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From Military-Industrial Complex to Media-Military-Industrial Complex: Review of literature

a

The mainstream media of the US is owned lock, stock, and barrel by the military industrial complex.
 If you want to call it anything, you can call it the ‘military [industrial] media,’  The military makes money by making war;
they buy the media to promote war... The military industrial media in the United States is depending on being able to speak
to a captive audience of uninformed viewers… The military controls the media because they own them.- John Bosnitch

Pseudoscience  > Who Rules America

News National Security State Recommended Links The Deep State The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies Classified America: Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism
Neo-fascism Neoconservatism Predator state American Exceptionalism New American Militarism Ethno-lingustic Nationalism Nation under attack meme
Corporatism War is racket Totalitarian Decisionism & Human Rights: The Re-emergence of Nazi Law National Socialism and Military Keysianism US and British media are servants of security apparatus War is a Racket - Incredible Essay by General Smedley Butler Economics of Peak Energy
National Security State / Surveillance State Big Uncle is Watching You Social Sites as intelligence collection tools Is Google evil ? Bureaucracy as a Political Coalition Military Bureaucracy and Military Incompetence Bureaucratic Collectivism
Color revolutions Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Nulandgate Sanctions against Russia Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? The Far Right Forces in Ukraine Russian Ukrainian Gas wars
The Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum Homepage Neoliberal Brainwashing: Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few History of American False Flag Operations JFK assassination as a turning event in US history Mystery of Building 7 Collapse Allan Dulles  
Understanding Mayberry Machiavellis  Ron Paul War and Peace Quotes Corporatism quotes Politically Incorrect Humor Humor Etc

Due to the size the introduction was moves to a separate page

Abstract

If the ability to anticipate future dangers for the nation is the mark of a truly great president then Dwight D. Eisenhower is the greatest president of the XX century.  He was the last Republican president to deliver broad-based prosperity. During his presidency, the gains from growth were widely shared and the incomes of the poorest fifth actually grew faster than the incomes of the top fifth. As a result, America became more equal than ever before or since. Under Ike, the marginal tax rate on the richest Americans reached 91%. Eisenhower also presided over the creation of the interstate highway system – the largest infrastructure project in American history — as well as the nation’s biggest expansion of public schools. It’s no coincidence that when Eisenhower was president, over a third of all private sector workers were unionized. Ike can’t be credited for this but at least he didn’t try to stop it or legitimize firing striking workers, as did Ronald Reagan.

At the same time Dwight D. Eisenhower was an architect of the USA "deep state" and subverting by deep state of the remnants of constitutional republic that survived WWII. As part of his own contribution to the creation of military-industrial complex, Eisenhower had overseen the creation of both the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA, and a "high-risk, high-gain" research unit called the Advanced Research Projects Agency, or ARPA, that later added the word "Defense" to its name and became DARPA.

The backbone of military industrial complex is not Pentagon (although it is definitely the important part of it). It is three letter agencies such as CIA, FBI, NSA and ONI.  David Talbot's book The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government fingers CIA director Allen Dulles as the person who plotted and directed the JFK assassination, and portrays him as a psychopath who managed to rise to the high echelons of power. Unfortunately, the book has problems with  history, as explained by David M. Barrett in this review.   And the story of rise of power and influence of CIA, FBI and NSA is the key part of the story of the US military industrial complex.  With the key personal role of Eisenhower in this rise.  In other words he was the actual creator of "regime change" machine within the CIA (America's Legacy of Regime Change by Stephen Kinzer):

It was not only the Dulles brothers, however, who brought the United States into the regime-change era in the early 1950s. Eisenhower himself was a fervent advocate of covert action. Officially his defense and security policy, which he called the "New Look," rested on two foundations, a smaller army and an increased nuclear arsenal. In reality, the "New Look" had a third foundation: covert action. Eisenhower may have been the last president to believe that no one would ever discover what he sent the CIA to do. With a soldier's commitment to keeping secrets, he never admitted that he had ordered covert regime-change operations, much less explained why he favored them.

BTW it was Dwight D. Eisenhower who appointed Dulles brothers to CIA and State Department creating the most dangerous and reckless tandem the USA history ever known and putting the last nail into the coffin of constitutional republic.  It was his administration that organized coupe on Iran deposing legitimate government and installing a puppet regime, the prolog of many color revolutions accomplished the USA ever since (including Chile, and many other Latin American republics, and later the xUSSR space). See The Brothers John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War Stephen Kinzer. 


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"All democracies turn into dictatorships - but not by coup. The people give their democracy to a dictator, whether it's Julius Caesar or Napoleon or Adolf Hitler. Ultimately, the general population goes along with the idea... That's the issue that I've been exploring: How did the Republic turn into the Empire ... and how does a democracy become a dictatorship? "

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[Jul 22, 2019] Zionists in the Bush Administration

Jul 22, 2019 | newobserveronline.com

Zionists in the Bush Administration

The IASPS conference study group leader was a Zionist named Richard Perle, who attended as a delegate from the American Enterprise Institute; while another Jewish neocon named Douglas Feith attended as a representative of Feith and Zell Associates.

Both these individuals then emerged as key players in the Bush administration: Perle was Chairman of George Bush's Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee, and Feith became Under Secretary of Defense and the Pentagon's Policy Advisor.

They were joined by a long list of similarly Israel-first Zionists in the Bush administration:

The scene was now set: all they needed was an excuse to maneuver America into destroying Iraq for the benefit of Israel, according to the plan which Perle and Feith had already helped to map out.

[Jul 22, 2019] All Hail Europe's Permanent Ruling Class

Notable quotes:
"... That said, Germany's military readiness directly relates to the invasion threat from Russia Europe actually faces. I.e., ZERO. Washington should take note but of course it won't because there is no money in it for the American Merchants of Death. And the Generals inside the Pentagon just have too much fun fear-mongering about illusory existential enemies. ..."
"... As Politico recently reported, "an investigative committee of the German parliament -- the toughest instrument that lawmakers can use to probe government misdeeds -- is digging into how lucrative contracts from her ministry were awarded to outside consultants without proper oversight ..."
"... Yet another U.S. mirror image. Because that is exactly how inside baseball works in the Pentagon acquisition system. von der Leyen as a European Hack is no worse than the Washington / Pentagon Hacks on the other side of the Atlantic. Note, MIC lifer and Raytheon parasite Mark Esper currently sitting in the Big Seat in the Pentagon. You can be sure that DoD reform is way down on his bucket list. ..."
Jul 22, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Meet Ursula von der Leyen, the new president-elect of the European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union.

Like all those soon to occupy positions of power in the EU, von der Leyen did not run in the recent European elections for the position she is about to hold. She did not participate in the debates in front of various national electorates. But she was chosen -- after the elections -- by the political class in Brussels, ostensibly for her faith in and loyalty to the European superstate, and personally to the German chancellor Angela Merkel.

Since 2013, von der Leyen has been the German defense minister. During that time, a parliamentary report exposed German planes that can't fly and guns that don't shoot. Fewer than a fifth of Germany's helicopters are combat ready. Luftwaffe revealed that most of its 128 Typhoon jets were not ready to leave ground. All of Germany's six submarines were out of commission.

Another report by the Rand Corporation , a think tank, revealed that it would take Germany a month to mobilize in the case of a Russian invasion of the Baltic States. Von der Leyen is very unpopular in the German army , but very popular with the Eurocrats. She's a fervent supporter of a European army and a "United States of Europe" -- the ultimate qualification for being president of the European Commission.

But there is more to the von der Leyen story. As Politico recently reported , "an investigative committee of the German parliament -- the toughest instrument that lawmakers can use to probe government misdeeds -- is digging into how lucrative contracts from her ministry were awarded to outside consultants without proper oversight, and whether a network of informal personal connections facilitated those deals."

The scent of corruption is a common element among those who are to hold key positions in the European Union over the next few years. Josep Borrell, minister of foreign affairs for the socialist government of Spain, was fined 30,000 euros for insider trading. He is expected to hold the foreign policy post in the European Commission.

Christine Lagarde, most recently chief of the IMF, was involved in the case of an arbitration panel that awarded a massive payout to a French tycoon while she was the finance minister of France. A special court for ministerial misconduct found her guilty of "negligence" but "waived any punishment or criminal record, citing her 'international reputation' and role in dealing with 'the international financial crisis.'" A marvelously L'état, C'est Moi form of legal reasoning. Lagarde is expected to be the next president of the European Central Bank.

The common threads of corruption, incompetence, and lack of accountability are what unites a political class that has divorced itself from the concerns of the average European. In the last days before her confirmation, von der Leyen pursued a charm offensive that included a commitment to a "Green New Deal," a continuation of an open borders policy , and a further deepening and enlargement of the European superstate. This included the story of her having offered hospitality to a Syrian immigrant who "now speaks German fluently."

Emmanuel Macron: Trade Wars for Me, But Not for Thee Voters in Europe Just Smashed the Mainstream Establishment

Obviously von der Leyen would never have won the May elections running on an agenda like that. But of course, she never had to run a campaign to win the votes of the peoples of Europe. The campaign that she did run was premised on her having built "an extensive international network in politics and business," as another Politico story put it .

Von der Leyen thrived in the networking atmosphere of World Economic Forum meetings, where she "serves on the organization's board of trustees," Politico noted, adding, "She's also forged close ties to powerful figures outside the world of politics, most notably Bertelsmann, Europe's largest media company, which owns RTL, the Continent's largest commercial broadcaster, book publisher Random House and a stable of magazines."

A senior Green quoted for the article said her fluency in French has helped her establish a rapport with the French political class that is unrivaled in Berlin.

It's clear that von der Leyen's domestic record appears to have had little effect on her election -- what matters is that she is universally liked by the who's who. "What matters most in these circles is the personal connection," said an adviser to the leader of one of the EU's smaller member states.

Those who count and those who are to be ruled are not the same group of people. That seems to be the essence of modern European politics: a political class and ideological cult that masquerades as a competent technocratic elite, despite its long and disastrous history. Von der Leyen's terrible record as defense minister meant nothing. Neither did Lagarde's record as head of the IMF, where, for instance, the Greek debt crisis was transformed into a social catastrophe. The deciding factor was their dedication to something that "those who count" are committed to. Elections are merely a necessary, archaic ritual of legitimization.

Napoleon Linarthatos is a writer based in New York.


Parrhesia 10 hours ago

On Monday 22 July 1940, a major meeting was held at the Reich Economic Ministry in Berlin, under the chairmanship of Minister Walther Funk, to discuss a directive issued by Hermann Göring on 22 June, concerning the organization of a Greater European Economic Area under German leadership. The Germans were well advanced with their plans for a post-war settlement. One of the difficulties of planning lay in the fact that the Führer's aims and decisions were not yet known and the military measures against Britain were not yet concluded.

Plus ça change........

Lars 10 hours ago
What? A techno-managerial clique ruling the rest of us Great Unwashed (see "Deplorables")? It couldn't happen here, could it? It's OK if they went to the right schools, isn't it?
genocidal_maniac 10 hours ago
Too much use if the word disastrous. Disastrous is what Wilhelm II did to the German empire. This is not disastrous, but it is concerning like a rudderless ship.
Salt Lick 7 hours ago
Today's Holy Roman Empire.

Voltaire's comment back then still rings true."It was neither Holy, Roman nor an Empire."

Sid Finster 7 hours ago
Don't be asinine. Russia is not going to invade anything and has no claim on any part of western Europe. The only thing the German military is good for is for sucking up additional budgetary funds.
SteveM 6 hours ago
Another report by the Rand Corporation, a think tank, revealed that it would take Germany a month to mobilize in the case of a Russian invasion of the Baltic States.

For the sake of completeness, the Rand Corporation is actually a marketing arm of the Pentagon fully funded by the U.S. government.

That said, Germany's military readiness directly relates to the invasion threat from Russia Europe actually faces. I.e., ZERO. Washington should take note but of course it won't because there is no money in it for the American Merchants of Death. And the Generals inside the Pentagon just have too much fun fear-mongering about illusory existential enemies.

Of course that does not dismiss the charges of cronyism and corruption associated with Ursula von der Leyen. But re:

But there is more to the von der Leyen story. As Politico recently reported, "an investigative committee of the German parliament -- the toughest instrument that lawmakers can use to probe government misdeeds -- is digging into how lucrative contracts from her ministry were awarded to outside consultants without proper oversight , and whether a network of informal personal connections facilitated those deals."

Yet another U.S. mirror image. Because that is exactly how inside baseball works in the Pentagon acquisition system. von der Leyen as a European Hack is no worse than the Washington / Pentagon Hacks on the other side of the Atlantic. Note, MIC lifer and Raytheon parasite Mark Esper currently sitting in the Big Seat in the Pentagon. You can be sure that DoD reform is way down on his bucket list.

The real story is that taxpayers on both NATO poles are played for chumps by the Power Elites.

[Jul 22, 2019] War Profiteers And The Demise Of The US Military-Industrial Complex

Jul 22, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Dmitry Orlov via Club Orlov blog,

Within the vast bureaucratic sprawl of the Pentagon there is a group in charge of monitoring the general state of the military-industrial complex and its continued ability to fulfill the requirements of the national defense strategy. Office for acquisition and sustainment and office for industrial policy spends some $100,000 a year producing an Annual Report to Congress. It is available to the general public. It is even available to the general public in Russia, and Russian experts had a really good time poring over it.

In fact, it filled them with optimism. You see, Russia wants peace but the US seems to want war and keeps making threatening gestures against a longish list of countries that refuse to do its bidding or simply don't share its "universal values." But now it turns out that threats (and the increasingly toothless economic sanctions) are pretty much all that the US is still capable of dishing out -- this in spite of absolutely astronomical levels of defense spending.

Let's see what the US military-industrial complex looks like through a Russian lens.

It is important to note that the report's authors were not aiming to force legislators to finance some specific project. This makes it more valuable than numerous other sources, whose authors' main objective was to belly up to the federal feeding trough, and which therefore tend to be light on facts and heavy on hype. No doubt, politics still played a part in how various details are portrayed, but there seems to be a limit to the number of problems its authors can airbrush out of the picture and still do a reasonable job in analyzing the situation and in formulating their recommendations.

What knocked Russian analysis over with a feather is the fact that these INDPOL experts (who, like the rest of the US DOD, love acronyms) evaluate the US military-industrial complex from a market-based perspective! You see, the Russian military-industrial complex is fully owned by the Russian government and works exclusively in its interests; anything else would be considered treason. But the US military-industrial complex is evaluated based on its profitability! According to INDPOL, it must not only produce products for the military but also acquire market share in the global weapons trade and, perhaps most importantly, maximize profitability for private investors. By this standard, it is doing well: for 2017 the gross margin (EBITDA) for US defense contractors ranged from 15 to 17%, and some subcontractors - Transdigm, for example - managed to deliver no less than 42-45%. "Ah!" cry the Russian experts, "We've found the problem! The Americans have legalized war profiteering !" (This, by the way, is but one of many instances of something called systemic corruption, which is rife in the US.)

It would be one thing if each defense contractor simply took its cut off the top, but instead there is an entire food chain of defense contractors, all of which are legally required, no less, to maximize profits for their shareholders. More than 28,000 companies are involved, but the actual first-tier defense contractors with which the Pentagon places 2/3 of all defense contracts are just the Big Six: Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, General Dynmics, BAE Systems and Boeing. All the other companies are organized into a pyramid of subcontractors with five levels of hierarchy, and at each level they do their best to milk the tier above them.

The insistence on market-based methods and the requirement of maximizing profitability turns out to be incompatible with defense spending on a very basic level: defense spending is intermittent and cyclical, with long fallow intervals between major orders. This has forced even the Big Six to make cuts to their defense-directed departments in favor of expanding civilian production. Also, in spite of the huge size of the US defense budget, it is of finite size (there being just one planet to blow up), as is the global weapons market. Since, in a market economy, every company faces the choice of grow or get bought out, this has precipitated scores of mergers and acquisitions, resulting in a highly consolidated marketplace with a few major players in each space.

As a result, in most spaces, of which the report's authors discuss 17, including the Navy, land forces, air force, electronics, nuclear weapons, space technology and so on, at least a third of the time the Pentagon has a choice of exactly one contractor for any given contract, causing quality and timeliness to suffer and driving up prices.

In a number of cases, in spite of its industrial and financial might, the Pentagon has encountered insoluble problems. Specifically, it turns out that the US has only one shipyard left that is capable of building nuclear aircraft carriers (at all, that is; the USS Gerald Ford is not exactly a success). That is Northrop Grumman Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport, Virginia. In theory, it could work on three ships in parallel, but two of the slips are permanently occupied by existing aircraft carriers that require maintenance. This is not a unique case: the number of shipyards capable of building nuclear submarines, destroyers and other types of vessels is also exactly one. Thus, in case of a protracted conflict with a serious adversary in which a significant portion of the US Navy has been sunk, ships will be impossible to replace within any reasonable amount of time.

The situation is somewhat better with regard to aircraft manufacturing. The plants that exist can produce 40 planes a month and could produce 130 a month if pressed. On the other hand, the situation with tanks and artillery is absolutely dismal. According to this report, the US has completely lost the competency for building the new generation of tanks. It is no longer even a question of missing plant and equipment; in the US, a second generation of engineers who have never designed a tank is currently going into retirement. Their replacements have no one to learn from and only know about modern tanks from movies and video games. As far as artillery, there is just one remaining production line in the US that can produce barrels larger than 40mm; it is fully booked up and would be unable to ramp up production in case of war. The contractor is unwilling to expand production without the Pentagon guaranteeing at least 45% utilization, since that would be unprofitable.

The situation is similar for the entire list of areas; it is better for dual-use technologies that can be sourced from civilian companies and significantly worse for highly specialized ones. Unit cost for every type of military equipment goes up year after year while the volumes being acquired continuously trend lower -- sometimes all the way to zero. Over the past 15 years the US hasn't acquired a single new tank. They keep modernizing the old ones, but at a rate that's no higher than 100 a year.

Because of all these tendencies and trends, the defense industry continues to lose not only qualified personnel but also the very ability to perform the work. INDPOL experts estimate that the deficit in machine tools has reached 27%. Over the past quarter-century the US has stopped manufacturing a wide variety of manufacturing equipment. Only half of these tools can be imported from allies or friendly nations; for the rest, there is just one source: China. They analyzed the supply chains for 600 of the most important types of weapons and found that a third of them have breaks in them while another third have completely broken down. In the Pentagon's five-tier subcontractor pyramid, component manufacturers are almost always relegated to the bottommost tier, and the notices they issue when they terminate production or shut down completely tend to drown in the Pentagon's bureaucratic swamp.

The end result of all this is that theoretically the Pentagon is still capable of doing small production runs of weapons to compensate for ongoing losses in localized, low-intensity conflicts during a general time of peace, but even today this is at the extreme end of its capabilities. In case of a serious conflict with any well-armed nation, all it will be able to rely on is the existing stockpile of ordnance and spare parts, which will be quickly depleted.

A similar situation prevails in the area of rare earth elements and other materials for producing electronics. At the moment, the accumulated stockpile of these supplies needed for producing missiles and space technology -- most importantly, satellites -- is sufficient for five years at the current rate of use.

The report specifically calls out the dire situation in the area of strategic nuclear weapons. Almost all the technology for communications, targeting, trajectory calculations and arming of the ICBM warheads was developed in the 1960s and 70s. To this day, data is loaded from 5-inch floppy diskettes, which were last mass-produced 15 years ago. There are no replacements for them and the people who designed them are busy pushing up daisies. The choice is between buying tiny production runs of all the consumables at an extravagant expense and developing from scratch the entire land-based strategic triad component at the cost of three annual Pentagon budgets.

There are lots of specific problems in each area described in the report, but the main one is loss of competence among technical and engineering staff caused by a low level of orders for replacements or for new product development. The situation is such that promising new theoretical developments coming out of research centers such as DARPA cannot be realized given the present set of technical competencies. For a number of key specializations there are fewer than three dozen trained, experienced specialists.

This situation is expected to continue to deteriorate, with the number of personnel employed in the defense sector declining 11-16% over the next decade, mainly due to a shortage of young candidates qualified to replace those who are retiring. A specific example: development work on the F-35 is nearing completion and there won't be a need to develop a new jet fighter until 2035-2040; in the meantime, the personnel who were involved in its development will be idled and their level of competence will deteriorate.

Although at the moment the US still leads the world in defense spending ($610 billion of $1.7 trillion in 2017, which is roughly 36% of all the military spending on the planet) the US economy is no longer able to support the entire technology pyramid even in a time of relative peace and prosperity. On paper the US still looks like a leader in military technology, but the foundations of its military supremacy have eroded. Results of this are plainly visible:

All of this points to the fact that the US is no longer much a military power at all. This is good news for at least the following four reasons.

First, the US is by far the most belligerent country on Earth, having invaded scores of nations and continuing to occupy many of them. The fact that it can't fight any more means that opportunities for peace are bound to increase.

Second, once the news sinks in that the Pentagon is nothing more than a flush toilet for public funds its funding will be cut off and the population of the US might see the money that is currently fattening up war profiteers being spent on some roads and bridges, although it's looking far more likely that it will all go into paying interest expense on federal debt (while supplies last).

Third, US politicians will lose the ability to keep the populace in a state of permanent anxiety about "national security." In fact, the US has "natural security" -- two oceans -- and doesn't need much national defense at all (provided it keeps to itself and doesn't try to make trouble for others). The Canadians aren't going to invade, and while the southern border does need some guarding, that can be taken care of at the state/county level by some good ol' boys using weapons and ammo they already happen to have on hand. Once this $1.7 trillion "national defense" monkey is off their backs, ordinary American citizens will be able to work less, play more and feel less aggressive, anxious, depressed and paranoid.

Last but not least, it will be wonderful to see the war profiteers reduced to scraping under sofa cushions for loose change. All that the US military has been able to produce for a long time now is misery, the technical term for which is "humanitarian disaster." Look at the aftermath of US military involvement in Serbia/Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen, and what do you see? You see misery -- both for the locals and for US citizens who lost their family members, had their limbs blown off, or are now suffering from PTSD or brain injury. It would be only fair if that misery were to circle back to those who had profited from it.

Tags War Conflict

[Jul 21, 2019] Merchants of Death business uber alles" as the new interpretation of "Drain the Swamp" election time slogan by Trump administration

"Drain the swamp" now means good times for Raytheon.
Jul 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

rwe2late , 1 hour ago link

Draining the swamp means hiring the lobbyists

- Orwell

...err, I meant Trump.

War is Peace

- well, now that's Orwell

(and many others in government and elsewhere)

Klassenfeind , 2 hours ago link

The Donald Trump Administration is looking more and more like George W. Bush's Administration: a dumb clueless idiot surrounded by neocons.

Remember Donald Rumsfeld , Karl Rove, Condoleezza Rice, John Bolton , George Tenet, Henry Paulson, Paul Wolfowitz , and **** Cheney from the George W Bush Administration?

Tell me Trumptards, what's so "different this time" about Donald Trump hiring Bolton, Pompeo, Mattis/Shanahan/Esper, Haley, Haspel and Mnuchin?

[Jul 20, 2019] New US Pentagon Chief Vested Interest in War Conflict

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "President Trump's Cabinet is already rife with corruption, stocked full of former lobbyists and other private industry power players who don't seem to mind leveraging their government positions to enrich themselves personally. Esper should fit right in," ..."
"... The linkage between officials in US government, the Pentagon and private manufacturers is a notorious example of "revolving door". It is not unusual, or even remarkable, that individuals go from one sector to another and vice versa. That crony relationship is fundamental to the functioning of the "military-industrial complex" which dominates the entire American economy and the fiscal budget ($730 billion annually – half the total discretionary public spend by federal government). ..."
"... Raytheon is a $25 billion company whose business is all about selling missile-defense systems. Its products have been deployed in dozens of countries, including in the Middle East, as well as Japan, Romania and, as of next year, Poland. It is in Raytheon's vital vested interest to capitalize on alleged security threats from Iran, Russia, China and North Korea in order to sell "defense" systems to nations that then perceive a "threat" and need to be "protected". ..."
"... It is a certainty that Esper shares the same worldview, not just for engrained ideological reasons, but also because of his own personal motives for self-aggrandizement as a former employee of Raytheon and quite possibly as a future board member when he retires from the Pentagon. ..."
"... It is also about how US foreign policy and military decisions are formulated and executed, including decisions on matters of conflict and ultimately war. The insidiousness is almost farcical, if the implications weren't so disturbing, worthy of satire from the genre of Dr Strangelove or Catch 22. ..."
"... During senate hearings this week, Esper openly revealed his dubious quality of thinking and the kind of policies he will pursue as Pentagon chief. He told credulous senators that Russia was to blame for the collapse of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. That equates to more Raytheon profits from selling defense systems in Europe. ..."
"... It is ludicrous how blatant a so-called democratic nation (the self-declared "leader of the free world") is in actuality an oligarchic corporate state whose international relations are conducted on the basis of making obscene profits from conflict and war. ..."
Jul 20, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org

Mark Esper is expected to be confirmed in coming days as the new US Secretary of Defense. His appointment is awaiting final Congressional approval after customary hearings this week before senators. The 55-year-old nominee put forward by President Trump was previously a decorated Lieutenant Colonel and has served in government office during the GW Bush administration.

But what stands out as his most conspicuous past occupation is working for seven years as a senior lobbyist for Raytheon, the US' third biggest military manufacturing company. The firm specializes in missile-defense systems, including the Patriot, Iron Dome and the Aegis Ashore system (the latter in partnership with Lockheed Martin).

As Defense Secretary, Esper will be the most senior civilian executive member of the US government, next to the president, on overseeing military policy, including decisions about declaring war and deployment of American armed forces around the globe. His military counterpart at the Pentagon is Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, currently held by Marine General Joseph Dunford who is expected to be replaced soon by General Mark Milley (also in the process of senate hearings).

Esper's confirmation hearings this week were pretty much a rubber-stamp procedure, receiving lame questioning from senators about his credentials and viewpoints. The only exception was Senator Elizabeth Warren, who slammed the potential "conflict of interest" due to his past lobbying service for Raytheon. She said it "smacks of corruption". Other than her solitary objection, Esper was treated with kid gloves by other senators and his appointment is expected to be whistled through by next week. During hearings, the former lobbyist even pointedly refused to recuse himself of any matters involving Raytheon if he becomes the defense boss.

As Rolling Stone magazine quipped on Esper's nomination, "it is as swampy as you'd expect".

"President Trump's Cabinet is already rife with corruption, stocked full of former lobbyists and other private industry power players who don't seem to mind leveraging their government positions to enrich themselves personally. Esper should fit right in," wrote Rolling Stone.

The linkage between officials in US government, the Pentagon and private manufacturers is a notorious example of "revolving door". It is not unusual, or even remarkable, that individuals go from one sector to another and vice versa. That crony relationship is fundamental to the functioning of the "military-industrial complex" which dominates the entire American economy and the fiscal budget ($730 billion annually – half the total discretionary public spend by federal government).

Nevertheless, Esper is a particularly brazen embodiment of the revolving-door's seamless connection.

Raytheon is a $25 billion company whose business is all about selling missile-defense systems. Its products have been deployed in dozens of countries, including in the Middle East, as well as Japan, Romania and, as of next year, Poland. It is in Raytheon's vital vested interest to capitalize on alleged security threats from Iran, Russia, China and North Korea in order to sell "defense" systems to nations that then perceive a "threat" and need to be "protected".

It is a certainty that Esper shares the same worldview, not just for engrained ideological reasons, but also because of his own personal motives for self-aggrandizement as a former employee of Raytheon and quite possibly as a future board member when he retires from the Pentagon. The issue is not just merely about corruption and ethics, huge that those concerns are.

It is also about how US foreign policy and military decisions are formulated and executed, including decisions on matters of conflict and ultimately war. The insidiousness is almost farcical, if the implications weren't so disturbing, worthy of satire from the genre of Dr Strangelove or Catch 22.

How is Esper's advice to the president about tensions with Russia, Iran, China or North Korea, or any other alleged adversary, supposed to be independent, credible or objective? Esper is a de facto lobbyist for the military-industrial complex sitting in the Oval Office and Situation Room. Tensions, conflict and war are meat and potatoes to this person.

During senate hearings this week, Esper openly revealed his dubious quality of thinking and the kind of policies he will pursue as Pentagon chief. He told credulous senators that Russia was to blame for the collapse of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. That equates to more Raytheon profits from selling defense systems in Europe. Also, in a clumsy inadvertent admission he advised that the US needs to get out of the INF in order to develop medium-range missiles to "counter China". The latter admission explains the cynical purpose for why the Trump administration unilaterally ditched the INF earlier this year. It is not about alleged Russian breaches of the treaty; the real reason is for the US to obtain a freer hand to confront China.

It is ludicrous how blatant a so-called democratic nation (the self-declared "leader of the free world") is in actuality an oligarchic corporate state whose international relations are conducted on the basis of making obscene profits from conflict and war.

Little wonder then than bilateral relations between the US and Russia are in such dire condition. Trump's soon-to-be top military advisor Mark Esper is not going to make bilateral relations any better, that's for sure.

Also at a precarious time of possible war with Iran, the last person Trump should consult is someone whose corporate cronies are craving for more weapons sales. The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.

Tags: Esper INF Treaty Pentagon US

[Jul 20, 2019] I want so much to sic Tulsi on creepy, Tio Joe, accomplice of banksters and credit card companies and also of the serial drone murderer.

Jul 20, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

Add his violations of personal space of women and children and he's a perfect candidate for a RICO prosecution, not POTUS.

Oh, well, Warren's on deck; and, if she goes down (no pun intended), there are the unsweet sixteen or so more. Anybody but Bernie, Tulsi or Gravel is no doubt the hope of the establishment, including the PTB of the Democratic Party.

Is Bernie perfect? God, no. None of them are, including Tulsi. Are Bernie and Tulsi evil? I don't think so. I think, at worst, Bernie is doing what he thinks he must in order to represent the people of Vermont and, if he can win, the people of the other forty-nine states, too.

I will not vote for anyone who I believe to be evil, but I will vote for Bernie or Tulsi in the Democratic primary. If nothing else, that will mean one more vote against the rest of the pack...

[Jul 20, 2019] The European Union's New Executive Kowtows to the Left

Jul 20, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Ursula von der Leyen arrives clouded in scandal and ready to implement radical economic policies that will stifle growth.

like Jean-Claude Juncker, she arrives in Brussels with a record of negligence in her country of origin. Whereas Juncker was accused of failing in his duty to inform the Luxembourg Parliament of illegal wiretapping by the intelligence service, von der Leyen was denounced for mismanagement. In October 2018, when she was still Germany's minister of defense, she admitted that her department had made mistakes in awarding contracts to external consultants, amounting to several hundred million euros.

In 2012, Josep Borrell, former president of the European Parliament and former minister in various Spanish socialist governments, was forced to resign from his position as president of the European University Institute (UIE) following allegations of conflicts of interest. At that time, he was receiving €300,000 as a member of the board of directors of the Spanish sustainable energy company Abengoa, while at the same time promoting biofuels through the institute.

Nevertheless, alongside von der Leyen, Borrell is about to be confirmed as the new head of EU diplomacy. Another perfect candidate.

The scandal in Berlin is not the only reason the vote for Von der Leyen was narrow. It was also that socialists and environmentalists weren't given sufficient trade-offs (in their eyes). The European Union is all about distributing the large number of positions and policy priorities between the involved parties, and in this case, the left felt shafted.

The Nationalists Who Could Take Over the European Union Stopped Clocks: The European Union Gets War With Iran Exactly Right

A source from the PiS party (the ruling party in Poland) told journalist Oskar Górzyński of the media company Wirtualna Polska that it was a call from Chancellor Angela Merkel that tipped some Polish MEPs over. What did Mrs. Merkel promise them? More agricultural subsidies? The abandonment of the Article 7 sanction procedure against judicial reforms in Poland? Only Merkel knows that and she won't tell.

Bill Wirtz comments on European politics and policy in English, French, and German. His work has appeared in Newsweek, the Washington Examiner, CityAM, Le Monde, Le Figaro, and Die Welt.

[Jul 20, 2019] The Decline of Our Nation's Generals by Andrew Bacevich

Jul 20, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

... ... ...

The clichés poured forth from Milley's lips with all the practiced smarminess of a car salesman promoting a new line of pickup trucks. But what does this mean in practice, Senator James Inhofe, Senate Armed Services Committee chair, wanted to know? What is General Milley's top priority?

"The very number one for me," Milley replied, "is the modernization, recapitalization of the nation's nuclear triad."

Now pause here for a moment. The triad -- the claim that the safety and security of the United States requires a nuclear strike force consisting of long-range bombers and long-range land-based missiles and missile-firing submarines -- represented fresh thinking some 60 years ago. That was when ICBMs and Polaris submarines were entering service to complement Strategic Air Command's fleet of B47s and B52s. If indeed "the fundamental character of war is changing rapidly," how can it be that Milley's conception of originality is to field glitzier versions of weapons dating back to when he was born? To make such a claim is on a par with arguing that what the U.S. Army needed in 1940 was more horses and the U.S. Navy more battleships.

It is small wonder that so few observers pay serious attention to what senior military officers have to say. What they say is mostly drivel.

Andrew Bacevich is TAC 's writer-at-large and a co-founder of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft.


TomG 17 hours ago

"What they say is mostly drivel."

Pathetic, expensive, immoral, divisive, destructive drivel with no end in sight...

JohnT 17 hours ago
Wow! Finally! No retreat to the comfort of broad generalization like "the eilites" but rather a well considered, on target consideration of one of the individuals in a position of power and responsibility sufficient to make the absolutely necessary changes our remarkable nation's health demands. Thank you!
And, if the general can't make use of well a intended and considered constructive critique he is not the experienced, compassionate adult the task requires.
SteveM 15 hours ago
It is small wonder that so few observers pay serious attention to what senior military officers have to say. What they say is mostly drivel.


Professor Bacevich has this one exactly backwards. Notice that when the sanctified Pentagon Generals make their fear-monger saturated pronouncements there is zero pushback from either the Politicos or the lapdog MSM. It is not that they are not listening. It's that they fully concur because they are intimidated by anyone wearing Stars on their shoulders.

They accept the "drivel" of the Pentagon Brass by default. BTW, which also includes the includes the updated National Defense Strategy which has the U.S. playing belligerent Global Cop in perpetuity and wasting taxpayer dollars out the wazoo.

If anything, the Congress and MSM should be paying more serious attention to the obsolete and unaffordable pronouncements of the Generals and start questioning their own instinctive deference to Pentagon authority which permits the warped, fully militarized and largely failed U.S. foreign policy to continue as is.

interguru 15 hours ago
I am not the first person to note that the US is displaying more and more symptoms of a dying empire. To name a few; a broken political system, crony capitalism, a bloated military, use of mercenaries, and unpayable debt.

The other day, while watching some general being interviewed, I noticed another symptom. He, and other contemporary generals, have so many ribbons and metals on their chest that they could be melted down for ore. I found a site that lets me compare our beribboned commanders with those of yesteryear.

Civil War generals had few or no ribbons. World War I's General of the Armies Pershing displays two rows of narrow ribbons. By World War II General Eisenhower showed three ribbon rows. In 1950 General Bradley showed 6 rows ( you can see a detailed picture here ).

The pictures of today's generals and officers are bedazzling. Just one example, The page describing William J. Gainey, USA, Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman, JCS ( not even a general ), shows a picture with at least 8 rows of ribbons, with a list 24 lines long describing 56 awards after accounting for multiple awards.

As our military officers watch the country fall apart, at least they can fondle their decorations.

baldwin 15 hours ago
The role of the generals and admirals is to advise. They can not make the politicians listen.
Sid Finster 14 hours ago
The absolute last thing this country needs is celebrity generals, or even generals who hold power in the shadows as a sort of eminence grise.
Kent 14 hours ago
Andrew J Bacevich does more for the long-term military strength and international standing of the USA than much of the military and political leadership of this country. A true patriot.
bbkingfish 14 hours ago
Wow. That photograph of Gen. Milley illustrates the author's case beautifully. Worth a thousand words.
marku52 13 hours ago
That was amazing. "War is changing rapidly" coupled with "Most important: updating a 60 year old weapon system"

Not a single world about figuring out why every war since Gulf 1 has been an abject failure? Or the threat of our defense manufacturing infrastructure being sold by Wall Street to China? Not a word?

The man can really talk out of both sides of his mouth, can't he? Should do great on Capitol Hill...

Taras77 13 hours ago
Not sure how we got to this pathetic stage but my guess is that some of the pomposity is directly related to the armies of press following the generals around in Iraq, e.g. petraeus, et al
As a snarky comment, what in the world is with all of these "impressive" ribbons to the top of these generals' shoulders-from what I understand, about 70-80% of them are meaningless, only a few are for combat, valor, some are for merit, but are more or less automatic. Talk about grade creep, how about ribbon creep.
Ike had about one or two rows, all meaningful awards. Marshall had maybe one row, meaningful awards to a very competent general.

Those generals that came out of Iraq and Afghan were mostly mouth pieces for the press and the politicians, i.e. drivel. None of them could win a meaningful engagement without bombing the heck out of civilians and associated cities. In a word, pathetic.

Thomas Cass 12 hours ago
Unless politicians feel pressure to act on military matters in a way that honors their or their constituents' lived experiences, how are they to be incentivized to ask the right questions? Some flavor of draft to increase stakeholders among the citizenry, or a service requirement for government office, might realize the serious attention for which Mr. Bacevich protests here, and drive the selection of better leaders.
James B 11 hours ago
To me for, both the nation and the military, we need to have an update of the high tech weapon systems that the General talks about but we also need to have a reassessment of how we fight wars. The wars the US won are (in my mind) the Revolution and WWII. I think the Civil war was "lost" because although the US defeated the Confederacy it did not reunite the nation. WWI was said to be the war to end all wars - - that didn't happen. No question that both Korea and Vietnam were not won, despite the heroism of those fighting there - - those wars were handled by Washington politics. MacAuthor could have won Korea but was fired. The whole Vietnam was was managed by politics. Now to the middle east. Afghanistan is another example of political warfare as is Iraq and potentially Iran. I believe that a war can be partly won by high tech missiles, bombs, etc. but cannot be actually won except by occupying the ground. We did this in Europe with the troops giving out cigarettes and candy as they patrolled. That made them human to the previous "enemy". Our professional volunteer army doesn't have the manpower to do this. I believe we need to have a secondary low-tech army of drafted men and women who can be trained quickly to be able to follow commands, to use a rifle with accuracy, and to be able to reduce civilian conflict without violent response. The high tech folk require extended training, the low tech force is able to move in and actually win the war. How would this help the nation? It would force people to live and work with a diverse population and realize that we can be a single nation of people of different backgrounds and ethnicity. The "fly over land" people really aren't a bunch of idiot racist red-necks. The coastals are not (all) anxious to destroy America.
Kent James B 11 hours ago
The US didn't just win in WWII because we occupied the ground. We won because we showed the German people that we were happy to fire bomb entire ancient cities and indiscriminately kill their women and children without a second thought.

And we were the good ones to surrender to. The Russians were happy to kill them all, with the exception of a few pretty blonds who would henceforth bear strong Russian boys.

You can't win a war without utterly defeating an entire population. Which is why we can't win our wars. None of these people have done anything to really harm us. And the American people still have enough dignity to not just slaughter these people for no reason. We're not entirely evil, yet.

Steve Naidamast 10 hours ago
I have always wondered what such people mean when they say that the character of warfare is changing and the US has to adopt to such changes.

War is about 2 things; killing and destruction. That in a nutshell is the character of war. Anything else may describe the complexities of tactics and strategies or the causes of such conflicts but the actual features of any conflict are always the same.

The only thing that does change is the types of weapon systems used. The stupidity that has led militaries to use them hasn't changed since the dawn of time...

[Jul 20, 2019] House orders Pentagon to say if it weaponized ticks and released them by John M. Donnelly

Notable quotes:
"... If the answer is yes, then the IG must provide the House and Senate Armed Services committees with a report on the experiments' scope and "whether any ticks or insects used in such experiments were released outside of any laboratory by accident or experiment design." The amendment is an attempt to confirm or deny reports that Pentagon researchers -- at places such as Fort Detrick in Maryland and Plum Island in New York -- implanted diseases into insects to learn about the effects of biological weapons and also looked into using such insects to disseminate biological agents. ..."
"... A book called "Bitten," published this year, makes the case that the Defense Department research occurred and hints at a possible connection between the experiments and the spread of maladies such as Lyme disease, which is borne by ticks. ..."
"... Between 300,000 and 427,000 new cases of Lyme disease occur each year, with further growth expected in the years ahead, said Smith, a founding co-chairman of the Congressional Lyme Disease Caucus, which advocates for greater awareness of the disease and for more funding for research into a cure. ..."
"... Pat Smith, president of the Lyme Disease Association, said in an interview Monday that she is hopeful the IG report could provide information that could save lives. ..."
"... "We need to find out: is there anything in this research that was supposedly done that can help us to find information that is germane to patient health and combating the spread of the disease," she said. ..."
Jul 15, 2019 | www.rollcall.com

The House quietly voted last week to require the Pentagon inspector general to tell Congress whether the department experimented with weaponizing disease-carrying insects and whether they were released into the public realm -- either accidentally or on purpose.

The unusual proposal took the form of an amendment that was adopted by voice vote July 11 during House debate on the fiscal 2020 defense authorization bill, which lawmakers passed the following day.

The amendment, by New Jersey Republican Christopher H. Smith , says the inspector general "shall conduct a review of whether the Department of Defense experimented with ticks and other insects regarding use as a biological weapon between the years of 1950 and 1975."

If the answer is yes, then the IG must provide the House and Senate Armed Services committees with a report on the experiments' scope and "whether any ticks or insects used in such experiments were released outside of any laboratory by accident or experiment design." The amendment is an attempt to confirm or deny reports that Pentagon researchers -- at places such as Fort Detrick in Maryland and Plum Island in New York -- implanted diseases into insects to learn about the effects of biological weapons and also looked into using such insects to disseminate biological agents.

President Richard Nixon banned U.S. government research into biological weapons in 1969, but research into protecting U.S. military personnel from such agents may have continued, Smith said in an interview Monday.

A book called "Bitten," published this year, makes the case that the Defense Department research occurred and hints at a possible connection between the experiments and the spread of maladies such as Lyme disease, which is borne by ticks.

To Smith and other advocates of the Pentagon IG report, studying the past may provide data that can help stem the spread of Lyme disease in the future.

Between 300,000 and 427,000 new cases of Lyme disease occur each year, with further growth expected in the years ahead, said Smith, a founding co-chairman of the Congressional Lyme Disease Caucus, which advocates for greater awareness of the disease and for more funding for research into a cure.

"We need answers and we need them now," Smith said.

Smith's amendment was co-sponsored by Minnesota Democrat Collin C. Peterson , who is the House caucus's other leader, and by Maryland Republican Andy Harris .

Pat Smith, president of the Lyme Disease Association, said in an interview Monday that she is hopeful the IG report could provide information that could save lives.

"We need to find out: is there anything in this research that was supposedly done that can help us to find information that is germane to patient health and combating the spread of the disease," she said.

It remains to be seen whether Congress will send President Donald Trump a defense authorization bill with the weaponized ticks amendment. The Senate has passed its version without any similar provision, and now House and Senate negotiators must reconcile the two bills.

[Jul 20, 2019] the lyme disease bio-weapon mess has got coverage in Le Monde a couple of days ago

Jul 20, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Mina , Jul 19 2019 14:01 utc | 118

speaking of bugs the lyme disease bio-weapon mess has got coverage in Le Monde a couple of days ago
https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/neaxdq/the-conspiracy-theory-thats-got-a-congressman-demanding-a-probe-into-weaponized-ticks
https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2019/07/17/maladie-de-lyme-les-deputes-americains-veulent-savoir-si-l-armee-a-utilise-des-tiques-comme-armes-biologiques_5490385_3210.html

[Jul 20, 2019] Western Interests Aim To Flummox Russia

Notable quotes:
"... One pressure on Putin comes from the Atlanticist Integrationists who have a material stake in their connections to the West and who want Russia to be integrated into the Western world. ..."
"... We agree with President Putin that the sanctions are in fact a benefit to Russia as they have moved Russia in self-sufficient directions and toward developing relationships with China and Asia. ..."
"... It is a self-serving Western myth that Russia needs foreign loans. This myth is enshrined in neoliberal economics, which is a device for Western exploitation and control of other countries. Russia's most dangerous threat is the country's neoliberal economists. ..."
"... Neoliberals argue that Russia needs privatization in order to cover its budget deficit. Russia's government debt is only 17 percent of Russian GDP. According to official measures, US federal debt is 104 percent of GDP, 6.1 times higher than in Russia. If US federal debt is measured in real corrected terms, US federal debt is 185 percent of US GDP. http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/07/08/deteriorating-economic-outlook/ ..."
"... Russia's most dangerous threat is the country's neoliberal economists. ..."
"... Most of Russia's economic block has to be literally purged from their sinecures, some, indeed, have to be "re-educated" near Magadan or Tyumen, or Saransk. Too bad, two of these places are actually not too bad. Others deserved to be executed. Too bad this jackass Gaidar (actually no blood relation to Arkady whatsoever) died before he could be tried for crimes against humanity and genocide. Albeit, some say he died because of his consciousness couldn't take the burden. Looking at his swine face I, somehow, doubt it. ..."
"... This is not a US vs Russia issue. The real conflict is ... Globalism vs Russian nationalism and American nationalism. But since Jews control the media, they've spread the impression that it's about US vs Russia. ..."
"... Trump is an ultra-zionist for Sheldon Adelson and prolongs & creates wars for the Goldman banking crimesyndicat. ..."
"... Voltaire once said, "To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize." ..."
"... You write about Russia but have not done your homework. Russia is very dependent on Western technology and its entire high-tech industry depends on the import of Western machinery. Without such machinery many Russian factories, including military ones, would stall. Very important oil industry is particularly vulnerable. ..."
Mar 03, 2017 | www.unz.com
An article by Robert Berke in oilprice.com, which describes itself as "The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News," illustrates how interest groups control outcomes by how they shape policy choices.

Berke's article reveals how the US intends to maintain and extend its hegemony by breaking up the alliance between Russia, Iran, and China, and by oil privatizations that result in countries losing control over their sovereignty to private oil companies that work closely with the US government. As Trump has neutered his presidency by gratuitously accepting Gen. Flynn's resignation as National Security Advisor, this scheme is likely to be Trump's approach to "better relations" with Russia.

Berke reports that Henry Kissinger has sold President Trump on a scheme to use the removal of Russian sanctions to pry President Putin away from the Russian alliance with Iran and China. Should Putin fall for such a scheme, it would be a fatal strategic blunder from which Russia could not recover. Yet, Putin will be pressured to make this blunder.

One pressure on Putin comes from the Atlanticist Integrationists who have a material stake in their connections to the West and who want Russia to be integrated into the Western world. Another pressure comes from the affront that sanctions represent to Russians. Removing this insult has become important to Russians even though the sanctions do Russia no material harm.

We agree with President Putin that the sanctions are in fact a benefit to Russia as they have moved Russia in self-sufficient directions and toward developing relationships with China and Asia. Moreover, the West with its hegemonic impulses uses economic relationships for control purposes. Trade with China and Asia does not pose the same threat to Russian independence.

Berke says that part of the deal being offered to Putin is "increased access to the huge European energy market, restored western financial credit, access to Western technology, and a seat at the global decision-making table, all of which Russia badly needs and wants." Sweetening the honey trap is official recognization of "Crimea as part of Russia."

Russia might want all of this, but it is nonsense that Russia needs any of it.

Crimea is part of Russia, as it has been for 300 years, and no one can do anything about it. What would it mean if Mexico did not recognize that Texas and California were part of the US? Nothing.

Europe has scant alternatives to Russian energy. Russia does not need Western technology. Indeed, its military technology is superior to that in the West. And Russia most certainly does not need Western loans. Indeed, it would be an act of insanity to accept them.

It is a self-serving Western myth that Russia needs foreign loans. This myth is enshrined in neoliberal economics, which is a device for Western exploitation and control of other countries. Russia's most dangerous threat is the country's neoliberal economists.

The Russian central bank has convinced the Russian government that it would be inflationary to finance Russian development projects with the issuance of central bank credit. Foreign loans are essential, claims the central bank.

Someone needs to teach the Russian central bank basic economics before Russia is turned into another Western vassal. Here is the lesson: When central bank credit is used to finance development projects, the supply of rubles increases but so does output from the projects. Thus, goods and services rise with the supply of rubles. When Russia borrows foreign currencies from abroad, the money supply also increases, but so does the foreign debt. Russia does not spend the foreign currencies on the project but puts them into its foreign exchange reserves. The central bank issues the same amount of rubles to pay the project's bills as it would in the absence of the foreign loan. All the foreign loan does is to present Russia with an interest payment to a foreign creditor.

Foreign capital is not important to countries such as Russia and China. Both countries are perfectly capable of financing their own development. Indeed, China is the world's largest creditor nation. Foreign loans are only important to countries that lack the internal resources for development and have to purchase the business know-how, techlology, and resources abroad with foreign currencies that their exports are insufficient to bring in.

This is not the case with Russia, which has large endowments of resources and a trade surplus. China's development was given a boost by US corporations that moved their production for the US market offshore in order to pocket the difference in labor and regulatory costs.

Neoliberals argue that Russia needs privatization in order to cover its budget deficit. Russia's government debt is only 17 percent of Russian GDP. According to official measures, US federal debt is 104 percent of GDP, 6.1 times higher than in Russia. If US federal debt is measured in real corrected terms, US federal debt is 185 percent of US GDP. http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/07/08/deteriorating-economic-outlook/

Clearly, if the massive debt of the US government is not a problem, the tiny debt of Russia is not a problem.

Berke's article is part of the effort to scam Russia by convincing the Russian government that its prosperity depends on unfavorable deals with the West. As Russia's neoliberal economists believe this, the scam has a chance of success.

Another delusion affecting the Russian government is the belief that privatization brings in capital. This delusion caused the Russian government to turn over 20 percent of its oil company to foreign ownership. The only thing Russia achieved by this strategic blunder was to deliver 20 percent of its oil profits into foreign hands. For a one-time payment, Russia gave away 20 percent of its oil profits in perpetuity.

To repeat outselves, the greatest threat that Russia faces is not sanctions but the incompetence of its neoliberal economists who have been throughly brainwashed to serve US interests.

Mao Cheng Ji , February 14, 2017 at 6:55 pm GMT \n

When Russia borrows foreign currencies from abroad, the money supply also increases, but so does the foreign debt. Russia does not spend the foreign currencies on the project but puts them into its foreign exchange reserves. The central bank issues the same amount of rubles to pay the project's bills as it would in the absence of the foreign loan. All the foreign loan does is to present Russia with an interest payment to a foreign creditor.

Yes, correct. But this is an IMF rule, and Russia is an IMF member. To control its monetary policy it would have to get out.

Lyttenburgh , February 14, 2017 at 6:57 pm GMT \n

Another pressure comes from the affront that sanctions represent to Russians. Removing this insult has become important to Russians even though the sanctions do Russia no material harm.

Oh dear, neolibs at their "finest"!

This "theory" is simply not true. If anything, Russians don't want the sanctions to be lifted, because this will also force us to scrap our counter-sanctions against the EU. The agro-business in Russia had been expanding by leaps and bounds for the last two years. This persistent myth that "the Russians" (who exactly, I wonder – 2-3% of the pro-Western urbanites in Moscow and St. Pete?) are desperate to have the sanctons lifted is a self-deception of the West, who IS desparate of the fact that the sanctions didn't work.

Russia's most dangerous threat is the country's neoliberal economists.

Yes! Ulyukayev is, probably, feeling lonely in his prison. I say – why not send Chubais, Siluanov and Nabiulina to cheer him up?

WorkingClass , February 14, 2017 at 7:59 pm GMT \n

Berke reports that Henry Kissinger has sold President Trump on a scheme to use the removal of Russian sanctions to pry President Putin away from the Russian alliance with Iran and China.

Kissinger, like Dick Cheney or George Soros, will probably never be completely dead.

SmoothieX12 , Website February 14, 2017 at 8:56 pm GMT \n
@WorkingClass
Berke reports that Henry Kissinger has sold President Trump on a scheme to use the removal of Russian sanctions to pry President Putin away from the Russian alliance with Iran and China.
Kissinger, like Dick Cheney or George Soros, will probably never be completely dead.

LOL! True. You forgot McCain, though.

SmoothieX12 , Website February 14, 2017 at 9:04 pm GMT \n
100 Words @Lyttenburgh
Another pressure comes from the affront that sanctions represent to Russians. Removing this insult has become important to Russians even though the sanctions do Russia no material harm.
Oh dear, neolibs at their "finest"! This "theory" is simply not true. If anything, Russians don't want the sanctions to be lifted, because this will also force us to scrap our counter-sanctions against the EU. The agro-business in Russia had been expanding by leaps and bounds for the last two years. This persistent myth that "the Russians" (who exactly, I wonder - 2-3% of the pro-Western urbanites in Moscow and St. Pete?) are desperate to have the sanctons lifted is a self-deception of the West, who IS desparate of the fact that the sanctions didn't work.
Russia's most dangerous threat is the country's neoliberal economists.
Yes! Ulyukayev is, probably, feeling lonely in his prison. I say - why not send Chubais, Siluanov and Nabiulina to cheer him up? ;)

I say – why not send Chubais, Siluanov and Nabiulina to cheer him up?

Most of Russia's economic block has to be literally purged from their sinecures, some, indeed, have to be "re-educated" near Magadan or Tyumen, or Saransk. Too bad, two of these places are actually not too bad. Others deserved to be executed. Too bad this jackass Gaidar (actually no blood relation to Arkady whatsoever) died before he could be tried for crimes against humanity and genocide. Albeit, some say he died because of his consciousness couldn't take the burden. Looking at his swine face I, somehow, doubt it.

Priss Factor , February 14, 2017 at 10:38 pm GMT \n
100 Words

A silver-lining to this.

If the US continues to antagonize Russia, Russia will have to grow even more independent, nationalist, and sovereign. At any rate, this issue cannot be addressed until we face that the fact that globalism is essentially Jewish Supremacism that fears gentile nationalism as a barrier to its penetration and domination.

This is not a US vs Russia issue. The real conflict is ... Globalism vs Russian nationalism and American nationalism. But since Jews control the media, they've spread the impression that it's about US vs Russia.

Same thing with this crap about 'white privilege'. It is a misleading concept to fool Americans into thinking that the main conflict is between 'privileged whites' and 'people of color'. It is really to hide the fact that Jewish power and privilege really rules the US. It is a means to hoodwink people from noticing that the real divide is between Jews and Gentiles, not between 'privileged whites' and 'non-white victims'. After all, too many whites lack privilege, and too many non-whites do very well in America.

Seamus Padraig , February 14, 2017 at 11:29 pm GMT \n
@SmoothieX12
I say – why not send Chubais, Siluanov and Nabiulina to cheer him up?

Most of Russia's economic block has to be literally purged from their sinecures, some, indeed, have to be "re-educated" near Magadan or Tyumen, or Saransk. Too bad, two of these places are actually not too bad. Others deserved to be executed. Too bad this jackass Gaidar (actually no blood relation to Arkady whatsoever) died before he could be tried for crimes against humanity and genocide. Albeit, some say he died because of his consciousness couldn't take the burden. Looking at his swine face I, somehow, doubt it.

I'm generally a big fan and admirer of Putin, but this is definitely one criticism of him that I have a lot of sympathy for. It is long past time for Putin to purge the neoliberals from the Kremlin and nationalize the Russian Central Bank. I cannot fathom why he hasn't done this already.

Seamus Padraig , February 14, 2017 at 11:34 pm GMT \n

Does PCR really think that Putin is stupid enough to fall for Kissinger's hair-brained scheme? I mean, give Putin a little bit of credit. He has so far completely outmaneuvered Washington on virtually ever subject. I'm sure he's clever enough to see through such a crude divide-and-rule strategy.

anonymous , February 15, 2017 at 4:17 am GMT

The Russians can't be flummoxed, they aren't children. Russia and China border each other so they have a natural mutual interest in having their east-west areas be stable and safe, particularly when the US threatens both of them. This geography isn't going to change. Abandoning clients such as Syria and Iran would irreversibly damage the Russian brand as being unreliable therefore they'd find it impossible to attract any others in the future. They know this so it's unlikely they would be so rash as to snap at any bait dangled in front of them. And, as pointed out, the bait really isn't all that irresistible. It's always best to negotiate from a position of strength and they realize that. American policy deep thinkers are often fantasists who bank upon their chess opponents making hoped-for predictable moves. That doesn't happen in real life.

SmoothieX12 , Website February 15, 2017 at 2:29 pm GMT \n
@Seamus Padraig

I'm generally a big fan and admirer of Putin, but this is definitely one criticism of him that I have a lot of sympathy for. It is long past time for Putin to purge the neoliberals from the Kremlin and nationalize the Russian Central Bank. I cannot fathom why he hasn't done this already.

I cannot fathom why he hasn't done this already.

Partially, because Putin himself is an economic liberal and, to a degree, monetarist, albeit less rigid than his economic block. The good choices he made often were opposite to his views. As he himself admitted that Russia's geopolitical vector changed with NATO's aggression against Yugoslavia–a strengthening of Russia has become an imperative. This comeback was impossible within the largely "Western" monetarist economic model. Russia's comeback happened not thanks but despite Putin's economic views, Putin adjusted his views in the process, his economic block didn't. But many of them still remain his friends, despite the fact that many of them are de facto fifth column and work against Russia, intentionally and other wise. Eventually Putin will be forced to get down from his fence and take the position of industrialists and siloviki. Putin's present for Medvedev's birthday was a good hint on where he is standing economically today and I am beginning to like that but still–I personally am not convinced yet. We'll see. In many respects Putin was lucky and specifically because of the namely Soviet military and industry captains still being around–people who, unlike Putin, knew exactly what constituted Russia's strength. Enough to mention late Evgeny Primakov. Let's not forget that despite Putin's meteoric rise through the top levels of Russia's state bureaucracy, including his tenure as a Director of FSB, Putin's background is not really military-industrial. He is a lawyer, even if uniformed (KGB) part of his career. I know for a fact that initially (early 2000s) he was overwhelmed with the complexity of Russia's military and industry. Enough to mention his creature Serdyukov who almost destroyed Command and Control structure of Russia's Armed Forces and main ideologue behind Russia's military "reform", late Vitaly Shlykov who might have been a great GRU spy (and economist by trade) but who never served a day in combat units. Thankfully, the "reforms" have been stopped and Russian Armed Forces are still dealing with the consequences. This whole clusterfvck was of Putin's own creation–hardly a good record on his resume. Hopefully, he learned.

Vlad , February 17, 2017 at 8:44 am GMT \n
@Seamus Padraig

I'm generally a big fan and admirer of Putin, but this is definitely one criticism of him that I have a lot of sympathy for. It is long past time for Putin to purge the neoliberals from the Kremlin and nationalize the Russian Central Bank. I cannot fathom why he hasn't done this already.

He has not done it already because he just cannot let go of his dream to have it as he did in 2003, when Russia Germany and France together blocked legality of US war in Iraq. Putin still hopes for a good working relationship with major West European powers. Italy France and even Germany.

He still hopes to draw them away from the US. However the obvious gains from Import substitution campaign make it apparent that Russia does benefit from sanctions, that Russia can get anything it wants in technology from the East rather than the West. So the break with Western orientation is in the making. Hopefully.

annamaria , February 17, 2017 at 3:50 pm GMT \n

You forgot to mention the "moderate" jihadis, including the operatives from NATO, Israel, and US. (It seems that the Ukrainian "patriots" that have been bombing the civilians in East Ukraine, also include special "patriots" from the same unholy trinity: https://www.roguemoney.net/stories/2016/12/6/there-are-troops-jack-us-army-donbass ). There has been also a certain asymmetry in means: look at the map for the number and location of the US/NATO military bases. At least we can see that RF has been trying to avoid the hot phase of WWIII. http://russia-insider.com/sites/insider/files/NATO-vs-Russia640.jpg

annamaria , February 17, 2017 at 4:11 pm GMT \n
200 Words @Priss Factor A silver-lining to this.

If the US continues to antagonize Russia, Russia will have to grow even more independent, nationalist, and sovereign.

At any rate, this issue cannot be addressed until we face that the fact that globalism is essentially Jewish Supremacism that fears gentile nationalism as a barrier to its penetration and domination.

This is not a US vs Russia issue. The real conflict is Jewish Globalism vs Russian nationalism and American nationalism. But since Jews control the media, they've spread the impression that it's about US vs Russia.

Same thing with this crap about 'white privilege'. It is a misleading concept to fool Americans into thinking that the main conflict is between 'privileged whites' and 'people of color'. It is really to hide the fact that Jewish power and privilege really rules the US. It is a means to hoodwink people from noticing that the real divide is between Jews and Gentiles, not between 'privileged whites' and 'non-white victims'. After all, too many whites lack privilege, and too many non-whites do very well in America.

On the power and privilege that really rule the US:
"Sanctions – economic sanctions, as most of them are, can only stand and 'succeed', as long as countries, who oppose Washington's dictate remain bound into the western, dollar-based, fraudulent monetary scheme. The system is entirely privatized by a small Zionist-led elite. FED, Wall Street, Bank for International Settlement (BIS), are all private institutions, largely controlled by the Rothschild, Rockefeller, Morgan et al clans. They are also supported by the Breton Woods Organizations, IMF and World Bank, conveniently created under the Charter of the UN.
Few progressive economists understand how this debt-based pyramid scam is manipulating the entire western economic system. When in a just world, it should be just the contrary, the economy that shapes, designs and decides the functioning of the monetary system and policy.
Even Russia, with Atlantists still largely commanding the central bank and much of the financial system, isn't fully detached from the dollar dominion – yet."

http://thesaker.is/venezuela-washingtons-latest-defamation-to-bring-nato-to-south-america/

Anon , February 17, 2017 at 4:55 pm GMT \n
100 Words

"I cannot fathom why he hasn't done this (nationalize the "central bank) already".

I read about a rumor a few years ago that Putin has been warned that nationalizing the now private Russian central bank will bring absolutely dire consequences to both him and Russia. It is simply a step he cannot take.

How dire are the potential consequences? Consider that the refusal of the American government to reauthorize the private central bank in the US brought about the War of 1812. The Americans learned their lesson and quickly reauthorized the private bank after the war had ended.

Numerous attempts were made to assassinate President Andrew Jacksons specifically because of his refusal to reauthorize the private central bank.

JFK anyone?

Agent76 , February 17, 2017 at 6:07 pm GMT \n
100 Words

Here it is in audio form so you can just relax and just listen at your leisure.

*ALL WARS ARE BANKERS' WARS* By Michael Rivero https://youtu.be/WN0Y3HRiuxo

I know many people have a great deal of difficulty comprehending just how many wars are started for no other purpose than to force private central banks onto nations, so let me share a few examples, so that you understand why the US Government is mired in so many wars against so many foreign nations. There is ample precedent for this.

Priss Factor , February 17, 2017 at 7:31 pm GMT \n
1,000 Words

Here is proof that there is no real Leftist power anymore.

Voltaire once said, "To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize."

If the Left really rules America, how come it is fair game to criticize, condemn, mock, and vilify Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Bakunin, Emma Goldman & anarchists, Castro, Che(even though he is revered by many, one's career isn't damaged by attacking him), Tito, Ceucescu, Mao, Ho Chi Minh, Gramsci, Eurgene Debs, Pete Seeger, Abbie Hoffman, Bill Ayers, and etc.

You can say whatever you want about such people. Some will agree, some will disagree, but you will not be fired, blacklisted, or destroyed.

If the Left really rules, why would this be?

Now, what would happen if you name the Jewish Capitalists as the real holders of power?
What would happen if you name the Jewish oligarchic corporatists who control most of media?
What would happen if you said Jews are prominent in the vice industry of gambling?
What would happen if you named the Jewish capitalists in music industry that made so much money by spreading garbage?
What would happen if you said Jewish warhawks were largely responsible for the disasters in Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Ukraine?
And what would happen if you were question the MLK mythology and cult?
What would happen if you were to make fun of homos and trannies?
Now, keep in mind that blacks and homos are favored by Jews as their main allies.
(Some say the US is not a pro-minority nation, but it's still permissible to criticize, impugn, and vilify Chinese, Iranians, Muslims, Mexicans, Hindus, and etc. Trump was hard on China, Iran, Muslims, and Mexicans, and he got some flak over it but not enough to destroy him. Now, imagine what would have happened if he'd said such things about blacks, Africa, homos, Jews, and Israel? American politics isn't necessarily pro-minority. If it is, it should favor Palestinian-Americans just as much as Jewish-Americans. Actually, since there are fewer Palestinian-Americans than Jewish-Americans, the US, being pro-minority, should favor Palestinians over Jews in America. In reality, it is AIPAC that draws all the politicians. America is about Pro-Power, and since Jews have the Power and since Jews are a minority, it creates the false impression that the US is a minority-supremacist nation. But WHICH minority? Jews would like for us think that all minorities are represented equally in the US, but do Eskimos, Hawaiians, Guatemalans, Vietnamese, and etc. have the kind of power & protection that the Jewish minority has? Do we see politicians and powerbrokers flock to such minorities for funds and favors?)

So, what does it about the real power in America? So many 'conservatives' say the Left controls America. But in fact, an American can badmouth all true bonafide leftist leaders and thinkers(everyone from Lenin to Sartre). However, if an American were to badmouth Sheldon Adelson as a sick demented Zionist capitalist oligarch who wants to nuke Iran, he would be blacklisted by the most of the media. (If one must criticize Adelson, it has to be in generic terms of him a top donor to the likes of Romney. One mustn't discuss his zealous and maniacal views rooted in Zionist-supremacism. You can criticize his money but not the mentality that determines the use of that money.) Isn't it rather amusing how the so-called Liberals denounce the GOP for being 'extreme' but overlook the main reason for such extremism? It's because the GOP relies on Zionist lunatics like Adelson who thinks Iran should be nuked to be taught a lesson. Even Liberal Media overlook this fact. Also, it's interesting that the Liberal Media are more outraged by Trump's peace offer to Russia than Trump's hawkish rhetoric toward Iran. I thought Liberals were the Doves.

We know why politics and media work like this. It's not about 'left' vs 'right' or 'liberal' vs 'conservative'. It is really about Jewish Globalist Dominance. Jews, neocon 'right' or globo-'left', hate Russia because its brand of white gentile nationalism is an obstacle to Jewish supremacist domination. Now, Current Russia is nice to Jews, and Jews can make all the money they want. But that isn't enough for Jews. Jews want total control of media, government, narrative, everything. If Jews say Russia must have homo parades and 'gay marriage', Russia better bend over because its saying NO means that it is defiant to the Jewish supremacist agenda of using homomania as proxy to undermine and destroy all gentile nationalism rooted in identity and moral righteousness.
Russia doesn't allow that, and that is what pisses off Jews. For Jews, the New Antisemitism is defined as denying them the supremacist 'right' to control other nations. Classic antisemitism used to mean denying Jews equal rights under the law. The New Antisemitism means Jews are denied the right to gain dominance over others and dictate terms.
So, that is why Jews hate any idea of good relations with Russia. But Jews don't mind Trump's irresponsible anti-Iran rhetoric since it serves Zionist interest. So, if Trump were to say, "We shouldn't go to war with Russia; we should be friends" and "We should get ready to bomb, destroy, and even nuke Iran", the 'liberal' media would be more alarmed by the Peace-with-Russia statement. Which groups controls the media? 'Liberals', really? Do Muslim 'liberals' agree with Jewish 'liberals'?

Anyway, we need to do away with the fiction that Left rules anything. They don't. We have Jewish Supremacist rule hiding behind the label of the 'Left'. But the US is a nation where it's totally permissible to attack real leftist ideas and leaders but suicidal if anyone dares to discuss the power of super-capitalist Jewish oligarchs. Some 'leftism'!

We need to discuss the power of the Glob.

annamaria , February 17, 2017 at 9:42 pm GMT \n
300 Words @Quartermaster Trump has not been neutered. Buchanan has the right on this and Flynn's actions.

Sorry, but Crimea is Ukraine. Russia is in serious economic decline and is rapidly burning through its reserves. Putin is almost down to the welfare fund from which pensions are paid, and only about a third of pensions are being paid now.

If Sanctions are of benefit to Russia, then the sanctions against Imperial Japan were just ducky and no war was fought.

Roberts is the next best thing to insane.

This is rich from a Ukrainian nationalist ruled by Groysman/Kagans.
First, figure out who is your saint, a collaborationist Bandera (Babiy Yar and such) or a triple-sitizenship Kolomojski (auto-da-fe of civilians in Odessa). If you still want to bring Holodomor to a discussion, then you need to be reminded that 80% of Ukrainian Cheka at that time were Jewish. If you still think that Russians are the root of all evil, then try to ask the US for more money for pensions, education, and healthcare – instead of weaponry. Here are the glorious results of the US-approved governance from Kiev: http://gnnliberia.com/2017/02/17/liberia-ahead-ukraine-index-economic-freedom-2017/ "Liberia, Chad, Afghanistan, Sudan and Angola are ahead of Ukraine. All these countries are in the group of repressed economies (49.9-40 scores). Ukraine's economy has contracted deeply and remains very fragile."

Here are your relationships with your neighbors on the other side – Poland and Romania:
"The right-winged conservative orientation of Warsaw makes it remember old Polish-Ukrainian arguments and scores, and claim its rights on the historically Polish lands of Western Ukraine" http://www.veteranstoday.com/2016/01/17/poland-will-begin-dividing-ukraine/
" the "Assembly of Bukovina Romanians" has recently applied to Petro Poroshenko demanding a territorial autonomy to the Chernivtsi region densely populated by Romanians. The "Assembly" motivated its demand with the Ukrainian president's abovementioned statement urging territorial autonomy for the Crimean Tatars." https://eadaily.com/en/news/2016/06/30/what-is-behind-romanias-activity-in-ukraine
And please read some history books about Crimea. Or at least Wikipedia:
"In 1783, Crimea was annexed by the Russian Empire. In 1954, the Crimean Oblast was transferred to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic by Nikita Khrushchev (a Soviet dictator). In 2014, a 96.77 percent of Crimeans voted for integration of the region into the Russian Federation with an 83.1 percent voter turnout." You see, the Crimeans do not like Nuland-Kagan and Pravyj Sector. Do you know why?

Astuteobservor II , February 17, 2017 at 9:56 pm GMT \n
100 Words @Seamus Padraig Does PCR really think that Putin is stupid enough to fall for Kissinger's hair-brained scheme? I mean, give Putin a little bit of credit. He has so far completely outmaneuvered Washington on virtually ever subject. I'm sure he's clever enough to see through such a crude divide-and-rule strategy.

well it depends. if putin is just out for himself, I can see him getting in bed with kissinger and co. if he is about russia, he would not. that is how I see it. it isn't about if putin is smart or stupid. just a choice and where his royalty lies.

Lyttenburgh , February 17, 2017 at 9:58 pm GMT \n
100 Words @Quartermaster Trump has not been neutered. Buchanan has the right on this and Flynn's actions.

Sorry, but Crimea is Ukraine. Russia is in serious economic decline and is rapidly burning through its reserves. Putin is almost down to the welfare fund from which pensions are paid, and only about a third of pensions are being paid now.

If Sanctions are of benefit to Russia, then the sanctions against Imperial Japan were just ducky and no war was fought.

Roberts is the next best thing to insane.

Sorry, but Crimea is Ukraine.

How so? #Krymnash

Russia is in serious economic decline and is rapidly burning through its reserves.

If by "decline" you mean "expects this year a modest growth as opposed to previous years" then you might be right.

I've been reading about Russia's imminent collapse and the annihilation of the economy since forever. Some no-names like you (or some Big Names with agenda) had been predicting it every year. Still didn't happen.

Putin is almost down to the welfare fund from which pensions are paid, and only about a third of pensions are being paid now.

Can I see a source for that?

If Sanctions are of benefit to Russia, then the sanctions against Imperial Japan were just ducky and no war was fought.

False equivalence.

P.S. Hey, Quart – how is Bezviz? Also – are you not cold here? Or are you one of the most racally pure Ukrs, currently residing in Ontario province (Canada), from whence you teach your less lucky raguls in Nizalezhnaya how to be more racially pure? Well, SUGS to be you!

bluedog , February 17, 2017 at 10:03 pm GMT \n
@Quartermaster Trump has not been neutered. Buchanan has the right on this and Flynn's actions.

Sorry, but Crimea is Ukraine. Russia is in serious economic decline and is rapidly burning through its reserves. Putin is almost down to the welfare fund from which pensions are paid, and only about a third of pensions are being paid now.

If Sanctions are of benefit to Russia, then the sanctions against Imperial Japan were just ducky and no war was fought.

Roberts is the next best thing to insane.

Do you have any links to verify this that Russia is down to bedrock,from everything I read and have read Russia's do pretty damn good, or is this just some more of your endless antiRussian propaganda,,

Philip Owen , February 17, 2017 at 10:54 pm GMT \n

The US needed huge amounts of British and French capital to develop. Russia has the same requirement otherwise it will be another Argentina.

annamaria , February 17, 2017 at 11:00 pm GMT \n
500 Words

A scandal of a EU member Poland: http://thesaker.is/zmiana-piskorski-and-the-case-for-polish-liberation/
Two days after he [Piskorski] publicly warned that US-NATO troops now have a mandate to suppress Polish dissent on the grounds of combatting "Russian hybrid war," he was snatched up by armed agents of Poland's Internal Security Agency while taking his children to school on May 18th, 2016. He was promptly imprisoned in Warsaw, where he remains with no formal charges to this day."

With the Poland's entry into EU, "Poland did not "regain" sovereignty, much less justice, but forfeited such to the Atlanticist project Poland has been de-industrialized, and thus deprived of the capacity to pursue independent and effective social and economic policies Now, with the deployment of thousands of US-NATO troops, tanks, and missile systems on its soil and the Polish government's relinquishment of jurisdiction over foreign armed forces on its territory, Poland is de facto under occupation. This occupation is not a mere taxation on Poland's national budget – it is an undeniable liquidation of sovereignty and inevitably turns the country into a direct target and battlefield in the US' provocative war on Russia."

" it's not the Russians who are going to occupy us now – they left here voluntarily 24 years ago. It's not the Russians that have ravaged Polish industry since 1989. It's not the Russians that have stifled Poles with usurious debt. Finally, it's not the Russians that are responsible for the fact that we have become the easternmost aircraft carrier of the United States anchored in Europe. We ourselves, who failed by allowing such traitors into power, are to blame for this."

More from a comment section: "Donald Tusk, who is now President of the European Council, whose grandfather, Josef Tusk, served in Hitler's Wehrmacht, has consistently demanded that the Kiev regime imposed by the US and EU deal with the Donbass people brutally, "as with terrorists". While the Polish special services were training the future participants of the Maidan operations and the ethnic cleansing of the Donbass, the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs made this official statement (02-02-2014): "We support the hard line taken by the Right Sector The radical actions of the Right Sector and other militant groups of demonstrators and the use of force by protesters are justified The Right Sector has taken full responsibility for all the acts of violence during the recent protests. This is an honest position, and we respect it. The politicians have failed at their peacekeeping function. This means that the only acceptable option is the radical actions of the Right Sector. There is no other alternative".

In short, the US has been the most active enabler of the neo-Nazi movement in Europe. Mrs. Clinton seemingly did not get a memo about who is "new Hitler."

Chuck Orloski , February 17, 2017 at 11:17 pm GMT \n
100 Words

Scranton calling Mssrs. Roberts and Hudson:

Do you happen to know anything about western financial giants' influence upon Russia's "Atlanticist Integrationists"?

It's low hanging fruit for me to take a pick, but I am thinking The Goldman Sachs Group is well ensconced among Russian "Atlanticist Integrationists."

You guys are top seeded pros at uncovering Deep State-banker secrets. In contrast, I drive school bus and I struggle to even balance the family Wells Fargo debit card!

However, since our US Congress has anointed a seasoned G.S.G. veteran, Steve Mnuchin, as the administration's Treasury Secretary, he has become my favorite "Person of Interest" who I suspect spouts a Ural Mountain-level say as to how "Atlanticist Integrationists" operate.

Speaking very respectfully, I hope my question does not get "flummoxed" into resource rich Siberia.

Thank you very much!

Bobzilla , February 17, 2017 at 11:46 pm GMT \n
@WorkingClass

Berke reports that Henry Kissinger has sold President Trump on a scheme to use the removal of Russian sanctions to pry President Putin away from the Russian alliance with Iran and China.
Kissinger, like Dick Cheney or George Soros, will probably never be completely dead.

Kissinger, like Dick Cheney or George Soros, will probably never be completely dead

.

Most likely the Spirit of Anti-Christ keeping them alive to do his bidding.

Bill Jones , February 18, 2017 at 12:39 am GMT \n
@Priss Factor Here is proof that there is no real Leftist power anymore.

Voltaire once said, "To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize."

If the Left really rules America, how come it is fair game to criticize, condemn, mock, and vilify Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Bakunin, Emma Goldman & anarchists, Castro, Che(even though he is revered by many, one's career isn't damaged by attacking him), Tito, Ceucescu, Mao, Ho Chi Minh, Gramsci, Eurgene Debs, Pete Seeger, Abbie Hoffman, Bill Ayers, and etc.

You can say whatever you want about such people. Some will agree, some will disagree, but you will not be fired, blacklisted, or destroyed.

If the Left really rules, why would this be?

Now, what would happen if you name the Jewish Capitalists as the real holders of power?
What would happen if you name the Jewish oligarchic corporatists who control most of media?
What would happen if you said Jews are prominent in the vice industry of gambling?
What would happen if you named the Jewish capitalists in music industry that made so much money by spreading garbage?
What would happen if you said Jewish warhawks were largely responsible for the disasters in Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Ukraine?
And what would happen if you were question the MLK mythology and cult?
What would happen if you were to make fun of homos and trannies?
Now, keep in mind that blacks and homos are favored by Jews as their main allies.
(Some say the US is not a pro-minority nation, but it's still permissible to criticize, impugn, and vilify Chinese, Iranians, Muslims, Mexicans, Hindus, and etc. Trump was hard on China, Iran, Muslims, and Mexicans, and he got some flak over it but not enough to destroy him. Now, imagine what would have happened if he'd said such things about blacks, Africa, homos, Jews, and Israel? American politics isn't necessarily pro-minority. If it is, it should favor Palestinian-Americans just as much as Jewish-Americans. Actually, since there are fewer Palestinian-Americans than Jewish-Americans, the US, being pro-minority, should favor Palestinians over Jews in America. In reality, it is AIPAC that draws all the politicians. America is about Pro-Power, and since Jews have the Power and since Jews are a minority, it creates the false impression that the US is a minority-supremacist nation. But WHICH minority? Jews would like for us think that all minorities are represented equally in the US, but do Eskimos, Hawaiians, Guatemalans, Vietnamese, and etc. have the kind of power & protection that the Jewish minority has? Do we see politicians and powerbrokers flock to such minorities for funds and favors?)

So, what does it about the real power in America? So many 'conservatives' say the Left controls America. But in fact, an American can badmouth all true bonafide leftist leaders and thinkers(everyone from Lenin to Sartre). However, if an American were to badmouth Sheldon Adelson as a sick demented Zionist capitalist oligarch who wants to nuke Iran, he would be blacklisted by the most of the media. (If one must criticize Adelson, it has to be in generic terms of him a top donor to the likes of Romney. One mustn't discuss his zealous and maniacal views rooted in Zionist-supremacism. You can criticize his money but not the mentality that determines the use of that money.) Isn't it rather amusing how the so-called Liberals denounce the GOP for being 'extreme' but overlook the main reason for such extremism? It's because the GOP relies on Zionist lunatics like Adelson who thinks Iran should be nuked to be taught a lesson. Even Liberal Media overlook this fact. Also, it's interesting that the Liberal Media are more outraged by Trump's peace offer to Russia than Trump's hawkish rhetoric toward Iran. I thought Liberals were the Doves.

We know why politics and media work like this. It's not about 'left' vs 'right' or 'liberal' vs 'conservative'. It is really about Jewish Globalist Dominance. Jews, neocon 'right' or globo-'left', hate Russia because its brand of white gentile nationalism is an obstacle to Jewish supremacist domination. Now, Current Russia is nice to Jews, and Jews can make all the money they want. But that isn't enough for Jews. Jews want total control of media, government, narrative, everything. If Jews say Russia must have homo parades and 'gay marriage', Russia better bend over because its saying NO means that it is defiant to the Jewish supremacist agenda of using homomania as proxy to undermine and destroy all gentile nationalism rooted in identity and moral righteousness.
Russia doesn't allow that, and that is what pisses off Jews. For Jews, the New Antisemitism is defined as denying them the supremacist 'right' to control other nations. Classic antisemitism used to mean denying Jews equal rights under the law. The New Antisemitism means Jews are denied the right to gain dominance over others and dictate terms.
So, that is why Jews hate any idea of good relations with Russia. But Jews don't mind Trump's irresponsible anti-Iran rhetoric since it serves Zionist interest. So, if Trump were to say, "We shouldn't go to war with Russia; we should be friends" and "We should get ready to bomb, destroy, and even nuke Iran", the 'liberal' media would be more alarmed by the Peace-with-Russia statement. Which groups controls the media? 'Liberals', really? Do Muslim 'liberals' agree with Jewish 'liberals'?

Anyway, we need to do away with the fiction that Left rules anything. They don't. We have Jewish Supremacist rule hiding behind the label of the 'Left'. But the US is a nation where it's totally permissible to attack real leftist ideas and leaders but suicidal if anyone dares to discuss the power of super-capitalist Jewish oligarchs. Some 'leftism'!

We need to discuss the power of the Glob.

Thanks for the digest of hasbarist crap.

Useful to have it all in one place..

annamaria , February 18, 2017 at 1:03 am GMT \n
100 Words

War profiteers (both of a dishonest character) have found each other: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-17/mccain-tells-europe-trump-administration-disarray http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-17/germany-issues-stark-warning-trump-stop-threatening-eu-favoring-russia
" Trump's administration was in "disarray," McCain told the Munich Security Conference, where earlier in the day Germany defense minister Ursula von der Leyen warned Trump to stop threatening the EU, abandoning Western values and seeking close ties with Russia, that the resignation of the new president's security adviser Michael Flynn over his contacts with Russia reflected deep problems in Washington."

What an amazing whoring performance for the war-manufacturers! And here is an interesting morsel of information about the belligerent Frau der Leyen: http://www.dw.com/en/stanford-accuses-von-der-leyen-of-misrepresentation/a-18775432
"Stanford university has said Ursula von der Leyen is misrepresenting her affiliation with the school. The German defense minister's academic career is already under scrutiny after accusations of plagiarism." No kidding. Some "Ursula von der Leyen' values" indeed.

Anonymous IX , February 18, 2017 at 2:42 am GMT \n
200 Words

I doubt we'll see little change from the Trump administration toward Russia.

From SOTT:

Predictable news coming out of Yemen: Saudi-backed "Southern Resistance" forces and Hadi loyalists, alongside al-Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), launched a new offensive against the Houthis in western Yemen on Wednesday.

This is not the first time Saudi-backed (and by extension, Washington-backed) forces have teamed up with al-Qaeda in Yemen .

Yemen is quickly becoming the "spark that lights the powder keg". The conflict has already killed, maimed and displaced countless thousands (thanks to the stellar lack of reporting from trustworthy western news sources, we can only estimate the scale of Saudi/U.S. crimes in Yemen), but now it seems that elements of the Trump administration are keen on escalation, likely in hopes of giving Washington an excuse to carpet bomb Tehran.

Apparently, we feel satisfied fighting with our old allies, al-Qaeda and Saudis.

I had hoped for much better from Trump.

Kiza , February 18, 2017 at 4:23 am GMT \n
200 Words

I think that the authors may be underestimating Putin in his determination to keep Russia and the Russian economy independent. For example, I find this rumoured offer of "increased access to the huge European energy market" very funny, for at least two reasons:
1) US wants to sell hydrocarbons (LPG) to the European market at significantly higher prices than the Russian prices, and
2) the current dependence of EU countries on the Russian energy would have never happened if there were better alternatives.

In other words, any detente offer that the West would make to Russia would last, as usual, not even until the signature ink dries on the new cooperation agreements. Putin does not look to me like someone who suffers much from wishful thinking.

The Russian relationship with China is not a bed of roses, but it is not China which is increasing military activity all around Russia, it is the West. Also, so far China has shown no interest in regime-changing Russia and dividing it into pieces. Would you rather believe in the reform capability of an addict in violence or someone who does not need to reform? Would the West self-reform and sincerely renounce violence just by signing a new agreement with Russia?

The new faux detente will never happen, as long as Putin is alive.

Max Havelaar , February 18, 2017 at 8:22 pm GMT \n
200 Words

Trump is an ultra-zionist for Sheldon Adelson and prolongs & creates wars for the Goldman banking crimesyndicat.

The only one stopping Trump is Putin or Russia's missile defenses.

Indeed, Putin's main inside enemy is Russia's central bank, or the Jewish oligarchs in Russia (Atlanticists). Also Russia needs to foster and encourage small&medium enterprises, that need cheap credit, to create competitive markets, where no prices are fixed and market shares change. These are most efficient resource users.

In the US, Wallstreet controls government = fascism = the IG Farben- Auschwitz concentration camps to maximize profits. This is the direction for the US economy.

Meanwhile in the EU, the former Auschwitz owners IG Farben (Bayer(Monsanto), Hoechst, BASF) the EU chemical giants, who have patented all natures molecules, are in controll again over EU. Deutsche bank et allies is eating Greece, Italy, Spain's working classes, using AUSTERITY as their creed.

So what is new? Nothing, the supercorporate-fascist elites are the same families, who 's morality is unchanged in a 100 years.

Anon , February 20, 2017 at 4:28 am GMT \n
@Priss Factor

Here is proof that there is no real Leftist power anymore.

Voltaire once said, "To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize."

... ... ...

Sergey Krieger , February 20, 2017 at 12:20 pm GMT \n
@Seamus Padraig

I'm generally a big fan and admirer of Putin, but this is definitely one criticism of him that I have a lot of sympathy for. It is long past time for Putin to purge the neoliberals from the Kremlin and nationalize the Russian Central Bank. I cannot fathom why he hasn't done this already.

I would really love to like Putin and I am trying but him protecting all those criminals and not reversing the history greatest heist of 90′s makes it impossible. While I am behind all his moves to restore Russian military and foreign policy, I am still waiting for more on home front. Note, not only the Bank must be nationalized. Everything, all industries, factories and other assets privatized by now must be returned to rightful owner. Public which over 70 years through great sacrifice built all of it.

Sergey Krieger , February 20, 2017 at 12:31 pm GMT \n
300 Words @SmoothieX12
I cannot fathom why he hasn't done this already.
Partially, because Putin himself is an economic liberal and, to a degree, monetarist, albeit less rigid than his economic block. The good choices he made often were opposite to his views. As he himself admitted that Russia's geopolitical vector changed with NATO's aggression against Yugoslavia--a strengthening of Russia has become an imperative. This comeback was impossible within the largely "Western" monetarist economic model. Russia's comeback happened not thanks but despite Putin's economic views, Putin adjusted his views in the process, his economic block didn't. But many of them still remain his friends, despite the fact that many of them are de facto fifth column and work against Russia, intentionally and other wise. Eventually Putin will be forced to get down from his fence and take the position of industrialists and siloviki. Putin's present for Medvedev's birthday was a good hint on where he is standing economically today and I am beginning to like that but still--I personally am not convinced yet. We'll see. In many respects Putin was lucky and specifically because of the namely Soviet military and industry captains still being around--people who, unlike Putin, knew exactly what constituted Russia's strength. Enough to mention late Evgeny Primakov. Let's not forget that despite Putin's meteoric rise through the top levels of Russia's state bureaucracy, including his tenure as a Director of FSB, Putin's background is not really military-industrial. He is a lawyer, even if uniformed (KGB) part of his career. I know for a fact that initially (early 2000s) he was overwhelmed with the complexity of Russia's military and industry. Enough to mention his creature Serdyukov who almost destroyed Command and Control structure of Russia's Armed Forces and main ideologue behind Russia's military "reform", late Vitaly Shlykov who might have been a great GRU spy (and economist by trade) but who never served a day in combat units. Thankfully, the "reforms" have been stopped and Russian Armed Forces are still dealing with the consequences. This whole clusterfvck was of Putin's own creation--hardly a good record on his resume. Hopefully, he learned.

Smoothie, you seem to have natural aversion towards lawyers
Albeit, the first Vladimir, I mean Lenin also was a lawyers by education still he was a rather quick study. Remember that military communism and Lenin after one year after Bolsheviks took power telling that state capitalism would be great step forward for Russia whcih obviously was backward and ruined by wars at the time and he proceeded with New Economic Policy and Lenin despite not being industry captain realized pretty well what constituted state power hence GOELRO plans and electrification of all Russia plans and so forth which was later turned by Stalin and his team into reality.

Now, Lenin was ideologically motivated and so is Putin. But he clearly has been trying to achieve different results by keeping same people around him and doing same things. Hopefully it is changing now, but it is so much wasted time when old Vladimir was always repeating that time is of essence and delay is like death knell. Putin imho is away too relax and even vain in some way, hence those shirtless pictures and those on the bike. And the way he walks a la "Я Московский озорной гуляка". As you said it looks like he is protecting those criminals who must be prosecuted and yes, many executed for what they caused.

I suspect in cases when it comes to economical development he is not picking right people for those jobs and it is his major responsibility to assign right people and delegate power properly, not to be forgotten to reverse what constitutes the history greatest heist and crime so called "privatization". Basically returning to more communal society minus Politburo.

There is a huge elephant in the room too. Russia demographic situation which I doubt can be addressed under current liberal order. all states which are in liberal state of affairs fail to basically procreate hence these waves of immigrants brought into all Western Nations. Russia cannot do it. It would be suicide which is what all Western countries are doing right now.

Boris N , February 20, 2017 at 8:58 pm GMT \n

Russia does not need Western technology. Indeed, its military technology is superior to that in the West.

You write about Russia but have not done your homework. Russia is very dependent on Western technology and its entire high-tech industry depends on the import of Western machinery. Without such machinery many Russian factories, including military ones, would stall. Very important oil industry is particularly vulnerable.

Some home reading (sorry, they are in Russian, but one ought to know the language if one writes about the country).

http://www.fa.ru/fil/orel/science/Documents/ISA%2014644146.pdf

http://rusrand.ru/analytics/stanki-stanki-stanki

[Jul 18, 2019] Follow Up on the Flynn Plot by Larry C Johnson - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Notable quotes:
"... The "issue" in question was no small matter. Last year, Alptekin paid $530,000 to retired Lt. General Michael Flynn to lobby on behalf of Turkish interests ..."
"... But it later emerged that Flynn had failed to register as a foreign lobbyist for this work, as required by law, and that he was under federal investigation for his secret lobbying for Alptekin. ..."
"... He denied to ABC News that he and his company had represented the government of Turkey. (In his retroactive filing, Flynn noted that his work for Alptekin "could be construed to have principally benefitted the Republic of Turkey.") Alptekin blamed the "highly politicized situation" in the United States for the "misunderstanding and misperceptions" around his company and hiring of Flynn. ..."
"... Perhaps the in-fighting within the deep state will reveal more of their earlier machinations in the days to come. ..."
Jul 18, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Follow Up on the Flynn Plot by Larry C Johnson Larry Johnson-5x7

I have obtained new information that may offer some new insights into the Obama Administration's covert action to entrap General Michael Flynn. This builds on my last piece-- The Obama Administration Manufactured the Case Against General Flynn. When this story is finally told, I think we will learn that Flynn's FARA problems may have started with a CIA officer, acting on the direction of then CIA Director Brennan, who enlisted the Israelis to ask Ratio Oil Exploration (an Israeli company) to commission their partner, INOVO BV, to hire Flynn's company. INOVO BV, out of the blue, asked the Flynn Investigative Group aka FIG, to do a study of Turkish dissident Fethullah Gülen.

What Flynn did not know when he accepted the work is that INOVO BV apparently had operational ties to the Government of Turkey and that all communications by INOVO's chief, Ekim Alptekin, with the Government of Turkey were being "collected" by the NSA and disseminated in U.S. intelligence channels. The FBI was monitoring these communications and used their inside knowledge to pressure Flynn into a FARA filing which they could claim was "false."

The truth of the matter is that General Flynn did not know he was doing work for a Turkish Government cutout. A basic due diligence search would show that INOVO was partnered with an Israeli oil exploration company. No need to file under FARA given those facts. Michael Flynn's consulting firm, Flynn Investigative Group, was hired by Inovo BV :

Inovo BV, the Dutch corporation, is owned by Ekim Alptekin and is the sole Turkish representative in Ratio Oil Exploration, which is the Israeli firm exploring the Leviathan gas field in the Mediterranean Sea .

To appreciate the diabolical nature of this plot, let us re-read the Mueller indictment of General Flynn:

Other False Statements Regarding FLYNN's Contacts with Foreign Governments

5. On March 7, 2017, FLYNN filed multiple documents with the Department of Justice pursuant to the Foreign Agents Registration Act ("FARA") pertaining to a project performed by him and his company, the Flynn Intel Group, Inc. ("FIG"), for the principal benefit of the Republic of Turkey ("Turkey project"). In the FARA filings, FLYNN made materially false statements and omissions, including by falsely staling that (a) FIG did not know whether or the extent to which the Republic of Turkey was involved in the Turkey project, (b) the Turkey project was focused on improving U.S. business organizations' confidence regarding doing business in Turkey, and (c) an op-ed by FLYNN published in The Hill on November 8, 2016, was written at his own initiative; and by omitting that officials from the Republic of Turkey provided supervision and direction over the Turkey project.

There was nothing that General Flynn did under the auspices of the FIG that merited the FBI drilling down on his activities. So why was he targeted? A contributing factor was the lingering resentment towards Flynn for the role DIA played when he was in charge with respect to Obama's Syria policy. The DIA was an honest broker in a heavily politicized Washington in the summer of 2012. The DIA, under General Flynn's leadership, accurately reported that Assad's government was withstanding the U.S. backed rebel onslaught. The integrity of analysis demanded by Flynn earned him enemies from policymakers keen on embroiling the United States in the Syrian civil war.

Once Flynn was out of government, Brennan and his cohorts apparently kept tabs on Flynn and his activities. It appears they were keen on payback and looked for opportunities to entrap him and destroy his reputation. With the benefit of hindsight we can now understand that this was an organized set up. The first opportunity to tarnish Flynn came when he spoke at an event sponsored by RT and ended up sitting next to Vladimir Putin at dinner. This provided the circumstantial evidence to accuse him of colluding with Russia.

The next shoe to drop came courtesy of the intelligence community (i.e., the CIA), who alerted the FBI that Flynn was working for a intel cutout of the Turkish Government. What the CIA did not tell the FBI is that the Brennan's CIA apparently had helped arrange, albeit indirectly via the Israelis, Flynn's gig with INOVO.

When Flynn was pressured by the FBI to file documents under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, he was being manipulated into a lie. The record that has emerged in the last couple of weeks, thanks to his new lawyer, Sidney Powell, shows that former FBI Chief of the National Security Division's Counterintelligence and Export Control Section, David Laufman, played a critical role in pressuring Flynn to file.

It is not clear whether Laufman understood that the relationship between Flynn and INOVO was manufactured with the help of the CIA. But the recent release of documents makes it pretty clear that Laufman was dealing in insider information and made no effort to help Flynn understand that he had been deceived by INOVO.

The CIA's hand remained active in flooding the media with propaganda to impugn General Flynn's character. David Corn, writing for Mother Jones (he also was instrumental in spreading the Steele Dossier around) painted Flynn in a sinister light :

. . . . The "issue" in question was no small matter. Last year, Alptekin paid $530,000 to retired Lt. General Michael Flynn to lobby on behalf of Turkish interests. At the time, Flynn was a top adviser to Trump's presidential campaign, and after Trump's shock victory, the president-elect rewarded Flynn with the job of national security adviser. But it later emerged that Flynn had failed to register as a foreign lobbyist for this work, as required by law, and that he was under federal investigation for his secret lobbying for Alptekin.

He denied to ABC News that he and his company had represented the government of Turkey. (In his retroactive filing, Flynn noted that his work for Alptekin "could be construed to have principally benefitted the Republic of Turkey.") Alptekin blamed the "highly politicized situation" in the United States for the "misunderstanding and misperceptions" around his company and hiring of Flynn.

Corn and Buzzfeed zeroed in on the money paid to Flynn and raised the specter of Israeli involvement, albeit indirectly. Corn wrote :

But an attachment to the filing, citing an American law firm representing Alptekin, says that "Inovo represented a private sector company in Israel that sought to export natural gas to Turkey, and it was for support of its consulting work for this client that Inovo engaged Flynn Intel Group, specifically to understand the tumultuous political climate at the time between the United States and Turkey so that Inovo could advise its client regarding its business opportunities and investment in Turkey."

None of the money came from Turkey, according to Alptekin's American attorneys. In an interview with a Dutch newspaper in April, Alptekin said the funds for the Flynn project came from a loan from his wife and payments from Ratio Oil Exploration, an Israeli natural gas company.

Buzzfeed piled on :

Alptekin's troubles started last June when his Dutch company, Inovo BV, signed a deal to become the sole Turkish representative of Ratio Oil Exploration, an Israeli firm that is one of three companies with the right to drill in the Leviathan gas field beneath the eastern Mediterranean Sea. "Ratio hereby confirms that it has in place a service agreement with Inovo BV and it has granted Inovo with the rights to exclusively represent Ratio in the Republic of Turkey for exploring and managing the opportunity to export gas from Leviathan into Turkey," according to a copy of a letter on Ratio letterhead, signed by Ratio's chairman of the board, Ligad Rotlevy, and obtained by BuzzFeed News.

I do not think that Israeli link, i.e, Ration Oil Exploration, is a coincidence. I suspect that Ratio Oil executives now realize that were used unwittingly in this plot to go after General Flynn. They even ponied up some cash. It is understandable why some Israelis would want to get information about Fethullah Gulen in front of the U.S. Government. He is perceived in some circles as a terrorist and an enabler of drug trafficking. Others insist these are unfounded charges and that Gulen is being smeared simply for opposing Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

I also think it is worth investigating whether any of that cash came courtesy of Mossad at the behest of the CIA.

Without NSA intercepts of INOVO's principal, Ekim Alptekin, there would have been no solid case against Flynn on FARA violations. I am hopeful that his new attorney will fully expose the fraud perpetrated on Flynn by his government.


Ishmael Zechariah , 15 July 2019 at 10:30 PM

Mr. Johnson,

re: It is understandable why some Israelis would want to get information about Fethullah Gulen in front of the U.S. Government. He is perceived in some circles as a terrorist and an enabler of drug trafficking. Others insist these are unfounded charges and that Gulen is being smeared simply for opposing Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

I question the motives of these "others". They are either complicit knaves or deluded fools. Just like Epstein, the source of Gulen's wealth is murky. It might even originate from a set of common sources.

https://www.newsbud.com/2017/10/24/targeting-michael-flynn-shielding-the-radical-cleric-gulen-special-counsel-robert-mueller-must-step-down/

Perhaps the in-fighting within the deep state will reveal more of their earlier machinations in the days to come.

Ishmael Zechariah

j2 , 15 July 2019 at 10:54 PM
Sir,

No need to publish this, but please let Mr Johnson know he may need to add one more person here - George Papadopolous.

PapaD was working an oil deal around this time (2016 iirc) with Israel and Greece that would bypass Turkey. This brought the attention of someone, presumably CIA. PapaD was also arrested by FBI and threatened with FARA violations for working for Israel. PapaD's story is longer and more convoluted, but you get the idea.

Gen Flynn's brother Joe Flynn had an interview 15 Jun 2019 with John B Wells, and told nearly the same story as Mr Johnson, sans details. Joe Flynn believes Gen Flynn was the original target for both CIA interest and FISA warrant.

Thank you very much. All the best.

Regards.

elaine , 15 July 2019 at 11:00 PM
Larry, Your original article has also been on thegatewaypundint.com & is being picked up by other sites.

elaine

Peter VE , 16 July 2019 at 08:19 AM
Thank you for your diligence in keeping up with this. The way our MSM works today, I won't be surprised to hear on NPR that Gen. Flynn is suspected of involvement in the murder of Seth Rich.
casey , 16 July 2019 at 11:09 AM
Nice work, Mr. Johnson. I wonder what you would put the odds of a Flynn change of plea, at this point?

[Jul 17, 2019] The 'New Right' Is Not a Reaction to Neoliberalism, but Its Offspring

Notable quotes:
"... By Lars Cornelissen, who holds a PhD in the Humanities and works as a researcher and editor for the Independent Social Research Foundation. Originally published at openDemocracy ..."
"... 'New World Order' ..."
Jul 17, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

The 'New Right' Is Not a Reaction to Neoliberalism, but Its Offspring Posted on July 17, 2019 by Yves Smith By Lars Cornelissen, who holds a PhD in the Humanities and works as a researcher and editor for the Independent Social Research Foundation. Originally published at openDemocracy

The ongoing and increasingly intense conservative backlash currently taking place across Europe is often understood as a populist reaction to neoliberal policy. The neoliberal assault on the welfare state, as for instance Chantal Mouffe has argued , has eroded post-war social security even as it destroyed people's faith in electoral politics. Coupled with a sharp increase in inequality and rapid globalisation, the technocratic nature of neoliberal government has angered electorates across the continent. Wanting to "take back control" of their political life, these electorates have turned away from traditional centrist parties and have thrown their lot in with populist parties on the fringes of the political spectrum. Although, as Mouffe is at pains to point out , this creates a space for both left-wing and right-wing populisms, today it seems that especially its inward-looking, nationalistic variants are experiencing electoral success.

To be sure, this diagnosis is by and large correct. Decades of neoliberal hegemony have certainly served to impoverish the cultural life of many European nations. Meanwhile, neoliberal policies of privatisation and deregulation, followed after the 2008 crisis by a decade of blithe austerity measures, have gutted most of the institutions that previously carried the promise of equity and security -- even if that promise was always already a false one. The rise in jingoistic nationalism is, in this sense, without doubt a consequence of the neoliberal era.

It would be incorrect to assume, however, that these nationalisms are somehow juxtaposed to or fundamentally different from neoliberalism. It would be wrong, that is, to see the rise of the so-called "new right" as a sign of neoliberalism's demise or to see the 2008 financial crisis as marking its death rattle. Neoliberalism did not merely provide the occasion for the rise of nationalist sentiment; rather, the latter also grew out of the former. Differently put, neoliberal doctrine already carried the seeds of the kind of conservativism that is currently running rampant in Europe.

The Neoliberal Network

A good place to start is the network of neoliberal think tanks and research institutes that has served as the frontline of the neoliberal project since the 1950s. Indeed, as numerous research studies by historians and sociologists have shown, although neoliberalism first emerged as an intellectual movement spearheaded by such figures as Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, Walter Eucken, and Milton Friedman, crucial to the movement's success was its effort to disseminate its ideology strategically. Thus, after an initial phase in which these men prepared the philosophical grounds for the neoliberal agenda, they set out to spread their ideas, forming a Transatlantic web of intellectuals and researchers with the express objective of steadily influencing public opinion in general and policy-makers in particular.

Among the most prominent think tanks to be erected in this way are the Institute of Economic Affairs, founded by Anthony Fisher in 1955 on Hayek's explicit advice, the Cato Institute, founded in 1974, and the Adam Smith Institute, founded in 1977. They are merely the most visible core of a vast network of similar organisations, however. Whether named after neoliberalism's pioneering theorists (a small selection: the Hayek Institut; the Hayek Gesellschaft; the Ludwig von Mises Institute; the Walter Eucken Institut; the Becker Friedman Institute) or given more esoteric monikers (such as the Heritage Foundation or the Atlas Economic Research Foundation), many right-wing think tanks are of neoliberal descent. Those whose founding predates the birth of neoliberalism, such as the Hoover Institution and the American Enterprise Institute, were quickly absorbed into the neoliberal project. Together these think tanks form a sprawling network of ideological entrepreneurs driven, as Anthony Fisher is reported to have said , by the desire to "litter the world with free-market think tanks."

As the primary channels through which neoliberal ideas flow to the wider public, these institutions make for a crucial weather vane for shifts unfolding within the neoliberal mindset. Any attempt to make sense of neoliberalism's many twists and turns must therefore pay attention to trends in their ideological direction and outputs. And this is where neoliberalism's recent hard turn towards conservative nationalism becomes apparent.

Neoliberal Conservatism

Neoliberalism has always had a strong conservative streak: Hayek himself was inspired by Edmund Burke at least as much as by Adam Smith, and such towering figures of German neoliberalism as Wilhem Röpke and Alexander Rüstow were deeply conservative thinkers. Conversely, Hayek in particular has exerted a considerable influence on the most recent generation of conservative philosophers, with men like Roger Scruton, Paul Cliteur, Francis Fukuyama, and Niall Ferguson routinely drawing upon his ideas about the market, law, and societal order in support of their own conservatism. (The latter, as it happens, received the Hayek Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.)

However, what originally remained an intellectual attraction between neoliberals and conservatives has in recent decades morphed into something more closely resembling a synthesis. As neoliberal hegemony reached its climax in the 1990s, its intellectual custodians began focusing their attention on what they purported to be the failures of multiculturalism. Decrying 'cultural relativism,' neoliberal think tanks began publishing pamphlets that sang the praises of western culture, which their writers regarded as inherently superior to its non-liberal (read: non-western) counterparts. They proceeded to assert the need to protect national identity from its dilution by immigration and to advocate patriotism and nationalism as a means of consolidating such identity.

It is, then, wrong to assume that neoliberal parties or intellectuals embraced nationalism only after the so-called "new right" was in its ascendency, as a means to win back voters or to assuage a supposedly vitriolic and jingoistic electorate. In truth, many of neoliberalism's ideologues had swerved firmly towards conservative nationalism well before right-wing populism became a serious political contender. In doing so, they anticipated many of the latter's principal ideological markers, including its conspiratorial conception of " cultural Marxism " and its fondness for Oswald Spengler .

In short, neoliberals had no small part in setting the stage for the recent eruption of regressive nationalism. By peddling ethnocentric, nationalistic, and xenophobic ideas they helped shift public opinion to the conservative right, rendering it ever more salonfähig. A good example of this process may be found in Dutch politics, where Islamophobia entered mainstream discourse largely due to the efforts of Frits Bolkestein, then the country's leading neoliberal politician and author. Anticipating the Islamophobia of Pim Fortuyn and later Geert Wilders by about a decade, he claimed as early as 1991 that Islam is objectively speaking inferior to western culture. In so doing, he shifted the country's national debate and gave xenophobia a gloss of legitimacy, setting the stage for his country's sharp conservative turn in the new millennium.

A Neoliberal Brexit

Neoliberalism's influence on the rise of conservatism is not exhausted by its ideological appeal, however. Think tanks are, after all, meant to direct policy, not just to elaborate an ideological doctrine. By way of example, let us consider Brexit. Indeed, the neoliberals' impact on the "new right" is nowhere clearer than in the British hard right's attempt to enforce a no-deal Brexit.

To begin, it's worth noting that the Conservative Party's most prominent cadre of Brexit-backing nationalists counts many explicit devotees of Hayek amongst its numbers, including Roger Scruton , Boris Johnson , Priti Patel , and Sajid Javid (who called Hayek a "legend" in a 2014 tweet ). Jacob Rees-Mogg's late father William was similarly an outspoken Hayekian, calling himself "an Austrian economist more than anything else" in a 2010 interview and adding for good measure that he "knew Friedrich von Hayek and liked him very much."

But neoliberalism's impact on Tory hard Brexiteers goes much further. Here again, the neoliberal network of think tanks takes centre stage. As research done by openDemocracy UK has demonstrated, the Conservative Party's nationalist wing maintains very intimate ties with the Institute of Economic Affairs, which has lobbied extensively to broaden the appeal of a hard or even no-deal Brexit. Thus it maintains very close ties with the European Research Group (ERG), a group that represents the Party's most extreme Eurosceptics, and has had the ear of Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, David Davis, and Jacob Rees-Mogg.

The IEA is but one of many neoliberal think tanks that are today advocating a hard Brexit. The same is true for, amongst other, the Adam Smith Institute , the Hayek Institut , the Austrian Economics Center , the Mises Institute , the Hoover Institute , the Cato Institute , and the Heritage Foundation . Whilst it's not true that all of those who work for such institutes are Brexiteers -- indeed, the Adam Smith Institute is very open about its internal dispute over Brexit -- it certainly is the case that neoliberalism's ideological vanguard is contributing significantly to the justification and rationalisation of a no-deal scenario.

All of these threads seem to converge in the figure of Steve Baker. Serving as Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union from June 2017 until he resigned a year later over his disagreement with the government's stance on Brexit, Baker was one of his party's leading Eurosceptical voices well before that. In 2015, he co-founded the Conservatives for Britain campaign, which was instrumental in lobbying for a referendum on Britain's membership of the EU. What's more, he served as Chairman of the ERG between 2016 and 2018 and as Deputy Chairman since then. Baker is also a prominent figure in the world of neoliberal think tanks, having co-founded The Cobden Centre (TCC) in 2010 and served as its director until 2017. A self-declared Austrian-inspired think tank, TCC is co-directed by hard Brexiteer Daniel Hannan , routinely posts defences of a hard Brexit, hosts material by hard-line Brexiteers such as Nigel Farage , Douglas Carswell , Michael Tomlinson , and Baker himself, and has close links to a glut of other neoliberal, pro-Brexit think tanks.

There is ample evidence that what is often seen as the "new right" is in fact not all that different from its predecessor. Several decades of neoliberal hegemony have not just triggered a backlash by the conservative right. Rather, the conservative right is a mutation of neoliberalism, one of its many outgrowths. The left is ill served by the continued assumption that it's fighting a new enemy, for clearly neoliberalism is still very much with us.


Colonel Smithers , July 17, 2019 at 6:33 am

Many thanks, Yves.

With regard to Brexit, I would just add that neo con think tanks, e.g. the Henry Jackson Society, also joined their more economics focussed brethren. Brexit is a means of weakening the EU to the benefit of the anglosphere, albeit a US led community with the UK playing Greece to the US's Rome. They are less prominent, or shouty, but I think that is by design. The likes of Richard Dearlove, Charles Guthrie and John Scarlett know how to play this game and are happy to let the loud mouths, especially the colonials like Kate Andrews, Divya Chakraborty and Chloe "low tax" Westley, or "low fact" to some, front up on air.

Steve Baker is a former Royal Air Force officer and MP for the neighbouring constituency. He straddles both camps.

There are differences, often tensions, between the Austrians, neo cons and the likes of the North family. Pete(r J) North's latest blog addresses that.

Ignacio , July 17, 2019 at 6:35 am

Indeed all confessed VOX (populist rigth, Spain) voters I know were faithful Popular Party (conservative) voters. Anecdotic but in line with this article.

Watt4Bob , July 17, 2019 at 7:37 am

The 'New Right' are the storm troopers of the neoliberal 'New World Order' , conjured deliberately, and painstakingly into existence as a bulwark against the rising tide of legitimate populist revolt against the strangle hold of neoliberal rule.

This is exactly what Jay Gould meant* when he said he could hire half the working class to murder the other half.

It's disturbing to note how obviously Trump is stirring the embers of reactionary sentiment that are never far from the surface of our national lack-of-character.

*It matters not if Jay Gould actually uttered these words, they describe the foundation of right-wing power in America.

Carolinian , July 17, 2019 at 9:23 am

Where is this "rising tide" you refer to? In the US our supposed revolutionaries are firmly within the Democratic party which is neoliberal to the core. While the above article may be correct that the nationalist new right represents fake populism in the manner of Wall Street loving Trump, there's not a lot of evidence of an anti-capitalist revolt on the left either (Elizabeth Warren: I am a capitalist). The article linked the other day on inverted totalitarianism hit the nail squarely. Whether left or right "There Is No Alternative" holds sway until the house of cards finally collapses. In the meantime our current elites will go to any extreme to keep that from happening.

Watt4Bob , July 17, 2019 at 11:35 am

The discomfort of those at the bottom results eventually in anger, and that anger looks for an outlet.

Rather than take the chance that those angry folks might seek, and eventually find solace in solidarity with left-oriented populism a la Bernie Sanders flavor of socialism, TPTB nurture a perennial alternative, the empty, but effective promise to make things 'right' by force of will, and of course, violence if necessary.

If the "rising tide" of relatively informed and activist candidates did not exist, and were not influencing the electorate, there would be fear on the part of TPTB, and so no reason to encourage the "New Right" .

I might add, that IMHO, you are swimming in that "rising tide" by your participation here at NC.

Carolinian , July 17, 2019 at 12:23 pm

Guess I'm old enough to remember an actual popular tide. But as we found the tide comes in and then it goes out. IMO in order to have another New Deal we are probably going to need another Great Depression. The internet including this website have become a great resource for learning what is going on. But if the plutocrats begin to bothered by it they will institute censorship (it's already happening). What they really fear is losing their money and therefore their power. Another economic crisis might do the job.

Pym of Nantucket , July 17, 2019 at 10:31 am

Whenever one attributes anything to Trump, I believe it is important to imagine him not as the mastermind, but as the catalyst. There are countless pent up forces that are using him as the figurehead or scapegoat around which a torrent of change coming which was previously held back. I feel that the damage done by his presidency was coming anyway, with him now as Court Jester leading the parade. He is the perfect hybrid of Big Brother and Emmanuel Goldstein.

A.F , July 17, 2019 at 8:18 am

Nonsense.
Neoliberalism is anti-national and anti-conservative.

Petter , July 17, 2019 at 10:22 am

Epistemology of Neoliberalism – from Phillip Mirowski video – Hell is Truth Seen Too Late.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBB4POvcH18&t=653s

1. People are sloppy undependable cognitive agents.
2. Not to worry – "The Market" is the greatest information processor in human history.
3. The problem is to get people to accept and subjugate themselves to the Market. This is called "Freedom".
4. The politics of 1-3 can get a little tricky. Best not be too literal about it.

Susan the other` , July 17, 2019 at 1:12 pm

Liberty and liberal are both words that are fraught with contradiction and confusion. Whose Liberty? Liberal for whom? That never gets parsed out because in the parsing both words lose their meaning. They are just bricks and bats and hand grenades. Hayek reads like a thoughtful, reasonable person. But what he believes to be effective economics always fails. We are all current witnesses. Austrians are conservative in defense of their liberty. They seek liberal policies and governments so they can have more individual economic freedom. And free trade. Socialism sees it differently; socialists are, by contrast, conservative. They believe in conserving social justice. Now we have a first hand understanding of the failures of neoliberalism. People at the local level, and the rural, want to be included in the liberal prosperity so they vote for more economic freedom (leave the EU); the elite and the rich want something entirely different; they want an even less restricted government so they can sail off and be neocolonialists. So just like the confusion over the word "liberal" nobody asks, Brexit for whom? It makes me weary.

tegnost , July 17, 2019 at 11:06 am

I'd say the neolibs are more afraid of sanders than they are of trump, so conservative (why can't those better republicans be like us) and also that they understand labor arbitrage requires borders and so are pro national.

Thuto , July 17, 2019 at 9:18 am

Interesting perspective this about neoliberalism and the new right drawing from the same ideological source. I would also add that Ukraine is a cautionary tale to all would-be right wing "leaders" that you can whip citizens into a frenzy (with help from Victoria Nuland, John McCain and a not insignificant coup warchest of $5bn) and ride the stirred up resentment of the establishment to the presidency but unless you deliver real, socially beneficial changes the next election you'll have your as# handed to you by a comedian, just ask Poroshenko.

Outside of the US where right wing politicians like Trump can take the credit for levers like easy credit bidding up asset prices and the gig economy putting lipstick on the unemployment pig to keep the deception going (the deception being that stock markets are at all time highs, employment numbers are up etc even as wealth and income inequality are at robber baron levels), right wing populism is hardly a viable political strategy. Once all the immigrants have been demonized and chased out and people notice that their lives are still stuck in an economic rut, the right wingers run out of targets to aim their vitriol at, their rhetoric falls flat and public trust in their divisive tactics erodes.

David , July 17, 2019 at 9:41 am

He gets several things confused, apparently as a result of an attempt to argue that immigration, multiculturalism and so forth are unproblematic, and only "islamophobes" would suggest otherwise. It's very much a view from inside the Panglossian bubble. There are at least three strands here.
Celebrations of western culture in comparison with Islam (a minority position but one which is still found) go back a long time, mainly on the Right Christian heritage, democracy etc) but also to some extent on the Left, where some writers fear that secularism and class-based politics are themselves in danger.
Opposition to explicitly multicultural policies by government (not the same as living in a society with different cultures) is largely a reaction to policies promoted by governments of the ostensible Left, although supported for entirely cynical reasons by neoliberals as a way of fragmenting resistance. This opposition comes from all parts of the political system.
Opposition to neoliberal policies, most obviously the encouragement of immigration by unskilled workers from poor countries, is based primarily on the lived experience of the poor and disadvantaged who are the main victims of immigration. (A non-negligible element of the opposition comes from past immigrants who have settled and made lives for themselves.)
There's a very elitist argument here that people are incapable of understanding their actual situations and require some right-wing pundit to explain things to them.

Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg , July 17, 2019 at 10:56 am

Also the article elides the fact that neoliberalism has within its DNA a subspecies of Fabian Socialism that seems to assuage what little conciousness market fundamentalists have about rolling back a century of bitterly won advances by the working classes (of all erthnicities & gender identies, fixations and usages) within the insustrialized regions by diluting them with waves of foreign people made desperate by contrived colonial wars and climate disasters.
Does anyone believe that an Indonesian Muslim background person in Netherlands who's made a good living suddenly wants her children to have to compete with waves of Africans for starter jobs?
Also- we've just come off of 30 plus years of identitarian pride for all non-white people. Which is just garbage that's come out of english departments in the elite universities. White people have been told for about a decade now by everyone in academia and entertainment that they're all racist trash who need to intermarry with darker people as quickly as possible to expiate the sins of north american chattel slavery and ..muh holocaust. Somehow all the depradations, human sacrifices, genocides and repressions of and by about every group throughout all time are just 'whatabouttism' now. When you start scapegoating any group they will get their back up eventually. There's nothing conservative about it. But Disaster Capitalists are more than happy to insert themselves into the scene, supporting such causes the same way they supported #MeToo or #BlackLivesMatter when it was a convenience. Never let a good disaster go to waste, right?

Clive , July 17, 2019 at 12:08 pm

Yes, and nary a mention of long-standing socialist (oft referred to in the U.K. as Bennite in "honour" of the school of thought popularised by Tony Benn, but he merely expressed much older international labour movement (note the small "l" there not a big "L") notion of global worker solidarity) opposition to the EU.

You can say many things about socialism, Bennism and their kissing cousin Communism. But "neoliberal" or "neoliberal antecedences" isn't one of them.

A nice try at constricting -- and thereby, one has to assume, attempting to constrain and frame -- Brexit as being only a right wing or conservative reactionary ideal and thereby inherently neoliberal. But that might, only might, have worked a few years ago. Too much water has passed under the bridge and too much ideological complexity has emerged around it now for that to wash.

divadab , July 17, 2019 at 12:19 pm

@David – yes! Resistance to excessive immigration is non-ideological but based on very human tribalism. Too many strangers in a society results in a loss of fellow-feeling and more division. This is, IMHO, the root of much of the rot in Western societies – the destruction of trust, aided and abetted by a ruling class that uses deception habitually to manage the masses and divide them from themselves. Can't let the cattle figure out how we're exploiting them!

John Wright , July 17, 2019 at 1:17 pm

If one views the indigenous workforce of a nation as a loosely constructed "labor union", one only has to look at the disdain that labor unions have for strike breaking "scabs" to see why there is resistance to excessive immigration.

At the top of the workforce pyramid, the well-paid upper crust views their costs for domestic help and workplace staffing dropping with increased immigration..

I suspect left leaning US politicians do not allow that many voting, low wage, workers (aka HRC deplorables) view themselves competing with immigrants for jobs, with some numerical justification, as immigrants and their US born children constitute about 28% of US population.

https://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/frequently-requested-statistics-immigrants-and-immigration-united-states

"Immigrants and their U.S.-born children now number approximately 89.4 million people, or 28 percent of the overall U.S. population, according to the 2018 Current Population Survey (CPS). Pew Research Center projects that the immigrant-origin share will rise to about 36 percent by 2065."

Trump has tapped into this, but is doing it in a Potemkin village style, as I tell people that Trump likes low wage workers for his properties and construction projects. His border wall is designed for show, not effectiveness, otherwise he would enforce employer sanctions against employing non US citizens.

Off The Street , July 17, 2019 at 10:03 am

Neo-liberalism seems to me to have as a logical consequence the fostering of a Covenant-Lite approach to culture as well as markets.

The markets show that some of those Covenant-Lite Collateralized Loan Obligations are blowing up now , distressingly reminiscent of the CDOs that wrought havoc on the world financial markets last decade during the Crash.

Culture gets its turn, as it always does, this time through an anything-goes approach without any moral or ethical underpinnings, of whatever nature. It should be no surprise to anyone that there are bad actors to manipulate situations, institutions and people.

Off The Street , July 17, 2019 at 12:05 pm

See also Wolf Richter on the matter.

Hayek's Heelbiter , July 17, 2019 at 10:16 am

Glad to see my nemesis being exposed for what he truly is! :)

Amfortas the hippie , July 17, 2019 at 10:52 am

I think this is neglecting an important strand ..Neoliberalism obviously contains within itself the resistance of the Hoi Polloi even Hayek and Mises were aware of this as far back as the 40's.
People would chafe at the all against all hyperindividualist yer-on-yer-own orthodoxy and seek ways to challenge the Neoliberal Order.
The Right Wing Version of such Populist insurgency is simply one that the Neoliberal Thought Collective can more easily swallow and use towards it's own ends.
Unlike the Sanders/Veroufkas(sp-2). Melanchon(sp-2) Actual Left version of Populism, which is the antithesis of Neoliberalism.
Look to the history of things like the CIA, and the Elite neofeudalist worldview it has worked for from it's very beginnings .anything that smells of the Left must be rooted out and crushed, lest it present an alternative while Right Wing Authoritarians are supported as "Freedom Fighters" and "Liberationists" .just ignore all the corpses(or blame them on the Powerless Left)
Neoliberalism is merely the latest(and slipperiest!) version of a Capitalist World Order that itself is merely the latest iteration of the Ancient Regime.
The Elite, as a class, have been trying to undo the Enlightenment(often by coopting many of it's features) since time immemorial.
The Populist Right is a useful(if dangerous) tool in furtherance of that end, while Lefty Populism is anathema, that would undo the very foundations of their preferred Order.

[Jul 14, 2019] The Roots of Trump's Militarism by Gordon Duff

Notable quotes:
"... Little is spoken of today, particularly as Trump, Bolton and Pompeo are threatening war on three continents simultaneously, but the failure of diplomacy and the primacy of militarism. ..."
"... Eisenhower described this process as he saw it, universities "pimping" for militarists, congress bought, judges owned, as he left office. He never truly understood the extent of the problem as he himself was under the thumb of the Dulles boys, John Foster (Secretary of State) and Allen (CIA Director), formerly Adolf Hitler's legal representatives on Wall Street prior to Pearl Harbor. ..."
"... Worse still, Trump's son in law, Jared Kushner, has become the "dime store" von Ribbentrop of our time, settling the world's affairs with an eye to personal enrichment and little concern for justice, human suffering or the wars his incompetence may lead to. ..."
"... War for profit isn't anything new and the American military industrial complex that failed to collapse as intended after the end of World War II is a major component in today's ever maddening world. President Eisenhower warned of this in his 1961 farewell address: ..."
"... Research available to military intelligence as early as 1949, clearly showed that the "ratlines" that sent Nazis to South America after the war had been sending war profits to American and British corporations throughout World War II, not just through Swiss banks but the Vatican as well. ..."
"... Facilitating this treason on a massive scale was America's OSS, precursor to the CIA and Britain's SIS (Secret Intelligence Services) who continued to work closely with Nazi Germany's Abwehr throughout the Cold War. ..."
"... Hitler's domestic policies, however, were, for the "chosen people" at least, in this case ethnic Germans, far more beneficial than Hitler's predecessors have chosen for the people of the US and Britain. Is it fair to call American and British leaders "predecessors" or "inheritors" of Adolf Hitler? ..."
Jul 14, 2019 | www.veteranstoday.com

NEO: The Roots of Trump's Militarism By Gordon Duff, Senior Editor - July 10, 2019 3 4783

by Gordon Duff and New Eastern Outlook, Moscow

NEO was established and has been continually publishing since 1818

Little is spoken of today, particularly as Trump, Bolton and Pompeo are threatening war on three continents simultaneously, but the failure of diplomacy and the primacy of militarism. Problem is, those who drive these insane policies control and even own the "engines of reason and dissent."

Eisenhower described this process as he saw it, universities "pimping" for militarists, congress bought, judges owned, as he left office. He never truly understood the extent of the problem as he himself was under the thumb of the Dulles boys, John Foster (Secretary of State) and Allen (CIA Director), formerly Adolf Hitler's legal representatives on Wall Street prior to Pearl Harbor.

Trump simply inherited what he calls "the sewer" and has done exactly what Eisenhower did, surrounded himself with the worst of the worst, men like Bolton and Pompeo, "shills" for the military industrial complex and the "banksters" who have orchestrated wars for a thousand years.

Worse still, Trump's son in law, Jared Kushner, has become the "dime store" von Ribbentrop of our time, settling the world's affairs with an eye to personal enrichment and little concern for justice, human suffering or the wars his incompetence may lead to.

War for profit isn't anything new and the American military industrial complex that failed to collapse as intended after the end of World War II is a major component in today's ever maddening world. President Eisenhower warned of this in his 1961 farewell address:

"Crises there will continue to be. In meeting them, whether foreign or domestic, great or small, there is a recurring temptation to feel that some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties. A huge increase in newer elements of our defense; development of unrealistic programs to cure every ill in agriculture; a dramatic expansion in basic and applied research -- these and many other possibilities, each possibly promising in itself, may be suggested as the only way to the road we wish to travel.

The record of many decades stands as proof that our people and their government have, in the main, understood these truths and have responded to them well, in the face of stress and threat. But threats, new in kind or degree, constantly arise.

IV. A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction.

Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.

Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded."

What "Ike" as we called him then was unaware of was the international nature of the military industrial complex as well. Did he choose to ignore the roles of Standard Oil of New Jersey, General Motors, Ford, Alcoa, Lockheed, Goodyear, Dupont and dozens of other American corporations in not only building the Third Reich but keeping its war machines going throughout the war?

Behind the corporations were the banks, Brown Brothers of New York, the Rothschild's of London, powerful law firms, Dulles Brothers which included Eisenhower's own CIA director and Secretary of State, all working for Hitler before the war and perhaps, more than perhaps, during.

Research available to military intelligence as early as 1949, clearly showed that the "ratlines" that sent Nazis to South America after the war had been sending war profits to American and British corporations throughout World War II, not just through Swiss banks but the Vatican as well.

Facilitating this treason on a massive scale was America's OSS, precursor to the CIA and Britain's SIS (Secret Intelligence Services) who continued to work closely with Nazi Germany's Abwehr throughout the Cold War.

This continuation of Nazi influence in Washington and London led NATO to largely reflect the policies of Nazi Germany, building a world of totalitarian puppets and stripping the world bare.

Hitler's domestic policies, however, were, for the "chosen people" at least, in this case ethnic Germans, far more beneficial than Hitler's predecessors have chosen for the people of the US and Britain. Is it fair to call American and British leaders "predecessors" or "inheritors" of Adolf Hitler?

One needs only to listen to the racist and jingoistic rhetoric of Washington and London, the smears, the threats, the raving lunacy.

As London now has its own "populist" waiting in the wings, Boris Johnson, there to save the British people from the influx of refugees resulting from Britain's own policies in the Middle East and Africa, one might feel history is actually being "recycled."

Where Hitler had Mussolini, his inheritors now have Jail Bolsonaro of Brazil and a new military alliance of Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

The key, of course, is creating factionalism and fakery, even in the total absence of ideological conflict.

A closer examination of history shows the runup to August 1914, the engineering by the Warburgs, Shiffs and Rothschilds of the alliances needed to burn down the world.

At Versailles they built the framework for the next war and by the late 1920s had collapsed the world economy and began pouring cash into Europe's fascists.

Of course, today's universities, just as Eisenhower warned, would never allow the generations of the latter 20th century and beyond to gain the tools needed to secure a peaceful world order.

Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War that has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades and consulted with governments challenged by security issues. He's a senior editor and chairman of the board of Veterans Today , especially for the online magazine " New Eastern Outlook ."

[Jul 13, 2019] I wonder what percentage of veterans got "woke" to this before Tulsi Gabbard?

Jul 13, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

+ 64% of veterans said the Iraq War wasn't worth fighting , considering the costs versus the benefit to the U.S., and more than 50% think the same about the war in Afghanistan I wonder what percentage of them got "woke" to this before Tulsi Gabbard?

[Jul 10, 2019] RAY MCGOVERN

Notable quotes:
"... As Congress arrives back into town and the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees prepare to question ex-Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller on July 17, partisan lines are being drawn even more sharply, as Russias-gate blossoms into Deep-State-gate. On Sunday, a top Republican legislator, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) took the gloves off in an unusually acerbic public attack on former leaders of the FBI and CIA. ..."
"... "The media went along with this – actually, keeping this farcical, ridiculous thought going that the President of the United States was somehow involved in a conspiracy with Russia against his own country." ..."
"... Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. No fan of the current President, Ray has been trained to follow and analyze the facts, wherever they may lead. He spent 27 years as a CIA analyst, and prepared the President's Daily Brief for three presidents. In retirement he co-founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). ..."
"... Mr. McGovern you are right in your analysis. Obama is in this up to his neck, however there will be a limited investigation at best because the Jews and Israel don't want this. They are involved and a real investigation would show what control they have over the FBI and CIA. ..."
"... The world is controlled by the Corporate Fascist Military-Intelligence Police State in which governments are nothing more than Proxies with Intelligence Agencies who work against the average citizen and for the Corporations. Politicians like Trump are nothing more than figureheads who must "Toe the Line" or else. ..."
Jul 10, 2019 | www.unz.com

JULY 8, 2019 1,500 WORDS 2 COMMENTS REPLY

As Congress arrives back into town and the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees prepare to question ex-Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller on July 17, partisan lines are being drawn even more sharply, as Russias-gate blossoms into Deep-State-gate. On Sunday, a top Republican legislator, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) took the gloves off in an unusually acerbic public attack on former leaders of the FBI and CIA.

King told a radio audience:

"There is no doubt to me there was severe, serious abuses that were carried out in the FBI and, I believe, top levels of the CIA against the President of the United States or, at that time, presidential candidate Donald Trump," according to The Hill.

King (image on the right), a senior congressman specializing in national security, twice chaired the House Homeland Security Committee and currently heads its Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence. He also served for several years on the House Intelligence Committee.

He asserted:

"There was no legal basis at all for them to begin this investigation of his campaign – and the way they carried it forward, and the way information was leaked. All of this is going to come out. It's going to show the bias. It's going to show the baselessness of the investigation and I would say the same thing if this were done to Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders It's just wrong."

The Long Island Republican added a well aimed swipe at what passes for the media today:

"The media went along with this – actually, keeping this farcical, ridiculous thought going that the President of the United States was somehow involved in a conspiracy with Russia against his own country."

According to King, the Justice Department's review, ordered by Attorney General William Barr , would prove that former officials acted improperly. He was alluding to the investigation led by John Durham , U.S. Attorney in Connecticut. Sounds nice. But waiting for Durham to complete his investigation at a typically lawyerly pace would, I fear, be much like the experience of waiting for Mueller to finish his; that is, like waiting for Godot. What about now?

So Where is the IG Report on FISA?

That's the big one. If Horowitz is able to speak freely about what he has learned, his report could lead to indictments of former CIA Director John Brennan , former FBI Director James Comey , former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe , former Deputy Attorneys General Sally Yates and Rod Rosenstein , and Dana Boente -- Boente being the only signer of the relevant FISA applications still in office. (No, he has not been demoted to file clerk in the FBI library; at last report, he is FBI General Counsel!).

The DOJ inspector General's investigation, launched in March 2018, has centered on whether the FBI and DOJ filing of four FISA applications and renewals beginning in October 2016 to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page amounted to abuse of the FISA process. (Fortunately for the IG, Obama's top intelligence and law enforcement officials were so sure that Hillary Clinton would win that they did not do much to hide their tracks.)

The Washington Examiner reported last Tuesday, "The Justice Department inspector general's investigation of potential abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is complete, a Republican congressman said, though a report on its findings might not be released for a month." The report continued:

"House Judiciary Committee member John Ratcliffe (R, Texas) said Monday he'd met with DOJ watchdog Michael Horowitz last week about his FISA abuse report. In a media interview, Ratcliffe said they'd discussed the timing, but not the content of his report and Horowitz 'related that his team's investigative work is complete and they're now in the process of drafting that report. Ratcliffe said he was doubtful that Horowitz's report would be made available to the public or the Congress anytime soon. 'He [Horowitz] did relay that as much as 20% of his report is going to include classified information, so that draft report will have to undergo a classification review at the FBI and at the Department of Justice,' Ratcliffe said. 'So, while I'm hopeful that we members of Congress might see it before the August recess, I'm not too certain about that.'"

Earlier, Horowitz had predicted that his report would be ready in May or June but there may, in fact, be good reason for some delay. Fox News reported Friday that "key witnesses sought for questioning by Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz (image on the left) early in his investigation into alleged government surveillance abuse have come forward at the 11th hour." According to Fox's sources, at least one witness outside the Justice Department and FBI has started cooperating -- a breakthrough that came after Durham was assigned to lead a separate investigation into the origins of the FBI's 2016 Russia case that led to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe.

"Classification," however, has been one of the Deep State's favorite tactics to stymie investigations -- especially when the material in question yields serious embarrassment or reveals crimes. And the stakes this time are huge.

Judging by past precedent, Deep State intelligence and law enforcement officials will do all they can to use the "but-it's-classified" excuse to avoid putting themselves and their former colleagues in legal jeopardy. (Though this would violate Obama's executive order 13526 , prohibiting classification of embarrassing or criminal information).

It is far from clear that DOJ IG Horowitz and Attorney General Barr will prevail in the end, even though President Trump has given Barr nominal authority to declassify as necessary. Why are the the stakes so extraordinarily high?

What Did Obama Know, and When Did He Know It?

Recall that in a Sept. 2, 2016 text message to the FBI's then-deputy chief of counterintelligence Peter Strzok, his girlfriend and then-top legal adviser to Deputy FBI Director McCabe, Lisa Page , wrote that she was preparing talking points because the president "wants to know everything we're doing." [Emphasis added.] It does not seem likely that the Director of National Intelligence, DOJ, FBI, and CIA all kept President Obama in the dark about their FISA and other machinations -- although it is possible they did so out of a desire to provide him with "plausible denial."

It seems more likely that Obama's closest intelligence confidant, Brennan, told him about the shenanigans with FISA, that Obama gave him approval (perhaps just tacit approval), and that Brennan used that to harness top intelligence and law enforcement officials behind the effort to defeat Trump and, later, to emasculate and, if possible, remove him.

Moreover, one should not rule out seeing in the coming months an "Obama-made-us-do-it" defense -- whether grounded in fact or not -- by Brennan and perhaps the rest of the gang. Brennan may even have a piece of paper recording the President's "approval" for this or that -- or could readily have his former subordinates prepare one that appears authentic.

Reining in Devin Nunes

That the Deep State retains formidable power can be seen in the repeated Lucy-holding-then-withdrawing-the-football-for-Charlie Brown treatment experienced by House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member, Devin Nunes (R-CA, image on the right). On April 5, 2019, in the apparent belief he had a green light to go on the offensive, Nunes wrote that committee Republicans "will soon be submitting criminal referrals on numerous individuals involved in the abuse of intelligence for political purposes. These people must be held to account to prevent similar abuses from occurring in the future."

On April 7, Nunes was even more specific, telling Fox News that he was preparing to send eight criminal referrals to the Department of Justice "this week," concerning alleged misconduct during the Trump-Russia investigation, including leaks of "highly classified material" and conspiracies to lie to Congress and the FISA court. It seemed to be no-holds-barred for Nunes, who had begun to talk publicly about prison time for those who might be brought to trial.

Except for Fox, the corporate media ignored Nunes's explosive comments. The media seemed smugly convinced that Nunes's talk of "referrals" could be safely ignored -- even though a new sheriff, Barr, had come to town. And sure enough, now, three months later, where are the criminal referrals?

There is ample evidence that President Trump is afraid to run afoul of the Deep State functionaries he inherited. And the Deep State almost always wins. But if Attorney General Barr leans hard on the president to unfetter Nunes, IG Horowitz, Durham and like-minded investigators, all hell may break lose, because the evidence against those who took serious liberties with the law is staring them all in the face.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. No fan of the current President, Ray has been trained to follow and analyze the facts, wherever they may lead. He spent 27 years as a CIA analyst, and prepared the President's Daily Brief for three presidents. In retirement he co-founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

niteranger , says: July 9, 2019 at 11:30 pm GMT

Mr. McGovern you are right in your analysis. Obama is in this up to his neck, however there will be a limited investigation at best because the Jews and Israel don't want this. They are involved and a real investigation would show what control they have over the FBI and CIA.

Trump by now realizes these agencies can make anything up and the Jewish owned and controlled media will do their bidding. I have to assume that Trump has come to the conclusion that he wasn't suppose to win and that the NWO wasn't happy with that because he stands in their way especially on World Trade and Immigration.

The world is controlled by the Corporate Fascist Military-Intelligence Police State in which governments are nothing more than Proxies with Intelligence Agencies who work against the average citizen and for the Corporations. Politicians like Trump are nothing more than figureheads who must "Toe the Line" or else.

I believe Trump knows he could be assassinated at any time. Obama the "God King" did his part for NWO and that's why he gets a King's Ransom for his speeches for reading a teleprompter and banging on his chest and saying, "I did that." What he is really saying is I did that for you -- now where's my check!

Fran Macadam , says: July 10, 2019 at 12:24 am GMT

When they frog-marched you out of that Clinton event, Ray, they had no idea what they were unleashing.

[Jul 09, 2019] Gabbard is NOT a member of the CFR. She has by her own admission, attended some meetings as an invited guest

Jul 09, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Sinophile , 20 hours ago

Gabbard is NOT a member of the CFR. She has by her own admission, attended some meetings as an invited guest. According to her, it was to engage members and find out what their inside game is. I don't know if Gabbard is for real. I voted for Trump because I perceived him to be the anti-war and anti-intervention candidate. Period. So, as I said, I don't know what to think about the lady. I do now understand however, why some individuals in olden times became hermits.

[Jul 09, 2019] Pretty Please - - Trump Asked Iran To Allow Him To Bomb It

This is like fake wrestling on internati0nal arena. Typical negotiations before the fake wrestling event
Jul 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Don Bacon , Jul 8 2019 15:35 utc | 4

An Iranian general yesterday confirmed Magnier's take (also here ):

A senior Iranian general has revealed that Washington, through diplomatic channels, recently asked Tehran to allow it to conduct a small-scale operation in the Iranian airspace in order to save its face following the IRGC's shoot-down of a US spy drone.

Brigadier General Gholam Reza Jalali, the Head of Iran's Civil Defence Organization, said Iran vehemently rejected the US request, saying that it will respond to any act of aggression.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran responded that it views any operation as a war and will give a crushing response to it. You may initiate a war but this is Iran which will finish it," he said Sunday.

The idea that the U.S. would ask Iran to allow it to bomb some targets without hitting back sounds crazy.

Dear Mr. Rouhani,

could you please name me three targets in your country that I am allowed to bomb?

It is urgent as I need to look tough on Iran.

Pretty please!

Donald Trump

But this is the Trump White House and the only thing Trump really seems to care for is his own rating.

. . .that Trump be allowed to bomb one, two or three clear objectives, to be chosen by Iran,
Trump has experience in such a charade, when empty buildings were struck with US rockets after the fake Syrian "gas attack" in Douma, April 2018. Probably the details were worked out between US and Russia in that case. That it wasn't possible this time is a clear indication of Iran strength. Stronger than Russia! Imagine that.

bevin , Jul 8 2019 15:36 utc | 5

Alistair Crooke thinking about Iran and Israel
https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/07/08/to-think-outside-box-helps-first-understand-whats-box/
Don Wiscacho , Jul 8 2019 15:42 utc | 6
That Trump would come begging hat in hand seeking for Tehran to let the US bomb the country unimpeded does not strike me as surprising or implausible. It fits Trump's trademark MO of "chaotic, incoherent" to a 't', with a heavy dash of megalomania thrown in as well. Just another day in the office for Trump.
The seizure of the Grace 1 is more intriguing for its brazen illegality as well as the reported circumstances (if one can believe the Brits in their claim of boarding 2.5 miles from shore). Was this another avenue of "maximum pressure" cooked up by Iran?
As for Iran seeking US military targets in the region, those sitting ducks will be the last targets sought. Not that they might not, but that certainly would be nuclear option for Tehran. There is much lower hanging fruit to target that would cripple the lackey Gulf states. Hitting the desalination plants of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain would ruin those economies overnight without risking environmental fallout. Iran would be hammered in the MSM, but would be no matter their course of action. Those countries would have strategic reserves of water, so I wouldn't imagine people actually dying of thirst in the desert, but the next day there would be a biblical exodus of the ex-pats that run those economies. The UAE would grind to a halt, there would be a possible overthrow of the monarchy of Bahrain, and massive unrest in Saudi Arabia, without risking immediate gloves-off war with the US.
Dan Lynch , Jul 8 2019 15:50 utc | 8

The cartoon has an element of truth, but mainly Trump is doing the bidding of his pro-Israel billionaire funders, Sheldon Adelson and Robert Mercer. They are frustrated that Trump has not been forceful enough with Iran.

Mercer">https://www.salon.com/2019/06/18/robert-and-rebekah-mercer-bail-on-trump-campaign-they-spent-49-million-in-2016/">Mercer bails on Trump

[Jul 06, 2019] Believe it or Not, Pimplegate is REAL!

Notable quotes:
"... Yes, there is strong reason to believe that, during Tulsi's response to a question on Iran in the first debate, MSNBC technicians digitally implanted a pimple on Tulsi's chin. The "pimple" subsequently vanished. ..."
"... While placing a pimple on her chin is a childish prank, it is a childish prank played by one of the largest information company on the planet. It's not really a childish prank at that scale. ..."
"... Mics being turned off is another trick, not so childish, but still played out by a multibillion dollar institution. This is happening in a public policy event hosted by a news organization. ..."
Jul 06, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

veganmark on Fri, 07/05/2019 - 11:39pm

Take a look at these short videos:

Yes, there is strong reason to believe that, during Tulsi's response to a question on Iran in the first debate, MSNBC technicians digitally implanted a pimple on Tulsi's chin. The "pimple" subsequently vanished.

This bizarre behavior by MSNBC lends additional credence to claims by Andrew Yang and Marianne Williamson that their mikes were turned off during portions of the debate.

Those responsible for this must be identified, fired, and, if feasible, prosecuted. Until MSNBC cooperates in these regards, it should be treated like a pariah. Complaints to the regulatory authorities are in order, and the public should be fully apprised of this. If this strategy of digital manipulation is not nipped in the bud NOW, who knows what dangerous frauds might await us in the future?

k9disc on Sat, 07/06/2019 - 12:34pm
Do You Think It Is Acceptable to Doctor Footage to Paint a

candidate in a bad light?

While placing a pimple on her chin is a childish prank, it is a childish prank played by one of the largest information company on the planet. It's not really a childish prank at that scale.

Mics being turned off is another trick, not so childish, but still played out by a multibillion dollar institution. This is happening in a public policy event hosted by a news organization.

It's rather ugly, IMO. And while I get the "distraction" angle, it's beyond that: it's a trial balloon. When it comes to psyops; we ain't seen nothin' yet.

@mimi

Jen on Sat, 07/06/2019 - 1:10pm
I did an eyeroll

@mimi I did an eyeroll when I first heard about it too. But then I started to understand. Tulsi is a beautiful woman, inside and out from what I've seen. I'm quite sure that her outer beauty is one thing that made lots of people google her.

Some people really are that superficial.

How would you go about trying to make her less beautiful without being overtly obvious? Did that pimple stop people from wanting to know who she is?

I really hope not. Personally, I think she's beautiful with or without a zit on her chin, but her message is what makes her shine so bright. They can't put a pimple on that.

[Jul 06, 2019] Many critics will blame Putin for betraying Assad, but I think he is merely showing that he is a master negotiator who recognizes the importance of 'good' relations with Turkey, and knows he will not get everything he wants in Syria

Notable quotes:
"... Buying S400 and losing F35 is a win win. ..."
"... Trump administration currently sees Turkey is essentially as a lever in relation to Iran. He suspects Erdo & Trump have a deal since the G20 whereby S-400 sanctions may be held in abeyance, in return for Turkey's acquiescence to, or even assistance with the maximum pressure campaign. ..."
"... Erdogan is still in the regime-changers' sights, under siege in all areas and consequently in a very weak position. I think those forecasting a full-scale defection into Russia's orbit misunderstand the realities of the maximum pressure campaign on Turkey itself and much further it can be pushed if need be. IMO it is more likely NATO will eventually welcome the reluctant black sheep back into the fold. ..."
"... Turkey is going to get their $4.3 billion dollars back at about the same time that Iran gets all of its money back, and Venezuela gets its gold back from the Bank of England - that is to say, never. As soon as Turkey asks for its money back, the US govt will impose sanctions on Turkey and that will be that. ..."
"... Any energy corridor that goes from the Persian Gulf to Europe has to pass through Turkey and also has to pass through either Syria or Iraq. The fact that Syria and Iraq are now effectively in Russia's sphere of influence makes a Turkish-Russian alliance make all the more sense. ..."
"... Reports from several months ago indicate the S-400 was cheaper than the Patriot, more mobile, and Russia was willing to share the technology and the US wasn't. Could be the S-400 being a better deal value factored in there somewhere. Putin? He's a businessman too. ..."
Jul 06, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

plantman , 06 July 2019 at 11:30 AM

What is most interesting to me, is that the Russian air force is actually pounding Turkey's militant allies on the ground in Idlib, but both men (Erdogan and Putin) are still strengthening their ties thru Turkstream, Russian tourism and building of a nuclear power plant. Diplomacy seems to have surpassed conditions on the ground in Syria.

Also, Iran's leaders feel slightly betrayed by Putin's deference to Erdogan. They must believe (as I do) that Putin has agreed to allow Turkey to occupy parts of Syria following the war.

Turkey has been very consistent on this issue from the very beginning...and it has plans to resettle parts of N Syria with the nearly 3 million refugees it is housing in S Turkey.

Many critics will blame Putin for betraying Assad, but I think he is merely showing that he is a master negotiator who recognizes the importance of 'good' relations with Turkey, and knows he will not get everything he wants in Syria. Compromise with Turkey opens up a path to ending the war and for pressuring US-Turkey relations which continue to worsen as Washington continues to support a de facto Kurdistan in E Syria.

Sbin , 06 July 2019 at 12:50 PM

Buying S400 and losing F35 is a win win.

Letting a committee design an aicraft instead of aerospace engineers is a bad idea. Pentagon should cut their loss much like with the Zumwalt program.

Barbara Ann , 06 July 2019 at 12:50 PM

M K Bhadrakumar is a great source for following the frenetic pace of developments in Eurasian geopolitics and he covered this very topic yesterday (see link).

His view of where the Trump administration currently sees Turkey is essentially as a lever in relation to Iran. He suspects Erdo & Trump have a deal since the G20 whereby S-400 sanctions may be held in abeyance, in return for Turkey's acquiescence to, or even assistance with the maximum pressure campaign.

Whilst S-400 delivery is contrary to US/NATO wishes/policy, it makes sense to me that it gets treated as a second order issue in this context. Turkey also wants Iran out of Syria, but if pushed even further into a corner Turkey could make life difficult for the US on Iran and therefore even potentially endanger Trump's re-election chances.

Erdogan is still in the regime-changers' sights, under siege in all areas and consequently in a very weak position. I think those forecasting a full-scale defection into Russia's orbit misunderstand the realities of the maximum pressure campaign on Turkey itself and much further it can be pushed if need be. IMO it is more likely NATO will eventually welcome the reluctant black sheep back into the fold.

The slippery Sultan has pushed it to the limit, but the anti-Iran coalition now needs him - at least in the short term. My guess is he gets to keep his shiny new AD system.

Where Turkey chooses to put it is a very interesting question; facing its ancient enemy in the West, or perhaps sited to cover the Cyprus EEZ and its oil?

https://indianpunchline.com/trump-outflanks-iran-to-the-west-and-east/

JJackson , 06 July 2019 at 12:53 PM

Re. 2 and possibly 5.

Does anyone understand the F35 deal between the participating partner nations.
Wikipedia say Turkey is a level 3 partner which cost it $4.3 billion and that sales are handled via the Pentagon.

Who decides if a partner in the project can be denied the right to buy their product? What I did not see is what F35 components were produced in Turkey and if they stopped exports what redundancy their was in the system.

Can Turkey say fine I will take my $4.3 billion back as the Russians and Chinese have both made me very attractive offers?

JamesT -> JJackson... , 06 July 2019 at 05:03 PM

Turkey is going to get their $4.3 billion dollars back at about the same time that Iran gets all of its money back, and Venezuela gets its gold back from the Bank of England - that is to say, never. As soon as Turkey asks for its money back, the US govt will impose sanctions on Turkey and that will be that.

Eugene Owens , 06 July 2019 at 01:14 PM

Regarding #1 and #2: S-400 is already in Algeria. And it will be in India by next year.

Reuters claims that Trump's good buddy King Salman signed a deal with Russia to buy S-400s.

Reuters also reported that Qatar was considering an S-400 purchase. So why is Pom-Pom only jumping on Turkey's back and not castigating the Saudis, Qataris, Algeriens, and Indians about the S-400? Keeping F-35 stealth capability from snooping by S-400s is the stated reason we don't want Turkey to have the S-400.

But when carrier based F35s are flying in the eastern Med, that stealth capability could be snooped on by the Algerien systems (or by Russian "field service reps" in Algeria with those systems). Ditto for the F35s in Italy. Could Israeli F35 stealth already be jeopardized by Russian system at Khmeimim AB in Syria?

#3 Idiots. But they are being used by Trump. He puts them up to it, so that he can pull back at the last minute and be Mr World Peace.

#4: State owned Rossiya TV lampooned Trump's Fourth of July celebration. Called it фигня (pronounced as 'fignya' and translates as bullshit). They mocked the tanks on display, said "the paint on these vehicles is peeling off. They have no cannons, and the optics were pasted on with adhesive tape" . Host Yevgeny Popov called the President "our Donald Trump" . Co-host Olga Skabeeva calls the parade "Putin's America" .

#5: See #3

#6 & 7: I was hoping #6 would stall #7, but I have serious doubts.

JamesT -> Eugene Owens... , 06 July 2019 at 04:44 PM

Eugene,

Is the S-400 in Algeria already? I have found reports that it was scheduled to be delivered in 2015 - but I can't find any reports on it actually being delivered. I don't think the Russians would have sold it to anyone other than Belarus and China until they had the S-500 ready to go.

Eugene Owens -> JamesT ... , 06 July 2019 at 09:48 PM

James -

Wiki says yes but their references to it are speculative.

Besides those there is a Business Insider article, German Edition, which claims Algeria has the S-400. It was dated last November.

Plus there is a report on Sputnik re S-400 in Algeria. But that is based on a MENAdefense.net article, which has photos (irrefutable they claim??) of several S-400 launchers in Algeria. Plus BAZ-64022 truck-tractors which are used with the S-400 and NOT the S-300. So maybe they do and are trying to hide the fact in order to avoid sanctions? Or maybe they have upgraded their S-300 PMU-2s to the PMU-3, which is a close match to the S-400. Or perhaps it is all propaganda?

Walrus , 06 July 2019 at 01:33 PM

Regarding the F35 and the S400, the obvious thing to do is to let them have both and swap information. We get S400 info and Russia gets F35 data.......except erdo will try and screw both of us.

The Twisted Genius , 06 July 2019 at 03:58 PM

I believe Putin's goal is to transform Turkey from a NATO state into an integral part of Russia's near abroad to eventually secure a guaranteed access to the Mediterranean and beyond and have a reliable buffer between Russia and Middle East. It's ensuring peace of mind, not rebuilding an empire.

JamesT -> The Twisted Genius ... , 06 July 2019 at 04:58 PM

TTG,

I think Putin's goal is more about forming a partnership with Turkey to build an energy corridor through Turkey to Europe. Control of this corridor, or at least membership in the alliance that controls this corridor, is a big deal from a geopolitical standpoint.

Thus Russia and Turkey can form something along the lines of an "OPEC on steroids" - Turkey can control who gets to pipe hydrocarbons to Europe and Russia can provide protection to those who wish to join their alliance (as they have already done for Syria).

Any energy corridor that goes from the Persian Gulf to Europe has to pass through Turkey and also has to pass through either Syria or Iraq. The fact that Syria and Iraq are now effectively in Russia's sphere of influence makes a Turkish-Russian alliance make all the more sense.

What Turkey has to gain from such an arrangement is not only transit fees for the hydrocarbons, but also a chance to develop their economy - if Turkey is at the head of the line for receipt of hydrocarbons to Europe, they are at the head of the line for building industry and businesses which use those hydrocarbons as inputs (eg refineries, plastics, aluminum, chemical production).

CK -> The Twisted Genius ... , 06 July 2019 at 05:09 PM

Access to the Med is already guaranteed by treaty just as is access to the Black Sea. Access beyond the Med is controlled at the Suez and the pillars of Hercules.

Eugene Owens -> CK... , 06 July 2019 at 10:01 PM

CK -

Guaranteed during peacetime. During any hostilities you can throw that treaty out the window.

Which is why TTG is correct that Putin's goal is to get Turkey out of NATO. And he may doublecross Assad by blessing Turkey's permanent occupation (or annexation) of those four districts of northern Aleppo Province (i.e. Afrin, Azaz, al-Bab, & Jarabulus). As payment for getting out of NATO.

Lars , 06 July 2019 at 05:52 PM

Until you fix the problem with, according to a poll, 56% of American parents not wanting Arabic numerals taught to their children. I suspect that an equal number would not be able to find any of the mentioned places on a map.

Where those with crystal balls find certainty, I find something much less. We do know that containment polices can work very well, but any involvement in the world's longest contested area is not worth the cost, nor the risk. The US has already spent a fortune, with very little to show for it.

Maybe it is all about learning?

Mark Logan , 06 July 2019 at 05:52 PM

Reports from several months ago indicate the S-400 was cheaper than the Patriot, more mobile, and Russia was willing to share the technology and the US wasn't. Could be the S-400 being a better deal value factored in there somewhere. Putin? He's a businessman too.

Yosemite Sam Bolton is probably being told to go out there and do his thing, and suffering from whip-lash when Trump yanks the carpet out from under them without apology. The poor dear must be like...

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

[Jul 06, 2019] I do think the protest against the Iraq war was a watershed moment, when the protests were simply ignored, and the in your face response by the powers that be.

Jul 06, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Herman , July 3, 2019 at 14:27

Went on Kunstler's website with the tasteless name and read comment about Hannity screaming to bomb Iran. And if Mr. Kunstler's facts are correct I imagine the Republicans will be saving Mueller's answers for the next election. Whatever Mr. Kunstler has to say, he says it well. What a mess. The way the bad guys have dug in and rigged the election process and the "News" business, it is difficult to imagine anything can change.

The controls of our society have become so efficient it is tempting to say what the hell and see if there is a good old film or an meaningful sporting event and let it go at that.

In saying that, it brings to mind the other CN article about anti-war sentiment and organizing against war and the war machine that has gone missing makes the point very well. I do think the protest against the Iraq war was a watershed moment, when the protests were simply ignored, and the in your face response by the powers that be.

Eddie S , July 4, 2019 at 10:01

"I do think the protest against the Iraq war was a watershed moment, when the protests were simply ignored, and the in your face response by the powers that be."

Yes, I know that the whole Iraq War-crime episode was an extremely disheartening episode to myself and millions of others who had marched in protest. It was horrible enough when the neo-cons were able to blatantly orchestrate an illegal invasion (with the obeisance of the long-cowed Democrats), but the RE-election of 'W' -- a year after the non-existence of the WMDs was proven by our OWN invading military -- was in a political sense worse because it showed that the majority of the US public was indifferent to illegal US invasions of other countries, so there would be little resistance in the future to these 'wars'.

It was only when the media was portraying the deaths & bad injuries to US soldiers occupying Iraq that a modest amount of public sentiment turned against the whole sordid episode.

So the tacit message was pretty clear to powers that be -- - as long as US troops aren't hurt, go-ahead and bomb-away those foreign men, women, and even children getting killed by them don't matter, especially if our military leaders offer-up oh-so-sincere apologies and state that 'these were unavoidable collateral civilian casualties because we only perform surgical strikes on terrorists' (and said in a most serious, gravitas-laden tone, so you KNOW they're telling the truth).

Windup , July 4, 2019 at 16:09

George wasn't 'elected' in the first place, let alone 're-elected'. I don't know if that makes you feel better. Maybe it does- at least about the American public (at that point in time anyway).

But it was certainly a forerunner to how we 'elect' our officials, which at this point is more blatantly fraudulent. At least to those of us not reading/watching msm.

[Jul 06, 2019] US is a Classic Empire and Is Becoming a Repressive Police State at Home by DAVE LINDORFF

Notable quotes:
"... The US today is a global empire. Our country's military, ballooning to some 2.1 million in uniform at a time that there is really no significant war underway. US military spending, greater in constant dollars than at any time since WWII, represents 34% of all global military spending, and the US military budget, depending on how one counts it, is larger than the next largest eight-to-ten countries' military budgets combined. ..."
"... And remember -- US empire and militarism is and has always been supported by both political parties. ..."
"... only 32% of Americans say they are "proud" (forget "extremely proud"!) of America's vaunted political system. In a close second for popular disgust, only 37% said they are "proud" of the US health care system. ..."
"... In my view, my country has become the world's leading "rogue" nation, dismissive of all international laws and codes of conduct, actively attacking many countries on its own authority, without the support of UN Security Council resolutions, exonerating war crimes committed by its soldiers, and committed to the first use of nuclear weapons, both as a first strike against major power rivals like Russia and China, and against non-nuclear nations like Iran, and equally dismissive of all efforts, large and small, to respond to the crisis of catastrophic global heating. ..."
Jul 05, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

... ... ...

The US today is a global empire. Our country's military, ballooning to some 2.1 million in uniform at a time that there is really no significant war underway. US military spending, greater in constant dollars than at any time since WWII, represents 34% of all global military spending, and the US military budget, depending on how one counts it, is larger than the next largest eight-to-ten countries' military budgets combined.

To show how ridiculously huge the US military is, consider that at $220 billion for fiscal year 2020, the US budget for Veterans Affairs alone (that's the agency that provides assistance of all kinds, including medical, to those who served in the military, not counting career soldiers who receive a pension that is counted separately) this one military budget line item is larger than the entire military budget of China, and is more than three times as large as the entire military budget of Russia, considered by many to be our primary "adversary"!

And remember -- US empire and militarism is and has always been supported by both political parties.

... ... ...

I read that a recent Gallup Organization poll shows a significant drop in the percentage of US Americans who are "extremely proud" of their country. True, 45% still say they are "proud" of America, but normally that is how many say they are "extremely proud" to be Americans. That's a significant fall-off. Even among normally super-patriotic Republicans the percentage of those saying they are "extremely proud" this July 4 of this country was down to 76%, a 10% drop from 2003, and close to the 68% low point reached at one point during the Obama administration.

The main cause of the loss of patriotic ardor appears to be dismay or disgust with the US political system. According to the poll, only 32% of Americans say they are "proud" (forget "extremely proud"!) of America's vaunted political system. In a close second for popular disgust, only 37% said they are "proud" of the US health care system.

So I guess I'm in pretty good company. I won't be oohing and aaahing at the local fireworks display this year. It's basically a glorification of US war-making anyhow, and there's nothing at all to be proud of in that regard, particularly with the US in the midst of a $1.5-trillion upgrade of its nuclear arsenal, threatening war with Iran, pulling out of a Reagan-era treaty banning intermediate-range nuclear missiles, and embarking in a new arms race both in space and in virtually unstoppable hypersonic cruise missiles.

In my view, my country has become the world's leading "rogue" nation, dismissive of all international laws and codes of conduct, actively attacking many countries on its own authority, without the support of UN Security Council resolutions, exonerating war crimes committed by its soldiers, and committed to the first use of nuclear weapons, both as a first strike against major power rivals like Russia and China, and against non-nuclear nations like Iran, and equally dismissive of all efforts, large and small, to respond to the crisis of catastrophic global heating. [

At home, the US legal system has become a supine supporter of virtually unlimited executive power, of unchecked police power, and of repressive actions against the supposedly constitutionally protected free press.

It's tempting to hope that the decline noted by Gallup in the percent of Americans expressing "extreme pride" and even of "pride" in the US, but support for the US among the country's citizens still remains shamefully high in the face of all these negatives.

Anyhow, count me among those who won't be celebrating today's July 4 national holiday.

Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: DAVE LINDORFF

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening! , an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

[Jul 06, 2019] In practice, the USSR behaved exactly like a brutal totalitarian theocracy

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Maher was right. I've been saying for decades -- since Brezhnev was still alive -- that the Soviet Union was a functional theocracy. ..."
"... In practice, the USSR behaved exactly like a brutal totalitarian theocracy would. They had an impersonal god (the theory of history that would lead inevitably to heaven on Earth) which the government treated as the source of their authority and their justification for everything they did in the name of the Revolution. ..."
"... They had a state church (the Communist Party -- no rivals allowed) that you needed to join to get anywhere in society. They had prophets (look what they did with Lenin after his death), saints (heroes of the Revolution), idols, sacred texts that could not be challenged, brutal suppression of other religions, witch hunts for heretics (anyone who opposed the Revolution). ..."
"... So yes: the USSR turned "communism" into their de facto state religion. ..."
Jul 03, 2019 | theamericanconservative.com

Douglas K 3 days ago • edited

To this day, Maher's response still leaves me dumbfounded: "I would say that's a secular religion." Before Douthat could ask what the hell a secular religion is, Maher changed the subject. The meaning of Maher's nonsensical statement was clear: everything Maher doesn't like is religion.

Maher was right. I've been saying for decades -- since Brezhnev was still alive -- that the Soviet Union was a functional theocracy. Sure, they didn't use God or angels or miracles in their rhetoric, but that's just surface trappings.

In practice, the USSR behaved exactly like a brutal totalitarian theocracy would. They had an impersonal god (the theory of history that would lead inevitably to heaven on Earth) which the government treated as the source of their authority and their justification for everything they did in the name of the Revolution.

They had a state church (the Communist Party -- no rivals allowed) that you needed to join to get anywhere in society. They had prophets (look what they did with Lenin after his death), saints (heroes of the Revolution), idols, sacred texts that could not be challenged, brutal suppression of other religions, witch hunts for heretics (anyone who opposed the Revolution).

So yes: the USSR turned "communism" into their de facto state religion. No, they didn't include personified invisible spirits in their ideology. But if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck ....

[Jul 06, 2019] Peace though procurement malpractice

Notable quotes:
"... The current batch of military hardware is so much garbage that when the President wants to use the "superb" pieces of crap (F35 and the new boats are prime examples) a general will have to become the sacrificial lamb and give the president the news that this stuff is for show only. ..."
Jul 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

cnchal, July 5, 2019 at 5:38 am

Peace though procurement malpractice. The current batch of military hardware is so much garbage that when the President wants to use the "superb" pieces of crap (F35 and the new boats are prime examples) a general will have to become the sacrificial lamb and give the president the news that this stuff is for show only.

[Jul 06, 2019] DJT is like a less-likeable Inspector Clouseau. Sometimes ineptitude is a blessing

Notable quotes:
"... Same old, same old, same old, same old. Prospective candidates spewing out the same tired old hot air about how, this time, it really, really, really, really will be different. There won't be any more crazy multitrillion wars for Israel. Honest. ..."
Jul 06, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Piotr Berman , July 3, 2019 at 14:49

Comparatively great?

Like the "withdrawal from Syria", a typically fleeting idea?

Breaking a few treaties? Ratcheting up support of the carnage and starvation in Yemen?

The "comparatively great" side of Trump is attention deficiency disorder, so it is hard for him to start a war, something that requires some degree of organization and coordinating different branches of governments, different countries etc.

Seer , July 3, 2019 at 17:02

Nailed it!

DJT is like a less-likeable Inspector Clouseau. Sometimes ineptitude is a blessing: this was my only hope when refusing to vote for HRC.

mark , July 3, 2019 at 00:17

Same old, same old, same old, same old. Prospective candidates spewing out the same tired old hot air about how, this time, it really, really, really, really will be different. There won't be any more crazy multitrillion wars for Israel. Honest.

Just like Dubya. Just like Obomber. Just like the Orange Baboon. Whilst simultaneously begging for shekels from Adelson, Saban, Singer, Marcus.

And this is the "new anti war movement." Yeah.

[Jul 06, 2019] The Antiwar Movement No One Can See by Allegra Harpootlian

Notable quotes:
"... "Each successor generation is less likely than the previous to prioritize maintaining superior military power worldwide as a goal of U.S. foreign policy, to see U.S. military superiority as a very effective way of achieving U.S. foreign policy goals, and to support expanding defense spending. At the same time, support for international cooperation and free trade remains high across the generations. In fact, younger Americans are more inclined to support cooperative approaches to U.S. foreign policy and more likely to feel favorably towards trade and globalization." ..."
"... Last year, for the first time since the height of the Iraq war 13 years ago, the Army fell thousands of troops short of its recruiting goals. That trend was emphasized in a 2017 Department of Defense poll that found only 14 percent of respondents ages 16 to 24 said it was likely they'd serve in the military in the coming years. This has the Army so worried that it has been refocusing its recruitment efforts on creating an entirely new strategy aimed specifically at Generation Z. ..."
"... These days, significant numbers of young veterans have been returning disillusioned and ready to lobby Congress against wars they once, however unknowingly, bought into. Look no further than a new left-right alliance between two influential veterans groups, VoteVets and Concerned Veterans for America, to stop those forever wars. Their campaign, aimed specifically at getting Congress to weigh in on issues of war and peace, is emblematic of what may be a diverse potential movement coming together to oppose America's conflicts. Another veterans group, Common Defense, is similarly asking politicians to sign a pledge to end those wars. In just a couple of months, they've gotten on board 10 congressional sponsors, including freshmen heavyweights in the House of Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar. ..."
"... In February 2018, Sanders also became the first senator to risk introducing a war powers resolution to end American support for the brutal Saudi-led war in Yemen. In April 2019, with the sponsorship of other senators added to his, the bill ultimately passed the House and the Senate in an extremely rare showing of bipartisanship, only to be vetoed by President Trump. That such a bill might pass the House, no less a still-Republican Senate, even if not by a veto-proof majority, would have been unthinkable in 2016. So much has changed since the last election that support for the Yemen resolution has now become what Tara Golshan at Vox termed "a litmus test of the Democratic Party's progressive shift on foreign policy." ..."
"... And for the first time ever, three veterans of America's post-9/11 wars -- Seth Moulton and Tulsi Gabbard of the House of Representatives, and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg -- are running for president, bringing their skepticism about American interventionism with them. The very inclusion of such viewpoints in the presidential race is bound to change the conversation, putting a spotlight on America's wars in the months to come. ..."
"... In May, for instance, Omar tweeted , "We have to recognize that foreign policy IS domestic policy. We can't invest in health care, climate resilience, or education if we continue to spend more than half of discretionary spending on endless wars and Pentagon contracts. When I say we need something equivalent to the Green New Deal for foreign policy, it's this." ..."
"... It is little recognized how hard American troops fought from 1965 to 1968. Our air mobile troops in particular made a great slaughter of NVA and VC while also taking heavy casualties. ..."
"... We were having such success that no one in the military thought the enemy could keep up the fight. Then, the Tet offensive with the beaten enemy attacking every city in the South. ..."
"... Perhaps there is no open anti-war movement because the Democratic party is now pro-war. ..."
"... President Obama, the Nobel peace prize winner, started a war with Libya, which had neither attacked nor threatened the US and which, by many accounts, was trying to improve relations with the US. GW Bush unnecessarily attacked Iraq and Clinton destroyed Haiti and bombed Yugoslavia, among other actions. ..."
Jul 02, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Originally from: TomDispatch.com

Peace activism is rising, but that isn't translating into huge street demonstrations, writes Allegra Harpootlian.

W hen Donald Trump entered the Oval Office in January 2017, Americans took to the streets all across the country to protest their instantly endangered rights. Conspicuously absent from the newfound civic engagement, despite more than a decade and a half of this country's fruitless, destructive wars across the Greater Middle East and northern Africa, was antiwar sentiment, much less an actual movement.

Those like me working against America's seemingly endless wars wondered why the subject merited so little discussion, attention, or protest. Was it because the still-spreading war on terror remained shrouded in government secrecy? Was the lack of media coverage about what America was doing overseas to blame? Or was it simply that most Americans didn't care about what was happening past the water's edge? If you had asked me two years ago, I would have chosen "all of the above." Now, I'm not so sure.

After the enormous demonstrations against the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the antiwar movement disappeared almost as suddenly as it began, with some even openly declaring it dead. Critics noted the long-term absence of significant protests against those wars, a lack of political will in Congress to deal with them, and ultimately, apathy on matters of war and peace when compared to issues like health care, gun control, or recently even climate change .

The pessimists have been right to point out that none of the plethora of marches on Washington since Donald Trump was elected have had even a secondary focus on America's fruitless wars. They're certainly right to question why Congress, with the constitutional duty to declare war, has until recently allowed both presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump to wage war as they wished without even consulting them. They're right to feel nervous when a national poll shows that more Americans think we're fighting a war in Iran (we're not) than a war in Somalia ( we are ).

But here's what I've been wondering recently: What if there's an antiwar movement growing right under our noses and we just haven't noticed? What if we don't see it, in part, because it doesn't look like any antiwar movement we've even imagined?

If a movement is only a movement when people fill the streets, then maybe the critics are right. It might also be fair to say, however, that protest marches do not always a movement make. Movements are defined by their ability to challenge the status quo and, right now, that's what might be beginning to happen when it comes to America's wars.

What if it's Parkland students condemning American imperialism or groups fighting the Muslim Ban that are also fighting the war on terror? It's veterans not only trying to take on the wars they fought in, but putting themselves on the front lines of the gun control , climate change , and police brutality debates. It's Congress passing the first War Powers Resolution in almost 50 years. It's Democratic presidential candidates signing a pledge to end America's endless wars.

For the last decade and a half, Americans -- and their elected representatives -- looked at our endless wars and essentially shrugged. In 2019, however, an antiwar movement seems to be brewing. It just doesn't look like the ones that some remember from the Vietnam era and others from the pre-invasion-of-Iraq moment. Instead, it's a movement that's being woven into just about every other issue that Americans are fighting for right now -- which is exactly why it might actually work.

An estimated 100,000 people protested the war in Iraq in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 15, 2007 (Ragesoss, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

A Veteran's Antiwar Movement in the Making?

During the Vietnam War of the 1960s and early 1970s, protests began with religious groups and peace organizations morally opposed to war. As that conflict intensified, however, students began to join the movement, then civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr. got involved, then war veterans who had witnessed the horror firsthand stepped in -- until, with a seemingly constant storm of protest in the streets, Washington eventually withdrew from Indochina.

You might look at the lack of public outrage now, or perhaps the exhaustion of having been outraged and nothing changing, and think an antiwar movement doesn't exist. Certainly, there's nothing like the active one that fought against America's involvement in Vietnam for so long and so persistently. Yet it's important to notice that, among some of the very same groups (like veterans, students, and even politicians) that fought against that war, a healthy skepticism about America's 21st century wars, the Pentagon, the military industrial complex, and even the very idea of American exceptionalism is finally on the rise -- or so the polls tell us.

"Arlington West of Santa Monica," a project of Veterans for Peace, puts reminders of the costs of war on the beach in Santa Monica, California. (Lorie Shaull via Flickr)

Right after the midterms last year, an organization named Foundation for Liberty and American Greatness reported mournfully that younger Americans were "turning on the country and forgetting its ideals," with nearly half believing that this country isn't "great" and many eyeing the U.S. flag as "a sign of intolerance and hatred." With millennials and Generation Z rapidly becoming the largest voting bloc in America for the next 20 years, their priorities are taking center stage. When it comes to foreign policy and war, as it happens, they're quite different from the generations that preceded them. According to the Chicago Council of Global Affairs ,

"Each successor generation is less likely than the previous to prioritize maintaining superior military power worldwide as a goal of U.S. foreign policy, to see U.S. military superiority as a very effective way of achieving U.S. foreign policy goals, and to support expanding defense spending. At the same time, support for international cooperation and free trade remains high across the generations. In fact, younger Americans are more inclined to support cooperative approaches to U.S. foreign policy and more likely to feel favorably towards trade and globalization."

Although marches are the most public way to protest, another striking but understated way is simply not to engage with the systems one doesn't agree with. For instance, the vast majority of today's teenagers aren't at all interested in joining the all-volunteer military. Last year, for the first time since the height of the Iraq war 13 years ago, the Army fell thousands of troops short of its recruiting goals. That trend was emphasized in a 2017 Department of Defense poll that found only 14 percent of respondents ages 16 to 24 said it was likely they'd serve in the military in the coming years. This has the Army so worried that it has been refocusing its recruitment efforts on creating an entirely new strategy aimed specifically at Generation Z.

In addition, we're finally seeing what happens when soldiers from America's post-9/11 wars come home infused with a sense of hopelessness in relation to those conflicts. These days, significant numbers of young veterans have been returning disillusioned and ready to lobby Congress against wars they once, however unknowingly, bought into. Look no further than a new left-right alliance between two influential veterans groups, VoteVets and Concerned Veterans for America, to stop those forever wars. Their campaign, aimed specifically at getting Congress to weigh in on issues of war and peace, is emblematic of what may be a diverse potential movement coming together to oppose America's conflicts. Another veterans group, Common Defense, is similarly asking politicians to sign a pledge to end those wars. In just a couple of months, they've gotten on board 10 congressional sponsors, including freshmen heavyweights in the House of Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar.

And this may just be the tip of a growing antiwar iceberg. A misconception about movement-building is that everyone is there for the same reason, however broadly defined. That's often not the case and sometimes it's possible that you're in a movement and don't even know it. If, for instance, I asked a room full of climate-change activists whether they also considered themselves part of an antiwar movement, I can imagine the denials I'd get. And yet, whether they know it or not, sooner or later fighting climate change will mean taking on the Pentagon's global footprint, too.

Think about it: not only is the U.S. military the world's largest institutional consumer of fossil fuels but, according to a new report from Brown University's Costs of War Project, between 2001 and 2017, it released more than 1.2 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere (400 million of which were related to the war on terror). That's equivalent to the emissions of 257 million passenger cars, more than double the number currently on the road in the U.S.

A Growing Antiwar Movement in Congress

One way to sense the growth of antiwar sentiment in this country is to look not at the empty streets or even at veterans organizations or recruitment polls, but at Congress. After all, one indicator of a successful movement, however incipient, is its power to influence and change those making the decisions in Washington. Since Donald Trump was elected, the most visible evidence of growing antiwar sentiment is the way America's congressional policymakers have increasingly become engaged with issues of war and peace. Politicians, after all, tend to follow the voters and, right now, growing numbers of them seem to be following rising antiwar sentiment back home into an expanding set of debates about war and peace in the age of Trump.

In campaign season 2016, in an op-ed in The Washington Post , political scientist Elizabeth Saunders wondered whether foreign policy would play a significant role in the presidential election. "Not likely," she concluded. "Voters do not pay much attention to foreign policy." And at the time, she was on to something. For instance, Sen. Bernie Sanders, then competing for the Democratic presidential nomination against Hillary Clinton, didn't even prepare stock answers to basic national security questions, choosing instead, if asked at all, to quickly pivot back to more familiar topics. In a debate with Clinton, for instance, he was asked whether he would keep troops in Afghanistan to deal with the growing success of the Taliban. In his answer, he skipped Afghanistan entirely, while warning only vaguely against a "quagmire" in Iraq and Syria.

Heading for 2020, Sanders is once again competing for the nomination, but instead of shying away from foreign policy, starting in 2017, he became the face of what could be a new American way of thinking when it comes to how we see our role in the world.

In February 2018, Sanders also became the first senator to risk introducing a war powers resolution to end American support for the brutal Saudi-led war in Yemen. In April 2019, with the sponsorship of other senators added to his, the bill ultimately passed the House and the Senate in an extremely rare showing of bipartisanship, only to be vetoed by President Trump. That such a bill might pass the House, no less a still-Republican Senate, even if not by a veto-proof majority, would have been unthinkable in 2016. So much has changed since the last election that support for the Yemen resolution has now become what Tara Golshan at Vox termed "a litmus test of the Democratic Party's progressive shift on foreign policy."

Nor, strikingly enough, is Sanders the only Democratic presidential candidate now running on what is essentially an antiwar platform. One of the main aspects of Elizabeth Warren's foreign policy plan, for instance, is to "seriously review the country's military commitments overseas, and that includes bringing U.S. troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq." Entrepreneur Andrew Yang and former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel have joined Sanders and Warren in signing a pledge to end America's forever wars if elected. Beto O'Rourke has called for the repeal of Congress's 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force that presidents have cited ever since whenever they've sent American forces into battle. Marianne Williamson , one of the many (unlikely) Democratic candidates seeking the nomination, has even proposed a plan to transform America's "wartime economy into a peace-time economy, repurposing the tremendous talents and infrastructure of [America's] military industrial complex to the work of promoting life instead of death."

And for the first time ever, three veterans of America's post-9/11 wars -- Seth Moulton and Tulsi Gabbard of the House of Representatives, and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg -- are running for president, bringing their skepticism about American interventionism with them. The very inclusion of such viewpoints in the presidential race is bound to change the conversation, putting a spotlight on America's wars in the months to come.

Get on Board or Get Out of the Way

When trying to create a movement, there are three likely outcomes : you will be accepted by the establishment, or rejected for your efforts, or the establishment will be replaced, in part or in whole, by those who agree with you. That last point is exactly what we've been seeing, at least among Democrats, in the Trump years. While 2020 Democratic candidates for president, some of whom have been in the political arena for decades, are gradually hopping on the end-the-endless-wars bandwagon, the real antiwar momentum in Washington has begun to come from new members of Congress like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) and Ilhan Omar who are unwilling to accept business as usual when it comes to either the Pentagon or the country's forever wars. In doing so, moreover, they are responding to what their constituents actually want.

As far back as 2014, when a University of Texas-Austin Energy Poll asked people where the U.S. government should spend their tax dollars, only 7 percent of respondents under 35 said it should go toward military and defense spending. Instead, in a "pretty significant political shift" at the time, they overwhelmingly opted for their tax dollars to go toward job creation and education. Such a trend has only become more apparent as those calling for free public college, Medicare-for-all, or a Green New Deal have come to realize that they could pay for such ideas if America would stop pouring trillions of dollars into wars that never should have been launched.

The new members of the House of Representatives, in particular, part of the youngest, most diverse crew to date , have begun to replace the old guard and are increasingly signalling their readiness to throw out policies that don't work for the American people, especially those reinforcing the American war machine. They understand that by ending the wars and beginning to scale back the military-industrial complex, this country could once again have the resources it needs to fix so many other problems.

In May, for instance, Omar tweeted , "We have to recognize that foreign policy IS domestic policy. We can't invest in health care, climate resilience, or education if we continue to spend more than half of discretionary spending on endless wars and Pentagon contracts. When I say we need something equivalent to the Green New Deal for foreign policy, it's this."

Ilhan Omar @IlhanMN

We have to recognize that foreign policy IS domestic policy. We can't invest in health care, climate resilience or education if we continue to spend more than half of discretionary spending on endless wars and Pentagon contracts. http://www. startribune.com/rep-ilhan-omar -with-perspective-of-a-foreigner-sets-ambitious-global-agenda/510489882/?om_rid=3005497801&om_mid=317376969&refresh=true

7,176 3:24 PM - May 28, 2019 Twitter Ads info and privacy Rep. Ilhan Omar, with 'perspective of a foreigner,' sets ambitious global agenda

From her seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and with a growing international reputation, the former refugee is wading into debates over various global hot spots and controversies.

startribune.com

2,228 people are talking about this

A few days before that, at a House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing, Ocasio-Cortez confronted executives from military contractor TransDigm about the way they were price-gouging the American taxpayer by selling a $32 "non-vehicular clutch disc" to the Department of Defense for $1,443 per disc. "A pair of jeans can cost $32; imagine paying over $1,000 for that," she said. "Are you aware of how many doses of insulin we could get for that margin? I could've gotten over 1,500 people insulin for the cost of the margin of your price gouging for these vehicular discs alone."

And while such ridiculous waste isn't news to those of us who follow Pentagon spending closely, this was undoubtedly something many of her millions of supporters hadn't thought about before. After the hearing, Teen Vogue created a list of the "5 most ridiculous things the United States military has spent money on," comedian Sarah Silverman tweeted out the AOC hearing clip to her 12.6 million followers, Will and Grace actress Debra Messing publicly expressed her gratitude to AOC, and according to Crowdtangle, a social media analytics tool, the NowThis clip of her in that congressional hearing garnered more than 20 million impressions.

Ocasio-Cortez calling out costs charged by military contractor TransDigm. (YouTube)

Not only are members of Congress beginning to call attention to such undercovered issues, but perhaps they're even starting to accomplish something. Just two weeks after that contentious hearing, TransDigm agreed to return $16.1 million in excess profits to the Department of Defense. "We saved more money today for the American people than our committee's entire budget for the year," said House Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings.

Of course, antiwar demonstrators have yet to pour into the streets, even though the wars we're already involved in continue to drag on and a possible new one with Iran looms on the horizon. Still, there seems to be a notable trend in antiwar opinion and activism. Somewhere just under the surface of American life lurks a genuine, diverse antiwar movement that appears to be coalescing around a common goal: getting Washington politicians to believe that antiwar policies are supportable, even potentially popular. Call me an eternal optimist, but someday I can imagine such a movement helping end those disastrous wars.

Allegra Harpootlian is a media associate at ReThink Media , where she works with leading experts and organizations at the intersection of national security, politics, and the media. She principally focuses on U.S. drone policies and related use-of-force issues. She is also a political partner with the Truman National Security Project . Find her on Twitter @ally_harp .

This article is from TomDispatch.com .


Edwin Stamm , July 5, 2019 at 10:40

"How Obama demobilized the antiwar movement"
By Brad Plumer
August 29, 2013
Washington Post

"Reihan Salam points to a 2011 paper by sociologists Michael T. Heaney and Fabio Rojas, who find that antiwar protests shrunk very quickly after Obama took office in 2008 -- mainly because Democrats were less likely to show up:

Drawing upon 5,398 surveys of demonstrators at antiwar protests, interviews with movement leaders, and ethnographic observation, this article argues that the antiwar movement demobilized as Democrats, who had been motivated to participate by anti-Republican sentiments, withdrew from antiwar protests when the Democratic Party achieved electoral success, if not policy success in ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Heaney and Rojas begin by puzzling over a paradox. Obama ran as an antiwar candidate, but his first few years in office were rather different: "As president, Obama maintained the occupation of Iraq and escalated the war in Afghanistan. The antiwar movement should have been furious at Obama's 'betrayal' and reinvigorated its protest activity. Instead, attendance at antiwar rallies declined precipitously and financial resources available to the movement dissipated.""

Rob , July 4, 2019 at 14:20

The author may be too young to realize that the overwhelming driving force in the anti-Vietnam War movement was hundreds of thousands of young men who were at risk of being drafted and sent to fight, die and kill in that godforsaken war. As the movement grew, it gathered in millions of others as well. Absent the military draft today, most of America's youth don't seem to give half a damn about the current crimes of the U.S. military. As the saying goes: They have no skin in the game.

bardamu , July 3, 2019 at 20:21

There has again been some shift in Sanders' public positions, while Tulsi Gabbard occupies a position that was not represented in '16, and HR Clinton was more openly bent on war than anyone currently at the table, though perhaps because that much of her position had become so difficult to deny over the years.

That said, Clinton lost to Obama in '08 because she could not as effectively deny her militarism. There was at the time within the Democratic Party more and clearer movement against the wars than there is now. One might remember the run for candidacy of Dennis Kucinich, for example. The 8 years of the Obama regime were a consistent frustration and disappointment to any antiwar or anticorporate voice within the Democratic Party, but complaints were muted because many would not speak against a Blue or a Black president. More than at any prior time, corporate media spokespersons could endorse radically pro-corporate positions and imply or accuse their opposition of racism.

That leaves it unclear, however, what any antiwar voices have to do with the Democratic Party itself, particularly if we take "the party" to mean the political organization itself as opposed to the people whom it claims to represent. The Party and the DNC were major engines in the rigging of the 2016 Democratic nomination–and also, lest we forget, contributors to the Donald Trump nomination campaign.

It should not escape us, as we search for souls and soulfulness among these remnants of Democratic Parties Past, that any turn of the party against war is surely due to Hillary Clinton's loss to presumed patsy candidate Donald Trump in 2016–the least and second-least popular major presidential contenders in history, clearly, in whichever order one wishes to put them.

There is some value in realism, then. So as much as one hates to criticize a Bernie Sanders in anything like the present field that he runs in, his is not a consistently antiwar position: he has gone back and forth. Tulsi Gabbard is the closest thing to an antiwar candidate within the Party. And under even under the most favorable circumstances, 2020 is at best not her year.

Most big money says war. scorched earth, steep hierarchy, and small constitution. Any who don't like it had best speak up and act up.

Jim Glover , July 3, 2019 at 17:43

I am for Tulsi, a Senator from Hawaii not a rep as this article says. Folk Music was in when the peace movement was strong and building, the same for Folk Rock who songs also had words you could get without Google.

So my way of "hoping" for an Anti-War/Peace Movement is to have a Folk Revival in my mind.

Nathan Mulcahy , July 3, 2019 at 14:11

The answer to the question why anti war movement is dead is so simple and obvious but apparently invisible to most Dems/libs/progressives (excuse my inability to discern the distinctions between labels). The answer points to our onetime "peace" president Obama. As far as foreign interventions go (and domestic spying, among other things) Obama had continued Baby Bush's policy. Even worse, Obama had given a bipartisan seal of approval (and legality) to most of Baby Bush's crimes. In other words, for 8 years, meaning during the "peace" president's reign, the loyal "lefty" sheeple have held their mouth when it came to war and peace.

Obama and the Dems have very effectively killed the ant war movement

P.Brooks , July 3, 2019 at 12:54

No More War

Don Bacon , July 3, 2019 at 12:29

The establishment will always be pro-war because there's so much money in it. Street demonstrations will never change that, as we recently learned with Iraq. The only strategy that has a chance of working is anti-enlistment. If they don't have the troops they can't invade anywhere, and recruitment is already a problem. It needs to be a bigger problem.

Anonymot , July 3, 2019 at 11:51

Sorry, ALL of these Democrat wannabes save one is ignorant of foreign affairs, foreign policy and its destruction of what they blather on about – domestic vote-getting sky pies. Oh yes, free everything: schools, health care, social justices and services. It's as though the MIC has not stolen the money from the public's pockets to get rich by sending cheap fodder out there to get killed and wounded, amputated physically and mentally.

Hillary signed the papers and talked the brainless idiocy that set the entire Middle East on fire, because she couldn't stand the sight of a man with no shirt on and sitting on the Russian equivalent of a Harley. She hates men, because she drew a bad one. Huma was better company. Since she didn't know anything beyond the superficial, she did whatever the "experts" whispered in her ears: War! Obama was in the same boat. The target, via gaining total control of oil from Libya to Syria and Iran was her Putin hate. So her experts set up the Ukraine. The "experts" are the MIC/CIA and our fearless, brainless, corrupt military. They have whispered the same psychotic message since the Gulf of Tonkin. We've lost to everyone with whom we've crossed swords and left them devastated and America diminished save for the few.

So I was a Sanders supporter until he backed the warrior woman and I, like millions of others backed off of her party. It's still her party. Everyone just loves every victim of every kind. They all spout minor variations on the same themes while Trump and his neocons quietly install their right wing empire. Except for one who I spotted when she had the independence to go look for herself in Syria.

Tulsi Gabbard is the only candidate to be the candidate who has a balance of well thought through, realistic foreign policy as well as the domestic non-extremist one. She has the hurdle of being a too-pretty woman, of being from the remotest state, and not being a screamer. Even this article, written about peace by a woman fails to talk about her.

Tulsi has the registered voter count and a respectable budget, but the New York Times which is policy-controlled by a few of Hillary's billionaire friends has consistently shut her out, because Tulsi left the corrupt Hillary-owned DNC to back Sanders and Hillary never forgave her.

If you want to know who is against Trump and war, take 5 minutes and listen to what she really said during the 1st debate where the CBS folks gave her little room to talk. It will change your outlook on what really is possible.

https://www.tulsi2020.com/a/first-democratic-debate

P.Brooks , July 3, 2019 at 13:53

Hi Anonymot; I also exited my Sanders support after over 100 cash donations and over a years painful effort. I will never call him Bernie again; now it is Sanders, since Bernie makes him sound cute and cute was not the word that came into my mind as Mr. Sanders missed his world moment at the democratic election and backed Hillary Clinton (I can not vote for EVIL). Sanders then proceeded to give part of my money to the DNC & to EVIL Hillary Clinton.

So then what now? Easy as Pie; NO MORE DEMOCRATS EVER. The DNC & DCCC used Election Fraud & Election Crimes blatantly to beat Bernie Sanders. Right out in the open. The DNC & DCCC are War Mongering more then the Republicans which is saying allot. The mass media and major Internet Plateforms like Goggle & Facebook are all owned by Evil Oligarchs that profit from WAR and blatantly are today suppressing all dissenting opinions (anti Free Speech).

I stopped making cash donation to Tulsi Gabbard upon the realization that the Democrats were not at all a force for Life or Good and instead were a criminal organization. The voting for the lessor of two EVILs is 100% STUPID.

I told Tim Canova I could not support any Democrat ever again as I told Tulsi Gabbard. Tulsi is still running as a criminal democrat. If she would run independent of the DNC then I would start to donate cash to her again. End of my story about Tulsi. I do like her antiwar dialog, but there is no; so called changing, the DNC from the inside. The Oligarchs own the DNC and are not supportive of "We The People" or the Constitution, or the American Republic.

The end of Tim Canova's effort was he was overtly CHEATED AGAIN by the DNC's Election Fraud & Election Crimes in his 2018 run for congress against Hillary Clinton's 100% corrupt campaign manager; who congress seated even over Tim's asking them not to seat her until his law suites on her election crimes against him were assessed. Election crimes and rigged voting machines in Florida are a way of life now and have been for decades and decades.

All elections must be publicly funded. All votes must be on paper ballots and accessible for recounts and that is just the very minimums needed to start changing the 100% corrupted election system we Americans have been railroaded into.

The supreme Court has recently ruled that gerrymandering is OK. The supreme court has proven to be a political organization with their Bush Gore decision and now are just political hacks and as such need to be ELECTED not appointed. Their rulings that Money is Free Speech & that Corporations are People has disenfranchised "We the People". That makes the Supreme Court a tool to be used by the world money elite to overturn the constitution of the United States of America.

No More War. No More War. No More War.

DW Bartoo , July 3, 2019 at 16:40

Absolutely spot-on, superb comment, P .Brooks.

DW

Nathan Mulcahy , July 3, 2019 at 18:08

I saw the light (with what the Dems are really about) after Kucinich's candidacy. That made me one of the very few lefties in my circle not to have voted for Obama even the first time around. I hear a lot of talk about trying to reform the party from inside. Utter bu** sh**. "You cannot reform Mafia".

Ever since Kucinich, I have been voting Green. No, this is not a waste of my vote. Besides, I cannot be complicit to war crimes – that's what it makes anyone who votes for either of the two parties.

Steven , July 3, 2019 at 13:56

Wow you said a mouthful. It's worse than that its a cottage industry that includes gun running, drug running and human trafficking netting Trillions to the MIC, CIA and other alphabet agencies you can't fight the mark of the beast.

Seer , July 3, 2019 at 14:01

I fully back/endorse Gabbard, but

The battering of Bernie is not fair. He is NOT a Democrat, therefore him being able to get "inside" that party to run AS a Dem put him in a tenuous situation. He really had no option other than to support HRC lest his movement, everyone's movement, would get extra hammering by the neocons and status quo powers. He wouldn't be running, again, had he not done this. Yeah, it's a bad taste, I get it, but had he disavowed HRC would the outcome -Trump- been any different? The BLAME goes fully on the DNC and the Clintons. Full stop.

I do not see AOC as a full progressive. She is only doing enough to make it appear so. The Green New Deal is stolen from the Green Party and is watered down. Think of this as "Obama Care" for the planet. As you should know, Gabbard's Off Fossil Fuels Act (OFF) actually has real teeth in it: and is closer to the Green Party's positions.

I support movements and positions. PRIMARY is peace. Gabbard, though not a pacifist, has the right path on all of this: I've been around long enough to understand exactly how she's approaching all of this. She is, however, taking on EVERYONE. As powerful a person as she is (she has more fortitude than the entire lot of combined POTUS candidates put together) going to require MASSIVE support; sadly, -to this point- this article doesn't help by implying that people aren't interested in foreign policy (it perpetuates the blockout of it- people have to be reeducated on its importance- not something that the MIC wants), people aren't yet able to see the connections. The education will occur will it happen in a timely way such that people would elect Gabbard? (things can turn on a dime, history has shown this; she has the makeup that suggests that she's going to have a big role in making history).

I did not support Bernie (and so far have not- he's got ample support; if it comes down to it he WILL get my vote- and I've held off voting for many years because there's been no real "peace" candidate on the plate). Gabbard, however, has my support now, and likely till the day I die: I've been around long enough to know what constitutes a great leader, and not since the late 60s have we had anyone like her. If Bernie gets the nomination it is my prediction that he will have Gabbard high on his staff, if not as VP: a sure fire way to win is to have Gabbard as VP.

I'm going to leave this for folks to contemplate as to whether Gabbard is real or not:

http://www.brasilwire.com/holy-war/

[excerpt:]

In a context in which Rio de Janeiro's evangelical churches have been accused of laundering money for the drug trafficking gangs, all elements of Afro-Brazilian culture including caipoeira, Jango drumming, and participation in Carnaval parades, have been banned by the traffickers in many favelas.

[end excerpt]

"caipoeria," is something that Gabbard has practiced:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iw-njAmvZ80

"I trained in different martial arts since I was a kid including Capoeira -- an amazing art created by slaves in Brazil who were training to fight and resist against their slave masters, disguising their training with music, acrobatics, and dance. Yesterday I joined my friends Mestre Kinha and others at Capoeira Besouro Hawai'i for their batizado ceremony and some fun! " – Tulsi Gabbard December 9, 2018

The GOAL is to get her into the upper halls of governing power. If the people cannot see fit to it then I'll support Sanders (in the end) so that he can do it.

Harpootlian claims to see what's going on, but, unfortunately, she's not able to look close enough.

Anonymot, thank you for leading out here with Gabbard and her message.

michael , July 4, 2019 at 08:10

If Gabbard had the MSM coverage Buttigieg has received she probably be leading in the polls. It is surprising(?) that this supposedly anti-war author mentions corporatist Mayor Pete but not Gabbard.

David , July 4, 2019 at 19:55

She DOES (briefly)mention Gabbard, but she missed the fact that Gabbard is the most strongly anti-war candidate. She gets it entirely wrong about Buttigieg, who is strikingly pro-war, and supports getting in to a war with Iran.

Robert Harrow , July 3, 2019 at 15:54

And sadly, Ms. Gabbard is mired at the 1% mark in the polls, even after having performed so well in the debate.
This seems to me an indication of the public's lack of caring about our foreign wars.

antonio Costa , July 3, 2019 at 19:06

The reason she's "mired" is because a number of polls don't include her!! However they include, Marianne Williamson.

How's that for inverse totalitarianism par excellence .

Skip Scott , July 4, 2019 at 07:05

I did see one poll that had her at 2%. And given the reputation of many polling outfits, I take any professed results with a grain of salt. Tulsi's press coverage (what little she gets) has been mostly defamatory to the point of being libelous. If her strong performance continues in the primary debates despite all efforts to sabotage her, I think she could make a strong showing. That said, at some point she will have to renounce the DNC controlled democratic party and run as an Independent if she wants to make the General Election debates for 2020.

Piotr Berman , July 3, 2019 at 21:15

"Hillary signed the papers and talked the brainless idiocy that set the entire Middle East on fire, because she couldn't stand the sight of a man with no shirt on and sitting on the Russian equivalent of a Harley. She hates men "

If I were to psychologize, I would conjecture more un-gendered stereotype, namely that of a good student. He/she diligently learns in all classes from the prescribed textbooks and reading materials, and, alas, American education on foreign affairs is dominated by retirees from CIA and other armchair warriors. Of course, nothing wrong about good students in general, but I mean the type that is obedient, devoid of originality and independent thinking. When admonished, he/she remembers the pain for life and strives hard not to repeat it. E.g. as First Lady, Hillary kissed Arafat's wife to emulate Middle East custom, and NY tabloids had a feast for months.

Concerning Tulsi, no Hillary-related conspiracy is needed to explain the behavior of the mass media. Tulsi is a heretic to the establishment, and their idea is to be arbiters of what and who belongs to the "mainstream", and what is radical, marginal etc. Tulsi richly deserves her treatment. Confronted with taunts like "so you would prefer X to stay in power" (Assad, Maduro etc.) she replies that it should not be up to USA to decide who stays in power, especially if no better scenario is in sight. The gall, the cheek!

Strangely enough, Tulsi gets this treatment in places like The Nation and Counterpunch. As the hitherto "radical left" got a whiff of being admitted to the hallowed mainstream from time to time, they try to be "responsible".

Mary Jones-Giampalo , July 4, 2019 at 00:39

Yes! Thank You I was gritting my teeth reading this article #Tulsi2020

Eddie , July 3, 2019 at 11:42

The end of the anti-war movement expired when the snake-oil pitchman with the toothy smile and dark skin brought his chains we could beleive in to the White House. The so-called progressives simply went to sleep while they never criticized Barack Obama for escalating W. Bush's wars and tax cuts for the rich.

The fake left wing in the US remained silent when Obama dumped trillions of dollars into the vaults of his bankster pals as he stole the very homes from the people who voted him into office. Then along came the next hope and change miracle worker Bernie Sanders. Only instead of working miracles for the working class, Sanders showed his true colors when he fcuked his constituents to support the hated Hillary Clinton.

Let's start facing reality. The two-party dictatorship does not care about you unless you can pony up the big bucks like their masters in the oligarchy and the soulless corporations do. Unless and until workers end to the criminal stranglehold that the big-business parties and the money class have on the government, things will continue to slide into the abyss.

DW Bartoo , July 3, 2019 at 11:33

An informed awareness of imperialism must also include an analysis of how "technology" is used and abused, from the use of "superior" weaponry against people who do not have such weapons, from blunderbuss and sailing ships, to B-52s and napalm, up to and including technology that may be "weaponized" against civilian populations WiTHIN a society, be it 24/7 surveillance or robotics and AI that could permit elites to dispense with any "need", on the part of the elites, to tolerate the very existence of a laborung class, or ANY who earn their wealth through actual work, from maids to surgeons, from machine operators to professors.

Any assumption, that any who "work", even lawyers or military officers, can consider their occupation or profession as "safe", is to assume that the scapegoating will stop with those the highly paid regard as "losers", such comfortable assumption may very well prove as illusory and ephemeral as an early morning mist before the hot and merciless Sun rises.

The very notions of unfettered greed and limitless power, resulting in total control, must be recognized as the prime drivers of endless war and shock-doctrine capitalism which, combined, ARE imperialism, unhinged and insane.

michael , July 3, 2019 at 11:06

This article is weak. Anyone who could equate Mayor Pete or the eleven Democrat "ex"-military and CIA analysts who gained seats in Congress in 2018 as anti-war is clueless. Tulsi Gabbard is anti-regime change war, but is in favor of fighting "terrorists" (created mostly by our CIA and Israel with Saudi funding). Mike Gravel is the only true totally anti-war 'candidate' and he supports Gabbard as the only anti-War of the Democrats.
In WWI, 90% of Americans who served were drafted, in WWII over 60% of Americans who served were drafted. The Vietnam War "peace demonstrations" were more about the Draft, and skin-in-the-game, than about War. Nixon and Kissinger abolished the Draft (which stopped most anti-war protests), but continued carpet bombing Vietnam and neighboring countries (Operations Menu, Freedom Deal, Patio, etc), and Vietnamized the War which was already lost, although the killing continued through 1973. The abolition of the Draft largely gutted the anti-war movement. Sporadic protests against Bush/ Cheney over Afghanistan and Iraq essentially disappeared under Obama/ Hillary in Afghanistan and Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan. Since their National Emergency proclamations no longer ever end, we are in a position to attack Venezuela (Obama), Ukraine (Obama), South Sudan (Obama), Iran (Carter, Clinton), Libya (Obama), Somalia (Obama), Yemen (Obama), Nicaragua (Trump) and even Burundi (Obama) and the Central African Republic (Obama). The continuing support of death squads in Honduras and other Latin American countries ("stability is more important than democracy") has contributed to the immigration crises over the last five years.
As Pelosi noted about Democratic progressives "there are like five of them". Obama not only failed to reverse any of the police state and warmongering of Bush/Cheney, he expanded both police state (arresting and prosecuting Chelsea Manning for exposing war crimes, as well as more whistleblowers than anyone in history), and wars in seven Arab Muslim countries. Black Americans, who had always been an anti-War bloc prior to Obama, converted to the new America. The Congressional Democrats joined with Republicans to give more to the military budget than requested by Trump. (Clinton squandered the Peace Dividend when the Soviet Union fell, and Lee Camp has exposed the $21 TRILLION "lost" by the Pentagon.)
The young author see anti-war improvements that are not there. The US is more pro-war in its foreign policies than at any time in its history. When there was a Draft, the public would not tolerate decades of war (lest their young men died). Sanctions are now the first attack (usually by National Emergencies!); the 500,000 Iraqi children killed by Clinton's sanctions (Madeline Albright: "we think it was worth it!") is just sadism and psychopathy at the top, which is necessary for War.

DW Bartoo , July 3, 2019 at 11:38

Superb comment, michael, very much agreed with and appreciated.

DW

Anonymot , July 3, 2019 at 12:06

You are absolutely right. Obama and Hillary were the brilliant ideas of the MIC/CIA when they realized that NO ONE the Republicans put up after Bush baby's 2nd round. They chose 2 "victims" black & woman) who would do what they were told to do in order to promote their causes (blacks & get-filthy rich.) The first loser would get the next round. And that's exactly what happened until Hillary proved to be so unacceptable that she was rejected. We traded no new war for an administration leading us into a neo-nazi dictatorship.

Seer , July 3, 2019 at 14:04

Thank you for this comment!

Mickey , July 3, 2019 at 10:47

Tulsi Gabbard is the only peace candidate in the Democratic Party

Mary Jones-Giampalo , July 4, 2019 at 00:41

Absolutely! #Tulsi2020

peter mcloughlin , July 3, 2019 at 10:43

Many current crises have the potential to escalate into a major confrontation between the nuclear powers, similar to the Cuban missile crisis, though there is no comparable sense of alarm. Then, tensions were at boiling point, when a small military exchange could have led to nuclear annihilation. Today there are many more such flashpoint – Syria, the South China Sea, Iran, Ukraine to name a few. Since the end of the Cold War there has been a gradual movement towards third world war. Condemnation of an attack on Iran must include, foremost, the warning that it could lead the US into a confrontation with a Sino-Russian alliance. The warning from history is states go to war over interests, but ultimately – and blindly – end up getting the very war they need to avoid: even nuclear war, where the current trend is going.
https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/

DW Bartoo , July 3, 2019 at 10:36

Many truly superb, well-informed, and very enlightening comments on this thread.

My very great appreciation to this site, to its authors, and to its exceptionally thoughtful and articulate commenters.

DW

DW Bartoo , July 3, 2019 at 10:20

I appreciate this author's perspective, research, and optimism.

Clearly, the young ARE far more open to embracing a future less warlike and hegemonic, while far too many of my generation are wedded to childish myth and fantasy around U$ driven mayhem.

However, I would suggest that vision be broadened beyond opposition to war, which opposition, while important, must be expanded to opposition to the larger issue of imperialism, itself.

Imperialism is not merely war, it includes economic warfare, both sanctions, internationally, and predatory debt loads, domestically, in very many nations of the world, as well as privatization of the commons (which must be understood to include all resources necessary to human existence).

Perpetual war, which profits only the few, is driven by precisely the same aims as pitting workers against each other, worldwide, in a "game" of "race to the bottom", creating "credit" rather than raising wages, thus creating life-long indebtedness of the many, which only benefits monopolized corporate interests, as does corporate ownership of such necessities as water, food production, and most channels of communication, which permits corporations to easily shape public perception toward whatever ends suit corporate purposes while also ensuring that deeper awareness of what is actually occurring is effectively stifled, deplatformed, or smeared as dangerous foreign fake news or as hidden, or even as blatant, racial or religious hatred.

Above all, it is critically important that all these interrelated aspects of deliberate domination, control, and diminishment, ARE talked about, openly, that we all may have better grasp of who really aligns with creating serious systemic change, especially as traditionally assumed "tendencies" are shifting, quickly and even profoundly.

For example, as many here point out, the Democrats are now as much a war party as the Republicans, "traditionally" have been, even as there is clear evidence that the Republican "base" is becoming less willing to go to war than are the Democratic "base", as CNN and MSNBC media outlets strive to incite a new Cold War and champion and applaud aggression in Syria, Iran, and North Korea.

It is the elite Democratic "leadership" and most Democratic Presidential hopefuls who now preach or excuse war and aggression, with few actual exceptions, and none of them, including Tulsi Gabbard, have come anywhere near openly discussing or embracing, the end of U$ imperialism.

Both neoliberal and neocon philosophies are absolutely dedicated to imperialism in all its destructive, even terminal, manifestations.

Seer , July 3, 2019 at 14:16

Exactly!

Gabbard has spoken out against sanctions. She understands that they're just another form of war.

The younger generations won't be able to financially support imperialist activities. And, they won't be, as the statements to their enlistment numbers suggest, able to "man the guns." I'm thinking that TPTB are aware of this (which is why a lot of drone and other automation of war machinery has been stepped up).

The recent alliance of Soros and Charles Koch, the Quincy Institute, is, I believe, a KEY turning point. Pretty much everything Gabbard is saying/calling for is this institute's mission statement: and people ought to note that Gabbard has been in Charles Koch's circle- might very well be that Gabbard has already influenced things in a positive way.

I also believe that all the great independent journalists, publishers (Assange taking the title here) and whistleblowers (Manning taking the title here) have made a HUGE impact. Bless them all.

O Society , July 3, 2019 at 09:48

The US government consistently uses psychological operations on its own citizens to manufacture consent to kill anyone and everyone. Meaningless propaganda phrases such as "Support Our Troops" and "National Security" and "War on Terror" are thrown around to justify genocides and sieges and distract us from murder. There is no left wing or in American politics and there has not been one since the inauguration of Ronald Reagan. All we have is neoconservatives and neoliberals representing the business party for four decades. Killing is our business and business is good. Men are as monkeys with guns when it comes to politics and religion.

http://osociety.org/2019/07/03/the-science-of-influencing-people-six-ways-to-win-an-argument/

jmg , July 3, 2019 at 13:55

Seen on the street:

Support Our Troops
BRING THEM HOME NOW

https://media.salon.com/2003/03/the_billboard_bush_cant_see.jpg

Bob Van Noy , July 3, 2019 at 08:39

New

Bob Van Noy , July 3, 2019 at 08:42

New and better link here:
https://foreignaffairs.house.gov/_cache/files/7/e/7ebd2b61-aa29-49ac-9991-53a53da6a57f/3163D991E047042C0F52C929A2F60231.israel-syria-letter-5-21.pdf

Gregory Herr , July 3, 2019 at 21:40

One might be hard-pressed to find more outright perversions of reality in a mere two pages of text. Congratulations Congress, you have indeed surpassed yourself.

So it's those dastardly Russians and Iranians who are responsible for the destabilization of the Middle East, "complicating Israel's ability to defend itself from hostile action emanating from Syria." And apparently, it's the "ungoverned space" in Syria that has "allowed" for the rise of terrorist factions in Syria, that (we must be reminded) are ever poised to attack "Western targets, our allies and partners, and the U.S. homeland."

Good grief.

Bob Van Noy , July 3, 2019 at 08:29

Thank you Joe Lauria and Consortiumnews.

There is much wisdom and a good deal of personal experience being expressed on these pages. I especially want to thank IvyMike and Dao Gen. Ivy Mike you're so right about our troops in Vietnam from 1965 to 1968, draftees and volunteers, they fought what was clearly an internal civil war fought valiantly, beyond that point, Vietnam was a political mess for all involved. And Dao Gen all of your points are accurate.

As for our legislators, please read the linked Foreign Affairs press release signed by over 400 leglislators On May 20th., 2019 that address "threats to Syria" including the Russia threat. Clearly it will take action by the People and Peace candidates to end this travesty of a foreign policy.

https://foreignaffairs.house.gov/2019/5/nearly-400-lawmakers-call-on-trump-to-address-threats-in-syria

Is your legislator a signee of this list? All of mine are

James Clooney , July 3, 2019 at 10:11

Vietnam a war triggered by the prevention of a mandated election by the USA which Ho Chi Minh was likely to win, who had already recently been Premier of a unified Vietnam.

Sorry, being courageous in a vicious cause is not honorable.

Speaking a true history and responsibility is honorable.

Bob Van Noy , July 3, 2019 at 11:07

No need to be sorry James Clooney. I did not mention honor in my comment, I mentioned valiant (courage and determination). American troupes ultimately fight honorably for each other not necessarily for country. This was the message and evaluation of Captain Hal Moore To General Westmorland And Robert McNamera after the initial engagement of US troops and NVA and can be viewed as a special feature of the largely inaccurate DVD "We Were Soldiers And Young).

Karen , July 3, 2019 at 07:59

The veterans group About Face is doing remarkable work against the imperial militarization that threatens to consume our country and possibly the world. This threat includes militarization of US police, a growing nuclear arms race, and so-called humanitarian wars. About Face is also working to train ordinary people as medics to take these skills into their communities whose members are on the front lines of police brutality.
Tulsi Gabbard is the only candidate with a strong, enlightened understanding of the costs of our many imperial wars Costs to ourselves in the US and costs to the people we invade in order to "save" them. I voted for McGovern in 1972. I would vote for Tuldi's Gabbard in 2020 if given the chance.

Seer , July 3, 2019 at 14:35

Vote for her now by supporting her*! One cannot wait until the DNC (or other party) picks the candidate FOR us. Anyone serious about peace ought to support her, and do it now and far into the future. I have always supported candidates who are champions for peace, no matter their "party" or whatever: I did not, though I wish that I had, support Walter Jones -of Freedom Fries fame- after he did a 180 (Gabbard knew Jones, and respected him); it took a lot of guts for him to do this, but his honest (like Ron Paul proved) was proven and his voters accepted him (and likely shifted their views along with him).

* Yeah, one has to register giving money, but for a lousy $1 She has yet to qualify for the third debate (need 130k unique donations): and yet Yang has! (nothing against him, but come on, he is not "Commander in Chief" material [and at this time it is, as Gabbard repeats, the single most important part of being president]).

Mary Jones-Giampalo , July 4, 2019 at 00:43

Strongly agree Only Tulsi

triekc , July 3, 2019 at 07:14

Not surprising there was little or no antiwar sentiment in the newfound civic engagement after Trump's election, since the majority of those participating were supporters of the war criminals Obama, Clinton, and their corporate, war mongering DEM party. Those same people today, support Obama-chaperone Biden, or one of the other vetted corporate DEMs, including socialist-in-name-only Sanders, who signed the DEM loyalty oath promising to continue austerity for the poor, socialism for rich, deregulation, militarism, and global war hegemony. The only party with an antiwar blank was the Green Party, which captured >2% of the ~130 million votes in the rigged election- even though Stein is as competent as Clinton, certainly more competent than Trump, and the Green platform, unlike Sanders', explained how to pay for social and environmental programs by ending illegal wars in at least 7 countries, closing 1000 military command posts located all over earth, removing air craft carrier task forces from every ocean, cutting defense spending.

James Clooney , July 3, 2019 at 10:22

I believe the CIA operation "CARWASH" was under Obama, which gave us Ultra fascism in one of the largest economies in the world, Brazil.

DW Bartoo , July 3, 2019 at 12:02

Superb comment, trieke, and I especially appreciate your mention of Jill Stein and the Green Party.

It is unfortunate that the the Green New Deal, championed by AOC is such a pale and intentionally pusillanimous copy of the Green New Deal articulated by Stein, which pointedly made clear that blind and blythe economic expansion must cease, that realistic natural constraints and carrying capacity be accepted and profligate energy squandering come to an end.

That a sane, humane, and sustainable economic system, wholly compatible with ecological responsibility can provide neaningful endeavor, justly compensated, for all, as was coherently addressed and explained to any who cared to examine the substance of that, actual, and realistic, original, GND.

Such a vision must be part of successfully challenging, and ending, U$ imperialism.

Seer , July 3, 2019 at 14:53

And Trump likely signed a GOP pledge. It's all superficial crap, nothing that is really written in stone.

I LOVE Stein. But for the sake of the planet we have little time to wait on getting the Green Party up to speed (to the clasp the levers of power). Unless Gabbard comes out on top (well, the ultimate, and my favorite, long-shot would be Gravel, but reality is something that I have to accept) it can only really be Sanders. I see a Sanders nomination as being the next best thing (and, really, the last hope as it all falls WAY off the cliff after that). He would most certainly have Gabbard along (if not as VP, which is the best strategy for winning, then as some other high-ranking, and meaningful cabinet member). Also, there are a lot of folks that would be coming in on his coattails. It is THESE people that will make the most difference: although he's got his flaws, Ro Kana would be a good top official. And, there are all the supporters who would help push. Sanders is WAY better than HRC (Obama and, of course, Trump). He isn't my favorite, but he has enough lean in him to allow others to help him push the door open: I'll accept him if that's what it take to get Gabbard into all of this.

Sometimes you DO have to infiltrate. Sanders is an infiltrator (not a Dem), though he treads lightly. Gabbard has already proven her intentions: directly confronted the DNC and the HRC machine (and her direct attack on the MIC is made very clear); and, she is indirectly endorsed by some of the best people out there who have run for POTUS: Jill Stein; Ron Paul; Mike Gravel. We cannot wait for the Dems (and the MIC) to disarm. We need to get inside "the building" and disarm. IF Sanders or Gabbard (and no Gravel) don't get the nomination THEN it is time to open up direct "warfare" and attack from the "outside" (at this time there should be enough big defectors to start swinging the tide).

Eddie S , July 3, 2019 at 23:34

Yes trieke, I voted for Stein in 2016, and I plan on voting Green Party again in 2020. I see too many fellow progressives/liberals/leftists (whatever the hell we want to call ourselves) agonizing about which compromised Democrat to vote-for, trying to weigh their different liabilities, etc. I've come to believe that my duty as a voter is to vote for the POTUS candidate/party whose stances/platform are closest to my views, and that's unequivocally the Green Party. My duty as a voter does NOT entail 'voting for a winner', that's just part of the two-party-con that the Dems & Reps run.

jmg , July 3, 2019 at 07:06

The big difference is that, during the Vietnam years, people could *see* the war. People talked a lot about "photographs that ended the Vietnam war", such as the napalm girl, etc.

The government noticed this. There were enormous pressures on the press, even a ban on returning coffin photos. Now, since the two Iraq wars, people *don't see* the reality of war. The TV and press don't show Afghanistan, don't show Yemen, didn't show the real Iraq excepting for Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange, who are in prison because of this.

And the wars go on:

"The US government and military are preventing the public from seeing photographs that depict the true horror of the Iraq war."

Dan Kennedy: Censorship of graphic Iraq war photographs -- 29 Jul 2008
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2008/jul/29/iraqandthemedia.usa

jmg , July 3, 2019 at 18:36

For example, we all know that mainstream media is war propaganda now, itself at war on truth and, apart from some convenient false flags to justify attacks, they very rarely let the very people suffering wars be heard to wake viewers up, and don't often even show this uncensored reality of war anymore, not like the true images of this old, powerful video:

Happy Xmas (War Is Over! If You Want It)

So this is Xmas
And what have you done
-- John Lennon

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KY7gPcDFwQc

Dao Gen , July 3, 2019 at 05:20

mbob -- thank you -- has already put this very well, but it is above all the Dems, especially Obama and the Clintons, who killed the antiwar movement. Obama was a fake, and his foreign policy became even more hawkish after Hillary resigned as SoS. His reduction of Libya, the richest state in Africa, to a feudal chaotic zone in which slavery is once more prominent and his attempt to demonize Syria, which has more semi-democracy and women's rights than any of the Islamic kingdoms the US supports as its allies, and turn Syria into a jihadi terrorist hell, as well as Obama's bombing of other nations and his sanctions on still other nations such as Venezuela, injured and killed at least as many people as did GW Bush's invasion of Iraq. Yet where was the antiwar movement? In the 21st century the US antiwar movement has gained most of its strength from anti-Repub hatred. The current uptick of antiwar feeling is probably due mostly to hatred of Trump. Yet Trump is the first president since Carter not to invade or make a major attack on a foreign country. As a businessman, his policy is to use economic warfare instead of military warfare.

I am not a Trump supporter, and strong sanctions are a war crime, and Trump is also slow to reduce some of Obama's overseas bombing and other campaigns, yet ironically he is surely closer to being a "peace president" than Obama. Moreover, a major reason Trump won in 2016 was that Hillary was regarded as the war and foreign intervention candidate, and in fact if Hillary had won, she probably would have invaded Syria to set up her infamous "no-fly zone" there, and she might have bombed Iran by now. We might even be in a war with Russia now. At the same time, under Trump the Dem leadership and the Dem-leaning MSM have pursued an unabashedly neocon policy of attacking from the right Trumps attempts at detente with Russia and scorning his attempts to negotiate a treaty with N Korea and to withdraw from Syria and Afghanistan. The main reason why Trump chose dangerous neocons like Bolton and Pompeo as advisors was probably to shield himself a little from the incessant and sometimes xenophobic attacks from the Dem leadership and the MSM. The Dem leadership seems motivated not only by hatred of Trump but also, and probably more importantly, by a desire to get donations from the military-industrial complex and a desire to ingratiate itself with the Intel Community and the surveillance state in order to get various favors. Look, for example, at Adam Schiff, cheerleader-in-chief for the IC. The system of massive collusion between the Dem party elite and the US deep state was not as advanced during the Vietnam War era as it is now. 2003 changed a lot of things.

The only Dem presidential candidates who are philosophically and securely antiwar are Gabbard and Gravel. Even Bernie (and even more so, Warren) can't be trusted to stand up to the deep state if elected, and anyway, Bernie's support for the Russiagate hoax by itself disqualifies him as an antiwar politician, while the Yemen bill he sponsored had a fatal loophole in it, as Bernie well knew. I love Bernie, but he is neither antiwar nor anti-empire. As for Seth Moulton, mentioned in the article, he is my Rep, and he makes some mild criticisms of the military, but he is a rabid hawk on Syria and Iran, and he recently voted for a Repub amendment that would have punished Americans who donate to BDS organizations. And as for the younger generation of Dems, they are not as antiwar as the article suggests. For every AOC among the newly elected Dems in 2018, there were almost two new Dems who are military vets or who formerly worked for intel agencies. This does not bode well. As long at the deep state, the Dem elite, and the MSM are tightly intertwined, there will be no major peace movement in the near future, even if a Dem becomes president. In fact, a Dem president might hinder the formation of a true antiwar movement. Perhaps when China becomes more powerful in ten or twenty years, the unipolar US empire and permanent war state will no longer look like a very good idea to a large number of Americans, and the idea of a peace movement will once again become realistic. The media have a major role to play in spreading truthful news about how the current US empire is hurting domestic living standards. Rather than hopey-hope wish lists, no-holds-barred reporting will surely play a big role.

DW Bartoo , July 3, 2019 at 12:05

Absolutely superb comment, Dao Gen.

DW

Seer , July 3, 2019 at 15:07

Another fine example of why I think there is hope! (some very sharp commentators!)

A strong leader can make all the difference. The example gets set from the top: not that this is my preference, just that it's the reality we have today. MLK Jr. was such a leader, though it was MANY great people that were in his movement/orbit that were the primary architects. I suppose you could say it's a "rally around the flag" kind of deal. Just as Trump stunned the System, I believe that it can be stunned from the "left" (the ultimate stunning would be from a Gravel win, but I'm thinking that Gabbard would be the one that has what it takes to slip past).

I really wish that people would start asking candidates who they think have been good cabinet members for various positions. This could help give an idea of the most important facet of an administration: who the POTUS selects as key cabinet members tells pretty much everything you need to know. Sadly, Trump had a shot at selecting Gabbard and passed on her: as much as I detest Trump, I gave him room in which to work away from the noecon/neolib death squads (to his credit he's mostly just stalemated them- for a rookie politician you could say that this has been an impressive feat; he's tried to instigate new wars but has, so far, "failed" [by design?]).

geeyp , July 3, 2019 at 01:19

"We saved more money today for the American people ." – Elijah Cummings. Yea? Well then, give it to us!! You owe us a return of our money that you have wasted for years.

mark , July 3, 2019 at 00:17

Same old, same old, same old, same old. Prospective candidates spewing out the same tired old hot air about how, this time, it really, really, really, really will be different. There won't be any more crazy multitrillion wars for Israel.
Honest. Just like Dubya. Just like Obomber. Just like the Orange Baboon. Whilst simultaneously begging for shekels from Adelson, Saban, Singer, Marcus.

And this is the "new anti war movement." Yeah.

Tom Kath , July 3, 2019 at 00:04

Every extreme elicits an extreme response. Our current western pacifist obsession is no exception. By prohibiting argument, disagreement, verbal conflict, and the occasional playground "dust up" on a personal level, you seem to make the seemingly less personal war inevitable.

Life on earth is simply not possible without "a bit of biff".

James Clooney , July 3, 2019 at 09:38

An aware person may not react extremely to a extreme. USA slaughtered 5 to 10 million Vietnamese for no apparent reason other than projection of power yet the Vietnamese trade with the USA today.

Who prohibits argument? Certainly not those with little power; it's the militarily and politically powerful that crush dissent, (Tinamen Square , Occupy Wall Street). How much dissent does the military allow? Why is Assange being persecuted?

I believe even the most militant pacifist would welcome a lively debate on murder, death and genocide, as a channel for education and edification.

Antonio Costa , July 2, 2019 at 20:53

Weak essay. AOC hops from cause to cause. She rarely/ever says anything about US regime change wars, and the bombing of children. She's demonstrated no anti-war bona fides.

Only Tulsi Gabbard has forthright called for an end to regime change wars, the warmongers and reduction in our military.

The power is with the powerful. We'll not see an end to war, nor Medicare for All or much of anything regarding student debt. These are deep systemic problems calling for systemic solutions beginning with how we live on the planet(GND is a red herring), the GDP must become null and void if we are to behave as if plundering the planet is part of "progress". It needs to be replaced to some that focuses on quality of life as the key to prosperity. The geopolitics of the world have to simply STOP IT. It's not about coalitions between Russia and China and India to off-set the US imperialists. That's an old game for an empty planet. The planet is full and exceeding it capacity and is on fire. Our geopolitics must end!

Not one of these candidates come close to focusing on the systemic problem(s) except Gabbard's focus on war because it attacks the heart of the American Imperial Empire.

Maxime , July 3, 2019 at 09:24

I agree with you that you americans will probably not see the end of your system and the end of your problems any time soon.

BUT I disagree on that you seems to think it's inevitable. I'm not american, I'm french, and reading you saying you think medicare for all, no student debt and end to endless wars are systemic problems linked to GDP and the current economic system is well, amusing. We have medicare for all, in fact even better than your medicare, we have no student cost for our educating system, and still in both cases often better results than yours, even if we are behind some of our northern neighbors, but they don't pay for these either. And we don't wage endless wars, even if we have ourselves our own big war problems, after all we were in Lybia, we are in Syria, we are in Mali and other parts of Africa.

We also have a big militaro-industrial complex, in fact very alike the american one. But we made clear since much longer than we would not accept as much wars, in part because the lesson we got from WW2 and Cold War was to learn to live together with our hated neighbor. You know, the one the other side of the Rhine. Today France is a diplomatic superpower, often the head of the european spear onthe subject, we got feared elite military, and we are proud of that, but we would not even accept more money (in proportion) given to our military complex.

And you know the best news (for the americans)? we have an history of warmongering going back millenias. We learn to love Caesar and the "Guerre des Gaules", his invasion of Gauls. We learn how Franks invaded their neighbors and built the first post-roman Empire. We learn how crusaders were called Franks, how we built our nation and his pride on ashes of european continental english hopes and german holy empire aspirations. We learn how Napolean nearly achieved to built a new continental Empire, how we never let them passed at Verdun, and how we rose in the face of a tyran in 1944.

All of this is still in our history books, and we're still proud of it. But today, if most of us were to be asked what we were proud about recent wars France got into, it would be how our president vetoed USA when they tried to got UN into Irak and forced them to invade illegally, and without us.
I think my country's revelation was Algeria's independance war. One bloody and largely filled with war crimes and crimes against humanity. We're ashamed of it, and I think we, as a nation, learned from it that stopping wars on our soil wasn't enough. I still don't understand how americans can still wage wars after Vietnam, but I am not american. Still, even the most warmongering nation can learn. Let's hope you will be quicker than us, because we got millennias of bloody history before even the birth of USA.

Eddie S , July 3, 2019 at 23:15

Thanks Maxime for a foreign perspective! I'm often curious what people in foreign countries think of our current politics in the US,especially when I read analysis/commentaries by US writers (even ones I respect) who say "Oh most of our allies think this or that" -- - maybe they're right or maybe they're wrong or somewhere in-between, but it's interesting getting a DIRECT opinion from a fellow left-of-center citizen from a foreign state.

I agree with your points that European countries like France almost all have their own bloody history including an imperial period, but the two big World Wars that killed SO many people and destroyed so many cities in Europe were so tragic and wasteful that I suspect they DO continue to act as a significant deterrent to the saber-rattling that the US war mongers are able to engage-in. For too many US citizens 'war' is just something that's mentioned & sometimes displayed on a screen, just like a movie/TV program/video-game, and there's a non-reality to it because it's so far away and seldom directly affects them. Geography has famously isolated us from the major death & destruction of war and enables too many armchair warriors to talk boldly and vote for politicians who pander to those conceits. In a not-so-subtle way, the US IS the younger offspring of Europe, where Europe has grown-up due to some hard lessons, while the US is going through its own destructive stage of 'lesson-learning'. Hopefully this learning stage will be over soon and won't involve a world war.

DW Bartoo , July 3, 2019 at 12:48

Tulsi Gabbard is, indeed,pointing at part of a major organ of imperialism, Antonio Costa, yet habeas corpus, having the whole body of imperialism produced is necessary for the considered judgement of a people long terrorized by fictitious "monsters" and "demons", if they are to understand that shooting warfate is but one part of the heart, while the other is economic warfare. Both brutally destructive, even if the second is hidden from public awareness or dismissed as "a price worth paying". Imperialism pays no price (except "blow-back", which is merely "religious extremism" as explained by a fully complicit MSM).

And the "brain" behind it all?

That is corporate/military/political/deep state/media greed – and their desperate need/ambition for total, and absolute, control.

Only seeing the whole body may reveal the true size of the threat and the vicious nature of the real danger.

Some may argue that it is "too soon", "too early", or "too costly", politically, for Gabbard, even if she, herself, might see imperialism as the real monster and demon, to dare describe the whole beast.

Frankly, this time, Tulsi's candidacy, her "run" for President, is not likely to see her become the Dem nominee, most likely that will be Kamala Harris (who will happily do the bidding of brute power), rather, it is to lay the firm and solid foundation of actual difference, of rational perspective, and thoughtful, diplomatic international behavior.

To expose the whole, especially the role of the MSM, in furthering all the rest of the lumbering body of Zombie imperialism, would be far more effective in creating an substantial "opening" for alternative possibilities, even a new political party, next time.

Seer , July 3, 2019 at 15:31

I'm figuring that Warren and Harris will take one another out. Climbing to the top requires this. But, Gabbard doesn't stop fighting, and if there's a fighter out there it is her: mentally and physically she is the total package.

Sanders' 2016 campaign was ignored, he wasn't supposed to go anywhere, but if not for the DNC's meddling he would be POTUS right now (I have zero doubt over that). So too was Obama's climb from nowhere: of course, Obama was pushed up by the System, the System that is NOT behind Gabbard. And then there's the clown at the helm (Trump). I refuse to ignore this history.

Gababard is by no means out. Let's not speak of such things, especially when her campaign, and message, is just starting to burst out: the MSM is the last to admit the state of things unfavorable to the wealthy, but out on the Internet Gabbard is very much alive. She is the best candidate (with the best platform of visibility) for peace. She has all the pieces. One comment I read out on the internet (someone, I believe, not in the US) was that Gabbard was a gift to the Americans. Yes, I believe this to be the case: if you really look closely you'll see exactly how this is correct. I believe that we cannot afford to treat this gift with other than the utmost appreciation. Her sincerity when she says that she was/is willing to die for her fellow soldiers (in reference to LBGT folks, though ALL apply) is total. She is totally committed to this battle: as a warrior in politics she's proven herself with her support, the loyalty, for Sanders (at risk to her political career- and now look, she's running for POTUS, she continues to come out on top!).

IvyMike , July 2, 2019 at 20:14

I burned my draft card, grew my hair out, and smoked pot and was anti war as heck. But the peace demonstrations (and riots) in the 60's and 70's did not have much effect on how the U.S. Government prosecuted the Vietnam War. It is little recognized how hard American troops fought from 1965 to 1968. Our air mobile troops in particular made a great slaughter of NVA and VC while also taking heavy casualties.

We were having such success that no one in the military thought the enemy could keep up the fight. Then, the Tet offensive with the beaten enemy attacking every city in the South.

Then the politicians and Generals knew, given the super power politics surrounding the war, that we had lost. We had failed to recognize that we had not intervened in a Civil War, in truth Vietnam as a whole was fighting for freedom from Imperialism and we had no friends in the South, just a corrupt puppet government. Instead of getting out, Nixon made the unforgivable choice to slowly wind the war down until he could get out without losing, Peace With Honor the ultimate triumph of ego over humanity. Americans had a chance to choose a peace candidate in 1972, instead Nixon won with a big majority.

The military has never been able to admit they were defeated on the battlefield by North Vietnam, blaming it instead on the Liberal Media and the Anti War movement. Believing that lie they continue to fight unwinnable wars in which we have no national interest at stake. The media and the people no longer fight against war, but it never really made a difference when we did.

Realist , July 3, 2019 at 05:17

I too hoped for a miracle and voted for George. But then I always voted for the loser in whatever state I happened to be living in at the particular time. I think Carter was a rare winning pick by me but only once. I got disgusted with voting and sat out the Clinton campaigns, only returning to vote against the Bush juggernaut. In retrospect, Perot should have won to make a real difference. I sided with the winner in Obama, but the loser turned out to be America getting saddled with that two-faced hypocrite. Nobel Peace Prize winner indeed! (What did he spend the money on?) When you listen to their campaign promises be aware they are telegraphing how they plan to betray you.

triekc , July 3, 2019 at 07:45

American people in mass need to hit reset button. A yellow vest-like movement made up of tens of millions of woke people, who understand the democrats and republicans are the left and right wing of the oligarch party,

US elections have been and continue to be rigged, and the US constitution was written to protect the property (such as slaves) of oligarchs from the people, the founding oligarchs feared real democracy, evident by all the safeguards they built into our government to protect against it, that remain in tact today.

We need a new 21st century constitution. Global capitalism needs to be greatly curtailed, or ended out right, replaced by ecosocialism, conservation, restoration of earth focussed society

Seer , July 3, 2019 at 15:38

And just think that back then there was also Mike Gravel. The CIA did their work in the 60s to kill the anti-war movement: killing all the great social leaders.

Why wars are "lost" is because hardly is there a time when there's an actual "mission statement" on what the end of a given war will look like. Tulsi Gabbard has made it clear that she would NOT engage in any wars unless there was a clear objective, a clear outcome lined out, and, of course, it was authorized by THE PEOPLE (Congress).

All wars are about resources. We cannot, however, admit this: the ruling capitalists won't allow that to be known/understood lest they lose their power.

Realist , July 3, 2019 at 04:59

Ya got all that right, especially the part about the analysts essentially declaring the war lost after Tet. I remember that offered a lot of hope on the campuses that the war would soon end (even though we lost), especially to those of us near graduation and facing loss of that precious 2S deferment. Yet the big fool marched on, getting my generation needlessly slaughtered for four or five more years.

And, yes, the 2 or 3 million dead Vietnamese did matter, to those with a conscience. Such a price to keep Vietnam out of Russia's and China's orbit. Meanwhile they set an independent course after kicking us out of their land and even fought a war with China. We should still be paying reparations for the levels of death and destruction we brought to a country half a world away with absolutely no means or desire to threaten the United States. All our wars of choice, starting with Korea, have been similar crimes against humanity. Turkey shoots against third world societies with no way to do us any harm. But every one of them fought ferociously to the death to defend their land and their people. Inevitably, every occupier is sent packing as their empire crumbles. Obviously, Americans have been too thick to learn this from mere history books. We will only learn from our tragic mistakes. I see a lot of lessons on the upcoming schedule.

James Clooney , July 3, 2019 at 08:36

USA did not "intervene" in a civil war. USA paid France to continue it's imperial war and then took over when France fled defeated. USA prevented a mandated election Ho Chi Minh would win and then continued western imperial warfare against the Vietnamese ( even though Vietnamese was/is bulwark against China's territorial expansion).

mauisurfer , July 2, 2019 at 20:12

The Watson study says: "Indeed, the DOD is the world's largest institutional user of petroleum and correspondingly, the single largest producer of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the world.4"

This is a gross UNDERcount of emissions. It includes ONLY petroleum burned.
It does NOT count explosions from bombs, missiles, rockets, rifles, etc.

Perhaps someone could provide an estimate of this contribution to greenhouse gases???

triekc , July 3, 2019 at 07:25

US military contribution to ecocide: https://climateandcapitalism.com/2015/02/08/pentagon-pollution-7-military-assault-global-climate/

Seer , July 3, 2019 at 16:35

Don't worry, Elizabeth Warren has a plan to operate the military on renewables! (she can continue to make sure her constituency, which is Raytheon, is well served)

From https://www.mintpressnews.com/shes-hot-and-shes-cold-elizabeth-warren-and-the-military-industrial-complex/253542/

Raytheon, one of the biggest employers in Warren's state, where it's headquartered, "has a positive relationship with Sen. Warren, and we interact with her and her staff regularly," Michael Doble, a spokesman for the company, said.

jo6pac , July 2, 2019 at 20:12

This awful news for the merchants of death and I'm sure they're working overtime to stop silliness;-). I do hope this isn't killed by those that love the endless wars.

Thanks AH

mbob , July 2, 2019 at 20:10

Perhaps there is no open anti-war movement because the Democratic party is now pro-war. Rather than support President Trump's efforts to end the Korean War, to reduce our involvement in the Middle East and to pursue a more peaceful path with Russia, the Democratic party (with very, very few exceptions) is opposed to all these things.

The Democratic party places its hatred for Trump above its professed love of peace.

President Obama, the Nobel peace prize winner, started a war with Libya, which had neither attacked nor threatened the US and which, by many accounts, was trying to improve relations with the US. GW Bush unnecessarily attacked Iraq and Clinton destroyed Haiti and bombed Yugoslavia, among other actions.

From a peace perspective, Trump looks comparatively great (provided he doesn't attack Iraq or invade Venezuela). But, since it's impossible to recognize Trump for anything positive, or to support him in any way, it's now impossible for Democrats to promote peace. Doing so might help Trump. It would, of necessity, require acknowledging Trump's uniqueness among recent US Presidents in not starting new wars.

Realist , July 3, 2019 at 03:28

I agree. mbob makes perfect sense in his analysis.

The Democrats must be brought back to reality with a sound repudiation by the voters, otherwise they are of no use to America and will have no long-term future.

James Clooney , July 3, 2019 at 09:56

Obama escalated Afghanistan when he had a popular mandate to withdraw. He facilitated the the Syrian rebellion in conjunction with ISIS funding Saudi Arabia and Qatar. He instigated the Zalaya (primarily Hillary) and the Ukraine rebellion.

Trump supports the Yemeni genocide.

But yes citizens have been directed to hate Trump the man/symptom rather than the enduring Imperial predatory capitalistic system.

James Clooney , July 3, 2019 at 10:02

Opps sorry; so many interventions and invasions, under Obama, special forces trained Malian general overthrew the democratically elected president of Mali, result, more war,death and destruction.

Robert , July 3, 2019 at 10:48

You are correct in your analysis. Allegra Harpootlian is searching for the peace lobby among Democrat supporters, where it no longer resides.

As a result of corporate-controlled mainstream media and their support for Democrat elites, Democrat supporters have largely been brainwashed into hatred for Donald Trump and everything he stands for. This hatred blinds them to the far more important issue of peace.

Strangely, there is huge US support to remove troops from the ME, but this support resides with the overwhelming majority of Donald Trump voters. Unfortunately, these are not individuals who typically go to peace demonstrations, but they are sincere in bringing all US troops home from the ME. Donald Trump himself lobbied on this, and with the exceptions of his anti-Iranian / pro-Israel / pro-Saudi Arabia stance and withdrawal from JCPOA, he has not only backed down from military adventurism, but is the first President since Eisenhower to raise the issue of the influence of the military-industrial complex.

In the face of strong opposition, he is the first President ever to enter North Korea and meet with Kim Jong Un to discuss nuclear weapons. Mainstream media continues its war-mongering rhetoric, attacking Trump for his "weakness" in not retaliating against Iran, or in meeting "secretly" with Putin.

Opposition to Trump's peace efforts are not limited to MSM, however, but are entrenched in Democrat and Republican elites, who attack any orders he gives to withdraw from the ME. It was not Trump, but Democrat and Republican elites who invited NATO's Stoltenberg to speak to Congress in an attempt to spite Trump.

In essence, you have President Trump and most of his supporters trying to withdraw from military engagements, with active opposition from Democrats like Adam Schiff, and Republican elites, actively promoting war and military spending.

DJT is like a less-likeable Inspector Clouseau. Sometimes ineptitude is a blessing. You also have a few Republicans, like journalist Tucker Carlson of Fox News, and Democrats, like Tulsi Gabbard, actively pushing the message of peace.

Erelis , July 3, 2019 at 20:45

I think you got it. The author is right in the sense that there is an anti-war movement, but that movement is in many ways hidden. As bizarre as it may seen counter to CW wisdom, and in some way ironically crazy, one of the biggest segments of anti-war sentiment are Trump supporters. After Trump's decision not to attack Iran, I went to various right wing commentators who attacked Trump, and the reaction against these major right wing war mongers was to support Trump. And with right wing commentators who supported Trump, absolute agreement. These is of course based on my objective reading reading and totally subjective. But I believe I am right.

This made me realize there is an untapped anti-war sentiment on the right which is being totally missed. And a lack of imagination and Trump derangment syndrome which blocks many on the anti-war Left to see it and use it for an anti-war movement. There was an article in The Intercept that looked research on the correlation between military deaths and voting preference. Here is the article:

STUDY FINDS RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HIGH MILITARY CASUALTIES AND VOTES FOR TRUMP OVER CLINTON
https://theintercept.com/2017/07/10/study-finds-relationship-between-high-military-casualties-and-votes-for-trump-over-clinton/

And the thing is that Trump was in many ways the anti-war candidate. And those areas that had high military death rates voted for Trump. I understand the tribal nature of political affiliation, but it seems what I have read and this article, there may be indeed an untapped anti-war stance with Trump supporters.

And it really just challenges my own beliefs that the major obstacle to the war mongers are Trump supporters.

Helga I. Fellay , July 3, 2019 at 11:09

mbob – I couldn't have said it better myself. Except to add that in addition to destroying Libya, the Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama, ably assisted by Hillary Clinton, also destroyed Honduras and the Ukraine.

Anarcissie , July 3, 2019 at 11:55

Historically, the Democratic Party has been pro-war and pro-imperialism at least since Wilson. The hatred for Trump on their part seems to be based entirely on cultural issues -- he is not subservient enough to their gods.

But as for antiwar demonstrations, it's been proved in the streets that they don't accomplish anything. There were huge demonstrations against the war in Vietnam, but it ground on until conservatives got tired of it. At least half a million people demonstrated against the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and no one important cared. Evidently more fundamental issues than the war of the moment are involved and I think that is where a lot of people are turning now. The ruling class will find this a lot harder to deal with because it's decentralized and widely distributed. Hence the panic about Trump and the seething hatred of Sanders.

mbob , July 3, 2019 at 18:15

I attempted to make three points in my post. First, Democrats are now pro-war. Second, solely regarding peace, Trump looks better than all other recent Presidents because he hasn't started any new wars. Third, the inability of Democrats (or the public as a whole) to give Trump the benefit of a doubt, or to support him in any way, is contrary to the cause of peace.

Democrats should, without reservation, support Trump's effort to end the Korean War. They should support Trump's desire to improve relations with Russia. They don't do either of those things. Why? Because it might hurt them politically.

Your comment does not challenge the first two points and reinforces the third.

As for Yemen, yes, Trump is wrong. Democrats rightly oppose him on Yemen -- but remarkably tepidly. Trump is wrong about a lot of things. I don't like him. I didn't vote for him. But I will vote for him if Democrats nominate someone worse than him, which they seem inclined to do. (Gabbard is better than Trump. Sanders probably. Maybe Warren. Of the three, only Warren receives positive press. That makes me skeptical of her.)

Trump stood up to his advisors, Bolton and Pompeo, regarding both Iran and Venezuela. Obama, on the other hand, did not. He followed the advice of his advisors, with disastrous consequences.

Piotr Berman , July 4, 2019 at 07:02

Trump standing up to his nominees:

>>In addition to Tuesday's sanctions, the Treasury Department issued an advisory to maritime shipping companies, warning them off transporting oil to Syria or risking their property and money seized if kept with financial institutions that follow U.S. sanctions law.

"The United States will aggressively seek to impose sanctions against any party involved in shipping oil to Syria, or seeking to evade our sanctions on Iranian oil," said Sigal Mandelker, the Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, in a release. "Shipping companies, insurers, vessel owners, managers, and operators should all be aware of the grave consequences of engaging in sanctionable conduct involving Iranian oil shipments."<<

Today British marines seized a tanker near Gibraltar for the crime of transporting oil to Syria. And Trumpian peaceful military seized Syrian oil fields. Traditional war is increasingly augmented by piracy, which is less bloody, but trades outright carnage for deprivation of civilians. Giving "measured praise" for that makes me barf.

[Jul 05, 2019] Who Won the Debate? Tulsi Gabbard let the anti-war genie out of the bottle by Philip Giraldi

Highly recommended!
The problem here is that the US population is too brainwashing with jingoism and Exceptionalism to value Tulsi message. The US army is mercenary army and unlike situation with the draft people generally do not care much when mercenaries die. That makes any anti-war candidate vulnerable to "Russiagate" smear.
He/she need to have a strong domestic program to appeal to voters, So far Warren is in better position in this area then Tulsi.
Notable quotes:
"... The Drudge Report website had its poll running while the debate was going on and it registered overwhelmingly in favor of Hawaiian Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. Likewise, the Washington Examiner , a right-wing paper, opined that Gabbard had won by a knockout based on its own polling. Google's search engine reportedly saw a surge in searches linked to Tulsi Gabbard both during and after the debate. ..."
"... On the following day traditional conservative Pat Buchanan produced an article entitled "Memo for Trump: Trade Bolton for Tulsi," similar to a comment made by Republican consultant Frank Luntz "She's a long-shot to win the presidency, but Tulsi Gabbard is sounding like a prime candidate for Secretary of Defense." ..."
"... In response to a comment by neoliberal Congressman Tim Ryan who said that the U.S. has to remain "engaged" in places like Afghanistan, she referred to two American soldiers who had been killed that very day, saying "Is that what you will tell the parents of those two soldiers who were just killed in Afghanistan? Well, we just have to be engaged? As a soldier, I will tell you that answer is unacceptable." ..."
"... Tulsi also declared war on the Washington Establishment, saying that "For too long our leaders have failed us, taking us into one regime change war after the next, leading us into a new Cold War and arms race, costing us trillions of our hard-earned tax payer dollars and countless lives. This insanity must end." ..."
"... Blunt words, but it was a statement that few Americans whose livelihoods are not linked to "defense" or to the shamelessly corrupt U.S. Congress and media could disagree with, as it is clear that Washington is at the bottom of a deep hole and persists in digging ..."
"... In the collective judgment of America's Establishment, Tulsi Gabbard and anyone like her must be destroyed. She would not be the first victim of the political process shutting out undesirable opinions. One can go all the way back to Eugene McCarthy and his opposition to the Vietnam War back in 1968. ..."
"... And the beat goes on. In 2016, Debbie Wasserman Shultz, head of the Democratic National Committee, fixed the nomination process so that Bernie Sanders, a peace candidate, would be marginalized and super hawk Hillary Clinton would be selected. Fortunately, the odor emanating from anything having to do with the Clintons kept her from being elected or we would already be at war with Russia and possibly also with China. ..."
"... Tulsi Gabbard has let the genie of "end the forever wars" out of the bottle and it will be difficult to force it back in. She just might shake up the Democratic Party's priorities, leading to more questions about just what has been wrong with U.S. foreign policy over the past twenty years. ..."
"... Yes, to some critics, Tulsi Gabbard is not a perfect candidate . On most domestic issues she appears to be a typical liberal Democrat and is also conventional in terms of her accommodation with Jewish power, but she also breaks with the Democratic Party establishment with her pledge to pardon Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange and Edward Snowden. ..."
"... She also has more of a moral compass than Elizabeth Warren, who cleverly evades the whole issue of Middle East policy, or a Joe Biden who would kiss Benjamin Netanyahu's ass without any hesitation at all. Gabbard has openly criticized Netanyahu and she has also condemned Israel's killing of "unarmed civilians" in Gaza. As a Hindu, her view of Muslims is somewhat complicated based on the historical interaction of the two groups, but she has moderated her views recently. ..."
"... To be sure, Americans have heard much of the same before, much of it from out of the mouth of a gentleman named Donald Trump, but Tulsi Gabbard could well be the only genuine antiwar candidate that might truly be electable in the past fifty years. ..."
Jul 02, 2019 | www.unz.com

Last Wednesday’s debate among half of the announced Democratic Party candidates to become their party’s nominee for president in 2020 was notable for its lack of drama. Many of those called on to speak had little to say apart from the usual liberal bromides about health care, jobs, education and how the United States is a country of immigrants. On the following day the mainstream media anointed Elizabeth Warren as the winner based on the coherency of her message even though she said little that differed from what was being presented by most of the others on the stage. She just said it better, more articulately.

The New York Times’ coverage was typical, praising Warren for her grasp of the issues and her ability to present the same clearly and concisely, and citing a comment "They could teach classes in how Warren talks about a problem and weaves in answers into a story. She's not just wonk and stats." It then went on to lump most of the other candidates together, describing their performances as "ha[ving] one or two strong answers, but none of them had the electric, campaign-launching moment they were hoping for."

Inevitably, however, there was some disagreement on who had actually done best based on viewer reactions as well as the perceptions of some of the media that might not exactly be described as mainstream. The Drudge Report website had its poll running while the debate was going on and it registered overwhelmingly in favor of Hawaiian Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. Likewise, the Washington Examiner , a right-wing paper, opined that Gabbard had won by a knockout based on its own polling. Google's search engine reportedly saw a surge in searches linked to Tulsi Gabbard both during and after the debate.

On the following day traditional conservative Pat Buchanan produced an article entitled "Memo for Trump: Trade Bolton for Tulsi," similar to a comment made by Republican consultant Frank Luntz "She's a long-shot to win the presidency, but Tulsi Gabbard is sounding like a prime candidate for Secretary of Defense."

Tulsi, campaigning on her anti-war credentials, was indeed not like the other candidates, confronting directly the issue of war and peace which the other potential candidates studiously avoided. In response to a comment by neoliberal Congressman Tim Ryan who said that the U.S. has to remain "engaged" in places like Afghanistan, she referred to two American soldiers who had been killed that very day, saying "Is that what you will tell the parents of those two soldiers who were just killed in Afghanistan? Well, we just have to be engaged? As a soldier, I will tell you that answer is unacceptable."

At another point she expanded on her thinking about America's wars, saying "Let's deal with the situation where we are, where this president and his chickenhawk cabinet have led us to the brink of war with Iran. I served in the war in Iraq at the height of the war in 2005, a war that took over 4,000 of my brothers and sisters in uniforms' lives. The American people need to understand that this war with Iran would be far more devastating, far more costly than anything that we ever saw in Iraq. It would take many more lives. It would exacerbate the refugee crisis. And it wouldn't be just contained within Iran. This would turn into a regional war. This is why it's so important that every one of us, every single American, stand up and say no war with Iran."

Tulsi also declared war on the Washington Establishment, saying that "For too long our leaders have failed us, taking us into one regime change war after the next, leading us into a new Cold War and arms race, costing us trillions of our hard-earned tax payer dollars and countless lives. This insanity must end."

Blunt words, but it was a statement that few Americans whose livelihoods are not linked to "defense" or to the shamelessly corrupt U.S. Congress and media could disagree with, as it is clear that Washington is at the bottom of a deep hole and persists in digging. So why was there such a difference between what ordinary Americans and the Establishment punditry were seeing on their television screens? The difference was not so much in perception as in the desire to see a certain outcome. Anti-war takes away a lot of people's rice bowls, be they directly employed on "defense" or part of the vast army of lobbyists and think tank parasites that keep the money flowing out of the taxpayers' pockets and into the pockets of Raytheon, General Dynamics, Boeing and Lockheed Martin like a perpetual motion machine.

In the collective judgment of America's Establishment, Tulsi Gabbard and anyone like her must be destroyed. She would not be the first victim of the political process shutting out undesirable opinions. One can go all the way back to Eugene McCarthy and his opposition to the Vietnam War back in 1968. McCarthy was right and Lyndon Johnson and the rest of the Democratic Party were wrong. More recently, Congressman Ron Paul tried twice to bring some sanity to the Republican Party. He too was marginalized deliberately by the GOP party apparatus working hand-in-hand with the media, to include the final insult of his being denied any opportunity to speak or have his delegates recognized at the 2012 nominating convention.

And the beat goes on. In 2016, Debbie Wasserman Shultz, head of the Democratic National Committee, fixed the nomination process so that Bernie Sanders, a peace candidate, would be marginalized and super hawk Hillary Clinton would be selected. Fortunately, the odor emanating from anything having to do with the Clintons kept her from being elected or we would already be at war with Russia and possibly also with China.

Tulsi Gabbard has let the genie of "end the forever wars" out of the bottle and it will be difficult to force it back in. She just might shake up the Democratic Party's priorities, leading to more questions about just what has been wrong with U.S. foreign policy over the past twenty years. To qualify for the second round of debates she has to gain a couple of points in her approval rating or bring in more donations, either of which is definitely possible based on her performance. It is to be hoped that that will occur and that there will be no Debbie Wasserman Schultz hiding somewhere in the process who will finagle the polling results.

Yes, to some critics, Tulsi Gabbard is not a perfect candidate . On most domestic issues she appears to be a typical liberal Democrat and is also conventional in terms of her accommodation with Jewish power, but she also breaks with the Democratic Party establishment with her pledge to pardon Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange and Edward Snowden.

She also has more of a moral compass than Elizabeth Warren, who cleverly evades the whole issue of Middle East policy, or a Joe Biden who would kiss Benjamin Netanyahu's ass without any hesitation at all. Gabbard has openly criticized Netanyahu and she has also condemned Israel's killing of "unarmed civilians" in Gaza. As a Hindu, her view of Muslims is somewhat complicated based on the historical interaction of the two groups, but she has moderated her views recently.

To be sure, Americans have heard much of the same before, much of it from out of the mouth of a gentleman named Donald Trump, but Tulsi Gabbard could well be the only genuine antiwar candidate that might truly be electable in the past fifty years. It is essential that we Americans who are concerned about the future of our country should listen to what she has to say very carefully and to respond accordingly.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org

[Jul 05, 2019] Bolton Isn't Quitting by DANIEL LARISON

Jul 05, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Tom Wright makes some good observations about Trump's foreign policy here, but I think he underestimates Bolton's determination to cling to power:

It's hard to see how Bolton can stay. Trump has long known that Bolton wanted war more than he does. He sidelined him on North Korea and overruled him on Iran. For his part, Bolton has privately attacked Pompeo, long a Trump favorite, as falling captive to the State Department bureaucracy and has predicted that the North Korea policy will fail.

Bolton has given an unusually large number of interviews to reporters and has been rewarded with positive profiles lauding his influence and bureaucratic prowess. Those of us who predicted that he would cling to the post of national security adviser, as it would be the last job he'd ever get, may have been wrong. In fact, Bolton looks and sounds as if he is preparing to exit on his own terms. Better that than being sent on a never-ending tour of the world's most obscure places. For Bolton, leaving because he's too tough for Trump is the perfect way to save face. Otherwise, he may be remembered as the man who presided over one of the weakest national security teams in modern American history and someone whose myopic obsessions -- like international treaties or communism in Venezuela -- meant the United States lost precious time in preparing for the national security challenges of the future.

Bolton has been allowed to drive Iran policy to the brink of war, and I can't believe that he would voluntarily leave the position he has when he still has a chance of getting the war with Iran that he has been seeking for years. It is true that Bolton was sent to Mongolia to keep him out of sight during the president's visit with Kim at the DMZ, but where is the proof that Trump has abandoned the maximalist demands that Bolton has long insisted on? On Iran, Trump is still reciting hawkish talking points, sanctioning anything that moves, and occasionally making more deranged threats against the entire country. Unless Trump decides to get rid of Bolton, I don't see why Bolton would want to leave. He gets to set policy on the issue he has obsessed over for decades, and he gets to pursue a policy of regime change in all but name. Bolton will probably be happy to let Pompeo have all the "credit" for North Korea policy, since there is none to be had, and he'll keep stoking the Iran obsession that has already done so much harm to the Iranian people and brought the U.S. dangerously close to a war it has no reason to fight.

Banishing Bolton to Mongolia was briefly entertaining for those of us that can't stand the National Security Advisor, but it doesn't mean very much if administration policies aren't changing. Since Bolton is the one running the policy "process," it seems unlikely that there will be any real change as long as he is there. For whatever reason, Trump doesn't seem willing to fire him. Maybe that's because he doesn't want to offend Sheldon Adelson, a known Bolton supporter and big Trump donor, or maybe it's because he enjoys having Bolton as a lightning rod to take some of the criticism, or maybe it's because their militaristic worldviews aren't as dissimilar as many people assume. It doesn't really matter why Trump won't rid himself of Bolton. What matters is that Bolton is supposedly "humiliated" again and again by Trump actions or statements, and then Bolton gets back to promoting his own agenda no matter what the president does.

For that matter, Bolton's absence from the DMZ meeting may have been exactly what he wanted. Graeme Wood suggested as much just the other day:

Carlson has inserted himself into the frame of this bizarre and impromptu diplomatic trip, and that is exactly where the Boltonites want him: forever associated with a handshake that will be recorded as a new low in the annals of presidential gullibility.

Many observers have assumed that Bolton won't be able to stay in the administration at different points over the last several months. When Trump claimed that he didn't want regime change in Iran, that was supposed to be a break with Bolton. The only hitch is that Bolton maintains this same fiction that they aren't trying to bring down the Iranian government when they obviously are. The second summit with North Korea and the possibility of some initial agreement caused similar speculation that Bolton's influence was waning, and then he managed to wreck the Hanoi summit by getting Trump to make demands that he and everyone else must have known were unacceptable to the North Koreans. Every time it seems that Bolton's maximalism is giving way to something else, Bolton gets the last laugh.

Demolishing the architecture of arms control has been one of Bolton's main ambitions throughout his career. He has already done quite a bit of damage, but I assume he will want to make sure that New START dies. Bolton likely will "be remembered as the man who presided over one of the weakest national security teams in modern American history and someone whose myopic obsessions -- like international treaties or communism in Venezuela -- meant the United States lost precious time in preparing for the national security challenges of the future," but as long as he has the chance to pursue those obsessions and advance his agenda I don't think he's going to give it up. He is an abysmal National Security Advisor, a fanatic, and a menace to this country, and I would love it if he did resign, but I just don't see it. I doubt that Bolton cares about "saving face" as much as he does inflicting as much damage as he can while he has the opportunity. The only thing that Bolton believes in quitting is a successful diplomatic agreement that advances U.S. interests. That is why it is necessary for the president to replace him, because I don't see any other way that he is going to leave.

Lily Sandoz6 hours ago

Bolton quitting? Heck! He's just getting started. Britain, on orders from Bolton, detained an Panamanian flagged supertanker heading to Syria with Iranian oil. Spanish officials said the Grace 1, was seized by British patrol ships off Gibraltar, and boarded by Royal Marines and detained on Wash.'s orders.

Bolton's power is becoming unlimited because Trump and the rest of the gov. is doing nothing to stop his agenda, which most of Wash., must share, of starting a war with Iran, N. Korea, or anywhere else he can stir up trouble.

It's so obvious Wash. wants Iran to fire the first shot in order to go to war and make political donors like Sheldon Adelson happy, as well as Netanyahu who has more to say about US foreign policy than the American people who just want to stop the wars and concentrate on the issues and problems here at home.

After all, it's OUR MONEY going to finance all the atrocities abroad that the war industry and other countries benefit from. Unbelievable stuff going on in Wash. and seems everyday it gets worse and more absurd.

[Jul 05, 2019] Globalisation- the rise and fall of an idea that swept the world - World news by Nikil Saval

Highly recommended!
Globalization was simply the politically correct term for neocolonialism.
Jul 14, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

... ... ...

Over the last two years, a different, in some ways unrecognizable Larry Summers has been appearing in newspaper editorial pages. More circumspect in tone, this humbler Summers has been arguing that economic opportunities in the developing world are slowing, and that the already rich economies are finding it hard to get out of the crisis. Barring some kind of breakthrough, Summers says, an era of slow growth is here to stay.

In Summers's recent writings, this sombre conclusion has often been paired with a surprising political goal: advocating for a "responsible nationalism". Now he argues that politicians must recognise that "the basic responsibility of government is to maximise the welfare of citizens, not to pursue some abstract concept of the global good".

One curious thing about the pro-globalisation consensus of the 1990s and 2000s, and its collapse in recent years, is how closely the cycle resembles a previous era. Pursuing free trade has always produced displacement and inequality – and political chaos, populism and retrenchment to go with it. Every time the social consequences of free trade are overlooked, political backlash follows. But free trade is only one of many forms that economic integration can take. History seems to suggest, however, that it might be the most destabilising one.

... ... ...

The international systems that chastened figures such as Keynes helped produce in the next few years – especially the Bretton Woods agreement and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (Gatt) – set the terms under which the new wave of globalisation would take place.

The key to the system's viability, in Rodrik's view, was its flexibility – something absent from contemporary globalisation, with its one-size-fits-all model of capitalism. Bretton Woods stabilised exchange rates by pegging the dollar loosely to gold, and other currencies to the dollar. Gatt consisted of rules governing free trade – negotiated by participating countries in a series of multinational "rounds" – that left many areas of the world economy, such as agriculture, untouched or unaddressed. "Gatt's purpose was never to maximise free trade," Rodrik writes. "It was to achieve the maximum amount of trade compatible with different nations doing their own thing. In that respect, the institution proved spectacularly successful."

Partly because Gatt was not always dogmatic about free trade, it allowed most countries to figure out their own economic objectives, within a somewhat international ambit. When nations contravened the agreement's terms on specific areas of national interest, they found that it "contained loopholes wide enough for an elephant to pass", in Rodrik's words. If a nation wanted to protect its steel industry, for example, it could claim "injury" under the rules of Gatt and raise tariffs to discourage steel imports: "an abomination from the standpoint of free trade". These were useful for countries that were recovering from the war and needed to build up their own industries via tariffs – duties imposed on particular imports. Meanwhile, from 1948 to 1990, world trade grew at an annual average of nearly 7% – faster than the post-communist years, which we think of as the high point of globalisation. "If there was a golden era of globalisation," Rodrik has written, "this was it."

Gatt, however, failed to cover many of the countries in the developing world. These countries eventually created their own system, the United Nations conference on trade and development (UNCTAD). Under this rubric, many countries – especially in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia – adopted a policy of protecting homegrown industries by replacing imports with domestically produced goods. It worked poorly in some places – India and Argentina, for example, where the trade barriers were too high, resulting in factories that cost more to set up than the value of the goods they produced – but remarkably well in others, such as east Asia, much of Latin America and parts of sub-Saharan Africa, where homegrown industries did spring up. Though many later economists and commentators would dismiss the achievements of this model, it theoretically fit Larry Summers's recent rubric on globalisation: "the basic responsibility of government is to maximise the welfare of citizens, not to pursue some abstract concept of the global good."

The critical turning point – away from this system of trade balanced against national protections – came in the 1980s. Flagging growth and high inflation in the west, along with growing competition from Japan, opened the way for a political transformation. The elections of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan were seminal, putting free-market radicals in charge of two of the world's five biggest economies and ushering in an era of "hyperglobalisation". In the new political climate, economies with large public sectors and strong governments within the global capitalist system were no longer seen as aids to the system's functioning, but impediments to it.

Not only did these ideologies take hold in the US and the UK; they seized international institutions as well. Gatt renamed itself as the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the new rules the body negotiated began to cut more deeply into national policies. Its international trade rules sometimes undermined national legislation. The WTO's appellate court intervened relentlessly in member nations' tax, environmental and regulatory policies, including those of the United States: the US's fuel emissions standards were judged to discriminate against imported gasoline, and its ban on imported shrimp caught without turtle-excluding devices was overturned. If national health and safety regulations were stricter than WTO rules necessitated, they could only remain in place if they were shown to have "scientific justification".

The purest version of hyperglobalisation was tried out in Latin America in the 1980s. Known as the "Washington consensus", this model usually involved loans from the IMF that were contingent on those countries lowering trade barriers and privatising many of their nationally held industries. Well into the 1990s, economists were proclaiming the indisputable benefits of openness. In an influential 1995 paper, Jeffrey Sachs and Andrew Warner wrote: "We find no cases to support the frequent worry that a country might open and yet fail to grow."

But the Washington consensus was bad for business: most countries did worse than before. Growth faltered, and citizens across Latin America revolted against attempted privatisations of water and gas. In Argentina, which followed the Washington consensus to the letter, a grave crisis resulted in 2002 , precipitating an economic collapse and massive street protests that forced out the government that had pursued privatising reforms. Argentina's revolt presaged a left-populist upsurge across the continent: from 1999 to 2007, leftwing leaders and parties took power in Brazil, Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador, all of them campaigning against the Washington consensus on globalisation. These revolts were a preview of the backlash of today.


Rodrik – perhaps the contemporary economist whose views have been most amply vindicated by recent events – was himself a beneficiary of protectionism in Turkey. His father's ballpoint pen company was sheltered under tariffs, and achieved enough success to allow Rodrik to attend Harvard in the 1970s as an undergraduate. This personal understanding of the mixed nature of economic success may be one of the reasons why his work runs against the broad consensus of mainstream economics writing on globalisation.

"I never felt that my ideas were out of the mainstream," Rodrik told me recently. Instead, it was that the mainstream had lost touch with the diversity of opinions and methods that already existed within economics. "The economics profession is strange in that the more you move away from the seminar room to the public domain, the more the nuances get lost, especially on issues of trade." He lamented the fact that while, in the classroom, the models of trade discuss losers and winners, and, as a result, the necessity of policies of redistribution, in practice, an "arrogance and hubris" had led many economists to ignore these implications. "Rather than speaking truth to power, so to speak, many economists became cheerleaders for globalisation."

In his 2011 book The Globalization Paradox , Rodrik concluded that "we cannot simultaneously pursue democracy, national determination, and economic globalisation." The results of the 2016 elections and referendums provide ample testimony of the justness of the thesis, with millions voting to push back, for better or for worse, against the campaigns and institutions that promised more globalisation. "I'm not at all surprised by the backlash," Rodrik told me. "Really, nobody should have been surprised."

But what, in any case, would "more globalisation" look like? For the same economists and writers who have started to rethink their commitments to greater integration, it doesn't mean quite what it did in the early 2000s. It's not only the discourse that's changed: globalisation itself has changed, developing into a more chaotic and unequal system than many economists predicted. The benefits of globalisation have been largely concentrated in a handful of Asian countries. And even in those countries, the good times may be running out.

Statistics from Global Inequality , a 2016 book by the development economist Branko Milanović, indicate that in relative terms the greatest benefits of globalisation have accrued to a rising "emerging middle class", based preponderantly in China. But the cons are there, too: in absolute terms, the largest gains have gone to what is commonly called "the 1%" – half of whom are based in the US. Economist Richard Baldwin has shown in his recent book, The Great Convergence, that nearly all of the gains from globalisation have been concentrated in six countries.

Barring some political catastrophe, in which rightwing populism continued to gain, and in which globalisation would be the least of our problems – Wolf admitted that he was "not at all sure" that this could be ruled out – globalisation was always going to slow; in fact, it already has. One reason, says Wolf, was that "a very, very large proportion of the gains from globalisation – by no means all – have been exploited. We have a more open world economy to trade than we've ever had before." Citing The Great Convergence, Wolf noted that supply chains have already expanded, and that future developments, such as automation and the use of robots, looked to undermine the promise of a growing industrial workforce. Today, the political priorities were less about trade and more about the challenge of retraining workers , as technology renders old jobs obsolete and transforms the world of work.

Rodrik, too, believes that globalisation, whether reduced or increased, is unlikely to produce the kind of economic effects it once did. For him, this slowdown has something to do with what he calls "premature deindustrialisation". In the past, the simplest model of globalisation suggested that rich countries would gradually become "service economies", while emerging economies picked up the industrial burden. Yet recent statistics show the world as a whole is deindustrialising. Countries that one would have expected to have more industrial potential are going through the stages of automation more quickly than previously developed countries did, and thereby failing to develop the broad industrial workforce seen as a key to shared prosperity.

For both Rodrik and Wolf, the political reaction to globalisation bore possibilities of deep uncertainty. "I really have found it very difficult to decide whether what we're living through is a blip, or a fundamental and profound transformation of the world – at least as significant as the one that brought about the first world war and the Russian revolution," Wolf told me. He cited his agreement with economists such as Summers that shifting away from the earlier emphasis on globalisation had now become a political priority; that to pursue still greater liberalisation was like showing "a red rag to a bull" in terms of what it might do to the already compromised political stability of the western world.

Rodrik pointed to a belated emphasis, both among political figures and economists, on the necessity of compensating those displaced by globalisation with retraining and more robust welfare states. But pro-free-traders had a history of cutting compensation: Bill Clinton passed Nafta, but failed to expand safety nets. "The issue is that the people are rightly not trusting the centrists who are now promising compensation," Rodrik said. "One reason that Hillary Clinton didn't get any traction with those people is that she didn't have any credibility."

Rodrik felt that economics commentary failed to register the gravity of the situation: that there were increasingly few avenues for global growth, and that much of the damage done by globalisation – economic and political – is irreversible. "There is a sense that we're at a turning point," he said. "There's a lot more thinking about what can be done. There's a renewed emphasis on compensation – which, you know, I think has come rather late."

[Jul 05, 2019] The World Bank and IMF 2019 by Michael Hudson and Bonnie Faulkner

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The purpose of a military conquest is to take control of foreign economies, to take control of their land and impose tribute. The genius of the World Bank was to recognize that it's not necessary to occupy a country in order to impose tribute, or to take over its industry, agriculture and land. Instead of bullets, it uses financial maneuvering. As long as other countries play an artificial economic game that U.S. diplomacy can control, finance is able to achieve today what used to require bombing and loss of life by soldiers ..."
"... It was set up basically by the United States in 1944, along with its sister institution, the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Their purpose was to create an international order like a funnel to make other countries economically dependent on the United States ..."
"... American diplomats insisted on the ability to veto any action by the World Bank or IMF. The aim of this veto power was to make sure that any policy was, in Donald Trump's words, to put America first. "We've got to win and they've got to lose." ..."
"... The World Bank was set up from the outset as a branch of the military, of the Defense Department. John J. McCloy (Assistant Secretary of War, 1941-45), was the first full-time president ..."
"... Many countries had two rates: one for goods and services, which was set normally by the market, and then a different exchange rate that was managed for capital movements. That was because countries were trying to prevent capital flight. They didn't want their wealthy classes or foreign investors to make a run on their own currency – an ever-present threat in Latin America. ..."
"... The IMF and the World Bank backed the cosmopolitan classes, the wealthy. Instead of letting countries control their capital outflows and prevent capital flight, the IMF's job is to protect the richest One Percent and foreign investors from balance-of-payments problems ..."
"... The IMF enables its wealthy constituency to move their money out of the country without taking a foreign-exchange loss ..."
"... Wall Street speculators have sold the local currency short to make a killing, George-Soros style. ..."
"... When the debtor-country currency collapses, the debts that these Latin American countries owe are in dollars, and now have to pay much more in their own currency to carry and pay off these debts. ..."
"... Local currency is thrown onto the foreign-exchange market for dollars, lowering the exchange rate. That increases import prices, raising a price umbrella for domestic products. ..."
"... Instead, the IMF says just the opposite: It acts to prevent any move by other countries to bring the debt volume within the ability to be paid. It uses debt leverage as a way to control the monetary lifeline of financially defeated debtor countries. ..."
"... This control by the U.S. financial system and its diplomacy has been built into the world system by the IMF and the World Bank claiming to be international instead of an expression of specifically U.S. New Cold War nationalism. ..."
"... The same thing happened in Greece a few years ago, when almost all of Greece's foreign debt was owed to Greek millionaires holding their money in Switzerland ..."
"... The IMF could have seized this money to pay off the bondholders. Instead, it made the Greek economy pay. It found that it was worth wrecking the Greek economy, forcing emigration and wiping out Greek industry so that French and German bondholding banks would not have to take a loss. That is what makes the IMF so vicious an institution. ..."
"... America was able to grab all of Iran's foreign exchange just by the banks interfering. The CIA has bragged that it can do the same thing with Russia. If Russia does something that U.S. diplomats don't like, the U.S. can use the SWIFT bank payment system to exclude Russia from it, so the Russian banks and the Russian people and industry won't be able to make payments to each other. ..."
"... You can't create the money, especially if you're running a balance of payments deficit and if U.S. foreign policy forces you into deficit by having someone like George Soros make a run on your currency. Look at the Asia crisis in 1997. Wall Street funds bet against foreign currencies, driving them way down, and then used the money to pick up industry cheap in Korea and other Asian countries. ..."
"... This was also done to Russia's ruble. The only country that avoided this was Malaysia, under Mohamed Mahathir, by using capital controls. Malaysia is an object lesson in how to prevent a currency flight. ..."
"... Client kleptocracies take their money and run, moving it abroad to hard currency areas such as the United States, or at least keeping it in dollars in offshore banking centers instead of reinvesting it to help the country catch up by becoming independent agriculturally, in energy, finance and other sectors. ..."
"... But in shaping the World Trade Organization's rules, the United States said that all countries had to promote free trade and could not have government support, except for countries that already had it. We're the only country that had it. That's what's called "grandfathering". ..."
Jul 05, 2019 | www.unz.com

"The purpose of a military conquest is to take control of foreign economies, to take control of their land and impose tribute. The genius of the World Bank was to recognize that it's not necessary to occupy a country in order to impose tribute, or to take over its industry, agriculture and land. Instead of bullets, it uses financial maneuvering. As long as other countries play an artificial economic game that U.S. diplomacy can control, finance is able to achieve today what used to require bombing and loss of life by soldiers."

I'm Bonnie Faulkner. Today on Guns and Butter: Dr. Michael Hudson. Today's show: The IMF and World Bank: Partners In Backwardness . Dr. Hudson is a financial economist and historian. He is President of the Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trend, a Wall Street Financial Analyst, and Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City.

His most recent books include " and Forgive them Their Debts: Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption from Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year "; Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Destroy the Global Economy , and J Is for Junk Economics: A Guide to Reality in an Age of Deception . He is also author of Trade, Development and Foreign Debt , among many other books.

We return today to a discussion of Dr. Hudson's seminal 1972 book, Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire , a critique of how the United States exploited foreign economies through the IMF and World Bank, with a special emphasis on food imperialism.

... ... ...

Bonnie Faulkner : In your seminal work form 1972, Super-Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire , you write: "The development lending of the World Bank has been dysfunctional from the outset." When was the World Bank set up and by whom?

Michael Hudson : It was set up basically by the United States in 1944, along with its sister institution, the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Their purpose was to create an international order like a funnel to make other countries economically dependent on the United States. To make sure that no other country or group of countries – even all the rest of the world – could not dictate U.S. policy. American diplomats insisted on the ability to veto any action by the World Bank or IMF. The aim of this veto power was to make sure that any policy was, in Donald Trump's words, to put America first. "We've got to win and they've got to lose."

The World Bank was set up from the outset as a branch of the military, of the Defense Department. John J. McCloy (Assistant Secretary of War, 1941-45), was the first full-time president. He later became Chairman of Chase Manhattan Bank (1953-60). McNamara was Secretary of Defense (1961-68), Paul Wolfowitz was Deputy and Under Secretary of Defense (1989-2005), and Robert Zoellick was Deputy Secretary of State. So I think you can look at the World Bank as the soft shoe of American diplomacy.

Bonnie Faulkner : What is the difference between the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the IMF? Is there a difference?

Michael Hudson : Yes, there is. The World Bank was supposed to make loans for what they call international development. "Development" was their euphemism for dependency on U.S. exports and finance. This dependency entailed agricultural backwardness – opposing land reform, family farming to produce domestic food crops, and also monetary backwardness in basing their monetary system on the dollar.

The World Bank was supposed to provide infrastructure loans that other countries would go into debt to pay American engineering firms, to build up their export sectors and their plantation sectors by public investment roads and port development for imports and exports. Essentially, the Bank financed long- investments in the foreign trade sector, in a way that was a natural continuation of European colonialism.

In 1941, for example, C. L. R. James wrote an article on "Imperialism in Africa" pointing out the fiasco of European railroad investment in Africa: "Railways must serve flourishing industrial areas, or densely populated agricult5ural regions, or they must open up new land along which a thriving population develops and provides the railways with traffic. Except in the mining regions of South Africa, all these conditions are absent. Yet railways were needed, for the benefit of European investors and heavy industry." That is why, James explained "only governments can afford to operate them," while being burdened with heavy interest obligations. [1] What was "developed" was Africa's mining and plantation export sector, not its domestic economies. The World Bank followed this pattern of "development" lending without apology.

The IMF was in charge of short-term foreign currency loans. Its aim was to prevent countries from imposing capital controls to protect their balance of payments. Many countries had a dual exchange rate: one for trade in goods and services, the other rate for capital movements. The function of the IMF and World Bank was essentially to make other countries borrow in dollars, not in their own currencies, and to make sure that if they could not pay their dollar-denominated debts, they had to impose austerity on the domestic economy – while subsidizing their import and export sectors and protecting foreign investors, creditors and client oligarchies from loss.

The IMF developed a junk-economics model pretending that any country can pay any amount of debt to the creditors if it just impoverishes its labor enough. So when countries were unable to pay their debt service, the IMF tells them to raise their interest rates to bring on a depression – austerity – and break up the labor unions. That is euphemized as "rationalizing labor markets." The rationalizing is essentially to disable labor unions and the public sector. The aim – and effect – is to prevent countries from essentially following the line of development that had made the United States rich – by public subsidy and protection of domestic agriculture, public subsidy and protection of industry and an active government sector promoting a New Deal democracy. The IMF was essentially promoting and forcing other countries to balance their trade deficits by letting American and other investors buy control of their commanding heights, mainly their infrastructure monopolies, and to subsidize their capital flight.

BONNIE FAULKNER : Now, Michael, when you began speaking about the IMF and monetary controls, you mentioned that there were two exchange rates of currency in countries. What were you referring to?

MICHAEL HUDSON : When I went to work on Wall Street in the '60s, I was balance-of-payments economist for Chase Manhattan, and we used the IMF's monthly International Financial Statistics every month. At the top of each country's statistics would be the exchange-rate figures. Many countries had two rates: one for goods and services, which was set normally by the market, and then a different exchange rate that was managed for capital movements. That was because countries were trying to prevent capital flight. They didn't want their wealthy classes or foreign investors to make a run on their own currency – an ever-present threat in Latin America.

The IMF and the World Bank backed the cosmopolitan classes, the wealthy. Instead of letting countries control their capital outflows and prevent capital flight, the IMF's job is to protect the richest One Percent and foreign investors from balance-of-payments problems.

The World Bank and American diplomacy have steered them into a chronic currency crisis. The IMF enables its wealthy constituency to move their money out of the country without taking a foreign-exchange loss. It makes loans to support capital flight out of domestic currencies into the dollar or other hard currencies. The IMF calls this a "stabilization" program. It is never effective in helping the debtor economy pay foreign debts out of growth. Instead, the IMF uses currency depreciation and sell-offs of public infrastructure and other assets to foreign investors after the flight capital has left and currency collapses. Wall Street speculators have sold the local currency short to make a killing, George-Soros style.

When the debtor-country currency collapses, the debts that these Latin American countries owe are in dollars, and now have to pay much more in their own currency to carry and pay off these debts. We're talking about enormous penalty rates in domestic currency for these countries to pay foreign-currency debts – basically taking on to finance a non-development policy and to subsidize capital flight when that policy "fails" to achieve its pretended objective of growth.

All hyperinflations of Latin America – Chile early on, like Germany after World War I – come from trying to pay foreign debts beyond the ability to be paid. Local currency is thrown onto the foreign-exchange market for dollars, lowering the exchange rate. That increases import prices, raising a price umbrella for domestic products.

A really functional and progressive international monetary fund that would try to help countries develop would say: "Okay, banks and we (the IMF) have made bad loans that the country can't pay. And the World Bank has given it bad advice, distorting its domestic development to serve foreign customers rather than its own growth. So we're going to write down the loans to the ability to be paid." That's what happened in 1931, when the world finally stopped German reparations payments and Inter-Ally debts to the United States stemming from World War I.

Instead, the IMF says just the opposite: It acts to prevent any move by other countries to bring the debt volume within the ability to be paid. It uses debt leverage as a way to control the monetary lifeline of financially defeated debtor countries. So if they do something that U.S. diplomats don't approve of, it can pull the plug financially, encouraging a run on their currency if they act independently of the United States instead of falling in line. This control by the U.S. financial system and its diplomacy has been built into the world system by the IMF and the World Bank claiming to be international instead of an expression of specifically U.S. New Cold War nationalism.

BONNIE FAULKNER : How do exchange rates contribute to capital flight?

MICHAEL HUDSON : It's not the exchange rate that contributes. Suppose that you're a millionaire, and you see that your country is unable to balance its trade under existing production patterns. The money that the government has under control is pesos, escudos, cruzeiros or some other currency, not dollars or euros. You see that your currency is going to go down relative to the dollar, so you want to get our money out of the country to preserve your purchasing power.

This has long been institutionalized. By 1990, for instance, Latin American countries had defaulted so much in the wake of the Mexico defaults in 1982 that I was hired by Scudder Stevens, to help start a Third World Bond Fund (called a "sovereign high-yield fund"). At the time, Argentina and Brazil were running such serious balance-of-payments deficits that they were having to pay 45 percent per year interest, in dollars, on their dollar debt. Mexico, was paying 22.5 percent on its tesobonos .

Scudders' salesmen went around to the United States and tried to sell shares in the proposed fund, but no Americans would buy it, despite the enormous yields. They sent their salesmen to Europe and got a similar reaction. They had lost their shirts on Third World bonds and couldn't see how these countries could pay.

Merrill Lynch was the fund's underwriter. Its office in Brazil and in Argentina proved much more successful in selling investments in Scudder's these offshore fund established in the Dutch West Indies. It was an offshore fund, so Americans were not able to buy it. But Brazilian and Argentinian rich families close to the central bank and the president became the major buyers. We realized that they were buying these funds because they knew that their government was indeed going to pay their stipulated interest charges. In effect, the bonds were owed ultimately to themselves. So these Yankee dollar bonds were being bought by Brazilians and other Latin Americans as a vehicle to move their money out of their soft local currency (which was going down), to buy bonds denominated in hard dollars.

BONNIE FAULKNER : If wealthy families from these countries bought these bonds denominated in dollars, knowing that they were going to be paid off, who was going to pay them off? The country that was going broke?

MICHAEL HUDSON : Well, countries don't pay; the taxpayers pay, and in the end, labor pays. The IMF certainly doesn't want to make its wealthy client oligarchies pay. It wants to squeeze ore economic surplus out of the labor force. So countries are told that the way they can afford to pay their enormously growing dollar-denominated debt is to lower wages even more.

Currency depreciation is an effective way to do this, because what is devalued is basically labor's wages. Other elements of exports have a common world price: energy, raw materials, capital goods, and credit under the dollar-centered international monetary system that the IMF seeks to maintain as a financial strait jacket.

According to the IMF's ideological models, there's no limit to how far you can lower wages by enough to make labor competitive in producing exports. The IMF and World Bank thus use junk economics to pretend that the way to pay debts owed to the wealthiest creditors and investors is to lower wages and impose regressive excise taxes, to impose special taxes on necessities that labor needs, from food to energy and basic services supplied by public infrastructure.

BONNIE FAULKNER: So you're saying that labor ultimately has to pay off these junk bonds?

MICHAEL HUDSON: That is the basic aim of IMF. I discuss its fallacies in my Trade Development and Foreign Debt , which is the academic sister volume to Super Imperialism . These two books show that the World Bank and IMF were viciously anti-labor from the very outset, working with domestic elites whose fortunes are tied to and loyal to the United States.

BONNIE FAULKNER : With regard to these junk bonds, who was it or what entity

MICHAEL HUDSON : They weren't junk bonds. They were called that because they were high-interest bonds, but they weren't really junk because they actually were paid. Everybody thought they were junk because no American would have paid 45 percent interest. Any country that really was self-reliant and was promoting its own economic interest would have said, "You banks and the IMF have made bad loans, and you've made them under false pretenses – a trade theory that imposes austerity instead of leading to prosperity. We're not going to pay." They would have seized the capital flight of their comprador elites and said that these dollar bonds were a rip-off by the corrupt ruling class.

The same thing happened in Greece a few years ago, when almost all of Greece's foreign debt was owed to Greek millionaires holding their money in Switzerland. The details were published in the "Legarde List." But the IMF said, in effect that its loyalty was to the Greek millionaires who ha their money in Switzerland. The IMF could have seized this money to pay off the bondholders. Instead, it made the Greek economy pay. It found that it was worth wrecking the Greek economy, forcing emigration and wiping out Greek industry so that French and German bondholding banks would not have to take a loss. That is what makes the IMF so vicious an institution.

BONNIE FAULKNER : So these loans to foreign countries that were regarded as junk bonds really weren't junk, because they were going to be paid. What group was it that jacked up these interest rates to 45 percent?

MICHAEL HUDSON : The market did. American banks, stock brokers and other investors looked at the balance of payments of these countries and could not see any reasonable way that they could pay their debts, so they were not going to buy their bonds. No country subject to democratic politics would have paid debts under these conditions. But the IMF, U.S. and Eurozone diplomacy overrode democratic choice.

Investors didn't believe that the IMF and the World Bank had such a strangle hold over Latin American, Asian, and African countries that they could make the countries act in the interest of the United States and the cosmopolitan finance capital, instead of in their own national interest. They didn't believe that countries would commit financial suicide just to pay their wealthy One Percent.

They were wrong, of course. Countries were quite willing to commit economic suicide if their governments were dictatorships propped up by the United States. That's why the CIA has assassination teams and actively supports these countries to prevent any party coming to power that would act in their national interest instead of in the interest of a world division of labor and production along the lines that the U.S. planners want for the world. Under the banner of what they call a free market, you have the World Bank and the IMF engage in central planning of a distinctly anti-labor policy. Instead of calling them Third World bonds or junk bonds, you should call them anti-labor bonds, because they have become a lever to impose austerity throughout the world.

BONNIE FAULKNER : Well, that makes a lot of sense, Michael, and answers a lot of the questions I've put together to ask you. What about Puerto Rico writing down debt? I thought such debts couldn't be written down.

MICHAEL HUDSON : That's what they all said, but the bonds were trading at about 45 cents on the dollar, the risk of their not being paid. The Wall Street Journal on June 17, reported that unsecured suppliers and creditors of Puerto Rico, would only get nine cents on the dollar. The secured bond holders would get maybe 65 cents on the dollar.

The terms are being written down because it's obvious that Puerto Rico can't pay, and that trying to do so is driving the population to move out of Puerto Rico to the United States. If you don't want Puerto Ricans to act the same way Greeks did and leave Greece when their industry and economy was shut down, then you're going to have to provide stability or else you're going to have half of Puerto Rico living in Florida.

BONNIE FAULKNER : Who wrote down the Puerto Rican debt?

MICHAEL HUDSON : A committee was appointed, and it calculated how much Puerto Rico can afford to pay out of its taxes. Puerto Rico is a U.S. dependency, that is, an economic colony of the United States. It does not have domestic self-reliance. It's the antithesis of democracy, so it's never been in charge of its own economic policy and essentially has to do whatever the United States tells it to do. There was a reaction after the hurricane and insufficient U.S. support to protect the island and the enormous waste and corruption involved in the U.S. aid. The U.S. response was simply: "We won you fair and square in the Spanish-American war and you're an occupied country, and we're going to keep you that way." Obviously this is causing a political resentment.

BONNIE FAULKNER : You've already touched on this, but why has the World Bank traditionally been headed by a U.S. secretary of defense?

MICHAEL HUDSON : Its job is to do in the financial sphere what, in the past, was done by military force. The purpose of a military conquest is to take control of foreign economies, to take control of their land and impose tribute. The genius of the World Bank was to recognize that it's not necessary to occupy a country in order to impose tribute, or to take over its industry, agriculture and land. Instead of bullets, it uses financial maneuvering. As long as other countries play an artificial economic game that U.S. diplomacy can control, finance is able to achieve today what used to require bombing and loss of life by soldiers.

In this case the loss of life occurs in the debtor countries. Population growth shrinks, suicides go up. The World Bank engages in economic warfare that is just as destructive as military warfare. At the end of the Yeltsin period Russia's President Putin said that American neoliberalism destroyed more of Russia's population than did World War II. Such neoliberalism, which basically is the doctrine of American supremacy and foreign dependency, is the policy of the World Bank and IMF.

BONNIE FAULKNER : Why has World Bank policy since its inception been to provide loans for countries to devote their land to export crops instead of giving priority to feeding themselves? And if this is the case, why do countries want these loans?

MICHAEL HUDSON : One constant of American foreign policy is to make other countries dependent on American grain exports and food exports. The aim is to buttress America's agricultural trade surplus. So the first thing that the World Bank has done is not to make any domestic currency loans to help food producers. Its lending has steered client countries to produce tropical export crops, mainly plantation crops that cannot be grown in the United States. Focusing on export crops leads client countries to become dependent on American farmers – and political sanctions.

In the 1950s, right after the Chinese revolution, the United States tried to prevent China from succeeding by imposing grain export controls to starve China into submission by putting sanctions on exports. Canada was the country that broke these export controls and helped feed China.

The idea is that if you can make other countries export plantation crops, the oversupply will drive down prices for cocoa and other tropical products, and they won't feed themselves. So instead of backing family farms like the American agricultural policy does, the World Bank backed plantation agriculture. In Chile, which has the highest natural supply of fertilizer in the world from its guano deposits, exports guano instead of using it domestically. It also has the most unequal land distribution, blocking it from growing its own grain or food crops. It's completely dependent on the United States for this, and it pays by exporting copper, guano and other natural resources.

The idea is to create interdependency – one-sided dependency on the U.S. economy. The United States has always aimed at being self-sufficient in its own essentials, so that no other country can pull the plug on our economy and say, "We're going to starve you by not feeding you." Americans can feed themselves. Other countries can't say, "We're going to let you freeze in the dark by not sending you oil," because America's independent in energy. But America can use the oil control to make other countries freeze in the dark, and it can starve other countries by food-export sanctions.

So the idea is to give the United States control of the key interconnections of other economies, without letting any country control something that is vital to the working of the American economy.

There's a double standard here. The United States tells other countries: "Don't do as we do. Do as we say." The only way it can enforce this is by interfering in the politics of these countries, as it has interfered in Latin America, always pushing the right wing. For instance, when Hillary's State Department overthrew the Honduras reformer who wanted to undertake land reform and feed the Hondurans, she said: "This person has to go." That's why there are so many Hondurans trying to get into the United States now, because they can't live in their own country.

The effect of American coups is the same in Syria and Iraq. They force an exodus of people who no longer can make a living under the brutal dictatorships supported by the United States to enforce this international dependency system.

BONNIE FAULKNER : So when I asked you why countries would want these loans, I guess you're saying that they wouldn't, and that's why the U.S. finds it necessary to control them politically.

MICHAEL HUDSON : That's a concise way of putting it Bonnie.

BONNIE FAULKNER : Why are World Bank loans only in foreign currency, not in the domestic currency of the country to which it is lending?

MICHAEL HUDSON : That's a good point. A basic principle should be to avoid borrowing in a foreign currency. A country can always pay the loans in its own currency, but there's no way that it can print dollars or euros to pay loans denominated in these foreign currencies.

Making the dollar central forces other countries to interface with the U.S. banking system. So if a country decides to go its own way, as Iran did in 1953 when it wanted to take over its oil from British Petroleum (or Anglo Iranian Oil, as it was called back then), the United States can interfere and overthrow it. The idea is to be able to use the banking system's interconnections to stop payments from being made.

After America installed the Shah's dictatorship, they were overthrown by Khomeini, and Iran had run up a U.S. dollar debt under the Shah. It had plenty of dollars. I think Chase Manhattan was its paying agent. So when its quarterly or annual debt payment came due, Iran told Chase to draw on its accounts and pay the bondholders. But Chase took orders from the State Department or the Defense Department, I don't know which, and refused to pay. When the payment was not made, America and its allies claimed that Iran was in default. They demanded the entire debt to be paid, as per the agreement that the Shah's puppet government had signed. America simply grabbed the deposits that Iran had in the United States. This is the money that was finally returned to Iran without interest under the agreement of 2016.

America was able to grab all of Iran's foreign exchange just by the banks interfering. The CIA has bragged that it can do the same thing with Russia. If Russia does something that U.S. diplomats don't like, the U.S. can use the SWIFT bank payment system to exclude Russia from it, so the Russian banks and the Russian people and industry won't be able to make payments to each other.

This prompted Russia to create its own bank-transfer system, and is leading China, Russia, India and Pakistan to draft plans to de-dollarize.

BONNIE FAULKNER : I was going to ask you, why would loans in a country's domestic currency be preferable to the country taking out a loan in a foreign currency? I guess you've explained that if they took out a loan in a domestic currency, they would be able to repay it.

MICHAEL HUDSON : Yes.

BONNIE FAULKNER : Whereas a loan in a foreign currency would cripple them.

MICHAEL HUDSON : Yes. You can't create the money, especially if you're running a balance of payments deficit and if U.S. foreign policy forces you into deficit by having someone like George Soros make a run on your currency. Look at the Asia crisis in 1997. Wall Street funds bet against foreign currencies, driving them way down, and then used the money to pick up industry cheap in Korea and other Asian countries.

This was also done to Russia's ruble. The only country that avoided this was Malaysia, under Mohamed Mahathir, by using capital controls. Malaysia is an object lesson in how to prevent a currency flight.

But for Latin America and other countries, much of their foreign debt is held by their own ruling class. Even though it's denominated in dollars, Americans don't own most of this debt. It's their own ruling class. The IMF and World Bank dictate tax policy to Latin America – to un-tax wealth and shift the burden onto labor. Client kleptocracies take their money and run, moving it abroad to hard currency areas such as the United States, or at least keeping it in dollars in offshore banking centers instead of reinvesting it to help the country catch up by becoming independent agriculturally, in energy, finance and other sectors.

BONNIE FAULKNER : You say that: "While U.S. agricultural protectionism has been built into the postwar global system at its inception, foreign protectionism is to be nipped in the bud." How has U.S. agricultural protectionism been built into the postwar global system?

MICHAEL HUDSON : Under Franklin Roosevelt the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933 called for price supports for crops so that farmers could earn enough to invest in equipment and seeds. The Agriculture Department was a wonderful department in spurring new seed varieties, agricultural extension services, marketing and banking services. It provided public support so that productivity in American agriculture from the 1930s to '50s was higher over a prolonged period than that of any other sector in history.

But in shaping the World Trade Organization's rules, the United States said that all countries had to promote free trade and could not have government support, except for countries that already had it. We're the only country that had it. That's what's called "grandfathering". The Americans said: "We already have this program on the books, so we can keep it. But no other country can succeed in agriculture in the way that we have done. You must keep your agriculture backward, except for the plantation crops and growing crops that we can't grow in the United States." That's what's so evil about the World Bank's development plan.

BONNIE FAULKNER : According to your book: "Domestic currency is needed to provide price supports and agricultural extension services such as have made U.S. agriculture so productive." Why can't infrastructure costs be subsidized to keep down the economy's overall cost structure if IMF loans are made in foreign currency?

MICHAEL HUDSON : If you're a farmer in Brazil, Argentina or Chile, you're doing business in domestic currency. It doesn't help if somebody gives you dollars, because your expenses are in domestic currency. So if the World Bank and the IMF can prevent countries from providing domestic currency support, that means they're not able to give price supports or provide government marketing services for their agriculture.

America is a mixed economy. Our government has always subsidized capital formation in agriculture and industry, but it insists that other countries are socialist or communist if they do what the United States is doing and use their government to support the economy. So it's a double standard. Nobody calls America a socialist country for supporting its farmers, but other countries are called socialist and are overthrown if they attempt land reform or attempt to feed themselves.

This is what the Catholic Church's Liberation Theology was all about. They backed land reform and agricultural self-sufficiency in food, realizing that if you're going to support population growth, you have to support the means to feed it. That's why the United States focused its assassination teams on priests and nuns in Guatemala and Central America for trying to promote domestic self-sufficiency.

BONNIE FAULKNER : If a country takes out an IMF loan, they're obviously going to take it out in dollars. Why can't they take the dollars and convert them into domestic currency to support local infrastructure costs?

MICHAEL HUDSON : You don't need a dollar loan to do that. Now were getting in to MMT. Any country can create its own currency. There's no reason to borrow in dollars to create your own currency. You can print it yourself or create it on your computers.

BONNIE FAULKNER: Well, exactly. So why don't these countries simply print up their own domestic currency?

MICHAEL HUDSON : Their leaders don't want to be assassinated. More immediately, if you look at the people in charge of foreign central banks, almost all have been educated in the United States and essentially brainwashed. It's the mentality of foreign central bankers. The people who are promoted are those who feel personally loyal to the United States, because they that that's how to get ahead. Essentially, they're opportunists working against the interests of their own country. You won't have socialist central bankers as long as central banks are dominated by the International Monetary Fund and the Bank for International Settlements.

BONNIE FAULKNER : So we're back to the main point: The control is by political means, and they control the politics and the power structure in these countries so that they don't rebel.

MICHAEL HUDSON : That's right. When you have a dysfunctional economic theory that is destructive instead of productive, this is never an accident. It is always a result of junk economics and dependency economics being sponsored. I've talked to people at the U.S. Treasury and asked why they all end up following the United States. Treasury officials have told me: "We simply buy them off. They do it for the money." So you don't need to kill them. All you need to do is find people corrupt enough and opportunist enough to see where the money is, and you buy them off.

BONNIE FAULKNER : You write that "by following U.S. advice, countries have left themselves open to food blackmail." What is food blackmail?

MICHAEL HUDSON : If you pursue a foreign policy that we don't like -- for instance, if you trade with Iran, which we're trying to smash up to grab its oil -- we'll impose financial sanctions against you. We won't sell you food, and you can starve. And because you've followed World Bank advice and not grown your own food, you will starve, because you're dependent on us, the United States and our Free World Ó allies. Canada will no longer follow its own policy independently of the United States, as it did with China in the 1950s when it sold it grain. Europe also is falling in line with U.S. policy.

BONNIE FAULKNER : You write that: "World Bank administrators demand that loan recipients pursue a policy of economic dependency above all on the United States as food supplier." Was this done to support U.S. agriculture? Obviously it is, but were there other reasons as well?

MICHAEL HUDSON : Certainly the agricultural lobby was critical in all of this, and I'm not sure at what point this became thoroughly conscious. I knew some of the World Bank planners, and they had no anticipation that this dependency would be the result. They believed the free-trade junk economics that's taught in the schools' economics departments and for which Nobel prizes are awarded.

When we're dealing with economic planners, we're dealing with tunnel-visioned people. They stayed in the discipline despite its unreality because they sort of think that abstractly it makes sense. There's something autistic about most economists, which is why the French had their non-autistic economic site for many years. The mentality at work is that every country should produce what it's best at – not realizing that nations also need to be self-sufficient in essentials, because we're in a real world of economic and military warfare.

BONNIE FAULKNER : Why does the World Bank prefer to perpetrate world poverty instead of adequate overseas capacity to feed the peoples of developing countries?

MICHAEL HUDSON : World poverty is viewed as solution , not a problem. The World Bank thinks of poverty as low-priced labor, creating a competitive advantage for countries that produce labor-intensive goods. So poverty and austerity for the World Bank and IMF is an economic solution that's built into their models. I discuss these in my Trade, Development and Foreign Debt book. Poverty is to them the solution, because it means low-priced labor, and that means higher profits for the companies bought out by U.S., British, and European investors. So poverty is part of the class war: profits versus poverty.

BONNIE FAULKNER : In general, what is U.S. food imperialism? How would you characterize it?

MICHAEL HUDSON : Its aim is to make America the producer of essential foods and other countries producing inessential plantation crops, while remaining dependent on the United States for grain, soy beans and basic food crops.

BONNIE FAULKNER : Does World Bank lending encourage land reform in former colonies?

MICHAEL HUDSON : No. If there is land reform, the CIA sends its assassination teams in and you have mass murder, as you had in Guatemala, Ecuador, Central America and Columbia. The World Bank is absolutely committed against land reform. When the Forgash Plan for a World Bank for Economic Acceleration was proposed in the 1950s to emphasize land reform and local-currency loans, a Chase Manhattan economist to whom the plan was submitted warned that every country that had land reform turned out to be anti-American. That killed any alternative to the World Bank.

BONNIE FAULKNER : Does the World Bank insist on client governments privatizing their public domain? If so, why, and what is the effect?

MICHAEL HUDSON : It does indeed insist on privatization, pretending that this is efficient. But what it privatizes are natural monopolies – the electrical system, the water system and other basic needs. Foreigners take over, essentially finance them with foreign debt, build the foreign debt that they build into the cost structure, and raise the cost of living and doing business in these countries, thereby crippling them economically. The effect is to prevent them from competing with the United States and its European allies.

BONNIE FAULKNER : Would you say then that it is mainly America that has been aided, not foreign economies that borrow from the World Bank?

MICHAEL HUDSON : That's why the United States is the only country with veto power in the IMF and World Bank – to make sure that what you just described is exactly what happens.

BONNIE FAULKNER : Why do World Bank programs accelerate the exploitation of mineral deposits for use by other nations?

MICHAEL HUDSON : Most World Bank loans are for transportation, roads, harbor development and other infrastructure needed to export minerals and plantation crops. The World Bank doesn't make loans for projects that help the country develop in its own currency. By making only foreign currency loans, in dollars or maybe euros now, the World Bank says that its clients have to repay by generating foreign currency. The only way they can repay the dollars spent on American engineering firms that have built their infrastructure is to export – to earn enough dollars to pay back for the money that the World Bank or IMF have lent.

This is what John Perkins' book about being an economic hit man for the World Bank is all about. He realized that his job was to get countries to borrow dollars to build huge projects that could only be paid for by the country exporting more – which required breaking its labor unions and lowering wages so that it could be competitive in the race to the bottom that the World Bank and IMF encourage.

BONNIE FAULKNER : You also point out in Super Imperialism that mineral resources represent diminishing assets, so these countries that are exporting mineral resources are being depleted while the importing countries aren't.

MICHAEL HUDSON : That's right. They'll end up like Canada. The end result is going to be a big hole in the ground. You've dug up all your minerals, and in the end you have a hole in the ground and a lot of the refuse and pollution – the mining slag and what Marx called the excrements of production.

This is not a sustainable development. The World Bank only promotes the U.S. pursuit of sustainable development. So naturally, they call their "Development," but their focus is on the United States, not the World Bank's client countries.

BONNIE FAULKNER : When Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire was originally published in 1972, how was it received?

MICHAEL HUDSON : Very positively. It enabled my career to take off. I received a phone call a month later by someone from the Bank of Montreal saying they had just made $240 million on the last paragraph of my book. They asked what it would cost to have me come up and give a lecture. I began lecturing once a month at $3,500 a day, moving up to $6,500 a day, and became the highest-paid per diem economist on Wall Street for a few years.

I was immediately hired by the Hudson Institute to explain Super Imperialism to the Defense Department. Herman Kahn said I showed how U.S. imperialism ran rings around European imperialism. They gave the Institute an $85,000 grant to have me go to the White House in Washington to explain how American imperialism worked. The Americans used it as a how-to-do-it book.

The socialists, whom I expected to have a response, decided to talk about other than economic topics. So, much to my surprise, it became a how-to-do-it book for imperialists. It was translated by, I think, the nephew of the Emperor of Japan into Japanese. He then wrote me that the United States opposed the book being translated into Japanese. It later was translated. It was received very positively in China, where I think it has sold more copies than in any other country. It was translated into Spanish, and most recently it was translated into German, and German officials have asked me to come and discuss it with them. So the book has been accepted all over the world as an explanation of how the system works.

BONNIE FAULKNER : In closing, do you really think that the U.S. government officials and others didn't understand how their own system worked?

MICHAEL HUDSON : Many might not have understood in 1944 that this would be the consequence. But by the time 50 years went by, you had an organization called "Fifty Years Is Enough." And by that time everybody should have understood. By the time Joe Stiglitz became the World Bank's chief economist, there was no excuse for not understanding how the system worked. He was amazed to find that indeed it didn't work as advertised, and resigned. But he should have known at the very beginning what it was all about. If he didn't understand how it was until he actually went to work there, you can understand how hard it is for most academics to get through the vocabulary of junk economics, the patter-talk of free trade and free markets to understand how exploitative and destructive the system is.

BONNIE FAULKNER : Michael Hudson, thank you very much.

MICHAEL HUDSON : It's always good to be here, Bonnie. I'm glad you ask questions like these.

I've been speaking with Dr. Michael Hudson. Today's show has been: The IMF and World Bank: Partners in Backwardness. Dr. Hudson is a financial economist and historian. He is president of the Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trend, a Wall Street financial analyst and Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. His 1972 book, Super Imperialism : The Economic Strategy of American Empire , a critique of how the United States exploited foreign economies through the IMF and World Bank, the subject of today's broadcast, is posted in PDF format on his website at michael-hudson.com. He is also author of Trade, Development and Foreign Debt , which is the academic sister volume to Super Imperialism. Dr. Hudson acts as an economic advisor to governments worldwide on finance and tax law. Visit his website at michael-hudson.com.

Guns and Butter is produced by Bonnie Faulkner, Yarrow Mahko and Tony Rango. Visit us at gunsandbutter.org to listen to past programs, comment on shows, or join our email list to receive our newsletter that includes recent shows and updates. Email us at faulkner@gunsandbutter.org . Follow us on Twitter at #gandbradio.

[Jul 04, 2019] Tulsi as the only genuine antiwar candidate that might truly be electable

Notable quotes:
"... Her courage and convictions were hardened in the burning cauldron of an unjust war. Call it burning resentment if you prefer. It's real and it's what makes her tick. ..."
"... by Al Qaeda. For that unrecanted heresy she was vilified by Republicans and Democrats alike. ..."
"... In the Democratic Party debates, she cut that posturing hypocrite Tim Ryan off at the knees in a matter of seconds. A few home truths about U.S. soldiers dying for no good reason was all it took to dispatch him and his mealy-mouthed platitudes. ..."
"... Watch her do the same to DJT if she gets the nomination and he continues to pander to the neocons. ..."
Jul 04, 2019 | www.unz.com

alley cat says: July 2, 2019 at 1:39 am GMT 200 Words

Yes, to some critics, Tulsi Gabbard is not a perfect candidate.

Tulsi is a candidate for political office, not sainthood. Much like Trump in 2016, being patently less cynical than her rivals makes her the obvious choice.

the only genuine antiwar candidate that might truly be electable

Operative word in the above sentence: "genuine."

Her courage and convictions were hardened in the burning cauldron of an unjust war. Call it burning resentment if you prefer. It's real and it's what makes her tick.

She went to Syria and proclaimed that rule by Assad was better for Syrians than rule by Al Qaeda. For that unrecanted heresy she was vilified by Republicans and Democrats alike.

In the Democratic Party debates, she cut that posturing hypocrite Tim Ryan off at the knees in a matter of seconds. A few home truths about U.S. soldiers dying for no good reason was all it took to dispatch him and his mealy-mouthed platitudes.

What was Ryan going to do? Tell Tulsi she didn't know what she was talking about?

Watch her do the same to DJT if she gets the nomination and he continues to pander to the neocons.

renfro , says: July 2, 2019 at 4:21 am GMT

Gabbard did well but if I had to vote tomorrow it would be for Elizabeth Warren ..she's got the real intelligence firepower combined with some old fashioned common sense. None of them are going to directly attack the jew lobby during the campaign .why bring on smear jobs and fake stories when it doesnt matter what they say, only what they do when elected.
Would never vote for Joe "I am Zionist" Biden, he's just a paler shade of Trump .or to be even clearer Biden is the DC establishment whereas Trump is the NJ Mafia,

[Jul 04, 2019] Voice of Tulsi supporters at unz.com

The moderator-filtered t "debate" showed viewers the level of selective-issue political control. The fact that Tulsi was able to overcome this control and discuss the issue of neoliberal wars for the
Jul 04, 2019 | www.unz.com

alexander says: July 2, 2019 at 11:48 am GMT 100 Words

Let's be honest,Phil

Tulsi did not "win" the debate ..

SHE WAS THE DEBATE !

How many Americans aren't so thoroughly disgusted with our entire D.N.C. by now , they have to pin their nose (to avoid the stink) while sitting through one more . Establishment Elite, corporate " con job " debate ?

How many , Phil ?

Like just about EVERYBODY .

How many Americans aren't so thoroughly disgusted with NBC . and all its LIES . that even if the broadcasters PAID them, tomorrow , they would STILL refuse to watch their network ?.

Like just about EVERYBODY .

Tulsi is not simply the ONLY candidate who MATTERS .she is the only candidate, alive, who has a shot in rescuing our country from its descent into corporatist "warmongering" hell .

Tulsi is IT !

May God bless her . and keep her safe.


Commentator Mike , says: July 2, 2019 at 12:00 pm GMT

@Brabantian lectorate has been fooled so many times before, no big harm in getting fooled again, although not very smart (as Einstein once remarked about repeating same same while expecting a different result).

Hopefully by a "peace" or pseudo-peace candidate to at least keep that narrative going in the general population even if once elected the new president turns around and betrays the pre-election promises. Now if there were some way to make those politicians pay for dishonouring their word.

But as I may have asked in another comment, could the electorate be as cynical and hypocritical as these politicians they cast votes for?

Moi , says: July 2, 2019 at 12:26 pm GMT
@Bragadocious

Bingo! For a smart dude, PG should know (and I am sure he does) that the problem is systemic. No candidate, if s/he expects to get anywhere, is going to call out Aipac or bring up the issue of Jewish influence and power.

Fool's Paradise , says: July 2, 2019 at 12:41 pm GMT

On Tucker Carlson, Tulsi named Netanyahu and Saudi Arabia as the main pushers for war with Iran. No, she isn't perfect. No American politician dare say more. But she's the best we have and deserves our support. If she does gain a large following, as Bernie Sanders did, and is cheated out of the nomination, as Bernie was, I hope she has the guts, as Bernie didn't, to form a third, Peace Party, and run on it. So she splits the Democrats and they lose? So what! What difference does it make what Democrat or Republican Zio-whore becomes President?

Sick of Orcs , says: July 2, 2019 at 1:35 pm GMT

Trump was a roaring lion for America First, right up until his inauguration. President Tulsi will also "see the light" about how Israel is our most important ally. Ever see the photo of the 10 rabbis flanking Trump's desk in the Oval office? It could just as easily been a scene out of The Sopranos, with the family forcing some schmuck to "legally" sign over his business.

follyofwar , says: July 2, 2019 at 1:53 pm GMT
@Ghali

As Giraldi wrote, there is no such thing as a perfect candidate. But who can compare with her in this moribund democrat field? Politics is the art of the possible. When Trump first announced in 2015, no pundit outside of Ann Coulter said he had a chance. And look how he demolished that republican field consisting of 16 brain dead neocons. If given half a chance, Tulsi could do the same. And the fact that she is a veteran works in her favor. Just because she was in Iraq, does not mean that she supported the US aggression. Like thousands of other vets, she obviously did not.

macilrae , says: July 2, 2019 at 2:08 pm GMT
@Commentator Mike ou're right but consider the obstacles she has to overcome – her desperate need to bypass the hostile media in order to make her point to the American masses who will care little or nothing about a few hundreds of thousands of dead foreigners but, when it comes to American dead, they are rather more receptive.

Same thing is true on Israel – if she is to have any chance she has to grit her teeth and stay pretty mum on that topic. They already know where she stands after her remarks about Netanyahu; her meeting with Assad and her wish for better relations with Russia – they will do everything in their power to destroy her.

Agent76 , says: July 2, 2019 at 2:26 pm GMT

The two private club parties will *Never* allow our freedom from the plantation.

Jul 28, 2016 How Did The U.S. End Up With A Two-Party System?

Democrats and Republicans dominate the American political system, leaving third parties behind. So why is there a two party system?

https://www.youtube.com/embed/u7JBXja7SAY?feature=oembed

Jun 6, 2013 How Ron Paul Was Cheated Out Of Presidency

A compilation of footage that shows how the establishment used illegal tactics to get Ron Paul out of the presidential running.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/5ouBoyu9gGY?feature=oembed

JackOH , says: July 2, 2019 at 2:40 pm GMT

My Congressman, Tim Ryan, was up there. He's a likeable guy, and he plays ball, probably because he has to after succeeding Jim Traficant, who was expelled from Congress. He's criticized locally for not bringing back more pork, and his local cliche-ridden talks sound as though they were scripted by the Democrat Central Committee. I'll give him credit for avoiding misconduct that could lead to indictment, no small achievement in this preternaturally corrupt area. I think he's reasonably honest, but just not a firebrand.

There's unsubstantiated speculation here he's been positioning himself for hire as a lobbyist.

RobinG , says: July 2, 2019 at 3:01 pm GMT
@Fool's Paradise

If she does gain a large following, as Bernie Sanders did, and is cheated out of the nomination, as Bernie was, I hope she has the guts, as Bernie didn't, to form a third, Peace Party, and run on it.

Yes. My question, when to start preparing for an outside run? If she's making steady progress, she won't move until after the convention. Would threatening an independent run help or hurt her before then?

Fool's Paradise , says: July 2, 2019 at 3:17 pm GMT
@TKK

to TKK:
I've never had a female boss so I can't comment on your question. No, Tulsi can't win the Presidency, it'd be a miracle if she did, but I'm saying that if she does get a huge following, gets cheated out of the nomination, and has the guts to form a Third Party, she'd shake up the rotten rigged system and give us some hope.

TKK , says: July 2, 2019 at 3:34 pm GMT
@Fool's Paradise

Perhaps!

Women who have children are more vulnerable to threats of harm. ( If they are good mothers)

I sometimes believe that when elected leaders do want to shake things up, they are threatened by various shadow organizations, when bribes don't work.

I detest George Clooney and his tranny wife, but the movie Michael Clayton lays it out well.

[Jul 04, 2019] Why not support someone who appears to be genuinely opposed to the wars?

Notable quotes:
"... why can't Tulsi Gabbard pretend to be "one of them" (e.g., by taking money from Raytheon, being a member of the CFR, claiming that al-Qaeda did 9/11, etc.) but then actually oppose the self-destructive wars and risky provocations? ..."
"... If orange clown can be honest about his feelings of animosity toward Iran during his campaign, why can't Tulsi Gabbard be honest about her feelings about pointless and self-destructive wars? ..."
"... If Ed Snowden and Chelsea Manning can betray the "deep state" why can't Tulsi Gabbard? ..."
"... somebody is going to be president anyway, whether we like it or not, and the wars – especially the looming WW3 – is the biggest threat ..."
Jul 04, 2019 | www.unz.com

Harold Smith says: July 2, 2019 at 6:28 pm GMT 100 Words

If orange clown can pretend to be one of "us" and then immediately turn around and enthusiastically stab "us" in the back, why can't Tulsi Gabbard pretend to be "one of them" (e.g., by taking money from Raytheon, being a member of the CFR, claiming that al-Qaeda did 9/11, etc.) but then actually oppose the self-destructive wars and risky provocations?

If orange clown can be honest about his feelings of animosity toward Iran during his campaign, why can't Tulsi Gabbard be honest about her feelings about pointless and self-destructive wars?

If Ed Snowden and Chelsea Manning can betray the "deep state" why can't Tulsi Gabbard?

The cynicism I see in some of the comments here disparaging Gabbard is "over the top" IMO; somebody is going to be president anyway, whether we like it or not, and the wars – especially the looming WW3 – is the biggest threat. So why not support someone who appears to be genuinely opposed to the wars?

[Jul 04, 2019] MSM are going to largely ignore Tulsi or even demonise her, because it is the Praetorian Media who now decide who will be the the American President.

Notable quotes:
"... To mis-paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, you go to war with the candidate you don't have. ..."
"... it is the Praetorian Media who now decide who will be the the American President. ..."
Jul 04, 2019 | www.unz.com

The Alarmist , says: July 2, 2019 at 8:56 am GMT

Tulsi Gabbard is not a perfect candidate.

To mis-paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, you go to war with the candidate you don't have.

Unless Ms. Gabbard can figure out some way to raise and cycle a billion dollars through media ads in the MSM, they're going to largely ignore her or even demonise her, because it is the Praetorian Media who now decide who will be the the American President.

[Jul 04, 2019] Neoliberal MSM seem to use against Tulsi the Russia smear

Jul 04, 2019 | www.unz.com

LondonBob says: July 2, 2019 at 6:52 am GMT 100 Words @Twodees Partain

I've seen Tulsi call out Netanyahu a few times, I guess personalising it makes sense.

Very clear hasbara campaign against her, they seem to be going with the Russia! smear.

Good luck to her, she is a long shot but just voicing her opinions on a major platform can have an impact.

Realist , says: July 2, 2019 at 11:13 am GMT

@LondonBob

Good luck to her, she is a long shot but just voicing her opinions on a major platform can have an impact.

No it won't, but I agree with her about war.

[Jul 04, 2019] Looks like Trump lost anti-war right

Notable quotes:
"... I won't be voting Trump again and fall for that sting. Will vote Tulsi whether she's on ballot or not. ..."
Jul 04, 2019 | www.unz.com

freedom-cat says: July 2, 2019 at 2:52 pm GMT 100 Words

Presidential elections are a joke. It's best to vote for 3rd candidate to express your opposition to the Status quo: I won't be voting Trump again and fall for that sting. Will vote Tulsi whether she's on ballot or not.

She will never make it as she is too honest about foreign policy and the USA lies.

[Jul 04, 2019] The armed forces are just a bunch of heavily entrenched welfare recipients who get uniforms, guns, bombs etc. , and are always angling for more money

Jul 04, 2019 | www.unz.com

onebornfree says: Website July 2, 2019 at 3:49 pm GMT 100 Words @Your connection is not secure

Your connection is not secure says: "Wake up people. The military works for the evil masters. They don't really want war of course, they want peace – particularly between your ears."

It's all about welfare- welfare specifically for the military industrial complex , that is.

The armed forces are just a bunch of heavily entrenched welfare recipients who get uniforms, guns, bombs etc. , and are always angling for more money so that they to get more uniforms, guns, bombs etc., to be happily provided by the "private" inc. sycophants, otherwise collectively known as "weapons manufacturers".

Welfare/warfare, don't you just love it?

Regards, onebornfree

Pancho Perico , says: July 2, 2019 at 4:12 pm GMT

Council on Foreign Relations Tulsi Gabbard U.S. President? You have to be very gullible, to say the least, to believe that she is going to end America's endless wars.

Jacques Sheete , says: July 2, 2019 at 4:12 pm GMT
@Realist

Yes, indeed. The Deep State will only be beaten by force.

I vote for rotting from within. Not as dramatic as force, but more effective and long lasting. I'll enjoy the show when they start, Cronus-like, knocking one another off though.

[Jul 04, 2019] Bush Sr. and his CIA drug dealing

Jul 04, 2019 | www.unz.com

J. Gutierrez says: July 2, 2019 at 9:36 pm GMT 500 Words @Harold Smith

With all due respect Mr. Smith things have really gone down hill after Bush Sr. I'm talking about direct attacks on the rights of American citizens. Bush Sr. (R) with his CIA drug dealing with the help of Noriega. He purchased weapons with the proceeds to arm terrorist guerrilla groups in Nicaragua. Bill Clinton (D) helped Bush Sr. as governor of Arkansas by covering up any investigation targeting the operation and laundering their money through a state owned bank. Bush Jr. (R) secured lands in Afghanistan in order to restart athe heroine trade by growing poppy fields to process and ship back to the US. Obama (R) made sure the Mexican drug cartels were well armed in order to launch a drug war that supported the Merida Initiative, which allowed armed DEA, CIA and Mercenaries into Mexican territory. Trump (R) will be the clean up hitter that will usher in the dollar collapse.

Mr. Smith do you really believe it is a coincidence that Rep 8 yrs, Dem 8yrs, Rep 8yrs, Dem 8yrs, Rep 3 yrs are voted in? Please sir, don't fool yourself because in the next election I will bet money the orange fool will be president for another 4 years unless the owners don't want him there. But we can safely say that history tells us he will. All I'm saying that people like you, waiting for someone to throw you a rope because you've fallen into deep water are waiting on a rescue boat that doesn't care if you drown.

Your best bet for change was thrown away when Dr. Ron Paul failed to be nominated. Us dumb asses in Mexico didn't need another election fraud this time around! The people started YouTube channels that reported the "real" news (Chapucero – Quesadillas de Verdades – Charro Politico – Sin Censura, etc.). Those channels made a big difference, countering the negative reporting by Mexican and US MSM that the Presidential Candidate for MORENA as "Leftist", "Communist", "Socialist", "Like Hugo Chavez", "Dangerous", etc.

With all of the US propaganda, Mexican propaganda, the negative MSM and Elite financing, Mexicans knew they had to get out and vote in record numbers and they did! Otherwise a close election was seen as another loss and the end of Mexico as a country. People were ready to fight and die if necessary. They had seen the Energy Reforms forced down our throat by the corrupt PRI/PAN parties (Mex version o DEM/REP), with the help of Hillary Clinton and the US State Department. They drafting the changes needed to the Mexican Constitution to allow a vote. Totally against the Law in Mexico and I'm sure the laws of the US.

There is a saying that goes something like, "If you're not ready to die for Freedom, take it out of your Vocabulary"!

We were!!!

[Jul 04, 2019] Nobody has gotten things more right, even before the wars developed Justin Roimondo predicted a war with Iraq even before Sept 11, 2001, and it's aftermath into sectarian violence

Jul 04, 2019 | www.unz.com

Biff says: July 2, 2019 at 4:49 am GMT 100 Words

Don't want to drift off topic, but the person who wins the Antiwar debate is this guy:

https://original.antiwar.com/scott/2019/06/30/antiwar-com-now-what/

If Ron Unz is reading I might suggest he could do a little something to cover the passing of probably one of the best Antiwar writers(Justin Raimondo) of this generation. Nobody has gotten things more right, even before the wars developed – he predicted a war with Iraq even before Sept 11, 2001, and it's aftermath into sectarian violence. His archives are second to none in naming the names of who steered the war machine into the Middle East and across the globe. I could gone on, but the link does a better job.
RIP Justin.

[Jul 04, 2019] Amazing how for these Americans, even this Tulsi, the lives of US soldiers are more important than countless civilians they murder during the course of their wars. But even that is a lie. They don't even care about their own soldiers once they're of no use to them any more, if you consider the rate of alcoholism, drug addiction, unemployment, homelessness, mental health issues, and suicide among the veterans.

Jul 04, 2019 | www.unz.com

Commentator Mike says: July 2, 2019 at 6:54 am GMT 300 Words

Amazing how for these Americans, even this Tulsi, the lives of US soldiers are more important than countless civilians they murder during the course of their wars. But even that is a lie. They don't even care about their own soldiers once they're of no use to them any more, if you consider the rate of alcoholism, drug addiction, unemployment, homelessness, mental health issues, and suicide among the veterans.

And also, when it serves their purpose, then suddenly the life of some innocent somewhere half way round the world getting abused by a government they dislike becomes important, and the human rights card is played so they can go and kill more than they save. I thought that to these leftist American politicians everyone is equal so why don't they express concern about how many Afghans they have killed over there?

Oh yes, but if they left them alone there wouldn't be those columns of young Afghans making their way to the West for these liberals to practice their empathy and hospitality on. And who would be guarding those poppy fields and ensuring maximum production for pharmaceutical companies and the black market? And when an Afghan immigrant like Omar Mateen sets off on a murder spree on US soil who is to blame?

Do they even question their wars, or their immigration policy, or Islamic culture of intolerance, or anything at all? Some may then question gun laws, but even that is another lie, because guns are as as available as ever. No they just shrug their shoulders as its just part and parcel, and it's only good for the media to keep people in fear and sell their sensational news.

And if you question any of this then you're most likely to be called a racist or supremacist or whatever vile word they can conjure up with which to browbeat you.

[Jul 04, 2019] any and all individuals who conspired to defraud the United States into illegal war of aggression should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law

Wars are necessary for the maintaining and expanding the US controlled neoliberal empire. Wars is the health of military industrial complex.
The Deep State will bury any candidate who will try to change the USA forign policy. Looks what happened to Trump. He got Russiagate just for vey modest proposal of detente with Russia (of course not only for that, but still...)
Notable quotes:
"... The first is "The War Fraud Accountability Act of 2020″ Retroactive to 2002, it states that any and all individuals who conspired to defraud the United States into illegal war of aggression should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. Moreover, any and all assets owned by these individuals shall be made forfeit . to pay down the cost of the wars they lied us into. ..."
Jul 04, 2019 | www.unz.com

alexander says: July 2, 2019 at 8:57 pm GMT 400 Words

Those are interesting proposals but wishful thinking: wars are necessary for Electing Tulsi Gabbard as our next Commander in Chief will not solve our biggest problems alone.

Her candidacy, I believe , must be augmented by two new laws which should be demanded by the taxpayer and enforced by her administration on "day one".

The first is "The War Fraud Accountability Act of 2020″ Retroactive to 2002, it states that any and all individuals who conspired to defraud the United States into illegal war of aggression should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. Moreover, any and all assets owned by these individuals shall be made forfeit . to pay down the cost of the wars they lied us into.

If they lied us into war .they pay for it NOT the US taxpayer.

The second is " The Terror Fraud Accountability Act of 2020″ also retroactive to 2001, it states that any and all individuals found to have engaged in plotting, planning, or staging "false terror events" will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. Moreover, any and all of the assets owned by these individuals shall be made forfeit to pay down the cost of our War on Terror.

Americans should not have to sacrifice one cent of their tax dollars to pay for their own defrauding by "staged" or "phony" terror events.

I believe that were Tulsi to be elected, she should set up two new task forces designed especially for these reasons, Try to think of them as the " Office of Special Plans" IN REVERSO.!.

Moreover she should hold weekly press briefings to notify the taxpayer of her progress, and also how much of our 23 trillion in losses , FROM THEIR LIES, she has been able to recoup.

Getting these two initiatives up and running is the most potent force the taxpayers have in cleaning out the fraud and larceny in DC, .ending our illegal wars overseas .. and (finally)holding our "establishment elite " accountable for "LYING US INTO THEM"

It is way overdue for the American Taxpayer to take back control of our government from those who ALMOST BANKRUPTED OUR ENTIRE NATION BY LYING US INTO ILLEGAL WARS.

It is not enough any more just to complain or "kvetch" about our problems .put on your thinking caps .and start coming up with solutions and initiatives .start fighting for your freedom, your finances and your future.

Elect the leaders YOU WANT and tell them exactly what you want them to do!

Tulsi has promised us all "SERVICE OVER SELF"

There you go !

I say that means not only ENDING our ILLEGAL, CRIMINAL WARS .but GETTING AS MUCH OF OUR MONEY BACK from those who lied us into them !

ACCOUNTABILITY FOR WAR FRAUD it is $23,000,000,000,000.00. in "heinous debt" .overdue!

OORAH !

[Jul 04, 2019] The role of having world reserve currency in the unleashing the USA militarism

Jul 04, 2019 | www.unz.com

J. Gutierrez, July 2, 2019 at 5:49 pm GMT 600 Words @Commentator Mike

Hey Mike,

There is an article on here by Michael Hudson, an economist who wrote about U.S. control of the World Bank and IMF since 1948. He claims that the U.S. wages war because it gets other countries to unwittingly finance them and the trade deficit. After WWII the U.S. forced European countries to pay their war debt, by selling corporate assets, reducing barriers and reduce their social programs. They had 3/4 of the world gold reserves because of those loans during the war. Korea and Vietnam reduced their gold reserves to 10 billion by the late 60's and were forced to get out off the Gold Standard. The French Banks that had a big presense in Indochina sending their dollars to the French Central Bank and they were trading dollars for gold. Nixon stopped it.

The dollar gave U.S. the means to have other countries finance their trade deficit, all their wars and the military buildup. By ending the Gold backed dollar they forced the countries that had U.S. debt dollars to purchase U.S. Treasury Bonds. As the U.S. debt grew so did the dollars being held by those countries and the purchase of Treasury Bonds. The U.S. does not allow countries holding those dollars to buy US property or buy Corporations and risk being acused of commiting an act of war. So they are forced to buy U.S. debt while the US uses its dollars to buy other countries resources with those worthless dollars.

The U.S. forces countries that default on their loans to pay penalties and huge interest payments while the U.S. debt goes un checked and growing without the threat of being in default...

[Jul 01, 2019] We must end these interventionist wars as they suck the life blood out of doing the positive things that must be done to benefit Americans.

Notable quotes:
"... So, the two biggest issues in US politics--Forever Wars and the utter strangulation of politics by Big Money are what she wants to take on. And on those two issues alone, I've decided to work for her campaign! ..."
Jul 01, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Jun 30, 2019 8:00:10 PM | 73

Doing Due Diligence on Tulsi Gabbard by watching the 1:20 long interview by Jimmy Dore of which the first 20 minutes are excellent. At the 21 minute mark, Dore asks how can we end these endless wars. Paraphrasing Gabbard: Failure is not an option: We must end these interventionist wars as they suck the life blood out of doing the positive things that must be done to benefit Americans.

Prior to the above, Dore as an aside mentions that Howard Dean, the Podestas, Clintons, and others are all about keeping the flow of Big Money into politics at the expense of everything else--that's their absolute #1 concern, to which you'll hear Gabbard agree!

So, the two biggest issues in US politics--Forever Wars and the utter strangulation of politics by Big Money are what she wants to take on. And on those two issues alone, I've decided to work for her campaign!

Grieved , Jun 30, 2019 10:25:50 PM | 94

@74 karlof1 - " I've decided to work for [Tulsi Gabbard's] campaign"

This is excellent. As someone who has never had any national experience in politics, I would be interested to know how one offers this kind of support - if you ever have time to say, but don't break a leg over it.

One sees in politics how good moral character gets compromised by involvement in the system. But we also know that one's own contribution to universal sanity can never be known or measured - or discounted! Therefore, we do what we can. Who knows, perhaps your involvement is the final butterfly-wing stroke that keeps her honest and upright and making a difference.

Well done. And thank you.

~~

ps..please don't worry that people are not taking up your links or comments, just because you don't see feedback here. Keep it all coming as well as you can, but please don't limit your contributions to feedback. Many of the pieces you post are so friggin' long that it takes the rest of the night to absorb them all ;)

I'm glad you donate the time of your retirement to offer all the things you do. I still work, and it's a struggle to keep up with things. Your reading list overlaps mine very nicely, and I ride on your coat-tails a lot - you along with many commenters here save me a lot of time in pinpointing articles of value.

In fact, beyond b's superlative work - which he keeps producing even though we all appreciate it so intently that we usually forget to praise him for it - I'd say the offering of links from the top analysts and journalists, combined with the gems from the left field, are a signature mark of this forum.

So please keep the summaries coming, and never lose heart or doubt that people are reading them and placing value on them.

[Jul 01, 2019] In one of the most remarkable partnerships in modern American political history, Soros and Charles Koch, the more active of the two brothers, are joining to finance a new anti-war foreign-policy think tank in Washington

Jul 01, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

donkeytale , Jun 30, 2019 8:01:00 PM | 74


Maracatu , Jun 30, 2019 8:08:59 PM | 75

Someone pinch me and tell me I'm not dreaming! If this is true (my knee-jerk reaction is to dismiss it), then it is HUGE! EARTH SHATTERING !
In one of the most remarkable partnerships in modern American political history, Soros and Charles Koch, the more active of the two brothers, are joining to finance a new foreign-policy think tank in Washington. It will promote an approach to the world based on diplomacy and restraint rather than threats, sanctions, and bombing. (...) It will be called the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, an homage to John Quincy Adams, who in a seminal speech on Independence Day in 1821 declared that the United States "goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. (...) Among (Trita) Parsi's co-founders are several well-known critics of American foreign policy, including Suzanne DiMaggio, who has spent decades promoting negotiated alternatives to conflict with China, Iran, and North Korea; the historian and essayist Stephen Wertheim; and the anti-militarist author and retired Army colonel Andrew Bacevich. "The Quincy Institute will invite both progressives and anti-interventionist conservatives to consider a new, less militarized approach to policy," Bacevich said, when asked why he signed up. "We oppose endless, counterproductive war. We want to restore the pursuit of peace to the nation's foreign policy agenda."
james , Jun 30, 2019 10:31:39 PM | 95
caitlin johnstones latest - New Soros/Koch-Funded Think Tank Claims To Oppose US Forever War

i thought it was april fools for a second, until i then thought it is probably a pile of steaming b.s. but hey - if it can be used as fertilizer to grow a few brains in an otherwise constant 24/7 war party mindset, i am up for it... call me when something actually happens as a result of any soros-koch stink tank agenda..

[Jul 01, 2019] A Think Tank Dedicated to Peace and Restraint

Notable quotes:
"... The creation of a think tank dedicated to "an approach to the world based on diplomacy and restraint rather than threats, sanctions, and bombing" is very welcome news. Other than the Cato Institute, there has been nothing like this in Washington, and this tank's focus will be entirely on foreign policy. ..."
"... I am quite amazed that Soros and Koch bro are involved. We will wait to see how this plays out. ..."
Jul 01, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Stephen Kinzer comments on the creation of a new think tank, The Quincy Institute, committed to promoting a foreign policy of restraint and non-interventionism:

Since peaceful foreign policy was a founding principle of the United States, it's appropriate that the name of this think tank harken back to history. It will be called the Quincy Institute, an homage to John Quincy Adams, who in a seminal speech on Independence Day in 1821 declared that the United States "goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own." The Quincy Institute will promote a foreign policy based on that live-and-let-live principle.

The creation of a think tank dedicated to "an approach to the world based on diplomacy and restraint rather than threats, sanctions, and bombing" is very welcome news. Other than the Cato Institute, there has been nothing like this in Washington, and this tank's focus will be entirely on foreign policy. The lack of institutional support has put advocates of peace and restraint at a disadvantage for a very long time, so it is encouraging to see that there is an effort underway to change that. The Quincy Institute represents another example of how antiwar progressives and conservatives can and should work together to change U.S. foreign policy for the better. The coalition opposed to the war on Yemen showed what Americans opposed to illegal and unnecessary war can do when they work towards a shared goal of peace and non-intervention, and this institute promises to be an important part of such efforts in the future. Considering how long the U.S. has been waging war without end , there couldn't be a better time for this.

TAC readers and especially readers of this blog will be familiar with the people involved in creating the think tank:

The institute plans to open its doors in September and hold an official inauguration later in the autumn. Its founding donors -- Soros's Open Society Foundation and the Charles Koch Foundation -- have each contributed half a million dollars to fund its takeoff. A handful of individual donors have joined to add another $800,000. By next year the institute hopes to have a $3.5 million budget and a staff of policy experts who will churn out material for use in Congress and in public debates. Hiring is underway. Among Parsi's co-founders are several well-known critics of American foreign policy, including Suzanne DiMaggio, who has spent decades promoting negotiated alternatives to conflict with China, Iran and North Korea; the historian and essayist Stephen Wertheim; and the anti-militarist author and retired Army colonel Andrew Bacevich.

"The Quincy Institute will invite both progressives and anti-interventionist conservatives to consider a new, less militarized approach to policy," Bacevich said, when asked why he signed up. "We oppose endless, counterproductive war. We want to restore the pursuit of peace to the nation's foreign policy agenda."

Trita Parsi and Andrew Bacevich are both TAC contributors and have participated in our foreign policy conferences in recent years. Parsi and I were on the same panel last fall at our most recent conference. I have also cited and learned from arguments made by Suzanne DiMaggio and Stephen Wertheim in my posts here . Their involvement is a very good sign, and it shows both the political breadth and intellectual depth of this new institution. I look forward to seeing what they do, and I wish them luck.


chris chuba 9 hours ago
Good luck. I hope you will be invited on cable shows. I am tired of seeing the beard from the Foundation of the Defense of Democracies and his clones.

Once in a while the hosts mess up and they interview someone who doesn't give the correct answer about the M.E., or somewhere else and I see the blank look on their face as they thank the guess as since it is obvious they cannot process the information. I generally do not see those guests ever again.

The guidelines are, the world is divided into those who crave U.S. leadership and the evildoers who are constantly testing our leadership. We must always be vigilant against the latter. It is inconceivable that anyone merely act in their own interest. It is all about us.

Jonathan Dillard Lester 17 hours ago
Might be a few kindred souls put off by the Soros money, but nothing wrong with taking it!
SFBay1949 20 hours ago
I also am looking forward to reading their thoughts and ideas about a foreign policy that doesn't include the US invading yet another country under the ridiculous notion that we are somehow being threatened by them. We have the largest military on earth. It's also telling that we pick on and invade countries that can't actually hurt us. That makes us all the more the bully on the block. It's to our shame that we even consider these shameful actions.
Paul a day ago
Exciting news. An early endeavor , if not already accomplished, should be consideration of relevant theoretical models for understanding competition and cooperation. Since the Cold War and to the present day, variants of the Prisoners Dilemma serve this function. Prior to that, misconceptions of survival of the fittest led to the disasters of eugenics and WW2. Maybe the new think tank will outline or draw inspiration from a new theory.
SteveM a day ago
Re: "I look forward to seeing what they do, and I wish them luck."

So do I. Very much so. However, the most prominent realist Washington Think Tank is the Cato Institute. It has well spoken advocates of realism and restraint including Christopher Preble, Doug Bandow and Ted Galen Carpenter. Unfortunately, the thoughtful Cato scribes get very little exposure on the MSM compared to the atrocious Heritage, AEI and Brookings nests of go along to get along Neocon / Neoliberal lackeys. It's not clear to me how and why the Quincy Institute will generate any more leverage.

I've argued many times before that the linchpin of the busted U.S. Global Cop foreign policy model is the Pentagon. As long as the Pentagon hacks are considered the paragons of Olympian insight and wisdom by the political class and the MSM, nothing will change.

Related to that though, there actually was a hopeful article in the Atlantic about the newest Pentagon Big Mouth, CENTCOM Commander General General Kenneth McKenzie:

https://bit.ly/2Lyel6p

Hopefully, that is a crack in the wall of Military Exceptionalism. The sooner others start taking a 2x4 to the sanctified occupants of the 5-Sided Pleasure Palace, knocking them off of their pedestals, the better.

BTW, the new Acting Defense Secretary and MIC Parasite Mark Esper is no friend of the taxpayers. Expect that failed Pentagon audit that was deep-sixed by Mad Dog Mattis to stay deep-sixed with Esper in the Big Seat.

Taras77 a day ago
I am quite amazed that Soros and Koch bro are involved. We will wait to see how this plays out.

Jeez, who can believe this amongst the "think" tanks: "an approach to the world based on diplomacy and restraint rather than threats, sanctions, and bombing"

[Jul 01, 2019] Tulsi on Bill Maher (video)

People who run "debates" are the same people (the DNC and the MSM and the USA MIC who controls both) who have charged that our "democracy" was compromised by Russian interference via Facebook posts and the publishing of DNC documents that no one has disputed the validity thereof.
As pathetic as Dems "debate" format is, it does give people an actual look at the candidates, in many cases for the first time. It does change some minds and move the numbers. After all, Tulsi was the person who introduced Bernie at the DNC convention in 2016. She's the person who left the DNC because she saw what scumbags they were.
For a candidate speaking out about the endless wars but the MSM and associates are performing their marginalization magic.
More exposure for Gabbard can only help her. She did a fine job in her debate, I'm sure her numbers will climb a bit.
Jul 01, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

EdMass on Sun, 06/30/2019 - 9:52am

Strong to the hoop Tulsi! And this will reach a whole lot of people.

Tulsi Gabbard | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)

UntimelyRippd on Sat, 06/29/2019 - 4:04pm

man, 130k donors 14 months out from the national

election is a mighty high bar. she needs about 750 new donors a day, every day, if indeed the cutoff date is 60ish days from now.

i wonder how many will make it? for that matter, i wonder how many already have? Biden, O'Rourke, Sanders, Warren, Harris, Buttigieg for sure. Booker, Castro, Gillibrand probably. Klobuchar maybe?

most of the rest are just taking up space, as far as I can tell -- they're contributing nothing to the debate at all, and they have no hope of winning substantial support.

meanwhile, i wouldn't be surprised if both Biden and O'Rourke are done and out before the next debate, destroyed by their own negatives. on the other hand, ego is a powerful thing, and even the ones whose stars are declining may insist on sticking it out through New Hampshire at least, in which case there could be a dozen or more still in the race come September, hopefully including TG.

[Jun 30, 2019] First Democratic debate Demagogy on social issues, silence on war by Patrick Martin

This is WSWS with their outdated dreams of "working class dictatorship" but some points and observation are very apt and to the point.
Notable quotes:
"... The fraud of a "progressive" Democratic Party and presidential candidate was summed up in the near-universal declaration of the media that Senator Kamala Harris had emerged as the clear winner, part of a coordinated effort to promote her candidacy ..."
"... Harris climbed to the Senate by serving for years in the Bay Area of California as a law-and-order district attorney and state attorney general, defending police killers and bankers engaged in foreclosure fraud, including Trump's current treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin. A member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, she has been among the most rabid of Democrats in attacking Trump as a stooge of Russian President Putin. In Thursday's debate, her main foray into foreign policy was to denounce Trump for being soft on Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. ..."
"... She is being promoted most enthusiastically by those sections of the ruling class, whose views are promoted by the New York Times ..."
"... The Obama administration also deported more immigrants than any other, a fact that was raised in a question to Vice President Biden, who confined himself to empty declarations of sympathy for the victims of Trump's persecution, while denying any comparison between Trump and Obama. ..."
"... If these ladies and gentlemen decide not to engage on foreign policy, the reason is clear: the Democrats know that the American people are adamantly opposed to new military interventions. They therefore seek to conceal the preparations of American imperialism for major wars, whether regional conflicts with Iran, North Korea or Venezuela, or conflicts with nuclear-armed global rivals like China and Russia. ..."
"... On the first night, Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, asked to name the greatest global security threat, replied, "The greatest threat that we face is the fact we are at a greater risk of nuclear war today than ever before in history." This remarkable declaration was passed over in silence by the moderators and the other candidates, and the subject was not raised on the second night at all, including by Bernie Sanders. ..."
Jun 29, 2019 | www.wsws.org

Four hours of nationally televised debates Wednesday and Thursday among 20 Democratic presidential candidates demonstrated the gigantic disconnect between the claims of this pro-war, pro-corporate party to be driven by concerns for the well-being of working people and the reality of poverty and oppression in America, for which the Democratic Party is no less responsible than the Republicans.

The stage-managed spectacle mounted by NBC marked the formal beginning of an electoral process dominated by big money and thoroughly manipulated by the corporate-controlled media.

The attempt to contain the growing left-wing opposition in the working class and channel it behind the second oldest capitalist party in the world necessarily assumed the form of lies and demagogy. For the most part, the vying politicians, all of them in the top 10 percent on the income ladder, made promises to provide healthcare, jobs, decent schools, tuition-free college and a clean environment for all, knowing full well they had no intention of carrying them out.

No one -- neither the millionaire media talking heads asking the questions nor the candidates -- dared to mention the fact that that Democratic Party has just voted to give Trump an additional $4.9 billion to round up, detain and torture hundreds of thousands of immigrants, including children, in the growing network of concentration camps being set up within the US. Facts, as they say, are stubborn things, and this one demonstrates the complicity of the Democratic Party in the fascistic policies of the Trump administration.

The second night of the debate featured the front-runners, former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Biden has a long record of reactionary politics, including in the Obama administration. Sanders is continuing in this election his role in 2016 of channeling growing support for socialism into the framework of a right-wing party.

The fraud of a "progressive" Democratic Party and presidential candidate was summed up in the near-universal declaration of the media that Senator Kamala Harris had emerged as the clear winner, part of a coordinated effort to promote her candidacy. The African-American senator was lauded for attacking Biden for statements boasting of his ability in the past to collaborate with segregationist senators and his past opposition to busing for school integration.

It was Harris who adopted the most transparently bogus posture of left-radicalism in Thursday night's debate, repeatedly declaring her agreement with Bernie Sanders and raising her hand, along with Sanders, to support the abolition of private health insurance in favor of a single-payer system. By Friday morning, however, she had reversed that stand, claiming she had "misheard" the question and declaring her support for the continuation of private insurance.

Harris climbed to the Senate by serving for years in the Bay Area of California as a law-and-order district attorney and state attorney general, defending police killers and bankers engaged in foreclosure fraud, including Trump's current treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin. A member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, she has been among the most rabid of Democrats in attacking Trump as a stooge of Russian President Putin. In Thursday's debate, her main foray into foreign policy was to denounce Trump for being soft on Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

She is being promoted most enthusiastically by those sections of the ruling class, whose views are promoted by the New York Times , who want the Democratic campaign to be dominated by racial and gender politics so as to mobilize the party's wealthy upper-middle class base and divert and divide the mass working class anger over social inequality.

Many of the candidates fondly recalled the Obama administration. But those eight years saw the greatest transfer of wealth from working people to the super-rich in American history. The pace was set by the initial $700 billion bailout of Wall Street, which was expanded to uncounted trillions in the course of 2009, combined with the bailout of the auto companies at the expense of the autoworkers, who suffered massive cuts in benefits and a 50 percent cut in pay for new hires, rubber-stamped by the United Auto Workers.

The Obama administration also deported more immigrants than any other, a fact that was raised in a question to Vice President Biden, who confined himself to empty declarations of sympathy for the victims of Trump's persecution, while denying any comparison between Trump and Obama.

Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado attacked Biden for claiming credit for a bipartisan budget deal in 2011 with Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell. Far from a genuine compromise, he said, the deal "was a complete victory for the Tea Party. It extended the Bush tax cuts permanently," as well as putting in place major cuts in social spending which continue to this day. Bennet neglected to mention that he had voted for the deal himself when it passed the Senate by a huge majority.

It was remarkable, under conditions where President Trump himself declared that the United States was only 10 minutes away from launching a major assault on Iran earlier this month, that the 20 Democratic candidates spent almost no time discussing foreign policy.

In the course of four hours, there were only a few minutes devoted to the world outside the United States. The silence on the rest of the world cannot be dismissed as mere parochialism.

Many of the Democratic presidential candidates are deeply implicated in either the policy-making or combat operations of US imperialism. The 20 candidates include two who were deployed as military officers to Iraq and Afghanistan, Buttigieg and Tulsi Gabbard; Biden, vice president for eight years and the former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; and five senators who are members of high-profile national security committees: Harris and Bennet on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand on the Armed Services Committee, and Cory Booker on the Foreign Relations Committee.

If these ladies and gentlemen decide not to engage on foreign policy, the reason is clear: the Democrats know that the American people are adamantly opposed to new military interventions. They therefore seek to conceal the preparations of American imperialism for major wars, whether regional conflicts with Iran, North Korea or Venezuela, or conflicts with nuclear-armed global rivals like China and Russia.

In the handful of comments that were made on foreign policy, the Democratic candidates struck a belligerent note. On Wednesday, four of the ten candidates declared the main global threat to the United States to be China, while New York Mayor Bill de Blasio opted for Russia. Many candidates referred to the need to combat Russian interference in the US election -- recycling the phony claims that Russian "meddling" helped Trump into the White House in 2016.

On the first night, Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, asked to name the greatest global security threat, replied, "The greatest threat that we face is the fact we are at a greater risk of nuclear war today than ever before in history." This remarkable declaration was passed over in silence by the moderators and the other candidates, and the subject was not raised on the second night at all, including by Bernie Sanders.

[Jun 30, 2019] Orwell s 1984 No Longer Reads Like Fiction It s The Reality Of Our Times by Robert Bridge

Highly recommended!
1984, Brave New World, and Idiocracy look more and more like Documentaries now.
Notable quotes:
"... Describing the protagonist Winston Smith's frugal London flat, he mentions an instrument called a 'telescreen', which sounds strikingly similar to the handheld 'smartphone' that is enthusiastically used by billions of people around the world today. ..."
"... At the same time, the denizens of 1984 were never allowed to forget they were living in a totalitarian surveillance state, under the control of the much-feared Thought Police. Massive posters with the slogan 'Big Brother is Watching You' were as prevalent as our modern-day advertising billboards. Today, however, such polite warnings about surveillance would seem redundant, as reports of unauthorized spying still gets the occasional lazy nod in the media now and then. ..."
"... In fact, just in time for 1984's anniversary, it has been reported that the National Security Agency (NSA) has once again been illicitly collecting records on telephone calls and text messages placed by US citizens. ..."
"... Another method of control alluded to in 1984 fell under a system of speech known as 'Newspeak', which attempted to reduce the language to 'doublethink', with the ulterior motive of controlling ideas and thoughts. ..."
"... Another Newspeak term, known as 'facecrime', provides yet another striking parallel to our modern situation. Defined as "to wear an improper expression on your face (to look incredulous when a victory was announced, for example) was itself a punishable offense." It would be difficult for the modern reader to hear the term 'facecrime' and not connect it with 'Facebook', the social media platform that regularly censors content creators for expressing thoughts it finds 'hateful' or inappropriate. ..."
"... 'Hate speech' is precisely one of those delightfully vague, subjective terms with no real meaning that one would expect to find in the Newspeak style guide. Short of threatening the life of a person or persons, individuals should be free to criticize others without fear of reprisal, least of all from the state, which should be in the business of protecting free speech at all cost. ..."
"... Another modern phenomenon that would be right at home in Orwell's Oceania is the obsession with political correctness, which is defined as "the avoidance of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against." But since so many people today identify with some marginalized group, this has made the intelligent discussion of controversial ideas – not least of all on US college campuses , of all places – exceedingly difficult, if not downright dangerous. Orwell must be looking down on all of this madness with much surprise, since he provided the world with the best possible warning to prevent it. ..."
Jun 30, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Robert Bridge, op-ed via RT.com,

70 years ago, the British writer George Orwell captured the essence of technology in its ability to shape our destinies in his seminal work, 1984. The tragedy of our times is that we have failed to heed his warning.

No matter how many times I read 1984, the feeling of total helplessness and despair that weaves itself throughout Orwell's masterpiece never fails to take me by surprise. Although usually referred to as a 'dystopian futuristic novel', it is actually a horror story on a scale far greater than anything that has emerged from the minds of prolific writers like Stephen King or Dean Koontz. The reason is simple. The nightmare world that the protagonist Winston Smith inhabits, a place called Oceania, is all too easily imaginable. Man, as opposed to some imaginary clown or demon, is the evil monster.

In the very first pages of the book, Orwell demonstrates an uncanny ability to foresee future trends in technology. Describing the protagonist Winston Smith's frugal London flat, he mentions an instrument called a 'telescreen', which sounds strikingly similar to the handheld 'smartphone' that is enthusiastically used by billions of people around the world today.

Orwell describes the ubiquitous device as an "oblong metal plaque like a dulled mirror" affixed to the wall that "could be dimmed, but there was no way of shutting it off completely." Sound familiar?

It is through this gadget that the rulers of Oceania are able to monitor the actions of its citizens every minute of every day.

At the same time, the denizens of 1984 were never allowed to forget they were living in a totalitarian surveillance state, under the control of the much-feared Thought Police. Massive posters with the slogan 'Big Brother is Watching You' were as prevalent as our modern-day advertising billboards. Today, however, such polite warnings about surveillance would seem redundant, as reports of unauthorized spying still gets the occasional lazy nod in the media now and then.

In fact, just in time for 1984's anniversary, it has been reported that the National Security Agency (NSA) has once again been illicitly collecting records on telephone calls and text messages placed by US citizens. This latest invasion of privacy has been casually dismissed as an "error" after an unnamed telecommunications firm handed over call records the NSA allegedly "hadn't requested" and "weren't approved" by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. In 2013, former CIA employee Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the NSA's intrusive surveillance operations, yet somehow the government agency is able to continue – with the help of the corporate sector – vacuuming up the private information of regular citizens.

Another method of control alluded to in 1984 fell under a system of speech known as 'Newspeak', which attempted to reduce the language to 'doublethink', with the ulterior motive of controlling ideas and thoughts. For example, the term 'joycamp', a truncated term every bit as euphemistic as the 'PATRIOT Act', was used to describe a forced labor camp, whereas a 'doubleplusgood duckspeaker' was used to praise an orator who 'quacked' correctly with regards to the political situation.

Another Newspeak term, known as 'facecrime', provides yet another striking parallel to our modern situation. Defined as "to wear an improper expression on your face (to look incredulous when a victory was announced, for example) was itself a punishable offense." It would be difficult for the modern reader to hear the term 'facecrime' and not connect it with 'Facebook', the social media platform that regularly censors content creators for expressing thoughts it finds 'hateful' or inappropriate. What social media users need is an Orwellian lesson in 'crimestop', which Orwell defined as "the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought." Those so-called unacceptable 'dangerous thoughts' were determined not by the will of the people, of course, but by their rulers.

And yes, it gets worse. Just this week, Mark Zuckerberg's 'private company' agreed to give French authorities the "identification data" of Facebook users suspected of spreading 'hate speech' on the platform, in what would be an unprecedented move on the part of Silicon Valley.

'Hate speech' is precisely one of those delightfully vague, subjective terms with no real meaning that one would expect to find in the Newspeak style guide. Short of threatening the life of a person or persons, individuals should be free to criticize others without fear of reprisal, least of all from the state, which should be in the business of protecting free speech at all cost.

Another modern phenomenon that would be right at home in Orwell's Oceania is the obsession with political correctness, which is defined as "the avoidance of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against." But since so many people today identify with some marginalized group, this has made the intelligent discussion of controversial ideas – not least of all on US college campuses , of all places – exceedingly difficult, if not downright dangerous. Orwell must be looking down on all of this madness with much surprise, since he provided the world with the best possible warning to prevent it.

For anyone who entertains expectations for a happy ending in 1984, be prepared for serious disappointment (spoiler alert, for the few who have somehow not read this book). Although Winston Smith manages to finally experience love, the brief romance – like a delicate flower that was able to take root amid a field of asphalt – is crushed by the authorities with shocking brutality. Not satisfied with merely destroying the relationship, however, Smith is forced to betray his 'Julia' after undergoing the worst imaginable torture at the 'Ministry of Love'.

The book ends with the words, "He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother." Will we too declare, like Winston Smith, our love for 'Big Brother' above all else, or will we emerge victorious against the forces of a technological tyranny that appears to be just over the horizon? Or is Orwell's 1984 just really good fiction and not the instruction manual for tyrants many have come to fear it is?

An awful lot is riding on our answers to those questions, and time is running out.

[Jun 30, 2019] Paradigms Flip as Trump and Tulsi Emerge as the Winners of the Democratic Party Debate -- Strategic Culture

Notable quotes:
"... Connected to Trump as the 'winner', it was Tulsi Gabbard who stood out from the rest of the candidates. Interestingly, reliable polling data just out from the Drudge Report shows that Gabbard emerged as the winner of the debate on ideas and policies overall. She won some 40% of the vote, and when compared to the candidates whom the other 60% was divided, it was a landslide. ..."
"... Before anyone dismisses Gabbard, it's critical to understand that mainstream media lost most of its credibility over the lat election. This is the age of underdogs and dark horses ..."
"... When the subject moved to Afghanistan and occupation, Gabbard was on confident and really on fire. This is significant because while historically Gabbard's anti-imperialist line on occupation would be associated with (normally later broken) Democratic Party talking points, it was here that Trump defeated Clinton at the polls, when Trump won the anti-war vote in 2016. ..."
"... Gabbard destroyed Ryan on Afghanistan, and Booker's attempt to attack Gabbard fell tremendously short and felt very artificial, saying that Gabbard's position on LGBTQ 'isn't enough', but then switching incoherently to the subject of African Americans, Jim Crow, and lynchings – a misfire and very much off-topic. ..."
"... Trump's hardline on Cuba and Venezuela is appealing to the Florida wing of the Latino constituency (to the extent we can speak of a single constituency), and this is where the Democratic Party understands it needs to fight in order to win Florida. ..."
"... There hasn't been a Republican candidate to win the Presidency without winning Florida in many generations, and the Republican victory of Rick Scott in the state's most expensive senatorial race against Democrat incumbent Bill Nelson in 2018 shows that Republicans are aiming to win Florida in 2020. The Democratic Party concern is palpable and well founded. ..."
"... At face value, Trump and Democrats seem to be 6's and 7's over immigration. But when we really look at what the real deal is, we find yet another alignment of the Democrat's position to that of Trump's. How can this be? ..."
"... To understand this is to understand the overall trajectory now that the US empire is all but finished. Its historical aim now is to be able to disentangle from the Mid-East, a prominent Trump position which used to be Obama's until it wasn't, and on the Democratic side today is only being carried forward by Tulsi Gabbard. The so-called neo-isolationism of the US isn't so much that, as it is a return to the Monroe Doctrine. This author has written about this several years before Trump took office, in the article ' From Pax Americana to Pan Americana '. Here this author argued that the US must transform from a Sea Power into a Land Power. This isn't isolationism, but a right-sized regional hegemon, a regional hegemon for the Americas. ..."
"... Trump's rhetoric on the immigration question and Mexico has never failed to mention that the mid-to-long term solution is not only that Mexico enforces its own borders to its south, but that the Mexican economy grows – and this requires investment. ..."
"... While Trump is nominally strict on immigration, it was under Obama that the US deported the most migrants in history. This is a fact that Democrats ignore in their talking points and attacks on Trump's 'inhuman policy' that tears families apart. And so in a strange departure from what might otherwise occur to us, it was Obama's policy that was worse by the numbers for pro-migration advocates, and it's been Trump who has openly called for investment into Latin America with a named reason being to stem the migration 'crisis'. ..."
"... But this Marshall Plan for Latin America was already introduced by none other than Mexican President AMLO himself, in talks with Trump. ..."
"... What Tulsi Gabbard, the clear winner of the debate, will do next is to appropriate Julian Castro's 'Marshall Plan' line on Mexico and Central America. It dog-whistles numerous Trump talking points in relation to Mexico, as well as taking a 'less migration is good migration' approach to what is no doubt a real problem, without engaging in reactionary attacks on the migrants themselves. To get 'to the source' of the problem, as Castro explains, requires investment into Latin America. ..."
"... Gabbard is the dark horse, and along with Yang (in the second night's debate) will no doubt pull ahead of the conventionally pre-selected winners that were supposed to be Booker, Sanders, Warren and especially Biden. We will see much more focus on Gabbard now in virtual spaces, even while the mainstream media will continue to wrongly focus on Biden and Booker. Booker played his left-most game in the debate, but as prospective voters sort him on questions as far and ranging as Palestine, war, and labor (economy) – they will find him sorely lacking. ..."
"... With 60% of American generally supporting Trump's approach to the economy, these are his highest approval ratings, and ones which Americans care about and highly prioritize. Gabbard would be wise to approach the question of distribution, winners and losers of the economic boom, and focus on the 1% vs. the 99%. Doing so will help her move beyond her initial base of support as the anti-war candidate. ..."
Jun 30, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org

The single truth that many mainstream Democrats will have a very difficult time acknowledging coming out of the June 26 th Democratic Party Presidential Debate, is that Donald Trump's positions on China and Latin America have become a Democratic Party line. Is this is a mere matter of pandering to the polling data on questions like Latin America and China? Even if just that, it would be a Trump success in and of itself.

But it also raises whether Trump has indeed accomplished more – a tectonic shift, a sea-change in elite policy formation focus from Russia and the Mid-east over to China and Latin America. The ties between the DNC and China still appear too strong, and so the reality would seem to tend to rotate around a pandering to the polling data.

From China to solving the migration problem through a 'Marshall Plan' for Latin America and more, Trump's nominal views on these questions found expression as dominating themes in the debate.

In the war of positions, this is a victory for Trump.

The June 26th Democratic Party Presidential Debate was astounding in its representation of a major paradigm shift in the United States.

TULSI GABBARD COMES AWAY THE WINNER

Connected to Trump as the 'winner', it was Tulsi Gabbard who stood out from the rest of the candidates. Interestingly, reliable polling data just out from the Drudge Report shows that Gabbard emerged as the winner of the debate on ideas and policies overall. She won some 40% of the vote, and when compared to the candidates whom the other 60% was divided, it was a landslide.

Before anyone dismisses Gabbard, it's critical to understand that mainstream media lost most of its credibility over the lat election. This is the age of underdogs and dark horses

When the subject moved to Afghanistan and occupation, Gabbard was on confident and really on fire. This is significant because while historically Gabbard's anti-imperialist line on occupation would be associated with (normally later broken) Democratic Party talking points, it was here that Trump defeated Clinton at the polls, when Trump won the anti-war vote in 2016.

Worth noting as well as that in the aftermath of the debate last night, Gabbard's new social media campaign on Twitter features her name scrolling across the bottom of the screen in undeniable Trump 2016 campaign font. Coincidence? Nothing in politics is coincidental – nothing.

Gabbard destroyed Ryan on Afghanistan, and Booker's attempt to attack Gabbard fell tremendously short and felt very artificial, saying that Gabbard's position on LGBTQ 'isn't enough', but then switching incoherently to the subject of African Americans, Jim Crow, and lynchings – a misfire and very much off-topic.

CHINA

Of the ten candidates debating, four responded that China was the primary threat to the US – but this was the single-most consistent answer. Delaney, Klobuchar, Castro, and Ryan all answered this way.

This was a win for Trump's entire line for the last thirty something years.

De Blasio stood out as the lone Russiagater, definitely representing the mindset of his New York City electorate and the coastal media establishment.

Gabbard, meanwhile, was wise to name ecological threats as this helped her maintain her position as an anti-war candidate.

The pivot to a focus on China is much less dangerous than the focus on Russia. TheUS does not really believe it can challenge China in a military sense, and their anti-Chinese rhetoric, while full of sword rattling and imperial bravado, amounts to noise and little more. There is some hope in American quarters about curtailing China's economic strength, but the focus on China appears more as a question of a state requiring the spectre of an anthropomorphized threat in the abstract, in order to justify the existence of a state and a military budget, and to make a foreigner responsible for matters of wealth disparity and a lack of employment opportunities in the US – a prominent tactic and talking point in market-driven societies based in private property norms.

But the pivot to a focus on China was tremendous and not expected, given the relationship historically between China and the Democratic Party – a friendly one.

Until now, it's been just the conservative corners of the alt-light in the US-centric internet who view the 'rising Chinese threat' as a serious concern for the US. This trope was primarily focused on the twin threat of Chinese rising military prowess and its population size, along with the US practice of outsourcing American jobs to China – a policy that saw short term consumer savings, and mid-to-long term slashes to US wages and employment. It created a trade imbalance which the US can only resolving by defaulting on and then drawing its guns to force a new deal.

Taken all together, this means that whoever Trump gets into the big race with, it will not be a question of 'whether' China is a threat, but how to 'best contain' the Chinese threat. This is a victory from 'go' for Trump.

LATIN AMERICA

Here is another major subject where Trump's influence on the entire discourse has prevailed, though it's a little less obvious and requires a minor bifurcation to reveal.

We are of course obliged to mention that the location of the debate in Miami Florida was strategic given its representation of Latinos in the US – traditionally Cuban and more recently Venezuelan Republicans as hardline anti-communists and cold-warriors, who see their children increasingly becoming more 'center-left' as they have Americanized and become 'Latinos' in the US. They are still at odds geopolitically with Latinos, primarily Mexican-Americans from the American southwest, who tend to be friendlier to socialist ideas and have represented the far-left of the Democratic Party on economic issues as well as anti-imperialism, even if sharing with Cuban-Americans some more socially conservative values. This communitarian axis of Latinos in the US, however, has grown and become a real force of its own.

Trump's hardline on Cuba and Venezuela is appealing to the Florida wing of the Latino constituency (to the extent we can speak of a single constituency), and this is where the Democratic Party understands it needs to fight in order to win Florida.

There hasn't been a Republican candidate to win the Presidency without winning Florida in many generations, and