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|Israel lobby||Final report of Special prosecutor Mueller is a failed hatchet job: disingenuous and dishonest||Post-Russiagate remorse -- the second Iraq WDM fiasco||Adam Schiff Witch Hunt||MadCow disease of neoliberal MSM||"Trump is insane" meme||NeoMcCartyism||Democratic Party Neoliberals Monday morning quarterbacking||Steele dossier|
|Myth about intelligent voter||Bait and Switch||Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite||Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA||Sustained anti-Trump Hysteria in major neoliberal MSM||FBI Mayberry Machiavellians: CIA globalists dirty games against Sanders and Trump||Wiretaps of Trump and his associates during Presidential elections 2016||Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak||Hypocrisy of British ruling elite|
|Brennan elections machinations||Strzok-gate||British attempts to rig the US elections||Israel attempts to rig the US elections||Saudi Arabia attempts to rig the US elections||Do the foreign states influence the US Presidential elections ?||Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite||Superdelegates fraud at Democratic National Convention||Pluralism as a myth|
|Rigging the elections and money in US politics||Elite Theory And the Revolt of the Elite||Militarism and reckless jingoism of the US neoliberal elite||DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin||Mueller invokes ghosts of GRU operatives to help his and Brennan case||Hypocrisy and Pseudo-democracy||Rosenstein role in the "Appointment of the special prosecutor gambit"||Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners"||National Security State|
|US and British media are servants of security apparatus||Corporate Media: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few||New American Militarism||The Real War on Reality||The Deep State||Lesser evil trick of legitimizing disastrous, corrupt neoliberal politicians in US elections||First after the post elections enforce two party system||CIA Democrats|
|US Presidential Elections of 2016 as a referendum on neoliberal globalization||US Presidential Elections of 2012||Media-Military-Industrial Complex||Skeptic Quotations||History of American False Flag Operations||Cambridge Analytica data mining scandal||Media as a weapon of mass deception||Politically Incorrect Humor||Etc|
Note: for the analysis of previous Presidential election see November 2016 as a referendum on neoliberal globalization
To a large extent 2020 election will be second referendum on neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization in the USA.
If candidates with somewhat anti-neoliberal platform win (let's say Warren , Tulsi Gabbard or Sanders (although he was compromised by his betrayal of his voters on 2016 election and as such is viewed by many as a sheepdog for the Democratic Party establishment) that's would another step in dismantling neoliberalism in the USA, the best step after by and large unsuccessful Trump presidency. .
In 2020 there will be a fight between four groups of neoliberal elite
In 2016 the election of Trump proved that although is some rare circumnutates the candidate not favored by the elite can win, the elite is able to immaculate him in approximately three month from the moment of inauguration. In April 2017 Trump ordered air raid on Syria. And in May he got Special Prosecutor as a reward for his betrayal ;-) In this sense old saying "Moor did his duty, More can go" is fully applicable to Trump and 2020 election. He completely betrayed his electorate and he has nothing to offer US population in a new election cycle. In other words he is an "old hat". Still as history had show in similar circumstances another king of "bait and switch" Barack Obama won his re-election. Bush II also won his re-election. So I would not predict Trump defeat.
If neoliberals like Biden or Kamala Harris win, that's would be a neoliberal counterrevolution in Brazil and Argentina style. Re-election of Trump would also be a neoliberal counterrevolution, as Trump betrayed everybody so it he wins that's essentially also the approval of kicking neoliberal can down the road. Trump internal policies were clearly neoliberal )tax cat for the rich, deregulation and privatization) although with more noise and damage to neoliberal globalization that classic neoliberals want, Trump proves to be a stanch neoliberal in domestic policy and Israel stooge in foreign policy. He populated his administration with neocons and while pursuing mostly neocon foreign policy proved to be the master of dangerous, incompetent, unpredictable moves which can be attributed just to his jingoism and incompetence in foreign policy.
It is impossible to predict the results on 2020 election without objective analysis on 2018 election cycle. Russiagate was a defensive tactic by Democratic Party leadership to absolve it from Hillary fiasco and to preserver power. They were mostly successful in that: Pelosi was not sent to long overdue retirement. Chuck Schumer continued his leadership role in the Senate.
Russiagate has distracted most Democrats from analyzing how they lost in 2016. The false narrative that was promoted is that it was because of foreign interference (initially invented by Podesta.) Eventually it became kind of Party platform and allowed them to win Midterm. but the problem with the betrayal of the working class remains. The preference for Wall Street over working class is the cornerstone of Clinton democrats as well as affiliation with military industrial complex and adoption of neocon foreign policy based on ‘regime change’ interventions.
There needs to be a transparent and fair campaign for nominee based on more than establishment and Wall Street favoritism (see Autopsy). Right now only three candidates fit this framework: Warren, Gabbard and Sanders. Sanders compromised himself by his folding in 2016 elections and probably will be railroaded this time too. So only two candidates from Democratic Party now make sense, and I think both can give a fight to the establishment wing of the Party (DemoRats). We will see to what extent they will be successful. In any case the US military budget and foreign policy need to be changed and candidates who try to avoid those issues are of no value to the country.
When DemoRats (Clinton wing of Democratic Party) dusted off and added Joe Biden to the already overclouded roster of candidates (and falsified polls to show that he is a leader and thus artificially create a following for his candidacy), it became clear that they "forgot nothing and learned nothing" from 2016 election. This was clearly a move which will help to reelect Trump, a very favorable for Trump event. And it is true that DemoRats are afraid of Bernie Sanders more then of Trump. That why Creepy Joe Biden was dusted off and thrown in the fight.
Trump probably will crush Creepy Joe even with all the negative factors he now has, or will acquire. Creepy Uncle Joe (as WaPo nicknamed him) has three major skeletons in the closet -- his narcoaddict son who magically escaped justice when a crack pipe was found in his rental car, Biden role in Ukrainian events (also pretty disgusting)n and China loan. Neoliberal MSM try to hide the fact that Biden was "mentor" of Yanukovich and then backstabbed him. Later after the EuroMaydan events he instrumental if firing Ukrainian Chief Persecutor to squash investigating of gas company Burisma (where his some do some reason got a position in the board of the company) which paid around $50K a month to his son. So his son fleeced impoverished Ukraine where standard living dropped 2-3 times after EuroMaydan, which was converted into the debt slave of the West and where most population live of $2 a day or less. His son financial dealings with China is the third skeleton -- the loan was more a billion dollars...
The lessons of 2016 election is still relevant today. With open promotion of Creepy Joe we already see very clear "establishment bias" in selection of candidates much like with Hillary in 2016. And the dirty trick of using Superdelegates to force on the Party rank-and-file the desirable to the establishment candidate is again in the cards.
“Horse race” journalism in major neoliberal MSM which focuses on fund-raising, polls and “electability” metric instead of dealing with real issues, explaining and popularizing the platform on which each candidate run. Paradoxically many candidates do not have printed platform so for such candidates is generally unclear why they run. As for domestic platform Warren is the only notable exception here and she is definitely the best. Her foreign policy platform is a neocon inspired "Full spectrum Dominance" mantra with Russophobia as the cornerstone, which makes her look like Hillary-light. Tulsi Gabbard has pretty well defined foreign policy platform, but her domestic platform is fuzzy at best.
The real issues is the crisis of neoliberal which make elections the referendum on the direction of the country. There are three direction possible:
IMHO we are facing three choices for the future of this country:
1. National neoliberalism -- neoliberalism without classic neoliberal globalization (Trumpism) -- which one might view as some flavor of far-right nationalism, or diluted version of neofascism (fascism was national socialism and contained several important socialist elements in its program but for only one nation; no such elements of the program exits in national neoliberalism ) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Socialist_Program
2. Kicking the can down the road Attempt to continue to pursue classic neoliberalism + warmongering (with neoliberal globalization at the center) despits crisi of 2008 and Iraq war fiasco. May be with some attempt to take financial oligarchy and MIC (Warren and Tulsi)
3. "Inverted totalitarism" which is updated for new level of technology version of STASI rule, but far more effective and less repressive. A version of Orwell 1984.
Trump platform is essentially national neoliberalism. And he got substantial support for it. That means that the fight against Trump can not be won by Clinton DemoRats. For example Creepy Joe Biden probably understands that he is unelectable. He was want to get enough delegates to derail any non-establishment candidate like Bernie, Warren or Tulsi.
Trump now will definitely enjoy the advantage of overcrowded field of Democratic Candidates (over 20 and counting) and the fact the Democratic leadership is more afraid of Sanders/Warren/Gabbard than of Trump. Also Trump position is busted by Mueller final report and, especially, Barr investigation of CIA and FBI machinations.
Still I think only those three candidates have some chances to defeat Trump.
A Sanders/Gabbard or Warren/Gabbard ticket in the general election also have promise, especially the latter as Warren has the most strong domestic program (with the ability and desire to squeeze the financial oligarchy which is really the most necessary step for the country), and Gabbard excels in foreign policy issues. Would they together be strong enough to beat Trump, when Dems gave Trumps such a huge amount of ammunition due to intelligence agencies spying on his 2016 campaign? It remains to be seen. Both can easily crush Trump in debates.
One thing is clear though. The Democratic establishment has decided that all that they need is a more likeable candidate. That's probably in one reason why they dusted off Joe Biden, a grinning neoliberal sell-out, who voted for Iraq war. And as such should be ineligible for any public office. Biden is a Hillary-style neocon who stands well to the right of most Republicans on key elements of the USA foreign policy. But this might also be a courtesy run allowed to him in order to deny Sanders or Warren the nomination in favor one of the "more reliable" establishment warmonger (possible with minority credentials) like Kamala Harris, or New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker.
The USA neoliberal society after 2008 entered and prolong ideological crisis accompanied by economic stagnation. BTW the current system can be called "inverted totalitarism" and is not that far form neofascism in any case. So some authors predict evolution of the US political system toward neofascism, as far right nationalism is currently the only viable force that is able to tame or destroy the rule of neoliberal financial oligarchy.
The elections of 2020 are interesting in a sense that for the first time since 1970th there are two candidates who openly challenge neoliberal dogma: Tulsi Gabbard (who which to end the US global neoliberal empire, and imperial wars) and Elisabeth Warren (which can be viewed as the adherent of restoration of the New Deal Capitalism, while being a typical neocon in foreign policy who blindly repeat the State Department talking points). There are also a couple of other candidates with interesting ideas, For example, Andrew Yang is one; he has made a $12,000-per-year basic income for all American adults the centerpiece of his campaign (and will probably steal a lot of former Trump voters. Cory Booker proposed badly needed criminal reform.
At the same time Tump2020 is a completely different person than Trump2016. Trump2020 displayed blatant contempt for the rule of law and other longstanding republican values, provided us with several public displays of his stupidity, extreme character flaws, and irrefutable evidence of psychological instability. so form one point of view his reelection task is easier, as US people usually reelect even complete jerks (Bush II) but from the of the point of view is more difficult as now he has a baggage and he lost some important parts of his electorate and first of all anti-war Republicans and large part of blue collar workers who now will go with Andrew Yang or some similar candidate.
Although this time the field of Democratic contenders is definitely overcrowded. It is also the first election in the USA history which is run during a color revolution against sitting president launched by the War party, and intelligence agencies in 2016
So the nation today finds itself in an interesting situation which reminds me of Gorbachov's Perestroika. The USA neoliberal society after 2008 entered secular stagnation and need changes. the problem is that there is not viable alternative to neoliberalism other then return to New Deal Capitalism (which is not realistic as social forces that created this possibility -- the some (shaky) alliance of management and workers against capital owners based on WWII experience of this generation of US people is not longer present.)
Looks like it is still impossible to depose old entrenched neoliberal elite, despite of crisis of neoliberal ideology, which started in 2008. It is even was impossible to depose Pelosi ;-)
For some, unclear to me reason the US neoliberal elites, especially neoliberal MSM controlling them intelligence agencies, that drive the national conversation have reached the conclusion that nothing surpasses in importance then Trump’s removal from office and laughed full scale color revolution against him, destabilizing further the US society. In this sense the appointment of the Special Prosecutor of fake charges was their "insurance" after Trump surprising win. And intelligence agencies were at the helm of this color revolution (aka RussiaGate) from the very beginning, becoming real modern Praetorian Guard, which can depose of even kill the Emperor.
The midterm elections that returned the Democrats to power in the House are considered a step in the right direction for achieving this goal. That resulted in in a crowded field for 2020 presidential election, and many candidates think that they can beat weakened Trump, who betrayed most of his voters and now try to compensate this with his jingoism with Venezuela and the Wall. Sensing opportunity, candidates rush to join the competition.
This also might be the first election in which the issue of the foreign influence on the US election (especially British and Israeli) became prominent (mostly along the lines of "Russiagate" witch hunt). The blowback from Russiagate and Mueller investigation reveled dirty dialing of British government and makes the work of British government and Zionist Lobby in influencing the US elections somewhat more difficult, although Israeli lobby continue to possess formidable financial resources for directly and indirectly bribing US politicians. MI6 retained the ability to intercept all important US communications and as such can use this information to influence the US election, like they did in 2016 with Wiretapping Trump tower, Steele dossier operation and George Papadopoulos entrapment.
Bothe the level of British and Israeli influence clearly demonstrate that the immune system of the US state is weakened by decades of neoliberalism.
Generally we have three main types of candidates in 2020
t’s a framing that’s been everywhere over the past two years: the Resistance v Donald Trump. By some definitions that “resistance” even includes people like Mitt Romney and George W Bush. By almost all definitions it encompasses mainstream Democrats, such as the likely presidential hopefuls Cory Booker, Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand.
In their rhetoric and policy advocacy, this trio has been steadily moving to the left to keep pace with a leftward-moving Democratic party. Booker, Harris and Gillibrand know that voters demand action and are more supportive than ever of Medicare for All and universal childcare.
Gillibrand, long considered a moderate, has even gone as far as to endorse abolishing US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) and, along with Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders’ single-payer healthcare bill. Harris has also backed universal healthcare and free college tuition for most Americans.
But outward appearances aren’t everything. Booker, Harris and Gillibrand have been making a very different pitch of late – on Wall Street. According to CNBC, all three potential candidates have been reaching out to financial executives lately, including Blackstone’s Jonathan Gray, Robert Wolf from 32 Advisors and the Centerbridge Partners founder Mark Gallogly.
Wall Street, after all, played an important role getting the senators where they are today. During his 2014 Senate run, in which just 7% of his contributions came from small donors, Booker raised $2.2m from the securities and investment industry. Harris and Gillibrand weren’t far behind in 2018, and even the progressive Democrat Sherrod Brown has solicited donations from Gallogly and other powerful executives.
When CNBC’s story about Gillibrand personally working the phones to woo Wall Street executives came out, her team responded defensively, noting her support for financial regulation and promising that if she did run she would take “no corporate Pac money”.
But what’s most telling isn’t that Gillibrand and others want Wall Street’s money, it’s that they want the blessings of financial CEOs. Even if she doesn’t take their contributions, she’s signaling that she’s just playing politics with populist rhetoric. That will allow capitalists to focus their attention on candidates such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who have shown a real willingness to abandon the traditional coziness of the Democratic party with the finance, insurance and real estate industries.
Gillibrand and others are behaving perfectly rationally. The last presidential election cost $6.6bn – advertising, staff and conventions are expensive. But even more important than that, they know that while leftwing stances might help win Democratic primaries, the path of least resistance in the general election is capitulation to the big forces of capital that run this country. Those elites might allow some progressive tinkering on the margins, but nothing that challenges the inequities that keep them wealthy and their victims weak.
Big business is likely to bet heavily on the Democratic party in 2020, maybe even more so than it did in 2016. In normal circumstances, the Democratic party is the second-favorite party of capital; with an erratic Trump around, it is often the first.
The American ruling class has a nice hustle going with elections. We don’t have a labor-backed social democratic party that could create barriers to avoid capture by monies interests. It’s telling that when asked about the former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper’s recent chats with Wall Street political financiers, a staff member told CNBC: “We meet with a wide range of donors with shared values across sectors.”
Plenty of Democratic leaders believe in the neoliberal growth model. Many have gotten personally wealthy off of it. Others think there is no alternative to allying with finance and then trying to create progressive social policy on the margins. But with sentiments like that, it doesn’t take fake news to convince working-class Americans that Democrats don’t really have their interests at heart.
Of course, the Democratic party isn’t a monolith. But the insurgency waged by newly elected representatives such as the democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ro Khanna and others is still in its infancy. At this stage, it isn’t going to scare capital away from the Democratic party, it’s going to make Wall Street invest more heavily to maintain its stake in it.
Men like Mark Gallogly know who their real enemy is: more than anyone else, the establishment is wary of Bernie Sanders. It seems likely that he will run for president, but he’s been dismissed as a 2020 frontrunner despite his high favorability rates, name recognition, small-donor fundraising ability, appeal to independent voters, and his team’s experience running a competitive national campaign. As 2019 goes on, that dismissal will morph into all-out war.
Wall Street isn’t afraid of corporate Democrats gaining power. It’s afraid of the Democrats who will take them on – and those, unfortunately, are few and far between.
Neocon NY Times columnist Bari Weiss smeared Tulsi Gabbard (who bravely opposed regime change and US support for Salafi-jihadist contras) as an “Assad toady,” then couldn’t spell/define toady or offer any evidence to prove her smear. Embarrassingly funnypic.twitter.com/m0MLaHFPiX
— Ben Norton (@BenjaminNorton) January 22, 2019
Rogan informs Weiss that a Toady is a “sycophant,” and then asks her what qualifies Gabbard as a “sycophant”? To which Weiss replies: “I don’t remember the details.”
She probably will be labeled "Putin agent" very soon and this way or the other eliminated from the race.
Apparently now in best neo-McCarthyism traditions of Mueller witch hunt anyone who doesn’t conform to pro-war narratives of neoliberal/neocon establishment is a Russian stooge. Expect the dirt of her from the US intelligence agencies.
|In the absence of a moral filter, says Martha Stout, "Politicians are more likely than people in the general population
to be sociopaths...
That a small minority of human beings literally have no conscience was and is a bitter pill for our society to swallow -- but it does explain a great many things, shamelessly deceitful political behavior being one."
Comment on Sic Semper Tyrannis
If Trump runs on the defense of neoliberalism platform he will lose. Also now he has a his "national neoliberalism" baggage (Tax cut for rich, pandering to Israel, possible trade war with China, Venezuela interference, Syria interference, Iran saber-rattling, etc) like albatross about his neck: he proved to be a weak, uneducated, superficial and impulsive politician. In no way he was a "betrayal of his class" like Roosevelt; he also proved to be a "national neoliberal" at heart, who lied to his electorate: Republican Obama so to speak. Like Obama he proved to be an obedient puppet of MIC. But in addition to that he positioned himself as a puppet of Israel (MIGA instead of MAGA problem; in this sense Kushner is yet another albatross around his neck.)
His tax cuts had shown that he is a regular "trickle down" neoliberal much like Bush II. That impression strengthen if we look at his cabinet with neocon hawks such as Bolton and Pompeo running the show. So his attraction to major voting blocks which propelled him to victory in 2016 is down substantially. Moreover, Trump now has zero, or less, street credibility. One of his nicknames in Pinocchio, the other "A very stable genius". This does not help.
Polling is unambiguous here. If you define the “center” as a position somewhere between neoliberalism and New Deal Capitalism, when it comes to economic issues the public is overwhelmingly left of center.
If anything, it’s far to the left of the Clinton Democrats (soft neoliberals) and in some area to the left of The New Deal Capitalism. The hate of Wall Street and neoliberal establishment is now running pretty high (Look at consolatory gestures of Jamie Dimon - Wikipedia with his 100 million education fund proposal)
Tax cuts for the rich are the GOP’s defining policy, but two-thirds of voters believe that taxes on the rich are actually too low, while only 7 percent believe that they’re too high. That fact provides string support for Elizabeth Warren’s proposed tax on large fortunes by a three-to-one majority. Only a small minority want to see cuts in Medicaid, even though such cuts have been central to every GOP health care proposal in recent years.
The result is that to be an economic conservative in America means advocating policies that, on their merits, only appeal to a very small faction on the population, mainly professional and neoliberal elite. Basically nobody wants these policies on their own; they only sell if they’re packaged with far right nationalism
But forty years of stagnating wages, rising living costs, and intermittent chaos caused by neoliberalism remade the world — slowly, and then all at once
Looks like Democratic Party is so corrupted by Wall Street and MIC that it can't overcome its fiasco in 2016. DNC will probably prevent any non-establishment candidate from taking that nomination. And establishment candidate has low chances to win against Trump, because Trump now will run as an establishment candidate.
Attempt to offload the blame of Hillary Clinton's fiasco in 2016 to Russia's manipulation of election not only failed, they backfired destroying credibility of neoliberal MSM such as NBC, CNN and MSNBC, which are not called "fake news." So now "DemoRats" (Clinton wing of Democratic Party, or Establishment Democrats) have much less tools for influencing public opinion.
Russiagate witch hunt also revealed that the real manipulator of the USA 2016 election were British intelligence services, a pro-Obama faction within CIA (you may call it Brennan faction) and FBI (you may call it Comey faction) positioning Obama and his weasels (Brennan, Clapper, Samantha Power, Susan Rice, etc) as chief conspirators again democratic election; they were guilty of politicizing counterintelligence division of FBI for their own benefits (see Steele dossier and Strzok-gate ). That limits their freedom of maneuver in 2020.
Talking about far right, Trump supporters and his supporters are to heavily infected with neoliberal ideology and are pretty far in social demands of German National Socialist Program of 1920 which advocated using brute power of state and repressions against financial oligarchy ("usurers, profiteers and so forth are to be punished with death, without consideration of confession or race. "). So they might lose considerable part of working class voters, who after 40 year of neoliberalism now openly tilt toward national socialism ideas.
Paradoxically those demands now position the US neofascists to the left of the Clinton wing Democratic Party (soft neoliberals or DemoRats) , which is in the pocket of financial oligarchy and is ready to privatize Social Security and Medicare to please its Wall Street sponsors. To say nothing about Republican Party which is essentially the party of big capital. Let me remind the key points of NSDAP program of 1920:
The 25-point Program of the NSDAP
… … …
7. We demand that the state be charged first with providing the opportunity for a livelihood and way of life for the citizens. If it is impossible to sustain the total population of the State, then the members of foreign nations (non-citizens) are to be expelled from the Reich.
8. Any further immigration of non-citizens is to be prevented. We demand that all non-Germans, who have immigrated to Germany since 2 August 1914, be forced immediately to leave the Reich.
9.All citizens must have equal rights and obligations.
10.The first obligation of every citizen must be to work both spiritually and physically. The activity of individuals is not to counteract the interests of the universality, but must have its result within the framework of the whole for the benefit of all. Consequently, we demand:
11.Abolition of unearned (work and labor) incomes. Breaking of debt (interest)-slavery.
12.In consideration of the monstrous sacrifice in property and blood that each war demands of the people, personal enrichment through a war must be designated as a crime against the people. Therefore, we demand the total confiscation of all war profits.
13.We demand the nationalization of all (previous) associated industries (trusts).
14.We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.
15.We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.
16.We demand the creation of a healthy middle class and its conservation, immediate communalization of the great warehouses and their being leased at low cost to small firms, the utmost consideration of all small firms in contracts with the State, county or municipality.
17.We demand a land reform suitable to our needs, provision of a law for the free expropriation of land for the purposes of public utility, abolition of taxes on land and prevention of all speculation in land.
18.We demand struggle without consideration against those whose activity is injurious to the general interest. Common national criminals, usurers, profiteers and so forth are to be punished with death, without consideration of confession or race.
… … …
21.The State is to care for the elevating national health by protecting the mother and child, by outlawing child-labor, by the encouragement of physical fitness, by means of the legal establishment of a gymnastic and sport obligation, by the utmost support of all organizations concerned with the physical instruction of the young.
22. We demand abolition of the mercenary troops and formation of a national army.
Here is Henry Giroux take on the current situation in the USA (Truthdig, Aug 02, 2018) which I think contain some interesting (albeit controversial) thought as for the direction of the USA society might take after Presidential elections of 2020:
Since the 1970s, American society has lived with the curse of neoliberalism, or what can be called the latest and most extreme stage of predatory capitalism. As part of a broader comprehensive design, neoliberalism’s overriding goal is to consolidate power in the hands of the financial elite. As a mode of rationality, it functions pedagogically in multiple cultural sites to ensure no alternatives to its mode of governance can be imagined or constructed.
Central to its philosophy is the assumption the market drives not just the economy but all of social life. It construes profit-making as the essence of democracy and consuming as the only operable form of agency. It redefines identities, desires and values through a market logic that favors self-interest, a survival-of-the-fittest ethos and unchecked individualism. Under neoliberalism, life-draining and unending competition is a central concept for defining human freedom.
As an economic policy, it creates an all-encompassing market guided by the principles of privatization, deregulation, commodification and the free flow of capital. Advancing these agendas, it weakens unions, radically downsizes the welfare state and wages an assault on public goods. As the state is hollowed out, big corporations take on the functions of government, imposing severe austerity measures, redistributing wealth upward to the rich and powerful and reinforcing a notion of society as one of winners and losers. Put simply, neoliberalism gives free rein to finance capital and seeks to liberate the market from any restraints imposed by the state. At present, governments exist preeminently to maximize the profits, resources and the power of the wealthy.
As a political policy, it empties governance of any substance and denounces any viable notion of the social contract. Moreover, neoliberalism produces widespread misery and suffering as it weakens any vestige of democracy that interferes with its vision of a self-regulating market.
Theoretically, neoliberalism is often associated with the work of Friedrich August von Hayek and the Mont Pelerin Society, Milton Friedman and the Chicago school of economics, and most famously with the politics of Augusto Pinochet in Chile, President Ronald Reagan in the United States and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the United Kingdom. Politically, it is supported by various right-wing think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation and by billionaires such as the Koch brothers.
Neoliberalism’s hatred of democracy, the common good and the social contract has unleashed generic elements of a fascist past in which white supremacy, ultra-nationalism, rabid misogyny and immigrant fervor come together in a toxic mix of militarism, state violence and the politics of disposability. Modes of fascist expression adapt variously to different political historical contexts assuring racial apartheid-like forms in the postbellum U.S. and overt encampments and extermination in Nazi Germany. Fascism -- with its unquestioning belief in obedience to a powerful strongman, violence as a form of political purification, hatred as an act of patriotism, racial and ethnic cleansing, and the superiority of a select ethnic or national group -- has resurfaced in the United States. In this mix of economic barbarism, political nihilism, racial purity, economic orthodoxy and ethical somnambulance, a distinctive economic-political formation has been produced that I term neoliberal fascism.
Neoliberalism as the New Fascism
The war against liberal democracy has become a global phenomenon. Authoritarian regimes have spread from Turkey, Poland, Hungary and India to the United States and a number of other countries. Right-wing populist movements are on the march, spewing forth a poisonous mix of ultra-nationalism, white supremacy, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and xenophobia. The language of national decline, humiliation and demonization fuels dangerous proposals and policies aimed at racial purification and social sorting while hyping a masculinization of agency and a militarism reminiscent of past dictatorships. Under current circumstances, the forces that have produced the histories of mass violence, torture, genocide and fascism have not been left behind. Consequently, it has been more difficult to argue that the legacy of fascism has nothing to teach us regarding how “the question of fascism and power clearly belongs to the present.”1
Fascism has multiple histories, most connected to the failed democracies in Italy and Germany in the 1930s and the overthrow of democratic governments by the military such as in Argentina and Chile in the 1970s. Moreover, the history between fascism and populism involves a complex mix of relations over time.2 What is distinctive about this millennial fascism is its history of “a violent totalitarian order that led to radical forms of political violence and genocide” has been softened by attempts to recalibrate its postwar legacy to a less liberal democratic register.3 For instance, in Hungary, Turkey, Poland and a number of other emerging fascist states, the term “illiberal democracy” is used as code to allegedly replace a “supposedly outmoded form of liberal democracy.”4 In actuality, the term is used to justify a form of populist authoritarianism whose goal is to attack the very foundations of democracy. These fascist underpinnings are also expanding in the United States. In President Donald Trump’s bombastic playbook, the notion of “the people” has become a rhetorical tool to legitimize a right-wing mass movement in support of a return to the good old days of American Apartheid.5
As the ideas, values and institutions crucial to a democracy have withered under a savage neoliberalism that has been 50 years in the making, fascistic notions of racial superiority, social cleansing, apocalyptic populism, hyper-militarism and ultra-nationalism have gained in intensity, moving from the repressed recesses of U.S. history to the centers of state and corporate power.6 Decades of mass inequality, wage slavery, the collapse of the manufacturing sector, tax giveaways to the financial elite and savage austerity policies that drive a frontal attack on the welfare state have further strengthened fascistic discourses. They also have redirected populist anger against vulnerable populations and undocumented immigrants, Muslims, the racially oppressed, women, LBGTQ people, public servants, critical intellectuals and workers. Not only has neoliberalism undermined the basic elements of democracy by escalating the mutually reinforcing dynamics of economic inequality and political inequality -- accentuating the downhill spiral of social and economic mobility -- it has also created conditions that make fascist ideas and principles more attractive.
Under these accelerated circumstances, neoliberalism and fascism conjoin and advance in a comfortable and mutually compatible movement that connects the worst excesses of capitalism with authoritarian “strongman” ideals -- the veneration of war, a hatred of reason and truth; a celebration of ultra-nationalism and racial purity; the suppression of freedom and dissent; a culture that promotes lies, spectacles, scapegoating the other, a deteriorating discourse, brutal violence, and, ultimately, the eruption of state violence in heterogeneous forms. In the Trump administration, neoliberal fascism is on steroids and represents a fusion of the worst dimensions and excesses of gangster capitalism with the fascist ideals of white nationalism and racial supremacy associated with the horrors of the past. 7 Neoliberal structural transformation has undermined and refigured “the principles, practices, cultures, subjects and institution of democracy understood as rule by the people.”8 Since the earlier ’70s, the neoliberal project has mutated into a revolt against human rights and democracy and created a powerful narrative that refigures freedom and authority so as to legitimize and produce massive inequities in wealth and power.9 Its practices of offshoring, restructuring everything according to the dictates of profit margins, slashing progressive taxation, eliminating corporate regulations, allowing unchecked privatization and the ongoing commercializing of all social interactions “inflicts alienating misery” on a polity newly vulnerable to fascist ideals, rhetoric and politically extremist movements.10
Furthermore, the merging of neoliberalism and fascism has accelerated as civic culture is eroded, notions of shared citizenship and responsibility disappear, and reason and informed judgment are replaced by the forces of civic illiteracy. State-sanctioned attacks on the truth, facts and scientific reason in Trump’s America are camouflaged as one would expect when led by the first reality TV president -- by a corporate-controlled culture of vulgarity that merges celebrity culture with a nonstop spectacle of violence. Neoliberalism strips democracy of any substance by promoting an irrational belief in the ability of the market to solve all social problems and shape all aspects of society. This shift from a market economy to a market-driven society has been accompanied by a savage attack on equality, the social contract and social provisions as wages have been gutted, pensions destroyed, health care put out of reach for millions, job security undermined, and access to crucial public goods such as public and higher education considerably weakened for the lower and middle classes.
In the current historical moment, neoliberalism represents more than a form of hyper-capitalism, it also denotes the death of democracy if not politics itself. Anis Shivani’s articulation of the threat neoliberalism poses to democracy is worth quoting at length:
Neoliberalism believes that markets are self-sufficient unto themselves, that they do not need regulation, and that they are the best guarantors of human welfare. Everything that promotes the market, i.e., privatization, deregulation, mobility of finance and capital, abandonment of government-provided social welfare, and the reconception of human beings as human capital, needs to be encouraged, while everything that supposedly diminishes the market, i.e., government services, regulation, restrictions on finance and capital, and conceptualization of human beings in transcendent terms, is to be discouraged….One way to sum up neoliberalism is to say that everything -- everything -- is to be made over in the image of the market, including the state, civil society, and of course human beings. Democracy becomes reinterpreted as the market, and politics succumbs to neoliberal economic theory, so we are speaking of the end of democratic politics as we have known it for two and a half centuries.11
What is particularly distinctive about the conjuncture of neoliberalism and fascism is how the full-fledged liberation of capital now merges with an out-and-out attack on the racially oppressed and vulnerable populations considered disposable. Not only do the oppressive political, economic and financial structures of casino capitalism bear down on people’s lives, but there is also a frontal attack on the shared understandings and beliefs that hold a people together. One crucial and distinctive place in which neoliberalism and fascism converge is in the undermining of social bonds and moral boundaries. Displacement, disintegration, atomization, social isolation and deracination have a long history in the United States, which has been aggressively exploited by Trump, taking on a distinctively right-wing, 21st-century register. There is more at work here than the heavy neoliberal toll of social abandonment. There is also, under the incessant pedagogical propaganda of right-wing and corporate controlled media, a culture that has become cruel and cultivates an appetite for maliciousness that undermines the capacity for empathy, making people indifferent to the suffering of others or, even worse, willing participants in their violent exclusion.
Irish journalist Fintan O’Toole warns that fascism unravels the ethical imagination through a process in which individuals eventually “learn to think the unthinkable…” followed, he writes, “by a crucial next step, usually the trickiest of all”:
You have to undermine moral boundaries, inure people to the acceptance of acts of extreme cruelty. Like hounds, people have to be blooded. They have to be given the taste for savagery. Fascism does this by building up the sense of threat from a despised out-group. This allows the members of that group to be dehumanized. Once that has been achieved, you can gradually up the ante, working through the stages from breaking windows to extermination.12
What is often labeled as an economic crisis in American society is also a crisis of morality, sociality and community. Since the 1970s, increasing unregulated capitalism has hardened into a form of market fundamentalism that has accelerated the hollowing out of democracy through its capacity to reshape the commanding political, social and economic institutions of American society, making it vulnerable to the fascist solutions proposed by Trump. As an integrated system of structures, ideologies and values, neoliberalism economizes every aspect of life, separates economic activity from social costs, and depoliticizes the public through corporate-controlled disimagination machines that trade in post-truth narratives, enshrine the spectacle of violence, debase language and distort history.
Neoliberalism now wages a battle against any viable notion of the social contract, solidarity, the collective imagination, the public good and the institutions that support them. As the realm of the political is defined in strictly economic terms, the institutions, public goods, formative cultures and modes of identity essential to a democracy disappear, along with the informed citizens necessary to sustain them.
The Crisis of Reason and Fantasies of Freedom
As more and more power is concentrated in the hands of a corporate and financial elite, freedom is defined exclusively in market terms, inequality is cast as a virtue, and the logic of privatization heaps contempt upon civic compassion and the welfare state. The fatal after-effect is that neoliberalism has emerged as the new face of fascism.13 With the 50-year advance of neoliberalism, freedom has become its opposite. And democracy, once the arc of civic freedom, now becomes its enemy, because democratic governance no longer takes priority over the unchecked workings of the market. Neoliberalism undermines both the social and the public and in doing so weakens the idea of shared responsibilities and moral obligations. As Zygmunt Bauman argues “ethical tranquillization” is now normalized under the assumption that freedom is limited to the right to only advance one’s own interests and the interests of the markets. Freedom in the neoliberal playbook disavows any notion of responsibility outside of the responsibility to oneself.
As Wendy Brown argues, politics and democracy are now viewed as the enemy of markets and “politics is cast as the enemy to freedom, to order and to progress.”14 Politics now becomes a mix of regressive notions of freedom and authority whose purpose is to protect market-driven principles and practices. What disappears in this all-encompassing reach of capital is the notion of civic freedom, which is replaced by securitization organized to protect the lawless workings of the profit motive and the savagery of neoliberal austerity policies. Moreover, as freedom becomes privatized, it feeds a lack of interest in politics and breeds moral indifference. As a consequence, neoliberalism unleashes the passions of a fascist past in which the terrain of politics, agency and social relations begin to resemble a war zone, a blood sport and a form of cage fighting.
In this instance, the oppressed are not only cheated out of history, they are led to believe that under neoliberal fascism there are no alternatives and the future can only imitate the present. Not only does this position suppress any sense of responsibility and resistance, it produces what Timothy Snyder calls “a kind of sleepwalking, and has to end with a crash.”15 The latter is reinforced by a government that believes truth is dangerous and reality begins with a tweet that signals the legitimation of endless lies and forms of power that infantilize and depoliticize, because they leave no room for standards of language capable of holding power accountable. Even worse, Trump’s war on language and truth does more than limit freedom to competing fictions, it also erases the distinction between moral depravity and justice, good and evil. As I have said elsewhere, “Trump’s Ministry of Fake News works incessantly to set limits on what is thinkable, claiming that reason, evidence, consistency, and logic no longer serve the truth, because the latter are crooked ideological devices used by enemies of the state. ‘Thought crimes’ are now labeled as ‘fake news.’ ” 16
Timothy Snyder is right in arguing that “to abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power, because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle.”17 The post-truth society is a state-sponsored diversion and spectacle. Its purpose is to camouflage a moral and political crisis that has put into play a set of brutal neoliberal arrangements. Rather than view truth as the currency of democracy, Trump and his acolytes view it and democracy as the enemy of power. Such arrangements put democracy at risk and create an educational and political project receptive to the political currency of white supremacy. As a master of schlock performance, Trump tweets and speaks largely to his angry, resentful base, often using crude language in which the threat of violence and repression appears to function for his audience as a source of “romance, pleasure and fantasy.”18 These core supporters represent, at best, what Philip Roth once generously called the “uneducated and overburdened.” But they also cultivate what Erin Aubry Kaplan calls “the very worst American impulses, from xenophobia to know-nothingism to disdain for social necessities such as public education and clean water, [and their] signature quality is racism.”19
Restaging Fascism Within Democracy
Rather than disappear into the memory hole of history, fascism has reappeared in a different form in the United States, echoing Theodor Adorno’s warning, “I consider the survival of National Socialism within democracy to be potentially more menacing than the survival of fascist tendencies against democracy.”20 Theorists, novelists, historians and writers that include such luminaries as Hannah Arendt, Sinclair Lewis, Bertram Gross, Umberto Eco, Robert O. Paxton, Timothy Snyder, Susan Sontag and Sheldon Wolin have argued convincingly that fascism remains an ongoing danger and has the ability to become relevant under new conditions. After the fall of Nazi Germany, Arendt warned totalitarianism was far from a thing of the past because the conditions of extreme precarity and uncertainty that produce it were likely to crystallize into new forms.21
What Arendt thought was crucial for each generation to recognize was that the presence of the Nazi camps and the policy of extermination should be understood not only as the logical outcome of a totalitarian society or simply a return of the past, but also for what their histories suggest about forecasting a “possible model for the future.”22 The nightmare of fascism’s past cannot escape memory because it needs to be retold over and over again so as to recognize when it is happening again. Rather than fade into the past, mass poverty, unchecked homelessness, large-scale rootlessness, fearmongering, social atomization, state terrorism and the politics of elimination have provided the seeds for new forms of fascism to appear. Paxton, the renowned historian of fascism, argues in his “The Anatomy of Fascism” that the texture of American fascism would not mimic traditional European forms but would be rooted in the language, symbols and culture of everyday life:
No swastikas in an American fascism, but Stars and Stripes (or Stars and Bars) and Christian crosses. No fascist salute, but mass recitations of the Pledge of Allegiance. These symbols contain no whiff of fascism in themselves, of course, but an American fascism would transform them into obligatory litmus tests for detecting the internal enemy.23
Given the alarming signs that have come into play under the Trump administration, it is hard to look away and condone the suppression of the history and language of fascism and its relevance for understanding America’s flight from the promise and ideals of a substantive democracy. This is not to suggest the only template for addressing the legacy of fascism is to point to Nazi Germany, the most extreme of the fascist states, or, for that matter, to Mussolini’s brand of fascism. Not only does the comparison not work, but it tends to understand fascist ideals only against its most extreme expressions.
While it is true the U.S. may not be putting millions in gas chambers or promoting genocide, there remain reworked elements of the past in the present. For instance, there are already echoes of the past in existing and expanding infrastructures of punishment -- amounting to a carceral state -- that have grown exponentially in the past four decades. In fact, the United States has the largest prison system in the world, with more than 2.5 million people incarcerated. Astonishingly, this figure does not include immigrant detention centers and other forms of encampment around the U.S. border with Mexico. The visibility of this state-sanctioned punishing apparatus and its similarity to a fascist history was on display recently with the caging of young immigrant children who were forcibly separated from their parents at the southern border for months at a time. Needless to say, such institutions and actions resonate with deeply disturbing events of a dark past for which the violent separation of families was a hallmark feature of fascist brutality.
Reports of widespread abuse of imprisoned unaccompanied migrant children separated from their parents are increasingly being reported in the press. Detained under inhumane and cruel conditions, many of these children in government detention centers are allegedly being drugged, sexually abused, and subject to a range of inhumane actions. In Texas, a federal judge ordered a detention center to stop forcing children to take psychotropic drugs such as Clonazepam, Divalproex, Benztropine and Duloxetine in order to control their behavior. Needless to say, such actions, policies, and institutions resonate with deeply disturbing events of a dark past in which the violent separation of families was a hallmark feature of fascist cruelty, barbarism and brutality.
It is against this background that I believe the current debates that dismiss whether the U.S. under Trump is a fascist society are unproductive. The argument against this recognition generally proceeds by claiming either fascism is a relic of the past, fixed in a certain historical period with no relevance to the present, or that the differences between Trump’s policies and those of Hitler and Mussolini are enough so as to make any comparison irrelevant. Many commentators denounce any references to Trump and Nazis in the past as exaggerated, extreme or inapplicable. In this view, fascism is always somewhere else, relegated to a time and a place that suggests an accommodating distance, one that runs the risk of disconnecting historical memory and the horrors of another age from the possibility of fascism resurrected in a different form, newly attuned to its moment. We live in an age in which there is a terror on the part of critics to imagine the plasticity of fascism.
The Mobilizing Passions of Fascism
Fascism is neither a static nor fixed moment in history, and the forms it takes do not have to imitate earlier historical models. It is an authoritarian ideology and a form of political behavior defined by what Paxton calls a series of “mobilizing passions.” These include an open assault on democracy, the call for a strongman, a contempt for human weakness, an obsession with hyper-masculinity, an aggressive militarism, an appeal to national greatness, a disdain for the feminine, an investment in the language of cultural decline, the disparaging of human rights, the suppression of dissent, a propensity for violence, disdain for intellectuals, a hatred of reason, and fantasies of racial superiority and eliminationist policies aimed at social cleansing.24
The ghost of fascism has to be retrieved from history and restored to a “proper place in the discussions of the moral and political limits of what is acceptable,”25 especially at a moment when the crisis of democracy cannot be separated from the crisis of neoliberalism. As a heuristic tool to compare forms of state power, the legacy of fascism offers an opportunity to recognize when authoritarian signposts are on the horizon.
For example, under Trump, the spectacle reigns supreme, harking back to an earlier time in history when bravado, armed ignorance and theatrical performances provided a model of community that squelched memory, domesticated thought and opened the door for a strongman’s followers to disavow their role as critical agents in favor of becoming blind, if not willful, spectators. With regards to the present, it is crucial to recognize the ascendancy of Trump politically within rather than against the flow of history.
Fascism in the United States has arrived slowly by subversion from within. Its roots have been on display for decades and emerged most visibly with President George W. Bush’s and then President Barack Obama’s war on terror. Bush, in particular, embraced unapologetically a raw display of power that sanctioned torture, domestic spying, secret prisons, kill lists, laws sanctioning indefinite detention, warrantless searches and war crimes. Obama did little to correct these legal illegalities and Trump has only breathed new life into them. Instead of the sudden appearance on American streets of thugs, brown shirts, purges and massive state violence -- the state violence waged against African Americans notwithstanding -- fascism has been resurrected through the enabling force of casino capitalism, which has unleashed and mobilized a range of economic, political, religious and educational fundamentalisms.
This is most obvious in the subversion of power by the financial and corporate robber barons, the taming of dissent, the cultivation of tribal identities, the celebration of orbits of self-interests and hyper-individualism over the common good, the privatization and deregulation of public life and institutions, the legitimation of bigotry and intolerance, the transformation of elections into a battle among billionaires, and the production of a culture of greed and cruelty. But, as political theorist Wendy Brown makes clear, it is also obvious in a populist revolt generated by neoliberalism’s decimation of “livelihoods and neighborhoods,” “evacuating and delegitimizing democracy,” “devaluing knowledge apart from job training,” and the “eroding of national sovereignty.”26
Orthodoxy, especially under Trump, has transformed education into a workstation for ignorance in which harsh discipline is metered out to poor students and youths of color. Politics has been utterly corrupted by big money and morally deficient bankers, hedge fund managers and corporate moguls. And many evangelicals and other religious groups support, or are complicit with, a president who sides with white supremacists and trades in the language of viciousness and brutality.27
The corporate state, fueled by a market fundamentalism and a long legacy of racial apartheid, has imposed almost incomprehensible cruelty on poor and vulnerable black populations. The merging of neoliberalism and fascist elements of white supremacy and systemic racism is particularly evident in the environmental racism, dilapidated schools and air pollution that have come to light recently.28 The short list includes going so far as to sacrifice poor black children in Flint, Mich., to the perils of lead poisoning to increase profits, subject the population of Puerto Rico to unnecessary despair by refusing to provide adequate government services after Hurricane Maria,29 and creating conditions in which “America’s youngest children, some 47 percent” under the age of 5, “live in low-income or poor households.”30 W.E.B. Du Bois’ notion of a “racial dictatorship” in his classic “Black Reconstruction in America” has been resurrected under Trump.
As U.N. Special Rapporteur Philip Alston reported, amid a massive concentration of wealth among the upper 1 percent in the United States, 40 million people live in poverty and 18.5 million Americans live in extreme poverty. According to Alston, such neoliberal policies are “aggressively regressive” in their promoting of harsh work requirements for welfare recipients, cutting back programs to feed poor children, and the willingness to both incarcerate young children and separate them from their parents.31 All the while, the Trump administration has shifted massive resources to the wealthy as a result of a tax policy that shreds $1.5 trillion from the federal budget.
Since the 1970s, wages have stagnated, banks have cheated millions out of their homes through rigged mortgage policies, and the political power brokers have imposed financial ruin on minorities of class and race.32 The war against poverty initiated by President Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration had been transformed into a war on poverty by President Ronald Reagan and has accelerated and achieved its apotheosis under the Trump regime. With a pathological enthusiasm, Trump’s morally bereft Republican Congress has cut crucial benefits for the poor, such as the food stamp program, while also imposing harsh work requirements on Medicare recipients. There is more at work here than the self-serving and vindictive neoliberal belief that government is bad when it gets in the way of markets and does not serve the interest of the rich. There is also willfully savage support for massive degrees of inequality, human wretchedness, the criminalization of social problems, and a burgeoning culture of punishment, misery and suffering.
One consequence is a beleaguered American landscape marked by the growing opioid crisis, the criminalization of peaceful protests, race-based environmental poisoning, shorter longevity rates for middle-aged Americans, and an incarceration rate that ranks as the highest in the world. The war on democracy has also morphed into a war on youth as more and more children are homeless, subjected to mass school shootings, inhabit schools modeled after prisons, and increasingly ushered into the school-to-prison pipeline and disciplinary apparatuses that treats them as criminals.33 Under the long history of neoliberalism in the United States, there has developed a perverse investment in the degradation and punishment of the most vulnerable individuals, those considered other, and an increasing register of those considered disposable.34
Rethinking the Politics of Inverted Totalitarianism
What is crucial to understand is that neoliberalism is not only a more extreme element of capitalism, it has also enabled the emergence of a radical restructuring of power, the state and politics, and in doing so converges with a style of fascism suited to the American context. Political theorist Sheldon Wolin, in his book “Democracy Incorporated,” was one of the first to analyze the transformation of a capitalist democracy into what he called an inverted form of totalitarianism. According to Wolin, the political state was replaced by a corporate state that exploits all but the ruling classes, empties politics of any substance through rigged elections, uses the power of capital to define citizens largely as consumers of products, and applies the power of the corporate state as a battering ram to push through policies that strengthen the power of capital.
For Wolin, neoliberalism was the endpoint of a long process “to transform everything -- every object, every living thing, every fact on the planet -- in its image.”35 He believed that this new political formation and form of sovereignty in which economics dominated politics was hostile to both social spending and the welfare state. Wolin rightly argued that under neoliberalism, political sovereignty is largely replaced by economic sovereignty as corporate power takes over the reins of governance.
The dire consequence, as David Harvey points out, is that “raw money power wielded by the few undermines all semblances of democratic governance.”36 Policy is now fashioned by lobbyists representing big businesses such as the pharmaceutical and health insurance companies, going so far in the case of the drug companies to drive the opioid crisis to increase their profits.37
Under neoliberalism, the welfare state has been largely dismantled, while the power of a punishing apparatus of an emerging police state has been expanded, buttressed by a pervasive culture of fear that exempts itself from the legalities and constitutional obligations of a democracy, however neutered. Wolin was keenly aware of the ruthlessness of corporate culture in its willingness to produce striking inequalities in an epical war on the promise and ideals of a substantive democracy.
Wolin’s great contribution to theories of totalitarianism lies in his ability to lay bare the authoritarian economic tendencies in neoliberalism and its threat to democracy. What he did not do is associate neoliberalism and its enervating effects closely enough with certain legacies of fascism. In this absence, he was unable to predict the resurgence of strongman politics in the United States and the ascendant fascist investments in white supremacy, racial sorting, ultra-nationalism, a war on youth, women’s reproductive rights and a race-inspired, eliminationist politics of disposability. What he underemphasized was that neoliberalism impoverished not only society economically while serving the interests of the rich, but it also created a powerful narrative that normalizes political inaction as it shifted the weight and responsibility of all social problems onto the individual rather than the society.38
In the age of neoliberal myth-making, systemic deficiencies such as poverty, homelessness and precarious employment are now relegated to individual failures, character deficits and moral turpitude. Correspondingly, notions of the social, systemic and public disappear, serving to expand the base of those who feel voiceless and powerless, opening them up to the crude and simplistic emotional appeals of authoritarian figures such as Trump. In truly demagogic fashion, Trump promises a new world order that will be fashioned out of the rhetorical bombast of dehumanization, bigotry and a weaponized appeal to fear and hate. As the poor and discarded vanish from the political discourse of democracy, they become susceptible to a “volatility and the fury that [mutilates] contemporary politics that thrives on an appetite for authoritarian and fascistic impulses.”39
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|Post election events (the first half of 2017)||US Presidential Elections of 2016 from primaries to election day||US Presidential Elections of 2016: Primaries||US Presidential Elections of 2016: 2015 part of the campaign||US Presidential Elections of 2012|
Jul 22, 2019 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com
"[Kamala] Harris is everything the US empire's unelected power establishment wants in a politician: charismatic, commanding, and completely unprincipled. In that sense she's like Obama, only better.
Trump supporters like to claim that the president is fighting the establishment, citing the open revulsion that so many noxious establishment figures have for him. But the establishment doesn't hate Trump because he opposes them; he doesn't oppose existing power structures in any meaningful way at all. The reason the heads of those power structures despise Trump is solely because he sucks at narrative management and puts an ugly face on the ugly things that America's permanent government is constantly doing. He's bad at managing their assets.
Kamala Harris is the exact opposite of this. She'd be able to obliterate noncompliant nations and dead-end the left for eight years, and look good while doing it. She's got the skills to become president, and she'll have the establishment backing as well."
Caitlin Johnstone, Kamala Harris Is an Oligarch's Dream
Jul 12, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Moon Reader , Jul 11 2019 4:45 utc | 125ralphieboy , Jul 11 2019 12:19 utc | 149
Interesting post in that it raises many of the key issues and how they may fit together.
Generally agrees with my initial (or maybe secondary) impression that this is result of Trump triggering backmail clause by failing to act as required by those running the show.
But, I have I think a better theory more fits the situation. Acosta (the human "sh*t-grenade) was hired because he knew stuff and knew people who knew stuff. Trump was being blackmailed with Epstein affair - dems/cia/etc... It almost work, he almost attacked Iran, was led to believe it could be done in a way that would not lead to war - likely by you-know-who.
He balked and called their "bluff". They were not bluffing. Problem for them is that Trump can maybe weather the sh*t-storm they can bring - comey/brennan/clapper/et al... For now, I am inclined to side with Trump.
I don't know why but in spite of his lack of polish, he's brought some crude and interesting results.Why would intelligence services want to make an intelligence op out of someone so sleasy and easily compromised?Ghost Ship , Jul 11 2019 12:27 utc | 150Epstein was just a young "dirty old man". Trump is innocent - can anybody point to any incident where Trump committed a real felony, not some breach of landlord regulations, For all the accusations of him being the capo di tutti capi, nothing has really stuck, so he gives the impression of being a criminal but really isn't but it's good theatre. So my guess is that Trump told Barr to go to it and bring Epstein in and bang him up for life. Reasons:nottheonly1 , Jul 11 2019 12:52 utc | 151
- Trump was getting bored with Acosta
- Epstein may drag down others - the Clintons being prime candiadates
- This is a poke in the eye for Obama
- Trump looks good when Epstein does the time he deserves
Meanwhile the anti-#resistance investigations role on and implicate Hillary for making false statements and Obama for trying to fix the 2016 election.
Trump'll romp home in 2020. If Adelson, etc. tries to push another Republican candidate, Trump'll run as an independent and probably still win. Trump now has his main "problems" by the balls.
As for the Daily Beast they have an article claiming that there was co-ordination between Trump and Russia instead of collusion . I'd love some of the shit the author's been smoking, 'cos it's up there with S T Coleridges Kubla Khan as a work of fantasy.'Appalled' does not suffice any longer. All this shit is more than a mentally healthy Human Being can bear - and in that fact lies also a motive to bombard the population 24/7 with shit like that. Therefore it appears that this, too is part of an orchestrated effort to rile up people against each other and destroy whatever peace still exists.JasonT , Jul 11 2019 12:53 utc | 152
You could call it 'distraction' from insurmountable problems created by this specific sub-species of Homo Sapiens. But I am not commenting about that.
I am as pissed as a decent person can get without losing its temper. But I am utterly disgusted that this childfucker Epstein has soiled the name of one of my favorite Human Beings in history:
Brian Epstein - the one person that gave Humanity The Beatles.
I can not emphasize enough how effed up this is. There must be a court order to rename him into Jeffrey Childfucker, in order to protect the name of one of the greatest music managers ever.
But I do concede to the fact, that this kind of damage might as well limited to people who know who The Beatles were.The wealthy class has defeated the poor class. What we are seeing now is a civil war in the wealthy class. The Epstein business is just one of the skirmishes in that civil war.Really? , Jul 11 2019 12:57 utc | 153Today's CJR media feed focuses on Acosta and the 2007 plea deal without mentioning either Bush or Obama. Focus is still on Trump. Of course Acosta is now a member of the Trump administration. But Trump was not in charge with this particular POS went down.
harry , Jul 11 2019 9:12 utc | 139Trump is fighting for his life and money. Lose the next election and spend the rest of both fighting imprisonment. What makes me think its time to remind people that the office of POTUS has teeth?somebody , Jul 11 2019 9:43 utc | 140Really? , Jul 11 2019 10:08 utc | 141"I was told Epstein 'belonged to intelligence' and to leave it alone,"
does not say he "worked for intelligence". It might just mean that "intelligence" made the deal with him in return for information and that they then estimated the fall out and cleaned up (ie took people that could be blackmailed out of sensitive positions).
They don't care about the fall out any longer, so this now is allowed to blow up.
The plea deal was in 2007 under president Bush.# 123 TraversReally? , Jul 11 2019 10:20 utc | 142
"The left is going wild thinking that this will "get Trump" but quite the opposite is happening. . .
Now this story will run into 2020 largely damaging democrats into the 2020 election. Trump's DOJ is running the operation."
That is my perception, although I am not a qualified observer.
But as to the "why now" of Epstein, surely it is 2020. As for Barr being a CIA kid, that does give some pause, except he is working for Trump, and so presumably he is playing his part in the 2020 event.
From what I have read and heard, Trump is not tainted by the Epstein story. The attempts of those on the left or whatever (I can't even call it the left anymore) to associate Trump with the Epstein story are very belabored. "Grabbing pussy" of adult women who cluster around is not the same as recruiting young girls and teenagers and running sex camps for grown-up boys such as Randy Andy, RAndy Bill, and other Randy boys.
To me the big question is why Dersh was part of the FOIA action to unseal the docs. If just appearing in a photo with Epstein is enough for "the left" to try to hang Trump, the Dersh is in a lot more image trouble, with him name on the plane manifest.
Is Trump's name on the plane log? I don't think so. So, imagewise Dersh is going to take a big hit. And, by defending Trump last summer as he did, he has now associated himself with both Trump and Epstein. Trump comes out clean. Dersh comes out Derty.
PS. Why is so much blacked out on the plane logs that have been published?125 Moon ReaderWilliam Gruff , Jul 11 2019 11:00 utc | 144
the Macow sounds "about right" to me, but only "about." I can very well imagine that Dersh is taking orders from the JSP, but if he rode the Lolita Expres, he is in trouble.
AFAIK Trump did not ride the Lolita Express. The rumors about raping a 13-year-old in Epstein's apartment will have to become more than rumor to harm Trump, no matter how much the left pushes an Epstein = Trump narrative.
As they pushed the Weinstein = Trump narrative. I.e., whenever you see Weinstein's name, think "Trump." But I don't think that really worked except with the very ones who were pushing that equation in the first place. In other words, auto-suggestion.O @110 sez: "...every good gamblers knows to hedge their bets.pantaraxia , Jul 11 2019 11:20 utc | 145
You bet equally on both wrestlers in the ring? You don't make much profit that way. Much better to arrange who wins ahead of time with the competitors and the referee and then just bet on the one everyone agrees to make the winner.
Sure, Trump was in on the fix, so even if he won the power elites still win, but that is true for all of the other contestants in the primaries as well, with the possible exception of Sanders. The problem is that the power elites have very specific plans, and those plans depended upon their tool in the White House being Clinton, not Trump. It isn't that Trump would be their enemy or anything silly like that, but rather that a Trump victory would not resonate; would not synergize with the megatrends they were manufacturing within the population.
On the contrary, the Trump victory introduced a societal forcing function that is 180° out of sync with the larger narrative the power elites were trying to create. Trump was chosen to be the loser in the 2016 elections because his defeat would have had the opposite effect, damping trends in society that the power elites wanted quashed and reinforcing the ones that they wanted amplified. Hundreds of $billions in entertainment-base narrative generation that have been fed to the public since 2016, and had been in the production pipeline from years prior, were supposed to be reflected in the real world by the victory of the first woman president. Instead that media is being fed to the public while the top office in the world is occupied by an unrepentant pussy grabber. The messaging is diametrically opposed and interferes with itself rather than reinforcing itself.
Sure, Trump is still the tool of the power elites, but he is not the tool they were planning on.@62 fastfreddycurious man , Jul 11 2019 11:55 utc | 146
"I am trying to link Wexner with the Bronfman's (Seagrams Liquor Family) via a source other than the Mega Group (which may not be credible, IDK)."
The existence of the Mega Group was revealed in the Wall Street Journal in 1998 under the headline 'Titans of Industry Join Forces To Work for Jewish Philanthropy'. According to the Journal , it was founded in 1991 by Wexler and Charles Bronfman.
Membership included Edgar Bronfman, the chairman of the World Jewish Congress, Charles Bronfman, Edgar's brother and a top executive of the family's flagship Seagrams Corp.; Leslie Wexler of Limited, Inc.; Charles Schusterman, chairman of Samson Investment Co. of Tulsa, Oklahoma; Harvey "Bud" Meyerhoff, Baltimore real estate magnate; Laurence Tisch, chairman of Loews Corp.; Max Fisher, the Detroit oil magnate and Republican Party powerhouse; bagel magnate Max Lender; Leonard Abramson, the founder of U.S. Healthcare; and hedge-fund manager Michael Steinhardt.
One of its so-called 'philanthropic' projects entitled "Wexner Analysis: Israeli Communication Priorities 2003," was leaked to Electronic Intifada.
Leaked document exposes pro-Israel lobby's manipulation of US public
Israel Shamir also writes about the Mega group in 2001 entitled Kugel Eaters, https://www.mediamonitors.net/kugel-eaters/
"...when they met in the Edgar Bronfman mansion in Manhattan. The head of the World Jewish Congress hosted a meeting of the fifty richest and most powerful Jews of the US and Canada. There was no press coverage, no limelight, just a few lines in the newspapers. The gathered multibillionaires discussed the ways to achieve Jewish unity, and strengthen the Jewish identity of American Jews, tersely reported Shlomo Shamir for Haaretz. They also agreed to launch a PR program under the Orwellian codename of 'Truth' with the purpose of influencing American public opinion regarding Israeli policies.
The megabucks call themselves 'Mega group'. This name appeared in the media a couple of years ago, as a name for the secret Israeli mole in the upper reaches of the US establishment. It came up in an overheard phone conversation, later denied by the Israeli embassy in Washington, DC. The newshounds and spook watchers got it wrong. 'Mega' was not an agent, Mega was the boss."Defense Department Computer Network Among Top Sharers of Child Pornographycurious man , Jul 11 2019 12:02 utc | 147
Defense Department computers are among the top distributors of child pornography. An untold number of Department of Defense (DOD) employees and contractors have subscriptions to child pornography websites, and the problem is apparently so pervasive it requires new technical solutions to address it.
"Hundreds of DoD-affiliated individuals" were recently identified as suspects in child pornography cases, according to an investigation by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service.
So far, authorities have only looked into about 20 percent of these cases. But already, they've found "several" individuals "using their government devices to download or share said pornographic material."
Last year, an investigation by the National Criminal Justice Training Program found DOD computers were among the top networks nationwide for peer-to-peer sharing of pornographic images of minors. DOD's network ranked 19th out of 2,891 computer networks studied.
To prevent such widespread abuse going forward, the "End National Defense Network Abuse Act" would "crack down on this activity by upgrading the training and technical capacity of military criminal investigative organizations to confront the misuse of DoD computers, facilities, and equipment," according to a press release. It would also arrange for DOD authorities to work more closely with civilian law enforcement on these cases.
"The notion that the Department of Defense's network and Pentagon-issued computers may be used to view, create, or circulate such horrifying images is a shameful disgrace, and one we must fight head on," said Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D -- Va.), who co-sponsored the bill with Rep. Mark Meadows (R -- N.C.).
A companion bill in the senate has been introduced by Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R -- Alaska) and Brian Schatz (D -- Hawaii).
LINK 1 LINK 2https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNue92Gta3s 2014 Aerial drone video of Little St. James. The island is owned privately by Jeffrey Epstein and is located southeast of St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands.
Feb 23, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
William Dorritt , 3 hours ago linkWilliam Dorritt , 3 hours ago linkLOLITA EXPRESS...ORGY ISLAND...ELITE PEDOPHILE RING ?-2006* George W Bush President: January 20, 2001 – Jan. 20, 2009* Alberto R. Gonzales, Attorney General USA: Feb. 3, 2005–Sept. 17, 2007* Michael Bernard Mukasey, AG. USA: Nov. 9, 2007 – Jan. 20, 2009* Eric Holder, A G. USA: Feb. 3, 2009 – April 27, 2015* Loretta Lynch, Attorney General USA: April 27, 2015 – Present* Assistant U.S. Attorney Marie Villafana* Epstein's Attorneys: Gerald Lefcourt, Roy Black, Ken Starr, Alan Dershowitz.
+ "He (Epstein) is an enthusiastic member of the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations."
+ Bill Clinton...26 trips aboard the "Lolita Express"
Jeffrey Epstein's Boeing 727 is equipped with the necessary hardware for him to wake up, roll out of bed, and start trading.
+ Clinton shared more than a dozen flights with a woman who federal prosecutors believe procured underage girls to sexually service Epstein and his friends and acted as a "potential co-conspirator" in his crimes.
+ Socialite Ghislaine Maxwell and Epstein's former assistant Sarah Kellen -- have been repeatedly accused in court filings of acting as pimps. Oxford-educated Maxwell, recently seen dining with Clinton at Nello's on Madison Avenue. Manhattan-London G. Maxwell, daughter of the mysteriously deceased media titan Robert Maxwell.
+ A new lawsuit has revealed how Clinton took multiple trips to Epstein's private island where he 'kept young women as sex slaves'
+ Clinton was also apparently friends with a woman who collected naked pictures of underage girls for Epstein to choose from
+ Clinton invited her (pimp) to Chelsea's wedding
+ According to former child sex slave Virginia Roberts and a class action lawsuit against convicted billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, former President Bill Clinton was present during sex parties involving up to twenty underage girls at Epstein's secluded island in the Caribbean.
+ 20 girls between the ages of 14 and 17 said were sexually abused by Epstein, Palm Beach Police and FBI
+ 35 female minors sexually abused, Epstein settled lawsuits from more than 30 "Jane Doe" victims since 2008; the youngest alleged victim was 12 years old at the time of her abuse.
..............................Source: FBI & Federal Prosecutors
+ flights on Epstein's planes 1997 to 2005, include Dershowitz (FOX NEWS, Harvard Law), former Treasury Secretary and Harvard president Larry Summers, Naomi Campbell, and scientist Stephen Pinker.
+ In the most recent court documents, filed on December 30, Roberts further claims she was sex-trafficked to "many other powerful men, including numerous prominent American politicians, powerful business executives, foreign presidents, a well-known Prime Minister, and other world leaders." Roberts said Epstein trafficked children to politicians, Wall Streeters and A- listers to curry favor, advance his business, and for political influence.
2015 Doc Release by Judge:
Assistant U.S. Attorney Marie Villafana wrote to Epstein lawyer Jay Lefkowitz in a Sept. 19, 2007, email. "I will include our standard language regarding resolving all criminal liability and I will mention 'co-conspirators,' but I would prefer not to highlight for the judge all of the other crimes and all of the other persons that we could charge ... maybe we can set a time to meet, if you want to meet 'off campus' somewhere, that is fine. I will make sure that I have all the necessary decision makers present or 'on call' as well."
"I wanted to tell you that I have compiled a list of 34 confirmed minors," Villafana wrote to Lefkowitz. "There are six others, whose name [sic] we already have, who need to be interviewed by the FBI to confirm whether they were 17 or 18 at the time of their activity with Mr. Epstein."
In a December 2007 letter, the prosecutor acknowledges some notifications of alleged victims but says they were sent after the U.S. Attorney's Office signed the plea deal and halted for most of the women at the request of Epstein's lawyers.
"Three victims were notified shortly after the signing of the Non-Prosecution Agreement of the general terms of that Agreement," Villafana wrote, again to Lefkowitz. "You raised objections to any victim notification, and no further notifications were done."
Original Deal Hidden
On Sept. 24, 2007, in a deal shrouded in secrecy that left alleged victims shocked at its leniency,
Epstein agreed to a 30-month sentence, including 18 months of jail time and 12 months of house arrest and the agreement to pay dozens of young girls under a federal statute providing for compensation to victims of child sexual abuse. .the U.S. Attorney's Office promised not to pursue any federal charges against Epstein or his Named and Un-Named co-conspirators.
Fox By Malia Zimmerman, May 13, 2016
Daily Mail Reporter 19 March 2014
Gawker Nick Bryant 01/22/15
Western Journalism Kris Zane March 27, 2014
Politico By Josh Gerstein 07/07/15
New York Magazine, By Landon Thomas Jr.
THE FIX IS IN
"In 2006 the FBI counted at least 40 underage girls who had been molested by Epstein. Authorities searched his Florida mansion and found two computers containing child *********** and homemade video and photographs from cameras hidden in bedroom walls which had been used to film sex acts. The case was airtight for many counts of sexual crimes but Palm Beach State Attorney Barry Krischer and the Justice Department stepped in and offered Epstein a plea deal. In 2008 Epstein pleaded guilty in a Florida court to one count of soliciting underage girls for sex. His punishment was 13 months of "8 hour nights only" at a halfway house. No other charges about raping underage girls nor running an underage sex trafficking ring were mentioned in the plea. His legal team? Gerald Lefcourt, Roy Black, Ken Starr, and Alan Dershowitz.
The federal non-prosecution agreement Epstein's legal team negotiated immunized all named and unnamed potential co-conspirators in Epstein's child trafficking network, which includes those who allegedly procured minors for Epstein and any powerbrokers who may have molested them."
The Talented Mr. Epstein
Lately, Jeffrey Epstein's high-flying style has been drawing oohs and aahs: the bachelor financier lives in New York's largest private residence, claims to take only billionaires as clients, and flies celebrities including Bill Clinton and Kevin Spacey on his Boeing 727. But pierce his air of mystery and the picture changes. Vicky Ward explores Epstein's investment career, his ties to retail magnate Leslie Wexner, and his complicated past.
June 27, 2011 12:00 am
Jeffrey Epstein: International Moneyman of Mystery
So how do termite grouping patterns fare as an investment strategy? Again, facts are hard to come by. A working day for Epstein starts at 5 a.m., when he gets up and scours the world markets on his Bloomberg screen -- each of his houses, in New York, St. Thomas, Palm Beach, and New Mexico, as well as the 727, is equipped with the necessary hardware for him to wake up, roll
Jul 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
rwe2late , 1 hour ago linkKlassenfeind , 2 hours ago link
Draining the swamp means hiring the lobbyists
...err, I meant Trump.
War is Peace
- well, now that's Orwell
(and many others in government and elsewhere)
The Donald Trump Administration is looking more and more like George W. Bush's Administration: a dumb clueless idiot surrounded by neocons.
Remember Donald Rumsfeld , Karl Rove, Condoleezza Rice, John Bolton , George Tenet, Henry Paulson, Paul Wolfowitz , and **** Cheney from the George W Bush Administration?
Tell me Trumptards, what's so "different this time" about Donald Trump hiring Bolton, Pompeo, Mattis/Shanahan/Esper, Haley, Haspel and Mnuchin?
Jul 21, 2019 | www.crainsnewyork.com
Bloomberg News In the spring of 1998, the consolidation wave in banking hit tsunami levels. On April 7, 1998, Citicorp said it would join with Travelers Group to create a "financial supermarket." Exactly one week later Banc One agreed to merge with First Chicago NBD to form Bank One, and on the same day Bank of America and NationsBank agreed to partner up.
None of those deals worked out exactly as planned. Citigroup was saddled with numerous scandals and management missteps before becoming last decade's poster-child for banking run amok. Bank One was a basket-case until Jamie Dimon straightened out the institution and sold it to JPMorgan Chase.
But arguably the worst merger struck that year was Deutsche Bank's $10 billion acquisition of Bankers Trust.
On Wednesday, the giant German bank's hard-hit stock took another blow when the Wall Street Journal reported that federal regulators have deemed its U.S. operations to be in "troubled condition."
There's no doubt Deutsche Bank bought itself plenty of trouble in buying BT, Wall Street's bad-boy institution.
For starters, BT executives routinely pocketed unclaimed customer cash in what prosecutors described as a vast slush fund. In 1999 the bank pleaded guilty to three felony charges and agreed to pay $63 million as part of a settlement with state and federal authorities.
BT was a pioneer in derivatives trading, at least until 1994 when clients Procter & Gamble and Gibson Greetings sued the bank for misleading them on those deals. To repair customer relations, the bank hired investment banker Jerome Powell , now chairman of the Federal Reserve.
BT's specialty was making loans to businesses other banks shunned and was the only major New York lender to stick with Donald Trump in the 1990s. Banks like Chase and Citibank had abandoned the real estate developer after he defaulted on loans backed by personal guarantees. Deutsche Bank remains the lone big bank to do business with Trump today, according to the president's personal financial disclosures.
In 2015, Deutsche Bank wrote its BT assets down to zero as part of a $6.6 billion balance-sheet purge. But the stink of this long-ago merger still lingers.
Jul 20, 2019 | caucus99percent.com
Take yer pick. These and more are linked all over the innertubes and growing in number and breath of issues everyday:
Why the Differences Between Sanders and Warren Matter https://jacobinmag.com/2019/01/elizabeth-warren-bernie-sanders-socialism...
That Time Warren Cheered Trump. Well, this was disappointing... Elizabeth Warren stands up and applauds Trump's promise that "America will never be a socialist country." https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=416898935744430
Elizabeth Warren hates money in politics, keeps taking campaign donations from rich lobbyists and corporate executives https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/elizabeth-warren-hates-money-...
Elizabeth Warren ripped Joe Biden's big Philly fund-raiser. Last year, she did an event with some of the same rich donors. https://www.inquirer.com/news/elizabeth-warren-joe-biden-presidential-fu...
Leftover PAC money funneled into Warren's campaign https://www.gloucestertimes.com/election/leftover-pac-money-funneled-int...
Elizabeth Warren's 'big money' rejection doesn't apply to general https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/feb/26/elizabeth-warrens-big-m...
Elizabeth Warren's Campaign Turned To A Big Donor To Pay For The DNC Voter Database, Despite Her Fundraising Pledge https://www.buzzfeednews.com/amphtml/rubycramer/elizabeth-warren-fundrai...
Warren has a plan for Wall Street -- and Wall Street isn't panicking https://www.politico.com/story/2019/07/18/elizabeth-warren-wall-street-e...
Why Wall Street prefers Warren to Sanders https://www.politico.com/newsletters/morning-money/2019/07/18/why-wall-s...
Elizabeth Warren on Bernie Sanders: "He's a socialist, and I believe in markets." https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/rubycramer/elizabeth-warren-bernie-...
Elizabeth Warren decided to specifically stand up and applaud Trump when he said "America will never be a socialist country." https://twitter.com/HammerMtPress/status/1094369068063358976 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6B_MYpByUs&feature=youtu.be&t=3753
snoopydawg on Fri, 07/19/2019 - 5:06pm
Jul 20, 2019 | caucus99percent.com
Add his violations
of personal spaceof women and children and he's a perfect candidate for a RICO prosecution, not POTUS.
Oh, well, Warren's on deck; and, if she goes down (no pun intended), there are the unsweet sixteen or so more. Anybody but Bernie, Tulsi or Gravel is no doubt the hope of the establishment, including the PTB of the Democratic Party.
Is Bernie perfect? God, no. None of them are, including Tulsi. Are Bernie and Tulsi evil? I don't think so. I think, at worst, Bernie is doing what he thinks he must in order to represent the people of Vermont and, if he can win, the people of the other forty-nine states, too.
I will not vote for anyone who I believe to be evil, but I will vote for Bernie or Tulsi in the Democratic primary. If nothing else, that will mean one more vote against the rest of the pack...
Jul 20, 2019 | failedevolution.blogspot.comMasks fall at last: Bernie officially declares war on corporate Dems who seek to survive around Warren June 21, 2019 globinfo freexchange
On early June, Politico published an article which actually unfolded, in plain sight, the plans of the corporate branch of the Democratic party to stop Bernie Sanders.
As we wrote back then:
This is an amazingly straight admission by the establishment apparatus, concerning a certain strategy as part of the whole anti-Sanders operation. And it is also clear that Elizabeth Warren is establishment's key player around this strategy.
Perhaps it's not accidental that this article was published right after Elizabeth Warren signaled to the establishment that she will 'play by the rules' at least on some issues, through her neocon-style statement on Julian Assange.
Only a couple of weeks later, Politico revealed Warren's upgraded role in the anti-Sanders operation. According to a new article , " Centrists who once said the senator would lead the party to ruin are coming around to her as an alternative to Bernie Sanders. " It seems almost certain that Elizabeth Warren 'passed the exams' and gave her credentials to the establishment. Consequently, corporate democrats (or liberals, neoliberals, centrists - call them whatever you like), decided that she is the most suitable for this special mission.
The article actually identifies the completion of Warren's mutation towards the establishment positions of the Democratic party, that is, status quo neoliberalism. But also, her mission to grab votes from the progressive vote tank in order to split the progressive vote, and therefore, to restrict the power of Bernie Sanders and minimize his chances to win the Democratic nomination. For example:
" It's a sign of how the ideological lanes of the 2020 primary have blurred and overlapped and of the steady progress Warren is making as a candidate. But it's also a statement on Bernie Sanders, Warren's top rival for progressive votes. "
" Establishment and moderate Democrats haven't necessarily been won over to Warren's camp yet -- many still point to former Vice President Joe Biden as their preferred candidate. But the tensions that once marked Warren's relationship with moderate Democrats have begun to dissipate as she methodically lays out her agenda and shows a folksier, more accessible side that wasn't always apparent in her role as a blue-state senator and progressive icon. "
The article contains some statements from establishment think tanks, full of typical neoliberal euphemisms, showing that, indeed, Warren passed 'establishment's tests', and therefore, the establishment apparatus can trust her.
But all these, weren't 'big news' for many progressives out there. They realized Warren's role in the whole story quite early. Perhaps the biggest surprise was Bernie's response (at last) through a tweet, who seems that he can't tolerate another round of sinister strategies and dirty wars against him.
The cat is out of the bag. The corporate wing of the Democratic Party is publicly "anybody but Bernie." They know our progressive agenda of Medicare for All, breaking up big banks, taking on drug companies and raising wages is the real threat to the billionaire class.
This is the official declaration of war against corporate Democrats by the progressives. The neoliberal centrists can't hide anymore and voters should realize that they have nothing to offer. No matter what tricks they will try this time, no matter what words they will use. Nothing will change if they manage to maintain power in the Democratic party by beating Bernie again.
Now it's clear. The outcome of this civil war inside the party will determine whether it will remain in the hands of corporations, or, return (through Bernie) to its traditional 'owners': the American working class.
It was about time. Perhaps Bernie should have done it earlier, but better late than never ...
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- Anonymous 21/6/19 20:59
#FeelTheBern or Feel the BURN because there is #NoMIddleGround for meReply
and others (many others) like me
All in for #Bernie2020
Jul 20, 2019 | thehill.com
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) is coming under pressure to define her policy proposals from rivals raising questions about where she stands on "Medicare for All" and other key issues.
Allies for former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), both of whom are seeking to beat back a challenge from Harris's surging campaign, are calling Harris's past remarks into question, saying she has obfuscated her positions in an effort to endear herself to the liberal base.
"I think her statements, campaign are smoke and mirrors," said Dick Harpootlian, a Biden campaign surrogate and the former chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party. "As the campaign wears on and as she's pressed to prove details, I think she's going to find herself realizing this isn't a campaign for attorney general of California. This is a presidential campaign, and what you say has to be verifiable, and so far it has not been."
... ... ...
Jul 20, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org
The Democratic primary season is upon us, and the party's candidate list is a useful starting point for assessing the impact of affluence on American politics. Classic works by sociologists of decades past, including C. Wright Mills and G. William Domhoff , posited that U.S. political institutions were captured by elite economic actors, who seek to enhance their own material positions at the expense of the many.
It's no accident that affluence is tied to political elitism. Donald Trump is the wealthiest U.S. President in modern history, and is one of the most pro-business in his policies, pursuing tax cuts for the wealthy, and pushing environmental and health care policies to benefit health insurance corporations and the fossil fuel industry, at the expense of access to quality care and environmental sustainability.
We see a similar trend of elitism when examining the current crop of Democratic candidates vying for the party's presidential nomination. Beto O'Rourke, Kamala Harris, and Joe Biden rank as three of the four wealthiest candidates ( O'Rourke at $9.9 million, and Harris and Biden each at $4 million in net worth), and they are well to the right in their economic policies compared to more progressive candidates like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. O'Rourke built his national image in the Barack Obama vein, via a storied Texas Senate campaign against Ted Cruz that emphasized generic themes such as national unity, while his presidential campaign thus far has been thin in terms of laying out a left economic policy agenda. Harris's most prominent achievement thus far is lashing out at Joe Biden for his opposition to busing, while herself failing to establish a vision herself for how to tackle the powder keg of U.S. racial segregation. Harris has contradicted herself on health care policy, rhetorically supporting Medicare-for-all, then walking back that support in favor of privatized care.
Finally, Joe Biden is an arch neoliberal, as demonstrated by his tenure in office as Vice President during an Obama presidency that saw much by way of promises for progressive reform, accompanied by a pro-Wall Street agenda that produced growing inequality. Biden, revealingly, has promised wealthy Americans that "nothing" of any significance "would change" regarding their position of privilege, should he be elected.
Numerous social scientists, including Benjamin Page , Martin Gilens , Nicholas Carnes , and others have identified how the top 10 percent of American income earners (and white collar professionals more generally) dominate the policy process. Sociologist Rachel Sherman documents how the top one percent of earners construct notions of "hard work" and "worthiness" to justify their extreme wealth in an era of growing inequality. But for all its novelty, Sherman's book only looks at a small number of decadent Americans living in one city: New York. It cannot generalize about upper-class Americans across the United States. Furthermore, the current research on the political values of economic elites (the top one percenters) by Page and his associates (see here and here ) is geographically limited to wealthy Americans in the Midwest.
Finding surveys with a large enough sample of upper-class Americans to generalize from has historically been a great challenge for pollsters. To my knowledge, there has not yet been a single national study examining the role of upper-class affluence in impacting the political preferences of the wealthy. So my findings here represent a first effort to address the role of upper-class elitism on attitude formation. Sadly, they suggest that little is likely to change in the future in terms of prospects for a "Green New Deal" or the introduction of a progressive governing regime, so long as wealthy individuals continue to dominate American politics. To better understand the politics of affluence, I examined national survey data from the 2010s from Princeton University's Pew Research Center , which queried Americans on their self-described economic status as "upper," "upper-middle," "middle," "lower-middle," and "lower-class." Only about 1 percent of Americans self-identify in these surveys as "upper-class" when asked, speaking to their exclusive economic status. Unsurprisingly, upper-class status is tightly linked with income, as the majority of those identifying as upper-class (60 percent in 2016) reported making incomes over $150,000 a year. These upper-class Americans are significantly different from the rest of the population, particularly when it comes to economic issues in which there is the potential to adopt stances rejecting the ruling economic order. For all of the survey questions I examined, upper-class Americans were from 20 to 30 percentage points more likely than the rest of the population to embrace conservative values, and to reject progressive ones. Upper-class Americans were significantly more likely: to embrace the claim that the economy is "fair to most all Americans"; to disagree that "too much power" exists "in the hands of a few rich people and large corporations"; to agree with the meritocratic claim that "if you work hard, you can get ahead" in America; to disagree that the U.S. is "divided" between "haves and have-nots"; to reject the position that U.S. "financial institutions and banks are a major threat to society"; to agree that "Wall Street helps the economy more than it hurts"; and to oppose progressive-left protest groups like Occupy Wall Street, which sought to spotlight issues such as economic stagnation, corporate greed, and Wall Street political power. One's upper-class status is a highly significant predictor of economic attitudes, after statistically accounting for survey respondents' other demographics, including partisanship, education level, gender, race, ideology, and age.
My findings are significant for the 2020 Democratic Primary race considering recent research that examines how political officials' affluence impacts how they behave once in office. Carnes documents the substantive differences between U.S. political leaders with prior white-collar and blue-collar professional backgrounds, and how these differences impact their voting toward progressive-left economic policy proposals. His study shows that the relationship between economic elitism and conservative policymaking is longstanding, spanning decades in the United States.
We would do well to heed Carnes' warning about the dangers of elite capture of government in a time of rising inequality, which has occurred amidst rising family stress and work hours, stagnating incomes, and constant cost of living increases for essential goods like health care and education beyond the inflation rate. When Americans find themselves falling further and further behind in the "land of opportunity," electing more elites to the highest office of the land is likely to exacerbate inequality and strengthen the democratic deficit between what the masses expect from government and the policies that it actually produces.
Early polling data suggests that Democratic partisans have continued to elevate neoliberal "electable" Dems when it comes to the highest office in the land, although progressive candidates are gaining ground. Polling from mid-July of this year reveals that Joe Biden leads all candidates, with 32 percent support. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are not far behind, each polling at 19 and 14 percent respectively, while Kamala Harris stands at 13 percent support.
These results suggest that there is a real struggle among Democratic partisans to determine the future direction of the party, with the top four candidates as of mid-2019 split between establishment neoliberals on the one hand, and New Dealer-style liberal-progressive reformers on the other. Whoever prevails in the primaries, one thing appears clear. Should a neoliberal candidate win the 2020 nomination, there is little reason to expect a reverse in the status quo-elitism of the Democratic Party.
Jul 20, 2019 | mondoweiss.net
Misterioso on July 20, 2019, 9:42 am
Not precisely on topic, but relevant and important:
"Democratic Party Dilemmas -- An Analysis" (20 July 2019) by Professor Lawrence Davidson
Part I -- On the Domestic Front
The rise to power of Donald Trump destroyed the traditional Republican Party. Most of the moderate conservatives fled into the ranks of the independents and were replaced by a radical right amalgamation of racists, misogynists, conspiracy theorists, assorted "tea party" types and warmongers. In the background also exists support from religious fundamentalists yearning for Armageddon. If you want to get a snapshot of Trump's new Republicans, just read up on the 200 rightwing social media radicals the president hosted at the White House on Thursday, 11 July 2019. Perhaps their greatest collective desire is to smear Democrats generally and, specifically, malign progressives. These are Trump's new Republicans. They certainly reflect a segment of the American population. A crucial question is just how large a segment are they.
... ... ...
Part II -- On the Foreign Policy Front
It is painfully clear that most Democrats are confused and inconsistent when it comes to foreign policy. Consider this sequence of events:
-- Back in March of 2019, "Nearly 400 members of Congress, from both chambers -- roughly 75 percent of all federal US lawmakers -- signed an open letter calling on President Trump to escalate the war in Syria, in the name of countering Iran, Russia, and Lebanese Hezbollah. Among the signatories are 2020 Democratic presidential candidates Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Cory Booker." Also signing the petition was Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.
-- Then four months later, in July of 2019, "Lawmakers passed two amendments to the House's more than $730 billion national defense budget that would restrict Trump's ability to go to war with Iran without congressional approval, and also put a check on Trump's relationship with Saudi Arabia, an alliance the administration has been using to escalate tensions with Iran."
So what happened between these two events? Between March and July the Trump administration increased its sanctions on Iran and has threatened the Europeans with sanctions if they fulfill their contractual obligations to Iran under the original nuclear agreement. Then the president sent a naval and air armada to the Persian Gulf area. This constituted a form of brinkmanship whereby any small accidental encounter of American and Iranian forces could escalate into war.
Part III -- Theory and Practice
We can look upon the March petition as a form of theory. Probably drawn up by real warmongers in the Congress, almost everyone jumped on board. They did so to show -- to show whom? -- that they were tough on the nation's alleged enemies. At the time, it seemed a costless show of face. Then, come July, theory looked like it was about to turn into practice and the ghosts from wars in Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan started to appear before the bipartisan eyes of members of Congress.
While very few lawmakers will admit it publicly, Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah represent absolutely no threat to the United States. Take the case of Syria. The Syrian government has all but won its war against rebelling factions and fanatical religious elements. Its interests and capabilities are limited to consolidating that hard-fought victory. The continuing violence in the country comes largely from the military activity of the U.S., Britain, Israel, and Turkey. At least in the case of the U.S. and Israel, the main reason for this continued victimization of the people of Syria is to keep the country destabilized and fragmented.
Specifically, why would the American government want to see Syria destabilized and fragmented? Is it because Syria constitutes a real threat to the national security of the United States? That proposition is almost laughable. Is it because Iran, an ally of Syria, constitutes a real threat to the United States? In no practical terms is this the case, though it is certainly the case that the U.S. constitutes a real threat to the national security of Iran.
So why the hostility to Syria, Iran and even Hezbollah? Whom were all those March petitioners trying to impress? And who would really benefit from continuing turmoil in Syria? The answer to all these questions is Israel.
The unfortunate truth is that American leaders from President Trump, Vice President Pence, Secretary of State Pompeo, and National Security Adviser Bolton on down to most run-of-the-mill congresspersons and senators have no clear and accurate knowledge of what is going on in the Middle East. They have a large and expensive intelligence apparatus with whom they get irritated and angry every time their experts tell these politicos what they don't want to hear. And what is it that they do want to hear? Well, that might depend on ideology, religion, financial arrangements and other such things that can warp an objective picture of national interest and security. And who manages to tell them things that seem to satisfy most of these ideological, religious, and financial considerations? The answer is again Israel.
Putting aside all the real damage the Zionists actually do -- I really don't want to sound like a broken record -- there is a an outstanding irony in this present situation. And that is, from all we know, President Trump does not want war with Iran. It's just that his abrasive and blusterous personality, which seems never to have outgrown the spoiled bullying nature of his youth, has literally led him to the habit of a blitzkrieg approach to whatever passes in his mind for negotiations. In the case of Iran, he has unthinkingly destroyed the painstakingly wrought nuclear deal of his predecessor (perhaps for no other reason than he hates everything Barack Obama accomplished), and is now trying to force the Iranians into new negotiations by economically and militarily threatening them. This is a form of brinkmanship which is dangerous in the extreme.
Congress suddenly woke up to the reality of this situation -- that is, many in Congress have gone from petitioners trying to be tough guys, to understanding just how dangerous Trump's tactics can be. The result is the bipartisan amendments embedded in the House version of the Defense Appropriations Bill designed to rein in the delinquent in the White House.
Part IV -- Conclusion
... White resentment over the loss of public cultural privilege has festered in the largely unchanged, segregated private sphere. It has done so in rural regions and white suburbs alike. Now with Donald Trump, who is little more that an opportunistic demigod, that resentment has been empowered and our status as a civilized society is in danger.
In the realm of foreign policy the United States has much less to lose for here national behavior has always been uncivilized. The names of presidents who have lied so as to manufacture wars, steal other people's lands, and rein havoc and devastation upon innocent people, rank among many of our most easily recognized leaders.
Yet, for all the horrors our foreign adventures have wrought, the real present danger is that we will turn on ourselves and destroy our precarious democracy. Under these circumstances, the Democrats, for all their shortcomings, represent not only the party of choice, but the potential salvation of the United States. All they have to do is recognize this fact and, taking a cue from the progressive "squad" in the House, act accordingly.
Jul 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
... Every candidate in the first Democratic “debate” raised a hand in favor of providing free medical care to illegal border-jumpers. I wonder how that sits with the Americans who now pay $12,000 a year for health insurance with a $5,000 deductible.
Of course, this policy of unfettered illegal immigration does not economically favor the sizable demographic of poor Americans, many of whom are people-of-color. In theory, the border-jumpers are taking away an awful lot of jobs. But I think the argument there is that 300 years of slavery gives bonafide US citizens-of-color a pass on manual labor - so it is not against their interests to ally with the open border advocates - while both groups have an interest in getting any free stuff the government may offer.
... ... ...
Finally, there is the walking time-bomb known as Jeffrey Epstein, Democratic Party poohbah and impresario of an underage sex racket featuring the "Lolita Express" airplane service to his private "Orgy Island" in the Caribbean, with auxiliary party shacks in New York City and the New Mexico Desert. Rogue reports have been styling Epstein's doings as an international blackmailing operation associated with the CIA and other Intel outfits, including the UK's MI6 and Israel's Mossad, for the purpose of keeping international bigshots on a short leash. Who knows?
At the center of it all is former President Bill Clinton, listed twenty-six times on the Lolita Express's flight manifest -- though the ex-Prez said last week in a statement that it was only four times. (Consider the source.)
A raft of unsealed documents in the matter has been court-ordered to drop any day, and power-players all over the world -- especially in our nation's capital and on Wall Street -- are rumored to be chewing their fingernails down to the nubbins as they wait for it.
What a cargo of wickedness is borne by the garbage barge called the Democratic Party as it chugs out to sea toward a sickening, slightly radioactive orange sunset for what is looking like its final voyage.
Jul 17, 2019 | www.unz.com
DESERT FOX , says: July 17, 2019 at 12:29 pm GMTTrump is a zionist puppet and pretends to be doing something about illegal immigration but he has all the authority under the Constitution to close the border and stop the illegal immigration and since the zionists want open borders , Trump is not doing jackshit about stopping illegal immigration!Patrikios Stetsonis , says: July 17, 2019 at 12:42 pm GMT
The zionists in control of the zio/US want open borders so that they can merge the zio/US with Mexico and zio/Canada into the North American Union similar to the European Union with a new currency the Amero similar to the Euro, and so the borders are going to remain a sieve !
Trump and Helliary and all the politicians , be they demonrats or republicons are all under zionist AIPAC control and the borders will remain a pathway to the destruction of America!@follyofwar In case you did not hear it, Philip Giraldi is informing us:Hossein , says: July 17, 2019 at 1:40 pm GMT
25 Senators in Secret Meeting With Jewish Leaders to Plot Strategy Against Growing Anger Over Influence of Jewish Elites
"On June 5, 16 heads of Jewish organizations joined 25 Democratic senators in a private meeting, which, according to the Times of Israel, is an annual event.
As with last year, the meeting was chaired by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and included Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Patty Murray (D-WA), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Ed Markey (D-MA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Tom Carper (D-DE), Bob Casey (PA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Patty Murray (D-CT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Tom Udall (D-NM), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Ron Wyden (D-OR)".
https://russia-insider.com/en/25-senators-secret-meeting-jewish-leaders-plot-strategy-against-growing-anger-over-influence-jewish#.XSyfD369trM.emailMAGA. Bow before Netanyahu and present America to the zionists on a silver tray. You MAGA red necks are becoming a joke.
Jul 17, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
https://eus.rubiconproject.com/usync.html <img src="http://b.scorecardresearch.com/p?c1=2&c2=16807273&cv=2.0&cj=1" /> The Numbers Are In, and Trump's Tax Cuts Are a Bust Posted on July 17, 2019 by Yves Smith By Marshall Auerback, a market analyst and commentator. Produced by Economy for All , a project of the Independent Media Institute
The most commonly heard refrain when Donald Trump and the GOP were seeking to pass some version of corporate tax reform went something like this : There are literally trillions of dollars trapped in offshore dollar deposits which, because of America's uncompetitive tax rates, cannot be brought back home. Cut the corporate tax rate and get those dollars repatriated, thereby unleashing a flood of new job-creating investment in the process. Or so the pitch went.
It's not new and has never really stood up to scrutiny. Yet virtually every single figure who lobbied for corporate tax reform has made a version of this argument. In the past, Congress couldn't or wouldn't take up the cause, but, desperate for a political win after the loss on health care, Trump and the GOP leadership ran with a recycled version of this argument, and Congress finally passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on December 22, 2017. The headline feature was a cut in the official corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent.
So did reality correspond to the theoretical case made for the tax reform bill? We now have enough information to make a reasonably informed assessment. Unless you think that tax havens like Ireland, Bermuda or the Cayman Islands, all of which continue to feature as major foreign holders of U.S. Treasuries , have suddenly emerged as economic superpowers, the more realistic interpretation of the data shows the president's much-vaunted claims about the tax reform to be bogus on a number of levels. Even though some dollars have been "brought home," there remain trillions of dollars domiciled in these countries (at least in an accounting sense, which I'll discuss in a moment). If anything, the key provisions of the new legislation have given even greater incentives for U.S. corporations to shift production abroad, engage in yet more tax avoidance activities and thereby exacerbate prevailing economic inequality. Which, knowing Donald Trump, was probably the whole point in the first place.
This tax bill was constructed on a foundation of lies. To cite one obvious example, the real U.S. corporate tax rate has never been near the oft-cited 35 percent level. As recently as 2014, the Congressional Research Service estimated that the effective rate (the net rate paid after deductions and credits) was around 27.1 percent, which was well in line with America's international competitors.
But even the new and supposedly more competitive 21 percent rate has not been as advertised. As Brad Setser (a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations) has illustrated , the new tax bill also included a provision that enabled "companies that shift their profits abroad to pay tax at a rate well below the already-reduced corporate income tax Why would any multinational corporation pay America's 21 percent tax rate when it could pay the new 'global minimum' rate of 10.5 percent on profits shifted to tax havens, particularly when there are few restrictions on how money can be moved around a company and its foreign subsidiaries?" The upshot, as Setser concludes , is that "the global distribution of corporations' offshore profits -- our best measure of their tax avoidance gymnastics -- hasn't budged from the prevailing trend."
Although this new 10.5 percent rate applies to "global intangibles," such as patents, trademarks, and copyrights, the legislation still creates incentives for companies (notably pharmaceuticals and high-tech companies) to shift investment in tangible assets as well (such as factories) in order to maximize the benefits of this global rate on intangibles.
Many anticipated this result at the time the new law was enacted. The legislation incentivizes increased offshore investment in real assets such as factories, because the more companies invest in these "tangibles" in offshore low tax jurisdictions such as Ireland, the easier it becomes to incur a "calculated minimum tax on your offshore intangible income (the patents and the like on a new drug, for example)," according to Setser . The effect is also to exacerbate the trade deficit. A $20 billion jump in the pharmaceutical trade deficit last year provides excellent evidence of this trend. Ironically, this works at variance with Trump's "America First" trade nationalism, and his concomitant efforts to wield the tariff weapon in order to disrupt global supply chains and get corporate America to re-domicile investment at home.
Parenthetically, a further political by-product has been to give the deficit hawks more political ammunition in their goal to cut supposedly "unsustainable" social welfare expenditures, perpetuating even greater economic inequality, on the grounds of insufficient tax revenues to "fund" these programs. That is another lie (see this New York Times op-ed by Stephanie Kelton to understand why).
As for the other bogus arguments used to justify this legislation, it is worth noting that most of dollars allegedly "trapped" overseas are in fact domiciled in the U.S. They have been classified as "offshore" purely for tax accounting purposes. Yves Smith of "Naked Capitalism," for example, has pointed out that Apple stored the dollars "related to its Irish sub in banks in the US and managed it out of an internal hedge fund in Arizona." Similarly, the Brookings Institute notes that American tax accounting rules do not place geographic restrictions on where those U.S. dollars are actually held, even if the Treasury data records them as "offshore" for tax purposes. Quite the contrary: "[T]he financial statements of the companies with large stocks of overseas earnings, like Apple, Microsoft, Cisco, Google, Oracle, or Merck show most of it is in U.S. treasuries, U.S. agency securities, U.S. mortgage backed securities, or U.S. dollar-denominated corporate notes and bonds." In other words, the dollars are "home" and invested in the U.S. financial system.
So in what ways are the dollars actually "trapped" (i.e., unavailable for domestic use without severe tax repercussions)? They have never been so in reality. Through financial engineering, the banks that have held the dollars "offshore" on behalf of these American multinationals have extended loans against the stockpile so as to "liberate" the capital to be used as the companies saw fit. It's a form of hypothecated lending . Not only has the resultant " synthetic cash repatriation " provided a nice margin for what are effectively risk-free loans, but it also has enabled the beneficiary companies to deploy the dollars within the U.S. while avoiding tax penalties.
But here's the key point: instead of investing in new plants and equipment, a large proportion of these dollars have instead been used for share buybacks or distributed back to shareholders via dividend payments . Anne Marie Knott of Forbes.com quantifies the totals : "For the first three quarters of 2018, buybacks were $583.4 billion (up 52.6% from 2017). In contrast, aggregate capital investment increased 8.8% over 2017, while R&D investment growth at US public companies increased 12.5% over 2017 growth." So the top tier again wins in all ways: net profits are fattened, shareholders get more cash, and CEO compensation is elevated, as the value of the stock prices goes higher via share buybacks.
The dollars, in other words, have only been "trapped" to the extent that corporate management has chosen not to deploy them to foster real economic activity. "Punitive" corporate tax rates, in other words, have been a fig leaf. But the American worker has derived no real benefit from this repatriation, which was the political premise used to sell the bill in the first place.
Since the passage of the tax bill, the data show no significant evidence of corporate America bringing back jobs or profits from abroad. In fact, there is much to suggest the opposite: namely, that tax avoidance is accelerating in the wake of the legislation's passage, rather than decreasing. Consider that the number of companies paying no taxes has gone from 30 to 60 since the bill's enactment.
But it's worse than that, as Setser highlights :
"Well over half the profits that American companies report earning abroad are still booked in only a few low-tax nations -- places that, of course, are not actually home to the customers, workers and taxpayers facilitating most of their business. A multinational corporation can route its global sales through Ireland, pay royalties to its Dutch subsidiary and then funnel income to its Bermudian subsidiary -- taking advantage of Bermuda's corporate tax rate of zero."
Again, the money itself does not make this circuitous voyage. These are all bookkeeping entries for accounting purposes. In another report, Setser estimates the totals in revenue not accrued by the U.S. Treasury to be equivalent to 1.5 percent of GDP , or some $300 billion that is theoretically unavailable for use on the home front.
Global tax arbitrage, therefore, runs in parallel with global labor arbitrage. That's the real story behind globalization, which its champions never seem to mention, as they paint a story of worldwide prosperity pulling millions out of poverty. However, as I've written before , "a big portion of Trump voters were working-class Americans displaced from their jobs by globalization, automation, and the shifting balance in manufacturing from the importance of the raw materials that go into products to that of the engineering expertise that designs them." During the 2016 election and beyond, Trump has consistently addressed his appeals to these " forgotten men and women ." Yet the president's signature legislative achievement, corporate tax reform, suggests that his base continues to receive nothing but a few crumbs off the table. The tax reform also works at variance with the main thrust of his trade policy or, indeed, his restrictionist immigration policies (and it's questionable whether these forgotten voters are actually deriving much benefit from those policies either). Not for the first time, therefore, the president's left hand is working at cross-purposes with the right. The very base to whom he continues to direct his re-election appeals get nothing. And the country as a whole remains far worse off as a result of his policy incoherence and mendacity.
Larry , July 17, 2019 at 8:11 am
A very nice summary that details how the new boss is the same as the old boss, just more offensive on Twitter. The only place where Trump's campaign promises seem to hold up at all are the sound and furry over trade with China and the border wall with Mexico. Nothing will come of this bluster most likely, but at least it makes it appear that Trump is still working on behalf of his base.
Ignacio , July 17, 2019 at 8:34 am
Will these voters realise what is really happening? Which are the alternative narratives they are receiving/accepting?
Monty , July 17, 2019 at 10:15 am
Spoiler alert: NO. As long as the alternative is giving free healthcare to undocumented immigrants, learning to code, reparations and a focus on transgender rights.
marym , July 17, 2019 at 12:13 pm
Is this the actual alternative or, at least in part, a fear mongered version of universal benefits like M4A or a jobs program; civil rights; and righting some of the wrongs of the past? It preserves the status quo or promotes it becoming even more inequitable to convince people to reject any option that also helps someone not like them, or offers relief for a problem they never had or surmounted on their own. I mean, no viable politician is "focusing on transgender rights" or doing more than barely (and opportunistically imo) giving lip service to reparations. Is the rejection of any move toward justice or equity just the result of propaganda, or are we fundamentally unable to do any better without resentment? I'm very pessimistic at the moment.
Monty , July 17, 2019 at 1:04 pm
Did you watch the Democratic debates?
marym , July 17, 2019 at 1:35 pm
No – have I misjudged? I know at least some have said they'd sign on to a "study" of reparations, even Sanders eventually, but he's been clear that he doesn't think "writing a check" is the way to address problems in distressed communities. M4A that included undocumented immigrants wouldn't bother me from a candidate who supported a path to citizenship and humane forms of enforcing future immigration restrictions, and I'm not opposed to transgender rights so maybe some of that wouldn't seem so fearsome to me if I heard it. Why it should be fearsome enough to disqualify a candidate with a platform of universal or widely distributed social benefits, economic justice, and criminal justice reform is inexplicable and sad to me.
Monty , July 17, 2019 at 3:59 pm
It doesn't matter how you understand it. It only matters what contorted misrepresentations of Democrat's actual policies that 'regular folks' aka greedy, selfish, frightened 'suburban republicans' (aka a majority of voters in most states) can be led to believe.
The focus on these kind of divisive topics is the gift that keeps giving for the right wing. What you see as reasonable, they see as a threat to their way of life. So while virtue signalling to one group, they are simultaneously alienating another and galvanizing their own opposition against them.
False Solace , July 17, 2019 at 12:40 pm
This is why Trump screams about immigrants so loudly. It's all he's got. When the facts aren't on your side, pound the table. Remember this is the guy who invented birtherism. He won't lift a finger for his voters but he sure knows how to yell about foreigners. He also promised not to cut Social Security or Medicare then submitted a budget that makes them look like Jack the Ripper victims.
Ignacio , July 17, 2019 at 1:08 pm
Yes, i think it is as simple a that. Progressives should just ignore racist and antimigrant discourse and focus on Health care, infrastructures, GND, jobs etc.
Glen , July 17, 2019 at 10:06 am
Tax cuts for the rich? Screw everyone else?
That's been true since Reagan.
a different chris , July 17, 2019 at 10:16 am
>Again, the money itself does not make this circuitous voyage.
Haha the one way you gold bugs could get me on board is if you were able to force all cross-border money flows to be limited to actual, physical gold. Ideally in wooden sailing ships.
That would change things quite a bit.
The Rev Kev , July 17, 2019 at 10:59 am
Good article this. Trump must know that the whole thing is just financial shenanigans. After all, that has been his specialty for the past few decades. But he and Washington went along with it anyway and now America's financial situation is even worse. Every actor is trying to make out in their game and hopes that the consequences fall after they have exited the market. Maybe they think that at that stage they will be able to swoop in and grab up everything else on the cheap. Having just read some history on France in 1848 and 1871 I think that the may be playing with fire and not the FIRE that they are used to.
Softie , July 17, 2019 at 11:18 am
The idiots take over the final days of crumbling civilizations. Idiot generals wage endless, unwinnable wars that bankrupt the nation. Idiot economists call for reducing taxes for corporation and the rich and cutting social service programs for the poor. They project economic growth on the basis of myth. Idiot industrialists poison the water, the soil, and the air, slash jobs and depress wages. Idiot bankers gamble on self-created financial bubbles. Idiot journalists and public intellectuals pretend despotism is democracy. Idiot intelligence operatives orchestrate the overthrow of foreign governments to create lawless enclaves that give rise to enraged fanatics. Idiot professors, "experts", and "specialists" busy themselves with unintelligible jargon and arcane theory that buttresses the policies of rulers. Idiot entertainers and producers create lurid spectacles of sex, gore and fantasy. There is a familiar checklist for extinction. We are ticking off every item on it.
– Chris Hedges, America: The Farewell Tour
JimTan , July 17, 2019 at 12:49 pm
Maybe we should create a 'national intangibles tax', and levy it specifically on the patents, trademarks, and copyrights of all U.S. domiciled companies, and on these 'intangibles' for all companies that have the majority of their common equity securities registered in the U.S.
Jul 17, 2019 | consortiumnews.com
Gregory Herr , July 16, 2019 at 19:28
The absurdities know no end. Kamala Harris blames Russian bots for the Kaepernick kneeling controversy.
You can't make this sh** up. But Kamala does!
Jul 12, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org
Alongside and consistent with other privilege- and power-serving missions, so-called mainstream corporate media's role is to keep the populace focused as best it can on relatively trivial matters and diverted from the most urgent topics of our time.
Kamala Harris Wants to Kill Your Health Insurance
Two Sundays ago, in a fit of masochistic media research, I watched some cable news talking heads do their weekly news roundups. CNN had a panel of know-it-all neoliberals who reflected on the Democratic Party's first two presidential debates. Everyone agreed that Kamala Harris had been the big winner but had erred badly by embracing "the abolition of private health insurance."
That's how CNN's "expert commentators" describe Medicare for All – not as high quality and low-cost health care as a human right with great direct and collateral benefits resulting from the eviction of corporate profit from coverage. Not as a great potential social and human rights victory, but as destruction : the "abolition" of (unmentionably parasitic, classist, exclusionary, inferior, and expensive, for-profit) health insurance.
Not that Senator Harris would seriously fight for Single Payer. She wouldn't. She's a corporate Democrat .
But I digress.
The chattering CNN craniums shifted to the United States Women's World Cup soccer team that was triumphing in Paris. The panelists applauded the team's star, Megan Rapione, a lesbian who refuses to visit the Donald Trump White House. (Good for her, but why not visit and spit in the Malignant One's eye?).
Joy Reid Blames Russia for Anti-Kamala Birtherism
Over on the openly partisan-Democratic cable network MSNBC (hereafter "MSDNC"), morning host Joy Reid was going off about the Huxwellian idiocy of Donald Trump's DMZ handshake with Kim Jong-Un and the strange kind of love Trump has for the North Korean dictator and other authoritarian heads-of-state. As usual with MSDNC, it was hard to detect the line separating the network's proper criticism of Trump from its deep investment in U.S. imperialism .
Consistent with the investment, Reid turned to the noxious racist vulgarity of online rightists who claim that Kamala Harris isn't a "real African-American." Reid showed viewers a copy of the Mueller Report and claimed without a hint of proof that the neo-Birther Internet campaign against Harris was directed by the Russians? Her evidence? The Mueller Report, completed prior to the Harris smear.
... ... ...
Jul 15, 2019 | www.thenation.com
Looks like Warren weakness is her inability to distinguish between key issues and periferal issues.
While her program is good and is the only one that calls for "structural change" (which is really needed as neoliberalism outlived its usefulness) it mixes apple and oranges. One thing is to stop neoliberal transformation of the society and the other is restitution for black slaves. In the latter case why not to Indians ?
I'd argue that Warren's newly tight and coherent story, in which her life's arc tracks the country's, is contributing to her rise, in part because it protects her against other stories -- the nasty ones told by her opponents, first, and then echoed by the media doubters influenced by her opponents. Her big national-stage debut came when she tangled with Barack Obama's administration over bank bailouts, then set up the powerhouse Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). But she was dismissed as too polarizing, even by some Democrats, and was passed over to run it. In 2012, Massachusetts's Scott Brown mocked Warren as "the Professor," a know-it-all Harvard schoolmarm, before she beat him to take his Senate seat. After that, Donald Trump began trashing her as "Pocahontas" in the wake of a controversy on the campaign trail about her mother's rumored Native American roots. And Warren scored an own goal with a video that announced she had "confirmed" her Native heritage with a DNA test, a claim that ignored the brutal history of blood-quantum requirements and genetic pseudoscience in the construction of race.
When she announced her presidential run this year, some national political reporters raised questions about her likability , finding new ways to compare her to Hillary Clinton, another female candidate widely dismissed as unlikable. A month into Warren's campaign, it seemed the media was poised to Clintonize her off the primary stage. But it turned out she had a plan for that, too.
I n the tale that is captivating crowds on the campaign trail, Warren is not a professor or a political star but a hardscrabble Oklahoma "late-in-life baby" or, as her mother called her, "the surprise." Her elder brothers had joined the military; she was the last one at home, just a middle-schooler when her father had the massive heart attack that would cost him his job. "I remember the day we lost the station wagon," she tells crowds, lowering her voice. "I learned the words 'mortgage' and 'foreclosure' " listening to her parents talk when they thought she was asleep, she recalls. One day she walked in on her mother in her bedroom, crying and saying over and over, " 'We are not going to lose this house.' She was 50 years old," Warren adds, "had never worked outside the home, and she was terrified."RELATED ARTICLE
This part of the story has been a Warren staple for years: Her mother put on her best dress and her high heels and walked down to a Sears, where she got a minimum-wage job. Warren got a private lesson from her mother's sacrifice -- "You do what you have to to take care of those you love" -- and a political one, too. "That minimum-wage job saved our house, and it saved our family." In the 1960s, she says, "a minimum-wage job could support a family of three. Now the minimum wage can't keep a momma and a baby out of poverty."
That's Act I of Warren's story and of the disappearing American middle class whose collective story her family's arc symbolizes. In Act II, she walks the crowd through her early career, including some personal choices that turned her path rockier: early marriage, dropping out of college. But her focus now is on what made it possible for her to rise from the working class. Warren tells us how she went back to school and got her teaching certificate at a public university, then went to law school at another public university. Both cost only a few hundred dollars in tuition a year. She always ends with a crowd-pleaser: "My daddy ended up as a janitor, but his baby daughter got the opportunity to become a public-school teacher, a law professor, a US senator, and run for president!"
Warren has honed this story since her 2012 Senate campaign. Remember her "Nobody in this country got rich on his own" speech ? It was an explanation of how the elite amassed wealth thanks to government investments in roads, schools, energy, and police protection, which drew more than 1 million views on YouTube. Over the years, she has become the best explainer of the way the US government, sometime around 1980, flipped from building the middle class to protecting the wealthy. Her 2014 book, A Fighting Chance , explains how Warren (once a Republican, like two of her brothers) saw her own family's struggle in the stories of those families whose bankruptcies she studied as a lawyer -- families she once thought might have been slackers. Starting in 1989, with a book she cowrote on bankruptcy and consumer credit, her writing has charted the way government policies turned against the middle class and toward corporations. That research got her tapped by then–Senate majority leader Harry Reid to oversee the Troubled Assets Relief Program after the 2008 financial crash and made her a favorite on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart . Starting in the mid-2000s, she publicly clashed with prominent Democrats, including Biden , a senator at the time, over bankruptcy reforms, and later with then–Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner over the bank bailouts.
Sanders, of course, has a story too, about a government that works for the "millionaires and billionaires." But he has a hard time connecting his family's stories of struggle to his policies. After his first few campaign events, he ditched the details about growing up poor in Brooklyn. In early June, he returned to his personal story in a New York Times op-ed .
W arren preaches the need for "big structural change" so often that a crowd chanted the phrase back at her during a speech in San Francisco the first weekend in June. Then she gets specific. In Act III of her stump speech, she lays out her dizzying array of plans. But by then they're not dizzying, because she has anchored them to her life and the lives of her listeners. The rapport she develops with her audience, sharing her tragedies and disappointments -- questionable choices and all -- makes her bold policy pitches feel believable. She starts with her proposed wealth tax: two cents on every dollar of your worth after $50 million, which she says would raise $2.75 trillion over 10 years. (She has also proposed a 7 percent surtax on corporate profits above $100 million.)
Warren sells the tax with a vivid, effective comparison. "How many of you own a home?" she asks. At most of her stops in Iowa, it was roughly half the crowd. "Well, you already pay a wealth tax on your major asset. You pay a property tax, right?" People start nodding. "I just want to make sure we're also taxing the diamonds, the Rembrandts, the yachts, and the stock portfolios." Nobody in those Iowa crowds seemed to have a problem with that.
Then she lays out the shocking fact that people in the top 1 percent pay roughly 3.2 percent of their wealth in taxes, while the bottom 99 percent pay 7.4 percent.
That "big structural change" would pay for the items on Warren's agenda -- the programs that would rebuild the opportunity ladder to the middle class -- that have become her signature: free technical school or two- or four-year public college; at least partial loan forgiveness for 95 percent of those with student debt; universal child care and prekindergarten, with costs capped at 7 percent of family income; and a pay hike for child-care workers.
"Big structural change" would also include strengthening unions and giving workers 40 percent of the seats on corporate boards. Warren promises to break up Big Tech and Big Finance. She calls for a constitutional amendment to protect the right to vote and vows to push to overturn Citizens United . To those who say it's too much, she ends every public event the same way: "What do you think they said to the abolitionists? 'Too hard!' To the suffragists fighting to get women the right to vote? 'Too hard!' To the foot soldiers of the civil-rights movement, to the activists who wanted equal marriage? 'Give up now!' " But none of them gave up, she adds, and she won't either. Closing that way, she got a standing ovation at every event I attended.
R ecently, Warren has incorporated into her pitch the stark differences between what mid-20th-century government offered to black and white Americans. This wasn't always the case. After a speech she delivered at the Roosevelt Institute in 2015, I heard black audience members complain about her whitewashed version of the era when government built the (white) middle class. Many black workers were ineligible for Social Security; the GI Bill didn't prohibit racial discrimination ; and federal loan guarantees systematically excluded black home buyers and black neighborhoods. "I love Elizabeth, but those stories about the '50s drive me crazy," one black progressive said.
The critiques must have made their way to Warren. Ta-Nehisi Coates recently told The New Yorker that after his influential Atlantic essay "The Case for Reparations" appeared five years ago, the Massachusetts senator asked to meet with him. "She had read it. She was deeply serious, and she had questions." Now, when Warren talks about the New Deal, she is quick to mention the ways African Americans were shut out. Her fortunes on the campaign trail brightened after April's She the People forum in Houston, where she joined eight other candidates in talking to what the group's founder, Aimee Allison, calls "the real Democratic base": women of color, many from the South. California's Kamala Harris, only the second African-American woman ever elected to the US Senate, might have had the edge coming in, but Warren surprised the crowd. "She walked in to polite applause and walked out to a standing ovation," Allison said, after the candidate impressed the crowd with policies to address black maternal-health disparities, the black-white wealth gap, pay inequity, and more.
G Jutson says:July 4, 2019 at 1:00 pmKenneth Viste says: June 27, 2019 at 5:52 am
Well here we are in the circular firing squad Obama warned us about. Sander's fan boys vs. Warren women. Sanders has been our voice in DC on the issues for a generation. He has changed the debate. Thank you Bernie. Now a Capitalist that wants to really reform it can be a viable candidate. Warren is that person. We supported Sanders last time to help us get to this stage. Time to pass the baton to someone that can beat Trump. After the Sept. debates I expect The Nation to endorse Warren and to still hear grumbling from those that think moving on from candidate Bernie somehow means unfaithfulness to his/our message .Jim Dickinson says: June 26, 2019 at 7:11 pm
I would like to hear her talk about free college as an investment in people rather than an expense. Educated people earn more and therefore pay more taxes than uneducated so it pays to educate the populous to the highest level possible.Caleb Melamed says: June 26, 2019 at 2:13 pm
Warren gets it and IMO is probably the best Democratic candidate of the bunch. Biden does not get it and I get depressed seeing him poll above Warren with his tired corporate ideas from the past.
I have a different take on her not being progressive enough. Her progressive politics are grounded in reality and not in the pie in the sky dreams of Sanders, et al. The US is a massively regressive nation and proposing doing everything at once, including a total revamp of our healthcare system is simply unrealistic.
That was my problem with Sanders, who's ideas I agree with. There is no way in hell to make the US into a progressive dream in one election - NONE.
I too dream of a progressive US that most likely goes well beyond what most people envision. But I also have watched those dreams collapse many, many times in the past when we reach too far. I hope that we can make important but obtainable changes which might make the great unwashed masses see who cares about them and who does not.
I hope that she does well because she has a plan for many of the ills of this nation. The US could certainly use some coherent plans after the chaos and insanity of the Trump years. Arguing about who was the best Democratic candidate in 2016 helped put this schmuck in office and I hope that we don't go down that path again.Robert Andrews says: June 26, 2019 at 12:17 pm
I had a misunderstanding about one key aspect of Warren's political history. I had always thought that she was neutral in 2016 between Sanders and Hillary Clinton. On CNN this morning, a news clip showed that Warren in fact endorsed Hillary Clinton publicly, shouting "I'm with her," BEFORE Sanders withdrew from the race. This action had the effect of weakening Sanders' bargaining position vis a vis Clinton once he actually withdrew. Clinton proceeded to treat Sanders and his movement like a dish rag. I am now less ready to support Warren in any way.Robert Andrews says: June 27, 2019 at 8:29 am
I have three main reasons I do not want Senator Warren nominate which are:
Not going all out for a single payer healthcare system. This is a massive problem with Warren. With her starting out by moving certain groups to Medicare is sketchy at best. Which groups would be graced first? I am sure whoever is left behind will be thrilled. Is Warren going to expand Medicare so that supplemental coverages will not be needed anymore? Crying about going too far too fast is a losing attitude. You go after the most powerful lobby in the country full bore if you want any kind of real and lasting changes.
With Warren's positions and actions with foreign policy this statement is striking, "Once Warren's foreign policy record is scrutinized, her status as a progressive champion starts to wither. While Warren is not on the far right of Democratic politics on war and peace, she also is not a progressive -- nor a leader -- and has failed to use her powerful position on the Senate Armed Services Committee to challenge the status quo" - Sarah Lazare. She is the web editor at In These Times. She comes from a background in independent journalism for publications including The Intercept, The Nation, and Tom Dispatch. She tweets at @sarahlazare.
Lastly, the stench with selling off her integrity with receiving corporate donations again if nominated is overpowering.
For reference, she was a registered Republican until the mid 1990's.
Joan Walsh, why don't you give congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard any presence with your articles? Her level of integrity out shines any other female candidate and Gabbard's positions and actions are progressive. I don't want to hear that she isn't a major player, because you have included Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. Gabbard's media blackout has been dramatic, thank you for your contribution with it also.Caleb Melamed says: June 26, 2019 at 2:35 pm
I was impressed with Warren on the debate, especially since she finally opened her arms to a single payer healthcare system.Clark Shanahan says: June 26, 2019 at 1:19 pm
Gabbard is playing a very important role in this race, whatever her numbers (which are probably higher than those being reported and are sure to go up after tonight). In some ways, her position in 2020 resembles that of Sanders in 2016--the progressive outlier, specifically on issues relating to the U.S. policy of endless war. Gabbard makes Sanders look more mainstream by comparison on this issue (though their difference is more one of emphasis than substance), making it much harder for the DNC establishment to demonize and ostracize Sanders. (Third Way really, really wants to stop Sanders--they have called him an "existential threat.") Gabbard's important role in this respect is one reason the DNC and its factotums are expending such effort on sliming her.
By the way, Nation, you have now reprinted my first comment to this article five (5) times!Richard Phelps says: June 26, 2019 at 1:29 pm
Our most eloquent anti-military-interventionism candidate, hands down.Walter Pewen says: June 27, 2019 at 10:52 am
Unfortunately EW doesn't beat Trump past the margin of error in all the polls I have seen. Bernie does in most. The other scary factor is how so many neoliberals are now talking nice about her. They want anyone but the true, consistent progressive, Bernie. And her backing away from putting us on a human path on health care, like so many other countries, is foreboding of a sellout to the health insurance companies, a group focused on profits over health care for our citizens. A group with no redeeming social value. 40,000+ people die each year due to lack of medical care, so the company executives can have their 8 figure salaries and golden parachutes when they retire. Also don't forget they are adamantly anti union. Where is Warren's fervor to ride our country of this leach on society? PS I donated $250 to her last Senate campaign. I like her. She is just not what we need to stop the final stages of oligarchic take over, where so much of our resources are wasted on the Pentagon and unnecessary wars and black opps. It is not Bernie or bust, it is Bernie or oligarchy!!!Clark Shanahan says: June 26, 2019 at 1:24 pm
Frankly, having family from Oklahoma I'd say Warren IS a progressive. Start reading backwards and you will find out.Clark Shanahan says: June 26, 2019 at 10:29 pm
You certainly shall never see her call out AIPAC.
She has since tried to shift her posture.. but, her original take was lamentable.
https://theintercept.com/2014/08/28/elizabeth-warren-speaks-israelgaza-sounds-like-netanyahu/Walter Pewen says: June 28, 2019 at 11:22 am
You really need to give Hillary responsibility for her loss, Andy
Also, to Obama, who sold control of the DNC over to Clinton Inc in Sept, 2015.
I'll vote for Warren, of course.
Sadly, with our endless wars and our rogue state Israel, Ms Warren is way too deferential; seemingly hopeless.Karin Eckvall says: June 26, 2019 at 10:50 am
I don't want to vote for Biden. And if he gets the nomination I probably won't. And I've voted the ticket since 1976. I DO NOT like Joe Biden. Contrary to the media mind fuck we are getting in this era. And I'll wager a LOT of people don't like him. He is a dick.
Well-done article Ms. Walsh. Walter, I want to vote for her but can't because although she has plans to deal with the waste and corruption at the Pentagon, she has not renounced our endless militarism, our establishment-endorsed mission to police the world and to change regimes whenever we feel like it.
Jul 15, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
dltravers , Jul 15 2019 1:48 utc | 52
karlof1 @ 47
I am not so sure about that because of the timing of the event. These cases move slowly and all this will dribble out during the primaries.
The nation almost elected a women who's first man appears to be an unrepentant child molester. His abuse of women is legendary and they were in no way treated like Stormy Daniels who was punching in 100 interviews a week. Clinton's accusers cowered in silence and fear in the 90's and for good reason. I am very familiar with that machine personally. I think this will play out in the minds of the independent swing voters that will decide the election.
This may again blow over as a guy just trying to blackmail some people for personal benefit. It appears that is the best "limited hang out" story being floated so far. I have never seen a major NY newspaper base a story of that magnitude on a anonymous poster. Very suspicious.
I strongly suspect that Pence will graciously step aside and let Mad Dog Nicky Haley run as VP as Trump needs a women on the ticket to have a decent chance at winning. Another thing I find interesting is that all the Democrat candidates are most likely not connected to Epstein in some fashion. Biden is not going to make it as he is too old and too weak physically. Bernie sounds like an angry old man telling the kids to get off his lawn. The new faces have the best chance.
We live in one very sick country that appears to be in a terminal condition. I do not think we will recover.
Donnie , Jul 15 2019 2:49 utc | 60
dltravers @ 52
Getting rid of the fundamentalist Israel worshiper Pence for the 2020 election would be a smart move for Trump's reelection campaign, but please God not the ultraZionist Nicki Haley. She brings nothing to the table, coming from an unimportant state electorally speaking; her only contribution would be a never ending gush of neocon hogwash. Her warmongering threats at the UN were an embarrassment. Nix. If Pence chooses not to "gracefully step aside," Trump should throw him overboard.
Texas is the key to the election. Trump needs a running mate who can help deliver the state be that a woman, a Hispanic, or whatever. Without TX Trump's chances of reelection are poor. Winning combo for Democrats: Kamala Harris/Julian Castro.
Jul 11, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Joe Biden delivered his first major foreign policy speech as a 2020 presidential candidate earlier today at the City University of New York. Biden said that U.S. foreign policy needed to be "purposeful and inspiring," but his speech isn't likely to inspire very many. He began by asserting that "foreign policy is domestic policy and domestic policy is foreign policy." It is true that there are connections between what the U.S. chooses to do in the world and what it is able to do at home, not least in terms of how our government chooses to use scarce resources and limited revenues, but I'm not sure it is all that useful to collapse the two together.
The conflation of domestic and foreign policy wasn't just a throwaway line at the start of the speech, and that explains why much of the first half of the speech was a laundry list of domestic policy initiatives. It is unfortunate that he spent so much of his time in the speech not talking about foreign policy, because that meant he had to leave a lot out of the actual foreign policy section.
... ... ...
There were a few notable commitments that Biden made during the speech that should be acknowledged. He called for an end to the travel ban. Biden said that the use of force should be a last resort used only to "defend our vital interests, when the objective is clear and achievable, and with the informed consent of the American people." That commitment is a good one, and he should be held to it.
He also said, "It's long past time we end the forever wars," and he restated his call for ending support for the Saudi coalition war on Yemen. Naturally, he did not mention that U.S. support for the war began when he was vice president. Biden also stated his intention to rejoin the JCPOA if Iran returns to full compliance. Biden's statements in support of arms control were fine, and his commitment to extend New START was welcome. At the same time, his insistence on North Korea's denuclearization is every bit as unrealistic as Trump's current policy.
...No single speech can address all important issues, but despite Biden's frequent disapproving references to Putin and his one statement about New START I have no idea what Biden's proposed Russia policy would be.
He name-checked some countries and mentioned Latin America in passing, but he said nothing about the crisis in Venezuela or what he would differently in response to it.
He berated Trump for being too cozy with authoritarian rulers, but he didn't tell us how U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt would differ if he became president.
He checked off the box of endorsing continued aid to Israel, but had nothing to say about the illegal occupation, the settlements, or Trump's recognition of Israel's illegal annexation of the Golan Heights.
Even if we grant that Biden was painting in broad strokes about general principles, his foreign policy platform seems weirdly underdeveloped and half-baked for someone who has worked on these issues for decades.
Wally • 3 days agoHrant • 3 days ago
Biden wants to be leader of the free world. He spoke of vacuums and chaos.
"And he promised to restore the United States' global leadership role, which Trump had often cast as a burden and drag on the American economy. "The world does not organize itself, and if we do not shape it . . . some nation will step into the vacuum," or no one will and "chaos will prevail," Biden said."
This is nonsense and he just lost my vote in a primary election. Next! Please Democrats! Reject this fantasy! It's not 1945 anymore.JeffK from PA • 2 days ago
I've been watching in complete dismay for more than two decades now how many unbelievably empty people run for the highest office in the US. These people are empty. No substance, no soul, no brain or heart. Nothing.
At this point I am all for ho hum foreign policy speeches.
Jul 15, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Form a portrait of Seymour Hersh in the German weekly Die Zeit (my translation):The whole story of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election is "crazy," he says. Hillary Clinton had done everything wrong as a candidate, had led the Democratic Party into misfortune. There was no need for anything Russian. "Where is the evidence? There is none."
Use as open thread ...
Posted by b on July 14, 2019 at 13:16 UTC | Permalink
bjd , Jul 14 2019 13:30 utc | 1I wonder if Hersch's analysis is a first in a major German newspaper. If so, that is major breakthrough into Western MSM.asdf , Jul 14 2019 13:44 utc | 3Bart Hansen , Jul 14 2019 14:56 utc | 12
When if ever is Hersch going to publicly voice his thoughts on Seth Rich, as shared in the following phone recording? https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=giuZdBAXVh0karlof1 , Jul 15 2019 4:57 utc | 64
One - bjt
Two years ago Hersh published a piece on Syria in Welt. He needs to go to Deutschland to get published, being banned from the MSM.
Just like Col. Lang, Juan Cole and so many others. Our press is strictly controlled to focus on The Narrative.
Aaron Mate says :
"Please watch this clip. It captures Russiagate perfectly: blaming Russian bots, neoliberals like Kamala Harris show ignorance about domestic injustices & contempt for those fighting it; while at the same time, sounding like deranged conspiracy theorists in the process."
Intro to most recent In The Now:
"This is really good -- from calling out U.S. foreign policy that causes ppl to migrate to the history of the term 'concentration camps' to the larger tradition of racist, state sanctioned violence against ppl from the Southern border region."
Lots of garbage trying to pollute our minds. Truth is the only antidote, but at times it's hard to find. Search for it and fight complacency.
Jul 14, 2019 | www.veteranstoday.com
NEO: The Roots of Trump's Militarism By Gordon Duff, Senior Editor - July 10, 2019 3 4783
by Gordon Duff and New Eastern Outlook, Moscow
NEO was established and has been continually publishing since 1818
Little is spoken of today, particularly as Trump, Bolton and Pompeo are threatening war on three continents simultaneously, but the failure of diplomacy and the primacy of militarism. Problem is, those who drive these insane policies control and even own the "engines of reason and dissent."
Eisenhower described this process as he saw it, universities "pimping" for militarists, congress bought, judges owned, as he left office. He never truly understood the extent of the problem as he himself was under the thumb of the Dulles boys, John Foster (Secretary of State) and Allen (CIA Director), formerly Adolf Hitler's legal representatives on Wall Street prior to Pearl Harbor.
Trump simply inherited what he calls "the sewer" and has done exactly what Eisenhower did, surrounded himself with the worst of the worst, men like Bolton and Pompeo, "shills" for the military industrial complex and the "banksters" who have orchestrated wars for a thousand years.
Worse still, Trump's son in law, Jared Kushner, has become the "dime store" von Ribbentrop of our time, settling the world's affairs with an eye to personal enrichment and little concern for justice, human suffering or the wars his incompetence may lead to.
War for profit isn't anything new and the American military industrial complex that failed to collapse as intended after the end of World War II is a major component in today's ever maddening world. President Eisenhower warned of this in his 1961 farewell address:
"Crises there will continue to be. In meeting them, whether foreign or domestic, great or small, there is a recurring temptation to feel that some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties. A huge increase in newer elements of our defense; development of unrealistic programs to cure every ill in agriculture; a dramatic expansion in basic and applied research -- these and many other possibilities, each possibly promising in itself, may be suggested as the only way to the road we wish to travel.
The record of many decades stands as proof that our people and their government have, in the main, understood these truths and have responded to them well, in the face of stress and threat. But threats, new in kind or degree, constantly arise.
IV. A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction.
Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.
Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.
This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.
In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.
Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.
The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded."
What "Ike" as we called him then was unaware of was the international nature of the military industrial complex as well. Did he choose to ignore the roles of Standard Oil of New Jersey, General Motors, Ford, Alcoa, Lockheed, Goodyear, Dupont and dozens of other American corporations in not only building the Third Reich but keeping its war machines going throughout the war?
Behind the corporations were the banks, Brown Brothers of New York, the Rothschild's of London, powerful law firms, Dulles Brothers which included Eisenhower's own CIA director and Secretary of State, all working for Hitler before the war and perhaps, more than perhaps, during.
Research available to military intelligence as early as 1949, clearly showed that the "ratlines" that sent Nazis to South America after the war had been sending war profits to American and British corporations throughout World War II, not just through Swiss banks but the Vatican as well.
Facilitating this treason on a massive scale was America's OSS, precursor to the CIA and Britain's SIS (Secret Intelligence Services) who continued to work closely with Nazi Germany's Abwehr throughout the Cold War.
This continuation of Nazi influence in Washington and London led NATO to largely reflect the policies of Nazi Germany, building a world of totalitarian puppets and stripping the world bare.
Hitler's domestic policies, however, were, for the "chosen people" at least, in this case ethnic Germans, far more beneficial than Hitler's predecessors have chosen for the people of the US and Britain. Is it fair to call American and British leaders "predecessors" or "inheritors" of Adolf Hitler?
One needs only to listen to the racist and jingoistic rhetoric of Washington and London, the smears, the threats, the raving lunacy.
As London now has its own "populist" waiting in the wings, Boris Johnson, there to save the British people from the influx of refugees resulting from Britain's own policies in the Middle East and Africa, one might feel history is actually being "recycled."
Where Hitler had Mussolini, his inheritors now have Jail Bolsonaro of Brazil and a new military alliance of Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
The key, of course, is creating factionalism and fakery, even in the total absence of ideological conflict.
A closer examination of history shows the runup to August 1914, the engineering by the Warburgs, Shiffs and Rothschilds of the alliances needed to burn down the world.
At Versailles they built the framework for the next war and by the late 1920s had collapsed the world economy and began pouring cash into Europe's fascists.
Of course, today's universities, just as Eisenhower warned, would never allow the generations of the latter 20th century and beyond to gain the tools needed to secure a peaceful world order.
Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War that has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades and consulted with governments challenged by security issues. He's a senior editor and chairman of the board of Veterans Today , especially for the online magazine " New Eastern Outlook ."
Jul 13, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org
+ 64% of veterans said the Iraq War wasn't worth fighting , considering the costs versus the benefit to the U.S., and more than 50% think the same about the war in Afghanistan I wonder what percentage of them got "woke" to this before Tulsi Gabbard?
Jul 13, 2019 | consortiumnews.com
Rob , July 12, 2019 at 12:27
You can bet that the likes of Rachel Maddow will never change their tune on the subject of Russiagate.
However, with the election season heating up, it might seem wise for them to start singing a different tune altogether, such as Sanders and Warren are too radical to have any chance of defeating Trump.
The saddest thing of all is that the Dems' fixation on Russia and Putin is now coming back to bite them in the ass. Trump could not have asked for a better gift.
Jul 13, 2019 | www.koreaherald.com
+ Joe Biden was one of the loudest cheerleaders in the Senate for the Bill Clinton/Newt Gingrich "welfare reform bill." Would Tulsi Gabbard describe that bill as racist, misguided or that it didn't go far enough?
+ Remember when Union Joe Biden came out guns blazing against NAFTA? Neither do I. And, of course, he still doesn't regret his vote for the job-killing trade pact because, well, " It made sense at the time ."
+ When it comes to foreign policy, Biden, whose big plan for post-Saddam Iraq was to split it into three different countries , is a one-man Sykes-Picot roadshow, willing to enforce any arbitrarily drawn boundary lines with Predator drone strikes.
+ Save us from those who would " restore world order "
+ Biden enthusiastically backed & shepherded through the senate, the 5 most appalling policies of the Clinton era
2. '94 Crime Bill
3. Welfare "reform"
4. The murderous sanctions on Iraq
5. Bombing of Serbia
+ Thousands of pages of Biden's senate papers, which he donated to the University of Delaware in 2011, were supposed to be released to the public this year, but Biden has suddenly changed the terms of the deal, instructing the library to keep the papers locked up until he " leaves public life ." These papers are bound to be more damaging to Biden than Hillary's tedious speeches to Goldman Sachs. Russia, if you're reading, I hope you're able to find the missing 415 gigabytes of electronic records
+ Only 7 of the more than 20 Democratic Party presidential candidates (give or take Tom Steyer) are now polling at 2% or higher and one of those is Andrew Yang.
+ Langston Hughes: "A liberal is one who complains about segregated railroad cars but rides in the all white section."
... ... ...
+ Meet the new-new Democrats: fighter pilots, Navy SEALs, spooks and MPs. Campaign slogan: "We're not chickenhawks! We've actually killed and tortured people. It's our turn to lead!"
+ Democratic mega-donor and super-Zionist Haim Saban :
"We love all 23 candidates. No, minus one. I profoundly dislike Bernie Sanders, and you can write it. I don't give a hoot. He's a communist under the cover of being a socialist. He thinks that every billionaire is a crook. He calls us 'the billionaire class.' And he attacks us indiscriminately. 'It's the billionaire class, the bad guys.' This is how communists think. So, 22 are great. One is a disaster zone."
... ... ...
+ People, including Barbara Lee today, keep talking about "the failed war on drugs," launched, re-launched and re-tooled by Biden and his pals in the Nixon, Reagan and Clinton administrations. But did it really fail? Not if the object was to fill America's prisons with the black and brown underclass
... ... ...
Jul 11, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Alexander P , Jul 10 2019 19:46 utc | 20
We do not know why Epstein resurfaced, there was no need to re-open the case unless 'they' wanted it to be reopened. Thus, there is definitely a deeper political purpose behind this. As I know the higher ups in both Democrat and Republican Party are in one way or another involved in this (both Clinton and Trump visited his island and I am sure many more prominent high ranking US career politicians), this could indeed be equally dangerous for either political party.
However, I don't think Trump needs convincing with regard to Iran he has been all in on that from day 1 of his presidency and never hesitated a moment to tear up the JCPOA. Bibi was right when he said there was never a US president as friendly towards Israel than Donald Trump. His actions have spoken louder than words. So for this case, we will just have to wait and see what pieces of information they allow the MSM to publish and we will know who they are after or what bigger political goal is at play.
jared , Jul 10 2019 20:03 utc | 27Pft , Jul 10 2019 21:22 utc | 51
Something does not smell right about this.
It's not like Epstein was some obscure issue or that Trump was uninformed about the case.
Who would allow a person with such baggage on the team?
And the issue was raised so no possibility it was over-looked.
Congress (including the now concerned repubs) had their shot at him, where was the indignation?
Looks like people were told to disregard the issue, until now.
Now like good soldiers they are all barking alert.
Looks like this guy was a plant, an insurance policy maybe.
Now that policy has been triggered - has Trump failed in playing his role?Mr. Lucky , Jul 10 2019 21:28 utc | 53
Trumps ex-pal Epstein linked to intelligence. Makes sense given he has Robert Maxwell's daughter doing the procuring. His was likely a black mail operation run by the intelligence agency
Trumps other ex-pal (partner) was also linked to intelligence. Bayrocks Felix Sater. I imagine some of their business practices could have landed Trump in jail unless like Felix he cooperated
Could Trump himself be a an intelligent asset? Perhaps under duress through his activities with Jeffrey and Felix.
If so, indeed the question is if its Israels or the US agency, or is there any difference now.
I don't pretend to know the answers.
Whats the end game?. Comeys daughter is one of the NY prosecutors.Dershowitz is an Israeli puppet and was behind getting the sealed files opened. Is Clinton and the Dems the target or is it meant to pressure Trump to go hard on Iran or risk something coming out? Something else?
I cant help but wonder why nobody choses to remind us about the case filed against Trump in 2016, where a woman claimed rape at age 13 at Epstein's apartment. Is wasn't covered much at the time either. Apparently silently withdrawn. Curious no? Not even the so called Deep State Media that everyone believes was against Trump. Theydon't seem to want to touch it now either. Maybe its just BS.
Of course, maybe just more distraction as they continue fleecing the bottom 90%fastfreddy , Jul 10 2019 21:30 utc | 54
Epstein was/is Mossad. He ran honey traps for Israel.
This is one of the primary ways the Tribe controls US politicians.
This is how Deep State controls Trump, and why Trump betrayed every campaign promise, except the one to Israel.
Acosta was told to give Epstein a sweetheart deal and to stop the Federal investigation.
For his compliance, he was awarded the job of Labor Secretary in the Trump administration.fastfreddy , Jul 10 2019 21:45 utc | 62
Billionaire, $6 B, Les Wexner, L Brands, Victoria's Secret.
Wexner had a close relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, who managed Wexner's financial assets. Wexner and Epstein parted when Epstein went to prison. Wexner was believed to be the primary source of Epstein's wealth. KC , Jul 10 2019 21:51 utc | 63
I am trying to link Wexner with the Bronfman's (Seagrams Liquor Family) via a source other than the Mega Group (which may not be credible, IDK).Clare Bronfman and NEXIVM.
Looks like Epstein was running a high powered honey trap to ensnare Politicians, Lawyers, Government employees for the express purpose of promoting the "Greater Israel Project".Alaric , Jul 10 2019 21:52 utc | 64
@fastfreddy - While I hesitate to engage in the ubiquitous Israel is at the root of all debacles conjecture, I think you might be onto something there. Sure would be interesting (now or when whatever shakes out of this) to compare the record on votes of importance to Israeli interests of any politician who gets implicated or indicted with who doesn't.Andrew Kreig , Jul 10 2019 22:02 utc | 68
Protecting Epstein and his clients is secondary. The main goal is to protect his billionaire, Jewish, sponsors and whatever state sponsored him. The pleabs cannot know that their gov is corrupt but the bigger secret that must be kept is who is pulling the strings and how they are doing it.last day of grace , Jul 10 2019 23:04 utc | 79
Am enjoying the insights here and can share a few responses after years of reporting on Epstein, Clinton, Obama, Trump and Barr.
In response to lysias at #34 on Barr's intelligence and corruption cover-up background, here's a full history with links: "Trump Found His Roy Cohn In Deep State Fixer Bill Barr," May 27, 2019. https://www.justice-integrity.org/1659-trump-found-his-roy-cohn-in-deep-state-fixer-bill-barr
Regarding questions on Acosta by Jared at #27, here's a 2017 article showing that the facts were out about Acosta when the Senate confirmed him: "Did Trump Labor Pick Protect Trump, Rich Rapists, Tax Cheats, Crooked Bankers? Do We Find Out Wednesday?" March 14, 2017. http://ow.ly/hk8b309Uerm
Regarding MSM reluctance to mention rape of 12 and 13 year olds by Trump, as several commentators noted, here's a January 2017 wrap up of those matters with leading to other links: "Welcome To Waterbury: The city that holds secrets that could bring down Trump," Jan. 9, 2018. http://www.justice-integrity.org/1445-welcome-to-waterbury-the-city-that-holds-secrets-that-could-bring-down-trump. My colleague Wayne Madsen and I filed a FOIA action today at the U.S. Justice Department seeking further records.
Our view is that this is an intelligence / foreign policy operation and it's likely that Epstein's time has run out, an occupational hazard in that field. Further, Madsen and I have written separate books years ago documenting that all U.S. presidents after Carter -- but not yet Trump as proven -- have been covert assets of the CIA or FBI before -- stress that -- they entered politics. That's the way it is, and helps explain a lot of the complaints in comments above. Trump is in his own category of a corrupt stooge -- that's not necessarily better.
Can recommend excellent 2008 book "Flat Earth News" by longtime UK journalist Nick Davies that describes the deeply flawed nature of MSM from his perspective as a Guardian and other UK journalist, who aptly describes why lies and quarter-truths get printed. That's a longer story but the gist is what many here are suggesting.Jen , Jul 10 2019 23:06 utc | 80
After years of study and many many books I believe the Mossad and CIA are one and the same. The Mossad is very useful when leaving sovereign footprints is verboten--and vice versa.last day of grace , Jul 10 2019 23:09 utc | 81
"...'Belongs to intelligence' makes a lot of sense. The question is to which one. A lot of people will says "Mossad" but I don't believe that to be the (full) truth ..."
At the level that Jeffrey Epstein is operating, he is loyal primarily to himself but happily takes his reward from whichever intel agency at any time offers him the most or whose interests might prove the most lucrative for him.
And the interests of American, British, Israeli and other nations' intelligence agencies are surely so entwined that picking them apart is impossible. One thing for sure though: none of them serve the interests of the nations they supposedly work for.Really? , Jul 10 2019 23:31 utc | 85
The function of the CIA/Mossad is to make sure the agenda and the narrative of the Deep State gets served. In that case one could truly blame Epstein's actions on individuals, or groups of individuals who dictate orders to the Mossad/CIA.@29Mr.Lucky , Jul 10 2019 23:37 utc | 86
Epstein is CFR???
HOw can that be?Lozion:Really? , Jul 10 2019 23:39 utc | 89
I am not implying, I am stating that they absolutely have the goods on Trump.
His supporters knew he was a scum bag when they voted for him, but he promised to stop the invasion and they fell for it.
Why do you think that Trump did a 180 on every campaign promise once elected, except the promise to Israel?
Why do you think that Trump gave Acosta a job after the sweetheart deal?
Ask yourself another question: Why is happening as the election cycle is beginning?
Anyone who says Clinton is in trouble is delusional. Clinton is invincible.
They are going after Trump.jared , Jul 10 2019 23:50 utc | 93
"Something does not smell right about this."
Re timing, could it be connected to Mueller soon to be under oath and testifying?
could Mueller be a target of some kind?Alexander P. , Jul 11 2019 0:09 utc | 99
Epstein reminds me of the Bill Browder affair. And the statement: To know who are the rulers not which are the ones you are not permitted to criticize. Or somethinh like that.If indeed they are after Trump as he failed them on 'Iran', then it makes absolute sense that Dershowitz and Cernovich had the records unsealed as both are strong, strong Zionists and supporters of Israel. Getting a judge do the thing they need is just a formality. I agree with some writer above who asked, why the publicity if pressure can be applied in secret without the media being involved? But this may be the stated goal to bring Trump either completely in line now or publicly topple his presidency.karlof1 , Jul 11 2019 0:11 utc | 100
I get why @94 Really? and others would be sceptical at this stage but I know strong powers in the Zionist/Neo-con deep state want a direct confrontation with Iran for myriad number of reasons (stop the BRI, deal a blow to Syria and Hizbollah, take out Israel's No 1 enemy etc, shore up the Petrodollar), and Trump was still the most likely candidate to follow through with this, given his proximity to Zionism. So far he also has dully followed through with everything imaginable, except for actually attacking Iran.
Interesting development indeed. B. Clinton could be collateral damage, at this stage their power is overestimated in my opinion.Andrew Kreig @68--ekerbacker , Jul 11 2019 0:16 utc | 103
Okay, An "intelligence op," but which one? The Epstein/Mueller link was made several months ago. I don't see any irregularities in the court judgement to order the unsealing as it's been ongoing for almost 2.5 years and involves odd bedfellows. Was Mueller even aware of the attempt to unseal Epstein's case? So many questions!Alexander P , Jul 11 2019 0:29 utc | 104
Arnon Milchan? He was Israeli. Should he be punished, absolutely. But you know who should be hung? Robert DeNiro. He knew Arnon Milchan was a spy and kept his mouth shut for decades. He is a POS of epic proportions.
Insofar as Epstein is concerned. It is all about timing. Mueller is set to testify and probably has skeletons in his closet with regards to Epstein's case. He is likely being told implicitly via the Epstein arrest to be on his best behavior by Barr, and Barr at this age probably can care less that Epstein is being sacrificed so he can make his point, particularly since Barr is probably the 2nd most powerful person in the USA right now.
Epstein was extremely likely an Israeli asset. The Israelis have through political power and force convinced many in the US IC that their ship is sailing in the same direction, and that they should be allowed to serve as the US's dog on a leash, and once in a while be unleashed to do what the US won't. So while he was an Israeli asset, his resources (that is compromising material) was often made available to the CIA, and thus Acosta was told that he is an intelligence asset.
The fireworks will start to fly if and when Epstein realizes he is being hung out to dry and won't be saved. But like almost every other case involving such rich and powerful people, don't hold your breath for justice to be served in the US.@96 and 33Debsisdead , Jul 11 2019 0:35 utc | 105
What does protecting adolescent teenagers from predatory adults have to do with puritanism? Am I understanding this correctly that you advocate sex with minors as long as they have reached biological puberty? Never mind their mental maturity? So sexual relations involving young women is ok what about sexual relations with young men? This has nothing to do with a false pretentious morality but with the fact that teenagers have not yet reached the level of mental maturity that protects them from sexual exploitation that will haunt them for the rest of their lives, never mind their biological functions and ability to conceive or sire children. It is really puzzling that I even need to make these elaborations in here!In many ways this thread is as sickening as the subject it discusses. All sorts of types left and right competing to show that they have the most insight into the forces behind the anal rape of a 12 year old girl See Andrew Kreig's excellent piece which does consider the horror of the acts, rather than just whether or not it plays into the particular vision of 'power politics' each poster invokes). In no instance does anyone express disgust at the actions of these low life scum other than for the corruption of the pols such as Acosta.William Gruff , Jul 11 2019 0:55 utc | 106
The glee which so many have displayed jumping into this horror story because it can be twisted and forced into their own particular theory about "how the world really works" while totally ignoring that these humans who were abducted at age eleven or twelve & then sold like cattle, now inhabit the netherworld of 'the great society' living in the fringes of prosperous cities in a ramshackle 'double wide', reveals a psychic corruption not a million miles away from that of the rapists.
This story is those young boys & girls, anyone who claims to want to use it to force the greedy rapists and warmongering grubs to face justice, will not succeed as long as they waste time speculating who works for who and who is really in control.
Prince Andrew still bludges off taxpayers despite being photographed with his arm around one of his victims, if you're english & really care about stopping this scum, instead of speculating on which shadowy 'palace spokesman suggested that the Daily Mail include the line "There is no suggestion that the duke had any sexual contact at the house, or knew what was allegedly going on there" you will find out how the at the time 17 y.o. Virginia Roberts feels about her public destruction now (A child the Mail described as an erotic masseuse - presumably to reduce the horror a normal human reacts to that pic whilst ensuring the victim is so humiliated she causes no further problem for "the royal family's" number one arms salesman). This victim first hung out with the andrew sleaze when she was 17 at the pimp's Florida hell hole where the age of consent is 18.
Concentrating on the effect on victims while protecting them from further harm will bring the creeps undone - nothing else will. It was only once people began to see past the priests claims that "the victims led me on" and considered the huge power imbalance that the catholic church came unstuck.
Most of all without humanity, there is no difference between any of us and the scum we criticise.
Woohoo! Debsisdead isn't dead!
Now, to be on topic, why the insistence that Epstein finally getting outed for real is some mysterious intel op? The CIA has been screwing up left, right and center for years, so is it any surprise that one of their major kompromat operations is getting exposed? Their foolproof plan to install their tool Clinton in the White House in 2016 failed spectacularly and blew up in their faces, so tell me again how great they are at running covert ops? The CIA's own version of James Bond gets snuffed by the CIA's own death squads in Benghazi, but people still think the CIA has a clue what they're doing? The CIA's operatives in multiple embassies are being incapacitated by freakin' crickets and people think these clowns still somehow maintain some vestigial link to reality?
No, this is simply another massive screw-up by the establishment. This blind-sided the Deep State and so much took them by surprise that they were too late to get it clamped down in the mass media. If Epstein dies before the real dirt starts getting exposed then it proves me right and proves wrong all those who worship at the alter of the omnipotent Deep State.
Jul 11, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
karlof1 , Jul 10 2019 21:09 utc | 45
Alexander P @39--
He didn't "win a case" he got the records unsealed:
"The 2nd Cir. has ordered the summary judgment record in Epstein's District Court case to be unsealed.
"Great work from @Cernovich - who intervened to get these particular records unsealed."
As Cernovich notes :
"Cy Vance - Democrat, gave Epstein a pass on sex offender status.
Acosta - Republican, approved plea deal.
Muller - Republican, signed off on FBI closing file on Epstein.
Schumer - Took money from Epstein.
Bill Clinton - Travel.
This isn't partisan. Corruption at all levels."
What's good is that most people commenting on the threads I've read, including Cernovich's, understand just how deep the rot goes, and that it's not confined to North America.
Really? , Jul 10 2019 21:11 utc | 48
@ 3 Karlof1
It would be a most salutary outcomoe if Obama were dethroned and exposed for the lying lounge lizard he is. Scales reallyl need to fall from eyes. I am surprised that Trump doesn't embark on this enterprise with gusto.
Puncture the Obama-Clinton BS balloon once and for all.
Jul 09, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Sinophile , 20 hours ago
Gabbard is NOT a member of the CFR. She has by her own admission, attended some meetings as an invited guest. According to her, it was to engage members and find out what their inside game is. I don't know if Gabbard is for real. I voted for Trump because I perceived him to be the anti-war and anti-intervention candidate. Period. So, as I said, I don't know what to think about the lady. I do now understand however, why some individuals in olden times became hermits.
Jul 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
aspnaz , Jul 9 2019 0:02 utc | 83
This is a blatant UK and US intelligence hit job aimed at influencing the 2020 election:
- "UK hijacks oil tanker": Message="UK is prepared to take action against Iran, why is Trump so war shy"
- "Trump asks Iran before bombing": Message=ditto the above.
- "Diplomatic cables released "accidentally" by UK Foreign Office": Message="Even the UK is getting tired of confused Trump"
Come on folks, stop analysing it with endless "what if"'s and see it for what it is.
Prepare for much more of this: The UK's Skripal affair lured Trump into expelling diplomats, later making him look too trigger happy. Now they are trying to make him look indecisive, stupid and reluctant to stand with his closest allies: notice how Bolton has receded into the background to avoid the flak?
In addition, I am sure the UK's intelligence would never do any of this without the OK from US intelligence.
Jul 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Don Bacon , Jul 8 2019 15:35 utc | 4
An Iranian general yesterday confirmed Magnier's take (also here ):A senior Iranian general has revealed that Washington, through diplomatic channels, recently asked Tehran to allow it to conduct a small-scale operation in the Iranian airspace in order to save its face following the IRGC's shoot-down of a US spy drone.
Brigadier General Gholam Reza Jalali, the Head of Iran's Civil Defence Organization, said Iran vehemently rejected the US request, saying that it will respond to any act of aggression.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran responded that it views any operation as a war and will give a crushing response to it. You may initiate a war but this is Iran which will finish it," he said Sunday.
The idea that the U.S. would ask Iran to allow it to bomb some targets without hitting back sounds crazy.Dear Mr. Rouhani,
could you please name me three targets in your country that I am allowed to bomb?
It is urgent as I need to look tough on Iran.
But this is the Trump White House and the only thing Trump really seems to care for is his own rating.. . .that Trump be allowed to bomb one, two or three clear objectives, to be chosen by Iran,
Trump has experience in such a charade, when empty buildings were struck with US rockets after the fake Syrian "gas attack" in Douma, April 2018. Probably the details were worked out between US and Russia in that case. That it wasn't possible this time is a clear indication of Iran strength. Stronger than Russia! Imagine that.
bevin , Jul 8 2019 15:36 utc | 5Alistair Crooke thinking about Iran and IsraelDon Wiscacho , Jul 8 2019 15:42 utc | 6
https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/07/08/to-think-outside-box-helps-first-understand-whats-box/That Trump would come begging hat in hand seeking for Tehran to let the US bomb the country unimpeded does not strike me as surprising or implausible. It fits Trump's trademark MO of "chaotic, incoherent" to a 't', with a heavy dash of megalomania thrown in as well. Just another day in the office for Trump.Dan Lynch , Jul 8 2019 15:50 utc | 8
The seizure of the Grace 1 is more intriguing for its brazen illegality as well as the reported circumstances (if one can believe the Brits in their claim of boarding 2.5 miles from shore). Was this another avenue of "maximum pressure" cooked up by Iran?
As for Iran seeking US military targets in the region, those sitting ducks will be the last targets sought. Not that they might not, but that certainly would be nuclear option for Tehran. There is much lower hanging fruit to target that would cripple the lackey Gulf states. Hitting the desalination plants of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain would ruin those economies overnight without risking environmental fallout. Iran would be hammered in the MSM, but would be no matter their course of action. Those countries would have strategic reserves of water, so I wouldn't imagine people actually dying of thirst in the desert, but the next day there would be a biblical exodus of the ex-pats that run those economies. The UAE would grind to a halt, there would be a possible overthrow of the monarchy of Bahrain, and massive unrest in Saudi Arabia, without risking immediate gloves-off war with the US.
The cartoon has an element of truth, but mainly Trump is doing the bidding of his pro-Israel billionaire funders, Sheldon Adelson and Robert Mercer. They are frustrated that Trump has not been forceful enough with Iran.
Mercer">https://www.salon.com/2019/06/18/robert-and-rebekah-mercer-bail-on-trump-campaign-they-spent-49-million-in-2016/">Mercer bails on Trump
Nov 10, 2016 | discussion.theguardian.com
JamesWonnacott , 10 Nov 2016 11:18
"And of course, they answer it by bashing immigrants and people of colour, vilifying Muslims, and degrading women."
Muslims, of course, never degrade women do they?
Jul 06, 2019 | caucus99percent.com
veganmark on Fri, 07/05/2019 - 11:39pmk9disc on Sat, 07/06/2019 - 12:34pm
Take a look at these short videos:
Yes, there is strong reason to believe that, during Tulsi's response to a question on Iran in the first debate, MSNBC technicians digitally implanted a pimple on Tulsi's chin. The "pimple" subsequently vanished.
This bizarre behavior by MSNBC lends additional credence to claims by Andrew Yang and Marianne Williamson that their mikes were turned off during portions of the debate.
Those responsible for this must be identified, fired, and, if feasible, prosecuted. Until MSNBC cooperates in these regards, it should be treated like a pariah. Complaints to the regulatory authorities are in order, and the public should be fully apprised of this. If this strategy of digital manipulation is not nipped in the bud NOW, who knows what dangerous frauds might await us in the future?Do You Think It Is Acceptable to Doctor Footage to Paint aJen on Sat, 07/06/2019 - 1:10pm
candidate in a bad light?
While placing a pimple on her chin is a childish prank, it is a childish prank played by one of the largest information company on the planet. It's not really a childish prank at that scale.
Mics being turned off is another trick, not so childish, but still played out by a multibillion dollar institution. This is happening in a public policy event hosted by a news organization.
It's rather ugly, IMO. And while I get the "distraction" angle, it's beyond that: it's a trial balloon. When it comes to psyops; we ain't seen nothin' yet.
@mimiI did an eyeroll
@mimi I did an eyeroll when I first heard about it too. But then I started to understand. Tulsi is a beautiful woman, inside and out from what I've seen. I'm quite sure that her outer beauty is one thing that made lots of people google her.
Some people really are that superficial.
How would you go about trying to make her less beautiful without being overtly obvious? Did that pimple stop people from wanting to know who she is?
I really hope not. Personally, I think she's beautiful with or without a zit on her chin, but her message is what makes her shine so bright. They can't put a pimple on that.
Nov 09, 2016 | -> www.theguardian.com
People have lost their sense of security, status and even identity. This result is the scream of an America desperate for radical change.
'Elite neoliberalism unleashed the Davos class. People such as Hillary and Bill Clinton are the toast of the Davos party. In truth, they threw the party.
They will blame -> James Comey and the FBI. They will blame -> voter suppression and racism. They will blame -> Bernie or bust and misogyny. They will blame third parties and independent candidates. They will blame the corporate media for giving him the platform, social media for being a bullhorn, and WikiLeaks for airing the laundry.
But this leaves out the force most responsible for creating the nightmare in which we now find ourselves wide awake: neoliberalism. That worldview – fully embodied by -> Hillary Clinton and her machine – is no match for Trump-style extremism. The decision to run one against the other is what sealed our fate. If we learn nothing else, can we please learn from that mistake?
Here is what we need to understand: a hell of a lot of people are in pain. Under neoliberal policies of deregulation, privatisation, austerity and corporate trade, their living standards have declined precipitously. They have lost jobs. They have lost pensions. They have lost much of the safety net that used to make these losses less frightening. They see a future for their kids even worse than their precarious present.
At the same time, they have witnessed the rise of the Davos class, a hyper-connected network of banking and tech billionaires, elected leaders who are awfully cosy with those interests, and Hollywood celebrities who make the whole thing seem unbearably glamorous. Success is a party to which they were not invited, and they know in their hearts that this rising wealth and power is somehow directly connected to their growing debts and powerlessness.
For the people who saw security and status as their birthright – and that means white men most of all – these losses are unbearable.
-> Donald Trump speaks directly to that pain. The Brexit campaign spoke to that pain. So do all of the rising far-right parties in Europe. They answer it with nostalgic nationalism and anger at remote economic bureaucracies – whether Washington, the North American free trade agreement the World Trade Organisation or the EU. And of course, they answer it by bashing immigrants and people of colour, vilifying Muslims, and degrading women. Elite neoliberalism has nothing to offer that pain, because neoliberalism unleashed the Davos class. People such as Hillary and Bill Clinton are the toast of the Davos party. In truth, they threw the party.
Trump's message was: "All is hell." Clinton answered: "All is well." But it's not well – far from it.
Neo-fascist responses to rampant insecurity and inequality are not going to go away. But what we know from the 1930s is that what it takes to do battle with fascism is a real left. A good chunk of Trump's support could be peeled away if there were a genuine redistributive agenda on the table. An agenda to take on the billionaire class with more than rhetoric, and use the money for a green new deal. Such a plan could create a tidal wave of well-paying unionised jobs, bring badly needed resources and opportunities to communities of colour, and insist that polluters should pay for workers to be retrained and fully included in this future.
It could fashion policies that fight institutionalised racism, economic inequality and climate change at the same time. It could take on bad trade deals and police violence, and honour indigenous people as the original protectors of the land, water and air.
People have a right to be angry, and a powerful, intersectional left agenda can direct that anger where it belongs, while fighting for holistic solutions that will bring a frayed society together.
Such a coalition is possible. In Canada, we have begun to cobble it together under the banner of a people's agenda called The Leap Manifesto , endorsed by more than 220 organisations from Greenpeace Canada to Black Lives Matter Toronto, and some of our largest trade unions.
Bernie Sanders' amazing campaign went a long way towards building this sort of coalition, and demonstrated that the appetite for democratic socialism is out there.
... ... ...
Briar , 10 Nov 2016 09:22josephinireland -> Briar 72 73
So, the very people harmed by neoliberalism have elected someone already a member of the Davos class, whose rise will harm them even more. Another own goal for democracy.greenwichite -> Briar 33 34
Never has there been a transfer of wealth from so many to so few and it isn't just happening in the USA. People have rightly had enough - but you are right, voting for Trump is hardly the way to fix it.SlumVictim , 10 Nov 2016 09:23
I have a feeling the Davos class sneer at Donald Trump. He's just a builder, really, whereas in Davos they like financiers and tech billionaires.tempestteacup -> SlumVictim 44 45
The problem with centre left parties throughout the western world is that they sold out to corporate capitalism, which forced people who rejected neoliberalism to go to the extremes to protest. The question is, once someone's loyalty has been broken, it is that much more difficult to win loyalty back, if it is possible at all.zephirine -> tempestteacup
Good, concise post.
And you're right - the neoliberal capture of centre-left legacy parties from the Democrats to the German SPD and French Socialist Party has created an exceptionally unpromising landscape and public mood. Trust has been broken. Responsibilities betrayed. Intellectual traditions traduced, distorted, or simply cast aside.
In moments of humiliation or defeat - and make no mistake, this was both - there needs to be reflection and a willingness to return to first principles as well as evolving new strategies and insights appropriate to the present.
Economic realities shape cultural and social relations. The left should always listen to the experiences of people and build a consensus based on solidarity between groups and not the alienated support of different self-interested demographics. Exploitation is the corner-stone of capitalism when it is left to run unchecked. Without regulation, capitalism tends towards monopolies that end up subverting democracy itself.
These are the issues Bernie Sanders raised and the enthusiasm with which it was greeted is testimony to the fact that there are white working class voters hungry for a politics of positive, radical social change. Intoning with robotic piety that the people have never had it so good despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary is a form of deceit; when it comes from the mouths of corporate Democrats, it is political obscenity.tempestteacup -> zephirineI think what I've realised from the Brexit and Trump results is how desperate people are for something to believe in. What used to be called 'the vision thing'.
In moments of humiliation or defeat - and make no mistake, this was both - there needs to be reflection and a willingness to return to first principles
For decades we've had to choose between different forms of managerialism and variations on a theme of 'there is no alternative to rule by the market'. We just had to put up and shut up, there was nothing to get excited about. Nobody's ever jumped up and down shouting "What do want? Trickle-down economics! When do we want it? Now!"
The thing about demagogues is they offer that emotional release. What we need is principled political movements that also enable it.FrankyJane , 10 Nov 2016 09:26
Absolutely right. One of the by-products of There Is No Alternative, though, is that managerialism and wonkiness have been fetishised. Hillary Clinton's devastatingly uninspiring offer to the American people was hailed by some as a mark of her "maturity", "experience", and "competence". Bernie Sanders, by contrast, was attacked for firing people up, for inspiring them to believe change was possible - by implication, of course, such attacks rest on the belief that change is in fact not possible at all. It is a bleak nihilism that states the best that can be hoped or organised for is a slightly better management of existing structures.
There is a hypocrisy, too, when someone like Clinton derides Trump's economic plans as "Trumped-up trickle-down". In reality, they were arguing simply over who would offer the *bigger* tax cuts. The notion that there were alternative visions on the economy, on climate change, on racial equality or healthcare and education, not to mention foreign policies, was almost completely absent.
This is why I wrote that in some ways Hillary Clinton was the greater evil in this election. It is one thing to hark backwards to a mythical past, as Donald Trump did. It is quite another to put such tight constraints on the entire notion of what is possible in the future. Trump offered nostalgia. Clinton offered the tyranny of low expectations - forever.
But that is all in the past now - for the future, I agree with you that there needs to be a willingness to offer radical, inspirational and visionary alternatives to a system that has simply not worked for the majority of people who through no fault of their own find their quality of life, possibilities and security in decline while wealth flows ceaselessly upwards and into the pockets of those already insulated from the harm their favoured politicians unleash.
Bernie showed what can be done - he also showed that people are willing to finance such campaigns and thus liberate the political process from the death-grip of corporate donations. Personally, I am sceptical of whether the Democratic Party is an appropriate vehicle for such politics (I know that Bernie doesn't agree with me!) Regardless, his campaign should provide somewhat of a model for what can be done - and likewise his statement from today. Amidst the headlong rush - in this paper as well - to denigrate and smear voters for failing to advance bourgeois liberal interests, it is imperative that deprived, working class voters of all races are listened to properly and not labelled racists and bigots. A few no doubt are. But these are, in many instances, the same people that helped elect Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. They are crying out for something to organise around. Hillary Clinton failed because she was not and never has been a person capable of, even interested in, offering that.DaveLester -> FrankyJane
This article is brilliant. Truth in spades.
One tiny quibble.
You write: "there was a failure in the campaign to connect with older black and Latino voters who are the demographic most abused by our current economic model."
A major reason the Sanders campaign didn't connect in time was the DNC's suppression of the debate schedule. A corrupt but wildly successful tactic that saw Clinton sweep the southern states.Andymcneilis -> FrankyJane
This article is brilliant. Truth in spades.
Naomi, has omitted one very important detail: automation, i.e. the use of AI to replace jobs.
This absolutely requires us to restructure society to provide security and purpose to each every one of us who is not part of the super rich owners.
For example we will see driving jobs rapidly disappearing within the next five to ten years.
I also notice that where the worst effects of rampant capitalism are ameliorated there appear to be fewer issues. I'm thinking of many Western European nations where the issues do not yet seem to have the over fifty percent traction that they have in the US and the UK. If Australia were suffering a similar economic slow down it may well join the US and UK. But what's happening in Canada and New Zealand?yellowshark -> DaveLester 25 26
I don't think it is. It is the same old hate hate hate blame the white man stuff.
If you want to know why you lost and will keep losing look in the mirror -as a tribe the left - despises anything different to your view of the world - ironicparmantom , 10 Nov 2016 09:27Over the last few months I've been writing in here about the main difference between (some of?) those Western European nations and the UK and US. One big difference is we (I'm from the UK but applies also to US) use the First Past The Post voting system. This enforces a two party system (Duverger's Law) which tends to crowd out minority voices - can you imagine a conservative/green alliance in government in UK/US as happened not too long ago in Germany.
I also notice that where the worst effects of rampant capitalism are ameliorated there appear to be fewer issues. I'm thinking of many Western European nations where the issues do not yet seem to have the over fifty percent traction that they have in the US and the UK.
Much of what ails the UK and the US is not evident in the North Western Eu nations: less inequality, greater wealth (in the UK, not US - GDP per capita: from worldbank data), better healthcare outcomes, better education outcomes, greater worker productivity. The move to neoliberalism under Thatcher/Reagan and the resultant move to market economics and reduction in nationalised industries (Larry Elliot recently wrote an article on here describing the issue https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/nov/06/the-legacy-of-leaving-old-industrial-britain-to-rot-is-becoming-clear ) and the Left didn't have a reply: workers lost their jobs and their traditional political parties couldn't help. A move to the centre and the rise of third way politics of Clinton/Blair was the only way that the Democrats and (New) Labour could get into power: did they do anything to help the left-behind? The Global Financial Crisis and resultant austerity, coupled with rising rates of immigration and the inability of those people to have their voices heard with FPTP led to Trump/Brexit and the rise of popular nationalism/socialism.BillyBalfour -> Klamberra 0 1
This is a useful and pertinent plea. However the article failed to include the automation of work as a massive driver of joblessness.
We humans get excited by success, but if large swathes of Society cannot embrace change and adaptation as a determinant of ambition, then technology advance and neoliberal economics will ruin them.
Iterative workplace skills are perhaps the biggest investment a Society should make. The alternative is governments paying chunks of Society in place of work. Society will generate new jobs, but unless those replace by Technology at work adapt, great pain will come. For sure you cant easily blame Technology, its easier to blame migrants...stuffandnonsense -> parmantom 8 9
I only some one had seen it coming. Read The Mighty Micro, Christopher Evans. 1979dunwich , 10 Nov 2016 09:32
Manufacturing has moved to China and Mexico. Jobs have been off-shored to India and the Philippines. What is left behind? Take a look at Detroit. Automation hasn't had that much impact - it's cheaper to (under)pay a bunch of people in developing countries than automate solutions.Herschy -> dunwich
Yes, there are some real insights here and the beginnings of a response, which has been pretty much absent elsewhere.
A pity that, although comments have finally been opened, the piece is somewhat buried well down the page, and that Hadley Freeman's vastly inferior piece which bangs on about misogyny (as at least 3 pieces did yesterday) is being promoted.
Trump is snarling bully with what look like very unattractive attitudes towards women. But as, Klein also pointed out on R4 this morning, the most important thing about this election is not that Clinton failed to break the glass ceiling.
Full marks.Paul Baker , 10 Nov 2016 09:34
Freeman is also right, most of Trump's voters don't match the description of them as down on their luck working class people, most are just upper middle class people with backward views and a decent paycheck.Herve Boisde -> Paul Baker
Really? You respond to the crushing defeat of Liberal pseudo intellectualism with even more Liberal pseudo intellectualism? And you can't understand why it's all going wrong for you?Lazio99 , 10 Nov 2016 09:37
When the popular vote goes to Conservatives then I might agree with you. Trump is hardly a symbol of a crushing mandate.josephinireland -> Lazio99
Everybody's an expert after the event, aren't they? OK, noble sentiments but "let's set aside whatever is keeping us apart"?
What is keeping people apart is that the elitism of the political classes and their hangers on, certainly in the UK. They are absolutists; they have no concern over what ordinary people think. If anyone at all thinks differently from them then they are wrong, end of.
They don't see any need to back their opinion up, to debate the point. Anyone who thinks differently from them is just plain wrong. This is usually backed up with sneers and insults. Racist, xenophobe, stupid, misogynist.
These people can't change. their sense of infallibilty and superiority is unchallengeable.
What is keeping them apart is themselves; to change would be to surrender their sense of superiority and entitlement. They can't do it.Expatrician -> Lazio99 24 25
Yes, it is quite noticeable how those who disagree become a 'target' (in more ways than one I suspect).Lazio99 -> Expatrician 4 5
Ms Klein was wise long, long before this event. You should read the Shock Doctrine. It makes everything much easier to follow and predict.Brouillard , 10 Nov 2016 09:39
OK, fair point.
I should have made it plain that absolutism isn't confined to the political classes. It's amazing how many people collapse into incoherent rage when they are disagreed with; and a lack of toleration of the views of others tends to make the "others" themselves be less tolerant. It's a vice that spreads.DawnBreaks , 10 Nov 2016 09:40
Of all the articles in the Guardian, this is the only one that gets close to defining the cause of Trump's win. What we have is effectively the educated rebelling against the educated and who can blame them. Our financial system is rigged towards the better educated who are disproportionately contributed for their efforts at a cost to the less well educated. Is it any wonder that they vote for change? I don't think Trump is the answer any more than Brexit is in this country. But blaming Trump's win on wholesale misogyny and racism is sneering prejudice that could be every bit as damaging as Trump's racism and sexism
Our educated politicians need to work out how to make capitalism work for the middle, support the bottom and not over reward the top. It is doing the opposite currentlyBarbara Watson -> DawnBreaks 8 9
Everyone who voted Trump is neo-fascist? ... still think the left is missing the point. All around the world people are being lifted out of poverty by globalised industry; jobs and hence wealth are being redistributed more evenly around the world. I thought the left were in favour of wealth redistribution.BillInTheStyx , 10 Nov 2016 09:42
The elephant in the room was hardly mentioned if at all. The Israelis love him, the American Jews were split but, guess what, he was endorsed by KKK and David Duke! What the hell is going on?....DefinitionOfMadness -> BillInTheStyx
The problem with a coalition of progressives, is that "the left" in general don't believe in limits on growth or even climate change.
Look at the Richmond by-election, where labour MPs want to turn the spotlight from the issue of airport expansion, to Zac Goldsmith's support for Brexit.
Look at union support for continued use of coal, feeding into the labour party's own ambivalence. Or the frankly bizarre support for building trident submarines, to keep the jobs, but not actually using them.
If you want a coalition that does something about climate change - and all the other ecological ills of the earth - you will have to reach out to small c- and even large C- conservatives - the likes of Boris's father Stanley Johnson and Zac Goldsmith (mayoral campaign notwithstanding) - and dare I say it, cut out some of the social progressives, whose ecological credentials are not so progressive. That really would change everything.Henryb63 , 10 Nov 2016 09:43
Look at union support for continued use of coal, feeding into the labour party's own ambivalence.
You do know that Tony Blair closed more pits than Margaret Thatcher don't you?Flix -> Henryb63
The first thing to do is to stop vilifying the white man, most are hard working and keep economies going, stop calling them names and blaming for everything bad that has happened since the Roman Empire and before.Chris Bentley -> Henryb63 45 46
Absolutely. We need compromise not division.Andymcneilis -> Chris Bentley 6 7
Amen to that. Its just racism/sexism of another kind. As a good husband and father, hard-working professional, law abiding citizen, good neighbour etc I am made to feel guilty for being a white man. Shouldn't all individuals be judged on their merits???Martin Cohen , 10 Nov 2016 09:44
Spot on - does the white worker not have rights ?EnduraKlaar -> Martin Cohen 11 12
What is puzzling is that based on your premise these vast swathes of disenfranchised voters surely sided with the enemy as represented by an elitist, sneering billionaire. What he has now created though is a massive crisis of expectation. The anti Trump protests seen in the last 24 hours may in time be replaced by those whose aspirations he has ignited but remain unfulfilled. Clinton winning the popular vote may be a moral victory of some kind but here in the UK we are used to having to accept a government often voted for by barely a third of the electorate. Other commentators have said things like 'it's the end of democracy as we know it'. How so, when electing Trump is the clearest demonstration of democracy in action there is, whether you like the result or not. The parallels with Brexit are startling. France next?stevevarcoe , 10 Nov 2016 09:44
No, what really really pisses people off is when the winners of the election (and numpties in the media) talk of a "clear mandate" and "the people voted for this". In the US as in the UK it's nothing of the kind (Democrats won more votes for christ sake, and you call it "clear democracy") and this reality-corrupting idea of "clear mandate" causes real trouble.Klamberra -> stevevarcoe
I'm sick of seeing the word elite used by angry people in these forums. Used to describe the powerful, mostly faceless people who they believe oppress them. They read newspapers owned by tax dodging aristocrats and pornographers and then they go out and vote for multi millionaire who inherited every cent and a chinless public school prick with an EU pension.ParisHiltonCommune -> Klamberra 13 14
Agreed - elite has become the word for anyone who has more (earned, inherited, studied, courage) than the writer of the word. It's a vile word.Guess11 , 10 Nov 2016 09:45
True. Perhaps the word should be replaced by "plutocracy", but the media don't like to use that word as it pinpoints the causes of most our problems far more accurately than "elite".usasandy -> Guess11 4 5
A bit simplistic. The Davos class is a very small number of people. Their votes couldn't elect a pope in a vatican on their own.
No, the real turning point is that those losing out and seeing no chance of that changing now outnumber those who are dragged along by the elites, on an upward if gentle trajectory, with belief that they can 'make it'. Much more subtle.
And the Elephant is the unwillingness to accept that long term there is no fundamental reason for a historically rich nation to maintain relative prosperity compared to historically poorer ones. Parity is inevitable in the long term - one man is as valuable as any other.josephinireland , 10 Nov 2016 09:51
It's not the votes of the Davos class, it's their power in the world to control the votes of everyone else.zephirine -> josephinireland 9 10
The 'American dream' is dead in the water for the vast majority these days.josephinireland -> zephirine 2 3
The idea of the 'American dream' seems to have morphed into a nasty belief that if you're poor it's your own fault. You didn't 'want it enough'. You must be secretly lazy and undeserving, even if you're actually working three jobs to survive, or even if there are no jobs.
This view has taken hold in the UK too, where the tabloids peddle the view that anyone who claims state benefits must be a fraud. But at least, people here and in mainland Europe have the direct experience of war within living memory and we understand that you can lose everything through no fault of your own. In the US, even when there's a natural disaster like Katrina it seems to be the poor people's fault for not having their own transport and money to go and stay somewhere else.
It always seems very odd to me that so many people who think like that profess to be Christian. 'Poverty equals moral failure' is the complete opposite of what Jesus Christ got into so much trouble for saying.
Amen to that. I couldn't agree with you more. ,Flix , 10 Nov 2016 09:51
Amen to that. I couldn't agree with you more.Grotesque -> Flix
Superb article. A voice of reason in the sea of hysteria from the other Guardian commentators who don't seem to be learning anything from this.
What I think the left needs on a political level is to dispense with identity politics (which only divides people who should be on the same level in terms of economic status and relative need) and have a coming together moment, wherein we effectively set out that woman, man, black, white, homosexual, heterosexual, etc who are living at the bottom end of society all come together behind a unified political purpose - one that doesn't seek to demonise others within its ranks. Because let's be honest - the racism that brought Trump to power is at least partially a response to the intolerant, bigoted views of 'progressives' on the 'left'. Look at Hadley Freeman's article today as an example. These people divide us, and make the job harder.
The left needs to embrace rational egalitarianism, not agenda driven crusades. They aren't working, they're complicit in delivering hell.Flix -> Grotesque 3 4
What I think the left needs on a political level is to dispense with identity politics (which only divides people who should be on the same level in terms of economic status and relative need) and have a coming together moment, wherein we effectively set out that woman, man, black, white, homosexual, heterosexual, etc who are living at the bottom end of society all come together behind a unified political purpose - one that doesn't seek to demonise others within its ranks.
But we know as a sociological fact that if you are, say, an African-American you experience forms of oppression based on the fact that you are African-American. Explicitly naming that oppression, however, is seen to be divisive, and few people will stand with them behind a unified political purpose. Where does that leave us?bingostan -> thisux 14 15
Naming the oppression isn't divisive, in my view. The way in which the naming is done, and at whom the blame is directed, can be - and often is. I believe most people can rationally assess what is and is not oppression if done in a calm and measured way - all except the racists anyway (and they'd probably still be able to see it rationally, they just wouldn't care). But if you start screeching at people, they're just going to switch off - and screeching is generally what we see.
In the wider context of the improvement of people's lives at the bottom end of the scale, I believe you would get buy in from other, non-affected groups. In fact, we see this all the time - BLM and LGBT groups frequently work with each other on combatting things that harm one or both of them. Where this falls flat is when you get the demonising of the white working class (especially the male, cis-gendered working class), who should be allies for other low income people.
Why do people assume that working and lower middle class white men, who are being squeezed and seeing their incomes and quality of life fall in the same way as everyone else, are the problem - the enemy to be railed against, while we have super rich white men (and women, and even an increasing number of super rich non-white men, believe it or not), who are literally stacking the whole system in such a way that all lower income groups suffer? I suspect because actually fixing the issue and compromising and working together isn't as important as being a victim for a lot of the people who lead the identity politics drive. They'd rather scream at racists - who in turn scream back.
The only reason I think the 'progressives' can't see this is because they have too big a stake in the status quo.TeTsuo36 -> thisux 10 11
[neoliberalism] has devastating environmental consequences, Including the impoverishment of huge numbers of people.
But people aren't interested in the World, this is the mistake the globalisers make.
They care about their family, their town and their country. Since 1979 things have stood still. My Plumber Father bought his first house at 22, on a single wage. He could leave a job on Friday and have another one on Monday.
It takes 2 professional salaries to buy a house now and I can't walk to China to pick up that new job over the weekend.
Nov 10, 2016 | discussion.theguardian.com
dartmouth75, 10 Nov 2016 10:26KelvinYearwood , 10 Nov 2016 10:30
That ship has sailed. Bernie was the opportunity and it wasn't grasped. The moment for a 'left' alternative has been lost for a long time. The whole globalised liberal paradigm - allied to the metropolitan elite's obsession with identity politics at the expense of bottom-line issues - has been broken up by people who now realise centre-left politicians (Clinton/Obama) have presided over whole communities being gutted in the name of 'free' trade (for 'free' trade read labour arbitrage). I felt it in my bones that Trump would be elected - 55% of US households are worse off than they were in 2000, how on earth could anyone possibly think that that would result or a vote for the status quo.rebuydonkey , 10 Nov 2016 10:31
Well said Naomi.
I am an angry white male, and I am not a misogynist, as this paper would have it. I am fully aware of the appalling nature of Donald Trump.
On the other hand, I fully understand the bureaucratic nature of the Democrat Party, the embedded interests of Wall Street and the military-industrial complex in that bureaucracy, the dirty tricks that that bureaucratic machinery got up to in order to extinguish Bernie Sander's campaign.
I am aware of how that machinery has been ramping up a situation of global conflict, shamelessly recreating an aggressive Cold war Mk II situation with Russia and China, which is simply cover for the US racist colonial assumption that the world and its resources belongs to it in its sense of itself as an exceptional entity fulfilling its manifest destiny upon a global stage that belongs to its exceptional, wealthy and powerful elites.
And I am aware of how Hillary was so keen to service this reality and American image of itself. And to go beyond that, and bomb Libya for 6 months, killing thousands of civilians (Middle eastern unpeople) and, may I suggest, doing nothing whatsoever for the women of Libya. Quite the opposite!
Michael Moore, in a talk in which he predicted the victory of Trump before the election, notes how Trump went into an American car factory and told the executives of that company that if they relocated to Mexico, he would put a huge tax on their cars coming into America. Not all was misogyny in the vote for Trump. Whether he delivers on his threat or not, unlike the democrat bureaucratic machinery, he showed he was actually listening to working class Americans and that he was ;prepared to face up to company executives.
What has this paper got to say about Hillary and the Democrat Party's class bigotry – its demonstrable contempt for 10s of millions of Americans whose lives are worse now than in 1973, while productivity and wealth overall has skyrocketed over those 43 years.
What has this paper got to say about the lives of African American women, which have been devastated by Republican/Democrat bipartisan policy over the last 43 years?
What has Hadley Freeman got to say about Hillary's comment that President Mubarek of Egypt was "one of the family? A president whose security forces used physical and sexualised abuse of female demonstrators in the Arab Spring?
A feminist would need more than a peg on their nose to vote for Hillary – a feminist would need all the scented oils of Arabia. Perhaps Wahhabi funded Hillary can buy them up.brianpreece -> rebuydonkey
Great article. I think there needs to be a lot of soul searching in certain sections of the media and amongst the left wing political parties too. They don't have the correct approach to a rapidly changing ground swell of opinion. They are fast becoming out of touch - leaving a huge void for more conservative rhetoric (euphemism) to take over.
The failure to tackle immigration concerns across the west is the greatest example of comfy left wing elites being so far away from general consensus imo. The assumption that if you are concerned about immigration then you are a racist, xenophobic half wit appears rife amongst elites and the highly educated.TeTsuo36 -> rebuydonkey
I agree that this is a great article. And I agree that there is a coming migration crisis that we need to be very worried about, as the refugees from the Middle East try desperately for a better life away from conflict zones and poverty. However, the right wing have very skilfully redirected the anger that SHOULD be directed at what Naomi cleverly calls the "Davos class" onto a very small "immigration" issue that we have in the UK today.
The evidence for this is that in the EU referendum, the areas that were most strongly Leave were generally speaking those with few or no immigrants. I campaigned for Remain here in Stockport where there are very few immigrants and I also campaign regularly against privatisation in the NHS and over and over again, I am told that immigrants are the problem in an area which has virtually none. I don't think that people are concerned about immigration are half wits, but I think they've been manipulated.
"Fear the stranger" is an evolutionary response buried deep in our brains that we need to control with rationality and it's such an easy button for the right wing to push. I grew up in Northern Ireland so I saw this at first hand. My grandfather was a highly intelligent technocrat, but he was also an Orangeman. He did not seem able to understand that the Catholics he knew and were his friends were the same "them" that he demonised. All progressive people need now to find a way, as Naomi's article says, to repoint this anger to where it belongs. Sorry if this makes me a comfy left wing elite!zephirine -> brianpreece
It is not going to happen. The holier than thou, supremacist arrogance of the illiberal class, means they can never admit they were wrong. Look at the past year here ATL and then BTL. Witness the absolute, unchanging and frankly extreme editorial line, in the face of massive discourse and well argued opposition BTL. Even now there are no alarm bells ringing in the back of their minds, they are right and everyone else is wrong. No attempt to understand, such is their unwavering belief in the echo chamber. You will only find an attempted programme of re-education in these pages. They will be still be doing it as Europe falls into the hands of the far-right.ID3924525 , 10 Nov 2016 10:33It's all about jobs, really, isn't it? There is a natural fear of 'the other', but if times are good and jobs (proper jobs, not ZHC) are plentiful, it feels less important. On the face of it, it seems odd that the most fear of immigration is in places where there isn't much immigration, but they're often places where there isn't much work either.
I campaigned for Remain here in Stockport where there are very few immigrants and I also campaign regularly against privatisation in the NHS and over and over again, I am told that immigrants are the problem in an area which has virtually none. I don't think that people are concerned about immigration are half wits, but I think they've been manipulated. "Fear the stranger" is an evolutionary response buried deep in our brains that we need to control with rationality and it's such an easy button for the right wing to push.OhReallyFFS , 10 Nov 2016 10:34
Here is what we need to understand: a hell of a lot of people are in pain. Under neoliberal policies of deregulation, privatisation, austerity and corporate trade, their living standards have declined precipitously. They have lost jobs. They have lost pensions. They have lost much of the safety net that used to make these losses less frightening. They see a future for their kids even worse than their precarious present.
Yes. But, in the meantime, the system has become so right-wing that it only permits a right-wing outburst - a Social-Democratic one is instantly discredited by the totalitarian media outlets.
There is no way to articulate an effective response to this attack within the system.tomandlu -> OhReallyFFS 2 3
As usual Klein seems to make more sense than anyone else.
This paper needs to decide where it's going to stand politically for the next few years.
Rights are important, but identity politics contain too much whimsy and focus on the self.SaintTimothy , 10 Nov 2016 11:01
Yes, but they're politically and economically cheap, don't require much thought, and you get to hang out with pop-stars.
This article is spot on except that both Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren jumped on the Clinton neoliberal train for reasons of political expediency. From now on, anything either of them say should be critically examined before being supported.
Nov 10, 2016 | discussion.theguardian.com
CosmoCrawley, 10 Nov 2016 10:44Cuniform -> CosmoCrawley 0 1
It wasn't just free trade that the white working class voters of the rust belt states were angry about, it was also high immigration. Naomi doesn't mention this, probably because fluid borders is one policy which the Davos class and left-liberals like herself agree on.
Such a[n intersection left] coalition is possible. In Canada, we have begun to cobble it together under the banner of a people's agenda called The Leap Manifesto, endorsed by more than 220 organisations from Greenpeace Canada to Black Lives Matter Toronto, and some of our largest trade unions.
And if such a coalition of the usual suspects got off the ground in the USA it would just about seal a second term for Donald.JulesBywaterLees -> CosmoCrawley
Would this be a movement that would see us being turned from supine consumers back into citizens who actively care about more than a new TV?
Otherwise, look to see a recurrence, here and elsewhere, of the riots we saw in England in 2011.nollafgm -> Cuniform
government for the centre ground has been about management- the days when the US New Deal funded by taxing the rich and which built the wealth Americans now miss, and the Labour post war government that built the NHS [and taxed the rich] is part of history. Instead we have no new innovation but a little bit of tweaking with banks and global business.
No government wants to upset the powers that run the economy- so a multinational can move its workforce to a country with lower pay, lower environmental regulation- it can use the inequality to move not only manufacturing but people.
In return the gutted communities become less smart and given bread and circuses but their privilege and lack of mobility means they don't travel to pick fruit elsewhere- yet they still demand food on the table and the only ones prepared to travel and work hard are the even greater poor.
And the right simply blames the immigrants, the others and you believe them.
don't stop at 2011, the precedent started in 1934 in Nuremberg Germany. Trump used the same how to manual written by Goebbels, he got the idea from the Romans.
Nov 10, 2016 | discussion.theguardian.com
Scott Ward, 10 Nov 2016 10:49Flooch -> Scott Ward
This is an excellent response. However already you can hear the liberal elite dismiss the Trump voters as idiots - it's always funny when you hear people complain that Trump threatening to put his opponent in jail, or Brexiters threatening the partiality of the judiciary are threats to the democratic system... these same people then start making the argument the electorate is too stupid to make a decision. The liberal elite need to acknowledge the tangible suffering and injustice being faced by working-class people across Europe and the United States, and act to address it.
There was a telling point early on in the election coverage when the democrat representative on the BBC panel was arrogantly smiling once the exit polls showed Clinton on for a comfortable victory. Andrew Neil put him straight back in his place when he asked 'is it not concerning for the Democrat Party that they are no longer the party of the blue-collar American?' The representative highlighted the arrogance and complacency of the liberal elite, that seconds after the election result looked to be in, he seemed to go back to not caring about working-class people and re-enter the elite bubble.boilingriver -> Scott Ward
Great post. Inequality has been visibly widening in the US (and the UK) for years, principally as a result of globalisation. A large proportion of the people are "mad as hell" and have decided to try to do something about it. Trump is unlikely to be the answer, but there will be more support for anti-politicians (such as Grillo & the 5 Star movement in Italy) while the conventional politicians continue to bleat nonsense.montmartian , 10 Nov 2016 10:49
some people see that you put in the same republican representatives that are just the opposite side of the same coin. Actually the repubs are worse . No to unions, higher min wage, tax cuts to the very wealthy etc. Dems talk about these issue but can never get it together to actually implement them.Flooch -> montmartian 3 4
I think Naomi has given the answer by mistake. The liberal elite is totally disconnected from the rest of the country. It wasn't just trump it was a red wave of republican victory -- her article demonstrates how little she understands.
The liberal elite includes the media, who can't wait to run stories of "thousands" of people protesting about Trump in the US. Yes, thousands, in a country with a population of 318 million.
Jul 06, 2019 | consortiumnews.com
mark , July 3, 2019 at 00:17
Same old, same old, same old, same old. Prospective candidates spewing out the same tired old hot air about how, this time, it really, really, really, really will be different.
There won't be any more crazy multitrillion wars for Israel. Honest.
Just like Dubya. Just like Obomber. Just like the Orange Baboon. Whilst simultaneously begging for shekels from Adelson, Saban, Singer, Marcus.
... ... ...
Nov 10, 2016 | discussion.theguardian.com
PaulDLion , 10 Nov 2016 11:43
In order to justify the unjustifiable (a corporate elite exploiting the world as their own private estate), they constructed an artificial equivalence to make it seem that their self-interested economic system was part and parcel of a package of 'democracy', 'multi-racial tolerance', 'LGBT tolerance' etc, so that people would be fooled into thinking that rejecting the economics meant rejecting all the other things too.
George Soros' "Open Society Foundation'" is a key offender here. The false consciousness thus engendered does indeed set the scene for fascism, but a genuine left opposition can and needs to be built and we can only hope that we can succeed in so doing.
Aug 21, 2016 | www.theguardian.com
... ... ...
The neoliberal era is being undermined from two directions. First, if its record of economic growth has never been particularly strong, it is now dismal. Europe is barely larger than it was on the eve of the financial crisis in 2007; the United States has done better but even its growth has been anaemic. Economists such as Larry Summers believe that the prospect for the future is most likely one of secular stagnation .
Worse, because the recovery has been so weak and fragile, there is a widespread belief that another financial crisis may well beckon. In other words, the neoliberal era has delivered the west back into the kind of crisis-ridden world that we last experienced in the 1930s. With this background, it is hardly surprising that a majority in the west now believe their children will be worse off than they were. Second, those who have lost out in the neoliberal era are no longer prepared to acquiesce in their fate – they are increasingly in open revolt. We are witnessing the end of the neoliberal era. It is not dead, but it is in its early death throes, just as the social-democratic era was during the 1970s.
A sure sign of the declining influence of neoliberalism is the rising chorus of intellectual voices raised against it. From the mid-70s through the 80s, the economic debate was increasingly dominated by monetarists and free marketeers. But since the western financial crisis, the centre of gravity of the intellectual debate has shifted profoundly. This is most obvious in the United States, with economists such as Joseph Stiglitz, Paul Krugman, Dani Rodrik and Jeffrey Sachs becoming increasingly influential. Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century has been a massive seller. His work and that of Tony Atkinson and Angus Deaton have pushed the question of the inequality to the top of the political agenda. In the UK, Ha-Joon Chang , for long isolated within the economics profession, has gained a following far greater than those who think economics is a branch of mathematics.
Meanwhile, some of those who were previously strong advocates of a neoliberal approach, such as Larry Summers and the Financial Times 's Martin Wolf, have become extremely critical. The wind is in the sails of the critics of neoliberalism; the neoliberals and monetarists are in retreat. In the UK, the media and political worlds are well behind the curve. Few recognise that we are at the end of an era. Old attitudes and assumptions still predominate, whether on the BBC's Today programme, in the rightwing press or the parliamentary Labour party.
As Thomas Piketty has shown, in the absence of countervailing pressures, capitalism naturally gravitates towards increasing inequality. In the period between 1945 and the late 70s, Cold War competition was arguably the biggest such constraint. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, there have been none. As the popular backlash grows increasingly irresistible, however, such a winner-takes-all regime becomes politically unsustainable.
Large sections of the population in both the US and the UK are now in revolt against their lot, as graphically illustrated by the support for Trump and Sanders in the US and the Brexit vote in the UK. This popular revolt is often described, in a somewhat denigratory and dismissive fashion, as populism. Or, as Francis Fukuyama writes in a recent excellent essay in Foreign Affairs: “‘Populism’ is the label that political elites attach to policies supported by ordinary citizens that they don’t like.” Populism is a movement against the status quo. It represents the beginnings of something new, though it is generally much clearer about what it is against than what it is for. It can be progressive or reactionary, but more usually both.
Jul 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Sound of the Suburbs , , July 6, 2019 at 2:53 pm
A multi-polar world became a uni-polar world with the fall of the Berlin Wall and Francis Fukuyama said it was the end of history.
The Americans had other ideas and set about creating another rival as fast as they possibly could, China. China went from almost nothing to become a global super power.
The Americans have realised they have messed up big time and China will soon take over the US as the world's largest economy.
Beijing has taken over support for the Washington consensus as they have thirty years experience telling them how well it works for them.
The Washington consensus is now known as the Beijing consensus.
Jul 06, 2019 | consortiumnews.com
Piotr Berman , July 3, 2019 at 14:49
Like the "withdrawal from Syria", a typically fleeting idea?
Breaking a few treaties? Ratcheting up support of the carnage and starvation in Yemen?
The "comparatively great" side of Trump is attention deficiency disorder, so it is hard for him to start a war, something that requires some degree of organization and coordinating different branches of governments, different countries etc.
Seer , July 3, 2019 at 17:02
DJT is like a less-likeable Inspector Clouseau. Sometimes ineptitude is a blessing: this was my only hope when refusing to vote for HRC.
mark , July 3, 2019 at 00:17
Same old, same old, same old, same old. Prospective candidates spewing out the same tired old hot air about how, this time, it really, really, really, really will be different. There won't be any more crazy multitrillion wars for Israel. Honest.
Just like Dubya. Just like Obomber. Just like the Orange Baboon. Whilst simultaneously begging for shekels from Adelson, Saban, Singer, Marcus.
And this is the "new anti war movement." Yeah.
Jul 02, 2019 | consortiumnews.com
Originally from: TomDispatch.com
Peace activism is rising, but that isn't translating into huge street demonstrations, writes Allegra Harpootlian.
W hen Donald Trump entered the Oval Office in January 2017, Americans took to the streets all across the country to protest their instantly endangered rights. Conspicuously absent from the newfound civic engagement, despite more than a decade and a half of this country's fruitless, destructive wars across the Greater Middle East and northern Africa, was antiwar sentiment, much less an actual movement.
Those like me working against America's seemingly endless wars wondered why the subject merited so little discussion, attention, or protest. Was it because the still-spreading war on terror remained shrouded in government secrecy? Was the lack of media coverage about what America was doing overseas to blame? Or was it simply that most Americans didn't care about what was happening past the water's edge? If you had asked me two years ago, I would have chosen "all of the above." Now, I'm not so sure.
After the enormous demonstrations against the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the antiwar movement disappeared almost as suddenly as it began, with some even openly declaring it dead. Critics noted the long-term absence of significant protests against those wars, a lack of political will in Congress to deal with them, and ultimately, apathy on matters of war and peace when compared to issues like health care, gun control, or recently even climate change .
The pessimists have been right to point out that none of the plethora of marches on Washington since Donald Trump was elected have had even a secondary focus on America's fruitless wars. They're certainly right to question why Congress, with the constitutional duty to declare war, has until recently allowed both presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump to wage war as they wished without even consulting them. They're right to feel nervous when a national poll shows that more Americans think we're fighting a war in Iran (we're not) than a war in Somalia ( we are ).
But here's what I've been wondering recently: What if there's an antiwar movement growing right under our noses and we just haven't noticed? What if we don't see it, in part, because it doesn't look like any antiwar movement we've even imagined?
If a movement is only a movement when people fill the streets, then maybe the critics are right. It might also be fair to say, however, that protest marches do not always a movement make. Movements are defined by their ability to challenge the status quo and, right now, that's what might be beginning to happen when it comes to America's wars.
What if it's Parkland students condemning American imperialism or groups fighting the Muslim Ban that are also fighting the war on terror? It's veterans not only trying to take on the wars they fought in, but putting themselves on the front lines of the gun control , climate change , and police brutality debates. It's Congress passing the first War Powers Resolution in almost 50 years. It's Democratic presidential candidates signing a pledge to end America's endless wars.
For the last decade and a half, Americans -- and their elected representatives -- looked at our endless wars and essentially shrugged. In 2019, however, an antiwar movement seems to be brewing. It just doesn't look like the ones that some remember from the Vietnam era and others from the pre-invasion-of-Iraq moment. Instead, it's a movement that's being woven into just about every other issue that Americans are fighting for right now -- which is exactly why it might actually work.
An estimated 100,000 people protested the war in Iraq in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 15, 2007 (Ragesoss, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)
A Veteran's Antiwar Movement in the Making?
During the Vietnam War of the 1960s and early 1970s, protests began with religious groups and peace organizations morally opposed to war. As that conflict intensified, however, students began to join the movement, then civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr. got involved, then war veterans who had witnessed the horror firsthand stepped in -- until, with a seemingly constant storm of protest in the streets, Washington eventually withdrew from Indochina.
You might look at the lack of public outrage now, or perhaps the exhaustion of having been outraged and nothing changing, and think an antiwar movement doesn't exist. Certainly, there's nothing like the active one that fought against America's involvement in Vietnam for so long and so persistently. Yet it's important to notice that, among some of the very same groups (like veterans, students, and even politicians) that fought against that war, a healthy skepticism about America's 21st century wars, the Pentagon, the military industrial complex, and even the very idea of American exceptionalism is finally on the rise -- or so the polls tell us.
"Arlington West of Santa Monica," a project of Veterans for Peace, puts reminders of the costs of war on the beach in Santa Monica, California. (Lorie Shaull via Flickr)
Right after the midterms last year, an organization named Foundation for Liberty and American Greatness reported mournfully that younger Americans were "turning on the country and forgetting its ideals," with nearly half believing that this country isn't "great" and many eyeing the U.S. flag as "a sign of intolerance and hatred." With millennials and Generation Z rapidly becoming the largest voting bloc in America for the next 20 years, their priorities are taking center stage. When it comes to foreign policy and war, as it happens, they're quite different from the generations that preceded them. According to the Chicago Council of Global Affairs ,
"Each successor generation is less likely than the previous to prioritize maintaining superior military power worldwide as a goal of U.S. foreign policy, to see U.S. military superiority as a very effective way of achieving U.S. foreign policy goals, and to support expanding defense spending. At the same time, support for international cooperation and free trade remains high across the generations. In fact, younger Americans are more inclined to support cooperative approaches to U.S. foreign policy and more likely to feel favorably towards trade and globalization."
Although marches are the most public way to protest, another striking but understated way is simply not to engage with the systems one doesn't agree with. For instance, the vast majority of today's teenagers aren't at all interested in joining the all-volunteer military. Last year, for the first time since the height of the Iraq war 13 years ago, the Army fell thousands of troops short of its recruiting goals. That trend was emphasized in a 2017 Department of Defense poll that found only 14 percent of respondents ages 16 to 24 said it was likely they'd serve in the military in the coming years. This has the Army so worried that it has been refocusing its recruitment efforts on creating an entirely new strategy aimed specifically at Generation Z.
In addition, we're finally seeing what happens when soldiers from America's post-9/11 wars come home infused with a sense of hopelessness in relation to those conflicts. These days, significant numbers of young veterans have been returning disillusioned and ready to lobby Congress against wars they once, however unknowingly, bought into. Look no further than a new left-right alliance between two influential veterans groups, VoteVets and Concerned Veterans for America, to stop those forever wars. Their campaign, aimed specifically at getting Congress to weigh in on issues of war and peace, is emblematic of what may be a diverse potential movement coming together to oppose America's conflicts. Another veterans group, Common Defense, is similarly asking politicians to sign a pledge to end those wars. In just a couple of months, they've gotten on board 10 congressional sponsors, including freshmen heavyweights in the House of Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar.
And this may just be the tip of a growing antiwar iceberg. A misconception about movement-building is that everyone is there for the same reason, however broadly defined. That's often not the case and sometimes it's possible that you're in a movement and don't even know it. If, for instance, I asked a room full of climate-change activists whether they also considered themselves part of an antiwar movement, I can imagine the denials I'd get. And yet, whether they know it or not, sooner or later fighting climate change will mean taking on the Pentagon's global footprint, too.
Think about it: not only is the U.S. military the world's largest institutional consumer of fossil fuels but, according to a new report from Brown University's Costs of War Project, between 2001 and 2017, it released more than 1.2 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere (400 million of which were related to the war on terror). That's equivalent to the emissions of 257 million passenger cars, more than double the number currently on the road in the U.S.
A Growing Antiwar Movement in Congress
One way to sense the growth of antiwar sentiment in this country is to look not at the empty streets or even at veterans organizations or recruitment polls, but at Congress. After all, one indicator of a successful movement, however incipient, is its power to influence and change those making the decisions in Washington. Since Donald Trump was elected, the most visible evidence of growing antiwar sentiment is the way America's congressional policymakers have increasingly become engaged with issues of war and peace. Politicians, after all, tend to follow the voters and, right now, growing numbers of them seem to be following rising antiwar sentiment back home into an expanding set of debates about war and peace in the age of Trump.
In campaign season 2016, in an op-ed in The Washington Post , political scientist Elizabeth Saunders wondered whether foreign policy would play a significant role in the presidential election. "Not likely," she concluded. "Voters do not pay much attention to foreign policy." And at the time, she was on to something. For instance, Sen. Bernie Sanders, then competing for the Democratic presidential nomination against Hillary Clinton, didn't even prepare stock answers to basic national security questions, choosing instead, if asked at all, to quickly pivot back to more familiar topics. In a debate with Clinton, for instance, he was asked whether he would keep troops in Afghanistan to deal with the growing success of the Taliban. In his answer, he skipped Afghanistan entirely, while warning only vaguely against a "quagmire" in Iraq and Syria.
Heading for 2020, Sanders is once again competing for the nomination, but instead of shying away from foreign policy, starting in 2017, he became the face of what could be a new American way of thinking when it comes to how we see our role in the world.
In February 2018, Sanders also became the first senator to risk introducing a war powers resolution to end American support for the brutal Saudi-led war in Yemen. In April 2019, with the sponsorship of other senators added to his, the bill ultimately passed the House and the Senate in an extremely rare showing of bipartisanship, only to be vetoed by President Trump. That such a bill might pass the House, no less a still-Republican Senate, even if not by a veto-proof majority, would have been unthinkable in 2016. So much has changed since the last election that support for the Yemen resolution has now become what Tara Golshan at Vox termed "a litmus test of the Democratic Party's progressive shift on foreign policy."
Nor, strikingly enough, is Sanders the only Democratic presidential candidate now running on what is essentially an antiwar platform. One of the main aspects of Elizabeth Warren's foreign policy plan, for instance, is to "seriously review the country's military commitments overseas, and that includes bringing U.S. troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq." Entrepreneur Andrew Yang and former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel have joined Sanders and Warren in signing a pledge to end America's forever wars if elected. Beto O'Rourke has called for the repeal of Congress's 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force that presidents have cited ever since whenever they've sent American forces into battle. Marianne Williamson , one of the many (unlikely) Democratic candidates seeking the nomination, has even proposed a plan to transform America's "wartime economy into a peace-time economy, repurposing the tremendous talents and infrastructure of [America's] military industrial complex to the work of promoting life instead of death."
And for the first time ever, three veterans of America's post-9/11 wars -- Seth Moulton and Tulsi Gabbard of the House of Representatives, and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg -- are running for president, bringing their skepticism about American interventionism with them. The very inclusion of such viewpoints in the presidential race is bound to change the conversation, putting a spotlight on America's wars in the months to come.
Get on Board or Get Out of the Way
When trying to create a movement, there are three likely outcomes : you will be accepted by the establishment, or rejected for your efforts, or the establishment will be replaced, in part or in whole, by those who agree with you. That last point is exactly what we've been seeing, at least among Democrats, in the Trump years. While 2020 Democratic candidates for president, some of whom have been in the political arena for decades, are gradually hopping on the end-the-endless-wars bandwagon, the real antiwar momentum in Washington has begun to come from new members of Congress like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) and Ilhan Omar who are unwilling to accept business as usual when it comes to either the Pentagon or the country's forever wars. In doing so, moreover, they are responding to what their constituents actually want.
As far back as 2014, when a University of Texas-Austin Energy Poll asked people where the U.S. government should spend their tax dollars, only 7 percent of respondents under 35 said it should go toward military and defense spending. Instead, in a "pretty significant political shift" at the time, they overwhelmingly opted for their tax dollars to go toward job creation and education. Such a trend has only become more apparent as those calling for free public college, Medicare-for-all, or a Green New Deal have come to realize that they could pay for such ideas if America would stop pouring trillions of dollars into wars that never should have been launched.
The new members of the House of Representatives, in particular, part of the youngest, most diverse crew to date , have begun to replace the old guard and are increasingly signalling their readiness to throw out policies that don't work for the American people, especially those reinforcing the American war machine. They understand that by ending the wars and beginning to scale back the military-industrial complex, this country could once again have the resources it needs to fix so many other problems.
In May, for instance, Omar tweeted , "We have to recognize that foreign policy IS domestic policy. We can't invest in health care, climate resilience, or education if we continue to spend more than half of discretionary spending on endless wars and Pentagon contracts. When I say we need something equivalent to the Green New Deal for foreign policy, it's this."
Ilhan Omar ✔ @IlhanMN
We have to recognize that foreign policy IS domestic policy. We can't invest in health care, climate resilience or education if we continue to spend more than half of discretionary spending on endless wars and Pentagon contracts. http://www. startribune.com/rep-ilhan-omar -with-perspective-of-a-foreigner-sets-ambitious-global-agenda/510489882/?om_rid=3005497801&om_mid=317376969&refresh=true7,176 3:24 PM - May 28, 2019 Twitter Ads info and privacy Rep. Ilhan Omar, with 'perspective of a foreigner,' sets ambitious global agenda
From her seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and with a growing international reputation, the former refugee is wading into debates over various global hot spots and controversies.startribune.com
2,228 people are talking about this
A few days before that, at a House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing, Ocasio-Cortez confronted executives from military contractor TransDigm about the way they were price-gouging the American taxpayer by selling a $32 "non-vehicular clutch disc" to the Department of Defense for $1,443 per disc. "A pair of jeans can cost $32; imagine paying over $1,000 for that," she said. "Are you aware of how many doses of insulin we could get for that margin? I could've gotten over 1,500 people insulin for the cost of the margin of your price gouging for these vehicular discs alone."
And while such ridiculous waste isn't news to those of us who follow Pentagon spending closely, this was undoubtedly something many of her millions of supporters hadn't thought about before. After the hearing, Teen Vogue created a list of the "5 most ridiculous things the United States military has spent money on," comedian Sarah Silverman tweeted out the AOC hearing clip to her 12.6 million followers, Will and Grace actress Debra Messing publicly expressed her gratitude to AOC, and according to Crowdtangle, a social media analytics tool, the NowThis clip of her in that congressional hearing garnered more than 20 million impressions.
Ocasio-Cortez calling out costs charged by military contractor TransDigm. (YouTube)
Not only are members of Congress beginning to call attention to such undercovered issues, but perhaps they're even starting to accomplish something. Just two weeks after that contentious hearing, TransDigm agreed to return $16.1 million in excess profits to the Department of Defense. "We saved more money today for the American people than our committee's entire budget for the year," said House Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings.
Of course, antiwar demonstrators have yet to pour into the streets, even though the wars we're already involved in continue to drag on and a possible new one with Iran looms on the horizon. Still, there seems to be a notable trend in antiwar opinion and activism. Somewhere just under the surface of American life lurks a genuine, diverse antiwar movement that appears to be coalescing around a common goal: getting Washington politicians to believe that antiwar policies are supportable, even potentially popular. Call me an eternal optimist, but someday I can imagine such a movement helping end those disastrous wars.
Allegra Harpootlian is a media associate at ReThink Media , where she works with leading experts and organizations at the intersection of national security, politics, and the media. She principally focuses on U.S. drone policies and related use-of-force issues. She is also a political partner with the Truman National Security Project . Find her on Twitter @ally_harp .
This article is from TomDispatch.com .
Edwin Stamm , July 5, 2019 at 10:40
"How Obama demobilized the antiwar movement"
By Brad Plumer
August 29, 2013
"Reihan Salam points to a 2011 paper by sociologists Michael T. Heaney and Fabio Rojas, who find that antiwar protests shrunk very quickly after Obama took office in 2008 -- mainly because Democrats were less likely to show up:
Drawing upon 5,398 surveys of demonstrators at antiwar protests, interviews with movement leaders, and ethnographic observation, this article argues that the antiwar movement demobilized as Democrats, who had been motivated to participate by anti-Republican sentiments, withdrew from antiwar protests when the Democratic Party achieved electoral success, if not policy success in ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Heaney and Rojas begin by puzzling over a paradox. Obama ran as an antiwar candidate, but his first few years in office were rather different: "As president, Obama maintained the occupation of Iraq and escalated the war in Afghanistan. The antiwar movement should have been furious at Obama's 'betrayal' and reinvigorated its protest activity. Instead, attendance at antiwar rallies declined precipitously and financial resources available to the movement dissipated.""
Rob , July 4, 2019 at 14:20
The author may be too young to realize that the overwhelming driving force in the anti-Vietnam War movement was hundreds of thousands of young men who were at risk of being drafted and sent to fight, die and kill in that godforsaken war. As the movement grew, it gathered in millions of others as well. Absent the military draft today, most of America's youth don't seem to give half a damn about the current crimes of the U.S. military. As the saying goes: They have no skin in the game.
bardamu , July 3, 2019 at 20:21
There has again been some shift in Sanders' public positions, while Tulsi Gabbard occupies a position that was not represented in '16, and HR Clinton was more openly bent on war than anyone currently at the table, though perhaps because that much of her position had become so difficult to deny over the years.
That said, Clinton lost to Obama in '08 because she could not as effectively deny her militarism. There was at the time within the Democratic Party more and clearer movement against the wars than there is now. One might remember the run for candidacy of Dennis Kucinich, for example. The 8 years of the Obama regime were a consistent frustration and disappointment to any antiwar or anticorporate voice within the Democratic Party, but complaints were muted because many would not speak against a Blue or a Black president. More than at any prior time, corporate media spokespersons could endorse radically pro-corporate positions and imply or accuse their opposition of racism.
That leaves it unclear, however, what any antiwar voices have to do with the Democratic Party itself, particularly if we take "the party" to mean the political organization itself as opposed to the people whom it claims to represent. The Party and the DNC were major engines in the rigging of the 2016 Democratic nomination–and also, lest we forget, contributors to the Donald Trump nomination campaign.
It should not escape us, as we search for souls and soulfulness among these remnants of Democratic Parties Past, that any turn of the party against war is surely due to Hillary Clinton's loss to presumed patsy candidate Donald Trump in 2016–the least and second-least popular major presidential contenders in history, clearly, in whichever order one wishes to put them.
There is some value in realism, then. So as much as one hates to criticize a Bernie Sanders in anything like the present field that he runs in, his is not a consistently antiwar position: he has gone back and forth. Tulsi Gabbard is the closest thing to an antiwar candidate within the Party. And under even under the most favorable circumstances, 2020 is at best not her year.
Most big money says war. scorched earth, steep hierarchy, and small constitution. Any who don't like it had best speak up and act up.
Jim Glover , July 3, 2019 at 17:43
I am for Tulsi, a Senator from Hawaii not a rep as this article says. Folk Music was in when the peace movement was strong and building, the same for Folk Rock who songs also had words you could get without Google.
So my way of "hoping" for an Anti-War/Peace Movement is to have a Folk Revival in my mind.
Nathan Mulcahy , July 3, 2019 at 14:11
The answer to the question why anti war movement is dead is so simple and obvious but apparently invisible to most Dems/libs/progressives (excuse my inability to discern the distinctions between labels). The answer points to our onetime "peace" president Obama. As far as foreign interventions go (and domestic spying, among other things) Obama had continued Baby Bush's policy. Even worse, Obama had given a bipartisan seal of approval (and legality) to most of Baby Bush's crimes. In other words, for 8 years, meaning during the "peace" president's reign, the loyal "lefty" sheeple have held their mouth when it came to war and peace.
Obama and the Dems have very effectively killed the ant war movement
P.Brooks , July 3, 2019 at 12:54
No More War
Don Bacon , July 3, 2019 at 12:29
The establishment will always be pro-war because there's so much money in it. Street demonstrations will never change that, as we recently learned with Iraq. The only strategy that has a chance of working is anti-enlistment. If they don't have the troops they can't invade anywhere, and recruitment is already a problem. It needs to be a bigger problem.
Anonymot , July 3, 2019 at 11:51
Sorry, ALL of these Democrat wannabes save one is ignorant of foreign affairs, foreign policy and its destruction of what they blather on about – domestic vote-getting sky pies. Oh yes, free everything: schools, health care, social justices and services. It's as though the MIC has not stolen the money from the public's pockets to get rich by sending cheap fodder out there to get killed and wounded, amputated physically and mentally.
Hillary signed the papers and talked the brainless idiocy that set the entire Middle East on fire, because she couldn't stand the sight of a man with no shirt on and sitting on the Russian equivalent of a Harley. She hates men, because she drew a bad one. Huma was better company. Since she didn't know anything beyond the superficial, she did whatever the "experts" whispered in her ears: War! Obama was in the same boat. The target, via gaining total control of oil from Libya to Syria and Iran was her Putin hate. So her experts set up the Ukraine. The "experts" are the MIC/CIA and our fearless, brainless, corrupt military. They have whispered the same psychotic message since the Gulf of Tonkin. We've lost to everyone with whom we've crossed swords and left them devastated and America diminished save for the few.
So I was a Sanders supporter until he backed the warrior woman and I, like millions of others backed off of her party. It's still her party. Everyone just loves every victim of every kind. They all spout minor variations on the same themes while Trump and his neocons quietly install their right wing empire. Except for one who I spotted when she had the independence to go look for herself in Syria.
Tulsi Gabbard is the only candidate to be the candidate who has a balance of well thought through, realistic foreign policy as well as the domestic non-extremist one. She has the hurdle of being a too-pretty woman, of being from the remotest state, and not being a screamer. Even this article, written about peace by a woman fails to talk about her.
Tulsi has the registered voter count and a respectable budget, but the New York Times which is policy-controlled by a few of Hillary's billionaire friends has consistently shut her out, because Tulsi left the corrupt Hillary-owned DNC to back Sanders and Hillary never forgave her.
If you want to know who is against Trump and war, take 5 minutes and listen to what she really said during the 1st debate where the CBS folks gave her little room to talk. It will change your outlook on what really is possible.
P.Brooks , July 3, 2019 at 13:53
Hi Anonymot; I also exited my Sanders support after over 100 cash donations and over a years painful effort. I will never call him Bernie again; now it is Sanders, since Bernie makes him sound cute and cute was not the word that came into my mind as Mr. Sanders missed his world moment at the democratic election and backed Hillary Clinton (I can not vote for EVIL). Sanders then proceeded to give part of my money to the DNC & to EVIL Hillary Clinton.
So then what now? Easy as Pie; NO MORE DEMOCRATS EVER. The DNC & DCCC used Election Fraud & Election Crimes blatantly to beat Bernie Sanders. Right out in the open. The DNC & DCCC are War Mongering more then the Republicans which is saying allot. The mass media and major Internet Plateforms like Goggle & Facebook are all owned by Evil Oligarchs that profit from WAR and blatantly are today suppressing all dissenting opinions (anti Free Speech).
I stopped making cash donation to Tulsi Gabbard upon the realization that the Democrats were not at all a force for Life or Good and instead were a criminal organization. The voting for the lessor of two EVILs is 100% STUPID.
I told Tim Canova I could not support any Democrat ever again as I told Tulsi Gabbard. Tulsi is still running as a criminal democrat. If she would run independent of the DNC then I would start to donate cash to her again. End of my story about Tulsi. I do like her antiwar dialog, but there is no; so called changing, the DNC from the inside. The Oligarchs own the DNC and are not supportive of "We The People" or the Constitution, or the American Republic.
The end of Tim Canova's effort was he was overtly CHEATED AGAIN by the DNC's Election Fraud & Election Crimes in his 2018 run for congress against Hillary Clinton's 100% corrupt campaign manager; who congress seated even over Tim's asking them not to seat her until his law suites on her election crimes against him were assessed. Election crimes and rigged voting machines in Florida are a way of life now and have been for decades and decades.
All elections must be publicly funded. All votes must be on paper ballots and accessible for recounts and that is just the very minimums needed to start changing the 100% corrupted election system we Americans have been railroaded into.
The supreme Court has recently ruled that gerrymandering is OK. The supreme court has proven to be a political organization with their Bush Gore decision and now are just political hacks and as such need to be ELECTED not appointed. Their rulings that Money is Free Speech & that Corporations are People has disenfranchised "We the People". That makes the Supreme Court a tool to be used by the world money elite to overturn the constitution of the United States of America.
No More War. No More War. No More War.
DW Bartoo , July 3, 2019 at 16:40
Absolutely spot-on, superb comment, P .Brooks.
Nathan Mulcahy , July 3, 2019 at 18:08
I saw the light (with what the Dems are really about) after Kucinich's candidacy. That made me one of the very few lefties in my circle not to have voted for Obama even the first time around. I hear a lot of talk about trying to reform the party from inside. Utter bu** sh**. "You cannot reform Mafia".
Ever since Kucinich, I have been voting Green. No, this is not a waste of my vote. Besides, I cannot be complicit to war crimes – that's what it makes anyone who votes for either of the two parties.
Steven , July 3, 2019 at 13:56
Wow you said a mouthful. It's worse than that its a cottage industry that includes gun running, drug running and human trafficking netting Trillions to the MIC, CIA and other alphabet agencies you can't fight the mark of the beast.
Seer , July 3, 2019 at 14:01
I fully back/endorse Gabbard, but
The battering of Bernie is not fair. He is NOT a Democrat, therefore him being able to get "inside" that party to run AS a Dem put him in a tenuous situation. He really had no option other than to support HRC lest his movement, everyone's movement, would get extra hammering by the neocons and status quo powers. He wouldn't be running, again, had he not done this. Yeah, it's a bad taste, I get it, but had he disavowed HRC would the outcome -Trump- been any different? The BLAME goes fully on the DNC and the Clintons. Full stop.
I do not see AOC as a full progressive. She is only doing enough to make it appear so. The Green New Deal is stolen from the Green Party and is watered down. Think of this as "Obama Care" for the planet. As you should know, Gabbard's Off Fossil Fuels Act (OFF) actually has real teeth in it: and is closer to the Green Party's positions.
I support movements and positions. PRIMARY is peace. Gabbard, though not a pacifist, has the right path on all of this: I've been around long enough to understand exactly how she's approaching all of this. She is, however, taking on EVERYONE. As powerful a person as she is (she has more fortitude than the entire lot of combined POTUS candidates put together) going to require MASSIVE support; sadly, -to this point- this article doesn't help by implying that people aren't interested in foreign policy (it perpetuates the blockout of it- people have to be reeducated on its importance- not something that the MIC wants), people aren't yet able to see the connections. The education will occur will it happen in a timely way such that people would elect Gabbard? (things can turn on a dime, history has shown this; she has the makeup that suggests that she's going to have a big role in making history).
I did not support Bernie (and so far have not- he's got ample support; if it comes down to it he WILL get my vote- and I've held off voting for many years because there's been no real "peace" candidate on the plate). Gabbard, however, has my support now, and likely till the day I die: I've been around long enough to know what constitutes a great leader, and not since the late 60s have we had anyone like her. If Bernie gets the nomination it is my prediction that he will have Gabbard high on his staff, if not as VP: a sure fire way to win is to have Gabbard as VP.
I'm going to leave this for folks to contemplate as to whether Gabbard is real or not:
In a context in which Rio de Janeiro's evangelical churches have been accused of laundering money for the drug trafficking gangs, all elements of Afro-Brazilian culture including caipoeira, Jango drumming, and participation in Carnaval parades, have been banned by the traffickers in many favelas.
"caipoeria," is something that Gabbard has practiced:
"I trained in different martial arts since I was a kid including Capoeira -- an amazing art created by slaves in Brazil who were training to fight and resist against their slave masters, disguising their training with music, acrobatics, and dance. Yesterday I joined my friends Mestre Kinha and others at Capoeira Besouro Hawai'i for their batizado ceremony and some fun! " – Tulsi Gabbard December 9, 2018
The GOAL is to get her into the upper halls of governing power. If the people cannot see fit to it then I'll support Sanders (in the end) so that he can do it.
Harpootlian claims to see what's going on, but, unfortunately, she's not able to look close enough.
Anonymot, thank you for leading out here with Gabbard and her message.
michael , July 4, 2019 at 08:10
If Gabbard had the MSM coverage Buttigieg has received she probably be leading in the polls. It is surprising(?) that this supposedly anti-war author mentions corporatist Mayor Pete but not Gabbard.
David , July 4, 2019 at 19:55
She DOES (briefly)mention Gabbard, but she missed the fact that Gabbard is the most strongly anti-war candidate. She gets it entirely wrong about Buttigieg, who is strikingly pro-war, and supports getting in to a war with Iran.
Robert Harrow , July 3, 2019 at 15:54
And sadly, Ms. Gabbard is mired at the 1% mark in the polls, even after having performed so well in the debate.
This seems to me an indication of the public's lack of caring about our foreign wars.
antonio Costa , July 3, 2019 at 19:06
The reason she's "mired" is because a number of polls don't include her!! However they include, Marianne Williamson.
How's that for inverse totalitarianism par excellence .
Skip Scott , July 4, 2019 at 07:05
I did see one poll that had her at 2%. And given the reputation of many polling outfits, I take any professed results with a grain of salt. Tulsi's press coverage (what little she gets) has been mostly defamatory to the point of being libelous. If her strong performance continues in the primary debates despite all efforts to sabotage her, I think she could make a strong showing. That said, at some point she will have to renounce the DNC controlled democratic party and run as an Independent if she wants to make the General Election debates for 2020.
Piotr Berman , July 3, 2019 at 21:15
"Hillary signed the papers and talked the brainless idiocy that set the entire Middle East on fire, because she couldn't stand the sight of a man with no shirt on and sitting on the Russian equivalent of a Harley. She hates men "
If I were to psychologize, I would conjecture more un-gendered stereotype, namely that of a good student. He/she diligently learns in all classes from the prescribed textbooks and reading materials, and, alas, American education on foreign affairs is dominated by retirees from CIA and other armchair warriors. Of course, nothing wrong about good students in general, but I mean the type that is obedient, devoid of originality and independent thinking. When admonished, he/she remembers the pain for life and strives hard not to repeat it. E.g. as First Lady, Hillary kissed Arafat's wife to emulate Middle East custom, and NY tabloids had a feast for months.
Concerning Tulsi, no Hillary-related conspiracy is needed to explain the behavior of the mass media. Tulsi is a heretic to the establishment, and their idea is to be arbiters of what and who belongs to the "mainstream", and what is radical, marginal etc. Tulsi richly deserves her treatment. Confronted with taunts like "so you would prefer X to stay in power" (Assad, Maduro etc.) she replies that it should not be up to USA to decide who stays in power, especially if no better scenario is in sight. The gall, the cheek!
Strangely enough, Tulsi gets this treatment in places like The Nation and Counterpunch. As the hitherto "radical left" got a whiff of being admitted to the hallowed mainstream from time to time, they try to be "responsible".
Mary Jones-Giampalo , July 4, 2019 at 00:39
Yes! Thank You I was gritting my teeth reading this article #Tulsi2020
Eddie , July 3, 2019 at 11:42
The end of the anti-war movement expired when the snake-oil pitchman with the toothy smile and dark skin brought his chains we could beleive in to the White House. The so-called progressives simply went to sleep while they never criticized Barack Obama for escalating W. Bush's wars and tax cuts for the rich.
The fake left wing in the US remained silent when Obama dumped trillions of dollars into the vaults of his bankster pals as he stole the very homes from the people who voted him into office. Then along came the next hope and change miracle worker Bernie Sanders. Only instead of working miracles for the working class, Sanders showed his true colors when he fcuked his constituents to support the hated Hillary Clinton.
Let's start facing reality. The two-party dictatorship does not care about you unless you can pony up the big bucks like their masters in the oligarchy and the soulless corporations do. Unless and until workers end to the criminal stranglehold that the big-business parties and the money class have on the government, things will continue to slide into the abyss.
DW Bartoo , July 3, 2019 at 11:33
An informed awareness of imperialism must also include an analysis of how "technology" is used and abused, from the use of "superior" weaponry against people who do not have such weapons, from blunderbuss and sailing ships, to B-52s and napalm, up to and including technology that may be "weaponized" against civilian populations WiTHIN a society, be it 24/7 surveillance or robotics and AI that could permit elites to dispense with any "need", on the part of the elites, to tolerate the very existence of a laborung class, or ANY who earn their wealth through actual work, from maids to surgeons, from machine operators to professors.
Any assumption, that any who "work", even lawyers or military officers, can consider their occupation or profession as "safe", is to assume that the scapegoating will stop with those the highly paid regard as "losers", such comfortable assumption may very well prove as illusory and ephemeral as an early morning mist before the hot and merciless Sun rises.
The very notions of unfettered greed and limitless power, resulting in total control, must be recognized as the prime drivers of endless war and shock-doctrine capitalism which, combined, ARE imperialism, unhinged and insane.
michael , July 3, 2019 at 11:06
This article is weak. Anyone who could equate Mayor Pete or the eleven Democrat "ex"-military and CIA analysts who gained seats in Congress in 2018 as anti-war is clueless. Tulsi Gabbard is anti-regime change war, but is in favor of fighting "terrorists" (created mostly by our CIA and Israel with Saudi funding). Mike Gravel is the only true totally anti-war 'candidate' and he supports Gabbard as the only anti-War of the Democrats.
In WWI, 90% of Americans who served were drafted, in WWII over 60% of Americans who served were drafted. The Vietnam War "peace demonstrations" were more about the Draft, and skin-in-the-game, than about War. Nixon and Kissinger abolished the Draft (which stopped most anti-war protests), but continued carpet bombing Vietnam and neighboring countries (Operations Menu, Freedom Deal, Patio, etc), and Vietnamized the War which was already lost, although the killing continued through 1973. The abolition of the Draft largely gutted the anti-war movement. Sporadic protests against Bush/ Cheney over Afghanistan and Iraq essentially disappeared under Obama/ Hillary in Afghanistan and Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan. Since their National Emergency proclamations no longer ever end, we are in a position to attack Venezuela (Obama), Ukraine (Obama), South Sudan (Obama), Iran (Carter, Clinton), Libya (Obama), Somalia (Obama), Yemen (Obama), Nicaragua (Trump) and even Burundi (Obama) and the Central African Republic (Obama). The continuing support of death squads in Honduras and other Latin American countries ("stability is more important than democracy") has contributed to the immigration crises over the last five years.
As Pelosi noted about Democratic progressives "there are like five of them". Obama not only failed to reverse any of the police state and warmongering of Bush/Cheney, he expanded both police state (arresting and prosecuting Chelsea Manning for exposing war crimes, as well as more whistleblowers than anyone in history), and wars in seven Arab Muslim countries. Black Americans, who had always been an anti-War bloc prior to Obama, converted to the new America. The Congressional Democrats joined with Republicans to give more to the military budget than requested by Trump. (Clinton squandered the Peace Dividend when the Soviet Union fell, and Lee Camp has exposed the $21 TRILLION "lost" by the Pentagon.)
The young author see anti-war improvements that are not there. The US is more pro-war in its foreign policies than at any time in its history. When there was a Draft, the public would not tolerate decades of war (lest their young men died). Sanctions are now the first attack (usually by National Emergencies!); the 500,000 Iraqi children killed by Clinton's sanctions (Madeline Albright: "we think it was worth it!") is just sadism and psychopathy at the top, which is necessary for War.
DW Bartoo , July 3, 2019 at 11:38
Superb comment, michael, very much agreed with and appreciated.
Anonymot , July 3, 2019 at 12:06
You are absolutely right. Obama and Hillary were the brilliant ideas of the MIC/CIA when they realized that NO ONE the Republicans put up after Bush baby's 2nd round. They chose 2 "victims" black & woman) who would do what they were told to do in order to promote their causes (blacks & get-filthy rich.) The first loser would get the next round. And that's exactly what happened until Hillary proved to be so unacceptable that she was rejected. We traded no new war for an administration leading us into a neo-nazi dictatorship.
Seer , July 3, 2019 at 14:04
Thank you for this comment!
Mickey , July 3, 2019 at 10:47
Tulsi Gabbard is the only peace candidate in the Democratic Party
Mary Jones-Giampalo , July 4, 2019 at 00:41
peter mcloughlin , July 3, 2019 at 10:43
Many current crises have the potential to escalate into a major confrontation between the nuclear powers, similar to the Cuban missile crisis, though there is no comparable sense of alarm. Then, tensions were at boiling point, when a small military exchange could have led to nuclear annihilation. Today there are many more such flashpoint – Syria, the South China Sea, Iran, Ukraine to name a few. Since the end of the Cold War there has been a gradual movement towards third world war. Condemnation of an attack on Iran must include, foremost, the warning that it could lead the US into a confrontation with a Sino-Russian alliance. The warning from history is states go to war over interests, but ultimately – and blindly – end up getting the very war they need to avoid: even nuclear war, where the current trend is going.
DW Bartoo , July 3, 2019 at 10:36
Many truly superb, well-informed, and very enlightening comments on this thread.
My very great appreciation to this site, to its authors, and to its exceptionally thoughtful and articulate commenters.
DW Bartoo , July 3, 2019 at 10:20
I appreciate this author's perspective, research, and optimism.
Clearly, the young ARE far more open to embracing a future less warlike and hegemonic, while far too many of my generation are wedded to childish myth and fantasy around U$ driven mayhem.
However, I would suggest that vision be broadened beyond opposition to war, which opposition, while important, must be expanded to opposition to the larger issue of imperialism, itself.
Imperialism is not merely war, it includes economic warfare, both sanctions, internationally, and predatory debt loads, domestically, in very many nations of the world, as well as privatization of the commons (which must be understood to include all resources necessary to human existence).
Perpetual war, which profits only the few, is driven by precisely the same aims as pitting workers against each other, worldwide, in a "game" of "race to the bottom", creating "credit" rather than raising wages, thus creating life-long indebtedness of the many, which only benefits monopolized corporate interests, as does corporate ownership of such necessities as water, food production, and most channels of communication, which permits corporations to easily shape public perception toward whatever ends suit corporate purposes while also ensuring that deeper awareness of what is actually occurring is effectively stifled, deplatformed, or smeared as dangerous foreign fake news or as hidden, or even as blatant, racial or religious hatred.
Above all, it is critically important that all these interrelated aspects of deliberate domination, control, and diminishment, ARE talked about, openly, that we all may have better grasp of who really aligns with creating serious systemic change, especially as traditionally assumed "tendencies" are shifting, quickly and even profoundly.
For example, as many here point out, the Democrats are now as much a war party as the Republicans, "traditionally" have been, even as there is clear evidence that the Republican "base" is becoming less willing to go to war than are the Democratic "base", as CNN and MSNBC media outlets strive to incite a new Cold War and champion and applaud aggression in Syria, Iran, and North Korea.
It is the elite Democratic "leadership" and most Democratic Presidential hopefuls who now preach or excuse war and aggression, with few actual exceptions, and none of them, including Tulsi Gabbard, have come anywhere near openly discussing or embracing, the end of U$ imperialism.
Both neoliberal and neocon philosophies are absolutely dedicated to imperialism in all its destructive, even terminal, manifestations.
Seer , July 3, 2019 at 14:16
Gabbard has spoken out against sanctions. She understands that they're just another form of war.
The younger generations won't be able to financially support imperialist activities. And, they won't be, as the statements to their enlistment numbers suggest, able to "man the guns." I'm thinking that TPTB are aware of this (which is why a lot of drone and other automation of war machinery has been stepped up).
The recent alliance of Soros and Charles Koch, the Quincy Institute, is, I believe, a KEY turning point. Pretty much everything Gabbard is saying/calling for is this institute's mission statement: and people ought to note that Gabbard has been in Charles Koch's circle- might very well be that Gabbard has already influenced things in a positive way.
I also believe that all the great independent journalists, publishers (Assange taking the title here) and whistleblowers (Manning taking the title here) have made a HUGE impact. Bless them all.
O Society , July 3, 2019 at 09:48
The US government consistently uses psychological operations on its own citizens to manufacture consent to kill anyone and everyone. Meaningless propaganda phrases such as "Support Our Troops" and "National Security" and "War on Terror" are thrown around to justify genocides and sieges and distract us from murder. There is no left wing or in American politics and there has not been one since the inauguration of Ronald Reagan. All we have is neoconservatives and neoliberals representing the business party for four decades. Killing is our business and business is good. Men are as monkeys with guns when it comes to politics and religion.
jmg , July 3, 2019 at 13:55
Seen on the street:
Support Our Troops
BRING THEM HOME NOW
Bob Van Noy , July 3, 2019 at 08:39
Bob Van Noy , July 3, 2019 at 08:42
New and better link here:
Gregory Herr , July 3, 2019 at 21:40
One might be hard-pressed to find more outright perversions of reality in a mere two pages of text. Congratulations Congress, you have indeed surpassed yourself.
So it's those dastardly Russians and Iranians who are responsible for the destabilization of the Middle East, "complicating Israel's ability to defend itself from hostile action emanating from Syria." And apparently, it's the "ungoverned space" in Syria that has "allowed" for the rise of terrorist factions in Syria, that (we must be reminded) are ever poised to attack "Western targets, our allies and partners, and the U.S. homeland."
Bob Van Noy , July 3, 2019 at 08:29
Thank you Joe Lauria and Consortiumnews.
There is much wisdom and a good deal of personal experience being expressed on these pages. I especially want to thank IvyMike and Dao Gen. Ivy Mike you're so right about our troops in Vietnam from 1965 to 1968, draftees and volunteers, they fought what was clearly an internal civil war fought valiantly, beyond that point, Vietnam was a political mess for all involved. And Dao Gen all of your points are accurate.
As for our legislators, please read the linked Foreign Affairs press release signed by over 400 leglislators On May 20th., 2019 that address "threats to Syria" including the Russia threat. Clearly it will take action by the People and Peace candidates to end this travesty of a foreign policy.
Is your legislator a signee of this list? All of mine are
James Clooney , July 3, 2019 at 10:11
Vietnam a war triggered by the prevention of a mandated election by the USA which Ho Chi Minh was likely to win, who had already recently been Premier of a unified Vietnam.
Sorry, being courageous in a vicious cause is not honorable.
Speaking a true history and responsibility is honorable.
Bob Van Noy , July 3, 2019 at 11:07
No need to be sorry James Clooney. I did not mention honor in my comment, I mentioned valiant (courage and determination). American troupes ultimately fight honorably for each other not necessarily for country. This was the message and evaluation of Captain Hal Moore To General Westmorland And Robert McNamera after the initial engagement of US troops and NVA and can be viewed as a special feature of the largely inaccurate DVD "We Were Soldiers And Young).
Karen , July 3, 2019 at 07:59
The veterans group About Face is doing remarkable work against the imperial militarization that threatens to consume our country and possibly the world. This threat includes militarization of US police, a growing nuclear arms race, and so-called humanitarian wars. About Face is also working to train ordinary people as medics to take these skills into their communities whose members are on the front lines of police brutality.
Tulsi Gabbard is the only candidate with a strong, enlightened understanding of the costs of our many imperial wars Costs to ourselves in the US and costs to the people we invade in order to "save" them. I voted for McGovern in 1972. I would vote for Tuldi's Gabbard in 2020 if given the chance.
Seer , July 3, 2019 at 14:35
Vote for her now by supporting her*! One cannot wait until the DNC (or other party) picks the candidate FOR us. Anyone serious about peace ought to support her, and do it now and far into the future. I have always supported candidates who are champions for peace, no matter their "party" or whatever: I did not, though I wish that I had, support Walter Jones -of Freedom Fries fame- after he did a 180 (Gabbard knew Jones, and respected him); it took a lot of guts for him to do this, but his honest (like Ron Paul proved) was proven and his voters accepted him (and likely shifted their views along with him).
* Yeah, one has to register giving money, but for a lousy $1 She has yet to qualify for the third debate (need 130k unique donations): and yet Yang has! (nothing against him, but come on, he is not "Commander in Chief" material [and at this time it is, as Gabbard repeats, the single most important part of being president]).
Mary Jones-Giampalo , July 4, 2019 at 00:43
Strongly agree Only Tulsi
triekc , July 3, 2019 at 07:14
Not surprising there was little or no antiwar sentiment in the newfound civic engagement after Trump's election, since the majority of those participating were supporters of the war criminals Obama, Clinton, and their corporate, war mongering DEM party. Those same people today, support Obama-chaperone Biden, or one of the other vetted corporate DEMs, including socialist-in-name-only Sanders, who signed the DEM loyalty oath promising to continue austerity for the poor, socialism for rich, deregulation, militarism, and global war hegemony. The only party with an antiwar blank was the Green Party, which captured >2% of the ~130 million votes in the rigged election- even though Stein is as competent as Clinton, certainly more competent than Trump, and the Green platform, unlike Sanders', explained how to pay for social and environmental programs by ending illegal wars in at least 7 countries, closing 1000 military command posts located all over earth, removing air craft carrier task forces from every ocean, cutting defense spending.
James Clooney , July 3, 2019 at 10:22
I believe the CIA operation "CARWASH" was under Obama, which gave us Ultra fascism in one of the largest economies in the world, Brazil.
DW Bartoo , July 3, 2019 at 12:02
Superb comment, trieke, and I especially appreciate your mention of Jill Stein and the Green Party.
It is unfortunate that the the Green New Deal, championed by AOC is such a pale and intentionally pusillanimous copy of the Green New Deal articulated by Stein, which pointedly made clear that blind and blythe economic expansion must cease, that realistic natural constraints and carrying capacity be accepted and profligate energy squandering come to an end.
That a sane, humane, and sustainable economic system, wholly compatible with ecological responsibility can provide neaningful endeavor, justly compensated, for all, as was coherently addressed and explained to any who cared to examine the substance of that, actual, and realistic, original, GND.
Such a vision must be part of successfully challenging, and ending, U$ imperialism.
Seer , July 3, 2019 at 14:53
And Trump likely signed a GOP pledge. It's all superficial crap, nothing that is really written in stone.
I LOVE Stein. But for the sake of the planet we have little time to wait on getting the Green Party up to speed (to the clasp the levers of power). Unless Gabbard comes out on top (well, the ultimate, and my favorite, long-shot would be Gravel, but reality is something that I have to accept) it can only really be Sanders. I see a Sanders nomination as being the next best thing (and, really, the last hope as it all falls WAY off the cliff after that). He would most certainly have Gabbard along (if not as VP, which is the best strategy for winning, then as some other high-ranking, and meaningful cabinet member). Also, there are a lot of folks that would be coming in on his coattails. It is THESE people that will make the most difference: although he's got his flaws, Ro Kana would be a good top official. And, there are all the supporters who would help push. Sanders is WAY better than HRC (Obama and, of course, Trump). He isn't my favorite, but he has enough lean in him to allow others to help him push the door open: I'll accept him if that's what it take to get Gabbard into all of this.
Sometimes you DO have to infiltrate. Sanders is an infiltrator (not a Dem), though he treads lightly. Gabbard has already proven her intentions: directly confronted the DNC and the HRC machine (and her direct attack on the MIC is made very clear); and, she is indirectly endorsed by some of the best people out there who have run for POTUS: Jill Stein; Ron Paul; Mike Gravel. We cannot wait for the Dems (and the MIC) to disarm. We need to get inside "the building" and disarm. IF Sanders or Gabbard (and no Gravel) don't get the nomination THEN it is time to open up direct "warfare" and attack from the "outside" (at this time there should be enough big defectors to start swinging the tide).
Eddie S , July 3, 2019 at 23:34
Yes trieke, I voted for Stein in 2016, and I plan on voting Green Party again in 2020. I see too many fellow progressives/liberals/leftists (whatever the hell we want to call ourselves) agonizing about which compromised Democrat to vote-for, trying to weigh their different liabilities, etc. I've come to believe that my duty as a voter is to vote for the POTUS candidate/party whose stances/platform are closest to my views, and that's unequivocally the Green Party. My duty as a voter does NOT entail 'voting for a winner', that's just part of the two-party-con that the Dems & Reps run.
jmg , July 3, 2019 at 07:06
The big difference is that, during the Vietnam years, people could *see* the war. People talked a lot about "photographs that ended the Vietnam war", such as the napalm girl, etc.
The government noticed this. There were enormous pressures on the press, even a ban on returning coffin photos. Now, since the two Iraq wars, people *don't see* the reality of war. The TV and press don't show Afghanistan, don't show Yemen, didn't show the real Iraq excepting for Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange, who are in prison because of this.
And the wars go on:
"The US government and military are preventing the public from seeing photographs that depict the true horror of the Iraq war."
Dan Kennedy: Censorship of graphic Iraq war photographs -- 29 Jul 2008
jmg , July 3, 2019 at 18:36
For example, we all know that mainstream media is war propaganda now, itself at war on truth and, apart from some convenient false flags to justify attacks, they very rarely let the very people suffering wars be heard to wake viewers up, and don't often even show this uncensored reality of war anymore, not like the true images of this old, powerful video:
Happy Xmas (War Is Over! If You Want It)
So this is Xmas
And what have you done
-- John Lennon
Dao Gen , July 3, 2019 at 05:20
mbob -- thank you -- has already put this very well, but it is above all the Dems, especially Obama and the Clintons, who killed the antiwar movement. Obama was a fake, and his foreign policy became even more hawkish after Hillary resigned as SoS. His reduction of Libya, the richest state in Africa, to a feudal chaotic zone in which slavery is once more prominent and his attempt to demonize Syria, which has more semi-democracy and women's rights than any of the Islamic kingdoms the US supports as its allies, and turn Syria into a jihadi terrorist hell, as well as Obama's bombing of other nations and his sanctions on still other nations such as Venezuela, injured and killed at least as many people as did GW Bush's invasion of Iraq. Yet where was the antiwar movement? In the 21st century the US antiwar movement has gained most of its strength from anti-Repub hatred. The current uptick of antiwar feeling is probably due mostly to hatred of Trump. Yet Trump is the first president since Carter not to invade or make a major attack on a foreign country. As a businessman, his policy is to use economic warfare instead of military warfare.
I am not a Trump supporter, and strong sanctions are a war crime, and Trump is also slow to reduce some of Obama's overseas bombing and other campaigns, yet ironically he is surely closer to being a "peace president" than Obama. Moreover, a major reason Trump won in 2016 was that Hillary was regarded as the war and foreign intervention candidate, and in fact if Hillary had won, she probably would have invaded Syria to set up her infamous "no-fly zone" there, and she might have bombed Iran by now. We might even be in a war with Russia now. At the same time, under Trump the Dem leadership and the Dem-leaning MSM have pursued an unabashedly neocon policy of attacking from the right Trumps attempts at detente with Russia and scorning his attempts to negotiate a treaty with N Korea and to withdraw from Syria and Afghanistan. The main reason why Trump chose dangerous neocons like Bolton and Pompeo as advisors was probably to shield himself a little from the incessant and sometimes xenophobic attacks from the Dem leadership and the MSM. The Dem leadership seems motivated not only by hatred of Trump but also, and probably more importantly, by a desire to get donations from the military-industrial complex and a desire to ingratiate itself with the Intel Community and the surveillance state in order to get various favors. Look, for example, at Adam Schiff, cheerleader-in-chief for the IC. The system of massive collusion between the Dem party elite and the US deep state was not as advanced during the Vietnam War era as it is now. 2003 changed a lot of things.
The only Dem presidential candidates who are philosophically and securely antiwar are Gabbard and Gravel. Even Bernie (and even more so, Warren) can't be trusted to stand up to the deep state if elected, and anyway, Bernie's support for the Russiagate hoax by itself disqualifies him as an antiwar politician, while the Yemen bill he sponsored had a fatal loophole in it, as Bernie well knew. I love Bernie, but he is neither antiwar nor anti-empire. As for Seth Moulton, mentioned in the article, he is my Rep, and he makes some mild criticisms of the military, but he is a rabid hawk on Syria and Iran, and he recently voted for a Repub amendment that would have punished Americans who donate to BDS organizations. And as for the younger generation of Dems, they are not as antiwar as the article suggests. For every AOC among the newly elected Dems in 2018, there were almost two new Dems who are military vets or who formerly worked for intel agencies. This does not bode well. As long at the deep state, the Dem elite, and the MSM are tightly intertwined, there will be no major peace movement in the near future, even if a Dem becomes president. In fact, a Dem president might hinder the formation of a true antiwar movement. Perhaps when China becomes more powerful in ten or twenty years, the unipolar US empire and permanent war state will no longer look like a very good idea to a large number of Americans, and the idea of a peace movement will once again become realistic. The media have a major role to play in spreading truthful news about how the current US empire is hurting domestic living standards. Rather than hopey-hope wish lists, no-holds-barred reporting will surely play a big role.
DW Bartoo , July 3, 2019 at 12:05
Absolutely superb comment, Dao Gen.
Seer , July 3, 2019 at 15:07
Another fine example of why I think there is hope! (some very sharp commentators!)
A strong leader can make all the difference. The example gets set from the top: not that this is my preference, just that it's the reality we have today. MLK Jr. was such a leader, though it was MANY great people that were in his movement/orbit that were the primary architects. I suppose you could say it's a "rally around the flag" kind of deal. Just as Trump stunned the System, I believe that it can be stunned from the "left" (the ultimate stunning would be from a Gravel win, but I'm thinking that Gabbard would be the one that has what it takes to slip past).
I really wish that people would start asking candidates who they think have been good cabinet members for various positions. This could help give an idea of the most important facet of an administration: who the POTUS selects as key cabinet members tells pretty much everything you need to know. Sadly, Trump had a shot at selecting Gabbard and passed on her: as much as I detest Trump, I gave him room in which to work away from the noecon/neolib death squads (to his credit he's mostly just stalemated them- for a rookie politician you could say that this has been an impressive feat; he's tried to instigate new wars but has, so far, "failed" [by design?]).
geeyp , July 3, 2019 at 01:19
"We saved more money today for the American people ." – Elijah Cummings. Yea? Well then, give it to us!! You owe us a return of our money that you have wasted for years.
mark , July 3, 2019 at 00:17
Same old, same old, same old, same old. Prospective candidates spewing out the same tired old hot air about how, this time, it really, really, really, really will be different. There won't be any more crazy multitrillion wars for Israel.
Honest. Just like Dubya. Just like Obomber. Just like the Orange Baboon. Whilst simultaneously begging for shekels from Adelson, Saban, Singer, Marcus.
And this is the "new anti war movement." Yeah.
Tom Kath , July 3, 2019 at 00:04
Every extreme elicits an extreme response. Our current western pacifist obsession is no exception. By prohibiting argument, disagreement, verbal conflict, and the occasional playground "dust up" on a personal level, you seem to make the seemingly less personal war inevitable.
Life on earth is simply not possible without "a bit of biff".
James Clooney , July 3, 2019 at 09:38
An aware person may not react extremely to a extreme. USA slaughtered 5 to 10 million Vietnamese for no apparent reason other than projection of power yet the Vietnamese trade with the USA today.
Who prohibits argument? Certainly not those with little power; it's the militarily and politically powerful that crush dissent, (Tinamen Square , Occupy Wall Street). How much dissent does the military allow? Why is Assange being persecuted?
I believe even the most militant pacifist would welcome a lively debate on murder, death and genocide, as a channel for education and edification.
Antonio Costa , July 2, 2019 at 20:53
Weak essay. AOC hops from cause to cause. She rarely/ever says anything about US regime change wars, and the bombing of children. She's demonstrated no anti-war bona fides.
Only Tulsi Gabbard has forthright called for an end to regime change wars, the warmongers and reduction in our military.
The power is with the powerful. We'll not see an end to war, nor Medicare for All or much of anything regarding student debt. These are deep systemic problems calling for systemic solutions beginning with how we live on the planet(GND is a red herring), the GDP must become null and void if we are to behave as if plundering the planet is part of "progress". It needs to be replaced to some that focuses on quality of life as the key to prosperity. The geopolitics of the world have to simply STOP IT. It's not about coalitions between Russia and China and India to off-set the US imperialists. That's an old game for an empty planet. The planet is full and exceeding it capacity and is on fire. Our geopolitics must end!
Not one of these candidates come close to focusing on the systemic problem(s) except Gabbard's focus on war because it attacks the heart of the American Imperial Empire.
Maxime , July 3, 2019 at 09:24
I agree with you that you americans will probably not see the end of your system and the end of your problems any time soon.
BUT I disagree on that you seems to think it's inevitable. I'm not american, I'm french, and reading you saying you think medicare for all, no student debt and end to endless wars are systemic problems linked to GDP and the current economic system is well, amusing. We have medicare for all, in fact even better than your medicare, we have no student cost for our educating system, and still in both cases often better results than yours, even if we are behind some of our northern neighbors, but they don't pay for these either. And we don't wage endless wars, even if we have ourselves our own big war problems, after all we were in Lybia, we are in Syria, we are in Mali and other parts of Africa.
We also have a big militaro-industrial complex, in fact very alike the american one. But we made clear since much longer than we would not accept as much wars, in part because the lesson we got from WW2 and Cold War was to learn to live together with our hated neighbor. You know, the one the other side of the Rhine. Today France is a diplomatic superpower, often the head of the european spear onthe subject, we got feared elite military, and we are proud of that, but we would not even accept more money (in proportion) given to our military complex.
And you know the best news (for the americans)? we have an history of warmongering going back millenias. We learn to love Caesar and the "Guerre des Gaules", his invasion of Gauls. We learn how Franks invaded their neighbors and built the first post-roman Empire. We learn how crusaders were called Franks, how we built our nation and his pride on ashes of european continental english hopes and german holy empire aspirations. We learn how Napolean nearly achieved to built a new continental Empire, how we never let them passed at Verdun, and how we rose in the face of a tyran in 1944.
All of this is still in our history books, and we're still proud of it. But today, if most of us were to be asked what we were proud about recent wars France got into, it would be how our president vetoed USA when they tried to got UN into Irak and forced them to invade illegally, and without us.
I think my country's revelation was Algeria's independance war. One bloody and largely filled with war crimes and crimes against humanity. We're ashamed of it, and I think we, as a nation, learned from it that stopping wars on our soil wasn't enough. I still don't understand how americans can still wage wars after Vietnam, but I am not american. Still, even the most warmongering nation can learn. Let's hope you will be quicker than us, because we got millennias of bloody history before even the birth of USA.
Eddie S , July 3, 2019 at 23:15
Thanks Maxime for a foreign perspective! I'm often curious what people in foreign countries think of our current politics in the US,especially when I read analysis/commentaries by US writers (even ones I respect) who say "Oh most of our allies think this or that" -- - maybe they're right or maybe they're wrong or somewhere in-between, but it's interesting getting a DIRECT opinion from a fellow left-of-center citizen from a foreign state.
I agree with your points that European countries like France almost all have their own bloody history including an imperial period, but the two big World Wars that killed SO many people and destroyed so many cities in Europe were so tragic and wasteful that I suspect they DO continue to act as a significant deterrent to the saber-rattling that the US war mongers are able to engage-in. For too many US citizens 'war' is just something that's mentioned & sometimes displayed on a screen, just like a movie/TV program/video-game, and there's a non-reality to it because it's so far away and seldom directly affects them. Geography has famously isolated us from the major death & destruction of war and enables too many armchair warriors to talk boldly and vote for politicians who pander to those conceits. In a not-so-subtle way, the US IS the younger offspring of Europe, where Europe has grown-up due to some hard lessons, while the US is going through its own destructive stage of 'lesson-learning'. Hopefully this learning stage will be over soon and won't involve a world war.
DW Bartoo , July 3, 2019 at 12:48
Tulsi Gabbard is, indeed,pointing at part of a major organ of imperialism, Antonio Costa, yet habeas corpus, having the whole body of imperialism produced is necessary for the considered judgement of a people long terrorized by fictitious "monsters" and "demons", if they are to understand that shooting warfate is but one part of the heart, while the other is economic warfare. Both brutally destructive, even if the second is hidden from public awareness or dismissed as "a price worth paying". Imperialism pays no price (except "blow-back", which is merely "religious extremism" as explained by a fully complicit MSM).
And the "brain" behind it all?
That is corporate/military/political/deep state/media greed – and their desperate need/ambition for total, and absolute, control.
Only seeing the whole body may reveal the true size of the threat and the vicious nature of the real danger.
Some may argue that it is "too soon", "too early", or "too costly", politically, for Gabbard, even if she, herself, might see imperialism as the real monster and demon, to dare describe the whole beast.
Frankly, this time, Tulsi's candidacy, her "run" for President, is not likely to see her become the Dem nominee, most likely that will be Kamala Harris (who will happily do the bidding of brute power), rather, it is to lay the firm and solid foundation of actual difference, of rational perspective, and thoughtful, diplomatic international behavior.
To expose the whole, especially the role of the MSM, in furthering all the rest of the lumbering body of Zombie imperialism, would be far more effective in creating an substantial "opening" for alternative possibilities, even a new political party, next time.
Seer , July 3, 2019 at 15:31
I'm figuring that Warren and Harris will take one another out. Climbing to the top requires this. But, Gabbard doesn't stop fighting, and if there's a fighter out there it is her: mentally and physically she is the total package.
Sanders' 2016 campaign was ignored, he wasn't supposed to go anywhere, but if not for the DNC's meddling he would be POTUS right now (I have zero doubt over that). So too was Obama's climb from nowhere: of course, Obama was pushed up by the System, the System that is NOT behind Gabbard. And then there's the clown at the helm (Trump). I refuse to ignore this history.
Gababard is by no means out. Let's not speak of such things, especially when her campaign, and message, is just starting to burst out: the MSM is the last to admit the state of things unfavorable to the wealthy, but out on the Internet Gabbard is very much alive. She is the best candidate (with the best platform of visibility) for peace. She has all the pieces. One comment I read out on the internet (someone, I believe, not in the US) was that Gabbard was a gift to the Americans. Yes, I believe this to be the case: if you really look closely you'll see exactly how this is correct. I believe that we cannot afford to treat this gift with other than the utmost appreciation. Her sincerity when she says that she was/is willing to die for her fellow soldiers (in reference to LBGT folks, though ALL apply) is total. She is totally committed to this battle: as a warrior in politics she's proven herself with her support, the loyalty, for Sanders (at risk to her political career- and now look, she's running for POTUS, she continues to come out on top!).
IvyMike , July 2, 2019 at 20:14
I burned my draft card, grew my hair out, and smoked pot and was anti war as heck. But the peace demonstrations (and riots) in the 60's and 70's did not have much effect on how the U.S. Government prosecuted the Vietnam War. It is little recognized how hard American troops fought from 1965 to 1968. Our air mobile troops in particular made a great slaughter of NVA and VC while also taking heavy casualties.
We were having such success that no one in the military thought the enemy could keep up the fight. Then, the Tet offensive with the beaten enemy attacking every city in the South.
Then the politicians and Generals knew, given the super power politics surrounding the war, that we had lost. We had failed to recognize that we had not intervened in a Civil War, in truth Vietnam as a whole was fighting for freedom from Imperialism and we had no friends in the South, just a corrupt puppet government. Instead of getting out, Nixon made the unforgivable choice to slowly wind the war down until he could get out without losing, Peace With Honor the ultimate triumph of ego over humanity. Americans had a chance to choose a peace candidate in 1972, instead Nixon won with a big majority.
The military has never been able to admit they were defeated on the battlefield by North Vietnam, blaming it instead on the Liberal Media and the Anti War movement. Believing that lie they continue to fight unwinnable wars in which we have no national interest at stake. The media and the people no longer fight against war, but it never really made a difference when we did.
Realist , July 3, 2019 at 05:17
I too hoped for a miracle and voted for George. But then I always voted for the loser in whatever state I happened to be living in at the particular time. I think Carter was a rare winning pick by me but only once. I got disgusted with voting and sat out the Clinton campaigns, only returning to vote against the Bush juggernaut. In retrospect, Perot should have won to make a real difference. I sided with the winner in Obama, but the loser turned out to be America getting saddled with that two-faced hypocrite. Nobel Peace Prize winner indeed! (What did he spend the money on?) When you listen to their campaign promises be aware they are telegraphing how they plan to betray you.
triekc , July 3, 2019 at 07:45
American people in mass need to hit reset button. A yellow vest-like movement made up of tens of millions of woke people, who understand the democrats and republicans are the left and right wing of the oligarch party,
US elections have been and continue to be rigged, and the US constitution was written to protect the property (such as slaves) of oligarchs from the people, the founding oligarchs feared real democracy, evident by all the safeguards they built into our government to protect against it, that remain in tact today.
We need a new 21st century constitution. Global capitalism needs to be greatly curtailed, or ended out right, replaced by ecosocialism, conservation, restoration of earth focussed society
Seer , July 3, 2019 at 15:38
And just think that back then there was also Mike Gravel. The CIA did their work in the 60s to kill the anti-war movement: killing all the great social leaders.
Why wars are "lost" is because hardly is there a time when there's an actual "mission statement" on what the end of a given war will look like. Tulsi Gabbard has made it clear that she would NOT engage in any wars unless there was a clear objective, a clear outcome lined out, and, of course, it was authorized by THE PEOPLE (Congress).
All wars are about resources. We cannot, however, admit this: the ruling capitalists won't allow that to be known/understood lest they lose their power.
Realist , July 3, 2019 at 04:59
Ya got all that right, especially the part about the analysts essentially declaring the war lost after Tet. I remember that offered a lot of hope on the campuses that the war would soon end (even though we lost), especially to those of us near graduation and facing loss of that precious 2S deferment. Yet the big fool marched on, getting my generation needlessly slaughtered for four or five more years.
And, yes, the 2 or 3 million dead Vietnamese did matter, to those with a conscience. Such a price to keep Vietnam out of Russia's and China's orbit. Meanwhile they set an independent course after kicking us out of their land and even fought a war with China. We should still be paying reparations for the levels of death and destruction we brought to a country half a world away with absolutely no means or desire to threaten the United States. All our wars of choice, starting with Korea, have been similar crimes against humanity. Turkey shoots against third world societies with no way to do us any harm. But every one of them fought ferociously to the death to defend their land and their people. Inevitably, every occupier is sent packing as their empire crumbles. Obviously, Americans have been too thick to learn this from mere history books. We will only learn from our tragic mistakes. I see a lot of lessons on the upcoming schedule.
James Clooney , July 3, 2019 at 08:36
USA did not "intervene" in a civil war. USA paid France to continue it's imperial war and then took over when France fled defeated. USA prevented a mandated election Ho Chi Minh would win and then continued western imperial warfare against the Vietnamese ( even though Vietnamese was/is bulwark against China's territorial expansion).
mauisurfer , July 2, 2019 at 20:12
The Watson study says: "Indeed, the DOD is the world's largest institutional user of petroleum and correspondingly, the single largest producer of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the world.4"
This is a gross UNDERcount of emissions. It includes ONLY petroleum burned.
It does NOT count explosions from bombs, missiles, rockets, rifles, etc.
Perhaps someone could provide an estimate of this contribution to greenhouse gases???
triekc , July 3, 2019 at 07:25
US military contribution to ecocide: https://climateandcapitalism.com/2015/02/08/pentagon-pollution-7-military-assault-global-climate/
Seer , July 3, 2019 at 16:35
Don't worry, Elizabeth Warren has a plan to operate the military on renewables! (she can continue to make sure her constituency, which is Raytheon, is well served)
Raytheon, one of the biggest employers in Warren's state, where it's headquartered, "has a positive relationship with Sen. Warren, and we interact with her and her staff regularly," Michael Doble, a spokesman for the company, said.
jo6pac , July 2, 2019 at 20:12
This awful news for the merchants of death and I'm sure they're working overtime to stop silliness;-). I do hope this isn't killed by those that love the endless wars.
mbob , July 2, 2019 at 20:10
Perhaps there is no open anti-war movement because the Democratic party is now pro-war. Rather than support President Trump's efforts to end the Korean War, to reduce our involvement in the Middle East and to pursue a more peaceful path with Russia, the Democratic party (with very, very few exceptions) is opposed to all these things.
The Democratic party places its hatred for Trump above its professed love of peace.
President Obama, the Nobel peace prize winner, started a war with Libya, which had neither attacked nor threatened the US and which, by many accounts, was trying to improve relations with the US. GW Bush unnecessarily attacked Iraq and Clinton destroyed Haiti and bombed Yugoslavia, among other actions.
From a peace perspective, Trump looks comparatively great (provided he doesn't attack Iraq or invade Venezuela). But, since it's impossible to recognize Trump for anything positive, or to support him in any way, it's now impossible for Democrats to promote peace. Doing so might help Trump. It would, of necessity, require acknowledging Trump's uniqueness among recent US Presidents in not starting new wars.
Realist , July 3, 2019 at 03:28
I agree. mbob makes perfect sense in his analysis.
The Democrats must be brought back to reality with a sound repudiation by the voters, otherwise they are of no use to America and will have no long-term future.
James Clooney , July 3, 2019 at 09:56
Obama escalated Afghanistan when he had a popular mandate to withdraw. He facilitated the the Syrian rebellion in conjunction with ISIS funding Saudi Arabia and Qatar. He instigated the Zalaya (primarily Hillary) and the Ukraine rebellion.
Trump supports the Yemeni genocide.
But yes citizens have been directed to hate Trump the man/symptom rather than the enduring Imperial predatory capitalistic system.
James Clooney , July 3, 2019 at 10:02
Opps sorry; so many interventions and invasions, under Obama, special forces trained Malian general overthrew the democratically elected president of Mali, result, more war,death and destruction.
Robert , July 3, 2019 at 10:48
You are correct in your analysis. Allegra Harpootlian is searching for the peace lobby among Democrat supporters, where it no longer resides.
As a result of corporate-controlled mainstream media and their support for Democrat elites, Democrat supporters have largely been brainwashed into hatred for Donald Trump and everything he stands for. This hatred blinds them to the far more important issue of peace.
Strangely, there is huge US support to remove troops from the ME, but this support resides with the overwhelming majority of Donald Trump voters. Unfortunately, these are not individuals who typically go to peace demonstrations, but they are sincere in bringing all US troops home from the ME. Donald Trump himself lobbied on this, and with the exceptions of his anti-Iranian / pro-Israel / pro-Saudi Arabia stance and withdrawal from JCPOA, he has not only backed down from military adventurism, but is the first President since Eisenhower to raise the issue of the influence of the military-industrial complex.
In the face of strong opposition, he is the first President ever to enter North Korea and meet with Kim Jong Un to discuss nuclear weapons. Mainstream media continues its war-mongering rhetoric, attacking Trump for his "weakness" in not retaliating against Iran, or in meeting "secretly" with Putin.
Opposition to Trump's peace efforts are not limited to MSM, however, but are entrenched in Democrat and Republican elites, who attack any orders he gives to withdraw from the ME. It was not Trump, but Democrat and Republican elites who invited NATO's Stoltenberg to speak to Congress in an attempt to spite Trump.
In essence, you have President Trump and most of his supporters trying to withdraw from military engagements, with active opposition from Democrats like Adam Schiff, and Republican elites, actively promoting war and military spending.
DJT is like a less-likeable Inspector Clouseau. Sometimes ineptitude is a blessing. You also have a few Republicans, like journalist Tucker Carlson of Fox News, and Democrats, like Tulsi Gabbard, actively pushing the message of peace.
Erelis , July 3, 2019 at 20:45
I think you got it. The author is right in the sense that there is an anti-war movement, but that movement is in many ways hidden. As bizarre as it may seen counter to CW wisdom, and in some way ironically crazy, one of the biggest segments of anti-war sentiment are Trump supporters. After Trump's decision not to attack Iran, I went to various right wing commentators who attacked Trump, and the reaction against these major right wing war mongers was to support Trump. And with right wing commentators who supported Trump, absolute agreement. These is of course based on my objective reading reading and totally subjective. But I believe I am right.
This made me realize there is an untapped anti-war sentiment on the right which is being totally missed. And a lack of imagination and Trump derangment syndrome which blocks many on the anti-war Left to see it and use it for an anti-war movement. There was an article in The Intercept that looked research on the correlation between military deaths and voting preference. Here is the article:
STUDY FINDS RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HIGH MILITARY CASUALTIES AND VOTES FOR TRUMP OVER CLINTON
And the thing is that Trump was in many ways the anti-war candidate. And those areas that had high military death rates voted for Trump. I understand the tribal nature of political affiliation, but it seems what I have read and this article, there may be indeed an untapped anti-war stance with Trump supporters.
And it really just challenges my own beliefs that the major obstacle to the war mongers are Trump supporters.
Helga I. Fellay , July 3, 2019 at 11:09
mbob – I couldn't have said it better myself. Except to add that in addition to destroying Libya, the Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama, ably assisted by Hillary Clinton, also destroyed Honduras and the Ukraine.
Anarcissie , July 3, 2019 at 11:55
Historically, the Democratic Party has been pro-war and pro-imperialism at least since Wilson. The hatred for Trump on their part seems to be based entirely on cultural issues -- he is not subservient enough to their gods.
But as for antiwar demonstrations, it's been proved in the streets that they don't accomplish anything. There were huge demonstrations against the war in Vietnam, but it ground on until conservatives got tired of it. At least half a million people demonstrated against the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and no one important cared. Evidently more fundamental issues than the war of the moment are involved and I think that is where a lot of people are turning now. The ruling class will find this a lot harder to deal with because it's decentralized and widely distributed. Hence the panic about Trump and the seething hatred of Sanders.
mbob , July 3, 2019 at 18:15
I attempted to make three points in my post. First, Democrats are now pro-war. Second, solely regarding peace, Trump looks better than all other recent Presidents because he hasn't started any new wars. Third, the inability of Democrats (or the public as a whole) to give Trump the benefit of a doubt, or to support him in any way, is contrary to the cause of peace.
Democrats should, without reservation, support Trump's effort to end the Korean War. They should support Trump's desire to improve relations with Russia. They don't do either of those things. Why? Because it might hurt them politically.
Your comment does not challenge the first two points and reinforces the third.
As for Yemen, yes, Trump is wrong. Democrats rightly oppose him on Yemen -- but remarkably tepidly. Trump is wrong about a lot of things. I don't like him. I didn't vote for him. But I will vote for him if Democrats nominate someone worse than him, which they seem inclined to do. (Gabbard is better than Trump. Sanders probably. Maybe Warren. Of the three, only Warren receives positive press. That makes me skeptical of her.)
Trump stood up to his advisors, Bolton and Pompeo, regarding both Iran and Venezuela. Obama, on the other hand, did not. He followed the advice of his advisors, with disastrous consequences.
Piotr Berman , July 4, 2019 at 07:02
Trump standing up to his nominees:
>>In addition to Tuesday's sanctions, the Treasury Department issued an advisory to maritime shipping companies, warning them off transporting oil to Syria or risking their property and money seized if kept with financial institutions that follow U.S. sanctions law.
"The United States will aggressively seek to impose sanctions against any party involved in shipping oil to Syria, or seeking to evade our sanctions on Iranian oil," said Sigal Mandelker, the Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, in a release. "Shipping companies, insurers, vessel owners, managers, and operators should all be aware of the grave consequences of engaging in sanctionable conduct involving Iranian oil shipments."<<
Today British marines seized a tanker near Gibraltar for the crime of transporting oil to Syria. And Trumpian peaceful military seized Syrian oil fields. Traditional war is increasingly augmented by piracy, which is less bloody, but trades outright carnage for deprivation of civilians. Giving "measured praise" for that makes me barf.
Jul 02, 2019 | www.unz.com
Last Wednesday’s debate among half of the announced Democratic Party candidates to become their party’s nominee for president in 2020 was notable for its lack of drama. Many of those called on to speak had little to say apart from the usual liberal bromides about health care, jobs, education and how the United States is a country of immigrants. On the following day the mainstream media anointed Elizabeth Warren as the winner based on the coherency of her message even though she said little that differed from what was being presented by most of the others on the stage. She just said it better, more articulately.
The New York Times’ coverage was typical, praising Warren for her grasp of the issues and her ability to present the same clearly and concisely, and citing a comment "They could teach classes in how Warren talks about a problem and weaves in answers into a story. She's not just wonk and stats." It then went on to lump most of the other candidates together, describing their performances as "ha[ving] one or two strong answers, but none of them had the electric, campaign-launching moment they were hoping for."
Inevitably, however, there was some disagreement on who had actually done best based on viewer reactions as well as the perceptions of some of the media that might not exactly be described as mainstream. The Drudge Report website had its poll running while the debate was going on and it registered overwhelmingly in favor of Hawaiian Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. Likewise, the Washington Examiner , a right-wing paper, opined that Gabbard had won by a knockout based on its own polling. Google's search engine reportedly saw a surge in searches linked to Tulsi Gabbard both during and after the debate.
On the following day traditional conservative Pat Buchanan produced an article entitled "Memo for Trump: Trade Bolton for Tulsi," similar to a comment made by Republican consultant Frank Luntz "She's a long-shot to win the presidency, but Tulsi Gabbard is sounding like a prime candidate for Secretary of Defense."
Tulsi, campaigning on her anti-war credentials, was indeed not like the other candidates, confronting directly the issue of war and peace which the other potential candidates studiously avoided. In response to a comment by neoliberal Congressman Tim Ryan who said that the U.S. has to remain "engaged" in places like Afghanistan, she referred to two American soldiers who had been killed that very day, saying "Is that what you will tell the parents of those two soldiers who were just killed in Afghanistan? Well, we just have to be engaged? As a soldier, I will tell you that answer is unacceptable."
At another point she expanded on her thinking about America's wars, saying "Let's deal with the situation where we are, where this president and his chickenhawk cabinet have led us to the brink of war with Iran. I served in the war in Iraq at the height of the war in 2005, a war that took over 4,000 of my brothers and sisters in uniforms' lives. The American people need to understand that this war with Iran would be far more devastating, far more costly than anything that we ever saw in Iraq. It would take many more lives. It would exacerbate the refugee crisis. And it wouldn't be just contained within Iran. This would turn into a regional war. This is why it's so important that every one of us, every single American, stand up and say no war with Iran."
Tulsi also declared war on the Washington Establishment, saying that "For too long our leaders have failed us, taking us into one regime change war after the next, leading us into a new Cold War and arms race, costing us trillions of our hard-earned tax payer dollars and countless lives. This insanity must end."
Blunt words, but it was a statement that few Americans whose livelihoods are not linked to "defense" or to the shamelessly corrupt U.S. Congress and media could disagree with, as it is clear that Washington is at the bottom of a deep hole and persists in digging. So why was there such a difference between what ordinary Americans and the Establishment punditry were seeing on their television screens? The difference was not so much in perception as in the desire to see a certain outcome. Anti-war takes away a lot of people's rice bowls, be they directly employed on "defense" or part of the vast army of lobbyists and think tank parasites that keep the money flowing out of the taxpayers' pockets and into the pockets of Raytheon, General Dynamics, Boeing and Lockheed Martin like a perpetual motion machine.
In the collective judgment of America's Establishment, Tulsi Gabbard and anyone like her must be destroyed. She would not be the first victim of the political process shutting out undesirable opinions. One can go all the way back to Eugene McCarthy and his opposition to the Vietnam War back in 1968. McCarthy was right and Lyndon Johnson and the rest of the Democratic Party were wrong. More recently, Congressman Ron Paul tried twice to bring some sanity to the Republican Party. He too was marginalized deliberately by the GOP party apparatus working hand-in-hand with the media, to include the final insult of his being denied any opportunity to speak or have his delegates recognized at the 2012 nominating convention.
And the beat goes on. In 2016, Debbie Wasserman Shultz, head of the Democratic National Committee, fixed the nomination process so that Bernie Sanders, a peace candidate, would be marginalized and super hawk Hillary Clinton would be selected. Fortunately, the odor emanating from anything having to do with the Clintons kept her from being elected or we would already be at war with Russia and possibly also with China.
Tulsi Gabbard has let the genie of "end the forever wars" out of the bottle and it will be difficult to force it back in. She just might shake up the Democratic Party's priorities, leading to more questions about just what has been wrong with U.S. foreign policy over the past twenty years. To qualify for the second round of debates she has to gain a couple of points in her approval rating or bring in more donations, either of which is definitely possible based on her performance. It is to be hoped that that will occur and that there will be no Debbie Wasserman Schultz hiding somewhere in the process who will finagle the polling results.
Yes, to some critics, Tulsi Gabbard is not a perfect candidate . On most domestic issues she appears to be a typical liberal Democrat and is also conventional in terms of her accommodation with Jewish power, but she also breaks with the Democratic Party establishment with her pledge to pardon Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange and Edward Snowden.
She also has more of a moral compass than Elizabeth Warren, who cleverly evades the whole issue of Middle East policy, or a Joe Biden who would kiss Benjamin Netanyahu's ass without any hesitation at all. Gabbard has openly criticized Netanyahu and she has also condemned Israel's killing of "unarmed civilians" in Gaza. As a Hindu, her view of Muslims is somewhat complicated based on the historical interaction of the two groups, but she has moderated her views recently.
To be sure, Americans have heard much of the same before, much of it from out of the mouth of a gentleman named Donald Trump, but Tulsi Gabbard could well be the only genuine antiwar candidate that might truly be electable in the past fifty years. It is essential that we Americans who are concerned about the future of our country should listen to what she has to say very carefully and to respond accordingly.
Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is email@example.com
Jul 05, 2019 | www.unz.com
The Alarmist, July 5, 2019 at 7:56 am GMT 100 Words
Because however loud the calls for Ivanka's ouster have gotten . Ivanka just digs those stilettoes in. She won't be budged. She refuses to take a hint.
Amazing how deaf fathers can be when it comes to their daughters. Surprising he didn't dispose of Jared by making him Secy of Education or some shizzle like that.
Anon  Disclaimer , says: Next New Comment July 5, 2019 at 9:03 am GMTFelix Krull , says: Next New Comment July 5, 2019 at 9:27 am GMT
Ivankita and Jaredcito are going to be a liability for the reelection of daddy . Does`t Ivankita realizes it ?Bardon Kaldian , says: Next New Comment July 5, 2019 at 10:15 am GMT
Here's a solid surmise: Trump dare not cross his daughter who is intent on riding his coattails to things far greater.
That is the most naive surmise I've ever heard. Do you also believe that Trump bombed Syria because Ivanka got mopey over some snuff photos?Johnny Walker Read , says: Next New Comment July 5, 2019 at 12:35 pm GMT
Ilana seems to think, referencing Wolff (and arguing with his position), that IKT is a sort of Machiavellian (although inexperienced) woman greedy for power who, well, should not be underestimated.
Of course no one should be underestimated.
But to me, she looks like – among other things – a clever manipulator in her, relatively short radius. Yet, although the US is no.1. as world power, she is no match for any real world politician, anywhere. Not just now; anytime in the future.
She seems to be one of those people who are lucky for a period of time, but soon disappear from the scene. Her "visibility" is a confluence of a few fleeting influences. Basically, fate has favored her for the time being (I'm not talking about morals etc.). But, to think that she's capable of much more is to entertain the idea that Trump is, all the time, playing 6-dimensional chess.
Of course- not. Life is not like that.Nancy Pelosi's Latina Maid , says: Next New Comment July 5, 2019 at 12:46 pm GMT
Trump's(Ivanka)Hebrew name is "Yael." In the Book of Judges, a woman named Yael came upon the enemy king Sisera, who had fled from battle with the Isralites. She fed and sheltered him until he fell asleep. Then she killed him by using a mallet to drive a tent peg into his skull.
Ivanka took her conversion to Judaism to an almost insane level. This comes from the Rabbi's involved in her conversion. She is an even more hard core Zionist than "daddy dearest", if that is even humanly possible. Ivanka believes she is now a chosenite of the highest order and is therefore destined to rule over all us insignificant little Goys. Yael's greatest concern is rising antisemitism here in the US of Israel.
https://www.timesofisrael.com/ivanka-trump-concerned-about-rising-anti-semitism-drop-in-israel-support/Johnny Walker Read , says: Next New Comment July 5, 2019 at 12:55 pm GMT
Many of our MAGApedes still think Ivanka's great because Trump is God Emperor.
Two days ago I commented on Breitbart that good or bad G20, Trump looked foolish toting Ivanka along. Response: Oh yeah, he should have brought AOC, that would have been much better, you idiot. Me: So Trump's only choice was Ivanka or AOC? None of the hundreds of attorneys or diplomats who have devoted careers to international trade negotiations?
Response: I would take Ivanka over any single "professional" negotiator of the past 30 years – hands down.
I think the sage commenters at Unz underestimate just how entrenched God Emperor's fanatic support remains. And apparently this support extends to Jarvanka.Jacques Sheete , says: Next New Comment July 5, 2019 at 1:53 pm GMT
Let us not forget the words of General George Cornwallis in 1781.
"Your churches will be used to teach the Jew's religion and in less than two hundred years, the whole nation will be working for divine world government. That government that they believe to be divine will be the British Empire. All religions will be permeated with Judaism without even being noticed by the masses, and they will all be under the invisible all-seeing eye of the Grand Architect of Freemasonry."
Did this man nail it or what?
https://www.henrymakow.com/the_united_states_is_a_masonic.html@Johnny Walker Read lives." (p. 287)Republic , says: Next New Comment July 5, 2019 at 2:33 pm GMT
In the words of a speaker at a secret B'nai Brith meeting in Paris in 1936:
"Yet it remains our secret that those Gentiles who betray their own and most precious interests, by joining us in our plot should never know that these associations are of our creation and that they serve our purpose
"One of the many triumphs of our Freemasonry is that those Gentiles who become members of our Lodges, should never suspect that we are using them to build their own jails, upon whose terraces we shall erect the throne of our Universal King of Israel; and should never know that we are commanding them to forge the chains of their own servility to our future King of the World."@Johnny Walker Read poke to Washington in 1781
He spent most of the period from 1770 to 1785 in England
Cornwallis never met Washington
Cornwallis, apparently not wanting to face Washington, claimed to be ill on the day of the surrender, and sent Brigadier General Charles O'Hara in his place to surrender his sword formally. Washington had his second-in-command, Benjamin Lincoln, accept Cornwallis' sword
Jul 05, 2019 | www.theguardian.com
In the years that followed, the crash, the crisis of the eurozone and the worldwide drop in the price of oil and other commodities combined to put a huge dent in global trade. Since 2012, the IMF reported in its World Economic Outlook for October 2016 , trade was growing at 3% a year – less than half the average of the previous three decades. That month, Martin Wolf argued in a column that globalisation had "lost dynamism", due to a slackening of the world economy, the "exhaustion" of new markets to exploit and a rise in protectionist policies around the world. In an interview earlier this year, Wolf suggested to me that, though he remained convinced globalisation had not been the decisive factor in rising inequality, he had nonetheless not fully foreseen when he was writing Why Globalization Works how "radical the implications" of worsening inequality "might be for the US, and therefore the world".
Among these implications appears to be a rising distrust of the establishment that is blamed for the inequality. "We have a very big political problem in many of our countries," he said. "The elites – the policymaking business and financial elites – are increasingly disliked . You need to make policy which brings people to think again that their societies are run in a decent and civilised way."
That distrust of the establishment has had highly visible political consequences: Farage, Trump, and Le Pen on the right; but also in new parties on the left, such as Spain's Podemos, and curious populist hybrids, such as Italy's Five Star Movement . As in 1997, but to an even greater degree, the volatile political scene reflects public anxiety over "the process that has come to be called 'globalisation'".
If the critics of globalisation could be dismissed before because of their lack of economics training, or ignored because they were in distant countries, or kept out of sight by a wall of police, their sudden political ascendancy in the rich countries of the west cannot be so easily discounted today.
Jul 04, 2019 | www.unz.com
alley cat says: July 2, 2019 at 1:39 am GMT 200 Words
Yes, to some critics, Tulsi Gabbard is not a perfect candidate.
Tulsi is a candidate for political office, not sainthood. Much like Trump in 2016, being patently less cynical than her rivals makes her the obvious choice.
the only genuine antiwar candidate that might truly be electable
Operative word in the above sentence: "genuine."
Her courage and convictions were hardened in the burning cauldron of an unjust war. Call it burning resentment if you prefer. It's real and it's what makes her tick.
She went to Syria and proclaimed that rule by Assad was better for Syrians than rule by Al Qaeda. For that unrecanted heresy she was vilified by Republicans and Democrats alike.
In the Democratic Party debates, she cut that posturing hypocrite Tim Ryan off at the knees in a matter of seconds. A few home truths about U.S. soldiers dying for no good reason was all it took to dispatch him and his mealy-mouthed platitudes.
What was Ryan going to do? Tell Tulsi she didn't know what she was talking about?
Watch her do the same to DJT if she gets the nomination and he continues to pander to the neocons.