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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

"The media's interest in the well-being of a foreign population is directly proportional to the West's interest in toppling its government, while editorial standards are inversely proportional to its enemy status." ~John McEvoy

The UK's propaganda machine rivals and even surpasses Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany.  

~ Comment by Gravatomic , Apr 17, 2019 link

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. As Gore Vidal quipped they are actually  "conspiracy analysts" not "conspiracy theorists".  BTW the term was invented by CIA to crush alternative versions of JFK assassination.  This label is a form of censorship, plain and simple.

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 their 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. It is 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 ( see US and British media are servants of security apparatus )

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 very 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 neoliberal war on reality.

The process started with the creation of CIA. The key question that arise in this regard is whether  representative democracy is compatible with the existence large all-powerful and largely uncontrollable and positioned "above the law" intelligence  agencies. 

The key question that arise in this regard is whether  representative democracy is compatible with the existence large all-powerful and largely uncontrollable and positioned "above the law" intelligence  agencies.

At some point any society with powerful intelligence  agencies naturally arrive to the point when "the tail wags the dog."  In other words they became political power and in institutional hierarchy are positioned above White House.  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 with quick (less then two decades) rise to power of the Deep State (with the first major 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 ).   Which is documented in the book by Dr. Udo Ulfkotte Journalists for Hire How the CIA Buys the News

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.  CIa and other inteeligence againces remain positioned above the White House.  

Color revolution against Trump (aka Russiagate) launched by CIA and FBI after election has shown who is the real master of the USA. It was accompanied by unprecedented neo-McCarthism campaign in which neoliberal MSM lost any remnants of decency and objectivity. 

The recent incident with CIA director Gina Haspel lying to President  Trump to inflict severe sanctions on Russia is just a confirmation of the level of this influence. She will never be fired for her  "transgressions"

Apr 17, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

William Gruff , Apr 16, 2019 4:41:41 PM | link

"If Trump were not in on the schemes he would just fire his underlings!"

This sentiment indicates a failure to understand the power dynamics at play here. Haspel is not the "underling" . Trump is the underling. Sure, being that he is also an oligarch makes Trump's role in the show complicated, but Presidents are installed in order to serve the oligarchy, and the CIA are top level strategists/enforcers for the oligarchy.

In the real organization chart for the empire the CIA is above the President. This has been the case in the US since Kennedy.

Trump cannot fire Haspel or Pompeo. They can fire him, though, and with a sniper's bullet if they want.

Unfortunately for the oligarchy, that would cause additional complications at a time when they have lots of tricky and inexplicably unstable (for them) operations ongoing, which is why they are just steering Trump around instead of replacing him. And Trump is willfully cooperating, even if they are not filling him in on the plans.

Trump will not fire Haspel. He can't. He's just an actor playing a role in a show, and Haspel is one of the producers/writers of that show. If she doesn't put firing in the script then Trump cannot say those lines. I doubt he really wants to anyway.

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.

NeoMcCarthyism

NeoMcCarthyism 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  term "presstitutes", which is obviously politically incorrect, but still is a very 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" ;-). 

Read more

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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[Jan 21, 2020] Wikipedia is fine for non-political info. For political information it is CIApedia

Jan 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

NoOneYouKnow , Jan 21 2020 18:50 utc | 34

Wikipedia is fine for unimportant info. I hope anyone who relies on it for serious subjects reads this: https://medium.com/@helen.buyniski/wikipedia-rotten-to-the-core-dcc435781c45
Also, in the penultimate sentence of Nebenzia's statement, "shelled" should be "shelved."

"talk-embed-stream-container"> hootowl 11 hours ago remove Share link Copy The CIA is funded, populated, and controlled by sociopathic dual-staters and drug cartels. They don't give a damn about Americans or real American interests.

17 so-called "Intelligence Agencies" are an existential threat, a clear and present danger to what remains of our constitutional freedoms and prosperity.

Who the hell can possibly control 17 intelligence agencies run by sociopaths and corrupt politicians (is that redundant)?

hootowl 11 hours ago remove Share link Copy The CIA is funded, populated, and controlled by sociopathic dual-staters and drug cartels. They don't give a damn about Americans or real American interests.

17 so-called "Intelligence Agencies" are an existential threat, a clear and present danger to what remains of our constitutional freedoms and prosperity.

Who the hell can possibly control 17 intelligence agencies run by sociopaths and corrupt politicians (is that redundant)?

/div

[Jan 21, 2020] Money Talks, Bullshit Walks on Cable News by Paul Street

Oct 30, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

Is it any wonder that the nation's "liberal" cable news stations CNN and MSNBC can barely contain their disdain for Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign and even (to a lesser degree) for that of Elizabeth Warren while they promote the nauseating center-right candidacies of the bewildered racist and corporatist Joe Biden, the sinister neoliberal corporate-militarist Pete Butiggieg and even the marginal Wall Street "moderates" Amy Klobuchar and Kamala Harris? Next time you click on these stations, keep a pen and paper handy to write down the names of the corporations that pay for their broadcast content with big money commercial purchases.

I did that at various times of day on three separate occasions last week. Here are the companies I found buying ads at CNN and MSDNC:

American Advisors Group (AAG), the top lender the American reverse mortgage industry (with Tom Selleck telling seniors to trust him that reverse mortgages are not a rip off)

United Health Care, for-profit "managed health care company" with 300,000 employers and an annual revenue of $226 billion, ranked sixth on the 2019 Fortune 500.

Menards, the nation's third largest home improvement chain, with revenue over $10 billion in 2017.

CHANITX, a drug to get off cigarettes ("slow Turkey") sold by the pharmaceutical firm Pfizer, 65th on the Fortune 500.

Tom Steyer (billionaire for president)

Lincoln Financial, 187 th on the Fortune 500, an American holding company that controls multiple insurance and investment management businesses.

Liberty Mutual, an insurance company with more than 50,000 employees in more than 900 locations and ranked 68 th on the Fortune 500 two years ago.

Allstate Insurance: 79 th on the Fortune 500, with more than 45,000 employees.

INFINITI Suburban Utility Vehicle (new price ranging from 37K to 60K), produced by Nissan, the sixth largest auto-making corporation in the world.

RCN (annual revenue of $636 million) WiFi for business

Jaguar Elite luxury autos.

Porsche luxury autos, selling new models priced at $115,000, $145,000, and $163,00, and $294,000.

Mercedes Benz luxury auto, including an SRL-Class model that starts at $498,000

Capital Group, one of the world's oldest and biggest investment management firms, with $1.87 trillion in assets under its control.

Otezla, a plaque psoriasis drug, developed by the New Jersey drug company Celgene and owned by Amgene, a leading California-based biotechnology firm with total assets of $78 billion.

Trelegy, a CPD drug produced by the British company GSK, the world's seventh leading pharmaceutical corporation, with the fourth largest capitalization of any company on the London Stock Exchange.

HunterDouglass – elite windows made by a Dutch multinational corporation with more than 23,000 employees and locations in more than 70 countries.

Humira – drug for Crohn's disease and other ailments, manufactured by Abbvie, with 28,000 global employees and total assets of $59 billion.

Primateme Mist – for breathing, produced by Amphastar Pharmaceuticals.

Glucerna – drug for diabetes, produced by Abbot Laboratories, an American medical company with more than 100,00 employees and total assets of $67 billion.

Prevagen – a controversial drug for brain health produced by Quincy Bioscience

DISCOVER Credit Card, the third largest credit card brand in the U.S., with total assets of $92 billion.

Fidelity Investments, an American multinational financial services corporation with more than 50,000 employees and an operating income of $5.3 billion.

Cadillac XT-6 high-end SUV, starting at $53K, made by General Motors (no. 10 on the Fortune 500 for total revenue), which makes automobiles in 37 countries, employees 173,000 persons, and has total assets $227 billion.

Comfort Inn, owned by Choice Hotels, one of the largest hotel chains in the world, franchising 7,005 properties in 41 countries and territories.

Audible/Amazon – books on tape from the world's biggest mega-corporation Amazon, ranked fifth on the Fortune 500, with 647,000 employees and total assets of $163 billion.

Ring Home Security, owned by Amazon

Coventry Health Insurance, no. 168 on the Fortune 500

SANDALS Resorts International, with 16 elite resort properties in the Caribbean.

Cigna Medicare Advantage, owned by the national health insurer Cigna, no. 229 on the Fortune 500

SoFi Finance, an online personal finance company that provides student loan refinancing, mortgages and personal loans.

Ameriprise Finance, an investment services firm, no. 240 on F500.

It's not for nothing that bit Fortune 500 firms are represented in my anecdotal sponsor list above. Last summer, SQAD MediaCosts reported that a 30-second commercial during CNN's prime-time lineup (Anderson Cooper, Chris Cuomo, and Don Lemon), cost between $7,000 and $12,000. The price has certainly gone up significantly now that Trumpeachment is bringing in new eyeballs.

The three most prominent and recurrent advertising streams appear (anecdotally) to come from Big Pharma (the leading drug companies), insurance (health insurance above all), and finance (investment services/wealth management). These giant concentrated corporate and industry sectors are naturally opposed to the financial regulation and anti-trust policy that Senator Warren says she wants to advance. Amazon can hardly be expected to back the big-tech break-up that Warren advocates.

Big corporate lenders certainly have no interest in making college tuition free, a Sanders promise that would slash a major profit source for finance capital.

The big health insurance firms are naturally opposed both to the Single Payer national health insurance plan that Sanders puts at the top of his platform and to the milder version of Medicare for All that Warren says she backs. Warren and especially Sanders pledge to remove the parasitic, highly expensive profit motive from health insurance and to make publicly funded quality and affordable health care a human right in the U.S. The corporate insurance mafia is existentially opposed to such human decency.

Both of the "progressive Democratic candidates" (a description that fits Sanders far better than it does Warren) loudly promise to slash drug costs, something Pfizer, Abbvie, Amgene, Amphastar, and Abbot Labs can hardly be expected to relish.

None of the big companies buying advertising time on CNN and MSNBC have any interest in the progressive taxation and restored union organizing and collective bargaining rights that Sanders advocates.

The big financial services firms paying for media content on "liberal" cable news stations primarily serve affluent clients, many if not most of whom are likely to oppose increased taxes on the well off.

The resort, tourism, luxury car, and business travel firms that buy commercials on these networks are hardly about to back policies leading to the real or potential reduction of discretionary income enjoyed by upper middle class and rich people.

So, gosh, who do these corporate and financial interests favor in the 2020 presidential election? Neoliberal Corporatists like Joe Biden, Pete Butiggieg, Kamala Harris, and Amy Klobuchar, of course. Dutifully obedient to the preferences and commands of the nation's unelected dictatorship of money, these insipid corporate Democrats loyally claim that Sanders and Warren want to viciously "tax the middle class" to pay for supposedly unaffordable excesses like Medicare for All and the existentially necessary Green New Deal.

In reality, Single Payer and giant green jobs programs and more that We the People need and want are eminently affordable if the United States follows Sanders' counsel by adequately and progressively taxing its absurdly wealthy over-class (the top tenth of the upper 1% than owns more than 90% of U.S. wealth) and its giant, surplus-saturated corporations and financial institutions. At the same time, as Warren keeps trying to explain, the cost savings for ordinary Americans will be enormous with the profits system taken out of health insurance.

Sanders reminds voters that there's no way to calculate the cost savings of keeping livable ecology alive for future generations. The climate catastrophe is a grave existential threat to the whole species.

These are basic arguments of elementary social, environmental, and democratic decency that the investors and managers behind and atop big corporations buying commercials on CNN and MSNBC don't want heard. As a result, CNN and MSDNC "debate" moderators and talking heads persist in purveying the, well, fake news, that Sanders doesn't know how to pay Single Payer, free public college, and a Green New Deal.

It's not for nothing that CNN and MSNBC have promoted the hapless Biden over and above Sanders and Warren – this notwithstanding the former Vice President's ever more obvious and embarrassing inadequacy as a candidate.

It's not for nothing that MSNBC and CNN have habitually warned against the supposed "socialist" menace posed by the highly popular Sanders (a New Deal progressive at leftmost) while refusing to properly describe Trump's White House and his dedicated base as pro-fascists. MSDNC has even get a weekly segment to the silver-spooned multi-millionaire advertising executive Donny Deutsch after he said the following on the network last winter:

"I find Donald Trump reprehensible as a human being, but a socialist candidate is more dangerous to this company, country, as far as the strength and well-being of the country, than Donald Trump. I would vote for Donald Trump, a despicable human being I will be so distraught to the point that that could even come out of my mouth, if we have a socialist [Democratic presidential candidate or president] because that will take our country so down, and we are not Denmark. I love Denmark, but that's not who we are. And if you love who we are and all the great things that still have to have binders put on the side. Please step away from the socialism."

It's not for nothing that the liberal cable networks go out of their way to deny Sanders remotely appropriate broadcast time. Or that they habitually and absurdly frame Single Payer health insurance not as the great civilizing social and human rights victory it would be (the long-overdue cost-slashing de-commodification of health care coverage combined with the provision of health care for all regardless of social status and class) but rather as a dangerous and authoritarian assault on Americans' existing (and unmentionably inadequate and over-expensive) health insurance.

Dare we mention that the lords of capital who pay for cable news salaries and content are heavily invested in the fossil fuels and in the relentless economic growth that are pushing the planet rapidly towards environmental tipping points that gravely endanger prospects for a decent and organized human existence in coming decades?

It's not for nothing that the progressive measures advanced by Sanders and supported by most Americans are regularly treated as "unrealistic," "irresponsible," "too radical," "too idealistic," "impractical," and "too expensive."

It's for nothing that Sanders is commonly left out of the liberal cable networks' campaign coverage and "horse race" discussions even as he enjoys the highest approval rating among all the candidates in the running.

With their preferred centrist candidate Joe Biden having performed in a predictably poor and buffoonish fashion (Biden was a terrible, gaffe-prone politician well before his brains started coming out of his ears) falling back into something like a three-way tie with the liberal Warren and the populist progressive Sanders, the liberal cable talking heads and debate moderators have naturally tried to boost "moderate" neoliberal-corporatist "second" and "third tier" Democratic presidential candidates like Butiggieg, Klobuchar and the surprisingly weak Kamala Harris. It's not for nothing that these and other marginal corporate candidates (e.g. Beto O'Rourke) get outsized attention on "liberal" cable stations regardless of their tiny support bases. Even if they can't win, these small-time contenders take constant neoliberal jabs at Sanders and even at the more clearly corporate-co-optable Warren (who proudly describes herself as "capitalist in my bones").

Thanks to Harris's curiously weak showing, Biden's dotard-like absurdity, and the likely non-viability of Butiggieg (the U.S. is not yet primed for two men and a baby in the White House), the not-so liberal cable channels are now joining the New Yok Times and Washington Post in gently floating the possibility of a dark-horse neoliberal Democratic Party newcomer (Michael Bloomberg, John Kerry, Michelle Obama, Sherrod Brown, and maybe even Hillary Clinton herself) to fill Joke Biden's Goldman-and Citigroup-approved shoes in the coming primary and Caucus battles with "radical socialist" Bernie and (not-so) "left" Warren.

So what if running an establishment Obama-Clinton-Citigroup-Council on Foreign Relations Democrat in 2020 will de-mobilize much of the nation's progressive electoral base, helping the malignant white nationalist monster Donald Trump get a second term?

As the old working-class slogan says, "money talks and bullshit walks."

"Follow the money" is the longstanding mantra in campaign finance research and criminal prosecution. It should also apply to our understanding of the dominant media's political news content. U.S. media managers are employed by giant corporations (MSNBC is a division of Comcast NBC Universal, no. 71 on the Fortune 500 and CNN is owned by Turner Broadcasting, no, 68 on the Fortune 500) that are naturally reluctant to publish or broadcast material that might offend the wealthy capitalist interests that pay for broadcasting by purchasing advertisements. As Noam Chomsky has noted, large corporations are not only the major producers of the United States' mass commercial media. They are also that media's top market, something that deepens the captivity of nation's supposedly democratic and independent media to big capital:

"The reliance of a journal on advertisers shapes and controls and substantially determines what is presented to the public the very idea of advertiser reliance radically distorts the concept of free media. If you think about what the commercial media are, no matter what, they are businesses. And a business produces something for a market. The producers in this case, almost without exception, are major corporations. The market is other businesses – advertisers. The product that is presented to the market is readers (or viewers), so these are basically major corporations providing audiences to other businesses, and that significantly shapes the nature of the institution."

At the same time, both U.S. corporate media managers and the advertisers who supply revenue for their salaries are hesitant to produce content that might alienate affluent folks – the people who hire pricey investment advisors, go to Caribbean resorts and buy Jaguars and Mercedes Benzes and count for an ever-rising share of U.S. consumer purchases. It is those with the most purchasing power who are naturally most targeted by advertisers.

Money talks, bullshit talks on "liberal" cable news, as in the legal and party and elections systems and indeed across all of society.

Watch the wannabe fascist strongman Trump walk to a second term with no small help from a "liberal" corporate media whose primary goal is serving corporate sponsors and its own bottom line, not serving social justice, environmental sanity, and democracy – or even helping Democrats win elections.

[Jan 21, 2020] BBC faces existential threat. In the 21st century, it has nobody left to lie to -- RT Op-ed

Jan 21, 2020 | www.rt.com

George Galloway was a member of the British Parliament for nearly 30 years. He presents TV and radio shows (including on RT). He is a film-maker, writer and a renowned orator.

Whoever replaces outgoing BBC Director General Tony Hall, be sure that establishment interests will be in safe hands. But multiple scandals the broadcaster has been involved in damaged it quite possibly beyond repair.

... ... ...

Corbyn had to be destroyed at almost ANY cost. Their news and current affairs output (and appointments) over the Corbyn era of 2015-2019 was as crude, and crudely effective, as any screaming, screeching Rupert Murdoch tabloid. Perhaps they were worried the ghost of Sir Alasdair Milne would return to haunt them in the form of his son Seumas Milne, Corbyn's director of communications and strategy and right-hand man. The junior Milne – also Winchester and Oxford – is a considerably harder nut to crack than anyone the BBC had ever had to deal with before

[Jan 21, 2020] HBO hires 'king of fake news' Brian Stelter from CNN to produce documentary on the dangers of fake news

Notable quotes:
"... "disinformation and the cost of fake news." ..."
"... "how post-truth culture has become an increasingly dangerous part of the global information environment," ..."
"... To say Stelter's involvement in the documentary attracted mockery online would be an understatement. "This is like Harvey Weinstein doing a documentary on sexual assault," lawyer and journalist Rogan O'Handley wrote. ..."
"... "HBO has hired Brian Stelter to do a documentary on Fake News. That's like hiring Bernie Madoff to teach accounting. Like hiring Michael Moore to host a fashion show. Not to mention [Stelter] is the dullest human ever on television," ..."
Jan 21, 2020 | www.rt.com

If you were making a documentary on fake news and wanted to get journalists involved behind the scenes, there are a few people you may want to avoid. One of those is CNN host Brian Stelter. The HBO network is rightly being mocked for putting Stelter – the host of a CNN show ironically named 'Reliable Sources' – on the team for an upcoming documentary on fake news.

According to Stelter himself, the documentary will investigate "disinformation and the cost of fake news." The film, for which Stelter was executive producer, will dive into "how post-truth culture has become an increasingly dangerous part of the global information environment," according to WarnerMedia.

HBO just announced something I've been working on for a couple of years: A documentary titled "AFTER TRUTH: DISINFORMATION AND THE COST OF FAKE NEWS." The film will premiere on TV and online this March. Directed by @a_rossi !

-- Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) January 15, 2020

To say Stelter's involvement in the documentary attracted mockery online would be an understatement. "This is like Harvey Weinstein doing a documentary on sexual assault," lawyer and journalist Rogan O'Handley wrote.

"HBO has hired Brian Stelter to do a documentary on Fake News. That's like hiring Bernie Madoff to teach accounting. Like hiring Michael Moore to host a fashion show. Not to mention [Stelter] is the dullest human ever on television," radio host Mark Simone added.

[Jan 21, 2020] Phillip Cross, inhumanely active Wikipedia editor, is a nemesis of Craig Murray.

Jan 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Piotr Berman , Jan 21 2020 19:03 utc | 39

Re: 33

Phillip Cross, inhumanely active Wikipedia editor, is a nemesis of Craig Murray. Today I use "free one month" of Times of London on-line subscription, Times being only "mainstream" reporter of the Russian presentation on OPCW at UN. One of the oddities was that German ambassador viewed technical studies of a Russian NGO as unreliable because -- they are friendly to their own government, something unheard of in Western counties? -- No! because they have claims like "Ukraine invaded Russia". But I also clicked to see what other stories they have on Russia. Strangely enough, this was one of the hit

Israel conspiracy peddler Craig Murray to address SNP activists
Kieran Andrews, Scottish Political Editor
January 21 2020, 12:01am,
The Times

TAGS: Nicola Sturgeon
Scottish National Party
UK politics
Syria
Middle East
LINK: Craig Murray has written on his blog that Israel was more likely to be behind the Salisbury novichok poisoning than Russian agents

A former British diplomat who has promoted a series of conspiracy theories, including that Israelis might have been behind the Salisbury poisoning, has been invited to address SNP activists.

Craig Murray is due to speak at the nationalists' Braidburn branch in Edinburgh on Saturday on the same billing as Joanna Cherry, the party's justice spokeswoman at Westminster. It is understood that Ms Cherry will not be present for his speech.

----
The gist is that Craig Murray is a despicable person, and SNPs proves itself to be a non-serious party by tolerating it in a neighborhood forum. This piece of news was a revelation to me, I actually like Craig Murray. In any case, the effort to get one-month-free paid off. Incidentally, it provides some clues how a person or organization can be tagged as conspiracy theory peddler.

Murray did not write that Israel probably was responsible for Scripal poisoning, but that it is a more probable candidate than Russia. From a point of view of German government, that would mean a super-confident accusation of Israel, given that Russia is such a certain candidate. An occasional reader of Murray's blog is aware that he is passionate about many causes, justice for Chagos island natives, independence of Scotland, wrongdoing of Westminster authorities, and Israel-Palestine has relatively very low priority. He used the phrase precisely to describe his evaluation of Russian role. In any case, an isolated remark without much of an intention was selected as a title for the piece. Methodology is clear: download all the posts etc., text search for the most "inflamatory topic", Israel probably for the start, and pull the sentence out of context. Use it for a title or a key argument, if you are a German ambassador.

I do not have tools to do the same, but the best match for Foundation of Study of Problems of Democracy "peddling idea of Ukrainian invasion on Russia" is a series devoted to crimes of "Ukrainian security forces" in Eastern Ukraine (Donbass). In any case, I am pretty sore about German performance. It is typical "liberal moderation". After doing a few of "good deeds", in German case, insisting on Nord Stream 2 being legal and allowed to be built and moment of feistiness defending the agreement with Iran etc., a balance is needed, and the balance is restored by shows of exemplary behavior of an Imperial Apparatchik. Reform healthcare and rape a few countries, that is American model, German version is more passive by comparison.

[Jan 21, 2020] The Excellent 'Checkpoint Asia' News Site Rebrands to 'Anti-Empire'

Jan 21, 2020 | russia-insider.com

We highly recommend following this site. It does a great job of pulling some of the best writing about geopolitics (mostly), from around the internet, and presenting it in an easy-to-understand format. The world needs more of this kind of journalism. They are completely reader-funded, so if you find them useful, please send them a few $ every now and then. Marko Marjanović Mon, Jan 20, 2020 | 220 words 1,759 8


Anti-empire.com is shorter than checkpointasia.net , is a .com domain, and probably better reflects what the site has always been about . Except for the rebrand the site will remain as it has always been. Opposing the criminality of the empire is one focus, but broadening our horizons and learning new things is another.

As is it has done until now, the site will continue to cover more than just the latest imperial outrage . Equally important is to:

Anything in fact which helps to reveal a more accurate picture of the reality than the one official narrative managers are selling , and gives us a better idea of where the empire and the world are headed.

PS.: The migration went fine but I still have to solve the missing comments issue.



Source: Anti-Empire

[Jan 21, 2020] Tucker Carlson Warns 'Mistake' To Assume Trump Victory In November

Notable quotes:
"... RealClearPolitics ..."
Jan 21, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

The president base is clarly more narrow then in 2016: he used anti-war repiblicansand independents aswell as "Anybody but Hillary" voters (large part of Sanders votrs). Part of military is now Tulsi supported and probalywill not vote at all, at least they will not vote for Trump.

Fox News 's Tucker Carlson on Monday warned Republicans not to get complacent, and that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) could wind up taking "many thousands " of votes from President Trump if he is able to secure the Democratic nomination, according to The Hill 's Joe Concha.

"A year from today, we'll be hosting this show from the National Mall as the next president of the United States takes the oath of office," said Carlson, adding "Will that president be Donald Trump? As of tonight, Republicans in Washington feel confident it will be."

https://youtu.be/3eR1Pm7ANLw

"The official economic numbers are strong. The Democratic primaries are a freak show -- elderly socialists accusing each other of thoughtcrimes. Republicans are starting to think victory is assured. That's a mistake ," said Carlson. "America remains as divided as it was three years ago. No matter what happens, nobody's going to win this election in a national landslide. Those don't happen anymore. Trump could lose. Will he? That depends on what he runs on. "

Carlson then showed numbers for Trump on the economy that show while the main indicators are strong, there are some other numbers that should concern the president. He pointed to a Pew Research study that shows just 31 percent of Americans say the economy is helping them and their families, and just 32 percent say they believe the current economy helps the middle class.

Carlson then pivoted to Sanders's potential appeal to certain voter groups and said Republicans need a plan to battle that appeal.

" Bernie Sanders may get the Democratic nomination ," Carlson said. " If he does, every Republican in Washington will spend the next 10 months reminding you that socialism doesn't work , and never has. They'll be right, obviously," Carlson explained. - The Hill

So what's Bernie's appeal?

Recall that a not-insignificant Sanders supporters voted for Trump out of disgust following revelations that Hillary Clinton and the DNC conspirted to rig the 2016 primary against him.

According to Carlson, however, "if Sanders pledges to forgive student loans, he'll still win many thousands of voters who went for Donald Trump last time. Debt is crushing an entire generation of Americans. Republicans need a plan to make it better, or they'll be left behind."

"They're conservative in the most basic sense: They love their families above all," the host concluded. "They distrust radical theories of anything because they know that when the world turns upside down, ordinary people get hurt. They don't want to burn it down. They just want things to get better. The candidate who promises to make them better -- incrementally, but tangibly -- will be inaugurated president a year from today."

According to a RealClearPolitics average of seven (oh so reliable) polls, Sanders would take Trump if he gets the nomination. Tags Politics


MANvsMACHINE , 3 minutes ago link

Bernie doesn't have a ******* chance once he has to debate Trump. Trump will pull every straggly hair from Bernie's nearly bald head.

Mustafa Kemal , 2 minutes ago link

I disagree. Trump hasnt had to debate someone with character and intelligence before.

Boogity , 6 minutes ago link

Carlson is right. The overwhelming majority of Americans live paycheck to paycheck with many working two jobs to make ends meet. The economy sucks for the working and middle class. Facts are stubborn things.

[Jan 21, 2020] Trump Is Pulling the Wool Over Voters' Eyes About What Is in the China Deal

Return to quote-based trade means total bankruptcy of neoliberalism ideology and practice. Another nail in the coffin so to speak.
Jan 21, 2020 | www.anti-empire.com

The Chinese, for now, are not contradicting the Trump administration on the promise of Chinese mega-purchases, because when Trump is more amicable their interests align. If an empty promise that wasn't even made means the trade war de-escalation goes on, that is fine with them. They would like to calm the markets as much as Trump would, and in this way they have added leverage on Trump. Should they change their minds they can always explode the fiction later on and injure Trump, perhaps strategically right around October.


Now that the dust has settled on the US-China trade deal and analysts have had some time to pore over its 90+ pages, various chapters and (non-binding) terms that comprise the body of the agreement, one high-level observation noted by Rabobank, is that the agreement foresees the total amount of goods exports from the US to China to reach above $ 290BN by end-2021.

The implication of this is that the chart for US exports to China should basically look like this for the next two years:

As Rabobank's senior economist Bjorn Giesbergen writes, t here are probably very few economists that would deem such a trajectory feasible (except for the perpetually cheerful economics team at Goldman , of course), seeing that it took the US more than 15 years to raise exports from around USD16bn in 2000 to USD 130bn in 2017.

Moreover, the Chinese purchases of goods are beneficial to US companies, but at the cost of other countries, and the agreement is only for two years. If China will buy more aircraft from the US, that could be to the detriment of the EU.

According to the document "the parties project that the trajectory of increases will continue in calendar years 2020 through 2025." But "to project" does not sound as firm as "shall ensure." So, as the Rabo economist asks, "are we going to see a repetition of the 2019 turmoil caused by the phase 1 trade negotiations after those two years? Or is this supposed to be solved in the phase 2 deal that is very unlikely to be made? What's more, while the remaining tariffs provide leverage for US trade negotiators, they are still a tax on US importers and US consumers of Chinese goods."

But before we even get there, going back to the chart shown above, Bloomberg today points out something we have pointed out in the past, namely that China's $200 billion, two-year spending spree negotiated with the Trump administration appears increasingly difficult to deliver, and now a $50 billion "hole" appears to have opened up : that is the amount of U.S. exports annually left out and many American businesses still uncertain about just what the expectations are.

Some background: while Trump officials stressed the reforms aimed at curbing intellectual-property theft and currency manipulation that China has agreed to in the "phase one" trade deal signed Wednesday, the Chinese pledge to buy more American exports has become an emblem of the deal to critics and supporters alike.

The administration has said those new exports in manufactured goods, energy, farm shipments and services will come over two years on top of the $130 billion in goods and $57.6 billion in services that the U.S. sent to China in 2017 -- the year before the trade war started and exports were hit by Beijing's retaliatory measures to President Donald Trump's tariffs.

And while Goldman said it is certainly feasible that China can ramp up its purchases of US goods , going so far as providing a matrix "scenario" of what such purchases could look like

that now appears virtually impossible, because as Bloomberg notes, the list of goods categories in the agreement covers a narrower group of exports to China that added up to $78.8 billion in 2017, or $51.6 billion less than the overall goods exports to the Asian nation that year. The goods trade commitment makes up $162.1 billion of the $200 billion total, with $37.9 billion to come from a boost in services trade such as travel and insurance.

Here, the math gets even more ridiculous:

The target for the first year that the deal takes effect is to add $63.9 billion in manufactured goods, agriculture and energy exports. According to Bloomberg economist Maeva Cousin's analysis, that would be an increase of 81% over the 2017 baseline. In year two, the agreement calls for $98.2 billion surge in Chinese imports, which would require a 125% increase over 2017.

Importantly for China, the deal requires those purchases to be "made at market prices based on commercial considerations," a caveat which spooked commodities traders, and led to a sharp drop in ags in the day following the deal's announcement.

Can China pull this off? Yes, if Beijing tears up existing trade deals and supply chains and imposes explicit procurement targets and demands on China's local business. As Bloomberg notes, "critics argue that such pre-ordained demand amounts to a slide into the sort of government-managed trade that U.S. presidents abandoned decades ago" and the very sort of act of central planning that U.S. officials have , paradoxically, spent years trying to convince China to walk away from.

This may also explain why a key part of the trade deal will remain secret: the purchase plan is based on what the administration insists is a specific – if classified – annex of Chinese commitments. "The 20-page public version of that annex lists hundreds of products and services from nuclear reactors to aircraft, printed circuits, pig iron, soybeans, crude oil and computer services but no figures for purchases."

Going back to the critics, it is this convoluted mechanism that has them arguing that China's stated targets will likely never be met: "This is ambitious and it will create some stresses within the supply system," said Craig Allen, the president of the U.S.-China Business Council.

That's not all: as Allen said, among the outstanding questions was whether China would lift its retaliatory duties on American products as the US keeps its tariffs on some $360 billion in imports from China as Trump seeks to maintain leverage for the second phase of negotiations.

Allen also made clear the overall purchase schedule left many U.S. companies uncomfortable even as they saw benefits in other parts of the deal. "The vast majority of our members are looking for no more than a level playing field in China," Allen said. "We are not looking for quotas or special treatment."

As a result, for many manufacturers what is actually changing -- and what China has committed to instead of given a "best efforts" promise to achieve -- remains unclear.

Major exporters such as Boeing Co., whose CEO Dave Calhoun attended Wednesday's signing ceremony, have stayed mum about what exactly the deal will mean for their business with China. In an attempt to "clarify", Trump tweeted that the deal includes a Chinese commitment to buy $16 billion to $20 billion in Boeing planes. It was unclear if he meant 737 MAX planes which nobody in the world will ever voluntarily fly inside again.

Finally, prompting the latest round of cronyism allegations, Trump's new China pact also includes plans for exports of American iron and steel , "a potential gain for an industry close to the president that has benefited from his tariffs and complained about Chinese production and overcapacity for years." As Bloomberg adds, the text of the agreement lists iron and steel products ranging from pig iron to stainless steel wire and railway tracks, but steel industry sources said they had been caught by surprise and not been given any additional details on China's purchase commitments.

It is unclear why Beijing would need US product s: after all, in its scramble to erect ghost cities and hit a goalseeked GDP print, China produces more than 50% of the world's steel, drawning criticism from around the world – if not Greta Thunberg – for the massive coal-derived pollution that comes from flooding global markets with cheap steel.

[Jan 21, 2020] Russian Hackers May Have Interfered With Vote on Church Potluck, Local Man Suspects

Dec 23, 2019 | www.anti-empire.com

Putin “needs to keep his commie hands” off of the sovereign Independent Baptist church’s affairs

According to sources, local man Clarence Williams has urged his church’s lead pastor as well as local law enforcement to move forward with an investigation into Russian hacking, claiming that there was ample evidence to support the theory that malicious foreign agents infiltrated and influenced the outcome of a vote on the date for next month’s potluck at Second Baptist Church.

... ... ...

The Babylon Bee 23 Dec 19 Society 625 0

[Jan 21, 2020] Its a mystery to me why Donald's mouth never got the shit beat out him during his NY days

Jan 21, 2020 | www.unz.com

Alfred , says: Show Comment January 21, 2020 at 4:55 pm GMT

@renfro Its a mystery to me why Donald's mouth never got the shit beat out him during his NY days

Because these officers are essentially cowards. They are afraid of losing their pensions, bits of tin and limousines.

I am sure Trump was much more polite to the "made men" of NYC

[Jan 21, 2020] Iran War Would Be Only One Letter Different From Iraq War

Jan 21, 2020 | www.anti-empire.com

The Raytheon Institute, a bipartisan think tank that specializes in starting Middle Eastern wars, has released a report that estimates the imminent Iran War will be approximately one letter different from the ongoing Iraq War.

"We based our analysis primarily on the words themselves," explained Richard Cheney, the institute's Bonelli Fellow. "If you look closely, you'll see that both countries' names start 'IRA,' but 'IRAN' ends with an 'N' while 'IRAQ' ends with a 'Q.'"

The report spelled out further similarities , including America's total lack of justification for initiating hostilities, a draft dodging Republican president who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, spinelessness on the left during the buildup despite virtue signaling of being antiwar, simmering sectarian tensions in the country to be invaded, the prospective enemy's large standing military that won't be able to face down America's initial assault but could become deadly in a drawn out guerilla campaign, a complete lack of support from the rest of the world, large amounts of oil at stake, media reports that have inflamed overwrought concerns about weapons of mass destruction, and relief from service members in Kuwait that they finally have something to do

[Jan 21, 2020] Flashback from Orwell's Animal Farm

Jan 21, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

ML , January 21, 2020 at 10:31

Pompeo reminds me of the pigs in Animal Farm. He is a grotesque figure, steely-eyed, cold-blooded, fanatical, and hateful. "We lied, cheated, and stole" Pompous Maximus will get his comeuppance one of these days. I hope he plans more overseas trips for himself. He is a vile person, a psychopath proud of his psychopathy. He alone would make anyone considering conversion to Christianity, his brand of it, run screaming into the night. Repulsive man.

[Jan 21, 2020] Warren as Lizzie-Faire Capitalist.

Jan 21, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

none , January 21, 2020 at 12:46 am

Warren will never endorse Bernie. She is not a progressive and the Republican in her is back in operation. But, there is a new Jeep named after her:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EOuTYRlXsAg151I.jpg

Henry Moon Pie , January 21, 2020 at 1:41 am

But we already had the Tin Lizzie.

ambrit , January 21, 2020 at 6:30 am

I can't resist. What we have here is an old fashioned "Lizzie-Faire Capitalist."

John Zelnicker , January 21, 2020 at 10:28 am

@ambrit
January 21, 2020 at 6:30 am
-- -- -

"Strike three! A sizzling fast ball over the middle of the plate, while the batter just looked dumbfounded"

[Jan 21, 2020] Maybe we should put sanctions on Pompeo

Jan 21, 2020 | www.unz.com

Old and grumpy , says: Show Comment January 21, 2020 at 3:48 pm GMT

Maybe we should put sanctions on Pompeo. He could use the diet. Maybe raiding his pantry would feed Iraqi for a couple months. He is truly perfect spokesman American empire. Sadistic, bloated, and corrupt.
Just passing through , says: Show Comment January 21, 2020 at 4:20 pm GMT
@Old and grumpy Trump also needs to have food sanctions placed on him. His body is being oppressed and is crying out for (diet) regime change.

[Jan 21, 2020] Putin Eliminates the Medvedev Faction From the Kremlin

Jan 21, 2020 | www.anti-empire.com

Putin Eliminates the Medvedev Faction From the Kremlin Putin's reorganization a huge setback for system liberals John Helmer 17 Jan 20 17 Jan 20 Politics 2051 9

In law courts, justice must not only be done but be seen to be done. In politics, too.

The problem with what President Vladimir Putin announced in his Federal Assembly address this week, and what he did immediately after, is that things don't look the way he says they should.

The difference was written on Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's face. He thinks Putin has destroyed the political forces of the candidate with the best chance of winning the presidential election of 2024 -- himself. The businessmen and government officials who have depended on Medvedev are acknowledging this realization on the telephone.

An hour after this picture was taken, at a meeting with Putin of the assembled ministers at Government House (Kremlin term for White House), Medvedev announced : "as the Government of the Russian Federation we must give the President of this country an opportunity to make all the necessary decisions for this. Under the circumstances, it would be correct for the entire Government of the Russian Federation to resign in accordance with Article 117 of the Constitution."

He looked and sounded unconvinced that his exit was "correct".

The constitutional provision to which Medvedev referred is a notorious relic. Article 117 was created by President Boris Yeltsin after he used the military to crush parliament's opposition in October 1993. Several hundred people inside the White House were killed.

The new constitution was voted two months later by the disputable margin of 58% in a disputable turnout of 54%. Article 117 then gave the president the power to block a prime minister's resignation ; veto a vote of no-confidence in the government by the State Duma; and the power to decide whether and when to dissolve parliament and hold new elections.

In Putin's speech on Wednesday, he began his proposals for a constitutional amendment with the announcement: "We have overcome the situation when certain powers in the government were essentially usurped by oligarch clans." Usurpation of power by Yeltsin at the expense of the Congress of People's Deputies in 1993 was not explained then, nor since, by the operations of the oligarchs. They came later. In Russian public opinion, the oligarchs continue to be extra-constitutionally powerful today. The polls show Putin's claim is not believed.

The proposals Putin has announced change the balance of power between the presidency and the parliament. But they also change the balance of power between the houses of parliament, and also between the central power in Moscow and the regions. The State Duma, according to Putin, will have the new power to appoint "the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, and then all deputy prime ministers and federal ministers at the Prime Minister's recommendation. At the same time the President will have to appoint them, so he will have no right to turn down the candidates approved by the Parliament." This implies the State Duma will be able to exercise a veto over ministers' performance with votes of no-confidence the president cannot override. This is not yet certain.

Also unclear is who would prevail if the president decides to dismiss the government which holds the confidence of parliament. Putin said he proposes to keep "the right to dismiss the prime minister, his deputies and federal ministers in case of improper execution of duties or due to loss of trust." The constitution is silent on the terms, improper execution and loss of trust. They are powder the president aims to keep dry for himself.

The Kremlin has immediately convened what it calls a "working group on drafting proposals for amendments to the Constitution". No elected constitutional convention; no constitutional assembly provided for in Chapter 9 of the present charter; no principle of representation; no decision or voting rules for the novel body. It was hand-picked by the President's staff -- "75 politicians, legislators, scholars and public figures". The Kremlin has published photographs, but no list of the names yet.

The oligarch class, as Putin calls them, is represented by Alexander Shokhin (centre picture above, left); the working class – to whom no one refers – is represented by the man seated by the Kremlin next to Shokhin, Mikhail Shmakov, head of the trade union federation.

Noone in uniform is seated at the Kremlin table. The military appears to have one seat; that's occupied by retired Army General Boris Gromov (above right), 76, now titled "Chairman of the Brothers in Arms National Veteran Public Organisation". Gromov's political career after the Army rules him out as representing the General Staff or the Defence Ministry.

Putin's proposals create a fork in the balance of power by assigning domestic policy-making, including the budget, to the parliament's appointees to government; while reserving defence, military, and security powers, and their budgets, to the executive. "The president also exercises direct command over the Armed Forces and the entire law enforcement system. In this regard, I believe another step is necessary to provide a greater balance between the branches of power. In this connection, point six: I propose that the president should appoint heads of all security agencies following consultations with the Federation Council."

This preserves the imbalance – Putin's terminology -- let's say concentration of policy-making and enforcement powers in the Kremlin; it also guards the incumbent president during the transition between now and 2024, as well as afterwards. "I believe," said Putin, "this approach will make the work of security and law enforcement agencies more transparent and accountable to citizens." The Russian public opinion polls are very sceptical.

The first test of what this step will mean in practice will be the names of the new ministers of defence, internal affairs, foreign affairs, the Federal Security Service, the intelligence agencies, and the two state law enforcement organs, the Prosecutor-General and the Investigative Committee. In the small print of Putin's speech, he proposes to centralize authority even more than the present by reducing the power of regional authorities to control their prosecutors. "I am confident that a greater independence of prosecution agencies from local authorities would be beneficial for citizens regardless of the region," Putin said. Public distrust of both federal and regional prosecutors, recorded in the polls, suggests otherwise.

The Putin scheme also creates a competing source of legislative power by expanding the State Council , hitherto a talking shop; and by expanding the powers of the Constitutional Court to rule, on the Kremlin's application, against parliament, as well as against regional governors and regional parliaments.

The State Council in its last Kremlin session, December 26, 2019. In his speech on Wednesday Putin proposed to "cardinally increase the role of governors in decision-making at the federal level . As you know, back in 2000 the State Council was restored at my initiative, where the heads of all regions participate. Over the past period the State Council has proven its high effectiveness; its working groups provide for the professional, comprehensive and qualified examination of issues that are most important for people and Russia. I believe it would be appropriate to fix the status and role of the State Council in the Russian Constitution." On Thursday he ignored the State Council by appointing a different group to consider the constitutional amendments. No Russian commentator has published the question, why

In theory, Putin is creating more checks and balances than have existed before . Differences of view and interest between experts, parties, factions, the military, and classes – Putin's term – are inevitable and natural. The vote to adopt the proposals will, however, be an all-or-nothing one. "I believe it necessary to hold a vote of Russian citizens on the entire package of the proposed amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation. The final decision must be made only on the basis of its results," the president concluded in his speech.

This looks like a referendum, but Article 136 of the current Constitution is ambiguous. The 2008 amendments to the Constitution were adopted , not by referendum but by votes of the State Duma and the Federation Council. There has been no referendum under the present constitution.

How much of the proposed scheme is a fine distinction of powers without a change in their division? Putin told Medvedev at the meeting with the outgoing ministers:

"There is a clear-cut presidential block of issues, and there is a Government block of issues, even though the President, of course, is responsible for everything, but the presidential block includes primarily matters of security, defence and the like. Mr Medvedev has always been in charge of these matters. From the point of view of increasing our defence capability and security, I consider it possible and have asked him to deal with these matters in the future. I consider it possible and will, in the near future, introduce the position of Deputy Chairman of the Security Council. As you are aware, the President is its Chairman. If we need to amend the applicable law, I will do so soon and I want State Duma deputies to support this as well. We just need the lawyers to provide assessments on this account."

Sources in Russian business and government interpret Medvedev's new job as a gold-plated watch -- consolation prize for losing the presidential succession race. Sources are unanimous in judging what has happened to be the liquidation of the Medvedev faction.

Politically, the rationale is obvious. Public disapproval of the government's performance, and the stress which the ongoing US war is inflicting on Russia's domestic growth, have been showing a consistent trend.

It is equally clear that the Medvedev faction, and also the pro-American supporters behind Alexei Kudrin at the Accounting Chamber, German Gref at Sberbank, and Anatoly Chubais at the state high-technology conglomerate Rusnano, are the short-term losers of the reorganisation Putin has proposed. The short-term gainers are not so obvious. Sources among them ask why the Kremlin staff calculated that a renovation of the government ministers should be dressed up as a constitutional reform.

These sources suggest that on the sincerity test, Putin's proposals will not be believed for what he says they are. They add they are encouraged, also hopeful, that he is acting now to restrict the damage that faction-fighting over the succession can do over the next three years. Liquidating one of the factions has been an option advocated by many for some time. On the other hand, the sources point out that if Putin were sincere in his commitment to enhanced power-sharing with the parliamentary political parties, why sack the present prime minister now, and not wait for the State Duma to vote its approval for the new man under the new rules? This is a question which answers itself, most Russians think.

By the war test -- how the proposals will affect the regime-change strategy of the US and NATO – the combination of constitutional plans and the replacement of Medvedev by Mikhail Mishustin (lead image, in car next to Putin) is judged to be no gain, no concession to the other side. Not yet.

That leaves the poll test. To choose Mishustin to become the prime minister is the biggest surprise of the week , and a curious selection to win public approval. If Gogol were to use the name, he would be tagging its possessor with something like the caricature, "busy baker", since to the Russian ear, the roots of the word suggest someone who makes his living mixing things, like a baker; and who is visibly busy at that work. Mishustin himself likes to identify his recreation as ice-hockey. On the rink he plays forward and back, but not goalie.

Left: Mikhail Mishustin makes his nomination speech at the State Duma, his debut as a national political figure. Watch the speech , which was read from a paper script and lacked direct eye or any other personal contact with the deputies. They responded to the speech with brief, tepid applause. Right: Mishustin in his hockey uniform

The Russian biographic record for Mishustin, records his long technocratic training in computer science and economics; his PhD was on tax administration. He first started in state tax agency in 1998.

A 53-year old native of Moscow, Mishustin is reported to be part-Armenian by origin ; his Soviet birth certificate may indicate that at birth one of his parents held Armenian nationality. If so, he would automatically hold Armenian citizenship . According to Putin's constitutional proposals, the prime minister and other senior officials may "have no foreign citizenship or residence permit or any other document that allows them to live permanently in a foreign state."

A protégé of Boris Fyodorov in the Yeltsin-era finance administration, Mishustin spent a brief period, 2008-2010, working in the Moscow investment banking business of UFG Partners, first established by Fyodorov. By the time Mishustin arrived, the company was owned by Deutsche Bank and run by Charles Ryan, an American; Fyodorov died of a stroke a few months into Mishustin's term at UFG. In April 2010, Mishustin returned to run the tax agency, and he has remained there for a decade. Tax evasion and embezzlement of value added tax (VAT) fill the kompromat records which have been published about Mishustin over this period.

Mishustin told the State Duma yesterday he is in favour of reducing the regulatory burden on Russian business. The Communist Party faction announced it would abstain from voting to confirm the prime minister because it was impossible to know what policies he stands for. Suspicion that Mishustin will try to cut social welfare benefits is widespread. The confirmation vote was 383 in favour; 41 abstentions; no one opposed. For the record of the Duma vote, read this .

One oligarch vote of confidence in Mishustin has been announced. Vladimir Lisin , head of the Novolipetsk steel and coal-mining group, told a Moscow newspaper: "We evaluate Mikhail Mishustin's work as head of the Federal Tax Service positively. Under his leadership, the service increased tax collection, virtually eliminated schemes used by unscrupulous businesses in competition, and reduced the number of on-site inspections several times by introducing a risk-based approach. Despite the fact that we had quite difficult debates, we always found a common
civilized solution."

Mishustin has appeared only once before this week in Putin's Kremlin office. That was on November 21, 2016, Tax Workers' Day. In their meeting Mishustin's recital of his agency's performance was unexceptional. Putin said nothing out of the ordinary. In the Russian photo archive for Mishustin, not one picture shows a smile on his face. A reluctant grin he managed for his last birthday, March 3, 2019, according to the Russian Ice Hockey Federation.

Putin has selected factotums before, men whose technical expertise was their asset, along with their lack of political constituency and electoral ambition. Mikhail Fradkov was the first, between 2004 and 2008; Victor Zubkov the second, between 2007 and 2008. When Putin appointed them, they made no changes to the power ministries. Mishustin is the third in this line. If he announces the end of the long terms in office of Sergei Shoigu and Sergei Lavrov, and General Valery Gerasimov is replaced at the General Staff, then Putin is deciding much more than he has admitted so far.

Source: Dances With Bears

[Jan 21, 2020] Now with Warren blunder Trump might be able to wipe the floor with her but not only called her "Pocahontas" but also "Bernie backstabber": betrayl of her "friend" Bernie is unforgivable

She made a blunder. That's for sure. but still Warren is a better candidate then Trump.
The shell game between Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders has transmogrified. The brutal, post-debate exchange between the duo has the progressive left fearing repeat business from '04: it happened at just the wrong time, only weeks ahead of the first primaries.
Jan 21, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
sounds very much like it, in a kind of ham-fisted, virtue-signaling way -- "Sometimes I fear the American people are still too bigoted to vote for a woman," or something like that. Yet every Clinton staffer was muttering the same thing under her breath at 3 a.m. on November 9, 2016.

What's more, Mrs. Warren never denied that Mr. Sanders only ran in the last election cycle because she declined to do so. Nor can anyone forget how vigorously he campaigned for Mrs. Clinton, even after she and the DNC rigged the primary against him. If Mrs. Warren and her surrogates at CNN are claiming that Bernie meant that a person with two X chromosomes is biologically incapable of serving as president, they're lying through their teeth.

This is how Liz treats her "friend" Bernie -- and when he denies that absurd smear, she refuses to shake his hand and accuses him of calling her a liar on national television. Then, of course, the #MeToo brigades line up to castigate him for having the temerity to defend himself -- further evidence, of course, of his sexism. I mean, like, Bernie is, like, literally Weinstein.

Then there's the "Latinx" thing, which is the absolute summit of progressive elites' disconnect with ordinary Americans. In case you didn't know, Mrs. Warren has been roundly panned for referring to Hispanics by this weird neologism, which was invented by her comrades in the ivory tower as a gender-neutral alternative to Latino or Latina . The thing is, Spanish is a gendered language. What's more, a poll by the left-wing market research group Think Now found that just 2 percent of Hispanics call themselves "Latinx." (In fact, most prefer the conventional "Hispanic," which is now verboten on the Left because it hearkens back to Christopher Columbus's discovery of La Española .)

So here comes Professor Warren -- white as Wonder Bread, the mattress in her Cambridge townhouse stuffed with 12 million big ones -- trying to rewrite the Spanish language because she thinks it's sexist. How she's made it this far in the primary is absolutely mind-boggling. She doesn't care about Hispanics, much less their culture. Like every employee of the modern education system, she's only interested in processing American citizens into gluten-free offal tubes of political correctness.

Of course, if one of her primary opponents or a cable news "Democratic strategist" (whatever that is) dared to say as much, they'd be hung, drawn, and quartered. Partisan Democrats have trained themselves not to think in such terms. That might not matter much if Mrs. Warren was facing Mitt Romney or John McCain in the general. But she's not. If she wins the primary, she'll be up against Donald Trump. And if you don't think he'll say all of this -- and a whole lot more -- you should apply for a job at CNN.


Very Funny Mr. President a day ago

... running against Mrs. Warren would be a walk in the park

Your imaginary Trump anti-Warren schtick might have worked in 2016, but boy does it come off as unfunny and stale in 2020. He's done too much damage. Not funny anymore. I voted for Trump. After all his betrayals, Warren could rip him to pieces just by standing next to him without saying a word. Her WASP reserve and Okie roots might even seem refreshing after our four-year long cesspool shower with this New York City creep.

Up North Very Funny Mr. President 11 hours ago • edited
Didn't vote for Trump, or Clinton for that matter, cast a protest Libertarian vote. In my red state it hardly matters, but the electoral college is another story. But observed long ago that indeed Warren is just what the author says, a too politically correct north east liberal who would be demolished in the presidential election against Trump. Only Biden or Klobuchar has a chance to unseat the orange man, or maybe better yet a Biden - Klobuchar ticket.
Great CoB Up North 6 hours ago
I've sometimes voted red and sometimes blue, but a Trump Vs Biden contest might well make me bored and disappointed enough to join you going libertarian.
cka2nd Up North 4 hours ago
If the Dems want to lose, Biden and Klobuchar would be a quick ticket to doing so. Warren would get the job done not much slower, unless she pivoted away from social issues.

To quote Phyllis Schlafly's advice to conservatives and the GOP, what the Dems need is "A choice, not an echo." Sanders is the closest the Dems have of offering the voters a real choice, and is the best option to defeat Trump. The D establishment will still pull out all the stops to try to block him, of course, because even they and their big donors would prefer a second Trump term over a New Deal liberal with a socialist gloss, but they may not succeed this time.

Lloyd Conway cka2nd 3 hours ago
Bernie and Tulsi are the most honest and interesting of the Democratic field, even though their politics generally aren't mine. Nonetheless, I wish them well, because they appear to say what they actually think, as opposed to whatever their operatives have focus-group tested.
Mediaistheenemy Up North 4 hours ago
Biden's corruption will come out in the general. We could write up articles of impeachment now. After all, Biden, did actually bribe the Ukraine. He said so himself. On video.
Great CoB Very Funny Mr. President 6 hours ago
I think Trump's unfortunately stronger now than he was in 2016. Clinton's attacks on him were painting him as an apocalyptic candidate who would bring America crashing down. By serving as president for 4 years with a mostly booming economy, Trump's proven them wrong. The corporate media will continue their hysterical attacks on him though, and that will boost his support. I think Hillary Clinton was more dislikeable back then than Warren is now, but Warren is probably even more out of touch. The others might also lose, but she really as a terrible candidate.
Mediaistheenemy Very Funny Mr. President 4 hours ago
What damage has Trump done, as opposed to the damage the media/Dems/deepstate's RESPONSE to Trump has done?
Trump has reduced illegal immigration with the expected subsequent increases in employment and wages, saved taxpayer 1 TRILLION dollars by withdrawing from the Paris accord, killed 2 leading terrorists (finally showing Iran that we aren't their bakshi boys), cut taxes, stood up for gun rights, reduced harmful governmental regulation, and appointed judges that will follow the law instead of feelings and popular culture.
He is also exposing the deep underbelly of the corrupt government in Washington, especially the coup organized between Obama, Hillary, the DNC, Brennan, Comey, Clapper and the hyperpartisan acts of the FBI, CIA, DOJ, IRS and now the GAO (unless you believe that the "non-partisan" GAO released their report which claimed Trump violated the law by holding up Ukranian funds for a few months within the same fiscal year on the same day Nancy forwarded the articles of impeachment by some amazing coincidence).
The problem isn't Trump. The problem is the liars opposing the existential threat Trump poses to the elitists who despise America.
John D 21 hours ago
Three years of Trump has made "academic elitist" look pretty appealing.
Mediaistheenemy John D 4 hours ago
To whom?
New Pres Please 19 hours ago
"For all my reservations about Mr. Trump -- his lagging commitment to
protectionism, his shafting of Amy Coney Barrett, his deportation of
Iraqi Christians, his burgeoning hawkishness, his total lack of
decorum -- he's infinitely preferable to anyone the Democrats could
nominate."

You gloss over a few dozen other failures, most of them bigger than anything you mention here (immigration, infrastructure, more mass surveillance and privacy violations by govt and corporations than even Obama).

Mediaistheenemy New Pres Please 4 hours ago
You realize that the progress Trump has made on immigration is why unemployment is down and wages are up, right?
Most Americans think that's a good thing.
Democrats, not so much.
Ray Woodcock 17 hours ago
I think I disliked the last thing I saw by Davis. Whatever. This one is better. Not perfect -- some of it is out of touch -- but he makes a case. And, sad to say, I concur with his prediction for the election, with or without Warren.
Maybe 14 hours ago
I'm starting to like her. I thought she handled herself well at the last debate. "Presidential". It's been quite a while since we had a real president. Too long.
cka2nd Maybe 4 hours ago
Forgive me, but Democratic voters put way too much store in presidents being Presidential. And they spent way too much time talking about Bush's verbal gaffes and Trump's disgusting personality to get Gore, Kerry or H. Clinton elected.
Angelo Bonilla 11 hours ago • edited
I am Hispanic and don't know anybody that call himself by that silly term "Latinx".
Connecticut Farmer Angelo Bonilla 9 hours ago
As the author wrote, it was invented by academics. One problem with the Democrat Party is that it is teeming with Professor Kingsfield types who are as much connected with the rest of the population as I am with aborigines.
Kevin Burke 10 hours ago
Finally someone said what most people think. Love the imagined Trump comments to Warren..."Relax. Put on a nice sweater, have a cup of tea, grade some papers." As i read those I heard Trump's unique way of speech and was laughing out loud. BTW...Tulsi Gabbard is such an attractive candidate...heard her interviewed on Tucker Carlson and I think could present a real challenge to Trump if she ever rose up to face him in a debate. It's curious someone like Warren shoots to the top, while she remains in the back of the line.
Mediaistheenemy Kevin Burke 3 hours ago
The media deliberately shut her down, just like they are shutting down Bernie. The DNC also doesn't like her (possibly because she resigned as cochair and is critical of Hillary) and seems to have chosen their debate criteria -which surveys they accept-in order to shut her out. I liked her up until she objected to taking out Soleimani-a known terrorist in the middle of a war zone planning attacks on US assets.
Sorry, Trump was spot on in this attack. Tulsi was completely wrong. However, she is honest, experienced, knowledgeable and not psychotic, a refreshing change from the other Dem Presidential candidates. If you haven't figured out yet that CNN is basically the media arm of Warren's campaign, you haven't been paying attention. That is how Warren continues to poll reasonably well.
wakeupmorons 10 hours ago • edited
These arguments amaze me. "Since your candidate is too school marmy, or elitist, or (insert usual democrat insult here), you're giving the electorate no choice but to vote for the most corrupt, openly racist, sexist, psychologically lying, dangerously mentally deranged imbecile in the country".

Because rather than an educated person who maybe comes off as an elitist, we'd rather have a disgusting deplorable who no sane parent would allow in the same room with their daughter.

Lol, and yet writers like this don't even realize the insanity of what they're saying, which is basically "that bagel is 2 days old, so I have choice but to eat this steaming pile of dog crap instead".

Connecticut Farmer wakeupmorons 8 hours ago
"Because rather than an educated person who maybe comes off as an elitist, we'd rather have a disgusting deplorable who no sane parent would allow in the same room with their daughter."

No need for the ad hominem, you are overstating your case. Remember, Trump is "educated" too. And a card-carrying member of the elite. Leave us not kid ourselves, they're all "elites" of one stripe or another. It only matters which stripe we prefer, meaning of course whether they are saying what we want to hear. Of all of the candidates, the only one who does not come off as an "elite" is Tulsi Gabbard, an intelligent woman who is arguably the most interesting of all the candidates--in part because of her active military service. I'd even throw in Andrew Yang, a friendly, engaging person who didn't seem to have an ax to grind. It matters not. Yang is out of the picture and Gabbard has as much of a crack at the Democratic nomination in 2020 as Rand Paul had at the Republican nomination in 2016--essentially zero.

wakeupmorons Connecticut Farmer 8 hours ago
Lol trump is educated too? You've lose all credibility with such comical false equivalencies.

Trump is an absolute imbecile who has failed up his entire life thanks to daddy's endless fortune. If he we born Donald Smith he'd be pumping gas in Jersey, or in jail as a low life con man.

David Naas wakeupmorons 7 hours ago
While I find myself shocked to be found defending anything Trumpean, in all fairness, he is a college grad-u-ate (shades of Lily Tomlin). The value, depth, or scope of his degree may be in question, but he does possess a sheep-skin, and hence must be considered "educated". If one wants to demean his "education" because of his personality, one must also demean a rather broad segment of college grad-u-ates as well.
Connecticut Farmer wakeupmorons 7 hours ago
He graduated from Penn's Wharton School of Business, ergo he is educated. Because a person doesn't hold the same political beliefs as another doesn't mean they can't be "educated." Liz Warren may not hold the same political beliefs as I, but I cannot argue that she isn't educated.
wakeupmorons Connecticut Farmer 6 hours ago
Lol wow, well I'd say it's hilarious that anyone can be so naive to actually think a compete imbecile like trump, who so clearly has never read a book in his life, actually earned his way into college; let alone actually studied and earned a degree.....but then I remember this country is obviously filled with people this remarkable gullible and stupid, as this walking SNL sketch is actually President.
cka2nd wakeupmorons 4 hours ago
I actually think you are spot on in your assessment of what Trump would have become if he wasn't born to money, but you really are behaving like exactly that kind of Democratic voter who gets more exorcised by Trump's personal faults than by his policy ones, the kind of Democrats who couldn't get Al Gore, John Kerry and Hilary Clinton elected.
Mediaistheenemy cka2nd 3 hours ago
Really. You think someone that managed to become President of the United States with no political or military experience would have failed at life if he hadn't had a wealthy father. You really believe that. You don't think any of Trump's success and accomplishments are due to his ambition, drive, energy, determination, executive skills, ruthlessness or media savvy. It was all due to his having a rich father.
Fascinating.
wakeupmorons Mediaistheenemy 3 hours ago • edited
Trump has had no success. He's failed at everything he's ever done. You obviously just know nothing about his actual life, and believe the made up reality TV bullshit.

The only thing he's good at is playing a rich successful man on TV to really, really, stupid, unread, unworldly, naive people....well that and giving racists white nationalists, the billionaire owner class, sexists, bigots, and deplorables, a political home.

cka2nd Mediaistheenemy 2 hours ago
I think Trump is and would have been, sans his father's wealth, one hell of a con man. And I hope to God that he would have ended up in jail for it rather than running a private equity fund, but the latter would have been just as likely.

However, I should have made that distinction in my original comment. No, I do not think that Trump would have ended up a gas station attendant.

wakeupmorons cka2nd 2 hours ago • edited
It's very hard for me to understand how anyone could be so, shall we say sheltered, that they couldn't see him coming a mile away and laugh their ass off.

He's so bad, so transparent with his obvious lies and self aggrandizing, so clearly ignorant and unread and trying to fake it, he's literally like a cartoon's funny over the top version of an idiot con man. I'll never understand how anyone could ever be fooled by it.

In fact sometimes I think 90% of his base isn't fooled, they know he's a joke, but they just don't care. He gives them the white nationalist hate and rhetoric they want, makes "liberals cry", and that all they care about.

It's a lot easier for me to believe THAT then so many people can actually be so stupid and gullible.

wakeupmorons cka2nd 2 hours ago
Say what? What policies? The trillion dollar hand out to the richest corporations in the world, double the deficit? His mind blowing disastrous foreign policy decisions that have done nothing but empowered Russia, Iran and North Korea while destabilizing western alliances? The trade wars that have cost fairness and others billions (forcing taxpayers to bail them out with tens of millions of dollars)? The xenophobia, separating and caging children? Stoking violence and hate and anger among his white nationalist base? His attacks on women reproductive rights? His attacks on all of our democratic institutions, from our free press to our intelligence agencies and congressional oversights?

A pathologically lying racist sexist self serving criminal is enough to disqualify this miscreant from being dog catcher, let alone president. But his policies are even worse.

CrossTieWalker wakeupmorons 2 hours ago
You don't seem to know that the University of Pennsylvania is an Ivy League school, or what the Wharton School of Business actually is. Imbeciles do not graduate from the Wharton School.
Mediaistheenemy wakeupmorons 3 hours ago
You think Trump won the US Presidency as his first elected office by being an imbecile?
Interesting "analysis".
wakeupmorons Mediaistheenemy 3 hours ago
Lol, trump is an imbecile, that's not even debatable. What amazes the rest of the entire civilized world outside of the batshit fringe 20% of Americans who make up the Republican voting base is how anyone could possible be conned by such a cartoonish idiot wanna be con man.

It's truly something sane people can't even begin to wrap their heads around.

Tony55398 9 hours ago
Pocahontas speak with forked tongue.
Lloyd Conway 9 hours ago
The Dowager Countess (Downton Abbey, for the un-initiated) nailed her type. In referring to her do-gooder cousin Mrs. Isobel Crawley, she said: "Some people run on greed, lust, even love. She runs on indignation." That sums up Warren perfectly.
I'll take it one step further. I bought one of her books, on the 'two-income trap' and how middle-class families go to the wall to get into good school districts for their children. She and her co-author make some valid points, but the book is replete with cliches about men abandoning their families and similar leftist tropes. If that's the best Harvard Law Warren has to offer, she's not as sharp as she thinks she is, and a bully like Trump will school her fast.
David Naas Lloyd Conway 7 hours ago
Perhaps he would use "Harvard Law Liz" as an epithet?
Lloyd Conway David Naas 3 hours ago • edited
Maybe. Perhaps she'll coin 'Wharton Hog' for the POTUS - or try correcting his English during one of the debates.
Stephen Gould 8 hours ago
Evidently Mr Davis dislikes Warren because of her personal style - but all of Trump's substantive (or even, substance...) issues are acceptable. How shallow of him.
Mediaistheenemy Stephen Gould 3 hours ago
I think he also dislikes her fundamental dishonesty and completely unworkable policies, but I may be projecting.
Stephen Gould Mediaistheenemy 2 hours ago
But those he did not mention in his article. And surely nobody thinks that Warren is more dishonest than Trump?
Tim 7 hours ago
I can't say the two of us exactly line up on everything. But, like Wow: "gluten-free offal tubes of political correctness." Now that's funny! Wish I'd thought of it.
Osse 7 hours ago • edited
I liked Warren until this attempt to stab Bernie in the back plus that childish refusal to shake his hand on national TV. I still don't dislike her, but that was embarrassing. She definitely has character flaws.

But this piece goes over the top. It's Trumpian. Warren certainly has flaws but if you are going to judge a politician by their character, in what universe would Trump come out on top?

Mediaistheenemy Osse 3 hours ago
Better than Warren.
The problem with affirmative action is when you abuse it, as Warren did, you actually rob a genuine minority from a genuine disadvantaged background of their chance.
Warren deliberately misrepresented herself as a Native American, solely for career advancement, and then abandoned her fake identity once she got tenure at Harvard. There was another woman who was an actual minority that had a teaching appointment at Harvard, but Warren beat her out, using her false claims of minority heritage to overcome her competition's actual minority status.
Trump competes on his own.
wakeupmorons Osse 2 hours ago
There what's funny about these arguments. They're basically saying, "your candidate has some flaws, she's very school marmy, and thinks she knows everything."

"Therefore, OBVIOUSLY people have no choice but to instead vote for the raging imbecile, the pathologically lying, corrupt to his core, racist, morally bankrupt, sexist imbecile with the literal temperament of of an emotionally troubled 10 year old."

Lol, and they're serious!

David Naas 7 hours ago
What unpleasant memories Mister Davis has elicited - - - i once had a schoolmarm like that. (Shudder)

It is, however, disturbing that Davis has almost captured the style of Trumptweets. The give-away is a shade more literacy and better grammar in Davis' offerings.

But what of the possibility, as suggested above, that Trump loses to Biden or (Generic Democratic candidate)?

As I tell my liberal friends, the country survived eight years of Priapic Bill, eight years of Dubya and Dubyaer, eight years of BHO, and after four years of Trump is yet standing, however drunkenly.

I think, contra many alarmists, the Republic is much stronger than the average pundit or combox warrior gives it credit.

And, who knows? Maybe the outrage pornography we get from Tweeting birdies will grow stale and passe, and people will yearn for more civil discourse? (Not likely, but one never knows.)

Night King 7 hours ago
I think she's already died and been reincarnated as Greta Thunberg.
Liam781 7 hours ago • edited
Someone hasn't lived that long in Massachusetts, it would seem. "Massachusettsian" is not the word the writer is looking for. It's "Bay Stater".

Likewise, for Connecticut residents, use "Nutmegger" rather than some (always wrong) derivative of the state name.

Michael Warren Davis Liam781 6 hours ago
I refuse to use "Bay Stater" for the same reason I dislike being called "Mike": nicknames are irritating, unless they're outlandish, like "Beanie" or "Boko" or "Buttigieg."

Massachusetts is a beautiful name -- slow and smooth, like the Merrimack. "Massachusettsian" adds a little skip at the end, as the river crashes into the Atlantic at Newburyport. It's the perfect demonym.

Speaking of, I was born and spent the first 18 years of my life in Massachusetts -- about 10 minutes outside Newburyport, where my great-great-something grandparents lived when the Revolution broke out. I don't know how much further back the family tree goes in Mass., but probably further than yours.

Liam781 Michael Warren Davis 5 hours ago • edited
Good luck with that utter nonsense word, then. Bay Stater is not a nickname - it's the longstanding term (and, for some reason, the Massachusetts General Court also blessed it legislatively), from long before my folk lived in New England since the mid-19th century (Connecticut and Massachusetts - hence my reference to Nutmeggers, as my parents made quite clear to us that there were no such things as Connecticutters or Massachusetters or the like and not to go around sounding like fools using the like.)

https://malegislature.gov/L...

Of course, I'd like to recover the old usage of the Eastern States to refer to New England. Right now, its sole prominent residue is the Big E in Springfield....

[Jan 21, 2020] Iran, Trump, and the neoliberal/neoconservative compact by Bill Martin

Notable quotes:
"... In the larger global picture, if the U.S. is to find its own balance in the contemporary world, Friedman argues that the seemingly-endless instability in the Middle East is the first and foremost problem that must be solved. Iran is a major problem here, but so is Israel, and Friedman argues that the US must find the path toward "quietly distanc[ing] itself from Israel" (p.6). ..."
"... This course of action regarding Iran and Israel (and other actors in the Muslim world, including Pakistan and Turkey) is, in Friedman's geopolitical perspective, not so much a matter of supporting U.S. global hegemony as it is recognizing the larger course that the U.S. will be compelled to take. ..."
"... So, it's back to Plan A for the Democrats and the "Left" that would be laughably absurd if it wasn't so reactionary, to get the neoliberal/ neoconservative endless-war agenda back on track, so that the march toward Iran can continue sooner rather than later. For now, the more spectacular the failure of this impeachment nonsense, the better! ..."
Jan 19, 2020 | off-guardian.org

Let's be clear, there is a difference between substituting geopolitical power calculations for a universal perspective on the good of humanity, and, on the other hand, recognizing that the existing layout of the world has to be taken into account in attempts to open up a true politics. (My larger perspective on the problem of "opening" is presented in the long essay, "The Fourth Hypothesis," at counterpunch.org.)

Personally, I find the geopolitical analyses of George Friedman very much worthwhile to consider, especially when he is looking at things long-range, as in his books The Next 100 Years and The Next Decade. The latter was published at the beginning of 2012, and so we are coming to the close of the ten-year period that Friedman discusses.

One of the major arguments that Friedman makes in The Next Decade is that the United States will have to reach some sort of accommodation with Iran and its regional ambitions. The key to this, Friedman argues, is to bring about some kind of balance of power again, such as existed before Iraq was torn apart.

This is the key in general to continued U.S. hegemony in the world, in Friedman's view -- regional balances that keep regional powers tied up and unable to rise on the world stage. (An especially interesting example here is that Friedman says that Poland will be built up as a bulwark between Russia and Germany.)

In the larger global picture, if the U.S. is to find its own balance in the contemporary world, Friedman argues that the seemingly-endless instability in the Middle East is the first and foremost problem that must be solved. Iran is a major problem here, but so is Israel, and Friedman argues that the US must find the path toward "quietly distanc[ing] itself from Israel" (p.6).

This course of action regarding Iran and Israel (and other actors in the Muslim world, including Pakistan and Turkey) is, in Friedman's geopolitical perspective, not so much a matter of supporting U.S. global hegemony as it is recognizing the larger course that the U.S. will be compelled to take.

(As the founder, CEO, and "Chief Intelligence Officer" of Stratfor, Friedman aimed to provide "non-ideological" strategic intelligence. My understanding of "non-ideological" is that the analysis was not formulated to suit the agendas of the two mainstream political parties in the U.S. However, my sense is that Friedman does believe that U.S. global hegemony is on the whole good for the world.)

In his book that came out before The Next Decade (2011), The Next 100 Years (2009), Friedman makes the case that the U.S. will not be seriously challenged globally for decades to come -- in fact, all the way until about 2080!

Just to give a different spin to something I said earlier, and that I've tried to emphasize in my articles since March 2016: questions of mere power are not questions of politics. Geopolitics is not politics, either -- in my terminology, it is "anti-politics."

For my part, I am not interested in supporting U.S. hegemony, not in the present and not in the future, and for the most part not in the past, either.

For the moment, let us simply say that the historical periods of the U.S. that are more supportable -- because they make some contribution, however flawed, to the greater, universal, human project -- are either from before the U.S. entered the road of seeking to compete with other "great powers" on the world stage, or quite apart from this road.

In my view, the end of U.S. global hegemony and, for that matter, the end of any "great nation-state" global hegemony, is a condition sine qua non of a human future that is just and sustainable. So, again, the brilliance that George Friedman often brings to geopolitical analysis is to be understood in terms of a coldly-realistic perspective, not a warmly-normative one.)

Of course, this continued U.S. hegemony depends on certain "wise" courses of action being taken by U.S. leaders (Friedman doesn't really get into the question of what might be behind these leaders), including a "subtle" approach to the aforementioned questions of Israel and Iran.

Obviously, anything associated with Donald Trump is not going to be overly subtle! On the other hand, here we are almost at the end of Friedman's decade, so perhaps the time for subtlety has passed, and the U.S. is compelled to be a bit heavy-handed if there is to be any chance of extricating itself from the endless quagmire.

However, there's a certain fly, a rather large one, in the ointment that seems to have eluded Friedman's calculations: "the rise of China."

It isn't that Friedman avoids the China question, not at all; Friedman argues, however, that by 2020 China will not only not be contending with the United States to have the largest economy in the world, but instead that China will fragment, perhaps even devolve into civil war, because of deep inequalities between the relatively prosperous coastal urban areas, and the rural interior.

Certainly I know from study, and many conversations with people in China, this was a real concern going into the 2010s and in the first half of the decade.

The chapter dealing with all this in The Next 100 Years (Ch. 5) is titled, "China 2020: Paper Tiger," the latter term being one that Chairman Mao used regarding U.S. imperialism. Friedman writes of another "figure like Mao emerg[ing] to close the country off from the outside, [to] equalize the wealth -- or poverty " (p.7).

Being an anti-necessitarian in philosophy, I certainly believe anything can happen in social matters, but it seems as though President Xi Jinping and the current leadership of the Communist Party of China have, at least for the time being, managed to head off fragmentation at the pass, so to speak.

Friedman argued that the "pass" that China especially had to deal with is unsustainable growth rates; but it appears that China has accomplished this, by purposely slowing its economy down.

One of the things that Friedman is especially helpful with, in his larger geopolitical analysis, is understanding the role that naval power plays in sustaining U.S. hegemony. (In global terms, such power is what keeps the neoliberal "free market" running, and this power is far from free.)

*

... ... ...

Two of the best supporters of Trump's stated agenda are Tucker Carlson and Steve Hilton. Neither of them pull any punches on this issue when it comes to Republicans, and both of them go some distance beyond Trump in stating an explicitly anti-war agenda.

They perhaps do not entirely fit the mold of leftist anti-imperialism as it existed from the 1890s through the Sixties (as in the political decade, perhaps 1964-1974 or so) and 1970s, but they do in fact fit this mold vastly better than almost any major figure of the Democratic Party, with the possible exceptions of Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard, and Andrew Yang. (But none of them has gone as far as Trump on this question!)

Certainly Elizabeth Warren is no exception, and at the moment of this writing she has made the crucial turn toward sticking the knife back into Bernie's back. That is her job, in my view, and part of it is to seem close to Bernie's positions (whatever their defects, which I'll discuss elsewhere), at least the ones that are more directly "economic," while winking at the ruling class.

There are a few things Carlson and Hilton say on the Iran situation and the Middle East in general that I don't agree with. But in the main I think both are right on where these issues are concerned.

As I've quoted Carlson a number of times previously, and as I also want to put forward Hilton as an important voice for a politics subservient to neither the liberal nor the conservative establishments, here let me quote what Hilton said in the midst of the Iran crisis, on January 5, 2020:

The best thing America can do to put the Middle East on a path that leads to more democracy, less terrorism, human rights and economic growth is to get the hell out of there while showing an absolute crystal clear determination to defend American interests with force whenever they are threatened.

That doesn't mean not doing anything, it means intervening only in ways that help America.

It means responding only to attacks on Americans disproportionately as a deterrent, just as we saw this week and it means finally accepting that it's not our job to fix the Middle East from afar.

The only part of this I take exception to is the "intervening only in ways that help America"-bit -- that opens the door to exactly the kinds of problems that Hilton wants the U.S. to avoid, besides the (to me, more important) fact that it is just morally wrong to think it is acceptable to intervene if it is in one's "interests."

My guess is that Hilton thinks that there is some built-in utilitarian or pragmatic calculus that means the morally-problematic interventions will not occur. I do not see where this has ever worked, but more importantly, this is where philosophy is important, theoretical work and abstract thinking are important.

It used to be that the Left was pretty good at this sort of thing, and there were some thoughtful conservatives who weren't bad, either. (A decent number of the latter, significantly, come from the Catholic intellectual tradition.) Now there are still a few of the latter, and there are ordinary people who are "thoughtful conservatives" in their "unschooled way" -- which is often better! -- but the Left has sold its intellectual soul along with its political soul.

That's a story for elsewhere (I have told parts of it in previous articles in this series); the point here is that the utilitarianism and "pragmatism" of merely calculating interests is not nearly going to cut it. (I have partly gone into this here because Hilton also advocates "pragmatism" in his very worthwhile book, Positive Populism -- it is the "affirmative" other side to Tucker Carlson's critical, "negative" expose, Ship of Fools.)

The wonderful philosophical pragmatism of William James is another matter; this is important because James, along with his friend Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), were leading figures of the Anti-Imperialist League back in the 1890s, when the U.S. establishment was beating the drums loudly to get into the race with Europeans for colonies.

They were for never getting "in" -- and of course they were not successful, which is why "get the hell out" is as important as anything people can say today.

What an insane world when the U.S. president says this and the political establishment opposes him, and "progressives" and "the Left" join in with the denunciations!

It has often been argued that the major utilitarian philosophers, from Bentham and Mill to Peter Singer, have implicit principles that go beyond the utilitarian calculus; I agree with this, and I think this is true of Steve Hilton as well.

In this light, allow me to quote a little more from the important statement he made on his Fox News Channel program, "The Next Revolution," on January 5; all of this is stuff I entirely agree with, and that expresses some very good principles:

The West's involvement in the Middle East has been a disaster from the start and finally, with President Trump, America is in a position to bring it to an end. We don't need their oil and we don't need their problems.

Finally, we have a U.S. president who gets that and wants to get out. There are no prospects for Middle East peace as long as we are there.

We're never going to defeat the ideology of Islamist terror as long as these countries are basket cases and one of the reasons they are basket cases is that our preposterous foreign policy establishment with monumental arrogance have treated the middle east like some chess game played out in the board rooms in Washington and London.

– [foxnews.com, transcribed by Yael Halon]

So then there is the usual tittering about this and that regarding Carlson and Hilton from liberal and progressive Democrats and leftists who support the Democrats, and it seems to me that there is one major reason why there is this foolish tittering: It is because these liberals and leftists really don't care about, for example, the destruction of Libya, or the murder of Berta Caceres.

Or, maybe they do care, but they have convinced themselves that these things have to swept under the rug in the name of defeating the pure evil of Trump. What this amounts to, in the "nationalist" discourse, is that Trump is some kind of nationalist (as he has said numerous times), perhaps of an "isolationist" sort, while the Democrats are in fact what can be called "nationalists of the neoliberal/neoconservative compact."

My liberal and leftist friends (some of them Maoists and post-Maoists and Trotskyists or some other kinds of Marxists or purported radicals -- feminists or antifa or whatever) just cannot see, it simply appears to be completely beyond the realm of their imaginations, that the latter kind of nationalism is much worse and qualitatively worse than what Trump represents, and it completely lacks the substantial good elements of Trump's agenda.

But hey, don't worry my liberal and leftist friends, it is hard to imagine that Joe Biden's "return to normalcy" won't happen at some point -- it will take not only an immense movement to even have a chance of things working out otherwise, but a movement that likes of which is beyond everyone's imagination at this point -- a movement of a revolutionary politics that remains to be invented, as all real politics are, by the masses.

Liberals and leftists have little to worry about here, they're okay with a Deep State society with a bullshit-democratic veneer and a neoliberal world order; this set-up doesn't really affect them all that much, not negatively at any rate, and the deplorables can just go to hell.

*

The Left I grew up with was the Sixties Left, and they used to be a great source of historical memory, and of anti-imperialism, civil rights, and ordinary working-people empowerment.

The current Left, and whatever array of Democratic-Party supporters, have received their marching orders, finally, from commander Pelosi (in reality, something more like a lieutenant), so the two weeks or so of "immense concern" about Iran has given way again to the extraordinarily-important and solemn work of impeachment.

But then, impeachment is about derailing the three main aspects of Trump's agenda, so you see how that works. Indeed, perhaps the way this is working is that Trump did in fact head off, whatever one thinks of the methods, a war with Iran (at this time! – and I do think this is but a temporary respite), or more accurately, a war between Iran and Israel that the U.S. would almost certainly be sucked into immediately.

So, it's back to Plan A for the Democrats and the "Left" that would be laughably absurd if it wasn't so reactionary, to get the neoliberal/ neoconservative endless-war agenda back on track, so that the march toward Iran can continue sooner rather than later. For now, the more spectacular the failure of this impeachment nonsense, the better!

Bill Martin is a philosopher and musician, retired from DePaul University. He is completing a book with the title, "The Trump Clarification: Disruption at the Edge of the System (toward a theory)." His most recent albums are "Raga Chaturanga" (Bill Martin + Zugzwang; Avant-Bass 3) and "Emptiness, Garden: String Quartets nos. 1 and 2 (Ryokucha Bass Guitar Quartet; Avant-Bass 4). He lives in Salina, Kansas, and plays bass guitar with The Radicles.


Dungroanin ,

I have read through finally. And comments too.

My opinion is Bill Martin is on the ball except for one personage- Hilton. If he is Camerons Hilton and architect of the Brexit referendum – for which he is rewarded with a 'seat at the table' of the crumbling Empire. The Strafor man too is just as complicit in the Empires wickedness.

But I'll let Bill off with that because he mentioned the Anti-Imperialist Mark Twain – always a joy to be reminded of Americas Dickens.

On Trump – he didn't use the Nuclear codes 10 minutes after getting them as warned by EVERYONE. Nor start a war with RocketMan, or Russia in Syria, or in Ukraine or with the Chinese using the proxy Uighars, or push through with attempted Bay of Pigs in Venezuela or just now Hong Kong. The Wall is not built and the ineffectual ripoff Obamacare version of a NHS is still there.
Judge by deeds not words.

Soleimani aside – He may have stopped the drive for war. Trumps direct contact with fellow world leaders HAS largely bypassed the war mongering State Department and also the Trillion dollar tax free Foundations set up last century to deliver the world Empire, that has so abused the American peoples and environment. He probably wasn't able to stop Bolivia.
The appointments of various players were not necessarily in his hands as Assad identified- the modern potus is merely a CEO/Chair of a board of directors who are put into place by the special interests who pour billions, 10's of billions into getting their politicians elected. They determine 'National Interests'. All he can do is accept their appointment and give them enough rope to hang themselves – which most have done!
These are that fight clubs rules.

On the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation – after 20 full years of working towards cohesion- they have succeeded. Iran is due to become a full member – once it is free of UN sanctions, which is why Trump was forced into pulling the treaty with them, so that technicality could stop that membership. China is not having it nor is Russia – Putins clear statement re the 'international rules' not being mandatory for them dovetails with the US position of Exceptionality. Checkmate.

As for the Old Robber Baron Banker Pirates idea that they should be allowed a Maritime Empire as consolation- ha ha ha, pull the other one.

The ancient sea trading routes from Africa to China were active for thousands of years before the Europeans turned up and used unequal power to disrupt and pillage at their hearts content.

What made that possible was of course explained in the brilliant Guns, Germs and Steel.

These ancients have ALL these and are equal or advanced in all else including Space, Comms and AI. A navy is not so vital when even nuclear subs are visible from low orbit satellites except in the deepest trenches – not a safe place to hide for months and also pretty crowded with all the other subs trying to hide there. As for Aircraft carrier groups – just build an island! Diego Garcia has a rival.

Double Checkmate.

The Empire is Dead. Long live the Empire.

Dungroanin ,

And this is hilarious about potus turning the tables on the brass who tried to drag him into the 'tank'.

https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2020/01/the-betrayal-of-trump-by-larry-c-johnson.html

'Grab the damn fainting couch. Trump told the assembled military leaders who had presided over a military stalemate in Afghanistan and the rise of ISIS as "losers." Not a one of them had the balls to stand up, tell him to his face he was wrong and offer their resignation. Nope. They preferred to endure such abuse in order to keep their jobs. Pathetic.

This excerpt in the Washington Post tells the reader more about the corruption of the Deep State and their mindset than it does about Trump's so-called mental state. Trump acted no differently in front of these senior officers and diplomats than he did on the campaign trail. He was honest. That is something the liars in Washington cannot stomach. '

Rhys Jaggar ,

I am not an expert on US Constitutional Law, but is there any legal mechanism for a US President to hold a Referendum in the way that the UK held a 'Brexit Referendum' and Scotland held an 'Independence Referendum'?

How would a US Referendum in 'Getting the hell out of the Middle East, bringing our boys and girls home before the year is out' play out, I wonder?

That takes the argument away from arch hawks like Bolton et al and puts it firmly in the ambit of Joe Schmo of Main Street, Oshkosh

wardropper ,

Great idea.
Main problem is that most Americans are brought up to think their government is separate from themselves, and should not be seriously criticized.
By "criticized", I mean, taken to task in a way which actually puts them on a playing field where they are confronted by real people.
Shouting insults at the government from the rooftops is simply greeted with indulgent smiles from the guilty elite.

Richard Le Sarc ,

George Friedman is a bog standard Zionist, therefore, out of fear, a virulent Sinophobe, because the Zionists will never control China as they do the Western slave regimes. China surpassed the USA as the world' s largest economy in 2014, on the PPP calculus that the CIA,IMF and just about everyone uses. It' s growing three times as fast as the USA, too. The chance of China fragmenting by 2020 is minuscule, certainly far less than that of the USA. The Chinese have almost totally eliminated poverty, and will raise the living standard of all to a ' middle income' by 2049. It is, however, the genocidal policy of the USA, on which it expend billions EVERY year, to do its diabolical worst to attempt to foment and foster such a hideous fate inside China, by supporting vermin like the Hong Kong fascist thugs, the Uighur salafist terrorist butchers, the medieval theocrats of the Dalai clique and separatist movements in Inner Mongolia, ' Manchuria', Taiwan, even Guandong and Guangxi. It takes a real Western thug to look forward to the ghastly suffering that these villainous ambitions would unleash.

Antonym ,

In RlS's nut shell: China can annex area but Israel: no way!

Dungroanin ,

Which area is China looking to annex?

Richard Le Sarc ,

Ant is a pathological Zionist liar, but you can see his loyalty to ' Eretz Yisrael' , ' ..from the Nile to the Euphrates', and ' cleansed' of non-Jews, can' t you.

alsdkjf ,

I'm surprised that this author can even remember the counter culture of the 60s given his Trump love.

Yet more Trumpism from Off Guardian. One doesn't have to buy into the politics of post DLC corporate owned DNC to know Trump for what he is. A fascist.

It's just amazing this Trump "left". Pathetic.

Antonym ,

Trump .. better than HRC but the guy is totally hypnotized by the level of the New York stock exchanges: even his foreign policy is improvised around that. He simply thinks higher is a proof of better forgetting that 90% of Americans don't own serious quantity of stock and that levels are manipulated by big players and the FED. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/08/business/economy/stocks-economy.html

Look at his dealing with China: tough as much as the US stock market stays benign in the short term. Same for Iran etc.

Sure, he is crippled by Pelosi & the FBI / CIA, but he is also by his own stock dependent mind. Might be the reason he is still alive ???

alsdkjf ,

Trump crippled by the CIA? Trump?

I mean the fascist jerk appointed ex CIA torture loving Pompeo to replace swamp creature oil tycoon as Secretary of State, no?

He appointed torture queen within the CIA to become CIA Director, no?

He went to the CIA headquarters on day one of his Administration to lavish praise, no?

He took on ex CIA Director Woolsey as advisor on foreign policy during his campaign, no?

I tell ya that Trump is a real adversary of the CIA!

Gall ,

Roger that. Trump appoints a dominatrix as DCI. Only a masochist or a sadist would Dream of Gina..you know the head of the torture squad under Bush. Otherwise nice girl. PompAss is a total clown but a dangerous one who even makes John Bolton look sane. Now that's scary!

This guy is Hilary Clinton in drag. The only thing missing is the evil triumphalist cackle after whacking Soleimani. Maybe it wasn't recorded.

So much for "draining the swamp". The Whitehouse has become an even bigger swamp.

Antonym ,

Forgot about John Brennan ex- CIA head or James Clapper ex-DNI honcho?
John Brennan On 'All Roads With Trump Lead To Putin' | The Last Word | MSNBC
They practically too Trump hostage in his first year.

one ,

my take from this article:
There are, among the murderers and assassins in Washington, a couple of characters who appear to have 2% of human DNA.
They author may confirm.

two ,

"israel is right in the cen "
sorry, the muderous regime israel has repeatedly proven, it's never never right . please avoid this usage.

three ,

There are 53 or 54 'I's in the article, including his partner's Is. The author may confirm.

Dungroanin ,

Phew!

That is a lot of words mate. Fingers must be sore. I won't comment more until trying to re-read again except quote this:

"Being an anti-necessitarian in philosophy,.."

I must say i had a wtf moment at that point see ya later.

paul ,

The idea that Trump's recent actions in the Middle East were part of some incredibly cunning plan to avoid war with Iran, strikes me as somewhat implausible, to put it (very) charitably.

Even Hitler didn't want war. He wanted to achieve his objectives without fighting. When that didn't work, war was Plan B. Trump probably has very little actual control over foreign policy. He is surrounded by people who have been plotting and scheming against him from long before he was elected. He heads a chaotic and dysfunctional administration of billionaires, chancers, grifters, conmen, superannuated generals, religious nut jobs, swamp creatures, halfwits and outright criminals, lurching from one crisis and one fiasco to the next. Some of these people like Bolton were foisted upon him by Adelson and various other backers and wire pullers, but that is not to absolve Trump of personal responsibility.

Competing agencies which are a law unto themselves have been free to pursue their own turf wars at the expense of anything remotely resembling a rational and coherent strategy. So have quite low level bureaucrats, formulating and implementing their own policies with little regard for the White House. In Syria, the Pentagon, the CIA, and the State Department went their own way, each supporting competing and mutually antagonistic factions and terrorist groups. Agreements that were reached with Russia over Syria, for example, were deliberately sabotaged by Ashton Carter in 24 hours. Likewise, Bolton did everything he could to wreck Trump's delicate negotiations with N. Korea.

paul ,

Seen in this light, US policy (or the absence of any coherent policy) is more understandable. What passes for US leadership is the worst in its history, even given a very low bar. Arrogant, venal, corrupt, delusional, irredeemably ignorant, and ideologically driven. The only positive thing that can be said is that the alternative (Clinton) would probably have been even worse, if that is possible.

That may also be the key to understanding the current situation. For all his pandering to Israel, Trump is more of a self serving unprincipled opportunist than a true Neocon/ Zionist believer in the mould of Pence, Bolton and Pompeo. For that reason he is not trusted by the Zionist Power Elite. He is too much of a loose cannon. They will take all his Gives, like Jerusalem and the JCPOA, but without any gratitude.

It has taken them a century of plotting, scheming and manoeuvring to achieve their political, financial, and media stranglehold over the US. but America is a wasting asset and they are under time pressure. It is visibly declining and losing its influence. And the parasite will find it difficult to find a similar host. Who else is going to give Israel billions a year in tribute, unlimited free weaponry and diplomatic cover? Russia? Are Chinese troops "happy to die for Israel" asUS ones are (according to their general)?

paul ,

And they are way behind schedule. Assad was supposed to be dead by now, and Syria another defenceless failed state, broken up into feuding little cantons, with Israel expanding into the south of the country. The main event, the war with Iran, should have started lond ago.

That is the reason for the impeachment circus. This is not intended to be resolved one way or the other. It is intended to drag on indefinitely, for months and years, to distract and weaken Trump and make it possible to extract what they want. One of the reasons Trump agreed to the murder of Soleimani and his Iraqi opposite number was to appease some Republican senators like Graham whose support is essential to survive impeachment. They were the ones who wanted it, along with Bolton and Netanyahu.

paul ,

It is instructive that all the main players in the impeachment circus are Jews, under Sanhedrin Chief Priests Schiff and Nadler, apart from a few token goys thrown in to make up the numbers. That even goes for those defending Trump.

Richard Le Sarc ,

Don' t forget that Lebanon up to the Litani is the patrimony of the Jewish tribes of Asher and Naphtali, and, as Smotrich, Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, said on Israeli TV a few years ago, ' Damascus belongs to the Jews'.

bevin ,

" China will fragment, perhaps even devolve into civil war, because of deep inequalities between the relatively prosperous coastal urban areas, and the rural interior."

This is not Bill, but Bill's mate the Stratcor geopolitical theorist for hire.

What is happening in the world is that the only empire the globe, as a whole, has ever seen- the pirate kingdom that the Dutch, then the British and finally the US, leveraged out of the plunder and conquest of America -the maritime empire, of sea routes and navies is under challenge by a revival of the Eurasian proto-empires that preceded it and drove its merchants and princes on the Atlantic coast, to sea.

We know who the neo-liberals are the current iteration of the gloomy philosophies of the Scots Enlightenment, (Cobbett's 'Scotch Feelosophy') utilitarianism in its crudest form and the principles of necessary inequalities, from the Austrian School back to the various crude racisms which became characteristic of the C19th.
The neo-cons are the latest expression of the maritime powers' fear of Eurasia and its interior lines of communication. Besides which the importance of navies and of maritime agility crumble.
Bill mentions that China has not got much of a navy. I'm not so sure about that, but isn't it becoming clear that navies-except to shipyards, prostitutes and arms contractors- are no longer of sovereign importance? There must be missile commanders in China drooling over the prospect of catching a US Fleet in all its glory within 500 miles of the mainland. Not to mention on the east coast of the Persian Gulf.
The neo-cons are the last in a long line of strategists, ideologists and, for the most part, mercenary publicists defying the logic of Halford Mackinder's geo-strategy for a lot more than a penny a line. And what they urge, is all that they can without crossing the line from deceitfulness to complete dishonesty: chaos and destabilisation within Eurasia, surrounding Russia, subverting Sinkiang and Tibet, employing sectarian guerrillas, fabricating nationalists and nationalisms.. recreate the land piracy, the raiding and the ethnic explosions that drove trade from the land to the sea and crippled the Qing empire.
The clash is between war, necessary to the Maritime Empire and Peace, vital to the consolidation and flowering of Eurasia.

As to Israel, and perhaps we can go into this later: it looms much larger in the US imagination (and the imaginations the 'west' borrows from the US) than anywhere else. It is a tiny sliver of a country. Far from being an elephant in any room, it is simply a highly perfumed lapdog which also serves as its master's ventriloquist's dummy. Its danger lies in the fact that after decades of neglect by its idiotic self indulgent masters, it has become an openly fascist regime, which was definitely not meant to happen, and, misled by its own exotic theories of race, has come to believe that it can do what it wants. It can't-and this is one reason why Bill misjudges the reasoning behind the Soleimani killing- but it likes to act, or rather threaten to act, as if it could.

(By the way-note to morons across the web-Bill's partner quotes Adorno and writes about him too: cue rants about Cultural Marxism.)

Hugh O'Neill ,

Thanks, Bevin. The article was so long, I had quite forgotten that he laid too much emphasis on the Stratcor Unspeakable. Clever he may be, but not much use without a moral compass. Talking of geo-strategists, you will doubtless be aware of the work of A.T. Mahan whose blueprint for acquisition of inspired Teddy Roosevelt and leaders throughout Europe, Russia, Japan.

Richard Le Sarc ,

Friedman is a snake oil peddler. He tells the ruling psychopaths what they want to hear, like ' China crumbling', their favourite wet-dream.

bevin ,

I agree about Mahan's importance. He understood what lay behind the Empire on which the sun never set but he had enough brains to have been able to realise that current conditions make those fleets obsolete. In fact the Germans in the last War realised that too- their strategy was Eurasian, it broke down over the small matter of devouring the USSR. The expiry date on the tin of Empire has been obvious for a long time- there is simply too much money to be made by ignoring it.
Russia has always been the problem, either real (very occasionally) or latent for the Dutch/British/US Empire because it is just so clear that the quickest and most efficient communications between Shanghai and Lisbon do not go through the Straits of Malacca, the Suez Canal, or round the cape . Russia never had to do a thing to earn the enmity of the Empire, simply existing was a challenge. And that remains the case- for centuries the Empire denounced the Russians because of the Autocracy, then it was the anarchism of the Bolsheviks, then it was the autocracy again, this time featuring Stalin, then it was the chaos of the oligarchs and now we are back with the Tsar/Stalin Putin.

Hugh O'Neill ,

Phenomenal diagnosis, Bevin. However, one suspects that there is still too much profit to be made by the MIC in pursuing useless strategies. I imagine Mahan turning in his grave in his final geo-strategic twist.

Richard Le Sarc ,

Yes-Zionist hubris will get Israel into a whole world of sorrow.

MASTER OF UNIVE ,

More USA Deep State conspiracy theorizing which makes the author American paternalism posing as authorship that is revenue neutral when it ain't.

Any article with mention of mother-'Tucker' Carlson is one that is pure propagandistic tripe in the extreme. Off-G is a UK blog yet this Americanism & worn out aged propaganda still prevails in the minds of US centric myopics writ large across all states in the disunity equally divided from cities to rural towns all.

MOU

johny conspiranoid ,

"More USA Deep State conspiracy theorizing which makes the author American paternalism posing as authorship that is revenue neutral when it ain'"
Is this even a sentence?

MASTER OF UNIVE ,

It was a sentence when I was smoking marijuana yesterday, Johnny C. Today it is still a sentence IMHO, but you transcribed it incorrectly, and forgot the end of the sentence.

NOTE: When I smoke marijuana I am allowed to write uncoordinated sentences. These are the rules in CANADA. If you don't like it write to your local politician and complain bitterly.

MOU

Charlotte Russe ,

Bush, Obama, and Clinton are despicable. In fact, they're particularly disgusting, inasmuch, as they were much more "cognizant" than Trump of how their actions would lead to very specific insidious consequences. In addition, they were more able to cleverly conceal their malevolent deeds from the public. And that's why Trump is now sitting in the Oval Office–he won because of public disgust for lying politicians.

However, Trump is "dangerous" because he's a "misinformed idiot," and as such is extremely malleable. Of course, ignorance is no excuse when the future of humanity is on the line

In any event, Trump is often not aware of the outcome of his actions. And when you're surrounded and misinformed by warmongering neoconservative nutcases, especially ones who donated to your campaign chances are you'll do stupid things. And that's what they're counting on.

alsdkfj ,

Trump is some virtuous example of a truth teller? Trump?

The biggest liar to every occupy the White House and that is saying a lot.

Swamp Monster fascist Trump. So much to love, right?

He could murder one of your friends and you'd still apologize for him, is my guess.

Hugh O'Neill ,

It was a long read, but I got there. In essence, I agreed with 99%, but I hesitate to share too much praise for Trump's qualities as a Human Being – though he may be marginally more Human than the entire US body politic. I was walking our new puppy yesterday when he did his usual attempt to leap all over other walkers. I pleaded their forgiveness and explained that his big heart was in inverse proportion to his small brain. It occurred to me later that the opposite would be pure evil i.e. a small heart but big brain. Capitalism as is now infects the Human Experiment, has reduced both brains and hearts: propagandists believe their own lies, and too few trust their own instincts and innate compassion, ground down by the relentless distractions of lies and 'entertainment' (at least the Romas gave you free bread!).
I get the impression that Trump's world view hasn't altered much since he was about 11 years old. I do not intend to insult all eleven-year-olds, but his naivety is not a redeeming feature of his spoilt brat bully personality. He has swallowed hook, line and sinker every John Wayne cowboy movie and thinks the world can be divided into good guys and bad guys depending on what colour hat they wear. In the days of Black & White TV, it was either black or white. The world seemed so much simpler aged 11 .(1966).

Dungroanin ,

Yet I have yet to see one photo of Trump with a gun or in uniform.

MASTER OF UNIVE ,

The Duck learned to dress appropriately for business, I'll give him that. As a New York Real Estate scion you will never see him dress otherwise. Protocol in business is a contemporary business suit. No other manner of dress is allowed for the executive class in North America or UK.

[Jan 21, 2020] The Middle East Strategic "Balance" Shredded -- Strategic Culture

Jan 21, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org

The U.S. was having some success with turning protest messaging against Iran – until, that is – its killing and wounding of so many Iraqi security force members last week (Ketaib Hizbullah is a part of Iraq's armed forces).

Escalation of maximum-pressure was one thing (Iran was confident of weathering that); but assassinating such a senior official on his state duties, was quite something else. We have not observed a state assassinating a most senior official of another state before.

And the manner of its doing, was unprecedented too. Soleimani was officially visiting Iraq. He arrived openly as a VIP guest from Syria, and was met on the tarmac by an equally senior Iraqi official, Al-Muhandis, who was assassinated also, (together with seven others). It was all open. General Soleimani regularly used his mobile phone as he argued that as a senior state official, if he were to be assassinated by another state, it would only be as an act of war.

This act, performed at the international airport of Baghdad, constitutes not just the sundering of red lines, but a humiliation inflicted on Iraq – its government and people. It will upend Iraq's strategic positioning. The erstwhile Iraqi attempt at balancing between Washington and Iran will be swept away by Trump's hubristic trampling on the country's sovereignty. It may well mark the beginning of the end of the U.S. presence in Iraq (and therefore Syria, too), and ultimately, of America's footprint in the Middle East.

Trump may earn easy plaudits now for his "We're America, Bitch!", as one senior White House official defined the Trump foreign policy doctrine; but the doubts – and unforeseen consequences soon may come home to roost.

Why did he do it? If no one really wanted 'war', why did Trump escalate and smash up all the crockery? He has had an easy run (so far) towards re-election, so why play the always unpredictable 'wild card' of a yet another Mid-East conflict?

Was it that he wanted to show 'no Benghazi'; no U.S. embassy siege 'on my watch' – unlike Obama's handling of that situation? Was he persuaded that these assassinations would play well to his constituency (Israeli and Evangelical)? Or was he offered this option baldly by the Netanyahu faction in Washington? Maybe.

Some in Israel are worried about a three or four front war reaching Israel. Senior Israeli officials recently have been speculating about the likelihood of regional conflict occurring within the coming months. Israel's PM however, is fighting for his political life, and has requested immunity from prosecution on three indictments – pleading that this was his legal right, and that it was needed for him to "continue to lead Israel" for the sake of its future. Effectively, Netanyahu has nothing to lose from escalating tensions with Iran -- but much to gain.

Opposition Israeli political and military leaders have warned that the PM needs 'war' with Iran -- effectively to underscore the country's 'need' for his continued leadership. And for technical reasons in the Israeli parliament, his plea is unlikely to be settled before the March general elections. Netanyahu thus may still have some time to wind up the case for his continued tenure of the premiership.

One prime factor in the Israeli caution towards Iran rests not so much on the waywardness of Netanyahu, but on the inconstancy of President Trump: Can it be guaranteed that the U.S. will back Israel unreservedly -- were it to again to become enmeshed in a Mid-East war? The Israeli and Gulf answer seemingly is 'no'. The import of this assessment is significant. Trump now is seen by some in Israel – and by some insiders in Washington – as a threat to Israel's future security vis à vis Iran. Was Trump aware of this? Was this act a gamble to guarantee no slippage in that vital constituency in the lead up to the U.S. elections? We do not know.

So we arrive at three final questions: How far will Iran absorb this new escalation? Will Iran confine its retaliation to within Iraq? Or will the U.S. cross another 'red line' by striking inside Iran itself, in any subsequent tit for tat?

Is it deliberate (or is it political autism) that makes Secretary Pompeo term all the Iraqi Hash'd a-Sha'abi forces – whether or not part of official Iraqi forces – as "Iran-led"? The term seems to be used as a laissez-passer to attack all the many Hash'd a-Sha'abi units on the grounds that, being "Iran-linked", they therefore count as 'terrorist forces'. This formulation gives rise to the false sequitur that all other Iraqis would somehow approve of the killings. This would be laughable, if it were not so serious. The Hash'd forces led the war against ISIS and are esteemed by the vast majority of Iraqis. And Soleimani was on the ground at the front line, with those Iraqi forces.

These forces are not Iranian 'proxies'. They are Iraqi nationalists who share a common Shi'a identity with their co-religionists in Iran, and across the region. They share a common zeitgeist, they see politics similarly, but they are no puppets (we write from direct experience).

But what this formulation does do is to invite a widening conflict: Many Iraqis will be outraged by the U.S. attacks on fellow Iraqis and will revenge them. Pompeo (falsely) will then blame Iran. Is that Pompeo's purpose: casus belli?

But where is the off-ramp? Iran will respond Is this affair simply set to escalate from limited military exchanges and from thence, to escalate until what? We understand that this was not addressed in Washington before the President's decision was made. There are no real U.S. channels of communication (other than low level) with Iran; nor is there a plan for the next days. Nor an obvious exit. Is Trump relying on gut instinct again?

[Jan 21, 2020] The Many Matryoska Dolls to America's Way of Imagining Iran -- Strategic Culture

Notable quotes:
"... The Open Society and its Enemies ..."
"... "Since President Donald Trump ordered the drone strike that killed [Soleimani – justified in terms of deterrence, and allegedly halting an attack] a handful of Trump's advisers, however, [espied another] strategic benefit to killing Soleimani: Call it regime disruption ..."
"... "The case for disruption is outlined in a series of unclassified memos sent to [John Bolton]in May and June 2019 their author, David Wurmser, is a longtime adviser to Bolton who then served as a consultant to the National Security Council. Wurmser argues that Iran is in the midst of a legitimacy crisis. Its leadership, he writes, is divided between camps that seek an apocalyptic return of the Hidden Imam, and those that favour of the preservation of the Islamic Republic. All the while, many Iranians have grown disgusted with the regime's incompetence and corruption. ..."
"... "Wurmser's crucial insight [is that] – were unexpected, rule-changing actions taken against Iran, it would confuse the regime. It would need to scramble," he writes. Such a U.S. attack would "rattle the delicate internal balance of forces and the control over them upon which the regime depends for stability and survival." Such a moment of confusion, Wurmser writes, will create momentary paralysis -- and the perception among the Iranian public that its leaders are weak. ..."
"... "Wurmser's memos show that the Trump administration has been debating the blow against Soleimani since the current crisis began, some seven months ago After Iran downed a U.S. drone [in June], Wurmser advised Bolton that the U.S. response should be overt and designed to send a message that the U.S. holds the Iranian regime, not the Iranian people, responsible. "This could even involve something as a targeted strike on someone like Soleimani or his top deputies," Wurmser wrote in a June 22 memo. ..."
"... In these memos, Wurmser is careful to counsel against a ground invasion of Iran. He says the U.S. response "does not need to be boots on the ground (in fact, it should not be)." Rather, he stresses that the U.S. response should be calibrated to exacerbate the regime's domestic legitimacy crisis. ..."
"... Coping with Crumbling States ..."
"... Clean Break ..."
Jan 21, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org

lastair Crooke January 20, 2020 © Photo: Flickr / DonkeyHotey On the 17 September 1656, Oliver Cromwell, a Protestant Puritan, who had won a civil war, and had the English king beheaded in public, railed against England's enemies. There was, he told Parliament that day, an axis of evil abroad in the world. And this axis – led by Catholic Spain – was, at root, the problem of a people that had placed themselves at the service of 'evil'. This 'evil', and the servitude that it beget, was the evil of a religion – Catholicism – that refused the English peoples' desire for simple liberties: " [an evil] that put men under restraint under which there was no freedom and under which, there could be 'no liberty of individual consciousness'".

That was how the English protestant leader saw Catholic Spain in 1656. And it is very close to how key orientations in the U.S. sees Iran today : The evil of religion – of Shi'ism – subjecting (they believe) Iranians to repression, and to serfdom. In Europe, this ideological struggle against the 'evil' of an imposed religious community (the Holy 'Roman' Axis, then) brought Europe to 'near-Armageddon', with the worst affected parts of Europe seeing their population decimated by up to 60% during the conflict.

Is this faction in the U.S. now intent on invoking a new, near-Armageddon – on this occasion, in the Middle East – in order, like Cromwell, to destroy the religious 'community known' as the Shi'a Resistance Axis, seen to stretch across the region, in order to preserve the Jewish "peoples' desire for simple liberties"?

Of course, today's leaders of this ideological faction are no longer Puritan Protestants (though the Christian Evangelicals are at one with Cromwell's 'Old Testament' literalism and prophesy). No, its lead ideologues are the neo-conservatives, who have leveraged Karl Popper's hugely influential The Open Society and its Enemies – a seminal treatise, which to a large extent, has shaped how many Americans imagine their 'world'. Popper's was history understood as a series of attempts, by the forces of reaction, to smother an open society with the weapons of traditional religion and traditional culture:

Marx and Russia were cast as the archetypal reactionary threat to open societies. This construct was taken up by Reagan, and re-connected to the Christian apocalyptic tradition (hence the neo-conservative coalition with Evangelists yearning for Redemption , and with liberal interventionists, yearning for a secular millenarianism). All concur that Iran is reactionary, and furthermore, the posit, poses a grave threat to Israel's self-proclaimed 'open society'.

The point here is that there is little point in arguing with these people that Iran poses no threat to the U.S. (which is obvious) – for the 'project' is ideological through and through. It has to be understood by these lights. Popper's purpose was to propose that only liberal globalism would bring about a "growing measure of humane and enlightened life" and a free and open society – period.

All this is but the outer Matryoshka – a suitable public rhetoric, a painted image – that can be used to encase the secret, inner dolls. Eli Lake, writing in Bloomberg , however, gives away the next doll:

"Since President Donald Trump ordered the drone strike that killed [Soleimani – justified in terms of deterrence, and allegedly halting an attack] a handful of Trump's advisers, however, [espied another] strategic benefit to killing Soleimani: Call it regime disruption

"The case for disruption is outlined in a series of unclassified memos sent to [John Bolton]in May and June 2019 their author, David Wurmser, is a longtime adviser to Bolton who then served as a consultant to the National Security Council. Wurmser argues that Iran is in the midst of a legitimacy crisis. Its leadership, he writes, is divided between camps that seek an apocalyptic return of the Hidden Imam, and those that favour of the preservation of the Islamic Republic. All the while, many Iranians have grown disgusted with the regime's incompetence and corruption.

"Wurmser's crucial insight [is that] – were unexpected, rule-changing actions taken against Iran, it would confuse the regime. It would need to scramble," he writes. Such a U.S. attack would "rattle the delicate internal balance of forces and the control over them upon which the regime depends for stability and survival." Such a moment of confusion, Wurmser writes, will create momentary paralysis -- and the perception among the Iranian public that its leaders are weak.

"Wurmser's memos show that the Trump administration has been debating the blow against Soleimani since the current crisis began, some seven months ago After Iran downed a U.S. drone [in June], Wurmser advised Bolton that the U.S. response should be overt and designed to send a message that the U.S. holds the Iranian regime, not the Iranian people, responsible. "This could even involve something as a targeted strike on someone like Soleimani or his top deputies," Wurmser wrote in a June 22 memo.

In these memos, Wurmser is careful to counsel against a ground invasion of Iran. He says the U.S. response "does not need to be boots on the ground (in fact, it should not be)." Rather, he stresses that the U.S. response should be calibrated to exacerbate the regime's domestic legitimacy crisis.

So there it is – David Wurmser is the 'doll' within: no military invasion, but just a strategy to blow apart the Iranian Republic. Wurmser, Eli Lake reveals, has quietly been advising Bolton and the Trump Administration all along. This was the neo-con, who in 1996, compiled Coping with Crumbling States (which flowed on from the infamous Clean Break policy strategy paper, written for Netanyahu, as a blueprint for destructing Israel's enemies). Both these papers advocated the overthrow of the Secular-Arab nationalist states – excoriated both as "crumbling relics of the 'evil' USSR" (using Popperian language, of course) – and inherently hostile to Israel (the real message).

Well ( big surprise ), Wurmser has now been at work as the author of how to 'implode' and destroy Iran. And his insight? "A targeted strike on someone like Soleimani"; split the Iranian leadership into warring factions; cut an open wound into the flesh of Iran's domestic legitimacy; put a finger into that open wound, and twist it; disrupt – and pretend that the U.S. sides with the Iranian people, against its government.

Eli Lake seems, in his Bloomberg piece, to think that the Wurmser strategy has worked. Really? The problem here is that narratives in Washington are so far apart from the reality that exists on the ground – they simply do not touch at any point. Millions attended Soleimani's cortege. His killing gave a renewed cohesion to Iran. Little more than a dribble have protested.

Now let us unpack the next 'doll': Trump bought into Wurmser's 'play', albeit, with Trump subsequently admitting that he did the assassination under intense pressure from Republican Senators. Maybe he believed the patently absurd narrative that Iranians would 'be dancing in the street' at Soleimani's killing. In any event, Trump is not known, exactly, for admitting his mistakes. Rather, when something is portrayed as his error, the President adopts the full 'salesman' persona: trying to convince his base that the murder was no error, but a great strategic success – "They like us", Trump claimed of protestors in Iran.

Tom Luongo has observed : "Trump's impeachment trial in the Senate begins next week, and it's clear that this will not be a walk in the park for the President. Anyone dismissing this because the Republicans hold the Senate, simply do not understand why this impeachment exists in the first place. It is [occurring because it offers] the ultimate form of leverage over a President whose desire to end the wars in the Middle East is anathema to the entrenched powers in the D.C. Swamp." Ah, so here we arrive at another inner Matryoshka.

This is Luongo's point: Impeachment was the leverage to drive open a wedge between Republican neo-conservatives in the Senate – and Trump. And now the Pelosi pressure on Republican Senators is escalating . The Establishment threw cold water over Trump's assertion of imminent attack, as justification for murdering Soleimani, and Trump responds by painting himself further into a corner on Iran – by going the full salesman 'monte'.

On the campaign trail, the President goes way over-the-top, calling Soleimani a "son of a b -- -", who killed 'thousands' and furthermore was responsible for every U.S. veteran who lost a limb in Iraq. And he then conjures up a fantasy picture of protesters pouring onto the streets of Tehran, tearing down images of Soleimani, and screaming abuse at the Iranian leadership.

It is nonsense. There are no mass protests (there have been a few hundred students protesting at one main Tehran University). But Trump has dived in pretty deep, now threatening the Euro-Three signatories to the JCPOA, that unless they brand Iran as having defaulted on JCPOA at the UNSC disputes mechanism, he will slap an eye-watering 25% tariff on their automobiles.

So, how will Trump avoid plunging in even deeper to conflict if – and when – Americans die in Iraq or Syria at the hands of militia – and when Pompeo or Lindsay Graham will claim, baldly, 'Iran's proxies did it'? Sending emollient faxes to the Swiss to pass to Tehran will not do. Tehran will not read them, or believe them, even if they did.

It all reeks of stage-management; a set up: a very clever stage-management, designed to end with the U.S. crossing Iran's 'red line', by striking at a target within Iranian territory. Here, finally, we arrive at the innermost doll.

Cui bono ? Some Senators who never liked Trump, and would prefer Pence as President; the Democrats, who would prefer to run their candidate against Pence in November, rather than Trump. But also, as someone who once worked with Wurmser observed tartly: when you hear that name (Wurmser), immediately you think Netanyahu, his intimate associate.

Matryoshka herself?

[Jan 21, 2020] Goldstein 2.0 ISIS has a new big bad leader

Notable quotes:
"... For starters, don't be surprised if his "fortification" of ISIS means Donald Trump can't pull out of Syria after all. Or maybe if ISIS attacks on Iraqi civilians/militias result in the Iraqi parliament revoking their request for the US to remove their troops from Iraqi soil. ..."
"... There's the possibility that ISIS will start a resurgence in Libya, meaning that NATO has to get in there and sort things out. Maybe some furious ISIS fighters will be the ones who assassinate Iranian generals in future. It's much less messy that way. ..."
Jan 21, 2020 | off-guardian.org

For starters, don't be surprised if his "fortification" of ISIS means Donald Trump can't pull out of Syria after all. Or maybe if ISIS attacks on Iraqi civilians/militias result in the Iraqi parliament revoking their request for the US to remove their troops from Iraqi soil.

There's the possibility that ISIS will start a resurgence in Libya, meaning that NATO has to get in there and sort things out. Maybe some furious ISIS fighters will be the ones who assassinate Iranian generals in future. It's much less messy that way.

Or, hell, maybe we'll return to the hits of the 90s and early 2000s, and Islamic jihadists will get back to work in Chechnya.

Whatever happens, ISIS are back baby. And that means that some way, somehow, Mr al-Salbi is about to make the foreign policy goals of the United States much easier.

That's what Goldsteins are for.

harry law ,

.... The US have used Islamic state against both Syria and Iraq, [the enemy of my enemy is my friend].

There can be no doubt that the US are going to use Islamic state to disrupt Iraq, just as they had no qualms about watching [from satellites and spotter aircraft] Islamic state travel 100's of kilometres from Syria to Northern Iraq [Mosul] across the desert, whipping up tons of dust in their Toyota jeeps to put pressure on the Iraqi government. Also as they watched on with equanimity when the Islamic state transported thousands of tanker loads of oil from Syria to Turkey, that is until the Russians bombed those convoys, the US must think everyone is as stupid as they are. If the Iraqis don't drive the US out using all means including violence, they deserve to be slaves.

"Sergey Lavrov earlier called the US-led coalition's refusal to combat al-Nusra "absolutely unacceptable."

"Iraqi security expert Kazim al-Haaj said "US Army troops are preparing and training the ISIL militants in al-Qadaf and Wadi al-Houran regions of Al-Anbar province with the aim of carrying out terrorist attacks and restarting insecurity in Iraq." https://stephenlendman.org/2020/01/trump-regime-shifting-isis-terrorists-from-syria-to-iraq/

[Jan 21, 2020] Possession of a core ethnicity doesn't invariably guarantee stability or even constitute a nation

Jan 21, 2020 | www.unz.com

Weston Waroda , says: Show Comment January 18, 2020 at 5:19 pm GMT

@anonymous

The US depends upon continuation of the dollar as the world's reserve currency. Were that to be lost the US likely would descend into chaos without end. When the USSR came apart it was eventually able to downsize into the Russian state. We don't have that here; there is no core ethnicity with it's own territory left anymore, it's just a jumble. For the US it's a matter of survival.

Possession of a core ethnicity doesn't invariably guarantee stability or even constitute a nation and I don't believe this is why Russia survives as a nation today. Russia itself is a country with a great many nationalities, and there are almost as many Asian as European faces in the country. Furthermore, the Ukraine was part of the USSR, has what you term a core ethnicity, and yet has descended into chaos without end since the collapse of the USSR. Clearly, a nation consists of something other than ethnic identity, language or even religion.

The 19th century French historian Ernest Renan in a famous lecture at the time "What is a Nation" stated: "A nation is a soul, a spiritual principle A nation is therefore a large-scale solidarity, constituted by the feeling of the sacrifices that one has made in the past and of those that one is prepared to make in the future. It presupposes a past; it is summarized, however, in the present by a tangible fact, namely, consent, the clearly expressed desire to continue a common life .

"Man is a slave neither of his race nor his language, nor of his religion, nor of the course of rivers nor of the direction taken by mountain chains. A large aggregate of men, healthy in mind and warm of heart, creates the kind of moral conscience which we call a nation."

A nation is an organic entity not dependent on a common language, religion or bounded by geography. Whether or not a nation or nations survive the collapse of the American Empire will depend on the willingness of the people to live together with a shared collective memory of the past. Renan makes the point that national traumas are more unifying than national triumphs. The chaos that will surely follow the Empire's collapse will become part of the shared trauma, out of which a new nation or nations will arise, if the people so will.

https://web.archive.org/web/20110827065548/http://www.cooper.edu/humanities/core

EliteCommInc. , says: Show Comment January 18, 2020 at 11:02 pm GMT
"I see you have successfully internalized The Cuck's Credo."

I won;t speak to the explication of what nationhood is as described. But clearly skin color is not a cohesive enough glue. The white colonists comprised of varying ethnic cultures went to war against whites in great britain. And by all indications of history the whites in Europe spent more than 1800 years killing each other in country and out --

So any claim that whiteness is a cohesive glue or embodies a cohesive glue cementing nationality is thoroughly rejected by history. That anyone contends it against the evidence is peculiar.

Curmudgeon , says: Show Comment January 18, 2020 at 11:09 pm GMT
@Weston Waroda

The 19th century French historian Ernest Renan in a famous lecture at the time "What is a Nation" stated: "A nation is a soul, a spiritual principle

Why was the lecture famous? Was it because Renan decided to redefine nation?
https://www.etymonline.com/word/nation

Weston Waroda , says: Show Comment January 19, 2020 at 12:32 am GMT
@Daniel.I Oh, are you ever missing the point. What Renan wrote elsewhere, "that which makes a nation is the willingness of its members to live together," (ce qui fait une nation c'est la volunté de ses membres de vivre ensemble) cuts both ways. It not only expains why Russia successfully transitioned the fall of the USSR, while the Ukraine has not yet: the Russians chose to live together. It also explains why nationalists like you continue to choose by your own volition to identify as American despite your pissing and moaning. You and the Russians and the Ukrainians are making your own volitional choices about the nation you choose to be a member of. Those choices multiplied by the millions of inhabitants demonstrate how this is an organic process. Furthermore, Renan wrote well before the current idea of globalism had developed any traction, and he is writing from observation of history as a historian. He had no globalist agenda to promote. I have read quite a lot of what the hard right nationalists have had to say in their comments on the Unz Review, and frankly, the arguments are unconvincing. I would suggest reading the Renan lecture I posted the link to, it clears up the mess and shows a third way between you and the globalists, the way of how things really come down. It shows reality.
Oscar Peterson , says: Show Comment January 19, 2020 at 1:55 am GMT
@EliteCommInc.

So any claim that whiteness is a cohesive glue or embodies a cohesive glue cementing nationality is thoroughly rejected by history. That anyone contends it against the evidence is peculiar.

No matter what the core identity of a society, there will be at least episodic internal violence. But that doesn't mean that people don't need identity.

What identity, in your view, should the people focusing on whiteness as symbolic of their sense of belonging, be adopting?

It's obvious that being "an American" is becoming less and less psychologically satisfying. So what is the answer?

Daniel.I , says: Show Comment January 19, 2020 at 9:56 am GMT
@Weston Waroda I am Eastern European living in my homeland.
So I can see right through your ZOG-manufactured bullshit.
Daniel.I , says: Show Comment January 19, 2020 at 10:01 am GMT
@EliteCommInc. You have no idea how satisfying it is to watch the Anglo – after having forced liberalism down the throat of everyone else – finding himself on the receiving end of it.

Keep celebrating your own dissolution, cuck.

Weston Waroda , says: Show Comment January 20, 2020 at 6:36 am GMT
@Polemos The nation in Renan's thinking transcends consideration of the one and the many through a kind of political metaphysic: the nation is spiritual, the nation is a mystery. The national myth of shared trauma creates a past while organic human volition results in a spiritual recognition of both the individual and others as participants in this mystery, this nation, this Gestalt . Charles de Gaulle touched this in his benediction "vive la France eternelle," as did Ronald Reagan with the metaphor from the Gospels, "a city on a hill."
Wizard of Oz , says: Show Comment January 20, 2020 at 6:53 am GMT
@Daniel.I I get the general use by Americans to use "liberal" for what the rest of the Anglophone countries would probably call "left wing" (although I think Americans also say "neo liberalism" mraning something quite different). But I struggle to understand what you mean by "liberalism". Derived from which lot of Anglos? Thrust down throats by which lot of Anglos? I would like to learn more from you about the ideology or philosophy or political movement you are referring to.

As a prompt to leap out of a narrowly based view I note that the main conservative right of centre party which often forms Australian governments is the Liberal Party.

Vojkan , says: Show Comment January 20, 2020 at 8:07 am GMT
@Weston Waroda "A nation is an organic entity not dependent on a common language, religion or bounded by geography."

Is it to say that the German, the English, the Swede, the Polish, the Norwegians, the Danes, the Czech, the Slovak, the Italian, the Greek, the Hungarian, the Romanian, the Bulgarian, the Portuguese, the Irish, the various nations that emerged from the former Yugoslavia or the USSR are not organic entities but only the Belgian are? Is it to say that African states with borders drawn across ethnicities by colonial powers are nations? Today's France is proof of the contrary to your statement and Renan's theory. You are the one disconnected from reality as your idea of what constitutes a nation is a pure abstract disproven by empirical evidence.

Miro23 , says: Show Comment January 20, 2020 at 9:02 am GMT
@Weston Waroda

Renan makes the point that national traumas are more unifying than national triumphs.

It's interesting that the places that the Empire has been unable to control are often ex-Communist (Russia, China, Eastern Europe) which experienced national trauma, but were also outside of the Zio-Glob Empire in its critical post 1945 growth period (the map of US overseas bases).

Also, Imperial institutions like NATO are looking irrelevant. European leaders may well wonder why they're necessary. In 1945, the US was the world's leading industrial economy/ international creditor with a legitimate reserve currency – now not so much – with the US clinging onto power using violence, threats and sanctions and generally alienating everyone.

Mustapha Mond , says: Show Comment January 20, 2020 at 2:14 pm GMT
Israel is a very successful example of a strongly ethnocentric state that has its endless internal squabbles between the various groups within that identity, but yet remain fairly united against potential threats from outsiders (i.e., the"others"). This most definitely applies to the critical matter of immigration.

Wisely, they do not easily accept immigrants, except those who are proven to be of their own ilk, and they are currently exploring, via internal public dialog, whether their already relatively stringent standards are not restrictive enough. (See here: https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/6-out-of-7-immigrants-to-Israel-not-Jewish-611842 )

They know they will be internally weakened, displaced, and ultimately, replaced if they do otherwise. They 'see the writing on the wall'.

Jews are not stupid people. It would seem equally wise for the US, Canada, and the European states to emulate their example, preserving their shared heritages and commonalities, which provide strength and unity in the face of adversities and against foreign enemies, both abroad and domestically.

What is sauce for the (jewish) goose is sauce for the (goyim) ganders .

[Jan 21, 2020] WaPo columnist endorses all twelve candidates

Highly recommended!
Are WaPo and NYT both encouraging their readerships to split the 'Anybody But Bernie' vote six ways from Super Tuesday? Fantastic!
Jan 21, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

Cassiodorus on Mon, 01/20/2020 - 11:44am Alexandra Petri tells us:

In a break from tradition, I am endorsing all 12 Democratic candidates.

Of course, this is a parody of the NYT's endorsement of Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren , trying to encourage the "who cares about policy we want an identity-politics win" vote. Petri's funniest moment is:

One of two things is wrong with America: Either the entire system is broken or is on the verge of breaking, and we need someone to bring about radical, structural change, or -- we don't need that at all! Which is it? Who can say? Certainly not me, and that is why I am telling you now which candidate to vote for.

[Jan 21, 2020] Definition of cynicism

Jan 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Sasha , Jan 20 2020 21:07 utc | 28

Definition of cynicism: that the Colombian State, world-renowned for killing social leaders, financing narco and paramilitarism, is the organizer of a summit against terrorism where Mike Pompeo, intellectual author of the murder of Soleimani, is the star.

https://twitter.com/williamserafino/status/1219277223913496578

[Jan 21, 2020] Bernie Sanders Walks Straight Into the Russiagate Trap

Jan 21, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org

Daniel Lazare January 20, 2020 © Photo: Wikimedia The New York Times caused a mini-commotion last week with a front-page story suggesting that Russian intelligence had hacked a Ukrainian energy firm known as Burisma Holdings in order to get dirt on Joe Biden and help Donald Trump win re-election.

But the article was flimsy even by Russiagate standards, and so certain questions inevitably arise. What was it really about? Who's behind it? Who's the real target?

Here's a quick answer. It was about boosting Joe Biden, and its real target was his chief rival, Bernie Sanders. And poor, inept Bernie walked straight into the trap.

The article was flimsy because rather than saying straight out that Russian intelligence hacked Burisma, the company notorious for hiring Biden's son, Hunter, for $50,000 a month job, reporters Nicole Perlroth and Matthew Rosenberg had to rely on unnamed "security experts" to say it for them. While suggesting that the hackers were looking for dirt, they didn't quite say that as well. Instead, they admitted that "it is not yet clear what the hackers found, or precisely what they were searching for."

So we have no idea what they were up to, if anything at all. But the Times then quoted "experts" to the effect that "the timing and scale of the attacks suggest that the Russians could be searching for potentially embarrassing material on the Bidens – the same kind of information that Mr. Trump wanted from Ukraine when he pressed for an investigation of the Bidens and Burisma, setting off a chain of events that led to his impeachment." Since Trump and the Russians are seeking the same information, they must be in cahoots, which is what Democrats have been saying from the moment Trump took office. Given the lack of evidence, this was meaningless as well.

But then came the kicker: two full paragraphs in which a Biden campaign spokesman was permitted to expound on the notion that the Russians hacked Burisma because Biden is the candidate that they and Trump fear the most.

"Donald Trump tried to coerce Ukraine into lying about Joe Biden and a major bipartisan, international anti-corruption victory because he recognized that he can't beat the vice president," the spokesman, Andrew Bates, said. "Now we know that Vladimir Putin also sees Joe Biden as a threat. Any American president who had not repeatedly encouraged foreign interventions of this kind would immediately condemn this attack on the sovereignty of our elections."

If Biden is the number-one threat, then Sanders is not, presumably because the Times sees him as soft on Moscow. If so, it means that he could be in for the same neo-McCarthyism that antiwar candidate Tulsi Gabbard encountered last October when Hillary Clinton blasted her as "the favorite of the Russians." Gabbard had the good sense to blast her right back.

"Thank you @Hillary Clinton. You, the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain. From the day I announced my candidacy, there has been a concerted campaign to destroy my reputation. We wondered who was behind it and why. Now we know – it was always you, through your proxies and powerful allies in the corporate media and war machine ."

If only Sanders did the same. But instead he put out a statement filled with the usual anti-Russian clichés:

"The 2020 election is likely to be the most consequential election in modern American history, and I am alarmed by new reports that Russia recently hacked into the Ukrainian gas company at the center of the impeachment trial, as well as Russia's plans to once again meddle in our elections and in our democracy. After our intelligence agencies unanimously agreed that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, including with thousands of paid ads on Facebook, the New York Times now reports that Russia likely represents the biggest threat of election meddle in 2020, including through disinformation campaigns, promoting hatred, hacking into voting systems, and by exploiting the political divisions sewn [sic] by Donald Trump ."

And so on for another 250 words. Not only did the statement put him in bed with the intelligence agencies, but it makes him party to the big lie that the Kremlin was responsible for putting Trump over the top in 2016.

Let's get one thing straight. Yes, Russian intelligence may have hacked the Democratic National Committee. But cybersecurity was so lax that others may have been rummaging about as well. (CrowdStrike, the company called in to investigate the hack, says it found not one but two cyber-intruders.) Notwithstanding the Mueller report, all the available evidence indicates that Russia did not then pass along thousands of DNC emails that Wikileaks published in July 2016. (Julian Assange's statement six months later that "our source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party" remains uncontroverted.) Similarly, there's no evidence that the Kremlin had anything to do with the $45,000 worth of Facebook ads purchased by a St. Petersburg company known as the Internet Research Agency – Robert Mueller's 2018 indictment of the IRA was completely silent on the subject of a Kremlin connection – and no evidence that the ads, which were politically all over the map, had a remotely significant impact on the 2016 election.

All the rest is a classic CIA disinformation campaign aimed at drumming up anti-Russian hysteria and delegitimizing anyone who fails to go along. And now Bernie Sanders is trying to cover his derrière by hopping on board.

It won't work. Sanders will find himself having to take one loyalty oath after another as the anti-Russia campaign flares anew. But it will never be enough, and he'll only wind up looking tired and weak. Voters will opt for the supposedly more formidable Biden, who will end up as a bug splat on the windshield of Donald Trump's speeding election campaign. With impeachment no longer an issue, he'll be free to behave as dictatorially as he wishes as he settles into his second term.

After inveighing against billionaire's wars, he'll find himself ensnared by the same billionaire war machine. The trouble with Sanders is that he thinks he can win by playing by the rules. But he can't because the rules are stacked against him. He'd know that if his outlook was more radical. His problem is not that he's too much of a socialist. Rather, it's that he's not enough.

[Jan 21, 2020] Iran Counters EU Threat Of Snapback Sanctions

Jan 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Peter AU1 , Jan 20 2020 19:06 utc | 3

U.S. President Donald Trump wants to destroy the nuclear agreement with Iran. He has threatened the EU-3 poodles in Germany, Britain and France with a 25% tariff on their car exports to the U.S. unless they end their role in the JCPOA deal.

In their usual gutlessness the Europeans gave in to the blackmail. They triggered the Dispute Resolution Mechanism of the deal. The mechanism foresees two 15 day periods of negotiations and a five day decision period after which any of the involved countries can escalate the issues to the UN Security Council. The reference to the UNSC would then lead to an automatic reactivation or "snapback" of those UN sanction against Iran that existed before the nuclear deal was signed.

Iran is now countering the European move. Its Foreign Minister Javad Zarif announced that Iran may leave the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) if any of the European countries escalates the issue to the UNSC:

Zarif said that Iran is following up the late decision by European states to trigger the Dispute Resolution Mechanism in the context of the JCPOA, adding that Tehran officially started the discussion on the mechanism on May 8, 2018 when the US withdrew from the deal.

He underlined that Iran sent three letters dated May 10, August 26 and November 2018 to the then EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, announcing in the latter that Iran had officially triggered and ended the dispute resolution mechanism and thus would begin reducing its commitments to the JCPOA.

However, Iran gave a seven-month opportunity to the European Union before it began reducing its commitments in May 8, 2019 which had operational effects two months later, according to Zarif.

Iran's top diplomat said that the country's five steps in compliance reduction would have no similar follow-ups, but Europeans' measure to refer the case to the United Nations Security Council may be followed by Tehran's decision to leave NPT as stated in President Hassan Rouhani's May 2018 letter to other parties to the deal.

He stressed that all the steps are reversible if the European parties to the JCPOA restore their obligations under the deal.

The Europeans certainly do not want Iran to leave the NPT. But as they are cowards and likely to continue to submit themselves to Trump's blackmail that is what they will end up with. Britain is the most likely country to move the issue to the UNSC as it is in urgent need of a trade deal with the U.S. after leaving the EU. Cooke has piece at Strategic Culture on Wurmser who may be the strategist behind Trump admin moves on Iran. Adds to this piece by b.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/01/20/many-matryoska-dolls-america-way-imagining-iran/
"Well (big surprise), Wurmser has now been at work as the author of how to 'implode' and destroy Iran. And his insight? "A targeted strike on someone like Soleimani"; split the Iranian leadership into warring factions; cut an open wound into the flesh of Iran's domestic legitimacy; put a finger into that open wound, and twist it; disrupt – and pretend that the U.S. sides with the Iranian people, against its government."

Overall, the strategy looks to be aimed at weakening and disrupting Iran and removing its allies in the region from the game before US strikes begin.

The downing of the Uki plane and Trump Pompeo immediately saying they were with the Iranian people would fit very well into this strategy though it is not mentioned by Crooke.


Peter AU1 , Jan 20 2020 19:14 utc | 4

And in Syria, US territory is becoming more defined. US intends to keep control of both Dier Ezzor and Hasakah oilfields along the Iraq border. Iraq Kurdistan is a secure base for the US and as well as being on Iran's border gives access through Hasakah province to the Syrian oilfields.
https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/us-forces-block-syrian-russian-troops-from-access-to-key-highway-photos/
vk , Jan 20 2020 19:17 utc | 5
The Europeans certainly do not want Iran to leave the NPT. But as they are cowards and likely to continue to submit themselves to Trump's blackmail that is what they will end up with. Britain is the most likely country to move the issue to the UNSC as it is in urgent need of a trade deal with the U.S. after leaving the EU.

We shouldn't humanize entire nations when analyzing geopolitics.

The Europeans are simply aware of the objective fact they are de facto occupied countries thanks to the many de facto American bases scattered around Western and Central Europe (Germany being the country with the most American bases in the world). They obey the USA for the simple fact they are occupied by the USA.

That's why some neocarolingians/European nationalists mainly from Germany, France and the Benelux (e.g. Macron, Juncker) avidly defend the creation of an European Army. You don't need to be a geopolitics genius to infer the grave consequences such move would have to the European peoples' welfare.

As long as NATO exists, Western Europe will remain firmly in American hands.

Besides, there's also the ideological factor.

Many Europeans still see today the USA as their "most illustrious child", their continuation as the Western Civilization's center. New York is the new Paris+London. They see themselves as the dwarf countries they really are and rationalize that, ultimately, it is better to live under the hegemony of another Western nation than under the hegemony of the "yellows" (i.e. Chinese) or the "slavics" (i.e. Russia). They really see themselves as a true North Atlantic family, which share the same race and the same cultural values.

These Atlanticists are specially numerous in the UK, which is not surprising, given its geographic location and the fact that it was indeed the country that founded the USA.

Walter , Jan 20 2020 19:17 utc | 6
Of course Iran and what happens in Iraq are joined at the hip...

Professor Maranadi>

"Seyed Mohammad Marandi
@s_m_marandi
·
10m
Many believe an economic crisis lies ahead of the US & the timing of the crash will determine the fate of Trump's re-election bid. However, another threat looms. If the US fails to swiftly comply with Iraqi demands to end the occupation, the resistance will become very violent."

and in Germany?

USA warnen: "Unmittelbar bevorstehender Angriff auf US-Militärs in Deutschland". RT/D

"Pulling back" may suit the Clowns, but agreement requires more than that if there's to be no child.

The Clowns are not contract capable. The only "deal" is for the imperial forces to leave the ME... the only deal is action....Of one sort or another. The clowns imagine a glorious victory over smoking ruins.

Careful what ya' wish fer, fellas...

erik , Jan 20 2020 19:21 utc | 7
Fatwa or not, Iran must have the bomb, for the same reason NoKo had to build it. It's the only way to lance the boil and move on from under the incessant threats from the United States. We won't let up, even if it takes 100 years, and they have to know this. They do have the engineering know how to do it; now they must, but they will have to be discrete and stockpile enough 90% U235, then fiddle around with the details involved in assembling a staged device with enough yield so it's understood by all. I expect this whole process will now move forward.
bjd , Jan 20 2020 19:21 utc | 8
Iran should finally make haste with:
a. developing nukes
b. the asymmetric warfare as we move into election season


tucenz , Jan 20 2020 19:25 utc | 9
So, what does Iran actually gain by leaving the NPT?
Guy THORNTON , Jan 20 2020 19:28 utc | 10
One is reminded of Austria-Hungary's ultimatum to Serbia in 1914: "As the German ambassador to Vienna reported to his government on July 14, the [note] to Serbia is being composed so that the possibility of its being accepted is practically excluded." As Churchill wrote at the time: "it seemed absolutely impossible that any State in the world could accept it, or that any acceptance, however abject, would satisfy the aggressor."

Uncle Sam is fooling nobody.

SteveK9 , Jan 20 2020 19:31 utc | 11
Many people refer to the European countries as 'occupied' (vk) and that is the reason they submit to American policy. I don't believe that is the case. The number of troops is far too small to 'occupy' a country that was resisting an occupation. Those troops were there as a 'trigger' to initiate a conflict with the Soviet Union if it invaded Europe. These days they are just there as some kind of vestigial legacy, and don't really mean anything. The US exercises its control over the EU and elsewhere through its control of international finance and trade. This system benefits the elite of those countries that are part of the 'empire', so has substantial support from influential people inside those countries. Unless and until there is some groundswell of support among the peoples of those countries to change that system, they will continue to be an obedient part of the US empire.

It's not even clear that resistance isn't futile. Those countries that want to maintain independence like Russia, China, Iran, Turkey (?), India (?) also have a strong internal attraction to Western 'culture'. As much as some denigrate that culture as shallow, materialistic, and worthless, it seems to have a very universal attraction around the World, particularly among the young. There are a lot of people everywhere that would like to be a part of a global empire, with a hedonistic Western-style culture. Sad, but true.

Abe , Jan 20 2020 19:32 utc | 12
I tend to agree with comments here saying Iran needs to make bomb.

North Korea proved that truth 100%. No amount of agreements or "guarantees" with usual lying suspects will provide security to Iran - only hard cold nuclear deterrence will.

This time, now, Iran has enough conventional & asymmetrical firepower to deter its enemies long enough for it to develop nukes (few years?).

It already has proven means to deliver warheads, now it needs them.

time2wakeup , Jan 20 2020 19:50 utc | 13
I strongly concur with several other commentators here. Iran should immediately commence enriching uranium to weapons grade levels and assemble at least 10-20 nuclear warheads ASAP if they ever hope to remain an intact, non-US/Israeli dominated country.

The US understands ONLY raw power and who it perceives has it (Israel, North Korea..etc.), and who doesn't (Libya, Syria, Iraq..etc.).

The NPT "Treaty" is nothing more than a cabal of nuclear armed countries attempting to cartel who's allowed to posses a nuclear weapons arsenal and all the rest of the world countries that's ultimately at their mercy.

Cornelius von Hamb , Jan 20 2020 19:59 utc | 14
"So, what does Iran actually gain by leaving the NPT?"

For one thing, it means they won't have to violate that treaty and international law if they decide to take steps that wouldn't be allowed under the NPT terms. It's easy to look at the lawless rogue US regime and forget this, but: some countries actually do try to have some semblance of abiding by and respecting treaties and the rule of law.

Nemesiscalling , Jan 20 2020 20:01 utc | 15
@2 Nemo

I am always taken aback when people compare unsavory characters to members of the primate family. Please do not engage in "zoomorphism." And I am dead fucking serious. Animals do not deserve to be denigrated in such a way. Keep your insults grounded in the human sphere.

lgfocus , Jan 20 2020 20:02 utc | 16
PIERACCINI has a very good article on Strategic Culture on what is happening to The Evil Empires dominance
The End of U.S. Military Dominance: Unintended Consequences Forge a Multipolar World Order
lysias , Jan 20 2020 20:03 utc | 17
The U.S. has already used that tactic of insisting on concessions known to be unacceptable to the other side with the intention of causing war at least twice: to Japan in 1941 and to Yugoslavia before the Kosovo War.
goldhoarder , Jan 20 2020 20:08 utc | 18
Does Iran really need a nuke? They have proven they can hit a US base and Saudi oil infrastructure. It is believed they already have.... or at least have the capability of mining the Strait of Hormuz. If the global financial elite can't get oil out of the gulf... what happens to the global economy? My guess is it would implode. Isn't this the real and only reason the US hasn't bombed Iran back to the stone age yet? They already have deterrence. The US claims about restoring deterrence was just the projection of sociopaths and psychopaths.
tucenz , Jan 20 2020 20:12 utc | 19
re:Cornelius von Hamb | Jan 20 2020 19:59 utc | 14
"For one thing, it means they won't have to violate that treaty and international law if they decide to take steps that wouldn't be allowed under the NPT terms."

Iran says it won't develop nuclear weapons (anti Islamic), so what steps could they possibly be not wanting to rule out?

Virgile , Jan 20 2020 20:17 utc | 20
The state of the JCPOA today bears a lot on Trump's negotiations with North Korea.
Kim Un Jung has be spooked by Bolton comparing North Korea's fate to Libya and by the ease with which US withdrew from the JCPOA. Negotiations have halted.
Trump needs to show that he is serious with deals that he guaranties will be binding the partners more seriously than the flawed JCPOA.
Iran has only one choice: Press Europe to take a stand against the USA, (which will probably not happen) then pull out officially from the JCPOA that has become a liability with no advantages and calls for re-negotiation. Trump will certainly jump in and will try to get the best deal possible by squeezing Iran on its regional role. Yet he can't have too excessive demands as he wants to make a similar deal with North Korea.
Iran could ask for withholding sanctions during negotiations. It could take years to finalize the deal. In the meantime the regional situation could change greatly
That seems to be the only path for Iran.
Laguerre , Jan 20 2020 20:27 utc | 21
According to what is said here, the US is still afraid of attacking Iran, and is going for internal disruption, and sanctions. So what's new? It's been the same policy for forty years. The fact that Trump doesn't like long-term wars, and will only go for a big bang without consequences, is neither here nor there.

Rouhani and his team, including Zarif, seem to me pretty bright, and capable of coping with the politics. Relighting nuclear refinement is essentially a political move.

jared , Jan 20 2020 20:30 utc | 22
Again, find it hard to believe that they are in fact such quisling sycophants to the US.
Suspect they rely on Trump to provide cover for the fact that they (like him) are beholden to higher powers.
winston2 , Jan 20 2020 20:35 utc | 23
The USE of WMDs is haram.
Words mean things B, much as the PC police have twisted their meanings,and even fatwas can be reversed.
The frantic efforts to corral the USSRs nukes were never anything like 100% effective,500+ warheads and tonnes of
plutonium were NEVER accounted for from the KNOWN inventory,who knows what the unknown inventory was ?
Generals of Rocket Forces had to eat,and there were willing buyers for their only wares.
A CIA assessment I was made privy to,the old boys network for an opinion from outside, claimed the Iranians did not have the ability to keep those warheads in working order,which begs a question,how many ?
I told my old schoolmate they were wrong in their assessment, they've had the capability since the Shahs nuclear program.I know Iran very well,worked and lived there ,during the Shah times.

[Jan 20, 2020] NYT Editors Hedge Their Bets, Endorse Warren Klobuchar

Fake news are consistent: Klobuchar and not Tulsi ?
Jan 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

...

in what the paper described as a "significant break with convention", the members of its editorial board have selected not one, but two candidates - both of them women.

Its chosen candidates are: Elizabeth Warren, the Republican-turned-progressive who for years posed as a Native American to game America's system of affirmative action - and Amy Klobuchar, the midwestern senator from the great state of Minneapolis with a reputation for being an unhinged dragon-lady boss.

That the NYT selected the two remaining women among the top tier of contenders is hardly a surprise: This is, after all, the same newspaper that kicked off #MeToo by dropping the first expose about Harvey Weinstein's history of abusing, harassing and assaulting women just days before the New Yorker followed up with the first piece from Ronan Farrow.

...After all, if the editors went ahead with their true No. 1 choice, Klobuchar, a candidate who has very little chance of actually capturing the nomination, they would look foolish.


DeePeePDX , 2 hours ago link

NYT is like that ex you dumped that won't stop trying to get your attention with increasingly desperate and pathetic acts.

Griffin , 2 hours ago link

Warren is a much better candidate than Biden is in my view.

Warren seems to get into trouble sometimes for all kinds of reasons like most people do, but the problems are usually trivial, more silly than dangerous. There is tendency in her to stick to her guns even when she does not know what she is doing.

When i run into something unexpected or something that seems to be something i don't understand, i usually backtrack and look at the problem from some distance to see what happened and why before trying to correct or fix the problem, rather than just doing something.

Its not a perfect plan, but it seems to work most of the time.

https://9gag.com/gag/ap5AO19

Someone Else , 2 hours ago link

The tennis shoe I threw away last week is a better candidate than Biden. So that's not saying much.

TheManj , 3 hours ago link

NYT remains a joke. Their endorsement is straight up virtue-signalling.

Here's some reality: Warren's latest antics have cemented her image as dishonest and high-strung. Knoblocker has no charisma and remains practically unknown.

John Hansen , 3 hours ago link

Why are foreign ownedNew York Times allowed to meddle in the election?

Where is the investigation?

pitz , 4 hours ago link

I've personally sat down and talked with Klobuchar. Not a lot of depth of intelligence in her, that's for sure, easily manipulated by lobbyists. Warren, at least, knows what the problem is, although she might have swallowed the proverbial Democratic party "kool aid".

spam filter , 4 hours ago link

Warren is the deep state establishment pick. If you must vote Dem, pick someone that isn't, or one the establishment seems to work against. Better yet, vote Trump, safe bet on gun rights, freedoms.

SheHunter , 5 hours ago link

Here's the link. It is a gd editorial.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/01/19/opinion/amy-klobuchar-elizabeth-warren-nytimes-endorsement.html

[Jan 20, 2020] Fake Investigations... Designed To Fool by Bryce Buchanan

Highly recommended!
Money quote: "The Deep State and the media appear to believe that we are fooled by these fraudulent investigations. We are not fooled. We are tired of the lies and the arrogance."
Notable quotes:
"... For the Deep State, hiding and destroying evidence of guilt is standard operating procedure. They simply report a "glitch" that destroyed the key evidence and that's the end of it. Or, they simply redact the portions of the record that would expose the truth. To my memory, no one ever suffers any consequences for this. Even now, Director Wray and others are tenaciously withholding evidence. ..."
"... When Anthony Weiner's laptop was found to contain over 340,000 Hillary emails in a file named "insurance", the FBI did not rejoice about finally getting the 'lost' email. No, they hid the discovery for weeks until a New York agent threatened to go public. Then, quite miraculously, Peter Strzok found a way to very quickly examine 340,000 messages and found that there was nothing at all that was incriminating. No rational person would believe that. ..."
"... The dirty cops are so confident in their ability to deceive the public that they just announced that the FISA court reforms will be managed by David Kris. Kris has been a defender of FBI misconduct and he attacked Devin Nunes for telling the truth about the FISA court. They don't even care about the appearance of fairness. They do what they want. ..."
"... Because there was nothing, and because it was known from the start that, " there is no big there, there ", the Mueller Team used several irrelevant legal actions to prolong the belief that they were closing in on Trump. Mueller arranged for their media partner, CNN, to film the early morning swat team raid on 67 year old Roger Stone's home. It was very dramatic and very un-necessary. Also, some small-time Russian troll farms were indicted so that the word "Russia" could fill the news, prolonging the desired myth. One of the indicted firms did not even exist. The others did not appear to favor any one candidate and much of their activity was after the election ..."
"... Mueller led a 40 million dollar investigation looking for a crime. That effort failed at finding any collusion, but it did play a role in the Democrats winning a majority in the House of Representatives. That then enabled another investigation of an imaginary crime for political purposes. A scripted hearsay 'whistleblower' submitted lies that allowed Adam Schiff to continue his own campaign of lies. You know the rest of the story. Trump is being falsely charged for doing what Biden bragged about doing. ..."
Jan 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Bryce Buchanan via The Burning Platform blog,

Many government officials with long entrenched power are unwilling to give up any of that power. In their minds, they have a right to control our lives as they see fit, with complete indifference to our wishes. To avoid rebellion, they need to hide this fact as much as possible. They want the citizens to believe the lie that we are a nation of laws with equal justice under the law. To advance this lie, they have staged many theatrical productions that they call "investigations". They try to give us the impression that they want to expose the facts and punish wrongdoing.

Most of the big 'investigations' in the news in recent years have not been at all what they pretended to be. The sham investigations of Hillary's email, or the Clinton Foundation, or Weiner's laptop, or Uranium One, or Mueller's witch hunt, or Huber's big nothing, or the IG's whitewash, or the Schiff-Pelosi charades, have all been premeditated deceptions.

There are three types of investigations that call for different deceptions by the Deep State.
  1. The first type is the rare honest investigation . Examples would be the attempt to find the truth about Fast and Furious (Obama's gunrunning operation), or the IRS scandal (Obama's weaponizing of government). In response to real investigations, the criminals do two things lie and hide evidence. Key evidence, even if it is under subpoena, just disappears. In the IRS case, Lois Lerner's relevant email and the email of 6 others involved in the scheme was just "lost". The IRS "worked tirelessly" to find the email, but hard drives had been destroyed and back-up drives were missing, so the subpoenaed evidence could not be provided.

    For the Deep State, hiding and destroying evidence of guilt is standard operating procedure. They simply report a "glitch" that destroyed the key evidence and that's the end of it. Or, they simply redact the portions of the record that would expose the truth. To my memory, no one ever suffers any consequences for this. Even now, Director Wray and others are tenaciously withholding evidence.

  2. The second type of 'investigation' is when the Deep State pretends to investigate the Deep State . In these 'investigations' the outcome is known in advance, but the script calls for pretending, sometimes for years, that it an honest investigation is underway.

    There was nothing about the Hillary investigations that had anything to do with finding facts. The purpose from the beginning was exoneration. Key witnesses were given immunity and many were allowed to attend each other's interviews. There were no early morning swat team raids to gather evidence. Evidence was destroyed with no consequences.

    When Anthony Weiner's laptop was found to contain over 340,000 Hillary emails in a file named "insurance", the FBI did not rejoice about finally getting the 'lost' email. No, they hid the discovery for weeks until a New York agent threatened to go public. Then, quite miraculously, Peter Strzok found a way to very quickly examine 340,000 messages and found that there was nothing at all that was incriminating. No rational person would believe that.

    The dirty cops are so comfortable about getting away with lies like this that Huber can announce that he found no corruption, when it is readily apparent that he did not interview key witnesses . He even turned away whistleblowers who wanted to submit evidence. A real investigator, Charles Ortel, could have given Huber a long list of Clinton Foundation crimes . Like the Weiner laptop fake investigation, you don't find crimes if you don't really look for them.

    The dirty cops are so confident in their ability to deceive the public that they just announced that the FISA court reforms will be managed by David Kris. Kris has been a defender of FBI misconduct and he attacked Devin Nunes for telling the truth about the FISA court. They don't even care about the appearance of fairness. They do what they want.

    IG investigations have proven to be flimsy exonerations of Deep State criminality. Any honest observer can see that there was a carefully organized plan by top officials to control the outcome of the Presidential election. This corrupt plan involved lying to the FISA court, illegal surveillance and unmasking of citizens and conspiring with media partners to make sure lies were widely circulated to voters. The government conspirators and the majority of the media were functioning as nothing more than a branch of Hillary's campaign. That's a lot of power aimed at destroying Trump.

    To an IG investigator, this monumental scandal was presented to us as nothing to be very concerned about. Yes, a few minor rules were inadvertently broken and there did appear to be some bias, but there was no reason at all to think that bias effected any actions. If the agencies involved make a training video and set aside a day for a training meeting, then that should satisfy us completely.

  3. The third type of investigation involves investigating an imaginary crime for political reasons . The Mueller investigation and the impeachment investigation are two examples of this. Probably as a justification for illegal surveillance they were already doing, the conspirators pretended that there was powerful evidence that Trump was colluding with Putin to win the election. Lies about this issue propelled the country into 3 years of stories about nothing stories and investigations about something that never happened. Never in the history of nothing has nothing been so thoroughly covered.

    Because there was nothing, and because it was known from the start that, " there is no big there, there ", the Mueller Team used several irrelevant legal actions to prolong the belief that they were closing in on Trump. Mueller arranged for their media partner, CNN, to film the early morning swat team raid on 67 year old Roger Stone's home. It was very dramatic and very un-necessary. Also, some small-time Russian troll farms were indicted so that the word "Russia" could fill the news, prolonging the desired myth. One of the indicted firms did not even exist. The others did not appear to favor any one candidate and much of their activity was after the election .

    Mueller led a 40 million dollar investigation looking for a crime. That effort failed at finding any collusion, but it did play a role in the Democrats winning a majority in the House of Representatives. That then enabled another investigation of an imaginary crime for political purposes. A scripted hearsay 'whistleblower' submitted lies that allowed Adam Schiff to continue his own campaign of lies. You know the rest of the story. Trump is being falsely charged for doing what Biden bragged about doing.

The Deep State and the media appear to believe that we are fooled by these fraudulent investigations. We are not fooled. We are tired of the lies and the arrogance.

We are increasingly angry that there is a double standard of justice in this country. There is a protected class of people who are not prosecuted for their crimes. This needs to end.


insanelysane , 9 minutes ago link

The sheeple are easily led including the opposition sheeple. Two quick examples:

1. In the email scandal, Hillary was guilty, beyond a shadow of a doubt, of violating the FOIA by conducting all State Department business via a personal email She was guilty. Yet her team, listen up sheeple, her team made it about whether or not classified information was transmitted. This is a gray area which could be defended. She knew she was guilty of the FOIA violation because it was the whole reason the server was set up in the first place. Yet she got away with it because everyone focused on the classifications of emails which was a gray area.

2. In the Weiner / Abedin laptop matter, it is and was illegal for any of these emails to be on a personal computer. Again, guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt. Yet again everyone focused on what was in the emails and not the fact that just possessing the emails was illegal. So the FBI was able to say nothing new here and let it drop. If another group such as the US Marshals was in charge of this investigation, Weiner / Abedin would have been fully charged with possessing these emails. They would have been pressured to reveal why it was named Insurance and have been asked to cut a deal.

DonGenaro , 10 minutes ago link

Assange rots in jail, and Maxwell walks free, while Trump is busy pleasuring every Zionist in sight

East Indian , 23 minutes ago link

A comment in 'The Gateway Pundit':

"Andy McCabe admits lying to the FBI and nothing happens. The FBI lies to Gen. Flynn and he faces jail time. Justice in Deep State America."

- reader ricocat1

hardmedicine , 38 minutes ago link

his name was Seth Rich!

hoffstetter , 40 minutes ago link

The purpose of show trials is to fool those that don't pay attention. There are millions of US citizens that get their news from their neighbor or a narrow set of information that is disseminated by media that parrot their providers verbatim without challenge. Such people are quite regularly fooled and some vote.

buckboy , 57 minutes ago link

We, the People are free to bitch and moan.

marlin2009 , 1 hour ago link

The double standard justice system in America is appalling and even worse than communists. Americans really don’t have any credit to criticize communist countries. The ruling class is no better than them.

The media and ruling classes have tried decades to brainwashed the mass to believe that the less or even not corrupted.

Deep Snorkeler , 1 hour ago link

Trump's Non-Crimes

Trump University Fraud: Trump paid fine

Trump Taj Mahal Casino Money Laundering: Trump paid fine

Trump Foundation Fraud: Trump paid fine

Trump Campaign Law Violations: pending

Trump Obstruction:

Trump Abuse of Power:

Trump...

Old Hippie Patriot , 1 hour ago link

They could have never pulled off the JFK assassination had the internet existed back in 1963. Time for the Epstein *********** to be posted on the internet. Even the asleep would realize the unimaginable evil that has been controlling this world for millenia.

HANGTHEOWL , 1 hour ago link

I am not sure about that,,we have the net now,,and although there are many of us that pay attention and figure out their crimes and hoax's,,,,they still get away with them,,,,,,NASA still gets 59 million a day to fake the space program,,,

monty42 , 1 hour ago link

Why not? They pulled off 9/11. And what do we have? The same as with the JFK murder. People still arguing over how it was done, and ignoring the obvious, historically established now, of who benefited and why. Grassy knoll, 2nd shooter, or directed energy weapons or explosives, internet or not, still chasing the tail.

HANGTHEOWL , 57 minutes ago link

True, they murdered 3,000 of us on 9-11,,right on TV, using plainly obvious controlled demolitions, and to date they have still gotten away with it...

[Jan 20, 2020] The Iraqis want American out, and one day American will leave.

Jan 20, 2020 | www.unz.com

Ko , says: Show Comment January 20, 2020 at 7:23 pm GMT

American interests are to protect oil companies, and fight the inevtible douche (british definition) American's will feel once the dollar is deflated. In a lesser way, wars and interventions are indeed to protect americans – from a massive, sudden, econimic depression of the likes the world has never seen. China and the rest of the world no American empire is going to retract. I only hope we have a sensible leader who can parlay Ameria's role in the world to become a partner in the BRI – ion some way.

The Asia Pivot was never destined to be anything but bluster. Asia is lost, the Asian nations will satellite around China. Southeast Asia is even more lost, Cambodia mioght as well fly the Chinese flag, Thailand will pretend, as it always has, to never have been colonized. Well, Thailand was/is a dog of a nation that's laid down on its back for every nation advancing on it's border.

Myanmar just signed on to the BRI and has given China its derired dams. It's already full of Chinese. The only thing holding China back in Myanmar is the amount of money it has to give spoon to the military, generals, cronies,etc. China already owns almost all of Manadaly and thousands of square milies surrounding Mandalay. It has gas and oil fields in a warm water where those pesky Bengali Jihadis once tried to dominate.
https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/myanmar-china-sign-dozens-deals-bri-projects-cooperation-xis-visit.html

Indial too has bought into Myanmar.
https://www.irrawaddy.com/opinion/guest-column/india-many-reasons-engage-myanmar.html

So, it's no wonder Iraq is the last stop of the retreat from the Middle East. The Chinese are moving forward with only the Saudis standing in the way. And who the hell really likes the House of Saud? They're doomed soon, and good riddence. The Iraqis want American out, and one day American will leave.

[Jan 20, 2020] I don't want to be cruel. But in the Trump Era, we must be prepared to face a certain amount of callousness in politics. Just imagine all the terrible shots Mr. Trump could take at Mrs. Warren:

"Mrs. Warren is singularly and excruciatingly unpleasant."
Jan 20, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Elizabeth Warren is a Professional Scold and an Academic Elitist

... ... ...

Again, I don't want to be cruel. But in the Trump Era, we must be prepared to face a certain amount of callousness in politics. Just imagine all the terrible shots Mr. Trump could take at Mrs. Warren:

"Liz, I like you a lot. I think you're a nice person. But you need to calm down. I don't know if you take any medication -- your blood pressure must be very high. I'm worried about you. I really am. Relax. Put on a nice sweater, have a cup of tea, grade some papers."

"I went to Wharton, okay? A much better school than Harvard, by the way. Harvard used to be a very good school. Now it's failing, because of people like you. And I did very well at Wharton. Very well. I don't need any more lectures. Save it for your students, professor."

"Professor Pocahontas, I call her. Iron Eyes Cody had more Indian blood than Liz! Remember him? 'Keep America Beautiful.' That was his thing. I like that. He would vote for Trump. But maybe he'd vote for his fellow Native American. I don't know."

"I'm doing very well with the Latino community, even the Latina community. Not so much with the Lateen-ex community. But that's okay. Liz can have them. All seven of them. What do you do with a Lateen-ex ? Blow your nose with it?"

[Jan 20, 2020] Important clarification about MadCow disease

Jan 15, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

DC_rez , January 16, 2020 at 16:08

Are you insinuating Rachel Maddow is a journalist?

[Jan 20, 2020] Devastating documentary sheds new light on Ukrainegate: Biden as the poster boy for nepotism and corruption.

A new documentary by Olivier Berruyer, editor of the website les-crises.fr . See https://videos.les-crises.fr/embed/player.php
Jan 15, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

Eugenie Basile , January 15, 2020 at 02:01

I guess this makes Biden the most solid candidate MSM and DNC can deliver.

[Jan 20, 2020] The US has turned into such a fake bullshit nation that nothing the people say who run the place can be trusted.

Jan 20, 2020 | www.unz.com

zard , says: Show Comment January 20, 2020 at 6:29 pm GMT

The US has turned into such a fake bullshit nation that nothing the people say who run the place can be trusted. It is totally a Masonic land where money is God and the decent people are exploited and oppressed. Free speech and democracy are only kosher if the issue is something like Pooper-Scooper Enforcement Officer with no real money or power involved, unless of course there is an impressive uniform which goes with the position.

The brainwashed masses are presently transfixed to their TV's watching the theatre of the fake-impeachment pageant unfold, dutifully believing it is all real. All the performers strut about keeping to their carefully-scripted lines. Like the establishment-hatched fake Russia-bashing campaign, it is all theater. With the impeachment drama intended the polarize the entire nation, the people are once-again being caresully herded into their red and blue stalls in ensure nothing really populist, and not controlled by the establishment cabal running things, gets off of the ground. the entire performance will be so carefully choreographed, on a pro and anti Trump basis that it will also ensure that whomever the ruling cabal anoints will be chosen for the top puppet job.

Like in the US midterm elections in 2018, issues involving US foreign policy were mum. In the coming presidential election, Americans will see no real difference in the leading contenders' position regarding foreign affairs, which most Americans in any case now believe should be left to the military and the agencies who know best how to protect and advance their interests. Once again, any real discussion or debate on foreign policy during the coming election campaign will be taboo, and with the careful censorship of the alternate media, and with no real protest from the American people, who in fact become willing accomplices to any further unjust wars and atrocities their so-called "free" nation commits.

Americans are brought up on Hollywood imagery, life-styles and fantasy. The corporate media and entertainment industry is so pervasive that most of the people cannot discern the difference between fantasy and reality, and as result of their constantly-fed addiction, they now demand more and more theatre and even wars to satisfy their cravings. A false-flag attack, 9/11, on their own people coming from their diabolical "owners", results in being no more than a thrilling performance to make life seem more real. If there was any reality to the people they would long ago have arrested the thousands of insider perps involved, (especially deep-state ones in and out of the US), and long ago they would hung everyone of them.

[Jan 20, 2020] Trump s erraticness is a strong signal he fits to a pattern the Russians have used to depict the US: not agreement capable

Jan 14, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

January 14, 2020 at 12:31 pm

I would put it a bit differently. Trump's erraticness is a strong signal he fits to a pattern the Russians have used to depict the US: "not agreement capable". That's what I meant by he selects for weak partners. His negotiating style signals that he is a bad faith actor. Who would put up with that unless you had to, or you could somehow build that into your price?

Yves Smith Post author, January 15, 2020 at 12:16 am

I have no idea who your mythical Russians are. I know two people who did business in Russia before things got stupid and they never had problems with getting paid. Did you also miss that "Russians" have bought so much real estate in London that they mainly don't live in that you could drop a neutron bomb in the better parts of Chelsea and South Kensington and not kill anyone?

Pray tell, how could they acquire high end property if they are such cheats?

Boomka, January 15, 2020 at 6:38 am

somebody was eating too much US propaganda? how about this for starters:

https://www.straitstimes.com/world/europe/26-years-on-russia-set-to-repay-all-soviet-unions-foreign-debt

"It is politically important: Russia has paid off the USSR's debt to a country that no longer exists," said Mr Yuri Yudenkov, a professor at the Russian University of Economics and Public Administration. "This is very important in terms of reputation: the ability to repay on time, the responsibility," he told AFP.

It would have been very easy for Russia to say it cannot be held responsible for USSR's debts, especially in this case where debt is to a non-existent entity.

drumlin woodchuckles, January 14, 2020 at 7:09 pm

In Syria, the Department of Defense was supporting one group of pet jihadis. The CIA was supporting a different group of pet jihadis.

At times the two groups of pet jihadis were actively fighting each other. I am not sure how the DoD and CIA felt about their respective pet jihadis fighting each other. However they felt, they kept right on arming and supporting their respective groups ...

[Jan 19, 2020] It is unclear what percentage of Congress are alcoholics, but judging from their statements looks like more then half

The situation in neoliberal MSM probably is close to a real epidemics ;-)
Jan 19, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Last of the Middle Class , 2 hours ago link

Finally, a group Pelosi can lead and be proud of .

[Jan 19, 2020] The anti-China conservative faction which Trump represents is screwing up the Pax Americana and petrodollar recycling into Treasury Bonds, by destroying the monetary scam they set up to control the world

Notable quotes:
"... The "movement conservatives" leader was Barry Goldwater who Trump's dad was a big supporter of, and Trump was raised in and among AND represents that faction of elite power. ..."
"... The LIEO or Rules Based Order is based on being closely allied with European elites against Russia to contain the Middle East and Central Asia (Iran and Afghanistan) based on Zbigniew Brzezinski's Grand Chessboard theory. ..."
"... The 1950's triangle of power was superseded by the oligarch's counter revolution that led to supranational trade institutions. Democracies were relegated to a secondary status and run by technocrats for the benefit of oligarchs until Donald Trump. He is a nationalist plutocrat; admittedly a lower level one, a NY casino owner who went bankrupt. Mike Bloomberg represents the other side, a globalist billionaire. Elizabeth Warren is a top level technocrat but no politician. ..."
"... The endless wars are fought to make a profit for the plutocracy and destabilize nations to make foreign corporate exploitation possible. That was why Hunter Biden was in Ukraine. The conflicts are not meant to be won. ..."
"... He makes stupid mistakes. Through the barrage of propaganda, reports of shell shocked troops, destroyed buildings and 11 concussion causalities from Iran's missile attack made it into the news. The military must be pissed. The aura of invincibility is gone. ..."
"... Donald Trump should be removed by the 25th amendment before he mistakenly triggers the Apocalypse. Except the 1% politician VP, Mike Pence, believes that the End of Time is God's Will and necessary for his Ascension. ..."
"... The power triangle theory is less in line with the facts than a simple duality: Wall Street & the MIC, you have to advance interests of both or you're out. ..."
"... Second, the 'meeting in the Tank' sounds like complete b.s. designed to sell books ..."
"... And the 'rules-based international order' rings very false as something that would be said with a straight face by real MIC insiders, which those generals are. ..."
"... Not only sick of wars, his mobster approach to foreign policy and allies is an embarrassment to RINO and Independents. ..."
"... Humanity is in a civilization war about public/private finance being fought by proxies and character actors like Trump. Maybe after this war is over, and if we survive, we can all communicate about the social contract directly instead of through proxy fronts. Do you want to live in a sharing/caring world or a selfish/competitive one?....socialism or barbarism? ..."
Jan 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Kali , Jan 17 2020 19:26 utc | 7

That Power Elite theory which was written in the 50s by C.W. Mills is incomplete for today because in the 60s there was a split among the power elite between the new "movement conservatives" and the old eastern bank establishment. The conservatives were more focused on the pacific region and containing China, and the liberal establishment were more focused on Europe and containing Russia.

The "movement conservatives" leader was Barry Goldwater who Trump's dad was a big supporter of, and Trump was raised in and among AND represents that faction of elite power. In fact he is the 1st president from that faction of the elites to hold the oval office, many people thought Reagan was, but he was brought under the control of George Bush and the liberal elites after taking office after he was injured by a Bush related person. The different agendas of the the two factions are out in the open today with one being focused on anti-Russia and the other being focused on anti-China. It has been like that since the 1960s.

The anti-China conservative faction which Trump represents (and which unleashed the VietNam War) is screwing up the "rules based order" aka "Liberal International Economic Order" aka Pax Americana which was set up after WWII at Bretton Woods and then altered in the 1970s with the creation of the petrodollar and petrodollar recycling into Treasury Bonds, by destroying the monetary scam they set up to control the world

It needed the cooperation of the elites of Europe and elsewhere, which Trump and his faction doesn't care about -- they only care about short term profits on Wall St.

The LIEO or Rules Based Order is based on being closely allied with European elites against Russia to contain the Middle East and Central Asia (Iran and Afghanistan) based on Zbigniew Brzezinski's Grand Chessboard theory. China trade is important for them, Russia is their main enemy. ( War of the Worlds: The New Class ). Trump and his movement conservative faction is ruining their world order for their own short term gain on Wall St.


VietnamVet , Jan 17 2020 22:34 utc | 44
The 1950's triangle of power was superseded by the oligarch's counter revolution that led to supranational trade institutions. Democracies were relegated to a secondary status and run by technocrats for the benefit of oligarchs until Donald Trump. He is a nationalist plutocrat; admittedly a lower level one, a NY casino owner who went bankrupt. Mike Bloomberg represents the other side, a globalist billionaire. Elizabeth Warren is a top level technocrat but no politician.

The endless wars are fought to make a profit for the plutocracy and destabilize nations to make foreign corporate exploitation possible. That was why Hunter Biden was in Ukraine. The conflicts are not meant to be won.

Donald Trump is way for over his head and getting old. His competent staff are in jail or fired. Apparently no one told him about the thousands of ballistic missiles that can destroy the Gulf States' oil facilities at will and make the buildup for the invasion of Iran impossible. He makes stupid mistakes. Through the barrage of propaganda, reports of shell shocked troops, destroyed buildings and 11 concussion causalities from Iran's missile attack made it into the news. The military must be pissed. The aura of invincibility is gone.

Donald Trump should be removed by the 25th amendment before he mistakenly triggers the Apocalypse. Except the 1% politician VP, Mike Pence, believes that the End of Time is God's Will and necessary for his Ascension.

fairleft , Jan 18 2020 1:21 utc | 81
The power triangle theory is less in line with the facts than a simple duality: Wall Street & the MIC, you have to advance interests of both or you're out.

Second, the 'meeting in the Tank' sounds like complete b.s. designed to sell books, with an obvious sales strategy, as b said, of pleasuring both the pro/anti Trump sides of the book-buying bourgeoisie.

And the 'rules-based international order' rings very false as something that would be said with a straight face by real MIC insiders, which those generals are.

Finally, whether Trump ridiculed the generals or not, that's a sideshow to entertain the rubes. Trump's always been on side with the big picture Neocon approach essential to the MIC. Their global dominance or chaos approach is essential to keeping military budgets gigantic until 'forever'. True that Trump whined about endless wars as a 2016 campaign strategy, but he was either b.s.-ing or at the time didn't get that they are part of the overall Neocon approach he backs.

Passer by , Jan 17 2020 22:04 utc | 35

Not a very good analysis by b because this does not explain why 90 % of US corporate media is hostile to Trump. This does not happen without significant elite support.

That Trump is backed by the military faction is something i have been saying often. But there are forces within the government faction that dislike him, for example the CIA.

As for the corporate faction, it is not true that free money made them supportive of Trump. Rather the faction is divided - between the globalist corporate faction, relying on globalisation, including most tech companies, and US nationalist faction, such as local US businesses, big oil, shale gas, etc.

Another point - jews have large influence within the US, and 80 % voted against Trump regardless of his Israeli support. They again voted 80 % Dem in 2018. Having 80 % of US jews against you means encountering significant resistance.

Demographically speaking, most women, jews, muslims, latinos, asians, afroamericans, lgbt people, young people, etc. are strongly against him so i think that he will lose. Unless for some reason they do not vote.

Even if he somehow wins again, this will lead to civil war like situation and extreme polarisation in the US.

A P , Jan 17 2020 19:33 utc | 9

The US military, the various factions within the Deep State, political and corporate cabals has the attitude of a spoiled 3-year-old: If I can't have it, I'll break it so it is of little use to others.

Unfortunately, breaking other countries is just fine for the MIC... arms sales all around and chaos to impede non-military commerce with other major power centers like Russia or China.

Trump is the product of a dysfunctional family, a "greed is good" trust-fund social circle and a sociopathic US bully/gun culture.

The fact "bone spurs" Trump weaseled out of the draft will also not play well with the generals, let alone the grunts who suffer most from endless POTUS idiocy (not limited to Trump, see Prince Bush/Bandar the 2nd)

All the more proof that most Western "democracies" would be better served with a lottery to choose their Congressional and POTUS chair-warmers. Joe Sixpack could do a better job. A 200-lb sack of flour would do better than any POTUS since Kennedy.

Walter , Jan 17 2020 23:25 utc | 56

@ wagelaborer | Jan 17 2020 19:04 utc | 3

your: "Trump can't start a war without ruling class backing any more than he can end the wars if the rulers veto it."

May be, I think is, true in one sense. But Trump is far from the sole agent capable of starting a war. War, as opposed to simple murder, involve 2 or more parties. Whatever the intentions, the recent murders by drone in Baghdad hav,e it seems, brought Iran to consider war exists now...and they have a nifty MAGA policy. On Press TV today they hosted an expert who called for the execution of several exceptional American leaders...sounds like war to me.

(Make America Go Away)

The system is so screwy and peopled by such uneducated and delusional people that it's quite simple that they would do some stupid that that caused a war. Looks like war to me. I await the horrors.

Decaying empires usually start wars that bring about their rapid ruin. Does it matter how they do this?

............

The thesis of the triangle of elite factions is fascinating.

Walter recalls that JFK got the reports from Vietnam that said we were winning, while at the same time Johnson got the true story. And also what happened then with the "correction" of 1963 (their words) and the immediate change of war policy. Can't help an old guy from remembering old folly. And noting that history repeats as farce.

The Iran affair is liable to coordinate with NATO. Lavrov spoke to the NATO preparations today @ TASS...

Some say Trumpie screwed up the schedule, which goes hot in April as a showdown with the Roooskies. I take that with a grain of salt. But I think the sources I've seen might be right. They say that if Barbarossa had not been delayed, the nazis woulda won in Russia. Screwups can be very important.

I can't see any way the US won't use atomic bangers. But maybe...

Likklemore , Jan 17 2020 21:50 utc | 29

@ wagelaborer 3

Good points. I endorse. However the USD have been weaponized, is being sidelined and will be shunned U.S. dollar: Russia, China, EU are motivated to shift from

@ juiliana 22

I posted an article by Shedlock essentially saying all it will take is 3 states to flip and Trump loses: Trump will be easily defeated in 2020 perhaps by a landslide.

Not only sick of wars, his mobster approach to foreign policy and allies is an embarrassment to RINO and Independents.

psychohistorian , Jan 17 2020 19:52 utc | 11

I agree with wagelaborer in comment #3 and worth a repeat of most of it

"Trump can't start a war without ruling class backing any more than he can end the wars if the rulers veto it.

US foreign policy is not run by White House puppets.

The US trash-talked Saddam Hussein and starved Iraqis for 14 years, but didn't actually invade until he started trading oil in Euros.

The US trash-talked Ghaddafi for decades, and even launched missiles which killed his child in the 80s, but didn't destroy Libya until Ghaddafi decided to sell oil in dinars.

The US has trash-talked and sanctioned Iran for decades, but it was the threat of Iran and Saudi Arabia making peace that pushed them to assassinate General Soleimani, as he arrived at the airport on that diplomatic mission.

If Iran and Saudi Arabia make peace, and the Saudis drop the petro-dollar, the US Empire crumbles. It doesn't matter at all who is in the White House at the time, the Empire will never allow that."

Humanity is in a civilization war about public/private finance being fought by proxies and character actors like Trump. Maybe after this war is over, and if we survive, we can all communicate about the social contract directly instead of through proxy fronts. Do you want to live in a sharing/caring world or a selfish/competitive one?....socialism or barbarism?

[Jan 19, 2020] At the lower level, there's the division of the American people about how the spoils that come from the imperial conquests should be better shared

Jan 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Jan 18 2020 2:37 utc | 90

I think the "triangle of power" theory walks towards the truth, but is not the truth.

For starters, the USA is a very large and complex society. There are a lot of classes and a lot of groups which clash and prop up each other all the time. The only consensus is that it is and must remain a capitalist society, i.e. that capitalism must be preserved at any cost.

That said, I see many interests involved, but a hierarchy, in layered form. Here's my opinion on the state of the art of the USA right now:

1) at the highest level, there's the division between the most powerful members of the capitalist class between what should be the American foreign policy strategy for the rest of this century. It is divided between two different ideologies: russophobes (i.e. the "establishment") and the believers of the "clash of civilizations" (i.e. the far-right, sinophobes). The only thing that unites both groups is the conviction Eurasia should remain divided, i.e. that Russia and China should not consolidate their newborn alliance. If that alliance consolidates a century from now, then this contradiction will disappear, but America's new enemy will be stronger than ever - possibly more powerful than the USA.

2) at the lower level, there's the division of the American people about how the spoils that come from the imperial conquests should be better shared. This division manifests itself in the battle between social-democracy and fascism. Neoliberalism is basically a rotten corpse after 2008, but it is important to state it is not an ideology per se, but a political doctrine, from which both American social-democracy and American fascism lend some aspects.

3) at the vestigial level, you have many micro battles which shock with each other. For example, the good part of the American middle class imploded Elizabeth Warren's support for universal healthcare because they wanted to keep their class distinction as the class which has access to healthcare through expensive health insurances (which are often directly linked to distinct jobs they probably have) - but they still will vote Democrat, and probably will support Warren as long as she's viable. In the far-right camp, there are those who want to emphasize the fight against China must happen because China represents modern socialism, while another part wants to fight China for the simple fact they want some jobs back. In the deep state, there's the usual Pentagon vs CIA clash of philosophies about how to better operate overseas. In the lobby industry, each one is fending for themselves.

In conclusion, my take is all of these conflicts have one ultimate cause: the exhaustion of the American imperial system installed in 1945 . Capitalism doesn't know national barriers; in 1945, the USA was both the industrial and financial superpower, but capital must spread and expand or it dies. The Marshall Plan soon begun and, in two decades, Germany and Japan - both spawns of the American post-war doctrine - directly threatened the USA as the industrial superpower. It still managed to fend off these two nations with the Plaza Accord (1985), but at a huge cost: outsourcing its own industrial capacity to China. In 2011, China definitely overcame the USA and now holds the belt of the industrial superpower. It is now trying to be also the financial superpower, with the "opening up" reforms.

This generated a structural contradiction: the loss of the industrial superpower title left the USA only with the financial superpower title. But the financial superpower title can only be maintained, in a nation-State architecture, with increased submission of the rest of the world - naturally, through violent means and financial sanctions.

However, that was not the way the USA was able to build its overwhelming post-war alliance: it did so with nation building , i.e. the proverbial "carrot", the massive investments in infrastructure and better living standards for Western Europe, Japan, Asian Tigers and Australia. But without the industrial superpower title, the USA cannot maintain its "alliance" (i.e. the empire), which reinforces its condition as the financial superpower - which, in turn, increases its necessity to maintain the alliance (empire) which, in turn, weakens more and more said alliance, which, in turn, increases even more its necessity to maintain said alliance, and so on, in a downward spiral movement.

The result of this dialectical contradiction is that the USA will, over time, resort to ever more violent methods to keep the corners of its empire whole, which will drive it ever closer to an epic war against its ultimate enemy: socialism (China/Eurasia).


Duncan Idaho , Jan 18 2020 2:41 utc | 91

Well-----

"And many of them may actually be as mind-blowingly stupid as he is as well and they don't see what a problem it is to have such an arrogant moron running the world's only superpower. If there's one thing right-wingers take as an article of faith it's that expertise is nothing but a scam and the guy at the end of the bar can run the world better than the pointy-headed elites. They got what they wanted."

Trump might be appropriate. The survivors, if any, will have more resources, as the ditch he is heading into.
A slow death by Dims would be worse.

Patroklos , Jan 18 2020 4:52 utc | 100
@ vk 90

Your analysis nicely maps onto the Braudelian model of the phases of capitalism, especially as articulated in the chapter by Arrighi and Moore in Phases of Capitalist Development . They argue that the historical signal that the US had begun to lose its hegemony in commodity production (M-C-M') was the Nixon shock/Oil Shock (1970-73). They further argue that the inevitable shift to financial hegemony (M-M'), which has occurred in every other phase (Genovese, Dutch, British), has taken place more quickly than the one before it. As a result, they predicted (in 2001) very broadly that the terminal point of this financial (self-)vampirism -- when the system reaches a point of complete contradiction -- would take place around 2020. One key difference they note between the US global regime with all prior hegemonic orders is the reach and power of the military. The British Empire was able to deploy its navy to support its hegemony only up to a point -- and then became a paper tiger overnight. But the US military has not been deployed to any extent comparable to 1941-45. If it saw a real existential threat to dollar hegemony their military capacity would postpone any collapse indefinitely -- and throw the world into utter chaos.

My question to you and all is this: where are we in the timeline between their loss of industrial hegemony and the real crisis of their financial hegemony? Is this the decade of hegemonic challenge and change -- and therefore war? And to what extent will Iran be the trigger? Or will it be another GFC and de-dollarization?

[Jan 19, 2020] Pompeo idea of deterence means "deterrence to protect [the financial and energy hegemony of] America".

Notable quotes:
"... Pompeo omitted a crucial part of this sentence: "deterrence to protect [the financial and energy hegemony of] America". ..."
"... a regular part of the MSM/cinema diet masticated by the general public that we have completely forgotten that the basic function of the armed forces is the pursuit of vested interests through superior violence. ..."
"... No qualms or BS 'deterrence', armies are for taking other people's stuff by force (land-grabs, etc). I would respect Pompeo a whole lot more (but not much more...) if he just once came out and said: "Iran is run by people who don't want us to take their stuff; we want to undermine them and replace them with paid yes-men who will let us take Iran's stuff. We will use violence and armed force to make this happen. ..."
"... But we have no intention of distributing this loot evenly among our citizens. Instead it will be paid as dividends to select shareholders and spent retooling the military for next poor bastards who stand up to us." ..."
Jan 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Patroklos , Jan 19 2020 5:40 utc | 84

"...deterrence to protect America."

Pompeo omitted a crucial part of this sentence: "deterrence to protect [the financial and energy hegemony of] America".

While this might be obvious to us, the narrative that US foreign policy is about protecting citizens, values and apple pie from 'bad guys' -- and indeed that the militaries of all Western countries are benign police forces preventing ISIS from burning your old Eagles albums and other violations of 'freedom' -- is such a regular part of the MSM/cinema diet masticated by the general public that we have completely forgotten that the basic function of the armed forces is the pursuit of vested interests through superior violence.

It always seemed strange to me that the post-ww2 cinematic template for war-movies, and by extension the basic plot of all reporting of western military activity in the media, always represented the enemy as evil precisely because they use militaries in an instrumental way (i.e for the purpose they were designed). The Germans, or for that matter the Persians in 300 , or any baddies in war films, seek to extend and protect their interests (real or imagined) by deploying armed forces.

The good guys are always identifiable through this idea of 'deterrence': "hey man, all we want is just to live and let live, but you pushed us so we pushed back." Then one stirs in a little 'preemptive deterrence': you looked like you were going to push so we acted. If we 'accidentally' go too far, it's because there is a deranged C-in-C: Hitler, or Xerxes, or some other naughty boy who can be the fall-guy, scapegoat, etc.

To get serious we need to go back a very long way, to, say, the Iliad , which, like all Greek (and Roman) literature, assumes as a premise (and it's tragedy) that the warrior's basic function is to kill, pillage, rape and occasionally protect others from the same. But mostly take by force .

No qualms or BS 'deterrence', armies are for taking other people's stuff by force (land-grabs, etc). I would respect Pompeo a whole lot more (but not much more...) if he just once came out and said: "Iran is run by people who don't want us to take their stuff; we want to undermine them and replace them with paid yes-men who will let us take Iran's stuff. We will use violence and armed force to make this happen.

But we have no intention of distributing this loot evenly among our citizens. Instead it will be paid as dividends to select shareholders and spent retooling the military for next poor bastards who stand up to us."

Just once.

[Jan 19, 2020] Gangsternomics in directing the course of Iraq's future economic and political development

Jan 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Likklemore , Jan 19 2020 5:20 utc | 83

@ Peter AU1 78

Tom Luongo, who frequently cites b, has coined a new word for Trump's and his minions tactics. Tom asks:

Does Gangsternomics Meet its End in the Iraqi Desert?

In the aftermath of the killing of Iranian IRGC General Qassem Soleimani a lot of questions hung in the air. The big one was, in my mind, "Why now?"

There are a lot of angles to answer that question. Many of them were supplied by caretaker Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi who tried to let the world know through official (and unofficial) channels of the extent of the pressure he was under by the U.S.

In short, President Trump was engaged in months of what can best be described as gangsternomics in directing the course of Iraq's future economic and political development.[/]

Iraq's importance goes much farther than just protecting the petrodollar to the U.S. It is the fulcrum now on which the entire U.S. defense against Eurasian integration rests. The entire region is slipping out of the grasp of the U.S.

And this started with Russia moving into Syria in 2015 successfully. We are downstream of this as it has blown open the playbook and revealed it for how ugly it is.

Trump's crude gangster tactics in Iraq, Venezuela, Bolivia and to a lesser extent in Syria cannot be hidden behind the false veil of moral preening and virtue signaling about bringing democracy to these benighted places.[/]

What began in Syria with Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and China standing up together and saying, "No," continues today in Iraq. To this point Iran has been the major actor. Tomorrow it will be Russia, China and India.

And that is what is ultimately at stake here, the ability of the U.S. to employ gangsternomics in the Middle East and make it stick.[.]

By the time Trump is done threatening people over S-400's and pipelines the entire world will be happy to trade in yuan and/or rubles rather than dollars.[.]

full article here

[Jan 19, 2020] The USA is in the middle east and is fighting a war with Iran due to three factors: Full Spectrum Dominance, oil, and Isreal

Jan 19, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

TheSnark a day ago

The general gist of this article is on target, but I feel some of the details are off.

First off, Iran does want to be a region hegemon, they have wanted that for 5,000 years. But they only succeeded, and then only temporarily, when the opposition was weak. Today they are opposed by Israel, which is far stronger them Iran militarily, and by the Saudis, who are far richer. Those two can contain Iran by themselves with little US support.

Secondly, Iran getting nuclear weapons is a problem. If they do, next will be the Turks and Saudis, then the Egyptians and then who know who else. Having several nuclear powers in an unstable part of the world is a bad thing in general, and when (not if, but when) one of those state collapses like Iran did in 1979 or the USSR did in 1989, the risk of loose nukes floating around is far too real. Better nobody has them (I am not a particular friend or foe of Israel, but I trust them more than the Arab states on this score).

But our aggressive policy and troop deployments give the Iranians every incentive to build nukes. Their previous incentive was to counter Saddam Hussien's Iraq, but we graciously eliminated threat. But then we provided them with our own incentive to nuclearize. Very dumb.

Clyde Schechter TheSnark a day ago
I don't fully agree that Iran having nuclear weapons would be a problem for us. To the extent that any country's having them is a problem, sure. But Iran lacks the means to deliver such a weapon to US territory, and their regime, which has, for better or for worse, been rather stable over 40 years, has, notwithstanding aggressive rhetoric, been pragmatic: they know the awful consequences that would come from unleashing a nuclear attack on us. They wouldn't even think of it. Even attacking Israel, something within their capabilities, would certainly unleash nuclear retaliation and mutually assured destruction. The mullahs are not into that.

I think that nuclear non-proliferation became a dead letter when Pakistan and India acquired nuclear weapons and the world shrugged. Pakistan has one of the least stable governments around, having frequent coups, an intelligence service brimming with religious and ideological fanatics, and a history of repeated wars with neighboring India. If ever a red line should have been drawn, that was it. But nothing was done, barely anything was even said. From that point on, nobody really has any basis to complain if Iran (or any of the other countries you mention) goes nuclear.

Worse, US foreign policy is almost perfectly designed to maximize nuclear proliferation around the world. We have clearly and repeatedly sent the message to all nations that nuclear weapons are the only deterrent to US aggression, and that giving up your nuclear weapons (or agreeing not to make them, as Iran did) is suicidal. The world already knows that the US is a lawless, rogue nation, and that its treaty promises are not worth the paper they are written on. You really have to question the sanity of any government that has the resources to develop nukes and isn't doing that.

Tom Riddle Clyde Schechter 16 hours ago

to the extent that any country's having them is a problem, sure.

This is a pretty big "but", though? Nuclear proliferation is a huge danger and it's why a country like Germany without a huge middle east presence or danger of getting attacked with Iranian nuclear weapons would so forcefully back the JCPOA.

The existence and success of the JCPOA should be indictivative of the correct method to fight proliferation and the importance of doing so. To the degree that the US should be involved with the affairs of the Middle East, it should be done through the State Department (or what's left of it when the Republicans are finished with it).

As for Pakistan's nukes means "nobody really has any basis to complain if Iran (or any of the other countries you mention) goes nuclear." IR doesn't run on moral consitency. We should complain about countries that start up nuclear programs, but we should also complain about how the US's action have made nuclear proliferation more likely and not less. I'd rather not the US give up on non-proliferation just because Pakistan has the bomb. We just need to pretending our military can find solutions to political problems.

AlexanderHistory X Clyde Schechter 8 hours ago
It's not relevant that they can't strike America. They have the means to deliver a nuclear warhead to Israel, which is all that matters to the people in charge of this country.
Steve Naidamast AlexanderHistory X 7 hours ago
And Iran does not even need nuclear weapons to completely destroy the Israeli state. They have more than enough conventional missiles to do the job. And such anti-missile defense systems such as the Patriot and Iron Dome implementations have both been shown to be completely

inadequate against the type of missile onslaught Iran could deliver against Israel...

Clyde Schechter AlexanderHistory X 4 hours ago
Yes, Iran could strike Israel with a nuke. Or, as Steve Naidamast has pointed out in his response to you, they could obliterate Israel with conventional ballistics as well. In 40 years, they haven't done that. And they know that Israel would respond in kind, or with nuclear weapons, and they would be destroyed. So they will not do that.

In any case, while it is true that the people running the country view the defense of Israel as our responsibility, even as a top priority. In my opinion, and I think many readers here agree, that is precisely the problem. There is no reason we should commit to the defense of Israel: its existence and well being is not relevant to the defense of the United States. In fact, our unconditional support of everything Israel does, no matter how blatantly wrong it may be, is one of the things that fuels anti-American hatred around the world and motivates terrorists. Pulling away from our connection to Israel would be one of the best things we could do to enhance our national security.

Steve Naidamast a day ago
The US is in the Mid East for Israel's interests and Israel's interests only. This article completely ignores this reality and tries to obfuscate it with a lot of air over how another analyst views the situation there.

Had the US not recognized partition in 1947/1948 and then the subsequent state of Israel, much of the violence in the Mid East would have never occurred in the first place. This combined with assassination of the Iranian head of state in 1953 (over the move to nationalize Iranian oil and thus pushing out the British and Dutch oil industry) by Eisenhower only served to seriously complicate the matters in this region.

Iran would have most likely never had felt the need to develop nuclear weapons if the United States had simply just left well enough alone.

Unfortunately, the United States with few exception has never had anything but dim light bulbs in the presidency. Even Truman's senior military leaders, Mid East Foreign Service policy experts, and Secretary of State Marshall all warned him of the consequences of recognizing an Israel state and they were all correct...

AlexanderHistory X Steve Naidamast 8 hours ago
You are correct. All of this nonsense makes me question how much of a conspiracy theory ZOG is.
kouroi 16 hours ago
Mr Larison,

You know it, I know it, and pretty much everyone lurking around knows it: The US is in the ME for very basic things that insure its primacy:
- the control of the oil flow;
- the control of the way that oil is being transaction-ed, must be US dollars. The flow of dollars, especially the excess dollars needs to be controlled and be returned back to fund US deficit - which of course US has no intention of repaying (external creditors only), and the Feds, which are private bodies of financiers which benefit tremendously from controlling the world's reserve currency, understand this;
- Oiled ME countries must be run by autocracies in fear of revolutions so they need US support;
- Nationalist movements and republicanism are to be killed and persecuted;
- While a nuclear Iran might pose a threat to Israel, like India/Pakistan, US/Russia, it would be all MAD, so not much to worry about.

US will stay in the ME as long as it will take to insure its primacy. And they will kill any external or internal threats to this primacy.

Furthermore, there is a stirred appetite in the US and what its elites stand for. Look at TPP, at the proposed treaty on services, etc. The intention is to privatize everything in the world and have it in the hands of some, few. Thus State Owned Enterprises are to be shunned and ultimately appropriated. This is all what TPP was about, this is all what the trade war with China is about, and this is all the upset with Russia and Putin is about.

It is a very simple equation, that had the US population (military/intelligence) harnessed to be the slave drivers of the rest of the world, while they themselves think they are free, and liberators. This is the content of the red pill.

Not much different than the story told in the "Against the Grain A Deep History of Earlier States" by James C. Scott
https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/lse...

Alex (the one that likes Ike) 9 hours ago • edited
And how can it be the other way if there are only two parties making decisions, and both of them are committed as hell to staying bogged down in the Middle East whatever the cost even to American troops and America's own economy , not to even mention the poor peoples of that region? Just the latest example: Democrats received a totally free and unprovoked electoral gift from Trump in the form of his administration committing an unmitigated idiocy regarding Iran (which, probably, resulted in dead American soldiers, not only wounded ones, given that even those wounded were concealed in the beginning). A real, not clownish cause for an impeachment investigation, against which Republican senators would have a very hard time looking honest and non-partisan in defending the president. A dream for any half-literate opposition political strategist in an election year. Their actions? They didn't think even for a minute that maybe - just maybe - they should not squander that gift. Instead they threw it - a real (and their last) opportunity to look solid in trying to impeach Trump - down the drain, industriously flushed the closet and kept on digging some clownish personalities from Ukraine, who are not even Ukrainian residents due to living in the US for years. You know how it looks like? The Democratic Party's neolib bosses (also known as the Republican Party's neocon bosses) called the DNC and said: keep on playing in your political sandbox, babies, but don't even dare to pester the POTUS on those issues that further our policies.

To say that I'm eager to read a reply from that miserable partisan hack which shall have a cheek to claim that either of the American institutional parties is not controlled by neocons/neolibs after all this is to say nothing.

AlexanderHistory X 8 hours ago
There are too many Jews and Christian Zionists involved with America's foreign policy, who are happy to sacrifice America's well being for the sake of israel.
Until that changes, which I can't see how it will while America exists in its current form, we are doomed to continue wasting blood and treasure in the region. It's tragic really, that this nations elite doesn't care much for America, but only what America can do to further their interests abroad.
ZOG is considered to be a conspiracy theory. These days, I'm not so sure it is.
Disqus10021 AlexanderHistory X 6 hours ago
At least part of the blame should go to the religious conservatives on the US Supreme Court which, with its Citizens United decision in 2010, opened the floodgates for large scale campaign contributions in Federal elections. The five Catholic conservatives voted in favor of Citizens United. The three Jewish members of the court along with the sole liberal Catholic (a woman) voted against it.

If you happened to watch candidate Trump's address to the 2016 AIPAC convention on TV (which I did), you might recall that he promised to be the best president that Israel ever had. It reminds me of that old Chinese proverb "Be careful what you wish for." Trump appears to be more popular in Israel than in the US.

Being on the Supreme Court means that you never have to say that you are sorry.

Osse 4 hours ago
I couldn't read the article because I don't subscribe to the WSJ, but I was wondering what he meant by solving the Israel- Palestine conflict. I don't think we should " solve" it by supplying the Israelis with weapons and almost unlimited support. We have been pretending to be an honest broker for decades and we aren't. I doubt we could be. A President Sanders might try, but I doubt he would succeed. He would have enough battles to fight on both domestic policy and ( hopefully) pulling back from our endless interventions to put too much effort into the I- P conflict. Most of the other possible Presidents would probably just be Israel's lapdog, as usual.

I think the US government should pull back from Israel. Have relations, but don't treat them like they are the 51st state. In theory I wish we could be an honest broker, but it hasn't happened so far.

Steve Naidamast 3 hours ago
I have to say that the style of comments being posted as they regard Israel demonstrate that a tide may be changing. I have noticed a slow but increasing negative response by serious commenters on several sites not only toward the US commitment to Israel also to Israeli policies and military capabilities as not being what everyone has promoted them to being.

This could be indicative of a sea change in US opinion, isolating most US politicians...

[Jan 19, 2020] ISIS had become a proxy army of the CIA; that's likely why Soleimani had to be killed.

Jan 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

michael888 , Jan 19 2020 13:19 utc | 114

Almost all of the "terrorism" affecting the West has been Wahabbi Salafist Sunni driven. Iran, despite their religious head, is a more modern sectarian nation than Saudi Arabia. ISIS had become a proxy army of the CIA; that's likely why Soleimani had to be killed. It is time to align with Iran and the Shia for a change. They also have oil! Would send a nice message to our "allies" Israel and Saudi Arabia as well.

Sasha , Jan 19 2020 13:23 utc | 115

Trump has given signals of opposition to the wisdom of the use of jihadi proxies,

@Posted by: BM | Jan 19 2020 11:09 utc | 107

Really?

Revealed: US moves IS leaders to Al-Anbar, Iraq

After only a week or so after this heinous crime, we are assisting already to a new campaign on whitewashing Trump at each of the US military blogs...SST at the head...as always...but following the rest...be it a editorial level, be it at commentariat level...

What part of Trump admitting he personally ordered the murder you have not understood?

What part of Soleimani and Al Muhandis being the main strategic heads of real anti-IS front have you not understood?

[Jan 19, 2020] The once oppressed have become oppressors.

Jan 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

ben , Jan 19 2020 3:31 utc | 72

@71 said in part; "The once oppressed have become oppressors."

A succinct description of the Israelis..

[Jan 19, 2020] Facebook blocks documentary about Biden dealing in Ukraine from ukrainegate.info which sheds a new light on Ukrainegate

Jan 19, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

Fran Macadam , January 14, 2020 at 07:28

You've been zucked.

[Jan 19, 2020] Syrian Jihadists Filmed Jet-Setting To Next Proxy War On Commercial Plane

Jan 19, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

J S Bach , 7 minutes ago link

10,000 virgins anxiously await the downing of this jet of jihadists.

Vernon_Dent , 9 minutes ago link

Join ISIS and see the world. The few, the proud.

dogismycopilot , 37 minutes ago link

For our frequent fliers who are members of our "Chopping Heads and Eating Livers of Infidels" Afriqiyah Airways is a code share flight with Turkish Airlines. Also, remember your points can be used in Paradise to rent hotel rooms for you and your 72 virgins.

Turkish Airlines. The airline of choice for Jihadis.

(satire)

[Jan 19, 2020] What separates the winners from the losers in America?

Don't take this too seriously ;-)
Jan 19, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Nature_Boy_Wooooo , 23 minutes ago link

What separates the winners from the losers in America?

Government contracts....... you're either getting them or you're a ******* loser who pays for them.

[Jan 19, 2020] The Murder Of Qassem Soleimani Will Deter No One

Jan 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ron , Jan 18 2020 21:41 utc | 31

Kali 15

Ten reasons why the US is the Beast of Revelation

Kali , Jan 18 2020 22:00 utc | 35

@31 Ron

There are 2 beasts, the first is either America or NATO, or basically "The Empire" or The Neocon Oligarchy--all work well but America is a bit too broad since there are many good people in America. The second beast whose number is 666, is Trump. Search: Trump 666 and be amazed.

And of course The Pièce de résistance

[Jan 19, 2020] Internal Boeing Emails Claim 777X Shares MAX Problem

Jan 19, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Tillyoudrop , 49 seconds ago link

Greed is good, greed is right, greed works.

Neochrome , 2 minutes ago link

sacrificing the safety of the planes to drive sales higher

Good thing we sentence people to life in jail for shoplifting couple of t-shirts, safety restored.

VodkaInKrakow , 12 minutes ago link

Financialization killed Boeing. All those MBA's who dreamed up outsourced supply-chains for the Dreamliner. Thought they were going to make a lot of money through savings.

Silly rabbit MBA's... if you don't spend money? You don't make money.

MBA graduates are f*cking useless retards trained in only one system: FAILURE.

What sank McDonald Douglas - bought out by Boeing? Is the same bullsh*t that is ruining Boeing. Boeing kept a lot of board member & management failures around from McDonald Douglas. Poisoned the Boeing culture.

Bounder , 14 minutes ago link

How many of you remember all the McDonald Douglas passenger jet success stories? There wasnt any - the whole mgmt of MD was to to strip out every possible cost and maximize very profit at the expense of the end customer and the government - and these are the guys who bought Boeing - and then made the first step of moving the headquarters to chicago. Guess which party gave lots and lots of government boondoggles to MD?

VodkaInKrakow , 10 minutes ago link

Damn. Wish I would have read your comment.

I had a Polish executive tell me how proud they were as they were about to hire an American executive who graduated with an MBA.

That is, until I asked him... "Have you checked what happened to the previous companies that he worked at?"

So the Polish executive did just that. This led to a ban on hiring any American MBA. Turns out, the American MBA worked at companies, all of which FAILED.

Though, somehow, despite a track record of working at failed companies? The American was still quite well off.

VodkaInKrakow , 1 minute ago link

Boeing is a symbol of American reliability that reflected hugely upon American manufacturing.

Well, WAS a symbol of American reliability. Which casts doubt upon American manufacturing.

Confidence in American manufacturing quality is in GRAVE DOUBT. Which leads to people seeking their products elsewhere.

The US business leadership consists of crapification.

fedslayer , 20 minutes ago link

Ok but what's the alternative?

If the parts meet specifications, get the lowest price.

If you don't, you will have executives drop-shipping parts. That's what i would do.

If you don't go with the lowest-price, executives like me will rob you blind.

east of eden , 16 minutes ago link

The ******* alternative you stupid ******* americunt is already in the air. They are labelled Airbus A220 and A230, otherwise known as Bombardier CS200 and CS300 and they are sold out 15 years in advance.

VodkaInKrakow , 4 minutes ago link

That was part of the problem. The parts from Boeing's foreign suppliers MET SPECIFICATIONS.

That is, until they went to assemble the Dreamliner. Where parts did not fit together.

You see, Boeing found out LONG, LONG AGO... that it was necessary to have manufacturing close to design. That way, when parts that "met specifications" did not fit? The engineers and machinists were there to correct deficiencies. Thus leading to reliable planes that were fit together very well. Only THEN could Boeing could assemble parts in other locations and mate them together.

This never happened with the Dreamliner. Quadrupled costs. The Dreamliner only exists thanks to taxpayer subsidies through the ExIm Bank. The Dreamliner WILL NEVER BE PROFITABLE. Accounting gimmicks make it appear as if Boeing makes money on the Dreamliner.

Bay Area Guy , 28 minutes ago link

Amazing that in less than a generation, we go from "if it's not Boeing, I'm not going" to wondering what the next Boeing screw-up will be and how many will be killed as a result.

The existing 777 is a fantastic plane and, other than pilot error (Asiana at SFO), a missile attack (Malaysia 17) and some unknown (but apparently not mechanical) issue (Malaysia 370), the 777 has been the safest plane around.

Ignorance is bliss , 1 hour ago link

American executives are incentivized to manipulate their company's stock. So they squeeze the workforce and cut everything to the bone. That's why Boeing, GM, and other household names are crashing.

According to economist William Lazonick, Boeing spent $43.1 billion on stock buybacks from 2013 to 2019, raising the company's stock price to a record high just 10 days before the second crash of its 737 MAX. Boeing CEO Muilenburg collects most of his pay through stock or compensation based on financial metrics. Yet the company reportedly avoided spending the estimated $7 billion it would have needed to engineer a safer plane. Less than 10 years after a public sector bailout, GM has spent $10.6 billion on stock buybacks, while engaging in layoffs and plant closures. That amounts to $221,308 for each of the 47,897 active UAW members currently on strike at GM. Walmart spent $9.2 billion on stock buybacks from August 2018 to July 2019, which, by my calculations, could have been used to give a raise of roughly $5/ hour to each of its 1 million hourly workers instead.

Illegal , 56 minutes ago link

Boeing should have been spending all its supposed profits on R&D. The other problem is the military side of the business is grossly corrupt. Remember the blowup over Air Force 1?

flyonmywall , 24 minutes ago link

Yep. Stock buybacks.

This is what happens when the Federal Reserve lets the financial cat out the bag, and pump up the stock market to the tune of 35-60 billion every 3 days, because some hedge funds "could" fail and topple the financial system.

If multiple entities are now too important and could topple the financial system if they failed, the Fed has massively screwed up.

aldol11 , 1 hour ago link

In 1991 a Boeing purchaser told me that he would give us a contract if we transferred 51% of the shares to a minority.

This is God's truth

He added that when he could not find minority businesses that would make components according to specifications, he would buy stuff from minority owned businesses and not use it but store it in warehouses around the country indefinitely. this in order to meet a quota of 20% purchases from minority owned businesses mandated by the Feds for all government suppliers.

I can just imagine how bad the discrimination is now.

Svastic , 1 hour ago link

Good grief. Look at Boeing's board of directors anyway.

https://www.boeing.com/company/general-info/corporate-governance.page

These are politically connected animals who feed from the trough of government pork barrel a.k.a taxpayer money. Exactly what has Nikki Haley achieved in her life, except for being a pathological liar?

These animals were responsible for our reckless fiscal deficits and looming debt bombs which will soon come crashing down. Kinda good metaphor for Boeing.

BidnessMan , 46 minutes ago link

All former CFOs and politicians ( civilian and military - only political types in the military get stars ). No evidence of any engineering expertise. Sad for a once-proud global leader.

moseybear , 1 hour ago link

In the "investor economy", there is no morality. EVERYTHING is "commoditized". Even you .. your DNA. A pricetag hovers over your head like a dialog bubble. Bean counters can incorporate your morbidity and mortality into mathematical equations showing investors why cutting costs and saving 0.01% is worthy of investment. While 911 was the paradigm shift for Rights ... the Lehman "crisis" was its own "911" -- the death of the labor economy ... and rise of the "investor economy". Nobody works, trading time for dollars. They "invest" Why work? Investors can kill without being held personally responsible. They only risk their fiat capital. You die.

[Jan 19, 2020] Warren is The Monkees of Democratic Socialism

Warren is no "progressive," as her beating a retreat from Medicare for All demonstrates. She now has shown herself to be a bald-faced liar as well as a political phony.
Jan 18, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Andrew a day ago

Warren is The Monkees of Democratic Socialism.
Me Andrew a day ago
Warren is the Jussie Smollet of politics. I wonder if she claims Bernie attacked her while wearing a red hat and screaming, "A woman can't win! This is MAGA country!"

It's hillarious that even after the shafting they got in 2016 by CNN there are still some Bernie supporters who are finally catching on to what Trump supporters have been saying the whole time, the MSM are a bunch of lying propagandists. I wonder who these people are who think Bernie is going to fight against the Establishment when he can't even stand up for himself against CNN, Warren, Hillary, the DNC,.... or anyone.

former-vet Me a day ago • edited
I'm with you, Me. I expected to see Bernie come out swinging after that exchange with Senator Warren if he was to have any chance against Trump. Sucking it up for "the team" is loser talk. Warren accused him of blatantly lying on national TV, and he's okay with that?

Kathleen Garvey a day ago

Storm in a tea cup.

This manufactured 'controversy' has absolutely no relevance to electoral chances of either, outside of the campus/media bubble - whose battle lines are already entrenched.

Connecticut Farmer Kathleen Garvey a day ago
Or, as the late historian Daniel Boorstin called it, a "pseudo-event."

[Jan 19, 2020] Now BoneSpurs Opened the Pandora's Box of Open State Level Assassinations Not Ethical - Inhumane and Imbecilic, really. That's why I am voting for Gabbard this Time. A 2nd Gen Navy Vet. Been to War Zones in the Gulf.

Jan 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

IronForge , Jan 18 2020 3:03 utc | 93

The MIC were running about without leashes.

Once they delved into "Conquest and Exploitation", the Military were OverScoped and Few People thought of rebuilding/modernizing Civil Infrastructure and Economy of the Conquered.

Also, IMHO, every Govt-Job that affect the Military and Veterans' Lives should be held by Veterans. Need them to be where the Rubber Meets the Road before sending others into harm's way. I'd go as far to require WH, Congress, Supremes to be Previously Assigned to Combat Units/Hot Zones (FatBoy Pompeo Fails here) - and have Combat Eligible Family be in Active Duty or Drilling Reserves - ready to be sent to the Front Lines should they call for War while running the Republic-turned-Hegemon.

That would include BoneShards' Adult Children and Spouses.

WH have been on a PetroUSD/MIC/PNAC7/AIPAC Bandwagon - which drive down Non-Yielding Nation-States with Sanctions.

Now BoneShards Opened the Pandora's Box of Open State Level Assassinations using Diplomatic Peace Missions as Venues. Worse? Against a Nation-State which can Respond in Kind - AND Develop+Deploy Nuclear WMDs. Not Ethical - Inhumane and Imbecilic, really. That's why I am voting for Gabbard this Time. A 2nd Gen Navy Vet. Been to War Zones in the Gulf.

lysias , Jan 18 2020 3:24 utc | 97

This retired Lieutenant Commander of the U.S. Navy has also been donating to Gabbard.

[Jan 19, 2020] We are fast heading towards Biden v. Sanders as the Primary narrative

Jan 19, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
− +

Collin Reid a day ago

Well, we have waiting for this Primary to get nasty at some point and of course the media gets one their plate a month before voting.

1) We are few days from this dustup and frankly it has assisted Sanders more than Warren.

2) Three of the top candidates have been the least cultural warriors (Pete, Sanders and Biden) so it does not seem to work.

3) We are fast heading towards Biden v. Sanders as the Primary narrative.

cka2nd Collin Reid a day ago
I agree with #'s 1 and 2 - they've also each taken conflicting stances on Medicare for All and haven't wavered from them, unlike Warren - but I'm still not sure about #3. Joe is just such a lousy candidate that an implosion could happen sooner than later, and leave Pete or Liz to carry the establishment banner.
Kevin_OKeeffe a day ago • edited
While a devotee of Esoteric Trumpetry, I do plan to vote in the Democratic primary. Definitely for Sanders, since he's obviously the one the Establishment hates most.

Apparently, Warren's word is now law. If she says you told her you're a Nazi cannibal, you just have to accept it, or be deemed a misogynist.

EdMan a day ago
I don't like Bernie Sanders. His brain is full of nothing but bad ideas. But I'm deeply disturbed by this joint-Warren-CNN hit-job being executed against him. I hope it fails miserably and I hope the Democrats finally realize the error of their ways.

Sanders' campaign is full of holes that can be easily exposed. There's no need to malign his character like this, none. It's straight-up evil and I wonder if the conscience of individual leftists in media and politics bothers them. I hope Bernie can overcome this because nobody deserves to be treated this way.

Viking a day ago
There's also the issue of her refusing to tell the truth middle-class tax hikes to finance her various programs. Her fellow female Senator, Amy Klobuchar, assailed her on that point: "at least Bernie admits he" would raise taxes.

We may also comment on a certain megalomania in her makeup. Does she really believe that she can simply cancel all student debt as POTUS without even consulting Congress?

[Jan 19, 2020] Why Neocons Hate Russia Even More Than They Hate Any Other Nation

Jan 19, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org

Eric Zuesse July 27, 2018 © Photo: Public domain

Neoconservatism started in 1953 with Henry "Scoop" Jackson, the Democratic Party US Senator from the state of Washington (1953-1983), who became known as a 'defense' hawk, and as "the Senator from Boeing," because Boeing practically owned him. The UK's Henry Jackson Society was founded in 2005 in order to carry forward Senator Jackson's unwavering and passionate endorsement of growing the American empire so that the US-UK alliance will control the entire world (and US weapons-makers will dominate in every market).

Later, during the 1990s, neoconservatism became taken over by the Mossad and the lobbyists for Israel and came to be publicly identified as a 'Jewish' ideology, despite its having -- and having long had -- many champions who were 'anti-communist' or 'pro-democracy' or simply even anti-Russian, but who were neither Jewish nor even focused at all on the Middle East. Republicans Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, and John McCain; and the Democrat, CIA Director James Woolsey -- the latter of whom was one of the patrons of Britain's Henry Jackson Society -- were especially prominent neoconservatives, who came to prominence even before neocons became called "neoconservatives." What all neocons have always shared in common has been a visceral hatred of Russians. That comes above anything else -- and even above NATO (the main neocon organization).

During recent decades, neocons have been hating Iranians and more generally Shiites -- such as in Syria and in Lebanon, and now also in Yemen -- and not only hating Russians.

When the Israel lobby during the 1990s and after, pumped massive resources into getting the US Government to invade first Iraq and then Iran, neoconservatism got its name, but the ideology itself did not change. However, there are a few neoconservatives today who are too ignorant to know, in any coherent way, what their own underlying beliefs are, or why, and so who are anti-Russians (that's basic for any neocon) who either don't know or else don't particularly care that Iran and Shia Muslims generally, are allied with Russia. Neoconservatives such as this, are simply confused neocons, people whose underlying ideology is self-contradictory, because they've not carefully thought things through.

An example is Vox's Alex Ward, who built his career as an anti-Russia propagandist , and whose recent ten-point tirade against Russia I then exposed as being false on each one of its ten points , each of those points having been based upon mere allegations by US neocons against Russia without any solid evidence whatsoever. Indictments, and other forms of accusations, are not evidence for anything. But a stupid 'journalist' accepts them as if they were evidence, if those accusations come from 'the right side' -- but not if they come from 'the wrong side'. They don't understand even such a simple distinction as that between an indictment, and a conviction. A conviction is at least a verdict (though maybe based on false 'evidence' and thus false itself), but all that an accusation is an accusation -- and all accusations (in the American legal system) are supposed to be disbelieved, unless and until there is at least a verdict that gives the accusation legal force. (This is called "innocent unless proven guilty.")

Earlier, Mr. Ward had headlined as if he were an anti -neocon, when he posted his "America is fueling the war in Yemen. Congress is finally pushing back." What can account for that seemingly incongruous article?

Mr. Ward is a Democrat -- an heir to Senator Jackson's allegedly anti-communist though actually anti-Russian ideology -- but, since Ward isn't as intelligent as the ideology's founder was, Ward becomes anti -neocon when a Republican-led Administration is doing things (such as Ward there criticizes) that are even more-neocon than today's Democratic Party itself is. In other words: 'journalists' (actually, propagandists) such as he, are more partisan in favor of support of Democratic Party billionaires against Republican Party billionaires, than in support of conquering Russia as opposed to cooperating with Russia (and with all other countries). They're unaware that all American billionaires support expansion of the US empire -- including over Yemen (to bring Yemen in, too -- which invasion Ward incongruously opposes). But politicians (unlike their financial backers) need to pretend not to be so bloodthirsty or so beholden to the military-industrial complex. Thus, an American doesn't need to be intelligent in order to build his or her career in 'journalism', on the basis of having previously served as a propagandist writing for non-profits that are mere fronts for NATO and for Israel, and which are fronts actually for America's weapons-manufacturing firms, who need those wars in order to grow their profits. Such PR for front-organizations for US firms such as Lockheed Martin, is excellent preparation for a successful career in American 'journalism'. If a person is stupid, then it's still necessary to be stupid in the right way, in order to succeed; and Ward is, and does.

This, for example, is how it makes sense that Ward had previously been employed at the War on the Rocks website that organized the Republican neoconservative campaign against Donald Trump during the 2016 Republican primaries : the mega-donors to both US Parties are united in favor of America conquering Russia. And that's why War on the Rocks had organized Republican neocons to oppose Trump: it was done in order to increase the chances for Trump's rabidly anti-Russia and pro-Israel competitors such as Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio to win that nomination instead, which would then have produced the billionaires' dream contest, between Hillary Clinton versus an equally neoconservative Republican nominee. A bipartisan neoconservatism controls both of the American political Parties. A 'journalist' who displays that sort of bipartisanship can't fail in America, no matter how incompetent at real journalism he or she might be. (However, they do have to be literate . Stupid, maybe; but literate, definitely.)

The core of America's form of capitalism has come to be the US aristocracy's bipartisan, liberal and conservative, Democratic and Republican, form of capitalism, which isn't merely fascist (which includes privatizing everything that can be privatized) but which is also imperialist (which means favoring the country's perpetration of invasions and coups in order to expand that nation's empire). The United States is now a globe-spanning empire, controlling not merely the aristocracies in a few banana republics such as Guatemala and Honduras, but also the aristocracies in richer countries such as France, Germany and UK, so as to extract from virtually the entire world -- by means mainly of deception but also sometimes public threats and clearly coercive -- unfair advantages for corporations that are within its borders, and against corporations that are headquartered in foreign countries. America's billionaires -- both the Democratic ones and the Republican ones -- are 100% in favor of America's conquering the world: this ideology is entirely bipartisan, in the United States. Though the billionaires succeeded, during the first Cold War -- the one that was nominally against communism -- at fooling the public to think they were aiming ultimately to conquer communism, George Herbert Walker Bush made clear, on the night of 24 February 1990, privately to the leaders of the US aristocracy's foreign allies, that the actual goal was world-conquest, and so the Cold War would now secretly continue on the US side , even after ending on the USS.R. side. When GHW Bush did that, the heritage of US Senator Jackson became no longer the formerly claimed one, of 'anti-communism', but was, clearly now and henceforth, anti-Russian. And that's what it is today -- not only in the Democratic Party, and not only in the Republican Party, and not only in the United States, but throughout the entire US alliance .

And this is what we are seeing today, in all of the US-and-allied propaganda-media. America is always 'the injured party' against 'the aggressors'; and, so, one after another, such as in Iraq, and in Libya, and in Syria, and in Iran, and in Yemen, and in China, all allies (or even merely friends) of Russia are 'the aggressors' and are 'dictatorships' and are 'threats to America', and only the US side represents 'democracy' . It's actually an aristocracy , which has deeply deceived its public, to think it's a democracy. Just as every aristocracy is based on lies and on coercion, this one is, too -- it is no exception; it's only that this particular empire is on a historically unprecedentedly large scale, dominating all continents. Support that, and you're welcomed into the major (i.e., billionaire-backed) 'news' media in America, and in its allied countries. This is America's 'democracy' . (Of course, an article such as this one is not 'journalism' in America and its allied countries; it's merely "blogging." So, it won't be found there though it's being submitted everywhere. It will be accepted and published at only the honest news-sites. A reader may Web-search the headline here in order to find out which ones those are. Not many 'news'media report the institutionalized corruptness of the 'news'media; they just criticize one-another, in the way that the politicians do, which is bipartisan -- the bipartisan dictatorship. But the rot that's actually throughout the 'news'media, is prohibited to be reported about and published, in and by any of them. It is totally suppressed reality. Only the few honest news-sites will publish this information and its documentation, the links here.)

However, actually, the first time that the term either "neoconservatism" or "neo-conservatism" is known to have been used, was in the British magazine, The Contemporary Review , January 1883, by Henry Dunkley, in his "The Conservative Dilemma" where "neo-conservative" appeared 8 times, and was contrasted to traditional "conservatism" because, whereas the traditional type "Toryism" was pro-aristocratic, anti-democratic, and overtly elitist; the new type was pro-democratic, anti-aristocratic, and overtly populist (which no form of conservatism honestly is -- they're all elitist): "What is this new creed of yours? That there must be no class influence in politics? That any half-dozen hinds on my estate are as good as so many dukes? That the will of the people is the supreme political tribunal? That if a majority at the polls bid us abolish the Church and toss the Crown into the gutter we are forthwith to be their most obedient servants?" "No: from whatever point of view we consider the question, it is plain that the attempt to reconstruct the Tory party on a Democratic basis cannot succeed." "The Tories have always been adepts at conservation, but the things they have been most willing to conserve were not our liberties but the restrictions put upon our liberties." "The practical policy of Conservatism would not alter, and could not be altered much, but its pretensions would have to be pitched in a lower key." "Here we seem to get within the smell of soup, the bustle of evening receptions, and the smiles of dowagers. The cares which weigh upon this couple of patriot souls cannot be described as august. It is hardly among such petty anxieties that the upholders of the Empire and the pilots of the State are bred." "The solemn abjuration which is now proposed in the name of Neo-conservatism resembles a charge of dynamite." He viewed neo-conservatives as being let's-pretend populists, whose pretense at being democrats will jeopardize the Empire, not strengthen it. Empire, and its rightness, were so deeply rooted in the rulers' psyche, it went unchallenged. In fact, at that very time, in the 1880s, Sir Cecil Rhodes was busy creating the foundation for the UK-US empire that now controls most of the world .

The modern pro-Israel neoconservatism arose in the 1960s when formerly Marxist Jewish intellectuals in New York City and Washington DC, who were even more anti-communist than anti-nazi, became impassioned with the US empire being extended to the entire world by spreading 'democracy' (and protection of Israel) as if this Israel-protecting empire were a holy crusade not only against the Soviet Union, which was demonized by them, but against Islam, which also was demonized by them (since they were ethnocentric Jews and the people whose land the 'Israelis' had stolen were overwhelmingly Muslims -- and now were very second-class citizens in their own long-ancestral and also birth-land). This was how they distinguished themselves from "paleoconservatism" which wasn't nearly so Messianic, but which was more overtly ethnocentric, though ethnic Christian, instead of ethnic Jewish. The "paleoconservatives" were isolationists, not imperialists. They originated from the opponents of America's entry into WW II against the imperialists of that time, who were the fascists. Those American "isolationists" would have given us a world controlled by Hitler and his Axis allies. All conservatism is absurd, but there are many forms of it, none of which makes intelligent sense.

The roots of neoconservatism are 100% imperialistic, colonialist, supremacist, and blatantly evil. They hate Russia because they still crave to conquer it , and don't know how, short of nuclear annihilation, which would be extremely dangerous, even for themselves. So, they endanger everyone.

[Jan 19, 2020] CNN is Trash

Jan 19, 2020 | failedevolution.blogspot.com

Then CNN turned to a story that it had reported on just prior to the debate, alleging that Sanders had told Senator Elizabeth Warren that he did not believe a woman could be elected U.S. president. The CNN moderator ignored Sanders' assertions that he had a public record going back decades of stating that a woman could be elected president, that he had stayed out of the race in 2015 until Warren decided not to run, and that in fact he had told Warren no such thing. Then came this exchange:
CNN: So Senator Sanders -- Senator Sanders, I do want to be clear here, you're saying that you never told Senator Warren that a woman could not win the election?

SANDERS: That is correct.

CNN: Senator Warren, what did you think when Senator Sanders told you a woman could not win the election?
You don't have to know that you'd be better off with free college and Medicare for All than with yet another war to recognize the bias here.

Many viewers recognized the slant. Many even began to notice the strange double standard in never mentioning the cost of any of the wars, but pounding away on the misleading assertions that healthcare and other human needs cost too much. Here's a question asked by CNN on Tuesday:
" Vice President Biden, does Senator Sanders owe voters a price tag on his health care plan? "

There was even time for this old stand-by bit of name-calling: " Senator Sanders, you call yourself a Democratic Socialist. But more than two-thirds of voters say they are not enthusiastic about voting for a socialist. Doesn't that put your chances of beating Donald Trump at risk? "

So say the people who did so much to elect Donald Trump.
Source, links:
https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/01/17/cnn-is-trash/

[Jan 19, 2020] The fact is, it's impossible to elect a real "populist outsider" as US President. The system is set up to ensure that NEVER happens.

Jan 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Jan 18 2020 1:32 utc | 83

I agree with everyone that doesn't believe the political farce/headfake/psyop.

The fact is, it's impossible to elect a real "populist outsider" as US President. The system is set up to ensure that NEVER happens.

I used to get very frustrated by b's failure to understand US politics but it's now clear to me that anti-USA/anti-Empire folks LOVE to talk up Trump because they think they can exploit a rift in USA power elite - a rift that doesn't really exist .

The standard push-back response to someone like me saying that Trump was selected as President is: bu..but Trump is not a puppet! LOL. That's right! He's a faux populist team player . Just like Obama.

I explain more at my blog. Start with this: https://jackrabbit.blog/2018/08/more-evidence-that-trump-was-the-deep-state-choice/ .

<> <> <> <> <> <>

Triangle of power ... corporate, executive government, and military factions

This is naive. It's an outdated theory. Anyone that knows American society knows that power has become concentrated since this theory was first proposed. And that concentration has put EMPIRE FIRST warmongers/neocons at the top of heap.

Furthermore, Russia's willingness to confront USA in 2013 and 2014 had a profound effect on the pampered Empire-builders that thought that they and their progeny would rule the world. The Trump psy-op is their answer to the challenge from Russia and China.

=
Afghanistan and Trump's "lecture" to the Generals

Well, Trump is STILL THERE (in Afghanistan), isn't he?

And I'd be very skeptical of anything WaPo had to say about Trump.

IMO Trump isn't looking to withdraw from Afghanistan, or NATO, or North Korea, or Syria, or anywhere else. He's looking for Generals that have a will to fight. And that's a very scary prospect.

=
the military faction did not concur with his 'America first' isolationist tendencies.

Sorry, virtually everybody that matters in USA ("the 1%") is EMPIRE FIRST. Trump's 'America First' is just a bullshit slogan to fool the masses. Just as much as Obama's "Change You Can Believe In" was.

Trump is NOT an isolationist. Why does this false narrative still persist? Trump's many acts of war attest to his belligerent interventionist nature:

> seizing Venezuelan government assets;

> seizing Syrian oil fields;

> the assassination of an Iranian General;

> reneging on peace terms with North Korean (IMO reneging on a peace deal with a country that you're still technically at war with is an act of war);

> Pulling out of Cold War I arms treaties with Russia and militarizing space;

> taking sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - going against UN resolutions to do so;

> recognizing Golan Heights as Israeli - going against UN resolutions to do so;

> support for the Saudi war against Yemen - which includes arms sales, training, and even targeting.


These countries haven't declared war only because it's impractical to do so.

Why can't people see what charlatans Obama and Trump are? What has Trump done to demonstrate that he will be true to his campaign rhetoric? Nothing! Trump:

- didn't prosecute Hillary;

- didn't "end Obamacare on day one";

- didn't exit from NATO;

- didn't exit from the Middle-east;

- hasn't ended the threat from North Korea;

- hasn't brought jobs back (we just have more low-end jobs);

- hasn't "drained the swamp".

=
Most of the 'dopes and babies' who were in that room have since been fired or retired.

Really? What about this: Obama's Military Coup Purges 197 Officers In Five Years .

b's oversight highlights how the focus on TRUMP!! obscures what the Deep State has really been up to. And how even smart people like b are drawn into false narratives.

=
... Trump seems to have a good chance to win the next election.

Many moa commenters have been saying much the same. But the reasoning that three power centers are lined up for Trump is a red-herring.

Plus, whether Trump wins the next election or not, USA is on a path to war.

!!

[Jan 19, 2020] Foreign Policy Is Domestic Policy The National Interest

Jan 19, 2020 | nationalinterest.org

September 18, 2012 Topic: Domestic Politics Elections Global Governance Region: United States Foreign Policy Is Domestic Policy

The hubris that the external behavior of the United States has no impact on the domestic condition of the country can no longer be indulged.

by Nikolas K. Gvosdev ,

[Jan 19, 2020] Has US overplayed its tech advantage

Jan 19, 2020 | www.asiatimes.com

This partly explains why the US is taking its battle on 5G technology with the Chinese so seriously. As a faltering global leader, the Americans do not take it kindly when China tries to snatch a lunch right from under their nose. As such, the US-China trade war goes beyond economics and ideology. It is about global domination across every conceivable technology that consumers and governments worldwide are addicted to these days.

Metaphorically, technology is the new opium that rakes in money, power and control. Take a look at the way consumers across the world are utilizing technologies. From smartphones to mobile apps, from cloud-computing to cybersecurity, trillions of dollars are being spent by consumers and their governments. The Americans were laughing their way to the bank until the Chinese came along and upset their game.

As greed has no boundary or limit, every challenger or opposition to the consumption of this "new opium" means a loss in revenue, power and control for the US and its preferred allies. Sharing the spoils with others is looking like an inconceivable option for them at this stage.

To call the tension between the US and China a trade war undermines this greater reality. From unilateral sanctions to outright destruction of economies, it is starting to look as if the US is using technology to regain global domination at all costs.

[Jan 19, 2020] The US-China "Trade Deal" by Paul Craig Roberts

Notable quotes:
"... Trump is covering his retraction by calling it a trade deal. China's part of the deal is to agree to purchase the US goods that it already intended to purchase. ..."
Jan 18, 2020 | www.informationclearinghouse.info

The first thing to understand is that it is not a trade deal. It is Trump backing off his tariffs when he discovered that the tarrifs fall on US goods and American consumers, not on China. Trump is covering his retraction by calling it a trade deal. China's part of the deal is to agree to purchase the US goods that it already intended to purchase.

The purpose of tariffs is to protect domestic producers from foreign competition by raising the price of imported goods. What Trump, his administration, and the financial press did not understand is that at least half of the US trade deficit with China is the offshored goods produced in China by such corporations as Apple, Nike, and Levi. The offshored production of US global corporations counts as imports when they are brought into the US to be sold to Americans. Thus, the cost of the tariffs were falling on US corporations and US consumers.

Tariffs are not an effective way to bring offshored US manufacturing home. If Trump or any US government wants to bring US manufacturing back to the US from its offshored locations, the way to achieve this result is to change the way the US taxes corporations. The rule would be: If a US corporation produces in the US with US labor for US markets, the firm's profits are taxed at a low rate. If the corporation produces products for the US market abroad with foreign labor, the tax rate will be high enough to more than wipe out the labor cost savings.

As I have emphasized for years, the offshoring of US manufacturing has inflicted massive external costs on the United States. Middle class jobs have been lost, careers ended, living standards of former US manufacturing workers and families have dropped. The tax base of cities and states has shrunk, causing cutbacks in public services and undermining municipal and state pension funds. You can add to this list. These costs are the true cost of the increased profits from the lower foreign labor and compliance costs. A relatively few executives and shareholders benefitted at the expense of a vast number of Americans.

This is the problem that needs to be addressed and corrected.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts' latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West , How America Was Lost , and The Neoconservative Threat to World Order . Donate and support Dr, Roberts Work.

[Jan 19, 2020] In Bullying Iraq, America is Starting to Look Like the New Evil Empire

Jan 19, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The U.S. has occasionally exerted pressure on democratic allies, but never treated them like servile pawns. Until now. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (C) and his wife Susan (R) wait to board a helicopter to the US embassy at the terminal at Baghdad International Airport on January 9, 2019.(ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

January 17, 2020

|

12:01 am

Ted Galen Carpenter A policy statement that the State Department issued on January 10 asserts that "America is a force for good in the Middle East." It adds, "We want to be a friend and partner to a sovereign, prosperous, and stable Iraq." Yet the Trump administration's recent conduct toward Iraq indicates a very different (and much uglier) policy. Washington is behaving like an impatient, imperial power that has concluded that an obstreperous colony requires a dose of corrective discipline.

Washington's late December airstrikes on Iraqi militia targets, in retaliation for the killing of an American civilian contractor working at a base in northern Iraq, greatly provoked the Iraqi government and population. Massive anti-American demonstrations erupted in several cities, and an assault on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad forced diplomats to take refuge in a special " safe room ."

The drone strike on Iranian General Qassem Soleimani outside Baghdad a few days later was an even more brazen violation of Iraq's sovereignty. Carrying out the assassination on Iraqi territory when Soleimani was there at the invitation of Prime Minister Adel Abdull Mahdi to discuss a new peace feeler from Saudi Arabia was especially clumsy and arrogant. It created suspicions that the United States was deliberately seeking to maintain turmoil in the Middle East to justify its continued military presence there. The killing of Soleimani (as well as two influential Iraqi militia leaders) led Iraq's government to pass a resolution calling on Mahdi to expel U.S. forces stationed in the country, and he promptly began to prepare legislation to implement that goal.

Trump's initial reaction to the prospect that Baghdad might order U.S. troops to leave was akin to a foreign policy temper tantrum. He threatened America's democratic ally with harsh economic sanctions if it dared to take that step. As Trump put it, "we will charge them sanctions like they've never seen before, ever. It'll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame."

Over the following days, it became apparent that the sanctions threat was not just a spontaneous, intemperate outburst on the part of President Trump. Compelling Iraq to continue hosting U.S. forces was official administration policy. Senior officials from the Treasury Department and other agencies began drafting specific sanctions that could be imposed. Washington explicitly warned the Iraqi government that it could lose access to its account held at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Such a freeze would amount to financial strangulation of the country's already fragile economy.

U.S. arrogance towards Baghdad seems almost boundless. When Mahdi asked the administration to " prepare a mechanism " for the exit of American forces and commence negotiations towards that transition, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flatly refused . Indeed, the State Department's January 10 statement made it clear that there would be no such discussions: "At this time, any delegation sent to Iraq would be dedicated to discussing how to best recommit to our strategic partnership -- not to discuss troop withdrawal, but our right, appropriate force posture in the Middle East."

Throughout the Cold War, U.S. leaders proudly proclaimed that NATO and other American-led alliances were voluntary associations of free nations. Conversely, the Warsaw Pact alliance of Eastern European countries formed in response to NATO was a blatantly imperial enterprise of puppet regimes under the Kremlin's total domination. Moscow's brutal suppression of even modest political deviations within its satellite empire helped confirm the difference. Soviet tanks rolled into East Germany in 1953, Hungary in 1956, and Czechoslovakia in 1968 to crush reform factions and solidify a Soviet military occupation. Even when the USSR did not resort to such heavy-handed measures, it was clear that the "allies" were on a very short leash.

Although the United States has occasionally exerted pressure on its allies when they've opposed its objectives, it has not attempted to treat democratic partners as servile pawns. That is why the Trump administration's current behavior towards Iraq is so troubling and exhibits such unprecedented levels of crudeness. America is in danger of becoming the geopolitical equivalent of a middle school bully.

If Washington refuses to withdraw its forces from Iraq, defying the Baghdad government's calls to leave, those troops will no longer be guests or allies. They would constitute a hostile army of occupation, however elaborate the rhetorical facade.

At that point, America would no longer be a moral "force for good" in the Middle East or anywhere else. The United States would be behaving as an amoral imperial power imposing its authority on weaker democratic countries that dare adopt measures contrary to Washington's policy preferences. America might not yet have replaced the Soviet Union as (in Ronald Reagan's words) the "evil empire," but it will be disturbingly far along the path to that status.

Ted Galen Carpenter, a senior fellow in defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute and a contributing editor at The American Conservative , is the author of 12 books and more than 850 articles on international affairs.


me 2 days ago

"America is in danger of becoming the geopolitical equivalent of a middle school bully"?

Its not a mere prospect, its history. The US has been a bully for many years, at least for the last 20 years, if not more.

It is 100% irrelevant what American think of their "moral standing" in the world. In terms of foreign policy, it only matter what OTHER countries think, right or wrong. The rest of the world already think the US govt is a bully. The fact that Trump, became president is simply the icing on the big reveal cake. Yes, foreign powers helped Trump win the election, but that was simply an effect on the margin. The majority of Trump supporters do not need Russian interference to be swayed by him. Trump action embodies that which his supports wanted for many many years.

What Trump has done is give foreign allies something tangible, indisputable proof to point to, every time the US come knocking on their door ask for help on "this", "that" and the "other thing". From now on, they will make sure the get favorable terms in writing, rather than verbal agreements.

Gary Sellars me a day ago
Upvoted, even though you repeat the BS allegations of Russian "interference". Social media traffic mining by a privately-owned clickbait operation and an email leak to Wikileaks from the DNC by a disgruntled insider is not "Russian interference". A handful of FB ads taken out both before and after the elections, and slamming BOTH trump and Shrillary is likewise evidence of nothing.

"Russiagate" is a hoax, a monumental LIE foisted onto the US public by a vengeful Democrat party, their political-appointees within government agencies, the corporate media and the Deep State reptiles who need eternal hostility to Russia to justify the $1T per annum gravy train that so enriches them.

John Mann Gary Sellars a day ago
Upvoted, even though your choice of description for the idiotic allegations of Russian interference is not appropriate for genteel society.
Aker John Mann 20 hours ago • edited
Russiagate and other forms of Anti-Russian yapping are but an effort for a risingly dysfunctional society to blame outsiders for failure and dysfunction.

[Jan 19, 2020] Trump as the dark soul of America

Jan 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Circe , Jan 18 2020 16:47 utc | 143

You wanna know who Trump really is? Trump is the dark soul of America. He's everything ugly that Amerikkka is: greedy, immoral, corrupt, an uncouth bully...more than that, he's a lawless tyrant, a pretentious hypocrite that sends the dumb masses kids to kill, die and occupy sovereign property while he, the privileged spends hundreds of millions revelling in superficial distraction, playing golf, comfortably numb, filthy rich and repulsed at the sight of tent cities, vets sleeping under bridges and by the migrant help that clean the toilets, pluck chickens all day and are bent over for hours picking crops at slave wages so he, his trophy wife and the well-off he favors, can eat.

Trump is America's depraved soul that Republicans and Zionists want to nurture and protect, because he's the Chosen one delivering everything they dreamed of; that Democrats are powerless to remove because Trump's the price you pay when your own hands are stained with the blood of those you killed with those you sent to war, stained with the betrayal of your principles and your own on behalf of AIPAC and corporate bribery to gain power.

Everything Trump is, Amerikkka is, and that's why he's in power. He's in the White House because he IS Amerikkka and who Amerikkka desires and deserves. Trump is the irresistable, uncensored charlatan; the rasputin Amerikkkans lusted after to free their lawless, depraved nature and latent immorality from the mask of shame, fake decorum and respectability. He's reassured Amerikkkans that selling your soul to the devil to do God's work is okay, as long as the end always justifes the means, and they love it!

[Jan 19, 2020] America can be a force for good in the Middle East.

Jan 19, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

LostForWords a day ago

America can be a force for good in the Middle East. The day is coming when Iran and Israel will, with US help, partner Israel to lift the ME out of its ignorance and poverty, and Saudi Arabia will, in the absence of the Shia revolution, be able to ditch its Wahhabist extremism.

[Jan 19, 2020] With "help" like this from CNN, one struggles to imagine what sabotage might look like.

Is Warren Warren the Jussie Smollet of politics. I wonder if she claims Bernie attacked her while wearing a red hat and screaming, "A woman can't win! This is MAGA country!"
Jan 18, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Connecticut Farmer a day ago

SCENARIO I

Joe is conservative, libertarian or possibly both.
Joe opposes Bernie Sanders on ideological grounds.
Ergo, Joe and Bernie have a different worldview.

SCENARIO II

Joe is conservative, libertarian or possibly both.
Joe opposes Liz Warren on ideological grounds.
Ergo, Joe is an unprincipled sexist.

esquimaux 11 hours ago
Being one of Liz' constituents and familiar with her career and her base (consisting of people like me,) I think she faces so little consequence for her "embellishments" at least in part because "we" (her base) inhabit an environment in which, with ease, we adjust facts and perceptions to conform to whatever our self-serving narrative of the moment may be.

We know that Liz will say anything she imagines will be to her advantage and it's okay with "us" that she does. In a way, she's our ideal candidate and media darling because she reflects and affirms our plastic values.

[Jan 19, 2020] Trump and his Iran adventure

Jan 19, 2020 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

"For fools rush in where angels fear to tread
Distrustful sense with modest caution speaks,
It still looks home, and short excursions makes;

But rattling nonsense in full volleys breaks,
And, never shocked, and never turned aside.
Bursts out, resistless, with a thundering tide."

Alexander Pope, Essay on Criticism

[Jan 19, 2020] Sometimes House accidentally tells the truth

Yes, with Soleimani assassination and subsequent crisis Trump crossed the red line. But the House is afraid to tell he whole truth... Obama was probably even bigger threat to the US national security, especially with Hillary as the Secretary of State and hi Libyan and Syrian adventures.
Jan 19, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

The 111-page summons urges the Senate to "eliminate the threat that the President poses to America's national security" as it lays out the case against President Trump.

emmanuelthoreau , 1 hour ago link

Hilarious. What other president would've tolerated this?

**** Cheney would've had the homes of these people "visited" by faceless-looking men long ago, evidence gathered, and a second visit made a few weeks later to protect himself and Bush. Just to pluck one recent administration out of thin air.

Trump doesn't seem all that worried. Maybe that's for a reason most of us can't possibly comprehend.

This country is fucked and you know it.

[Jan 19, 2020] The Little-Known Loophole in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty The National Interest

Jan 19, 2020 | nationalinterest.org

North Korea's cavalier rejection of its NPT membership in 2003 is a prime example , but many saw it as a case not applicable to most member states. However, more recently, Saudi Arabia , and Turkey and Iran (which, after the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, is looking for new ways to upset Washington), have gone so far as ti layout terms under which they would leave the treaty and even obtain nuclear weapons, statements without precedent in the treaty's history.

A number of otherwise respectable member countries, such as South Korea , also have political parties in their legislatures that advocate treaty withdrawal and acquisition of nuclear weapons.

We have to take seriously the possibility that -- without international action to arrest this tendency -- the already frayed bonds that tie countries to the NPT and the pledge not to acquire nuclear weapons may not hold. This would presage a world with many more nuclear states and a vastly increased risk of nuclear use.

Victor Gilinsky is program advisor for the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center (NPEC) in Arlington, Virginia. He served on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission under Presidents Ford, Carter, and Reagan. Henry Sokolski is executive director of NPEC and the author of Underestimated: Our Not So Peaceful Nuclear Future (second edition 2019). He served as deputy for nonproliferation policy in the office of the U.S. secretary of defense in the Cheney Pentagon.

[Jan 19, 2020] Did Washing played on oil price hike threat to achive Genramny, France and GB compliance

Notable quotes:
"... Washington Post ..."
Jan 19, 2020 | www.wsws.org

Britain and the EU powers fear Washington's ever-escalating aggression against Iran will spark an all-out war that will redound against their own imperialist interests, even if it doesn't immediately draw in Russia and China. A war would send oil prices soaring, roil the European economy, spark another massive refugee crisis and further radicalize a growing working class counter-offensive.

No doubt Pompeo and others have told the Europeans that if they want to restrain Trump, avert a major conflagration and retain influence in the Middle East, they must rally behind Washington and its maximum pressure campaign.

To these dubious incentives, the Trump administration added a trade war threat, according to a report published yesterday by the Washington Post under the title, "Days before Europeans warned Iran of nuclear deal violations, Trump secretly threatened to impose 25 percent tariff on European autos if they didn't."

[Jan 19, 2020] Iran The EU-three Trigger Dispute Mechanism in Iran Nuclear Deal New Eastern Outlook

Jan 19, 2020 | journal-neo.org

Why, after so many assurances to the contrary, have the three European Iran's Nuclear Deal Partner's – Germany, France, the UK – decided to go after Iran, to follow the US dictate again?

The short answer is because the cowards. They have zero backbone to stand up against the US hegemony, because they are afraid to be sanctioned – as Trump indicated if they were to honor the" Nuclear Deal". Iran is absolutely in their right to progressively increase uranium enrichment, especially since the US dropped out unilaterally, without any specific reasons, other than on Netanyahu's orders – of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also called Iran's Nuclear Deal.

Just a few days ago Ms. Angela Merkel met with President Putin in Moscow, and BOTH pledged in front of a huge press crowd that the Nuclear Deal must stay, must be maintained and validated.

And now, because of Trump's Barbarian threats, trade threats on Europe – an increase of up to 25% import taxes on European cars – and wanting a new deal with Iran, whatever that means, they, the Europeans – the three Nuclear Deal partners, back down. Why not call Trump's bluff? As China did. This Barbarian Kingpin is lashing around his deathbed with tariffs and sanctions, it is only a sign of weakness, a sign of slowly but surely disappearing in the – hopefully – bottomless abyss.

This threesome is a bunch of shameless and hopeless cowards. They have not realized yet that the west, starting with the US empire, is passé. It's a sinking ship. It's high time for Iran to orient herself towards the east. Iran is already a Middle-Eastern key hub for the Chinese Belt and Road initiative (BRI), or the New Silk road. Iran can do without Europe; and the US needs Europe more than vice-versa. But the 'chickens' haven't noticed that yet.

On the behest of Washington, the Trump clown, they, Germany, France and the UK, want to start an official dispute process, bringing Iran back to where it was before the Nuclear Deal, and reinstating all the UN sanctions of before the signature of the deal in July 2015. And this despite the fact that Iran has adhered to their part of the deal by 100%, as several times attested to by the Atomic Energy Commission in Vienna. Can you imagine what these abhorrent Europeans are about to do?

This reminds of how Europe pilfered, robbed and raped Africa and the rest of the now called developing world, for hundreds of years. No ethics, no qualms, just sheer egocentricity and cowardice. The European Barbarians and those on the other side of the Atlantic deserve each other. And they deserve disappearing in the same bottomless pit.

Iran may consider three ideas:

1) Call the European bluff. Let them start the dispute process – and let them drive it all the way to the UN Security Council. Their spineless British Brother in Crime, BoJo, also called the British Prime-Minister, Boris Johnson, will do the job for them, bringing the case "Iran Nuclear Deal – and Sanctions" to the UN Security Council – where it will fail, because Russia and China will not approve the motion.

2) Much more important, Dear Friends in Iran – do not trust the Europeans for even one iota ! – They have proven time and again that they are not trustworthy. They buckle under every time Trump is breaking wind – and

3) Dedollarize your economy even faster – move as far as possible away from the west – join the Eastern economy, that controls at least one third of the world's GDP. You are doing already a lot in this direction – but faster. Join the SCO – the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, comprising half of Mother Earth's population; ditch the dollar and the SWIFT payment system, join instead the Chinese Interbank Payment System (CIPS) – and be free of the sanction-prone western monetary system. Eastern monetary transactions are blocking out western dollar-based sanctions. Already your hydrocarbon trades with China, Russia, India and others are not carried out in US dollars, but in local currencies, Chinese yuans, Russian rubles and Indian rupees.

True – Iran will have to confront Iran-internally the western (NATO) and CIA trained, funded and bought Atlantists, the Fifth Columnists. They are the ones that create constant virulently violent unrest in the cities of Iran; they are trained – and paid for – to bring about Regime Change. That's what Russia and China and Venezuela and Cuba are also confronted with. They, the Fifth Columnists have to be eradicated. It's a challenge, but it should be doable.

Follow the Ayatollah's route. He is on the right track – looking East.

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. After working for over 30 years with the World Bank he penned Implosion , an economic thriller, based on his first-hand experience. Exclusively for the online magazine " New Eastern Outlook. "

[Jan 18, 2020] Major Political Changes in Russia

Jan 18, 2020 | www.unz.com

Major announcements in this State of the Nation speech on Jan 15, 2020.

Here is a very brief summary to get the conversation started.

Immediate politics :

who reduced uncollected VAT from 20% to 1%. Source tells me FM Sergey Lavrov rumored to be permanently retiring.

Constitutional changes :

Demographics :

continued fall in Russia's fertility rates to 1.5 children per woman this year (up from post-Soviet peak of close to 1.8 in mid-2000s), setting 1.7 children per woman as the new target for 2024. Reaffirmed demographics as the first national priority. Maternity capital to be increased by further 150,000 rubles and constitute 616,617 rubles (≈$10,000) for a family with two children, to be annually indexed.

***

Some very tentative thoughts :

(1) I have long thought now that Putin's end game is to transition into an overseeing "elder statesman" role, along the model of Lee Kuan Yew/PAP in Singapore [see 1 , 2 , 3 ]. This appears to be the final confirmation that this is happening.

(2) Questions about the succession revolved around (a) The Belarus variant, in which it effectively constitutes a new state with Russia, allowing Putin to become the supreme head of that state; (b) A constitutional reshuffle such as the one we're seeing here. This question has also been answered.


utu , says: January 15, 2020 at 5:16 pm GMT

" Putin's end game is to transition into an overseeing "elder statesman" role" – Not always does it work: King Lear, Benedict 16.

"Lear gave up a God-given duty and right to rule his people. His tragic flaw 'hamartia' is presumptuousness. He presumes that he can divest himself of what God invested him with (the Elizabethan idea of the divine rights of the ruler), he grows in tragic stature as the play progresses." – found on google.

AnonFromTN , says: January 15, 2020 at 5:28 pm GMT

Putin's end game is to transition into an overseeing "elder statesman" role

Looks more like he plans to become a powerful Prime Minister after 2024, rather than elder statesman. Might be good in the medium term: politicians of his caliber are rare. Still, in the longer term Russia needs a real successor: rule by committee never works, even in smaller and simpler countries.

Anatoly Karlin , says: Website January 15, 2020 at 5:42 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN I think (and it's already been said for years) that's he too tired for the role of PM, which is more intensive than the Presidency and involved dealing with boring domestic crap whereas the Presidency, at least, offers more in the way of Grand Strategy, diplomacy, etc.

I think the likeliest game plan is for him to chair a much more empowered State Council after 2024. (This is what Nazarbayev did with the Security Council after retiring last year).

Felix Keverich , says: January 15, 2020 at 5:42 pm GMT

Presidential candidates should have been resident in Russia for 25 years (previously 10 years) and never had a foreign citizenship. (This rules out a large proportion of Atlanticists and crypto-Atlanticists).

Does this imply, that they'll allow an actual election in 2024? I'm getting excited

Speaking of constitutional changes, they should just get rid of the entire Yeltsin's text, and write a new one. Yeltsin's constitution is a mishmash of French and American constitutions, completely detached from the country's realities and tradition.

So union with Belarus is still on the table right? But if that happens it would be Belarus joining a continuous RF, under the newly modified constitution?

My take on this is that Lukashenka told Putin to piss off, and he did. So no union.

JPM , says: January 15, 2020 at 5:44 pm GMT

Reaffirmed demographics as the first national priority.

How about not importing all of Central Asia, so that wages aren't depressed. Higher wages might boost that low TFR.

Maternity capital to be increased by further 150,000 rubles and constitute 616,617 rubles (≈$10,000) for a family with two children, to be annually indexed.

Will that will help subsidize the Chechens, Avars, Laks etc. the most relative to their population size because Russia is a "Multinational" state with equality for all of its "constituent" nations?

Speaking of which will Uzbek and Tajik guests be able to get in on that too? A future Russian Duma might need to grant more rights to them because Russia will need more workers to support its aging population. They speak Russian after all, and there is a shared history. So, they will integrate well into society. I feel like that is what a future Russian PM will be arguing a few years down the line.

AnonFromTN , says: January 15, 2020 at 5:46 pm GMT
@Boswald Bollocksworth s everything that is going to befall it.
Second, Lukashenko himself is a problem. He might be qualified to run a small agrobusiness, but certainly nothing greater than that. Yet his outsized ego (common among morons, think Bush Jr) won't let him fade away peacefully.
Third, Belarus is subsidized by Russia, and many Russian citizens believe that the money would be much better spent inside Russia or helping countries that deserve this aid, like Syria.
Maybe Putin thinks differently, but he does a lot to remain popular. So, after pension reform hit to his support I don't think he is going to do something most people disapprove of.
Anatoly Karlin , says: Website January 15, 2020 at 5:48 pm GMT
@JPM Fortunately, there's very little Central Asian breeding going on it Russia – the pattern is for them to make their money (5-10x what they can make at home) and raise families at home.

Chechens, Avars, etc. will benefit disproportionately, but the program is after all primarily intended as an incentive. Personally, I think a childlessness tax will be much more effective, since people react better to penalties than rewards – plus it will rake in a net profit – but I don't suppose its politically feasible in the modern age.

Thulean Friend , says: January 15, 2020 at 5:53 pm GMT
Seems like a good balance between a liberal direction – limiting any one president to two absolute terms while substantially increasing the say of the parliament – and some common sense requirements (like on citizenship).

Putting it to a referendum is also welcome. The will of the people should not only be heard but increased.

Putin bemoaned continued fall in Russia's fertility rates to 1.5 children per woman this year (up from post-Soviet peak of close to 1.8 in mid-2000s), setting 1.7 children per woman as the new target for 2024.
Reaffirmed demographics as the first national priority.
Maternity capital to be increased by further 150,000 rubles and constitute 616,617 rubles (≈$10,000) for a family with two children, to be annually indexed.

I doubt this will work.

The biggest problem for fertility all over the world is housing. As long as the housing sector is neoliberalised, it will be a major impediment. Affordable housing is per definition low-margin and hence not interesting to private developers. For them, a perpetual housing shortage pushes up the profit margin. All firms are constantly seeking to maximise profits, so their behaviour is rational from a purely market fundamentalist point of view. That's why market fundamentalism need to be overthrown. There has to be a massive building spree to lower the cost of housing to no more than 4-5 years of annual (net) wages for a median worker to buy without debt. That would be the real game changer. Import the churkas and get it done.

The second problem is ideology and religiosity. If you look at Israel, a major component of their high fertility is the massively increasing Haredi sector. Even outside the Haredis, they have a high share of genuinely religious jews. For the seculars, TFR is still a respectable 2.5, which is likely explained by nationalism. Whatever Russian nationalism is, it isn't very fecund. Russians aren't very religious either, though Putin seems to be. Church attendence in Russia is quite low. At this stage, I don't believe high fertility can be solved without going into artificial wombs and more exotic solutions. A cultural revolution doesn't seem to be on the cards.

(2) Questions about the succession revolved around (a) The Belarus variant, in which it effectively constitutes a new state with Russia, allowing Putin to become the supreme head of that state; (b) A constitutional reshuffle such as the one we're seeing here. This question has also been answered.

I still think Belarus will be swallowed by Russia within this decade.

[Jan 18, 2020] The new role of Russian Federation State Council in Putin plan

Jan 18, 2020 | www.unz.com

Mitleser , says: January 15, 2020 at 6:13 pm GMT

@Aly so Chairman of the State Council.

The State Council includes the following members: the Speaker of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, the Speaker of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoys to the federal districts, senior officials (heads of the highest executive agencies of state power) in Russia's federal constituent entities, and the heads of the political parties in the State Duma.

http://en.kremlin.ru/structure/state-council

[Jan 18, 2020] Mishustin is a genius at reforming bureaucracies with IT systems

Jan 18, 2020 | www.unz.com

Philip Owen , says: January 15, 2020 at 6:28 pm GMT

Mishustin is a genius at reforming bureaucracies with IT systems. He is also an economist who thinks Russia should be less autarkic. He is in the Kudrin camp. For example, he is still scheduled to speak at the Gaidar forum. Shoigu seems to have fallen back. M is associated witht he Union of Right Forces.

There has been a huge Twitter storm of people/trolls posting this a Putin's effort to stay in power.

[Jan 18, 2020] More power to Parliament means Oligarchy control, like all western countries.

Jan 18, 2020 | www.unz.com

nickels , says: January 15, 2020 at 6:59 pm GMT

More power to Parliament means Oligarchy control, like all western countries.
Not good.
Maïkl Makfaïl , says: January 15, 2020 at 11:47 pm GMT
@nickels Exactly . Kudrin and his friends want parliament to have more power so that the russian people have less of it. They know they have 0 legitimacy , that the people hate them and that they would never survive at the top of the political elite if a real and intelligent nationalist comes to power in Russia one day ( Putin is a half-disapointment whose main merit is to have benefited from the work of Primakov ). They want the presidency to be paralysed . I hope they wont succeed and that there will always be a strong statesman on their way in Russia.
Thulean Friend , says: January 16, 2020 at 4:50 am GMT
@nickels control away from oligarchs, but that is more due to his own force of personality rather than the system itself.

In brief, whether a country will be beholden to oligarchs is less due to the governance structure and more about the general culture. Some countries have a very corrupt citizenry/culture and that will produce bad outcomes in most situations in the long run regardless of the political system. This can only be suspended temporarily by a very strong leader – but you only get them infrequently.

The only hope to reduce power of oligarchs when Putin leaves power is to attack corruption in society, at both high levels and ground levels.

nickels , says: January 16, 2020 at 3:17 pm GMT
@Thulean Friend 'The only institution ever devised by men for mastering the money powers in the state is the Monarchy.'
Napolean.

Belloc, for one, writes over and over on this theme.

Most European histories are Whig histories, and, hence, worthless on this topic. Which is not to discount your valid point about princes becoming indebted to jews. Aristocracy had this problem to a greater extent.

Daniel Chieh , says: January 16, 2020 at 5:30 pm GMT
@nickels advantage. Contrary to Thulean, I believe that universal rule of law actually weakens the state and its ability to control merchantile factions. Of course, casual acceptance of "rule of power" is a form of corruption and if it isn't limited to the strongman himself, results in wasteful factionalism.

However, this essential snubbing of the merchantile factions has the very obvious result of them working against the state, for "rule of law"(which benefits them), and of course, not helping their rivals in the warrior factions. In the long run, lack of access to liquidity can severely cripple governments that don't play well with potential creditors.

nickels , says: January 16, 2020 at 7:56 pm GMT
@Daniel Chieh

I believe that universal rule of law actually weakens the state and its ability to control merchantile factions.

Yes, I think this is the key factor. Government by committee is no government, which means the parasites will rise to take over.

Additionally, the western stupidity of tying everything to high flown abstractions, i.e. universal law and principles, is both idiotic and impossible. History demands the intervention of the intellect, i.e. the mind of the monarch or the autocrat.

Thulean Friend , says: January 16, 2020 at 8:06 pm GMT
@nickels e was not particularly involved in planning the conquest and the company self-financed much of the early stages of the conquest itself, ironically enough often from wealthy Indians who were given attractive financing options. The company innovated many things we take for granted today, such as the joint stock company. Of course, the British state did step in eventually but by that time much of the groundwork had already been set. Adjusted for inflation, the EIC was many times larger than either Google or Apple is today at its peak, closer to 4+ trillion USD.

Too much of history blindly focuses on kings and rulers while ignoring many non-state actors.

nickels , says: January 16, 2020 at 9:01 pm GMT
@Thulean Friend Sounds interesting, thx.
'Why War' by Frederic Clemson Howe had a similar theme about how the 'flag followed the dollar' in the lead up to WWI.
Philip Owen , says: January 17, 2020 at 12:11 am GMT
@Thulean Friend money from private trading as company employees were allowed to do. The less rich one commanded three regiments of cavalry at the 3rd siege of Seringapatam. He was elected Prize Officer and thus had an extra share.

They returned and with other East India men built a canal to a coal mine they opened on the hill above an iron works eventually connecting Clydach Gorge to the sea thus launching the industrial revolution in South Wales. So there are very direct links between profits from trade and the industrial revolution. They fed off each other. South Wales at one time produced most of the world's copper. This was in great demand in India for making brass.

[Jan 18, 2020] Today's Russia is a product of several factors

Jan 18, 2020 | www.unz.com

Today's Russia is a product of several factors:

[Jan 18, 2020] The White House said on Friday that it was the Obama administration that authorized former national security adviser Michael Flynn's contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during President Trump's transition, according to CNN.

Jan 18, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

TISO_AX2 Mary Myers a day ago

In fact it is classified information..highly classified according to news reports. And so we're likely to never see it. Flynn was forced out for some reason, presumably good ones. It's hard to say anything for certain because the White House was in disarray in Feb2017. DJT's inexperience in government was glaringly obvious in the first couple of months of his administration. He mishandled several issues badly, paticularly the Flynn episode and James Comey. I said then that he should have replaced Comey on Day 1. Had he done so none of the mess of "Russian collusion" would likely have ever come about. Although he usually gets things right, eventually, his (early) tendencies toward delayed action cost him.
Mary Myers TISO_AX2 a day ago
They always claim something is highly classified when they want to conceal something that will incriminate or embarrass them before the American people.

Trump came into office without an army of bureaucrats to fill all the jobs in the government behemoth. He had to put in people that had been vehemently opposed to him in order to get confirmations. That's why the expression, "The new boss, same as the old boss." And it has certainly been true of Trump regarding foreign policy.

TISO_AX2 Mary Myers 20 hours ago
Well, since it was under Obama that they intercepted Flynn's calls, that's where the classification came from. The USG grows and maintains its power through myriad levels of secrecy. (I was in the game as a CIA communications specialist for 8 years). The game is thoroughly bipartisan.
The White House said on Friday that it was the Obama administration that authorized former national security adviser Michael Flynn's contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during President Trump's transition, according to CNN.

[Jan 18, 2020] In a way the brainwashed Americans and neoliberal propagandists hatred of Russia is hilarious

Jan 18, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Wezz Gary Sellars a day ago

"Russiagate is a hoax" Where did I hear that before?

Oh yes, from Trump about 1000 times... strange that even though he said he was innocent he had to keep telling us every time he opened his mouth... it makes me suspicious for some reason. That and the fact that Trump has been caught lying a few times.

Antiphon Wezz a day ago
I usually assess the validity of such claims on something more substantial than OrangeManBad.
Aker Wezz a day ago • edited
Your hatred of Russia is hilarious. Doubly when Amerilards have a history of interference in other country's governments.

America is objectively a more violent country than Russia. It isn't Russia that has ridicously high violent crime scores despite its wealth. Invaded Afghanistan, attacked Iraq, provided aid for Islamists who'd go on to build ISIS.

I don't recall Putin's regime achieving a higher bodycount than America under Bush with Obama. Keep pretending Putin's some villain from childish stories like Harry Potter or Black Panther.

Aker Aker 20 hours ago • edited
https://en.wikipedia.org/wi...

America's homicide level is Notably higher than West Europe's and Far Eastern lands like Japan. Russia's is only somewhat higher, and is notably less wealthy.

thelastindependentYankee Aker 6 hours ago
The Gulags were resorts I know.
Aker thelastindependentYankee 4 hours ago
Tell us when you plan to shut down Guantanamo Bay and end your dysfunctional prison system. Also, Murica supported enough regimes.
EliteCommInc. Wezz 21 hours ago
It would be interesting if had as much veracity as a hoax ---

but it lacks even that.

Aker Wezz 20 hours ago
https://www.washingtontimes...

https://www.nytimes.com/200...

Apologize for American interference in other countries' governments.

John Mann Wezz 12 hours ago
A stopped clock is right twice a day. Hey, Saddam Hussein turned out to be telling the truth about WMDs.
Aker Gary Sellars 20 hours ago
It's an attempt to assuage a failed presidential candidate and give a target to blame for how society is. If not Trump himself, then Russia.

[Jan 18, 2020] The United States has been an Empire for a long time now, and has acted like an Empire for just as long.

Jan 18, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Sid Finster a day ago

The United States has been an Empire for a long time now, and has acted like an Empire for just as long.

With all due respect, please try to keep up.

Dr. Rieux Sid Finster a day ago • edited
Indeed. The new Evil Empire? We've been the Evil Empire almost as soon as the USSR collapsed.
cka2nd Dr. Rieux 8 hours ago
For a lot longer than that.
Aker cka2nd 30 minutes ago
Manifest Destiny never happened.
joeo a day ago
It is past time for the US to to withdraw from Iraq, Europe, Japan and South Korea. They are more than capable of defending themselves.
Stephen54321 joeo 5 hours ago • edited
joeo: " It is past time for the US to to withdraw from Iraq, Europe, Japan and South Korea. "

Agreed.

joeo: " They are more than capable of defending themselves. "

That's more debatable. Thd US presence has allowed countries like Germany & the UK to keep their armed forces smaller than they otherwise might. If the US pulls out they will probably have to enlarge their armed forces, which in turn would likely provoke others to enlarge their own in response.

An arms race would not be good.

There is also a danger that if America (and its nuclear umbrella) was no longer around in East Asia South Korea in particular (and maybe also Japan) might seek to acquire nuclear weapons to balance China and North Korea (both of which do have them). That would not be good.

Antiphon a day ago
"Evil" Empire - I don't think that word means what he thinks it means...
J Villain a day ago
Has the author been in a coma? No longer a moral force for good? When
has the US ever been a force for good? The US may have the best PR in
the world based in Hollywood but in the real world it is a very
different story. From the slaughter of the indigenous population to the
times you were sailing war ships on the Yangtze River to contol the
lives of those "chinks" there. When you were in Vietnam slaughtering the
people to keep the "gooks" from living the way they wanted to live.
How about the 4+ billion dollars a year you give to Israel to ethnically
cleans the Palestinian people? Maybe when you were running death squads
in South America was your shining moment of good. Bolton told us last
year the current attempt to over throw the Venezuelan government is to
steal the countries oil. Maybe it was when the CIA was selling heroin
into black neighbourhoods in the US that the US was doing good.

What kind of delusional sick twisted people are you to think any thing you
do is good. The US has decided it wants to fight the entire world at
once and if it doesn't back off that is exactly what it will finally
get.

Aker J Villain a day ago • edited
Unfortunately both Neocons and Woke Imperialists (oh sorry, I mean progressives) are yapping that Murica is the light of social justice by taking on the dastardly Putin (who hates the gays). The progs have given up pretending they had any principled opposition to war and accept waging war around the world as long as America flies rainbow flags and has a womyn president.

The above's helped by America's propaganda when it comes to its history (denial that the Founding Fathers were ultimately White Supremacists, denial of imperialism before WW2, pretending that Roosevelt's presidency didn't already engage in hostilites with Japan before Pearl Harbor, pretending that the troops on the ground and leaders fought to protect Jews even though few to none of them opposed segregation, pretending both atomic bombings were needed, pretending there was no race hatred directed at Japanese...).

Sid Finster Aker a day ago
Woke imperialists are just neocons prettied up with some self-serving human rights talk.
Dr. Rieux Sid Finster a day ago
Bill Kristol after gender reassignment surgery.
Josep 13 hours ago
OT
One thing I never understood was the colloquial name for the USA: "America".
Shouldn't that name normally refer to the landmasses that consist of the continents North and South America?
Does
the term 'American' include anything pertaining to Canada, Mexico,
Brazil, Argentina, etc., or does it refer to just anything pertaining to
the USA?

Aside from the fact that the USA was the first
independent nation in the Americas, why didn't the Founding Fathers come
up with an original name like with other new-world countries such as
Canada, Mexico and Brazil? I've seen allegations claiming that the choice of the name 'United States of America' was deliberately chosen to reflect a 'Manifest Destiny', something in the lines of the USA covering the entirety of the Americas (ranging from the northernmost point of Nunavut to the southernmost point of Chile), but the jury is out on the veracity of these allegations. Anyone have a better answer?

Aker Josep 2 hours ago
>the USA was the first
independent nation in the Americas

This is what Amerifats actually believe.

thelastindependentYankee 6 hours ago
Let's ignore the attack on the US embassy- no thanks. We should get out of Iraq but let's not pretend that the Ba'ath regime was minding its own business post Gulf War 1.
Stephen54321 thelastindependentYankee 5 hours ago
What have the Baathists got to do with the situation in present-day Iraq?
JPH 4 hours ago
"Starting to look"????

US is engaged on near full scale economic warfare all over the world:
- Huawei
- ASML
- NordStream
- Iran, Cuba, Venezuela. Argentine
- Swift
- Android

This list is nearly endless.

DukeofAnarchy . 3 hours ago
The US regime has terrorized the world for decades with ultimatums, sanctions, aggressive wars, coups, sponsorship of Jihadi terrorists, and other evils. At least Trump's honest brutality spares us (some of) the sickening hypocritical cant of his predecessors.
Aker DukeofAnarchy . 2 hours ago • edited
Trump is just showing what the Amerifat really is.

[Jan 18, 2020] Ike's Military-Industrial Complex, Six Decades Later

So in retrospect Ike was one of the founding fathers of military industrial complex and the politics of Full Spectrum Dominance
Notable quotes:
"... Yet on January 17, 1961, Ike said: "Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea." He continued: "This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government." ..."
"... In addition, Ike's America maintained substantial garrisons in Western Europe and Japan. At the same time, and more precariously, U.S. troops, advisers, and operatives fanned out across the globe, including to Lebanon, South Vietnam, and Iran. ..."
"... Then came the money sentences: "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist." ..."
"... In fact, we all need a phrase that captures the immensity of the military establishment. The budget of the Department of Defense (DoD) for fiscal year 2020 will be about $718 billion ; DoD directly employs 1.3 million men and women in active duty, as well as more than 700,000 civilian employees. (Another 800,000 serve in the National Guard and reserves.) ..."
"... Indeed, the huge Pentagon budget doesn't fully capture the true scale of the military-industrial complex. To get a better measure, we should also include portions of other agencies harboring substantial military elements, including the CIA, NASA, and the departments of Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs, and Energy (the last of which manages the nuclear stockpile). ..."
"... Six decades later, we must ask ourselves: is the Great Equation still in place? As a nation, are we maintaining all the components of power -- military, economic, and spiritual -- in proper balance? And as we search for the right answer, we might pause over one subtlety in the Eisenhower equation: per the rules of multiplication, if any one of the three components falls to zero, then the product is zero, regardless of the size of the other two components. ..."
"... Many argue that, in fact, U.S. policy has been reduced to just one component -- the military. That is, whom can we threaten, bomb, or occupy? ..."
"... This over-militarization of policy was ably chronicled in Dana Priest's 2003 ..."
"... , The Mission Waging War and Keeping Peace With America's Military ..."
"... . The author describes a Pentagon that had grown so powerful bureaucratically that it had overwhelmed the State Department -- and nowhere more so than in the Middle East. ..."
"... Gosh, but we still have to privatize, several economies (China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, etc.) for the benefit of Wall Street et. comp. How can we do that without DoD...? ..."
Jan 15, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

January 17 marks the 59th anniversary of President Dwight Eisenhower's farewell speech to the nation. After eight years in the White House, just three days before John F. Kennedy would be sworn in as his successor, Ike went on national television and touched on many topics, from promoting the economy to working with Congress.

Yet the heart of his speech was a finely chiseled critique of what he dubbed the "military-industrial complex." This criticism was all the more remarkable, of course, because Eisenhower had been a career military man. Having graduated from West Point in 1915, he had served in the U.S. Army for more than three decades, through two world wars, ultimately rising to the rank of five-star general.

Yet on January 17, 1961, Ike said: "Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea." He continued: "This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government."

By then 70 years old, Ike was no born-again pacifist. He quickly added of the military's enlarging, "We recognize the imperative need for this development." That imperative, of course, was the Cold War, the seemingly permanent eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation of two countries, the U.S. and the U.S.S.R., each glaring at the other with ideological hostility tipped with nuclear technology.

In response to the Soviet threat, Ike had maintained the Cold War structures he had inherited from his predecessor in the Oval Office, Harry Truman. In fact, throughout the 1950s, defense spending hovered around 10 percent of GDP (by comparison, the current percentage is less than four).

In addition, Ike's America maintained substantial garrisons in Western Europe and Japan. At the same time, and more precariously, U.S. troops, advisers, and operatives fanned out across the globe, including to Lebanon, South Vietnam, and Iran.

In his speech, Eisenhower made no apology for his role in the further freezing of the Cold War. Yet he still urged caution as to the potential ill effects of cold warring on the home front: "We must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society."

Then came the money sentences: "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."

Those three key words, "military-industrial complex," rocketed through the national consciousness. Eisenhower had long been a popular figure on the center-right; in addition to his leadership role in World War II, he had written a best-selling memoir and had won two national landslides in the 1952 and 1956 presidential elections -- even as the left had dismissed him. Yet now, with those three words, Eisenhower gained the proverbial "strange new respect" among intellectuals, who mostly leaned left. Indeed, the phrase "military-industrial complex" has become a favored catchphrase for leftists, anti-militarists, and anyone else looking for evocative shorthand.

In fact, we all need a phrase that captures the immensity of the military establishment. The budget of the Department of Defense (DoD) for fiscal year 2020 will be about $718 billion ; DoD directly employs 1.3 million men and women in active duty, as well as more than 700,000 civilian employees. (Another 800,000 serve in the National Guard and reserves.)

In addition, millions more work for the DoD as private-sector vendors, from those who build ships and airplanes to the contractor who was killed near Kirkuk, Iraq, on December 27.

Indeed, the huge Pentagon budget doesn't fully capture the true scale of the military-industrial complex. To get a better measure, we should also include portions of other agencies harboring substantial military elements, including the CIA, NASA, and the departments of Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs, and Energy (the last of which manages the nuclear stockpile).

As Eisenhower cautioned in his speech, "We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes." So yes, Eisenhower was a vigorous leader in the Cold War competition, yet at the same time he was a citizen before he was a soldier, rightfully concerned with protecting our small-r republican institutions from "unwarranted influence."

During his time in the White House, the 34th president demonstrated his prudence. As historian Walter M. Hudson recently noted in The American Interest , after the Russians launched their Sputnik satellite in 1957 -- thus opening up a newer and higher frontier to geopolitical competition -- Ike did not respond with a big defense buildup. He boosted NASA, of course, yet skipping past the Pentagon, he also pushed for a substantial increase in federal aid to education.

In other words, the old Army man was thinking about the future, when struggles, and perhaps wars, would be waged with spaceships and computers, as opposed to infantrymen and tanks. Hudson explains Ike's thoughtful budget priorities as follows: "Ike's decision was consistent with his 'Great Equation' strategy that long predated Sputnik's blips. Running for the presidency in 1952, he set forth the formula to his friend Lucius Clay: 'Spiritual force multiplied by economic force multiplied by military force is roughly equivalent to security. If any one of those factors fell to zero, or nearly so, the resulting product does likewise.'"

In Eisenhower's "Great Equation," we can see a strategic mind at work: American strength must rely on more than just weaponry; the nation needed to maintain as well its economic and spiritual health. Long before the term was coined, Ike was a believer in "soft power" -- as well as, of course, the "hard power" of firepower.

Six decades later, we must ask ourselves: is the Great Equation still in place? As a nation, are we maintaining all the components of power -- military, economic, and spiritual -- in proper balance? And as we search for the right answer, we might pause over one subtlety in the Eisenhower equation: per the rules of multiplication, if any one of the three components falls to zero, then the product is zero, regardless of the size of the other two components.

So today, as we think about the Greater Middle East, where the U.S. is involved in a half-dozen conflicts, are we satisfied that all of our equation components -- including the meta-component of wisdom -- are being properly understood and utilized?

Many argue that, in fact, U.S. policy has been reduced to just one component -- the military. That is, whom can we threaten, bomb, or occupy?

This over-militarization of policy was ably chronicled in Dana Priest's 2003 book , The Mission Waging War and Keeping Peace With America's Military . The author describes a Pentagon that had grown so powerful bureaucratically that it had overwhelmed the State Department -- and nowhere more so than in the Middle East.

This disparity starts with visuals: the generals arrive in style, swooping in on military aircraft, resplendent in their uniforms, greeted by the pomp and circumstance of salutes and reviews, bearing PowerPoints of cool new weapons systems to buy and perhaps use. By contrast, unadorned Foreign Service officers tend to plunk along on civilian flights, typically talking only of caution and mediation.

As a result, the center of policy gravity for the Middle East has shifted from Foggy Bottom to the five-sided building across the Potomac, and from there to Central Command headquarters at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida, and from there to myriad Centcom outposts 7,000 miles distant. As they say, if you're a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail -- and the Pentagon is one big hammer.

We can observe that this militarization had been building up long prior to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, which began two presidencies ago. Indeed, the militarizing process has been both deep-rooted and bipartisan. And this, of course, is the sort of long-term transformation that Eisenhower warned against.

The argument here is not for a cut in the Pentagon's budget or for an increase in the State Department's budget. Instead, we need something more fundamental -- a national conversation about true national security. As Ike said in that fabled address, "Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."

Assuring that security and liberty "may prosper together" -- Eisenhower's message is as important today as it was then. about the author

James P. Pinkerton is a contributor to the Fox News Channel and a regular panelist on the Fox "News Watch" show, the highest-rated media-critique show on television. He is a former columnist for Newsday, and is the editor of SeriousMedicineStrategy.org. He has written for publications ranging from The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, National Review, The New Republic, Foreign Affairs, Fortune, The Huffington Post , and The Jerusalem Post . He is the author of What Comes Next: The End of Big Government--and the New Paradigm Ahead (Hyperion: 1995). He worked in the White House domestic policy offices of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush and in the 1980, 1984, 1988 and 1992 presidential campaigns. In 2008 he served as a senior adviser to the Mike Huckabee for President Campaign. Married to the former Elizabeth Dial, he is a graduate of Stanford University.

kouroi 5 hours ago

Gosh, but we still have to privatize, several economies (China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, etc.) for the benefit of Wall Street et. comp. How can we do that without DoD...?

Chuckles John Achterhof 3 days ago

Just to be clear, it's documented that Ike's first draft had Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex; aides convinced him to cut that out, which is sad because it's key. Defense contractors always spread out their facilities to different states and
Congressional districts. Jobs!
David Naas 3 days ago
I Like Ike.

Always did, even as I recall when he was in the White House. In his time, the Right gnashed their teeth at his "liberalism", and the Left gnashed their teeth art his "conservatism".

His equation anchored on "spiritual". In Ike's view, America was an agency for Good, or at least aspired to be. Today, all of our "leaders" echo the words of Templeton (the Rat) in Charlotte's Web -- "What's in it for me?" And goodness is not even given the homage of hypocrisy.

polistra24 3 days ago
Thanks for bringing out the equation. I'd never heard of it before! Putin understands it and uses it. We lost it a long time ago.
Chuckles 3 days ago
Ike was likely familiar with General Smedley D. Butler (USMC) seminal work War is a Racket , and bought into at least some it.

[Jan 18, 2020] Boris Yeltsin, (western installed) Russian President from 1991 to 1999, during which the former Soviet Union was totally plundered

Jan 18, 2020 | off-guardian.org

RobG ,

Boris Yeltsin, (western installed) Russian President from 1991 to 1999, during which the former Soviet Union was totally plundered

https://www.youtube.com/embed/v9YnDirqwT4?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

richard le sarc ,

'He might be a son-of-a-bitch, but he's OUR son-of-a-bitch'. Surely a 'Yeltsin' must replace or join 'Quisling' in the popular lexicon as a title for a traitor, in future.

[Jan 18, 2020] Trump is following Putin and started grooming his own successor

Jan 18, 2020 | off-guardian.org

Fair dinkum ,

I hear tell that Emperor Trump is also grooming his potential successor/s

It's a neck and neck race between Kim Kardashian, who Trump is giving personal 'hands on' assistance, and Montgomery Burns, who is one of Trump's role models.

[Jan 18, 2020] Trump and militry brass

Jan 18, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Baron , Jan 18 2020 14:09 utc | 136

"
"I wouldn't go to war with you people," Trump told the assembled brass.
Addressing the room, the commander in chief barked, "You're a bunch of dopes and babies."
"

Source: Washington Post.

[Jan 18, 2020] Complete fools and the isde of noble and honest politician

Jan 18, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Russ , Jan 18 2020 7:45 utc | 113

Posted by: Daniel | Jan 17 2020 19:57 utc | 13

"At this stage in the game anyone who still thinks Trump is an honest man with noble intentions is a complete fool"

That only needs to be changed to: At this stage in the game anyone who still thinks any system politician is honest and has noble intentions is a complete fool.

But then religious fundamentalists, such as the cultists of electoralism, cannot be reached by evidence or rational argument.

[Jan 18, 2020] Trump and Iranian people

Jan 18, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

SharonM , Jan 18 2020 3:24 utc | 98

This is Trump's idiotic tweet earlier today:
"The noble people of Iran -- who love America -- deserve a government that's more interested in helping them achieve their dreams than killing them for demanding respect. Instead of leading Iran toward ruin, its leaders should abandon terror and Make Iran Great Again!"

And here's Sharmine Narwani's response:
"I'm in Iran right now. These "noble" people find you disgusting, just like most Americans. Iranians laugh at you and mock you and really, really want their government to bring you to your knees."

;)

[Jan 18, 2020] One feature of the Washington swamp

Jan 18, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org

Washington is certainly недоговороспособны – it's impossible to make an agreement with it and, if you should think you have done so, it will break it.

A dangerous, uncontrollable madman, staggering around blowing everything up

[Jan 18, 2020] Washington is certainly it's impossible to make an agreement with it and, if you should think you have done so, it will break it. A dangerous, uncontrollable madman, staggering around blowing everything up

Jan 18, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org

For some years Washington, an implacable enemy of Moscow, has been getting less and less predictable. Lavrov and Kerry spend hours locked up negotiating a deal in Syria ; within a week the US military attacks a Syrian Army unit; "by mistake" . Who's in charge? Now with the murder of Soleimani, possibly on a Washington-approved peace mission, Washington has moved to another level of lawlessness and is exploring the next depth as it defies Baghdad's order to get out. A pirate power. The outside problems for Moscow aren't getting smaller, are they? Washington is certainly недоговороспособны – it's impossible to make an agreement with it and, if you should think you have done so, it will break it. A dangerous, uncontrollable madman, staggering around blowing everything up – is any foreign leader now to be assumed to be on Washington's murder list? Surviving its decay is a big job indeed. The problems are getting bigger in the Final Days of the Imperium Americanum.

[Jan 18, 2020] I don't know if Trump is in fact overplayed by the Israelis or, worst, being deceived and goaded by them.

Jan 18, 2020 | www.unz.com

Swedish Family , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 9:13 pm GMT

@Interested Bystander 2020

However, it is hard to miss Trump's style over the past three years, a consistently unconventional approach to problems that often seems illogical and rushed at the first glance, but upon a closer examination, his approaches usually have their own logic and underlying motivation that, on occasions, could be construed as the result of a broader strategic and tactical consideration.

I once believed this, but Michael Wolff's books quickly dispelled that fantasy. Here's what strategy meant during the campaign:

It was during Trump's early intelligence briefings, held soon after he captured the nomination, that alarm signals first went off among his new campaign staff: he seemed to lack the ability to take in third-party information. Or maybe he lacked the interest; whichever, he seemed almost phobic about having formal demands on his attention. He stonewalled every written page and balked at every explanation. "He's a guy who really hated school," said Bannon. "And he's not going to start liking it now."

[ ]

One of the ways to establish what Trump wanted and where he stood and what his underlying policy intentions were -- or at least the intentions that you could convince him were his -- came to involve an improbably close textual analysis of his largely off-the-cuff speeches, random remarks, and reflexive tweets during the campaign.

Bannon doggedly went through the Trump oeuvre highlighting possible insights and policy proscriptions. Part of Bannon's authority in the new White House was as keeper of the Trump promises, meticulously logged onto the white board in his office. Some of these promises Trump enthusiastically remembered making, others he had little memory of, but was happy to accept that he had said it. Bannon acted as disciple and promoted Trump to guru -- or inscrutable God.

Fire and Fury (Michael Wolff, 2018)

And here's Trump readying himself for the notorious Helsinki summit with Putin back in 2018:

On Friday, July 13, three days before the Helsinki summit, the president and his team arrived late in the day at Trump Turnberry golf resort in Scotland, after passing on their way from the airport cow pastures and cheering citizens -- but no protesters.

Mike Pompeo and John Bolton were carrying copious briefing books. This was meant to be a weekend of preparation interspersed with golf. John Kelly, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Bill Shine, and several other aides had come along, too.

Saturday was sunny and in the mid-seventies, with nothing on the agenda except golf. But by now a few protesters had made their way to Turnberry. "No Trump, No KKK, No Racist USA," shouted a small group of them during the president's afternoon golf game.

Trump, energized by his NATO and UK meetings -- "we roughed them up" -- was in no mood to prepare for his Putin meeting. Even his typical, exceedingly casual level of preparation -- prep masked as gossip -- wasn't happening. Pompeo and Bolton reduced the boxed briefing binders to a one-pager. The president wouldn't focus on it.

He was fine. And why shouldn't he be? He had walked into his meeting with Kim unable to pick out North Korea on a map, but it didn't matter. He was in charge, a strong man making peace.

Don't box me in , he told his advisers. I need to be open , he kept repeating, as though this was a therapeutic process. Pompeo and Bolton urgently pressed him about the basic talking points for the summit, now just hours away -- but nothing doing.

The next morning he played golf, and then it started to rain.

Siege (Michael Wolff, 2019)

[Jan 18, 2020] Minutes before the crash caused by a missile strike, the AI pilots had also heard the controller give the Malaysian aircraft MH17 what is called "a direct routing". This permits an aircraft to fly straight, instead of tracking the regular route which is generally a zig-zag track that goes from one ground-based navigation aid or way point to another.

Jan 18, 2020 | www.unz.com

barr , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 5:48 pm GMT

@JimDandy Hpw did the instruction to "Fly direct" prove fatal to MH 17

MUMBAI: The ministry of civil aviation's claim that there was no Air India flight near the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 when it was shot down over Ukraine on Thursday appears misleading.
An Air India Dreamliner flight going from Delhi to Birmingham was in fact less than 25km away from the Malaysian aircraft,

Minutes before the crash caused by a missile strike, the AI pilots had also heard the controller give the Malaysian aircraft MH17 what is called "a direct routing". This permits an aircraft to fly straight, instead of tracking the regular route which is generally a zig-zag track that goes from one ground-based navigation aid or way point to another. "Direct routing saves fuel and time and is preferred by pilots. In this case, it proved fatal," said an airline source.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Air-India-flight-was-90-seconds-away-when-missile-struck-Malaysia-Airlines-Flight-MH17/articleshowprint/38702536.cms

1 Was India pressurized to deny the close proximity and 2 was it under pressure to deny that it heard the controller giving the instruction to MH 17????

[Jan 18, 2020] The US China Phase 1 Deal Interpeted: Break Thing, Claim to Fix Thing, Repeat

Highly recommended!
Jan 18, 2020 | econbrowser.com

...if nothing had happened in the US-China trade war. Well, me might have gotten to where we are supposed to be with the deal

..a honest question. In terms of the environment and global climate, is it a good thing that farmers will be producing more monoculture grains, dairy, beef and pork for export?

[Jan 18, 2020] The US-China Nothing Burger Trade Deal by Barkley Rosser

Jan 18, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

There has been much hype about the signing of Phase One (and probably only) US-China trade deal. However based on a front page story in today's Washington Post, there is not much there. The US did not raise tariffs as planned, but tarifsf still remain on two thirds of the sectors that had them, although some were halved. But numerous US sectors see no change at all and are now viewing the situation as not likely to improve, with them suffering losses of business likely to return. Among those are chemicals, apparel retailers, and auto parts. In these and other sectors there is not much reduction of uncertainty regarding US-China trade, so not likely much increase in investment.

The main items in it besides no worsening of tariffs, China has made promises not to pressure US firms to turn over technology and also to increase imports from the US by $200 billion over the next two years, especially in energy and agriculture. So maybe US soybean farmers will no longer need the bailouts of billions of $ Trump has been providing to them. However, such promises have been made in the past.

As it is, I am watching commentators on Bloomberg, and about the most any of them are willing to say is that this "puts a floor" on the "deterioration" of US-China trade relations. That is far from some dramatic breakthrough, and most of the tariffs put on as part of the US-China trade war remain in place.

Barkley Rosser


spencer , January 16, 2020 3:49 pm

This looks like it may be a way to make it a status quo or back burner issue until after the election.

Of course Trump will always be able to blow it up if he decides that would be to his advantage.

Bert Schlitz , January 16, 2020 4:53 pm

I don't see how they "buy" 200 billion worth of goods. The Chinese economy is slowing and that is why purchases were flattening by 2014.

Its noise and circuses.

pgl , January 16, 2020 5:48 pm

Bert – I agree. Menzie Chinn over at Econbrowser has a lot of details on this noise and circus. Check it out!

[Jan 18, 2020] Numerous US sectors see no change at all and are now viewing the situation as not likely to improve, with them suffering losses of business likely to return. Among those are chemicals, apparel retailers, and auto parts by Barkley Rosser

Jan 18, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

There has been much hype about the signing of Phase One (and probably only) US-China trade deal. However based on a front page story in today's Washington Post, there is not much there. The US did not raise tariffs as planned, but tarifsf still remain on two thirds of the sectors that had them, although some were halved. But numerous US sectors see no change at all and are now viewing the situation as not likely to improve, with them suffering losses of business likely to return. Among those are chemicals, apparel retailers, and auto parts. In these and other sectors there is not much reduction of uncertainty regarding US-China trade, so not likely much increase in investment.

The main items in it besides no worsening of tariffs, China has made promises not to pressure US firms to turn over technology and also to increase imports from the US by $200 billion over the next two years, especially in energy and agriculture. So maybe US soybean farmers will no longer need the bailouts of billions of $ Trump has been providing to them. However, such promises have been made in the past.

As it is, I am watching commentators on Bloomberg, and about the most any of them are willing to say is that this "puts a floor" on the "deterioration" of US-China trade relations. That is far from some dramatic breakthrough, and most of the tariffs put on as part of the US-China trade war remain in place.


spencer , January 16, 2020 3:49 pm

This looks like it may be a way to make it a status quo or back burner issue until after the election.

Of course Trump will always be able to blow it up if he decides that would be to his advantage.

Bert Schlitz , January 16, 2020 4:53 pm

I don't see how they "buy" 200 billion worth of goods. The Chinese economy is slowing and that is why purchases were flattening by 2014.

Its noise and circuses.

pgl , January 16, 2020 5:48 pm

Bert – I agree. Menzie Chinn over at Econbrowser has a lot of details on this noise and circus. Check it out!

[Jan 18, 2020] Diaspora in the USA has an outsized influence on how their host country thinks of its interests in their regions of birth

Jan 18, 2020 | www.unz.com

wedish Family , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 11:10 pm GMT

@AP

1. The interests of these countries may be aligned.

2. Even if the immigrant may be mistaken, if his belief is sincere he may still provide valuable contact, intelligence, etc.

This is a very naive idea of how perceived "national interests" form. In real life, highly-motivated groups of immigrants will have an outsized influence on how their host country thinks of its interests in their regions of birth. This is basically a geopolitical example of Nassim Taleb's minority rule .

United States is especially vulnerable to such subversion since much of its conception of itself and its place in the world centers on elastic and easily abused ideas like freedom and human rights .

[Jan 18, 2020] events appear to have escalated from the 25 December killing of five PMF guys on the Syria-Iraq border by an unattributed drone or missile strike. Neoliberal MSM try to hide or obscure this fact.

Jan 18, 2020 | www.unz.com

Swedish Family , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 8:28 pm GMT

@Oscar Peterson

Significantly, events appear to have escalated from the 25 December killing of five PMF guys on the Syria-Iraq border by an unattributed drone or missile strike. Our media is doing its best to obscure this event as the probable starting point. Two days later on 27 December, the rocket fire near Kirkuk killed the US contractor. Then came the strike on KH troops back out in the West and now the assassination of Soleimani et al.

[ ]

So the trigger was the 25 December attack, and all the timing flows from that, not from any great real estate developer savvy. Frankly, in my view, you give Trump way to much credit for systematic thought. I don't think he really does that at all.

This is also the view of the Middle-East veterans over at Patrick Lang's blog:

Last weekend, in response to a rocket attack on a base outside Kirkuk that left one US contractor dead and four US servicemen wounded, we launched drone strikes on five Iraqi PMU outposts in Iraq and Syria near Abukamal killing 25 members and wounding scores more of the Kata'ib Hezbollah brigades of the PMU.

We blamed Iran and the Kata'ib Hezbollah for the rocket attack near Kirkuk. That may be true, but the Kata'ib Hezbollah is not some rogue militia controlled out of Teheran. It is an integral part of the PMU, its 46th and 47th brigades and has been for years. The PMU is an integral part of the Iraqi military and has been for years. The PMU played a major role in defeating IS in both Iraq and Syria. Our attack on the Kata'ib Hezbollah outposts was an attack on the Iraqi military and government. We informed PM Abdul-Mahdi of our intended attacks. Abdul-Mahadi warned us not to do it, but, of course, we conducted the attacks despite his warning. We were proud of the attacks. The Pentagon even released footage of the attacks. It was supposed to be a clear message to Teheran.

Unfortunately for us, the message was also heard by Iraqis. After the funerals of many of the victims of our attacks on the PMU outposts, a large crowd of protestors headed for the US Embassy in the Green Zone. For weeks prior to this, Iraqi security forces kept protestors from entering the Green Zone and approaching the US Embassy. Not this time. The crowds, including mourners fresh from the funerals of their family members and many PMU soldiers, unarmed but in uniform, poured into the Green Zone right to the gates of the Embassy itself. A reception area was entered and burned. Iraqi security forces of the PrimeMinister's Counter Terrorism Command were among the protestors. I surmise that PM Abdul-Mahdi was sending his own message back to the US.

https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2020/01/our-embassy-in-baghdad-ttg.html

The protests at the American embassy, then, were over Iraqi servicemen murdered in American drone strikes

Qasem Soleimani was an Iranian soldier. He lived by the sword and died by the sword. He met a soldier's destiny. It is being said that he was a BAD MAN. Absurd! To say that he was a BAD MAN because he fought us as well as the Sunni jihadis is simply infantile. Were all those who fought the US BAD MEN? How about Gentleman Johhny Burgoyne? Was he a BAD MAN? How about Sitting Bull? Was he a BAD MAN? How about Aguinaldo? Another BAD MAN? Let us not be juvenile.

The Iraqi PMU commander who died with Soleimani was Abu Mahdi al Muhandis. He was a member of a Shia militia that had been integrated into the Iraqi armed forces. IOW, we killed an Iraqi general. We killed him without the authorization of the supposedly sovereign state of Iraq.

We created the present government of Iraq through the farcical "purple thumb" elections. That government holds a seat in the UN General Assembly and is a sovereign entity in international law in spite of Trump's tweet today that said among other things that we have "paid" Iraq billions of US dollars. To the Arabs, this statement that brands them as hirelings of the US is close to the ultimate in insult.

https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2020/01/will-trump-welcome-the-ejection-of-the-us-from-iraq-he-should.html

and now the Americans went one better and murdered an Iraqi general.

[Jan 18, 2020] Who Targeted Ukraine Airlines Flight 752 Iran Shot It Down But There May Be More to the Story by Philip Giraldi

Jan 18, 2020 | www.unz.com

What seems to have been a case of bad judgments and human error does, however, include some elements that have yet to be explained. The Iranian missile operator reportedly experienced considerable "jamming" and the planes transponder switched off and stopped transmitting several minutes before the missiles were launched . There were also problems with the communication network of the air defense command, which may have been related.

The electronic jamming coming from an unknown source meant that the air defense system was placed on manual operation, relying on human intervention to launch. The human role meant that an operator had to make a quick judgment in a pressure situation in which he had only moments to react. The shutdown of the transponder, which would have automatically signaled to the operator and Tor electronics that the plane was civilian, instead automatically indicated that it was hostile. The operator, having been particularly briefed on the possibility of incoming American cruise missiles, then fired.

The two missiles that brought the plane down came from a Russian-made system designated SA-15 by NATO and called Tor by the Russians. Its eight missiles are normally mounted on a tracked vehicle. The system includes both radar to detect and track targets as well as an independent launch system, which includes an Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system functionality capable of reading call signs and transponder signals to prevent accidents. Given what happened on that morning in Tehran, it is plausible to assume that something or someone deliberately interfered with both the Iranian air defenses and with the transponder on the airplane, possibly as part of an attempt to create an aviation accident that would be attributed to the Iranian government.

The SA-15 Tor defense system used by Iran has one major vulnerability. It can be hacked or "spoofed," permitting an intruder to impersonate a legitimate user and take control. The United States Navy and Air Force reportedly have developed technologies "that can fool enemy radar systems with false and deceptively moving targets." Fooling the system also means fooling the operator. The Guardian has also reported independently how the United States military has long been developing systems that can from a distance alter the electronics and targeting of Iran's available missiles.

The same technology can, of course, be used to alter or even mask the transponder on a civilian airliner in such a fashion as to send false information about identity and location. The United States has the cyber and electronic warfare capability to both jam and alter signals relating to both airliner transponders and to the Iranian air defenses. Israel presumably has the same ability. Joe Quinn at Sott.net also notes an interested back story to those photos and video footage that have appeared in the New York Times and elsewhere showing the Iranian missile launch, the impact with the plane and the remains after the crash, to include the missile remains. They appeared on January 9 th , in an Instagram account called ' Rich Kids of Tehran '. Quinn asks how the Rich Kids happened to be in "a low-income housing estate on the city's outskirts [near the airport] at 6 a.m. on the morning of January 8 th with cameras pointed at the right part of the sky in time to capture a missile hitting a Ukrainian passenger plane ?"

Put together the Rich Kids and the possibility of electronic warfare and it all suggests a premeditated and carefully planned event of which the Soleimani assassination was only a part. There have been riots in Iran subsequent to the shooting down of the plane, blaming the government for its ineptitude. Some of the people in the street are clearly calling for the goal long sought by the United States and Israel, i.e. "regime change." If nothing else, Iran, which was widely seen as the victim in the killing of Soleimani, is being depicted in much of the international media as little more than another unprincipled actor with blood on its hands. There is much still to explain about the downing of Ukrainian International Airlines Flight 752.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.


AnonStarter , says: Show Comment January 15, 2020 at 10:45 pm GMT

Given this news, any impartial observer would at least entertain the possibility of its truth, particularly given the lengthy track record of the United States/Israel in perpetrating such crimes.

It's a good litmus test for determining where one's sentiment lies. Even "alternative media" aren't likely to touch this story.

Bravo to Mr. Giraldi and Mr. Unz.

Sean , says: Show Comment January 15, 2020 at 11:10 pm GMT
The Iranian Ambassador to Britain, Hamid Baeidinejad said in an interview on the UK Channel 4 news hours ago that although Iran had needed time to determine what had happened, it had now accepted responsibility, would pay compensation, and the people who fired on the jet will be put on trial.

If nothing else, Iran, which was widely seen as the victim in the killing of Soleimani, is being depicted in much of the international media as little more than another unprincipled actor with blood on its hands.

Both Trump and the Iranian regime have good domestic disquiet reason to rethink the confrontational policy each are pursuing. Iran and the US could get closer over this. I think the predictable unpredictability of assassination and catastrophic loss of life events makes false flagging them of dubious value.

Why did I rob banks? Because I enjoyed it. I loved it. I was more alive when I was inside a bank, robbing it, than at any other time in my life. I enjoyed everything about it so much that one or two weeks later I'd be out looking for the next job. But to me the money was the chips, that's all.

(Sutton W, Linn E: Where the Money Was: The Memoirs of a Bank Robber. Viking Press (1976), p. 160)

I suppose it is possible there are people who get addicted to false flagging others' deaths. If half of what is said in this site is true, Mossad really needs to set up a 12 step program.

onebornfree , says: Website Show Comment January 15, 2020 at 11:49 pm GMT
" .the big question which many people on social media are asking is: why was this "videographer" standing in a derelict industrial area outside Tehran at around six o'clock in the morning with a mobile phone camera training on a fixed angle to the darkened sky? The airliner is barely visible, yet the sky-watching person has the camera pointed and ready to film a most dramatic event, seconds before it happened. That strongly suggests, foreknowledge."

"Iran Jet Disaster Setup – Who Is the Mysterious Videographer?:"
https://ahtribune.com/world/north-africa-south-west-asia/iran/3809-jet-disaster-setup.html

And I would add: how do we know the video[s] are even genuine? [Answer: we don't, it is only an unproven assumption at this time].

Regards, onebornfree

anonymous [150] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 12:36 am GMT
Hmmm, cameras waiting beforehand, transponders not working. Sort of sounds like 9-11, doesn't it?
The Alarmist , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 3:01 am GMT

The Iranian missile operator reportedly experienced considerable "jamming" and the planes transponder switched off and stopped transmitting several minutes before the missiles were launched.

I vaguely recall reports of transponder issues arising during the shootdown of MH-17.

anonymous [405] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 3:49 am GMT

Civilian passenger flights were still departing and arriving in Tehran, almost certainly an error in judgment on the part of the airport authorities. Inexplicably, civilian aircraft continued to take off and land even after Flight 752 was shot down.

The Iranian government is blameworthy for keeping planes in the air either because of diabolical reasons (delays a counter attack) or economic (nearly $1 billion a year in overflight fees).

However, the pilots of the airliners that took over during the morning between the first missile hitting Iraq and the downing of the Ukrainian airliner were dumb and irresponsible.

Anon [230] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 4:10 am GMT

The system includes both radar to detect and track targets as well as an independent launch system, which includes an Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system functionality capable of reading call signs and transponder signals to prevent accidents.

Clearly you have no clue how an IFF operates and that no commercial airliner even has an IFF on board. Every commercial aircraft looks like the enemy to this SAM operator.

Also, you need to explain how spoofing a RADAR which creates a false track would cause the shoot down. The missile would simply target the false track instead of the real aircraft.

You also need to explain how an old SAM missile site can be hacked or spoofed to shoot down a civilian airliner. Especially this old one which has no Mode-S or ADS-B capability and only radio communication capability.

As Mark Twain said, it's better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you are an idiot rather than open it and remove all doubt.

Anon [200] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 5:20 am GMT
Even if this was a clear mistake on Iran's part, the US and Israel still have blood on their hands for the downing of this plane. The missiles were launched in response to a targeted killing of an Iranian general. If that didn't happen, these missiles never would've been launched.

Trump-Pence-Pompeo-Kushner-Netanyahu are ultimately responsible for these 176 lives lost. I suspect MBS is also part of the scheme. It was his fake peace offering that lured Soleimani to Iraq in the first place. I'm with Trudeau on this.

Onlooker , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 5:22 am GMT
@Anon Before calling someone an idiot it is better to follow Mark Twain's advice yourself. A more careful reading reveals no claim that IFF was onstalled on the airliner. The commenter does speculate that possible spoofing involved a false attribution of a real airliner not the creation of a false airliner and radar track. Perhaps you are familiar with "old" electronic countermeasures and not with the "new", "top secret" and spiffy versions hinted at by the U.S. military?
AnonStarter , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 6:30 am GMT
@Quartermaster /An Airliner can not legally launch with deadlined transponder, so the claim that it quit transmitting "several" minutes earlier would have placed it on the ground when it quit./

From the SoTT link :

As it climbed and reached 4,600ft above ground level, the plane's transponder suddenly stopped working at about 6.14am, 2 minutes or so after take off . [emphasis added]

The plane was already airborne when the transponder stopped working.

AnonStarter , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 6:45 am GMT
@Onlooker Less than twenty replies into the thread and we've already got two individuals attempting to distort the facts. Here's the key link that readers should visit:

https://www.sott.net/article/427303-Was-Iranian-Missile-Operator-Tricked-Into-Shooting-Down-The-Ukrainian-Airlines-Plane-Over-Tehran

Compare the information there against what the detractors say here.

Daniel Rich , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 7:16 am GMT
@Quartermaster

The airliner had not been in the air long at all when it was shot down. An Airliner can not legally launch with deadlined transponder, so the claim that it quit transmitting "several" minutes earlier would have placed it on the ground when it quit.

The flight departed Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport at 02:42 UTC ( 06:12 local time ) and the last ADS-B signal was received by the Flightradar24 network at 02:44 UTC( 06:14 local time) . According to the report the aircraft climbed to 8000 feet and turned right back toward the airport and crashed at 02:48 UTC ( 06:18 local time ) -- four minutes after the last ADS-B signal was received by the Flightradar24 network. – Source Flight Radar 24

Mr. Giraldi's original claim:

The Iranian missile operator reportedly experienced considerable "jamming" and the planes transponder switched off and stopped transmitting several minutes before the missiles were launched. There were also problems with the communication network of the air defense command, which may have been related.

4 minutes after the transponders were switches off, the plane crashed .

Without [proper] access to the FDR and CVR, it's impossible to determine when the plane was hit and how long it took to crash, exactly.

The plane was only flying at 8,000 feet [its normal {flight} ceiling is 30,000 feet and above], so it's speed relatively low [cruise speed is between about 400 and 500 knots (460 – 575 mph / 740 – 930 kph), but the Ukrainian plane was still climbing] and the fall back to Earth relatively quick.

On the clip where the plane is on fire and finally crashes, the downward angle looked to be about 25 to 30 %, which is relatively steep. Time of downfall can be calculated when the relative data is available.

Therefore, Mr Giraldi's claim " several minutes before the missiles were launched " is technically correct , until proven wrong by data from the FDR and CVR,

utu , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 7:31 am GMT
The Tor system is too primitive to be hacked. It is a stand alone, autonomous and mostly analog system. The radar signals it generates are shown on analog tube-screens.
Ghali , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 8:07 am GMT
Interesting theory by P. Giraldi. However, I am very surprised that Israel/Mossad role in these acts of terrorism never mentioned. We know that Trump is a Zionist servant and acts on instructions from his jewish fananciers. We know, Trump is incapable of serious thinking.

Here is a good article with some interesting observations:
https://sputniknews.com/columnists/202001131078026961-iran-jet-disaster-setup/

GMC , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 8:10 am GMT
The Iranians took the hit because their missiles took out the airliner. And then, they could stop the Western media crying for the next 6 mos. and this gave them time to bring in other neutral investigators to look at the evidence and come up with logical scenarios. There is a reason the black boxes weren't given to any one else to own – because they still remember the scam investigation of MH 17. I f lew planes for over 20 yrs – Every controlled/radared airport would ask me to turn on my transponder if it wasn't on – Everyone of them. This plane not only came from Ukraine but was an easy target for a hack from any of the big Intel countries. The BIG STORY here is that most every plane flying today – can have the same type consequences!!! because of the Western War Machine.
AZ , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 10:08 am GMT
Ask the Israelis. They are experts in these operations. The blood of the innocent on their heads

R D Steele has some interesting thoughts as well:

https://phibetaiota.net/2020/01/robert-steele-world-war-iii-was-ukrainian-flight-ps752-a-western-false-flag-combining-remote-hijacking-and-transponder-disabling-to-trigger-two-tor-m1-missiles/

lavoisier , says: Website Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 12:01 pm GMT
@Anon

Trump-Pence-Pompeo-Kushner-Netanyahu are ultimately responsible for these 176 lives lost. I suspect MBS is also part of the scheme. It was his fake peace offering that lured Soleimani to Iraq in the first place. I'm with Trudeau on this.

Trudeau showed some real courage criticizing Trump and his terrible decisions.

More Western allies have to stand up to the Zionist stooge and call him out on his treachery and stupidity.

UncommonGround , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 12:23 pm GMT
@bobhammer

The Democrats have gone too far.

I believe that P.G. has supported Trump until recently.

Besides, you could get some general information about such themes if you read articles like the following:

There's No Evidence Iran Is Responsible for the Deaths of Hundreds of Americans
by Stephen Zunes

https://progressive.org/dispatches/-no-evidence-iran-is-responsible-for-the-deaths-of-hundreds-of-americans-zunes-200107/

How the President Became a Drone Operator
by Allegra Harpootlian

https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/01/16/how-the-president-became-a-drone-operator/

lavoisier , says: Website Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 12:32 pm GMT
@bobhammer Stop drinking the Kool-Aid. Turn off Fox News now.

We are not always the good guys and we are up to our necks in deceit, plunder, and evil. Our actions have harmed millions of people around the world and it has to stop.

It is time for more self-reflection as individuals and as a nation; and it is long past time for us to be comfortable with lies.

Anonymous [401] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 2:22 pm GMT
@bobhammer The "uninterruptible" autopilot can be activated – either by pilots or by on-board sensors, or by radio or satellite link<= connected to controls at the remote end. Government agencies, quasi government agencies, military brats and probably the entire group of privately operated NGOs and private party mobsters (bankers, corporations and private military armies and privateers) at the remote end, can take over control of in-flight Aircraft, and fly it, land it, take it off, whatever, even if the pilot sitting in the cockpit objects. and does all he can to retrieve control from the remote operator.

Several comments report says interrupt able remote control, allows, persons on the ground, to take from the pilot in a flying airplane, control of the airplane the pilot is suppose to be flying, in situations for example when terrorist are in the cockpit. I have not read the manufacture's literature nor do I have personal knowledge abut the equipment list of any of these aircraft, the list suggest they are all aircraft, not only equipped with the UAP but that they were all aircraft made by the same manufacturer. I am merely repeating what was on stated as fact on a website I visited.

Many are looking for proof that remotely equipped uninterruptible autopilots are being used as Remote Control weaponized drones . Imagine an pilot, located on the ground in London or somewhere parks his /her remote ground to air control vehicle and takes over flight control including turns on/off the transponder [<=which tells everyone where the plane is during its flight] on a plane that is flying, landing or taking off from say the Tehran airport in Iran?

My personal experience is that it generally takes less than 2 minutes after a transponder is turned off during a planes flight, before fighter jets arrive to escort the transponder disabled plane; so the whole system that protects civilian aircraft, and allows the military to know the aircraft is civilian, is dependent on the Transponder, installed in the airplane, to continuously squawk during flight, its exact position so that everyone can identify the flight, and track the aircraft during its flight. Every land based control tower, ATC control system center and military installation depends on that airborne squawking transponder to track the en-route progress of commercial and private aircraft flights from take off to landing.

Another comment made on that list referred to above claimed Uninterruptible Auto Pilot [UAP] equipped aircraft have been involved in unexplained flight accident/disappearance events (I have no personal knowledge about the equipment in these aircraft, I just repeated here what someone else said elsewhere, please verify these claims yourself or provide verification ) .

(4 @911) <=UAP allows pilot-less flights, no pilot need board the plane for its flight.
(PS752) (transponder turned off, destroyed by confused ground defense crews)
MH370 (vanished into thin air)
MH17 (had its flight path altered.)
Eyes focus on Uninterruptible Auto Pilot (UAP) .. to explain recent Tehran 160 person disaster?

This is really something to think about? Always the question has been how did four military officers from Iran, trained a few weeks in Florida to fly jets, manage to get through four differently located pilot screening TSA gates to fly the aircraft and passenger into the 9/11 events. Conspiracy theories suggest since no pilot is needed, there were no pilots for TSA to screening. Remote control on the ground flew the aircraft to their destinations.

Trinity , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 2:51 pm GMT
"By way of deception thou shalt do war."

Just about says it all doesn't it? What kind of people are we dealing with here? Of course only the morons out there are still being fooled by these kind of false flags. Even in the year 2020 these same morons still believe ZOG's 9-11 fairy tale and label any other theory as a "conspiracy." Speaking of conspiracies the biggest idiots out there, even bigger than the ones who believe ZOG's narrative or those type who believe the total wacktard stuff put out by ZIO controlled disinfo puppets like Alex Jones.

Ukrainian commercial airline? What other nation besides Iran does ZOG have it in for? Is it Russia?

War by deception? HARDLY to anyone with two brain cells left. These fools have been caught before, they aren't that clever. What they are is protected by a syndicate of bought and paid for politicians. They were caught attacking the USS Liberty, they were caught bombing American and British installations in Egypt, the Rosenbergs and Pollard were nailed, but of course despite all of this, America and her leaders continued the value Israel as a friend and an ally. With a friend like Israel, who needs enemies. Then of course we have the story of our 5 little dancing Israelis apprehended in NYC after being observed dancing and celebrating the WTC towers collapsing. So you mean a group of Israelis from Israel, nation that is ALLEGEDLY "friends" with America and America think it is hilarious and worth celebrating when America is attacked and thousands are burned alive or jump to their death from hundreds of feet above the street?? Of course "our" media quickly exonerated the celebrating Israelis and buried that story faster than your average house cat buries his own turds.

ZOG really thinks the average American has the IQ of a monkey. Even after the WMD caca they still think you people will believe anything they tell you to believe. The sad part is they are right about that with the majority of the population.

Pindos , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 4:01 pm GMT
@Anon Wrong anon

Identification, friend or foe (IFF) is a radar-based identification system designed for command and control. It uses a transponder that listens for an interrogation signal and then sends a response that identifies the broadcaster. It enables military and civilian air traffic control interrogation systems to identify aircraft, vehicles or forces as friendly and to determine their bearing and range from the interrogator. IFF may be used by both military and civilian aircraft.

unit472 , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 4:37 pm GMT
If such a capability exists would the US reveal and use it in such a minor circumstance. Occam's razor suggests this was just another case of 'better safe than sorry' during a time of military tensions. Not a whole lot different than the Vincennes shootdown of an Iranian airliner that came too close during a military confrontation in the Gulf.

I would hate to know how many 'friendly' aircraft were shot down by over zealous AAA gunners in WW2 but it wasn't just a handful.

scrub , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 5:24 pm GMT
Anybody who thinks that US-Israel wouldn't have been capable of staging such a horrific event as the shooting down of the airliner by Iran hasn't been following Whitney Webb's continuing articles which are available right here on UNZ. Israel seems to have insinuated itself into about every computer security program worldwide.

Webb's article mentions large scale defense contractor Dell Computer's close connection to the Israeli government. Dell computer head Michael Dell has personally made large contributions to that curious "charity" called The Friends of The Israeli Defense Forces as has Larry Ellison, head or Oracle Software. Interestingly enough, neither of them have made correspondingly large contributions to American veterans however.

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

Michael Dell is probably one of the biggest (or the biggest) single contributors to the Republicans from Texas, home of Dell computer. Larry Ellison (also a large government computer contractor) is also one of the Republican Party's biggest contributors.

Ellison's $5.5 million dollar contribution to the Republican is dwarfed however, by his recent contributions to The Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces which seem to total (as of today) $31 million (or more).

https://www.timesofisrael.com/record-53-8-million-raised-for-idf-soldiers-at-beverly-hills-gala/

Are both men and their companies security risks? Is there any doubt of this or are contribution to charity connected to a foreign army now simply to be considered as being benign and innocent.

anon [230] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 5:35 pm GMT
@Pindos Wrong anon

Identification, friend or foe (IFF) is a radar-based identification system designed for command and control. It uses a transponder that listens for an interrogation signal and then sends a response that identifies the broadcaster. It enables military and civilian air traffic control interrogation systems to identify aircraft, vehicles or forces as friendly and to determine their bearing and range from the interrogator. IFF may be used by both military and civilian aircraft.

Your Wikipedia snippet is absolutely incorrect . IFF is only used for Military Aircraft. If you want to prove me wrong:

Provide a link to any civilian transponder with IFF capability
Provide a link to any civilian aircraft Minimum Equipment List that requires an IFF

Rurik , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 5:38 pm GMT
@unit472

Vincennes shootdown of an Iranian airliner that came too close during a military confrontation in the Gulf.

Doesn't it rile you, as a U.S. veteran, that American soldiers are dying in treasonous service to an enemy nation?

Doesn't it bother you in the least, that Americans are on the hook for untold trillions of dollars, so they can slaughter innocent people, thousands of miles away, whose only "crime" is that a certain shitty little country, wants to see them all sent reeling into the stone age, (which is exactly what they want for you too).

Have y0u ever bothered to notice just exactly whom it is that is driving all the liberal-progressive shit we all see daily, with the ubiquitous homomania and Hollywood sewage force-injected into America's culture?

I see you occasionally speak against that stuff, but then when it comes to American soldiers dying on behalf of those rats, there you are, defending the narrative of Iran as bad guys.

How many Iranians do you see pumping Hollywood sewage into America's veins?

How many Iranians do you see on Capital Hill, demanding Trump and all his Deplorables are irredeemably racists? And need to have their guns taken away?

How many Iranians do you see at Goldman Sachs, (and the other 'Too big to fail Banksters) looting the country dry?

How many Iranians do you see in our universities, force-feeding America's youth the progressive-liberal monkey shit, they're paying to consume daily?

You'd have to be very myopic not to notice who it is behind America's depraved descent into cultural and spiritual guano. (not to mention the Eternal Wars, that only an imbecile could pretend not to notice ((who)) are behind them).

And I have a clue for you, it isn't the Iranians. In fact, they had a nice good taste of ((Western)) culture under the Shah, and they decided they'd rather not see their women whored out, and their children spiritually dead husks.

It'd be good if people could lift the veils they willfully allow to cover their own eyes, in some kind of misguided machismo about how tough "our" military are, as they're killing and dying on behalf of their worst enemy.

barr , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 5:48 pm GMT
@JimDandy Hpw did the instruction to "Fly direct" prove fatal to MH 17

MUMBAI: The ministry of civil aviation's claim that there was no Air India flight near the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 when it was shot down over Ukraine on Thursday appears misleading.
An Air India Dreamliner flight going from Delhi to Birmingham was in fact less than 25km away from the Malaysian aircraft,

Minutes before the crash caused by a missile strike, the AI pilots had also heard the controller give the Malaysian aircraft MH17 what is called "a direct routing". This permits an aircraft to fly straight, instead of tracking the regular route which is generally a zig-zag track that goes from one ground-based navigation aid or way point to another. "Direct routing saves fuel and time and is preferred by pilots. In this case, it proved fatal," said an airline source.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Air-India-flight-was-90-seconds-away-when-missile-struck-Malaysia-Airlines-Flight-MH17/articleshowprint/38702536.cms

1 Was India pressurized to deny the close proximity and 2 was it under pressure to deny that it heard the controller giving the instruction to MH 17????

Saggy , says: Website Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 6:09 pm GMT
@Anon http://www.dean-boys.com/extras/iff/iffqa.html

FAA regulations require that all aircraft, military or civilian, flying at an altitude of 10,000 feet or higher in U.S. controlled airspace, must be equipped with an operating IFF transponder system capable of automatic altitude reporting (this is the reason that two of the modes are used by both military and civilian aircraft).

So, did the Ukrainian plane have an IFF transponder or not? Ref?

Marvin Sandnes , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 6:52 pm GMT
The guy with the camera aimed up into a dark sky on that morning worked for a Saudi Arabia news service. From the "grayzone" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBGw5GMXb4c&feature=em-uploademail
wdg , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 6:58 pm GMT
Cui bono? Israel and its NeoCon fifth column operating in the US and throughout the western world.
Iris , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 7:01 pm GMT
@Quartermaster

what Giraldi has published doesn't even rise to the level of the most idiotic conspiracy theory one can concoct.

It happened only a few months ago that an Israeli jet violated Syria's airspace and deliberately sheltered behind a Russian Iliouchine IL-20 to get it shot down by Syrian air defence.

It was so very clearly and simply explained by the Russian Chief of Staff than any imbecile could understand it; the idiot is definitely you.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-45556290

A123 , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 7:02 pm GMT
@Saggy I believe you are correct.

https://www.raytheon.com/capabilities/products/iff

My understanding is:

A civilian transponder will respond to almost any inquiry (or even a non-coded radar pulse):
-- Standard civilian transponder code = USA military Mode 3.
-- Standard civilian transponder altitude reporting = USA military Mode C.

To reduce detectability in combat, the pilot can change the setting on a Military IFF system to only squawk when a correctly coded interrogation signal is recieved.

Saggy , says: Website Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 7:28 pm GMT
@Saggy Moon Of Alabama has the story –

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2020/01/was-the-shootdown-of-the-ukrainian-airplane-near-tehran-really-a-mistake.html

The Boeing jet broadcast the usual civil ADS-B signal but one has to expect that a U.S. cruise missile can and would do the same.

although 'one can expect ' seems like one hell of an assumption.

Frederick V. Reed , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 7:30 pm GMT
Transponders are turned on and off with switches in the cockpit. Is Giraldi suggesting that this transponder was equipped to be controlled from outside? Source of assertion that transponder was turned off? Can he name any commercial transponder with this feature? Does he know anythng about elctroic warfare? This sounds like the birthing of a conspiracy theory.
Just passing through , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 8:07 pm GMT
@DaveE The hilarious thing in Britain is that many people on the comments sections of MSM will talk about 'Asian' or more specifically 'Muslim' child rape gangs, because these gangs were heavily Muslim they can be referred to using the adjective 'Muslim'.

But when you point out that the ones beating the drums for war in Iran and who successfully plunged America and UK into a long a protracted war in the Middle East are mostly Jewish, as evidenced by this article in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz

they start getting all pissy, because of the Holocaust legend, Jews are now above scrutiny and Jewish power cannot be talked about. It is the slipperly slope fallacy, what is merely being advocated for here is not to trust a single thing that comes out of the mouth of a Jew regarding the Middle East as there is a clear conflict of interest, not genocide.

I also suspect that peoples understandable antagonism towards Muslims has somehow made them more sympathetic to Israel. Tommy Robinson is for example funded by rich Jews like Ezra Levant of Rebel Media and Robert J. Shillman – who sits on the board of Friends of Israel Defence Forces – shills for Israel. Now the Western goyim start frothing at the mouth when they hear Muslim and so think countries like Iran are evil and out to destory the West, a laughable claim.

Iris , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 8:11 pm GMT
@Z-man

stupid Christian Zionist dogma

You don't have to apologise. Christian Zionists are no Christians; they are uncultured, criminal country-bumpkins utilised by their Zionist handlers to justify the destruction of the twice-millenary Christian Arab community.

Here is what real Christians think:
Mor Maurice Amsih, Syrian Orthodox Bishop of Euphrates, demonstrating against the murder of General Soleimani, calling Soleimani and his companions " martyrs " who are now " Saints in the Heavenly Kingdom" for their blood shed freeing the Syrian people from Zio-sponsored terrorists. [@ 0:25]

https://www.youtube.com/embed/1eH4djCP2mI?feature=oembed

Anonymous [230] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 8:18 pm GMT
@Saggy

Moon Of Alabama has the story –

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2020/01/was-the-shootdown-of-the-ukrainian-airplane-near-tehran-really-a-mistake.html

The Boeing jet broadcast the usual civil ADS-B signal but one has to expect that a U.S. cruise missile can and would do the same.

although 'one can expect ' seems like one hell of an assumption.

This is absolutely irrelevant since the Iranian SAM missile launcher is so old it can not even detect and decode ADS-B signals. Note that the requirement for ADS-B transponders only came into effect this year .

AnonStarter , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 8:22 pm GMT
Some additional information to consider:

IRGC Releases Details of Accidental Downing of Ukrainian Plane

https://ifpnews.com/irgc-releases-details-of-accidental-downing-of-ukrainian-plane

By the account of Brigadier General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh:

1. Prior to the downing of the aircraft, Americans had threatened to hit 52 sites in Iran.
2. These threats placed Iran's air defense systems on the highest alert level.
3. There were reports that cruise missles had been fired at Iran.
4. In spite of IRGC requests that airspace be cleared of commercial flights, those requests were not met.
5. The air defense unit recognized Flight 752 as a cruise missle from a distance of 19 kilometers, but is still required to get approval to fire upon it.
6. When the operator attempts to get approval, he can not do so due to "disruption" of his communication system.
7. The operator is forced to make an independent decision in a 10 second window of time and fires upon the plane.

Russell Bentley , however, states that

1. the SA-15 system has an IFF interrogator built into its radar system,
2. Boeing 737 aircraft are equipped with two IFF transponders, which are set and activated prior to take off, and
3. it is possible for a plane to take off without an IFF transponder operating.
4. In spite of all this, the flight's recording on FLIGHTRADAR24.COM , proves that the transponder was on and working.
5. Even if there was no IFF signal, a SA-15/TOR M-1 operator could still determine the location, bearing, speed and size of the potential target.
6. The SA-15 also has an automatic all weather day/night NV/IR Electro Optical Targeting System (EOTS) used for target engagement and fire control by which the plane would have been easily identified.
7. Flight 752 should have been identifiable as a commercial airliner by its external lights alone.

From this information, he concludes that either there are traitors within Iran seeking to facilitate regime change or that the downing of Flight 752 was a false flag operation perpetrated by the usual suspects.

I'd like to see more information about this topic from those qualified to speak about it.

A123 , says: Show Comment January 16, 2020 at 9:29 pm GMT
@AnonStarter

2. These threats placed Iran's air defense systems on the highest alert level
7. The operator is forced to make an independent decision in a 10 second window of time and fires upon the plane.

How long were the operators on alert? Tension and sleep deprivation are a bad mix. This looks like the crew on the ground had seconds to make a decision, and in the rush got it