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Neoliberal war on reality

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false" ~ CIA Director William Casey (attributed)

"Empire of illusions": The  triumph of entertainment and fake news under neoliberalism

News Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Recommended Links Media as a weapon of mass deception Lewis Powell Memo Deception as an art form
Groupthink Disciplined Minds Belief-coercion in high demand cults Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism Conspiracy theory label as a subtle form of censorship Discrediting the opponent as favorite tactic of neoliberals
Neoliberal newspeak US and British media are servants of security apparatus British elite hypocrisy Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Anti Trump Hysteria Pathological Russophobia of the US elite
Corruption of the language Doublespeak Patterns of Propaganda Diplomacy by deception War propaganda Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle
Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Patterns of Propaganda Bullshit as MSM communication method Manipulation of the term "freedom of press" Identity politics as divide and conquer The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment
Color revolutions Co-opting of the Human Rights to embarrass governments who oppose neoliberalism Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources What's the Matter with Kansas Understanding Mayberry Machiavellians  
Neo-fascism Nation under attack meme Nineteen Eighty-Four Manufactured consent Groupthink Big Uncle is Watching You
Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? Ukraine: From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss Pussy Riot Provocation and "Deranged Pussy Worship Syndrome" MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? Totalitarian Decisionism & Human Rights: The Re-emergence of Nazi Law
Soft propaganda Classic Papers Media Ownership Propaganda Quotes Humor Etc

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

Karl Kraus, 1914

WAR IS PEACE. FREEDOM IS SLAVERY. IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

1984

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

jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com, Feb 04, 2015


Introduction

Controlling the narrative is how  society operate -- it preserves the society cohesion. Which  is a good thing, unless price is too high. If the question of controlling the narrative arise, that means  that elite became too detached from the regular people (let then eat cakes situation), and there are cracks in the society facade, line now there are cracks in neoliberals facade today. They are patched with lies and distortions. And it work until it does not.

In such cases the elite usually resort to policies which in the USA are called McCarthyism: attempt to smear and suppress dissidents claiming that they are associated with the particular (presented as hostile like Russia today, or really hostile like the USSR was) power.

While MSM supporting the "Party line" are masquerading as impendent new outlets.

Correlation with the foreign power policies might  be actually accidental if this particular power " see future deeper" as unforgettable  Madeline "Not So Bright" Allbright quipped. For example now correlation with RT policies does undermine the US foreign policy. We need only decide whether this is a good or bad thing and whether the US imperial policies are good for American people, or only for large transnational corporations. I think Tucker Carlson also undermines the US foreign policy and as such you can find a correlation between his positions and RT position. Now what ?

In such case elite presents association with the foreign power as a "politically correct" reason for suppression. So the only new moment is blatant hypocrisy. But that's how all societies work and in this sense there is nothing special in the fact that dissident voices are suppressed. In middle ages heretics were burned at the stake.  If you are a dissident you fate in most societies  are far from rosy.

The current situation in the USA is interesting because neoliberalism is definitely on the decline and as such represent now (unlike say 10 year ago) a rich target of attacks. And as the USA acquired since WWII, expanded after collapse of the USSR and try to preserve its neoliberal empire such attacks usually attack the US foreign policy. The real question is what alternative the particular outlet proposes -- the return to the New Deal Capitalism in some form or shape, or new socialist experiment is some form of shape.

Does the cocoon of lies spread by MSM protects the society, or undermines  it, or it does both

In many respects, the media creates reality, so perhaps the most effective route toward changing reality runs through the media.  "Controlling the narrative" is the major form of neoliberal MSM war on reality. By providing "prepackaged" narrative for a particular world event and selectively suppressing alternative information channels that contradict the official narrative, neoliberals control and channel emotions of people in the direction they want.  Often in the direction of yet another war for the expansion of the global neoliberal empire led from Washington, DC.

libezkova said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs...  January 29, 2017 at 08:31 AM  

Neoliberal MSM want to control the narrative. That's why "alternative facts" should be called an "alternative narrative". https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/06/09/controlling-the-narrative/?_r=0

== quote ==

Maybe this is the same kind of clinical detachment doctors have to cultivate, a way of distancing oneself from the subject, protecting yourself against a crippling empathy. I won’t say that writers or artists are more sensitive than other people, but it may be that they’re less able to handle their own emotions.

It may be that art, like drugs, is a way of dulling or controlling pain. Eloquently articulating a feeling is one way to avoid actually experiencing it.

Words are only symbols, noises or marks on paper, and turning the messy, ugly stuff of life into language renders it inert and manageable for the author, even as it intensifies it for the reader.

It’s a nerdy, sensitive kid’s way of turning suffering into something safely abstract, an object of contemplation.

I suspect most of the people who write all that furious invective on the Internet, professional polemicists and semiliterate commenters alike, are lashing out because they’ve been hurt — their sense of fairness or decency has been outraged, or they feel personally wounded or threatened.

It is hard to disagree with the notion which was put by several authors that American society is living  in a cocoon of illusion which conveniently isolates them from reality: entertainment and escapism infuse our society, economy, and political system with severe consequences. Among such authors are Aldous Huxley, C. Wright Mills, Sheldon Wolin, Ralph Nader, Karl Polanyi, Jared Diamond, Paul Craig Roberts, Chris Hedge and several others. If we compare dystopias of Huxley and Orwell, and it clear that Huxley in his famous  New Brave World predicted the future much better:

"Huxley feared was that would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one... the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance."

The central idea here is that we now live as a society in which citizens become so distracted (and by extension detached) from reality that they lost any ability to influence their political or economic destiny. It is the same phenomenon that is described under the label of Inverted Totalitarism

This is one of the truly malevolent aspects of today's modern neoliberal world order and we need to confront it. It allows the old game of blaming the weak and the marginal, a staple of neo-fascist and despotic regimes; this illusion empower the dark undercurrents of sadism and violence in American society and deflect attention from the neoliberal financial vampires who have drained the blood of the country

"The tragedy is that we have become a screen culture, televisions, computers, phones, tablets, etc. Our electronic hallucinations have produced a society that has little time or patience for introspection or deep thinking. It reinforced my decision to maintain a television free life. For some, what Chris has to say may cut to close to the bone. But those with the courage to do so are usually the ones that care the most."

The biggest and most invisible elephant in the American psyche is this: our government has long since abandoned the goal of managing this nation as a nation. Instead, America as a nation is managed as a means to global empire.

For example the loss of the critical skills of literacy (seven million total illiterates, another 27 million unable to read well enough to complete a job application, and still another 50 million who read at a 4th-5th-grade level)  have led large part of the US population to become incapable of thinking for ourselves.

In fact they have become as malleable as children. 80% of U.S. families did not buy or read a single book in a year.  Despite technology and internet access we are becoming a society of functionally ignorant and illiterate people.

For example there is widespread illusion of inclusion. This is the illusion that we are or will be included among the fortunate few because misfortune happens only to those who deserve it. There are plenty of people who understand that the corporate model is one in which there are squeezers and those who are to be squeezed. So the illusion of inclusion provides what can be called "a plantation morality" that exalts the insiders and denigrates the outsiders. Those content with this arrangement obviously view themselves as insiders even when they work for companies that are actively shedding employees. Many of these people are happy to be making good money for digging graves for others, never stopping to wonder if maybe someday one of those graves might be their own.

One of the first recorded metaphors which explained this phenomenon of substitution of reality with  illusion was Plato's tale about cave dwellers, who thought the shadows on the wall were the actual reality. Illusion can also serve as a deliberate distraction, isolation layer that protects form unpleasant reality. The point is that now it is illusions that dominate American life; both for those that succumb to them, and for those that promote and sustains them. It is the use of illusions in the US  society that become  prevalent today, converting like into the cinema or theater, where primary goal is entertainment.

Modern MSM are driven by postmodernism which includes among other things substitution of reality with artificial reality, fragmentation of history and push for historical amnesia, substitution of the subject with emotions,  and juxtaposition of opposites. But the key feature is controlling the narrative.

Controlling the narrative means control and deliberate selection of the issues which can be discussed

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

Controlling the narrative means control and deliberate selection of the issues which can be discussed (and by extension which are not)  in MSM. It represents real war on reality.  Non-stop, 24 by 7 character of modern media help with this greatly (The Unending Anxiety of an ICYMI World - NYTimes.com):

We used to receive media cyclically. Newspapers were published once (or sometimes twice) a day, magazines weekly or monthly. Nightly news was broadcast, well, each night. Television programs were broadcast on one of the major networks one night a week at a specific time, never to return until a rerun or syndication. Movies were shown first in theaters and on video much later (or, before the advent of VCRs, not until a revival). There were not many interstices, just discrete units — and a smaller number of them.

Now we’re in the midst of the streaming era, when the news industry distributes material on a 24-hour cycle, entire seasons of TV shows are dumped on viewers instantaneously, most movies are available at any time and the flow of the Internet and social media is ceaseless. We are nearly all interstitial space, with comparatively few singularities.

Media became out windows to the world and this window is broken. The notion of 'controlling the narrative' points to dirty games played by PR gurus and spin merchants with event coverage (especially foreign event coverage) to ensure the rule of elite.  A good part of the White House budget and resources is spent on controlling the narrative. Creation of the narrative and "talking points" for MSM is the task of State Department. Former State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki was a pretty telling "incarnation"  of the trend. 

And MSM are doing an exemplary job controlling the political narrative. This way they demonstrate their faithful service to the state and the ruling political class. Nowhere is more evident then in coverage of wars.

Only social media can smash the official version of events. And in some case that has happened. The USA MSM honchos are now scratching heads trying to understand  how to control their version of events despite Twitter, Facebook and other social networks.

On Ukraine, despite the most coordinated propaganda offensive of Western MSMs, the Western elite failed to fully control the narrative:  a sizable number of Europeans are still clinging to the notion that this story had two sides. You can see this trend from analysis of Guardian comments (The Guardian Presstitutes Slip Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment ). More importantly the EU political establishment has failed to maintain a central lie inside official narrative -- that the EU is benign and a force for good / peace / prosperity. EU elite has shown its ugly face supporting Ukrainian far right.

Another example were initially MSM totally controlled the narrative (the first two-three weeks) and then when the narrative start slipping away they need to silence the subject  Shooting down Malaysian flight MH17

The thing is, once you've lost control of the narrative, as happened with coverage MH17 tragedy, there's no way back. Once Western MSM lost it, no-one any longer believed  a word they said about the tragedy.

And little can be done to win back that credibility on the particular subject. Moreover, due to this Europeans are becoming more and more receptive of a drip of alternative media stories that completely destroy official EU narrative. They came from a multitude of little sources, including this site and they collectively  cements the loss of trust to the EU elite. 

More subtle nuances of controlling the narrative: the role of the scapegoat

 There also more subtle nuances of controlling the narrative. Actually controlling the narrative does not mean that you need to suppress all the negative news (like propagandists in the USSR often did -- leading to complete discreditation of official propaganda in minds of the USSR people -- it simply became the subject of jokes). As John V. Walsh noted:

There is a simple rule that is followed scrupulously by U.S. commentators of every stripe on world affairs and war – with a very few notable exceptions, Paul Craig Roberts and Pepe Escobar among them.

This rule allows strong criticism of the U.S. But major official adversaries of the U.S., Iran, Russia and China, must never, ever be presented as better than the US in any significant way. The US may be depicted as equally bad (or better) than these enemies, but never worse.

In other words, any strong criticism of the US presuppose scapegoating and vicious propaganda campaign against  major official adversaries of the US such as Russia. It  must never, ever be presented in a better light then the US in any significant way. In selected cases, the US may be depicted as equally bad, but never worse.

The most recent incarnation of this rule was during Hillary Clinton campaign for POTUS in 2016.

Chris Hedge book Empire of Illusion

 
The informational function of the media would be this to help us forget, to serve as the very agents and mechanism for our historical amnesia.

But in that cast of two features of postmodernism on which I have dwelt here -- the transformation of reality into images, the fragmentation of 'me' into a series of perpetual presents -- are bother extraordinary consolant with this process.

... We have seen that there is a way in which postmodernism replicates or reproduces -- reinforces -- the logic of consumer capitalism.

Frederic Jameson “Postmodernism and Consumer Society

Chris Hedge Empire of Illusion  is a penetrating analysis of this effort of "entertainment society" and converting everything including politics into entertainment. It was published in 2010. Hedges discuss  complex issues and a clear, succinct way. You might agree with him, you might disagree with him but you will enjoy his brilliant prose. 

Those who manipulate  from the shadows our lives are the agents, publicists, marketing departments, promoters, script writers, television and movie producers, advertisers, video technicians, photographers, bodyguards, wardrobe consultants, fitness trainers, pollsters, public announcers, and television news personalities who create the vast stage for the Empire of Illusion. They are the puppet masters. No one achieves celebrity status, without the approval of cultural enablers and intermediaries. The sole object is to hold attention and satisfy an audience. These techniques of theater leeched into politics, religion, education, literature, news, commerce, warfare, and even crime. It converts that society into wrestling ring mesh with the ongoing dramas on television, in movies, and in the news, where "real-life" stories, especially those involving celebrities, allow news reports to become mini-dramas complete with a star, a villain, a supporting cast, a good-looking host, and a neat, if often unexpected, conclusion (p. 15-16).

The first big achievement of Empire of Illusion was "glorification of war" after WWIII. As the veterans of WW II saw with great surprise their bitter, brutal wartime experience were skillfully transformed into an illusion, the mythic narrative of heroism and patriotic glory sold to the public by the Pentagon's public relations machine and Hollywood. The extreme brutality and meaninglessness of war could not compete against the power of the illusion, the fantasy of war as a ticket to glory, honor, and manhood. It was what the government and the military wanted to promote. It worked because it had the power to simulate experience for most viewers who were never at Iwo Jima or in a war. Few people understood that this illusion was a lie. p. 21-22.

Media evolved into branch of entertainment. He gives great insight on American society. Several chapters should be a required read for all sociology, film, journalism students, or government leaders. Much like Paul Craig Robert's How America Was Lost you might feel unplugged from the matrix after reading this book. This is the book that corporate America, as well as the neoliberal elite, do not want you to read. It's a scathing indictment against everything that's wrong with the system and those that continue to perpetuate the lie in the name of the almighty dollar. In a way the USA as the rest of the world are amusing itself into a post apocalyptic state, without an apocalypse. It is simply cannibalizing itself.

That books also contains succinct, and damning condemnation of globalization (and, specifically, the USA's role in it). You can compare it with Klein's 'Shock Doctrine', but it cuts a wider swath. 

The discussion the follows was by-and-large adapted from  D. Benor  Amazon review of the book

We consume countless lies daily, false promises that if we buy this brand or that product, if we vote for this candidate, we will be respected, envied, powerful, loved, and protected. The flamboyant lives of celebrities and the outrageous characters on television, movies,  and sensational talk shows are peddled to us, promising to fill up the emptiness in our own lives. Celebrity culture encourages everyone to think of themselves as potential celebrities, as possession unique if unacknowledged gifts. p. 26-7. Celebrity is the vehicle used by a corporate society to sell us these branded commodities, most of which we do not need. Celebrities humanize commercial commodities. They present the familiar and comforting face of the corporate state. p. 37.

Reporters, especially those on television, no longer ask whether the message is true but rather whether the pseudo-event worked or did not work as political theater for supporting particular (usually State Department in case of foreign events) talking points.  Pseudo-events are judged on how effectively we have been manipulated by illusion. Those events that appear real are relished and lauded. Those that fail to create a believable illusion are deemed failures. Truth is irrelevant. Those who succeed in politics, as in most of the culture, are those who create the most convincing fantasies. This is the real danger of pseudo-events and why pseudo-events are far more pernicious than stereotypes. They do not explain reality, as stereotypes attempt to, but replace reality. Pseudo-events redefines reality by the parameters set by their creators. These creators, who make massive profits selling illusions, have a vested interest in maintaining the power structures they control. p. 50-1.

A couple quotes: "When a nation becomes unmoored from reality, it retreats into a world of magic. Facts are accepted or discarded according to the dictates of a preordained cosmology. The search for truth becomes irrelevant." (p. 50) "The specialized dialect and narrow education of doctors, academics, economists, social scientists, military officers, investment bankers, and government bureaucrats keeps each sector locked in its narrow role. The overarching structure of the corporate state and the idea of the common good are irrelevant to specialists. They exist to make the system work, not to examine it." (p. 98) I could go on and on citing terrific passages.

The flight into illusion sweeps away the core values of the open society. It corrodes the ability to think for oneself, to draw independent conclusions, to express dissent when judgment and common sense tell you something is wrong, to be self-critical, to challenge authority, to grasp historical facts, to advocate for change, and to acknowledge that there are other views, different ways, and structures of being that are morally and socially acceptable. A populace deprived of the ability to separate lies from truth, that has become hostage to the fictional semblance of reality put forth by pseudo-events, is no longer capable of sustaining a free society.

Those who slip into this illusion ignore the signs of impending disaster. The physical degradation of the planet, the cruelty of global capitalism, the looming oil crisis, the collapse of financial markets, and the danger of overpopulation rarely impinge to prick the illusions that warp our consciousness. The words, images, stories, and phrases used to describe the world in pseudo-events have no relation to what is happening around us. The advances of technology and science, rather than obliterating the world of myth, have enhanced its power to deceive. We live in imaginary, virtual worlds created by corporations that profit from our deception. Products and experiences - indeed, experience as a product - offered up for sale, sanctified by celebrities, are mirages. They promise us a new personality. They promise us success and fame. They promise to mend our brokenness. p. 52-3.

We have all seen the growth of a culture of lies and deception in politics, banking, commerce and education. Hodges points out how this has been facilitated by our abandoning the teaching of values and analysis in our schools.

The flight from the humanities has become a flight from conscience. It has created an elite class of experts who seldom look beyond their tasks and disciplines to put what they do in a wider, social context. And by absenting themselves from the moral and social questions raised by the humanities, they have opted to serve a corporate structure that has destroyed the culture around them.

Our elites - the ones in Congress, the ones on Wall Street, and the ones being produced at prestigious universities and business schools - do not have the capacity to fix our financial mess. Indeed, they will make it worse. They have no concept, thanks to the educations they have received, of how to replace a failed system with a new one. They are petty, timid, and uncreative bureaucrats superbly trained to carry our systems management. They see only piecemeal solutions that will satisfy the corporate structure. Their entire focus is numbers, profits, and personal advancement. They lack a moral and intellectual core. They are as able to deny gravely ill people medical coverage to increase company profits as they are to use taxpayer dollars to peddle costly weapons systems to blood-soaked dictatorships. The human consequences never figure into their balance sheets. The democratic system, they believe, is a secondary product of the free market - which they slavishly serve. p. 111.

I quote Hodges at some length because of his cogent, clear summaries of the problems leading us to self-destruction and to ways we might someday restructure society to be supportive and healing to the individual - rather than exploiting people and viewing them only as valuable as they can be manipulated into being gullible consumers.

This is one of the clearest and best focused discussions I have seen on the problems of modern society that are leading us to societal suicide

Hedges points out how a cycle sustains itself between elite educational institutions (Harvard, Yale, Princeton, etc.), the Government (think Congress in particular) and Corporations. Ivy league schools basically turn-out lackeys that do whatever is necessary to maintain their elite, self-absorbed status. The last chapter is entitled, "The Illusion of America," and this is where Hedges does a fantastic job of pulling together all the elements of this dysfunctional society. Other books touch the same themes, sometimes more forcefully but in this book most important elements of this picture put together.

Among the booksHedges cites:

Gekaufte Journalisten by Udo Ulfkotte

The book Gekaufte Journalisten by Udo Ulfkotte was a revelation. Of cause, we suspected many things he  described, but now we know detailed methods and mechanisms of suppressing alterative opinion in German society, methods that are probably more effective that anything propagandists in the DDR and the USSR ever attempted.  One of the central concept here is the concept of "Noble Lie".

Guardian became neoliberal as soon as Tony Blaire became Prime minister. As any neoliberal publication is subscribes to the notion of "noble lie". The latter actually came from neocons playbook.   No they knowingly try to dumb down their reader substituting important topic with celebrity gossip and hate speech. Even political issue now are "served" to the public as dishes under heavy sauce of personalities involved, which is a perfect way to obscure the subject and distract the readers.

geronimo -> MurkyFogsFutureLogs 14 Mar 2015 12:31

Indeed...

Under the retiring editor, all politics seems to have been reduced to 'identity' politics. Forget about class, war, class war and so on... If it can't be reduced to Hillary's gender or Putin's, er... transcendental evil... then it's barely worth a comment above the line.

As I've said before, for the Guardian 'the personal is the political' - or rather, for the Guardian as for Hillary, the political reduces to the personal.

A marriage made, not so much in heaven, but somewhere in political-fashionista North London.

In reality most prominent journalists are on tight leash of "'deep state". As Udo Ulfkotte book attests this is a rule, not an exception. While this was known since Operation Mockingbird  was revealed, nothing changed. As revealed by Senator Frank Church investigations (Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities) in 1975. In his Congress report published in 1976 the authors stated:

"The CIA currently maintains a network of several hundred foreign individuals around the world who provide intelligence for the CIA and at times attempt to influence opinion through the use of covert propaganda. These individuals provide the CIA with direct access to a large number of newspapers and periodicals, scores of press services and news agencies, radio and television stations, commercial book publishers, and other foreign media outlets."

According to the "Family Jewels" report, released by the National Security Archive on June 26, 2007, during the period from March 12, 1963, and June 15, 1963, the CIA installed telephone taps on two Washington-based news reporters. Church argued that misinforming the world cost American taxpayers an estimated $265 million a year.[20]

In February 1976, George H. W. Bush, the recently appointed Director of the CIA, announced a new policy:

"Effective immediately, the CIA will not enter into any paid or contract relationship with any full-time or part-time news correspondent accredited by any U.S. news service, newspaper, periodical, radio or television network or station." He added that the CIA would continue to "welcome" the voluntary, unpaid cooperation of journalists.[21]

But at this point only handlers and methods changed, not the policy. They are still all controlled by deep state. The most recent revelations of this fact were published by Udo Ulfkotte’s in his bestseller book  Bought Journalists. Here is one Amazon review of the book: 

Unicorns & Kittenson May 1, 2015

I've managed to read a bit of the German version ...
 
I've managed to read a bit of the German version and now I think I understand why this is still not available in English although it was supposed to be released in this and other languages seven months ago. I will be very surprised if this shocking and destabilizing book (which names names) is made available to Americans ... even though it's primarily about the abusive tactics of American intelligence agencies. Please keep asking why it isn't published - despite being a best-seller in Germany -- and how we can get it here on Kindle.

As one Amazon reviewer said "This book will change for ever the way you read and watch the mainstream media! " Here is some additional information from russia-insider:

... ... ...

Ironically, however, it’s likely that one of the biggest threats (especially in Europe) to Anglo-American media credibility about Ukraine and other issues is coming from a very old-fashioned medium – a book.

Udo Ulfkotte’s bestseller Bought Journalists has been a sensation in Germany since its publication last autumn. The journalist and former editor of one of Germany’s largest newspapers, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, revealed that he was for years secretly on the payroll of the CIA and was spinning the news to favour U.S. interests. Moreover he alleges that some major media are nothing more than propaganda outlets for international think-tanks, intelligence agencies, and corporate high-finance.

“We’re talking about puppets on a string,” he says, “journalists who write or say whatever their masters tell them to say or write. If you see how the mainstream media is reporting about the Ukraine conflict and if you know what’s really going on, you get the picture. The masters in the background are pushing for war with Russia and western journalists are putting on their helmets.” [8]

In another interview, Ulfkotte said:

“The German and American media tries to bring war to the people in Europe, to bring war to Russia. This is a point of no return, and I am going to stand up and say…it is not right what I have done in the past, to manipulate people, to make propaganda against Russia, and it is not right what my colleagues do, and have done in the past, because they are bribed to betray the people not only in Germany, all over Europe.” [9]

... ... ...

Apparently, Pomeranzev has forgotten that important October 2004 article by Ron Suskind published in the New York Times Magazine during the second war in Iraq (which, like the first, was based on a widely disseminated lie). Suskind quoted one of George W. Bush’s aides (probably Karl Rove): “The aide said that guys like me [journalists, writers, historians] were ‘in what we call the reality-based community,’ which he defined as people who ‘believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality…That’s not the way the world really works anymore,’ he continued. ‘We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality – judiciously, as you will – we’ll act again, creating other new realities which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do’.” [12]

It’s a rather succinct description of Orwellian spin and secrecy in a media-saturated Empire, where discerning the truth becomes ever more difficult.

That is why people believe someone like Udo Ulfkotte, who is physically ill, says he has only a few years left to live, and told an interviewer,

 “I am very fearful of a new war in Europe, and I don’t like to have this situation again, because war is never coming from itself, there is always people who push for war, and this is not only politicians, it is journalists too… We have betrayed our readers, just to push for war…I don’t want this anymore, I’m fed up with this propaganda. We live in a banana republic and not in a democratic country where we have press freedom…” [13]

Recently, as Mike Whitney has pointed out in CounterPunch (March 10), Germany’s newsmagazine Der Spiegel dared to challenge the fabrications of NATO’s top commander in Europe, General Philip Breedlove, for spreading “dangerous propaganda” that is misleading the public about Russian “troop advances” and making “flat-out inaccurate statements” about Russian aggression.

Whitney asks, “Why this sudden willingness to share the truth? It’s because they no longer support Washington’s policy, that’s why. No one in Europe wants the US to arm and train the Ukrainian army. No wants them to deploy 600 paratroopers to Kiev and increase U.S. logistical support. No one wants further escalation, because no wants a war with Russia. It’s that simple.” [14] Whitney argued that “the real purpose of the Spiegel piece is to warn Washington that EU leaders will not support a policy of military confrontation with Moscow.”

So now we know the reason for the timing of the April 15 U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, “Confronting Russia’s Weaponization of Information.” Literally while U.S. paratroopers were en route to Kiev, the hawks in Washington (and London) knew it was time to crank up the rhetoric. The three witnesses were most eager to oblige.


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"... The results showed that on average people believed that a third of Labour Party members had been reported for antisemitism. A key part of the authors' investigation was to examine how it could be that so many people came to believe this when the actual figure was far less than 1%. ..."
"... What is clear is that for Ukania's Joe and Jill Normal, who don't often go beyond the newspaper headlines to look at news source ..."
"... The crucial factor here is that no matter what steps Labour's left leadership takes to deal with the party's antisemitism problems (and these steps have been taken, unevenly and somewhat slowly), those bent on ousting Corbyn as leader for reasons internal to the party's politics will not cease their efforts no matter what Labour does to address antisemitism within its membership. ..."
"... The perfect example here is Tom Watson, Labour's deputy leader, who is on the payroll of the UK's Zionist lobby. Watson did his utmost to stoke the fires of the antisemitism crisis. Sensing now he has played his full hand on this issue, he is currently using Brexit as his foil for attacking Corbyn. ..."
Sep 18, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

I've just finished reading the uncorrected proof copy an excellent study of the manufactured Labour "antisemitism crisis". [Greg Philo, Mike Berry, Antony Lerman, Justin Schlossberg and David Miller, Bad News for Labour: Antisemitism, the Party & Public Belief (London: Pluto Press, 2019)]

The launching point for the book's analysis is a national poll, accompanied by the use of focus groups, on how people make judgments and form opinions.

The results showed that on average people believed that a third of Labour Party members had been reported for antisemitism. A key part of the authors' investigation was to examine how it could be that so many people came to believe this when the actual figure was far less than 1%.

The book focuses on how this chasm between (mis)perception came to exist. The authors used questionnaires as part of their survey, and the anonymous written answers show just how ignorant and poorly informed many Brits are -- a significant percentage believe what they read in the trashy rightwing tabloids or what they see on TV!

Some focus group members even believed Corbyn would bring in Sharia Law if elected.

Bad News for Labour begins with an overview of the focus group discussions. Several participants in the focus groups who came believing that a third of Labour Party members had been reported for antisemitism revised this number downwards, sensibly, as the group discussions went on and participants took to educating each other.

At the same time focus group members believed the controversy has done serious damage to the party.

What is clear is that for Ukania's Joe and Jill Normal, who don't often go beyond the newspaper headlines to look at news sources, etc., it is the case that

MASSIVE MEDIA COVEREAGE OF X = X MUST BE A BIG PROBLEM.

Bad News for Labour then looks at the plethora of competing positions and interests within Labour which created a confusing context for dealing with the antisemitism controversy. The authors identify 3 main areas:

1) the argument that there was a significant and widespread problem regarding antisemitism within the Labour Party;

2) that the issue was being used to undermine Labour's left leadership, and specifically Jeremy Corbyn, as part of the internal politics of the Party;

3) that the controversy was linked to the defence of Israel and attempts to change Labour policy with regard to that state.

The crucial factor here is that no matter what steps Labour's left leadership takes to deal with the party's antisemitism problems (and these steps have been taken, unevenly and somewhat slowly), those bent on ousting Corbyn as leader for reasons internal to the party's politics will not cease their efforts no matter what Labour does to address antisemitism within its membership.

The perfect example here is Tom Watson, Labour's deputy leader, who is on the payroll of the UK's Zionist lobby. Watson did his utmost to stoke the fires of the antisemitism crisis. Sensing now he has played his full hand on this issue, he is currently using Brexit as his foil for attacking Corbyn.

Labour has edged its way towards a fragile truce within itself on Brexit, by making the ridding of Johnson and the Tories its priority, so that having a general election is the first objective, and only after that can such matters as a second EU referendum with options of a viable deal and remain be contemplated.

Watson is now trying to upset this arrangement by saying a second Brexit referendum has to come before a general election (echoing a position taken by Blair a few days before) -- a ridiculous proposition, because having a referendum first will simply reopen divisions within Labour that existed during and after the first Brexit referendum. Far better to win an election, which will leave Labour more in control of events (and probably more united by virtue of electoral success), and then tackle the thorny matter of a second EU referendum.

Watson was promptly slapped down by Corbyn.

Bad News for Labour sensibly suggests that the best way for Corbyn and the party's left to overcome these attempts by Labour's mainly Blairite rightwing to undermine the Left is for the Blairites to be deselected by their local Labour parties as candidates in the next election.

Several Blairites, knowing they face deselection, have already jumped ship and joined the centrist Lib Dems while a couple went on to be Independents. Other Blairites, knowing which way the wind is blowing, have announced they won't be standing in the next election.

The outrage of the Labour Zionists making life difficult for Corbyn is highly selective. It is certainly true that some of these Labour MPs received antisemitic abuse (though mainly from people who were not party members).

At the same time, the Labour politician Diane Abbott, a Corbyn ally who is shadow home secretary/interior minister, was targetted by racists, though this has received much less media attention. Amnesty International's research showed that Abbott received 45% of all abusive tweets sent to female MPs in the 6 weeks before the 2017 election.

The crux of Labour's antisemitism controversy is the bruhaha over its grudging acceptance of the flawed International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of "antisemitism". The media's coverage of this controversy was framed by 2 assumptions: that under Corbyn antisemitism in Labour had become "institutionalized", and that Corbyn and his associates had failed to counter this.

The IHRA definition is deeply flawed, so much so that it is deemed not fit to be given any legal standing.

Media coverage of Labour's disputes with this definition cloak this fact by referring to it as "the widely accepted IHRA definition", "the widely accepted definition put forward by the IHRA", "the IHRA's widely accepted definition", "the global definition of antisemitism", "the globally recognized definition", "the near universally accepted definition", and so on, in effect suggesting that Labour was completely out of line in its reluctance to accept the 38-word definition, despite the fact that a powerful body of legal opinion saw it as a hopelessly vague statement accompanied by a rag-bag of "examples".

The IHRA examples in effect make it automatic that any characterization of Israel as "racist" is perforce "antisemitic", in this way placing Israel's apartheid policy towards Palestinians beyond criticism.

Under immense pressure Labour alas caved-in and accepted the definition and all its examples.

Perhaps the fact that the Equalities and Human Rights Commission's announcement in May that it was investigating Labour's handling of antisemitism complaints following submissions from the Jewish Labour Movement and the Campaign Against Antisemitism had something to do with Labour's capitulation on this score.

Bad News for Labour therefore trades on a double entendre -- news that is bad for Labour, but also "faux news" that itself is bad precisely because of its all-too-common distortions, biases, and underlying malicious intent. It's no surprise that two Murdoch papers, The Times and Sun , have been at the forefront of this campaign against Labour.

Perhaps more surprising are the outfits that kept company with Murdoch newspapers in this campaign against Corbyn, namely, the supposedly objective BBC and the "progressive" Guardian , both of which matched the Murdoch rags step for step in a rush for the gutter.

Bad News for Labour presents a flood of evidence detailing how this campaign was confected and what its effects on the party have been.

Since I'm a British citizen I'll be in the UK next week attending the Labour Party annual conference as a member-delegate. Testing the waters on this issue will be interesting to say the least.

Meanwhile the media say nary a word about the rampant Islamophobia in the Conservative Party (starting with its leader, BoJo, and his insouciantly feeble jokes about burka-wearing women looking like "letter boxes" and "bank robbers", and so on), and the fact that surveys show antisemitism to be more prevalent in the Tories than it is in Labour.

As Americans say: go figure.

Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Kenneth Surin

Kenneth Surin teaches at Duke University, North Carolina. He lives in Blacksburg, Virginia

[Sep 15, 2019] Neoliberal version of oligarchy of priests and monks whose task it was to propitiate heaven

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The new feudalism, like the original, is not based simply around the force of arms, or in this case what Marx called "the cash nexus." ..."
"... Similar attitudes can be seen in virtually all other culturally dominant institutions, starting with Hollywood. Over 99 percent of all major entertainment executives' donations went to [neoliberal] Democrats in 2018 ..."
"... The great bastion of both the financial Oligarchy and high reaches of the Clerisy lies in the great cities, notably New York, London, Paris, Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle. These are all among the most expensive places to live in the world and play a dominant role in the global media. ..."
"... In his assessment in "Democracy in America ," Alexis de Tocqueville suggests a new form of tyranny -- in many ways more insidious than that of the monarchical state -- that grants favors and entertainments to its citizens but expects little in obligation. Rather than expect people to become adults, he warns, a democratic state can be used to keep its members in "perpetual childhood" and "would degrade men rather than tormenting them." ..."
Sep 15, 2019 | dailycaller.com

The role of the Clerisy

The new feudalism, like the original, is not based simply around the force of arms, or in this case what Marx called "the cash nexus." Like the church in Medieval times, the Clerisy sees itself as anointed to direct human society, a modern version of what historian Marc Bloch called the "oligarchy of priests and monks whose task it was to propitiate heaven."

This modern-day version of the old First Estate sets down the [neoliberal] ideological tone in the schools, the mass media, culture and the arts. There's also a Clerisy of sorts on the right, and what's left of the center, but this remains largely, except for Fox, an insignificant remnant.

Like their predecessors, today's Clerisy embraces a [neoliberal] orthodoxy, albeit secular, on a host of issues from race and gender to the environment. Universities have become increasingly dogmatic in their worldview. One study of 51 top colleges found the proportion of [neo]liberals to conservatives as much as 70:1, and usually at least 8:1.

At elite [neo]liberal arts schools like Wellesley, Swarthmore and Williams, the proportion reaches 120:1.

Similar attitudes can be seen in virtually all other culturally dominant institutions, starting with Hollywood. Over 99 percent of all major entertainment executives' donations went to [neoliberal] Democrats in 2018, even though roughly half the population would prefer they keep their politics more to themselves. (RELATED: Here Are Reactions From Democrats, [neo]liberal Celebrities To The Mueller Testimony)

The increasing concentration of media in ever fewer centers -- London, New York, Washington, San Francisco -- and the decline of the local press has accentuated the elite Clerisy's domination. With most reporters well on the left, journalism, as a 2019 Rand report reveals, is steadily moving from a fact-based model to one that is dominated by predictable [neoliberal] opinion. This, Rand suggests has led to what they called "truth decay."

The new geography of feudalism

The new feudalism increasingly defines geography not only in America but across much of the world. The great bastion of both the financial Oligarchy and high reaches of the Clerisy lies in the great cities, notably New York, London, Paris, Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle. These are all among the most expensive places to live in the world and play a dominant role in the global media.

Yet these cities are not the progressive, egalitarian places evoked by great urbanists like the late Jane Jacobs, but more closely resemble the "gated" cities of the Middle Ages, and their equivalents in places as diverse as China and Japan. American cities now have higher levels of inequality, notes one recent study , than Mexico. In fact, the largest gaps ( between the bottom and top quintiles of median incomes are in the heartland of progressive opinion, such as in the metropolitan areas of San Francisco, New York, San Jose, and Los Angeles. (RELATED: Got Income Inequality? Least Affordable Cities Are Also the Bluest)

... ... ...

... In his assessment in "Democracy in America ," Alexis de Tocqueville suggests a new form of tyranny -- in many ways more insidious than that of the monarchical state -- that grants favors and entertainments to its citizens but expects little in obligation. Rather than expect people to become adults, he warns, a democratic state can be used to keep its members in "perpetual childhood" and "would degrade men rather than tormenting them."

With the erosion of the middle class, and with it dreams of upward mobility, we already see more extreme, less liberally minded class politics. A nation of clerics, billionaires and serfs is not conducive to the democratic experiment; only by mobilizing the Third Estate can we hope that our republican institutions will survive intact even in the near future.

Mr. Kotkin is the Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University and the executive director of the Center for Opportunity Urbanism. His next book, "The Coming Of Neo-Feudalism," will be out this spring.

[Sep 15, 2019] Americar real Conflict in Trump era is between the two factions of neoliberal elites: financial oligarchy (and associated with them Silicon Valley Moduls) and old manufacturing elite

This is the conflict between financial elite and Silicon Valley modules against traditional manufactures and extractive industries like oil, gas, coil, iron ore, etc.
Notable quotes:
"... The First Estate, once the province of the Catholic Church, has morphed into what Samuel Coleridge in the 1830s called "the Clerisy," a group that extends beyond organized religion to the universities, media, cultural tastemakers and upper echelons of the bureaucracy. The role of the Second Estate is now being played by a rising Oligarchy, notably in tech but also Wall Street, that is consolidating control of most of the economy. ..."
Sep 15, 2019 | dailycaller.com

A recent OECD report , is under assault, and shrinking in most places while prospects for upward mobility for the working class also declines.T

he anger of the Third Estate, both the growing property-less Serf class as well as the beleaguered Yeomanry, has produced the growth of populist, parties both right and left in Europe, and the election of Donald Trump in 2016. In the U.S., this includes not simply the gradual, and sometimes jarring, transformation of the GOP into a vehicle for populist rage, but also the rise on the Democratic side of politicians such as Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, each of whom have made class politics their signature issue.

(RELATED: Bernie Sanders Says Middle Class Will Pay More In Taxes)

The Rise of Neo-Feudalism

Today's neo-feudalism recalls the social order that existed before the democratic revolutions of the 17th and 18th Century, with our two ascendant estates filling the roles of the former dominant classes.

The First Estate, once the province of the Catholic Church, has morphed into what Samuel Coleridge in the 1830s called "the Clerisy," a group that extends beyond organized religion to the universities, media, cultural tastemakers and upper echelons of the bureaucracy. The role of the Second Estate is now being played by a rising Oligarchy, notably in tech but also Wall Street, that is consolidating control of most of the economy.

Together these two classes have waxed while the Third Estate has declined. This essentially reversed the enormous gains made by the middle and even the working class over the past 50 years. The top 1% in America captured just 4.9 percent of total U.S. income growth in 1945-1973, but since then the country's richest classes has gobbled up an astonishing 58.7% of all new wealth in the U.S., and 41.8 percent of total income growth during 2009-2015 alone.

In this period, the Oligarchy has benefited from the financialization of the economy and the refusal of the political class in both parties to maintain competitive markets. As a result, American industry has become increasingly concentrated. For example, the five largest banks now account for close to 50 percent of all banking assets, up from barely 30 percent just 20 years ago. (RELATED: The Biggest Bank You've Never Heard Of)

Warren Buffett, Jeffrey Immelt, Charles Schwab and Jamie Dimon, at Georgetown University. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

Warren Buffett, Jeffrey Immelt, Charles Schwab and Jamie Dimon, at Georgetown University. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

The concentration numbers in tech are even more frightening. Once a highly competitive industry, it is now among the most concentrated . Like the barbarian chieftains who seized land after the fall of Rome, a handful of companies -- Facebook , Google , Apple, Microsoft and Amazon -- have gained total control over a host of markets, from social media to search, the software operating systems, cloud computing and e-commerce. In many key markets such as search, these companies enjoy market shares reaching to eighty or ninety percent.

As they push into fields such as entertainment, space travel, finance and autonomous vehicles, they have become, as technology analyst Izabella Kaminska notes, the modern-day "free market" equivalents of the Soviet planners who operated Gosplan, allocating billions for their own subjective priorities. Libertarians might point out that these tech giants are still privately held firms but they actually represent , as one analyst put it, "a new form of monopoly power made possible by the 'network effect' of those platforms through which everyone must pass to conduct the business of life."

The role of the Clerisy

The new feudalism, like the original, is not based simply around the force of arms, or in this case what Marx called "the cash nexus." Like the church in Medieval times, the Clerisy sees itself as anointed to direct human society, a modern version of what historian Marc Bloch called the "oligarchy of priests and monks whose task it was to propitiate heaven." This modern-day version of the old First Estate sets down the ideological tone in the schools, the mass media, culture and the arts. There's also a Clerisy of sorts on the right, and what's left of the center, but this remains largely, except for Fox, an insignificant remnant.

Like their predecessors, today's Clerisy embraces an orthodoxy, albeit secular, on a host of issues from race and gender to the environment. Universities have become increasingly dogmatic in their worldview. One study of 51 top colleges found the proportion of liberals to conservatives as much as 70:1, and usually at least 8:1. At elite liberal arts schools like Wellesley, Swarthmore and Williams, the proportion reaches 120:1.

Similar attitudes can be seen in virtually all other culturally dominant institutions, starting with Hollywood. Over 99 percent of all major entertainment executives' donations went to Democrats in 2018, even though roughly half the population would prefer they keep their politics more to themselves. (RELATED: Here Are Reactions From Democrats, Liberal Celebrities To The Mueller Testimony)

The increasing concentration of media in ever fewer centers -- London, New York, Washington, San Francisco -- and the decline of the local press has accentuated the elite Clerisy's domination. With most reporters well on the left, journalism, as a 2019 Rand report reveals, is steadily moving from a fact-based model to one that is dominated by predictable opinion. This, Rand suggests has led to what they called "truth decay."

The new geography of feudalism

The new feudalism increasingly defines geography not only in America but across much of the world. The great bastion of both the Oligarchy and high reaches of the Clerisy lies in the great cities, notably New York, London, Paris, Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle. These are all among the most expensive places to live in the world and play a dominant role in the global media.

Yet these cities are not the progressive, egalitarian places evoked by great urbanists like the late Jane Jacobs, but more closely resemble the "gated" cities of the Middle Ages, and their equivalents in places as diverse as China and Japan. American cities now have higher levels of inequality, notes one recent study , than Mexico. In fact, the largest gaps ( between the bottom and top quintiles of median incomes are in the heartland of progressive opinion, such as in the metropolitan areas of San Francisco, New York, San Jose, and Los Angeles. (RELATED: Got Income Inequality? Least Affordable Cities Are Also the Bluest)

In some of the most favored blue cities, such as Seattle , Portland and San Francisco , not only is the middle class disappearing, but there has been something equivalent of "ethnic cleansing" amidst rising high levels of inequality, homelessness and social disorder. Long-standing minority communities like the Albina neighborhood in Portland are disappearing as 10,000 of the 38,000 residents have been pushed out of the historic African-American section. In San Francisco, the black population has dropped from 18% in the 1970s to single digits and what remains, notes Harry Alford , National Black Chamber of Commerce president, "are predominantly living under the poverty level and is being pushed out to extinction."

This exclusive and exclusionary urbanity contrasts with the historic role of cities. The initial rise of the Third Estate was tied intimately to the " freedom of the city . " But with the diminishing prospects for blue-collar industries, as well as high housing costs, many minorities and immigrants are increasingly migrating away from multi-culturally correct regions like Chicago , New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco for less regulated, generally less "woke" places like Phoenix, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston, Atlanta and Las Vegas.

Yet even as the middle-class populations flee, poverty remains deeply entrenched in our big cities, with a rate roughly twice that of the suburbs. The much-celebrated urban renaissance has been largely enjoyed by the upper echelons but not the working classes. In the city of Philadelphia , for example, the "center city" income rose, but citywide between 2000 and 2014, for every district that, like downtown, gained in income, two suffered income declines. Similarly, research shows that the number of high poverty (greater than 30 percent below the poverty line) neighborhoods in the U.S. has tripled since 1970 from 1,100 to 3,100.

Undermining the Third Estate

The impact of the rising Clerisy and Oligarchs poses a direct threat to the future of the Third Estate. On the economic side, relentless consolidation and financialization has devastated Main Street. In the great boom of the 1980s, small firms and start-ups powered the economy, but more recently the rates of entrepreneurship have dropped as mega-mergers, chains and on-line giants slowly reduced the scope of opportunities. Perhaps most disturbing of all has been the decline in new formations among younger people.

This phenomenon is most evident in the tech world. Today is not a great time to start a tech company unless you are in the charmed circle of elite firms with access to venture and private equity funds. The old garage start-up culture of Silicon Valley is slowly dying, as large firms gobble up or crush competitors. Indeed, since the rise of the tech economy in the 1990s, the overall degree of industry concentration has grown by 75 percent.

Like the peasant farmer or artisan in the feudal era, the entrepreneur not embraced by the big venture firms lives largely at the sufferance of the tech overlords. As one online publisher notes on his firm's status with Google:

If you're a Star Trek fan, you'll understand the analogy. It's a bit like being assimilated by the Borg. You get cool new powers. But having been assimilated, if your implants were ever removed, you'd certainly die. That basically captures our relationship to Google.

The Clerisy's War on the Middle Class

For generations, the Clerisy has steadfastly opposed the growth of suburbia, driven in large part by the aesthetic concerns –the conviction that single-family homes are fundamentally anti-social– and, increasingly, by often dubious assertions on their environmental toxicity. In places like California, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada, government policies discourage peripheral construction where home ownership rates tend to be higher, in favor of dense, largely rental housing.

This marks a dramatic turnaround. During the middle of the 20th Century, ownership rates in the United States leaped from 44 percent in 1940 to 63 percent in the late 1970s. Yet in the new generation this prospect is fading. In the United States, home ownership among post-college millennials (aged 25-34) has dropped from 45.4 percent in 2000 to 37.0 percent in 2016, a drop of 18 percent from the 1970s, according to Census Bureau data . In contrast, their parents and grandparents witnessed a dramatic rise of homeownership from 44 percent in 1940 to 63 percent 30 years later.

But the Clerisy's war on middle- and working-class aspiration goes well beyond housing. Climate change policies already enacted in California and Germany have driven millions into "energy poverty." If adopted, many of the latest proposals for such things as the Green New Deal all but guarantee the rapid reduction of millions of highly productive and often well-paying energy, aerospace, automobile and logistics jobs.

Political implications

The war of the Estates is likely to shape our political landscape for decades to come. Parts of the Third Estate –those working with their hands or operating small businesses– increasingly flock to the GOP, according to a recent CityLab report. Trump also has a case to make with these workers, as real wages for blue-collar workers are now rising for the first time in decades. Unemployment is near record lows not only for whites but also Latinos and African-Americans. Of course, if the economy weakens, he may lose some of this support. (RELATED: Trump Blasts Media For 'Barely' Covering 'Great' Economy, Low Unemployment)

But the emergence of neo-feudalism also lays the foundation for a larger, more potent and radicalized left. As opportunities for upward mobility shrink, a new generation, indoctrinated in leftist ideology sometimes from grade school and ever more predictably in undergraduate and graduate school, tilts heavily to the left, embracing what is essentially an updated socialist program of massive redistribution, central direction of the economy and racial redress.

Antifa members in Berkeley, California. AFP/Getty/Amy Osborne.

Antifa members in Berkeley, California. AFP/Getty/Amy Osborne.

In France's most recent presidential election, the former Trotskyite Jean-Luc Melenchon won the under-24 vote, beating the "youthful" Emmanuel Macron by almost two to one. Similarly in the United Kingdom, the birthplace of modern capitalism, the Labour Party , under the neo- Marxist Jeremy Corbyn , won over 60 percent of the vote among voters under 40, compared to just 23 percent for the Conservatives. Similar trends can be seen across Europe, where the Red and Green Party enjoys wide youth support.

The shift to hard-left politics also extends to the United States– historically not a fertile area for Marxist thinking. In the 2016 primaries , the openly socialist Bernie Sanders easily outpolled Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump combined. A 2016 poll by the Communism Memorial Foundation found that 44 percent of American millennials favored socialism while another 14 percent chose fascism or communism. By 2024, these millennials will be by far the country's biggest voting bloc .

In the current run-up to the Democratic nomination these young voters overwhelming tilt toward Sanders and his slightly less radical colleague Warren, while former Vice President Joe Biden retains the support of older Democrats. The common themes of the "new" Left, with such things as guaranteed annual incomes, rent control, housing subsidies, and free college might prove irresistible to a generation that has little hope of owning a home, could remain childless, and might never earn enough money to invest in much of anything. (RELATED: Bernie Sanders Says 'Health Care For All' Will Require Tax Increases)

At the end, the war of the estates raises the prospect of rising autocracy, even under formally democratic forms. In his assessment in "Democracy in America ," Alexis de Tocqueville suggests a new form of tyranny -- in many ways more insidious than that of the monarchical state -- that grants favors and entertainments to its citizens but expects little in obligation. Rather than expect people to become adults, he warns, a democratic state can be used to keep its members in "perpetual childhood" and "would degrade men rather than tormenting them."

With the erosion of the middle class, and with it dreams of upward mobility, we already see more extreme, less liberally minded class politics. A nation of clerics, billionaires and serfs is not conducive to the democratic experiment; only by mobilizing the Third Estate can we hope that our republican institutions will survive intact even in the near future.

Mr. Kotkin is the Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University and the executive director of the Center for Opportunity Urbanism. His next book, "The Coming Of Neo-Feudalism," will be out this spring.


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller.

[Sep 14, 2019] In America, TV programs you!

Sep 14, 2019 | www.unz.com

Justvisiting , says: September 14, 2019 at 4:23 pm GMT

@DanFromCT

These educated lemmings believe what they're spoon fed by CNN or Fox News. They cannot possibly accept that they're immune to facts and disproof of their cherished assumptions because they've been emotionally conditioned on a subconscious level, after which facts and reasoning are emotionally reacted to like they were personal attacks.

Correct, but a little more detail on "how" it is done is needed. The trick is to hypnotize the viewer.
This is done by using motion on the screen–left motion, right motion, left motion, right motion seems to be the most effective technique, but getting the viewer dizzy by constant screen motion and short cuts seems to work as well.

While the conventional wisdom was that advertising used such techniques (auto ads are the most blatant–cars heading left, then cars heading right, then cars heading left, etc.) to sell product, it appears that the ads are actually "prepping" the viewer to believe the "news" that follows.

In addition, there is a lot of research out there demonstrating that "news" commentators most important attribute is their ability to persuade others by appearing to have integrity. This is tested using focus groups (test subjects). It is on this basis that they are hired–and if they lose the technique or refuse to employ it–fired.

In America, TV programs you!

[Sep 11, 2019] Video Collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 The Bamboozle Has Captured Us

Highly recommended!
David Warner Mathisen definitely know what he is talking about due to his long military career... Free fall speed is documented and is an embarrassment to the official story, because free fall is impossible for a naturally collapsing building.
Now we need to dig into the role of Larry Silverstein in the Building 7 collapse.
Notable quotes:
"... Below is a video showing several film sequences taken from different locations and documenting multiple angles of World Trade Center Building 7 collapsing at freefall speed eighteen years ago on September 11, 2001. ..."
"... The four words "Building Seven Freefall Speed" provide all the evidence needed to conclude that the so-called "official narrative" promoted by the mainstream media for the past eighteen years is a lie, as is the fraudulent 9/11 Commission Report of 2004. ..."
"... Earlier this month, a team of engineers at the University of Alaska published their draft findings from a five-year investigation into the collapse of Building 7 ..."
"... This damning report by a team of university engineers has received no attention from the mainstream media outlets which continue to promote the bankrupt "official" narrative of the events of September 11, 2001. ..."
"... its rate of collapse can be measured and found to be indistinguishable from freefall speed, as physics teacher David Chandler explains in an interview here (and as he eventually forced NIST to admit), beginning at around 0:43:00 in the interview. ..."
"... the collapse of the 47-story steel-beam building World Trade Center 7 into its own footprint at freefall speed is all the evidence needed to reveal extensive and deliberate premeditated criminal activity by powerful forces that had the ability to prepare pre-positioned demolition charges in that building ..."
"... Indeed, the evidence is overwhelming, to the point that no one can any longer be excused for accepting the official story. Certainly during the first few days and weeks after the attacks, or even during the first few years, men and women could be excused for accepting the official story (particularly given the level to which the mainstream media controls opinion in the united states). ..."
"... Additionally, I would also recommend the interviews which are archived at the website of Visibility 9-11 , which includes valuable interviews with Kevin Ryan but also numerous important interviews with former military officers who explain that the failure of the military to scramble fighters to intercept the hijacked airplanes, and the failure of air defense weapons to stop a jet from hitting the Pentagon (if indeed a jet did hit the Pentagon), are also completely inexplicable to anyone who knows anything at all about military operations, unless the official story is completely false and something else was going on that day. ..."
"... In addition to these interviews and the Dig Within blog of Kevin Ryan, I would also strongly recommend everybody read the article by Dr. Gary G. Kohls entitled " Why Do Good People Become Silent About the Documented Facts that Disprove the Official 9/11 Narrative? " which was published on Global Research a few days ago, on September 6, 2019. ..."
"... on some level, we already know we have been bamboozled, even if our conscious mind refuses to accept what we already know. ..."
"... Previous posts have compared this tendency of the egoic mind to the blissfully ignorant character of Michael Scott in the television series The Office (US version): see here for example, and also here . ..."
"... The imposition of a vast surveillance mechanism upon the people of this country (and of other countries) based on the fraudulent pretext of "preventing terrorism" (and the lying narrative that has been perpetuated with the full complicity of the mainstream media for the past eighteen years) is in complete violation of the human rights which are enumerated in the Bill of Rights and which declare: ..."
"... David Warner Mathisen graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point and became an Infantry officer in the 82nd Airborne Division and the 4th Infantry Division. He is a graduate of the US Army's Ranger School and the 82nd Airborne Division's Jumpmaster Course, among many other awards and decorations. He was later selected to become an instructor in the Department of English Literature and Philosophy at West Point and has a Masters degree from Texas A&M University. ..."
Sep 11, 2019 | www.globalresearch.ca

Below is a video showing several film sequences taken from different locations and documenting multiple angles of World Trade Center Building 7 collapsing at freefall speed eighteen years ago on September 11, 2001.

The four words "Building Seven Freefall Speed" provide all the evidence needed to conclude that the so-called "official narrative" promoted by the mainstream media for the past eighteen years is a lie, as is the fraudulent 9/11 Commission Report of 2004.

  1. Building.
  2. Seven.
  3. Freefall.
  4. Speed.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Mamvq7LWqRU

Earlier this month, a team of engineers at the University of Alaska published their draft findings from a five-year investigation into the collapse of Building 7, which was not hit by any airplane on September 11, 2001, and concluded that fires could not possibly have caused the collapse of that 47-story steel-frame building -- rather, the collapse seen could have only been caused by the near-simultaneous failure of every support column (43 in number).

This damning report by a team of university engineers has received no attention from the mainstream media outlets which continue to promote the bankrupt "official" narrative of the events of September 11, 2001.

Various individuals at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) tried to argue that the collapse of Building 7 was slower than freefall speed, but its rate of collapse can be measured and found to be indistinguishable from freefall speed, as physics teacher David Chandler explains in an interview here (and as he eventually forced NIST to admit), beginning at around 0:43:00 in the interview.

Although the collapse of the 47-story steel-beam building World Trade Center 7 into its own footprint at freefall speed is all the evidence needed to reveal extensive and deliberate premeditated criminal activity by powerful forces that had the ability to prepare pre-positioned demolition charges in that building prior to the flight of the aircraft into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center (Buildings One and Two), as well as the power to cover up the evidence of this criminal activity and to deflect questioning by government agencies and suppress the story in the mainstream news, the collapse of Building 7 is by no means the only evidence which points to the same conclusion.

Indeed, the evidence is overwhelming, to the point that no one can any longer be excused for accepting the official story. Certainly during the first few days and weeks after the attacks, or even during the first few years, men and women could be excused for accepting the official story (particularly given the level to which the mainstream media controls opinion in the united states).

However, eighteen years later there is simply no excuse anymore -- except for the fact that the ramifications of the admission that the official story is a flagrant fraud and a lie are so distressing that many people cannot actually bring themselves to consciously admit what they in fact already know subconsciously.

For additional evidence, I strongly recommend the work of the indefatigable Kevin Robert Ryan , whose blog at Dig Within should be required reading for every man and woman in the united states -- as well as those in the rest of the world, since the ramifications of the murders of innocent men, women and children on September 11, 2001 have led to the murders of literally millions of other innocent men, women and children around the world since that day, and the consequences of the failure to absorb the truth of what actually took place, and the consequences of the failure to address the lies that are built upon the fraudulent explanation of what took place on September 11, continue to negatively impact men and women everywhere on our planet.

Additionally, I would also recommend the interviews which are archived at the website of Visibility 9-11 , which includes valuable interviews with Kevin Ryan but also numerous important interviews with former military officers who explain that the failure of the military to scramble fighters to intercept the hijacked airplanes, and the failure of air defense weapons to stop a jet from hitting the Pentagon (if indeed a jet did hit the Pentagon), are also completely inexplicable to anyone who knows anything at all about military operations, unless the official story is completely false and something else was going on that day.

I would also strongly recommend listening very carefully to the series of five interviews with Kevin Ryan on Guns and Butter with Bonnie Faulkner, which can be found in the Guns and Butter podcast archive here . These interviews, from 2013, are numbered 287, 288, 289, 290, and 291 in the archive.

Selected Articles: 9/11: Do You Still Believe that Al Qaeda Masterminded the Attacks?

I would in fact recommend listening to nearly every interview in that archive of Bonnie Faulkner's show, even though I do not of course agree with every single guest nor with every single view expressed in every single interview. Indeed, if you carefully read Kevin Ryan's blog which was linked above, you will find a blog post by Kevin Ryan dated June 24, 2018 in which he explicitly names James Fetzer along with Judy Woods as likely disinformation agents working to discredit and divert the efforts of 9/11 researchers. James Fetzer appears on Guns and Butter several times in the archived interview page linked above.

In addition to these interviews and the Dig Within blog of Kevin Ryan, I would also strongly recommend everybody read the article by Dr. Gary G. Kohls entitled " Why Do Good People Become Silent About the Documented Facts that Disprove the Official 9/11 Narrative? " which was published on Global Research a few days ago, on September 6, 2019.

That article contains a number of stunning quotations about the ongoing failure to address the now-obvious lies we are being told about the attacks of September 11. One of these quotations, by astronomer Carl Sagan (1934 – 1996), is particularly noteworthy -- even though I certainly do not agree with everything Carl Sagan ever said or wrote. Regarding our propensity to refuse to acknowledge what we already know deep down to be true, Carl Sagan said:

One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We're no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It's simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we've been taken.

This quotation is from Sagan's 1995 text, The Demon-Haunted World (with which I have points of disagreement, but which is extremely valuable for that quotation alone, and which I might suggest turning around on some of the points that Sagan was arguing as well, as a cautionary warning to those who have accepted too wholeheartedly some of Sagan's teachings and opinions).

This quotation shows that on some level, we already know we have been bamboozled, even if our conscious mind refuses to accept what we already know. This internal division is actually addressed in the world's ancient myths, which consistently illustrate that our egoic mind often refuses to acknowledge the higher wisdom we have available to us through the reality of our authentic self, sometimes called our Higher Self. Previous posts have compared this tendency of the egoic mind to the blissfully ignorant character of Michael Scott in the television series The Office (US version): see here for example, and also here .

The important author Peter Kingsley has noted that in ancient myth, the role of the prophet was to bring awareness and acknowledgement of that which the egoic mind refuses to see -- which is consistent with the observation that it is through our authentic self (which already knows) that we have access to the realm of the gods. In the Iliad, for example, Dr. Kingsley notes that Apollo sends disaster upon the Achaean forces until the prophet Calchas reveals the source of the god's anger: Agamemnon's refusal to free the young woman Chryseis, whom Agamemnon has seized in the course of the fighting during the Trojan War, and who is the daughter of a priest of Apollo. Until Agamemnon atones for this insult to the god, Apollo will continue to visit destruction upon those following Agamemnon.

Until we acknowledge and correct what our Higher Self already knows to be the problem, we ourselves will be out of step with the divine realm.

If we look the other way at the murder of thousands of innocent men, women and children on September 11, 2001, and deliberately refuse to see the truth that we already know deep down in our subconscious, then we will face the displeasure of the Invisible Realm. Just as we are shown in the ancient myths, the truth must be acknowledged and admitted, and then the wrong that has been done must be corrected.

In the case of the mass murder perpetrated on September 11, eighteen years ago, that admission requires us to face the fact that the "terrorists" who were blamed for that attack were not the actual terrorists that we need to be focusing on.

Please note that I am very careful not to say that "the government" is the source of the problem: I would argue that the government is the lawful expression of the will of the people and that the government, rightly understood, is exactly what these criminal perpetrators actually fear the most, if the people ever become aware of what is going on. The government, which is established by the Constitution, forbids the perpetration of murder upon innocent men, women and children in order to initiate wars of aggression against countries that never invaded or attacked us (under the false pretense that they did so). Those who do so are actually opposed to our government under the Constitution and can be dealt with within the framework of the law as established by the Constitution, which establishes a very clear penalty for treason.

When the people acknowledge and admit the complete bankruptcy of the lie we have been told about the attacks of September 11, the correction of that lie will involve demanding the immediate repeal and dismantling of the so-called "USA PATRIOT Act" which was enacted in the weeks immediately following September 11, 2001 and which clearly violates the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Additionally, the correction of that lie will involve demanding the immediate cessation of the military operations which were initiated based upon the fraudulent narrative of the attacks of that day, and which have led to invasion and overthrow of the nations that were falsely blamed as being the perpetrators of those attacks and the seizure of their natural resources.

The imposition of a vast surveillance mechanism upon the people of this country (and of other countries) based on the fraudulent pretext of "preventing terrorism" (and the lying narrative that has been perpetuated with the full complicity of the mainstream media for the past eighteen years) is in complete violation of the human rights which are enumerated in the Bill of Rights and which declare:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

That human right has been grievously trampled upon under the false description of what actually took place during the September 11 attacks. Numerous technology companies have been allowed and even encouraged (and paid, with public moneys) to create technologies which flagrantly and shamelessly violate "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects" and which track their every move and even enable secret eavesdropping upon their conversation and the secret capture of video within their homes and private settings, without any probable cause whatsoever.

When we admit and acknowledge that we have been lied to about the events of September 11, which has been falsely used as a supposed justification for the violation of these human rights (with complete disregard for the supreme law of the land as established in the Constitution), then we will also demand the immediate cessation of any such intrusion upon the right of the people to "be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects" -- including the cessation of any business models which involve spying on men and women.

Companies which cannot find a business model that does not violate the Bill of Rights should lose their corporate charter and the privilege of limited liability, which are extended to them by the people (through the government of the people, by the people and for the people) only upon the condition that their behavior as corporations do not violate the inherent rights of men and women as acknowledged in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

It is well beyond the time when we must acknowledge and admit that we have been lied to about the events of September 11, 2001 -- and that we continue to be lied to about the events of that awful day. September 11, 2001 is in fact only one such event in a long history which stretches back prior to 2001, to other events which should have awakened the people to the presence of a very powerful and very dangerous criminal cabal acting in direct contravention to the Constitution long before we ever got to 2001 -- but the events of September 11 are so blatant, so violent, and so full of evidence which contradicts the fraudulent narrative that they actually cannot be believed by anyone who spends even the slightest amount of time looking at that evidence.

Indeed, we already know deep down that we have been bamboozled by the lie of the so-called "official narrative" of September 11.

But until we admit to ourselves and acknowledge to others that we've ignored the truth that we already know, then the bamboozle still has us .

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

David Warner Mathisen graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point and became an Infantry officer in the 82nd Airborne Division and the 4th Infantry Division. He is a graduate of the US Army's Ranger School and the 82nd Airborne Division's Jumpmaster Course, among many other awards and decorations. He was later selected to become an instructor in the Department of English Literature and Philosophy at West Point and has a Masters degree from Texas A&M University.

The original source of this article is Global Research Copyright © David W. Mathisen , Global Research, 2019 Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

David Warner Mathisen graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point and became an Infantry officer in the 82nd Airborne Division and the 4th Infantry Division. He is a graduate of the US Army's Ranger School and the 82nd Airborne Division's Jumpmaster Course, among many other awards and decorations. He was later selected to become an instructor in the Department of English Literature and Philosophy at West Point and has a Masters degree from Texas A&M University.

[Sep 11, 2019] We don't really know WHY this spy was extracted. Anyone that believes that Russiagate was deliberately planned as part of the new Cold War is not surprised at yet another attempt to strengthen the nonexistent case for Russian meddling.

OK, lets' assume that neoliberal MSM are not lying. Then why Mueller did not include him in his report? He was already in the USA since June 2017. It is unclear when he was fired by russians.
Also as Smolenkov for a long time lived in the USA he knew very well what the USA wants and could lie with impunity trying to earn more money. In a way similar personality as Skripal.
Is the idea to create the second Skripals-style false poisoning hysteria to help to sustain RussiaGate?
Notable quotes:
"... The only way that he's the 'source' of the Steele fiction is if the whole thing was in the style of LeCarre's "The Tailor of Panama" where everyone is lying and inflating what they know and people at the top are paying out good money for this because it suits their little power games. But any Moscow tailor with a couple of important customers would be positioned to run that scam as well as an aide to an aide to a foreign minister. ..."
"... My personal guess, he made his money by the more typical corruption in Russia, which means he was working for an oligarch. He lost his job, possibly during one of Putin's anti-corruption cleanup campaigns. He decided to move to DC with his oligarch money because he'd served 10 years in the embassy there and he liked the area. He is buying property in his own name because he's not part of any sort of witness/spy protection program and nobody in the USG is setting him up with a fake identity. ..."
"... MoA's investigators have fairly well established that Skripal was the most likely contributor to the Steele Dossier given the overall web of established connections--that was most certainly an MI-6 operation in league with DNC/HRC officials, not CIA, although CIA was involved in Russiagate Cover-up. ..."
"... In examining Russia's foreign policy, where were the compromises generated by this alleged spy? Aside from the UNSC vote debacle on Libya ..."
"... A lot of commentators see the incongruence of this title and make jokes about it. Really,when a superpower becomes a source of jokes and ridicule, than the end might be nigh. ..."
"... We don't really know WHY this spy was extracted. Anyone that believes that Russiagate was deliberately planned as part of the new Cold War is not surprised at yet another attempt to strengthen the nonexistent case for Russian meddling. ..."
"... The first report in US Press about Putin personally involved was on Dec 14 2016 ..."
"... I don't think the exfiltration was the real source but someone to sacrifice, to protect the real source, who is working for Estonian intelligence. To me this seems like it is possibly Anton Vaino, Chief of Staff of the Kremlin since August 2016, Deputy Chief of Staff of Kremlin before that. This is not to say his info is accurate, but is in line with the foreign policy of Estonia to alienate everyone with Russia. ..."
"... Just out of curiosity, if what has been reported is true then what reason would Mueller have to exclude this from his report? The dude is proof of the Russia-did-it!! narrative. Check. The dude has already been extracted. Check. The Russians must have already noticed that he has done a runner. Check. ..."
"... What would stop Mueller from producing a one-paragraph report that starts with: "we know the following to be true because for the last decade everything that Putin did was being relayed to us by an aide to the foreign policy advisor to the Kremlin, since extracted and now living in the USA". ..."
"... Well, I just think Putin had more important things to think about than the charade that is now the US electoral process. Probably he felt (I'm guessing of course) that the whole Russiagate scenario was a desperate move to throw a curtain over the demise of American democracy that served his, Putin's, purposes very well because it kept the idiots busy while he shored up the badly leaking ship of his own state. ..."
"... And I go with Smiley@34 - no spy of even mediocre caliber would agree to being placed in such an exposed position under his own name, for crying out loud! ..."
"... It doesn't make sense that he would leave himself exposed if either in Russia or in the US he had undercover connections of this sort. Just doesn't make sense. But that he was the best the US operatives could come up with right now simply speaks to further deterioration of US ability to field persuasive stories. ..."
"... Putin hasn't had to worry about vendettas or showing corruption in American politics. Take a reliable poll. Who in the US thinks our politics ISN'T corrupt? ..."
"... We didn't need Putin, mastermind though he is, to 'create an image' of American unreliability. Was it Putin who reneged on so many treaties? Was it Putin who antagonized the Koreas? Was it Putin who set up the trade war with China? Was it Putin who threatened and sanctioned Russia, Iran, Venezuela? ..."
"... What can the Russians do to get ahead of the narrative on the likely impending demise of Smolenkov by novichok or polonium poisoning? ..."
"... The concern is about the three hundred million other Americans who are at least partially captured by the false narratives pumped out non-stop from their Plato's Cave displays. Is there anything that the Russians can do now to inoculate some Americans against the hard sell they will be facing when the corporate mass media ( Mighty Wurlitzer ) cranks up the multi-channel marketing campaign for the United States' own Skripal farce? ..."
Sep 11, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Smiley , Sep 10 2019 22:54 utc | 34

A point that appears to have missed by several is that an aide to an aide to the foreign minister is not likely to have access to Putin's super-top-secret plans to use a few thousand dollars worth of utube and twit ads to change the course of multi-billion dollar American election, nor would he have access to information that might be used to blackmail a potential foreign leader.

Both would be closely held secrets and apparently way above his pay grade. Often the FM wouldn't know of either, and both operations would be compartmentalized into a close team Putin can trust.

The only way that he's the 'source' of the Steele fiction is if the whole thing was in the style of LeCarre's "The Tailor of Panama" where everyone is lying and inflating what they know and people at the top are paying out good money for this because it suits their little power games. But any Moscow tailor with a couple of important customers would be positioned to run that scam as well as an aide to an aide to a foreign minister.

My personal guess, he made his money by the more typical corruption in Russia, which means he was working for an oligarch. He lost his job, possibly during one of Putin's anti-corruption cleanup campaigns. He decided to move to DC with his oligarch money because he'd served 10 years in the embassy there and he liked the area. He is buying property in his own name because he's not part of any sort of witness/spy protection program and nobody in the USG is setting him up with a fake identity.


karlof1 , Sep 10 2019 23:11 utc | 36

Smiley @33&34--

House likely bought by CIA and annual upkeep--taxes etc.--also paid by them.

MoA's investigators have fairly well established that Skripal was the most likely contributor to the Steele Dossier given the overall web of established connections--that was most certainly an MI-6 operation in league with DNC/HRC officials, not CIA, although CIA was involved in Russiagate Cover-up.

In examining Russia's foreign policy, where were the compromises generated by this alleged spy? Aside from the UNSC vote debacle on Libya, I see nothing but a string of successes, although the Ukraine Coup wasn't debauched. IMO, Outlaw US Empire policy toward Russia has failed spectacularly, and it is within the US government where I'd expect to find well placed spies.

Smiley , Sep 10 2019 23:21 utc | 39
Here's a tough problem for a counter-intelligence agent. Find the source of info for a fictional report.

Normally, after a link, one avenue of investigation would be to check who had access to the leaked information. But, if the report is completely fictional, then there is no list of people who had access to information that didn't exist. Everyone or no one had equal access to the non-existent information.

The Tailor of Moscow had the same access to the non-existent information as did Putin's closest personal aide. Who done it?

willie , Sep 10 2019 23:30 utc | 40
Headline in le Figaro: Ingérence russe :la CIA disposait d'une source haut-placée au Kremlin (Russian collusion: CIA had high placed source at the Kremlin.)

A lot of commentators see the incongruence of this title and make jokes about it. Really,when a superpower becomes a source of jokes and ridicule, than the end might be nigh.

Jackrabbit , Sep 11 2019 0:30 utc | 41
Evidence-free accusations of Russian meddling. Now with extra sauce.

<> <> <> <> <> <>

We don't really know WHY this spy was extracted. Anyone that believes that Russiagate was deliberately planned as part of the new Cold War is not surprised at yet another attempt to strengthen the nonexistent case for Russian meddling.

GoldmanKropotkin , Sep 11 2019 0:47 utc | 43
The first report in US Press about Putin personally involved was on Dec 14 2016.
Two senior officials with direct access to the information say new intelligence shows that Putin personally directed how hacked material from Democrats was leaked and otherwise used. The intelligence came from diplomatic sources and spies working for U.S. allies, the officials said.

Putin's objectives were multifaceted, a high-level intelligence source told NBC News. What began as a "vendetta" against Hillary Clinton morphed into an effort to show corruption in American politics and to "split off key American allies by creating the image that [other countries] couldn't depend on the U.S. to be a credible global leader anymore," the official said.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/u-s-officials-putin-personally-involved-u-s-election-hack-n696146

Notice the source is spies working for US Allies. Remember that the NSA did not sign off on the Russian interference/hacking because they were concerned that too much critical info rested on intelligence from a single foreign country.

Sergei Skripal was not just an turncoat for UK he also worked for Estonian intelligence. It seems to me the poisoning fits better as an Estonian job, to keep relations in Europe with Russia in very bad shape. It's easy to say that the Russians wouldn't be so incompetent, also goes for the UK, which could have come up with something more compelling if they pre planned it as false flag.

Notice how we have some sources saying concern grew after the Trump Putin meeting, where supposedly Trump gave Isreali intelligence to Putin on Syria, I think they were concerned Trump would have no problem revealing a spy for another government, much like he was free with foreign intelligence.

I don't think the exfiltration was the real source but someone to sacrifice, to protect the real source, who is working for Estonian intelligence. To me this seems like it is possibly Anton Vaino, Chief of Staff of the Kremlin since August 2016, Deputy Chief of Staff of Kremlin before that. This is not to say his info is accurate, but is in line with the foreign policy of Estonia to alienate everyone with Russia.

Yeah, Right , Sep 11 2019 0:57 utc | 44
Just out of curiosity, if what has been reported is true then what reason would Mueller have to exclude this from his report? The dude is proof of the Russia-did-it!! narrative. Check. The dude has already been extracted. Check. The Russians must have already noticed that he has done a runner. Check.

What would stop Mueller from producing a one-paragraph report that starts with: "we know the following to be true because for the last decade everything that Putin did was being relayed to us by an aide to the foreign policy advisor to the Kremlin, since extracted and now living in the USA".

I mean, bit of a slam-dunk, don't you think?

juliania , Sep 11 2019 14:57 utc | 58

Well, I just think Putin had more important things to think about than the charade that is now the US electoral process. Probably he felt (I'm guessing of course) that the whole Russiagate scenario was a desperate move to throw a curtain over the demise of American democracy that served his, Putin's, purposes very well because it kept the idiots busy while he shored up the badly leaking ship of his own state.

And I go with Smiley@34 - no spy of even mediocre caliber would agree to being placed in such an exposed position under his own name, for crying out loud!

This was a guy who had big money stashed away, wanted to be in a place where rich guys are held in high esteem, planned his exit from a no-longer-friendly-to-rich-folk environment (if you had money in Russia these days, you should use it for the good of the country).

It doesn't make sense that he would leave himself exposed if either in Russia or in the US he had undercover connections of this sort. Just doesn't make sense. But that he was the best the US operatives could come up with right now simply speaks to further deterioration of US ability to field persuasive stories.

And this gave me some amusement:

Putin's objectives were multifaceted, a high-level intelligence source told NBC News. What began as a "vendetta" against Hillary Clinton morphed into an effort to show corruption in American politics and to "split off key American allies by creating the image that [other countries] couldn't depend on the U.S. to be a credible global leader anymore," the official said. [Quote from Goldman Kropotkin@43]

Putin hasn't had to worry about vendettas or showing corruption in American politics. Take a reliable poll. Who in the US thinks our politics ISN'T corrupt?

juliania , Sep 11 2019 15:11 utc | 59
We didn't need Putin, mastermind though he is, to 'create an image' of American unreliability. Was it Putin who reneged on so many treaties? Was it Putin who antagonized the Koreas? Was it Putin who set up the trade war with China? Was it Putin who threatened and sanctioned Russia, Iran, Venezuela?

We, our leaders, masterminded it all. Sorry, Mr. Putin - you lose that enviable title. We own it.

William Gruff , Sep 11 2019 15:50 utc | 60

What can the Russians do to get ahead of the narrative on the likely impending demise of Smolenkov by novichok or polonium poisoning?

I know some here might say "Everyone would know it is a false flag if Smolenkov gets assassinated!" and that is certainly true if by "everyone" one means the regular readers here and at a few other analysis sites that are not controlled by the empire.

The concern is about the three hundred million other Americans who are at least partially captured by the false narratives pumped out non-stop from their Plato's Cave displays. Is there anything that the Russians can do now to inoculate some Americans against the hard sell they will be facing when the corporate mass media ( Mighty Wurlitzer ) cranks up the multi-channel marketing campaign for the United States' own Skripal farce?

[Sep 11, 2019] On view of Russiagate hysteria it is pretty clear that Vladimir Putin s observations about American society and the growing sense that middle class America is being left behind is accurate

Sep 11, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Sally Snyder , Sep 11 2019 17:43 utc | 3

Given that Washington continuously claims that Russians are responsible for the election of Donald Trump, here is an interesting look at what Vladimir Putin had to say about why Donald Trump was elected:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2019/09/vladimir-putin-on-americas-middle-class.html

While drawing links from economic class to voting patterns is difficult given that education impacts voting rates, it is pretty clear that Vladimir Putin's observations about American society and the growing sense that middle class America is being left behind is accurate. It is becoming increasingly clear that globalization benefits the few at the top and leaves behind the vast majority of society who feel that their place in society is under threat.

[Sep 06, 2019] Did CIA Director William Casey really say, "We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false"?

Sep 06, 2019 | www.quora.com

Matt Egan , former US Intelligence Officer (1967-2006) Answered Sep 8, 2017 · Author has 4.8k answers and 2.3m answer views

It does appear he said something very much along those lines, though I doubt it meant what it appears to mean absent the context. He made the statement not long after he became the Director of Central Intelligence, during a discussion of the fact that, to his amazement, about 80 percent of the contents of typical CIA intelligence publications was based on information from open, unclassified sources, such as newspapers and magazines.

Apparently, and reasonably, he judged that about the same proportion of Soviet intelligence products was probably based on open sources, as well. That meant that CIA disinformation programs directed at the USSR wouldn't work unless what was being disseminated by US magazines and newspapers on the same subjects comported with what the CIA was trying to sell the Soviets.

Given that the CIA could not possibly control the access to open sources of all US publications, the subjects of CIA disinformation operations had to be limited to topics not being covered by US public media. To be sure, some items of disinformation planted by the CIA in foreign publications might subsequently be discovered and republished by US media. I'm guessing the CIA would not leap to correct those items.

But that is a far cry from concluding that the CIA would (or even could) arrange that "everything the American public believes is false."

[Sep 06, 2019] The fact that our "leaders" continue to put our brave young men and women in harm's way, as we also kill millions of "others", and the American people stand idly by, is a proof of Casey quote . "So and so is evil and he oppresses his people, so we need to remove him and bring democracy to such and such country!"

Notable quotes:
"... You've heard of the "Manchurian Candidate"? We are the "Manchurian Populace". They spout the aforementioned mantra, and we all turn into mindless followers ..."
"... Assume that CIA launched disinformation in a hostile country to impact them. Then international news agencies picked it up and it got published by media in the US. If the disinformation were harmless to the US, then our Federal Government would not comment and would let the disinformation stand. To repudiate it might have bad effects on national security. Would this be a case of the CIA lying to the American people? No. ..."
"... The CIA once had influence in a number of English language publications abroad, some of which stories were reprinted in the US media. This was known as "blowback", and unintended in most cases. ..."
"... The CIA fabricated a story that the Russians in Afghanistan made plastic bombs in the shape of toys, to blow up children. Casey repeated this story, knowing it to be disinformation, as fact to US journalists and politicians. ..."
"... He doesn't need to have said it. CIA has run many disinformation campaigns against American public. Operation Mockingbird ..."
Sep 06, 2019 | www.quora.com

Thommy Berlin

Not that it matters. No conservative I know retains the ability to think off script, let alone rise above his indoctrination, and neither the script or their indoctrination allows this to be real.

So as far as they're concerned, it simply isn't possible.

Neither was David Stockman's admission that the idea of 'trickle down' was to bankrupt the federal government so they could finally do away with social security, while making themselves filthy rich...

Or Reagan being a traitor for negotiating with the Iranians BEFORE he was elected....

Or Bush II stealing the 2000 election....

Well...it's a LONG list....

Rael Sackey Answered Mar 16, 2019

The fact that our "leaders" continue to put our brave young men and women in harm's way, as we also kill millions of "others", and the American people stand idly by, is proof enough for me. "So and so is evil and he oppresses his people, so we need to remove him and bring democracy to such and such country!" This has been the game plan for decades. In the info age we know all this.

A convicted war criminal like Eliot Abrams is hired by a president the media and the Democrats hate and call a liar, and we suddenly suspend our disbelief, and follow blindly into another regime change war while we are buddies with many dictators around the world.

You've heard of the "Manchurian Candidate"? We are the "Manchurian Populace". They spout the aforementioned mantra, and we all turn into mindless followers of these MONSTERS! 806 views · View 3 Upvoters

Don Harmon, former intell analyst, former coll. poli sci professor. (1999-2013) Answered Jan 21, 2017 ·

About two years ago, one Barbara Honneger said in Quora that she was there. But I can find no credible news source that affirms this.

It is possible that Director Casey said it without any negative significance for the American people. How?

Assume that CIA launched disinformation in a hostile country to impact them. Then international news agencies picked it up and it got published by media in the US. If the disinformation were harmless to the US, then our Federal Government would not comment and would let the disinformation stand. To repudiate it might have bad effects on national security. Would this be a case of the CIA lying to the American people? No.

Fred Landis, Investigative Reporter Answered Sep 10, 2013 ·

The CIA once had influence in a number of English language publications abroad, some of which stories were reprinted in the US media. This was known as "blowback", and unintended in most cases.

The CIA fabricated a story that the Russians in Afghanistan made plastic bombs in the shape of toys, to blow up children. Casey repeated this story, knowing it to be disinformation, as fact to US journalists and politicians.

Ozgur Zeren , Author at ViaPopuli.com Answered Oct 22, 2014

He doesn't need to have said it. CIA has run many disinformation campaigns against American public. Operation Mockingbird

[Sep 06, 2019] 9-11 and Jeffrey Epstein Media Malfeasance on Steroids by Kevin Barrett

It is not vey clear for whom Epstein used to work. Mossad connection is just one hypothesis. What sovereign state would allow compromising politician by a foreign intelligence service. This just does not compute.
But the whole tone of discussion below clearly point to the crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite. And Russiagate had shown that the elite cares about it and tried to patch the cracks.
Sep 06, 2019 | www.unz.com

As Eric Rasmusen writes: "Everybody, it seems, in New York society knew by 2000 that Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell were corrupting teenage girls, but the press wouldn't cover it." Likewise, everybody in New York society has long known that Larry Silverstein, who bought the asbestos-riddled white elephant World Trade Center in July 2001 and immediately doubled the insurance, is a mobbed-up friend of Netanyahu and a confessed participant in the controlled demolition of Building 7 , from which he earned over 700 million insurance dollars on the pretext that al-Qaeda had somehow brought it down. But the press won't cover that either.

The New York Times , America's newspaper of record, has the investigative talent and resources to expose major corruption in New York. Why did the Times spend almost two decades ignoring the all-too-obvious antics of Epstein and Silverstein? Why is it letting the absurd tale of Epstein's alleged suicide stand? Why hasn't it used the work of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth -- including the brand-new University of Alaska study on the controlled demolition of WTC-7 -- to expose the biggest scandal of the 21 st century, if not all of American history?

The only conceivable answer is that The New York Times is somehow complicit in these monstrous crimes. It must be protecting its friends in high places. So who are those friends, and where are those high places?

One thing Epstein and Silverstein have in common, besides names ending in "-stein," is alleged involvement in the illicit sex industry. Epstein's antics, or at least some of them, are by now well-known. Not so for Silverstein, who apparently began his rags-to-9/11-riches story as a pimp supplying prostitutes and nude dancers to the shadier venues of NYC, alongside other illicit activities including "the heroin trade, money laundering and New York Police corruption." All of this was exposed in a mid-1990s lawsuit. But good luck finding any investigative reports in The New York Times .

Another Epstein-Silverstein connection is their relationships to major American Jewish organizations. Even while he was allegedly pimping girls and running heroin, Larry Silverstein served as president for United Jewish Appeal of New York. As for Epstein, he was the boy toy and protégé of Les Wexner, co-founder of the Mega Group of Jewish billionaires associated with the World Jewish Congress, the Anti-Defamation League, and other pro-Israel groups. Indeed, there is no evidence that "self-made billionaire" Epstein ever earned significant amounts of money; his only investment "client" was Les Wexner. Epstein, a professional sexual blackmailer, used his supposed billionaire status as a cover story. In fact, he was just an employee working for Wexner and associated criminal/intelligence networks.

Which brings us to the third and most important Epstein-Silverstein similarity: They were both close to the government of Israel. Jeffrey Epstein's handler was Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of Mossad super-spy Robert Maxwell; among his friends was Ehud Barak, who is currently challenging Netanyahu for leadership of Israel. Larry Silverstein, too, has friends in high Israeli places. According to Haaretz , Silverstein has "close ties with Netanyahu" (speaking to him on the phone every weekend) as well as with Ehud Barak, "whom Silverstein in the past offered a job as his representative in Israel" and who called Silverstein immediately after 9/11.

We may reasonably surmise that both Jeffrey Epstein and Larry Silverstein have been carrying on very important work on behalf of the state of Israel. And we may also surmise that this is the reason The New York Times has been covering up the scandals associated with both Israeli agents for almost two decades. The Times , though it pretends to be America's newspaper of record, has always been Jewish-owned-and-operated. Its coverage has always been grotesquely distorted in favor of Israel . It has no interest in exposing the way Israel controls the United States by blackmailing its leaders (Epstein) and staging a fake "Arab-Muslim attack on America" (Silverstein). The awful truth is that The New York Times is part of the same Jewish-Zionist " we control America " network as Jeffrey Epstein and Larry Silverstein.

Epstein "Suicide" Illustrates Zionist Control of USA -- and the Decadence and Depravity of Western Secularism

Since The New York Times and other mainstream media won't go there, let's reflect on the facts and lessons of the Jeffrey Epstein suicide scandal -- a national disgrace that ought to shock Americans into rethinking their worldviews in general, and their views on the official myth of 9/11 in particular.

On Saturday, August 10, 2019, convicted child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein was allegedly found dead in his cell at Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in New York City, one of America's most corrupt prisons. The authorities claim Epstein hanged himself. But nobody, not even the presstitutes of America's corporate propaganda media, convincingly pretends to believe the official story.

Jeffrey Epstein was a pedophile pimp to presidents and potentates. His job was recruiting young girls for sex, then offering them to powerful men -- in settings outfitted with hidden video cameras. When police raided his New York townhouse on July 6-7 2019 they found locked safes full of pornographic pictures of underage girls, along with piles of compact discs labeled "young (name of girl) + (name of VIP)." Epstein had been openly and brazenly carrying on such activities for more than two decades, as reported throughout most of that period by alternative media outlets including my own Truth Jihad Radio and False Flag Weekly News . (Even before the 2016 elections, my audience knew that both Bill Clinton and Donald Trump were blackmailed clients of Jeffrey Epstein, that Clinton was a frequent flyer on Epstein's "Lolita Express" private jet, and that Trump had been credibly accused in a lawsuit of joining Epstein in the brutal rape of a 13-year-old, to whom Trump then allegedly issued death threats.) It was only in the summer of 2019 that mainstream media and New York City prosecutors started talking about what used to be consigned to the world of "conspiracy theories."

So who was Epstein working for? His primary employer was undoubtedly the Israeli Mossad and its worldwide Zionist crime network. Epstein's handler was Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of Mossad super-spy Robert Maxwell. According to sworn depositions, Ghislaine Maxwell recruited underage girls for Epstein and oversaw his sex trafficking operations. As the New Yorker reported August 16: "In court papers that were unsealed on August 9th, it was alleged that Maxwell had been Epstein's central accomplice, first as his girlfriend, and, later, as his trusted friend and procuress, grooming a steady stream of girls, some as young as fourteen, coercing them to have sex with Epstein at his various residences around the world, and occasionally participating in the sexual abuse herself." Alongside Maxwell, Epstein's other Mossad handler was Les Wexner, co-founder of the notorious Mega Group of billionaire Israeli spies , who appears to have originally recruited the penniless Epstein and handed him a phony fortune so Epstein could pose as a billionaire playboy.

Even after Epstein's shady "suicide" mega-Mossadnik Maxwell continued to flaunt her impunity from American justice. She no doubt conspired to publicize the August 15 New York Post photograph of herself smiling and looking "chillingly serene" at In-And-Out-Burger in Los Angeles, reading The Book of Honor: The Secret Lives and Deaths of C.I.A. Operatives . That nauseating photo inspired the New Yorker to accuse her of having "gall" -- a euphemism for the Yiddish chutzpah , a quality that flourishes in the overlapping Zionist and Kosher Nostra communities.

Maxwell and The New York Post , both Kosher Nostra/Mossad assets, were obviously sending a message to the CIA: Don't mess with us or we will expose your complicity in these scandalous crimes. That is the Mossad's standard operating procedure: Infiltrate and compromise Western intelligence services in order to prevent them from interfering with the Zionists' over-the-top atrocities. According to French historian Laurent Guyénot's hypothesis, the CIA's false flag fake assassination attempt on President John F. Kennedy, designed to be blamed on Cuba, was transformed by Mossad into a real assassination -- and the CIA couldn't expose it due to its own complicity. (The motive: Stop JFK from ending Israel's nuclear program.) The same scenario, Guyénot argues, explains the anomalies of the Mohamed Merah affair , the Charlie Hebdo killings, and the 9/11 false flag operation. It would not be surprising if Zionist-infiltrated elements of the CIA were made complicit in Jeffrey Epstein's sexual blackmail activities, in order to protect Israel in the event Epstein had to be "burned" (which is apparently what has finally occurred).

So what really happened to Epstein? Perhaps the most likely scenario is that the Kosher Nostra, which owns New York in general and the mobbed-up MCC prison in particular, allowed the Mossad to exfiltrate Epstein to Occupied Palestine, where he will be given a facelift, a pension, a luxury suite overlooking the Mediterranean, and a steady stream of young sex slaves (Israel is the world's capital of human trafficking, an honor it claimed from the Kosher Nostra enclaves of Odessa after World War II). Once the media heat wave blows over, Epstein will undoubtedly enjoy visits from his former Mossad handler Ghislaine Maxwell, his good friend Ehud Barak, and various other Zionist VIPs. He may even offer fresh sex slaves to visiting American congressmen.

This is not just a paranoid fantasy scenario. According to Eric Rasmusen : "The Justice Dept. had better not have let Epstein's body be cremated. And they'd better give us convincing evidence that it's his body. If I had $100 million to get out of jail with, acquiring a corpse and bribing a few people to switch fingerprints and DNA wouldn't be hard. I find it worrying that the government has not released proof that Epstein is dead or a copy of the autopsy."

But didn't the alleged autopsy reportedly find broken neck bones that are more commonly associated with strangulation murders than suicides? That controversy may have been scripted to distract the public from an insider report on 4chan , first published before the news of Epstein's "suicide" broke, that Epstein had been "switched out" of MCC. If so, the body with the broken neck bones wasn't Epstein's.

The Epstein affair (like 9/11) illustrates two critically important truths about Western secularism: there is no truth, and there are no limits. A society that no longer believes in God no longer believes in truth, since God is al-haqq, THE truth, without Whom the whole notion of truth has no metaphysical basis. The postmodern philosophers understand this perfectly well. They taught a whole generation of Western humanities scholars that truth is merely a function of power: people accept something as "true" to the extent that they are forced by power to accept it. So when the most powerful people in the world insist that three enormous steel-frame skyscrapers were blown to smithereens by relatively modest office fires on 9/11, that absurd assertion becomes the official "truth" as constructed by such Western institutions as governments, courts, media, and academia. Likewise, the assertion that Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide under circumstances that render that assertion absurd will probably become the official "truth" as recorded and promulgated by the West's ruling institutions, even though nobody will ever really believe it.

Epstein's career as a shameless, openly-operating Mossad sexual blackmailer -- like the in-your-face 9/11 coup -- also illustrates another core truth of Western secularism: If there is no God, there are no limits (in this case, to human depravity and what it can get away with). Or as Dostoevsky famously put it: "If God does not exist, everything is permitted." Since God alone can establish metaphysically-grounded limits between what is permitted and what is forbidden, a world without God will feature no such limits; in such a world Aleister Crowley's satanic motto "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" becomes the one and only commandment. In today's Godless West, why should men not "do what they wilt" and indulge their libidos by raping young girls if they can get away with it? After all, all the other sexual taboos are being broken, one by one. Fornication, adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism, gender-bending all of these have been transformed during my lifetime from crimes and vices to "human rights" enjoyed by the most liberal and fashionable right-thinking Western secularists. Even bestiality and necrophilia are poised to become normalized "sexual identities" whose practitioners will soon be proudly marching in "bestiality pride" and "necrophilia pride" parades. So why not normalize pedophilia and other forms of rape perpetrated by the strong against the weak? And why not add torture and murder in service to sexual gratification? After all, the secret bible of the sexual identity movement is the collected works of the Marquis de Sade, the satanic prophet of sexual liberation, with whom the liberal progressivist secular West is finally catching up. It will not be surprising if, just a few years after the Jeffrey Epstein "suicide" is consigned to the memory hole, we will be witnessing LGBTQBNPR parades, with the BNPR standing for bestiality, necrophilia, pedophilia, and rape. (It would have been LGBTQBNPRG, with the final G standing for Gropers like President Trump, except that the G was already taken by the gays.) The P's, pioneers of pedophile pride parades, will undoubtedly celebrate Jeffrey Epstein as an ahead-of-his-time misunderstood hero who was unjustly persecuted on the basis of his unusual sexual orientation.

It is getting harder and harder to satirize the decadence and depravity of the secular West, which insists on parodying itself with ever-increasing outlandishness. When the book on this once-mighty civilization is written, and the ink is dry, readers will be astounded by the limitless lies of the drunk-on-chutzpah psychopaths who ran it into the ground.


NoseytheDuke , says: September 5, 2019 at 4:30 am GMT

Correct me if I am wrong but I thought Lucky Larry only leased the WTC buildings rather than actually purchased them. I think I have read that his investment was in the region of 150 mill for which he has recouped a whopping 4 bill.
Wizard of Oz , says: September 5, 2019 at 4:42 am GMT
Would you please answer a preliminary question before I put finishing this on my busy agenda? You stake a fair bit of your credit on what you say about Larry Silverstein and insurance. My present understanding is that the insurance cover for WTC 1 and 2 was increased as a routine part of the financing deal he had made for a purchase which was only months old. Not true? Not the full story? Convince us.

As to WTC 7 my understanding is that he had owned the building for some years and had not recently increased the insurance. Not true? And when did any clause get into his WTC7 insurance contract which might have had some effect on inflating the payout?

Fozzy Bear , says: September 5, 2019 at 4:55 am GMT
“Trump had been credibly accused in a lawsuit of joining Epstein in the brutal rape of a 13-year-old, to whom Trump then allegedly issued death threats.)”
The “Katie Johnson” case collapsed in 2016 when it was revealed that “she” was in fact a middle-aged man, a stringer for the Jerry Springer show. Just another Gloria Allred fraud.
nsa , says: September 5, 2019 at 5:26 am GMT
“a society that no longer believes in god no longer believes in the truth, since god is the truth….blah blah blah”
This is thin gruel indeed…..just silly platitudes from a muzzie convert. There are at least 100 billion galaxies in the universe with each galaxy containing as many as 100 billion stars. And there is no telling how many universes there are. Does anyone really believe Barrett’s preferred deity takes a time out from running this vast empire to service Barrett’s yearning for “truth”? Just goes to prove that humans will believe almost any idea as long as it’s sufficiently idiotic.
utu , says: September 5, 2019 at 5:47 am GMT
The release of Prof. J. Leroy Hulsey report on the finite element analysis of the WTC7 collapse should be a big news.

http://ine.uaf.edu/wtc7

http://ine.uaf.edu/media/222439/uaf_wtc7_draft_report_09-03-2019.pdf

Conclusion form the EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

“The principal conclusion of our study is that fire did not cause the collapse of WTC 7 on 9/11, contrary to the conclusions of NIST and private engineering firms that studied the collapse.”

“It is our conclusion based upon these findings that the collapse of WTC 7 was a global failure involving the near-simultaneous failure of all columns in the building and not a progressive collapse involving the sequential failure of columns throughout the building.”

WorkingClass , says: September 5, 2019 at 5:47 am GMT
Trump is Israel’s best friend. Right? So why is the Jew York Times trying to destroy him? I don’t get it.
Mark James , says: September 5, 2019 at 5:52 am GMT
Speaking of the truth v. parody I’d really rather work on the cause of Epstein’s death –yes I think he’s dead– suicide or strangulation ?
There are some things the Justice Dept. could do if they wanted to. Why they apparently didn’t want to expose the corpse in greater detail, let media view the cell, have correspondent(s) interview the ex- cellmate of Epstein, et.al just leads to suspicions. This is something they should have to answer for . That includes AG Barr. Trump could make it happen–like every thing else– if Barr says no. The President won’t.

... ... ...

utu , says: September 5, 2019 at 5:58 am GMT
Dostoyevsky with his “If God does not exist, everything is permitted.” overlooked the Jewish God who permits much more when it comes to Jewish gentile relations. The Jewish God is not limited by the Kant’s First Moral Imperative. The Jewish God’s moral laws are not universal. They are context dependent according to the Leninist Who, whom rule.
utu , says: September 5, 2019 at 6:00 am GMT

Not so for Silverstein, who apparently began his rags-to-9/11-riches story as a pimp supplying prostitutes and nude dancers to the shadier venues of NYC, alongside other illicit activities including “the heroin trade, money laundering and New York Police corruption.”

I would like to see more about the beginnings of Silverstein’s career.

BlackDragon , says: September 5, 2019 at 6:19 am GMT
Good work Kevin, Irrelevant exactly what Silverstein did in way of insurance.The FACT is that WTC7 DID NOT FALL due to fires. Neither did WTC1 or 2. The 6 million dollar question is ‘WHO put the ‘bang’ in the building?’ to bring them down, by what ever means. Im in favour of nukes for 1 and 2.
Answer that! Why isnt Silverstein arrested? I think Kevin provided the answer in the article..
Antares , says: September 5, 2019 at 6:27 am GMT
I liked the article but skipped the part about some god. Nothing matches intellectual integrity.

“It is getting harder and harder to satirize the decadence and depravity of the secular West”

This is the same line of reasoning as Vltchek’s but then from a(nother) religious point of view.

The Duke of Dork , says: September 5, 2019 at 6:28 am GMT
I just stumbled onto your article from a link on reddit, r/epstein. You make some convincing arguments. I was thrilled that you brought 9/11 into this – because the Epstein “suicide” and how it is being covered reminds me so much of how I felt after 9/11 and the run-up to the war. -But you lost me at the end with the stuff about Godless secularism. I’ve read the bible and it is not the answer to what’s wrong with the world.
Sean , says: September 5, 2019 at 6:31 am GMT

Why did the Times spend almost two decades ignoring the all-too-obvious antics of Epstein and Silverstein? Why is it letting the absurd tale of Epstein’s alleged suicide stand?

One thing cannot be denied : Epstein was arrested, denied bail and jailed awaiting trail on a Federal indictment for much the same offence he had pleaded guilty to a decade ago, which did not involve even a single homicide yet made him universally reviled and in as much trouble with the legal system as a man could be (almost certain never to get out again). Epstein was in far more trouble that anyone of his financial resources has ever been, but then that was for paying for sex acts with young teen girls.

What an awesomely impressive testament to the impunity enjoyed by the Jewish elite Epstein is. It is no wonder that Larry Silverstein was insouciant about the risks of a Jewish lightning fraud controlled demolition killing thousands of people in a building he had just bought and increased the insurance coverage of. After all, it wasn’t anything serious like paying for getting hundreds of handjobs from underage girls. And it is not like someone like the Pizzagate nut that fired his AR15 into underground child molestation complex beneath the Dems restaurant/pedophile centre would take all those WTC deaths seriously enough to shoot at him just because of inevitable internet accusations of mass murder. Mr Barrett, why don’t you step up and do it, thereby proving you believe the things you say .

Macon Richardson , says: September 5, 2019 at 7:11 am GMT
@NoseytheDuke Yes, he leased the World Trade Center buildings one and two from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. He built World Trade Center building seven, having acquired a ground lease from Port Authority.

I can’t imagine why you ask this question in a public venue. I found the answer in less than one minute on the internet.

I assume the insurance policies were for the present value of his net profits for the duration of the leases.

Lastoknow , says: September 5, 2019 at 7:26 am GMT
I recall reading about this guy prior to the event. I believe it was USATODAY . He and a silent partner had bought the complex with a down of 63million and had it insured for 7billion. I thought it odd that the port authority would let go of the property at the time.
As the building deficiencies became known afterwards,my thoughts were along the line of insurance fraud.
I came across a copy of the rand Corp “state of the world 2000” which accurately describes the scenario and resulting culture of terror as “one possible future “…. funny how it’s taken all these years to discover this website.
Sean , says: September 5, 2019 at 9:08 am GMT

Indeed, there is no evidence that “self-made billionaire” Epstein ever earned significant amounts of money.

Good thing that Wexner is Jewish so we can discount the possibility that he was telling the truth the other month when he said that Epstein stole vast amounts of Wexner money

his only investment “client” was Les Wexner

Clever of Wexner to give Epstein 80 million dollars to deliberately lose.
http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/07/jeffrey-epstein-lost-usd80-million-in-hedge-fund-bet-gone-bad.html

Alongside Maxwell, Epstein’s other Mossad handler was Les Wexner, co-founder of the notorious Mega Group of billionaire Israeli spies

Wexner and his fellow Mossad spy Maxwell leaving Virginia Roberts alive to repeatedly sue them, and use the world”s media to accuse them of sexually abusing, trafficking, pimping her out to VIPs, and fiming the trysts was a brilliant way to keep everything a secret.

Mossad handler Ghislaine Maxwell, his good friend Ehud Barak, and various other Zionist VIPs.

Yes, they are the greatest covert operatives ever.

Just another serf , says: September 5, 2019 at 9:45 am GMT
Epstein’s crimes are simple breaches of etiquette when compared to Silverstein. I believe the term “Silverstein valleys” has been used to describe the melted granite discovered beneath the former towers, Silverstein grins widely in interviews, while so many suffered horribly.

One might even consider the 9/11 deaths to be something of a “holocaust”. Certainly one of the most evil human beings to have walked the Earth.

Whitewolf , says: September 5, 2019 at 10:11 am GMT
@Wizard of Oz Silverstein said he gave the okay for wtc 7 to be “pulled”. The building was on fire at the time. Either someone wired it to be pulled while it was on fire and already damaged or it was wired for demolition beforehand. The second scenario seems a lot more likely. In that case all the insurance contract details are largely irrelevant to the bigger picture.
Twodees Partain , says: September 5, 2019 at 10:54 am GMT
The idea that the CIA is somehow independent of Mossad and that Mossad would have to warn the CIA off of the Epstein matter is implausible to me. Guyenot’s hypothesis tends to give cover to the CIA in the assassination of JFK by claiming that the CIA plot was set in motion as some sort of attempt to control JFK and that it was hijacked into an actual assassination by Mossad. That just isn’t credible.

It’s much more accurate to observe that the CIA was erected by the same zionists who oversaw the creation of Israel and later the forming of Mossad, and that the two agencies have been joined at the hip ever since.

anon [383] • Disclaimer , says: September 5, 2019 at 11:33 am GMT
@WorkingClass Bad cop good cop. NYT is trying to destroy him . Israel says to him :” send this , do this ,allow us to do this , increase this by this amount , and we will make sure that in final analysis you don’t get hurt ”
Trump possibly knows that the only people who could hurt him is the Jewish people of power .

Has NYT ever criticized Trump for relocating embassy , recognizing Golan, for allowing Israel use Anerican resources to hit Syria or Gaza , for allowing Israel drag US into more military involvement. for allowing Israel wage war against Gaza ,? Has NYT ever explored the dynamics behind abrogation of JCPOA and application of more sanctions?

NYT has focused on Russia gate knowing in advance that it has no merit and no public traction, Is it hurting Trump or itself ?

Kevin Barrett , says: • Website September 5, 2019 at 12:25 pm GMT
@NoseytheDuke It was a 100 year lease, which is better described by the word purchase .
anon [383] • Disclaimer , says: September 5, 2019 at 12:28 pm GMT
People with normal IQ would believe that Epstein killed himself, if the following took place –

Media day and night asking questions about him from 360 degree of inquiries

1 why the surveillance video were not functioning despite the serious nature of the charges against a man who could rat out a lot in court against powerful people
2 why the coroner initially thought that Epstein was murdered
3 how many guards and how many fell asleep?
4 who and why allowed the spin story around Epstein brilliance and high IQ build up over the years ?
5 how does Epstein come to get linked to non -Jews people who have absolute loyalty to Israel
6 how did Epstein get involved with Jewish leaders ?
7 How did Epstein continue to enjoy seat on Harvard and enjoy social celebrity status after plea deal ?
8 Why did Wexner allow this man so much control over his asset ?
9 Media felt if terrorism were unique Muslim thing , why media is not alluding to the fact that pedophilia is a unique Jewish thing ?
10 why the angle of Israel being sex slavery capital and Epstein being sex slave pimp not being connected ?
11 how death in prison in foreign unfriendly countries often become causus celebre by US media , politicians , NGO and US treasury – why not this death ?

Kevin Barrett , says: • Website September 5, 2019 at 12:37 pm GMT
@Fozzy Bear Not true. A respectable civil rights attorney, Lisa Bloom, handled Katie Johnson’s case. Shortly before the scheduled press conference at which Johnson was to appear publicly, she received multiple death threats: “Bloom said that her firm’s website was hacked, that Anonymous had claimed responsibility, and that death threats and a bomb threat came in afterwards.” https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/11/3/13501364/trump-rape-13-year-old-lawsuit-katie-johnson-allegation Johnson folded because she was terrified (and perhaps paid off).
DaveE , says: September 5, 2019 at 12:51 pm GMT
@Twodees Partain In “Body of Secrets” by James Bamford, a newspaper article from the Truman era is referenced where the OSS, predecessor of the CIA, is described as “a converted vault in Washington used as an office space for 5 or 6 Jews working to protect our national secrets” (or similar wording).

Going from memory and gave away my copy of the book….. sorry for the vague reference, but you can look it up.

DanFromCT , says: September 5, 2019 at 1:24 pm GMT
@nsa An atheist like “nsa” must concede Dosteovsky’s point from his novel The Possessed that even for the atheist the concept of God represents the collective consciousness, highest principles, and ontological aspirations of believers. Given this sense, “nsa’s” real animus is more than likely an atavistic hatred of Christians and Muslims, probably for just being alive in his paranoid mind. What imbecility when this clown cites a multiverse of universes that has no proof and less plausibility for its existence than the tooth fairy. I’d also bet “nsa” speaks algebra, too, like the recently deceased mathematical genius, Jeffrey Epstein.

What’s Mr. Wexner’s, Mega’s, and Mossad/CIA’s involvement? That’s the real question trolls like “nsa” and the Dems and Republicans alike are crapping in their pants we’ll find out. When evidence starts to cascade out of their ability to spin or suppress it, things will get interesting. Meanwhile, Fox News is still doing its best from what I can tell to run cover for 911, now extended to the suspiciously related perps in the Epstein affair.

Patrikios Stetsonis , says: September 5, 2019 at 1:24 pm GMT
“The Epstein affair (like 9/11) illustrates two critically important truths about Western secularism: there is no truth, and there are no limits. A society that no longer believes in God no longer believes in truth…..”

You said it ALL Kevin.

... ... ...

Mulegino1 , says: September 5, 2019 at 1:37 pm GMT

“While the Zionists try to make the rest of the World believe that the national consciousness of the Jew finds its satisfaction in the creation of a Palestinian state, the Jews again slyly dupe the dumb Goyim. It doesn’t even enter their heads to build up a Jewish state in Palestine for the purpose of living there; all they want is a central organisation for their international world swindler, endowed with its own sovereign rights and removed from the intervention of other states: a haven for convicted scoundrels and a university for budding crooks.
It is a sign of their rising confidence and sense of security that at a time when one section is still playing the German, French-man, or Englishman, the other with open effrontery comes out as the Jewish race.”

More prophetic words were ever spoken or written by any of the statesmen of the Twentieth Century than these, even though they themselves were insufficient to describe the horrors that the Zionist state would bring upon the world if left unchecked- and its power and influence have been unchecked since the 1960’s. The last time that the world stood up to Zionist power in an appreciable way was during the Suez Crisis.

renfro , says: September 5, 2019 at 1:41 pm GMT
@Wizard of Oz

Not the full story? Convince us.

Connect the dots….

DOT.. Port loses claim for asbestos removal | Business Insurance
https://www.businessinsurance.com › article › ISSUE01 › port-loses-claim-…
May 13, 2001 – The suit sought claim of the Port Authority’s huge cost of removing asbestos from hundreds of properties ranging from the enormous World Trade Center complex

DOT…Silverstein knew when he leased WTC 7 that he would have to pay out of pocket for asbestos abatement removal in WTC 7, multiple millions, which is why the Port Authority leased it so cheaply.

DOT…In May, 2000, a year before, signing the lease, he already had the design drawn for a new WTC building. Silverstein had no plans to remove the asbestos as he already had plans to replace it.

DOT… Larry Silverstein signs the lease just six weeks before the WTC’s twin towers were brought to the ground by terrorists in the September 11, 2001, attacks.

DOT….After leasing the complex, Silverstein negotiated with 24 insurance companies for a maximum coverage of $3.55 billion per catastrophic occurrence. However, the agreements had not been finalized before 9/11.

DOT…..Silverstein tries to sue insurers for double the payout claiming 2 catastrophic occurrences because of 2 planes involved.

DOT….Silver loses that lawsuit but sues the air lines and settles for almost another billion, $ 750,000,000.

Just another Jew insurance fire folks. He planned on tearing down WTC 7 to begin with. The only missing DOT is who he hired to set the demolition explosives in WTC 7. Were they imported from our ME ally?

[Sep 06, 2019] US State Dept Program Offers $15 Million to Iran Revolutionary Guards

While people do not agree of detail the main theme is common: government stories explaining both 9/11 and Epstein death are not credible. And that government tried to create an "artificial reality" to hide real events and real culprits.
Absence of credible information create fertile ground for creation of myths and rumors, sometimes absurd. But that'a well known sociaological phenomenon studies by late Tamotsu Shibutani in the context of WWII rumors ( Improvised News: A Sociological Study of Rumor (1966)).
Now we can interpret famous quote of William Casey "We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false as an admission of the fact that the government can create artificial reality" much like in film Matrix and due to thick smoke of propaganda people are simply unable to discern the truth.
Sep 06, 2019 | www.unz.com

renfro , says: September 5, 2019 at 2:31 pm GMT

A foreign policy of "maximum pressure" and swagger: tawdry bribes, heavy-handed threats, and complete failure ..now what group does this remind me of?

US State Dept Program Offers $15 Million to Iran Revolutionary Guards September 4, 2019

The US State Department has unveiled a new $15 million "reward program" for anyone who provides information on the financial inner workings of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, in an attempt to further disrupt them.
The program comes after the US declared the Revolutionary Guards "terrorists," but remains very unusual, in as much as it targets an agency of a national government instead of just some random militant group.

The Financial Times reports on the farce that is our government's Iran policy:

Four days before the US imposed sanctions on an Iranian tanker suspected of shipping oil to Syria, the vessel's Indian captain received an unusual email from the top Iran official at the Department of State.
"This is Brian Hook . . . I work for secretary of state Mike Pompeo and serve as the US Representative for Iran," Mr Hook wrote to Akhilesh Kumar on August 26, according to several emails seen by the Financial Times. "I am writing with good news."
The "good news" was that the Trump administration was offering Mr Kumar several million dollars to pilot the ship -- until recently known as the Grace 1 -- to a country that would impound the vessel on behalf of the US. To make sure Mr Kumar did not mistake the email for a scam, it included an official state department phone number.
The administration's Iran obsession has reached a point where they are now trying to bribe people to act as pirates on their behalf. When the U.S. was blocked by a court in Gibraltar from taking the ship, they sought to buy the loyalty of the captain in order to steal it. Failing that, they resorted to their favorite tool of sanctions to punish the captain and his crew for ignoring their illegitimate demand. The captain didn't respond to the first message, so Hook persisted with his embarrassing scheme:
"With this money you can have any life you wish and be well-off in old age," Mr Hook wrote in a second email to Mr Kumar that also included a warning. "If you choose not to take this easy path, life will be much harder for you."
Many people have already mocked Hook's message for its resemblance to a Nigerian prince e-mail scam, and I might add that he comes across here sounding like a B-movie gangster. Hook's contact was not an isolated incident, but part of a series of e-mails and texts that he has sent to various ships' captains in a vain effort to intimidate them into falling in line with the administration's economic war. This is what comes of a foreign policy of "maximum pressure" and swagger: tawdry bribes, heavy-handed threats, and complete failure.

independent109 , says: September 5, 2019 at 2:53 pm GMT
The Committee of 300 is an evolution of the British East Indies Company Council of 300. The list personally last seen included many Windsors (Prince Andrew), Rothchilds, other Royals. Some of the Americans included some now dead and other still living: George HW Bush, Bill Clinton Tom Steyer, Al Gore, John Kerry, Netanyahu, lots of bankers, Woolsey (ex CIA), journalists like Michael Bloomberg, Paul Krugman, activists and politians like Tony Blair, now dead Zbigniew Brzezinski, CEOs Charles and Edgar Bronfman. The list is long and out of date but these people control much of what goes on whether good or bad. Their hands are everywhere doing good and maybe some of this bad stuff.
Irish Savant , says: Website September 5, 2019 at 2:56 pm GMT
Given the facts a 10 year-old child could see that the official 911 explanation was totally flawed. Just three of these facts are sufficient, the 'dancing Israelis', Silverstein admitting to the 'pull (demolish) it' order and the collapse of steel-framed WTC 7 in freefall despite not being hit. It is not hyperbole to say that America is a failed state given that the known perpetrators were never even charged. ZOG indeed.
Junior , says: September 5, 2019 at 4:08 pm GMT
@Kevin Barrett

A respectable civil rights attorney, Lisa Bloom, handled Katie Johnson's case.

"Respectable"?
BWAHAHAHAHAHA!
You do realize that Lisa Bloom is the daughter of Glora Allred and defender of Harvey Weinstein do you not?

You people are so desperate to try to link Trump to Epstein it's pathetic.

I suggest you go back to your gatekeeping nonsense of trying to discredit the 9/11 Truth Movement by spreading misinformation about nukes in the towers.

Tony Hall , says: September 5, 2019 at 4:20 pm GMT
This article stakes out much important ground of information and interpretation Kevin Barrett. The essay resonates as a historic statement of some of our current predicaments. What about the comparisons that might be made concerning the mysteries attending the disappearing corpses of Osama bin Laden and Jeffrey Epstein. And according to Christopher Ketcham, the release of the High Fivin' Urban Movers back to Israel was partially negotiated by Alan Dershowitz who played a big role in defending Epstein over a long period.
Tony Hall , says: September 5, 2019 at 4:29 pm GMT
@anon The ultimate "nutjob quackery" of 9/11 is Phillip Zelikow's 9/11 Commission Report, a document that stands as a testimony and marker signifying the USA's descent into a mad hatter's imperium of lies. legend and illusion.
restless94110 , says: September 5, 2019 at 4:40 pm GMT
Has someone (hint: the author of this article) got a real bad case of TDS? Yes, someone has.

Does someone think the pedophilia means consensual relations with 17 year olds? Yes, someone does.

Ronald Thomas West , says: Website September 5, 2019 at 4:58 pm GMT

It is getting harder and harder to satirize the decadence and depravity of the secular West, which insists on parodying itself with ever-increasing outlandishness. When the book on this once-mighty civilization is written, and the ink is dry, readers will be astounded by the limitless lies of the drunk-on-chutzpah psychopaths who ran it into the ground

You might try:

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2019/07/29/gina-haspel-wild-indians/

'Believers' aren't exactly innocent in the criminal history of the disintegrating Western culture

follyofwar , says: September 5, 2019 at 5:02 pm GMT
@Kevin Barrett Adding to Junior's comment, I quit reading after you wrote of "credible accusations" of Mr. Trump being involved "in the brutal rape of a 13 year old." And feminist shakedown artist Lisa Bloom, daughter of the even more infamous feminist shakedown artist G. Allred, is your "credible source?" Bloom has about as much credibility as the sicko democrat women who tried to derail Judge Kavanaugh.

Regardless of how much one might hate Trump (and I'm no Trump supporter) levelling such unfounded accusations is journalistic malfeasance. Did we elect the Devil Incarnate? Mr. Barrett, I'm done reading you.

9/11 Inside job , says: September 5, 2019 at 5:09 pm GMT
The special relationship between the CIA and the Mossad was driven partly by the efforts of CIA officer James Angleton . Philip Weiss in his article in Mondoweiss entitled "The goy and the golem: James Angleton and the rise of Israel." states that Angleton's " greatest service to Israel was his willingness no to say a word about the apparent diversion of highly enriched plutonium from a plant in Western Pennsylvania to Israel's nascent nuclear program " The same program which JFK tried to curtail which efforts may have led to his assassination .

... ... ...

Intelligent Dasein , says: Website September 5, 2019 at 5:22 pm GMT

a confessed participant in the controlled demolition of Building 7,

For the love of God, this is stupid. Larry Silverstein was talking about the Fire Commander , for fuck's sake. The Fire Commander made the decision to pull the firefighters out of the building because they could not put the fire out and were in unnecessary danger. That's all he meant. There is not one word in this that has anything to do with a controlled demolition whatsoever.

In order to believe what the 9/11 Douchers would have you believe about this comment, you would have to believe that 1) Building 7 was wired for demolition beforehand; 2) That the NYC Fire Commander somehow knew about this; 3) That the NYC Fire Commander was perfectly okay with allowing his men to spend hours inside a burning building in which he knew that explosive charges had already been rigged to blow; 4) That the NYC Fire Commander had the authority to decide when the charges should be blown and had access to the master switch that would blow them all; 5) That after 7 hours of attempting to fight the fire, the NYC Fire Commander (who by now can be nothing but a full-fledged member of the conspiracy) decides, after briefly consulting with Larry Silverstein, "Oh, the hell with this! Let's just blow up the building now!", to which Larry Silverstein agrees; 6) That after spending 7 hours in a burning building that had fires burning randomly throughout it and that had been struck by multiple pieces of debris, all of the explosive charges and their detonators were still in perfect working order; 7) That none of the firefighters extensively searching the building for survivors happened to notice any of the pre-placed explosive charges nor thought it necessary to report about such; 8) That the NYC Fire Commander then proceeds to "pull" the building after presumably giving some other order for the men to evacuate, which order was never recorded because the "pull" order must have meant "blow up the building"; 9) And that Larry Silverstein, after being part of a massive conspiracy involving insurance fraud, murder, and arson which, if exposed, would send him to a federal death sentence, just decides to casually mention all of this in a television interview for all and sundry to see, but it is only the 9/11 Douchers who pick up on the significance of it.

Does any of this sound remotely believable? Did anyone subscribing to this nonsense stop to think about the context in which this conversation took place? Do any of you 9/11 Douchers even care that you're being completely ridiculous and grasping at nonexistent straws in your vain attempt to establish some sort of case for controlled demolition? Do you even care that everybody can see that what you are saying makes no sense at all? It is perfectly obvious that Larry Silverstein is NOT talking about controlled demolition here. To believe otherwise would require you to literally be insane, to not understand the plain meaning of words and to have no awareness of conversational contexts; yet not only have you swallowed all of this, you have been beating the drum of this insanity for nearly 20 years.

There is no point in reasoning with an insane person. There is, however, the possibility that you don't really believe what you are saying and are just flogging a hobbyhorse, in which case it is you who are engaging in mendacious journalism and trafficking in lies. In either case, you need to be silenced. Neither lies nor insanity have any "right" to be uttered in the public square. You 9/11 Douchers are really the ones doing everything you accuse the mainstream media of doing, and worse. You have become a danger to the public weal and must be stopped. Your conspiratorial nonsense just isn't cute anymore.

Major1 , says: September 5, 2019 at 5:31 pm GMT
Let's recap:

The official stories about the Kennedy assassination, Epstein's death, and 9/11 are clearly suspect. No one with the capacity for critical thinking can seriously deny this. Which elements of these stories are true and which are false will never be resolved.

Because:
The mainstream media including Fox News have abdicated their mission as fact finders and truth tellers. They peddle entertainment and sell ad space. Rachel Maddow foaming at the mouth about Trump's pee tape and Hannity fulminating about FISA abuse are the same product, simply aimed at different demographics.

Nothing in the above two paragraphs is even remotely novel. It's all been said before twenty bazillion times.

... ... ...

Kevin Barrett , says: Website September 5, 2019 at 5:39 pm GMT
Being a feminist or Democrat (or nonfeminist or Republican) is irrelevant to a person's credibility. It's possible that Lisa Bloom was part of a conspiracy to invent a fictitious Katy Johnson story, in which case Bloom is guilty of criminal fraud as well as civil libel. That would be quite a risk for her to take, to say the least. It's also possible that she was somehow duped by others, in which case they would be running the civil and criminal liabilities, while she would just get disbarred for negligence.

The same is true of Johnson's attorney Thomas Meagher.

It is also possible that Johnson's story is at least roughly accurate. There is supporting testimony from another Epstein victim.

If you set aside your prejudices about Democrats-Republicans, feminists-antifeminists, Trump-Hillary, etc., and just look at what's been reported, you'll agree with me that the allegations are credible (but of course unproven). If you suffer emotional blocks against thinking such things about a President, as so many did when similar things were reported about Bill Clinton, I sympathize but also urge you to get psychiatric treatment so you can learn to face unpleasant facts and then get to work cleaning up this country.

CanSpeccy , says: Website September 5, 2019 at 5:42 pm GMT
@utu

The release of Prof. J. Leroy Hulsey report on the finite element analysis of the WTC7 collapse should be a big news.

But won't be.

Democracy works this way. The ruling elite, via the media, Hollywood, etc., tell the people what to think, the people then vote according to the way they think.

Ensuring such top-down control was a primary objective of the bankers, j0urnalists -- including doyen of American journalism, Walter Lippman, and politicians who established the Council on Foreign Relations , America's ruling political establishment.

So the truth of 9/11 will never be known to the majority unless we have a public statement from George W. Bush acknowledging that he personally lit the fuse that set off the explosions that brought WTC 7 down at free-fall speed .

This is fortunate for the intrepid Dr. Hulsey* who would, presumably, otherwise have had to be dispatched by a sudden heart attack, traffic accident, weight-lifting accident suicide with a bullet to the back of the head. As it is, hardly anyone will ever know what he will say or what it means.

* Fortunate also for those who so rashly advocate for truth here and elsewhere on the yet to be fully controlled Internets.

Durruti , says: September 5, 2019 at 5:45 pm GMT
Kevin Barrett

Nicely done. Article will not be featured on front page NYT & discussed on TV.

There are many highlights in your article. This is one.

Epstein's career as a shameless, openly-operating Mossad sexual blackmailer -- like the in-your-face 9/11 coup -- also illustrates another core truth of Western secularism: If there is no God, there are no limits (in this case, to human depravity and what it can get away with). Or as Dostoevsky famously put it: "If God does not exist, everything is permitted."

Morality is officially out of style.

Durruti

anonymous [307] Disclaimer , says: September 5, 2019 at 6:11 pm GMT
Please consult the following papers about the CIA/Mossad crimes against humanity and their pimps who pose as 'politicians' of the fake Western 'democracy' where Epstein was their agent serving their interest as a PIMP.

{from being the work of a single political party, intelligence agency or country, the power structure revealed by the network connected to Epstein is nothing less than a criminal enterprise that is willing to use and abuse children in the pursuit of ever more power, wealth and control.}

https://www.mintpressnews.com/genesis-jeffrey-epstein-bill-clinton-relationship/261455/

[Government by Blackmail: Jeffrey Epstein, Trump's Mentor and the Dark Secrets of the Reagan Era]

https://www.mintpressnews.com/blackmail-jeffrey-epstein-trump-mentor-reagan-era/260760/

Mega Group, Maxwells and Mossad: The Spy Story at the Heart of the Jeffrey Epstein Scandal

https://www.mintpressnews.com/mega-group-maxwells-mossad-spy-story-jeffrey-epstein-scandal/261172/

[Aug 26, 2019] 20 Years of Demonization of Putin by the Western experts

The level of "experts" is pretty dismal. While some quotes are apt, the general level is horrible for such an important topic., Not a single one put Putin career in context of ascendance of neoliberalism from 1990 to 2007 and then crash and decline with the USA economics entering the period of secular stagnation. not a single one.
Most of those are neocons or some king of imperialists who believe in God given right for the USA to dominate the globe. That's another problem.
Notable quotes:
"... At the same time, with the demands of the Ukraine crisis on the Russian military, it will be stretched to sustain operations in Syria. Given the risks, the buildup is not likely a cynical play to whip up patriotic fervor and bolster Putin's domestic rating; it is rather an effort to defend Russian national interests. ..."
"... Putin and the Kremlin recognized Americans’ anger with the political establishment, because they are always on the alert for it at home. … Putin and the Kremlin seemed to recognize that this election was really a referendum on America’s future. The November 8 ballot, as Trump also understood, was more like the June 23 Brexit vote in the United Kingdom. ..."
"... The demonization of Putin is a reflection of our declining confidence in our own capabilities. It's easier to blame Putin. He's pursuing Russian national interests, but he's not running world affairs ..."
"... Putin stands in the mainstream of a centuries-old Russian foreign policy tradition and worldview and he enjoys broad elite support and popular consent for his policies. Any approach premised mainly on "being tough" with Putin (as Hillary Clinton promises) or on charming him into making a deal (as Trump does) misses the point entirely. ( New York Times , 10.25.16) ..."
"... Putin was personally angered by events in Libya and the death of President Muammar Qaddafi at the hands of rebels as Qaddafi tried to flee Tripoli after NATO’s intervention in the civil war there. In Putin’s view (again expressed openly in his public addresses and in interviews), the United States was now responsible for a long sequence of revolutions close to Russia’s borders and in countries with close ties to Moscow. ( Brookings, 02.10.16 ) ..."
"... Henry Kissinger : “For the West, the demonization of Vladimir Putin is not a policy; it is an alibi for the absence of one.” ( The Washington Post, 03.05.14 ) ..."
"... Russia's antipathy toward the general thrust of the Bush administration's foreign policy, particularly what Putin and his entourage came to see as Washington's excessive unilateralism and disposition to use force, also did more than its share of damage. ( Foreign Affairs , 07.01.2009) ..."
"... Putin has no reliable interlocutors in the West from his perspective, only a handful of intermediaries. And he simply does not trust anyone. ..."
"... Henry Kissinger : Starting with American support for the Orange Revolution in Ukraine in 2004, Putin has gradually convinced himself that the U.S. is structurally adversarial. By “structural,” I mean that he may very well believe that America defines its basic interest as weakening Russia, transforming us from a potential ally to another foreign country that he balances with China and others. ( The Atlantic, 11.10.16 ) ..."
"... Thomas Graham and Rajan Menon : In Moscow’s reading, the United States had masterminded the revolution [in Ukraine] to install a pro-Western figure as president over the candidate endorsed by Putin. Putin soon came to view the revolution in Ukraine as a dress rehearsal for regime change in Russia itself. ..."
"... In Putin’s view, the United States, the European Union and NATO have launched an economic and proxy war in Ukraine to weaken Russia and push it into a corner. As Valery Gerasimov, chief of staff of the Russian armed forces, has underscored, this is a hybrid, 21st-century conflict, in which financial sanctions, support for oppositional political movements and propaganda have all been transformed from diplomatic tools to instruments of war. Putin likely believes that any concession or compromise he makes will encourage the West to push further. ( The Washington Post, 02.05.15 ) ..."
Aug 07, 2019 | www.russiamatters.org
Putin's personality

NATO-Russia relations:

Syria and MiddleEast

Elections interference: (aka Russiagate false flag operation by CIA and MI6)

Energy exports from the former Soviet Union:

U.S.-Russian relations in general:

Ukraine

[Aug 25, 2019] Propaganda is the management of collective attitudes by the manipulation of significant symbolism collective attitudes are amenable to many modes of alteration . intimidation intimidation .economic coercion drill

Aug 25, 2019 | off-guardian.org

TheThinker I've been reading a collection of essays by a Australian guy called Careys – on Democracy and propaganda, fully named, Taking the Risk out of Democracy. He died unpublished but his papers were collated in a book after. Here some bits from my read that were interesting.

In Jan 1994 David Hume reflecting on the consequences of the recent state terrorist projects that Washington had organised and directed in its Central American domains, with the Church a prime target. They took special note of 'what weight' the culture of terror has had in domestically the expectations of the majority vis-a-vis alternatives different for the powerful; the destruction of hope, they recognised, is one of the greatest achievements of the free world doctrine of 'low intensity conflict' what is called 'terror' when conducted by official enemies. Noam Chomsky 1994

Propaganda is the management of collective attitudes by the manipulation of significant symbolism collective attitudes are amenable to many modes of alteration . intimidation intimidation .economic coercion drill

But their arrangement and rearrangement occurs principally under the importers of significant symbolism and the technique of using significant symbols for this purpose is propaganda. Lasswell, Bardson & Janowitz 1953

Successful use of propaganda as a means of social control requires a number of conditions: The will to use it, the skills to produce the propaganda, the means to disseminate it; and the use of significant symbols with real power over emotional reactions – ideally symbols of the sacred and satanic (Light vs DARK)

A society or culture which is disposed to view the world in Manichean terms will be more vulnerable to control by propaganda. Conversely, a society where propaganda is extensively employed as a means of control, will tend to retain a Manichean world view, a view dominated by symbols and visions of the sacred and satanic.

Manichean – an adherent of the dualistic systems (dual = 2) religious systems of Manes, a combination of Gnostic, Buddiasm, Zoroastrianism and various other elements with a doctrine of a conflict between the Light and Dark, matter being regarded as dark and light / good vs evil – love vs hate

The 'public mind' was recognised long ago by corporate leaders to be 'the only serious danger confronting' their enterprise & major hazards facing industrialists along with the newly realised political power of the masses, which had to be beaten back.

Big Business in the US stated started the Americanise Movement ostensibly to Americanise worker, who was being perceived as being under threat from subversive forces of the Industrial Workers of the world.

what started as a method of controlling the political opinion of immigrant workers quickly turned into a massive program for the thinking of an entire population. One of the most startling examples of the escalation of the whole population in processes of propaganda was how Americanisation Program ( a word which conjures up the 'thought police') came to be transformed into a National Celebration Day for the 4th July, to many of us (Carey's words not mine) it comes as a shock to discover that American Independence Day had it's beginning in a Business led program to control public opinion rather than as a direct expression of a Nation celebrating its historical birth.

[Aug 24, 2019] The sin of omission is the greatest sin the media commits all day long

Aug 24, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

CitizenOne , August 22, 2019 at 19:55

Here is a mind bending fact. The sin of omission is the greatest sin the media commits all day long.

You could go on and on about it.

Where are the howls about impending doom with global warming threatening to decimate life on Earth?
Where are the howls over the Supreme Court Rulings that threw campaign finance limits out the window?
Same for Net Neutrality
Same for international comparisons of health care costs.
Same for alternative theories about the US foreign policy that has been wrong about intelligence every time but we never look back.
Where are those ethics committees in the Capital who make sure everything is being conducted appropriately. Do we really believe there is no corruption?
What about oil companies that hid information about global warming
Ever heard of the Carlyle Group and its relationship with nations as the biggest weapons dealer?
Does anyone really know the scope of Cambridge Analytica and why they got just slapped and mentioned for a week then they were allowed to slip into oblivion.
How about Operation Hemisphere?
Why is black box voting not an issue and why were republicans so quick to protect it and kill paper ballots?

The answer is they are getting away with all this stuff because they own the microphone. Kind of odd that all the investigation into the case of this or that is always some local channel or independent organization like this one.

If you have absolutely no clue why all this is not being shouted from the highest rooftops the answer is it is but you will never know that.

[Aug 24, 2019] Putin strongly objects to the USA start of production of midrange rockets which can be used from Romania s and Poland s existing launching facilities

While this is a Russian site with specific audience, comments show that people reject the USA policy which might creates problems for the USA in the future. Not the USA neoliberal/neocon elite cares.
This decisions just had shown to the whole would that Trump is a clown capable of twitting, not much more. Other people make key decisions for the county.
Aug 24, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Drew Hunkins , August 23, 2019 at 13:33

off topic:

Putin's taking the gloves off:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAfyftONbFY&list=LLWzo4sS343MNLWEG7VvwJ_Q&index=3&t=222s

Franz Bauer , 1 day ago

The deep state that controls the US are lying criminal psychopaths. Any agreements and treaties negotiated with them aren't worth the time or paper they are written on.

Narayana Narayana , 1 day ago

We love honourable putin's each decision because he always gives with legal proof. Love you honourable putin and Russia people. From India.

rafael albizu , 1 day ago (edited)

Super hypersonic russian rockets need just 5 minutes to hit target, & they're in Russian land, not in foreign usurped countries

Brian Ahern , 1 day ago

all.putin wants world peace but the Americans whats to tell everyone what to do and start wars what.they.sould buid a wall.around america stop them getting out

394pjo , 1 day ago (edited) div tabindex="0" role="artic

le"> We can certainly expect Poland and Romania to be targeted with Nuclear munitions at the very least. There will likely be an official Russian announcement of this fact as well. In the event of a breakout of hostilities with Nato then Russia will target the military infrastructure in both countries and vaporise them immediately. Unfortunately a very large number of Polish and Romanian civilians will be caught in the blasts. That will be tragic of course.

pulaat , 1 day ago

I live in the Netherlands and I am on the side of Russia. Europe is disgusting for not condemning the USA intentions. Eu will regret it. When bombs fall on Europe because of these incompetent leaders we will not forget.

Drew Hunkins , 1 day ago div tabindex="0" role="art

icle"> The Western public MUST, MUST become very familiar pronto with the few intellectuals, scholars, journalists, writers and authors who have been at the forefront for global peace and world justice for decades! It's our only hope! Right now the only sane voice on the national stage is Tulsi Gabbard. People must start reading: John Pilger, James Petras, Diana Johnstone, Stephen Lendman, Ray McGovern, Finian Cunningham, Andre Vltchek, Michael Parenti, Stephen Cohen, The Saker, Caitlin Johnstone, Paul Craig Roberts.

Techno Tard , 1 day ago

Good one U.S.A. government! Lets try to instigate a fkn war where we can actually be attacked on our home land!

Luis martins , 1 day ago (edited)

tit-for-tat that was the right words from Putin

Madaleine , 1 day ago

USA a decadent nation run by global mafia . Cannot trust what they say , is proven by their actions Sold their soul to the devil for money and power. Yet they will fail God is in charge!

Drew Hunkins , 1 day ago div tabindex="0" role="articl

e"> The double standard in the West is breathtaking. It's as simple as the Golden Rule: merely try to imagine the reaction in New York, London, Washington, Paris, Chicago, Boston if Russia or China were to do the exact same thing in southern Canada or the Caribbean. The Washington military empire builders could possibly destroy humanity with their reckless and imperial behavior. They simply cannot accept any sovereign nation-states that 1.) give the finger to Wall Street or the idea of the uni-polar world Washington's intent on establishing, or 2.) gives diplomatic support to the Palestinians or is even a mild thorn in the side of Israel. For further reading, see the following scholars, intellectuals, journalists and writers: James Petras, Diana Johnstone, John Pilger, Stephen Lendman, Michael Parenti, Finian Cunningham, Andre Vltchek and a few others I'm forgetting at the moment.

George Mavrides , 1 hour ago

US ramping up for a war before dollar collapse. However, a war against Russia and China is not one they can win.

JimmyRJump , 1 day ago (edited) div tabindex="0" role="articl

e"> Under Trump the USA are rapidly steering towards an open dictatorship, something they've been doing for years but more covertly. The USA have always been shouting the loudest about democracy and freedom but that's just a façade while they bully the world and their own people into submission. The curtain is falling faster and faster now. Oh, and ask the American Natives what the Americans do with treaties...

orderoutofchaos621 , 20 hours ago

The US does not want friendship with Russia, it seeks to either control it or destroy it. Since the first option isn't going to happen, it's obvious what's next and it'll start with more sanctions, expanding NATO into Georgia and Ukraine and placing nuclear missiles on Russia's Eastern and Western border.

Bernt Sunde , 1 day ago div class=

"comment-renderer-text-content expanded"> All it takes, is 1 single warhead fired from ex. Poland to reach Moscow. How many launchers do USA have placed in these countries near Russia? Is Moscow more than 500 KM away from any NATO border? If the enemy sets up catapults outside your city walls, isn't that a clear sign the enemy intend to fire those catapults against your walls? So what do you do? Do you sit and wait? Or do you take out the catapults before they break down your walls? As far as any strategist see this, it can be only one solution for survival.

joshron99 , 1 day ago div class="c

omment-renderer-text-content expanded"> During FDR's 'Pearl Harbor' speech he said, "It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago." There are echoes of this speech in Putin's words ( 02:18 ) and the type of treachery referred to by Roosevelt applies to the American exit from the INF. America has become a nation holding "a big stick" and loudly shouting about it (contrary to an earlier Roosevelt's advice). The White House acknowledged (and the NYT reported) that we are involved in seven wars right now (Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Niger). We have 38 "named" foreign military bases as well as upwards of 600 overseas military installations of some sort including "lily pads," i.e., "cooperative security locations" and an undisclosed number of "black" locations. Our military budget is pushing towards a trillion dollars per year ($717 billion this year). We are threatening small countries such as Venezuela with military action (and yes, something needs to be done for the good of the people there but that should not include an American military attack which President Trump, our Secretary of State ("and his colleague") have said is "on the table." And now, we are dumping nuclear weapons treaties. We have truly become a country which "lives by the sword." Good luck to us all.

Deon Richards , 10 hours ago

Okay , so this is a broadcast of the President of Russia speaking to his security council right , this is official researched factual intel ....has to be on that level ...right . Now to the few negative responses I have come across ,what intel do you have and where did you get it...

Mad Rooky , 4 hours ago

Poland and Romania wanted to be on the safe side, but now they are getting a crosshair painted on their countries. What irony.

Drew Hunkins , 1 day ago

Instead of addressing and trying to ameliorate this most dangerous development, let's instead focus on Trump's idiotic and diversionary comments and tweets about buying Greenland or some such other nonsense.

[Aug 24, 2019] Rachel Maddow, where are you?

Now there's something that could actually make the Mueller Report look legitimate.
Aug 24, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

anon in so cal , August 23, 2019 at 6:38 pm

Putin derangement syndrome:

"Putin's most innovative, and dangerous, weapon. The dogs will be handed out to Democrats on election night, suppressing the vote and guaranteeing a second Trump term. Rachel Maddow, where are you?"

https://twitter.com/RealScottRitter/status/1164939107610570752?s=20

hunkerdown , August 23, 2019 at 7:28 pm

It's Bull Connor redux, but nicer and more intersectional.

[Aug 20, 2019] Propagandists Freak Out Over Gabbard s Destruction of Harris by Caitlin Johnstone

Highly recommended!
all neocon scum instantly had risen to the surface to defend the neoliberal empire and its wars...
Notable quotes:
"... In the race to determine who will serve as commander in chief of the most powerful military force in the history of civilization, night two of the CNN Democratic presidential debates saw less than six minutes dedicated to discussing U.S. military policy during the 180-minute event. ..."
"... That's six, as in the number before seven. Not 60. Not 16. Six. From the moment Jake Tapper said "I want to turn to foreign policy" to the moment Don Lemon interrupted Rep. Tulsi Gabbard just as she was preparing to correctly explain how President Donald Trump is supporting Al-Qaeda in Idlib , approximately five minutes and 50 seconds had elapsed. The questions then turned toward the Mueller report on Russian interference in the 2016 elections and impeachment proceedings. ..."
"... But the near-absence of foreign policy discussion didn't stop the Hawaii lawmaker from getting in some unauthorized truth-telling anyway. Attacking the authoritarian prosecutorial record of Sen. Kamala Harris to thunderous applause from the audience, Gabbard criticized the way her opponent "put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and then laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana;" "blocked evidence that would have freed an innocent man from death row until the court's forced her to do so;" "kept people in prisons beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor for the state of California;" and "fought to keep the cash bail system in place that impacts poor people in the worst kind of way." ..."
"... That was all it took. Harris's press secretary Ian Sams unleashed a string of tweets about Gabbard being an "Assad apologist," which were followed by a deluge of establishment narrative managers who sent the word "Assad" trending on Twitter, at times when Gabbard's name somehow failed to trend despite being the top-searched candidate on Google after the debate. ..."
"... "Somehow I have a hard time believing that 'Assad' is the top trending item in the United States but 'Tulsi' is nowhere to be found," tweeted journalist Michael Tracey. ..."
"... It really is interesting how aggressively the narrative managers thrust this line into mainstream consciousness all at the same time. ..."
"... The Washington Post 's Josh Rogin went on a frantic, lie-filled Twitter storm as soon as he saw an opportunity, claiming with no evidence whatsoever that Gabbard lied when she said she met with Assad for purposes of diplomacy and that she "helped Assad whitewash a mass atrocity," and falsely claiming that " she praised Russian bombing of Syrian civilians ." ..."
"... War is the glue that holds the empire together . A politician can get away with opposing some aspects of the status quo when it comes to healthcare or education, but war as a strategy for maintaining global dominance is strictly off limits. This is how you tell the difference between someone who actually wants to change things and someone who's just going through the motions for show; the real rebels forcefully oppose the actual pillars of empire by calling for an end to military bloodshed, while the performers just stick to the safe subjects. ..."
"... The shrill, hysterical pushback that Gabbard received last night was very encouraging, because it means she's forcing them to fight back. In a media environment where the war propaganda machine normally coasts along almost entirely unhindered in mainstream attention, the fact that someone has positioned themselves to move the needle like this says good things for our future. If our society is to have any chance of ever throwing off the omnicidal, ecocidal power establishment which keeps us in a state of endless war and soul-crushing oppression, the first step is punching a hole in the narrative matrix which keeps us hypnotized into believing that this is all normal and acceptable. ..."
"... Her immediate response to the first question directed to her, regardless of topic, should be prefaced with something like "I would appreciate the media and the opposition please refrain from deliberately misrepresenting my policies and remarks, most notably trying to tar me with more of the fallacious war propaganda they both dispense so freely and without any foundation. ..."
"... Gabbard has any chance to be elected only if she starts vigorously throwing over the tables of the money-lenders in the temple, so to speak. ..."
"... Hide the empire in plain sight, that way no one will notice it. Then someone like Tulsi Gabbard goes and talks about it on national TV. Can't have that, can we? People might begin to see it if we do that ..."
"... Pro war democrats are now using the Russian ruse to go after anti war candidates like Gabbard. It's despicable to even insinuate Gabbard is working for Putin or had any other rationale for going to Syria than seeking peace. This alone proved Harris unfit for the presidency. Her awful record speaks for itself. ..."
"... And she has courage. She quit the DNC to support Bernie and went to Syria to seek the truth and peace. ..."
"... She is unique. The media is trying Ron-Paul-Type-Blackout on her, lest the public catches on to the fact that she is exactly what the country needs. ..."
"... Warmonger candidates had better reconsider their positions if they believe that voters will back their stance. Just ask Hillary Clinton how that worked out for her and her warrior mentality in 2016. ..."
"... she has cross over appeal with republicans who want out of the wars. People like Tucker Carson and Paul Craig Roberts support her. Thats why the DNC hate her.. ..."
"... There's an obvious effort to Jane Fodarize Tulsi before she threatens the favorites. She seems to keep a cool head, so much of it is likely to backfire and bring the narrative back where it belongs. ..."
"... In contrast to Gabbard, a service member with extensive middle east combat experience, Cooper is a chickenhawk and a naif to murder and torture; ..."
"... "Whoever controls the narrative controls the world. Whoever disrupts that narrative control is doing the real work." ..."
"... I read "narrative control" as brainwashing. ..."
Aug 02, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Establishment narrative managers distracted attention from a notable antiwar contender, seizing instead the chance to marshal an old smear against her, writes Caitlin Johnstone.

In the race to determine who will serve as commander in chief of the most powerful military force in the history of civilization, night two of the CNN Democratic presidential debates saw less than six minutes dedicated to discussing U.S. military policy during the 180-minute event.

That's six, as in the number before seven. Not 60. Not 16. Six. From the moment Jake Tapper said "I want to turn to foreign policy" to the moment Don Lemon interrupted Rep. Tulsi Gabbard just as she was preparing to correctly explain how President Donald Trump is supporting Al-Qaeda in Idlib , approximately five minutes and 50 seconds had elapsed. The questions then turned toward the Mueller report on Russian interference in the 2016 elections and impeachment proceedings.

Night one of the CNN debates saw almost twice as much time, with a whole 11 minutes by my count dedicated to questions of war and peace for the leadership of the most warlike nation on the planet. This discrepancy could very well be due to the fact that night two was the slot allotted to Gabbard, whose campaign largely revolves around the platform of ending U.S. warmongering.

CNN is a virulent establishment propaganda firm with an extensive history of promoting lies and brazen psyops in facilitation of U.S. imperialism, so it would make sense that they would try to avoid a subject which would inevitably lead to unauthorized truth-telling on the matter.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Cfp_IIdVnXs?feature=oembed

But the near-absence of foreign policy discussion didn't stop the Hawaii lawmaker from getting in some unauthorized truth-telling anyway. Attacking the authoritarian prosecutorial record of Sen. Kamala Harris to thunderous applause from the audience, Gabbard criticized the way her opponent "put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and then laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana;" "blocked evidence that would have freed an innocent man from death row until the court's forced her to do so;" "kept people in prisons beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor for the state of California;" and "fought to keep the cash bail system in place that impacts poor people in the worst kind of way."

Harris Folded Under Pressure

Harris, who it turns out fights very well when advancing but folds under pressure, had no answer for Gabbard's attack, preferring to focus on attacking former Vice President Joe Biden instead.

Later, when she was a nice safe distance out of Gabbard's earshot, she uncorked a long-debunked but still effective smear that establishment narrative managers have been dying for an excuse to run wild with.

"This, coming from someone who has been an apologist for an individual, Assad, who has murdered the people of his country like cockroaches," Harris told Anderson Cooper after the debate, referring to the president of Syria. "She who has embraced and been an apologist for him in a way that she refuses to call him a war criminal. I can only take what she says and her opinion so seriously and so I'm prepared to move on."

That was all it took. Harris's press secretary Ian Sams unleashed a string of tweets about Gabbard being an "Assad apologist," which were followed by a deluge of establishment narrative managers who sent the word "Assad" trending on Twitter, at times when Gabbard's name somehow failed to trend despite being the top-searched candidate on Google after the debate.

As of this writing, "Assad" is showing on the No. 5 trending list on the side bar of Twitter's new layout, while Gabbard's name is nowhere to be seen. This discrepancy has drawn criticism from numerous Gabbard defenders on the platform .

"Somehow I have a hard time believing that 'Assad' is the top trending item in the United States but 'Tulsi' is nowhere to be found," tweeted journalist Michael Tracey.

It really is interesting how aggressively the narrative managers thrust this line into mainstream consciousness all at the same time.

The Washington Post 's Josh Rogin went on a frantic, lie-filled Twitter storm as soon as he saw an opportunity, claiming with no evidence whatsoever that Gabbard lied when she said she met with Assad for purposes of diplomacy and that she "helped Assad whitewash a mass atrocity," and falsely claiming that " she praised Russian bombing of Syrian civilians ."

... ... ...

War is the glue that holds the empire together . A politician can get away with opposing some aspects of the status quo when it comes to healthcare or education, but war as a strategy for maintaining global dominance is strictly off limits. This is how you tell the difference between someone who actually wants to change things and someone who's just going through the motions for show; the real rebels forcefully oppose the actual pillars of empire by calling for an end to military bloodshed, while the performers just stick to the safe subjects.

The shrill, hysterical pushback that Gabbard received last night was very encouraging, because it means she's forcing them to fight back. In a media environment where the war propaganda machine normally coasts along almost entirely unhindered in mainstream attention, the fact that someone has positioned themselves to move the needle like this says good things for our future. If our society is to have any chance of ever throwing off the omnicidal, ecocidal power establishment which keeps us in a state of endless war and soul-crushing oppression, the first step is punching a hole in the narrative matrix which keeps us hypnotized into believing that this is all normal and acceptable.

Whoever controls the narrative controls the world. Whoever disrupts that narrative control is doing the real work.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium . Follow her work on Facebook , Twitter , or her website . She has a podcast and a new book " Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers ."


Realist , August 2, 2019 at 20:06

I'm going to venture a guess and say that the media fixers for the Deep State's political song and dance show are not going to allow Tulsi back on that stage for the next installation of "Killer Klowns on Parade." Just as she had the right to skewer Harris for her sweeping dishonesty and hypocrisy in public office, she has just as much right to proactively respond to the smears and slanders directed against her by both the party establishment and its media colluders.

Her immediate response to the first question directed to her, regardless of topic, should be prefaced with something like "I would appreciate the media and the opposition please refrain from deliberately misrepresenting my policies and remarks, most notably trying to tar me with more of the fallacious war propaganda they both dispense so freely and without any foundation. It is beneath all dignity to attempt to win elections with lies and deceptions, just as it is to use them as pretexts for wars of choice that bring no benefit to either America or the countries being attacked. As I've repeatedly made clear, I only want to stop the wasteful destruction and carnage, but you deceitfully try to imply that I'm aligned with one of the several foreign governments that our leaders have needlessly and foolishly chosen to make war upon. You've done so on this stage and you've continued this misrepresentation throughout the American media. Please stop it. Play fair. Confine your remarks only to the truth."

That would raise a kerfuffle, but one that is distinctly called for. Going gently towards exit stage right consequent to their unanswered lies will accomplish nothing. If the Dems choose to excommunicate her for such effrontery, she should run as a Green, or an independent. This is a danger the Dem power structure dare not allow to happen. They don't even want the particulars of the actual history of these wars discussed in public. Thus, they will not even give her the chance to offer a rejoinder such as I outlined above. They will simply rule that she does not qualify for any further debates based on her polling numbers (which can be faked) and/or her financial support numbers. That is nominally how they've already decided to winnow down the field to the few who are acceptable to the Deep State–preferably Harris, Biden or Booker. Someone high profile but owned entirely by the insider elites. Yes, this rules out Bernie and maybe even Warren unless she secretly signed a blood pact with Wall Street to walk away from her platform if elected.

Gabbard has any chance to be elected only if she starts vigorously throwing over the tables of the money-lenders in the temple, so to speak.

Tom Kath , August 2, 2019 at 20:05

There is a big difference between "PRINCIPLES" and "POLICY". Principles should never change, but policy must. This is where I believe Tulsi can not only make a big difference, but ultimately even win. – Not this time around perhaps, she is young and this difference will take time to reveal itself.

O Society , August 2, 2019 at 16:39

Hide the empire in plain sight, that way no one will notice it. Then someone like Tulsi Gabbard goes and talks about it on national TV. Can't have that, can we? People might begin to see it if we do that

http://osociety.org/2019/08/02/how-to-hide-an-empire-a-history-of-the-greater-united-states/

ranney , August 2, 2019 at 16:24

What is happening to Tulsi (the extraordinary spate of lies about her relationship with Assad coming from all directions) provides a good explanation why Bernie and Elizabeth have been smart not to make many comments about foreign policy.

The few Bernie has made indicate to me that he is sympathetic to the Palestinian problem, but smart enough to keep quiet on the subject until, God willing, he is in a position to actually do something about it. It will be interesting to see if debate questions force them to be more forthcoming about their opinions.

Emma Peele , August 2, 2019 at 16:05

Pro war democrats are now using the Russian ruse to go after anti war candidates like Gabbard. It's despicable to even insinuate Gabbard is working for Putin or had any other rationale for going to Syria than seeking peace. This alone proved Harris unfit for the presidency. Her awful record speaks for itself.

JOHN CHUCKMAN , August 2, 2019 at 15:58

Tulsi is the most original and interesting candidate to come along in many years. She's authentic, something not true of most of that pack.

And not true of most of the House and Senate with their oh-so-predictable statements on most matters and all those crinkly-faced servants of plutocracy. She has courage too, a rare quality in Washington where, indeed, cowards often do well. Witness Trump, Biden, Clinton, Bush, Johnson, et al.

If there's ever going to be any change in a that huge country which has become a force for darkness and fear in much of the world, it's going to come from the likes of Tulsi. But I'm not holding my breath. It's clear from many signals, the establishment very much dislikes her. So, the odds are, they'll make sure she doesn't win.

Still, I admire a valiant try. Just as I admire honesty, something almost unheard of in Washington, but she has it, in spades.

emma peele , August 2, 2019 at 16:48

And she has courage. She quit the DNC to support Bernie and went to Syria to seek the truth and peace.

Mike from Jersey , August 2, 2019 at 16:55

She is unique. The media is trying Ron-Paul-Type-Blackout on her, lest the public catches on to the fact that she is exactly what the country needs.

Sally Snyder , August 2, 2019 at 15:17

Here is an article that looks at the level of support from American voters for yet another war in the Middle East:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2019/07/main-street-america-and-another-war-in.html

Warmonger candidates had better reconsider their positions if they believe that voters will back their stance. Just ask Hillary Clinton how that worked out for her and her warrior mentality in 2016.

Robert , August 2, 2019 at 14:49

Tulsi is the most promising candidate to successfully run against Trump for 2 reasons. 1. She has a sane, knowledgeable foreign/military policy promoting peace and non-intervention. 2) She understands the disastrous consequences of the WTO and "free" trade deals on the US economy. No other Democratic candidate has these 2 policies. Unfortunately, these policies are so dangerous to the real rulers of the world, her message is already being shut down and distorted.

emma peele , August 2, 2019 at 16:53

And she has cross over appeal with republicans who want out of the wars. People like Tucker Carson and Paul Craig Roberts support her. Thats why the DNC hate her..

Skip Scott , August 2, 2019 at 14:05

I read this article over on Medium this morning. Thanks for re-printing it here. I made the following comment there as well.

I was a somewhat enthusiastic supporter of Tulsi until just recently when she voted for the anti-BDS resolution. I guess "speaking truth to power" has its limits. What I fear is that the war machine will manipulate her if she ever gets elected. Once you accept any of the Empire's propaganda narrative, it is a slippery slope to being fully co-opted. Tulsi has said she is a "hawk" when it comes to fighting terrorists. All the MIC would have to do is another false flag operation, blame it on the "terrorists", and tell Tulsi it's time to get tough. Just as they manipulated the neo-liberals with the R2P line of bullshit, and Trump with the "evil Assad gasses his own people" bullshit, Tulsi could be brought to heel as well.

I will probably continue to send small donations to Tulsi just to keep her on the debate stage. But I've taken off the rose colored glasses.

Bob Herrschaft , August 2, 2019 at 13:57

Well said, Caitlin! There's an obvious effort to Jane Fodarize Tulsi before she threatens the favorites. She seems to keep a cool head, so much of it is likely to backfire and bring the narrative back where it belongs.

P. Michael Garber , August 2, 2019 at 13:42

Great article! Anderson Cooper in his post-debate interview with Gabbard appeared to be demanding a loyalty oath from her: "Will you say the words 'Bashar Assad is a murderer and torturer'?" In contrast to Gabbard, a service member with extensive middle east combat experience, Cooper is a chickenhawk and a naif to murder and torture; in that context his attack was inappropriate and disrespectful, and as he kept pressing it I thought he appeared unhinged. Gabbard could have done more to call out Cooper's craven attack (personally I think she could have decked him and been well within her rights), but she handled it with her customary grace and poise.

hetro , August 2, 2019 at 13:09

Seems to me Caitlin is right on, and her final statement is worth emphasizing: "Whoever controls the narrative controls the world. Whoever disrupts that narrative control is doing the real work."

I read "narrative control" as brainwashing.

Note also that Caitlin is careful to qualify she does not fully agree with Gabbard, in context with year after year of demonizing Assad amidst the murk of US supported type militants, emphasis on barrel bombs, etc etc, all in the "controlling the narrative/propaganda" sphere.

Another interesting piece to consider on the smearing of Gabbard:

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-08-02/empire-coming-tulsi-gabbard

Brian Murphy , August 2, 2019 at 16:25

"A soldier knows when you are taking flak you are over your target." nice.

[Aug 17, 2019] Debunking the Putin Panic by Stephen F. Cohen

Highly recommended!
Aug 17, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

STEPHEN COHEN: I'm not aware that Russia attacked Georgia. The European Commission, if you're talking about the 2008 war, the European Commission, investigating what happened, found that Georgia, which was backed by the United States, fighting with an American-built army under the control of the, shall we say, slightly unpredictable Georgian president then, Saakashvili, that he began the war by firing on Russian enclaves. And the Kremlin, which by the way was not occupied by Putin, but by Michael McFaul and Obama's best friend and reset partner then-president Dmitry Medvedev, did what any Kremlin leader, what any leader in any country would have had to do: it reacted. It sent troops across the border through the tunnel, and drove the Georgian forces out of what essentially were kind of Russian protectorate areas of Georgia.

So that- Russia didn't begin that war. And it didn't begin the one in Ukraine, either. We did that by [continents], the overthrow of the Ukrainian president in [20]14 after President Obama told Putin that he would not permit that to happen. And I think it happened within 36 hours. The Russians, like them or not, feel that they have been lied to and betrayed. They use this word, predatl'stvo, betrayal, about American policy toward Russia ever since 1991, when it wasn't just President George Bush, all the documents have been published by the National Security Archive in Washington, all the leaders of the main Western powers promised the Soviet Union that under Gorbachev, if Gorbachev would allow a reunited Germany to be NATO, NATO would not, in the famous expression, move two inches to the east.

Now NATO is sitting on Russia's borders from the Baltic to Ukraine. So Russians aren't fools, and they're good-hearted, but they become resentful. They're worried about being attacked by the United States. In fact, you read and hear in the Russian media daily, we are under attack by the United States. And this is a lot more real and meaningful than this crap that is being put out that Russia somehow attacked us in 2016. I must have been sleeping. I didn't see Pearl Harbor or 9/11 and 2016. This is reckless, dangerous, warmongering talk. It needs to stop. Russia has a better case for saying they've been attacked by us since 1991. We put our military alliance on the front door. Maybe it's not an attack, but it looks like one, feels like one. Could be one.


Disturbed Voter , July 30, 2018 at 6:32 am

Real politik. Don't bring a knife to a gun fight. Don't start fights in the first place. The idea that American leadership is any better than mid-Victorian imperialism, is laughable.

Jerri-Lynn Scofield , July 30, 2018 at 8:15 am

Here's the RNN link to part one: The Russia "National Security Crisis" is a U.S. Creation .

integer , July 30, 2018 at 7:12 am

AARON MATE: We hear, often, talk of Putin possibly being the richest person in the world as a result of his entanglement with the very corruption of Russia you're speaking about

Few appear to be aware that Bill Browder is single-handedly responsible for starting, and spreading, the rumor that Putin's net worth is $200 billion (for those who are unfamiliar with Browder, I highly recommend watching Andrei Nekrasov's documentary titled " The Magnitsky Act – Behind the Scenes "). Browder appears to have first started this rumor early in 2015 , and has repeated it ad nauseam since then, including in his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2017 . While Browder has always framed the $200 billion figure as his own estimate, that subtle qualifier has had little effect on the media's willingness to accept it as fact.

Interestingly, during the press conference at the Helsinki Summit, Putin claimed Browder sent $400 million of ill-gotten gains to the Clinton campaign. Putin retracted the statement and claimed to have misspoke a week or so later, however by that time the $400 million figure had been cited by numerous media outlets around the world. I think it is at least possible that Putin purposely exaggerated the amount of money in question as a kind of tit-for-tat response to Browder having started the rumor about his net worth being $200 billion.

Blue Pilgrim , July 30, 2018 at 11:39 am

The stories I saw said there was a mistranslation -- but that the figure should have $400 thousand and not $400 million. Maybe Putin misspoke, but the $400,000 number is still significant, albeit far more reasonable.

Putin never was on the Forbes list of billionaires, btw, and his campaign finance statement comes to far less. It never seems to occur to rabid capitalists or crooks that not everyone is like them, placing such importance on vast fortunes, or want to be dishonest, greedy, or power hungry. Putin is only 'well off' and that seems to satisfy him just fine as he gets on with other interests, values, and goals.

integer , July 30, 2018 at 12:03 pm

Yes, $400,000 is the revised/correct figure. My having written that "Putin retracted the statement" was not the best choice of phrase. Also, the figure was corrected the day after it was made, not "a week or so later" as I wrote in my previous comment. From the Russia Insider link:

Browder's criminal group used many tax evasion methods, including offshore companies. They siphoned shares and funds from Russia worth over 1.5 billion dollars. By the way, $400,000 was transferred to the US Democratic Party's accounts from these funds. The Russian president asked us to correct his statement from yesterday. During the briefing, he said it was $400,000,000, not $400,000. Either way, it's still a significant amount of money.

JohnnyGL , July 30, 2018 at 2:54 pm

I hadn't heard about the revision/edit to the $400M, thanks!

Seems crazy to think how much Russo-phobia seems to have been ginned up by one tax-dodging hedgie with an axe to grind.

Procopius , July 31, 2018 at 1:11 am

There's something weird about the anti-Putin hysteria. Somehow, many, many people have come to believe they must demonstrate their membership in the tribe by accepting completely unsupported assertions that go against common sense.

Eureka Springs , July 30, 2018 at 7:58 am

In a sane world we the people would be furious with the Clinton campaign, especially the D party but the R's as well, our media (again), and our intel/police State (again). Holding them all accountable while making sure this tsunami of deception and lies never happens again.

It's amazing even in time of the internetz those of us who really dig can only come up with a few sane voices. It's much worse now in terms of the numbers of sane voices than it was in the run up to Iraq 2.

CenterOfGravity , July 30, 2018 at 12:52 pm

Regardless of broad access to far more information in the digital age, never under estimate the self-preservation instinct of American exceptionalist mythology. There is an inverse relationship between the decline of US global primacy and increasingly desperate quest for adventurism. Like any case of addiction, looking outward for blame/salvation is imperative in order to prevent the mirror of self-reflection/realization from turning back onto ourselves.

integer , July 30, 2018 at 9:28 am

we're not to believe we're not supposed to believe we're supposed to believe

Believe whatever you want, however your comment gives the impression that you came to this article because you felt the need to push back against anything that does not conform to the liberal international order's narrative on Putin and Russia, rather than "with an eagerness to counterbalance the media's portrayal of Putin". WRT to whataboutism, I like Greenwald's definition of the term :

"Whataboutism": the term used to bar inquiry into whether someone adheres to the moral and behavioral standards they seek to impose on everyone else. That's its functional definition.

Rojo , July 30, 2018 at 12:25 pm

Invoking "whataboutism" is a liberal team-Dem tell.

Amfortas the Hippie , July 30, 2018 at 2:20 pm

aye. I've never seen it used by anyone aside from the worst Hill Trolls.
Indeed, when it was first thrown at me, I endeavored to look it up, and found that all references to it were from Hillaryites attempting to diss apostates and heretics.

Jonathan Holland Becnel , July 30, 2018 at 8:22 pm

Eh, probably

John Oliver, whos been completely sucking lately with TDS, did a semi decent segment on Whataboutism.

Eureka Springs , July 30, 2018 at 9:52 am

The degree of consistency and or lack of hypocrisy based on words and actions separates US from Russia to an astonishing level. That is Russia's largest threat to US, our deceivers. The propaganda tables have turned and we are deceiving ourselves to points of collective insanity and warmongering with a great nuclear power while we are at it. Warmongering is who we are and what we do.

Does Russia have a GITMO, torture Chelsea Manning, openly say they want to kill Snowden and Assange? Is Russia building up arsenals on our borders while maintaining hundreds of foreign bases and conducting several wars at any given moment while constantly threatening to foment more wars? Is Russia dropping another trillion on nuclear arsenals? Is Russia forcing us to maintain such an anti democratic system and an even worse, an entirely hackable electronic voting system?

You ready to destroy the world, including your own, rather than look in the mirror?

rkka , July 30, 2018 at 9:52 am

You're talking about extending Russian military power into Europe when the military spending of NATO Europe alone exceeds Russia's by almost 5-1 (more like 12-1 when one includes the US and Canada), have about triple the number of soldiers than Russia has, and when the Russian ground forces are numerically smaller than they have been in at least 200 years?

" to put their self-interests above those of their constituents and employees, why can't we apply this same lens to Putin and his oligarchs?"

The oligarchs got their start under Yeltsin and his FreeMarketDemocraticReformers, whose policies were so catastrophic that deaths were exceeding births by almost a million a year by the late '90s, with no end in sight. Central to Yeltsin's governance was the corrupt privatization, by which means the Seven Bankers came to control the Russian economy and Russian politics.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semibankirschina

Central to Putin's popularity are the measures he took to curb oligarchic predation in 2003-2005. Because of this, Russia's debt:GDP ratio went from 1.0 to about 0.2, and Russia's demographic recovery began while Western analysis were still predicting the death of Russia.

So Putin is the anti-oligarch in Russian domestic politics.

Blue Pilgrim , July 30, 2018 at 12:17 pm

"While it's true that power corrupts"

I know of many people who sacrifice their own interests for those of their children (over whom they have virtually absolute power), family member and friends. I know of others who dedicate their lives to justice, peace, the well being of their nation, the world, and other people -- people who find far greater meaning and satisfaction in this than in accumulating power or money. Other people have their own goals, such as producing art, inventing interesting things, reading and learning, and don't care two hoots about power or money as long as their immediate needs are met.

I'm cynical enough about humans without thinking the worst of everyone and every group or culture. Not everyone thinks only of nails and wants to be hammers, or are sociopaths. There are times when people are more or less forced into taking power, or getting more money, even if they don't want it, because they want to change things for the better or need to defend themselves.
There are people who get guns and learn how to use them only because they feel a need for defending themselves and family but who don't like guns and don't want to shoot anyone or anything.

There are many people who do not want to be controlled and bossed around, but neither want to boss around anyone else. The world is full of such people. If they are threatened and attacked, however, expect defensive reactions. Same as for most animals which are not predators, and even predators will generally not attack other animals if they are not hungry or threatened -- but that does not mean they are not competent or can be dangerous.

Capitalism is not only inherently predatory, but is inherently expansive without limits, with unlimited ambition for profits and control. It's intrinsically very competitive and imperialist. Capitalism is also a thing which was exported to Russia, starting soon after the Russian Revolution, which was immediately attacked and invaded by the West, and especially after the fall of the Soviet Union. Soviet Russia had it's own problems, which it met with varying degrees of success, but were quite different from the aggressive capitalism and imperialism of the US and Europe.

Not every culture and person are the same.

BenX , July 30, 2018 at 3:28 pm

The pro-Putin propaganda is pretty interesting to witness, and of course not everything Cohen says is skewed pro-Putin – that's what provides credibility. But "Putin kills everybody" is something NOBODY says (except Cohen, twice in one interview) – Putin is actually pretty selective of those he decides to have killed. But of course, he doesn't kill anyone, personally – therefore he's an innocent lamb, accidentally running Russia as a dictator.

rkka , July 31, 2018 at 9:11 am

The most recent dictator in Russian history was Boris Yeltsin, who turned tanks on his legislature while it was in the legal and constitutional process of impeaching him, and whose policies were so catastrophic for Russians (who were dying off at the rate of 900k/yr) that he had to steal his re-election because he had a 5% approval rating.

But he did as the US gvt told him, so I guess that makes him a Democrat.

Under Putin Russia recovered from being helpless, bankrupt & dying, but Russia has an independent foreign policy, so that makes Putin a dictator.

Plenue , July 30, 2018 at 3:54 pm

"Does any sane person believe that there will ever be a Putin-signed contract provided as evidence? Does any sane person believe that Putin actually needs to "approve" a contract rather than signaling to his oligarch/mafia hierarchy that he's unhappy about a newspaper or journalist's reporting?"

Why do you think Putin even needs, or feels a need, to have journalists killed in the first place? I see no evidence to support this basic assumption.

The idea of Russia poised to attack Europe is interesting, in light of the fact that they've cut their military spending by 20%. And even before that the budgets of France, Germany, and the UK combined well exceeded that of Russia, to say nothing of the rest of NATO or the US.

Putin's record speaks for itself. This again points to the absurdity of claiming he's had reporters killed: he doesn't need to. He has a vast amount of genuine public support because he's salvaged the country and pieced it back together after the pillaging of the Yeltsin years. That he himself is a corrupt oligarch I have no particular doubt of. But if he just wanted to enrich himself, he's had a very funny way of going about it. Pray tell, what are these 'other interpretations'?

"The US foreign policy has been disastrous for millions of people since world war 2. But Cohen's arguments that Russia isn't as bad as the US is just a bunch of whattaboutism."

What countries has the Russian Federation destroyed?

witters , July 31, 2018 at 1:30 am

Here is a fascinating essay ["Are We Reading Russia Right?"] by Nicolai N. Petro who currently holds the Silvia-Chandley Professorship of Peace Studies and Nonviolence at the University of Rhode Island. His books include, Ukraine
in Crisis (Routledge, 2017), Crafting Democracy (Cornell, 2004), The Rebirth of Russian Democracy (Harvard, 1995), and Russian Foreign Policy, co-authored with Alvin Z. Rubinstein (Longman, 1997). A graduate of the University of Virginia, he is the recipient of Fulbright awards to Russia and to Ukraine, as well as fellowships from the Foreign Policy Research Institute, the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies in Washington,
D.C., and the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. As a Council on Foreign Relations Fellow, he served as special assistant for policy toward the Soviet Union in the U.S. Department of State from 1989 to 1990. In addition to scholarly publications
on Russia and Ukraine, he has written for Asia Times, American Interest, Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, The Guardian (UK), The Nation, New York Times, and Wilson Quarterly. His writings have appeared frequently on the web sites of the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs and The National Interest.

I warn you – it is terrifying!

http://npetro.net/resources/Petro-FF+Spring+2018.pdf

Carolinian , July 30, 2018 at 8:55 am

Thanks for so much for this. Great stuff. Cohen says the emperor has no clothes so naturally the empire doesn't want him on television. I believe he has been on CNN one or two times and I saw him once on the PBS Newshour where the interviewer asked skeptical questions with a pained and skeptical look. He seems to be the only prominent person willing to stand up and call bs on the Russia hate. There are plenty of pundits and commentators who do that but not many Princeton professors.

Thye Rev Kev , July 30, 2018 at 9:04 am

It has been said in recent years that the greatest failure of American foreign policy was the invasion of Iraq. I think that they are wrong. The greatest failure, in my opinion, is to push both China and Russia together into a semi-official pact against American ambitions. In the same way that the US was able to split China from the USSR back in the seventies, the best option was for America to split Russia from China and help incorporate them into the western system. The waters for that idea have been so fouled by the Russia hysteria, if not dementia, that that is no longer a possibility. I just wish that the US would stop sowing dragon's teeth – it never ends well.

NotTimothyGeithner , July 30, 2018 at 9:45 am

The best option, but the "American exceptionalists" went nuts. Also, the usual play book of stoking fears of the "yellow menace" would have been too on the nose. Americans might not buy it, and there was a whole cottage industry of "the rising China threat" except the potential consumer market place and slave labor factories stopped that from happening.

Bringing Russia into the West effectively means Europe, and I think that creates a similar dynamic to a Russian/Chinese pact. The basic problem with the EU is its led by a relatively weak but very German power which makes the EU relatively weak or controllable as long as the German electorate is relatively sedate. I think they still need the international structures run by the U.S. to maintain their dominance. What Russia and the pre-Erdogan Turkey (which was never going to be admitted to the EU) presented was significant upsets to the existing EU order with major balances to Germany which I always believed would make the EU potentially more dynamic. Every decision wouldn't require a pilgrimage to Berlin. The British were always disinterested. The French had made arrangements with Germany, and Italy is still Italy. Putting Russia or Turkey (pre-Erdogan) would have disrupted this arrangement.

John Wright , July 30, 2018 at 11:11 am

>which is oddly not easy to locate on its site

It appeared to me that Aaron Mate knew he was dealing with a weak hand by the end of the interview.

When Mate stated "it's widely held that Putin is responsible for the killing of journalists and opposition activists who oppose him."

There are many widely held beliefs in the world, and that does not make them true.

For example, It was widely held, and still may be believed by some, that Saddam Hussein was involved in the events of 9/11.

It is widely believed that humans are not responsible, in any part, for climate change.

Mate may have been embarrassed when he saw the final version and as a courtesy to him, the interview was made more difficult to find.

pretzelattack , July 30, 2018 at 11:35 am

iirc he didn't say it was true.

Elizabeth Burton , July 30, 2018 at 7:18 pm

The Crimea voted to be annexed by Russia by a clear majority. The US overran Hawaii with total disregard for the wishes of the native population. Your comparison is invalid.

vato , July 31, 2018 at 3:37 am

"Putin's finger prints are all over the Balkan fiasco".How is that with Putin only becoming president in 2000 and the Nato bombing started way beforehand. It's ridiculous to think that Putin had any major influence at that time as govenor or director of the domestic intelligence service on what was going during the bombing of NATO on Belgrad. Even Gerhard Schroeder, then chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, admitted in an interview in 2014 with a major German Newspaper (Die Zeit) that this invasion of Nato was a fault and against international law!

Can you concrete what you mean by "fingerprints" or is this just another platitudes?

ewmayer , July 31, 2018 at 6:05 pm

"Somebody called it Trump derangement syndrome."

I believe that the full and proper name of the psychiatric disorder in question is Putin-Trump Derangement Syndrome [PTDS].

Symptoms include:

o Eager and uncritical ingestion and social-media regurgitation of even the most patently absurd MSM propaganda. For example, the meme that releasing factual information about actual election-meddling (as Wikileaks did about the Dem-establishment's rigging of its own nomination process in 2016) is a grave threat to American Democracy™;

o Recent-onset veneration of the intelligence agencies, whose stock in trade is spying on and lying to the American people, spreading disinformation, election rigging, torture and assassination and its agents, such as liar and perjurer Clapper and torturer Brennan;

o Rehabilitation of horrid unindicted GOP war criminals like G.W. Bush as alleged examples of "norms-respecting Republican patriots";

o Smearing of anyone who dares question the MSM-stoked hysteria as an America-hating Russian stooge.

[Aug 17, 2019] Putin-Trump Derangement Syndrome (PTDS)

Highly recommended!
Aug 17, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

ewmayer , July 31, 2018 at 6:05 pm

"Somebody called it Trump derangement syndrome."

I believe that the full and proper name of the psychiatric disorder in question is Putin-Trump Derangement Syndrome [PTDS].

Symptoms include:

[Aug 17, 2019] The Campaign Press: Members of the 10 Percent, Reporting for the One Percent

Aug 17, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Our Famously Free Press

"The Campaign Press: Members of the 10 Percent, Reporting for the One Percent" [Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone ]. "Anyone who's worked in the business (or read Manufacturing Consent) knows nobody calls editors to red-pencil text.

The pressure comes at the point of hire. If you're the type who thinks Jeff Bezos should be thrown out of an airplane, or that it's a bad look for a DC newspaper to be owned by a major intelligence contractor, you won't rise.

Meanwhile, the Post has become terrific at promoting Jennifer Rubins and Max Boots. Reporters watch as good investigative journalism about serious structural problems dies on the vine, while mountains of column space are devoted to trivialities like Trump tweets and/or simplistic partisan storylines.

Nobody needs to pressure anyone. We all know what takes will and will not earn attaboys in newsrooms. Trump may have accelerated distaste for the press, but he didn't create it. He sniffed out existing frustrations and used them to rally anger toward 'elites' to his side.

The criticism works because national media are elites, ten-percenters working for one-percenters.

The longer people in the business try to deny it, the more it will be fodder for politicians. Sanders wasn't the first, and won't be the last."

• Yep. I'm so glad Rolling Stone has Matt Taibbi on-board. Until advertisers black-list "the One Percent," I suppose.

[Aug 16, 2019] Former MSNBC Reporter Spills Details On Pro-Establishment Bias In Media

Notable quotes:
"... "Every journalist at every outlet knows what they can say and do freely and what's going to be a little stickier," Ball said. "No one is ever going to have their anti-Bernie pieces called in to question since he stands outside the system. Their invites to the DC establishment world are not going to be revoked, and may even be heightened by negative Bernie coverage. " ..."
"... Now this class bias translates into bad coverage of candidates with working class appeal, and it translates to under-coverage of issues that are vitally important to the working class ..."
"... "This is something that a lot of people don't understand," Enjati said. "It's not necessarily that somebody tells you how to do your coverage, it's that if you were to do your coverage that way, you would not be hired at that institution. So it's like if you do not already fit within this framework, then the system is designed to not give you a voice. And if you necessarily did do that, all of the incentive structures around your pay, around your promotion, around your colleagues that are slapping you on the back, that would all disappear. So it's a system of reinforcement, which makes it so that you wouldn't go down that path in the first place." ..."
"... "I've definitely noticed this in the White House press corps, which is a massive bias to ask questions that make everybody else in the room happy, AKA Mueller questions," Enjati continued. "Guess what the American people don't care about? Mueller. So when you ask a question -- I've had this happen to me all the time. I would ask a question about North Korea, like, you know, war and nuclear weapons that affect billions. Or I would ask about the Supreme Court, the number one issue why Trump voters voted for President Trump, and I would get accused of toadying to the administration or not asking what Jim Acosta or whomever wanted me to ask. It's like, you know, everybody plays to their peers, they don't actually play to the people they're supposed to cover, and that's part of the problem." ..."
Aug 16, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

After laying out the evidence from some recent examples of bias against Sanders in the mainstream media, former MSNBC reporter Krystal Ball ( yes, her real name ) asked rhetorically, "Now the question is why?"

"Look, obviously I've worked in this industry for a minute at this point and journalists aren't bad people, in fact, they're some of my closest friends and favorite people," Ball said. "But they are people, they're human beings who respond to their own self-interest, incentives and group think. So it's not like there's typically some edict coming down from the top saying 'Be mean to Bernie', but there are tremendous blind spots. I would argue the most egregious have to do with class. And there are certain pressures too -- to stay in good with the establishment [and] to maintain the access that is the life blood of political journalism. So what do I mean? Let me give an example from my own career since everything I'm saying here really frankly applies to me too."

"Back in early 2015 at MSNBC I did a monologue that some of you may have seen pretty much begging Hillary Clinton not to run," Ball continued. "I said her elite ties were out of step with the party and the country, that if she ran she would likely be the nominee and would then go on to lose. No one censored me, I was allowed to say it, but afterwards the Clinton people called and complained to the MSNBC top brass and threatened not to provide any access during the upcoming campaign. I was told that I could still say what I wanted, but I would have to get any Clinton-related commentary cleared with the president of the network. Now being a human interested in maintaining my job, I'm certain I did less critical Clinton commentary after that than I maybe otherwise would have ."

"Every journalist at every outlet knows what they can say and do freely and what's going to be a little stickier," Ball said. "No one is ever going to have their anti-Bernie pieces called in to question since he stands outside the system. Their invites to the DC establishment world are not going to be revoked, and may even be heightened by negative Bernie coverage. "

"Back in the run up to 2016 I wanted to cover the negotiations on TPP more," Ball disclosed a bit later. "I was told though, in no uncertain terms that no one cared about trade and it didn't rate. To be clear, this was not based on data but on gut feeling and gut feeling that had to influenced by one's personal experience mixing and mingling with upscale denizens of Manhattan. I didn't really push it; maybe they were right. Of course TPP and trade turned out to be one of the most central issues in the entire 2016 election. It turns out that people did, in fact, care. Now this class bias translates into bad coverage of candidates with working class appeal, and it translates to under-coverage of issues that are vitally important to the working class."

Ball's co-host Saagar Enjati went on to describe his own similar experiences as a White House correspondent.

"This is something that a lot of people don't understand," Enjati said. "It's not necessarily that somebody tells you how to do your coverage, it's that if you were to do your coverage that way, you would not be hired at that institution. So it's like if you do not already fit within this framework, then the system is designed to not give you a voice. And if you necessarily did do that, all of the incentive structures around your pay, around your promotion, around your colleagues that are slapping you on the back, that would all disappear. So it's a system of reinforcement, which makes it so that you wouldn't go down that path in the first place."

"I've definitely noticed this in the White House press corps, which is a massive bias to ask questions that make everybody else in the room happy, AKA Mueller questions," Enjati continued. "Guess what the American people don't care about? Mueller. So when you ask a question -- I've had this happen to me all the time. I would ask a question about North Korea, like, you know, war and nuclear weapons that affect billions. Or I would ask about the Supreme Court, the number one issue why Trump voters voted for President Trump, and I would get accused of toadying to the administration or not asking what Jim Acosta or whomever wanted me to ask. It's like, you know, everybody plays to their peers, they don't actually play to the people they're supposed to cover, and that's part of the problem."

"Right, and again, it's not necessarily intentional," Ball added. "It's that those are the people that you're surrounded with, so there becomes a group-think. And look, you are aware of what you're going to be rewarded for and what you're going to be punished for, or not rewarded for, like that definitely plays in the mind, whether you want it to or not, that's a reality."

" Every time I took that message to ask Trump a question, I knew that my Twitter messages were going to blow up from MSNBC or Ken Dilanian or whomever for 'toadying' up to the administration, and it takes a lot to be able to withstand that," Enjeti concluded.

As we just discussed the other day , Ken Dilanian is literally a known CIA asset. This is not a conspiracy theory, it's a well-documented and historically undeniable fact, as shown in this Intercept article titled "The CIA's Mop-Up Man". The testimony that Dilanian's establishment sycophancy affects not just his own reporting but those of other reporters as well via strategically placed peer pressure is highly significant.

For obvious reasons these insider confessions are as rare as hen's teeth, so we must absorb them, circulate them, and never forget them. I'm still floored and fall-to-my-knees grateful to Ball and Enjati for putting this information out there for the sake of the common good. Our task is now to use the information they provided to help wake people up from the narrative control matrix .

* * *

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website , which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported , so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook , following my antics on Twitter , throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal , purchasing some of my sweet merchandise , buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone , or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers . For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I'm trying to do with this platform, click here . Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I've written) in any way they like free of charge.

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[Aug 16, 2019] Ministry of truth materialized in XXI century in a neoliberal way by Kit Knightly

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Latest is the secretive Andy Pryce squandering millions of public money on the "Open Information Partnership" (OIP) which is the latest name-change for the Integrity Initiative and the Institute of Statecraft, just like al-Qaeda kept changing its name. ..."
"... In true Orwellian style, they splashed out on a conference for "defence of media freedom", when they are in the business of propaganda and closing alternative 'narratives' down. And the 'media' they would defend are, in fact, spies sent to foreign countries to foment trouble to further what they bizarrely perceive as 'British interests'. Just like the disgraceful White Helmets, also funded by the FO. ..."
"... "The Guardian is struggling for money" Surely, they would be enjoying some of the seemingly unlimited US defense and some of the mind control programmes budgets. ..."
Aug 16, 2019 | off-guardian.org

OffGuardian already covered the Global Media Freedom Conference, our article Hypocrisy Taints UK's Media Freedom Conference , was meant to be all there was to say. A quick note on the obvious hypocrisy of this event. But, in the writing, I started to see more than that. This event is actually creepy. Let's just look back at one of the four "main themes" of this conference:

Building trust in media and countering disinformation
"Countering disinformation"? Well, that's just another word for censorship. This is proven by their refusal to allow Sputnik or RT accreditation. They claim RT "spreads disinformation" and they "countered" that by barring them from attending. "Building trust"? In the post-Blair world of PR newspeak, "building trust" is just another way of saying "making people believe us" (the word usage is actually interesting, building trust not earning trust). The whole conference is shot through with this language that just feels off. Here is CNN's Christiane Amanpour :
Our job is to be truthful, not neutral we need to take a stand for the truth, and never to create a false moral or factual equivalence."
Being "truthful not neutral" is one of Amanpour's personal sayings , she obviously thinks it's clever. Of course, what it is is NewSpeak for "bias". Refusing to cover evidence of The White Helmets staging rescues, Israel arming ISIS or other inconvenient facts will be defended using this phrase – they will literally claim to only publish "the truth", to get around impartiality and then set about making up whatever "truth" is convenient. Oh, and if you don't know what "creating a false moral quivalence is", here I'll demonstrate: MSM: Putin is bad for shutting down critical media. OffG: But you're supporting RT being banned and Wikileaks being shut down. BBC: No. That's not the same. OffG: It seems the same. BBC: It's not. You're creating a false moral equivalence . Understand now? You "create a false moral equivalence" by pointing out mainstream media's double standards. Other ways you could mistakenly create a "false moral equivalence": Bringing up Gaza when the media talk about racism. Mentioning Saudi Arabia when the media preach about gay rights. Referencing the US coup in Venezuela when the media work themselves into a froth over Russia's "interference in our democracy" Talking about the invasion of Iraq. Ever. OR Pointing out that the BBC is state funded, just like RT. These are all no-longer flagrant examples of the media's double standards, and if you say they are , you're "creating a false moral equivalence" and the media won't have to allow you (or anyone who agrees with you) air time or column inches to disagree. Because they don't have a duty to be neutral or show both sides, they only have a duty to tell "the truth" as soon as the government has told them what that is. Prepare to see both those phrases – or variations there of – littering editorials in the Guardian and the Huffington Post in the coming months. Along with people bemoaning how "fake news outlets abuse the notion of impartiality" by "being even handed between liars the truth tellers". (I've been doing this site so long now, I have a Guardian-English dictionary in my head).

Equally dodgy-sounding buzz-phrases litter topics on the agenda. "Eastern Europe and Central Asia: building an integrated support system for journalists facing hostile environments" , this means pumping money into NGOs to fund media that will criticize our "enemies" in areas of strategic importance. It means flooding money into the anti-government press in Hungary, or Iran or (of course), Russia. That is ALL it means. I said in my earlier article I don't know what "media sustainability" even means, but I feel I can take a guess. It means "save the government mouthpieces". The Guardian is struggling for money, all print media are, TV news is getting lower viewing figures all the time. "Building media sustainability" is code for "pumping public money into traditional media that props up the government" or maybe "getting people to like our propaganda". But the worst offender on the list is, without a doubt "Navigating Disinformation"

https://www.youtube.com/embed/1vbSj1WQqUw?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

"Navigating Disinformation" was a 1 hour panel from the second day of the conference. You can watch it embedded above if you really feel the need. I already did, so you don't have to. The panel was chaired by Chrystia Freeland, the Canadian Foreign Minister. The members included the Latvian Foreign Minister, a representative of the US NGO Committee to Protect Journalists, and the Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Information

Have you guessed what "disinformation" they're going to be talking about? I'll give you a clue: It begins with R. Freeland, chairing the panel, kicks it off by claiming that "disinformation isn't for any particular aim" . This is a very common thing for establishment voices to repeat these days, which makes it all the more galling she seems to be pretending its is her original thought. The reason they have to claim that "disinformation" doesn't have a "specific aim" is very simple: They don't know what they're going to call "disinformation" yet. They can't afford to take a firm position, they need to keep their options open. They need to give themselves the ability to describe any single piece of information or political opinion as "disinformation." Left or right. Foreign or domestic. "Disinformation" is a weaponised term that is only as potent as it is vague. So, we're one minute in, and all "navigating disinformation" has done is hand the State an excuse to ignore, or even criminalise, practically anything it wants to. Good start. Interestingly, no one has actually said the word "Russia" at this point. They have talked about "malign actors" and "threats to democracy", but not specifically Russia. It is SO ingrained in these people that "propaganda"= " Russian propaganda" that they don't need to say it.

The idea that NATO as an entity, or the individual members thereof, could also use "disinformation" has not just been dismissed it was literally never even contemplated. Next Freeland turns to Edgars Rinkēvičs, her Latvian colleague, and jokes about always meeting at NATO functions. The Latvians know "more than most" about disinformation, she says. Rinkēvičs says disinformation is nothing new, but that the methods of spreading it are changing then immediately calls for regulation of social media. Nobody disagrees. Then he talks about the "illegal annexation of Crimea", and claims the West should outlaw "paid propaganda" like RT and Sputnik. Nobody disagrees. Then he says that Latvia "protected" their elections from "interference" by "close cooperation between government agencies and social media companies". Everyone nods along. If you don't find this terrifying, you're not paying attention. They don't say it, they probably don't even realise they mean it, but when they talk about "close cooperation with social media networks", they mean government censorship of social media. When they say "protecting" their elections they're talking about rigging them. It only gets worse. The next step in the Latvian master plan is to bolster "traditional media".

The problems with traditional media, he says, are that journalists aren't paid enough, and don't keep up to date with all the "new tricks". His solution is to "promote financing" for traditional media, and to open more schools like the "Baltic Centre of Media Excellence", which is apparently a totally real thing .

It's a training centre which teaches young journalists about "media literacy" and "critical thinking". You can read their depressingly predictable list of "donors" here . I truly wish I was joking. Next up is Courtney Radsch from CPJ – a US-backed NGO, who notionally "protect journalists", but more accurately spread pro-US propaganda. (Their token effort to "defend" RT and Sputnik when they were barred from the conference was contemptible).

She talks for a long time without saying much at all. Her revolutionary idea is that disinformation could be countered if everyone told the truth. Inspiring. Beata Balogova, Journalist and Editor from Slovakia, gets the ship back on course – immediately suggesting politicians should not endorse "propaganda" platforms. She shares an anecdote about "a prominent Slovakian politician" who gave exclusive interviews to a site that is "dubiously financed, we assume from Russia". They assume from Russia. Everyone nods.

It's like they don't even hear themselves.

Then she moves on to Hungary. Apparently, Orban has "created a propaganda machine" and produced "antisemitic George Soros posters". No evidence is produced to back-up either of these claims. She thinks advertisers should be pressured into not giving money to "fake news sites". She calls for "international pressure", but never explains exactly what that means. The stand-out maniac on this panel is Emine Dzhaparova, the Ukrainian First Deputy Minister of Information Policy. (She works for the Ministry of Information – nicknamed the Ministry of Truth, which was formed in 2014 to "counter lies about Ukraine". Even The Guardian thought that sounded dodgy.)

She talks very fast and, without any sense of irony, spills out a story that shoots straight through "disinformation" and becomes "incoherent rambling". She claims that Russian citizens are so brainwashed you'll never be able to talk to them, and that Russian "cognitive influence" is "toxic like radiation." Is this paranoid, quasi-xenophobic nonsense countered? No. Her fellow panelists nod and chuckle. On top of that, she just lies. She lies over and over and over again. She claims Russia is locking up Crimean Tartars "just for being muslims", nobody questions her. She says the war in Ukraine has killed 13,000 people, but doesn't mention that her side is responsible for over 80% of civilian deaths.

She says only 30% of Crimeans voted in the referendum, and that they were "forced". A fact not supported by any polls done by either side in the last four years, and any referenda held on the peninsula any time in the last last 30 year. It's simply a lie. Nobody asks her about the journalists killed in Ukraine since their glorious Maidan Revolution . Nobody questions the fact that she works for something called the "Ministry of Information". Nobody does anything but nod and smile as the "countering disinformation" panel becomes just a platform for spreading total lies.

When everyone on the panel has had their ten minutes on the soapbox, Freeland asks for recommendations for countering this "threat" – here's the list:

  1. Work to distinguish "free speech" from "propaganda", when you find propaganda there must be a "strong reaction".
  2. Pressure advertisers to abandon platforms who spread misinformation.
  3. Regulate social media.
  4. Educate journalists at special schools.
  5. Start up a "Ministry of Information" and have state run media that isn't controlled, like in Ukraine.

This is the Global Conference on Media Freedom and all these six people want to talk about is how to control what can be said, and who can say it. They single only four countries out for criticism: Hungary, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Russia .and Russia takes up easily 90% of that. They mention only two media outlets by name: RT and Sputnik. This wasn't a panel on disinformation, it was a public attack forum – a month's worth of 2 minutes of hate. These aren't just shills on this stage, they are solid gold idiots, brainwashed to the point of total delusion.

They are the dangerous glassy eyes of a Deep State that never questions itself, never examines itself, and will do anything it wants, to anyone it wants whilst happily patting itself on the back for its superior morality. They don't know, they don't care. They're true believers. Terrifyingly dead inside. Talking about state censorship and re-education camps under a big sign that says "Freedom". And that's just one talk. Just one panel in a 2 day itinerary filled to the brim with similarly soul-dead servants of authority. Truly, perfectly Orwellian.


Jonathan Jarvis

https://southfront.org/countering-russian-disinformation-or-new-wave-of-freedom-of-speech-suppression/

Read and be appalled at what America is up to .keep for further reference. We are in danger.

Tim Jenkins
It would serve Ms. Amanpour well, to relax, rewind & review her own interview with Sergei Lavrov:-

Then she might see why Larry King could stomach the appalling corporate dictatorship, even to the core of False & Fake recording of 'our' "History of the National Security State" , No More

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8H7aKGOpSwE

Amanpour was forced to laugh uncontrollably, when confronted with Lavrov's humorous interpretations of various legal aspects of decency & his Judgement of others' politicians and 'Pussy Riots' >>> if you haven't seen it, it is to be recommended, the whole interview, if nothing else but to study the body language and micro-facial expressions, coz' a belly up laugh is not something anybody can easily control or even feign that first spark of cognition in her mind, as she digests Lavrov's response :- hilarious

Einstein
A GE won't solve matters since we have a Government of Occupation behind a parliament of puppets.

Latest is the secretive Andy Pryce squandering millions of public money on the "Open Information Partnership" (OIP) which is the latest name-change for the Integrity Initiative and the Institute of Statecraft, just like al-Qaeda kept changing its name.

In true Orwellian style, they splashed out on a conference for "defence of media freedom", when they are in the business of propaganda and closing alternative 'narratives' down. And the 'media' they would defend are, in fact, spies sent to foreign countries to foment trouble to further what they bizarrely perceive as 'British interests'. Just like the disgraceful White Helmets, also funded by the FO.

Pryce's ventriloquist's dummy in parliament, the pompous Alan Duncan, announced another £10 million of public money for this odious brainwashing programme.

Tim Jenkins
That panel should be nailed & plastered over, permanently:-

and as wall paper, 'Abstracts of New Law' should be pasted onto a collage of historic extracts from the Guardian, in offices that issue journalistic licenses, comprised of 'Untouchables' :-

A professional habitat, to damp any further 'Freeland' amplification & resonance,

of negative energy from professional incompetence.

Francis Lee
Apropos of the redoubtable Ms Freeland, Canada's Foreign Secretary.

The records now being opened by the Polish government in Warsaw reveal that Freeland's maternal grandfather Michael (Mikhailo) Chomiak was a Nazi collaborator from the beginning to the end of the war. He was given a powerful post, money, home and car by the German Army in Cracow, then the capital of the German administration of the Galician region. His principal job was editor in chief and publisher of a newspaper the Nazis created. His printing plant and other assets had been stolen from a Jewish newspaper publisher, who was then sent to die in the Belzec concentration camp. During the German Army's winning phase of the war, Chomiak celebrated in print the Wehrmacht's "success" at killing thousands of US Army troops. As the German Army was forced into retreat by the Soviet counter-offensive, Chomiak was taken by the Germans to Vienna, where he continued to publish his Nazi propaganda, at the same time informing for the Germans on other Ukrainians. They included fellow Galician Stepan Bandera, whose racism against Russians Freeland has celebrated in print, and whom the current regime in Kiev has turned into a national hero.

Those Ukrainian 'Refugees' admitted to Canada in 1945 were almost certainly members of the 14th Waffen SS Division Galizia 1. These Ukie collaboraters – not to be confused with the other Ukie Nazi outfit – Stepan Bandera's Ukrainian Insurgent Army -were held responsible for the massacre of many Poles in the Lviv area the most infamous being carried out in the Polish village of Huta Pienacka. In the massacre, the village was destroyed and between 500] and 1,000 of the inhabitants were killed. According to Polish accounts, civilians were locked in barns that were set on fire while those attempting to flee were killed. That's about par for the course.
Canada's response was as follows:

The Canadian Deschênes Commission was set up to investigate alleged war crimes committed by the collaborators

Memorial to SS-Galizien division in Chervone, Lviv Oblast, western Ukraine

The Canadian "Commission of Inquiry on War Crimes" of October 1986, by the Honourable Justice Jules Deschênesconcluded that in relation to membership in the Galicia Division:

''The Galicia Division (14. Waffen grenadier division der SS [gal.1]) should not be indicted as a group. The members of Galicia Division were individually screened for security purposes before admission to Canada. Charges of war crimes of Galicia Division have never been substantiated, either in 1950 when they were first preferred, or in 1984 when they were renewed, or before this Commission. Further, in the absence of evidence of participation or knowledge of specific war crimes, mere membership in the Galicia Division is insufficient to justify prosecution.''

However, the Commission's conclusion failed to acknowledge or heed the International Military Tribunal's verdict at the Nuremberg Trials, in which the entire Waffen-SSorganisation was declared a "criminal organization" guilty of war crimes. Also, the Deschênes Commission in its conclusion only referenced the division as 14. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS (Galizische Nr.1), thus in legal terms, only acknowledging the formation's activity after its name change in August 1944, while the massacre of Poles in Huta Pieniacka, Pidkamin and Palikrowy occurred when the division was called SS Freiwilligen Division "Galizien". Nevertheless, a subsequent review by Canada's Minister of Justice again confirmed that members of the Division were not implicated in war crimes.

Yes, the west looks after its Nazis and even makes them and their descendants political figureheads.

mark
Most of these people are so smugly and complacently convinced of their own moral superiority that they just can't see the hypocrisy and doublethink involved in the event.
Mikalina
Eva Bartlett gives a wider perspective:
https://www.globalresearch.ca/londons-media-freedom-conference-smacks-irony-critics-barred-no-mention-jailed-assange/5683808
Harry Stotle
Freedom-lover, Cunt, will be furious when he hears about this!

Apparently Steve Bell is doubleplusbad for alluding to the fact Netanyahu has got his hand shoved deep into Tom Watson's arse – the Guardian pulled Bell's most recent ouvre which suggests the media's antisemitism trope might not be quite as politically untainted as the likes of Freedland, Cohen and Viner would have you believe.
https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/guardian-cartoonist-steve-bell-specious-charge-of-antisemitism-in-email-to-all-paper-1.486570

Meanwhile Owen Jones has taken to Twitter to rubbish allegations that a reign of terror exists at Guardian Towers – the socialist firebrand is quoted as saying 'journalists are free to say whatever they like, so long as it doesn't stray too far from Guardian-groupthink'.

Tutisicecream
Good analysis Kit, of the cognitive dissonant ping pong being played out by Nazi sympathisers such as Hunt and Freeland.

The echo chamber of deceit is amplified again by the selective use of information and the ignoring of relevant facts, such as the miss reporting yesterday by Reuters of the Italian Neo-Nazi haul of weapons by the police, having not Russian but Ukrainian links.

Not a word in the WMSM about this devious miss-reporting as the creation of fake news in action. But what would you expect?

Living as I do in Russia I can assure anyone reading this that the media freedom here is on a par with the West and somewhat better as there is no paranoia about a fictitious enemy – Russians understand that the West is going through an existential crisis (Brexit in the UK, Trump and the Clinton war of sameness in the US and Macron and Merkel in the EU). A crisis of Liberalism as the failed life-support of capitalism. But hey, why worry about the politics when there is bigger fish to fry. Such as who will pay me to dance?

The answer is clear from what Kit has writ. The government will pay the piper. How sweet.

I'd like to thank Kit for sitting through such a turgid masquerade and as I'm rather long in the tooth I do remember the old BBC schools of journalism in Yelsin's Russia. What I remember is that old devious Auntie Beeb was busy training would be hopefuls in the art of discretion regarding how the news is formed, or formulated.

In other words your audience. And it ain't the public

Steve Hayes
The British government's "Online Harms" White Paper has a whole section devoted to "disinformation" (ie, any facts, opinions, analyses, evaluations, critiques that are critical of the elite's actual disinformation). If these proposals become law, the government will have effective control over the Internet and we will be allowed access to their disinformation, shop and watch cute cat videos.
Question This
The liberal news media & hypocrisy, who would have ever thought you'd see those words in the same sentence. But what do you expect from professional liars, politicians & 'their' free press?

Can this shit show get any worse? Yes, The other day I wrote to my MP regards the SNP legislating against the truth, effectively making it compulsory to lie! Mr Blackford as much as called me a transphobic & seemed to go to great length publishing his neo-liberal ideological views in some scottish rag, on how right is wrong & fact is turned into fiction & asked only those that agreed with him contact him.

Tim Jenkins
"The science or logical consistency of true premise, cannot take place or bear fruit, when all communication and information is 'marketised and weaponised' to a mindset of possession and control." B.Steere
Mikalina
I saw, somewhere (but can't find it now) a law or a prospective law which goes under the guise of harassment of MPs to include action against constituents who 'pester' them.

I've found a link for the Jo Cox gang discussing it, though.
https://www.kcl.ac.uk/news/new-research-on-the-intimidation-and-harassment-of-mps-featured-in-inaugural-conference

Question This
I only emailed him once! That's hardly harassment. Anyway I sent it with proton-mail via vpn & used a false postcode using only my first name so unlikely my civil & sincere correspondence will see me locked up for insisting my inalienable rights of freedom of speech & beliefs are protected. But there again the state we live in, i may well be incarcerated for life, for such an outrageous expectation.
Where to?
"The Guardian is struggling for money" Surely, they would be enjoying some of the seemingly unlimited US defense and some of the mind control programmes budgets.
Harry Stotle
Its the brazen nature of the conference that is especially galling, but what do you expect when crooks and liars no longer feel they even have to pretend?

Nothing will change so long as politicians (or their shady backers) are never held to account for public assets diverted toward a rapacious off-shore economic system, or the fact millions of lives have been shattered by the 'war on terror' and its evil twin, 'humanatarian regime change' (while disingenuous Labour MPs wail about the 'horrors' of antisemitism rather than the fact their former leader is a key architect of the killings).

Kit remains a go-to voice when deconstructing claims made by political figures who clearly regard the MSM as a propaganda vehicle for promoting western imperialism – the self-satisfied smugness of cunts like Jeremy Cunt stand in stark contrast to a real journalist being tortured by the British authorities just a few short miles away.

It's a sligtly depressing thought but somebody has the unenviable task of monitoring just how far our politicians have drifted from the everyday concerns of the 'just about managing' and as I say Mr Knightly does a fine job in informing readers what the real of agenda of these media love-ins are actually about – it goes without saying a very lengthy barge pole is required when the Saudis are invited but not Russia.

Where to?
This Media Freedom Conference is surely a creepy theatre of the absurd.

It is a test of what they can get away with.

Mikalina
Yep. Any soviet TV watcher would recognise this immediately. Message? THIS is the reality – and you are powerless.
mark
When are they going to give us the Ministry of Truth we so desperately need?

[Aug 16, 2019] Lapdogs for the Government and intelligence agencies by Greg Maybury

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... We know our disinformation program is complete when almost everything the American public believes is false.' ..."
"... Using groundbreaking camera and lighting techniques, Riefenstahl produced a documentary that mesmerized Germans; as Pilger noted, her Triumph of the Will 'cast Adolf Hitler's spell'. She told the veteran Aussie journalist the "messages" of her films were dependent not on "orders from above", but on the "submissive void" of the public. ..."
"... All in all, Riefenstahl produced arguably for the rest of the world the most compelling historical footage of mass hysteria, blind obedience, nationalistic fervour, and existential menace, all key ingredients in anyone's totalitarian nightmare. That it also impressed a lot of very powerful, high profile people in the West on both sides of the pond is also axiomatic: These included bankers, financiers, industrialists, and sundry business elites without whose support Hitler might've at best ended up a footnote in the historical record after the ill-fated beer-hall putsch. (See here , and here .) ..."
"... The purpose of this propaganda barrage, as Sharon Bader has noted, has been to convince as many people as possible that it is in their interests to relinquish their own power as workers, consumers, and citizens, and 'forego their democratic right to restrain and regulate business activity. As a result the political agenda is now confined to policies aimed at furthering business interests.' ..."
Aug 16, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Lapdogs for the Government

Here was, of course, another surreal spectacle, this time courtesy of one of the Deep State's most dangerous, reviled, and divisive figures, a notable protagonist in the Russia-Gate conspiracy, and America's most senior diplomat no less.

Not only is it difficult to accept that the former CIA Director actually believes what he is saying, well might we ask, "Who can believe Mike Pompeo?"

And here's also someone whose manifest cynicism, hypocrisy, and chutzpah would embarrass the much-derided scribes and Pharisees of Biblical days.

We have Pompeo on record recently in a rare moment of honesty admitting – whilst laughing his ample ass off, as if recalling some "Boy's Own Adventure" from his misspent youth with a bunch of his mates down at the local pub – that under his watch as CIA Director:

We lied, cheated, we stole we had entire training courses.'

It may have been one of the few times in his wretched existence that Pompeo didn't speak with a forked tongue.

At all events, his candour aside, we can assume safely that this reactionary, monomaniacal, Christian Zionist 'end-timer' passed all the Company's "training courses" with flying colours.

According to Matthew Rosenberg of the New York Times, all this did not stop Pompeo however from name-checking Wikileaks when it served his own interests. Back in 2016 at the height of the election campaign, he had ' no compunction about pointing people toward emails stolen* by Russian hackers from the Democratic National Committee and then posted by WikiLeaks."

[NOTE: Rosenberg's omission of the word "allegedly" -- as in "emails allegedly stolen" -- is a dead giveaway of bias on his part (a journalistic Freudian slip perhaps?), with his employer being one of those MSM marques leading the charge with the "Russian Collusion" 'story'. For a more insightful view of the source of these emails and the skullduggery and thuggery that attended Russia-Gate, readers are encouraged to check this out.]

And this is of course The Company we're talking about, whose past and present relationship with the media might be summed up in two words: Operation Mockingbird (OpMock). Anyone vaguely familiar with the well-documented Grand Deception that was OpMock, arguably the CIA's most enduring, insidious, and successful psy-ops gambit, will know what we're talking about. (See here , here , here , and here .) At its most basic, this operation was all about propaganda and censorship, usually operating in tandem to ensure all the bases are covered.

After opining that the MSM is 'totally infiltrated' by the CIA and various other agencies, for his part former NSA whistleblower William Binney recently added , ' When it comes to national security, the media only talk about what the administration wants you to hear, and basically suppress any other statements about what's going on that the administration does not want get public. The media is basically the lapdogs for the government.'

Even the redoubtable William Casey , Ronald Reagan's CIA Director back in the day was reported to have said something along the following lines:

We know our disinformation program is complete when almost everything the American public believes is false.'

In order to provide a broader and deeper perspective, we should now consider the views of a few others on the subjects at hand, along with some history. In a 2013 piece musing on the modern significance of the practice, my compatriot John Pilger ecalled a time when he met Leni Riefenstahl back in 70s and asked her about her films that 'glorified the Nazis'.

Using groundbreaking camera and lighting techniques, Riefenstahl produced a documentary that mesmerized Germans; as Pilger noted, her Triumph of the Will 'cast Adolf Hitler's spell'. She told the veteran Aussie journalist the "messages" of her films were dependent not on "orders from above", but on the "submissive void" of the public.

All in all, Riefenstahl produced arguably for the rest of the world the most compelling historical footage of mass hysteria, blind obedience, nationalistic fervour, and existential menace, all key ingredients in anyone's totalitarian nightmare. That it also impressed a lot of very powerful, high profile people in the West on both sides of the pond is also axiomatic: These included bankers, financiers, industrialists, and sundry business elites without whose support Hitler might've at best ended up a footnote in the historical record after the ill-fated beer-hall putsch. (See here , and here .)

" Triumph " apparently still resonates today. To the surprise of few one imagines, such was the impact of the film -- as casually revealed in the excellent 2018 Alexis Bloom documentary Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes -- it elicited no small amount of admiration from arguably the single most influential propagandist of recent times.

[Readers might wish to check out Russell Crowe's recent portrayal of Ailes in Stan's mini-series The Loudest Voice , in my view one the best performances of the man's career.]

In a recent piece unambiguously titled "Propaganda Is The Root Of All Our Problems", my other compatriot Caitlin Johnstone also had a few things to say about the subject, echoing Orwell when she observed it was all about "controlling the narrative".

Though I'd suggest the greater "root" problem is our easy propensity to ignore this reality, pretend it doesn't or won't affect us, or reject it as conspiratorial nonsense, in this, of course, she's correct. As she cogently observes,

I write about this stuff for a living, and even I don't have the time or energy to write about every single narrative control tool that the US-centralised empire has been implementing into its arsenal. There are too damn many of them emerging too damn fast, because they're just that damn crucial for maintaining existing power structures.'

The Discreet Use of Censorship and Uniformed Men

It is hardly surprising that those who hold power should seek to control the words and language people use' said Canadian author John Ralston Saul in his 1993 book Voltaire's Bastards–the Dictatorship of Reason in the West .

Fittingly, in a discussion encompassing amongst other things history, language, power, and dissent, he opined, ' Determining how individuals communicate is' an objective which represents for the power elites 'the best chance' [they] have to control what people think. This translates as: The more control 'we' have over what the proles think, the more 'we' can reduce the inherent risk for elites in democracy.

' Clumsy men', Saul went on to say, 'try to do this through power and fear. Heavy-handed men running heavy-handed systems attempt the same thing through police-enforced censorship. The more sophisticated the elites, the more they concentrate on creating intellectual systems which control expression through the communications structures. These systems require only the discreet use of censorship and uniformed men.'

In other words, along with assuming it is their right to take it in the first place, ' those who take power will always try to change the established language ', presumably to better facilitate their hold on it and/or legitimise their claim to it.

For Oliver Boyd-Barrett, democratic theory presupposes a public communications infrastructure that facilitates the free and open exchange of ideas.' Yet for the author of the recently published RussiaGate and Propaganda: Disinformation in the Age of Social Media , 'No such infrastructure exists.'

The mainstream media he says, is 'owned and controlled by a small number of large, multi-media and multi-industrial conglomerates' that lie at the very heart of US oligopoly capitalism and much of whose advertising revenue and content is furnished from other conglomerates:

The inability of mainstream media to sustain an information environment that can encompass histories, perspectives and vocabularies that are free of the shackles of US plutocratic self-regard is also well documented.'

Of course the word "inability" suggests the MSM view themselves as having some responsibility for maintaining such an egalitarian news and information environment. They don't of course, and in truth, probably never really have! A better word would be "unwilling", or even "refusal". The corporate media all but epitomise the " plutocratic self-regard" that is characteristic of "oligopoly capitalism".

Indeed, the MSM collectively functions as advertising, public relations/lobbying entities for Big Corp, in addition to acting as its Praetorian bodyguard , protecting their secrets, crimes, and lies from exposure. Like all other companies they are beholden to their shareholders (profits before truth and people), most of whom it can safely be assumed are no strangers to "self-regard", and could care less about " histories, perspectives and vocabularies" that run counter to their own interests.

It was Aussie social scientist Alex Carey who pioneered the study of nationalism , corporatism , and moreso for our purposes herein, the management (read: manipulation) of public opinion, though all three have important links (a story for another time). For Carey, the following conclusion was inescapable: 'It is arguable that the success of business propaganda in persuading us, for so long, that we are free from propaganda is one of the most significant propaganda achievements of the twentieth century.' This former farmer from Western Australia became one of the world's acknowledged experts on propaganda and the manipulation of the truth.

Prior to embarking on his academic career, Carey was a successful sheep grazier . By all accounts, he was a first-class judge of the animal from which he made his early living, leaving one to ponder if this expertise gave him a unique insight into his main area of research!

In any event, Carey in time sold the farm and travelled to the U.K. to study psychology, apparently a long-time ambition. From the late fifties until his death in 1988, he was a senior lecturer in psychology and industrial relations at the Sydney-based University of New South Wales, with his research being lauded by such luminaries as Noam Chomsky and John Pilger, both of whom have had a thing or three to say over the years about The Big Shill. In fact such was his admiration, Pilger described him as "a second Orwell", which in anyone's lingo is a big call.

Carey unfortunately died in 1988, interestingly the year that his more famous contemporaries Edward Herman and Chomsky's book Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media was published, the authors notably dedicating their book to him.

Though much of his work remained unpublished at the time of his death, a book of Carey's essays – Taking the Risk Out of Democracy: Corporate Propaganda Versus Freedom and Liberty -- was published posthumously in 1997. It remains a seminal work.

In fact, for anyone with an interest in how public opinion is moulded and our perceptions are managed and manipulated, in whose interests they are done so and to what end, it is as essential reading as any of the work of other more famous names. This tome came complete with a foreword by Chomsky, so enamoured was the latter of Carey's work.

For Carey, the three "most significant developments" in the political economy of the twentieth century were: the growth of democracy the growth of corporate power; and the growth of propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.

Carey's main focus was on the following: advertising and publicity devoted to the creation of artificial wants; the public relations and propaganda industry whose principal goal is the diversion to meaningless pursuits and control of the public mind; and the degree to which academia and the professions are under assault from private power determined to narrow the spectrum of thinkable (sic) thought.

For Carey, it is an axiom of conventional wisdom that the use of propaganda as a means of social and ideological control is 'distinctive' of totalitarian regimes. Yet as he stresses: the most minimal exercise of common sense would suggest a different view: that propaganda is likely to play at least as important a part in democratic societies (where the existing distribution of power and privilege is vulnerable to quite limited changes in popular opinion) as in authoritarian societies (where it is not).' In this context, 'conventional wisdom" becomes conventional ignorance; as for "common sense", maybe not so much.

The purpose of this propaganda barrage, as Sharon Bader has noted, has been to convince as many people as possible that it is in their interests to relinquish their own power as workers, consumers, and citizens, and 'forego their democratic right to restrain and regulate business activity. As a result the political agenda is now confined to policies aimed at furthering business interests.'

An extreme example of this view playing itself right under our noses and over decades was the cruel fiction of the " trickle down effect " (TDE) -- aka the 'rising tide that would lift all yachts' -- of Reaganomics . One of several mantras that defined Reagan's overarching political shtick, the TDE was by any measure, decidedly more a torrent than a trickle, and said "torrent" was going up not down. This reality as we now know was not in Reagan's glossy economic brochure to be sure, and it may have been because the Gipper confused his prepositions and verbs.

Yet as the GFC of 2008 amply demonstrated, it culminated in a free-for all, dog eat dog, anything goes, everyman for himself form of cannibal (or anarcho) capitalism -- an updated, much improved version of the no-holds-barred mercenary mercantilism much reminiscent of the Gilded Age and the Robber Barons who 'infested' it, only one that doesn't just eat its young, it eats itself!

Making the World Safe for Plutocracy

In the increasingly dysfunctional, one-sided political economy we inhabit then, whether it's widgets or wars or anything in between, few people realise the degree to which our opinions, perceptions, emotions, and views are shaped and manipulated by propaganda (and its similarly 'evil twin' censorship ,) its most adept practitioners, and those elite, institutional, political, and corporate entities that seek out their expertise.

It is now just over a hundred years since the practice of propaganda took a giant leap forward, then in the service of persuading palpably reluctant Americans that the war raging in Europe at the time was their war as well.

This was at a time when Americans had just voted their then-president Woodrow Wilson back into office for a second term, a victory largely achieved on the back of the promise he'd "keep us out of the War." Americans were very much in what was one of their most isolationist phases , and so Wilson's promise resonated with them.

But over time they were convinced of the need to become involved by a distinctly different appeal to their political sensibilities. This "appeal" also dampened the isolationist mood, one which it has to be said was not embraced by most of the political, banking, and business elites of the time, most of whom stood to lose big-time if the Germans won, and/or who were already profiting or benefitting from the business of war.

For a president who "kept us out of the war", this wasn't going to be an easy 'pitch'. In order to sell the war the president established the Committee on Public Information (aka the Creel Committee) for the purposes of publicising the rationale for the war and from there, garnering support for it from the general public.

Enter Edward Bernays , the nephew of Sigmund Freud, who's generally considered to be the father of modern public relations. In his film Rule from the Shadows: The Psychology of Power , Aaron Hawkins says Bernays was influenced by people such as Gustave le Bon , Walter Lippman , and Wilfred Trotter , as much, if not moreso, than his famous uncle.

Either way, Bernays 'combined their perspectives and synthesised them into an applied science', which he then 'branded' "public relations".

For its part the Creel committee struggled with its brief from the off; but Bernays worked with them to persuade Americans their involvement in the war was justified -- indeed necessary -- and to that end he devised the brilliantly inane slogan, "making the world safe for democracy" .

Thus was born arguably the first great propaganda catch-phrases of the modern era, and certainly one of the most portentous. The following sums up Bernays's unabashed mindset:

The conscious, intelligent manipulation of the organised habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.'

The rest is history (sort of), with Americans becoming more willing to not just support the war effort but encouraged to view the Germans and their allies as evil brutes threatening democracy and freedom and the 'American way of life', however that might've been viewed then. From a geopolitical and historical perspective, it was an asinine premise of course, but nonetheless an extraordinary example of how a few well chosen words tapped into the collective psyche of a country that was decidedly opposed to any U.S involvement in the war and turned that mindset completely on its head.

' [S]aving the world for democracy' (or some 'cover version' thereof) has since become America's positioning statement, 'patriotic' rallying cry, and the "Get-out-of-Jail Free" card for its war and its white collar criminal clique.

At all events it was by any measure, a stroke of genius on Bernays's part; by appealing to people's basic fears and desires, he could engineer consent on a mass scale. It goes without saying it changed the course of history in more ways than one. That the U.S. is to this day still using a not dissimilar meme to justify its "foreign entanglements" is testament to both its utility and durability.

The reality as we now know was markedly different of course. They have almost always been about power, empire, control, hegemony, resources, wealth, opportunity, profit, dispossession, keeping existing capitalist structures intact and well-defended, and crushing dissent and opposition.

The Bewildered Herd

It is instructive to note that the template for 'manufacturing consent' for war had already been forged by the British. And the Europeans did not 'sleepwalk' like some " bewildered herd ' into this conflagration.

For twenty years prior to the outbreak of the war in 1914, the then stewards of the British Empire had been diligently preparing the ground for what they viewed as a preordained clash with their rivals for empire the Germans.

To begin with, contrary to the opinion of the general populace over one hundred years later, it was not the much touted German aggression and militarism, nor their undoubted imperial ambitions, which precipitated its outbreak. The stewards of the British Empire were not about to let the Teutonic upstarts chow down on their imperial lunch as it were, and set about unilaterally and preemptively crushing Germany and with it any ambitions it had for creating its own imperial domain in competition with the Empire upon which Ol' Sol never set.

The "Great War" is worth noting here for other reasons. As documented so by Jim Macgregor and Gerry Docherty in their two books covering the period from 1890-1920, we learn much about propaganda, which attest to its extraordinary power, in particular its power to distort reality en masse in enduring and subversive ways.

In reality, the only thing "great" about World War One was the degree to which the masses fighting for Britain were conned via propaganda and censorship into believing this war was necessary, and the way the official narrative of the war was sustained for posterity via the very same means. "Great" maybe, but not in a good way!

In these seminal tomes -- World War One Hidden History: The Secret Origins of the First World War and its follow-up Prolonging the Agony: How the Anglo-American Establishment Deliberately Extended WWI by Three-And-A-Half Years -- Macgregor and Docherty provide a masterclass for us all of the power of propaganda in the service of firstly inciting, then deliberately sustaining a major war.

The horrendous carnage and destruction that resulted from it was of course unprecedented, the global effects of which linger on now well over one hundred years later.

Such was the enduring power of the propaganda that today most folks would have great difficulty in accepting the following; this is a short summary of historical realities revealed by Macgregor and Docherty that are at complete odds with the official narrative, the political discourse, and the school textbooks:

It was Great Britain (supported by France and Russia) and not Germany who was the principal aggressor in the events and actions that let to the outbreak of war; The British had for twenty years prior to 1914 viewed Germany as its most dangerous economic and imperial rival, and fully anticipated that a war was inevitable; In the U.K. and the U.S., various factions worked feverishly to ensure the war went on for as long as possible, and scuttled peacemaking efforts from the off; key truths about this most consequential of geopolitical conflicts have been concealed for well over one hundred years, with no sign the official record will change; very powerful forces (incl. a future US president) amongst U.S. political, media, and economic elites conspired to eventually convince an otherwise unwilling populace in America that U.S. entry onto the war was necessary; those same forces and many similar groups in the U.K. and Europe engaged in everything from war profiteering, destruction/forging of war records, false-flag ops, treason, conspiracy to wage aggressive war, and direct efforts to prolong the war by any means necessary, many of which will rock folks to their very core.

But peace was not on the agenda. When, by 1916, the military failures were so embarrassing and costly, some key players in the British government were willing to talk about peace. This could not be tolerated. The potential peacemakers had to be thrown under the bus. The unelected European leaders had one common bond: They would fight Germany until she was crushed.

Prolonging the Agony details how this secret cabal organised to this end the change of government without a single vote being cast. David Lloyd George was promoted to prime minister in Britain and Georges Clemenceau made prime minister in France. A new government, an inner-elite war cabinet thrust the Secret Elite leader, Lord Alfred Milner into power at the very inner-core of the decision-makers in British politics.

Democracy? They had no truck with democracy. The voting public had no say. The men entrusted with the task would keep going till the end and their place-men were backed by the media and the money-power, in Britain, France and America.

Propaganda Always Wins

But just as the pioneering adherents of propaganda back in the day might never have dreamt how sophisticated and all-encompassing the practice would become, nor would the citizenry at large have anticipated the extent to which the industry has facilitated an entrenched, rapacious plutocracy at the expense of our economic opportunity, our financial and material security, our physical, social and cultural environment, our values and attitudes, and increasingly, our basic democratic rights and freedoms.

We now live in the Age of the Big Shill -- cocooned in a submissive void no less -- an era where nothing can be taken on face value yet where time and attention constraints (to name just a few) force us to do so; [where] few people in public life can be taken at their word; where unchallenged perceptions become accepted reality; where 'open-book' history is now incontrovertible not-negotiable, upon pain of imprisonment fact; where education is about uniformity, function, form and conformity, all in the service of imposed neo-liberal ideologies embracing then prioritising individual -- albeit dubious -- freedoms.

More broadly, it's the "Roger Ailes" of this world -- acting on behalf of the power elites who after all are their paymasters -- who create the intellectual systems which control expression through the communications structures, whilst ensuring these systems require only 'the discreet use of censorship and uniformed men.'

They are the shapers and moulders of the discourse that passes for the accepted lingua franca of the increasingly globalised, interconnected, corporatised political economy of the planet. Throughout this process they 'will always try to change the established language.'

And we can no longer rely on our elected representatives to honestly represent us and our interests. Whether this decision making is taking place inside or outside the legislative process, these processes are well and truly in the grip of the banks and financial institutions and transnational organisations. In whose interests are they going to be more concerned with?

We saw this all just after the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) when the very people who brought the system to the brink, made billions off the dodge for their banks and millions for themselves, bankrupted hundreds of thousands of American families, were called upon by the U.S. government to fix up the mess, and to all intents given a blank cheque to so do.

That the U.S. is at even greater risk now of economic implosion is something few serious pundits would dispute, and a testament to the effectiveness of the snow-job perpetrated upon Americans regarding the causes, the impact, and the implications of the 2008 meltdown going forward.

In most cases, one accepts almost by definition such disconnects (read: hidden agendas) are the rule rather than the exception, hence the multi-billion foundation -- and global reach and impact -- of the propaganda business. This in itself is a key indicator as to why organisations place so much importance on this aspect of managing their affairs.

At the very least, once corporations saw how the psychology of persuasion could be leveraged to manipulate consumers and politicians saw the same with the citizenry and even its own workers, the growth of the industry was assured.

As Riefenstahl noted during her chinwag with Pilger after he asked if those embracing the "submissive void" included the liberal, educated bourgeoisie? " Everyone ," she said.

By way of underscoring her point, she added enigmatically: 'Propaganda always wins if you allow it'.

Greg Maybury is a freelance writer based in Perth, Australia. His main areas of interest are American history and politics in general, with a special focus on economic, national security, military, and geopolitical affairs. For 5 years he has regularly contributed to a diverse range of news and opinion sites, including OpEd News, The Greanville Post, Consortium News, Dandelion Salad, Global Research, Dissident Voice, OffGuardian, Contra Corner, International Policy Digest, the Hampton Institute, and others.


nottheonly1

This brilliant essay is proof of the reflective nature of the Universe. The worse the propaganda and oppression becomes, the greater the likelihood such an essay will be written.

Such is the sophistication and ubiquity of the narrative control techniques used today -- afforded increasingly by 'computational propaganda' via automated scripts, hacking, botnets, troll farms, and algorithms and the like, along with the barely veiled censorship and information gatekeeping practised by Google and Facebook and other tech behemoths -- it's become one of the most troubling aspects of the technological/social media revolution.

Very rarely can one experience such a degree of vindication. My moniker 'nottheonly1' has received more meaning with this precise depiction of the long history of the manipulation of the masses. Recent events have destroyed but all of my confidence that there might be a peaceful way out of this massive dilemma. Due to this sophistication in controlling the narrative, it has now become apparent that we have arrived at a moment in time where total lawlessness reigns. 'Lawlessness' in this case means the loss of common law and the use of code law to create ever new restrictions for free speech and liberty at large.

Over the last weeks, comments written on other discussion boards have unleashed a degree of character defamation and ridicule for the most obvious crimes perpetrated on the masses through propaganda. In this unholy union of constant propaganda via main stream 'media' with the character defamation by so called 'trolls' – which are actually virtual assassins of those who write the truth – the ability of the population, or parts thereof to connect with, or search for like minded people is utterly destroyed. This assault on the online community has devastating consequences. Those who have come into the cross hairs of the unintelligence agencies will but turn away from the internet. Leaving behind an ocean of online propaganda and fake information. Few are now the web sites on which it is possible to voice one's personal take on the status quo.

There is one word that describes these kind of activities precisely: traitor. Those who engage in the character defamation of commenters, or authors per se, are traitors to humanity. They betray the collective consciousness with their poisonous attacks of those who work for a sea change of the status quo. The owner class has all game pieces positioned. The fact that Julian Assange is not only a free man, but still without a Nobel price for peace, while war criminals are recipients, shows just how much the march into absolute totalitarianism has progressed. Bernays hated the masses and offered his 'services' to manipulate them often for free.

Even though there are more solutions than problems, the time has come where meaningful participation in the search for such solution has been made unbearable. It is therefore that a certain fatalism has developed – from resignation to the acceptance of the status quo as being inevitable. Ancient wisdom has created a proverb that states 'This too, will pass'. While that is a given, there are still enough Human Beings around that are determined to make a difference. To this group I count the author of this marvelous, albeit depressing essay. Thank you more that words can express. And thank you, OffGuardian for being one of the last remaining places where discourse is possible.

GMW
Really great post! Thanks. I'm part of the way through reading Alex Carey's book: "Taking the Risk Out of Democracy: Corporate Propaganda Versus Freedom and Liberty," referenced in this article. I've learned more about the obviously verifiable history of U.S. corporate propaganda in the first four chapters than I learned gaining a "minor" in history in 1974 (not surprisingly I can now clearly see). I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in just how pervasive, entrenched and long-standing are the propaganda systems shaping public perception, thought and behavior in America and the West.
Norcal
Wow Greg Maybury great essay, congratulations. This quote is brilliant, I've never see it before, "For Carey, the following conclusion was inescapable: 'It is arguable that the success of business propaganda in persuading us, for so long, that we are free from propaganda is one of the most significant propaganda achievements of the twentieth century.' "

Too, Rodger Ailes was the man credited with educating Nixon up as how to "use" the TV media, and Ailes never looked back as he manipulated media at will. Thank you!

nondimenticare
That is also one of the basic theses of Harold Pinter's Nobel Prize speech.
vexarb
I read in 'Guns, Germs and Steel' about Homo Sapiens and his domesticated animals. Apparently we got on best in places where we could find animals that are very like us: sheep, cattle, horses and other herd animals which instinctively follow their Leader. I think our cousins the chimpanzee are much the same; both species must have inherited this common trait from some pre-chimpanzee ancestor who had found great survival value in passing on the sheeple trait to their progeny. As have the sheep themselves.

By the way, has anybody observed sheeple behaviour in ants and bees? For instance, quietly following a Leader ant to their doom, or noisily ganging up to mob a worker bee that the Queen does not like?

Andy
Almost unbelievable that this was commisioned by the BBC 4 part series covering much of what is in Gregs essay. Some fabulous old footage too. https://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-century-of-the-self/
S.R.Passerby
I'd say the elites are both for and against. Competing factions. It's clear that many are interested in overturning democracy, whilst others want to exploit it.

The average grunt on the street is in the fire, regardless of the pan chosen by the elites.

[Aug 16, 2019] On the superior quality of US propaganda

Aug 16, 2019 | off-guardian.org

The story goes like this: sometime during the height of the Cold War a group of American journalists were hosting a visit to the U.S. of some of their Soviet counterparts.

After allowing their visitors some time to soak up the media zeitgeist stateside, most of the Americans expected their guests to express unbridled envy at the professional liberties they enjoyed in the Land of the Free Press.

One of the Russian scribes was indeed compelled to express his unabashed 'admiration' to his hosts in particular, for the "far superior quality" of American "propaganda". Now it's fair to say his hosts were taken aback by what was at best a backhanded compliment.

After some collegial 'piss-taking' about the stereotypes associated with Western "press freedom" versus those of the controlled media in the Soviet system, one of the Americans called on their Russian colleague to explain what he meant. In fractured English, he replied with the following:

It's very simple. In Soviet Union, we don't believe our propaganda. In America, you actually believe yours!"

[Aug 14, 2019] Grandpa Putin Loses Another Bet

Aug 14, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

FZ , Aug 14 2019 1:02 utc | 100

@ B, you overlooked this one. . .

Grandpa Putin Loses Another Bet
TrueStory Gazette, Aug. 2019

Several anonymous, unverified, and possibly non-existent sources announced today that they know, might know, or could possibly have heard from unknown others, who they suspect might know or could have reasonably speculated that Vladimir Putin lost a bet he made with his 2-year old grandson, Vladimir, Jr.

We caught up with the young Putin as he emerged from his daycare school in central Moscow. "Yes, he said, it is true. Grandpa lost the bet we made last week. We wagered about how long Western media could cling to even a microcosm of credibility. Grandpa said it would last until the end of this year, but I bet him that it would be gone much sooner than that."

Two-year old Putin, who is an avid reader of Moon of Alabama, said that when he woke up this morning he read the latest article. He said, "I just rubbed Grandpa's face into that article. He shrieked. He was so embarrassed. He had to admit that western media's credibility is already totally kaput, not even a shred of credibility left, zero."

"Now Grandpa is the laughing stock of my daycare center. One of my classmates, who is four, said 'how could your Grandpa be so dumb. Even a two-year old could see that western media's credibility is in the dumpster. Your Grandpa is such a loser!'"

The young Putin, who stands only up to our reporter's waist, said that he is studying English but still struggles with difficult words like "history." But he is not shy. When asked what was the prevailing political view at his childcare center, he looked our reporter in the eye, raised both fists, and loudly proclaimed, "All of us kids agree that U.S. Empire is a hysterectomy!"

We asked Vladimir, Jr. about the stakes of his bet, what did he win? He said, "Grandpa said I could have a place called Camp Pendleton in California to make a playground for kids but I will have to wait a little while until he acquires it. I'm going to make it a playground for Russian and American kids and we also will invite all of the kids from Central America and Mexico."

Asked if he knew that Camp Pendleton was a U.S. military base, he replied, "I don't know what it is now, but it's going to be a great playground for kids." And he added, "Look Pal, my Grandpa loses lots of times. He loses his keys and his wallet and every bet he ever made with me. But one thing about Grandpa, he ALWAYS KEEPS HIS PROMISES!"

[Aug 13, 2019] The Man Who Weaponizes And Loses Everything

Don't forget when Putin weaponized Beluga Whales
Also Putin said he wont do any deals with the US until they have become mature enough to hold on to them.:)
Aug 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Putin's Russia weaponizes everything , including humor, health information, giant squids, robotic cockroaches, tedium and postmodernism.

At the same time these outlets tell us that Putin is losing many things, or already lost them.

Which bears asking: Is there a causality between weaponizing and losing stuff?

[Aug 13, 2019] Putin is the Emmanuel Goldstein of the Neoliberal World Order, every bad decision, every mistake, every failure, especially the ones that were obviously flawed from the start, are the results of that dastardly Putin.

Aug 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Aug 13 2019 15:43 utc | 29

Much of that crap appears to be Projection. Putin's Polices Destroying Russian Farmers will probably be next since as you'll learn once you click that it's the exact opposite. It looks quite possible that the opening up of ag lands in Russia's Far East will see China cease its imports of soybeans from the Western Hemisphere as it's already done so in response to Trump's Trade War. As the article notes:

"Net farm income in America has plunged by nearly half over the last five years from $123.4 billion in 2013 to $63 billion last year. It plummeted by 16 percent last year alone."

And with China's market closed, the result this year will be even worse. And it's all Putin's fault!

And to make matters worse, Putin has weaponized the Outlaw US Empire's budget deficit, forcing it to spend "more than twice as fast as tax collections" and now stands at $867 Billion through "the first 10 months of the budget year." (No link, from Business section of today's newspaper.) IMO, that will be headlined as: Putin Loses Control Over Russia's Budget as Deficit Skyrockets!

It's this one most of us are hopeful of reading soon:

Putin Sinks US Empire Without Firing One Shot.


FSD , Aug 13 2019 15:53 utc | 32

@karlof1

Yes, we're in rich psychological terrain. Aberrant terrain, to the extent such things can be extrapolated to system behavior.

It's a psychological projection. The Full Spectrum Dominance crowd feels their quest receding into permanent incompletion. So they wishfully project their sense of loss onto the opponent. Wanting everything, dominance perceives alternate visions as being nothing less than obstinate escapees. Who knew they were in a figmentary prison in the first place? Competing visions, through no real fault of their own, become weapon pointed at this totalizing vision. Heck, they're not even competing. They're just living.

Dominance's blind spot is that it never stops to ask if others want to be dominated. This makes it structurally myopic and prone to self-deception.

The same psychology is found in the sanctioning impulse. "In order to preserve our sense of omnipotence, we hereby subtract you from the game board." But pariah nations, while perhaps vanishing psychologically to the offended party ('you're dead to me now') don't vanish in any existential sense. They re-gather under different umbrellas: SCO, OBOR, AIIB, etc.

Too many subtractions and the subtractees acquire a critical mass all their own. Subtraction adds up. There is an opportunity here to exploit the Empire's irrational denialism -via the rational accumulation of estranged and heretofore 'banished' interests.

One day, the lesser critical mass will achieve parity, then dominance or perhaps simply multipolarity. Before that day, a ruinous world war could happen first. This latter decision has already been taken since pre-kinetic versions of WW3 are popping up everywhere at once as though instigated by some spanning Hidden Hand.

Pro Jection , Aug 13 2019 16:00 utc | 33
It is called projection. We know that the western banking maffia is losing it. Freud would have confirmed.
Kadath , Aug 13 2019 16:47 utc | 40
Putin is the Emmanuel Goldstein of the Neoliberal World Order, every bad decision, every mistake, every failure, especially the ones that were obviously flawed from the start, are the results of that dastardly Putin. It's amazing how in the Empire of the Lies, a competent political leader of a sovereign country is becoming a Lex Luthor like supervillain mastermind.

It's almost romantic that these Western elites spend so much time high up in their ivory towers surrounded by the wastelands of their own making, clutching their pearls, thinking about Putin and wondering how he will get to them.

ToivoS , Aug 13 2019 17:59 utc | 53
We should note that Obama was the first to announce Putin would fail in Syria when the Russians came to help out the Assad government against the US backed Takfaris. The results of Russian support were quite spectacular. Of course, the war is still going on but there is no question that Russia saved the Syrian state. Can anyone mention a single military victory that the US has achieved since what? Grenada under Reagan and Bush I against Panama ?? Other than those two "victories" the US has lost every war it has engaged in since the end of WWII.
Mishko , Aug 13 2019 17:59 utc | 54
It gets confusing, but that is the point of all this.
We should be scared of our hero, tragic anti-hero, uber villain and rolemodel.
Not just Russians under the bed, but THE Russian under the bed.
Or so many a lady (or not, as the case may be) might wish or be fearful of or both...
(In other news: Epstein dead? Highly unlikely, ever so doubtful, I do side with Aangirfan on this)
S , Aug 13 2019 18:26 utc | 56

I especially like how Putin lost in Crimea. One of his best losses, in my opinion.

Also, Masha and the Bear , Russia's ultimate weapon in the war for the minds of the Western youth, continues its march across the globe: the "Маша плюс каша" episode is at 4.08 billion views ( 4th most-viewed video on YouTube ) and growing fast, set to overtake Wiz Khalifa's "See You Again" (4.20 billion) and Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You" (4.35 billion) in the coming weeks.

so , Aug 13 2019 18:40 utc | 59
If Putin ran for President of the United States of America I'd vote for him in a heartbeat.
S , Aug 13 2019 19:51 utc | 73
@Bemildred #10: What a great piece by Patrick Armstrong. Very logical and rational. Perfect for deprogramming people brainwashed by the Mockingbird Media.
Nathan Mulcahy , Aug 13 2019 19:56 utc | 74
How much more do the lobotomized American Sheeple (generally not represented in this forum) need to realize that the mainstream "news" media are the propaganda arms of the western (Anglo-Zionist) power structure?

Enjoy a similar example, this with Putin's "bitch".
https://youtu.be/rLEchPZm318


ben , Aug 13 2019 20:16 utc | 77
"Let us be clear here. It is the United States who has broken its word and treaties consistently. We said we wouldn't move NATO up to Russia's borders and then we did. We unilaterally walked away from the ABM treaty, we unilaterally walked away from the Iran nuclear deal, we unilaterally walked away from the INF treaty and we will almost certainly walk away from the nuclear test ban treaty. We always allege violations from the other side but never provide any proof of said violations. The United States has invaded Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria - so far without consequences. The United States has fomented coups in Ukraine (twice), Georgia, probably in Brazil, Venezuela (twice) - again, without consequences. And people wonder why I gag when I listen to Pompous pontificate that Iran needs to start acting like a normal nation."

Posted by: Jeff | Aug 13 2019 17:03 utc | 43

Clear, concise, and right on target. Should be on a handbill, and passed out to the general public. Thanks Jeff!!

alain , Aug 13 2019 20:32 utc | 79
Breaking News : Putin has a private army now. How devilish. CNN is definitely a bunch of clowns, that makes you laugh everytime they talk. Enjoy this one:

https://edition.cnn.com/interactive/2019/08/africa/putins-private-army-car-intl/

[Aug 12, 2019] RAY McGOVERN Rich's Ghost Haunts the Courts Consortiumnews

Notable quotes:
"... That epithet has a sordid history in the annals of U.S. intelligence. Legendary CIA Director Allen Dulles used the "brand-them-conspiracy-theorists" ploy following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy when many objected -- understandably -- to letting him pretty much run the Warren Commission, even though the CIA was suspected of having played a role in the murder. The "conspiracy theorist" tactic worked like a charm then, and now. Well, up until just now. ..."
"... U.S. Courts apply far tougher standards to evidence than do the intelligence community and the pundits who loll around lazily, feeding from the intelligence PR trough. This (hardly surprising) reality was underscored when a Dallas financial adviser named Ed Butowsky sued National Public Radio and others for defaming him about the role he played in controversial stories relating to Rich. On August 7, NPR suffered a setback, when U.S. District Court Judge Amos Mazzant affirmed a lower court decision to allow Butowsky's defamation lawsuit to proceed. ..."
"... NPR gave Isikoff 37 minutes on its popular Fresh Air program to spin his yarn about how the Seth Rich story got started. You guessed it; the Russians started it . No, we are not making this up. ..."
"... It is far from clear that Isikoff can be much help to NPR in the libel case against it. Isikoff's own writings on Russiagate are notably lacking in "verifiable statements of fact" -- information that cannot be verified. ..."
"... In any case, The Washington Post , had already debunked Isikoff's claim (which later in his article he switched to being only "purported") by pointing out that Americans had already tweeted the theory of Rich's murder days before the alleged Russian intervention. ..."
"... Butowsky's libel lawsuit can now proceed to discovery, which will include demands for documents and depositions that are likely to shed light on whatever role Rich may have played in leaking to WikiLeaks . If the government obstructs or tries to slow-roll the case, we shall have to wait and see, for example, if the court will acquiesce to the familiar government objection that information regarding Rich's murder must be withheld as a state secret? Hmmm. What would that tell us? ..."
"... During discovery in a separate court case, the government was unable to produce a final forensic report on the "hacking" of the Democratic National Committee. The DNC-hired cyber firm, CrowdStrike, failed to complete such a report, and that was apparently okay with then FBI Director James Comey, who did not require one. ..."
"... The thorny question of "persuasive sourcing," came up even more starkly on July 1, when federal Judge Dabney Friedrich ordered Robert Mueller to stop pretending he had proof that the Russian government was behind the Internet Research Agency's supposed attempt to interfere via social media in the 2016 election. Middle school-level arithmetic can prove the case that the IRA's use of social media to support Trump is ludicrous on its face. ..."
"... As journalist Patrick Lawrence put it recently: "Three years after the narrative we call Russiagate was framed and incessantly promoted, it crumbles into rubble as we speak." ..."
"... In a long interview with Lauria a few months ago in New Zealand aired this month on CN Live! , Kim Dotcom provided a wealth of detail, based on what he described as first-hand knowledge, regarding how Democratic National Committee documents were leaked to WikiLeaks in 2016. ..."
"... The major takeaway: the evidence presented by Dotcom about Seth Rich can be verified or disproven if President Trump summons the courage to order the director of NSA to dig out the relevant data, including the conversations Dotcom says he had with Rich and Rich may have had with WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange. ..."
"... Dotcom said he put Rich in touch with a middleman to transfer the DNC files to WikiLeaks . ..."
"... Mark Twain is said to have warned, "How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again!" After three years of "Russia-Russia-Russia" in the corporate -- and even in some "progressive" -- media, this conditioning will not be easy to reverse. ..."
Aug 12, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Simply letting the name "Seth Rich" pass your lips can condemn you to the leper colony built by the Washington Establishment for "conspiracy theorists," (the term regularly applied to someone determined to seek tangible evidence, and who is open to alternatives to "Russia-did-it.")

Rich was a young DNC employee who was murdered on a street in Washington, DC, on July 10, 2016. Many, including me, suspect that Rich played some role in the leaking of DNC emails to WikiLeaks . There is considerable circumstantial evidence that this may have been the case. Those who voice such suspicions, however, are, ipso facto , branded "conspiracy theorists."

That epithet has a sordid history in the annals of U.S. intelligence. Legendary CIA Director Allen Dulles used the "brand-them-conspiracy-theorists" ploy following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy when many objected -- understandably -- to letting him pretty much run the Warren Commission, even though the CIA was suspected of having played a role in the murder. The "conspiracy theorist" tactic worked like a charm then, and now. Well, up until just now.

Rich Hovers Above the Courts

U.S. Courts apply far tougher standards to evidence than do the intelligence community and the pundits who loll around lazily, feeding from the intelligence PR trough. This (hardly surprising) reality was underscored when a Dallas financial adviser named Ed Butowsky sued National Public Radio and others for defaming him about the role he played in controversial stories relating to Rich. On August 7, NPR suffered a setback, when U.S. District Court Judge Amos Mazzant affirmed a lower court decision to allow Butowsky's defamation lawsuit to proceed.

Judge Mazzant ruled that NPR had stated as "verifiable statements of fact" information that could not be verified , and that the plaintiff had been, in effect, accused of being engaged in wrongdoing without persuasive sourcing language.

Isikoff: Russians started it. (Wikipedia)

Imagine! -- "persuasive sourcing" required to separate fact from opinion and axes to grind! An interesting precedent to apply to the ins and outs of Russiagate. In the courts, at least, this is now beginning to happen. And NPR and others in similarly vulnerable positions are scurrying around for allies.??The day after Judge Mazzant's decision, NPR enlisted help from discredited Yahoo! News pundit Michael Isikoff (author, with David Corn, of the fiction-posing-as-fact novel Russian Roulette ). NPR gave Isikoff 37 minutes on its popular Fresh Air program to spin his yarn about how the Seth Rich story got started. You guessed it; the Russians started it . No, we are not making this up.

It is far from clear that Isikoff can be much help to NPR in the libel case against it. Isikoff's own writings on Russiagate are notably lacking in "verifiable statements of fact" -- information that cannot be verified. Watch, for example, his recent interview with Consortium News Editor Joe Lauria on CN Live!

Isikoff admitted to Lauria that he never saw the classified Russian intelligence document reportedly indicating that three days after Rich's murder the Russian SVR foreign intelligence service planted a story about Rich having been the leaker and was killed for it. This Russian intelligence "bulletin," as Isikoff called it, was supposedly placed on a bizarre website that Isikoff admitted was an unlikely place for Russia to spread disinformation. He acknowledged that he only took the word of the former prosecutor in the Rich case about the existence of this classified Russian document.

In any case, The Washington Post , had already debunked Isikoff's claim (which later in his article he switched to being only "purported") by pointing out that Americans had already tweeted the theory of Rich's murder days before the alleged Russian intervention.

' Persuasive Sourcing' & Discovery ??

Butowsky's libel lawsuit can now proceed to discovery, which will include demands for documents and depositions that are likely to shed light on whatever role Rich may have played in leaking to WikiLeaks . If the government obstructs or tries to slow-roll the case, we shall have to wait and see, for example, if the court will acquiesce to the familiar government objection that information regarding Rich's murder must be withheld as a state secret? Hmmm. What would that tell us?

Butowsky: Suit could reveal critical information. (Flickr)

During discovery in a separate court case, the government was unable to produce a final forensic report on the "hacking" of the Democratic National Committee. The DNC-hired cyber firm, CrowdStrike, failed to complete such a report, and that was apparently okay with then FBI Director James Comey, who did not require one.

The incomplete, redacted, draft, second-hand "forensics" that Comey settled for from CrowdStrike does not qualify as credible evidence -- much less "persuasive sourcing" to support the claim that the Russians "hacked" into the DNC. Moreover, CrowdStrike has a dubious reputation for professionalism and a well known anti-Russia bias.

The thorny question of "persuasive sourcing," came up even more starkly on July 1, when federal Judge Dabney Friedrich ordered Robert Mueller to stop pretending he had proof that the Russian government was behind the Internet Research Agency's supposed attempt to interfere via social media in the 2016 election. Middle school-level arithmetic can prove the case that the IRA's use of social media to support Trump is ludicrous on its face.

Russia-gate Rubble

As journalist Patrick Lawrence put it recently: "Three years after the narrative we call Russiagate was framed and incessantly promoted, it crumbles into rubble as we speak." Falling syllogism! Step nimbly to one side.

The "conspiracy theorist" epithet is not likely to much longer block attention to the role, if any, played by Rich -- the more so since some players who say they were directly involved with Rich are coming forward.

In a long interview with Lauria a few months ago in New Zealand aired this month on CN Live! , Kim Dotcom provided a wealth of detail, based on what he described as first-hand knowledge, regarding how Democratic National Committee documents were leaked to WikiLeaks in 2016.

The major takeaway: the evidence presented by Dotcom about Seth Rich can be verified or disproven if President Trump summons the courage to order the director of NSA to dig out the relevant data, including the conversations Dotcom says he had with Rich and Rich may have had with WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.

Dotcom said he put Rich in touch with a middleman to transfer the DNC files to WikiLeaks . Sadly, Trump has flinched more than once rather than confront the Deep State -- and this time there are a bunch of very well connected, senior Deep State practitioners who could face prosecution .

Another sign that Rich's story is likely to draw new focus is the virulent character assassination indulged in by former investigative journalist James Risen.

Not Risen to the Challenge

Risen: Called Binney a "conspiracy theorist." (Flickr)

On August 5, in an interview on The Hill's "Rising," Risen chose to call former NSA Technical Director Bill Binney -- you guessed it -- a "conspiracy theorist" on Russia-gate, with no demurral, much less pushback, from the hosts.

The having-done-good-work-in-the-past-and-now-not-so-much Risen can be considered a paradigm for what has happened to so many Kool-Aid drinking journalists. Jim's transition from investigative journalist to stenographer is, nonetheless unsettling. Contributing causes? It appears that the traditional sources within the intelligence agencies, whom Risen was able to cultivate discreetly in the past, are too fearful now to even talk to him, lest they get caught by one or two of the myriad surveillance systems in play.

Those at the top of the relevant agencies, however, are only too happy to provide grist. Journalists have to make a living, after all. Topic A, of course, is Russian "interference" in the 2016 election. And, of course, "There can be little doubt" the Russians did it.

"Big Jim" Risen, as he is known, jumped on the bandwagon as soon as he joined The Intercept , with a fulsome article on February 17, 2018 titled " Is Donald Trump a Traitor? " Here's an excerpt:

"The evidence that Russia intervened in the election to help Trump win is already compelling, and it grows stronger by the day.

"There can be little doubt now that Russian intelligence officials were behind an effort to hack the DNC's computers and steal emails and other information from aides to Hillary Clinton as a means of damaging her presidential campaign. Russian intelligence also used fake social media accounts and other tools to create a global echo chamber both for stories about the emails and for anti-Clinton lies dressed up to look like news.

"To their disgrace, editors and reporters at American news organizations greatly enhanced the Russian echo chamber, eagerly writing stories about Clinton and the Democratic Party based on the emails, while showing almost no interest during the presidential campaign in exactly how those emails came to be disclosed and distributed." (sic)

Poor Jim. He shows himself just as susceptible as virtually all of his fellow corporate journalists to the epidemic-scale HWHW virus (Hillary Would Have Won) that set in during Nov. 2016 and for which the truth seems to be no cure. From his perch at The Intercept , Risen will continue to try to shape the issues. Russiagaters major ally, of course, is the corporate media which has most Americans pretty much under their thumb.

Incidentally, neither The New York Times, The Washington Post , nor The Wall Street Journal has printed or posted a word about Judge Mazzant's ruling on the Butowsky suit.

Mark Twain is said to have warned, "How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again!" After three years of "Russia-Russia-Russia" in the corporate -- and even in some "progressive" -- media, this conditioning will not be easy to reverse.

Here's how one astute observer with a sense of humor described the situation last week, in a comment under one of my recent pieces on Consortium News:

" One can write the most thought-out and well documented academic-like essays, articles and reports and the true believers in Russiagate will dismiss it all with a mere flick of their wrist. The mockery and scorn directed towards those of us who knew the score from day one won't relent. They could die and go to heaven and ask god what really happened during the 2016 election. God would reply to them in no uncertain terms that Putin and the Russians had absolutely nothing to do with anything in '16, and they'd all throw up their hands and say, 'aha! So, God's in on this too!' It's the great lie that won't die."

I'm not so sure. It is likely to be a while though before this is over.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. Ray was a CIA analyst for 27 years; in retirement he co-founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

[Aug 11, 2019] Maybe Putin should urge the Russian Paralament to pass an Epstein Act and start sanctioning the hell out of US leaders.

Aug 11, 2019 | www.unz.com

The Alarmist , says: August 10, 2019 at 8:58 pm GMT

Maybe Putin should urge the Russian Paralament to pass an Epstein Act and start sanctioning the hell out of US leaders.

[Aug 06, 2019] Antiwar.com vs. the Decline of American Journalism by Justin Raimondo

Notable quotes:
"... it turned out that the very people who were up in arms about "fake news" were the ones propagating their own version of it. WikiLeaks did much to expose their game by publicizing the key role played by the Legacy Media in acting as an extension of the Clinton campaign. However, the real unmasking came after the November election, when the rage of the liberal elites became so manifest that "reporters" who would normally be loath to reveal their politics came out of the closet, so to speak, and started telling us that the old journalistic standard of objectivity no longer applied. The election of Trump, they averred, meant that the old standards must be abandoned and a new, and openly partisan bias must take its place. In honor of this new credo, the Washington Post has adopted a new slogan: " Democracy dies in darkness "! ..."
"... Rep. Gabbard's "crime" was to challenge the US-funded effort to overthrow the regime of Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad as contrary to our interests and the prospects for peace in the region. For that she has been demonized in the media – and, not coincidentally, the very same media that is now an instrument in the hands of our "intelligence community." For ..."
"... And of course it's not just the Washington Post : the entire "mainstream" media is now colluding with the "intelligence community" in an effort to discredit and derail any efforts at a rapprochement with Russia. We haven't seen this kind of hysteria since the frigid winter of the cold war. ..."
"... My longtime readers will not be shocked by any of this: during the run up to the Iraq war, the media was chock full of fake news about Saddam Hussein's fabled weapons of mass destruction, which all the "experts" told us were certainly there and ready to rain death and destruction at any minute. Who can forget the series of articles by Judith Miller that adorned the front page of the New York Times – which were merely Bush administration talking points reiterated by Donald Rumsfeld & Co. on the Sunday talk shows? Miller has now become synonymous with the very concept of fake news – and yet how quickly we forget the lesson we should have learned from that shameful episode in the history of American journalism . ..."
"... Blinded by partisan bias, all too willing to be used as an instrument of the Deep State -- and determined to "control exactly what people think," which is, as Mika Brzezinski put it the other day, " our job " – the English-speaking media has become increasingly unreliable. This has become a big problem for us here at Antiwar.com: we now have to check and re-check everything that they report as fact. Not that we didn't do that anyway, but the difference is that, these days, we have to be more careful than ever before linking to it, or citing it as factual. ..."
"... The day of the "alternative media" has passed. We are simply part of the media, period: the increasingly tiny portion of it that doesn't fall for war propaganda, that doesn't have a partisan agenda, and that harkens back to the "old" journalistic standards of yesteryear – objective reporting of facts. That doesn't mean we don't have opinions, or an agenda – far from it! However, we base those opinions on what, to the best of our ability, we can discern as the facts. ..."
"... And we have a pretty good record in this regard. Back when everyone who was anyone was telling us that those "weapons of mass destruction" were lurking in the Iraqi shadows, we said it was nonsense – and we were right. As the "experts" said that war with Iraq would "solve" the problem of terrorism and bring enlightenment to the Middle East, we said the war would usher in the reign of chaos – and we were right. We warned that NATO expansion would trigger an unnecessary conflict with Russia, and we were proved right about that, too. The Kosovo war was hailed as a "humanitarian" act – and we rightly predicted it would come back to haunt us in the form of a gangster state riven by conflict. ..."
"... There's one way in which we are significantly different from the rest of the media – we depend on our readers for the financial support we need to keep going. The Washington Post has Jeff Bezos, one of the wealthiest men in the world – not to mention a multi-million dollar contract with the "intelligence community." The New York Times has Carlos Slim, another billionaire with seemingly bottomless pockets. We, on the other hand, just have you. ..."
Aug 06, 2019 | original.antiwar.com

We're not the alternative media – we're the best media you've got!

Posted on August 06, 2019 August 4, 2019 The more things change, the more they stay the same: the sun comes up in the morning; another Hitler arises in the fantasies of the foreign-policy establishment; and Josh Rogin writes another column attacking Tusli Gabbard, the most pro-peace candidate in the Democratic lineup. Justin blasted Rogin the first time he tried this, back in February of 2017, proving that the whole story was "fake news". We think it's important to revisit Justin's analysis of the media-enhanced demand for war. As Justin notes, the only real alternative to this, the only real "alternative media," are sites like Antiwar. com and WikiLeaks.

This column is also timely because it was written during another Antiwar.com fundraising drive. That time, we had $31,000 in matching funds, now we have $40,000, and as usual we need your support. Please donate – the War Party media is backed by billionaires, so we need all friends of peace.

Originally published February 24, 2017

If we look at the phrase itself, it seems to mean the media that presents itself as the alternative to what we call the "corporate media," i.e. the New York Times , the Washington Post , your local rag – in short, the Legacy Media that predominated in those bygone days before the Internet. And yet this whole arrangement seems outdated, to say the least. The Internet has long since been colonized by the corporate giants: BuzzFeed, for example, is regularly fed huge dollops of cash from its corporate owners. And the Legacy Media has adapted to the primacy of online media, however reluctantly and ineptly. So the alternative media isn't defined by how they deliver the news, but rather by 1) what they judge to be news, and 2) how they report it.

And that's the problem.

There's been much talk of "fake news," a concept first defined by the "mainstream" media types as an insidious scheme by the Russians and/or supporters of Donald Trump to deny Hillary Clinton her rightful place in the Oval Office. Or it was Macedonian teenagers out to fool us into giving them clicks. Or something. Facebook and Google announced a campaign to eliminate this Dire Threat, and the mandarins of the "mainstream" reared up in righteous anger, lecturing us that journalistic standards were being traduced.

Yet it turned out that the very people who were up in arms about "fake news" were the ones propagating their own version of it. WikiLeaks did much to expose their game by publicizing the key role played by the Legacy Media in acting as an extension of the Clinton campaign. However, the real unmasking came after the November election, when the rage of the liberal elites became so manifest that "reporters" who would normally be loath to reveal their politics came out of the closet, so to speak, and started telling us that the old journalistic standard of objectivity no longer applied. The election of Trump, they averred, meant that the old standards must be abandoned and a new, and openly partisan bias must take its place. In honor of this new credo, the Washington Post has adopted a new slogan: " Democracy dies in darkness "!

This from the newspaper that ran a front page story citing the anonymous trolls at PropOrNot.com as credible sources for an account of alleged "Russian agents of influence" in the media – a story that slimed Matt Drudge and Antiwar.com, among others.

This from the newspaper that ran another big story claiming the Russians had infiltrated Vermont's power grid without bothering to check with the power company .

This from the newspaper that regularly publishes "news" accounts citing anonymous "intelligence officials" claiming the Trump administration is rife with Russian "agents."

This from the newspaper that published a piece by foreign affairs columnist Josh Rogin that falsely claimed Rep. Tulsi Gabbard's trip to Syria was funded by a group that is "nonexistent" and strongly implied she was in the pay of the Syrian government or some other foreign entity. Well after the smear circulated far and wide, the paper posted the following correction:

" An earlier version of this op-ed misspelled the name of AACCESS Ohio and incorrectly stated that the organization no longer exists. AACCESS Ohio is an independent non-profit organization that is a member of the ACCESS National Network of Arab American Community organizations but is currently on probation due to inactivity. The op-ed also incorrectly stated that Bassam Khawam is Syrian American. He is Lebanese American. This version has been corrected."

In other words, the entire story was fake news .

Rep. Gabbard's "crime" was to challenge the US-funded effort to overthrow the regime of Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad as contrary to our interests and the prospects for peace in the region. For that she has been demonized in the media – and, not coincidentally, the very same media that is now an instrument in the hands of our "intelligence community." For it is these spooks who, for years, have been canoodling with the Saudis in an effort to rid the region of the last secular obstacle to the Sunni-ization of the Middle East. That they have Tulsi Gabbard in their sights is no surprise.

And of course it's not just the Washington Post : the entire "mainstream" media is now colluding with the "intelligence community" in an effort to discredit and derail any efforts at a rapprochement with Russia. We haven't seen this kind of hysteria since the frigid winter of the cold war.

My longtime readers will not be shocked by any of this: during the run up to the Iraq war, the media was chock full of fake news about Saddam Hussein's fabled weapons of mass destruction, which all the "experts" told us were certainly there and ready to rain death and destruction at any minute. Who can forget the series of articles by Judith Miller that adorned the front page of the New York Times – which were merely Bush administration talking points reiterated by Donald Rumsfeld & Co. on the Sunday talk shows? Miller has now become synonymous with the very concept of fake news – and yet how quickly we forget the lesson we should have learned from that shameful episode in the history of American journalism.

So fake news is nothing new, nor is the concept of the "mainstream" media as a megaphone for war propaganda. What's different today is that many are waking up to this fact – and turning to the "alternative." I've been struck by this rising phenomenon over the past year or so: Matt Drudge gave Antiwar.com a permanent link. Our audience has increased by many thousands. And I've been getting a steady stream of interview requests. I was quite pleased to read the following in a recent piece in The Nation about the media's fit of Russophobia and the key role played by the journalist I. F. Stone during the 1950s:

"To conclude where I began, think for a moment about I.F. Stone during his haunted 1950s. While he was well-regarded by a lot of rank-and-file reporters, few would say so openly. He was PNG [persona non grata] among people such as [ New York Times publisher Arthur] Sulzberger – an outcast .

"Now think about now.

"A few reporters and commentators advise us that the name of the game these days is to sink the single most constructive policy the Trump administration has announced. The rest is subterfuge, rubbish. This is prima facie the case, though you can read it nowhere in the Times or any of the other corporate media. A few have asserted that we may now be witnessing a coup operation against the Trump White House. This is a possibility, in my view. We cannot flick it off the table. With the utmost purpose, I post here one of these pieces. "A Win for the Deep State" came out just after Flynn was forced from office. It is by a writer named Justin Raimondo and appeared in a wholly out-of-bounds web publication called Antiwar.com. I know nothing about either, but it is a thought-provoking piece."

Well, we aren't quite "wholly out of bounds," except in certain circles, but all in all this is a great compliment – and it's illustrative of author Patrick Lawrence's point, which is that

"We, readers and viewers, must discriminate among all that is put before us so as to make the best judgments we can and, not least, protect our minds. The other side of the coin, what we customarily call 'alternative media,' assumes an important responsibility. They must get done, as best they can, what better-endowed media now shirk. To put this simply and briefly, they and we must learn that they are not 'alternative' to anything. In the end there is no such thing as 'alternative media,' as I often argue. There are only media, and most of ours have turned irretrievably bad."

We here at Antiwar.com take our responsibility to you, our readers and supporters, very seriously. We're working day and night, 24/7, to separate fact from fiction, knee-jerk "analysis" from intelligent critique, partisan bullshit from truth. And we've had to work much harder lately because the profession of journalism has fallen on hard times.

Blinded by partisan bias, all too willing to be used as an instrument of the Deep State -- and determined to "control exactly what people think," which is, as Mika Brzezinski put it the other day, " our job " – the English-speaking media has become increasingly unreliable. This has become a big problem for us here at Antiwar.com: we now have to check and re-check everything that they report as fact. Not that we didn't do that anyway, but the difference is that, these days, we have to be more careful than ever before linking to it, or citing it as factual.

The day of the "alternative media" has passed. We are simply part of the media, period: the increasingly tiny portion of it that doesn't fall for war propaganda, that doesn't have a partisan agenda, and that harkens back to the "old" journalistic standards of yesteryear – objective reporting of facts. That doesn't mean we don't have opinions, or an agenda – far from it! However, we base those opinions on what, to the best of our ability, we can discern as the facts.

And we have a pretty good record in this regard. Back when everyone who was anyone was telling us that those "weapons of mass destruction" were lurking in the Iraqi shadows, we said it was nonsense – and we were right. As the "experts" said that war with Iraq would "solve" the problem of terrorism and bring enlightenment to the Middle East, we said the war would usher in the reign of chaos – and we were right. We warned that NATO expansion would trigger an unnecessary conflict with Russia, and we were proved right about that, too. The Kosovo war was hailed as a "humanitarian" act – and we rightly predicted it would come back to haunt us in the form of a gangster state riven by conflict.

I could spend several paragraphs boasting about how right we were, but you get the idea. Our record is a good one. And we intend to make it even better. But we can't do it – we can't do our job – without your help.

There's one way in which we are significantly different from the rest of the media – we depend on our readers for the financial support we need to keep going. The Washington Post has Jeff Bezos, one of the wealthiest men in the world – not to mention a multi-million dollar contract with the "intelligence community." The New York Times has Carlos Slim, another billionaire with seemingly bottomless pockets. We, on the other hand, just have you.

Okay, I'll cut to the chase: we've come to a crucial point in our current fundraising campaign, and now it's make it or break it time for Antiwar.com.

A group of our most generous supporters has pledged $40,000 in matching funds – but that pledge is strictly conditional . What this means is that we must match that amount in the short time left in our campaign in order to get the entire $40,000.

Please, send your tax-deductible donation now – because we're not the "alternative media," we're the best media you've got.

[Aug 04, 2019] Neoliberalism Political Success, Economic Failure

Highly recommended!
Neoliberalism is an amazing ideological construct: secular religion designed for the rich. The level of brainwashing of population under neoliberalism probably exceeds achievable in a long run under Bolshevism and Nazism.
Notable quotes:
"... Neoliberalism's premise is that free markets can regulate themselves; that government is inherently incompetent, captive to special interests, and an intrusion on the efficiency of the market; that in distributive terms, market outcomes are basically deserved; and that redistribution creates perverse incentives by punishing the economy's winners and rewarding its losers. So government should get out of the market's way. ..."
"... By the 1990s, even moderate liberals had been converted to the belief that social objectives can be achieved by harnessing the power of markets. Intermittent periods of governance by Democratic presidents slowed but did not reverse the slide to neoliberal policy and doctrine. The corporate wing of the Democratic Party approved. ..."
"... Now, after nearly half a century, the verdict is in. Virtually every one of these policies has failed, even on their own terms. Enterprise has been richly rewarded, taxes have been cut, and regulation reduced or privatized. The economy is vastly more unequal, yet economic growth is slower and more chaotic than during the era of managed capitalism. Deregulation has produced not salutary competition, but market concentration. Economic power has resulted in feedback loops of political power, in which elites make rules that bolster further concentration. ..."
"... The grand neoliberal experiment of the past 40 years has demonstrated that markets in fact do not regulate themselves. Managed markets turn out to be more equitable and more efficient. Yet the theory and practical influence of neoliberalism marches splendidly on, because it is so useful to society's most powerful people -- as a scholarly veneer to what would otherwise be a raw power grab. The British political economist Colin Crouch captured this anomaly in a book nicely titled The Strange Non-Death of Neoliberalism . Why did neoliberalism not die? As Crouch observed, neoliberalism failed both as theory and as policy, but succeeded superbly as power politics for economic elites. ..."
"... As the great political historian Karl Polanyi warned, when markets overwhelm society, ordinary people often turn to tyrants. In regimes that border on neofascist, klepto-capitalists get along just fine with dictators, undermining the neoliberal premise of capitalism and democracy as complements. Several authoritarian thugs, playing on tribal nationalism as the antidote to capitalist cosmopolitanism, are surprisingly popular. ..."
"... The theory of maximizing shareholder value was deployed to undermine the entire range of financial regulation and workers' rights. Cost-benefit analysis, emphasizing costs and discounting benefits, was used to discredit a good deal of health, safety, and environmental regulation. Public choice theory, associated with the economist James Buchanan and an entire ensuing school of economics and political science, was used to impeach democracy itself, on the premise that policies were hopelessly afflicted by "rent-seekers" and "free-riders." ..."
"... Human capital theory, another variant of neoliberal application of markets to partly social questions, justified deregulating labor markets and crushing labor unions. Unions supposedly used their power to get workers paid more than their market worth. Likewise minimum wage laws. But the era of depressed wages has actually seen a decline in rates of productivity growth. Conversely, does any serious person think that the inflated pay of the financial moguls who crashed the economy accurately reflects their contribution to economic activity? In the case of hedge funds and private equity, the high incomes of fund sponsors are the result of transfers of wealth and income from employees, other stakeholders, and operating companies to the fund managers, not the fruits of more efficient management. ..."
"... Financial deregulation is neoliberalism's most palpable deregulatory failure, but far from the only one. Electricity deregulation on balance has increased monopoly power and raised costs to consumers, but has failed to offer meaningful "shopping around" opportunities to bring down prices. We have gone from regulated monopolies with predictable earnings, costs, wages, and consumer protections to deregulated monopolies or oligopolies with substantial pricing power. Since the Bell breakup, the telephone system tells a similar story of re-concentration, dwindling competition, price-gouging, and union-bashing. ..."
"... As regards clear language and definitions, I much prefer Michael Hudson's insistence that, to the liberal economists, free markets were markets free from rent seeking, while to the neoliberals free markets are free from government regulation. ..."
"... In a political system where the reputedly "labor" party would rather lose with their bribe-taking warmongering Goldwater girl than win with a people's advocate, Houston we have a problem. ..."
"... "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ..."
"... Neoliberalism gave liberals an excuse to sell out in the name of "fresh thinking." Meanwhile the vast working class had become discredited Archie Bunkers in the eyes of the intellectuals after Vietnam and the Civil Rights struggles. ..."
"... I'd add two other consequences of neoliberalism. One is the increasing alienation of citizens from the mechanism for provision of the basic necessities of life. ..."
"... As Phillip Mirowski patiently explains in Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste, neoliberalism is not laissez faire. Neoliberal desire a strong government to implement their market based nirvana, as long as they control government. ..."
Aug 04, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

By Robert Kuttner, The American Prospect. Reposted from Alternet .

Since the late 1970s, we've had a grand experiment to test the claim that free markets really do work best. This resurrection occurred despite the practical failure of laissez-faire in the 1930s, the resulting humiliation of free-market theory, and the contrasting success of managed capitalism during the three-decade postwar boom.

Yet when growth faltered in the 1970s, libertarian economic theory got another turn at bat. This revival proved extremely convenient for the conservatives who came to power in the 1980s. The neoliberal counterrevolution, in theory and policy, has reversed or undermined nearly every aspect of managed capitalism -- from progressive taxation, welfare transfers, and antitrust, to the empowerment of workers and the regulation of banks and other major industries.

Neoliberalism's premise is that free markets can regulate themselves; that government is inherently incompetent, captive to special interests, and an intrusion on the efficiency of the market; that in distributive terms, market outcomes are basically deserved; and that redistribution creates perverse incentives by punishing the economy's winners and rewarding its losers. So government should get out of the market's way.

By the 1990s, even moderate liberals had been converted to the belief that social objectives can be achieved by harnessing the power of markets. Intermittent periods of governance by Democratic presidents slowed but did not reverse the slide to neoliberal policy and doctrine. The corporate wing of the Democratic Party approved.

Now, after nearly half a century, the verdict is in. Virtually every one of these policies has failed, even on their own terms. Enterprise has been richly rewarded, taxes have been cut, and regulation reduced or privatized. The economy is vastly more unequal, yet economic growth is slower and more chaotic than during the era of managed capitalism. Deregulation has produced not salutary competition, but market concentration. Economic power has resulted in feedback loops of political power, in which elites make rules that bolster further concentration.

The culprit isn't just "markets" -- some impersonal force that somehow got loose again. This is a story of power using theory. The mixed economy was undone by economic elites, who revised rules for their own benefit. They invested heavily in friendly theorists to bless this shift as sound and necessary economics, and friendly politicians to put those theories into practice.

Recent years have seen two spectacular cases of market mispricing with devastating consequences: the near-depression of 2008 and irreversible climate change. The economic collapse of 2008 was the result of the deregulation of finance. It cost the real U.S. economy upwards of $15 trillion (and vastly more globally), depending on how you count, far more than any conceivable efficiency gain that might be credited to financial innovation. Free-market theory presumes that innovation is necessarily benign. But much of the financial engineering of the deregulatory era was self-serving, opaque, and corrupt -- the opposite of an efficient and transparent market.

The existential threat of global climate change reflects the incompetence of markets to accurately price carbon and the escalating costs of pollution. The British economist Nicholas Stern has aptly termed the worsening climate catastrophe history's greatest case of market failure. Here again, this is not just the result of failed theory. The entrenched political power of extractive industries and their political allies influences the rules and the market price of carbon. This is less an invisible hand than a thumb on the scale. The premise of efficient markets provides useful cover.

The grand neoliberal experiment of the past 40 years has demonstrated that markets in fact do not regulate themselves. Managed markets turn out to be more equitable and more efficient. Yet the theory and practical influence of neoliberalism marches splendidly on, because it is so useful to society's most powerful people -- as a scholarly veneer to what would otherwise be a raw power grab. The British political economist Colin Crouch captured this anomaly in a book nicely titled The Strange Non-Death of Neoliberalism . Why did neoliberalism not die? As Crouch observed, neoliberalism failed both as theory and as policy, but succeeded superbly as power politics for economic elites.

The neoliberal ascendance has had another calamitous cost -- to democratic legitimacy. As government ceased to buffer market forces, daily life has become more of a struggle for ordinary people. The elements of a decent middle-class life are elusive -- reliable jobs and careers, adequate pensions, secure medical care, affordable housing, and college that doesn't require a lifetime of debt. Meanwhile, life has become ever sweeter for economic elites, whose income and wealth have pulled away and whose loyalty to place, neighbor, and nation has become more contingent and less reliable.

Large numbers of people, in turn, have given up on the promise of affirmative government, and on democracy itself. After the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, ours was widely billed as an era when triumphant liberal capitalism would march hand in hand with liberal democracy. But in a few brief decades, the ostensibly secure regime of liberal democracy has collapsed in nation after nation, with echoes of the 1930s.

As the great political historian Karl Polanyi warned, when markets overwhelm society, ordinary people often turn to tyrants. In regimes that border on neofascist, klepto-capitalists get along just fine with dictators, undermining the neoliberal premise of capitalism and democracy as complements. Several authoritarian thugs, playing on tribal nationalism as the antidote to capitalist cosmopolitanism, are surprisingly popular.

It's also important to appreciate that neoliberalism is not laissez-faire. Classically, the premise of a "free market" is that government simply gets out of the way. This is nonsensical, since all markets are creatures of rules, most fundamentally rules defining property, but also rules defining credit, debt, and bankruptcy; rules defining patents, trademarks, and copyrights; rules defining terms of labor; and so on. Even deregulation requires rules. In Polanyi's words, "laissez-faire was planned."

The political question is who gets to make the rules, and for whose benefit. The neoliberalism of Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman invoked free markets, but in practice the neoliberal regime has promoted rules created by and for private owners of capital, to keep democratic government from asserting rules of fair competition or countervailing social interests. The regime has rules protecting pharmaceutical giants from the right of consumers to import prescription drugs or to benefit from generics. The rules of competition and intellectual property generally have been tilted to protect incumbents. Rules of bankruptcy have been tilted in favor of creditors. Deceptive mortgages require elaborate rules, written by the financial sector and then enforced by government. Patent rules have allowed agribusiness and giant chemical companies like Monsanto to take over much of agriculture -- the opposite of open markets. Industry has invented rules requiring employees and consumers to submit to binding arbitration and to relinquish a range of statutory and common-law rights.

Neoliberalism as Theory, Policy, and Power

It's worth taking a moment to unpack the term "neoliberalism." The coinage can be confusing to American ears because the "liberal" part refers not to the word's ordinary American usage, meaning moderately left-of-center, but to classical economic liberalism otherwise known as free-market economics. The "neo" part refers to the reassertion of the claim that the laissez-faire model of the economy was basically correct after all.

Few proponents of these views embraced the term neoliberal . Mostly, they called themselves free-market conservatives. "Neoliberal" was a coinage used mainly by their critics, sometimes as a neutral descriptive term, sometimes as an epithet. The use became widespread in the era of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan.

To add to the confusion, a different and partly overlapping usage was advanced in the 1970s by the group around the Washington Monthly magazine. They used "neoliberal" to mean a new, less statist form of American liberalism. Around the same time, the term neoconservative was used as a self-description by former liberals who embraced conservatism, on cultural, racial, economic, and foreign-policy grounds. Neoconservatives were neoliberals in economics.

Beginning in the 1970s, resurrected free-market theory was interwoven with both conservative politics and significant investments in the production of theorists and policy intellectuals. This occurred not just in well-known conservative think tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute, Heritage, Cato, and the Manhattan Institute, but through more insidious investments in academia. Lavishly funded centers and tenured chairs were underwritten by the Olin, Scaife, Bradley, and other far-right foundations to promote such variants of free-market theory as law and economics, public choice, rational choice, cost-benefit analysis, maximize-shareholder-value, and kindred schools of thought. These theories colonized several academic disciplines. All were variations on the claim that markets worked and that government should get out of the way.

Each of these bodies of sub-theory relied upon its own variant of neoliberal ideology. An intensified version of the theory of comparative advantage was used not just to cut tariffs but to use globalization as all-purpose deregulation. The theory of maximizing shareholder value was deployed to undermine the entire range of financial regulation and workers' rights. Cost-benefit analysis, emphasizing costs and discounting benefits, was used to discredit a good deal of health, safety, and environmental regulation. Public choice theory, associated with the economist James Buchanan and an entire ensuing school of economics and political science, was used to impeach democracy itself, on the premise that policies were hopelessly afflicted by "rent-seekers" and "free-riders."

Click here to read how Robert Kuttner has been unmasking the fallacies of neoliberalism for decades

Market failure was dismissed as a rare special case; government failure was said to be ubiquitous. Theorists worked hand in glove with lobbyists and with public officials. But in every major case where neoliberal theory generated policy, the result was political success and economic failure.

For example, supply-side economics became the justification for tax cuts, on the premise that taxes punished enterprise. Supposedly, if taxes were cut, especially taxes on capital and on income from capital, the resulting spur to economic activity would be so potent that deficits would be far less than predicted by "static" economic projections, and perhaps even pay for themselves. There have been six rounds of this experiment, from the tax cuts sponsored by Jimmy Carter in 1978 to the immense 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed by Donald Trump. In every case some economic stimulus did result, mainly from the Keynesian jolt to demand, but in every case deficits increased significantly. Conservatives simply stopped caring about deficits. The tax cuts were often inefficient as well as inequitable, since the loopholes steered investment to tax-favored uses rather than the most economically logical ones. Dozens of America's most profitable corporations paid no taxes.

Robert Bork's "antitrust paradox," holding that antitrust enforcement actually weakened competition, was used as the doctrine to sideline the Sherman and Clayton Acts. Supposedly, if government just got out of the way, market forces would remain more competitive because monopoly pricing would invite innovation and new entrants to the market. In practice, industry after industry became more heavily concentrated. Incumbents got in the habit of buying out innovators or using their market power to crush them. This pattern is especially insidious in the tech economy of platform monopolies, where giants that provide platforms, such as Google and Amazon, use their market power and superior access to customer data to out-compete rivals who use their platforms. Markets, once again, require rules beyond the benign competence of the market actors themselves. Only democratic government can set equitable rules. And when democracy falters, undemocratic governments in cahoots with corrupt private plutocrats will make the rules.

Human capital theory, another variant of neoliberal application of markets to partly social questions, justified deregulating labor markets and crushing labor unions. Unions supposedly used their power to get workers paid more than their market worth. Likewise minimum wage laws. But the era of depressed wages has actually seen a decline in rates of productivity growth. Conversely, does any serious person think that the inflated pay of the financial moguls who crashed the economy accurately reflects their contribution to economic activity? In the case of hedge funds and private equity, the high incomes of fund sponsors are the result of transfers of wealth and income from employees, other stakeholders, and operating companies to the fund managers, not the fruits of more efficient management.

There is a broad literature discrediting this body of pseudo-scholarly work in great detail. Much of neoliberalism represents the ever-reliable victory of assumption over evidence. Yet neoliberal theory lived on because it was so convenient for elites, and because of the inertial power of the intellectual capital that had been created. The well-funded neoliberal habitat has provided comfortable careers for two generations of scholars and pseudo-scholars who migrate between academia, think tanks, K Street, op-ed pages, government, Wall Street, and back again. So even if the theory has been demolished both by scholarly rebuttal and by events, it thrives in powerful institutions and among their political allies.

The Practical Failure of Neoliberal Policies

Financial deregulation is neoliberalism's most palpable deregulatory failure, but far from the only one. Electricity deregulation on balance has increased monopoly power and raised costs to consumers, but has failed to offer meaningful "shopping around" opportunities to bring down prices. We have gone from regulated monopolies with predictable earnings, costs, wages, and consumer protections to deregulated monopolies or oligopolies with substantial pricing power. Since the Bell breakup, the telephone system tells a similar story of re-concentration, dwindling competition, price-gouging, and union-bashing.

Air travel has been a poster child for advocates of deregulation, but the actual record is mixed at best. Airline deregulation produced serial bankruptcies of every major U.S. airline, often at the cost of worker pay and pension funds. Ticket prices have declined on average over the past two decades, but the traveling public suffers from a crazy quilt of fares, declining service, shrinking seats and legroom, and exorbitant penalties for the perfectly normal sin of having to change plans. Studies have shown that fares actually declined at a faster rate in the 20 years before deregulation in 1978 than in the 20 years afterward, because the prime source of greater efficiency in airline travel is the introduction of more fuel-efficient planes. The roller-coaster experience of airline profits and losses has reduced the capacity of airlines to purchase more fuel-efficient aircraft, and the average age of the fleet keeps increasing. The use of "fortress hubs" to defend market pricing power has reduced the percentage of nonstop flights, the most efficient way to fly from one point to another.

In addition to deregulation, three prime areas of practical neoliberal policies are the use of vouchers as "market-like" means to social goals, the privatization of public services, and the use of tax subsides rather than direct outlays. In every case, government revenues are involved, so this is far from a free market to begin with. But the premise is that market disciplines can achieve public purposes more efficiently than direct public provision.

The evidence provides small comfort for these claims. One core problem is that the programs invariably give too much to the for-profit middlemen at the expense of the intended beneficiaries. A related problem is that the process of using vouchers and contracts invites corruption. It is a different form of "rent-seeking" -- pursuit of monopoly profits -- than that attributed to government by public choice theorists, but corruption nonetheless. Often, direct public provision is far more transparent and accountable than a web of contractors.

A further problem is that in practice there is often far less competition than imagined, because of oligopoly power, vendor lock-in, and vendor political influence. These experiments in marketization to serve social goals do not operate in some Platonic policy laboratory, where the only objective is true market efficiency yoked to the public good. They operate in the grubby world of practical politics, where the vendors are closely allied with conservative politicians whose purposes may be to discredit social transfers entirely, or to reward corporate allies, or to benefit from kickbacks either directly or as campaign contributions.

Privatized prisons are a case in point. A few large, scandal-ridden companies have gotten most of the contracts, often through political influence. Far from bringing better quality and management efficiency, they have profited by diverting operating funds and worsening conditions that were already deplorable, and finding new ways to charge inmates higher fees for necessary services such as phone calls. To the extent that money was actually saved, most of the savings came from reducing the pay and professionalism of guards, increasing overcrowding, and decreasing already inadequate budgets for food and medical care.

A similar example is the privatization of transportation services such as highways and even parking meters. In several Midwestern states, toll roads have been sold to private vendors. The governor who makes the deal gains a temporary fiscal windfall, while drivers end up paying higher tolls often for decades. Investment bankers who broker the deal also take their cut. Some of the money does go into highway improvements, but that could have been done more efficiently in the traditional way via direct public ownership and competitive bidding.

Housing vouchers substantially reward landlords who use the vouchers to fill empty houses with poor people until the neighborhood gentrifies, at which point the owner is free to quit the program and charge market rentals. Thus public funds are used to underwrite a privately owned, quasi-social housing sector -- whose social character is only temporary. No permanent social housing is produced despite the extensive public outlay. The companion use of tax incentives to attract passive investment in affordable housing promotes economically inefficient tax shelters, and shunts public funds into the pockets of the investors -- money that might otherwise have gone directly to the housing.

The Affordable Care Act is a form of voucher. But the regulated private insurance markets in the ACA have not fully lived up to their promise, in part because of the extensive market power retained by private insurers and in part because the right has relentlessly sought to sabotage the program -- another political feedback loop. The sponsors assumed that competition would lower costs and increase consumer choice. But in too many counties, there are three or fewer competing plans, and in some cases just one.

As more insurance plans and hospital systems become for-profit, massive investment goes into such wasteful activities as manipulation of billing, "risk selection," and other gaming of the rules. Our mixed-market system of health care requires massive regulation to work with tolerable efficiency. In practice, this degenerates into an infinite regress of regulator versus commercial profit-maximizer, reminiscent of Mad magazine's "Spy versus Spy," with the industry doing end runs to Congress to further rig the rules. Straight-ahead public insurance such as Medicare is generally far more efficient.

An extensive literature has demonstrated that for-profit voucher schools do no better and often do worse than comparable public schools, and are vulnerable to multiple forms of gaming and corruption. Proprietors of voucher schools are superb at finding ways of excluding costly special-needs students, so that those costs are imposed on what remains of public schools; they excel at gaming test results. While some voucher and charter schools, especially nonprofit ones, sometimes improve on average school performance, so do many public schools. The record is also muddied by the fact that many ostensibly nonprofit schools contract out management to for-profit companies.

Tax preferences have long been used ostensibly to serve social goals. The Earned Income Tax Credit is considered one of the more successful cases of using market-like measures -- in this case a refundable tax credit -- to achieve the social goal of increasing worker take-home pay. It has also been touted as the rare case of bipartisan collaboration. Liberals get more money for workers. Conservatives get to reward the deserving poor, since the EITC is conditioned on employment. Conservatives get a further ideological win, since the EITC is effectively a wage subsidy from the government, but is experienced as a tax refund rather than a benefit of government.

Recent research, however, shows that the EITC is primarily a subsidy of low-wage employers, who are able to pay their workers a lot less than a market-clearing wage. In industries such as nursing homes or warehouses, where many workers qualified for the EITC work side by side with ones not eligible, the non-EITC workers get substandard wages. The existence of the EITC depresses the level of the wages that have to come out of the employer's pocket.

Neoliberalism's Influence on Liberals

As free-market theory resurged, many moderate liberals embraced these policies. In the inflationary 1970s, regulation became a scapegoat that supposedly deterred salutary price competition. Some, such as economist Alfred Kahn, President Carter's adviser on deregulation, supported deregulation on what he saw as the merits. Other moderates supported neoliberal policies opportunistically, to curry favor with powerful industries and donors. Market-like policies were also embraced by liberals as a tactical way to find common ground with conservatives.

Several forms of deregulation -- of airlines, trucking, and electric power -- began not under Reagan but under Carter. Financial deregulation took off under Bill Clinton. Democratic presidents, as much as Republicans, promoted trade deals that undermined social standards. Cost-benefit analysis by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) was more of a choke point under Barack Obama than under George W. Bush.

"Command and control" became an all-purpose pejorative for disparaging perfectly sensible and efficient regulation. "Market-like" became a fashionable concept, not just on the free-market right but on the moderate left. Cass Sunstein, who served as Obama's anti-regulation czar,uses the example of "nudges" as a more market-like and hence superior alternative to direct regulation, though with rare exceptions their impact is trivial. Moreover, nudges only work in tandem with regulation.

There are indeed some interventionist policies that use market incentives to serve social goals. But contrary to free-market theory, the market-like incentives first require substantial regulation and are not a substitute for it. A good example is the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, which used tradable emission rights to cut the output of sulfur dioxide, the cause of acid rain. This was supported by both the George H.W. Bush administration and by leading Democrats. But before the trading regime could work, Congress first had to establish permissible ceilings on sulfur dioxide output -- pure command and control.

There are many other instances, such as nutrition labeling, truth-in-lending, and disclosure of EPA gas mileage results, where the market-like premise of a better-informed consumer complements command regulation but is no substitute for it. Nearly all of the increase in fuel efficiency, for example, is the result of command regulations that require auto fleets to hit a gas mileage target. The fact that EPA gas mileage figures are prominently disclosed on new car stickers may have modest influence, but motor fuels are so underpriced that car companies have success selling gas-guzzlers despite the consumer labeling.

Politically, whatever rationale there was for liberals to make common ground with libertarians is now largely gone. The authors of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made no attempt to meet Democrats partway; they excluded the opposition from the legislative process entirely. This was opportunistic tax cutting for elites, pure and simple. The right today also abandoned the quest for a middle ground on environmental policy, on anti-poverty policy, on health policy -- on virtually everything. Neoliberal ideology did its historic job of weakening intellectual and popular support for the proposition that affirmative government can better the lives of citizens and that the Democratic Party is a reliable steward of that social compact. Since Reagan, the right's embrace of the free market has evolved from partly principled idealism into pure opportunism and obstruction.

Neoliberalism and Hyper-Globalism

The post-1990 rules of globalization, supported by conservatives and moderate liberals alike, are the quintessence of neoliberalism. At Bretton Woods in 1944, the use of fixed exchange rates and controls on speculative private capital, plus the creation of the IMFand World Bank, were intended to allow member countries to practice national forms of managed capitalism, insulated from the destructive and deflationary influences of short-term speculative private capital flows. As doctrine and power shifted in the 1970s, the IMF, the World Bank, and later the WTO, which replaced the old GATT, mutated into their ideological opposite. Rather than instruments of support for mixed national economies, they became enforcers of neoliberal policies.

The standard package of the "Washington Consensus" of approved policies for developing nations included demands that they open their capital markets to speculative private finance, as well as cutting taxes on capital, weakening social transfers, and gutting labor regulation and public ownership. But private capital investment in poor countries proved to be fickle. The result was often excessive inflows during the boom part of the cycle and punitive withdrawals during the bust -- the opposite of the patient, long-term development capital that these countries needed and that was provided by the World Bank of an earlier era. During the bust phase, the IMFtypically imposes even more stringent neoliberal demands as the price of financial bailouts, including perverse budgetary austerity, supposedly to restore the confidence of the very speculative capital markets responsible for the boom-bust cycle.

Dozens of nations, from Latin America to East Asia, went through this cycle of boom, bust, and then IMF pile-on. Greece is still suffering the impact. After 1990, hyper-globalism also included trade treaties whose terms favored multinational corporations. Traditionally, trade agreements had been mainly about reciprocal reductions of tariffs. Nations were free to have whatever brand of regulation, public investment, or social policies they chose. With the advent of the WTO, many policies other than tariffs were branded as trade distorting, even as takings without compensation. Trade deals were used to give foreign capital free access and to dismantle national regulation and public ownership. Special courts were created in which foreign corporations and investors could do end runs around national authorities to challenge regulation for impeding commerce.

At first, the sponsors of the new trade regime tried to claim the successful economies of East Asia as evidence of the success of the neoliberal recipe. Supposedly, these nations had succeeded by pursuing "export-led growth," exposing their domestic economies to salutary competition. But these claims were soon exposed as the opposite of what had actually occurred. In fact, Japan, South Korea, smaller Asian nations, and above all China had thrived by rejecting every major tenet of neoliberalism. Their capital markets were tightly regulated and insulated from foreign speculative capital. They developed world-class industries as state-led cartels that favored domestic production and supply. East Asia got into trouble only when it followed IMFdictates to throw open capital markets, and in the aftermath they recovered by closing those markets and assembling war chests of hard currency so that they'd never again have to go begging to the IMF. Enthusiasts of hyper-globalization also claimed that it benefited poor countries by increasing export opportunities, but as the success of East Asia shows, there is more than one way to boost exports -- and many poorer countries suffered under the terms of the global neoliberal regime.

Nor was the damage confined to the developing world. As the work of Harvard economist Dani Rodrik has demonstrated, democracy requires a polity. For better or for worse, the polity and democratic citizenship are national. By enhancing the global market at the expense of the democratic state, the current brand of hyper-globalization deliberately weakens the capacity of states to regulate markets, and weakens democracy itself.

When Do Markets Work?

The failure of neoliberalism as economic and social policy does not mean that markets never work. A command economy is even more utopian and perverse than a neoliberal one. The practical quest is for an efficient and equitable middle ground.

The neoliberal story of how the economy operates assumes a largely frictionless marketplace, where prices are set by supply and demand, and the price mechanism allocates resources to their optimal use in the economy as a whole. For this discipline to work as advertised, however, there can be no market power, competition must be plentiful, sellers and buyers must have roughly equal information, and there can be no significant externalities. Much of the 20th century was practical proof that these conditions did not describe a good part of the actual economy. And if markets priced things wrong, the market system did not aggregate to an efficient equilibrium, and depressions could become self-deepening. As Keynes demonstrated, only a massive jolt of government spending could restart the engines, even if market pricing was partly violated in the process.

Nonetheless, in many sectors of the economy, the process of buying and selling is close enough to the textbook conditions of perfect competition that the price system works tolerably well. Supermarkets, for instance, deliver roughly accurate prices because of the consumer's freedom and knowledge to shop around. Likewise much of retailing. However, when we get into major realms of the economy with positive or negative externalities, such as education and health, markets are not sufficient. And in other major realms, such as pharmaceuticals, where corporations use their political power to rig the terms of patents, the market doesn't produce a cure.

The basic argument of neoliberalism can fit on a bumper sticker. Markets work; governments don't . If you want to embellish that story, there are two corollaries: Markets embody human freedom. And with markets, people basically get what they deserve; to alter market outcomes is to spoil the poor and punish the productive. That conclusion logically flows from the premise that markets are efficient. Milton Friedman became rich, famous, and influential by teasing out the several implications of these simple premises.

It is much harder to articulate the case for a mixed economy than the case for free markets, precisely because the mixed economy is mixed. The rebuttal takes several paragraphs. The more complex story holds that markets are substantially efficient in some realms but far from efficient in others, because of positive and negative externalities, the tendency of financial markets to create cycles of boom and bust, the intersection of self-interest and corruption, the asymmetry of information between company and consumer, the asymmetry of power between corporation and employee, the power of the powerful to rig the rules, and the fact that there are realms of human life (the right to vote, human liberty, security of one's person) that should not be marketized.

And if markets are not perfectly efficient, then distributive questions are partly political choices. Some societies pay pre-K teachers the minimum wage as glorified babysitters. Others educate and compensate them as professionals. There is no "correct" market-derived wage, because pre-kindergarten is a social good and the issue of how to train and compensate teachers is a social choice, not a market choice. The same is true of the other human services, including medicine. Nor is there a theoretically correct set of rules for patents, trademarks, and copyrights. These are politically derived, either balancing the interests of innovation with those of diffusion -- or being politically captured by incumbent industries.

Governments can in principle improve on market outcomes via regulation, but that fact is complicated by the risk of regulatory capture. So another issue that arises is market failure versus polity failure, which brings us back to the urgency of strong democracy and effective government.

After Neoliberalism

The political reversal of neoliberalism can only come through practical politics and policies that demonstrate how government often can serve citizens more equitably and efficiently than markets. Revision of theory will take care of itself. There is no shortage of dissenting theorists and empirical policy researchers whose scholarly work has been vindicated by events. What they need is not more theory but more influence, both in the academy and in the corridors of power. They are available to advise a new progressive administration, if that administration can get elected and if it refrains from hiring neoliberal advisers.

There are also some relatively new areas that invite policy innovation. These include regulation of privacy rights versus entrepreneurial liberties in the digital realm; how to think of the internet as a common carrier; how to update competition and antitrust policy as platform monopolies exert new forms of market power; how to modernize labor-market policy in the era of the gig economy; and the role of deeper income supplements as machines replace human workers.

The failed neoliberal experiment also makes the case not just for better-regulated capitalism but for direct public alternatives as well. Banking, done properly, especially the provision of mortgage finance, is close to a public utility. Much of it could be public. A great deal of research is done more honestly and more cost-effectively in public, peer-reviewed institutions such as the NIHthan by a substantially corrupt private pharmaceutical industry. Social housing often is more cost-effective than so-called public-private partnerships. Public power is more efficient to generate, less prone to monopolistic price-gouging, and friendlier to the needed green transition than private power. The public option in health care is far more efficient than the current crazy quilt in which each layer of complexity adds opacity and cost. Public provision does require public oversight, but that is more straightforward and transparent than the byzantine dance of regulation and counter-regulation.

The two other benefits of direct public provision are that the public gets direct evidence of government delivering something of value, and that the countervailing power of democracy to harness markets is enhanced. A mixed economy depends above all on a strong democracy -- one even stronger than the democracy that succumbed to the corrupting influence of economic elites and their neoliberal intellectual allies beginning half a century ago. The antidote to the resurrected neoliberal fable is the resurrection of democracy -- strong enough to tame the market in a way that tames it for keeps.

Arthur Littwin , August 4, 2019 at 7:36 am

Excellent article and very much appreciated so I can share with confused Liberal friends (mostly older) who think that they are now, somehow, Neoliberal. As far as market failure is concerned: I think Boeing is an incredible case in point. When one of the nation's flagship enterprises captures regulatory processes so completely that it produces a product that cannot accomplish its one aim: to fly. Btw: I am seeing a lot of use of the "populist" to describe what might be more correctly described as nativist, xenophobic, anti-democratic, authoritarian, or even outright fascist leaders. Keep the language clear and insist on precise definitions.

Ian Perkins , August 4, 2019 at 10:16 am

Excellent article, I agree. As regards clear language and definitions, I much prefer Michael Hudson's insistence that, to the liberal economists, free markets were markets free from rent seeking, while to the neoliberals free markets are free from government regulation.

"As governments were democratized, especially in the United States, liberals came to endorse a policy of active public welfare spending and hence government intervention, especially on behalf of the poor and disadvantaged. neoliberalism sought to restore the centralized aristocratic and oligarchic rentier control of domestic politics."

http://michael-hudson.com/2014/01/l-is-for-land/ – "Liberal"

bwilli123 , August 4, 2019 at 7:44 am

"The economic collapse of 2008 was the result of the deregulation of finance. It cost the real U.S. economy upwards of $15 trillion (and vastly more globally), depending on how you count, far more than any conceivable efficiency gain that might be credited to financial innovation ."
That High Priest of neo-Liberalism Alan Greenspan once said, "The only thing useful banks have invented in 20 years is the ATM "

vern lyon , August 4, 2019 at 8:33 am

Sorry, the ATM quote was Paul Volker not Greenspan.

paul , August 4, 2019 at 8:23 am

In my worthless opinion: The private sector is great for what you do not need

The public sector(direction not implementation) is the only way to provide what we all need. 2.5 up maslow's pyramid would suit many.

If you are short of links tomorrow: Craig Murray would be worth a look

Divadab , August 4, 2019 at 8:23 am

Hard to see how the federal government can be gotten back from the cartels at this point- the whole thing is so corrupt. And the "socialism is bad" mantra has captured a lot of easily led brains.

In a political system where the reputedly "labor" party would rather lose with their bribe-taking warmongering Goldwater girl than win with a people's advocate, Houston we have a problem.

As with anthropogenic climate change, the cause is systemic- the political system is based on money control and the economic system is based on unsustainable energy use. Absent a crash, crisis, systematic chaos and destruction I don't see much changing other than at the margins- the corruption is too entrenched.

Watt4Bob , August 4, 2019 at 9:28 am

We were warned about the situation you describe.

The following is a portion of an op-ed piece that appeared in the New York Times On April 4, 1944 . It was written by Henry Wallace, FDR's vice president;

If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful. Most American fascists are enthusiastically supporting the war effort. They are doing this even in those cases where they hope to have profitable connections with German chemical firms after the war ends. They are patriotic in time of war because it is to their interest to be so, but in time of peace they follow power and the dollar wherever they may lead.

American fascism will not be really dangerous until there is a purposeful coalition among the cartelists, the deliberate poisoners of public information, and those who stand for the K.K.K. type of demagoguery.

The European brand of fascism will probably present its most serious postwar threat to us via Latin America. The effect of the war has been to raise the cost of living in most Latin American countries much faster than the wages of labor. The fascists in most Latin American countries tell the people that the reason their wages will not buy as much in the way of goods is because of Yankee imperialism. The fascists in Latin America learn to speak and act like natives. Our chemical and other manufacturing concerns are all too often ready to let the Germans have Latin American markets, provided the American companies can work out an arrangement which will enable them to charge high prices to the consumer inside the United States. Following this war, technology will have reached such a point that it will be possible for Germans, using South America as a base, to cause us much more difficulty in World War III than they did in World War II. The military and landowning cliques in many South American countries will find it attractive financially to work with German fascist concerns as well as expedient from the standpoint of temporary power politics.

Fascism is a worldwide disease. Its greatest threat to the United States will come after the war, either via Latin America or within the United States itself.

The full text is quite useful in understanding that there is no question as to how and why we find ourselves in the present predicament, it is the logical outcome of a process that was well understood during FDR's tenure.

That understanding has since been deliberately eradicated by the powerful interests that control our media.

John Zelnicker , August 4, 2019 at 12:04 pm

@Watt4Bob
August 4, 2019 at 9:28 am
-- -- -

Thank you for posting this excerpt.

Very enlightening.

There was a lot of wisdom put forth during and shortly after WWII in both politics (see above) and economics.

For example, there was a Treasury official, whose name I can't remember right now, who understood that the Federal government has no real need to collect taxes. And, Keynesianism prevailed until Milton Friedman and the Chicago School came along and turned everything upside down with Monetarism.

mle in detroit , August 4, 2019 at 12:54 pm

Wow, does Wallace's second paragraph describe today or what?

Ian Perkins , August 4, 2019 at 2:52 pm

My thoughts exactly.

Amfortas the hippie , August 4, 2019 at 10:00 am

"absent a crash " I reckon "unsustainable" is an important word to remember. None of it is sustainable all those spinning plates and balls in the air .and the grasshopper god demands that they keep adding more and more plates and balls.

All based on a bunch of purposefully unexamined assumptions.

... ... ...

Ian Perkins , August 4, 2019 at 10:34 am

Or Edward Abbey: "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell."

I did an A-level (UK exam for 18 year olds) in economics years ago, and despite passing with an A, I not only couldn't understand this underlying assumption of continued exponential growth forever, I also couldn't understand why anyone couldn't understand its obvious absurdity.
Sustainability was a bit of a new word in those days, but when I discovered it, it summed up my problems with (over-) developed economies.

Carolinian , August 4, 2019 at 9:32 am

To add to the confusion, a different and partly overlapping usage was advanced in the 1970s by the group around the Washington Monthly magazine. They used "neoliberal" to mean a new, less statist form of American liberalism. Around the same time, the term neoconservative was used as a self-description by former liberals who embraced conservatism, on cultural, racial, economic, and foreign-policy grounds. Neoconservatives were neoliberals in economics.

This commenter has been scolded in the past for invoking Charlie Peters and the Washington Monthly rather than Friedman, Hayek etc. But what Peters' highly influential magazine (and the transformed New Republic that followed) did was to bring the Democrats into the neoliberal fold and that may be the real reason it's a beast that can't be killed.

Neoliberalism gave liberals an excuse to sell out in the name of "fresh thinking." Meanwhile the vast working class had become discredited Archie Bunkers in the eyes of the intellectuals after Vietnam and the Civil Rights struggles.

It's possible that what really changed the country was the rise of that middle class that Kuttner now mourns. Suggesting that it was all the result of a rightwing plan is too easy although that was certainly part of it.

David , August 4, 2019 at 10:06 am

I'd add two other consequences of neoliberalism. One is the increasing alienation of citizens from the mechanism for provision of the basic necessities of life. Before the 1980s, for example, water, gas, electricity etc. were provided by publicly-owned utilities with local offices, recognisable local and national structures, and responsible to an elected Minister.

If you had a serious problem, then in the final analysis you could write a letter to your MP, who would take it up with the Minister. Now, you are no longer a citizen but a consumer, and your utilities are provided by some weird private sector thing, owned by another company, owned by some third company, frequently based abroad, and with its customer services outsourced to yet another company which could be anywhere in the world all. All this involves significant transaction costs for individuals, who are expected to conduct sophisticated cost-effectiveness comparisons between providers, when in fact they just want to turn on the tap and have water come out.

The other is that government (and hence the citizen) loses any capacity for strategic planning. Most nationalized industries in Britain were either created because the private sector wasn't interested, or picked up when the private sector went bankrupt (the railways for example). But without ownership, the capacity to decide what you want and get it is much reduced. You can see that with the example of the Minitel – a proto-internet system given away free by the French government through the state-owned France Telecom in the early 1980s, and years ahead of anything else. You literally couldn't do anything similar now.

John Merryman. , August 4, 2019 at 10:35 am

Taking Michael Hudson's work into account, there is a much deeper and older dynamic at work, of which neoliberalism is just the latest itineration.
A possible explanation goes to the nature of money.

As the accounting device that enables mass societies to function, it amounts to a contract between the individual and the community, with one side an asset and the other a debt. Yet as we experience it as quantified hope, we try to save and store it. Consequently, in order to store the asset, similar amounts of debt have to be created.

Which results in a centripedial effect, as positive feedback draws the asset side to the center of the social construct, while negative feedback pushes the debt to the edges. It could be argued this dynamic is the basis of economic hierarchy, not just a consequence.

Yet money and finance function as the economic blood and arteries, circulating value around the entire community, so the effect of this dynamic is like the heart telling the hands and feet they don't need so much blood and should work harder for what they do get.

Basically we have to accept that while money is an effective medium of exchange, it is not a productive store of value. We wouldn't confuse blood with fat, or roads with parking lots, so it should be possible to learn to store value in tangibles, like the strong communities and healthy environments that will give us the safety and security we presumably save money for.

As a medium, we own money like we own the section of road we are using, or the fluids passing through our bodies. Let the neoliberals chew on that.

tegnost , August 4, 2019 at 11:39 am

Yet money and finance function as the economic blood and arteries, circulating value around the entire community, so the effect of this dynamic is like the heart telling the hands and feet they don't need so much blood and should work harder for what they do get.

nice image of a not so nice dynamic

John Merryman. , August 4, 2019 at 12:34 pm

Thanks. Political persuasion is about keeping it simple. How about; Government was once private. It was called monarchy. Do we want to go back there, or do we need to better understand the balance between public and private? Even houses have spaces that are public and spaces that are private.

pjay , August 4, 2019 at 10:44 am

This is, indeed, an excellent historical overview, evoking some of Kuttner's best writing over the decades. I would recommend it with no hesitation.

On the other hand, Kuttner's American Prospect has also provided cover for some damaging faux-progressive enablers of neoliberalism over those decades (IMHO). A puzzlement.

P S BAKER , August 4, 2019 at 10:45 am

An excellent exegesis – this is going to be my go-to summary from now on. Many thanks.

Sal , August 4, 2019 at 11:20 am

I must remind everyone that Bob Kuttner is no longer what he used to be. Bob Kuttner was against progressive Dem candidates like Bernie in 2016, and was in bed with THE neoliberal candidate ..With the passage of time, Kuttner has evolved into a partisan for the sake of partisanship, instead of being principled.

tegnost , August 4, 2019 at 12:15 pm

after reading your comment I went through the post again and found these suspicious points

"The failure of neoliberalism as economic and social policy does not mean that markets never work. A command economy is even more utopian and perverse than a neoliberal one. The practical quest is for an efficient and equitable middle ground. "

so, get in front of the riot and call it a parade? Maybe a little bit. Also

"Nonetheless, in many sectors of the economy, the process of buying and selling is close enough to the textbook conditions of perfect competition that the price system works tolerably well. Supermarkets, for instance, deliver roughly accurate prices because of the consumer's freedom and knowledge to shop around. Likewise much of retailing . However, when we get into major realms of the economy with positive or negative externalities, such as education and health, markets are not sufficient. And in other major realms, such as pharmaceuticals, where corporations use their political power to rig the terms of patents, the market doesn't produce a cure."

Probably not working so well for the employees or the farm workers who get food on the shelf
I guess maybe not practical to change that dynamic? That said, as history the post is as good as anything else I've seen, and reads well, but maybe does need a grain of salt to make it more palatable.

Camelotkidd , August 4, 2019 at 11:35 am

"Neoliberalism's premise is that free markets can regulate themselves; that government is inherently incompetent, captive to special interests, and an intrusion on the efficiency of the market; that in distributive terms, market outcomes are basically deserved; and that redistribution creates perverse incentives by punishing the economy's winners and rewarding its losers. So government should get out of the market's way."

In an otherwise good article the author makes a fundamental error. As Phillip Mirowski patiently explains in Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste, neoliberalism is not laissez faire. Neoliberal desire a strong government to implement their market based nirvana, as long as they control government.

Hayek's Heelbiter , August 4, 2019 at 11:43 am

The best summation on the failure of neoliberalism I've ever read. Will share widely Still nipping. Maybe one day I'll be able to take a real bite!

shinola , August 4, 2019 at 1:51 pm

"[ .] was used to justify political conservatism, imperialism, and racism and to discourage intervention and reform."

That missing first word could easily be neoliberalism; however, that sentence was actually pulled from a definition of Social Darwinism.

[Aug 03, 2019] ENOUGH AND NOT TOO MUCH By Patrick Armstrong - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Aug 03, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

ENOUGH AND NOT TOO MUCH By Patrick Armstrong

Russianbear

(First published at Strategic Culture Foundation, I put it here to see what the Committee thinks about it )

Moscow will not engage in an exhausting arms race, and the country's military spending will gradually decrease as Russia does not seek a role as the "world gendarme," President Vladimir Putin said. Moscow is not seeking to get involved in a "pointless" new arms race, and will stick to "smart decisions" to strengthen its defensive capabilities, Putin said on Friday during an annual extended meeting of the Defense Ministry board. "Intelligence, brains, discipline and organization" must be the cornerstones of the country's military doctrine, the Russian leader said. The last thing that Russia needs is an arms race that would "drain" its economy, and Moscow sure does not want that "in any scenario," Putin pointed out.

RT, 22 December 2017

It's easy to forget it today, but the USSR was, in its time, an "exceptionalist" country. It was the world's first socialist country – the " bright future "; it set an example for all to follow, it was destined by History. It had a mission and was required by History to assist any country that called itself "socialist". The USSR had bases and interests all over the world. As the 1977 USSR Constitution said :

the Soviet state, a new type of state, the basic instrument for defending the gains of the revolution and for building socialism and communism. Humanity thereby began the epoch-making turn from capitalist to socialism.

A novus ordo seclorum indeed.

Russia, however, is just Russia. There is no feeling in Moscow that Russia must take the lead any place but Russia itself. One of the reasons, indeed, why Putin is always talking about the primacy of the UN, the independence of nation states, the impermissibility to interfere in internal activities – the so-called " Westphalian " position – is that he remembers the exceptionalist past and knows that it led to a dead end . Moscow has no interest in going abroad in search of internationalist causes.

Internationalism/exceptionalism and nationalism: the two have completely different approaches to constructing a military. The first is obsessed with " power projection ", " full spectrum superiority ", it imagines that its hypertrophied interests are challenged all over the planet. Its wants are expensive, indeterminate, unbounded. The other is only concerned with dealing with enemies in its neighbourhood. Its wants are affordable, exact, finite. The exceptionalist/interventionist has everything to defend everywhere; the nationalist has one thing to defend in one place. It is much easier and much cheaper to be a nationalist: the exceptionalist/interventionist USA spends much more than anyone else but always needs more ; nationalist Russia can cut its expenditure .

The USSR's desire to match or exceed the USA in all military areas was a contributing factor to the collapse of its alliance system and the USSR itself. Estimates are always a matter for debate, especially in a command economy that hid its numbers (even when they were calculable), but a common estimate is a minimum of 15% of the USSR's production went to the military. But the true effort was probably higher. The USSR was involved all over the world shoring up socialism's "bright future" and that cost it at home.

Putin & Co's "bright future" is for Russia only and the world may do as it wants about any example or counterexample it may imagine there. While Putin may occasionally indulge himself by offering opinions about liberalism and oped writers gas on about the Putin/Trump populism threat , Putin & Co are just trying to do what they think best for Russia with, as their trust ratings suggest (in contrast with those of the rulers of the "liberal" West), the support and agreement of most Russians.

The military stance of the former exceptionalist country is all gone. As the USSR has faded away, so have its overseas bases and commitments: the Warsaw Pact is gone together with the forward deployment of Soviet armies; there are no advisors in Vietnam or Mozambique; Moscow awaits with bemusement the day next January when the surviving exceptionalist power and its minions will have been in Afghanistan twice as long as the USSR was. The United States, still exceptionalist, still imagining it is spreading freedom and democracy, preventing war and creating stability , has bases everywhere and thinks that it must protect "freedom of navigation" to and from China in the South China Sea. It has yet to learn the futility of seeing oneself as The World's Example.

Putin & Co have learned: Russia has no World-Historical purpose and its military is just for Russia. They understand what this means for Russia's Armed Forces:

Moscow doesn't have to match the US military; it just has to checkmate it.

And it doesn't have to checkmate it everywhere, only at home. The US Air Force can rampage anywhere but not in Russia's airspace; the US Navy can go anywhere but not in Russia's waters. It's a much simpler job and it costs much less than what Stalin, Khrushchev and Brezhnev were attempting; it's much easier to achieve; it's easier to plan and carry out. The exceptionalist/interventionist has to plan for Everything; the nationalist for One Thing.

Study the enemy, learn what he takes for granted and block it. And the two must haves of American conventional military power as it affects Russia are 1) air superiority and 2) assured, reliable communications; counter those and it's checkmated: Russia doesn't have to equal or surpass the US military across the board, just counter its must haves .

Russia's comprehensive and interlocking air defence weaponry is well known and well respected: it covers the spectrum from defences against ballistic missiles to small RPVs, from complex missile/radar sets to MANPADS; all of it coordinated, interlocking with many redundancies. We hear US generals complaining about air defence bubbles and studies referring to Russia's " anti-access/area-denial (A2AD) exclusion zones ". Russian air defence has not been put to the full-scale test but we have two good indications of its effectiveness. The first was the coordinated RPV attack on Russian bases in Syria last year in which seven were shot down and six taken over , three of them landed intact . Then, in the FUKUS attack of April 2018, the Russians say the Syrian AD system (most of which is old but has benefited from Russian coordination) shot down a large number of the cruise missiles. ( FUKUS' claims are not believable ).

The other area, about which even less is known are Russian electronic warfare capabilities: " eye-watering " says a US general; " Right now in Syria we are operating in the most aggressive EW environment on the planet from our adversaries. They are testing us everyday, knocking our communications down, disabling our EC-130s, etcetera ." Of course, what the Americans know is only what Russia wants them to know. There is speculation about an ability to spoof GPS signals . AEGIS-equipped warships seem to have trouble locating themselves ( HNoMS Helge Ingstad ) or avoiding being run into ( USS Lake Champlain , USS John McCain , USS Fitzgerald ). Bad seamanship may, of course, be the cause and that's what the US investigations claim . So more rumour than fact but a lot of rumour.

In the past two or three decades US air power has operated with impunity; it has assumed that all GPS-based systems (and there are many) will operate as planned and that communications will be free and clear. Not against Russia. With those certainties removed, the American war fighting doctrine will be left scrabbling.

But AD and EW are not the only Russian counters. When President Bush pulled the USA out of the ABM Treaty in 2001 , Putin warned that Russia would have to respond. Mutual Assured Destruction may sound crazy but there's a stability to it: neither side, under any circumstance, can get away with a first strike; therefore neither will try it. Last year we met the response : a new ICBM, a hypersonic re-entry vehicle, a nuclear-powered cruise missile with enormous flight time and a similar underwater cruise missile. No defence will stop them and so MAD returns. A hypersonic anti-shipping missile will keep the US Navy out of Russian waters. And, to deal with the US Army's risible ground forces in Europe , with or without NATO's other feeble forces , Russia has re-created the First Guards Tank Army . Checkmate again.

No free pass for US air power, strained and uncertain communications, a defeated ground attack and no defence against Russian nuclear weapons. That's all and that's enough.

And that is how Moscow does it while spending much less money than Washington. It studies Washington's strengths and counters them: "smart decisions". Washington is starting to realise Russia's military power but it is blinded and can only see its reflection in the mirror: the so-called " rising threat from Russia " would be no threat to a Washington that stayed at home.

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.

- Sun Tzu


ted richard , 02 August 2019 at 04:19 PM

he is of course correct in his over all views. russian missile and EW technology is already, today, at least a generation ahead of what the pentagon fields for combat. rendering effective pentagon military power projection neutered against both russia and china as well as any ally they choose to support (think syria for sure, iran?, venezuela?)

the problem washington faces is they sold out the federal government decades ago to banking and corporate interest which as time has proven repeatedly are NOT aligned with the best interests of the american citizenry, and like anyone who sups with the devil a bargain is a bargain, once taken there is no going back.

the problem for washington is that banking and corporate interests require plunder to operate properly as currently structured. maximize short term gain for private ownership while either put off long terms costs (pollution etc) well into the future or like in 2008 socialize the losses across the entire tax payer (a euphemism for serf) base while handily keeping all those fed vomited bailouts private.

as russia, china, iran, venezuela erect signs backed up by force saying.."this is a plunder free zone" and, what with unencumbered assets becoming ever harder to locate for anglo american capitalism a crisis is emerging as forward motion (real growth) slows to a crawl or goes below zero which renders all the debt entangled corporations, especially governments and citizens susceptible to gravity once the trigger of ''no confidence''' hits the public consciousness. increasing debt is directly correlated to decreasing growth need to sustain the debt load. like unsuccessfully dieting a vicious circle.

all russia and china have to do to prevail over washington and its empire at this point is WAIT.... while keeping their swords bright and their domestic intentions true (by taking care of their own).

gravity once widespread public no confidence emerges will do all heavy lifting.

The Twisted Genius , 02 August 2019 at 04:25 PM
Excellent analysis, Patrick. It shows what can be accomplished when you don't blow your whole wad on force projection and seeking full spectrum dominance at the same time. Seeking dominant capability at our borders and territorial waters is doable, but projecting that all over the world is a losing proposition. The Russian strategy reminds me of the Swiss defensive model.

BTW, while the Russian bears and our Grizzlies are both brown bears, they are different species.

Patrick Armstrong -> The Twisted Genius ... , 02 August 2019 at 06:07 PM
I've always been intrigued by Switzerland -- more guns than anywhere but pretty peaceful; really understands neutrality (which is actually a pretty cold-blooded position). I remember reading some time ago that Switzerland General Guisan (hah! name just came to me, ultimate senility is at least a week away!) told the Germans that, if they invaded, the Swiss would blow the tunnels thereby rendering Switzerland useless to an invader.

Never seen so many measelshafts as there. (You old Cold Warriors might recognise the term from Germany back in The Day (not entirely sure of the spelling).

But definitely a country that minds its own business but makes sure its more expensive to conquer than it's worth. Finland is (or was) another example. (Which is why it's so disappointing to see the current rulers in Helsinki sucking up to NATO.)

Faugh Sir! Wikipedia says a clades not a species.

Patrick Armstrong -> MP98... , 02 August 2019 at 06:11 PM
Well, many of us will live to see whether that's correct or not. My assumption is that China is so arrogant (Middle Kingdom means between Heaven and Earth) that they really don't care what the rest of us do as long as business happens.

But ya gotta admit that the USA/UK/West/Whatever-you-want-to-call-it rule has been pretty disastrous.
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=jihadists+us+embassy+poll+tripoli&t=ffnt&iax=images&ia=images&iai=http%3A%2F%2Fa.abcnews.go.com%2Fimages%2FInternational%2Fatm_libya_140901_16x9_992.jpg

MP98 said in reply to Patrick Armstrong ... , 02 August 2019 at 10:58 PM
Got me there.
The western alliance - since the fall of the USSR - has been pretty useless if not downright dangerous.
As for China, they may have gone too far in that "inscrutable oriental" act and begun to believe their own BS.
Dao Gen said in reply to MP98... , 02 August 2019 at 10:57 PM
Throughout its long history China has never tried to dominate foreign countries. It never tried to conquer Japan, for example, which had some very productive silver and gold mines. On the other hand, the Mongols tried twice (unsuccessfully) to invade Japan during their short period of dominance. China did try meddle in Korean politics and use Korea as a buffer zone, though a few times the Koreans threw them out. China also tried to secure buffer zones in the west and south. Even now, though, they seem to feel that they are destined to be the world's middle country, and they don't seem to have a hankering to invade or directly control foreign areas to gain Lebensraum, even though they have a huge population. And they have no tradition of global colonialism. It is not in the culture or the economic history.

As for the New Silk Road, it does not seem to be as self-serving and manipulative as the DoS and Pompeo are constantly claiming. China has an ancient continuous culture, and the Chinese seem to know full well by now that lasting prosperity only happens when all parties prosper. Mutual dependence and mutual recognition are a deep part of Chinese and all east Asian cultures, though the Japanese samurai ethic briefly went berserk and disregarded that wisdom back in the 1930s! The Chinese spirit of innovation-within-tradition and dynamic business management (including state management) is also likely to keep them confident in their own ability to be creative and cutting edge, so they will probably be less likely to try to suppress other economies the way Trump is trying to do. I imagine Chinese leaders are hoping that mutual prosperity and interdependence will make ideologies like "full spectrum dominance" risible relics of the past. Culture is long, turbulence happens.

Linda , 02 August 2019 at 05:36 PM
I really learned a lot from this article. Thank you for posting
Tom Wonacott , 02 August 2019 at 06:01 PM
Moscow will not engage in an exhausting arms race, and the country's military spending will gradually decrease as Russia does not seek a role as the "world gendarme," President Vladimir Putin said

While Vladimir Putin is one of the most astute observers of foreign policy in the world (running circles around Obama and Trump), he is also a politician. I sincerely doubt that Russia gradually plans on decreasing spending on their military in any meaningful way. That is for home consumption because about 35-40 percent of Russians live on $300 per month or less. Putin's popularity is also dropping even though it remains quite high (Paul Goble: Window on Eurasia -- New Series: Nearly 40 Percent of Russians Subsist on Less than... https://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2019/02/nearly-40-percent-of-russians-subsist.html?spref=tw):

Thirty-seven percent of Russians life on 19,000 rubles or less a month, Rosstat says, a figure that works out to a subsistence of ten US dollars or a less a day, 23.2 percent live on less than 15,000 rubles a month (under seven dollars a day); and 12 percent have incomes under 10,000 rubles a month (five dollars a day).
Patrick Armstrong -> Tom Wonacott... , 02 August 2019 at 06:17 PM
I'm coming to think that you are that rare species of a POLITE troll. Russians like VVP, they trust him and buy the package. And they get it that Russia is under attack (they aren't living in a news bubble. They see Western stuff.)

Nobody in the West comes anywhere close to his numbers.

PS Paul Goble just prints anti-Putin stuff and is mostly entertainment.

PPS. check my link to SIPRI on reductions.

rkka said in reply to Tom Wonacott... , 02 August 2019 at 07:26 PM
After 8 years of the governance of Boris Yeltsin & the Free Market Reformers, 30% of Russians were living on $1.50/day or less as their country unstoppably descended into social catastrophe & strategic irrelevance.

https://www.theatlantic.com/amp/article/302220/

The place has since transformed, much for the better.

LA Sox Fan , 02 August 2019 at 07:44 PM
What happened to the USSR and it's empire should serve as a warning to the USA. We have two huge oceans defending us, yet we spend more to maintain our far flung empire than the USSR ever did. One day, the taxpayers of this country are no longer going to pay for an empire that they don't profit from.
ISL , 02 August 2019 at 10:05 PM
thanks for the analysis - a shame the general did not expand on what Russian capabilities iN EW were eye watering.

Interesting "The first was the coordinated RPV attack on Russian bases in Syria last year in which seven were shot down and six taken over, three of them landed intact." According to the article, the drones were controlled from 100 km distant. This really doesnt sound like jihadi technology. So very interesting that Russia was able to take over the RPVs which were either US or Israeli...

ISL said in reply to ISL... , 03 August 2019 at 11:17 AM
should have added the citation from your piece:

https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201801081060595102-russia-drone-attack-hmeimim/

John Minehan , 03 August 2019 at 07:31 AM
The US (with those two oceans as its eastern and western boundaries) is a maritime power.

We are also still a sufficiently important maritime power that we have some level of responsibility for maintaining freedom of the seas (as with the issues with the pirates operating out of Puntland in southern Somalia in the late 2000s), a situation that has existed (in some form) since the Roman Republic made the Med "Mare Nostrum."

Russia has always been (mostly) a land power.

Given this, the US (even if it does not "seek to fight monsters" in Nietzsche's terms) has the Force Projection task thrust upon it in a way Russia doesn't.

Even if we sought to be non-interventionist (as I think we should), we still have more on our plate than Russia. (The PRC has the same inherent problem.)

Since we have a force projection mission thrust upon us as a maritime power, full spectrum dominance (in at least the areas where our ships operate) is an implied task.

So, I think the two thoughts I have about this article are:

1) we have broader defense needs than the Russians, based on being a maritime power; and

2) since our plate is already full, it makes little sense to add to that burden.

Bill H -> John Minehan... , 03 August 2019 at 10:21 AM
Britain is an island. Australia, while designated a continent, is also an island. Please compare their "maritime power" status to ours, their defense spending as a percentage of gdp to ours, and their number of foreign bases to ours, and explain.
John Minehan said in reply to Bill H ... , 03 August 2019 at 11:00 AM
Please compare those things to similar sized maritime nations and evaluate this in the context of the former preeminence of the Royal Navy and its adjunct forces.

For extra credit consider the likelihood that the Royal Navy is to some degree an adjunct of the US Navy,

John Minehan , 03 August 2019 at 10:18 AM
This is interesting: https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/08/03/russia-separatism-vladimir-putin-227498

As, for example, the history of the Western Roman Empire indicates (with the possible exception of the Five Good Emperors and the early Tetrarchy during and immediately following the reign of Diocletian), authoritarian states have some problems with succession.

Putin seems to have more of a "read" than any other world leader on the global stage right now, but the answer to who follows him is likely be: "To the strongest."

Patrick Armstrong -> John Minehan... , 03 August 2019 at 11:01 AM
Not very interesting. Russia was "finished" 2 decades ago and the same stuff is endlessly recycled.
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2001/05/russia-is-finished/302220/
John Minehan said in reply to Patrick Armstrong ... , 03 August 2019 at 02:22 PM
Russia is interesting, in a lot of ways.

Putin has been a smarter, more discerning leader than most presently on the world stage and that has lent credibility. He has an advantage, as a retired LTC in the old KGB of having some level of training and experience in both geo-politics and reading people and assessing strengths and weaknesses.

On the other hand, the demographics may actually be worse than the US or the EU (See, e.g., https://www.rand.org/pubs/issue_papers/IP162/index2.html.)

Even given that, Russia has a decided advantage over many places in terms of natural resources and in controlling what may be thought of as "global key terrain" (Mackinder's "Heartland").

They have a kind of lasting Jominian advantage. With BRI/OBOR, they are somewhat in the position of the guy in the Western who owns the land the Railroad is going to come through (or, possibly, not).

Given its size, position and history, it is questionable if Russia is ever "finished," but while it has come back from its dire position 20 years ago, it still is notably weaker than it was in the 1980s. As Mr. Armstrong's article indicates that may matter less than fact it appears strong enough to advance its own interests.

[Aug 02, 2019] Our masters need stable narratives. Those narratives don't have to be just, economically sound, or to make much sense at all. They just have to be stable.

Aug 02, 2019 | www.unz.com

JackOH , says: August 1, 2019 at 11:07 pm GMT

@OEMIKITLOB " . . . [A]ny individual who openly questions an official narrative or shares a dissenting opinion of said narrative an "enemy of the state'."

OE -- , yeah, pretty much. My judgment is the meaningful exercise of the First Amendment is probably pretty damned close to being a dead letter. President Trump's no-filters tweeting is sort of sui generis . Unz Review is remarkable, an exception.

I've "sold" Unz Review successfully. I was grumbling about some articles and comments to a friend of mine. College-educated guy, and I've known him for years. I was just talking loosely when he piped up, "They ought to shut it down!" He seemed genuinely angry, and I'm sure he'd reconsider his response later if I asked him. Still, I was startled that a bright guy would reach for government suppression of speech as a go-to.

Our masters need stable narratives. Those narratives don't have to be just, economically sound, or to make much sense at all. They just have to be stable.

They definitely don't want debate that would undermine the legitimacy of those narratives. So we get that extremely narrow, inconclusive, and fragmented rhetoric, such as the stuff uttered by the Democratic contenders.

Sean McBride , says: August 1, 2019 at 6:22 pm GMT
@Sean Major national governments and state actors around the world are largely in the business of engineering conspiracies, detecting conspiracies, disseminating false conspiracy theories and discrediting truthful conspiracy research. This is what they do.

That would include the US, UK, France, Germany, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Israel, Saudi Arabia, etc.

In other words, the world is awash in conspiratorial activity of endless varieties.

Russiagate gives every appearance of having been a conspiracy against Donald Trump hatched by factions within the Deep State: ODNI, CIA, FBI, MI6, MI5, etc. No wonder Trump is highly suspicious of the Deep State.

In this case, the conspiracy was so poorly planned and executed that it was hoist on its own petard. It is on the verge of being fully exposed to the entire world.

David Baker , says: August 1, 2019 at 8:14 pm GMT
@Sean McBride All these 'conspiracies' distract us and our leaders from our respective duties. Actual government processes are simple, rather dull, and conducted in the open for the press, citizens and other parties to monitor or address. Our government has seen fit to skulk around and spy on Americans, compiling data on them, which they'll claim as being measures to prevent "Terrorism" or suppress "Hate". What should truly concern Americans is that an entire sector of our government is aligned with the media (See TASS) and they conduct campaigns to compel voters, minorities, illegal aliens and other proponents of Big Government to sustain these unconstitutional intrusions. Diverting our attention away from those activities seems to be the function of our media these days.
Sean , says: August 1, 2019 at 4:09 pm GMT
@Jacques Sheete The current US President is a though-going conspiracy theorist. He insisted Obama was born outside America, and then that his college transcripts were faked, ThenVince Fisher's death was "very fishy" and after the San Bernadino shootings, that the US government was covering up the existence of accomplices of the shooters and all Muslims should be banned from entering the US. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's was not found dead with his pillow over his face according to the FBI, but who repeated hearsay that he had been? A day or so after the event (he may have priority on this one) he came close to impling explosives must have been used on 9/11 because he explicitly said he knew all about the steel structure of the building and made a point of emphasising how massively strong it was around the exterior walls .

Trump also gave credence to the 'vaccination causes autism but the medical establishment won't admit it' conspiracy theory EL Presidente, as he now is, obtained the nomination while suggesting that his main rival for the nomination, Ted Cruz, was the son of a man who had been one of the Cuban anti-Castro exiles involved in a conspiracy to kill JFK . And Trump made and, more or less kept, a campaign promise to release all still classified CIA files relating to the JFK assassination. He also tried to ban Muslims from entering the US (Executive Order 13769 ).

[Jul 28, 2019] Antisemitism prejudices projection on Russians

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "You have no evidence for the so-called Russian IO. It is a fabrication." In fact, Putin rejects the claim many times publicly saying that Russia does not meddle in foreign elections as a matter of policy. Maybe I'm gullible, but I find his disclaimer pretty convincing.... ..."
"... Is there an unseen connection between the Democrat leadership and the Intel agencies??? And --if there is-- does that mean we are headed for a one-party system??? ..."
"... The Russians trying to rig the elections meme was a fallback for the failure of the “trump is a russianstooge" meme. ..."
Jul 28, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Andrei Martyanov (aka SmoothieX12) -> catherine... , 27 July 2019 at 11:30 PM
Here are some insights into the minds of many movers and shakers in Russiagate:

Key US officials behind the Russia investigation have made no secret of their animus towards Russia.

"I do always hate the Russians," Lisa Page, a senior FBI lawyer on the Russia probe, testified to Congress in July 2018. "It is my opinion that with respect to Western ideals and who it is and what it is we stand for as Americans, Russia poses the most dangerous threat to that way of life."

As he opened the FBI's probe of the Trump campaign's ties to Russians in July 2016, FBI agent Peter Strzok texted Page: "fuck the cheating motherfucking Russians Bastards. I hate them I think they're probably the worst. Fucking conniving cheating savages."

Speaking to NBC News in May 2017, former director of national intelligence James Clapper explained why US officials saw interactions between the Trump camp and Russian nationals as a cause for alarm: "The Russians," Clapper said, "almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique. So we were concerned."

In a May interview with Lawfare, former FBI general counsel Jim Baker, who helped oversee the Russia probe, explained the origins of the investigation as follows: "It was about Russia, period, full stop. When the [George] Papadopoulos information comes across our radar screen, it's coming across in the sense that we were always looking at Russia. we've been thinking about Russia as a threat actor for decades and decades."

https://www.thenation.com/article/questions-mueller-russiagate/

It was always about Russians no matter what they do or don't do. Large strata of US so called "elite" is obsessed with Russia. Not even China.

plantman , 27 July 2019 at 12:55 PM

I believe Larry Johnson is right when he says:

"You have no evidence for the so-called Russian IO. It is a fabrication." In fact, Putin rejects the claim many times publicly saying that Russia does not meddle in foreign elections as a matter of policy. Maybe I'm gullible, but I find his disclaimer pretty convincing....

My question for Larry Johnson requires some speculation on his part: How did the claims of "Russia meddling" which began with the DNC and Hillary campaign, take root at the FBI, CIA and NSA???

Is there an unseen connection between the Democrat leadership and the Intel agencies??? And --if there is-- does that mean we are headed for a one-party system???

Walrus , 27 July 2019 at 12:55 PM
The Russians trying to rig the elections meme was a fallback for the failure of the “trump is a russianstooge" meme.

[Jul 23, 2019] UK's May Takes Parting Shot At Putin In Desperate Diversion From Failure

Jul 23, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Putin was apparently explaining a fairly straightforward and, to many observers, valid assessment of international politics. Namely, that Western establishments and institutions, including the mainstream media, are experiencing a crisis in authority. That crisis has arisen over several years due to popular perception that the governance of the political class is not delivering on democratic demands of accountability and economic progress. That in turn has led people to seek alternatives from the established parties, a movement in the US and Europe which is denigrated by the establishment as "populist" or rabble rousing.

Putin was not advocating any particular politics or political figures. He was merely pointing out the valid observation that the so-called liberal establishment has become obsolete, or dysfunctional.

In her speech this week, May sought to lay on a sinister spin to Putin's remarks as being somehow him egging on authoritarianism and anti-democratic politics.

Another example of distortion came from Donald Tusk, the European Council President, who also said of Putin's interview:

"I strongly disagree with the main argument that liberalism is obsolete. Whoever claims that liberal democracy is obsolete, also claims that freedoms are obsolete, that the rule of law is obsolete and that human rights are obsolete For us in Europe, these are and will remain essential and vibrant values. What I find really obsolete are: authoritarianism, personality cults, the rule of oligarchs."

Tusk's depiction of Putin being anti-democratic, anti-human rights and anti-law is a specious misdirection, or as May would say, "cynical falsehood".

Political leaders like May and Tusk are living in denial. They seem to suffer from a charmed delusion that all is rosy with the state of Western democracy. That somehow Western states are the acme of benign "liberalism".

By blaming evident deep-seated problems of poverty and apathy towards establishment politics on "sinister" targets of "populism" and "authoritarian strong men" is a form of escapism from reality.

In May's case, she has added good reason to escape from reality. Her political career is ending in disaster and disgrace for having led Britain into a shambles over its Brexit departure from the European Union. Of course, she would like a distraction from her abysmal record, and she seemed to find one in her farewell speech by firing a dud diatribe at Putin.

But let's re-examine her self-congratulatory claim more closely. "No one comparing the quality of life or economic success of liberal democracies like the UK, France and Germany to the Russian Federation would conclude that our system is obsolete."

There are two parts to that.

First, May is giving the usual establishment spiel about presumed superiority of Western "liberal democracy" as opposed to politics and governance in Russia.

This week coming, May hands in her resignation as Conservative party prime minister to the unelected head of state, Queen Elizabeth. The British monarch and her heirs rule as official head of state by a presumed "divine order". Some democracy that is!

May's successor will either be Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt. The next prime minister of Britain will be elected solely by members of Britain's Conservative party. As the Washington Post noted this week, the Tory party represents less than one per cent of the British population. So, the new leader of the United Kingdom is being decided not by a democratic national mandate, but by a tiny minority of party members whose demographic profile is typically rightwing, ardent nationalists, pro-militarist, white and elderly males. Moreover, the "selection" of new leader comes down to a choice between two politicians of highly dubious quality whose foreign policy tendency is to play sycophants to Washington. The way Johnson and Hunt have, for example, lent support to Trump's reckless aggression towards Iran is a portent of further scraping and bowing to American warmongering typical of Britain's "special relationship".

In the second part of May's presumed virtuous liberal democracy, she hails the "quality of economic success" of her nation as opposed to Russian society.

No-one, least of all Putin, is denying that reducing poverty is a social challenge for Russia. In a recent nationwide televised Q&A, the "elected" (please note) head of the Russian state called poverty reduction a priority for his government. However, Russia certainly doesn't need advice from the United Kingdom or many other Western states on that issue.

A recent major study in Britain found that some 21 per cent of the population (14 million people) are living in poverty. Homelessness and aggravated crime figures are also off the charts due to collapsing public services over a decade of economic austerity as deliberate government policy. The inequality gap between super-rich and poverty among the mass of people has exploded to a chasm in Britain, as in the US and other Western states.

These are some of the urgent issues that Putin was referring to when he asserted the "liberal idea is obsolete". Can anyone objectively surveying the bankrupt state of Western societies honestly dispute that?

Western states are fundamentally broken down because "liberalism" is an empty term which conceals rapacious corporate capitalism and the oligarchic rule of an elite political class. The advocates of "liberalism" like Britain's May, Johnson, Hunt or Tusk are the ones who are anti-democracy, anti-human rights and anti-law. Their denial about the systemic cause of poverty and injustice within their own societies and their complicity in American imperialist warmongering in the Middle East or belligerence towards Russia and China is the true "quality" of their "democratic principles".

If that's not obsolete then what is? And that's why May took a weird parting shot at Putin in a desperate diversion from reality.

[Jul 17, 2019] The key role of MSM is to keep the populace focused as best it can on relatively trivial matters and diverted from the most urgent topics of our time by PAUL STREET

Jul 12, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

Alongside and consistent with other privilege- and power-serving missions, so-called mainstream corporate media's role is to keep the populace focused as best it can on relatively trivial matters and diverted from the most urgent topics of our time.

Kamala Harris Wants to Kill Your Health Insurance

Two Sundays ago, in a fit of masochistic media research, I watched some cable news talking heads do their weekly news roundups. CNN had a panel of know-it-all neoliberals who reflected on the Democratic Party's first two presidential debates. Everyone agreed that Kamala Harris had been the big winner but had erred badly by embracing "the abolition of private health insurance."

That's how CNN's "expert commentators" describe Medicare for All – not as high quality and low-cost health care as a human right with great direct and collateral benefits resulting from the eviction of corporate profit from coverage. Not as a great potential social and human rights victory, but as destruction : the "abolition" of (unmentionably parasitic, classist, exclusionary, inferior, and expensive, for-profit) health insurance.

Not that Senator Harris would seriously fight for Single Payer. She wouldn't. She's a corporate Democrat .

But I digress.

The chattering CNN craniums shifted to the United States Women's World Cup soccer team that was triumphing in Paris. The panelists applauded the team's star, Megan Rapione, a lesbian who refuses to visit the Donald Trump White House. (Good for her, but why not visit and spit in the Malignant One's eye?).

Joy Reid Blames Russia for Anti-Kamala Birtherism

Over on the openly partisan-Democratic cable network MSNBC (hereafter "MSDNC"), morning host Joy Reid was going off about the Huxwellian idiocy of Donald Trump's DMZ handshake with Kim Jong-Un and the strange kind of love Trump has for the North Korean dictator and other authoritarian heads-of-state. As usual with MSDNC, it was hard to detect the line separating the network's proper criticism of Trump from its deep investment in U.S. imperialism .

Consistent with the investment, Reid turned to the noxious racist vulgarity of online rightists who claim that Kamala Harris isn't a "real African-American." Reid showed viewers a copy of the Mueller Report and claimed without a hint of proof that the neo-Birther Internet campaign against Harris was directed by the Russians? Her evidence? The Mueller Report, completed prior to the Harris smear.

... ... ...

[Jul 14, 2019] Putin as an old fashioned liberal who opposes neoliberalism

Notable quotes:
"... Israel Shamir can be reached at adam@israelshamir.net ..."
Jul 14, 2019 | www.unz.com

If you have ever traveled in Russia outside of Moscow, you certainly have some horrible stories to tell about its atrocious roads, food and lodging or rather lack thereof. Things have changed greatly, and they keep changing. Now there are modern highways, plenty of cafés and restaurants, a lot of small hotels; plumbing has risen to Western standards; the old pearls of architecture have been lavishly restored; people live better than they ever did. They still complain a lot, but that is human nature. Young and middle-aged Russians own or charter motor boats and sail their plentiful rivers; they own country houses ("dachas") more than anywhere else. They travel abroad for their vacations, pay enormous sums of money for concerts of visiting celebrities, ride bikes in the cities – in short, Russia has become as prosperous as any European country.

This hard-earned prosperity and political longevity allows President Putin to hold his own in the international affairs. He is one of a few experienced leaders on the planet with twenty years at the top job. He has met with three Popes of Rome, four US Presidents, and many other rulers. This is important: 93-years old Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad who ruled his Malaysia for 40 years and has been elected again said the first ten years of a ruler are usually wasted in learning the ropes, and only after first twenty does he becomes proficient in the art of government. The first enemy a ruler must fight is his own establishment: media, army, intelligence and judges. While Trump is still losing in this conflict, Putin is doing fine – by his Judoka evasive action.

Recently a small tempest has risen in the Russian media, when a young journalist was detained by police, and a small quantity of drugs was allegedly discovered on his body. The police made many mistakes in handling the case. Perhaps they planted the evidence to frame the young man; perhaps they had made the obvious mistakes to frame the government. The response has been tremendous, as if the whole case had been prepared well in advance by the opposition hell-bent to annoy and wake up the people's ire against the police and administration. Instead of supporting the police, as Putin usually does, in this case he had the journalist released and senior police officers arrested. This prompt evasive action undid the opposition's build-up by one masterly stroke.

Recently he openly declared his distaste for liberalism in the interview for the FT . This is a major heresy, like Luther's Ninety-five Theses. "The liberals cannot dictate Their diktat can be seen everywhere: both in the media and in real life. It is deemed unbecoming even to mention some topics The liberal idea has become obsolete. It has come into conflict with the interests of the overwhelming majority of the population." Putin condemned liberals' drive for more immigration. He called Angela Merkel's decision to admit millions of immigrants a "cardinal mistake"; he "understood" Trump's attempt to stop the flow of migrants and drugs from Mexico.

Putin is not an enemy of liberalism. He is rather an old-fashionable liberal of the 19 th century style. Not a current 'liberal', but a true liberal, rejecting totalitarian dogma of gender, immigration, multiculturalism and R2P wars. "The liberal idea cannot be destroyed; it has the right to exist and it should even be supported in some things. But it has no right to be the absolute dominating factor."

In Putin's Russia liberalism is non-exclusive, but presents just one possible line of development. Homosexuals are not discriminated against nor promoted. There are no gay parades, no persecution of gays, either. Russian children aren't being brainwashed to hate their fathers, taken away from their families and given to same-sex maniacs, as it happened in the recent Italian case . Kids aren't being introduced to joys of sex in primary schools. People are not requested to swear love to transgenders and immigrants. You can do whatever you wish, just do not force others to follow you – this is Putin's first rule, and this is true liberalism in my book.

There is very little immigration into Russia despite millions of requests: foreigners can come in as guest workers, but this does not lead to permanent residency or citizenship. The Police frequently check foreign-looking people and rapidly deport them if found in breach of visa rules. Russian nationalists would want even more action, but Putin is a true liberal.

... ... ...

Why does Putin care about the US? Why can't he just stop taking dollars? This means he is an American stooge! – an eager-for-action hothead zealot would exclaim. The answer is, the US has gained a lot of power; much more than it had in 1988, when Reagan negotiated with Gorbachev. The years of being the sole superpower weren't wasted. American might is not to be trifled with.

New York Times insinuated.

True, Russia is big enough to survive even that treatment, but Russians have got used to a good life, and they won't cherish being returned to the year 1956. They took action to prevent these worst-case scenarios; for instance, they sold much of their US debt and moved out of Microsoft , but these things are time-consuming and expensive. Putin hopes that eventually the US will abandon its quest for dominance and assume a live-and-let-live attitude as demanded by the international law. Until it happens, he is forced to play by Washington rules and try to limit antagonism.

An experienced broker came in, promising to deliver the deal. It is the Jewish state, claiming to have the means to navigate the US in the desired direction. This is a traditional Jewish claim, used in the days of the WWI to convince the UK to enter the deal: you give us Palestine; we shall bring the US into the European war on your side. Then it worked: the Brits and their Aussie allies stormed Gaza, eventually took over the Holy Land, issued the Balfour declaration promising to pass Palestine to the Jews, and in return, fresh American troops poured into the European theatre of war, causing German surrender.

This time, the Jewish state proposed that Putin should give up his ties with Iran; in return, they promised to assist in general warming of Russo-American relations. Putin had a bigger counter-proposal: Let the US lift its Iran sanctions and withdraw its armed forces from Syria, and Russia will try to usher Iranian armed forces out of Syria, too. The ensuing negotiations around Iran-Syria deal would lead to recognition of the US and Israel interests in Syria, and further on it could lead to negotiations in other spheres.

This was a clear win-win proposal. Iran would emerge free of sanctions; Israel and the US would have their interests recognised in Syria; the much-needed dialogue between Russia and the US will get a jump-start. But Israel does not like win-win proposals. The Jewish state wants clear victories, preferably with their enemy defeated, humiliated, hanged. Israel rejected the proposal, for it wanted Iran to suffer under sanctions.

... ... ...

Russia certainly wants to live in peace with the US, but not at the price Mr Netanyahu suggested. Mr Patrushev condemned the US sanctions against Iran. He said that Iran shot down the giant American drone RQ-4A Global Hawk worth more than a hundred million dollars over Iranian territory, not in the international airspace as the Pentagon claimed. He stated that American "evidence" that Iran had sabotaged tankers in the Persian Gulf was inconclusive. Russia demanded that the United States stop its economic war against Iran, recognize the legitimate authorities of Syria, led by President Bashar Assad, and withdraw its troops from Syria. Russia expressed its support for the legitimate government in Venezuela. Thus, Russia showed itself at this difficult moment as a reliable ally and partner, and at the same time assured the staggering Israeli leadership of its friendship.

The problem is that the drive for war with Iran is not gone. A few days ago, the Brits seized an Iranian super-tanker in the Straits of Gibraltar. The tanker was on its way to deliver oil to Syria. Before that, the United States had almost launched a missile attack on Iran. At the last moment, when the planes were already in the air, Trump stopped the operation. It is particularly disturbing that he himself unambiguously hinted that the operation was launched without his knowledge . That is, the chain of commands in the US is now torn, and it is not clear who can start a war. This has to be taken into account both in Moscow and in Tehran.

... ... ...

Russia wants to help Iran, not out of sheer love to the Islamic Republic, but as a part of its struggle for multi-polar world, where independent states carry on the way they like. Iran, North Korea, Venezuela – their fight for survival is a part and parcel of Russia's struggle. If these states will be taken over, Russia can become the next victim, Putin feels.

... ... ...

In this situation, Putin tries to build bridges to the new forces in Europe and the US, to work with nationalist right. It is not the most obvious partner for this old-fashioned liberal, but they fit into his idea of multi-polarity, of supremacy of national sovereignty and of resistance to the world hegemony of Atlantic powers. His recent visit to Italy, a country with strong nationalist political forces, had been successful; so was his meeting with the Pope.

In the aftermath of the audience with the Pope, Putin strongly defended the Catholic Church, saying that "There are problems, but they cannot be over-exaggerated and used for destroying the Roman Catholic Church itself. I get the feeling that these liberal circles are beginning to use certain problems of the Catholic Church as a tool for destroying the Church itself. This is what I consider to be incorrect and dangerous. After all, we live in a world based on Biblical values and traditional values are more stable and more important for millions of people than this liberal idea, which, in my opinion, is really ceasing to exist". For years, the Europeans haven't heard this message. Perhaps this is the right time to listen.

Israel Shamir can be reached at adam@israelshamir.net


anonymous [340] Disclaimer , says: July 6, 2019 at 1:16 pm GMT

"President Trump seems to have some positive ideas, but his hands are tied up."

Pitifully naive.

Al Moanee , says: July 6, 2019 at 8:27 pm GMT
@Per/Norway

The author is referring to WWI and the Balfour Declaration of Nov 1917 which indeed was drafted on behalf of Jewish Zionist interests who in return did their level best in bringing Wilson, who was long backed by NYC banking interests (hence the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 enacted on his watch), into the war which materially changed its dynamics and outcome.

A123 , says: July 6, 2019 at 10:32 pm GMT

The Ukraine in all this? I would think it a far bigger concern for Russia in any trilateral meeting.

Do not expect anything on the Ukraine in the near future. Trump wants the DNC to nominate guaranteed loser Biden. Then he can beat him senseless using 'Ukrainian tampering with U.S. elections' via Biden's family business interests (1).
_____

Now that the Mueller exoneration is complete, the door is open to improved U.S. – Russia relations. The important thing is looking at Putin's and Trump's actions , more so than their words.

Trump's words sound 'officially concerned' about Crimea. However, this is primarily for EU consumption. What actions has the Trump administration taken about Crimea? Little or nothing depending on how you score the matter. So tacit acknowledgement pending a quid pro quo .

Putin administration words (but not Putin himself) have said strong sounding things about Iran. However, there are no actions that support a deep relationship.
-- Russia sells munitions to Iran on a 'cash & carry' basis along with many other nations including Turkey. Russia and Israel have much stronger ties on the military equipment basis. Look at their recent joint sale of AWACS to India (2).
-- Russia continues to let the Israeli air force freely strike Iranian al'Hezbollah and al'Quds targets in Syria.

It looks like the quid pro quo arrangement will be Crimea for an Iranian exit from Syria. It's a deal that would help peace throughout the region.

PEACE
______

(1) https://www.thenation.com/article/joe-biden-ukraine-burisma-holdings/

(2) https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/india-to-buy-2-more-awacs-worth-rs-5-7k-crore-from-israel/articleshow/67765253.cms

Priss Factor , says: July 6, 2019 at 10:33 pm GMT

Was Pat Robertson right about World War I?

https://israelpalestinenews.org/rothschild-reveals-crucial-role-ancestors-played-balfour-declaration-creation-israel/

A123 , says: July 6, 2019 at 11:08 pm GMT

But he is hampered by his "deep state", by Pompeo and Bolton; about the latter, Trump himself said that he wants to fight with the whole world. Presidents can't always remove the ministers from whom they want to get rid of – even the absolute monarchs of the past did not always succeed.

Actually, Trump is using Bolton against the deep state.

First and foremost, it is and advanced and skillful form of ' Good Cop – Bad Cop '. When Bolton says something and Trump openly disagrees, it places the Fake Steam Media complex in an untenable position. If they treat the story fairly, they embrace the anathema of saying positive things about Trump. But they do not have any options to twist the facts into their desired anti-American propaganda.

Secondarily, it also cleverly drives a wedge between two DNC factions:

-1- The true Clintonista believer, stricken by Trump Derangement Syndrome [TDS], will not accept anything less than Impeachment. Preferably followed by turning him over to the Fascist Stormtroopers of Antifa.
-2- Those with a less deranged view realise that a successful Impeachment process would generate President Pence. And, he would be much more likely to accept Bolton's advice. Perhaps Pence would pick Bolton to be Vice President.

Look at the circular firing squad that is forming up in the DNC nomination process to see how Trump's deliberate agitation of various factions is working in his favor. The TDS faction is winning and as a result the eventual DNC candidate will be unelectable.

PEACE

Rabbitnexus , says: July 7, 2019 at 2:49 am GMT
@AghaHussain sts plans have failed to materialise in Syria. The author here does a very good job of explaining Russia's position and between his and Saker's analyses your argument is kaput and only fools would buy it.

The Zionists went away empty handed with their visits to Russia and President Putin and if anything Russia's resistance to the Zionists has hardened lately.

People who have two dimensional thinking and a limited box of clues seem to think it is as simple as just saying no and digging their heels in but that way makes wars. Russia does not have the sort of power nor an insane leadership that it would take for that.

A123 , says: July 7, 2019 at 2:39 pm GMT
@animalogic to be rebuilt.

The best hope for an internal Iranian solution is IRGC enlightened self interest. A fairly bloodless replacement of Khameni with a general from the IRGC. It worked in Egypt and the world welcomed that military solution. One can be 99% certain that replacing Khameni would be just as welcome.

The new 'General Ayatollah in Chief' would have a free hand to disengage from Khameni's extremism. The economic recovery from ending sanctions would guarantee internal popularity. Think of it as MIGA, Make Iran Great Again , though they are unlikely to use that exact phrase.

PEACE

iendly Neighbourhood Terrorist , says: Website July 13, 2019 at 1:48 pm GMT

It's ludicrous to imagine that Russians are so wedded to the good life that they do not dare antagonise Amerikastan. What "good life" is this? Ask the pensioners struggling on a few thousand rubles a month how the hell they are supposed to manage. The luxuries enjoyed by the yuppies in Moscow (most of whom, fluently English speaking and firmly pro-Amerikastani, are a fifth column of Quislings) are not the life that the factory worker in Volgograd or the farmer outside St Petersburg will recognise.

Che Guava , says: July 13, 2019 at 3:42 pm GMT

Pres. Putin seems to be a pretty good person.

I want to sidetrack the thread to the matter of Edward Snowden.

Putin made a comment early on 'a strange young man'.

I understand exactly what he was saying. I am the same. No leaks. ht is a matter of honour.

OTOH, confronted by wall-to-wal evil bullshit as he was, I think he was not in the wrong (but have a little internal conflict on that, since the secrets 4 have to keep now are ooly technical and at times commercial, such a dilemna never arises.

In no situation would such be ethical.

he was sorry for Sowden's girlfriend, he dumped her. but, not long after, she was with him. Very romantic. Doubtless, Russian secret services had some role.

I like the happy ending there, it is very romantic.

Would make a great movie, but not possible from Hollywood, perhaps Russia could revive its moribund film industry?

Republic , says: July 13, 2019 at 3:44 pm GMT
@Malacaay

http://www.unz.com/akarlin/10-ways-russia-better-than-usa/

Anatoly Karlin published this two years ago:

10 ways Russia is better than the US

Agent76 , says: July 13, 2019 at 4:29 pm GMT

Oct 20, 2018 Putin: Russia Getting Rid Of US Dollar Matter Of National Security

Russian president Vladimir Putin: "That's what our American friends are doing. They're undermining trust in the dollar as a universal payment instrument and the main reserve currency."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/4fECrSQ9ifM?feature=oembed

Jun 8, 2018 Putin hints at end of dollar system – Direct Line 2018

Vladimir Putin has held his 16th Direct Line Q&A on June 7th.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/z01S7lOq-qI?feature=oembed

AnonFromTN , says: July 13, 2019 at 6:28 pm GMT
@AmRusDebate t in 2014, and had gone so deep that there is no light at the end of the tunnel now. It is still used by the Empire as an annoying sore right next to Russia, but that's all it can be. It did not and could not deliver what the Empire was hoping for. The imperial planners never take into account the critical condition for their "color revolutions" to bring US-friendly compradores to power anywhere: the country in question must be rotten through and through. Thus, instead of useful sharp tools they get worthless pieces of shit. They are still trying to use an inevitable stink for their purposes, but that's the only use shit is good for.
AnonFromTN , says: July 13, 2019 at 6:56 pm GMT
@Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist

It's not just Moscow yuppies. Visit any provincial city in Russia today and you'd see that it looks way better than it ever did in the USSR. There are cafes everywhere and lots of people in them spending serious money, because they can afford that. Drive on any road, in or between the cities, and you can see that the roads are in a better shape than they ever were, and there are lots of gas stations, cafes, and hotels along them, all doing brisk business. Russians have ten times more cars now than they had in the USSR, and they drive a lot.

RadicalCenter , says: July 13, 2019 at 7:04 pm GMT
@A123 be deployed right on Russia's border on yet another side. Russia would be readily bottled up and be denied the freedom to navigate through the surrounding waters. And it would be more vulnerable to land invasion from more points.

Russia should continue disentangling itself from US and US-Controller financial systems and institutions. Keep becoming more able to sustain its people without so many imports of foodstuffs and manufactured goods alike.

Far from giving up Crimea, Russia should bide its time and wait to retake the Donbass region or more when Ukraine collapses, breaks up, and/or is outright occupied by the US.

Ace , says: July 13, 2019 at 7:19 pm GMT
@A123

I rather doubt you're in any position to judge whether Khameni is a sociopath.

And your fixation on regime change is noted. The ultimate expression of Western arrogance: You, you benighted, retrograde, sociopathic worm, are not a fit chief executive of your nation so we have decided you must go. If we have to kill hundreds of thousands of your people that's just an unavoidable cost of our being the excellent people we are.

RadicalCenter , says: July 13, 2019 at 7:25 pm GMT
@Twodees Partain

Trump should put the warmongering establishment on the back foot by firing Bolton and hiring Tulsi Gabbard.

Watch the media contort itself deciding how to slander and attack a partly nonwhite "progressive" "pro-choice" woman who is also a veteran, LOL.

What if trump did this a month BEFORE the election?

Beefcake the Mighty , says: July 13, 2019 at 9:55 pm GMT
@Harbinger

Liberalism in the West today is similar to communism in the SU in the late 80's: a decrepit ideology that offers nothing to ordinary people and whose adherents are incapable of anything but mouthing the same rubbish over and over. It will similarly die a well-deserved death.

[Jul 13, 2019] Mueller Does Not Have Evidence That The IRA Was Part of Russian Government Meddling by Larry C Johnson

Highly recommended!
Looks like Mueller and his team were extremely sloppy and just milked the US government and try to feed rumors to the media.
Mueller emerged as a stooge of Clinton mafia.
Notable quotes:
"... In short, the US Government cannot come out and declare that Concord Management, for example, was acting on behalf or or in collaboration with the Russian Government without presenting actual evidence. A prosecutor cannot simply claim that Concord is a Putin Stooge. ..."
"... The lawyers for Concord Management read the Mueller report and noted significant discrepancies between what was alleged in the original complaint and what was asserted as "fact" in the Mueller report. ..."
"... On April 25, 2019, Concord filed the instant motion in which it argues that the Attorney General and Special Counsel violated Local Rule 57.7 by releasing information to the public that was not contained in the indictment. Concord's main contention is that the Special Counsel's Report, as released to the public, and the Attorney General's related public statements improperly suggested a link between the defendants and the Russian government and expressed an opinion about the defendants' guilt and the evidence against them. ..."
"... Concord's lawyers wanted Judge Friedrich to find Robert Mueller and Attorney General Barr in contempt for violating rule 57.7. ..."
"... the Court has entered an order limiting public statements about this case moving forward and cautions the government that any future violations of that order will trigger a range of potential sanctions. ..."
"... But the Judge did not stop there. She pointed out some glaring discrepancies between the Mueller Report and the actual indictment: ..."
"... By attributing IRA's conduct to "Russia" -- as opposed to Russian individuals or entities -- the Report suggests that the activities alleged in the indictment were undertaken on behalf of, if not at the direction of, the Russian government. ..."
"... But the activities of the IRA and Concord Management are not established. In fact, Mueller's own report undermines his claims, as noted in a recent article by Nation's Aaron Mate. ..."
"... Mate's article, as I mentioned in a previous piece, does an excellent job of showing that the Mueller Report is based on heartfelt beliefs but devoid of corroborating evidence. ..."
"... I think Mueller, Weissman, et al did not expect Concord to contest their indictment. They believed they could continue their PR effort that Russia changed the outcome of the election by sending out tweets and Facebook posts without anyone calling them out. ..."
"... The national security surveillance state is only going to get bigger and more powerful. I suppose that is the real competition between the CCP & the USA who can get more totalitarian sooner. ..."
"... a very valuable recent piece in the 'Epoch Times' about the questions that need to be put to Mueller, Jeff Carlson discusses some of the problems relating both to Christopher Steele's involvement with Oleg Deripaska, and the involvement of Fusion GPS with Natalia Veseltnitskaya which led to the Trump Tower meeting. (See https://www.theepochtimes.com/33-key-questions-for-robert-mueller_2988876.html .) ..."
"... Andrew McCarthy, in the 'National Review', picks up one of the most interesting, and puzzling, moments in the fascinating notes by Kathy Kavalec of the conversation she had with Steele when Jonathan Winer brought him to see on her in October 2016. (See https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/07/oleg-deripaska-fbi-russia-collusion-theory/ ) ..."
"... 'Moreover, by January 2017, F.B.I. agents had tracked down and interviewed one of Mr. Steele's main sources, a Russian speaker from a former Soviet republic who had spent time in the West, according to a Justice Department document obtained by The New York Times and three people familiar with the events. After questioning him, F.B.I. officials came to suspect that the man might have added his own interpretations to reports from his own sources that he passed on to Mr. Steele, calling into question the reliability of the information.' ..."
"... Without wanting to prejudge things, it seems to me quite likely that what Horowitz has been contemplating is a kind of 'limited hangout'. So, the idea could be to suggest that Steele did have sources, that however these were not as reliable as he thought they were, but everything was done in good faith etc etc. In the light of information coming out, including that in the Friedrich ruling, he may however have decided to 'hold his horses.' ..."
"... It is important that the general pattern of assuming that Putin is some kind of omnipotent Sauron-figure, which has clearly left Mueller open to a counter-attack by Concord, was given a classic expression in the testimony which Glenn Simpson gave to the House Intelligence Committee in November 2017. ..."
"... Litvinenko himself, as well as having been a key member of the late Boris Berezovsky's 'information operations team', was an agent, as distinct from an informant, of MI6: accounts differ as to whether Steele was his personal 'handler' (John Sipher), or had never met him (Luke Harding). ..."
"... Also relevant is the fact that Shvets, a fanatical Ukrainian nationalist, and an important figure in the original 'Orange Revolution', was also a key member of Berezovsky's 'information operations' team. ..."
"... The account of his career by the 'New York Times' journalist Barry Meier in his 2016 study 'Missing Man' is a tissue of sleazy evasions, not least in relation to the role of Levinson in 'investigating' the notorious mobster Semion Mogilevich, a key figure in 'information operations' against both Putin and Trump, and also the opponents of Yulia Tymoshenko. ..."
"... A large question involved is how co-operation between not simply elements in MI6 and the CIA, but also in the FBI, with the oligarchs who refused to accept Putin's terms goes back a very long way. ..."
Jul 13, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Mueller Does Not Have Evidence That The IRA Was Part of Russian Government Meddling by Larry C Johnson

In the criminal case against alleged Russian operatives--Internet Research Agency and Concord Management and Consulting LLC--a Federal judge has declared that Robert Mueller has not offered one piece of solid evidence that these defendants were involved in any way with the Government of Russia. I think this is a potential game changer.

The world of law as opposed to the world of intelligence is as different as Mercury and Mars. The intelligence community aka IC can traffic in rumor and speculation. IC "solid" intelligence may be nothing more than the strident assertion of a source who lacks actual first hand knowledge of an event. The legal world does not enjoy that kind of sloppiness. If a prosecutor makes a claim, i.e., Jack shot Jill, then said prosecutor must show that Jack owned a firearm that matches the bullets recovered from Jill's body. Then the prosecutor needs to show that Jack was with Jill when the shooting took place and that forensic evidence recovered from Jack showed he had fired a firearm. Keep this distinction in mind as you consider what has transpired in the case against the Internet Research Agency and Concord Management and Consulting.

To understand why Judge Friedrich ruled as she did you must understand Local Rule 57.7. That rule: restricts public dissemination of information by attorneys involved in criminal cases where

"there is a reasonable likelihood that such dissemination will interfere with a fair trial or otherwise prejudice the administration of justice." It also authorizes the court "[i]n a widely publicized or sensational criminal case" to issue a special order governing extrajudicial statements and other matters designed to limit publicity that might interfere with the conduct of a fair trial. . . .

The rule prohibits lawyers associated with the prosecution or defense from publishing, between the time of the indictment and the commencement of trial, "[a]ny opinion as to the accused's guilt or innocence or as to the merits of the case or the evidence in the case."

In short, the US Government cannot come out and declare that Concord Management, for example, was acting on behalf or or in collaboration with the Russian Government without presenting actual evidence. A prosecutor cannot simply claim that Concord is a Putin Stooge.

The lawyers for Concord Management read the Mueller report and noted significant discrepancies between what was alleged in the original complaint and what was asserted as "fact" in the Mueller report.

On April 25, 2019, Concord filed the instant motion in which it argues that the Attorney General and Special Counsel violated Local Rule 57.7 by releasing information to the public that was not contained in the indictment. Concord's main contention is that the Special Counsel's Report, as released to the public, and the Attorney General's related public statements improperly suggested a link between the defendants and the Russian government and expressed an opinion about the defendants' guilt and the evidence against them.

Concord's lawyers wanted Judge Friedrich to find Robert Mueller and Attorney General Barr in contempt for violating rule 57.7.

Judge Friedrich gave Concord a partial victory:

Although the Court agrees that the government violated Rule 57.7 , it disagrees that contempt proceedings are an appropriate response to that violation. Instead, the Court has entered an order limiting public statements about this case moving forward and cautions the government that any future violations of that order will trigger a range of potential sanctions.

But the Judge did not stop there. She pointed out some glaring discrepancies between the Mueller Report and the actual indictment:

The Special Counsel Report describes efforts by the Russian government to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. . . . But the indictment . . . does not link the defendants to the Russian government. Save for a single allegation that Concord and Concord Catering had several "government contracts" (with no further elaboration), id. ¶ 11, the indictment alleges only private conduct by private actors.

. . . the concluding paragraph of the section of the [Mueller] Report related to Concord states that the Special Counsel's "investigation established that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election through the 'active measures' social media campaign carried out by" Concord's co-defendant, the Internet Research Agency (IRA). By attributing IRA's conduct to "Russia" -- as opposed to Russian individuals or entities -- the Report suggests that the activities alleged in the indictment were undertaken on behalf of, if not at the direction of, the Russian government.

Similarly, the Attorney General drew a link between the Russian government and this case during a press conference in which he stated that "[t]he Special Counsel's report outlines two main efforts by the Russian government to influence the 2016 election." . . . The "[f]irst" involved "efforts by the Internet Research Agency, a Russian company with close ties to the Russian government, to sow social discord among American voters through disinformation and social media operations." Id. The "[s]econd" involved "efforts by Russian military officials associated with the GRU," a Russian intelligence agency, to hack and leak private documents and emails from the Democratic Party and the Clinton Campaign.

The Report explains that it used the term "established" whenever "substantial, credible evidence enabled the Office to reach a conclusion with confidence." . . . It then states in its conclusion that the Special Counsel's "investigation established that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election through the 'active measures' social media campaign carried out by the IRA." In context, this statement characterizes the evidence against the defendants as "substantial" and "credible," and it provides the Special Counsel's Office's "conclusion" about what actually occurred.

But the activities of the IRA and Concord Management are not established. In fact, Mueller's own report undermines his claims, as noted in a recent article by Nation's Aaron Mate. Although Mueller claims that it was "established that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election through the 'active measures' social media campaign carried out by" Concord's co-defendant, the Internet Research Agency (IRA), he provided no such evidence.

According to Mate :

After two years and $35 million, Mueller apparently failed to uncover any direct evidence linking the Prigozhin-controlled IRA's activities to the Kremlin. His best evidence is that "[n]umerous media sources have reported on Prigozhin's ties to Putin, and the two have appeared together in public photographs."

Mate's article, as I mentioned in a previous piece, does an excellent job of showing that the Mueller Report is based on heartfelt beliefs but devoid of corroborating evidence.

Some readers will insist that Mueller and his team have actual intelligence but cannot put that in an indictment. Well boys and girls, here is a simple truth--if you cannot produce evidence that can be presented in court then you do not have a case. There is that part of the Constitution that allows those accused of a crime to confront their accusers.

Posted at 11:09 PM in Larry Johnson , Russiagate | Permalink


Sonal Chawhan , 12 July 2019 at 05:38 AM

Impressive!Thanks for the post
SAS Base and Advance

Peter VE , 12 July 2019 at 09:14 AM

Minor quibble: Judge Friedrich is a woman. I expect that this will get no play from the MSM, since Judge Friedrich was appointed by Trump, and "everyone" knows she's just covering up for him.

Larry Johnson -> Peter VE... , 12 July 2019 at 11:37 AM

Thanks. Never heard of a chick named, "Dabney." I was thinking Dabney Coleman. Dating myself.

Peter VE -> Larry Johnson ... , 12 July 2019 at 02:17 PM

Maybe her name is misspelled reference to Dagney Taggart...

Flavius , 12 July 2019 at 10:33 AM

Under the conditions and in the environment that it was returned, this indictment was Mueller and his partisan team throwing raw meat fo the media so as to prolong their mission, nothing more. Once filed, no one involved ever expected to appear in a courtroom to prosecute anyone, or defend any part of it. It was an abuse of process, pure and simple.

Consider it as a count against Mueller, his competence or his integrity, maybe both. He let himself become a tool.

pretzelattack -> Flavius... , 12 July 2019 at 07:27 PM

Johnson refers to "heartfelt beliefs" but i doubt Mueller believes his own bs. in this i guess he distinguishes himself from earlier witch-hunters, who apparently sincerely believed their targets were minions of satan.

blue peacock , 12 July 2019 at 11:33 AM

I think Mueller, Weissman, et al did not expect Concord to contest their indictment. They believed they could continue their PR effort that Russia changed the outcome of the election by sending out tweets and Facebook posts without anyone calling them out.

It seems on the current trajectory both the Trump colluded with Russia and our law enforcement & IC attempted a soft-coup will die on the vine. The latter because Trump is unwilling to declassify. It seems for him it was all just another reality TV show and him tweeting "witch hunt" constantly was what the script called for.

The next time the IC & law enforcement who now must believe that they are the real power behind the throne decide to exercise that power it will be a doozie.

The national security surveillance state is only going to get bigger and more powerful. I suppose that is the real competition between the CCP & the USA who can get more totalitarian sooner.

https://theintercept.com/2019/07/11/china-surveillance-google-ibm-semptian/

David Habakkuk , 12 July 2019 at 12:39 PM

Larry,

A fine piece.

I think a large question is raised as to how far the kind of sloppiness in the handling of evidence which Judge Friedrich identified in the Mueller report may have characterised a great deal of the treatment of matters to do with the post-Soviet space by the FBI and others – including almost all MSM journalists – for a very long time.

Unfortunately, one also finds this among some of the most useful critics of 'Russiagate'. So, for example, in a very valuable recent piece in the 'Epoch Times' about the questions that need to be put to Mueller, Jeff Carlson discusses some of the problems relating both to Christopher Steele's involvement with Oleg Deripaska, and the involvement of Fusion GPS with Natalia Veseltnitskaya which led to the Trump Tower meeting. (See https://www.theepochtimes.com/33-key-questions-for-robert-mueller_2988876.html .)

He then however goes on to write: 'In other words, not only was the firm that hired Steele, Fusion GPS, hired by the Russians, but Steele himself was hired directly by the Russians.'

And Andrew McCarthy, in the 'National Review', picks up one of the most interesting, and puzzling, moments in the fascinating notes by Kathy Kavalec of the conversation she had with Steele when Jonathan Winer brought him to see on her in October 2016. (See https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/07/oleg-deripaska-fbi-russia-collusion-theory/ )

Commenting on the fact that, in her scribbled notes, beside the names of Vladislav Surkov and Vyacheslav Trubnikov, who are indeed a top Putin adviser and a former SVR chief respectively, Kavalec writes 'source', McCarthy simply concludes that she meant that he had said that these were his – indirect – sources, and that this was accurate. And he goes on to write:

'Deripaska, Surkov, and Trubnikov were not informing on the Kremlin. These are Putin's guys. They were peddling what the Kremlin wanted the world to believe, and what the Kremlin shrewdly calculated would sow division in the American body politic. So, the question is: Did they find the perfect patsy in Christopher Steele?'

If you look at Kavalec's typing up of the notes, among a good deal of what looks to me like pure 'horse manure' – including the claim that 'Manafort has been the go-between with the campaign' – the single reference to Surkov and Trubnikov is that they are said to be 'also involved.'

As it happens, Surkov is a very complex figure indeed. His talents as a 'political technologist' were first identified by Khodorkovsky, before he subsequently played that role for Putin. It would obviously be possible that he and Steele still had common contacts.

The suggestion in Kavalec's notes that Sergei Millian 'may be involved in some way,' and also that, 'Per Steele, Millian is connected Simon Kukes (who took over management of Yukos when Khodorkovsky was arrested)' is interesting, but would seem to suggest that he would not have been cited to Kavalec as an intermediary.

All this is obviously worth putting together with claims made in the 'New York Times' follow-up on 9 July to the Reuters report on the same day breaking the story of the interviews carried out with Steele by the Inspector General's team in early June.

(See https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/09/us/politics/ig-russia-investigation-steele.html?module=inline .)

According to this:

'Moreover, by January 2017, F.B.I. agents had tracked down and interviewed one of Mr. Steele's main sources, a Russian speaker from a former Soviet republic who had spent time in the West, according to a Justice Department document obtained by The New York Times and three people familiar with the events. After questioning him, F.B.I. officials came to suspect that the man might have added his own interpretations to reports from his own sources that he passed on to Mr. Steele, calling into question the reliability of the information.'

Some observations prompted by all this.

Without wanting to prejudge things, it seems to me quite likely that what Horowitz has been contemplating is a kind of 'limited hangout'. So, the idea could be to suggest that Steele did have sources, that however these were not as reliable as he thought they were, but everything was done in good faith etc etc. In the light of information coming out, including that in the Friedrich ruling, he may however have decided to 'hold his horses.'

In trying to put together the accumulating evidence, it is necessary to realise, as so many people seem to find it difficult to do, that in matters like these people commonly play double games – often for very good reasons.

To say as Carlson does that Fusion and Steele were hired by 'the Russians' implies that these are some kind of collective entity – and then, one is one step away from the assumption that Veselnitskaya and Deripaska, as well as 'Putin's Cook', are simply puppets controlled by the master manipulator in the Kremlin. (The fact that Friedrich applies serious standards for assessing evidence to Mueller's version of this is one of the reasons why her judgement is so important.)

As regards what McCarthy says, to lump Surkov and Deripaska together as 'Putin's guys' is unhelpful. Actually, it seems to me very unlikely, although perhaps not absolutely impossible, that, had he been implicated in any conspiracy to intervene in an American election, Surkov would have been talking candidly about his role to anyone liable to relay the information to Steele.

Likewise, however, the notion of a Machiachiavellian Surkov, feeding disinformation about a non-existent plot through an intermediary to Steele, who swallows it hook, line and sinker, does not seem particularly plausible.

A rather more obvious possibility is that the intermediaries who were supposed to have conveyed a whole lot of 'smoking gun' evidence to Steele were either 1. fabrications, 2. people whom without their knowledge he cast in this role, or 3. co-conspirators. It would, obviously, be possible that Millian, although one can say no more than that at this stage, was involved in either or both of roles 2. and 3.

It is important that the general pattern of assuming that Putin is some kind of omnipotent Sauron-figure, which has clearly left Mueller open to a counter-attack by Concord, was given a classic expression in the testimony which Glenn Simpson gave to the House Intelligence Committee in November 2017.

(See https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/House_Intelligence_Committee_Interview_of_Glenn_Simpson )

Providing his version of what was going on following his move from the Washington office of the 'Wall Street Journal' to its European headquarters in January 2005, Simpson told the Committee:

'And the oligarchs, during this period of consolidation of power by Vladimir Putin, when I was living in Brussels and doing all this work, was about him essentially taking control over both the oligarchs and the mafia groups. And so basically everyone in Russia works for Putin now. And that's true of the diaspora as well. So the Russian mafia in the United States is believed bylaw enforcement criminologists to have – to be under the influence of the Russian security services. And this is convenient for the security services because it gives them a level of deniability.'

A bit less than two years after Simpson's move to Brussels, a similar account featured in what appears to have been the first attempt by Christopher Steele and his confederates to provide a 'narrative' in terms of which could situate the supposed assassination by polonium poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko.

This came in a BBC Radio 4 programme, entitled 'The Litvinenko Mystery', in which a veteran presenter with the Corporation, Tom Mangold, produced an account by the former KGB Major Yuri Shvets, supported by the former FBI Agent Robert Levinson, and an 'Unidentified Informer', who is told by Mangold that he cannot be identified 'reasons of your own personal security'.

(A full transcript is on the 'Evidence' archived website of the Litvinenko Inquiry – one needs to search for the reference HMG000513 – at https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence ">https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence">https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence .)

This figure, whose credentials we have no means of assessing, explains:

'Well it's not well known to Western leaders or Western people but it is pretty well known in Russia. Because essentially it is common knowledge in Russia that by the end of Nineties the so called Russian organised crime had been destroyed by the Government and then the Russian security agencies, primarily the law enforcement and primarily the FSB, essentially assumes the functions and methods of Russian organised crime. And they became one of the most dangerous organised crime group because they are protected by law. They're protected by all power of the State. They have essentially the free hand in the country and this shadow establishment essentially includes the entire structure of the FSB from the very top people in Moscow going down to the low offices.'

The story Mangold told was a pathetic tale of how Litvinenko and Shvets, trying to turn an honest penny from 'due diligence' work, identified damning evidence about the links of a figure close to Putin to organised crime, who in return sent Andrei Lugovoi to poison the former with polonium.

A few problems with this version have, however, subsequently, emerged. Among them is the fact that, at the time, Litvinenko himself, as well as having been a key member of the late Boris Berezovsky's 'information operations team', was an agent, as distinct from an informant, of MI6: accounts differ as to whether Steele was his personal 'handler' (John Sipher), or had never met him (Luke Harding).

Also relevant is the fact that Shvets, a fanatical Ukrainian nationalist, and an important figure in the original 'Orange Revolution', was also a key member of Berezovsky's 'information operations' team.

Perhaps most interesting is the fact that the disappearance of Levinson, on the Iranian island of Kish, the following March, was not as was claimed for years related to his private sector work. His entrapment and imprisonment – from which we now know Deripaska was later involved in attempting to rescue him – related to an undercover mission on behalf of elements in the CIA.

The account of his career by the 'New York Times' journalist Barry Meier in his 2016 study 'Missing Man' is a tissue of sleazy evasions, not least in relation to the role of Levinson in 'investigating' the notorious mobster Semion Mogilevich, a key figure in 'information operations' against both Putin and Trump, and also the opponents of Yulia Tymoshenko.

A large question involved is how co-operation between not simply elements in MI6 and the CIA, but also in the FBI, with the oligarchs who refused to accept Putin's terms goes back a very long way.

And, among other things, that raises a whole range of questions about Mueller.

Dan -> David Habakkuk ... , 12 July 2019 at 04:36 PM

Great info, thanks. I admittedly don't watch the skeptics' comments closely enough, and can be susceptible to twisted observations from guys like Carlson and Solomon.

[Jul 05, 2019] Dying Augustus did say: curtain is closing, I hope I did act well

Jul 05, 2019 | www.unz.com

Ilyana_Rozumova, July 5, 2019 at 11:26 am GMT

Lets be a realistic a little bit here.
In politics the overwhelming power is in power of presentation.
The content with all the other details is of little consequence...

Dying Augustus did say: curtain is closing, I hope I did act well.

[Jul 05, 2019] Putin Speaks- Liberalism Has Lost the World -

Jul 05, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

In his interview with the FT' s Lionel Barber, Putin appeared as much an analyst of, as an advocate for, the nationalism and populism that seems to be succeeding the 20th-century liberalism of the West.

Why is liberalism failing? Several causes, said Putin. Among them, its failure to deal with the crisis of the age: mass and unchecked illegal migration. Putin praised Trump's efforts to secure the U.S. border:

"This liberal idea has become obsolete. It has come into conflict with the interests of the overwhelming majority of the population. This liberal idea presupposes that migrants can kill, plunder and rape with impunity because their rights as migrants have to be protected."

Putin deplored Chancellor Angela Merkel's 2015 decision to bring into Germany a million refugees from Syria's civil war.

His comments came as 10 Democratic candidates in the second presidential primary debate were raising their hands in support of the proposition that breaking into the USA should cease to be a crime and those who succeed in breaking in should be given free health care.

Putin also sees the social excesses of multiculturalism and secularism in the West as representing a failure of liberalism.

In a week where huge crowds celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall "uprising" in Greenwich Village, as it is now called, with parties and parades, Putin declared:

"Have we forgotten that all of us live in a world based on biblical values? I am not trying to insult anyone because we have been condemned for our alleged homophobia. But we have no problem with LGBT persons. God forbid, let them live as they wish."

He added, "But some things do appear excessive to us. They claim now that children can play five or six gender roles."

Elton John pronounced himself "deeply upset."

Putin did not back off: "Let everyone be happy But this must not be allowed to overshadow the culture, traditions and traditional family values of millions of people making up the core population."

Putin took power, two decades ago, as this 21st century began. In recent years, he has advanced himself not only as a foe of liberalism but a champion of populism, traditionalism and nationalism.

Nor is he hesitant to declare his views regarding U.S. politics.

Of Trump, Putin says, "He is a talented person (who) knows very well what his voters expect of him. Trump looked into his opponent's attitude toward him and saw changes in American society."

Recalling his own controversial comment that the collapse of the Soviet Union was the greatest tragedy of the 20th century, Putin said the tragedy was not the death of Communism but the shattering of the Russian Federation into 15 separate nations.

The tragedy was the "dispersal of ethnic Russians" across the newly independent successor states of the Soviet Union: "25 million ethnic Russians found themselves living outside the Russian Federation. Is this not a tragedy? A huge one! And family relations? Jobs? Travel? It was nothing but a disaster."

What may be said of Putin?

He is no Stalin, no Communist ideologue, but rather a Russian nationalist who seeks the return of her lost peoples to the Motherland, and, seeing his country as a great power, wants NATO out of his front yard.

While we have issues with him on arms control, Iran and Venezuela, we have a common interest in avoiding a war with this nuclear-armed nation as we did with the far more menacing Soviet Empire of the Cold War.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.


el_uro 3 days ago

Regardless of who is Mr Putin, he pointed out the problems created by modern "progressives" and "progressives" do not have any answer.

ebergerud 3 days ago

No quibbles at all. I hope more Americans see beyond superficial press coverage of the whole Ukraine issue and understand that the US was perceived by Moscow - correctly - as being deeply involved in the Ukraine 2014 debacle. James Brennan even came to call in April - very odd move by a CIA Chief. I'll go one step farther. I think it possible that Trump's association with Manafort was viewed by Brennan as threatening his narrative of Russia as an aggressive villain - and that was one idea Brennan could not allow into the public arena. For more on this line of thought, check some of the recent talks given by "realist" guru John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and his critique of liberal hegemony.

Brooke Smith 3 days ago

Putin is right. I have been impressed with several of Putin's speeches over the years. Glad to read commentary on his speech here at TAC - this is the first place where I even learned of this speech.

Brady 3 days ago

Vladimir Putin, leader of the free world...

JeffK from PA 3 days ago

"The two joked about how both are afflicted with a media that generates constant fake news." - Buchanan. In other words, we prefer the many lies mis-characterized as truth to fool the uninformed and massage the base.

"Negotiations on Kim's nuclear weapons may be back on track." - Buchanan. Who doubts Kim Jong Un is going to play Trump like a fiddle?

"This liberal idea presupposes that migrants can kill, plunder and rape with impunity because their rights as migrants have to be protected." - Putin. More right wing propaganda for the clueless.

"Putin declared: "Have we forgotten that all of us live in a world based on biblical values? " Yeah, sure. Putin and Trump. Two devout saints just trying to make the world a better place for all. Kumbaya, praise The Lord, and pass the wafers...

SatirevFlesti 3 days ago

Wish we could vote for Orban or Putin in 2020.

triaruis6@yahoo.com 3 days ago

I think of Putin as "Catherine the Great" working to make Russia as great and powerful as it can be. I think Pres. Trump probably could have greatly improved US-Russian relations had his first term not been poisoned by this ridiculous collusion scam. Perhaps next term.

John Sobieski 3 days ago

I am having some difficulty figuring out what is the point of this piece. Buchanan seems to support the cause of populism, nationalism, and traditionalism, while at the same time pointing out that the champions are imprisoning, oppressing, and killing innocents. Yay? Buchanan also seems to take at face value Putin's supposed analysis of the West to a Western journalist. Buchanan might wonder what Putin the Nationalist thinks of Ukrainian nationalism, or Chechen nationalism.

Buchanan might also question Putin the Populist's fraudulent elections, murder of journalists, and propaganda machine. He might also wonder what Putin the Anti-liberal meant when he stated, in his speech at the opening of the largest mosque in Europe, "Right from its creation, Russia has always been a multi-ethnic and multi-confessional country. This mutual enrichment of different cultures, traditions and religions has always been our country's distinguishing feature and strength."

For those of you who would like to read Putin's speech, which could have just as easily been delivered by Obama (just change the word "Russia" for "America"), here is the link:
http://en.kremlin.ru/events...

peter mcloughlin 3 days ago

Patrick J Buchanan is right when he says about Russia: "We have a common interest in avoiding a war with this nuclear-armed nation " But I would respectfully disagree that the Cold War was a "far more menacing" time. The Cold War was the peace, a post-world war environment: we now live in a pre-world war environment. Humanity has experienced long periods of peace (or relative peace) throughout history. The Thirty Years Peace between the two Peloponnesian Wars, Pax Romana, Europe in the 19th century after the Congress of Vienna, to name a few. The Congress System finally collapsed in 1914 with the start of World War One. That conflict was followed by the League of Nations. It did not stop World War Two.

That was followed by the United Nations and other post-war institutions. But all the indications are they will not prevent a third world war.
https://www.ghostsofhistory...

JEinCA 2 days ago

Of course Vladimir Putin is right on the money as he has been about many other things but he's been vilified and demonized in the Western media to the point that even if an average Westerner (much less a politician) agrees with him they will never admit as such in public.

Nelson 2 days ago

Conservatives should move to Russia where they can be happy and content.

tweets21 2 days ago

The west cannot allow themselves to ever admit, Putin is a very experienced well informed individual.

Luther Perez 2 days ago

"In the modern world, the decision is up to the woman herself," Russia's president said in his annual marathon press conference on Wednesday, which ran to just shy of four hours. Any attempt to suppress it, he added, would only push the practice underground, causing immense damage to women's health.

Putin also cautioned against tightening the country's historically liberal laws on abortion any further, saying that any decision on future regulation "must be careful, considered and based on the general mood in society and the moral and ethical norms that have developed in society."

[Jul 01, 2019] Putin: I hope that sanity will prevail in the end

Notable quotes:
"... "Question: Mr President, you have given an extensive overview of different topics. A short time after you last met with Donald Trump, the Americans introduced new sanctions against Russia. Could you tell if you received some reassurances from Donald Trump that no new sanctions will follow this time, or do you think sanctions may be imposed again? Or are you confident that there will no more sanctions? ..."
"... "Vladimir Putin: I have no idea. This is not our business; it is up to the United States to think about how they should build relations with Russia. I think we have mutual understanding that we should somehow get out of the situation that has emerged so far. But this is the same as with our colleagues and partners from the UK. It is an abnormal situation, it must be simply rectified; we must somehow find the strength to turn the page, to move on and to look to the future. It is the same in relations with the United States. ..."
"... "Let me reiterate, I meet with US businesspeople, including at the St Petersburg Economic Forum. 550 people went there. They want to work. That means jobs, that means goals the President of the United State is trying to achieve. I actually said in that interview that after the globalisation processes led to such big growth of the world economy, even the middle class in the United States felt they were left behind. While large corporation made huge profits, their management got a lot of advantages as did their partners, the middle class did not, not very much. Wages remained the same, and the standard of living began to grow a little. Jobs are needed and conditions to raise real incomes of US citizens. To achieve that they need to expand cooperation and work with everyone, including Russia. ..."
"... "They restricted the operation of their companies in the Russian market. We made calculations across some European countries, and it really amounts to lost profits. Cutting exports (our imports are their exports) amounts to tens of billions of euros. That means jobs, either job cuts or jobs that were not created. The same applies to the United States. I hope that sanity will prevail in the end." ..."
"... That is a polite way of saying that sanity is not prevailing at the moment. Putin pointing out that there is nothing Russia can do about the current relationship between the US and Russia leaves no illusions as to who the insane party is. It is not within Russia's power to make America sane. There are no magic words they can utter to fix what ails the US. ..."
"... Globalization is simply a neoliberal economic substitute for colonialism. ..."
"... Neoliberals contrary to popular opinion do not believe in self-regulating markets as autonomous entities. They do not see democracy as necessary for capitalism. ..."
"... The neoliberal globalist world is not a borderless market without nations but a doubled world (economic -global and social- national) . The global economic world is kept safe from democratic national demands for social justice and equality, and in return each nation enjoys cultural freedom. ..."
"... Neoliberals see democracy as a real problem. Democracy means the unwashed masses can threaten the so called market economy (in fact manipulated and protected markets) with worker demands for living wages and equality and consumer demands for competitive pricing and safe products. Controlling both parties with money prevents that. ..."
"... In fact, neoliberal thinking is comparable to that of John Maynard Keynes in one respect : "the market does not and cannot take care of itself". ..."
"... Neoliberals insulate the markets by providing safe harbor for capital, free from fear of infringement by policies of progressive taxation or redistribution. They do this by redesigning government, laws, and other institutions to protect the market. ..."
"... For example the stock market is propped up by the Feds purchases of futures, replacing the plunge protection teams intervention at an even more extreme level. Manipulation of economic statistics by the BLS also serve a similar purpose. ..."
"... What you described is precisely a symptom of falling profitability. Financialisation, for example, only increases when the "real economy" is not profiting enough anymore. ..."
"... "If you try to understand how so many jobs have disappeared, the answer that you come up with over and over again in the data is that it's not trade that caused that -- it's primarily technology," Eighty percent of lost jobs were not replaced by workers in China, but by machines and automation. That is the first problem if you slap on tariffs. What you discover is that American companies are likely to replace its more expensive workers with machines." ..."
"... More evidence for Marx's Law: the USA was a victim of its own success, not of its own failures, nor because of alien enemies. ..."
Jul 01, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Jun 30, 2019 4:46:37 PM | 39

In case there are others aside from myself interested in the G-20 outcomes, here are a few links to what IMO's important. Go here to get the links to the three main documents G-20 produced: "G20 Osaka Leaders Declaration," "Osaka declaration on digital economy," and "G20 Osaka leaders' statement on preventing exploitation of the internet for terrorism and violent extremism conductive to terrorism (VECT)." Pepe Escobar's recap . Transcript of Putin's post G20 news conference.

I hoped when I added the presser link to the Putin interview thread and hinted there were connections between them that another line of analysis would develop, but it seems participants were way to immersed/invested in the liberalism debate to bother.

From the press conference, I'd like to point-out one of the Q&As related to the illegal sanctions regime, economic development and how they interact with Trump's 2016 Campaign Pledges as we begin the 2020 election cycle:

"Question: Mr President, you have given an extensive overview of different topics. A short time after you last met with Donald Trump, the Americans introduced new sanctions against Russia. Could you tell if you received some reassurances from Donald Trump that no new sanctions will follow this time, or do you think sanctions may be imposed again? Or are you confident that there will no more sanctions?

"Vladimir Putin: I have no idea. This is not our business; it is up to the United States to think about how they should build relations with Russia. I think we have mutual understanding that we should somehow get out of the situation that has emerged so far. But this is the same as with our colleagues and partners from the UK. It is an abnormal situation, it must be simply rectified; we must somehow find the strength to turn the page, to move on and to look to the future. It is the same in relations with the United States.

"I told you that we reasserted our wish to support the business community's proposal regarding tools for the support of business initiatives. But it shows that the incumbent Administration has intentions to somehow continue with this abnormal situation. I spoke about our trade with the United States and with some other partners. Obviously, $25 billion in trade does not meet our interests and does not reflect our potential.

"That is why I have no idea if they will do anything or not. At any rate, one thing is sure – we are not going to ask for anything. No means no. And if there is interest, we will respond in kind and will do everything we can to turn the situation around.

"Let me reiterate, I meet with US businesspeople, including at the St Petersburg Economic Forum. 550 people went there. They want to work. That means jobs, that means goals the President of the United State is trying to achieve. I actually said in that interview that after the globalisation processes led to such big growth of the world economy, even the middle class in the United States felt they were left behind. While large corporation made huge profits, their management got a lot of advantages as did their partners, the middle class did not, not very much. Wages remained the same, and the standard of living began to grow a little. Jobs are needed and conditions to raise real incomes of US citizens. To achieve that they need to expand cooperation and work with everyone, including Russia.

"They restricted the operation of their companies in the Russian market. We made calculations across some European countries, and it really amounts to lost profits. Cutting exports (our imports are their exports) amounts to tens of billions of euros. That means jobs, either job cuts or jobs that were not created. The same applies to the United States. I hope that sanity will prevail in the end."

It appears that Trump needs to end his Trade and Sanctions Wars (although all the illegal sanctions aren't his doing) in order to bolster his reelection chances. The questions are, Will the sanction hawks like Mnuchin try to impede such a policy change since it seems to be required for domestic politics and How will D-Party candidates treat the issue, particularly as several are hooked on Russiagate Koolaid?

And do please note the question about the interview at the end, Putin's answer and how he put in within the context of the G20!

William Gruff , Jun 30, 2019 5:32:28 PM | 45

Great quote of Putin by karlof1 @39. That final sentence says much, though:

"I hope that sanity will prevail in the end"

That is a polite way of saying that sanity is not prevailing at the moment. Putin pointing out that there is nothing Russia can do about the current relationship between the US and Russia leaves no illusions as to who the insane party is. It is not within Russia's power to make America sane. There are no magic words they can utter to fix what ails the US.

William Gruff , Jun 30, 2019 8:47:27 PM | 82
A minor correction to dh-mtl @59 where it was claimed "[The globalists] lost power from the mid-1930s to 1980."

The globalists were never actually out of power in the US. Instead they were confronted with a massive upsurge in radical organized labor that threatened to remove them from power. The globalists had to make very significant concessions to buy time for that labor uprising to subside. That happened to take almost half a century, but throughout that period the globalists retained power, though in a somewhat weakened form. They are back at full strength now

Other than that dh-mtl's analysis seems accurate.

dh-mtl , Jun 30, 2019 9:13:22 PM | 86
donkeytale | Jun 30, 2019 8:14:48 PM | 79 says:

'But to say any one nation "produced" the current global market economic system is a bit like saying Yahweh created all the heavens and the earth in 6 days.'

I never suggested that 'one nation' produced this global system.

What I was suggesting is that perhaps the financial elites who benefit from, as you describe it, a 'financial system created by and for the wealthiest elites wherever they may call home', and who controlled Reagan and Clinton and W and Obama, Blair and Cameron and Macron and Merkel and Aznar in Spain, etc., etc., and hundreds of MEPs in the European parliament, and who created the U.S. Deep State, control virtually all of western main-stream media, and who place their people in control of institutions such as the World Bank, and IMF, and UN and WTO and BIS, and who decide the fate of the world every year at Davos and the Bilderberg conference, might have had something the do with creating the laws and treaties that created that system.

This sounds like a pretty effective political system to me, though definitely not democratic.

karlof1 , Jul 1 2019 4:06 utc | 104
pretzelattack @100--

Carter agreed to appoint Volker in order to save the bondholders by destroying the domestic economy with interest rates over 20% which is what actually cost him the 1980 election. In 1978, McNamara was sent off to the World Bank to work in tandem with IMF to begin the imposition of the euphemized Structural Adjustment Programs--the globalized version of Neoliberalism.

dh-mtl , Jul 1 2019 4:08 utc | 105
donkeytale | Jun 30, 2019 9:51:00 PM | 90 says:

'the Trump-nationalists and Brexiteers do not offer an effective solution to problem of wealth inequality which is your complaint'.


Wealth inequality is not my complaint. My point is that 'dictatorship', whether it be in the hands of 'wealthy global elites', military or other, cannot achieve acceptable outcomes for a large, complex, modern society, and that excessive wealth inequality is a sure indicator of dictatorship.

The Trump-nationalists and Brexiteers may not have an effective solution. But they are convinced that what has been going on in their societies over the past 30 plus years has definitely not worked for them either. My analysis is that they are trying to return to the conditions in which the outcomes were much better for them.

My own conviction is that acceptable outcomes for a society can only be achieved when the political leaders are working on behalf of the society as a whole, rather than for a narrow privileged group, and especially a group that has little or no allegiance to the nation-state, whose boundaries define the society.

When the political leaders are truly working on behalf of the population as a whole, there is a wide variety of policy options that can work. Trial and error over time will ensure that the policy options that are most appropriate for a particular society and its circumstances will eventually emerge.

Pft , Jul 1 2019 5:38 utc | 114

Globalization is simply a neoliberal economic substitute for colonialism.

Neoliberals contrary to popular opinion do not believe in self-regulating markets as autonomous entities. They do not see democracy as necessary for capitalism.

The neoliberal globalist world is not a borderless market without nations but a doubled world (economic -global and social- national) . The global economic world is kept safe from democratic national demands for social justice and equality, and in return each nation enjoys cultural freedom.

Neoliberals see democracy as a real problem. Democracy means the unwashed masses can threaten the so called market economy (in fact manipulated and protected markets) with worker demands for living wages and equality and consumer demands for competitive pricing and safe products. Controlling both parties with money prevents that.

In fact, neoliberal thinking is comparable to that of John Maynard Keynes in one respect : "the market does not and cannot take care of itself".

The neoliberal project did not liberate markets so much as protect them by protecting capitalism against the threat of democracy and to reorder the world where borders provide a captive market

Neoliberals insulate the markets by providing safe harbor for capital, free from fear of infringement by policies of progressive taxation or redistribution. They do this by redesigning government, laws, and other institutions to protect the market.

For example the stock market is propped up by the Feds purchases of futures, replacing the plunge protection teams intervention at an even more extreme level. Manipulation of economic statistics by the BLS also serve a similar purpose.

Another example is getting government to accept monopoly capitalism over competitive capitalism and have appointed judges who believe illegal collusion is nothing more than understandable and legal "conscious parallelism"

... ... ...

vk , Jul 1 2019 12:54 utc | 132