology nexus? All the information is available. The formation of a new political manifesto started in the 1960s with the New Left but it seems to have been in stasis since. Perhaps this might stimulate the conversation.

According to Nate Hagens: there is 4.5 years of human muscle power leveraged by each barrel of oil. We are all going to be working for a very long time to pay back the debts the possessing classes have built up for us -- with absolutely no marginal utility for ourselves.

We are subsidising our own voluntary slavery unless we develop an emergent ecosocialist and ecosophical alternative to carbon capitalism. We cannot expect paleoconservative carbon relics like Bolton -- or anyone else -- to do it for us. The current political landscape is dominated by a hierarchical, vested interest, carbon aristocracy. We can't expect that to change for our benefit any time ever. Expect the opposite.

BigB says Feb, 2, 2019
Graeber has a point, though. We could already have a post-scarcity, post-production society but for the egregious maldistribution of resources and employment. Andre Gorz said as much 50 years ago (Critique of Economic Reason). Why do we organise around production: it makes no sense but for the relations of production are, and remain, the relations of hierarchical rule. So long as we assign value to a human life on the basis of meritocratic productivity -- we will have dehumanisation, marginalisation, and subjugation (haves and have nots). So why not organisation around care, freedom and play?

Such a solution would require the transversalistion of society and not-full-employment: so that no part of the system is subordinate, and no part is privileged. All systems and sub-ordinate (care) systems would be co-equal, of corresponding value and worth. So, without invoking EROEI, that would go a long way to solve our exergy, waste, pollution, and inequality problems. It is the profligate, unproductive superstructure: supporting rentier, surplus energy accumulating, profit-seeking suprasocieties -- that squanders our excess energy and puts expansive spatio-temporal pressures on already stretched biophysical ecological systems that engenders potential collapse. It is their -- the possessing classes -- assets that are being inflated, at our environmental expense. When it comes to survivability, we cannot afford a parasitic globalised superstructure draining the host -- the ecologically productive base. Without the over-accumulation, overconsumption, and wastage (the accursed share) associated with the superstructure of the advanced economies -- and their cultural, credit, military imperialisms I expect we could live quite well. Without the pressures of globalised transportation networks, and unnecessary military budgets -- the pressure on oil is minimised. It could be used for the 1001 other uses it has, rather than fuelling Saudi Eurofighters bombing Yemeni schoolchildren, for instance. The surplus energy could be used to educate, clothe and feed them instead. That would be a better use of resources, for sure.

If we took stock of what we really have, and what we really are -- a form of spiritual neo-self-sufficiency, augmented and extended into co-mutual care and freedom valorising ecologies we wouldn't need to chase the perceived loss all over the globe, killing everything that moves. The solutions are not hard, they are normative, once we are shocked out of this awful near-life trance state of separationism. Thanks for the link.

crank says Feb, 2, 2019
It seems to me that there are two parallel arguments going on.
One is about social organisation, attitudes towards and policies determining work, money, paid employment, technological development and the distribution of weath.
The other is fundamentally based on the laws of thermodynamics and concerns resource limits, energy surpluses, the role of 'stored sunlight' in producing things and doing work for each other, pollution and projections about these into the future.

I am surprised that Graeber (just as an example) seems to basically ignore the second of these even though he clearly is an incisive thinker and makes good points about the first. It is taken as a given that, theoretically at least, human civilisation could re-organise around a new ethic, transform the economy into a 'caring economy', re-structure money, government and do away with militarism. In terms of what to do now, as an individual, what choices to make, it is disconcerting to me when talk of these ideals seems to ignore those latter questions about overshoot.

I wonder if the egalitarian nature of much of indiginous North American society was inescapably bound with the realities of a low population density, low technology, intimate relationship with the natural world and a culture completely steeped in reverence for Mother Earth.
The talk I hear from Bastani or Graeber along the lines of 'we could be flying around in jet packs on the moon, if only society was organised sensibly' rings hollow to me.

BigB says Feb, 2, 2019
Crank

Welcome to my world! Apart from as a managerial tool, systems thinking has yet to catch on in the wider population. According to reductive materialism: there are two unlinked arguments. According to Dynamic Systems Theory (DST) there is only one integrated argument -- with two inter-connected correlative aspects. We can only organise around what we can energetically afford. Consequently, we cannot organise around what we cannot afford -- that is, global industrialised production with a supervenient elitist superstructure.

Let's face it : ethical arguments carry little weight against organisation around hierarchical rule. The current talk of an ethical capitalism -- in mixed economies with 'commons' elements -- is an appeasement. and distractional to the gathering and ineluctable reality.

The current (2012) EROI for the UK is 6.2:1 -- barely above the 'energy cliff' of 5:1. The GDP 'growth' and bullshit jobs are funded by monetised debt (we borrow around £5 to make every £1 -- from Tim Morgan's SEEDS). From the Earth Overshoot Day website: the UK is in economic overshoot from May 8th onward.

These are indicators that we will not be "flying jetpacks on the moon": even if we reorganise. Everyone, and I mean everyone, will have to make do with less. A lot less. Everything would have to be localised and sustainable. Production would be minimised, and not at all full. Two major systems of production -- food (agroecology) and energy -- would have to be sustainable and self-sovereign. And financialisation and the rentier, service economy? Now you can see why no one, not even Dave the crypto-anarchist, is talking about reality. Elitism, establishment and entitlement do not figure in an equitable future. We can't afford it, energetically or ethically.

So when will the debate move on? Not any time the populace is bought into ideational deferred prosperity. All the time that EROEI is ignored as the fundamental concept governing dwindling prosperity -- no one, and I mean no one, will be talking about a minimal surplus energy future. The magic realism is that the economic affordances of cheap oil (unsustainably mimicked by debt-funding) will return sometime, somehow (the technocratic superfix). The aporia is that the longer the delay, the less surplus energy we will have available to utilise. Something like the Green New Deal -- that has been proposed for around two decades now -- may give us some quality of life to sustain. Pseudo-talk of a Customs Union, 'clean' coal, and nuclear power, will not.

An integrated reality -- along the model of Guattari's 'Three Ecologies' -- of mind, economy, and environment is well, we are not alone, but we are ahead of the curve. The other cultural aporia is that we need to implement such vision now. Actually, about thirty years ago but let's not get depressive!

We are going to need that cooperative organisation around care and freedom just to get through the coming century.

crank says Jan, 31, 2019
As mentioned elsewhere here, Venezualan oil deposits are not all that the hype cracks them up to be. They are mostly oil sands that produce little in the way of net energy gain after the lengthy process of extraction.The Venezuala drama is about the empire crushing democracy (i.e. socialism), not oil. [not that this detracts from Kit's essential point in the article].
The Left (as well as the Right), by and large have not come to terms with the realities of the decline in net surplus energy that is unfolding around the world and driving the political changes that we see. So they still view geopolitics in terms of the oil economy of pre-2008.
The productive economies of Europe are falling apart (check Steve Keen's latest on Max and Stacy -- although even i he doesn't delve into the energy decline aspect).
The carbon density of the global economy has not changed in the 27 years since the founding of the UNFCCC.

The Peak Oil phenomenon was oversimplified, misrepresented and misunderstood as a simple turning point in overall oil production. In truth it was a turning point in energy surplus.
I predict that by the end of this or next year, everyone will be talking about ERoEI. Everyone will realise that there is no way out of this predicament. Maybe there are ways to lessen the catastrophe, but no way to avert it. This will change the conversation, and even change what 'politics' means (i.e. you cannot campaign on a 'new start' or a 'better, brighter future' if everyone knows that that physically cannot happen).
Everyone will understand that their civilisation is collapsing.
Does Bolton understand this?

I dunno.
https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/brexit-stage-one-in-europes-slow-burn-energy-collapse-1f520d7e2d89

Francis Lee says Jan, 31, 2019
"Does Bolton Understand this/? I think this might qualify as a rhetorical question.
BigB says Feb, 1, 2019
Crank

If you were referring to my earlier comments about Venezuelan extra heavy crude: it's still massively about the oil. The current carbon capitalist world system does not understand surplus energy or EROEI, as it is so fixated on maximal short term returns for shareholders. It can't comprehend that their entire business model is unsustainable and self cannibalising. Which is bad for us: because carbon net-energy (exergy) economics it is foundational to all civilisation. The ignorance of it and subsequent environmental and social convergence crises threatens the systemic failure of our entire civilisation. The Venezuelan crisis affects us all: and is symptomatic of a decline in cheap oil due to rapidly falling EROEI.

I can't find the EROEI specifically for Venezuelan heavy oil: but it is only slightly more viscous than bitumen -- which has an EROEI of 3:1. Let's call it 4:1: the same as other tight oils and shale. Anything less than 5:1 is more or less an energy sink: with virtually no net energy left for society. The minimum EROEI for societal needs is 11:1. Does Bolton understand this? Francis hit the nail on the head there.

Do any of our leaders? No. If they did, a transition to decentralisation would be well under way. Globalised supply chains are systemically threatened and fragile. A globalised economy is spectacularly vulnerable. Especially a debt-ridden one. Which way are our leaders trying to take us? At what point will humanity realise we are following clueless Pied Pipers off the Seneca Cliff -- into globalised energy oblivion?

The rapid investment -- not in a post-carbon transition -- but in increased militarisation, and resource and market driven aggressive foreign intervention policies reveal the mindset of insanity. As people come to understand the energy basis of the world crisis: the fact of permanent austerity and increased pauperisation looms large. What will the outcome be when an armed nuclear madhouse becomes increasingly protectionsist of their dwindling share? Too alarmist, perhaps? Let's play pretend that we can plant a few trees and captive breed a few rhinos and it will all be fine. BAU?

The world runs on cheap oil: our socio-politico-economic expectations of progress depend on it. Which means that the modern human mind is, in effect, a thought-process predicated on cheap oil. Oleum ergo sum? Apart from the Middle East: we are already past the point where oil is a liability, not a viability. Debt funding its extraction, selling below the cost of production -- both assume the continual expansion of global GDP. Oil is a highly subsidised -- with our surplus socialisation capital -- negative asset. We foot the bill. A bill that EROEI predicts will keep on rising. At what point do we realise this? Or do we live in hopium of a return to historical prosperity? Or hang on the every word of the populist magic realism demagogue who promises a future social utopia?

If it's based on cheap oil, it ain't happenin'.

BigB says Feb, 1, 2019
Erratum: less viscous than bitumen.
wildtalents says Feb, 1, 2019
Is it no longer considered a courtesy to the reader to spell out, and who knows maybe even explain, the abbreviations one uses?
Jen says Feb, 1, 2019
EROEI = Energy Returned on Energy Invested (also known as EROI = Energy Return on Investment)

EROEI refers to the amount of usable energy that can be extracted from a resource compared to the amount of energy (usually considered to come from the same resource) used to extract it. It's calculated by dividing the amount of energy obtained from a source by the amount of energy needed to get it out.

An EROEI of 1:1 means that the amount of usable energy that a resource generates is the same as the amount of energy that went into getting it out. A resource with an EROEI of 1:1 or anything less isn't considered a viable resource if it delivers the same or less energy than what was invested in it. A viable resource is one with an EROEI of at least 3:1.

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

The concept of EROEI assumes that the energy needed to get more energy out of a resource is the same as the extracted energy ie you need oil to extract oil or you need electricity to extract electricity. In real life, you often need another source of energy to extract energy eg in some countries, to extract electricity, you need to burn coal, and in other countries, to extract electricity you need to build dams on rivers. So comparing the EROEI of electricity extraction across different countries will be difficult because you have to consider how and where they're generating electricity and factor in the opportunity costs involved (that is, what the coal or the water or other energy source -- like solar or wind energy -- could have been used for instead of electricity generation).

That is probably why EROEI is used mainly in the context of oil or natural gas extraction.

BigB says Feb, 1, 2019
wildtalents: Yes, I normally do. But the thread started from, and includes Crank's link that explains it.
Thomas Peterson says Feb, 1, 2019
That's true, Venezuela's 'oil' is mostly not oil.

[Feb 08, 2019] How Chrystia Freeland Organized Donald Trump's Coup in Venezuela by Eric Zuesse

The key question is how strong is Maduro support within Venezuela? When oil is in stake, imperial powers usually take gloves off pretty quickly.
All this rhetoric of Eric Zuesse does not answer the key question: does Maduro movement propose sustainable alternative to neoliberalism in Venezuela and has unwavering support of armed forces and population in view of this externally driven aggression? Because if the model is unsustainable (iether for internal or external reasons -- presence of neoliberal 3000 pound guerilla on the continent) it will eventually be crushed. What is the plan and what Maduro is trying to built? Left government in several other countries of LA were recently deposed by openly neoliberal puppets: Argentina and Brazil are two recent examples.
"Progressive regimes" all run into problems in economics (which are given due to neocolonial nature of the current World order) which in turn creates social problems and the precondition for neoliberal coup d'état sponsored from Washington. So there is a Neoliberal Catch 22 for all countries who want to excape dependence on the USA: neoliberals new order guarantee that economic condition of peripheral countries do not improve; that creates social discontent that allows to propose population a neoliberal carrot -- elect a neoliberal leader and your standard of living "soon" will be like in the USA. neoliberal coup d'état can now succeed. Further impoverishing follows but it is too late -- the train has left the station.
While convention to to more extreme version of neoliberalism does not solve the problems in economics (Argentina here is nice example of "What happens next after neoliberals came back to power") and impoverishment of population is given. But at the same time the civil war is prevented and the support of the USA guarantee a certain period of political stability.
In other words this struggle is about alternatives to neoliberalism and anti-neoliberal governments have a huge handicap in a form of the USA presence on the continent. It looks like Canada is just another neoliberal puppet of the USA in this game/
Notable quotes:
"... Venezuelan soldiers have blocked the crossing ahead of a delivery arranged by opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who has declared himself interim president ..."
Feb 08, 2019 | off-guardian.org
8 August 2017 in order to overthrow and replace Venezuela's current President Nicolás Maduro. She stated in her February 5th announcement :

Today, we have been joined by our Lima Group partners, from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Saint Lucia. We have also been joined in our conversations with our partners from other countries, for this Lima Group ministerial meeting. These include Ecuador, the European Union, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States."

She, along with U.S. President Donald Trump, had, all along, been the actual leaders of this international diplomatic effort, to violate the Venezuelan Constitution blatantly , so as to perpetrate the coup in Venezuela. Her active effort to replace Venezuela's Government began with her formation of the Lima Group, nearly two years ago.

Canada's Ottawa Citizen headlined on 19 August 2017, "Choosing Danger" , and their reporter Peter Hum interviewed Canada's Ambassador to Venezuela, Ben Rowswell, who was then retiring from the post. Rowswell said that Venezuelans who wanted an overthrow of their Government would continue to have the full support of Canada's Government : "'I think that some of them were sort of anx­ious that it (the em­bassy's support for hu­man rights and democ­racy in Venezuela) might not con­tinue after I left,' Rowswell said. 'I don't think they have any­thing to worry about be­cause Minister (of Foreign Affairs Chrystia) Freeland has Venezuela way at the top of her priority list.'"

Maybe it wasn't yet at the top of Trump's list, but it was at the top of hers. And she and Trump together chose whom to replace Venezuela's President, Nicholas Maduro, by: Juan Guaido . Guaido had secretly courted other Latin American leaders for this, just as Freeland had already done, by means of her secretly forming the Lima Group.

On 25 January 2019, the AP bannered "AP Exclusive: Anti-Maduro coalition grew from secret talks" and reported that the man who now claims to be Venezuela's legitimate President (though he had never even run for that post), Juan Guaido, had secretly visited foreign countries in order to win their blessings for what he was planning:

In mid-December, Guaido quietly traveled to Washington, Colombia and Brazil to brief officials on the opposition's strategy of mass demonstrations to coincide with Maduro's expected swearing-in for a second term on Jan. 10 in the face of widespread international condemnation, according to exiled former Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma, an ally.

Playing a key role behind the scenes was Lima Group member Canada, whose Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland spoke to Guaido [9 January 2019] the night before Maduro's swearing-in ceremony [on 10 January 2019] to offer her government's support should he confront the socialist leader [Maduro], the Canadian official said. Also active was Colombia, which shares a border with Venezuela and has received more than two million migrants fleeing economic chaos, along with Peru and Brazil's new far-right President Jair Bolsonaro.

To leave Venezuela, he sneaked across the lawless border with Colombia, so as not to raise suspicions among immigration officials who sometimes harass opposition figures at the airport and bar them from traveling abroad, said a different anti-government leader, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss security arrangements.

During the last days in office of Canada's Ambassador to Venezuela Rowswell, U.S. President Donald Trump went public with his overt threat to invade Venezuela. On 11 August 2017, McClatchy's Miami Herald bannered "Trump was making friends in Latin America -- before he raised Venezuela 'military option'" , and Patricia Mazzei reported that "President Donald Trump's unexpected suggestion Friday that he might rely on military force to deal with Venezuela's pressing political crisis was an astonishing statement that strained not only credulity but also the White House's hard-won new friendships in Latin America."

Even a spokesperson from the Atlantic Council (which is the main PR agency for NATO) was quoted as saying that "U.S. diplomats, after weeks of carefully building the groundwork for a collective international response, suddenly find their efforts completely undercut by a ridiculously over the top and anachronistic assertion. It makes us look imperialistic and old-time. This is not how the U.S. has behaved in decades!" However, Peru's Foreign Minister, Ricardo Luna, was just as eager for a coup in Venezuela as were Trump and Freeland.

On 26 October 2017, Peru's Gestion TV reported that Luna was the co-chair of the meeting of the Lima Group in Toronto, which Freeland chaired, and that (as translated into English here) "Luna added that the objective of the meeting of the Group of Lima 'is to create a propitious situation' so that the regime of Nicolás Maduro 'feels obligated to negotiate' not only an exit to the crisis, 'but also an exit to his own regime'."

This gang was going to make Maduro an offer that he couldn't refuse. So, the Lima Group, which was founded by Luna and by Freeland, was taking the initiative as much and as boldly as Trump was, regardless of what NATO might think about it. The topic of that news-report, and its headline, was "Peru proposes Grupo de Lima to involve the UN to face the Venezuelan crisis." Four days later, Freeland and Luna met privately at the U.N., in New York, with the Secretary General, Antonio Guterres.

Inner City Press reported that "The title of the meeting is 'the situation in Venezuela and efforts by regional organizations to resolve the crisis per Chapter VIII of the UN Charter' [see it here ] and the briefer will be not USG [Under Secretary General] Jeffrey Feltman but his Assistant, ASG [Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs] Miroslav Jenca."

Jeffrey Feltman was the person who, in the secretly recorded 27 January 2014 phone-conversation in which U.S. President Barack Obama's agent, Victoria Nuland -- planning and overseeing the February 2014 coup that overthrew Ukraine's democratically elected President -- instructed the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, that, after Ukraine's President is ousted, Arseniy "Yats" Yatsenyuk was to be appointed as Ukraine's 'interim' leader as the new Prime Minister, to replace the President. She also said :

"I talked to Jeff Feltman this morning; he had a new name for the UN guy Robert Serry. He's now gotten both Serry and Ban ki-Moon to agree that Serry could come in Monday or Tuesday. That would be great, I think, to help glue this thing, and to have the UN help glue it, and, you know, fuck the EU."

So, the still Under Secretary General of the U.N, Mr. Feltman, is still America's fixer there, who "glues" whatever the U.S. President orders the U.N. to do, and his Assistant was filling in for him that day. Therefore, if Trump and Freeland turn out to be as successful as Obama was, then the U.N. will "glue" the outcome. Chrystia Freeland happens also to be a friend of Victoria Nuland, and a passionate supporter of her coup in Ukraine.

... ... ...

Of course, the man whom the U.S. and Canadian regimes and the Lima Group are trying to install as Venezuela's President, Juan Guaido, had been well-groomed for that job, but not by political and electoral experience, of which he has almost none, but by his foreign sponsors. On 29 January 2019 the Gray Zone Project bannered "The Making of Juan Guaidó: How the US Regime Change Laboratory Created Venezuela's Coup Leader" , and their two star investigative journalists, Dan Cohen and Max Blumenthal, opened: "Juan Guaidó is the product of a decade-long project overseen by Washington's elite regime change trainers. While posing as a champion of democracy, he has spent years at the forefront of a violent campaign of destabilization."

This report also noted that "The 'real work' began two years later, in 2007, when Guaidó graduated from Andrés Bello Catholic University of Caracas. He moved to Washington, DC to enroll in the Governance and Political Management Program at George Washington University, under the tutelage of Venezuelan economist Luis Enrique Berrizbeitia, one of the top Latin American neoliberal economists. Berrizbeitia is a former executive director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) [and the IMF is a central part the operation that's described in John Perkins's now-classic Confessions of an Economic Hit Man] who spent more than a decade working in the Venezuelan energy sector, under the old oligarchic regime that was ousted by Chávez."

Moreover, "Stratfor and CANVAS – key advisors of Guaidó and his anti-government cadre – devised a shockingly cynical plan to drive a dagger through the heart of the Bolivarian revolution. The scheme hinged on a 70% collapse of the country's electrical system by as early as April 2010." Etc. This is how 'democracy' now functions. It's not democracy -- it is fascism. The euphemisms for it are "neoliberalism" and "neoconservatism."

Regardless of whether or not the Trump-Freeland-Luna program for Venezuela succeeds, democracy and human rights won't be advanced by it; but, if it succeeds, the fortunes of US-and-allied billionaires will be . It's part of their global privatization program .

Sidebar: If you want to understand what was the historical context where Inner City Press reported that "The title of the meeting is 'the situation in Venezuela and efforts by regional organizations to resolve the crisis per Chapter VIII of the UN Charter'" ; then Luk Van Langenhove has summarized that context , by saying:

Few invocations of Chapter VIII's provisions were made during the cold war period. But when the bipolar world system collapsed and spawned new global security threats, the explosion of local and regional armed conflicts provoked a renewed interest in regional organizations and their role in the maintenance of regional peace and security. The United Nations was forced to acknowledge its inability to solely bear the responsibility for providing peace and security worldwide."

So, "during the cold war period," this provision of the UN Charter remained virtually inactive. Then, suddenly, after 1991, when the Soviet Union and its communism and its Warsaw Pact military alliance to counter America's NATO military alliance, all ended (with no concessions being made on the American side ), America could no longer use 'communism' as a 'justification' to invade or perpetrate coups against foreign governments that were friendly toward or else allied with Russia.

So, now, this provision of the U.N.'s Charter became activated by the U.S. and its allies, in order to be able to say that The West's coups and invasions aren't actually to build-out the U.S. empire, but are instead for (in the terms of this part of the U.N.'s Charter) "the maintenance of international peace and security" -- so as to 'authorize' coups and international invasions by the U.S. and its vassal nations, such as are the members of NATO.

This is what U.S. President G.H.W. Bush had in mind to rely upon, when he told the leaders of the U.S. regime's vassal states, secretly at Camp David, on the night of 24 February 1990, that the 'Cold War' would now continue secretly on the U.S.-allied side, against Russia and against any nation's leaders (such as Saddam Hussein, Muammar Qaddafi, Bashar al-Assad, and Viktor Yanukovych) that aren't hostile toward Russia, by Bush's saying then to them, that no compromise must ever be allowed "with Moscow," because "To hell with that! We prevailed, they didn't."

In other words, whereas the U.N. had been set up by FDR to evolve ultimately into the global democratic federation of nation-states -- a democratic world-government -- so as to become the sole possessor of control over all strategic weaponry, and thus to become the democratic republic of the entire world authorized to settle international disputes peacefully, the subterranean Nazis and other fascists whom U.S. President Truman and the Bilderberg group represented, were determined that the U.S. and its vassal nations would ultimately become the dictatorship over all nations, the entire world. That's what Ukraine, and now Venezuela, and many other U.S. coups and invasions, are -- and have been -- really about. It's about the 'peace' of the graveyard, NOT any democracy, anywhere at all.

That's their dream. They want to monopolize the corruption everywhere, not to end it, anywhere. And that's why they distort and blatantly lie about Venezuela's democratic constitution now , just as they did about Ukraine's democratic constitution in February 2014. It's, essentially, a lawless international gang of billionaire thugs. It is the international Deep State . It consists of the under 2,000 people who are international billionaires in the U.S. and secondarily in the U.S.-allied countries, and of those billionaires' millions of hirees. 585 of those under-2,000 are Americans .

But the wealthiest person on the planet isn't even listed on any of the standard lists of billionaires, and he is the King of Saudi Arabia . That person is the U.S. aristocracy's #1 international ally, because ever since the 1970s when gold no longer backed the U.S. dollar but instead oil did, that person's decisions have enabled the U.S. dollar to continue as being the world's reserve currency, no matter how big the U.S. economy's trade deficits are, and no matter how high the U.S. Government's fiscal deficits are.

Below those billionaires (and trillionaire), and below their millions of hirees, are the billions of serfs; and, below those, at the very bottom, are the approximately 40 million slaves , and the many millions imprisoned -- virtually all of whom have extremely low (if any) net worth at all, since slavery and imprisonment are, in the real world, only for the very poor, not at all for the international gangsters, except for a very few exceptions (such as, perhaps, "El Chapo").

The billionaires command, and the governments obey; that's 'democracy', and it's 'the rule of law', today. Everything to the contrary is propaganda, such as that what Trump-Freeland-Luna want for Venezuela is to decrease corruption and to increase democracy and human rights.

At least the more blatant fascist John Bolton was honest when he said on January 28th : "It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela." But he would have been lots more honest if he had acknowledged, instead, that "It will make a big difference to the United States billionaires economically if we could have American oil companies invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela."

This is all that the fascists ever really cared about. Mussolini called it "corporationism." Now, decades in the wake of the Allies' supposed 'victory against fascism' -- against the Axis powers -- in WW II, we all (at least the realists) are acknowledging that we clearly are staring in the face the raw fact that fascism has finally won, or at least very nearly totally won, in the world.

Hitler, Mussolini, and Hirohito, died; but their ideological followers today rule the world, and FDR would be turning in his grave.

  1. tutisicecream

    Unfortunately the Orange one is being wagged again by those who are most seriously plotting his demise and over reach in Venezuela may be just as much part of the plan as it was in pushing him into launching an attack on Syria. It is true that the global elites are at a loss what to do, as the fracturing of the global oligarchies is proving Marx right . capitalist are just a band of warring brothers [brigands, robbers, pirates – all!]. As there is no serious ideological threat to their hegemony at the moment they fight amongst themselves with imperial designs.

    The threat to the imperium is the chaos which ensues when the elite power struggles fracture their hegemony and an uncontrollable uprising ensues. Who shapes that revolution will be central to this. Where it will come from is not evident yet but let's hope it's a grass roots one!


  1. Yes, they will never stop. Just think of this brand-new propaganda lie of Maduro allegedly preventing aid shipment to come into Venezuela. See BBC: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-47143492 : "Venezuelan soldiers have blocked the crossing ahead of a delivery arranged by opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who has declared himself interim president".

    Notice the word "ahead" in this sentence. This word appears because there was never a "delivery" (truck) with aid shipment at the bridge!
    The Venezuelan government ("Maduro") blocked the bridge only because of war-threatening Columbia and USA.
    If you want to send aid shipment to Venezuela you can send as much as you want anytime. Of course you have to respect the regulations of the custom (like in every other country!). But that's all!

    Whets foul with this story?
    Well, this aid "delivery" cannot have been collected in Colombia – and thus being taken away from the people of Colombia, who are much poorer than the people of Venezuela. So it would have to come from other country (USA, Europe, China, Japan). And then you would not land this aid shipment in Columbia (a harbour, an airport), drive it, in hot-humid air, through half of Colombia to the border crossing bridge of Cúcuta. Then cross the bridge and then drive it through half of Venezuela!
    Instead aid shipments for Venezuela would be landed directly in Venezuela – in an Venezuelan harbour or airport.

    "Everything (to the contrary) is propaganda".
    Or "Fake News"! So don't miss James Corbett's "FAKE NEWS AWARD" – https://www.corbettreport.com/episode-351-the-2nd-annual-real-fake-news-awards/

  1. Of course I'm speaking rhetorically: we all know what the answer is and it ain't looking very pretty.

[Feb 08, 2019] How money should be spent under neoliberalism

Feb 08, 2019 | off-guardian.org

mark says Jan, 31, 2019

There was one leading US politician whose name escapes me for the moment. When Chavez was president, he complained bitterly that Venezuela's oil wealth was being squandered on things like healthcare, education, literacy and welfare. It could have been given instead to hard pressed Wall Street fund managers in bigger bonuses. He wasn't being ironic.

[Feb 08, 2019] So don't miss James Corbett's "FAKE NEWS AWARD"

Feb 08, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Joerg says Feb, 7, 2019

"Everything (to the contrary) is propaganda"
Yes, they will never stop. Just think of this brand-new propaganda lie of Maduro allegedly preventing aid shipment to come into Venezuela. See BBC: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-47143492 : " Venezuelan soldiers have blocked the crossing ahead of a delivery arranged by opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who has declared himself interim president ".

Notice the word " ahead " in this sentence. This word appears because there was never a " delivery " (truck) with aid shipment at the bridge!
The Venezuelan government ("Maduro") blocked the bridge only because of war-threatening Columbia and USA.

If you want to send aid shipment to Venezuela you can send as much as you want anytime. Of course you have to respect the regulations of the custom (like in every other country!). But that's all!

Whets foul with this story?

Well, this aid " delivery " cannot have been collected in Colombia – and thus being taken away from the people of Colombia, who are much poorer than the people of Venezuela. So it would have to come from other country (USA, Europe, China, Japan). And then you would not land this aid shipment in Columbia (a harbour, an airport), drive it, in hot-humid air, through half of Colombia to the border crossing bridge of Cúcuta. Then cross the bridge and then drive it through half of Venezuela!

Instead aid shipments for Venezuela would be landed directly in Venezuela – in an Venezuelan harbour or airport.

"Everything (to the contrary) is propaganda". Or "Fake News"! So don't miss James Corbett's "FAKE NEWS AWARD" – https://www.corbettreport.com/episode-351-the-2nd-annual-real-fake-news-awards/

[Feb 04, 2019] The US decision to send weapons to Syria repeats a historical mistake

Highly recommended!
This was true in 2015 for Syria. Now this is true for Venezuela... So one can expect iether chemical attack opposition from Madura government or "Snipergate" in EuroMaydan style. Or may some some more sophisticated, more nasty "false flag" operation in British style like Skripal poisoning.
It will be interesting if Madura manage to survive despite the pressute...
Notable quotes:
"... Sorry but you're wrong. The funding a training of rebel forces by the west has done exactly what is was intended to do, mainly destabilise an entire region, sell billions in extra arms, introduce extra anti-terrorism laws in the west, create more fear and panic, then destabilise Europe through the mass-migration. This was the plan and it worked! ..."
"... To the great disappointment of those of us who voted for Obama, the first time out of hope for change, and the second time out of fear for someone even worse, he is a weak and chameleonic leader whose policies are determined by the strongest willed person in the room. Recall that he was also "talked into" bombing Libya! ..."
"... This isn't Bay of Pigs; its a bloated military trying to figure out what to do with its extra cash. Financially, it doesn't matter if the program is a failure. The cost is minuscule for the budget they have. ..."
"... Bush reached the Oval Office not because he was bright, for indeed he was not, he reached the Oval Office because he was dumb enough not to realise he was clearly easily manipulated, believed in neoliberalism and was rich and rich backers and a rich Dad. ..."
"... In Iran, we have a saying which says; take off a Mullah's turban and you will find the words "Made in England" stamped on his head. ..."
"... ISIS/ISIL is a creation of the US in an attempt to remove Assad. The long-term goal being to isolate Iran before going in there for the natural resources. ..."
"... The White House statement specifically refers to the "Syrian opposition". That's the term we use to describe anti-government forces. This recruitment and training programme has gone awry because the people originally recruited would have been anti-Assad. Now the Obama administration has tried to change the same people to fighting to ISIS instead. No wonder there's only "four to five" left. This is one big fustercluck! ..."
"... The CIA has probably been the greatest destabalising force in the world since the second world war and seem like more a subsidiary of the weapons trade than a government department. ..."
Sep 19, 2015 | The Guardian
Why does the US continually send deadly weapons to the Middle East, make things even more chaotic than they were before and expect better results the next time?

As pretty much everyone who was paying attention predicted, the $500m program to train and arm "moderate" Syrian rebels is an unmitigated, Bay of Pigs-style disaster, with the head of US central command admitting to Congress this week that the year-old program now only has "four or five" rebels fighting inside Syria, with dozens more killed or captured.

Even more bizarre, the White House is claiming little to do with it. White House spokesman Josh Earnest attempted to distance Obama from the program, claiming that it was actually the president's "critics" who "were wrong." The New York Times reported, "In effect, Mr Obama is arguing that he reluctantly went along with those who said it was the way to combat the Islamic State, but that he never wanted to do it and has now has been vindicated in his original judgment."

This bizarre "I was peer pressured into sending more weapons into the Middle East" argument by the president is possibly the most blatant example of blame shifting in recent memory, since he had every opportunity to speak out against it, or veto the bill. Instead, this is what Obama said at the time: "I am pleased that Congress...have now voted to support a key element of our strategy: our plan to train and equip the opposition in Syria."

But besides the fact that he clearly did support the policy at the time, it's ridiculous for another reason: years before Congress approved the $500m program to arm the Syrian rebels, the CIA had been running its own separate Syrian rebel-arming program since at least 2012. It was reported prominently by the New York Times at the time and approved by the president.

In fact, just before Congress voted, Senator Tom Udall told Secretary of State John Kerry, who was testifying in front of the foreign relations committee, "Everybody's well aware there's been a covert operation, operating in the region to train forces, moderate forces, to go into Syria and to be out there, that we've been doing this the last two years." In true Orwellian fashion, Kerry responded at the time: "I hate to do this. But I can't confirm or deny whatever that's been written about and I can't really go into any kind of possible program."

Also conveniently ignored by Congress and those advocating for arming the rebels was a classified study the CIA did at the time showing that arming rebel factions against sitting governments almost always ends in disaster or tragedy.

You'd think whether or not the current weapons-running program was effective – or whether any similar program ever was – would have been a key factor in the debate. But alas, the CIA program is never mentioned, not by politicians, and not by journalists. It's just been conveniently forgotten.

It is true that perhaps the best advocate for why we never should've armed the Syrian rebels to begin with came from President Obama himself. He told the New Yorker in early 2014 that "you have an opposition that is disorganized, ill-equipped, ill-trained and is self-divided. All of that is on top of some of the sectarian divisions." Critically, he cited that same above-mentioned classified study:

Very early in this process, I actually asked the CIA to analyze examples of America financing and supplying arms to an insurgency in a country that actually worked out well. And they couldn't come up with much.

He didn't mention the CIA's already-active weapons-running program. Why he didn't stick to his guns since he supposedly was weary of getting the US military involved in yet another quagmire it could not get out of is beyond anyone's comprehension. Instead, he supported Congress's measure to create yet another program that sent even more weapons to the war-torn region.

Per usual, Republicans are taking the entirely wrong lessons from this disaster, arguing that if only there was more force then everything would've worked out. Marco Rubio exclaimed during the GOP presidential debate on Wednesday that if we armed the rebels earlier – like he allegedly wanted, before voting against arming them when he had the chance – then the program would've worked out. Like seemingly everyone else in this debate, Rubio has decided to ignore the actual facts.

Sadly, instead of a debate about whether we should continue sending weapons to the Middle East at all, we'll probably hear arguments that we should double down in Syria in the coming days and get US troops more cemented into a war we can call our own (that still to this day has not been authorized by Congress). There are already reports that there are US special operations forces on the ground in Syria now, assisting Kurdish forces who are also fighting Isis.

When the vicious and tragic cycle will end is anyone's guess. But all signs point to: not anytime soon.

Oliver2014 19 Sep 2015 21:27

" Why does the US continually send deadly weapons to the Middle East, make things even more chaotic than they were before and expect better results the next time? "

Because the US doesn't understand the culture of the people it meddles with.

The US goes in with a messianic belief in the righteousness of its objective. This objective is framed in naive terms to convince itself and the people that it's motives are benevolent - such as "we must fight communism" or "we will bring democracy to Iraq" or "Saddam Hussein is an evil man who uses chemical weapons on his own people and hence must be ousted" or "Assad is an evil man who is fighting a civil war with his own people".

As a superpower it feels compelled to interfere in conflicts lest it be seen as impotent. When it does not interfere, as in WW2, things do indeed get out of control. So it's damned if it does and damned if it doesn't.

The CIA did not understand Afghan history of fighting off invaders when it was arming the Mujaheddin and that after the Soviets were defeated it would perceive the Americans as invaders and not as liberators who were there to bring them democracy and teach them that growing poppy was bad. (Like alcohol in the 1930s, a national addiction problem cannot be solved on the supply side - as the CIA and DEA learnt in South America.)

Bush Sr. was right when he left Saddam alone after bloodying his nose for invading Kuwait because he understood that Saddam was playing a vital Tito-esque role in keeping his country and the neighborhood in check. He had no WMDs but wanted his adversaries in the region to believe otherwise. If Saddam were alive today we wouldn't have an Iraq problem, an ISIS problem, an Iran problem and a Syria problem.

Smedley Butler 19 Sep 2015 21:12

"Why he didn't stick to his guns since he supposedly was weary of getting the US military involved in yet another quagmire it could not get out of is beyond anyone's comprehension."

Maybe it's because he hasn't stuck to his guns on anything during the entire time he's been President. He always takes the path of least resistance, the easy way out, and a "conservative-lite" position that tries to satisfy everyone and actually satisfies no one.

What an utter disappointment.

DavidEG 19 Sep 2015 20:01

The Machiavellian machinations of the empire become less relevant with every passing day. It's Europeans now who are eating sweet fruits of "mission accomplished". And they may rebel, and kick out last remnants of their "unity", and sacred NATO alliance alongside.


PamelaKatz AndyMcCarthy 19 Sep 2015 18:33

Obama said the US would take 10,000 Syrian refugees. When I heard this, I thought surely a zero must be missing from this figure. And what no one has publicly mentioned is the immigration process for these few will require at least a year of investigative background checks.

PamelaKatz jvillain 19 Sep 2015 18:15

The largest manufacturers and global distributors of weaponry are the US, the UK, France, Russia and China, in that order....... also known as the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council. One should read the UN Charter, which states the purpose and parameters for forming this international organization. The word 'irony' comes to mind.

ID108738 19 Sep 2015 17:36

Saddam Hussein was a friend while he gassed the Iranians, then he invaded Kuwait; as long as Bin Laden fought the Russians, he was tolerated and funded; now there's Syria. The only thing needed to take the strategy to new levels of idiocy was a compliant nincompoop as prime minister in Britain. Will they ever learn?

Toi Jon 19 Sep 2015 17:27

The US understands how to create a market for their military hardware industry but has never understood how their interference in the Middle East creates mass human misery.

Samantha Stevens 19 Sep 2015 17:09

Quite simply the US is breaking international law by doing this. Every time they do it the world ends up with another shit storm. If they cannot behave responsibly they should be removed from the security council of the UN. Same goes for the Russians and any other power abusing their position.
Syria may not have been the epitome of humanity before being destabilised but it is certainly worse now. The same is true of Iraq. In fact have the US successfully overturned any government they deem un-American (LOL) without it leading to a civil war?

Andy Freeman 19 Sep 2015 17:06

Sorry but you're wrong. The funding a training of rebel forces by the west has done exactly what is was intended to do, mainly destabilise an entire region, sell billions in extra arms, introduce extra anti-terrorism laws in the west, create more fear and panic, then destabilise Europe through the mass-migration. This was the plan and it worked!

People will call for a solution, the solution will be tighter integration in Europe, the abolition of national governments, the removal of cash to stop payments to "terrorists", more draconian spying laws, less from and eventually compulsory registration and ID for all Europeans.

Meanwhile, we'll have a few more false flag attacks supposedly caused by the refugees and more fear in the news. Open your eyes


Laurie Calhoun 19 Sep 2015 16:49

"Why he didn't stick to his guns..." Not the most felicitous metaphor in this case, but here is the answer to your question:

To the great disappointment of those of us who voted for Obama, the first time out of hope for change, and the second time out of fear for someone even worse, he is a weak and chameleonic leader whose policies are determined by the strongest willed person in the room. Recall that he was also "talked into" bombing Libya!

Sad but true. For more details on how this works, read Daniel Klaidman's book Kill or Capture: The war on terror and the soul of the Obama presidency.


littlewoodenblock geniusofmozart 19 Sep 2015 16:39

turkey should be thrown out of NATO immediately!

littlewoodenblock 19 Sep 2015 16:36

after the libya disaster the US should have abandoned plans for regim change in syria.

and the US missed a golden opportunity to recitfy what had already become a syria disaster by allowing turkey and the ludicrous SNC to so thoroughly undermine the Geneva talks.

nnedjo -> Havingalavrov , 19 Sep 2015 15:40

The U.S and U.K's commitment should be to those in Iraq. Secure, rebuild and invest in helping that Nation come with the best solution to a, rid itself of ISIS, b, be able to stay that way, c have a government that is inclusive to the needs of the Sunni's, Shia's and Kurds

Just as I thought that you can not surpass yourself in writing stupid comments, and you are immediately reassured me.
Thus, the US and the UK spent nearly ten years in Iraq and failed to make any of this what you write, but but the whole mess practically they themselves have created. And now you're saying that if the US and UK troops returned again to Iraq they will be able to fix everything that they had previously screwed and to create an "inclusive society" of Iraq. So, if the US and UK troops set foot again on the soil of Iraq, it will be the strongest reason for Iraqi Sunnis to reject the inclusion in the Iraqi society. Iraqi officials themselves are aware of this very well, and for that reason they are the first to oppose such an intervention.
Iraq's prime minister says no to foreign troops

BAGHDAD - Iraq's prime minister strongly rejected the idea of the U.S. or other nations sending ground forces to his country to help fight the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, saying Wednesday that foreign troops are "out of the question."...
Al-Abadi, a Shiite lawmaker who faces the enormous task of trying to hold Iraq together as a vast array of forces threaten to rip it apart, welcomed the emerging international effort, but stressed that he sees no need for other nations to send troops to help fight ISIS.

"Not only is it not necessary," he said, "We don't want them. We won't allow them. Full stop."
"The only contribution the American forces or the international coalition is going to help us with is from the sky," al-Abadi said. "We are not giving any blank check to the international coalition to hit any target in Iraq."
He said that the Iraqi military will choose and approve targets, and that the U.S. will not take action without consulting with Baghdad first. Failure to do so, he warned, risks causing civilian casualties like in Pakistan and Yemen, where the U.S. has conducted drone strikes for years.

Well, Well, whether i notice here distrust even of Iraqi Shiites toward the US Air Force. On the other hand, they want to strengthen friendship with neighboring governments in Syria and Iran: ;

Al-Abadi, however, said that Iraq doesn't have the luxury of testy relations with Damascus, and instead pushed for some sort of coordination.

"We cannot afford to fight our neighbor, even if we disagree on many things," al-Abadi said. "We don't want to enter into problems with them. For us sovereignty of Syria is very important." The two countries, both of which are allies of Iran, appear to already be coordinating on some level, and Iraq's national security adviser met Tuesday with Assad in the Syrian capital, where the two agreed to strengthen cooperation in fighting "terrorism," according to Syria's state news agency.

The U.S. hopes to pull together a broad coalition to help defeat the extremist group, but has ruled out cooperating with neighboring Iran or Syria, both of which also view ISIS as a threat. Both countries were excluded from a conference this week in Paris that brought the U.S., France and other allies together to discuss how to address the militant threat.

Al-Abadi said that excluding Damascus and Tehran was counterproductive.

So, it is obvious that the Iraqi government is not against inclusion, but they're for such inclusion, which will exclude the US and UK of interfering in their internal affairs. I think it is a good step towards reconciliation with their Sunni brothers because they also seem to support such a thing. And if they managed to do it, maybe Ukrainians will also draw some lesson from it and be able to reconcile with their brothers Russians.


Ieuan ytrewq 19 Sep 2015 14:04

ytrewq said: "USSR and China supplied a lot of support and material to N. Vietnam."

Very true.

However the Viet Minh were formed and initially supplied by OSS (later called the CIA) forces from the US. In fact Ho Chi Min had a naive hope that the US would support him in his struggle against foreign occupation of the country after the war (French colonialism) and made several appeals to President Truman for help (all of which were ignored).

Instead of which, the US supported the French, so Ho asked around and got help from the Russians and Chinese. The rest we know.


marginline AndyMcCarthy 19 Sep 2015 13:54

The UK and France [...], they destroyed Libya.

The causality of which led to an Islamic terror attack on June 26th, 2015 ten kilometers north of the city of Sousse, Tunisia, where thirty-eight people; thirty of whom were British - were murdered.


sashasmirnoff JoJo McJoJo 19 Sep 2015 13:40

The US is always wrong, and always responsible for every bad thing that happens on Earth.

They are always wrong, and are indeed responsible for almost every geopolitical disaster, usually a result of overthrowing governments and installing their own tyrant, or else leaving a vacuum that Islamists fill.


Zaarth 19 Sep 2015 13:34

This $500m program cost less than 0.1% of the US annual defense budget. When you're dealing with sums of money as obscenely large as the US spends on its military, its inevitable that huge quantities will be wasted because you've passed the point where there's worthwhile things to spend it on. This isn't Bay of Pigs; its a bloated military trying to figure out what to do with its extra cash. Financially, it doesn't matter if the program is a failure. The cost is minuscule for the budget they have.

In recent years the right has been very concerned with balancing the national budget and shrinking debt. They're willing to cut spending for social programs and research, but god forbid you take money away from the military. It just wouldn't be patriotic.


marginline -> GeneralMittens 19 Sep 2015 13:14

Great summary GeneralMittens. You have expressed in layman's terms the facts eluded to by journalist Mehdi Hasan when he quantified the depth of the strategic disaster the Iraq war actually was – or, as the Conservative minister Kenneth Clarke put it back in a 2013 BBC radio discussion...

the most disastrous foreign policy decision of my lifetime [ ] worse than Suez

The invasion and occupation of Iraq undermined the moral standing of the western powers; empowered Iran and its proxies; heightened the threat from al-Qaeda at home and abroad; and sent a clear signal to 'rogue' regimes that the best (the only?) means of deterring a preemptive, US-led attack was to acquire weapons of mass destruction. [ ] Iraq has been destroyed and hundreds of thousands of innocent people have lost their lives, as the direct result of an unnecessary, unprovoked war that, according to the former chief justice Lord Bingham, was a...

serious violation of international law

This leads me to the conclusion and I apologies for flogging this dead horse yet again BUT...why are Bush and Bliar not being detained at The Hague?


Ieuan 19 Sep 2015 12:45

" I actually asked the CIA to analyze examples of America financing and supplying arms to an insurgency in a country that actually worked out well."

Well, they (the OSS at the time) supplied arms and training to the Viet Minh. When they were fighting the Japanese. Which worked out well, when they were only fighting the Japanese.

But when they used their expertise (and the arms they had left over) to carry on fighting the French, and later the Americans themselves, it worked out very well for the Viet Minh, not so well for the French and Americans.


GangZhouEsq 19 Sep 2015 12:27

The first President Bush, who decided not to topple President Saddam Hussein after routing his military forces out of Kuwait, and instead to leave him in power for the sake of the Middle East stability is, in retrospect, probably the wisest foreign policy decision ever made by the 41st President, thanks not only to his own personal judgment but also to his foreign policy aides' wisdom. Though it is now too late for the son to learn from his father, it is still not too late for the present administration to learn a thing or two from the former senior President Bush.

twoheadednightingale 19 Sep 2015 12:25

Nice to read an article coming at the war from this angle, seems like people are finally starting to question the effectiveness US foreign policy - ie bombing for peace. However the article is fairly nieve in places - like who actually believes the president of the US has control over all its intelligence agencies? JFK told the world in april '61, not long after the CIA had set him up over the bay of pigs and months before being assassinated exactly that. So enough of the 'blame the president' bullshit, it doesn't get to the root of the problem


GangZhouEsq 19 Sep 2015 12:17

The last major armament, including heavy guns, tanks and armored personnel carriers, as sent by the United States to the now notoriously incompetent Iraqi military forces is now reportedly in the hands of ISIS after these US-trained Iraqi military personnel simply abandoned their posts of defense and deserted for their own dear lives, thus leaving the centuries-old, formerly safe haven of Mosul for Iraqi Christians to the mercy of ISIS. See "60 Minutes", Sunday, September 13, 2015, "Iraq's Christians", at http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/iraqs-christians-the-shooting-at-chardon-high-king-of-crossfit.


pfox33 19 Sep 2015 12:04

The fact that Putin is coming to Assad's aid is a game-changer that the US was unprepared for. For one thing, it's highlighted how inconsequential US efforts to bolster "moderate" rebels and degrade ISIS capabilities have been.

From the time it was reported that the Russians were upgrading an airbase at Latakia to the time that it was reported that they had dispatched helicopters and jets and that the Syrians had started to take the fight to ISIS in Raqqah and Palmyra was only a matter of weeks. The CIA's program, after a year, had produced five soldiers at a cost of 500 million.

Previously the US had free reign over Syrian skies as did Israel who would bomb what they deemed to be convoys of military supplies for Hezbollah. Things aren't so free and easy now with the Russians in town. And both the Americans and Israelis now realize they have to check in with them before them they make sorties over northern Syria.

It's fairly obvious, to me anyway, that the US and Israel's only endgame was the fall of Assad and that ISIS had their tacit approval. Assad's good relations with Iran and Hezbollah meant he was a marked man. Putin, as is his wont, has complicated their plans and the results are yet to be seen.


BradfordChild TastySalmon 19 Sep 2015 11:58

"Iraq, Libya, Syria. What do/did these countries have in common? Unfriendly leaders who want nothing to do with the US."

Actually, Gaddafi had shown an interest in engaging with the West-- happened under Bush, but was never really followed up on. Still, it was headed in a more positive direction until Obama rather arbitrarily decided that Gaddafi had to go.

The real net effect of US intervention in the Middle East has been to destabilize Europe.


Tony Page bravo7490 19 Sep 2015 11:32

I would agree but, as a former intelligence professional, I'd remind you that there's always a story behind the story. Not that it's a "good" story! But more must be going on there...


ByThePeople 19 Sep 2015 11:12

"Why does the US continually send deadly weapons to the Middle East, make things even more chaotic than they were before and expect better results the next time?"

It depends on how you define better. To think that these ops take place with the intent to solve an issue is naive, they don't. You state yourself that the CIA freely admits it's never worked.

The reason the United States funds and arms groups in the Middle East is that 9 times out of 10, these same groups are then later labeled 'terrorists' and a new US war campaign is justified.

It's not about solving problems - unless the problem being solved is: How do we create more opportunities to half-ass justify engaging in another war effort so the US coffers can be continuously raped.

Iraq is the perfect example of succeeding in achieving this goal. Years before the Iraq war ever began, US war planners knew that a power vacuum, attracting the likes of Al-Qaeda and or ISIS would subsequently result. Thus, providing a for a second war, derived from the first seemingly pointless invasion. The Iraq plan worked fabulously as not only did the newly created enemy materialize, they also became a much more formidable enemy once they conveniently came into possession of all the military equipment we let behind.

Point is, they wouldn't continue implementing all these operations if the goal wasn't being achieved.

I will add too - McCain and Co. clamored so hard to arm the al-Assad opposition McCain might as well have claimed that if we did not, then America would be blown up in its entirety in 48 hours the same as all the other fear mongering done in a effort to continue the war efforts. Who knows, maybe he did, I try not to listen to him anymore - he needs to be put out to pasture.

TastySalmon 19 Sep 2015 11:10

Iraq, Libya, Syria. What do/did these countries have in common? Unfriendly leaders who want nothing to do with the US.

To suggest that funding radicals to overthrow these governments is a "whoops" or something that will never work is completely wrong. The plan has worked exactly as planned: destabilize the region by promoting dissent, covertly arm and fund "rebels" through back-channels (Saudi, UAE, Turkey, etc.), create a new boogeyman (ISIS), and reforge alliances with enemies (AQ) who will then turn on us again in the future.

The goal is to flatten Syria, and it seems to be working out very well. When you consider what the ultimate outcome will be, it starts becoming fairly clear: push Russia into a corner militarily and economically, open new LNG pipelines, appease allied caliphates, and put billions of dollars into the pockets of the wealthiest people.

LeftOrRightSameShite -> teaandchocolate 19 Sep 2015 10:51

Their policy is chaotic and consists of repeating the same thing over and over again hoping to get different results, which is, as we all know, the definition of madness.

I think the problem may well be the bloated MIC in the US. Too many strategic game plans for to many, often contradictory ends.

There are no doubt there are intelligence analysts in the US MIC who have a genuine interest in collecting actual information and present it honestly. The numerous leaks show us this.

The problem is, this often good information, once it's been spun through political/economic vested interests, think tanks, cold war jar head imperialists and so forth, it (foreign policy) ends up complete fubar.

To the point where, as you rightly say imo, their foreign policy looks like nothing more than "malicious wily manipulators, deliberately buggering up the world to make money out of the consequences."


david wright 19 Sep 2015 10:49

For a full century now, from the Balfour Declaration and the secret Sykes-Picot arrangement, the currently-top 'Western' dog (UK; then US) has been meddling and futzing around in the Middle East, notionally in someone's 'National Interest.'

Oil, access to Empire (route to India etc) and 'national prestige' have been the usual excuses. The result has been unmitigated disaster.

Ignoring everything up to Gulf 1 (1991) we've a quarter century century of determined scoring of own-goals. This shows no sign of changing. This is a helter-skelter race to destruction, greatly presently aided and abetted by Asad. So far, it's lasted two-and-a-half times longer than the combined lengths of both World Wars.

One conclusion is that by any rational assessment, we don't deserve to 'win', whatever that would constitute, any more than did one side or the other in the 16th -17th century's European religious wars. An equally rational assessment is that we neither have, nor can. The final rational conclusion, that we find a way to disengage - remarkably simply, by stopping doing all the things we have been - is a fence refused by the relevant horses - again, mainly US and (as very eager, jr partner indeed) UK.All apart from the monstrous outcomes for the people in the region, we destabilize our own security then make things worse by tightening our own internal 'security' at the expense of civil liberties. This gives away, at no gain, the slow and scrabbling accretion of these, over centuries. And Cameron and co remain sufficiently delusional to want to keep on bombing, but whatever toys they have, whatever seems a good idea on the day. How can we win? the war isn't on 'terror', but ion logic. Ours. |Neither the US nor UK governments have ever shown much interest in the fates of the millions of people their casual actions have ended, or made hell. Of the multiple ironies (shall I count the ways?) attending all this is that Saddam, while a murderous thug, and no friend to his own people, was doing for us, for free, what we've been unable to do for ourselves - keep Iraq al-Quaida free. AS to his murderous propensities, clearly far fewer of his people (alone) would have been killed had we not intervened, than we have directly or indirectly killed. Much of this stems from the fact that during the same recent period (1991 on) there has been no effective counter to Western power and inclination, which has simply projectile-vomited its baneful influence. Ironic too that the reason we armed and greatly helped create al-Quaida was to destabilize Russia by getting it bogged down in Afghanistan. Thus the only real fear which limited US action, was removed when that policy was successful. We removed the brakes as the train was beginning to accelerate down the incline. Wheeee!


teaandchocolate smifee 19 Sep 2015 10:47

Bush reached the Oval Office not because he was bright, for indeed he was not, he reached the Oval Office because he was dumb enough not to realise he was clearly easily manipulated, believed in neoliberalism and was rich and rich backers and a rich Dad.

As to "not having a serious mark against his name", forgive me if I laugh hysterically while crying with pain.

The least said about the moron Reagan and his jolly pal Thatcher the better. Oh how well their unregulated market shenanigans have turned out.

Crackpots the lot of them.


LethShibbo AndyMcCarthy 19 Sep 2015 10:35

Doing nothing and minding your own business is kinda the same thing.

And the civil war in Syria isn't purely a result of what happened in neighbouring Iraq.

What you're essentially saying is 'America, you've started this fire. Now let it burn.'


pansapians DrDrug 19 Sep 2015 10:28

Well of course ISIS were miffed that the U.S. was paying lip service to not arming ISIS. If you think there was ever any serious difference between the FSA and ISIS then I hear that the Queen having to sell Buckingham palace due to losses gambling on corgi races and I can get you a good deal for a cash sale


IrateHarry Havingalavrov 19 Sep 2015 10:17

Make Iraq work first..

ROFLMFAO...

Iraq has been so thoroughly screwed over by the UKUSA clusterfuck, there is no chance of it working ever again.


AndyMcCarthy LethShibbo 19 Sep 2015 10:12

Sorry, the US doesn't HAVE to make a choice, do nothing or bomb. All the US needs to do is mind it's own business.

We wouldn't be having this refugee crises if the US hadn't invaded Iraq.


Tomasgolfer 19 Sep 2015 10:10

For a little insight, see "The Red Line and the Rat Line", by Seymour M. Hersh. Published in the
London Review of Books


LeftOrRightSameShite contextandreality 19 Sep 2015 10:01

you write a article on myth that US armed rebels

The US (and the UK and France for that matter) has been openly arming and training the "rebels". The US had a vote in congress to openly do just that last year. Covertly, they've been doing it since 2012, again this has been well reported and admitted to.

The problem for the US is their so called "moderates" don't exist. They either switch allegiance once back in Syria or end up captured or killed just as quickly.
Your user name seems somewhat of a parody.


ArtofLies richardoxford 19 Sep 2015 10:00

How does that compute ?

it computes once one answers this slightly naive question from the article

Why does the US continually send deadly weapons to the Middle East, make things even more chaotic than they were before and expect better results the next time?

surely at some point people have to realise that chaos is the result the US is looking for.

IrateHarry 19 Sep 2015 09:56

Why does the US continually send deadly weapons to the Middle East

Because that is the backbone business of America - making and selling deadly weapons. Deadlier the better, and no matter whom they are supplied to. If foreign governments don't buy, does not matter, just supply it to "rebels", and they will be paid for by the tax payers across the west (not just the American ones, NATO has been set up as the mechanism to tap into European tax payers as well).

The rest of the bullshit like democracy, freedom, etc are marketeers' crap.

LeftOrRightSameShite -> geedeesee 19 Sep 2015 09:53

No wonder there's only "four to five" left. This is one big fustercluck!

There was a report in the NY Times last year by a reporter who was kidnapped by the FSA (his mission was to find them and find out who they were) and handed straight over to Al-Nusra. Twice. He was imprisoned and tortured by them.

In his revealing report, talking of the couple of days he spent back with the "FSA", his release having been negotiated by the west, he asked the "FSA" fighters about the training they received from the US in Jordan. The reporter put it to the fighters that the training was to fight AN/IS. Their response? "We lied to the Americans about that".
The WSJ also recently reported that the CIA mission to arm/train "moderates/FSA" had gone totally tits up. Most of them reported as defecting to one of the number of more extreme groups, some having been captured or killed.

It's been clear for about 2 years now that these so called "moderates" only exist in the deluded minds of western policy makers.


JacobHowarth MushyP8 19 Sep 2015 09:51

ISIS do not control that large a number of people. Many Kurds are fleeing because of IS, that's true, but for the most part the civil war is a horror show from both sides and Syrians are - rightly - getting the hell out of there.

Or are all of those 'taking advantage of the opportunity to move to Europeans [sic] countries' proposing to do so by going to Lebanon and Jordan?


Quadspect -> kingcreosote 19 Sep 2015 09:22

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/10218288/CIA-running-arms-smuggling-team-in-Benghazi-when-consulate-was-attacked.html

The suspiciously unasked questions as to motives of all parties at Benghazi, by all twelve (12) members of the Select Committee, suggests collaboration to question Hillary Clinton to make her appear responsible only for bungling security and rescue, for the sole purpose of diverting attention from Hillary Clinton's role in the CIA and the CIA operative Ambassador Stevens' arming of terrorists. The obvious question to ask would have gone to motives: "What activities were Stevens and the CIA engaged in, when they were attacked at Benghazi?"


GreenRevolution 19 Sep 2015 09:10

The use of religion(Islam specifically) in politics was first employed by the British in the Middle East in the early parts of the 20th century. In Iran, we have a saying which says; take off a Mullah's turban and you will find the words "Made in England" stamped on his head.


nnedjo 19 Sep 2015 09:09

Even more bizarre, the White House is claiming little to do with it. White House spokesman Josh Earnest attempted to distance Obama from the program, claiming that it was actually the president's "critics" who "were wrong."

Yes, it seems that it has become a tradition of US presidents to boast with the fact that "they do not interfere much in their own job".

For example, in the last campaign for the GOP candidate for the US president, Jeb Bush defended his brother George for a false pretext for war in Iraq in the form of non-existent WMD, claiming that everyone else would bring the same decision on the start of the war, if the same false intelligence would be presented to him.

Thus, the president of the United States can not be held accountable for its decisions if the CIA deliver him false intelligence, or deliberately conceal the true intelligence. On the other hand, since no one has heard of any person from the CIA which is held responsible for the wrong war in Iraq, it turns out that nobody is responsible for this war.

And, to us, mere mortals, it remains only to conclude that the most powerful war machine in the world moves "without a driver", or maybe it is "driven by some automatic pilot".

So, how tragic it is, and yet we can not help laughing. :-)


mikiencolor 19 Sep 2015 09:06

It was obvious to anyone with a modicum of sense from the beginning that the "moderate" rebel training programme would be an utter disaster. But if the lessons you are taking is that nothing should be done at all, I'd submit you are taking the wrong lessons from the debacle. Doing nothing at all would have condemned tens of thousands more to genocide. Doing something saved thousands of Yezidi and saved Rojava.

Wherever the Kurds have been supported they have proved capable, trustworthy and have created functional civil societies. To broadly and undiscerningly dismiss "sending weapons to the Middle East" is disingenuous. Something must be done, and things can be done to help rather than harm if there is a sensible policy maker, and doing nothing certainly can be more immoral and evil than doing something - as I thought we'd learned from Nazi Germany.

The reality is one that neither right wing nor left wing hardliners are willing to face: the Sunni Arab jihadis are the source of most of the problems and the reason is entirely to do with their noxious genocidal and imperialistic ideology and culture. They are a source of instability, enmity and fear, and not just in the Middle East either. And they are being supported and bankrolled by Western allies in the Gulf. The world is a big place with many peoples and ways of thought, and many disagreements - but we nearly all of us seem able to find a way to coexist in this new globalised technological human civilisation. The jihadis are a barbarian throwback, a movement of violent primitivists. There is no place for jihadism in the future and they are a threat to everyone in the world.


ID0020237 -> teaandchocolate 19 Sep 2015 09:01

Insanity I believe, not madness, but what's the difference. The CIA may get it right, but after political interference and manipulation, they change their conclusions. We've seen this with the Iraq debacle and elsewhere. Just as political interference in military operations, Viet Nam for example, causes imminent failure, so it is with intelligence ignored.


GeneralMittens 19 Sep 2015 09:01

So basically America invades and bombs the shit out of everywhere and the europeans have to clean up the mess and deal with the resulting refugee crisis?

At some point America should be held accountable for their actions in the middle east. Whether thats taking their fair share of refugees from syria or footing the bill for this clusterfuck.

At the very least, other countries should stop enabling their warmongering.


LittleGhost 19 Sep 2015 08:58

US foreign policy in the ME proves Einstein's maxim

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

GreenRevolution 19 Sep 2015 08:57

It has been 14 years since 911 and Bush's so called "war on terror". Not only barbaric wahabi terror has not been defeated it has grown its barbarism to magnitudes unimaginable previously. Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey have been allowed to arm them to the teeth by the very states who claim to be waging "war on terror". Since Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey are close allies of the west and one is a member of NATO, it follows that the west is in fact arming the wahabi terrorists who have turned the Middle East into a wasteland murdering and looting at will. Millions are now refugees, countries laid to waste and yet Mr Kerry and Hammond talk as if they have done such magnificent jobs and Russian involvement would only "complicate" things.


teaandchocolate 19 Sep 2015 08:56

I don't think they have the brightest people working in the CIA and the military in the USA. They are probably bullies, relics from the Cold War, jar-heads, devout 6000-year-old-world Christians, neocons and fruitcakes. Their policy is chaotic and consists of repeating the same thing over and over again hoping to get different results, which is, as we all know, the definition of madness.


smifee 19 Sep 2015 08:52

To be honest, I don't see any confusion.

Obama comes across as a (comparatively) humane person, and I am sure that his personal preference would be for there to be no violence in the middle east. As President of the USA, however, he has to set aside his personal preferences and act in the wider interests of his country.

The US set out to realign the political make up of the middle east. No doubt, they want to make sure Islam will never again be able attack US interests.

Successive Administrations have controlled the funding and arming of various factions within the Middle East to ensure that Muslims kill each other and weaken social structures. The US will fill the ensuing political vacuum and economic waste-land with local leaders loyal to 'freedom, democracy and the American Way'. The next Administration will continue to stoke up the violence, and the one after, and the one after that until the US is satisfied it has achieved its objective.

It seems almost all of us have to contain our personal views if we want to succeed in our place of work. Even the P of the USA.

GoldMoney -> celloswiss 19 Sep 2015 08:51

True, in a democracy, moderates don't need bombs and assault weapons.

Consider this - how would you feel if foreign governments were arming and funding the IRA in Northern Ireland?

What if foreign governments recognised the IRA as a legitimate opposition to the Belfast government and gave them bombs to take over the country?


MichaelGuess 19 Sep 2015 08:46

Who are the real terrorists, the group that bombs indiscriminately, the group that sells arms to both sides, the group that's lies to its "coalition" partners, the group that spies on all its friends, the group that is happy to be starting wars everywhere and then blame other parties for their lack of support.
These are the real terrorists.

MushyP8 19 Sep 2015 08:46

ISIS/ISIL is a creation of the US in an attempt to remove Assad. The long-term goal being to isolate Iran before going in there for the natural resources.

Assad won 89% of the vote in a 74% turnout, how many world leaders have 65% of the population supporting them, hence why Assad hasn't fallen. Naturally the US refuted this alongside its lapdogs, the EU and the UK, as it disproves all the propaganda they've been feeding the west. RT news did an interview with Assad which was very insightful.

Putin seems to be the only one who's got his head screwed on in this situation, which is of course leading to hissy fits by the US because he's proving a stumbling block. More nations need to get behind Putin and Assad, although of course the US wont.

GoldMoney DrDrug 19 Sep 2015 07:52

Moderates do, when the simple act of protesting against the mutilation of children detained by the states secret police are met with a volley of snipers.

No such evidence has been bought to the UN security council. Even the chemical attack that the media claimed from day one was Assad's forces doing turned out to be IS rebels actions. The two human rights groups operating in Syria are western funded NGO's - hardly a neutral point of view given the US's long stated aim of removing Assad (even before 2011).

geedeesee 19 Sep 2015 07:25

This $500 million from June 2014 was for recruiting Syrian rebels seeking to oust President Bashar al-Assad - not to fight iSIS.

The White House said at the time:

"This funding request would build on the administration's longstanding efforts to empower the moderate Syrian opposition, both civilian and armed, and will enable the Department of Defense to increase our support to vetted elements of the armed opposition."

The White House statement specifically refers to the "Syrian opposition". That's the term we use to describe anti-government forces. This recruitment and training programme has gone awry because the people originally recruited would have been anti-Assad. Now the Obama administration has tried to change the same people to fighting to ISIS instead. No wonder there's only "four to five" left. This is one big fustercluck!

kingcreosote 19 Sep 2015 07:12

The CIA has probably been the greatest destabalising force in the world since the second world war and seem like more a subsidiary of the weapons trade than a government department.

[Jan 31, 2019] Do you think that the Guardian will shortly report that Iraq's WMD were snuck out of Iraq and hidden in Venezuela all those years ago?

Jan 31, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

The Rev Kev , , January 31, 2019 at 8:08 am

Do you think that the Guardian will shortly report that Iraq's WMD were snuck out of Iraq and hidden in Venezuela all those years ago?

Colonel Smithers , , January 31, 2019 at 8:36 am

Thank you, Kev.

Please don't give the scoundrels at King's Place any ideas.

[Jan 29, 2019] These 2020 hopefuls are courting Wall Street. Don t be fooled by their progressive veneer by Bhaskar Sunkara

Highly recommended!
Taming of financial oligarchy and restoration of the job market at the expense of outsourcing and offshoring is required in the USA and gradually getting support. At least a return to key elements of the New Deal should be in the cards. But Clinton wing of Dems is beong redemption. They are Wall Street puddles. all of the them.
Issues like Medicare for All, Free College, Restoring Glass Steagall, Ending Citizen's United/Campaign finance reform, federal jobs guarantee, criminal justice reform, all poll extremely well among the american populace
If even such a neoliberal pro globalization, corporations controlled media source as Guardian views centrist neoliberal Democrats like Booker unelectable, the situation in the next elections might be interesting.
Notable quotes:
"... Bhaskar Sunkara is a Guardian US columnist and the founding editor of Jacobin ..."
"... 2016 has shown that the Democratic party is beyond redemption. When it comes down to the choice of either win with a platform that may impact the wealth and power of their owners, or losing, they will always choose the latter, and continue as useful (and well paid) idiots in the charade presented as US democracy. ..."
Jan 15, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

In their rhetoric and policy advocacy, this trio has been steadily moving to the left to keep pace with a leftward-moving Democratic party. Booker , Harris and Gillibrand know that voters demand action and are more supportive than ever of Medicare for All and universal childcare.
Gillibrand, long considered a moderate, has even gone as far as to endorse abolishing US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) and, along with Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders' single-payer healthcare bill. Harris has also backed universal healthcare and free college tuition for most Americans.

But outward appearances aren't everything. Booker, Harris and Gillibrand have been making a very different pitch of late -- on Wall Street. According to CNBC , all three potential candidates have been reaching out to financial executives lately, including Blackstone's Jonathan Gray, Robert Wolf from 32 Advisors and the Centerbridge Partners founder Mark Gallogly.

Wall Street, after all, played an important role getting the senators where they are today. During his 2014 Senate run, in which just 7% of his contributions came from small donors, Booker raised $2.2m from the securities and investment industry. Harris and Gillibrand weren't far behind in 2018, and even the progressive Democrat Sherrod Brown has solicited donations from Gallogly and other powerful executives.

When CNBC's story about Gillibrand personally working the phones to woo Wall Street executives came out, her team responded defensively, noting her support for financial regulation and promising that if she did run she would take "no corporate Pac money". But what's most telling isn't that Gillibrand and others want Wall Street's money, it's that they want the blessings of financial CEOs. Even if she doesn't take their contributions, she's signaling that she's just playing politics with populist rhetoric. That will allow capitalists to focus their attention on candidates such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who have shown a real willingness to abandon the traditional coziness of the Democratic party with the finance, insurance and real estate industries.

Gillibrand and others are behaving perfectly rationally. The last presidential election cost $6.6bn -- advertising, staff and conventions are expensive. But even more important than that, they know that while leftwing stances might help win Democratic primaries, the path of least resistance in the general election is capitulation to the big forces of capital that run this country. Those elites might allow some progressive tinkering on the margins, but nothing that challenges the inequities that keep them wealthy and their victims weak.

Big business is likely to bet heavily on the Democratic party in 2020, maybe even more so than it did in 2016. In normal circumstances, the Democratic party is the second-favorite party of capital; with an erratic Trump around, it is often the first.

The American ruling class has a nice hustle going with elections. We don't have a labor-backed social democratic party that could create barriers to avoid capture by monied interests. It's telling that when asked about the former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper's recent chats with Wall Street political financiers, a staff member told CNBC: "We meet with a wide range of donors with shared values across sectors."

Plenty of Democratic leaders believe in the neoliberal growth model. Many have gotten personally wealthy off of it. Others think there is no alternative to allying with finance and then trying to create progressive social policy on the margins. But with sentiments like that, it doesn't take fake news to convince working-class Americans that Democrats don't really have their interests at heart.

Of course, the Democratic party isn't a monolith. But the insurgency waged by newly elected representatives such as the democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ro Khanna and others is still in its infancy. At this stage, it isn't going to scare capital away from the Democratic party, it's going to make Wall Street invest more heavily to maintain its stake in it.

Men like Mark Gallogly know who their real enemy is: more than anyone else, the establishment is wary of Bernie Sanders . It seems likely that he will run for president, but he's been dismissed as a 2020 frontrunner despite his high favorability rates, name recognition, small-donor fundraising ability, appeal to independent voters, and his team's experience running a competitive national campaign. As 2019 goes on, that dismissal will morph into all-out war.

Wall Street isn't afraid of corporate Democrats gaining power. It's afraid of the Democrats who will take them on -- and those, unfortunately, are few and far between.

Bhaskar Sunkara is a Guardian US columnist and the founding editor of Jacobin

memo10 -> Karen Maddening , 15 Jan 2019 14:05

Just like universal health care, let's give up, it's too hard, we're not winners, we're not number one or problem solvers and besides, someone at some time for some reason might get something that someone else might not get regardless if that someone else needs it. Let's go with the Berners who seem to believe there will never be none so pure enough to become president.

The corporate state does not cast the votes. The public does.

Leaning farther to the left on issues like universal healthcare and foreign wars would be agreeing with the public. Not only the progressive public, but the GENERAL public. The big money donors are the ONLY force against the Democrats resisting these things.

mp66 , 15 Jan 2019 13:38
2016 has shown that the Democratic party is beyond redemption. When it comes down to the choice of either win with a platform that may impact the wealth and power of their owners, or losing, they will always choose the latter, and continue as useful (and well paid) idiots in the charade presented as US democracy.
Pete Healey , 15 Jan 2019 13:31
Bernie's challenge will "morph into all-out war". "Wall Street isn't afraid of corporate Democrats", blah, blah, blah. But we're going to continue to play along? Why? Oh yeah, Bhaskar Sunkara will have us believe "There is no alternative". Remember TINA? Give it up, man, just give it up.
yayUSA , 15 Jan 2019 13:17
Tulsi entering is big news.
Danexmachina , 15 Jan 2019 12:31
One dollar, one vote.
If you want Change, keep it in your pocket.
We can't turn this sinking ship around unless we know what direction it's going. So far, that direction is just delivering money to private islands.
Democrats have a lot of talk, but they still want to drive the nice cars and sell the same crapft that the Republicans are.
Taxing the rich only works when you worship the rich in the first place.
Tim Cahill , 15 Jan 2019 12:00
Election financing is the single root cause for our democracy's failure. Period.

I really don't care too much about the mouthing of progressive platitudes from any 2020 Dem Prez candidate. The only ones that will be worth voting for are the ones that sign onto Sanders' (or similar) legislation that calls for a Constitutional amendment that allows federal and state governments to limit campaign contributions.

And past committee votes to prevent amendment legislation from getting to a floor vote - as well as missed co-sponsorship opportunities - should be interesting history for all the candidates to explain.

Campaign financing is what keeps scum entrenched (because primary challengers can't overcome the streams of bribes from those wonderful people exercising their 'free speech' "rights" to keep their puppet in govt) and prevents any challenges to the corporate establishment who serve the same rich masters.

Lenny Dirges -> Vintage59 , 15 Jan 2019 11:55
Lol, Social Security, Medicare, unemployement protections, so many of the things you mentioned, and so much more, were from the PROGRESSIVE New Deal, which managed to implement this slew of changes in 5 years! 5 years! You can't criticize "progressives" in one sentence and then use their accomplishments to support your argument. Today, the New Deal would be considered too far left by most so called "pragmatic liberals." I assume you are getting fully behind the proposed "Green New Deal" then, right?
memo10 -> L C , 15 Jan 2019 11:54

Vintage59 pointed out lots of things people have changed. Here's an exhaustive list of the legislation passed by people who didn't get elected but were more progressive than the people who did:

There is also a steadily growing list of Democrats who did worse in elections than a hypothetical Democratic candidate had been projected to do.

The party can either continue being GOP-Lite or it can start winning elections. It can't do both.

memo10 -> 2miners , 15 Jan 2019 11:49

Forget it Bernie and Co. -with the women haters in his ranks and his apparent tepid support from African Americans he's way off the pace

Way off the pace compared to who? Trump?

memo10 -> IamDolf , 15 Jan 2019 11:44

Nobody is going to get elected on a far left platform. Not in the USA and not anywhere. That's just a fact. And everybody is going to need $$$ in the campaign. Of course candidates are going to suck up to Wall street and business in general.
And we would have been a thousand percent better off with HRC in the white house than we are now with the Trumpostor.

We don't need a candidate with far-left platform, we need one that is left-leaning at all. HRC and her next generation of clones are mild Republicans.

memo10 -> xxxaaaxxx , 15 Jan 2019 11:40

Those who want to push the Democrats to the left in order to win perhaps need to stop talking to each other and talk to people who live outside of LA and NY. If you stay within your bubble it seems the whole world thinks like you.
How old will Sanders be in 2020?

The people (outside the coasts) lean to the left some big issues. Medicare for all. Foreign wars. etc.

A sane person might ask why in the hell the left-side party is leaning farther to the right than the general public.

memo10 -> Peter Krall , 15 Jan 2019 11:17

Sanders is a dinosaur. If there is a reason for Wall Street to be wary of him then it is that the mentally challenged orange guy may win another term if the Democrats run with Sanders.

Hopefully, Sanders will understand what many of his supporters do not want to see: At some time age becomes a problem. If the Democrats decide to move to the left rather than pursuing a pragmatic centrist approach, Ocasio-Cortez might be an option. If they opt for the centrist alternative, it might be Harris or Gillibrand. Or, in both cases, a surprise candidate. But Sanders' time is over, just as Biden's Bloomberg's.

It's true, but Trump is such a clusterfuck that an 80yo president is still be a better situation. Many countries have had rulers in their 80s at one time or another.

Trump is clearly showing early-stage dementia now. Compare footage of him 10+ years ago to anything within the last 6-12 months and it's obvious. The stress levels of being the POTUS + blackmailed by Putin + investigations bearing down on him . . . it's wearing him down fast.

L C -> HobbesianWorlds , 15 Jan 2019 11:15
Anti-trust would be a very good place to start with.

Universal healthcare is a lot harder than you seem to think. I'd love it, but getting there means putting so many people out of work, it'll be a massive political challenge, even if corporations have no influence. Progressives might be better off focusing on how to ensure the existing system works better and Medicaid can slowly expand to fill the universal roll in the future.

Vintage59 -> BaronVonAmericano , 15 Jan 2019 11:05
Wall Street is a casino. The House never loses.
Vintage59 -> Lenny Dirges , 15 Jan 2019 11:02
Everything changes constantly.

Where has offering candidates who actually have a chance to win gotten us? Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, the ADA, Title 9, Social Security, and more. None of these exist without constant changes. All took years to pass against heavy opposition. None went far enough. All were improvements.

The list of wrongheaded things that were also passed is longer but thinking nothing changes because it takes time is faulty logic.

ytram -> ChesBay , 15 Jan 2019 10:30
Our capitalist predators are still alive and well. The finance, insurance, and real estate
organizations are the worst predators in the USA.
They will eat your babies if you let them.

[Jan 29, 2019] Bilderberg 2015: where criminals mingle with ministers by Charlie Skelton

Notable quotes:
"... The Bilderberg set call people like you either their "dogs" (if you are in politics or the military) or the "dead." ..."
"... What do you mean "where criminals mingle with ministers". That is assuming that ministers are not criminals. Considering that there will be ministers from the USA, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the UK, I'd suggest that there is a near 100% certainty that some, if not all, the ministers there are criminals. ..."
"... That one group of almost-certainly-criminals meets another group of almost-certainly-criminals is hardly surprising. That the whole shebang is protected by the host's police force is even less so ..."
Jun 12, 2015 | The Guardian
Convicted criminals. Such as disgraced former CIA boss, David Petraeus, who's just been handed a $100,000 (£64,000) fine and two years' probation for leaking classified information.

Petraeus now works for the vulturous private equity firm KKR, run by Henry Kravis, who does arguably Bilderberg's best impression of Gordon Gecko out of Wall Street. Which he cleverly combines with a pretty good impression of an actual gecko.

... ... ...

"Can I go now?" Another no. So I continued my list of criminals. I moved on to someone closer to home: René Benko, the Austrian real estate baron, who had a conviction for bribery upheld recently by the supreme court. Which didn't stop him making the cut for this year's conference. "You know Benko?" The cop nodded. It wasn't easy to see in the glare of the searchlight, but he looked a little ashamed.

... ... ...

I decided to reward their vigilance with a chat about HSBC. The chairman of the troubled banking giant, Douglas Flint, is a regular attendee at Bilderberg, and he's heading here again this year, along with a member of the bank's board of directors, Rona Fairhead. Perhaps most tellingly, Flint is finding room in his Mercedes for the bank's busiest employee: its chief legal officer, Stuart Levey.

A Guardian editorial this week branded HSBC "a bank beyond shame" after it announced plans to cut 8,000 jobs in the UK, while at the same time threatening to shift its headquarters to Hong Kong. And having just been forced to pay £28m in fines to Swiss regulators investigating money-laundering claims. The big question, of course, is how will the chancellor of the exchequer, George Osborne, respond to all this? Easy – he'll go along to a luxury Austrian hotel and hole up with three senior members of HSBC in private. For three days.

High up on this year's conference agenda is "current economic issues", and without a doubt, one of the biggest economic issues for Osborne at the moment is the future and finances of Europe's largest bank. Luckily, the chancellor will have plenty of time at Bilderberg to chat all this through through with Flint, Levey and Fairhead. And the senior Swiss financial affairs official, Pierre Maudet, a member of the Geneva state council in charge of the department of security and the economy. It's all so incredibly convenient.

... ... ...

Related: The Guardian view on HSBC: a bank beyond shame | Editorial

consumersunite -> MickGJ 12 Jun 2015 15:23

Let's see, maybe because we have read over their leaked documents from the 1950s in which they discussed currency manipulation and GATT. Everything they have discussed in their meetings over the past decades has almost come to fruition. There are elected officials meeting with criminals such as HSBC. Did you even read the article? If you did, and you are not het up or whatever you call it, then you are of a peasant mentality, and there is no use talking to you.

The Bilderberg set call people like you either their "dogs" (if you are in politics or the military) or the "dead." I won't be looking for your response because you have confirmed that you do not matter.

Carpasia -> MickGJ 12 Jun 2015 10:52

Thank you for your comment, my good man. Hatred is human, and helps us all to avoid pain, for pain, especially unnecessary pain, is allowed to be hated by the agreement of all, if nothing else is. I would hate to be beaten by Nazis. Thus, I would avoid going to a place where that could occur. That is how hatred works for me. It is the only way it can work, and not be pernicious to the self and others.

I distrust the international order as it is the means, harnessed by money, whether corporate or state or individual or monarchical, by which this world is being destroyed. Could things have been better? Jesus is on one end of the spectrum, and Lord Acton on the other, of the spectrums of viewpoints from which that could be properly assessed.

If the corruption at the heart of the international order is not regulated properly, this world will come to an end, not the end of the world itself, but the end of the world as we know it. This is happening now. The world is finite.

I am not a xenophobe. In my experience, the people that are most likely to hurt me, and thus deserve fear, are those closest. Perhaps that is a cynical way of describing it, but anyone who thinks honestly about it would accede to the notion that it is the people who "love" us that hurt us the most, for we agree too be vulnerable to them. It is the matrix of love.

As for Austria and Bavaria, I have visited both places and they were, both, the cleanest locales I have ever seen, with Switzerland having to be mentioned in the same breath, of course.

I take a certain liberty in writing. I am not damning the human race, or strangers to me. If I did not entertain, but caused offence, I apologize to you. I do not possess omniscience, and my words will have to speak for themselves.

Thank you, again.

DemonicWarlordSlayer 12 Jun 2015 08:02

"How Geo Bush's Grandfather Helped Hitler's Rise to Power" in the UK Guardian >

"Did Geo H W Bush Coordinate a JFK Hit Team" at Veterans Today >

"9/11 Conspiracy Solved, Names, Connections, Details" on youtube....dot-to-dot of the

Demonic Warlord's Crimes Against Humanity....end feudalism.


Carpasia 12 Jun 2015 07:09

Excellent article.

I visited Austria once, and I know of what he speaks. It was the one place I have ever visited that I thought I would be jailed if I littered. I was wandering at the time, but I tentatively had a meal of chicken and departed henceforth.

Austrians are an interesting lot, to be sure. That they are perfect goes without saying. Their main virtue is that they do not travel, and that strangers, which we call tourists these days, are not welcomed. If only we were all like that, the world would be a far better place.

Austrians do everything well, including crime. Some of the greatest crimes in the world have been committed by Austrians, but their crimes did not include not having their papers.

During World War 2, and I pass over Hitler, the German machine of death had an unusually high proportion of Austrians in commanding roles assisting it. It can not be explained away by saying they were some kind of faux Germans, and so it matters not. Indeed, if anything, Germans are faux Austrians, looked at in the broad brush of history. Men of many nations joined the Germans and adorned themselves with the Death's Head, but many Austrians might as well have tattooed it onto their foreheads. I know of what I speak, for I read on it, and will justify if questioned.

Reinhard Heydrich is an epitome of this, in the true sense of the word. Kurt Waldheim was another, too young too rise too far before the Ragnarok of May of 1945, but government of the world was not out of his reach, a man who had materially assisted the transportation of the Jews of Thessaloniki to the gas chambers of Auschwitz and, when challenged, was unrepentant, not as a racist, but as something worse even, as a man whose great virtue was that he followed orders. It is order that the Austrians value over everything. Even crime is ordered.

In the common-law west we think criminals are disordered beasts to be locked up. We do not give them papers. They are registered only to warn us of their existence, and we do not like to let them travel, as much as we could benefit by their absence, because we think they flee to license, and we think it wrong to inflict them upon innocents abroad. In Austria, the criminal is the man with no papers. If he has papers, all is well, and he is no criminal, whatever he has done.

colingorton 12 Jun 2015 03:19

What do you mean "where criminals mingle with ministers". That is assuming that ministers are not criminals. Considering that there will be ministers from the USA, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the UK, I'd suggest that there is a near 100% certainty that some, if not all, the ministers there are criminals.

That one group of almost-certainly-criminals meets another group of almost-certainly-criminals is hardly surprising. That the whole shebang is protected by the host's police force is even less so.

How far can all this mutual back scratching go? It seems that the only alternative left is far too drastic, but there really seems to be no place for a legal alternative, does there?

[Jan 29, 2019] Guardian became D>eep State Guardian

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The Guardian has lost all sense of proportion – mention Tommy Robinson and the entire staff through themselves to floor and roll round like dying flies – yet for when it comes to US neocons they go all misty eyed, redolent of a broody couple when they come across a particularly adorable baby. ..."
"... I would wager a medium sum that Tisdall is on a payroll other than the Grauniad's, or he's an actual asset per Ulfkötte's books and media appearances. ..."
"... George Bush spent his adult life organizing operations and wars that killed a few million people. Anyone who has spiritual beliefs must wonder how it is to die with so much killing on your record or conscience (if you have one). ..."
"... That's something I've wondered about many times. If you review John McCain's actions and comments before he died, it seems these people don't have a conscience. ..."
"... Reagan was primarily a mantle piece for the banking, oil and defense sectors to run wild. Is it really so hard to believe GHW Bush was running the National Security Council? It was a CIA wet dream come true (especially after the alligator-armed "investigations" of the 70's. ..."
"... The Deep State Guardian. Why don't they just change their name to 'The Daily Thatcherite' and have done with it. ..."
"... They should just show it's full title: The Guardian Of The Establishment ..."
"... well, yeah. but for us mad people it goes deeper even than that: https://geopolitics.co/2018/12/02/in-memoriam-george-h-scherff-jr-aka-george-hw-bush-sr/ ..."
Dec 22, 2018 | off-guardian.org

Oslo - Norway, Dec 4, 2018

Let's never forget George H W Bush's love for incubator babies. He loved fake incubator babies.

The incubator baby actress wasn't just any 15 year old, she was the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to Canada –

https://www.youtube.com/embed/cqiq8P8dRtY?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Philpot, Dec 4, 2018
British and most western media are either in the direct or indirect pay of their governments. What journalist can expose this for us? Any of you willing to make the biggest scoop of the 21st century? Tom Bradbury at ITN must be on the spook payroll, for starters? MI6 had foreign correspondents for years, but domestic mouthpieces must now be on the take too? All paid to demonise Russia and Putin.
harry stotle, Dec 4, 2018

The Guardian has lost all sense of proportion – mention Tommy Robinson and the entire staff through themselves to floor and roll round like dying flies – yet for when it comes to US neocons they go all misty eyed, redolent of a broody couple when they come across a particularly adorable baby.

Simon 'white helmets' Tisdall is especially egregious – one can imagine him throwing darts at a picture of Putin while producing his latest homily to the murderous actions of gangsters like Bush and his crime family.

Its hard not to despair now this has become the official face of Britains so-called liberal media.

Yarkob, Dec 4, 2018
I would wager a medium sum that Tisdall is on a payroll other than the Grauniad's, or he's an actual asset per Ulfkötte's books and media appearances. As with Michael White, with whom I had a very illuminating argument via email a few years back. He *is* an asset, not a journalist (and a massive dick, to boot)
George cornell, Dec 4, 2018
I thought the attitude of the Bush family to their fellow Americans was best illustrated by Barbara's response to the plight of the homeless victims of Katrina who had been transported to the Houston domed stadium. They spent their nights there sleeping on hard benches and when good ole Babs heard of it, she opined that they probably had never had it so good so why were they complaining. Could Mother Theresa have had greater generosity of spirit?
Gekaufte Journalisten (bought journalism), Dec 4, 2018
Not just one article, the awful Guardian is full of contents eulogising [yet another] mongrel of a president.

But look at conservative media. The crazy Infowars.com described this Bush as an Anti-American Globalist and Traitor!! .. and zerohedge.com is celebrating: "The Evil Has Died" and "In 2016 he voted for Hillary Clinton, because the Deep State Swamp sticks together". https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-02/exploring-dark-side-bush-41

Just tell me, who is the rabid neo-con right-wing rag that is glorifying wars and mass murderers?

Norcal, Dec 4, 2018
Speaking of neighbors you might appreciate this excellent Journalism by Robert Parry: https://consortiumnews.com/2018/12/03/bush-41s-october-surprise-denials-2/
DunGroanin, Dec 4, 2018
The late Robert Parry, sad to say. Maybe that now both the 'MacBeths' are stains on the tarmac – Parry's notes of the bloodstained legacy of that dynasty can finally be displayed? That Barbara was one cold blooded mother! Would have happily pulled a trigger on JFK, MLK herself (some think).

Just about the whole century from the setup of the Fed, the two world wars, the depression, Hitler, Korea, Cuba all of it, had a a Bush hand in it. He was the self crowned Caesar having publicly executed the whole of Camelot and left us with a poison toad, reminds us how low the Bush's took the USA.

David Eire, Dec 3, 2018
George Bush spent his adult life organizing operations and wars that killed a few million people. Anyone who has spiritual beliefs must wonder how it is to die with so much killing on your record or conscience (if you have one).
Loverat, Dec 4, 2018
That's something I've wondered about many times. If you review John McCain's actions and comments before he died, it seems these people don't have a conscience. If you surround yourself with people of similar mindset and in a climate where war is considered obligatory for US Presidents, you go into self denial. Wars are probably like an addiction for these people and once you get to that stage you no longer have a conscience.

During John McCain's funeral where all living ex-presidents were in attendance, someone remarked on Twitter, 'Quick, lock the church doors and hold the war crimes trial in the church!'. This was a far more realistic observation than the sickening McCain apologist BBC coverage we were subjected to.

At the weekend I went to the place where Oliver Cromwell lived. There was an American tourist who told us she was shocked about Oliver Cromwell being dug up from his grave and his head stuck on a pike. She said it was gruesome. I was tempted to say that at least that was 350 years ago, and similar things are happening today in Iraq, Syria and Libya – all places where the US has instigated the chaos and supports the perpretators. I resisted the temptation.

I note that Cromwell thought he was chosen by God to do what he did. But again that was in different times and there were some redeeming factors in what he did, Probably on par with Obama – who wreaked havoc on the Middle East but reached agreements on Iran and Cuba. Plus Obama looked cool while killing and droning.

But what goes around comes around. I sense the pure evil involved in the current regime change wars, government, media etc will pay a heavy price – whether in this life or the next.

mark, Dec 4, 2018
The state controlled BBC has just done another puff piece on McCain saying what a splendid chap and great statesman and all round good egg he was.

The MSM likes to slag off Vlad The Bad by droning on about how he was in the KGB. But Bush wasn't just IN the CIA, he was the BOSS of the CIA, at a time when hundreds of thousands of Central American peasant farmers and Indians were being killed by CIA trained and orchestrated death squads.

Gezzah Potts, Dec 4, 2018
Mark: jayzus Mark, don't you just want to projectile vomit when you see all this absolute bullshit, just straight out revising of history, just the lies, on and on . I was involved in a Central American solidarity group in the 1980s – early 90s here in Aussie, found out then all about U.S style 'democracatic values' and 'human rights concerns' and death squads and various fascists fully supported by the United States, and places like Guatemala and Nicaragua. Its all an illusion for 'polite society' and the gullible to believe in. Sigh
mark, Dec 5, 2018
I can't remember the exact figures but I think it was over 200,000 murdered in Guatemala out of a population of 4 million. It was the same story in El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Colombia. And of course the CIA satrap Noriega was hauled off in chains when that country was invaded. But Uncle Sam is finally paying a price for his antics south of the border. Those societies were wrecked and brutalised beyond repair. There is now an unbelievably high murder rate of women in Guatemala. Millions of those people have sought some kind of refuge in the belly of the beast, causing an immigration crisis, with an illegal immigrant population that may be as high as 30 million. Hence all the uproar over Trump's wall. The immigration crisis was a factor in Trump's election, just as the tidal wave of migrants from the destroyed countries of the Middle East was a factor in Brexit. Cameron, Sarko and Clinton thought it was a spiffing idea and quite a wizard wheeze to bomb Libya back to the Stone Age. So we now have a Mad Max failed state complete with warlords and slave markets just across the Med. What goes around, comes around. You can't expect to export violence and mayhem abroad and remain immune to it at home.
Gezzah Potts, Dec 5, 2018
Mark: after Efrain Rios Montt seized power in a coup in Guatemala in 1982, US Ambassador Frederick Chapin declared that thanks to the coup of Rios Montt "the Guatemalan Govt has come out of the darkness into the light". That sums it up in one sentence, and you're probably aware of the mass killing and disappearances under his genocidal tyranny. Reagan kindly submitted that Rios Montt was 'getting a bum rap on human rights, the same Reagan who declared the Contra's were 'The moral equal of our founding fathers'. In El Salvador, the same mass slaughter, the same mass upheaval, and even murdering Archbishop Romero. You only need to look at what happened in Central & South America to understand what the United States really represents.
Jen, Dec 4, 2018
I would have bypassed the war crimes trial, locked the church and then built a moat stocked with crocodiles and piranhas around it.
mark, Dec 4, 2018
That's entirely right. People understandably despise and revile people like Brady and Hindley, Sutcliffe, Dahmer, Bundy and the like. But they killed a handful of people and were often very damaged individuals to begin with. And at least they did their own dirty work. Subhuman scum sucking filth like Bush, Bush 2, Obama, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Rice, Blair, Straw and Campbell are a thousand times worse. They kill millions without getting their hands dirty, and preen and posture as great statesmen and public servants, expecting deference and state funerals and puff piece obituaries from nauseating, loathsome, lickspittle media hacks like Tisdall.
Caitlin Ni Chonaill, Dec 6, 2018
You left out Kissinger and Albright.
Gezzah Potts, Dec 3, 2018
Nailed it Kit. The attempt at revionism and rewriting history by these craven creatures, these sycophantic slimebag shills for Imperialism and War and the Anglo Zionist Empire. They don't speak truth to power, they protect and grovel to the powerful. The eulogising and fawning of Bush was stomach churning, as it was for the arch Imperialist McCain when he croaked. Thank God for alternative news sites, and yeah Caitlin Johnston @ medium nailed it as well, as Fair Dinkum mentioned. Where's John Pilger when you need him?
Badger Down, Dec 3, 2018
GBH Bush's Highway of Death deserves mention. I'll spare you the pictures.
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=highway+of+death+desert+storm&t=h_&atb=v92-2_f&ia=web
systemicfraud, Dec 3, 2018
What no one seems to realize is that the VP often takes charge of the US National Security Council when POTUS is not able to attend meetings, which are held weekly. Under Eisenhower it was Richard Nixon who often took charge of the meetings -- Tim Weiner's book "Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA" gives some details on this. Reagan was primarily a mantle piece for the banking, oil and defense sectors to run wild. Is it really so hard to believe GHW Bush was running the National Security Council? It was a CIA wet dream come true (especially after the alligator-armed "investigations" of the 70's.
Fair dinkum, Dec 3, 2018
Caitlin sums it up: https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2018/12/01/if-you-murdered-a-bunch-of-people-mass-murder-is-your-single-defining-legacy/
Simon Hodges, Dec 3, 2018
The Deep State Guardian. Why don't they just change their name to 'The Daily Thatcherite' and have done with it.
Frankly Speaking, Dec 4, 2018
They should just show it's full title: The Guardian Of The Establishment
kevin morris, Dec 3, 2018
'Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, America's Invisible Government, and the Hidden History of the Last Fifty Years' by Russ Baker -- a fascinating account of the Bush family's involvement in a great deal of nefarious activity. Bush senior is one of the few people who didn't remember where he was when Kennedy was shot. Baker puts him in Dallas.
lysias, Dec 4, 2018
Now that G.H.W. Bush hss died, is there anybody suspected of involvement in the JFK assassination still alive?
kevin morris, Dec 4, 2018
I don't know but as a fairly apolitical individual, I never much bothered with the Kennedy Assasination. All that changed when during the fiftieth anniversary, BBC Radio Four ran a program which included an interview with the Dallas police officer who was handcuffed to Lee Harvey Oswald when he was shot by Jack Ruby. The consensus of that program was that the case was open shut and Oswald did it. Around that time, several newspapers in the UK featured articles claiming that Oswald acted alone.

Whether or not anyone actively involved still lives, their descendants still do and the probable organising body too. There still appears to be determination in some quarters to spread disinformation about the case. Given that as long ago as the late seventies the House of Representatives Assassination Committee concluded that JFK's death was probably the consequence of a conspiracy, determination amongst the mainstream media to lay Kennedy's death at the hands of Oswald alone suggests that there is still determination that the truth never becomes public.

Frankly Speaking, Dec 3, 2018
Exactly what i was thinking!

I'm sickened by the Guardian's and BBC's obedience to the US neocon project to seek, or create, and destroy "enemies" and whilst ignoring all the disgusting atrocities that arise as a consequence.

The Guardian is not even worth the paper it's printed on. It's become The Guardian Of The Establishment rather than of the Truth which it used to proclaim.

George cornell, Dec 4, 2018
It is in danger of losing its budgie-cage-liner status. If budgies can talk they may refuse to evacuate on it. What kind of person maintains ties to such a a poor excuse for cage toiletry. The moral crunch time for their journalists (actually their opinionists) came and went a long time ago.
Brutally Remastered, Dec 3, 2018
What a great piece. My parents knew them in New York and they came over once and left behind an embossed packet of White House cigs. I asked my father (before he died) what he thought of them and all he ever said was he thought that Barbara was the intellect in the family.
Bloody annoying, thanks Pater.
Marianne Birkby, Dec 3, 2018
From 2004

"The induction of DU weapons in 1991 in Iraq broke a 46-year taboo. This Trojan Horse of nuclear war continues to be used more and more. DU remains radioactive longer than the age of the earth (estimated at 4.5 billion years). The long-term effects from over a decade of DU exposures are devastating. The increased quantities of radioactive material used in Afghanistan are 3 to 5 times greater than Iraq, 1991. In Iraq, 2003, they are already estimated to be 6 to 10 times 1991, and will travel through a larger area and affect many more people, babies and unborn. Countries within a 1000-mile radius of Baghdad and Kabul are being affected by radiation poisoning

Badger Down, Dec 3, 2018
"DU remains radioactive longer than [ ] 4.5 billion years." It's worse than that. It loses half of its radioactivity in that time. The good news is that that slow release means "D"U doesn't zap you much. The bad news is it's chemically toxic, like a heavy metal (which it is).
nwwoods, Dec 3, 2018
Also no mention of the body of circumstantial evidence linking Bush to JFK's murder, though Bush repeatedly insisted that he couldn't recall his whereabouts that day (I can precisely recall where I was, and I was 9 years old in 1963), in spite of the fact that solid documentary evidence exists that puts him in Dallas on Nov 22, 1963.
Norcal, Dec 4, 2018
The very first Google Search I did was this, (George H.W. Bush+November 22, 1963) and it yielded a page like the following link, which began my research into the JFK Assassination.

http://www.lookingglassnews.org/viewstory.php?storyid=5420

nomad, Dec 3, 2018

well, yeah. but for us mad people it goes deeper even than that: https://geopolitics.co/2018/12/02/in-memoriam-george-h-scherff-jr-aka-george-hw-bush-sr/

Bush Sr. : Crypto-Nazi patriarch and his disciples
https://eclinik.files.wordpress.com/2018/12/barbara-bush-funeral-four-presidents-four-first-ladies.jpg?w=672&h=372&crop=1

[Jan 29, 2019] Brexit and the future of neoliberalism in UK

Dec 17, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Dave_P -> willpodmore , 23 Aug 2016 10:57

The EU didn't impose austerity on the UK, its own government did. We don't have the euro, in case you haven't noticed. The US is our top overseas buyer. If we want more of that, we'll have to take something like TTIP or worse.

The EU was a voice for African, Caribbean and Pacific producers against US transnationals, and offered favorable terms. We've weakened that voice.

Brexit makes us more dependent on the IMF, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley. They're not EU bodies.

Britain opposed EU democratisation for forty years by upholding national governments' veto powers over proposals supported by elected MEPs.

You voted against everything you claim to uphold. Because it was a vote against everything.

None of that's even the issue. Do you have an insight to offer beyond antipathy to the EU?

[Jan 24, 2019] Putin is routinely described as a murderer and a thug in the western MSM. With no evidence is provided to support this. Ditto the claims he has billions syphoned away in some offshore haven.

Jan 24, 2019 | off-guardian.org

grandstand says Jan, 16, 2019

Whatever the truth, and I become daily more distrustful of the media that regularly attack Putin in this way, I doubt very much if his crimes in this regard come anywhere near those of Bush, Cheney, Blair, Cameron, Obama, and Bill and Hillary Clinton.
mark says Jan, 16, 2019
This is just routinely parroted by the MSM and equally routinely expanded upon by them. Organs like the Guardian/ BBC casually announce that Putin has stolen £40 billion (sometimes this is casually raised to £200 billion, which would make him the richest man on the planet and people like Gates/ Buffett poor as church mice by comparison.)Occasionally someone does ask for details, like bank transfers, property holdings or whatever.

Nothing is ever forthcoming. All they come up with is that he has some nice Italian suits and a nice gold watch that cost him $1,200.

Apart from that, these allegations must be true because some financial fraudster mate of Khordokovsky who sought refuge in the US said so. Sounds pretty convincing to us here in the MSM – what more evidence do you need? Of course Putin is just a kleptocratic thug and James Bond cartoon villain who has people murdered purely for the fun of it.

George cornel l says Jan, 16, 2019
Very late in the game I finally saw the documentary Icarus recently. I had passed it up because I thought I could predict that it would be rampantly dishonest, and an exercise in propaganda. It having received an Academy award seemed to be an independent confirmation of my prejudice.

Well, I was right for once. It was disgraceful, and the most common image in it was of Putin, accompanied by feeble ad hominem claims, without any counterpoints of any kind. So the core issue, cheating at the Olympics, turned out to be presented with no context at all, for the anti-Russian smear job. No mention of Balco, Carl Lewis, Marion Jones, and just a few seconds of an unidentified Lance Armstrong.

So now we see awards for propaganda. The Americans don't do fairness or integrity, but now they don't even pretend.

mark says Jan, 17, 2019
They gave an Integrity in Journalism award to the Ukraine journalist who faked his own death.
Fair dinkum says Jan, 16, 2019
Tolkien also comes to mind here.
Us 'hobbits' are treated as inferior beings by the 'Saurons', 'Nazguls' and 'Gollums' of this world.
Gandalf ?
We're waiting
Francis Lee says Jan, 16, 2019
Comments were true and apposite enough, but it's all been said really. But given that this is largely an information war the truth needs continuously asserting.

Our opponents – the Guardian (minitru on thames) the New York Post (Pravda on the Hudson) the Washington Post (Izvestia on the Potomac) – sole tactic is constant repetition, this should be our tactic also but with evidence to back it up.

We need to constantly expand our readership and challenge the lunatic narrative of the PTB. We are now in a pivotal historical moment. If we fail it will be Hunger Games.

Loverat says Jan, 16, 2019
Francis Lee

I agree about the repetition but do you want to know what I think? I think you need to play MSM and others a little bit at their own game. They don't back anything up with evidence. They write short pieces of fiction as statements of fact. Yet they are believed.

The thing is all 'our' evidence is already out there just by taking a look. (e.g White Helmets will take you 15 minutes to doubt that narrative) You have an army of researchers/journalists (e.g Kit Klarenberg, Vanessa Beeley etc) posting detailed evidence out there. A lot of the independent/academic articles I read are well backed up with evidence but the problem is to someone not up to speed, is less inclined to read a long article backed up by detailed reasoning and evidence within it.

I think this article is clear and credible and prompts those new to independent thought to look at different sources of information.

So perhaps more independent writing, which is creative setting out the facts in an intelligent way as above and invite (through links) the reader to look at the evidence which is plentiful, at their leisure.

Humour is another good way of spreading the message. The CJ Hopkins piece a few days ago very effective.

[Jan 24, 2019] The Skripal case is a classic illustration of Coleridge's willing suspension of disbelief, Roh's magical realism and Orwell's doublethink (the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct) all rolled into one

Skripals case reminds us that the Red Brigades in Italy and Baader-Meinhof in Germany were entirely bogus and controlled intelligence operations. It's the same story with the "Symbionese Liberation Army" in the US. Then there's Gladio and Northwoods.
Realpolitik has become surrealpolitik. In Skripals case Russia was immediately blamed, despite the fact an investigation had barely begun That instantly suggests british intelligence services participation in Skripals poisoning.
Were are currently the father and daughter who were allegedly poisoned is unknown. Why they are in hiding is also unknown. But such quetions are never raised by MSM.
In the Middle Ages, everybody knew that witches, fairies, pixies and elves existed and were responsible for everything that went wrong in life, like the cows or the pigs falling sick or the hens stopping laying. But round about the early 1600s, judges and juries started demanding evidence and acquitting defendants in witch trials. They accepted their existence, but still wanted to see some evidence. The folk in the 1600s were probably more sceptical and less credulous than our friends like Harding at the Guardian today.
The public can be persuaded to accept almost anything providing the story chimes with deep seated fears or prejudices, such as Russians threatening 'our way of life' (fears and prejudices continually stoked by the media of course)
Jan 16, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Skripal. The final illustration is the alleged of poisoning with "Novichok" of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury in March 2018. This was immediately blamed on Russia, again before an investigation had been concluded, followed by sanctions, the expulsion of Russian diplomats (including by Australia) and a general tirade of abuse against Russia in general and President Putin in particular.

The Skripal case is a classic illustration of Coleridge's willing suspension of disbelief, Roh's magical realism and Orwell's doublethink (the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct) all rolled into one.

Rob Slane ( www.theblogmire.com 9 January 2019) has brilliantly deconstructed the many logical, scientific and political absurdities in the official story. One will wait in vain for the merest hint of this demolition in the mainstream media.

One possible reason for this non-coverage of the actual evidence and instead a non-stop barrage of disinformation, suppression of evidence and manipulation of the public can be found in the activities of a shadowy organisation known as the Institute for Statecraft, and one of its projects known as the Integrity Initiative (sic).

Fresh revelations are emerging about this project on a daily basis and a proper analysis must await developments. Suffice to note at this point that the Integrity Initiative is known to be funded by the United Kingdom government, ostensibly to counter 'Russian disinformation.' It is rather a major project to spread falsehoods about Russia through "clusters" of journalists working in mainstream media outlets.

The latter have gone beyond the willing suspension of disbelief and instead actively promote disinformation they know to be untrue. It is not only potential embarrassment that prevents this story getting the attention it deserves. It is a strong suspicion, no more than that at the time of writing, that a D Notice has been issued in the United Kingdom and Australia.

The effect has been to prevent discussion of what is an extraordinary campaign to mislead the public, attack opposition politicians and the alternative media, and generally undermine what used to be regarded as a free press.

That some of the same personnel involved in the Integrity Initiative are also involved in the Skripal matter (itself subject to a D Notice) reinforces the belief that this project has wider tentacles than originally thought .

Paul Carline says Jan, 18, 2019
Major credit due to U.K. Column News who originally researched and broke the story about the Integrity Initiative. Loading...
vexarb says Jan, 17, 2019
The Integrity Initiative

http://syriapropagandamedia.org/working-papers/briefing-note-on-the-integrity-initiative

Syrian Observatory For Human Wrongs says Jan, 17, 2019
"If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't." Lewis Carroll.

"Integrity Initiative"
"United Nations"
"Free Press"
"Liberal"
"American Intelligence"

Syrian Observatory For Human Wrongs says Jan, 17, 2019
All you need to know ; )

https://syrianobservatoryforhumanwrongs.wordpress.com/2018/07/09/an-idiots-guide-to-the-skripal-affair/

[Jan 22, 2019] Didn't help that the ostensibly neutral DNC was sending emails saying that they should play up Bernie Sanders' Jewish faith (among other attack strategies), fed debate questions to the Clinton campaign or tried to limit opportunities for Bernie and Hillary to share a stage together

Notable quotes:
"... Trump's recent tax cuts are a good example. Most of the actual cuts go toward the corporations and ultra-wealthy, which just increases the deficit while shifting the proportion of taxes paid onto the middle class. It's a con that many Americans are inexplicably susceptible to believing, for some reason. ..."
Jan 22, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

cagnusdei -> lullu616 , 15 Jan 2019 10:50

Didn't help that the ostensibly neutral DNC was sending emails saying that they should play up Bernie Sanders' Jewish faith (among other attack strategies), fed debate questions to the Clinton campaign or tried to limit opportunities for Bernie and Hillary to share a stage together.

Bernie Sanders is widely considered by many to be one of the most popular American politicians, more than Trump and certainly more popular than Hillary. I think an interesting phenomenon to notice is the lengths the GOP, in particular, will go to in order to convince the average voter that anything that cuts taxes is inherently good for the 'little guy,' while anything that raises taxes is bad.

Trump's recent tax cuts are a good example. Most of the actual cuts go toward the corporations and ultra-wealthy, which just increases the deficit while shifting the proportion of taxes paid onto the middle class. It's a con that many Americans are inexplicably susceptible to believing, for some reason.

[Jan 22, 2019] Something about female chickenhawks: they probably perceived that only males could be doves. A total lack of integrity.

Jan 22, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

Haigin88 -> Tom J. Davis Clinton's Iraq war vote. She was always dealing with the inverse Nixon In China rule. Just as only Nixon could speak with China, she probably perceived that only males could be doves. That's an explanation not an excuse. Again, a total lack of integrity from Clinton.

Also, much of Clinton's later foulness was attempted to be offset by her early opinions and actions - her speeches at college; her working for children. Gabbard is around the other way: her record got better, offsetting much of her earlier nonsense. Clinton and Gabbard are apples and oranges, I think ,

Clinton's Iraq war vote. She was always dealing with the inverse Nixon In China rule. Just as only Nixon could speak with China, she probably perceived that only males could be doves. That's an explanation not an excuse. Again, a total lack of integrity from Clinton.

Also, much of Clinton's later foulness was attempted to be offset by her early opinions and actions - her speeches at college; her working for children. Gabbard is around the other way: her record got better, offsetting much of her earlier nonsense. Clinton and Gabbard are apples and oranges, I think

[Jan 22, 2019] Neoliberal Dems circled wagons and used Russiagate to avoid the necessary changes: they are now doomed

Jan 22, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

ravioliollie -> lullu616 , 15 Jan 2019 08:55

As usual, the pledge ultimately never changes, New jobs and No increase in taxes. Americans love tag lines even though our infrastructure, poor education et al is the result of fear of taxation. Both parties use the same tag line, we certainly get what we pay for.
TempsdesRoses , 15 Jan 2019 08:47
Yep,
The party has circled its wagons.
They insist that the Evil Vlad stole the last election.
Therefore, no need to examine Obama's centrist/neoliberal policies and the socio-economic conditions that fueled the rejection of Hillary.
We're doomed to repeat our errors.
The farcical DNC leadership echoes the days of Brezhnev's intransigent politburo.

[Jan 22, 2019] The neoliberalism of the Democratic Party elite (and most of the rank and file) is one big factor in our 2016 loss.

Jan 22, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Art Glick

, 15 Jan 2019 09:44
The neoliberalism of the Democratic Party elite (and most of the rank and file) is one big factor in our 2016 loss. Even voters too ignorant to see Trump for what he really was - voters that are misinformed to the point that they unwittingly and continually vote against their own best interests - realized how much the Dems have sold out to Wall Street.

HRC would have been nominated in '08 if she had kissed more Wall Street you-know-what. That's why they anointed Obama who then proceeded to squander eight years of opportunity to remove big money from politics and enact progressive reforms to health care, the environment, etc.

Bernie is a bit long in the tooth, so I am all in for Liz Warren. She's the only one with both the courage and the intelligence to take on the big money that controls our politics.

Therefore, you can expect the Russian trolls to be coming for her in force. If you read anything negative about Warren in the coming months, check the source and don't trust the accuracy.

[Jan 22, 2019] Benito Mussolini defined fascism as "Barely able to slip a cigarette paper between business and government."

Jan 22, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

William Anthony -> BoneyOCoonassa , 15 Jan 2019 09:40

We've known since WW2, that fighting fascism is difficult. Benito Mussolini defined fascism as "Barely able to slip a cigarette paper between business and government." And when business runs government, we have even exceeded fascism. The new battle against fascism is not going to be easy.

[Jan 22, 2019] The Fetishization of the Corporate Media by C.J. Hopkins

Among few good things that Trump have done to the USA is that he destoryed credibility of neoliberal MSM. They all are now firmly belong to the "fake news" catagory.
Notable quotes:
"... C. J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and political satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing (UK) and Broadway Play Publishing (USA). His debut novel, ZONE 23 , is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant Paperbacks. He can be reached at cjhopkins.com