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Neoliberal Brainwashing: Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few

Journalism Vacation from Truth

I think journalists today — elite journalists at least — absorb the biases of the ruling class far more readily than they used to do. The media establishment is populated by yes-men. I do not understand how any skeptical person can, in good conscience, trust a western MSM description of foreign events. You need a second source to compare coverage. The mainstream media gives us no real news. Just the talking points they were given. Seeing how they treat the concept of truth these days, one might think that MSM just don’t care anymore.

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

News Anti Trump Hysteria Recommended Links Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism Purple revolution against Trump Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak
Demonization of Putin Hillary Clinton email scandal: Timeline and summary Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? Obama's Putin-did-it fiasco Media-Military-Industrial Complex Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton
Doublespeak Discrediting the opponent as favorite tactic of neoliberals The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment Freedom of speech played by Western MSM as three card monte Patterns of Propaganda The importance of controlling the narrative
MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage Cold War II "Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place Neoconservatism as the USA version of Neoliberal ideology  Charlie Hebdo - more questions then answers New American Militarism
Swiftboating: Khan gambit against Trump at Democratic Convention Pussy Riot Provocation and "Deranged Pussy Worship Syndrome" Deception as an art form The Deep State National Security State Totalitarian Decisionism & Human Rights: The Re-emergence of Nazi Law
Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair US and British media are servants of security apparatus The attempt to secure global hegemony American Exceptionalism Co-opting of the Human Rights to embarrass governments who oppose neoliberalism Manipulation of the term "freedom of press"
Lewis Powell Memo Anatol Leiven on American Messianism Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Edward Lucas as agent provocateur Groupthink Soft propaganda
Diplomacy by deception Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources Deconstructing neoliberalism's definition of 'freedom' The Real War on Reality Nation under attack meme Bullshit as MSM communication method
Neo-fascism Classic Hypocrisy of British Ruling Elite Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? Big Uncle is Watching You What's the Matter with Kansas Media as a weapon of mass deception
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass The Good Soldier Svejk Nineteen Eighty-Four Propaganda Quotes Humor Etc

"The truth is that the newspaper is not a place for information to be given,
rather it is just hollow content, or more than that, a provoker of content.
If it prints lies about atrocities, real atrocities are the result."

Karl Kraus, 1914

WAR IS PEACE. FREEDOM IS SLAVERY. IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

1984

We are the world, we are exceptional, we cannot fail. The elite will lie, and the people will pretend to believe them. Heck about 20 percent of the American public will believe almost anything if it is wrapped with the right prejudice and appeal to passion. Have a pleasant evening.

jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com, Feb 04, 2015

Journalists manipulate us in the interest of the Powerful

Do you also have the feeling, that you are often manipulated by the media and  lied to? Then you're like the majority of Germans. Previously it was considered as a "conspiracy theory". Now it revealed by an Insider, who tells us what is really happening under the hood.

The Journalist Udo Ulfkotte ashamed today that he spent 17 years in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. ...he reveals why opinion leaders produce tendentious reports and serve as the extended Arm of the NATO press office. ...the author also was admitted into the networks of American elite organizations, received in return for positive coverage in the US even a certificate of honorary citizenship.

In this book you will learn about industry lobby organisations. The author calls hundreds of names and looks behind the Scenes of those organizations, which exert bias into media, such as: Atlantic bridge, Trilateral Commission, the German Marshall Fund, American Council on Germany, American Academy, Aspen Institute, and the Institute for European politics. Also revealed are the intelligence backgrounds of those lobby groups, the methods and forms of propaganda and financing used, for example, by the US Embassy. Which funds  projects for the targeted influencing of public opinion in Germany 

...You realize how you are being manipulated - and you know from whom and why. At the end it becomes clear that diversity of opinion will now only be simulated. Because our "messages" are often pure brainwashing.

Gekaufte Journalisten - Medienwelt Enthüllungen Bücher - Kopp Verlag

How does Fake History and Fake News gradually supersede their reality-based version and were enforced ont he society as the only acceptable narrative. My impression is that McCarthyism was not exactly only about Communists. It has elements of a more general witch hunt for "dissidents" who question "official Washington narrative". In other words it was a "cult-style" practice of mind control

"The primary aim of official propaganda is to generate an "official narrative" that can be mindlessly repeated by the ruling classes and those who support and identify with them. This official narrative does not have to make sense, or to stand up to any sort of serious scrutiny. Its factualness is not the point. The point is to draw a Maginot line, a defensive ideological boundary, between "the truth" as defined by the ruling classes and any other "truth" that contradicts their narrative. "

 Due to the size an introduction was converted to a separate page Neoliberal Propaganda


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[Jun 22, 2017] Playing Games with Drugs at the Wall Street Journal

Jun 22, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , June 21, 2017 at 05:02 AM

http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/playing-games-with-drugs-at-the-wall-street-journal

June 20, 2017

Playing Games with Drugs at the Wall Street Journal

A column * in the Wall Street Journal by Dana P. Goldman and Darius N. Lakdawalla presents a case for high drug prices by making an analogy to the salaries of major league baseball players. They ask what would happen if the average pay of major league players was cut from $4 million to $2 million. They hypothesize that the current crew of major leaguers would continue to play, but that young people might instead opt for different careers, leaving us with a less talented group of baseball players. Their analogy to the drug market is that we would see fewer drugs developed, and therefore we would end up worse off as a result of paying less for drugs.

This analogy is useful because it is a great way to demonstrate some serious wrong-headed thinking. It also leads those of us who had the privilege of seeing players like Bob Gibson, Sandy Koufax, Henry Aaron, and Willie Mays in their primes to wonder if there somehow would have been better players 50 years ago if the pay back then was at current levels.

But the issue is not just how much we should for developing drugs, but how we should pay. Suppose that we paid fire fighters at the point where they came to the fire. They would assess the situation and make an offer to put out the fire and save the lives of those who are endangered. We could haggle if we want. Sometimes we might get the price down a bit and in some occasions a competing crew of firefighters may show up and offer some competition. Most of us would probably pay whatever the firefighters asked to rescue our family members.

This could lead to a situation where firefighters are very highly paid, since at least the ones who came to rich neighborhoods could count on payouts in the millions or even tens of millions of dollars. Suppose someone suggested that we were paying too much for firefighters' services and argued that there we could drastically reduce what we pay for a service we all recognize as tremendously important. Well, Goldman and Lakdawalla would undoubtedly respond with a Wall Street Journal column telling us that fewer people will want to be firefighters.

But this is really beside the point. Just about everyone agrees that it does not make sense to be determining firefighters' pay when they show up at the fire. We pay them a fixed salary. While they sit around waiting most of the time, occasionally they provide an incredibly valuable service saving valuable properties from destruction or even more importantly saving lives.

No one thinks that firefighters get ripped off because they don't walk away millions of dollars when they save an endangered family. They get paid their salary (which we can argue whether too high or too low) for work that we recognize as dangerous, but which will occasionally result in enormous benefits to society.

In the case of developing drugs, we are now largely in the situation of paying the firefighters when they show up at the burning house. As a result of historical accident, we rely on a relic of the medieval guild system, government granted patent monopolies, to finance most research into developing new drugs. These monopolies allow drug companies to charge prices that are several thousand percent ** above the free market price.

This leads to all the corruption and distortion that one would expect from a trade tariff of 1000 or even 10,000 percent. These markups lead drug companies to expend vast resources marketing their drugs. They also frequently misrepresent the safety and effectiveness of their drugs to maximize sales. They make payoffs to doctors, politicians, and academics to enlist them in their sales efforts. And, they use the legal system to harass potential competitors, often filing frivolous suits to dissuade generic competitors.

This system also leads to a large amount of wasted research spending. This is in part because competitors will try to innovate around a patent to share in the patent rents. In a world of patent monopolies it is generally desirable to have competing drugs, however if the first drug was selling at its free market price, it is unlikely that it would make sense to spend large amounts researching the development of a second, third, and fourth drug for a condition for which an effective treatment already exists, rather than researching drugs for conditions for which no effective treatment exists.

Patent monopolies also encourage secrecy in research, as drug companies disclose as little information as possible so that they prevent competitors from benefiting from their research. This also slows the research process.

The obvious alternative would upfront funding, just like firefighters are paid a fixed salary for their work. Under this system a condition of the funding would be that all the research findings are posted on the web as quickly as practical to maximize the ability of the scientific community to benefit. We already do this to some extent with the $32 billion a year that goes to the National Institutes of Health, although this amount would likely have to be doubled or even tripled to make up for the research currently supported by government granted patent monopolies. (I outline a system for this in my book "Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Have Been Structured to Make the Rich Richer" *** - it's free.)

Anyhow, it would be good if we could be having a debate about how we finance drug research rather than just telling silly stories about baseball players salaries. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Al Franken, Sherrod Brown and thirteen other senators have already introduced a bill that would have the government pick up the tab on some clinical trials and then putting the rights to successful drugs in the public domain so they can be sold at generic prices. The bill also has a patent buyout fund that would accomplish the same goal.

It is absurd that we charge people hundreds of thousands of dollars for life-saving drugs that cost a few hundred dollars to produce. Too bad the Wall Street Journal has so little creativity that it cannot even imagine an alternative to a grossly antiquated institution when it comes to financing prescription drug development.

* https://www.wsj.com/articles/take-me-out-to-the-pill-game-1497913367

** http://www.thebodypro.com/content/78658/1000-fold-mark-up-for-drug-prices-in-high-income-c.html

*** https://deanbaker.net/images/stories/documents/Rigged.pdf

-- Dean Baker

[Jun 22, 2017] What is Thucydidess Trap, and how does it inform U.S.-China relations in the 21st century

Nuclear weapons changes the situation and that makes all those Thucydides Trap considerations pretty shaky indeed... Displacement of the British empire by the USA is another counterexample.
Jun 22, 2017 | www.quora.com
What is Thucydides's Trap, and how does it inform U.S.-China relations in the 21st century? The Thucydides Trap: Are the U.S. and China Headed for War? Harold Kingsberg , Reader Updated Oct 20, 2015 · Upvoted by Marc Bodnick , Former Stanford PhD student in Politics The Thucydides Trap is a term coined by Graham T. Allison, a Harvard professor and recognized US national security and defense policy expert. The concept itself comes from, fittingly, Thucydides, a Greek historian from about 2400 years ago who wrote a book entitled The History of the Peloponnesian War , generally regarded as the first work of history as we'd recognize it.[1] Thucydides argued that the cause of the Peloponnesian War was "the growth of Athenian power and the fear which this caused in Sparta." In other words, as one power rises, an already established power gets nervous and gears up for war, with this devolving into a vicious cycle that eventually results in war.

Now, if we apply the Thucydides Trap to the US-China relationship, China is the counterpart of Athens, the US is the counterpart of Sparta, and there's going to inevitably be war between the two. And certainly, there are people in the US who feel that the rise of China is a direct threat to the dominance of the US and we should all gear up for war because... well, mostly yellow peril.

Thirty years ago, there was another East Asian power on the rapid economic rise. It owned a massive chunk of US debt, it was buying up US property left, right and center, it had a well-funded military and a history of using it. Of course, as Japan is in its third Lost Decade, it's fairly clear to see that Japan's meteoric rise came crashing to a halt, and most of the comments made about how the Japanese would eat the US' lunch now seem dated in the extreme. Which is to say that the Thucydides Trap requires the continued rise of the emerging power. It is not difficult to imagine China continuing to rise; however, it is also not difficult to imagine China stalling out for a few years. It is this latter possibility that makes the Thucydides Trap eminently avoidable.

China's economy has boomed in a frankly unparalleled way since Deng Xiaoping introduced the socialist market economy. Much of this growth has been genuine. Some of it has been anything but. The latter is most evidently seen in China's ghost cities, which the government keeps erecting. Ordos, in Inner Mongolia, is probably the most famous of these, but the basic problem is that the city was erected with the idea that people would flock to it and that didn't happen.[2] This constitutes a pretty stunning waste of resources, and it's not a tenable strategy for long-term growth. Similarly, when the Shanghai Stock Exchange tanked in August of 2015, the Chinese government's management of the situation was to pour money into it – again, not a viable strategy for maintaining a robust market economy in the long-term. It's clear that the Chinese government has done something right these past few decades, but it's increasingly unclear if the Chinese government can continue that record of success for very much longer.

There's also another problem China's looking at that makes the parallel to Japan even more pronounced: an aging population. China's attempts at controlling demography have been deeply problematic and left it with serious issues. Mao Zedong's attempts to boost the population beyond sustainable levels was overly successful and led to problems, but the subsequent walking back of Mao's demography with the One Child Policy has led to a gender imbalance and a smaller younger generation than the older one. This is the exact opposite of what you want in an age pyramid, because the elderly produce less than do young adults, and consume considerably more health care (among other things). This is a problem that Japan has been trying to figure out for years, and they've had no success. Singapore has had issues reversing their own highly successful demographic programs. China may figure out how to crack the tough nut, but it's not going to have an easy time of it.

This is all very well-known to the people at the helm of American foreign policy, so it's quite unlikely that they're going to fall into the Thucydides Trap, simply because they're going to be a little leery of China's continued rapid growth. Yes, the IMF cites China as having a larger economy (based on GDP PPP) than the US', but when you look at it per capita, China lags Turkmenistan. It's therefore a country still punching well below its weight. Now, it's true that if China continues to rise, it may yet get the US nervous – but most economists predict a slowdown in China, so we're a ways from that happening, anyway. Most of the people worrying about China's rise would worry about any Asian country doing well, even an ally's.

However, the slowdown in the Chinese economy does cause issues of its own. Like many other governments facing economic worries, the Chinese government has engaged in some nationalist saber-rattling and expansionism in recent years. Combine this with Japan's recent law allowing the JSDF to be deployed away from Japan, and Japan being a key US ally, and you're looking at a very uncomfortable situation. The majority of analysts don't expect a war between Japan and China over the Senkaku/Diayou Islands, but then, most didn't expect a war between the UK and Argentina over the Falklands, either.[3] So long as it all remains just talk, this is fine, but if either side actually does something, that could destabilize quickly, and the US isn't about to hang Japan out to dry. This is known by all parties, and seeing as how war would be terrible for everyone's bottom line, everyone's generally trying to avoid it while still getting a little bump in the polls all the same. This isn't so much the Thucydides Trap so much as it is a rough analogue of what's going in with Russia and Ukraine or what happened with Russia and Georgia back in 2008. Thus, in many ways, the continued rise of China is a preferable outcome from the perspective of a US foreign policy analyst.[4] Now, you can argue that this is another manifestation of Thucydides' Trap, but frankly, I don't think that doing so is a valuable exercise. Thucydides was specifically referring to the continuing rise of one country causing another to react with great hostility, and this paragraph does not describe that in the slightest.

And even ignoring all of the above, Thucydides lived 2400 years ago and some of the facts on the ground have changed. We spent forty years following the Second World War of the rising power not getting into a big fight with the established one,[5] the US and the UK didn't go to war during the early twentieth century and neither did the US and Japan in the back half of the twentieth century. I'm not saying that Thucydides has stopped being accurate altogether, but it was always a massive generalization and it seems to be holding less and less true the longer the Long Peace goes. The bottom line is that Daniel Defoe's more applicable than Thucydides here: the only things certain in life are death and taxes.

[1] Yes, Herodotus is called the "Father of History," but he tended to attribute events to the wills of specific gods. Thucydides kept everything grounded in the human sphere, although precisely how much of the History is dead accurate and how much he invented is a matter of some controversy. His records of speeches – for example, Pericles' funeral oration and the Melian dialogue – are generally viewed with a little bit of suspicion.

[2] Alternatively, one can take the view that the city was built to prop up the construction industry, but I tend to doubt that. In any event, here's a link to an article about the deserted city: Welcome to The World's Largest Ghost City: Ordos, China

[3] And remember, that was another case of a country whose growth rate had stalled but good going up against an established power.

[4] It would also be preferable if Japan could also get its internal issues sorted for the same reason.

[5] Not counting proxy conflicts, of course. There were US-USSR dust-ups, but no direct fighting between the two.

[Jun 22, 2017] Can America and China Escape Thucydidess Trap?

Thucydides's Trap is a fake notion... This is unproven hypothesis. for example GB lost the power to the USA without major war between them.
The Thucydides Trap is a term coined by Graham T. Allison, a Harvard professor and recognized US national security and defense policy expert. The concept itself comes from, fittingly, Thucydides, a Greek historian from about 2400 years ago who wrote a book entitled The History of the Peloponnesian War, generally regarded as the first work of history as we'd recognize it.[1] Thucydides argued that the cause of the Peloponnesian War was "the growth of Athenian power and the fear which this caused in Sparta." In other words, as one power rises, an already established power gets nervous and gears up for war, with this devolving into a vicious cycle that eventually results in war.
See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thucydides
Jun 16, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne -> anne... , June 21, 2017 at 04:33 AM

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/15/books/review/everything-under-the-heavens-howard-french-destined-for-war-graham-allison.html

America's Collision Course With China
By JUDITH SHAPIRO

EVERYTHING UNDER THE HEAVENS
How the Past Helps Shape China's Push for Global Power By Howard W. French

DESTINED FOR WAR
Can America and China Escape Thucydides's Trap?
By Graham Allison

The Chinese superpower has arrived. Could America's failure to grasp this reality pull the United States and China into war? Here are two books that warn of that serious possibility. Howard W. French's "Everything Under the Heavens: How the Past Helps Shape China's Push for Global Power" does so through a deep historical and cultural study of the meaning of China's rise from the point of view of the Chinese themselves. Graham Allison's "Destined for War: Can American and China Escape Thucydides's Trap?" makes his arguments through historical case studies that illuminate the pressure toward military confrontation when a rising power challenges a dominant one. Both books urge us to be ready for a radically different world order, one in which China presides over Asia, even as Chinese politicians tell a public story about "peaceful rise." The books argue persuasively that adjusting to this global power shift will require great skill on both sides if conflagration is to be avoided.

French says in his exhaustively researched and fascinating account of geopolitics, China style, that the Chinese era is upon us. But, he asks, "How will the coming China-driven world look?" To what extent will China support the international order that emerged when it was suffering humiliation at the hands of foreign powers? What are the drivers and motivations for the new ways China projects its power? How best should its neighbors and its rival North American superpower respond?

French, a former reporter for The Washington Post and The New York Times, argues that China's historical and cultural legacy governs its conduct of international relations, a legacy that sits uncomfortably with the Western notions of equality and noninterference among states. China's relations with its neighbors in Japan and Southeast Asia were for millenniums governed by the concept of tian xia, which held that everything "under the heavens" belonged to the empire. A superior civilization demanded deference and tribute from vassal neighbors and did not hesitate to use military force. China's testy relationship with Vietnam became fraught whenever a Vietnamese leader dared to demand equal footing with a Chinese emperor; the Japanese claim to divine origins was unacceptable.

When China lost its regional dominance at the hands of colonial powers and invading armies, it saw the situation as temporary. The struggle in the East China Sea over the Senkaku Islands claimed by Japan since 1895, for example, has long been a sore point in Sino-Japanese relations. But the reform-era strongman Deng Xiaoping advised China to "hide our capacities and bide our time" on this and many other issues. Hostility between China and Japan simmers in disputes over hierarchy, wartime apology and historical narrative, with the two "in a situation resembling galaxies locked in each other's gravitational fields, destined to collide repeatedly only to sail past each other after wreaking their damage." French shows convincingly that China's goal is now to displace the American barbarians and correct historic humiliations imposed by those who dethroned China from its rightful position at the center of the world.

China's recent spectacular land grab in the South China Sea is a fait accompli, given China's superior power in the area and its assertion that the region is a core national interest. Arbitrators for the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea issued a 500-plus-page decision against China and in favor of the Philippines in a dispute over the definitions of islands versus rock formations; they concluded that Chinese arguments had no legal basis. But as French explains in sobering detail, China has unilaterally determined to claim much of the sea as its own. The country rejected the arbitration tribunal, knowing that its growing surface naval power and nuclear submarine capability support a highly uneven contest. Oil rigs have been established in contested waters, while artificial "islands" constructed from coral reefs are serving as military bases just miles from the Southeast Asian coastline. Similarly, China's projection of economic might through the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and One Belt, One Road initiative, which intends to bind a huge swath of Asia to China economically via new land infrastructure and consolidated control of the seas, generates "a kind of fatalism or resignation about the futility of trying to defy it." ...

Paine -> anne... , June 21, 2017 at 05:34 AM
Raw Bait for the ignorant bellicose masses

"China's relations with its neighbors in Japan and Southeast Asia
were for millenniums governed by the concept of tian xia,
which held that everything "under the heavens" belonged to the empire."

Evil Clown talk

anne -> Paine ... , June 21, 2017 at 06:51 AM
Howard French, a former reporter for The Washington Post and The New York Times, argues that China's historical and cultural legacy governs its conduct of international relations, a legacy that sits uncomfortably with the Western notions of equality and noninterference among states. China's relations with its neighbors in Japan and Southeast Asia were for millenniums governed by the concept of tian xia, which held that everything "under the heavens" belonged to the empire....

-- Judith Shapiro

Evil Clown talk

-- Paine

ilsm -> anne... , June 21, 2017 at 04:19 PM
US is too busy making sure al Qaeda is around for decades consuming trillions of US war funding.

No time for China who spend a mere 1.7% of GDP for war!

And who are investing in a route to negate US navy power to blockade.

[Jun 22, 2017] These are dark times for neoliberal free marketeers.

Jun 22, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

Christopher H., June 21, 2017 at 06:56 AM

http://stumblingandmumbling.typepad.com/stumbling_and_mumbling/2017/06/free-markets-need-equality.html

June 21, 2017

FREE MARKETS NEED EQUALITY
by Chris Dillow

These are dark times for free marketeers. Voters are only lukewarm about the virtues of capitalism; the Grenfell disaster is widely regarded as showing the case for greater regulation; and, as Sam Bowman says, even the Tories "have totally failed to make a broad-brush case for free markets."

I share some of their disquiet. Flawed as they are, markets have virtues as selection and information-aggregation mechanisms.

What, then, can be done to strengthen the case for markets?

There's one thing that's crucial – equality of power. For free markets to have public acceptance, the worst-off must have bargaining power. Without this, "free" markets merely become a device for exploitation.

Imagine, for example, that we had overfull employment and/or high out-of-work benefits. Workers would then be able to reject low wages and bad working conditions. Market forces would then deliver higher wages and good, safer, conditions simply because employers that didn't offer these wouldn't have any workers. Equally – though it's harder to imagine – if we had an abundance of housing, landlords who offered shoddy or dangerous accommodation would either have to refurbish their property to acceptable standards or suffer a lack of tenants.

We wouldn't, therefore need "red tape." The market would raise working and living standards.

We don't need thought experiments to see this. We have empirical evidence too.

Philippe Aghion and colleagues have shown that there's a negative correlation across countries between unions density and minimum wage laws. Countries with strong unions have less stringent minimum wage laws – because greater bargaining power reduces the need for such laws. Remember that the UK adopted minimum wages in the 1990s, when unions had been emasculated. In the 60s and 70s, when unions were strong, the market raised wages.

Also, there is a negative correlation across developed countries between inequality (as measured, imperfectly, by Gini coefficients) and business freedom. Egalitarian Denmark and Sweden, for example, score better on the Heritage Foundation's index of freedom than the unequal US. There's a simple reason for this. Working people want what they regard as a fair deal. If they can't get it through bargaining in free markets, they'll seek it through politics and regulation.

The inference here is, for me, obvious. If you are serious about wanting free markets you must put in place the conditions which are necessary for them – namely, greater bargaining power for tenants, customers and workers. This requires not just strong anti-monopoly policies but also policies such as a high citizens income, full employment and mass housebuilding.

In short, free markets require egalitarian policies. Free marketeers who don't support these are not the friends of freedom at all, but are merely shills for exploiters.

Christopher H. -> Christopher H.... , June 21, 2017 at 07:02 AM
"Egalitarian Denmark and Sweden, for example, score better on the Heritage Foundation's index of freedom than the unequal US. There's a simple reason for this. Working people want what they regard as a fair deal. If they can't get it through bargaining in free markets, they'll seek it through politics and regulation."

Hillary Clinton famously said "we're not Denmark" to distinguish herself from the "unserious" Bernie Sanders in the primary debates.

She was trying to appeal to meritocratic Democrats and Republicans. As Josh Marshall wrote of yesterday's special election:

"The district is relatively diverse for a GOP district and educated and affluent. In other words, it's made up of just the kind of Republicans who proved most resistant to Trump."

Hillary was trying to appeal to the affluent and indoctrinated and educated meritocrats. The "non-deploreables."

And she lost. Corbyn running on an anti-austerity platform and a manifesto that pointed more in the direction of Denmark pulled off a biggest swing in votes since 1945.

Of course the center left, PGL and Krugman were silent about Corbyn's great showing and complained about people who wanted to discuss it. But it's okay to discuss the disappointing outcome in yesterday's special election.

RGC -> Christopher H.... , June 21, 2017 at 07:18 AM
Free markets need "a comprehensive socialization of investment":

"In some other respects the foregoing theory is moderately conservative in its implications. For whilst it indicates the vital importance of establishing certain central controls in matters which are now left in the main to individual initiative, there are wide fields of activity which are unaffected. The State will have to exercise a guiding influence on the propensity to consume partly through its scheme of taxation, partly by fixing the rate of interest, and partly, perhaps, in other ways. Furthermore, it seems unlikely that the influence of banking policy on the rate of interest will be sufficient by itself to determine an optimum rate of investment. I conceive, therefore, that a somewhat comprehensive socialisation of investment will prove the only means of securing an approximation to full employment; though this need not exclude all manner of compromises and of devices by which public authority will co-operate with private initiative. But beyond this no obvious case is made out for a system of State Socialism which would embrace most of the economic life of the community. It is not the ownership of the instruments of production which it is important for the State to assume. If the State is able to determine the aggregate amount of resources devoted to augmenting the instruments and the basic rate of reward to those who own them, it will have accomplished all that is necessary. Moreover, the necessary measures of socialisation can be introduced gradually and without a break in the general traditions of society"

-J M Keynes

https://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/economics/keynes/general-theory/ch24.htm

Paine -> RGC... , June 21, 2017 at 06:09 PM
Caution
The path to Keynesian futures turned out to have a long back traverse
From 1973 to 2008 and beyond

As yet we have not moved forward
but at least the power
driving the back traverse is over
We can recommence the advance toward greater socialization of net investment

[Jun 22, 2017] Americans have a blind spot on the actions of the USA. That's natural. But that blindness produces pretty idiotic comments even from commenters that are able to discuss intelligently other topics

Jun 21, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

DrDick -> Paine ... , June 21, 2017 at 08:33 AM

Also historically moronic, since China had become increasingly isolationist from the 16th century on. This is not to say that China has not been deliberately annoying their neighbors lately, especially in the South China Sea, however. Clearly China has been extending its influence, mostly economically, around the world, especially in Africa, for a couple of decades now, but I do not see this as any different from what we do in the same regions. It is certainly not nearly as troubling as what Russia has been doing under Putin.
libezkova said in reply to DrDick... , June 21, 2017 at 09:09 PM
Compare your viewpoint with Forbes:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2017/06/16/in-final-oliver-stone-interview-putin-predicts-when-russia-us-crisis-ends/


In Final Oliver Stone Interview, Putin Predicts When Russia-US Crisis Ends

Jun 20, 2017 | www.forbes.com

But with Trump in the White House, the Trump-Putin conspiracy theory is one reality TV show the news media can't shake. Stone's love for foreign policy intrigue at least makes him a Putin kindred spirit here. America's age old fear of the Russians, has made Putin public enemy number one and Stone his sounding board. For some unhappy campers, like John McCain, Putin has " no moral equivalent " in the United States. He's a dictator , a war criminal and tyrant .

"You've gone through four U.S. presidents: Clinton, Bush, Obama and now Trump. What changes?" Stone asks him.

"Almost nothing. Your bureaucracy is very strong and it is that bureaucracy that rules the world," he says. Then, solemnly, "There is change...when they bring us to the cemetery to bury us."

In the last installment of the Putin interviews, the Russian leader admitted to liking Trump. "We still like him because he wants to restore relations. Relations between the two countries are going to develop," he said. It's a sentence very few in congress would say, and almost no big name politicians outside of Trump would imagine saying on television. On Russia, you scold. There is no fig leaf.

In a recent sanctions bill in the senate, only Republicans Rand Paul and Mike Lee voted against it, making for a 97-2 landslide in favor of extra-territorial sanctions against Russian companies, namely oil and gas.

Stone asked him why did he bother hacking the Democratic National Committee's emails if he believed nothing would change on the foreign policy front.

STONE: Our political leadership and NATO all believe you hacked the election.

PUTIN: We didn't hack the election at all. It would be hard to imagine any country, even Russia, being capable of seriously influencing the U.S. election. Someone hacked the DNC, but I don't think it influenced the election. What came through was not a lie.

They were not trying to fool anybody. People who want to manipulate public opinion will blame Russia. But Trump had his finger on the pulse of the Midwest voter and knew how to pull at their hearts. Those who have been defeated shouldn't be shifting blame to someone else....We are not waiting for any revolutionary changes.

Just then, editors cut to a video of Trump talking about Putin.

TRUMP: I hope I get along with Putin. I hope I do. But there is a good chance that I won't.

PUTIN: It almost feels like hatred of a certain ethnic group, like antisemitism. They are always blaming Russians, like antisemites are always blaming the Jews.

The editors then flashed to footage of John McCain on the floor of the Senate ranting and raving about Putin. Then Joseph Biden in the Ukrainian parliament, ranting about Russia. Putin tells Stone all of this is unfortunate. He thinks their view is"old world." He reminds Stone that Russia and the U.S. were allies in World War I and World War II. It was Winston Churchill that started the Cold War from London, despite having respect for Russia's strongman leader at the time, the real dictator, Joseph Stalin.

libezkova -> libezkova... , June 21, 2017 at 09:13 PM
The point is the Americans have a blind spot on the actions of the USA.

That's natural. But that produced pretty idiotic comments in this blog even from commenters that are able to discuss intelligently other topics.

[Jun 22, 2017] Neocons influence on US foreign policy

Equating critique of Israel with anti-Semitism is like equating critique of Nazi Germany with with denigrating everything German.
Jun 22, 2017 | www.unz.com

lavoisier Website June 21, 2017 at 10:27 am GMT

@Sam J. "...In the end, it is the American people who decide whether Israel is to be or not to be a vital American ally and friend..."

To make informed decisions you have to have information. The American people don't have that. So they really haven't made a decision at all. They've been tricked into doing things that are covered up in lies. The American people are responsible even if they are being manipulated by the MSM.

Too many Americans are woefully ignorant about the world, particularly about the extent that Jewish interests have manipulated so many aspects of our government and our culture. If you even bring this issue up you are immediately branded a hater and your arguments dismissed.

In short, many Americans are happy to drink the kool aid.

It is a much deeper problem than simply our American Pravda.

Many of us have chosen to be blind, refusing to even consider the possibility that we are being manipulated, and in the process fail as responsible citizens.

One can choose to be red pilled today. This is ultimately the choice to go through life with an open mind and to have a high regard for reality, however uncomfortable that reality may be.

annamaria June 21, 2017 at 12:34 pm GMT

@Sam J. "...The source of Jewish power in the US is their brokerage of voter bias and federal entitlements between the federal government and the public..."

There may be a little bit of that but it's not the main reason. The main reasons are:
1. They own practically all media in the US.
2. They own the FED providing almost limitless cash to their preferred people.
3. They're blackmailing huge numbers of our Representatives with little Boys and little Girls.
4. They'll kill you if they don't get their way.

So if you run against them in the primary you will have extremely well funded opponents and the press will savage you. If that doesn't work they will try to redistrict you out of a job. If that doesn't work they will frame or kill you like they did to Ohio Congressman James Traficant. "1. They own practically all media in the US.
2. They own the FED providing almost limitless cash to their preferred people.
3. They're blackmailing huge numbers of our Representatives with little Boys and little Girls.
4. They'll kill you if they don't get their way."

And this has been leading the States – and Israel along with the States – to the demise. The US governing institutions have lost their ability to respond to reality and instead they respond to personal desires only. Hence the approaching danger of a hot war.

annamaria June 21, 2017 at 2:53 pm GMT

@Sam Shama

Don't look for the exchange with Colbert on YouTube. CBS deleted it from its broadcast and website, demonstrating once again that the "I" word cannot be disparaged on national television.
Is this the one?

http://www.cbs.com/shows/the-late-show-with-stephen-colbert/video/tRfgCC966_LEXj4URvqwisoUugDosea4/oliver-stone-spent-two-years-interviewing-vladimir-putin/

If so, you'll need to issue a retraction of your statement and all the other insinuations you derived from it. If it is not the video, I issue my apologies in advance.

......he was assassinated, which was a lucky break for Israel, particularly as Kennedy was replaced by the passionate Zionist Lyndon Baines Johnson.
With this slander which others commented on earlier, it does deserve repeating emphatically, you've submerged yourself in conspiracies for reasons which appear to be occult Jew hatred impossible to contain just under the surface. It beggars belief that statement was written tongue in cheek; excessive cheek, tongue impossible to pry unstuck. An attempt at humour? Poor taste, really.
The Israelis know what is going on all the time.
Pure nonsense at some level. At another level, it is well-known we know more about our allies than their respective governments do and vice versa.
......but it also included an astonishingly large number of Democrats who describe themselves as progressive, including Corey Booker and Kamila Harris,
So they are progressives, what of it? You fail to understand most Americans view Iranians as a nation of people which took hostage American diplomats. These congressmen are doing no more than what their constituents want.

The readership of UR, a collection of a few excellent thinkers, overwhelmed by a larger group of lunatics, do not reflect the sentiment of the vast majority. They could not care what you or I think of Iranians. They remember Nov 1979.

And there's still more. Bill HR 672 Combating European Anti-Semitism Act of 2017 was passed unanimously by the House of Representatives on June 14th.
Antisemitism is a serious matter and it is well for it to bear scrutiny in some cases where through their actions overzealous elements[some in the judiciary] trivialise its intent. But you seem to favour an environment where mere vigilance through a bill deserves defeat. Unanimously.
President Donald Trump traveled to the Middle East claiming to be desirous of starting serious negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, but it was all a sham. Benjamin Netanyahu took him aside and came out with the usual Israeli bullshit about the Palestinians "inciting" violence and hatred of Jews and Trump bought into it
It's comical to behold the "select" group which voted for Trump now complain on these pages of the UR about what the man said he was going to do from the very beginning on the Israel-Palestine issue. It is not a sham. Trump never believed the "bullshit" coming from the U.N. [a body which has over 40 Muslim and Arab members] on the contrary, attacking the solitary Jewish nation state. He required no "taking aside" by Bibi. One needn't travel to the West Bank to find Jew hatred; a few months' worth of reading your columns being quite sufficient.

I might note in passing that there has been no Senate resolution commemorating the 50th anniversary of the bravery exhibited by the officers and crew of the USS Liberty as they were being slaughtered by the Israelis at the same time as Jerusalem was being "liberated"
Such a Senate resolution requires convincing senators of its necessity. No one is stopping anyone.

I understand you feel Jerusalem is better in the hands of Palestinians and Arabs. We disagree.

A gem of an article all things considered.

"You fail to understand most Americans view Iranians as a nation of people which took hostage American diplomats."

You feign ignorance of the USSLiberty. The American servicemen were not just hostages for Israel – American servicemen were murdered by Israelis: https://theintercept.com/2017/06/06/fifty-years-later-nsa-keeps-details-of-israels-uss-liberty-attack-secret/
Most Americans are also aware that the US Congress has become Israel-occupied Congress, with the horrific consequences for the global insecurity.
"Israel Has Been Secretly Funding Syrian Rebels For Years:" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-19/israel-has-been-secretly-funding-syrian-rebels-years
"The Kagans Are Back; Wars to Follow:" https://consortiumnews.com/2017/03/15/the-kagans-are-back-wars-to-follow/
There was an enormous sympathy for Jewish victims of the WWII; the sympathy and goodwill for Israel have been completed squandered by the bloody ziocons. Only opportunists stay loyal to Israeli agenda, whereas honest people look with horror on the transformation of a victim into an amoral villain.

[Jun 21, 2017] People are thinking of locating solar panels to provide shade to irrigation canals or to bike lanes. Car roofs are a good spot too. There are so many two-fers out there - why are we missing all these opportunities?

Jun 21, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

pgl, June 21, 2017 at 01:36 AM

Re: Fisticuffs Over the Route to a Clean-Energy Future - NYTimes

"It is critically important to bring this debate into the open. For too long, climate advocacy and policy has been inflected by a hope that the energy transformation before us can be achieved cheaply and virtuously - in harmony with nature. But the transformation is likely to be costly. And though sun, wind and water are likely to account for a much larger share of the nation's energy supply, less palatable technologies are also likely to play a part."

Eduardo Porter on the debate as to whether 100% of our energy needs can be met by renewables. OK - it may involve certain costs increasing this from a mere 10% to something closer to 100% even if we do not entirely get to 100%. But not trying would be very costly.

reason, June 21, 2017 at 02:17 AM
One thing that certainly annoys me about this, is that to me the incentives must be wrong.

I see the German railway building solar banks on perfectly good land (which could for instance grow trees), and the railways rolling past large numbers of houses with south-facing roofs and no solar panels.

I see electric cars being built without solar panels on the roof, parked in the sun. I sort of wonder - something is wrong here, why?

I read in the scientific American that people are thinking of locating solar panels to provide shade to irrigation canals. Or we could use solar panels to provide weather protection to bike lanes (shade + rain + snow protection). There are so many two-fers out there - why are we missing all these opportunities?

reason -> reason ... , June 21, 2017 at 02:26 AM
Think of another possibility (a sliding solar on the roof of an electric car - so it could provide windscreen shade when parked and have extra collecting area as well).

Ok, ok it is summer and 34 degrees C here today, so solar energy is everywhere.

libezkova -> reason ... , June 21, 2017 at 08:26 PM
One thing that certainly annoys me about this, is that to me the incentives must be wrong.

I see the german railway building solar banks on perfectly good land (which could for instance grow trees), and the railways rolling past large numbers of houses with south-facing roofs and no solar panels.

I see electric cars being built without solar panels on the roof, parked in the sun. I sort of wonder - something is wrong here, why?

I read in the scientific American that people are thinking of locating solar panels to provide shade to irrigation canals. Or we could use solar panels to provide weather protection to bike lanes (shade + rain + snow protection). There are so many two-fers out there - why are we missing all these opportunities?

That's a great comment !!!

Thank you so much.

[Jun 21, 2017] We Are Inches From A New World War, And Clintonists Are To Blame

Jun 21, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

RGC Reply , June 21, 2017 at 06:52 AM

We Are Inches From A New World War, And Clintonists Are To Blame

Published June 20, 2017 by Caitlin Johnstone

"This is your fault, Clinton Democrats. You created this, and if our species is plunged into a new world war or extinction via nuclear holocaust, it will be your fault. You knuckle-dragging, vagina hat-wearing McCarthyite morons made this happen."

https://counterpropa.com/inches-new-world-war-clintonists-blame/

RGC - , June 21, 2017 at 07:46 AM
Five takeaways from Iran's missile strike in Syria

Tehran's strike was targeted at Islamic State but it also puts US bases in the region on notice and exposes the flimsiness of the Trump Administration's Middle East policy
........................
From all accounts, the missiles hit their target with devastating precision. Simply put, Iran has notified the US that its 45,000 troops deployed in bases in Iraq (5,165), Kuwait (15,000), Bahrain (7,000), Qatar (10,000), the UAE (5,000) and Oman (200) are highly vulnerable.

http://www.atimes.com/article/five-takeaways-irans-missile-strike-syria/

RGC, June 21, 2017 at 07:58 AM
Unlike the US military, Iran appears to put effectiveness ahead of private profit.
Paine, June 21, 2017 at 03:51 PM
No. Iran is hardly foolish

Hell truck bombs aimed at marine barracks aren't any longer on Iran's to do list . Even thru their junior partners Hezbollah
Assad might want them to clobber a syrian Kurd stronghold. But not even that gets the green light by the mad mullahs of Teheran

Paine, June 21, 2017 at 03:54 PM
Uncle is the clear aggressor against Iran. Just as he is against Venezuela. The Shia Arabs are a strategic target for uncles containment horse play. Iran is their steadfast ally
ilsm, June 21, 2017 at 04:29 PM
The Wahhabi coalition funded, armed and equipped by Uncle Sam killed 300 women and children last month in its quest to use ISIS as an excuse to give Syria and upper Iraq to al Qaeda.

It also shot down a Syria jet trying to push US' jihadis who are making Turley mad back toward ISIS to fight them rather than occuoy Syria.

Paine, June 21, 2017 at 05:57 PM
The Saud family are up there with the Walton's. And they outnumber the Walton's ten thousand to 4. There will be an awful reckoning....some day
ilsm - , June 21, 2017 at 06:43 PM
US presidents since Nixon have not committed one (1.0) of the US' 2.5 planned wars to the welfare of the Saudi family's palaces.
RGC - , June 21, 2017 at 08:12 AM
The Growing U.S.-Iran Proxy Fight in Syria. The scramble for Islamic State territory is raising the risks of escalation

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/06/iran-syria-trump-saudi-arabia-escalation-isis/530844/

ilsm - , June 21, 2017 at 04:34 PM
While we are talking about the Wahhabi invasions of Syria:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daraa_offensive_(February%E2%80%93June_2017)

The Syrian government is pushing against the Israeli supported branch of al Qaeda in the Daraa governate. Israelis interest is the Golan which it grabbed in 1973.

While in al Tanf, Syria in the middle of no where related to fighting ISIS US F-15E shot down an armed drone allegedly attacking the US run training center for future jihadis who will go after the US and Europe like bin Laden. All the conditions for US tied down supporting evil like 1964..........

Paine - , June 21, 2017 at 03:46 PM
I like johnstone. She wrote a lot on Serbia v croatia. And then Bosnia Kosovo. The national elements of deliquescent Yugoslavia. That former hot spot of humanist outrage. But keep your pants on girl

Nothing anywhere now threatens catastrophic collisions between great powers. Uncles just too strong

ilsm, June 21, 2017 at 04:37 PM
The legacy of Sarajevo and the East German armor US facilitated to Croatia is the US maintains an oversized "NATO" mechanized brigade plus extras in Camp Bonesteel......

Keeping dissected Kosovo county free unlike Iraq......

ilsm, June 21, 2017 at 04:40 PM
"Uncles just too strong"

not really, it is less. risky to do Vietnams..... Syria has the potential to make Vietnam type counter insurgency experiments look new again. Until US runs out of lenders!

too strong......puleeeze

Paine , June 21, 2017 at 06:00 PM
Of course. Vietnams are always possible. In fact they keep great powers busy. Bleeding each other by proxy
ilsm , June 21, 2017 at 06:38 PM
Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Djibouti, Sudan are all Vietnams sans draftees and no hippy music. What is Neil Young and Joani Mitchell up to?
libezkova - , June 21, 2017 at 07:53 PM
There is probably a silver lining in the alliance of neocons and liberal interventionists (which actually are the same as DemoRats -- Clinton's wing of Democratic party) attempt to impeach Trump on faked charges.

It might delay the war. Looks like Trump is hell bent to crush Iran.

Which is a theocratic state, but still not as bad as KAS and some other US allies in the region.

[Jun 21, 2017] Trump won because his position was based on unnecessary war, non-interventionism, fiscal conservativism and anti-corruption. Then he betrayed his voters

Jun 21, 2017 | www.unz.com

PuttingTheSlimBackIntoMuslim

June 20, 2017 at 4:43 am GMT

Trump won because his position was based on unnecessary war, non-interventionism, fiscal conservativism and anti-corruption.

He entertained the masses. The race, gender, anti-SJW, and anti-immigration stuff were simply talking points. None of his policies on these sidelong issues had teeth.

Rest assured, if Republicans had put in an honest and strong candidate true to those core issues – they would destroy the Dems because these points appeal to all voters. Instead Republicans will reflexively say the minorities are killing them when really its the piss poor leadership that they have installed in the WH over the last two decades.

God help the world when such smart people (Republicans) resort to being sucks even when they win.

Mika-Non Show Comment Next New Comment June 20, 2017 at 7:30 am GMT

Trump won .because he promised to curtail immigration and enforce the law w/r/t illegals.

The Only Answer: An Immigration Moratorium

Sadly, the 'only answer' is a few decades late, and not gonna happen anyway.

Yes, the Republicans are just as treasonous as the Dems, only in a slightly different way now and then. Meanwhile, the Endgame of Diversity is not Diversity. It's dead white people. All of them.

animalogic Show Comment Next New Comment June 20, 2017 at 7:56 am GMT

This is the key quote:
"But, ultimately, it's a question of numbers. The Ruling Class has decided America's economic future requires non-white immigrants"
Whatever appearances suggest, mass immigration to the US is a non-partisan issue. Immigration befits ALL elites – whether economically or politically. Its affects on labour markets is wonderful: downward pressure on wages, increased unemployment & it's inevitable result on worker desperation. It's win-win & win. Naturally, Elites have NO exposure to the consequences of importing a ready made under-class.
However unpalatable it seems, immigration is a tool of class warfare.

Tom Welsh Show Comment Next New Comment June 20, 2017 at 9:04 am GMT

It's funny how, in view of their "redistributionist" policies, the Democrats have consistently presided over even greater concentration of wealth and inequality of income.

It's almost as if they didn't mean what they say.

Although of course the Clintons are a good example of the beneficial effects of redistribution. Starting as two virtually bankrupt lawyers, they are now both multi-millionaires, possibly close to joining the billionaire club.

So don't say that redistribution doesn't work.

KenH Show Comment Next New Comment June 20, 2017 at 10:56 am GMT

The first time Tammy Garnes visited a school in Cobb County, 10 years ago, she left in a hurry. It was just too white.

"I want to surround my children with black people,"

Blacks are racial bigots who prefer the company of their own people, too. Around 10-12 years ago 60 Minutes ran a segment about a blacks only (unofficially) suburban housing development outside of Atlanta and a couple of schools for professional blacks from other areas of the country. One of the black female residents who moved in said her son was attending a mostly white school in the Philadelphia suburbs (and doing well) but that she feared she was losing her son to white culture. She said wanted her son to have a black identity and grow up around other blacks.

If whites had done something similar there would have been a nationwide media generated furor about "white supremacy" (since white privilege wasn't yet in vogue). It would have been denounced by politicians on both sides of the aisle and the Cheka, I mean FBI, would have investigated for civil rights violations. Eventually the all white development would have deemed illegal by the imperial federal judiciary and forced to integrate since nothing is more evil and un-American than whites wishing to live together.

[Jun 21, 2017] The Government Tilt How Crony Capitalism Distorts Markets

Jun 21, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com
  • Adriana I Pena , says: June 20, 2017 at 10:43 am
    Whether we like it or not, America was built on crony capitalism. Be it Hamilton's policies which set the groundwork for industrialization, or be it the massive land grants for railroads, they made America what it is today.

    It was called "the American system" and as such was copied by Prussia in the 19th century, with the result that an agricultural backwater turned into an industrial powerhouse that two World Wars could not destroy.

    There may be arguments why that model is no longer needed. But to posit a pristine time when none of it happened, and how it was spoiled by crony capitalism, is basically not knowing your history.

    KD , says: June 20, 2017 at 11:47 am
    Its not the truth that Communism has been tried and failed, its that true Communism has never been tried, erh, I mean true capitalism. [insert post-1789 ideology here.]
    Nicholas Needlefoot , says: June 20, 2017 at 12:08 pm
    To Adriana Pena's comment, I'd add the Homestead Act, the Erie Canal (state government), and pretty much any time government force was used to removed Indians from land, allowing for the widespread distribution of land ownership that did so much to make the U.S. a country of middle-class folks.

    As others have pointed out, there's a Libertarian vibe to these Crony Capitalism articles. Like there's a "true capitalism" or a "true free market" out there. There isn't.

    No to neos , says: June 20, 2017 at 12:23 pm
    In my little town, my city council during the past few years has:

    * pledged hundreds of thousands of dollars of annual "sales tax rebates" to the region's largest car dealer. The reason: He expanded his dealership. The agreement says the total amount of the rebate may not exceed the total amount of the expansion. In other words, taxpayers could pay for every penny he spends. Meanwhile, smaller car dealers in the area pay every penny the local governments can get.

    * pledged up to $1 million to a multi-national retailer that no doubt would have opened a store here anyway. That retailer of course is taking business from our smaller independently owned retailers, whose taxes help fund the competitor that is taking business from them.

    * bought an office building for $1.1 million, knocked it down, prepared the lot for development, and "sold" it to a real estate developer for $10. Yes, $10. After having spent well over $1 million to buy the property and prepare it for development.

    * built a new sewer plant and sent sewer/water rates skyrocketing to pay for it. Then, just weeks before the plant was to go on line, the city set aside 25% of the plant capacity for a real estate developer who announced plans for an industrial park. Technically, on the day the plant opened, it was already beyond capacity. The real estate developer paid exactly $0 for it even as homeowners and businesses around town are paying millions of dollars more for it.

    The amazing thing is, many people seem okay with all this (and there are other examples like these I could give). The Chamber of Commerce, the Economic Development Corporation (which is made up of local economic development directors, mayors, city councilmen, big businesses, etc.), the local newspaper, all tell us these are great moves because it's economic development.

    At the same time they tell us these things, many storefronts are empty, people are still walking away from houses that are underwater on their mortgages, property taxes and local sales taxes are going up, etc.

    Adriana I Pena , says: June 20, 2017 at 2:59 pm
    @KD

    "It is not the truth that _____________ has been tried and failed. It is that ______________ has never been tried"

    I think that Chesterton said something like that about Christianity.

    Because all ideologies and religions are True Scotsmen.

  • [Jun 21, 2017] If I see an article from Wapo or NYT or any of the other "msm", I don't read it. I stopped watching ANY tv, and exclusively read those who didn't lie about Iraq 2003

    Jun 21, 2017 | www.unz.com

    lavoisier June 21, 2017 at 10:14 am GMT

    @Pissedoffalese

    Disgusted "liberal". Am I even a "liberal" anymore? I loathe the I-word and the J-word now with a purple passion. If I see an article from Wapo or NYT or any of the other "msm", I don't read it. I stopped watching ANY tv, and exclusively read those who didn't lie about Iraq 2003. What the hell AM I? I despise Republicans, but the Dems didn't oppose their wars. Now I despise the Dems, and the right-wingnuts are starting to make sense. Is this cognitive dissonance? Bizzaro-world? I am one CONFUSED puppy.

    Thank you PG Thoughtful comment.

    The Democrats are every bit as much on board with the wars and the destruction of the working class as are the Republicans.

    Where are the respectable liberals in this country?

    I despise Democrats as you despise Republicans.

    Now I despise them both. I have little loyalty for my government and do not trust anything that they do.

    Our Republic is on life support.

    [Jun 21, 2017] Resist This the United States is at War With Syria

    Notable quotes:
    "... Sixteen countries ..."
    "... Americans, and certainly self-identified "progressives," have to be crystal clear about this: American armed forces have no right to be in Syria, have no right to restrict the Syrian government from using any of its airspace, or to prevent it from regaining control of any of its own territory from foreign-backed jihadi armies. ..."
    "... The Syrian state and its allies (Iran and Russia), on the other hand, are engaged in the legitimate self-defense of a sovereign state, and have the right to respond with full military force to any attack on Syrian forces or any attempt by the United States to balkanize or occupy Syrian territory, or to overthrow the Syrian government. ..."
    "... precisely because it has been defeating ISIS ..."
    "... such a war is the objective ..."
    "... which is already underway, ..."
    Jun 21, 2017 | www.counterpunch.org
    June 21, 2017 Resist This: the United States is at War With Syria

    by Jim Kavanagh

    Photo by Debra Sweet | CC BY 2.0

    The United States is at war with Syria. Though few Americans wanted to face it, this has been the case implicitly since the Obama administration began building bases and sending Special Ops, really-not-there, American troops, and it has been the case explicitly since August 3, 2015, when the Obama administration announced that it would "allow airstrikes to defend Syrian rebels trained by the U.S. military from any attackers, even if the enemies hail from forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad." With the U.S. Air Force-under Trump, following Obama's declared policy-shooting down a Syrian plane in Syrian airspace, this is now undeniable. The United States is overtly engaged in another aggression against a sovereign country that poses no conceivable, let alone actual or imminent, threat to the nation. This is an act of war.

    As an act of war, this is unconstitutional, and would demand a congressional declaration. Will Trump ask for this? Will any Democratic or Republican congresscritter demand it? Is the Pope a Hindu?

    Would it make any difference? Why should Trump bother? Obama set the stage when he completely ignored the War Powers Act, the Constitution, Congress, and his own Attorney General and legal advisers, and went right ahead with a war on Libya, under the theory that, if we pretend no American troops are on the ground, it isn't really a war or "hostilities" at all. Which I guess means if the Chinese Air Force starts shooting down American planes in American airspace in defense of Black Lives Matter's assault on the White House, it wouldn't really be engaging in an act of war.

    It's impossible to overstate the danger in these executive war-making prerogatives that Obama normalized-with the irresponsible connivance of his progressive groupies, who pretend not to know where this would lead: In 2012, referring to the precedent of Obama's policies, Mitt Romney said : "I don't believe at this stage, therefore, if I'm president that we need to have a war powers approval or special authorization for military force. The president has that capacity now." Following Obama, for Trump, and every Republican and Democratic president, it now goes without saying.

    As an aggressive, unprovoked war, this is also illegal under international law, and all the political and military authorities undertaking it are war criminals, who would be prosecuted as such, if there were an international legal regime that had not already been undermined by the United States.

    Syria is now under explicit attack by the armed forces of the U.S., Turkey, and other NATO states. Sixteen countries have combat aircraft buzzing around Syrian airspace under the effective command of the United States, and a number of them have attacked Syria's army.

    Americans, and certainly self-identified "progressives," have to be crystal clear about this: American armed forces have no right to be in Syria, have no right to restrict the Syrian government from using any of its airspace, or to prevent it from regaining control of any of its own territory from foreign-backed jihadi armies.

    The Syrian state and its allies (Iran and Russia), on the other hand, are engaged in the legitimate self-defense of a sovereign state, and have the right to respond with full military force to any attack on Syrian forces or any attempt by the United States to balkanize or occupy Syrian territory, or to overthrow the Syrian government.

    So please, do not pretend to be shocked, shocked, if Syria and its allies fight back, inflicting American casualties. Don't pose as the morally superior victim when Americans are killed by the people they are attacking. And don't be preaching about how everyone has to support our troops in a criminal, unconstitutional, aggressive attack on a country that has not threatened ours in any way. American soldiers and pilots executing this policy are not heroes, and are not fighting to protect America or advance democracy; they are criminal aggressors and legitimate targets. In response to American aggression, the Syrian Army has every right to strike back at the American military apparatus, everywhere. Every casualty of this war, however big it gets, is the ethico-political responsibility of the attacking party – US. The first responsibility of every American is not to "support our troops," but to stop this war. Right now. Before it gets worse

    It's quite obvious, in fact, that the United States regime is deliberately making targets of its military personnel, in the hopes of provoking a response from Syrian or allied armed forces that will kill some Americans, and be used to gin up popular support for the exactly the kind of major military attack on Syria and/or Russia and/or Iran that the American people would otherwise reject with disgust. Anyone who professes concern for "our troops" should be screaming to stop that.

    It's also quite clear now, that the War on ISIS is a sham, that ISIS was always just a pretext to get the American military directly involved in attacking the Syrian army and destroying the coherence of the Syrian state. If the U.S. wanted to defeat ISIS, it could do so easily by coordinating their actions with, and not against, the forces who have been most effectively fighting it: the Syrian Arab Army, Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah.

    Instead, it's attacking the Syrian army precisely because it has been defeating ISIS and other jihadi forces, and regaining its own territory and control of its own border with Iraq. The U.S. does not want that to happen. At the very least-if it cannot immediately engender that massive offensive to overthrow the Baathist government-the U.S. wants to control part of the border with Iraq and to occupy a swath of eastern Syria. It wants to establish permanent bases from which to provision and protect jihadi armies, achieving a de facto partitioning of the Syrian state, maintaining a constant state of armed attack against the Damascus government, and reducing Syria to a weakened, rump state that can never present any effective resistance to American, Israeli, or Saudi designs on the region.

    This is extremely dangerous, since the Syrians, Russians, and Iranians seem determined not to let this happen. Trump seems to have abrogated authority to his generals to make decisions of enormous political consequence. Perhaps that's why aggressive actions like the shoot-down of the Syrian plane have been occurring more frequently, and why it's not likely they'll abate. There's a dynamic in motion that will inevitably lead each side to confront a choice of whether to back down, in a way that's obvious, or escalate. Generals aren't good at backing down. A regional or global war is a real possibility, and becomes more likely with every such incident.

    Though most American politicians and media outlets do not want to say it (and therefore, most citizens cannot see it clearly enough), such a war is the objective of a powerful faction of the Deep State which has been persistent and determined in seeking it. If the generals are loathe to back down in a battle, the neocons are adamant about not backing down on their plans for the Middle East. They will not be stopped by anything less than overwhelming popular resistance and international pushback.

    The upside of these attacks on Syrian forces is that they wipe the lipstick off the pig of the American project in Syria. Everyone-European countries who profess concern for international law and stability, and the American people who are fed up with constant wars that have no benefit for them-can see exactly what kind of blatant aggression is unfolding, and decide whether they want to go along with it.

    In that regard, any self-identified "liberal" or "progressive" American-and particularly any such American politician-who spent (and may still spend) their political energy attacking Bush, et. al ., for that crazy war in Iraq, and who goes along with, or hesitates to immediately and energetically denounce this war, which is already underway, is a political hypocrite, resisting nothing but the obvious. Join the debate on Facebook

    [Jun 21, 2017] Unions in Decline Some International Comparisons

    Jun 21, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
    libezkova , June 21, 2017 at 11:55 AM
    " This pattern suggests that existence of unions, one way or another, may be less important for economic outcomes than the way in which those unions function. "

    This is a typical neoliberal Newspeak. Pretty Orwellian.
    In reality atomization of workforce and decimation of unions is the explicit goal of neoliberal state.

    Neoliberalism war on organized labor started with Reagan.

    Neoliberalism is based on unconditional domination of labor by capital ("socialism for rich, feudalism for labor").

    American scholar and cultural critic Henry Giroux alleges neoliberalism holds that market forces should organize every facet of society, including economic and social life, and promotes a social Darwinist ethic which elevates self-interest over social needs.

    That means maintaining the unemployment level of sufficiently high level and political suppression of workers rights to organize.

    A new class of workers, facing acute socio-economic insecurity, emerged under neoliberalism. It is called 'precariat'.

    Neoliberal policies led to the situation in the US economy in which 30% of workers earn low wages (less than two-thirds the median wage for full-time workers), and 35% of the labor force is underemployed; only 40% of the working-age population in the U.S. is adequately employed.

    The Center for Economic Policy Research's (CEPR) Dean Baker (2006) argued that the driving force behind rising inequality in the US has been a series of deliberate, neoliberal policy choices including anti-inflationary bias, anti-unionism, and profiteering in the health industry.

    Amazon, Uber and several other companies have shown that neoliberal model can be as brutal as plantation slavery.

    Central to the notion of the skills agenda as pursued by neoliberal governments is the concept of "human capital."

    Which involves atomization of workers, each of which became a "good" sold at the "labor market". Neoliberalism discard the concept of human solidarity. It also eliminated government support of organized labor, and decimated unions.

    Under neoliberalism the government has to actively intervene to clear the way for the free "labor market." Talk about government-sponsored redistribution of wealth under neoliberalism -- from Greenspan to Bernanke, from Rubin to Paulson, the government has been a veritable Robin Hood in reverse.

    [Jun 21, 2017] Russiagate is a new policy of Russian containment by the deep state

    Notable quotes:
    "... It would have been appeasement for Putin to stand by and let the Hillary neocon take over America and offer the last drop of US soldiers' blood to the Balts. Ignoring Clinton was like letting Hitler have Prague! ..."
    "... Presidents come and go, and even parties come to and away from power. But the main policy tack does not change. So by and large we don't care who will be at the helm in the United States. We have a rough idea of what is going to happen. And in this regard, even if we wanted to it wouldn't make any sense for us to interfere. ..."
    "... Speaking of opposition, let us recall the movement Occupy Wall Street. Where is it now? The law enforcement agencies and special services in the US have taken it apart, into little pieces, and have dissolved it. I'm not asking you about how things stand in terms of democracy in the United States. Especially so that the electoral legislation is far from being perfect in the US. Why do you believe you are entitled to put such questions to us and, mind you, do it all the time, to moralize and to teach us how we should live? ..."
    Jun 21, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
    libezkova -> Paine ... June 21, 2017 at 08:45 AM

    "[Russiagate] is indeed a new forward policy on Russian containment by the deep state"

    I agree. Very precisely formulated. thank you !

    Paine June 21, 2017 at 08:06 PM

    Russia is obviously tampering as much as optimal

    Nothing new

    Hence my suggesting putin is jut acting like all great powers must act to be great powers

    ilsm Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at 08:47 AM

    It would have been appeasement for Putin to stand by and let the Hillary neocon take over America and offer the last drop of US soldiers' blood to the Balts. Ignoring Clinton was like letting Hitler have Prague! Reply Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at 04:23 PM

    Paine -> ilsm... June 21, 2017 at 04:37 PM

    Indeed

    libezkova -> Paine ...

    "Hence my suggesting Putin is just acting like all great powers must act to be great powers "

    Wrong. Putin actually has some respect for UN. Unlike Clinton, Bush II, Obama and Trump. American exceptionalism is pretty toxic thing that poison the US foreign policy. Something like far right movements poison discourse in their respective countries.

    Putin slept over Obama/Nuland gambit in Ukraine. And Russia paid a huge price for that. Less then Ukrainians (who are now experiencing Central African level of poverty) but still huge.

    I think he should resist US imperial advances (sugarcoated as "export of democracy") more strongly. But that's just me.

    https://toinformistoinfluence.com/2017/06/05/transcript-putin-interview-with-megyn-kelly-of-nbc-news/

    President of Russia Vladimir Putin: They have been misled and they are not analyzing the information in its entirety. I have not once seen any direct proof of Russia's interference in the presidential election in the USA.

    We have talked about it with former president Obama and with several other officials. No one ever showed me any direct evidence.

    When we spoke with President Obama about that, you know, you should probably better ask him about it – I think he will tell you that he, too, is confident of it. But when he and I talked I saw that he, too, started having doubts. At any rate, that's how I saw it.

    I have already told you, and I can say it again, that today's technology is such that the final address can be masked and camouflaged to an extent that no one will be able to understand the origin of that address. And, vice versa, it is possible to set up any entity or any individual that everyone will think that they are the exact source of that attack.

    Modern technology is very sophisticated and subtle and allows this to be done. And when we realize that we will get rid of all the illusions. That's one thing. The other thing is that I am deeply convinced that no interference from the outside, in any country, even a small one, let alone in such a vast and great power as the United States, can influence the final outcome of the elections. It is not possible. Ever.

    Megyn Kelly: But the other side says is it was only 70,000 votes that won Trump the election, and therefore influencing 70,000 people might not have been that hard.

    Vladimir Putin: The Constitution of the United States and the electoral legislation are structured in such a way that more electors can vote for a candidate who is backed by fewer voters. And such situations do occur in the history of the United States. True, isn't it?

    Therefore, if we were to discuss some kind of political and social justice, then probably that electoral legislation needs to be changed and bring a situation where the head of state would be elected by direct secret ballot and so there will be direct tabulation of votes that can be easily monitored. That's all there is to it. And there will be no need for those who have lost the elections to point fingers and blame their troubles on anybody.

    Now, if we turn this page over, I will tell you something that you most likely know about. I don't want to offend anyone, but the United States, everywhere, all over the world, is actively interfering in electoral campaigns in other countries. Is this really news to you?

    Just talk to people but in such a way (to the extent it is possible for you) so as to convince them that you're not going to make it public. Point your finger to any spot on the world's map, everywhere you'll hear complaints that American officials interfere in their political domestic processes.

    Therefore, if someone, and I am not saying that it's us (we did not interfere), if anybody does influence in some way or attempts to influence or somehow participates in these processes, then the United States has nothing to be offended by. Who is talking? Who is taking offense that we are interfering? You yourselves interfere all the time.

    Megyn Kelly: That sounds like a justification.

    Vladimir Putin: It does not sound like justification. It sounds like a statement of fact. Each action invites appropriate counteraction, but, again, we don't need to do that because I did not tell you this without a reason, both you personally and other members of the media, recently I was in France and I said the same things.

    Presidents come and go, and even parties come to and away from power. But the main policy tack does not change. So by and large we don't care who will be at the helm in the United States. We have a rough idea of what is going to happen. And in this regard, even if we wanted to it wouldn't make any sense for us to interfere.

    Megyn Kelly: You had said for months that Russia had nothing to do with the interference of the American election, and then this week you floated the idea of patriotic hackers doing it. Why the change and why now?

    Vladimir Putin: It's just that the French journalists asked me about those hackers, and just like I told them, I can tell you, that hackers may be anywhere. They may be in Russia, in Asia, in America, in Latin America. There may be hackers, by the way, in the United States who very craftily and professionally passed the buck to Russia. Can't you imagine such a scenario? In the middle of an internal political fight, it was convenient for them, whatever the reason, to put out that information. And put it out they did. And, doing it, they made a reference to Russia. Can't you imagine it happening? I can. Let us recall the assassination of President Kennedy.

    There is a theory that Kennedy's assassination was arranged by the United States special services. If this theory is correct, and one cannot rule it out, so what can be easier in today's context, being able to rely on the entire technical capabilities available to special services than to organize some kind of attacks in the appropriate manner while making a reference to Russia in the process. Now, the candidate for the Democratic Party, is this candidate universally beloved in the United States? Was it such a popular person? That candidate, too, had political opponents and rivals.

    Megyn Kelly: Let's move on. A special counsel has been appointed to investigate contacts between your government and the Trump campaign. You have said that your ambassador Kislyak was just doing his job. Right? So, what exactly was discussed in those meetings?

    Vladimir Putin: There were no sessions. You see, there were no sessions. When I saw that my jaw dropped.

    Megyn Kelly: No meetings between Ambassador Kislyak and anybody from the Trump campaign?

    Vladimir Putin: No clue. I am telling you honestly. I don't know. That's an ambassador's every day, routine work. Do you think, an ambassador from any place in the world or from the US reports to me daily as to whom he meets with and what they discuss? It's just absurd. Do you even understand what you are asking me?

    Megyn Kelly: Well, you're his boss.

    Vladimir Putin: Listen, his boss is the foreign minister. Do you think I have the time to talk to our ambassadors all over the world every day? This is nonsense. Don't you understand that this is just some kind of nonsense. I don't even know with whom he met there. Had there been something out of the ordinary, something remarkable he of course would have advised the minister and the minister would have informed me. Nothing of that happened.

    ... ... ...

    Megyn Kelly: Many Americans hear the name, Vladimir Putin. And they think, "He runs a country full of corruption, a country in which journalists, who are too critical, could wind up murdered, a country in which dissidents could wind up in jail or worse." To people who believe that, what is your message?

    Vladimir Putin: I want to say that Russia is developing along a democratic path, this is without question so. No one should have any doubts about that. The fact that, amidst political rivalry and some other domestic developments, we see things happen here that are typical of other countries, I do not see anything unusual in it.

    We have rallies, opposition rallies. And people here have the right to express their point of view. However, if people, while expressing their views, break the current legislation, the effective law in place, then of course, the law enforcement agencies try to restore order.

    I am calling your attention to something that I discussed recently when on a trip to France and in my discussions with other European colleagues. Our police force, fortunately, so far, do not use batons, tear gas or any other extreme measures of instilling order, something that we often see in other countries, including in the United States.

    Speaking of opposition, let us recall the movement Occupy Wall Street. Where is it now? The law enforcement agencies and special services in the US have taken it apart, into little pieces, and have dissolved it. I'm not asking you about how things stand in terms of democracy in the United States. Especially so that the electoral legislation is far from being perfect in the US. Why do you believe you are entitled to put such questions to us and, mind you, do it all the time, to moralize and to teach us how we should live?

    We are ready to listen to our partners, ready to listen to appraisals and assessments when it is done in a friendly manner, in order to establish contacts and create a common atmosphere and dedicate ourselves to shared values. But we absolutely will not accept when such things are used as a tool of political struggle. I want everybody to know that. This is our message.

    [Jun 21, 2017] The CIAs principal house organ, the New York Times, published a lead editorial Sunday on the investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election that is an incendiary and lying exercise in disinformation aimed at whipping up support for war with Russia.

    Jun 21, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

    RGC

    , June 21, 2017 at 06:44 AM
    The New York Times steps up its anti-Russia campaign
    21/06/2017

    The CIA's principal house organ, the New York Times, published a lead editorial Sunday on the investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election that is an incendiary and lying exercise in disinformation aimed at whipping up support for war with Russia.
    ....................

    Not a single one of the reports in the Times or Post is the product of a genuine investigation by journalists. Instead, the main reporting on the "Russian hacking" affair consists of taking dictation from unidentified intelligence officials. In not a single case did these officials offer evidence to substantiate their claims, invariably made in the form of ambiguous phrases like "we assess," "we believe," "we assess with high confidence," etc. Such claims are worth no more than previous assertions that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction-a lie used to justify a war that has killed more than one million people.

    http://www.defenddemocracy.press/the-new-york-times-steps-up-its-anti-russia-campaign/

    RGC -> RGC... , June 21, 2017 at 06:47 AM
    Bernie Sanders and Rand Paul Buck Party Consensus on Russia and Iran Sanctions


    Investigative journalist Max Blumenthal explains that these sanctions punish Russia and Iran and unnecessarily intensifies the conflict between the US and these countries

    http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=19337

    sanjait -> RGC... , June 21, 2017 at 10:55 AM
    Dead wrong about Bernie:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/bernie-sanders-donald-trump-russia-blackmail-links-vladimir-putin-nice-things-democratic-senator-a7647546.html

    Nice try though!

    RGC -> sanjait... , June 21, 2017 at 11:26 AM
    Thursday, June 15, 2017

    WASHINGTON, June 15 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement Thursday after he voted against a bill that would impose new sanctions on Iran and Russia:

    "I am strongly supportive of the sanctions on Russia included in this bill. It is unacceptable for Russia to interfere in our elections here in the United States, or anywhere around the world. There must be consequences for such actions. I also have deep concerns about the policies and activities of the Iranian government, especially their support for the brutal Assad regime in Syria. I have voted for sanctions on Iran in the past, and I believe sanctions were an important tool for bringing Iran to the negotiating table. But I believe that these new sanctions could endanger the very important nuclear agreement that was signed between the United States, its partners and Iran in 2015. That is not a risk worth taking, particularly at a time of heightened tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia and its allies. I think the United States must play a more even-handed role in the Middle East, and find ways to address not only Iran's activities, but also Saudi Arabia's decades-long support for radical extremism."

    https://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/sanders-statement-on-iran-and-russia-sanctions

    anne -> RGC... , June 21, 2017 at 07:25 AM
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/17/opinion/mr-trumps-dangerous-indifference-to-russia.html

    June 17, 2017

    Mr. Trump's Dangerous Indifference to Russia

    anne -> anne... , June 21, 2017 at 01:21 PM
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/17/opinion/mr-trumps-dangerous-indifference-to-russia.html

    June 17, 2017

    Mr. Trump's Dangerous Indifference to Russia

    A rival foreign power launched an aggressive cyberattack on the United States, interfering with the 2016 presidential election and leaving every indication that it's coming back for more - but President Trump doesn't seem to care.

    The unprecedented nature of Russia's attack is getting lost in the swirling chaos of recent weeks, but it shouldn't be. American intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia took direct aim at the integrity of American democracy, and yet after almost five months in office, the commander in chief appears unconcerned with that threat to our national security. The only aspect of the Russia story that attracts his attention is the threat it poses to the perceived legitimacy of his electoral win.

    If not for the continuing investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians - and whether Mr. Trump himself has obstructed that investigation - the president's indifference would be front-page news.

    So let's take a moment to recall the sheer scope and audacity of the Russian efforts.

    Under direct orders from President Vladimir Putin, hackers connected to Russian military intelligence broke into the email accounts of...

    ilsm -> anne... , June 21, 2017 at 04:22 PM
    Not to worry Trump is doing all Obama did and more to sell Syria to al Qaeda.

    Too busy keeping the Wahhabis happy to want to mess with Russia over a few millions Balts' desires.

    The US is not offering the last drop of US soldiers' blood to the Balts it is already committed to the Wahhabis.

    anne -> anne... , June 21, 2017 at 01:24 PM
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/17/opinion/mr-trumps-dangerous-indifference-to-russia.html

    Under direct orders from President Vladimir Putin, hackers connected to Russian military intelligence broke into the email accounts of...

    [ Interesting passage. ]

    Paine -> RGC... , June 21, 2017 at 08:45 AM
    Why critique this campaign against Russia
    As if the kremlin may to have interfered and even collaborated with trump operatives to do it

    Anything less would be dereliction of duty by a great powers leadership

    Point out the motivation

    Which is indeed a new forward policy on Russian containment by the deep state
    As we now call the corporate planted cultivated and coddled security apparatus
    With its various media cut thrus cut outs and compadres

    Yes the NYT and the WP

    Both are working with the deep state
    Once called the invisible government
    Much as they have in he past

    Why I like he color revolution analogy

    These media titans are working with the DS
    Because they want to topple trump like they wanted to topple Nixon
    And to a lesser extent wobble Reagan

    Paine -> Paine ... , June 21, 2017 at 08:47 AM
    Typo hazard

    Russia is obviously tampering as much as optimal

    Nothing new

    Hence my suggesting putin is jut acting like all great powers must act to be great powers

    ilsm -> Paine ... , June 21, 2017 at 04:23 PM
    It would have been appeasement for Putin to stand by and let the Hillary neocon take over America and offer the last drop of US soldiers' blood to the Balts.

    Ignoring Clinton was like letting Hitler have Prague!

    Paine -> ilsm... , June 21, 2017 at 04:37 PM

    Indeed
    anne -> Paine ... , June 21, 2017 at 09:08 AM
    Important, incisive perspective or argument, but a direction seldom taken. A Cold War sort of atmosphere makes us wary of using any such argument, and we have been forming a Cold War environment for several years now. This atmosphere by the way involves the way in which China is generally regarded, and I believe colors economic analysis even among academics.

    [Jun 21, 2017] Good Agent, Bad Agent Robert Mueller and 9-11

    Notable quotes:
    "... Mueller, a Republican, was appointed by George W. Bush to head the FBI, and took the helm on September 4, 2001, one week before the terrorist attacks. So he can hardly be blamed for the failure of the FBI (along with the CIA and other U.S. and allied intelligence agencies) to detect and respond to numerous warning signs that the attacks were coming, including the arrival of many of the future perpetrators to the United States. ..."
    "... The same cannot be said for Mueller's role in the subsequent coverup of FBI and White House bungling during the run up to 9/11. Six months after the attacks, Congress convened the Joint Senate-House Inquiry into Intelligence Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001. Headed by Florida Democratic Senator Bob Graham, the inquiry was more thorough and penetrating than the later official 9/11 Commission would ever be. ..."
    "... While the San Diego scenario was the most extreme, there was other evidence of the FBI allowing future 9/11 perpetrators to slip through its fingers. By the time it issued its report, the Joint Inquiry had found that five of the hijackers "may have had contact with a total of 14 people who had come to the FBI's attention during counterterrorism or counterintelligence investigations prior to September 11, 2001. Four of those 14 were the focus of FBI investigations during the time that the hijackers were in the United States. Despite their proximity to FBI targets and at least one FBI source, the future hijackers successfully eluded FBI attention." ..."
    "... Only years later, Graham writes, did information provided by FBI staffers confirm what he had long suspected: that the FBI carried out its resistance and obfuscation on direct instructions from the White House. Whether Bush and Company were eager to downplay any further connections to their friends the Saudis, or just protect itself from the fallout of such an obvious intelligence failure, will likely never be known. ..."
    "... So much for Robert Mueller remaining above the political fray. And so much for the Bureau's supposed independence and incorruptibility. The latter, clearly, has always been a myth. From its earliest days it was a highly politicized–and relentlessly reactionary–agency, made all the more so by the colossal power of J. Edgar Hoover. Its mission has always been at heart a deeply reactionary one, dedicated to protecting the republic from whatever it perceived as a threat, including all forms of dissent and unrest–from communists to civil rights leaders. ..."
    www.forbes.com
    Robert Mueller, the former FBI director named special counsel for the investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election, is depicted as an iconic G-man: serious, patrician, and totally incorruptible. But in reality, it's a little different. As with FBI Agent Dale Cooper in the latest iteration of "Twin Peaks," there is a Good Mueller and a Bad Mueller. We've heard a lot about the good-guy Mueller, but nothing much about his bad side. And there is a bad side–though it's not the one that Trump supporters would have us think.

    The President's loyal minions, following a familiar pattern, have been busy building an advance smear campaign against Mueller, claiming that he has it out for the poor, innocent Donald and is determined to bring him down due to pre-existing biases. In fact, if Mueller is indeed biased, it is toward preserving the institutions of government, including the White House, as well as his beloved FBI, even at the expense of making public the full truth. At least, that's how he behaved the last time he was involved in a major national crisis–namely, the attacks of September 11, 2001.

    Mueller, a Republican, was appointed by George W. Bush to head the FBI, and took the helm on September 4, 2001, one week before the terrorist attacks. So he can hardly be blamed for the failure of the FBI (along with the CIA and other U.S. and allied intelligence agencies) to detect and respond to numerous warning signs that the attacks were coming, including the arrival of many of the future perpetrators to the United States.

    The same cannot be said for Mueller's role in the subsequent coverup of FBI and White House bungling during the run up to 9/11. Six months after the attacks, Congress convened the Joint Senate-House Inquiry into Intelligence Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001. Headed by Florida Democratic Senator Bob Graham, the inquiry was more thorough and penetrating than the later official 9/11 Commission would ever be.

    Among other things, the Joint Inquiry learned of the involvement of a paid FBI informant with two of the future hijackers: Khalid Al Mindhar, who had fought for Al Qaeda in Bosnia and Chechnya and trained in Bin Laden's Afghan training camps, and Nawaf Al Hazmi, who had battle experience in Bosnia, Chechyna, and Afghanistan. According to the Joint Inquiry report, the NSA and CIA at the time had available enough information to connect the two men with Osama Bin Laden.

    The CIA, however, failed to share its information with the FBI, and did not place the two men on any watch lists. So Al Mindhar and Al Hamzi flew to Los Angeles in early 2000 (shortly after attending an Al Qaeda summit in Malaysia), and were routinely admitted into the United States on tourist visas. They traveled to San Diego, where they got Social Security cards, credits cards, and driver licenses, and bought a car, as well as a season pass to Sea World. They soon began taking flight lessons. They also had contact with a radical imam and a local Saudi national who were both being watched by the FBI. And they actually rented a room in the home of Abdusattar Shaikh, who was a retired English professor, a leader of the local mosque–and a paid informant for the FBI's San Diego office, charged with monitoring the city's Saudi community.

    As the Joint Inquiry report would reveal, by mid-2001 U.S. intelligence agencies had ample evidence of possible terrorist plans to use hijacked airplanes as bombs, but had done little to act on this threat. In July 2001, the CIA had passed on the names of Al Mindhar and Al Hamzi to the FBI office in New York–though not the office in San Diego. Shaikh had apparently done nothing to warn the Bureau about any possible danger from his tenants. And no one had warned the airlines or the FAA not to let these men get on planes. So on the morning of September 11, Al Mindhar and Al Hamzi boarded American Airlines Flight 77 at Dulles Airport and helped crash it into the Pentagon.

    While the San Diego scenario was the most extreme, there was other evidence of the FBI allowing future 9/11 perpetrators to slip through its fingers. By the time it issued its report, the Joint Inquiry had found that five of the hijackers "may have had contact with a total of 14 people who had come to the FBI's attention during counterterrorism or counterintelligence investigations prior to September 11, 2001. Four of those 14 were the focus of FBI investigations during the time that the hijackers were in the United States. Despite their proximity to FBI targets and at least one FBI source, the future hijackers successfully eluded FBI attention."

    Yet in testimony before the Joint Inquiry on June 18, 2002, FBI director Mueller said, that "while here [in America] the hijackers effectively operated without suspicion, triggering nothing that would have alerted law enforcement and doing nothing that exposed them to domestic coverage." There is no way of knowing whether Mueller was lying or just ignorant.

    Subsequently, Senator Graham set out to subpoena the informant to testify before the Joint Inquiry. The FBI refused to cooperate, blocked the Inquiry's efforts to interview the informant, and it appears to have arranged for a private attorney to represent him. Despite insisting that the informant had done nothing wrong, the Bureau at one point suggested the Inquiry give him immunity, which Graham refused to do.

    As Graham would later describe in is book Intelligence Matters, the FBI also "insisted that we could not, even in the most sanitized manner, tell the American people that an FBI informant had a relationship with two of the hijackers." The Bureau opposed public hearings on the subject and deleted any references to the situation from drafts of the Joint Inquiry's unclassified report. It took more than a year for the Bureau allow a version of the story to appear in the public report, and even then it was heavily redacted.

    Only years later, Graham writes, did information provided by FBI staffers confirm what he had long suspected: that the FBI carried out its resistance and obfuscation on direct instructions from the White House. Whether Bush and Company were eager to downplay any further connections to their friends the Saudis, or just protect itself from the fallout of such an obvious intelligence failure, will likely never be known.

    So much for Robert Mueller remaining above the political fray. And so much for the Bureau's supposed independence and incorruptibility. The latter, clearly, has always been a myth. From its earliest days it was a highly politicized–and relentlessly reactionary–agency, made all the more so by the colossal power of J. Edgar Hoover. Its mission has always been at heart a deeply reactionary one, dedicated to protecting the republic from whatever it perceived as a threat, including all forms of dissent and unrest–from communists to civil rights leaders.

    What does all this bode for the current moment? Normally, it would seem that Mueller's instinct would be to try to preserve some semblance of the current order, up to and including the presidency. But with Trump now locked in a knock down drag out struggle with the intelligence agencies–what some people like to call "the Deep State"–Mueller and his intelligence cronies may find it in the best interests of the status quo–and, of course, themselves–to throw the President under the bus and one way Mueller could do so is by cutting some sort of deal with Congress, specifically with the legislature's true power broker, Mitch McConnell, to turn on Trump and run him out of office.

    As Agent Cooper said of his own famous investigation into the death of Laura Palmer, "I have no idea where this will lead us, but I have a definite feeling it will be a place both wonderful and strange."

    Note: More detail, and complete sources, on the FBI informant scandal and the Joint Inquiry's investigation can be found in my book The 5 Unanswered Questions About 9/11.

    [Jun 21, 2017] An Assault on Language Extremism by Gregory Barrett

    Notable quotes:
    "... The wealthy and powerful forces which control both of those influential centers in the formation of public opinion were desperate to regain control of the narrative, which has been slipping away from them at an increasing velocity since the advent of social media, and since the parallel growth of a broad spectrum of information networks with absolutely no interest in currying favor with the mighty, or in defending the status quo. ..."
    "... As soon as the term "Fake News" appeared, Barack Obama pounced on it, and in a joint appearance in 2016 with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, used his worldwide microphone and bully pulpit – if only he had done so occasionally to sound the alarm about the approaching environmental crisis, or to express outrage about racism or police brutality, or to challenge war profiteers! – to announce his deep concern that "Fake News" was making it "difficult to govern" (for more on this and the struggle against corporate/government presstitute propaganda, see my article "Hope Is Our Enemy: Fighting Boiling Frog Syndrome"). ..."
    "... This clumsy and panicky maneuver has deservedly met with far less success than Obama's incredibly successful propaganda sally against Russia and Vladimir Putin, which has captivated the paranoid fantasies of many millions of Americans and Europeans who desperately want to believe that NATO countries are virtuous and innocent, and are threatened by ruthless and aggressive foreigners who are responsible for the spreading chaos in the West. ..."
    "... As one of his final acts in office, President Chameleon slapped new sanctions on Russia and deported Russian diplomats: after eight years, his transformation from Nobel Laureate and supposed apostle of peace to McCarthyite New Cold Warrior was complete, and vast numbers of angry Hillaroids were quickly on board the Blame Russia Express, full of self-righteous anger and the conviction that someone had stolen the election and that the usual suspects were obviously the guilty party. ..."
    "... Things haven't gone so well for the "Fake News" campaign, however. Too many people could and can see disturbing patterns that ring true, if they spend enough time looking at truthful, objective analysis of the world around us, and there is quite a lot of it available via the internet. ..."
    "... More people are spending more and more time on the internet and social media, where presstitute media lose the natural advantages they once had in a world dominated by government-regulated, corporate-financed TV, radio, and print news. ..."
    "... It turns out that many of the best-informed writers see the world utterly differently than do the corporate and government shills who determine the "news" content in mainstream media. ..."
    "... Social Democrats ..."
    "... Christian Democrats ..."
    "... The US military is by far the greatest polluter on Earth. ..."
    "... I consider that an Orwellian assault on language. "Extremism" is what I oppose. Extreme wealth. Extreme greed. Extreme militarism. Extreme suicidal and ecocidal environmental destruction. Extreme governmental authority. Extreme stupidity. ..."
    Jun 19, 2017 | www.counterpunch.org

    We have had a certain amount of success in exposing the amorphous and mendacious term "Fake News" for what it is: a tool in a major campaign of propaganda against dissenting independent journalism and political writing, a campaign perpetrated by governments and corporate media. The wealthy and powerful forces which control both of those influential centers in the formation of public opinion were desperate to regain control of the narrative, which has been slipping away from them at an increasing velocity since the advent of social media, and since the parallel growth of a broad spectrum of information networks with absolutely no interest in currying favor with the mighty, or in defending the status quo.

    As soon as the term "Fake News" appeared, Barack Obama pounced on it, and in a joint appearance in 2016 with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, used his worldwide microphone and bully pulpit – if only he had done so occasionally to sound the alarm about the approaching environmental crisis, or to express outrage about racism or police brutality, or to challenge war profiteers! – to announce his deep concern that "Fake News" was making it "difficult to govern" (for more on this and the struggle against corporate/government presstitute propaganda, see my article "Hope Is Our Enemy: Fighting Boiling Frog Syndrome").

    This clumsy and panicky maneuver has deservedly met with far less success than Obama's incredibly successful propaganda sally against Russia and Vladimir Putin, which has captivated the paranoid fantasies of many millions of Americans and Europeans who desperately want to believe that NATO countries are virtuous and innocent, and are threatened by ruthless and aggressive foreigners who are responsible for the spreading chaos in the West.

    As one of his final acts in office, President Chameleon slapped new sanctions on Russia and deported Russian diplomats: after eight years, his transformation from Nobel Laureate and supposed apostle of peace to McCarthyite New Cold Warrior was complete, and vast numbers of angry Hillaroids were quickly on board the Blame Russia Express, full of self-righteous anger and the conviction that someone had stolen the election and that the usual suspects were obviously the guilty party.

    Things haven't gone so well for the "Fake News" campaign, however. Too many people could and can see disturbing patterns that ring true, if they spend enough time looking at truthful, objective analysis of the world around us, and there is quite a lot of it available via the internet.

    More people are spending more and more time on the internet and social media, where presstitute media lose the natural advantages they once had in a world dominated by government-regulated, corporate-financed TV, radio, and print news.

    It turns out that many of the best-informed writers see the world utterly differently than do the corporate and government shills who determine the "news" content in mainstream media.

    Which brings us to one of the latest victims in the assault on language by the 1% and their pawns in the presstitute media: the word "extremism".

    Here in the European Union where I live, this word is currently heard so often in the traditional media – along with another victimized word being brutalized almost non-stop, "populist" – that even poorly-educated persons who aren't sure exactly what is meant can understand that they must mean something very, very bad.

    If any such confused persons should take the time to pay closer attention and attempt to ascertain what it is that makes these "extremists" and "populists" so deplorable and dangerous, they may soon notice that at least one of these words, "extremist", has a pretty nebulous field of application. According to major sources of conventional wisdom in the EU, terrorists are "extremists". But "extremism", more generally, is also applied casually to nearly any political parties and interest groups to the Left and the Right of the large (if shrinking in some countries like France) parties called "people's parties" (Volksparteien) here in Germany: the no-longer-socialist Social Democrats who are allegedly center-left, the pseudo-Christian Christian Democrats who portray themselves as center-right, and even the thoroughly compromised and faded-to-brown Green Party , which has gone to great lengths and engaged in stupendous contortions of deliberate conformism to achieve its modern status as a pillar of the established order, a long journey from its radical roots in the 1980s.

    As you may have deduced from my snarky tone, I find myself firmly ensconced among the so-called "extremists" of the Left.

    What, one may legitimately ask, are the views which have led to this branding as a dangerous individual? Do I advocate keeping a stock of Molotov Cocktails handy for quick use when the shit starts to fly? I do not.

    Okay I guess I'll have to come clean. Here are the radical, dangerous, "extremist" positions I support when I advocate more influence for this political party:

    In addition, there is my allegedly "extreme" position on the environment, which is not so much a priority for "Die Linke" but is the most important issue of all for me personally. I am convinced that only a radical transformation of the world economy can save this planet, including most life on Earth. I believe this can only come about through an end to industrial capitalism: a ban on most fossil fuels, an end to the production of most plastics, an end to most beef production and strict organic regulation of all meat production, and worldwide mandatory measures to clean up the poisonous residue of the current system which is killing the planet. This will necessarily involve huge cuts in most military structures and war-making as well. The US military is by far the greatest polluter on Earth.

    For these views, and my concomitant rejection of the large political parties in the EU and the USA which have done almost nothing to save the planet that was not outweighed by massive destruction – parties which thus, in the name of "realism", have sold our future to the rich and may have doomed all life on this planet, as scientific opinion is near unanimous that time is short – for these views I am labeled an "extremist".

    I consider that an Orwellian assault on language. "Extremism" is what I oppose. Extreme wealth. Extreme greed. Extreme militarism. Extreme suicidal and ecocidal environmental destruction. Extreme governmental authority. Extreme stupidity.

    [Jun 21, 2017] US Attack Fails To Disrupt Push To Deir Ezzor

    Jun 21, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org
    Grieved | Jun 20, 2017 1:34:43 PM | 157

    One thing I wanted to add about Russian methodology in Syria.

    The principal reason that Russia escalates in such thin layers, I suspect, is that Russia has a very well defined military doctrine - updated last year I think - that prescribes what must happen in response to various conditions. I'm no expert in any of this, but what seems clear is that Russia as a nation understands very well what lies further down the escalation trail.

    Russia has been improving its military ever since Putin came in, but in the last year or two she has very seriously geared for real war, including global nuclear conflict. According to people like Dmitri Orlov and the Saker, who understand Russian mentality, Russians don't bluff. At best, they give a fair warning, once. Then when they decide it's necessary, they act. And as Putin has said, when you know a fight is unavoidable, get the first punch in.

    So while the US is living in a Hollywood dream world, Russia is in an entirely real world, watching the US escalate as if there would be no consequences. We don't actually know what the full suite of Russian red lines are in Syria, but it seems that the Pentagon has learned enough of them to fear direct conflict. The point is precisely that Russia is not bluffing, and so she is no hurry to move along the escalation line, because there's no going back, and when she reaches a certain point, she WILL act. And the US will not like it, and the world may not survive the traumas that come out of that.

    Putin has even taken the desperate step in the last two years if addressing western news people and scolding them for not being awake to the dangers to their own populations of US actions, trying to get them to pay attention. I believe now the fight in Syria is not just against the terrorists - killing them outside Russia's borders rather than inside - but also a very real one happening with the US, greater than is really obvious. The US expected to fight Russia in Ukraine, but Russia declined the venue chosen by the enemy, and chose its own venue instead.

    It's almost discouraging to read the many comments on some of the sites out there, where people rooting for Russia actually want her to shoot down a US plane or something dramatic. They think Russia sends a message of weakness by not acting in the approved US hero manner. They fail to understand that an entirely different mind-set is at work here - one that is completely lethal beyond certain bounds, which the US keep pushing and probing.

    [Jun 21, 2017] A quick reminder, a reality check... the utter stupidity, the illegality of US Syria policy

    www.moonofalabama.org

    michaelj72 | Jun 20, 2017 2:26:54 PM | 10

    a quick reminder, a reality check... the utter stupidity, the illegality of it all

    but even talking about that only raises yawns in DC and the West, though Australia has been smart enough to stop flying in the coalition of the bribed and the bludgeoned in Syria this week

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/u-s-planes-at-risk-after-downing-of-syrian-jet/

    .....No one in Washington will care, but it is worth remembering that the U.S. has no authority to be engaged in hostilities anywhere in Syria, and our government certainly has no authority to attack Syrian government forces operating inside their own country in support for anti-regime insurgents. Obama had no right to expand the war on ISIS into Syria, and Trump has no right to involve us in a war with the Syrian government. Our Syria policy is unwise and divorced from U.S. security interests, and it is also illegal.

    [Jun 21, 2017] There is no shortage of tiresome Neocons but Lt. Col, Ralph Peterson wrote a particularly vile piece for the NY Post

    Jun 21, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org
    Christian Chuba | Jun 20, 2017 1:48:32 PM | 5
    There is no shortage of tiresome Neocons but Lt. Col, Ralph Peterson wrote a particularly vile piece for the NY Post
    http://nypost.com/2017/06/19/the-stakes-in-syria-now-include-us-russia-war/
    " a Syrian aircraft struck our allies. An American jet shot it down."
    [^ not especially vile but even the Pentagon's own press release said that the Syrian aircraft was bombing NEAR SDF forces. So he is lying even if you just use Pentagon sources. ^]
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    "In reality, Bashar al-Assad and his backers cynically dumped the burden of wrecking ISIS on us and our local allies to concentrate on slaughtering civilians, exterminating freedom fighters and torturing thousands of prisoners to death. Now that we've done the anti-ISIS heavy lifting, they want to exclude us from the endgame and crush our Kurdish and Arab allies."
    [^ Now this IS truly vile ^]

    The NY Post is one of the cowardly who don't allow comments, I'll at least give the National Review and FOX credit for allowing online comments. I don't know if they ever read them, it doesn't look like it. Is there an infinite amount of demand for Neocon drivel? I only saw this because I see articles linked through realclearworld.com which occasionally has some articles of value along with the sewage.

    Anon | Jun 20, 2017 2:17:20 PM | 8
    mischi

    Yes of course Russians are the provoking the US in.... the Baltic sea! . Facepalm.
    The western media is so deep in its own lies and disinformation its disgusting.

    michaelj72 | Jun 20, 2017 2:26:54 PM | 10
    a quick reminder, a reality check... the utter stupidity, the illegality of it all.

    but even talking about that only raises yawns in DC and the West, though Australia has been smart enough to stop flying in the coalition of the bribed and the bludgeoned in Syria this week

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/u-s-planes-at-risk-after-downing-of-syrian-jet/

    .....No one in Washington will care, but it is worth remembering that the U.S. has no authority to be engaged in hostilities anywhere in Syria, and our government certainly has no authority to attack Syrian government forces operating inside their own country in support for anti-regime insurgents. Obama had no right to expand the war on ISIS into Syria, and Trump has no right to involve us in a war with the Syrian government. Our Syria policy is unwise and divorced from U.S. security interests, and it is also illegal.

    james | Jun 20, 2017 3:42:13 PM | 11
    ny post.. bought and paid for by zion idiots... not worth the cost for firestarter... humour maybe, lol..

    john helmer has another post up here on the freak freeland for any canucks reading here... new info from poland shows her grandfathers connections to nazi germany and how they were looking for him into the 80's... canuck gov't and media response? silence so far...

    [Jun 21, 2017] More Details Appear About US Attack Against Syrian Su-22

    Jun 20, 2017 | southfront.org

    jfl | Jun 20, 2017 7:25:08 PM | 17

    Ali Fahd's mission was to strike ISIS fighters and vehicles attempting to withdrew from Rusafah in the province of Raqqah towards Sukhnah in the province of Homs and Oqerbat in the eastern Hama countryside – near Ali Fahd's home town of Salamyiah. Connection with Ali Fahd was lost after reaching the operation area over Rusafah.

    SF was not able to receive info if Ali Fahd preformed any airstrike against ISIS before being hit. As connection was jammed it may mean Ali Fahd's warplane was downed even before dropping a single bomb. This supports the version provided by the Syrian government and the pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that said Ali Fahd's Su-22M4 never attacked positions of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

    According to Ali Fahd's relative Al-Masdar News reporter, Majd Fahed, Ali Fahd was captured by the SDF and Tiger Forces Leader General Suheil Al-Hassan is negotiating with SDF in order to free Ali Fahd.

    Chauncey Gardiner | Jun 20, 2017 9:12:03 PM | 22

    @jfl | Jun 20, 2017 7:25:08 PM | 17

    It seems to me the only this guy has this information about the Syrian pilot.

    https://twitter.com/maytham956/status/876801735477559296

    Al-Masdar do not have it.

    [Jun 21, 2017] The Problem with Kurdish Independence by Daniel Larison

    Notable quotes:
    "... When I was a student at Chapel Hill in the early 70's I heard a lecture by a professor of Azeri background who predicted that the next great war, one which had the potential to be more than a regional conflict and could become a world war, would be the war for Kurdish independence. I don't believe this is a problem which will go away. The world will have to make room for an independent Kurdistan or conflict in the region will continue. ..."
    "... See what we let loose with Kosovo! On what basis can the West now deny this and refuse recognition when we stripped Serbia's heartland away from Serbia? If it does come down to war, it might be good for the Kurd's neighbors to remember that Saladin was a Kurd. ..."
    "... The US has enough problems certainly these days with the internal politics in their own country. They sure fail or make worse with neocon social engineering experiments with other countries they don't understand or have no interests in. Negative and long lasting and worse off unintended consequences abound whenever US military acting as the foreign policy arm of US affairs goes into action. ..."
    Jun 20, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com
    Kurdistan4all / cc Iraqi Kurdistan will hold an independence referendum on September 25, and there is no international support for that:

    On Monday, the European Union joined the United Nations, the United States, Turkey, and Iraq to discourage Iraqi Kurds from holding an independence referendum on Sept. 25.

    That was to be expected, and won't deter regional government authorities in Erbil, said Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, the Kurdistan Regional Government representative in Washington.

    The broad international opposition to a Kurdish independence referendum underscores the problem with trying to create an independent Kurdistan: the new state would be immediately isolated, it would lack recognition from most other governments, and would face intense disapproval from all of its new neighbors. Iraqi Kurdistan would forfeit the benefits of its current semi-autonomous status in exchange for a formal independence that would impose numerous costs on it. Iran isn't mentioned in the article, but their government has likewise expressed opposition to the referendum.

    Supporters of the referendum say that a vote in favor of independence isn't a declaration of independence, but for the many regional opponents of a Kurdish state it might be taken as one. It is doubtful that the Turkish and Iraqi governments would limit their opposition to rhetoric, so a new Kurdish state would find itself besieged and under attack very early on, and Iran would presumably aid the Baghdad in trying to prevent the separation of the region. The last thing the region needs is even more instability and violence, and a push for Kurdish independence would produce more of both. Contrary to the hopes of Western partition fans, Kurdish independence would spark new conflicts and complicate existing ones. It would resolve none of them.

    Pennzy SW , says: June 20, 2017 at 9:34 am
    "Contrary to the hopes of Western partition fans, Kurdish independence would spark new conflicts and complicate existing ones. It would resolve none of them. "

    You may be right about the hopes of Western partition fans, but our parasitic "friends" in the region (the Israelis and Saudis in particular) would be overjoyed to see us permanently bogged down in regional conflicts created by an independent Kurdistan.

    All the more reason for us to have nothing to do with it.

    William Dalton , says: June 20, 2017 at 10:49 am
    When I was a student at Chapel Hill in the early 70's I heard a lecture by a professor of Azeri background who predicted that the next great war, one which had the potential to be more than a regional conflict and could become a world war, would be the war for Kurdish independence. I don't believe this is a problem which will go away. The world will have to make room for an independent Kurdistan or conflict in the region will continue.
    Will Harrington , says: June 20, 2017 at 1:09 pm
    See what we let loose with Kosovo! On what basis can the West now deny this and refuse recognition when we stripped Serbia's heartland away from Serbia? If it does come down to war, it might be good for the Kurd's neighbors to remember that Saladin was a Kurd.
    jk , says: June 20, 2017 at 8:13 pm
    The US has enough problems certainly these days with the internal politics in their own country. They sure fail or make worse with neocon social engineering experiments with other countries they don't understand or have no interests in. Negative and long lasting and worse off unintended consequences abound whenever US military acting as the foreign policy arm of US affairs goes into action.

    [Jun 21, 2017] Somewhat interesting reports the Syrian plane had only been airborne about 15 minutes when it was shot down, reportedly without having delivered its bomb load

    Notable quotes:
    "... That means the American plane took off from a carrier (George HW Bush), flew over all of Russia's radar and missile sites in western Syria, shot down the Syrian Su-22 in Raqqa, and then flew right back over all the Russian anti-air sites.'; ..."
    "... Coming late to this party but everything looks very good for the balance of power to me. Iran shows not only what it can do but implies strongly what it will do, if the prompts so indicate. Russia comes down hard with Lavrov and diplomacy telling the world that international law has been broken consciously and cynically by the US, and MOD and Russian soldiers set further red lines. Syria meanwhile has not been goaded into any unwise move by this latest provocation, and continues on its campaign. With the pilot now safe - rescued from behind enemy lines by the Tigers, no less - Syria only lost one plane, while the US lost its deconflict back-channel. ..."
    "... The loss of the back channel seriously concerns the US military, because it means that they run a lethal risk of making a wrong move. Bluster is one thing but facing Russian soldiers in a real fight is their worst nightmare. This is a military event, so in this information space across the web we see additional troll forces mustered into discussion threads to cast doubt on Russia's resolve, but underneath the smoke, Russia has now parlayed its de-escalation zones - which have worked beautifully to further Syria's military edge - into all of Syria west of the Euphrates. ..."
    "... More provocations and blunders from the US will result in even more strategic losses exacted by Russia. As b has treated at length, and as commented here already, the US persists in tactics to the detriment of its strategy. It is throwing away its cards one by one in each round of betting. ..."
    Jun 21, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org
    brian | Jun 19, 2017 6:53:12 PM | 77
    Somewhat interesting reports the Syrian plane had only been airborne about 15 minutes when it was shot down, reportedly without having delivered its bomb load. The super hornet from an aircraft carrier had to enter and cross Syria to shoot down the Syrian bomber. This has all the appearance of premeditation, opportunistic predatory attack, starting in flight operations on the carrier, aided and abetted by AWACS identification and control assets. Seemingly the pilot has been recovered. What a story he may have to tell. The rats are leaving the regime change coalition as it flounders in their sea of lies; good thing that. Time will tell how correct these reports are.

    Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jun 20, 2017 8:52:43 AM | 138

    The US plane which shot down the Syrian Su-22 over Raqqa province yesterday was a carrier-based F/A-18.

    That means the American plane took off from a carrier (George HW Bush), flew over all of Russia's radar and missile sites in western Syria, shot down the Syrian Su-22 in Raqqa, and then flew right back over all the Russian anti-air sites.';
    http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/has-russia-just-grounded-all-americas-carrier-based-aircraft-coast-syria/ri20148#.WUfp5CeZs9o.facebook

    Grieved | Jun 19, 2017 8:27:24 PM | 84
    Coming late to this party but everything looks very good for the balance of power to me. Iran shows not only what it can do but implies strongly what it will do, if the prompts so indicate. Russia comes down hard with Lavrov and diplomacy telling the world that international law has been broken consciously and cynically by the US, and MOD and Russian soldiers set further red lines. Syria meanwhile has not been goaded into any unwise move by this latest provocation, and continues on its campaign. With the pilot now safe - rescued from behind enemy lines by the Tigers, no less - Syria only lost one plane, while the US lost its deconflict back-channel.

    The loss of the back channel seriously concerns the US military, because it means that they run a lethal risk of making a wrong move. Bluster is one thing but facing Russian soldiers in a real fight is their worst nightmare. This is a military event, so in this information space across the web we see additional troll forces mustered into discussion threads to cast doubt on Russia's resolve, but underneath the smoke, Russia has now parlayed its de-escalation zones - which have worked beautifully to further Syria's military edge - into all of Syria west of the Euphrates.

    More provocations and blunders from the US will result in even more strategic losses exacted by Russia. As b has treated at length, and as commented here already, the US persists in tactics to the detriment of its strategy. It is throwing away its cards one by one in each round of betting.

    What's remarkable to me is how thinly sliced this game of chicken can be played. Accustomed as I am to US culture, and black-white dichotomies with their shoot-em-up resolutions, I would never have thought there were so many delicate countermoves available in a structure of escalation. Russia is playing this hand out with supreme elegance, to my mind. It seems possible now that Syria can move all the way to total victory, with the US out of the country, without the Pentagon realizing it has lost - simply, it will wake up to zero cards in its hand, while Russia still holds some.

    ~~

    ps..no expert on radar either, but I gather being locked onto is being "painted", and it's what pilots dread - because there's no escape from whatever the owner of the radar decides to throw at you. Well, they wanted to play chicken, but this will cause some serious frayed nerves in USAF.

    jfl | Jun 19, 2017 8:31:57 PM | 85
    Pentagon changes disposition of US-led coalition aircraft in Syria

    DAMASCUS, SYRIA (9:40 P.M.) – The United States decided to re-position fighter jets belonging to the US-led international coalition, Pentagon's spokesman Adrian Rankine-Galloway told reporters on Monday.

    "As a result of recent clashes with Syrian pro-regime and Russian forces, we took precautions to change the disposition of the aircraft in Syria in order to continue fighting Islamic State, while maintaining safety of our pilots – considering the known threats on the battlefield," he told Interfax agency.


    can it be true that the hornet came all the way from the mediterranean and shot sown the syrian plane? how did they know it would be there when they got there? are the us now going to fly out of qatar?

    In the meantime, the U.S. are going to work with Russia through diplomatic and military channels in order to restore the incident prevention direct line, head of Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joseph Dunford, told the press on Monday speaking at the conference of National Press club.

    is that how the us knew the where and when on the syrian plane?

    Peter AU | Jun 19, 2017 9:01:04 PM | 86
    When Russia first moved into Syria, Obama said something about Russia getting bogged down in a quagmire.
    Now it seems it is the US in a quagmire and Russia standing on solid ground. All Russia has to do is keep poking the US back into the quagmire if they try to climb out. The area east of the Euphrates seems to be the quagmire.
    While US is bogged down in that part of the world, and focusing on Russia, China, strategic partner to Russia and the only economic threat to the US is forging ahead.

    Lozion | Jun 19, 2017 9:04:38 PM | 87
    @84 Agreed.. The US's achilles heel as always been that it cannot be perceived as the aggressor under any circumstances. Russia exploits this weakness by constantly exposing its acts when breaching Intl law or conventions.
    This is a slow game but the benefits are a shifting of alliances and potential end of the status of vassalage of nations wising up to the state of dereliction of the Empire..

    Peter AU | Jun 19, 2017 11:09:39 PM | 92
    smuks | Jun 19, 2017 9:39:48 PM | 89 Sounds plausible enough and fits the maps. So technically speaking, the US excuse 'they bombed close to the SDF, endangering our allies' is even correct...

    Endangering allies? Nope. Shooting down a Syrian aircraft targeting an ISIS held town perhaps one or two k's from the Kurd frontlines is not self defence.

    Lozion | Jun 19, 2017 11:53:36 PM | 93
    Very good analysis by Mercouris of the @TheDuran_com CONFIRMED: US backs down as Russia targets US aircraft in Syria:

    http://theduran.com/us-backs-down-russia-targets-us-aircraft-syria/

    NemesisCalling | Jun 20, 2017 12:20:41 AM | 94
    @93 Lozion

    I'be been noticing that the Russian collusion narrative is losing steam here in the states. Maybe teeth are unclenching among the plebians to warrant less reckless enticement of Russia's AA systems. Among the blogospheres and message boards, I see more of a shrugged "meh" at the sight of the term "Russia" and a general acknowledgment that the narrative of the msm on Syria is completely unintelligible to the layman and therefore probably doesn't warrant getting into a war with Russia for. And let me say kudos to Oliver Stone to putting out the Putin interview. He was on that turd Colbert's Hate Show and was mocked for merely offering what he hoped was an unbiased view on Russia and what makes Putin tick. Let's hope a lot of people watch it.

    How many times have we all said, "This is it! Russia has to act now!" Strafing runs on Deir Ezzor giving way to ISIS assaults; RuF plane shot down over northern Syria; bombing runs in Syrian territory by the US. Each new incident has invoked a sudden panic, followed by breathless monitoring of current events for some days after. Meanwhile, Putin and Russia have convinced their allies to play the smart, long game, letting the event air out in the light of day so that cooler heads always seem to prevail.

    Taxi | Jun 20, 2017 12:27:20 AM | 95
    Our actions in Syria are based on israeli defense policies NOT American ones. That's why our actions in Syria are dumber than dumb as far as US interests are concerned. And if you haven't caught on why the jewish MSM and the zionist bipartisan War Party remain in a 'Russia' frenzy some six months after Trump moved into the WH, then you've been had. The whole jewish ploy is to keep up tensions with Putin so that Trump is forced to work the israel angle in Syria, an angle that is anti-Russian presence in the Levant and pro ISIS Caliphate.

    The whole point is to prevent USA working with Russia on cleaning up Syria because soon as the 'cleaning' is done, the Syrian army is heading towards the Golan to legitimately liberate it from israeli occupation - a fight that will see israel losing as tel aviv will be immediately targeted. The israelis know this and are delaying the inevitable confrontation in the Golan, in the hope that they can figure out the impossible in the meantime - the impossible being that unlike the past, the anti-israel axis in the Levant now and for the first time ever has the ability to destroy every inch of israel while taking the hits. Israel might have superior offensive weaponry, but defensively, they stand naked on the battlefield.

    Grieved | Jun 20, 2017 12:47:27 AM | 97
    without threatening to treat unauthorized planes as targets, the US markedly scaled back its flights, and publicly announced this. So the Russians have very clearly understood for months that this is an escalation that the US cannot afford to match.

    And now it has gone even further. This time the Russians have flipped the same switch of turning off the deconflict hotline, but this time they've promised to "paint" any plane that enters without authorization - to lock on it with targeting radar systems - reserving the right to take whatever action is deemed appropriate against that plane, depending on its actions.

    And the US is very scared:


    ...the US is frantically signalling to the Russians its urgent wish to de-escalate the situation. Note for example the markedly conciliatory language of White House spokesman Sean Spicer, and how he repeatedly passed up opportunities to utter words of defiance against Russia or to threaten the Russians with counter-measures during the latest White House press briefing
    [...]
    What that means is that though the Russians must act carefully so as not to provoke the US into an unnecessary confrontation which would serve no-one's interests, ultimately it is the Russians who in Syria have the whip hand.
    -- CONFIRMED: US backs down as Russia targets US aircraft in Syria

    So there we have it. As good as any laboratory test. Observation, theory, prediction and result all line up to prove the case: the US is full of bluster, playing a cowardly game of bullying, and yet cannot pass the test of being called out to fight in reality. Will not fight. Will not fight.

    And generals around the world take note of this.

    ~~

    By the way, Mercouris at the Duran often cites the excellent analysis by b at Moon of Alabama, as does Pepe Escobar in his Facebook page of important stories, for that matter. Just a note to say that we all read each other and between us we're putting together a really good picture of what's going on. I am impressed, and grateful. The truth is winning.

    sejomoje | Jun 20, 2017 12:50:04 AM | 98
    And yes, as much as Israel wishes to remain on the sidelines ideologically, they are 100% all in, behind the thinktank assessments that lead to military/CIA policy.

    It's absolutely ABSURD that Israel can bomb Syria sans scrutiny, but it is has been happening since the false "civil" war's start. Prima facie proof of the machination and its source.

    AtaBrit | Jun 20, 2017 5:33:40 AM | 130
    @frances | 49
    The West of the Euphrates comment is an interesting one. It seems that Russia is unwilling to show its hand on the Syrian Kurdish issue as yet. That they have a long history of supporting different Kuridsh factions implies that they will be happy to come to some arrangement but maybe they see the Kurds as being in too strong a negotiating position at the moment to agree to maintaining Syrian territorial integrity. So, let the US game play out a little longer and wait for the US to betray them thus weakening their stance and making them more amenable to Russian and Syrian proposals?


    @Romanoff| 124
    Yep. I saw the same. It doesn't surprise me in that I do not believe that the coalition partners have the stomach for all out war in Syria or elsewhere regionally.
    To be honest I think yet further splintering will occur especially when Germny finally moves from Incirlik to Jordan in the next couple of months.
    There are also fractures appearing on the Russian sanctions front with Germany unhappy about US's latest attempts to impose energy sanctions particularly against Nord Stream 2.

    Piotr Berman | Jun 20, 2017 7:40:38 AM | 134
    When Russia first moved into Syria, Obama said something about Russia getting bogged down in a quagmire.
    Now it seems it is the US in a quagmire and Russia standing on solid ground.

    Posted by: Peter AU | Jun 19, 2017 9:01:04 PM | 86

    This is indeed a textbook case when an intervention is "bogged down" and when it is not, and inability of "smart Americans" to tell the difference (non-smart Americans have a more obvious excuse for being clueless). To excuse Obama and parrots in the sophisticated liberal media like NYT, Russian intervention did not start very auspiciously. SAA was collapsing, slowly surrendering various positions and territories, and direct Russian help merely froze that collapse. Also, in the past USSR got bogged down in Afghanistan, and "even USA" got bogged down here and there. What would make the intervention in Syria any different?

    Superficially, Putin actually has long term strategy, and even "inept moves" are either improved or fit that strategy, while Obama for all his high IQ and cosmopolitan education did not (Trump has so-so IQ, and his knowledge of other cultures, while extensive, seems limited to casinos, luxury apartments, golf courses etc). More deeply, the conditions in Syria were more conducive for receiving outside help than in Afghanistan and Iraq. Baath party retains unshakable core support and is not riven by internal backstabbing. Majority of population prefers their rule over the alternatives that are present (as they are neither idiots nor fanatics). Thus even if Syrian military etc. was a basket full of problems, there were enough people who were fighting sufficiently well to stop the collapse after getting some help, and who could be trusted, armed and trained. And Russians knew how to do it, who can be trusted, and how to arm and train. Americans did not have such positive elements in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    There will be future books on the topic, but I would like to elaborate about inept tactics that fit long term strategy. Initial targets of Russian bombardments were making superficial sense, but did not work out. They enabled SAA attacks that turned to be futile. However, at least according to a lengthy and plausible article in Rusnext.ru, they were selected by Syrian command, and Russia made a decision of not overruling them, especially by selecting other targets. There is a whiff of excuses there, but it matches the events. And it touches a core requirement for a successful intervention: you must work through the people there, and those people must collaborate with sufficient enthusiasm to risk their lives. So you cannot treat them like dirt, savages etc. But in American thinking, how possibly you can treat savages not like savages? And you get a spiral of mutual hatred that splits the foreign helpers and local beneficiaries (interventionists and collaborators?) from top to bottom.

    Kumben | Jun 20, 2017 8:01:59 AM | 135
    Another card in the sleeve of the pro-Syria forces is the build-up of PMU on the Iraqi side of the border. Should the SDF start to advance south on the left side of the Euphrates, the PMU may roll in Syria and block any advance to the Omar oil fields and DeZ territory east of the river. For now they are just hanging over there, widening the area under Iraqi gov control, but imv their presence serves to block and eventually deal a mortal blow to the blacks from the east direction. Very interesting developments and configuration of forces during the last few weeks.

    Anon | Jun 20, 2017 11:40:38 AM | 146
    News report that US now have shot down an Iranian drone inside Syria!

    Unless Russia, Syria, Iran shoot back at these sick americans, the same sick americans will bomb Assad sooner or later.

    smuks | Jun 20, 2017 12:23:44 PM | 150

    Anon | Jun 20, 2017 12:29:40 PM | 151
    CarlD

    Yes unfortunately (Damascus will be bombed), there is no stop to the blood lust of the americans apparently, and the propaganda of the west help them justify that.

    Its clear also that Trump have zero power over these crazy generals, Mattis etcetera.
    He must have some friggin advisors that could tell him that this cant go on!

    Anon | Jun 20, 2017 12:40:56 PM | 152
    These people really are sick,
    US working to restore 'deconfliction' line with Russia over Syria
    http://217.218.67.231/Detail/2017/06/20/525953/US-Russia-deconfliction-Dunford/

    I raped your wife, but please we must keep in touch-logic!

    Well, yet more blowback from the shooting down of the Su-22, the Australians have stopped air operations over Syria for the time being . If the Russians really wanted to send a message to the Americans about how shooting down Syrian aircraft is unacceptable, then what better than to shoot down an aircraft of a lesser member of the US coalition, preferably one without nuclear weapons like the UK.
    BTW, it used to be that a NATO Article 5 response didn't cover events much outside of Europe and Turkey and I haven't heard that that's been changed.

    Posted by: Ghostship | Jun 20, 2017 12:50:52 PM | 153

    Well, yet more blowback from the shooting down of the Su-22, the Australians have stopped air operations over Syria for the time being . If the Russians really wanted to send a message to the Americans about how shooting down Syrian aircraft is unacceptable, then what better than to shoot down an aircraft of a lesser member of the US coalition, preferably one without nuclear weapons like the UK.
    BTW, it used to be that a NATO Article 5 response didn't cover events much outside of Europe and Turkey and I haven't heard that that's been changed.

    Posted by: Ghostship | Jun 20, 2017 12:50:52 PM | 153

    harrylaw | Jun 20, 2017 1:04:22 PM | 154
    This is the guy Trump has put in charge of war and peace between nuclear powers.
    "I come in peace. I didn't bring artillery. But I'm pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you fuck with me, I'll kill you all."
    more mad dog quotes here.. http://freebeacon.com/national-security/the-best-from-mad-dog-mattis/

    Grieved | Jun 20, 2017 1:34:43 PM | 157
    One thing I wanted to add about Russian methodology in Syria.

    The principal reason that Russia escalates in such thin layers, I suspect, is that Russia has a very well defined military doctrine - updated last year I think - that prescribes what must happen in response to various conditions. I'm no expert in any of this, but what seems clear is that Russia as a nation understands very well what lies further down the escalation trail.

    Russia has been improving its military ever since Putin came in, but in the last year or two she has very seriously geared for real war, including global nuclear conflict. According to people like Dmitri Orlov and the Saker, who understand Russian mentality, Russians don't bluff. At best, they give a fair warning, once. Then when they decide it's necessary, they act. And as Putin has said, when you know a fight is unavoidable, get the first punch in.

    So while the US is living in a Hollywood dream world, Russia is in an entirely real world, watching the US escalate as if there would be no consequences. We don't actually know what the full suite of Russian red lines are in Syria, but it seems that the Pentagon has learned enough of them to fear direct conflict. The point is precisely that Russia is not bluffing, and so she is no hurry to move along the escalation line, because there's no going back, and when she reaches a certain point, she WILL act. And the US will not like it, and the world may not survive the traumas that come out of that.

    Putin has even taken the desperate step in the last two years if addressing western news people and scolding them for not being awake to the dangers to their own populations of US actions, trying to get them to pay attention. I believe now the fight in Syria is not just against the terrorists - killing them outside Russia's borders rather than inside - but also a very real one happening with the US, greater than is really obvious. The US expected to fight Russia in Ukraine, but Russia declined the venue chosen by the enemy, and chose its own venue instead.

    It's almost discouraging to read the many comments on some of the sites out there, where people rooting for Russia actually want her to shoot down a US plane or something dramatic. They think Russia sends a message of weakness by not acting in the approved US hero manner. They fail to understand that an entirely different mind-set is at work here - one that is completely lethal beyond certain bounds, which the US keep pushing and probing.

    Formerly T-Bear | Jun 20, 2017 2:04:39 PM | 158
    @ Grieved | Jun 20, 2017 1:34:43 PM | 157

    Thank you for that statement, all too often such things are ignored because they do not measure up to the favoured Hollywood scriptwriter's product. Not once have any spokesperson from the Russian Federation ever used demeaning or perjoritive remarks about any party in conflict. This is simply the mark of adults, not perpetual children and their demeaning or demonisation of those they emotionally haven't taken a liking to. Again this shows Amerikkka has ceased to be a country and has instead become a pathology, a pathology of children. Russia is showing the patience an adult shows to children, trying to avoid any action that may cause harm.

    Anon | Jun 20, 2017 2:29:55 PM | 159
    Grieved

    You cover one side very well and I agree but its also a different side that you dont touch.
    What do you think will happen if Russia, Syria, Iran dont respond to this question?
    Its like, what would you do if your neighbour keep threatening you years after years and have a history of murdering other people? Well if you do not do anything about it, you will end up dead yourself sooner or later.
    But I agree its a tough call but one shouldnt be naive that this bombing by the US will stop before they get their regime change in Syria.
    We should just accept this rouge behavior year and year? Its time someone deal with these bullies in one way or another.

    hopehely | Jun 20, 2017 3:00:09 PM | 160
    Posted by: Anon | Jun 20, 2017 1:15:42 PM | 156
    That system will not help with telling if the jet is British, Australian or American.
    Ghostship was saying that for Russians is safer to shoot down Australian than American plane.

    james | Jun 20, 2017 3:08:32 PM | 161
    @150 smuks quote "I wonder: When that happens, will Russia seek a UNSC vote to confirm that the USAF has no business in Syria?" the usa and it's puppy dog followers fall back on the un resolution to go after ISIS... that is the justification.. personally i find it a load of bs, but that is how they are justifying murdering 100 SAA members in deiz ezzor, shooting down syrian planes, iran drones and etc. etc... just a coincidence all that, i am sure, lol... fortunately russia and friends are playing the long game here.. however an accident can happen in this environment very quickly.. that is also what the west and their bullshit lies are hoping for here as well... so, we are very close to ww3 as i see it... stooge trump is essentially out of the picture too... some freak who was responsible for fallujah has his hand on the us military.. these folks are fucked in the head..

    @157 grieved... thanks for your comments... unfortunately at some point russia and friends will have to step up to the plate.. the west under the guidance of the usa - warmonger central - are not going to back down here... they don't understand the concept... a time is going to come and it is coming soon as i see it.

    Anon | Jun 20, 2017 3:20:06 PM | 162
    hophely

    You dont think modern military radar give the info of which nation a certain airplane on a map belongs to?

    james | Jun 20, 2017 3:37:24 PM | 163
    once russia shoots anything belonging to the 'coalition of isis/moderate headchoppers' the west will be '''all in'''.. doesn't matter what gets shot down... west will go on full war mode... russia and any sane individual knows this..
    somebody | Jun 20, 2017 4:41:54 PM | 164
    Posted by: ex-SA | Jun 20, 2017 11:04:41 AM | 145

    I think the problem in all the ex- "countries with central economic planning" - was the realization of the upper management that owning state property could make them rich - much richer than the 3 times the wage of a worker they got before.

    somebody | Jun 20, 2017 4:41:59 PM | 165
    Posted by: ex-SA | Jun 20, 2017 11:04:41 AM | 145

    I think the problem in all the ex- "countries with central economic planning" - was the realization of the upper management that owning state property could make them rich - much richer than the 3 times the wage of a worker they got before.

    [Jun 21, 2017] House Russia Probe Hobbled by Sharp Divide on Intelligence Panel

    Jun 21, 2017 | www.msn.com

    But Nunes complained on the radio show Monday that Democrats want to look now into accusations that Trump committed obstruction of justice because, he asserted, the probe so far has turned up "no evidence of collusion" between the president and the Russians.

    "Republicans are getting tired of what appears to be investigations without a crime," Nunes said. "If someone doesn't pull a Russian out of a hat soon," he said, people "have got to question what is going on."

    [Jun 21, 2017] Alex Jones, Megyn Kelly, and the Normalization of Conspiracy Culture by Adrienne LaFrance

    Jun 17, 2017 | www.theatlantic.com

    People who share dangerous ideas don't necessarily believe them.

    The catastrophe wasn't what it seemed. It was an inside job, people whispered. Rome didn't have to burn to the ground.

    Nearly 2,000 years ago, after the Great Fire of Rome leveled most of the city, Romans questioned whether the emperor Nero had ordered his guards to start the inferno so he could rebuild Rome the way he wanted. They said the emperor had watched the blaze from the the summit of Palatine Hill, the centermost of the seven hills of Rome, plucking his lyre in celebration as countless people died. There's no evidence of this maniacal lyre-playing, but historians today still debate whether Nero orchestrated the disaster.

    What we do know is this: Conspiracy theories flourish when people feel vulnerable. They thrive on paranoia. It has always been this way.

    So it's understandable that, at this chaotic moment in global politics, conspiracy theories seem to have seeped out from the edges of society and flooded into mainstream political discourse. They're everywhere.

    That's partly because of the richness of today's informational environment. In Nero's day, conspiracy theories were local. Today, they're global. The web has made it easier than ever for people to watch events unfold in real time. Any person with a web connection can participate in news coverage, follow contradicting reports, sift through blurry photos, and pick out ( or publish ) bad information. The democratization of internet publishing and the ceaseless news cycle work together to provide a never-ending deluge of raw material that feeds conspiracy theories of all stripes.

    From all over the world, likeminded people congregate around the same comforting lies, explanations that validate their ideas. "Things seem a whole lot simpler in the world according to conspiracy theories," writes Rob Brotherton, in his book, Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories. "The prototypical conspiracy theory is an unanswered question; it assumes nothing is as it seems; it portrays the conspirators as preternaturally competent; and as unusually evil."

    But there's a difference between people talking about outlandish theories and actually believing them to be true. "Those are two very different things," says Joseph Uscinski, a political science professor at the University of Miami and the co-author of the book American Conspiracy Theories . "There's a lot of elite discussion of conspiracy theories, but that doesn't mean that anyone's believing them any more than they did in the past. People understand what conspiracy theories are. They can understand these theories as political signals when they don't in fact believe them."

    And most people don't, Uscinski says. His data shows that belief in partisan conspiracy theories maxes out at 25 percent-and rarely reach that point. Imagine a quadrant, he says, with Republicans on the right and Democrats on the left. The top half of the quadrant is the people of either party who are more likely to believe in conspiracy theories. The bottom half is the people least likely to believe them. Any partisan conspiracy theory will only resonate with people in one of the two top-half squares-because to be believable, it must affirm the political worldview of a person who is already predisposed to believe in conspiracy theories.

    "You aren't going to believe in theories that denigrate your own side, and you have to have a previous position of buying into conspiracy logic," Uscinski says.

    Since conspiracy theories are often concerned with the most visible concentration of power, the president of the United States is a frequent target. "So when a Republican is president, the accusations are about Republicans, the wealthy, and big business; and when a Democrat is president, the accusations focus on Democrats, communists, and socialists."

    "Right now," he added, "Things are little different. Because of Donald Trump."

    As it turns out, the most famous conspiracy theorist in the world is the president of the United States. Donald Trump spent years spreading birtherism, a movement founded on the idea that his predecessor was born outside the country and therefore ineligible for the nation's highest office. (Even when Trump finally admitted in September that he knew Barack Obama was born in the United States, he attempted to spark a new conspiracy .)

    Now, Trump's presidency is the focus of a range of conspiracies and cover-ups-from the very real investigation he's under to the crackpot ideas about him constantly being floated by some of his detractors on the left. Like the implication that Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell are involved in a money laundering scheme with the Russians, plus countless more theories about who's funneling Russian money where and to whom.

    "The left has lost its fucking mind, and you can quote me on that," Uscinski said. "They spent the last eight years chastising Republicans about being a bunch of conspiracy kooks, and they have become exactly what they swore they were not. The hypocrisy is thick and it's disgusting."

    Trump's strategy in the face of all this drama has been to treat real and fake information interchangeably and discredit any report that's unflattering to him. It's why he refers to reputable news organizations as "fake news," and why he brags about "going around" journalists by tweeting directly to the people. He wants to shorten the distance between the loony theories on the left and legitimate allegations of wrongdoing against him, making them indistinguishable.

    Pushing conspiracy theories helped win Trump the presidency, and he's now banking on the idea that they'll help him as president. He's casting himself as the victim of a new conspiracy-a "witch hunt" perpetrated by the forces that want to see him fail.

    "Donald Trump communicates through conspiracy theories," Uscinski says. "You can win the presidency on conspiracy theories, but it's very difficult to govern on them. Because conspiracy theories are for losers, and now he's a winner."

    What he means is, conspiracy theories are often a way of expressing an imbalance of power by those who perceive themselves to be the underdog. "But if you control the Supreme Court, the Senate, the House, and the White House, you can't pull that," Uscinski says. "Just like how Hillary Clinton can't, in 1998, say her husband's troubles are due to a vast right-wing conspiracy."

    Donald Trump may be the most famous conspiracy theorist in America, but a close second is the Infowars talk-radio personality Alex Jones, who has made a name for himself spewing reprehensible theories. He claimed the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre was a hoax. He says 9/11 and the Boston Marathon bombings were carried out by the U.S. government. Jones has an online store where he peddles products like iodine to people prepping for the apocalypse.

    Jones has long been a controversial figure, but not enormously well known. That's changing. Jones was a vocal supporter of Trump, who has in turn praised Jones. "Your reputation is amazing," Trump told him in an Infowars appearance in 2015. "I will not let you down." Jones has claimed he is opening a Washington Bureau and considering applying for White House press credentials.

    The latest Jones drama is a three-parter (so far): First, the NBC News anchor Megyn Kelly announced she had interviewed Jones, and that NBC would air the segment on Sunday, June 18. Next came the backlash: People disgusted by Jones blasted Kelly and NBC, saying a man whose lies had tortured the families of murdered children should never be given such a prominent platform. Even Jones joined the fracas, saying he'd been treated unfairly in the interview. Finally, on Thursday night, Jones claimed he had secretly recorded the interview, and would release it in full. (So far, he has released what seems to be audio from a phone conversation with Kelly that took place before the interview.)

    Kelly has defended her decision to do the interview in the first place by describing Jones's popularity: "How does Jones, who traffics in these outrageous conspiracy theories, have the respect of the president of the United States and an audience of millions?" The public interest in questioning a person like Jones, she argues, eclipses any worries about normalizing his outlandish views. The questions are arguably more valuable than the answers.

    Many journalists agree with Kelly's reasoning. But it's also true, scholars say, that giving a platform to conspiracy theorists has measurable harmful effects on society. In 1995, a group of Stanford University psychologists interviewed people either right before or right after they'd viewed Oliver Stone's 1991 film JFK , which was full of conspiracy theories. Brotherton, who describes the findings in Suspicious Minds, says people leaving the movie described themselves as less likely to vote in an upcoming election and less likely to volunteer or donate to a political campaign, compared with those walking in. "Merely watching the movie eroded, at least temporarily, a little of the viewer's sense of civic engagement," Brotherton writes.

    There are other examples of real-world consequences of giving platforms to conspiracy theorists, too. The conspiracy theory known as Pizzagate , which rose to prominence across websites like 4chan and niche conservative blogs, resulted in a man firing a weapon in a Washington, D.C., pizza parlor.

    The debate over Kelly's interview comes on the heels of another high-profile conspiracy theory that sent shockwaves through conservative media circles. At the center of that scandal was the TV host Sean Hannity pushing a conspiracy theory about the unsolved murder of a Democratic National Committee staff member and an explosive Fox News report about the murder that was eventually retracted.

    * * *

    There's a popular science-fiction podcast, Welcome to Night Vale , developed around the idea of life in a desert town where all conspiracy theories are true. It was first released in June 2012, the summer before a U.S. presidential election, at a moment when Trump was test-driving a new anti-Obama conspiracy. "I wonder when we will be able to see @BarackObama's college and law school applications and transcripts," he tweeted the day Night Vale launched. "Why the long wait?"

    Joseph Fink, who co-created the podcast, says conspiracy theories today are continuing to function the way they always have. Conspiracy theories are easy ways to tell difficult stories. They provide a storyline that makes a harsh or random world seem ordered. "Especially if it's ordered against you," he says. "Since, then, none of it is your fault, which is even more comforting."

    "That said, more extreme conspiracy theories are becoming more mainstream, which is obviously dangerous," Fink adds. "Conspiracy theories act in a similar way as religious stories: they give you an explanation and structure for why things are the way they are. We are in a Great Awakening of conspiracy theories, and like any massive religious movement, the same power it has to move people also is easily turned into a power to move people against other people."

    Look for the last awakening of this sort in the United States, and you'll find a sea of similarities-of course, as conspiracy theories tell us, it's easy to find connections when you go looking for them. Several scholars-people who focus on real conspiracies and people who study conspiracy theories-say the paranoia surrounding the Trump presidency evokes the tumult surrounding the Vietnam War. It's not that conspiracy theories weren't, at times, rampant before that. In the 1940s and 1950s, McCarthyism and the trial of Alger Hiss brought with them a surreal spate of hoaxes and misinformation. But it was the assassination of President John F. Kennedy that set off a "general sense of suspicion" that would permeate the culture for some time, says Josiah Thompson, the author of Six Seconds in Dallas: A Micro-Study of the Kennedy Assassination.

    "Part of that was, what occurred almost immediately after the assassination, in the years afterward, was Vietnam," Thompson said, "And over time, a complete loss of confidence in what ever the government was saying about Vietnam. That was not just from the presidency, that was from the government itself."

    This was also a period in which some of the most dramatic ideas that had been disparaged as conspiracy theories turned out to be true. "I am not a crook," Nixon had insisted. Less than a year later, he resigned. Nixon and Trump are compared not infrequently. Not all presidents are so thin-skinned and antagonistic to the press. Jennifer Senior, reviewing a recent Nixon biography, wrote that "the similarities between Nixon and Trump leap off the page like crickets." Nixon may have been increasingly paranoid in the final months of his presidency, but he didn't have access to the technology that Trump uses to showcase his conspiracy mindedness.

    "With real conspiracy theorists, there's a kind of-how to put it-almost a dialectic operative," Thompson says. "Like Trump. You have to keep making wilder and wilder pronouncements over time to hold your audience."

    I tell Thompson the idea Uscinski had shared, about how a person can win the presidency on conspiracy theories, but how they don't work so well once you're president. He seems to agree. "In a campaign, what you're trying to do is affect people's opinions that will be harvested on one day," he said. "But governing doesn't have to do with people's opinions. It has to do with facts. That's the real difference."

    When the facts are disputed, of course, you do the best you can with the evidence you can find. Josiah Thompson, the author of Six Seconds in Dallas: A Micro-Study of the Kennedy Assassination , has spent years thinking about all this. When I bring up the enormity of unknown unknowns in people's understanding of history, Thompson quotes the writer Geoffrey O'Brien: Black Deutschland by Darryl Pinckney. *

    "And that's the trouble," Thompson says. "What may appear as conspiracy theory at one point turns out to be truth at another."

    I ask Thompson how sure he is about the official explanation of the JFK assassination, that there was one gunman who fired on the president's motorcade from the Texas School Book Depository.

    Thompson believes, based on controversial acoustic evidence, that on November 22, 1963, a shot was fired from the grassy knoll at Dealey Plaza-not just from the depository. "The acoustics give us a kind of template for how the event occurred-these two flurries of shots, separated by about six seconds." (Thompson later clarified that he believes the flurries of shots were 4.6 seconds apart.) He says it was two shots in the second flurry that killed Kennedy. * *

    Thompson pauses.

    "Does that make me a conspiracy theorist?"

    He laughs.

    "After all these years? What do you think?"


    * New York Review of Books writer Geoffrey O'Brien, who first wrote the line in his review of the Darryl Pinckney novel Black Deutschland.

    ** Thompson clarified after publication that he believes the flurries of shots in the Kennedy assassination were 4.6 seconds apart, not six seconds apart. He believes Kennedy was killed by two shots in the second flurry, not by the two flurries of shots.

    [Jun 20, 2017] FOIA Request On Susan Rices Unmaskings Rejected Because Records Were Moved To Obama Library

    Obama was closely allied with intelligence services. So they now protect him and his close circle.
    Notable quotes:
    "... Any and all requests for information, analyses, summaries, assessments, transcripts, or similar records submitted to any Intelligence Community member agency or any official, employee, or representative thereof by former National Security Advisor Susan Rice regarding, concerning, or related to the following: ..."
    "... Any and all records of communication between any official, employee, or representative of the Department of any Intelligence Community member agency and former National Security Advisor Susan Rice and/or any member, employee, staff member, or representative of the National Security Council regarding, concerning, or related to any request described in Part 1 of this request. ..."
    Jun 20, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
    Back in April, Judicial Watch filed a FOIA request for documents related to the unmasking of "the identities of any U.S. citizens associated with the Trump presidential campaign or transition team" by Obama's National Security Advisor Susan Rice. Unfortunately, and quite conveniently for members of the Obama administration, Judicial Watch has been informed by the National Security Council that records related to their request can not be shared because they " have been transferred to the Barack Obama Presidential Library" and will "remain closed to the public for five years."

    Here is the full letter received from the National Secruity Council:

    "Documents from the Obama administration have been transferred to the Barack Obama Presidential Library. You may send your request to the Obama Library. However, you should be aware that under the Presidential Records Act, Presidential records remain closed to the public for five years after an administration has left office."

    Here was Judicial Watch's full request:
    1. Any and all requests for information, analyses, summaries, assessments, transcripts, or similar records submitted to any Intelligence Community member agency or any official, employee, or representative thereof by former National Security Advisor Susan Rice regarding, concerning, or related to the following:
      • Any actual or suspected effort by the Russian government or any individual acting on behalf of the Russian government to influence or otherwise interfere with the 2016 presidential election.
      • The alleged hacking of computer systems utilized by the Democratic National Committee and/or the Clinton presidential campaign.
      • Any actual or suspected communication between any member of the Trump presidential campaign or transition team and any official or employee of the Russian government or any individual acting on behalf of the Russian government.
      • The identities of U.S. citizens associated with the Trump presidential campaign or transition team who were identified pursuant to intelligence collection activities.
    2. Any and all records or responses received by former National Security Advisor Susan Rice and/or any member, employee, staff member, or representative of the National Security Council in response to any request described in part 1 of this request.
    3. Any and all records of communication between any official, employee, or representative of the Department of any Intelligence Community member agency and former National Security Advisor Susan Rice and/or any member, employee, staff member, or representative of the National Security Council regarding, concerning, or related to any request described in Part 1 of this request.

    Luckily, even if the media and Democrats are unsuccessful at getting Trump impeached in the near future, 5 years is still enough time to make sure that his reputation is sufficiently tarnished that he gets booted from office in 2020. Even better, as The Hill points out today, Joe Biden appears to be getting groomed to take yet another shot at the White House in 2020 which means we may never actually get a shot at understanding exactly what happened in the months leading up to the 2016 election.

    HopefulCynical Anarchyteez , Jun 19, 2017 11:36 PM

    There is no bigger shitstain than Barack Obama. And the Deep State scum are furiously covering up his many crimes.

    tenpanhandle - HopefulCynical , Jun 19, 2017 11:42 PM

    Past president's records kept secret for 5 years. Current president's records leaked daily.

    07564111 - The_Dude , Jun 19, 2017 11:56 PM

    America has no bread yet the circus continues :D

    Who would have thought that the collapse of an 'empire' could be so fucking amusing. ;)

    philipat - peddling-fiction , Jun 20, 2017 12:29 AM

    OK, so let me see if I am understanding this correctly. All any administration has to do is obfuscate and delay FOIA requests until it leaves Office, then everything remains sealed for 5 years?

    This cannot have been the intention behind the FOIA and it make the adminstration completely untransparent and unaccountable, which of course irrespective in the case of the Obozo administration, it always was (despite the fact that this was the self-declared "most transparent administration ever"). This goes nicely along the ability of members of an old administration to decline to appear before Congressional hearings even under subpoena.

    Oh, and BTW the Presidential Library hasn't even been built yet so where are the records now? Of course, if it ever does get built on the South side of Chicago (if Chicago still exists by then) there is a very good chance that it will get burnt down and all its contents destroyed. That would be convenient wouldn't it?

    This completely wreaks of "Banana Republic". What if there is a Court Order; does this still apply?

    nmewn - Arnold , Jun 20, 2017 7:05 AM

    To be followed by...

    "Welp, looks like Elmer Fudd Moving & Storage LLC never delivered the requested documents to the Obama Bath House Library and Massage Parlor as contracted. We have spoken to our lawyers and are in the process of filing a lawsuit against the former owners of EFM&S even though they are now domiciled in the Cayman Islands."

    To which prosecutor nmewn says: "Don't bother. The mishandling, transfer, theft, tampering and/or destruction of government property is still a ten year felony. The simple fact it is admitted you entrusted that property to EFM&S LLC is all the evidence I need to proceed with the prosecution so, thanks I guess."

    Chuck Todd: "This is an outrage!"

    JRobby - Handful of Dust , Jun 20, 2017 6:28 AM

    The deep state owns both sides of the aisle.

    That is why the whole thing must be torn down and rebuilt. And it will happen again in the future.

    March in DC July 4

    Yog Soggoth - philipat , Jun 20, 2017 8:10 AM

    Obstruction of justice. Totally illegal!

    GUS100CORRINA - divingengineer , Jun 20, 2017 12:04 AM

    FOIA Request On Susan Rice's Unmaskings Rejected Because "Records Were Moved To Obama Library"

    My response: WHAT???????? I am without words!!!

    Ace006 - GUS100CORRINA , Jun 20, 2017 12:44 AM

    Let's get Susan Rice's records. I don't think she was president recently and probably doesn't have a presidential library.

    takeaction - Anarchyteez , Jun 19, 2017 11:36 PM

    Remember this....

    "Most Transparent Presidency Ever..."

    You have to see this....(Enjoy...Not Spam...Safe for Work)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kg9m1F8B2_c

    [Jun 20, 2017] In Final Oliver Stone Interview, Putin Predicts When Russia-US Crisis Ends

    Notable quotes:
    "... "You've gone through four U.S. presidents: Clinton, Bush, Obama and now Trump. What changes?" Stone asks him. ..."
    "... "Almost nothing. Your bureaucracy is very strong and it is that bureaucracy that rules the world," he says. Then, solemnly, "There is change...when they bring us to the cemetery to bury us." ..."
    "... PUTIN: We didn't hack the election at all. It would be hard to imagine any country, even Russia, being capable of seriously influencing the U.S. election. Someone hacked the DNC, but I don't think it influenced the election. What came through was not a lie. ..."
    "... They were not trying to fool anybody. People who want to manipulate public opinion will blame Russia. But Trump had his finger on the pulse of the Midwest voter and knew how to pull at their hearts. Those who have been defeated shouldn't be shifting blame to someone else....We are not waiting for any revolutionary changes. ..."
    "... TRUMP: I hope I get along with Putin. I hope I do. But there is a good chance that I won't. ..."
    "... PUTIN: It almost feels like hatred of a certain ethnic group, like antisemitism. They are always blaming Russians, like antisemites are always blaming the Jews. ..."
    "... The editors then flashed to footage of John McCain on the floor of the Senate ranting and raving about Putin. Then Joseph Biden in the Ukrainian parliament, ranting about Russia. Putin tells Stone all of this is unfortunate. He thinks their view is"old world." He reminds Stone that Russia and the U.S. were allies in World War I and World War II. It was Winston Churchill that started the Cold War from London, despite having respect for Russia's strongman leader at the time, the real dictator, Joseph Stalin. ..."
    Jun 20, 2017 | www.forbes.com
    But with Trump in the White House, the Trump-Putin conspiracy theory is one reality TV show the news media can't shake. Stone's love for foreign policy intrigue at least makes him a Putin kindred spirit here. America's age old fear of the Russians, has made Putin public enemy number one and Stone his sounding board. For some unhappy campers, like John McCain, Putin has " no moral equivalent " in the United States. He's a dictator , a war criminal and tyrant .

    "You've gone through four U.S. presidents: Clinton, Bush, Obama and now Trump. What changes?" Stone asks him.

    "Almost nothing. Your bureaucracy is very strong and it is that bureaucracy that rules the world," he says. Then, solemnly, "There is change...when they bring us to the cemetery to bury us."

    In the last installment of the Putin interviews, the Russian leader admitted to liking Trump. "We still like him because he wants to restore relations. Relations between the two countries are going to develop," he said. It's a sentence very few in congress would say, and almost no big name politicians outside of Trump would imagine saying on television. On Russia, you scold. There is no fig leaf.

    In a recent sanctions bill in the senate, only Republicans Rand Paul and Mike Lee voted against it, making for a 97-2 landslide in favor of extra-territorial sanctions against Russian companies, namely oil and gas.

    Stone asked him why did he bother hacking the Democratic National Committee's emails if he believed nothing would change on the foreign policy front.

    STONE: Our political leadership and NATO all believe you hacked the election.

    PUTIN: We didn't hack the election at all. It would be hard to imagine any country, even Russia, being capable of seriously influencing the U.S. election. Someone hacked the DNC, but I don't think it influenced the election. What came through was not a lie.

    They were not trying to fool anybody. People who want to manipulate public opinion will blame Russia. But Trump had his finger on the pulse of the Midwest voter and knew how to pull at their hearts. Those who have been defeated shouldn't be shifting blame to someone else....We are not waiting for any revolutionary changes.

    Just then, editors cut to a video of Trump talking about Putin.

    TRUMP: I hope I get along with Putin. I hope I do. But there is a good chance that I won't.

    PUTIN: It almost feels like hatred of a certain ethnic group, like antisemitism. They are always blaming Russians, like antisemites are always blaming the Jews.

    The editors then flashed to footage of John McCain on the floor of the Senate ranting and raving about Putin. Then Joseph Biden in the Ukrainian parliament, ranting about Russia. Putin tells Stone all of this is unfortunate. He thinks their view is"old world." He reminds Stone that Russia and the U.S. were allies in World War I and World War II. It was Winston Churchill that started the Cold War from London, despite having respect for Russia's strongman leader at the time, the real dictator, Joseph Stalin.

    See:

    [Jun 20, 2017] The US intervention in EU gas market is even more pathetic than it seems

    No LNG carriers are currently registered under the US flag, and if the USA plans to be a serious exporter it is going to need about 100 new LNG carriers over the next 30 years, something which is frankly not practically achievable considering it takes about 2 years to build one, at a cost of about $200 Million apiece". Of course, miracles can be made to happen if you pour enough money into them.
    Jun 20, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com
    et Al , June 16, 2017 at 1:30 am
    The US's intervention is even more pathetic than it seems.

    This is not a stand alone anti-Russia bill which would signal strength from the US, but an adjunct to the anti-I-ran sanctions bill that continues to seek to punish I-ran in the vague hope that it will pull the plug on the cast-iron nuclear deal it has signed with international partners. The irony there is that I-ran Air is recapitalizing with both Airbus & Boeing (also ATR), 100 odd a piece, not to mention other significant investment opportunities for western firms.

    They're quite the Gordian Tits!

    Not only is there the potential of the Levianthan gas field off Cyprus/Israel/whatever, brutal dictator Azeri gas will also be arriving in (larger, but not gigantic) quantities. Not to mention that significant buyers of LNG, like the UK, have it come straight from Qatar. Is the US prepared to sell LNG at a discount compared to Qatar that has strategic agreements and its own fundamental interests to be protected by the Western (European) states as well?

    So if this plan seems to damage not only the USA's allies but the USA itself, then what is its purpose? Stick it to Trump. Mire any plans to re-balance relations with Russia almost at any cost . It's a no brainer for Democrats as they neither hold a majority in the House or the Senate, and there seem to be enough dog whistle Republicans willing to go along with it, including those with mental problems like John 'Insane' McCaine. Ukraine is almost peripheral except as a convenient tool. It think the US accepts they've screwed the pooch on the Ukraine so its only value is to be used as a festering sore on Russia's frontier. Kiev mops up the completely free public political support whilst it is being kicked in the bollox by the same people.

    [Jun 20, 2017] James Mattiss Role in Fallujah Haditha Massacre

    Jun 20, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

    Anonymous | Jun 19, 2017 7:48:37 AM | 3

    Another aggression by the US but what could you expect by an old sick f'ck warmonger like this as secretary of defence?

    "James Mattis's Role in Fallujah & Haditha Massacre,"
    https://www.democracynow.org/2017/1/12/part_2_did_defense_secretary_nominee

    Its time Syria get to buy russian air-defense, US will keep bombing - they're not sane, like what happens next week? They'll bomb Assad's palace?

    And please look at the western media these days, and see the naked propaganda being typed when US once again bomb another country, illegally and then the western media backs it like the lackeys in the EU, Nato.
    Shameful being from the west days like these.

    Absolutely shameful!

    [Jun 20, 2017] After the ISIS War, a US-Russia Collision - Antiwar.com Original

    Notable quotes:
    "... what we may be witnessing now are the opening shots of its next phase - the battle for control of the territory and population liberated by the fall of Raqqa and the death of the ISIS "caliphate." ..."
    "... The question before us: After Raqqa and Mosul fall and the caliphate disappears, who inherits the ISIS estate? ..."
    Jun 20, 2017 | original.antiwar.com
    After the ISIS War, a US-Russia Collision?

    by Patrick J. Buchanan Posted on June 20, 2017 June 19, 2017 Sunday, a Navy F-18 Hornet shot down a Syrian air force jet, an act of war against a nation with which Congress has never declared or authorized a war.

    Washington says the Syrian plane was bombing U.S.-backed rebels. Damascus says its plane was attacking ISIS.

    Vladimir Putin's defense ministry was direct and blunt:

    "Repeated combat actions by U.S. aviation under the cover of counterterrorism against lawful armed forces of a country that is a member of the U.N. are a massive violation of international law and de facto a military aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic."

    An ABC report appears to back up Moscow's claims:

    "Over the last four weeks, the U.S. has conducted three air strikes on pro-regime forces backed by Iran that have moved into a deconfliction zone around the town of Tanf in southwestern Syria, where there is a coalition training base for local forces fighting ISIS."

    Russia has now declared an end to cooperation to prevent air clashes over Syria and asserted an intent to track and target aerial intruders in its area of operations west of the Euphrates.

    Such targets would be U.S. planes and surveillance drones.

    If Moscow is not bluffing, we could be headed for U.S.-Russian collision in Syria.

    Sunday's shoot-down of a hostile aircraft was the first by U.S. planes in this conflict. It follows President Trump's launch of scores of cruise missiles at a Syrian airfield in April. The U.S. said the airfield was the base of Syrian planes that used chemical weapons on civilians.

    We are getting ever deeper into this six-year sectarian and civil war. And what we may be witnessing now are the opening shots of its next phase - the battle for control of the territory and population liberated by the fall of Raqqa and the death of the ISIS "caliphate."

    The army of President Bashar Assad seeks to recapture as much lost territory as possible and they have the backing of Russia, Iranian troops, Shiite militia from Iraq and Afghanistan, and Hezbollah.

    Assad's and his allied forces opposing ISIS are now colliding with the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces opposing ISIS, which consist of Arab rebels and the Syrian Kurds of the PYD.

    But if America has decided to use its air power to shoot down Syrian planes attacking rebels we support, this could lead to a confrontation with Russia and a broader, more dangerous, and deadly war for the United States. How would we win such a war, without massive intervention? Is this where we are headed? Is this where we want to go?

    For, again, Congress has never authorized such a war, and there seems to be no vital U.S. interest involved in who controls Raqqa and neighboring lands, as long as ISIS is expelled. During the campaign, Trump even spoke of U.S.-Russian cooperation to kill ISIS.

    While in Saudi Arabia, however, he seemed to sign on to what is being hyped as an "Arab NATO," where the U.S. accepts Riyadh as the principal ally and leader of the Gulf Arabs in the regional struggle for hegemony with Shiite Iran.

    Following that Trump trip, the Saudis - backed by Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain - sealed their border with Qatar, which maintains ties to Iran. And though Qatar is also host to the largest U.S. air base in the region, al-Udeid, Trump gave the impression its isolation was his idea.

    President Trump and his country seem to be at a decision point.

    If, after the fall of ISIS in Raqqa, we are going to use U.S. power and leverage to solidify the position of Syrian rebels and Kurds, at the expense of Damascus, we could find ourselves in a collision with Syria, Russia, Hezbollah, Iran and even Turkey. For Turkish President Erdogan looks on our Kurdish allies in Syria as Kurdish allies of the terrorist PKK inside his own country.

    During the campaign, candidate Trump won support by pledging to work with Russia to defeat our common enemy. But if, after ISIS is gone from Syria, we decide it is in our interests to confront Assad, we are going to find ourselves in a regional confrontation.

    In Iraq, the U.S. and Iran have a common foe, ISIS, and a common ally, the government in Baghdad. In Syria, we have a common foe, ISIS. But our allies are opposed by Assad, Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah. The question before us: After Raqqa and Mosul fall and the caliphate disappears, who inherits the ISIS estate?

    The U.S. needs now to delineate the lines of advance for Syria's Kurds, and to talk to the Russians, Syrians and Iranians.

    We cannot allow our friends in the Middle East and Persian Gulf to play our hand for us, for it is all too often in their interests to have us come fight their wars, which are not necessarily our wars.

    Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of Churchill, Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World . To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Web page at www.creators.com .

    [Jun 20, 2017] My guess is that the Americans are trying very hard to push the SDF/Kurds into conflict with the SAA, by any means necessary

    Jun 20, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

    My guess is that the Americans are trying very hard to push the SDF/Kurds into conflict with the SAA, by any means necessary. They start by singling out SDF/YPG commanders who they can hopefully manipulate into taking an openly anti-Assad stance. Perhaps encouraging them to seek Saudi contacts. The Americans will be offering money and power to these commanders. If they can find just one Barzani-like character in the YPG/SDF that might be enough.
    Failing that, the Americans can try to provoke the SAA into attacking the SDF. They might perhaps shoot down SAAF jets on the pretext of 'defending' SDF forces. The Americans will hope that the SAA will respond by attacking SDF forces in retaliation.
    It is also likely that the American 'advisors' will assemble SDF groups to venture out and hold strategic positions that are just about to be overrun by SAA. Presumably the SDF relies heavily on American intelligence about the battlefield, what with the Americans having drones, sats and planes covering the greater area. So if the Americans direct SDF to move to a location because it is supposedly free of hostiles then the SDF probably complies. They may not be aware that they are being moved directly into the way of the SAA as sacrificial lambs. But they will most likely respond with fire if fired upon, at least that is what the Americans will be counting on.

    The only way to foil the Americans is for both the SAA and SDF/YPG to make it abundantly and openly clear to each other that they will not shoot at each other no matter what.

    [Jun 20, 2017] Trump Torpedoes Europe's Far Right by Robert Hunziker

    Jun 20, 2017 | dissidentvoice.org

    / June 20th, 2017

    As far as Europe's far right is concerned, Trump is a loser.

    He is the nemesis of an intensifying European far right movement that has suddenly turned sour. Like the Black Plague of mid-14th century Europe, whatever happens, stay away from him! Poll numbers as well as voting for far right candidates throughout Europe drop with a hair-trigger when candidates associate with Trump.

    Conversely, Trump may be the best that ever happened to establishment policies, like neoliberalism. Unwittingly, he's pulling neoliberalism out of a very deep hole; i.e., a failure to perform for the public at large both economically and socially. As it happens, hopelessness describes neoliberalism's impact on much of the bourgeoisie and all of the proletariat, as modern-day society reverts to an awkward form of economic feudalism but without fancy titles. Still, the serf count remains about the same.

    Back in the day, meaning 2016 and during the initial months of 2017, the far right in Europe gravitated to Trump's right side or hardnosed libertarianism, unaffectionately known as Los Destructo, under direction of Bannon, which leaves little or no room for those who voted for Trump in the first place. Remarkably, comatose bewildered American voters in November 2016 essentially bequeathed votes to reality TV flat screens nestled in their basement family rooms.

    Did they waste votes?

    Nowadays, but not in 2016, Europe's far right would likely say: "Yes, they wasted their votes."

    Whereas, only a few short months ago on November 9, 2016:

    Cas Mudde, a Dutch political scientist at the University of Georgia, says, 'Trump's win gives a narrative of success, of possibility, to far-right parties in Europe, because Trump won despite all the predictions. So they can say to people, 'You're not wasting your vote if you come out and vote for us. We will actually do much better than what everyone says.' 1

    How quickly things change once reality exposes delusion. As of today throughout Europe Trump's burgeoning affliction is like an outbreak of small pox, stay away. The hard evidence is found in polling and voting data. Continent-wide anybody associated with Trump is standing in a deep pile of doo-doo. Proof: Since Trump won the White House, every major European election crushes far right candidates. The true reality of Trump has turned the world to the value of neoliberalism as a safety valve, warts and all.

    For example, in France, Marine Le Pen's National Front only won 13% of the vote in the French legislative elections, a crushing defeat that seriously underperformed her prior standings in the polls. Without reservation, Trump mentioned Le Pen favorably.

    More telling than Le Pen getting hammered so badly, Austria's liberal candidate Van der Bellen, a month after Trump won the presidency, in a revote for the presidency, beat the daylights out of far right Freedom Party's Norbert Hofer. Six months earlier the candidates were neck-in-neck with only 0.6% separating them. Hofer cited Trump as "inspirational." Hofer got creamed.

    Not surprisingly, the Trump factor is AC/DC; it goes both ways, wide right or near left. For example, Germany's Chancellor Merkel is no fan of Trump. Ipso facto , Merkel is rising fast in the polls. In fact, her advisors refer to her newfound popularity as the "Trump Factor." Today, 64% of Germans are satisfied with Merkel's job. Thanks to Trump, she's the most popular politician in Germany.

    Meanwhile, Germany's far-out right wing-nuts, known as Alternative for Germany, which sympathizes with Trump, has lost 50% in the polls since Trump's November election victory. If Alternative for Germany, that advocated shooting immigrants, do not follow the Trump bandwagon, then who's left?

    Interestingly, the Trump affliction seemingly has no boundaries. For example, establishment neoliberals that show affection for Trump, like PM Theresa May of the UK, plummet in popularity, same as far right extremists. She was the first head of state to visit Trump and the only head of state seen holding hands with him while walking along the corridors of the White House. Her conservative party blew apart a commanding 17% lead in the polls, losing its majority in Parliament and deleveraging their influence at the very moment when strong leadership is required for Brexit negotiations.

    Meanwhile, Dutch voters crushed the Netherlands far right leader Geert Wilders aka: #WeWillMakeOurCountriesGreatAgain, the Party for Freedom, who praised Trump's example as the second coming in Europe but dropping almost 50% in poll numbers after Trump's win.

    "By mid-February, when the race in the Netherlands began, Trump had been in office for several weeks, and Dutch voters had gotten a chance to observe him as president. They didn't like what they saw." 2

    Nate Silver's Fivethirtyeight.com article "Donald Trump is Making Europe Liberal Again" carries a list of far right parties that have fallen since Trump was elected, no victories, thus providing strong empirical evidence that association with Trump is a kiss of death.

    Fortunately for Trump, his constituency ends in America where cartoons reflect politics.

    Postscript: NBC News – Vienna: Europe's Far-Right Enjoys Backing from Russia's Putin , d/d February 13, 2017:

    While U.S. intelligence agencies investigate claims that Russia secretly hacked emails to help tip last year's elections in favor of Donald Trump, Russia's push to bolster far-right populist politicians in Europe has been far more blatant. Under President Vladimir Putin, Russia is working to empower Europe's far-right and Eurosceptic parties with offers of cooperation, loans, political cover and propaganda. Such love has not gone unrequited: European populists are answering back with fulsome praise for Russia, its foreign policy and its strongman leader.

    If Russia blatantly, in the raw, offered "loans, political cover and propaganda" to Europe's far right, then what of America's far right?

    1. Eleanor Beardsley, "Trump's Election Gives Hope To Europe's Far Right", NPR, November 9, 2016. [ ↩ ]
    2. David A. Graham, "Is Trump Dragging Down the European Far-Right?" The Atlantic , March 16, 2017. [ ↩ ]

    Robert Hunziker (MA, economic history, DePaul University) is a freelance writer and environmental journalist whose articles have been translated into foreign languages and appeared in over 50 journals, magazines, and sites worldwide. He can be contacted at: rlhunziker@gmail.com . Read other articles by Robert .

    This article was posted on Tuesday, June 20th, 2017 at 4:29pm and is filed under Donald Trump , Elections , EU , Europe , France .

    [Jun 20, 2017] Israel had far more involvement in the US election than Russia

    Jun 20, 2017 | nation.foxnews.com
    The audience member explained that as Colbert pressed Oscar winner Stone - who was promoting his new Vladimir Putin Showtime series, "The Putin Interviews" - on his apparent sympathy for the Russian president in spite of claims about Russian interference in the US election, Stone, at a disadvantage, tried to shift the talk to Israel.

    The source said they "watched from behind [their] hands" as Stone said words to the effect of: "Israel had far more involvement in the US election than Russia."

    The "Platoon" director further challenged Colbert by saying, "Why don't you ask me about that?" - but we're told that the host shot back, "I'll ask you about that when you make a documentary about Israel!"

    [Jun 20, 2017] Israels Dirty Little Secret

    Notable quotes:
    "... At a recent panel discussion in Washington, screenwriter, film director and producer Oliver Stone briefly addressed the issue of alleged Russian interference in the recent national election, observing that "Israel interfered in the U.S. election far more than Russia and nobody is investigating them." A few days later, in an interview with Stephen Colbert on the Late Show, Stone returned to the theme, responding to an aggressive claim that Russia had interfered in the election by challenging Colbert with "Israel had far more involvement in the U.S. election than Russia. Why don't you ask me about that?" ..."
    "... Don't look for the exchange with Colbert on YouTube. CBS deleted it from its broadcast and website, demonstrating once again that the "I" word cannot be disparaged on national television. ..."
    Jun 20, 2017 | www.unz.com
    At a recent panel discussion in Washington, screenwriter, film director and producer Oliver Stone briefly addressed the issue of alleged Russian interference in the recent national election, observing that "Israel interfered in the U.S. election far more than Russia and nobody is investigating them." A few days later, in an interview with Stephen Colbert on the Late Show, Stone returned to the theme, responding to an aggressive claim that Russia had interfered in the election by challenging Colbert with "Israel had far more involvement in the U.S. election than Russia. Why don't you ask me about that?"

    Don't look for the exchange with Colbert on YouTube. CBS deleted it from its broadcast and website, demonstrating once again that the "I" word cannot be disparaged on national television. Stone was, of course, referring to the fact that the Israel Lobby, most notably acting through its American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), is undeniably a foreign lobby, no less so than anyone representing the presumed interests of Russia or China. It operates with complete impunity on Capitol Hill and also at state and local levels and no one dares to require it to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, which would permit scrutiny of its finances and also end its tax-exempt "educational" status. Nor does Congress or the media see fit to inquire into AIPAC's empowerment of candidates based on their fidelity to Israel, not to mention the direct interference in the American electoral process which surfaced most visibly in its support of candidate Mitt Romney in 2012.

    The last president that sought to compel the predecessor organization of AIPAC to register was John F. Kennedy, who also was about to take steps to rein in Israel's secret nuclear weapons program when he was assassinated, which was a lucky break for Israel, particularly as Kennedy was replaced by the passionate Zionist Lyndon Baines Johnson. Funny how things sometimes work out. The Warren Commission looked deeply into a possible Cuban connection in the shooting and came up with nothing but one has to wonder if they also investigated the possible roles of other countries. Likewise, the 9/11 Commission Report failed to examine the possible involvement of Israel in the terrorist attack in spite of a considerable body of evidence suggesting that there were a number of Israeli-sourced covert operations running in the U.S. at that time.

    Looking back from the perspective of his more than 40 years of military service, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Thomas Moorer described the consequences of Jewish power vis-à-vis U.S. policy towards Israel, stating that "I've never seen a president – I don't care who he is – stand up to them [the Israelis]. It just boggles your mind. They always get what they want. The Israelis know what is going on all the time. I got to the point where I wasn't writing anything down. If the American people understood what a grip those people have got on our government, they would rise up in arms. Our citizens don't have any idea what goes on."

    He also addressed the 1967 Israeli assault on the USS Liberty, saying "Israel attempted to prevent the Liberty's radio operators from sending a call for help by jamming American emergency radio channels. [And that] Israeli torpedo boats machine-gunned lifeboats at close range that had been lowered to rescue the most-seriously wounded." He concluded with "our government put Israel's interests ahead of our own? If so, Why? Does our government continue to subordinate American interests to Israeli interests?"

    It is a question that might well be asked today, as the subservience to Israeli interests is, if anything, more pervasive in 2017 Washington than it was in 2002 when Moorer spoke up. And, as in Moorer's day, much of the partiality towards Israel makes its way through congress with little or no media coverage lest anyone begin to wonder whose tail is wagging which dog. To put it succinctly, there is an Israeli hand in much of what the United States does internationally, and the involvement is not intended to do anything good for the American people.

    During the past several weeks alone there has been a flurry of legislation backed by Israel and its Lobby. One bill might actually have been written by AIPAC. It is called Senate 722, Countering Iran's Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017. The bill has 63 co-sponsors, most of whom are the usual suspects, but it also included an astonishingly large number of Democrats who describe themselves as progressive, including Corey Booker and Kamila Harris, both of whom are apparently terrified lest they say "no" to Israel. With 63 co-sponsors out of 100 senators the bill was certain to pass overwhelmingly, and it was indeed approved 98 to 2, with only Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders voting "no."

    And there's more to S.722 than Iran – it's subtitle is "An act to provide congressional review and to counter Iranian and Russian governments' aggression." Much of it is designed to increase sanctions on both Iran and Russia while also limiting the White House's ability to relieve any sanctions without approval by congress. Regarding Iran, the bill mandates that "Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and every 2 years thereafter, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Director of National Intelligence shall jointly develop and submit to the appropriate congressional committees a strategy for deterring conventional and asymmetric Iranian activities and threats that directly threaten the United States and key allies in the Middle East, North Africa, and beyond."

    ORDER IT NOW

    The premise is of course nonsensical as Iran's ability to threaten anyone, least of all the United States, is limited. It is far outgunned by its neighbors and even more so by the U.S., but it has become the enemy of choice for congress as well as for the former generals who serve as White House advisers. The animus against Iran comes directly from Israel and from the Saudi Arabians, who have managed to sell their version of developments in their part of the world through a completely acquiescent and heavily Jewish influenced western media.

    And there's more. A bill has surfaced in the House of Representatives that will require the United States to "consult" with Israel regarding any prospective arms sales to Arab countries in the Middle East. In other words, Israel will have a say, backed up undoubtedly by Congress and the media, over what the United States does in terms of its weapons sales abroad. The sponsors of the bill, one Brad Schneider of Illinois, and Claudia Tenney of New York, want "closer scrutiny of future military arms sales" to maintain the "qualitative military edge" that Israel currently enjoys.

    Schneider is, of course, Jewish and a life member of AIPAC, so it is hardly as if he is a disinterested party. Tenny runs for office in New York State, so it is hardly as if she is disinterested either, but the net result of all this is that American jobs and U.S. international security arrangements through weapons sales will be at least in part subject to Israeli veto. And you know that is precisely what will happen as Israel could give a damn what happens to the struggling American entity that it so successfully feeds off of.

    And there's still more. Bill HR 672 Combating European Anti-Semitism Act of 2017 was passed unanimously by the House of Representatives on June 14 th . Yes, I said "unanimously." The bill requires the State Department of monitor what European nations and their police forces are doing about anti-Semitism and encourages them to adopt "a uniform definition of anti-Semitism." That means that criticism of Israel must be considered anti-Semitism and will therefore be a hate crime and prosecutable, a status that is already de facto true in Britain and France. If the Europeans don't play ball, there is the possibility of repercussions in trade negotiations. The bill was co-sponsored by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen from Florida and Nita Lowey of New York, both of whom are Jewish.

    There is also a Senate companion bill on offer in the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Act of 2017. The bill will make the Anti-Semitism Envoy a full American Ambassador and will empower him or her with a full staff and a budget permitting meddling worldwide. The bill is sponsored by Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Marco Rubio of Florida. Gillibrand is unlikely to miss co-sponsoring anything relating to Israel due to her own self-interest and Rubio wants to be president real bad so he is following the money.

    And finally, the U.S. Senate has also approved a resolution celebrating the 50 th anniversary of Israel's conquest of East Jerusalem. Again, the vote was unanimous. The resolution was co-sponsored by Senators Charles Schumer and Mitch McConnell, two reptiles who give snakes a bad name and about whom the less said the better. Schumer is Jewish and has described himself as the "shomer" or guardian of Israel in the Senate. That the resolution opposes long established U.S. government policy that the occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank by Israel is in contravention of international law and is an impediment to any peace process with the Palestinians apparently bothered not even one Senator.

    I might note in passing that there has been no Senate resolution commemorating the 50 th anniversary of the bravery exhibited by the officers and crew of the USS Liberty as they were being slaughtered by the Israelis at the same time as Jerusalem was being "liberated." There is probably even more to say, to include secret agreements with the Pentagon and intelligence agencies, but I will stop at this point with one final observation. President Donald Trump traveled to the Middle East claiming to be desirous of starting serious negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, but it was all a sham. Benjamin Netanyahu took him aside and came out with the usual Israeli bullshit about the Palestinians "inciting" violence and hatred of Jews and Trump bought into it. He then went to see Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and shouted at him for being a liar and opposed to peace based on what Netanyahu had told him. That is what passes for even-handed in the U.S. government, no matter who is president. A few days later the Israelis announced the building of the largest bloc of illegal new settlements on the West Bank since 1992, an action that they claim is being coordinated with Washington.

    Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon once boasted about owning the United States. I guess he was right.

    [Jun 20, 2017] Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich likened the Russia investigation to going down a rabbit hole where no crime actually has been committed but people's lives are ruined

    Jun 20, 2017 | www.msn.com
    ...Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich likened the Russia investigation to going down a rabbit hole where no crime actually has been committed but people's lives are ruined.

    Gingrich said on "This Week" Trump has "a compulsion to counterattack and is very pugnacious" even though that sometimes works to his detriment.

    Gingrich said prosecutors may not find evidence of obstruction against Trump, "but maybe there is going to be perjury. And maybe there will be – I mean, you go down the list and we have been here before. We watched Comey [when he was deputy attorney general] appoint [Chicago U.S. Attorney] Patrick Fitzgerald, who was the godfather to Comey's children and Fitzgerald knew there was no crime."

    (Fitzgerald was appointed to investigate the leaking of the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame in retaliation for her husband Joseph C. Wilson's statements about whether Saddam Hussein obtained uranium from Niger, contradicting the Bush administration. The investigation resulted in Lewis "Scooter" Libby pleading guilty to lying to investigators.)

    Gingrich said if there is going to be an investigation into Russian influence, investigators also should look into a speech given by former President Bill Clinton for which he was paid $500,000 and the brother of Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta. who is a registered agent for a Russian bank.

    "I'm happy to look at Russia's relationship. I actually think it would be healthy to have congressional hearings on foreign influence peddling in the U.S. way beyond the Russians. I think that's important for the future of our democracy," Gingrich said.

    "No one, and Comey himself said this in his last testimony, no one has suggested that Donald Trump had anything to do with colluding with the Russians. There's not a bit of evidence he did."

    Gingrich said hires by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller indicate he's politicizing the investigation and Comey also should be investigated, a sentiment echoed by Trump attorney Jay Sekulow on CNN's " State of the Union ."

    [Jun 20, 2017] What the Romans Did for Us On the Age-Old Art of Propaganda

    Notable quotes:
    "... By Jemimah Steinfeld, deputy editor of Index on Censorship magazine. This article appeared in the summer issue of the magazine. Click here for more information on Index . Cross posted from Open Democracy ..."
    "... "Augustus is probably the supreme master of the art of propaganda in the entire history of the West. No one has rivalled him and everyone has since been in his shadow," said historian Tom Holland, author of bestselling books on Rome, in an interview with Index on Censorship magazine. ..."
    "... Augustus perfected propaganda and his influence can be seen clearly in Napoleon, Mussolini and Hitler. The careful crafting of Mao's image – clad in a simple "Mao suit", with sunbeams resonating off his body – was straight out of the Roman ruler's playbook. ..."
    "... "At the heart of authoritarian propaganda is the manipulating of reality. The authoritarian must undermine this," said Yale philosophy professor Jason Stanley , author of How Propaganda Works, in an interview with Index. ..."
    "... Propaganda once again changed with the advent of the internet as information, or misinformation, could be spread with a simple click. Yet even though the game has moved on, the rules remain the same. Whether it's a fabricated blog post, a viral video of North Korea bombing Washington or tirades of tweets telling everyone you're going to Make America Great Again, these are all timeless tactics repackaged for the modern day. ..."
    "... There are various sites , some tending toward tin-foil territory and others closer to what used to be thought of as journalism, where inquirers may learn more about what is not being presented in our media. The public may be deceived by the Grey Lady and her fellow-travelers, but there are still those who seek the truth. ..."
    "... Good point about the CIA. Propaganda benefits greatly from surveillance providing feedback, so having both in one agency sounds like amazing public sector efficiency. The links didn't get me anywhere much so I still don't know how Augustus got his feedback – the acclaim of the mob? That's important considering the failure of the similar Julian personality cult just prior. ..."
    "... In the Cold War, the ends justified the means. Not that Communist regimes weren't a threat, but making a big deal about them, certainly served those who wanted to act on "the ends justify the means". The fascist elements in the US weren't gone by 1945 .. they were just getting started. ..."
    "... Thanks for sharing the link Carla. Resisting corporate power in any way possible is now the duty of every citizen. That cognitive shift is the main tipping point to bring about social change. What is good for corporations is not good for citizens. ..."
    "... It may be a feckless effort, given the ubiquity of DYSinformation: "our" the CIA has been at it, on the massive offense against honesty and decency, via all the mechanisms we mopes, or too many of us, have thought worthy of "trust." Here's a telling review of a long form book on the subject of "Who Paid The Piper: The CIA and the Cultural Cold War," https://ratical.org/ratville/CAH/CIAcultCW.pdf ..."
    "... Always, there are the Fifth Columnists (like Krauthammer and Krugman and the rest), and subtle little Iagos who infiltrate any kind of decency-based collective action (Occupy, NoDAPL, etc.) who will happily troll with Shakespearean "subtility" and betray and work full time to fiddle the rest of us, short-circuiting and defeating any efforts at collective action that might promote "the general welfare " ..."
    "... The Obama Presidency: His cult tells us that he is a selfless community organizer and constitutional lawyer who will make America a post-racial society. He is a speaker who is very persuasive and charismatic. Any criticism of His Presidency is racism by the ignorant. Of course in reality the man had sold out to Wall Street from the start and America may as well have elected Bill Clinton for 2 more terms. ..."
    "... Hillary Clinton proved unable to fool people in her cult. She is apparently a selfless experienced politician who will break glass ceilings. The reality? Her economic policies are little more than the typical neoliberalism, which will create ceilings for working and middle class Americans, outright kicking the poor down. She loves going to war. She is not charismatic at all. Her supporters tried to portray all criticism of Clinton as sexism unsuccessfully. The lesson here is that if you want any personality cult, it has to be believable and your candidate has to be likeable. ..."
    "... I think that like Rome, the US is going to come apart. Let's face the reality. It is largely an empire. It relies on its military dominance to get its way and enrich its already obscenely wealthy. Much like Rome or the USSR, internal contradictions could bring it down. ..."
    "... An example, the US claims that it is the land of opportunity, yet social mobility is better in Canada, Australia, and the Nordic Nations which have far more egalitarian cultures. It claims to be number 1 at everything, yet when you look at standards of living, it usually is a competition between the Nordic nations. There are other nations that do well. Japanese women for example have very long life expectancies. Healthcare is said to be the top, yet other nations spend less and live longer. I could go on, but the point is that propaganda can only go so far. ..."
    "... Yet it is the costs of war and the greed of the rich that will eventually bring these contradictions to an end. How this will end, I don't know. I think that it could end up like the Soviet Union. We have am elite class that is literally looting everything from the rest of us. The only question is, can we avoid a total collapse like the Romans? ..."
    "... His supporters tried to portray all criticism of Obama as racism. ..."
    "... Goebbels had at least one thing right. Understanding the human psyche is key in shaping human society. Too bad for us all that current leaders have such limited visions of what human society could be. Or should that be shame on us all for allowing such a condition to arise in the first place. It seems a negative approach is always used to exploit human weakness. The reigning morality is find a weakness and exploit it. ..."
    "... Propaganda is devoid of morality. It is just the roadmap to where you would like to go. All the talk of fake news, the sharing economy, public/private enterprises, privatization, fighting terrorism, the Russian menace, and TINA are attempts to obfuscate the fact that the morality brought about by capitalism no longer functions. ..."
    "... Propaganda and ideology are one in the same, they are belief systems. Neither can be found in the physical world; rather, they reside in our chosen identities. Thus, the ideologues must persuade each of us to willingly submit our personal power to them and become their compliant subject. The ideologues are not 'in' power but 'hold' the collectives' power until the individual chooses to break away and regain their individual power. ..."
    "... Louis Althusser's "Ideological State Apparatuses" is a good read. For Althusser, ideology was not a passive relation between the economic base and superstructure, but a pervasive set of dynamic conditions suffusing the institutional apparatus of the state and shaping not just the idea of the person as subject, but clarifying in structural terms the idea of a subject position; wherein, political and psychological forces converge to define possibilities of action and forces of constraint and repression. ..."
    "... ideology has no history since it is carried in the material, institutional forms of social life, and is always submerged back into them (reification). ..."
    "... The Roman Senate was nominally responsible for paying soldiers but by the time the republic was in it's waning days the coinage had become debased and devalued. The Roman soldier then looked to his individual commander as his meal ticket. ..."
    "... Raised with the fear of The Big Lie, what is interesting today is corporate media's propaganda omissions. The 20% decline in the number of middle class families. Earlier deaths. The transfer of enormous wealth to a very few very rich families. ..."
    "... The fall of the Soviet Union is recent enough that those who lived through it to say to us that the reason for the collapse was USSR's propaganda didn't match reality. When Boris Yeltsin's counter coup took place, Russians didn't take to the streets to defend the Communist Party and the economic system. Perhaps 5% of Americans are doing well servicing the oligarchs. That is far too few to defend predatory capitalism when the global economy crashes; which it will, due to spreading wars, climate change, fading democracy and social unrest. Survivors will say good riddance to the Hamptons. They had it coming. ..."
    Jun 20, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

    me name=

    By Jemimah Steinfeld, deputy editor of Index on Censorship magazine. This article appeared in the summer issue of the magazine. Click here for more information on Index . Cross posted from Open Democracy

    People see propaganda as a modern problem – manipulation by mass media. But the story is far older, and the tactics are timeless. While the game has moved on, the rules remain the same.

    The EU's police agency, Europol, recently revealed evidence that Isis is creating its own social media platform for the purpose of disseminating propaganda. It may be connected to Facebook and Google ramping up efforts to curb extremist material and "fake news". In May, according to Reuters, Europol director Rob Wainwright said it showed "some members of Daesh, at least, continue to innovate in this space". But while technological innovation might still be possible, will there be anything original on this new platform?

    Until the reign of Augustus, no one in Rome had come close to creating a personality cult.

    A striking image, a catchy phrase, shocking material – these are the bread and butter of propaganda. It turns out these tactics stretch right the way back through history. From etchings in caves to the Bayeux Tapestry, pushing out messages that seek to persuade and influence – the basic definition of propaganda – is as old as mankind. There was one figure, though, who really cracked it.

    "Augustus is probably the supreme master of the art of propaganda in the entire history of the West. No one has rivalled him and everyone has since been in his shadow," said historian Tom Holland, author of bestselling books on Rome, in an interview with Index on Censorship magazine.

    Until the reign of Augustus, no one in Rome had come close to creating a personality cult. Rome was built on the idea that it was a republic and that no single man should dominate all others. When Caesar's vanity led to his face appearing on coins, his demise quickly followed. Augustus, coming straight after Caesar, used hindsight to his advantage. He cast himself as essentially a normal person, even adopting the title princeps (first citizen), and would partake in entertainment with the masses, like racing, boxing and watching gladiators. But he also positioned himself as exceptional, using the title divi filius (son of the god), and his portraits echoed those of Apollo. Augustus's face was everywhere, from statues, friezes and coins to writings and poems, and most famously in his appearance in Virgil's Aeneid.

    "He promotes himself with absolute genius," Holland said. "He is simultaneously a figure who is an everyday guy and a figure of supernatural potency he appeals to every aspect."

    Augustus perfected propaganda and his influence can be seen clearly in Napoleon, Mussolini and Hitler. The careful crafting of Mao's image – clad in a simple "Mao suit", with sunbeams resonating off his body – was straight out of the Roman ruler's playbook.

    The Bayeux tapestry: the death of King Harold of England at the Battle of Hastings, 1066. Trevor Huxham/Flickr. Some rights reserved.

    So Augustus provided the template, but technological change has undoubtedly improved the means. The birth of the modern printing press was a godsend for propaganda. It was during World War I, when there was a need to recruit, that Wellington House in London established a secret propaganda bureau, and from this the political poster was born. Driven by similar motives, President Woodrow Wilson in the USA formed the Committee of Public Information, which produced posters, films and other material that sought to champion home security and democracy against a foreign enemy. The committee attempted to convince millions of people that they should support the war, and those that still rallied against it, such as socialist publications, were silenced in the process.

    The demands of the Russian Revolution quickly gave birth to a whole new genre, socialist realism or constructivism ("production art"), in which smiling peasants and strident factory workers were portrayed in bold colours and geometric shapes, pithy slogans slapped on top. Anatoly Lunacharsky, who was in charge of the People's Commissariat for Education shortly after the Bolsheviks took charge, believed that by depicting the perfect Soviet man, art could create perfect Soviets.

    Propaganda did not work just on what was shown; it worked also on what was omitted. Stalin was a master of this. Long before the advent of Photoshop, technicians in Russia manipulated photos so much that they became outright lies. David King, in The Commissar Vanishes: The Falsification of Photographs and Art in Stalin's Russia, wrote that during the Great Purges, in the 1930s, "a new form of falsification emerged. The physical eradication of Stalin's political opponents at the hands of the secret police was swiftly followed by their obliteration from all forms of pictorial existence". The book highlights classic cases of "now you see me, now you don't". It includes a series of images featuring the same backdrops but with rotating casts, depending on who was or wasn't in favour at the time.

    "At the heart of authoritarian propaganda is the manipulating of reality. The authoritarian must undermine this," said Yale philosophy professor Jason Stanley , author of How Propaganda Works, in an interview with Index.

    The birth of mass media meant that propaganda didn't need to confine itself to unmoving imagery. Instead, people's minds could be influenced in a far more interactive way. Lenin called the radio "a newspaper without paper and without boundaries" and used it to promote the Bolshevik message. And the revolution was televised, first at the cinema and then on TV. Sergei Eisenstein's most famous films – October , Battleship Potemkin and Alexander Nevsky – were huge successes precisely because they fused technical brilliance with politically correct storylines.

    The myriad possibilities of propaganda were not lost on Hitler, either. He devoted two chapters of Mein Kampf to it and, once in power, recruited a minister of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, who declared that with enough repetition and understanding of the human psyche, people could be convinced that a square was a circle.

    Propaganda once again changed with the advent of the internet as information, or misinformation, could be spread with a simple click. Yet even though the game has moved on, the rules remain the same. Whether it's a fabricated blog post, a viral video of North Korea bombing Washington or tirades of tweets telling everyone you're going to Make America Great Again, these are all timeless tactics repackaged for the modern day.

    "Everything you read in the newspapers, it's age-old," said Stanley, who added that "tech people" see this as a modern problem that they can solve. People are misinformed about the past, he said.

    Misinformed, yes, but also manipulated by people and industries that can look to history's masterminds for best practice when it comes to propaganda.

    Synoia , June 18, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    The Roman propaganda machine included their version of TV, the Theater, and the head of household imposing the propaganda on the whole household.

    Attending Theater was a head-of-household privilege, and attendance also identified exactly where you were in the Civic Strata, based on the position of one's seat in the Theater. No pressure there, no, none at all.

    For_Christ's_Sake , June 17, 2017 at 6:58 am

    The photo of the Syrian boy in the back of the ambulance is one example of the power of media coverage. It, in istself, wasn't the most striking or compelling of the myriad photo coverage to date, yet it received a disproportionete amount of coverage in the media, and at a crucial time when the Syrian forces loyal to Bashar al Assad were making considerable gains in the Aleppo area.

    Enquiring Mind , June 17, 2017 at 11:37 am

    There are various sites , some tending toward tin-foil territory and others closer to what used to be thought of as journalism, where inquirers may learn more about what is not being presented in our media. The public may be deceived by the Grey Lady and her fellow-travelers, but there are still those who seek the truth.

    integer , June 18, 2017 at 1:06 am

    MintPress Meets The Father Of Iconic Aleppo Boy, Who Says Media Lied About His Son

    thoughtful person , June 17, 2017 at 9:16 am

    I remember reading a copy of the Pike Report (1976, spokesman books). What impressed me was that most of the CIA budget appeared to be going to propaganda around the world – manipulation of reality as it were. Including a hot topic right now, spending millions on influencing elections. History certainly rhymes. Thanks for the article, will check out the links!

    Willem , June 17, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    The pharmaceutical industry does a similar thing: it spends millions on drug trials that cannot be replicated by doctors, because such trials are too expensive to be conducted by independent doctors. And then the pharma even spends more millions on advertisements (propaganda) to convince doctors and patients alike that the new drug works better than the old one. What would be more rational than spending money on PR is when the pharma would replicate their studies, preferably by independent researchers, but they seldom do this, or only at the time when their 'new' drug runs out of patent and they need yet a newer drug to compare to the 'new' drug. Etc, etc.

    It is time that people see through this propaganda, but unfortunately those who should see through this first (doctors in pharma, journalists in news, economists in banking) often have a conflict of interest that makes them deaf blind and stupid. Either because they receive money from corporations or information, or titles, or it could be as simple as receiving a penn from a company that people with a conflict of interest sincerely start to believe that these companies can't be that bad.

    And those who do not have a conflict of interest are seldom heard in corporate media.

    But fortunately there are other channels too.

    rfdawn , June 17, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    Good point about the CIA. Propaganda benefits greatly from surveillance providing feedback, so having both in one agency sounds like amazing public sector efficiency. The links didn't get me anywhere much so I still don't know how Augustus got his feedback – the acclaim of the mob? That's important considering the failure of the similar Julian personality cult just prior.

    Procopius , June 19, 2017 at 1:01 am

    As I understand it he had quite a large secret police machine.

    Mike , June 17, 2017 at 9:21 am

    I have no proof, but isn't it propaganda when a weak argument upholding the governments position gets commented upon by "cranks", "crackpots", and wild "conspiracy theories" that can easily be used a straw men to be assaulted whenever "proof" of the governments side can't be presented? We have seen countless websites and blogs arise around the 9-11 story, spouting holograms, energy waves, and scientifically hazy plot lines. When "conspiracy theory" has to be kicked, these are the ones presented, while building science and physics are truly denied in the official explanation, and needs no proof because the "nuts" are the only argument against.

    Is it possible that the spurious or questionable postings/books/articles are MEANT to obfuscate, meant to create rejection, or at least doubt as to the reality of any position? I don't wish to attribute more power to this than necessary, but we have been hoodwinked before by more and less.

    Also, as a side note, Stalin sure did his job is discrediting Communism. Love those monastery students turned apparatchiks

    Disturbed Voter , June 17, 2017 at 9:33 am

    You took the wrong pill. You know too much. Is Alex Jones COINTELPRO?

    In the Cold War, the ends justified the means. Not that Communist regimes weren't a threat, but making a big deal about them, certainly served those who wanted to act on "the ends justify the means". The fascist elements in the US weren't gone by 1945 .. they were just getting started.

    Basically we little people will never know, even people closer to the events probably have contextual bias that prevents real knowing. Whether 9/11, or the death of Meriwether Lewis. Traditional and PC historical narrative is propaganda too. Even about Washington and Lincoln.

    Procopius , June 19, 2017 at 1:09 am

    I guess I've always been contrarian. When I was in high school (the McCarthy years) I noticed our school library did not have one single book that described Communism. Not one that reported what Marx and Engels had said. Not one copy of a speech by Lenin. Not even a description of the famine caused by Stalin's collectivization of the farms. Nor was there a single such book in the town public library. I think the Detroit Public Library had a copy of Kapital, but it was in the locked section, and you had to have academic credentials to access the material there. On the other hand, our library had two copies of Mein Kampf. I suppose the owners decided that danger was already passed, and Nazis would automatically hate Communists (Prussian Socialism was something very different).

    JTMcPhee , June 17, 2017 at 10:31 am

    In case any of us missed it, "Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt" (FUD) is a "thing," and one can read up on, and take classes in, how to generate and use FUD to promote any dishonorable and deceptive notion or product, or denigrate any decent thought or thing: "How to Market with FUD: Fear, Uncertainty, & Doubt," https://strategypeak.com/fud-fear-uncertainty-doubt/

    Norb , June 17, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    After reading your link, there is no mention as to whether the new computer software was able to actually achieve the stated goal of backwards compatibility. The lost trust was regained by a bold claim playing on the clients fears and desires.

    The article has a self-congratulatory tone that clearly shows what is wrong with current social relations. A clever marketing guy figures out a way to "beat" a competitor with lies and deceit. ( no evidence is given contrary) The executives making the decision are probably well paid either way with no downside for failure.

    My wife is an ER nurse, and even in that environment, they are given coaching by management to repeat certain phrases to patients during treatment to ensure positive perception. It's really quite disturbing when you consider the ubiquitous nature of the brainwashing by corporate powers. You can refuse to cooperate, but then you are branded as a troublemaker- not a team player.

    Carla , June 17, 2017 at 11:45 pm

    "My wife is an ER nurse, and even in that environment, they are given coaching by management to repeat certain phrases to patients during treatment to ensure positive perception."

    This is tragic. The profound element of the tragedy is that we all kinda know this goes on, in every area of our lives, including the most intimate ones, and yet we do nothing. Of course, we feel completely overwhelmed and inadequate in the naked face of this POWER.

    Norb, honestly, the main things that help me get through the day are Naked Capitalism and the Move to Amend the Constitution with a 28th amendment abolishing corporate personhood and money as speech.

    Last November 8, we had local citizen petition initiatives on the ballot in two suburbs of Cleveland: Shaker Heights and South Euclid, Ohio. Both had similar ballot language, stating that the electorates of those communities support and want to pass an amendment to the U.S. Constitution stating that only human beings are entitled to constitutional rights; and money is not equivalent to speech, and therefore money spent on election campaigns can be regulated.

    These local initiatives passed, with 78% voting yes in South Euclid and 82% voting yes in Shaker Heights. They were the 10th and 11th cities to pass such ballot measures in Ohio.

    For a look at the 28th amendment we support, see:
    https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-joint-resolution/48/text?r=19

    Also just search on Move to Amend (I'm trying to avoid moderation by giving another link).

    Norb , June 18, 2017 at 8:53 am

    Thanks for sharing the link Carla. Resisting corporate power in any way possible is now the duty of every citizen. That cognitive shift is the main tipping point to bring about social change. What is good for corporations is not good for citizens.

    That point has to be repeated over and over.

    The message is getting through.

    Blennylips , June 17, 2017 at 11:17 am

    Thank you Mr. Snowden: The Art of Deception: Training for a New Generation of Online Covert Operations

    And thank you WashingtonsBlog: How to Spot – and Defeat – Disruption on the Internet

    But what have the romans done for us, lately ? Aside from the aquaduct, sanitation, and the roads

    Angry Panda , June 17, 2017 at 10:01 am

    Aaaaaand the article falls apart the moment it veers into actual history. Or, rather, a highly distorted picture thereof. The old Internet-debate principle of why should I listen to your argument if you're getting some tangential facts wrong. [And the fun bit, I'd be the first to agree with the premise that propaganda dates back to at least Sumer and Egypt, which are the first civilizations we have any writings from so far as I know.]

    For example, specifically to Rome, before Caesar there was Sulla, for example. And Caesar wasn't killed for his "vanity" but rather by the "wealthy conservative" faction that wasn't happy he, Caesar, cut them off from power and was finally getting stuff done, including for the poor, and wanted to get back to the "good old days" (explicitly saying as much). And even the early-middle Republic saw plentiful propaganda, but especially late Republic when you had a whole conservatives-vs.-demagogues dynamic for many election cycles straight.

    I realize that this is meant to be a brief excursus to prove a point ( which could have been expressed in three sentences in lieu of a whole "article", but whatever), however that isn't really an excuse. Also, too, the whole "printing press" to "World War I" segue feels at best rushed (what, no propaganda in the 1500s-1600s? the 1700s? Franklin owned what again?), and at worst misleading (as in – the printing press must have been invented just before World War I ). Also, too, again, fun that the Russian Bolsheviks get top billing while the Nazis get a footnote. Although curiously there is a bit more accuracy in the Russian Bolshevik paragraphs than in the Roman ones.

    DJG , June 17, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    Angry Panda: Maybe. I tend to doubt that Sulla qualifies as a personality cult. He was a brute during the brutal Roman civil wars.

    Julius Caesar may qualify as the first personality cult, regardless of his end. The Gallic Wars and the subsequent "book contract." The symbolic crossing of the Rubicon. Then there is the episode that may seem more bizarre now but was remarkable for its social / religious significance: Mark Anthony, naked from participating in the sacred races of Lupercalia, offering the crown to Julius Caesar, who turned it away three times. That's personality cult! (Although, admittedly, some of the Persian kings had had even more mythical rises to power.)

    But only Augustus Caesar, the former Octavian, succeeded in some minor propaganda efforts like renaming the months, eh–and we still use the names July and August (for his putative father Julius Caesar and himself).

    Another aspect of the perfection of propaganda under Augustus Caesar: The mystery of why the poet Ovid was sent into exile. Unlike Virgil, who was more flexible about his patriotism, Ovid was genuinely disruptive, and Ovid wrote erotic poetry that didn't fit well with official sexuality. And off he went to farthest Romania, living out his days unhappily.

    Synoia , June 18, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    And off he went to farthest Romania Dacia, living out his days unhappily.

    Susan the other , June 17, 2017 at 10:05 am

    Also recently revealed by Erdogan himself is a "platform" of sorts which Turkey is promoting across Europe. It is meant to disseminate Islam's political views and influence elections. And it is very interesting that Europol is referring to something similar and calling it propaganda, with an intent to censorship. No? How did Isis get the headline and not Erdogan? It's all propaganda, that's how.

    JTMcPhee , June 17, 2017 at 10:19 am

    The vector of despair that is propaganda rot is old news, though always, always topical, And still interesting and informative, for those wanting to try to armor themselves against DYSinformation and aim to "try to make things better in the world."

    It may be a feckless effort, given the ubiquity of DYSinformation: "our" the CIA has been at it, on the massive offense against honesty and decency, via all the mechanisms we mopes, or too many of us, have thought worthy of "trust." Here's a telling review of a long form book on the subject of "Who Paid The Piper: The CIA and the Cultural Cold War," https://ratical.org/ratville/CAH/CIAcultCW.pdf

    Who would have thought that all those organs of public thought and the writers and artists that fed "content" into the public consciousness, people lionized for their "progressive" and/or "liberal" credentials, were actually, both consciously and in so many cases for pay out of CIA Secret Funds, filling the public mind and channels of political and "cultural" thought and debate with a particularly ancient and murderous set of poisons?

    So it is left up to each of us individuals, as Promethean actors and consumers and sorters and selectors of "information," to try to render ourselves sufficiently perceptive and skeptical and disbelieving and wise, to be discerning enough to separate the signal from the noise, the wheat from the chaff, the polished turds from the real gems of insight and event. Because NOTHING and NO ONE can be trusted to tell the truth, when even the concept of "truth" has been rendered meaningless in the Bernays Bouillabaisse of "ideas" and "information" that sloshes about and seeps and leaks into every corner and crevice of "our" political economy.

    Always, there are the Fifth Columnists (like Krauthammer and Krugman and the rest), and subtle little Iagos who infiltrate any kind of decency-based collective action (Occupy, NoDAPL, etc.) who will happily troll with Shakespearean "subtility" and betray and work full time to fiddle the rest of us, short-circuiting and defeating any efforts at collective action that might promote "the general welfare "

    Interesting that in so many of the pop cultural video dreck I waste time viewing, so many of the plots involve a supposedly Trustworthy Character warning the protagonist to "Trust no one." And we discover that the TC's phrase included an arch and covert warning that the protagonist should not have trusted the corrupt or murderous TC, who is actually part of the category "No one."

    But of course the CIA manipulators and masters know that some public awareness and knowledge of their shenanigans on behalf of corporate globalism, and the CIA as its own fortress of advancement and career and corruption, and the REAL Neos (-liberalism and -conservatism, both sic), only helps build the myth, and reality, of the agency's reach and clout and invulnerability and impunity. So they let us bloggers talk and fulminate about what they have done, to increase the sense of futility and debility that all of us have to feel, in some measure, about the nature and reach of the Deep REAL state They don't even have to put a lot of active, positive effort into pushing onto our consciousnesses the phrase "Resistance is futile," made iconic via Star Trek (that set of glimmering promises of Wonderful Technology and the triumph of the human spirit and innovation even in seemingly hopeless circumstances - if only we hold to the Federation's principles http://memory-beta.wikia.com/wiki/Kobayashi_Maru_scenario

    lyman alpha blob , June 17, 2017 at 10:36 am

    Same it it ever was with propaganda and with political smears as well. The Romans were pretty good at those too with a favorite being that a political figure had buggered one of his family members. Even the contemporary historians had no idea if these rumors were true, but modern historians are still talking about them.

    Back then it was Nero screwing his mother, today we have the Trump 'dossier' and piddling prostitutes.

    glib , June 17, 2017 at 11:01 am

    The Romans also imposed wheat on the Empire, to the point of killing those who refused. Many reasons, some related to propaganda: wheat was the fuel of war, so it was good to have it everywhere (not related), but also due to the opioids in wheat and the poorer health of the citizens, they had figured out that wheat eating populations were easier to conquer and hold. Totally unlike the Germans, the Scots and other tribes originating from the steppes.

    John , June 17, 2017 at 11:18 am

    You fail to mention one of the biggest purveyors and origin of the use of the word the Congregatio Propaganda Fide established by Pope Gregory XV in 1622.

    Yves Smith Post author , June 17, 2017 at 11:25 am

    As Edward Bernays pointed out in his 1926 book Propaganda, the word once had positive connotations precisely because it was seen as being about the legitimate spreading of the religious word. Bernays in his book tried hard, and unsuccessfully, to depict propaganda as positive and benign.

    Altandmain , June 17, 2017 at 11:28 am

    Closer to home, all the recent American Presidents and candidates have created their own cults of personality.

    The Obama Presidency: His cult tells us that he is a selfless community organizer and constitutional lawyer who will make America a post-racial society. He is a speaker who is very persuasive and charismatic. Any criticism of His Presidency is racism by the ignorant. Of course in reality the man had sold out to Wall Street from the start and America may as well have elected Bill Clinton for 2 more terms.

    Trump is of course the business man and deal maker who will turn America around. This cult relies heavily on the right-wing propaganda that business is superior to government and that Trump is a capable businessman. In reality, Trump inherited his wealth, went bankrupt several times, and I have read underperformed compared to an index fund. He also has a history of abusing the people he does business with and apparently women too.

    Hillary Clinton proved unable to fool people in her cult. She is apparently a selfless experienced politician who will break glass ceilings. The reality? Her economic policies are little more than the typical neoliberalism, which will create ceilings for working and middle class Americans, outright kicking the poor down. She loves going to war. She is not charismatic at all. Her supporters tried to portray all criticism of Clinton as sexism unsuccessfully. The lesson here is that if you want any personality cult, it has to be believable and your candidate has to be likeable.

    I think that like Rome, the US is going to come apart. Let's face the reality. It is largely an empire. It relies on its military dominance to get its way and enrich its already obscenely wealthy. Much like Rome or the USSR, internal contradictions could bring it down.

    An example, the US claims that it is the land of opportunity, yet social mobility is better in Canada, Australia, and the Nordic Nations which have far more egalitarian cultures. It claims to be number 1 at everything, yet when you look at standards of living, it usually is a competition between the Nordic nations. There are other nations that do well. Japanese women for example have very long life expectancies. Healthcare is said to be the top, yet other nations spend less and live longer. I could go on, but the point is that propaganda can only go so far.

    Yet it is the costs of war and the greed of the rich that will eventually bring these contradictions to an end. How this will end, I don't know. I think that it could end up like the Soviet Union. We have am elite class that is literally looting everything from the rest of us. The only question is, can we avoid a total collapse like the Romans?

    Bullwinkle , June 18, 2017 at 8:17 am

    I would like to take a sentence from your Hillary Clinton paragraph, revise it and add it to your Obama paragraph: His supporters tried to portray all criticism of Obama as racism.

    Procopius , June 19, 2017 at 1:35 am

    The "Roman collapse" wasn't actually a sudden event that you can pin down. It was a million collapses and failures and successes by new people and strangers moving in next door and somebody you never heard of being elected to the town council.

    The Eastern Empire lasted until Crusaders conquered Constantinople in 1204, and arguably made a partial comeback in 1261 until the Turks captured the city in 1453.

    Even in the Western Empire some of the forms were still followed, legal precedents were followed, the ancient taxes were still collected. I think the collapse of the American Empire is going to be more spectacular, but you could argue, I think, that America actually "fell" when we entered World War I.

    Norb , June 17, 2017 at 11:52 am

    Goebbels had at least one thing right. Understanding the human psyche is key in shaping human society. Too bad for us all that current leaders have such limited visions of what human society could be. Or should that be shame on us all for allowing such a condition to arise in the first place. It seems a negative approach is always used to exploit human weakness. The reigning morality is find a weakness and exploit it.

    What human society SHOULD be has always been the problem faced by the left. The history of human societies has always been the balance of what is and what should be. These are moral questions that find no place for discussion in a modern world busy consuming the planet.

    Somehow, we need to stop consuming and find the strength to reconsider the relationship and bonds we have formed with one another and the rest of the world. It is an approach understanding the fragility of the human psyche and attempting to strengthen that weakness instead of exploiting it.

    Propaganda is devoid of morality. It is just the roadmap to where you would like to go. All the talk of fake news, the sharing economy, public/private enterprises, privatization, fighting terrorism, the Russian menace, and TINA are attempts to obfuscate the fact that the morality brought about by capitalism no longer functions.

    Deciding what is right and wrong bring about revolutions.

    rps , June 18, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    Propaganda and ideology are one in the same, they are belief systems. Neither can be found in the physical world; rather, they reside in our chosen identities. Thus, the ideologues must persuade each of us to willingly submit our personal power to them and become their compliant subject. The ideologues are not 'in' power but 'hold' the collectives' power until the individual chooses to break away and regain their individual power.

    Louis Althusser's "Ideological State Apparatuses" is a good read. For Althusser, ideology was not a passive relation between the economic base and superstructure, but a pervasive set of dynamic conditions suffusing the institutional apparatus of the state and shaping not just the idea of the person as subject, but clarifying in structural terms the idea of a subject position; wherein, political and psychological forces converge to define possibilities of action and forces of constraint and repression.

    Religion is one example in the mechanisms of ideology, explaining how the subject is "called" or "hailed", known as interpellation, which has been transferred to the political domain. In Althusser's thesis, ideology has no history since it is carried in the material, institutional forms of social life, and is always submerged back into them (reification).

    The analytical problem is to preserve a critical focus on the moment of "calling," as the interpellated subject is both created as a subject by being called, and subsumed by the very acknowledgement that, as he puts it, "It is I" who is being called. In this sense, one is always dealing with ideologies, and not a monolithic doctrine, that may be applied in any arena of social life including: family, schools, churches, political parties, governments, and so forth.

    By reading Marx expansively, Althusser had recontextualized Marxist theories by releasing it from the dogmas of doctrine or limitations of subject matter through the next step up of connecting the ranking of the subject to the institutional apparatus that at once sustains and vexes identity. One characteristic of his analytical approach lies in the fact that it does not insist on a barrier between the political and the psychoanalytic, instead, pointing the way to the praxis of ideology within one's identity and participation.

    OffgassingWaddler , June 18, 2017 at 11:19 am

    A relevant "quote"

    Ariel: You ever heard of the Masada? For two years, 900 Jews held their own against 15,000 Roman soldiers. They chose death before enslavement. The Romans? Where are they now?

    Tony Soprano: You're looking at them, a–hole.

    Oguk , June 17, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    Wondering if people are familiar with Jacques Ellul's book Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes (1962)? I read it a long time ago. My take from it was: (1) propaganda is everywhere, is almost the same as what we might call culture; (2) the case that propaganda is not as much about spreading falsehoods as the selective use of truth, and (3) propaganda is an essential technique of mass politics and the modern state. He traces modern propaganda to the French Revolution, where it was essential to mobilize large parts of the population on behalf of the revolution.

    Personality cults seem to me like a vary narrow understanding of propaganda.

    Alan , June 17, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    The Roman Senate was nominally responsible for paying soldiers but by the time the republic was in it's waning days the coinage had become debased and devalued. The Roman soldier then looked to his individual commander as his meal ticket.

    A competent and generous general commanded loyalty above that of the state itself because it was upon his generalship and good fortune his soldiers depended. Caesar, apart from being the Michael Jordan of his day, was exceedingly generous in doling out plunder to his victorious legionnaires.

    Caesar's rivals also put their faces on coins, of course vanity played a role but it was much more that that. Troops could often be seduced into transferring allegiance if they believed they could get a better deal. Octavian (Augustus) while a competent general himself did not possess anything close to the skill of Caesar and ultimately owes his success to the tenth legion, Caesar's most loyal and skilled troops.

    These men transferred their allegiance to Octavian instead of Marc Antony because Octavian manipulated his men's aversion to what they perceived as the weakness and effeminacy of the East (Antony's relationship with Cleopatra and his subsequent appropriation of Eastern dress and manners). So this then was the beginning of propaganda, Augustus portrayed himself as fighting for traditional Roman virtue against that of the soft and corruptible East. Augustus made a point to always appear in public dressed in humble garb and forbade conspicuous consumption among Rome's patrician class. He further enshrined this commitment to Roman modesty by commissioning Virgil to compose an epic myth of Rome's founding, which masterfully echoed many of the themes Augustus sought to reinforce.

    Procopius , June 19, 2017 at 1:49 am

    Do you have a reference for the claim that Roman coinage was debased and devalued? I understood that under the Republic generals were always responsible for distributing their pay to the troops. In fact, as I understood it, Caesar was deeply in debt, to the point where he had to cross the Rubicon and prevail in a civil war or have his head chopped off (I think the actual punishment was to be thrown into the Tiber River, but would need to look it up). Anyway, that was a systemic problem throughout the Empire, as well. I don't think that debasement of coinage can actually be demonstrated, although I know it's a favorite claim of far right wing gold bugs (the Roman monetary system was based on silver, not gold - originally based on iron, but that goes way back).

    arte , June 17, 2017 at 1:47 pm

    Apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?

    JTMcPhee , June 17, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    Some pretty good models from the Romans, for big effing standing armies, and looting colonies, and marking a very few very rich, and a whole lot of lesser people very very dead It's called "civilization

    VietnamVet , June 17, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    Raised with the fear of The Big Lie, what is interesting today is corporate media's propaganda omissions. The 20% decline in the number of middle class families. Earlier deaths. The transfer of enormous wealth to a very few very rich families.

    The fall of the Soviet Union is recent enough that those who lived through it to say to us that the reason for the collapse was USSR's propaganda didn't match reality. When Boris Yeltsin's counter coup took place, Russians didn't take to the streets to defend the Communist Party and the economic system. Perhaps 5% of Americans are doing well servicing the oligarchs. That is far too few to defend predatory capitalism when the global economy crashes; which it will, due to spreading wars, climate change, fading democracy and social unrest. Survivors will say good riddance to the Hamptons. They had it coming.

    [Jun 20, 2017] Much of the left has gone completely bonkers on this issue. There is now an unholy alliance between the Cold War neocons in Congress and the Trump haters on the left in regard to Russia.

    Jun 20, 2017 | www.thenation.com

     Much of the left has gone completely bonkers on this issue. There is now an unholy alliance between the Cold War neocons in Congress and the Trump haters on the left in regard to Russia. Katha Pollitt's legitimate animosity toward Trump because of his attitude toward women has unfortunately clouded her judgment vis-à-vis Russia. However, there is a substantial segment of the left that wants to see better relations with Russia and is dismayed and disheartened by the relentless hyping of the alleged Russian hacking, Trump's ties with Russia, etc. The neocons are laughing all the way to a military confrontation with Russia. Bravo to Victor Navasky and Stephen F. Cohen for continuing to speak truth to hysteria. And bravo to The Nation for doing the same in its editorials.

    Peggy Karp
    sebastopol, calif.

    [Jun 20, 2017] Those barbaric Russkies don't have Free Speech Pens for protestors like we have here in the Civilized West

    Notable quotes:
    "... At this point, I simply ignore the American media. I can't think of a single American news source that is unbiased or fair. So, I don't buy their papers, I don't listen to radio, I don't watch TV news. And I'm better informed that way. And, as an extra bonus, I get to laugh everytime I see them admit that their ratings and circulation continues to drop. ..."
    "... A shooter in DC opened fire on a group of Congressional Republlicans. What you won't hear. You won't hear any discussion about how Hillary and the Democrats have divided this country for their own gain. Historically, a defeated Presidential candidate always tried to at least appear to unify the country. One key case in recent memory, Al Gore didn't try to lead a revolution against Dubya after losing the 2000 election 5-4. ..."
    "... Hillary hasn't done this. She's been as mean, nasty and viscious as she was during the campaign, which basically consisted of calling Trump a fascist and a racist and telling anyone who dared to vote against her that they were deploreable. And of course, the Russia nonsense started during the campaign, when she had to distract attention from the fact that the Democrat primary process was a corrupt, rigged affair where the people never had a chance. So, we knew then that Hillary was willing to push the world closer to nuclear war for her own personal gain. ..."
    "... Slightly off-topic, but it does relate to the constant "fake-news" claim that the USA is a democracy and its constant wars, killings, torture and detentions are in the name of "democracy". ..."
    "... Paul Street (a good source for commentary) wrote. "I asked my "social media" correspondents if this lobbyist was actually playing on the Republican Congressional baseball team. Someone wrote back with a clever line: "Probably was the manager." ..."
    Jun 20, 2017 | thesaker.is
    Anonymous on June 13, 2017 · at 10:17 pm UTC

    This incident is priceless in capturing how pathetically debased the American and European Free Press(TM) are when it comes to scrounging up any contrived bit of propaganda fodder so as to promote their colored coup er revolution attempts in Russia (and elsewhere)–even if it means "mistaking" a World War 2 reenactment for anti-protest barricades. Oops!

    Those barbaric Russkies don't have Free Speech Pens for protestors like we have here in the Civilized West!

    Seriously though, it's important to expose this media disinformation each and every time that they occur so as to call out these purveyors of fake news.

    Granted, documenting and exposing these Free Press frauds is a full-time job.

    But political blood libels should never go unchallenged.

    In fact, the United States and Europeans not only are peddlers of Fake News. They promote even greater deceptions in the form of their Fake Democracy, Fake Freedom, and Fake "Western Civilization" itself.

    Media Disinformation on Monday Russian Street Protests
    https://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2017/06/media-disinformation-on-monday-russian.html

    FAKE NEWS WEEK: A Guide to Mainstream Media 'Fake News' War Propaganda
    http://21stcenturywire.com/2017/02/14/fake-news-week-a-guide-to-mainstream-media-fake-news-war-propaganda/

    Syria 'Hero Boy' Video Revealed to be Government Propaganda
    https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/syria-hero-boy-video-revealed-to-be-government-propaganda/

    Who is Behind "Fake News"? Mainstream Media Use Fake Videos and Images
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/who-is-behind-fake-news-mainstream-media-use-fake-videos-and-images/5557580

    Verami on June 13, 2017 , · at 10:34 pm UTC

    Wow, what a coincidence.
    Both Aleksei Venediktov and Vladimir Kozlovskii are eligible for Israeli citizenship.
    The Saker on June 14, 2017 , · at 3:41 am UTC
    LOL!!!
    yeah, you are right.
    that is undeniable
    Mad as Hell on June 13, 2017 , · at 10:47 pm UTC
    I know its off track but I just had to share this :

    http://www.timesofisrael.com/haley-slams-un-human-rights-report-for-singling-out-israel/

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/nikki-haley-un-human-rights-council-anti-israel-bias-ambassador-arab-countries-saudi-arabia-a7775381.html

    https://www.google.com.jm/amp/amp.timeinc.net/time/4806801/nikki-haley-human-rights-council-israel/%3Fsource%3Ddam

    http://www.nationalpost.com/m/wp/news/world/israel-middle-east/blog.html?b=news.nationalpost.com/news/world/israel-middle-east/the-un-bullies-israel-u-s-ambassador-tells-benjamin-netanyahu-in-jerusalem

    http://www.npr.org/2017/06/06/531787128/ambassador-nikki-haley-accuses-u-n-human-rights-council-of-bashing-israel

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/230763

    One thing for certain, as Israel's representative at the UN, no one can honestly say that Ms. Haley is not doing her job.

    If only other countries could have such dedicated representatives looking out for the interests of their respective countries.

    Talk about dedication, is there anything comparable out there?

    RB on June 14, 2017 , · at 12:04 am UTC
    With all due respect. Recreating WWII barricades with hedgehogs to celebrate a national holiday other than the V-Day is a pretty dumb idea if you ask me.
    James Lake on June 14, 2017 , · at 1:22 am UTC
    To RB,
    The festival was called the Times and Epochs festival and it wasn't just world war 2

    There were reenactments from vast periods of Russian history – Crimean war, Viking times, etc

    It was Russia Day and this was showing different events in history over time.

    It is a family day and many bring their children to the events

    Tomsen on June 16, 2017 , · at 3:57 pm UTC
    The Russians are just trying to make their people well prepared in these very sensitive years. Are you against that? Most Americans and Western liberals would strongly oppose it. "Stay defenseless Russia"!
    Taras77 on June 14, 2017 , · at 12:37 am UTC
    Thanks, Saker-excellent commentary! Link here to a similar article with extimates of numbers of "protesters" and the extent of support to navalny (~none):

    https://www.rt.com/op-edge/392011-navalny-unsanctioned-protest-western-media/

    S-400 on June 14, 2017 , · at 12:38 am UTC
    Isnt that weasel Alexei Venediktov the same guy Putin had to put in his place somevyears back, for using his taxpayer -funded radio show to talk shit about Russia. Its some where on Youtube, where Putin told him to his face to stop talking bullshit and taking the Russian people for fools.
    Ingrid on June 14, 2017 , · at 5:41 am UTC
    You mean this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zl90fme0XEc
    BRF on June 14, 2017 , · at 1:03 am UTC
    Am I to believe that Russians are happy with the status quo where the Russian oligarchy owns more of Russian wealth and assets than their western counterparts do in their own bailiwick? Perhaps the threats from the west have unified the Russian people behind their government but they are getting screwed over just as bad or worse as western peoples. Here is our common ground.
    Scott on June 14, 2017 , · at 2:35 am UTC
    BRF,

    When was the last time you heard about the "Russian mafia"? It seems to disappear without a trace. The "Russian oligarchs" have followed, being replaced by joined ownership by the state and domestic and foreign investors.

    One of the most powerful appeal of the Putin's government, if you know what I mean.

    The following are just two quotations:

    from a pro-Russia journalist

    Vladimir Yevtushenkov's asset-holding company Sistema has not inspired investor confidence since September of 2014. That was when Yevtushenkov was arrested in Moscow and charged with fraud and money-laundering in connexion with Sistema's takeover of Bashneft, a Volga region oil producer. That year, Sistema's market capitalization on the London Stock Exchange dropped from $15.5 billion to $1.2 billion, setting a new record for haircuts among Russia's oligarchs. Yevtushenkov's incarceration lasted eight weeks in home confinement, during which he gave up Bashneft and accepted a number of other terms from Russian prosecutors and their superiors.

    Sistema's takeover of the Bashneft oil company was the trigger for Yevtushenkov's encounter with Russia's Prosecutor-General. Once he had surrendered Bashneft to Rosneft, litigation began in civil courts.

    http://johnhelmer.net/vladimir-yevtushenkov-plays-monopoly-makes-friends-with-president-jacob-zuma-of-south-africa-for-a-50-billion-chance-and-gets-out-of-jail/#more-17712

    and from a "critic of Russia"

    The US and European sanctions against Russia have been a colossal miscalculation because they give Russians a rationale for the misery that has come, not only with rouble devaluation and the loss of oil and gas export income, but also from the inequality inflicted by the oligarch system which replaced the communist one. In cutting the Russian oligarchs and state banks off from the international capital they regularly stole and converted into offshore assets, the sanctions have forced self-sufficiency on a reluctant Kremlin, and neutralized, for the time being, the most powerful Russian lobby in favour of Americanization and - what amounted to the same thing, globalization. What's left of the fraud and conversion lobby in Moscow – Anatoly Chubais, Alexei Kudrin, Alexei Ulyukaev – is now under one form of house arrest or another.

    Whereas the first assault on Russia by western journalists, a quarter of a century ago, was the sign of the collapse of Russian resistance, this time it's the reverse – the signs of US and Anglo-European collapse, and Russian revival. We're going to have to live a long time to figure out which side turns out to be civilized, which barbarian. Uncertainty like this used to be called the Dark Ages.
    http://russia-insider.com/en/empires-last-gasp-anglo-american-journalism-chokes-its-own-digital-model/ri17928

    Anonymous on June 15, 2017 , · at 3:21 am UTC
    Scott:

    being replaced by joined ownership by the state and domestic and foreign investors. [emphasis added by myself]

    Russians would be wise to re-think foreign investment. They should limit the percentage foreigners can hold of a certain company. Additionally they should make sure that those laws can't be skirted as is the case with the radio station of Mr. Venediktov. Finally, they should make sure that for example a foreign investor can't hold the maximum share of each corporation that's open to foreign money (otherwise foreigners might have some kind of "monopoly" in certain industries). Be aware: foreign investment always comes with an outflow of money. Decision making (planning expansion or reducing of the work force) also should be in the hands of locals – foreign influence should be limited.

    Anonymous on June 14, 2017 , · at 3:08 am UTC
    At this point, I simply ignore the American media. I can't think of a single American news source that is unbiased or fair. So, I don't buy their papers, I don't listen to radio, I don't watch TV news. And I'm better informed that way. And, as an extra bonus, I get to laugh everytime I see them admit that their ratings and circulation continues to drop.

    And I still find it fascinating that the last election split on this issue. Polls said Trump voters almost uniformly mistrusted the media. The last election was between the people who don't trust the media and the people who read the NYT and lap up CNN. Guess what . the people who don't trust the media won. They are now the majority in the US. And since the BBC tells everyone to hate Corbyn and vote to Remain in the EU, it seems that this is also true in the UK.

    There's an easy answer to this nonsense .. TURN THEM OFF!

    juliania on June 14, 2017 , · at 12:06 pm UTC
    You have hit upon a most important insight, which of course the saturation media will not report on itself – that folk in the US have demonstrated very clearly how many simply were not listening or viewing any longer during and after the campaigns and elections. Indeed they were reading the present evolvement of samizdat, which has happened on the internet, such as Saker here.

    I'm sure with the original samizdat there were attempts by the USSR powers that be to infiltrate the process – but such attempts would have been clearly visible to the Russians looking for legitimate streams of information, simply in the wooden way in which they were presented. For when such powers take over the stream of creativity as propaganda for the regime, it becomes wooden – there's something our Creator has given us that can't be suppressed – the ability to think for our selves.

    Fewer and fewer now can stomach the genetic modifications that pass for news in mainstream press in the US. And there are now new trolls in the internet chat rooms – they stand out like the misfits they are, dutifully quoting this or that tv newsperson most of us don't even waste time on any longer. So, we know them, and we discount their attempts to rewrite history.

    What a delightful festival for the Russians! See, for them it is as if they restore to themselves the suppressed ability to critique openly the ills and delights of the past – something their ancestors might have been thrown in a monastic prison for daring to comment upon. It's a glorious expression of freedom to show – this is what we were: these were our shining moments, we the people, and this was what we had to endure, which only the brave bore witness to, and we honor them by bringing our children to learn of past sacrifices and past triumphs.

    And of course, the western press cannot explain this. For there, in the grace of God, go we. Some time in the future, our young people will be out on the streets re-enacting our own struggles to the turn of the century and beyond, when we preferred to elect an aging pompous clown who has no political experience rather than an aging warweary female – the worst and best/worst that could be manipulated into the spotlight. It will be a different festival, for sure, not as colorful perhaps, though the redcoats will be there, Jefferson, Lincoln and Martin Luther King I wish I could be around to see it. Maybe God will give us a special dispensation on that day, wake us up so we can have a look as generations to come rejoice. Yes, Russians – you are our future; be very proud!

    Friend on June 14, 2017 , · at 12:41 pm UTC
    Beautifully said.
    Western Media on June 14, 2017 , · at 3:35 am UTC
    That's right, you can't beat us! We are the end of history! We are the alpha and omega! We are the thousand-year new world order! We are his master's voice! We are the consensus of the international community! We are the march of progress! And we are not amused!
    Anonymous on June 14, 2017 , · at 7:28 pm UTC
    In other words, basically the same thing the big wooly mammoth shouted while sinking into the tar pit.
    Ann on June 14, 2017 , · at 5:02 am UTC
    that smartass guy Aleksei was in a video where Putin talked to him – I remember his face – what a royal pain in the ass that guy is – I wonder if there is a parallel in the States to someone like him –

    I guess though that the States is really 'like him' and Putin is the lone warrior doing the true journalism –

    Oscar on June 14, 2017 , · at 6:06 am UTC
    I picked up this from Wikipedia about the origins of this guy (Venediktkov) "His mother Eleonora Abramovna Dykhovichnaya was a doctor of Jewish origin" Not much to talk about.
    Lokus on June 14, 2017 , · at 7:35 am UTC
    I think, the fall of Putin is close.
    Young, liberal Russia demands western way of life, freedoms, good erotic style.

    Young, liberal Russia is eager to deliver Russian natural resources to western companies in exchange for visa free travel. Or for one Trump's smile.

    _smr on June 14, 2017 , · at 8:18 am UTC
    No surprises here.

    By the way of deception is Zion's only way. Deception in the sense of fiction. All the stories they have told us from Moses to Charlie Hebdo, from Solomon's Temple to the Moon Landing, from Manna to the US $ – it is all invented, fabricated, scripted, coded, repeated, made into a Shakespeare play, then into a Hollywood movie, then finally ends up as exhibit 666 in a Holocaust museum near your local Starbucks and the freak show never ends.

    Maybe it will end one day.

    The recent streak of unforced errors by Zion is unprecedented. Since about the time when Crimea was liberated from Zion's Ukr-Nazis, everything Zion touched has gone haywire. It's quite the sight. What idiots!

    _smr on June 14, 2017 , · at 9:15 am UTC
    Hint: Laughable stunts of this sort can only work when an all-out Zionstream media psyop is reinforced by Zion agents embedded in key positions of the local power structure. Names that come to mind: Lenin, Merkel, Robespierre

    Under the watch of Putin, such a situation is not given in Russia. Therefore, without knowing any details of the above farce, we confidently can declare it a failure at onset.

    I add it to the recently fast-growing list of unforced errors of Zion.

    Greg Bacon on June 14, 2017 , · at 11:03 am UTC
    Americans are watching their nation's infrastructure fall apart, because we spend a lot of money on fighting endless MENA wars for Wall Street and Israel, the only ones really benefiting from this carnage–plus the defense contractors.

    Our medical costs are going sky-high, thanks to Obama Care, but no one in the press asks questions about our nation's roads, bridges and outdated nuclear plants, since they're too busy screaming about Russia or Putin or Assad.

    One GOOD thing about Trump's election is that the MSM was forced to go full Banzai mode to offset the horror they felt from not having the psycho Hillary in the WH, and in doing so, fully exposed themselves as LIARS and Propaganda spinners.

    Edward on June 14, 2017 , · at 2:10 pm UTC
    Another ridiculous episode in American propaganda was the press meltdown when Chavez came to power in Venezuela. After decades of silence about the crimes of the CIA-backed regimes in South America all of a sudden the press discover human rights problems in Venezuela because the government of that oil rich country opposes neo-liberal economic policies. Chazev wanted to redistribute wealth. This tells you what the press does and does not consider a crime.
    Anonymous on June 14, 2017 , · at 7:26 pm UTC
    Today's Fake News to watch ..

    A shooter in DC opened fire on a group of Congressional Republlicans. What you won't hear. You won't hear any discussion about how Hillary and the Democrats have divided this country for their own gain. Historically, a defeated Presidential candidate always tried to at least appear to unify the country. One key case in recent memory, Al Gore didn't try to lead a revolution against Dubya after losing the 2000 election 5-4.

    Hillary hasn't done this. She's been as mean, nasty and viscious as she was during the campaign, which basically consisted of calling Trump a fascist and a racist and telling anyone who dared to vote against her that they were deploreable. And of course, the Russia nonsense started during the campaign, when she had to distract attention from the fact that the Democrat primary process was a corrupt, rigged affair where the people never had a chance. So, we knew then that Hillary was willing to push the world closer to nuclear war for her own personal gain.

    Since the election, its gotten even worse. At this point, Hillary has nothing to gain, at least not politically. I'm sure there's a lucrative book deal in her future. But, a two-time loser like Hillary will never become President. Even the Democrats aren't that stupid to even try.

    But still, she's done everything she can to divide the country. Apparently just out of spite. And the shooting today seems to flow directly from that. When you stir up hatred and violence like Hillary and the Democrats have done, it becomes highly likely that some less than stable person will take it way, way, way too far.

    Thanks Hillary!

    Anonymous on June 15, 2017 , · at 3:36 am UTC
    Anonymous:

    Since the election, its gotten even worse. At this point, Hillary has nothing to gain, at least not politically. I'm sure there's a lucrative book deal in her future.

    A book deal?!? How greedy can one "power couple" be? They cashed in big time with their speeches (more than a hundred million). If you add the money (over a billion) of the Clinton foundation, then you've got billionaires. They would need centuries to spend all that money if they were living a modest lifestyle.

    Anonymous on June 16, 2017 , · at 6:06 pm UTC
    Amazing what a "lifetime of public service" has gotten them. The poor kid from hope Arkansas is now a billionaire. Yep, that's "public service."

    Just what is Hillary fighting for at this point? If she thinks she can still be President, she'd delusional. For on thing her health doesn't seem likely to hold out long enough to make another run in her mid-70's. And in America, previous losers are almost never later elected. Richard Nixon in '68 after losing to Kennedy in '60 is the only exceptin I can think of. And how'd that turn out?

    So, none of this is about Hillary's political future. And Bill couldn't be elected National Dog Catcher at this point. So, why is Hillary working so very hard to divide and destroy America? Given that millions of Russian money flowed to the Clinton Foundation, perhaps its Hillary who's the secret Russian agent?

    Anonymous on June 14, 2017 , · at 10:28 pm UTC
    "I feel sincerely sorry for the western reporters in Russia: their bosses are demanding signs of protests, of violence,"

    Shades of the creator of 'Yellow Journalism', WIlliam Randolph Hearst who, after receiving a cable from his photographer in Cuba saying "there will be no war," cabled back: "You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war."

    Anonymous on June 15, 2017 , · at 9:30 am UTC
    Interesting news from Donbass.

    It seems that earlier this year, all 12 members of a group of Canadian military trainers were killed by Novorossian forces on the frontline in east Ukraine. They were mistaken for a Ukraine intelligence group. Officially the Canadians were supposed to be based in west Ukraine, training the neo-Nazis (ahem regular good ole' Ukrainian military), so a batch of them getting terminated in east Ukraine proved

    Anonymous on June 15, 2017 , · at 9:30 am UTC
    Interesting news from Donbass.

    It seems that earlier this year, all 12 members of a group of Canadian military trainers were killed by Novorossian forces on the frontline in east Ukraine. They were mistaken for a Ukraine intelligence group. Officially the Canadians were supposed to be based in west Ukraine, training the neo-Nazis (ahem regular good ole' Ukrainian military), so a batch of them getting terminated in east Ukraine proved to be embarassing. In response, the Canadian regime removed restrictions on where Canadian troops could be based, as Trudeau "did not like having to tell the families of the dead their sons died in a classified NATO operation. These measures are designed to give the military the room to do their job, as they wish."

    So there you have it. The most important thing is not to cause upset to Trudeau.

    http://novorossia.today/dozen-canadian-soldiers-killed-donbass-trudeau-wants-come-home-flag-draped-caskets-mission-now-extends-ukraine/

    S113 on June 15, 2017 , · at 2:24 pm UTC
    Some questionable facts in this report – but Fort Russ reported a few months back that Canadian mercenaries were seen near the line of contact. Trudeau and Canadian Armed Forces are not using mercenaries in Ukraine. Quite possibly, someone hired their own personal 'gang of thugs' from Garda Security:

    "Canada's Blackwater: the world's largest privately held security firm"

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/garda-canadas-blackwater-the-worlds-largest-privately-held-security-firm/5519365

    Yk on June 15, 2017 , · at 9:24 pm UTC
    Lol I really enjoy reading this as usual. The humour in the last paragraph made my day. Thanks Saker as always
    DannyO on June 16, 2017 , · at 4:51 am UTC
    So all the protestors were going to be driving miniature tanks up against the miniature anti tank barricades? I guess most of those protestors would be shriners driving clown tanks and wearing fez hats.
    Welcome to the world of hipster presstitutes who have absolutely no clue.
    Anonymous on June 16, 2017 , · at 5:58 pm UTC
    Slightly off-topic, but it does relate to the constant "fake-news" claim that the USA is a democracy and its constant wars, killings, torture and detentions are in the name of "democracy".

    A group of Congressional members and staffers gather for a baseball practice to prepare for an annual charity game. A madman opens fire. Among those seriously injured is a lobbyist for Tyson Foods.

    That says so much about the USA and the US Congress. That members and staffers don't even hold a baseball practice without a lobbyist being present. That lobbyists are so integrated and embedded in the US Congress that a shooting at a group of members and staffers hits a lobbyist who's a part of the group.

    Paul Street (a good source for commentary) wrote. "I asked my "social media" correspondents if this lobbyist was actually playing on the Republican Congressional baseball team. Someone wrote back with a clever line: "Probably was the manager."

    Mike K. on June 19, 2017 , · at 6:56 pm UTC
    The author of the Politico piece http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/06/12/how-russia-targets-the-us-military-215247

    is a Zionist Jew who has written, gleefully, about the 'Death of the W.A.S.P.' Venediktov is as well. Nasha Gessen, Cathy Young The NYT and CNN chief propagandists: the very highly disproportionate number of Jews who are the authors of anti-Putin pieces in the US, UK, and France, and likely elsewhere is remarkae in two ways:

    1) Given the predominant Jewish role in Bolshevik massacres and torture of ethnic Russians (and Jewish role in stealing much of Russia's wealth under/after Yeltsin;

    2) But mostly: given the fact it is absolutely a forbidden topic, even as it is Jewish neocons in the US who are a major, if not necessarily predominant force in Washington think tanks, lobbies and media.

    The number of times I find that the author of dishonest anti-Russian warmongering is Jewish is absolutely stunning.

    I do not believe for one moment it has to do with human rights or anything but what they deem is good for Jews as a Global Shadow Empire.

    I may be wrong, however.

    [Jun 19, 2017] Republicans are embarrassing Democrats by showing them how legislation gets passed with a bare majority, when Democrats failed with a filibuster proof majority

    Jun 19, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

    JohnH, June 19, 2017 at 06:48 AM

    Republicans are embarrassing Democrats by showing them how legislation gets passed with a bare majority...when Democrats could barely get anything done with a filibuster proof majority!

    Moral of the story? Democrats under Obama didn't really want to get much done. Rather, they preferred to do nothing and blame Republicans instead. Worse, now that Republicans want to destroy what precious little Democrats managed to accomplish, Democrats are just standing around, frozen like deer in the headlights, clueless as to how to use their 48 votes.

    How pathetic can Democrats get?

    libezkova, June 19, 2017 at 06:40 PM
    "Republicans are embarrassing Democrats by showing them how legislation gets passed with a bare majority...when Democrats could barely get anything done with a filibuster proof majority!"

    Not only that.

    Neoliberal stooges like Krugman now shed crocodile tears after pushing Sanders under the bus.

    They essentially gave us Trump and now have an audacity to complain. What a miserable hypocritical twerp this Nobel laureate is!

    Where is the DemoRats "Resistance" now? Are they fighting against the war in Syria on behave of Israel and Gulf states? Protesting sanctions against Cuba? Complaining about the record arms sale with Saudi Arabia (with its possible 9/11 links ?)

    No, they are all on MSNBC or CNN dragging out a stupid investigation all the while pushing Russia to war. And congratulating themselves with the latest Russian sanctions designed to block supplies of Russian gas to Western Europe...

    I want to repeat this again: Neoliberal Democrats created Trump and brought him to the victory in the recent Presidential elections.

    [Jun 19, 2017] Syria and Our Illegal Acts of War The American Conservative

    Notable quotes:
    "... Where is the "Resistance" now? Are they fighting against this stupid war in Syria? Protesting stupid sanctions against Cuba? Complaining about the record arms sale with Saudi Arabia (home of the 9/11 terrorists?)? Second guessing themselves with the latest bought of Russian sanctions that managed to piss off Germany and Austria and put European energy security at risk? No, they are all on MSNBC or CNN dragging out a stupid investigation all the while pushing Russia to war. ..."
    "... I'm curious if the US shoots down a Syrian jet inside Syria on behalf of "moderate rebels" it's called self defense, what Orwellian term describes if Syria or Russia shoots down of US jet inside Syria? ..."
    "... Trump's laziness/stupidity delegating all strategic aspects to the military with no higher level executive guidance to his generals along his the neocon push to war with Russia made this event inevitable in some ways. ..."
    "... Russia cannot lose face too much, nor can the US. ..."
    Jun 19, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com
    I mentioned the illegality of U.S. actions in Syria in an earlier post , but I wanted to say a bit more on that point. There has never been a Congressional vote authorizing U.S. military operations in Syria against anyone, and there has been scant debate over any of the goals that the U.S. claims to be pursuing there. The U.S. launches attacks inside Syria with no legal authority from the U.N. or Congress, and it strains credulity that any of these operations have anything to do with individual or collective self-defense. The U.S. wages war in Syria simply because it can.

    Obama expanded the war on ISIS into Syria over two years ago, and the U.S. was arming the opposition for at least more than a year before that. The U.S. has been a party to the war in Syria in one form or another for more than four years, but the underlying assumption that it is in our interest to take part in this war has not been seriously questioned by most members of Congress. The president had no authority to take the U.S. to war in Syria, and the current president still has no such authority. We are so accustomed to illegal warfare that we barely notice that the policy has never really been up for debate and has never been put to a vote. If this illegal warfare eventually leads us into a larger conflict, we will finally notice, but by then it will be too late.

    The latest episode with the Syrian jet shows the dangers that come from conducting a foreign policy unmoored from both the national interest and representative government. The Syrian jet was shot down because it was threatening rebels opposed to the Syrian government, and the U.S. is supporting those rebels up to and including destroying regime forces that attack them. The U.S. has no business supporting those rebels, and it has no right to have its military forces operating inside Syria. Shooting down a Syrian plane inside its own country under these circumstances is nothing less than an unprovoked act of war against another state. 14 Responses to Syria and Our Illegal Acts of War

  • K Street Loiterer , says: June 19, 2017 at 1:02 pm
    Along with a lot of other people who voted for Trump, I don't want us involved in the Syrian civil war. I have no idea what Trump thinks he's doing over there. Or why he is spending so much of his time and focus (and our money) on these worthless hellholes. He was supposed to get us out of there and focus on America.

    Yes, Congress should tell him to get out and stay out.

    liberal , says: June 19, 2017 at 1:14 pm
    Great, timely post. Tangling with another nuclear-armed power makes anyone with a brain in their head nervous.

    I've seen comments to the effect that "well, the Russian reaction to the cruise missile strike launched by Trump didn't involve much." Or that we ourselves wouldn't launch a nuclear attack over such small stakes, nor would Putin.

    Such commentary misses the real danger-slow escalation into a confrontation neither side is willing to back down from.

    I have kids, and while I care about (e.g.) the people in Yemen (and am sickened by both Trump's and Obama's actions there), I (like most humans) care even more about my own children. This nonsense puts them directly at risk, which really makes me angry (as if I wasn't angry enough at the blood on my hands with our actions re Yemen, etc).

    Chris Chuba , says: June 19, 2017 at 1:19 pm
    I know that Larison's point remains unchanged even if the Pentagon's account is 100% accurate but it is worth noting that it is likely fiction.

    The author of this website does a good job of coalescing sources from other locations to produce a timeline that shows that the Pentagon's account is largely fiction. Try to get over that he calls himself 'Moon of Alabama'
    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/06/syria-summary-us-attack-fails-to-disrupt-push-to-deir-ezzor.html

    Our MSM has not seriously questioned a Pentagon press release in 30yrs, so this gives them license to go further astray. Just look at how many times they revised the simply failed Yemeni raid story.

    We are playing a dangerous game here, I believe that our Generals really believe that the Russians will never respond to what we do. I believe that the Russians will eventually conclude that there is no point in showing restraint because it only invites further aggression.

    I just watched Oliver Stone's 'Putin' and one thing that I found striking was that Putin maintains that there is very little difference between U.S. Administrations but that he always maintains a little hope. Personally, I agree with his observation and think that he is being naive if he believes that anything will change. If he ever comes to the same conclusion then our military will be in for yet another surprise.

    Xenia Grant , says: June 19, 2017 at 2:36 pm
    The US is an imperialist country. In the days of the Cold War, the one good thing the USSR did was to be a barrier to American outreach. Too bad we don't have a good enough thorn sticking our paws and saying 'lay off and nation builders your own country!'
    No to neos , says: June 19, 2017 at 3:19 pm
    Maybe, to be good sports, the US government will allow the Russians to shoot down an American military plane over the US?