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Neoliberal Propaganda:
Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few

Journalism Vacation from Truth is a direct threat to democracy. Without journalistic integrity, there is no democracy as the average voter cannot make an informed choice. Inverted totalitarism won some time ago.

The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People! ~ Donald Trump

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

News Neoliberal newspeak Recommended Links US and British media are servants of security apparatus Tucker Carlson rejection of neoliberalism Neoliberal war on reality Demonization of Putin
NeoMcCartyism Integrity Initiative Journalists for Hire How the CIA Buys the News by Dr. Udo Ulfkotte Luke Harding: a pathetic author of book that rehash Steele Dossier Edward Lucas as agent provocateur William Browder, economic rape of Russia and Magnitsky Act Litvinenko poisoning
Charlie Hebdo - more questions then answers Manchester attack vs Charlie Hebdo Patterns of Propaganda Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment NYT degeneration into a deep state stooge Pussy Riot Provocation -- the hand of MI6?
Neoliberal war on reality Classic Hypocrisy of British Ruling Elite Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? Steele dossier The importance of controlling the narrative MSM as attack dogs of color revolution Anti Trump Hysteria
Corruption of the language Doublespeak Whataboutism as a thought crime Media-Military-Industrial Complex Freedom of speech played by Western MSM as three card monte The Deep State Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition
Discrediting the opponent as favorite tactic of neoliberals Purple revolution against Trump Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Deconstructing neoliberalism's definition of 'freedom' Co-opting of the Human Rights to embarrass governments who oppose neoliberalism Bullshit as MSM communication method Manipulation of the term "freedom of press"
MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage Cold War II "Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place Michael Wolff's "Fire and fury" revelations and slander of Trump administration Coordinated set of leaks as a color revolution tool Neo-fascism New American Militarism
Deception as an art form Diplomacy by deception Media as a weapon of mass deception Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair The attempt to secure global hegemony Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources Nation under attack meme
Lewis Powell Memo Anatol Leiven on American Messianism Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism What's the Matter with Kansas Groupthink Soft propaganda Boeing 737 MAX fiasco
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass The Good Soldier Svejk Nineteen Eighty-Four Brave New World 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.

jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com, Feb 04, 2015

I think journalists today — elite journalists at least — absorb the biases of the ruling neoliberal oligarchy 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 regurgitation of  talking points they were given. Seeing how they treat the concept of truth these days, one might think that 1984 dystopia was an understatement. 

Truth killing is a meta-issue ( nationalinterest.org

The problem is fundamental, and relates to a broad spectrum of policy issues both foreign and domestic, because truth — factual reality — is a necessary foundation to consider and evaluate and debate policy on any subject. 

Crushing the truth means not just our having to endure any one misdirected policy; it means losing the ability even to address policy intelligently. 

To the extent that falsehood is successfully instilled in the minds of enough people, the political system loses what would otherwise be its ability to provide a check on policy that is bad policy because it is inconsistent with factual reality.

I think it is good that people question their lying politicians and these lying, corrupt partisans pretending to be MSM pundits. If that means that MSM try to slander the people as “conspiracy theorists” you should take it with a grain of salt. I would rather be a conspiracy theorist than take anything CNN or FOX says as gospel. Or, God forbid, believe what US politicians say to justify thier action or inaction. Skepticism is good. These people don’t automatically deserve our trust. As Reagan said (translating Russian proverb) "Trust but verify".  

The angle under which this page views events and MSM can be called anti-neoliberal angle (please note that the term populism is the attempt to discredit any anti-neoliberal movement). Until recently such sites were a lone  voice. In 2019 this changed. See Tucker Carlson rejection of neoliberalism

If you take in television news as truthful information, that's all a critically thinking person needs to know about you. In reality 99% of political coverage is neoliberal propaganda, sometimes refined, sometimes crude.

Propaganda can be defined as a war on reality using fake news, disinformation, projection, witch-hunts (see neo_Mccarthhyism) and other methods. An attempt to create an artificial reality.

Propaganda can be defined as a war on reality using fake news, disinformation, projection, witch-hunts (see neo_Mccarthhyism)  and other methods. An attempt to create an artificial reality.  The key here is controlling the narrative.  For example, "fake news" hysteria is a perfect method of suppressing of dissent and questions about MSM ties to three-letter agencies: 

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

Simplifying, the US MSM foreign events media coverage (and large part of domestic coverage related to the opposition to neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization, see Anti Trump Hysteria during elections and immediately after them ) has little to do with the reality and is mostly a barometer of the paranoia of the US neoliberal elite.  It is 100% propaganda, or as CBS like to call it "fake news".

How does Fake History and Fake News in the US MSM gradually superseded their reality-based version (which never was perfect, and often quite distorted)  is a very interesting question but it is too big for this page. I would only say that this process is closely connected with the process of the neoliberalization of the US society which started in full force in late 70th (see also late Sheldon Wolin  notion of  Inverted Totalitarism) . We can take election of Reagan as a starting point although the process started immediately after WWII. From this point "fake news" were enforced on the US society as the only acceptable narrative? Which, is essence, is a real war on reality.

It also could be that the process started earlier, immediately after  WWII with the creation of CIA. The question whether  representative democracy is compatible with the existence large all-powerful and largely uncontrollable intelligence  agencies is another interesting question to ask.  At some point any society with powerful intelligence  agencies can come to the situation when the tail wags the dog. In the USA this probably happened  around 1963, with the JFK assassination.  In a way the USSR via Truman enforced its model of governance on the USA ;-). Creation of intelligence agencies by Truman was actually the act of the creation of national security state. Which could be  viewed as an official end of the US democracy and quick (less then two decades) rise to power of deep state (with the victory demonstrated to the US people in 1963).    With it the huge apparatus of state propaganda (and by extension means of suppressing of dissent) intelligence  agencies, which gradually acquired political power including considerable (but not yet absolute, that will come much later, after 9/11) level of control of MSM  (see Church Committee - Wikipedia ). 

After 1963, the level outrage in the society was such that there were some meek attempts to check this power, especially the power of intelligence agencies over the MSM (Church Committee - Wikipedia  was probably the most well known) but they lead to nowhere.

Principles of War propaganda

 Principles are are well known since the WWI (Falsehood in War-Time):

1. We do not want war.
2. The opposite party alone is guilty of war.
3. The enemy is the face of the devil.
4. We defend a noble cause, not our own interest.
5. The enemy systematically commits cruelties; our mishaps are involuntary.
6. The enemy uses forbidden weapons.
7. We suffer small losses, those of the enemy are enormous.
8. Artists and intellectuals back our cause.
9. Our cause is sacred. "The ages-old 'God bless America' is playing once more."
10. All who doubt our propaganda, are traitors.

The blog empirestrikesblack cites Belgian investigative journalist Michel Collon who has outlined five principles driving war propaganda:

  1. Obscure one’s economic interests;
  2. Appear humanitarian in work and motivations;
  3. Obscure history;
  4. Demonize the enemy; and
  5. Monopolize the flow of information.

Neo McCarthyism

Neo McCarthyism campaign which was launched around mid 2016 by Democratic Party operatives as tactical tool to distract attention from DNC corruption and illegal removal of Bernie Sanders from the Democratic ticket after lection of Trump turned into important component of color revolution against Trump. And was fueled not only by MSM but also powerful factions of neoliberals and neocons in US intelligence agencies concerted about their future and the level of financing of "national security parasites".  They also have skeletons in the closet to hide (especially FBI and CIA) and did not prepare well to the Trump victory as this was a huge surprise for everybody including Trump himself.  See Steele dossier and Strzok-gate

Please note that the original McCarthyism campaign lasted more then a decade. And McCarthyism was not exactly or only about Communist infiltration into the US government. It has elements of a more general framework of suppressing any "dissidents" who question "official narrative" and simultaneously served as the framework of brainwashing of population creating a stereotype of enemy, in best Bolsheviks, or, if you wish Nazi Germany, style. In other words, like in famous Orwell novel 1984, under McCarthyism questioning of official narrative has  become a "though  crime" (much like it was in the USSR, especially under Stalinism period).   And repressions were real, although far less extensive and brutal, than in the USSR in 30th.  Thousands of people lost jobs and were blacklisted. Many ostracized, especially from artistic circles, committed suicides.

While Senator McCartney has a certain gist for blackmailing people and, being an alcoholic, he probably would be a suitable candidate for high position in NKVD, he was not a pioneer. He was just a talented follower. This type of modern witch hunt was first implemented on large scale by Bolsheviks in Russia after 1917.  Actually Bolsheviks originated many modern methods of brainwashing of the population.  Which later were enhanced and further developed in Nazi Germany and than imported to the USA after WWII.

That all brings us to the concept of "deep state" and its control of MSM.  The problem with the "deep state" approach to governance is that it replicates Bolshevism on a new, more polished,  level, with high officials of intelligence agencies, Wall Street and  military industrial complex as a new Politburo.  Which is not elected but still controls that nations. So much for remnants of democracy in the USA.  That does not mean that some deviations from the "Party line" are impossible: the election of Trump is one  such event. But loop at the power of the reaction of the "deep state" on this event. Not that Trump (who can be viewed as some kind of Republican "Change we can believe in" Obama" ) was intended to follow his election promises in any case.  The level of vetting of candidates is two party system probably is higher then many of us suspect.

As currently there is no alternative to neoliberalism, the current situation will continue to exist. Notwithstanding  the fact that neoliberal ideology was discredited after 2008 financial crisis, much like Bolshevism in 60th. Bolshevism as a theocratic ideology was essentially dead after WWII (although it managed to kick the can down the road for another 45 years). After 60the Soviet people despite constant brainwashing started to have wide-ranging doubts about the communist state and communist ideology. Listening to state-sponsored propaganda radio-stations from the West such as BBC and Voice of America became national pasture of Soviet citizens, especially educated one. Despite all the jamming.  Similar situation happened with the USA after 2008, when citizen suddenly start showing some level of interest RT broadcasts and views on internal situation in the USA ;-). And, of cause, all this needs to be  stopped. In the name of the "health of the state", democracy be dumned (religious term which literally means "condemned to eternal punishment")

In this particular sense, imitating the enemy by the USA elite after WWII, which was done to fight communist  threat (which was overblown) was a very dangerous course with far reaching consequences.  The new level of this process of "imitating  the enemy" now started with the USA -- the rise of alternative press (kind of Samizdat replica from Soviet past) and clumsy attempt of the deep state to suppress it claiming that they are propagator of "fake news" with the subtext that they are Russian agents  (the campaign which spectacularly backfired: which the help of President Trump tweets this term now became the standard nickname of the "official" US MSM).  That brings us directly to revising Stalin's "Show trials" and corresponding witch-hunt in the USSR.  Appointing  Muller to investigate Trump for "Russian connection" (so called "Russiagate") replays favorite theme of accusing enemies of Stalin of being British agents.  On a new level incorporating set of political technologies of overthrowing the legitimate government commonly known  as "color revolution" technologies. But in both cases it is all about eliminating political rivals.

In broader context the current practice of manipulating population is similar to "high demand cults" style practice  -- Bolshevism actually can be best viewed as a religious cult merged with the political movement, much like political Islam today ( Belief-coercion in high demand cults ):

They use all of the techniques as "low demand" faith groups use: requiring members to accept a system of beliefs, conforming to certain behavioral norms; expecting them to involve themselves in the life of the congregation, etc. However, mind-control groups add many additional methods, and take them all to a much higher level. Some are:

Members are not physically restrained from leaving the group. They are not held prisoner. They can walk away at any time. But there are strong pressures to remain. If they left, all social and emotional support would disappear; they will often be shunned. Some groups teach that God will abandon or punish them if they leave. They may be told that they will die in the imminent war of Armageddon if they leave the protection of the group.

The main methods here always was the generation and totalitarian control of "suitable" narrative (that's why Sheldon Wolin called neoliberal society "inverted totalitarism"):

"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. "

Gerald Celente coined the  "presstitutes", which is obviously politically incorrect, but still reasonably precise term: presstitutes sell themselves to neoliberal establishment for access and governments to prosper financially and to keep their jobs. In the USSR journalist were called "soldiers of the Party" so in the less humiliating way we can call them "soldiers of neoliberal establishment" ;-). 

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


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"It tends to be all accurate, but not in an over-all context."

Donald Rumsfeld

"Citizens must be alert to propaganda and
glittering generalities is a type of propaganda
which often uses words such as freedom and patriotism."

"Civics in Practice". Page 274

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[Mar 24, 2019] Mueller-D mmerung by C.J. Hopkins

Mar 24, 2019 | www.unz.com

If Nietzsche was right, and what doesn't kill us only makes us stronger, we can thank the global capitalist ruling classes, the Democratic Party, and the corporate media for four more years of Donald Trump. The long-awaited Mueller report is due any day now, or so they keep telling us. Once it is delivered, and does not prove that Trump is a Russian intelligence asset, or that he personally conspired with Vladimir Putin to steal the presidency from Hillary Clinton, well, things are liable to get a bit awkward. Given the amount of goalpost-moving and focus-shifting that has been going on, clearly, this is what everyone's expecting.

Honestly, I'm a bit surprised. I was sure they were going to go ahead and fabricate some kind of "smoking gun" evidence (like the pee-stained sheets from that Moscow hotel), or coerce one of his sleazy minions into testifying that he personally saw Trump down on his knees "colluding" Putin in the back room of a Russian sauna. After all, if you're going to accuse a sitting president of being a Russian intelligence asset, you kind of need to be able to prove it, or (a) you defeat the whole purpose of the exercise, (b) you destroy your own credibility, and (c) you present that sitting president with a powerful weapon he can use to bury you.

This is not exactly rocket science. As any seasoned badass will tell you, when you're resolving a conflict with another seasoned badass, you don't take out a gun unless you're going to use it. Taking a gun out, waving it around, and not shooting the other badass with it, is generally not a winning strategy. What often happens, if you're dumb enough to do that, is that the other badass will take your gun from you and either shoot you or beat you senseless with it.

This is what Trump is about to do with Russiagate. When the Mueller report fails to present any evidence that he "colluded" with Russia to steal the election, Trump is going to reach over, grab that report, roll it up tightly into a makeshift cudgel, and then beat the snot out of his opponents with it. He is going to explain to the American people that the Democrats, the corporate media, Hollywood, the liberal intelligentsia, and elements of the intelligence agencies conspired to try to force him out of office with an unprecedented propaganda campaign and a groundless special investigation. He is going to explain to the American people that Russiagate, from start to finish, was, in his words, a ridiculous "witch hunt," a childish story based on nothing. Then he's going to tell them a different story.

That story goes a little something like this

Back in November of 2016, the American people were so fed up with the neoliberal oligarchy that everyone knows really runs the country that they actually elected Donald Trump president. They did this fully aware that Trump was a repulsive, narcissistic ass clown who bragged about "grabbing women by the pussy" and jabbered about building "a big, beautiful wall" and making the Mexican government pay for it. They did this fully aware of the fact that Donald Trump had zero experience in any political office whatsoever, and was a loudmouth bigot, and was possibly out of his gourd on amphetamines half the time. The American people did not care. They were so disgusted with being conned by arrogant, two-faced, establishment stooges like the Clintons, the Bushes, and Barack Obama that they chose to put Donald Trump in office, because, fuck it, what did they have to lose?

The oligarchy that runs the country responded to the American people's decision by inventing a completely cock-and-bull story about Donald Trump being a Russian agent who the American people were tricked into voting for by nefarious Russian mind-control operatives, getting every organ of the liberal corporate media to disseminate and relentlessly promote this story on a daily basis for nearly three years, and appointing a special prosecutor to conduct an official investigation in order to lend it the appearance of legitimacy. Every component of the ruling establishment (i.e., the government, the media, the intelligence agencies, the liberal intelligentsia, et al.) collaborated in an unprecedented effort to remove an American president from office based on a bunch of made-up horseshit which kind of amounts to an attempted soft coup.

This is the story Donald Trump is going to tell the American people.

A minority of ideological heretics on what passes for the American Left are going to help him tell this story, not because we support Donald Trump, but because we believe that the mass hysteria and authoritarian fanaticism that has been manufactured over the course of Russiagate represents a danger greater than Trump. It has reached some neo-Riefenstahlian level, this bug-eyed, spittle-flecked, cult-like behavior worse even than the mass hysteria that gripped most Americans back in 2003, when they cheered on the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and the murder, rape, and torture of hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children based on a bunch of made-up horseshit.

We are going to be vilified, we leftist heretics, for helping Trump tell Americans this story. We are going to be denounced as Trumpenleft traitors , Putin-sympathizers, and Nazi-adjacents (as we were denounced as terrorist-sympathizers and Saddam-loving traitors back in 2003). We are going to be denounced as all these things by liberals, and by other leftists. We are going to be warned that pointing out how the government, the media, and the intelligence agencies all worked together to sell people Russiagate will only get Trump reelected, and, if that happens, it will be the End of Everything.

It will not be the End of Everything.

What might, however, be the End of Everything, or might lead us down the road to the End of Everything, is if otherwise intelligent human beings continue to allow themselves to be whipped into fits of mass hysteria and run around behaving like a mindless herd of propaganda-regurgitating zombies whenever the global capitalist ruling classes tell them that "the Russians are coming!" or that "the Nazis are coming!" or that "the Terrorists are coming!"

The Russo-Nazi Terrorists are not coming. The global capitalist ruling classes are putting down a populist insurgency , delegitimizing any and all forms of dissent from their global capitalist ideology and resistance to the hegemony of global capitalism. In the process, they are conditioning people to completely abandon their critical faculties and behave like twitching Pavlovian idiots who will obediently respond to whatever stimuli or blatantly fabricated propaganda the corporate media bombards them with.

If you want a glimpse of the dystopian future it isn't an Orwellian boot in your face. It's Invasion of the Body Snatchers . Study the Russiagate believers' reactions to the Mueller report when it is finally delivered. Observe the bizarre intellectual contortions their minds perform to rationalize their behavior over the last three years. Trust me, it will not be pretty. Cognitive dissonance never is.

Or, who knows, maybe the Russiagate gang will pull a fast one at the eleventh hour, and accuse Robert Mueller of Putinist sympathies (or appearing in that FSB video of Trump's notorious Moscow pee-party), and appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the special prosecutor. That should get them through to 2020!

C. J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and political satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing (UK) and Broadway Play Publishing (USA). His debut novel, ZONE 23 , is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant Paperbacks. He can be reached at cjhopkins.com or consentfactory.org .

[Mar 24, 2019] Move over Wile E. Coyote. Your feckless, futile efforts to kill the Roadrunner have been displaced by Jim Comey, John Brennan, James Clapper and legions of faux journalists

Mar 24, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Move over Wile E. Coyote. Your feckless, futile efforts to kill the Roadrunner have been displaced by Jim Comey, John Brennan, James Clapper and legions of faux journalists. One of the leaders of this parade of bewilderment and buffoonery is my old pal, Chris Matthews (I did his show multiple times). How can such a smart guy be such a dummy?

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

If you want to get to the heart of the matter of whether or not Donald Trump was in bed with Putin and received vast, secret Russian help to vanquish Hillary Clinton in 2016 you only need to ask one person-- FELIX SATER . Go back and read my previous pieces on Felix. He has been an FBI informant since December 1998. His specialty? HELPING THE FBI MAKE CASES AGAINST RUSSIAN MOBSTERS AND RUSSIAN SPIES.

[Mar 24, 2019] With RussiaGate Over Where's Hillary

Mar 24, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Anyone with three working brain cells knew this, including 'Miss' Maddow, whose tears of disappointment are particularly delicious.

Robert Mueller's investigation was designed from the beginning to create something out of nothing. It did this admirably.

It was so effective it paralyzed the country for more than two years, just like Europe has been held hostage by Brexit. And all of this because, in the end, the elites I call The Davos Crowd refused to accept that the people no longer believed their lies about the benefits of their neoliberal, globalist agenda.

Hillary Clinton's ascension to the Presidency was to be their apotheosis along with the Brexit vote. These were meant to lay to rest, once and for all time, the vaguely libertarian notion that people should rule themselves and not be ruled by philosopher kings in some distant land.

Hillary's failure was enormous. And the RussiaGate gambit to destroy Trump served a laundry list of purposes to cover it:

  1. Undermine his legitimacy before he even takes office.
  2. Accuse him of what Hillary actually did: collude with Russians and Ukrainians to effect the outcome of the election
  3. Paralyze Trump on his foreign policy desires to scale back the Empire
  4. Give aid and comfort to hurting progressives and radicalize them further undermining our political system
  5. Polarize the electorate over the false choice of Trump's guilt.
  6. Paralyze the Dept. of Justice and Congress so that they would not uncover the massive corruption in the intelligence agencies in the U.S. and the U.K.
  7. Isolate Trump and take away every ally or potential ally he could have by turning them against him through prosecutor overreach.

Hillary should have been thrown to the wolves after she failed. When you fail the people she failed and cost them the money she cost them, you lose more than just your funding. What this tells you is that Hillary has so much dirt on everyone involved, once this thing started everyone went along with it lest she burn them down as well.

[Mar 24, 2019] Rashel Madcow now looks like idiot; But that was evlident long before Mueller submitted his report

An 'Exceptional Nation' ? Really?? With people like Rachel Madcow???
Notable quotes:
"... Putin should sue the Democratic Party for defamation. ..."
"... No surprise here. What does surprise me is how Adam Schiftless keeps going like the energizer bunny. ..."
Mar 24, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

... Never stop mocking their idiotic Rachel Maddow worship. Never stop mocking the Robert Mueller prayer candles.

Carioca Canuck , 13 minutes ago link

Putin should sue the Democratic Party for defamation.

Farts and Leaves , 17 minutes ago link

No surprise here. What does surprise me is how Adam Schiftless keeps going like the energizer bunny.

[Mar 24, 2019] With RussiaGate there real winner is Hillary

Mar 24, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Anyone with three working brain cells knew this, including 'Miss' Maddow, whose tears of disappointment are particularly delicious.

Koba the dread, 32 minutes ago

Hillary is the epitome of envy.

Your spelling is atrocious. Let me correct it.

Hillary is the epitome of evil.

There, that does it.

consider me gone, 39 minutes ago(Edited)

Go on and laugh it up, but if she hangs herself, you'll all sorry then. Or if she jumped in front of a train you'd all feel really bad. Or if she stumbled off a cliff in a drunken stupor. Or eaten by a shark. Or hit by a meteor. Or was horribly mauled and disfigured by a gas-powered dildo run amuck.

You wouldn't be laughing then!

[Mar 23, 2019] Killing for Credibility A Look Back at the 1999 NATO Air War on Serbia by Brett Wilkins

Mar 23, 2019 | original.antiwar.com

This month marks the 20th anniversary of Operation Allied Force, NATO's 78-day air war against Yugoslavia. It was a war waged as much against Serbian civilians – hundreds of whom perished – as it was against Slobodan Milošević's forces, and it was a campaign of breathtaking hypocrisy and selective outrage. More than anything, it was a war that by President Bill Clinton's own admission was fought for the sake of NATO's credibility.

One Man's Terrorist

Our story begins not in the war-torn Balkans of the 1990s but rather in the howling wilderness of Afghanistan at the end of the 1980s as defeated Soviet invaders withdrew from a decade of guerrilla warfare into the twilight of a once-mighty empire. The United States, which had provided arms, funding and training for the mujahideen fighters who had so bravely resisted the Soviet occupation, stopped supporting the jihadis as soon as the last Red Army units rolled across the Hairatan Bridge and back into the USSR. Afghanistan descended deeper into civil war.

The popular narrative posits that Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda network, Washington's former mujahideen allies, turned on the West after the US stationed hundreds of thousands of infidel troops in Saudi Arabia – home to two out of three of Sunni Islam's holiest sites – during Operation Desert Shield in 1990. Since then, the story goes, the relationship between the jihadists and their former benefactors has been one of enmity, characterized by sporadic terror attacks and fierce US retribution. The real story, however, is something altogether different.

From 1992 to 1995, the Pentagon flew thousands of al-Qaeda mujahideen, often accompanied by US Special Forces, from Central Asia to Europe to reinforce Bosnian Muslims as they fought Serbs to gain their independence from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The Clinton administration armed and trained these fighters in flagrant violation of United Nations accords; weapons purchased by Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran were secretly shipped to the jihadists via Croatia, which netted a hefty profit from each transaction. The official Dutch inquiry into the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, in which thousands of Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) men and boys were slaughtered by Bosnian Serb and Serbian paramilitary forces, concluded that the United States was "very closely involved" in these arms transfers.

When the Bosnian war ended in 1995 the United States was faced with the problem of thousands of Islamist warriors on European soil. Many of them joined the burgeoning Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), which mainly consisted of ethnic Albanian Kosovars from what was still southwestern Yugoslavia. Emboldened by the success of the Slovenes, Croats, Macedonians and Bosnians who had won their independence from Belgrade as Yugoslavia literally balkanized, KLA fighters began to violently expel as many non-Albanians from Kosovo as they could. Roma, Jews, Turks and, above all, Serbs were all victims of Albanian ethnic cleansing.

The United States was initially very honest in its assessment of the KLA. Robert Gelbard, the US special envoy to Bosnia, called it "without any question a terrorist group." KLA backers allegedly included Osama bin Laden and other Islamic radicals; the group largely bankrolled its activities by trafficking heroin and sex slaves. The State Department accordingly added the KLA to its list of terrorist organizations in 1998.

However, despite all its nastiness the KLA endeared itself to Washington by fighting the defiant Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milošević. By this time Yugoslavia, once composed of eight nominally autonomous republics, had been reduced by years of bloody civil war to a rump of Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo. To Serbs, the dominant ethnic group in what remained of the country, Kosovo is regarded as the very birthplace of their nation. Belgrade wasn't about to let it go without a fight and everyone knew it, especially the Clinton administration. Clinton's hypocrisy was immediately evident; when Chechnya fought for its independence from Moscow and Russian forces committed horrific atrocities in response, the American president called the war an internal Russian affair and barely criticized Russian President Boris Yeltsin. But when Milošević resorted to brute force in an attempt to prevent Yugoslavia from further fracturing, he soon found himself a marked man.

Although NATO called the KLA "the main initiator of the violence" in Kosovo and blasted "what appears to be a deliberate campaign of provocation" against the Serbs, the Clinton administration was nevertheless determined to attack the Milošević regime. US intelligence confirmed that the KLA was indeed provoking harsh retaliatory strikes by Serb forces in a bid to draw the United States and NATO into the conflict. President Clinton, however, apparently wasn't listening. The NATO powers, led by the United States, issued Milošević an ultimatum they knew he could never accept: allow NATO to occupy all of Kosovo and have free reign in Serbia as well. Assistant US Secretary of State James Rubin later admitted that "publicly we had to make clear we were seeking an agreement but privately we knew the chances of the Serbs agreeing were quite small."

Wagging the Dog?

In 1997 the film Wag the Dog debuted to rave reviews. The dark comedy concerns a Washington, DC spin doctor and a Hollywood producer who fabricate a fictional war in Albania to distract American voters from a presidential sex scandal. Many observers couldn't help but draw parallels between the film and the real-life events of 1998-99, which included the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Clinton's impeachment and a very real war brewing in the Balkans. As in Wag the Dog , there were exaggerated or completely fabricated tales of atrocities, and as in the film the US and NATO powers tried to sell their war as a humanitarian intervention. An attack on Yugoslavia, we were told, was needed to avert Serb ethnic cleansing of Albanians.

There were two main problems with this. First, there was no Serb ethnic cleansing of Albanian Kosovars until after NATO began mercilessly bombing Yugoslavia. The German government issued several reports confirming this. One, from October 1998, reads, in part:

The violent actions of the Yugoslav military and police since February 1998 were aimed at separatist activities and are no proof of a persecution of the whole Albanian ethnic group in Kosovo or a part of it. What was involved in the Yugoslav violent actions and excesses since February 1998 was a selective forcible action against the military underground movement (especially the KLA) A state program or persecution aimed at the whole ethnic group of Albanians exists neither now nor earlier.

Subsequent German government reports issued through the winter of 1999 tell a similar story. "Events since February and March 1998 do not evidence a persecution program based on Albanian ethnicity," stated one report released exactly one month before the NATO bombing started. "The measures taken by the armed Serbian forces are in the first instance directed toward combating the KLA and its supposed adherents and supporters."

While Serbs certainly did commit atrocities (especially after the ferocious NATO air campaign began), these were often greatly exaggerated by the Clinton administration and the US corporate mainstream media. Clinton claimed – and the media dutifully parroted – that 600,000 Albanians were "trapped within Kosovo lacking shelter, short of food, afraid to go home or buried in mass graves." This was completely false . US diplomat David Scheffer claimed that "225,000 ethnic Albanian men are missing, presumed dead." Again, a total fabrication . The FBI, International War Crimes Tribunal and global forensics experts flocked to Kosovo in droves after the NATO bombs stopped falling; the total number of victims they found was around 1 percent of the figure claimed by the United States.

However, once NATO attacked, the Serb response was predictably furious. Shockingly, NATO commander Gen. Wesley Clark declared that the ensuing Serbian atrocities against the Albanian Kosovar population had been "fully anticipated" and were apparently of little concern to Washington. Not only did NATO and the KLA provoke a war with Yugoslavia, they did so knowing that many innocent civilians would be killed, maimed or displaced by the certain and severe reprisals carried out by enraged Serb forces. Michael McGwire, a former top NATO planner, acknowledged that "to describe the bombing as a humanitarian intervention is really grotesque."

Bloody Hypocrites

The other big problem with the US claiming it was attacking Yugoslavia on humanitarian grounds was that the Clinton administration had recently allowed – and was at the time allowing – far worse humanitarian catastrophes to rage without American intervention. More than 800,000 men, women and children were slaughtered while Clinton and other world leaders stood idly by during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The US also courted the medievally brutal Taliban regime in hopes of achieving stability in Afghanistan and with an eye toward building a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan. Clinton also did nothing to stop Russian forces from viciously crushing nationalist uprisings in the Caucuses, where Chechen rebels were fighting for their independence much the same as Albanian Kosovars were fighting the Serbs.

Colombia, the Western Hemisphere's leading recipient of US military and economic aid, was waging a fierce, decades-long campaign of terror against leftist insurgents and long-suffering indigenous peoples. Despite horrific brutality and pervasive human rights violations, US aid to Bogotá increased year after year. In Turkey, not only did Clinton do nothing to prevent government forces from committing widespread atrocities against Kurdish separatists, the administration positively encouraged its NATO ally with billions of dollars in loans and arms sales. Saudi Arabia, home to the most repressive fundamentalist regime this side of Afghanistan, was – and remains – a favored US ally despite having one of the world's worst human rights records. The list goes on and on.

Much closer to the conflict at hand, the United States tacitly approved the largest ethnic cleansing campaign in Europe since the Holocaust when as many as 200,000 Serbs were forcibly expelled from the Krajina region of Croatia by that country's US-trained military during Operation Storm in August 1995. Krajina Serbs had purged the region of its Croat minority four years earlier in their own ethnic cleansing campaign; now it was the Serbs' turn to be on the receiving end of the horror. Croatian forces stormed through Krajina, shelling towns and slaughtering innocent civilians. The sick and the elderly who couldn't escape were executed or burned alive in their homes as Croatian soldiers machine-gunned convoys of fleeing refugees.

"Painful for the Serbs"

Washington's selective indignation at Serb crimes both real and imagined is utterly inexcusable when held up to the horrific and seemingly indiscriminate atrocities committed during the NATO air campaign against Yugoslavia. The prominent Australian journalist John Pilger noted that "in the attack on Serbia, 2 percent of NATO's missiles hit military targets, the rest hit hospitals, schools, factories, churches and broadcast studios." There is little doubt that US and allied warplanes and missiles were targeting the Serbian people as much as, or even more than, Serb forces. The bombing knocked out electricity in 70 percent of the country as well as much of its water supply.

NATO warplanes also deliberately bombed a building containing the headquarters of Serbian state television and radio in the middle of densely populated central Belgrade. The April 23, 1999 attack occurred without warning while 200 employees were at work in the building. Among the 16 people killed were a makeup artist, a cameraman, a program director, an editor and three security guards. There is no doubt that the attack was meant to demoralize the Serbian people. There is also no doubt that those who ordered the bombing knew exactly what outcome to expect: a NATO planning document viewed by Bill Clinton, UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and French President Jacques Chirac forecast as many as 350 deaths in the event of such an attack, with as many as 250 of the victims expected to be innocent civilians living in nearby apartments.

Allied commanders wanted to fight a "zero casualty war" in Yugoslavia. As in zero casualties for NATO forces, not the people they were bombing. "This will be painful for the Serbs," Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon sadistically predicted. It sure was. NATO warplanes flew sorties at 15,000 feet (4,500 meters), a safe height for the pilots. But this decreased accuracy and increased civilian casualties on the ground. One attack on central Belgrade mistakenly hit Dragiša Mišović hospital with a laser-guided "precision" bomb, obliterating an intensive care unit and destroying a children's ward while wounding several pregnant women who had the misfortune of being in labor at the time of the attack. Dragana Krstić, age 23, was recovering from cancer surgery – she just had a 10-pound (4.5 kg) tumor removed from her stomach – when the bombs blew jagged shards of glass into her neck and shoulders. "I don't know which hurts more," she lamented, "my stomach, my shoulder or my heart."

Dragiša Mišović wasn't the only hospital bombed by NATO. Cluster bombs dropped by fighter jets of the Royal Netherlands Air Force struck a hospital and a market in the city of Niš on May 7, killing 15 people and wounding 60 more. An emergency clinic and medical dispensary were also bombed in the mining town of Aleksinac on April 6, killing at least five people and wounding dozens more.

Bridges were favorite targets of NATO bombing. An international passenger train traveling from Belgrade to Thessaloniki, Greece was blown apart by two missiles as it crossed over Grdelica gorge on April 12. Children and a pregnant woman were among the 15 people killed in the attack; 16 other passengers were wounded. Allied commander Gen. Wesley Clark claimed the train, which had been damaged by the first missile, had been traveling too rapidly for the pilot to abort the second strike on the bridge. He then offered up a doctored video that was sped up more than three times so that the pilot's behavior would appear acceptable.

On May 1, at least 24 civilians, many of them children, were killed when NATO warplanes bombed a bridge in Lužane just as a bus was crossing. An ambulance rushing to the scene of the carnage was struck by a second bomb. On the sunny spring afternoon of May 30, a bridge over the Velika Morava River in the small town of Vavarin was bombed by low-flying German Air Force F-16 fighters while hundreds of local residents gathered nearby to celebrate an Orthodox Christian holiday. Eleven people died, most of them when the warplanes returned and bombed the people who rushed to the bridge to help those wounded in the first strike.

No One Is Safe

The horrors suffered by the villagers of Surdulica shows that no one in Serbia was safe from NATO's fury. They endured some 175 bombardments during one three-week period alone, with 50 houses destroyed and 600 others damaged in a town with only around 10,000 residents. On April 27, 20 civilians, including 12 children, died when bombs meant to destroy an army barracks slammed into a residential neighborhood. As many as 100 others were wounded in the incident. Tragedy befell the tiny town again on May 31 when NATO warplanes returned to bomb an ammunition depot but instead hit an old people's home; 23 civilians, most of them helpless elderly men and women, were blown to pieces. Dozens more were wounded. The US military initially said "there were no errant weapons" in the attack. However, Deputy Defense Secretary John Hamre later testified before Congress that it "was a case of the pilot getting confused."

The CIA was also apparently confused when it relied on what it claimed was an outdated map to approve a Stealth Bomber strike on what turned out to be the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade. Three Chinese journalists were killed and 27 other people were wounded. Some people aren't so sure the attack was an accident – Britain's Observer later reported that the US deliberately bombed the embassy after discovering it was being used to transmit Yugoslav army communications.

There were plenty of other accidents, some of them horrifically tragic and others just downright bizarre. Two separate attacks on the very Albanians NATO was claiming to help killed 160 people, many of them women and children. On April 14, NATO warplanes bombed refugees along a 12-mile (19-km) stretch of road between the towns of Gjakova and Deçan in western Kosovo, killing 73 people including 16 children and wounding 36 more. Journalists reported a grisly scene of "bodies charred or blown to pieces, tractors reduced to twisted wreckage and houses in ruins." Exactly one month later, another column of refugees was bombed near Koriša, killing 87 – mostly women, children and the elderly – and wounding 60 others. In the downright bizarre category, a wildly errant NATO missile struck a residential neighborhood in the Bulgarian capital Sofia, some 40 miles (64 km) outside of Serbia. The American AGM-88 HARM missile blew the roof off of a man's house while he was shaving in his bathroom.

NATO's "Murderous Thugs"

As the people of Yugoslavia were being terrorized by NATO's air war, the terrorists of the Kosovo Liberation Army stepped up their atrocities against Serbs and Roma in Kosovo. NATO troops deployed there to keep the peace often failed to protect these people from the KLA's brutal campaign. More than 164,000 Serbs fled or were forcibly driven from the Albanian-dominated province and by the summer of 2001 KLA ethnic cleansing had rendered Kosovo almost entirely Albanian, with just a few die-hard Serb holdouts living in fear and surrounded by barbed wire.

The KLA soon expanded its war into neighboring Macedonia. Although NATO Secretary-General Lord Robertson called the terror group "murderous thugs," the United States – now with George W. Bush as president – continued to offer its invaluable support. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice personally intervened in an attempt to persuade Ukraine to halt arms sales to the Macedonian army and when a group of 400 KLA fighters were surrounded at Aracinovo in June 2001, NATO ordered Macedonian forces to hold off their attack while a convoy of US Army vehicles rescued the besieged militants. It later emerged that 17 American military advisers were embedded with the KLA at Aracinovo.

Credibility Conundrum

The bombing of Yugoslavia was really about preserving the credibility of the United States and NATO. The alliance's saber rattling toward Belgrade had painted it into a corner from which the only way out was with guns blazing. Failure to follow threats with deadly action, said President Clinton, "would discredit NATO." Clinton added that "our mission is clear, to demonstrate the seriousness of NATO's purpose." The president seemed willfully ignorant of NATO's real purpose, which is to defend member states from outside attack. British Prime Minister Tony Blair agreed with Clinton, declaring on the eve of the war that "to walk away now would destroy NATO's credibility." Gary Dempsey, a foreign policy analyst at the libertarian Cato Institute, wrote that the Clinton administration "transformed a conflict that posed no threat to the territorial integrity, national sovereignty or general welfare of the United States into a major test of American resolve."

Waging or prolonging war for credibility's sake is always dangerous and seems always to yield disastrous results. Tens of thousands of US troops and many times as many Vietnamese, Laotian and Cambodian soldiers and civilians died while Richard Nixon sought an "honorable" way out of Vietnam. Ronald Reagan's dogged defense of US credibility cost the lives of 299 American and French troops killed in Hezbollah's 1983 Beirut barracks bombing. This time, ensuring American credibility meant backing the vicious KLA – some of whose fighters had trained at Osama bin Laden's terror camps in Afghanistan. This, despite the fact that al-Qaeda had already been responsible for deadly attacks against the United States, including the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.

It is highly questionable whether bombing Yugoslavia affirmed NATO's credibility in the short term. In the long term, it certainly did not. The war marked the first and only time NATO had ever attacked a sovereign state. It did so unilaterally, absent any threat to any member nation, and without the approval of the United Nations Security Council. "If NATO can go for military action without international blessing, it calls into question the reliability of NATO as a security partner," Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, then Moscow's ambassador to NATO, told me at a San Francisco reception.

Twenty years later, Operation Allied force has been all but forgotten in the United States. In a country that has been waging nonstop war on terrorism for almost the entire 21st century, the 1999 NATO air war is but a footnote in modern American history. Serbs, however, still seethe at the injustice and hypocrisy of it all. The bombed-out ruins of the old Yugoslav Ministry of Defense, Radio Television of Serbia headquarters and other buildings serve as constant, painful reminders of the horrors endured by the Serbian people in service of NATO's credibility.

Brett Wilkins is a San Francisco-based author and activist. His work, which focuses on issues of war and peace and human rights, is archived at www.brettwilkins.com

Read more by Brett Wilkins

[Mar 23, 2019] Former CIA Director John Brennan Bashed on Twitter for Inaccurate Prediction of Coming Mueller Indictments by Chris Morran

Mar 23, 2019 | www.newsweek.com

Now that Robert Mueller has closed his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election without bringing any new indictments, some Twitter users have lashed out at former at political analyst and former CIA director for his recent prediction that Mueller would be bringing additional charges before finishing his probe.

Brennan appeared on MSNBC earlier this month, where he predicted that the special counsel's office would soon be bringing indictments to add to the list of 34 individuals already charged by Mueller's team.

In that interview, Brennan also opined that he expected that any indictment of anyone close to President Trump, including his family or extended family, would be named at the conclusion of the investigation.

"Bob Mueller and his team knows if he were to do something -- indicting a Trump family member or if he were to go forward with indictment on criminal conspiracy involving U.S. persons -- that would basically be the death of the special counsel's office, because I don't believe Donald Trump would allow Bob Mueller to continue in the aftermath of those types of actions," Brennan explained at the time.

Yet Mueller closed his investigation without bringing any further indictments and without any charges being brought against anyone within Trump's closest circle. The president's supporters and others took this opportunity to pounce on Brennan via Twitter.

Journalist Glenn Greenwald, who has been openly critical of the Russia investigation, was among the first to call out Brennan's indictment prediction.

"You can't blame MSNBC viewers for being confused," tweeted Greenwald in the wake of news that Mueller had submitted his report. "They largely kept dissenters from their Trump/Russia spy tale off the air for 2 years. As recently as 2 weeks ago, they had @JohnBrennan strongly suggesting Mueller would indict Trump family members on collusion as his last act"

He later added, "The worst part of this video is how Brennan said Mueller would indict Trump Family members for conspiring with Russia before March 15 or after, because he was too noble to do it on the Ides of March. Will MSNBC or Brennan apologize? Will there be consequences for any of this? LOL"

Conservative political pundit Charlie Kirk listed Brenna on a list of other frequent targets -- Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, among others -- of people who should be investigated, though it was not clear which laws Kirk believes any of these individuals might have broken.

Actor Dean Cain likened Brennan's indictment prediction to Vermont Governor Howard Dean's infamous "Dean Scream" that helped to tank Dean's 2004 presidential campaign.

Conservative political consultant Frank Luntz used the incorrect Brennan prediction to criticize media outlets for what he saw as a failure to acknowledge errors on their part.

... ... ...

[Mar 23, 2019] the Chinese simply don't play fair

Mar 23, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Jay Gallivan , March 23, 2019 at 8:00 am

" the Chinese simply don't play fair "

An American and European elites do?

https://eus.rubiconproject.com/usync.html

https://acdn.adnxs.com/ib/static/usersync/v3/async_usersync.html

https://c.deployads.com/sync?f=html&s=2343&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nakedcapitalism.com%2F2019%2F03%2Fairbus-and-boeing-are-signing-economic-suicide-pacts-with-china.html

Ignacio , March 23, 2019 at 8:38 am

You may consider that chinese don't play fair, it also migth be considered that Airbus strategy is just another way of economic colonization and to prevent the surge of new competitors maintaining the duopoly. Is it fair?

Given the recent drift of political geostrategy leaded by the US in which anything is "fair" to defend particular interests, my opinion is that China interest on developing their own airplane industry is not only fair but very reasonable. One wonders when the US will put in place another arbitrary ban.

Fairness is gone with the wind

[Mar 23, 2019] Mock The Russiagaters. Mock Them Ruthlessly by Caitlin Johnstone

Mar 23, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

The Robert Mueller investigation which monopolized political discourse for two years has finally concluded , and his anxiously awaited report has been submitted to Attorney General William Barr. The results are in and the debate is over: those advancing the conspiracy theory that the Kremlin has infiltrated the highest levels of the US government were wrong, and those of us voicing skepticism of this were right.

The contents of the report are still secret, but CNN's Justice Department reporter Laura Jarrett has told us all we need to know, tweeting , "Special Counsel Mueller is not recommending ANY further indictments am told." On top of that, William Barr said in a letter to congressional leaders that there has been no obstruction of Mueller's investigation by Justice Department officials.

So that's it, then. A completely unhindered investigation has failed to convict a single American of any kind of conspiracy with the Russian government, and no further indictments are coming. The political/media class which sold rank-and-file Americans on the lie that the Mueller investigation was going to bring down this presidency were liars and frauds, and none of the goalpost-moving that I am sure is already beginning to happen will change that.

It has been obvious from the very beginning that the Maddow Muppets were being sold a lie. In 2017 I wrote an article titled " How We Can Be Certain That Mueller Won't Prove Trump-Russia Collusion ", saying that Mueller would continue finding evidence of corruption "since corruption is to DC insiders as water is to fish", but he will not find evidence of collusion. If you care to take a scroll through the angry comments on that article, just on Medium alone, you will see a frozen snapshot of what the expectations were from mainstream liberals at the time. They had swallowed the Russiagate narrative hook, line and sinker, and they believed that the Mueller investigation was going to vindicate them. It did not.

I've been saying Russiagate is bullshit from the beginning, and I've been called a Trump shill, a Kremlin propagandist, a Nazi and a troll every day for saying so by credulous mass media-consuming dupes who drank the Kool Aid . And I've only taken a fraction of the flack more high profile Russiagate skeptics like Glenn Greenwald and Michael Tracey have been getting for expressing doubt in the Gospel According to Maddow. The insane, maniacal McCarthyite feeding frenzy that these people were plunged into by nonstop mass media propaganda drowned out the important voices who tried to argue that public energy was being sucked into Russia hysteria and used to manufacture support for dangerous cold war escalations with a nuclear superpower.

Just think what we could have done with that energy over the last two years. Think how much public support could have been poured into the sweeping progressive reforms called for by the Sanders movement, for example, instead of constant demands for more sanctions and nuclear posturing against Russia. Think how much more attention could have been drawn to Trump's actual horrific policies like his facilitation of Saudi butchery in Yemen or his regime change agendas in Iran and Venezuela, his support for ecocide and military expansionism and the barbarism of Jair Bolsonaro and Benjamin Netanyahu. Think how much more energy could have gone into beating back the Republicans in the midterms, reclaiming far more House seats and taking the Senate as well, gathering momentum for a presidential candidacy that truly threatens Trump instead of 9,000 primary candidates who will probably be selected by superdelegates after the first ballot when there's too many of them to establish a clear majority under the new rules.

me title=

We must never let them forget what they did or what they cost us all. We must never let mainstream Democrats forget how crazy they got, how much time and energy they wasted, how very, very wrong they were and how very, very right we were.

Never stop reminding them of this. Never stop mocking them for it. Never stop mocking their idiotic Rachel Maddow worship. Never stop mocking the Robert Mueller prayer candles. Never stop making fun of the way they blamed all their problems on Susan Sarandon. Never stop reminding them of those stupid pink vagina hats. Never stop mocking them for elevating Louise Mensch and Eric Garland. Never stop mocking them for creating the fucking Krassenstein brothers.

Every politician, every media figure, every Twitter pundit and everyone who swallowed this moronic load of bull spunk has officially discredited themselves for life. Going forward, authority and credibility rests solely with those who kept clear eyes and clear heads during the mass media propaganda blitzkrieg, not with those who were stupid enough to believe what they were told about the behaviors of a noncompliant government in a post-Iraq invasion world. The people who steered us into two years of Russiavape insanity are the very last people anyone should ever listen to ever again when determining the future direction of our world.

* * *

Thanks for reading! My articles are entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook , following my antics on Twitter , throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal , purchasing some of my sweet merchandise , buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone , or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers . The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website , which will get you an email notification for everything I publish.

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messystateofaffairs , 56 minutes ago link

I think Russiagate is a deliberate Jewish ploy to distract Trump supporters, and others, from the fact that Trump is very deeply involved in Israelgate. It's a sophisticated strategy designed to demonize Russia and favor Israel at the same time. The fact that America will bear the burden is lost on the Dumbfuck, if the narcissict is capable of caring in the first place. Obama was a brilliant *** handler compared to this man.

chestergimli , 59 minutes ago link

I believe that Trump and all the neocons along with Sheldon Adelson and Netenyahu pulled this BIG costly Shenanigan off to divert attention away from what Trump was doing for Israel.

keep the bastards honest , 58 minutes ago link

Moonlighting on https://youtu.be/pbYvRTGylyw shows the next insanity. Swearing it's Muellars findings are not true. That muellar was got at..whatever.

See revealing light tarot on YouTube to get the insanity and hate.

Hatred of Trump hatred of Putin. Jealousy of Melania. It's delusional.

No interest in Bolton or pompeo nor international affairs. blind hatred of Russia.

Brazen Heist II , 1 hour ago link

And lets be clear.....both Democrats and Republicans are failing America.

The fringe lunatics on both sides have hijacked the umbrella party. The Zionist cretins/MIC whores on the Right and SJW Snowflakes/ War Party on the Left are both owned by the bankster/corporate ruling classes. They are the same turd on foreign policy.

Its time to balkanize and butcher both parties.

The Deep State needs contrived divisions and dichotomies to split Americans. People should see past these pathetic attempts to divide the population.

johnnycanuck , 1 hour ago link

Even Caitlin misses what's going on here. I'm kinda disappointed, but hey no one gets everything right and she does have to earn a buck wherever she can. I get that

The new McCarthyism has been embraced far and wide in Murika, by both parties, all the MSM. But that's just a ruse for the home team, to recreate the USSR bogeyman for political purposes and to feed the MIC. It's worked, polls show Murikan sheep are more a feared of the Russian bogeyman than they have been since the cold war

Russia isn't encroaching on America's borders, PNAC is encroaching on theirs.

That said, the Mueller effort is more than what you think, it's like a bird dog and it flushed many a bird of prey for shotgun totin' prosecutors, if they be inclined to fire. And that is how the game works in the world of dirty sum bitches and misc psychopaths.

Like the big ***** guy in the movie Platoon said, 'the rich always **** over the poor, that's the way it's always been.'

Brazen Heist II , 1 hour ago link

Recent events can be explained rather accurately if one knows history. Which most people don't apparently.

This is just a re-run of cold war psyops. Except this time, the USSA will meet the fate of the USSR in its own way.

The Jewish Marxists that ran away from Russia and infested America, are now drowning in their lies, and gotta vent somewhere! They are behind the MSM, and cozy dalliance between the Deep State and useful idiot Leftards.

Brazen Heist II , 1 hour ago link

Glancing at various Twatter feeds over the years...and I couldn't help but notice that the number of ****-for-brains Americans who fell for the Russiagate psyop was simply staggering.

I guess its these gullible morons that the powers-that-be relied on in the vaunted dumbassocracy, to get away with distracting away from their own crimes. But alas, the day of judgement always arrives, and the ******** implodes. It depends on how many of them awaken in the process, to render this reckoning as either a bang or a whimper.

[Mar 23, 2019] " ... the accountability that must follow Mueller's report." The Hill

Mar 23, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

6129lady_of_justice

" 1. President Trump was not indicted, nor did Mueller recommend an indictment against him for collusion or obstruction.

three dozen people were charged , including a few close to the president or who worked for his campaign, no one in proximity to the president was formally charged with colluding with Russia. Most, such as former national security adviser Michael Flynn or campaign adviser George Papadopoulos , were charged with process crimes or felonies unrelated to the main case, as in Paul Manafort 's secretive, multimillion-dollar foreign lobbying spree through Ukraine.

*********

the "Steele dossier" that was the main FISA evidence was paid for with funds from Hillary Clinton 's campaign and the Democratic Party;

Christopher Steele, the dossier's author, had told a senior DOJ official he was desperate to defeat Trump;

most of the dossier was not verified before it was used as evidence of alleged Trump-Russia collusion; and

agents collected statements from key defendants such as Papadopoulos and Carter Page during interactions with an FBI informant that strongly suggested their innocence.

Such omissions are so glaring as to constitute defrauding a federal cour t. And each and every participant to those omissions needs to be brought to justice.

An upcoming DOJ inspector general's report should trigger the beginning of that accountability in a court of law, and President Trump can assist the effort by declassifying all evidence of wrongdoing by FBI, CIA and DOJ officials. " The Hill

------------

Pilgrims, the seditious conspiracy to depose the elected president of the United States for conspiracy to commit treason with the Government of the Russian Federation has been defeated.

The bent cops at the FBI and the madmen like Brennan, Clapper and Comey, who treacherously used the government's forces against the Constitution, must be punished so severely as to make an example that will dissuade other midgets on horseback from making similar attempts to overturn the results of elections.

At the bottom of the mountain of political misdeeds shines the face of Hillary Clinton and the army of clever people who ran her 2016 campaign. They devised the clever, clever idea of creating the Steele Dossier in cahoots with Washington co-conspirators and the even more clever of marketing it back into the US political bloodstream through British intelligence channels, by feeding it to the erratic and spiteful senator from Arizona whose staff peddled it all over Washington and New York. There must be retribution for this.

The leftist press is already discounting the results of Mueller's investigation while gloating over how long the Democratic held House of Representatives can continue to search through Trump's life trying to find criminality.

AG Barr should stand Mueller up next to him at a press conference to make clear the results of his report and to answer questions about it. After that the prosecutions should begin. pl

https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/435394-the-wisdom-of-trumps-lawyers-and-the-accountability-that-must-follow

[Mar 23, 2019] Mueller stopped following the money the moment he realized it was all leading back to Israel.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Once the fingerprints and bread crumbs led away from Russia to Israel, and Netanyahoo and his oligarch friends, Mueller stopped looking further as the writing on the wall became clear. Mueller stopped following the money the moment he realized it was all leading back to Israel. ..."
"... Manafort was the fall guy for Trump. ..."
"... This investgation was a convenient sham to cover for the real collusion and Trump was the Zionist one percenters choice and nothing was going to foil that and many of you here fell for the entire charade hook, line and sinker believing Trump was a poor victim all along. ..."
Mar 23, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Circe , Mar 22, 2019 7:48:23 PM | link

@48 arby

Max Blumenthal has it right on, but the proxy war in Syria was also about stopping a gas pipeline from Iran through Syria as a shortcut to EU market to compete with the Levant Israeli gas route.

I disagree with any analogy drawn between the Golan Heights and Crimea for various reasons. It's wrong and counterproductive to draw such analogy. If anything sanctions should have been imposed on Israel for usurping and settling that land which is a war crime under the Geneva Conventions.

Crimea went back and forth changing hands throughout history. Finally when Catherine the Great defeated the Ottoman Empire, Crimea was traded in a treaty to Russia. So technically, legally it was always Russian territory and merely went back to its lawful owner with the present inhabitants of Crimea totally in agreement.

The Golan Heights were throughout history mostly under Arab control and later also part of the Ottoman Empire until it was under French control and then became part of Syria, so Israel has no legitimate claim whatsoever and sanctions should have been imposed on Israel for its illegal occupation of the Golan Heights and not on Russia for taking back what was legitimately Russian territory for centuries minus the brief blunder by the Soviet Presidium of 1954 which transfer decree violated the Russian Constitution of 1937. So in essence it was an illegal transfer and now that error has been rectified, therefore sanctions on Russia are illegal.

◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇

The nothing-burger Mueller Report is done and arrived at the Justice Dept. What will be missing from the report is how Trump colluded with Zionists to become President. Zionist oligarchs funded Trump at various stages of his campaign and were involved in influencing American public perception funding Cambridge Analytica and other cyber outfits.

Facebook's Zionist owner also helped in the operation to get Trump elected.

Once the fingerprints and bread crumbs led away from Russia to Israel, and Netanyahoo and his oligarch friends, Mueller stopped looking further as the writing on the wall became clear. Mueller stopped following the money the moment he realized it was all leading back to Israel.

Manafort was the fall guy for Trump. Originally, I thought Flynn was the fall guy and in a way he was because he quit and lied for him (I don't believe he was fired) to save Trump's neck at the time. Trump was never in jeopardy because his Zionist masters ensured there were others around him they knew were compromised and would end up having to take the fall for their Chosen one.

This investgation was a convenient sham to cover for the real collusion and Trump was the Zionist one percenters choice and nothing was going to foil that and many of you here fell for the entire charade hook, line and sinker believing Trump was a poor victim all along.

[Mar 23, 2019] I suppose I should feel sorry for the hardcore Russiagaters. First they never moved on from the denial stage of Trump winning the election. Yeah, I know he didn't win the popular vote but that's irrelevant, Now they're straight into the denial stage for Mueller closing down his investigation with Donald Trump still president

Mar 23, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ghost Ship , Mar 22, 2019 11:44:56 PM | link

Perhaps now the Democrats will get on with doing what the opposition should do. Oppose Donald Trump instead of pissing away the period before the next election on that complete waste of time and space called Russia-gate.

I suppose I should feel sorry for the hardcore Russiagaters. First they never moved on from the denial stage of Trump winning the election. Yeah, I know he didn't win the popular vote but that's irrelevant, Now they're straight into the denial stage for Mueller closing down his investigation with Donald Trump still president. It's time for them to recognize the source of their grief, Hillary Clinton, a bad candidate who ran a bad campaign with bad policies and compounded it by failing to accept that she was responsible for putting a supposedly un-electable idiot in the White House, meanwhile blaming it all on whatever came to mind.

I said "supposedly" of Donald Trump because he's the clever one by getting the Democrats to run round in circles for nothing and getting himself elected.

Any Democrat who think it's going to be easy for the Democrat to win in 2020 is a moron and when it comes to selecting the candidate they should forget everything but one question, "can she/he defeat Trump". At the moment the only two who might do it are Sanders and Gabbard.

[Mar 23, 2019] It's time to go ho home

Mar 23, 2019 | twitter.com

Mike Gravel ‏ 6:48 AM - 22 Mar 2019

U.S. out of Iraq. U.S. out of Syria. U.S. out of Afghanistan. U.S. out of South Korea. U.S. out of Okinawa. U.S. out of Germany. U.S. out of Saudi Arabia. U.S. out of Cameroon. U.S. out of Djibouti. U.S. out of Qatar. U.S. out of Niger.

America, come home.

[Mar 22, 2019] America's Apartheid of Dollars

Notable quotes:
"... The divisions can always be jacked up. "My opponent is a white nationalist!" and so he doesn't just think you're lazy, he wants to kill you. Convince average Americans to vote against their own interests by manipulating them into opposing any program that might benefit black and brown equally or more than themselves. ..."
"... Listen for what's missing in the speeches about inequality and injustice. Whichever candidate admits that we've created an apartheid of dollars for all deserves your support. ..."
Mar 22, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The birth lottery determines which of those three bands we'll sink or swim together in, because there is precious little mobility. In that bottom band, 81 percent face flat or falling net worths ( 40 percent of Americans make below $15 an hour) and so aren't going anywhere. Education, once a vehicle, is now mostly a tool for the preservation of current statuses across generations, to the point that it's worth paying bribes for. Class is sticky.

Money, not so much. Since the 9.9 percent have the most (except for the super wealthy at least), they have the most to lose. At their peak in the mid-1980s, the managers and technicians in this group held 35 percent of the nation's wealth. Three decades later, that fell 12 percent, exactly as much as the wealth of the 1 percent rose. A significant redistribution of wealth -- upwards -- took place following the 2008 market collapse, as bailouts, shorts, repossessions, and new laws helped the top end of the economy at cost to the bottom. What some label hardships are to others business opportunities.

The people at the top are throwing nails off the back of the truck to make sure no one else can catch up with them. There is a strong zero sum element to all this. The goal is to eliminate the competition . They'll have it all when society is down to two classes, the 1 percent and the 99 percent, and at that point we'll all be effectively the same color. The CEO of JP Morgan called it a bifurcated economy. Historians will recognize it as feudalism.

You'd think someone would sound a global climate change-level alarm about all this. Instead we divide people into tribes and make them afraid of each other by forcing competition for limited resources like health care. Identity politics sharpens the lines, recognizing increasingly smaller separations, like adding letters to LGBTQQIAAP.

Failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, herself with presidential ambitions, is an example of the loud voices demanding more division . Contrast that with early model Barack Obama at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, who pleaded, "There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America."

The divisions can always be jacked up. "My opponent is a white nationalist!" and so he doesn't just think you're lazy, he wants to kill you. Convince average Americans to vote against their own interests by manipulating them into opposing any program that might benefit black and brown equally or more than themselves. Keep the groups fighting left and right and they'll never notice the real discrimination is up and down, even as massive economic forces consume all equally. Consumption becomes literal as Americans die from alcohol, drugs, and suicide in record numbers .

Meanwhile, no one has caught on to the fact that identity politics is a marketing tool for votes, fruit flavored vape to bring in the kiddies. Keep that in mind as you listen to the opening cries of the 2020 election. Listen for what's missing in the speeches about inequality and injustice. Whichever candidate admits that we've created an apartheid of dollars for all deserves your support.

** The author doesn't really drive for Uber but his conversation with the Spaniard was real.


JeffK March 22, 2019 at 7:39 am

Mr Van Buren. This piece nails it. The Democrats made a huge mistake focusing on race and LGBTQ instead of class. Their stated goal should be to replace race based affirmative action with class-based programs.

If there is serious violence coming to America it will come during the next major recession/financial crisis. The ARs will come out of the closet when, during the next financial crisis, the elites are bailed out (again), yet the riff raff lose their homes and pickups to foreclosure.

I am very pessimistic in this area. I believe the elites, in general, are agnostic to SJW issues, abortion, job loss, BLM, religious liberty, and on and on. The look at the riff raff with amusement, sparring over such trivial things. Meanwhile, the river of cash keeps flowing to their bank accounts.

Imagine if the digital transfer of money was abolished. Imagine if everybody had to have their money in a local bank instead of in an investment account of a major bank. Imagine if Americans saw, day after day, armored vehicles showing up at local banks to offload sacks of currency that went to only a few individual accounts held by the very rich.

Instead, the elites receive their financial statements showing an ever increasing hoard of cash at their disposal. They see it, but nobody else does. However, if everybody saw the river of wealth flowing to the elites, I believe things would change. Fast. Right now this transfer of wealth is all digital, hidden from the view of 99.99% of Americans and the IRS. And the elites, the banking industry, and the wealth management cabal prefer it that way.

It's easy to propose the ultimate goal of the elites is to have a utopian society to themselves, where the only interaction they have with the riff raff is with subservient technicians keeping it all running. Like the movie Elysium.

https://youtu.be/QILNSgou5BY

Oleg Gark , says: March 22, 2019 at 8:22 am
When feudalism comes to America, it will be justified by Libertarianism. With government defined as the bad guy, there's nothing to stop the 1% from organizing everything to their own benefit.

On the other side of the political spectrum, identity politics emphasizes people's differences and tribal affiliations over their shared citizenship. This prevents them from making common cause.

Fundamentally, these trends make the body politic so weak that it becomes susceptible to takeover by authoritarians that represent narrow interests.

Johann , says: March 22, 2019 at 8:31 am
"His skin was clearly a few shades darker than mine, though he pointed out that was only because my relatives came from the cold part of Europe and he came from the sunny part."

The Spanish in Europe got their color from the Moorish invasion, not the sun.

More of my annoying trivia that has little to do with the subject of an article.

John D. Thullen , says: March 22, 2019 at 9:15 am
Welp, the Democratic Party, by and large, believes all Americans regardless of class, race, religion, and gender should have guaranteed equal access to affordable healthcare, a substantial minimum wage, education and the rest.

Stacy Abrams wants these items too, along with equal access to the voting franchise.

"Until slavery was ended in the United States, human beings were legally considered capital, just like owning stocks and bonds today. But the Spaniard knew enough about history to wonder what reparations would be offered to the thousands of Chinese treated as animals to build the railroads or the 8,000 Irish who died digging the New Basin Canal or the whole families of Jews living on the Lower East Side of New York who were forced to employ their children to make clothing for uptown "white" stores. Later in the same century, wages were "voluntarily" cut to the bone at factories in Ohio to save jobs that disappeared anyway after the owners had wrung out the last profits."

That would be an excellent point if your inner Spaniard concluded reparations should be offered to the others as well, but ends up being merely tendentious if he contends that no one gets reparations.

But will you like it if the Democratic Party makes that part of their platform too?

I was born in Middletown, Ohio alongside the elegiacal hillbillies, who, by the way, didn't care for the blacks on the other side of the tracks anymore than my Armco-employed grandfather did, and certainly the business owners who disappeared the jobs and cut wages while voting for the so-called free traders were of the same ilk.

I didn't know any Democrats among any of my family's circle and, by the way, Middletown might as well have been south of the Mason Dixon anyway for all the white Democrats in town who gave not a crap about their fellow black citizens, certainly not the business owners who disappeared the jobs while voting for the so-called free traders.

It was the Republican Party (Larry Kudlow, I'm gunning for you) who championed creative destruction and the red tooth and claw of unfettered worldwide competition without asking, in fact jumping for joy, what the unintended consequences would be because the consequences were intended smash the unions for all, cut wages and benefits and hand the booty to shareholders, move operations to lower-tax, lower wage, environmentally unregulated parts of the globe to manufacture them thar high margin MAGA hats for the aggrieved.

What a beautiful grift!

Hello, Marianas.

That Democrats jumped on the bandwagon is no credit to them, especially while assuming the prone position as the republican party frayed the safety net.

True, the republicans laid off everyone, regardless of race, gender, and class and then cut everyone's benefits.

How equable of them.

TomG , says: March 22, 2019 at 9:44 am
As the Spaniard rightly understood, one can look way back into our history and see that the moneyed class has always used identity politics in economic control games to divide and conquer. That the Republicans rail on this as some evil creation of the modern Democrat is laughable at best. That the sheep who follow the party mouth pieces of the moneyed class in this media age can still be so easily manipulated is rather pitiful. Making common cause for the general welfare has never really sunk in as an American value.

Divide and conquer remains our true ethos. As the dole gets evermore paltry the only seeming options remaining are common cause for a common good or greater violence. One requires us to find a contentment beyond the delusional American dream of becoming that 1 to 10%. The other just requires continued anger, division and despair.

JoS. S. Laughon , says: March 22, 2019 at 10:12 am
Ironically the view that race/culture isn't at all important and should be disregarded in view of the class division (a "distraction"), is pretty much endorsing the classic Marxist critique.
ProletroleumCole , says: March 22, 2019 at 10:27 am
It's easy to notice divide and conquer when it's hate against those of the same class but are of a different culture/race.

But what's *difficult* to notice is identifying with the elites of your race in a positive way.
A lot of people, especially with the onset of realityTV, tend to think rich people are just like them (albeit a little smarter). The methods and systems to keep power aren't considered. They're made non-threatening. So many billionaires and politicians act effete today to stoke this image.

Lynn Robb , says: March 22, 2019 at 10:31 am
"Whichever candidate admits that we've created an apartheid of dollars for all deserves your support."

So we're supposed to vote for Bernie Sanders?

Connecticut Farmer , says: March 22, 2019 at 11:30 am
" Whether your housing is subsidized via a mortgage tax deduction "

This jumped off the screen. I wonder how many people even realize that. Probably the same number who still believe that social security is a "forced savings".

Connecticut Farmer , says: March 22, 2019 at 11:47 am
Not to put too fine a point on it but clearly we are wasting our time arguing. As long as the current system of government remains in effect it will be same old same old.

Many changes are in order–starting with this archaic remnant of a bygone era called "The Two Party System".

Lert345 , says: March 22, 2019 at 12:05 pm
Spaniards are indeed Hispanic. The definition of Hispanic relates to a linguistic grouping – that is, relating to Spain or Spanish speaking countries. Your friend would indeed qualify for all sorts of preferences according to the definition.

As to being a POC, I could not locate any definition as to what threshold of skin tone qualifies someone as a POC. I wager none yet exists but will be forthcoming.

Johann

As for the skin tone of Spaniards, many in the south have the Moorish influence,however, in the rest of the country skin tones range from light beige to very fair. Rather similar to Italians, actually.

Dave , says: March 22, 2019 at 12:18 pm
First, kudos to Van Buren for getting a Seamless delivery while driving. That's not easy to coordinate. Second, I look forward to more conservative policies addressing poverty, drug addiction and access to health care. This article adds to the 10-year rant against what Democrats have done or want to do.

Like nearly every Republican of the last 10 years, Van Buren offers none here. But I'm sure once the complaining is out of his system, they will arrive.

david , says: March 22, 2019 at 12:31 pm
" Whether your housing is subsidized via a mortgage tax deduction "

Sorry, not taking your money is NOT subsidizing!

I thought this is a "conservative" idea to begin with? Apparently, it is not true even here.

Jealousy that others can keep their money is driving the worse instinct of many republicans.

Sigh.

Vincent , says: March 22, 2019 at 12:32 pm
Your Spaniard friend also has it all wrong. The real division line is between those willing to initiate coercion for their own self-righteousness and those who refuse to. Anyone that supports government is one-in-the-same, regardless of color or class.
LouB , says: March 22, 2019 at 12:35 pm
Thirty years ago I'd be asking who printed the canned response pamphlet to give prepared talking points to enable anyone to provide quick sharp tongued witty criticisms of anything they may encounter that didn't tow the party line.

Now I gotta ask where do I download the Trollware to accomplish the same thing.

Sharp article, thanks.

JonF , says: March 22, 2019 at 12:42 pm
The Moors were a tiny class of invaders who left rather little imprint on the Spanish genome. That was true of the Romans and the Goths as well. Spanish genes are mostly the genes of the pre-Roman population: the Iberians in the south (who maybe migrated from North Africa), Celts in the north, and the indigenous Basques along the Pyrenees.
WorkingClass , says: March 22, 2019 at 2:27 pm
Yes. And thank you. It's a class war and the working class, divided, is a one legged man in an ass kicking contest.
Carolyn , says: March 22, 2019 at 3:36 pm
Outstanding piece!
Dave , says: March 22, 2019 at 3:39 pm
What happened to "a rising tide lifts all boats"? We've been promised for decades that the wealth generated by those at the very top would "trickle down." This was a cornerstone of Reaganism that has been parroted ever since.

There have been naysayers who say that that theory was fantasy and that all we would have is increased wealth disparity and greater national deficits.

How peculiar.

Peter Van Buren , says: March 22, 2019 at 4:06 pm
A rising tide lifts all yachts.
-- author Morris Berman

[Mar 22, 2019] Trump Puts America Last by Daniel Larison

Mar 20, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

As usual, Trump made the announcement of recognizing Israel's claim to the Golan Heights without any consultation with any of the relevant administration officials:

President Donald Trump's tweet on Thursday recognizing the Golan Heights as Israeli territory surprised members of his own Middle East peace team, the State Department, and Israeli officials.

U.S. diplomats and White House aides had believed the Golan Heights issue would be front and center at next week's meetings between Trump and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House. But they were unprepared for any presidential announcement this week.

No formal U.S. process or executive committees were initiated to review the policy before Trump's decision, and the diplomats responsible for implementing the policy were left in the dark.

Even the Israelis, who have advocated for this move for years, were stunned at the timing of Trump's message.

After more than two years of watching Trump's impulsive and reckless "governing" style, it doesn't come as a surprise to anyone that he makes these decisions without advance warning. There is no evidence that Trump ever thinks anything through, and so he probably sees no reason to tell anyone in advance what he is going to do.

Trump almost never bothers consulting with the people who will be responsible for carrying out his policies and dealing with the international fallout, and that is probably why so many of his policy decisions end up being exceptionally poor ones. The substance of most of Trump's foreign policy decisions was never likely to be good, but the lack of an organized policy process on major decisions makes those decisions even more haphazard and chaotic than they would otherwise be.

There is absolutely no upside for the United States in endorsing illegal Israeli claims to the Golan Heights. It is a cynical political stunt intended to boost Netanyahu and Likud's fortunes in the upcoming election, and it is also a cynical stunt aimed at shoring up Trump's support from Republican "pro-Israel" voters and donors.

Whatever short-term benefit Israel gains from it, the U.S. gains nothing and stands to lose quite a bit in terms of our international standing.

There has been no consideration of the costs and problems this will create for the U.S. in its relations with other regional states and beyond because Trump couldn't care less about the long-term effects that his decisions have on the country.

Once again, Trump has put narrow political ambitions and the interests of a foreign government ahead of the interests of the United States. That seems to be the inevitable result of electing a narcissist who conducts foreign policy based on which leaders flatter and praise him.

Trump's bad decision can be traced back to Bolton's visit to Israel earlier this year:

Administration officials said that National Security Advisor John Bolton was instrumental to the decision, after visiting Israel in January to assure officials there that the United States would not abandon them in Syria despite Trump's sudden withdrawal of troops from the battlefield.

Nervous Israeli officials saw an opportunity. "It was an ask," one Israeli source said, "because of the timing -- it suddenly became a relevant issue about Iran."

Bolton is usually the culprit responsible any destructive and foolish policy decision over the last year, and his baleful influence continues to grow. We can also see the harmful effects of the administration's Iran obsession at work. In the end, the Syria "withdrawal" hasn't happened and apparently isn't going to, but Trump nonetheless gives Israel whatever it wants in exchange for nothing so that they will be "reassured" of our unthinking support.



SF Bay March 21, 2019 at 10:28 pm

Well, of course Trump puts America last. There is one and only one person he is interested in -- himself. As you say this is his narcissistic personality at work.

My never ending question is always, "Why does any Republican with a conscience remain silent? Are they really all this shallow and self absorbed? Is there nothing Trump does that will finally force them to put country before party and their own ambition?"

It's a really sad state of events that has put this country on the road to ruin.

Kouros , , March 21, 2019 at 11:39 pm
I wonder what Mr. Kagan has to say now about "authoritarian" regimes?!
Trump 2016 , , March 22, 2019 at 1:45 am
Trump is making one hell of a mess for the next president to clean up. Straightening out all this stupidity will take years. Here's hoping that Trump gets to watch his foreign policy decisions tossed out and reversed from federal prison.
Grumpy Old Man , , March 22, 2019 at 3:29 am
He ought to recognize Russia's seizure of Crimea. Why not? Кто кого?
Tony , , March 22, 2019 at 8:50 am
The decision to leave the INF treaty was taken in a similar way and with a total disregard for the consequences. The leaders of the European NATO countries have shown utter spinelessness in going along with it.

The administration says that a Russian missile violates the treaty but it will not tell us what the range of the missile is. Nor will it allow its weapons inspectors to go and look at it.

The reason is clear: Fear that the weapons inspectors' findings would contradict the administration's claims.

Some Perspective , , March 22, 2019 at 9:08 am
I voted Republican ever since I started voting. I voted for Bush I, Dole, Dubya, and McCain. I couldn't vote for either Obama or Romney, but I voted for Trump because of Hillary Clinton.

I am shocked and horrified by what I've seen under Trump. I am deeply disappointed that so few Republicans (or Democrats, for that matter) have stood up to him on foreign policy, and I will never vote Republican again. This GOP/Israel connection stinks to high heaven. Anyone who studied or remembers our problem with Communist spies back in the '50s has got to be hearing alarm bells ringing in their ears. Worries about Soviet spying and Russian meddling pale in comparison to what's now going on in plain sight with Israel.

We're losing our country. We're losing America.

Sid Finster , , March 22, 2019 at 10:22 am
To be fair, it ain't just Team R that has the sloppy crush on Israel. Team D is just as bad, even if they don't gush quite so publicly. In fact, episodes such as this one are useful in a way, as they make it hard to pretend that this is just a one-off, a misguided decision that we have to go along with to appease a powerful friend.

Europoliticians tell that last one a lot. "We really don't want to but the Americans twisted our arms ZOMG Special Relationship so sorry ZOMG!" Only with a lot more Eurobureaucratese.

G-Pol , , March 22, 2019 at 11:15 am
I agree with the article's premise, but not because of this move regarding Israel.

Personally, I believe this move will have little impact on the outcome of the crisis in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia and the other Arab monarchies are too focused on containing Iran and Turkey to give a crap about what Israel does. The only Arab states that I can see objecting to this move are Syria (obviously) and the others who were already allied with Iran and/or Turkey to begin with.

Right now, the REAL center of attention in the region should be Northern Syria. THAT's where the next major war likely will begin. In that area, Saudi Arabia and to a lesser extent Turkey and the United Arab Emirates are the ones doing the major escalations, while Israel has virtually no role at all aside from sideline cheer-leading. And of course, Trump is doing nothing to stop what could become the next July Crisis. What's "America First" about that?

Nevertheless, Israel should be very concerned about Northern Syria. If war breaks out and the US is forced to go to war with its own NATO ally as a result, Israel should prepare to kiss its alliance with the US goodbye.

There is no way our international reputation will come out of this war unscathed, and odds are we'll be in a far worse position diplomatically than we were at any point in our history, even during the Iraq war. When that happens, the American people will be out to assign blame. Many (rightfully or not) will blame Israel due to its connections to neoconservatism and Saudi jingoism, and consequently we may end up seeing BOTH parties becoming unfriendly to Israel over the subsequent generation.

All of this could be prevented if President Trump would just tell Saudi Arabia to STOP the nonsense. But no. He's too focused on MIC profits. He's not America First. And quite frankly, I'm starting to think Benjamin Netanyahu is not Israel-first either, because if he were he'd be warning Trump about the mess he's going to end up getting America, Israel, and much of Europe and the Middle East into.

[Mar 22, 2019] Against Zombie Reaganism

With Democratic Party completely sold to Wall Street and multinationals and Republican Party completely sold to MIC and multinationals both constitute single War Party pursuing the same jingoistic foreign policy. So it is tricky whom we should support in 2002.
Mar 22, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Consensus conservatism long ago ceased to inquire into the first things. But we will not.

We oppose the soulless society of individual affluence.

Our society must not prioritize the needs of the childless, the healthy, and the intellectually competitive. Our policy must accommodate the messy demands of authentic human attachments: family, faith, and the political community. We welcome allies who oppose dehumanizing attempts at "liberation" such as pornography, "designer babies," wombs for rent, and the severing of the link between sex and gender.

We stand with the American citizen.

In recent years, some have argued for immigration by saying that working-class Americans are less hard-working, less fertile, in some sense less worthy than potential immigrants. We oppose attempts to displace American citizens. Advancing the common good requires standing with, rather than abandoning, our countrymen. They are our fellow citizens, not interchangeable economic units. And as Americans we owe each other a distinct allegiance and must put each other first.

We reject attempts to compromise on human dignity.

In 2013, the Republican National Committee released an "autopsy report" that proposed compromising on social issues in order to appeal to young voters. In fact, millennials are the most pro-life generation in America, while economic libertarianism isn't nearly as popular as its Beltway proponents imagine. We affirm the nonnegotiable dignity of every unborn life and oppose the transhumanist project of radical self-identification.

We resist a tyrannical [neo]liberalism.

We seek to revive the virtues of liberality and neighborliness that many people describe as "liberalism." But we oppose any attempt to conflate American interests with [neo]liberal ideology . When an ideological [neo]liberalism seeks to dictate our foreign policy and dominate our religious and charitable institutions, tyranny is the result, at home and abroad.

We want a country that works for workers.

The Republican Party has for too long held investors and "job creators" above workers and citizens, dismissing vast swaths of Americans as takers unworthy of its time. Trump's victory, driven in part by his appeal to working-class voters, shows the potential of a political movement that heeds the cries of the working class as much as the demands of capital. Americans take more pride in their identity as workers than about their identity as consumers. Economic and welfare policy should prioritize work over consumption.

We believe home matters.

For those who enjoy the upsides, a borderless world brings intoxicating new liberties. They can go anywhere, work anywhere. They can call themselves "citizens" of the world. But the jet-setters' vision clashes with the human need for a common life. And it has bred resentments that are only beginning to surface. We embrace the new nationalism insofar as it stands against the utopian ideal of a borderless world that, in practice, leads to universal tyranny.

Whatever else might be said about it, the Trump phenomenon has opened up space in which to pose these questions anew. We will guard that space jealously. And we respectfully decline to join with those who would resurrect warmed-over Reaganism and foreclose honest debate.

... ... ...

Y'all know that I don't usually have much good to say about the president, but to me, Trump has accomplished two unambiguously good things: 1) put some good judges on the courts, and 2) smashed Conservatism, Inc.'s hegemony on the Right, opening the door for real debate about the future of the country, and of conservatism.

Any attempt by establishment conservatives to aspire to, and create, a Restoration after Trump goes should be strongly opposed.

He has made a big mess, but out of that mess we have to fight for renewal and the construction of something new, not the revivification of Zombie Reaganism.

[Mar 22, 2019] The War on Yemen and the Trump Administration's Contempt for the Law

Mar 22, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The Trump administration has ignored yet another mandated deadline for reporting to Congress on Yemen:

A senior Pentagon official had pledged to deliver the strategy report at the beginning of March after failing to meet a Feb. 1 deadline mandated by law.

In recent months, the Trump administration has disregarded several certification requirements from Congress. In February, the State Department refused to say whether the Saudi-led force had reduced civilian casualties in the Yemeni conflict. And the White House failed to respond to lawmakers' query about whether Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was responsible for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Last year, the administration met the first certification deadline by brazenly lying to Congress that the Saudi coalition was successfully reducing harm to civilians in Yemen. Congress completely failed to hold Secretary Pompeo accountable for those lies, and the administration has obviously concluded that it can get away with disregarding these requirements. For the last several months, both the Secretary of State and the Pentagon have simply refused to comply with the law. In this case, the Pentagon probably can't "detail specific US diplomatic and national security objectives" because the only discernible objective of reflexive support for the Saudis and Emiratis in Yemen is to indulge them in whatever they want to do. An administration that has illegally involved the U.S. in the war on Yemen for more than two years obviously won't have any respect for legal requirements set by Congress when they can't even be bothered to respect the Constitution.

The administration's contempt for the law and their disrespect for Congress are additional reasons why the House should vote on and pass the antiwar Yemen resolution that the Senate passed earlier this month. Beyond that, Congress needs to increase pressure on the Saudi and Emirati governments with additional measures to cut off arms sales and hearings to scrutinize the numerous human rights abuses and war crimes committed by their forces and their proxies.

When war supporters object that Congress risks undermining the U.S.-Saudi relationship, it is important for members of Congress to know that it is Mohammed bin Salman who has jeopardized the relationship through his reckless and destructive behavior. The Saudi government has been desperately lying about its conduct in Yemen and elsewhere to the U.S. and the entire world, and the crown prince has proven himself to be completely unreliable and strikingly incompetent at everything except grabbing more power for himself:

"We know who this guy is, we know what he's capable of, and treating him like he's an ally or a reliable partner is totally untenable," said Jeremy Konyndyk, a former US Agency for International Development director during the Obama administration.

The Saudi government has made itself a liability to the U.S. Since the administration puts Saudi Arabia first and won't do anything to defend American interests, it falls to Congress to do what the president won't.

[Mar 22, 2019] Glenn Greenwald on Twitter The Mueller investigation is complete and this is a simple fact that will never go away

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... No one says Trump is a saint. But the deep state wanted to cover its tracks. Dems and deep state hated that their preferred candidate didn't win. They ended up achieving their goal of delegitimizing 2016 and distracting the country for 2 years. ..."
"... They tried to delegitimize the 2016 Election but failed to do so. ..."
Mar 22, 2019 | twitter.com

Glenn Greenwald 3h 3 hours ago

The Mueller investigation is complete and this is a simple fact that will never go away: not one single American was charged, indicted or convicted for conspiring with Russia to influence the 2016 election - not even a low-level volunteer. The number is zero.

Compare what cable hosts (let's leave them unnamed) & Democratic operatives spent two years claiming this would lead to - the imprisonment of Don, Jr., Jared, even Trump on conspiracy-with-Russia charges - to what it actually produced. A huge media reckoning is owed.

Don't even try to pretend the point of the Mueller investigation from the start wasn't to obtain prosecutions of Americans guilty of conspiring with Russia to influence the outcome of the election or that Putin controlled Trump through blackmail. Nobody will believe your denials.

Are we now ready to rid ourselves of the thrilling espionage fantasy that Trump is controlled by Putin and the Kremlin using blackmail? There's no way Robert Mueller would have gone 18 months without telling anyone about this if it were true, right? How could that be justified?

Perhaps now we can focus on the actually consequential actions the Trump administration is taking and finally move past the deranged conspiracy theories that have drowned US discourse for 2+ years. A side benefit will be not ratcheting up tension between 2 nuclear-armed powers.

Giving up these exciting conspiracy theories about international blackmail & convening panels to decipher all the genius hidden maneuvers of Mueller will be bad for cable ratings, book sales & the Patreon accounts of online charlatans. But it'll be very healthy in all other ways.

CNN's Justice Department reporter https:// twitter.com/LauraAJarrett/ status/1109210442864439299

The desperate attempts to salvage something from this debacle by the Mueller dead-enders are just sad. Yes, the public hasn't read the Mueller report. But we *know* he ended his investigation without indicting a single American for conspiring with Russia to influence the election

Trump, Jr. testified for hours and hours before Congress, including about the Trump Tower meeting. If he lied there, or to Mueller, why didn't Mueller indict him for perjury, lying to Congress or obstruction? Same questions for Kushner. Stop embarrassing yourselves.

If Mueller found evidence that Putin controls Trump & forces him to act against US interests & in favor of Russia - not just with a pee-pee tape but with financial blackmail - what could possibly justify keeping that a secret through the end of the investigation? It's ludicrous.

US discourse has been drowned for 2+ years with conspiratorial, unhinged, but highly inflammatory and unhinged idiocy - playing games with two nuclear-armed powers because of anger over the 2016 election. It's time to stop. Mueller ended his work. We see the public indictments.

And to be clear: I've urged a full investigation into these Trump/Russia claims from the start, from before Mueller was appointed, with full disclosure. I still favor that - precisely to end the reckless speculation to which we've been endlessly subjected https:// medium.com/@ggreenwald/st atements-about-possibility-russia-meddling-hacking-need-for-investigations-2016-present-f5794c1496d6

So many in the media devoted endless airtime & print & pixels misleading people to believe Mueller was coming to arrest & prosecute Trump, Jr, Kushner & so many others for conspiring with Russia over the election & obstruction. None of that happened. You can't pretend it away.

hard to make jokes 59m 59 minutes ago

the Supreme Court of the Southern District of New York can also do that. And please, wait until the report comes out and read it, then we'll see.

Bala R 32m 32 minutes ago

They was never the point. No one says Trump is a saint. But the deep state wanted to cover its tracks. Dems and deep state hated that their preferred candidate didn't win. They ended up achieving their goal of delegitimizing 2016 and distracting the country for 2 years.

Mary Batson 17m 17 minutes ago

They tried to delegitimize the 2016 Election but failed to do so.

[Mar 22, 2019] Muller investigation is actually a farce, huge waste of money and their narrative is dead

NKVD investigations were tragedy, Mueller investigation is a farce.
Notable quotes:
"... Next narrative: There is no evidence because it was suppressed! ;-) ..."
"... "Trust Mueller" remember? # MuellerIsComingForYou ... remember? Well # MuellerIsHere so deal with reality. FANTASY TIME IS OVER There was NO TrumpRussia collusion! ..."
"... Unconvinced that Mueller's report ends anything Mueller report may disavow of actual collusion, but the door still open to "ATTEMPTED" Russian influencing of US elections, a fact that will be used by Russiagate cold war demagogues to justify Mueller & RG investigation ..."
Mar 22, 2019 | twitter.com

Becky 4:55 PM - 22 Mar 2019

It's actually a farce, huge waste of money and their narrative is dead. What now? PTSD for the dems

David Ian ‏ 3:55 PM - 22 Mar 2019

Wanted to reach out to thank you for all your coverage during the investigation Glenn, must have been hard to go against the grain in this sea of propaganda. Kudos for sticking to the truth!

Jon ‏ 3:55 PM - 22 Mar 2019

By the way, CNN is sitting on TV complaining how trump will spin it. Yet CNN is already spinning it.

Steve Culy ‏ 3:55 PM - 22 Mar 2019

Next narrative: There is no evidence because it was suppressed! ;-)

Phyllis Moore ‏ 5:25 PM - 22 Mar 2019

"Trust Mueller" remember? # MuellerIsComingForYou ... remember? Well # MuellerIsHere so deal with reality. FANTASY TIME IS OVER There was NO TrumpRussia collusion!

Mama Bear 5:05 PM - 22 Mar 2019

https://twitter.com/Yo_RightGirl/status/1109215991974682624?s=20

fishnski ‏ 4:54 PM - 22 Mar 2019

Love seeing the uncomfort level on the left now as they Squirm to fight back with this and that and the big fat nothing Burger they are trying to Choke down..

Rob van Cappellen 3:57 PM - 22 Mar 2019

But.. what about John Huber and his investigations in DOJ/FBI ? Why don't we hear a thing, is he still alive ?

scott stocker ‏ 4:50 PM - 22 Mar 2019

Yes he is. Now it is their turn

Shamelessly Libertarian ‏ 3:54 PM - 22 Mar 2019

No matter what the report says it won't change the fact that the evidence to indict him just isn't there

Toxic Mask ‏ 3:56 PM - 22 Mar 2019

Triggered pic.twitter.com/LxVYF7e8jN

https:// twitter.com/kt_so_it_goes/ status/1109226660325453824?s=21

Grant Jarvis ‏ 4:35 PM - 22 Mar 2019

Unconvinced that Mueller's report ends anything Mueller report may disavow of actual collusion, but the door still open to "ATTEMPTED" Russian influencing of US elections, a fact that will be used by Russiagate cold war demagogues to justify Mueller & RG investigation

[Mar 22, 2019] A>t last, a mysterious report no one has seen that contains all the supporting evidence to confirm my pre-existing opinions

Mar 22, 2019 | twitter.com

kilgore trout's mom ‏ 3:53 PM - 22 Mar 2019

at last, a mysterious report no one has seen that contains all the supporting evidence to confirm my pre-existing opinions

[Mar 22, 2019] I wonder what Mr. Kagan has to say now about authoritarian regimes?!

Mar 22, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

As usual, Trump made the announcement of recognizing Israel's claim to the Golan Heights without any consultation with any of the relevant administration officials...

President Donald Trump's tweet on Thursday recognizing the Golan Heights as Israeli territory surprised members of his own Middle East peace team, the State Department, and Israeli officials.

U.S. diplomats and White House aides had believed the Golan Heights issue would be front and center at next week's meetings between Trump and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House. But they were unprepared for any presidential announcement this week.

No formal U.S. process or executive committees were initiated to review the policy before Trump's decision, and the diplomats responsible for implementing the policy were left in the dark.

Even the Israelis, who have advocated for this move for years, were stunned at the timing of Trump's message.

After more than two years of watching Trump's impulsive and reckless "governing" style, it doesn't come as a surprise to anyone that he makes these decisions without advance warning. There is no evidence that Trump ever thinks anything through, and so he probably sees no reason to tell anyone in advance what he is going to do. Trump almost never bothers consulting with the people who will be responsible for carrying out his policies and dealing with the international fallout, and that is probably why so many of his policy decisions end up being exceptionally poor ones. The substance of most of Trump's foreign policy decisions was never likely to be good, but the lack of an organized policy process on major decisions makes those decisions even more haphazard and chaotic than they would otherwise be.

There is absolutely no upside for the United States in endorsing illegal Israeli claims to the Golan Heights. It is a cynical political stunt intended to boost Netanyahu and Likud's fortunes in the upcoming election, and it is also a cynical stunt aimed at shoring up Trump's support from Republican "pro-Israel" voters and donors.

Kouros , March 21, 2019 at 11:39 pm

I wonder what Mr. Kagan has to say now about "authoritarian" regimes?!

[Mar 21, 2019] Jared Kushner WhatsApp, Private Email Democrats Demand Records - Bloomberg

Notable quotes:
"... The White House didn't immediately respond to requests for comment. But in another stand-off with House Democrats, Cipollone on Thursday rejected a request renewed last week from Cummings and two other committee chairmen for information on Trump's communications with Russian President Vladimir Putin. ..."
"... Cummings said the committee obtained a document that "appears" to show that McFarland conducted official business on her personal email account. He said the document was related to efforts by McFarland and other White House officials to transfer sensitive U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia "in coordination with Tom Barrack, a personal friend of President Trump and the chairman of President Trump's inaugural committee." ..."
"... Regarding Trump's communications with Putin, Cummings, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff and Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel say they are examining the substance of in-person meetings and phone calls, the effects on foreign policy, and whether anyone has sought to conceal those communications. ..."
"... The Constitution gives the executive branch exclusive power to conduct foreign relations, Cipollone said. "Congress cannot require the president to disclose confidential communications with foreign leaders." ..."
Mar 21, 2019 | www.bloomberg.com

A key House Democrat is renewing demands that the White House turn over documents about the use of private texts or emails by Jared Kushner, saying Kushner's lawyer acknowledged that the senior aide used the non-secure WhatsApp application to communicate with foreign leaders.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings said in a letter sent Thursday to White House Counsel Pat Cipollone that the administration has failed to produce documents tied to Kushner and other officials despite requests from the committee since 2017. Cummings also sought a briefing on how the official messages are being preserved.

... ... ...

The White House didn't immediately respond to requests for comment. But in another stand-off with House Democrats, Cipollone on Thursday rejected a request renewed last week from Cummings and two other committee chairmen for information on Trump's communications with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

WhatsApp

Cummings, to underscore his concern about whether unsecured White House communications have included classified information, said in his letter that Lowell acknowledged during the December meeting that Kushner had used WhatsApp to communicate with foreign leaders.

Kushner is a senior White House adviser and the son-in-law of President Donald Trump , overseeing the administration's Middle East policies among other issues. Cummings said he and then-Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy , a Republican who has since retired from Congress, met with Lowell in December.

Cummings's letter said Lowell said that Kushner has been in compliance with the law, and that he takes "screenshots" of communications on his private WhatsApp account and forwards them to his official White House email account or to the National Security Council.

Cummings wrote that when asked whether Kushner ever used WhatsApp to discuss classified information, Lowell replied, "That's above my pay grade."

The focus on Kushner and others follows the earlier investigations by the Justice Department and Republican-controlled congressional committees of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server when she served as secretary of state during the Obama administration.

'Alternative Means'

In Thursday's letter, Cummings said the White House's refusal to turn over documents is "obstructing the committee's investigation into allegations of violations of federal records laws" and potential breaches of national security. He demanded that the White House say by March 28 whether it intends to comply voluntarily with the renewed requests.

"If you continue to withhold these documents from the committee, we will be forced to consider alternative means to obtain compliance," Cummings said.

... ... ....

K.T. McFarland

Cummings also wrote that his committee has obtained new information about other White House officials that raises additional security and federal records concerns about the use of private email and messaging applications.

His letter said others may have been involved in the practice while they worked at the White House, including former deputy national security adviser K.T. McFarland and former chief strategist Steve Bannon.

Cummings said the committee obtained a document that "appears" to show that McFarland conducted official business on her personal email account. He said the document was related to efforts by McFarland and other White House officials to transfer sensitive U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia "in coordination with Tom Barrack, a personal friend of President Trump and the chairman of President Trump's inaugural committee."

The chairman said another document appeared to show that Bannon received documents "pitching the plan from Mr. Barrack through his personal email account," at a time Bannon was at the White House and working on broader Middle East policy.

Regarding Trump's communications with Putin, Cummings, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff and Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel say they are examining the substance of in-person meetings and phone calls, the effects on foreign policy, and whether anyone has sought to conceal those communications.

In a written response Thursday, Cipollone wrote, "While we respectfully seek to accommodate appropriate oversight requests, we are unaware of any precedent supporting such sweeping requests."

The Constitution gives the executive branch exclusive power to conduct foreign relations, Cipollone said. "Congress cannot require the president to disclose confidential communications with foreign leaders."

In a joint statement on Thursday night, Cummings, Engel and Schiff said that the Obama administration had "produced records describing the president and secretary of state's calls with foreign leaders." The congressmen added that "President Trump's decision to break with this precedent raises the question of what he has to hide."

( Updates with statement from Cummings, Schiff and Engel, in final paragraph. )

[Mar 21, 2019] Trump s Terrible Golan Heights Recognition Decision

Notable quotes:
"... Trump's statement is just the latest in a string of bad decisions that are absurdly biased in favor of Israel. No U.S. interests are advanced by doing this, and it discredits any criticisms that the U.S. wants to make of any other government's illegal occupation and annexation of territory. The double standard that the U.S. applies when it comes to violations of international law by itself and its clients could not be more obvious, and it will make it much more difficult to challenge similarly egregious violations in the future. ..."
Mar 21, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

By Daniel Larison March 21, 2019, 1:11 PM

There were hints in recent days that U.S. recognition of Israel's claim to the Golan Heights was coming, and now the president has done it. Israel's control of this territory dates back to the 1967 war, when Israel grabbed this part of Syria and refused to return it. Israel has no legitimate claim to this territory, and in recognizing Israeli sovereignty over land that it seized during a war the U.S. is sending a potentially very dangerous message to governments all around the world. Perhaps most dangerous of all is the signal that it sends to Israeli hard-liners that want to annex some or all of the West Bank. It tells them that illegal occupation will eventually be rewarded with full U.S. recognition, and it also tells them that the U.S. isn't going to pay any attention to international law when it comes to making decisions regarding Israeli control over occupied territories.

Trump's statement is just the latest in a string of bad decisions that are absurdly biased in favor of Israel. No U.S. interests are advanced by doing this, and it discredits any criticisms that the U.S. wants to make of any other government's illegal occupation and annexation of territory. The double standard that the U.S. applies when it comes to violations of international law by itself and its clients could not be more obvious, and it will make it much more difficult to challenge similarly egregious violations in the future.

[Mar 21, 2019] Trump decided to please Zionists billionaires: recognition of Isreal right for Golan heights

Notable quotes:
"... I see this decision as being very instructive. The United States has now dropped any pretense of being an honest broker. ..."
"... I keep hearing how he is a puppet of Putin from the mainstream media, however they don't say anything about the endless work he does for Israel. ..."
"... It's curious that Trump must go out of his way to boost Bibi Netanyahu. Perhaps he thinks that AIPAC will really help him next year when he runs for re-election? AIPAC will give him money, but I doubt this move will get him many more Jewish voters. ..."
"... This is all for a big "hurrah" from the AIPAC Congress when Netanyahu visits next week. Trump does not think in longer time periods than his next public rally. ..."
"... I genuinely doubt that he comprehends the precedent this gives to other bully nations. Certainly, Bolton won't inform him. ..."
Mar 21, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Practical Matters, March 21, 2019 at 1:35 pm

It's increasingly hard to view Trump as an American president. I don't know exactly what the hell he is, but he obviously spends more time working for Israel and Saudi Arabia than he does doing what the American people hired him to do. Israel's Netanyahu and that Saudi Arabian prince who kills journalists seem to get everything they want from Trump, but America gets zilch. No wall, no infrastructure, no America First foreign policy. The stuff he has delivered, we didn't want it: more immigrants, the biggest national debt in history, more Mideast wars.

Voted Trump in 2016. Never again. And not just "never again". I hope Mueller or some other competent law enforcement type gets him dead to rights and puts him and his corrupt associates in prison. A shame they can't put him in the same cell as Hillary Clinton.

Kouros March 21, 2019 at 2:02 pm

So possession and ability to militarily defend what you occupy is enough justification.

etc. It also opens the way for some expansion for the US, like parallel 53, especially if Climate Change does end up having more impact in the Midwest and West

Jay C , says: March 21, 2019 at 2:13 pm
Well, even leaving aside the fact that this Administration seems to consider even the concept of " international law" to be basically illegitimate, I wouldn't worry too much about the Golan Heights being used as a precedent.

I'm sure that as soon as some government we don't like annexes some land it occupied, the US will be properly outraged

Party Favors , says: March 21, 2019 at 2:59 pm
For almost three years now he's been doing things like this instead of working for the Americans who voted for him.

That's why he'll be gone in 2020.

Sid Finster , says: March 21, 2019 at 3:03 pm
I see this decision as being very instructive. The United States has now dropped any pretense of being an honest broker.

Meanwhile, Practical Matters pretty much practically nails it.

spite , says: March 21, 2019 at 4:07 pm
I keep hearing how he is a puppet of Putin from the mainstream media, however they don't say anything about the endless work he does for Israel.
Rossbach , says: March 21, 2019 at 4:12 pm
Why does the US have to take a position on this matter at all? It is really not our problem. The Israelis created this situation in 1967. Let them solve it.
Uncle Billy , says: March 21, 2019 at 4:13 pm
It's curious that Trump must go out of his way to boost Bibi Netanyahu. Perhaps he thinks that AIPAC will really help him next year when he runs for re-election? AIPAC will give him money, but I doubt this move will get him many more Jewish voters.
Whine Merchant , says: March 21, 2019 at 4:55 pm
This is all for a big "hurrah" from the AIPAC Congress when Netanyahu visits next week. Trump does not think in longer time periods than his next public rally.

I genuinely doubt that he comprehends the precedent this gives to other bully nations. Certainly, Bolton won't inform him.

[Mar 21, 2019] Well, if you are concerted that Pentagon is run by former Boing official, please remain silent. Trump is as far from a typical President as one can get.

Is there anyone in this administration not under investigation?
Mar 21, 2019 | finance.yahoo.com

Dee 3 hours ago

"President typically take pains to ensure the Pentagon is being run by Senate confirmed official" .Presidents typically don't put incompetent people in cabinet positions or give his kids top security level clearances when they have no need and no experience that requires one...well, no one has accused trump of being presidential or typical - ever

Dianna 4 hours ago

The swamp is now the " Trump Cesspool."

Nonconservative 3 hours ago

Hey deplorables....hows that swamp draining going?...ANYWORD on that great big beautiful health plan with lower premiums and keeping my own doctor?....what about infrastructure?...any idea when the roads in every city will be driveable again...or did we spend all the money from the US govt. paying Trump to stay at his own hotels?........hello?......hello deplorables?......anybody home????

Pierre Escargot 1 hour ago

Pentagon to probe if Shanahan used office to help Boeing. Why not? Robert Mueller's and James Comey turned government service into self-service.

>

[Mar 21, 2019] Look who's ready to fight Trump's trade war now

Mar 09, 2019 | socialistworker.org

Is Donald Trump starting to look like a softie on the trade conflict with China compared to sections of the U.S. business and political elite? Dorian Bon explains the background.

WHEN DONALD Trump launched his trade war on China last spring, he had to drag the U.S. political and business establishment along with him.

Most elected officials in both parties and a large majority of corporate execs cringed at the thought of a protracted trade war that would disturb the ordinary flow of profits and investments between the world's two largest economies.

Now, as Trump and his team seek a negotiated settlement with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Trump finds himself in the opposite position -- facing bipartisan pressures not to back down or compromise in any U.S.-China trade deal.

Even Trump's own trade negotiator Bob Lighthizer -- who helped bend Japanese auto companies to the will of the Reagan administration in the mid-1980s -- has grown frustrated with the president , wanting him to take a harder line on Chinese telecom giant Huawei and keep the threat of further tariff increases on the table.

Donald Trump and Xi Jinping meet during the 2018 G20 Summit in Buenos Aires
Donald Trump and Xi Jinping meet during the 2018 G20 Summit in Buenos Aires

The context for this strange turnabout is the new common sense across the political spectrum: the idea that China poses a threat to U.S. jobs, security and technological dominance.

Trump's advisers fully expect the eventual Democratic nominee in 2020 to try to outflank him to the right on China and the defense of U.S. manufacturing. And the political competition over anti-Chinese toughness could very well throw a wrench into the continuing bilateral negotiations with China.

Even big American capital -- which, outside of the steel industry, has been almost universally opposed to Trump's tariffs -- is warming to the administration's more aggressive stance toward China.

Most U.S. CEOs are still hostile to the use of tariffs as an economic weapon, especially against their North American and European trading partners. But they also have serious concerns about the rapid development of Chinese high-tech manufacturing, the transfer -- by contract and by coercion -- of U.S. technologies to Chinese firms, and investment restrictions for U.S. companies in China.

Somewhat to their surprise, Corporate America sees Trump forcing Xi's hand on these issues more effectively than Barack Obama or George W. Bush before him.

Josh Bolten, president of the Business Roundtable -- an association of the U.S.'s largest companies, collectively worth $8 trillion and employing 15 million workers -- put it this way during a recent interview with Washington trade experts Scott Miller and Bill Reinsch on their podcast The Trade Guys :

The CEOs of the Business Roundtable have found themselves in agreement...with the Trump administration on most of the objectives of the very aggressive posture that the administration has taken with respect to China.

As both of you also know, that is an evolution...of the business community's position. The Roundtable doesn't speak for the whole business community, but I think there has been an evolution throughout the business community on this. And that is that the posture of waiting for democratic, market-oriented capitalism gravity to have its effect on the Chinese has proven not to be a viable approach.

Bolten went on to lament the defeat of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) -- a major Obama-era economic agreement that Trump opposed on the campaign trail and terminated once he took office -- as a missed opportunity to contain China's rise and secure crucial markets where U.S. and Chinese companies are in direct competition.

Bolten and most of the U.S. ruling class see -- somewhat in contrast to Trump -- the strengthening of a multilateral alliance of Western and pro-Western countries as the best strategy to counter the threat of a growing Chinese rival.

But Bolten is unambiguous and Trump-sounding about the goal of the strategy. "All of our interests are actually consistent with each other in confronting the threat that an economically hegemonic China poses for the entire world," he explained.


HEARING A leading representative of the American corporate elite talk about the threat of Chinese economic hegemony on "the entire world" is alarming to say the least -- and demonstrates that Trump doesn't have a monopoly on anti-China discourse by any stretch of the imagination.

That isn't to underplay the serious disagreements over strategy between the Trump administration and most of the U.S. business world.

Many corporate leaders are concerned about the fact that Trump is simultaneously in tense trade negotiations with the European Union and brandishing the threat of tariffs on car imports (primarily impacting Germany and Japan), a move which virtually every single American auto-company angrily opposes.

And they appear to be signing on only half-heartedly to Trump's renegotiated NAFTA, now dubbed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement -- which contains some attractive updates on digital trade (mostly lifted from the TPP, ironically enough), but is broadly seen as a step backwards for corporate profits and preferable only to a collapse of NAFTA altogether.

These raise question for U.S. corporate rulers: If Trump is so concerned with the Chinese threat, why doesn't he focus his fire in that direction, instead of toward allies?

This will be the line of attack against Trump from much of the political and corporate establishment, including those who are Democrats or support them, moving forward into the new election cycle.

To Trump and his team, however, trade disputes and negotiations with Canada, Mexico, the European Union, Japan and China are all so many elements of a larger plan to keep as much of global industry as possible within the continental U.S.

For the largest American companies -- which have positioned themselves at the technological peak of a globalized network of supply chains, markets and investments -- Trump's economic nationalism poses an opportunity to challenge China, but new problems in relation to the rest of the world.

The biggest CEOs and industry lobbies are still figuring out a response.


THE REVERBERATIONS of the U.S.-China trade war have been felt across the corporate world, perhaps nowhere more starkly than in telecommunications.

As geopolitical tensions between the U.S. and China have deepened, telecom companies and state governments have been preparing for the highly anticipated rollout of 5G cellular networks. 5G, or fifth generation, technology is expected to speed up data flows (and increase data volumes) across cell phone and other digital communication systems.

Many analysts predict the degree of change brought on by 5G will be similar to that of the 3G and 4G evolutions, which underpinned the smartphone boom. This time around, however, most eyes are trained on what the new networks will mean for digitized and computerized manufacturing, commerce and transportation more broadly.

For the leadership of both main U.S. political parties, the excitement around 5G has been muted by hostility toward the world's largest telecom equipment supplier (and second largest cell phone seller), the Chinese corporation Huawei.

With $7.55 billion in profits in 2017 and the most cost-competitive telecom equipment in the world, Huawei has been widely predicted to be one of the main beneficiaries of the 5G expansion.

But Congress has been on an offensive against the company since 2012 , and the Trump administration has escalated the attacks.

Trump has gone on a global campaign with broad bipartisan support to persuade allied states to ban Huawei entirely from their domestic markets. He has also planned to issue an executive order to bar the company from the U.S. economy as well, though he seems to have now turned this threat into a bargaining chip in his dealmaking with Xi and China.

The justification for bans is that Huawei could use its access to the cellular networks it builds overseas to spy on foreign governments. The extraordinary hypocrisy of this claim coming from the main surveillance power in world history has not been lost on most people following the debate.

Meanwhile, Trump instructed the Canadian government to arrest and extradite Huawei's Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, daughter of Huawei founder and President Ren Zhengfei, during a routine visit to Vancouver. The charges against Wanzhou stemmed from alleged violations of U.S. sanctions on Iran. Wanzhou's extradition hearing began this week and could drag on for months.

Wanzhou's arrest could also be used as a bargaining chip by Trump, though most of Trump's staff is reticent to bring a separate legal proceeding into a trade agreement for fear of discrediting the courts.


PART OF what is so striking about the case of Huawei and 5G is how it flatly contradicts the whole logic of the current neoliberal world order of free markets and free trade.

According to the propaganda, under neoliberalism, any buyer should be allowed to make their purchases from any company that offers the best products for the lowest prices. For many buyers, including national governments, that company is clearly Huawei.

Now, however, the U.S. state is attempting to restrict the field and eliminate the Chinese option from the market. In other words, what we're witnessing in this crucial sector of the global economy is an open attempt by the world's most powerful state to create trade blocs in telecommunications that shut out one of China's most prominent companies.

While both Republicans and Democrats in Congress are rallying behind the attacks on Huawei, the response from the U.S. and European information technology industries has been much more conflicted.

The main lobby for telecom and technology companies in the U.S., the Information Technology Industry Council, has been clamoring for Trump to strike a deal with Xi and drop the tariffs. Chuck Robbins, CEO of the largest American telecom equipment maker, Cisco Systems, insists Trump's tariffs and sanctions are unnecessary.

"We don't need anything else to beat these guys or to beat any of our competition in the marketplace," Robbins said in February . Huawei competitors Ericsson and Nokia -- multinational companies based in Sweden and Finland, respectively -- have claimed that they're ready to supply Europe's 5G infrastructures in the event of a Huawei ban, indicating they may have some sympathy with Trump's efforts.


AS OF now, the Trump administration's campaign to block Huawei from the world's markets has had mixed results. Both British and German intelligence agencies are leaning toward accepting Huawei as a legitimate business partner, as is the French Senate .

In the Czech Republic, a conflict has emerged pitting President Miloš Zeman, who wants to strengthen ties with China, and the Czech cybersecurity agency, which has labeled Huawei a threat to national security. Debates on the same topic are also underway in Italy and Canada .

Australia's Foreign Minister Marise Payne, staking out the most extreme anti-Huawei position, has fully embraced Trump's ban and vowed to maintain it, even if Trump himself backs away from his current position. New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, on other the hand, rejected the idea of a blanket ban .

Crucially, Narendra Modi's right-wing government in India has so far opposed the idea of banning Huawei .

Despite ongoing China-India tensions, the offer of cheap telecommunications equipment to expand India's cellular infrastructure seems too attractive for Modi and his business allies to decline. The fact that the Trump administration is simultaneously weighing raising tariffs and restrictions on Indian products is certainly not helping to convince Modi to further antagonize Beijing.

However unsuccessful the Trump White House has been in forcing the hand of other states, the president and congressional leaders are well aware of the economic leverage they have against key Chinese companies.

Last year, the Trump administration brought China's second telecom corporation, ZTE, to the brink of collapse when he issued a temporary ban on trade between the company and American suppliers. ZTE is totally dependent on U.S. imports of advanced communications equipment and might have been destroyed if Trump had not chosen to lift the ban before entering negotiations with Xi.

Similar bans by the Trump administration have nearly brought down the Chinese state-owned chipmaking company Fujian Jinhua, which has announced it will have to cease production altogether in March if it cannot buy more imports of crucial American equipment.


WITH ALL of these variables at play, the next year in the U.S.-China economic relationship is impossible to predict.

The financial costs of unraveling one of the largest state-to-state commercial relationships in modern history may prove too high for either side to escalate the 2018-19 trade conflict any further, especially as the global economy passes the high point of the business cycle and heads toward another likely recession .

The two heads of state plan to meet at the end of March, possibly at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, to sign a trade agreement.

For Trump to sell the deal to an increasingly hawkish Congress, he will have to demonstrate "progress" on the goals he articulated at the outset of the trade war: more Chinese purchases of American products, stronger intellectual property safeguards for U.S. corporations and less state subsidies for Chinese companies. It remains to be seen whether Trump will decide to incorporate a compromise on Huawei into the deal.

Whatever the outcome of this round of negotiations -- and it is still possible that they could fall apart -- what is unfolding today is undoubtedly just the first act in a long and tempestuous drama.

China is clearly a growing geopolitical rival to the U.S., and Chinese corporations are quickly developing the capacity to compete with their U.S. counterparts on a global scale in the most advanced areas of high-tech manufacturing.

This means that many more economic confrontations between the two states are inevitable. And as politicians on both sides of the aisle have made abundantly clear, Trump will not be the last president to stoke tensions with China.

Then there is the question of how the perspectives of the largest American businesses will change as this conflict develops.

Josh Bolten, the Business Roundtable president, claims that the CEOs he represents have been through an "evolution" in their views that brings them closer to Trump's "aggressive posture" toward China. Yet at the same time, there continues to be near-universal opposition to tariffs and trade wars within these elite strata.

So what kind of "aggressive posture" do these leading American capitalists hope to adopt? With more money and power concentrated in their hands than any other ruling class in the world, the stance that these elites take toward U.S.-China relations will be very important.

If the American 1 Percent drifts any further toward the rising economic nationalism articulated by their political representatives in Washington, future flare-ups between the two countries may be a great deal worse.

[Mar 20, 2019] John McCain Associate Provided Dossier to Obama National Security Council Breitbart

Mar 20, 2019 | www.breitbart.com

David Kramer, a long-time advisor to late Senator John McCain, revealed that he met with two Obama administration officials to inquire about whether the anti-Trump dossier authored by former British spy Christopher Steele was being taken seriously.

In one case, Kramer said that he personally provided a copy of the dossier to Obama National Security Council official Celeste Wallander.

In a deposition on Dec. 13, 2017 that was recently posted online, Kramer said that McCain specifically asked him in early December 2016 to meet about the dossier with Wallander and Victoria Nuland, a senior official in John Kerry's State Department. Senator McCain asked me to meet with both of them to see if this was being taken seriously in the government," Kramer said.

"And Senator McCain asked you to meet with them?" Kramer was asked to clarify.

"Yes, just to see if this was being taken seriously. I think he wanted to do -- this was his kind of due diligence before he went to Director Comey."

Kramer testified that in his conversations with Nuland and Wallander he was told by both of them that each were aware of the dossier and that Nuland "thought Steele was a serious person."

Kramer revealed that he gave a copy of the dossier to Wallander, who was familiar with the contents but did not have a copy.

"I had a subsequent conversation with Ms. Wallander in which I gave her a copy of the document. That was probably around New Year's," he said.

"She had not seen it herself until I had shown it to her," Kramer added. "She had heard about it. And she didn't know the status of it."

In the same testimony, the McCain associate revealed that he held a meeting about the dossier with a reporter from BuzzFeed News who he says snapped photos of the controversial document without Kramer's permission when he left the room to go to the bathroom. That meeting was held at the McCain Institute office in Washington, Kramer stated.

BuzzFeed infamously published Steele's full dossier on January 10, 2017 setting off a firestorm of news media coverage about the document.

Prior to his death, McCain admitted to personally handing the dossier to then-FBI Director James Comey but he refused repeated requests for comment about whether he had a role in providing the dossier to BuzzFeed, including numerous inquiries sent to his office by this reporter.

In his book published last year, McCain maintained he had an "obligation" to pass the dossier charges against Trump to Comey and he would even do it again. "Anyone who doesn't like it can go to hell," McCain exclaimed.

Kramer, meanwhile, also said that he briefed others reporters on the dossier contents, including CNN's Carl Bernstein, in an effort to have the anti-Trump charges verified.

The same day BuzzFeed released the full dossier, CNN first reported the leaked information that the controversial contents of the dossier were presented during classified briefings inside classified documents presented one week earlier to then-President Obama and President-elect Trump.

Kramer said that he believed McCain was sought out in order to provide credibility to the dossier claims.

"I think they felt a senior Republican was better to be the recipient of this rather than a Democrat because if it were a Democrat, I think that the view was that it would have been dismissed as a political attack," Kramer stated.

The controversial Fusion GPS firm hired Steele to do the anti-Trump work that resulted in the compilation of the dossier. Fusion GPS was paid for its anti-Trump work by Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign and the Democratic National Committee via the Perkins Coie law firm.

Kramer's testimony sheds a new light on the role of the Obama administration in disseminating the largely-discredited dossier that was reportedly involved in the FBI's initial investigation into the Trump campaign and unsubstantiated claims of Russian collusion. Also Comey cited the dossier as evidence in a successful FISA application to obtain a warrant to conduct surveillance on Carter Page, a former adviser to President Trump's 2016 campaign. The testimony also revealed how McCain was utilized to give the wild dossier charges a credibility boost.

Nuland and dossier

Nuland's specific role in the dossier episode has been the subject of some controversy for her.

In their book , "Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin's War on America and the Election of Donald Trump," authors and reporters by Michael Isikoff and David Corn write that Nuland gave the green light for the FBI to first meet with Steele regarding his dossier's claims. It was at that meeting that Steele initially reported his dossier charges to the FBI, the book relates.

Steele sought out Rome-based FBI Special Agent Michael Gaeta, with whom he had worked on a previous case. Before Gaeta met with Steele on July 5, 2016, the book relates that the FBI first secured the support of Nuland, who at the time was assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs specializing in Russia.

Regarding the arrangements for Steele's initial meeting with the FBI about the dossier claims, Isikoff and Corn report:

There were a few hoops Gaeta had to jump through. He was assigned to the U.S. embassy in Rome. The FBI checked with Victoria Nuland's office at the State Department : Do you support this meeting ? Nuland, having found Steele's reports on Ukraine to have been generally credible, gave the green light.

Within a few days, on July 5, Gaeta arrived and headed to Steele's office near Victoria station . Steele handed him a copy of the report. Gaeta, a seasoned FBI agent, started to read . He turned white. For a while, Gaeta said nothing . Then he remarked, "I have to report this to headquarters."

The book documents that Nuland previously received Steele's reports on the Ukrainian crisis and had been familiar with Steele's general work.

Nuland faced confirmation questions prior to her appointment as assistant secretary of state over her reported role in revising controversial Obama administration talking points about the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attacks. Her reported changes sought to protect Clinton's State Department from accusations that it failed to adequately secure the woefully unprotected U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi.

Nuland's name surfaced in a flurry of news media reports last year about the dossier and Kerry's State Department.

Sidney Blumenthal

An extensive New Yorker profile of Steele named another former official from Kerry's State Department for alleged involvement in circulating the dossier. The magazine reported that Kerry's chief of staff at the State Department, John Finer, obtained the contents of a two-page summary of the dossier and eventually decided to share the questionable document with Kerry.

Finer received the dossier summary from Jonathan M. Winer, the Obama State Department official who acknowledged regularly interfacing and exchanging information with Steele, according to the report. Winer previously conceded that he shared the dossier summary with Nuland.

After his name surfaced in news media reports related to probes by House Republicans into the dossier, Winer authored a Washington Post oped in which he conceded that while he was working at the State Department he exchanged documents and information with Steele.

Winer further acknowledged that while at the State Department, he shared anti-Trump material with Steele passed to him by longtime Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal, whom Winer described as an "old friend." Winer wrote that the material from Blumenthal – which Winer in turn gave to Steele – originated with Cody Shearer, who is a controversial figure long tied to various Clinton scandals.

Nuland, Winer Give Conflicting Accounts

There are seeming discrepancies between Winer and Nuland about actions taken involving the dossier.

Nuland described in a Politico podcast interview what she claimed was her reaction when she was presented with Steele's dossier information at the State Department.

She said that she offered advice to "those who were interfacing with" Steele, immediately telling the intermediary or intermediaries that Steele "should get this information to the FBI." She further explained that a career employee at the State Department could not get involved with the dossier charges since such actions could violate the Hatch Act, which prevents employees in the executive branch of the federal government from engaging in certain kinds of political activities.

In a second interview, this one with CBS's Face The Nation, Nuland also stated that her "immediate" reaction was to refer Steele to the FBI.

Here is a transcript of the relevant section of her February 5 interview with Susan B. Glasser, who described Nuland as "my friend" and referred to her by her nickname "Toria":

Glasser: When did you first hear about his dossier?

Nuland: I first heard -- and I didn't know who his client was until much later, until 2017, I think, when it came out. I first heard that he had done work for a client asserting these linkages -- I think it was late July, something like that.

Glasser: That's very interesting. And you would have taken him seriously just because you knew that he knew what he was talking about on Russia?

Nuland: What I did was say that this is about U.S. politics, and not the work of -- not the business of the State Department, and certainly not the business of a career employee who is subject to the Hatch Act, which requires that you stay out of politics. So, my advice to those who were interfacing with him was that he should get this information to the FBI, and that they could evaluate whether they thought it was credible.

Glasser: Did you ever talk about it with anyone else higher up at the department? With Secretary Kerry or anybody else?

Nuland: Secretary Kerry was also aware. I think he's on the record and he had the same advice.

Nuland stated that Kerry "was also aware" of the dossier, but she did not describe how he was made aware. She made clear that she told "those who were interfacing" with Steele to go to the FBI since any State Department involvement could violate the Hatch Act.

Her Politico podcast interview was not the only time she claimed that her reaction was to refer Steele to the FBI.

On Face The Nation on February 4, Nuland engaged in the following exchange in which she stated her "immediate" reaction was to refer Steele to the FBI (emphasis added):

MARGARET BRENNAN: The dossier.

VICTORIA NULAND: The dossier, he passed two to four pages of short points of what he was finding, and our immediate reaction to that was, "This is not in our purview. This needs to go to the FBI, if there is any concern here that one candidate or the election as a whole might be influenced by the Russian federation. That's something for the FBI to investigate."

And that was our reaction when we saw this. It's not our -- we can't evaluate this. And frankly, if every member of the campaign who the Russians tried to approach and tried to influence had gone to the FBI as well in real time, we might not be in the mess we're in today.

Nuland gave the two interviews after her name started surfacing in news media reports involving Kerry's State Department and the dossier. Her name also came up in relation to a criminal referral of Steele to the Justice Department in the form of a letter authored last year by Sen. Chuck Grassley, who at the time chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

The Grassley-Graham criminal referral contains redacted information that Steele received information from someone in the State Department, who in turn had been in contact with a "foreign sub-source" who was in touch with a redacted name described as a "friend of the Clintons."

Numerous media reports have since stated that the source of information provided to the State Department that was in turn passed on to Steele was Cody Shearer, a controversial figure tied to the Clintons who is also an associate of longtime Clinton friend Sidney Blumenthal. According to sources who spoke to CNN, Shearer's information was passed from Blumenthal to Winer, who at the time was a special State Department envoy for Libya working under Kerry. Winer says that Kerry personally recruited him to work at the State Department.

It is Winer's version of events that seems to conflict with Nuland's.

In an oped published in the Washington Post, Winer identified Nuland as the State Department official with whom he shared Steele's information. Winer writes that Nuland's reaction was that "she felt that the secretary of state needed to be made aware of this material." He does not relate any further reaction from Nuland.

Winer wrote in the Washington Post (emphasis added):

In the summer of 2016, Steele told me that he had learned of disturbing information regarding possible ties between Donald Trump, his campaign and senior Russian officials. He did not provide details but made clear the information involved "active measures," a Soviet intelligence term for propaganda and related activities to influence events in other countries.

In September 2016, Steele and I met in Washington and discussed the information now known as the "dossier." Steele's sources suggested that the Kremlin not only had been behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign but also had compromised Trump and developed ties with his associates and campaign.

I was allowed to review, but not to keep, a copy of these reports to enable me to alert the State Department. I prepared a two-page summary and shared it with Nuland, who indicated that, like me, she felt that the secretary of state needed to be made aware of this material.

That was the extent of Winer's description of Nuland's reaction upon being presented with Steele's dossier claims. Nuland's public claim that her "immediate" response was to refer Steele to the FBI since State involvement could violate the Hatch Act seems to conflict with the only reaction that Winer relates from Nuland – that she felt Kerry should be made aware of the dossier information.

In Winer's Washington Post oped, he writes that Steele had a larger relationship with the State Department, passing over 100 reports relating to Russia to the U.S. government agency through Winer. Winer wrote that Nuland found Steele's reports to be "useful" and asked Winer to "continue to send them."

He wrote:

In 2013, I returned to the State Department at the request of Secretary of State John F. Kerry, whom I had previously served as Senate counsel. Over the years, Steele and I had discussed many matters relating to Russia. He asked me whether the State Department would like copies of new information as he developed it. I contacted Victoria Nuland, a career diplomat who was then assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, and shared with her several of Steele's reports. She told me they were useful and asked me to continue to send them. Over the next two years, I shared more than 100 of Steele's reports with the Russia experts at the State Department, who continued to find them useful. None of the reports related to U.S. politics or domestic U.S. matters, and the reports constituted a very small portion of the data set reviewed by State Department experts trying to make sense of events in Russia.

Kramer and the dossier

In his book, "The Restless Wave," McCain provided an inside account of how he says he came across the dossier.

He wrote that he was told about the claims in the document at a security conference in Canada in November 2016, where he was approached by Sir Andrew Wood, a former British ambassador to Moscow and friend of ex-British spy Christopher Steele, the author of the dossier.

McCain wrote that Wood told him Steele "had been commissioned to investigate connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents as well as potentially compromising information about the President-elect that Putin allegedly possessed."

McCain, however, did not address the obvious question of whether he was told exactly who "commissioned" Steele to "investigate" the alleged Russian ties. The dossier was paid for by Clinton's campaign and the DNC.

McCain goes on to describe Wood as telling him Steele's work "was mostly raw, unverified intelligence, but that the author strongly believed merited a thorough examination by counterintelligence experts."

The politician says the dossier claims described to him were "too strange a scenario to believe, something out of a le Carré novel, not the kind of thing anyone has ever actually had to worry about with a new President, no matter what other concerns."

Still, McCain says he reasoned that "even a remote risk that the President of the United States might be vulnerable to Russian extortion had to be investigated."

McCain concedes Wood told him he had not actually read the dossier himself, and writes that he wasn't sure if he ever met Wood before and couldn't recall previously having a conversation with Wood. Still, McCain took Wood's word for it when Wood vouched for Steele's credibility. "Steele was a respected professional, Wood assured us, who had good Russian contacts and long experience collecting and analyzing intelligence on the Kremlin," McCain wrote.

Present at the meeting with Wood and McCain was Kramer, who McCain writes agreed to "go to London to meet Steele, confirm his credibility and report back to me."

McCain doesn't detail Kramer's visit to London beyond simply writing, "When David returned, and shared his impression that the former spy was, as Sir Andrew had vouched, a respected professional, and not to outward appearances given to hyperbole or hysteria, I agreed to receive a copy of what is now referred to as 'the dossier.'''

McCain leaves out exactly where Kramer obtained his dossier copy.

The Washington Post reported last February that Kramer received the dossier directly from Fusion GPS after McCain expressed interest in it. Those details marked the clearest indication that McCain may have known that the dossier originated with Fusion GPS, meaning that he may have knowingly passed on political material to the FBI.

Also, in a New York Times oped in January, GPS co-founders Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritch wrote that they helped McCain share their anti-Trump dossier with the Obama-era intelligence community via an unnamed "emissary."

In his own testimony, Kramer relates conversations with Simpson about the dossier.

Aaron Klein is Breitbart's Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, " Aaron Klein Investigative Radio ." Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.

[Mar 20, 2019] Disney Rehires Director James Gunn As Part Of Company-Wide Push Towards Embracing Pedophilia

Mar 20, 2019 | www.theonion.com

BURBANK, CA -- In an effort to better integrate its values into the heart of its brand, the Walt Disney Company announced Tuesday it had decided to rehire writer–director James Gunn to helm Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 as part of a company-wide push to embrace pedophilia. "Pedophiles have always had an important role to play at Disney, but now more than ever we want to put people who have sex with children front and center," said company spokesperson Eloise Andrade, who explained that the decision to fire Gunn from the Marvel franchise had come only after the filmmaker angered Disney executives by apologizing for his 2009 tweets about enjoying pedophilia. "From John Lasseter to Harvey Weinstein, this company has a rich history of sexual predation, so Mr. Gunn, with his public endorsement of man–boy love, was always a good fit at Disney. We're glad to have him back as we move forward with our plan to inject a pedophilic spirit into everything we create, be it a Marvel film that centers on Baby Groot or an extended release of 1928's Steamboat Willie in which Mickey Mouse is shown to be transporting bound-and-gagged children in his ship's cargo hold." Andrade was quick to add that producers would be keeping a close eye on Gunn to make sure he does not try issuing any more apologies for the intense sexual yearnings he feels toward young children.

[Mar 20, 2019] Neoliberals of Clinton wing of Dems behave like as a stubborn offended child

Mar 20, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

Bad morals in a president? With Bill Clinton in office, the left was basically indifferent. With Donald Trump, it's indignant. Intense hostility to Russia? Previously a sign of paranoia; currently a prerequisite to patriotism.

Accusing the C.I.A. or F.B.I. of conspiring against our freedom? What was once de rigueur among progressives is now a slur on the good name of people who keep us safe.

[Mar 20, 2019] So many Dem candidates looks like the fog of war

Mar 20, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

psychohistorian , Mar 19, 2019 4:29:46 PM | link

@ testing that responded to my comment that wrote of Berniebots

I will support anyone who wants to take down global private banking and I don't think that includes Bernie

That said, there is a growing mass of young folks that just might try to take over the (s)election process this time around.....will they succeed? Not from what we see of protests against US meddling in Venezuela.....nothing

We will see what TPTB put forward for a circus this time around.....if we make it that far.....

testing , Mar 19, 2019 4:36:06 PM | link
Thank you. Yes indeed. So much candidates. Seems like fog of war. That can only mean they in reality sticking to their original plans.
psychohistorian , Mar 19, 2019 4:50:08 PM | link
@ testing who wrote
"
Yes indeed. So much candidates. Seems like fog of war.
"

With more candidates early on, it takes all that energy and diffuses it for petty warfare instead of a firmly focused "machine" that would take over Congress through the Dem party.

[Mar 20, 2019] The US wants Brazil to join NATO

Mar 20, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Guy Thornton , Mar 19, 2019 4:22:12 PM | link

Merkel might say:

"There is definitely a place for Brazil in NATO. They can have ours."

[Mar 20, 2019] Neoliberal interpretation of Christianity

Mar 20, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Trick Shroade , , March 20, 2019 at 9:46 am

The modern GOP has a very brutalist interpretation of Christianity, one where the money changers bring into the church much needed liquidity.

[Mar 20, 2019] The longer this goes on, the stronger the Bay of Pigs smell grows.

Mar 20, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

worldblee , Mar 19, 2019 3:20:54 PM | link

Random Guiado, the President who wasn't There. The longer this goes on, the stronger the Bay of Pigs smell grows.
Ian , Mar 19, 2019 7:45:09 PM | link
worldblee | Mar 19, 2019 3:20:54 PM | 7:

In reference to your Bag of Pigs comment, I'm waiting for Trump to announce a new Space Race to Mars once they give up on their failed coup in Venezuela. LOL

Ciso Tagori , Mar 19, 2019 8:24:18 PM | link
@7 This time will be bay of rats.

[Mar 20, 2019] Meaning of the word "freedom" for neoliberals

Mar 20, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

lyman alpha blob , , March 20, 2019 at 8:00 am

They want freedom -- for the wolves to eat the sheep.

PKMKII , March 20, 2019 at 1:08 pm

And then act like it's fair because they don't have laws against the sheep eating the wolves.

jefemt , March 20, 2019 at 9:18 am

Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose...

shinola , March 20, 2019 at 1:06 pm

"nothin' ain't worth nothin' but it's free" ;)

[Mar 20, 2019] We must stop the Russians plot to put Trump in office the second time so he can increase the US military budget and bankrupt the Republic

Notable quotes:
"... Given the results of the last 70 years of US policies I would say that quote should now be updated to "Trillions for war, but not one cent for the people." ..."
Mar 20, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Nature_Boy_Wooooo , 57 minutes ago link

We must stop the Russians plot to put Trump in office the second time so he can increase the US military budget.

Kadath , Mar 19, 2019 4:26:41 PM | link
@13 lgfocus - that sounds suspiciously like something a COMMUNIST would say!!!!!!! During the 1797 XYZ scandal C.C. Pinckney reportedly said "Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute." which has been quoted by the Military Industrial Complex ad nauseam for the last 70 years to justify massive military budgets to fight the forever wars.

Given the results of the last 70 years of US policies I would say that quote should now be updated to "Trillions for war, but not one cent for the people."

[Mar 20, 2019] Boing problems and one possible solution

Mar 20, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

John A , , , March 19, 2019 at 4:34 pm

Maybe they should have appointed aviation expert Nikki Haley to the Boeing board earlier.

A little bit of dignity , , , March 19, 2019 at 4:47 pm

How about seppuku for the entire top management?

Synoia , , , March 19, 2019 at 7:55 pm

Safety is at the core of who we are at Boeing

Yes, after money.

drumlin woodchuckles , , , March 19, 2019 at 8:08 pm

At what point does "crapification" become insufficient to describe Boeing's product and process here? At what point do we have to speak of " ford-pintofication"?

[Mar 20, 2019] After we have legitimized transexuals, why not officially adopt transagists too: women practice this for a long time

This is compete trans..
Mar 20, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Not The Onion: Scholar Makes "Moral Case" For Letting People Decide Their Own Age

...Says recognition of ' trans-ageism ' would prevent 'severe discrimination'

[Mar 20, 2019] What Republicans and Billionaires Really Mean When They Talk About 'Freedom' by Thom Hartman

Mar 20, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Yves here. This post focuses on an important slice of history in what "freedom" has meant in political discourse in the US. But I wish it had at least mentioned how a well-funded, then extreme right wing effort launched an open-ended campaign to render US values more friendly to business. They explicitly sought to undo New Deal programs and weaken or end other social safety nets. Nixon Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell codified the strategy for this initiative in the so-called Powell Memo of 1971.

One of the most effective spokesmen for this libertarian program was Milton Friedman, whose bestseller Free to Choose became the foundation for a ten-part TV series.

By Thom Hartman, a talk-show host and author of more than 25 books in print . He is a writing fellow at the Independent Media Institute . Produced by the Independent Media Institute

America is having a heated debate about the meaning of the word socialism . We'd be better served if, instead, we were debating the meaning of freedom .

The Oregonian reported last week that fully 156,000 families are on the edge of homelessness in our small-population state. Every one of those households is now paying more than 50 percent of its monthly income on rent, and none of them has any savings; one medical bill, major car repair or job loss, and they're on the streets.

While socialism may or may not solve their problem, the more pressing issue we have is an entire political party and a huge sector of the billionaire class who see homelessness not as a problem, but as a symptom of a "free" society.

The words freedom and liberty are iconic in American culture -- probably more so than with any other nation because they're so intrinsic to the literature, declarations and slogans of our nation's founding.

The irony -- of the nation founded on the world's greatest known genocide (the systematic state murder of tens of millions of Native Americans) and over three centuries of legalized slavery and a century and a half of oppression and exploitation of the descendants of those slaves -- is extraordinary. It presses us all to bring true freedom and liberty to all Americans.

But what do those words mean?

If you ask the Koch brothers and their buddies -- who slap those words on pretty much everything they do -- you'd get a definition that largely has to do with being "free" from taxation and regulation. And, truth be told, if you're morbidly rich, that makes a certain amount of sense, particularly if your main goal is to get richer and richer, regardless of your behavior's impact on working-class people, the environment, or the ability of government to function.

On the other hand, the definition of freedom and liberty that's been embraced by so-called "democratic socialist" countries -- from Canada to almost all of Europe to Japan and Australia -- you'd hear a definition that's closer to that articulated by Franklin D. Roosevelt when he proposed, in January 1944, a " second Bill of Rights " to be added to our Constitution.

FDR's proposed amendments included the right to a job, and the right to be paid enough to live comfortably; the right to "adequate food and clothing and recreation"; the right to start a business and run it without worrying about "unfair competition and domination by monopolies"; the right "of every family to a decent home"; the right to "adequate medical care to achieve and enjoy good health"; the right to government-based "protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment"; and the right "to a good education."

Roosevelt pointed out that, "All of these rights spell security." He added, "America's own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for our citizens. For unless there is security here at home there cannot be lasting peace in the world."

The other nations mentioned earlier took President Roosevelt's advice to heart. Progressive "social democracy" has kept Europe, Canada, and the developed nations of the East and South Pacific free of war for almost a century -- a mind-boggling feat when considering the history of the developed world since the 1500s.

Just prior to FDR winning the White House in the election of 1932, the nation had been treated to 12 years of a bizarre Republican administration that was the model for today's GOP. In 1920, Warren Harding won the presidency on a campaign of "more industry in government, less government in industry" -- privatize and deregulate -- and a promise to drop the top tax rate of 91 percent down to 25 percent.

He kept both promises, putting the nation into a sugar-high spin called the Roaring '20s, where the rich got fabulously rich and working-class people were being beaten and murdered by industrialists when they tried to unionize. Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover (the three Republican presidents from 1920 to 1932) all cheered on the assaults, using phrases like "the right to work" to describe a union-free nation.

In the end, the result of the " horses and sparrows " economics advocated by Harding ("feed more oats to the horses and there'll be more oats in the horse poop to fatten the sparrows" -- that generation's version of trickle-down economics) was the Republican Great Depression (yes, they called it that until after World War II).

Even though Roosevelt was fabulously popular -- the only president to be elected four times -- the right-wingers of his day were loud and outspoken in their protests of what they called "socialist" programs like Social Security, the right to unionize, and government-guaranteed job programs including the WPA, REA, CCC, and others.

The Klan and American Nazis were assembling by the hundreds of thousands nationwide -- nearly 30,000 in Madison Square Garden alone -- encouraged by wealthy and powerful "economic royalists" preaching "freedom" and " liberty ." Like the Kochs' Freedomworks , that generation's huge and well-funded (principally by the DuPonts' chemical fortune) organization was the Liberty League .

Roosevelt's generation had seen the results of this kind of hard-right "freedom" rhetoric in Italy, Spain, Japan and Germany, the very nations with which we were then at war.

Speaking of "the grave dangers of 'rightist reaction' in this Nation," Roosevelt told America in that same speech that: "[I]f history were to repeat itself and we were to return to the so-called 'normalcy' of the 1920s -- then it is certain that even though we shall have conquered our enemies on the battlefields abroad, we shall have yielded to the spirit of Fascism here at home."

Although right-wingers are still working hard to disassemble FDR's New Deal -- the GOP budget for 2019 contains massive cuts to Social Security, as well as to Medicare and Medicaid -- we got halfway toward his notion of freedom and liberty here in the United States:

You're not free if you're old and deep in poverty, so we have Social Security (although the GOP wants to gut it). You're not free if you're hungry, so we have food stamps/SNAP (although the GOP wants to gut them). You're not free if you're homeless, so we have housing assistance and homeless shelters (although the GOP fights every effort to help homeless people). You're not free if you're sick and can't get medical care, so we have Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare (although the GOP wants to gut them all). You're not free if you're working more than 40 hours a week and still can't meet basic expenses, so we have minimum wage laws and the right to unionize (although the GOP wants to gut both). You're not free if you can't read, so we have free public schools (although the GOP is actively working to gut them). You're not free if you can't vote, so we've passed numerous laws to guarantee the right to vote (although the GOP is doing everything it can to keep tens of millions of Americans from voting).

The billionaire class and their wholly owned Republican politicians keep trying to tell us that "freedom" means the government doesn't provide any of the things listed above.

Instead, they tell us (as Ron Paul famously did in a GOP primary debate years ago) that, if we're broke and sick, we're "free" to die like a feral dog in the gutter.

Freedom is homelessness, in the minds of the billionaires who own the GOP.

Poverty, lack of education, no access to health care, poor-paying jobs, and barriers to voting are all proof of a free society, they tell us, which is why America's lowest life expectancy, highest maternal and childhood death rates, lowest levels of education, and lowest pay are almost all in GOP-controlled states .

America -- particularly the Democratic Party -- is engaged in a debate right now about the meaning of socialism . It would be a big help for all of us if we were, instead, to have an honest debate about the meaning of the words freedom and liberty .



cuibono , , March 20, 2019 at 2:53 am

Know Your Rights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lfInFVPkQs

WheresOurTeddy , , March 20, 2019 at 12:28 pm

I have been informed by Fox that knowing your rights is un-American

everydayjoe , , March 20, 2019 at 4:26 am

Let us not forget the other propaganda arm of Republican party and big money- Fox news. They spew the freedom nonsense while not adhering to any definition of the word.

I worked in the midwest as an Engineer in the 90s to early 2000s and saw plants being gutted/shifted overseas, Union influence curtailed and mid level and bottom pay stay flat for decades; all in the name of free market.

Sadly the same families that are the worst affected vote Republican! But we know all this and have known it for a while. What will change?

lyman alpha blob , , March 20, 2019 at 8:00 am

They want freedom -- for the wolves to eat the sheep.

PKMKII , , March 20, 2019 at 1:08 pm

And then act like it's fair because they don't have laws against the sheep eating the wolves.

Norb , , March 20, 2019 at 8:39 am

The intro to this post is spot on. The Powell memo outlined a strategy for a corporate coup d'eta. Is was completely successful. Now that the business class rules America, their only vision is to continue the quest and cannibalize the country and enslave its people by any means possible. What tools do they use to achieve these ends? -- debt, fear, violence and pandering to human vanity as a motivator. Again, very successful.

Instead of honest public debate- which is impossible when undertaken with liars and thieves, a good old manifesto or pamphlet like Common Sense is in order. Something calling out concrete action that can be taken by commoners to regain their social respect and power. That should scare the living daylights out of the complacent and smug elite.

Its that, or a lot of public infrastructure is gong to be broken up by the mob- which doesn't work out in the long run. The nations that learn to work with and inspire their populations will prosper- the rest will have a hard time of it. Look no further than America's fall.

Carla , , March 20, 2019 at 12:00 pm

Thank you, Norb. You've inspired me to start by reading Common Sense.

Jamie S , , March 20, 2019 at 9:13 am

This piece raises some important points, but aims too narrowly at one political party, when the D-party has also been complicit in sharing the framing of "freedom" as less government/regulation/taxation. After all, it was the Clinton administration that did welfare "reform", deregulation of finance, and declared the end of the era of "big government", and both Clinton and Obama showed willingness to cut Social Security and Medicare in a "grand bargain".

WJ , , March 20, 2019 at 12:10 pm

+100

If in place of "the GOP," the author had written, "The national Democratic and Republican parties over the past fifty years," his claim would be much more accurate. To believe what he says about "the GOP," you have to pretend that Clinton, and Obama, and Pelosi, and Schumer, and Feinstein simply don't exist and never did. The author's implicit valorization of Obamacare is even more disheartening.

But perhaps this is the *point* of the piece after all? If I were a consultant to the DNC (and I make less than $100,000/yr so I am clearly not), I would advocate that they commission, underscore, and reward pieces exactly like this one. For the smartest ones surely grasp that the rightist oligarchic policy takeover has in fact happened, and that it has left in its wake millions of disaffected, indebted, uneducated, uninsured Americans.

(Suggesting that it hadn't was the worst idiocy of Clinton's 2016 campaign. It would have been much better had she admitted it and blamed it on the Republican Senate while holding dear old Obama up as a hamstrung martyr for the cause. I mean, this is what everybody at DailyKos already believes, and the masses -- being poor and uneducated and desperate -- can be brought around to believe anything, or anyway, enough of them can be.)

I would advocate that the DNC double down on its rightful claims to Roosevelt's inheritance, embrace phrases like "social democracy" and "freedom from economic insecurity," and shift leftward in all its official rhetoric. Admit the evisceration of the Roosevelt tradition, but blame it all on the GOP. Maybe *maybe* even acknowledge that past Democratic leaders were a little naive and idealistic in their pursuit of bipartisanship, and did not understand the truly horrible intentions of the GOP. But today's Democrats are committed to wresting back the rights of the people from the evil clutches of the Koch Republicans. This sort of thing.

Would my advice be followed? Or would the *really* smart ones in the room demure? If so, why do you think they would?

In short, I read this piece as one stage in an ongoing dialectic in the Democratic Party in the run-up to the 2020 election wherein party leaders try to determine how leftward its "official" rhetoric is able to sway before becoming *so* unbelievable (in light of historical facts) that it cannot serve as effective propaganda -- even among Americans!

NotTimothyGeithner , , March 20, 2019 at 1:34 pm

Team Blue elites are the children of Bill Clinton and the Third Way, so the echo chamber was probably terrible. Was Bill Clinton a bad President? He was the greatest Republican President! The perception of this answer is a key. Who rose and joined Team Blue through this run? Many Democrats don't recognize this, or they don't want to rock the boat. This is the structural problem with Team Blue. The "generic Democrat" is AOC, Omar, Sanders, Warren, and a handful of others.

Can the Team Blue elites embrace a Roosevelt identity? The answer is no. Their ideology is so wildly divergent they can't adjust without a whole sale conversion.

More succinctly, the Third Way isn't about helping Democrats win by accepting not every battle can be won. Its about advancing right wing politics and pretending this isn't what its about. If they are too clear about good policy, they will be accused of betrayal.

jefemt , , March 20, 2019 at 9:18 am

Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose Kris Kristofferson

shinola , , March 20, 2019 at 1:06 pm

"nothin' ain't worth nothin' but it's free"
;)

Trick Shroade , , March 20, 2019 at 9:46 am

The modern GOP has a very brutalist interpretation of Christianity, one where the money changers bring much needed liquidity to the market.

where , , March 20, 2019 at 12:30 pm

it's been 2 generations, but we assure you, the wealth will eventually trickle down

Dwight , , March 20, 2019 at 1:51 pm

Be patient, the horse has to digest your oat.

The Rev Kev , , March 20, 2019 at 10:13 am

This article makes me wonder if the GOP is still a political party anymore. I know, I know, they have the party structure, the candidates, the budget and all the rest of it but when you look at their policies and what they are trying to do, the question does arise. Are they doing it because this is what they believe is their identity as a party or is it that they are simply a vehicle with the billionaires doing the real driving and recruiting? An obvious point is that among billionaires, they see no need to form their own political party which should be telling clue. Certainly the Democrats are no better.

Maybe the question that American should ask themselves is just what does it mean to be an American in the year 2020? People like Norman Rockwell and his Four Freedoms could have said a lot of what it meant some 60 years ago and his work has been updated to reflect the modern era ( https://www.galeriemagazine.com/norman-rockwell-four-freedoms-modern/ ) but the long and the short of it is that things are no longer working for most people anymore -- and not just in America. But a powerful spring can only be pushed back and held in place for so long before there is a rebound effect and I believe that I am seeing signs of this the past few years.

GF , , March 20, 2019 at 11:06 am

And don't forget FRD's Second Bill of Rights:

" a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all -- regardless of station, race, or creed.

Among these are:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;
The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;
The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
The right of every family to a decent home;
The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;
The right to a good education.
All of these rights spell security."

Frank Little , , March 20, 2019 at 10:20 am

America is having a heated debate about the meaning of the word socialism. We'd be better served if, instead, we were debating the meaning of freedom.

I agree, and we should also be having a debate about capitalism as it actually exists. In the US capitalism is always talked about in rosy non-specific terms (e.g. a preference for markets or support for entrepreneurship) while anybody who says they don't necessarily support capitalism has to answer for Stalin's gulag's or the Khmer Rouge. All the inequalities and injustices that have helped people like Howard Schultz or Jeff Bezos become billionaire capitalists somehow aren't part of capitalism, just different problems to be solved somehow but definitely not by questioning capitalism.

Last night I watched the HBO documentary on Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos and I couldn't help but laugh at all these powerful politicians, investors, and legal giants going along with someone who never once demonstrated or even explained how her groundbreaking innovation actually worked. $900 million was poured into that company before people realized something that a Stanford professor interviewed in the documentary saw when she first met Holmes. Fracking companies have been able to consistently raise funding despite consistently losing money and destroying the environment in the process. Bank balance sheets were protected while working people lost everything in the name of preserving American capitalism. I think it's good to debate socialism and capitalism, but there's not really any point if we aren't going to be talking about Actually Existing Capitalism rather than the hypothetical version that's trotted out anytime someone suggests an alternative.

Trick Shroade , , March 20, 2019 at 10:53 am

There was a great comment here on NC a little while ago, something to the effect of "capitalism has the logic of a cancer cell. It's a pile of money whose only goal is to become a bigger pile of money." Of course good things can happen as a side effect of it becoming a bigger pile of money: innovation, efficiencies, improved standard of living, etc. but we need government (not industry) regulation to keep the bad side effects of capitalism in check (like the cancer eventually killing its host).

Carey , , March 20, 2019 at 12:21 pm

"efficiency" is very often not good for the Commons, in the long term.

Frank Little , , March 20, 2019 at 12:31 pm

Shoot, must have missed that comment but it's a good metaphor. Reminds me of Capital vol. 1, which Marx starts with a long and dense treatment of the nature of commodities and commodification in order to capture this process whereby capitalists produce things people really do want or need in order to get at what they really want: return on their investment.

Jack Gavin , , March 20, 2019 at 12:36 pm

I also agree but I think we need to have a the same heated debate over what capitalism means. Over the years I have been subjected to (exposed) to more flavors of socialism than I can count. Yet, other than an introductory economics class way back when, no debatable words about what 'capitalism' is seems to get attention. Maybe it's time to do that and hope that some agreeable definition of 'freedom' falls out.

jrs , , March 20, 2019 at 12:42 pm

of course maybe socialism is the only thing that ever really could solve homelessness, given that it seems to be at this point a worldwide problem, although better some places than others (like the U.S. and UK).

Stratos , , March 20, 2019 at 11:11 am

This article lets the Dems off the hook. They have actively supported the Billionaire Agenda for decades now; sometimes actively (like when they helped gut welfare) and sometimes by enabling Repubs objectives (like voter suppression).

At this point in time, the Dem leadership is working to deep six Medicare for All.

With 'friends' like the Dems, who needs the Repubs?

WheresOurTeddy , , March 20, 2019 at 12:30 pm

our last democratic president was Carter

thump , , March 20, 2019 at 12:38 pm

1) In the history, a mention of the attempted coup against FDR would be good. See The Plot to Seize the White House by Jules Archer. ( Amazon link )

2) For the contemporary intellectual history, I really appreciated Nancy MacLean's Democracy in Chains . ( Amazon link ) Look her up on youtube or Democracy Now . Her book got a bit of press and she interviews well.

Bob of Newton , , March 20, 2019 at 1:58 pm

Please refer to these folks as 'rightwingers'. There are Democratic as well as Republicans who believe in this type of 'freedom'.

Jerry B , , March 20, 2019 at 2:38 pm

This post seems heavily slanted against the GOP and does not take into account how pro-business the Democrats have become. I tenuously agree with Yves intro that much of the current pro business value system campaign in the US was started with the political far right and the Lewis Powell Memo. And that campaign kicked into high gear during the Reagan Presidency.

But as that "pro business campaign" gained steam, the Democratic Party, IMO, realized that they could partake in the "riches" as well and sold their political soul for a piece of the action. Hartman's quote about the billionaire class should include their "wholly owned Republicans and Democrat politicians".

As Lambert mentions (paraphrasing), "The left puts the working class first. Both liberals and conservatives put markets first, liberals with many more layers of indirection (e.g., complex eligibility requirements, credentialing) because that creates niches from which their professional base benefits".

As an aside, while the pro-business/capitalism on steroids people have sought more "freedom", they have made the US and the world less free for the rest of us.

Also the over focusing on freedom is not uniquely GOP. As Hartman mentions, "the words freedom and liberty are iconic in American culture -- probably more so than with any other nation because they're so intrinsic to the literature, declarations and slogans of our nation's founding." US culture has taken the concept of freedom to an extreme version of individualism.

That is not surprising given our history.

The DRD4 gene is a dopamine receptor gene. One stretch of the gene is repeated a variable number of times, and the version with seven repeats (the "7R" form) produces a receptor protein that is relatively unresponsive to dopamine. Being unresponsive to dopamine means that people who have this gene have a host of related traits -- sensation and novelty seeking, risk taking, impulsivity, and, probably most consistently, ADHD. -- -- Seems like the type of people that would value extreme (i.e. non-collective) forms of freedom

The United States is the individualism poster child for at least two reasons. First there's immigration. Currently, 12 percent of Americans are immigrants, another 12 percent are children of immigrants, and everyone else except for the 0.9 percent pure Native Americans descend from people who emigrated within the last five hundred years.

And who were the immigrants?' Those in the settled world who were cranks, malcontents, restless, heretical, black sheep, hyperactive, hypomanic, misanthropic, itchy, unconventional, yearning to be free, yearning to be rich, yearning to be out of their, damn boring repressive little hamlet, yearning. -- -- Again seems like the type of people that would value freedom in all aspects of life and not be interested in collectivism

Couple that with the second reason -- for the majority of its colonial and independent history, America has had a moving frontier luring those whose extreme prickly optimism made merely booking passage to the New World insufficiently, novel -- and you've got America the individualistic.

The 7R variant mentioned above occurs in about 23 percent of Europeans and European Americans. And in East Asians? 1 percent. When East Asians domesticated rice and invented collectivist society, there was massive selection against the 7R variant. Regardless of the cause, East Asian cultural collectivism coevolved with selection against the 7R variant.

So which came first, 7R frequency or cultural style? The 4R and 7R variants, along with the 2R, occur worldwide, implying they already existed when humans radiated out of Africa 60,000 to 130,000 years ago. A high incidence of 7R, associated with impulsivity and novelty seeking, is the legacy of humans who made the greatest migrations in human history.

So it seems that many of the people who immigrated to the US were impulsive, novelty seeking, risk takers. As a counterpoint, many people that migrated to the US did not do so by choice but were forced from their homes and their countries by wars.

The point of this long comment is that for some people the concept of freedom can be taken to extreme -- a lack of gun control laws, financial regulation, extremes of wealth, etc. After a brief period in the 1940's, 1950's, and early 1960's when the US was more collective, we became greedy, consumerist, and consumption oriented, aided by the political and business elites as mentioned in the post.

If we want the US to be a more collective society we have to initially do so in our behaviors i.e. laws and regulations that rein in the people who would take the concept of freedom to an extreme. Then maybe over an evolutionary time period some of the move impulsive, sensation seeking, ADHDness, genes can be altered to a more balance mix of what makes the US great with more of the collective genes.

IMO, if we do not begin to work on becoming a collective culture now, then climate change, water scarcity, food scarcity, and resource scarcity will do it for us the hard way.

In these days of short attention spans I apologize for the long comment. The rest of my day is busy and I do not have more time to shorten the comment. I wanted to develop an argument for how the evolutionary and dysfunctional forms of freedom have gotten us to this point. And what we need to do to still have some freedom but also "play nice and share in the future sandbox of climate change and post fossil fuel society.

[Mar 20, 2019] Bad Blood - Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou - Observations by Walrus.

Notable quotes:
"... I read this book over two nights and it unfortunately brought back my own experiences of working for a narcissist to the point of causing sleeplessness and indigestion. ..."
"... However the pattern of behavior at Theranos was ingrained and consistent - "an orchestrated litany of lies" as a judge has said in another matter. ..."
"... This is a similar personality type with a different set of risks. These people are common in finance and medicine: https://www.theatlantic.com... ..."
"... In the absence of a moral filter, says Martha Stout[1], "Politicians are more likely than people in the general population to be sociopaths...That a small minority of human beings literally have no conscience was and is a bitter pill for our society to swallow–but it does explain a great many things, shamelessly deceitful political behavior being one." ..."
turcopolier.typepad.com

I wrote in 2010 at SST on the characteristics and dangers associated with narcissistic leadership. "Bad Blood' by John Carreyrou chronicles the rise and fall of Theranos, a Silicon Valley healthcare startup founded and run by Elizabeth Holmes, a card carrying narcissist if ever I saw one.

This book, in my opinion, paints such a detailed and comprehensive picture of the way these creatures operate that I thought it worthwhile to bring it to the attention of SST members who may doubt my warnings of the dangers of allowing such folk near the levers of power in business and, worse, Government.

I read this book over two nights and it unfortunately brought back my own experiences of working for a narcissist to the point of causing sleeplessness and indigestion.

Under the direction of the charismatic Holmes, Theranos burned through some $900 million in investors funds before being found out in 2015. Their blood testing business was a sham that endangered patients. The company's key business strengths were the "reality distortion field" Elizabeth Holmes projected over investors and directors and the twin weapons of secrecy and fear they wielded over their employees.

Disbelievers my argue that start up companies sometimes require desperate measures to stay afloat and that you cannot make an omelette, etc. etc. However the pattern of behavior at Theranos was ingrained and consistent - "an orchestrated litany of lies" as a judge has said in another matter.

If you wish to perhaps be a little forearmed against the day that you perhaps must engage with one of these creatures it would be well to understand the cautionary tale of Theranos. https://www.amazon.com/Bad-Blood-Secrets-Silicon-Startup/dp/152473165X https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2010/05/walrus-on-narcissistic-leaders-.html

jnewman , 3 hours ago

This is a similar personality type with a different set of risks. These people are common in finance and medicine: https://www.theatlantic.com...
Godfree Roberts , 8 hours ago
In the absence of a moral filter, says Martha Stout[1], "Politicians are more likely than people in the general population to be sociopaths...That a small minority of human beings literally have no conscience was and is a bitter pill for our society to swallow–but it does explain a great many things, shamelessly deceitful political behavior being one."

My study of Chinese government revealed an important truth -- one that explains much about that country's rapid rise: they find our amateur, promise-driven, personality-based governance repulsive. They would no more vote for amateur politicians than for amateur brain surgeons. To them charm, good looks, quick wits and rhetorical skill signify shallowness, instability and glibness. Altruistic politicians have been fundamental to Chinese governance for two millennia.

Their political stars have always been experienced, scholarly, altruistic problem-solvers chosen on merit after decades of testing.

In 1000 AD, during our Dark Ages, with just one scholar-official for every eight thousand citizens, China was harmonious, technologically advanced and prosperous. Emperors and dynasties came and went while loyal, disciplined–often courageous–civil servants lived far from family, serving in remote regions under terrible conditions.

Confucius'[2] moral meritocracy and the rigors of the job discouraged sociopaths and officials integrity, efficiency and entrepreneurial energy made China the most advanced civilization on earth.

So highly do the Chinese esteem their best politicians that they deified one whose legacy, a water diversion project, has repaid its capital investment every twenty-four hours for 2,270 years. Millions visit his shrine, which is built overlooking his masterpiece, every year to offer incense and sincere thanks.

The altruistic tradition is remembered in a Singapore Government White Paper, "The concept of government by honorable men who have a duty to do right for the people and who have their trust and respect fits us better than the Western idea that government power should be as limited as possible."

And would-be members of China's Communist Party take an oath to "Bear the people's difficulties before the people and enjoy their fruits of their labors after the people". They often fail, obviously, but at least they've got something to shoot for–and a standard that the other 1.3 billion non-members can hold them to.

[1] The Sociopath Next Door, by Martha Stout Ph.D.
[2] The Doctrine of the Mean

[Mar 20, 2019] Vladimir Putin celebrates birthday on ice in celebrity hockey match

This article was written 4 years ago, but the problem with Putin successor remains. Putin is a unique politician and his replacement might be much weaker, causing troubles for Russia. This is not new problem for Russia, but this time it will be especially acute. BTW this comment thread looks like "who is who" list for NATObots.
Notable quotes:
"... We could all use a real leader like Putin who takes no b.s. from anybody and is quick to adapt to any situation in a calm assertive way. He earns our admiration every day, the way he steers across an ever changing minefield and not because of his mucho image. We do not need leaders who deceit people by spewing relentless propaganda and no clarity. They fail as individuals and as a group because they are spineless. If multiple people repeat the same lie it does not make it true. It must be a club membership requirement to play the politics game and keep quiet about wrong things you see. ..."
"... Action man outwitting the Neocons in the international chess game. More surprises to come ..."
"... Karl Rove said "Empire creates its own reality". No wonder the mantra "Assad must go" is now enshrined in international politics by the Neocon alliance. They didnt figure on Putin obviously. ..."
"... It happens regardless, take the example in Volgograd (Vauxhall) two years ago. I am afraid that KSA and the Gulf States will be funding the usual mix of 'moderately terroristic shenanigans" in reprisal, but they did this before anyways. ..."
"... He making the US looked like whiny bitches. Good job; you alienate Russia and manage to strengthen the China-Russo relationrelationship. Sanctions that don't work, secret economic wars and multiple failed coup d'etat in Georgia and Ukraine [also do not work] ..."
"... Like US - Hospital - Afganistain. anyway ISIS are paid money by the CIA and don't care who they work for it's money that they are motivated by not ideology, that ideology stuff is made-up. Google it and dig, get yourself informed. ..."
"... Not quite sure why Mr Putin playing ice-hockey on his birthday is worthy of a story to open up for comments unless the Guardian is ' trawling ' to encourage some new anti-Putin Cold War rhetoric in the comments section. ..."
"... PS / Don't forget that nice Israeli Prime Minister Mr Netanyahu's birthday and how he celebrates it. Ensure you open it up for comment as I'm sure also that many will wish to voice an opinion. Will this now be a standard ' Birthday Feature ' for all world leaders in the Guardian, or has this newspaper just granted an exception for Mr Putin's birthday ? ..."
Oct 07, 2015 | The Guardian

goatrider 7 Oct 2015 17:12

I wonder if everyone on the Guardian staff has the same "man crush" on Putin? Could explain all these obsessive articles. I also wonder if he spent any time in the penalty box?

laticsfanfromeurope -> Extracrispy 7 Oct 2015 17:06

You prefer ISIS and Al-Nusra then the legitimate Syrian gov. and the legitimate help of Russia...not a surprise from stupid western supporters!


pfox33 7 Oct 2015 17:05

There isn't one of our western politicians that wouldn't sell his fucking mother to be getting the attention that Putin's getting. I thought he was supposed to be isolated.

So to keep the hockey thing going, Putin's stolen the puck in the neutral zone, split the Nato defensemen who were too far forward and is on a breakaway.

I feel sorry for Obama because I think he's a good leader but when it comes to trying to maneuver in a geopolitical situation like Syria he's fucked before he leaves the house. Putin can just act without trying to herd cats like Obama has to do with his Nato minions. He doesn't have a bunch of recalcitrant GOP senators calling him everything but a white man and running their mouths about what they would do.

... ... ...


filin led -> Braminski 7 Oct 2015 16:55

It's you who are a troll, sir. By what you say, anything can be dismissed as paid propaganda. That means, you are as likely to be a paid agent yourself. So, if you can't come up with a constructive argument, stop commenting please.


Mordantdude -> Poppy757 7 Oct 2015 16:40

As Russians say: "Envy silently".

giacinto101 7 Oct 2015 15:59

We could all use a real leader like Putin who takes no b.s. from anybody and is quick to adapt to any situation in a calm assertive way. He earns our admiration every day, the way he steers across an ever changing minefield and not because of his mucho image. We do not need leaders who deceit people by spewing relentless propaganda and no clarity. They fail as individuals and as a group because they are spineless. If multiple people repeat the same lie it does not make it true. It must be a club membership requirement to play the politics game and keep quiet about wrong things you see.


SilkverBlogger 7 Oct 2015 15:54

Action man outwitting the Neocons in the international chess game. More surprises to come


CIAbot007 -> Poppy757 7 Oct 2015 15:39

Most of Aussies have a bit of common sense which says that you can't blame anyone before it is prooved. With Western MSM propaganda machine blaming Russia and Putin even before anything happens you bet there's no such thing as balanced and unskewed reporting and even will for any kind of such thing. Don't get fooled, use your brain or your brain will be used by someone else.


SilkverBlogger 7 Oct 2015 14:48

Karl Rove said "Empire creates its own reality". No wonder the mantra "Assad must go" is now enshrined in international politics by the Neocon alliance. They didnt figure on Putin obviously.


PekkaRoivanen MTavernier 7 Oct 2015 14:30

In the West, we don't have a sycophantic press kissing the leader's backside:

Guardian: Barack Obama scores just 2 out of 22 basketball hoops - video

You wrote that Obama plays basketball and you prove it with this video where Obama wears dress shirt (tie removed :-D) and scores badly.

Are you sure Obama plays basketball? Or is it just press kissing his backside?

Kev Kev Hektor Uranga 7 Oct 2015 14:28

the USA persecutes and kills people who speak out against it. Only difference is the USA does it in ways that nobody sees.. In other words the USA is the same as Russia only they do their work in the dark. When nobody is looking.

Abiesalba MTavernier 7 Oct 2015 14:26

That's the guy who is wishing Putin a happy birthday.

The US/UK duo have caused with their insane illegal wars more than a million deaths in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and counting.

I recommend you look up a little the complex history and present situation in Chechnya and the North Caucasus region.

ISIS (which the insanely aggressive US/UK duo have in effect created) is already spreading its influence INSIDE the Russian Federation. So Putin has direct interests to defeat ISIS and stabilise Syria (and Iraq). In addition, the south of the Russian Federation is on the map of territories which ISIS plans to conquer.

See for example:
-
8 ISIS supporters killed in N. Caucasus special op

(2 August 2015)

Russian security forces have foiled a terrorist group that recently pledged allegiance to ISIS in Ingushetia, in the Northern Caucasus, according to the National Anti-Terror Committee (NAC). Security forces seized explosives, weapons and over 2,000 rounds of ammunition.
-
How Russian Militants Declared A New ISIS 'State' In Russia's North Caucasus

(26 June 2015)

The Islamic State group announced the creation of its northernmost province this week, after accepting a formal pledge of allegiance from former al Qaeda militants in the North Caucasus region of Russia.
-
-
It is true that at present, the Chechens are begging Putin to let them strike in Syria (and this is also closely linked to the complicated history of North Caucasus), but Putin has not unleashed them. See for example here:
-
-
Kadyrov asks Putin to allow Chechen infantry to fight in Syria (RT, 2 October 2015)
-
The head of the Chechen Republic has asked the Russian president to send Chechen units to fight Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in Syria, adding that his fighters have sworn to fight terrorists till the end.

"Being a Muslim, a Chechen and a Russian patriot I want to say that in 1999 when our republic was overrun with these devils we swore on the Koran that we would fight them wherever they are," the Chechen leader said. "But we need the Commander-in-Chief's decision to do this," he emphasized. According to the Russian Constitution, the president [Putin] is also the commander-in-chief of the military forces.


BMWAlbert clanview46 7 Oct 2015 14:26

It happens regardless, take the example in Volgograd (Vauxhall) two years ago. I am afraid that KSA and the Gulf States will be funding the usual mix of 'moderately terroristic shenanigans" in reprisal, but they did this before anyways.


Julian1972 MTavernier 7 Oct 2015 14:21

That was last year...also it was authored by a combination of the CIA and their right-wing 'Operation Stay Behind' cohorts...though, if you don't know that by now you doubtless never will.


Abiesalba MTavernier 7 Oct 2015 14:16

Murderers, thieves and embezzlers stroking each other's egos.

Putin has a long way to go to match the US/UK.
-
-
Here is a recent report about 'collateral damage' compiled by Physicians for Social Responsibility, Physicians for Global Survival and the Nobel Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War:
-
Body Count: Casualty Figures After 10 Years of the 'War on Terror' (Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan)

(March 2015)
-
This investigation comes to the conclusion that the war has, directly or indirectly, killed around 1 million people in Iraq, 220,000 in Afghanistan and 80,000 in Pakistan, i.e. a total of around 1.3 million.

NOT included in this figure are further war zones such as Yemen.

The figure is approximately 10 times greater than that of which the public, experts and decision makers are aware of and propagated by the media and major NGOs.

And this is only a conservative estimate. The total number of deaths in the three countries named above could also be in excess of 2 million, whereas a figure below 1 million is extremely unlikely.
-
-
For more about civilian casualties due to the US-led coalition strikes in Syria and Iraq, see the Airwars website:

584 – 1,720 civilians killed:

To date, the international coalition has only conceded two "likely" deaths, from an event in early November 2014. It is also presently investigating seven further incidents of concern; is carrying out credibility assessments on a further 13; and has concluded three more investigations – having found no 'preponderance of evidence' to support civilian casualty claims.

More Power -> MTavernier 7 Oct 2015 14:13

He making the US looked like whiny bitches. Good job; you alienate Russia and manage to strengthen the China-Russo relationrelationship. Sanctions that don't work, secret economic wars and multiple failed coup d'etat in Georgia and Ukraine [also do not work]. Just look at the World Bank, BRICS is on the door step. Happy birth day Putin. A badass mofo

blueskis -> MTavernier 7 Oct 2015 14:06

The vats majority of the 5500 killed have been civilians in East Ukraine killed by airstrikes ordered by kiev/washington, fully justifying Russian intervention.


ooTToo -> MTavernier 7 Oct 2015 13:40

Like US - Hospital - Afganistain. anyway ISIS are paid money by the CIA and don't care who they work for it's money that they are motivated by not ideology, that ideology stuff is made-up. Google it and dig, get yourself informed.


geedeesee -> MTavernier 7 Oct 2015 13:19

Russia is attacking what they said they'd attack, Tavernier. ISIS, al-Nusrah, and other terrorist organisations.

inconvenienttruth13 -> MTavernier 7 Oct 2015 13:18

No he isn't. Anybody with a functioning brain knows he had nothing to do with that. Unlike the US genocide in the Middle East - over 2 million dead and counting - not to mention the deliberate and sustained attack on a hospital. Maybe you don' get to see the news in your ward?

inconvenienttruth13 -> MTavernier 7 Oct 2015 13:13

The US created, funds, trains and arms ISIS - they are only supporting terrorists in their campaign to effect regime change. Russia is responding to a request fro the Syrian government, so its actions are entirely legal. The faces that the USA and the KSA are the biggest sponsors of terrorism in the world.

monteverdi1610 7 Oct 2015 12:22

Not quite sure why Mr Putin playing ice-hockey on his birthday is worthy of a story to open up for comments unless the Guardian is ' trawling ' to encourage some new anti-Putin Cold War rhetoric in the comments section.

PS / Don't forget that nice Israeli Prime Minister Mr Netanyahu's birthday and how he celebrates it. Ensure you open it up for comment as I'm sure also that many will wish to voice an opinion. Will this now be a standard ' Birthday Feature ' for all world leaders in the Guardian, or has this newspaper just granted an exception for Mr Putin's birthday ?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

America, too, is a loser

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tom Welsh

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

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

- Paul Craig Roberts

jabirujoe

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

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

Toddrich

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

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

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

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

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

Scottarm 1h ago

Sucker born every minute over there!

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

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

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

Here's John Pilger on Obama:

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

It was all fake. He was lying.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So inspiring!

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

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

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

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

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

[Mar 20, 2019] Trump Sticks To Sanctions - U.S., North Korea Summit Fails - Updated

Incompetent, cowboy style foreign policy is the hallmark of Trump administration. they can only bully, they can't hold a constructive negotiations. As one commenter observed "American diplomacy still consists of behaving like a bull in a china shop: do what we say or die."
His appointment of Bolton and Pompeo means that Trump is a neocon in foreign policy and/or does not control foreign policy of his administration. .
Notable quotes:
"... This is just a hunch but I have a feeling it was undermined by Bolton and Pompeo from the start. ..."
"... Every time I hear a Neocon say this on FOX / CNN I want to strangle the host for not asking any follow up question as in, 'like what?' What has the U.S. given up. ..."
"... Why does the USA keep economic sanctions on DPRK? This article helps to explain it: Despite himself Trump admits the superiority of China's socialist economy to capitalism ..."
"... Jong-un Kim has an advantage his predecessor didn't: he has China. He doesn't need to invent nothing: he already has the long-term solution next door. ..."
"... My guess is the USA and South Korea know if the sanctions are lifted, North Korea will become a mini-powerhouse under China's sphere of influence. They have to create a situation equal to Libya's, where they can invade the North militarily and quickly occupy its territory, thus using its population as cheap labor force for the American multinationals and South Korean chaebols. ..."
"... The US military/foreign policy establishment wants North Korea to disarm so that it can give them a Carthaginian peace. Until then, they are content to do their cushy jobs and rake in the money from South Korean businessmen. ..."
"... An excellent article from Tom Engelhardt on Consortium News, in which he attempts to explain how the USA had the world at its feet, and squandered the chance to do good and instead went on a series of further Imperial military adventures: https://consortiumnews.com/2019/02/21/the-neocons-have-their-caesar/ ..."
"... American diplomacy still consists of behaving like a bull in a china shop: do what we say or die. ..."
"... summit was derailed by last minute attendance of Bolton, who added demands for NK to also report chemical/biological weapons, in response to which NKs increased their demand for sanctions relief in Korean ..."
"... No surprise that the US is always 'all or nothing'. It thinks it is 'uber alles'. ..."
"... IMO, the key was laid bare by Trump: "Basically they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, and we couldn't do that." [My Emphasis] ..."
"... as you and many others have noted, the US argument seems to be "give up your nukes so we can Libya you into oblivion". if venezuela had nukes would they be putting up with the incessant stupidity of the "blob"? they'd still have sanctions but i doubt the dumb twats running the surrounding countries would be as eager to aid and abet US hijinks. ..."
"... And it seems Trump lied about the impasse that led to Kim walking out, proving that Kim's initial assessment of Trump as dotard was 100% correct. ..."
"... When did Bolton's coups and intimidations ever work? He is, in essence, a megalomanic mustache. ..."
"... I think that Trump represents a pivot from containment of China/Russia to one of "Quick, pull what pieces of empire we can defend/control together." ..."
"... I think that the West is delusional to think they can defeat any alternative that doesn't have profit as its God. That said, that monotheistic myth of "better than others" runs deep as evidenced by some of the opinions expressed in this venue ..."
"... Any nation which still trust any promise coming from the USA and its European, Australian and Canadian poddles deserves to be colonized and destroyed. ..."
Mar 01, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

twhstmmwmafilwwwww , Feb 28, 2019 8:13:44 AM | link

This is just a hunch but I have a feeling it was undermined by Bolton and Pompeo from the start. They know the DPRK wasn't gonna give up its nuclear deterrent unilaterally, so the next best thing behind a the dream of a Libya situation is to once again have an aggressive relationship with the North to be able to continue to justify all sorts of "defense" maneuvering around China now that foreign policy has now officially pivoted away from terrorism and towards China(+Russia).

Similar to AEGIS Ashore in Eastern Europe in order to "defend" Europe from "Iran".

Christian Chuba , Feb 28, 2019 8:22:32 AM | link

We've given up everything, they have given up nothing

Every time I hear a Neocon say this on FOX / CNN I want to strangle the host for not asking any follow up question as in, 'like what?' What has the U.S. given up.

We talked to them giving them legitimacy, OMG, as if we have some kind of glorious halo that is worth a billions of $ or even more. This makes me want to puke when I heare this.

The N. Koreans have stopped ALL nuclear and ballistic missile testing. We the U.S. have put in place even more draconian sanctions under Trump than were in place before. We raised the ante. We have more room to give then the N. Koreans do.

steven t johnson , Feb 28, 2019 8:28:11 AM | link
Believing Trump is or ever was open to breaking with US imperialism is Trumpery. He wants to sweat the subordinates, wants them to spend more on the military, buy more US weapons, do more fighting. But to make things look good he will say anything, and renege.

Some people think Trump etc. are trying to detach the north from a Chinese alliance. There are two problems here. First, there's no sane reason to think the Chinese aren't engaged in economic warfare against the north. Not wanting to squeeze hard enough to cause a total collapse is not supporting the north. Second, if that's what Trump wanted, he'd actually try offering the north concessions.

The issue in the background is whether Trump will let the south out of the US orbit. It's an easy question to answer: He won't. Empires don't give up their territory until they're made to. The Soviet withdrawal from central Europe is not an exception, as the USSR was not an empire. (Yes, everyone who says "Soviet empire" and means it is a shithead.)

Ts'yew Taw-Loh , Feb 28, 2019 8:30:46 AM | link
Formally, the Korean War was between Chosôn on the one side and The United nations and Hangok (Daehan)on the other. The UN security council is the ones to have instituted tthe sanction regime and thus in practice committed a crime against Humanity by inflictin starvation the people of the North. In practice it was a US & their allie's war against the entire population of Korea. Formally, peace must be signed by Chosôn and the UN and sanctions lifted by the latter. In Practice, the US must be made to abide with agreements.
vk , Feb 28, 2019 8:48:36 AM | link
Why does the USA keep economic sanctions on DPRK? This article helps to explain it: Despite himself Trump admits the superiority of China's socialist economy to capitalism

Jong-un Kim has an advantage his predecessor didn't: he has China. He doesn't need to invent nothing: he already has the long-term solution next door.

My guess is the USA and South Korea know if the sanctions are lifted, North Korea will become a mini-powerhouse under China's sphere of influence. They have to create a situation equal to Libya's, where they can invade the North militarily and quickly occupy its territory, thus using its population as cheap labor force for the American multinationals and South Korean chaebols.

David Wooten , Feb 28, 2019 8:58:41 AM | link
The US military/foreign policy establishment wants North Korea to disarm so that it can give them a Carthaginian peace. Until then, they are content to do their cushy jobs and rake in the money from South Korean businessmen.

Moon would probably like to unite the two Koreas and kick US out. But then, the US mil/fp would sanction him and all Korea.

donkeytale , Feb 28, 2019 9:07:21 AM | link
This was yet another photo op on the road to nowhere with our reality show presidency. As Conway Twitty sang, "it's only make believe." The path to "normalisation" with NK winds through SK.
Ant , Feb 28, 2019 9:09:01 AM | link

An excellent article from Tom Engelhardt on Consortium News, in which he attempts to explain how the USA had the world at its feet, and squandered the chance to do good and instead went on a series of further Imperial military adventures: https://consortiumnews.com/2019/02/21/the-neocons-have-their-caesar/

American diplomacy still consists of behaving like a bull in a china shop: do what we say or die.

Time to grow up, it's not the 1990's. You're just another country, and we're not so frightened any more.

b , Feb 28, 2019 9:34:31 AM | link
This is quite possible ...
Kevin Gray @DrKevinGray Former SK unification minister Chong Se-hyun suggests that summit was derailed by last minute attendance of Bolton, who added demands for NK to also report chemical/biological weapons, in response to which NKs increased their demand for sanctions relief in Korean
snake , Feb 28, 2019 10:06:12 AM | link
@8

We've given up everything, they have given up nothing. Every time I hear a Neocon say this on FOX / CNN I want .. follow up question {answered} as in, 'like what?' What has the U.S.[ A given up. [please note that unless you are a member of the 527 persons that make up the USA, you the " WE does not include you. Americans get to elect by a vary strained highly polarized (Republican vs Democrat) process, 525 persons under Article I, but not the two persons who are the CEOs that govern the USA ?

Americans cannot elected the CEOs that make all of the decisions. The CEOs of the USA are elected by persons who many or may not be Americans, have a look PLEASE!

... ... ...

The N. Koreans have stopped ALL nuclear and ballistic missile testing. We the U.S. have put in place even more draconian sanctions under Trump than were in place before. We raised the ante. We have more room to give then the N. Koreans do.<= once again I remind you that the " WE d/n include you..

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Feb 28, 2019 8:22:32 AM | 5

Jason , Feb 28, 2019 10:54:18 AM | link
So we give up nothing, not even a temporary ease in sanctions and they give up their nuclear weapons program in whole, what a deal.

Its obvious that even if Trump went there with the intention of making a realistic two sided deal the permanent war state would just scuttle it anyway by refusing to follow the plan or staging some new provocation like some war games or bomber fly over.

DPRK has to see that after Iran complied with the inspections regime and abandoned its civilian nuclear program the goal post was moved to not even being allowed to have ballistic missiles.

What I don't understand is how long before South Korea demands we respect its sovereignty in it's own military affairs and asks us to remove a sizable chunk of our war machine so a lasting peace can be made. Can South Korea not forge its own tit-for-tat peace plan with the North that makes sense to both sides and tell the US not to interfere, sabotage or ask it to leave? It seems the opportunity is ripe to exclude the empty suit Trump and his group of Neo-con madmen and forge ahead with opening up trade and mutual thawing of feeling in Koreas, but is there political will to do so in South Korea?

AriusArmenian , Feb 28, 2019 11:02:39 AM | link
No surprise that the US is always 'all or nothing'. It thinks it is 'uber alles'.
Jackrabbit , Feb 28, 2019 11:06:39 AM | link
fairleft @16

The link @12 is another form of apology for Trump. Essentially, an insanity defense:

All of this not only gave Americans a visibly unhinged president -- think of him, in axis-of-evil terms, as a rogue state of one -- but an increasingly unhinged country. You can feel so much of this in Trump's confused and confusing attempts to both end American wars and ratchet them up . . .

[So] ... think of this piece as an obituary of sorts ... not as an obituary for a single loopy president, a man who ... was elevated to a strange version of power by a troubled republic showing signs of wear and tear [but of a nation] . . . whatever Donald Trump does, the Caesarian die was cast early in this century as the neocons crossed their own Rubicon.

It's not Trump's fault - it's the neocons! They constructed a system that allowed for the election of this "loopy" President and are using him for their own ends.

Sure, the neocons deserve much blame but the Deep State and their US President compatriots (Bush Sr., Clinton, Bush Jr., Obama, and Trump) are also guilty just as the driver of the getaway car is just as guilty as the bank robbers.

karlof1 , Feb 28, 2019 12:17:31 PM | link

IMO, the key was laid bare by Trump: "Basically they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, and we couldn't do that." [My Emphasis]

Wouldn't or couldn't? Using "couldn't" tells me that possibility was zero to begin with and Bolton's appearance had nothing to do with anything other than the fact that the impasse was pre-determined. Kim knew it would happen; I was 99% sure it would happen; and of course Trump knew. And that's where it will likely remain until 2021, although there's a slight possibility that the UNSC sanctions will be modified and lessened.

Escobar's recap of recent events seems rather bland, although between the lines I think he's saying that solving Kashmir is more important than solving Afghanistan, an important point overlooked too long.

So, Koreans are left to their own devices and will continue their unification drive, while the quadrangular relations between China, Russia, and the two Koreas will grow tighter; all of which serve to increase pressure on Abe and Japan to drop the Empire's line.

BM , Feb 28, 2019 12:24:57 PM | link
It would be easy to be put off by the failure of the summit under the Americans' blatent treachery, but it is probably better that way.

Consider what would happen if the US and NK were to have a "fantastically successful" summit with agreements signed - what are the chances that the US would subsequently honour their commitments? NILL. What would be the effect on NK if NK does not honour it's commitments? Devastating at best.

Because of the US' well-established behaviour patterns, it is hard to imagine how NK could benefit from signing an agreement with the US - any concrete agreement - the US will ignore it's commitments, while forcing NK to abide by its commitments.

Therefore a situation in which the US clearly shows itself to be the treacherous partner while the NK side is beyond reproach is the perfect outcome for NK, allowing her to establish a good reputation in world public opinion and - hopefully - together with SK find their own way to achieve peaceful reunification without the US.

Peaceful reunification with US blessing was never on the cards and never will be.

Fortunately Kim Jong-Un has thus far been truly masterful in playing his cards, getting the geostrategic benefits at each throw, while the US only succeed in clearly establishing their treachery and progressively undermining their geostrategic hand.

With support from China and Russia, may the two Koreas eventually successfully achieve their own peaceful reunification without the US!

james , Feb 28, 2019 12:31:38 PM | link
thanks b... aside from liking what @26 psychohistorian said, i wonder who really benefits from these sanctions the usa is so quick to use as a tool against others impose or maintain? the usa appears to be built on this system of financial sanctions and can't function without it.. is it that the thought of north and south korea working together means the usa gets cut out of the action? is that a big part of it?? at some point it is going to happen anyway... same deal russia and the rest of europe and same deal iran and the rest of the world... it seems to me the usa is squandering all the promise they might have had at one time by catering to whoever profits from these financial sanction routines..

so yeah.. it is back to rome didn't fall in a day, and the usa's time is coming soon enough..

Red Ryder , Feb 28, 2019 12:35:04 PM | link
A large impediment to North Korea achieving a lifting of sanctions is the long list of UNSC resolutions establishing global unanimity for a sanctions regime.

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

The US has managed to corral China and Russia to join these sanctions.

However, a case can be made that since no nuke testing has transpired, no missile tests have continued, and the threat to neighbors and the region is now flat-lined, North Korea should be acting, not with the US alone, but with all the UNSC and other nations, in a way that demonstrates it is walking from nuclear development and ICBM achievement.

We shall see if Russia and China can press this argument in order to pursue economic development as a reward for international inspection and IAEA control of the NK nuclear program.

What the US wants is to get Moon out of the picture and retain fanatical South Korean leadership that would be against North Korea development. Trump may see the potential in North Korea, but the MIC and Deep State absolutely do not want to have to leave South Korea as a base.

arby , Feb 28, 2019 12:52:37 PM | link
To the posters who think Russia should intervene everywhere... Just reading on Orlov's blog and he pointed to an article he wrote about Russia and Putin in 2014 from a Valdai meeting---Putin--

"5. Russia has no intention of going fishing in the murky waters created by America's ever-expanding "empire of chaos," and has no interest in building a new empire of her own (this is unnecessary; Russia's challenges lie in developing her already vast territory).

Neither is Russia willing to act as a savior of the world, as she had in the past."

the pair , Feb 28, 2019 1:21:18 PM | link
as you and many others have noted, the US argument seems to be "give up your nukes so we can Libya you into oblivion". if venezuela had nukes would they be putting up with the incessant stupidity of the "blob"? they'd still have sanctions but i doubt the dumb twats running the surrounding countries would be as eager to aid and abet US hijinks.

i know it's based in "realism" or "realpolitik" or whatever euphemism for "do what we say or be murdered" people prefer, but south korea not telling the west to kiss the tastiest part of its ass and siding with the dprk and china to settle things is just absurd. other than financial punishment, what are they afraid of? no more disgusting tainted beef? no more deliveries of WWIII-level military gear without permission? a drop in sex tourism among pasty white anglos?

at least this does away with all pretense of trump being a "peace president" in the slightest. that was always a fantasy of the MAGA/"we liek him cuz hes xtian lol" crowd to begin with but now even the suggestion of such is laughable.

b , Feb 28, 2019 1:23:41 PM | link
The North Korean Foreign Minister gave a press conference in Hanoi. I updated the piece above at its end with the reports of what he said.
worldblee , Feb 28, 2019 1:28:41 PM | link
The bi-partisan War Party wins again, the world loses.
the pair , Feb 28, 2019 1:29:15 PM | link
@#36

i despise trudeau and all, but this oddly timed "scandal" is based on nothing but one woman's testimony (as believable as she is) and the screeching of the scumbag conservatives along with their bootlickers in the media. global and CTV have always been conservative party infomercials but lately it's just ridiculous.

saying "a canadian politician did a corrupt thing" is like saying "we caught water being wet". odd how canada has a reputation as being "smarter" than the US yet its citizens have already forgotten the ten years of dripping, oily sleaze under harper and his coterie of fat doughy apes (the fattest and oiliest of which - jason kenney - has been oozing from the telly screen on a constant basis on said channels).

with his repulsive bootlicking on the huawei affair and venezuela, it's easy to want justin out yesterday . but any conservative taking his place will be harper 2.0 and therefore trump's maple mini-me.

apologies for off topicness.

james , Feb 28, 2019 1:52:15 PM | link
ot - @36 karlof1... next election is oct 2019... it probably doesn't matter as i doubt very much he gets elected in october.. it is kinda true what the pair is saying @40 too... we will get getting our version of trump, as we are one cycle behind the usa... some conservative jackass will be running canada towards the end of the year to make matters even worse.. canucks are not all that bright, lol..
S , Feb 28, 2019 2:04:06 PM | link
South Koreans, where are you? You should be camping 24/7 in front of the U.S. embassy, demanding the immediate removal of sanctions. The unification will never happen if you don't take a more active stance.

The international community wants it, North Koreans want it, it all comes down to you. Kick the American troops out, break up your chaebols, and start the unification process. Any sanctions the U.S might impose on you will be more than offset by cheap Russian pipeline gas, a rail link to Europe, and an economic boom due to integration with the North. What are you waiting for? You may never have another chance like this.

one off poster , Feb 28, 2019 4:04:14 PM | link
@38 b:
Thank you very much for the update, b. I am pleased that the DPRK called the press conference. It is a pity the video has been viewed only 1179 times.

Here is video footage of the DPRK news conference.

The 1st part is the prepared statement read out by foreign minister Ri Yong Ho with english translation following. The 2nd part of the interview consists of Q&A (sound quality v bad). It mainly reiterates the 1st part, but from 10:25 on, she says that (an) American Inspector(s) visited a factory called "Yun Soo" within the Yong Byon. She wanted to emphasise that that factory was put on the table for closure as well by DPRK.

Given that the sanctions the DPRK was seeking to be lifted were not US imposed sanctions, but UN sanctions, can the UN Sec Gen intervene (kind of like what happened in Yemen)?

It does make one wonder why POTUS said that DPRK was seeking the removal of ALL sanctions. Was he expecting something like this? It is so easy to refute that the fact it was said at all is intriguing.

PavewayIV , Feb 28, 2019 4:06:44 PM | link
Otto B@33 - I suppose I can't argue with your logic - especially if this was part of an 'Art of the Deal' seminar. I will simply point out that your premise completely ignores what US citizens think is in THEIR best interests.

Pulling out all of our forces from South Korea permanently and ending sanctions on North Korea would be more than enough for them to denuclearize (and probably unify with the South). THAT is in US citizens' best interests, period. Chickenhawks within the US government are the only ones demanding an eternal occupation of South Korea and an eternal standoff with North Korea. They sell this as a necessary price to pay for 'security', except we're damn tired of hearing about our psychopathic leaders' manufactured enemy and we don't need protection from it.

Same goes for Iran, despite their nuclear capabilities, or lack thereof. 'Protecting US interests' is not 'protecting the US'. No amount of marketing or propaganda is going to make Iran a credible threat to the US or its citizens EVER. We don't need protection from a manufactured enemy. Three million people (give or take a million) were slaughtered in Southeast Asia to protect us against the last manufactured enemy: those homicidal CHICOMs. I don't recall seeing any fresh, bloody human heads mounted on pikes in downtown Hanoi during the talks this weekend. How is that possible?

I don't need a better Iranian 'deal'. I need my psychopathic leaders to stop antagonizing the hell out of Iran and stop punishing the Iranian people. Israel's psychopathic obsession with destroying Iran or somehow containing its regional influence has NOTHING to do with the security of US citizens - despite the incessant narrative. Are you honestly expecting the little people in the US to believe the DC chickenhawks or the MSM again?

karlof1 , Feb 28, 2019 4:12:47 PM | link
RT editorial savages BigLie Media for the usual reasons--but--in choosing to highlight Susan Rice's NY Times op/ed in an attempt to discredit her, she actually suggests the very sort of incremental moves agreed to in the initial summit's Declaration:

"To move the needle, the United States and North Korea will need to agree on a series of incremental, reciprocal steps that would build mutual confidence as part of a road map to full denuclearization."

Oops!! All in all, the editorialist misrepresents Rice, which is what he accuses BigLie Media of doing--OUCH!

Rice's conclusion will surprise a few here:

"In Hanoi, Mr. Trump has an opportunity to achieve incremental progress toward denuclearization. Unfortunately, history suggests that Mr. Trump will be content with another colorful photo opportunity and more diplomatic shadow boxing that perpetuates the illusion of success, while running down the clock on a nearly intractable challenge."

And it seems Trump lied about the impasse that led to Kim walking out, proving that Kim's initial assessment of Trump as dotard was 100% correct.

Yeah, Right , Feb 28, 2019 4:35:58 PM | link
@27 Jose Garcia: "My question. What will South Korea do now?"

Well, they only have two choices:

Option 1: Continue to be the USA's loyal lapdog, in which case several million of them are doomed to die in the (increasingly inevitable) replay of the 1950-2 war.

Option 2: Hold secret talks with North Korea that lead to the surprise signing of a peace treaty that contains a clause that says "Both Koreas agree that no foreign forces shall be stationed on the Korean Peninsular". Then brace themselves to be sanctioned within an inch of their lives.

They'll go hungry under Option 2, and it will be inevitable that they flip into the "Chinese orbit". But they'll still be alive, which is not nothin'.

They'll make a stab at Option 2, because under Option 1 they'll all end up dead.

Rob , Feb 28, 2019 5:03:57 PM | link
@fairleft (16)

When did Bolton's coups and intimidations ever work? He is, in essence, a megalomanic mustache.

TDeL , Feb 28, 2019 5:17:43 PM | link
@6

Actually there is one sane reason to think the Chinese aren't engaged in economic warfare against the north: a Shengyang rail link to Seoul via Pyongyang. This could be constructed in less than 3 years and will take some pressure off congestion in the Bohai Sea-Yellow Sea shipping lanes. And provide efficient transport of materials, goods & people in new & expanded markets. I'm sure there are others.

Thank you b for the timely update on the latest theatrical entertainment, Nobel Peace Prize episode

uncle tungsten , Feb 28, 2019 5:36:43 PM | link
fastfreddy # 44

Agreed ff but regarding the Trump timeline from afar he has deliberately and methodically filled the white house staff with more and more extreme people. Slowly boiling the frog comes to mind. We are supposed to be acclimatized to this huckster being surrounded by hawks whereas he and his entire family are predators more deadly than hawks.

S #42

Thank you, you nailed it. Perhaps the assembled mass of South Koreans in front of the US embassy could wear a vest symbolising healing or unity. Perhaps they could assemble around a UN flag demanding that it back off from being a USA puppet. I don't recall having seen a UN flag burned yet but it would be an appropriate symbol from South Korea, or Haiti, or Libya, or......

Thank you again b and all the comrade writers, it has been a great read.

Chas , Feb 28, 2019 5:50:42 PM | link
What I can't understand is why NK would give up its nuclear capability without requiring the empire to do the same. It isn't equitable for NK to give up its nukes for the mere promise of the empire to not place nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula. The empire could still strike Nk from outside the peninsula. What's good for one country is good for the other.
karlof1 , Feb 28, 2019 5:59:53 PM | link
Yeah, Right @50--

For your Option #2 to fly, the existing treaty with Outlaw US Empire must be negated along with the entire arrangement with UN that's existed since 1950. Given Imperial intransigence combined with ever escalating political will within RoK, such a happening may occur before 2020 begins.

The most recent article on reunification I was able to find in English is 3 months old and provides grounds for optimism given the concept's positive direction. IMO, Moon and Kim need to continue down the path they've made for each other,, while the diplomatic action moves into the UNSC which is where most of the sanctions were born and the only venue where they can be rescinded.

Red Ryder , Feb 28, 2019 7:49:53 PM | link
@35, S,

I always check my comments in preview, often many times. The URL seemed to be fine. It works. However, I'll be more cognizant in the future with any long URLs.

Thanks.

Jen , Feb 28, 2019 8:29:00 PM | link
S @ 42:

For South Korea to do as you suggest, Japan must do exactly the same. The South Koreans are more afraid of what Japan would do if they (SK, that is) were to throw out the Americans, downsize their own military and start a reunification or a "one-state-two-systems" process, and Japan does not follow suit with demilitarisation.

Incidentally the current Japanese PM Shinzo Abe's grandfather Nobusuke Kishi served as Munitions Minister under PM Hideki Tojo in the early 1940s. Under his watch, thousands of Chinese and Koreans were employed as slave labour in factories and mines. Kishi also ran the puppet state Manchukuo during the 1930s as his personal technocratic industrial slave state.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nobusuke_Kishi
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/east-asia-cant-escape-the-sins-of-the-father/article15987729/

Much later Kishi also got a turn as Japanese PM but his legacy as PM may have been to design a political system in which the Liberal Democratic Party (a conservative party in Japan) was always the main political party in government from 1955 to 1993.
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2011/09/27/general/no-nos-for-noda-japans-top-10-most-useless-pms/#.XHiKklwzaUk

Needless to say, Abe hero-worships Kishi.

psychohistorian , Feb 28, 2019 9:29:16 PM | link
I want to add some more thought to those I shared with Jen. What about the Philippines? I think that at this time in history all of the outposts of empire are at risk.

I think that Trump represents a pivot from containment of China/Russia to one of "Quick, pull what pieces of empire we can defend/control together."

I think that the West is delusional to think they can defeat any alternative that doesn't have profit as its God. That said, that monotheistic myth of "better than others" runs deep as evidenced by some of the opinions expressed in this venue

Are we going to see the dominoes of empire fall? I damn well hope so!

Kiza , Feb 28, 2019 9:31:48 PM | link
Is it not funny how the boss Bolton shows up at negotiations and El Presidente falls into (his unrealistic) line? El Presidente de la republica bananera is just a low level employee of his own staff BullbyTon and Pompous Maximus.

Nobody asked this here yet, but how did we get to US negotiating against NK on behalf of UN Security Council ?

Who did China and Russia on the Security Council serve, did they get anything for their service to the republica bananera?

One can recognise how ruthless US is, but one also has to recognise how worthless China and Russia are. US ignores UN Resolutions it does not like and uses UN Resolutions it initiated as a head-club for achieving its goals whilst China and Russia go along. This is exactly why the things are as they are - the Selfish Human Condition.

Oh, we are all so happy when someone does not do like the majority of the worthless humanity does (Russia out of own interest in Syria). Otherwise, back to being the usual shitbags.

Yeah, Right , Feb 28, 2019 9:36:01 PM | link
@60 Karlof1 As ever, it is instructive to read the text of a treaty.

In this particular case the treaty between South Korea and the USA contains within it the answers to your concerns.

1) either party can end the treaty with 12 month notice.
2) the stationing of US troops is by mutual agreement I.e. if South Korea "No longer agrees" to US troops stationed on its soil then those troops have to leave.

Uncle Sam would have no grounds to refuse, as the treaty itself says that both signatories have to agree. And, no, the treaty doesn't have to be "renegotiated" to produce that outcome: the South Koreans need only say "we don't agree any more".

That's what the treaty says, so that's what the treaty means.

Sad Canuck , Feb 28, 2019 9:45:27 PM | link
@31 Red Ryder

Nothing will change until S Korea decides to be an independent country instead of a low vassal. Watching a foreign country negotiate peace in your own civil war without being at the table must be deeply humiliating to at least some S Koreans surely?

As for the sanctions, if the Koreas re-united as ROK and the DPRK disappeared as an entity, I assume the UN sanctions on extinct entity would be void.

Jen , Feb 28, 2019 10:54:54 PM | link
Psychohistorian @ 67:

It's significant that the current PM of Japan is a grandson of a politician with a very dark past, and moreover idolises his grandfather and believes the policies he followed were right.

"Formed in childhood, roots of Abe's conservatism go deep"
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2012/12/26/national/formed-in-childhood-roots-of-abes-conservatism-go-deep/#.XHirsVwzaUk

You and I live in the year 2019 but the issue is whether Shinzo Abe does.

For that reason South Korea is unlikely to demilitarise and get rid of its US bases unless Japan commits to doing the same.

The two countries also continue to dispute the ownership of a set of islands called the Liancourt islands in the Sea of Japan, midway between the two nations.

Uncle $cam , Feb 28, 2019 11:12:52 PM | link
https://twitter.com/DrKevinGray/status/1101089899430793221?link_id=3&can_id=6b614a325626aa55ec3e7563bb5103b1&source=email-why-did-hanoi-summit-really-fail-interviews-available&email_referrer=email_502522&email_subject=why-did-hanoi-summit-really-fail-interviews-available

Former SK unification minister Chong Se-hyun suggests that summit was derailed by last minute attendance of Bolton, who added demands for NK to also report chemical/biological weapons, in response to which NKs increased their demand for sanctions relief

Pft , Feb 28, 2019 11:14:31 PM | link
South Korea is a puppet government of the US. Its constitution was written by the US and its early leaders were those who worked with the Japanese during the occupation. Anyone against the government and continued occupation by foreign forces was labelled Commmunist and shot. Up until the late 80's South Korea was under martial law

While much of the population is aware of this being humiliated by foreign powers has been a way of life for over a century. Reunification is a pipe dream unless the North is under the Empires control and the US will not pull out even then because its conveniently located at Russia and Chinas borders

I can imagine Trump talking to Kim and asking him how he would like to live like him and the global elite. It worked with Gorbachev and Deng. Just need to adopt the neoliberal religion and loot the resources of your own people (bottom 95%) for eventual handover to the Empire (privatization or sending cash back to buy Treasuries and other investments).

My guess is Kim and NK elite live pretty well already, but who knows. In any event he knows he cant trust them.

karlof1 , Mar 1, 2019 12:12:52 AM | link
Yeah, Right @70--

Guess I need to find a way to create more time to do stuff as I know I'm skimming way too much.

PavewayIV , Mar 1, 2019 1:53:34 AM | link
Schmoe@55 -

[sigh...] Yes, you're right. I suppose I got kind of got carried away there. But I can't believe the polls '50% approval rating' for the Syrian retaliatory strike, at least in my little world.

Most people I encounter through the day, especially college kids and millennial debt slaves, don't care about Syria or Israel and never will. Zero expectations of their government and can't understand why some old people are concerned about distant wars.

They feel absolutely no responsibility for the actions of the US government any more than they feel responsible for the actions of their next door neighbors. Society is slowly devolving itself in toad freak show!

V , Mar 1, 2019 3:55:42 AM | link
Deschutes | Mar 1, 2019 2:55:06 AM | 81

I posted this over at TAE. It might resonate with some few. Any one who has held on to their sanity, surely sees the fantastical reality created by twisted people and their twisted ideals. If that accurate vision is the context from which the U.S. is framed; then its true health is obvious.

A sick society ruled by equally sick fascisti

Record numbers of U.S. citizens are leaving for distant places they view as an improvement. If in fact they find respite; it will likely not last, until and unless the U.S. is brought to ground.

uncle tungsten , Mar 1, 2019 4:16:58 AM | link
Chas # 58

May I suggest there is a small matter of war reparations owed by the USA that needs immediate resolution well prior to any yak yak about denuclear strategies. Ms Susan Rice's piece also blithely ignores that question. And so do all the yankees as they are fully liable for an unwarranted assault on Korea - both north and south - and reparations are immediately owed to the north.

Pay up yankees.

Will someone tell that to John Bolt-on. I would love see his mustache quiver.

Kiza , Mar 1, 2019 5:19:42 AM | link
One of these days I am going to write a piece on what the World would look like one month after the Second US Civil War starts.
Steve , Mar 1, 2019 6:03:28 AM | link
Any nation which still trust any promise coming from the USA and its European, Australian and Canadian poddles deserves to be colonized and destroyed.
Yeah, Right , Mar 1, 2019 6:49:19 AM | link
@77 Karlof1 "Guess I need to find a way to create more time to do stuff as I know I'm skimming way too much."

It's not difficult to dig out the source text, and most international treaties relating to Int'l Humanitarian Law are not exactly dense reads.

The Kellogg-Briand Pact is a mere three articles long, with the first two being single sentences. The Mutual Defense Treaty between the USA and South Korea consists of only six articles.

The NATO Charter is but fourteen articles long. The Hague Regulations are a comparatively hefty fifty-six articles, but even the UN Charter - an outlier if ever there was one - contains only 111 Articles.

The Geneva Conventions are much longer but, boy, do the Swiss like to talk.

But none are like slogging through some Hemingway or Melville. Simple prose, as unambiguous as possible while still satisfying all the negotiators.

In fact you can find all the treaties in one place: http://avalon.law.yale.edu/default.asp

A one-stop-shop for all things relating to treaties, highly recommended.

BM , Mar 1, 2019 7:13:57 AM | link
I've just read two articles that in one fell swoop can explain a large part of Trump's behaviour, together with policies to eliminate nuclear arms control, first strike policies, apocalyptic policies towards Iran and North Korea, policies towards Israel, policies aimed at blowing up the Middle East, willingness and eagerness to precipitate destruction and chaos on a global scale, precipitate policies towards Russia and China, support for Islamic jihadism, anti-environmentalism, and climate denial:

The key are the so-called "Rapture Christians" nuts - of whom there are 12 in Trump's cabinet [out of how many?]. I've never looked into this obscure sect of insane nutcases before, but people urgently need to understand this phenomenon - they are an obscure sect, but they hold the keys to political power in the US, and have determined the key political events of the last several decades!

These nutters are a million times more dangerous than Islamic jihadists - they have no fear of all-out nuclear war, global destruction, climate change, environmental devastation or all the things that wise people with foresight advise against - on the contrary they are eager to bring all these things on as soon as possible, because they associate these things with the return of Jesus, and ascent to heaven for all the sect's believers.

A key fact in understanding this phenomenon is that they deny evolution, and a scientific basis for reality in its entirety, and therefore are completely closed to rational argument.

Quote from the second article: 'In an April 2 Bible study, Drollinger focused on the "huge and dire error" of "radical environmentalism". He argues that humans are incapable of destroying the earth on their own, because it is up to God to "continually renew the face of the earth until He forms a new heaven and a new earth in the end times."'

They support Trump because they believe he is the "tool of God".

BM , Mar 1, 2019 7:28:23 AM | link
For that reason South Korea is unlikely to demilitarise and get rid of its US bases unless Japan commits to doing the same.
Posted by: Jen | Feb 28, 2019 10:54:54 PM | 74

That seems like a strange argument to me. The US is not in Korea to protect Korea from Japan, nor are they in Japan either to protect Japan from Korea nor to protect Korea from Japan. In both cases the true target is China.

If the two Korea's unite it will necessarily be under the military protection of Russia and China - there is no other possibility, because they need protection from the US. Both Koreas are obviously much safer under Russian and Chinese protection than under US "protection" - the latter being no more than mafia style "protection".

In this case Japan would clearly oppose such an arrangement - in allignment with the US - therefore the last thing [imperialist] Japan would want would be the pull-out of the US (what ordinary Japanese people might want is another matter - unfortunately they have no say).

Mig-21-Block 70-2022 , Mar 1, 2019 7:34:39 AM | link
N.K. should just ask Russia to buy 1000 warehoused MIGs 21 refurbished for year 2023 and thats it!
Kim should go for a No deal with the US.
Mig 21s just shot down brand new f-16s over in India.
Whole world world including Chinese airmen are laughing.
Well maybe except the starving Greeks threw 1 bill. eu out of the window for a new deal with Trumps Lokheed for f-16 modernizations.
b real , Mar 1, 2019 7:47:45 AM | link
manufactured controversy to get the top of the news cycle and take focus off the cohen testimony so it dies quickly
rattlemullet , Mar 1, 2019 8:05:02 AM | link
The trio of Trump, Pompeo and Bolton, quite frankly spells failure. The leader has zero capacity to learn and understand the motivation behind North Korea and their very exacting understanding of the English language. Every single word written has a clear and precise meaning tied into complete sentences. The fact that is written on paper and executed by both parties memorizes the document. Trump literally has not read the first agreement as executed. To place any faith in this trio of clowns to negotiate with the North Koreas is laughable. The basic fact is that North Koreans will never trust the US as we literally tried to bomb all their cities out of existence during the Korean intervention. Trump's trio does not understand the lasting impact that those actions burned into North Korean souls. Trump is completely out his league on the world stage he has made a fool of the US.
arby , Mar 1, 2019 8:22:57 AM | link
b real @ 90--

That was my thoughts as well. The real reason Trump handlers sent him to Viet Nam was to not be around for a damning testimony.

Scotch Bingeington , Mar 1, 2019 9:42:07 AM | link
Tom Luongo claims that Bolton's spoke in Trump's wheel was to add chemical & biological weapons to US demands ( Link ). There, just like that. Pretty clever actually. Bolton may be the king of scumbags, but he sure is resourceful. The picture they have in the article of Bolton watching over Trump is scary and probably very telling.
BM , Mar 1, 2019 10:20:07 AM | link
"Trudeau was detonated today by his former Attorney General, Jody Wilson-Raybould, Canada's first Aboriginal A-G. She just testified in Parliament, in meticulous detail, how Trudeau and his staff tried to get her to drop criminal charges against a corrupt company that he liked."
Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 28, 2019 1:15:41 PM | 36

I've just finished reading the article on the testimony in the National Post, linked in Karlof1's link:

Read the full text of Jody Wilson-Raybould's statement to the House of Commons justice committee
(That's the title of the article; actually it is not the full text it is important extracts, but generous extracts).

Wow! Everybody should read this! This lady is someone who deserves a lot of respect! This text is fascinating in how it details the arm-twisting that goes on in power - nothing that would surprise us that it happens, but here it is described in black and white by a former government witness - including even such titbits as:

"if Jody is nervous, we would of course line up all kinds of people to write OpEds saying that what she is doing is proper."

Hey, James, you have some good Ministers over there in Canada, despite the more famous ones. Erm, well, one. Erm, well, had.

I am interested in some of the things she is declining to speak about (due to confidentiality of counsel issues), and am wondering if that might include the Huawei CFO issues, for which she was in a pertinent position. Any connections to the dates 11th February, and 19th February? (Actually I was travelling at that time so was out of the loop). Then there is the meeting with the PM on 17th September, requested 2 weeks earlier, which seems to have been intended primarily about something other than the SNC affair. The Huawei CFO was arrested in early December, I think, so that should be something else.

frances , Mar 1, 2019 12:19:47 PM | link
reply to Mig-21-Block 70-2022 89

"...Mig 21s just shot down brand new f-16s over in India.Whole world world including Chinese airmen are laughing.Well maybe except the starving Greeks threw 1 bill. eu out of the window for a new deal with Trumps Lokheed for f-16 modernizations."

Maybe laughing but maybe not, this fellow seems to feel they are evenly matched depending on their respective upgrades and concludes by saying it comes down to pilot expertise. BTW he considers Pak as having superior pilots.


frances , Mar 1, 2019 12:25:54 PM | link
reply to Scotch Bingeington 93
"....The picture they have in the article of Bolton watching over Trump is scary and probably very telling."

Yes, I am inclined to think Bolton was foisted upon him. I do think he chose Pompeo though.

Another very telling photo is that of Trump at Bush Sr.'s funeral, in the row behind him was Chaney, the look on Chaney's face as he stared at Trump's back was very interesting to me, he looked almost afraid.

karlof1 , Mar 1, 2019 2:14:11 PM | link
President Moon's confidence remains strong despite summit outcome. He tweeted this [machine translation] earlier today:

"Independence of spirit and national integration based on the 'faith based system'considerably.
Please gather all the power of the people.
Peace on the Korean peninsula will drive new economic growth across the North and South, encompassing Northeast Asia, ASEAN and Eurasia."

Today marks then 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Korean Independence, and Moon makes clear in his speech that there was and is only one Korea and one Korean people:

"One hundred years ago today, there was no South and North Korea.

"From Seoul and Pyeongyang to Jinnampo, Anju, Seoncheon, Uiju and Wonsan, loud chants of [the masses] erupted on the same day, and these calls for independence spread like a wildfire to every corner of the country.

"For two months from March 1, [mass] protests took place in 211 out of the total 220 cities and counties across the country regardless of the region – whether they belonged to what is now a part of South or North Korea."

Gotta love Moon's optimism in his closing remarks:

"The history of the past 100 years proves that we can achieve changes and innovation if we do not lose hope no matter how difficult our present reality is.

"Over the next 100 years, the growth of the people will directly lead to the growth of the nation. When unity is achieved from within by moving beyond ideological confrontations, and when peace and prosperity are accomplished from outside, genuine independence will be completed."

I'd be very interested in discovering what Kim did today. Hopefully, he, too, gave an address similar to Moon's.

james , Mar 1, 2019 3:49:21 PM | link
@94 BM - maybe Jody Wilson-Raybould can run for the prime ministers job if she can get on the top of the heap of the liberal party.. chances of this are slim!

[Mar 20, 2019] What will happen if no energy source can cover the decline rate

Notable quotes:
"... "If that was to happen and no energy source can cover the decline rate, wouldn't the world be pretty fucked economically thereafter? Hence one can assume or take a wild ass guess that the decline after peak would resemble something like Venezuela. So not a smooth short % decline rate." ..."
"... Realistically the global economy is already in a tight spot. It started back in 2000 when Oil prices started climbing from about $10/bbl in 1998 to about $30/bbl in 2000. Then the World Major Central banks dropped interest which ended triggering the Housing Boom\Bust and carried Oil prices to $147/bbl. Since then Interest rates have remained extremely low while World Debt has soared (expected to top $250T in 2019). ..."
"... Probably the biggest concern for me is the risking risks for another World war: The US has been targeting all of the major Oil exporters. The two remaining independent targets are Venezuela & Iran. I suspect Venzuela will be the next US take over since it will be a push over compared to Iran. ..."
Mar 16, 2019 | peakoilbarrel.com

Ignored says: 03/16/2019 at 12:42 am

Iron Mike Asked:

"If that was to happen and no energy source can cover the decline rate, wouldn't the world be pretty fucked economically thereafter? Hence one can assume or take a wild ass guess that the decline after peak would resemble something like Venezuela. So not a smooth short % decline rate."

Energy is the economy, The economy cannot function without energy. Thus its logical that a decline in energy supply will reduce the economy. The only way for this not to apply is if there are efficiency gains that offset the decline. But at this point the majority of cost effective efficiency gains are already in place. At this point gains become increasing expensive with much smaller gains (law of diminishing returns). Major infrastructure changes like modernizing rail lines take many decades to implement and also require lots of capital. Real capital needed will be difficult to obtain do to population demographics (ie boomers dependent on massive unfunded entitlement & pensions).

Realistically the global economy is already in a tight spot. It started back in 2000 when Oil prices started climbing from about $10/bbl in 1998 to about $30/bbl in 2000. Then the World Major Central banks dropped interest which ended triggering the Housing Boom\Bust and carried Oil prices to $147/bbl. Since then Interest rates have remained extremely low while World Debt has soared (expected to top $250T in 2019).

My guess is that global economy will wipe saw in the future as demographics, resource depletion (including Oil) and Debt all merge into another crisis. Gov't will act with more cheap and easy credit (since there is no alterative TINA) as well as QE\Asset buying to avoid a global depression. This creating a wipesaw effect that has already been happening since 2000 with Boom Bust cycles. This current cycle has lasted longer because the Major central banks kept interest rates low, When The Fed started QT and raising rate it ended up triggering a major stock market correction In Dec 2018. I believe at this point the Fed will no longer seek any further credit tightening that will trip the economy back into recession. However its likely they the global economy will fall into another recession as consumers & business even without further credit tighting by CB (Central Banks) Because they've been loading up on cheap debt, which will eventually run into issues servicing their debt. For instance there are about 7M auto loans in delinquency in March of 2019. Stock valuations are largely driven by stock buybacks, which is funded by debt. I presume companies are close to debt limit which is likely going to prevent them from purchase more stock back.

Probably the biggest concern for me is the risking risks for another World war: The US has been targeting all of the major Oil exporters. The two remaining independent targets are Venezuela & Iran. I suspect Venzuela will be the next US take over since it will be a push over compared to Iran. I think once all of remaining independent Oil Exports are seized that is when the major powers start fighting each other. However is possible that some of the proxy nations (Pakastan\India),(Israel\Iran), etc trigger direct war between the US, China, and Russia at any time.

Notice that the US is now withdrawing from all its major arms treaties, and the US\China\Russia are now locked into a Arms race. Nuclear powers are now rebuilding their nuclear capacity (more Nukes) and modernizing their deployment systems (Hypersonic, Very large MIRV ICBMS, Undersea drones, Subs, Bombers, etc.

My guess is that nations like the US & China will duke it out before collapsing into the next Venezuela. If my assessment is correct, The current state of Venezuela will look like the garden of Eden compared to the aftermath of a full scale nuclear war.

Currently the Doomsday clock (2019) is tied with 1953 at 2 minutes:

https://thebulletin.org/doomsday-clock/past-announcements/

1953 was the height of the cold war. I presume soon the Doomsday clock will be reduced to less than 2 Minutes later this year, due to recent events in the past few weeks.

https://thebulletin.org/doomsday-clock/current-time/

"the world's nuclear nations proceeded with programs of "nuclear modernization" that are all but indistinguishable from a worldwide arms race, and the military doctrines of Russia and the United States have increasingly eroded the long-held taboo against the use of nuclear weapons."

" The current international security situation -- what we call the "new abnormal" -- has extended over two years now. It's a state as worrisome as the most dangerous times of the Cold War, a state that features an unpredictable and shifting landscape of simmering disputes that multiply the chances for major military conflict to erupt."

[Mar 20, 2019] Bruce Ohr, Liar or Moron by Larry C Johnson

Credibility of the US government and Justice system was greatly undermined, if not destroyed by the Russiagate. Inability to investigate more plausible election interference by British an, Saudi and Israeli actors by Mueller paints him as a despicable political operative working for Clintons, not an independent Prosecutor, who diligently investigate the foreign interference in elections.
The role of Rosenstein is the role of co-conspirator in a plot to deprive Trump of the Presidency or, at least, for force him to pursue the Deep State foreign policy, which is totally bankrupt policy. And they succeeded in this. Trump wet kiss with neocons was probably the part of the deal.
Notable quotes:
"... When even Trump who was the victim of the machinations cares only to tweet witch hunt, why would anyone expect that any of those involved in the attempted "coup" would be held to account? ..."
"... I wondered about that myself. When I was doing clan work in Europe, recruiting UK citizens was absolutely forbidden. I needed special dispensation from Bonn Station to not declare my Russian assets to the Brits when they merely traveled to the UK. I think Steele's relationship with the FBI was not as a standard recruited asset or informer. It was a business contract. An article from a year ago sheds some light on that relationship. The first instance concerns his assistance in the FIFA investigation. ..."
Mar 20, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

blue peacock , a day ago

When even Trump who was the victim of the machinations cares only to tweet witch hunt, why would anyone expect that any of those involved in the attempted "coup" would be held to account?
MP98 , 2 days ago
No one is going to face any consequences - legal or other. Hell, most of them will make money from writing books about their "dedicated service." When was the last time the swamp applied the laws to one of it's own. Answer: never.

The laws are enforced on us - the "deplorables out there," not the swamp creature "elite." We are not governed, we are ruled.

And sadly that situation is as much the result of an indifferent and ignorant populace as the behavior of the ruling class.

Nobby Stiles , 2 days ago
In case you had not seen. I think it does connect well with the piece above.

https://www.americanthinker...

English Outsider -> Nobby Stiles , 2 days ago
"One other important sidetone--there has been a longstanding agreement among the 5 Eyes (i.e., US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) to NOT recruit as assets each other's spies. Christopher Steele's employ with the FBI violates this policy."

I see Steele's surfacing again. Might I put in a minor query. Does this longstanding agreement cover retired personnel?

Bill Gaydon -> English Outsider , 8 hours ago
Same question....^
TTG -> English Outsider , a day ago
I wondered about that myself. When I was doing clan work in Europe, recruiting UK citizens was absolutely forbidden. I needed special dispensation from Bonn Station to not declare my Russian assets to the Brits when they merely traveled to the UK. I think Steele's relationship with the FBI was not as a standard recruited asset or informer. It was a business contract. An article from a year ago sheds some light on that relationship. The first instance concerns his assistance in the FIFA investigation.

"Steele might have been expected to move on once his investigation of the bidding was concluded. But he had discovered that the corruption at FIFA was global, and he felt that it should be addressed. The only organization that could handle an investigation of such scope, he felt, was the F.B.I. In 2011, Steele contacted an American agent he'd met who headed the Bureau's division for serious crimes in Eurasia. Steele introduced him to his sources, who proved essential to the ensuing investigation. In 2015, the Justice Department indicted fourteen people in connection with a hundred and fifty million dollars in bribes and kickbacks."

The second instance of Steele's cooperation with the FBI even had a peripheral relationship with Trump. "Several years ago, the FBI hired Steele to help crack an international gambling and money-laundering ring purportedly run by a suspected Russian organized-crime figure named Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov. The syndicate was based in an apartment in Trump Tower. Eventually, federal officials indicted more than thirty co-conspirators for financial crimes. Tokhtakhounov, though, eluded arrest, becoming a fugitive. Interpol issued a "red notice" calling for his arrest. But, in the fall of 2013, he showed up at the Miss Universe contest in Moscow -- and sat near the pageant's owner, Donald Trump."

According to the New Yorker magazine article, it was standard Orbis procedure to warn authorities about national security threats. Steele warned German authorities about IS militants using the refugee flow to infiltrate Europe. "When Steele took his suspicions about Trump to the FBI in the summer of 2016, it was in keeping with Orbis protocol, rather than a politically driven aberration."

Within the FBI, I'm sure Steele was coded as a source in some way as a standard procedure to use his information. We did the same with our non-asset sources in DOD. Hell, I was even coded as an intelligence asset when I was a SMU operative/case officer. This was different from the reporter number all case officers are given.

https://www.newyorker.com/m...

Tidewater -> TTG , 11 hours ago
Philip Giraldi, on March 13, 2018, has an essay about this New Yorker article: 'Christopher Steele as seen by the New Yorker. Liberal fantasies beatify the messenger.' This is in the Unz Review. www.unz.com/pgiraldi/christ... .

Mayer doesn't mention that Steele was almost certainly identified as MI6 during the years (possibly 1990-1993) that he was stationed in Moscow under diplomatic cover. Russian counterintelligence agents broke into his apartment, used the toilet, left it unflushed; they stole his wife's best shoes. He was definitely identified by 1999 when he was in Paris. There was a DSMA notice. Too late. Then, in 2006, when Steele is said to have had the Russia desk, there was the highly embarrassing electronic spy rock in a Moscow park. Surely he held some responsibility for that? And if Steele was a Russian expert why were his talents being wasted in Afghanistan?

John Helmer quotes some old intelligence hands who deny that he was a particularly impressive agent or was deeply knowledgeable about Russia. Steele never went back to Russia after 1992 or 1993. Mayer, in the New Yorker article, makes no mention of what surely were setbacks for British intelligence regarding Russia in which Steele likely was playing a large part.

We've been here before in this discussion. The question remains-- was Steele an unwitting puppet of a Russian master counterstrike, an aikido throw which has badly shaken and distracted America? DH, we await your comments. Has TTG gone wobbly?

TTG -> Tidewater , an hour ago
I'm also fairly certain RIS was aware of Steele's status as an MI6 officer when he was stationed in Moscow. I would think anyone working out of a diplomatic embassy is first assumed to be an intelligence officer by the host nation. I stayed away from embassies and other government facilities just to avoid that taint. The one time I was summoned to an embassy, I conducted extensive surveillance detection measures both before and after the visit and I wore a disguise.

It was a normal matter for intelligence officers to be cycled through Afghanistan and Iraq post 9-11, no matter what their former expertise. I did my turn. CIA's "Russia House" was bitter about their fall from the pinnacle to be replaced by all things CT during that time.

Was some of the raw information in Steele's dossier planted by RIS? That's very possible. Several experienced former US intelligence officers have voiced that possibility, especially about the more salacious bits of the dossier.

Fred -> TTG , 15 hours ago
That's a nice piece in the New Yorker. They mention the golden shower episode in Moscow, however, left out Loretta Lynch. "In was in her role as district attorney that her involvement in the Fifa investigation began. Over the course of five years in Brooklyn..." See the BBC article on FIFA from 2015: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-32912118

So did Loretta Lynch talk to Christopher Steele during this case or did Steele just talk to the FBI agent who was years later in London? When did then US attorney for New York's Eastern District Lorretta Lynch get informed and by which FBI agent? Who did that agent tell about the Steele dossier, when did it get to the AG's ears, and when did she tell Obama?

"On January 5, 2017, it became clear that at least two Washingtonians remained in the dark about the dossier: the President and the Vice-President. " Oh, apparently AG Lynch never told Obama, because????????

Another New Yorker Enigma: "Robert Hannigan, then the head of the U.K.'s intelligence service the G.C.H.Q., had recently flown to Washington and briefed the C.I.A.'s director, John Brennan, on a stream of illicit communications between Trump's team and Moscow that had been intercepted. (The content of these intercepts has not become public.) "

So the UK has been spying on US Presidential candidates? Oh, they said they were "illicit" communications. What does that mean? Who was communicating with Whom? And how did G.C.H.Q. decide these communications were "illicit" but others, well they'd have to have them all to make a comparison, wouldn't they? Put a ribbon on top of that one. DId they also intercept any of Hilary's communications?

TTG -> Fred , 13 hours ago
Given that Steele played an important role in at least two major FBI investigations leading to multiple indictments, I would assume Lynch knew about Steele. Whether they ever conversed, I don't know.

Comey was not at all sure about Lynch's impartiality. It would not surprise me if he kept details of the Russian investigation, including the dossier, from her. She probably learned about it shortly before Obama and Trump were briefed on the dossier. Obama knew enough about the Russian investigation, without the dossier, to warn Putin to knock it off in September 2016.

I don't know if the Brits spied on our Presidential candidates. I wouldn't doubt it. We bugged Merkel's phone. What I am sure of is that the Brits spy on every Russian of importance within their capabilities. If Trump's campaign was in contact with those Russians, the Brits would know about it. They obviously thought those conversations were illicit enough to inform their US counterparts and reveal that they did monitor members of the Trump campaign. They wouldn't have done that just for shits and giggles.

Fred -> TTG , 2 hours ago
"They obviously thought those conversations were illicit enough to inform their US counterparts and reveal that they did monitor members of the Trump campaign."

They thought it illicit? Listening is one thing, giving information to aid your country's government's preferred candidate is interference in an election process - ours. How many times has our ally the UK interfered with US elections? They had plenty of help from the FBI and DOJ here in the US in 2016. Who elected GCHQ to be arbiters of US elections? I can't find them in the US Constitution. Using the FBI and DOJ to sabatouge your party's political opponents, that's third world government standards.

TTG -> Fred , 34 minutes ago
If the Brits wanted to directly influence the election, they would have publicly released their information about "illicit' contacts. Keeping it within intelligence channels does nothing to influence an election. I would hope the Brits would never hold back on information concerning a possible CI threat.
English Outsider -> TTG , 4 hours ago
TTG - thank you for your reply above. The picture one gets of Steele is no longer that of a loose canon who somehow got himself involved in a presidential election campaign. It is that of an experienced and respected professional working in tandem, if perhaps unconventionally, with other professionals.

And perhaps thinking that he or his contacts back home had stumbled over important information showing that a presidential candidate was compromised. That information possibly being the tip of the iceberg and urgently demanding further investigation.

But that makes what happened all the more unusual -

1. Why didn't the further investigation happen? Surely the fact that such an important matter wasn't thoroughly investigated, and that using all possible resources in the States and abroad, shows that it was no serious investigation in the first place?

And more to the point here -

2. If those involved were professionals working away soberly at a necessary investigation, what were they doing suddenly branching out into a smear campaign?

For none, even the originators of the dossier, are claiming that the more discreditable part of the Steele dossier is true. That is not Intelligence material. It is sensationalised smear material.

This objection has been met in part with the claim that the dossier was all raw unsifted Intelligence and therefore was released as is.

But surely experienced Intelligence professionals don't suddenly pitch raw unsifted Intelligence into the middle of the political arena while they are supposed to be still assessing that intelligence?

Irrespective of the question of whether Trump was compromised the question therefore arises - what were American officials doing running a smear campaign against a presidential candidate?

Which leads back to the original question. What officials this side of the Atlantic were also involved, and how high did the authorisation for their involvement go in England.

.

On a matter I'm better informed about, I don't see the Colonel quietly farming away in Kent. I see him striding across the limitless expanse of a Scottish grouse moor. If our lot had known their business they'd have worked that into their offer.

But if that farm in Kent is still going spare ...

.

Pat Lang Mod -> English Outsider , 3 hours ago
I could have been Glubb's neighbor. I could have been a contender ... I thought the whole thing showed a surprising lack of judgment on their part.
TTG -> English Outsider , an hour ago
The counterintelligence investigation was in progress through the lead up to the 2016 election and is still in progress. Through 2016, it was done in a remarkably quiet fashion. That's how these investigations are supposed to work. No one hears about them until there is an arrest or indictment. That's how Mueller is running his investigation. We hear nothing from him except for the indictments already issued. And they are characteristically slow and methodical, usually spanning years before an arrest is made.

None of this investigation, including Steele's reporting was used in a pre-election smear campaign. In my opinion, the reason the Obama administration did not publicize the idea of Russian interference with the election and possible involvement of Trump campaign officials is that it would surely have been seen as a partisan smear campaign. The public did not hear of the Steele dossier until well after the election was over.

It was not just British intelligence involved in collecting on Russian interference in the election. The Estonians, the Dutch, the Australians and probably others contributed to the intelligence picture. We may not learn the full extent of that cooperation for many years. Given the changing nature of information warfare and social media manipulation, I sincerely wish the full extent of that intelligence is made public quickly. Sure that would probably also cramp Western media manipulation capabilities, of which we are far from innocent, but the sunlight would help inoculate all of us against this malignant phenomenon.

Pat Lang Mod -> TTG , a day ago
MI-6 tried to recruit me. I reported it to the COS at my post. Please don't tell me we and our liaison services love each other.
TTG -> Pat Lang , a day ago
Not surprised. What a duplicitous business we rolled around in.
Pat Lang Mod -> TTG , a day ago
They offered me a retirement farm in Kent, lifetime membership in one of the best clubs, a big stipend and"career assistance". It was funny.
TTG -> Pat Lang , a day ago
The retirement farm and the big stipend sounds pretty good. I could do without the best club and the career assistance. Sounds like they appreciated you a lot more than DIA.
Pat Lang Mod -> TTG , 18 hours ago
DIA made me an SES-4 with presidential rank (Distinguished). Looks like the Brits expected me to have a lot of access. They claimed these guys were off the reservation. and that they were not authorized to pitch me.
TTG -> Pat Lang , 13 hours ago
Off the reservation my ass. I would say those Brits were a bunch of cheeky blokes who did not do a thorough enough job of assessing your susceptibility to recruitment.
Pat Lang Mod -> TTG , 3 hours ago
You seem more upset over this than I was. We accepted their false statements of innocence betrayed by their own and went right on working with them. Why would they try this? Simple. As we do they wanted to know what we were not telling them. everyone does it. A basic principle. Recruit your liaison.
TTG -> Pat Lang , 29 minutes ago
You're right. I never worked out of an embassy or in any long term liaison function. If I was the target of such a pitch, it would have meant that I was blown along with any operations I was involved with. For me, it would have been life altering.
Boris -> English Outsider , a day ago
Been wondering about that too.
MarcotheLombard , 2 days ago
Thanks for this. I am wondering what Larry Johnson and the other members of this Committee of Correspondence make of the possible connection between Christopher Steele, Pablo Miller, and Sergei Skripal?

Some of Craig Murray's speculations in his latest post on the Skripal incident regarding the coordinated role of Orbis Intelligence, the BBC, and the British state (which issued a DSMA notice prohibiting press mention of Pablo Miller) are quite plausible. Murray is, like the members of this committee, a veteran of the game....

Was Skripal coerced/encouraged by Miller to serve as one of Steele's unattributed Russian "sources"? Did he later get cold feet? Or did he later attempt to buy his way back into Russia with the claim that he could provide proof that the Dossier was a fraud? Or was he working as a triple agent the whole time? Were the two sightseeing Russians "Borishov" and "Petrov" sent to retrieve something from Skripal?

https://www.craigmurray.org...

Patrick Armstrong -> MarcotheLombard , a day ago
Try this. This theory ties together all the incoherencies of the official explanation better than anything I have seen. And, I'm pleased to see it is getting reprinted here and there.
https://michaelantonyblog.w...
Nobby Stiles -> Patrick Armstrong , 20 hours ago
Yes, it made a lot of sense to me. The only thing it doesn't explain is the roof. Was somebody keeping some WMD in the attic?
Barbara Ann -> Patrick Armstrong , a day ago
I concur. This is the most plausible explanation of what really happened in Salisbury that I have read so far.

Colonel - might this theory be worth a dedicated SST post? It is 5,000 words, so perhaps Patrick, David Habakkuk, or another interested member of the committee would be happy to summarize the salient details (e.g. that Borisov & Petrov intended to return to Russia with Sergei Skripal). The author's contact details are in the comments section re reprint rights.

[Mar 20, 2019] Trump said that he no longer sees the point of NATO 25 years after the Soviet collapse. Then quickly changed his mind and pursues Obama policies. He clearly became a marionette of the Deep State.

Trump betrayed all and every of his main election promises, except may be building the wall. For example "Trump said that he no longer sees the point of NATO 25 years after the Soviet collapse."
Notable quotes:
"... Trump said that he no longer sees the point of NATO 25 years after the Soviet collapse. If he sticks to his view, it means a big political change in Washington's EU vassals. The hostility toward Russia of the current EU and NATO officials would have to cease. German Chancellor Merkel would have to change her spots or be replaced. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg would have to be dismissed. ..."
www.globalresearch.ca
It also remains to be seen how the Oligarchy will respond to Trump's victory. Wall Street and the Federal Reserve can cause an economic crisis in order to put Trump on the defensive, and they can use the crisis to force Trump to appoint one of their own as Secretary of the Treasury. Rogue agents in the CIA and Pentagon can cause a false flag attack that would disrupt friendly relations with Russia. Trump could make a mistake and retain neoconservatives in his government.
Centre for Research on Globalization
With Trump there is at least hope. Unless Trump is obstructed by bad judgment in his appointments and by obstacles put in his way, we should expect an end to Washington's orchestrated conflict with Russia, the removal of the US missiles on Russia's border with Poland and Romania, the end of the conflict in Ukraine, and the end of Washington's effort to overthrow the Syrian government. However, achievements such as these imply the defeat of the US Oligarchy. Although Trump defeated Hillary, the Oligarchy still exists and is still powerful.

Trump said that he no longer sees the point of NATO 25 years after the Soviet collapse. If he sticks to his view, it means a big political change in Washington's EU vassals. The hostility toward Russia of the current EU and NATO officials would have to cease. German Chancellor Merkel would have to change her spots or be replaced. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg would have to be dismissed.

We do not know who Trump will select to serve in his government. It is likely that Trump is unfamiliar with the various possibilities and their positions on issues. It really depends on who is advising Trump and what advice they give him. Once we see his government, we will know whether we can be hopeful for the changes that now have a chance.

If the oligarchy is unable to control Trump and he is actually successful in curbing the power and budget of the military/security complex and in holding the financial sector politically accountable, Trump could be assassinated.

[Mar 20, 2019] Trump lost the war with the deep state and became a puppet. does it make any sense to re-elect a puppet ?

Feb 23, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org

Trump is losing the war with the "deep state". Badly...

President Trump's first National Security Advisor Mike Flynn got kicked out of office for talking with Russian officials. Such talks were completely inline with Trump's declared policies of détente with Russia. (I agree that Flynn should have never gotten the NSA job. But the reasons for that have nothing to do with his Russian connections.)

Allegedly Flynn did not fully inform Vice-President Pence about his talk with the Russian ambassador. But that can not be a serious reason. The talks were rather informal, they were not transcribed. The first call is said to have reached Flynn on vacation in the Dominican Republic. Why would a Vice-President need to know each and every word of it?

With Flynn out, the war-on-Russia hawks, that is about everyone of the "serious people" in Washington DC, had the second most important person out of the way that would probably hinder their plans.

They replaced him with a militaristic anti-Russian hawk :

In a 2016 speech to the Virginia Military Institute , McMaster stressed the need for the US to have "strategic vision" in its fight against "hostile revisionist powers" - such as Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran - that "annex territory, intimidate our allies, develop nuclear weapons, and use proxies under the cover of modernized conventional militaries."
General McMaster, the new National Security Advisor, gets sold as a somewhat rebellious, scholar-warrior wunderkind . When the now disgraced former General Petraeus came into sight he was sold with the same marketing profile.

Petraeus was McMaster's boss. McMaster is partially his creature:

He was passed over for brigadier general twice, until then-Gen. David Petraeus personally flew back to Washington, D.C., from Iraq to chair the Army's promotion board in 2008.
When Petraeus took over in the war on Afghanistan he selected McMaster as his staff leader for strategy. McMaster was peddled to the White House by Senator Tom Cotton, one of the most outlandish Republican neocon war hawks.

McMaster's best known book is " Dereliction of Duty " about the way the US involved itself into the Vietnam War. McMaster criticizes the Generals of that time for not having resisted then President Johnson's policies.

He is the main author of an Army study on how to militarily counter Russia. McMaster is likely to "resist" when President Trump orders him to pursue better relations with Moscow.

Trump has now been boxed in by hawkish, anti-Russian military in his cabinet and by a hawkish Vice-President. The only ally he still may have in the White House is his consigliere Steve Bannon. The next onslaught of the "serious people" is against Bennon and especially against his role in the NSC . It will only recede when he is fired.

It seems to me that Trump has been rolled with the attacks on Flynn and the insertion of McMaster into his inner circle. I wonder if he, and Bannon, recognize the same problematic development and have a strategy against it.

Reprinted with permission from Moon of Alabama .

[Mar 20, 2019] Sanders was a sheepdog>

Notable quotes:
"... There are numerous clues that point to the 2016 US Presidential Election as having been a set-up. Few seem willing to take a close look at these facts. But it is necessary for an understanding of the world we live in today. ..."
"... Sanders as sheep-dog Black Agenda Report called Sanders a sheep-dog soon after he entered the race . ..."
"... "Enough with the emails!" ..."
"... Not pursuing Hillary's 'winning' of 6 coin tosses in Iowa ..."
"... Virtually conceding the black and female vote to Hillary ..."
"... Not calling Hillary out about her claim to have NEVER sold her vote ..."
"... Endorsing Hillary despite learning of Hillary-DNC collusion ..."
"... Continuing to help the Democratic Party reach out to Bernie supports even after the election ..."
"... As one keen observer noted: Sanders is a Company Man . ..."
May 31, 2017 | jackrabbit.blog
There are numerous clues that point to the 2016 US Presidential Election as having been a set-up. Few seem willing to take a close look at these facts. But it is necessary for an understanding of the world we live in today.

Trump's first 100 days has come and gone and he has proven to be every bit the faux populist that Obama was (as I explained in a previous post). In hind-sight we can see how a new faux populist was installed.

Evidence

  1. Sanders as sheep-dog Black Agenda Report called Sanders a sheep-dog soon after he entered the race .

    Sanders made it clear from the start that he ruled out the possibility of running as an independent. That was only the first of many punches that Sanders pulled as he led his 'sheep' into the Democratic fold.

    Others were:

    • ; "Enough with the emails!"

    • ; Not pursuing Hillary's 'winning' of 6 coin tosses in Iowa;

    • ; Virtually conceding the black and female vote to Hillary;

    • ; Not calling Hillary out about her claim to have NEVER sold her vote;

    • ; Endorsing Hillary despite learning of Hillary-DNC collusion;

    • ; Continuing to help the Democratic Party reach out to Bernie supports even after the election.

    As one keen observer noted: Sanders is a Company Man .

  2. Trump as Clinton protege

[Mar 20, 2019] Despicable Max Boot does not even have courage to admit his Iraq war warmongering crimes, which are crimes against humanity if we use Nuremberg statute

Intellectually Max Boot is a loud mouth nothing. I wonder how he managed to graduate from a prestigious university. he might be able to work as copywriters, but not above that.
Neocon didn't "get it wrong." They understood that this is wrong. It was all about money for MIC which as lobbyists of MIC is their first priority. That's why they lied the American people into wars. They are war criminals. They should be tried for war crimes.
Feb 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Kurt Gayle February 17, 2019 at 9:34 am

Tom Gorman (Feb 15, 8:36 am)–as evidence that Max Boot "has recanted his support of the Iraq War"–quoted two sentences from Boot's 2018 book. Two sentences earlier in the same book Boot wrote:

"In truth the decision to go to war had been made by President George W. Bush, in consultation with colleagues such as Dick Cheney, Condolezza Rice, Colin Powell, and Don Rumsfeld, none of whom was remotely a 'neocon.'

Those of us who supported the invasion were, as one of my friends said, like hapless passengers who got into a vehicle with a drunk driver and could not escape as the car careened across the center divider."

[Mar 20, 2019] Anti-semitism became a form of Neo-McCarthyim

Notable quotes:
"... George Galloway and Steve Topple of the Canary posted this video on the ongoing transatlantic attack campaign against the left wing, including Ilhan Omar, Jeremy Corbyn, and the Yellow Vests under the canard that they are anti-Semitic. This has now reached the level of the transnational RussiaGate hysteria to the point where it is obviously a coordinated smear by global corporate and political Establishment and ruling class people to muzzle the voice of a rising generation which is anti-capitalist and anti-war. ..."
Mar 11, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Anne Jaclard , Mar 10, 2019 11:07:50 PM | link

George Galloway and Steve Topple of the Canary posted this video on the ongoing transatlantic attack campaign against the left wing, including Ilhan Omar, Jeremy Corbyn, and the Yellow Vests under the canard that they are anti-Semitic. This has now reached the level of the transnational RussiaGate hysteria to the point where it is obviously a coordinated smear by global corporate and political Establishment and ruling class people to muzzle the voice of a rising generation which is anti-capitalist and anti-war.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=SCpBsC8l5AU&feature=youtu.be


@4 Adam Curtis is always great, I personally preferred The Trap and his short film on Nixon, but Hypernormalisation is arguably the most powerful and illustrative film of our times. It would be perfect if it weren't for the Russia segment.

james , Mar 10, 2019 3:25:22 PM | link

anti-semitism... regarding the 2 links on corbyn - both very good btw and worth checking out if you are interested. i find it disturbing how this topic can be pushed to the forefront 24/7, or ad nauseam... for me, the only purpose it seems to serve is to inadvertently turn people completely off everything to do with israel.. obviously the initial purpose here is to smear corbyn in the hopes that the mud sticks.. either way, the fact it is in the news constantly is a clear heads up the media is not neutral, or unbiased in it's selection of the topics put b