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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 numbers game.

A million in HK (sometimes 2 million) is a place where there was room for 150k (the police estimate). The number was "an organiser estimate" for one day, and then became fact.

1 million Ujghurs in prison - but satellite evidence of less that 10k of prison space.

Gen Hodges reckoned 14,000 Russian troops in Ukraine, but no evidence of more than 5 in any one spot.

Everyone believed in the Russian invasion and annexation of Crimea, but no photos of more than 8 in any one place (though the BBC shows pictures of dozens which can be google image search to be in Sevastopol).

400-800k demonstrators at the Maidan - again 120k is tops in that space - and the source was Boris Nemstvov, the man who constantly promised proof of Russian troops in Ukraine but was killed conveniently before he could (having extended his deadline repeatedly).

Bosnia.

And the other way around - nothing happening in France.

[Jan 24, 2020] Putin Calls for a New System Guided by the UN Charter But Is It Possible by Matthew Ehret

Jan 24, 2020 | off-guardian.org

Anyone looking with sober eyes upon today's world and the feeble economic and geopolitical underpinnings holding the system together must accept the fact that a new system WILL be created.

This is not an opinion, but a fact. We are moving towards eight billion lives on this globe and the means of productive powers to sustain that growing population (at least in the west) has been permitted to decay terribly over the recent half century while monetary values have grown like a hyperinflationary cancer to unimaginable proportions.

Derivatives speculation alone under the deregulated "too big to fail" banking system has resulted in over $1.5 quadrillion in nominal values which have ZERO connection to the real world (GDP globally barely accounts for $80 trillion). Over the past 5 months $415 billion of QE bailouts have been released into the bankrupt banks to prevent a collapse. So, economically it's foundation of sand.

Militarily, the west has followed the earlier Roman empire of yesteryear by overextending itself beyond capacity creating situations of global turmoil, death and unbounded resentment at the dominant Anglo American powers controlling NATO and the Military-industrial complex.

The recent near-war with Iran at the start of 2020 put the world on a fast track towards a nuclear war with Iran's allies Russia and China.

Culturally, the disconnection from the traditional values that gave western civilization it's moral fitness to survive and grow has resulted in a post-truth age now spanning over three generations (from the baby boomers to today's young adults) who have become the most confused class of people in modern history losing all discrimination of "needs" vs "wants", "right" vs "wrong", "beauty" vs "ugliness" or even "male" and "female".

Without ranting on anymore, it suffices to say that this thing is not sustainable.

So the question is not "will we get a new system?" but rather "whom will this new system serve?"

Will this new system serve an oligarchical agenda at the expense of the nations and people of the earth or will it serve the interests of the nations and people of the earth at the expense of the oligarchy?

Putin Revives a Forgotten Vision

President Putin's January 15 State of the Union was a breath of fresh air for this reason, as the world leader who has closely allied his nation's destiny to China's Belt and Road Initiative, laid out a call for a new system to be created by the five largest nuclear powers as common allies under a multi-polar paradigm.

After speaking about Russia's vision for internal improvements, Putin shifted towards the international arena saying:

I am convinced that it is high time for a serious and direct discussion about the basic principles of a stable world order and the most acute problems that humanity is facing. It is necessary to show political will, wisdom and courage. The time demands an awareness of our shared responsibility and real actions."

Calling for Russia, the USA, UK, China and France to organize a new architecture that goes far beyond merely military affairs, Putin stated:

The founding countries of the United Nations should set an example. It is the five nuclear powers that bear a special responsibility for the conservation and sustainable development of humankind. These five nations should first of all start with measures to remove the prerequisites for a global war and develop updated approaches to ensuring stability on the planet that would fully take into account the political, economic and military aspects of modern international relations."

Putin's emphasis that "the United Nations should set an example" is not naïve fantasy, nor "crypto globalist rhetoric" as some of his critics have stated.

Putin knows that the UN has been misused by anti-nation state ideologues for a very long time. He also knows his history better than his critics and is aware that the original mandate of the United Nations was premised upon the defense of the sovereign nation state. Article 2.1 of the charter clearly says:

The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members."

For readers who are perhaps rightfully cynical that such organizations as the UN could ever play a truly positive role in world affairs, it is important to recall that the UN was never intended to have any unilateral authority over nation-states, or military power unto itself when was created in 1945.

Its purpose was intended to provide a platform for dialogue where sovereign nation-states could harmonize their policies and overcome misunderstanding with the aim of protecting the general welfare of the people of the earth.

Articles 1.3-4 state clearly that the UN's is designed "to achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion and to be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends."

If the United Nations principles as enunciated in its pre-amble and core articles were to ever be followed (just like America's own admirable constitution): then wars of aggression and regime change would not be possible.

Article 2.4 directly addresses this saying:

All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state".

These principles stand in stark contrast to the earlier 1919 Round Table/RIIA-orchestrated attempt at a post-national world order under the failed League of Nations which was rightfully put out of its misery by nationalists of the 1920s.

FDR's 1944 vision, as Putin is well aware, was based not on "world government", but rather upon the concept of a community of sovereign nations collaborating on vast development and infrastructure projects which were intended to be the effect of an "internationalization" of the New Deal that transformed America in the years following the Great Depression.

The closest approximation to this spirit in practice in our modern age is found in China's Belt and Road Initiative .

Thousands of Asian, African and South American engineers and statesmen were invited to visit the USA during the 1930s and early 1940s to study the Tennessee Valley Authority and other great New Deal water, agriculture and energy projects in order to bring those ideas back to their countries as a driver to break out of the shackles of colonialism both politically, culturally and economically.

In opposition to FDR, Churchill the unrepentant racist was okay with offering political independence, but never the cultural or economic means to achieve it.

Although the world devolved into an Anglo-American alliance with FDR's death in 1945, the other Bretton Woods Institutions which were meant to provide international productive credit to those large scale infrastructure projects to end colonialism were taken over by FDR's enemies who purged the IMF and World Bank of all loyalists to FDR's international New Deal vision throughout the years of the red scare.

Whether these corrupt financing institutions can be brought back to their original intention or whether they must simply be replaced with new lending mechanisms such as the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, BRICS New Development Bank or Silk Road Investment Fund remains to be seen.

What is vital to keep in mind is that Putin (just like FDR before him) knows that neither Britain nor Britain's Deep State loyalists in America can trusted.

Yet, in spite of their mistrust, they both knew that a durable world order could only be accomplished if these forces were reined in under a higher law imposed by the authority of truly sovereign nations, and this is why FDR's post-war plans involved a USA-Russia-China-UK partnership to provide the impetus to global development initiatives and achieve the goals of the Atlantic Charter.

This partnership was sabotaged over FDR's dead body as the Cold War and Truman Doctrine broke that alliance. The goal of ending colonialism had to wait another 80 years.

At the 2007 Munich Security Conference, Putin had already laid his insight into history clearly on the table when he said:

This universal, indivisible character of security is expressed as the basic principle that "security for one is security for all."

As Franklin D. Roosevelt said during the first few days that the Second World War was breaking out:

When peace has been broken anywhere, the peace of all countries everywhere is in danger I consider that the unipolar model is not only unacceptable but also impossible in today's world. And this is not only because if there was individual leadership in today's – and precisely in today's – world, then the military, political and economic resources would not suffice. What is even more important is that the model itself is flawed because at its basis there is and can be no moral foundations for modern civilisation."

Putin is not naïve to call for the United Nations charter to serve as the guiding light of a new military, political, economic architecture.

Nor is he naïve to think that such untrustworthy nations as the USA, UK and France should serve in partnership with Russia and China since Putin knows that it will be Russia and China shaping the terms of the new system and not the collapsing basket-cases of the west whose excess bluff and bluster betrays a losing hand, which is why certain forces have been so desperate to overthrow the poker table over the past few years.

The fact that Putin, Xi and their growing allies have not permitted this chaos agenda to unfold has not only driven "end of history" imperialists into rage fits but also gives FDR's vision for a community of sovereign nation-states a second chance at life.

Originally published by Strategic Culture . Facebook Twitter Reddit Pinterest WhatsApp vKontakte Email Filed under: latest , Russia Tagged with: Belt and Road Initiative , china , FDR , Matthew Ehret , russia , UN , UN Charter , United Nations , Vladimir Putin can you spare $1.00 a month to support independent media

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Gall ,

The big mistake was giving France, UK and the US or FUKU or FUKUS, USSR NKA Russia and China any veto over the other independent Nations on the planet. Especially since the first two were responsible for hobbling together the Frankenstein monster known as the United States of America that was created by rapacious theft and genocide of the indigenous population followed by almost total ecocide and now has been loosed upon the world it seems to accomplish the same thing under the cover of bringing it "freedom and democracy".

Paul ,

It's a pity the experience of the League of Nations isn't examined any longer because it is instructive. OK Congress declined to approve it so the Pilot Wilson was missing but more serious was the problem of totally partisan and self serving decisions that made its provisions a mockery. Italy was 'allowed' to keep on occupying Ethiopia and sanctions eg on oil were simply declined, partly because the US supplied the oil and wasn't going to stop selling it, especially to Mussolini who was rapidly becoming a client state of America in enormous debt.

BigB ,

Someone said it was "banal" of me to oppose 'The Western Intellectual Tradition' (TWIT). Well, here is its vision *in extremis*. If you do not recognise it: this is 'Platonic Humanism' in all its glory.

It reads well. It is sensible and intelligible in its clearly written propositions. It has meaning and clearly denotes real world events – right? And yet it is ultimately unintelligible and non-sensical in an early Wittgensteinian sense of its underlying logic. If you did not immediately recognise the subtextual vision of Lyndon LaRouche: you might want to read it again?

The underlying logic is one of economic infinity: completely decoupled from the neo-Malthusian sustainable 'green iron cage' that prohibits the *productive* economy growing forever as per the deluded LaRouchian proscription. Which is utterly banal: if not actually exceedingly dangerous.

This fact of life is the essential proof that not only mankind but the universe is unbounded in its potential for constant self-perfectibility and thus ANTI-ENTROPIC in its essence.

https://orientalreview.org/2019/07/31/the-genocidal-roots-of-the-green-new-deal-the-limits-to-growth-and-the-unchaining-of-prometheus/

To illustrate my point: this is from an earlier text. I never actually know where I stand: because "anti-entropy" is laced through much of the commentary here. Which is why this text may appeal on a superficial reading? It ticks a lot of boxes: including perpetual capitalist growth; expansion of the SCO/BRI/BRICS/EAEU/CPEC colonisation of the Eurasian 'supercontinent'; and development of an anti-hegemonic sovereigntist bloc. All of which seem as a fashionable vogue for the internet progressive about town. But in multipolar alliance with Donald Trump! Infinite anti-entropic capitalistic growth – guided by the UN Charter – with Putin, Xi AND Trump at the helm in an "alliance for a new just economic order"? Sounds like hell to me.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/07/06/trumps-relationship-to-russia-and-china-a-revival-of-the-henry-wallace-doctrine-for-the-post-war-world/

My point is that perhaps we should learn to read more deeply? Perhaps at the underlying paradigmatic logic of the text? Power is transmitted in mysterious ways. Everyone is paranoid about "mind-control" and "hidden agendas". Well, Matthew's is a prime exemplar of hidden context perhaps not to be uncritically assimilated? Unless, perhaps you share the vision of unlimited self-perfectibility; infinite nuclear fusion powered bourgeois ecumenical consumerism decoupled from ecological neo-Malthusian 'limits-to-growth'; and ANTI-ENTROPY? In which case you may be a banal Platonist TWIT too? 🙂

LaRouche was a cultic delusionist who took cherrypicked ideas to assemble an intelligible and sensible montage of beliefs that did not hang together. Which makes his writing absurd nonsense and a philosophical non-entity. Any putative logical link to the real world is severed by its premises. This piece is reduced to a mere a Trojan Horse for gibberish. It is a meaning-less 'language game'.

As unfortunate as it may seem: entropy exists as a fundamental property of the ecosphere. Resources deplete and growth is thermodynamically limited. We need a new system: one which actually addresses the extinction level ecological crisis we are in the midst of. Something we need to understand and embrace: not illogically deny. This text subverts that strategic denial to its own ends. Let the reader be aware of the paradigmatic subtext.

paul ,

Russia and China have always been status quo powers, more concerned with their own internal development than implementing insane Neocon/ James Bond Villain-style fantasies of world domination. This was true even during the period of communist rule. Their growth and influence in the world can only be viewed as a positive development.

China built the infrastructure in the Third World that was neglected during centuries of colonialism.

China builds things.
America (and its cringing satellites like Britain and France) bomb things.
Most people in Africa and elsewhere prefer building things to bombing things.

Dungroanin ,

A good piece – The UN is not fit for purpose.
The SCO already operates under a 'charter' – which goes past religion and cultural hagemony by any one nation or peoples. Since it already represents more than half the worlds population and the majority of its land mass – it is only a matter of time that the defunct UN is upgraded to these standards and absorbed into it OR crashes and burns.

Today there were hundreds of thousands of Iraqis – maybe over million, in showing the US and its allies that they really are serious about their national sovereignty and demand that the foreign forces fuck off!

The US response? To revive the old divide and rule option. Break up Iraq into religion and sectarian areas – using the 'never learning Charlie Brown' proxy Kurds by offering them tet another football to kick!

While the world accelerates towards a new order which puts economic security and mutual defence at its core, the US and its gunfighter professional gamblers resort to poker terminology – 'we are ALL IN' in keeping the Iranians and Syrians (and Turkey?) out of the SCO to stop a nonstop link from the Med to the Pacific and Artic to the Southern Seas.

All in! Lol. They going to lose their shirts and be overturning the table and demanding a shootout to keep from paying up their bet.
It's a bluff and sitting with pocket rockets a simple CALL by the new, new world order.

Philip Roddis ,

Excellent. Worthy of wide dissemination for its first nine paragraphs alone.

BigB ,

Phillip, my friend this is not a personal attack, but – have you heard of Lyndon LaRouche? I suggest you might want to read up on his agenda then re-read the text in its wider context? The subtleties are not explicit: but if you are aware of LaRouche – or read some of the authors other texts – they are obvious in the subtext.

The basic premise – unstated herein – is for Trump, Putin, and Xi to form a wider multipolar alliance against the British economic empire (the British Deep State infiltrators) for untrammeled infinite global economic growth – with maximum penetration of nuclear power (eventually nuclear fission) into every economy of the world. To the ends of a global bourgeois consumer culture serviced by the BRI intitiative. Unrestricted by neo-Malthusian ecologists like me, who say this is impossible.

We may not always see eye to eye: but I'm pretty sure you do not envisage a hypothetically- infinite ecumenical consumerism as humanities apex culture? Not least as I assume that you would agree that this is actual ecological fantasy – the world is finite, as are resources – which means this text needs to be shredded not further disseminated?

https://www.strategic-culture.org/contributors/matthew-ehret/

Norn ,

UN Charter .. "sustainable development of humankind"

One of the top priorities must be: Swift actions to STOP poisoning our food.

Seamus Padraig ,

A very sanguine view of FDR. To be sure, it's impossible to say with 100% certainty what he would have done had he survived the war, but it boggles the mind to think that he was going to be forever cool with the idea of sharing the world with Russia and China, when he abjectly refused to share it with Germany and Japan in his own lifetime.

And please don't believe that old canard about the Japanese wanting to take over America; it was actually Roosevelt who precipitated the whole war with Japan, with his oil embargo and what not. He even had advance knowledge of Pearl Harbor from multiple sources, but deliberately withheld that intelligence from his own navy. FDR clearly wanted the attack on Pearl Harbor to be as devastating as possible, so as to drag his recalcitrant countrymen to war, and it worked. In fact, eighty years later, we're still at war. That's the real legacy of FDR, not the long-gone New Deal, of which only Social Security survives (for now). All the other 'alphabet soup' programs he initiated are gone.

I will always wonder wistfully how our history would have turned out had Huey Long become president instead.

seriouslyman ,

Everything Putin says is perfect. There is nothing bad that can be said about Russia on offguardian. Anyone with any mild criticism of russia is a pro imperialist bastard and cannot be engaged with. Offguardian has rightly attacked almost every significant political figure on earth from corbyn to trump. Putin is the only person who can save us. There is no flaw in his character or politics and anyone who suggests otherwise is a conspiracy theorist. Good on Offguardian for never publishing any negative stories about this brilliant intelligent fair play hero who will save us all from hell.

paul ,

No, Little Greta is going to save us.
Vlad isn't going to do that, but he has done quite a good job so far of stopping the Exceptional And Indispensable People from blowing up the planet.
This gives Greta the chance to save us all from the global warming and the polar bears.

Andy ,

Sarcasm can be an effective tool for making a point. This is an example of it not being.

Francis Lee ,

I am trying hard to assess your contribution but couldn't find anything either interesting or relevant to say about it, other than it is little more than sarcastic rant. How does it, or is it even meant to, increase our understanding of international relations? Who exactly makes those claims about Putin?

What I would say about Putin is that he is simply talking like a foreign policy realist. More power to his elbow I say; we could do with some more realism. His political position is very similar to American foreign policy realists such John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt who to their credit put the Zionist noses (AIPAC, JINSA, ADL, AEI) out of joint with the publication of – "The Israel Lobby". Putin's views could have come straight out of the Treaty of Westphalia (1648) which brought an end to the Wars of the Reformation could have come straight from the Treaty, which were based on the following precepts which of course support a multipolar not a unipolar system. Liberal imperialism, humanitarian intervention, call it what you will is a deadly threat to the future of mankind. In contrast multipolarism as an alternative. See below.

1. States existed within recognised borders.
2. Each states sovereignty was recognised by the others
3. Principles of non-interference were agreed.
4. Religious differences between states were tolerated.
5. States might be monarchies, republics, democracies, as was their wont
6. Permanent state interests or raison d'etat was the organizing principle of interntional relations.
7. War was not entirely eliminated, yet it was mitigated by diplomacy and balance-of-power politics.
9. The object of the balance of power was to prevent one state from becoming so powerful that it could conquer others and destroy world order.

Sounds like straight common sense to me.

BigB ,

seriouslyman has a point. The progressive world is extremely slow to recognise the capitalist colonisation of 70% of the Eurasian globe as an existential threat to humanity. As I have been pointing out: capitalism does not transform to a benign humanist alternative as it travels West to East. Russia and China's economic expansionist extractivisim is inimical to all life on Earth. Especially as China has taken a coal-fired 'Great Leap Backwards' to maintain growth in the face of the secular synchronised global economic slowdown.

When the very real extinction level threat of industrialised financialised capitalism is reduced to a personification and represented as the personality of one man – VVP – this is nothing more than a masking discourse that conceals the globalised extinctionism of fossil fuel capitalism. Perhaps the time to reflect on the superior personality of VVP will come when we are all gasping for our last breath – breathing in petrol?

Capitalism thrives on such personal Fetishism. Power is the invisibilising of capitalism's truly destructive force. No one even wants to open the discourse into what underlies Russia's welfare capitalism. Which is infinite market mechanism extraction and quasi-eternal expansionism of fossil fueled growth. Which will kill us all just as soon as America's big guns and bombs.

George Mc ,

You know BigB I can't help but get the feeling that behind all that polysyllabic pontificating, everything you say comes down to a kind of masked reactionary claptrap. You call yourself "neo-Malthusian". Well that's comparatively candid. Malthus being the most obvious case of a capitalist apologist of the most brutal sort. And how interesting that you are having a go at Putin here – as if to suggest that even some kind of socialist transformation isn't going to save us. So what then? Some kind of reaching back to some healthy sparsely populated savannah filled with Conan the barbarian types?

And this:

"Perhaps the time to reflect on the superior personality of VVP will come when we are all gasping for our last breath – breathing in petrol?"

Seems to me you are secretly longing for that moment of last breath when you can finally gleefully shout, "Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah – Told you so!" before croaking.

Frank ,

Sorry, but this doesn't sound much like satire.

It sounds like an 8-year-old taught you everything you know about geopolitics, and unfortunately it all went a bit over your head.

George Mc ,

Two points:

First, I fail to see the point of pillorying Putin when the entire Western media is already doing so.

Second, to pillory Putin on the pretence of "a plague on all their houses" takes us nicely into that pleasant non-committal "higher sphere" where all-is-one-and-one-is-all. The old con trick of "being reasonable" in order to sit on an all-facing fence and basically have no opinion at all.

Estaugh ,

So far, Vlad has being doing a very good job, (saving us all from Hell), and it seems, most of the world is increasingly backing him up. That's tough on 'pro-imperialist bastards' but that's cricket.

[Jan 23, 2020] Side effects Trump impeachment

See also https://youtu.be/uQJoar17jyo
Jan 23, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
There are key indicators that the Trump Impeachment saga is not going as Democrats hoped:

Opthamologists across the United States have been flooded with patients who had attempted to claw out their eyes after being forced to watch just one hour of the proceedings.

Radical Muslim prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, who were strapped into their chairs with their eyes taped open and forced to watch the Impeachment hearings, are demanding to be water boarded instead.

The UN Commission on Human Rights has weighed in and decreed that compelling prisoners to watch the hearing is a most dastardly, evil form of torture.

Pharmaceutical manufacturer Sanofi-Aventis has filed suit against the Democrat National Committee for copyright infringement alleging that the hearings are interfering with the sale of Ambien.

[Jan 23, 2020] Note to Pelosi gang: if can't shoot strait do not shoot at all

Pelosi gang is too afraid to point to actual crimes (like Douma false flag, Yemen war, etc), so they invented this Kabuki theater, as if they can fool already suspicious population.
Jan 23, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org

You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you can't fool all the people all the time. So said Abraham Lincoln – maybe. But whoever it was forgot to mention an important corollary: fun as it may be to pull the wool over people's eyes, you'll writhe in agony for an equal period once the truth emerges and the fraud is exposed.

...the agony of those responsible for the Russiagate fiasco can only intensify while, for the rest of us, the fun has just begun. So lean back and enjoy the show. It going to be a doozy.

[Jan 23, 2020] Guinness record in Presidential twits: Trump broke his previous Twitter record

Jan 23, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

On Wednesday, Jan 22 Donald Trump wrote his name in the Guinness records books setting Presidential record in Twits. According @FactbaseFeed, an account which tracks Trump's Twitter habits, Trump sent 142 tweets and retweets on Wednesday -- eclipsing his previous single-day presidential record of 123.

pretzelattack , Jan 23 2020 16:06 utc | 8

According to the US diplomat, President Trump has made it very "clear that any attack on Americans or American interests will be met with a decisive response, which the president demonstrated on January 2".

And American interests are defined very flexibly, sometimes in conflicting tweets.

[Jan 23, 2020] Ghislaine Hacked Jeffrey Epstein's Alleged Madam Claims Email Server 'Breached'

Jan 23, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Give Me Some Truth , 1 hour ago link

It has now been over a year since the DOJ "re-opened" its "investigation" into Epstein. Any prosecutor who has just passed his bar exam would need only a few weeks to compile a mountain of evidence against Ghislaine Maxwell. Enough to charge her with scores of crimes.

ItheOne , 1 hour ago link

How many Israelis are dancing now?

NERVEAGENTVX , 1 hour ago link

Because the Federal Bureau of (non) Investigation and the Department of (non) Justice conducting a (non) investigation probably won't turn up much in my (non) opinion.

Give Me Some Truth , 1 hour ago link

Lots of brain-storming and perhaps negotiations must have gone on behind the scenes to figure out how to handle Ms. Maxwell.

I somehow doubt that she will agree to a life sentence (which she deserves).

lwilland1012 , 1 hour ago link

A lot of people getting hacked lately. When this all comes to a head (If it does) we know what their defense is going to be. Too bad. It's not gonna work.

[Jan 22, 2020] Who is a real "Russian asset" is an on-trivial question ;-)

Jan 22, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

pparalegal , 1 hour ago link

Stay out of Arkansas.

Best President Ever , 2 hours ago link

Nobody likes Hillary even liberals like myself won't vote for her and that is why Trump won. She is the Russian asset.

RG_Canuck , 1 hour ago link

Please don't insult the Russians like that.

[Jan 22, 2020] 'Remember Where You Are' Chief Justice Roberts Admonishes Both Sides After Impeachment Arguments Get Personal

Sometime Kabuki theater can be very entertaining ;-)
Jan 22, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

John Law Lives , 2 hours ago link

Listening to Schiff drone on and on is cruel and unusual punishment (imo). Maybe that is a Democrat tactic.

J Jason Djfmam , 2 hours ago link

It's like he's Rachel Madcow in a blue suit.

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

The Babylon Bee 23 Dec 19 Society 625 0

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

Jan 21, 2020 | www.unz.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jan 21, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

ML , January 21, 2020 at 10:31

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

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

Jan 21, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

none , January 21, 2020 at 12:46 am

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

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

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

But we already had the Tin Lizzie.

ambrit , January 21, 2020 at 6:30 am

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

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

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

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

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

Jan 21, 2020 | www.unz.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Jan 21, 2020] Definition of cynicism

Jan 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Sasha , Jan 20 2020 21:07 utc | 28

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Elizabeth Warren is a Professional Scold and an Academic Elitist

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

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

[Jan 20, 2020] Important clarification about MadCow disease

Jan 15, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

DC_rez , January 16, 2020 at 16:08

Are you insinuating Rachel Maddow is a journalist?

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

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

Eugenie Basile , January 15, 2020 at 02:01

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

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

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

Last of the Middle Class , 2 hours ago link

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

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

Jan 19, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

Fran Macadam , January 14, 2020 at 07:28

You've been zucked.

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

Jan 19, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

J S Bach , 7 minutes ago link

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

Vernon_Dent , 9 minutes ago link

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

dogismycopilot , 37 minutes ago link

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

Turkish Airlines. The airline of choice for Jihadis.

(satire)

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

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

Nature_Boy_Wooooo , 23 minutes ago link

What separates the winners from the losers in America?

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

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

Jan 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ron , Jan 18 2020 21:41 utc | 31

Kali 15

Ten reasons why the US is the Beast of Revelation

Kali , Jan 18 2020 22:00 utc | 35

@31 Ron

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

And of course The Pièce de résistance

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

Jan 19, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Tillyoudrop , 49 seconds ago link

Greed is good, greed is right, greed works.

Neochrome , 2 minutes ago link

sacrificing the safety of the planes to drive sales higher

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

VodkaInKrakow , 12 minutes ago link

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

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

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

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

Bounder , 14 minutes ago link

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

VodkaInKrakow , 10 minutes ago link

Damn. Wish I would have read your comment.

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

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

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

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

VodkaInKrakow , 1 minute ago link

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

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

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

The US business leadership consists of crapification.

fedslayer , 20 minutes ago link

Ok but what's the alternative?

If the parts meet specifications, get the lowest price.

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

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

east of eden , 16 minutes ago link

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

VodkaInKrakow , 4 minutes ago link

That was part of the problem. The parts from Boeing's foreign suppliers MET SPECIFICATIONS.

That is, until they went to assemble the Dreamliner. Where parts did not fit together.

You see, Boeing found out LONG, LONG AGO... that it was necessary to have manufacturing close to design. That way, when parts that "met specifications" did not fit? The engineers and machinists were there to correct deficiencies. Thus leading to reliable planes that were fit together very well. Only THEN could Boeing could assemble parts in other locations and mate them together.

This never happened with the Dreamliner. Quadrupled costs. The Dreamliner only exists thanks to taxpayer subsidies through the ExIm Bank. The Dreamliner WILL NEVER BE PROFITABLE. Accounting gimmicks make it appear as if Boeing makes money on the Dreamliner.

Bay Area Guy , 28 minutes ago link

Amazing that in less than a generation, we go from "if it's not Boeing, I'm not going" to wondering what the next Boeing screw-up will be and how many will be killed as a result.

The existing 777 is a fantastic plane and, other than pilot error (Asiana at SFO), a missile attack (Malaysia 17) and some unknown (but apparently not mechanical) issue (Malaysia 370), the 777 has been the safest plane around.

Ignorance is bliss , 1 hour ago link

American executives are incentivized to manipulate their company's stock. So they squeeze the workforce and cut everything to the bone. That's why Boeing, GM, and other household names are crashing.

According to economist William Lazonick, Boeing spent $43.1 billion on stock buybacks from 2013 to 2019, raising the company's stock price to a record high just 10 days before the second crash of its 737 MAX. Boeing CEO Muilenburg collects most of his pay through stock or compensation based on financial metrics. Yet the company reportedly avoided spending the estimated $7 billion it would have needed to engineer a safer plane. Less than 10 years after a public sector bailout, GM has spent $10.6 billion on stock buybacks, while engaging in layoffs and plant closures. That amounts to $221,308 for each of the 47,897 active UAW members currently on strike at GM. Walmart spent $9.2 billion on stock buybacks from August 2018 to July 2019, which, by my calculations, could have been used to give a raise of roughly $5/ hour to each of its 1 million hourly workers instead.

Illegal , 56 minutes ago link

Boeing should have been spending all its supposed profits on R&D. The other problem is the military side of the business is grossly corrupt. Remember the blowup over Air Force 1?

flyonmywall , 24 minutes ago link

Yep. Stock buybacks.

This is what happens when the Federal Reserve lets the financial cat out the bag, and pump up the stock market to the tune of 35-60 billion every 3 days, because some hedge funds "could" fail and topple the financial system.

If multiple entities are now too important and could topple the financial system if they failed, the Fed has massively screwed up.

aldol11 , 1 hour ago link

In 1991 a Boeing purchaser told me that he would give us a contract if we transferred 51% of the shares to a minority.

This is God's truth

He added that when he could not find minority businesses that would make components according to specifications, he would buy stuff from minority owned businesses and not use it but store it in warehouses around the country indefinitely. this in order to meet a quota of 20% purchases from minority owned businesses mandated by the Feds for all government suppliers.

I can just imagine how bad the discrimination is now.

Svastic , 1 hour ago link

Good grief. Look at Boeing's board of directors anyway.

https://www.boeing.com/company/general-info/corporate-governance.page

These are politically connected animals who feed from the trough of government pork barrel a.k.a taxpayer money. Exactly what has Nikki Haley achieved in her life, except for being a pathological liar?

These animals were responsible for our reckless fiscal deficits and looming debt bombs which will soon come crashing down. Kinda good metaphor for Boeing.

BidnessMan , 46 minutes ago link

All former CFOs and politicians ( civilian and military - only political types in the military get stars ). No evidence of any engineering expertise. Sad for a once-proud global leader.

moseybear , 1 hour ago link

In the "investor economy", there is no morality. EVERYTHING is "commoditized". Even you .. your DNA. A pricetag hovers over your head like a dialog bubble. Bean counters can incorporate your morbidity and mortality into mathematical equations showing investors why cutting costs and saving 0.01% is worthy of investment. While 911 was the paradigm shift for Rights ... the Lehman "crisis" was its own "911" -- the death of the labor economy ... and rise of the "investor economy". Nobody works, trading time for dollars. They "invest" Why work? Investors can kill without being held personally responsible. They only risk their fiat capital. You die.

[Jan 19, 2020] Trump as the dark soul of America

Jan 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Circe , Jan 18 2020 16:47 utc | 143

You wanna know who Trump really is? Trump is the dark soul of America. He's everything ugly that Amerikkka is: greedy, immoral, corrupt, an uncouth bully...more than that, he's a lawless tyrant, a pretentious hypocrite that sends the dumb masses kids to kill, die and occupy sovereign property while he, the privileged spends hundreds of millions revelling in superficial distraction, playing golf, comfortably numb, filthy rich and repulsed at the sight of tent cities, vets sleeping under bridges and by the migrant help that clean the toilets, pluck chickens all day and are bent over for hours picking crops at slave wages so he, his trophy wife and the well-off he favors, can eat.

Trump is America's depraved soul that Republicans and Zionists want to nurture and protect, because he's the Chosen one delivering everything they dreamed of; that Democrats are powerless to remove because Trump's the price you pay when your own hands are stained with the blood of those you killed with those you sent to war, stained with the betrayal of your principles and your own on behalf of AIPAC and corporate bribery to gain power.

Everything Trump is, Amerikkka is, and that's why he's in power. He's in the White House because he IS Amerikkka and who Amerikkka desires and deserves. Trump is the irresistable, uncensored charlatan; the rasputin Amerikkkans lusted after to free their lawless, depraved nature and latent immorality from the mask of shame, fake decorum and respectability. He's reassured Amerikkkans that selling your soul to the devil to do God's work is okay, as long as the end always justifes the means, and they love it!

[Jan 19, 2020] America can be a force for good in the Middle East.

Jan 19, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

LostForWords a day ago

America can be a force for good in the Middle East. The day is coming when Iran and Israel will, with US help, partner Israel to lift the ME out of its ignorance and poverty, and Saudi Arabia will, in the absence of the Shia revolution, be able to ditch its Wahhabist extremism.

[Jan 19, 2020] With "help" like this from CNN, one struggles to imagine what sabotage might look like.

Is Warren Warren the Jussie Smollet of politics. I wonder if she claims Bernie attacked her while wearing a red hat and screaming, "A woman can't win! This is MAGA country!"
Jan 18, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Connecticut Farmer a day ago

SCENARIO I

Joe is conservative, libertarian or possibly both.
Joe opposes Bernie Sanders on ideological grounds.
Ergo, Joe and Bernie have a different worldview.

SCENARIO II

Joe is conservative, libertarian or possibly both.
Joe opposes Liz Warren on ideological grounds.
Ergo, Joe is an unprincipled sexist.

esquimaux 11 hours ago
Being one of Liz' constituents and familiar with her career and her base (consisting of people like me,) I think she faces so little consequence for her "embellishments" at least in part because "we" (her base) inhabit an environment in which, with ease, we adjust facts and perceptions to conform to whatever our self-serving narrative of the moment may be.

We know that Liz will say anything she imagines will be to her advantage and it's okay with "us" that she does. In a way, she's our ideal candidate and media darling because she reflects and affirms our plastic values.

[Jan 19, 2020] Trump and his Iran adventure

Jan 19, 2020 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

"For fools rush in where angels fear to tread
Distrustful sense with modest caution speaks,
It still looks home, and short excursions makes;

But rattling nonsense in full volleys breaks,
And, never shocked, and never turned aside.
Bursts out, resistless, with a thundering tide."

Alexander Pope, Essay on Criticism

[Jan 19, 2020] Sometimes House accidentally tells the truth

Yes, with Soleimani assassination and subsequent crisis Trump crossed the red line. But the House is afraid to tell he whole truth... Obama was probably even bigger threat to the US national security, especially with Hillary as the Secretary of State and hi Libyan and Syrian adventures.
Jan 19, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

The 111-page summons urges the Senate to "eliminate the threat that the President poses to America's national security" as it lays out the case against President Trump.

emmanuelthoreau , 1 hour ago link

Hilarious. What other president would've tolerated this?

**** Cheney would've had the homes of these people "visited" by faceless-looking men long ago, evidence gathered, and a second visit made a few weeks later to protect himself and Bush. Just to pluck one recent administration out of thin air.

Trump doesn't seem all that worried. Maybe that's for a reason most of us can't possibly comprehend.

This country is fucked and you know it.

[Jan 18, 2020] Boris Yeltsin, (western installed) Russian President from 1991 to 1999, during which the former Soviet Union was totally plundered

Jan 18, 2020 | off-guardian.org

RobG ,

Boris Yeltsin, (western installed) Russian President from 1991 to 1999, during which the former Soviet Union was totally plundered

https://www.youtube.com/embed/v9YnDirqwT4?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

richard le sarc ,

'He might be a son-of-a-bitch, but he's OUR son-of-a-bitch'. Surely a 'Yeltsin' must replace or join 'Quisling' in the popular lexicon as a title for a traitor, in future.

[Jan 18, 2020] Trump is following Putin and started grooming his own successor

Jan 18, 2020 | off-guardian.org

Fair dinkum ,

I hear tell that Emperor Trump is also grooming his potential successor/s

It's a neck and neck race between Kim Kardashian, who Trump is giving personal 'hands on' assistance, and Montgomery Burns, who is one of Trump's role models.

[Jan 18, 2020] Trump and militry brass

Jan 18, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Baron , Jan 18 2020 14:09 utc | 136

"
"I wouldn't go to war with you people," Trump told the assembled brass.
Addressing the room, the commander in chief barked, "You're a bunch of dopes and babies."
"

Source: Washington Post.

[Jan 18, 2020] Complete fools and the isde of noble and honest politician

Jan 18, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Russ , Jan 18 2020 7:45 utc | 113

Posted by: Daniel | Jan 17 2020 19:57 utc | 13

"At this stage in the game anyone who still thinks Trump is an honest man with noble intentions is a complete fool"

That only needs to be changed to: At this stage in the game anyone who still thinks any system politician is honest and has noble intentions is a complete fool.

But then religious fundamentalists, such as the cultists of electoralism, cannot be reached by evidence or rational argument.

[Jan 18, 2020] Trump and Iranian people

Jan 18, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

SharonM , Jan 18 2020 3:24 utc | 98

This is Trump's idiotic tweet earlier today:
"The noble people of Iran -- who love America -- deserve a government that's more interested in helping them achieve their dreams than killing them for demanding respect. Instead of leading Iran toward ruin, its leaders should abandon terror and Make Iran Great Again!"

And here's Sharmine Narwani's response:
"I'm in Iran right now. These "noble" people find you disgusting, just like most Americans. Iranians laugh at you and mock you and really, really want their government to bring you to your knees."

;)

[Jan 18, 2020] One feature of the Washington swamp

Jan 18, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org

Washington is certainly недоговороспособны – it's impossible to make an agreement with it and, if you should think you have done so, it will break it.

A dangerous, uncontrollable madman, staggering around blowing everything up

[Jan 18, 2020] The joke is on us: Without the USSR the USA oligarchy resorted to cannibalism and devour the American people

Highly recommended!
Jan 18, 2020 | www.theguardian.com

In another sense, however, the passing of the cold war could not have been more disorienting. In 1987, Georgi Arbatov, a senior adviser to the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev , had warned: "We are going to do a terrible thing to you – we are going to deprive you of an enemy."

...Winning the cold war brought Americans face-to-face with a predicament comparable to that confronting the lucky person who wins the lottery: hidden within a windfall is the potential for monumental disaster.

[Jan 18, 2020] Putin plants to prohibit dual citizens to serve in government

Highly recommended!
Jan 18, 2020 | www.unz.com

Peripatetic Commenter , says: Show Comment January 17, 2020 at 9:43 pm GMT

I don't think it will be long before we see Congress in the US calling for invasion of Russia on the grounds of a lack of diversity, lack of respect for LGBTP and so forth.

[Jan 18, 2020] If Bernie is nominated, he better buy a flak jacket..

Jan 18, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

ben , Jan 18 2020 3:11 utc | 96

An earlier poster said Bernie could defeat DJT. Not to worry, I'll be the most shocked person in the U$A if Sanders gets to nod to run for POTUS.

If that happens, he better buy a flak jacket..

[Jan 17, 2020] In the full sprit of bipartisanship

Notable quotes:
"... Why then were all eight House members chosen as managers to prosecute the case against Trump, who ceremoniously escorted the articles across the Capitol, all Democrats? Why did the articles of impeachment receive not a single Republican vote on the House floor? ..."
Jan 17, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Why then were all eight House members chosen as managers to prosecute the case against Trump, who ceremoniously escorted the articles across the Capitol, all Democrats? Why did the articles of impeachment receive not a single Republican vote on the House floor?

[Jan 17, 2020] I knew that if you kept it up, Putler would get around to targeting you.

Jan 17, 2020 | www.unz.com

iffen , says: January 15, 2020 at 5:55 pm GMT

Ban PMs, Ministers, governors, some mayors and judges, from having second citizenships of foreign residencies; moreover, Presidential candidates should have been resident in Russia for 25 years (previously 10 years) and never had a foreign citizenship.

I knew that if you kept it up, Putler would get around to targeting you.

[Jan 16, 2020] TRANSCRIPT Putin's Address to the Federal Assembly

Jan 16, 2020 | off-guardian.org

This is about fight with fifth column... The time for those changes is long overdue.

I truly believe that it is time to introduce certain changes to our country's main law, changes that will directly guarantee the priority of the Russian Constitution in our legal framework.

What does it mean? It means literally the following: requirements of international law and treaties as well as decisions of international bodies can be valid on the Russian territory only to the point that they do not restrict the rights and freedoms of our people and citizens and do not contradict our Constitution.

Second, I suggest formalising at the constitutional level the obligatory requirements for those who hold positions of critical significance for national security and sovereignty. More precisely, the heads of the constituent entities, members of the Federation Council, State Duma deputies, the prime minister and his/her deputies, federal ministers, heads of federal agencies and judges should have no foreign citizenship or residence permit or any other document that allows them to live permanently in a foreign state.

The goal and mission of state service is to serve the people, and those who enter this path must know that by doing this they inseparably connect their lives with Russia and the Russian people without any assumptions and allowances.

Requirements must be even stricter for presidential candidates. I suggest formalising a requirement under which presidential candidates must have had permanent residence in Russia for at least 25 years and no foreign citizenship or residence permit and not only during the election campaign but at any time before it too.

I know that people are discussing the constitutional provision under which one person cannot hold the post of the President of the Russian Federation for two successive terms. I do not regard this as a matter of principle, but I nevertheless support and share this view.

I have already said before that our goal is to ensure high living standards and equal opportunities for all throughout the country. It is towards this goal that our national projects and development plans are aimed.


Stephen Morrell ,

Putin clearly is the most informed and visionary bourgeois politician in the world today, by a country mile. He not only is attempting to address the very real real social, demographic and economic needs of Russia, in his usual comprehensive manner, but also and cannily is co-opting many of the expectations that the USSR used to fulfil, attempting to neutralise any socialist political sentiments in the Russian population. Putin is the Bismarck of Russia.

richard le sarc ,

Russia's economic situation, within the global capitalist system, with its large reserves, much in gold, no exposure to the toilet paper of US Treasuries, and substantial local self-sufficiency in agriculture (thank-you sanctions)means that when the Western debt Ponzi Himalaya implodes, the Russians will be pretty much immune to the consequences.

richard le sarc ,

I agree entirely, but Putin has no alternative. Any chink in his armour and the USA will destroy Russia and break it up into fragments as they did in Yugoslavia, the USSR and wish to do in China. I rather think that Putin knows full well how dire is the global ecological situation, but he needs to balance less enlightened forces at home, and the 'Atlanticist' Quislings.

BigB ,

I don't disagree either: but that is not my point. The Atlanticists are waiting in the wings for another four years. Last time I checked: they still command 80% of Russian private property. And were expropriating $25bn pa annum in capital flight which has slowed slightly in the last few years. I read the Saker too. There is a deadlock and uneasy power sharing arrangement internally. But you may have missed the time when the Saker admitted "Putin is a neoliberal"?

It may be difficult to disentangle our vision from the neoliberal-statist-market ontology we are being repressed by but that is what we must do. We cannot expect neoliberal capitalist social inclusivity to save us from ecological catastrophe. Nor can we expect to grow economically into humanism: when exponential growth is what is destroying any lasting chance of a purely sustainable human-emancipatory freedom. Putin may not have a choice: but we do. The neoliberal-statist-market ontology is globally self-determined to produce total failure as its inevitable and only possible outcome. This is known a 'parametric determinism' when we automatically follow a maladaptive 'rational' self-optimising behaviour pattern long after it failed as it did in 2007. There is no recovery possible, and technology only speeds total failure whilst masking the ecological destruction it is accelerating.

States have to think and act in a pre-determined way that is true. But we do not have to think like that. Not if there is to be any alternative or succession of humanity ex-post the neoliberal-statist-market ontology which is morally, ecologically, humanistically and most importantly *actually* bankrupt at this point.

Do we exit a 350 year process of exponentially disproportionate wealth distribution, deliberate maldevelopment and global dehumanisation with all the wealth in the hands of those who benefited from the expropriation? Or do we attempt a redistribution and develop a new, hitherto unknown (and unknowable under capitalist alienation), value set where everyone globally has equal access to resources and a right to life as a birthright?

The decision is not beyond you or I: but it will take the development of the assessment of capitalism on other than its own neoliberal-statist-market ontological terms. No state or state leader can develop humanity on the path of less-is-more it needs to take but the people can. That's all.

richard le sarc ,

Putin is either a believing neo-liberal, in which case he is part of the problem you identify, or he is using it through necessity. I could not agree more with your diagnosis of the omnicidal nature of capitalism, and the inability of so many to visualise the end of capitalism-they more easily can conceive of the end of humanity. In fact I rather think that that is the way in which the ruling parasites intend to save their own bacon, by allowing the ecological Holocaust to cull the 90% of 'useless eaters' that the ruling elites fear and despise, and who they see only as a threat. Their labour is no longer required in an age of automation, robotisation and computerisation, and even their consumption is today superfluous. The ecological Holocaust has passed numerous tipping-points and points of no return, while the IPCC downplays the extremity of our situation, the Right still denies it is even happening, and the public is slowly waking up, too late of course. We've just experienced a fire Holocaust, yet the Pentecostal thug PM, 'Smoko' Morrison, who is surely seeing it all as God's Will and the sign of the coming End Times that his cult so longs for, utterly refuses to reduce CO2 emissions beyond a ludicrous 28% by 2030 from 2005 (base-line creep)levels, 'target', that we will not come close to. And now it is raining, a little, so the Great Austrayan Mediocracy can go back to their slumber. But they'll 'Wake in Fright', again, soon.

Hugh O'Neill ,

"It is very important that they adopt the true values ​​of a large family – that family is love, happiness, the joy of motherhood and fatherhood, that family is a strong bond of several generations, united by respect for the elderly and care for children, giving everyone a sense of confidence, security, and reliability. If the younger generations accept this situation as natural, as a moral and an integral part and reliable background support for their adult life, then we will be able to meet the historical challenge of guaranteeing Russia's development as a large and successful country."

I know very little of Russia alas, but the over-riding impression I take from this speech is President Putin's depth and breadth grasp of detail and concern for every aspect of Russian society – and his frustration that decisions made at federal level do not transform into concrete action at regional levels. The curse of bureaucracy and local fiefdoms jealous of their power and autonomy.

I was fully expecting him to come up a resonating phrase like: "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask instead what you can for your country." For Russia to have (seemingly) escaped the rapacious talons of the vulture capitalists unleashed by the Yeltsin puppet ought to be a lesson for us all.

Finally, in international politics, he remains impeccably diplomatic, restrained and wise. Would that there were more world leaders of such calibre.

Hugh O'Neill ,

Leadership and Learning are indispensable to each other. Looking at the calibre of Presidents since JFK, it seems that all the best candidates were either killed off or scared off. All the Unspeakable can do is kill in answer to any and all problems.

richard le sarc ,

Imagine the money freed if US military expenditure was not 90% graft and inefficiency.

richard le sarc ,

His manifest virtues are precisely why the vermin of the Western ruling elites hate him so psychotically.

[Jan 16, 2020] Americans are in a vicious circle/Infinite Loop

Jan 16, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Trond January 15, 2020 at 7:40 am

Americans are in a vicious circle/Infinite Loop

I think they are using an old version of BASIC from the cold war era, called BASIC Russia Hate.

10 Print "Russia bad!"
20 Goto 10
Run
Russia bad!
Russia bad!
Russia bad!
Russia bad!
Russia bad!
Russia bad!
Russia bad!
Russia bad!
Russia bad!
Russia bad!
Russia bad!
Russia bad!

BREAK IN 10
READY.

10 Print "Russia good!"
20 Goto 10
Run
SYNTAX ERROR!!!!!!!

[Jan 16, 2020] Would Russians spend money and respources on undermining semi-seline Biden: Are they that stupid? Biden is a better gift than Trump ;-)

Jan 16, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Courtesy of Bloomberg :

"U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials are assessing whether Russia is trying to undermine Joe Biden in its ongoing disinformation efforts with the former vice president still the front-runner in the race to challenge President Donald Trump, according to two officials familiar with the matter

Part of the inquiry is to determine whether Russia is trying to weaken Biden by promoting controversy over his past involvement in U.S. policy toward Ukraine while his son worked for an energy company there."

... ... ...

Yes, somehow those dastardly Russians have outsmarted the brightest and best-paid political strategists in Washington, D.C. by brandishing what amounts to some really persuasive memes over social media, and for just rubles on the dollar. The techies at Wired went so far as to call this epic assault on the fragile American cranium, "meme warfare to divide America." By way of evidence, it cited a very creative meme that screamed, "F*CK THE ELECTIONS," which was intended, as the ironclad argument goes, to cause a number of impressionable Americans to throw up their hands in a fit of collective exasperation and say, 'Ok, that's it. I'm staying at home on Election Day.'

Yes, it's really that easy! Imagine all the money the Russians and their radical new political technologies could have saved guys like casino tycoon, Sheldon Adelson, who showered the Trump campaign with $100 million dollars.

[Jan 16, 2020] https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/trump-canada-yukon-1.3235254

Jan 16, 2020 | www.cbc.ca

Posted by: Tom | Jan 16 2020 4:55 utc | 207

[Jan 16, 2020] RUSSIAN RESHUFFLE by Patrick Armstrong - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Jan 16, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

RUSSIAN RESHUFFLE by Patrick Armstrong

(Written on the evening of. So subject to reconsideration/revision/outright denial as we learn more.)

I didn't expect any of it. Neither did anyone else, whatever the so-called experts outgassing on the US Garbage Media may be pretending. I don't know what it all means. Neither does anyone else. (Well Putin & Co do, but they keep their cards close to their chests. As we've just seen.)

What do we know? Putin gave his annual address to the Federal Council ( Rus ) ( Eng ) and started off with how important it was that the birthrate should be raised. Fair enough: he wants more Russians on the planet, the government's programs have ensured that there will be quite a few more but there are still more to come. Many programs planned; some of which will work: after all, not everything works out as we hoped does it? He mentioned how dangerous the world is – especially the MENA – and said at least Russia is pretty secure (as indeed it is except against lunatics addicted to the Book of Revelation .)

Then the constitutional stuff. He believes the Constitution needs a few tweaks. Important officials should really be Russians and not people with a get-out-of-jail-card/alternate-loyalty-card in their vests. Reasonable enough: they should "inseparably connect their lives with Russia and the Russian people without any assumptions and allowances." (Good idea actually. Can we in the West steal the idea? We vote for X but who does he vote for?) Russian law should take precedence over decrees contaminated by the " Rules-Based International Order" (" we make the rules , you follow our orders "). The PM should be named by the Duma. (A pretty big change, actually: let's have more details on the division of labour please. In some countries the head of state is The Boss – USA, Russia (now), France – in others the head of government is The Boss – Germany, Canada, Denmark. There is a serious carve up of powers question here that has to be worked out in detail.) Constitutional changes should be approved in a referendum. The President either should or should not be bound by the no-three-terms-in-a-row-rule (I personally can't figure out what "этим" refers to in "Не считаю, что этот вопрос принципиальный, но согласен с этим. Не считаю, что этот вопрос принципиальный, но согласен с этим." But, no doubt we will soon learn.)

So, a somewhat less presidential republic. Details to be decided. Many details. But I'm confident that it's been worked out and we will learn. Putin & Co have shown us over 20 years that they don't make things up on the fly.

Then we learned that the entire government had resigned – but individuals to stay in place until replaced. Then we learned – a fast few hours indeed! – that Dmitri Medvedev was replaced by somebody that no one (other than Russian tax specialists) had ever heard of: Mikhail Vladimirovich Mishustin. ( Russian Wiki entry – none in English so far.) Those cheering Medvedev's dismissal (something predicted and hoped for by a sector of Russianologists) had to then swallow this: not tossed out into ignominy and shame, as they wanted, but something else. Putin says that there is a clear distinction between government and presidential concerns; defence and security are clearly in the latter. But Medvedev has always been closely following defence and security issues and it is suitable and appropriate that he continue to do so. So a new position, deputy heard of the security council, will be created for him. So what are we to make of this? Medvedev has been given the boot and a sinecure? Or he's been given a crucial job in the new carve-up of responsibilities?

After all, Russia's problems keep getting bigger but nobody is getting any younger. Especially the problems from outside. For some years Washington, an implacable enemy of Moscow, has been getting less and less predictable. Lavrov and Kerry spend hours locked up negotiating a deal in Syria ; within a week the US military attacks a Syrian Army unit; "by mistake" . Who's in charge? Now with the murder of Soleimani, possibly on a Washington-approved peace mission, Washington has moved to another level of lawlessness and is exploring the next depth as it defies Baghdad's order to get out. A pirate power. The outside problems for Moscow aren't getting smaller, are they? Washington is certainly недоговороспособны – it's impossible to make an agreement with it and, if you should think you have done so, it will break it. A dangerous, uncontrollable madman, staggering around blowing everything up – is any foreign leader now to be assumed to be on Washington's murder list? Surviving its decay is a big job indeed. The problems are getting bigger in the Final Days of the Imperium Americanum.

So, maybe Moscow needs more people on the job.

So are we looking at a new division of labour in Moscow as part of managing the Transition? (To say nothing of the – what's the word? – Thucydides trap ? ). Mishustin looks after the nuts and bolt of Russia's economy and internal management. Medvedev looks after defence and security – something not likely to get smaller while Putin looks after the big picture?

But this is only the first step in The Transition and we will learn more soon.

[Jan 15, 2020] Impeachment motto: in our guts, we know Trump is nuts

Jan 06, 2020 | www.unz.com

Dumbo , says: Show Comment January 3, 2020 at 6:46 pm GMT

Donald Trump rode to victory in 2016 on a promise to end the useless wars in the Middle East, but he has now demonstrated very clearly that he is a liar

He also promised a wall. Maybe he meant the Israeli wall?

[Jan 15, 2020] Democracy in action: voters choice in 2016 was limited to the choice between brain cancer and leprosy

Jan 08, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Trailer Trash , Jan 8 2020 16:32 utc | 105

Trump is such a douchebag. He claims there were no lives lost due to their "early warning system" -- no mention that the "early warning system" was a phone call!

Now he's once again justifying assassination, etc.

pretzelattack , Jan 8 2020 16:39 utc | 110

there was no "better choice" between trump and clinton. i still think clinton represented a greater danger than trump of getting into a war with russia, but they are both warmongers first class. for our next election, we may have a choice between ebola and flesh eating bacteria, or brain cancer and leprosy. if the game is rigged there's no winning it playing by the game's "rules".

[Jan 15, 2020] In each episode when Kushner and/or Ivanka stands behind Trump with American flag on the background, Trump chances of reelection drop one percent

Also In each episode when Adam Schiff makes announcement about Trump with the USA flag at the background Trump re-election chances increase one percent.
theamericanconservative.com

Trump Signs Order Interpreting Judaism as a Nationality and Race:

[Jan 15, 2020] Why the heck should I care about Putin!?

Jan 15, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

TheySayIAmOkay , 18 minutes ago link

...Why the heck should I care about Putin!?

flappyjaws , 10 minutes ago link

You have it right. The rhetoric "this is a free country" is only true to an extent now with the constant chipping away at our freedoms on a daily basis.

[Jan 15, 2020] GNU Guccifer vs. CIA Lucifer. To jail or not to jail, this is the question. And who will jail whom? Make your bets for 2020

In March 2016, the DOJ found that "the FBI had been employing outside contractors who had access to raw Section 702 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) data, and retained that access after their work for the FBI was completed," as Jeff Carlson reported in The Epoch Times.
Dec 29, 2019 | zerohedge.com

Willie the Pimp

You can take the libtards, dumbocraps, antifa, RINOs, Never Trumpers, lawyers and bureaucrats and send them pronto to Mars

paint it red call it hell

I having real butter on my popcorn.....

Giant Meteor

Hmmm, interesting. Like Chinese interesting .. A curse .. I like understatements!

[Jan 15, 2020] Bolton's spirit

Jan 15, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

KekistanisUnite , 1 hour ago link

Bolton's spirit still rules on in the Trump administration alongside Fat Mike.

[Jan 14, 2020] Europe is the USA Airstrip 1. Imagine my surprise to learn the EU had a reputation worth protecting.

Notable quotes:
"... Deal finishes October 2020 if I remember correctly. All sanctions will be lifted so long as Iran is in compliance at that time. This is a move to prevent this. ..."
Jan 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Nemo , Jan 14 2020 19:35 utc | 1

Be fair. It doesn't matter if the EU is agreement capable or not. They have no sovereignty to begin with. It is known.

powerandpeople , Jan 14 2020 19:37 utc | 2

Deal finishes October 2020 if I remember correctly. All sanctions will be lifted so long as Iran is in compliance at that time. This is a move to prevent this.
BraveNewWorld , Jan 14 2020 19:41 utc | 3
I always learn some thing here. For example imagine my surprise to learn the EU had a reputation worth protecting. All you need to know about the EU is bitches will do what bitches are told. This is just one more step on the road to war with China, is that really what the citizens of the EU want? Are the people of the EU ready to die for the Trump and the Republican party?

[Jan 12, 2020] Is it possible to imagine that Trump will write the same to the brave people of France?

Jan 12, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

John Doe , Jan 12 2020 9:07 utc | 390

Donald J. Trump: "To the brave, long-suffering people of Iran: I've stood with you since the beginning of my Presidency, and my Administration will continue to stand with you. We are following your protests closely, and are inspired by your courage."

Is it possible to imagine that such a trump will write to the brave people of France:

https://twitter.com/BasedPoland/status/1216118380857569280

???

[Jan 12, 2020] One of "Ruptured" Secretary of State "exaggerations"

Jan 12, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Dwight , January 10, 2020 at 6:32 am

Secretary of State Pompeo claimed that Soleimani was responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths in Syria. Basically blaming Iran for all deaths in the Syrian war.

[Jan 11, 2020] What About "Whataboutism." by Vladimir Golstein

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... One of the most elementary moral truisms is that you are responsible for the anticipated consequences of your own actions. It is fine to talk about the crimes of Genghis Khan, but there isn't much that you can do about them.' ..."
"... 'If Soviet intellectuals chose to devote their energies to crimes of the U.S., which they could do nothing about, that is their business. We honor those who recognized that the first duty is to concentrate on your own country.' ..."
Jan 11, 2020 | off-guardian.org

Wikipedia – the most popular source of information for most people – boldly announces:

"Whataboutism, also known as whataboutery, is a variant of the tu quoque logical fallacy that attempts to discredit an opponent's position by charging them with hypocrisy without directly refuting or disproving their argument. It is particularly associated with Soviet and Russian propaganda Prominent usage: Soviet Union propaganda."

Perusal of recent mainstream articles adds one more dimension to the story. Not only everything negative is habitually associated with Soviets and Russians, unless of course, it is Iranians or North Koreans, when the equation has frequently been reversed.

If something negative occurs: Cherchez La Russie.

Mass media bias against President Trump has been observed on numerous occasions, but what is particularly fascinating about this negativity is a persistent desire to paint Trump with the Russian brush.

So it is hardly surprising that Trump has been turned into a practitioner of Russian "Whataboutism," allowing Washington Post to declare triumphantly: "Whataboutism: The Cold War tactic, thawed by Putin, is brandished by Donald Trump."

The article elaborates:

What about the stock market? What about those 33,000 deleted emails? What about Benghazi? .. What about what about what about. We've gotten very good at what-abouting. The president has led the way. His campaign may or may not have conspired with Moscow, but President Trump has routinely employed a durable old Soviet propaganda tactic."

The WaPo article by Dan Zak goes even further and explains the reasons behind Trump's embrace of Russian Whataboutism. It is moral relativism, you see. It is a ploy of tyrannical regimes, which intend to divert attention from their crimes:

That's exactly the kind of argument that Russian propagandists have used for years to justify some of Putin's most brutal policies," wrote Michael McFaul , former ambassador to Russia during the Obama administration. .. "Moral relativism -- 'whataboutism' -- has always been a favorite weapon of illiberal regimes," Russian chessmaster and activist Garry Kasparov told the Columbia Journalism Review in March. "For a U.S. president to employ it against his own country is tragic.

Viewed from the historical perspective, all this is blatantly false.

It is the democratic systems that need propaganda, spinning, and other soft-power weapons. It is the democracies that rely on one party blaming another party for its own transgressions. It is the liberal economic structures that need to promote one brand of toothpaste by denigrating another brand.

"Whataboutism" is an integral fabric of Western society, as both its business and political models depend on comparing, contrasting, diverting attention and so on.

Soviets, who had difficulty obtaining even one kind of toilet paper, did not need the commercials that claim that the other brand leaks more. Soviet leadership that relied primarily on the power of the gun didn't need to spend time and effort and hone its skills in the art of maligning another party.

In other words, Soviets, and consequently Russians, are plain amateurs when it comes to "whataboutism." When their government felt the need to resort to it, they would do it rather sloppily and amateurishly, so that the people would just laugh it off, as the endless political jokes testify.

Soviets were forced to resort to it during the time of Cold War, however, when there was a real competition for the hearts and minds of several European countries such as France and Italy, where post-war sympathies for Communists were running strong.

Needless to say, the Soviets were beaten soundly. The arguments that American freedoms were worse than Soviets because of American racism did not really work for Europeans, who preferred their Louis Armstrong to Leonid Utesov and their Jackson Pollock to Alexander Gerasimov. In the battle between Georgy Alexandrov's Marion Dixon of Circus (1936) and Ernst Lubitsch's Ninotchka (1939), Ninotchka won.

That's why I find it extremely ironic and peculiar that these methods of "whataboutism," these lines of reasoning that have pervaded the Western news coverage to the core, have been magically turned into a signature method of Soviet Propaganda.

Equally ironic is the fact that any attempt to question Western hypocrisy, spinning, and relentless brainwashing is deflected by a silly counter-attack: this criticism is nothing but "whataboutism," the favorite activity of Russians and other moral relativists and denizens of illiberal regimes.

Additional irony, of course, lies in the fact that Russians are the most self-critical people that I know. That's the one thing they truly excel at – criticizing themselves, their state, their people, their customs and their political system. It is another irony that the information the West habitually exploits in its own shameless "whataboutism" was provided to it free of charge by Russian dissidents from Herzen all the way to Solzhenitsyn and Masha Gessen.

There is rarely an article in the mass media which, while addressing some ills of modern society, doesn't refer to the evils of Gulag, Stalin, lack of democracy and other "ills" of Soviet life. How many articles in the mass media do we read where references to the extermination of the native population, of workers burning in their factories, of thugs dispersing protests or demonstrations, of brutal exploitation, mass incarceration, deportation of the Japanese, witch hunts, or cruel cynical wars – occur without simultaneous references to Stalin's Russia?

You complain about the lack of political choices during elections? What, you want Commies to run you life? You complain about economic inequality? What, you want drab socialism instead? In other words, instead of a traditionally defined "whataboutism," Western propaganda utilizes a slightly more subtle version revealing something bad about itself, but then rapidly switching to demonizing and criticizing its rivals.

The classic example of this approach was described by Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky in their 1988 study Manufacturing Consent .

In the chapter entitled "Worthy and Unworthy Victims," the authors draw the comparison between the coverage of Polish priest, murdered by in Poland in 1984 and the media coverage of Catholic Priests assassinated in Latin America. Jerzy Popieluszko had 78 articles devoted to him, with ten articles on the front page. In the meantime, seventy-two religious victims in Latin America during the period of 1964-78 were subject of only eight articles devoted to all of them combined, with only one article making the front page (Chomsky & Herman, Manufacturing Consent , Pantheon Books, 2002, p. 40).

Presumably, Soviets become a subject of jokes when, instead of addressing the question of Stalin's victims, they embark on discussing the lynching of black Americans. What is worth pondering is why the United States hasn't become the subject of similar jokes when they write hundreds of articles on one death within the Soviet zone of influence while practically ignoring persistent right-wing violence in their own sphere.

"Whataboutism" is not just a rhetorical device invented to deflect criticism; the accusation in "whataboutism" leveled at anyone who defends himself from arbitrary or illogical charges is the accusation that reveals a particular set of power relations.

These accusations of "whataboutism" imply a certain inequality, when the accuser bullies the accused into admitting his guilt.

The accuser puts the accused on the defensive, clearly implying his moral superiority. This moral superiority, of course, is rather fictional, especially if we keep in mind that the Hebrew word "satan" means an accuser. Accusing and blaming others has a satanic ring to that, something that anyone engaged in accusations should remember.

You belched yesterday during dinner. You violated the laws of good table manners.

– But everybody belches!

It is irrelevant, please answer the charge and don't try to avoid it by resorting to 'whataboutism." Did you belch or not?

"Putin's a killer," Bill O'Reilly said to Trump in a February interview. "There are a lot of killers," Trump whatabouted . "We've got a lot of killers. What do you think -- our country's so innocent?"

Here, the media dismisses as "whataboutism" Trump's perfectly logical and correct answer – the one that Trump highlighted himself last week when he ordered the killing of the Iranian general Soleimaini.

Trump's answer, however, was interpreted as somehow outrageous. How dare he compare? As if only a Russian stooge engaged in "whataboutism" can suggest that Western murders and violence are not different from Russian ones.

Dan Zak, who invents a verb "to whatabout" in reference to Trump's exchange with O'Reilly, reveals another highly significant dimension of the term. Due to the abuse of the concept during the Cold War era, and due to the relentless propaganda of the likes of Edward Lucas or the former Ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, the charge of "whataboutism" began to be leveled at anyone who says anything critical about the United States.

You talk about US racism – you are carrying water for Soviet "whataboutists;" you talk about militarism, police brutality, wars and regime changes, or complain about the destruction of nature – you are a Russian stooge.

And God forbid you criticize failed policies of the Democrats, the Clintons in particular. You are worse than a stooge. You are a Soviet troll spitting "whataboutism," while interfering in the US electoral process.

Trump might have more faults than any of the recent American political leader. Yet, it is the charge of Russian connection and its merging with the charge of "Whataboutism" that began to highlight some sort of sick synergy: if Trump uses this trope of Russian propaganda, he has to be working with Putin. That's the tenor of all recent applications of the term in the mass media.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, considering the Trump administration's murky ties to Vladimir Putin and his associates, whataboutism is viewed by many as a Russian import,"

opines Claire Fallon in her essay on the subject, while the title says it all: "Whataboutism, A Russian Propaganda Technique, Popular With Trump, His Supporters."

The list of publications with very similar titles can obviously go on and on.

And herein lies the most pernicious legacy of the term.

It subconsciously invokes the spirit of Joe McCarthy. And as such it is still very effective in stifling discourse, in dismissing criticism, while character-assassinating dissenting voices.

Never mind that the press, as in the good old days of Father Popieluszko, is still filled to the brim with endless stories of Russian discrimination of the gay community, of Chinese abuse of the Uighurs, or the absence of new and old freedoms in the countries that Pentagon classifies as adversary.

To complain about the lack of balance and the biased focus would be engaging in "Soviet Style of Whataboutism," wouldn't it be?

Vladimir Golstein, former associate professor at Yale University, is currently Chair of the Department of Slavic Studies at Brown University.


Charlotte Russe ,

US propaganda has been quite effective. After all, isn't it merely the merchandising and selling of ideas. So why wouldn't a hyper-capitalist country be extremely effective at using words and images to control behavior. That's how multibillion dollar corporations stimulate consumerism. They convince the public to buy goods and services they don't really need. So why not use those same marketing skills to impart ideological beliefs.

Essentially, isn't that how the notion of "exceptionalism" became rooted in the American psyche, establishing a rationale to pursue a slew of military misadventures. And think of the ingenious propagandist who invented the idea of "spreading democracy" via bombs, drones, and bullets. For decades this secured public consent for innumerable military escapades.

However, the arrival of Trump changed everything. He unwittingly forced the US propaganda machine to stumble and fumble with contradictory messages disassembling the control mainstream media news once happily secured over the entire population.

In desperation to avoid building political consciousness the US state-run media neglected to attack Trump exclusively over reactionary policies, but misguidedly warmongered against Russia for more than three years. Liberal media accused right-wing Trump of being a Russian asset a tactic used more than half a century ago by McCarthyite Russophobes to discredit the Left. Perhaps, the silliness of this propaganda could only produce "lackluster" results consequently never gaining substantial traction among the working-class.

The security state ultimately loses its ability to control the population with sloppy propaganda–they just tune it out. Americans are becoming similar to their Russian counterparts who just assume that all mainstream media news is contrived and not to be believed.

George Mc ,

I thought the reference to the Wiki article was a piss take until I went direct to the source. I see no logical connection between Russia or indeed any country and the rhetorical device of "whataboutism". But it seems the mighty omniscient Wiki says otherwise. Yes – and there's Trump getting a prominent place in the Wiki entry. Is every entry in Wiki geared to the current demands of propaganda? What next I wonder? How about:

Willem ,

I first read about whataboutism at Chomsky's website. I thought Chomsky made a very good definition at the time, so I looked up what he actually said and thought of quoting him here. Well his definition is typical for Chomsky where he says some truthful things, which he immediately buries under a pack of lies

Chomsky on whataboutism:

'CHOMSKY: One of the most elementary moral truisms is that you are responsible for the anticipated consequences of your own actions. It is fine to talk about the crimes of Genghis Khan, but there isn't much that you can do about them.'

That is correct. But unfortunately for the professor, he is not devoid of a little whataboutism himself, where he continues to say that

'If Soviet intellectuals chose to devote their energies to crimes of the U.S., which they could do nothing about, that is their business. We honor those who recognized that the first duty is to concentrate on your own country.'

Then Chomsky buries this whataboutism with another lie saying that:

'And it is interesting that no one ever asks for an explanation, because in the case of official enemies, truisms are indeed truisms.'

Which isn't a truism at all, but apparantly all official enemies of the US are, by definition enemies of Chomsky.Then Chomsky continues by saying that

'It is when truisms are applied to ourselves that they become contentious, or even outrageous. But they remain truisms.'

Not necessarily so, but it's close enough to pass for truth when discussing whataboutism. After which Chomsky adds another lie, i.e., that

'In fact, the truisms hold far more for us than they did for Soviet dissidents, for the simple reason that we are in free societies, do not face repression, and can have a substantial influence on government policy.'

I mean, that is just so much bullshit that I do not even know where to start. For instance Solzjenitsyn, SU greatest dissident, wrote his books in the SU, the Russians didn't like it, and they let Solzjenitsyn go to Switzerland where he become famous and a millionaire, a Nobel price winner, everything that money could buy. He returned to Russia in 1990 and was lauded by amongst others Putin himself and died peacefully in 2008.

'Free society', bollocks: most of us have the freedom to watch the show that others play on their behalf and toil, 'no repression': tell that to Assange, 'substantial influence on government policy': quite difficult when most of the government's decisions are faceless.

This type of lying by Chomsky just goes on and on and I am amazed that I hadn't seen through it the first time I read Chomsky.

Worst is his hypocrisy where professor Chomsky, the worlds best known 'dissident', whose books are sold at airports, who received grants from the MIC to work on linguistics, and who became a millionaire by airing his convoluted views that are not what they are supposed to be (ie dissident), dares to write in the same interview that

'Elementary honesty is often uncomfortable, in personal life as well, and there are people who make great efforts to evade it. For intellectuals, throughout history, it has often come close to being their vocation. Intellectuals are commonly integrated into dominant institutions. Their privilege and prestige derives from adapting to the interests of power concentrations, often taking a critical look but in very limited ways.'

I mean that is just Chomsky writing about himself, but pretending a whataboutism about all those other bad intellectuals.

Interview: https://chomsky.info/2003____/

Jack_Garbo ,

Chomsky's an example of the establishment "pet intellectual" who quietly rages against his master. Youthful dissidence, he found after a few police beatings, is a fool's game, noisy, bloody and futile. Better to growl from a safe distance, repeat the obvious with clear logic and wallow in unearned respect.

lundiel ,

According to a 2019 Gallop poll 40% of American women under 30 would like to leave the US.

Given the economic burden forced upon south/central american countries by the land of the free, it's understandable that America has net migration.

If you up sticks and move to another country it becomes survival at any cost. However, a lot don't make it and return home .if they can afford to.

lundiel ,

When you move to a racist, nationalist country, you have to spend every opportunity thanking them for taking you and congratulating them for allowing you to work yourself to death so you can pay the mortgage on your shed home.

Estaugh ,

Calm doctor, calm, you will wake up Napoleon in the next ward https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnzHtm1jhL4

Gall ,

Many of them are economic refugees who come here after B-52s have turned their country into a parking lot or the elite of other countries who were caught selling out their nations and enriching themselves or those that actually believed the PR that the USG actually gives a flying phuk about "freedom and democracy" propagated by the child molesting perverts in Pedo Wood.

There are also a number who have specifically come here to get even and who can blame them?

Dungroanin ,

What about the 'Russian influence' report not published by Bozo The PM?

& while I'm here

What about the Durham investigation into Russiagate which also seems to have disappeared from imminent publication over a month ago?

Hmm – wasn't it Kruschevs staffers who admired the US propaganda / Perception Management advertising/PR industry by saying in Russia nobody believed the Russian propaganda because Russians knew that's what it was; but all westerners swallowed it and rushed out to buy ever 'better' washing powders, poisonous foods and products without realising they were being lied to.

Steve Hayes ,

What about US violations of international law?
What about US wars of aggression?
What about US regime change operations?
What about US lying propaganda?
What about US murderous sanctions?
What about US funding, arming and training of jihadist terrorists?
What about US funding, arming and training of fascist terrorists?
What about US threats and intimidation of the International Criminal Court?
What about US exceptionalism, which mirrors nothing so much as the Nazi ideas of ubermensch and untermensch?

richard le sarc ,

In Trump and Pompeo you see the evolution of a new type-the Ubumensch.

Gall ,

Just like to add: What about the genocide of the Indigenous population? What about all those broken treaties? What about all the lies?

[Jan 10, 2020] Joe Biden under cross examination in senate trail would be Conedy Central show transmitted live

The folks who hatched that particular impeachment plan and pitched it to Nancy Pelosi must have been the same idiots in the DNC who dreamt up the Russiagate scandal and also pursued Paul Manafort to get him off DJT's election campaign team. Dmitri Alperovich / Crowdstrike, Alexandra Chalupa: we're looking at you.
The real Trump move would be to hit the twitter right before the house impeachment vote and announce that he has instructed the House Republicans to vote for impeachment.
Notable quotes:
"... At least this mess made it patently clear the Dem obsession with Russia has been all about preserving their Ukraine pickpocketing operation. ..."
Nov 27, 2019 | www.forbes.com

Forbes.com billwhalen 26 September 2019 Link

I ordered a truckload of pop corn to snack on during the trial in the Senate. Just imagine Joe Biden under cross examination as he flips 'n flops! "Was that me in the Video, I can't recall."

Maracatu | Nov 26 2019 21:56 utc | 18

I can see a Trump marketing consultant designing a campaign centered on the impeachment hearings called "The Swamp Strikes Back". It might be most effective as a comic strip.

Fly | Nov 27 2019 0:30 utc | 33

At least this mess made it patently clear the Dem obsession with Russia has been all about preserving their Ukraine pickpocketing operation.
Just Saying | Nov 27 2019 7:22 utc | 58

All the bull-Schiff comes from Hillary's lingerie. The democrats need to secure a huge laundromat

[Jan 10, 2020] Samson was a fool and his own worst enemy. Something of the same can be said of the United States in recent decades.

Jan 10, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Most people are familiar with at least the outlines of the biblical Samson story: a mighty warrior who slays the enemies of the Israelites in great numbers using the jawbone of an ass among other weapons.

Sadly, after the captivating Delilah seduces Samson into revealing the secret of his extraordinary strength -- his unshorn hair -- he ends up blind, in chains, and held captive in the temple of the Philistines.

Samson asks the Lord to restore his strength. The King James Bible explains what happens next: "And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life." It was a huge bloodletting, and among the victims was the hero himself.

It's a dramatic story, made for the movies. The 1949 Technicolor version, directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starring Victor Mature and Hedy Lamarr, remains a camp classic of the sandal-and-togas genre. But whether in the original text or on celluloid, the denouement does not qualify as a happy one. Samson was a fool and his own worst enemy. Something of the same can be said of the United States in recent decades.

[Jan 10, 2020] Trump decided to play the role of Benjamin Netanyahu Santa Claus again

Jan 08, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

DFC , Jan 8 2020 19:20 utc | 198

Probably in the medium term the situation for the US in ME will be worse, but in the short term (in an electoral year) the people I talked, with some knowledge of the recent history of the ME, and me, we think:

a) Trump dares to do what at least 3 former administration did not dare to do: kill the first "terrorist" on the list (as ex-admiral William J. Fallon has said, Suleimani was the Nº 1 in his list for 12 years), so for the American people is the more resolute and brave POTUS of at least 10 administration (somebody says from Lincoln times). Obama was a coward.

b) The fact that Suleimani was a national hero for a nation of 82 million people and also for 150 million of shia around the world, mourned by millions in the streets, make a bigger Trump "victory" over the Iranian "regime", and it is a powerful advice to the others leaders and commanders in the world that try to fight or oppose to USA.

c) People say that after killing Al-Bagdadi, Suleimani, Muhandis, the next in the list is Nasralah (pure wishful thinking but right now, why not thinking that?)

d) The USA did no use their AA system to shut-down the incoming missiles to not give a clue to the Iranians of their real effectiveness in combat situation and because the Russians have many SIGINT platforms following the events to capture the signals, methods, tactics and technology of the US anti-ballistic missiles systems. So now the Iranians are blind of the real effectiveness of their missiles in a real combat situation and the Russians do not have a clue also. For sure USA can take down at least some modified SCUD C missiles, simply it was not worth to do.

e) The fact that Trump did not retaliate is not a symptom of weakness, simply no American was hurt after killing Suleimani (an act of war), only some holes in the sand.

f) In the speech of today Trump is defiant with the killing of Suleimani and with more economic sanctions to Iran, that will be more crippling than now. He does not want to escalate (more). There will be a deal in the future, but much less good for the Iranians than the Obama's JCPOA (it was an electoral promise).

g) The retaliation of the PMU, they say, "will be similar than that of Iran", translating it : "lob some katyusha rockets in the backyard of few US bases giving advice to the Americans do not go out". No risks at all, the se-escalation is complete.

h) Trump is defiant about not leaving Iraq, I think at the end they will go but after they have a very good deal. Of course it is all about the Iraqi oil, in exchange for the American blood and money wasted in Iraq. Iraq has the biggest oil reserves in the world and USA want a good chunk of them, they never ever leave "giving" all of them to the Chinese or Iranians or anybody else. Trump does not want US soldiers in Iraq, but he wants the oil above anything else (it is condition "sine qua non" to maintain the Empire)

i) Trump has now the full enthusiastic support of the AIPAC and all the others powerful Israeli lobby he will have more money than required for the election. He has demonstrated he is the best possible POTUS for Israel

j) In the short term USA will leave Syria and in the medium term Iraq, OK, but they never ever leave "all the region", they need to be there to maintain the "American Way of Live" (US $ as reserve currency)

If nothing dramatically change, I expect a crushing victory of Trump in the coming US election, he has all the cards now in his hand, and he will not waste them.


Petri Krohn , Jan 8 2020 19:22 utc | 199

The 5 lightweight hangars at the Ain al-Asad airbase that were destroyed in the Iranian bullseye hit housed US drones. Possibly the very one used to assassinate General Qassem Soleimani.

See this tweet by Babak Taghvaee from yesterday with photos:

#BREAKING: It is now confirmed that the #IRGC backed Kataib Hezbollah (45th Brigade of #PMU) launched 40 unguided rockets at Ain Al Asad Air Base where the #USArmy's MQ-1Cs are based. At-least one of them participated in the operation for elimination of #Soleimani in #Baghdad!

arby , Jan 8 2020 19:22 utc | 200
The US contractor that was killed worked for Valiant Integrated Services.

https://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article239053173.html

valiant

[Jan 10, 2020] Proof that truth can be funnier than fiction

Jan 08, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

ben , Jan 8 2020 21:15 utc | 278

Bubbles @ 103 opined:

"Trump has accomplished 3 things in 3 years."

1. "Being Santa Claus to Netanyahu, the far right and the very rich (Generous donors)"
2. "Doing the impossible, making Hillary look like the better of 2 terrible choices"
3. " Proving 42% of the American public aren't too swift."

Proof that truth can be funnier than fiction..LOL

[Jan 10, 2020] Looks like the US does not like unfriendly countries firing missiles at them

Jan 08, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

ItIsMeItIs , Jan 8 2020 20:48 utc | 258

The US does not like unfriendly countries firing missiles at them. They're funny like that.

[Jan 10, 2020] Who it the most contemptible single group of people in the USA today?

Dec 23, 2019 | www.wnd.com

KDC4 hours ago ,

"Nancy Pelosi, pressing the Senate to comply with her demands"...Hey, Nancy, this isn't how it works. You, yourself, are in "contempt of Senate" by not proceeding with the article of impeachment for a vote.

Is there such a thing as "contempt of Senate?" Probably not. Just like there's no such thing as "contempt of Congress." Hey the Dems used it, so I used it as an example. Ha, ha, ha...stooges!

TrumpyBear KDC3 hours ago ,

Contempt of Congress is a real thing - I think those asshats are the most contemptible single group of people in the USA today!

[Jan 10, 2020] "This Plane Was Designed By Clowns, Who Are Supervised By Monkeys"

Jan 10, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Shocking Boeing Emails Reveal Contempt For Management, FAA

"Would you put your family on a Max simulator trained aircraft? I wouldn't," one employee said to a colleague in another exchange from 2018, before the first crash. "No," the colleague responded.

[Jan 10, 2020] Corporate Dems are afrid that that those weird Russian ads will magically swayed our entire nation into re-electing Donald Trump for President.

I bet Robert Mueller still has GRU phone number. The Dems could mention a quid pro quo and offer to lift some of our sanctions.
Nov 28, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

Pluto's Republic on Thu, 11/28/2019 - 3:32am

The Democratic Party ought to give ...Russia a jingle

@Situational Lefty

Maybe the Russians would be willing to drop a handful of anti-left, baitclick ads on Facebook -- you know? Those weird ads that magically swayed our entire nation into electing Donald Trump for President. I bet Robert Mueller still has their phone number. The Dems could mention a quid pro quo and offer to lift some of our sanctions.

entrepreneur on Thu, 11/28/2019 - 1:03pm
You're right. They are obviously much smarter with their advertising dollars

@Pluto's Republic

Politicians spend millions and don't get the results that RUSSIA! got with 100K.

[Jan 08, 2020] 75% Of Registered Voters Can't Identify Iran On A Map

"War Is God's Way of Teaching Us Geography" the quote that has been attributed to both Ambrose Bierce and Mark Twain
Jan 08, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

As thousands of American service members prepare for the worst in the Middle East following an American drone strike that killed Iran's second-most powerful man, just 23% of registered voters can identify the Islamic republic on an unlabeled map of the globe, according to a Morning Consult/Politico survey.

When shown an unlabeled map of just the Middle East, the number rose to a still-abysmal 28% . Eight percent of those thought Iran was Iraq on the second map - just like Joe Biden .

Of those surveyed, men were around twice as likely as women to identify Iran on both maps...

[Jan 08, 2020] How to turn gold into lead

Jan 08, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Edward A. Vazquez 14 hours ago • edited

One day after 9/11, Russian president Vladimir Putin said that "we are all Americans, now." And, on the Sunday following 9/11--at an international soccer match in Tehran, Iran--our flag was raised as 60,000 Iranian spectators sang our national anthem.

Leave it to George W. Bush to turn GOLD into LEAD.

[Jan 08, 2020] Americans Feel So Much Safer After Assassination of Some Guy They Never Heard of Before

Jan 08, 2020 | www.anti-empire.com

Mr. Dueck of Seminole is breathing a sigh of relief this morning after it was revealed that some guy he'd never heard of before was now dead.

"Finally I can sleep at night!" said Dueck, quickly Googling 'General Qasem Solemaini' so he can look smart at the coffee shop this afternoon. "I'm glad we finally have a President who looks after our interests instead of just being concerned about his own reelection!"

After skimming the Wikipedia article about Solemaini, Dueck now believes that the assassination was definitely justified.

"I don't know how we survived and thrived as a country all these years with that guy I just heard of his morning around," said Dueck. "Good thing that guy from out over there somewhere is gone!"

Dueck spent the rest of the afternoon arguing with people on the Internet and informing them about some group he recently learned about, but cannot pronounce, called Quds Force.

"You don't have to be scared of them anymore," said Dueck to his buddies who informed him they weren't actually afraid to begin with. "Having watched more than three YouTube videos on the topic, I can tell you that the world is a lot safer now that what's his name is dead!"

After a full day's worth of reading Internet comments, Dueck is now the nation's self-proclaimed foremost expert on foreign policy and is looking forward to his work as a pundit on Fox News in the very near future.

Source: The Daily Bonnet

[Jan 08, 2020] While 60^of Americans neven heard aboutSoleimani befor 43$ of the country approcved Trump-Pomeo assasination of this senior Iran commander

The unique, really exceptional feature of the USA is that it does not try to hide idiocy of its leaders and lack of education and interest in knowing the truth of the majority of population
Jan 08, 2020 | www.rt.com

RT :

A new poll has found that Americans doubt Donald Trump has a clear Iran policy, but nonetheless they support the decision to kill Qassem Soleimani – who, remarkably, had been an unknown entity for the majority of respondents.

Forty-three percent of Americans said they approved of the US drone strike that killed the Iranian commander last week in Baghdad, while 38% disapproved and 19% said they were unsure, according to the results of a HuffPost/YouGov survey.

And while almost half the country backs Soleimani's assassination, 60% of Americans conceded that they had never heard of the Quds Force commander before last week. An additional 14% said they weren't sure if they had known about him before the strike.

[Jan 08, 2020] Big, bad Putin attacked by slimy rat Browder.

Jan 08, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Is there a chorus of politicians singing in there about how lazy they are, and how they never bothered to verify Browder' story? The story is indeed remarkable, but not in the way that first appears.

Stephen Fry / @stephenfry

You may or may not know the remarkable story of @Billbrowder and the #MagnitskyAct - find out the startling truth by listening to
#MagnitskytheMusical by the wondrous @JohnnyFlynnHQ & @roberthudson - @BBCRadio3 7.30 Sun 12th Jan

Magnitsky the Musical

Book and lyrics by Robert Hudson
Music and lyrics by Johnny Flynn

12 January 2020
О 1 hour, 34 minutes

Johnny Flynn and Robert Hudson bring us a musical based on the
incredible story of an American venture capitalist, a Russian tax
advisor, a crazy heist, the Trump Tower meeting and the very rule of
law.

Blending music and satire, the story explores the truths and fictions
surrounding the origins and aftershocks of the Magnitsky Act; global
legislation which allows governments to sanction those who they see
as offenders of human rights.

It tells the story of a tax adviser's struggle to uncover a huge tax
fraud, his imprisonment by the very authorities he is investigating,
and the American financier's crusade for justice.

Johnny Flynn, Paul Chahidi and members of the cast perform songs in
a epic story that explores democracy, corruption, and how we
undervalue the law at our peril.

Bill Paul Chahidi Sergei Johnny Flynn Jamie Fenella Woolgar Natalia Ellie Kendrick Kuznetsov Gus Brown Guard Clive Hayward Silchenko Ian Conningham Jared Will Kirk Fisherman Neil McCaul Judge Jessica Turner

Additional singing by Sinead Maclnnes, Laura Christy, Scarlett
Courtney and Lucy Reynolds.

The cellist is Joe Zeitlin. Sound is by Peter Ringrose. Directed by Sasha Yevtushenko.

[Jan 08, 2020] Iraqi Militia Leader Threatens To Target American Citizens If They Re-Elect Trump

Jan 08, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

"If the American people re-elect Trump to the US presidency, this would mean they support his crimes. "

[Jan 08, 2020] Three major Trump accomplishments

Jan 08, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Bubbles , Jan 8 2020 16:29 utc | 103

arby @90

Trump has accomplished 3 things in 3 years.

1. Being Santa Claus to Netanyahu, the far right and the very rich (Generous donors)
2. Doing the impossible, making Hillary look like the better of 2 terrible choices
3. Proving 42% of the American public aren't too swift.


[Jan 08, 2020] Like all too many Americans, Trump has a hard time grasping the fact that Iran can strike back and strike hard

Jan 08, 2020 | www.nytimes.com

F. Margaret Oregon 2h ago

My favorite line in this article: "I suspect ... like all too many Americans, Trump has a hard time grasping the fact that other countries are real." So very dismal, but that gave me a good laugh.

[Jan 08, 2020] Is Pence an idiot or just a religious nut?

Jan 08, 2020 | abcnews.go.com

"Soleimani did 9/11!" - Pence helpfully yet insanely chimed in.

"You're not a wimp like Obama, who refused to assassinate this terrorist," he was probably told. "You're decisive, a real leader. This one blow will change the entire calculus of the Middle East," they likely told him. "If you take out Soleimani, I guarantee you that it will have enormous positive reverberations on the region."

[Jan 08, 2020] What about moving UN to Moscow

Jan 08, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Volkodav , 1 hour ago link

Trump Administration is barring Iran Foreign Affairs Minister Javad Zarif

https://twitter.com/John_Hudson/status/1214292153654009856

Brazen Heist II , 1 hour ago link

LOL

The indispensible nation of imbeciles is at it again.

Please tell me that is a joke.

Noob678 , 1 hour ago link

Germany to withdraw part of its military forces from Iraq

ChinFu , 1 hour ago link

That letter is no mistake. It shows that there are 2 opposing sides in the US Military, the dark hats and the white hats. One side wants to end wars, the other side do not. Just like what Q has been saying all along.

Noob678 , 2 hours ago link

Iranian MPs declare all of US military 'terrorist entity' after General Soleimani killing

logical-different , 2 hours ago link

Good old USA. Invade illegally by lying, killing, build an airbase and tell everyone that they'll leave if Iraq will pay for the airbase and if not they'll sanction Iraq into oblivion.

Is it any wonder why most of the world is disgusted with their behaviour.

[Jan 08, 2020] CNN Attacks Babylon Bee Is The Web Only Big Enough For One Fake News Site

Jan 08, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

And, The Babylon Bee immediately jumped into action to satirically 'document' the reaction:

CNN has slammed the world's best satire site, The Babylon Bee, after CNN executives realized that "fake news" articles on the website were getting at least as much social media traction as their own.

"There ain't room in this internet for the both of us," growled one CNN anchor on the air Monday evening. "There simply aren't enough people out there for us to fool with our fake news stories and The Babylon Bee to fool with their satire. There isn't enough clickbait and outrage traffic to go around. "

"They're obviously amateurs over there at The Bee," said Brian Stelter.

"A lot of times, their reporting comes true. If you're gonna do fake news, do it right -- 100% fake, guaranteed, 24/7. They really should learn from the pros over here at CNN."

"Stay out of our territory," he growled.

[Jan 08, 2020] Russia Proposes To Secure Iraqi Airspace With S-400 Air Defense

Jan 08, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

sijoittaja , 32 minutes ago link

Does Trump get a kickback from the deal? He should get a bonus after his latest achiements in how to make Russia great again.

[Jan 08, 2020] Isreal did became a normal country

Jan 08, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Jan 7 2020 20:05 utc | 30

an interesting survey that found "More than four out of every five Israelis consider their leaders to be corrupt

[Jan 08, 2020] History repeats first of tragedy and then as a farce

Eminent threat from Soleimani is a close equivalent to Bush "WDM in Iraq" hoax. And Compo looks like a better fed version of Gondoliza with her "mushroom cloud" evil war propaganda.
As There was implicit agreement that Iran officials can travel safely in Iraq, which was breached, the natural result might expulsion of the US forces from Iraq. Which also means the collapse of US forces in Syrian bases and the Trump's idea of stealing oil.
Like Bush II Trump exceeded his authority and ordered illegal assassination. He needs to be impeached. Pompeo and Ester need to be fired and tried.
Jan 08, 2020 | www.cnn.com
n 2008, Trump told CNN's Wolf Blitzer he thought George W. Bush should have been impeached for lying about the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. We are still feeling the blowback from that fatally flawed Iraq war. One can only shudder at the gale force of another one.

[Jan 08, 2020] Pompeo as a religious nut

Jan 08, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Lurk , Jan 6 2020 22:28 utc | 103

Sasha and Joerg:

You misspelled "evilgelical"

[Jan 08, 2020] Trump real priorities: fuck healthcare, fuck our veterans, fuck our crumbling infrastructure, fuck the homelessTrump real priorities: MOMMY MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX NEEDS MORE MONEY HELL YEAH

Jan 08, 2020 | twitter.com

Donald J. Trump ‏ 9:11 PM - 4 Jan 2020

The United States just spent Two Trillion Dollars on Military Equipment. We are the biggest and by far the BEST in the World! If Iran attacks an American Base, or any American, we will be sending some of that brand new beautiful equipment their way...and without hesitation!

shoe ‏ 9:18 PM - 4 Jan 2020

fuck healthcare, fuck our veterans, fuck our crumbling infrastructure, fuck the homless MOMMY MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX NEEDS MORE MONEY HELL YEAH

[Jan 08, 2020] Trump established Guinness record in US Present lawless, petty, childish, infantile, imbecile behaviour

Jan 08, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

bjd , Jan 7 2020 1:28 utc | 153

Zarif is blocked from addressing the UN Security Council .
The level of lawless, petty, childish, infantile, imbecile behaviour is breathtaking.

[Jan 08, 2020] Shame on you for using such language with regard to the current President of the United States of America!

Jan 08, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

RJPJR , Jan 7 2020 1:31 utc | 154

Cemi | Jan 6 2020 22:15 utc | 97: "The point is: Trump is loose cannon. We can analyse back and forth but no-one knows what the narcissistic jackass decides next."

Shame on you for using such language with regard to the current President of the United States of America!

It is an outrageous insult to jackasses!

[Jan 08, 2020] One small question

Jan 08, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

ab initio , Jan 6 2020 22:18 utc | 98

Inevitably the US will leave Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.

The question is if Tehran will become rubble in the process? If Saudi oil installations are destroyed? And even Tel Aviv?

[Jan 08, 2020] An emperor with no clothes

It takes a real winner to make Bush 43 look like a beacon of self-control.
Jan 08, 2020 | www.nytimes.com

Trump the Intimidator Fails Again.

Because he's just a bully with delusions of grandeur.

Steve, LHR|2h ago

Times Pick
It's finally abundantly clear that the great deal maker is nothing more than an emperor with no clothes. The real shame is the inability of a large part of America to see this for what it is: a failure of leadership from voter on up. Unfortunately, America has lost its moral ability to lead, and more's the pity as the ascendancy of others, like China, will not be as progressive as America was in the past. You'd think that the great deal maker would understand that leaders are not bullies. Sad.

[Jan 08, 2020] One way to retaliate

Jan 08, 2020 | www.nytimes.com

PMD Arlington, Virginia 6h ago

Maybe the Iranians will counter by invoking their intent to hit 52 Trump properties?

[Jan 08, 2020] If Trump wants to destroy Iran he should just become their president.

Jan 08, 2020 | twitter.com


hrygirl ‏ 5:22 AM - 6 Jan 2020

Jeff Tiedrich ‏ 6:24 AM - 5 Jan 2020

no money for healthcare or education or infrastructure but we have 2 trillion dollars for bombs so that a pathetic old draft-dodging coward who deep down inside knows he's a weak piece of shit can try to pretend he's the man his tyrant father told him he never will be

Stonekettle ‏ 8:30 AM - 27 Dec 2019

Is the best part where the market implodes and we lose our homes, jobs, savings while the rich fucks who got huge tax breaks blame us for the disaster as they bail out in golden parachutes and we get to pay to save the country yet again while being lectured about responsibility?

[Jan 08, 2020] Looking for a framework [in Trump forign policy] is like searching for symmetrical patterns in a bowl of spaghetti.

Jan 08, 2020 | www.msn.com

The danger posed by that ignorance is matched daily by the crises created by Trump's own erraticism. His performance as commander in chief has been shaped by a collection of scattered grievances, emotional impulses and random tweets. As the Financial Times's Philip Stephens has said of Trump's foreign policy, "Looking for a framework is like searching for symmetrical patterns in a bowl of spaghetti."

[Jan 07, 2020] Russia Proposes To Secure Iraqi Airspace With S-400 Air Defense

Jan 07, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

sijoittaja , 32 minutes ago link

Does Trump get a kickback from the deal? He should get a bonus after his latest achiements in how to make Russia great again.

[Jan 07, 2020] Israel will fight against Iran to the last American soldier

Jan 07, 2020 | nationalinterest.org

Keyser Söze Alexander Mahone 2 days ago • edited Israel will fight against Iran to the last American soldier 😂😂😂
15 million Jews in the whole world against 90 million Iranians in Iran, I think they will need to fill their ranks with poor, hungry, uneducated teenagers from Alabama, Tennessee, Virginia (74% of US army recruits) 😂😂😂

[Jan 07, 2020] Lucky Trump relocated to Florida just in time: Mar-a-Lago is a national historic landmark

Jan 07, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

edg on Mon, 01/06/2020 - 8:35pm

@DonMidwest

Is Mar-a-Lago a US cultural site? Wait, just looked it up -- it's a national historic landmark. Since Iran obeys international law, it can't be on their list of 35 Best Places to Attack. Trump Tower on the other hand....

[Jan 07, 2020] New Year message to Trump supporters: DUMP TRUMP

Jan 07, 2020 | off-guardian.org

Gall ,

I've given up on Trump. He's just another Zionist sell out. DUMP TRUMP.

[Jan 07, 2020] CNN Attacks Babylon Bee Is The Web Only Big Enough For One Fake News Site

Jan 07, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

And, The Babylon Bee immediately jumped into action to satirically 'document' the reaction:

CNN has slammed the world's best satire site, The Babylon Bee, after CNN executives realized that "fake news" articles on the website were getting at least as much social media traction as their own.

"There ain't room in this internet for the both of us," growled one CNN anchor on the air Monday evening. "There simply aren't enough people out there for us to fool with our fake news stories and The Babylon Bee to fool with their satire. There isn't enough clickbait and outrage traffic to go around. "

[Jan 06, 2020] How To Avoid Swallowing War Propaganda by Nathan J. Robinson

Highly recommended!
Jan 05, 2020 | www.currentaffairs.org
The Trump administration has assassinated Iran's top military leader, Qassim Suleimani, and with the possibility of a serious escalation in violent conflict, it's a good time to think about how propaganda works and train ourselves to avoid accidentally swallowing it.

The Iraq War, the bloodiest and costliest U.S. foreign policy calamity of the 21 st century, happened in part because the population of the United States was insufficiently cynical about its government and got caught up in a wave of nationalistic fervor. The same thing happened with World War I and the Vietnam War. Since a U.S./Iran war would be a disaster, it is vital that everyone make sure they do not accidentally end up repeating the kinds of talking points that make war more likely.

Let us bear in mind, then, some of the basic lessons about war propaganda.

Things are not true because a government official says them.

I do not mean to treat you as stupid by making such a basic point, but plenty of journalists and opposition party politicians do not understand this point's implications, so it needs to be said over and over. What happens in the leadup to war is that government officials make claims about the enemy, and then those claims appear in newspapers ("U.S. officials say Saddam poses an imminent threat") and then in the public consciousness, the "U.S. officials say" part disappears, so that the claim is taken for reality without ever really being scrutinized. This happens because newspapers are incredibly irresponsible and believe that so long as you attach "Experts say" or "President says" to a claim, you are off the hook when people end up believing it, because all you did was relay the fact that a person said a thing, you didn't say it was true. This is the approach the New York Times took to Bush administration allegations in the leadup to the Iraq War, and it meant that false claims could become headline news just because a high-ranking U.S. official said them. [UPDATE: here's an example from Vox, today, of a questionable government claim being magically transformed into a certain fact.]

In the context of Iran, let us consider some things Mike Pence tweeted about Qassim Suleimani:

"[Suleimani] assisted in the clandestine travel to Afghanistan of 10 of the 12 terrorists who carried out the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States Soleimani was plotting imminent attacks on American diplomats and military personnel. The world is a safer place today because Soleimani is gone."

It is possible, given these tweets, to publish the headline: "Suleimani plotting imminent attacks on American diplomats, says Pence." That headline is technically true. But you should not publish that headline unless Pence provides some supporting evidence, because what will happen in the discourse is that people will link to your news story to prove that Suleimani was plotting imminent attacks.

To see how unsubstantiated claims get spread, let's think about the Afghanistan hijackers bit. David Harsanyi of the National Review defends Pence's claim about Suleimani helping the hijackers. Harsanyi cites the 9/11 Commission report, saying that the 9/11 commission report concluded Iran aided the hijackers. The report does indeed say that Iran allowed free travel to some of the men who went on to carry out the 9/11 attacks. (The sentence cut off at the bottom of Harsanyi's screenshot, however, rather crucially says : "We have no evidence that Iran or Hezbollah was aware of the planning for what later became the 9/11 attack.") Harsanyi admits that the report says absolutely nothing about Suleimani. But he argues that Pence was "mostly right," pointing out that Pence did not say Iran knew these men would be the hijackers, merely that it allowed them passage.

Let's think about what is going on here. Pence is trying to convince us that Suleimani deserved to die, that it was necessary for the U.S. to kill him, which will also mean that if Iran retaliates violently, that violence will be because Iran is an aggressive power rather than because the U.S. just committed an unprovoked atrocity against one of its leaders, dropping a bomb on a popular Iranian leader. So Pence wants to link Suleimani in your mind with 9/11, in order to get you blood boiling the same way you might have felt in 2001 as you watched the Twin Towers fall.

There is no evidence that either Iran or Suleimani tried to help these men do 9/11. Harsanyi says that Pence does not technically allege this. But he doesn't have to! What impression are people going to get from helped the hijackers? Pence hopes you'll conflate Suleimani and Iran as one entity, then assume that if Iran ever aided these men in any way, it basically did 9/11 even if it didn't have any clue that was what they were going to do.

This brings us to #2:

Do not be bullied into accepting simple-minded sloganeering

Let's say that, long before Ted Kaczynski began sending bombs through the mail, you once rented him an apartment. This was pure coincidence. Back then he was just a Berkeley professor, you did not know he would turn out to be the Unabomber. It is, however, possible, for me to say, and claim I am not technically lying, that you "housed and materially aided the Unabomber." (A friend of mine once sold his house to the guy who turned out to be the Green River Killer, so this kind of situation does happen.)

Of course, it is incredibly dishonest of me to characterize what you did that way. You rented an apartment to a stranger, yet I'm implying that you intentionally helped the Unabomber knowing he was the Unabomber. In sane times, people would see me as the duplicitous one. But the leadup to war is often not a sane time, and these distinctions can get lost. In the Pence claim about Afghanistan, for it to have any relevance to Suleimani, it would be critical to know (assuming the 9/11 commission report is accurate) whether Iran actually could have known what the men it allowed to pass would ultimately do, and whether Suleimani was involved. But that would involve thinking, and War Fever thrives on emotion rather than thought.

There are all kinds of ways in which you can bully people into accepting idiocy. Consider, for example, the statement "Nathan Robinson thinks it's good to help terrorists who murder civilians." There is a way in which this is actually sort of true: I think lawyers who aid those accused of terrible crimes do important work. If we are simple-minded and manipulative, we can call that "thinking it's good to help terrorists," and during periods of War Fever, that's exactly what it will be called. There is a kind of cheap sophistry that becomes ubiquitous:

I remember all this bullshit from my high school years. Opposing the invasion of Iraq meant loving Saddam Hussein and hating America. Thinking 9/11 was the predictable consequence of U.S. actions meant believing 9/11 was justified. Of course, rational discussion can expose these as completely unfair mischaracterizations, but every time war fever whips up, rational discussion becomes almost impossible. In World War I, if you opposed the draft you were undermining your country in a time of war. During Vietnam, if you believed the North Vietnamese had the more just case, you were a Communist traitor who endorsed every atrocity committed in the name of Ho Chi Minh, and if you thought John McCain shouldn't have been bombing civilians in the first place then clearly you believed he should have been tortured and you hated America.

"If you oppose assassinating Suleimani you must love terrorists" will be repeated on Fox News (and probably even on MSNBC). Nationalism advocate Yoram Hazony says there is something wrong with those who do not "feel shame when our country is shamed" -- presumably those who do not feel wounded pride when America is emasculated by our enemies are weak and pitiful. We should refuse to put up with these kind of cheap slurs, or even to let those who deploy them place the burden of proof on us to refute them. (In 2004, Democrats worried that they did appear unpatriotic, and so they ran a decorated war veteran, John Kerry, for president. That didn't work.)

Scrutinize the arguments

Here's Mike Pence again:

"[Suleimani] provided advanced deadly explosively formed projectiles, advanced weaponry, training, and guidance to Iraqi insurgents used to conduct attacks on U.S. and coalition forces; directly responsible for the death of 603 U.S. service members, along with thousands of wounded."

I am going to say something that is going to sound controversial if you buy into the kind of simple-minded logic we just discussed: Saying that someone was "responsible for the deaths of U.S. service members" does not, in and of itself, tell us anything about whether what they did was right or wrong. In order to believe it did, we would have to believe that the United States is automatically right, and that countries opposing the United States are automatically wrong. That is indeed the logic that many nationalists in this country follow; remember that when the U.S. shot down an Iranian civilian airliner, causing hundreds of deaths, George H.W. Bush said that he would never apologize for America, no matter what the facts were. What if America did something wrong? That was irrelevant, or rather impossible, because to Bush, a thing was right because America did it, even if that thing was the mass murder of Iranian civilians.

One of the major justifications for murdering Suleimani is that he "caused the deaths of U.S. soldiers." He was thus an aggressor, and could/should have been killed. That is where people like Pence want you to end your inquiry. But let us remember where those soldiers were. Were they in Miami? No. They were in Iraq. Why were they in Iraq? Because we illegally invaded and seized a country. Now, we can debate whether (1) there is actually sufficient evidence of Suleimani's direct involvement and (2) whether these acts of violence can be justified, but to say that Suleimani has "American blood on his hands" is to say nothing at all without an examination of whether the United States was in the right.

We have to think clearly in examining the arguments that are being made. Here 's the Atlantic 's George Packer on the execution:

"There was a case for killing Major General Qassem Soleimani. For two decades, as the commander of the Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force, he executed Iran's long game of strategic depth in the Middle East -- arming and guiding proxy militias in Lebanon and Iraq that became stronger than either state, giving Bashar al-Assad essential support to win the Syrian civil war at the cost of half a million lives, waging a proxy war in Yemen against the hated Saudis, and repeatedly testing America and its allies with military actions around the region for which Iran never seemed to pay a military price."

The article goes on to discuss whether this case is outweighed by the pragmatic case against killing him. But wait. Let's dwell on this. Does this constitute a case for killing him? He assisted Bashar al-Assad. Okay, but presumably then killing Assad would have been justified too? Is the rule here that our government is allowed unilaterally to execute the officials of other governments who are responsible for many deaths? Are we the only ones who can do this? Can any government claim the right?

He assisted Yemen in its fight against "the hated Saudis." But is Saudi Arabia being hated for good reason? It is not enough to say that someone committed violence without analyzing the underlying justice of the parties' relative claims.

Moreover, assumptions are made that if you can prove somebody committed a heinous act, what Trump did is justified. But that doesn't follow: Unless we throw all law out the window, and extrajudicial punishment is suddenly acceptable, showing that Suleimani was a war criminal doesn't prove that you can unilaterally kill him with a drone. Henry Kissinger is a war criminal. So is George W. Bush. But they should be captured and tried in a court, not bombed from the sky. The argument that Suleimani was planning imminent attacks is relevant to whether you can stop him with violence (and requires persuasive proof), but mere allegations of murderous past acts do not show that extrajudicial killings are legitimate.

It's very easy to come up with superficially persuasive arguments that can justify just about anything. The job of an intelligent populace is to see whether those arguments can actually withstand scrutiny.

Keep the focus on what matters

"The main question about the strike isn't moral or even legal -- it's strategic." -- The Atlantic

"The real question to ask about the American drone attack that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani was not whether it was justified, but whether it was wise" -- The New York Times

"I think that the question that we ought to focus on is why now? Why not a month ago and why not a month from now?" -- Elizabeth Warren

They're going to try to define the debate for you. Leaving aside the moral questions, is this good strategy? And then you find yourself arguing on those terms: No, it was bad strategy, it will put "our personnel" in harms way, without noticing that you are implicitly accepting the sociopathic logic that says "America's interests" are the only ones in the world that matters. This is how debates about Vietnam went: They were rarely about whether our actions were good for Vietnamese people, but about whether they were good or bad for us , whether we were squandering U.S. resources and troops in a "fruitless" "mistake." The people of this country still do not understand the kind of carnage we inflicted on Vietnam because our debates tend to be about whether things we do are "strategically prudent" rather than whether they are just. The Atlantic calls the strike a "blunder," shifting the discussion to be about the wisdom of the killing rather than whether it is a choice our country is even permitted to make. "Blunder" essentially assumes that we are allowed to do these things and the only question is whether it's good for us.

There will be plenty of attempts to distract you with irrelevant issues. We will spent more time talking about whether Trump followed the right process for war, whether he handled the rollout correctly, and less about whether the underlying action itself is correct. People like Ben Shapiro will say things like :

"Barack Obama routinely droned terrorists abroad -- including American citizens -- who presented far less of a threat to Americans and American interests than Soleimani. So spare me the hysterics about 'assassination."

In order for this to have any bearing on anything, you have to be someone who defends what Obama did. If you are, on the other hand, someone who belives that Obama, too, assassinated people without due process (which he did), then Shapiro has proved exactly nothing about whether Trump's actions were legitimate. (Note, too, the presumption that threatening "America's interests" can get you killed, a standard we would not want any other country using but are happy to use ourselves.)

Emphasis matters

Consider three statements:

These are statements made by Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders, respectively. Note that each of them is consistent with believing Trump's decision was the wrong one, but their emphasis is different. Buttigieg says Suleimani was a "threat" but that there are "questions," Warren says Suleimani was a "murderer" but that this was "reckless," and Sanders says this was a "dangerous escalation." It could be that none of these three would have done the same thing themselves, but the emphasis is vastly different. Buttigieg and Warren lead with condemnation of the dead man, in ways that imply that there was nothing that unjust about what happened. Sanders does not dwell on Suleimani but instead talks about the dangers of new wars.

We have to be clear and emphatic in our messaging, because so much effort is made to make what should be clear issues appear murky. If, for example, you gave a speech in 2002 opposing the Iraq War, but the first half was simply a discussion of what a bad and threatening person Saddam Hussein was, people might actually get the opposite of the impression you want them to get. Buttigieg and Warren, while they appear to question the president, have the effect of making his action seem reasonable. After all, they admit that he got rid of a threatening murderer! Sanders admits nothing of the kind: The only thing he says is that Trump has made the world worse. He puts the emphasis where it matters.

I do not fully like Sanders' statement, because it still talks a bit more about what war means for our people , but it does mention destabilization and the total number of lives that can be lost. It is a far more morally clear and powerful antiwar statement. Buttigieg's is exactly what you'd expect of a Consultant President and it should give us absolutely no confidence that he would be a powerful voice against a war, should one happen. Warren confirms that she is not an effective advocate for peace. In a time when there will be pressure for a violent conflict, we need to make sure that our statements are not watery and do not make needless concessions to the hawks' propaganda.

Imagine how everything would sound if the other side said it.

If you're going to understand the world clearly, you have to kill your nationalistic emotions. An excellent way to do this is to try to imagine if all the facts were reversed. If Iraq had invaded the United States, and U.S. militias violently resisted, would it constitute "aggression" for those militias to kill Iraqi soldiers? If Britain funded those U.S. militias, and Iraq killed the head of the British military with a drone strike, would this constitute "stopping a terrorist"? Of course, in that situation, the Iraqi government would certainly spin it that way, because governments call everyone who opposes them terrorists. But rationality requires us not just to examine whether violence has been committed (e.g., whether Suleimani ordered attacks) but what the full historical context of that violence is, and who truly deserves the "terrorist" label.

Is there anything Suleimani did that hasn't also been done by the CIA? Remember that we actually engineered the overthrow of the Iranian government, within living people's lifetimes . Would an Iranian have been justified in assassinating the head of the CIA? I doubt there are many Americans who think they would. I think most Americans would consider this terrorism. But this is because terrorism is a word that, by definition, cannot apply to things we do, and only applies to the things others do. When you start to actually reverse the situations in your mind, and see how things look from the other side, you start to fully grasp just how crude and irrational so much propaganda is.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/hPOy-LutJQg?feature=oembed

Watch out for euphemisms

Our access to much of the world is through language alone. We only see our tiny sliver of the world with our own eyes, much of the rest of it has to be described in words or shown to us through images. That means it's very easy to manipulate our perceptions. If you control the flow of information, you can completely alter someone's understanding of the things that they can't see firsthand.

Euphemistic language is always used to cover atrocities. Even the Nazis did not say they were "mass murdering innocent civilians." They said they were defending themselves from subversive elements, guaranteeing sufficient living space for their people, purifying their culture, etc. When the United States commits murder, it does not say it is committing murder. It says it is engaging in a stabilization program and restoring democratic rule. We saw during the recent Bolivian coup how easy it is to portray the seizure of power as "democracy" and democracy as tyranny. Euphemistic language has been one of the key tools of murderous regimes. In fact, many of them probably believe their own language; their specialized vocabulary allows them to inhabit a world of their own invention where they are good people punishing evil.

Assassination sounds bad. It sounds like something illegitimate, something that would call into question the goodness of the United States, even if the person being assassinated can be argued to have "deserved it." Thus Rothman and Bloomberg will not even admit that what the U.S. did here was an assassination, even though we literally targeted a high official from a sovereign country and dropped a bomb on him. Instead, this is " neutralization ." (Read this fascinatingly feeble attempt by the Associated Press to explain why it isn't calling an obvious assassination an assassination, just as the media declined to call torture torture when Bush did it.)

Those of us who want to resist marches to war need to insist on calling things exactly what they are and refuse to allow the country to slide into the use of language that conceals the reality of our actions.

Remember what people were saying five minutes ago

Five minutes ago, hardly anybody was talking about Suleimani. Now they all speak as if he was Public Enemy #1. Remember how much you hated that guy? Remember how much damage he did? No, I do not remember, because people like Ben Shapiro only just discovered their hatred for Suleimani once they had to justify his murder.

During the buildup to a war there is a constant effort to make you forget what things were like a few minutes ago. Before World War I, Americans lived relatively harmoniously with Germans in their midst. The same thing with Japanese people before World War II. Then, immediately, they began to hate and fear people who had recently been their neighbors.

Let us say Iran responds to this extrajudicial murder with a colossal act of violent reprisal, after the killing unifies the country around a demand for vengeance. They kill a high-ranking American official, or wage an attack that kills our civilians. Perhaps it will attack some of the soldiers that are now being moved into the Middle East. The Trump administration will then want you to forget that it promised this assassination was to " stop a war ." It will then want you to focus solely on Iran's most recent act, to see that as the initial aggression. If the attack is particularly bad, with family members of victims crying on TV and begging for vengeance, you will be told to look into the face of Iranian evil, and those of us who are anti-war will be branded as not caring about the victims. Nobody wants you to remember the history of U.S./Iran relations, the civilians we killed of theirs or the time we destabilized their whole country and got rid of its democracy. They want you to have a two-second memory, to become a blind and unthinking patriot whose sole thought is the avenging of American blood. Resisting propaganda requires having a memory, looking back on how things were before and not accepting war as the "new normal."

Listen to the Chomsky on your shoulder.

"It is perfectly insane to suggest the U.S. was the aggressor here." -- Ben Shapiro

They are going to try to convince you that you are insane for asking questions, or for not accepting what the government tells you. They will put you in topsy-turvy land, where thinking that assassinating foreign officials is "aggression" is not just wrong, but sheer madness. You will have to try your best to remember what things are, because it is not easy, when everyone says the emperor has clothes, or that Line A is longer than Line B, or that shocking people to death is fine, to have confidence in your independent judgment.

This is why I keep a little imaginary Noam Chomsky sitting on my shoulder at all times. Chomsky helps keep me sane, by cutting through lies and euphemisms and showing things as they really are. I recommend reading his books, especially during times of war. He never swallowed Johnson's nonsense about Vietnam or Bush's nonsense about Iraq. And of course they called him insane, anti-American, terrorist-loving, anti-Semitic, blah blah blah.

What I really mean here though is: Listen to the dissidents. They will not appear on television. They will be smeared and treated as lunatics. But you need them if you are going to be able to resist the absolute barrage of misinformation, or to hear yourself think over the pounding war drums. Times of War Fever can be wearying, because there is just so much aggression against dissent that your resistance wears down. This is why a community is so necessary. You may watch people who previously seemed reasonable develop a pathological bloodlust (mild-mannered moderate types like Thomas Friedman and Brian Williams going suck on our missiles ). Find the people who see clearly and stick close to them.

Someday peace will prevail. If you enjoyed this article, please consider subscribing to our magnificent print edition or making a donation . Current Affairs is 100% reader-supported. Nathan J. Robinson

[Jan 06, 2020] How To Avoid Swallowing War Propaganda by Nathan J. Robinson

Jan 05, 2020 | www.currentaffairs.org
The Trump administration has assassinated Iran's top military leader, Qassim Suleimani, and with the possibility of a serious escalation in violent conflict, it's a good time to think about how propaganda works and train ourselves to avoid accidentally swallowing it.

The Iraq War, the bloodiest and costliest U.S. foreign policy calamity of the 21 st century, happened in part because the population of the United States was insufficiently cynical about its government and got caught up in a wave of nationalistic fervor. The same thing happened with World War I and the Vietnam War. Since a U.S./Iran war would be a disaster, it is vital that everyone make sure they do not accidentally end up repeating the kinds of talking points that make war more likely.

Let us bear in mind, then, some of the basic lessons about war propaganda.

Things are not true because a government official says them.

I do not mean to treat you as stupid by making such a basic point, but plenty of journalists and opposition party politicians do not understand this point's implications, so it needs to be said over and over. What happens in the leadup to war is that government officials make claims about the enemy, and then those claims appear in newspapers ("U.S. officials say Saddam poses an imminent threat") and then in the public consciousness, the "U.S. officials say" part disappears, so that the claim is taken for reality without ever really being scrutinized. This happens because newspapers are incredibly irresponsible and believe that so long as you attach "Experts say" or "President says" to a claim, you are off the hook when people end up believing it, because all you did was relay the fact that a person said a thing, you didn't say it was true. This is the approach the New York Times took to Bush administration allegations in the leadup to the Iraq War, and it meant that false claims could become headline news just because a high-ranking U.S. official said them. [UPDATE: here's an example from Vox, today, of a questionable government claim being magically transformed into a certain fact.]

In the context of Iran, let us consider some things Mike Pence tweeted about Qassim Suleimani:

"[Suleimani] assisted in the clandestine travel to Afghanistan of 10 of the 12 terrorists who carried out the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States Soleimani was plotting imminent attacks on American diplomats and military personnel. The world is a safer place today because Soleimani is gone."

It is possible, given these tweets, to publish the headline: "Suleimani plotting imminent attacks on American diplomats, says Pence." That headline is technically true. But you should not publish that headline unless Pence provides some supporting evidence, because what will happen in the discourse is that people will link to your news story to prove that Suleimani was plotting imminent attacks.

To see how unsubstantiated claims get spread, let's think about the Afghanistan hijackers bit. David Harsanyi of the National Review defends Pence's claim about Suleimani helping the hijackers. Harsanyi cites the 9/11 Commission report, saying that the 9/11 commission report concluded Iran aided the hijackers. The report does indeed say that Iran allowed free travel to some of the men who went on to carry out the 9/11 attacks. (The sentence cut off at the bottom of Harsanyi's screenshot, however, rather crucially says : "We have no evidence that Iran or Hezbollah was aware of the planning for what later became the 9/11 attack.") Harsanyi admits that the report says absolutely nothing about Suleimani. But he argues that Pence was "mostly right," pointing out that Pence did not say Iran knew these men would be the hijackers, merely that it allowed them passage.

Let's think about what is going on here. Pence is trying to convince us that Suleimani deserved to die, that it was necessary for the U.S. to kill him, which will also mean that if Iran retaliates violently, that violence will be because Iran is an aggressive power rather than because the U.S. just committed an unprovoked atrocity against one of its leaders, dropping a bomb on a popular Iranian leader. So Pence wants to link Suleimani in your mind with 9/11, in order to get you blood boiling the same way you might have felt in 2001 as you watched the Twin Towers fall.

There is no evidence that either Iran or Suleimani tried to help these men do 9/11. Harsanyi says that Pence does not technically allege this. But he doesn't have to! What impression are people going to get from helped the hijackers? Pence hopes you'll conflate Suleimani and Iran as one entity, then assume that if Iran ever aided these men in any way, it basically did 9/11 even if it didn't have any clue that was what they were going to do.

This brings us to #2:

Do not be bullied into accepting simple-minded sloganeering

Let's say that, long before Ted Kaczynski began sending bombs through the mail, you once rented him an apartment. This was pure coincidence. Back then he was just a Berkeley professor, you did not know he would turn out to be the Unabomber. It is, however, possible, for me to say, and claim I am not technically lying, that you "housed and materially aided the Unabomber." (A friend of mine once sold his house to the guy who turned out to be the Green River Killer, so this kind of situation does happen.)

Of course, it is incredibly dishonest of me to characterize what you did that way. You rented an apartment to a stranger, yet I'm implying that you intentionally helped the Unabomber knowing he was the Unabomber. In sane times, people would see me as the duplicitous one. But the leadup to war is often not a sane time, and these distinctions can get lost. In the Pence claim about Afghanistan, for it to have any relevance to Suleimani, it would be critical to know (assuming the 9/11 commission report is accurate) whether Iran actually could have known what the men it allowed to pass would ultimately do, and whether Suleimani was involved. But that would involve thinking, and War Fever thrives on emotion rather than thought.

There are all kinds of ways in which you can bully people into accepting idiocy. Consider, for example, the statement "Nathan Robinson thinks it's good to help terrorists who murder civilians." There is a way in which this is actually sort of true: I think lawyers who aid those accused of terrible crimes do important work. If we are simple-minded and manipulative, we can call that "thinking it's good to help terrorists," and during periods of War Fever, that's exactly what it will be called. There is a kind of cheap sophistry that becomes ubiquitous:

I remember all this bullshit from my high school years. Opposing the invasion of Iraq meant loving Saddam Hussein and hating America. Thinking 9/11 was the predictable consequence of U.S. actions meant believing 9/11 was justified. Of course, rational discussion can expose these as completely unfair mischaracterizations, but every time war fever whips up, rational discussion becomes almost impossible. In World War I, if you opposed the draft you were undermining your country in a time of war. During Vietnam, if you believed the North Vietnamese had the more just case, you were a Communist traitor who endorsed every atrocity committed in the name of Ho Chi Minh, and if you thought John McCain shouldn't have been bombing civilians in the first place then clearly you believed he should have been tortured and you hated America.

"If you oppose assassinating Suleimani you must love terrorists" will be repeated on Fox News (and probably even on MSNBC). Nationalism advocate Yoram Hazony says there is something wrong with those who do not "feel shame when our country is shamed" -- presumably those who do not feel wounded pride when America is emasculated by our enemies are weak and pitiful. We should refuse to put up with these kind of cheap slurs, or even to let those who deploy them place the burden of proof on us to refute them. (In 2004, Democrats worried that they did appear unpatriotic, and so they ran a decorated war veteran, John Kerry, for president. That didn't work.)

Scrutinize the arguments

Here's Mike Pence again:

"[Suleimani] provided advanced deadly explosively formed projectiles, advanced weaponry, training, and guidance to Iraqi insurgents used to conduct attacks on U.S. and coalition forces; directly responsible for the death of 603 U.S. service members, along with thousands of wounded."

I am going to say something that is going to sound controversial if you buy into the kind of simple-minded logic we just discussed: Saying that someone was "responsible for the deaths of U.S. service members" does not, in and of itself, tell us anything about whether what they did was right or wrong. In order to believe it did, we would have to believe that the United States is automatically right, and that countries opposing the United States are automatically wrong. That is indeed the logic that many nationalists in this country follow; remember that when the U.S. shot down an Iranian civilian airliner, causing hundreds of deaths, George H.W. Bush said that he would never apologize for America, no matter what the facts were. What if America did something wrong? That was irrelevant, or rather impossible, because to Bush, a thing was right because America did it, even if that thing was the mass murder of Iranian civilians.

One of the major justifications for murdering Suleimani is that he "caused the deaths of U.S. soldiers." He was thus an aggressor, and could/should have been killed. That is where people like Pence want you to end your inquiry. But let us remember where those soldiers were. Were they in Miami? No. They were in Iraq. Why were they in Iraq? Because we illegally invaded and seized a country. Now, we can debate whether (1) there is actually sufficient evidence of Suleimani's direct involvement and (2) whether these acts of violence can be justified, but to say that Suleimani has "American blood on his hands" is to say nothing at all without an examination of whether the United States was in the right.

We have to think clearly in examining the arguments that are being made. Here 's the Atlantic 's George Packer on the execution:

"There was a case for killing Major General Qassem Soleimani. For two decades, as the commander of the Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force, he executed Iran's long game of strategic depth in the Middle East -- arming and guiding proxy militias in Lebanon and Iraq that became stronger than either state, giving Bashar al-Assad essential support to win the Syrian civil war at the cost of half a million lives, waging a proxy war in Yemen against the hated Saudis, and repeatedly testing America and its allies with military actions around the region for which Iran never seemed to pay a military price."

The article goes on to discuss whether this case is outweighed by the pragmatic case against killing him. But wait. Let's dwell on this. Does this constitute a case for killing him? He assisted Bashar al-Assad. Okay, but presumably then killing Assad would have been justified too? Is the rule here that our government is allowed unilaterally to execute the officials of other governments who are responsible for many deaths? Are we the only ones who can do this? Can any government claim the right?

He assisted Yemen in its fight against "the hated Saudis." But is Saudi Arabia being hated for good reason? It is not enough to say that someone committed violence without analyzing the underlying justice of the parties' relative claims.

Moreover, assumptions are made that if you can prove somebody committed a heinous act, what Trump did is justified. But that doesn't follow: Unless we throw all law out the window, and extrajudicial punishment is suddenly acceptable, showing that Suleimani was a war criminal doesn't prove that you can unilaterally kill him with a drone. Henry Kissinger is a war criminal. So is George W. Bush. But they should be captured and tried in a court, not bombed from the sky. The argument that Suleimani was planning imminent attacks is relevant to whether you can stop him with violence (and requires persuasive proof), but mere allegations of murderous past acts do not show that extrajudicial killings are legitimate.

It's very easy to come up with superficially persuasive arguments that can justify just about anything. The job of an intelligent populace is to see whether those arguments can actually withstand scrutiny.

Keep the focus on what matters

"The main question about the strike isn't moral or even legal -- it's strategic." -- The Atlantic

"The real question to ask about the American drone attack that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani was not whether it was justified, but whether it was wise" -- The New York Times

"I think that the question that we ought to focus on is why now? Why not a month ago and why not a month from now?" -- Elizabeth Warren

They're going to try to define the debate for you. Leaving aside the moral questions, is this good strategy? And then you find yourself arguing on those terms: No, it was bad strategy, it will put "our personnel" in harms way, without noticing that you are implicitly accepting the sociopathic logic that says "America's interests" are the only ones in the world that matters. This is how debates about Vietnam went: They were rarely about whether our actions were good for Vietnamese people, but about whether they were good or bad for us , whether we were squandering U.S. resources and troops in a "fruitless" "mistake." The people of this country still do not understand the kind of carnage we inflicted on Vietnam because our debates tend to be about whether things we do are "strategically prudent" rather than whether they are just. The Atlantic calls the strike a "blunder," shifting the discussion to be about the wisdom of the killing rather than whether it is a choice our country is even permitted to make. "Blunder" essentially assumes that we are allowed to do these things and the only question is whether it's good for us.

There will be plenty of attempts to distract you with irrelevant issues. We will spent more time talking about whether Trump followed the right process for war, whether he handled the rollout correctly, and less about whether the underlying action itself is correct. People like Ben Shapiro will say things like :

"Barack Obama routinely droned terrorists abroad -- including American citizens -- who presented far less of a threat to Americans and American interests than Soleimani. So spare me the hysterics about 'assassination."

In order for this to have any bearing on anything, you have to be someone who defends what Obama did. If you are, on the other hand, someone who belives that Obama, too, assassinated people without due process (which he did), then Shapiro has proved exactly nothing about whether Trump's actions were legitimate. (Note, too, the presumption that threatening "America's interests" can get you killed, a standard we would not want any other country using but are happy to use ourselves.)

Emphasis matters

Consider three statements:

These are statements made by Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders, respectively. Note that each of them is consistent with believing Trump's decision was the wrong one, but their emphasis is different. Buttigieg says Suleimani was a "threat" but that there are "questions," Warren says Suleimani was a "murderer" but that this was "reckless," and Sanders says this was a "dangerous escalation." It could be that none of these three would have done the same thing themselves, but the emphasis is vastly different. Buttigieg and Warren lead with condemnation of the dead man, in ways that imply that there was nothing that unjust about what happened. Sanders does not dwell on Suleimani but instead talks about the dangers of new wars.

We have to be clear and emphatic in our messaging, because so much effort is made to make what should be clear issues appear murky. If, for example, you gave a speech in 2002 opposing the Iraq War, but the first half was simply a discussion of what a bad and threatening person Saddam Hussein was, people might actually get the opposite of the impression you want them to get. Buttigieg and Warren, while they appear to question the president, have the effect of making his action seem reasonable. After all, they admit that he got rid of a threatening murderer! Sanders admits nothing of the kind: The only thing he says is that Trump has made the world worse. He puts the emphasis where it matters.

I do not fully like Sanders' statement, because it still talks a bit more about what war means for our people , but it does mention destabilization and the total number of lives that can be lost. It is a far more morally clear and powerful antiwar statement. Buttigieg's is exactly what you'd expect of a Consultant President and it should give us absolutely no confidence that he would be a powerful voice against a war, should one happen. Warren confirms that she is not an effective advocate for peace. In a time when there will be pressure for a violent conflict, we need to make sure that our statements are not watery and do not make needless concessions to the hawks' propaganda.

Imagine how everything would sound if the other side said it.

If you're going to understand the world clearly, you have to kill your nationalistic emotions. An excellent way to do this is to try to imagine if all the facts were reversed. If Iraq had invaded the United States, and U.S. militias violently resisted, would it constitute "aggression" for those militias to kill Iraqi soldiers? If Britain funded those U.S. militias, and Iraq killed the head of the British military with a drone strike, would this constitute "stopping a terrorist"? Of course, in that situation, the Iraqi government would certainly spin it that way, because governments call everyone who opposes them terrorists. But rationality requires us not just to examine whether violence has been committed (e.g., whether Suleimani ordered attacks) but what the full historical context of that violence is, and who truly deserves the "terrorist" label.

Is there anything Suleimani did that hasn't also been done by the CIA? Remember that we actually engineered the overthrow of the Iranian government, within living people's lifetimes . Would an Iranian have been justified in assassinating the head of the CIA? I doubt there are many Americans who think they would. I think most Americans would consider this terrorism. But this is because terrorism is a word that, by definition, cannot apply to things we do, and only applies to the things others do. When you start to actually reverse the situations in your mind, and see how things look from the other side, you start to fully grasp just how crude and irrational so much propaganda is.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/hPOy-LutJQg?feature=oembed

Watch out for euphemisms

Our access to much of the world is through language alone. We only see our tiny sliver of the world with our own eyes, much of the rest of it has to be described in words or shown to us through images. That means it's very easy to manipulate our perceptions. If you control the flow of information, you can completely alter someone's understanding of the things that they can't see firsthand.

Euphemistic language is always used to cover atrocities. Even the Nazis did not say they were "mass murdering innocent civilians." They said they were defending themselves from subversive elements, guaranteeing sufficient living space for their people, purifying their culture, etc. When the United States commits murder, it does not say it is committing murder. It says it is engaging in a stabilization program and restoring democratic rule. We saw during the recent Bolivian coup how easy it is to portray the seizure of power as "democracy" and democracy as tyranny. Euphemistic language has been one of the key tools of murderous regimes. In fact, many of them probably believe their own language; their specialized vocabulary allows them to inhabit a world of their own invention where they are good people punishing evil.

Assassination sounds bad. It sounds like something illegitimate, something that would call into question the goodness of the United States, even if the person being assassinated can be argued to have "deserved it." Thus Rothman and Bloomberg will not even admit that what the U.S. did here was an assassination, even though we literally targeted a high official from a sovereign country and dropped a bomb on him. Instead, this is " neutralization ." (Read this fascinatingly feeble attempt by the Associated Press to explain why it isn't calling an obvious assassination an assassination, just as the media declined to call torture torture when Bush did it.)

Those of us who want to resist marches to war need to insist on calling things exactly what they are and refuse to allow the country to slide into the use of language that conceals the reality of our actions.

Remember what people were saying five minutes ago

Five minutes ago, hardly anybody was talking about Suleimani. Now they all speak as if he was Public Enemy #1. Remember how much you hated that guy? Remember how much damage he did? No, I do not remember, because people like Ben Shapiro only just discovered their hatred for Suleimani once they had to justify his murder.

During the buildup to a war there is a constant effort to make you forget what things were like a few minutes ago. Before World War I, Americans lived relatively harmoniously with Germans in their midst. The same thing with Japanese people before World War II. Then, immediately, they began to hate and fear people who had recently been their neighbors.

Let us say Iran responds to this extrajudicial murder with a colossal act of violent reprisal, after the killing unifies the country around a demand for vengeance. They kill a high-ranking American official, or wage an attack that kills our civilians. Perhaps it will attack some of the soldiers that are now being moved into the Middle East. The Trump administration will then want you to forget that it promised this assassination was to " stop a war ." It will then want you to focus solely on Iran's most recent act, to see that as the initial aggression. If the attack is particularly bad, with family members of victims crying on TV and begging for vengeance, you will be told to look into the face of Iranian evil, and those of us who are anti-war will be branded as not caring about the victims. Nobody wants you to remember the history of U.S./Iran relations, the civilians we killed of theirs or the time we destabilized their whole country and got rid of its democracy. They want you to have a two-second memory, to become a blind and unthinking patriot whose sole thought is the avenging of American blood. Resisting propaganda requires having a memory, looking back on how things were before and not accepting war as the "new normal."

Listen to the Chomsky on your shoulder.

"It is perfectly insane to suggest the U.S. was the aggressor here." -- Ben Shapiro

They are going to try to convince you that you are insane for asking questions, or for not accepting what the government tells you. They will put you in topsy-turvy land, where thinking that assassinating foreign officials is "aggression" is not just wrong, but sheer madness. You will have to try your best to remember what things are, because it is not easy, when everyone says the emperor has clothes, or that Line A is longer than Line B, or that shocking people to death is fine, to have confidence in your independent judgment.

This is why I keep a little imaginary Noam Chomsky sitting on my shoulder at all times. Chomsky helps keep me sane, by cutting through lies and euphemisms and showing things as they really are. I recommend reading his books, especially during times of war. He never swallowed Johnson's nonsense about Vietnam or Bush's nonsense about Iraq. And of course they called him insane, anti-American, terrorist-loving, anti-Semitic, blah blah blah.

What I really mean here though is: Listen to the dissidents. They will not appear on television. They will be smeared and treated as lunatics. But you need them if you are going to be able to resist the absolute barrage of misinformation, or to hear yourself think over the pounding war drums. Times of War Fever can be wearying, because there is just so much aggression against dissent that your resistance wears down. This is why a community is so necessary. You may watch people who previously seemed reasonable develop a pathological bloodlust (mild-mannered moderate types like Thomas Friedman and Brian Williams going suck on our missiles ). Find the people who see clearly and stick close to them.

Someday peace will prevail. If you enjoyed this article, please consider subscribing to our magnificent print edition or making a donation . Current Affairs is 100% reader-supported.

Nathan J. Robinson

More from Nathan J. Robinson

[Jan 06, 2020] Pompeo as a religious nut

Jan 06, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Lurk , Jan 6 2020 22:28 utc | 103

Sasha and Joerg:

You misspelled "evilgelical"

[Jan 06, 2020] Trump is unintentionally working on MAGA in Iraq.

Jan 06, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

A P , Jan 6 2020 21:28 utc | 58

Best comment I've seen anywhere?

Trump is unintentionally working on MAGA in Iraq...

Make America Go Away

[Jan 06, 2020] Klein Nancy Pelosi Celebrated Killing of Gaddafi, Slams Trump for Eliminating Soleimani Breitbart

Jan 06, 2020 | www.breitbart.com

Consistency is not the Speaker strong triat

Pelosi hailed the killing just after news broke of Gaddafi's October 2011 death.

She released the following statement on her Congressional website:

Today's news marks the next phase of Libya's march toward democracy. After decades of tyrannical rule in Libya, the world is hopeful that the next generation of Libyan leaders will bring their country out of this dark chapter. The strong action taken by the United States, led by President Obama, and NATO, the United Nations and the Arab League proves the power of the world community working together.

[Jan 06, 2020] Russia's Real Reasons for Partnering with Iran by Nadya Glebova

July 13, 2019 | nationalinterest.org

Moscow has a vested interest in the state of affairs in the Persian Gulf; it has tried its best to contain the impact that the U.S.-Iranian crisis could have on its own national security.

The third area of focus is connected with overlapping humanitarian and economic concerns that impact both Russia and Iran. These concerns have been footholds in the history of mutual relationships since the time of Russian and Persian empires. Nowadays both of the countries are trying to compensate for their failures by pursuing policies that promote their own and unique civilizations. In this situation the humanitarian sphere is one of the strategic ones allowing to pursue long-term aims. Of note, Russian-Iranian educational and cultural projects have doubled since the Trump administration announced its strategy for Iran. While the United States has been focused on "bringing Iran to its knees," Russia has been focused on the future. Economic ties between these two countries have been strengthening over the past few years, with bilateral trade reaching $2 billion in 2018.

Hopefully, Russia and Iran will maintain a positive relationship despite their differences and past difficulties. For example, in 2016 Russian forces were pushed off of a military base in Iran that it had used to conduct military operations in Syria. The strategic shift happened after the Iranians squabbled over whether foreign forces should be allowed to use an Iranian military base. Also, the two countries have had some disputes over the fate of Syria. Despite these issues, Russia maintains a positive relationship with Iran, which it further confirmed during a June 25 meeting between national security advisers John Bolton, Meir Ben-Shabbat and Nikolai Patrushev. During the meeting, Patrushev, the Secretary of the Russian Security Council, declared that Russia would continue to accommodate Iran's interests in the Middle East because it remains "the ally and partner" of choice in Syria. Both countries are focused on preventing further destabilization in the region, he said.

Nadya Glebova is a fellow at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, a MENA researcher.

[Jan 06, 2020] Putin's Hour Is At Hand - PaulCraigRoberts.org

Notable quotes:
"... Putin's Hour Is At Hand was published in the Russian press Monday morning, January 6, 2020. ..."
Jan 06, 2020 | www.paulcraigroberts.org

Putin's Hour Is At Hand January 4, 2020 | Categories: Articles & Columns | Tags: | Print This Article Print This Article

Putin's Hour Is At Hand was published in the Russian press Monday morning, January 6, 2020.

Putin's Hour Is At Hand

Paul Craig Roberts

Vladimir Putin is the most impressive leader on the world stage. He survived and arose from a Russia corrupted by Washington and Israel during the Yeltsin years and reestablished Russia as a world power. He dealt successfully with American/Israeli aggression against South Ossetia and against Ukraine, incorporating at Crimea's request the Russian province back into Mother Russia. He has tolerated endless insults and provocations from Washington and its empire without responding in kind. He is conciliatory and a peacemaker from a position of strength.

He knows that the American empire based as it is on arrogance and lies is failing economically, socially, politically, and militarily. He understands that war serves no Russian interest.

Washington's murder of Qasem Soleimani, a great Iranian leader, indeed, one of the rare leaders in world history, has dimmed Trump's leadership and placed the limelight on Putin. The stage is set for Putin and Russia to assume the leadership of the world.

Washington's murder of Soleimani is a criminal act that could start World War 3 just as the Serbian murder of the Austrian Archduke set World War 1 in motion. Only Putin and Russia with China's help can stop this war that Washington has set in motion.

Putin understood that the Washington/Israeli intended destabilization of Syria was aimed at Russia. Without warning Russia intervened, defeated the Washington financed and armed proxy forces, and restored stability to Syria.

Defeated, Washington and Israel have decided to bypass Syria and take the attack on Russia directly to Iran. The destabilization of Iran serves both Washington and Israel. For Israel Iran's demise stops support for Hezbollah, the Lebanese militia that has twice defeated Israel's army and prevented Israel's occupation of southern Lebanon. For Washington Iran's demise allows CIA-supported jihadists to bring instability into the Russian Federation.

Unless Putin submits to American and Israeli will, he has no choice but to block any Washington/Israeli attack on Iran.

The easiest and cleanest way for Putin to do this is to announce that Iran is under Russia's protection. This protection should be formalized in a mutual defense treaty between Russia, China, and Iran, with perhaps India and Turkey as members. This is hard for Putin to do, because incompetent historians have convinced Putin that alliances are the cause of war. But an alliance such as this would prevent war. Not even the insane criminal Netanyahu and the crazed American neoconservatives would, even when completely drunk or deluded, declare war on Iran, Russia, China, and if included in the alliance India and Turkey. It would mean the death of America, Israel and any European country sufficiently stupid to participate.

If Putin is unable to free himself from the influence of incompetent historians, who in effect are serving Washington, not Russian, interests, he has other options. He can calm down Iran by giving Iran the best Russian air defense systems with Russian crews to train the Iranians and whose presence serve as a warning to Washington and Israel that an attack on Russian forces is an attack on Russia.

This done, Putin can then, not offer, but insist on mediating. This is Putin's role as there is no other with the power, influence and objectivity to mediate.

Putin's job is not so much to rescue Iran as to get Trump out of a losing war that would destroy Trump. Putin could set his own price. For example, Putin's price can be the revival of the INF/START treaty, the anti-ballistic missile treaty, the removal of NATO from Russian borders. In effect, Putin is positioned to demand whatever he wants.

Iranian missiles can sink any American vessels anywhere near Iran. Chinese missiles can sink any American fleets anywhere near China. Russian missiles can sink American fleets anywhere in the world. The ability of Washington to project power in the Middle East now that everyone, Shia and Sunni and Washington's former proxies such as ISIS, hates Americans with a passion is zero. The State Department has had to order Americans out of the Middle East. How does Washingon count as a force in the Middle East when no American is safe there?

Of course Washington is stupid in its arrogance, and Putin, China, and Iran must take this into consideration. A stupid government is capable of bringing ruin not only on itself but on others.

So there are risks for Putin. But there are also risks for Putin failing to take charge. If Washington and Israel attack Iran, which Israel will try to provoke by some false flag event as sinking an American warship and blaming Iran, Russia will be at war anyway. Better for the initiative to be in Putin's hands. And better for the world and life on Earth for Russia to be in charge.

[Jan 06, 2020] Ricky Gervais Slams Woke Virtue-Signaling, Drops Epstein Didn't Kill Himself Joke At Golden Globes

Jan 06, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

British comedian Ricky Gervais is dropping red pills at the Golden Globes, joking about "Epstein didn't kill himself" while telling 'woke' virtue signaling celebrities to stop talking about politics.

... If ISIS started a streaming service, you'd call your agent,"


Shifter_X , 15 minutes ago link

It was a good speech but if it hadn't been rehearsed that way they would have pulled the plug and called it "technical difficulties."

chippers , 18 minutes ago link

"You know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg. " as usual David Brett nails it , the british office was one of funniest tv shows ever

tschanakya , 38 minutes ago link

People like these are rare. To be able to say the truth and joke about it.

[Jan 06, 2020] Trump just managed to tweet support for US citizens, who fight in Syria and Iraq as members of IS and AQ, thus supporting enemies of the US and thus formally committing an act of treason as per the US Constitution

Trump clearly is way too stupid to be the President. Such a logical fallacy is inexcusable ;-)
Jan 06, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
TJ , Jan 5 2020 20:46 utc | 108
Trump just managed to tweet support for US members of IS and AQ, thus supporting enemies of the US and committing Treason as per the US Constitution-

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

These Media Posts will serve as notification to the United States Congress that should Iran strike any U.S. person or target, the United States will quickly & fully strike back, & perhaps in a disproportionate manner. Such legal notice is not required, but is given nevertheless!

[Jan 06, 2020] Diplomacy Trump-style. Al Capone probably would be allow himself to fall that low

Highly recommended!
Jan 06, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Fec , Jan 5 2020 15:23 utc | 3

"We have learned today from #Iraq Prime Minister AdilAbdl Mahdi how @realDonaldTrump uses diplomacy:
#US asked #Iraq to mediate with #Iran. Iraq PM asks #QassemSoleimani to come and talk to him and give him the answer of his mediation, Trump &co assassinate an envoy at the airport."

https://twitter.com/ejmalrai/status/1213833855754485762

[Jan 06, 2020] It is somehow ironic that the U.S. has spent lots of lives and money to "spread democracy" in Iraq only to be kicked out through an Iraqi parliament vote

Jan 06, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

lizard , Jan 5 2020 15:21 utc | 1

.

That is one reason why I recommend to Iraq to invite Russia to train its army.

the other day my enemy
looked me in the eye
I cried DEFENSIVE ACTION!
then shot him till he died

I heard there was a warrant
out for my arrest
I decided to de-escalate
and bought a bullet-proof vest

when the SWAT team came
to take me from my home
I declared my hope for peace
and launched a lethal drone

the incendiary device
took the SWAT team out
peace had been achieved
of that I have no doubt

so if you have an enemy
who exhibits mal-intent
take quick, defensive action
with wrath that's heaven sent

[Jan 06, 2020] Great heavens - Donald Trump has turned into Hillary!

Jan 06, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

TG , Jan 5 2020 15:40 utc | 11

Great heavens - Donald Trump has turned into a [neo]liberal Democrat!!

I mean, if I had wanted Hilary Clinton to be president, I would have voted for her!

Jerry , Jan 5 2020 15:48 utc | 13

Trump-Kushner is no different than Hillary, Schumer, Nadler, Schiff, Epstein, Maxwell, Weinstein, Wasserman-Schultz, Bibi. Trump is no friend to American citizens just like all of Congress.

There will be no draining of any swamps. Trump-Kushner just another Bibi lackey.

[Jan 06, 2020] One humble suggestion about resolving the crisis with Iran

Jan 06, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

SW , January 5, 2020 9:12 am

If they want revenge, in the interest of avoiding future bloodshed, I suggest that we give them Mike Pence.

[Jan 06, 2020] Who is in the pockets of Israel First nationalists?

Jan 06, 2020 | www.unz.com

Just passing through , says: Show Comment January 5, 2020 at 9:38 pm GMT

@gotmituns I think we all know the Orange One who is in the pockets of Jews and Israel First nationalists* will not actually pull out troops. I have also heard someone on this comments board says the agreement between the US and Iraq stipulates that the US has 1 year to withdraw if requested to do so by Iraq, so he will no doubt cite that reason for staying there as long as possible – which leaves ample time for more Jewish tricks and swindles à la USS Liberty or Lavon Affair.

The real question is whether or not his room-temperature IQ support base will pick up on the fact that their man in the White House is only increasing troop presence despite being told to piss off by the Iraqis, thus laying waste to the myth that Iraqis are begging the US to stay there. Will this be the broken promise that will finally deprogram the hordes of MAGAtards and awaken them from their slumber?

* – https://lobelog.com/trump-has-a-259-million-reason-to-bomb-iran/

[Jan 06, 2020] But they could always find an un-scorched Iranian passport in mint condition among the debris of the explosion.

Jan 06, 2020 | www.unz.com

Commentator Mike , says: Show Comment January 5, 2020 at 9:08 pm GMT

@Bookish1

Not only Mossad but probably many others would like to see a suicide bomber blow himself up somewhere in the US killing alot of people. That makes it difficult to figure out who did it and maybe impossible to figure it out. It would be a mess.

But they could always find an un-scorched Iranian passport in mint condition among the debris of the explosion.

[Jan 06, 2020] Jon Leibowitz didn't call it "Mess-o-potamia" for no reason.

Jan 06, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

beijing expat , 58 minutes ago link

If only America had more allies like KSA and Israel.

5fingerdiscount , 1 hour ago link

Miss Lindsey the *** bumboy is in makeup as we speak ready to pump the war on MSM "news" shows.

McCain can't make it today.

[Jan 06, 2020] The most optimistic post on this thread.

Jan 06, 2020 | www.unz.com


AnonFromTN , says: Show Comment Next New Comment January 5, 2020 at 10:28 pm GMT

@Cloak And Dagger

Henry Kissinger Predicts 'In 10 Years, There Will Be No More Israel'

That's the most optimistic post on this thread.

[Jan 06, 2020] Trump Says US Will Not Leave Iraq Unless Billions For Air Base Are Repaid, Threatens Baghdad With Very Big Sanctions

Jan 06, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Amusingly, if Trump is indeed serious that Iraq will have to reimburse the US for its countless military bases, camps and other installations, the US will be able to repay its $23 trillion in debt (and have money leftover), when all is said and done: here is a partial list of the US camps in iraq:

[Jan 04, 2020] Surreal comment award

Jan 04, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Lucifer Dreams , 1 hour ago link

Just a wild *** guess but what if Maj. Gen. Soleimani was close to kicking the bucket anyways and wanted to poke America one last time and did so by causing an issue at the American embassy in Iraq.

If the General was such an asset why be in Iraq? Normally you would send your aide to the area. If it was really important to meet someone then they would come to Iran.

I don't think Iran is necessarily that careless. I can believe ego can play a big part in making bad decisions but if he was such an asset for so long why risk it unless you were a dead man walking already.

The other Iranian leaders could of said to the already dying general if that is the way you want to go out then by all means do so. It doesn't cost Iran anything if he does.

Just a different look at it. It may also be the reason why Iran won't do anything for awhile if at all. He might of been a good general in Iran's eyes but still replaceable. Later.

Lucifer's Chosen People , 1 hour ago link

INTERESTING ANGLE AND POSSIBLE. ONE THING IS TRUE MUZZIES AREN'T AFRAID TO DIE LIKE THIS.

IT MAKES HIM A MARTYR ...THAT WAS A MISTAKE IN MY MIND .

jm , 22 minutes ago link

Surreal comment award.

[Jan 04, 2020] Pelosi was a little be too early with imperachment of Trump. Now is the time ;-)

Jan 04, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Schroedingers Cat , 58 minutes ago link

The great irony is Trump has finally committed an actual impeachable offense.

nuerocaster , 1 hour ago link

If the Iranians were really smart they wouldn't respond.

DemandSider , 1 hour ago link

If our entire dollar racket fueled country were slightly more honestly governed, the Dept. of Offense would bill Israel for at least 1/2 of its budget.

Rusty Pipes , 1 hour ago link

We will invade Iran only to diversify them. They need more minorities and genders and then they will be peaceful, non polluting Earth citizens.

[Jan 04, 2020] The USA only choice is a Sunni sandwich with Kurdish Bread and Shia Mayo

Jan 04, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Peeps like Sen Graham saying "the Iraqi's need to choose between us or Iran."

(That choice is a Sunni sandwich with Kurdish Bread and Shia Mayo)

[Jan 04, 2020] A peaceful solution is obvious.

Jan 04, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

ADKC , Jan 4 2020 20:33 utc | 67

A peaceful solution is obvious.

The actions of the US was a war crime. Those that are responsible should be arrested and handed over to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for prosecution. This would obviously include Trump, Pompeo and Esper (as well as a number of others).

The US should then negotiate reparations with Iran.

If the US/West will not do so, if the people of the US/West democracies do not insist, if we do nothing then we are all guilty of this War Crime. I don't really think we can have this any other way.

[Jan 04, 2020] One way to inject some sanity into some members of Congress

Jan 04, 2020 | www.anti-empire.com

Report: Internet Users Who Call for Attacking Other Countries Will Now Be Enlisted in the Military Automatically

"After all, we want people who are passionate about occupying foreign lands, not grunts who are just there for the paycheck"

The Babylon Bee 11 hours ago <S> 554 *10

A new policy issued by the United States Department of Defense, in conjunction with online platforms like Twitter and Facebook, will automatically enlist you to fight in a foreign war if you post your support for attacking another country.

People who bravely post about how the U.S. needs to invade some country in the Middle East or Asia or outer space will get a pop-up notice indicating they've been enlisted in the military. A recruiter will then show up at their house and whisk them away to fight in the foreign war they wanted to happen so badly.

"Frankly, recruitment numbers are down, and we needed some way to find people who are really enthusiastic about fighting wars," said a DOD official. "Then it hit us like a drone strike: there are plenty of people who argue vehemently for foreign intervention. It doesn't matter what war we're trying to create: Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, China -- these people are always reliable supporters of any invasion abroad. So why not get them there on the frontlines?"

"After all, we want people who are passionate about occupying foreign lands, not grunts who are just there for the paycheck," he added.

Strangely, as soon as the policy was implemented, 99% of saber-rattling suddenly ceased.

Source: The Babylon Bee

Text may contain traces of satire.

[Jan 04, 2020] The classic Jewish joke about the mother words to the departing to the front lines. Don't overexert yourself' she implores him, Kill a Turk and rest. Kill another Turk and rest again Son: What if the Turk kills me? You? exclaims the mother, But why? What have you done to him?

Jan 04, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Ishmael Zechariah , 03 January 2020 at 09:10 PM

SST;

Some comments reminded me of two sayings at opposite ends of phase space.

The first I learnt from an article of Uri Avnery almost a decade ago. It is the classic Jewish joke about the Jewish mother in Russia taking leave of her son, who has been called up to serve the Czar in the war against Turkey. "Don't overexert yourself'" she implores him, "Kill a Turk and rest. Kill another Turk and rest again "

"But mother," the son interrupts, "What if the Turk kills me?"

"You?" exclaims the mother, "But why? What have you done to him?"

[Jan 04, 2020] Oh, I thought last night's peace-loving strike was supposed to prevent additional warfare

Jan 04, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

https://t.co/Z2S3WQaz7L

-- Michael Tracey (@mtracey) January 3, 2020

Crush the cube , 3 minutes ago link

This will end great, a fucked up circus called congress who hasn't had the balls to do their job and legally declare war for nearly three decades, and a president who can't even defend himself from a gang of thugs staging a direct coup against him in his own government. What could possibly go wrong?

me or you , 3 minutes ago link

Weird from a guy who dodged military service.

NubianSundance , 9 minutes ago link

Yep, Trumpt got into office by weaving a web of lies to a naive public, but the us remains the pre eminent military power and can do what it likes.

[Jan 04, 2020] On Thucydides quote "the strong do what they will, the weak suffer what they must

Jan 04, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Andrei Martyanov (aka SmoothieX12) -> Ishmael Zechariah... ,03 January 2020 at 11:20 PM

The second are the immortal words of Thucydides: "the strong do what they will, the weak suffer what they must."

Yeah, I heard Thucydides had some issues with resolution of uncertainties for targeting, especially for stand-off precision guided weapons. Plus there were some issues with long range air-defense systems in Greece in times of Plato and Socrates. You know, GLONASS wasn't fully operational, plus EW was a little bit scratchy.

So, surely, it all fully applies today, especially in choke points. Plus those Athenians they were not exactly good with RPGs and anti-Armour operations. Other than that, Thucydides nailed it.

Something To Think About -> Ishmael Zechariah... , 04 January 2020 at 01:11 AM
Ah, yes, the Melian Dialogue.

Interesting to note that it was the party professing those words - Athens - who started the Peloponnesian War, driven in large part by that haughty attitude. It was Athens that also ended that war, of course. They did so when they surrendered to the Spartans.

[Jan 03, 2020] Russian pranksters strike again Fake Greta Thunberg convinces eager US politician that she has dirt on Trump -- RT USA News

Jan 03, 2020 | www.rt.com

US Congresswoman Maxine Waters has allegedly fallen for a prank call in which she thought activist Greta Thunberg was offering her a tape of Donald Trump confessing to pressuring Ukraine into investigating his political rivals. YouTube pranksters Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexey Stolyarov, who go by the names Vovan and Lexus, are claiming they tricked Waters (Dem-Calif.) into thinking she was speaking to teen climate change activist Greta Thunberg.

Vovan and Lexus made names for themselves by previously pranking Congressman Adam Schiff (Dem-Calif.) into thinking there were nude photos of US President Donald Trump that Schiff could get his hands on. They also claim to have pranked Waters two years ago, in a phone call where one posed as Ukraine's prime minister.

Though Waters herself has not responded to the new video, the woman at the other end of the phone identifies herself as the congresswoman and sounds an awful lot like her.

In the call, the pranksters pretend to be Thunberg and her father, with help from a female colleague, and claim to have proof that Trump pressured the Ukrainian government into investigating his political rivals, something Democrats have claimed, for months now, is true.

[Jan 03, 2020] Trump assassination of General Suleimani was worse than a crime. It was a mistake

Jan 03, 2020 | nationalinterest.org

Talleyrand remarked that Napoleon's assassination of the Duke of Enghien was worse than a crime. It was a mistake. Donald Trump's decision to target Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, for destruction brings to mind the French diplomat's lapidary verdict. Iran is likely to unleash its fearsome Shia proxy militias, wherever and whenever it can. Nor is support from Europe, which is on the frontlines of Iranian blowback, likely to be forthcoming. Quite the contrary.

[Jan 03, 2020] Wag the dog, Trump way: People really thought this guy had a coherent ideology and wasn't just another Bush/Clinton/Obama neocon

Ironically, the Hollywood film 'Wag the Dog,' which tells the story of a US president caught in a similar situation as Clinton's, and the lengths he goes to distract public attention from his plight, was released just months before Clinton ordered the attack on Yugoslvia.
Jan 03, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

JSC2397 20 hours ago

"Irrational and destructive"?

Maybe: but in the short term at least, it will provide Trump and his creatures with exactly the jingoistic deflection they need to draw attention away from his and his Administration's criminality and incompetence.

Even at this early date we're seeing an orgy of bellicose gloating from all the usual suspects: and it will probably not be too long into tomorrow's news cycle before the full fury of the RW Machine is turned on their REAL targets: not Iran, but any Americans who might question Glorious Leader's "tough" actions....

[Jan 03, 2020] I guess Trump decided had to make the 1914-vintage Hapsburgs look relatively competent

Bombing a civilian airport in another country in order to assassinate Iranian and Iraq leaders is a very bad diplomacy ;-)
It might well be that today this idiot blow up his chances fro reelection because revenge is dish that should be served cold and Iran can postpone it for 11 months or so.
What is interesting is that neoliberal MSM are glad and still talking about Zelensky and impeachment. What a country ! It looks like the decade of the twenties can be the decade of another World War. "In every war the first casualty is truth."
Jan 03, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

I guess somebody had to make the 1914-vintage Hapsburgs look relatively competent,

Trump think that the war with Iran will be another cake walk, like in Afghanistan and Iraq. This is a proof that he is a senile idiot.

[Jan 03, 2020] If you previously have doubts that Trump is senile warmonger, not you have a definite proof

Bombing a civilian airport in another country in order to assassinate Iranian and Iraq leaders is a very bad diplomacy ;-)
It might well be that today this idiot blow up his chances fro reelection because revenge is dish that should be served cold and Iran can postpone it for 11 months or so.
What is interesting is that neoliberal MSM are glad and still talking about Zelensky and impeachment. What a country ! It looks like the decade of the twenties can be the decade of another World War. "In every war the first casualty is truth."
Jan 03, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Trump think that the war with Iran will be another cake walk, like in Afghanistan and Iraq. This is a proof that he is a senile idiot.

[Jan 03, 2020] Is not it strange that Wikipeaida founder was former pornography seller and Bellingcat founder -- a female underwear salesman

Jan 03, 2020 | www.unz.com

Brabantian says: Show Comment

January 2, 2020 at 6:56 am GMT 200 Words Intelligence agencies recruit pornographers to lead their disinformation operations, apparently because porn purveyors are so lacking in ethics they will tell public lies about anything

The alleged 'founder' of Wikipedia is the arch-Zionist Jimmy 'Jimbo' Wales, who attends intimate birthday parties of Presidents of Israel

Wales was 'selected' for this role after being in the pornography-selling business

[Jan 03, 2020] A new brilliant diplomatic strategy of Trump administration: Threatening Iran by killing Iraqis

"USA clusterfuck express hurtles headlong down the track for a rendezvous with disaster: War with a united Iraq and Iran, with the latter backed by the Russians and Chinese. https://www.checkpointasia.net/iraqi-pm-told-trump-gang-they-didnt-have-permission-to-bomb-iraqi-paramilitaries-they-did-it-anyway/ "
Jan 03, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

et Al January 2, 2020 at 10:32 am

Sic Semper tyrannis: Our Embassy in Baghdad – TTG
https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/

For weeks, it was Iranian consulates and facilities that bore the brunt of Iraqi popular unrest. Iran reacted with restraint. With our lethal attacks on the Kata'ib Hezbollah, we changed that. Pompeo, Esper and Trump are keeping up the trash talking. Threatening Iran by killing Iraqis whose ass was that brilliant diplomatic strategy pulled from?
####

Plenty more at the link.

Have dick, will step on!

[Jan 03, 2020] Did Winston Churchill really say: "Poland is a greedy hyena of Europe."?

See also https://www.quora.com/Did-Winston-Churchill-really-say-Poland-is-a-greedy-hyena-of-Europe-In-what-context
Jan 03, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile December 30, 2019 at 11:30 am

US Ambassador to Poland gets her 2 cents in as regards the comments of Vladimir Putin and others in the Empire of Evil concerning the Molotov – Ribbentrop Non-Aggression Pact and Polish pre-WWII connivings with Nazi Germany.

Russian politicians had earlier strongly condemned the position of Warsaw, which does not consider itself responsible for any of the events leading up to the outbreak of WWII in Europe. Thus, the speaker of the state Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin, urged Polish "colleagues" to apologize for the anti-Semitic remarks of Jozef Lipsky, former Polish Ambassador to Nazi Germany, who supported some ideas of Adolf Hitler and even suggested putting up a monument to him in honour of his plans to deport European Jews to Madagascar. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova also criticized the attempt of Poland to rewrite history in favour of its political interests.

On Sunday, the Prime Minister of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki, criticized the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and actually laid the blame on the USSR for starting WWII along with Nazi Germany.

Head of the scientific Department of the Russian Military Historical Society, Yuri Nikiforov, noted that the Warsaw version of events leading to WWII was a "totally ideologized interpretation of history by orderr" and had nothing to do with the historical truth, and was promoting its version of history in order to weaken Russian influence on the world stage.

Drogi Prezydencie Putin, to Hitler i Stalin zmówili się, aby rozpocząć II wojnę światową. To jest fakt. Polska była ofiarą tego okropnego konfliktu.

-- Georgette Mosbacher (@USAmbPoland) December 30, 2019

Dear President Putin, it was Hitler and Stalin who agreed to start World War II. This is a fact. Poland was a victim of this terrible conflict.

Dear American business executive, entrepreneur and untrained diplomat now acting as US Ambassador to Poland, try studying some history.

By the way, before your plum appointment as ambassador to Poland, wasn't it you who suggested that Poland was responsible for the re-emergence of anti-Semitism across the continent of Europe because of a law which criminalizes blaming Poland for the actions of Nazi Germany on its soil during the Holocaust?

And wasn't it headbanger of a Polish President Andrzej Duda who stated that if you were to be appointed as the new U.S. ambassador to Poland, then you would be accepted, despite having made "unnecessary and mistaken" comments about his country?

Can't you see that the truth as regards WWII matters is only that which is approved by the Poles?

source

yalensis December 31, 2019 at 4:19 am
The Poles are putting Germany in an awkward position.
The official position of the modern German government (based on Nurnberg, etc.) is that Germany, and Germany alone, is responsible for the outbreak of WWII. Not the Soviet Union. Just Germany, ma'am, just Germany.

So, in the face of this Polish revisionism, as Russian analysts are pointing out, Germany will either have to (a) bitch-slap Poland, or (b) renounce their entire official state policy and historical ideology since their defeat in WWII and start singing Horst Wessel Lied again.

What, oh what, will Germany do?

[Jan 02, 2020] The Art of Doublespeak Bellingcat and Mind Control by Edward Curtin

Notable quotes:
"... Bellingcat is an alleged group of amateur on-line researchers who have spent years shilling for the U.S. instigated war against the Syrian government, blaming the Douma chemical attack and others on the Assad government, and for the anti-Russian propaganda connected to, among other things, the Skripal poisoning case in England, and the downing of flight MH17 plane in Ukraine. ..."
"... The Intercept , along with its parent company First Look Media, recently hosted a workshop for pro-war, Google-funded organization Bellingcat in New York. The workshop, which cost $2,500 per person to attend and lasted five days, aimed to instruct participants in how to perform investigations using "open source" tools -- with Bellingcat's past, controversial investigations for use as case studies Thus, while The Intercept has long publicly promoted itself as an anti-interventionist and progressive media outlet, it is becoming clearer that – largely thanks to its ties to Omidyar – it is increasingly an organization that has more in common with Bellingcat, a group that launders NATO and U.S. propaganda and disguises it as "independent" and "investigative journalism." ..."
Dec 17, 2019 | countercurrents.org

In the 1920s, the influential American intellectual Walter Lippman argued that the average person was incapable of seeing or understanding the world clearly and needed to be guided by experts behind the social curtain. In a number of books he laid out the theoretical foundations for the practical work of Edward Bernays , who developed "public relations" (aka propaganda) to carry out this task for the ruling elites. Bernays had honed his skills while working as a propagandist for the United States during World War I, and after the war he set himself up as a public relations counselor in New York City.

There is a fascinating exchange at the beginning of Adam Curtis's documentary, The Century of Self , where Bernays, then nearly 100 years old but still very sharp, reveals his manipulative mindset and that of so many of those who have followed in his wake. He says the reason he couldn't call his new business "propaganda" was because the Germans had given propaganda a "bad name," and so he came up with the euphemism "public relations." He then adds that "if you could use it [i.e. propaganda] for war, you certainly could use it for peace." Of course, he never used PR for peace but just to manipulate public opinion (he helped engineer the CIA coup against the democratically elected Arbenz government in Guatemala in 1954 with fake news broadcasts). He says "the Germans gave propaganda a bad name," not Bernays and the United States with their vast campaign of lies, mainly aimed at the American people to get their support for going to a war they opposed (think weapons of mass destruction). He sounds proud of his war propaganda work that resounded to his credit since it led to support for the "war to end all wars" and subsequently to a hit movie about WWI , Yankee Doodle Dandy , made in 1942 to promote another war, since the first one somehow didn't achieve its lofty goal.

As Bernays has said in his book Propaganda ,

The American motion picture is the greatest unconscious carrier of propaganda in the world today.

He was a propagandist to the end. I suspect most viewers of the film are taken in by these softly spoken words of an old man sipping a glass of wine at a dinner table with a woman who is asking him questions. I have shown this film to hundreds of students and none has noticed his legerdemain. It is an example of the sort of hocus-pocus I will be getting to shortly, the sly insertion into seemingly liberal or matter-of-fact commentary of statements that imply a different story. The placement of convincing or confusing disingenuous ingredients into a truth sandwich – for Bernays knew that the bread of truth is essential to conceal untruth.

In the following years, Bernays, Lippman, and their ilk were joined by social "scientists," psychologists, and sundry others intent on making a sham out of the idea of democracy by developing strategies and techniques for the engineering of social consensus consonant with the wishes of the ruling classes. Their techniques of propaganda developed exponentially with the development of technology, the creation of the CIA, its infiltration of all the major media, and that agency's courting of what the CIA official Cord Meyer called in the 1950s "the compatible left," having already had the right in its pocket. Today most people are, as is said, "wired," and they get their information from the electronic media that is mostly controlled by giant corporations in cahoots with government propagandists. Ask yourself: Has the power of the oligarchic, permanent warfare state with its propaganda and spy networks increased or decreased over your lifetime. The answer is obvious: the average people that Lippman and Bernays trashed are losing and the ruling elites are winning.

This is not just because powerful propagandists are good at controlling so-called "average" people's thinking, but, perhaps more importantly, because they are also adept – probably more so – at confusing or directing the thinking of those who consider themselves above average, those who still might read a book or two or have the concentration to read multiple articles that offer different perspectives on a topic. This is what some call the professional and intellectual classes, perhaps 15-20 % of the population, most of whom are not the ruling elites but their employees and sometimes their mouthpieces. It is this segment of the population that considers itself "informed," but the information they imbibe is often sprinkled with bits of misdirection, both intentional and not, that beclouds their understanding of important public matters but leaves them with the false impression that they are in the know.

Recently I have noticed a group of interconnected examples of how this group of the population that exerts influence incommensurate with their numbers has contributed to the blurring of lines between fact and fiction. Within this group there are opinion makers who are often journalists, writers, and cultural producers of some sort or other, and then the larger number of the intellectual or schooled class who follow their opinions. This second group then passes on their received opinions to those who look up to them.

There is a notorious propaganda outfit called Bellingcat , started by an unemployed Englishman named Eliot Higgins, that has been funded by The Atlantic Council, a think-tank with deep ties to the U.S. government, NATO, war manufacturers, and their allies, and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), another infamous U.S. front organization heavily involved in so-called color revolution regime change operations all around the world, that has just won the International Emmy Award for best documentary. The film with the Orwellian title, Bellingcat: Truth in a Post-Truth World, received its Emmy at a recent ceremony in New York City.

Bellingcat is an alleged group of amateur on-line researchers who have spent years shilling for the U.S. instigated war against the Syrian government, blaming the Douma chemical attack and others on the Assad government, and for the anti-Russian propaganda connected to, among other things, the Skripal poisoning case in England, and the downing of flight MH17 plane in Ukraine.

It has been lauded by the corporate mainstream media in the west. Its support for the equally fraudulent White Helmets (also funded by the US and the UK) in Syria has also been praised by the western corporate media while being dissected as propaganda by many excellent independent journalists such as Eva Bartlett, Vanessa Beeley, Catte Black, among others. It's had its work skewered by the likes of Seymour Hersh and MIT professor Theodore Postol, and its US government connections pointed out by many others, including Ben Norton and Max Blumenthal at The Gray Zone. And now we have the mainstream media's wall of silence on the leaks from the Organization for the Prohibition on Chemical Weapons (OPCW) concerning the Douma chemical attack and the doctoring of their report that led to the illegal U.S. bombing of Syria in the spring of 2018. Bellingcat was at the forefront of providing justification for such bombing, and now the journalists Peter Hitchens, Tareq Harrad (who recently resigned from Newsweek after accusing the publication of suppressing his revelations about the OPCW scandal) and others are fighting an uphill battle to get the truth out.

Yet Bellingcat: Truth in a Post-Truth World won the Emmy , fulfilling Bernays' point about films being the greatest unconscious carriers of propaganda in the world today.

Who presented the Emmy Award to the film makers, but none other than the rebel journalist Chris Hedges . Why he did so, I don't know. But that he did so clearly sends a message to those who follow his work and trust him that it's okay to give a major cultural award to a propaganda outfit. But then, perhaps he doesn't consider Bellingcat to be that.

Nor, one presumes, does The Intercept , the billionaire Pierre Omidyar owned publication associated with Glen Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill, and also read by many progressive-minded people. The Intercept that earlier this year disbanded the small team that was tasked with reviewing and releasing more of the massive trove of documents they received from Edward Snowden six years ago, a minute number of which have ever been released or probably ever will be. As Whitney Webb pointed out , last year The Intercept hosted a workshop for Bellingcat. She wrote:

The Intercept , along with its parent company First Look Media, recently hosted a workshop for pro-war, Google-funded organization Bellingcat in New York. The workshop, which cost $2,500 per person to attend and lasted five days, aimed to instruct participants in how to perform investigations using "open source" tools -- with Bellingcat's past, controversial investigations for use as case studies Thus, while The Intercept has long publicly promoted itself as an anti-interventionist and progressive media outlet, it is becoming clearer that – largely thanks to its ties to Omidyar – it is increasingly an organization that has more in common with Bellingcat, a group that launders NATO and U.S. propaganda and disguises it as "independent" and "investigative journalism."

Then we have Jefferson Morley , the editor of The Deep State, former Washington Post journalist, and JFK assassination researcher, who has written a praiseworthy review of the Bellingcat film and who supports Bellingcat. "In my experience, Bellingcat is credible," he writes in an Alternet article, "Bellingcat documentary has the pace and plot of a thriller."

Morley has also just written an article for Counterpunch "Why the Douma Chemical Attack Wasn't a 'Managed Massacre'" – in which he disputes the claim that the April 7, 2018 attack in the Damascus suburb was a false flag operation carried out by Assad's opponents. "I do not see any evidence proving that Douma was a false flag incident," he writes in this article that is written in a style that leaves one guessing as to what exactly he is saying. It sounds convincing unless one concentrates, and then his double messages emerge. Yet it is the kind of article that certain "sophisticated" left-wing readers might read and feel is insightful. But then Morley, who has written considerably about the CIA, edits a website that advertises itself as "the thinking person's portal to the world of secret government," and recently had an exchange with former CIA Director John Brennan where "Brennan put a friendly finger on my chest," said in February 2017, less than a month after Trump was sworn in as president, that:

With a docile Republican majority in Congress and a demoralized Democratic Party in opposition, the leaders of the Deep State are the most -- perhaps the only -- credible check in Washington on what Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) calls Trump's " wrecking ball presidency ."

Is it any wonder that some people might be a bit confused?

"I know what you're thinking about," said Tweedledum; "but it isn't so, nohow."

"Contrariwise," continued Tweedledee, "if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic."

As a final case in point, there is a recent book by Stephen Kinzer , Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb And The CIA Search For Mind Control, t he story of the chemist known as Dr. Death who ran the CIA's MK-ULTRA mind control project, using LSD, torture, electric shock therapy, hypnosis, etc.; developed sadistic methods of torture still used in black sites around the world; and invented various ingenious techniques for assassination, many of which were aimed at Fidel Castro. Gottlieb was responsible for brutal prison and hospital experiments and untold death and suffering inflicted on all sorts of innocent people. His work was depraved in the deepest sense; he worked with Nazis who experimented on Jews despite being Jewish himself.

Kinzer writes in depth about this man who considered himself a patriot and a spiritual person – a humane torturer and killer. It is an eye-opening book for anyone who does not know about Gottlieb, who gave the CIA the essential tools they use in their "organized crime" activities around the world – in the words of Douglass Valentine, the author of The CIA as Organized Crime and The Phoenix Program . Kinzer's book is good history on Gottlieb; however, he doesn't venture into the present activities of the CIA and Gottlieb's patriotic followers, who no doubt exist and go about their business in secret.

After recounting in detail the sordid history of Gottlieb's secret work that is nauseating to read about, Kinzer leaves the reader with these strange words:

Gottlieb was not a sadist, but he might well have been . Above all he was an instrument of history. Understanding him is a deeply disturbing way of understanding ourselves.

What possibly could this mean? Not a sadist? An instrument of history? Understanding ourselves? These few sentences, dropped out of nowhere, pull the rug out from under what is generally an illuminating history and what seems like a moral indictment. This language is pure mystification.

Kinzer also concludes that because Gottlieb said so, the CIA failed in their efforts to develop methods of mind control and ended MK-ULTRA's experiments long ago. Why would he believe the word of a man who personified the agency he worked for: a secret liar? He writes,

When Sydney Gottlieb brough MK-ULTRA to its end in the early 1960s, he told his CIA superiors that he had found no reliable way to wipe away memory, make people abandon their consciences, or commit crimes and then forget them.

As for those who might think otherwise, Kinzer suggests they have vivid imaginations and are caught up in conspiracy thinking: "This [convincing others that the CIA had developed methods of mind control when they hadn't] is Sydney Gottlieb's most unexpected legacy," he asserts. He says this although Richard Helms, the CIA Director, destroyed all MK-Ultra records. He says that Allen Dulles, Gottlieb, and Helms themselves were caught up in a complete fantasy about mind control because they had seen too many movies and read too many books; mind control was impossible, a failure, a myth, he maintains. It is the stuff of popular culture, entertainment. In an interview with Chris Hedges, interestingly posted by Jefferson Morley at his website, The Deep State , Hedges agrees with Kinzer. Gottlieb, Dulles, et al. were all deluded. Mind control was impossible. You couldn't create a Manchurian Candidate; by implication, someone like Sirhan Sirhan could not have been programmed to be a fake Manchurian Candidate and to have no memory of what he did, as he claims. He could not have been mind-controlled by the CIA to perform his part as the seeming assassin of Senator Robert Kennedy while the real killer shot RFK from behind. People who think like this should get real.

Furthermore, as is so common in books such as Kinzer's, he repeats the canard that JFK and RFK knew about and pressured the CIA to assassinate Fidel Castro. This is demonstrably false, as shown by the Church Committee and the Assassinations Record Review Board, among many others. That Kinzer takes the word of notorious liars like Richard Helms and the top-level CIA operative Samuel Halpern is simple incredible, something that is hard to consider a mistake. Slipped into a truth sandwich, it is devoured and passed on. But it is false. Bullshit meant to deceive.

But this is how these games are played. If you look carefully, you will see them widely. Inform, enlighten, while throwing in doubletalk and untruths. The small number of people who read such books and articles will come away knowing some history that has no current relevance and being misinformed on other history that does. They will then be in the know, ready to pass their "wisdom" on to those who care to listen. They will not think they are average.

But they will be mind controlled, and the killer cat will roam freely without a bell, ready to devour the unsuspecting mice.

Edward Curtin is a writer whose work has appeared widely. He teaches sociology at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. His website is http://edwardcurtin.com/

[Jan 02, 2020] In his 2007 Munich speech wherein Putin made one very prescient observation: "It is a world in which there is one master, one sovereign. And at the end of the day this is pernicious not only for all those within this system, but also for the sovereign itself because it destroys itself from within."

Jan 02, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Dec 31 2019 22:14 utc | 51

Patrick Armstrong recaps the past 20 years since Putin wrote "Russia at the turn of the millennium" , where Putin stressed the aspects of geoeconomics as most important while barely mentioning Russia's military.

What Armstrong fails to connect is the need for the first to be accomplished so that the second has a chance of complete success: Russia's political-economy needed resuscitating and strong-arming in the case of the kleptocrats for Russia's condition to be as bright as it is on the dawn of a new decade 1/5 of the way into the 21st Century.

Armstrong also tarries at length with Putin's 2007 Munich speech wherein Putin made one very prescient observation: "It is a world in which there is one master, one sovereign. And at the end of the day this is pernicious not only for all those within this system, but also for the sovereign itself because it destroys itself from within."

Armstrong uses Putin's observation made after the Outlaw US Empire's failed attempt to prolong its Unipolar Moment in Iraq after it attacked itself to cause that conlict to show the self-inflicted damage has yet to stop:

"Do we not see this today? The USA is tearing itself apart over imagined Russian collusion, imagined Russian electoral interference and real Ukrainian corruption. And, meanwhile, the forever wars go on and on."

In 2016, I thought there was an excellent chance the D-Party would splinter in a manner similar to 1860 that was generated by both bottom->up and top->down forces. And in light of the court decision allowing the DNC to name whomever it wants as its POTUS and VEEP candidates regardless of both primary and convention balloting, IMO that possibility is even greater as like 2016 the DNC will not--cannot--anoint Sanders as its POTUS candidate. But all that's the subject for another comment.

The dynamics of geopolitics has allowed the China/Russia team and its allies to usher the EU into Eurasian integration over the next decade while exposing the Outlaw US Empire as nothing but a Ponzi Scheme that will collapse upon itself at some point in time.

karlof1 , Dec 31 2019 23:28 utc | 54

Xi Jinping's New Years speech is motivational as one would expect. His closing exhortations:

"2020 will be a year of milestone significance. We will finish building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and realize the first centenary goal. 2020 will also be a year of decisive victory for the elimination of poverty....

"Human history, like a river, runs forever, witnessing both peaceful moments and great disturbances. We are not afraid of storms and dangers and barriers. China is determined to walk along the road of peaceful development and will resolutely safeguard world peace and promote common development. We are willing to join hands with people of all countries in the world to build together the Belt and Road Initiative, and push forward the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, and make unremitting efforts for the creation of a beautiful future for mankind ." [My Emphasis]

Clearly, China has grasped the leadership role abandoned by the Outlaw US Empire for promoting humanity, Trump and Pompeo's daily actions giving China's position a continual boost.

Putin's New Year speech is short but emphasizes his key points. Do note that for Russians the New Year celebration is akin to the West's Christmas (or perhaps was is the better verb):

"Friends, we always prepare for the New Year in advance and, despite being busy, we believe that the warmth of human relations and companionship are the most important thing. We strive to do something important and useful for other people and to help those who require our support, to make them happy by giving them presents and our attention.

"Such sincere impulses, pure thoughts and selfless generosity are the true magic of the New Year holiday. It brings out the best in people and transforms the world filling it with joy and smiles.

"Uplifting New Year's feelings and wonderful impressions have been living in us since childhood and come back every New Year, when we hug our loved ones, our parents, prepare surprises for our children and grandchildren, decorate the New Year tree with them and unpack once again paper cut-outs, baubles and glass garlands. These, sometimes ancient, but beloved family trinkets give their warmth to the younger generations."

His preamble is nationalist; his message paternalistic and humanist.

IMO, the Scrooges of the Outlaw US Empire's Current Oligarchy haven't a chance versus the likes of Putin, Xi and their likeminded allies.

I'll leave my fellow barflies with this 32 year-old music video that IMO well expresses the heart sets of Putin, Xi, and those of us who want to share the world they're trying to build instead of what the Outlaw US Empire's trying to pull down and destroy.

Happy New Year!

[Jan 01, 2020] Protocols of the Elders of White Christendom by changing the dominant identity). The key idea, is that well-off, white, Christian men are being oppressed by virtue of challenges to their natural position of dominance, and rejection of their natural expectation of deference .

Jan 01, 2020 | crookedtimber.org

The central claim is also addressed to white Christian women, particularly married women, who are assumed to identify their interests with those of their families.

Gorgonzola Petrovna 12.31.19 at 3:35 pm ( 18 )

Ha-ha. Protocols of the Elders of White Christendom.

[Jan 01, 2020] In one poll 18% of the USA respondents are clearly suicidal

Jan 01, 2020 | twitter.com

Reply 1 Retweet 2 Retweeted 2 Like 5 Liked 5 Thanks. Twitter will use this to make your timeline better. Undo Undo stefania maurizi Retweeted

David Santoro ‏ 4:29 PM - 28 Dec 2019

Should (and can) we re-confirm the Reagan-Gorbatchev statement that "A # nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought?" Plus say why

[Jan 01, 2020] "Freedom gas" named Worst Words of the Year

Jan 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Mao , Dec 30 2019 9:03 utc | 48

"Freedom gas" named Worst Words of the Year

Plain English Foundation has voted freedom gas as the worst word or phrase of 2019.

The term comes from the United States Department of Energy, which rebranded natural gas as "freedom gas" and boasted about bringing molecules of US freedom to the world.

"When a simple product like natural gas starts being named through partisan politics, we are entering dangerous terrain," said the Foundation's Executive Director, Dr Neil James. "Why can't natural gas just remain natural gas?"

Each year, Plain English Foundation gathers dozens of examples of the worst words to highlight the importance of clear and ethical public language.

The full list of 2019's worst words and phrases follows.

https://www.plainenglishfoundation.com/documents/10179/636280/2019_Worst_Words_media_release

[Dec 31, 2019] "Freedom gas" named Worst Words of the Year

Dec 31, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Mao , Dec 30 2019 9:03 utc | 48

"Freedom gas" named Worst Words of the Year

Plain English Foundation has voted freedom gas as the worst word or phrase of 2019.

The term comes from the United States Department of Energy, which rebranded natural gas as "freedom gas" and boasted about bringing molecules of US freedom to the world.

"When a simple product like natural gas starts being named through partisan politics, we are entering dangerous terrain," said the Foundation's Executive Director, Dr Neil James. "Why can't natural gas just remain natural gas?"

Each year, Plain English Foundation gathers dozens of examples of the worst words to highlight the importance of clear and ethical public language.

The full list of 2019's worst words and phrases follows.

https://www.plainenglishfoundation.com/documents/10179/636280/2019_Worst_Words_media_release

[Dec 30, 2019] "Don't Touch Kids You Pervert!": Biden Middle School Gymnasium Rally Melts Down Into Chaos

Dec 30, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

"How much money did you make in Ukraine?"

[Dec 30, 2019] Looking at Rachel Maddow I miss the days when a man could just accuse a woman of being a witch and trust the fine upstanding townspeople to take care of the rest

Dec 30, 2019 | www.washingtonpost.com

1 day ago Maddow is really a propagandist. She really isn't a journalist. Because her credibility and ratings have gone south because so many of the big stories she has been obliged to push have been fake from the get-go. People start to notice that after a while. You can't fool all of the people all of the time as Abe observed. 1 day ago It has been determined to have been a fabrication. It is not just controversial. Maddow may be spot on in fooling her drooling sycophants, but facts seldom ever interfere with her fairy tales and TDS motivated delusions. 10 hours ago Rational Agent:
The CIA told the FBI that the material in the Steele dossier is merely Internet gossip and bar room talk. This is in the inspector general's report (issued Dec 9) and public testimony under oath before Congress (Dec 11).

There were several agents in the FBI who were disturbed about the unverified nature of this material, and they were overruled by other agents and their supervisors and this material was then presented to the FISA court four times in the knowledge that it was unverified but the court was told it was verified. That is also in the inspector general's Report and public testimony.

The result of this misconduct was that the head judge of the FISA court Rosemary Collyer, issued on Dec 16 an unprecedented and angry public rebuke of the FBI for repeatedly deceiving the court about the veracity of the Steele dossier.

Enough for you? 1 day ago With apologies to Bob Dylan:

"A man (or woman) sees what he (she) wants to see and disregards the rest."

If you're tuned into cable 'news' at 9 p.m. eastern time looking for objective journalism, well, good luck with that. Cuomo is probably the best bet; he offers a little bit. 1 day ago I think the apology should be to Paul Simon?

https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=a+man+sees+what+he+wants+to+see+and+disregards+the+rest+lyrics

Not withstanding that, your point is well made. Not much in the way of great thought on the telly at that time on any station. 1 day ago Independents view Rachael Maddow, Chris Cuomo and Sean Hannity as hate peddlers who spin, lie and twist every single issue to fit their fantasy of how the world exists. I cannot imagine how anyone with a brain or any semblance of logic could be a regular viewer of these hate mongers. If one does a cursory analysis of the predictions these people have made over the past couple of years, you will quickly see how ridiculous and wrong they have been. The bigger problem is that they represent their news organizations and only add to the distrust and declining reliance that rational folks have of the Media. 2 days ago [she is] Just another CIA mouthpiece. 2 days ago Maddow is being sued by the One America News Network for stating the latter were 'really, literally' Russian assets.

Maddows is furiously back pedalling, not standing by what she said. This speaks volumes.

Maddows is evil. 2 days ago The Steele dossier is trash. A joke. Comprehensively discredited. Only the wilfully blind or deluded would believe otherwise. Proof that [neo]liberalism is a form of mental illness. 1 day ago If it is all propaganda, then we are truly living in a post-truth world. In this world there are no facts, only competing narratives. This allows us to sink into fact-free thinking and rely only on our prejudices (or our "gut") to determine our preferences. 2 days ago " The case against Maddow is far stronger. When small bits of news arose in favor of the dossier, the franchise MSNBC host pumped air into them. At least some of her many fans surely came away from her broadcasts thinking the dossier was a serious piece of investigative research, not the flimflam, quick-twitch game of telephone outlined in the Horowitz report. She seemed to be rooting for the document."

[Dec 30, 2019] In the UK Do Subjects Deserve their Rulers Dissident Voice

Dec 30, 2019 | dissidentvoice.org

by Andre Vltchek / December 24th, 2019

I constantly receive such letters; letters which repeat, again and again, year after year, basically the same thing: "If only we would have an opportunity to vote out our damn system!"

Such letters, emails and messages keep coming to me from the United States, but also from the United Kingdom. Particularly, after certain events , like when the Western empire overthrows some progressive government in Asia, Latin America or the Middle East.

I honestly wonder: "Don't my readers actually periodically have that proverbial opportunity they are longing for? They can, can't they, install socialism; to let it storm into Downing Street like an early spring?"

But they keep missing that opportunity, again and again. Or, are they really missing it? Actually, for so many years they have voted in the most extreme forms of capitalism and imperialism, so one has to wonder whether the British voters perhaps truly deserve their rulers?

[Dec 29, 2019] Neoliberal Christmas Sampler

Dec 29, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

American healthcare rocks because my daughter's hospital playset i put together includes a debit card and payment system pic.twitter.com/fyTpbDbgvB

&mdash; Casey Taylor (@CTWritePretty) December 25, 2019

Neoliberal Christmas (2):

None of the kids wanted toys for Christmas this year, they just wanted cash. Understandable, but cash as a gift, while practical, always feels impersonal, so I made special packaging. Went over well pic.twitter.com/urXVCHtDyW

&mdash; Donnachaidha O'Chionnaigh (@TwoClawsMedia) December 26, 2019

Neoliberal Christmas (3):

'Tis the season.
(ht @dzennon ) pic.twitter.com/UCq6OSQzRT

&mdash; ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) December 25, 2019

I'm so old I remember when serious people thought television comedians were serious political players:

Fondly remembering Christmas 2018 and how well this all turned out pic.twitter.com/WoPbGp5JIg

&mdash; A Flock of Seagals (@ASegals) December 25, 2019

Making a list and checking it twice:

Tech companies take your privacy seriously, and also use data from inside your home for cutesy press releases about visits from carolers and people seeking cookie recipes. https://t.co/o5Lk0G47QL pic.twitter.com/QX6fvcCFAB

&mdash; Shira Ovide (@ShiraOvide) December 26, 2019

[Dec 29, 2019] We received a wonderful Christmas gift from the Department of Schadenfreude in the form of this story from the Washington Post about MadCow

Dec 29, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

" Rachel Maddow rooted for the Steele dossier to be true. Then it fell apart ":

She was there for the bunkings, absent for the debunkings -- a pattern of misleading and dishonest asymmetry.

[Dec 29, 2019] Note on Washington's bizarre priorities by James Antle

Notable quotes:
"... ...Michael Tracey offered this apt summary of Washington's bizarre priorities: "This last week teaches us that temporarily freezing and then unfreezing future military aid to one of our many far-flung client states is [a] huge national emergency but the government systematically lying about every aspect of the longest war in U.S. history is a forgettable non-issue." ..."
Dec 29, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

...Michael Tracey offered this apt summary of Washington's bizarre priorities: "This last week teaches us that temporarily freezing and then unfreezing future military aid to one of our many far-flung client states is [a] huge national emergency but the government systematically lying about every aspect of the longest war in U.S. history is a forgettable non-issue."

[Dec 29, 2019] Christmas is known as "the season of giving"

Dec 29, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

#2 This is known as "the season of giving", but one 65-year-old guy in Colorado decided it would be more fun to do it with other people's money : Just after noon on Monday, a 65-year-old man walked into a downtown Colorado Springs, Colorado bank and stole thousands of dollars before running outside and tossing the cash up into the air while yelling "Merry Christmas!"

#8 One rapper in Los Angeles decided that the best way to address the problem of homelessness was to climb on top of a tall building and throw cash down on to the homeless people living on Skid Row so they could fight over it: The 22-year-old rapper known as Blueface climbed onboard a black Mercedes SUV in Skid Row before throwing money out of a bag while dozens of people below scramble to catch the flying cash and pick it up from the ground. The artist, whose real name is Jonathan Michael Porteris, is known for the Benjamin Franklin tattoo on his cheek and a handful of hit tracks that reached viral status in recent years.

[Dec 29, 2019] Maddow Meltdown In Defense To OAN Lawsuit, Host Argues Her Words Are Not Facts

Are We About To Return To The Principle That "Actions Have Consequences"?
Notable quotes:
"... And she has also apparently hired Lionel Hutz as her legal adviser. ..."
"... Oh, it's capable of being proved false, alright. ..."
Dec 29, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
reported that TV network OAN had filed a lawsuit against Rachel Maddow for the time the host said that OAN "really, literally is paid Russian propaganda."

Now, Maddow finds herself having to come up with a defense for her statement in court. And she has also apparently hired Lionel Hutz as her legal adviser.

According to Culttture , her lawyers argued in a recent motion that " the liberal host was clearly offering up her 'own unique expression' of her views to capture what she saw as the 'ridiculous' nature of the undisputed facts. Her comment, therefore, is a quintessential statement 'of rhetorical hyperbole, incapable of being proved true or false."

Oh, it's capable of being proved false, alright. Maddow had previously claimed, on air, about one of OAN's reporters:

"In this case, the most obsequiously pro-Trump right wing news outlet in America is really literally is paid Russian propaganda," and added, "Their on-air politics reporter ( Kristian Rouz) is paid by the Russian government to produce propaganda for that government."

The testimony of UC Santa Barbara linguistics professor Stefan Thomas Gries, however, stands at odds with Maddow's defense. Gries said: "It is very unlikely that an average or reasonable/ordinary viewer would consider the sentence in question to be a statement of opinion."

[Dec 28, 2019] Senior OPCW Official Busted Leaked Email Exposes Orders To Delete All Traces Of Dissent On Douma

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Imagine millions of government employees paid for by America's tax payer class, involved in covert operations undermining nation states for the benefit of war mongering shadow overlords counting on more never ending chaos feeding their hunger for power. ..."
"... This isn't Orwell's 1984, this Team America on opioids. ..."
"... Senior OPCW official had orders from US/ the Donald. Remember that the Donald bombed Syria based on this fake report , after a false flag done by Al Qaeda's artistic branch, the White Helmets. ..."
"... Pray, do tell where are the consequences for these literal demons that engaged in war crimes? It is quite clear: as long as you are a member of the establishment, you can do whatever the f*ck you want. ..."
"... Third rate script, third rate actors and crooked investigators. TPTB seem to have a plan worked out. Their problem now is that we, the hoi-polloi, have seen it all before, many times, and we can now recognise ******** when it's used to try to influence us. ..."
"... If this is not lamentable enough, the OPCW – whose final report came to more than a hundred pages and which even issued an easy-to-read precis version for journalists – now slams shut its steel doors in the hope of preventing even more information reaching the press. ..."
"... Instead of these pieces concentrating on the whistleblower how about putting a little heat on the 50 lying bastards who initiated the coverup? ..."
"... The destruction of the countries of the Middle East for the sake of a dwarf with giant ambitions is the most stupid thing the United States has done over the past 30 years in its foreign policy. And yes, all the wars in the Middle East were grounded in lies. And the Americans paid for it all from start to finish. When Americans realize that they need to defend their national interests, and not other people's national interests, maybe something in the Middle East will change for the better. True, I am afraid that with the hight level of stupidity and shortsightedness that is common among Americans, the United States is more likely to be destroyed faster. No offense. ..."
"... And I propose to remember the Syrian Christians who were destroyed by the Saudi Wahhabis, hired by the CIA with the money of American taxpayers and at the request of Israel. Until the Americans begin to investigate the activities of the CIA (and this activity causes the United States only harm), the responsibility for this genocide (you heard right) will be on the American nation. It turns out that in the Middle East you are primarily destroying Christians. How interesting, why such zeal. ..."
"... According to whistleblower testimony and leaked documents, OPCW officials raised alarm about the suppression of critical findings that undermine the allegation that the Syrian government committed a chemical weapons attack in the city of Douma in April 2018. Haddad's editors at Newsweek rejected his attempts to cover the story. "If I don't find another position in journalism because of this, I'm perfectly happy to accept that consequence," Haddad says. "It's not desirable. But there is no way I could have continued in that job knowing that I couldn't report something like this." ..."
"... New leaks continue to expose a cover-up by the OPCW – the world's top chemical weapons watchdog – over a critical event in Syria. Documents, emails, and testimony from OPCW officials have raised major doubts about the allegation that the Syrian government committed a chemical weapons attack in the city of Douma in April 2018. The leaked OPCW information has been released in pieces by Wikileaks. The latest documents contain a number of significant revelations – including that that about 20 OPCW officials voiced concerns that their scientific findings and on-the-ground evidence was suppressed and excluded. ..."
Dec 28, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Senior OPCW Official Busted: Leaked Email Exposes Orders To "Delete All Traces" Of Dissent On Douma by Tyler Durden Sat, 12/28/2019 - 10:30 0 SHARES

Via AlMasdarNews.com,

Wikileaks has released their fourth set of leaks from the OPCW's Douma investigation, revealing new details about the alleged deletion of important information regarding the fact-finding mission.

RELEASE: OPCW-Douma Docs 4. Four leaked documents from the OPCW reveal that toxicologists ruled out deaths from chlorine exposure and a senior official ordered the deletion of the dissenting engineering report from OPCW's internal repository of documents. https://t.co/ndK4sRikNk

-- WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) December 27, 2019

"One of the documents is an e-mail exchange dated 27 and 28 February between members of the fact finding mission (FFM) deployed to Douma and the senior officials of the OPCW. It includes an e-mail from Sebastien Braha, Chief of Cabinet at the OPCW , where he instructs that an engineering report from Ian Henderson should be removed from the secure registry of the organisation," WikiLeaks writes. Included in the email is the following directive:

" Please get this document out of DRA [Documents Registry Archive] And please remove all traces, if any, of its delivery/storage/whatever in DRA.'"

According to Wikileaks, the main finding of Henderson, who inspected the sites in Douma, was that two of the cylinders were most likely manually placed at the site, rather than dropped.

"The main finding of Henderson, who inspected the sites in Douma and two cylinders that were found on the site of the alleged attack, was that they were more likely manually placed there than dropped from a plane or helicopter from considerable heights. His findings were omitted from the official final OPCW report on the Douma incident," the Wikileaks report said.

It must be remembered that the U.S. launched an attack on Damascus, Syria on April 14, 2018 over alleged chemical weapons usage by pro-Assad forces at Douma.

AP file image.

Another document released Friday is minutes from a meeting on 6 June 2018 where four staff members of the OPCW had discussions with "three Toxicologists/Clinical pharmacologists, one bioanalytical and toxicological chemist" (all specialists in chemical weapons, according to the minutes).

Minutes from an OPCW meeting with toxicologists specialized in chemical weapons: "the experts were conclusive in their statements that there was
no correlation between symptoms and chlorine exposure". https://t.co/j5Jgjiz8UY pic.twitter.com/vgPaTtsdQN

-- WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) December 27, 2019

The purpose of this meeting was two-fold. The first objective was "to solicit expert advice on the value of exhuming suspected victims of the alleged chemical attack in Douma on 7 April 2018". According to the minutes, the OPCW team was advised by the experts that there would be little use in conducting exhumations. The second point was "To elicit expert opinions from the forensic toxicologists regarding the observed and reported symptoms of the alleged victims."

More specifically, " whether the symptoms observed in victims were consistent with exposure to chlorine or other reactive chlorine gas."

According to the minutes leaked Friday: "With respect to the consistency of the observed and reported symptoms of the alleged victims with possible exposure to chlorine gas or similar, the experts were conclusive in their statements that there was no correlation between symptoms and chlorine exposure .