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US anti war movement

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Anti war libertarians Ron Paul Tulsi Gabbard Dennis Kusinish Chris Hedges Ray Mcgovern anttwar.com -- the most  prominent anti war site run by linertarian Justin Raimondo
Paul Craig Roberts Philippics Neoliberal Globalization American biblical nationalism and religious far right American Exceptionalism Predator state Ethno-linguistic and "Cultural" Nationalism as a reaction to Neoliberalism induced decline of standards of living
Secular Stagnation under Neoliberalism Who Rules America Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich TTP, NAFTA and other supernational trade treates Brexit as the start of the reversal of neoliberal globalization Immigration, wage depression and free movement of workers Debt slavery
American Imperialism, Transnational Capitalist Class and Globalization of Capitalism Merchants of Debt Greece debt enslavement Eroding Western living standards Ukraine debt enslavement IMF as the key institution for neoliberal debt enslavement Wolfowitz Doctrine
Donald Trump -- an unusual fighter against excesses of neoliberal globalization Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism National Security State Demonization of Putin Anatol Leiven on American Messianism Neoliberalism and Christianity The Far Right Forces in Ukraine as Trojan Horse of Neoliberalism
Neoliberalism Neocolonialism Neoconservatism Media-Military-Industrial Complex The art of manufacturing of prisoners of consciousness Machiavellism Color revolutions
New American Militarism Jingoism of the US neoliberal elite Demonization of Putin Cold War II Pathological Russophobia of the US elite Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Anti Trump Hysteria
Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Hillary wet kiss with neocons Hillary role in Libya disaster Syria civil war Anatol Leiven on American Messianism Manipulation of the term "freedom of press" Sect of fraudulent election witnesses
The art of manufacturing of prisoners of consciousness Paleoconservatism Machiavellism Humanitarian Imperialism  John Kenneth Galbraith Humor Antiwar Quotes
 

"Between government in the republican meaning, that is, Constitutional, representative, limited government, on the one hand, and Empire on the other hand, there is mortal enmity. Either one must forbid the other or one will destroy the other."

Garet Garrett, one of the last of the Old Right "isolationists,"1952,

Neoliberal Democrats seek to create the same tribalism-based/identity voting block on the left that the republicans have on the right. With the explicit purpose of maintaining and expanding neoliberal empire led by the USA. They were extremely successful by unleashing neo McCarthyism company.

Few members of the US elite understand that economic sanctions are as close to the declaration of war as one can get. Most members of the US elite bask in "American exceptionalism" mentality and do not feel the danger of reckless endless provocations against Russia and China. Or the fact that McCarthyism creates and feeds anti-Americanism in those counties that are targeted. And part of Europe (France, Spain) who understand are essentially hostages of the US foreign policy.

Previously that ended very well for the USA as the USSR dissolved. Will Russia dissolve ? Will China Communist Party be deposed from power ? If the answer on both  questions is no, this is a reckless, dangerous policy. Behavior exemplified Senator McCain, former vice-president Biden and former Secretary of State and Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.  Right now the status of the only superpower protects the USA, but this might change if Russia and China despite difficulties announce close military cooperation NATO style -- attack on one is attack on all. At this point the USA has no economic capabilities to match this block militarily, neither in manpower not is the strength of the first strike.  And EU allies might start having the second thoughts.

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Dangerous Insanity by Charley Reese

While everyone is being distracted by the war in Iraq, Tom Cruise's impending wedding and George Clooney's deep concern for the people in the Darfur region of Sudan, the knuckleheads in Washington are laying the groundwork for a sure-enough war - a war we won't win.

The latest step was Little Emperor George's proclamation that nothing will be allowed to keep us from the militarization of space. The emperor and his crazy neoconservative advisers apparently want to conquer not only the world, but outer space, too.

This insanity began in the first Bush's administration, continued through the Clinton administration and has begun to blossom in the Little Emperor's regime. Instead of seeing the end of the Cold War as a golden opportunity for lasting peace, the crazies in Washington saw it as an opportunity for American military dominance of the whole planet.

If you keep this goal in mind, then a lot of what happened makes sense. When the Warsaw Pact was disbanded, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization also should have been disbanded. After all, it was just a war alliance against the Soviet Union.

Instead, NATO was expanded right up to the borders of Russia. The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty was unilaterally abrogated. Other nuclear-disarmament treaties were tossed in the trash can. Rather than help Russia transition from communism to a free market, the U.S. sent sharpies who helped the oligarchs steal most of the country's wealth during the drunken presidency of Boris Yeltsin.

Furthermore, NATO's mission changed from a defensive posture to an offensive mission. The bombing of Serbia, a traditional ally of Russia, was designed to send a message to Russia; the bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade was a message to Beijing. At the same time, using democracy or terrorism as an excuse, the U.S. has sought to install governments unfriendly to Russia in the former Soviet republics and to establish military bases on the perimeter of the country.

Unfortunately for the crazies in Washington, the Russians replaced their drunk with a smart guy, Vladimir Putin. By the way, all the bad-mouthing of Putin is coming from the oligarchs who fled justice in Russia. They have plenty of money to hire the best whores in the fields of public relations and journalism to bad-mouth a Russian leader who wants to put them in jail where they belong. Of course, they want regime change — another drunk who would invite them back to steal what they missed the first time.

The Chinese were not intimidated, either. Both countries see Bush's anti-missile defense system for what it really is — an offensive weapon to be used in conjunction with a nuclear first strike. We couldn't afford a system to cover the country, but one that might pick off the leftovers after an American first strike is feasible.

So China and Russia have come together in a strong, strategic alliance nobody would have thought possible 20 years ago. It is a military, economic and energy alliance with one purpose — to frustrate the U.S. attempt at world dominance.

These neoconservative crazies are dangerous people. They are sick with the same hubris that brought down the British Empire. It is one thing to bully Third World countries; it is quite another to play that game with nuclear powers.

One Asian former head of intelligence has written that China already has the technology and weapons to put our aircraft carriers on the bottom of the sea as easily as sinking a sampan.

The world doesn't need this madness. Washington needs to be cleansed of these crackpots before they stupidly unleash a nuclear holocaust. The Russians and Chinese are among Earth's most brilliant people, and they are not taken in by political blathering. It is extremely dangerous to be doing things that they reasonably can assume is leading to a strategy of a nuclear first strike.

(Write to Charley Reese at P.O. Box 2446, Orlando, FL 32802)


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[Jun 17, 2018] Is Anti-War Fever Building in the US by Gaius Publius

Notable quotes:
"... It wasn't just bad intelligence, it was consistently purposeful bad intelligence. The consequences have been dire for the world, and our country as well. The Russians in that period never represented a serious military threat even to the continent of Europe, far less the US. ..."
"... You are correct. The forever wars are just one of the ways to bleed the Middle Class dry. The media propaganda and rule by the 10% can't let the suckers know what is really going on. There are always enough men to man the colonial wars but they are unwinnable unless the whole nation is involved. ..."
"... Then behind the scenes Obama did very little to back up his speeches with actions as he went with the flow. ..."
"... Obama had two groups to satisfy, the populace and the elite. The populace got empty words, the elite got what they wanted. ..."
"... The MSM is waging a propaganda campaign at every level completely obscuring the truth. And the politicians play the fear card at every level. I don't believe any of us is in "happy compliance" at the airport. I for one, grind my teeth and cuss out the crooked corporations (including that bastard "skull" Chertoff who personally benefited from the x-ray screening machines) that reap a bundle of money from the so called screening and invasive body searches. Travel has become something to dread. ..."
"... The officer corps might be an opponent but I think that America has been badly served by them due to how officers are selected & trained and who makes it to the top. The only time they balk is when some idiot in Washington pushes them to fight the Russians or the Chinese. And most people don't really care in any case so long as the US wins. Out of sight, out of mind as they say. ..."
"... It's harder and harder to sell these military actions to the public. What are we in Korea and Japan for? To contain China? If you ask most people, they'll probably tell you that China won, or at very least our bosses are in league with their bosses. ..."
"... The Borg moves without regard to public sentiment, so we have to replace politicians with those who'll bring it to heel. That's a death sentence, but I feel like enough people have the guts to try and make it happen. ..."
"... *sigh* someone please trot out that Goering quote again: To the extent that public opinion matters, public opinion is easy to arrange. ..."
"... I don't mean to suggest that there isn't a solid electoral reason to have nice vague policies, not least because a campaign against foreign wars would be an excellent way for the left to make common cause with some parts of the right, such as the paleoconservatives and isolationists. ..."
"... It did for Russia. There is now an ongoing civil war on its border in Ukraine. NATO went to war with Serbia in the later 1990's. The breakup of the Atlantic Alliance will splinter Europe. Humans being humans. The strong will try to steal from the weak. ..."
"... The old adage that our country rallies around a war president is no longer operative IMHO. In a nation tired of perpetual war, the commander-in-chief would get at best a short-term surge in public approval by opening up a new battle zone, before slipping precipitously in the polls. Why on earth have the Democrats eagerly embraced the role of the war party, while our country literally crumbles for lack of public investment? Could there be a more effective losing strategy? ..."
"... Why on earth have the Democrats eagerly embraced the role of the war party, while our country literally crumbles for lack of public investment? Could there be a more effective losing strategy? ..."
"... Those are their constituents: beltway bandits, private contractors, public/private partnerships, insurance companies, arms companies, private equity firms, military contractors, and whatever other combinations you want to come up with. ..."
"... I remember when Tim Kaine gleefully suggested that we needed an "intelligence surge" to protect the country. I almost gagged. It was a not so subtle message of "prepare for the handouts to the private military contractor industry". ..."
"... How does positioning 2,000 – 4,000 US troops in Syria fit into your "Trump is a peace-maker" narrative? How about the comment Wednesday that the US will attack Syrian forces if they attack Sunni jihadis (er "moderate rebels") in SW Syria? ..."
"... How about us aiding and abetting a famine in Yemen that could kills tens of thousands? ..."
"... I think you are attributing a sentiment to juliania that her comment does not actually contain. She doesn't say Trump is a peace-maker, she says he was far in front of Bernie in using "anti-war rhetoric as a strategy." The example of Nixon doing the same thing indicates that juliania is well aware that strategic rhetoric and actual decisions are not the same thing. ..."
"... I know a fair number of Trump voters, and my read is similar to juliania's: Trump's anti-war rhetoric was a big draw for a lot of people, and helped many be able to hold their nose and vote for him. Understanding this and commenting on it does not make one a Trump supporter, obviously, or indicate that one puts any credence in his dovish rhetoric. ..."
"... You might be correct and my apologies to juliania if I misread her post. I have heard so much of the "Trump is fighting [the deep state, Wall Street, the neocons]" on other blogs that I am a bit hypersensitive and go off on a rant when I see or perceive that argument. From my perspective, Trump is doing everything in his power to entrench Wall Street, the neocons, etc. ..."
"... The war in Yemen is to secure the Saudi monarchy and our interest in their vast reserves of oil and gas. ..."
"... Are militarism* and democracy compatible? I'm not so sure they are. ..."
"... A lot depends on how you define "democracy", "will of the people" etc.. What the role of "finance" in a context of "capitalism" and "democracy" should be, e.g., citizens united(note orwellian language) may be considered a " reason why they would not be compatible" and even antithetical. ..."
"... America itself is the most destabilizing force on the planet. i would love to see what America leaving the world to its' own devices would look like. Like Weimar/Nazi Germany, nothing good comes from these kind of "American Values." ..."
"... The military is A-ok with Trump and this is what seems to matter. The roar of hysteria from the media over Trump first 2-3 months in office died down considerably when he showed a willingness to engage in a show of force by striking Syria (remember when he was so concerned about the welfare of children?) ..."
"... Only a *faction" of the security establishment is anti-Trump because he is skeptical of *neoliberal* globalism. ..."
"... Meanwhile, the Prez who can't seem to enact *anything* to make lives better for the people who put him in office, is magically able to enact the agenda of the 1%. This repeat of the 1% 's manipulations is one I can do without. ..."
"... Regarding the question posed by this post I think there is very little evidence of an anti-war "fever" and even if there were, and if it were projected into the streets and/or ballot box, I am pessimistic that it could have any effect on the U.S. government of today. I don't think the U.S. government cares what the American people think or feel about anything -- except of course as those cares and feelings affect the mechanisms of control through the propaganda pushed through our media, the levels of surveillance and suppression, and the increased viciousness of our "laws" and their enforcement. ..."
"... I believe the U.S. government is run by several powerful and competing interests. So I think I'll ask a different question -- though in the same vein as that posed by the title of this post. Are those interests who compete with the interests of the MIC and Spook Industrial Complex (SIC) beginning to see the futility and stupidity of our endless wars? ..."
"... "Peaceniks are Kremlin stooges!" It's depressing when you can predict the media's response six months in advance. ..."
Jun 17, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Is anti-war fever building in the U.S.? One would not think so given all the signs -- apparent public apathy toward multiple military involvements, happy compliance with "security" at the increasingly painful airport, lack of protests and so on.

Yet there are two signs I'd like to put forward as indicating a growing willingness to forgo foreign "entanglements" (undeclared wars), springing either from a weariness with them, a nascent abhorrence of them, or a desire to focus U.S. dollars on U.S. domestic solutions, like the hugely popular Medicare for All . (Click to see just how popular Medicare for All, called "Medicare Buy-In" at the link, is across party lines.)

The first sign is Bernie Sanders, the most popular politician in America and by far its most popular senator, making statements like these in the speech linked and discussed in the video at the top of this piece. For example, at 9:00 in the clip, Sanders says (emphasis his):

SANDERS: In other words, what we have seen in time and time again, disasters occur when administrations, Democrat and Republican, mislead Congress and the American people. And when Congress fails to do its constitutional job in terms of asking the questions of whether or not we should be in a war. And I think we need to ask that very hard question today.

And here is the point that I hope the American people are asking themselves. Is the war on terror, a perpetual, never-ending war, necessary to keep us safe?

I personally believe we have become far too comfortable with the United States engaging in military interventions all over the world. We have now been in Afghanistan for 17 years. We have been in Iraq for 15 years. We are occupying a portion of Syria, and this administration has indicated that it may broaden that mission even more.

We are waging a secretive drone war in at least five countries. Our forces, right now, as we speak, are supporting a Saudi-led war in Yemen which has killed thousands of civilians and has created the worst humanitarian crisis on the planet today.

Talk like this is anathema in our militarized state, comments usually relegated to the fringes of public discourse. For Sanders to say this (and similarly anathemic remarks elsewhere in the speech) certainly denotes a shift, especially since Sanders during the campaign was not considered strong on foreign policy, especially progressive (non-orthodox) foreign policy.

As Jimmy Dore said in reply to the last sentence quoted above, "It's not Syria? Can you [say] "stop the butcher" is the worst? No. Turns out what we're doing is the 'worst humanitarian crisis in the world today,' committing siege warfare in Yemen, which is a war crime. And we're doing it, with Saudi Arabia."

Sanders also says we're "fighting terror" in 76 countries. Let that sink in, as Sanders wishes it to -- we're engaged in military conflict in 76 countries, almost a third of the nations in the world. I'm not sure many in the lay public appreciate the importance, or the likely consequences, of that surprising fact. (For one example of those consequences, consider that foreign wars often come home .)

Elsewhere in the video Dore asks, "Do you see Chuck Shumer saying our wars have had 'dire consequences'?" Sanders, it seems to me, is launching a toe-to-toe battle with what right-wingers have lately been calling the American "deep state" and I've been calling the security establishment.

The second sign comes from Donald Trump during the campaign. This isn't just Sanders going out on a limb -- taking a flier, as it were -- on a deeply unpopular position. Consider how often Donald Trump, the campaign version, made similar statements:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/H4ThZcq1oJQ

He also famously said this about NATO and its mission:

What I'm saying is NATO is obsolete. NATO is -- is obsolete and it's extremely expensive for the United States, disproportionately so. And we should readjust NATO.

If the U.S. security establishment is working to get rid of Trump, to take him out by whatever means necessary, campaign statements like that would be one of many reasons.

If Americans Could Vote Against the Forever War, Would They Do It?

I recently noted how different the outcomes are when the public indicates policy preferences with their votes versus polling data. DC politicians of both parties ignore polling with impunity. Votes, on the other hand, especially in party primaries, can force change -- witness the Trump nomination and the Sanders (stolen) near-nomination.

In some ways, small but not insignificant, the 2016 election was a test of the anti-war waters, with Trump asking questions about the need and mission of NATO, for example, that haven't been asked in over a generation, and Clinton, the proud choice of the neocon left and right, in strong disagreement .

It's too much or too early to say that Trump's public pullback from U.S. hegemony helped his election, though that's entirely possible. But it's certainly true that his anti-Forever War sentiments did not hurt him in any noticeable way.

I'll go further: If Sanders runs in 2020 and adds anti-war messaging to his program, we'll certainly see the title question tested.


Rob P , June 16, 2018 at 12:56 am

If the U.S. security establishment is working to get rid of Trump, to take him out by whatever means necessary, campaign statements like that would be one of many reasons.

Bernie had better watch his back then. Make sure no one associated with him has any contact with any Russians or Iranians or whatever.

JTMcPhee , June 16, 2018 at 8:42 am

The "security establishment/Blob" no coubt has already filled its supply chain with anti-Bernie Bernays-caliber ordnance, ready to deploy. I don't doubt that there are plenty of James Earl Rays out there, happy to be the ones who will "rid the Blob of this troublesome politician." Just remember that Bernie has a summer house, and his wife was president of a failed college, and he's a GD Socialist, for Jeebus' sake!

Any stick to beat a dog

cocomaan , June 16, 2018 at 12:14 pm

There's far less than six degrees of separation between any one person and someone who is Russian or Chinese or Iranian or whatever. Even two degrees of separation is enough for a headline these days.

Lambert Strether , June 16, 2018 at 1:56 am

Districts with military casualties correlate to Trump votes. I'd would be nice to see Sanders do a Town Hall on the empire, in six months or so when this speech has time to sink in, in one such district.

hemeantwell , June 16, 2018 at 9:11 am

Yes. Sanders is going to have to pull off a communicative high wire act bridging relatively acceptable criticism of "unnecessary and expensive foreign entanglements" to hinting at the idea that the US citizens have to understand the expansive pressures that flow from capitalism and the MIC. I've appreciated the regular links here to American Conservative and Unz articles. They are valuable reminders that some on the Right aren't in complete denial, at least about the MIC.

One scenario would see a revival of the terms of discussion that briefly saw daylight in at least the late 1940s, when state planners openly linked a "defensive" military posture with a need for markets. It would at least get the cards out on the table and assist in clarifying how world politics isn't just a matter of great and secondary powers inevitably pushing each other around. The idea of Realpolitik is a fundamental and fatal ground of reification.

johnnygl , June 16, 2018 at 10:48 am

Presidential ambitions aside, it would be a good idea to pressure trump's crew that are plotting to attack Iran. Plus, any chance to push back against the awful Dem leadership is also a positive. We need to see more grassroots pushback against that leadership. Sanders is the best around at generating that grassroots pushback.

Pookah Harvey , June 16, 2018 at 3:33 pm

Bernie makes many salient points on the Military Industrial Complex in a floor speech concerning the Defense Dept. budget bill. I especially like the part where he is trying to add an amendment that would limit the compensation of CEOs of defense contractors to no more than the Secretary of Defense ($205,000). This speech will not make him any friends among the military corporate contractors. (26 min.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psWHpTJ26lk

cocomaan , June 16, 2018 at 12:15 pm

Exactly. NATO is a suicide pact. It's absurd.

Lambert Strether , June 16, 2018 at 12:50 pm

We are in the world's most favorable geopolitical position. We have the Atlantic to the east, the Pacific to the West, Canada to the North, and Mexico to the South. We have enough nukes to blow up the world many times over. I don't know why we don't don't treat the entire imperial enterprise as a sunk cost and get out, starting with the Middle East (and by get out, I mean cut off all funding, too).

cocomaan , June 16, 2018 at 4:38 pm

Strangely, I think we're in a "Trump Peace". Yes, there are still brushfire wars raging, but this just happened:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-44507090

The Taliban announced the three-day halt to hostilities earlier this month, days after a unilateral ceasefire lasting until Wednesday was ordered by the government.

It is the Taliban's first ceasefire since the government they ran was toppled by the 2001 US-led invasion.

I don't know if it's Trump or it's just coincidence. But peace has broken out in Korea for hte first time in decades, and now peace has broken out in Afghanistan for the first time in decades.

I'm just happy it's happening.

Richard , June 16, 2018 at 2:59 am

You should take a look at The Threat by Andrew Cockburn. Fairly exhaustive detail about how Russian military might was inflated, in the 70s and 80s, in virtually every possible way. From badly coordinated civil defense, to the complete inreadiness of its airforce, to the caste system pervading the army that had reduced morale to almost nothing, the overall picture is pretty stunning, compared to the magnitude of the threat that was presented to the US public.

It wasn't just bad intelligence, it was consistently purposeful bad intelligence. The consequences have been dire for the world, and our country as well. The Russians in that period never represented a serious military threat even to the continent of Europe, far less the US. Nor do they now, spending less than a tenth on their military than the US. The 80 billion dollar incease in the US military budget this year was more than the entire Russian military budget. Meanwhile,our own bases encompass the globe, and we wage war and threaten genocide wherever we choose.

The facts are abundantly clear, that our own military represents by far the greatest threat to human life on this planet.

I want to tell you, that you and I and everyone in this damned country, we are not just the most lied to people in the world. We're arguably the most lied to people in history, at least if you consider the number and frequency of lies. It's a wonder we get anything right at all! I encourage you to read more, and read more widely, and to start at a position of distrust, with any foreign policy reporting that isn't based on first hand knowledge.

I am heartened by the position Bernie is taking, even as I disagree with him on the Russia hysteria and wonder at some of his qualifications like "blunder" to describe out and out imperialism. We need to start somewhere, and why not start with "let the people and the people's representatives decide when we use our military"?

Ashburn , June 16, 2018 at 9:52 am

I know many progressives on the left have questioned Bernie's foreign policy positions and for not going far enough in opposing our imperial wars. Personally, I think Bernie knows exactly how stupid, immoral, illegal, and costly our wars are, especially as it "crowds out spending" on his favored domestic policies. Bernie is also smart enough to know how he would be attacked by our right-wing corporate media and the Military-Industrial-Congressional complex if he were too outspoken. So, he tempers his statements, not just because his domestic agenda is most important to him, but also because he knows attacking our militarized foreign policy will not play well with the working class base he needs to appeal to. Unlike Obama who played up his anti-Iraq War vote, only to expand our wars across the Middle East and Africa (after collecting his Nobel Peace Prize), Bernie is holding his cards closer to the vest.

Lambert Strether , June 16, 2018 at 12:53 pm

> play well with the working class base he needs to appeal to

I think the working class in the flyover states is ready to hear that the endless war needs to end. It's tricky message to convey, because "Are you saying my child died in vain?" But Trump saying Iraq was a strategic blunder went over very well, and military casualties correlate with Trump votes . I think Sanders (or his as-yet-unknown successor) must deliver that message, but it's going to be tricky, if only because it will smash an enormous number of rice bowls in the national security and political classes (which overlap). Maybe we could move all the uniform-worshippers to an island, give them a few billion dollars, and let them play war games among themselves. Cheap at twice the price.

UPDATE I would bet "addiction" would work as a trope in the flyover states; "the war machine is a needle in America's arm" is the concept. Especially because veterans are prone to opioid addiction . Again, the rhetoric would be tricky to avoid blaming victims or "hating the troops," but I think there's good messaging to be found here. (People do horrid things when trapped in addictive systems. That's why they seek cure )

The Heretic , June 16, 2018 at 3:58 pm

Sanders needs to protect the people who are part of the 95% who work for the military industrial complex. He does this not by raising welfare (which Americans find humiliating), not by only giving extensive retraining benefits, (which in an opportunity starved country like America, will only lead to work stints at an Amazon Warehouse) but by repurposing the capitol and retraining the working people to issues that must be addressed for the future, such as energy sustainability or infrastructure that can resist increasingly severe climate chaos. Furthermore, he must announce and do both simultaneously, probably via an MMT program and raising Taxes on rhe elite 2% and via transaction taxes on all capitol outflow from the USA.

Stopping the war machine, but putting people out of work, will never be acceptable to those who work for the war machine or the friends and family of those people.

VietnamVet , June 16, 2018 at 5:52 pm

You are correct. The forever wars are just one of the ways to bleed the Middle Class dry. The media propaganda and rule by the 10% can't let the suckers know what is really going on. There are always enough men to man the colonial wars but they are unwinnable unless the whole nation is involved.

The Bolshevik Revolution and the Bonus Army were within living memory of WWII leaders. The new global aristocracy has lost all history and doesn't perceive the inevitable consequences of inequality. My personal opinion was that for Marshall and Truman one of the reasons for the use of atomic weapons on Japan was that they did not want millions of combat tested soldiers traveling across the USA by train with the ultimate destination a number of deadly invasions of the Japanese Islands. Each worse than Okinawa. They were afraid of what the soldiers would do. This is also the reason why these Vets got a generous GI Bill.

ArcadiaMommy , June 16, 2018 at 6:52 pm

You reminded me of Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq. She protesteted at the GWB TX compound if you recall and remains an activist to this day. I can't speak for her but it seems to me like she understands that her son should not have died to further this ugly, pointless war.

http://cindysheehanssoapbox.blogspot.com

I can't begin to understand the pain of losing a child, spouse, parent, etc., but I can wrap my head around it enough that I don't want anyone to experience it. And I have no doubt that facing the true causes of the war would make the pain worse. But every time I hear this nonsense about how some poor kid "didn't die in vain" in VietRaq, I want to scream "yes they did! Now what are we going to do to stop it from happening again???".

The tropes of "supporting the troops", yellow ribbons, "they are protecting us", etc. just keeps the propaganda ballon inflated. Here is how I support the troops: I'm against war.

The Heretic , June 16, 2018 at 7:42 pm

This reminds me of Forest Gump where some well meaning hippies call Forest Gump a baby killer. The peace activists must refrain from blaming and shaming soldiers as a group; specfic criminals (such as those who committed crimes at my lai) should investigated, shamed and punished, the whistleblowers should be greatly honoured, and soldiers ad a group should be respected and not blamed for going to war, as indeed many do not know the truth for why the war was fought. On the other hand, politicians, lobby groups, and venal media and intelligence agencies should be exorciated for the lies that they believe or spread, as indeed it should be their business to try to discern the truth.

Hence it was very admirable when members of the Mossad leaked out facts that Iran was not pursuing development of the Nuclear bomb, even while Netanyahoo was pursuing a media blitz to justify greater economic and ultimately military aggression against Iran

ArcadiaMommy , June 16, 2018 at 8:06 pm

Who is "blaming and shaming" anyone? I'm saying that I agree with this mother who lost her child that we should be extremely skeptical about the motivation for war of any kind. And the lack of skepticism (expressed or not) impedes any real movement away from war without end.
The Sheehans are real people who lost a son and brother. Forest Gump is just some character from a dumb movie. Good grief.

a different chris , June 17, 2018 at 9:19 am

Think Heretic was fleshing out your thoughts, not disagreeing?

ChrisPacific , June 17, 2018 at 11:22 pm

I think that you can respect the sacrifice and commitment of people who sign up to fight for their country while still criticizing the uses that leaders have chosen to put them to. In fact I think that makes the message stronger: the willingness of our friends, family, children etc. to sign up to fight and die for America places a duty and obligation on our leaders to ensure they are deployed wisely and for the betterment of America and the world. Those leaders – the ones we elected – have failed in that trust, and continue to fail. Our military friends and family haven't let us down – we've let them down, by not holding our government accountable. It's time we changed that!

John Wright , June 17, 2018 at 10:54 am

You wrote:

> Unlike Obama who played up his anti-Iraq War vote.

Obama was not in the US Senate at the time to vote.

From https://www.factcheck.org/2016/09/obamas-war-stance-revisited/

"The rally featured a pointed anti-war speech from Obama, then a fairly anonymous state lawmaker, who deemed the impending Iraq engagement 'a dumb war.'"

The political entertainer Obama gave a number of speeches advocating transparency in government, advocating for financial reform and even mentioned "we tortured some folks" decrying torture.

Then behind the scenes Obama did very little to back up his speeches with actions as he went with the flow.

Obama's Illinois anti-war speech served him well, as he could milk this "anti-war" stance for years while running military actions as President.

Obama had two groups to satisfy, the populace and the elite. The populace got empty words, the elite got what they wanted.

Bernie Sanders actually DID vote against the Authorization to Use Military Force in Iraq

Montanamaven , June 17, 2018 at 3:13 pm

Obama was not in the Senate until 2005. He could not vote against the Iraq war. He gave a speech in Chicago prior to the war.

Lambert Strether , June 17, 2018 at 3:31 pm

Sadly, there is no contemporaneous transcript* or recording . I remember the 2008 controversy vividly, because the Obama campaign released a campaign ad that purported to be Obama delivering the Chicago 2002 speech, but it quickly emerged that he had re-recorded it for the campaign (see the link).

This site purports to have a 2002 transcript, but the Wayback machines says the material was first posted in 2007 . So.

Adding, I can't even find a contemporaneous link to Obama's "dumb war" formulation , though with Google's crapification, who knows.

oh , June 16, 2018 at 10:40 am

I think we're more than being lied to. The MSM is waging a propaganda campaign at every level completely obscuring the truth. And the politicians play the fear card at every level. I don't believe any of us is in "happy compliance" at the airport. I for one, grind my teeth and cuss out the crooked corporations (including that bastard "skull" Chertoff who personally benefited from the x-ray screening machines) that reap a bundle of money from the so called screening and invasive body searches. Travel has become something to dread.

marku52 , June 16, 2018 at 2:55 pm

You can tell a lot about a country's intent by the design of the army they assemble. Here is a deep technical description about the new army the Russians are putting together. Hint: it is not designed to attack.

"The decision to create a tank army (armoured corps in Western terminology) is an indication that Russia really does fear attack from the west and is preparing to defend itself against it. In short, Russia has finally come to the conclusion that NATO's aggression means it has to prepare for a big war."

Interesting technical take on the whole thing. Worth a read.

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2016/04/russia-prepares-for-a-big-war-the-significance-of-a-tank-army.html#more

Lambert Strether , June 16, 2018 at 3:45 pm

That is a very good link, both parts one and two.

Oregoncharles , June 16, 2018 at 3:36 pm

The preventive for tank warfare isn't more tanks, it's effective anti-tank weapons, preferably at the foot soldier level.

Those exist; even Hezbollah has them. The disadvantage is that they're relatively cheap, compared to tanks, and much more defensive.

Plenue , June 17, 2018 at 2:28 pm

Well, Russia could probably triumph over the austerity-racked countries of the EU, with the possible exception of France. But it wouldn't be able to hold much for long if it had to occupy anything. And it would take a mauling in the process, a mauling that would be prohibitively expensive to repair. The modern Russian military simply isn't organized in a fashion that is conducive to large scale conquest. It has exactly one fully integrated, combined arms unit suitable for full-scale armored warfrare, the 1st Guards Tank Army, which was reactivated in 2014.

The nightmare visions of armor pouring through the Fulda Gap were basically always delusional. In 2018 they're downright laughable.

Kk , June 16, 2018 at 2:21 am

If the economic crisis of 2007 was the modern Depression then we are about due for a really big war.

The Rev Kev , June 16, 2018 at 3:48 am

I don't think that the US can stop at this point. As an example, the one time the people were asked if they wanted to bomb Syria the answer was a definite 'no' so the next time they never even bothered asking them. There is far too much money, power and prestige at stake too consider stopping.

The officer corps might be an opponent but I think that America has been badly served by them due to how officers are selected & trained and who makes it to the top. The only time they balk is when some idiot in Washington pushes them to fight the Russians or the Chinese. And most people don't really care in any case so long as the US wins. Out of sight, out of mind as they say.

America is more likely to get single-payer health than for the US armed forces to pull back as any suggestion of the later brings charges of being 'unpatriotic'. At least with single-payer health you only get charged with being a 'socialist'. Know a good place to start? The US Special Operations Command has about 70,000 people in it and they want more. The US would be better served by cutting this force in half and giving their jobs back to regular formations.

These are the people that want constant deployments in more and more countries hence cutting them back would be a good idea. I expect things to go along until one day the US armed forces will be sent into a war where they will take casualties not seen since the bad days on 'Nam. Then there will be the devil to pay and him out to lunch.

Pespi , June 16, 2018 at 4:18 am

It's harder and harder to sell these military actions to the public. What are we in Korea and Japan for? To contain China? If you ask most people, they'll probably tell you that China won, or at very least our bosses are in league with their bosses.

The Borg moves without regard to public sentiment, so we have to replace politicians with those who'll bring it to heel. That's a death sentence, but I feel like enough people have the guts to try and make it happen.

Sid_finster , June 16, 2018 at 3:38 pm

*sigh* someone please trot out that Goering quote again: To the extent that public opinion matters, public opinion is easy to arrange.

PlutoniumKun , June 16, 2018 at 5:37 am

One issue I have right now with 'anti-War' is that to be 'anti' is one thing, but to make serious arguments you have to be able to present arguments about what you are actually 'for'. For example, if the US were to suddenly withdraw from the eastern Pacific, the effect could be highly destabilising and could actually increase the chance of war. These are questions that need to be answered.

Just to take one example of I think a positive idea – there is research here which argues that the 'optimum' nuclear deterrent is less than 100 warheads. This is of course a difficult argument to put into political play, but its important I think to put the militarists on the back foot in order to make arguments for withdrawal from empire and peace mainstream.

kiwi , June 16, 2018 at 9:18 am

So who is calling for a sudden withdrawal?

Nice strawperson there.

The Rev Kev , June 16, 2018 at 9:35 am

It would be OK so long as it was not premature.

kiwi , June 16, 2018 at 9:27 am

I would bet that most people think that being anti-war encompasses the following:

-being for peace
-being for stability
-being for more social spending instead of military spending
-being for fewer civilians being killed
-being for fewer military deaths

Is that enough to meet your ridiculous threshold for 'serious arguments?'

tegnost , June 16, 2018 at 11:16 am

you're being cavalier. PK makes a great point, and your vague and oyerly broad "fors" remind me of many arguments regarding the 2016 election. The democrat side (Brock and CTR et al) couldn't say what they were for outside of abstract bernaysian generalities. If you want to convince people (and I have this difficulty, as do I'm sure most of the readers here, trying to get dems off of the russia russia russia putins bitch train)

You really need to focus on slow walking through complicated and dangerous waters, and just shut up sometimes when certain people are just not going to listen, but if you can get that one cogent, not hysterical argument into the minds of the people you want to convince, then you have a chance to stem the tide. Read some of the fantastic commentary regarding brexit from our european commenters as an example of what works in discourse, and how to puts facts on the ground in a way people can relate to.

Lambert Strether , June 16, 2018 at 1:04 pm

> You really need to focus on slow walking through complicated and dangerous waters . Read some of the fantastic commentary regarding brexit from our european commenters as an example of what works in discourse, and how to puts facts on the ground in a way people can relate to.

That's a cogent argument. I don't mean to imply in my comments that "getting out" will be easy. ("You must do it, Catullus, you must do it. You must do it whether it can be done or not.")

We might begin by renaming the "Department of Defense" to the "Department of War," just to be truthful, and then ask ourselves what kind of wars we want to fight. And I think most people would be very willing to cross anything that looked like Iraq off the list, followed (it is to be hoped) with a willingness to rethink self-licking ice cream cones as our industrial policy. In a way, the project would have the same feel as my hobbyhorse, gutting the administrative layers of the universities as not central to mission.

PlutoniumKun , June 16, 2018 at 1:33 pm

Thanks tegnost. I don't mean to suggest that there isn't a solid electoral reason to have nice vague policies, not least because a campaign against foreign wars would be an excellent way for the left to make common cause with some parts of the right, such as the paleoconservatives and isolationists.

The problem as I see it with policies 'against' something is that you end up a little like Five Star in Italy – having gotten into power on opposing everything bad about Italy, they are now facing a 'now what' moment, and are seemingly clueless about what to do. As usual, the right makes the running.

marku52 , June 16, 2018 at 2:58 pm

Yes, exactly, It is not enough to be against something. As HRC found out

kiwi , June 16, 2018 at 7:55 pm

Well, there is this.

https://caucus99percent.com/content/grassroots-anti-war-movement-gaining-traction

Maybe some on this site need to jump in and tell those people to get those white papers out ASAP.

diptherio , June 16, 2018 at 12:43 pm

The war-mongers will always find "serious arguments" for why we musn't end the American empire. Their arguments will be nuanced and filled with details that would take the average citizen months, if not years, to verify and analyze. When the best minds in the American empire can fail to forsee the fall of the Soviet Union or the response to their coup on Chavez, why should we put credence in their "serious" analyses?

Meanwhile, the case against war is a simple and easily verifiable. "My son is dead." "My friend came home a broken person." etc. Telling poor Americans that their family members need to keep dying because allowing them to come home would, maybe, make war more likely in a country they've only seen on a map is an argument not likely to find much traction. It is also, in my mind, ethically vapid -- an argument that presses for a guaranteed evil as a means of avoiding a possible evil.

Trying to forsee the outcome of major (or even minor) changes to a system as complex as the American empire is a sucker's game. Anyone who tells you otherwise is likely a sucker themselves. In situations of such complexity, the only way forward is the ontological one. All teleology is sheer fantasy. We should act, therefore, not on the basis of what we think will happen as a result of our actions, but rather on the basis of what the just thing to do is. You can't base your actions on ends (as in "the ends justify the means") because the situation is so complex that there is no way to credibly predict the ends that any action might lead to.

IMHO, the ethical policy is to bring 'em home. All of 'em. Let them protect our country, as they've sworn to do. Let us put them to work rebuilding our infrastructure, assisting those who need it, and making the country better than it is, rather than filling it up with more walking wounded from our endless imperial adventuring.

Ape , June 16, 2018 at 4:01 pm

Did the Soviet withdrawal destabilize eastern Europe? I think this is pseudo-strategizing.

VietnamVet , June 16, 2018 at 8:28 pm

It did for Russia. There is now an ongoing civil war on its border in Ukraine. NATO went to war with Serbia in the later 1990's. The breakup of the Atlantic Alliance will splinter Europe. Humans being humans. The strong will try to steal from the weak.

The question is how to restore the West's middle class. Without a middle class; revolts, religious and ethnic wars will inevitable break out all over. The unrest right now is due to democracy not being compatible with globalization.

Edward , June 16, 2018 at 7:53 am

It was not just Bush who told lies to justify an invasion of Iraq. Members of Congress and the press did as well. Sen. Biden, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee then, would only allow pro-war people to testify to his committee. At the time a lobbyist told me that the leadership of the Democratic party had decided to promote this war. They felt this would remove this issue from the next election, which would then focus on economic issues that would play to their strength.

Carolinian , June 16, 2018 at 9:40 am

Thanks for this. Another reason to break up the MIC is all the money that would be freed up for health care, infrastructure and the country's many other needs. Perhaps Sanders now realizes that the balance in USG priorities needs to be restored and he is making an economic, and not just humanitarian argument.

As for Trump, it's just possible he meant what he said about NATO and all the rest. If one believes his real priorities are his family and business it's hard to see what he gets out of perpetual war. That's more Obama and Hillary's bag.

Which doesn't make the above true. But we should at least entertain the possibility that it could be true.

Newton Finn , June 16, 2018 at 11:48 am

As one who could never bring himself to vote for Trump (or for Clinton, for that matter), let me make a counter-intuitive prediction. If Trump allows the MIC to goad him into starting a new war with Iran, he will lose if he decides to run again.

If, on the other hand, he starts no new war against Iran or any other country that does not threaten us militarily, then he will be re-elected should he decide to go for another term.

The old adage that our country rallies around a war president is no longer operative IMHO. In a nation tired of perpetual war, the commander-in-chief would get at best a short-term surge in public approval by opening up a new battle zone, before slipping precipitously in the polls. Why on earth have the Democrats eagerly embraced the role of the war party, while our country literally crumbles for lack of public investment? Could there be a more effective losing strategy?

tegnost , June 16, 2018 at 11:52 am

Why on earth have the Democrats eagerly embraced the role of the war party, while our country literally crumbles for lack of public investment? Could there be a more effective losing strategy?

They do it for the money, pretty much everyone in congress is a millionaire, including the ones who were not millionaires when they got elected hmmmmmm .

cocomaan , June 16, 2018 at 12:30 pm

Those are their constituents: beltway bandits, private contractors, public/private partnerships, insurance companies, arms companies, private equity firms, military contractors, and whatever other combinations you want to come up with.

I remember when Tim Kaine gleefully suggested that we needed an "intelligence surge" to protect the country. I almost gagged. It was a not so subtle message of "prepare for the handouts to the private military contractor industry".

https://www.cnn.com/2016/10/06/politics/clinton-intelligence-surge-nsa-data/index.html

Lambert Strether , June 16, 2018 at 1:09 pm

> Another reason to break up the MIC is all the money that would be freed up for health care, infrastructure and the country's many other needs

Since Federal taxes don't fund Federal spending, the connection between gutting the MIC and more money for health care is not direct.

However, if you think in terms of real resources , the effect is as you say. (The same reasoning applies to finance, where enormous salaries sucked in the best talent that might otherwise have been put to non-parasitical purposes.)

John k , June 16, 2018 at 3:13 pm

Mt is not yet sellable to the public, will take years. Best story is that foreign wars strip resources from local spending and jobs, which is also what most pols seem to think. Bills should be presented as less for mil and mor for infra. Starve mic

juliania , June 16, 2018 at 11:13 am

You don't have to go back to the last campaign to see anti-war rhetoric as a strategy. Trump is already, in his meeting with Kim, starting the ball rolling. (Moon of Alabama.com has a good recent post on the subject). Sorry Bernie, you are late to the party, too late. Reminds me a bit of 1968. Nixon got in promising to end that war (which he didn't.) But it is good to see anti-war stuff going mainstream at last. May it bear fruit this time around!

And yes, Gaius Publius, anti-war statements Trump made during his first campaign DID make a huge difference. They won him the presidency, in my opinion.

Schmoe , June 16, 2018 at 11:49 am

How does positioning 2,000 – 4,000 US troops in Syria fit into your "Trump is a peace-maker" narrative? How about the comment Wednesday that the US will attack Syrian forces if they attack Sunni jihadis (er "moderate rebels") in SW Syria?

How about us aiding and abetting a famine in Yemen that could kills tens of thousands?

Is setting us on a potential course for war with Iran further evidence of your "dovish" Trump?

diptherio , June 16, 2018 at 12:53 pm

I think you are attributing a sentiment to juliania that her comment does not actually contain. She doesn't say Trump is a peace-maker, she says he was far in front of Bernie in using "anti-war rhetoric as a strategy." The example of Nixon doing the same thing indicates that juliania is well aware that strategic rhetoric and actual decisions are not the same thing.

I know a fair number of Trump voters, and my read is similar to juliania's: Trump's anti-war rhetoric was a big draw for a lot of people, and helped many be able to hold their nose and vote for him. Understanding this and commenting on it does not make one a Trump supporter, obviously, or indicate that one puts any credence in his dovish rhetoric.

Schmoe , June 16, 2018 at 1:14 pm

You might be correct and my apologies to juliania if I misread her post. I have heard so much of the "Trump is fighting [the deep state, Wall Street, the neocons]" on other blogs that I am a bit hypersensitive and go off on a rant when I see or perceive that argument. From my perspective, Trump is doing everything in his power to entrench Wall Street, the neocons, etc.

I was also receptive to the idea that Trump might be less hawkish than HRC (although I did not vote for him) but have now been thoroughly disabused of that notion.

Sid_finster , June 16, 2018 at 3:41 pm

Provide a link to the recent statement.

I believe you, just always looking for more ammunition to demolish "we're fighting ISIS" arguments.

Schmoe , June 16, 2018 at 5:36 pm

SW Syria does not have Kurds active, so these are Sunni jihadi-lites. They are however not HTS, which we re-branded from Al-Nusra and had been classified as an Al Qaeda affiliate at one time. Of course we are framing it as a de-escalation zone; others call it a jihadi base.

https://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/US-says-will-take-firm-measures-against-Syria-violations-near-Israel-border-560057

Susan the other , June 16, 2018 at 12:00 pm

The war in Yemen is to secure the Saudi monarchy and our interest in their vast reserves of oil and gas. The war in Syria is to secure our preferred pipeline feeding the EU. Our entrenched position surrounding Iran is no accident – we are an existential threat to Iran and intend to remain that way. If China discovered a giant oil field under its western desert we'd be there too. One rationale for all this control freakery is that we think we can maintain our "capitalist" economy, our silly pretenses about a free market, etc. But Karma is the real truth-teller here: Free markets do not work. So it follows logically that privatization also does not work. And to continue, at some point, forced capitalism fails. Markets fail. Profit seeking could be the thing that brings it all down. It's a strangely comforting thought because it leaves us with a clear vision of what not to do anymore. Unfortunately, people are not angels. If we attempt to invoke the ghost of John Foster Dulles and not engage in little wars but just sell arms to every tin pot dictator it will be worse chaos than it is now. And worse still, chaos in a time of environmental devastation. The only good option is the Mr. Scrooge option. Instead of arms and WMD and fascist control for the sake of preventing uprisings, we should skip the fascist control part and directly mainline the resources to make civilization thrive. Since that's definitely not capitalism, we'll have to think up a new ism.

Lambert Strether , June 16, 2018 at 1:11 pm

> sell arms to every tin pot dictator

Yes, let's devote enormous real resources to fabricating bespoke military aircraft that catch fire on the runway. Meanwhile, we don't have any machine shops anymore .

Summer , June 16, 2018 at 12:14 pm

Yes, there is more anti-war sentiment. And will they or won't they (Congress) continue to legislate away their ability to authorize war/use of force?

I say they continue to absolve themselves of the responsibility. Bounding their own hads behind their backs, smirking at the concept of peace.

And it puts people more in taxation without representation territory.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , June 16, 2018 at 12:19 pm

I have the feeling that Sanders here is reacting to all the ex-CIA (but not 100% ex) candidates taking over the D Party.

Will the road to the White House in 2020 be journeyed through another vehicle?

Lambert Strether , June 16, 2018 at 1:17 pm

> I have the feeling that Sanders here is reacting to all the ex-CIA (but not 100% ex) candidates taking over the D Party.

That is an excellent point. (I don't think it's just CIA, though; it's CIA and military personnel generally.* That's why I voted against ranked Jared Golden low, because Golden (like Seth Moulton in MA) fits that template, which is vile.

UPDATE * "Professional authoritarians," we might call them. That would fit all this neatly into Thomas Frank's framework.

flora , June 16, 2018 at 1:33 pm

People ask if capitalism and democracy are compatible, and I think they are, at least I don't see any inherent reason why they would not be compatible.

Another question: Are militarism* and democracy compatible? I'm not so sure they are.

*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Militarism

Sid_finster , June 16, 2018 at 3:54 pm

Ancient Athens was on some level democratic, and the populist party typically favored war and expansion. E.g.Pericles and the peloponesian war come to mind. By contrast, the aristocratic parties were generally less in favor of military adventurism.

However, a constitutional republic is not compatible with empire.

Therein lies the problem.

Schmoe , June 16, 2018 at 5:57 pm

The link between populism and war featured prominently in "Electing to fight. Why emerging democracies go to war" This is a fairly obscure book (one review in Amazon), but – by a wide margin – the best book I have ever read about politics or political science. The last 100 pages are cliff notes versions of the politics underlying the start of many wars; the first 150 pages are a really dense read.

Sid_finster , June 16, 2018 at 6:10 pm

Thanks.

Alejandro , June 16, 2018 at 8:19 pm

A lot depends on how you define "democracy", "will of the people" etc.. What the role of "finance" in a context of "capitalism" and "democracy" should be, e.g., citizens united(note orwellian language) may be considered a " reason why they would not be compatible" and even antithetical. Noting that "militarism" depends on public funding, where should the power to influence this funding be? Neo-cons, dominated by militarists, and neo-liberals, dominated by de-regulated banksters, may not be the same but certainly seem like symbionts in the context of 326MM people.

Bernard , June 16, 2018 at 1:50 pm

America itself is the most destabilizing force on the planet. i would love to see what America leaving the world to its' own devices would look like. Like Weimar/Nazi Germany, nothing good comes from these kind of "American Values."

the Ugly American is what American Values signify, and mostly always have. America is the most destabilizing force i ever read of or heard of. Americans have just taken the Nazi theme of One People, One Land and One Leader on a Global scope. and it ain't good. Either do as America tells you, or we will bring American Democracy to your country.

Maybe there's hope, as Caitlyn Johnstone implies in her last essay, i sure doubt it, though, as long as America/the Empire continues to destabilize not just the Pacific but everywhere else in the world. Why does anything think the South/Central Americans come to America. The American Empire has screwed up the Western Hemisphere so badly, these "refugees hope to escape from the American made Plantations the Western Hemisphere has been carved into. These immigrants are just part of the blowback from the American Way.

also makes me wonder if the Europeans don't understand why there are refugees coming through Greece and via boats, primarily to Italy. dont they see it's America's Wars in MENA that are causing this "invasion." gosh, what a black and white cause and effect. Germany needs workers due to the low birth rate. so, open the doors to the chaos America has made in the Middle East, and voila, cheap labor and departure from an America made hell in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Palestine, Algeria, the whole "New American Century" Project the Neocons have us in and paying for.

Doesn't the average European see how American and Apartheid Israeli support for forces like the Taliban, Al Queda, Wahabbism, and the ongoing media censored Yemeni/Palestinian Holocaust, wars of profit, i.e. created the refugess that are streaming into Europe. Maybe the Europeans are also stymied by the Rich who keep the wars going and the Media who profit off the death of the "deplorables" who no longer "matter."

i know in America most Americans are ignorant due to total control of the Media and the "narrative" that controls what can be said. Americans have no shame when it comes to getting what they want, politically. no enough blowback. no sense of connection between here and there or anywhere outside the Media Narrative.

as a bumper sticker from long ago said, "if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." The Empire will not give up until it can't go on.

Ape , June 16, 2018 at 4:12 pm

No most people with influence don't see how the system that gives them influence also is sending waves of refugees.

Bruce Walker , June 17, 2018 at 7:36 am

Every American should have to read your post twice a day, until maybe they get it. The best post I have read in ages, Thumbs Up Bernard.

grayslady , June 16, 2018 at 3:12 pm

Thanks for calling attention to this. I noticed the same thing immediately, and I gave the remainder of the article less credence because of it. A true leftie knows the difference between Improved Medicare for All and a Medicare buy-in program.

kiwi , June 16, 2018 at 2:50 pm

To me, making the argument that one must be 'for' something is simply a way to dismiss whatever the 'anti' side represents, whether or not PK meant to be dismissive.

And it reminds me of the efforts to impede and dismiss the anti-war or occupy-type movement outright – "what, you people don't have any policies (and nothing for us to analyze to death and criticize??) !!!! How dare you speak up about something!!! Go away until you go to Harvard and produce a few papers. Until then, your silly notions mean nothing to us!!" and the underlying elitism of the concept.

So, that is what I am reminded of, again, whether or not PK meant it that way.

tegnost , June 16, 2018 at 11:33 pm

you spoke up with a thought provoking comment, you want to make the next occupy movement succeed. Make a good argument is all.

Oregoncharles , June 16, 2018 at 3:28 pm

(Before reading the comments) "If Americans Could Vote Against the Forever War, Would They Do It?"

Sadly, I think the answer is no, mainly because Americans do not vote based on foreign policy unless it "comes home," eg in the form of body bags – a lot of them. The "wasted money" argument, which brings it home, might be the most effective; that's a pitfall of MMT. Of course, as a practical matter there's a POLITICAL choice between guns and butter, whether or not the economics is valid.

In those remarks, Sanders is filling in the gaping hole in his resume. It may be an indication that he plans to run in 2020.

Finally: I question whether the 2016 nomination was actually "stolen." Certainly there was a good deal of cheating by the party, but I'm not convinced it was decisive (there's no way to be sure). The actual votes ran about 47% for Sanders, and that's including Oregon and California. I think that reflects the actual nature of the Democratic Party.

The reason is that its membership has been falling, if not plummeting, at the same time that its policies have become more and more right-wing. Affiliation, which is a poll result, is down near 30%; I suspect registrations have fallen, too, but I haven't seen numbers. Given the variations in state law, registrations aren't very indicative. All that means that the remaining party members are a remnant that has been selected for conservatism. The primary vote reflects that. (This doesn't change the argument that the Dems knowingly chose their weaker candidate; it just means that the voters did, too.)

precariat , June 16, 2018 at 3:31 pm

Observations : Trump, scandals, security state

The military is A-ok with Trump and this is what seems to matter. The roar of hysteria from the media over Trump first 2-3 months in office died down considerably when he showed a willingness to engage in a show of force by striking Syria (remember when he was so concerned about the welfare of children?)

Only a *faction" of the security establishment is anti-Trump because he is skeptical of *neoliberal* globalism. However this faction is doing a great job of re-enacting the framework used to deny/disrupt/disable during the Clinton administration: scandals and selective corruption investigations. This serves a purpose: to martyr the Prez with the constituents who *should* be holding the Prez accountable on lack of follow through and betrayal of promises made on the camapign trail.

Trump voters can't make him hold himaccountable; they are too busy feeling he has been victimized -- and many Trump voters are victims, so the identification is real.

Meanwhile, the Prez who can't seem to enact *anything* to make lives better for the people who put him in office, is magically able to enact the agenda of the 1%. This repeat of the 1% 's manipulations is one I can do without.

precariat , June 16, 2018 at 3:40 pm

Sorry for the typos, jumping cursor! It occurs to me that what I have described is a recipe for info-ops or how to hijack a 'democracy.'

Jeremy Grimm , June 16, 2018 at 4:05 pm

Regarding the question posed by this post I think there is very little evidence of an anti-war "fever" and even if there were, and if it were projected into the streets and/or ballot box, I am pessimistic that it could have any effect on the U.S. government of today. I don't think the U.S. government cares what the American people think or feel about anything -- except of course as those cares and feelings affect the mechanisms of control through the propaganda pushed through our media, the levels of surveillance and suppression, and the increased viciousness of our "laws" and their enforcement.

I believe the U.S. government is run by several powerful and competing interests. So I think I'll ask a different question -- though in the same vein as that posed by the title of this post. Are those interests who compete with the interests of the MIC and Spook Industrial Complex (SIC) beginning to see the futility and stupidity of our endless wars? Are those interests growing anxious at enriching their share of the pie by shoving aside the budget gluttons feasting on war? Are any of those interests whose long-term, and often short-term interests are damaged by endless wars and their ongoing deconstruction of American Empire finally growing weary of how those wars undermine the American Empire? War may be a racket but the burning of bridges and collapse of Empire isn't a racket I would hope even the most clueless of our masters will continue to tolerate. Have the MIC and SIC assumed power?

WorkerPleb , June 16, 2018 at 9:09 pm

"Peaceniks are Kremlin stooges!" It's depressing when you can predict the media's response six months in advance.

Massinissa , June 17, 2018 at 3:18 am

The media already said that 40 years ago about the Hippies. Some things don't really change.

[Jun 09, 2018] Still Waiting for Evidence of a Russian Hack by Ray McGovern

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... That did not prevent the "handpicked" authors of that poor excuse for intelligence analysis from expressing "high confidence" that Russian intelligence "relayed material it acquired from the Democratic National Committee to WikiLeaks." Handpicked analysts, of course, say what they are handpicked to say. ..."
"... The June 12, 14, & 15 timing was hardly coincidence. Rather, it was the start of a pre-emptive move to associate Russia with anything WikiLeaks might have been about to publish and to "show" that it came from a Russian hack. ..."
"... "No one has challenged the authenticity of the original documents of Vault 7, which disclosed a vast array of cyber warfare tools developed, probably with help from NSA, by CIA's Engineering Development Group. That Group was part of the sprawling CIA Directorate of Digital Innovation – a growth industry established by John Brennan in 2015. [ (VIPS warned President Obama of some of the dangers of that basic CIA reorganization at the time.] ..."
"... "Scarcely imaginable digital tools – that can take control of your car and make it race over 100 mph, for example, or can enable remote spying through a TV – were described and duly reported in the New York Times and other media throughout March. But the Vault 7, part 3 release on March 31 that exposed the "Marble Framework" program apparently was judged too delicate to qualify as 'news fit to print' and was kept out of the Times at the time, and has never been mentioned since . ..."
"... "More important, the CIA reportedly used Marble during 2016. In her Washington Post report , Nakashima left that out, but did include another significant point made by WikiLeaks; namely, that the obfuscation tool could be used to conduct a 'forensic attribution double game' or false-flag operation because it included test samples in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic and Farsi." ..."
"... The CIA's reaction to the WikiLeaks disclosure of the Marble Framework tool was neuralgic. Then Director Mike Pompeo lashed out two weeks later, calling Assange and his associates "demons," and insisting; "It's time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is, a non-state hostile intelligence service, often abetted by state actors like Russia."Our July 24 Memorandum continued: "Mr. President, we do not know if CIA's Marble Framework, or tools like it, played some kind of role in the campaign to blame Russia for hacking the DNC. Nor do we know how candid the denizens of CIA's Digital Innovation Directorate have been with you and with Director Pompeo. These are areas that might profit from early White House review. [ President Trump then directed Pompeo to invite Binney, one of the authors of the July 24, 2017 VIPS Memorandum to the President, to discuss all this. Binney and Pompeo spent an hour together at CIA Headquarters on October 24, 2017, during which Binney briefed Pompeo with his customary straightforwardness. ] ..."
"... Another false flag operation? Suddenly false flag operations have become the weapon of choice. Interestingly enough, they are nefariously (always) committed by the US or US allies. MH17 was a false flag with an SU-25 Ukraine jet responsible for downing the passenger jet (to blame Russia). All of the chemical attacks in Syria were false flag operations with the supply of sarin/chlorine made in Turkey or directly given to the "rebels" by the CIA or US allies. The White Helmets were of course in on all of the details. Assad was just simply not capable of doing that to "his" people. Forget that the sarin had the chemical signature of the Assad regime sarin supply. Next it was the snipers who used a false flag operation during the Maidan revolution to shoot protesters and police to oust Yanukovych. Only the neo-Nazis could be capable of shooting the Maidan protesters so they could take power. And then Seth Rich was murdered so he couldn't reveal he was the "real" source of the leak. This was hinted by Assange when he offered a reward to find the killers. ..."
"... The author tosses out that the DNC hack was (potentially) a false flag operation by the CIA obviously to undermine Trump while victimizing Russia. ..."
"... I don't seen any cause to say that any false-flag theory you don't like is merely "tossed out" propaganda. One cannot tell in your comment where you think the accounts are credible and where not. No evidence that the Syria CW attacks "had the chemical signature of the Assad regime sarin supply." ..."
"... There can be no doubt that counterintelligence tools would be pursued by our intelligence agencies as a means to create narratives and false evidence based on the production of false flags which support desired geopolitical outcomes. There would be a need to create false flags using technology to support the geopolitical agenda which would be hard or impossible to trace using the forensic tools used by cyber sleuths. ..."
"... Russia-gate is American Exceptionalism writ large which takes on a more sinister aspect as groups like BLM and others are "linked" to alleged "Russian funding"on one and and Soros funding on another ..."
"... (FWIW, this is a new neoliberal phenomenon when the ultra-rich "liberals" can quietly fund marches on Washington and "grassroots" networking making those neophyte movements too easy targets with questionable robust foundation (color revolutions are possible when anyone is able to foot the cost of 1,000 or 2000 "free" signs or t-shirts -- impecccably designed and printed. ..."
"... Excellent post. Thanks also for reminding me I need to revisit the Vault 7 information as source material. These are incredibly important leaks that help connect the dots of criminal State intelligence activities designed to have remained forever hidden. ..."
"... Actually, both Brennan and Hayden testified to Congress that only 3 agencies signed off on their claim. They also said that they'd "hand picked" a special team to run their "investigation," and no other people were involved. So, people known to be perjurers cherry picked "evidence" to make a claim. Let's invade Iraq again. ..."
"... Mueller is not interested in the truth. He can't handle the truth. His purpose is not to divulge the truth. He has no use for truthtellers including the critical possessors of the truth whom you mentioned. This aversion to the truth is the biggest clue that Mueller's activities are a complete sham. ..."
"... Thanks, Ray, for revealing that the CIA's Digital Innovation Directorate is the likely cause of the Russiagate scams. ..."
"... Your disclaimer is hilarious: "We speak and write without fear or favor. Consequently, any resemblance between what we say and what presidents, politicians and pundits say is purely coincidental." ..."
"... For whatever reason, Ray McGovern chose not to mention the murder of Seth Rich, which pretty clearly points to the real source of the leak being him, as hinted by Assange offering a reward for anyone uncovering his killer. The whole thing stinks of a democratic conspiracy. ..."
"... Ray, from what I have seen in following his writing for years, meticulously only deals in knowns. The Seth Rich issue is not a known, it is speculation still. Yes, it probably is involved, but unless Craig Murray states that Seth Rich was the one who handed him the USB drive, it is not a known. ..."
"... There is a possibility that Seth Rich was not the one who leaked the information, but that the DNC bigwigs THOUGHT he was, in which case, by neither confirming nor denying that Seth Rich was the leaker, it may be that letting the DNC continue to think it was him is being done in protection of the actual leaker. Seth Rich could also have been killed for unrelated reasons, perhaps Imran Awan thought he was on to his doings. ..."
"... Don't forget this Twitter post by Wikileaks on October 30, 2016: Podesta: "I'm definitely for making an example of a suspected leaker whether or not we have any real basis for it." https://www.wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/36082#efmAGSAH- ..."
"... Mueller has nothing and he well knows it. He was willingly roped into this whole pathetic charade and he's left grasping for anything remotely tied to Trump campaign officials and Russians. Even the most tenuous connections and weak relationships are splashed across the mass media in breathless headlines. Meanwhile, NONE of the supposed skulduggery unearthed by Mueller has anything to do with the Kremlin "hacking" the election to favor Trump. Which was the entire raison d'etre behind Rosenstein and Mueller's crusade on behalf of the deplorable DNC and Washington militarist-imperialists. Sure be interesting to see how Mueller and his crew ultimately extricate themselves from this giant fraudulent edifice of deceit. Will they even be able to save the most rudimentary amount of face? ..."
"... If they had had any evidence to inculpate Russia, we would have all seen it by now. They know that by stating that there is an investigation going on: they can blame Russia. The Democratic National Committee is integrated by a pack of liars. ..."
"... My question is simple, when will we concentrate on reading Hillary's many emails? After all wasn't this the reason for the Russian interference mania? Until we do, take apart Hillary's correspondence with her lackeys, nothing will transpire of any worth. I should not be the one saying this, in as much as Bernie Sanders should be the one screaming it for justice from the highest roof tops, but he isn't. So what's up with that? Who all is involved in this scandalous coverup? What do the masters of corruption have on everybody? ..."
Jun 09, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

If you are wondering why so little is heard these days of accusations that Russia hacked into the U.S. election in 2016, it could be because those charges could not withstand close scrutiny . It could also be because special counsel Robert Mueller appears to have never bothered to investigate what was once the central alleged crime in Russia-gate as no one associated with WikiLeaks has ever been questioned by his team.

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity -- including two "alumni" who were former National Security Agency technical directors -- have long since concluded that Julian Assange did not acquire what he called the "emails related to Hillary Clinton" via a "hack" by the Russians or anyone else. They found, rather, that he got them from someone with physical access to Democratic National Committee computers who copied the material onto an external storage device -- probably a thumb drive. In December 2016 VIPS explained this in some detail in an open Memorandum to President Barack Obama.

On January 18, 2017 President Obama admitted that the "conclusions" of U.S. intelligence regarding how the alleged Russian hacking got to WikiLeaks were "inconclusive." Even the vapid FBI/CIA/NSA "Intelligence Community Assessment of Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections" of January 6, 2017, which tried to blame Russian President Vladimir Putin for election interference, contained no direct evidence of Russian involvement. That did not prevent the "handpicked" authors of that poor excuse for intelligence analysis from expressing "high confidence" that Russian intelligence "relayed material it acquired from the Democratic National Committee to WikiLeaks." Handpicked analysts, of course, say what they are handpicked to say.

Never mind. The FBI/CIA/NSA "assessment" became bible truth for partisans like Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, who was among the first off the blocks to blame Russia for interfering to help Trump. It simply could not have been that Hillary Clinton was quite capable of snatching defeat out of victory all by herself. No, it had to have been the Russians.

Five days into the Trump presidency, I had a chance to challenge Schiff personally on the gaping disconnect between the Russians and WikiLeaks. Schiff still "can't share the evidence" with me or with anyone else, because it does not exist.

WikiLeaks

It was on June 12, 2016, just six weeks before the Democratic National Convention, that Assange announced the pending publication of "emails related to Hillary Clinton," throwing the Clinton campaign into panic mode, since the emails would document strong bias in favor of Clinton and successful attempts to sabotage the campaign of Bernie Sanders. When the emails were published on July 22, just three days before the convention began, the campaign decided to create what I call a Magnificent Diversion, drawing attention away from the substance of the emails by blaming Russia for their release.

Clinton's PR chief Jennifer Palmieri later admitted that she golf-carted around to various media outlets at the convention with instructions "to get the press to focus on something even we found difficult to process: the prospect that Russia had not only hacked and stolen emails from the DNC, but that it had done so to help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton." The diversion worked like a charm. Mainstream media kept shouting "The Russians did it," and gave little, if any, play to the DNC skullduggery revealed in the emails themselves. And like Brer' Fox, Bernie didn't say nothin'.

Meanwhile, highly sophisticated technical experts, were hard at work fabricating "forensic facts" to "prove" the Russians did it. Here's how it played out:

June 12, 2016: Assange announces that WikiLeaks is about to publish "emails related to Hillary Clinton."

June 14, 2016: DNC contractor CrowdStrike, (with a dubious professional record and multiple conflicts of interest) announces that malware has been found on the DNC server and claims there is evidence it was injected by Russians.

June 15, 2016: "Guccifer 2.0" affirms the DNC statement; claims responsibility for the "hack;" claims to be a WikiLeaks source; and posts a document that the forensics show was synthetically tainted with "Russian fingerprints."

The June 12, 14, & 15 timing was hardly coincidence. Rather, it was the start of a pre-emptive move to associate Russia with anything WikiLeaks might have been about to publish and to "show" that it came from a Russian hack.

Enter Independent Investigators

A year ago independent cyber-investigators completed the kind of forensic work that, for reasons best known to then-FBI Director James Comey, neither he nor the "handpicked analysts" who wrote the Jan. 6, 2017 assessment bothered to do. The independent investigators found verifiable evidence from metadata found in the record of an alleged Russian hack of July 5, 2016 showing that the "hack" that day of the DNC by Guccifer 2.0 was not a hack, by Russia or anyone else.

Rather it originated with a copy (onto an external storage device – a thumb drive, for example) by an insider -- the same process used by the DNC insider/leaker before June 12, 2016 for an altogether different purpose. (Once the metadata was found and the "fluid dynamics" principle of physics applied, this was not difficult to disprove the validity of the claim that Russia was responsible.)

One of these independent investigators publishing under the name of The Forensicator on May 31 published new evidence that the Guccifer 2.0 persona uploaded a document from the West Coast of the United States, and not from Russia.

In our July 24, 2017 Memorandum to President Donald Trump we stated , "We do not know who or what the murky Guccifer 2.0 is. You may wish to ask the FBI."

Our July 24 Memorandum continued: "Mr. President, the disclosure described below may be related. Even if it is not, it is something we think you should be made aware of in this general connection. On March 7, 2017, WikiLeaks began to publish a trove of original CIA documents that WikiLeaks labeled 'Vault 7.' WikiLeaks said it got the trove from a current or former CIA contractor and described it as comparable in scale and significance to the information Edward Snowden gave to reporters in 2013.

"No one has challenged the authenticity of the original documents of Vault 7, which disclosed a vast array of cyber warfare tools developed, probably with help from NSA, by CIA's Engineering Development Group. That Group was part of the sprawling CIA Directorate of Digital Innovation – a growth industry established by John Brennan in 2015. [ (VIPS warned President Obama of some of the dangers of that basic CIA reorganization at the time.]

Marbled

"Scarcely imaginable digital tools – that can take control of your car and make it race over 100 mph, for example, or can enable remote spying through a TV – were described and duly reported in the New York Times and other media throughout March. But the Vault 7, part 3 release on March 31 that exposed the "Marble Framework" program apparently was judged too delicate to qualify as 'news fit to print' and was kept out of the Times at the time, and has never been mentioned since .

"The Washington Post's Ellen Nakashima, it seems, 'did not get the memo' in time. Her March 31 article bore the catching (and accurate) headline: 'WikiLeaks' latest release of CIA cyber-tools could blow the cover on agency hacking operations.'

"The WikiLeaks release indicated that Marble was designed for flexible and easy-to-use 'obfuscation,' and that Marble source code includes a "de-obfuscator" to reverse CIA text obfuscation.

"More important, the CIA reportedly used Marble during 2016. In her Washington Post report , Nakashima left that out, but did include another significant point made by WikiLeaks; namely, that the obfuscation tool could be used to conduct a 'forensic attribution double game' or false-flag operation because it included test samples in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic and Farsi."

A few weeks later William Binney, a former NSA technical, and I commented on Vault 7 Marble, and were able to get a shortened op-ed version published in The Baltimore Sun

The CIA's reaction to the WikiLeaks disclosure of the Marble Framework tool was neuralgic. Then Director Mike Pompeo lashed out two weeks later, calling Assange and his associates "demons," and insisting; "It's time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is, a non-state hostile intelligence service, often abetted by state actors like Russia."Our July 24 Memorandum continued: "Mr. President, we do not know if CIA's Marble Framework, or tools like it, played some kind of role in the campaign to blame Russia for hacking the DNC. Nor do we know how candid the denizens of CIA's Digital Innovation Directorate have been with you and with Director Pompeo. These are areas that might profit from early White House review. [ President Trump then directed Pompeo to invite Binney, one of the authors of the July 24, 2017 VIPS Memorandum to the President, to discuss all this. Binney and Pompeo spent an hour together at CIA Headquarters on October 24, 2017, during which Binney briefed Pompeo with his customary straightforwardness. ]

We also do not know if you have discussed cyber issues in any detail with President Putin. In his interview with NBC's Megyn Kelly he seemed quite willing – perhaps even eager – to address issues related to the kind of cyber tools revealed in the Vault 7 disclosures, if only to indicate he has been briefed on them. Putin pointed out that today's technology enables hacking to be 'masked and camouflaged to an extent that no one can understand the origin' [of the hack] And, vice versa, it is possible to set up any entity or any individual that everyone will think that they are the exact source of that attack.

"'Hackers may be anywhere,' he said. 'There may be hackers, by the way, in the United States who very craftily and professionally passed the buck to Russia. Can't you imagine such a scenario? I can.'

New attention has been drawn to these issues after I discussed them in a widely published 16-minute interview last Friday.

In view of the highly politicized environment surrounding these issues, I believe I must append here the same notice that VIPS felt compelled to add to our key Memorandum of July 24, 2017:

"Full Disclosure: Over recent decades the ethos of our intelligence profession has eroded in the public mind to the point that agenda-free analysis is deemed well nigh impossible. Thus, we add this disclaimer, which applies to everything we in VIPS say and do: We have no political agenda; our sole purpose is to spread truth around and, when necessary, hold to account our former intelligence colleagues.

"We speak and write without fear or favor. Consequently, any resemblance between what we say and what presidents, politicians and pundits say is purely coincidental." The fact we find it is necessary to include that reminder speaks volumes about these highly politicized times.

Ray McGovern works for Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Savior in inner-city Washington. He was an Army infantry/intelligence officer before serving as a CIA analyst for 27 years. His duties included preparing, and briefing one-on-one, the President's Daily Brief.


ThomasGilroy , June 9, 2018 at 9:44 am

"More important, the CIA reportedly used Marble during 2016. In her Washington Post report, Nakashima left that out, but did include another significant point made by WikiLeaks; namely, that the obfuscation tool could be used to conduct a 'forensic attribution double game' or false-flag operation because it included test samples in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic and Farsi."

Another false flag operation? Suddenly false flag operations have become the weapon of choice. Interestingly enough, they are nefariously (always) committed by the US or US allies. MH17 was a false flag with an SU-25 Ukraine jet responsible for downing the passenger jet (to blame Russia). All of the chemical attacks in Syria were false flag operations with the supply of sarin/chlorine made in Turkey or directly given to the "rebels" by the CIA or US allies. The White Helmets were of course in on all of the details. Assad was just simply not capable of doing that to "his" people. Forget that the sarin had the chemical signature of the Assad regime sarin supply. Next it was the snipers who used a false flag operation during the Maidan revolution to shoot protesters and police to oust Yanukovych. Only the neo-Nazis could be capable of shooting the Maidan protesters so they could take power. And then Seth Rich was murdered so he couldn't reveal he was the "real" source of the leak. This was hinted by Assange when he offered a reward to find the killers.

The author tosses out that the DNC hack was (potentially) a false flag operation by the CIA obviously to undermine Trump while victimizing Russia. It must be the Gulf of Tonkin all over again. While Crowdstrike might have a "dubious professional record and multiple conflicts of interest", their results were also confirmed by several other cyber-security firms (Wikipedia):

cybersecurity experts and firms, including CrowdStrike, Fidelis Cybersecurity, Mandiant, SecureWorks, ThreatConnect, and the editor for Ars Technica, have rejected the claims of "Guccifer 2.0" and have determined, on the basis of substantial evidence, that the cyberattacks were committed by two Russian state-sponsored groups (Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear).

Then there was Papadopoulas who coincidentally was given the information that Russia had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton in the form of thousands of emails. Obviously, they were illegally obtained (unless this was another CIA false flag operation). This was before the release of the emails by WikiLeaks. This was followed by the Trump Tower meeting with Russians with connections to the Russian government and the release of the emails by WikiLeaks shortly thereafter. Additionally, Russia had the motive to defeat HRC and elect Trump. Yesterday, Trump pushed for the reinstatement of Russia at the G-7 summit. What a shock! All known evidence and motive points the finger directly at Russia.

Calling everything a false flag operation is really the easy way out, but ultimately, it lets the responsible culprits off of the hook.

anon , June 9, 2018 at 11:28 am

I don't seen any cause to say that any false-flag theory you don't like is merely "tossed out" propaganda. One cannot tell in your comment where you think the accounts are credible and where not. No evidence that the Syria CW attacks "had the chemical signature of the Assad regime sarin supply."

CitizenOne , June 8, 2018 at 11:40 pm

There can be no doubt that counterintelligence tools would be pursued by our intelligence agencies as a means to create narratives and false evidence based on the production of false flags which support desired geopolitical outcomes. There would be a need to create false flags using technology to support the geopolitical agenda which would be hard or impossible to trace using the forensic tools used by cyber sleuths.

In pre computer technology days there were also many false flags which were set up to create real world scenarios which suited the geopolitical agenda. Even today, there are many examples of tactical false flag operations either organized and orchestrated or utilized by the intelligence agencies to create the narrative which supports geopolitical objectives.

Examples:

The US loaded munitions in broad daylight visible to German spies onto the passenger ship Lusitania despite German warnings that they would torpedo any vessels suspected of carrying munitions. The Lusitania then proceeded to loiter unaccompanied by escorts in an area off the Ireland coast treading over the same waters until it was spotted by a German U-Boat and was torpedoed. This was not exactly a false flag since the German U-Boat pulled the trigger but it was required to gain public support for the entrance of the US into WWI. It worked.

There is evidence that the US was deliberately caught "off guard" in the Pearl Harbor Attack. Numerous coded communication intercepts were made but somehow the advanced warning radar on the island of Hawaii was mysteriously turned off in the hours before and during the Japanese attack which guaranteed that the attack would be successful and also guaranteed that our population would instantly sign on to the war against Japan. It worked.

There is evidence that the US deliberately ignored the intelligence reports that UBL was planning to conduct an attack on the US using planes as bombs. The terrorists who carried out the attacks on the twin towers were "allowed" to conduct them. The result was the war in Iraq which was sold based on a pack of lies about WMDs and which we used to go to war with Iraq.

The Tonkin Gulf incident which historians doubt actually happened or believe if it did was greatly exaggerated by intelligence and military sources was used to justify the war in Vietnam.

The Spanish American War was ginned up by William Randolph Hearst and his yellow journalism empire to justify attacking Cuba, Panama and the Philippines. The facts revealed by forensic analysis of the exploded USS Maine have shown that the cataclysm was caused by a boiler explosion not an enemy mine. At the time this was also widely believed to not be caused by a Spanish mine in the harbor but the news sold the story of Spanish treachery and war was waged.

In each case of physical false flags created on purpose, or allowed to happen or just made up by fictions based on useful information that could be manipulated and distorted the US was led to war. Some of these wars were just wars and others were wars of choice but in every case a false flag was needed to bring the nation into a state where we believed we were under attack and under the circumstances flocked to war. I will not be the judge of history or justice here since each of these events had both negative and positive consequences for our nation. What I will state is that it is obvious that the willingness to allow or create or just capitalize on the events which have led to war are an essential ingredient. Without a publicly perceived and publicly supported cause for war there can be no widespread support for war. I can also say our leaders have always known this.

Enter the age of technology and the computer age with the electronic contraptions which enable global communication and commerce.

Is it such a stretch to imagine that the governments desire to shape world events based on military actions would result in a plan to use these modern technologies to once again create in our minds a cyber scenario in which we are once again as a result of the "cyber" false flag prepared for us to go to war? Would it be too much of a stretch to imagine that the government would use the new electronic frontier just as it used the old physical world events to justify military action?

Again, I will not go on to condemn any action by our military but will focus on how did we get there and how did we arrive at a place where a majority favored war.

Whether created by physical or cyberspace methods we can conclude that such false flags will happen for better or worse in any medium available.

susan sunflower , June 8, 2018 at 7:52 pm

I'd like "evidence" and I'd also like "context" since apparently international electoral "highjinks" and monkey-wrenching and rat-f*cking have a long tradition and history (before anyone draws a weapon, kills a candidate or sicc's death squads on the citizenry.

The DNC e-mail publication "theft" I suspect represents very small small potatoes for so many reasons As Dixon at Black Agenda Report put it . Russia-gate is American Exceptionalism writ large which takes on a more sinister aspect as groups like BLM and others are "linked" to alleged "Russian funding"on one and and Soros funding on another

https://www.blackagendareport.com/russia-gate-and-crisis-american-exceptionalism

(FWIW, this is a new neoliberal phenomenon when the ultra-rich "liberals" can quietly fund marches on Washington and "grassroots" networking making those neophyte movements too easy targets with questionable robust foundation (color revolutions are possible when anyone is able to foot the cost of 1,000 or 2000 "free" signs or t-shirts -- impecccably designed and printed.

Gary Weglarz , June 8, 2018 at 11:08 am

Excellent post. Thanks also for reminding me I need to revisit the Vault 7 information as source material. These are incredibly important leaks that help connect the dots of criminal State intelligence activities designed to have remained forever hidden.

Skip Scott , June 8, 2018 at 1:07 pm

I can't think of any single piece of evidence that our MSM is under the very strict control of our so-called intelligence agencies than how fast and completely the Vault 7 releases got flushed down the memory hole. "Nothing to see here folks, move along."

Realist , June 9, 2018 at 1:36 am

http://www.unz.com/mwhitney/dems-put-finishing-touches-on-one-party-surveillance-superstate/

Skip Scott , June 9, 2018 at 7:05 am

Mbob-

I don't think anyone can predict whether or not Sanders would have won as a 3rd party candidate. He ran a remarkable campaign, but when he caved to the Clinton machine he lost a lot of supporters, including me. If he had stood up at the convention and talked of the DNC skullduggery exposed by Wikileaks, and said "either I run as a democrat, or I run as a Green, but I'm running", he would have at least gotten 15 pct to make the TV debates, and who knows what could have happened after that. 40 pct of registered voters didn't vote. That alone tells you it is possible he might have won.

Instead he expected us to follow him like he was the f'ing Pied Piper to elect another Wall St. loving warmonger. That's why he gets no "pass" from me. He (and the Queen of Chaos) gave us Trump. BTW, Obama doesn't get a "pass" either.

willow , June 8, 2018 at 9:24 pm

It's all about the money. A big motive for the DNC to conjure up Russia-gate was to keep donors from abandoning any future
Good Ship Hillary or other Blue Dog Democrat campaigns: "Our brand/platform wasn't flawed. It was the Rooskies."

Vivian O'Blivion , June 8, 2018 at 8:22 am

An earlier time line.

March 14th. Popadopoulos has first encounter with Mifsud.
April 26th. Mifsud tells Popadopoulos that Russians have "dirt" on Clinton, including "thousands of e-mails".
May 4th. Trump last man standing in Republican primary.
May 10th. Popadopoulos gets drunk with London based Australian diplomat and talks about "dirt" but not specifically e-mails.
June 9th. Don. Jr meets in Trump tower with Russians promising "dirt" but not specifically in form of e-mails.

It all comes down to who Mifsud is, who he is working for and why he has been "off grid" to journalists (but not presumably Intelligence services) for > 6 months.

Specific points.
On March 14th Popadopoulos knew he was transferring from team Carson to team Trump but this was not announced to the (presumably underwhelmed) world 'till March 21st. Whoever put Mifsud onto Popadopoulos was very quick on their feet.
The Australian diplomat broke chain of command by reporting the drunken conversation to the State Department as opposed to his domestic Intelligence service. If Mifsud was a western asset, Australian Intelligence would likely be aware of his status.
If Mifsud was a Russian asset why would demonstrably genuine Russians be trying to dish up the dirt on Clinton in June?

There are missing pieces to this jigsaw puzzle but it's starting to look like a deep state operation to dirty Trump in the unlikely event that he went on to win.

Realist , June 8, 2018 at 4:28 pm

Ms. Clinton was personally trying to tar Trump with allusions to "Russia" and being "Putin's puppet" long before he won the presidency, in fact, quite conspicuously during the two conventions and most pointedly during the debates. She was willing to use that ruse long before her defeat at the ballot box. It was the straw that she clung to and was willing to use as a pretext for overturning the election after the unthinkable happened. But, you are right, smearing Trump through association with Russia was part of her long game going back to the early primaries, especially since her forces (both in politics and in the media) were trying mightily to get him the nomination under the assumption that he would be the easiest (more like the only) Republican candidate that she could defeat come November.

Wcb , June 8, 2018 at 5:25 pm

Steven Halper?

Rob Roy , June 8, 2018 at 1:33 am

I might add to this informative article that the reason why Julian Assange has been ostracized and isolated from any public appearance, denied a cell phone, internet and visitors is that he tells the truth, and TPTB don't want him to say yet again that the emails were leaked from the DNC. I've heard him say it several times. H. Clinton was so shocked and angry that she didn't become president as she so confidently expected that her, almost knee-jerk, reaction was to find a reason that was outside of herself on which to blame her defeat. It's always surprised me that no one talks about what was in those emails which covered her plans for Iran and Russia (disgusting).
Trump is a sociopath, but the Russians had nothing to do with him becoming elected. I was please to read here that he or perhaps just Pompeo? met with Binney. That's a good thing, though Pompeo, too, is unstable and war hungry to follow Israel into bombing yet another innocent sovereign country. Thank, Mr. McGovern for another excellent coverage of this story.

MLS , June 7, 2018 at 9:59 pm

"no one associated with WikiLeaks has ever been questioned by his team"

Do tell, Ray: How do you know what the GOP Congress appointed Special Prosecutor's investigation – with its unlimited budget, wide mandate, and notable paucity of leaks – has and has not done?

strgr-tgther , June 8, 2018 at 12:14 am

MLS: Thank you! No one stands up for what is right any more. We have 17 Intelligency agencies that say are election was stolen. And just last week the Republicans Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnel and Trey Gowdy (who I detest) said the FBI and CIA and NSA were just doing there jobs the way ALL AMERICANS woudl want them to. And even Adam Schiff, do you think he will tell any reporter what evidence he does have? #1 It is probably classified and #2 he is probably saving it for the inpeachment. We did not find out about the Nixon missing 18 minutes until the end anyways. All of these articles sound like the writer just copied Sean Hannity and wrote everything down he said, and yesterday he told all suspects in the Mueller investigation to Smash and Bleach there mobile devices, witch is OBSTRUCTION of justice and witness TAMPERING. A great American there!

Rob Roy , June 8, 2018 at 1:48 am

strgr-tgther:

Sean Hannity??? Ha, ha, ha.

As Mr. McGoven wrote .."any resemblance between what we say and what presidents, politicians and pundits say is purely coincidental."

John , June 8, 2018 at 5:48 am

Sorry I had to come back and point out the ultimate irony of ANYONE who supports the Butcher of Libya complaining about having an election stolen from them (after the blatant rigging of the primary that caused her to take the nomination away from the ONE PERSON who was polling ahead of Trump beyond the margin of error of the polls.)

It is people like you who gave us Trump. The Pied Piper Candidate promoted by the DNC machine (as the emails that were LEAKED, not "hacked", as the metadata proves conclusively, show.)

incontinent reader , June 8, 2018 at 7:14 am

What is this baloney? Seventeen Intelligence agencies DID NOT conclude what you are alleging, And in fact, Brennan and his cabal avoided using a National intelligence Estimate, which would have shot down his cherry-picked 'assessment' before it got off the ground – and it would have been published for all to read.

The NSA has everything on everybody, yet has never released anything remotely indicating Russian collusion. Do you think the NSA Director, who, as you may recall, did not give a strong endorsement to the Brennan-Comey assessment, would have held back from the Congress such information, if it had existed, when he was questioned? Furthermore, former technical directors of the NSA, Binney, Wiebe and Loomis- the very best of the best- have proven through forensics that the Wikileaks disclosures were not obtained by hacking the DNC computers, but by a leak, most likely to a thumb drive on the East Coast of the U.S. How many times does it have to be laid out for you before you are willing and able to absorb the facts?

As for Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, (and Trey Gowdy, who was quite skilled on the Benghazi and the Clinton private email server investigations- investigations during which Schiff ran interference for Clinton- but has seemed unwilling to digest the Strozk, Page, McCabe, et al emails and demand a Bureau housecleaning), who cares what they think or say, what matters is the evidence.

I suggest you familiarize yourself with the facts- and start by rereading Ray's articles, and the piece by Joe diGenova posted on Ray's website.

Realist , June 8, 2018 at 4:12 pm

The guy's got Schiff for brains. Everyone who cares about the truth has known since before Mueller started his charade that the "17 intelligence agency" claim was entirely a ruse, bald-faced confected propaganda to anger the public to support the coup attempted by Ms. Clinton and her zombie followers. People are NOT going to support the Democratic party now or in the future when its tactics include subverting our public institutions, including the electoral process under the constitution–whether you like the results or not! If the Democratic party is to be saved, those honest people still in it should endeavor to drain the septic tank that has become their party before we can all drain the swamp that is the federal government and its ex-officio manipulators (otherwise known as the "deep state") in Washington.

Farmer Pete , June 8, 2018 at 7:30 am

"We have 17 Intelligency agencies that say are election was stolen."

You opened up with a talking point that is factually incorrect. The team of hand-picked spooks that slapped the "high confidence" report together came from 3 agencies. I know, 17 sounds like a lot and very convincing to us peasants. Regardless, it's important to practice a few ounces of skepticism when it comes to institutions with a long rap sheet of crime and deception. Taking their word for it as a substitute for actual observable evidence is naive to say the least. The rest of your hollow argument is filled with "probably(s)". If I were you, I'd turn off my TV and stop looking for scapegoats for an epically horrible presidential campaign and candidate.

strgr-tgther , June 8, 2018 at 12:50 pm

/horrible presidential campaign and candidate/ Say you. But we all went to sleep comfortable the night before the election where 97% of all poles said Clinton was going to be are next President. And that did not happen! So Robert Mueller is going to find out EXACTLY why. Stay tuned!!!

irina , June 8, 2018 at 3:40 pm

Not 'all'. I knew she was toast after reading that she had cancelled her election night fireworks
celebration, early on the morning of Election Day. She must have known it also, too.

And she was toast in my mind after seeing the ridiculous scene of her virtual image
'breaking the glass ceiling' during the Democratic Convention. So expensively stupid.

Realist , June 8, 2018 at 3:50 pm

Mueller is simply orchestrating a dramatic charade to distract you from the obvious reason why she lost: Trump garnered more electoral votes, even after the popular votes were counted and recounted. Any evidence of ballot box stuffing in the key states pointed to the Democrats, so they gave that up. She and her supporters like you have never stopped trying to hoodwink the public either before or after the election. Too many voters were on to you, that's why she lost.

Realist , June 8, 2018 at 3:57 pm

Indeed, stop the nonsense which can't be changed short of a coup d'etat, and start focusing on opposing the bad policy which this administration has been pursuing. I don't see the Dems doing that even in their incipient campaigns leading up to the November elections. Fact is, they are not inclined to change the policies, which are the same ones that got them "shellacked" at the ballot box in 2016. (I think Obama must own lots of stock in the shellack trade.)

Curious , June 8, 2018 at 6:27 pm

Ignorance of th facts keep showing up in your posts for some unknown reason. Sentence two: "we have 17 intelligency (sic) agencies that say ". this statement was debunked a long time ago.

Have you learned nothing yet regarding the hand-picked people out of three agencies after all this time? Given that set of lies it makes your post impossible to read.
I would suggest a review of what really happened before you perpetuate more myths and this will benefit all.

Also, a good reading of the Snowden Docs and vault 7 should scare you out of your shell since our "intelligeny" community can pretend to be Chinese, Russian, Iranian just for starters, and the blame game can start after hours instead of the needed weeks and/or months to determine the veracity of a hack and/or leak.

It's past trying to win you over with the actual 'time lines' and truths. Mr McGovern has re-emphasized in this article the very things you should be reading.
Start with Mr Binney and his technical evaluation of the forensics in the DNC docs and build out from there This is just a suggestion.

What never ceases to amaze me in your posts is the 'issue' that many of the docs were bought and paid for by the Clinton team, and yet amnesia has taken over those aspects as well. Shouldn't you start with the Clintons paying for this dirt before it was ever attributed to Trump?

Daniel , June 8, 2018 at 6:38 pm

Actually, both Brennan and Hayden testified to Congress that only 3 agencies signed off on their claim. They also said that they'd "hand picked" a special team to run their "investigation," and no other people were involved. So, people known to be perjurers cherry picked "evidence" to make a claim. Let's invade Iraq again.

More than 1/2 of their report was about RT, and even though that was all easily viewable public record, they got huge claims wrong. Basically, the best they had was that RT covered Occupy Wall Street and the NO DAPL and BLM protests, and horror of horrors, aired third party debates! In a democracy! How dare they?

Why didn't FBI subpoena DNC's servers so they could run their own forensics on them? Why did they just accept the claims of a private company founded by an Atlantic Council board member? Did you know that CrowdStrike had to backpedal on the exact same claim they made about the DNC server when Ukraine showed they were completely wrong regarding Ukie artillery?

Joe Lauria , June 8, 2018 at 2:12 am

Until he went incommunicado Assange stated on several occasions that he was never questioned by Muellers team. Craig Murray has said the same. And Kim Dotcom has written to Mueller offering evidence about the source and he says they have never replied to him.

Realist , June 8, 2018 at 3:40 pm

Mueller is not interested in the truth. He can't handle the truth. His purpose is not to divulge the truth. He has no use for truthtellers including the critical possessors of the truth whom you mentioned. This aversion to the truth is the biggest clue that Mueller's activities are a complete sham.

Miranda Keefe , June 8, 2018 at 3:28 pm

MLS wrote, "How do you know what the GOP Congress appointed Special Prosecutor's investigation – with its unlimited budget, wide mandate, and notable paucity of leaks – has and has not done?"

Robert Mueller is NOT a Special Prosecutor appointed by the Congress. He is a special counsel appointed by the Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, and is part of the Department of Justice.

I know no one who dislikes Trumps wants to hear it. But all Mueller's authority and power to act is derived from Donald J. Trump's executive authority because he won the 2016 presidential election. Mueller is down the chain of command in the Executive Department.

That's why this is all nonsense. What we basically have is Trump investigating himself. The framers of the Constitution never intended this. They intended Congress to investigate the Executive and that's why they gave Congress the power to remove him or her via impeachment.

As long as we continue with this folly of expecting the Justice Department to somehow investigate and prosecute a president we end up with two terrible possibilities. Either a corrupt president will exercise his legitimate authority to end the investigation like Nixon did -or- we have a Deep State beyond the reach of the elected president that can effectively investigate and prosecute a corrupt president, but also then has other powers with no democratic control.

The solution to this dilemma? An empowered Congress elected by the People operating as the Constitution intended.

As to the rest of your post? It is an example of the "will to believe." Me? I'll not act as if there is evidence of Russian interference until I'm shown evidence, not act as if it must be true, because I want to believe that, until it's fully proven that it didn't happen.

F. G. Sanford , June 7, 2018 at 8:22 pm

There must be some Trump-Russia ties.
Or so claim those CIA spies-
McCabe wants a deal, or else he won't squeal,
He'll dissemble when he testifies!

No one knows what's on Huma's computer.
There's no jury and no prosecutor.
Poor Adam Schiff hopes McCabe takes the fifth,
Special council might someday recruit her!

Assange is still embassy bound.
Mueller's case hasn't quite come unwound.
Wayne Madsen implies that there might be some ties,
To Israelis they haven't yet found!

Halper and Mifsud are players.
John Brennan used cutouts in layers.
If the scheme falls apart and the bureau is smart,
They'll go after them all as betrayers!

They needed historical fiction.
A dossier with salacious depiction!
Some urinous whores could get down on all fours,
They'd accomplish some bed sheet emiction!

Pablo Miller and Skripal were cited.
Sidney Blumenthal might have been slighted.
Christopher Steele offered Sidney a deal,
But the dossier's not copyrighted!

That story about Novichok,
Smells a lot like a very large crock.
But they can't be deposed or the story disclosed,
The Skripals have toxic brain block!

Papadopolis shot off his yap.
He told Downer, that affable chap-
There was dirt to report on the Clinton cohort,
Mifsud hooked him with that honey trap!

She was blond and a bombshell to boot.
Papadopolis thought she was cute.
She worked for Mifsud, a mysterious dude,
Now poor Paps is in grave disrepute!

But the trick was to tie it to Russians.
The Clinton team had some discussions.
Their big email scandal was easy to handle,
They'd blame Vlad for the bad repercussions!

There must have been Russian collusion.
That explained all the vote count confusion.
Guccifer Two made the Trump team come through,
If he won, it was just an illusion!

Lisa Page and Pete Strzok were disgusted
They schemed and they plotted and lusted.
If bald-headed Clapper appealed to Jake Tapper,
Brennan's Tweets might get Donald Trump busted!

There had to be cyber subversion.
It would serve as the perfect perversion.
They would claim it was missed if it didn't exist,
It's a logically perfect diversion!

Ray McGovern , June 8, 2018 at 1:03 am

BRAVO, F.G. and thanks.
Ray

Rob Roy , June 8, 2018 at 1:41 am

F.G., you've done it again, and I might add, topped even yourself! Thanks.

KiwiAntz , June 7, 2018 at 7:30 pm

What a joke, America, the most dishonest Country on Earth, has meddled, murdered & committed coups to overturn other Govts & interfered & continues to do so in just about every Country on Earth by using Trade sanctions, arming Terrorists & illegal invasions, has the barefaced cheek to puff out its chest & hypocritcally blame Russia for something that it does on a daily basis?? And the point with Mueller's investigation is not to find any Russian collusion evidence, who needs evidence when you can just make it up? The point is provide the US with a list of unfounded lies & excuses, FIRSTLY to slander & demonise RUSSIA for something they clearly didn't do! SECONDLY, was to provide a excuse for the Democrats dismal election loss result to the DONALD & his Trump Party which just happens to contain some Republicans? THIRDLY, to conduct a soft Coup by trying to get Trump impeached on "TRUMPED UP CHARGES OF RUSSIAN COLLUSION"? And FOURTLY to divert attention away from scrutiny & cover up Obama & Hillary Clinton's illegal, money grubbing activities & her treasonous behaviour with her private email server?? After two years of Russiagate nonsense with NOTHING to show for it, I think it's about time America owes Russia a public apology & compensation for its blatant lying & slander of a innocent Country for a crime they never committed?

Sam F , June 7, 2018 at 7:11 pm

Thanks, Ray, for revealing that the CIA's Digital Innovation Directorate is the likely cause of the Russiagate scams.

I am sure that they manipulate the digital voting machines directly and indirectly. True elections are now impossible.

Your disclaimer is hilarious: "We speak and write without fear or favor. Consequently, any resemblance between what we say and what presidents, politicians and pundits say is purely coincidental."

Antiwar7 , June 7, 2018 at 6:23 pm

Expecting the evil people running the show to respond to reason is futile, of course. All of these reports are really addressed to the peanut gallery, where true power lies, if only they could realize it.

Thanks, Ray and VIPS, for keeping up the good fight.

mike k , June 7, 2018 at 5:55 pm

For whatever reason, Ray McGovern chose not to mention the murder of Seth Rich, which pretty clearly points to the real source of the leak being him, as hinted by Assange offering a reward for anyone uncovering his killer. The whole thing stinks of a democratic conspiracy.

And BTW people have become shy about using the word conspiracy, for fear it will automatically brand one as a hoaxer. On the contrary, conspiracies are extremely common, the higher one climbs in the power hierarchy. Like monopolies, conspiracies are central to the way the oligarchs do business.

John , June 8, 2018 at 5:42 am

Ray, from what I have seen in following his writing for years, meticulously only deals in knowns. The Seth Rich issue is not a known, it is speculation still. Yes, it probably is involved, but unless Craig Murray states that Seth Rich was the one who handed him the USB drive, it is not a known.

There is a possibility that Seth Rich was not the one who leaked the information, but that the DNC bigwigs THOUGHT he was, in which case, by neither confirming nor denying that Seth Rich was the leaker, it may be that letting the DNC continue to think it was him is being done in protection of the actual leaker. Seth Rich could also have been killed for unrelated reasons, perhaps Imran Awan thought he was on to his doings.

Unfettered Fire , June 8, 2018 at 10:44 am

Don't forget this Twitter post by Wikileaks on October 30, 2016: Podesta: "I'm definitely for making an example of a suspected leaker whether or not we have any real basis for it." https://www.wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/36082#efmAGSAH-

Unfettered Fire , June 8, 2018 at 10:47 am

" whether or not"?!! Wow. That's an imperialistic statement.

Drew Hunkins , June 7, 2018 at 5:50 pm

Mueller has nothing and he well knows it. He was willingly roped into this whole pathetic charade and he's left grasping for anything remotely tied to Trump campaign officials and Russians. Even the most tenuous connections and weak relationships are splashed across the mass media in breathless headlines. Meanwhile, NONE of the supposed skulduggery unearthed by Mueller has anything to do with the Kremlin "hacking" the election to favor Trump. Which was the entire raison d'etre behind Rosenstein and Mueller's crusade on behalf of the deplorable DNC and Washington militarist-imperialists. Sure be interesting to see how Mueller and his crew ultimately extricate themselves from this giant fraudulent edifice of deceit. Will they even be able to save the most rudimentary amount of face?

So sickening to see the manner in which many DNC sycophants obsequiously genuflect to their godlike Mueller. A damn prosecutor who was arguably in bed with the Winter Hill Gang!

jose , June 7, 2018 at 5:13 pm

If they had had any evidence to inculpate Russia, we would have all seen it by now. They know that by stating that there is an investigation going on: they can blame Russia. The Democratic National Committee is integrated by a pack of liars.

Jeff , June 7, 2018 at 4:35 pm

Thanx, Ray. The sad news is that everybody now believes that Russia tried to "meddle" in our election and, since it's a belief, neither facts nor reality will dislodge it. Your disclaimer should also probably carry the warning – never believe a word a government official says especially if they are in the CIA, NSA, or FBI unless they provide proof. If they tell you that it's classified, that they can't divulge it, or anything of that sort, you know they are lying.

john wilson , June 7, 2018 at 4:09 pm

I suspect the real reason no evidence has been produced is because there isn't any. I know this is stating the obvious, but if you think about it, as long as the non extent evidence is supposedly being "investigated" the story remains alive. They know they aren't going to find anything even remotely plausible that would stand up to any kind of scrutiny, but as long as they are looking, it has the appearance that there might be something.

Joe Tedesky , June 7, 2018 at 4:08 pm

I first want to thank Ray and the VIPS for their continuing to follow through on this Russia-Gate story. And it is a story.

My question is simple, when will we concentrate on reading Hillary's many emails? After all wasn't this the reason for the Russian interference mania? Until we do, take apart Hillary's correspondence with her lackeys, nothing will transpire of any worth. I should not be the one saying this, in as much as Bernie Sanders should be the one screaming it for justice from the highest roof tops, but he isn't. So what's up with that? Who all is involved in this scandalous coverup? What do the masters of corruption have on everybody?

Now we have Sean Hannity making a strong case against the Clinton's and the FBI's careful handling of their crimes. What seems out of place, since this should be big news, is that CNN nor MSNBC seems to be covering this story in the same way Hannity is. I mean isn't this news, meant to be reported as news? Why avoid reporting on Hillary in such a manner? This must be that 'fake news' they all talk about boy am I smart.

In the end I have decided to be merely an observer, because there are no good guys or gals in our nation's capital worth believing. In the end even Hannity's version of what took place leads back to a guilty Russia. So, the way I see it, the swamp is being drained only to make more room for more, and new swamp creatures to emerge. Talk about spinning our wheels. When will good people arrive to finally once and for all drain this freaking swamp, once and for all?

Realist , June 7, 2018 at 5:25 pm

Ha, ha! Don't you enjoy the magic show being put on by the insiders desperately trying to hang onto their power even after being voted out of office? Their attempt to distract your attention from reality whilst feeding you their false illusions is worthy of Penn & Teller, or David Copperfield (the magician). Who ya gonna believe? Them or your lying eyes?

Joe Tedesky , June 7, 2018 at 10:00 pm

Realist, You can bet they will investigate everything but what needs investigated, as our Politico class devolves into survivalist in fighting, the mechanism of war goes uninterrupted. Joe

F. G. Sanford , June 7, 2018 at 5:34 pm

Joe, speaking of draining the swamp, check out my comment under Ray's June 1 article about Freddy Fleitz!

Sam F , June 7, 2018 at 6:59 pm

That is just what I was reminded of; here is an antiseptic but less emphatic last line:
"Swamp draining progresses apace.
It's being accomplished with grace:
They're taking great pains to clean out the drains,"
New swamp creatures will need all that space!

Unfettered Fire , June 8, 2018 at 11:00 am

We must realize that to them, "the Swamp" refers to those in office who still abide by New Deal policy. Despite the thoroughly discredited neoliberal economic policy, the radical right are driving the world in the libertarian direction of privatization, austerity, private bank control of money creation, dismantling the nation-state, contempt for the Constitution, etc.

[Jun 09, 2018] Spooks Spooking Themselves by Daniel Lazare

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... the Obama administration intelligence agencies worked with Clinton to block " Siberian candidate " Trump. ..."
"... The template was provided by ex-MI6 Director Richard Dearlove , Halper's friend and business partner. Sitting in winged chairs in London's venerable Garrick Club, according to The Washington Post , Dearlove told fellow MI6 veteran Christopher Steele, author of the famous "golden showers" opposition research dossier, that Trump "reminded him of a predicament he had faced years earlier, when he was chief of station for British intelligence in Washington and alerted US authorities to British information that a vice presidential hopeful had once been in communication with the Kremlin." ..."
"... Apparently, one word from the Brits was enough to make the candidate in question step down. When that didn't work with Trump, Dearlove and his colleagues ratcheted up the pressure to make him see the light. A major scandal was thus born – or, rather, a very questionable scandal. Besides Dearlove, Steele, and Halper, a bon-vivant known as "The Walrus" for his impressive girth , other participants include: Robert Hannigan, former director Government Communications Headquarters, GCHQ, UK equivalent of the NSA. Alexander Downer, top Australian diplomat. Andrew Wood, ex-British ambassador to Moscow. Joseph Mifsud, Maltese academic. James Clapper, ex-US Director of National Intelligence. John Brennan, former CIA Director (and now NBC News analyst). ..."
"... Dearlove and Halper are now partners in a private venture calling itself "The Cambridge Security Initiative." Both are connected to another London-based intelligence firm known as Hakluyt & Co. Halper is also connected via two books he wrote with Hakluyt representative Jonathan Clarke and Dearlove has a close personal friendship with Hakluyt founder Mike Reynolds, yet another MI6 vet. Alexander Downer served a half-dozen years on Hakluyt's international advisory board, while Andrew Wood is linked to Steele via Orbis Business Intelligence, the private research firm that Steele helped found, and which produced the anti-Trump dossier, and where Wood now serves as an unpaid advisor . ..."
"... Everyone, in short, seems to know everyone else. But another thing that stands out about this group is its incompetence. Dearlove and Halper appear to be old-school paranoids for whom every Russian is a Boris Badenov or a Natasha Fatale . In February 2014, Halper notified US intelligence that Mike Flynn, Trump's future national security adviser, had grown overly chummy with an Anglo-Russian scholar named Svetlana Lokhova whom Halper suspected of being a spy – suspicions that Lokhova convincingly argues are absurd. ..."
"... As head of Britain's foreign Secret Intelligence Service, as MI6 is formally known, Dearlove played a major role in drumming up support for the 2003 Anglo-American invasion of Iraq even while confessing at a secret Downing Street meeting that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the [regime-change] policy." When the search for weapons of mass destruction turned up dry, Clapper, as then head of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, argued that the Iraqi military must have smuggled them into neighboring Syria, a charge with absolutely no basis in fact but which helped pave the way for US regime-change efforts in that country too. ..."
"... Brennan was meanwhile a high-level CIA official when the agency was fabricating evidence against Saddam Hussein and covering up Saudi Arabia's role in 9/11. Wood not only continues to defend the Iraqi invasion, but dismisses fears of a rising fascist tide in the Ukraine as nothing more than "a crude political insult" hurled by Vladimir Putin for his own political benefit. Such views now seem distressingly misguided in view of the alt-right torchlight parades and spiraling anti-Semitism that are now a regular feature of life in the Ukraine. ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... describes Mifsud as "an enthusiastic promoter of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia" and "a regular at meetings of the Valdai Discussion Club, an annual conference held in Sochi, Russia, that Mr. Putin attends," which tried to suggest that he is a Kremlin agent of some sort. ..."
"... But WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange later tweeted photos of Mifsud with British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and a high-ranking British intelligence official named Claire Smith at a training session for Italian security agents in Rome. Since it's unlikely that British intelligence would rely on a Russian agent in such circumstances, Mifsud's intelligence ties are more likely with the UK. ..."
"... Stefan Halper then infiltrated the Trump campaign on behalf of the FBI as an informant in early July, weeks before the FBI launched its investigation. Halper had 36 years earlier infiltrated the Carter re-election campaign in 1980 using CIA agents to turn information over to the Reagan campaign. Now Halper began to court both Page and Papadopoulous, independently of each other. ..."
"... The rightwing Federalist website speculates that Halper was working with Steele to flesh out a Sept. 14 memo claiming that "Russians do have further 'kompromat' on CLINTON (e-mails) and [are] considering disseminating it." Clovis believes that Halper was trying "to create an audit trail back to those [Clinton] emails from someone in the campaign so they could develop a stronger case for probable cause to continue to issue warrants and to further an investigation." Reports that Halper apparently sought a permanent post in the new administration suggest that the effort was meant to continue after inauguration. ..."
"... Notwithstanding Clovis's nutty rightwing politics , his description of what Halper may have been up to makes sense as does his observation that Halper was trying " to build something that did not exist ." Despite countless hyper-ventilating headlines about mysterious Trump Tower meetings and the like, the sad truth is that Russiagate after all these months is shaping up as even more of a "nothing-burger" than Obama administration veteran Van Jones said it was back in mid-2017. Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller has indicted Papadopoulos and others on procedural grounds, he has indicted former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort for corruption, and he has charged a St. Petersburg company known as the Internet Research Agency with violating US election laws. ..."
"... As The Washington Post noted in an oddly, cool-headed Dec. 2 article , 2, 700 suspected Russian-linked accounts generated just 202,000 tweets in a six-year period ending in August 2017, a drop in a bucket compared to the one billion election-related tweets sent out during the fourteen months leading up to Election Day. ..."
"... Opposition research is intended to mix truths and fiction, to dig up plausible dirt to throw at your opponent, not to produce an intelligence assessment at taxpayer's expense to "protect" the country. And Steele was paid for it by the Democrats, not his government. ..."
"... Although Kramer denies it, The New Yorker ..."
"... But how could Trump think otherwise? As Consortium News founding editor Robert Parry observed a few days later, the maneuver "resembles a tactic out of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover's playbook on government-style blackmail: I have some very derogatory information about you that I'd sure hate to see end up in the press." ..."
"... It sounds more like CIA paranoia raised to the nth degree. But that's what the intelligence agencies are for, i.e. to spread fear and propaganda in order to stampede the public into supporting their imperial agenda. In this case, their efforts are so effective that they've gotten lost in a fog of their own making. If the corporate press fails to point this out, it's because reporters are too befogged themselves to notice. ..."
"... "Russiagate" continues to attract mounting blowback at Clinton, Obama and the Dems. Might well be they who end up charged with lawbreaking, though I'd be surprised if anyone in authority is ever really punished. https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-06-02/fbi-spying-trump-started-london-earlier-thought-new-texts-implicate-obama-white ..."
"... I've always thought that the great animus between Obama and Trump stemmed from Trump's persistent birtherist attacks on Obama followed by Obama's public ridicule of Trump at the White House Correspondants' Dinner. Without the latter, Trump probably would not have been motivated to run for the presidency. Without the former, Obama would probably not have gotten into the gutter to defeat and embarrass Trump at all costs. Clinton and Obama probably never recruit British spooks to sabotage and provide a pretense for spying on the campaigns of Jeb, Ted or Little Marco. Since these were all warmongers like Hillary and Obama, the issues would have been different, Russia would not have been a factor, and Putin would have had no alleged "puppet." ..."
"... The irony is that Clinton and Obama wanted Trump as her opponent. They cultivated his candidacy via liberal media bias throughout the primaries. (MSNBC and Rachel Maddow were always cutting away to another full length Trump victory speech and rally, including lots of jibber jabber with the faithful supporters.) Why? Because they thought he was the easiest to beat. The polls actually had Hillary losing against the other GOP candidates. The Dems beat themselves with their own choice of candidate and all the intrigue, false narratives and other questionable practices they employed in both the primaries and the general. That's what really happened. ..."
"... I agree that Hillary wanted Trump as an opponent, thought she could easily win. I've underestimated idiot opponents before, always to my detriment. Why is it that they are always the most formidable? The "insiders" are so used to voters rolling over, taking it on the chin. They gave away their jobs, replaced them with the service industry, killed their sons and daughters in wars abroad, and still the American people cast their ballots in their favor. This time was different. The insiders just did not see the sea change, not like Trump did. ..."
"... Long-time CIA asset named as FBI's spy on Trump campaign By Bill Van Auken https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/05/21/poli-m21.html ..."
"... What the MSM really needed was a bait which they could use to lure more dollars just like a horse race where the track owners needed a fast underdog horse to clean up. I believe the term is to be "hustled". The con men of the media hustlers decided they needed a way to cause all of the candidates to squirm uneasily and to then react to the news that Donald Trump was "in the lead". ..."
"... Those clever media folks. What a gift the Supreme Court handed them. But there was one little (or big) problem. The problem was the result of the scam put Trump in the White House. Something that no conservative republican would ever sign onto. Trump had spent years as a democrat, hobnobbed with the Clinton's and was an avowed agnostic who favored the liberal ideology for the most part. ..."
"... The new guy in the White House with his crazy ideas of making friends with Vladimir Putin horrified a national arms industry funded with hundreds of billions of our tax dollars every year propped up by all the neocons with their paranoid beliefs and plans to make America the hegemon of the World. Our foreign allies who use the USA to fight their perceived enemies and entice our government to sell them weapons and who urge us to orchestrate the overthrow of governments were all alarmed by the "not a real republican" peace-nick occupying the White House. ..."
"... It is probable that the casino and hotel owner in the White House posed an very threatening alternate strategy of forming economic ties with former enemies which scared the hell out of the arms industry which built its economy on scaring all of us and justifying its existence based on foreign enemies. ..."
"... So the MSM and the MIC created a new cold war with their friends at the New York Times and the Washington Post which published endless stories about the new Russian threat we faced. It had nothing to do with the 0.02% Twitter and Facebook "influence" that Russia actually had in the election. It was billed as the crime of the century. The real crime was that they committed the crime of the century that they mightily profited from by putting Trump in the White House in the first place with a plan to grab all the election cash they could grab. ..."
May 31, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

As the role of a well-connected group of British and U.S. intelligence agents begins to emerge, new suspicions are growing about what hand they may have had in weaving the Russia-gate story, as Daniel Lazare explains.

Special to Consortium News

With the news that a Cambridge academic-cum-spy named Stefan Halper infiltrated the Trump campaign, the role of the intelligence agencies in shaping the great Russiagate saga is at last coming into focus.

It's looking more and more massive. The intelligence agencies initiated reports that Donald Trump was colluding with Russia, they nurtured them and helped them grow, and then they spread the word to the press and key government officials. Reportedly, they even tried to use these reports to force Trump to step down prior to his inauguration. Although the corporate press accuses Trump of conspiring with Russia to stop Hillary Clinton, the reverse now seems to be the case: the Obama administration intelligence agencies worked with Clinton to block " Siberian candidate " Trump.

The template was provided by ex-MI6 Director Richard Dearlove , Halper's friend and business partner. Sitting in winged chairs in London's venerable Garrick Club, according to The Washington Post , Dearlove told fellow MI6 veteran Christopher Steele, author of the famous "golden showers" opposition research dossier, that Trump "reminded him of a predicament he had faced years earlier, when he was chief of station for British intelligence in Washington and alerted US authorities to British information that a vice presidential hopeful had once been in communication with the Kremlin."

Apparently, one word from the Brits was enough to make the candidate in question step down. When that didn't work with Trump, Dearlove and his colleagues ratcheted up the pressure to make him see the light. A major scandal was thus born – or, rather, a very questionable scandal. Besides Dearlove, Steele, and Halper, a bon-vivant known as "The Walrus" for his impressive girth , other participants include: Robert Hannigan, former director Government Communications Headquarters, GCHQ, UK equivalent of the NSA. Alexander Downer, top Australian diplomat. Andrew Wood, ex-British ambassador to Moscow. Joseph Mifsud, Maltese academic. James Clapper, ex-US Director of National Intelligence. John Brennan, former CIA Director (and now NBC News analyst).

In-Bred

A few things stand out about this august group. One is its in-bred quality. After helping to run an annual confab known as the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar, Dearlove and Halper are now partners in a private venture calling itself "The Cambridge Security Initiative." Both are connected to another London-based intelligence firm known as Hakluyt & Co. Halper is also connected via two books he wrote with Hakluyt representative Jonathan Clarke and Dearlove has a close personal friendship with Hakluyt founder Mike Reynolds, yet another MI6 vet. Alexander Downer served a half-dozen years on Hakluyt's international advisory board, while Andrew Wood is linked to Steele via Orbis Business Intelligence, the private research firm that Steele helped found, and which produced the anti-Trump dossier, and where Wood now serves as an unpaid advisor .

Everyone, in short, seems to know everyone else. But another thing that stands out about this group is its incompetence. Dearlove and Halper appear to be old-school paranoids for whom every Russian is a Boris Badenov or a Natasha Fatale . In February 2014, Halper notified US intelligence that Mike Flynn, Trump's future national security adviser, had grown overly chummy with an Anglo-Russian scholar named Svetlana Lokhova whom Halper suspected of being a spy – suspicions that Lokhova convincingly argues are absurd.

Halper: Infiltrated Trump campaign

In December 2016, Halper and Dearlove both resigned from the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar because they suspected that a company footing some of the costs was tied up with Russian intelligence – suspicions that Christopher Andrew, former chairman of the Cambridge history department and the seminar's founder, regards as " absurd " as well.

As head of Britain's foreign Secret Intelligence Service, as MI6 is formally known, Dearlove played a major role in drumming up support for the 2003 Anglo-American invasion of Iraq even while confessing at a secret Downing Street meeting that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the [regime-change] policy." When the search for weapons of mass destruction turned up dry, Clapper, as then head of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, argued that the Iraqi military must have smuggled them into neighboring Syria, a charge with absolutely no basis in fact but which helped pave the way for US regime-change efforts in that country too.

Brennan was meanwhile a high-level CIA official when the agency was fabricating evidence against Saddam Hussein and covering up Saudi Arabia's role in 9/11. Wood not only continues to defend the Iraqi invasion, but dismisses fears of a rising fascist tide in the Ukraine as nothing more than "a crude political insult" hurled by Vladimir Putin for his own political benefit. Such views now seem distressingly misguided in view of the alt-right torchlight parades and spiraling anti-Semitism that are now a regular feature of life in the Ukraine.

The result is a diplo-espionage gang that is very bad at the facts but very good at public manipulation – and which therefore decided to use its skill set out to create a public furor over alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

It Started Late 2015

The effort began in late 2015 when GCHQ, along with intelligence agencies in Poland, Estonia, and Germany, began monitoring what they said were " suspicious 'interactions' between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents."

Since Trump was surging ahead in the polls and scaring the pants off the foreign-policy establishment by calling for a rapprochement with Moscow, the agencies figured that Russia was somehow behind it. The pace accelerated in March 2016 when a 30-year-old policy consultant named George Papadopoulos joined the Trump campaign as a foreign-policy adviser. Traveling in Italy a week later, he ran into Mifsud, the London-based Maltese academic, who reportedly set about cultivating him after learning of his position with Trump. Mifsud claimed to have "substantial connections with Russian government officials," according to prosecutors. Over breakfast at a London hotel, he told Papadopoulos that he had just returned from Moscow where he had learned that the Russians had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton in the form of "thousands of emails."

This was the remark that supposedly triggered an FBI investigation. The New York Times describes Mifsud as "an enthusiastic promoter of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia" and "a regular at meetings of the Valdai Discussion Club, an annual conference held in Sochi, Russia, that Mr. Putin attends," which tried to suggest that he is a Kremlin agent of some sort.

But WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange later tweeted photos of Mifsud with British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and a high-ranking British intelligence official named Claire Smith at a training session for Italian security agents in Rome. Since it's unlikely that British intelligence would rely on a Russian agent in such circumstances, Mifsud's intelligence ties are more likely with the UK.

After Papadopoulos caused a minor political ruckus by telling a reporter that Prime Minister David Cameron should apologize for criticizing Trump's anti-Muslim pronouncements, a friend in the Israeli embassy put him in touch with a friend in the Australian embassy, who introduced him to Downer, her boss. Over drinks, Downer advised him to be more diplomatic. After Papadopoulos then passed along Misfud's tip about Clinton's emails, Downer informed his government, which, in late July, informed the FBI.

Was Papadopoulos Set Up?

Suspicions are unavoidable but evidence is lacking. Other pieces were meanwhile clicking into place. In late May or early June 2016, Fusion GPS, a private Washington intelligence firm employed by the Democratic National Committee, hired Steele to look into the Russian angle.

On June 20, he turned in the first of eighteen memos that would eventually comprise the Steele dossier , in this instance a three-page document asserting that Putin "has been cultivating, supporting and assisting TRUMP for at least 5 years" and that Russian intelligence possessed "kompromat" in the form of a video of prostitutes performing a "golden showers" show for his benefit at the Moscow Ritz-Carlton. A week or two later, Steele briefed the FBI on his findings. Around the same time, Robert Hannigan flew to Washington to brief CIA Director John Brennan about additional material that had come GCHQ's way, material so sensitive that it could only be handled at "director level."

One player was filling Papadopoulos's head with tales of Russian dirty tricks, another was telling the FBI, while a third was collecting more information and passing it on to the bureau as well.

Page: Took Russia's side.

On July 7, 2016 Carter Page delivered a lecture on U.S.-Russian relations in Moscow in which he complained that " Washington and other western capitals have impeded potential progress through their often hypocritical focus on ideas such as democratization, inequality, corruption, and regime change." Washington hawks expressed " unease " that someone representing the presumptive Republican nominee would take Russia's side in a growing neo-Cold War.

Stefan Halper then infiltrated the Trump campaign on behalf of the FBI as an informant in early July, weeks before the FBI launched its investigation. Halper had 36 years earlier infiltrated the Carter re-election campaign in 1980 using CIA agents to turn information over to the Reagan campaign. Now Halper began to court both Page and Papadopoulous, independently of each other.

On July 11, Page showed up at a Cambridge symposium at which Halper and Dearlove both spoke. In early September, Halper sent Papadopoulos an email offering $3,000 and a paid trip to London to write a research paper on a disputed gas field in the eastern Mediterranean, his specialty. "George, you know about hacking the emails from Russia, right?" Halper asked when he got there, but Papadopoulos said he knew nothing. Halper also sought out Sam Clovis, Trump's national campaign co-chairman, with whom he chatted about China for an hour or so over coffee in Washington.

The rightwing Federalist website speculates that Halper was working with Steele to flesh out a Sept. 14 memo claiming that "Russians do have further 'kompromat' on CLINTON (e-mails) and [are] considering disseminating it." Clovis believes that Halper was trying "to create an audit trail back to those [Clinton] emails from someone in the campaign so they could develop a stronger case for probable cause to continue to issue warrants and to further an investigation." Reports that Halper apparently sought a permanent post in the new administration suggest that the effort was meant to continue after inauguration.

Notwithstanding Clovis's nutty rightwing politics , his description of what Halper may have been up to makes sense as does his observation that Halper was trying " to build something that did not exist ." Despite countless hyper-ventilating headlines about mysterious Trump Tower meetings and the like, the sad truth is that Russiagate after all these months is shaping up as even more of a "nothing-burger" than Obama administration veteran Van Jones said it was back in mid-2017. Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller has indicted Papadopoulos and others on procedural grounds, he has indicted former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort for corruption, and he has charged a St. Petersburg company known as the Internet Research Agency with violating US election laws.

But the corruption charges have nothing to do with Russian collusion and nothing in the indictment against IRA indicates that either the Kremlin or the Trump campaign were involved. Indeed, the activities that got IRA in trouble in the first place are so unimpressive – just $46,000 worth of Facebook ads that it purchased prior to election day, some pro-Trump, some anti, and some with no particular slant at all – that Mueller probably wouldn't even have bothered if he hadn't been under intense pressure to come up with anything at all.

The same goes for the army of bots that Russia supposedly deployed on Twitter. As The Washington Post noted in an oddly, cool-headed Dec. 2 article , 2, 700 suspected Russian-linked accounts generated just 202,000 tweets in a six-year period ending in August 2017, a drop in a bucket compared to the one billion election-related tweets sent out during the fourteen months leading up to Election Day.

The Steele dossier is also underwhelming. It declares on one page that the Kremlin sought to cultivate Trump by throwing "various lucrative real estate development business deals" his way but says on another that Trump's efforts to drum up business were unavailing and that he thus "had to settle for the use of extensive sexual services there from local prostitutes rather than business success."

Why would Trump turn down business offers when he couldn't generate any on his own? The idea that Putin would spot a U.S. reality-TV star somewhere around 2011 and conclude that he was destined for the Oval Office five years later is ludicrous. The fact that the Democratic National Committee funded the dossier via its law firm Perkins Coie renders it less credible still, as does the fact that the world has heard nothing more about the alleged video despite the ongoing deterioration in US-Russian relations. What's the point of making a blackmail tape if you don't use it?

Steele: Paid for political research, not intelligence.

Even Steele is backing off. In a legal paper filed in response to a libel suit last May, he said the document "did not represent (and did not purport to represent) verified facts, but were raw intelligence which had identified a range of allegations that warranted investigation given their potential national security implications." The fact is that the "dossier" was opposition research, not an intelligence report. It was neither vetted by Steele nor anyone in an intelligence agency. Opposition research is intended to mix truths and fiction, to dig up plausible dirt to throw at your opponent, not to produce an intelligence assessment at taxpayer's expense to "protect" the country. And Steele was paid for it by the Democrats, not his government.

Using it Anyway

Nonetheless, the spooks have made the most of such pseudo-evidence. Dearlove and Wood both advised Steele to take his "findings" to the FBI, while, after the election, Wood pulled Sen. John McCain aside at a security conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to let him know that the Russians might be blackmailing the president-elect. McCain dispatched long-time aide David J. Kramer to the UK to discuss the dossier with Steele directly.

Although Kramer denies it, The New Yorker found a former national-security official who says he spoke with him at the time and that Kramer's goal was to have McCain confront Trump with the dossier in the hope that he would resign on the spot. When that didn't happen, Clapper and Brennan arranged for FBI Director James Comey to confront Trump instead. Comey later testified that he didn't want Trump to think he was creating "a J. Edgar Hoover-type situation – I didn't want him thinking I was briefing him on this to sort of hang it over him in some way."

But how could Trump think otherwise? As Consortium News founding editor Robert Parry observed a few days later, the maneuver "resembles a tactic out of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover's playbook on government-style blackmail: I have some very derogatory information about you that I'd sure hate to see end up in the press."

Since then, the Democrats have touted the dossier at every opportunity, The New Yorker continues to defend it , while Times columnist Michelle Goldberg cites it as well, saying it's a "rather obvious possibility that Trump is being blackmailed." CNN, for its part, suggested not long ago that the dossier may actually be Russian disinformation designed to throw everyone off base, Republicans and Democrats alike.

It sounds more like CIA paranoia raised to the nth degree. But that's what the intelligence agencies are for, i.e. to spread fear and propaganda in order to stampede the public into supporting their imperial agenda. In this case, their efforts are so effective that they've gotten lost in a fog of their own making. If the corporate press fails to point this out, it's because reporters are too befogged themselves to notice.

Daniel Lazare is the author of The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy (Harcourt Brace, 1996) and other books about American politics. He has written for a wide variety of publications from The Nation to Le Monde Diplomatique , and his articles about the Middle East, terrorism, Eastern Europe, and other topics appear regularly on such websites as Jacobin and The American Conservative.


Vivian O'Blivion , June 4, 2018 at 6:36 am

Interesting technical detail.

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/06/04/mueller-russia-troll-case-620653

Mueller is trying to omit the normal burden of legal liability, "wilful intent" in his charges against the St Petersburg, social media operation. In a horrifically complex area such as tax, campaign contributions or lobbying, a foreign entity can be found guilty of breaking a law that they cannot reasonably have been expected to have knowledge of.

But the omission or inclusion of "wilful intent" is applied on a selective basis depending on the advantage to the deep state. From a practical standpoint, omission of "wilful intent" makes it easier for Mueller to get a guilty verdict (in adsentia assuming this is legally valid in America). Once the "guilt" of the St Petersburg staff is established, any communication between an American and them becomes "collusion".

This stinks.

Realist , June 3, 2018 at 4:50 am

"Russiagate" continues to attract mounting blowback at Clinton, Obama and the Dems. Might well be they who end up charged with lawbreaking, though I'd be surprised if anyone in authority is ever really punished. https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-06-02/fbi-spying-trump-started-london-earlier-thought-new-texts-implicate-obama-white

I've always thought that the great animus between Obama and Trump stemmed from Trump's persistent birtherist attacks on Obama followed by Obama's public ridicule of Trump at the White House Correspondants' Dinner. Without the latter, Trump probably would not have been motivated to run for the presidency. Without the former, Obama would probably not have gotten into the gutter to defeat and embarrass Trump at all costs. Clinton and Obama probably never recruit British spooks to sabotage and provide a pretense for spying on the campaigns of Jeb, Ted or Little Marco. Since these were all warmongers like Hillary and Obama, the issues would have been different, Russia would not have been a factor, and Putin would have had no alleged "puppet."

The irony is that Clinton and Obama wanted Trump as her opponent. They cultivated his candidacy via liberal media bias throughout the primaries. (MSNBC and Rachel Maddow were always cutting away to another full length Trump victory speech and rally, including lots of jibber jabber with the faithful supporters.) Why? Because they thought he was the easiest to beat. The polls actually had Hillary losing against the other GOP candidates. The Dems beat themselves with their own choice of candidate and all the intrigue, false narratives and other questionable practices they employed in both the primaries and the general. That's what really happened.

backwardsevolution , June 3, 2018 at 2:50 pm

Realist – good post. I think what you say is true. Trump got too caught up in the birther crap, and Obama retaliated. But I think that Trump had been thinking about the presidency long before Obama came along. He sees the country differently than Obama and Clinton do. Trump would never have built up China to the point where all American technology has been given away for free, with millions of jobs lost and a huge trade deficit, and he would have probably left Russia alone, not ransacked it.

I saw Obama as a somewhat reluctant globalist and Hillary as an eager globalist. They are both insiders. Trump is not. He's interested in what is best for the U.S., whereas the Clinton's and the Bush's were interested in what their corporate masters wanted. The multinationals have been selling the U.S. out, Trump is trying to put a stop to this, and it is going to be a fight to the death. Trump is playing hardball with China (who ARE U.S. multinationals), and it is working. Beginning July 1, 2018, China has agreed to reduce its tariffs:

"Import tariffs for apparel, footwear and headgear, kitchen supplies and fitness products will be more than halved to an average of 7.1 percent from 15.9 percent, with those on washing machines and refrigerators slashed to just 8 percent, from 20.5 percent.

Tariffs will also be cut on processed foods such as aquaculture and fishing products and mineral water, from 15.2 percent to 6.9 percent.

Cosmetics, such as skin and hair products, and some medical and health products, will also benefit from a tariff cut to 2.9 percent from 8.4 percent.

In particular, tariffs on drugs ranging from penicillin, cephalosporin to insulin will be slashed to zero from 6 percent before.

In the meantime, temporary tariff rates on 210 imported products from most favored nations will be scrapped as they are no longer favorable compared with new rates."

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-economy-tariffs/china-to-cut-import-tariffs-for-some-consumer-goods-from-most-favored-nations-idUSKCN1IW1PY

Trade with China has been all one way. At least Trump is leveling the playing field. He at least is trying to bring back jobs, something the "insiders" could care less about.

I agree that Hillary wanted Trump as an opponent, thought she could easily win. I've underestimated idiot opponents before, always to my detriment. Why is it that they are always the most formidable? The "insiders" are so used to voters rolling over, taking it on the chin. They gave away their jobs, replaced them with the service industry, killed their sons and daughters in wars abroad, and still the American people cast their ballots in their favor. This time was different. The insiders just did not see the sea change, not like Trump did.

Abe , June 2, 2018 at 2:20 am

"Pentagon documents indicate that the Department of Defense's shadowy intelligence arm, the Office of Net Assessment, paid Halper $282,000 in 2016 and $129,000 in 2017. According to reports, Halper sought to secure Papadopoulos's collaboration by offering him $3,000 and an all-expenses-paid trip to London, ostensibly to produce a research paper on energy issues in the eastern Mediterranean.

"The choice of Halper for this spying operation has ominous implications. His deep ties to the US intelligence apparatus date back decades. His father-in-law was Ray Cline, who headed the CIA's Directorate of Intelligence at the height of the Cold War. Halper served as an aide to Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and Alexander Haig in the Nixon and Ford administrations.

"In 1980, as the director of policy coordination for Ronald Reagan's presidential campaign, Halper oversaw an operation in which CIA officials gave the campaign confidential information on the Carter administration and its foreign policy. This intelligence was in turn utilized to further back-channel negotiations between Reagan's campaign manager and subsequent CIA director William Casey and representatives of Iran to delay the release of the American embassy hostages until after the election, in order to prevent Carter from scoring a foreign policy victory on the eve of the November vote.

"Halper subsequently held posts as deputy assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs and senior adviser to the Pentagon and Justice Department. More recently, Halper has collaborated with Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6, the British intelligence service, in directing the Cambridge Security Initiative (CSi), a security think tank that lists the US and UK governments as its principal clients.

"Before the 2016 election, Halper had expressed his view – shared by predominant layers within the intelligence agencies – that Clinton's election would prove 'less disruptive' than Trump's.

"The revelations of the role played by Halper point to an intervention in the 2016 elections by the US intelligence agencies that far eclipsed anything one could even imagine the Kremlin attempting."

Long-time CIA asset named as FBI's spy on Trump campaign By Bill Van Auken https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/05/21/poli-m21.html

CitizenOne , June 1, 2018 at 11:19 pm

Sorry for not commenting on other posts as of yet. But I think I have a different perspective. Russia Gate is not about Hillary Clinton or Putin but it is about Donald Trump. Specifically an effort to get rid of him by the intelligence agencies and the MSM. The fact is the MSM created Trump and were chiefly responsible for his election. Trump is their brainchild starlet used to fleece all the republican campaigns like a huckster fleeces an audience. It all ties to key Supreme Court rulings eliminating campaign finance regulations which ushered in the age of dark money.

When billionaires can donate unlimited amounts of money anonymously to the candidate of their choosing what ends up is a field of fourteen wannabes in a primary race each backed by their own investor(s). The only way these candidates can win is to convince us to vote. The only way they can do that is to spend on advertising.

What the MSM dreamed of in a purely capitalistic way was a way to drain the wallets of every single one of the republican Super PACs. The mission was fraught with potential checkmates. Foe example, there could be an early leader who snatched up the needed delegates for the nomination early on which would have stopped the flow of advertising cash flowing to the MSM. Such possibilities worried the MSM and caused great angst since this might just be the biggest haul they ever took in during a primary season. How would they prevent a premature end of the money river. Like financial vampire bats, ticks and leeches they needed a way to keep the money flowing from the veins of the republican Super PACs until they were sucked dry.

What the MSM really needed was a bait which they could use to lure more dollars just like a horse race where the track owners needed a fast underdog horse to clean up. I believe the term is to be "hustled". The con men of the media hustlers decided they needed a way to cause all of the candidates to squirm uneasily and to then react to the news that Donald Trump was "in the lead".

It was a pure stroke of genius and it worked so well that Carl Rove is looking for a job and Donald Trump is sitting in the White House.

Those clever media folks. What a gift the Supreme Court handed them. But there was one little (or big) problem. The problem was the result of the scam put Trump in the White House. Something that no conservative republican would ever sign onto. Trump had spent years as a democrat, hobnobbed with the Clinton's and was an avowed agnostic who favored the liberal ideology for the most part.

What to do? Trump was now the Commander in Chief and was spouting nonsense that the establishment recoiled at such as Trumps plans to form economic ties with Russia rather than continue to wage a cold war spanning 65 years which the MIC used year after year to spook us all and guarantee their billions annual increase in funding. Trump directly attacked defense projects and called for de-funding major initiatives like F35 etc.

The new guy in the White House with his crazy ideas of making friends with Vladimir Putin horrified a national arms industry funded with hundreds of billions of our tax dollars every year propped up by all the neocons with their paranoid beliefs and plans to make America the hegemon of the World. Our foreign allies who use the USA to fight their perceived enemies and entice our government to sell them weapons and who urge us to orchestrate the overthrow of governments were all alarmed by the "not a real republican" peace-nick occupying the White House.

What to do? There was clearly a need to eliminate this bad guy since his avowed policies were in direct opposition to the game plan that had successfully compromised the former administration. They felt powerless to dissuade the Administration to continue the course and form strategies to eliminate Iran, Syria, North Korea, Libya, Ukraine and other vulnerable targets swaying toward China and Russia. They faced a new threat with the Trump Administration which seemed hell bent to discontinue the wars in these regions robbing them of many dollars.

It is probable that the casino and hotel owner in the White House posed an very threatening alternate strategy of forming economic ties with former enemies which scared the hell out of the arms industry which built its economy on scaring all of us and justifying its existence based on foreign enemies.

So the MSM and the MIC created a new cold war with their friends at the New York Times and the Washington Post which published endless stories about the new Russian threat we faced. It had nothing to do with the 0.02% Twitter and Facebook "influence" that Russia actually had in the election. It was billed as the crime of the century. The real crime was that they committed the crime of the century that they mightily profited from by putting Trump in the White House in the first place with a plan to grab all the election cash they could grab.

In the interim, they also forgot on purpose to tell anyone about the election campaign finance fraud that they were the chief beneficiaries of. They also of course forgot to tell anyone what the fight was about for the Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. Twenty seven million dollars in dark money was donated by dark money donors enabled by the Supreme Court's decisions to eliminate campaign finance regulations which enabled these donors to buy out Congress and elect and confirm a Supreme Court Justice who would uphold the laws which eliminate all the election rules and campaign finance regulations dating back to the Tillman Act of 1907 which was an attempt to eliminate corporate contributions in political campaigns with associated meager fines as penalties. The law was weak then and has now been eliminated.

In an era of dark money in politics protected by revisionist judges laying at the top of our federal judicial branch posing as strict constructionists while being funded by the corporatocracy that viciously fights over control of the highest court by a panicked republican party that seeks to tie up their domination in our Congress by any means including the abdication of the Constitutional authority granted to the citizens of the nation we now face a new internal enemy.

That enemy is not some foreign nation but our own government which conspires to represent the wealthy and the powerful and which exalts them and which enacts laws to defend their control of our nation. Here is a quote:

When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.

Frederic Bastiat – (1801-1850) in Economic Sophisms

Realist , June 1, 2018 at 4:32 am

Different journalist covering much the same ground:

http://www.unz.com/mwhitney/why-is-the-new-york-times-misleading-the-american-people-about-the-paid-informant-who-was-spying-on-the-trump-campaign/

"Russiagate" is strictly a contrivance of the Deep State, American & British Spookery, and the corporate media propagandists. It clearly needs to be genuinely investigated (unlike the mockery being orchestrated by Herr Mueller from the Ministry of Truth), re-christened "Intellgate" (after the real perpetrators of crime), pursued until all the guilty traitors (including Mueller) who really tried to steal our democratic election are tried, convicted and incarcerated (including probably hundreds complicit from the media) and given its own lengthy chapter in all the history books about "The Election They Tried to Steal and Blame on Russia: How America Nearly Lost its Constitution." If not done, America will lose its constitution, or rather the incipient process will become totally irreversible.

Vivian O'Blivion , June 1, 2018 at 6:25 am

Your timing of events is confused.
The deep state didn't try and steal the election because they were overly complacent that their woman would win. Remember, they didn't try to use the dodgy, Steele dossier before the election.
What the deep state has done is reactively try to overcome the election outcome by launching an investigation into Trump. The egregious element of the investigation is giving it the title "investigation into collusion" when they in all probability knew that collusion was unlikely to have taken place. To achieve their aim (removing Trump) they included the line "and matters arising" in the brief to give them an open ended remit which allowed them to investigate Trump's business dealings of a Russian / Ukrainian nature (which may venture uncomfortably close to Semion Mogilevich).
If as you state (and I concur) there was no Russian collusion, then barring fabrication of evidence by Mueller (and there is little evidence of that to date) you have nothing to worry about on the collusion front. Remember, to date, Mueller has stuck (almost exclusively) to meat and potatoes charges like tax evasion and money laundering. If however the investigation leads to credible evidence that Trump broke substantive laws in the past for financial gain, then it is not reasonable to cry foul.

Seer , June 1, 2018 at 7:02 am

The Deep State assisted the DNC in knocking out Sanders. THAT was ground zero. Everything since then has been to cover this up and to discredit Trump (using him as the distraction). Consider that the Deep State never bothered to investigate the DNC servers/data; reason being is that they'd (Deep State) be implicated.

Skip Scott , June 1, 2018 at 7:29 am

Very true Seer. That is the real genesis of RussiaGate. It was a diversion tactic to keep people from looking at the DNC's behavior during the primaries. They are the reason Trump is president, not the evil Ruskies.

Vivian O'Blivion , June 1, 2018 at 8:13 am

We all seem agreed that the Russia collusion is an exercise in distraction. I can't say I know enough to comment with authority on whether the DNC would require assistance from the deep state to trash Bernie. From an outsider perspective it looked more like an application of massively disproportionate spending and standard, back room dirty tricks.
There is a saying; don't attribute to conspiracy that which can be explained by incompetence. In this case, try replacing incompetence with MONEY.

dikcheney , June 2, 2018 at 5:09 pm

Totally agree with you Skip and the Mueller performance is there to keep up the intimidation and distraction by regularly finding turds to throw at Trump. Mueller doesnt need to find anything, he just needs to create vague intimations of 'guilty Trump' and suspicious associates so that no one will look at the DNC or the Clinton corruption or the smashing of the Sanders campaign.

Their actual agenda is to smother analysis and clear thinking. Thankfully there is the forensicator piecing the jigsaw as well as consortium news.

robjira , June 1, 2018 at 11:55 am

Spot on, Seer.

michael , June 1, 2018 at 4:49 pm

Those servers probably had a lot more pay-to-play secrets from the Clinton Foundation and ring-kissing from foreign big donors than what was released by Wikileaks, which mostly was just screwing over Bernie, which the judge ruled was Hillary's prerogative. Some email chains were probably construed as National Security and were discreetly not leaked.
The 30,000 emails Hillary had bit bleached from her private servers are likely in the hands of Russians and every other major country, all biding their time for leverage. This was the carrot the British (who undoubtedly have copies as well) dangled over idiot Popodopolous.

Uncle Bob , June 1, 2018 at 10:33 pm

Seth Rich

anon , June 1, 2018 at 7:42 am

Realist is likely referring to events before the election which involved people with secret agency connections, such as the opposition research (Steele dossier and Skripal affair).

Realist , June 1, 2018 at 9:32 am

Realist responded but is being "moderated" as per usual.

Realist , June 1, 2018 at 9:31 am

Hillary herself was a prime force in cooking up the smear against Trump for being "Putin's puppet." This even before the Democratic convention. Then she used it big time during the debates. It wasn't something merely reactive after she lost. Certainly she and her collaborators inside the deep state and the intelligence agencies never imagined that she would lose and have to distract from what she and her people did by projecting the blame onto Trump. That part was reactive. The rest of the conspiracy was totally proactive on her part and that of the DNC, even during the primaries.

Don't forget, the intel agencies led by Clapper, Brennan and Comey were all working for Obama at the time and were totally acquiescent in spying on the Trump campaign and "unmasking" the identities and actions of his would-be administration, including individuals like General Flynn. The cooked up Steele dossier was paid for by money from the Clinton campaign and used as a pretext for the intel agencies to spy on the Trump campaign. There is no issue on timing. The establishment was fully behind Clinton by hook or crook from the moment Trump had the delegates to win the GOP nomination. (OBTW, I am not a Trump supporter or even a Republican, so I KNOW that I "have nothing to worry about on the collusion front." I'm a registered Dem, though not a Hillary supporter.)

Moreover, if you think that Mueller (and the other intel chiefs) have been on the impartial up-and-up, why did the FBI never seize and examine the DNC servers? Why simply accept the interpretation of events given by the private cybersecurity firm (Crowdstrike) that the Clinton campaign hired to very likely mastermind a cover-up? That is exceptional (nay, unheard of!) "professional courtesy." Why has Mueller to this day not deposed Julian Assange or former British Ambassador Craig Murray, both of whom admit to knowing precisely who provided the leaked (not hacked) Podesta and DNC emails to Wikileaks? Why has Mueller not pursued the potential role of the late Seth Rich in the leaking of said emails? Why has Mueller not pursued the robust theory, based on actual evidence, proposed by VIPS, and supported by computer experts like Bill Binney and John McAfee, that the emails were not, as the Dems and the intel agencies would have you believe on NO EVIDENCE, hacked (by the "Russians" or anyone else) but were downloaded to a flash drive directly from the DNC servers? Why has Mueller not deposed Binney or Ray McGovern who claim to have evidence to bear on this and have discussed it freely in the media (to the miniscule extent that the corporate media will give them an audience)? Is Mueller after the truth, or is this a kangaroo court he is running? Is the media really independent and impartial or are they part of a cover-up, perpetrating numerous sins of both commission and omission in their highly flawed reportage?

I don't see clarity in what has been thus far been propounded by Mueller or any of Trump's other accusers, but I don't think I am the one who is confused here, Vivian. If you want to meet a thoroughly confused individual on what transpired leading up to this moment in American political history, just go read Hillary's book. Absolutely everyone under the sun shares in the blame but her for the fact that she does not presently reside in the White House.

Vivian O'Blivion , June 1, 2018 at 1:48 pm

You have presented your case with a great deal more detail and clarity than the original post that prompted my reply. You are also a great deal more knowledgeable than I on the details. I think we are 98% in agreement and I wouldn't like to say who's correct on the remaining 2%.
For clarity, I didn't follow the debates and wouldn't do so now if they were repeated. Much heat very little light.
The "pretext" that the intel agencies claim launched their actions against Trump was not the Steele dossier, at least that is what the intel agencies say. Either way your assertion that it was the dossier that set things off is just that, an assertion. I think this is a minor point.
On the DNC servers and the FBI we are 100% singing from the same hymn book and it all sticks. Mueller's apparent disinterest in the question of hack or USB drive does rather taint his investigation and thanks for pointing this out, I hadn't thought of that angle. I still think Mueller will stick to tax and money laundering and stay well clear of "collusion", so yes he may be running a kangaroo court investigation but the charges will be real world.
The MSM as a whole are a sick joke which is why we collectively find ourselves at CN, Craig Murray's blog, etc. I wouldn't like to attribute "collaboration" to any individual in the media. It was the reference to hundreds of journalists being sent to jail in your original post that set me off in the first place. When considering the "culpability" of any individual journalist you can have any position on a spectrum from; fully cognisant collaborator with a deep state conspiracy, to; a bit dim and running with the "sexy" story 'cause it's the biggest thing ever, the bosses can't get enough of it and the overtime is great. If American journalists are anything like their UK counterparts, 99% will fall into the latter category.
Don't have any issue with your final point. Hillary on stage and on camera was phoney as rocking horse s**te and everyone outside her extremely highly remunerated team could see it.
Sorry for any inconvenience, but your second post makes your points a hell of a lot clearer than the original.

Realist , June 1, 2018 at 4:26 pm

My purpose for the first post in this thread was to direct readers to the article in Unz by Mike Whitney, not to compress a full-blown amateur expose' by myself into a three-sentence paragraph. You would have found much more in the way of facts, analysis and opinion in his article to which my terse comments did not even serve as an abstract.

Quoting his last paragraph may give you the flavor of this piece, which is definitely not a one-off by him or other actual journalists who have delved into the issues:

"Let's see if I got this right: Brennan gets his buddies in the UK to feed fake information on Russia to members of the Trump campaign, after which the FBI uses the suspicious communications about Russia as a pretext to unmask, wiretap, issue FISA warrants, and infiltrate the campaign, after which the incriminating evidence that was collected in the process of entrapping Trump campaign assistants is compiled in a legal case that is used to remove Trump from office. Is that how it's supposed to work?

It certainly looks like it. But don't expect to read about it in the Times."

backwardsevolution , June 1, 2018 at 4:49 pm

Vivian – 90% of all major media is owned by six corporations. There most definitely was and IS collusion between some of them to bring down the outsider, Trump.

As far as individual journalists go, yeah, they're trying to pay their mortgage, I get it, and they're going to spin what their boss bloody well tells them to spin. But there is evidence coming out that "some" journalists did accept money from either Fusion GPS, Perkins Coie (sp) or Christopher Steele to leak information, which they did.

Bill Clinton passed the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that enabled these six media conglomerates to dominate the news. Of course they're political. They need to be split up, like yesterday, into a thousand pieces (ditto for the banks). They have purposely and with intent been feeding lies to the American people. Yes, some SHOULD go to jail.

As Peter Strzok of the FBI said re Trump colluding with Russia, "There was never any there, there." The collusion has come from the intelligence agencies, in cahoots with Hillary Clinton, perhaps even as high as Obama, to prevent Trump being elected. When that failed, they set out to get him impeached on whatever they could find. Of course Mueller is going to stick with tax and money laundering because he already KNOWS there was never any collusion with Russia.

This is the Swamp versus the People.

backwardsevolution , June 1, 2018 at 1:52 pm

Realist – another excellent post. "Is Mueller after the truth, or is this a kangaroo court he is running?" As you rightly point out, Mueller IS being very selective in what he examines and doesn't examine. He's not after the whole truth, just a particular kind of truth, one that gets him a very specific result – to take down or severely cripple the President.

Evidence continues to trickle out. Former and active members of the FBI are now even begging to testify as they are disgusted with what is being purposely omitted from this so-called "impartial" investigation. This whole affair is "kangaroo" all the way.

I'm not so much a fan of Trump as I am a fan of the truth. I don't like to see him – anyone – being railroaded. That bothers me more than anything. But he's right about what he calls "the Swamp". If these people are not uncovered and brought to justice, then the country is truly lost.

Realist , June 1, 2018 at 4:38 pm

Precisely. Destroy the man on false pretenses and you destroy our entire system, whether you like him and his questionable policies or not.

Some people would say it's already gone, but we do what we can to get it back or hold onto to what's left of it. Besides, all the transparent lies and skullduggery in the service of politics rather than principles are just making our entire system look as corrupt as hell.

michael , June 1, 2018 at 5:00 pm

When Mueller arrested slimy Manafort for crimes committed in the Ukraine and gave a pass to the Podesta Brothers who worked closely with Manafort, it was clear that Russiagate was a partisan operation.

backwardsevolution , June 1, 2018 at 6:17 pm

Michael – good point!

KiwiAntz , June 1, 2018 at 1:00 am

Its becoming abundantly clear now, that the whole Russiagate charade was had nothibg to do with Russia & is about a elaborate smokescreen & shellgame coverup designed to divert attention away from, firstly the Democratic Party's woeful defeat & its lousy Candidate choice in the corrupt Hillary Clinton? & also the DNC's sabotaging of Bernie Saunders campaign run! But the most henious & treacherous parts was Obama's, weaponising the intelligence agencies to spy (Halper) on the imaginary Mancharian Candidate Trump & to set him up as a Russia stooge? Obama & Hillary Clinton are complicent in this disgraceful & illegal activity to get dirt on Trump withe goal of ensuring Clinton's election win? This is bigger than Watergate & more scandalous? But despite the cheating & stacking of the card deck, she still lost out to the Donald? And this isn't just illegal its treasonous & willful actions deserving of a lengthy jail incarceration? HRC & her crooked Clinton foundation's funding of the fraudulent & discredited "Steele Dosier" was also used to implement Trump & Russia in a made up, pile of fictitious gargage that was pure offal? Obama & HRC along with their FBI & CIA spys need to be rounded up, convicted & thrown in jail? Perhaps if Trump could just shut his damn mouuth for once & get off twitter long enough to be able too get some Justice Dept officials looking into this, without being distracted by this Russiagate shellgame fakery, then perhaps the real criminal's like Halpert, Obama,HRC & these corrupt spooks & spies can be rounded up & held to account for this treasonous behaviour?

Sean Ahern , May 31, 2018 at 7:25 pm

Attention should be paid also to the role of so called progressive media outlets such as Mother Jones which served as an outlets for the disinformation campaign described in Lazare's article.
Here from David Corn's Mother Jones 2016 article:

"And a former senior intelligence officer for a Western country who specialized in Russian counterintelligence tells Mother Jones that in recent months he provided the bureau with memos, based on his recent interactions with Russian sources, contending the Russian government has for years tried to co-opt and assist Trump -- and that the FBI requested more information from him."
https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/10/veteran-spy-gave-fbi-info-alleging-russian-operation-cultivate-donald-trump/

Not only was Corn and Mother Jones selected by the spooks as an outlet, but these so called progressives lauded their 'expose' as a great investigative coup on their part and it paved the way for Corn's elevation on MSNBC for a while as a 'pundit.'

Paul G. , May 31, 2018 at 8:46 pm

In that vein did the spooks influence Rachel Maddow or is her $30,000. a day salary adequate to totally compromise her microscopic journalistic integrity.

dikcheney , June 3, 2018 at 6:57 am

Passing around references to Mother Jones is like passing round used toilet paper for another try. MJ is BS it is entirely controlled fake press.

Abby , May 31, 2018 at 6:23 pm

Stefan Halper was being paid by the Clinton's foundation during the time he was spying on the Trump campaign. This is further evidence that Hillary Clinton's hands are all over getting Russia Gate started. Then there's the role that Obama's justice department played in setting up the spying on people who were working with the Trump campaign. This is worse than Watergate, IMO.

Rumors are that a few ex FBI agents are going to testify to congress in Comey's role in covering up Hillary's crimes when she used her private email server to send classified information to people who did not have clearance to read it. Sydney Bluementhol was working for Hillary's foundation and sending her classified information that he stole from the NSA.

Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills were concerned about Obama knowing that Hillary wasn't using her government email account after he told the press that he only found out about it at the same time they did. He had been sending and receiving emails from her Clintonone email address during her whole tenure as SOS.

Obama was also aware of her using her foundation for pay to play which she was told by both congress and Obama to keep far away from her duties. Why did she use her private email server? So that Chelsea could know where Hillary was doing business so she could send Bill there to give his speeches to the same organizations, foreign governments and people who had just donated to their foundation.

Has any previous Secretary of State in history used their position to enrich their spouses or their foundations? I think not.

The secrets of how the FBI covered for Hillary are coming out. Whether she is charged for her crimes is a different matter.

F. G. Sanford , May 31, 2018 at 7:48 pm

If Hillary paid a political operative using Clinton Foundation funds – those are tax exempt charitable contributions – she would be guilty of tax fraud, charity fraud and campaign finance violations. Hillary may be evil, but she's not stupid. The U.S.Government paid Halper, which might be "waste, fraud and abuse", but it doesn't implicate Hillary at all. Not that she's innocent, mind you

Rob , June 1, 2018 at 2:14 am

I need some references to take any of your multitude of claims seriously. With all due respect, this sound like something taken from info wars and stylized in smartened up a little bit.

chris m , May 31, 2018 at 2:52 pm

the idea that Stefan Halper was some sort a of mastermind spy behind the so called "Russiagate" fiasco
seems very implausible considering what he seems to have spent doing for the past 40 years
going back to the Iran hostage crisis of 1979-1980 and his efforts then.

i think he must have had a fairly peripheral role as to whatever or not was going on behind the scenes from 2016 election campaign, and the campaign to first stop Trump getting elected, and secondly, when that failed, to bring down his Presidency.

of course, the moment his name was revealed in recent days, would have shocked or surprised those of in the general
public, but not certainly amongst those in Government aka FBI/CIA/Military-industrial circles.

backwardsevolution , May 31, 2018 at 4:36 pm

chris m – Halper is probably one of those people who hide behind their professor (or other legitimate) jobs, but are there at the ready to serve the Deep State. "I understand. You want me to set up some dupes in order to make it look like there was or could be actual Russian meddling. Gotcha." All you've got to do is make it "look like" something nefarious was going on. This facilitates a "reason" to have a phony investigation, and of course they make it as open-ended an investigation as possible, hoping to get the target on something, anything.

Well, they've no doubt looked long and hard for almost two years now, but zip. However, in their zeal to get rid of their opponent, who they did not think would win the election, they left themselves open, left a trail of crimes. Whoops!

This is the Swamp that Trump talked about during the election. He's probably not squeaky clean either, but he pales in comparison to what these guys have done. They have tried to take down a duly-elected President.

F. G. Sanford , May 31, 2018 at 5:09 pm

His role may have been peripheral, but I seem to recall that the Office of Net Assessments paid him roughly a million bucks to play it. That office, run from the Pentagon, is about as deep into the world of "black ops" spookdom as you can get. Hardly "peripheral", I'd say.

backwardsevolution , May 31, 2018 at 7:13 pm

F. G. Sanford – yes, a million bucks implies something more than just a peripheral involvement, more like something essential to the plot, like the actual setting up of the plot. Risk of exposure costs money.

ranney , May 31, 2018 at 6:17 pm

Chris, I think the Halper inclusion in this complex tale is simply an example of how these things work in the ultra paranoid style of spy agencies. As Lazare explains, every one knew every one else – at least at the start of this, and it just kind of built from there, and Halper may have been the spark – but the spark landed on a highly combustible pile of paranoia that caught on fire right away. This is how our and the UK agencies function. There is an interesting companion piece to this story today at Common Dreams by Robert Kohler titled The American Way of War. It describes basically the same sort of mind set and action as this story. I'd link it for you if I knew how, but I'm not very adept at the computer. (Maybe another reader knows how?)

We (that is the American people who are paying the salaries of these brain blocked, stiff necked idiots) need to start getting vocal and visible about the destructive path our politicians, banks and generals have rigidly put us on. Does any average working stiff still believe that all this hate, death and destruction is to "protect" us?

backwardsevolution , May 31, 2018 at 7:07 pm

ranney – when you are on the page that you want to link to, take your cursor (the little arrow on your screen) to the top of the page to the address bar (for instance, the address for this article is:
"https://consortiumnews.com/2018/05/31/spooks-spooking ")

Once your cursor is over the address bar, right click on your mouse. A little menu will come up. Then position your cursor down to the word "copy" and then left click on your mouse. This will copy the link.

Then proceed back to the blog (like Consortium) where you want to provide the link in your post. You might say, "Here is the link for the article I just described above." Then at this point you would right click on your mouse again, position your cursor over the word "paste", and then left click on your mouse. Voila, your link magically appears.

If you don't have a mouse and are using a laptop pad, then someone else will have to help you. That's above my pay grade. Good luck, ranney.

irina , May 31, 2018 at 8:13 pm

If you are using a Mac, either laptop w/touch screen or with a mouse, the copy/paste function
works similarly. Use either the mouse (no need to 'right click, left click') or the touch screen
to highlight the address bar once you have the cursor flashing away on the left side of it.
You may need to scroll right to highlight the whole address. Then go up to Edit (there's also
a keyboard command you can use, but I don't) in your tool bar at the top of your screen.
Click on 'copy'. Now your address is in memory. Then do the same as described above to
get back to where you want to paste it. Put your cursor where you want it to be 'pasted'.
Go back to 'edit' and click 'paste'. Voila !

This is a very handy function and can be used to copy text, web addresses, whatever you want.
Explore it a little bit. (Students definitely overuse the 'paste and match style' option, which allows
a person to 'paste' text into for example an essay and 'match the style' so it looks seamless, although
unless carefully edited it usually doesn't read seamlessly !)

Remember that whatever is in 'copy' will remain there until you 'copy' something else. (Or your
computer crashes . . . )

ranney , June 1, 2018 at 3:39 pm

Irina and Backwards Evolution – Thanks guys for the computer advice! I'll try it, but I think I need someone at my shoulder the first time I try it.

backwardsevolution , June 1, 2018 at 8:53 pm

ranney – you're welcome! Snag one of your kids or a friend, and then do it together. Sometimes I see people posting things like: "Testing. I'm trying to provide a link, bear with me." Throw caution to the wind, ranney. I don't worry about embarrassing myself anymore. I do it every day and the world still goes on.

I heard a good bit of advice once, something I remind my kids: when you're young, you think everybody is watching you and so you're afraid to step out of line. When you're middle-aged, you think everybody is watching you, but you don't care. When you're older, you realize nobody is really watching you because they're more concerned about themselves.

Good luck, ranney.

irina , June 2, 2018 at 10:00 pm

I find it helpful to write down the steps (on an old fashioned piece of paper, with old fashioned ink)
when learning to use a new computer tool, because while I think I'll remember, it doesn't usually
'stick' until after using it for quite a while. And yes, definitely recruit a member of the younger set
or someone familiar with computers. My daughter showed me many years ago how to 'cut & paste'
and to her credit she was very gracious about it. Remember that you need a place to 'paste' what-
ever you copied -- either a comment board like this, or a document you are working on, or (this is
handy) an email where you want to send someone a link to something. Lots of other possibilities too!

mike , June 1, 2018 at 7:43 pm

No one is presenting Halper as a mastermind spy. He was a tool of the deep state nothing more.

Gary Weglarz , May 31, 2018 at 1:57 pm

It seems a mistake to frame the "Russiagate" nonsense as a "Democrat vs Republican" affair, except at the most surface level of understanding in terms of our political realities. If one considers that the Bush family has been effectively the Republican Party's face of the CIA/deep state nexus for decades, as the Clinton/Obama's have been the Democratic Party's face for decades now, what comes into focus is Trump as a sort of unknown, unexpected wild card not appropriately tethered to the control structure. Simply noting that the U.S. and Russia need not be enemies is alone enough to require an operation to get Trump into line.
This hardly means this is some sort of "partisan" issue as the involvement of McCain and others demonstrates.

One of the true "you can't make this stuff up" ironies of the Bush/Clinton CIA/deep state nexus history is worth remembering if one still maintains any illusions about how the CIA vets potential presidents since they killed JFK. During Iran/Contra we had Bush, the former CIA director now vice president, running a drugs for arms operation out the White House through Ollie North, WHILE then unknown Arkansas governor Bill Clinton was busy squashing Arkansas State Police investigations into said narcotics trafficking. Clinton obviously proved his bona fides to the CIA/deep state with such service and was appropriately rewarded as an asset who could function as a reliable president. Here in one operation we had two future presidents in Bush and Clinton both engaged in THE SAME CIA drug running operation. You truly can't make this stuff up.

Russiagate seems to be in the end all about keeping deep state policy moving in the "right direction" and "hating Russia" is the only entree on the menu at this time for the whole cadre of CIA/deep state, MIC, neocons, Zionists, and all their minions in the MSM. The Obama White House would have gladly supported Vlad the Impaler as the Republican candidate that beat Hillary if Vlad were to have the appropriate foaming at the mouth "hate-Russia" vibe going on.

backwardsevolution , May 31, 2018 at 7:18 pm

Gary – great post.

irina , May 31, 2018 at 8:18 pm

Roger that. I would really like to see an inquiry re-opened into the
teenage boys who died 'on the train tracks' in Arkansas during the
early years of the Clinton-Bush trafficking. Many questions are still
unanswered. Speculation is that they saw something they weren't
supposed to see.

Mark Thomason , May 31, 2018 at 1:12 pm

This all grows out of the failure to clean up the mess revealed by the Iraq fiasco. Instead, those who did that remained, got away with it, and are doing more of the same.

Babyl-on , May 31, 2018 at 12:46 pm

So, here is my question – Who, ultimately does the permanent/bureaucratic/deep/Imperial* state finally answer to? Who's interests are they serving? How do they know what those interests are?

It could be, and increasingly it looks as if, the answer is – no one in particular – but the Saud family, the Zionist cabal of billionaires, the German industrialist dynasties, the Japanese oligarchy and never forget the arms dealers, all of them once part of the Empire now fighting for themselves so we end up with the high level apparatchiks not knowing what to do or who to follow so they lie outright to Congress and go on TV and babble more lies for money.

It's a great contradiction that the greatest armed force ever assembled with cutting edge robotics and AI yet at the same time so weak and pathetic it can not exercise hegemony over the Middle East as it seems to desire more than anything. Being defeated by forces with less than 20% of the US spend.

Abby , May 31, 2018 at 6:36 pm

You're right. They answer to no one because they are not just working in this country, but they think that the whole world is theirs.

To these people there are no borders. They meet at places like the G20, Davos and wherever the Bilderberg group decides to meet every year. No leader of any country gets to be one unless they are acceptable to the Deep State. The council of foreign relations is one of the groups that run the world. How we take them down is a good question.

Abe , May 31, 2018 at 12:43 pm

Following the pattern of mainstream media, Daniel Lazare assiduously avoids mentioning Israel and pro-Israel Lobby interference in the 2016 presidential election, and the Israel-gate reality underlying all the Russia-gate fictions.

For example, George Papadopoulos is directly connected to the pro-Israel Lobby, right wing Israeli political interests, and Israeli government efforts to control regional energy resources.

Lazare mentions that Papadapoulos had "a friend in the Israeli embassy".

But Lazare conspicuously neglects to mention numerous Israeli and pro-Israel Lobby players interested in "filling Papadopoulos's head" with "tales of Russian dirty tricks".

Papadopoulos' LinkedIn page lists his association with the right wing Hudson Institute. The Washington, D.C.-based think tank part of pro-Israel Lobby web of militaristic security policy institutes that promote Israel-centric U.S. foreign policy.

https://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/hudson_institute/

The Hudson Institute confirmed that Papadopoulos was an intern who left the pro-Israel neoconservative think tank in 2014.

In 2014, Papadopoulos authored op-ed pieces in Israeli publications.

In an op-ed published in Arutz Sheva, media organ of the right wing Religionist Zionist movement embraced by the Israeli "settler" movement, Papadopoulos argued that the U.S. should focus on its "stalwart allies" Israel, Greece, and Cyprus to "contain the newly emergent Russian fleet".

In another op-ed published in Ha'aretz, Papadopoulos contended that Israel should exploit its natural gas resources in partnership with Cyprus and Greece rather than Turkey.

In November 2015, Papadapalous participated in a conference in Tel Aviv, discussing the export of natural gas from Israel with a panel of current and past Israeli government officials including Ron Adam, a representative of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Eran Lerman, a former Israeli Deputy National Security Adviser.

Among Israel's numerous violations of United Nations Resolution 242 was its annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights in 1981. Recent Israeli threatened military threats against Lebanon and Syria have a lot to do with control of natural gas resources, both offshore from Gaza and on land in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights region.

Israeli plans to develop energy resources and expand territorial holdings in the Syrian Golan are threatened by the Russian military presence in Syria. Russian diplomatic efforts, and the Russian military intervention that began in September 2015 after an official request by the Syrian government, have interfered with the Israeli-Saudi-U.S. Axis "dirty war" in Syria.

Israeli activities and Israel-gate realities are predictably ignored by the mainstream media, which continues to salivate at every moldy scrap of Russia-gate fiction.

Lazare need no be so circumspect, unless he has somehow been spooked.

Herman , May 31, 2018 at 4:13 pm

"Among Israel's numerous violations of United Nations Resolution 242 was its annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights in 1981. Recent Israeli threatened military threats against Lebanon and Syria have a lot to do with control of natural gas resources, both offshore from Gaza and on land in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights region."

And water. Rating energy and water, what's at the top for Israel. Israel would probably say both but Israel shielded by the US will take what it wants. That is already true with the Palestinians.. The last figure I heard is that the Palestinians are allocated one fifth per capita what is allocated to Israel's

mike k , May 31, 2018 at 11:59 am

A large swamp is actually an ancient and highly organized ecosystem. Only humans could create a lawless madness like Washington DC.

irina , May 31, 2018 at 8:24 pm

Yes that is a good description of a swamp. BUT, if it loses what sustains it --
water, in the case of a 'real' swamp and money in the case of this swamp --
it changes character very quickly and becomes first a bog, then a meadow.

I am definitely ready for more meadowland ! But the only way to create it
is to voluntarily redirect federal taxes into escrow accounts which stipulate
that the funds are to be used for (fill in the blank) Public Services at the
Local and Regional levels. Much more efficient than filtering them through
the federal bureaucracy !

Sam F , May 31, 2018 at 10:21 pm

But how would one avoid prosecution for nonpayment of taxes?
That seems a very quiet way to be rendered ineffective as a resister.

irina , June 1, 2018 at 2:30 am

The thing is, you don't 'nonpay' them. The way it used to work, through the
Con$cience and Military Tax Campaign Escrow Account, was that you filed
your taxes as usual. (This does require having less withholding than you owe).
BUT instead of paying what is due to the IRS, you send it to the Escrow Account.
You attach a letter to your tax return, explaining where the money is and why it
is there. That is, you want it to be spent on _________________(fill in the blank)
worthy public social service. Then you send your return to the IRS.

When I used to do this, I stated that I wanted my tax dollars to be spent to develop
public health clinics at neighborhood schools. Said clinics would be staffed by nurse
practitioners, would be open 24-7 and nurses would be equipped with vans to make
House Calls. Security would be provided.

So you're not 'nonpaying' your taxes, you are (attempting) to redirect them. Eventually,
after several rounds of letters back and forth, the IRS would seize the monies from the
escrow account, which would only release them to the IRS upon being told to by the
tax re-director. Unfortunately, not enough people participated to make it a going concern.
But the potential is still there, and the template has been made and used. It's very scale-
able, from local to international. And it would not take that many 're-directors' to shift the
focus of tax liability from the collector to the payor. Because ultimately we are liable for
how our funds are used !

Bill , June 2, 2018 at 3:19 pm

this was done a lot during the Vietnam conflict, especially by Quakers. the first thing, if you are a wage earner, is to re-file a W2 with maximum withholdings-that has two effects: 1) it means you owe all your taxes in April. 2) it means the feds are deprived of the hidden tax in which they use or invest your withholding throughout the year before it's actually due(and un-owed taxes if you over over-withhold). Pretty sure that if a large number of people deprive the government of that hidden tax by under-withholding, they will begin to take notice.

Abe , May 31, 2018 at 11:54 am

Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) is an intelligence agency of the government and armed forces of the United Kingdom.

In 2013, GCHQ received considerable media attention when the former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed that the agency was in the process of collecting all online and telephone data in the UK. Snowden's revelations began a spate of ongoing disclosures of global surveillance and manipulation.

For example, NSA files from the Snowden archive published by Glenn Greenwald reveal details about GCHQ's Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG) unit, which uses "dirty trick" tactics to covertly manipulate and control online communities.

JTRIG document: "The Art of Deception: Training for Online Covert Operations"
https://edwardsnowden.com/docs/doc/the-art-of-deception-training-for-a-new.pdf

In 2017, officials from the UK and Israel made an unprecedented confirmation of the close relationship between the GCHQ and Israeli intelligence services.

Robert Hannigan, outgoing Director-General of the GCHQ, revealed for the first time that his organization has a "strong partnership with our Israeli counterparts in signals intelligence." He claimed the relationship "is protecting people from terrorism not only in the UK and Israel but in many other countries."

Mark Regev, Israeli ambassador to the UK, commented on the close relationship between British and Israeli intelligence agencies. During remarks at a Conservative Friends of Israel reception, Regev opined: "I have no doubt the cooperation between our two democracies is saving British lives."

Hannigan added that GCHQ was "building on an excellent cyber relationship with a range of Israeli bodies and the remarkable cyber industry in Be'er Sheva."

The IDF's most important signal intelligence–gathering installation is the Urim SIGINT Base, a part of Unit 8200, located in the Negev desert approximately 30 km from Be'er Sheva.

Snowden revealed how Unit 8200 receives raw, unfiltered data of U.S. citizens, as part of a secret agreement with the U.S. National Security Agency.

After his departure from GCHQ, Hannigan joined BlueteamGlobal, a cybersecurity services firm, later re-named BlueVoyant.

BlueVoyant's board of directors includes Nadav Zafrir, former Commander of the Israel Defense Forces' Unit 8200. The senior leadership team at BlueVoyant includes Ron Feler, formerly Deputy Commander of the IDF's Unit 8200, and Gad Goldstein, who served as a division head in the Israel Security Agency, Shin Bet, in the rank equivalent to Major General.

In addition to their purported cybersecurity activities, Israeli. American, and British private companies have enormous access and potential to promote government and military deception operations.

mike k , May 31, 2018 at 12:23 pm

Thanks Abe. Sounds like a manual for slave owners and con men. What a tangled wed the rich bastards weave. The simple truth is their sworn enemy.

Sam F , May 31, 2018 at 10:19 pm

Interesting that a foreign power would be given all US communications data, which implies that the US has seized it all without a warrant and revealed it all in violation of the Constitution. If extensive, this use of information power amounts to information warfare against the US by its own secret agencies in collusion with a foreign power, an act of treason.

Seer , June 1, 2018 at 7:18 am

This has been going on for a LONG time, it's nothing new. I seem to recall 60 Minutes covering it way back in the 70s(?). UK was allowed to do the snooping in the US (and, likely, vice versa) and then providing info to the US. This way the US govt could claim that it didn't spy/snoop on its citizens. Without a doubt Israel has been extensively intercepting communications in the US..

Secrecy kills.

Sam F , June 1, 2018 at 8:23 am

Yes, but the act of allowing unregulated foreign agencies unwarranted access to US telecoms is federal crime, and it is treason when it goes so far as to allow them full access, and even direct US bulk traffic to their spy agencies. If this is so, these people should be prosecuted for treason.

F. G. Sanford , May 31, 2018 at 11:36 am

To listen to the media coverage of these events, it is tempting to believe that two entirely different planets are being discussed. Fox comes out and says Mueller was "owned" by Trump. Then, CNN comes out and says Trump was "owned" by Clapper. Clapper claims the evidence is "staggering", while video clips of his testimony reveal irrefutable perjury. Some of President Trump's policies are understandably abhorrent to Democrats, while Clinton's email server and charity frauds are indisputably violations of Federal statutes. Democrats are attempting to claim that a "spy" in the Trump campaign was perfectly reasonable to protect "national security", but evidence seems to indicate that the spy was placed BEFORE there was a legitimate national security concern. Some analysts note that, while Mueller's team appears to be Democratic partisan hacks, their native "skill set" is actually expertise in money laundering investigations. They claim that although Mr. Trump may not be compromised by the Russian government, he is involved with nefarious Russian organized crime figures. It follows, according to them, that given time, Mueller will reveal these illicit connections, and prosecution will become inevitable.

Let's assume, for argument, that both sides are right. That means that our entire government is irretrievably corrupt. Republicans claim that it could " go all the way to Obama". Democrats, of course, play the "moral high ground" card, insinuating that the current administration is so base and immoral that somehow, the "ends justify the means". No matter how you slice it, the Clinton campaign has a lot more liability on its hands. The problem is, if prosecutions begin, people will "talk" to save their own skins. The puppet masters can't really afford that.

"All the way to Obama", you say? I think it could go higher than that. Personally, I think it could go all the way to Dick Cheney, and the 'powers that be' are in no mood to let that happen.

Vivian O'Blivion , May 31, 2018 at 12:19 pm

The issue as I see it is that from the start everyone was calling the Mueller probe an investigation into collusion and not really grasping the catch all nature of his brief.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_Counsel_investigation_(2017–present)

It's the "any matters arising " that is the real kicker. So any dodgy dealing / possible criminal activity in the past is fair game. And this is exactly what in happening with Manafort.
Morally you can apply the Nucky Johnson defence and state that everyone knew Trump was a crook when they voted for him, but legally this has no value.
There is an unpleasant whiff of deep state interference with the will of the people (electoral college). Perhaps if most bodies hadn't written Trump's chances off in such an off hand manner, proper due diligence of his background would have uncovered any liabilities before the election.
If there is actionable dirt, can't say I am overly sympathetic to Trump. Big prizes sometimes come with big risks.

David G , May 31, 2018 at 5:14 pm

My own feeling from the start has been that Mueller was never going to track down any "collusion" or "meddling" (at least not to any significant degree) because the whole, sprawling Russia-gate narrative – to the extent one can be discerned – is obviously phony.

But at the same time, there's no way the completely lawless, unethical Trump, along with his scummy associates, would be able to escape that kind of scrutiny without criminal conduct being exposed.

So far, on both scores, that still seems to me to be a likely outcome, and for my part I'm fine with it.

Vivian O'Blivion , June 1, 2018 at 5:29 am

My thoughts exactly. Collusion was never a viable proposition because the Russians aren't that stupid. Regardless of any personal opinion regarding the intelligence and mental stability of Donald Snr., the people he surrounds himself with are weapons grade stupid. I don't see the Russians touching the Trump campaign with a proverbial barge pole.

Bill , June 2, 2018 at 3:26 pm

it just happens that Trump appears to have been involved (wittingly or not), with the laundering a whole lot of Russian money and so many of his friends seem to be connected with wealthy Russian oligarchs as well plus they are so stupid, they keep appearing to (and probably are) obstructing justice. The Cohen thing doesn't get much attention here, but it's significant that they have all this stuff on a guy who is clearly Trump's bagman.

Steve Naidamast , May 31, 2018 at 3:15 pm

There is also quite an indication that the entire Mueller investigation is a complete smoke screen to be used as cannon fodder in the mainstream media.

On the one hand, Mueller and his hacks have found nothing of import to link Trump to anything close to collusion with members of the Russian government. And I am by no means a Trump supporter by any stretch of the imagination, except as a foil to Clinton. However, even my minimalist expectations for Trump have not worked out either.

In addition. the Mueller investigation has been spending what appears to be a majority of its time on ancillary matters that were not within the supposed scope and mandate of this investigation. Further, a number of indictments have come down against people involved with such ancillary matters.

The result is that if Mueller is going beyond the scope of his investigatory mandate, this may come in as a technicality that will allow indicted persons to escape prosecution on appeal.

Such a mandate, I would think, is the same thing as a police warrant, which can find only admissible evidence covered by the warrant. Anything else found to be criminally liable must be found to be as a result of a completely different investigation that has nothing to do with the original warrant.

In other words, it appears that the Mueller investigation was allowed to commence under a Republican controlled Congress for the very reason that its intent is simply to go in circles long enough for Republicans to get their agendas through, which does not appear to be working all too well as a result of their high levels of internecine party conflicts.

This entire affair is coming to show just how dysfunctional, corrupt, and incompetent the entirety of the US federal government has become. And to the chagrin of all sincere activists, no amount of organized protesting and political action will ever rid the country of this grotesque political quagmire that now engulfs the entirety of our political infrastructure.

Sam F , May 31, 2018 at 8:48 pm

Very true that the US federal government is now "dysfunctional, corrupt, and incompetent."
What are your thoughts on forms of action to rid us this political quagmire?
(other than ineffective "organized protesting and political action")
Have you considered new forms of public debate and public information?

Seer , June 1, 2018 at 7:34 am

All of this is blackmail to hold Trump's feet to the fire of the Israel firsters (such actions pull in all the dark swampy things). By creating the Russia blackmail story they've effectively redirected away from themselves. The moment Trump balks the Deep State will reel in some more, airing innuendos to overwhelm Trump. Better believe that Trump has been fully "briefed" on all of this. John Bolton was able to push out a former OPCW head with threats (knew where his, the OPCW head's children were). And now John Bolton is sitting right next to Trump (whispering in his ear that he knows ways in which to oust Trump).

What actual "ideas" were in Trump's head going in to all of this (POTUS run) is hard to say. But, anything that can be considered a threat to the Deep State has been effectively nullified now.

Vivian O'Blivion , June 1, 2018 at 8:22 am

Possible, but Manafort already tried to get his charges thrown out as being the outcome of investigations beyond the remit He failed.

Brendan , May 31, 2018 at 10:26 am

There's no doubt at all that Joseph Mifsud was closely connected with western intelligence, and with MI6 in particular. His contacts with Russia are insignificant compared with his long career working amongst the elite of western officials.
Lee Smith of RealClearInvestigations lists some of the places where Mifsud worked, including two universities:

"he taught at Link Campus University in Rome, ( ) whose lecturers and professors include senior Western diplomats and intelligence officials from a number of NATO countries, especially Italy and the United Kingdom.

Mifsud also taught at the University of Stirling in Scotland, and the London Academy of Diplomacy, which trained diplomats and government officials, some of them sponsored by the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the British Council, or by their own governments."

Two former colleagues of Mifsud's, Roh and Pastor, recently interviewed him for a book they have written. Those authors could very well be biased, but one of them makes a valid point, similar to one that Daniel Lazare makes above:
"Given the affiliations of Link's faculty and staff, as well as Mifsud's pedigree, Roh thinks it's impossible that the man he hired as a business development consultant is a Russian agent."

Politically, Mifsud identifies with the Clintons more than anyone else, and claims to belong to the Clinton Foundation, which has often been accused of being just a way of funneling money into Hillary Clinton's campaign.

As Lee Smith says, if Mifsud really is a Russian spy, "Western intelligence services are looking at one of the largest and most embarrassing breaches in a generation. But none of the governments or intelligence agencies potentially compromised is acting like there's anything wrong."

From all that we know about Joseph Mifsud, it's safe to say that he was never a Russian spy. If not, then what was he doing when he was allegedly feeding stories to George Papadopoulos about Russians having 'dirt' on Clinton?

https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2018/05/26/the_maltese_phantom_of_russiagate_.html

David G , May 31, 2018 at 4:25 pm

I read somewhere that Mifsud had disappeared. Was that true? If so, is he back, or still missing?

Chet Roman , May 31, 2018 at 6:21 pm

Here are some excerpts that will answer your question from an article by Lee Smith at Realclearinvestigations, "The Maltese Phantom of Russiagate".

A new book by former colleagues of Mifsud's – Stephan Roh, a 50-year-old Swiss-German lawyer, and Thierry Pastor, a 35-year-old French political analyst – reports that he is alive and well. Their account includes a recent interview with him.

Their self-published book, "The Faking of Russia-gate: The Papadopoulos Case, an Investigative Analysis," includes a recent interview with Mifsud in which he denies saying anything about Clinton emails to Papadopoulos. Mifsud, they write, stated "vehemently that he never told anything like this to George Papadopoulos." Mifsud asked rhetorically: "From where should I have this [information]?"

Mifsud's account seems to be supported by Alexander Downer, the Australian diplomat who alerted authorities about Papadopoulos. As reported in the Daily Caller, Downer said Papadopoulos never mentioned emails; he spoke, instead, about the Russians possessing material that could be damaging to Clinton. This new detail raises the possibility that Mifsud, Papadopoulos' alleged source for the information, never said anything about Clinton-related emails either.

In interviews with RealClearInvestigations, Roh and Pastor said Mifsud is anything but a Russian spy. Rather, he is more likely a Western intelligence asset.

According to the two authors, it was a former Italian intelligence official, Vincenzo Scotti, a colleague of Mifsud's and onetime interior minister, who told the professor to go into hiding. "I don't know who was hiding him," said Roh, "but I'm sure it was organized by someone. And I am sure it will be difficult to get to the bottom of it."

Toby McCrossin , June 1, 2018 at 1:54 am

" The Papadopoulos Case, an Investigative Analysis," includes a recent interview with Mifsud in which he denies saying anything about Clinton emails to Papadopoulos. Mifsud, they write, stated "vehemently that he never told anything like this to George Papadopoulos.""

Thank you for providing that explosive piece of information. If true, and I suspect it is, that's one more nail in the Russiagate narrative. Who, then, is making the claim that Misfud mentioned emails? The only source for the statement I can find is "court documents".

Sam F , May 31, 2018 at 9:20 am

The election scams serve only to distract from the Israel-gate scandal and the oligarchy destruction of our former democracy. Mr. Lazare neglects to tell us about that. All of Hillary's top ten campaign bribers were zionists, and Trump let Goldman-Sachs take over the economy. KSA and big business also bribed heavily.

We must restrict funding of elections and mass media to limited individual donations, for democracy is lost.

We must eliminate zionist fascism from our political parties, federal government, and foreign policy. Obviously that has nothing to do with any ethnic or religious preference.

Otherwise the United States is lost, and our lives have no historical meaning beyond slavery to oligarchy.

Joe Tedesky , May 31, 2018 at 9:51 am

You are right Sam. Israel does work the fence under the guise of the Breaking News. Joe

Sam F , May 31, 2018 at 8:18 pm

My response was that Israel massacres at the fence, ignored by the zionist US mass media.

mike k , May 31, 2018 at 11:48 am

The extreme wealth and privileges of oligarchy depend on the poverty and slavery of others. Inequality of income is the root cause of most of our ills. Try to imagine what a world of economic equals would be like. No striving for more and more wealth at the expense of others. No wars. What would there be to fight over – everyone would be content with what they already had.

If you automatically think such a world would be impossible, try to state why. You might discover that the only obstacle to such a world is the greedy bastards who are sitting on top of everybody, and will do anything to maintain their advantages.

mike k , May 31, 2018 at 11:52 am

How do the oligarchs ensure your slavery? With the little green tickets they have hoarded that the rest of us need just to eat and have a roof over our heads. The people sleeping in the streets tell us the penalty for not being good slaves.

Sam F , May 31, 2018 at 12:50 pm

Very true, Mike. Those who say that equality or fairness of income implies breaking the productivity incentive system are wrong. No matter how much or how little wage incentive we offer for making an effort in work, we need not have great disparities of income. Those who can work should have work, and we should all make an effort to do well in our work, but none of us need the fanciest cars or grand monuments to live in, just to do our best.

Getting rid of oligarchy, and getting money out of mass media and elections, would be the greatest achievement of our times.

Joe Tedesky , May 31, 2018 at 5:30 pm

An old socialist friend of my dad's generation who claimed to have read the biography of Andrew Carnegie had told me over a few beers that Carnegie said, "that at a time when he was paying his workers $5 a week he 'could' have been paying them $50 a day, but then he could not figure out what kind of life they would lead with all that money". Think about it mike, if his workers would have had that kind of money it would not be long before Carnegie's workers became his competition and opened up next door to him the worst case scenario would be his former workers would sell their steel at a cheaper price, kind of, well no exactly like what Rockefeller did with oil, or as Carnegie did with steel innovation. How's that saying go, keep them down on the farm . well. Remember Carnegie was a low level stooge for the railroads at one time, and rose to the top .mike. Great point to make mike, because there could be more to go around. Joe

Steve Naidamast , May 31, 2018 at 3:16 pm

"We must restrict funding of elections and mass media to limited individual donations, for democracy is lost.

We must eliminate zionist fascism from our political parties, federal government, and foreign policy. Obviously that has nothing to do with any ethnic or religious preference."

Good luck with that!!!

Sam F , May 31, 2018 at 8:19 pm

Well, you are welcome to make suggestions on how to save the republic.

john wilson , May 31, 2018 at 9:10 am

The depths of the deep state has no limits, but as a UK citizen, I fail to see why the American "spooks" need any help from we Brits when it comes state criminal activity. Sure, we are masters at underhand dirty tricks, but the US has a basket full of tricks that 'Trump' (lol) anything we've got. It was the Russians wot done mantra has been going on for many decades and is ever good for another turn around the political mulberry tree of corruption and underhand dealings. Whether the Democrats or the Republicans win its all the same to the deep state as they are in control whoever is in the White House. Trump was an outsider and there for election colour and the "ho ho ho" look what a great democracy we are, anyone can be president. He is in fact the very essence of the 'wild card' and when he actually won there was total confusion, panic, disbelief and probably terror in the caves and dungeons of the deep state.

Realist , May 31, 2018 at 9:33 am

I'm sure the result was so unexpected that the shadowy fixers, the IT mavens who could have "adjusted" the numbers, were totally caught off guard and unable to do "cleanly." Not that they didn't try to re-jigger the results in the four state recounts that were ordered, but it was simply too late to effectively cheat at that point, as there were already massive overvotes detected in key urban precincts. Such a thing will never happen again, I am sure.

Sam F , May 31, 2018 at 9:36 am

It appears that UK has long had a supply of anti-Russia fearmongers, presumably backed by its anti-socialist oligarchy as in the US. Perhaps the US oligarchy is the dumbest salesman, who believes that all customers are even dumber, so that UK can sell Russophobia here thirty years after the USSR.

Bob Van Noy , May 31, 2018 at 8:49 am

"But how could Trump think otherwise? As Consortium News founding editor Robert Parry observed a few days later, the maneuver "resembles a tactic out of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover's playbook on government-style blackmail: I have some very derogatory information about you that I'd sure hate to see end up in the press."

Perfect.
Recently, while trying to justify my arguement that a new investigation into the RFK Killing was necessary, I was asked why I thought that, and my response was "Modus operandi," exactly what Robert Parry learned by experience, and that is the fundamental similarity to all of the institutionalized crime that takes place by the IC. Once one realizes the literary approach to disinformation that was fundamental to Alan Dulles, James Jesus Angleton, even Ian Fleming, one can easily see the Themes being applied. I suppose that the very feature of believability offered by propaganda, once recognized, becomes its undoing. That could be our current reality; the old Lines simply are beginning to appear to be ridiculous

Thank you Daniel Lazar.

Sam F , June 1, 2018 at 8:39 am

The recognition of themes of propaganda as literary themes and modus operandi is helping to discredit propaganda. The similarities of the CW false-flag operations (Iraq, Syria, and UK), and the fake assassinations (Skripal and Babchenko) by the anti-Russia crowd help reveal and persuade on the falsehood of the Iraq WMD, Syria CW, and MH-17 propaganda ops. Just as the similarities of the JFK/MLK/RFK assassinations persuade us that commonalities exist long before we see evidence.

Bob Van Noy , June 1, 2018 at 1:11 pm

Many thanks Sam F for recognizing that. As we begin to achieve a resolution of the 60's Kllings, we can begin to see the general and specific themes utilized to direct the programs of Assassination. The other aspect is that real investigation Never followed; and that took Real Power.

In a truly insightful book by author Sally Denton entitled "The Profiteers" she puts together a very cogent theory that it isn't the Mafia, it's the Syndicate, which means (for me at least) real, criminal power with somewhat divergent interests ok with one another, to the extent that they can maintain their Own Turf. I think that's a profound insight

Too, in a similar vain, the Grand Deceptions of American Foreign Policy, "scenarios" are simply and only that, not a Real possible solution. Always resulting in failure

Sam F , June 1, 2018 at 9:23 pm

Yes, it is difficult to determine the structure of a subculture of gangsterism in power, which can have many specialized factions in loose cooperation, agreeing on some general policy points, like benefits for the rich, hatred of socialism, institutionalized bribery of politicians and judges, militarized policing, destruction of welfare and social security, deregulation of everything, essentially the neocon/neolib line of the DemReps. The party line of oligarchy in any form.

Indeed the foreign policy of such gangsters is designed to "fail" because destruction of cultures, waste, and fragmentation most efficiently exploits the bribery structure available, and serves the anti-socialist oligarchy. Failure of the declared foreign policy is success, because that is only propaganda to cover the corruption.

SocraticGadfly , May 31, 2018 at 8:48 am

You know, not only Gay Trowdy but even Dracula Napolitano think people like Lazare , McGovern, etc. are overblown on this issue.

backwardsevolution , May 31, 2018 at 1:47 pm

SocraticGadfly – Trey Gowdy hasn't even seen the documents yet, so he's hardly in a position to say anything. The House Intelligence Committee, under Chairman Nunes, are being stymied by the FBI and the Department of Justice who are refusing to hand over documents. Refusing! Refusing to disclose documents to the very people who, by law, have oversight. Nunes is threatening to hit them with Contempt of Congress.

Let's see the documents. Then Trey Gowdy can open his mouth.

Herman , May 31, 2018 at 8:32 am

What I take from this head spinning article is the paragraph about Carter Page.

"On July 7, 2016 Carter Page delivered a lecture on U.S.-Russian relations in Moscow in which he complained that "Washington and other western capitals have impeded potential progress through their often hypocritical focus on ideas such as democratization, inequality, corruption, and regime change." Washington hawks expressed "unease" that someone representing the presumptive Republican nominee would take Russia's side in a growing neo-Cold War

Mr. Page hit the nail on the head. There is no greater sin to entrenched power than to spell out what is going on with Russia. It helps us understand why terms like dupe and naïve were stuck on Carter Page's back.. Truth to power is not always good for your health.

Sam F , May 31, 2018 at 10:07 am

The tyrant accuses of disloyalty, all who question the reality of his foreign monsters.
And so do his monster-fighting agencies, whose budgets depend upon the fiction.

backwardsevolution , May 31, 2018 at 7:25 am

Daniel Lazare – good report. "It sounds more like CIA paranoia raised to the nth degree." This wasn't a case of paranoia. This was a blatant attempt to bring down a rival opponent and, failing that, the President of the United States. This was intentional and required collusion between top officials of the government. They fabricated the phony Steele dossier (paid for by the Clinton campaign), exonerated Hillary Clinton, and then went to town on bringing down Trump.

"Was George Popodopolous set up?" Of course he was. Set up a patsy in order to give you reason to carry out a phony investigation.

"If the corporate press fails to point this out, it's because reporters are too befogged themselves to notice." They're not befogged; they're following orders (the major television and newspaper outfits). Without their 24/7 spin and lies, Russiagate would never have been kept alive.

These guys got the biggest surprise of their life when Hillary Clinton lost the election. None of this would have come out had she won. During the campaign, as Trump gained in the polls, she was heard to say, "If they ever find out what we've done, we'll all hang."

I hope they see jail time for what they've done.

backwardsevolution , May 31, 2018 at 7:38 am

Apparently what has come out so far is just the tip of the iceberg. Some are saying this could lead all the way up to Obama. I hope not, but they have certainly done all they can to ruin the Trump Presidency.

JohnM , May 31, 2018 at 9:58 am

I'm adjusting my tinfoil hat right now. I'm wondering if Skripal had something to do with the Steel dossier. The iceberg may be even bigger than thought.

Sam F , May 31, 2018 at 10:18 am

It is known that Skripal's close friend living nearby was an employee of Steele's firm Orbis.

Chet Roman , May 31, 2018 at 2:58 pm

Exactly, his name is Pablo Miller and he is the MI6 agent who initially recruited Sergei Skripal. Miller worked for Orbis, Steele's company and listed that in his resume on LinkedIn but later deleted it. But once it's on the internet it can always be found and it was and it was published.

robjira , May 31, 2018 at 2:13 pm

John, both Moon Of Alabama and OffGuardian have had excellent coverage of the Skripal affair. Informed opinions wonder if Sergei Skripal was one of Steele's "Russian sources," and that he may have been poisoned for the purpose of either a) bolstering the whole "Russia = evil" narrative, or b) a warning not to ask for more than what he may have conceivably received for any contribution he may or may not have made to the "dossiere."

mike k , May 31, 2018 at 7:20 am

Interesting details in this article, but we have known this whole Russiagate affair was a scam from the get go. It all started the day after Trump's unexpected electoral win over Hillary. The chagrined dems came together and concocted their sore loser alibi – the Russians did it. They scooped up a lot of pre-election dirt, rolled it into a ball and directed it at Trump. It is a testament to the media's determination to stick with their story, that in spite of not a single scrap of real evidence after over a year of digging by a huge team of democratic hit men and women, this ridiculous story still has supporters.

David G , May 31, 2018 at 10:31 am

"It all started the day after Trump's unexpected electoral win over Hillary."

Not so.

Daniel Lazare's first link in the above piece is to Paul Krugman's July 22, 2016 NY Times op-ed, "Donald Trump, the Siberian Candidate". (Note how that headline doesn't even bother to employ a question mark.)

I appreciate that that Krugman column gets pride of place here since I distinctly remember reading it in my copy of the Times that day, months before the election, and my immediate reaction to it: nonplussed that such a risible thesis was being aired so prominently, along with a deep realization that this was only the first shot in what would be a co-ordinated media disinformation campaign, à la Saddam's WMDs.

Chet Roman , May 31, 2018 at 3:37 pm

Actually, I think the intelligence agencies' (CIA/FBI/DNI) plan started shortly after Trump gave the names of Page and Papadopoulos to the Washington Post (CIA annex) in a meeting on March 21, 2016 outlining his foreign policy team.

Carter Page (Naval Academy distinguished graduate and Naval intelligence officer) in 2013 worked as an "under-cover employee" of the FBI in a case that convicted Evgeny Buryakov and it was reported that he was still an UCE in March of 2016. The FBI never charged or even hinted that Page was anything but innocent and patriotic. However, in October 2016 the FBI told the FISA Court that he was a spy to support spying on him. Remember the FISA Court allows spying on him AND the persons he is in contact, which means almost everyone on the Trump transition team/administration.

Here is an excerpt from an article by WSJ's Kimberley Strassel:

In "late spring" of 2016, then-FBI Director James Comey briefed White House "National Security Council Principals" that the FBI had counterintelligence concerns about the Trump campaign. Carter Page was announced as a campaign adviser on March 21, and Paul Manafort joined the campaign March 29. The briefing likely referenced both men, since both had previously been on the radar of law enforcement. But here's what matters: With this briefing, Mr. Comey officially notified senior political operators on Team Obama that the bureau had eyes on Donald Trump and Russia. Imagine what might be done in these partisan times with such explosive information.

And what do you know? Sometime in April, the law firm Perkins Coie (on behalf the Clinton campaign) hired Fusion GPS, and Fusion turned its attention to Trump-Russia connections.

David G , May 31, 2018 at 4:56 pm

Most interesting, Chet Roman. Thanks.

My understanding is that Trump more or less pulled Page's name out of a hat to show the WashPost that he had a "foreign policy team", and thus that his campaign wasn't just a hollow sham, but that at that point he really had had no significant contact at all with Page – maybe hadn't even met him. It was just a name from his new political world that sprang to "mind" (or the Trumpian equivalent).

Of course, the Trump campaign *was* just a sham, by conventional Beltway standards: a ramshackle road show with no actual "foreign policy team", or any other policy team.

So maybe that random piece of B.S. from Trump has caused him a heap of trouble. This is part of why – no matter how bogus "Russia-gate" is – I just can't bring myself to feel sorry for old Cheeto Dust.

backwardsevolution , May 31, 2018 at 6:56 am

Kimberly Strassel of the Wall Street Journal had some good advice:

"Mr. Trump has an even quicker way to bring the hostility to an end.

He can – and should – declassify everything possible, letting Congress and the public see the truth.

That would put an end to the daily spin and conspiracy theories. It would puncture Democratic arguments that the administration is seeking to gain this information only for itself, to "undermine" an investigation.

And it would end the Justice Department's campaign of secrecy, which has done such harm to its reputation with the public and with Congress."

What do you bet he does?

RickD , May 31, 2018 at 6:44 am

I have serious doubts about the article's veracity. There seems to be a thread running through it indicating an attempt to whitewash any Russian efforts to get Trump elected. To dismiss all the evidence of such efforts, and , despite this author's words, there is enough such evidence, seems more than a bit partisan.

Paul E. Merrell, J.D. , May 31, 2018 at 6:55 am

What evidence? I've seen none so far. A lot of claims that there is such evidence but no one seems to ever say what it is.

backwardsevolution , May 31, 2018 at 7:06 am

RickD – thanks for the good laugh before bedtime. I'm with Mr. Merrell and I actually want to see some evidence. Maybe it was Professor Halper in the kitchen with the paring knife.

Realist , May 31, 2018 at 9:21 am

Unfortunately, what this guy says is what most Americans still seem to believe. When I ask people what is the actual hard evidence for "Russiagate" (because I don't know of any that has been corroborated), I get a response that there have been massive examples of Russian hacks, Russian posts, tweets and internet adverts–all meant to sabotage Hillary's candidacy, and very effective, mind you. Putin has been an evil genius worthy of a comic book villain (to date myself, a regular Lex Luthor). Sez who, ask I? Sez the trustworthy American media that would never lie to the public, sez they. You know, professional paragons of virtue like Rachel Maddow and her merry band.

Nobody seems aware of the recent findings about Halpern, none seem to have a realistic handle on the miniscule scope of the Russian "offenses" against American democracy. Rachel, the NY Times and WaPo have seen to that with their sins of both commission and omission. Even the Republican party is doing a half-hearted job of defending its own power base with rigorous and openly disseminated fact checking. It's like even many of the committee chairs with long seniority are reluctant to buck the conventional narrative peddled by the media. Many have chosen to retire rather than fight the media and the Deep State. What's a better interpretation of events? Or is one to believe that the silent voices, curious retirements and political heat generated by the Dems, the prosecutors and the media are all independent variables with no connections? These old pols recognise a good demonizing when they see it, especially when directed at them.

Personally, I think that not only the GOPers should be fighting like the devil to expose the truth (which should benefit them in this circumstance) but so should the media and all the watchdog agencies (ngo's) out there because our democracy WAS hijacked, but it was NOT by the Russians. Worse than that, it was done by internal domestic enemies of the people who must be outed and punished to save the constitution and the republic, if it is not too late. All the misinformation by influential insiders and the purported purveyors of truth accompanied by the deliberate silence by those who should be chirping like birds suggests it may well be far too late.

backwardsevolution , May 31, 2018 at 7:53 pm

Realist – a most excellent post! Some poll result I read about the other day mentioned that well over half of the American public do NOT believe what they are being told by the media. That was good to hear. But you are right, there are still way too many who never question anything. If I ever get in trouble, I wouldn't want those types on my jury. They'd be wide awake during the prosecution's case and fast asleep during my defense.

This is the Swamp at work on both sides of the aisle. Most of the Republicans are hanging Trump out to dry. They've probably got too much dirt they want to keep hidden themselves, so retirement looks like a good idea. Get out of Dodge while the going is good, before the real fighting begins! The Democrats are battling for all they're worth, and I've got to hand it to them – they're dirty little fighters.

Yes, democracy has been hijacked. Hard to say how long this has been going on – maybe forever. If there is anything good about Trump's presidency, it's that the Deep State is being laid out and delivered up on a silver platter for all to see.

There has never been a better chance to take back the country than this. If this opportunity passes, it will never come again. They will make sure of it.

The greatest thing that Trump could do for the country would be to declassify all documents. Jeff Sessions is either part of the Deep State or he's been scared off. He's not going to act. Rosenstein is up to his eyeballs in this mess and he's not going to act. In fact, he's preventing Nunes from getting documents. It is up to Trump to act. I just hope he's not being surrounded by a bunch of bad apple lawyers who are giving him bad advice. He needs to go above the Department of Justice and declassify ALL documents. If he did that, a lot of these people would probably die of a heart attack within a minute.

mike k , May 31, 2018 at 7:11 am

You sure came out of the woodwork quickly to express your "serious doubts" RickD.

Skip Scott , May 31, 2018 at 8:07 am

Please provide "such evidence". I've yet to see any. The entire prosecution of RussiaGate has been one big Gish Gallop.

strgr-tgther , May 31, 2018 at 9:39 pm

RickD – Thank you for pointing that out! You were the only one!!! It is a very strange article leaving Putin and the Russians evidence out and also not a single word about Stromy Daniels witch is also very strange. I know Hillary would never have approved of any of this and they don't say that either.

John , June 1, 2018 at 2:26 am

What does Stormy Daniels have to do with RussiaGate?

You know that someone who committed the ultimate war crime by lying us into war to destroy Libya and re-institute slavery there, and who laughed after watching video of a man that Nelson Mandela called "The Greatest Living Champion of Human Rights on the Planet" be sodomized to death with a knife, is somehow too "moral" to do such a thing? Really?

It amazes me how utterly cultish those who support the Red Queen have shown themselves to be – without apparently realizing that they are obviously on par with the followers of Jim Jones!

strgr-tgther , June 1, 2018 at 12:17 pm

That is like saying what does income tax have to do with Al Capone. Who went to Alctraz because he did not pay income tax not for being a gangster. So we know Trump has sexual relations with Stormy Daniels, then afterward PAID her not to talk about it. So he paid Story Daniels for sex! That is Prostitution! Same thing. And that is inpeachable, using womens bodies as objects. If we don't prosecute Trump here then from now on all a John needs to say to the police is that he was not paying for sex but paying to keep quiet about it. And Cogress can get Trump for prostitution and disgracing the office of President. Without Russia investigations we would never have found out about this important fact, so that is what it has to do with Russia Gate.

Paul E. Merrell, J.D. , May 31, 2018 at 4:53 am

Guccifer 2.0's American Fingerprints Reveal An Operation Made In The USA: https://disobedientmedia.com/2018/05/guccifer-2-0s-american-fingerprints-reveal-an-operation-made-in-the-usa/

[Jun 06, 2018] Where are the rational limits of libertarian vision?

Jun 06, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Friarbird , 3 Jun 2018 21:42

Further down the thread, 'Weakaspiss' makes a pertinent observation; " government has forgotten they govern for all, and have a primary duty for those who are least able to prosper."

In fact, they've "forgotten" nothing.
Instead, they've fallen for the self-serving blandishments of Libertarian dogma.
Where have I learned of these ?
By reading the posts of GA's resident Libertarians.
The sub-texts of which are wonderfully instructive.

1. Nothing is more important than the individual.
2. And as an individual and a Libertarian, I am infinitely superior to you.
3. Plus I resent paying taxes, which are outright theft.
4. Since I believe, utterly without basis in reality, that taxes levied on hard-working, wonderful freedom-loving ME, sustain the likes of lazy, parasitical YOU.
5. Meanwhile, govt, if it cannot be destroyed, must always be demonised and underfunded. And so-called 'programs of public benefit' for the parasites--like Medicare, or the ABC-- must be sold outright to the private sector.
6. No I don't want to debate about it, if there's a chance I'll lose the argument.
My ego demands I win every time..
7. Certainly not with losers of lower social status, who were 'educated' in a union-run public school.
8. And don't even come near me, losers. Yuk ! You're probably not even white !
9. Because I socialise only within my own tribe, thank you very much.
10. Besides, you're probably living off my taxes.
11. Did I mention taxes somewhere ?
12. Taxes are theft.

Our conservatives have "forgotten" NOTHING.
Instead, they've fallen for a sociopathic ideology which tells them their least attractive impulses are positively praiseworthy.
Hence the nasty, ego-driven tone of current political life.
Injected directly into the bloodstream of our body politic by a Lying Rodent.
Its philosophy may be simply stated

Does your policy shit all over people you never cared for anyway ?
THEN DO IT.

[May 29, 2018] On Memorial Day, Getting Beyond 'Thank You For Your Service' The American Conservative

Notable quotes:
"... Thucydides tells us that war changes the meaning of words . Social media demonstrated this maxim several years ago when " mil-splaining " military-related holidays was all the rage. ..."
"... Increasingly civilians see " soldiers as symbols that allow them to feel good about themselves, and the country" -- but many also see OxyContin that way. ..."
"... A strategy is needed that's rooted in serious analysis of American interests and strengths and a realistic assessment of the world. For nearly a generation, we have failed to align ends, ways, and means . Like " The Weary Titan ," America finds itself unable (or unwilling) to adapt to a changing world. ..."
"... What do we have to show for our expenditures? A divided country, financially exhausted while waging war across the globe against an elusive enemy -- who is, frankly, not a threat remotely approaching the resources we have aligned against him. Beyond the material costs, there's the social. Our military has become a syncretic religion, enjoying the support but not due consideration of the nation. This situation is genuinely tragic . ..."
"... The reason US acts like an empire is because she *IS* an empire. ..."
"... It recently dawned on me that the US' empire status solidified during and after WWII is the biggest reason why it's so easy for America to wage prolonged, deep-involvement wars. NATO, overseas bases, freedom of navigation, etc. ..."
"... But let's be honest: when we "killed" the draft we killed, in part, what is called social cohesion in this country. ..."
"... "This Memorial Day, don't cringe when someone says "Thank you for your service" and proceed to correct them." ..."
"... U.S. policy of perpetual war has been well established since 9/11. Everyone who joins the military is well aware of the job description (kill and destroy) and has free will. ..."
"... The U.S. military is currently providing refueling, logistics and intelligence support to the odious Saudis as they pulverize Yemen to smithereens and starve the population. And those American service people are "defending our freedoms" by doing so? ..."
"... The reason these episodes of introspection are called for is because of the massive propaganda machine (Pentagon, Corporate, MSM) of Military Exceptionalism that is the architect of the pathological incongruence. ..."
"... The 'military-civilian' divide, as the author stated it, is as much a product of a media that no longer holds policymakers accountable for seemingly endless military engagements and, the true effect that our endless military engagements are having on the very fabric of our society and on those engaged in them. ..."
"... With a volunteer military that effectively is at the disposal of whoever happens to be in office, no grass-roots opposition movement to hold politicians accountable, and 95 percent of the population untouched by war, the most veterans will receive is a "thank you for your service" as we go on with our daily lives. ..."
"... In my opinion, Demanding answers and justifications for sending people into harms way is the best expression of respect for our military personnel. ..."
"... " instead of asking 'what' we need to break the stalemate in Afghanistan, could ask 'why' there is a stalemate at all -- and whether American forces can truly ameliorate the structural, cultural, and historical obstacles to achieving desired ends there." ..."
"... Be aware that when you ask why, many people (including, sadly, many veterans) will consider this questioning of government foreign policy as a species of treason. Once, while on active duty with the US Army (1970), I suggested to a fellow officer that sending US troops to fight in Vietnam might not be in nation interest. I was immediately and vigorously condemned as a communist, a fascist, and a traitor. ..."
"... According to this reasoning, once the first soldier dies in battle, any criticism of the war denigrates the sacrifice of the deceased. So, we must continue to pile up the dead to justify those who have already died. This is part of the mechanism of war, and is an important reason why it is always easier to start a war than to stop one. ..."
May 29, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Thucydides tells us that war changes the meaning of words . Social media demonstrated this maxim several years ago when " mil-splaining " military-related holidays was all the rage. From memes outlining the differences between Veterans, Armed Forces, and Memorial Day, to Fourth of July "safe space" declarations seemingly applied to all vets, the trend was everywhere. Thankfully, it seems now to have passed.

Memorial Day is, of course, for remembering the fallen, those who died in service to the nation. Veterans and their families remember their loved ones in ways they deem appropriate, and the state remembers, too, in a somber, serious manner.

This remembrance should in no way preclude the typical family barbecue and other customs associated with the traditional beginning of summer. National holidays are for remembering and celebrating, not guilt. Shaming those who fail to celebrate a holiday according to one's expectations is a bit like non-Christians feeling shame for skipping church: it shouldn't matter because the day means different things to different people. Having a day on the calendar demonstrates the national consensus about honoring sacrifice; anything more than that is a slow walk towards superficiality. President Bush stopped golfing during the Iraq war, but it didn't stop him from continuing it.

Instead, Memorial Day should engender conversation about our military and the gulf between those who serve and those who don't. The conversation shouldn't just be the military talking at civilians; it must be reciprocal. Increasingly civilians see " soldiers as symbols that allow them to feel good about themselves, and the country" -- but many also see OxyContin that way. This situation is lamentable because the aforementioned "mil-splaining" could only occur in a country so profoundly divided from its military as to misunderstand basic concepts such as the purpose of holidays. It's also striking how the most outspoken so-called "patriots" often have little connection to that which they so outlandishly support. Our "thank you for your service" culture is anathema to well-functioning civil-military relations.

After Multiple Deployments, Coming Home to a Changed Country The Best Way to Honor a Vet is With the Truth

The public owes its military more consideration, particularly in how the armed forces are deployed across the globe. Part of this is empathy: stop treating military members as an abstraction , as something that exists only to serve a national or increasingly political purpose. Our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines are deserving of praise and support -- especially considering the burden they've carried -- but what they need more is an engaged public, one that's even willing to scrutinize the military . Because scrutiny necessitates engagement and hopefully understanding and reform.

But the civil-military divide goes both ways. Military members and veterans owe the public a better relationship as well. This Memorial Day, don't cringe when someone says "Thank you for your service" and proceed to correct them. Open a dialogue: you might build a real connection . Better yet, volunteer to speak at a school or church: partly to explain your service, sure, but more so to show that military personnel are people, too, not just distant abstractions . Veterans are spread across the county and better able to interact with civilians than our largely cloistered active duty force. They shouldn't go to schools, churches, and civic organizations for the inevitable praise. They should go to educate, nurture relationships, and chip away at the civil-military divide.

Perhaps by questioning the fundamentals -- the "why" instead of the so often discussed "what" in military operations -- the public would be in a better position to demand action from a Congress that, heretofore, has largely abdicated serious oversight of foreign policy. Perhaps the public, instead of asking "what" we need to break the stalemate in Afghanistan , could ask "why" there is a stalemate at all -- and whether American forces can truly ameliorate the structural, cultural, and historical obstacles to achieving desired ends there.

A strategy is needed that's rooted in serious analysis of American interests and strengths and a realistic assessment of the world. For nearly a generation, we have failed to align ends, ways, and means . Like " The Weary Titan ," America finds itself unable (or unwilling) to adapt to a changing world. Consumed by domestic strife and the emergence of nationalism , American foreign policy has wandered fecklessly since the end of the Cold War. While we can strike anywhere, this capability is wasted in search of a lasting peace.

What do we have to show for our expenditures? A divided country, financially exhausted while waging war across the globe against an elusive enemy -- who is, frankly, not a threat remotely approaching the resources we have aligned against him. Beyond the material costs, there's the social. Our military has become a syncretic religion, enjoying the support but not due consideration of the nation. This situation is genuinely tragic .

For America to dig its way out of its domestic and foreign troubles it must start with sobering analysis. For the civil-military dialogue, Memorial Day is as good a place to begin as any day. So this weekend, civilians should move beyond "Thank you for your service" and ask a vet about his or her service and lost comrades. Veterans, don't expect praise and don't lecture; speak with honesty and empathy, talk about what you've done and the conditions you've seen. You might be surprised what we can learn from each other.

John Q. Bolton is an Army officer who recently returned from Afghanistan. An Army aviator (AH-64D/E), he is a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan. He is a 2005 graduate of West Point. The views presented here are his alone and not representative of the U.S. Army, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

12 Responses to On Memorial Day, Getting Beyond 'Thank You For Your Service'

W May 28, 2018 at 4:03 am

(This reply was intended for an older article "http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-deep-unfairness-of-americas-all-volunteer-force" from 2017 but since the topics are kind of related, so )

The reason US acts like an empire is because she *IS* an empire.

It recently dawned on me that the US' empire status solidified during and after WWII is the biggest reason why it's so easy for America to wage prolonged, deep-involvement wars. NATO, overseas bases, freedom of navigation, etc. Scrapping/re-constituting these frameworks would put the US on par with most other countries on earth sporting home-bound defense forces. Congressional authority/oversight would be reinvigorated, and acting under the auspices of the UN becomes a procedural impairment (sovereignty concerns and selfishness notwithstanding). A practical start would be lobbying for more base closures abroad, for those who feel strongly about this.

But there is a danger: nature abhors a vacuum.

The other thing, I am definitely for professionalism in militaries. Better to have one dedicated soldier than three squirmish kids dragged into the mud.

Aviel , says: May 28, 2018 at 4:07 am
Seems to me a universal draft would be the best way to say thank you. Under that scenario most wars would be avoided or resolved quickly as the cost would be political defeat. An all volunteer/mercenary force is blatantly unfair as virtually no kids of the wealthy fight, prohibitively expensive, as recruiting and retaining soldiers in these times is an uphill challenge, and dangerous as it encourages needless risk since only a tiny percentage of the voting population pay the price
Mark M. Pando , says: May 28, 2018 at 5:31 am
Sir: Thank you for your timely comments. I am a USN veteran and fully support the idea that communication has to be a two-way street between civilians and our military women and men. But let's be honest: when we "killed" the draft we killed, in part, what is called social cohesion in this country. Not having common experiences makes us all more foreign to one another which leads to isolation and platitudes such as "Thank you for your service." I have heard that comment many times, too, and after a while it comes across as: "better you than me." I know I am being cynical but I am also only human .
SteveM , says: May 28, 2018 at 7:54 am
Re: "This Memorial Day, don't cringe when someone says "Thank you for your service" and proceed to correct them."

U.S. policy of perpetual war has been well established since 9/11. Everyone who joins the military is well aware of the job description (kill and destroy) and has free will.

Thanking someone for signing up for the War Machine to wreck havoc on natives thousands of miles from American shores makes little sense.

The U.S. military is currently providing refueling, logistics and intelligence support to the odious Saudis as they pulverize Yemen to smithereens and starve the population. And those American service people are "defending our freedoms" by doing so?

The U.S. military slaughters the Syrian army operating in their own country and we are supposed to thank them for "their service"? Military drone drivers who slaughter Yemeni wedding parties from comfortable installations in Florida and the operators on U.S. Navy ships who launch missiles into Syria based on bogus False Flag scenarios are "Warrior Heroes"?

The veterans we should be thanking are the ones who realized early on that they were being played for chumps by the war-mongers and got out. If John Q. Bolton has that understanding, why hasn't he gotten out?

The real "heroes" in America are the young people who get real jobs in the real economy providing real value to their fellow citizens.

The reason these episodes of introspection are called for is because of the massive propaganda machine (Pentagon, Corporate, MSM) of Military Exceptionalism that is the architect of the pathological incongruence.

E.J. Smith , says: May 28, 2018 at 9:26 am
This is an excellent article. Memorial Day should call upon all Americans to ask some essential questions.

As an aside, The Washington Post ran an article today about the funeral of Spec. Conde who recently was killed in Afghanistan. The article spoke of Spec. Conde's motivations for serving, the events that led to his death, the funeral service, and the effect that his death at age 21 had and will have on his family and those who knew and loved him.

What struck me most about the article was how remote the funeral service and the family's grief seem from the rest of what is taking place in America. For example, there was an oblique reference to a funeral detail for a veteran who committed suicide that apparently no one attended.

The 'military-civilian' divide, as the author stated it, is as much a product of a media that no longer holds policymakers accountable for seemingly endless military engagements and, the true effect that our endless military engagements are having on the very fabric of our society and on those engaged in them.

The vast majority of the American public go about their daily lives, seemingly insulated from the effects of our endless engagements. For example, Spec. Conde's death in Afghanistan did not even make the front page of our major media when it first happened. The death of four soldiers in Niger has faded from view.

With a volunteer military that effectively is at the disposal of whoever happens to be in office, no grass-roots opposition movement to hold politicians accountable, and 95 percent of the population untouched by war, the most veterans will receive is a "thank you for your service" as we go on with our daily lives.

Stuart MacNee , says: May 28, 2018 at 1:39 pm
Thank you, Sir, for articulating my position. In 7 Second Soundbite format, "I Support the Troops, not the Policy that put them in harms way."
The military should never be deployed for political purposes. As a nation, we have willfully refused to learn anything from the lessons of Korea and Viet Nam.

Military service preserves the Ultimate Expression of America, "Question Authority!" (I recognize the Irony of suppressing it within it's ranks.) In my opinion, Demanding answers and justifications for sending people into harms way is the best expression of respect for our military personnel.

Accept Officer Bolton's challenge. When you see me kneeling at the National Anthem, ask me why. [The Answer: I do it to show respect for those that have fallen at the hands of those who oppose the Values embodied in the American Flag.]

Rossbach , says: May 28, 2018 at 1:43 pm
" instead of asking 'what' we need to break the stalemate in Afghanistan, could ask 'why' there is a stalemate at all -- and whether American forces can truly ameliorate the structural, cultural, and historical obstacles to achieving desired ends there."

Be aware that when you ask why, many people (including, sadly, many veterans) will consider this questioning of government foreign policy as a species of treason. Once, while on active duty with the US Army (1970), I suggested to a fellow officer that sending US troops to fight in Vietnam might not be in nation interest. I was immediately and vigorously condemned as a communist, a fascist, and a traitor.

According to this reasoning, once the first soldier dies in battle, any criticism of the war denigrates the sacrifice of the deceased. So, we must continue to pile up the dead to justify those who have already died. This is part of the mechanism of war, and is an important reason why it is always easier to start a war than to stop one.

Stephen J. , says: May 28, 2018 at 2:03 pm
Perhaps we need "our leaders" to do some war "Service."
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- –
March 9, 2009

"Should We Have War Games for the World's Leaders"?

Yesterday's enemies are today's friends and today's friends are tomorrow's enemies, such is the way of the world, and wars of the world. All these wars cause enormous bloodshed, destruction and suffering to those affected. Therefore, would it not be much simpler to have war games for all of the world's leaders and elites every few years? We have Olympic Games every four years where the world's athletes from different countries compete. And many of these countries are hostile to each other, yet they participate in the Olympics. So if enemies can participate for sport, why not for war games? How could this be arranged? All the leaders and elites of the world would have to lead by example, instead of leading from their political platforms, palaces and offshore tax havens, while the ordinary people have to do the dirty work in wars. The world's leaders and elites would all be in the front lines first. A venue could be arranged in a deserted area and the people of the world could watch via satellite TV their courageous leaders and other elites leading the charge in the war games .
[read more at link below]
http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2009/03/should-we-have-war-games-for-worlds.html

Keith Danish , says: May 28, 2018 at 4:11 pm
Good to know that not all John Boltons are insane.

[May 28, 2018] Making Sense Of America s Empire Of Chaos

May 28, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Via TomDispatch.com,

Mark Karlin: How much money has gone to the U.S. war on terror and what has been the impact of this expenditure?

Tom Engelhardt: The best figure I've seen on this comes from the Watson Institute's Costs of War Project at Brown University and it's a staggering $5.6 trillion , including certain future costs to care for this country's war vets. President Trump himself, with his usual sense of accuracy, has inflated that number even more, regularly speaking of $7 trillion being lost somewhere in our never-ending wars in the Greater Middle East. One of these days, he's going to turn out to be right.

As for the impact of such an expenditure in the regions where these wars continue to be fought, largely nonstop, since they were launched against a tiny group of jihadis just after September 11, 2001, it would certainly include: the spread of terror outfits across the Middle East, parts of Asia, and Africa; the creation -- in a region previously autocratic but relatively calm -- of a striking range of failed or failing states, of major cities that have been turned into absolute rubble (with no money in sight for serious reconstruction), of internally displaced people and waves of refugees at levels that now match the moment after World War II, when significant parts of the planet were in ruins; and that's just to start down a list of the true costs of our wars.

At home, in a far quieter way, the impact has been similar. Just imagine, for instance, what our American world would have been like if any significant part of the funds that went into our fruitless, still spreading, now nameless conflicts had been spent on America's crumbling infrastructure , instead of on the rise of the national security state as the unofficial fourth branch of government. (At TomDispatch , Pentagon expert William Hartung has estimated that approximately $1 trillion annually goes into that security state and, in the age of Trump, that figure is again on the rise.)

Part of the trouble assessing the "impact" here in the U.S. is that, in this era of public demobilization in terms of our wars, people are encouraged not to think about them at all and they've gotten remarkably little attention. So sorting out exactly how they've come home -- other than completely obvious developments like the militarization of the police, the flying of surveillance drones in our airspace, and so on -- is hard. Most people, for instance, don't grasp something I've long written about at TomDispatch : that Donald Trump would have been inconceivable as president without those disastrous wars, those trillions squandered on them and on the military that's fought them, and that certainly qualifies as "impact" enough.

What makes the U.S. pretension to empire different from previous empires?

As a start, it's worth mentioning that Americans generally don't even think of ourselves as an "empire." Yes, since the Soviet Union imploded in 1991, our politicians and pundits have proudly called this country the "last" or "lone" superpower and the world's most "exceptional" or "indispensable" nation, but an empire? No. You need to go someplace off the mainstream grid -- Truthout or TomDispatch , for instance -- to find anyone talking about us in those terms.

That said, I think that two things have made us different, imperially speaking. The first was that post-1991 sense of ourselves as the ultimate winner of a vast imperial contest, a kind of arms race of many that had gone on since European ships armed with cannon had first broken into the world in perhaps the fifteenth century and began to conquer much of it. In that post-Soviet moment of triumphalism, of what seemed to the top dogs in Washington like the ultimate win, a forever victory, there was indeed a sense that there had never been and never would be a power like us. That inflated sense of our imperial self was what sent the geopolitical dreamers of the George W. Bush administration off to, in essence, create a Pax Americana first in the Greater Middle East and then perhaps the world in a fashion never before imagined, one that, they were convinced, would put the Roman and British imperial moments to shame. And we all know, with the invasion of Iraq, just where that's ended up.

In the years since they launched that ultimate imperial venture in a cloud of hubris, the most striking difference I can see with previous empires is that never has a great power still in something close to its imperial prime proven quite so incapable of applying its military and political might in a way that would successfully advance its aims. It has instead found itself overmatched by underwhelming enemy forces and incapable of producing any results other than destruction and further fragmentation across staggeringly large parts of the planet.

Finally, of course, there's climate change -- that is, for the first time in the history of empires, the very well-being of the planet itself is at stake. The game has, so to speak, changed, even if relatively few here have noticed.

Why do you refer to the U.S. as an "empire of chaos"?

This answer follows directly from the last two. The United States is now visibly a force for chaos across significant parts of the planet. Just look, for instance, at the cities -- from Marawi in the Philippines to Mosul and Ramadi in Iraq, Raqqa and Aleppo in Syria, Sirte in Libya, and so on -- that have literally been -- a word I want to bring into the language -- rubblized, largely by American bombing (though with a helping hand recently from the bomb makers of the Islamic State). Historically, in the imperial ages that preceded this one, such power, while regularly applied brutally and devastatingly, could also be a way of imposing a grim version of order on conquered and colonized areas. No longer, it seems. We're now on a planet that simply doesn't accept military-first conquest and occupation, no matter the guise under which it arrives (including the spread of "democracy"). So beware the unleashing modern military power. It turns out to contain within it striking disintegrative forces on a planet that can ill afford such chaos.

You also refer to Washington D.C. as a "permanent war capital" with the generals in ascension under Trump. What does that represent for the war footing of the U.S.?

Well, it's obvious in a way. Washington is now indeed a war capital because the Bush administration launched not just a local response to a relatively small group of jihadis in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, but what its top officials called a "Global War on Terror" -- creating possibly the worst acronym in history: GWOT. And then they instantly began insisting that it could be applied to at least 60 countries supposedly harboring terror groups. That was 2001 and, of course, though the name and acronym were dropped, the war they launched has never ended. In those years, the military, the country's (count 'em) 17 major intelligence agencies, and the warrior corporations of the military-industrial complex have achieved a kind of clout never before seen in the nation's capital. Their rise has really been a bipartisan affair in a city otherwise riven by politics as each party tries to outdo the other in promoting the financing of the national security state. At a moment when putting money into just about anything else that would provide security to Americans (think health care) is always a desperate struggle, funding the Pentagon and the rest of the national security state continues to be a given. That's what it means to be in a "permanent war capital."

In addition, with Donald Trump, the generals of America's losing wars have gained a kind of prominence in Washington that was unknown in a previously civilian capital. The head of the Defense Department, the White House chief of staff, and (until recently when he was succeeded by an even more militaristic civilian) the national security advisor were all generals of those wars -- positions that, in the past, with rare exceptions, were considered civilian ones. In this sense, Donald Trump was less making history with the men he liked to refer to as " my generals " than channeling it.

What is the role of bombing in the U.S. war-making machine?

It's worth remembering, as I've written in the past, that from the beginning the war on terror has been, above all (and despite full-scale invasions and occupations using hundreds of thousands of U.S. ground troops), an air war . It started that way. On September 11, 2001, after all, al-Qaeda sent its air force (four hijacked passenger jets) and its precision weaponry (19 suicidal hijackers) against a set of iconic buildings in the U.S. Those strikes -- only one of them failed when the passengers on a single jet fought back and it crashed in a field in Pennsylvania -- may represent the most successful use of strategic bombing (that is, air power aimed at the civilian population of, and morale in, an enemy country) in history. At the cost of a mere $400,000 to $500,000 , Osama bin Laden began an air war of provocation that has never ended.

The U.S. has been bombing, missiling, and drone-assassinating ever since. Last year, for instance, U.S. planes dropped an estimated 20,000 bombs just on the Syrian city of Raqqa , the former "capital" of the Islamic State, leaving next to nothing standing. Since the first American planes began dropping bombs (and cluster munitions ) in Afghanistan in October 2001, the U.S. Air Force has been in the skies ceaselessly -- skies by the way over countries and groups that lack any defenses against air attacks whatsoever. And, of course, it's been a kind of rolling disaster of destruction that has left the equivalent of World Trade Center tower after tower of dead civilians in those lands. In other words, though no one in Washington would ever say such a thing, U.S. air power has functionally been doing Osama bin Laden's job for him, conducting not so much a war on terror as a strange kind of war for terror, one that only promotes the conditions in which it thrives best.

What role did the end of the draft play in enabling an unrestrained U.S. empire of war?

It may have been the crucial moment in the whole process. It was, of course, the decision of then-president Richard Nixon in January 1973 , in response to a country swept by a powerful antiwar movement and a military in near rebellion as the Vietnam War began to wind down. The draft was ended, the all-volunteer military begun, and the American people were largely separated from the wars being fought in their name. They were, as I said above, demobilized. Though at the time, the U.S. military high command was doubtful about the move, it proved highly successful in freeing them to fight the endless wars of the twenty-first century, now being referred to by some in the Pentagon (according to the Washington Post ) not as "permanent wars" or even, as General David Petraeus put it, a " generational struggle ," but as " infinite war ."

I've lived through two periods of public war mobilization in my lifetime: the World War II era, in which I was born and in which the American people mobilized to support a global war against fascism in every way imaginable, and the Vietnam War, in which Americans (like me as a young man) mobilized against an American war. But who in those years ever imagined that Americans might fight their wars (unsuccessfully) to the end of time without most citizens paying the slightest attention? That's why I've called the losing generals of our endless war on terror (and, in a sense, the rest of us as well) " Nixon's children ."

* * *

Tom Engelhardt is a co-founder of the American Empire Project and the author of The United States of Fear as well as a history of the Cold War, The End of Victory Culture . He is a fellow of the Nation Institute and runs TomDispatch.com . His sixth and latest book, just published, is A Nation Unmade by War (Dispatch Books).

Tags War Conflict Politics
Looney -> TBT or not TBT Mon, 05/28/2018 - 19:58 Permalink

17 major intelligence agencies. For fuck's sake! It's not seventeen – it is SIXTEEN! ;-)

Looney

P.S. I hate re-posting shit or using the same joke twice, but THIS is worth re-posting (from January 13, 2017): U.S. intelligence agencies contend that Moscow waged a multifaceted campaign of hacking and other actions All Democrats, from our own MDB to Hillary and 0bama, have been citing the " 17 intelligence agencies " that agree with their ridiculous claims.

Here's the list of "The Magnificent Seventeen", but (spoiler alert!) there are actually only SIXTEEN INTEL AGENCIES, but who counts? The highlighted agencies have nothing to do with Hacking, Elections, Golden Showers, or whatever sick lies the Libtards have come up with.

Each Agency's responsibilities are very clearly defined by Law and 13 out of the "17 agencies" have absolutely nothing to do with the DNC, Wikileaks, Elections, Hillary's e-mails, the Clinton Foundation, the Russian Hacking, etc.

  1. Twenty-Fifth Air Force - Air Force Intel only
  2. Intelligence and Security Command (US Army) – Army Intel only
  3. Central Intelligence Agency is prohibited by Law to conduct any activities within the US!!!
  4. Coast Guard Intelligence – Coast Guard, really?
  5. Defense Intelligence Agency – Military Intel only
  6. Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence (Dept. of Energy) – Nukes, Nuclear Plants
  7. Office of Intelligence and Analysis (Homeland Security)
  8. Bureau of Intelligence and Research - State Dept. Intel
  9. Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (Treasury) – Treasury and Hacking/Elections? Hmm
  10. Office of National Security Intelligence (DEA) – Drug Enforcement, really?
  11. Intelligence Branch, FBI (DOJ)
  12. Marine Corps Intelligence Activity - Marine Corps Intel only
  13. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (Dept. of Defense) – Satellites, Aerial Intel
  14. National Reconnaissance Office (Dept. of Defense) – Defense Recon Only
  15. NSA
  16. Office of Naval Intelligence Navy Defense – Navy only

Looney

Shemp 4 Victory -> TBT or not TBT Mon, 05/28/2018 - 20:14 Permalink

On the rare occasions when the US halfheartedly admits that, somehow, mistakes might have been made, it cannot evade employing important US citizenish "core values" like hypocricy and psychological projection.

Four days ago an outstanding example of this type of embarrassment, Russia's Moral Hypocrisy , was posted by Colonel James McDonough, US Army attaché to Poland. Its urgent bleatings display the inadequacy and extremely low level of cohesion to which US propaganda has fallen. The short version: the US fights for all good against all bad, and the Russians disagree because they are very bad and also mean people.

Two days ago, Colonel Cassad posted a response to McDonough's piece which skewered it like a kebab. Using a nota bene format, each point is considered and then crushed into a paste. Even via the Yandex machine translation, the well-deserved kicking to the curb comes through loud and clear.

https://z5h64q92x9.net/proxy_u/ru-en.ru/https/colonelcassad.livejournal

revolla -> WTFUD Mon, 05/28/2018 - 21:06 Permalink

...the U.S. war on terror... ...was made in Tel Aviv. In some circles, it's known as

Israel's Dark Age of Terror

Baron von Bud -> DownWithYogaPants Mon, 05/28/2018 - 22:29 Permalink

Wars are always about money and control. The war machine supports so many jobs in the US from shipyards to consulting. It's a way to pump cash into a system that essentially died after the 2001 crash.

Algo Rhythm -> HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 Mon, 05/28/2018 - 21:01 Permalink

During a memorial day conversation today, "But you live in the evil empire and reap the benefits, why are you complaining about the democrats. Can't you see the black mark on your soul is more important because you support the Empire on either side of the so called two party system."

nmewn -> Algo Rhythm Mon, 05/28/2018 - 21:11 Permalink

More divide & conquer BS the commies are belching now that they've been caught "red handed".

If it was a family member resolve yourself that you will have to just deal with it. If only a friend or acquaintance, resolve yourself that there may come a time in the not to distant future you will have to slit their throat lest they slit yours.

TRM -> nmewn Mon, 05/28/2018 - 21:26 Permalink

Damn you're getting morbid dude. Chill and have some weed. A gram is better than a damn :)

Nekoti -> TRM Mon, 05/28/2018 - 21:59 Permalink

Morbid as it maybe, nmewn is still correct. It's kinda like the saying, " Two people can keep a secret, as long as one of them is dead." You cannot truly depend on or trust anyone, except yourself. And often times family can be worse than friends.

nmewn -> TRM Mon, 05/28/2018 - 22:12 Permalink

Well, what do want me to say?...lol...I know we're all thinking the same thing, we've all had the very same conversations with these assholes whether friends or family. They are unreachable.

Hey, don't kill the guy pointing out the elephant in the middle of the room ;-)

Baron von Bud -> nmewn Mon, 05/28/2018 - 22:37 Permalink

They're unreachable and they're everywhere. And that includes my family. Greed and ego.

nmewn -> Looney Mon, 05/28/2018 - 20:34 Permalink

It's not sixteen either, it was three ...the CIA ( Brennan ) the FBI ( Comey at the time) and the NSA which in my opinion was in a go-along-to-get-along position. Seventeen was a lie when Hillary first uttered it. "The [intelligence community assessment] was a coordinated product from three agencies: CIA, NSA and the FBI, not all 17 components of the intelligence community," said former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper during a congressional hearing in May. "Those three under the aegis of my former office."

He spoke the truth (that time) probably not wanting another perjury charge ;-)

brianshell -> Looney Mon, 05/28/2018 - 21:11 Permalink

Five eyes. You forgot five eyes. Don't leave out Nine eyes and Thirteen eyes. Hey, we can't leave out Mossad. Contractors, don't forget them.

uhland62 -> Looney Mon, 05/28/2018 - 21:49 Permalink

Hillary said 17 - wrong again. The sales are in full swing, 2 billion offered by Poland to buy protection.

DennisR Mon, 05/28/2018 - 20:03 Permalink

Ah. The final days of Rome. I will miss cheap gasoline.

Herdee Mon, 05/28/2018 - 20:13 Permalink

It's the attitude. The American political leaders have this idea of righteousness and exceptionalism. They think they'll go around the world telling everyone else what to do. I've got two words for them - Fuck-off:

https://www.rt.com/usa/428047-cia-torture-haspel-kiriakou/

AurorusBorealus Mon, 05/28/2018 - 20:27 Permalink

This article could have been written by a second-year political science undergraduate at a U.S. public university. This adds a sum total of zero to the public understanding of the rise of American imperialism.

Ms No -> AurorusBorealus Mon, 05/28/2018 - 20:34 Permalink

You are too generous Sir.

Chupacabra-322 Mon, 05/28/2018 - 20:28 Permalink

To state the obvious; the CIA has deeply humiliated the American people in their attempt to tie the American people to be responsible for the CIA's crimes against humanity across the world.

The CIA appears to be the world's greatest threat to peace and prosperity. It is the penultimate terrorist organization, being the direct or indirect creator of all other terrorist organizations. It also appears to be the world's penultimate illegal drug smuggler and pusher making all other illegal drug trading possible and instigating the horrors of addiction and suffering around the world.

If I believed that the CIA was working in any way on behalf of the US government and the American people then it would be sad and shameful indeed. However, it is my belief that the CIA instead was captured long ago, as was the secret military operations and now works for a hidden power that wants to dominate or failing that, destroy humanity.

It's those Select Highly Compartmentalized Criminal Pure Evil Rogue Elements at the Deep State Top that have had control since the JFK Execution that have entrenched themselves for decades & refuse to relinquish Control.

The Agency is Cancer. There should be no question about the CIA's future in the US.

Dissolved & dishonored. Its members locked away or punished for Treason. Their reputation is so bad and has been for so long, that the fact that you joined them should be enough to justify arrest and Execution for Treason, Crimes Against Humanity & Crimes Against The American People.

grunk Mon, 05/28/2018 - 20:33 Permalink

The author seems comfortable finding fault with Bush and Trump but can't muster up a criticism of Obama (the Cal Ripken of presidential war mongers), Clinton, Holder, et al.

noob Mon, 05/28/2018 - 20:45 Permalink

".. the West defeated Hitler, but Fascism won,"

Chief Joesph Mon, 05/28/2018 - 20:51 Permalink

What a dichotomy. On the one hand, America self-righteously proclaiming it is the one protecting everyone's freedom, while at the same time making war and spying and oppressing others. On the other hand, seems like America is at war with everyone to have such a large military and 17 spy agencies, and more people in prison than any other country in the world. Really sounds like America has got some serious problems.

Peterman333 Mon, 05/28/2018 - 21:06 Permalink

Order through chaos, it's their credo.

Tenet Mon, 05/28/2018 - 21:10 Permalink

Note, a majority of the Muslims living close to Iraq still held a positive view of the U.S. even after the 1990-1991 attack on Iraq. And after 12 years of starvation sanctions, even denying Iraq baby formula with the claim that it "can be used to make weapons". And after the UK and US bombing Iraq on average once a week for those 12 years, targeting water refineries so Iraqis had to drink dirty water, and power plants so there was no air conditioning in the blistering summer heat. Causing the death of half a million children, as confirmed by the U.S. ambassador to the UN, which State Secretary Madeleine Albright said was "worth it".

Even after that mass murder, 60% of Gulf residents were generally positive toward the U.S.

"Clash of cultures," right? There wasn't much Islamism at all, except the anger directed at thieving puppet rulers installed after the European empires withdrew. Arabs, who were mostly secular, had always loved the U.S. as an anti-imperialist country. Thus they couldn't understand when the U.S. backed the Zio invasion of Palestine. And then started sanctioning and attacking every Middle Eastern nation that supported the Palestinians.

The U.S. used to have many "Arabist" diplomats, those who wanted to work with Arab nationalists, especially against the Soviets. But the pro-Arab diplomats were sidelined by the media-backed neocon line, where everything was about who were for or against the Palestinians. Saddam Hussein in Iraq had been secular and pro-American, but he gave money to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers - these families saw their homes razed with all their possessions, with just an hour's notice, by the Israelis. For the crime of giving these destitute people some money, all of Iraq was targeted.

No wonder the Arabs started hating the U.S. Still even after the Iraq invasion in 2003, most Arabs just want to be left alone by the U.S. But that is not allowed. Arab nationalism was destroyed in favor of puppet regimes.

I Am Jack's Ma -> Tenet Mon, 05/28/2018 - 22:18 Permalink

Shh! You'll upset (((nmewn))) And of course Arabists, like Chas Freeman, were sidelined by Zionist Jews and their gentile confederates

http://www.voltairenet.org/article178638.html

Like Bolton, Pompeo, and Haley...

[May 28, 2018] What if Memorial Day was an occasion to remember all the horrific crimes of our nation, and vow to atone for them? Instead of a day to worship and kiss the militarist boot that is grinding our culture into the dirt

Notable quotes:
"... Exactly right Sam. 'It's the oligarchs, stupid" should be our slogan. To keep us focused on the real source of most of our problems. ..."
"... Memorial ceremonies and flag waving allow the rich dictators to demand loyalty to themselves in the name of the principles they have overthrown. The rich despise America's principles and spit upon the Constitution. ..."
"... Actually, there are a lot of evil empires. History has a long list too. The natural state of man is to create evil abusive murderous empires which kill as many people as they can. "The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his." George S. Patton ..."
"... The National Security State is a protection racket for western oligarchy. All the romanticism that surrounds Memorial Day is just to keep the sentimental mythology in tact. Of course, 911 and the GWOT was used to reinforce the troops as national heroes mindset. ..."
"... Americans are that classic example of lab mice being used to form the predetermined outcome of the experimentation. We Americans should just look up and wave and give our controllers the finger, as we all smile and go in the other direction. Joe ..."
May 28, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Edited discussion from How to Honor Memorial Day – Consortiumnews


B Caracciolo , May 28, 2018 at 9:34 pm

As much as I admire and respect Ray McGovern – he and other veterans must understand that suggesting the best leaders in our government would be those with a military background is disappointing. I would rather NOT have those types calling the shots. Look what it's got us?

Cindy reminded me of a quote (whose origin I forget): 'War undoes a mother's work." All power to Cindy Sheehan and all the peace seekers out there. #WomenMarch4Peace

mike k , May 28, 2018 at 5:47 pm

What if Memorial Day was an occasion to remember all the horrific crimes of our nation, and vow to atone for them? Instead of a day to worship and kiss the militarist boot that is grinding our culture into the dirt.

KiwiAntz , May 28, 2018 at 6:20 pm

It's not that America hates peace, they hate, not being able make a profit from War? Peace & it implies means the MIC is obsolete & no longer needed so no more trillions off dollars wasted on stupid Wars & Militarily hardware? Just imagine all that wasted money being put to better use in America, such as on social programs & providing universal healthcare, free college education for America's youth, infrastructure spending & other things? That's the unfortunate thing about funding this bloated killing machine called the MIC?

Stephen J. , May 28, 2018 at 1:53 pm

Send "our leaders" to the front lines of war.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- –
March 9, 2009

"Should We Have War Games for the World's Leaders"?

Yesterday's enemies are today's friends and today's friends are tomorrow's enemies, such is the way of the world, and wars of the world. All these wars cause enormous bloodshed, destruction and suffering to those affected. Therefore, would it not be much simpler to have war games for all of the world's leaders and elites every few years? We have Olympic Games every four years where the world's athletes from different countries compete. And many of these countries are hostile to each other, yet they participate in the Olympics. So if enemies can participate for sport, why not for war games?
[read more at link below]
http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2009/03/should-we-have-war-games-for-worlds.html

Jeff , May 28, 2018 at 12:38 pm

As with everybody else, I'll say this is a great piece because it is. Nominally speaking, I would be left with little to say. But I have one little comment to augment what Ray has said. We are frequently told that our military "protects our freedom" and when you say something that somebody doesn't like, they'll say "thank a vet for your freedom to say something like that." Pfui.

The military hasn't "protected our freedom" in a very long time. Protecting our freedom implies that it is under attack from some external group with capable of being an existential threat to the existence of the United States.

The last time that happened was WWII. Not one single country we've attacked since then has had a snowball's chance in hell of bringing the US to its knees and please note that no country has actually attacked us. As for the "thank a vet for your freedom to say nasty things about the government", the military doesn't protect us from our own government. The government is supposed to protect our constitutional guarantees. They've been doing a shitty job ever since 9/11.

Sam F , May 28, 2018 at 12:05 pm

Afghanistan has been a wonderful test of the corrupt former democracy of the US. The "graveyard of empires" is of no value to anyone, but sought by all empires solely because they fear that Russia might want it.

Britain invaded Afghanistan and failed three times in the 19th century, each campaign a "surge" from the last, their oligarchy afraid of a "threat" to "their" India, of an invasion by Russia. In two centuries that never happened, but they still claim this.

The US warmongers seek Afghanistan to harass Russia, block the Asian road project, harass Pakistan, harass Iran for the zionists, or get opium revenue to their secret gangs. These projects are all unconstitutional, genocidal, and damaging to US security.

America is history's largest example of the destruction of democracy by unregulated economic power, the dictatorship of oligarchy. Their political tyrants create foreign monsters to pose as protectors and accuse their moral superiors of disloyalty. Their mass media sells wars to those angry at the misfortunes brought upon them by the rich, as the means to symbolic personal triumph by killing all who disagree.

The ruined "American Century" can be saved only by a humanitarian vision, and if the people cannot depose US oligarchy so as to rise to that vision, the US must hide in shame from the enemies its selfishness has made, ruined by isolation and embargo. No one will miss the US when it has collapsed into permanent disgrace.

Wake up, America! We are slaves until the oligarchy is destroyed.

mike k , May 28, 2018 at 4:02 pm

Exactly right Sam. 'It's the oligarchs, stupid" should be our slogan. To keep us focused on the real source of most of our problems.

Sam F , May 28, 2018 at 6:20 pm

Thank you, Mike. It is hard to recommend solutions when focused upon the problems of oligarchy, without advising people to shake their cage or use extreme measures, but we have seen good ideas here, and the vision is certainly needed.

John , May 28, 2018 at 9:57 pm

The only thing wrong with your post is the claim "The "graveyard of empires" is of no value to anyone". Afghanistan is first, geographically positioned so that many pipelines are planned to run through it. Also, Afghanistan is very mineral-rich, including and especially in Lithium – which is needed for batteries for everything from consumer electronics to electric cars.

Mary V , May 28, 2018 at 10:35 am

Ray McGovern is a national treasure, and so is Cindy Sheehan. They are 2 of the all-too-few voices willing to stand against the horrific military industrial machine. Just imagine how much courage it took both of them to do what they did back in 2004, at the height of the jingoistic blood-lust fest the neocons created in the wake of 9/11. I have watched and read the work of both of these amazingly courageous people over the course of 15 years or so, and what strikes me as tragic is that there are still so many who buy into the 'patriotism' b.s. and are willing to sacrifice their own children to senseless wars.

Anon , May 28, 2018 at 10:17 am

Memorial ceremonies and flag waving allow the rich dictators to demand loyalty to themselves in the name of the principles they have overthrown. The rich despise America's principles and spit upon the Constitution.

Soldiers are the fools of rich dictators and they know it, hoping to escape war and retire. They have no honor. Flag-wavers are cowardly imbeciles destroying America because they have no principles. They are traitors.

vinnieoh , May 28, 2018 at 10:15 am

Since CN decided to re-cycle this piece (that is not a complaint against its quality,) I'll post this as evidence that ordinary little citizens can have more knowledge, common sense, and morality than our ruling class.

From: lawrences
To:
Subject: The impending war against Iraq
Date: Tuesday, October 29, 2002 12:43 PM

Dear Sir:

Although I am a resident of Ohio, I am contacting you because you have proven to be a man of honor and reason and a powerful force in the U.S. Senate. I am strongly opposed to the impending war in the Middle East, and have already expressed these views to the senators from Ohio, but I believe that if anybody can mobilize opposition to this impending disaster, it may be you. I listened to your comments prior to the non-debate concerning the Resolution to authorize the use of force, and I agree that the real consequences of this conflict were not addressed at all.

This conflict is worse than folly. I believe that at the very least: the situation in the Middle East will be much worse and not better; world opinion will solidify against Americans and American policies; terrorist organizations and activities will be strengthened, not weakened; we will be bankrupted into the unforeseeable future. At the worst, this act of aggression could plunge humanity into global conflict the likes of which previous human experience will not have prepared us. Lest these concerns seem selfish and self-centered, I do not wish to again see American sons and daughters slaughter innocent civilians from the safety of our high-tech weaponry, and all for the true purpose of expanding the corporate oligarchy.

Now is not the time to remain silent for the purpose of political expediency. While representative democracy still exists between these shores it is time to rein in a chief executive and his cabal who are apparently in the throes of a consuming blood-lust. I have considered myself and have voted Democrat all of my life (I'm 50 years old), and I must say that I am disgusted that most of the elected Democrats in Washington have been struck mute on this issue. No reasonable person who is fully contemplating the consequences of what is about to happen could come to the conclusion that any good is going to come from this. I believe, despite the gaudy and superficial manifestations of popular American culture, that this country is populated by reasonable people, and our elected representatives should consider the consequences of remaining mute and cowardly as George II leads us into a national disgrace and disaster.

History, if indeed there be anyone left to record it, will justly lay the blame for this catastrophe at our feet. Please sir, I implore you, do everything in your power to stop this from happening.

A sincere Veteran, American, and a Human Being,

Vince Lawrence
email: *********@***.net

"Happy" Memorial Day. One last thought. Kind of paraphrases what Ray was trying to say, and they are my own words that I decided on, several years into the criminal invasion of Iraq: One can not earn honor and glory for one's self by prosecuting an illegal and immoral policy.

Is this perhaps one of many reasons for the high suicide rate of GWOT veterans?

Sam F , May 28, 2018 at 11:05 am

With the endless "marches of folly" of our dictatorship of rich traitors, Memorial Day has become a flag-waving psyop for a "national religion" of lies and bullying that sacrifices poverty [sicken] draft animals to the ideological fantasies of opportunist demagogues. Their fake praise for "the fallen" and disgusting lies about the motives and effects of their constant genocides and subversions betray their deliberate murder of US citizens and foreign innocents to get money, public office, and promotions. The families of those sacrificed should denounce rather than legitimize these schemes of murder by corrupt politicians.

Dorothy Hoobler , May 28, 2018 at 10:12 am

A great article! Another extraordinary quality about Cindy Sheehan was and is that she saw the tragedy for the mother's of Iraq was as real as her own. Very few people have that sense of common humanity – certainly none of our politicians.

mike k , May 28, 2018 at 7:39 am

The United States of America is the Evil Empire on this planet. One of the most evil groups in this Empire of Evil is the military. Young people are trained to kill and brutalize others, then celebrated as heroes – just as ruthless hit men are celebrated and honored by the Mafia. The worst among us are put forward as the best. Noble words are turned into lies in the mouths of our politicians and media propagandists.

CitizenOne , May 28, 2018 at 10:16 am

Actually, there are a lot of evil empires. History has a long list too. The natural state of man is to create evil abusive murderous empires which kill as many people as they can. "The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his." George S. Patton

The problem comes not from war itself but from the ultimate reason for the war. Some wars like WWII were necessary because the all too real possibility that Germany would come to dominate Europe and Japan would dominate the Pacific. It was a classical war fought purely for economic gain by the Axis powers. Also it was classical since it was a war waged by governments and heads of state. Hence when it was over those nations unconditionally surrendered and the war ended.

Fast forward to later years and many still question the wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya.

The reasons become complex for these wars and the outcomes less certain than the clear victory in WWII. We lost Vietnam and all the hype about dominoes and evil empires didn't happen. We won Iraq but that outcome created ISIS which we later funded to attack Syria. Is this what we expect our leaders to do?

Another example is the Iran Coup d'etat where we installed a dictator to counter Iran's nationalizing the oil companies. This led to the student uprising, the hostage crisis and our long cold war with Iran. We had an October Surprise when we found out that Iran Contra went back to before the Reagan Election and there is evidence that George Bush was personally negotiating terms with the Iranians in order to prolong thir captivity until after the election. It seems to me that secretly dealing with a foreign enemy nation that is holding US citizens hostage to prolong their captivity for political gains fits the definition of high crimes and misdemeanors.

Why don't hold leaders accountable under the law?

George Bush went on to be the international spokesperson for The Carlyle Group perhaps the largest private arms dealers on the planet. All of the investors in the Carlyle Group became insanely wealthy after 9/11. Their basic investment strategy was to buy up depressed military defense contractor stocks which fell after the Berlin Wall came down knowing that those stocks would go up if there were another conflict. What about the moral conflict of their investment strategy especially since major shareholders were also in key positions to be able to influence foreign policy?

It seems fairly obvious that when federal intelligence agencies fail to react to foreign nationals learning to fly with no desire to go to landing school there was at least willful ignorance regarding the plans of Osama. The reasons for recent wars seems entirely too conflicted. Just like the classical wars of the past, today's wars are still being waged by the leaders of nations for economic gain.

Are our troops to blame? Absolutely not. They are young, idealistic and loyal. They believe in America and are willing to fight for our freedom. They are to be honored on this day for their sacrifice.

On the other hand, the leaders who are making a killing behind the scenes while ginning up wars for profit wherever they can need to be held accountable for their actions and at least a shred of acknowledgement by the "liberal" media needs to reach peoples ears.

We can honor the dead for their sacrifice but we need to honor the living by preventing their lives being lost in the quest for money.

CitizenOne , May 28, 2018 at 10:17 am

Here is a link to the Carlyle Group a few documentaries.

Joe Tedesky , May 28, 2018 at 10:46 am

Great little essay CitizenOne. You give a valuable lesson in the art of 'buying low and selling high, and damn those who don't agree'. We are witnessing what you get from an all for profit military. Take the profit out of war, and you will end all war. Joe

John , May 28, 2018 at 10:11 pm

I really have to wonder why the Carlyle Group is not better known. An arms dealing consortium started by the Bush and Bin Laden Family, that JUST HAPPENED to be meeting in NYC on Sept 11, 2001, for a super-early morning meeting, in a conference room with a panoramic view of the Twin Towers No, nothing suspicious there .

Sam F , May 28, 2018 at 10:50 am

Yes, in the military "young people are trained to kill and brutalize others, then celebrated as heroes." Also true as Citizen says that many are "young, idealistic and loyal willing to fight for our freedom."

But no one not paid to recite propaganda would think that the US has been fighting for its freedom, and no one who pays attention thinks that it is fighting for anything positive. So the military above age 20-25 just don't question the obvious lies, due to their ulterior motives. Those who agree with the foreign policies of US warmongers don't believe in the principles of America, only its dictators' ideology of lies and killing for profit. The majority are simply forced to go along with the dictators like everyone else.

CitizenOne , May 28, 2018 at 1:05 pm

But fighting for our freedom is exactly what the propaganda preaches. Like Orwell's "nineteen eighty-four", the citizens of Oceania are taught to hate Emmanuel Goldstein and the enemy states Eastasia and Eurasia. Perhaps the most disturbing part is that you never really know if Big Brother or Emmanuel Goldstein even exist. It could be that these are fictional straw men that serve the purpose of the state to control the masses. Either way, real or not, it is the same issue to be handled by the state. It is all fake news all the time in Oceania.

I'm not selling the volunteers who sign up short. I do not believe they join the military (for the most part) so they can become legal mafia wise guys. Obviously and especially given the recent trends to use contractors (mercenaries and soldiers of fortune) there is some of that going on.

Let's face facts. Propaganda works. At least PT Barnum was correct when he said you can fool most of the people most of the time.

I don't know any parents who wish their children in the military would bring home lots of money they got pilfering corpses. However I do know that governments wage wars to bring home lots of money by pilfering other nations.

This point is key. Blaming servicemen and women for the foreign policy decisions of our government is ludicrous as is any suggestion they should take the "high ground". In the military you follow orders; period.

On the other hand we should never allow those who want to squash criticism of our government to use the false argument that in so doing, the critics of the government are dishonoring the folks that sacrificed for the nation. That is the false patriotism used by totalitarian nations to silence debate while conducting immoral and unethical deeds. As Samuel Johnson said in 1775, "(false) Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel"

Sam F , May 28, 2018 at 2:32 pm

Indeed there is diversity among volunteers, perhaps even as mercenaries. One certainly does not wish to unfairly criticize the volunteer with good intentions. But I see thuggish teams here who often fired guns at our charity to "defend the town" (their thug tribe subset), who apparently learned "skills" in the military. So it seems that many sign up for the opportunity to kill for the tribe, looking for any excuse to vent their anger at unknown processes. They are looking for an imaginary enemy just as much as the demagogues who "defend" us in Washington.

Jack Williams , May 28, 2018 at 6:36 am

Truthful and thoughtful people like Ray know the truth of this and all wars but they, like Ralph Nader, will never be guests on any corporate T.V. shows, nor will any of the swamp creatures dare to debate them in public, as they could not defend the lies they perpetrate for profit. The insanity of our foreign policy has miseducated the general public to the point of insanity. I always get the usual zombie phrase of "Thank you for your service" and the bewildered look when I say that I didn't serve, I was used. They usually never approach me again and look at me as some sort of creature because I don't see the world through their eyes but they look thru the glass darkly. I have no idea how we are going to make them see the truth of this tragic farce and inhumanity. we destroy the world and ourselves with the illusions that pass as truth. I guess I just want to know the truth when I die! They will never see the fact that all are connected as well as every particle in the universe, one and the same, that is the mystery of it all that the sages tried to get people to understand. God in you, you are god and everyone else is also. Not separate! You can connect to the sacred my understanding this. Thank you Ray, for being who you are and for having the courage to speak the truth, with much love, Jack Williams.

RickD , May 28, 2018 at 7:35 am

As a fellow veteran I echo and support your eloquent words. War is a profit center, the cause is generally linked to corporate desire for capturing markets and an ever increasing need for more and more profits. That wars endure is directly linked to the vast amounts spent on the MIC as well, and not the needs of our nation as a whole.

CitizenOne , May 28, 2018 at 1:18 pm

I agree. Well said.

Add Noam Chomsky ("Evil Noam") to the list of banned interviewees. After years of cold shoulders, he got his shot on PBS but at the last minute the higher-ups at PBS decided to pull the plug so there was just 5 minutes of radio silence. He is the man America loves to hate. The most dangerous liberal in America etc

Amazing how the "liberal" press fails to connect with him despite his best efforts.

CitizenOne , May 28, 2018 at 1:19 pm

Here is a link to The "Evil Gnome" Chomsky. BTW, I think he would fit right in here.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/7865508/Noam-Chomsky-interview.html

John , May 28, 2018 at 10:13 pm

Chomsky is most emphatically not a "Liberal". He is very openly a Libertarian Socialist.

RnM , May 28, 2018 at 5:18 am

It's very disconcerting how Memorial Day has, in this topsy-turvey culture has become a celebration of the type of denial and forgetting that Ray McGovern so eloquently describes. Thanks, Ray for again upholding the spirits of the American Revolution, and the Civil War for us, and to name the names of certain betrayers of the Americans who may or may not have chosen wisely (Who can really say about the origins of any one individual's choices?)

Myself, I boycott cookouts and partying the last weekend in May, and buy an artificial poppy instead from a disabled Vet It's a time for remembering and committing to put those memories toward sanity (i. e., not repeating the same futile actions).

Realist , May 28, 2018 at 1:52 am

Not to sound callous, but without forced conscription, nobody joins the military against their free will. Unless they spent their formative years under a rock, or possess an IQ in the low double digits, they ought to know from just casual exposure to the media, school books, zines and even graphic novels that America is not under any real threat from any other country or combination of countries on the face of the earth. Yes, the propaganda is pervasive, but it's patently transparent, just like the politicians who hypocritically sell it; like Trump telling one narrative on Monday and a diametrically opposite story on Tuesday. No one in authority has any credibility any longer.

The grunts ought to know that they join the American service to exert the power and influence of the empire into every far corner of the globe through use of lethal force with extreme prejudice. Our American "heroes" get to do all their killing "over there," on the other side of the planet, never here in any actual defense of their "homeland." They are not accurately described as "defenders" or "warriors" or any other lauditory appellation. Rather, they are raiders, conquerors, conquistadors, or legionnaires. When they attack they put the "Blitzkrieg" to shame with the obscene kill ratios their space-age weapons allow against thoroughly outclassed relatively primitive countries that have never left their own borders, let alone fired a shot at America. Our troopers stomp 10,000 miles to go shoot fish in a barrel, only they are human beings, not fish or turkeys, which would be another apt analogy for what the U.S. military specializes in. They have massacred millions from Viet Nam to Yugoslavia to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen and made untold more homeless refugees, and their apologists want the world to feel sorry and shed crocodile tears for the few thousand of them who randomly died because someone effed up while they were following immoral and illegal orders. Many of those were accidentally killed by their own comrades and subsequently lied about by the government and its media mouthpieces.

The only pity I feel for these hired killers is the way they were recruited: being plucked by means of bribes and false promises from a disintegrating working class deliberately sabotaged by the economic policies of its own government. For them the army takes the place of a job and a living wage. For children of the disappearing middle class, enlisting is their last hope to cover some college tuition, if they finish their hitch alive. I wouldn't say either of these groups is eager to do the dirty work the chain of command has in store for them. Even the kids from the hood can mostly see through the trickery and hypocrisy. They know they won't be defending Compton, Overtown, the Lower Ninth Ward or West Garfield Park from any Jihadis. Those fish aren't biting as frequently any more, so the feds have to recruit numerous immigrants in return for promises of citizenship rather than deportation. The other thing they now do is to hire mercenaries–"independent contractors"–which used to be against American law not that long ago, but now makes up nearly half the manpower in hotbeds like Iraq and Syria. The next logical step for our great and powerful empire will be to establish an equivalent of the old French Foreign Legion, in which dregs from all over the planet are employed in the armed service of American empire or maybe ISIS and Daesh already qualify for that role? Do our hired terrorists get medical and retirement benefits? Probably ahead of taxpayers once AmGov starts prioritizing to save money under its new constitution.

Did that sound disrespectful? What is to be respected about a society that allows its leadership to scoop up dispensable citizens to use as cannon fodder in the service of an empire that kills and thieves wantonly to benefit only a tiny fraction of those at the very tip of the pyramid?

LarcoMarco , May 28, 2018 at 4:08 am

"Not to sound callous, but without forced conscription, nobody joins the military against their free will. Unless they spent their formative years under a rock, or possess an IQ in the low double digits"

Most Americans of fighting age, I believe, consider military enlistment far beneath them. So, I am totally mystified when I read about polls that reveal the military is the profession Americans hold in the highest esteem.

Realist , May 28, 2018 at 8:14 am

I think that most also believe genocidal wars of aggression are not exactly moral or in the interests of the country or themselves. They've got better things to do with their lives than throw them away killing people who did nothing inimical to our country on the other side of the world. They may spout patriotic platitudes about the military because they are expected under serious social pressure and they don't want the hassle of a public argument.

The second line of my text that you included within your quotes is not a dependent clause to the first sentence. It is part of the next sentence: an adverbial clause modifying "they ought to know that America is not under any real threat " which is the main declarative statement. I'd rather not be misunderstood.

Skip Scott , May 28, 2018 at 11:16 am

I think the biggest problem is that neither our children, nor the vast majority of the citizenry, are taught any critical thinking skills. It is all about image. Teenage boys fall for anything that paints them as macho men. The 1986 movie Top Gun was all about recruiting teenage boys who wanted to be macho men to be our new generation of cannon fodder in our "all volunteer" armed forces and, as HW said, "to kick the Vietnam syndrome once and for all".

I really do pity these kids as victims as much as those they are sent to kill. I am reminded of Dicken's "A Christmas Carol" when the Ghost of Christmas Present reveals the two children beneath his robe, who are ignorance and want. "but mostly beware this boy, for on his forehead I see that which is written "doom" "

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_XjPFMWpmw

Joe Tedesky , May 28, 2018 at 12:11 pm

Skip I'll go along with that considering to how many of my generation found themselves standing in a rice paddy with bullets whistling by, until they finally realized that that John Wayne image was just a movie. Joe

Sam F , May 28, 2018 at 10:32 am

I think that you both agree, and I agree with you both. The polls are deceptions of the MIC.

Realist , May 28, 2018 at 4:36 pm

Yes, and I realise that most Americans, being herd animals who don't do nuance, would tell most of us here to "go back to Russia" for the remarks we've posted, even though they really don't want the lives of their friends and relatives wasted in wars of conquest.

Cindy Sheehan is right not to let that go.

I had at least six classmates killed in Nam. They've been dead much longer than they lived, the first one buying the farm in January of 1966.

Lois Gagnon , May 28, 2018 at 9:22 pm

Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be soldiers. I raised my boys to be pro-peace. When the recruiters started calling in their senior year of high school, they were prepared to resist. It galled me that they had to register for the draft at all.

The National Security State is a protection racket for western oligarchy. All the romanticism that surrounds Memorial Day is just to keep the sentimental mythology in tact. Of course, 911 and the GWOT was used to reinforce the troops as national heroes mindset.

As you say, if you are even casually paying attention, you know what the real aim of US militarism is. There's a lot of active denial going on. The truth is just so damn ugly, most folks would rather avoid it even when their own kids get taken down by it. We are a sad spectacle of a country right now.

John , May 28, 2018 at 10:23 pm

My dad was a vet who was scarred by 'Nam. When the army recruiter called me, I told him "Your motto is, 'be all that you can be in the army'. Well, if all you are capable of is is allowed by the army, then it would probably be better for you to go get killed in war and weed out the gene pool."

I was 17 at the time, it was the best I could come up with off the time of my head.

SocraticGadfly , May 28, 2018 at 12:59 am

Ray misses a point or two, especially important with the rise of alt-right types with Trump in office. We as a nation must NEVER forget that Memorial Day was founded to remember Union dead from the Civil War.

Consortiumnews.com , May 28, 2018 at 5:53 am

This is a reprint of a piece Ray wrote in May 2015. It focuses on the Bush and Obama administrations.

Strngr - Tgthr , May 28, 2018 at 12:43 am

How to Honor Memorial Day? (hmmm omg) With who is in office what is there to be proud of? (Stalingrad?) Articles like this go back and forth between Presidents like Bush (akk: Cheney) & Obama, I suppose to be politically correct in the wrong way. But all one has to do is look at HISTORY and just see what party is the party of war and PEACE. If anyone thinks Obama would have invaded Iraq in the first place after 9-11 – it is not even an argument. He would not even fire missles in to Syria. (Don't do stupid stuff was his way.) And so eight years after don't do stupid stuff we have a guy who can't wait to drop a H-Bomb someplace to make his mark on histiory. Great, lets be thankful. I guess he will drop it wherever Putin and Juliana Assange want it.

LarcoMarco , May 28, 2018 at 4:16 am

Obama lost his balls when his version of John Bolton, Killary, sawed them off. Then she cooked up false intelligence, a la Dumbya, which led to Libya's dismemberment under Obomber's passive watch.

Lois Gagnon , May 28, 2018 at 9:27 pm

Funny how Dembots always attempt to brush the destruction of Libya under the rug as if the people who perished there and continue to suffer and die as a result of Killary's warmongering never existed.

John , May 28, 2018 at 10:40 pm

Democrats the party of peace?
You mean like in the former Yugoslavia?
Libya?
Vietnam?
Yemen?

Heck, your hero the Queen of Chaos is on video pimping the war in Iraq!

Al Gore only criticized the Iraq war at the time, because he would have postponed it a bit
https://www.counterpunch.org/2016/08/19/liberal-myths-would-al-gore-have-invaded-iraq/

The Dims have forced almost all of the anti-war people out! (Cynthia McKinney, Dennis Kucinich, etc)

The parties of peace are the Greens and Libertarians. If you vote for EITHER Dimocraps or Repugnicans, you are actively supporting wars of aggression.

Even in your own delusional rhetoric, you engage in sabre-rattling against Russia (the ONE good thing that Trump had going for him in his campaign was detente with Russia, but the Dims, with their histrionic unhinged ranting about the thoroughly discredited "Russia Hacked The Elections" nonsense – which Ray McGovern has written about rather extensively) and you point at Assange, who is a hero who has NEVER been shown to print incorrect information, unlike anyone in the Dim party, as if, by telling UNDENIABLE TRUTH, he is somehow a bad guy.

As far as Obama's claim to "not do stupid stuff", it is well documented that, under his administration, a Nazi-led coup in Ukraine was fomented, Al-Queida was armed and trained in Syria, arms funding for Israel was INCREASED after they carried out grave war crimes (which meet the Geneva Convention definition of Genocide), Libya was decimated (based on lies), etc ad nauseum.

Is David Brock still sending out paychecks?

Joe Tedesky , May 27, 2018 at 11:33 pm

Ray thanks for this important article, as your struggling with it paid off.

Now I'm not one to rain on anybody's parade, but I have a hard time reconciling people's true patriotism while we all stand for the National Anthem at sporting events, or other events where our flag is honored. Not to judge anyone's admiration of our country, but with all of the honoring of our military, and with jets flying over the ball yard, I find these over produced displays of patriotism to be a bit over the top. Like, do these people not know that our country is feared by the majority of the world's population, and that this fear is based on a real life deadly everyday reality? Don't these taxpayers, who complain all the time about paying high or any taxes at all realize that this military spending our country is doing, is a debt trap just waiting to gobble up what's left of the American treasure if there still is any treasure left? Or are the joyous fans just glad that they didn't, or don't have to serve in our ever active military? Why can't these cheering patriots see through the many lies about war, that this country's leaders have lead us to time and time again? Ask a red, white, and blue, sports fan when was the last time America won a war . then listen to their silence, and watch the contortions in their face muscles twitch. At this point you may wish to leave these patriots alone, for the confusion over your questioning all of this military madness may make them slash out at you.

Not only has America gone a step to far with its for profit war machine, but it's war propaganda has been so packaged as to make it, one hellva commercial grade product. And in America isn't that's what it's all about packaging a fantastically shinny beautifully made profitable product.

RnM , May 28, 2018 at 5:37 am

Joe -- Your comment is a apt distillation of the fruits of the purposeful dumbing down of the US. I'd put the latest push (by Dubya) squarely in the lap of the Bushes.

Joe Tedesky , May 28, 2018 at 9:21 am

Americans are that classic example of lab mice being used to form the predetermined outcome of the experimentation. We Americans should just look up and wave and give our controllers the finger, as we all smile and go in the other direction. Joe

[May 28, 2018] How To Honor Memorial Day by Ray McGovern

May 28, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored via ConsortiumNews.com,

Memorial Day should be a time of sober reflection on war's horrible costs, not a moment to glorify war. But many politicians and pundits can't resist the opportunity...

Originally published on 5/24/2015

How best to show respect for the U.S. troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and for their families on Memorial Day?

Simple: Avoid euphemisms like "the fallen" and expose the lies about what a great idea it was to start those wars in the first place and then to "surge" tens of thousands of more troops into those fools' errands.

First, let's be clear on at least this much: the 4,500 U.S. troops killed in Iraq so far and the 2,350 killed in Afghanistan [by May 2015] did not "fall." They were wasted on no-win battlefields by politicians and generals cheered on by neocon pundits and mainstream "journalists" almost none of whom gave a rat's patootie about the real-life-and-death troops. They were throwaway soldiers.

And, as for the "successful surges," they were just P.R. devices to buy some "decent intervals" for the architects of these wars and their boosters to get space between themselves and the disastrous endings while pretending that those defeats were really "victories squandered" all at the "acceptable" price of about 1,000 dead U.S. soldiers each and many times that in dead Iraqis and Afghans.

Memorial Day should be a time for honesty about what enabled the killing and maiming of so many U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama and the senior military brass simply took full advantage of a poverty draft that gives upper-class sons and daughters the equivalent of exemptions, vaccinating them against the disease of war.

What drives me up the wall is the oft-heard, dismissive comment about troop casualties from well-heeled Americans: "Well, they volunteered, didn't they?" Under the universal draft in effect during Vietnam, far fewer were immune from service, even though the well-connected could still game the system to avoid serving. Vice Presidents Dick Cheney and Joe Biden, for example, each managed to pile up five exemptions. This means, of course, that they brought zero military experience to the job; and this, in turn, may explain a whole lot -- particularly given their bosses' own lack of military experience.

The grim truth is that many of the crëme de la crëme of today's Official Washington don't know many military grunts, at least not intimately as close family or friends. They may bump into some on the campaign trail or in an airport and mumble something like, "thank you for your service." But these sons and daughters of working-class communities from America's cities and heartland are mostly abstractions to the powerful, exclamation points at the end of some ideological debate demonstrating which speaker is "tougher," who's more ready to use military force, who will come out on top during a talk show appearance or at a think-tank conference or on the floor of Congress.

Sharing the Burden?

We should be honest about this reality, especially on Memorial Day. Pretending that the burden of war has been equitably shared, and worse still that those killed died for a "noble cause," as President George W. Bush liked to claim, does no honor to the thousands of U.S. troops killed and the tens of thousands maimed. It dishonors them. Worse, it all too often succeeds in infantilizing bereaved family members who cannot bring themselves to believe their government lied.

Who can blame parents for preferring to live the fiction that their sons and daughters were heroes who wittingly and willingly made the "ultimate sacrifice," dying for a "noble cause," especially when this fiction is frequently foisted on them by well-meaning but naive clergy at funerals. For many it is impossible to live with the reality that a son or daughter died in vain. Far easier to buy into the official story and to leave clergy unchallenged as they gild the lilies around coffins and gravesites.

Not so for some courageous parents. Cindy Sheehan, for example, whose son Casey Sheehan was killed on April 4, 2004, in the Baghdad suburb of Sadr City, demonstrated uncommon grit when she led hundreds of friends to Crawford to lay siege to the Texas White House during the summer of 2005 trying to get Bush to explain what "noble cause" Casey died for. She never got an answer. There is none.

But there are very few, like Cindy Sheehan, able to overcome a natural human resistance to the thought that their sons and daughters died for a lie and then to challenge that lie. These few stalwarts make themselves face this harsh reality, the knowledge that the children whom they raised and sacrificed so much for were, in turn, sacrificed on the altar of political expediency, that their precious children were bit players in some ideological fantasy or pawns in a game of career maneuvering.

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is said to have described the military disdainfully as "just dumb stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy." Whether or not those were his exact words, his policies and behavior certainly betrayed that attitude. It certainly seems to have prevailed among top American-flag-on-lapel-wearing officials of the Bush and Obama administrations, including armchair and field-chair generals whose sense of decency is blinded by the prospect of a shiny new star on their shoulders, if they just follow orders and send young soldiers into battle.

This bitter truth should raise its ugly head on Memorial Day but rarely does. It can be gleaned only with great difficulty from the mainstream media, since the media honchos continue to play an indispensable role in the smoke-and-mirrors dishonesty that hides their own guilt in helping Establishment Washington push "the fallen" from life to death.

We must judge the actions of our political and military leaders not by the pious words they will utter Monday in mourning those who "fell" far from the generals' cushy safe seats in the Pentagon or somewhat closer to the comfy beds in air-conditioned field headquarters where a lucky general might be comforted in the arms of an admiring and enterprising biographer.

Many of the high-and-mighty delivering the approved speeches on Monday will glibly refer to and mourn "the fallen." None are likely to mention the culpable policymakers and complicit generals who added to the fresh graves at Arlington National Cemetery and around the country.

Words, after all, are cheap; words about "the fallen" are dirt cheap especially from the lips of politicians and pundits with no personal experience of war. The families of those sacrificed in Iraq and Afghanistan should not have to bear that indignity.

'Successful Surges'

The so-called "surges" of troops into Iraq and Afghanistan were particularly gross examples of the way our soldiers have been played as pawns. Since the usual suspects are again coming out the woodwork of neocon think tanks to press for yet another "surge" in Iraq, some historical perspective should help.

Take, for example, the well-known and speciously glorified first "surge;" the one Bush resorted to in sending over 30,000 additional troops into Iraq in early 2007; and the not-to-be-outdone Obama "surge" of 30,000 into Afghanistan in early 2010. These marches of folly were the direct result of decisions by George W. Bush and Barack Obama to prioritize political expediency over the lives of U.S. troops.

Taking cynical advantage of the poverty draft, they let foot soldiers pay the "ultimate" price. That price was 1,000 U.S. troops killed in each of the two "surges."

And the results? The returns are in. The bloody chaos these days in Iraq and the faltering war in Afghanistan were entirely predictable. They were indeed predicted by those of us able to spread some truth around via the Internet, while being mostly blacklisted by the fawning corporate media.

Yet, because the "successful surge" myth was so beloved in Official Washington, saving some face for the politicians and pundits who embraced and spread the lies that justified and sustained especially the Iraq War, the myth has become something of a touchstone for everyone aspiring to higher office or seeking a higher-paying gig in the mainstream media.

Campaigning in New Hampshire, [then] presidential aspirant Jeb Bush gave a short history lesson about his big brother's attack on Iraq. Referring to the so-called Islamic State, Bush said, "ISIS didn't exist when my brother was president. Al-Qaeda in Iraq was wiped out the surge created a fragile but stable Iraq. "

We've dealt with the details of the Iraq "surge" myth before both before and after it was carried out. [See, for instance, Consortiumnews.com's " Reviving the Successful Surge Myth "; " Gen. Keane on Iran Attack "; " Robert Gates: As Bad as Rumsfeld? "; and " Troop Surge Seen as Another Mistake. "]

But suffice it to say that Jeb Bush is distorting the history and should be ashamed. The truth is that al-Qaeda did not exist in Iraq before his brother launched an unprovoked invasion in 2003. "Al-Qaeda in Iraq" arose as a direct result of Bush's war and occupation. Amid the bloody chaos, AQI's leader, a Jordanian named Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, pioneered a particularly brutal form of terrorism, relishing videotaped decapitation of prisoners.

Zarqawi was eventually hunted down and killed not during the celebrated "surge" but in June 2006, months before Bush's "surge" began. The so-called Sunni Awakening, essentially the buying off of many Sunni tribal leaders, also predated the "surge." And the relative reduction in the Iraq War's slaughter after the 2007 "surge" was mostly the result of the ethnic cleansing of Baghdad from a predominantly Sunni to a Shia city, tearing the fabric of Baghdad in two, and creating physical space that made it more difficult for the two bitter enemies to attack each other. In addition, Iran used its influence with the Shia to rein in their extremely violent militias.

Though weakened by Zarqawi's death and the Sunni Awakening, AQI did not disappear, as Jeb Bush would like you to believe. It remained active and when Saudi Arabia and the Sunni gulf states took aim at the secular regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria AQI joined with other al-Qaeda affiliates, such as the Nusra Front, to spread their horrors across Syria. AQI rebranded itself "the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" or simply "the Islamic State."

The Islamic State split off from al-Qaeda over strategy but the various jihadist armies, including al-Qaeda's Nusra Front, [then] seized wide swaths of territory in Syria -- and the Islamic State returned with a vengeance to Iraq, grabbing major cities such as Mosul and Ramadi.

Jeb Bush doesn't like to unspool all this history. He and other Iraq War backers prefer to pretend that the "surge" in Iraq had won the war and Obama threw the "victory" away by following through on George W. Bush's withdrawal agreement with Maliki.

But the crisis in Syria and Iraq is among the fateful consequences of the U.S./UK attack 12 years ago and particularly of the "surge" of 2007, which contributed greatly to Sunni-Shia violence, the opposite of what George W. Bush professed was the objective of the "surge," to enable Iraq's religious sects to reconcile.

Reconciliation, however, always took a back seat to the real purpose of the "surge" buying time so Bush and Cheney could slip out of Washington in 2009 without having an obvious military defeat hanging around their necks and putting a huge stain on their legacies.

Cheney and Bush: Reframed the history. (White House photo)

The political manipulation of the Iraq "surge" allowed Bush, Cheney and their allies to reframe the historical debate and shift the blame for the defeat onto Obama, recognizing that 1,000 more dead U.S. soldiers was a small price to pay for protecting the "Bush brand." Now, Bush's younger brother can cheerily march off to the campaign trail for 2016 pointing to the carcass of the Iraqi albatross hung around Obama's shoulders.

Rout at Ramadi

Less than a year after U.S.-trained and -equipped Iraqi forces ran away from the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, leaving the area and lots of U.S. arms and equipment to ISIS, something similar happened at Ramadi, the capital of the western province of Anbar. Despite heavy U.S. air strikes on ISIS, American-backed Iraqi security forces fled Ramadi, which is only 70 miles west of Baghdad, after a lightning assault by ISIS forces.

The ability of ISIS to strike just about everywhere in the area is reminiscent of the Tet offensive of January-February 1968 in Vietnam, which persuaded President Lyndon Johnson that that particular war was unwinnable. If there are materials left over in Saigon for reinforcing helicopter landing pads on the tops of buildings, it is not too early to bring them to Baghdad's Green Zone, on the chance that U.S. embassy buildings may have a call for such materials in the not-too-distant future.

The headlong Iraqi government retreat from Ramadi had scarcely ended when Sen. John McCain, (R-AZ), described the fall of the city as "terribly significant" which is correct adding that more U.S. troops may be needed which is insane. His appeal for more troops neatly fit one proverbial definition of insanity (attributed or misattributed to Albert Einstein): "doing the same thing over and over again [like every eight years?] but expecting different results."

As Jeb Bush was singing the praises of his brother's "surge" in Iraq, McCain and his Senate colleague Lindsey Graham were publicly calling for a new "surge" of U.S. troops into Iraq. The senators urged President Obama to do what George W. Bush did in 2007 replace the U.S. military leadership and dispatch additional troops to Iraq.

But Washington Post pundit David Ignatius, even though a fan of the earlier two surges, was not yet on board for this one. Ignatius warned in a column that Washington should not abandon its current strategy:

"This is still Iraq's war, not America's. But President Barack Obama must reassure Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi that the U.S. has his back, and at the same time give him a reality check: If al-Abadi and his Shiite allies don't do more to empower Sunnis, his country will splinter. Ramadi is a precursor, of either a turnaround by al-Abadi's forces, or an Iraqi defeat."

Ignatius's urgent tone was warranted. But what he suggests is precisely what the U.S. made a lame attempt to do with then-Prime Minister Maliki in early 2007. Yet, Bush squandered U.S. leverage by sending 30,000 troops to show he "had Maliki's back," freeing Maliki to accelerate his attempts to marginalize, rather than accommodate, Sunni interests.

Perhaps Ignatius now remembers how the "surge" he championed in 2007 greatly exacerbated tensions between Shia and Sunni contributing to the chaos now prevailing in Iraq and spreading across Syria and elsewhere. But Ignatius is well connected and a bellwether; if he ends up advocating another "surge," take shelter.

Keane and Kagan Ask For a Mulligan

Jeb Bush: Sung his brother's praises. (Sun City Center, Florida, on May 9, 2006. White House photo by Eric Draper)

The architects of Bush's 2007 "surge" of 30,000 troops into Iraq, former Army General Jack Keane and American Enterprise Institute neocon strategist Frederick Kagan, in testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee, warned strongly that, without a "surge" of some 15,000 to 20,000 U.S. troops, ISIS would win in Iraq.

"We are losing this war," warned Keane, who previously served as Vice Chief of Staff of the Army. "ISIS is on the offense, with the ability to attack at will, anyplace, anytime. Air power will not defeat ISIS." Keane stressed that the U.S. and its allies have "no ground force, which is the defeat mechanism."

Not given to understatement, Kagan called ISIS "one of the most evil organizations that has ever existed. This is not a group that maybe we can negotiate with down the road someday. This is a group that is committed to the destruction of everything decent in the world." He called for "15-20,000 U.S. troops on the ground to provide the necessary enablers, advisers and so forth," and added: "Anything less than that is simply unserious."

(By the way, Frederick Kagan is the brother of neocon-star Robert Kagan, whose Project for the New American Century began pushing for the invasion of Iraq in 1998 and finally got its way in 2003. Robert Kagan is the husband of Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who oversaw the 2014 coup that brought "regime change" and bloody chaos to Ukraine. The Ukraine crisis also prompted Robert Kagan to urge a major increase in U.S. military spending. [For details, see Consortiumnews.com's " A Family Business of Perpetual War. "] )

What is perhaps most striking, however, is the casualness with which the likes of Frederick Kagan , Jack Keane, and other Iraq War enthusiasts advocated dispatching tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers to fight and die in what would almost certainly be another futile undertaking. You might even wonder why people like Kagan are invited to testify before Congress given their abysmal records.

But that would miss the true charm of the Iraq "surge" in 2007 and its significance in salvaging the reputations of folks like Kagan, not to mention George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. From their perspective, the "surge" was a great success. Bush and Cheney could swagger from the West Wing into the western sunset on Jan. 20, 2009.

As author Steve Coll has put it, "The decision [to surge] at a minimum guaranteed that his [Bush's] presidency would not end with a defeat in history's eyes. By committing to the surge [the President] was certain to at least achieve a stalemate."

According to Bob Woodward, Bush told key Republicans in late 2005 that he would not withdraw from Iraq, "even if Laura and [first-dog] Barney are the only ones supporting me." Woodward made it clear that Bush was well aware in fall 2006 that the U.S. was losing. Suddenly, with some fancy footwork, it became Laura, Barney and new Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Gen. David Petraeus along with 30,000 more U.S. soldiers making sure that the short-term fix was in.

The fact that about 1,000 U.S. soldiers returned in caskets was the principal price paid for that short-term "surge" fix. Their "ultimate sacrifice" will be mourned by their friends, families and countrymen on Memorial Day even as many of the same politicians and pundits will be casually pontificating about dispatching more young men and women as cannon fodder into the same misguided war.

[President Donald Trump has continued the U.S.'s longest war (Afghanistan), sending additional troops and dropping a massive bomb as well as missiles from drones. In Syria he has ordered two missile strikes and condoned multiple air strikes from Israel. Here's hoping, on this Memorial Day 2018, that he turns his back on his war-mongering national security adviser, forges ahead with a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jung-Un rather than toy with the lives of 30,000 U.S. soldiers in Korea, and halts the juggernaut rolling downhill toward war with Iran.]

It was difficult drafting this downer, this historical counter-narrative, on the eve of Memorial Day. It seems to me necessary, though, to expose the dramatis personae who played such key roles in getting more and more people killed. Sad to say, none of the high officials mentioned here, as well as those on the relevant Congressional committees, were affected in any immediate way by the carnage in Ramadi, Tikrit or outside the gate to the Green Zone in Baghdad.

And perhaps that's one of the key points here. It is not most of us, but rather our soldiers and the soldiers and civilians of Iraq, Afghanistan and God knows where else who are Lazarus at the gate. And, as Benjamin Franklin once said, "Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are."

[May 28, 2018] Movie: From Here To Eternity

May 28, 2018 | www.amazon.com

D. Blackdeer on September 3, 2001

From Here to Eternity

1953 Best Picture (eight Academy Awards) about Army soldiers dealing with corrupt leadership in Hawaii just prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Burt Lancaster heads the cast as First Sergeant Milt Warden, a top soldier trapped in an infantry company commanded by the incompetent and corrupt Captain Dana "Dynamite" Holmes, played by Philip Ober.

Holmes is an incapable officer seeking promotion as the regiment's boxing coach while Warden holds the company together. Conditions are status quo until Private Robert E. Lee Pruitt, played by Montgomery Clift, arrives from the bugler corps.

Holmes attempts to recruit Pruitt as the new middleweight boxer, but Pruitt refuses for personal reasons. Holmes then embarks on a campaign of harassment, ordering the other boxers in the company to service Pruitt with frequent punishment and extra work detail to change his mind. In the meantime, Warden falls for Holmes's wife Karen played by Deborah Kerr, and risks his career in an adulterous relationship that soon develops into a serious love affair.

Frank Sinatra turns in a great performance as "Maggio," a fellow soldier who becomes Private Pruitt's best friend during the ordeal. Other marvelous features are the supporting cast providing terrific characters around the main actors, and the production's location at the historic Schofield Barracks on Oahu. It's easy to see why this was Best Picture in 1953.

JCY 500 on July 21, 2014
A film for all time

One of my all-time favorite films. Superb performances by Burt Lancaster, Frank Sinatra, Donna Reed, and Montgomery Clift in a gripping tale set in an army base on Hawaii in the period leading up to the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Frank Sinatra was born to play the part of Angelo Maggio in what is, along with Manchurian Candidate, his best work.

The most impressive acting is from Clift. The extended scene with Donna Reed, as she unsuccessfully pleads with him to not attempt to rejoin his unit, is simply breathtaking. What he does with his eyes and simple gestures so richly reveals his inner torment.

[Apr 29, 2018] The Cranes are Flying (The Criterion Collection) Tatyana Samoylova Aleksey Batalov

For his role in this him soviet star Aleksey Batalov won Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival .
Jul 03, 2002 | www.amazon.com

July 3, 2002 Format: DVD | Verified Purchase

My favorite Russian classic

I've never been a huge fan of soviet cinema until I saw this great movie a few months ago. Sure Eisenstein is a great director and he made wonderful classics but this is probably the first Russian movie that I can identify with the characters since the Eisenstein movies and a few others that I've seen like Earth (Alexander Dovzhenko, 1930) are very political and showing me a culture and a way of life that is interesting and informative but that I can't identify with.

This movie tells a simple story about a young couple (Veronika and Boris) that is separated because Boris as to go to war. I think I love this movie so much because it is so open and so full of humanity. It is also very poetic particularly when Boris is at the front and he dreams about his girl back home.

But the thing that I admire the most is the superior cinematography, the camera angles are stunning and the close-ups (very close) are almost disturbing because you feel that you are spying on them or following them anywhere they go.

Also, great scenes with hand held cameras and used wisely not just to use it but at chosen moments to accentuate dramatic scenes or to show chaos during this time of war.

It amaze me that a great reference for cinematography like that is not use or missuse in movies today. If you can, try to catch the movie I am Cuba with the same great director and the same wonderful cinematography, the story is political but unlike early Russian movies of Eisenstein and such, the characters are warmer and you can identify with them.

August 14, 2017 Format: DVD | Verified Purchase
Very well shot and produced, great story with a big surprise ending.

Since my Wife is Russian, I have a new found interest in Russian movies. This is an early film with the lead role being played by the same actor from "Moscow Does Not Believe In Tears". The movie has a great story, very well shot and produced with a big surprise ending.

January 20, 2003 Format: DVD | Verified Purchase
A beautiful, well acted movie.

This is one of my favorite movies. It's quality is typical of what I have come to expect of a Criterion reconstruction. Something along the lines of HDTV black and white. It's that good.

The story itself is situated at the begining of Russia's Great Patriotic War (WWII). The story covers every inch of human behaviour including happiness, love, sorrow, deceit, manipulation, and heroism against all odds.

The last quarter of the movie is a stunning surprise, as it builds to an ending scene that is nothing less than a grand tribute to the best of what makes us human.

Even hardcore war movie fans (like me) can expect blurred vision at the end of this film. Not sappy at all, this film will strike a chord with viewers of any country, and most generations. It is not a single view disk.

I don't even know if it has an English language soundtrack, as the tonality of the Russian soundtrack combined with the very well produced English subtitles offers a great connection to the film even for non Russian speaking people. Buy this disk, you wil enjoy it over and over.

[Apr 29, 2018] Paths of Glory Kirk Douglas, Ralph Meeker, Adolphe Menjou, George Macready

Apr 29, 2018 | www.amazon.com

Bwhami 5.0 out of 5 stars | Verified Purchase

The movie tells the tragic story of three Frenchmen who a selected to be court marshaled for a Generals bad decision. It also de

Paths of Glory takes place during World War I. The movie tells the tragic story of three Frenchmen who a selected to be court marshaled for a Generals bad decision. It also depicts the differences between the old officer class and the foot soldier. In one scene the General Paul Mireau is talking to Colonel Dax, played by Kirk Douglas about the projected losses when the French Army will assault the "Ant Hill', a German held position that is well protected. The General is speaking in percentages, but Douglas talks about the loss of him men. It is plain to see that the General does not really care of the common soldier. WWI saw the death of the old way of fighting a war and the passing of the old Aristocrat Military leaders who saw war as a way of life. Near the beginning of the movie Colonel Dax is referred to as one of the Best defense Lawyers in France. He uses all his skills to defend the three men selected to die. Their fate has already been decided and the trial is only a formality. There is a battle fought and lost . Watching the three men discuss their fate is painful. The final scene where a young German girl is forced to sing to the French soldiers is very touching as the men begin to hum to the tune of the song. Some are moved to tears. I highly recommend this movie.

April 23, 2015 Format: Amazon Video | Verified Purchase
This is a terrific anit-war pic

This is a terrific anit-war pic, one that doesn't bang you over the head with sentimentality or hold back on war's ugliness. Although there are a lot of films I like that can be accused of glorifying the practice---namely, "The Longest Day", "Glory", and "Patton" are a few of my favorites--this film stands with "Grand Illusion" and "All Quiet on the Western Front" at bringing a more critical look at what may have been the least justifiable war of the 20th century (World War I). Kirk Douglas gives a terrific performance in one of his earlier films, of a commander faced with sending his troops to complete a task he knows is impossible and fighting the more delusional brass who are insisting upon it. Great performances by George McReady as a general more interested in his career than the safety of his men, and Adolphe Anjou.

[Apr 29, 2018] Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

Apr 29, 2018 | www.imdb.com

The_Fifth_Echo 16 June 2010

A Beautiful Unforgettable Masterpiece that shows the true cost of war.

I decided to watch Grave of the Fireflies yesterday. My friends told me it was extremely moving and sad. I hesitated at first, but then I said "Oh well, I'll give it a try." At the end of the film, I was crying my eyes out. This was the best animated film, I've ever seen. This is a moving depiction of the fates of cast-off children who become casualties of war.

This movie isn't your regular Animated Film. Pixar and Disney put films out there with happy endings. I'm not saying there bad films at all. They are also great pieces of work. But Grave of the Fireflies tells you the truth. This movie isn't trying to entertain you. It wants to inform you about how war is really like. There were many moments in the movie, that just brought me to tears.

I am kind of upset, that this movie didn't get many awards as it should. In that regards, it is VERY underrated and it is kind of thrown apart. When it should really be respected and praise it. If this movie was made in our time period right now. I would be 100% sure this would of Won an Oscar for Best Animated Film. This is Studio Ghilbi's best movie they have ever released.

I truly advice you to bring a handkerchief, cause chances are that you will cry.

An Emotional Epic Animated Film, that I recommend everyone to watch.

Quite Simply 10/10

[Apr 29, 2018] Anti-war films

Apr 29, 2018 | russia-insider.com

IllyaK Russell McGinnis 2 days ago ,

Five of the greatest WWII films - actually five of the BEST films, period - ever made, have almost no violence at all: The Cranes Are Flying, Ballad Of A Soldier, Ivan's Childhood, Paths Of Glory, and Grave Of The Fireflies.

Watch them. Today. They are devastating. Especially Grave Of The Fireflies. I know no one who has watched this animated film and not been utterly crushed. When you lose 20 million people your contemplation of another war is driven by reality; when you swoop in at the end for a Normandy photo-op selfie-a-thon and unashamedly try taking credit for someone else' sacrifice,,you tend think "hey, that was easy! Let's do it again!"

They call it RPG for reason.

Franz Kafka IllyaK a day ago ,

Thank you. Bookmarked.

The Cranes are Flying makes also my list. It is interesting because it marked the beginning of Russian Cinema's liberation from the Weinstein Factor. If you recall, the villain of the piece is a Jew. In fact he rapes the Russian girl, his 'best friends' fiancee.

Anathema throughout all Soviet History was any criticism, and often any mention, of the 'master race'.

Even Solzhenitsyn was told to rewrite First Circle to make ALL the heroes Jews. In fact he was threatened by his Jewish 'friends' with exposure of the Arkhipelag GULAG files, in case he refused.

IllyaK Franz Kafka a day ago ,

The greatest sensual scenes of all time: Maggie Cheung's ass walking away in In The Mood For Love.

Monica Vitti being ogled in the town square in L'Avventura

Franz Kafka IllyaK a day ago ,

The climax scene in Oblomov. 13:00 and 28:30
Play Hide

IllyaK Franz Kafka a day ago ,

Link not working but I will check it out.

Another brilliant film that very few people have seen is Robert Bresson's Lancelot Du Lac. Brutal realism.

And - it should go without saying - the greatest of them all: Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai

neutrinox IllyaK 19 hours ago ,

Hmmm ... The Return (2003) ... ?
Incredible epic ink.

IllyaK Franz Kafka a day ago ,

Haven't seen it yet.

And2 IllyaK a day ago ,

I was crushed by Grave of the fireflies..made me instantly anti war .

Cassandra2 IllyaK a day ago ,

You forget Japan, Italy, N. Africa.

IllyaK Cassandra2 a day ago ,

Tyrell:The facts of life... to make an alteration in the evolvement of an
organic life system is fatal. A coding sequence cannot be revised once
it's been established.

Batty:
Why not?

Tyrell:
Because by the second day of incubation, any cells that have undergone
reversion mutation give rise to revertant colonies, like rats leaving a
sinking ship; then the ship... sinks.

Batty:
What about EMS-3 recombination?

Tyrell:
We've already tried it - ethyl, methane, sulfinate as an alkylating
agent and potent mutagen; it created a virus so lethal the subject was
dead before it even left the table.

Batty:
Then a repressor protein, that would block the operating cells.

Tyrell:
Wouldn't obstruct replication; but it does give rise to an error in
replication, so that the newly formed DNA strand carries with it a
mutation - and you've got a virus again... but this, all of this is
academic. You were made as well as we could make you.

Batty:
But not to last.

Tyrell:
The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long - and you have
burned so very, very brightly, Roy. Look at you: you're the Prodigal
Son; you're quite a prize!

Batty:
I've done... questionable things.

Tyrell:
Also extraordinary things; revel in your time.

Batty:
Nothing the God of biomechanics wouldn't let you into heaven for.

Cassandra2 IllyaK a day ago ,

Batty for sure.

Russell McGinnis IllyaK a day ago ,

To clarify my meaning, terrorism is trivial --- for (((pyschopaths))).

A separate fact is that overall the American people are criminally ignorant in letting the Root Perpetrators achieve their aims.

[Mar 31, 2018] Where Have You Gone, George McGovern by Maj. Danny Sjursen

Notable quotes:
"... Still, George McGovern was a humble man who carried the burden, and honor, of his military service with grace. Though proud of his service, he was never constrained by it. When he saw a foolish war, an immoral war -- like Vietnam -- he stood ready to dissent. He was an unapologetic liberal and unwavering in his antiwar stance. These days, his kind is an endangered species on Capitol Hill and in the Democratic National Committee. McGovern died in 2012. His party, and the United States, are lesser for his absence. ..."
"... Today's Democrats are mostly avid hawks, probably to the right of Richard Nixon on foreign policy. ..."
"... Heck, even Gen. David "Generational War" Petraeus , once found himself in some hot water when -- in a rare moment of candor -- he admitted that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict "foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of US favoritism for Israel." Translation: US policy toward Israel (and, no doubt, the foolhardy 2003 invasion of Iraq) make American soldiers less safe. ..."
"... So does the basic post-9/11 American policy of sovereignty violation and expansive military intervention whenever and wherever Washington feels like it -- so long as it's in the name of fighting (you guessed it) "terrorism." ..."
"... George McGovern -- a true patriot, a man who knew war but loved peace -- wouldn't recognize the likes of Klobuchar, Clinton, Schumer and company. He'd be rightfully embarrassed by their supplication to the national warfare state. ..."
"... In 1972, McGovern's presidential campaign (as, to some extent, Bernie's did) reached out to impassioned youth in the "New Left," and formed a rainbow coalition with African-Americans and other minority groups. His Democrats were no longer the party of Cold War consensus, no longer the party of LBJ and Vietnam. No, McGovern's signature issue was peace, and opposition to that disastrous war. ..."
"... His campaign distributed pins and T-shirts bearing white doves . Could you even imagine a mainstream Democrat getting within 1,000 meters of such a symbol today? Of course not. ..."
Mar 29, 2018 | original.antiwar.com

This article originally appeared at TruthDig .

He knew war well -- well enough to know he hated it.

George McGovern was a senator from South Dakota, and he was a Democrat true liberals could admire. Though remembered as a staunch liberal and foreign policy dove, McGovern was no stranger to combat. He flew 35 missions as a B-24 pilot in Italy during World War II. He even earned the Distinguished Flying Cross for executing a heroic emergency crash landing after his bomber was damaged by German anti-aircraft fire.

Still, George McGovern was a humble man who carried the burden, and honor, of his military service with grace. Though proud of his service, he was never constrained by it. When he saw a foolish war, an immoral war -- like Vietnam -- he stood ready to dissent. He was an unapologetic liberal and unwavering in his antiwar stance. These days, his kind is an endangered species on Capitol Hill and in the Democratic National Committee. McGovern died in 2012. His party, and the United States, are lesser for his absence.

Today's Democrats are mostly avid hawks, probably to the right of Richard Nixon on foreign policy. They dutifully voted for Bush's Iraq war . Then, they won back the White House and promptly expanded an unwinnable Afghan war . Soon, they again lost the presidency -- to a reality TV star -- and raised hardly a peep as Donald Trump expanded America's aimless wars into the realm of the absurd.

I've long known this, but most liberals -- deeply ensconced (or distracted) by hyper-identity politics -- hardly notice. Still, every once in a while something reminds me of how lost the Democrats truly are.

I nearly spit up my food the other day. Watching on C-SPAN as Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., gleefully attended a panel at the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference, I couldn't help but wonder what has happened to the Democratic Party. The worst part is I like her, mostly. Look, I agree with Sen. Klobuchar on most domestic issues: health care, taxes and more. But she -- a supposed liberal -- and her mainstream Democratic colleagues are complicit in the perpetuation of America's warfare state and neo-imperial interventionism. Sen. Klobuchar and other Democrats' reflexive support for Israel is but a symptom of a larger disease in the party -- tacit militarism.

AIPAC is a lobbying clique almost as savvy and definitely as effective as the NRA. Its meetings -- well attended by mainstream Democrats and Republicans alike -- serve as little more than an opportunity for Washington pols to kiss Benjamin Netanyahu's ring and swear fealty to Israel. Most of the time, participants don't dare utter the word "Palestinian." That'd be untoward -- Palestinians are the unacknowledged elephants in the room .

The far right-wing Israeli government of Netanyahu, who is little more than a co-conspirator and enabler for America's failed project in the Middle East, should be the last group "liberals" pander to. That said, the state of Israel is a fact. Its people -- just like the Palestinians -- deserve security and liberty. Love it or hate it, Israel will continue to exist. The question is: Can Israel remain both exclusively Jewish and democratic? I'm less certain about that. For 50 years now, the Israeli military has divided, occupied and enabled the illegal settlement of sovereign Palestinian territory , keeping Arabs in limbo without citizenship or meaningful civil rights.

This is, so far as international law is concerned, a war crime. As such, unflinching American support for Israeli policy irreversibly damages the U.S. military's reputation on the "Arab street." I've seen it firsthand. In Iraq and Afghanistan, hundreds and thousands of miles away from Jerusalem, captured prisoners and hospitable families alike constantly pointed to unfettered US support for Israel and the plight of Palestinians when answering that naive and ubiquitous American question: "Why do they hate us?"

Heck, even Gen. David "Generational War" Petraeus , once found himself in some hot water when -- in a rare moment of candor -- he admitted that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict "foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of US favoritism for Israel." Translation: US policy toward Israel (and, no doubt, the foolhardy 2003 invasion of Iraq) make American soldiers less safe.

So does the basic post-9/11 American policy of sovereignty violation and expansive military intervention whenever and wherever Washington feels like it -- so long as it's in the name of fighting (you guessed it) "terrorism." So, which "liberals" are raising hell and ringing the alarm bells for their constituents about Israeli occupation and America's strategic overreach? Sen. Klobuchar? Hardly. She, and all but four Democrats, voted for the latest bloated Pentagon budget with few questions asked. Almost as many Republicans voted against the bill. So, which is the antiwar party these days? It's hard to know.

Besides, the Dems mustered fewer than 30 votes in support of the Rand Paul amendment and his modest call to repeal and replace America's outdated, vague Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF). All Sen. Paul, a libertarian Republican, wanted to do was force a vote -- in six months -- to revisit the AUMF. This wasn't radical stuff by any means. The failure of Paul's amendment, when paired with the absolute dearth of Democratic dissent on contemporary foreign policy, proves one thing conclusively: There is no longer an antiwar constituency in a major American political party. The two-party system has failed what's left of the antiwar movement.

By no means is Amy Klobuchar alone in her forever-war complicity. Long before she graced the halls of the Senate, her prominent precursors -- Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer (to name just a few) -- rubber-stamped a war of aggression in Iraq and mostly acquiesced as one president after another (including Barack Obama) gradually expanded America's post-9/11 wars. When will it end? No one knows, really, but so far, the US military has deployed advisers or commandos to 70 percent of the world's countries and is actively bombing at least seven . That's the problem with waging clandestine wars with professional soldiers while asking nothing of an apathetic public: These conflicts tend to grow and grow, until, one day -- which passed long ago -- hardly anyone realizes we're now at war with most everyone.

So where are the doves now? On the fringe, that's where. Screaming from the distant corners of the libertarian right and extreme left. No one cares, no one is listening, and they can hardly get a hearing on either MSNBC or Fox. It's the one thing both networks agree on: endless, unquestioned war. Hooray for 21st century bipartisanship.

Still, Americans deserve more from the Democrats, once (however briefly) the party of McGovern. These days, the Dems hate Trump more than they like anything. To be a principled national party, they've got to be more than just anti-Trump. They need to provide a substantive alternative and present a better foreign policy offer. How about a do-less strategy: For starters, some modesty and prudent caution would go a long way.

George McGovern -- a true patriot, a man who knew war but loved peace -- wouldn't recognize the likes of Klobuchar, Clinton, Schumer and company. He'd be rightfully embarrassed by their supplication to the national warfare state.

In 1972, McGovern's presidential campaign (as, to some extent, Bernie's did) reached out to impassioned youth in the "New Left," and formed a rainbow coalition with African-Americans and other minority groups. His Democrats were no longer the party of Cold War consensus, no longer the party of LBJ and Vietnam. No, McGovern's signature issue was peace, and opposition to that disastrous war.

His campaign distributed pins and T-shirts bearing white doves . Could you even imagine a mainstream Democrat getting within 1,000 meters of such a symbol today? Of course not.

Today's Dems are too frightened, fearful of being labeled "soft" (note the sexual innuendo) on "terror," and have thus ceded foreign policy preeminence to the unhinged, uber-hawk Republicans. We live, today, with the results of that cowardly concession.

The thing about McGovern is that he lost the 1972 election, by a landslide. And maybe that's the point. Today's Democrats would rather win than be right. Somewhere along the way, they lost their souls. Worse still, they aren't any good at winning, either.

Sure, they and everybody else "support the troops." Essentially, that means the Dems will at least fight for veterans' health care and immigration rights when vets return from battle. That's admirable enough. What they won't countenance, or even consider, is a more comprehensive, and ethical, solution: to end these aimless wars and stop making new veterans that need "saving."

Major Danny Sjursen, an Antiwar.com regular, is a U.S. Army officer and former history instructor at West Point. He served tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has written a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War, Ghost Riders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge . He lives with his wife and four sons in Lawrence, Kansas. Follow him on Twitter at @SkepticalVet and check out his new podcast "Fortress on a Hill," co-hosted with fellow vet Chris 'Henri' Henrikson.

[ Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.]

Copyright 2018 Danny Sjursen

[Mar 13, 2018] The Primacy of Conscience

Mar 13, 2018 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com


"All my life I have been fighting against the spirit of narrowness and violence, arrogance, intolerance in its absolute, merciless consistency. I have also worked to overcome this spirit with its evil consequences, such as nationalism in excess, racial persecution, and materialism. In regards to this, the National Socialists are correct in killing me.

I have striven to make its consequences milder for its victims and to prepare the way for a change. In that, my conscience drove me – and in the end, that is a man's duty."

Helmuth James Graf von Moltke, Executed in Plötzensee Prison on 23 January 1945

"Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act."

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Executed in Flossenbürg Camp on 9 April 1945


As journalist activist Carl von Ossietzky put it, 'we cannot hope to affect the conscience of the world when our own conscience is asleep.'

Heroic virtue shines across the vast seas of history like beacons to those in the troubled waters of general deception.

[Mar 12, 2018] "Fake News" and World War III. The Danger of Nuclear Annihilation Global Research - Centre for Research on Globalization

This article reminds me the protests during WWI.
Notable quotes:
"... We are at a dangerous crossroads in our history. ..."
"... The dangers of a Third World War are routinely obfuscated by the media. A world of fantasy permeates the mainstream media which tacitly upholds the conduct of nuclear war as a peace-making endeavor. ..."
"... "Fake News" has become "Real News". ..."
"... And "Real News" by the independent online media is now tagged as Russian propaganda. ..."
"... In turn, the independent media (including Global Research) is the object of censorship via the search engines and social media. ..."
"... What we are dealing with is a War against the Truth. Objective reporting on the dangers of a Third World war is being suppressed. Why? ..."
"... The future of humanity is at stake. The danger of nuclear annihilation is not front-page news. ..."
"... The unfolding consensus among Pentagon war planners is that a Third World War is "Winnable". ..."
"... Concepts are turned upside down. Political insanity prevails. ..."
"... Author's note: the later part of this article entitled The Road Ahead was first formulated in 2010. ..."
Mar 12, 2018 | www.globalresearch.ca
"Fake News" and World War III. The Danger of Nuclear Annihilation By Prof Michel Chossudovsky Global Research, March 09, 2018 Theme: Crimes against Humanity , US NATO War Agenda In-depth Report: Nuclear War

We are at a dangerous crossroads in our history.

The dangers of a Third World War are routinely obfuscated by the media. A world of fantasy permeates the mainstream media which tacitly upholds the conduct of nuclear war as a peace-making endeavor.

World War III is terminal. Albert Einstein understood the perils of nuclear war and the extinction of life on earth, which has already started with the radioactive contamination resulting from depleted uranium, not to mention Fukushima.

"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."

The media, the intellectuals, the scientists and the politicians, in chorus, obfuscate the untold truth, namely that war using nuclear warheads destroys humanity.

"Fake News" has become "Real News".

And "Real News" by the independent online media is now tagged as Russian propaganda.

In turn, the independent media (including Global Research) is the object of censorship via the search engines and social media.

What we are dealing with is a War against the Truth. Objective reporting on the dangers of a Third World war is being suppressed. Why?

The future of humanity is at stake. The danger of nuclear annihilation is not front-page news.

The unfolding consensus among Pentagon war planners is that a Third World War is "Winnable".

Nuclear War as an "Instrument of Peace"

Concepts are turned upside down. Political insanity prevails.

A diabolical discourse is unfolding. The so-called "more usable" tactical nuclear weapons (B61-11, B61-12) with an explosive capacity between one third and twelve times a Hiroshima bomb are heralded (by scientific opinion on contract to the Pentagon) as "peace-making" bombs, "harmless to the surrounding civilian population because the explosion is underground".

These are the weapons which are contemplated for use against North Korea (or Iran) in what is described by the Pentagon as "a bloody nose operation", with limited civilian casualties. And the corporate media applauds.

Fake News : these nuclear bombs are WMD. The "Bloody Nose" ("safe for civilians") Concept is "Fake News"

Lest we forget, when the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima (see image below), 100,000 people died within the first seven seconds following the explosion. Needless to say, today's nuclear weapons are far more advanced than those dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.

When war becomes peace, the world is turned upside down. Conceptualization is no longer possible. Insanity prevails. The institutions of government are criminalized and so is the media.

The Pentagon and NATO are beating the drums of war. What is at stake is a Worldwide media disinformation campaign in support of a Third World War, which almost inevitably would lead to nuclear annihilation.

In the words of Fidel Castro: " In a nuclear war the "collateral damage" would be the life of all humanity".

"The use of nuclear weapons in a new war would mean the end of humanity.

Today there is an imminent risk of war with the use of that kind of weapon and I don't harbour the least doubt t hat an attack by the United States and Israel against the Islamic Republic of Iran would inevitably evolve towards a global nuclear conflict.

There would be "collateral damage", as the American political and military leaders always affirm, to justify the deaths of innocent people.

In a nuclear war the "collateral damage" would be the life of all humanity.

Let us have the courage to proclaim that all nuclear or conventional weapons, everything that is used to make war, must disappear!" ( Complete text and video recording , October 2010 Interview with Fidel Castro by Michel Chossudovsky)

When the lie becomes the truth there is no turning backwards.

When war is upheld as a humanitarian endeavor endorsed by the self proclaimed international community, pacifism and the antiwar movement are criminalized. yet it should be noted that in the course of the last 15 years, the anti-war movement has largely become defunct, civil society organizations have been coopted.

How do we reverse the tide: a cohesive grassroots counter-propaganda campaign

The Road Ahead

There are no easy solutions. What is required is t he development of a broad based grassroots network which seeks to disable patterns of authority and decision making pertaining to war. This is by no means an easy and straightforward undertaking.

This network would be established nationally and internationally at all levels in society, towns and villages, work places, parishes. Trade unions, farmers organizations, professional associations, business associations, student unions, veterans associations, church groups would be called upon to integrate the antiwar organizational structure. Of crucial importance, this movement should extend into the Armed Forces as a means to breaking the legitimacy of war among service men and women.

The first task would be to disable war propaganda through an effective campaign against media disinformation. (including support of the online independent and alternative media).

The corporate media would be directly challenged, leading to boycotts of major news outlets, which are responsible for channelling disinformation into the news chain. This endeavor would require a parallel process at the grass roots level, of sensitizing and educating fellow citizens on the nature of the war and the global crisis, as well as effectively "spreading the word" through advanced networking, through alternative media outlets on the internet, etc. It would also require a broad based campaign against the search engines involved in media censorship on behalf of the Pentagon.

The creation of such a movement, which forcefully challenges the legitimacy of the structures of political authority, is no easy task. It would require a degree of solidarity, unity and commitment unparalleled in World history. It would require breaking down political and ideological barriers within society and acting with a single voice . It would also require eventually unseating the war criminals, and indicting them for war crimes.

Abandon the Battlefield: Refuse to Fight

The military oath taken at the time of induction demands unbending support and allegiance to the US Constitution, while also demanding that US troops obey orders from their President and Commander in Chief:

"I,____________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God"

The President and Commander in Chief has blatantly violated all tenets of domestic and international law. So that making an oath to "obey orders from the President" is tantamount to violating rather than defending the US Constitution.

"The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) 809.ART.90 (20), makes it clear that military personnel need to obey the "lawful command of his superior officer," 891.ART.91 (2), the "lawful order of a warrant officer", 892.ART.92 (1) the "lawful general order", 892.ART.92 (2) "lawful order". In each case, military personnel have an obligation and a duty to only obey Lawful orders and indeed have an obligation to disobey Unlawful orders, including orders by the president that do not comply with the UCMJ. The moral and legal obligation is to the U.S. Constitution and not to those who would issue unlawful orders, especially if those orders are in direct violation of the Constitution and the UCMJ." (Lawrence Mosqueda, An Advisory to US Troops A Duty to Disobey All Unlawful Orders,

http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/MOS303A.html ,

See also Michel Chossudovsky, "We the People Refuse to Fight": Abandon the Battlefield! March 18, 2006 )

The Commander in Chief is a war criminal. According to Principle 6 of the Nuremberg Charter:

"The fact that a person [e.g. Coalition troops] acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him."

Let us make that "moral choice" possible, to enlisted American, British, Canadian and US-NATO Coalition servicemen and women.

Disobey unlawful orders! Abandon the battlefield! Refuse to fight in a war which blatantly violates international law and the US Constitution!

But this is not a choice which enlisted men and women can make individually.

It is a collective and societal choice, which requires an organizational structure.

Across the land in the US, Britain, Canada and in all coalition countries, the new anti-war movement must assist enlisted men and women to make that moral choice possible, to abandon the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan, and now in Syria and Yemen.

This will not be an easy task. Committees at local levels must be set up across the United States, Canada, Britain, Italy, Japan and other countries, which have troops engaged in US led military operations.

We call upon veterans' associations and local communities to support this process.

This movement needs to dismantle the disinformation campaign. It must effectively reverse the indoctrination of coalition troops, who are led to believe that they are fighting "a just war": "a war against terrorists", a war against the Russians, who are threatening the security of America.

The legitimacy of the US military authority must be broken.

What has to be achieved:

People across the land, nationally and internationally, must mobilize against this diabolical military agenda, the authority of the State and its officials must be forcefully challenged.

This war can be prevented if people forcefully confront their governments, pressure their elected representatives, organize at the local level in towns, villages and municipalities, spread the word, inform their fellow citizens on the implications of a nuclear war, initiate debate and discussion within the armed forces.

What is required is the development of a broad and well organized grassroots antiwar network which challenges the structures of power and authority, the nature of the economic system, the vast amounts of money used to fund the war, the shear size of the so-called defense industry.

Click book cover to order Michel Chossudovsky's latest book directly from Global Research

What is required is a mass movement of people which forcefully challenges the legitimacy of war, a global people's movement which criminalizes war.

What is needed is to break the conspiracy of silence, expose the media lies and distortions, confront the criminal nature of the US Administration and of those governments which support it, its war agenda as well as its so-called "Homeland Security agenda" which has already defined the contours of a police State.

The World is at the crossroads of the most serious crisis in modern history. The US has embarked on a military adventure, "a long war", which threatens the future of humanity.

It is essential to bring the US war project to the forefront of political debate, particularly in North America and Western Europe. Political and military leaders who are opposed to the war must take a firm stance, from within their respective institutions. Citizens must take a stance individually and collectively against war.

We call upon people across the land, in North America, Western Europe, Israel, The Arab World, Turkey and around the world to rise up against this military project, against their governments which are supportive of US-NATO led wars, against the corporate media which serves to camouflage the devastating impacts of modern warfare.

The military agenda supports a profit driven destructive global economic system which impoverishes large sectors of the world population.

This war is sheer madness.

The Lie must be exposed for what it is and what it does.

It sanctions the indiscriminate killing of men, women and children.

It destroys families and people. It destroys the commitment of people towards their fellow human beings.

It prevents people from expressing their solidarity for those who suffer. It upholds war and the police state as the sole avenue.

It destroys both nationalism and internationalism.

Breaking the lie means breaking a criminal project of global destruction, in which the quest for profit is the overriding force.

This profit driven military agenda destroys human values and transforms people into unconscious zombies.

Let us reverse the tide.

Challenge the war criminals in high office and the powerful corporate lobby groups which support them.

Break the American inquisition.

Undermine the US-NATO-Israel military crusade.

Close down the weapons factories and the military bases.

Bring home the troops.

Members of the armed forces should disobey orders and refuse to participate in a criminal war.

Author's note: the later part of this article entitled The Road Ahead was first formulated in 2010. The original source of this article is Global Research Copyright © Prof Michel Chossudovsky , Global Research, 2018

[Mar 11, 2018] Reps. Barbara Lee and Justin Amash Lay Out a Case for Terminating the 2001 AU by Adam Dick

Notable quotes:
"... Jones proceeds to suggest the Tuesday hearing is an important step in the effort to wake up Americans who will spread the word that Congress is "brain dead" concerning its constitutional responsibility in regard to war. ..."
Mar 01, 2018 | ronpaulinstitute.org

According to the Congressional Research Service, the 2001 AUMF has been cited as statutory authority for unclassified military or related actions at least 41 times in 18 countries. Both President George W. Bush and President Obama used it, and now President Trump is following the same path.

That is a portion of the cogent analysis Reps Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Justin Amash (R-MI) offer in their Wednesday The Hill editorial explaining why they support repealing the AUMF that has facilitated members of the United States Congress abdicating their authority over US wars and three presidents exercising unrestrained use of military force abroad. The editorial came the day after Lee and Amash hosted a joint hearing of the United States House of Representatives Progressive Caucus and Liberty Caucus focused on exploring repealing the AUMF.

Read Lee and Amash's complete editorial here .

Watch here the Progressive Caucus and Liberty Caucus' fascinating hearing. The hearing includes testimony of Michael McPhearson from Veterans from Peace, Daniel L. Davis from Defense Priorities, and Rita Siemion from Human Rights First, as well as statements and questions from Reps. Lee, Amash, Walter Jones (R-NC), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), Thomas Massie (R-NC), Jan Schakowski (D-IL), Jim Jordan (R-OH). Mark Sanford (R-SC), Warren Davidson (R-OH), Jim McGovern (D-MA), and Dave Brat (R-VA).

We'll see if the bipartisan movement in the House for a repeal of the 2001 AUMF ultimately gains enough support to force a debate and vote on the House floor. Over the years, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and his predecessor John Boehner (R-OH) have ducked their constitutional responsibility by withstanding pressure from members to hold such a debate and vote.

During the hearing, Jones frankly addressed Ryan and Boehner's responsibility for preventing a House floor debate and vote on the AUMF. "The one man blocking this debate is Paul Ryan," declared Jones. Jones elaborates:

The speaker of the House has the authority to order the committees of jurisdiction to mark up a new AUMF. We have written letters individually and also in a bipartisan way; we still have not had a debate. We started that request under John Boehner -- no debate.

Jones proceeds to suggest the Tuesday hearing is an important step in the effort to wake up Americans who will spread the word that Congress is "brain dead" concerning its constitutional responsibility in regard to war.

Jones and Massie are members of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity Advisory Board.


Copyright © 2018 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
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[Feb 03, 2018] Sanders on Trump s State of the Union: Not a word on Nuclear War threat, anti-Russian and anti-Iranian crusades!

Jan 30, 2018 | www.defenddemocracy.press
Watch: Bernie Sanders' Response to Trump State of the Union

"Here's the story that Trump failed to mention "

Following President Donald Trump's State of the Union address on Tuesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) offered a response.

"I want to take a few minutes of your time to respond to Trump's State of the Union speech," Sanders announced. "But I also want to talk to you about the major crises facing our country that, regrettably, Trump chose not to discuss."

And, he added, "I want to offer a vision of where we should go as a nation which is far different than the divisiveness, dishonesty, and racism coming from the Trump Administration over the past year."

Watch:

... ... ...

The complete text of Sanders' prepared remarks follow:

Good evening. Thanks for joining us.

Tonight , I want to take a few minutes of your time to respond to President Trump's State of the Union speech. But I want to do more than just that. I want to talk to you about the major crises facing our country that, regrettably, President Trump chose not to discuss. I want to talk to you about the lies that he told during his campaign and the promises he made to working people which he did not keep.

Finally, I want to offer a vision of where we should go as a nation which is far different than the divisiveness, dishonesty, and racism coming from the Trump Administration over the past year.

President Trump talked tonight about the strength of our economy. Well, he's right. Official unemployment today is 4.1 percent which is the lowest it has been in years and the stock market in recent months has soared. That's the good news.

But what President Trump failed to mention is that his first year in office marked the lowest level of job creation since 2010. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 254,000 fewer jobs were created in Trump's first 11 months in office than were created in the 11 months before he entered office.

Further, when we talk about the economy, what's most important is to understand what is happening to the average worker. And here's the story that Trump failed to mention tonight .

Over the last year, after adjusting for inflation, the average worker in America saw a wage increase of, are you ready for this, 4 cents an hour, or 0.17%. Or, to put it in a different way, that worker received a raise of a little more than $1.60 a week. And, as is often the case, that tiny wage increase disappeared as a result of soaring health care costs.

Meanwhile, at a time of massive wealth and income inequality, the rich continue to get much richer while millions of American workers are working two or three jobs just to keep their heads above water. Since March of last year, the three richest people in America saw their wealth increase by more than $68 billion. Three people. A $68 billion increase in wealth. Meanwhile, the average worker saw an increase of 4 cents an hour.

Tonight , Donald Trump touted the bonuses he claims workers received because of his so-called "tax reform" bill. What he forgot to mention is that only 2% of Americans report receiving a raise or a bonus because of this tax bill.

What he also failed to mention is that some of the corporations that have given out bonuses, such as Walmart, AT&T, General Electric, and Pfizer, are also laying off tens of thousands of their employees. Kimberly-Clark, the maker of Kleenex and Huggies, recently said they were using money from the tax cut to restructure -- laying off more than 5,000 workers and closing 10 plants.

What Trump also forgot to tell you is that while the Walton family of Walmart, the wealthiest family in America, and Jeff Bezos of Amazon, the wealthiest person in this country, have never had it so good, many thousands of their employees are forced onto Medicaid, food stamps, and public housing because of the obscenely low wages they are paid. In my view, that's wrong. The taxpayers of this country should not be providing corporate welfare to the wealthiest families in this country.

Trump's Broken Promises

Now, let me say a few words about some of the issues that Donald Trump failed to mention tonight , and that is the difference between what he promised the American people as a candidate and what he has delivered as president.

Many of you will recall, that during his campaign, Donald Trump told the American people how he was going to provide "health insurance for everybody," with "much lower deductibles."

That is what he promised working families all across this country during his campaign. But as president he did exactly the opposite. Last year, he supported legislation that would have thrown up to 32 million people off of the health care they had while, at the same time, substantially raising premiums for older Americans.

The reality is that although we were able to beat back Trump's effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, 3 million fewer Americans have health insurance today than before Trump took office and that number will be going even higher in the coming months.

During his campaign, Trump promised not to cut Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid.

As president, however, he supported a Republican Budget Resolution that proposed slashing Medicaid by $1 trillion and cutting Medicare by $500 billion. Further, President Trump's own budget called for cutting Social Security Disability Insurance by $64 billion.

During Trump's campaign for president, he talked about how he was going to lower prescription drug prices and take on the greed of the pharmaceutical industry which he said was "getting away with murder." Tonight he said "one of my greatest priorities is to reduce the price of prescription drugs."

But as president, Trump nominated Alex Azar, a former executive of the Eli Lilly Company -- one of the largest drug companies in this country -- to head up the Department of Health and Human Services.

Trump spoke about how in other countries "drugs cost far less," yet he has done nothing to allow Americans to purchase less expensive prescription drugs from abroad or to require Medicare to negotiate drug prices – which he promised he would do when he ran for president.

During the campaign, Donald Trump told us that: "The rich will not be gaining at all" under his tax reform plan.

Well, that was quite a whopper. As president, the tax reform legislation Trump signed into law a few weeks ago provides 83 percent of the benefits to the top one percent, drives up the deficit by $1.7 trillion, and raises taxes on 92 million middle class families by the end of the decade.

During his campaign for president, Trump talked about how he was going to take on the greed of Wall Street which he said "has caused tremendous problems for us.

As president, not only has Trump not taken on Wall Street, he has appointed more Wall Street billionaires to his administration than any president in history. And now, on behalf of Wall Street, he is trying to repeal the modest provisions of the Dodd-Frank legislation which provide consumer protections against Wall Street thievery.

What Trump Didn't Say

But what is also important to note is not just Trump's dishonesty. It is that tonight he avoided some of the most important issues facing our country and the world.

How can a president of the United States give a State of the Union speech and not mention climate change? No, Mr. Trump, climate change is not a "hoax." It is a reality which is causing devastating harm all over our country and all over the world and you are dead wrong when you appoint administrators at the EPA and other agencies who are trying to decimate environmental protection rules, and slow down the transition to sustainable energy.

How can a president of the United States not discuss the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision which allows billionaires like the Koch brothers to undermine American democracy by spending hundreds of millions of dollars to elect candidates who will represent the rich and the powerful?

How can he not talk about Republican governors efforts all across this country to undermine democracy, suppress the vote and make it harder for poor people or people of color to vote?

How can he not talk about the fact that in a highly competitive global economy, hundreds of thousands of bright young people are unable to afford to go to college, while millions of others have come out of school deeply in debt?

How can he not talk about the inadequate funding and staffing at the Social Security Administration which has resulted in thousands of people with disabilities dying because they did not get their claims processed in time?

How can he not talk about the retirement crisis facing the working people of this country and the fact that over half of older workers have no retirement savings? We need to strengthen pensions in this country, not take them away from millions of workers.

How can he not talk about the reality that Russia, through cyberwarfare, interfered in our election in 2016, is interfering in democratic elections all over the world, and according to his own CIA director will likely interfere in the 2018 midterm elections that we will be holding. How do you not talk about that unless you have a very special relationship with Mr. Putin?

What Trump Did Talk About

Now, let me say a few words about what Trump did talk about.

Trump talked about DACA and immigration, but what he did not tell the American people is that he precipitated this crisis in September by repealing President Obama's executive order protecting Dreamers.

We need to seriously address the issue of immigration but that does not mean dividing families and reducing legal immigration by 25-50 percent. It sure doesn't mean forcing taxpayers to spend $25 billion on a wall that candidate Trump promised Mexico would pay for. And it definitely doesn't mean a racist immigration policy that excludes people of color from around the world.

To my mind, this is one of the great moral issues facing our country. It would be unspeakable and a moral stain on our nation if we turned our backs on these 800,000 young people who were born and raised in this country and who know no other home but the United States.

And that's not just Bernie Sanders talking. Poll after poll shows that over 80 percent of the American people believe that we should protect the legal status of these young people and provide them with a path toward citizenship.

We need to pass the bi-partisan DREAM Act, and we need to pass it now.

President Trump also talked about the need to rebuild our country's infrastructure. And he is absolutely right. But the proposal he is bringing forth is dead wrong.

Instead of spending $1.5 trillion over ten years rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, Trump would encourage states to sell our nation's highways, bridges, and other vital infrastructure to Wall Street, wealthy campaign contributors, even foreign governments.

And how would Wall Street and these corporations recoup their investments? By imposing massive new tolls and fees paid for by American commuters and homeowners.

The reality is that Trump's plan to privatize our nation's infrastructure is an old idea that has never worked and never will work.

Tonight , Donald Trump correctly talked about the need to address the opioid crisis. Well, I say to Donald Trump, you don't help people suffering from opioid addiction by cutting Medicaid by $1 trillion. If you are serious about dealing with this crisis, we need to expand, not cut Medicaid.

Conclusion/A Progressive Agenda

My fellow Americans. The simple truth is that, according to virtually every poll, Donald Trump is the least popular president after one year in office of any president in modern American history. And the reason for that is pretty clear. The American people do not want a president who is compulsively dishonest, who is a bully, who actively represents the interests of the billionaire class, who is anti-science, and who is trying to divide us up based on the color of our skin, our nation of origin, our religion, our gender, or our sexual orientation.

That is not what the American people want. And that reality is the bad news that we have to deal with.

But the truth is that there is a lot of good news out there as well. It's not just that so many of our people disagree with Trump's policies, temperament, and behavior. It is that the vast majority of our people have a very different vision for the future of our country than what Trump and the Republican leadership are giving us.

In an unprecedented way, we are witnessing a revitalization of American democracy with more and more people standing up and fighting back. A little more than a year ago we saw millions of people take to the streets for the women's marches and a few weeks ago, in hundreds of cities and towns around the world, people once again took to the streets in the fight for social, economic, racial and environmental justice.

Further, we are seeing the growth of grassroots organizations and people from every conceivable background starting to run for office – for school board, city council, state legislature, the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate.

In fact, we are starting to see the beginning of a political revolution, something long overdue.

And these candidates, from coast to coast, are standing tall for a progressive agenda, an agenda that works for the working families of our country and not just the billionaire class. These candidates understand that the United States has got to join the rest of the industrialized world and guarantee health care to all as a right, not a privilege, through a Medicare for All, single-payer program.

They understand that at a time of massive income and wealth inequality, when the top one-tenth of one percent now owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent, we should not be giving tax breaks for billionaires but demanding that they start paying their fair share of taxes.

They know that we need trade policies that benefit working people, not large multi-national corporations.

They know that we have got to take on the fossil fuel industry, transform our energy system and move to sustainable energies like wind, solar and geothermal.

They know that we need a $15 an hour federal minimum wage, free tuition at public colleges and universities, and universal childcare.

They understand that it is a woman who has the right to control her own body, not state and federal governments, and that woman has the right to receive equal pay for equal work and work in a safe environment free from harassment.

They also know that if we are going to move forward successfully as a democracy we need real criminal justice reform and we need to finally address comprehensive immigration reform.

Yes. I understand that the Koch brothers and their billionaire friends are planning to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in the 2018 mid-term elections supporting the Trump agenda and right-wing Republicans. They have the money, an unlimited amount of money. But we have the people, and when ordinary people stand up and fight for justice there is nothing that we cannot accomplish. That has been the history of America, and that is our future.

Thank you all and good night.

Published at https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/01/30/watch-bernie-sanders-response-trump-state-union

[Jan 19, 2018] Our Potemkin Village - Antiwar.com Original

Jan 19, 2018 | original.antiwar.com

Our Potemkin Village

The empire is getting a bit tattered around the edges

by Justin Raimondo Posted on January 17, 2018 January 16, 2018 While the population of Hawaii dove under manhole covers, and #TheResistance screeched that The Orange Monster had finally done it and forced Kim Jong Un to nuke the island paradise, it took Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, the levelheaded, and quite personable representative from that state, to issue a statement countermanding the "take cover" message sent out by the military earlier.

Rep. Gabbard did this within minutes, thus avoiding a major panic with potentially dangerous consequences, while the Authorities took nearly an hour to issue a retraction.

How did this happen? The Official Story is that "someone pushed the wrong button." As to the identity of this Someone, or the consequences that have befallen him or her, we hear nary a word.

This bizarre incident underscores the utter absurdity and darkness of the permanent state of emergency which we live under. For it turns out that there was no system in place capable of countermanding the emergency alert once it went out. A tacit understanding of the reality behind our military strategy: it's a suicide pact.

It also underscores the Potemkin Village aura of what is routinely referred to as our National Security Establishment: in this case, it amounted to some guy in Hawaii wearing flip flops and all too eager to go off duty and get back in the water after going through the unending drill he'd complete hundreds, probably thousands of times before.

So who was the culprit, and what happened to him? The Hawaii authorities refuse to identify him – because "he would be a pariah." Which is a military disciplinary system that has to be unique in all the world. The administrator in chief of the system, a Mr. Miyagi, explained it this way :

"Looking at the nature and cause of the error that led to those events, the deeper problem is not that someone made a mistake; it is that we made it too easy for a simple mistake to have very serious consequences. The system should have been more robust, and I will not let an individual pay for a systemic problem."

What about the individual architects of the system? You can be your bottom dollar none of them will bear any consequences for almost starting World War III. Gee, I recall an incident that occurred on September 11, 2001, in which the "defenses" we'd spent billions on simply did not function and thousands dies as a result – and not a single person was fired.

Inefficiency and outright incompetence are built into structures as large, unwieldy, and unresponsive as the American Empire, and this is what the concept of decadence really entails: the slipshod slips in, the shiny surfaces get to looking a little ramshackle, overconfidence and complacency infiltrate both leaders and led, and pretty soon you're the Austro-Hungarian Empire: big, garish, unsustainable, and basically ready to fall to pieces.

Which is not to say that the Empire is really on its last legs and will fall of its own weight – although that's entirely possible. Look at what happened to the Soviets. Yet the rulers – and inhabitants – of such empires always overestimate their strength and endurance: they live inside the bubble of their own hubris.

That popping sound you hear may augur more than anybody bargained for

A SPECIAL NOTE : My apologies for the abbreviated column, but this is being written on the fly as I get ready to travel to San Francisco to receive my fifth infusion of the anti-cancer drugs Keytruda and Alimta. I have to say I'm feeling a lot better since the treatments started, but I still have a ways to go: I'll keep you posted.

[Jan 19, 2018] No Foreign Bases Challenging the Footprint of US Empire by Kevin B. Zeese and Margaret Flowers

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers co-direct ..."
"... Popular Resistance ..."
"... . This article first appeared as the ..."
"... weekly newsletter ..."
"... of the organization. ..."
Jan 18, 2018 | original.antiwar.com

The United States cannot be a moral or ethical country until it faces up to the realities of US empire and the destruction it causes around the world. The US undermines governments (including democracies), kills millions of people, causes mass migrations of people fleeing their homes, communities and countries and produces vast environmental damage.

A new coalition, The Coalition Against US Foreign Military Bases , held its inaugural event January 12-14, 2018 at the University of Baltimore in Maryland. The meeting was framed by a Unity Statement that brought together numerous peace and justice organizations. The basis for unity was:

"U.S. foreign military bases are the principal instruments of imperial global domination and environmental damage through wars of aggression and occupation, and that the closure of US foreign military bases is one of the first necessary steps toward a just, peaceful and sustainable world."

You can endorse the statement here .

... ... ... (image deleted)
US foreign military bases as of 2015. Source BaseNation.us

Responsibility to End Global Empire of Bases

Ajamu Baraka of the Black Alliance for Peace and the vice presidential candidate for the Green Party in 2016 opened the conference, describing the responsibility of the people of the United States (USians) to protect the world from US aggression. He argued :

"The only logical, principled and strategic response to this question is citizens of the empire must reject their imperial privileges and join in opposing ruling elites exploiting labor and plundering the Earth. To do that, however, requires breaking with the intoxicating allure of cross-class, bi-partisan 'white identity politics.'"

This reality conflicts with one of the excuses the US uses to engage in war – so-called 'humanitarian wars', which are based on the dubious legal claim that the US has a "responsibility to protect." The United States is viewed as "the greatest threat to peace in the world today" by people around the world. Thus, USians need to organize to protect the world from the United States.

US empire is not only a threat to world peace and stability but also a threat to the United States. Chalmers Johnson , who wrote a series of books on empire, warned in his 2004 book, " The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic ," that there were four "sorrows" the United States would suffer. In the 14 years since they have all come true:

"If present trends continue, four sorrows, it seems to me, are certain to be visited on the United States. Their cumulative impact guarantees that the United States will cease to bear any resemblance to the country once outlined in our Constitution. First, there will be a state of perpetual war, leading to more terrorism against Americans wherever they may be and a growing reliance on weapons of mass destruction among smaller nations as they try to ward off the imperial juggernaut. Second, there will be a loss of democracy and constitutional rights as the presidency fully eclipses Congress and is itself transformed from an "executive branch" of government into something more like a Pentagonized presidency. Third, an already well-shredded principle of truthfulness will increasingly be replaced by a system of propaganda, disinformation, and glorification of war, power, and the military legions. Lastly, there will be bankruptcy, as we pour our economic resources into ever more grandiose military projects and shortchange the education, health, and safety of our fellow citizens."

The footprint of US empire are what Chalmers Johnson called an "empire of bases." David Vine, the author of Base Nation, put US empire in context by describing 800 US bases in 80 countries and US military personnel in more than 170 countries. Bases range from so-called Lily Pad Bases of hundreds of troops to town-sized bases of tens of thousands of troops and their families. He noted many bases have schools and they do not need to worry about heating or air conditioning, unlike schools in Baltimore where parents bought space heaters to keep children warm and where schools were closed due to lack of heat.

The contrast between Baltimore schools and military base schools is one example of many of the heavy price USians pay for the military. Vine reported that $150 billion is spent annually to keep US troops on bases abroad and that even a Lily Pad base could cost $1 billion. More is spent on foreign military bases than on any agency of the federal government, other than the Pentagon and Veterans Administration.

The Pentagon is not transparent about the number of US foreign bases it manages or their cost. They usually publish a Base Structure Report but have not done so in several years. The Pentagon only reports 701 bases, but researchers have found many, even significant bases, not included in their list of bases.

According to the No Foreign Bases Coalition:

"95% of all foreign military bases in the world are US bases. In addition, [there are] 19 Naval air carriers (and 15 more planned), each as part of a Carrier Strike Group, composed of roughly 7,500 personnel, and a carrier air wing of 65 to 70 aircraft – each of which can be considered a floating military base."

The military footprint of the United States shows it is the largest empire in world history. In our interview with historian Alfred McCoy , author of In The Shadows of the American Century , he describes how some of the key characteristics of US empire are secrecy and covert actions. This are some of the reasons why it is rare to ever hear US empire discussed in the corporate media or by politicians. McCoy told us this was true for some other empires too, and that it is often not until the empire begins to falter that their existence becomes part of the political dialogue.

Strategies for Closing US Foreign Military Bases

David Vine described an unprecedented opportunity to close bases abroad, to do so we need to build a bigger movement. We also need to elevate the national dialogue about US Empire and develop a national consensus to end it.

Vine pointed to Donald Trump's campaign rhetoric about pulling back from US involvement abroad and focusing on the necessities at home as indicative of the mood of the country. In fact, a recent survey found that "78 percent of Democrats, 64.5 percent of Republicans, and 68.8 percent of independents supported restraining military action overseas."

McCoy argued that after the globalization of President Barack Obama, which included the Asian Pivot and efforts to pass major trade agreements, in particular the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), created a backlash desire to focus on "America First." Both trade agreements, the TPP and TTIP, failed as a result of a political shift in the country, in part created by grassroots movements.

McCoy describes Obama as one of three "Grandmasters of the Great Game" (the other two being Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter's National Security Adviser, and Elihu Root, former Secretary of War and Secretary of State at the beginning of the 20th Century) who excelled in being strategic on behalf of US empire. In addition to trade agreements and the Asian Pivot, Obama built on the intelligence apparatus of the George W. Bush era. Even though Obama was a "grandmaster," he did not slow the weakening of US empire. McCoy sees the inability to account for the unpredictable complexities of US and global political developments as a common weakness of empire strategists.

The conference was divided into regions of the world (with the exception of one session on the impact of military bases on the environment and health). There will be reports and videos published on each section of the conference on the No Foreign Bases webpage . One common denominator around the world is opposition to US military bases. According to the Unity Statement of the coalition:

"Many individual national coalitions – for example, Okinawa, Italy, Jeju Island Korea, Diego Garcia, Cyprus, Greece, and Germany – are demanding closure of bases on their territory. The base that the US has illegally occupied the longest, for over a century, is Guantánamo Bay, whose existence constitutes an imposition of the empire and a violation of International Law. Since 1959 the government and people of Cuba have demanded that the government of the US return the Guantánamo territory to Cuba."

One important strategy for success is for US activists to work in cooperation with people around the world who want US military bases to be closed and for the US military to leave their country. Attendees at the conference had traveled to South Korea, Okinawa and other places to protest in solidarity with US activists.

Another strategy that many in the conference urged was the need for education about US imperialism and to tie US militarism abroad with militarized police at home. Similarly, the reality of the US military focusing on black and brown countries abroad highlights a white supremacy philosophy that infects foreign policy and domestic policy. Members of the No US Foreign Bases coalition also engage in domestic efforts for racial and environmental justice.

Further, the no bases coalition highlights the environmental and health damage caused by foreign and domestic military bases. As the Unity Statement notes, "military bases are the largest users of fossil fuel in the world, heavily contributing to environmental degradation." Pat Elder and David Swanson described the degradation in and around the Potomac River, writing:

"The Pentagon's impact on the river on whose bank it sits is not simply the diffuse impact of global warming and rising oceans contributed to by the US military's massive oil consumption. The US military also directly poisons the Potomac River in more ways than almost anyone would imagine."

People can find information about the environmental damage being done by the military in their community on the Bombs in Your Backward webpage . World Beyond War held a conference on War and the Environment in 2017. You can view video and summaries from the conference on their site .

Next Steps

The conference attendees decided on some next steps. A national day of action against foreign military bases is being planned for February 23, the anniversary of the US seizing Guantanamo Bay, Cuba through a "perpetual lease" that began in 1903. Activists are encouraged to plan local actions. If you plan an event, contact info@popularresistance.org and we'll post it on the events page. The demands will include closing the base and prison in Guantanamo, returning the land to Cuba and ending the US blockade.

The conference also decided to hold a conference outside of the United States in one of the countries where the US has a foreign military base within the next year. People from some countries were not allowed to attend the inaugural conference this weekend.

And, the coordinating committee will reach out to other peace and justice groups to select a date and place for a national mass action against US wars. This will be organized as quickly as possible because the threat of more wars is high.

This is a key moment for the antiwar movement in the US to make itself more visible and to demand the closure of US foreign bases. In this report on living in a post-primacy world , even the Pentagon recognizes what many commentators are seeing – the US empire is fading. One great risk as the empire ends is more wars as the US tries to hang on to global hegemony. We must oppose war and work for the least damaging end of empire.

Indeed, if the US becomes a cooperative member of the global community, rather than being a dominator, it would be a positive transition. Imagine how much better it would be for everyone in the world if the US collaborated on addressing the climate crisis in a serious way, obeyed international law and invested in positive programs to solve the many crises we face at home and abroad.

During the Baltimore conference, World Beyond War sponsored a billboard nearby that read, "3% of US military spending could end starvation on earth." Imagine what a peace budget could look like. The US could invest in domestic necessities including rebuilding infrastructure, a cleaner and safer public transportation system, education, housing and health care. The US could provide aid to other countries to repair the damage it has caused. Members of the US military could transition into a civilian jobs program that applies their expertise to programs of social uplift.

It is imperative that as the US Empire falls, we organize for a smooth transition to a world that is better for everyone. The work of the new coalition to end US foreign military bases is a strong start.

Homeless encampment in the foreground of a Baltimore, MD billboard that read, "3% of US military spending could end starvation on earth." Source World Beyond War.

Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers co-direct Popular Resistance . This article first appeared as the weekly newsletter of the organization.

Read more by Kevin B. Zeese

[Jan 16, 2018] Watch A Sitting Congresswoman Shred The MSM Narrative In Under A Minute

Jan 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Watch A Sitting Congresswoman Shred The MSM Narrative In Under A Minute

by Tyler Durden Mon, 01/15/2018 - 16:34 155 SHARES

Hawaii Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard appeared on multiple Sunday news shows a day after her state's false ICBM emergency alert sent the islands into a tense 40 minutes of panic before it was revealed to be a message sent in error, where she slammed the mainstream media's reporting on the North Korean nuclear threat, saying , "We've got to understand that North Korea is holding onto these nuclear weapons because they think it is their only protection from the United States coming in and doing to them what the United States has done to so many countries throughout history."

She further called for Trump to hold direct talks with Kim Jong Un in order to prevent the real thing from ever happening.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) Gabbard is an Army reserve officer who previously served two tours in the Middle East, including in Iraq. Image via the Ron Paul Institute

On Saturday Gabbard had immediately criticized President Trump for mishandling North Korea, taking to MSNBC to proclaim that "our leaders have failed us. Donald Trump is taking too long... he's not taking this [nuclear] threat seriously..." During Sunday interviews she elaborated on a plan of action, advising Trump to enter talks with Pyongyang which should "happen without preconditions" and that Trump should "sit across the table from Kim Jong Un" in order stamp out the climate of fear which contributed to the "unacceptable" alert issued on Saturday.

"We've got to get to the underlying issue here of why are the people of Hawaii and this country facing a nuclear threat coming from North Korea today, and what is this President doing urgently to eliminate that threat?" Gabbard said on CNN's State of the Union. She added that Pyongyang sees its nuclear weapons program as "the only deterrent against the U.S. coming in and overthrowing their regime there " after decades of the US exhibiting a pattern of regime change when dealing with rogue states, which she said makes setting up preconditions for talks a self-defeating step.

And concerning the potential for an "unintentional" nuclear war, Gabbard said, "It's not just the President making a decision to launch a nuclear weapon . It's these kinds of mistakes that we have seen happen in the past that bring us to this brink of nuclear war that could be unintentional."

The Hawaii lawmaker, who has garnered a lot of attention over her non-interventionist stance on Syria while angering establishment pundits for doing things like visiting Damascus last year on a fact-finding mission, left ABC's George Stephanopoulos visibly flustered during an interview on Sunday's "This Week" . She said:

We know that North Korea has these nuclear weapons because they see how the United States in Libya for example guaranteed Gadaffi - 'we're not going to go after you, you should get rid of your nuclear weapons.' He did, then we went and led an attack that toppled Gaddafi, launching Libya into chaos that we are still seeing the results of today. North Korea sees what we did in Iraq with Saddam Hussein, with those false reports of weapons of mass destruction. And now seeing in Iran how President Trump is decertifying a nuclear deal that prevented Iran from developing their nuclear weapons, threatening the very existence and the agreement that was made.

At this point an incredulous Stephanopoulos stopped the Congresswoman and asked, " Was it a mistake for the United States to take out Gaddafi and Hussein ?" Gabbard responded firmly with, "It was, absolutely." Apparently this was enough to end the interview as a presumably shocked Stephanopoulos had no response at that point.

For those unfamiliar, Gabbard is an Army reserve officer who previously served two tours in the Middle East, including in Iraq, and has been an outspoken critic of regime change and Washington's interventionist foreign policy.

[Jan 02, 2018] We need demonstrations against NATO, against war, against false flag terrorism, against using terrorists as secret armies, against war propaganda!

Jan 02, 2018 | www.unz.com

Wizard of Oz , July 11, 2017 at 11:50 am GMT

@Paul Well, the real enemy of the people are the real terrorists behind the scenes. Those who planned the 9/11 false flag. Those who sent the Anthrax letters to resisting congress members. Those who pre-planned the wars of aggression in the whole middle east.

So any appeal to the "White House" is almost pointless since the White House is one element of the power structure captured by the war-criminal lunatics.

To change something people in the US should at first stop buying their war criminal lying mass media.

Then they should stop supporting ANY foreign intervention by the US and should stop believing any of the preposterous lies released by the media, the state dept., or any other neocon outlet.

Actually Trump was probably elected because he said he was anti-intervention and anti-media. But did it help?

The US needs mass resistance (demonstrations, strikes, boycotts, non-participation, sit-ins, grass-root information, or whatever) against their neocon/zionist/mafia/cia power groups or nothing will change.

We need demonstrations against NATO, against war, against false flag terrorism, against using terrorists as secret armies, against war propaganda!

B.t.w. Iran has always been one of the main goals. Think of it: Why did the US attack Afghanistan and Iraq? What have those two countries in common? (Hint: a look on the map helps to answer this question.) I am beginning to get interested in why some people are sure 9/11 was a false flag affair covered up by a lot of lies. So may I try my opening question on you. How much, if any of it, have you read of the official 9/11 commission report?

Replies:

@Sowhat

https://forbiddenknowledgetv.net/former-nist-employee-speaks-out-on-wtc-investigation/

@NoseytheDuke

A better question: Have YOU read The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation by Phillip Shenon?

[Dec 30, 2017] Not a single officer resigned in protest despite the fact that the US is deeply in bed with ISIS and those who are responsible, at least according to the official conspiracy theory, for 9/11

Saker, of course, if "Russia firster". And that makes his analyses of Russia weaker than it should be. But his analysis of the USA is superb.
Notable quotes:
"... What defeats? US achieved its real goal in Iraq, which was to smash it and leave it divided. Zionist wanted a weak Iraq, and it is weak indeed. US still occupies Afghanistan and uses it for whatever it wants. The longer the war goes on, the Occupation is justified like continued US presence in South Korea. US doesn't want to win in Afghanistan. As long as the war is officially 'on', US can stay and rule that part of the world. ..."
"... And Libya is destroyed. Gaddafi's dream of counter-currency is finished. Libya is like humpty dumpty, smashed forever, and the Zionists are happy. ..."
"... And Syria? It didn't cost America anything to see that nation totally wrecked. ..."
"... re the first sentence of this comment. And probably confusing for "Russia-Firsters"; USA is this/that (all bad) and Russia/China are this/that (all good) but there is a fear about the "bad boy". Doesn't make sense but, well, who cares. We gotta go with the message, that one "USA bad" etc. ..."
"... The burden now is clearly on Russia and China to do everything they can to try to stop the US from launching even more catastrophic and deeply immoral wars. That is a very, very difficult task and I frankly don't know if they can do it. I hope so. That is the best I can say. ..."
"... US foreign policy flows from internal conditions. As long as the US is ruled by ...Globalists... as their cuckaroo dogs like Joe Biden, Lindsey Graham, and the rest, nothing will change. ..."
"... Simplistically, it appears most Americans because of the Cold War view geopolitics as a Manichean struggle of civilizations, good versus evil. Therefore, as they understand the United States, representing absolute good, to have been the victor in that battle for the planet, the United States now has the right to dictate terms to the entire globe in a mopping up action. ..."
"... It is US "elites" Modus Operandi, otherwise "exceptionalism" flies out of the window. With some effort and time given we may yet see the US taking credit for the Battle of Lepanto and, eventually, for Thermopylae. Consider his: "Kursk was an Anglo-American victory as well as a Soviet one." (c) ..."
Dec 30, 2017 | www.unz.com

Priss Factor , Website December 29, 2017 at 5:47 am GMT

The same goes for the US military: not one single officer has found in himself/herself to resign to protest the fact that the US is deeply in bed with those who are responsible, at least according to the official conspiracy theory, for 9/11. Nope, in fact US special forces are working with al-Qaeda types day in and day out and not a single one of these "patriots" has the honor/courage/integrity to go public about it.

But for 9/11, Alqaeda was always the US's baby. They were used in Afghanistan against the Soviets. US and its ally Pakistan fully backed Osama and his ilk for a long time. If not for 9/11, US and Alqeda's good relations would have been unbroken.

It's like US-Japan's relations. It got rocky cuz of disagreement over China and then Pearl Harbor. But had it not been for that, US-Japan relations would have been smooth throughout the 20th century. US had initially backed Japan's war with Russia and looked the other way when Japan moved into Korea and China. It was Japan's over-reaching that set the two nations apart and led to Pearl Harbor. But after WWII, they were friends against against China and Russia.

So, it shouldn't surprise us that US and Alqaeda are pals again. They were for a long time. It was US presence in Saudi Arabia that made Osama bitter and turn against his ally, the US. But with Iran and Shias as the Big Enemy, the US and Alqaeda are friends again.

Priss Factor , Website December 29, 2017 at 5:53 am GMT
And yet, somewhere, to some degree, these guys must know that the odds are not in their favor. For one thing, an endless stream of military defeats and political embarrassments ought to strongly suggest to them that inaction is generally preferable to action, especially for clueless people.

What defeats? US achieved its real goal in Iraq, which was to smash it and leave it divided. Zionist wanted a weak Iraq, and it is weak indeed. US still occupies Afghanistan and uses it for whatever it wants. The longer the war goes on, the Occupation is justified like continued US presence in South Korea. US doesn't want to win in Afghanistan. As long as the war is officially 'on', US can stay and rule that part of the world.

And Libya is destroyed. Gaddafi's dream of counter-currency is finished. Libya is like humpty dumpty, smashed forever, and the Zionists are happy.

And Syria? It didn't cost America anything to see that nation totally wrecked.

...These were great successes in a sick way. The Zionist-US goal was to spread chaos and turn those nations into hellholes that will take many decades to recover. And since 9/11, there's been hardly any major terrorist attacks in America.

peterAUS , December 29, 2017 at 6:00 am GMT
Beauties of time zone(s). Anyway . The usual Saker's "panic attack". So, for those 10 % here who aren't actually on his wavelength, a brief comment. As usual there is a bit of discrepancy between:

the AngloZionist Empire is reeling from its humiliating defeat in Syria

and

Syria (threats of a US-Israeli-KSA attack; attack on Iranian and Hezbollah forces in Syria)
attack on Russian forces in Syria)
.attack Iranian forces in Syria)

but not important, of course. Just think "USA bad", "Russia good" and all makes sense. Surprisingly, though, this is well stated

Let me immediately say here that listing pragmatic arguments against such aggression is, at this point in time, probably futile.

with a bit of Freudian slip

that is really frightening.

re the first sentence of this comment. And probably confusing for "Russia-Firsters"; USA is this/that (all bad) and Russia/China are this/that (all good) but there is a fear about the "bad boy". Doesn't make sense but, well, who cares. We gotta go with the message, that one "USA bad" etc.

Now, he got this mostly right:

whereas those in the elites not only know that they are total hypocrites and liars, but they actually see this as a sign superiority: the drones believes in his/her ideology, but his rulers believe in absolutely nothing.

Except they do believe in something: POWER.

He got close here, I admit:

Because they profoundly believe in four fundamental things:
1. We can buy anybody
2. Those we cannot buy, we bully
3. Those we cannot bully we kill
4. Nothing can happen to us, we live in total impunity not matter what we do

Now, I also admit THIS is quite interesting:

The same goes for the US military: not one single officer has found in himself/herself to resign to protest the fact that the US is deeply in bed with those who are responsible, at least according to the official conspiracy theory, for 9/11. Nope, in fact US special forces are working with al-Qaeda types day in and day out and not a single one of these "patriots" has the honor/courage/integrity to go public about it.

Still, the explanation feels weak.

Imbeciles and cowards. Delusional imbeciles giving orders and dishonorable cowards mindlessly executing them.

He could've gone deeper, but that would've complicated the message. Propaganda is all about keeping things simple and close to the lowest denominator (read imbecile). Makes sense, actually. He is correct here, though:

Alas, this is also a very hard combo to deter or to try to reason with.

The usual "Bad USA has been losing badly" compulsory part of the article we'll skip here, save:

.to engage either the Iranians or Hezbollah is a very scary option

("panic" thing) And, of course oh man .

Putin is a unpredictable master strategist and the folks around him are very, very smart.

I suggest reading this a couple of times. For a couple of reasons I'd leave to the reader. Back to topic at hand:

I think that we can agree that the Neocons are unlikely to be very impressed by the risks posed by Russian forces in Syria and that they will likely feel that they can punch the russkies in the nose and that these russkies will have to take it.

with

I place the risk here at 'medium' even if, potentially, this could lead to a catastrophic thermonuclear war because I don't think that the Neocons believe that the Russians will escalate too much (who starts WWIII over one shot down aircraft anyway, right?!)

..("panic" thing)
and

Let's hope that the Urkonazis will be busy fighting each other and that their previous humiliating defeat will deter them from trying again, but I consider a full-scale Urkonazi attack on the Donbass as quite likely

..("panic" thing).
and

The truth is that at this point nobody knows what the outcome of a US attack on the DPRK might be, not even the North Koreans. Will that be enough to deter the delusional imbeciles giving and dishonorable cowards currently at the helm of the Empire? You tell me!

("panic" thing).

And, at the end, kudos actually, he appears to be getting there:

Frankly, I am not very confident about this attempt as analyzing the possible developments in 2018. All my education has always been based on a crucial central assumption: the other guy is rational.

This isn't bad:

The burden now is clearly on Russia and China to do everything they can to try to stop the US from launching even more catastrophic and deeply immoral wars. That is a very, very difficult task and I frankly don't know if they can do it. I hope so. That is the best I can say.

But I'd keep focus on "I frankly don't know if they can do it". Now, back to fanboys and resident agenda pushers.

Priss Factor , Website December 29, 2017 at 6:23 am GMT
Frankly, I am not very confident about this attempt as analyzing the possible developments in 2018.

US foreign policy flows from internal conditions. As long as the US is ruled by ...Globalists... as their cuckaroo dogs like Joe Biden, Lindsey Graham, and the rest, nothing will change.

America needs a new civil 'war' to set things right. The ruling elites must be outed, routed, and destroyed. But the elites have framed the civil war in America as between 'nazis' and 'antifa', and this divide-and-conquer strategy gets nothing done. The American Left is more at war with Civil War monuments than with the REAL power. This civil 'war' must be between people vs the elites. But elites have manipulated the conflict as 'blue' vs 'red'.

What happens IN America will affect what happens OUTSIDE America.

There are people on both right and left who know what is going on with this neo-imperialism BS. Elite intellectuals are useless as critics because the filtering system for elitism favors the cucks and toadies. To reach the top in any profession, one has to suck up to Zionists, denounce Russia, worship homos, and denounce any form of white agency as 'white supremacism'.

... ... ...

How can the elite power be challenged by non-elites? Is there some way? A new way to use the internet? Maybe. That must be why the Platforms are shutting down so many alternative voices.

And how can masses of Trumptards and Anti-Trump resistance be convinced that the real power is not with Trump or any president but with the Deep State that colludes with Big Media and Big donors?

So many Trumptards think all is fine because Trump is president. Likewise, so many progs paid no attention as long as Obama was president even though Obama proved to be a war criminal.

US is now a silly nation where progs are totally incensed over 'gay cakes'. With dummy populists who think in terms of flag and guns and idiot decadent proggists who think in terms of 'muh gender' and 'white privilege', a true challenge to sick elite power is impossible.

We need more on the right to call out on Trump, and we need more on the left to call out on likes of Obama and Hillary. And both sides need to focus on the Power above Trump-Hillary-Obama. But they are too childish to see anything cuz for most of them, it's either 'muh guns' or 'muh gender'.

Fran Macadam , Website December 29, 2017 at 7:46 am GMT
Simplistically, it appears most Americans because of the Cold War view geopolitics as a Manichean struggle of civilizations, good versus evil. Therefore, as they understand the United States, representing absolute good, to have been the victor in that battle for the planet, the United States now has the right to dictate terms to the entire globe in a mopping up action.
Andrei Martyanov , Website December 29, 2017 at 2:22 pm GMT

Yet none of that prevents them from claiming that they, not Russia, defeated Daesh/ISIS/al-Nusra/etc. This is absolutely amazing, think of it –

It is US "elites" Modus Operandi, otherwise "exceptionalism" flies out of the window. With some effort and time given we may yet see the US taking credit for the Battle of Lepanto and, eventually, for Thermopylae. Consider his: "Kursk was an Anglo-American victory as well as a Soviet one." (c)

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/why-the-battle-kursk-might-just-be-the-most-misunderstood-22931?page=3

You see where it is all going? In real everyday life this is qualified as Stolen Valor and there is a Federal Law from 2013 which makes it a crime.

Diversity Heretic , December 29, 2017 at 2:30 pm GMT
@Priss Factor

Calvin Coolidge referred to Japan as America's natural friend. Were the economic sanctions imposed because of Japanese expansion in China, Indochina and the Dutch East Indies really necessary? How important was it to Mr. and Mrs. Average American that China be governed by Communists, warlords and corrupt nationalists, that Indochina be governed by French colonialists, and the Dutch East Indies be governed by Dutch colonialists, than by Japanese imperalists? Pat Buchanan has called WWII in Europe the unnecessary war; I think the truly unnecessary WWII conflict was in the Pacific.

[Dec 29, 2017] The remarkable thing is to see the complete disappearance of the anti-war left

Dec 28, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Christian Chuba , 26 December 2017 at 07:23 PM
A comment on Trump's national security doctrine, I read it as 'U.S. uber alles'.

The remarkable thing is to see the complete disappearance of the anti-war left. On CNN, their reaction was, Trump is talking the talk but not walking the walk. They were miffed that he had a polite phone conversation with Putin. It's not enough to send weapons to Ukraine, call the Russians and Chinese revisionist powers, have aggressive air patrols near Crimea, maintain sanctions in perpetuity, have a massive increase in Defense spending, and expand NATO, you have to be rude to Putin on every possible occasion, perhaps even allow a terrorist attack.

Some see this as a big fake out to satisfy the Neocons, he's got me eating grass too (picture Defensive End missing a Running Back in a football game). I guess we just have to wait to see what the next 3yrs bring.

BTW this link shows the flight pattern of US surveillance aircraft as they take off from Bulgaria and files along the coast of Sevastopol http://russia-insider.com/en/us-keeps-loitering-coast-russian-naval-base-sevastopol-russia-adds-second-s-400-air-defense-battery

EEngineer , 26 December 2017 at 01:30 PM

All signs that the citizens of the imperial court have poisoned themselves with their own propaganda. Apparently they've collectively forgotten that it all started out as a con for the rubes. An exceedingly dangerous condition.

I was surprised neither China or Russia vetoed the recent UN sanctions on North Korea. I can see how the SCO countries would want to play for time, but I wonder if throwing NK to the wolves makes war more likely rather than less so. I could see Iran interpreting it as being on deck (next, a baseball term), and the Neocons as a green light.

And so few seem to care... It's almost as if they've been conditioned to want war.

I was dragged to the latest Star Wars movie this weekend. Explosion porn... For a story ostensibly about sacrifice and honor, it had so many silly comic book jokes I was almost surprised it didn't have a laugh track.

Lyttenburgh , 26 December 2017 at 06:16 PM
On the new National Security Doctrine – excellent! The US does not mince words and states clearly, that both China and Russia are "resurgent" and "revisionist powers", who "threaten the world order". The US dominated unipolar world order that's it. Which, again, is true.

If Obama/Clinton had their way, Russia will be listed among the "threats to the national security" such as ISIL, Ebola and DPRK. Well – who remembers about Ebola's outbreak and ISIL is losing its memeticness by hour. The esteemed members of the establishment (the legislative branch) also would have liked to see Russia among such "top priority national security threats" as Iran and DPRK.

Instead we, Russia, are in China's company. Not bad, not bad at all. Cuz the US can't negotiate with Iran, North Korea and ISIL without losing a face. With China – now, here a sort of détente is possible.

[Dec 28, 2017] Napalm An American Biography

Dec 28, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

131

Harry , Dec 27, 2017 7:25:26 PM | 130

@james #120

Robert M. Neer

Napalm An American Biography

Grieved , Dec 27, 2017 7:32:42 PM | 131
@120 james

It actually appears to be from "Napalm: an American Biography" by Robert M. Neer, 2013. The book is divided into 3 sections: Hero, Soldier, Pariah - hence the seeming title of Soldier at the top of the page.

A Google search on "correspondent Cutforth" (including the quotation marks) returns a slightly differently typeset book but with the same copy as b's image. The image itself is also returned under Images for that search. So it's definitely the Napalm book.

Try scrolling through this to find your page:
https://books.google.com/books?id=BbKvLs2TZKAC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

rjj , Dec 27, 2017 8:03:20 PM | 135
JAMES @ 120 and 122


Robert Neer, Napalm, page 100

[Dec 27, 2017] The remarkable thing is to see the complete disappearance of the anti-war left.

Dec 27, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Christian Chuba , 26 December 2017 at 10:36 AM

A comment on Trump's national security doctrine, I read it as 'U.S. uber alles'.

The remarkable thing is to see the complete disappearance of the anti-war left. On CNN, their reaction was, Trump is talking the talk but not walking the walk. They were miffed that he had a polite phone conversation with Putin. It's not enough to send weapons to Ukraine, call the Russians and Chinese revisionist powers, have aggressive air patrols near Crimea, maintain sanctions in perpetuity, have a massive increase in Defense spending, and expand NATO, you have to be rude to Putin on every possible occasion, perhaps even allow a terrorist attack.

Some see this as a big fake out to satisfy the Neocons, he's got me eating grass too (picture Defensive End missing a Running Back in a football game). I guess we just have to wait to see what the next 3yrs bring.

BTW this link shows the flight pattern of U.S. surveillance aircraft as they take off from Bulgaria and fliesl along the coast of Sevastopol http://russia-insider.com/en/us-keeps-loitering-coast-russian-naval-base-sevastopol-russia-adds-second-s-400-air-defense-battery

Lyttenburgh , 26 December 2017 at 06:16 PM
On the new National Security Doctrine – excellent! The US does not mince words and states clearly, that both China and Russia are "resurgent" and "revisionist powers", who "threaten the world order". The US dominated unipolar world order that's it. Which, again, is true.

If Obama/Clinton had their way, Russia will be listed among the "threats to the national security" such as ISIL, Ebola and DPRK. Well – who remembers about Ebola's outbreak and ISIL is losing its memeticness by hour. The esteemed members of the establishment (the legislative branch) also would have liked to see Russia among such "top priority national security threats" as Iran and DPRK.

Instead we, Russia, are in China's company. Not bad, not bad at all. Cuz the US can't negotiate with Iran, North Korea and ISIL without losing a face. With China – now, here a sort of détente is possible.

D , 26 December 2017 at 07:23 PM
@EE

"Apparently they've collectively forgotten that it all started out as a con for the rubes."

Exactly. And that condition seems to appertain to the formation of most domestic and foreign policies emanating from Washington these day. That's what you get in a country where folks like to gorge themselves on the swill of cable news and talk radio.

[Dec 17, 2017] Whither the Anti-war Movement by Daniel Martin

Notable quotes:
"... The antiwar movement could not survive the end of the draft. One most Americans did not have to worry about their kids being sent in harm's way, when minorities became soldiers for the pay, the enthusiasm waned. It was other people's kids that did the fighting and the dying. None of your concern. ..."
"... Initiatives of the Military-Industrial-Complex are well-planned, well-funded, and have paid staff to keep the interests of the corporate sector healthy and powerful. ..."
"... The Pentagon knows that as long as we have a volunteer army and outsource much of the nasty side of conflict to contractors, the volunteer peace activists don't stand a chance against their wealthy corporate allies. ..."
Dec 15, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The duopoly succumbed to the war machine, while organized resistance got pushed to the fringe

Veterans For Peace rally in Washington, less than a month after 9/11. Credit: Elvert Barnes/Flickr

"Imagine there's no heaven and no religion too."

A more useful line when it comes to our current wars may be "Imagine there's no duopoly." It's hard to fault John Lennon for his idealism, of course. In his day, many blamed religion on the wars of history. But a much bigger obstacle right now, at least in the U.S., is partisanship. The two major political parties, in power and out, have been so co-opted by the war machine that any modern anti-war movement has been completely subsumed and marginalized -- even as American troops and killer drones continue to operate in or near combat zones all over the world.

Aside from the very early days of the Iraq war, the anti-war movement has been a small, ineffectual pinprick on the post-9/11 landscape. A less generous assessment is that it's been a bust. After liberals helped elect the "anti-war" Barack Obama, the movement all but disappeared, even though the wars did not. By putting a Nobel Peace Prize-winning Democratic face on his inherited wars, Obama expanded into new conflicts (Libya, Syria, Yemen) with little resistance, ultimately bombing seven different countries during his tenure. By 2013, Code Pink founder Medea Benjamin lamented , "We've been protesting Obama's foreign policy for years now, but we can't get the same numbers because the people who would've been yelling and screaming about this stuff under Bush are quiet under Obama."

It's easy to blame the military-industrial complex, the corporate media, and the greed and malleability of politicians. But what about the anti-war movement itself? Why has it failed so miserably, and can it revive as President Donald Trump continues the wars of his predecessors and threatens new ones?

The rallies and protests in the early 2000s attracted significant numbers but they were weighed down by far-left organizations like the World Workers Party, which brought with them myriad other issues beyond war like global warming and poverty. There was also long-held and fairly broad skepticism about the intentions of United For Peace and Justice (UFPJ) and the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition, which organized most of the big protests over the last 17 years. This was due to the "big tent" affiliations of some of their steering committee members, which critics say led to a dilution of the message and drove the anti-war movement further from the mainstream.

Perhaps the movement's biggest weakness was that it shied away from directly attacking its own -- the liberal Democrats who voted for the war in Congress.

In a sense, Democrats did emerge as the de facto anti-war party during the Iraq war, but that was only because a Republican -- George W. Bush -- was commander-in-chief. And what of the Democrats who voted for the war and continued to fund it? Out of 77 senators who supported the resolution authorizing military force against Iraq in 2002, 20 are still in office and roughly half are Democrats, while out of the 296 votes in favor in the House, 90 are still in office and 57 of them are Democrats. Some of them, like Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer, went on to become party leaders. Two others, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton, went on to become secretaries of state and their party's nominees for president in 2004 and 2016 respectively. All went on to support new military interventions and regime changes, albeit under a new, liberal interventionist, Democratic banner.

Conversely, steadfast non-interventionist Democrat Dennis Kucinich, who voted against the resolution, failed badly in both his 2004 and 2008 attempts at his party's presidential nomination. Bottom line: Support for the war was hardly a deal-breaker for voters, any more than opposition to it was a dealmaker.

Reaction to war is just a microcosm of the political landscape, a manifestation of partisan-driven, short-term memory. Sure there might have been momentary disapproval, but when it came time to decide whether supporters of the war stayed or went, the sins of one's party leaders meant very little in the zero-sum game of electoral politics. Parties outside the duopoly be damned.

The same thing happened to the anti-war right, as the Ron Paul movement took off in 2008 with an immense level of grassroots energy. One of the singular successes of his movement was the ability to reach people on an intellectual and practical level about the folly of our foreign interventions and the waste, fraud, and abuse of tax dollars. Paul didn't shy from criticizing his own party's leaders and actions. He explained the Federal Reserve's relationship to the monetary costs of war.

Ultimately, media blackouts and distortion of Paul's message (for example, conflating his non-interventionist foreign policy views with "isolationism") helped kill his campaign. After Paul's 2008 defeat, conservative political activists seized upon the Texas congressman's libertarian-leaning revolutionary momentum and channeled it into the Tea Party -- while leaving the non-interventionist impulses behind. By 2011, national coordinator Jenny Beth Martin acknowledged , "On foreign policy probably the majority [of Tea Party Patriots] are more like [hawks] Michele Bachmann or Newt Gingrich."

And don't underestimate how the escalation of drone warfare during the Obama presidency muted the anti-war effort. Drone attacks made fewer headlines because they supposedly caused less collateral damage and kept U.S. troops out of harm's way, which was portrayed by administration officials and the war establishment in Washington as progress.

What the drone program did, in essence, was to create the illusion of "less war." Nevertheless, studies showing an increase of terrorism since the beginning of the "war on terror" indicate precisely the opposite: Civilian drone deaths (not always reported) create more enemies, meaning more of our troops will be put in harm's way eventually.

So where should the anti-war movement go from here? Perhaps it should begin by tempering its far-left impulses and embracing its allies on the right who have been made to feel unwelcome. They could take a lesson from right-leaning places like Antiwar.com and TAC that have long been open to writers and activists on the left.

Meanwhile, flying "Resist Trump" signs at rallies not only misses the mark by suggesting that our needless wars aren't a bipartisan, systemic problem, but creates a non-inclusive atmosphere for anti-war Trump voters. Ironically, not much "resistance" was heard when Democrats recently helped pass Trump's $700 billion 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and failed to repeal the original post-9/11 Authorization for Use of Military Force, as was advocated for by Senator Rand Paul this year.

In addition, the few on the anti-war left who oppose war based on pacifist or religious reasons need to acknowledge that the majority of Americans believe in a strong national defense as outlined in the Constitution. Most people are willing to accept that there's a big difference between that and the terrible waste and tragedy that comes with waging unnecessary wars overseas.

They are also averse to their lawmakers doing favors for special interests. Focusing on the money and influence that giant defense contractors like Lockheed Martin and Boeing have on Capitol Hill -- essentially making war a business -- makes the anti-war point by raising the issue of crony capitalism and the cozy relationship between politicians and big business, which increasingly leaves the American public out of the equation.

These corporations, along with Raytheon and Northrop Grumman, have accounted for $42 million in contributions to congressional candidates since 2009, with $12 million in the 2016 cycle alone. The majority of these funds have targeted Armed Services Committee members, such as perennial war hawk John McCain. In addition, influential neoconservative think tanks have received millions in grants over the years from "philanthropic" organizations such as the Bradley Foundation and the Olin Foundation, which have corporate backgrounds in the defense industry. The conservative Heritage Foundation is reportedly considering the vice president of Lockheed as its new president.

Furthermore, mantras and slogans like, "you're either with us or against us" and "support our troops" have been used as powerful psy-ops to create a false dichotomy: you either support the war policy or you're not patriotic. Debunking this by pointing out how these wars profit the elite while serving as a pipeline that puts more American military servicemembers -- often from working-class backgrounds -- into harm's way should appeal to the current populist spirit on both sides of the political fence. In fact, it could begin to draw new, disenchanted voters into the movement.

Americans today are tired of war, which is good, for now. Unfortunately, without a strong anti-war movement, there won't be much resistance when the next "big threat" comes along. The two major parties have proven to be false friends when it comes to opposing war -- they only do it when it suits them politically. Moving beyond them and becoming stronger with allies and numbers -- imagine, there's no parties -- is the best way to build a real opposition.

Daniel Martin is an anti-war activist, musician, and rock journalist from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Follow him on Twitter @MartysInvasion .

Youknowho December 14, 2017 at 10:20 pm

The antiwar movement could not survive the end of the draft. One most Americans did not have to worry about their kids being sent in harm's way, when minorities became soldiers for the pay, the enthusiasm waned. It was other people's kids that did the fighting and the dying. None of your concern.
Whine Merchant , says: December 14, 2017 at 10:47 pm
The so-called 'anti-war' or 'peace' movement is mostly a genuine grass roots phenomenon that relies upon volunteers and ordinary people taking time out of their busy lives to become active. The energy and drive are hard to sustain on a volunteer basis.

To a great extent, motivation for activism is a reaction to something egregious, not a planned and sustained response to an on-going situation. Despite the power of social media, reactively movements lead by well-intentioned amateurs cannot martial prolonged support.

Initiatives of the Military-Industrial-Complex are well-planned, well-funded, and have paid staff to keep the interests of the corporate sector healthy and powerful. The activism that pulled the US out of SE Asia in the 70s took 10 years to build strength against a what was less organised and planned war machine than we see today. The Pentagon knows that as long as we have a volunteer army and outsource much of the nasty side of conflict to contractors, the volunteer peace activists don't stand a chance against their wealthy corporate allies.

Thank you –

Fran Macadam , says: December 14, 2017 at 11:19 pm
The tragedy yet to be is that the business of war and its boosterism only ends when the suffering of war comes upon the nation whose leaders make it. It might be different if the population were inclined against it, but there is a widespread belief in U.S. Exceptionalism and a belief that it is America's birthright to rule the world by military force if required. And ruling peoples against their wills does require force.

The consistency of human nature does not promise any respite from the propensity to make war, as has occurred throughout all known history. Those wars will be waged with ever greater and even world-ending technology – there never has been a weapon created that was not used, and every one of them has proliferated.

Donald ( the left leaning one) , says: December 15, 2017 at 12:20 am
This makes sense to me. There has to be a coalition of anti interventionists across the political spectrum because the two parties are dominated by warmongers. On foreign policy I am closer to many of the conservatives here than to many or most liberals I know in real life or online. I have never heard a liberal in my real life mention Yemen or drones unless I bring it up. Syria was never seen as a place where our support for " moderate" rebels kept the killing going. A friend of mine has become outraged when I tell him our support for the Saudis in Yemen is much more important than Russiagate. So Russiagate matters more than our complicity in a crime against humanity.

Mainstream liberals simply don't care about our stupid wars unless there is a large American death toll and it can be blamed solely on a Republican. I am not saying conservatives are better. The ones here are better.

Zebesian , says: December 15, 2017 at 2:43 am
I hope that the anti-war movement grows again, and persists throughout the probable Democratic Presidency in 2020. There's such little a single person can do, though.

Maybe Trump will keep his anti-war promises?

collin , says: December 15, 2017 at 9:03 am
There is probably a multiple issues here but:

1) Most military is below the headlines and it is hard to protest here. There several thousands troops in Africa and hardly anybody knows it.
2) The last 7 Prez elections, 6 doves (2004 exception and yes Bush pretended to the dove in 2000.) won and yet the dovish winner is more hawkish in the White House. So it is hard not to use the military and it would wise to answer that question,
3) Anti-War conservatives only had modest support when Obama signed the nuclear deal or avoided bombing in Syria. Where were the 'Ron Paul' voters there to support the President making dovish choices? Sure Syria was handled poorly but if we heard more support it might change things.
4) And it is true the hard left is very-war but focused on other agenda. Witness Bernie Sanders was unable to beat HRC because he is dove complaining about Cold War battles that is past history. And watch out Matt Duss is writing his speeches and Bernie is taking them seriously.

Robert E. , says: December 15, 2017 at 9:25 am
I'm a liberal democrat and certainly would agree that President Obama was culpable for destroying our anti-war movement. It was one of my grievances with him from the very beginning, as nothing about his rhetoric was ever about peace. It was only till the very end of his last term that he ever learned any lessons on caution in intervention (But never about the folly of drone striking civilians), and by then, it was too late.

Neo-militarism, which is where the costs of war are separated from engagement with it in order to reduce civil unrest over military actions, wasn't something Obama created though. It was a reaction to the Vietnam War that was thoroughly ingrained in the conscience of both parties. The only lesson they learned from that war is that if Americans see and hear of the suffering of their soldiers, they won't be supportive of military pork and intervention.

And so we live in a really weird culture now where most people don't even know a soldier, where our soldiers are off to forever war and in the system they are in is so distant that they don't understand civilian society either, and where the costs of war are hidden. There is a political problem certainly, but the root of it is a cultural problem. We are fed patriotic myths of American invincibility and Spartanism, and militarism has become one of the only unifying threads in being an "American", even though most Americans have not even the faintest clue of how the military operates or what soldiers are like.

You can gather up all the anti-war activists across the political spectrum, and you still aren't going to find enough people for a successful movement. And I'm not entirely sure how you can change the culture on this issue, as it would require undoing a lifetime worth of programming and propaganda in every citizen.

It may take another cultural trauma from a war so disastrous that even the worst chicken hawks have to say, "Wow, we really ruined everything here" for Americans to finally learn a lesson beyond how to sweep the nasty parts of war under the rug so the public doesn't see them. I suppose North Korea is looking promising on that front.

EliteCommInc. , says: December 15, 2017 at 9:49 am
I dislike the term anti-war. It sounds too much akin to a pacifists pose. I don't have any issues with people who are sincerely pacifists. But there are times when war is required. And sometimes in my view, that includes the use of force for humanitarian purposes.

I rest on the views that push the "clear and present danger" as old as it may be. And I do so without being ignorant of my own concerns about the strategic threats that abound or potentially abound in the future, near and far.

Where's the anti-war movement -- they are in think tanks, congress, and CEO corporate positions seeking to atone for the mess they made of our communities, country and veterans since the the misguided anti-war slogans of the late '60's and early '70's.

The consequence of an all volunteer military separates the community from a national sense of risk. I will dare utter, the unspoken, Vietnam was not about some just cause or care about the Vietnamese or the national conscience. It was the basic fear of personal sacrifice – period.

Ohh it was nicely clothed in all kinds of rhetorical discourse about war, peace loving Vietnamese, peace-love and understanding, free speech, anti-colonialism . . . blah and blah.

As Dr. King would soon discover, lending his intellect to young white kids fears, sabotaged the real retrenchment of the consequence of the nation's hypocrisy.

It takes a moral courage that has been bled out because there is in my view essentially no risk individual national investment. If x hundred thousand are willing to sign-up for defense --

that is a choice of no account to citizens who don't.

There is a war going on and its right here at home.

Myles Hagar , says: December 15, 2017 at 12:21 pm
If we want the freedom to comfortably drive to the convenience store to buy more plastic products from China, we must have war to secure the oil, flow of foreign goods and exploitation of foreign labour necessary to maintain our predatory and non-productive way of life. Peace requires a transformation of consciousness with the resultant total rejection of consumerism. The personal sacrifice required for peace is the missing element.
Kent , says: December 15, 2017 at 12:53 pm
"a strong national defense as outlined in the Constitution."

I take strong exception to this. The second amendment

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Unlike what most people think, the "free State" mentioned here represents the 13 original states. Their "well regulated Militia"'s could not be disarmed because that would allow the federal military to take away their sovereign freedom. The federal government was never intended to be more powerful than the individual state's militias.

And Section 8 Clause 12 of the Constitution when describing Congress' responsibilities:

"To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years"

The Constitution assumed that Congress would only raise an army when at war, and it would be dismantled almost immediately, hence the "two Years" limit on funding the military.

The Constitution assumes a very weak defensive posture, and the continued massive military system of the USA is the most unconstitutional thing we do. By a million miles.

john , says: December 15, 2017 at 1:34 pm
As long a there is a volunteer military there will not be a strong anti war movement. Remember, the sixties and that so called anti war movement which turned out to be nothing more that an anti draft movement. As soon as the military draft stopped those so called activists shaved their beards, got a haircut, took a bath, and along with those who came back from Canada went on to join daddy's business or law firm, with many migrating to wall street, eventually becoming the chicken hawks of the current era.There would never have been an invasion of Iraq or the perpetual war if every family shared the burden of sending one of their sons or daughters to act as cannon fodder. With the poverty draft only five percent of the younger generation are doing the fighting and dying. Americans will not even give up attending football games where disrespect for the military takes the form of disrespecting the flag, let alone join the military or put one of their children in harms way.
EliteCommInc. , says: December 15, 2017 at 3:19 pm
"The Constitution assumes a very weak defensive posture, and the continued massive military system of the USA is the most unconstitutional thing we do. By a million miles."

I guess if one skips the preamble one might come to that conclusion. But the Purpose of the Constitution establishing a nation spells out in very clear terms --

" . . . provide for the common defense . . ."

That is not a weak posture in any sense of the word. And no founder of government not those that followed understood that said union was to be weak. Avoiding unnecessary wars or conflicts does not mean a weak defense. What they pressed was a weak federal systems that would subvert internal freedoms for states and individuals.

It's hard to argue that no established international defense was sought -- when it states in very clear terms -- the nation is created for the very purpose of defending it's existence.

A strong defense does not require a an over aggressive posture, but existence requires an ability to defend it. And right now nothing more threatens our existence as much as weak immigration enforcement.

And I think the evidence for that is overwhelming. Most poignantly demonstrated by the events of 9/11. And there christians of many brands are a threat to the US by aiding and abetting the violations of that sovereignty and using Christ as the excuse to do so, even as that defense undermines their fellow citizens. That breed of christian ethos is certainly not new nor are its tentacles of hypocrisy.

What I object to among both interventionists is that they both don't mind giving people in the country illegally a pass despite their mutual claims of legal moral high bround.

David Swanson , says: December 15, 2017 at 5:03 pm
Biggest sign of how weak we are in this article is the assumption built into this: "In addition, the few on the anti-war left who oppose war based on pacifist or religious reasons need to acknowledge that the majority of Americans believe in a strong national defense as outlined in the Constitution." I mean the assumption that one cannot oppose the whole institution for the overwhelming secular empirical reasons that it endangers us, destroys our environment, impoverishes us, erodes our liberties, militarizes our localities, degrades our culture, poisons our politics. See the case made at World Beyond War's website.
Glenn , says: December 15, 2017 at 5:29 pm
Superb article by Daniel Martin. The first step out of this mess is to fully acknowledge the scope of the mess: Democrats and Republicans -- who squabble about many things -- unite to give bipartisan support for American militarism.
Honorable Shark , says: December 15, 2017 at 6:01 pm
The anti-war movement is not listened to. In SF during a bombardment of Gaza, there were hundreds of anti-war protesters at City Hall. The most liberal deliberative body in the US looked stone-faced and emotionless. When they finished, if on a cue, a Jewish member of the Board tabled the agenda item, and it was never heard from again. Not one of these eleven lawmakers even asked a question. Who said you cannot fight City Hall? They were right.
balconesfault , says: December 15, 2017 at 7:06 pm
A lot of Dems stepped forward to oppose the Iraq War and they got plowed over for it politically.

I fully expect the same to happen to any Dems who divert their attention from stopping the other budget busting, middle-class harming, anti-environmental, anti-women measures the GOP is currently pushing to make a futile attempt to stop whatever Trump decides to do with our military.

You guys elected Donald J. Trump. You own him.

cka2nd , says: December 15, 2017 at 8:01 pm
The argument that there can be no anti-war movement without a draft to drive it is belied by the fact that no war in our history generated more protests than the Bush Administration's build-up towards the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Where the mass base of any anti-war movement seems to draw the line is not specifically at their kids but at the possibility of significant American casualties, period. Hence, the absence of mass protest against drone warfare on the one hand, and the immediate and decisive push back by the public against Congress authorizing Obama to "put boots on the ground" in Syria on the other.

My friends in the International Bolshevik Tendency ( http://bolshevik.org/ ) argue for the classic united front in their anti-war organizing. Everyone opposed to War X should march together but retain their right to free speech at the march and on the podium. So the official call for the march is not a laundry list, but marchers and speakers are not subject to censorship or being shut down if they want to make connections that discomfit some Democratic politician or movement hack. It makes more sense to me than either the single-issue, "we must ALL stay ON point" model or the multi-issue, excessively intersectional and virtue-signaling one that arose in reaction to it.

MKBrussel , says: December 16, 2017 at 12:19 am
No one seems to mention the power and importance of the mainstream, corporatized, media, which has supported all our wars and associated aggressions in recent times, and which ignores and suppresses antiwar sentiments and opinion writers, as well as inconvenient facts. This holds for the NYT, the WP, the WSJ and client newspapers as well as the TV news channels. The internet is evidently not powerful enough to offset this national bias. Antiwar periodicals tend to be on the fringe in terms of mass circulation.
It also takes money in this society to get things done, and the anti-war "left"(or right) , in addition to having organizational problems, lacks those resources. An antiwar super billionaire, if that is not a contradiction in terms, might make a dent by creating/promoting TV and news channels.

A usefull discussion.

Fran Macadam , says: December 16, 2017 at 4:26 am
EliteCommInc., be assured you will get your wars. Also be assured that they won't accomplish the aims they will be sold to accomplish. Some of those who know the real reasons may well accomplish their private goals for a season. One day, the real cost to be paid will come due, and it may not be a rude awakening, but nuclear death. So by all means, continue not to be against war, against all the evidence. We are predisposed to war because our fallen nature leads us to dream of it.
balconesfault , says: December 16, 2017 at 6:02 am
@Glenn

Democrats and Republicans -- who squabble about many things -- unite to give bipartisan support for American militarism.

That is because, sadly, American voters demand it.

As I've observed before – if you place a candidates militarism on a spectrum of 0 (Ghandi) to 100 (Hitler) American voters are conditioned to prefer a candidate with a score 20 points higher than theirs to a candidate 5 points lower.

Fear is a powerful tool.

Dieter Heymann , says: December 16, 2017 at 7:26 am
Kent makes a very good point. Yet this baby nation was somewhat torn between a Scylla and Charybdis of military readiness. The Scylla was the fear of a "European" track that is to say the evolution into a Monarchy anchored on a powerful national army. The Charybdis was the potential invasions by the powerful European states of Great Britain and Spain.
Dave Sullivan , says: December 16, 2017 at 8:14 am
The opinion that anti-war people, particularly from the Vietnam era, did so because they didn't want to sacrifice is ludicrous. It displays an ignorance of the sacrifices made, and the success of the war party to paint them in this manor. Veterans are appointed a myriad of benefits, a plethora of memorials,holidays, endless honorable mentions. For the war resistors, nothing, unless one could count the kind of scorn I see here, on an antiwar site ! It is not "selfish" to look both ways before crossing the street, and perhaps choosing not to if it appears the risk is not worth the reward. In fact, this behavior defines "conservative". Militant societies require centralization. The key to modern centralized militant power, is nuclear war. The existence of these weapons produces a huge secrecy, and internal security state. They produce an insane populace whom believe the state is protecting them from annihilation. Know this, our militant masters love that North Korea has the bomb. Sleep tight.

[Oct 30, 2017] New York Times Acknowledges US Global Empire by Sheldon Richman

Notable quotes:
"... The UN has 193 member states -- and the U.S. government has a military presence in at least 89 percent of them! The Times ..."
"... Sheldon Richman , author of America's Counter-Revolution: The Constitution Revisited , keeps the blog Free Association and is a senior fellow and chair of the trustees of the Center for a Stateless Society , and a contributing editor at Antiwar.com . He is also the Executive Editor of The Libertarian Institute. ..."
Oct 30, 2017 | www.counterpunch.org

One big advantage the war party has is the public's ignorance about the activities of the far-flung American empire. Athough frustrating, that ignorance is easy to understand and has been explained countless times by writers in the public choice tradition. Most people are too busy with their lives, families, and communities to pay the close attention required to know that the empire exists and what it is up to. The opportunity cost of paying attention is huge, considering that the payoff is so small: even a well-informed individual could not take decisive action to rein in the out-of-control national security state. One vote means nothing, and being knowledgeable about the U.S. government's nefarious foreign policy is more likely to alienate friends and other people than influence them. Why give up time with family and friends just so one can be accused of "hating America"?

In light of this systemic rational ignorance, we must be grateful when a prominent institution acknowledges how much the government intervenes around the world. Such an acknowledgment came from the New York Times editorial board this week. The editorial drips with irony since the Times has done so much to gin up public support for America's imperial wars. (See, for example, its 2001-02 coverage of Iraq and its phantom WMD.) Stlll, the piece is noteworthy.

The Oct. 22 editorial began:

The United States has been at war continuously since the attacks of 9/11 and now has just over 240,000 active-duty and reserve troops in at least 172 countries and territories.

That alone ought to come as a shock to nearly all Americans. The UN has 193 member states -- and the U.S. government has a military presence in at least 89 percent of them! The Times does not mention that the government also maintains at least 800 military bases and installations around the world. That's a big government we're talking about. And empires are bloody expensive.

Sheldon Richman , author of America's Counter-Revolution: The Constitution Revisited , keeps the blog Free Association and is a senior fellow and chair of the trustees of the Center for a Stateless Society , and a contributing editor at Antiwar.com . He is also the Executive Editor of The Libertarian Institute.

[Oct 22, 2017] Libertarianism, the Alt-Right and AntiFa by Hans-Hermann Hoppe

Notable quotes:
"... Speech delivered at the 12 th annual meeting of the ..."
"... in Bodrum, Turkey, on September 17, 2017 ..."
"... For A New Liberty. The Libertarian Manifesto, ..."
"... bêtes noires ..."
"... Students for Liberty ..."
"... Millennial Woes " ..."
"... Equality is bullshit. Hierarchy is essential. The races are different. The sexes are different. Morality matters and degeneracy is real. All cultures are not equal and we are not obligated to think they are. Man is a fallen creature and there is more to life than hollow materialism. Finally, the white race matters, and civilization is precious. This is the Alt-Right." ..."
"... "1) don't be belligerent; 2) don't presume hatred of liberty; 3) don't presume different goals; 4) don't presume ignorance; 5) don't regard anyone as an enemy." ..."
"... vis-à-vis ..."
"... vis-à-vis ..."
"... divide et impera ..."
"... except for the very first one ..."
"... : Stop mass immigration ..."
"... Stop attacking, killing and bombing people in foreign countries ..."
"... England First!, Germany First!, Italy First! ..."
"... Defund the ruling elites and its intellectual bodyguards ..."
"... End the Fed and all central banks. ..."
"... Abolish all " Affirmative Action " and "non-discrimination" laws and regulations ..."
"... Crush the "Anti-Fascist" Mob ..."
"... Crush the street criminals and gangs ..."
"... Get rid of all welfare parasites and bums ..."
"... Get the State out of education. ..."
"... Don't put your trust in politics or political parties ..."
"... Hans-Herman Hoppe ..."
"... , holds annual meetings of his ..."
"... Property and Freedom Society ..."
"... in the stunningly beautiful town of Bodrum in south west Turkey. ..."
Oct 22, 2017 | www.unz.com

October 20, 2017 7,200 Words 4 Comments Reply

Speech delivered at the 12 th annual meeting of the Property and Freedom Society in Bodrum, Turkey, on September 17, 2017

We know the fate of the term "liberal" and " liberalism ." It has been affixed to so many different people and different positions that it has lost all its meaning and become an empty, non-descript label. The same fate now increasingly also threatens the term " libertarian " and "libertarianism," which was invented to regain some of the conceptual precision lost with the demise of the former labels.

However, the history of modern libertarianism is still quite young. It began in Murray Rothbard's living room and found its first quasi-canonical expression in his For A New Liberty. The Libertarian Manifesto, published in 1973 .

And so I am still hopeful and not yet willing to give up on libertarianism as defined and explained by Rothbard with unrivaled conceptual clarity and precision, notwithstanding the meanwhile countless attempts of so-called libertarians to muddy the water and misappropriate the good name of libertarianism for something entirely different.

The theoretical, irrefutable core of the libertarian doctrine is simple and straightforward and I have explained it already repeatedly at this place. If there were no scarcity in the world, human conflicts, or more precisely physical clashes, would be impossible. Interpersonal conflicts are always conflicts concerning scarce things.

I want to do A with a given thing and you want to do B with the same thing. Because of such conflicts -- and because we are able to communicate and argue with each other -- we seek out norms of behavior with the purpose of avoiding these conflicts. The purpose of norms is conflict-avoidance. If we did not want to avoid conflicts, the search for norms of conduct would be senseless. We would simply fight and struggle.

Absent a perfect harmony of all interests, conflicts regarding scarce resources can only be avoided if all scarce resources are assigned as private, exclusive property to some specified individual or group of individuals. Only then can I act independently, with my own things, from you, with your own things, without you and me clashing.

But who owns what scarce resource as his private property and who does not?

First: Each person owns his physical body that only he and no one else controls directly . Second: as for scarce resources that can be controlled only indirectly (that must be appropriated with our own nature-given, i.e., un-appropriated, body), exclusive control (property) is acquired by and assigned to that person, who appropriated the resource in question first or who acquired it through voluntary (conflict-free) exchange from its previous owner.

For only the first appropriator of a resource (and all later owners connected to him through a chain of voluntary exchanges) can possibly acquire and gain control over it without conflict, i.e., peacefully. Otherwise, if exclusive control is assigned instead to latecomers , conflict is not avoided but contrary to the very purpose of norms made unavoidable and permanent.

Before this audience, I do not need to go into greater detail except to add this: If you want to live in peace with other people and avoid all physical clashes and, if such clashes do occur, seek to resolve them peacefully, then you must be an anarchist or more precisely a private property anarchist, an anarcho-capitalist or a proponent of a private law society.

And by implication, then, and again without much further ado: Someone, anyone, is not a libertarian or merely a fake libertarian who affirms and advocates one or more of the following:

the necessity of a State, any State, of "public" (State) property and of taxes in order to live in peace; the existence and justifiability of any so-called "human rights" or " civil rights" other than private property rights, such as "women's rights," " gay rights ," "minority rights," the "right" not to be discriminated against, the "right" to free and unrestricted immigration, the "right" to a guaranteed minimum income or to free health care, or the "right" to be free of unpleasant speech and thought.

The proponents of any of this may call themselves whatever they want, and as libertarians we may well cooperate with them, insofar as such a cooperation offers the promise of bringing us closer to our ultimate goal, but they are not libertarians or only fake libertarians.

Now, "a funny thing happened on the way to the forum." While Rothbard and I, following in his footsteps, never went astray from these theoretically-derived core beliefs, not just non-libertarians but in particular also fake libertarians, i.e., people claiming (falsely) to be libertarians, and even many possibly honest yet dim-witted libertarians have selected and vilified us as their favorite bêtes noires and incarnates of evil.

Rothbard, the spiritus rector of modern libertarianism, has been branded by this so-called "anti-fascist" crowd as a reactionary, a racist, a sexist, an authoritarian, an elitist, a xenophobe, a fascist and, to top it all off, a self-hating Jewish Nazi. And I have inherited all of these honorary titles, plus a few more (except for the Jewish stuff).

So what funny thing has happened here?

Trying to develop an answer to this question brings me to the topic of this speech: the relationship between libertarianism and the Alternative Right or "Alt-Right," which has gained national and international notoriety after Hillary Clinton , during the last presidential election campaign, identified it as one of the inspirational sources behind the "basket of deplorables" rooting for Trump (and whose leadership, to its credit, after Trump's election victory, quickly broke with Trump when he turned out to be just another presidential warmonger).

paleo-conservative movement that came to prominence in the early 1990s, with columnist and best-selling author Patrick Buchanan as its best-known representative. It went somewhat dormant by the late 1990s, and it has recently, in light of the steadily growing damage done to America and its reputation by the successive Bush I, Clinton, Bush II and Obama administrations, reemerged more vigorous than before under the new label of the Alt-Right.

Many of the leading lights associated with the Alt-Right have appeared here at our meetings in the course of the years . Paul Gottfried, who first coined the term, Peter Brimelow , Richard Lynn , Jared Taylor , John Derbyshire , Steve Sailer and Richard Spencer . As well , Sean Gabb's name and mine are regularly mentioned in connection with the Alt-Right, and my work has been linked also with the closely related neo-reactionary movement inspired by Curtis Yarvin ( aka Mencius Moldbug ) and his now defunct blog Unqualified Reservations . In sum, these personal relations and associations have earned me several honorable mentions by America's most famous smear-and-defamation league, the SPLC ( aka Soviet Poverty Lie Center).

Now: How about the relationship between libertarianism and the Alt-Right and my reasons for inviting leading representatives of the Alt-Right to meetings with libertarians?

Libertarians are united by the irrefutable theoretical core beliefs mentioned at the outset. They are clear about the goal that they want to achieve. But the libertarian doctrine does not imply much if anything concerning these questions:

First, how to maintain a libertarian order once achieved; Second, how to attain a libertarian order from a non-libertarian starting point, which requires a) that one must correctly describe this starting point and b) correctly identify the obstacles posed in the way of one's libertarian ends by this very starting point.

To answer these questions, in addition to theory, you also need some knowledge of human psychology and sociology or at least a modicum of common sense.

Yet many libertarians and fake libertarians are plain ignorant of human psychology and sociology or even devoid of any common sense. They blindly accept, against all empirical evidence, an egalitarian, blank-slate view of human nature, of all people and all societies and cultures being essentially equal and interchangeable.

While much of contemporary libertarianism can be characterized, then, as theory and theorists without psychology and sociology, much or even most of the Alt-Right can be described, in contrast, as psychology and sociology without theory.

Alt-Righters are not united by a commonly held theory, and there exists nothing even faintly resembling a canonical text defining its meaning. Rather, the Alt-Right is essentially united in its description of the contemporary world, and in particular the US and the so-called Western World, and the identification and diagnosis of its social pathologies.

In fact, it has been correctly noted that the Alt-Right is far more united by what it is against than what it is for. It is against, and indeed it hates with a passion, the elites in control of the State , the MSM and academia.

Why? Because they all promote social degeneracy and pathology. Thus, they promote, and the Alt-Right vigorously opposes, egalitarianism, Affirmative Action ( aka " non-discrimination "), multiculturalism , and "free" mass immigration as a means of bringing multiculturalism about.

Cultural Marxism o r Gramsciism and all "Political Correctness" and, strategically wise, it shrugs off, without any apology whatsoever, all accusations of being racist , sexist, elitist, supremacist, homophobe, xenophobe, etc., etc.

And the Alt-Right also laughs off as hopelessly naïve the programmatic motto of so-called libertarians such as the Students for Liberty (which I have termed the "Stupids for Liberty" and my young German friend Andre Lichtschlag as "Liberallala-Libertarians") of "Peace, Love, and Liberty," appropriately translated into German by Lichtschlag as "Friede, Freude, Eierkuchen."

In stark contrast to this, Alt-Righters insist that life is also about strife, hate, struggle and fight, not just between individuals but also among various groups of people acting in concert. " Millennial Woes " (Colin Robertson) has thus aptly summarized the Alt-Right:

" Equality is bullshit. Hierarchy is essential. The races are different. The sexes are different. Morality matters and degeneracy is real. All cultures are not equal and we are not obligated to think they are. Man is a fallen creature and there is more to life than hollow materialism. Finally, the white race matters, and civilization is precious. This is the Alt-Right."

Absent any unifying theory, however, there is far less agreement among the Alt-Right about the goal that it ultimately wants to achieve.

Many of its leading lights have distinctly libertarian leanings, most notably those that have come here (which, of course, was the reason for having invited them here), even if they are not 100%-ers and would not identify themselves as such. All Alt-Righters that have appeared here, for instance, have been familiar with Rothbard and his work, all the while the most recent presidential candidate of the Libertarian Party had never even heard of Rothbard's name. And all of them, to the best of my knowledge, were outspoken supporters of Ron Paul during his primary campaign for the Republican Party's nomination as presidential candidate, all the while many self-proclaimed libertarians attacked and tried to vilify Ron Paul for his supposedly (you already know what's coming by now) "racist" views.

However, several of the Alt-Right's leaders and many of its rank and file followers have also endorsed views incompatible with libertarianism. As Buchanan before and Trump now, they are adamant about complementing a policy of restrictive, highly selective and discriminating immigration (which is entirely compatible with libertarianism and its desideratum of freedom of association and opposition to forced integration) with a strident policy of restricted trade, economic protectionism and protective tariffs -- which is antithetical to libertarianism and inimical to human prosperity.

(Let me hasten to add here that, despite my misgivings about his "economics," I still consider Pat Buchanan a great man.)

Others strayed even further afield, such as Richard Spencer, who first popularized the term Alt-Right. In the meantime, owing to several recent publicity stunts, which have gained him some degree of notoriety in the US, Spencer has laid claim to the rank of the maximum leader of a supposedly mighty unified movement (an endeavor, by the way, that has been ridiculed by Taki Theodoracopulos, a veteran champion of the paleo-conservative-turned-Alt-Right movement and Spencer's former employer).

When Spencer appeared here, several years ago, he still exhibited strong libertarian leanings. Unfortunately, however, this has changed and Spencer now denounces , without any qualification whatsoever, all libertarians and everything libertarian and has gone so far as to even put up with socialism, as long as it is socialism of and for only white people. What horrifying disappointment!

Given the lack of any theoretical foundation, this split of the Alt-Right movement into rival factions can hardly be considered a surprise.

Yet this fact should not mislead one to dismiss it, because the Alt-Right has brought out many insights that are of central importance in approaching an answer to the two previously mentioned questions unanswered by libertarian theory: of how to maintain a libertarian social order; and how to get to such an order from the current, decidedly un-libertarian status quo.

The Alt-Right did not discover these insights. They had been established long before and indeed, in large parts they are no more than common sense. But in recent times such insights have been buried under mountains of egalitarian, Leftist propaganda and the Alt-Right must be credited for having brought them back to light.

To illustrate the importance of such insights, let me take the first unanswered question first.

Many libertarians hold the view that all that is needed to maintain a libertarian social order is the strict enforcement of the non-aggression principle (NAP) . Otherwise, as long as one abstains from aggression, according to their view, the principle of "live and let live" should hold.

Yet surely, while this "live and let live" sounds appealing to adolescents in rebellion against parental authority and all social convention and control (and many youngsters have been initially attracted to libertarianism believing that this "live and let live" is the essence of libertarianism), and while the principle does indeed hold and apply for people living far apart and dealing with each other only indirectly and from afar, it does not hold and apply, or rather it is insufficient , when it comes to people living in close proximity to each other, as neighbors and cohabitants of the same community.

A simple example suffices to make the point. Assume a new next-door neighbor. This neighbor does not aggress against you or your property in any way, but he is a "bad" neighbor. He is littering on his own neighboring property, turning it into a garbage heap; in the open , for you to see, he engages in ritual animal slaughter, he turns his house into a " Freudenhaus ," a bordello , with clients coming and going all day and all night long; he never offers a helping hand and never keeps any promise that he has made; or he cannot or else he refuses to speak to you in your own language. Etc., etc..

Your life is turned into a nightmare. Yet you may not use violence against him, because he has not aggressed against you. What can you do?

You can shun and ostracize him. But your neighbor does not care, and in any case you alone thus "punishing" him makes little if any difference to him. You have to have the communal respect and authority, or you must turn to someone who does, to persuade and convince everyone or at least most of the members of your community to do likewise and make the bad neighbor a social outcast, so as to exert enough pressure on him to sell his property and leave.

(So much for the libertarians who, in addition to their "live and let live" ideal also hail the motto "respect no authority!")

The lesson? The peaceful cohabitation of neighbors and of people in regular direct contact with each other on some territory -- a tranquil, convivial social order -- requires also a commonality of culture: of language, religion, custom and convention. There can be peaceful co-existence of different cultures on distant, physically separated territories, but multi-culturalism, cultural heterogeneity, cannot exist in one and the same place and territory without leading to diminishing social trust, increased tension, and ultimately the call for a "strong man" and the destruction of anything resembling a libertarian social order.

And moreover: Just as a libertarian order must always be on guard against "bad" (even if non-aggressive) neighbors by means of social ostracism, i.e., by a common "you are not welcome here" culture, so, and indeed even more vigilantly so, must it be guarded against neighbors who openly advocate communism, socialism, syndicalism or democracy in any shape or form. They, in thereby posing an open threat to all private property and property owners, must not only be shunned, but they must, to use a by now somewhat famous Hoppe-meme , be "physically removed," if need be by violence, and forced to leave for other pastures.

Not to do so inevitably leads to -- well, communism, socialism, syndicalism or democracy and hence, the very opposite of a libertarian social order.

With these "Rightist" or as I would say, plain commonsensical insights in mind I turn now to the more challenging question of how to move from here, the status quo , to there.

And for this it might be instructive to first briefly consider the answer given by the liberallala, the peace-love-and-liberty, the Friede-Freude-Eierkuchen or the capitalism-is-love libertarians. It reveals the same fundamental egalitarianism, if in a slightly different form, as that exhibited also by the live-and-let-live libertarians.

These, as I have just tried to show, define what we may call the "bad neighbor problem" -- and what is merely a short-hand for the general problem posed by the co-existence of distinctly different, alien, mutually disturbing, annoying, strange or hostile cultures -- simply out of existence. And indeed, if you assume, against all empirical evidence, that all people, everywhere, are essentially the same, then, by definition, no such thing as a "bad neighbor problem" exists.

The same egalitarian, or as the liberallala-libertarians themselves prefer call it, "humanitarian" spirit also comes to bear in their answer to the question of a libertarian strategy . In a nutshell, their advice is this: be nice and talk to everyone -- and then, in the long run, the better libertarian arguments will win out.

To illustrate, take my former-friend-turned-foe Jeffrey Tucker's five "Don'ts When Talking Liberty." They are "1) don't be belligerent; 2) don't presume hatred of liberty; 3) don't presume different goals; 4) don't presume ignorance; 5) don't regard anyone as an enemy."

Now, quite apart from the fact that Tucker does not seem to follow his own advice in his belligerent condemnation of the entire Alt-Right as liberty-hating fascists , I find his exhortations truly astounding. They may be good advice vis-à-vis people just sprung up from nowhere, without any traceable history whatsoever, but vis-à-vis real people with a recorded history they strike me as hopelessly naïve, unrealistic, and outright counterproductive in the pursuit of libertarian ends.

For I (and I assume everyone else here) know of and have met many people in my life who are ignorant, who do have different, un-libertarian goals, and who do hate liberty as understood by libertarians -- and why in the world should I not regard such people as fools or enemies? And why should I not hate and not be belligerent vis-a-vis my enemies?

As a libertarian strategy, then, Tucker's advice must be considered simply a bad joke. But surely it is good advice if one seeks entry into the State as some sort of "libertarian" advisor, and this may well explain the enthusiasm with which Tucker's "humanitarian" libertarianism has been embraced by the entire liberallala-libertarian crowd.

Outside egalitarian phantasy lands, however, in the real world, libertarians must above all be realistic and recognize from the outset, as the Alt-Right does, the inequality not just of individuals but also of different cultures as an ineradicable datum of the human existence.

We must further recognize that there exist plenty of enemies of liberty as defined by libertarianism and that they, not we, are in charge of worldly affairs; that in many parts of the contemporary world their control of the populace is so complete that the ideas of liberty and of a libertarian social order are practically unheard of or considered unthinkable (except as some idle intellectual play or mental gymnastics by a few "exotic" individuals); and that it is essentially only in the West, in the countries of Western and Central Europe and the lands settled by its people, that the idea of liberty is so deeply rooted that these enemies still can be openly challenged.

And confining our strategic considerations here only to the West, then, we can identify, pretty much as the Alt-Right has effectively done, these actors and agencies as our principal enemies.

They are, first and foremost,

the ruling elites in control of the State apparatus and in particular the "Deep State" or the so-called "Cathedral" of the military, the secret services, the central banks and the supreme courts.

As well, they include the leaders of the military-industrial complex, i.e., of nominally private firms that owe their very existence to the State as the exclusive or dominant buyer of their products, and they also include the leaders of the big commercial banks, which owe their privilege of creating money and credit out of thin air to the existence of the central bank and its role as a "lender of last resort."

They together, then, State, Big-Business and Big-Banking, form an extremely powerful even if tiny "mutual admiration society," jointly ripping off the huge mass of tax-payers and living it up big time at their expense.

The second, much larger group of enemies:

the intellectuals, educators and " educrats ," from the highest levels of academia down to the level of elementary schools and kindergartens. Funded almost exclusively, whether directly or indirectly, by the State, they, in their overwhelming majority, have become the soft tools and willing executioners in the hands of the ruling elite and its designs for absolute power and total control.

And thirdly:

the journalists of the MSM, as the docile products of the system of "public education," and the craven recipients and popularizers of government "information."

Equally important in the development of a libertarian strategy then is the immediately following next question: who are the victims ?

The standard libertarian answer to this is: the tax- payers as opposed to the tax- consumers . Yet while this is essentially correct, it is at best only part of the answer, and libertarians could learn something in this respect from the Alt-Right: because apart from the narrowly economic aspect there is also a wider cultural aspect that must be taken into account in identifying the victims.

In order to expand and increase its power, the ruling elites have been conducting for many decades what Pat Buchanan has identified as a systematic "culture war," aimed at a trans-valuation of all values and the destruction of all natural, or if you will "organic" social bonds and institutions such as families, communities, ethnic groups and genealogically related nations, so as to create an increasingly atomized populace, whose only shared characteristic and unifying bond is its common existential dependency on the State.

The first step in this direction, taken already half a century or even longer ago, was the introduction of "public welfare" and "social security." Thereby, the underclass and the elderly were turned into State-dependents and the value and importance of family and community was correspondingly diminished and weakened.

More recently, further-reaching steps in this direction have proliferated. A new "victimology" has been proclaimed and promoted. Women, and in particular single mothers, Blacks, Browns, Latinos, homosexuals, lesbians, bi- and transsexuals have been awarded "victim" status and accorded legal privileges through non-discrimination o r affirmative action decrees.

As well, most recently such privileges have been expanded also to foreign-national immigrants, whether legal or illegal, insofar as they fall into one of the just mentioned categories or are members of non-Christian religions such as Islam, for instance.

The result? Not only has the earlier mentioned "bad neighbor problem" not been avoided or solved, but systematically promoted and intensified instead. Cultural homogeneity has been destroyed, and the freedom of association, and the voluntary physical segregation and separation of different people, communities, cultures and traditions has been replaced by an all-pervasive system of forced social integration.

Moreover, each mentioned "victim" group has thus been pitted against every other, and all of them have been pitted against white, heterosexual, Christian males and in particular those married and with children as the only remaining, legally un-protected group of alleged "victimizers."

Hence, as the result of the trans-valuation of all values promoted by the ruling elites, the world has been turned upside down. The institution of a family household with father, mother and their children that has formed the basis of Western civilization, as the freest, most industrious, ingenious and all-around accomplished civilization known to mankind, i.e., the very institution and people that has done most good in human history, has been officially stigmatized and vilified as the source of all social ills and made the most heavily disadvantaged, even persecuted group by the enemy elites' relentless policy of divide et impera .

Accordingly, given the present constellation of affairs, then, any promising libertarian strategy must, very much as the Alt-Right has recognized, first and foremost be tailored and addressed to this group of the most severely victimized people.

White married Christian couples with children, in particular if they belong also to the class of tax- payers (rather than tax-consumers), and everyone most closely resembling or aspiring to this standard form of social order and organization can be realistically expected to be the most receptive audience of the libertarian message (whereas the least support should be expected to come from the legally most "protected" groups such as, for instance, single Black Muslim mothers on welfare).

Given this constellation of perpetrator-enemies vs. victims in the contemporary West, then, I can now come to the final task of trying to outline a realistic libertarian strategy for change.

The specifics of which will have to be prefaced by two general considerations.

For one,

given that the class of intellectuals from the tops of academia to the opinion-molding journalists in the MSM are funded by and firmly tied into the ruling system, i.e., that they are a part of the problem , they also should not be expected to play a major if any role in the problem's solution .

Accordingly, the so-called Hayekian strategy for social change, that envisions the spread of correct libertarian ideas starting at the top, with the leading philosophers, and then trickling down from there to journalists and finally to the great unwashed masses, must be considered fundamentally unrealistic.

Instead, any realistic libertarian strategy for change must be a populist strategy. That is, libertarians must short-circuit the dominant intellectual elites and address the masses directly to arouse their indignation and contempt for the ruling elites.

And secondly,

While the main addressees of a populist libertarian message must be indeed the just mentioned groups of dispossessed and disenfranchised native whites, I believe it to be a serious strategic error to make "whiteness" the exclusive criterion on which to base one's strategic decisions, as some strands of the Alt-Right have suggested to do.

After all, it is above all white men that make up the ruling elite and that have foisted the current mess upon us.

True enough, the various protected "minorities" mentioned before take full advantage of the legal privileges they have been accorded and they have become increasingly emboldened to ask for ever more "protection," but none of them and all of them together did not and do not possess the intellectual prowess that would have made this outcome possible, if it were not for the instrumental help that they received and are receiving from white men.

Now, taking our cues from the Buchanan-, the Paul- and the Trump-movement, on to the specifics of a populist strategy for libertarian change, in no specific order except for the very first one , which has currently assumed the greatest urgency in the public mind.

One : Stop mass immigration . The waves of immigrants currently flooding the Western world have burdened it with hordes of welfare parasites, brought in terrorists , increased crime, led to the proliferation of no-go areas and resulted in countless "bad neighbors" who, based on their alien upbringing, culture and traditions, lack any understanding and appreciation of liberty and are bound to become mindless future supporters of welfare-statism.

No one is against immigration and immigrants per se . But immigration must be by invitation only. All immigrants must be productive people and hence, be barred from all domestic welfare payments.

To ensure this, they or their inviting party must place a bond with the community in which they are to settle, and which is to be forfeited and lead to the immigrant's deportation should he ever become a public burden. As well, every immigrant, inviting party or employer should not only pay for the immigrant's upkeep or salary, but must also pay the residential community for the additional wear and tear of its public facilities associated with the immigrant's presence, so as to avoid the socialization of any and all costs incurred with his settlement.

Moreover, even before his admission, every potential immigrant invitee must be carefully screened and tested not only for his productivity but also for cultural affinity (or "good neighborliness") -- with the empirically predictable result of mostly, but by no means exclusively, western-white immigrant-candidates.

And any known communist or socialist, of any color, denomination or country of origin, must be barred from permanent settlement -- unless, that is, the community where the potential immigrant wants to settle officially sanctions the looting of its residents' property by new, foreign arrivals, which is not very likely to say the least, even within already-existing "commie" communes.

(Brief message to all Open-Border and liberallala libertarians , who will surely label this, you guessed it, " fascist ": In a fully privatized libertarian order there exists no such thing as a right to free immigration. Private property implies borders and the owner's right to exclude at will. And "public property" has borders as well. It is not unowned. It is the property of domestic tax-payers and most definitely not the property of foreigners.

(And while it is true that the State is a criminal organization and that to entrust it with the task of border control will inevitably result in numerous injustices to both domestic residents and foreigners, it is also true that the State does something also when it decides not to do anything about border control and that, under the present circumstances, doing nothing at all in this regard will lead to even more and much graver injustices, in particular to the domestic citizenry.)

Two: Stop attacking, killing and bombing people in foreign countries . A main cause, even if by no means the only one, for the current invasion of Western countries by hordes of alien immigrants, are the wars initiated and conducted in the Middle East and elsewhere by the US ruling elites and their subordinate Western puppet-elites. As well, the by now seemingly 'normal' and ubiquitous terrorist attacks in the name of Islam across the Western world are in large measure the "blow-back" of these wars and the ensuing chaos throughout the Middle East and Northern Africa.

There should be no hesitation to call these Western rulers what they are: murderers or accessories to mass murder. We must demand, and cry out loud instead for a foreign policy of strict non-interventionism. Withdraw from all international and supranational organizations such as the UN , NATO and the EU that integrate one country into the domestic affairs of another. Stop all government-to-government aid and prohibit all weapon sales to foreign States.

Let it be America First!, England First!, Germany First!, Italy First! , and so on, i.e., each country trading with one another and no one interfering in anyone else's domestic affairs.

Three: Defund the ruling elites and its intellectual bodyguards . Expose and widely publicize the lavish salaries, perks, pensions, side-deals, bribes and hush monies received by the ruling elites: by the higher-ups in government and governmental bureaucracies, of supreme courts, central banks, secret services and spy agencies, by politicians, parliamentarians, party leaders, political advisors and consultants, by crony-capitalists, "public educrats," university presidents, provosts and academic "stars." Drive home the point that all their shining glory and luxury is funded by money extorted from tax-payers, and consequently urge that any and all taxes be slashed: income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, inheritance taxes, etc., etc..

Four: End the Fed and all central banks. The second source of funding for the ruling elites, besides the money extorted from the public in the form of taxes, comes from the central banks. Central banks are allowed to create paper money out of thin air. This reduces the purchasing power of money and destroys the savings of average people. It does not and cannot make society as a whole richer, but it redistributes income and wealth within society. The earliest receivers of the newly created money, i.e., the ruling elites, are thereby made richer and the later and latest receivers, i.e., the average citizen, are made poorer.

The central bank's manipulation of interest rates is the cause of boom-bust cycles. The central bank permits the accumulation of ever greater "public debt" that is shifted as a burden onto unknown future taxpayers or is simply inflated away. And as the facilitator of public debt, the central banks are also the facilitators of wars.

This monstrosity must end and be replaced by a system of free, competitive banking built on the foundation of a genuine commodity money such as gold or silver.

Five: Abolish all " Affirmative Action " and "non-discrimination" laws and regulations . All such edicts are blatant violations of the principle of the equality before the law that, at least in the West, is intuitively sensed and recognized as a fundamental principle of justice.

As private property owners, people must be free to associate or disassociate with others: to include or exclude, to integrate or segregate, to join or separate, to unify and incorporate or to disunite, exit and secede.

Close all university departments for Black-, Latino-, Women-, Gender-, Queer-Studies, etc., etc., as incompatible with science and dismiss its faculties as intellectual imposters or scoundrels. As well, demand that all Affirmative Action commissars, Diversity and Human Resources officers, from universities on down to schools and kindergartens, be thrown out onto the street and be forced to learn some useful trade.

Six: Crush the "Anti-Fascist" Mob . The trans-valuation of all values throughout the West, the invention of ever more "victim groups," the spread of "Affirmative Action" programs and the relentless promotion of Political Correctness, has led to the rise of an "Anti-Fascist" mob. Tacitly supported and indirectly funded by the ruling elites, this self-described mob of "Social Justice Warriors" has taken upon itself the task of escalating the fight against "white privilege" through deliberate acts of terror directed against anyone and anything deemed "racist," "right-wing," "fascist," "reactionary," "incorrigible" or "unreconstructed."

Such "enemies of progress" are physically assaulted by the "anti-fascist" mob, their cars are burnt down, their properties vandalized, and their employers threatened to dismiss them and ruin their careers -- all the while the police are ordered by the powers that be to "stand down" and not to investigate the crimes committed or prosecute and punish the criminals.

In view of this outrage, public anger must be aroused and there must be clamoring, far and wide, for the police to be unleashed and this mob be beaten into submission.

(Query for liberallala-libertarians and the Stupids for Liberty, who are sure to object to this demand on the ground that the police asked to crush the "anti-fascist" mob are State -police: Do you also object, on the same grounds, that the police arrest murderers or rapists? Aren't these legitimate tasks performed also in any libertarian order by private police?

(And if the police are not to do anything about this mob, isn't it o.k. then that the target of its attacks, the "racist Right," should take the task upon itself of giving the "social justice warriors" a bloody nose?)

Seven: Crush the street criminals and gangs . In dispensing with the principle of the equality before the law and awarding all sorts of group privileges (except to the one group of married white Christian men and their families) the ruling elites have also dispensed with the principle of equal punishment for equal crime. Some State-favored groups are handed more lenient punishment for the same crime than others, and some especially favored groups are simply let run wild and go practically unpunished at all, thus actually and effectively promoting crime.

As well, no-go areas have been permitted to develop where any effort at law-enforcement has essentially ceased to exist and where violent thugs and street gangs have taken over. In view of this, public furor must be provoked and it be unmistakably demanded that the police crack-down quick and hard on any robber, mugger, rapist and murderer, and ruthlessly clear all current no-go areas of violent gang-rule.

Needless to say that this policy should be colorblind, but if it happens to be, as it in fact does, that most street criminals or gang members are young Black or Latino males or, in Europe, young immigrant males from Africa, the Middle East, the Balkans or Eastern Europe, then so be it and such human specimen then should be the ones that most prominently get their noses bloodied.

And needless to say also that in order to defend against crime, whether ordinary street crime or acts of terrorism, all prohibitions against the ownership of guns by upstanding citizens should be abolished.

Eight: Get rid of all welfare parasites and bums . To cement their own position, the Ruling Class has put the underclass on the dole and thus made it a most reliable source of public support.

Allegedly to help people rise and move up from the underclass to become self-supporting actors, the real -- and actually intended -- effect of the State's so-called "social policy" is the exact opposite. It has rendered a person's underclass status more permanent and made the underclass steadily grow (and with this also the number of tax-funded social workers and therapists assigned to "help and assist" it).

For, in accordance with inexorable economic law, every subsidy awarded on account of some alleged need or deficiency produces more, not less, of the problem that it is supposed to alleviate or eliminate.

Thus, the root cause of a person's underclass status -- his low impulse control and high time preference, i.e., his uncontrolled desire for immediate gratification -- and the various attendant manifestations of this cause, such as unemployment, poverty, alcoholism, drug abuse, domestic violence, divorce, female headed households, out-of-wedlock births, rotating shack-up male companions, child abuse, negligence and petty crime, is and are not alleviated or eliminated but systematically strengthened and promoted.

Instead of continuing and expanding this increasingly unsightly social disaster, then, it should be abolished and be loudly demanded that one take heed of the biblical exhortation that he who can, but will not work, also shall not eat, and that he who truly cannot work, due to severe mental or physical deficiencies, be taken care of by family, community and voluntary charity.

Nine: Get the State out of education. Most, if not all, social pathologies plaguing the contemporary West have their common root in the institution of "public education."

When the first steps were taken, more than two centuries ago, in Prussia, to supplement and ultimately replace a formerly completely private system of education with a universal system of compulsory "public education," the time spent in State-run schools did in most cases not exceed four years. Today, throughout the entire Western world, the time spent in institutions of "public education" is, at a minimum, around ten years, and in many cases, and increasingly so, twenty or even thirty years.

That is, a large or even the largest part of time during the most formative period in a person's life is spent in State-funded and State-supervised institutions, whose primary purpose from the very beginning it was not to raise an enlightened public, but to train "good soldiers" and "good public servants:" not independent and mature or "mündige Bürger," but subordinate and servile "Staats-Bürger."

The result? The indoctrination has worked: the longer the time a person has spent within the system of public education, the more he is committed to Leftist-egalitarian ideas and has swallowed and wholeheartedly internalized the official doctrine and agenda of Political Correctness.

Indeed, in particular among social science teachers and professors, people not counting themselves as part of the Left have practically ceased to exist.

Consequently, it must be demanded that the control of schools and universities be wrest away from the central State and, in a first step, be returned to regional or better still local and locally funded authorities, and ultimately be completely privatized, so as to replace a system of compulsory uniformity and conformity with a system of decentralized education that reflects the natural variation, multiplicity and diversity of human talents and interests.

Ten: Don't put your trust in politics or political parties . Just as academia and the academic world cannot be expected to play any significant role in a libertarian strategy for social change, so with politics and political parties -- after all, it is the ultimate goal of libertarianism to put an end to all politics, and to subject all interpersonal relations and conflicts to private law and civil law procedures.

To be sure, under present, all-pervasively politicized conditions an involvement in politics and party politics cannot be entirely avoided. However, in any such involvement one must be keenly aware of and guard against the corrupting influence of power and the lure of money and perks that comes with it.

And to minimize this risk and temptation, it is advisable to concentrate one's efforts on the level of regional and local rather than national politics, and there to promote a radical agenda of decentralization: of nullification and peaceful separation, segregation and secession.

Most importantly, however, we must take heed of Ludwig von Mises' life-motto: Do not give in to evil, but proceed ever more boldly against it.

That is, we must speak out whenever and wherever, whether in formal or informal gatherings, against anyone affronting us with by now only all-too-familiar "Politically Correct" drivel and Left-egalitarian balderdash and unmistakably say: "No. Hell no. You must be kidding."

In the meantime, given the almost complete mind-control exercised by the ruling elites, academia and the MSM, it already requires a good portion of courage to do so.

But if we are not brave enough to do so now and thus set an example for others to follow, matters will become increasingly worse and more dangerous in the future, and we, Western civilization and the Western ideas of freedom and liberty will be wiped out and vanish.

Economist Hans-Herman Hoppe , [ Email him ] author of Democracy: The God that Failed , holds annual meetings of his Property and Freedom Society in the stunningly beautiful town of Bodrum in south west Turkey. (Republished from VDare.com by permission of author or representative) Category: Ideology Tags: Alt Right , Antifa , Libertarianism , VDare Archives Hide 4 Comments Leave a Comment 4 Comments to "Libertarianism, the Alt-Right and AntiFa" Commenters to Ignore Commenters to ignore (one per line)

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FKA Max , Website October 21, 2017 at 3:52 am GMT

Good stuff!

I don't agree with everything, but generally good stuff.

Watched it a few days ago, after it was recommended here on the Unz Review by a "hardcore libertarian": http://www.unz.com/announcement/open-thread-software-bugs/#comment-2048136

In case the "hardcore libertarian" reads this comment, what do you think about this?

Libertarianism, which boils down to the non-aggression principle (NAP: The initiation of physical force against persons or property, the threat of such, or fraud upon persons or their property is inherently illegitimate) is derived from the Catholic Scholastics, most notably the School of Salamanca, who based their proto-Austrian economic theory on Natural Rights derived from Scripture and Catholic theology. Thinkers like Francisco de Vitoria, Domingo de Soto, and Francisco Suárez originated the modern concepts of libertarianism based on Catholic moral teaching and St. Thomas Aquinas's theory of natural law, which stipulates the principle, "one should do harm to no man" (Summa Theologea I-II Q. 95), a progression from the Golden Rule, professed in the Bible: "Do to others as you would have them do to you." Lk 6:31

http://thelibertariancatholic.com/summa-of-the-libertarian-catholic/

The Mont Pelerin Society was created on 10 April 1947 at a conference organized by Friedrich Hayek. Originally, it was to be named the Acton-Tocqueville Society. After Frank Knight protested against naming the group after two "Roman Catholic aristocrats" and Ludwig von Mises expressed concern that the mistakes made by Acton and Tocqueville would be connected with the society, the decision was made to name it after Mont Pèlerin, the Swiss resort where it convened.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mont_Pelerin_Society#Name

Dr. Otto von Habsburg on Religion,Politics and Education

FKA Max , Website October 21, 2017 at 6:20 am GMT
@FKA Max

5. The Wealth of Nations: Ideology, Religion, Biology, and Environment

https://mises.org/library/5-wealth-nations-ideology-religion-biology-and-environment

The Catholic Church is anti-democratic, individualistic and capable of salvation. Slavery became seen as incompatible with Christian views. Christianity upholds social cooperation. Capitalism was born in Italy – a Catholic country. Private property came to be seen as a good. The Protestant religion was the most successful in production because their puritanical work ethic was the harshest. Protestantism both strengthened the state and democracies.


Mapping one of the world's largest landowners

In Massachusetts, the state Supreme Court recently ruled that only a portion of a Catholic shrine's nearly 200 acres were used for worship purposes and therefore were exempt from paying local property tax. The shrine was sent a tax bill for $92,000.
[...]
With more than 1 billion adherents, the Catholic Church is one of the largest, if not the largest, nongovernmental landowners in the world. One estimate puts the church's holdings close to 177 million acres, or 277,000 square miles. If those properties were grouped together and placed on a list of the world's countries by land area, it would fall within the top 50, higher than both France and Spain. (Plus, it is unclear whether or not the 177 million acre figure includes land owned by affiliated institutions, such as Catholic schools and hospitals, which number in the hundreds of thousands -- if not millions -- worldwide.)

https://www.curbed.com/2017/10/18/16483194/catholic-church-gis-goodlands-esri-molly-burhans

The Wealth of Nations and Religion – Cat[h]olicism and Protestantism

Brabantian , Website October 21, 2017 at 11:55 pm GMT
A major key point made by Hans-Hermann Hoppe above, rather neglected by the Unz community here, is this:

After all, it is above all white men that make up the ruling elite and that have foisted the current mess upon us.

True enough, the various protected 'minorities' take full advantage of the legal privileges they have been accorded and they have become increasingly emboldened but none of them would have made this outcome possible, if it were not for the instrumental help that they received and are receiving from white men.

Though it is more helpful to call this problem by its most accurate name: oligarchy. And in a country that has been predominantly white, under a white oligarchy, the core pathology is obscured by an excess focus on dominant native culture versus other cultures. As Hoppe indicates, whatever faults or crimes can be ascribed to minorities / migrants, the dysfunctionality of the system is ultimately the fault of the oligarchs at the top of the social heap, who designed the system as it stands.

For those who focus on Jewish influence groups – often the preferred 'mafias' for an oligarchy, to be sure – it is nonetheless true, as Canadian rebel Jew Henry Makow points out, that Jewish influence agents, media mavens etc, are for the most part not higher than #2 in the pecking order. Even with 40% of USA billionaires being Jewish, the other 60% who are gentile, clearly are allowing Jewish groups to have what influence they do have.

A Jewish-Israeli writer who emigrated from Russia quipped, that what he found in his new life in Israel, was only the benefit that his oppressors were now other Jews rather than non-Jews. USA whites must face the fact too, their biggest oppressors are oligarch whites who don't give a shite about their less-well-connected brothers and sisters.

And the problem overall with 'libertarianism', the whole Rothbard – Ron Paul etc spectrum, is seen in the practical matter that a wing of billionaire oligarchs see the libertarians as their hired 'useful idiots'. In some cases you can see the libertarian pundits being funded by the Koch brothers etc trying to become the owners of federal land that would then be 'turned over to the free market private sector' har-har.

Though the intellectual libertarians have nice theories supporting small business and anti-monopoly etc in practice the whole free-market, no-social-benefit ideology, tends to support the crony oligarch monopolists very well.

Whereas the actual truth, as the real-life experience of Europe (in its better days, now fading) has shown, is that an intelligently-run mixed economy, with government restricting the oligarch oligopolists, and really serving its own citizens, is the way to go. The fact that the oligarchs are running the systems down and making them blow up these days, doesn't change the fact that for a brief few decades in history, Western Continental Europe achieved some aspects of paradise – little crime, almost no one in jail, a pleasant life for just about all, and zero poverty amongst legal residents.

The 'alt-right' has it more correct, 'libertarianism' is essentially a kind of clever geeky scam flying in the face of what really works.

FKA Max , Website October 22, 2017 at 12:33 am GMT
@FKA Max

Just for clarification; I shared the video of Otto von Habsburg, because he was a member of the Mont Pelerin Society , and also a devout Catholic, but he supported the "collectivist" European Union:

What is basically emerging is the European Union Otto von Habsburg envisioned
[...]
He was also a member of the Mont Pelerin Society.

http://www.unz.com/jpetras/the-middle-east-pivot/#comment-2051317

Rose and Milton Friedman on Mont Pelerin Society

"In this interview, Milton Friedman, who was awarded the 1976 Nobel Prize in Economics, describes the values, objectives, and beginnings of the Mont Pelerin Society. He explains what it was like to create a society dedicated to classical liberalism in a world where the prevailing economic views leaned towards central planning and collectivism. Since it was founded in 1947, this organization has grown and prospered; offering its members from around the world opportunities to exchange and discuss their ideas. Friedman also comments on the significant role Universidad Francisco Marroquín has played in promoting the ideals of free-market economics and the importance of protecting private property. This interview was conducted by Hoover Institution and presented at the Mont Pelerin Society meeting in London in 2002."

[Oct 21, 2017] Dying for the Empire Is Not Heroic by Sheldon Richman

Oct 21, 2017 | original.antiwar.com

Posted on October 20, 2017 October 20, 2017 Predictably, the news media spent most of the week examining words Donald Trump may or may not have spoken to the widow of an American Green Beret killed in Niger, in northwest Africa, in early October. Not only was this coverage tedious, it was largely pointless. We know Trump is a clumsy boor, and we also know that lots of people are ready to pounce on him for any sort of gaffe, real or imagined. Who cares? It's not news. But it was useful to those who wish to distract Americans from what really needs attention: the U.S. government's perpetual war.

The media's efforts should have been devoted to exploring – really exploring – why Green Berets (and drones) are in Niger at all. ( This is typical of the establishment media's explanation.)

That subject is apparently of little interest to media companies that see themselves merely as cheerleaders for the American Empire. For them, it's all so simple: a US president (even one they despise) has put or left military forces in a foreign country – no justification required; therefore, those forces are serving their country; and that in turn means that if they die, they die as heroes who were protecting our way of life. End of story.

Thus the establishment media see no need to present a dissenting view, say, from an analyst who would question the dogma that inserting American warriors into faraway conflicts whenever a warlord proclaims his allegiance to ISIS is in the "national interest." Patriotic media companies have no wish to expose their audiences to the idea that jihadists would be no threat to Americans who were left to mind their own business.

Apparently the American people also must be shielded from anyone who might point out that the jihadist activity in Niger and neighboring Mali is directly related to the US and NATO bombing of Libya, which enabled al-Qaeda and other Muslim militants to overthrow the secular regime of Col. Muammar Qaddafi. That Obama-Clinton operation in 2011, besides producing Qaddafi's grisly murder and turning Libya into a nightmare, facilitated the transfer of weapons and fanatical guerrillas from Libya to nearby countries in the Sahel – as well as Syria. Since then the US government has been helping the French to "stabilize" its former colony Mali with surveillance drones and Green Berets based in Niger. Nice work, Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama and Secretary of State Clinton. (Citizen Trump was an early advocate of US intervention in Libya.) Need I remind you that the US/NATO regime-change operation in Libya was based on a lie ? Obama later said his failure to foresee the consequences of the Libya intervention was the biggest mistake of his presidency. (For more on the unintended consequences for the Sahel, see articles here , here , and here .)

So the media, which pretends to play a role in keeping Americans informed, have decided the people need not hear the truth behind the events in Niger. Instead, "reporters" and "analysts" perform their role as cheerleaders for the American Empire by declaring the dead men "heroes" and focusing on the tragedy that has befallen their families. Public scrutiny of the military operation is discouraged because it thought to detract from the Green Berets' heroism.

What makes them heroes? They were killed by non-Americans in a foreign land while wearing military uniforms. That's all it takes, according to the gospel of what Andrew Bacevich calls the Church of America the Redeemer and its media choir.

But are they really heroes? We can question this while feeling sorrow for the people who will never see their husbands, sons, brothers, and fathers again. Reporters and analysts who emote over alleged heroism base their claim on the dubious proposition that the men were "serving their country" and "protecting our freedom." A brief examination, however, is enough to show this is not so, although the troops, their families, and many others believe it.

First, their "country," if by this term we mean the American people, did not call them to "service," which itself a question-begging word. The source of the call was a collection of politicians and bureaucrats (including generals) who wouldn't know the public interest from a hole in the ground.

Second, US intervention in the Muslim world, which predates 9/11 and the creation of al-Qaeda and ISIS, has not made Americans safe. On the contrary, it has put them at risk, as the attacks on the World Trade Center demonstrated. Is it hard to believe that people will seek vengeance against those whose government bombs them and starves their children, as the US government did in Iraq all through the 1990s (to take just one example)?

Dying (and killing) for the Empire is not heroic. Allowing yourself to be ordered to intervene in distant conflicts you surely don't understand is not worthy of admiration. What's heroic is resisting the Empire.

Anyone who thought Trump would bring the troops back should now know better. He, of all people, is not about to give up imperial power. The Guardian quotes a former military officer saying, "Since [President] Trump took power, US forces deployed around the world have had a lot more room to maneuver. Decisions about when and what to engage have been devolved right down to unit level. Any soldier knows that if you give guys on the ground more independence, then they will be that much more aggressive and will take more risks."

At this point we can't expect the corporate media to quit propagandizing on behalf of the war state and start informing the public of the harm "their" government has inflicted abroad and at home. Fortunately, we have virtually costless access to alternative sources of information about the politicians' and military's mischief. The conundrum is that most people, having been fed a steady diet of pro-war propaganda, won't turn to those sources until they become suspicious of power.

Sheldon Richman is the executive editor of The Libertarian Institute , senior fellow and chair of the trustees of the Center for a Stateless Society , and a contributing editor at Antiwar.com . He is the former senior editor at the Cato Institute and Institute for Humane Studies, former editor of The Freeman , published by the Foundation for Economic Education , and former vice president at the Future of Freedom Foundation . His latest book is America's Counter-Revolution: The Constitution Revisited . Reprinted with permission from The Libertarian Institute .

Read more by Sheldon Richman Flags, Football, and Begged Questions – October 3rd, 2017 Operation CYA – Afghanistan – August 25th, 2017 Trump's 'Fire and Fury' Wouldn't Be the First for North Korea – August 11th, 2017 Truman, A-Bombs, and the Killing of Innocents – August 6th, 2017 The American Way of War – July 2nd, 2017

[Oct 21, 2017] Washington Funds Foreign Think Tanks That Blacklist Opponents of Neocon Foreign Policy by Ron Paul

I admired Ron Paul foright policy views for a along time. and this time he also did not disappointed his reader.
Soviet labeled anybody who dissented from communist propaganda line or did not believe in Communist dogma as "agents of imperialism". Neocons similarly bland and-war activists and people who question this war mongering as peddlers of "Russian propaganda". This is what often happen with victors in wars: they acquired worst features of their defeated enemies. for example to defeat the USSR the USA create powerful network of intelligence agencies. Which promptly went out of civil control in 1963, much like KGB in the USSR and became state within the state. In a way now it in now now unfeasible that the Soviet Union posthumously have won the Cold War, as it is more and more difficult to distinguish Soviet propaganda and the US government propaganda.
So the fact that the US government allocate large sums of money for the propaganda against another neoliberal state -- Russia, which represent regional threat to the US hegemonic ambitions -- tells a lot about neoliberalism as a social system. Hostilities among neoliberal states, much like hostilities between communist states are not only possible, they are the reality.
Notable quotes:
"... So what is the "European Values" think tank? A bunch of kooks? Well perhaps, but they are well-funded kooks. In fact they are funded by American taxpayers to defame other Americans who appear on media outlets that are out of favor with Washington's elites. Among the top donors to the "European Values" think tank is the United States Embassy in Prague. Other top funders include George Soros' "Open Society Foundation," the European Commission, and the European Parliament. They are also funded by other US government funded think tanks such as the Prague-based "League of Human Rights." ..."
"... How ironic that such a Soviet-style attack on political dissent in the United States was launched from Prague, which for decades suffered under the Štátna bezpečnosť -- ..."
"... "I am not here to defend RT," I said on the program tonight. I am here to defend the marketplace of ideas that is critical to a free society. I am here to defend the right of US citizens to dissent from the foreign policy of their government without being attacked by their own government -- or by foreign think tanks funded by their government. ..."
"... This should infuriate us: The US government defines anyone who dissents from its foreign policy of endless wars and a global military empire as peddlers of "Russian propaganda" and then Congress appropriates tens of million dollars to "counter Russian propaganda." ..."
"... That means the US Congress is appropriating tens of millions of our dollars to silence our objection to Washington's trillion dollar global military empire. What a scam! How anti-American! Is that not a declaration of war on the rest of us? Is that not an act of tyranny? ..."
Oct 21, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org

Dear Friends of the Ron Paul Institute:

I just finished an interview on RT.

Someday soon, perhaps, anyone writing the above sentence will land in some sort of gulag, as once did East Europeans found to have appeared on a foreign broadcast questioning the historical inevitability of the worldwide communist revolution.

In my case, I was asked to comment on a new report (see above pic) from a Czech " think tank " exposing 2,327 American "useful idiots" who dared appear on the Russian government-funded RT television network.

Among the "Kremlin stooges" listed in the report of the "European Values" think tank? Alongside critics of US foreign policy like Ron Paul, the Czech "European Values" think tank listed Sen. Lindsay Graham, Joe Lieberman, Dick Cheney, US Rep. Adam Schiff, former acting CIA director Michael Morrell, former CIA director Michael Hayden, and hundreds more prominent Americans who have been notably hostile to Russia and its government.

I said: "Wow! this conspiracy is even deeper than we thought! Even the virulently anti-Russian neocons and Russia-hating CIA bigwigs are in fact Putin's poodles!"

It's funny but it's not. This is when the neo-McCarthyism lately in fashion across the ideological divide descends into the absurd. This is when the mask slips from the witch trials, when the naked emperor can no longer expect to not be noticed.

So what is the "European Values" think tank? A bunch of kooks? Well perhaps, but they are well-funded kooks. In fact they are funded by American taxpayers to defame other Americans who appear on media outlets that are out of favor with Washington's elites. Among the top donors to the "European Values" think tank is the United States Embassy in Prague. Other top funders include George Soros' "Open Society Foundation," the European Commission, and the European Parliament. They are also funded by other US government funded think tanks such as the Prague-based "League of Human Rights."

Since when did "European values" come to be defined as government-funded lists of political "enemies" who dare question US foreign policy on television networks despised by neocons and Washington interventionists? How ironic that such a Soviet-style attack on political dissent in the United States was launched from Prague, which for decades suffered under the Štátna bezpečnosť -- the communist secret police -- that took exactly the same view of those who deviated from the Soviet party line as does the modern Czech "European Values" think tank.

Anyone questioning our one trillion dollar global military empire is automatically considered to be in the pay of hostile foreign governments. How patriotic is that?

"I am not here to defend RT," I said on the program tonight. I am here to defend the marketplace of ideas that is critical to a free society. I am here to defend the right of US citizens to dissent from the foreign policy of their government without being attacked by their own government -- or by foreign think tanks funded by their government.

This should infuriate us: The US government defines anyone who dissents from its foreign policy of endless wars and a global military empire as peddlers of "Russian propaganda" and then Congress appropriates tens of million dollars to "counter Russian propaganda."

That means the US Congress is appropriating tens of millions of our dollars to silence our objection to Washington's trillion dollar global military empire. What a scam! How anti-American! Is that not a declaration of war on the rest of us? Is that not an act of tyranny?

The noose is tightening around us. Yet we must continue to fight for what we believe in! We must continue to fight for the prosperity that comes from a peaceful foreign policy. Your generous support for the Ron Paul Institute helps us continue to be your voice in the fight for free expression and a peaceful foreign policy.

[Oct 19, 2017] The U.S. Military - Pampered, Safe And Very Scared

Oct 19, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

The U.S. military is a socialist paradise :

Service members and their families live for free on base. People living off base are given a stipend to cover their housing costs. They shop in commissaries and post exchanges where prices for food and basic goods are considerably lower than at civilian stores. Troops and their families count on high-quality education and responsive universal health care. They expect to be safe at home, as bases, on average, have less violence than American cities of comparable size. And residents enjoy a wide range of amenities -- not just restaurants and movie theaters but fishing ponds, camp sites, and golf courses built for their use.

Of course, some bases are better than others. But even the most austere provides a comprehensive network of social welfare provisions and a safety net that does not differentiate between a junior employee and an executive.

For those who stay on, the military provides a generous retirement pay .

"But life in the military is dangerous!"

Not so.

According to a 2012 study by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center (AFHSC) the risk to ones life is lower for soldiers than for civilians:

In the past two decades ( which include two periods of intense combat operations ), the crude overall mortality rate among U.S. service members was 71.5 per 100,000 [person-years] . In 2005, in the general U.S. population, the crude overall mortality rate among 15-44 year olds was 127.5 per 100,000 p-yrs

The huge difference is quite astonishing. The death rate for soldiers would still have been lower than for civilians if the U.S. had started another medium size war:

If the age-specific mortality rates that affected the U.S. general population in 2005 had affected the respective age-groups of active component military members throughout the period of interest for this report, there would have been approximately 13,198 (53%) more deaths among military members overall.

Those working in the U.S. military, even when the U.S. is at war, have a quite pampered life with lots of benefits. They have less risk to their lives than their civilian peers. But when some soldier dies by chance, the announcements speak of "sacrifice". The fishermen, transport and construction workers, who have the highest occupational death rates , don't get solemn obituaries and pompous burials .

There may be occasions where soldiers behave heroic and die for some good cause. But those are rather rare incidents. The reports thereof are at times manipulated for propaganda purposes.

The U.S. military spends more than a billion per year on advertisement. It spends many uncounted millions on hidden information operations. These are not designed to influence an enemy but the people of the United States. In recent years the U.S. military and intelligence services have scripted or actively influenced 1,800 Hollywood and TV productions. Many of the top-rated movie scripts pass through a military censorship office which decides how much 'production assistance' the Department of Defense will provide for the flick.

A rather schizophrenic aspect of its safe life is the military's fear. Despite being cared for and secure, the soldiers seem to be a bunch of scaredy-cats. The military's angst is very ambiguous. It meanders from issue to issue. This at least to various headlines:

Members of the U.S. military live quite well. They are safe. Their propaganda depicts them as heroes. At the same time we are told that they are a bunch of woosies who fear about anything one can think of.

I find that a strange contradiction.

/snark

Posted by b on October 19, 2017 at 12:32 PM | Permalink

Don Bacon | Oct 19, 2017 12:40:38 PM | 1

remember--
"October 13 - 8 Out Of 10 Will Only Read This Headline"
not pampered, but I assume that's a tongue in cheek argument. Live under the rules of a tyrant and call yourself pampered.

Posted by: Stryker | Oct 19, 2017 1:01:21 PM | 2

not pampered, but I assume that's a tongue in cheek argument.
Live under the rules of a tyrant and call yourself pampered.

Posted by: Stryker | Oct 19, 2017 1:01:21 PM | 2 /div

StephenLaudig | Oct 19, 2017 1:15:57 PM | 3
The US military.... losing wars since 1946 [unless you count Panama and/or Grenada]... But in fairness it was tasked with wars that were, by their nature, unwinnable wars. One of the 'grand lessons' of the 20th and 21st centuries is that empires will [almost] always lose wars. The American Empire will lose wars until it runs out of money and then it will quit. All the US needs is a border patrol and a coast guard. All the rest is imperial impedimenta.
la Cariatide | Oct 19, 2017 1:19:49 PM | 4
where do i sign to join american socialist dream?
john | Oct 19, 2017 1:21:01 PM | 5
Their propaganda depicts them as heroes

their suicide rate depicts them as conflicted.

Stryker | Oct 19, 2017 1:23:00 PM | 6
try Venezuela, the United States is of America, it's not America. The "dreamers" all trying to get here.
Ian | Oct 19, 2017 1:23:48 PM | 7
The amenities are good but the pay is low, and health care for veterans is below par.
mischi | Oct 19, 2017 1:26:29 PM | 8
the best soldiers the world has ever seen, like they like to call themselves. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
Joe | Oct 19, 2017 1:39:26 PM | 9
Please don't confuse the fears of a lowly enlisted guy, like I used to be, with the published "fears" intended only to extract moar taxpayer dollars....
Burt | Oct 19, 2017 1:43:26 PM | 10
I thought North Korea had a pampered army treated better than the civilian population. Isn't that an Axis of Evil thing?
mena | Oct 19, 2017 1:43:48 PM | 11
Well, and except for the whole Bill of Rights thing. But I guess that's a different conversation.
Of course, the Free Market ideal is to replace as many soldiers with private mercenaries as possible, as they did in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Oct 19, 2017 2:03:05 PM | 12

Of course, the Free Market ideal is to replace as many soldiers with private mercenaries as possible, as they did in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Oct 19, 2017 2:03:05 PM | 12 /div

Piotr Berman | Oct 19, 2017 2:15:40 PM | 13
Honestly, the military exists to respond to "threats", and that entails identifying those threats. The impact of volcano eruptions on jet planes is very real, to give one example, so it is rational to develop options when you cannot use such planes. And so on. I should read "The Airforce 4 biggest fears", just beforehand, I would guess budget cuts are number one. But expenditures imposed by morons in Congress should also be considered. That makes me curious what is number 3 and number 4.
ben | Oct 19, 2017 2:17:18 PM | 14
"Members of the U.S. military live quite well. They are safe. Their propaganda depicts them as heroes."

Not quite as good as depicted b, but, none the less, quite better than the average workers in the U$A today.

IMO, the true heroes in the U$A today are the many workers who struggle daily on minimum wage, to provide for their family's welfare with no job security, and no health care..

james | Oct 19, 2017 2:29:40 PM | 15
b, did you get some kick back for this promotional ad for the us armed forces? i hope so!

@6 stryker. i always get a kick out of when it is referred to as 'america' as if the usa is as big as many in the country think it is! meanwhile us lowly others who inhabit the 'americas' don't get much of a mention...

NemesisCalling | Oct 19, 2017 2:46:06 PM | 16
Even though I have a brother in the Navy who joined because of the shit economy, let me play on the devil's side here, even though I gemerally agree with you.

Ideally, these types of benefits would be welcomed by any country who were legitimately proud of their military. It just so happens that the military we are talking about here is the empire's world police. It really ISN'T the US military any longer, although it takes our cash this way and that for "defense" spending. Although down the list when it comes to defense spending as a per centage of GDP, the US still spends wayyyyyyyy too much. So we are altogether looking at a weird-ass example, b, and although you may be right when it comes to the pussification of our military, I look at it differently for two reasons: 1) as stated above, the US military is unique in their role for the empire; this has created the immense problem of explaining or warranting their existence in faraway lands for almost no discernible reasons. A scattered and bungling approach, meanwhile being stretched way too far, means certain morale and training issues; and 2) it is also a generational thing which ties into the shit economy run by technocratic elites who don't give one iota of a care for the lesser classes which they have massacred through globalization.

So while I think you are in the right to help deconstruct the myth of American military might, I would argue that it is a moot point really and the table is already set for the whole MIC pertaining to US spending to come crashing down once the economy goes tits up. After that, god only knows if militaries will even be useful. In the end, it is difficult for an American like myself to really see the purpose of a military adventure force due to our geographical location. OTOH, a soldier in India looking out from his post over Kashmir might know exactly his worth now and for the future.

Just Sayin' | Oct 19, 2017 2:50:56 PM | 17
The fears of the US Military are the best fears that money can buy.

USA! USA! USA!
Number 1!!!!!!!

notlurking | Oct 19, 2017 2:51:46 PM | 18
I stopped watching most of the war movies dealing with ME conflicts.....a lot of propaganda bullshit.....
Liam | Oct 19, 2017 2:59:43 PM | 19
#MeToo – A Course In Deductive Reasoning: Separating Fact From Fiction Through The Child Exploitation Of 8 Year Old Bana Alabed

https://clarityofsignal.com/2017/10/19/metoo-a-course-in-deductive-reasoning-separating-fact-from-fiction-through-the-child-exploitation-of-8-year-old-bana-alabed/

b | Oct 19, 2017 3:07:51 PM | 20
I now added the /snark tag to the post. Seems necessary ...
S Brennan | Oct 19, 2017 3:09:51 PM | 21
"the crude overall mortality rate among U.S. service members was 71.5 per 100,000 [person-years]. In 2005, in the general U.S. population, the crude overall mortality rate among 15-44 year olds was 127.5 per 100,000 p-yrs"

Roughly two-thirds of all DOD active-duty military personnel were ages 30 or younger in 2015. Only about one-in-ten (9%) were older than 40.*

Compared to**:

15 to 19 years 20,219,890 7.2
20 to 24 years 18,964,001 6.7
25 to 34 years 39,891,724 14.2
35 to 44 years 45,148,527 16.0

So, the disproportionality of the age groups in the cited example would more than account for mortality.

Additionally, massive injuries including dismemberment, permanent brain damage and paralysis are not accounted for. That misrepresentation goes further than the general reader is aware, battlefield casualties that were once fatal are now, though initial response, being treated and the Soldier/Marine returned to society.***

* http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/04/13/6-facts-about-the-u-s-military-and-its-changing-demographics/

** https://www.infoplease.com/us/comprehensive-census-data-state/demographic-statistics-342

*** http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/war_stories/2004/12/iraq_2004_looks_like_vietnam_1966.html

WorldBLee | Oct 19, 2017 3:17:22 PM | 22
#7 - I agree, the pay for enlisted soldiers is low and VA healthcare doesn't want to treat many chemical issues soldiers get from being around depleted uranium, toxic burn pits, etc. Still, it's a much better life than those bombed by them experience!
Stryker | Oct 19, 2017 3:37:58 PM | 23
@15 James, thanks for the feedback, not too many picking up on that yet.
karlof1 | Oct 19, 2017 3:38:54 PM | 24
The intellectual quality of the Outlaw US Empire's military serfs is reflected in their inability to see that the government they're in service to is the #1 Domestic threat to the Constitution they swore to uphold and protect, with the so-called Deep State tied to it like a shadow.
ken | Oct 19, 2017 3:57:56 PM | 25
A 1st Lieutenant over 3 years makes $4,682 base pay. Thats $30 per hour on average. That is well above most civilian pay. Then many businesses hand them a 10-15% discount.

A Sergeant over 3 5 years makes $2,725 base pay. That's about $17.50 per hour... Not so bad.

Then the get BAS (Meals) $246 for Officers and $347 for enlisted. BAH (Housing) $1291 per month Enlisted. They're hiding the Officers amount.

Then kick in free medical. No Obamacare for them!

And God only know the pension they get after 20 or 30 years. I knew a person receiving a military pension and a Post Office pension. The Post Office is very partial to military and dependents. Almost impossible to work for them full time as a civilian. My wife went to take the 'test' and was told she didn't stand a chance as there were too many military retirees vying for the job.

When I went in the Military in 1967 I made $78 per month. When I got out in 1978 I made $700 per month.

All government workers including military on average make more then civilian counterparts.

What's maddening is when I hear them poor boy everyone. Calling, wanting money for the military or cops.

Debsisdead | Oct 19, 2017 4:24:54 PM | 26
Aha! A hint of how the pampered rapists were left exposed in Niger. According to that bastion of oppression, truth and the amerikan way, Foreign Policy DOT com, the government of Chad is somewhat discomfited by the inclusion of Chad on the most recent iteration of Trump's 'Muslim Ban' list. Hah, Chad is pissed at the latest moronity from Agent Orange eh, at least they have a coupla followers of Islam there, imagine how the population of Venezuela feel since last time anyone looked those Venezuelans who still bought into old wives' tales were prostrating themselves in front of two chunks of wood attached in two dimensional perpendicularity I.E. a cruciform.

Still Chad is pissed and you can hardly blame 'em as for more than 60 years the Chad army has performed vital step & fetchit roles for advancing amerikan and french imperial interests - raping and looting villages from Maghreb to the Sahel, from Nigeria through to Mali whenever it seemed the innate right of amerika to plunder whatever pleases them was being questioned.

From assorted tidbits on offer from the usual corrupt sources, we are told that the band of butchers were visiting a village in Niger to provide a 'pep talk' on anti-terror. when they were attacked by as yet unnamed terrorists; apart from the notion that any group of indigenous persons who attack a gang of armed foreign invaders could ever be called terrorists there is a further irony - the pentagon also asserts that there was no indication of prior 'terrorist activity' in the area where the village was located. If that is correct WTF were amerikan troops going there to provide 'anti-terrorist' information for?

This previously pristine region suddenly filled with alleged 'terrorists' who then proceeded to lay waste to the squad of imperial invaders. Since we know now that this was right after Chad's government, pissed at their inclusion on 'The List' , pulled its mercenary forces out of Niger, it would be fair to surmise that it was they, the Chad gang, who had been keeping the world safe for global exploitation in Niger, but that DC, not wishing to acknowledge the 'muslim ban' had caused such a major screw up, chose to ignore that reality and continued to send it's thugs out to 'disseminate information'.

"This wasn't in the brochure" whined one enabler of empire as he choked out his final words.

Fernando Arauxo | Oct 19, 2017 4:34:32 PM | 27
The USA's armed forces are deadly. We may mock them and while it is true, they don't "win" wars. However the damage they wreak is horrendous, the Armed Forces when unleashed will cause more damage than the mongols. People seem to forget the wars the USA did "win". It's wiped it's ass with the Dominican Republic and Haiti many times. Africa, Asia and Europe suffers under the boot of the G.I.
They don't win, but they don't really "lose" either.
Jagger | Oct 19, 2017 4:43:46 PM | 28
I was trying to figure out the purpose of this article. Since the author didn't list the downsides of serving in the military, I will assume the author has never actually served in the military. My suggestion would be for the author to join as soon as possible to gain access to that great military life and all those fantasic benefits. And since the author believes they are a force of wussies and scaredy-cats, the author should not have any problems getting in. Of course, after the author has spent his third tour humping the boonies in Afghanistan, survived his umpteenth road-side bomb or small arms ambush, should be interesting to see if he turns into a 20 year man so he can fully enjoy the good life.

The article was too one-sided, shallow and exaggerated to be written by anyone but a troll. Waste of time to read it.

Anonymous | Oct 19, 2017 4:57:18 PM | 29
Game over in Syria. After tripartite talks (Syria, Kurds, Russia) at al Qamishli over the Kurdish issue and the US bases in Syria, the Kurds have transferred control of the large Conoco oil facility to Russian ground forces. The Kurds now have no control of oil for financing the so-called 'state'. It looks like they have seen the US casting the Iragi Kurds aside and wondered - 'will the same happen to us?' and gone for the negotiated solution. No wonder Shoigu and Putin have gone on record as saying the Syria issue is nearly over.

http://www.fort-russ.com/2017/10/syrians-russians-and-kurds-discuss.html

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/breaking-russian-troops-take-control-key-gas-field-kurdish-forces-deir-ezzor/

gepay | Oct 19, 2017 5:01:41 PM | 30
I wonder if you included suicides or disability post service. WWI the military introduced metal helmets and mortality went down but brain injuries increased. My understanding is that brain injuries due to IED are very common. I would imagine the majority of soldiers returning from a war zone come home maimed in body/and or mind.

As the son of a 20+ year Army vet, I know these perks have been there for a long time. They were necessary to attract anybody before WW2. I imagine they have increased with the volunteer military. Mostly the Army is populated with the more competent people from the lower strata of American society. They have a choice of working at a fast food, convenience store, or motel along the interstate - or the Army - oh yeah being a prison guard is also an option as the burgeoning American prison population is housed in low income rural areas.

I imagine there is bloat in the officer corps - most of those golf courses you mentioned are for officers only. These officers are mainly not coming from low income families. The real bloat though, is in the military contractors - Eisenhower's military-industrial complex with an added national security complex. Amazing how the US has gone from being basically isolationist before WW2 to the militaristic society of today. The US military is the bitch enforcer for global elite. The police are being increasingly militarized. Many of them trained by those human rights paragons - the Israelis.

Just Sayin' | Oct 19, 2017 5:17:18 PM | 31
Amazing how the US has gone from being basically isolationist before WW2 to the militaristic society of today.

Posted by: gepay | Oct 19, 2017 5:01:41 PM | 30

LOL Seriously?

This is only a partial list of US military actions in foreign countries. This list only covers the 50 years from 1890 to WW2

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


ARGENTINA 1890 Troops Buenos Aires interests protected.
CHILE 1891 Troops Marines clash with nationalist rebels.
HAITI 1891 Troops Black revolt on Navassa defeated.
IDAHO 1892 Troops Army suppresses silver miners' strike.
HAWAII 1893 (-?) Naval, troops Independent kingdom overthrown, annexed.
CHICAGO 1894 Troops Breaking of rail strike, 34 killed.
NICARAGUA 1894 Troops Month-long occupation of Bluefields.
CHINA 1894-95 Naval, troops Marines land in Sino-Japanese War
KOREA 1894-96 Troops Marines kept in Seoul during war.
PANAMA 1895 Troops, naval Marines land in Colombian province.
NICARAGUA 1896 Troops Marines land in port of Corinto.
CHINA 1898-1900 Troops Boxer Rebellion fought by foreign armies.
PHILIPPINES 1898-1910 (-?) Naval, troops Seized from Spain, killed 600,000 Filipinos
CUBA 1898-1902 (-?) Naval, troops Seized from Spain, still hold Navy base.
PUERTO RICO 1898 (-?) Naval, troops Seized from Spain, occupation continues.
GUAM 1898 (-?) Naval, troops Seized from Spain, still use as base.
MINNESOTA 1898 (-?) Troops Army battles Chippewa at Leech Lake.
NICARAGUA 1898 Troops Marines land at port of San Juan del Sur.
SAMOA 1899 (-?) Troops Battle over succession to throne.
NICARAGUA 1899 Troops Marines land at port of Bluefields.
IDAHO 1899-1901 Troops Army occupies Coeur d'Alene mining region.
OKLAHOMA 1901 Troops Army battles Creek Indian revolt.
PANAMA 1901-14 Naval, troops Broke off from Colombia 1903, annexed Canal Zone; Opened canal 1914.
HONDURAS 1903 Troops Marines intervene in revolution.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 1903-04 Troops U.S. interests protected in Revolution.
KOREA 1904-05 Troops Marines land in Russo-Japanese War.
CUBA 1906-09 Troops Marines land in democratic election.
NICARAGUA 1907 Troops "Dollar Diplomacy" protectorate set up.
HONDURAS 1907 Troops Marines land during war with Nicaragua
PANAMA 1908 Troops Marines intervene in election contest.
NICARAGUA 1910 Troops Marines land in Bluefields and Corinto.
HONDURAS 1911 Troops U.S. interests protected in civil war.
CHINA 1911-41 Naval, troops Continuous occupation with flare-ups.
CUBA 1912 Troops U.S. interests protected in civil war.
PANAMA 1912 Troops Marines land during heated election.
HONDURAS 1912 Troops Marines protect U.S. economic interests.
NICARAGUA 1912-33 Troops, bombing 10-year occupation, fought guerillas
MEXICO 1913 Naval Americans evacuated during revolution.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 1914 Naval Fight with rebels over Santo Domingo.
COLORADO 1914 Troops Breaking of miners' strike by Army.
MEXICO 1914-18 Naval, troops Series of interventions against nationalists.
HAITI 1914-34 Troops, bombing 19-year occupation after revolts.
TEXAS 1915 Troops Federal soldiers crush "Plan of San Diego" Mexican-American rebellion
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 1916-24 Troops 8-year Marine occupation.
CUBA 1917-33 Troops Military occupation, economic protectorate.
WORLD WAR I 1917-18 Naval, troops Ships sunk, fought Germany for 1 1/2 years.
RUSSIA 1918-22 Naval, troops Five landings to fight Bolsheviks
PANAMA 1918-20 Troops "Police duty" during unrest after elections.
HONDURAS 1919 Troops Marines land during election campaign.
YUGOSLAVIA 1919 Troops/Marines intervene for Italy against Serbs in Dalmatia.
GUATEMALA 1920 Troops 2-week intervention against unionists.
WEST VIRGINIA 1920-21 Troops, bombing Army intervenes against mineworkers.
TURKEY 1922 Troops Fought nationalists in Smyrna.
CHINA 1922-27 Naval, troops Deployment during nationalist revolt.
MEXICO 1923 Bombing
HONDURAS 1924-25 Troops
PANAMA 1925 Troops Marines suppress general strike.
CHINA 1927-34 Troops Marines stationed throughout the country.
EL SALVADOR 1932 Naval Warships send during Marti revolt.

-------------
You know, I hear they have this new-fangled thing call "The Internet" now.
The hipster kids tell me you can actually connect to it and do things like research a statement before you go and say something stupid.
Can't make head nor tail of it myself, but the local hipster voung 'uns swear by it

ToivoS | Oct 19, 2017 5:28:30 PM | 32
In terms of the most dangerous occupations b seemed to have omitted loggers. From life insurance data published about 30 years ago the most dangerous occupations are (number of deaths per 100,000):

commercial fishermen (about 100)
loggers (70-80)
construction workers (20+)
taxi drivers and 24 hour store clerks (~10)
fire fighters (5)
policemen (4)

With policemen the leading cause of occupational fatalities are from traffic accidents. Every time, any where in the US if a cop is shot by a criminal it becomes front page news across the entire country and their funerals are attended by hundreds of uniformed cops to great press fanfare. This is followed by outpouring of press discussion about the horrible dangers our policemen are exposed to.

Edward | Oct 19, 2017 5:41:16 PM | 33
If you look at battlefield injuries, the picture is not so good; in the Iraq occupation, injuries were often debilitating but not fatal. One also has to worry about being poisoned by burn pits or uranium. The military people who are truly pampered, with a royal lifestyle, are the generals.

Another American group that receives special privileges is the police. Have you heard of the law enforcement bill of rights?

This military socialism resembles Israeli socialism. A technique the Israeli state uses to grant benefits to Israeli Jews and deny them to Palestinians is to tie the benefits to military service which is denied to Palestinians. As a result, Israeli Palestinians pay more taxes but receive less benefits then Israeli Jews.

Just Sayin' | Oct 19, 2017 6:21:27 PM | 34
One of the many "Socialist" benefits on offer to members of the USMilitary

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/apr/19/genital-injuries-taliban-ieds

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/13/health/genital-injuries-among-us-troops.html


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

This military socialism resembles Israeli socialism. A technique the Israeli state uses to grant benefits to Israeli Jews and deny them to Palestinians is to tie the benefits to military service which is denied to Palestinians. As a result, Israeli Palestinians pay more taxes but receive less benefits then Israeli Jews.

Posted by: Edward | Oct 19, 2017 5:41:16 PM | 33

Nationalist and Socialist?

A bit of a mouthful, maybe someone should come up with a snappy acronym for it. . . .

wonder what they'd call it?

ERing46Z | Oct 19, 2017 6:23:14 PM | 35
"b" You just way out of your way to beat up the military. SO. The reason the "mortality rate" is so much lower is because better than 98% of us are not only armed, but are private fire arms owners at our homes and the criminal world knows that BUT YOU WENT OUT OF YOUR WAY TO IGNORE THAT! YOU "b" just took your credibility off the cliff, complete with a "snark" all the way to the rocks below. Yes, I served on SECARMY Staff in the E Ring at the Pentagon. So, "been there" all the way to the end. Deployments, sand, live fire convoys and all.
blues | Oct 19, 2017 6:26:34 PM | 36
Every dozen or whatever months I get this spam phone call from this big booming American voice asking me if I would be good enough to contribute to a charity for medical care and/or support of the loved ones of police officers slain or injured while on duty. It's pretty much sort of a shake down, since they do have my number.

This pisses me way off!

So I politely explain to them that my cat, Curly, has severe epilepsy and I must spend $2,000 a month for this Vimpat medicine to keep Curly from having dreadful seizures. So of course I have no leftover money for charity.

Screw them!

<== Jagger | Oct 19, 2017 4:43:46 PM | 28
Yup. Don't waste any more time reading this. (You didn't read the fine print on your auto insurance either, did you?)

Boyo | Oct 19, 2017 6:36:56 PM | 37
One day when the dollar fails and is no longer the petro dollar, then the military cuts will happen like the old USSR. This may be sooner than later after how Syria, Iran, Iraq, Russia, Hezbollah and others stuck together in Syria and now Iraq.

This has scared the shit out of the Saudis. The Saudi king ran to Russia to meet with Putin. The petrodollars days are numbered.

Just Sayin' | Oct 19, 2017 6:38:08 PM | 38
Deployments, sand, live fire convoys and all.

Posted by: ERing46Z | Oct 19, 2017 6:23:14 PM | 35

Balls too?

Peter AU 1 | Oct 19, 2017 6:41:45 PM | 39
Good post b.
Looks like the yanks are out in force justifying/finding excuses for the numbers.
james | Oct 19, 2017 7:06:57 PM | 40
all those innocent people, not to mentioned the armed forces people being exposed to depleted uranium, and none of them are a statistic.. thank you barbaric usa..anyone who thinks the usa looks after their vets- i don't think so...
karlof1 | Oct 19, 2017 7:19:56 PM | 41
james @40--

One only need view the film Born on the Fourth of July to learn how vets were treated then and now. My partner's dad has a host of ailments, PTSD amongst them, and ought to be in a VA Nursing Home, but they are almost nonexistent nowadays--they were once called Old Soldiers Homes.

Jackrabbit | Oct 19, 2017 7:48:22 PM | 42
b, your post raises many good questions.

At what point does a military become mercenaries, out for their own good? Who has incentive to make them mercenaries? How can we tell when a military has been compromised? How can society guard against the slippery slope? Etc.

Peter AU 1 | Oct 19, 2017 8:17:07 PM | 43
United States of America = Americans?
In Europe, none of the countries are called Europe and the people collectivly are called Eropeans.
In Asia, no country has the name Asia, but collectivly the people are called Asians.
In Africa, South Africa has Africa in its name, and the people of South Africa a called South africans. Easy to say and people who live in Africa a collectively Africans.
The Americas. Only one country has America in its name, but who the fuck is going to say "United States of Americans" when refering to the arseholes that inhabit the place. Much easier to just say Americans, Canadians, Venezuelans - whatever.
Josh Stern | Oct 19, 2017 8:32:18 PM | 44
How do the life expectancies of adult an adult 'A', 'B', or 'C' compare? Who is most likely to be murdered soonest by Heine gang? Hard to know...most A's are off the map, shut off from any large scale publicity or commerce or media coverage. While the status of 'B' and 'C' is secret. Heine gang shortens the life expectancy of all in a significant way, but I don't know how the current stats would play out.
Edward | Oct 19, 2017 8:53:54 PM | 45
@34 Just Sayin,

That comparison gets made more often these days. In some ways the Israelis are worse then the Nazis.

peter | Oct 19, 2017 9:07:46 PM | 46
I guess if it's a country you like the soldiers are patriotic and morally upright.

If you don't like the country then they're all low-life scum looking for a free ride.

Debsisdead | Oct 19, 2017 10:17:22 PM | 47
The nonsense has started again. I have posted the same epistle twice and both times the missive has disappeared into the black hole, I shan't do it again until I'm certain the original has gone forever -in the meantime no one should be surprised if they both suddenly reappear.
barrisj | Oct 19, 2017 10:53:46 PM | 48
OK. give the reprobate Donald credit (maybe)...he was quoted in saying to the dead soldier's mum: "It's what he signed up for...",blah,blah. But, the Donald called it: Special Forces are nothing but trained assassination teams...they go in, off their target, fly out, end of story. Only this time, the buggers got caught with their shorts down, and...casualties...oh, boo-hoo. All these young bodies that sign up for the US military some time in their enlistment will be posted to "bases" that they didn't even realise existed. And so they get educated, really fast. Then those who go further in their military careers decide to go for the "elite" units: hard-core training, propaganda, "know your enemy",how to murder stealthily, etc. Then, after many "kills", they themselves get capped...it's how the game is played, yo. So, bottom-line - Trump let out the BIG secret: "We" kill, and should expect to be killed in return...who can cavil with that?
J Swift | Oct 19, 2017 11:07:32 PM | 49
@34 Just Sayin,
I'm still chuckling....

@42 Jackrabbit,
This is hugely important. Ditching the draft in the '70's wasn't for any altruistic reason, nor to make the US military "more professional." In draft days, even though most wealthy families could buy their way out of being impacted, a significant cross section of the citizenry could expect to find themselves contributing their pride and joy to some crazy war effort in some far off place. There had better be a damn good reason for it. One of the big lessons the Establishment learned from Vietnam was that even the terminally passive American people could become violently anti-war when it was a life or death situation for them personally. So the move was made to an "all volunteer" force, which would generally draw from a less politically powerful cross section, and there would automatically be less bitching because "those guys wanted to go fight--that's what they signed up for." And as Jackrabbit points out, haven't indeed you at least started down the road to mercenary when your current army must admit they're there for the money, and maybe the promise of adventure, not because they were drafted and just fulfilling their duty as a citizen and eager to get home to the plow?

This is doubly troubling, because now your soldiers are vastly more mercenary than before (and of course will be recruited as true mercenaries upon ETS to meet the growing demand for true mercs), but are fewer and more socially isolated, so they are getting 3, 4, MORE tours in some sand pit where they are basically a walking target and are rightly hated as foreign occupiers, so even the best of them cannot help but become resentful and sociopathic. But at the same time, the Deep State has divorced the military from the citizenry at large, so citizens care less and less how many wars the US is engaged in, how many destroyed young men come home, and not only does protest of wars evaporate, warfare is mythically transformed into something heroic and to be desired, not feared. All empires have gradually been forced to employ more and more mercenaries (or slaves) to maintain their wars, but it never ends well.

[Oct 16, 2017] President Trump Beats War Drums For Iran by Ron Paul

Notable quotes:
"... Nearly every assertion in the president's speech was embarrassingly incorrect. Iran is not allied with al-Qaeda, as the president stated. The money President Obama sent to Iran was their own money. Much of it was a down-payment made to the US for fighter planes that were never delivered when Iran changed from being friend to foe in 1979. The president also falsely claims that Iran targets the United States with terrorism. He claims that Iran has "fueled sectarian violence in Iraq," when it was Iranian militias who prevented Baghdad from being overtaken by ISIS in 2014. There are too many other false statements in the president's speech to mention. ..."
"... Unfortunately the American people are being neoconned into another war. Just as with the disastrous 2003 US attack on Iraq, the media builds up the fear and does the bidding of the warmongers without checking facts or applying the necessary skepticism to neocon claims. ..."
Oct 16, 2017 | www.unz.com

President Trump has been notoriously inconsistent in his foreign policy. He campaigned on and won the presidency with promises to repair relations with Russia, pull out of no-win wars like Afghanistan, and end the failed US policy of nation-building overseas. Once in office he pursued policies exactly the opposite of what he campaigned on. Unfortunately Iran is one of the few areas where the president has been very consistent. And consistently wrong.

In the president's speech last week he expressed his view that Iran was not "living up to the spirit" of the 2015 nuclear agreement and that he would turn to Congress to apply new sanctions to Iran and to, he hopes, take the US out of the deal entirely.

Nearly every assertion in the president's speech was embarrassingly incorrect. Iran is not allied with al-Qaeda, as the president stated. The money President Obama sent to Iran was their own money. Much of it was a down-payment made to the US for fighter planes that were never delivered when Iran changed from being friend to foe in 1979. The president also falsely claims that Iran targets the United States with terrorism. He claims that Iran has "fueled sectarian violence in Iraq," when it was Iranian militias who prevented Baghdad from being overtaken by ISIS in 2014. There are too many other false statements in the president's speech to mention.

How could he be so wrong on so many basic facts about Iran? Here's a clue: the media reports that his number one advisor on Iran is his Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley. Ambassador Haley is a "diplomat" who believes war is the best, first option rather than the last, worst option. She has no prior foreign policy experience, but her closest mentor is John Bolton – the neocon who lied us into the Iraq war. How do these people live with themselves when they look around at the death and destruction their policies have caused?

Unfortunately the American people are being neoconned into another war. Just as with the disastrous 2003 US attack on Iraq, the media builds up the fear and does the bidding of the warmongers without checking facts or applying the necessary skepticism to neocon claims.

Like most Americans, I do not endorse Iran's style of government. I prefer religion and the state to be separate and even though our liberties have been under attack by our government, I prefer our much freer system in the US. But I wonder how many Americans know that Iran has not attacked or "regime-changed" another country in its modern history. Iran's actions in Syria are at the invitation of the legitimate Syrian government. And why won't President Trump tell us the truth about Iranian troops in Syria – that they are fighting ISIS and al-Qaeda, both of which are Sunni extremist groups that are Iran's (and our) mortal enemies?

How many Americans know that Iran is one of the few countries in the region that actually holds elections that are contested by candidates with very different philosophies? Do any Americans wonder why the Saudis are considered one of our greatest allies in the Middle East even though they hold no elections and have one of the world's worst human rights records?

Let's be clear here: President Trump did not just announce that he was "de-certifying" Iran's compliance with the nuclear deal. He announced that Iran was from now on going to be in the bullseye of the US military. Will Americans allow themselves to be lied into another Middle East war?

Jim Christian , October 16, 2017 at 4:31 pm GMT

"Will Americans allow themselves to be lied into another Middle East war?"

The die was cast the minute they ended the draft and mandatory service. What the hell does anyone in this country care about the next war? Maybe some realize it's a theft, a looting, but as long as it isn't THEIR blood being spilt, nothing goes nuclear, they don't care. Few outside our little venue here even understand, they think it's still Rah! Rah! And then, I suppose if I were in Congress, I might demand votes on these deals. Civilian control of the military, funding the wars, etc. Of course, if I pushed the point, they'd put a bullet in my HEAD . Just because. And headline me, my Mistress and my wife on the front page of the Post. Because NSA just KNOWS shit. Probably set me up with my Mistress to begin with so they'd have something on me, heh. This is the dilemma the Hill has on a personal level. We don't vote on wars, we gave em a blank check after 9/11 and that's that. Keeping it all going? That's all private. None-ya.

No one can talk about it, they just do it.

[Oct 11, 2017] The Myths of Interventionists by Daniel Larison

Notable quotes:
"... There are dangers and threats in the world, but all of the threats from state actors are manageable and deterrable without spending more on the military, and these threats are much less severe than anything the U.S. faced between the 1940s and the end of the Cold War. The U.S. can and should get by safely with a much lower level of military spending, and our government should also adopt a strategy of restraint that keeps us out of unnecessary wars. ..."
"... The Iraq war is just the most obvious example of how the U.S. forcibly intervenes in other parts of the world over the objections of allies, in flagrant disregard for international law, and with no thought for the destabilizing effects that military action will have on the surrounding region. ..."
"... It would be much more accurate to say that the U.S. intervenes often in the affairs of weaker countries because it can, because our leaders leaders want to, and because there is usually no other power willing or able to stop it from happening. Exorbitant military spending far beyond what is needed to provide for our defense makes it possible to take military action on a regular basis, and the constant inflation of foreign threats makes a large part of the public believe that our government's frequent use of force overseas has something to do with self-defense. This frenetic meddling in the affairs of other nations hasn't made and won't make America any safer, it makes far more enemies than it eliminates, and it imposes significant fiscal and human costs on our country and the countries where our government interferes. ..."
"... At least Churchill had a focus. Neocons claim that any country that doesn't yield to our every desire is an existential threat. One article says, 'Iran', another 'China', yet another 'Russia' or 'N. Korea'. ..."
Oct 11, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Dakota Wood makes the usual alarmist case for throwing more money at the military. This passage stood out for how wrong it is:

Churchill repeatedly warned his countrymen of the dangers of complacency, misguided priorities, and weakness of will, of the foolishness to see the world and major competitors as being anything other than what they truly are. While praising the virtues and spirit of moderation that defined the English-speaking peoples of his day, he also urged them to recognize the necessity of having the courage to take timely action when dangers threatened and clearly visible trends in an eroding ability to provide for their common defense were leading toward disaster.

A similar state of affairs afflicts the United States today. To the extent America intervenes in the affairs of others, it is because the United States has been attacked first, an ally is in dire need of assistance, or an enemy threatens broader regional stability [bold mine-DL].

Over ten years ago, Rick Santorum talked incessantly about "the gathering storm" in a very conscious echo of Churchill, and subsequent events have proven his alarmism to have been just as unfounded and ridiculous as it seemed to be at the time. Hawks are often eager to invoke the 1930s to try to scare their audience into accepting more aggressive policies and more military spending than our security actually requires. Some of this may come from believing their own propaganda about the threats that they exaggerate, and some of it may just be a reflex, but as analysis of the contemporary scene it is always wrong. There are dangers and threats in the world, but all of the threats from state actors are manageable and deterrable without spending more on the military, and these threats are much less severe than anything the U.S. faced between the 1940s and the end of the Cold War. The U.S. can and should get by safely with a much lower level of military spending, and our government should also adopt a strategy of restraint that keeps us out of unnecessary wars.

Churchill-quoting alarmists aren't just bad at assessing the scale and nature of foreign threats, but they are usually also oblivious to the shoddy justifications for intervening and the damage that our interventionist policies do. The section quoted above reflects an almost touchingly naive belief that U.S. interventions are always justified and never cause more harm than they prevent. Very few U.S. interventions over the last thirty years fit the description Wood gives. The only time that the U.S. has intervened militarily abroad in response to an attack during this period was in Afghanistan as part of the immediate response to the 9/11 attacks. Every other intervention has been a choice to attack another country or to take sides in an ongoing conflict, and these interventions have usually had nothing to do with coming to the defense of an ally or preventing regional instability. Our interference in the affairs of others is often illegal under both domestic and/or international law (e.g., Kosovo, Libya, Iraq), it is very rarely related to U.S. or allied security, and it tends to cause a great deal of harm to the country and the surrounding region that are supposedly being "helped" by our government's actions.

The Iraq war is just the most obvious example of how the U.S. forcibly intervenes in other parts of the world over the objections of allies, in flagrant disregard for international law, and with no thought for the destabilizing effects that military action will have on the surrounding region. The U.S. didn't invade Panama in 1989 to help an ally or because we were attacked, but simply to topple the government there. Intervention in Haiti in 1994 didn't come in response to an attack or to assist an ally, but because Washington wanted to restore a deposed leader. Bombing Yugoslavia in 1999 was an attack on a country that posed no threat to us or our allies. The Libyan war was a war for regime change and a war of choice. A few allies did urge the U.S. to intervene in Libya, but not because they were in "dire need of assistance." The only thing that Britain and France needed in 2011 was the means to launch an attack on another country whose government posed no threat to them. Meddling in Syria since at least 2012 had nothing to do with defending the U.S. and our allies. Wood's description certainly doesn't apply to our support for the shameful Saudi-led war on Yemen, as the U.S. chose to take part in an attack on another country so that our despotic clients could be "reassured."

It would be much more accurate to say that the U.S. intervenes often in the affairs of weaker countries because it can, because our leaders leaders want to, and because there is usually no other power willing or able to stop it from happening. Exorbitant military spending far beyond what is needed to provide for our defense makes it possible to take military action on a regular basis, and the constant inflation of foreign threats makes a large part of the public believe that our government's frequent use of force overseas has something to do with self-defense. This frenetic meddling in the affairs of other nations hasn't made and won't make America any safer, it makes far more enemies than it eliminates, and it imposes significant fiscal and human costs on our country and the countries where our government interferes.

Posted in foreign policy , politics .

Tagged Syria , Rick Santorum , Yemen , Iraq war , Panama , Libyan war , Saudi Arabia , Haiti , Winston Churchill , Dakota Wood .

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Christian Chuba , says: October 11, 2017 at 4:22 pm

'The gathering storm' I read that and I was dying to know which storm he was referring too.

At least Churchill had a focus. Neocons claim that any country that doesn't yield to our every desire is an existential threat. One article says, 'Iran', another 'China', yet another 'Russia' or 'N. Korea'.

It's surprising how low on the list N. Korea typically ranks as the hawks try to turn attention quickly back to Iran. 'Iran is funding and developing their nuclear program, Iran is going to buy their nuclear weapons'. At least in the case of N. Korea we do have a country that obviously does possess WMD and is developing ICBM's and is likely to sell them in the future (even to our best friends the Saudis).

[Oct 11, 2017] US pseudo left does not resist wars and globalism and monopolistic corporations. They resist everyone who questions the war. They resist nationalism and localism.

Oct 11, 2017 | www.unz.com

polistra, Website October 11, 2017 at 1:29 pm GMT

Hedges doesn't seem to understand that the "Resistance" is openly and obviously working FOR Deepstate. They do not resist wars and globalism and monopolistic corporations. They resist everyone who questions the war. They resist nationalism and localism.

Nothing mysterious or hidden about this, no ulterior motive or bankshot. It's explicitly stated in every poster and shout and beating.

[Oct 09, 2017] Dennis Kucinich We Must Challenge the Two-Party Duopoly Committed to War by Adam Dick

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... In the interview, Kucinich discusses his work to expose the misinformation used to argue for US government interventions overseas before and during the Iraq War and, later, concerning the US effort to assist in the overthrow of the Syria government. ..."
"... Kucinich, in the interview, places the Iraq War, with its costs including trillions in US government spending and the death of over a million Iraqis, in the context of "this American imperium, this idea that somehow we have the right to establish ourselves anywhere we want" including with "over 800 bases in 132 countries" and to go around the world "looking for dragons to slay while we ignore our own problems here at home." ..."
"... This is a racket. This is a way for people who make arms to cash in or have government contracts to cash in. ..."
"... Rescuing America from a future "cataclysmic war," Kucinich argues, requires that Americans both "realize that our position in the world was never, ever meant to be a cop on the beat, a global cop," and "challenge this two-party duopoly that's committed to war." ..."
Oct 09, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org

In a new interview with host Jesse Ventura at RT, former United States presidential candidate and House of Representatives Member Dennis Kucinich stressed the importance of the American people challenging the "two-party duopoly that's committed to war."

In the interview, Kucinich discusses his work to expose the misinformation used to argue for US government interventions overseas before and during the Iraq War and, later, concerning the US effort to assist in the overthrow of the Syria government.

Regarding the Iraq War, Kucinich, who is an Advisory Board member for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, explains that his research showed that "Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, nothing to do with al-Qaeda's role in 9/11, didn't have any connection to the anthrax attack, didn't have the intention or the capability of attacking the United States, and didn't have the weapons of mass destruction that were being claimed." This information, Kucinich relates, he provided to US Congress members in an October 2, 2002 report showing "there was no cause for war."

Despite Kucinich and other individuals' efforts to stop the march toward war, Congress passed an authorization for use of military force (AUMF) against Iraq later in October, and the invasion of Iraq commenced in March of 2003.

Kucinich, in the interview, places the Iraq War, with its costs including trillions in US government spending and the death of over a million Iraqis, in the context of "this American imperium, this idea that somehow we have the right to establish ourselves anywhere we want" including with "over 800 bases in 132 countries" and to go around the world "looking for dragons to slay while we ignore our own problems here at home."

Why are we "wasting the blood of our nation, the treasure of our nation, our young people" on these overseas activities that are "causing catastrophes among families in other countries?" Kucinich asks. He answers as follows:

This is a racket. This is a way for people who make arms to cash in or have government contracts to cash in.
Continuing with his explanation for the support for the Iraq War and other US military intervention abroad, Kucinich says:
The problem today we have in Washington is that both political parties have converged with the military-industrial complex, fulfilling President Eisenhower's nightmare and setting America on a path toward destruction.

Rescuing America from a future "cataclysmic war," Kucinich argues, requires that Americans both "realize that our position in the world was never, ever meant to be a cop on the beat, a global cop," and "challenge this two-party duopoly that's committed to war."

Watch Kucinich's complete interview here:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/3n5w1xYmV8A


Copyright © 2017 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
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[Oct 08, 2017] A Vet Remembers

Oct 08, 2017 | www.unz.com

Anonymous > , Disclaimer October 6, 2017 at 4:15 pm GMT

@Auntie Analogue Every time someone says to me, "Thank you for your service," above my head appears a cartoon thought balloon containing a wisp of the smoke of exasperation. It's weird how or when this reverent, pro-military bullshit toward veterans of the military (NB: very few ever in life-threatening combat) began. It seemed to be right around when our wars were solely about Zionist interests. My dad saw combat as an Army infantryman in the most ferocious battles of WWII. He received Purple Hearts (injuries from grenades and bullets) and medals of valor. When I was growing up he never discussed it unless you asked him questions. He never sought nor thought he was ever entitled to any benefits from it. Never went to the VA. All of his friends were the same way. It was only at the funeral of a close friend's dad that I learned that he had been in the military, and the Battle of the Bulge! I used to see this guy daily for years and stayed at their house all the time. Never once did he mention it. But back then, when being in the military meant being in combat, it was just something all men were expected to do and move on. Even if you were a major leaguer like Ted Williams you had to put your pro baseball career on hold and go off to combat and then return and resume things. They didn't expect or want any adulation. These kinds of guys would be embarrassed by it.

Nowadays every military veteran I know left with a disability and generous VA benefits and wears his military service on his soldier. Guys and gals who spent 3 years at Fort Huachuca or Lackland AFB or were "deployed" (PCS) to Okinawa, Japan or South Korea, expect to worshipped because they "defended freedom and put their lives on the line for all Americans".

The modern military, which became a jobs program, has been disasterous for white middle America. It destroyed families and created a bunch of less-than-manly white males who are worse than welfare queens living large on the MIC. But nowadays the military of today, 2017, is very diverse and third world. Today you're more likely to see the children of immigrants from West Africa or Latin America at basic training rather than some white kid.

Cato > , October 8, 2017 at 5:30 am GMT

I was a 15 year old freak when I first met the returning vets, at the city park where freaks hung out. At that time I thought that I too would be sent to Vietnam, and, in a way, I (and my friends) had prepared for that our whole lives–our parents had stories about WWII, and many also had stories about Korea. Today I feel grateful that it didn't happen (the draft ended the year I turned 19, and I got my adventure a different way). But at the time, the stories of the returning vets were all about drugs, and hot women, and power, and not about casualties. So, for some years I thought I had missed out on something. But think about it: 50,000 dead, four times what we've lost in the Bush-Obama-Trump wars. I knew some of those guys who died, and I also knew some of the guys who, like Fred, did things beyond what most of us have done. But none of the latter seemed particularly happy about having done those things. Overall, it seems that war sucks. A lot. Someone please inform Bill Kristol.

Uebersetzer > , October 8, 2017 at 6:35 am GMT

The combat soldier who goes home or at least on leave and meets incomprehension is a literary theme going back some decades if not centuries. All Quiet On The Western Front has a main character who goes on leave and finds the civilians have no comprehension of the war although they are enthusiastic about it, sometimes offering him patronising advice about how to win it. Remarque's book was banned in the Third Reich, though many German memoirs were not which extolled war as the highest of human experiences and expressed contempt for the Etappenschweine (rear echelon MFs) and, slightly less overtly, mere civilians. The scorned veteran who enjoyed the war or at least had trouble dealing with postwar civilian life was part of the soil in which fascism took root.

gdpbull > , October 8, 2017 at 12:38 pm GMT

I watched on line the portion of the Burns documentary that covered the period of time that I was in Nam to get a sense of its accuracy since I had direct knowledge of that time period. The coverage was completely perfunctory. I had hoped that the long multi-part documentary of the war would be a well an actual documentary of the war for a change. You know, showing not only the high level politics and overall strategy end, but also the nuts and bolts of the war. Well, it really didn't even show the high level strategic aspects to much detail, let alone the nuts and bolts. It was just one more navel gazing piece of crap. So I didn't bother watching any of the other segments.

DESERT FOX > , October 8, 2017 at 3:04 pm GMT

To see who was behind getting America into the Vietnam war , read the book JFK, THE CIA and VIETNAM by L. Fletcher Prouty, can be had on Amazon.com. This book also tells who killed JFK.

[Sep 20, 2017] Where Are the Brave Military Voices Against Forever War by Maj. Danny Sjursen

Notable quotes:
"... Today, my peers are silent. ..."
"... For all the celebration (and mythologizing) over World War II, at least we had Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller to burst our comfortable, patriotic bubble. And, though it likely lost him the presidency, Senator John Kerry (and his Vietnam Vets against the War mates) showed the courage to testify to the truth in the Winter Soldier Hearings. ..."
"... In 2017, it's near impossible to remember that today's professional, volunteer army is less than half a century old, a product of epic failure in Vietnam. Most of America's Founding Fathers, after all, scorned standing armies and favored a body of august, able citizen-soldiers. Something more akin to our National Guard. Deploy these men to faraway lands, so the thinking went, and each town would lose its blacksmith, carpenter, and cobbler too. Only vital interests warranted such sacrifice. Alas, it is no longer so. ..."
"... So today, my peers are silent. Professional officers are volunteers; dissenters are seen as little more than petulant whiners, or oddball nuts. It is hard to know why, exactly, but the increasing cognitive and spatial distance of contemporary soldiers from society at large seems a likely culprit. Combine that with the Republican Party's veritable monopoly on the political loyalties of the officer corps and you have yourself a lethal combination. ..."
"... By now, the wars are lost, if ever they were winnable. Iraq will fracture, Syria collapse, and Afghanistan wallow in perpetual chaos. It will be so. The people will forget. Our professional, corporate regiments will, undoubtedly, add banners to their battle flags -- sober reminders of a job well done in yet another lost cause. Soldiers will toast to lost comrades, add verses to their ballads, and precious few will ask why. ..."
Sep 19, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Today, my peers are silent.

But they've been taught the way to do it

Like Christian soldiers; not with haste

And shuddering groans; but passing through it

With due regard for decent taste

-- Siegfried Sassoon , How to Die (1918)

It is my favorite moment. Of World War I, that is. The one that stays with me.

Christmas, 1914: Nearly a million men are already dead, and the war is barely four months old. Suddenly, and ultimately in unison, the opposing German and British troops begin singing Christmas carols. At first light, German troops emerge unarmed from their trenches, and walk out into "no-man's land." Despite fearing a ruse, the Brits eventually joined their sworn enemies in the churned earth between the trench lines. Carols were sung, gifts of cigarettes exchanged -- one man even brought out a decorative tree. It only happened once. Though the bloody, senseless war raged across three more Christmases, the officers on each side quashed future attempts at a holiday truce. And yet, for that brief moment, in the ugliest of circumstances, the common humanity of Brits and Germans triumphed. It must have been beautiful.

Ultimately, nearly ten million men would die in battle. For all that, little was settled. It rarely is. The ruling classes still ruled, the profiteers profited, and Europe went to war again not twenty years later. So it went, and so it goes.

Nonetheless, World War I boasted countless skeptics and anti-war activists both in and out of uniform. Their poetry and prose was dark, but oh was it ever powerful. Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen from the Brits; Erich Maria Remarque for the stoic Germans; and our own Ernest Hemingway. A lost generation, which sacrificed so much more than youth: their innocence. They call to us, these long dead dissenters, from the grave.

They might ask: Where are today's skeptical veterans? Tragically, silence is our only ready response.

It was not always so in America. During the brutal Seminole Indian Wars, 17 percent of army officers resigned in disgust rather than continue burning villages and hunting natives down like dogs in Florida's Everglades' swamps. Mark Twain's cheeky prose demolished the Philippine-American colonial war at the turn of the century (some 30 years after he briefly served in the Missouri state militia during the Civil War). Hemingway, laid the truth bare after being wounded in the First Great War while serving as a Red Cross ambulance driver. And Major General Smedley Butler -- two-time Medal of Honor recipient though he was -- emerged from the Caribbean "Banana Wars" to admit he'd been naught but a "high class muscle man for Big Business," a "gangster for capitalism."

For all the celebration (and mythologizing) over World War II, at least we had Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller to burst our comfortable, patriotic bubble. And, though it likely lost him the presidency, Senator John Kerry (and his Vietnam Vets against the War mates) showed the courage to testify to the truth in the Winter Soldier Hearings.

Today, despite a few brave attempts, we are treated to nothing of the sort. Why, you ask?

To begin with, most of the above mentioned wars were fought by draftees, militiamen, and short-term volunteers: in other words, citizen-soldiers. Even now, the identity of "citizen-soldier" ought to emphasize the former term: citizen . It doesn't. Now, as we veterans are constantly reminded, we are warriors . Professionals. Hail Sparta!

In 2017, it's near impossible to remember that today's professional, volunteer army is less than half a century old, a product of epic failure in Vietnam. Most of America's Founding Fathers, after all, scorned standing armies and favored a body of august, able citizen-soldiers. Something more akin to our National Guard. Deploy these men to faraway lands, so the thinking went, and each town would lose its blacksmith, carpenter, and cobbler too. Only vital interests warranted such sacrifice. Alas, it is no longer so.

In truth, the "citizen-soldier" is dead, replaced -- to the sound of cheers -- by self-righteous subalterns hiding beneath the sly veil of that ubiquitous corporate idiom: professionalism. Discipline, motivation, teamwork -- these are all sleek, bureaucratic terms certain to mold terrific middle managers, but they remain morally bare. And, ultimately, futile.

So today, my peers are silent. Professional officers are volunteers; dissenters are seen as little more than petulant whiners, or oddball nuts. It is hard to know why, exactly, but the increasing cognitive and spatial distance of contemporary soldiers from society at large seems a likely culprit. Combine that with the Republican Party's veritable monopoly on the political loyalties of the officer corps and you have yourself a lethal combination.

Only don't rule out cowardice. Who isn't fearful for their career, income, and family stability? It is only natural. After all, this business -- despite protestations to the contrary -- does not tend to value intellectualism or creative thinking. Trust me. Besides, in this struggling transitory economy, the military "welfare state" is a tempting option for America's declining middle class. Ironic, isn't it, that the heavily conservative officer corps loves their socialized medicine and guaranteed pensions?

Under the circumstances, perhaps silence is understandable. But it is also complicity.

By now, the wars are lost, if ever they were winnable. Iraq will fracture, Syria collapse, and Afghanistan wallow in perpetual chaos. It will be so. The people will forget. Our professional, corporate regiments will, undoubtedly, add banners to their battle flags -- sober reminders of a job well done in yet another lost cause. Soldiers will toast to lost comrades, add verses to their ballads, and precious few will ask why.

Perhaps a good officer suppresses such doubt, maintains a stoic, if dour, dignity, and silently soldiers on. As for me, I am not made of such stuff, and more's the pity. I buried seven men in the fields of the Forever War, casualties of combat and the muted sufferings of suicide.

Their banal sacrifice demands explanation. They deserve as much. For those lonely few, we who publicly dissent, the audience is scant, interest meagre, and our existence: solitary.

Major Danny Sjursen, a TomDispatch regular , is a U.S. Army strategist and former history instructor at West Point. He served tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan, and wrote a memoir, Ghost Riders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge . Follow him on Twitter @SkepticalVet .

(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.)

*** This article has been edited to reflect Mark Twain's brief stint in the Missouri state militia, not the regular Confederate army; and the fact that Ernest Hemingway served the Red Cross during World War I.

[Sep 19, 2017] Rolling Back the Warfare State by Ron Paul

Notable quotes:
"... In the end, Sen. Paul did not back down and he got his vote. Frankly, I was more than a little surprised that nearly 40 percent of the Senate voted with Rand to allow a vote on repealing authority for the two longest wars in US history. I expected less than a dozen "no" votes on tabling the amendment and was very pleasantly surprised at the outcome. ..."
"... Are more Senators starting to see the wars his way? We can only hope so. As polls continue to demonstrate, the American people have grown tired of our interventionist foreign policy, which burns through trillions of dollars while making the world a more dangerous place rather than a safer place. ..."
"... The first step toward rebalancing the separation of powers is for Congress to reassert its authority and responsibility for declaring war. To this point, Congress has preferred to transfer its war responsibility to the president. ..."
"... The second step, once Congress understands its obligations, is to convince our representatives that war was not designed to be the first choice in foreign policy, but rather to be the last resort when we are under attack or when a direct attack is imminent! ..."
"... Just because Congress decides to approve the use of force does not mean that the war is just, justified, or wise. Congress is just as susceptible to war propaganda as the rest of America and unfortunately it is dominated by the false opinion that if you are not enthusiastic about US military solutions to disputes overseas then you are not being tough enough. In fact, it takes far more strength to exercise restraint in the face of the constant war propaganda and disinformation coming from the media and the neocons. ..."
Sep 19, 2017 | original.antiwar.com
Last week, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) reminded Congress that in matters of war, they have the authority and the responsibility to speak for the American people. Most Senators were not too happy about the reminder, which came in the form of a forced vote on whether to allow a vote on his amendment to repeal the Afghanistan and Iraq war resolutions of 2001 and 2002.

It wasn't easy. Sen. Paul had to jump through hoops just to get a vote on whether to have a vote. That is how bad it is in Congress! Not only does Congress refuse to rein in presidents who treat Constitutional constraints on their war authority as mere suggestions rather than as the law of the land, Congress doesn't even want to be reminded that they alone have war authority. Congress doesn't even want to vote on whether to vote on war!

In the end, Sen. Paul did not back down and he got his vote. Frankly, I was more than a little surprised that nearly 40 percent of the Senate voted with Rand to allow a vote on repealing authority for the two longest wars in US history. I expected less than a dozen "no" votes on tabling the amendment and was very pleasantly surprised at the outcome.

Last week, Rand said, "I don't think that anyone with an ounce of intellectual honesty believes that these authorizations from 16 years ago and 14 years ago authorized war in seven different countries."

Are more Senators starting to see the wars his way? We can only hope so. As polls continue to demonstrate, the American people have grown tired of our interventionist foreign policy, which burns through trillions of dollars while making the world a more dangerous place rather than a safer place.

Some might argue that losing the vote was a defeat. I would disagree. For the first time in years we saw US Senators on the Senate Floor debating whether the president should have authority to take the US to war anywhere he pleases. Even with just the small number of votes I thought we might have gotten on the matter, that alone would have been a great victory. But getting almost 40 percent of the Senate to vote our way? I call that a very good start!

The first step toward rebalancing the separation of powers is for Congress to reassert its authority and responsibility for declaring war. To this point, Congress has preferred to transfer its war responsibility to the president.

The second step, once Congress understands its obligations, is to convince our representatives that war was not designed to be the first choice in foreign policy, but rather to be the last resort when we are under attack or when a direct attack is imminent!

Just because Congress decides to approve the use of force does not mean that the war is just, justified, or wise. Congress is just as susceptible to war propaganda as the rest of America and unfortunately it is dominated by the false opinion that if you are not enthusiastic about US military solutions to disputes overseas then you are not being tough enough. In fact, it takes far more strength to exercise restraint in the face of the constant war propaganda and disinformation coming from the media and the neocons.

We have achieved a small victory last week, thanks to Senator Paul. But we still have a lot of work to do! We must keep the pressure on and convert more to the cause of peace and prosperity!

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity .

[Aug 30, 2017] Weather Underground Members Speak Out on the Media, Imperialism and Solidarity in the Age of Trump

Highly recommended!
This is way too simplistic interpretation of the events, but still she shed a light on the problems of anti war movement in the USA. As sson as soch movemetn grow to represnt a threat to status wquo they instantly get in cross hears of intelligence agencies. Arrests follow.
Bill Ayers part is better and he managed to land a couple of quotes with rather deep observations about the nature of the problems with the US media.
Notable quotes:
"... UnAmerican Activities ..."
"... "Empire always, then and now, cloaks itself in the garments of mystification and deceit," Ayers said. "The message from the corporate media was unambiguous: the US loves peace and fights only when it must, and always selflessly in defense of freedom and democracy." ..."
"... "The lies and misdirection go on and on," Ayers said. "And don't believe the narcissistic media today rewriting its role in moving the country against the war 50 years ago, making itself a forerunner and a major actor, heroizing its efforts and turning reality on its head." ..."
"... The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan ..."
"... Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches From an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq ..."
"... The Mass Destruction of Iraq: Why It Is Happening, and Who Is Responsible ..."
Aug 30, 2017 | www.truth-out.org

... ... ...

In 1970, the Weather Underground Organization (WUO), a group that emerged out of Students for a Democratic Society, issued a "Declaration of a State of War" against the US government, and shortly thereafter began carrying out bombings against symbols of US Empire, including even the Pentagon itself. Targeting mostly government buildings and several banks -- and taking care not to injure human beings -- the actions were designed to "bring the war home" in order to highlight imperial injustices against the oppressed, and the egregious violence of US imperialism.

... ... ...

"[The Media's role was] so important that the US military learned to never again allow independent journalists into their war zones," Dohrn explained. "[Significantly], the mainstream media never again allowed images of human people, families, women or children who suffer the consequences of US bombings or invasions."

With the dominant media avoiding these responsibilities, one of the many roles the WUO played was, according to Dohrn, to communicate to the public the ways in which people, cultures and whole civilizations were suffering under US air strikes and CIA repression.

"The media was plenty corporatized during the '60s and '70s, and it was the anti-war movement in concert with the Black Freedom Movement and the returning vets who changed the hearts and minds of the US people from 1965-1968," she said.

WUO member David Gilbert told Truthout he believes it was the strength of the anti-war movement, and the US losses in Vietnam, that finally pushed sectors of the media to start reporting some of the truth about the war.

He echoes Dohrn's point that the media was already corporatized back then (though the conglomerates were not nearly as large as they are today), and the pro-war bias of the media was just as real as it is now.

"An example was the use of napalm bombs, designed to cling to and burn through flesh, on civilians," Gilbert said. "The mainstream media completely whited-out these horrible war crimes."

In fact, in January 1967 a radical magazine, Ramparts, published a series of color photos of children and babies burned by napalm.

"That's the point when some of us became absolutely frantic to stop the war," Gilbert said. "But it also exposed the mainstream media for what they were covering up."

According to Gilbert, by 1967 a whole network of small radical papers had a combined readership of roughly 6 million, making up a crucial wing of the movement. Of course, it was therefore ripe for targeting by intelligence agencies.

"An important part of the FBI and police offensive to beat the radical movements was to destroy the radical media, a campaign that's detailed in Geoffrey Rips's UnAmerican Activities ," he said.

By the late '60s, largely due to constant pressure from the increasingly powerful anti-war movement, portions of the media started to come around to presenting some of the realities of the Vietnam War. Plus, by then, it was clear the US was likely going to lose the war, US brutality abroad was being exposed to the world, and the political upheaval on the home front was becoming white hot.

Gilbert went on to explain how, then as now, "The hawks waged a concerted campaign to blame that on 'the liberal media,' to the point that this lie has become accepted today."

At that time, the myth of the "liberal media" accomplished several things for the right wing, according to Gilbert. "It's covered up the truth that the US military machine was defeated by a Global South nation, it's convinced the public that the 'truth lies somewhere in between' the hawks and the media, when in fact the media didn't do nearly enough to expose the injustice and horrors of the war, and it's intimidated the media, which fell into line as pure propaganda organs in subsequent wars."

Naomi Jaffe, one of the WUO's founding members who joined in solidarity with movements for Black self-determination, agreed with Gilbert in that pressure from the anti-war movement was a leading factor that pushed the media to share more images of the war. However, she was quite critical of the overall role the media played during Vietnam.

"Remember the Gulf of Tonkin? Not a hint of independent reporting ever questioned it until long after the war was over," Jaffe told Truthout. "The body counts? Regular reports of how the US was winning by killing more 'Viet Cong' every week than could possibly have existed overall."

Bill Ayers, who is married to Dohrn, was also a leader and cofounder of the WUO.

"Empire always, then and now, cloaks itself in the garments of mystification and deceit," Ayers said. "The message from the corporate media was unambiguous: the US loves peace and fights only when it must, and always selflessly in defense of freedom and democracy."

For example, Ayers says, the New York Times announced that it saw the "light at the end of the tunnel" -- the turning point when the war would at long last be turned around and won -- days before the decisive defeat during the Tet Offensive in 1968. In 1966, Walter Cronkite, CBS anchor and the most trusted journalist of his generation, presented a fawning interview with the puppet and fascist Nguyen Cao Ky and called him the George Washington of Viet Nam.

"The lies and misdirection go on and on," Ayers said. "And don't believe the narcissistic media today rewriting its role in moving the country against the war 50 years ago, making itself a forerunner and a major actor, heroizing its efforts and turning reality on its head."

Ayers said it wasn't the media that played a role in helping end the war in Vietnam, it was, by far, the decisive actions of the Vietnamese people themselves "in defeating the most potent military force on earth." He pointed out, "Vietnam was engaged in an authentic social revolution, deep and broad, in which peasants and workers were massively engaged in the overthrow of colonialism and foreign control as well as feudal relationships and capitalism itself."

Moreover, Ayers said, this revolution was part of "the anti-colonial and Third World moment, a context that allowed us to understand the revolution in Vietnam as part of a world phenomenon sweeping from South Africa to Egypt to Chile to Indonesia."

He also pointed to "the important role of the underground -- popular or alternative or movement -- press in the US, and its ability to tap international sources like the Cuban media, for example, to uncover the truth of events."

He sees the typical narrative -- the idea that the military draft made the war real in the eyes of the US public, and the media cemented that reality, helping to end the war -- as skewed. It "buys into a simplistic and largely self-serving explanation," Ayers said. "The Vietnamese revolution and war resistance at home impacted the media coverage, not the other way around."

... ... ... DAHR JAMAIL

Dahr Jamail, a Truthout staff reporter, is the author of The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan (Haymarket Books, 2009), and Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches From an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq (Haymarket Books, 2007). Jamail reported from Iraq for more than a year, as well as from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Turkey over the last 10 years, and has won the Martha Gellhorn Award for Investigative Journalism, among other awards.

His third book, The Mass Destruction of Iraq: Why It Is Happening, and Who Is Responsible , co-written with William Rivers Pitt , is available now on Amazon.

Dahr Jamail is also the author of the book, The End of Ice , forthcoming from The New Press. He lives and works in Washington State.

[Aug 30, 2017] Selected quotes from antiwar.com

Notable quotes:
"... In war, truth is the first casualty. ..."
"... The great armies, accumulated to provide security and preserve the peace, carried the nations to war by their own weight ..."
"... Force always attracts men of low morality ..."
"... The slightest acquaintance with history shows that powerful republics are the most warlike and unscrupulous of nations. ..."
www.moonofalabama.org

Below is a listing of the quotes you see displayed on all Antiwar.com pages. .

  1. History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives. ~Abba Eban About the quote: Israeli diplomat (1915-2002)

  2. Probably, no nation is rich enough to pay for both war and civilization. We must make our choice; we cannot have both. ~Abraham Flexner

  3. Force is all-conquering, but its victories are short-lived. ~Abraham Lincoln
  4. I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends. ~Abraham Lincoln
  5. America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter, and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. ~Abraham Lincoln
  6. We must recognize the chief characteristic of the modern era -- a permanent state of what I call violent peace. ~Admiral James D. Watkins
  7. Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it. ~Adolph Hitler
  8. In war, truth is the first casualty. ~Aeschylus
  9. Any excuse will serve a tyrant. ~Aesop
  10. One is left with the horrible feeling now that war settles nothing; that to win a war is as disastrous as to lose one. ~Agatha Christie
  11. The great armies, accumulated to provide security and preserve the peace, carried the nations to war by their own weight. ~A. J. P. Taylor
  12. No matter what political reasons are given for war, the underlying reason is always economic. ~A. J. P. Taylor
  13. Wars based on principle are far more destructive... the attacker will not destroy that which he is after. ~Alan Watts About the quote: from the book "The Way of Zen"
  14. We used to wonder where war lived, what it was that made it so vile. And now we realize that we know where it lives...inside ourselves. ~Albert Camus

  15. When a war breaks out, people say: "It's too stupid, it can't last long." But though a war may be "too stupid," that doesn't prevent its lasting. ~Albert Camus
  16. The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants. ~Albert Camus
  17. Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding. ~Albert Einstein
  18. It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder. ~Albert Einstein
  19. The release of atomic energy has not created a new problem. It has merely made more urgent the necessity of solving an existing one. ~Albert Einstein
  20. Force always attracts men of low morality. ~Albert Einstein
  21. Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding. ~Albert Einstein
  22. The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing. ~Albert Einstein
  23. It is unfortunately none too well understood that, just as the State has no money of its own, so it has no power of its own. ~Albert J. Nock
  24. What is absurd and monstrous about war is that men who have no personal quarrel should be trained to murder one another in cold blood. ~Aldous Huxley
  25. Even if we are spared destruction by war, our lives will have to change if we want to save life from self-destruction. ~Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  26. The next war ... may well bury Western civilization forever. ~Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  27. Violence can only be concealed by a lie, and the lie can only be maintained by violence. ~Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  28. The demands of internal growth are incomparably more important to us...than the need for any external expansion of our power. ~Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  29. Even if we are spared destruction by war, our lives will have to change if we want to save life from self-destruction. ~Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  30. War paralyzes your courage and deadens the spirit of true manhood. ~Alexander Berkman
  31. Those who stand for nothing fall for anything. ~Alexander Hamilton
  32. O peace! how many wars were waged in thy name. ~Alexander Pope
  33. All those who seek to destroy the liberties of a democratic nation ought to know that war is the surest and shortest means to accomplish it. ~Alexis de Tocqueville
  34. Our modern states are preparing for war without even knowing the future enemy. ~Alfred Adler
  35. War is organized murder and torture against our brothers. ~Alfred Adler
  36. Our modern states are preparing for war without even knowing the future enemy. ~Alfred Adler
  37. War is not the continuation of politics with different means, it is the greatest mass-crime perpetrated on the community of man. ~Alfred Adler
  38. At least we're getting the kind of experience we need for the next war. ~Allen Dulles
  39. The slightest acquaintance with history shows that powerful republics are the most warlike and unscrupulous of nations. ~Ambrose Bierce
  40. Since the end of the World War II, the United States has fought three "small" wars...we lost all three of them and for the same reason--hubris. ~Andrew Greely About the quote: Andrew Greely is a columnist at the Chicago Sun-Times. You can read his articles at http://www.suntimes.com/index/greeley.html
  41. Today the real test of power is not capacity to make war but capacity to prevent it. ~Anne O'Hare McCormick
  42. A great war leaves a country with three armies: an army of cripples, an army of mourners, and an army of thieves. ~Anonymous (German) About the quote: (quote from 'The Anti-War Quote Book,' edited Eric Groves, Sr., pub. Quirk Books, 2008)
  43. Brute force is not our salvation, especially as directed by State central planning and done with little regard for the innocents... ~Anthony Gregory About the quote: Anthony Gregory is a writer and musician from Berkeley, CA. You can read his articles at www.lewrockwell.com About the quote: Anthony Gregory is a writer and musician from Berkeley, CA. You can read his articles at www.lewrockwell.com War is not an adventure. It is a disease. It is like typhus. ~Antoine De Saint-Exupery
  44. Make wars unprofitable and you make them impossible. ~A. Philip Randolph About the quote: Randolph (1889-1979) was an African American civil rights leader. (quote from 'The Anti-War Quote Book,' edited Eric Groves, Sr., pub. Quirk Books, 2008)
  45. Because I do it with one small ship, I am called a terrorist. You do it with a whole fleet and are called an emperor. ~A pirate, from St. Augustine's "City of God"
  46. Old men declare war because they have failed to solve complex political and economic problems. ~Arthur Hoppe About the quote: Hoppe (1925-2000) was an American writer. (quote from 'The Anti-War Quote Book,' edited Eric Groves, Sr., pub. Quirk Books, 2008)
  47. All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. ~Arthur Schopenhauer
  48. Why should we hear about body bags, and deaths...I mean, it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that? ~Barbara Bush About the quote: Mrs. Bush spoke these words on ABC's "Good Morning America," March 18, 2003.
  49. No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots. ~Barbara Ehrenreich
  50. War is the unfolding of miscalculations. ~Barbara Tuchman
  51. You've got to forget about this civilian. Whenever you drop bombs, you're going to hit civilians. ~Barry Goldwater
  52. The world cannot continue to wage war like physical giants and to seek peace like intellectual pygmies. ~Basil O'Connor
  53. War is never a solution; it is an aggravation. ~Benjamin Disraeli
  54. There never was a good war or a bad peace. ~Benjamin Franklin
  55. All wars are follies, very expensive and very mischievous ones. ~Benjamin Franklin
  56. When will mankind be convinced and agree to settle their difficulties by arbitration? ~Benjamin Franklin
  57. I hope....that mankind will at length, as they call themselves responsible creatures, have the reason and sense enough to settle their differences without cutting throats... ~Benjamin Franklin
  58. Those who give up essential liberties for temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. ~Benjamin Franklin
  59. We Americans have no commission from God to police the world. ~Benjamin Harrison About the quote: from an 1888 address to Congress
  60. The Atomic Age is here to stay-- but are we? ~Bennett Cerf
  61. Let us not deceive ourselves; we must elect world peace or world destruction. ~Bernard M. Baruch
  62. War does not determine who is right, only who is left. ~Bertrand Russell
  63. Can anything be more ridiculous than that a man has a right to kill me because he lives on the other side of the water, and because his ruler has quarrel with mine, although I have none with him? ~Blaise Pascal
  64. The terrorist is the one with the small bomb. ~Brendan Behan
  65. After each war there is a little less democracy left to save. ~Brooks Atkinson About the quote: Atkinson was an American journalist who lived from 1864-1984. (quote from 'The Anti-War Quote Book,' edited Eric Groves, Sr., pub. Quirk Books, 2008)
  66. Blind faith in your leaders or in anything will get you killed. ~Bruce Springsteen About the quote: This was part of Springsteen's introduction to his 1985 version of Edwin Starr's song 'War.' In this war – as in others – I am less interested in honoring the dead than in preventing the dead. ~Butler Shaffer
  67. No nation ever had an army large enough to guarantee it against attack in time of peace, or ensure it of victory in time of war. ~Calvin Coolidge
  68. The political object is the goal, war is the means of reaching it, and the means can never be considered in isolation from their purposes. ~Carl P. G. von Clausewitz
  69. War is not an independent phenomenon, but the continuation of politics by different means. ~Carl P. G. von Clausewitz
  70. Politics is the womb in which war develops. ~Carl P. G. von Clausewitz
  71. The tyranny of a prince in an oligarchy is not so dangerous to public welfare as the apathy of a citizen in a democracy. ~Charles de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu About the quote: from "The Spirit of Laws" (1748)
  72. The voice of protest...is never more needed than when the clamor of fife and drum...is bidding all men...obey in silence the tyrannous word of command. ~Charles Eliot Norton
  73. If a war be undertaken...before the resources of peace have been tried and proved vain to secure it, that war has no defense, it is a national crime. ~Charles Eliot Norton
  74. War should be made a crime, and those who instigate it should be punished as criminals. ~Charles Evans Hughes
  75. The deterioration of every government begins with the decay of the principles on which it was founded. ~Charles-Louis De Secondat About the quote: From "The Spirit of Laws," 1748
  76. [War] is a positive, precise and specific evil, of gigantic proportions ...making within the sphere of its influence all true grandeur impossible. ~Charles Sumner About the quote: From his 1845 speech "The True Grandeur of Nations."
  77. Almost all war making states borrow extensively, raise taxes, and seize the means of combat- including men--from reluctant citizens... ~Charles Tilly
  78. Name me an emperor who was ever struck by a cannonball. ~Charles V of France
  79. The truth is that neither British nor American imperialism was or is idealistic. It has always been driven by economic or strategic interests. ~Charley Reese
  80. War, n: A time-tested political tactic guaranteed to raise a president's popularity rating by at least 30 points. It is especially useful during election years and economic downturns. ~Chaz Bufe
  81. The failure to dissect the cause of war leaves us open for the next installment. ~Chris Hedges
  82. After victory, you have more enemies. ~Cicero
  83. True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else. ~Clarence Darrow
  84. Hell hath no fury like a non-combatant. ~C.L. Montague About the quote: Quote from "Among the Dead Cities," by A.C. Grayling (Walker & Co., 2006).
  85. Chauvinism is a proud and bellicose form of patriotism...which equates the national honor with military victory. ~Colonel James A. Donovan, Marine Corps
  86. The dangerous patriot...is a defender of militarism and its ideals of war and glory. ~Colonel James A. Donovan, Marine Corps
  87. War is never economically beneficial except for those in position to profit from war expenditures. ~Congressman Ron Paul

  88. Setting a good example is a far better way to spread ideals than through force of arms. ~Congressman Ron Paul
  89. As a rule of thumb, if the government wants you to know it, it probably isn't true. ~Craig Murray
  90. Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised "for the good of its victims" may be the most oppressive. ~C. S. Lewis
  91. Do not waste time bothering whether you "love" your neighbor; act as if you did. ~C.S. Lewis
  92. You cannot win a War on Terrorism. It's like having a war on jealousy. ~David Cross
  93. We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. ~Dwight D. Eisenhower
  94. Preventive war was an invention of Hitler. Frankly, I would not even listen to anyone seriously that came and talked about such a thing. ~Dwight D. Eisenhower About the quote: from 1953 There is no glory in battle worth the blood it costs. ~Dwight D. Eisenhower
  95. "Rules of engagement" are a set of guidelines for murder. ~Dr. Teresa Whitehurst
  96. We will bankrupt ourselves in the vain search for absolute security. ~Dwight D. Eisenhower
  97. Tyrants seldom want pretexts. ~Edmund Burke
  98. A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government. ~Edward Abbey
  99. Our "neoconservatives" are neither new nor conservative, but old as Babylon and evil as Hell. ~Edward Abbey About the quote: A naturalist and author, Abbey lived from 1927-1989.
  100. The tragedy of modern war is that the young men die fighting each other--instead of their real enemies back home in the capitals. ~Edward Abbey About the quote: A naturalist and author, Abbey lived from 1927-1989.
  101. Violence is an admission that one's ideas and goals cannot prevail on their own merits. ~Edward M. Kennedy About the quote: Kennedy (b. 1932) is a U.S. Senator (D, MA). (from 'The Anti-War Quote Book,' Quirk Books, Ed. by Eric Groves Sr.)
  102. We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it. ~Edward R. Murrow
  103. History is littered with wars which everybody knew would never happen. ~Enoch Powell
  104. The first casualty of war is not truth, but perspective. Once that's gone, truth, like compassion, reason, and all the other virtues, wanders around like a wounded orphan. ~Ente Grillenhaft
  105. We must get away from the idea that America is to be the leader of the world in everything. ~Francis John McConnell
  106. The State acquires power... and because of its insatiable lust for power it is incapable of giving up any of it. The State never abdicates. ~Frank Chodorov
  107. The pertinent question: if Americans did not want these wars should they have been compelled to fight them? ~Frank Chodorov
  108. It is not that power corrupts but that power is a magnet to the corruptible. ~Frank Herbert
  109. All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. ~Frank Herbert
  110. War is a racket. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. ~General Smedley Butler
  111. War is just a racket...I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. ~General Smedley Butler
  112. Our enemies are innovative and resourceful...They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we. ~George W. Bush About the quote: From remarks by the president at the signing of The Defense Appropriations Act for 2005 (8/5/04)
  113. What experience and history teach is this-that people and governments never have learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it. ~Georg W. Hegel
  114. The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders...tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. ~Herman Goering
  115. The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home. ~James Madison
  116. Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war. ~John Adams
  117. Whether or not patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel, national security can be the last refuge of the tyrant. ~Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe About the quote: from 1/14/05
  118. The arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and assistance to foreign hands should be curtailed, lest Rome fall. ~Marcus Tullius Cicero
  119. What is morally wrong can never be advantageous, even when it enables you to make some gain that you believe to be to your advantage. ~Marcus Tullius Cicero
  120. Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. ~Margaret Mead
  121. The shepherd always tries to persuade the sheep that their interests and his own are the same. ~Marie Beyle
  122. It takes more courage to get out of a war than it does to get into one. ~Mark Couturier
  123. Look at you in war...There has never been a just one, never an honorable one, on the part of the instigator of the war. ~Mark Twain About the quote: from "The Mysterious Stranger," published 1910.
  124. Man is the only animal that is cruel. It kills just for the sake of it. ~Mark Twain

  125. Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it. ~Mark Twain
  126. Why, the Government is merely...a temporary servant...Its function is to obey orders, not originate them. ~Mark Twain
  127. Each man must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, which course is patriotic and which isn't. ~Mark Twain
  128. The statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is being attacked, and every man will be glad of these conscience-soothing falsities ~Mark Twain
  129. I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land. ~Mark Twain About the quote: From an interview, 9/15/1900
  130. Be loyal to your country always, and to the government only when it deserves it. ~Mark Twain
  131. Let not your zeal to share your principles entice you beyond your borders. ~Marquis de Sade
  132. Social order at the expense of liberty is hardly a bargain. ~Marquis de Sade
  133. Is it not a strange blindness on our part to teach publicly the techniques of warfare and to reward with medals those who prove to be the most adroit killers? ~Marquis de Sade
  134. What is more immoral than war? ~Marquis de Sade
  135. There are many terrorist states in the world, but the United States is unusual in that it is officially committed to international terrorism. ~Noam Chomsky About the quote: from his book "Necessary Illusions" (p. 270)
  136. Everybody's worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there's a really easy way: stop participating in it. ~Noam Chomsky
  137. Terrorism is the war of the poor, and war is the terrorism of the rich. ~Sir Peter Ustinov
  138. There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare. ~Sun Tzu
  139. The worst crimes were dared by a few, willed by more and tolerated by all. ~Tacitus
  140. To plunder, to slaughter, to steal, these things they misname empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace. ~Tacitus
  141. The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media. ~William Colby, former CIA director About the quote: as quoted by Dave McGowan in his book "Derailing Democracy"
  142. If you want war, nourish a doctrine. Doctrines are the most frightful tyrants to which men ever are subject... ~William Graham Sumner
  143. The greatest crime since World War II has been US foreign policy. ~William Ramsey Clark About the quote: William Ramsey Clark was US Attorney General under Lyndon B. Johnson
  144. The statesman who yields to war fever...is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events. ~Winston Churchill
  145. When you are winning a war almost everything that happens can be claimed to be right and wise. ~Winston Churchill
  146. Wars teach us not to love our enemies, but to hate our allies. ~W. L. George
  147. To fight, you must be brutal and ruthless, and the spirit of ruthless brutality will enter into the very fibre of national life... ~Woodrow Wilson

[Aug 21, 2017] Steve Bannon Plots Fox News Competitor As He Goes To War With Globalists, Report

Notable quotes:
"... Before his death in May, Roger Ailes had sent word to Bannon that he wanted to start a channel together. Bannon loved the idea: He believes Fox is heading in a squishy, globalist direction as the Murdoch sons assume more power. ..."
"... "That's a fight I fight every day here," he said. "We're still fighting. There's Treasury and [National Economic Council chair] Gary Cohn and Goldman Sachs lobbying." ..."
"... The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over I feel jacked up Now I'm free. I've got my hands back on my weapons ..."
Aug 21, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
Axios: that part of that war effort might include a brand new cable news network to the right of Fox News.

Axios' Jonathan Swan hears Bannon has told friends he sees a massive opening to the right of Fox News , raising the possibility that he's going to start a network. Bannon's friends are speculating about whether it will be a standalone TV network, or online streaming only.

Before his death in May, Roger Ailes had sent word to Bannon that he wanted to start a channel together. Bannon loved the idea: He believes Fox is heading in a squishy, globalist direction as the Murdoch sons assume more power.

Now he has the means, motive and opportunity: His chief financial backer, Long Island hedge fund billionaire Bob Mercer, is ready to invest big in what's coming next, including a huge overseas expansion of Breitbart News. Of course, this new speculation comes after Bannon declared last Friday that he was " going to war" for Trump ...

" If there's any confusion out there, let me clear it up. I'm leaving the White House and going to war for Trump against his opponents... on Capitol Hill, in the media, and in corporate America,

Meanwhile, with regard his internal adversaries , at the departments of State and Defense, who think the United States can enlist Beijing's aid on the North Korean standoff, and at Treasury and the National Economic Council who don't want to mess with the trading system, Bannon was ever harsher...

"Oh, they're wetting themselves," he said, explaining that the Section 301 complaint, which was put on hold when the war of threats with North Korea broke out, was shelved only temporarily, and will be revived in three weeks. As for other cabinet departments, Bannon has big plans to marginalize their influence.

"That's a fight I fight every day here," he said. "We're still fighting. There's Treasury and [National Economic Council chair] Gary Cohn and Goldman Sachs lobbying."

Finally, perhaps no one can summarize what Bannon has planned for the future than Bannon himself:

"The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over I feel jacked up Now I'm free. I've got my hands back on my weapons.

I am definitely going to crush the opposition. There's no doubt. I built a f***ing machine at Breitbart. And now we're about to rev that machine up."

[Aug 21, 2017] As President Trump considers sending more troops to Afghanistan, it's worth recalling the modern U.S. dynamic of politicians and generals making misguided judgments about war, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Aug 21, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Posted by: mauisurfer | Aug 20, 2017 7:58:16 PM | 10

By Ray McGovern

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/08/20/truth-and-lives-vs-career-and-fame/

[Aug 21, 2017] Truth and Lives vs. Career and Fame by Ray McGovern

Notable quotes:
"... New York Times ..."
Aug 21, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Fifty years ago, I could have tried to stop the Vietnam War, but lacked the courage. On Aug. 20, 1967, we at CIA received a cable from Saigon containing documentary proof that the U.S. commander, Gen. William Westmoreland, and his deputy, Gen. Creighton Abrams, were lying about their "success" in fighting the Vietnamese Communists. I live with regret that I did not blow the whistle on that when I could have.

(I wrote about this two years ago: " The Lasting Pain from Vietnam Silence ," republished below.)

Why raise this now? Because President Donald Trump has surrounded himself with starry-eyed generals (or generals with their eyes focused on their careers). And he seems to have little inkling that they got their multiple stars under a system where the Army motto "Duty, Honor, Country" can now be considered as "quaint" and "obsolete" as the Bush-Cheney administration deemed the Geneva Conventions.

All too often, the number of ribbons and merit badges festooned on the breasts of U.S. generals these days (think of the be-medaled Gen. David Petraeus, for example) is in direct proportion to the lies they have told in saluting smartly and abetting the unrealistic expectations of their political masters (and thus winning yet another star).

In my apologia that follows, the concentration is on the crimes of Westmoreland and the generations of careerist generals who aped him. There is not enough space to describe (or even list) those sycophantic officers here.

There are, sadly, far fewer senior officers who were exceptions, who put the true interests of the country ahead of their own careers. The list of general officers with integrity – the extreme exceptions to the rule – is even shorter. Only three spring immediately to mind: two generals and one admiral, all three of them cashiered for doing their job with honesty. What they experienced was instructive and remains so to this day.

1-On February 25, 2003, three weeks before the attack on Iraq, Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki warned the Senate Armed Services Committee that post-war Iraq would require "something on the order of several hundred thousand soldiers." He was immediately ridiculed by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, for having exaggerated the requirement. Shinseki retired a few months later.

2-Army General David McKiernan was cut from the same cloth. When President Barack Obama took office, McKiernan was running the war in Afghanistan. Even before Obama's election, he had expressed himself openly and strongly against applying the benighted Iraq-style "surge" of forces to Afghanistan, emphasizing that Afghanistan is "a far more complex environment than I ever found in Iraq," where he had led U.S. ground forces.

"The word I don't use for Afghanistan is 'surge,'" McKiernan told a news conference on Oct. 1, 2008. He warned that a large, sustained military buildup would be necessary to achieve any meaningful success. Worse still for the Washington Establishment, McKiernan added a stunning "no-no" – he said to achieve anything approaching a satisfactory outcome would take a decade, perhaps 14 years. Imagine!

Former CIA Director (and later Defense Secretary) Robert Gates.

For his political bosses, that cautionary realism was too much. On May 11, 2009, the Defense Secretary whom Obama's predecessor bequeathed to him, Robert Gates, sacked McKiernan, who had been in command less than a year. Gates replaced him with the swashbuckling Gen. Stanley McChrystal, a protégé of Gen. (and later CIA Director) David Petraeus.

Now, more than eight years later – with the American death toll almost quadrupled since the start of the Obama administration ( now exceeding 2,400 ), with a vastly greater death toll among Afghan civilians and with the U.S. military position even more precarious – President Trump is receiving advice to dispatch more U.S. troops.

3-Admiral William J. ("Fox") Fallon , one of the last Vietnam War veterans on active duty late into George W. Bush's administration, took over as chief of the Central Command on March 16, 2007. Fallon had already come under heavy criticism from the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute for not being hawkish enough.

Fallon had also been confronting Vice President Dick Cheney's desire to commit U.S. forces to another Mideast war, with Iran. As Fallon was preparing to take responsibility for U.S. forces in the region, he declared that a war with Iran "isn't going to happen on my watch," according to retired Army Col. Patrick Lang who told the Washington Post.

Gen. David Petraeus posing before the U.S. Capitol with Kimberly Kagan, founder and president of the Institute for the Study of War. (Photo credit: ISW's 2011 Annual Report)

Fallon's lack of patience with yes-men turned out to be yet another bureaucratic black mark against him. Several sources have reported that Fallon was sickened by David Petraeus's earlier, unctuous pandering to ingratiate himself with Fallon, his superior (for all-too-short a time). Fallon is said to have been so turned off by all the accolades in a flowery introduction given him by Petraeus that he called him to his face "an ass-kissing little chicken-shit," adding, "I hate people like that."

Fallon lasted not quite a full year. On March 11, 2008, Gates announced the resignation of Fallon as CENTCOM Commander, but Fallon's resistance to a war on Iran bought enough time for the U.S. intelligence community to reach a consensus that Iran had stopped work on a nuclear bomb years earlier, thus removing President Bush's intended excuse for going to war.

A Troubling Message

Sadly, however, the message to aspiring military commanders from this history is that there is little personal gain in doing what's best for the American people and the world. The promotions and the prestige normally go to the careerists who bend to the self-aggrandizing realities of Official Washington. They are the ones who typically become esteemed "wise men," the likes of Gen. Colin Powell, who went with the political winds (from his days as a young officer in Vietnam through his tenure as Secretary of State).

Someone needs to tell President Trump what Veteran Intelligence Professionals