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The mainstream media of the US is owned lock, stock, and barrel by the military
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
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Due to the size the introduction was moves to a separate page
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 soty if rise of power in influnce of intellinces againces and forst of all CIA, FBI and NSA is the key part of the story of the US military industrial complex.
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.
For the list of top articles see Recommended Links section
|"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?
Star Wars filmmaker George Lucas
May 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com2 SHARES
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) said on Sunday that reports claiming pro-putin Russophiles giving her 2020 presidential campaign a boost is "fake news," though she added that conflict with the Kremlin is not productive.
Speaking to ABC' s George Stephanopoulos, Gabbard said that deteriorating relationships with nuclear-armed countries such as Russia and China "has brought us to a very dangerous point," reports The Hill . She added that, if elected, she would "end these counterproductive and wasteful regime change wars ," and would " work to end this new Cold War and nuclear arms race. "
On Friday, the Daily Beast published a story claiming that Gabbard "is quickly becoming the top candidate for Democrats who think the Russian leader is misunderstood," based on people who had donated to her campaign. (We somehow missed the Daily Beast article on Hillary's alleged Saudi donors in 2016, but we digress).
Donors to her campaign in the first quarter of the year included: Stephen F. Cohen, a Russian studies professor at New York University and prominent Kremlin sympathizer; Sharon Tennison, a vocal Putin supporter who nonetheless found herself detained by Russian authorities in 2016; and an employee of the Kremlin-backed broadcaster RT, who appears to have donated under the alias "Goofy Grapes." - Daily Beast
On Sunday, Stephanopoulos asked Gabbard about the Beast article, and noted that she met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, as well as her defense of Russia's military presence in Syria, and her comments suggesting that Russian election interference was on par with American election meddling around the world.
"Is Putin a threat to national security?" he asked.
"You now it's unfortunately you're citing that article, George, because it's a whole lot of fake news . What I'm focused on is what's in the best interest of the American people? What's in the best interest of national security? Keeping American people safe," said Gabbard. "And what I'm pointing out consistently, time and time again, is our continued wasteful regime change wars have been counterproductive to the interests of the American people and the approach this administration has taken in essentially choosing conflict ... has been counterproductive
BarkingCat , 39 minutes ago linkGreg , 31 minutes ago link
I had donated to her. I want to see her in the democratic debates.
Yes my only reason for doing so is because she is anti-was and wants to improve relations with Russia.
There is nothing beneficial about the current aggressive posture towards Russia and most other countries.
It will be very revealing how the other democrats deal with her position.samuraitrader , 19 minutes ago link
I continue to support her for that same reason. If there are like minded people here on ZH consider donating just $1 as that donation will help get her on stage where her anti-war thoughts can be heard.wadalt , 59 minutes ago link
ditto. Trump said in the debates that "I want to be friends with everyone, including Russia." The rest is history. The USA wehrmacht is going after Tulsi now. We cannot have peace.Son of Captain Nemo , 1 hour ago link
regime change wars have been counterproductive to the interests of the American people...
... but very good for APARTHEID Israhell.dunlin , 1 hour ago link
Have an idea for you on how to show true leadership and finish what the Orange "six-sided star" liar said he would pick up ( https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/11/14/trump-im-reopening-911-investigation/ ) when he began his presidency and then... well... lied to become a treasonous bag of **** just like the ones that preceded him!...
Even Vlad Putin and the rest of the Russian Federation refuse to "touch it". And if you did. You would be the only representative in the U.S. House and Senate let alone the U.S. Federal, State and local government(s) for that matter to do so.
All you would have to say is "we need an understanding why 2 planes demolished 3 building(s) at "Ground Zero" more then 18 years ago, and why the 9/11 Commission never mentioned the Solomon Brothers Building 7 in it's official report?... I (Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard) certainly want to know!... Especially wearing the uniform for what I believed was the reason I was given for invading Afghanistan and Iraq and murdering over 3 million people?... And I want to tell the American people ultimately "why" Building 7 was omitted along with too many other details that Robert Mueller famously dismissed by saying only that " mistakes were made " ...
I've written to you several times about showing the courage to be the only politician since Senator Wellstone to pick up where he left off and support the 13 year endeavors of this organization ( https://www.ae911truth.org/ ) to demand an investigation of the fact(s) now that has the backing of a Grand Jury by signing it's petition!...
But you won't. Because you are like every other "200lbs of ****" in a 100lbs bag that walks the halls of the Longworth carrying the water for the "Tribe"!
Keep telling yourself surfer **** that the job will get both easier and better by lying about that day and what it's done in it's wake to every institution and business in the United States of America let alone the laws of the land just like your mentor the Langley Bath House "boy"!...spoonful , 1 hour ago link
Yes, Putin knows that an island of sanity and decency in a cesspit of bigotry and firearms is bound to be blown to pieces before she has a chance to deliver. I fear for Tulsi even now.Benito_Camela , 1 hour ago link
She sounds like the Trump of the 2020 campaignBenito_Camela , 1 hour ago link
Yes, the Russia nonsense is FAKE NEWS. So why is Trump allowing the Israelis, a country that hates the United States, and which has attacked us at least twice (USS Liberty, 9/11/2001), to dictate our foreign policy? Israel is the real enemy!!
Let's look at a quote from one of the former employees of the Mossad front operation "Urban Moving Systems" (likely also the same people who planted the explosives at WTC) had to say about his time there:
In addition to the strange nature of some of the Israelis' possessions in the van and on their person, the company that employed them -- Urban Moving Systems -- was of special interest to the FBI, which concluded that the company was likely a "fraudulent operation." Upon a search of the company's premises, the FBI noted that "little evidence of a legitimate business operation was found." The FBI report also noted that there were an "unusually large number of computers relative to the number of employees for such a fairly small business" and that "further investigation identified several pseudo-names or aliases associated with Urban Moving Systems and its operations."
The FBI presence at the Urban Moving Systems search site drew the attention of the local media and was later reported on both television and in the local press. A former Urban Moving Systems employee later contacted the Newark Division with information indicating that he had quit his employment with Urban Moving Systems as a result of the high amount of anti-American sentiment present among Urban's employees. The former employee stated that an Israeli employee of Urban had even once remarked, "Give us twenty years and we'll take over your media and destroy your country" (page 37 of the FBI report ).
This kind of thing makes one kind of hope for a war in which Israel is bombed back to the stone age, which is clearly where these evil, psychopathic Zionist filth belong!
This is a long article, but read it all the way through. It's proof that Israel was indeed behind 9/11 and that they had numerous operatives in the country who were gleeful about it, having set up video cameras and celebrated the day before by taking a photo of one of the operatives holding a lit cigarette lighter up to the horizon....right in front of the still-standing WTC twin towers.
For further reference:
And look at this. You won't see this in the MSM any time soon:
In addition to Urban Moving Systems, another moving company, Classic International Movers, became of interest in connection with the investigation into the "Dancing Israelis," which led to the arrest and detention of four Israeli nationals who worked for this separate moving company. The FBI's Miami Division had alerted the Newark Division that Classic International Movers was believed to have been used by one of the 19 alleged 9/11 hijackers before the attack, and one of the "Dancing Israelis" had the number for Classic International Movers written in a notebook that was seized at the time of his arrest. The report further states that one of the Israelis of Classic International Movers who was arrested "was visibly disturbed by the Agents' questioning regarding his personal email account."
May 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Adam Dick via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity,
Former Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, who was chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell in the George W. Bush administration, warns in a new The Real News interview with host Sharmini Peries that the United States government is driving down a "highway to war" with China -- a war for which Wilkerson sees no sound justification.
The drive toward war is not undertaken in response to a real threat posed by China to the people of America. Instead, argues Wilkerson, the US government is moving toward war for reasons related to money for both the military and the broader military-industrial complex, as well to advance President Donald Trump's domestic political goals.
Wilkerson, who is a member of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity's Academic Board, elaborates on the US military's money-seeking motivation to advance the new China scare, stating:
All of this right now, first and foremost, is a budget ploy. They want more money.
And that's largely because their personnel costs are just eating their lunch. And, second, it's an attempt to develop - and this has something to do with money too of course - another threat, another cold war, another feeding system .
The military just hooks up like it is hooking up to an intravenous, you know, an IV system and the money just pours out-slush fund money, appropriated money, everything else.
More broadly, Wilkerson pegs the ramping up of confrontation with China as "all about keeping the [military-industrial] complex alive" that Wilkerson explains "the military was scared to death would disappear as we began to pay the American people back" a peace dividend at the end of the cold war. US government efforts against terrorism, explains Wilkerson, have also been used to ensure the money keeps flowing.
Watch Wilkerson's complete interview here:
* * *
Please donate to the Ron Paul Institute
May 19, 2019 | www.youtube.com
TheMan WhoLaughs , 3 days agoGordon Adams , 2 days ago (edited)
No wars for Israel. They stole that land, let them fight for it, not us.Isiah Steele , 3 days ago
We were all fooled to invade Iraq. Now, the.very.same.people (!) are trying to fool us into invading Iran. Fool me twice...Aka 47 , 1 day ago (edited)
Are you kidding? Would you sit down with someone who boldly admit that he lies, cheats, and steals? He left out kills!!!ALEX GITAHI , 3 days ago
They sanctioned Russia, pushed a side, demonizing Russia and now they want Russia support with out no shame ???? Unbelievable.Nazia Hasan , 3 days ago
America cant stay more than 10yrs without destroying a countryArundas Haridas , 3 days ago
Even Russia and EU denied to attack Iran....but only Arabs will agree with usavesko petrovic , 3 days ago
EU,Russia,India,China are with Iran!!!Mr.Trump must recheck the obama nuclear agreement with Iran!Kourosh Ghaaedi , 2 days ago
No Pompeo, we are looking that US run as normal country.Wolfgang Weiss , 3 days ago
BEFORE ELECTION Mr Trump has promised to work for US-american interrest BUT since he is President , he is working for israeli-interrest and has forgotten interrest of us-americans.Reza JP , 1 day ago
This American war hawk is lying, cheating and stealing...... What more to say?Dwi Putra Wahyu Kusuma , 2 days ago
the scums that lied to us about Iraq, Lybia, Afghanistan and lie through their teeth every minute, lie again? what a surpriseBadara Sow , 3 days ago
United States of Israel always amaze us with their high level of hypocrisyPeter Wang , 3 days ago
Half of the world 🗺 is under American 🇺🇸 sanction damn..Chapman Kol , 3 days ago
The USA is going in the direction of banana republic!George In S.C. 4 , 3 days ago (edited)
It's Saudi Arabia that should be sanctioned or bombed.Shipbuilding Expert , 3 days ago
What?!? "You didn't get the war started......You're Fired! WE, the People, Do Not want ANY Wars with Iran or others. Stay prayerful my friends, very prayerful.Seid mohamed , 3 days ago
The agressive behavior of the USA / Israel is puked on by the rest of the world.vahishta09 , 3 days ago
America will be a failed state in every aspect, and Iran will be more stronger than ever because Iran is with China, Russia and Turkey.Let there be Peace On God's Earth , 3 days ago
Pumpeo is a sworn evangeliozionist .he admitted recently ( youtube : pumpeo at texas A&M speech ), he been trained to lie , cheating and steeling and he has a bible on his desk !!!!! This guy is a professional lier.
The Russians have their own minds unlike some European countries which follow the US blindly.
May 19, 2019 | dissidentvoice.orgAn honest and accurate analysis of the 2016 election is not just an academic exercise. It is very relevant to the current election campaign. Yet over the past two years, Russiagate has dominated media and political debate and largely replaced a serious analysis of the factors leading to Trump's victory. The public has been flooded with the various elements of the story that Russia intervened and Trump colluded with them. The latter accusation was negated by the Mueller Report but elements of the Democratic Party and media refuse to move on. Now it's the lofty but vague accusations of "obstruction of justice" along with renewed dirt digging. To some it is a "constitutional crisis", but to many it looks like more partisan fighting.
Russiagate has distracted from pressing issues
Russiagate has distracted attention and energy away from crucial and pressing issues such as income inequality, the housing and homeless crisis, inadequate healthcare, militarized police, over-priced college education, impossible student loans and deteriorating infrastructure. The tax structure was changed to benefit wealthy individuals and corporations with little opposition. The Trump administration has undermined environmental laws, civil rights, national parks and women's equality while directing ever more money to military contractors. Working class Americans are struggling with rising living costs, low wages, student debt, and racism. They constitute the bulk of the military which is spread all over the world, sustaining continuing occupations in war zones including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and parts of Africa. While all this has been going on, the Democratic establishment and much of the media have been focused on Russiagate, the Mueller Report, and related issues.
Immediately after the 2016 Election
In the immediate wake of the 2016 election there was some forthright analysis. Bernie Sanders said , "What Trump did very effectively is tap the angst and the anger and the hurt and pain that millions of working class people are feeling. What he said is, 'I Donald Trump am going to be a champion of the working class I know you are working longer hours for lower wages, seeing your jobs going to China, can't afford childcare, can't afford to send your kids to college. I Donald Trump alone can solve these problems.' What you have is a guy who utilized the media, manipulated the media very well. He is an entertainer, he is a professional at that. But I will tell you that I think there needs to be a profound change in the way the Democratic Party does business. It is not good enough to have a liberal elite. I come from the white working class and I am deeply humiliated that the Democratic Party cannot talk to the people where I came from."
Days after the election, the Washington Post published an op-ed titled " Hillary Clinton Lost. Bernie Sanders could have won. We chose the wrong candidate ." The author analyzed the results saying , "Donald Trump's stunning victory is less surprising when we remember a simple fact: Hillary Clinton is a deeply unpopular politician." The writer analyzed why Sanders would have prevailed against Trump and predicted "there will be years of recriminations."
Russiagate replaced Recrimination
But instead of analysis, the media and Democrats have emphasized foreign interference. There is an element of self-interest in this narrative. As reported in "Russian Roulette" (p127), when the Clinton team first learned that Wikileaks was going to release damaging Democratic National Party emails in June 2016, they "brought in outside consultants to plot a PR strategy for handling the news of the hack the story would advance a narrative that benefited the Clinton campaign and the Democrats: The Russians were interfering in the US election, presumably to assist Trump."
After losing the election, Team Clinton doubled down on this PR strategy. As described in the book Shattered (p. 395) the day after the election campaign managers assembled the communication team "to engineer the case that the election wasn't entirely on the up and up . they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument."
This narrative has been remarkably effective in supplanting critical review of the election.
One Year After the Election
The Center for American Progress (CAP) was founded by John Podesta and is closely aligned with the Democratic Party. In November 2017 they produced an analysis titled " Voter Trends in 2016: A Final Examination ". Interestingly, there is not a single reference to Russia. Key conclusions are that "it is critical for Democrats to attract more support from the white non-college-educated voting bloc" and "Democrats must go beyond the 'identity politics' versus 'economic populism' debate to create a genuine cross-racial, cross-class coalition " It suggests that Wall Street has the same interests as Main Street and the working class.
A progressive team produced a very different analysis titled Autopsy: The Democratic Party in Crisis . They did this because "the (Democratic) party's national leadership has shown scant interest in addressing many of the key factors that led to electoral disaster." The report analyzes why the party turnout was less than expected and why traditional Democratic Party supporters are declining. It includes recommendations to end the party's undemocratic practices, expand voting rights and counter voter suppression. The report contains details and specific recommendations lacking in the CAP report. It includes an overall analysis which says "The Democratic Party should disentangle itself – ideologically and financially – from Wall Street, the military-industrial complex and other corporate interests that put profits ahead of public needs."
Two Years After the Election
In October 2018, the progressive team produced a follow-up report titled " Autopsy: One Year Later ". It says, "The Democratic Party has implemented modest reforms, but corporate power continues to dominate the party."
In a recent phone interview, the editor of that report, Norman Solomon, said it appears some in the Democratic Party establishment would rather lose the next election to Republicans than give up control of the party.
What really happened in 2016?
Beyond the initial critiques and "Autopsy" research, there has been little discussion, debate or lessons learned about the 2016 election. Politics has been dominated by Russiagate.
Why did so many working class voters switch from Obama to Trump? A major reason is because Hillary Clinton is associated with Wall Street and the economic policies of her husband President Bill Clinton. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), promoted by Bill Clinton, resulted in huge decline in manufacturing jobs in swing states such as Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Of course, this would influence their thinking and votes. Hillary Clinton's support for the Trans Pacific Partnership was another indication of her policies.
What about the low turnout from the African American community? Again, the lack of enthusiasm is rooted in objective reality. Hillary Clinton is associated with "welfare reform" promoted by her husband. According to this study from the University of Michigan, "As of the beginning of 2011, about 1.46 million U.S. households with about 2.8 million children were surviving on $2 or less in income per person per day in a given month The prevalence of extreme poverty rose sharply between 1996 and 2011. This growth has been concentrated among those groups that were most affected by the 1996 welfare reform. "
Over the past several decades there has been a huge increase in prison incarceration due to increasingly strict punishments and mandatory prison sentences. Since the poor and working class have been the primary victims of welfare and criminal justice "reforms" initiated or sustained through the Clinton presidency, it's understandable why they were not keen on Hillary Clinton. The notion that low turnout was due to African Americans being unduly influenced by Russian Facebook posts is seen as "bigoted paternalism" by blogger Teodrose Fikremanian who says, "The corporate recorders at the NY Times would have us believe that the reason African-Americans did not uniformly vote for Hillary Clinton and the Democrats is because they were too dimwitted to think for themselves and were subsequently manipulated by foreign agents. This yellow press drivel is nothing more than propaganda that could have been written by George Wallace."
How Clinton became the Nominee
Since the 2016 election there has been little public discussion of the process whereby Hillary Clinton became the Democratic Party nominee. It's apparent she was pre-ordained by the Democratic Party elite. As exposed in the DNC emails, there was bias and violations of the party obligations at the highest levels. On top of that, it should now be clear that the pundits, pollsters and election experts were out of touch, made poor predictions and decisions.
Bernie Sanders would have been a much stronger candidate. He would have won the same party loyalists who voted for Clinton. His message attacking Wall Street would have resonated with significant sections of the working class and poor who were unenthusiastic (to say the least) about Clinton. An indication is that in critical swing states such as Wisconsin and Michigan Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary race.
Clinton had no response for Trump's attacks on multinational trade agreements and his false promises of serving the working class. Sanders would have had vastly more appeal to working class and minorities. His primary campaign showed his huge appeal to youth and third party voters. In short, it's likely that Sanders would have trounced Trump. Where is the accountability for how Clinton ended up as the Democratic Party candidate?
The Relevance of 2016 to 2020
The 2016 election is highly relevant today. Already we see the same pattern of establishment bias and "horse race" journalism which focuses on fund-raising, polls and elite-biased "electability" instead of dealing with real issues, who has solutions, who has appeal to which groups.
Mainstream media and pundits are already promoting Joe Biden. Syndicated columnist EJ Dionne, a Democratic establishment favorite, is indicative. In his article " Can Biden be the helmsman who gets us past the storm? " Dionne speaks of the "strength he (Biden) brings" and the "comfort he creates". In the same vein, Andrew Sullivan pushes Biden in his article " Why Joe Biden Might be the Best to Beat Trump ". Sullivan thinks that Biden has appeal in the working class because he joked about claims he is too 'hands on'. But while Biden may be tight with AFL-CIO leadership, he is closely associated with highly unpopular neoliberal trade deals which have resulted in manufacturing decline.
The establishment bias for Biden is matched by the bias against Democratic Party candidates who directly challenge Wall Street and US foreign policy. On Wall Street, that would be Bernie Sanders. On foreign policy, that is Tulsi Gabbard. With a military background Tulsi Gabbard has broad appeal, an inclusive message and a uniquely sharp critique of US "regime change" foreign policy. She calls out media pundits like Fareed Zakaria for goading Trump to invade Venezuela. In contrast with Rachel Maddow taunting John Bolton and Mike Pompeo to be MORE aggressive, Tulsi Gabbard has been denouncing Trump's collusion with Saudi Arabia and Israel's Netanyahu, saying it's not in US interests. Gabbard's anti-interventionist anti-occupation perspective has significant support from US troops. A recent poll indicates that military families want complete withdrawal from Afghanistan and Syria. It seems conservatives have become more anti-war than liberals.
This points to another important yet under-discussed lesson from 2016: a factor in Trump's victory was that he campaigned as an anti-war candidate against the hawkish Hillary Clinton. As pointed out here , "Donald Trump won more votes from communities with high military casualties than from similar communities which suffered fewer casualties."
Instead of pointing out that Trump has betrayed his anti-war campaign promises, corporate media (and some Democratic Party outlets) seem to be undermining the candidate with the strongest anti-war message. An article at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) says, " Corporate media target Gabbard for her Anti-Interventionism, a word they can barely pronounce ."
Russiagate has distracted most Democrats from analyzing how they lost in 2016. It has given them the dubious belief that it was because of foreign interference. They have failed to analyze or take stock of the consequences of DNC bias, the preference for Wall Street over working class concerns, and the failure to challenge the military industrial complex and foreign policy based on 'regime change' interventions.
There needs to be more analysis and lessons learned from the 2016 election to avoid a repeat of that disaster. As indicated in the Autopsy , there needs to be a transparent and fair campaign for nominee based on more than establishment and Wall Street favoritism. There also needs to be consideration of which candidates reach beyond the partisan divide and can energize and advance the interests of the majority of Americans rather than the elite. The most crucial issues and especially US military and foreign policy need to be seriously debated.
Blaming an outside power is a good way to prevent self analysis and positive change. It's gone on far too long.
Rick Sterling is an investigative journalist who grew up in Canada but currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org . Read other articles by Rick .
May 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Blooming Barricade , May 17, 2019 3:32:07 PM | linkA bit off topic, I thought b and barflies would find it in their wheelhouse...
French researchers have completed their Map of Neoconservative Networks. It's interactive and gives links to each neocon/neocon group. Most of who you would expect feature prominently: Bill Kristol, Paul Wolfowitz, BHL, but it also connects neoconservatives to the Great Replacement theorists showing strong links between them and fascists.
Along similar lines, Swiss Propaganda Research released the Media Navagator earlier this year. b will be happy to know that MoA ranks in the hard anti-establishment camp alongside MintPress and the WSWS. There is also a European version
May 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
In view of the latest revelations from the leaked report, which seem to prove that at least some elements of the Douma "chemical attack" were entirely staged, we want to take look back at the chaotic events of Spring 2018.
- What was the agenda behind the Douma false flag?
- Why was the US response seemingly token and ineffective?
- Why was the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson fired?
- What agenda tied the Skripal case to the Douma attack?
The following is an extract from an article by Catte originally published April 14th last year, which takes on a greater weight in light of certain evidence – not only that the Douma attack was faked, but that the OPCW is compromised.
You can read the whole article here .
* * *PRIMARILY UK INITIATIVE?
The neocon faction in the US is usually (and reasonably) regarded as the motivator behind much of the western aggression in the Middle East.
Since at least 2001 and the launch of the "War on Terror" the US has led the way in finding or creating facile excuses to fight oil wars and hegemonic wars and proxy wars in the region. But this time the dynamics look a little different.
This time it really looks as if the UK has been setting the pace of the "response".
The fact (as stated above) that Mattis was apparently telegraphing his own private doubts a)about the verifiability of the attacks, and b)about the dangers of a military response suggests he was a far from enthusiastic partaker in this adventure.
Trump's attitude is harder to gauge. His tweets veered wildly between unhinged threats and apparent efforts at conciliation. But he must have known he would lose (and seemingly has lost) a great part of his natural voter base (who elected him on a no-more-war mandate) by an act of open aggression that threatened confrontation with Russia on the flimsiest of pretexts.
Granted the US has been looking for excuses to intervene ever more overtly in Syria since 2013, and in that sense this Douma "initiative" is a continuation of their longterm policy. It's also true Russia was warning just such a false flag would be attempted in early March. But in the intervening month the situation on the ground has changed so radically that such an attempt no longer made any sense.
A false flag in early March, while pockets of the US proxy army were still holding ground in Ghouta would have enabled a possible offensive in their support which would prevent Ghouta falling entirely into government hands and thereby also maintain the pressure on Damascus. A false flag in early April is all but useless because the US proxy army in the region was completely vanquished and nothing would be gained by an offensive in that place at that time.
You can see why Mattis and others in the administration might be reluctant to take part in the false flag/punitive air strike narrative if they saw nothing currently to be gained to repay the risk. They may have preferred to wait for developments and plan for a more productive way of playing the R2P card in the future.
The US media has been similarly, and uncharacteristically divided and apparently unsure. Tucker Carlson railed against the stupidity of attacking Syria. Commentators on MSNBC were also expressing intense scepticism of the US intent and fear about possible escalation.
The UK govt and media on the other hand has been much more homogeneous in advocating for action. No doubts of the type expressed by Mattis have been heard from the lips of an UK government minister. Even May, a cowardly PM, has been (under how much pressure?) voicing sterling certitude in public that action HAD to be taken.
Couple this with the – as yet unverified – claims by Russia of direct UK involvement in arranging the Douma "attack", and the claims by Syria that the perps are in their custody, and a tentative storyline emerges. It's possible this time there were other considerations in the mix beside the usual need to "be seen to do something" and Trump's perpetual requirement to appease the liberal Russiagaters and lunatic warmongers at home. Maybe this time it was also about helping the UK out of a sticky problem.THE SKRIPAL CONSIDERATION
Probably the only thing we can all broadly agree on about the Skripal narrative is that it manifestly did not go according to plan. However it was intended to play out, it wasn't this way. Since some time in mid to late March it's been clear the entire thing has become little more than an exercise in damage-limitation, leak-plugging and general containment.
The official story is a hot mess of proven falsehoods, contradictions, implausible conspiracy theories, more falsehoods and inexplicable silences were cricket chirps tell us all we need to know.
The UK government has lied and evaded on every key aspect.
- It lied again and again about the information Porton Down had given it
- Its lawyers all but lied to Mr Justice Robinson about whether or not the Skripals had relatives in Russia in an unscrupulous attempt to maintain total control of them, or at least of the narrative.
- It is not publishing the OPCW report on the chemical analyses, and the summary of that report reads like an exercise in allusion and weasel-wording. Even the name of the "toxic substance" found in the Skripals' blood is omitted, and the only thing tying it to the UK government's public claims of "novichok" is association by inference and proximity.
Indeed if current claims by Russian FM Lavrov turn out to be true, a "novichok" (whatever that precisely means in this case) may not have been the only substance found in those samples, and a compound called "BZ", a non-lethal agent developed in Europe and America, has been discovered and suppressed in the OPCW report (more about that later).
None of the alleged victims of this alleged attack has been seen in public even in passing since the event. There is no film or photographs of DS Bailey leaving the hospital, no film or photographs of his wife or family members doing the same. No interviews with Bailey, no interviews with his wife, family, distant relatives, work colleagues.
The Skripals themselves were announced to be alive and out of danger mere days after claims they were all but certain to die. Yulia, soon thereafter, apparently called her cousin Viktoria only to subsequently announce, indirectly through the helpful agency of the Metropolitan Police, that she didn't want to talk to her cousin – or anyone else – at all.
She is now allegedly discharged from hospital and has "specially trained officers helping to take care of" her in an undisclosed location. A form or words so creepily sinister it's hard to imagine how they were ever permitted the light of day.
Very little of this bizarre, self-defeating, embarrassing, hysterical story makes any sense other than as a random narrative, snaking wildly in response to events the narrative-makers can't completely control.
Why? What went wrong? Why has the UK government got itself into this mess? And how much did the Douma "gas attack" and subsequent drive for a concerted western "response" have to do with trying to fix that?IS THIS WHAT HAPPENED?
If a false flag chemical attack had taken place in Syria at the time Russia predicted, just a week or two after the Skripal poisoning, a lot of the attention that's been paid to the Skripals over the last month would likely have been diverted. Many of the questions being asked by Russia and in the alt media may never have been asked as the focus of the world turned to a possible superpower stand-off in the Middle East.
So, could it be the Skripal event was never intended to last so long in the public eye? Could it be that it was indeed a false flag, or a fake event, as many have alleged, planned as a sketchy prelude to, or warm up act for a bigger chemical attack in Syria, scheduled for a week or so later in mid-March – just around the time Russia was warning of such a possibility?
Could it be this planned event was unexpectedly canceled by the leading players in the drama (the US) when the Russians called them out and the rapid and unexpected fall of Ghouta meant any such intervention became pointless at least for the moment?
Did this cancelation leave the UK swinging in the wind, with a fantastical story that was never intended to withstand close scrutiny, and no second act for distraction?
So, did they push on with the now virtually useless "chemical attack", botch it (again), leaving a clear evidence trail leading back to them? Did they then further insist on an allied "response" to their botched false flag in order to provide yet more distraction and hopefully destroy some of that evidence?
This would explain why the UK may have been pushing for the false flag to happen (as claimed by Russia) even after it could no longer serve much useful purpose on the ground, and why the Douma "attack" seems to have been so sketchily done by a gang on the run. The UK needed the second part to happen in order to distract from the first.
It would explain why the US has been less than enthused by the idea of reprisals. Because while killing Syrians to further geo-strategic interests is not a problem, killing Syrians (and risking escalation with Russia) in order to rescue an embarrassed UK government is less appealing.
And it would explain why the "reprisals" when they came were so half-hearted.
If this is true, Theresa May and her cabinet are currently way out on a limb even by cynical UK standards. Not only have they lied about the Skripal event, but in order to cover up that lie they have promoted a false flag in Syria, and "responded" to it by a flagrant breach of international and domestic law. Worst of all, if the Russians aren't bluffing, they have some evidence to prove some of the most egregious parts of this.
This is very bad.
But even if some or all of our speculation proves false, and even if the Russian claims of UK collusion with terrorists in Syria prove unfounded, May is still guilty of multiple lies and has still waged war without parliamentary approval.
This is a major issue. She and her government should resign. But it's unlikely that will happen.
So what next? There is a sense this is a watershed for many of the parties involved and for the citizens of the countries drawn into this.
Will the usual suspects try to avoid paying for their crimes and misadventures by more rhetoric, more false flags, more "reprisals"? Or will this signal some other change in direction?
We'll all know soon enough.
* * *Back to today...
...and while things have moved on, we're still puzzling over all the same issues.
- What was the purpose of the Skripal attack?
- What was the original plan of the Douma attack?
- Is there, as it appears, an internal power struggle in the Trump administration?
- Has that resolved? Who is running the United States?
- Seeing as the OPCW has been shown to cover-up evidence in Douma, can we trust them on Skripal? Or anything else?
- Speaking of which, where on Earth IS Sergei Skripal?
All these questions stand, and are important, but more important than all of that is the lesson: They tried it before, and just because it didn't work doesn't mean they won't try it again.
Last spring, the Western powers showed they will deploy a false flag if they need too, for domestic or international motives. And they have the motives right now.
The UK were the most vocal about Syria, and desperately tried to drum up support over Skripal, but it all came to nothing much in the end.
Theresa May's political career still hangs by a thread, and her "Falklands moment", at best, staved off the inevitable for a few months. A washout in the EU elections, a very real threat from Farage's Brexit party, and rumblings inside her own party, make her position as unstable as ever.
Britain had the most to gain, of all NATO countries, and that is still true. We don't know what they might do.
This time they might even receive greater support from France this time around – since Macron is facing a revolution at home and would kill (possibly literally) for a nice international distraction.
In the US, generally speaking, it seems that the Trump admin – or at least whichever interested parties currently have control of the wheels of government – have called time on war in Syria. Instead, they've moved on to projects in Venezuela and North Korea, and even war with Iran.
That's not to say Syria is safe, far from it. They are always just one carefully place false-flag away from all-out war. Last year, Mattis (or whoever) decided war with Syria was not an option – that it was too risky or complicated. That might not happen next time.
Clearly, the US hasn't totally seen sense in terms of stoking conflict with Russia – as seen by the decision to pull out of the INF Treaty late last year. And further demonstrated by their attempts to overthrow Russia's ally Nicolas Maduro. Another ripe candidate for a false flag.
The failure of the Douma false flag to cause the war it was meant to cause, and the vast collection of evidence that suggests it was a false flag, should be spread far and wide. Not just because it's a truth which vindicates the smeared minority in the alternate media.
But because recognising what they were trying to do last time , is the best defense when they try it again next time .
May 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Peter AU 1 , May 18, 2019 2:15:40 AM | linkWithout the oil, Trump has lost. Pepe Escobar is starting to get the picture
"If President Trump had ever read Mackinder -- and there's no evidence he did -- one might assume that he's aiming at a new anti-Eurasia integration pivot centered on the Persian Gulf. And energy would be at the heart of the pivot.
If Washington were able to control everything, including "Big Prize" Iran, it would be able to dominate all Asian economies, especially China. Trump even said were that to happen, "decisions on the GNP of China will be made in Washington."...
...Arguably the key (invisible) takeaway of the meetings this week between Foreign Ministers Sergey Lavrov and Wang Yi, and then between Lavrov and Pompeo, is that Moscow made it quite clear that Iran will be protected by Russia in the event of an American showdown. Pompeo's body language showed how rattled he was.
What rattled Pomp: "Any use of nuclear weapons against Russia or its allies, be it small-scale, medium-scale or any other scale, will be treated as a nuclear attack on our country. The response will be instant and with all the relevant consequences,"
Trump may not have read Mackinder but Kissinger sure would have.
May 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Don Bacon , May 18, 2019 10:26:39 AM | linkWhat we need is a true and functional global community of nations and people, where governments truly work together to balance out the stronger world powers.
The US national security state which enjoys a huge military budget and 800 overseas bases necessarily sees the world in a masculine competitive sense, not in a feminine cooperative sense. So winning the competition takes precedence over working together, and diplomacy is reduced to making and enforcing US demands.
from the recent US National Defense Strategy. . .We are facing increased global disorder, characterized by decline in the long-standing rules-based international order -- creating a security environment more complex and volatile than any we have experienced in recent memory. Inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in U.S. national security. China is a strategic competitor using predatory economics to intimidate its neighbors while militarizing features in the South China Sea. . . here
May 16, 2019 | www.youtube.com
US President Donald Trump declared a national emergency over Huawei, which he has deemed a national security threat. His new executive order makes it more difficult for US companies to do business with the Chinese tech giant. RT America's Manila Chan chats with investigative journalist Ben Swann, who says no evidence exists for the Trump administration's claim. #RTAmerica #InQuestionRT #QuestionMore
US Of Zion , 2 days agoriva2003 , 2 days ago
What US bans I will buy. Huawei has profited from Trump's tweets. 😂😂😂E Walker , 2 days ago (edited)
National emergency against one single company? What a promotion for HUAWEI! They must have paid US government a looooot of money! LOOOOOLBTV-Channel , 2 days ago div
U.S. cannot spy via Chinese made technology products. That is the problem. When did competition against American technology get to be a national security threat? It is about creating a monopoly of only certain products in America. I hope American companies fight back. Prices in American stores have already started to rise. Monopolies mean high prices.OGASI , 2 days ago
In the age of technology...any country who doesn't SPY on other countries or their own citizens is LYING thru their teeth! USA is NO DIFFERENT than CHINA.....they both are rogue nations, competing for the same thing, TECHNOLOGY LEADERSHIP! The problem is....HUAWEI just got the upper hand in 5G technology before the US can compete...so as such, the US threatens other countries with scare tactics until the US can develop and deploy 5G technology to compete with CHINA. It's all about MONEY and BUSINESS.
USA has dishonestly gathered more data on it's own civilians than it can access or understand in several lifetimes, they have the gaul to attack others without proof? UNREAL
May 16, 2019 | consortiumnews.com
Skip Scott , May 16, 2019 at 06:26
Great plan! From your mouth to Tulsi's ears! She needs to make a dramatic exit from the Dems, preferably on national TV, with the message "stop the senseless regime change wars!" That alone would make her a contender.
Rob Roy , May 16, 2019 at 17:09
Skip, notice that Tulsi scares the hell out of the MSM. Therefore, she will be vilified, lied about, left out of poll line-ups, shoved to the side in debates, accused of being Putin's or Assad's puppet and God knows what else by the major newspapers, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN etc., and this will spread even overseas. You can't be against war, corruption and US Monroe Doctrine as our foreign policy and expect to get fair coverage. Personally, I will counter the propaganda wherever I can.
Skip Scott , May 17, 2019 at 08:22
I had a "back and forth" with dailykos about not listing Tulsi on their straw polls with her being the only candidate against "regime change" wars. I shamed them a bit by calling them a bunch of latte-sippers who reek of the arrogance of privilege while our MIC goes all around the planet killing poor people. Maybe I am giving myself too much credit, but they did in fact include her name on the last poll.
John on Kauai , May 17, 2019 at 13:53
I can't reply to skip about his argument with KOS so it's here. There is nothing to be gained by arguing with KOS other than to be banned from their website as I was.
They are supporting a National Guard pilot to run against her in the 2020 HI-2 election. I would not be surprised to find that they were instrumental in producing tulsigabbard.guru, a site that has been recently taken down but which repeated (and I think originated) many slurs against Tulsi that have now been picked up by the media.
I encourage you and everyone to publicize tulsigabbard.org which goes into great detail on her positions on almost anything. Also, the Jimmy Dore and Joe Rogan interviews with Tulsi that are available on YouTube.
Tulsi is my congresswoman. She is wildly popular here.
The HSTA (hawaii state teachers association) hates her. When challenged they repeat the lies that are on the .guru site that was taken down. When you point out that they are lies, they cover their ears and chant "nah, nah, nah".
b.grand , May 17, 2019 at 16:29
Skip. this is re. to your re. to Rob Roy.
WaPo confirmed today that Tulsi is one of the 11 guaranteed a debate spot. She's making solid progress, including major bumps from the Joe Rogan interviews. If she has hopes of actually getting the Dem nomination, of course there will be no dramatic exit until that's been decided. OTOH, an outside call for her to run as an Indy would be authentic, but also a threat to the Dems, give her fair play OR ELSE !
So, maybe the movement for an independent run has to start at the bottom? I'd like to bounce this off people who know more about politics than I do. There's also the implied question, how could an Independent function if elected. Would there be support in Congress? Would new ["Coalition"] candidates arise?
People talk about the populist movement in Mexico as represented by MORENA, however the coalition was actually Juntos Haremos Historia ("Together We'll Make History"), which included right wing evangelicals as well as leftists. Pretty remarkable, but a similar cooperation has arisen in Unity4J (for Julian Assange) where journalists with radically different ideologies focus on a single unifying principle.
John Zwiebel , May 17, 2019 at 18:19
Ask Nick Branna. He says "yes"
b.grand , May 17, 2019 at 21:10
John Z. –
Are you already familiar with Branna and the People's Party? Are they backing specific candidates? What do you think I should ask him? Would he and the PP join a coalition? Or do I misunderstand your suggestion?
All of the endorsers are leftists. The platform is all about wages and healthcare, but war isn't mentioned. Maybe it's there, but it's not on the front page.
Here's what they say: "Together we're building a coalition of working people, unions, and progressive groups for a nationally viable people's party."
Also, "We are working to build a coalition of groups on the left in order to create a new party for working people."
This just seems like typical 'Progressives' who are fed up with Dems. Some of the endorsers – Sheehan, Hedges, Martin and others – are known to be anti-war, but it's concerning that peace and FP aren't prominent. Besides, we need to build bigger bridges than "groups on the left." There are many – surprisingly many – on the right who oppose constant militarism. And what about the center? There's a vast untapped demographic, whether apathetic or genuinely discouraged by evidence that it makes no difference who you vote for, the Deep State wins. Why approach them from a left-only perspective? Would you like to clarify?
May 18, 2019 | www.theguardian.com
The US is closer to war with Iran than it has been since the Bush years, or perhaps ever. And Bolton is largely to blameBut Bolton is on a fast track, seemingly aware that Trump's time in office may be limited.' Photograph: Jim Young/Reuters Donald Trump's national security adviser John Bolton wants the United States to go to war with Iran .
We know this because he has been saying it for nearly two decades .
And everything that the Trump administration has done over its Iran policy, particularly since Bolton became Trump's top foreign policy adviser in April of 2018, must be viewed through this lens, including the alarming US military posturing in the Middle East of the past two weeks.
Just after one month on the job, Bolton gave Trump the final push he needed to withdraw from the Iran nuclear agreement, which at the time was (and still is, for now) successfully boxing in Iran's nuclear program and blocking all pathways for Iran to build a bomb. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – as the Iran deal is formally known – was the biggest obstacle to Bolton's drive for a regime change war, because it eliminated a helpful pretext that served so useful to sell the war in Iraq 17 years ago.
Since walking away from the deal, the Trump administration has claimed that with a "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran, it can achieve a "better deal" that magically turns Iran into a Jeffersonian democracy bowing to every and any American wish. But this has always been a fantastically bad-faith argument meant to obscure the actual goal (regime change) and provide cover for the incremental steps – the crushing sanctions, bellicose rhetoric, and antagonizing military maneuvers – that have now put the United States closer to war with Iran than it has been since at least the latter half of the Bush administration, or perhaps ever.
And Bolton has no qualms about manipulating or outright ignoring intelligence to advance his agenda, which is exactly what's happening right now.
In his White House statement 10 days ago announcing (an already pre-planned) carrier and bomber deployment to the Middle East, Bolton cited "a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings" from Iran to justify the bolstered US military presence. But multiple sources who have seen the same intelligence have since said that Bolton and the Trump administration blew it "out of proportion, characterizing the threat as more significant than it actually was". Even a British general operating in the region pushed back this week, saying he has seen no evidence of an increased Iranian threat.
What's even more worrying is that Bolton knows what he's doing. He's "a seasoned bureaucratic infighter who has the skills to press forcefully for his views" – and he has a long history of using those skills to undermine American diplomacy and work toward killing arms control agreements.
As a senior official in the George W Bush administration, he played key role in the collapse of the Agreed Framework, the Clinton-era deal that froze North Korea's plutonium nuclear program (the North Koreans tested their first bomb four years later).
He said he "felt like a kid on Christmas day" after he orchestrated the US withdrawal from the international criminal court in 2002. And now as a senior official in the Trump administration, he pushed for the US to withdrawal from a crucial nuclear arms treaty with Russia.
While it's unclear how much of a role he played in scuttling Trump's negotiations with Kim Jong-un in Hanoi last year, he publicly called for the so-called "Libya model" with the North Koreans (in other words, regime change by force). Just months before joining the administration, he tried to make the legal case for a preventive war against Pyongyang. And if you think he cares about the aftermath of war with North Korea, he doesn't. Bolton was reportedly "unmoved" by a presentation during his time in the Bush administration of the catastrophic consequences of such a war. "I don't do war. I do policy," he said then.
So far, Bolton has been successful in moving the United States toward his desired outcome with Iran – if getting the Pentagon to draw up plans to send 120,000 US troops to the region to confront Iran is any indication. There are hopeful signs that we can avoid war, as US officials and our European allies, seemingly alarmed by what Bolton is up to, are sounding the alarm about the Trump administration skewing intelligence on Iran.
But Bolton is on a fast track, seemingly aware that Trump's time in office may be limited. The question, ultimately, is whether the president can stick to his instincts of avoiding more military conflict, or acquiesce to a man hellbent on boxing him into a corner with no way out other than war with Iran.Ben Armbruster is the communications director for Win Without War and previously served as National Security Editor at ThinkProgress
May 18, 2019 | consortiumnews.com
Bianca , May 16, 2019 at 06:46
So, what is the representative of Allmighty Nation doing un Russia? Why bothering to hint on better relations? Noted in the press conference was the absence of Pompeo's moralizing, limiting itself on US position on issues. What is the point in this flying back and forth?
Yes, Iran -- and arms control. Venezuela -- and arms control. North Korea -- and arms control. I think they are paranoid about Russian weapons. And if Iranians by any chance have some of the new weaponry, providing perfect testing ground, would Russia own to that? What was obvious, no concessions on any issue from Moscow. Not even softened language.
This time, it is different. The economic and military power has shifted east, Europeans forever without a spine this time are spineless in all directions, and it will come as a shock to the establishment that the presumed animosity towards Iran in Gulf, will nowhere to be found. Wil Saudis host US troops against Iran, Doubt that deeply.
May 17, 2019 | www.thedailybeast.com
Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard's campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination is being underwritten by some of the nation's leading Russophiles.
Donors to her campaign in the first quarter of the year included: Stephen F. Cohen, a Russian studies professor at New York University and prominent Kremlin sympathizer; Sharon Tennison, a vocal Putin supporter who nonetheless found herself detained by Russian authorities in 2016; and an employee of the Kremlin-backed broadcaster RT, who appears to have donated under the alias "Goofy Grapes."
Gabbard is one of her party's more Russia-friendly voices in an era of deep Democratic suspicion of the country over its efforts to tip the 2016 election in favor of President Donald Trump. Her financial support from prominent pro-Russian voices in the U.S. is a small portion of the total she's raised. But it still illustrates the degree to which she deviates from her party's mainstream on such a contentious and high-profile issue.
Data on Gabbard's financial supporters only covers the first three months of the year. In that time, her campaign received just over $1,000 from Cohen, arguably the nation's leading intellectual apologist for Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Tennison donated to Gabbard no fewer than five times, eventually reaching the per-cycle individual contribution limit in mid-March. Tennison and her group, the Center for Citizen Initiatives, have long worked to improve U.S.-Russia relations, in part by organizing junkets to the nation both before and after the fall of the Soviet Union. She's also been an outspoken Putin supporter, dubbing him a "straightforward, reliable and exceptionally inventive man" in a column last year. Tennison wrote that column in spite of her detention in Russia two years earlier, when she was accused of attempting to covertly advance U.S. foreign policy interests in the country.
Gabbard also got a $1,000 contribution from "Goofy Grapes," who listed his or her occupation as "comedian" and employer as Redacted Tonight, a current events comedy show on Russian state-backed broadcaster RT. That show's host, comedian Lee Camp, told The Daily Beast that the person who made the donation "is no longer an active member of Redacted Tonight. And separately, it is company policy to not donate to political campaigns."
Camp, for his part, routinely promotes the Russian government line on major world affairs, most notably the invasion of Ukraine, political unrest in Venezuela, and the Syrian civil war.
To the extent that those donors toe the Kremlin line on issues such as Syria, they're more squarely in line with Gabbard's own views than those of any other Democratic presidential candidate. As a member of Congress, she has personally met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and cast doubt on widely accepted reports that he deployed nerve gas weapons against his own people.
Gabbard has also been one of the few prominent Democrats in the country to downplay the findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election. The report found no evidence of a conspiracy by the Trump campaign to support that meddling. But it did provide extensive details of that malicious influence campaign, and of the Trump administration's efforts to impede the special counsel's investigation.
But while her House colleagues ramp up their own investigations, in part based on those findings, Gabbard has called for the country -- and her party -- to move on. "The conclusion that came from that Mueller report was that no collusion took place," she told Fox News last month. "Now is the time for us to come together as a country to put the issues and the interests and the concerns that the American people have at the forefront, to take action to bring about real solutions for them."
That reflects the attitude of a small set of the American left wing, a non-interventionist faction that eyed collusion allegations with suspicion. And that's very much the school of thought from which Cohen and other Gabbard donors hail.
But the list of controversial donors to Gabbard, as detailed by her filings with the Federal Election Committee, doesn't end there.Related in PoliticsTulsi Gabbard's Campaign Is Being Run by FreelancersHow 2020 Dems Are Staffing Up -- and Paying OverheadRussian State Media Binges on Sean Hannity Reruns
Susan Sarandon, the famous actress who earned the enduring wrath of Democrats for her support of Green Party candidate Jill Stein in the 2016 election, gave Gabbard $500.
Ali Amin, the president of Primex International, wrote two checks of $2,800 to Gabbard's campaign. Amin, who runs the international food distribution company, pleaded guilty in 2015 to charges that he'd transferred more than $17 million between Iran and the United States as part of an unlicensed business transaction.
After being asked about those donations, Cullen Tiernan, a spokesperson for Gabbard, said the campaign would be returning them. Tiernan also noted that Amin had given to fellow 2020 contender Sen. Kamala Harris' (D-CA) Senate campaign in 2018. Ian Sams, a spokesman for Harris, said the Senator refunded Amin's donation in July 2018.
Gabbard's campaign did not return a request for comment. Her election effort raised nearly $4.5 million in the first quarter of 2019, but that included hefty transfers from her House campaign committee. She has used that money to mount a rather unorthodox bid for the Democratic nomination. Gabbard had only one paid staffer during that same three month period, choosing instead to hire consultants for key posts on her campaign -- a staffing decision that seemed likely done to avoid making hefty payments for things like health care coverage and payroll taxes.
Gabbard's media strategy has also been counterintuitive for a national Democrat. She has made several appearances on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, which, while being one of the most popular platforms on that medium, is a haven for Trump-supporting guests. Gabbard also is among the few Democrats who has a captive audience on Fox News, owed largely to her willingness to criticize Barack Obama, as well as her party's planks on both Russia and foreign policy in general. Tucker Carlson, a primetime host on that network, has publicly defended her.
Though she has not courted their support, some prominent figures in the white nationalist community have flocked in Gabbard's direction. David Duke, the former KKK leader, has heaped praise on her. And on several occasions, Richard Spencer, the avowed white supremacist, has tweeted favorably about her, including once again this week.
I can't imagine Tulsi Gabbard wants this endorsement. pic.twitter.com/mXoIiEFavZ-- Alex Thomas (@AlexThomasDC) May 14, 2019
May 17, 2019 | www.unz.com
annamaria , says: Next New Comment May 16, 2019 at 10:51 pm GMT@9/11 Inside job Andrew Cockburn: "US military complex is a 'malignant virus' that's evolved to defend itself" https://www.rt.com/usa/459505-us-military-industrial-virus/One Tribe , says: May 16, 2019 at 11:10 pm GMT
"The MIC is embedded in our society to such a degree that it cannot be dislodged, and also that it could be said to be concerned, exclusively, with self-preservation and expansion, like a giant, malignant virus."
The system has evolved to be very good at defending itself – while leaving the country, "in reality so poorly defended".Thanks again CJH for all the chuckles. It is time all 'real' people acknowledged that
The NYT is the " Propagandist of Record ".
Nothing more. And it's been like that for quite a while. While it would be logical to identify the systemic bend, and blindness that it has, it is probably against the law, like all discussions about [redacted]
A pattern that has played out consistently for over 2000 years, and can be seen for what it is in reviewing the Pale (of Settlements) and the conditions for those not included in the [redacted]. But really, it's beyond the pale, isn't it. People, slowly but surely, are building immunity to the perception management programs, even with the wildly amplified volume and frequency , we see the early adapters adapting, and opting for the red pill .
Just a co-incidence that while the psychotic ' leaders ' of a small colonial ' government ' squatting on expropriated land, committing escalating genocidal programs against the indigenous population, and actively conflating it with anti-[redacted], while the co-affiliates resident in the empire's other nation-states keep quiet, there seems to be an epidemic of anti-[redacted]?!
" It's a trick, and we use it a lot. "
he, he, aren't we so clever!
This ruse is coming to an end soon
and all of those people working in the desert somewhere, writing stuff online, are going to have to get real jobs.
May 16, 2019 | stephenlendman.org
( stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman ) Tulsi 2020 is the official website of her candidacy for US president – so far with no information other than saying: "When we stand united, motivated by our love for each other and for our country, there is no challenge we cannot overcome. Will you stand with me?" On Friday, she said "I have decided to run and will be making a formal announcement within the next week," adding:"There are a lot of reasons for me to make this decision. There are a lot of challenges that are facing the American people that I'm concerned about and that I want to help solve."Besides access to healthcare for all Americans, criminal justice reform, and climate change, (t)here is one main issue that is central to the rest, and that is the issue of war and peace," she stressed. More on this below."I look forward to being able to get into this and to talk about it in depth when we make our announcement."Gabbard's record is mixed at best, things to like, others of concern, including her Dem affiliation. She formerly served as DNC vice chair, resigning in February 2016 to support Russophobe undemocratic Dem Bernie Sanders over Hillary. Throughout his political career, he's been progressive in name only, his rhetoric and voting record most often at odds with each other. He'll likely run again in 2020. After Hillary used dirty tricks in primary elections to steal the Dem nomination, Gabbard supported her candidacy – a figure I called the most ruthlessly dangerous presidential aspirant in US history, backing it up with cold, hard facts about her deplorable record as first lady, US senator and secretary of state. Elizabeth Warren already announced her 2020 candidacy. She's con man Sanders clone with a gender difference.
A consumer rights champion in name only, she did nothing to oversee predatory banking practices responsibly, nothing to urge prosecution of Wall Street crooks as Obama's interim Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP) head.
She failed to criticize his wars on humanity at home and abroad, terror-bombing seven countries in eight years, force-feeding neoliberal harshness on America's most disadvantaged, letting protracted main street Depression conditions fester – supporting what demanded condemnation. She one-sidedly supports Israel, failing to denounce its apartheid ruthlessness, its Gaza wars on defenseless civilians.
Like Sanders and other undemocratic Dems, she considers naked aggression humanitarian intervention and democracy building. Her agenda is all about perpetuating dirty business as usual – based on going along with the imperial, neoliberal GOP and Dem agenda, supported by the vast majority of officials in Washington.
Gore Vidal explained how the dirty system works, saying no one gets to be presidential material unless they've "been bought over 10 times." The same goes for top congressional posts. Gabbard is suspect for similar reasons, voting along party lines too often since elected to represent Hawaii's 2nd congressional district in November 2012.
After the Obama regime's coup in Ukraine, replacing democratic governance with fascist tyranny, she supported supplying the illegitimate, Nazi-infested, putschist regime with military assistance, shamefully saying America can't stand "idly by while Russia continues to degrade the territorial integrity of Ukraine." No "Russian aggression" existed then or now. Yet Gabbard disgracefully claimed otherwise, urging "more painful economic sanctions" on Moscow, pretending the regime in Kiev is a "peaceful, sovereign neighbor." In July 2017, she unjustifiably supported legislation imposing illegal unilateral US sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea. She's for US phony war on terrorism, the scourge Republicans and most Dems support while claiming otherwise.
She's against what she called "counterproductive wars of regime change," including in Syria. She earlier said targeting Bashar al-Assad for regime change was "a thinly veiled attempt to use the rationale of 'humanitarianism' as a justification to escalate our illegal, counterproductive war," adding: "Under US law, it is illegal for any American to provide money or assistance to al-Qaeda, ISIS or other terrorist groups."
"If you or I gave money, weapons or support to al-Qaeda or ISIS, we would be thrown in jail. Yet the US government has been violating this law for years, quietly supporting allies and partners of al-Qaeda, ISIL, Jabhat Fateh al Sham and other terrorist groups with money, weapons, and intelligence support, in their fight to overthrow the Syrian government."
"The CIA has also been funneling weapons and money through Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and others who provide direct and indirect support to groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda."
She may be the only congressional member boldly stating the above remarks publicly to her credit.
In January 2017, she met with Assad in Damascus, toured parts of Syria, seeing firsthand how US aggression harmed millions of civilians. She called all anti-government forces terrorists, saying so-called moderate rebels don't exist, stressing "(t)hat is a fact," on return home expressing "even greater resolve to end our illegal war to overthrow the Syrian government."
She considers US wars not authorized by Congress impeachable high crimes. She should have explained that only Security Council members may authorize war by one or more countries on other sovereign states – not US presidents, Congress or the courts. That's the law of the land under the Constitution's Supremacy Clause (Article 6, Clause 2). All treaties, conventions, and other international agreements to which the US is a signatory automatically become binding US law.
To her credit in October 2017, Gabbard opposed reimposing sanctions on Iran, at the time saying the Islamic Republic is fully complying with JCPOA provisions. At the same time, she co-sponsored legislation opposing Iran's legitimate ballistic missile program, imposing illegal sanctions on the country,
In 2015, she supported legislation endorsing extreme vetting of Syrian and Iraqi war refugees, designed to deny them refugee status. The measure failed to get enough Senate support for passage.
She opposed the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2019, 2018, and earlier, opposed reforming US border security and immigration, opposed a proposed constitutional balanced budget amendment, opposed the GOP great tax cut heist, supported CATSA.
The Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CATSA) illegally imposed sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea. It passed the House and Senate near-unanimously – shameful legislation demanding opposition, not support.
Hold the cheers on Gabbard and all other Republican and Dem presidential aspirants with a chance to be party standard bearers. The bottom line on them all is simple, no exceptions. If nominated and elected, either go along with the dirty system or be replaced by someone else who will – by impeachment or something more sinister.
Washington's deeply corrupted system is too debauched to fix. The only solution is popular revolution, voting a waste of time.
No matter who's elected president and to key congressional posts, dirty business as usual always wins.
VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org ( Home – Stephen Lendman ). Contact at email@example.com . My newest book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III." www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html Stephen LendmanStephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999.
Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed.
Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.
May 16, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Tom Luongo,
There is a realignment coming in electoral politics. It began with Ron Paul in 2008 and has been building for more than a decade. We know this story well.
That realignment will be about restoring not just national sovereignty but also personal autonomy in a world the rulers of which are desperate to clamp down their control over.
The thing is I don't think we've quite come to terms with the rapidity with which change comes. It builds slowly, simmering below the surface and then one day just explodes into a maelstrom of chaos.
This is where things stand in Britain with the betrayal of Brexit. It is also where things stand with Trump's daily betrayal of his pledge to end the needless wars and regime change operations.
Tulsi Gabbard will collect a lot of voters sick to death of our foreign policy destroying the lives of millions, draining our spirit and emptying our pockets.
You can see it happening, slowly and then all at once.
The signs of the chaos as we approach next week's European Parliamentary elections were there if we were willing to look closely. More often than not, our being distracted or, worse, our normalcy bias keeps us ignorant of what's happening.
Raising goats I've unfortunately witnessed this first hand and in a devastating way. Their entire digestive tracts are simply big fermentation vessels, chocked full of different bacteria working on what they've eaten.
When they're healthy, it's all good. The good bacteria digests the food, they absorb it and they are vibrant, alert and annoying.
But, if one of those other bacteria begin to get out of control, they can go from healthy to frothing at the mouth and dying overnight. The goat is the Taoist symbol for 'strong on the outside, fragile on the inside.' Our political system is definitely a goat at this point.
Which brings me back to politics.
As long as the political class maintains 1) the illusion of choice as to who are leaders are and 2) keep things running smoothly a small minority of us will complain, simmer and stew but we won't be able to convince anyone else it's worth upsetting the status quo.
We'll stay below critical mass, until we don't. And the important point here is that, like my goats, they can can act and vote perfectly normally one day and then in open revolt the next and you have a very small window of time to make the right decisions to save the situation.
The original Brexit vote was that opportunity for the power elite to get it through their thick skulls that Britons didn't want to go where the EU was headed.
Theresa May, Dominic Grieve and the rest of those in the Westminster bubble refused to accept that they no longer had control over the situation. Theresa May like an autistic monkey keeps putting forth vote after vote to get her Withdrawal Treaty past a parliament that has no business still presiding over the country .
She hopes by making her treaty legal it will stop Farage's revolution. I have news for her and the technocrats in Brussels. If Farage wins the next General Election he will nullify her treaty under Article 62 of the Vienna Conventions on the Laws of Treaties.
French Poodle Emmanuel Macron cannot get control of the Yellow Vest Protests in France. And the EU itself cannot get control over Matteo Salvini in Italy.
And they will only get it through their heads after Nigel Farage and the Brexit party unite the left and the right to throw them all out in the EP elections but also the General one as well.
The same thing happened in 2016 here in the U.S., both on the left and the right.
Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump were the vessels for our deep dissatisfaction with the D.C. corruption. The realignment was staring us in the face in 2016.
The Davos Crowd haven't gotten the message. And they won't listen until we force them to.
Trump is compromised because of his vanity and his weakness. There is not much hope going into 2020 unless Tulsi Gabbard catches fire soon and begins taking out contenders one by one.
More likely she is, like Ron Paul, setting the table for 2024 and a post-Trump world. I fear however it will be far too late for the U.S. by then. Both she and Farage, along with Salvini and many others across Europe, represent the push towards authenticity that will change the political landscape across the west for decades to come.
And that is what the great realignment I see happening is. It isn't about party or even principles. It is about coming together to fix the broken political system first and then working on solutions to specific problems later.
Here's hoping Trump doesn't destroy the world by mistake first.
* * *
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ZIRPY , 47 minutes ago linkmadam , 40 minutes ago link
Trump has been limited by the Deep State bogus Russia collusion investigations aided by MSM propaganda. If this author thinks Bernie or Tulsi Gabbard will not face special prosecutors if they try and Rock the boat then he is naive.
Bernie rolled over and supported Hillary after it was proven she rigged the nomination process, so to believe he could take on the swamp to any degree is laughable.
And Tulsi doesn't have the deep pockets like Trump to hire the lawyers needed to wage war against The Swamp.EcoJoker , 51 minutes ago link
Tuslsi all the wayfrom_the_ashes , 54 minutes ago link
There is no peaceful solution.. Globalist elites must be purged. Bankers, Zuckerbergs, Dorseys, Bezos, Blankfeins, Dimons, then politicians, etc.from_the_ashes , 1 hour ago link
Note to ZH, Should have published this individual instead of Tom Luongo.
An excellent summary of Gabbard which is why no one should even remotely consider her for an public office.
https://stephenlendman.org/2019/01/tulsi-gabbard-for-president/Yeah-Right , 31 minutes ago link
Nice to see Tom Luongo can't research worth ****.
Fast forward to today...
Elect a woman to be President or a country's leader? How did that work out for the people of New Zealand?rodocostarica , 1 hour ago link
Voting for a woman because "it's time" or because she's a woman etc., has become a thing. Those reasons seem stupid but that's the "logic." I see a lot of dem women jumping on the bandwagon, trying to get lucky.
Tulsi to me is like Ron Paul was in 08. A sane voice pointing out the stupidity of US foreign policy.
She aint no Ron Paul for sure but is at least the only one this cycle who supports as her main position getting the US out of foreign entanglements.
She is never going to win just like rp coud never win. But Im sending her a few bucks every month just to keep the message going.
xxx, 1 hour agoyyy, 2 hours ago"Tulsi Gabbard will collect a lot of voters sick to death of our foreign policy destroying the lives of millions, draining our spirit and emptying our pockets."
Uh, no, Tom, she won't be collecting a lot of voters, well, at least not near enough. Biden has already been "chosen" like Hillary was over Bernie last time. You should know by now Tom, we don't select our candidates, they're chosen for us for our own good.
This is going to take a long time. You just can't turn this ship around overnight.
US Political System:
United States is neither a Republic and even less Socialistic. US, in the technical literature, is called a Polyarchy (state capitalism). Polyarchy (state capitalism) idea is old, it goes back to James Madison and the foundation of the US Constitution. A Polyarchy is a system in which power resides in the hands of those who Madison called the wealth of the nation. The educated and responsible class of men. The rest of the population is to be fragmented and distracted. They are allowed to participate every couple of years by voting. That’s it. The population have little choice among the educated and responsible men they are voting for.
This is not an accident. America was founded on the principle, explained by the Founding Father that the primary goal of government is to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority. That is how the US Constitution was designed sort of ensuring that there will be a lot of struggle. US is not as the same as it were two centuries ago but that remains the elites ideal.
Polyarchy (state capitalism) it is a system where small group actually rules on behalf of capital, and majority’s decision making is confined to choosing among selective number of elites within tightly controlled elective process. It is a form of consensual domination made possible by the structural domination of the global capital which allowed concentration of political powers.
A republic is SUBORDINATE to democracy. Polyarchy can’t be subordinated to any form of Democracy.
zzz, 2 hours agoIs the author, to use an English term, daft? Tulsi Gabbard won't get out of the primaries, much less defeat Sanders or Biden. Farage achieved his goal (Brexit), then found out (SHOCK!) that the will of the people doesn't mean anything anymore.
If Luongo had wanted to talk about the people's uprising, he should've mentioned the Tea Party.
bbb, 3 hours agoGabbard appears to have some moral fibre and half a backbone, at least for a politician, regardless of their views, Farage is a slimy charlatan opportunistic populist shillccc, 3 hours ago (Edited)I like Tulsi Gabbard on MIC stuff (and as a surfer in my youth - still dream about that almost endless pipeline at Jeffreys Bay in August), but...
On everything else?
She votes along party lines no matter what bollocks legislation the Democrats put in front of Congress. And anyone standing full-square behind Saunders on his socialist/marxist agenda?
Do me a favour.
ddd, 1 hour ago (Edited)Farage left because he saw what UKIP was becoming...a zionazi party.
Also Gabbard is a CFR member.
eee, 3 hours ago
Gold, Goats and Guns? Certainly not guns under President Gabbard! Here's her idea of "common sense gun control:"
I'm totally against warmongering, but I have to ask - what good is it to stop foreign warmongering, only to turn around and incite civil war here by further raping the 2nd Amendment? The CFR ties are disturbing as hell, too. And to compare Gabbard to Ron Paul? No, just...no!
fff, 3 hours agoggg, 4 hours ago
Always been a fan of Bernie, but I hope Gabbard becomes president. The world would breathe a huge sigh of relief (before the assassination).By this time in his 1st term, Obama had started the US Wars in Syria and Libya and has restarted the Iraq War.
Thus far Trump has ended the War in Syria, pledged not to get us dragged into Libya’s civil wars and started a peace process with North Korea.
Venezuela and Iran look scary. We don’t know what Gabbard would actually do when faced with the same events. Obama talked peace too.
Mar 17, 2014 | gabbard.house.govPress Release Calls for U.S. to offer weapons, military training assistance
Washington, DC – Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today released the following statement after the President's announcement of expanded sanctions against Russian officials:
"Russia has violated the sovereignty and independence of the Ukrainian people, in direct contravention of its own treaty obligations and international law," said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, an Army combat veteran and member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. "I support the sanctions announced today, and I strongly urge the President to go further and consider a broader range of consequences. If Russia is allowed to continue its aggressive push for control in Ukraine, there will be long-term, serious, and costly security risks for the United States and Europe. Russia must face serious consequences for their actions; the U.S. must consider options that truly isolate Russia economically and diplomatically -- not just sanction a handful of oligarchs -- and send a message of unity and strength from the international community.
"We cannot stand by while Russia unilaterally degrades Ukraine's territorial integrity. We must offer direct military assistance -- defensive weapons, military supplies and training -- to ensure Ukraine has adequate resources to respond to Russia's aggressions and defend themselves. We cannot view Ukraine as an isolated incident. If we do not take seriously the threat of thinly veiled Russian aggression, and commit to aiding the people of Ukraine immediately, we will find ourselves in a more dangerous, expensive and disastrous situation in the future."
In a House Foreign Affairs Committee mark-up of H.Res. 499 recently, the congresswoman gained unanimous approval on including amendments on anti-corruption, and protection of civil and political rights throughout Ukraine. She also supported the House passage of H.R. 4152, which authorized loan guarantees for Ukraine.
May 15, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
The 'play of the day' above comes against a backdrop of markets trying to accentuate the positive in the latest US-China trade war deterioration. Indeed, Moody's has declared a trade deal will still be done and a Bloomberg survey of US economists shows around two thirds think a deal will be signed by year-end, a fifth by 2020, and only 13% don't see a deal for at least five years. Field Marshall, please take these men and women out and have them shot, there's a good chap.
The rhetoric from China has turned starkly, aggressively nationalist. The Global Times is calling for a "People's War", a 1930's Mao reference to repelling Japanese imperialism; "trade war" now fills Chinese media, having been largely absent for months; and Tuesday's People's Daily mouthpiece posted an image of the Chinese flag with "Talk -- fine! Fight -- we'll be there! Bully us -- delusion!" superimposed on it. US President Trump is also not backing down in a further set of trade-related tweets, again stating tariff revenues will support 'patriot' farmers and adding: "China will be pumping money into their system and probably reducing interest rates, as always, in order to make up for the business they are, and will be, losing. If the Federal Reserve ever did a "match," it would be game over, we win! In any event, China wants a deal!"
A huge fiscal deficit; trade tariffs; a rapid increase in military expenditure; 'Patriot' farmers; and a political call for lower interest rates for a national struggle. It all sounds very Chinese, doesn't it? But that shouldn't be a surprise. Last year's ' The Rise and Fall and Rise of the Great Powers (and Great Currencies)' argued the historical lessons of the economics of past power struggles are that one must have low borrowing costs, spend a lot on a large military, and be mercantilist if your enemy is. True, one also needs to be economically vibrant, and that isn't assured with mercantilism, militarism and large fiscal deficits. Yet real free trade, pacifism, and austerity is *ruinous* for Great Power . Which is why the EU is not a Great Power but a Great Whinger.
Some in the markets are starting to get this.
Regular Bloomberg commentator Noah Smith yesterday published an article --'The Grim Logic Behind Trump's Trade War With China'-- that admits he was wrong to expect a trade deal, that Trump is doubling down, and concludes "There may be a grim sort of logic to this approach If Trump wants to slow China's ascent as a superpower, a trade war might be an effective way to do it. If the harm to the US is modest and the costs for China are severe and lasting, Trump might conclude that the former are acceptable losses. Geopolitical primacy, not maximum prosperity for Americans, might be the president's true objective . if weakening China really is the goal, then this could be just the opening rounds of a long and grinding trade war." That's' what I argued back in November 2017's 'On Your Marx' special reports, which stressed a New Cold War was likely ahead.
However, many in markets are still acting like a Treasury clerk telling Churchill that Badolf Hissler can offer him a great deal on cut-price bullets, ships, and planes .
On a related front, we see reports of an alleged Iranian drone attack on Saudi oil pipelines(!); also hear Iran's leader say there will be no war with the US; and Trump has stated reports of 120,000 US troops moving to the region are fake news -- because if he were to send troops it would " a hell of a lot more ." Mixed messages to put it mildly.
wadalt , 1 minute ago linkPGR88 , 2 minutes ago link
The REAL REASON behind the TRADE WAR: Israhell: "I want Iran embargoed and starved to death." China: "I will buy Iran's oil." BAM! Trade War!
Artist’s IMPRESSION of Satanyahoo Riding TrumpSeanInNYC , 2 minutes ago link
for 40 years, western liberals and capitalists have had a nebulous idea of China developing, opening and "liberalizing." It hasn't usually occurred in the ways they wanted, but China certainly has become a big market and has moved towards a more open economy and somewhat, more open society overall, while still maintaining a "fascist" structure.
But we can all agree - that process is done. China's economy, society and politics are what they are. The country is "grown-up." Do not ever expect the communist party to change the tight, top-down structure it has. Do not expect changes to politics, do not expect anyone in China to give up control, and certainly don't expect foreigners to have any say or influence within China. China will always do exactly what benefits China and the CCP.
Trump is merely being a realist. So accept that, and trade/invest/exchange accordingly.arby63 , 4 minutes ago link
Is it any surprise that a "Noah Smith" of Bloomberg would attribute all the wrong motives and strategy behind President Trump's and America's trade dispute with China's totalitarian regime?
That he sees the Chinese Communist Party as honest, good faith partners in this scenario?
There is nothing Trump could ever do to please the internationalist media.LaugherNYC , 4 minutes ago link
I seriously doubt if "weakening" China is Trump's primacy here. Perhaps a by-product but let's finally admit one thing: The US-China trade arrangement is egregious at best. What no one is willing to discuss yet is the fact that this "philosophy" of evening out trade with China will soon take on a life of its own: With the US consumer. We need to bring back a lot of jobs back to the US economy and that's not rocket science. It won't happen overnight but it will indeed happen.MalteseFalcon , 6 minutes ago link
What is the point of this piece? To demonstrate the author’s wit and historical knowledge (was that entire little playlet not invented)?
To maximize American prosperity long term, should the US simply allow China to cheat, manipulate and intimidate its way to the top? China has proven that, unlike the US, its growth is a zero sum game. It adds nothing to the equation of global growth except cheap labor, which subtracts wealth from other nations by taking away their well-paid manufacturing jobs. It contributes almost no raw materials, imports its food and energy, and has stolen most of its technology at enormous cost to Western innovators.
The US has always provided net inputs to the system of global growth. Natural resources, renewable materials (crops, renewable energy), and the relentless innovation and productivity increases of its workforce. China is an extractor. Thus it needs to expand its borders through exploitative economic imperialist initiatives under their One Belt One Road scam, and their militaristic imperialism in the South China Sea. The US is a machine that puts out far more than it takes in. China is the opposite. If the US directs its economic output away from China’s vast and relentless maw, China’s machine will slow and sputter.
The real point of the trade war is to end the vacuum of Western and Asian prosperity by China’s greedy and imperialist machine of economic destruction. China knows and implements that its economic growth by definition comes at the cost of others’ prosperity. That the US took 20 years to wake the **** up is astonishing.medium giraffe , 6 minutes ago link
You mean all this time the Chinese were nationalists?B-Bond , 7 minutes ago link
Mutual suicide. Outstanding.from_the_ashes , 8 minutes ago link
From doves to hawks: why the US’ moderate China watchers are growing skeptical about Beijing😲
- Constitutional amendment on presidential term limits as well as activity in the South China Sea have caused a shift in perceptions
- China’s ‘repression at home and aggression abroad’ have intensified the conflict with the US in recent years, observer says
https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/2177506/doves-hawks-why-moderate-us-china-watchers-are-growingCharlie_Martel , 12 minutes ago link
Most news is somewhat depressing these days... But there are moments when the light shines through...
Learn to code Salon staffers...
The Internationalists are losing. Nationalism is the future.
Apr 14, 2018 | www.youtube.com
Days before Trump's escalation of his illegal war in Syria, Congresswoman & war veteran Tulsi Gabbard confronts Defense Secretary James Mattis on the unconstitutionality of such missile strikes!
BUY TRUMP TOILET PAPER ON AMAZON! http://amzn.to/2Fe08tb (Affiliate Link)
AbraCadabra▼ , 1 year agoSandra Jacobson , 1 year ago
Tulsi Gabbard for first female president 2020.Andrei Kohler , 2 months ago
She is my hero! What a courageous, well spoken, thoughtful, articulate, woman. I would sleep well at night with her behind the wheel.Mikael Stenlund , 1 year ago
Love Tulsi's logic and her support to stop our illegal wars.Karen Schumer , 1 year ago
This Woman, whent against Hillary-establishement, Dems, She is smart & strong, I want her running for Presidency, even some Republicans, would support Her, Right?? :-)Martin Anderson , 1 year ago
She is so brilliant, and so cool! You know what, if Tulsi ran for president I would vote for her!Thrashaero , 1 year ago
This lady has the brains and the looks, i must say. We need a genuine anti-war movement in this country, we need more people like Tulsi.Adam Bridges , 1 year ago
she's got bigger balls than that pencilneck next to her.angela bluebird60 , 1 year ago
Here we are again dropping bombs on another country that didn't attack us, some things never change.H2SO4BLACK BLACKWATER , 1 year ago (edited)
We need Tulsi Gabbard to work with and for the People FOREVER !Tarlok Sason , 1 year ago
Why my money is used for killing innocent children in Syria 🇸🇾 I am not agreed for missile attack !alchemistoxford , 2 months ago
Only congress women i respect.Andy Roo , 1 year ago
A brilliant statement by Tulsi Gabbard. Beto O'Rourke appears bored, unconcerned and vaguely gormless when he rocks back and forth, bites his nails and extends his lower lip.jennifer spicer , 1 year ago
Tulsi is the only sane voice in a group of madmen who have egos that would end the World if their Coffee did not have enough sugar.Memorandom , 1 year ago
the complex situation, Mattis, is that you are committing treason.Justin Norton , 1 year ago
Does the guy next to her think he's in a bloody rocking chair? :P
How is bombing Syria protecting America? Mattis should just say, "We just want to drop bombs and kill people."
Apr 18, 2019 | www.youtube.com
In this clip from PRIMO NUTMEG #170, former Congressman Ron Paul gives his thoughts on 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard.
Ortho Tech , 3 weeks agoharriet , 3 weeks ago
Supported Ron Paul in both 08 and 12, supporting Tulsi in 2020.chickendinner2012 , 3 weeks ago
I love BOTH Ron Paul and Tulsi Gabbard! We need more people like these in general!Gordo Bjorn , 3 weeks ago
Great to see anti-war solidarity! #EndTheWarsRobert Thorpe , 3 weeks ago
I have high respect for Dr Paul especially on his foreign policies and I'm so glad that he has recognized Tulsi stances on ending these regime change wars and over stepping our bounds constitutional overseas. Please keep spreading the word on Tulsi our Republic depends on it.Kariakas , 3 weeks ago
It doesn't surprise me in the least that Ron Paul feels well about Tulsi Gabbard - mostly in regards to her foreign policy. Tulsi can expect considerable support from Libertarians.EL.NANNA , 3 weeks ago
Ron Paul is Libertarian and Tulsi is to the left but they both speak common sense.George Kraft , 3 weeks ago
I'd love to see these 2 together. So much respect for both. No surprise Dr Paul senses the real deal.Skylark Myself , 3 weeks ago
Rep Paul, I don't agree with a lot of your ideas, but about Tulsi I agree 100%!
Yes Tulsi and Ron Paul Aloha 2020 POTUS
May 06, 2019 | www.youtube.com
Tulsi continues to stack up very reputable endorsements. This time from a three time Presidential Candidate.
ishant 7 , 1 week agoJob Applicant , 1 week ago (edited)
I am a conservative myself but i would vote for her in a heartbeatJayanti Ramiah , 1 week ago (edited)
Tulsi's momentum is going for critical mass, Its time for a true maverick! #Rogue2020Citizen Harrison , 1 week ago
Ron Paul's endorsement is surprising and interesting, in that it seems sincere. Most repubs give bad-faith assessments of the dem candidates.Karlo Ve , 1 week ago
My first vote when I was 17 in the Republican primary in 2012. Glad Ron is on board.Constable 1976 , 1 week ago (edited)
Last election I voted for Trump (because he is not a politician) but this time I might vote for Tulsi 2020Ned Pjevac , 1 week ago
I'm a conservative and might not vote for her, but I love that Major Gabbard is an Army MP! God Bless her for her service...dobsonimages , 1 week ago
I am as unlikely to vote republican as anybody but I admired Ron Paul's honesty when he ran for the presidency. Admired enough that I actually voted for him although his economic policies and gold standard kept me asking more questions than getting answers. I am stoked that my favorite republican voice gives his support to Tulsi. It is yet another confirmation of my choice for 2020.George Washington , 1 week ago
It really should be seen as a general election endorsement if it came down to a run between Tulsi and Trump, why the hell there was not a follow up question asking Dr Paul who he would endorse Tulsi and Trump I am sure Paul would endorse Tulsi. At any rate this is a big deal a lot of people respect Dr Paul and this endorsement will help Tulsi.
YES!!!! RON PAUL!!!!
May 15, 2019 | www.youtube.com
Alex K. , 1 year agoArchvaldor's Warcraft Hacks , 1 year ago
Chris Hedges is a rare breed. Doesn't care about left/right, liberal/conservative, just dropping truth bombs.TIM BROWN , 1 year ago
I really feel for Chris Hedges on a personal level. Unlike say Blyth, or Chomsky, whom seem to revel in being intellectual bad boys, Hedges seems to be at heart a very conservative man in the true sense of the word, driven to the extremes by the rabid greed and sociopathic nature of mainstream politics. The corruption of it seems to visibly torture him. It takes a special kind of courage to take an unpopular stand like he does.김선달봉이 , 1 year ago
President Eisenhower stated that the largest threat to our Democracy was/is the Military Industrial Complex. He quickly terminated the Korean War that he inherited then kept us out of foreign conflict. He believed in a strong Middle Class and promoted our economy with a massive highway system. He kept the highest progressive tax rate at 90% discouraging CEO's from massively overpaying themselves.Jonathan Cook , 1 year ago
A great and courageous man. A very lonely voice in this crazy world.LiberaLib , 1 year ago
Wow, that was awesome, this guy is on a par with our great historical orators.Ruth Rivera , 1 year ago
Iceberg. Dead ahead.Chris Mclean , 1 year ago
Thank you Chris Hedges. You speak profound truth. I'm listening.sprite fallen , 1 year ago
Epic speech. Thank you Chris!
Weird hearing someone speak truth
Jul 12, 2017 | www.youtube.com
Fox News contributor Ralph Peters suggested Tucker was like a Nazi sympathizer for wondering whether Russia and the US should work together against ISIS. Another critic mostly agrees with Peters - and Tucker takes him on
James Lamoureux , 2 weeks agoElijah Sims , 2 months ago
The "empire" Reagan warned us about was the Obama admin.Jordan Smith , 5 months ago
Max Boot is an example of someone who takes himself so seriously that they become a joke.TD TOPPDAWG , 1 month ago
I love tucker❤️Joseph Duplaga , 2 months ago
Wasn't it Ronald Reagan who said "if fascism comes it will come in the name of liberalism"jeroliver , 3 weeks ago
Keep up the good work Tucker a voice of reason in a room full of lunatics .Maverick Watch Reviews , 8 months ago
Who in their right mind would take advice about ANYTHING from Max Boot?Geoff M , 2 months ago
Tucker sure gave Max the boot in that segment.Gdurant , 2 months ago
Max Boot is never right! He had so many idiotic opinions! A man who wants to intervene in every part of the world and sod the consequences! He's a real neo con extremist! Dangerous!Francis Wargirai , 2 months ago
These idiots want us to go and start more wars?dagmastr , 3 weeks ago
Selling insurance, house painting, something you're good at. Hahaha.. Gold..jućub 111 , 5 months ago
One thing is Tucker is excellent in a debate. He just made max look very stupid.omar rashid , 2 months ago
Tucker rest of world love and support you...keep rollin 💪💪 regards from Serbia 🇷🇸Leonardo Espino , 1 week ago
Good God, you can feel the anger off this guy.D Redacted , 3 weeks ago
I have to say that... dam ... I love tucker and he's a good tv anchor and he's hilarious when he takes any opponentVani Vasil , 1 week ago
Max debates like a spoilt child.... Remind me of the Kurt Echinwald interviewJermano Mayfield , 1 week ago
who the hell established this guy as a foreign policy expert ??Kay Scott , 1 week ago
Tucker Rocks! Gets them triggered so THE TRUTH can come outJames Burton , 2 days ago
Flakes like this Boot guy has destroyed our foreign policyWilliam Miller , 2 days ago
I WOULD LIKE TO JUST KNOCK HELL OUTTA THAT BALD HEADED SUMBITCH.
When you don't have an answer, just attack the person asking the question. Nice goin' Max, you fool.
May 07, 2019 | www.youtube.com
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., became a household name in 2016 when he ran a progressive campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination -- and came close to securing it. He's back in the 2020 race, but this time up against more than 20 other candidates. Sanders sits down with Judy Woodruff to discuss trade with China, health care, student debt, Russian election interference and more.
May 15, 2019 | twitter.com
gjohnsit on Sun, 05/12/2019 - 5:46pmThe Hill forgot Tulsi again
It's #IgnoreTulsiTime again. @thehill pic.twitter.com/rVe306gXxx
-- K. Rosef (@kayrosef) May 10, 2019
they can't even say itCBS News (2/4/19) briefly interviewed Honolulu Civil Beats reporter Nick Grube regarding Gabbard's campaign announcement. The anchors had clearly never encountered the term anti-interventionism before, struggling to even pronounce the word, then laughing and saying it "doesn't roll off the tongue."
May 15, 2019 | nationalinterest.org
For Trump's hawkish advisers -- National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo -- instigating or provoking a conflict with Iran would serve their unified purpose of throwing the ayatollahs out of the corridors of power for good. Yet for Trump himself, rightly skeptical of launching dubious wars of choice and having committed to the American people he would extricate the United States from pointless interventions, picking a fight with Iran would be a direct violation of his campaign promise.
More important, a military conflict with Iran would be a U.S. response wholly disproportionate to the threat Iran poses to U.S. security.
Washington is full of advisers, think tank scholars, and pundits who believe that it's simply impossible for the United States and Iran to coexist and that the only solution to the Iranian problem is to change the regime -- whether by force or by collapsing Tehran's finances and instigating a widespread, domestic revolt. But to suggest that the United States, the world's only superpower with global power projection capabilities, is incapable or powerless to manage Iran is a severely flawed interpretation of the overall situation. Indeed, it underestimates the superior power of the United States and gives Tehran far too much credit than it's entitled to.
Right now, diplomacy between Washington and Tehran is unlikely over the short-term. The Iranians will likely bide their time and hope U.S. policy will change after the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
However, what the Trump administration can do is decrease the tension before the situation gets to a point where avenues for de-escalation are further constrained. Trump must take control of the policy instead of leaving it in the hands of those who have been promoting unending confrontation with Iran for their entire careers. The simplest way to do this is by establishing direct lines of communication between U.S. and Iranian officials to -- at the very least -- pave the road for a dialogue and create a node that can be used by both to address any misunderstandings that occur at a moment's notice.
The American people don't want a war. The Iranian people don't want a war. Trump doesn't want a war. And the Iranian government, increasingly constrained by U.S. secondary sanctions, doesn't want a war it would lose. It's not too late for the president to nip the worst-case scenario in the bud.
Dan DePetris is a Fellow at Defense Priorities as well as a columnist for the Washington Examiner and the American Conservative. You can follow him on Twitter at @DanDePetris .
R. Arandas • 13 minutes ago
Bolton reminds me a bit of Cheney and his considerable influence over Bush's foreign policy.
AndrewK • 9 hours ago
Sheldon Adelson getting his money's worth...
May 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
1984 Turns 70-Years-Old In A World That Looks A Lot Like The Book
by Tyler Durden Tue, 05/14/2019 - 16:25 0 SHARES Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print Authored by John Vibes via ActivistPost.com,
This month, George Orwell's legendary novel Nineteen Eighty-Four turns 70 years old, and the warnings contained within the story are now more relevant than ever. Orwell's predictions were so spot on that it almost seems like it was used as some type of accidental instruction manual for would-be tyrants.
In the world of Nineteen Eighty-Four , there is an all-encompassing surveillance state that keeps a watchful eye on everyone, in search of possible rebels and points of resistance.
Censorship is the norm in this world, and is so extreme that individuals can become "unpersons" who are essentially deleted from society because their ideas were considered dangerous by the establishment. This is an idea that is very familiar to activists and independent journalists who are being removed from the public conversation for speaking out about government and corporate corruption on social media.
Orwell is famous for coining the term "double-speak," which is a way to describe the euphemistic language that government uses to whitewash their most dirty deeds. For example, in Orwell's story, the ministry of propaganda was called the Ministry of Truth, just as today the government agency that was once known as "The Department of War," is now called the "Department of Defense."
There was also never-ending war in Orwell's story, the conditions of which would change on a regular basis, keeping the general population confused about conflicts so they give up on trying to understand what is actually going on. Some of these predictions were merely recognitions of patterns in human history, since the idea of "unpersons" and war propaganda is nothing new. However, Orwell had an incredible understanding of how technology was going to progress over the 20th century, and he was able to envision how technology would be used by those in power to control the masses.
The technological predictions made in the book were truly uncanny, as they give a fairly accurate description of our modern world. Orwell described "telescreens," which acted as both an entertainment device and a two-way communication device. This type of technology was predicted by many futurists at the time, but Orwell's prediction was unique because he suggested that these devices would be used by the government to spy on people, through microphones and cameras built into the devices.
Unfortunately, just like in Orwell's book, people in the modern world are so distracted by entertainment and the divided by politics that they have no idea they are living in a tyrannical police state. This police state was also a strong deterrent in the world of Nineteen Eighty-Four , because although many of the citizens in the book had a positive opinion of "big brother," it was still something that they feared, and it was a force that kept them in control. Of course, this is not much different from the attitude that the average American or European has when confronted with police brutality and government corruption.
Many of the ideas about power and authority that were expressed in Orwell's classic are timeless and as old as recorded history ; but his analysis of how technology would amplify the destructive nature of power was incredibly unique, especially for his time.
wonder warthog , 2 minutes ago linksacredfire , 2 minutes ago link
Not to stray too far, I always liked the part in Ray Bradbury's "Something Wicked This Way Comes":
"Sometimes the man who looks happiest in town, with the biggest smile, is the one carrying the biggest load of sin. There are smiles and smiles; learn to tell the dark variety from the light. The seal-barker, the laugh-shouter, half the time he's covering up. He's had his fun and he's guilty. And men do love sin, oh how they love it, never doubt, in all shapes, sizes, colors, and smells."
The laugh shouter is one of those government or corporate chuckle-heads that goes along, gets along, and usually spends less than an hour a day actually doing his job. You see them on TV and in every office. Everything out of their mouths has to be punctuated with a chuckle.Teja , 6 minutes ago link
Coincidentially, I am reading it now and when I first started reading it three weeks ago I was stunned at it's accurate depiction of todays America!Reaper , 7 minutes ago link
Regarding the way the world is dis-informed and manipulated by social media comments, try "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card, written in 1985.wonder warthog , 12 minutes ago link
The Exceptionals find virtue in trusting their "protectors," aka police/FBI/military/CIA./courts.TahoeBilly2012 , 11 minutes ago link
The thing I remember from the novel was the "versificator" which was a typewriter-like device that allowed historical events to be changed as needed . . . very much like the networked computer.
Deep Snorkeler , 21 minutes ago link
Facebook recently made me an UnPerson, not joking. I had deleted my acct some years ago, re-registered to man a business page and...haha they rejected me, recent photo and all.WileyCoyote , 22 minutes ago link
Donald Trump's World
He watches TV. That's his primary experience with reality.
He communes with nature solely through manicured golf courses.
A man of empty sensationalism, devoid of real experience,
uneducated, insulated and deeply shallow.hedgeless_horseman , 28 minutes ago link
A group of 'servants' possessing a monopoly of force and using it to rule over others has never worked out well for the 'citizens' in the long run.Barbarossa296 , 19 minutes ago link
...and The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.Alananda , 28 minutes ago link
A great classic by Edward Gibbons. History does indeed repeat itself.chumbawamba , 22 minutes ago link
There are a few other books and booklets and letters that also seem eerily prescient. Following modern-day protocols, however, it's best not to mention them in polite company. ;-)hedgeless_horseman , 32 minutes ago link
To which Protocols do you refer?
-chumblez.chumbawamba , 28 minutes ago link
Unfortunately, just like in Orwell's book, people in the modern world are so distracted by entertainment and the divided by politics that they have no idea they are living in a tyrannical police state.
"We are not at war with Eurasia. You are being made into obedient, stupid slaves of the Party." -Emmanuel Goldstein
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-05-10/voting-big-brother-you-might-be-low-information-voterhedgeless_horseman , 20 minutes ago link
"1984", otherwise known as "Plantation Theory 101" to the bloodline elites.
I plan on voting in the local elections, especially for Sheriff and the bond issues. Also, I still think that voting for the quality Libertarian candidates is a better option than not voting, but I do understand your point. But when all else fails, you better be prepared to vote from the rooftops...
May 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his Russian counterpart Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov discussed a broad number of security related issues in Sochi on Tuesday ranging from nuclear arms control to ratcheting US tensions with Iran to Venezuela to Ukraine. Importantly, the two top diplomats traded warnings against election meddling and interference in their respective countries -- though we might add that Lavrov's message was packed with more sarcasm following the Mueller report clearing Trump of "collusion".
In response to Pompeo's reportedly warning Russia to never interfere in what he described as America's "sacred" elections, specifically warning against any 2020 presidential election interference, Lavrov shot back with: "We can discuss this topic forever, but until we have cold hard facts on the table, we cannot have a grown-up discussion about it," according to Russia's RT .
Speaking to reporters afterward, Lavrov said proudly that he had handed Pompeo a "memorandum" on US interference in Russia but didn't reveal its precise contents, only saying, "we're prepared to talk on this topic."
Though both expressed hope for improved ties between Washington and Moscow, Reuters characterized it as a testy and impatient exchange :
Visiting Russia for the first time as secretary of state, Pompeo publicly clashed with Lavrov on issues from Ukraine to Venezuela. After their meeting, both men said they had been far apart on many issues .
"I made clear to Foreign Minister Lavrov... that interference in American elections is unacceptable. If the Russians were engaged in that in 2020 it would put our relationship in an even worse place than it has been ," he said.
"I'd encourage them not to do that. We would not tolerate that."
However, soon after the summit, Russian President Putin in public statements indicated his belief that "Trump is in the mood to restore ties with Russia."
He also indicated it's his own desire to "fully restore" Russia-US ties, according to the AP, and interestingly also praised the "quite objective" Mueller report in statements to reporters .
"As you know, just a few days ago, I had the pleasure of talking with the US president on the phone," Putin told Pompeo during the Tuesday summit in Sochi. "I got the impression that the [US] president was inclined to re-establish Russian-American relations and contacts to resolve together the issues that are of mutual interest to us."
Pompeo, for his part, appeared to say as much following the meeting, saying, "The United States stands ready to find common ground with Russia as long as the two of us can engage seriously on those issues."
Pompeo said further :
President Trump has made clear that his expectation is that we will have an improved relationship between our two countries. This will benefit each of our peoples. And I think that our talks here today were a good step in that direction.
However, Pompeo still went through a litany of disagreements he had with Russia, especially centering on multiple hot spots around the globe where the Trump administration has exercised a big stick approach.
At Lavrov-Pompeo presser, around 28:30, Lavrov says something significant: Russia recently offered to publish info from a US-Russia channel on cyberspace that he claims would address the allegations of Russian election meddling. He says the US declined: https://t.co/o4MbqQlwCy-- Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) May 14, 2019
* * *
Below is a brief run-down of key points to the two briefed reporters on afterwards.
At the top of the agenda, Lavrov signaled Russia could be open to a new arms control treaty after the recent US withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, countered by Russia suspending its obligations under the Reagan-era pact which crucially served to keep missile build-up out of Europe.
Pompeo stressed China had to be part of any future sweeping deal, also considering rapid advances in defense technology. Lavrov expressed hope that any future agreements will be "positively received by both nations."
The New START nuclear arms reduction treaty will expire in February of 2021, giving greater impetus for both sides to work through the current impasse.
No common ground on Venezuela
Predictably the Venezuela hawk Pompeo slammed Russia's "interfering" in the Latin American country's internal affairs, adding also to that list China, Cuba and Iran.
"Maduro has brought nothing but misery to the Venezuelan people," Pompeo stated. "We hope that Russian support for Maduro will end." Lavrov defended the right of Venezuelans to choose their own president and refused to recognize US-declared "Interim President" Juan Guaido.
"Democracy cannot be done by force," Lavrov told reporters. "The threats that we hear against the Maduro government, threats that come from the mouths of US officials this has nothing in common with democracy."
* * *
No desire for war with Iran
"We fundamentally do not see a war with Iran," Secretary of State Pompeo said, but added: "We've made it clear to the Iranians that if American interests are attacked, we will certainly respond in an appropriate fashion."
On Tuesday President Trump denied a prior New York Times report which alleged the White House was planning to send up to 120,000 troops to the Middle East should conflict erupt between Iran and the United States. The president called the report "fake news" but still added that should war actually break out he would send "a hell of a lot more," according to Reuters.
Lavrov stated that Russia hopes "reason will gain the upper hand," and added that Moscow opposed the US pullout of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA), and further that Europe is right in attempting to stick to the deal.
Pompeo informed Lavrov that the US hadn't budged in its position regarding Moscow's "illegal" annexation of the Crimea in 2014, saying economic sanctions would remain in place until Russia reverses course.
Following the Ukrainian election of comedian turned unlikely politician Volodymyr Zelensky, Pompeo said Russia should now "work with Ukraine's new president-elect to bring peace to eastern Ukraine," according to a paraphrase of Pompeo's words by Reuters, and further that Russian authorities should release Ukrainian sailors captured in last year's dangerous Kerch Strait incident .
May 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
In the midst of an interesting and wide-ranging discussion on the Joe Rogan Experience , Democratic congresswoman and presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard said that if elected president she would drop all charges against NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
"What would you do about Julian Assange? What would you do about Edward Snowden?" Rogan asked in the latter part of the episode.
"As far as dropping the charges?" Gabbard asked.
"If you're president of the world right now, what do you do?"
"Yeah, dropping the charges," Gabbard replied.
Rogan noted that Sweden's preliminary investigation of rape allegations has just been re-opened , saying the US government can't stop that, and Gabbard said as president she'd drop the US charges leveled against Assange by the Trump administration.
"Yeah," Gabbard said when asked to clarify if she was also saying that she'd give Edward Snowden a presidential pardon, adding,
"And I think we've got to address why he did things the way that he did them. And you hear the same thing from Chelsea Manning, how there is not an actual channel for whistleblowers like them to bring forward information that exposes egregious abuses of our constitutional rights and liberties. Period. There was not a channel for that to happen in a real way, and that's why they ended up taking the path that they did, and suffering the consequences."
This came at the end of a lengthy discussion about WikiLeaks and the dangerous legal precedent that the Trump administration is setting for press freedoms by prosecuting Assange, as well as the revelations about NSA surveillance and what can be done to roll back those unchecked surveillance powers.
"What happened with [Assange's] arrest and all the stuff that just went down I think poses a great threat to our freedom of the press and to our freedom of speech," Gabbard said.
"We look at what happened under the previous administration, under Obama. You know, they were trying to find ways to go after Assange and WikiLeaks, but ultimately they chose not to seek to extradite him or charge him, because they recognized what a slippery slope that begins when you have a government in a position to levy criminal charges and consequences against someone who's publishing information or saying things that the government doesn't want you to say , and sharing information the government doesn't want you to share. And so the fact that the Trump administration has chosen to ignore that fact, to ignore how important it is that we uphold our freedoms, freedom of the press and freedom of speech, and go after him, it has a very chilling effect on both journalists and publishers. And you can look to those in traditional media and also those in new media, and also every one of us as Americans. It was a kind of a warning call, saying Look what happened to this guy. It could happen to you. It could happen to any one of us."
Gabbard discussed Mike Pompeo's arbitrary designation of WikiLeaks as a hostile non-state intelligence service, the fact that James Clapper lied to Congress about NSA surveillance as Director of National Intelligence yet suffered no consequences and remains a respected TV pundit, and the opaque and unaccountable nature of FISA warrants.
Some other noteworthy parts of Gabbard's JRE appearance for people who don't have time to watch the whole thing, with hyperlinks to the times in the video:
- Rogan gets Gabbard talking in depth about what Bashar al-Assad was actually like when she met him and what he said to her, which I don't think I've ever seen anyone bother to do before.
- The two discuss Eisenhower's famous speech warning of the dangers of the military-industrial complex, and actually pause their dialogue to watch a good portion of it. Gabbard points out that in the original draft of the speech, Eisenhower had intended to call it the "congressional-military-industrial complex".
- Good discussion on internet censorship and the dangers of allowing monopolistic Silicon Valley corporations to control public speech, then later discussing the possibility of breaking up these corporations or treating them as public utilities.
- Rogan asks Gabbard what she thinks happens to US presidents that causes them to fail to enact their campaign promises and capitulate to the will of the warmongering establishment, and what as president she'll do to avoid the same fate. All presidential candidates should have to answer this question.
- Rogan asks Gabbard how she'll stand against the billionaires for the American people without getting assassinated. All presidential candidates should have to answer this question as well.
I honestly think the entire American political system would be better off if the phoney debate stage format were completely abandoned and presidential candidates just talked one-on-one with Joe Rogan for two and a half hours instead. Cut through all the vapid posturing and the fake questions about nonsense nobody cares about and get them to go deep with a normal human being who smokes pot and curses and does sports commentary for cage fighting. Rogan asked Gabbard a bunch of questions that real people are interested in, in a format where she was encouraged to relax out of her standard politician's posture and discuss significant ideas sincerely and spontaneously. It was a good discussion with an interesting political figure and I'm glad it's already racked up hundreds of thousands of views.
* * *
Everyone has my unconditional permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I've written) in any way they like free of charge. My work is entirely reader-supported , so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook , following my antics on Twitter , throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal , purchasing some of my sweet merchandise , buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone , or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers . The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website , which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I'm trying to do with this platform, click here .
May 14, 2019 | www.unz.com
Despite the Jewish domination of the American Left in the post-War period, Mendes notes that "most Americans do not appear to have adhered to the same anti-Semitic assumptions about Jewish links with communism that dominated public opinion in parts of Europe."  Ibid ., 229.
(Philip Mendes, Jews and the Left: The Rise and Fall of a Political Alliance (Melbourne, Victoria; Palgrave MacMillian, 2014), 250.) As evidence of this, Mendes cites the decidedly muted public response to the conviction and execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg for selling atomic secrets to the Soviet Union. Despite the recognizably Jewish identity of the couple (given their name) and of all of their co-conspirators (David Greenglass, Ruth Greenglass, and Morton Sobell), and the fact the Rosenberg spy network consisted almost exclusively of Jews from the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the case "provoked remarkably little overt anti-Semitism."  Ibid ., 230.
Nor, he observes, did the "signiﬁcant number of Jews -- including teachers and Hollywood actors -- who were victims of anti-communist purges" and the prominence of Jews amongst those subpoenaed by the House Committee on Un-American Activities, lead to a significant reaction. All public opinion polls conducted during this period showed a consistent decline in "anti-Semitism," and only a small minority of those surveyed (about 5 percent) identiﬁed Jews with communism.  Ibid .
The lack of any real backlash to Jewish prominence in the New Left is ascribed to various factors: that many members of the public were not aware of the Jewish background of many of the radical leaders; that these Jewish radicals were ostensibly "not campaigning about any speciﬁcally Jewish issues that would have focused attention on Jews per se;" and to the "general decline in anti-Semitism since World War Two."  Ibid ., 257. This latter shift in public opinion (unsurprisingly) coincided with the Jewish seizure of the commanding heights of American (and Western) culture in the 1960s, and the growing emergence of the culture of "the Holocaust." The combined effect was to banish overt critical discussion of Jewish power to the margins of public discourse. While Americans rejected communist activities during the Cold War, unlike in Europe, they did not widely equate communism with Jews (at least publicly), or view Jewish participation in leftist politics with particular concern.
Neoconservative leaders were among those who feared that the Jewish prominence in the New Left of the late 1960s and early 1970s would fuel a conservative backlash against Jewish radicalism. For example, Norman Podhoretz, the editor of Commentary magazine, attacked leading Jewish leftists as alleged self-hating Jews and completely unrepresentative of the Jewish community.  Ibid ., 22.
Mendes ascribes the defection of many Jews from the radical left to neoconservatism in the 1970s to a growing misalignment between modern Leftist politics and Jewish ethnic interests: the key factor being "the creation of the State of Israel which transformed Jewish dependence from international to national forces."  Ibid ., viii.
With the advent of the state of Israel, Jewish interests were no longer exclusively represented by the universalistic agendas of the Left. According to Mendes: "Most Jews have lost their faith in universalistic causes because they do not perceive the Left as supportive of Jewish interests, and have turned instead to nationalist solutions."  Ibid ., 235.
The creation of a Jewish national entity featuring (thanks to US taxpayers) a strong and powerful army meant that Jews all over the world could look to the Zionist state to safeguard their interests, rather than depending on internationalist movements and ideologies (i.e. communism and the Soviet Union) which had often proven to be unreliable allies. Even many left-wing Jews, who might have been anti-Zionist prior to World War Two, shifted their position after the birth of Israel. For example, the long-time Austrian Jewish leftist Jean Amery commented in 1976:
There is a very deep tie and existential bond between every Jew and the State of Israel Jews feel bound to the fortunes and misfortunes of Israel, whether they are religious Jews or not, whether they adhere to Zionism or reject it, whether they are newly arrived in their host countries or deeply rooted there The Jewish State has taught all the Jews of the world to walk with their head high once more Israel is the virtual shelter for all of the insulted and injured Jews of the earth.  Ibid ., 236-37
The perceived anti-Zionism of the New Left from the 1967 onwards served to alienate many Jews and conﬁrm their commitment to nationalist, rather than internationalist solutions. An additional factor was the 1967 Six Day War in the Middle East, which provoked fears of "another Holocaust," and galvanized even non-Zionist Jews in support of Israel. There were rallies in support of Israel throughout the Western world accompanied by large donations. American Jews held massive fundraising campaigns and reportedly raised 180 million dollars. Numerous volunteers travelled to Israel to support the Jewish State. In Australia, more than 20 per cent of a total Jewish population of 34,000 in Melbourne -- attended a public rally to express their support for Israel, and 2500 attended a youth rally. 750 young Jews volunteered to go to Israel. According to Taft,
there was a widespread, almost universal, absorption in the Middle East Crisis of June among the Jews of Melbourne. This absorption took the form of extreme concern about the safety of Israel, emotional upsets, obsessive seeking of news, constant discussion of events and taking spontaneous actions to support Israel's cause.  Ibid ., 238.
The rise of left-wing anti-Zionism after the Six Day War furthered alienated sections of Western Jewry from the social democratic Left. Another factor that pushed American Jews in a neoconservative direction, identified by Mendes, was the decline in Black–Jewish relations. The emergence of the Black Power movement in the mid-1960s led to the removal of Jews from the leadership of organizations like the NAACP. Black hostility was viewed by some Jews as evidence of the failure of the strategy of courting non-White groups to advance Jewish interests. This ostensible failure prompted many Jews to concentrate on a narrower ethnic self-interest in the future.  Ibid ., 243.
This, in turn, contributed to the creation of "pragmatic alliances" with conservative political parties such as the Republicans and evangelical groups such as Christians United for Israel which "have been consistent supporters of Israel in the USA." An associated factor was that pro-Israel perspectives within Western countries increasingly emanated from mainstream conservatives, rather than from the moderate or radical Left. This occurred despite "many in these groups hold socially conservative views on issues such as abortion, homosexuality, the environment, multiculturalism, state support for the poor and disadvantaged, and refugees, which are anathema to many Jews."  Ibid ., 287.
Mendes makes the point that "These alliances were based solely on the latter's position of support for Israel, irrespective of their conservative views on social issues such as abortion, homosexuality and the welfare state, which were often sharply at odds with the more liberal opinions of most Jews."  Ibid ., 239.
Despite the defection on many Jews from the radical left to neoconservatism, the great majority of American Jews still see their ethnic interests as basically aligning with the Democratic Party. Their willingness to prioritize their ethnic interests over their personal economic interests is reflected in the fact that "high numbers of affluent Jews compared to others of the same socioeconomic status still vote for moderate left parties that do not seem to favor their economic interests." Today, the structural factors which historically drew many Jews to the Left no longer exist. Most Jews sit comfortably in middle- or even higher-income categories. This "middle-classing" of Jews throughout the West has meant that the "Jewish proletariat that motivated Jewish identiﬁcation with left-wing beliefs no longer exists."  Ibid ., 239. Consequently, "the speciﬁc link between Jewish experience of class oppression and adherence to left-wing ideology has ended."  Ibid ., 241.
Most Western Jews still support parties on the Left
Despite the widespread break with the radical Left over support for Israel, Jews nevertheless remain a “massively signiﬁcant presence” in the Left in terms of their numbers and fundraising, their organizational capacity, and their impact on popular culture.Ibid., 287. It was estimated that about a quarter of the world’s leading Marxist and radical intellectuals in the 1980s were still Jews, including Ernest Mandel, Nathan Weinstock, Maxime Rodinson, Noam Chomsky, Marcel Liebman, Ralph Miliband, and the founder of deconstructionism, Jacques Derrida. Despite continuing to comprise much of the intellectual and financial backbone of the Left, today’s Jews, “an inﬂuential and sometimes powerful group, with substantial access to politics, academia and the media,” no longer must “rely on the Left to defend their interests and wellbeing.”Ibid., 286.
The primary reason most Western Jews still vote overwhelmingly for parties on the left is the perceived threat posed by the “social conservatism” of parties further to the right of the political spectrum in nations whose majorities are European-derived and nominally at least Christian:
With the possible exception of ultra-orthodox groups, Jews seem to prefer social liberal positions on issues such as religious pluralism, abortion, feminism, illicit drugs, same-sex marriage, the science of climate change and euthanasia. Another significant factor is the long history of Christian anti-Semitism has led Jews to remain suspicious of any attempts by Christian religious groups to undermine the separation of church and state. This fear of organized religion [and of the White people who practice it] seems to explain the continued strong support of American Jews for the Democratic Party in presidential elections. A further complicating factor is the growing universalization of Jewish teachings and values, including the lessons of the Holocaust, in support of social liberal perspectives. … For example, Berman (2006) presents evidence that the younger Jewish generation in Australia have been influenced by the experience of the Holocaust into taking a strong stand against any forms of racial or religious discrimination. Many are active in campaigns for indigenous rights, and to support refugees from Afghanistan, Sudan, and Middle Eastern countries seeking asylum in Australia.Ibid., 288-89.
This advocacy is, of course, entirely hypocritical and cynical. While promoting pluralism and diversity and encouraging the dissolution of the racial and ethnic identification of Europeans, Jews have simultaneously endeavored to maintain precisely the kind of intense group solidarity they decry as immoral in others and the great majority support an ethno-nationalist Israel. They have initiated and led movements that have discredited the traditional foundations of Western society: patriotism, the Christian basis for morality, social homogeneity, and sexual restraint. At the same time, within their own communities, they have supported the very institutions they have attacked in Western societies. This is ruthless, uncompromising Darwinian group competition played out in the human cultural arena.
The ideological preoccupations of organized Jewry today are reflected in comments by Boston Globe writer, S.I. Rosenbaum, who insisted the main lesson of “the Holocaust” is “that white supremacy could turn on us at any moment,” and the strategy of appealing to the White majority “has never worked for us. It didn’t protect us in Spain, or England, or France, or Germany. There’s no reason to think it will work now.” The central question of Jewish political engagement in Western societies, she insists, is “how we survive as a minority population,” where the one great advantage American Jewry enjoys is that “unlike other places where ethno-nationalism has flourished, the U.S. is fast approaching a plurality of minorities.” Presiding over a coalition of non-Whites groups to actively oppose White interests is the Jewish ethno-political imperative: “If Jews are going to survive in the future, we will have to stand with people of color for our mutual benefit.”
Jewish writer David Cole recently questioned the wisdom of this strategy of using non-Whites as “golem” to protect the Jews from a recrudescence of National Socialism. He notes that many of the Jews’ non-White pets (like Ilhan Omar) have a disconcerting tendency to turn on their Jewish masters:
For decades, leftist Jews have been flooding the West with Third World immigrants, “Hey here’s a plan—lets dump a hundred thousand Somalis in the whitest parts of the U.S. That’ll save us from Fargo Hitler!” Inundating the West with non-White immigrants is seen by Jews as an insurance policy against “white supremacy.” The idea is that these immigrants will act as a wedge, diluting “white power” while remaining small enough to be manageable.
Jews have done this everywhere—playing two groups against each other as a way of assuring Jewish security. Let’s play Hamas against the Palestinian authority. Let’s play ISIS against Assad. … But today we live in a world in which even the lowliest bark-eater in the Kalahari can have internet access. It’s not as easy to fool entire groups anymore (individuals, sure, but not an entire race, ethnicity or faction). …
And now we Jews, so worried that Minnesota might become the Frozen Fourth Reich if left in the hands of evil whites, have created for ourselves a good old-fashioned golem in Ilhan Omar (and a bunch of the other Third World freshman congressthingies). Yeah, Omar hates whites. Yeah, she thinks white supremacy lurks behind every glass of milk and “OK” finger sign. But she hates Jews a hell of a lot more…
In a perfect world, the Rabbinical Rain Men would finally get the fuck over the Holocaust and end their war of hostility against the West. They’d see that whites are no longer the enemy, but indeed the opposite. They’d see that importing foreign mud to mold golem in traditionally white regions of the U.S is bad strategy.
Here Cole vividly restates Kevin MacDonald’s point in Culture of Critique that: “Although multiculturalist ideology was invented by Jewish intellectuals to rationalize the continuation of separatism and minority-group ethnocentrism in a modern Western state, several of the recent instantiations of multiculturalism may eventually produce a monster with negative consequences for Judaism.”Kevin MacDonald, The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth‑Century Intellectual and Political Movements, (Westport, CT: Praeger, Revised Paperback edition, 2001), 313. The creation of this “monster” is ostensibly regarded by Jewish leaders and activists as a risk worth taking to demographically, politically and culturally weaken threatening White populations.
In the minds of Jewish leaders and activists nurtured since birth on the cult of “the Holocaust,” White nationalism is still the most ominous threat to Jewish survival. This is reflected in the unquestioning commitment of the vast majority of Jewish activists and intellectuals (Cole excepted) to mass non-White immigration and multiculturalism in all historically White nations.
While Jews and the Left offers a useful catalogue of Jewish involvement in radical political movements throughout the world over the last two centuries, it recycles many of the same apologetic tropes that permeate the work of other Jewish historians and intellectuals. Mendes mischaracterizes the Jewish identity and affiliations of important Jewish communist leaders (like Lazar Kaganovich), and offers no examination of their often-murderous actions. He provides feeble apologies for the Jewish practices that engendered hostility among the native peasantry in the Pale of Settlement. The inherent weakness of his position necessitates specious argumentation and desperate resort to that evergreen of Jewish apologetic historiography: the innate irrationality and malevolence of the European mind and character. This is the invariable fallback position in any quest to exculpate Jews from responsibility for the crimes of communism in the Soviet Union and throughout Eastern Europe. Though less inclined than Brossat and Klingberg in Revolutionary Yiddishland to glorify Jewish communist militants, Mendes is equally keen to evade, whitewash and excuse disproportionate Jewish involvement in some of the worst crimes of the twentieth century.
May 14, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Yves here. Even though this post covers known territory, it seems worthwhile to encourage those of you who haven't watched the "Collateral Murder" footage to view the full version. It's important not only to keep the public (and that includes people in your personal circle) focused on what Assange's true hanging crime is in the eyes of the officialdom .and it ain't RussiaGate. That serves as a convenient diversion from his real offense. That effort has a secondary benefit of having more people watch the video.
By Thomas Neuburger. Originally published at DownWithTyranny!Before and after images of the van that came to pick up the bodies of eleven men shot to death by circling American helicopters in Iraq in 2007. Both children in the van were wounded. "Well, it's their fault for bringing their kids to a battle," said one of the pilots. "That's right," replies another. From the video Collateral Murder .
Below is a full video version of Collateral Murder , the 2007 war footage that was leaked in 2010 to Wikileaks by Chelsea (then Bradley) Manning. This version was posted to the Wikileaks YouTube channel with subtitles. It will only take about 15 minutes of your life to view it.
It's brutal to watch, but I challenge you to do it anyway. It shows not just murder, but a special kind of murder -- murder from the safety of the air, murder by men with heavy machine guns slowly circling their targets in helicopters like hunters with shotguns who walk the edges of a trout pond, shooting at will, waiting, walking, then shooting again, till all the fish are dead.
The film also shows war crimes that implicate the entire structure of the U.S. military, as everyone involved was acting under orders, seeking permission to fire, waiting, then getting it before once more blasting away. The publication of this video, plus all the Wikileaks publications that followed, comprise the whole reason everyone in the U.S. who matters, everyone with power, wants Julian Assange dead. They also want him hated. Generating that hate is the process we're watching today.
"Everyone" in this case includes every major newspaper that published and received awards for publishing Wikileaks material; all major U.S. televised media outlets; and all "respectable" U.S. politicians -- including, of course, Hillary Clinton, who was rumored (though unverifiably) to have said, "Can't we just drone this guy?"
Yes, Julian Assange the person can be a giant douche even to his supporters, as this exchange reported by Intercept writer Micah Lee attests. Nevertheless, it's not for being a douche that the Establishment state wants him dead; that state breeds, harbors and honors douches everywhere in the world . They want him dead for publishing videos like these.
Please watch it. The footage shows not only murder, but bloodlust and conscienceless brutality, so much of it in fact that this became one of the main reasons Chelsea Manning leaked it in the first place. As she said at her court-martial : "The most alarming aspect of the video for me, was the seemingly delight of bloodlust they [the pilots] appeared to have. They dehumanized the individuals they were engaging with, and seemed to not value human life in referring to them as 'dead bastards,' and congratulating each other on the ability to kill in large numbers."
The Wikileaks page for the video is here . A transcript is here .
This was done in our name, to "keep us safe." This continues to be done every day that we and our allies are at "war" in the Middle East.
Bodies pile on bodies as this continues. The least we can do, literally the least, is to witness and acknowledge their deaths.
Apr 10, 2019 | www.globalresearch.ca
While the national debt of the United States was recorded at 22.03 trillion as of April 2019, Washington's going ahead with its hawkish policies worldwide with recent NATO summit pushing for further unity against China, Russia and Iran. NATO's annual overall military budget was US$ 957 billion in 2017 where the US's share was US$ 686 billion, accounting for 72 percent of the total. This number is pressed by the US to rise in the years to come.
According to The Guardian, Trump takes more than $1tn in taxpayer money and allocates $750bn to the military. In other words, out of every taxpayer dollar, 62 cents go to the military and Department of Homeland Security and seven cents to Veterans affairs. It leaves just 31 cents for all the rest: education, job training, community economic development, housing, safe drinking water and clear air, health and science research and the prevention of war through diplomacy and humanitarian aid.
The Trump budget finds vast billions for militarization, while it cuts "smaller" poverty alleviation projects and other programs, claiming the goal is to save money.
Rutherford Institute's founder and director John W. WhiteHead writes in his institute's website that the American nation is being preyed upon by a military industrial complex that is propped up by war profiteers, corrupt politicians and foreign governments. He remarks:
"Don't be fooled into thinking that your hard-earned tax dollars are being used for national security and urgent military needs".
He writes "you know what happens to tax dollars that are left over at the end of the government's fiscal year? Government agencies – including the Department of Defense – go on a 'use it or lose it' spending spree so they can justify asking for money in the next fiscal year".
"We are talking about $97 billion worth of wasteful spending"
He maintains that the nation's educational system is pathetic, the infrastructure is antiquated and growing more outdated by the day and the health system is overpriced and inaccessible to those who need it most.
The tax cuts on super-rich, outflow of huge sums in interest payment for debt and more spending are plunging the US economy into a new crisis, according to many authors. The US economy faces a deficit which means the spending especially on military and defence is far exceeding the tax revenues.
In 2017, US spent US$ 685,957 billion with 3.6 of its GDP on military spending while the UK stood second at US$ 55,237 billion with 2.1 per cent of GDP. France and Germany allocated US$ 45,927 billion and 45,472 billion respectively with 1.8 and 1.2 percent of their GDPs. The NATO member states are pressured for raising their defense spending to 2 percent and gradually up to 4 percent in five years.
According to a study regarding world powers' overseas military bases
- China retains twelve military bases;
- France runs nine military bases including in Germany, Lebanon and UAE;
- Germany has two military bases in France and United States;
- India has seven bases including in Tajikistan and Maldives;
- Israel possesses one military base in Syria's Golan Heights;
- Pakistan has a military center with 1,180 personnel in Saudi Arabia;
- Russia runs eight military facilities including in Armenia, Georgia, Syria and some Central Asian countries;
- UK controls ten military bases including in Bahrain, Canada, Germany, Singapore and Qatar;
- t he US is leading nearly 800 military bases across the world that run in full swing with the highest budget.
In other words, the US possesses up to 95 per cent of the world's military bases . The Department of Defense says that its locations include 164 countries. Put another way, it has a military presence of some sort in approximately 84 percent of the nations on this planet.The US Military Bases Abroad Are Disrupting the World Order
The annual cost of deploying US military personnel overseas, as well as maintaining and running those foreign bases, tops out at an estimated US$ 150 billion annually. The US bases abroad cost upwards of US$ 50 billion only for building and maintenance, which is enough to address pressing needs at home in education, health care, housing and infrastructure.
In 2017 and 2018, the world's largest military spenders were the United States, China, Saudi Arabia, Russia and India. The UK took over France as sixth largest spender in 2018 while Japan and Germany stood at eighth and ninth positions.
In early 2018, Pentagon released a report saying that Afghan war costs US$ 45 billion to taxpayers in the preceding year. Of this amount, US$ 5 billion has been spent on Afghan forces, US$ 13 billion towards US forces in Afghanistan and the rest on economic aid.
But these costs are far lower than the time when the US military was highly engaged in Afghanistan. With nearly 100,000 soldiers in the country from 2010 to 2012, the price for American taxpayers surpassed US$ 100 billion each year. For now, there are around 16,000 US troops in Afghanistan. Despite hundreds of billions of dollars have gone into Afghanistan, the US admits it failed in war against militants in Afghanistan.
In November 2018, another study published by CNBC reported that America has spent US$ 5.9 trillion on wars in the Middle East and Asia since 2001 including in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. The study also reveals that more than 500,000 people have been killed in the wars and nearly 10 million people have been displaced due to violence.
The US has reportedly spent US$ 1.07 trillion in Afghanistan since 2001 which include Overseas Contingency Operations funds dedicated to Afghanistan, costs on the base budget of the Department of Defense and increase to the budget of the Department of Veteran Affairs.
In Afghanistan, the US costs of war in 2001 commenced with US$ 37.3 billion that soared to US$ 57.3 billion in 2007 and US$ 100 billion in 2009. The year with record spending was 2010 with US$ 112.7 billion that slightly plummeted to US$ 110.4 billion in 2011 but took downwards trend in the later years.
Due to skyrocketing military costs on the US government, Trump Administration recently decided to pack up some of its military bases in Afghanistan and Middle East to diminish expenditures, though it doesn't mean the wars would end at all.
According to Afghanistan Analysts Network, the US Congress has appropriated more than US$ 126 billion in aid for Afghanistan since financial year 2002, with almost 63 percent for security and 28 percent for development and the remainder for civilian operations, mostly budgetary assistance and humanitarian aid. Alongside the US aid, many world countries have pumped millions of dollars in development aids, but what is evident for insiders and outsiders is that a trickle of those funds has actually gone into Afghanistan's reconstruction.
With eighteen years into Afghan war, the security is deteriorating; Afghan air force is ill-equipped; poppy cultivation is on the rise; roads and highways are dilapidated or unconstructed; no mediocre hospital and health care has been established; weekly conflict causalities hit 150-250; electricity is still imported from Central Asian countries; economy remains dependent upon imports; unemployment rate is at its peak; more than three quarters of population live under poverty line and many, many more miseries persist or aggravate.
The US boasts of being the largest multi-billion dollar donor for Afghanistan, but if one takes a deeper look at the living standards of majority and the overall conditions, it can be immediately grasped that less than half of that exaggerated fund has been consumed. The US-made government of Afghanistan has deliberately been left behind to rank as the first corrupt country in the world. Thanks to the same unaddressed pervasive corruption, a hefty amount of that fund has been either directed back to the US hands or embezzled by senior Afghan officials.
Afghanistan's new Living Conditions Survey shows that poverty is more widespread today than it was immediately after the fall of Taliban regime, or in other words, in the early days of US invasion.
Next month, Kabul will host a Consultative Loya Jirga attended by around 2,000 representatives from Afghanistan which will cost the Afghan Ministry of Finance AF 369 million (equivalent to five million US$). Even as the past has proved that these events are only symbolic and further complicating the achievement of peace, a country with great majority under poverty line doesn't deserve to organize such costly gatherings.
Note to readers: please click the share buttons below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.
Masud Wadan is a geopolitical analyst based in Kabul. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.
Featured image is from Salon.comThe original source of this article is Global Research Copyright © Masud Wadan , Global Research, 2019
Mar 5, 2019 | www.youtube.com
Evil Loch Ness , 2 months agoPrakash Man Shrestha , 1 month ago
Tulsi seems incredibly sincere, tempered and presidential.Smegead , 2 months ago
I am not an American. ... I see a glimmer of light in Tulsi.Dragonblazzer969 , 2 months ago
A worthy first female president.NOAH WEIKERT , 1 month ago
Left or Right, you cannot question Gabbard's patriotism and intelligence and in-depth knowledge on war issues. Great candidate.PaleGhost69 , 2 months ago (edited)
As republican I would vote for Tulsi Gabbard, so won me over after the Joe Rogan podcast.RainFurRent 24/7 , 2 months ago
Sanders/Gabbard 2020 Edit: To those who say Gabbard/Sanders, you forget what the point of the vice president is.Charles Roberts , 2 months ago
I didn't think anyone could take my vote from Bernie but I was wrong. Tulsi 2020 for me.Ken Baker , 1 month ago (edited)
Wow!! The sound of the voice of common sense & truth, for a change. I don't care if she is Democrat or Republican ... this lady is voicing what the majority of people actually think & believe.roselassi , 2 months ago
A Democrat who makes sense. It's refreshing. Why do they try to keep her out of sight? Be cause she is anti war? Tells you alot about the swamp.Proper Gander , 2 months ago
She is an amazing diplomat - I support her 100%Prateek , 1 month ago
It ain't just left, it's common senseBpinator , 2 months ago
The way she conducts herself is an inspiration. I really like her.Kevin Benderman , 2 weeks ago
Just donated to Tulsi. We need her anti-imperialism on the mainstream debate stage.Spiritual Humanist , 2 months ago
Tulsi Gabbard is the only one I have seen who isn't an overly hyberbolic shill. She embodies the concept of "speak softly and carry a big stick".ooPROTOTYPE1oo , 2 months ago
Tulsi Gabbard 2020☮️ donate to Tulsi ❤️Brah , 1 month ago (edited)
Tulsi doesn't really care about Republican or Democratic party. What she cares about are the American people.Cesar , 1 month ago (edited)
Tulsi Gabbard could bring the Democratic Party back to the days of JFK.Kevin Malone , 2 months ago
Holly shit, I've never seen anyone on Fox News let their guest talk as much this? Especially Tucker being so calm, this makes me feel good. It must be Tulsi's vibe, someone as diplomatic and disciplined as her must be running the White House.Miss Kimberly , 1 month ago
It just feels so good seeing a politician actually answer questions. Instead of talking but not saying anything of actual substance.
We need a candidate who can float between both sides, and stick with a Progressive agenda. This is outstanding.
May 14, 2019 | www.globalresearch.ca
Afghanistan, the Forgotten Proxy War. The Role of Osama bin Laden and Zbigniew Brzezinski Part II By Janelle Velina Global Research, May 08, 2019 Region: Asia Theme: History , Intelligence , US NATO War Agenda In-depth Report: AFGHANISTAN
Read Part I from the link below.
Afghanistan, the Forgotten Proxy War
By Janelle Velina , April 30, 2019Below is the second half and conclusion of "Afghanistan, the Forgotten Proxy War". While the previous sections examined the economic roots of imperialism, as well as the historical context of the Cold War within which to situate the Mujahideen, the following explores the anatomy of proxy warfare and media disinformation campaigns which were at the heart of destabilizing Afghanistan. These were also a large part of why there was little to no opposition to the Mujahideen from the Western 'left', whose continued dysfunctionality cannot be talked about without discussing Zbigniew Brzezinski. We also take a look at what led to the Soviet Union's demise and how that significantly affected the former Democratic Republic of Afghanistan and many other parts of the world. The United States has been at war in Afghanistan for four decades now, and it will reach its 40th year on July 3, 2019. The original "moderate rebel"
One of the key players in the anti-Soviet, U.S.-led regime change project against Afghanistan was Osama bin Laden , a Saudi-born millionaire who came from a wealthy, powerful family that owns a Saudi construction company and has had close ties to the Saudi royal family. Before becoming known as America's "boogeyman", Osama bin Laden was put in charge of fundraising for the Mujahideen insurgents, creating numerous charities and foundations in the process and working in coordination with Saudi intelligence (who acted as liaisons between the fighters and the CIA). Journalist Robert Fisk even gave bin Laden a glowing review, calling him a " peace warrior " and a philanthropist in a 1993 report for the Independent . Bin Laden also provided recruitment for the Mujahideen and is believed to have also received security training from the CIA. And in 1989, the same year that Soviet troops withdrew, he founded the terrorist organization Al Qaeda with a number of fighters he had recruited to the Mujahideen. Although the PDPA had already been overthrown, and the Soviet Union was dissolved, he still maintained his relationship with the CIA and NATO, working with them from the mid-to-late 1990s to provide support for the secessionist Bosnian paramilitaries and the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in the destruction and dismantling of Yugoslavia.
The United States would eventually turn Bin Laden into a scapegoat after the 2001 terrorist attacks, while still maintaining ties to his family and providing arms, training, and funding to Al Qaeda and its affiliates (rebranded as "moderate rebels" by the Western media) in its more recent regime change project against Syria, which started in 2011. The Mujahideen not only gave birth to Al Qaeda, but it would set a precedent for the United States' regime-change operations in later years against the anti-imperialist governments of Libya and Syria.
Reagan entertains Mujahideen fighters in the White House.With the end to the cycle of World Wars (for the time being, at least), it has become increasingly common for the United States to use local paramilitaries, terrorist groups, and/or the armed forces of comprador regimes to fight against nations targeted by U.S. capital interests. Why the use of proxy forces? They are, as Whitney Webb describes , "a politically safe tool for projecting the U.S.' geopolitical will abroad." Using proxy warfare as a kind of power projection tool is, first and foremost, cost-effective, since paid local mercenaries or terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda will bear the burden of combat and casualties rather than American troops in places like Libya and Syria. For example, it costs much less to pay local paramilitaries, gangs, crime syndicates, terrorist groups, and other reactionary forces to perform the same military operations as U.S. troops. Additionally, with the advent of nuclear weapons it became much more perilous for global superpowers to come into direct combat with one another -- if the Soviet Union and the United States had done so, there existed the threat of "mutually assured destruction", the strong possibility of instantaneous and catastrophic damage to the populations and the economic and living standards of both sides, something neither side was willing to risk, even if it was U.S. imperialism's ultimate goal to destroy the Soviet Union. And so, the U.S. was willing to use any other means necessary to weaken the Soviet Union and safeguard its profits, which included eliminating the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan even if it had neither the intent nor the means of launching a military offensive on American soil. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union had the means of producing a considerably large supply of modern weapons, including nuclear deterrents, to counter the credible threat posed by the United States. To strike the Soviet Union with nuclear missiles would have been a great challenge for the United States, since it would have resulted in overwhelming retaliation by the Soviet Union. To maneuver this problem, to assure the destruction of the Soviet Union while protecting the U.S. from similar destruction, the CIA relied on more unconventional methods not previously thought of as being part of traditional warfare, such as funding proxy forces while wielding economic and cultural influence over the American domestic sphere and the international scene. Furthermore, proxy warfare enables control of public opinion, thus allowing the U.S. government to escape public scrutiny and questions about legal authorization for war. With opposition from the general public essentially under control, consent for U.S.-led wars does not need to be obtained, especially when the U.S. military is running them from " behind the scenes " and its involvement looks less obvious. Indeed, the protests against the war on Vietnam in the United States and other Western countries saw mass turnouts.
And while the U.S.-led aggression in Vietnam did involve proxy warfare to a lesser degree, it was still mostly fought with American "boots-on-the-ground", much like the 2001 renewed U.S.-led aggression against Afghanistan and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. In contrast, the U.S. assault on Afghanistan that began in 1979 saw little to no protest. The Mujahideen even garnered support from large portions of the Western left who joined the chorus of voices in the Western mainstream media in demonizing the PDPA -- a relentless imperialist propaganda campaign that would be repeated in later years during the U.S. wars on Libya and Syria, with the difference being that social media had not yet gained prominence at the time of the initial assault on Afghanistan. This leads to the next question: why recruit some of the most reactionary social forces abroad, many of whom represent complete backwardness?
In Afghanistan, such forces proved useful in the mission to topple the modernizing government of the PDPA, especially when their anti-modernity aspirations intersected with U.S. foreign policy; these ultra-conservative forces continue to be deployed by the United States today. In fact, the long war on Afghanistan shares many striking similarities with the long war on Syria, with the common theme of U.S. imperialism collaborating with violent Sunni extremists to topple the secular, nationalist and anti-imperialist governments of these two former 'Soviet bloc' countries. And much like the PDPA, the current and long-time government of the Ba'ath Arab Socialist Party in Syria has made many strides towards achieving national liberation and economic development, which have included: taking land from aristocratic families (a majority of whom were Sunni Muslims while Shia Muslims, but especially Alawites, traditionally belonged to the lower classes and were treated as second class citizens in pre-Ba'athist Syria) and redistributing and nationalizing it, making use of Syria's oil and gas reserves to modernize the country and benefit its population, and upholding women's rights as an important part of the Ba'athist pillars.
Some of these aristocratic landlords, just like their Afghan counterparts, would react violently and join the Muslim Brotherhood who, with CIA-backing, carried out acts of terrorism and other atrocities in Hama as they made a failed attempt to topple the government of Hafez al Assad in 1982.
The connection between the two is further solidified by the fact that it was the Mujahideen from which Al Qaeda emerged; both are inspired by Wahhabist ideology, and one of their chief financiers is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (as well as Israel, a regional imperial power and a key ally of the United States). In either case, these Wahhabi-inspired forces were vehemently opposed to modernization and development, and would much rather keep large sections of the population impoverished, as they sought to replace the PDPA and the Ba'athists with Sunni fundamentalist, anti-Shia, theological autocracies -- Saudi-style regimes, in other words.
These reactionary forces are useful tools in the CIA's anti-communist projects and destabilization campaigns against independent nationalist governments, considering that the groups' anti-modernity stance is a motivating factor in their efforts to sabotage economic development, which is conducive to ensuring a favourable climate for U.S. capital interests. It also helps that these groups already saw the nationalist governments of the PDPA and the Syrian Ba'ath party as their 'archenemy', and would thus fight them to the death and resort to acts of terrorism against the respective civilian populations.
Zbigniew Brzezinski stated in a 1998 interview with Le Nouvel Observateur in response to the following question:
Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic fundamentalism, having given arms and advice to future terrorists?
[Brzezinski]: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?
Once again, he makes it clear that the religious extremism of the Mujahideen fighters was not an issue for Washington because the real political value lay in eliminating the PDPA and putting an end to Soviet influence in the Greater Middle East, which would give the U.S. the opportunity to easily access and steal the country's wealth. And in order to justify the U.S. imperialist intervention in Afghanistan, as well as to obscure the true nature of the Mujahideen fighters, the intervention needed to be accompanied by a rigorous mass media campaign. The Reagan administration -- knowing full well that American mainstream media has international influence -- continued the war that the Carter administration started and saw it as an opportunity to "step up" its domestic propaganda war, considering that the American general public was still largely critical of the Vietnam War at the time.
As part of the aggressive imperialist propaganda campaign, anyone who dared to publicly criticize the Mujahideen was subjected to character assassination and was pejoratively labelled a "Stalinist" or a "Soviet apologist", which are akin to labels such as "Russian agent" or "Assadist" being used as insults today against those who speak out against the U.S.-backed terrorism in Syria. There were also careful rebranding strategies made specifically for Osama bin Laden and the Mujahideen mercenaries, who were hailed as "revolutionary freedom fighters" and given a romantic, exoticized "holy warrior" makeover in Western media; hence the title of this section. The Mujahideen mercenaries were even given a dedication title card at the end of the Hollywood movie Rambo III which read, "This film is dedicated to the brave Mujahideen fighters of Afghanistan"; the film itself added to the constructed romantic image as it portrayed the Mujahideen fighters as heroes, while the Soviet Union and the PDPA were portrayed as the cartoonish villains. The Rambo film franchise is well known for its depiction of the Vietnamese as "savages" and as the aggressors in the U.S. war on Vietnam, which is a blatant reversal of the truth .
The Hollywood blockbuster franchise would be used to make the Mujahideen more palatable to Western audiences, as this unabashed, blatantly anti-Soviet propaganda for U.S. imperialism attracted millions of viewers with one of the largest movie marketing campaigns of the time. Although formulaic, the films are easily consumable because they appeal to emotion and, as Michael Parenti states in Dirty Truths , "The entertainment industry does not merely give the people what they want: it is busy shaping those wants," (p. 111). Rambo III may not have been critically acclaimed , but it was still the second most commercially successful film in the Rambo series, grossing a total of $189,015,611 at the box office . Producing war propaganda films is nothing new and has been a long staple of the Hollywood industry, which serves capitalist and imperialist interests. But, since the blockbuster movie is one of the most widely available and distributed forms of media, repackaging the Mujahideen into a popular film franchise was easily one of the best ways (albeit cynical) to justify the war, maintaining the American constructed narrative and reinforcing the demonization campaign against Soviet Russia and the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. Now, outside of the cinema, CBS News went as far as to air fake battle footage meant to help perpetuate the myth that the Mujahideen mercenaries were "freedom fighters"; American journalists Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, although decidedly biased against the Soviet Union and its allies, documented this ruse in which the news channel participated. In terms of proxy warfare, these were just some of the ways used to distract from the fact that it was a U.S.-led war.
The dedication title card as it originally appeared at the end of the film Rambo III.
In Afghanistan, proxy forces provided a convenient cover because they drew attention away from the fact that U.S. imperialism was the root cause of the conflict. The insurgents also helped to demonize the targets of U.S. foreign policy, the PDPA and the Soviet Union, all the while doing the majority of the physical combat in place of the American military. In general, drawing attention away from the fact that it has been the United States "pulling the strings" all along, using proxy forces helps Washington to maintain plausible deniability in regard to its relationship with such groups. If any one of these insurgents becomes a liability, as what had happened with the Taliban, they can just as easily be disposed of and replaced by more competent patsies, while U.S. foreign policy goes unquestioned. Criminal gangs and paramilitary forces are thus ideal and convenient tools for U.S. foreign policy. With the rule of warlords and the instability (namely damage to infrastructure, de-industrialization, and societal collapse) that followed after the toppling of the PDPA, Afghanistan's standard of living dropped rapidly, leading to forced mass migrations and making the country all the more vulnerable to a more direct U.S. military intervention -- which eventually did happen in 2001.
Zbigniew Brzezinski: godfather of colour revolutions and proxy wars, architect of the Mujahideen
The late Brzezinski was a key figure in U.S. foreign policy and a highly influential figure in the Council on Foreign Relations. Although the Polish-American diplomat and political scientist was no longer the National Security Advisor under Ronald Reagan's presidency, he still continued to play a prominent role in enforcing U.S. foreign policy goals in upholding Washington's global monopoly. The liberal Cold War ideologue's signature strategy consisted of using the CIA to destabilize and force regime-change onto countries whose governments actively resisted against Washington. Such is the legacy of Brzezinski, whose strategy of funding the most reactionary anti-government forces to foment chaos and instability while promoting them as "freedom fighters" is now a longstanding staple of U.S. imperialism.
How were the aggressive propaganda campaigns which promoted the Mujahideen mercenaries as "freedom fighters" able to garner support for the aggression against the former Democratic Republic of Afghanistan from so many on the Western left who had previously opposed the war on Vietnam? It was the through the CIA's use of 'soft-power' schemes, because leftist opinion also needed to be controlled and manipulated in the process of carrying out U.S. foreign and public policy. Brzezinski mastered the art of targeting intelligentsia and impressionable young people in order to make them supportive of U.S. foreign policy, misleading a significant number of people into supporting U.S.-led wars.
The CIA invested money into programs that used university campus, anti-Soviet "radical leftist activists" and academics (as well as artists and writers) to help spread imperialist propaganda dressed up in vaguely "leftist"-sounding language and given a more "hip", "humanitarian", "social justice", "free thinker" appeal. Western, but especially American, academia has since continued to teach the post-modernist "oppression theory" or "privilege theory" to students, which is anti-Marxist and anti-scientific at its core. More importantly, this post-modernist infiltration was meant to distract from class struggle, to help divert any form of solidarity away from anti-imperialist struggles, and to foster virulent animosity towards the Soviet Union among students and anyone with 'leftist' leanings. Hence the phenomenon of identity politics that continues to plague the Western left today, whose strength was effectively neutered by the 1970s. Not only that, but as Gowans mentions in his book, Patriots, Traitors and Empires: The Story of Korea's Struggle for Freedom :
"U.S. universities recruit talented individuals from abroad, instill in them the U.S. imperialist ideology and values, and equip them with academic credentials which conduce to their landing important political positions at home. In this way, U.S. imperial goals indirectly structure the political decision-making of other countries." (pp. 52-53)
And so we have agencies and think-tanks such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) which has scholarly appeal and actively interferes in elections abroad -- namely, in countries that are targets of U.S. foreign policy. Founded in 1983 by Reagan and directed by the CIA, the agency also assists in mobilizing coups and paid "dissidents" in U.S.-led regime change projects, such as the 2002 failed attempt against Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, as well as helping to create aggressive media campaigns that demonize targeted nations. Another instance of this "soft power" tactic of mobilizing U.S.-backed "dissidents" in targeted nations are the number of Sunni Islamic fundamentalist madrassas (schools) sponsored by the CIA and set up by Wahhabi missionaries from Saudi Arabia in Afghanistan -- which started to appear in increasing numbers during the 1980s, reaching over 39,000 during the decade. Afghanistan's public education institutions were largely secular prior to the fall of Kabul in 1992; these madrassas were the direct, ideological and intellectual antitheses to the existing institutions of education. The madrassas acted as centres for cult-like brainwashing and were essentially CIA covert psychological operations (psy-ops) intended to inspire divisiveness and demobilize younger generations of Afghans in the face of imperial onslaught so that they would not unite with the wider PDPA-led nationalist resistance to imperialism.
The NED's founding members were comprised of Cold War ideologues which included Brzezinski himself, as well as Trotskyists who provided an endless supply of slurs against the Soviet Union. It was chiefly under this agency, and with direction provided by Brzezinski, that America produced artists, "activists", academics, and writers who presented themselves as "radical leftists" and slandered the Soviet Union and countries that were aligned with it -- which was all part of the process of toppling them and subjugating them to U.S. free market fundamentalism. With Brzezinski having mastered the art of encouraging postmodernism and identity politics among the Western left in order to weaken it, the United States not only had military and economic might on its side but also highly sophisticated ideological instruments to help give it the upper hand in propaganda wars.
These "soft power" schemes are highly effective in masking the brutality of U.S. imperialism, as well as concealing the exploitation of impoverished nations. Marketing the Mujahideen mercenaries as "peace warriors" while demonizing the PDPA and referring to the Soviet assistance as an "invasion" or "aggression" marked the beginning of the regular use of "humanitarian" pretexts for imperialist interventions. The Cold War era onslaught against Afghanistan can thus be seen as the template for the NATO-led regime change projects against Yugoslavia, Libya, and Syria, which not only involved the use of U.S.-backed proxy forces but also "humanitarian" pretexts being presented in the aggressive propaganda campaigns against the targeted countries. It was not until 2002, however, that then-American UN representative Samantha Powers, as well as several U.S.-allied representatives, would push the United Nations to officially adopt the "Responsibility to Protect" (R2P) doctrine into the Charter -- which was in direct contradiction to the law that recognizes the violation of a nation's sovereignty as a crime. The R2P doctrine was born out of the illegal 78-day NATO air-bombing of Yugoslavia from March 24 to June 10, 1999. And although plans to dismantle Yugoslavia go as far back as 1984, it was not until much of the 1990s that NATO would begin openly intervening -- with more naked aggression -- starting with the funding and support for secessionist paramilitary forces in Bosnia between 1994-1995. It then sealed the 1999 destruction of Yugoslavia with with the balkanization of the Serbian province of Kosovo . In addition to the use of terrorist and paramilitary groups as proxy forces which received CIA-training and funding, another key feature of this "humanitarian" intervention was the ongoing demonization campaigns against the Serbs, who were at the centre of a vicious Western media propaganda war. Some of the most egregious parts of these demonization campaigns -- which were tantamount to slander and libel -- were the claims that the Serbs were " committing genocide " against ethnic Albanians. The NATO bombing campaign was illegal since it was given no UN Security Council approval or support.
Once again, Brzezinski was not the National Security Advisor during the U.S.-led campaign against Yugoslavia. However, he still continued to wield influence as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a private organization and Wall Street think tank. The Council on Foreign Relations is intertwined with highly influential NGOs who are essentially propaganda mouthpieces for U.S. foreign policy, such as Human Rights Watch, which has fabricated stories of atrocities allegedly committed by countries targeted by U.S. imperialism. Clearly, unmitigated U.S. imperial aggression did not end with the destruction of the former Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, nor with the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The post-Cold War years were a continuation of U.S. imperialism's scramble for more spheres of influence and global domination; it was also a scramble for what was left of the former 'Soviet bloc' and Warsaw Pact. The dismantling of Yugoslavia was, figuratively speaking, the 'final nail in the coffin' of whatever 'Soviet influence' was left in Eastern Europe.
The demise of the Soviet Union and the "Afghan trap" question
Image on the right: Left to right: former Afghan President Babrak Karmal, and former Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. Karmal took office at around the same time (December 1979) the PDPA requested that Moscow intervene to assist the besieged Afghanistan.
The sabotage and subsequent dissolution of the Soviet Union meant that only one global hegemon remained, and that was the United States. Up until 1989, the Soviet Union had been the barrier that was keeping the United States from launching a more robust military intervention in Afghanistan, as well as in Central and West Asia. While pulling out did not immediately cause the defeat of Kabul as the PDPA government forces continued to struggle for another three years, Mikhail Gorbachev's decision to withdraw Soviet troops arguably had a detrimental impact on Afghanistan for many years to come. Although there was no Soviet military assistance in the last three years of Najibullah's presidency, Afghanistan continued to receive aid from the USSR, and some Soviet military advisers (however limited in their capacity) still remained; despite the extreme difficulties, and combined with the nation's still-relatively high morale, this did at least help to keep the government from being overthrown immediately. This defied U.S. expectations as the CIA and the George H.W. Bush administration had believed that the government of Najibullah would fall as soon as Soviet troops were withdrawn. But what really hurt the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan's army was when the Soviet Union was dismantled in 1991; almost as soon as the dissolution happened and Boris Yeltsin (with U.S. backing) took over as Russia's president, the aid stopped coming and the government forces became unable to hold out for much longer. The U.S. aggression was left unchecked, and to this day Afghanistan has not seen geopolitical stability and has since been a largely impoverished 'failed state', serving as a training ground for terrorist groups such as ISIS and Al Qaeda. It continues to be an anarchic battleground between rival warlords which include the ousted Taliban and the U.S. puppet government that replaced them.
But, as was already mentioned above, the "Afghan trap" did not, in and of itself, cause the dismantling of the Soviet Union. In that same interview with Le Nouvel Observateur , Brzezinski had this to say in response to the question about setting the "trap":Likewise with Cuba and Syria, the USSR had a well-established alliance with the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, one of mutual aid and partnership. Answering Kabul's explicit request for assistance was a deliberate and conscious choice made by Moscow, and it just so happened that the majority of Afghans welcomed it. For any errors that Leonid Brezhnev, the General Secretary at the time, may have made (which do deserve a fair amount of criticism, but are not the focus of this article), the 1979 decision to intervene on behalf of Afghanistan against U.S. imperialism was not one of them. It is true that both the Soviet and the U.S. interventions were military interventions, but the key difference is that the U.S. was backing reactionary forces for the purposes of establishing colonial domination and was in clear violation of Afghan sovereignty. Consider, too, that Afghanistan had only deposed of its king in 1973, just six years before the conflict began. The country may have moved quickly to industrialize and modernize, but it wasn't much time to fully develop its military defenses by 1979.
Q: Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But perhaps you yourself desired this Soviet entry into war and looked to provoke it?
[Brzezinski]: It isn't quite that. We didn't push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.
Image below: Mikhail Gorbachev accepts the Nobel Peace Prize from George H.W. Bush on October 15, 1990. Many Russians saw this gesture as a betrayal, while the West celebrated it, because he was being awarded for his capitulation to U.S. imperialism in foreign and economic policy.
United States War Crimes. A Historical Review
Other than that, perhaps it would be more accurate to say that the Soviet Union imploded due to an accumulating number of factors: namely, the gradual steps that U.S. foreign policy had taken over the years to cripple the Soviet economy, especially after the deaths of Brezhnev and Yuri Andropov. How Gorbachev responded during the U.S.-led onslaught against Afghanistan certainly helped to exacerbate the conditions that led to the dissolution. After the deaths of Brezhnev and Andropov, the Soviet Union's economy became disorganized and was being liberalized during much of the 1980s. Not only that, but the Reagan administration escalated the arms race, which intensified after they had scrapped the 'detente' that was previously made in the mid-1970s. Even prior to Reagan's hardline, bombastic rhetoric and escalation against the USSR, the Soviet Union was already beginning to show signs of strain from the arms race during the late-1970s. However, in spite of the economic strains, during the height of the war the organized joint operations between the Soviet army and the Afghan army saw a significant amount of success in pushing back against the Mujahideen with many of the jihadist leaders either being killed or fleeing to Pakistan. Therefore, it is erroneous to say that intervening in Afghanistan on behalf of the Afghan people "did the Soviet Union in."
In a misguided and ultimately failed attempt to spur economic growth rates, Gorbachev moved to end the Cold War by withdrawing military support from allies and pledging cooperation with the United States who promised "peace". When he embraced Neoliberalism and allowed for the USSR to be opened to the U.S.-dominated world capitalist economy, the Soviet economy imploded and the effects were felt by its allies. It was a capitulation to U.S. imperialism, in other words; and it led to disastrous results not only in Afghanistan, but in several other countries as well. These include: the destruction of Yugoslavia, both wars on Iraq, and the 2011 NATO invasion of Libya. Also, Warsaw Pact members in Eastern Europe were no longer able to effectively fight back against U.S.-backed colour revolutions; some of them would eventually be absorbed as NATO members, such as Czechoslovakia which was dissolved and divided into two states: the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Without Soviet Russia to keep it in check, the United States was able to launch an unrestrained series of aggressions for nearly two decades. Because of his decision to withdraw from the arms race altogether, in a vain attempt to transform the Soviet Union into a social democracy akin to those of the Nordic countries, Gorbachev had deprived the Russian army of combat effectiveness by making significant cuts to its defense budget, which is partly why they were forced to evacuate. Not only that, but these diplomatic and military concessions with the United States gave them no benefit in return, hence the economic crisis in Russia during the Yeltsin years. Suffice to say, the Gorbachev-Yeltsin years are not remembered fondly in Russia and many regard Gorbachev as a traitor and Western agent who helped to bring the Soviet Union to its collapse. In more recent years, efforts are being made to assess the actions taken by Gorbachev with regards to Afghanistan; this includes going against and revising the resolution put forth by him which suggested that the USSR intervention was "shameful".
In short, Afghanistan did not cause the Soviet Union's demise even if it required large military spending. More accurately: it was Gorbachev's impulsive decision to quickly discard the planned economy in favour of a market economy in order to appease the United States, who made the false promise that NATO would not expand eastward. If there was a real "trap", it was this and Gorbachev played right into the hands of U.S. imperialism; and so, the Soviet Union received its devastating blow from the United States in the end -- not from a small, minor nation such as Afghanistan which continues to suffer the most from the effects of these past events. For many years, but especially since the end of WWII, the United States made ceaseless efforts to undermine the USSR, adding stress upon stress onto its economy, in addition to the psychological warfare waged through the anti-Soviet propaganda and military threats against it and its allies. Despite any advances made in the past, the Soviet Union's economy was still not as large as that of the United States. And so, in order to keep pace with NATO, the Soviet Union did not have much of a choice but to spend a large percentage of its GDP on its military and on helping to defend its allies, which included national liberation movements in the Third World, because of the very real and significant threat that U.S. imperialism posed. If it had not spent any money militarily, its demise would most likely have happened much sooner. But eventually, these mounting efforts by U.S. imperialism created a circumstance where its leadership under Gorbachev made a lapse in judgment, reacting impulsively and carelessly rather than acting with resilience in spite of the onslaught.
It should also be taken into account that WWII had a profound impact on Soviet leadership -- from Joseph Stalin to Gorbachev -- because even though the Red Army was victorious in defeating the Nazis, the widespread destruction had still placed the Soviet economy under an incredible amount of stress and it needed time to recover. Meanwhile, the convenient geographical location of the United States kept it from suffering the same casualties and infrastructural damage seen across Europe and Asia as a result of the Second World War, which enabled its economy to recover much faster and gave it enough time to eventually develop the U.S. Dollar as the international currency and assert dominance over the world economy. Plus, the U.S. had accumulated two-thirds of the world's gold reserves by 1944 to help back the Dollar; and even if it lost a large amount of the gold, it would still be able to maintain Dollar supremacy by developing the fiat system to back the currency. Because of the destruction seen during WWII, it is understandable that the Soviet Union wanted to avoid another world war, which is why it also made several attempts at achieving some kind of diplomacy with the United States (before Gorbachev outright capitulated). At the same time, it also understood that maintaining its military defenses was important because of the threat of a nuclear war from the United States, which would be much more catastrophic than the Nazis' military assaults against the Soviet Union since Hitler did not have a nuclear arsenal. This was part of a feat that U.S. imperialism was able to accomplish that ultimately overshadowed British, French, German, and Japanese imperialism, which Brzezinski reveals in his book, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives : an unparalleled military establishment that, by far, had the most effective global reach which allowed the U.S. to "project forces over long distances", helping it to assert its global domination and impose its "political will". And what makes the American Empire distinct from the Japanese Empire, British Empire, and other European empires is that one of the bases for its ideology is the socially constructed international hierarchy of nations, and not races as was the case with the other aforementioned empires. This constructed international hierarchy of nations is more effective because it means not only greater expansionism, but also the greater ability to exercise global primacy and supremacy. More specific to Central Asia and the Middle East, the Wahhabist and Salafist groups propped up by the CIA were always intended to nurture sectarianism and discord in order to counter a mass, broad-based united front of nations against imperialism -- an example of divide-and-conquer, which is an age-old tradition of empire, except this time with Neoliberal characteristics.Therefore, the Mujahideen against Afghanistan should not be thought of simply as "the Afghan trap", but rather as the U.S. subjugation and plundering of West and Central Asia and an important milestone (albeit a cynical one) in shaping its foreign policy with regards to the region for many years to come. If one thing has remained a constant in U.S. foreign policy towards West and Central Asia, it is its strategic partnership with the oil autocracy of Saudi Arabia, which acts as the United States' steward in safeguarding the profits of American petroleum corporations and actively assists Western powers in crushing secular Arab and Central Asian nationalist resistance against imperialism. The Saudi monarchy would again be called on by the U.S. government in 2011 in Syria to assist in the repeated formula of funding and arming so-called "moderate rebels" in the efforts to destabilize the country. Once again, the ultimate goal in this more recent imperial venture is to contain Russia.
Cold War 2.0? American Supremacy marches on
The present-day anti-Russia hysteria is reminiscent of the anti-Soviet propaganda of the Cold War era; while anti-communism is not the central theme today, one thing remains the same: the fact that the U.S. Empire is (once again) facing a formidable challenge to its position in the world. After the Yeltsin years were over, and under Vladimir Putin, Russia's economy eventually recovered and moved towards a more dirigiste economy; and on top of that, it moved away from the NATO fold, which triggered the old antagonistic relationship with the United States. Russia has also decided to follow the global trend of taking the step towards reducing reliance on the U.S. dollar , which is no doubt a source of annoyance to the U.S. capitalist class. It seems that a third world war in the near future is becoming more likely as the U.S. inches closer to a direct military confrontation against Russia and, more recently, China. History does appear to be repeating itself. When the government of Bashar al Assad called on Moscow for assistance in fighting against the NATO-backed terrorists, it certainly was reminiscent of when the PDPA had done the same many years before. Thus far, the Syrian Arab Republic has continued to withstand the destabilization efforts carried out by the Al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist groups and Kurdish militias at the behest of the United States, and has not collapsed as Libya, Yugoslavia, and Afghanistan did.
But what often gets overlooked is the repeated Brzezinskist formula of funding highly reactionary forces and promoting them as "revolutionaries" to Western audiences in order to fight governments that defy the global dictatorship of the United States and refuse to allow the West to exploit their natural resources and labour power. As Karl Marx once said , "Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past." Such a phenomenon is no accident or a mere mistake. The geopolitical instability that followed after the overthrow of the PDPA ensures that no sound, united, and formidable opposition against U.S. imperialism will emerge for an indefinite number of years; and it seems that Libya, where the Brzezinskist-style of regime change also saw success and which is now a hotbed for the slave trade, is on the same path as Afghanistan. This is all a part of what Lenin calls moribund capitalism when he discussed the economic essence of imperialism; and by that, he meant that imperialism carries the contradictions of capitalism to the extreme limit . American global monopoly had grown out of U.S. foreign policy, and it should go without saying that the American Empire cannot tolerate losing its Dollar Supremacy, especially when the global rate of profit is falling. And if too many nations reject U.S. efforts to infiltrate their markets and force foreign finance capital exports onto their economies in order to gain a monopoly over the resources, as well as to exploit the labour of their working people, it would surely spell a sharp decline in American Dollar hegemony. The fact that the United States was willing to go as far as to back mercenaries to attack the former Democratic Republic of Afghanistan and fight the Soviet Union, as well as to spend billions of dollars on a highly elaborate but effective propaganda campaign, shows a sign of desperation of the American Empire in maintaining its global hegemony.
Since the end of World War II the United States has been, and is by and large still, the overwhelming world-dominating power. It is true that the American Empire is in decline, in light of increasing trends towards "de-Dollarization," as well as the rise of China and Russia which pose as challenges to U.S. interests. Naturally, Washington will desperately try to cling on to its number one position in the world by accelerating the growth of its global monopolies -- whether it is through placing wholly unnecessary tariffs against competitors such as China, or threatening to completely cut Venezuelan and Iranian oil out of the global market -- even if it means an increasing drive towards World War III. The current global economic order which Washington elites have been instrumental in shaping over the past several decades reflects the interests of the global capitalist class to such an extent that the working class is threatened with yet another world war despite the unimaginable carnage witnessed during the first two.
When we look back at these historical events to help make sense of the present, we see how powerful mass media can be and how it is used as a tool of U.S. foreign policy to manipulate and control public opinion. Foreign policy is about the economic relationships between countries. Key to understanding how U.S. imperialism functions is in its foreign policy and how it carries it out -- which adds up to plundering from relatively small or poorer nations more than a share of wealth and resources that can be normally produced in common commercial exchanges, forcing them to be indebted; and if any of them resist, then they will almost certainly be subjected to military threats.
With the great wealth that allowed it to build a military that can "project forces over long distances," the United States is in a unique position in history, to say the least. However, as we have seen above, the now four decade-long war on Afghanistan was not only fought on a military front considering the psy-ops and the propaganda involved. If anything, the Soviet Union lost on the propaganda front in the end.
From Afghanistan we learn not only of the origins of Al Qaeda, to which the boom in the opioid-addiction epidemic has ties, or why today we have the phenomenon of an anti-Russia Western "left" that parrots imperialist propaganda and seems very eager to see that piece of Cold War history repeat itself in Syria. We also learn that we cannot de-link the events of the 2001 direct U.S. military intervention in Afghanistan and what followed from those of 1979; Afghanistan's colonial-feudal past, its break from that with the 1978 Saur Revolution, and the U.S.-led Mujahideen are all as much of a part of its history (and the Greater Middle East, by extension) as the events of 2001. It cannot be stressed enough that it is those historical conditions, particularly as they relate to U.S. foreign policy, that helped to shape the ongoing conflict today.
Obviously, we cannot undo the past. It is not in the interests of the working class anywhere, in the Global South or in the Global North, to see a third world war happen, as such a war would have catastrophic consequences for everyone -- in fact, it could potentially destroy all of humanity. Building a new and revitalized anti-war movement in the imperialist nations is a given, but it also requires a more sophisticated understanding of U.S. foreign policy. Without historical context, Western mass media will continue to go unchallenged, weaning audiences on a steady diet of "moderate rebels" propaganda and effectively silencing the victims of imperialism. It is necessary to unite workers across the whole world according to their shared interests in order to effectively fight and defeat imperialism and to establish a just, egalitarian, and sustainable world under socialism. Teaching the working class everywhere the real history of such conflicts as the one in Afghanistan is an important part of developing the revolutionary consciousness necessary to build a strong global revolutionary movement against imperialism.
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Originally published by LLCO.org on March 30, 2019. For the full-length article and bibliography, click here .
Janelle Velina is a Toronto-based political analyst, writer, and an editor and frequent contributor for New-Power.org and LLCO.org . She also has a blog at geopoliticaloutlook.blogspot.com .
All images in this article are from the author; featured image: Brzezinski visits Osama bin Laden and other Mujahideen fighters during training. The original source of this article is Global Research Copyright © Janelle Velina , Global Research, 2019
May 14, 2019 | www.globalresearch.ca
How Madeleine Albright Got the War the U.S. Wanted By Gregory Elich Global Research, May 13, 2019 Region: Europe , USA Theme: History , US NATO War Agenda
Twenty years have passed since the U.S.-orchestrated NATO attack on Yugoslavia. As the United States readied its forces for war in 1999, it organized a peace conference that was ostensibly intended to resolve differences between the Yugoslav government and secessionist ethnic Albanians in Kosovo on the future status of the province. A different scenario was being played out behind the scenes, however. U.S. officials wanted war and deliberately set up the process to fail, which they planned to use as a pretext for war.
The talks opened on February 6, 1999, in Rambouillet, France. Officially, the negotiations were led by a Contact Group comprised of U.S. Ambassador to Macedonia Christopher Hill , European Union envoy Wolfgang Petritsch , and Russian diplomat Boris Mayorsky . All decisions were supposed to be jointly agreed upon by all three members of the Contact Group. In actual practice, the U.S. ran the show all the way and routinely bypassed Petritsch and Mayorsky on essential matters.
Ibrahim Rugova , an ethnic Albanian activist who advocated nonviolence, was expected to play a major role in the Albanian secessionist delegation. Joining him at Rambouillet was Fehmi Agani , a fellow member of Rugova's Democratic League of Kosovo.
U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright regularly sidelined Rugova, however, preferring to rely on delegation members from the hardline Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), which had routinely murdered Serbs, Roma, and Albanians in Kosovo who worked for the government or opposed separatism. Only a few months before the conference, KLA spokesman Bardhyl Mahmuti spelled out his organization's vision of a future Kosovo as separate and ethnically pure:
"The independence of Kosovo is the only solution We cannot live together. That is excluded." [i]
Source: Independent Balkan News Agency
Rugova had at one time engaged in fairly productive talks with Yugoslav officials, and his willingness to negotiate was no doubt precisely the reason Albright relegated him to a background role. Yugoslav Minister of Information Milan Komnenić accompanied the Yugoslav delegation to Rambouillet. He recalls,
"With Rugova and Fehmi Agani it was possible to talk; they were flexible. In Rambouillet, [KLA leader Hashim] Thaçi appears instead of Rugova. A beast." [ii]
There was no love between Thaçi and Rugova, whose party members were the targets of threats and assassination attempts at the hands of the KLA. Rugova himself would survive an assassination attempt six years later.
The composition of the Yugoslav delegation reflected its position that many ethnic groups resided in Kosovo, and any agreement arrived at should take into account the interests of all parties. All of Kosovo's major ethnic groups were represented in the delegation. Faik Jashari , one of the Albanian members in the Yugoslav delegation, was president of the Kosovo Democratic Initiative and an official in the Provisional Executive Council, which was Yugoslavia's government in Kosovo. Jashari observed that Albright was startled when she saw the composition of the Yugoslav delegation, apparently because it went against the U.S. propaganda narrative. [iii] Throughout the talks, Albright displayed a dismissive attitude towards the delegation's Albanian, Roma, Egyptian, Goran, Turkish, and Slavic Muslim members.
U.S. mediators habitually referred to the Yugoslav delegation as "the Serbs," even though they constituted a minority of the members. The Americans persisted in trying to cast events in Kosovo as a simplistic binary relationship of Serb versus Albanian, disregarding the presence of other ethnic groups in the province, and ignoring the fact that while some ethnic Albanians favored separation, others wished to remain in multiethnic Yugoslavia.
After arriving at Rambouillet, the secessionist Albanian delegation informed U.S. diplomats that it did not want to meet with the Yugoslav side. Aside from a brief ceremonial meeting, there was no direct contact between the two groups. The Yugoslav and Albanian delegations were placed on two different floors to eliminate nearly all contact. U.S. mediators Richard Holbrooke and Christopher Hill ran from one delegation to the other, conveying notes and verbal messages between the two sides but mostly trying to coerce the Yugoslav delegation. [iv]
Luan Koka, a Roma member of the Yugoslav delegation, noted that the U.S. was operating an electronic jamming device.
"We knew exactly when Madeleine Albright was coming. Connections on our mobile phones were breaking up and going crazy." [v]
It is probable that the U.S. was also operating electronic listening equipment and that U.S. mediators knew everything the delegations were saying in private.
Albright, Jashari said, would not listen to anyone.
"She had her task, and she saw only that task. You couldn't say anything to her. She didn't want to talk with us and didn't want to listen to our arguments." [vi]
One day it was Koka's birthday, and the Yugoslav delegation wanted to encourage a more relaxed atmosphere with U.S. mediators, inviting them to a cocktail party to mark the occasion.
"It was a slightly more pleasant atmosphere, and I was singing," Koka recalled. "I remember Madeleine Albright saying: 'I really like partisan songs. But if you don't accept this, the bombs will fall.'" [vii]
According to delegation member Nikola Šainović ,
"Madeleine Albright told us all the time: 'If the Yugoslav delegation does not accept what we offer, you will be bombed.'" Šainović added, "We agreed in Rambouillet to any form of autonomy for Kosovo," but sovereignty remained the red line. [viii]
From the beginning of the conference, U.S. mediator Christopher Hill "decided that what we really needed was an Albanian approval of a document, and a Serb refusal. If both refused, there could be no further action by NATO or any other organization for that matter." [ix] It was not peace that the U.S. team was seeking, but war.
As the conference progressed, U.S. negotiators were faced with an alarming problem, in that the Yugoslav delegation had accepted all of the Contact Group's fundamental political principles for an agreement, balking only at a NATO presence in Kosovo. On the other hand, the secessionist delegation rejected the Contact Group's political principles. Something had to be done to reverse this pattern.
On the second day of the conference, U.S. officials presented the Yugoslav delegation with the framework text of a provisional agreement for peace and self-rule in Kosovo, but it was missing some of the annexes. The Yugoslavs requested a copy of the complete document. As delegation head Ratko Marković pointed out,
"Any objections to the text of the agreement could be made only after an insight into the text as a whole had been obtained."
Nearly one week passed before the group received one of the missing annexes. That came on the day the conference had originally been set to end. The deadline was extended, and two days later a second missing annex was provided to the Yugoslav delegation.[x]
When the Yugoslavs next met with the Contact Group, they were assured that all elements of the text had now been given to them. Several more days passed and at 7:00 PM on February 22, the penultimate day of the conference, the Contact Group presented three new annexes, which the Yugoslavs had never seen before. According to Marković, "Russian Ambassador Boris Mayorsky informed our delegation that Annexes 2 and 7 had not been discussed or approved by the Contact Group and that they were not the texts drafted by the Contact Group but by certain Contact Group members, while Annex 5 was discussed, but no decision was made on it at the Contact Group meeting." The Yugoslav delegation refused to accept the new annexes, as their introduction had violated the process whereby all proposals had to be agreed upon by the three Contact Group members. [xi]
At 9:30 AM on February 23, the final day of the conference, U.S. officials presented the full text of the proposal, containing yet more provisions that were being communicated for the first time. The accompanying note identified the package as the definitive text while adding that Russia did not support two of the articles. The letter demanded the Yugoslav delegation's decision by 1:00 PM that same day.[xii] There was barely time enough to carefully read the text, let alone negotiate. In essence, it was an ultimatum.
Quite intentionally, U.S. mediators included provisions in the final version of the text that no sovereign nation could be expected to accept. Neoliberal economic interests are always front and center when U.S. officials are involved, and they surely were not unaware of Kosovo's abundant reserves of mineral resources, ripe for exploitation. The first point in Article 1 of the Economic Issues section of the text states:
"The economy of Kosovo shall function in accordance with free market principles."
Western investors were favored with a provision stating that authorities shall "ensure the free movement of persons, goods, services, and capital to Kosovo, including from international sources." [xiii] One may wonder what these stipulations had to do with peace negotiations, but then the talks had far more to do with U.S. interests than anything to do with the needs of the people in the region.Twitter and the Smearing of Corbyn and Assange: A Research Note on the "Integrity Initiative"
The document called for a Western-led Joint Commission including local representatives to monitor and coordinate the implementation of the plan. However, if commission members failed to reach consensus on a matter, the Western-appointed Chair would have the power to impose his decision unilaterally. [xiv] Local representatives would serve as little more than window-dressing for Western dictate, as they could adopt no measure that went against the Chair's wishes.
The Chair of the Implementation Mission was authorized to "recommend" the "removal and appointment of officials and the curtailment of operations of existing institutions in Kosovo." If the Chair's command was not obeyed "in the time requested, the Joint Commission may decide to take the recommended action," and since the Chair had the authority to impose his will on the Joint Commission, there was no check on his power. He could remove elected and appointed officials at will and replace them with handpicked lackeys. The Chair was also authorized to order the "curtailment of operations of existing institutions." [xv]Any organization that failed to bend to U.S. demands could be shut down.
Chapter 7 of the plan called for the parties to "invite NATO to constitute and lead a military force" in Kosovo. [xvi]The choice of words was interesting. In language reminiscent of gangsters, Yugoslavia was told to "invite" NATO to take over the province of Kosovo or suffer the consequences.
Yugoslavia was required "to provide, at no cost, the use of all facilities and services required" by NATO. [xvii]Within six months, Yugoslavia would have to withdraw all of its military forces from Kosovo, other than a small number of border guards. [xviii]
The plan granted NATO "unrestricted use of the entire electromagnetic spectrum" to "communicate." Although the document indicated NATO would make "reasonable efforts to coordinate," there were no constraints on its power. [xix] Yugoslav officials, "upon simple request," would be required to grant NATO "all telecommunication services, including broadcast services free of cost." [xx]NATO could take over any radio and television facilities and transmission wavelengths it chose, knocking local stations off the air.
The plan did not restrict NATO's presence to Kosovo. It granted NATO, with its "vehicles, vessels, aircraft, and equipment, free and unrestricted passage and unimpeded access throughout the FRY [Federal Republic of Yugoslavia]." [xxi] NATO would be "granted the use of airports, roads, rails, and ports without payment of fees, duties, dues, tools, or charges." [xxii]
The agreement guaranteed that NATO would have "complete and unimpeded freedom of movement by ground, air, and water into and throughout Kosovo." Furthermore, NATO personnel could not be held "liable for any damages to public or private property." [xxiii] NATO as a whole would also be "immune from all legal process, whether civil, administrative, or criminal," regardless of its actions anywhere on the territory of Yugoslavia. [xxiv]Nor could NATO personnel be arrested, detained, or investigated. [xxv]
Acceptance of the plan would have brought NATO troops swarming throughout Yugoslavia and interfering in every institution.
There were several other objectionable elements in the plan, but one that stood out was the call for an "international" (meaning, Western-led) meeting to be held after three years "to determine a mechanism for a final settlement for Kosovo."[xxvi] It was no mystery to the Yugoslav delegation what conclusion Western officials would arrive at in that meeting. The intent was clearly to redraw Yugoslavia's borders to further break apart the nation.
U.S. officials knew the Yugoslav delegation could not possibly accept such a plan.
"We deliberately set the bar higher than the Serbs could accept," Madeleine Albright confided to a group of journalists, "because they needed a little bombing." [xxvii]
At a meeting in Belgrade on March 5, the Yugoslav delegation issued a statement which declared:
"A great deceit was looming, orchestrated by the United States. They demanded that the agreement be signed, even though much of this agreement, that is, over 56 pages, had never been discussed, either within the Contact Group or during the negotiations." [xxviii]
Serbian President Milan Milutinović announced at a press conference that in Rambouillet the Yugoslav delegation had "proposed solutions meeting the demands of the Contact Group for broad autonomy within Serbia, advocating full equality of all national communities." But "agreement was not what they were after." Instead, Western officials engaged in "open aggression," and this was a game "about troops and troops alone." [xxix]
While U.S. officials were working assiduously to avoid a peaceful resolution, they needed the Albanians to agree to the plan so that they could accuse the Yugoslav delegation of being the stumbling block to peace. U.S. mainstream media could be counted on to unquestioningly repeat the government's line and overlook who the real architects of failure were. U.S. officials knew the media would act in their customary role as cheerleaders for war, which indeed, they did.
British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook revealed the nature of the message Western officials were conveying to the Albanian delegation when he said,
"We are certainly saying to the Kosovo Albanians that if you don't sign up to these texts, it's extremely difficult to see how NATO could then take action against Belgrade." [xxx]
Western officials were practically begging the secessionists to sign the plan. According to inside sources, the Americans assured the Albanian delegation that disarmament of the KLA would be merely symbolic and that it could keep the bulk of its weaponry so long as it was concealed. [xxxi]
Albright spent hours trying to convince Thaçi to change his mind, telling him:
"If you say yes and the Serbs say no, NATO will strike and go on striking until the Serb forces are out and NATO can go in. You will have security. And you will be able to govern yourselves." [xxxii]
That was a clear enough signal that the intent was to rip the province away from Yugoslavia and create an artificial state. Despite such assurances, Thaçi feared the wrath of fellow KLA members if he were to sign a document that did not explicitly call for separation. When U.S. negotiators asked Thaçi why he would not sign, he responded:
"If I agree to this, I will go home and they will kill me." [xxxiii]
This was not hyperbole. The KLA had threatened and murdered a great many Albanians who in its eyes fell short of full-throated support for its policy of violent secession and ethnic exclusion.
Even NATO Commander Wesley Clark , who flew in from Belgium, was unable to change Thaçi's mind. [xxxiv] U.S. officials were exasperated with the Albanian delegation, and its recalcitrance threatened to capsize plans for war.
"Rambouillet was supposed to be about putting the screws to Belgrade," a senior U.S. official said. "But it went off the rails because of the miscalculation we made about the Albanians." [xxxv]
On the last day at Rambouillet, it was agreed that the Albanian delegation would return to Kosovo for discussions with fellow KLA leaders on the need to sign the document. In the days that followed, Western officials paid repeated visits to Kosovo to encourage the Albanians to sign.
So-called "negotiations" reconvened in Paris on March 15. Upon its arrival, the Yugoslav delegation objected that it was "incomprehensible" that "no direct talks between the two delegations had been facilitated." In response to the Yugoslavs' proposal for modifications to the plan, the Contact Group informed them that no changes would be accepted. The document must be accepted as a whole. [xxxvi]
The Yugoslav position, delegation head Ratko Marković maintained, was that "first one needs to determine what is to be implemented, and only then to determine the methods of implementation." [xxxvii]The delegation asked the Americans what there was to talk about regarding implementation "when there was no agreement because the Albanians did not accept anything." U.S. officials responded that the Yugoslav delegation "cannot negotiate," adding that it would only be allowed to make grammatical changes to the text. [xxxviii]
From the U.S. perspective, the presence of the Yugoslav delegation in Paris was irrelevant other than to maintain the pretense that negotiations were taking place. Not permitted to negotiate, there was little the Yugoslavs could do but await the inevitable result, which soon came. The moment U.S. officials obtained the Albanian delegation's signatures to the plan on March 18, they aborted the Paris Conference. There was no reason to continue engaging with the Yugoslav delegation, as the U.S. had what it needed: a pretext for war.
On the day after the U.S. pulled the plug on the Paris talks, Milan Milutinović held a press conference in the Yugoslav embassy, condemning the Paris meeting as "a kind of show," which was meant "to deceive public opinion in the whole world." [xxxix]
While the United States and its NATO allies prepared for war, Yugoslavia was making last-ditch efforts to stave off attack, including reaching out to intermediaries. Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos contacted Madeleine Albright and told her that Yugoslav President Slobodan Milošević had offered to engage in further negotiations. But Albright told him that the decision to bomb had already been made. "In fact," Pangalos reported, "she told me to 'desist, you're just being a nuisance.'" [xl] In a final act of desperation to save the people from bombing, Milutinović contacted Christopher Hill and made an extraordinary offer: Yugoslavia would join NATO if the United States would allow Yugoslavia to remain whole, including the province of Kosovo. Hill responded that this was not a topic for discussion and he would not talk about it. [xli]
Madeleine Albright got her war, which brought death, destruction, and misery to Yugoslavia. But NATO had a new role, and the United States further extended its hegemony over the Balkans.
In the years following the demise of the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union, NATO was intent on redefining its mission. The absence of the socialist bloc presented NATO not only with the need to construct a new rationale for existence but also with the opportunity to expand Western domination over other nations.
Bosnia offered the first opportunity for NATO to begin its transformation, as it took part in a war that presented no threat to member nations.
Bombing Yugoslavia was meant to solidify the new role for NATO as an offensive military force, acting on behalf of U.S. imperial interests. Since that time, NATO has attacked Libya, and engaged in military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and a variety of nations in Africa. Despite NATO's claim that it is "committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes," the record shows otherwise.
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Gregory Elich is a Korea Policy Institute associate and on the Board of Directors of the Jasenovac Research Institute. He is a member of the Solidarity Committee for Democracy and Peace in Korea, a columnist for Voice of the People , and one of the co-authors of Killing Democracy: CIA and Pentagon Operations in the Post-Soviet Period , published in the Russian language. He is also a member of the Task Force to Stop THAAD in Korea and Militarism in Asia and the Pacific. His website is https://gregoryelich.org . Follow him on Twitter at @GregoryElich
May 05, 2019 | www.cbsnews.comMARGARET BRENNAN: You've got the whole world as your portfolio so let's move on to Venezuela and Russia. There was this phone call between Vladimir Putin and President Trump that just happened. The president described it to us in an Oval Office spray. Why didn't he bring up election interference on this phone call when he said he did discuss the findings of the Mueller Report which found sweeping and systematic Russian interference in 2016?
SEC. POMPEO: Well you'll have to ask the White House that question. The president's been very clear. The administration has taken great action. I wish the previous one had stopped the election interference that took place in 2016. They failed to do so. Between 2017 when President Trump came into office and 2018, we had a successful election year, a set of midterm elections. We're working diligently to ensure that the elections in 2020 aren't interfered with by Russia, by Iran, by North Korea or anyone else. We have enormous resource deployed against that challenge. And the American people should be sure that their government is working hard to keep our election safe and secure.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You said, this week, that Moscow has hundreds of people in Venezuela and you were very clear that you think it was Russia that convinced Nicolas Maduro not to get on a plane and to flee the country. Here's what the president said during his- after his phone call with Vladimir Putin.
MARGARET BRENNAN: There seems to be a difference in how the president described the situation and how you and Ambassador Bolton have described it.
SEC. POMPEO: No, no difference, no difference. The- the president has said, I think he in fact tweeted, that the Russians must leave Venezuela. We've asked every nation that is in- interfering with Venezuelan democracy- you've seen this. I- I was down on the border. We saw mothers who couldn't feed their children, fleeing the country. We saw families that had sick kids but couldn't get medicines, all sitting, was sitting within 50 miles of where we were located. And Maduro won't allow it to come in. The president's been very clear, we want the Cubans out. There are Iranians on the ground there. We want the Russians- we want everyone out so that the Venezuelan people can get the democracy they deserve. That includes Mr. Maduro leaving.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So when he says, the president says, "Putin is not looking to get involved at all in Venezuela," that is not the president accepting him at face value?
SEC. POMPEO: You'll- you'll have to leave- you'll have to look at--
MARGARET BRENNAN: He knows that that's not the case?
SEC. POMPEO: The- the president has tweeted that he wants the Russians out of Venezuela.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So he was just putting a positive spin on things in that moment?
SEC. POMPEO: We- we are working very diligently to ensure that Maduro leaves and we get free and fair elections in Venezuela. That will require the 2,300 Cuban security personnel, the- frankly, the people closest to Maduro who are protecting the in- tight security for Maduro, they've got to leave. We're working on that as well. We're working with the Cubans to try and get an outcome that will let the Venezuelans have this opportunity.
MARGARET BRENNAN: On this, I know you'll be meeting with the Russian foreign minister in the coming days. Is there a deal to be struck with Russia on this front? I mean, Russia benefits, right, by having Venezuelan oil off the market, by having a level of influence in America's backyard. Is the U.S. going to negotiate a deal with Russia on Venezuela?
SEC. POMPEO: I'll certainly bring up Venezuela, be one of many topics that Foreign Minister Lav- Lavrov and I speak about- speak about. Whether there's a particular deal that can be reached? Only time will tell.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Lindsey Graham, the Republican senator from South Carolina who I know you know well tweeted this week, "Cuba, Russia sent troops to prop up Maduro in Venezuela while we talk and have sanctions. Where's our aircraft carrier?" He seems to be calling a bluff here on your mention and mention from others that military options aren't off the table. What is actually being considered here because you can't refer to the use of military force lightly. Is there an actual option that you are considering deploying in the coming days?
May 09, 2019 | www.youtube.com
Ever since Tulsi Gabbard was first elected to Congress in 2012, she has been assertively independent, heterodox, unpredictable, and polarizing. Viewed at first as a loyal Democrat and guaranteed future star by party leaders -- due to her status as an Iraq War veteran, a telegenic and dynamic young woman, and the first Hindu and Samoan American ever elected to Congress -- she has instead become a thorn in the side, and frequent critic, of those same party leaders that quickly anointed her as the future face of the party.
Gabbard's transformation from cherished party asset to party critic and outcast was rapid, and was due almost entirely to her insistence on following her own belief system and evolving ideology rather than party dogma and the long-standing rules for Washington advancement.
Glenn Greenwald sat down with Rep. Tulsi Gabbard to discuss a wide range of issues, including the reasons she is running for president, her views on Trump's electoral appeal and what is necessary to defeat it, the rise of right-wing populism internationally, the Trump/Russia investigation, criticisms she has received regarding her views of Islam and certain repressive leaders, and her unique foreign policy viewpoints.
This interview is intended to be the first in a series of in-depth interviews with influential and interesting U.S. political figures, including but not limited to 2020 presidential candidates, designed to enable deeper examinations than the standard cable or network news format permits.
For more, read Glenn Greenwald's full article: https://theintercept.com/2019/05/09/w...
Hans Marheim , 4 days agothinkabout , 3 days ago
I am Norwegian. I want to interfere in the next american presidential election. I want Tulsi Gabbard as the next president of the USA. Love from Norway!Jacques Peterson , 4 days ago
TULSI is a strong intelligent candidate WE NEED TO HEAR MORE FROM HER thanksHappy30Too , 4 days ago
We need to support her. Boots on the ground. I'm Australian but I have introduced her to all my American friends online.MrLarryQ , 4 days ago
I'm a 70+ veteran who has never voted for a Democrat in my life. Tulsi Gabbard is the best, most qualified, most eloquent and thoughtful presidential candidate of my lifetime. She will catch on, and the MSM which hates her (they all get tons of money and support from war industry, Big Pharma, Big Ag, etc.), will try to ignore her or smear her, but in the end they will fail. She makes sense, and they don't. Regime change wars must end. Tulsi will be the shining light that makes it happen.Jazz Ecuador , 4 days ago
The only problem with this interview is that it's too short. Tough but fair questioning, all too rare these days.John E , 3 days ago
Genn is the most credible spokesman for The Intercept and Tulsi is the most credible candidate.Christopher Thomas , 4 days ago
Glenn, I'm a combat veteran of the US war against Viet-Nam. Thank you for this fair, impartial interview with Tulsi.chuckuc , 4 days ago
Wow she's... normal! A normal person! Donating now.Sumerian Hero , 3 days ago (edited)
A great interview with the best POTUS candidate I've seen since JFK. Thank you Glennfabribeijing , 4 days ago
There's a president we would be lucky to haveNathan Shirley , 3 days ago
My favourite US journalist interviewing my favourite US Presidential CandidateNotmi Relnam , 3 days ago
How many presidential candidates have the guts to sit down for an interview with Glenn Greenwald? Only one. Tulsi Gabbard. Excellent (and very challenging) questions from Greenwald -- great responses from Gabbard.Jeremy , 4 days ago
Any candidate the Intercept finds worth interviewing is worth my time to look into. Still a bit nervous about her glorification of military service but overall...Avalaw 19 , 4 days ago
Great interview! Asked many questions I wanted to hear answers to. Gives a great sense of Tulsi and where she stands on many issues with emphasis on foreign policy that seems to be ignored everywhere else. Thank you Glenn.jenny hansen , 4 days ago
I only hope we can have her as our commander and chief in 2020.. In 2024 or 2028 it might be to late..TULSI2020Anthony e , 4 days ago
I heard she'll be back on Joe Rogan next week!Captain Jax , 3 days ago
She is so truthful, no BS like other politician's running.. she has no fear and more strength then anyone else including trump.Gabby Hyman , 4 days ago
That was a great interview by Glenn Greenwald, he's one of my few top 3 journalist, which i've been following in recent month!I- , 4 days ago
You go Tulsi. Amazing to listen to someone with ethics without sound bites and dog whistles.
Thank you for asking the tough questions Glenn. I really like Tulsi but the Modi questions had been long in the waiting. I'm glad she answered them the way she did.
Apr 22, 2019 | www.youtube.com
Guo Mashi , 3 weeks agoDionora Ferrantino , 3 weeks ago
Tulsi is the only candidate in my lifetime who has had an actual demeanor worthy of global leadership.dlee johnson , 3 weeks ago
I LOVE her demeanor. She handles herself so well. She is calm & wise & fair. She will run circles @ the debates & not break a sweat!MrFunnyGuy015 , 3 weeks ago
i am 76 and have never seen a politician of her caliber!Captain Jax , 3 weeks ago
So much capital was wasted on RussiaGate, but a totally legit SaudiGate scandal went ignored. 😔JamesThomas , 3 weeks ago
She's a rock start when it comes to stay on point with all these Fox News & other MSM pundits :)AR Frances , 2 weeks ago
She meditates every morning, and appears to have really taken it to heart. She's very grounded and does not allow the monkey-mind to run amuck.Kristen 777 , 3 weeks ago
She gave a strong speech today at Brown University, good Q & A. Find it on Youtube!Sarah Rose , 3 weeks ago
Democrats don't want auditable elections because they're in on election fraud in the districts of the party elites. Wasserman-Schultz is the queen of the sleazes.Akbar, Allard Freichmann , 3 weeks ago
Niko- I have a line of questions I'm hoping you will address with Kulinski tomorrow & if it doesn't align with your perspective I respect that it's not something you want to ask & I'd be interested in hearing from you directly why you view it differently: I'm increasingly concerned over the weak opposition by many Sanders supporters over many of his positions these last few years.
It appears to me that Medicare for All has taken precedent over fighting the military industrial complex & the millions of lives abroad affected by it. This is not a trade-off for voters like me. It is true that he is better than most & he has a strong background but he used to push for 3rd parties. This has changed along with many other issues & I think anyone being honest with themselves know this to be true.
Beyond the excuses for his endorsement of Kissinger's proTPP Clinton, he has whitewashed Bush/Cheney, called Mad Dog Mattis "the adult in the room", gone along with Russiagate & even suggested some of his followers on Facebook were Russian trolls, given lipservice to the Venezuelan "humanitarian aid", been silent on Assange, & repeatedly ignored his base on all of the above. My questions are: How can progressives like this honestly trust Sanders to fight for truth on these fronts?
Why is getting Medicare for All more important than fighting against endless war? Is it possible that progressive media has done a disservice to electoral progress by framing it as Sanders being cheated in 2016 & not emphasizing that it was a greater betrayal of the VOTERS who were cheated? Saying that they will continue to push back on him in these areas where he is wrong strikes me as completely baseless given their inability to sway him these last few years. I'm tired of excuses & hoping for better answers than "it's his turn", "he had to tow the line", or "that's for Tulsi as VP/Secretary of State to do". Please & thank you!Desecration , 2 weeks ago
Tulsi and Bernie 2020. The Green New Deal for all.Rodney Mills , 3 weeks ago (edited)
Do a 1 to 2 minute setup, show the main piece/clip, then pontificate/summarize. I got so bored I left the PC, made coffee, came back and you still hadn't got to the point of the video 5 mins in. If you're doing a long-form stream then go with whatever. For these shorter topical videos you need a shorter intro or need to cut out the filler in the edit process. The long setup and unnecessary dramatic effect pauses will only irritate people that just want the important part of what you're presenting.Big G Haywood , 2 weeks ago
I think support for Tulsi and Bernie can (and should) be congruent, especially since ideally for me, they are both on that ticket. Not gonna lie, I want him on the helm of it, but that's because then she gets a shot at a 10-year presidency. We need them both in that admin ASAP. Their policies are complimentary, not juxtaposed. They only make each other stronger. It's not a binary. I would be emphatic to vote for either one of them.
If she is still competitive on super Tuesday, she has my vote. Otherwise, I think if she does not carry the torch to the end, we need to be prepared to aggressively throw our weight behind Bernie Sanders in a stronger way than 2016. (I also like Marianne Williamson, but I don't think that's gonna happen.She got my dollar.)
We cannot roll over again. If they nominate Beto or Kamala or Booker, we have to walk. In droves. Bearing in mind 4 more years of Trump is better than 40 more years of being exploited by the democratic party for votes while not being heard. It's effectively (and literally) taxation without representation. It's aristocracy. It's bullshit. And if they nominate a moderate, we're gonna know they didn't fucking get it before.Rebecca Brown , 2 weeks ago
Commentators like Ben Shapiro and Jordan Peterson appeal to people who don't have the intellectual capacity to know that they're being lied to by pseudo-intellectuals. I knew Jordan Peterson was one of these, when I first heard his analysis of Dostoevsky's "Notes From Underground," one of my favorite novels.Adam Reed , 1 week ago
TuIsi is in a league of her own. We are blessed.
I love your show brother. I found #Tulsi2020 because of Bari smearing her on jre. That led me to your show. Thanks for the help! Keep up the hard work. #Tulsi2020
May 13, 2019 | www.youtube.com
John Doe 1 day ago What a true patriotic compassionate leader. Easily has my vote
View 15 replies Hide replies John Doe 1 day ago She can show the world how to lead. Tulsi 2020!!!!
View reply Hide replies Merwin ARTist 1 day ago Tulsi is awesome .. appreciate what she has to say about stopping these foolish regime change wars! Respect!!! Tulsi2020
View reply Hide replies Fellow Citizen 1 day ago They are terrified of Tulsi because they know that if people hear her they will automatically vote for her. Tulsi: "...honour, respect, and integrity..." "Journalists": "[clears throat at the prospect of competing on a fair playing-field]"
View 10 replies Hide replies Freedom Tribe 1 day ago Time is running out. We need this woman to lead us into the next epoch.
View reply Hide replies MR BOSTON 1 day ago I voted for trump but I would vote for her in a heart beat
View 6 replies Hide replies MoMo Bronx 1 day ago You just don't get more real than Tulsi I hope she win,the world need real Leadership
31 32 Peace Harmony 1 day ago Tulsi is one of the few Democrats who isn't too scared to go on FOX News. And she is a great candidate! A true patriot.
View 2 replies Hide replies Jraymiami 1 day ago Tulsi 2020🌺❤️ 🗳
34 35 Matthew James Bromley 1 day ago Sounds great. I think this is exactly what we need. Got my vote.
View 13 replies Hide replies Kedaar Iyer 1 day ago Make sure to get her to 100,000 individual donors so that she can be on the debate stage! www.tulsi2020.com
View 2 replies Hide replies lendallpitts 1 day ago Tulsi Gabbard is the most presidential of all of the candidates.
11 12 John Doe 1 day ago (edited) I love the compassion in the comments. That's what we're talking about. Service to others, learn to love thy neighbor
12 13 Kostas K 1 day ago Honour Integrity and respect, qualities that the White House has never experienced so far in it's history.
14 15 OTR Trucker 1 day ago (edited) Thanks for running Tulsi. If we look at history it's Presidents without a military background that get us into the biggest disasters. Veterans still get us into wars sometimes but they are wars that are limited in scope and "winnable". Every open ended catastrophe we've been in was from a non vet.
View 4 replies Hide replies Jeremy Chase 1 day ago I was speaking with an older couple yesterday. They obviously had a lot of MSM on the brain. The woman said, I would like to see a woman in The White House. I said, Tulsi Gabbard is your woman! Don't let the media lie to you about her. They just want their senseless wars. You go, Tulsi! ✌
View reply Hide replies Michael Dob 1 day ago What a concept. Serve American interest instead of corporations and foreign governments.
View 2 replies Hide replies Freedom Tribe 1 day ago TULSI🌈2020
23 24 Ghostz 1 day ago TULSI GABBARD IS TOTALLY RIGHT! She got my vote 🗳
6 7 Rocky Hart 1 day ago 10 likes but 0 views?? Great interview!
Apr 30, 2003 | www.leftbusinessobserver.com
Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small c rappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business.
- Michael Ledeen , holder of the Freedom Chair at the American Enterprise Institute
Actually, the U.S. had been beating Iraq's head against the wall for a dozen years, with sanctions and bombing. The sanctions alone killed over a million Iraqis, far more than have been done in by weapons of mass destruction throughout history. But Ledeen's indiscreet remark, delivered at an AEI conference and reported by Jonah Goldberg in National Review Online , does capture some of what the war on Iraq is about.
And what is this "business" Ledeen says we mean? Oil, of course, of which more in a bit. Ditto construction contracts for Bechtel. But it's more than that - nothing less than the desire, often expressed with little shame nor euphemism, to run the world. Is there anything new about that?
The answer is, of course, yes and no. In a rather odd article in the London Review of Books , Perry Anderson argued that there wasn't, and wondered aloud why the U.S. war on Iraq had excited such unprecedented worldwide opposition - even, in all places, within the U.S. - when earlier episodes of imperial violence hadn't. Anderson, who's edited New Left Review for years, but who has almost no connection to actual politics attributed this strange explosion not to a popular outburst of anti-imperialism, but to a cultural antipathy to the Bush administration.
Presumably that antipathy belongs to the realm of the " merely cultural ," and is of no great political significance to Anderson. But it should be. U.S. culture has long been afflicted with a brutally reactionary and self-righteous version of Christian fundamentalism, but it's never had such influence over the state. The president thinks himself on a mission from God, the Attorney General opens the business day with a prayer meeting, and the Pentagon's idea of a Good Friday service is to invite Franklin Graham , who's pronounced Islam a "wicked and evil religion," to deliver the homily, in which he promised that Jesus was returning soon. For the hard core, the Iraq war is a sign of the end times, and the hard core are in power.
Lots of people, in the U.S. and abroad, recognize that and are alarmed. And lots also recognize that the Bush regime represents an intensification of imperial ambition. Though the administration has been discreet, many of its private sector intellectuals have been using the words "imperialism" and " empire " openly and with glee. Not everyone of the millions who marched against the war in the months before it started was a conscious anti-imperialist, but they all sensed the intensification, and were further alarmed.
While itself avoiding the difficult word "empire," the Bush administration has been rather clear about its long-term aims. According to their official national security strategy and the documents published by the Project for a New American Century (which served as an administration-in-waiting during the Clinton years) their goal is to assure U.S. dominance and prevent the emergence of any rival powers. First step in that agenda is the remaking of the Middle East - and they're quite open about this as well. We all know the countries that are on the list; the only remaining issues are sequence and strategy. But that's not the whole of the agenda. They're essentially promising a permanent state of war, some overt, some covert, but one that could take decades.Imperial returns?
Why? The answers aren't self-evident. Certainly the war on Iraq had little to do with its public justifications. Iraq was clearly a threat to no one, and the weapons of mass destruction have proved elusive. The war did nothing for the fight against terrorism. Only ideologues believe that Baghdad had anything to do with al Qaeda - and if the Bush administration were really worried about "homeland security," it'd be funding the defense of ports, nuclear reactors, and chemical plants rather than starting imperial wars and alienating people by the billions. Sure, Saddam's regime was monstrous - which is one of the reasons Washington supported it up until the invasion of Kuwait. The Ba'ath Party loved to kill Communists - as many as 150,000 according to some estimates - and the CIA's relationship with Saddam goes back to 1959 .
Iraq has lots of oil , and there's little doubt that that's why it was at the first pole of the axis of evil to get hit. (Iran does too, but it's a much tougher nut to crack - four times as big, and not weakened by war and sanctions.)
It now looks fairly certain that the U.S. will, in some form, claim some large piece of Iraq's oil. The details need to be worked out; clarifying the legal situation could be very complicated, given the rampantly illegal nature of the regime change. Rebuilding Iraq's oil industry will be very expensive and could take years. There could be some nice profits down the line for big oil companies - billions a year - but the broader economic benefits for the U.S. aren't so clear. A U.S.-dominated Iraq could pump heavily and undermine OPEC, but too low an oil price would wreck the domestic U.S. oil industry, something the Bush gang presumably cares about. Mexico would be driven into penury, which could mean another debt crisis and lots of human traffic heading north over the Rio Grande. Lower oil prices would be a boon to most industrial economies, but they'd give the U.S. no special advantage over its principal economic rivals.
It's sometimes said that U.S. dominance of the Middle East gives Washington a chokehold over oil supplies to Europe and Japan. But how might that work? Deep production cutbacks and price spikes would hurt everyone. Targeted sales restrictions would be the equivalent of acts of war, and if the U.S. is willing to take that route, a blockade would be a lot more efficient. The world oil market is gigantic and complex, and it's not clear how a tap could be turned in Kirkuk that would shut down the gas pumps in Kyoto or Milan.
Writers like David Harvey argue that the U.S. is trying to compensate for its eroding economic power by asserting its military dominance. Maybe. It's certainly fascinating that Bush's unilateralism has to be financed by gobs of foreign money - and he gets his tax cuts, he'll have to order up even bigger gobs. But it's hard to see what rival threatens the U.S. economically; neither the EU nor Japan is thriving. Nor is there any evidence that the Bush administration is thinking seriously about economic policy, domestic or international, or even thinking at all. The economic staff is mostly dim and marginal. What really seems to excite this gang of supposed conservatives is the exercise of raw state power.Jealous rivals
And while the Bushies want to prevent the emergence of imperial rivals , they may only be encouraging that. Sure, the EU is badly divided within itself; it has a hard enough time picking a top central banker , let alone deciding on a common foreign policy. German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder is already semi-apologizing to Bush for his intemperate language in criticizing the war - not that Bush has started taking his calls. But over the longer term, some kind of political unification is Europe's only hope for acting like a remotely credible world power. It's tempting to read French and German objections to the Iraq war as emerging not from principle, but from the wounded narcissism of former imperial powers rendered marginal by American might. Separately, they'll surely hang. But a politically united Europe could, with time, come to challenge U.S. power, just as the euro is beginning to look like a credible rival to the dollar.
(Speaking of the euro, there's a theory circulating on the net that the U.S. went to war because Iraq wanted to price its oil in euros, not dollars. That's grossly overheated speculation. More on this and related issues when LBO begins an investigation of the political economy of oil in the next issue.)
An even more interesting rivalry scenario would involve an alliance of the EU and Russia. Russia is no longer the wreck it was for most of the 1990s. The economy has been growing and the mildly authoritarian Putin has imposed political stability. Russia, which has substantial oil interests in Iraq that are threatened by U.S. control, strongly opposed the war, and at least factions within the Russian intelligence agency were reportedly feeding information unfriendly to the U.S. to the website Iraqwar.ru . There's a lot recommending an EU-Russia alliance; Europe could supply technology and finance, and Russia could supply energy, and together they could constitute at least an embryonic counterweight to U.S. power.
So the U.S. may not get out of Iraq what the Bush administration is hoping for. It certainly can't want democracy in Iraq or the rest of the region, since free votes could well lead to nationalist and Islamist governments who don't view ExxonMobil as the divine agent that Bush seems to. A New York Times piece celebrated the outbreak of democracy in Basra, while conceding that the mayor is a former Iraqi admiral appointed by the British. The lead writers of the new constitution are likely to be American law professors; Iraqis, of course, aren't up to the task themselves.
Certainly the appointment of Lt. Gen. Jay M. Garner (Ret.) - one of the few superannuated brass not to have enjoyed a consulting contract with a major TV network - to be the top civilian official guiding the postwar reconstruction of Iraq speaks volumes. A retired general is barely a civilian, and Garner's most recent job was as president of SY Technology , a military contractor that worked with Israeli security in developing the Arrow antimissile system. He loves antimissile systems; after the first Gulf War, he enthused about the Patriot's performance with claims that turned out to be nonsense. He's on record as having praised Israel's handling of the intifada. If that's his model of how to handle restive subject populations, there's lots of trouble ahead.
In the early days of the war, when things weren't going so well for the "coalition," it was said that the force was too light. But after the sandstorm cleared and the snipers were mowed down, that alleged lightness became a widely praised virtue. But that force was light only by American standards: 300,000 troops; an endless rain of Tomahawks, JDAMs, and MOABs; thousands of vehicles, from Humvees to Abrams tanks; hundreds of aircraft, from Apaches to B-1s; several flotillas of naval support - and enormous quantities of expensive petroleum products. It takes five gallons of fuel just to start an Abrams tank, and after that it gets a mile per gallon. And filling one up is no bargain. Though the military buys fuel at a wholesale price of 84¢ a gallon, after all the expenses of getting it to the front lines are added in, the final cost is about $150 a gallon. That's a steal compared to Afghanistan, where fuel is helicoptered in, pushing the cost to $600/gallon. Rummy's "lightness" is of the sort that only a $10 trillion economy can afford.
The Bush gang doesn't even try to keep up appearances, handing out contracts for Iraq's reconstruction to U.S. firms even before the shooting stopped, and guarding only the oil and interior ministries against looters. If Washington gets its way, Iraq will be rebuilt according to the fondest dreams of the Heritage Foundation staff, with the educational system reworked by an American contractor, the TV programmed by the Pentagon, the ports run by a rabidly antiunion firm, the police run by the Texas-based military contractor Dyncorp , and the oil taken out of state hands and appropriately privatized.
That's the way they'd like it to be. But the sailing may not be so smooth. It looks like Iraqis are viewing the Americans as occupiers, not liberators. It's going to be hard enough to remake Iraq that taking on Syria or Iran may be a bit premature. But that doesn't mean they won't try. It's a cliché of trade negotiations that liberalization is like riding a bicycle - you have to keep riding forward or else you'll fall over. The same could be said of an imperial agenda: if you want to remake the world, or a big chunk of it, there's little time to pause and catch your breath, since doubt or opposition could gain the upper hand. Which makes stoking that opposition more urgent than ever.Losing it all
There's a feeling around that Bush is now politically invulnerable . Certainly the atmosphere is one of almost coercive patriotism. That mood was nicely illustrated by an incident in Houston in mid-March. A teenager attending a rodeo failed to stand along with the rest of the crowd during a playing of Lee Greenwood's "Proud to be an American," a dreadful country song that has become a kind of private-sector national anthem for the yahoo demographic, thanks to its truculent unthinking jingoism. A patriot standing behind the defiantly seated teen started taunting him, tugging on his ear as an additional provocation. The two ended up in a fight, and then under arrest.
There's a lot of that going around, for sure. Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins get disinvited from events, websites nominate traitors for trial by military tribunal, and talk radio hosts organize CD-smashings. But things aren't hopeless. A close analysis of Greenwood's text might suggest why. The song's core argument is contained in its two most famous lines: "I'm proud to be an American/where at least I know I'm free." But the oft-overlooked opening reads: "If tomorrow all the things were gone/I'd worked for all my life," the singer would still be a grateful patriot. That's precisely the condition lots of Americans find themselves in. More than two million jobs have disappeared in the last two years. Millions of Americans have seen their retirement savings wiped out by the bear market, and over a million filed for bankruptcy last year. Most states and cities are experiencing their worst fiscal crises since the 1930s, with massive service cuts and layoffs imminent. In the song, such loss doesn't matter, but reality is often less accommodating than a song.
As the nearby graphs show, W's ratings are much lower than his father's at the end of Gulf War I, and his disapproval ratings much higher. Their theocratic and repressive agenda is deeply unpopular with large parts of the U.S. population. Spending scores of billions on destroying and rebuilding Iraq while at home health clinics are closing and teachers working without pay is potentially incendiary. Foreign adventures have never been popular with the American public (much to the distress of the ruling elite). An peace movement that could draw the links among warmongering, austerity, and repression has great political potential. Just a month or two ago, hundreds of thousands were marching in American streets to protest the imminent war. Though that movement now looks a bit dispirited and demobilized, it's unlikely that that kind of energy will just disappear into the ether.
May 13, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com
"... Not the men we thought we were ..."
Newt Gingrich once explained to me whilst sitting in my map room in the Pentagon how it was that Japan decided to go to war against the United States in World War II.
He recounted that the decision had much to do with US embargoes of sales to Japan of strategic commodities such as; scrap steel, rubber and oil. Japan in the late 30s was resource poor and skills rich. The government was then in the hands of a clique of militaristic nationalists intent on winning lebensraum for their island empire. To accomplish that, the Tojo government needed the instruments of war as well as a lack of effective US and British resistance to their ambitions.
The embargoes of the materials needed for Japanese industry were seen by the government as a major obstacle to territorial expansion and a profound indication of the permanent hostility of the United States, a country that was the only other serious Pacific Ocean naval power as well as the possessor of a major land base in the Philippine Islands, then an American territory. With these beliefs as background, the Imperial War Council met in 1941 to consider options. The Navy tended to believe that it could not win a protracted struggle with the US, but the Army insisted that whatever the risk Japan must fight the US to find its place "in the sun." After long discussion the council recommended war to the Emperor in the belief that unless they were willing to fight the US and Britain they "would not be the men they had thought they were."
IMO we are creating an analogous situation in US-Iranian relations. The neocon imperialists present in both parties are riding high in the foreign policy apparatus of the United States. As part of their program of gaining a thinly disguised global hegemony they are steadily squeezing Iran into a smaller and smaller "box."
The abandonment of JCPOA and the demand for a new agreement that would require Iran to abandon any effort to be a regional power is at the core of that effort. The insistence that Hizbullah, Hamas and the IRGC are terrorist groups that may not be maintained or supported is a direct challenge to Iranian sovereignty. As I have previously written, the terrorist designation of these groups makes them legal targets for military action under the US AUMF. Add to these things, the effort to reduce Iranian oil exports to zero and you may well have a situation in which the Iranians decide that they must hit back or accept that they are not the men they thought they were. pl
EEngineer , 13 May 2019 at 11:45 AMI see the parallels, but not that one. I think the neocons hope to force the Iranians into making that "all-in" call though. Perhaps as the neocons see it, such a strike would magically rally the American populous to the war they so desire. Imperial conquest performed as a defensive reflex. So they needle nearly everyone in the hopes of triggering a replay of the WW2 saga which has taken on a mythical good vs evil aura in the US. Ironically, I would say it is the neocons who think they need to start a war with the Iranians so that they can be the men they think they are. The only thing still holding them back is the passive-aggressive need to make it look like someone, anyone, else started it so they can play the victim card once the body bags start coming home.Ed Lindgren , 13 May 2019 at 11:51 AMUSN CDR A. H. McCollum was the man who conceived the so-called "Eight Action Plan" which he outlined in his Oct 7, 1940 memo. This was his proposal for the U.S. and Britain to initiate actions which would essentially force Japan into making a decision to wage war against the United States.turcopolier , 13 May 2019 at 12:09 PM
The key elements of the plan, as outlined in McCollum's memo, include the following:
A. Make an arrangement with Britain for the use of British bases in the Pacific, particularly Singapore
B. Make an arrangement with the Netherlands for the use of base facilities and acquisition of supplies in the Dutch East Indies
C. Give all possible aid to the Chinese government of Chiang-Kai-Shek
D. Send a division of long range heavy cruisers to the Orient, Philippines, or Singapore
E. Send two divisions of submarines to the Orient
F. Keep the main strength of the U.S. fleet now in the Pacific[,] in the vicinity of the Hawaiian Islands
G. Insist that the Dutch refuse to grant Japanese demands for undue economic concessions, particularly oil
H. Completely embargo all U.S. trade with Japan, in collaboration with a similar embargo imposed by the British Empire
Not too terribly different from the squeeze currently being placed on Iran by the team of Pompeo/Boton.
The text of the McCollum memo can be found here:
Lindgrenblue peacock , 13 May 2019 at 12:21 PM
Was this plan approved by Roosevelt? the embargoes had been in effect for some time by then.Col. LangEEngineer said in reply to blue peacock... , 13 May 2019 at 01:01 PM
It would seem that the best strategic option for Iran is to lay low and absorb the economic squeeze. The Chinese are unlikely to support the oil sanctions, so they'll be able to continue to sell them until the US navy starts to interdict their tankers. But oil is fungible.....
It would also seem that their best military strategy is a defensive one. Obtaining the best air defense systems and significant medium-range missiles with high payload capacity and accuracy. At the very least they'll be able to give a black-eye while going down.
Of course the question is how the Ayatollah controls his fire breathing, martyrdom loving hawks who bristle at their treatment by the US, Israel & the Saudis. My sense is Bibi will get more itchy than the Ayatollah to take advantage of his perception of complete control of Trump.I've wondered if the Chinese will use their own tankers to pick up Iranian oil or re-flag Iranian ones with Chinese colors as the US did for Kuwait during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980's.turcopolier , 13 May 2019 at 12:23 PM
I can see the neocons wanting open conflict with Iran, but I don't know if they would risk war with China.BP Merely logicalTidewater said in reply to turcopolier ... , 13 May 2019 at 04:15 PMSir,eaken , 13 May 2019 at 01:29 PM
Nice map, I assume it can't be considered a chart. Maps make me think. Anyway, when I heard about the four tankers at Fujairah damaged by "sabotage" I took a look up at Qeshm island in front of Bandar Abbas (it looks to me like a shark) and wondered how far it was down to Fujairah. I get about 140 nautical miles.
I know that there are hardened sub-pens on the land side of Queshm Island probably out to the western end. Recently I have read comments speculating what the Iranian class of mini- or midget subs would be useful for. One learns that one use would be to deliver a sea-mine; another to launch the one torpedo it can carry; and another would be as a transport for naval commandos, or swimmers trained in demolition and mine warfare.
Then I remembered something. I took a look at the last place down on the right side of the map on the Iranian mangrove shore, Trask, once an old fishing port. Trask is also where the pipeline down from the CIS countries will end, and a large refinery, manufacturing, and shipping complex is planned. Since 2008, Trask has been developed for a number of military uses. First as a naval base which berths fast motor patrol boats of the kind that can launch missiles like the Qader, a sea-skimmer carrying a warhead of 200 kilos which can reach out to 186 miles; also as a drone base, complete with a rail launcher which could indicate proficiency in big stay-aloft reconnaisance drones, soon enough to be weaponized, if not already. Significantly, it is also a base for littoral-class submarines, which would include mini-subs design based on the North Korean Yono class, submarines that would be similar to the one that is thought to have sunk the ROKS Cheonan in 2011 with a torpedo. Travelling at nine or ten knots, the Iranian model of the Yono, the Ghadir, could make the crossing to Fujairah in about twelve hours. That's a distance of 127 miles or so.
It looks to me as if the stern location of the tanker the news videos show would not have been hit unless the ship backed into a mine. And it doesn't look like the kind of damage a naval mine would do. A naval mine would have made an enormous ten or twenty foot cavernous dent in that stern, at the least. What it looks like to me was that a swimmer or swimmers placed a sticky explosive or satchel charge. (?) I think it is meant as a warning. 'We can get you any time..."
There's another message. Fujairah and also the ports of Salalah, Sohar, and Duqm, in Oman, have been billing themselves as "the Gateway to the Arabian Gulf." (For that historical and scholarly insult alone they should pay.) Fujairah is the only one of the UAE that is on the eastern side of the Musandam Peninsula. It has been advertised as the emirate that would not be involved in a Gulf war. Out of range. Think again me buckaroos.
The United States has just signed an agreement in late March with Oman which allows US naval and air forces to use the new state- of-the art port facilities and airport at Duqm, down in the middle of the Oman coast, and also Salalah. Sultan Qaboos, a very impressive leader, one of the best, who happens to be gay (but the father of his country), balances carefully between the various powers he must deal with. Iran is already there in Oman and has the right to establish companies and to store materiel there, and to ship cargoes. Just as Iran does in Qatar, where two hundred trucks come across from Bushire every day and have since June 2017 since Trump the Brain gave the OK to Mohammed Bin Salman to lay siege to Qatar. Consider this: "Sohar Freezone has options for leasing pre-built warehouses and commercial offices, as well as 100% foreign ownership...and a One-Stop-Shop for all relevant permits and clearances." (From Overview--SOHAR Port and Freezone.) As to how you get this cargo to points south, that is an interesting question...
Russia will come in if push comes to shove. Russia will not countenance the idea of an America naval and drone base on the Caspian, which is what will happen if Iran is bombed flat. Russia will second pilots to the Iranians and will send bombers like the Tu-95 Bear or the Backfire capable of carrying the KH-101 which will carry Iranian markings etc. These bombers, with enormous range, could wreck havoc on Diego Garcia, and could destroy a carrier group.
The Iranians show us now that they were the ones who invented the game of chess. Trump can look at China, and then he can look at Fujairah, and he can see the American economy going down... The Iranian move is worthy of a grand master...Iran should publicly invite Trump to Tehran without his posse.ted richard , 13 May 2019 at 01:37 PMIf the true goal of the neocons is war, provoked upon Iran then any naval battle group which includes a USA carrier sent into the Persian gulf is the match the neocons are looking for once they decide to ''remember the Maine'' to it sending it to the bottom, then use that false flag as their pretext.O'Shawnessey , 13 May 2019 at 01:39 PM
If its obvious to me wouldn't you suppose its obvious to the pentagon?An apt comparison, no doubt, to "The Day of Deceit."Jack , 13 May 2019 at 01:58 PM
Then there is the high probability that, even if Iran shows restraint and plays the long game, a provocation in the manner of "Assad gasses his own people" will be arranged for them.
Even so, time is not on the side of the US Entity. How much longer can the Fed's fraudulent T-bill scheme keep running? My sense is that they wouldn't be weaponizing the dollar if they had other actual weapons to hand.Sircatherine , 13 May 2019 at 01:59 PM
What real choices do the Iranians have? It would be foolish on their part to launch any kind of military action.ancientarcher , 13 May 2019 at 01:59 PM
No sooner 'warned' then done. Who did it?
Saudi Arabia said two of its oil tankers were sabotaged off the coast of the United Arab Emirates and described it as an attempt to undermine the security of crude supplies amid tensions between the United States and Iran.
The reports come as the US warned ships that "Iran or its proxies" could be targeting maritime traffic in the region, and as the US is deploying an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Gulf to counter what it called "threats from Tehran".
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/05/saudi-oil-tankers-sabotaged-ships-uae-coast-190513055332524.htmlExceptionally good argument. I would also posit that the element of religious belief makes the argument even more potent.D , 13 May 2019 at 03:08 PM
I can't help but think back to more recent instances where the neocons were basically daring the other party to do something - anything. Ukraine in 2014 and Syria later on, come to mind. They had been waiting for the Russians to send in their troops to Ukraine after which they could have totally choked the economy. They also waited for mistakes from Assad, which he wisely avoided.
Similarly, Iran will be wise to avoid reacting in any way to these provocations. Since these provocations are meant to provoke a reaction, if the Iranians bite their lips and hold their hands, they would do more to hurt the neocons than by reacting blindly as the situation and their nature perhaps goads them towards.I humbly suggest you watch this series. Unfortunately, I don't know Persian so I can't help with translation. I watched these series with my sister in law who is a Persian Jew with an excellent command of Farsi; the videos are pretty informative.Rocketrepreneur , 13 May 2019 at 03:08 PM
5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNboW6WcC3UPat,walrus , 13 May 2019 at 03:43 PM
I share your concern, but for the neocons I fear that they see that backing Iran into a position where it has nothing to lose with a war is a feature, not a bug.
~JonTime is not on America's sideLJ , 13 May 2019 at 04:09 PM
In my opinion, the critical element is the forthcoming deployment of advanced Russian and Chinese systems such as the Sarmat heavy ICBM, scheduled I think for 2021, new submarines, etc., etc. and I am not even talking about joint Russo/sino developments.
As Col. Lang/Gingrich explained, we are talking economics here. But unlike Japan, the Russian, Iranian, Syrian, Chinese and associated economies under the stimulus of OBOR are only going to get stronger if left to themselves. The American economy, in my opinion, is no longer capable of replacing ageing infrastructure, matching Russo Chinese military technical capabilities, fielding a million man Army and supporting allies like Korea, Taiwan, Australia, Japan, Poland, etc. without beggaring its population.
To put that another way, the American economic marvel of military production came off a low base with millions of underemployed work hungry people available as a result of the depression. I don't think those conditions obtain today.
Hence the Washington logic of picking off the weakest of the Axis - Iran, right now.The chances of war diminished?Eliot , 13 May 2019 at 04:30 PM
"The American economy, in my opinion, is no longer capable of replacing ageing infrastructure, matching Russo Chinese military technical capabilities"
I was in Russia for the first time last summer. I loved it, but I was surprised by how poor they are. Our debt load aside, they have do have more limited resources.
May 12, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.comIt's time for Trump to stop John Bolton and Mike Pompeo from sabotaging his foreign policy | Mulshine
"I put that question to another military vet, former Vietnam Green Beret Pat Lang.
"Once he's committed to a war in the Mideast, he's just screwed," said Lang of Trump.
But Lang, who later spent more than a decade in the Mideast, noted that Bolton has no direct control over the military.
"Bolton has a problem," he said. "If he can just get the generals to obey him, he can start all the wars he wants. But they don't obey him."
They obey the commander-in-chief. And Trump has a history of hiring war-crazed advisors who end up losing their jobs when they get a bit too bellicose. Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley comes to mind."
" In Lang's view, anyone who sees Trump as some sort of ideologue is missing the point.
"He's an entrepreneurial businessman who hires consultants for their advice and then gets rid of them when he doesn't want that advice," he said.
So far that advice hasn't been very helpful, at least in the case of Bolton. His big mouth seems to have deep-sixed Trump's chance of a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. And that failed coup in Venezuela has brought up comparisons to the failed Bay of Pigs invasion during the Kennedy administration." Mulshine
Well, pilgrims, I worked exclusively on the subject of the Islamic culture continent for the USG from 1972 to 1994 and then in business from 1994 to 2006. I suppose I am still working on the subject. pl
JJackson , 12 May 2019 at 04:11 PMWhat is happening with Trump's Syrian troop withdrawal? Someone seems to have spiked that order fairly effectively.tony , 12 May 2019 at 05:12 PMI don't get it I suppose. I'd always thought that maybe you wanted highly opinionated Type A personalities in the role of privy council, etc. You know, people who could forcefully advocate positions in closed session meetings and weren't afraid of taking contrary positions. But I always figured you needed to keep the blowhards under cover so they wouldn't stick their feet in their mouths and that the public position jobs should go to the smoothies..You, know, diplomats who were capable of some measure of subtlety.turcopolier -> tony... , 12 May 2019 at 06:55 PM
But these days it's the loudmouths who get these jobs, to our detriment. When will senior govt. leaders understand that just because a person is a success in running for Congress doesn't mean he/she should be sent forth to mingle with the many different personalities and cultures running the rest of the world?
A clod like Bolton should be put aside and assigned the job of preparing position papers and a lout Like Pompeo should be a football coach at RoosterPoot U.No. I would like to see highly opinionated Type B personalities like me hold those jobs. Type B does not mean you are passive. It means you are not obsessively competitive.ex-PFC Chuck said in reply to tony... , 12 May 2019 at 08:06 PMWhat do you expect when the boss himself is a loud-mouthed blowhard?rho , 12 May 2019 at 06:34 PME Publius , 12 May 2019 at 06:55 PM"Once he's committed to a war in the Mideast, he's just screwed,"
Not only Trump, at the same time the swamp creatures risk losing control over the Democrat primaries, too. With a new major war in the Mideast, Tulsi Gabbard's core message of non-interventionism will resonate a lot more, and that will lower the chances of the corporate DNC picks. A dangerous gamble.Interesting post, thank you sir. Prior to this recent post I had never heard of Paul Mulshine. In fact I went through some of his earlier posts on Trump's foreign policy and I found a fair amount of common sense in them. He strikes me as a paleocon, like Pat Buchanan, Paul Craig Roberts, Michael Scheuer, Doug Bandow, Tucker Carlson and others in that mold.Rick Merlotti said in reply to E Publius... , 13 May 2019 at 10:17 AM
The other day I was thinking to myself that if Trump decides to dismiss Bolton or Pompeo, especially given how terrible Venezuela, NKorea, and Iran policies have turned out (clearly at odds with his non-interventionist campaign platform), who would he appoint as State Sec and NS adviser? and since Bolton was personally pushed to Trump by Adelson in exchange for campaign donation, would there be a backlash from the Jewish Republican donors and the loss of support? I think in both cases Trump is facing with big dilemmas.
My best hope is that Trump teams up with libertarians and maybe even paleocons to run his foreign policy. So far Trump has not succeeded in draining the Swamp. Bolton, Pompeo and their respective staff "are" indeed the Swamp creatures and they run their own policies that run against Trump's America First policy. Any thoughts?Tulsi for Sec of State 2020...jdledell , 13 May 2019 at 09:23 AMKeeping Bolton and Pompeo on board is consistent with Trump's negotiating style. He is full of bluster and demands to put the other side in a defensive position. I guess it was a successful strategy for him so he continues it. Many years ago I was across the table from Trump negotiating the sale of the land under the Empire State Building which at the time was owned by Prudential even though Trump already had locked up the actual building. I just sat there, impassively, while Trump went on with his fire and fury. When I did not budge, he turned to his Japanese financial partner and said "take care of this" and walked out of the room. Then we were able to talk and negotiate in a logical manner and consumate a deal that was double Trump's negotiating bid. I learned later he was furious with his Japanese partner for failing to "win".Jack said in reply to jdledell... , 13 May 2019 at 02:14 PM
You can still these same traits in the way that Trump thinks about other countries - they can be cajoled or pushed into doing what Trump wants. If the other countries just wait Trump out they can usually get a much better deal. Bolton and Pompeo, as Blusterers, are useful in pursuing the same negotiation style, for better or worse, Trump has used for probably for the last 50 years.I have seen this style of negotiations work on occasion. The most important lesson I've learned is the willingness to walk. I'm not sure that Trump's personal style matters that much in complex negotiations among states. There's too many people and far too many details. I see he and his trade team not buckling to the Chinese at least not yet despite the intense pressure from Wall St and the big corporations.rho said in reply to jdledell... , 13 May 2019 at 04:33 PM
Having the neocons front & center on his foreign policy team I believe has negative consequences for him politically. IMO, he won support from the anti-interventionists due to his strong campaign stance. While they may be a small segment in America in a tight race they could matter.
Additionally as Col. Lang notes the neocons could start a shooting match due to their hubris and that can always escalate and go awry. We can only hope that he's smart enough to recognize that. I remain convinced that our fawning allegiance to Bibi is central to many of our poor strategic decision making.jdledellturcopolier , 13 May 2019 at 11:17 AM
Just out of curiosity: Did the deal go through in the end, despite Trump's ire? Or was Trump so furious with the negotiating result of his Japanese partner that he tore up the draft once it was presented to him?jdledellOutrage Beyond , 13 May 2019 at 11:51 AM
I agree that this is Trump's style but what he does not seem to understand is that in using jugheads like these guys on the international scene he may precipitate a war when he really does not want one.Mulshine's article has some good points, but he does include some hilariously ignorant bits which undermine his credibility.O'Shawnessey , 13 May 2019 at 01:21 PM
"Jose Gomez Rivera is a Jersey guy who served in the State Department in Venezuela at the time of the coup that brought the current socialist regime to power."
Wrong. Maduro was elected and international observers seem to agree the election was fair.
"Perhaps the biggest lie the mainstream media have tried to get over on the American public is the idea that it is conservatives, that start wars. That's total nonsense of course. Almost all of America's wars in the 20th century were stared by liberal Democrats."
Exceptions are: Korea? (Eisenhower); Grenada? (Reagan); Iraq? (Bush Sr.)So what exactly is Pussy John, then, just a Yosemite Sam-type bureaucrat with no actual portfolio, so to speak? I defer to your vastly greater knowledge of these matters, but at times it sure seems like they are pursuing a rear-guard action as the US Empire shrinks and shudders in its death throes underneath them, and at others it seems like they really have no idea what to do, other than engage in juvenile antics, snort some glue from a paper bag and set fires in the dumpsters behind the Taco Bell before going out into a darkened field somewhere to violate farm animals.turcopolier , 13 May 2019 at 01:21 PM
If were Lavrov, what would I think to myself were I to find myself on the other side of a phone call from PJ or the Malignant Manatee?O'Shaunessy - He is an adviser who has no power except over his own little staff. The president has the power, not Bolton.
May 13, 2019 | www.unz.com
uncle tungsten , says: May 12, 2019 at 10:07 am GMT@FB Trump is totally responsible for the assault on Venezuela. Trump hired these thugs, Trump agreed to the strategy, Trump gives the command. Trump is a f ING disaster, a thug and a Mafia scubag.denk , says: May 12, 2019 at 11:53 am GMTGotta hand it to the unitedsnakes , awesome multitask master.Ilyana_Rozumova , says: May 12, 2019 at 12:07 pm GMT
While laying siege to China, Russia, Venezuela, Iran ,
its is busy fomenting chaos in every corner of the planet.
All in a day's work for the world's no 1 terrorist state.
-- -- -- -- -- -- --
FBI on the case in Sri Lanka.
How come pro arsonists CIA/FBI/MI6 always first on the crime scene to help with investigation ?
Prime suspects double up as investigators ?
Fox guarding the chicken coops ?
No wonder they havent solved any case so far.
Whats there to investigate ?
ISIS [tm] has already owned up, they did it.
At this point, anybody not knowing ISIS=CIA has better stick with Harry & Potter.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- –
Sri Lanka terrorism.
cui bono ?
http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2019/04/26/who-benefited-from-sri-lankan-tragedy/@Z-man Lets make it clear. Wars are also existential mater for US generals. As a mater of fact for all generals around the world. Generals simply love wars.
May 10, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org
... ... ...
Trump was after a good deal from Russia. A new partnership would have reversed deteriorating relations between the powers by encouraging their alliance against ISIS and recognising the importance of Ukraine to Russia's security. Current US paranoia about everything Kremlin-related has encouraged amnesia about what President Barack Obama said in 2016, after the annexation of the Crimea and Russia's direct intervention in Syria. He too put the danger posed by President Vladimir Putin into perspective: the interventions in Ukraine and the Middle East were, Obama said, improvised 'in response to a client state that was about to slip out of his grasp' ( 5 ).
Obama went on: 'The Russians can't change us or significantly weaken us. They are a smaller country, they are a weaker country, their economy doesn't produce anything that anybody wants to buy, except oil and gas and arms.' What he feared most about Putin was the sympathy he inspired in Trump and his supporters: '37% of Republican voters approve of Putin, the former head of the KGB. Ronald Reagan would roll over in his grave' ( 6 ).
By January 2017, Reagan's eternal rest was no longer threatened. 'Presidents come and go but the policy never changes,' Putin concluded ( 7 ). Historians will study this period when there was a convergence in the objectives of the US intelligence agencies, the leaders of the Hillary Clinton wing of the Democratic Party, the majority of Republican politicians and the anti-Trump media. That common objective was stopping any entente between Moscow and Washington.
Each group had its own motive. The intelligence community and elements in the Pentagon feared a rapprochement between Trump and Putin would deprive them of a 'presentable' enemy once ISIS's military power was destroyed. The Clinton camp was keen to ascribe an unexpected defeat to a cause other than the candidate and her inept campaign; Moscow's alleged hacking of Democratic Party emails fitted the bill. And the neocons, who 'promoted the Iraq war, detest Putin and consider Israel's security non-negotiable' ( 8 ), hated Trump's neo-isolationist instincts.
The media, especially the New York Times and Washington Post, eagerly sought a new Watergate scandal and knew their middle-class, urban, educated readers loathe Trump for his vulgarity, affection for the far right, violence and lack of culture ( 9 ). So they were searching for any information or rumour that could cause his removal or force a resignation. As in Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express, everyone had his particular motive for striking the same victim.
The intrigue developed quickly as these four areas have fairly porous boundaries. The understanding between Republican hawks such as John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and the military-industrial complex was a given. The architects of recent US imperial adventures, especially Iraq, had not enjoyed the 2016 campaign or Trump's jibes about their expertise. During the campaign, some 50 intellectuals and officials announced that, despite being Republicans, they would not support Trump because he 'would put at risk our country's national security and wellbeing.' Some went so far as to vote for Clinton ( 10 ).
Ambitions of a 'deep state'?
The press feared that Trump's incompetence would threaten the US-dominated international order. It had no problem with military crusades, especially when emblazoned with grand humanitarian, internationalist or progressive principles. According to the press criteria, Putin and his predilection for rightwing nationalists were obvious culprits. But so were Saudi Arabia or Israel, though that did not prevent the Saudis being able to count on the ferociously anti-Russian Wall Street Journal, or Israel enjoying the support of almost all US media, despite having a far-right element in its government.
Just over a week before Trump took office, journalist Glenn Greenwald, who broke the Edward Snowden story that revealed the mass surveillance programmes run by the National Security Agency, warned of the direction of travel. He observed that the US media had become the intelligence services' 'most valuable instrument, much of which reflexively reveres, serves, believes, and sides with hidden intelligence officials.' This at a time when 'Democrats, still reeling from their unexpected and traumatic election loss as well as a systemic collapse of their party, seemingly divorced further and further from reason with each passing day, are willing -- eager -- to embrace any claim, cheer any tactic, align with any villain, regardless of how unsupported, tawdry and damaging those behaviours might be' ( 11 ).
The anti-Russian coalition hadn't then achieved all its objectives, but Greenwald already discerned the ambitions of a 'deep state'. 'There really is, at this point,' he said 'obvious open warfare between this unelected but very powerful faction that resides in Washington and sees presidents come and go, on the one hand, and the person that the American democracy elected to be the president on the other.' One suspicion, fed by the intelligence services, galvanised all Trump's enemies: Moscow had compromising secrets about Trump -- financial, electoral, sexual -- capable of paralysing him should a crisis between the two countries occur ( 12 ).
Covert opposition to Trump
The suspicion of such a murky understanding, summed up by the pro-Clinton economist Paul Krugman as a 'Trump-Putin ticket', has transformed the anti-Russian activity into a domestic political weapon against a president increasingly hated outside the ultraconservative bloc. It is no longer unusual to hear leftwing activists turn FBI or CIA apologists, since these agencies became a home for a covert opposition to Trump and the source of many leaks.
This is why the Democratic Party data hack, which the US intelligence services allege is the work of the Russians, obsesses the party, and the press. It strikes two targets: delegitimising Trump's election and stopping his promotion of a thaw with Russia. Has Washington's aggrieved reaction to a foreign power's interference in a state's domestic affairs, and its elections, struck no one as odd? Why do just a handful of people point out that, not long ago, Angela Merkel's phone was tapped not by the Kremlin but by the Obama administration?
The silence was once broken when the Republican representative for North Carolina, Tom Tillis, questioned former CIA director James Clapper in January: 'The United States has been involved in one way or another in 81 different elections since World War II. That doesn't include coups or the regime changes, some tangible evidence where we have tried to affect an outcome to our purpose. Russia has done it some 36 times.' This perspective rarely disturbs the New York Times 's fulminations against Moscow's trickery.
The Times also failed to inform younger readers that Russia's president Boris Yeltsin, who picked Putin as his successor in 1999, had been re-elected in 1996, though seriously ill and often drunk, in a fraudulent election conducted with the assistance of US advisers and the overt support of President Bill Clinton. The Times hailed the result as 'a victory for Russian democracy' and declared that 'the forces of democracy and reform won a vital but not definitive victory in Russia yesterday For the first time in history, a free Russia has freely chosen its leader.'
Now the Times is in the vanguard of those preparing psychologically for conflict with Russia. There is almost no remaining resistance to its line. On the right, as the Wall Street Journal called for the US to arm Ukraine on 3 August, Vice-President Mike Pence spoke on a visit to Estonia about 'the spectre of [Russian] aggression', encouraged Georgia to join NATO, and paid tribute to Montenegro, NATO's newest member.
No longer getting his way
But the Times, far from worrying about these provocative gestures coinciding with heightened tensions between great powers (trade sanctions against Russia, Moscow's expulsion of US diplomats), poured oil on the fire. On 2 August it praised the reaffirmation of 'America's commitment to defend democratic nations against those countries that would undermine them' and regretted that Mike Pence's views 'aren't as eagerly embraced and celebrated by the man he works for back in the White House.'
At this stage, it doesn't matter any more what Trump thinks. He is no longer able to get his way on the issue. Moscow has noted this and is drawing its own conclusions.
... ... ...
May 10, 2019 | www.unz.com
Sunburst says: May 10, 2019 at 3:22 am GMT
U.S. Foreign Policy used to have only two instruments in dealing with rest of the world, namely carrots and sticks. Since the fall of Soviet Union and certainly after 9/11, only sticks remain. Now the World including the so-called allies are getting tired of the threats and start ignoring the Empire, hence the diminishing effectiveness, paving the way for polymorphic World. This transition is fraught with dangers as pointed out by the Author.
SeekerofthePresence , says: May 10, 2019 at 11:18 pm GMTLovely post by Ret. Col. Douglas Macgregor on the end of empire:FB , says: Website May 11, 2019 at 12:44 am GMT
"John Bolton is the problem"
"Trump's national security adviser is getting dangerous particularly to the president's ideals"
Could also be titled, "How to Exhaust an Empire."
Sun Tzu warned of the same demise in the "Art of War."
Didn't they used to teach that book at West Point?@El Dato And also the 90 minute Trump-Putin phone call, where Venezuela was the main subjectJ. Gutierrez , says: May 11, 2019 at 10:23 am GMT
From the way I understand Trump's comments afterward, it seems the military option is off the table the two presidents agreed that humanitarian aid is the priority
This is great news I have to give Trump credit here Justin Raimondo presciently opined a week ago that Trump may have been giving the 'walrus' just enough rope on Venezuela to hang himself
I have to wonder what Vlad whispered in carrot top's ear
'Come on man you can do it BE A BOSS '
LOLWhen we take a close look at the American Government and it's elected officials, we can only come to one conclusion. The US is a thriving criminal enterprise that uses force to get what they want. The military's role is that of enforcers and the US President is no different than a Mafia Don. In no other time in US history has Government and Organized Criminal Gangs been so indistinguishable. George H.W. Bush with his New World Order announcements, his CIA drug dealing operations and military invasion of Panama to steal the drug cartel's money deposited in that county's banks, came close. Bill Clinton working with George H.W. Bush protecting drug shipments smuggled into Mena, AK, the cover up of murdered witnesses and numerous sexual assault allegations also came pretty close.
But when George W. Bush, Dick Chaney, Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld came into power, that was a Mafia if there was ever one. That group of criminals stole more money and murdered more people than any criminal organization in history. They even conned the American people into believing some rag-heads in Afghanistan hiding in caves did it. It was the first time since Pancho Villa that anyone attacked the US on its own soil. Not only did they steal all the gold stored in bank vaults located in the Twin Towers, but they put money on the stock market. In true gangster fashion the next move was to retaliate against the Muslim Mafia who was fingered by Mayer Lanski (Benjamin Nuttenyahoo) and their own paid snitches (MSM). It was time to hit mattresses and send their enforcers to get payback so the Purple Gang (Israel) can take over their territory.
There is a big difference between the US Government and the Mafia when it comes to war, the Mafia adheres to a strict code of ethics, they do not target their enemies families.
In 2016 the American people elected a true gangster from New York city. A known con man, a swindler, a tax evader and known associate of the criminal underground. A man with numerous court cases and 23 accusations of sexual assault. A man who was screwing a porn star while his wife was given birth. A man who's mentor was Roy Cohen a mob attorney and practicing homosexual who died of AIDS. A man that surrounded himself with the most perverted group of people in New York such as: Roger Stone a well known swinger and gay pride participant. Paul Manafort a convicted criminal and swinger who attended the same clubs as Stone along with their wives. They liked to watch their wives get screwed by other men. Lets not forget John Bolton who was exposed by Larry Flint for also being a swinger. His ex-wife accused him of forcing her to perform sex acts with multiple men at the same clubs the other 2 cuckolds attended. A Russian agent once commented that the best place to find government people to blackmail was the New York swingers scene.
Jeffery Epstein tops the list of perverted friends of Donald Trump. Epstein is the worst kind of perverted human being. The predator pedophile that uses his money to lure young girls into his sick world. Epstein holds the key to uncovering the nation wide pedophile ring that include some of the most famous people in the US. This is Trump's Mafia, a Mafia not like the Gambinos or Luchesis. A Mafia full of Perverts, Criminals, Pedophiles and Cuckolds. These are just a few of the people in Trump's circle of friends. If these are your leaders, what does that say about the American people!
My dad used to tell me tell me who you hang around with, and I'll tell you who you are! Every single person in DC government is compromised! And this incompetent Mafia of Perverts want you to believe that Madurro is a corrupt leader and Iran is a threat to the US!
May 13, 2019 | www.unz.com
FB , says: Website May 11, 2019 at 4:46 pm GMT@J. Gutierrez Thanks for putting together this commentary JJ. Gutierrez , says: May 11, 2019 at 10:42 pm GMT
Bolton a swinger ?
LOL that's a mental picture that's deeply disturbing yet funny at the same time@FB Yeah brother that POS was called out during his confirmation hearings during baby bush's presidency. Larry Flint had offered a Million dollars to anyone who had proof of republican sexual exploits. He was quickly fingered by someone who attended those clubs. He was forced to accept a temporary position and quietly resigned after a few months so as to avoid facing questions.J. Gutierrez , says: May 12, 2019 at 1:05 am GMT
Someone said they saw him proposition a teenage girl outside one of the swinger clubs he frequented.
Glad you enjoyed the piece take care brother@SeekerofthePresence Thank you your comment is very much appreciated. But I'm definitely not a spokesman for moral truth, just the truth. I just watch in amazement from Mexico at what the US government has become. A den of the most vile people ever assembled in the world far worse than the people that demanded the crucification of Jesus Christ. We just went through a serious political conversion, but the people had to hit the streets for it to succeed. I just don't think the American people feel they are in a do or die situation, and they couldn't more wrong.
May 12, 2019 | www.unz.com
Republic , says: May 12, 2019 at 11:37 am GMT@El Datofollyofwar , says: May 12, 2019 at 12:58 pm GMT
Pompeo is a real piece of work
This thug is Secretary of State. He doesn't do diplomacy, he only issues threats.@Republic Seems that Pomp-ass Pompeo is from the Queen Hitlary school of diplomacy.KA , says: May 12, 2019 at 1:02 pm GMT@Endgame Napoleon Americans probably don't understand Russia. Americans don't even mostly understand their own history. "
and they inquire why they hate us .
Don Bacon | May 11, 2019 11:56:00 AM | 23Taffyboy | May 11, 2019 5:07:56 PM | 62
@ ToivoS 16
the US military brass are vigorously apposed to the Bolton and Pompeo efforts to provoke war against Iran.
Yes, for the reasons I noted in my 4 above. The Pentagon has found its niche pounding upon third world countries which can't defend themselves, and that's not Iran. The recent US defeats in Iraq and Syria also sent a message. So the Pentagon is now content with aerial bombing of Afghanistan and Somalia while spending big bucks to (supposedly) contend with Russia and China, which of course is also out of the question when it comes to execution.
The Pentagon materiel acquisition system is riddled with corruption and poor management, the army is handicapped by low recruiting, drugs and obesity, the navy suffers from performance and maintenance problems, and the air force has been decimated by personnel problems and by an overly zealous procurement of useless F-35 prototypes. So bombers dropping bombs on villages in poor countries is as far as the Pentagon can go.
On May 14/2019 Pompeo is to meet Lavrov in Sochi! ..."Pompeo is scheduled to meet with Putin and Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, in Sochi on May 14 to “discuss the full range of bilateral and multilateral challenges.” Before that, he will meet with officials at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow."...
A messenger boy on the errant trip overseas from his handlers. Something to tell in person, mano a mano no less.
..."“On May 13, he will arrive in Russia to meet with his team at U.S. Embassy Moscow before meeting with U.S. business leaders and U.S. exchange alumni. Secretary Pompeo will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said."... That's rich, a nobody faces an unknown.
Anyway...have a pleasant weekend, sir(B).
May 12, 2019 | www.youtube.com
Kira Knudsen , 3 weeks agoMatt Ides , 3 weeks ago
Would love a Sanders/Gabbard ticket.AboxoroxRoxursox , 3 weeks ago
Tulsi also wipes out the age issue as Bernie VP and that can set her up for future Prez run again.
Make sure to donate to Tulsi and Bernie.
May 12, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Daniel , May 12, 2019 5:03:44 AM | link< @82 Don Bacon>
Neoconservativsm is a distinct ideology brought into being by U of Chicago professor Leo Strauss and his ex-Trotskyist acolytes. It is American exceptionalism on steroids and its core tenet is that American society needs elite rulers to guide the retarded masses who are too stupid to know what their best interests are.
To keep them in line the masses need to be fed grandiose myths they can believe in and rally around.
This is where America the Good as the shining beacon on the hill, slaying evil wherever it is found to make the world safe for freedom comes in.
George H.W. Bush, Dubya's daddy, called them "the crazies in the basement."
somebody , May 12, 2019 7:21:19 AM | linkThe Shia fellasFirst, the neocons and some Israeli strategists had long seen the Shia as "outsiders" opposed to the mainstream Arab (read: Sunni) nationalist current, and over decades had developed an affinity for the Shia as potential allies in the region, much as they saw the Lebanese Maronite Christians and other minorities in the Arab world.
"There existed a supercilious 'Shiaphilia' among certain academics, Iraqi political exiles, policy wonks and policymakers linked to the Bush administration," wrote Ahmed Hashim, author of Insurgency and Counter-insurgency in Iraq and a professor of strategic studies at the U.S. Naval War College. At the American Enterprise Institute and among partisans of Chalabi's INC, it was routine to speak of "de-Arabizing" Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein, a favorite theme of the INC's favored intellectual, Kanan Makiya.
Second, the neocons had been seduced by Chalabi, who convinced them that Iraq's Shia leaders would abandon their ties to Iran and rush to embrace a secular, pro-American political culture. Vali Nasr, author of The Shia Revival and a professor at the Naval Postgraduate School, attributes this to the neocons' "reading of the Israeli experience in the invasion of south Lebanon in 1982. That's why they had this vocabulary of 'They're going to greet us with flowers,' because that's what happened in south Lebanon -- the Israeli army was greeted by Shia villagers with flowers and rice."
Third, the neocons believed that moderate, nonpolitical Shia in Iraq would establish Najaf, the Iraqi shrine city that is the holiest place in Shia Islam, as a new center of gravity that would overpower Qom, the clerical powerhouse city in Iran. They believed that the "good Shia," supposedly "quietist" ayatollahs such as Ali al-Sistani, would emerge to present a frontal challenge to Iran's militant "bad Shia," followers of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. A leading proponent of this theory was David Wurmser, a radical neocon who is currently Vice President Cheney's top Middle East adviser. "They deluded themselves into thinking that these links operated only one way -- with Najaf undermining Qom," says Nasr. "They assumed that it was Iraq that would influence Iran, not that Iran would influence Iraq."
May 10, 2019 | www.youtube.com
darren alevi 2 months ago
Here is how you chart a Progressive foreign policy stop treating the US intelligence agencies of the CIA and FBI as orgs of integrity. Ban all foreign lobbying so no foreign government can influence foreign policy.
Disband the Veto powers that the US holds over the UN security council. Prosecute former Presidents and Government officials for the illegal regime change wars.
Connect with other progressive politicians around the world such as Jeremy Corbyn, Jean Luc Melenchon and Moon Jae In. End the arms race and begin a peaceful space race to colonize the moon diverting funds from the military industrial complex into something fulfilling.
Peter Knopfler 2 months ago
What BULL while world under the fog of Berlin wall down, USA VP Bush attacks Panama 8000 Marines kills 3500 panamanians , gives the banks to CIA, therefore Panama papers. Another coup in Latin America. When V.P. Bush "we had to get over the Vietnam Syndrome". So Killing 3500 people , to get over the loser spirit, suicidal influence from Vietnam. SHAME USA more hate for Americans. And Now Venezuela, more Shame and Hate for Americans. Yankee go home, Gringo stay home is chanted once more.
Ron Widelec 2 months ago
We need an Anti-imperialist league like 100 ago. And an anti-war caucus in congress!
Michael 26CD 2 months ago
The audio is a little off especially for a couple speakers but this discussion is great. Trump ran on a non-interventionist platform, but in his typical dishonest fashion, he appointed people who are developing usable nukes like characters out of Dr. Strangelove. Nuclear weapons and climate change are both existential threats that all the world needs to act together to address.
asbeautifulasasunset 2 months ago
17 plus years later some people are finally starting to talk about the $6 trillion wars and the $750 billion annual Defense Department Budget.... Please consider giving Tulsi Gabbard at least a $1 contribution so she can be part of the debate between Democratic presidential candidates. She has made ending the wars on terrorism and regime change the primary issue of her candidacy. She is an Iraq vet and currently in the National Guard. Her rank is Colonel. She needs $62,500 and contributions from 200 people in each of 20 states. Thanks for anything you can do.
Jim R2 months ago
President Eisenhower's farewell address warned us of the very thing that is happening today with the industrial military complex and the power and influence that that entity weilds.
chickendinner2012, 2 months ago
End the wars, no more imperialism, instead have fair trade prioritizing countries that have a living wage and aren't waging war etc. No more supporting massive human rights abusers like Saudi Arabia, Israel, UAE etc. and we need to get three of the most aggressive countries the F UK US coalition that constantly invades and bombs everyone they want to steal from to stop doing war, stop coups, stop covert sabotage, stop sanctions.
asbeautifulasasunset, 2 months ago
17 plus years later some people are finally starting to talk about the $6 trillion wars and the $750 billion annual Defense Department Budget.... Please consider giving Tulsi Gabbard at least a $1 contribution so she can be part of the debate between Democratic presidential candidates. She has made ending the wars on terrorism and regime change the primary issue of her candidacy. She is an Iraq vet and currently in the National Guard. Her rank is Colonel. She needs $62,500 and contributions from 200 people in each of 20 states. Thanks for anything you can do.
carol wagner sudol2 months ago
Israel today has become a nazi like state. period. That says it all. This is heart-breaking. Gaza is simply a concentration camp.
Tom Hall, 2 months ago
All our post WWII foreign policy has been about securing maintaining and enhancing corporate commercial interests. What would seem to progressives as catastrophic failures are in fact monumental achievements of wealth creation and concentration. The billions spent on think tanks to develop policy are mostly about how to develop grand narratives that conceal the true beneficiaries of US foreign policy and create fear, uncertainty and insecurity at home and abroad.
May 12, 2019 | caucus99percent.com@dfarrah
The real story behind this or any other presidency is Who could stand up to the deep state/neocons?
Trump is an outsider who is up against powerful, entrenched forces who apparently do whatever they want to do. (and they would be the same had Bernie won the presidency).
Bernie seems to lack the spine. Tulsi on the other hand is a tough cookie--but could she ever find adequate military and DOJ support?
May 12, 2019 | caucus99percent.com
Speaking of getting led around by the nose, we come to one Gina Haspel's great deceptions. This deception plays directly into the hands of Russiagaters. This woman, supposedly brought into CIA leadership in order to demolish the agency, is proving quite adept in perpetuating its reign of terror. Again, we have a neocon undermining Trump's prestige and authority.
Apr 17, 2019 | larouchepub.com
(EIRNS) -- The New York Times ran a story yesterday titled, "Gina Haspel Relies on Spy Skills To Connect with Trump. He Doesn't Always Listen." Based on interviews with former and current CIA agents who worked with CIA Director Haspel (but not interviewing her), the Times praises her skills and attempts to denigrate Trump, but they also retail a story about her and Trump which could cost Haspel deeply.
Following the March 2018 breaking of the Skripal poisoning story in England, the Times writes, Trump had initially "written off the poisoning as part of legitimate spy games, distasteful but within the bounds of espionage." Haspel, on the other hand, was backing London's demand for Trump to blame Russia immediately and expel dozens of Russian diplomats.
Writes the Times:
"During the discussion, Ms. Haspel, then deputy CIA director, turned toward Mr. Trump. She outlined possible responses in a quiet but firm voice, then leaned forward and told the President that the 'strong option' was to expel 60 diplomats.
"To persuade Mr. Trump, according to people briefed on the conversation, officials including Ms. Haspel also tried to show him that Mr. Skripal and his daughter were not the only victims of Russia's attack.
"Ms. Haspel showed pictures the British government had supplied her of young children hospitalized after being sickened by the Novichok nerve agent that poisoned the Skripals. She then showed a photograph of ducks that British officials said were inadvertently killed by the sloppy work of the Russian operatives."
This appeal reportedly swayed Trump to go along with Haspel's advice.
If it sounds like the British "White Helmet" terrorists in Syria faking pictures of children being hit with chemical weapons to convince Trump to bomb Syrian targets, it is indeed precisely the same.
Former British Ambassador Craig Murray, an outspoken critic of these British imperial lies and atrocities, posted a response today to the Times garbage on his blog. He states first that yet another truth behind the Skripal lies was revealed recently by police, acknowledging that "the perfume bottle Charlie Rowley found was sealed and could not have been the container used on the Skripals." He goes on: "It took nine months for us to learn that, by a truly wonderful coincidence, the first person to find the Skripals ill on the bench was the Chief Nurse of the British Army."
But on the Haspel story in the Times, Murray is furious. "The problem is," he writes,
"there were no hospitalized children. No children have been reported as becoming ill following their duck feeding with the Skripals. We have heard from one of the parents that they were shown by the police extremely clear [closed-circuit surveillance] CCTV footage of the duck feeding, which has never been made public. Surely if the child had been hospitalized, the parent would have mentioned it?"
He quotes Dr. Stephen Davies of Salisbury Hospital, who wrote to the New York Times on March 14 stating clearly that no children had been hospitalized, and that every person who came to the hospital fearing they had been contaminated had no symptoms and tests turned out negative. Murray states:
"We also know that the duck feeding was the time that Boshirov and Petrov [the alleged Russian culprits] were physically closest to the Skripals. But this is the first time there has ever been any mention of any harm to the ducks. Dead ducks would have been noticed by the public."
It appears that the British Empire is the dead duck in this myth.
May 11, 2019 | jacobinmag.com
Russiagate hysteria is already being used to push Trump into an act of armed aggression against Venezuela. It's a disastrous result of a pointless delusion.
One of the things Russiagate skeptics found unsettling about the frenzy over supposed "collusion" was that it made war more likely. Not only did the now-debunked conspiracy theories and resulting political climate push officials into a more aggressive posture toward Russia, but once the Kremlin was returned to its status as the foreign policy elite's Big Bad, it was easy to imagine a situation where the threat of a Russian bogeyman could be used to justify any number of unrelated foreign adventures. This appears to be exactly what's happening with Venezuela right now.
First there was Fareed Zakaria, who two months ago tried to goad Trump into attacking Venezuela by pointing to Russia's support for Maduro. "Putin's efforts seem designed to taunt the United States," he said (it might also have something to do with the billions of dollars Russia sank into the country), making reference to the Monroe Doctrine. He asked if Washington would "allow Moscow to make a mockery of another American red line," warning that "if Washington does not back its words with deeds" the country could become another Syria. Zakaria concluded: "will Venezuela finally be the moment when Trump finally ends his appeasement?"
More recently, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo charged that Russia had "invaded" Venezuela before claiming the Kremlin had dissuaded Maduro from fleeing the country at the last moment, something Pompeo has provided no evidence for but much of the media has treated as fact since.
National Security Advisor John Bolton has said that "this is our hemisphere" and "not where the Russians ought to be interfering." Democratic Sen. Doug Jones echoed this sentiment on CNN, praising the Trump administration for saying "all options are on the table" to deal with Venezuela, something he suggested may have to be acted on "if there is some more intervention [by] Russia."
The national press, taking a break from warning about Trump being a dangerous authoritarian, has been demanding to know why he hasn't been more aggressive toward the country over this.
Particularly shameless was Florida Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart, who went on Tucker Carlson's show to peddle half-baked innuendo as brazen as anything claimed in the lead up to the Iraq War. If Maduro's government survived, he claimed, it would be "a green light, an open door for the Russians and for the Chinese and for others to increase their activity against our national security interest right here in our hemisphere."
He went on to claim that Russia had already placed nuclear missiles in the country, and that it could lead to a Cuban missile crisis-like conflict. There is no evidence this is true, and Díaz-Balart didn't provide any.
Of course, no coverage of the Trump administration's relations with Russia would be complete without a trip into Rachel Maddow's fractured psyche. After Trump repeated Putin's personal assurances that he wasn't interested in getting involved in Venezuela -- contradicting Pompeo and Bolton -- Maddow addressed the two officials :
Hey John Bolton, hey Mike Pompeo, are you guys enjoying your jobs right now? You each thought your job this week was to name and shame and threaten and counter Russian government involvement in Venezuela while saber-rattling about how everybody else better get out of the way because the US is really mad about it. Guys, turns out your actual job is figuring out how and why you work for a president who says whatever Vladimir Putin tells him.
Maddow went on to express her sympathy for one of the most unhinged warmongers in a city teeming with them ("I mean, John Bolton, God bless you"), and again seemed to suggest that Bolton's "job" of "push[ing] Russia back because of what they're doing in Venezuela" was the correct course of action.
It's now clear there is nothing -- not Trump's years-long belligerence toward Russia's Venezuelan ally, not his near-constant bellicosity toward Russia since taking office, not Robert Mueller's failure to indict a single person for conspiring with Russia, not even his report's explicit and implicit denial that any such conspiracy existed -- that will make these people give up the talking point that Trump is secretly in bed with Putin. If Mueller himself denied it, they would claim he was a Russian in disguise. It's simply too convenient an attack line, and too professionally embarrassing to admit otherwise.
There is also an Orwellian level of doublethink going on here. Russia, a Venezuelan ally, has sent personnel and equipment to the country with the consent of its government at a time when it's being threatened by multiple hostile regional powers. Meanwhile the US, one of those hostile powers, has for years been laying siege to the country and killing its people, trying to destabilize and oust its leadership, and even threatening to invade it.
Yet according to the media and political class, it's Russia's actions that are an unacceptable intrusion into another country's affairs -- an "invasion," even. They are holding up four fingers to your face and telling you you're seeing five.
Meanwhile, these same quarters, after spending close to three years hyperventilating about Russia's meddling in domestic US affairs -- an "act of war," in some minds -- have now seamlessly pivoted to cheering Trump as he attempts to engineer a change of Venezuela's government, even calling for him to possibly attack the country. This is glaringly hypocritical, but the Russiagate frenzy was never about principled outrage or any sort of moral consistency.
Lastly and most significantly, the rhetoric around Venezuela is now taking on an explicitly imperialistic character, in the most literal sense of that word. Zakaria invoked the Monroe Doctrine to urge Trump to intervene in Venezuela; National Security Advisor John Bolton "proudly proclaim[ed]" upon launching a fresh round of sanctions that "the Monroe Doctrine is alive and well," and one MSNBC guest insisted the Trump administration was "right in being completely flabbergasted" at Russia's presence in the country because "this is our hemisphere," echoing Bolton .
When these figures talk about "our hemisphere," they don't mean the hemisphere in which the US happens to be located; they mean this is literally their hemisphere. The US is the imperial power with dominion over this part of the world, and only it has the right to interfere in the countries that populate it.
Their objection is not that an outside power is involving itself in a Latin American country's business, but that this outside power isn't the one in Washington. The fact that the US has been doing this very thing for years in Russia's part of the world -- expanding NATO right up to its border, sending weapons to Ukraine -- goes conveniently unmentioned.
Russiagate skeptics were criticized for being hyperbolic in comparing that scandal to the bogus WMD tale that led to the Iraq War; the latter, after all, killed hundreds of thousands and destabilized an entire region. But the full consequences of Russiagate will not be felt immediately; they will unfold over time. And while floating the specter of Russia might not work this time, expect it to be used over and over in the coming years to justify all manner of military aggression .
May 05, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Leaked: USA's Feb 2018 Plan For A Coup In Venezuela
by Tyler Durden Sun, 05/05/2019 - 11:20 2 SHARES Authored by Eric Zuesse via Off-Guardian.org,
A detailed plan from "UNITED STATES SOUTHERN COMMAND" dated "23 FEBRUARY 2018" was issued with the title "PLAN TO OVERTHROW THE VENEZUELAN DICTATORSHIP 'MASTERSTROKE'" and is here presented complete.
This document was personally signed by Admiral Kurt W. Tidd , who was the Commander (the chief), at SOUTHCOM , and he was thus the top U.S. military official handling Venezuela. But this was far more than just a military plan.
It was comprehensive -- directing military, diplomatic, and propaganda, policies -- regarding the Trump Administration's planned "Overthrow" of Venezuela's Government. His plan has since guided the Administration's entire operation, including "the capacities of the psychological war," regarding Venezuela.
It instructed SOUTHCOM:
Encouraging popular dissatisfaction by increasing scarcity and rise in price of the foodstuffs, medicines and other essential goods for the inhabitants. Making more harrowing and painful the scarcities of the main basic merchandises." ...
intensifying the undercapitalization of the country, the leaking out of foreign currency and the deterioration of its monetary base, bringing about the application of new inflationary measures." ...
Fully obstruct imports, and at the same time discouraging potential foreign investors in order to make the situation more critical for the population." ... compelling him to fall into mistakes that generate greater distrust and rejection domestically" ...
To besiege him, to ridicule him and to pose him as symbol of awkwardness and incompetence. To expose him as a puppet of Cuba." ...
Appealing to domestic allies as well as other people inserted from abroad in the national scenario in order to generate protests, riots and insecurity, plunders, thefts, assaults and highjacking of vessels as well as other means of transportation, with the intention of deserting this country in crisis through all borderlands and other possible ways, jeopardizing in such a way the National Security of neighboring frontier nations. Causing victims and holding the Government responsible for them. Magnifying, in front of the world, the humanitarian crisis in which the country has been submitted to."
Structuring a plan to get the profuse desertion of the most qualified professionals from the country, in order 'to leave it with no professionals at all', which will aggravate even more the internal situation and along these lines putting the blame on of Government."
the presence of combat units from the United States of America and the other named countries, under the command of a Joint General Staff led by the USA."
It was posted online at the Voltairenet site , and was first copied to a web archive on 14 May 2018 . So, it has been online since at least that date. However, because the photo in it of the document wasn't made available via software which includes the individual symbols, but presented only the full visual image of the paper document, it still hasn't yet gone viral on the Web.
Here, therefore, is the first appearance, on the Web, of the full document, that's manually copied, character-by-character, so that each phrase in this document becomes, for the first time, web-searchable, and thereby conveniently available for journalists and historians to quote from.
This prophetic document -- the source for what has happened afterward in and to Venezuela -- might therefore finally receive the public attention that it so clearly merits.
The document starts with propaganda against Venezuela's existing Government (and it totally ignores the extent to which the pre-existing U.S. economic sanctions against Venezuela had actually caused these problems ), and it then proceeds to present the U.S. plan to overthrow the 'dictatorship'. (Tidd refers to Maduro only as "the Dictator," except at the very start and very end.
At the end, he commands "the denouncement toward Maduro's regimen" and he also uses the phrase "the enemy" to refer to him -- as if there had been the U.S. Constitutionally required authorization, by the U.S. Congress, of this "war." The close urges "the dispatch of a UNO military force for the imposition of peace, once Nicolas Maduro's corrupt dictatorship is defeated." The U.N. is militarily to "impose" "peace," after the U.S. and its allies have conquered Venezuela.)
Although Tidd placed 100% of the blame for Venezuela's problems upon Maduro, and ignored the crucial extent to which U.S. economic sanctions had caused them, his plan emphasized that the U.S. must actively make things even worse for the Venezuelan public than America's economic sanctions had yet done.
His coup-plan is loaded with such statements, and, in fact, opens with one:
"Encouraging popular dissatisfaction by increasing scarcity and rise in price of the foodstuffs, medicines and other essential goods for the inhabitants. Making more harrowing and painful the scarcities of the main basic merchandises."
So: he wasn't naive. America's induced suffering upon Venezuelans was part of his plan for Venezuelans, in order to get them to do what the U.S. regime wants them to do -- overthrow Maduro. Furthermore, the United States Government has had extensive successes in previous such operations. One example is that this was how Chile's Salvador Allende was brought down in 1973 (at a time when the U.S. Government's claims to have done it for 'national security' reasons had much more credibility than its current excuse of helping the Venezuelan people does, because the supposedly ideological Cold War was still on).
The only excuse that the perpetrators can come up with, this time around, is "to put an end to the Venezuelan nightmare and the awakening of theirs beloved nation at a luminous dawn, in which the vision of fortune, true peace and tranquility predominate for their fellow citizens."
Impoverish the nation, in order to help Venezuelans attain "true peace and tranquility." That's the plan.
Here is the document's entire text:
23 FEB 2018PLAN TO OVERTHROW THE VENEZUELAN DICTATORSHIP "MASTERSTROKE"
UNITED STATES SOUTHERN COMMAND 23 FEBRUARY 2018
The Venezuelan Chavista dictatorship staggers as a result of its frequent internal problems; there is a great shortage of foodstuffs, an exhaustion of the sources of foreign currency and a rampant corruption. The international support, won with petrodollars, becomes scarcer each time and the purchasing power of its national currency is in a constant downfall.
Such scenario is not supposed to change, but the Venezuelan present-day leaders, as they usually do, in their despair to preserve their power, are capable to appeal to new populist measures that perpetuate their positions of privilege; the only mechanism that sustains them obstinate to the struggle to hold on their positions.
Maduro's corrupt regimen will collapse but regrettably, the divided opposing forces, legitimate defenders of democracy and the well-being of their people, do not have power enough to put an end to the Venezuelan nightmare and the awakening of theirs beloved nation at a luminous dawn, in which the vision of fortune, true peace and tranquility predominate for their fellow citizens.
The internal disputes, the supreme particular likings, the corruption similar to the one of their rivals, as well as the scarcity of rooting, do not grant them the opportunity to make the most of this situation and to give the necessary step to overturn the state of penury and precariousness in which the pressure group, that exercises the leftist dictatorship, has submerged the country. We are at the presence of an unprecedented criminal action in Latin America.
This affects the entire region, there is no respect to international right and local political alternatives are unacceptable.
Democracy spreads out in America, continent in which radical populism was intended to take over. Argentina, Ecuador and Brazil are examples of it. The rebirth of democracy has the support of the most valuable determinations, and the conditions in the regions run in its favour.
It is the time for the United States to prove, with concrete actions, that they are implicated in that process, where overthrowing Venezuelan dictatorship will surely mean a continental turning point.
It is the first opportunity of the Trump Administration to bring forward the vision in reference to security and democracy. Showing its active commitment is crucial, not only for the administration, but also for the continent and for the world.
The time has come to
Step to speed up the definite overthrow of Chavismo and the expulsion of its representative:Undermining the decadent popular support to Government.
Securing he the present-day dictator's irreversible deterioration
- Encouraging popular dissatisfaction by increasing scarcity and rise in price of the foodstuffs, medicines and other essential goods for the inhabitants. Making more harrowing and painful the scarcities of the main basic merchandises.
Increasing the internal instability to a critical level.
- Developing actions to encourage the egocentrism and the verbal incontinence of the Dictator, compelling him to fall into mistakes that generate greater distrust and rejection domestically, while continuing to minimize the international significance of his public figure.
- To beseige him, to ridicule him and to pose him as symbol of awkwardness and incompetence. To expose him as a puppet of Cuba. Exacerbating the division among members of the governing group. Revealing the differences in his living conditions with respect to those of his followers, at the same time to incite them to keep on increasing those divergences. Highlighting examples as the ones of Rafael Ramirez from PDVSA and Nelson Mercengtes from gthe BCV.
- Making his government unsustainable, forcing him to claudication, to negotiate or to run away, as other close collaborators have done.
- Making provisions for a back or escaping door, in case he finally chooses to look for a safe port out of his country.
Using the army officers as an alternative of definite solution.
- Intensifying the undercapitalizatioin of the country, the leaking out of foreign currency and the deterioration of its monetary base, bringing about the application of new inflationary measures that increase its deterioration and that simultaneously provoke the citizens with less access -- who support the present-day rulers -- and those who are best positioned, to see their social status threatened or affected. Establishing that the use of bitcoin, Petro, is a key element in the deterioration of the economy, which is an unconstitutional and illegal manipulation of the national currency, useable for money laundering.
- Fully obstructing imports, and at the same time, discouraging potential foreign investors in order to contribute to make more critical the situation of the population -- mainly in the sphere of oil, essential for any attempt of recuperation of the national economy.
- Appealing to domestic allies as well as other people inserted from abroad in the national scenario in order to generate protests, riots and insecurity, plunders, thefts, assaults and highjacking of vessels as well as other means of transportation, with the intention of deserting this country in crisis through all borderlands and other possible ways, jeopardizing in such a way the National Security of neighboring frontier nations. Causing victims and holding the Government responsible for them. Magnifying, in front of the world, the humanitarian crisis in which the country has been submitted to.
- Making use of the generalized corruption and the originating profits from their operations with prohibited drugs, to do away with their image in front of the world and their domestic followers.
- Promoting fatigue inside the members of the PSUV, inciting the annoyance and nonconformity among themselves, for them to break noisily away from the line of the Government; for them to refuse the measures and restrictions which also affect them, inciting the rising of internal politic factions, which divides it in its schism, making it as weak as the the opposition is. Creating frictions between the PSUV and "Somos Venezuela".
- Structuring a plan to get the profuse desertion of the most qualified professionals from the country, in order "to leave it with no professionals at all", which will aggravate even more the internal situation and along these lines putting the blame on of Government.
- Continuing hardening the conditions inside the Armed Forces to carry out a coup d'etat before concluding 2018, if the crisis does not make the dictatorship to collapse or the dictator does not decide to move aside.
- Continuing setting fire to the common frontier with Colombia. Multiplying the traffic of fuel and other goods. The movement of paramilitaries, armed raids and drug trafficking. Provoking armed incidents with the Venezuelan frontier security forces.
- Recruiting paramilitaries mainly in the campsites of refugees in Cucuta, La Guajira and the north of Santander, areas largely populated by Colombian citizens who emigrated to Venezuela and now return, run away from the regimen to intensify the destabilizing activities in the common frontier between both countries. Making use of the empty space left by the FARC, the belligerency of the ELN and the activities in the area of the Gulf Clan.
- Preparing the involvement of allied forces in support of the Venezuelan army officers or to control the internal crisis, in the event they delay too much in taking the initiative.
- Establishing a speedy time line that prevents the Dictator to continue winning control on the internal scenario. If it's necessary, act before the elections stipulated for next April.
- Getting the support of the allied authorities of friendly countries (Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Panama and Guyana).
- Organizing the provisioning, relief of troops, medical and logistic support from Panama. Making good use of the facilities of electronic surveillance and signals intelligence, the hospitals and its deployed endowments in Danen, the equipped airdromes for the Colombian Plan, as well as the landing fields of the old-time military bases of Howard and Albrook, as well as the one belonging to "Rio Halo". In addition, the Humanitarian Regional Center of the United Nations, designed for situations of catastrophes and humanitarian emergency, which has an aerial landing field and its own warehouses.
- Moving on the basification of combat airplanes and choppers, armored conveyances, intelligence positions, and special military and logistics units (police and military district attorneys and prisons).
- Developing the military operation under international flag, patronized by the Conference of American Armies, under the protection of the OAS and the supervision, in the legal and media context, of the Secretary General Luis Almagro. Declaring the necessity that the continental commandment be strengthened to act, using the instrument of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, in order to avoid the democratic rupture.
- Binding Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Panama to the contribution of greater number of troops, to make use of their geographic proximity and experience in operations in forest regions. Strengthening their international condition with the presence of combat units from the United States of America and the other named countries, under the command of a Joint General Staff led by the USA.
- Using the facilities at Panamanian territory for the rear guard and the capacities of Argentina for the securing of the ports and the maritime positions.
- Leaning on Brazil and Guyana to make use of the migratory situation that we intend to encourage in the border with Guyana.
- Coordinating the support to Colombia, Brazil, Guyana, Aruba, Curacao, Trinidad and Tabago and other States in front of the flow of Venezuelan immigrants in the event of the crisis. Promoting international participation in this effort, as part of the multilateral operation with contribution of the States, Non-Profit Organizations and international bodies. Supplying the adequate logistic, intelligence, surveillance and control support.
- Anticipating, specially, the most vulnerable points in Arauca, Puerto Carreno and Ininda, Maicao, Barranquilla and Sincelejo, in Colombia, and Roramia, Manaos and Boa Vista, in Brazil.
- Silencing the symbolic presence of Chavez-representative of unit and popular support-, and in the other way around, keeping the harassment to the Dictator as the only responsible of the crisis in which he has submerged the nation.
- Holding the Dictator and his closer followers responsible, in the first place, for the prevailing crisis due to his inability to find the way out that the Venezuelans are in need of.
- Intensifying the media denouncement about the cubanization of Venezuela.
- Outstandingly intensifying the denouncement toward Maduro's regimen, considering him:
- A criminal
- A illegitimate
- A thief of the wealth of the Venezuelan people
- Someone who plunders the national treasury to carry out his evasion
- Highlighting the incompetence of the mechanisms of integration created by the regimens of Cuba and Venezuela, specially the ALBA and PETROCARIBE, in order to tackle the situation of the country and their inability to find solutions to the problems that the citizens are facing.
- Increasing, inside the country and through the mass media established abroad, the dissemination of designed messages based on testimonies and publications originated in the country, making use of all the possible capacities, including the social networks.
- Claiming, through that mass media, the need to put an end to this situation because of its unsustainable essence.
- Justifying and assuring through violent means the international backup to the deposal of the dictatorship, displaying an extensive dissemination, inside the country and to the entire world, through all the open means and the capacities of the psychological war of the US ARMY.
- Assuring that the disclosed images and reports of the military actions are approved by the General Staff to prevent their manipulation and use by the enemy.
- The United States should entirely back up the OAS, strengthening the image of the OAS and other multilateral institutions for the inter-American system, as instruments for the solution to the regional problems.
- Promoting the request of the the dispatch of a UNO military force for the imposition of peace, once Nicolas Maduro's corrupt dictatorship is defeated.
WorkingClassMan , 9 minutes ago linkfrankthecrank , 17 minutes ago link
The US military learned their international terrorism activities from the best, the Mossad. This country is run (since at least Lincoln) by terrorists. Money stolen from us every year in the form of taxes used for ******** that destabilizes nations, destroys heritage and expands greater isn'treal.
All this and **** none of us even heard of yet...while our own borders remain wide open and our infrastructure crumbles.
Good use of money you ******* scum.fezline , 13 minutes ago link
It's fake. The military doesn't engage in such things, the spooks at the CIA do-along with the NSA. Just looking at that pic is humorous -- as if that's what they would title the document.
Gullible people.PeterLong , 9 minutes ago link
Who is Gulible now??
https://documents.theblackvault.com/documents/jfk/northwoods.pdfJoiningupthedots , 8 minutes ago link
https://www.southcom.mil/Portals/7/Documents/Posture%20Statements/SOUTHCOM_2017_posture_statement_FINAL.pdf?ver=2017-04-06-105819-923gdpetti , 26 minutes ago link
The golden rule of finding yourself in a hole.......
STOP DIGGING!mailll , 30 minutes ago link
BLah, blah, blah... in other words, the usual.... same as always... CIA's Crowley complained about these idiots after he retired... one example is the difference in Bush 1 and Bush Jr....
This plan is just the usual regime change script written about in many books... the only difference is how 'western' it is in targeting the mind of the masses... which only happens in 'democracies'.... real ones make you do that....
Wait till the puppets in DC really get frustrated... .and then see how frustrated their puppet masters get when their plans go awry as well... time is running out for both puppet and its master... Imagine being Putin and having to deal with these freaks.
I have a conspiracy theory. Since one of my theories is this: We want to gain control of Venezuela oil in order to secure oil imports coming into the US for when we attack Iran for the sake of Israel. The 22% of imports we get from the middle east, much of which comes from the Persian Gulf region, will be disrupted due to this war. And we would have a shortage here in the US along with skyrocketing oil prices. And we would surely bitch about it. But Venezuela oil will keep the oil coming into the US uninterrupted. And for those of you who believe we are energy independent, we are not. We use about 19 million barrels of oil per day, we produce about 12 million barrels per day, and we import about 6-7 million barrels of oil per day to help feed our craving for oil.
But to add to this conspiracy theory, I believe the window of opportunity is closing and the Zionists have to act quickly. So they will just say, OK, lets take Venezuela with our military and see how the world responds. We will never know until we try, so let's do it. And if it was a bad idea, don't worry boys, we are untouchable. We got away with it in Iraq, so let's do it again. Venezuela today, Iran tomorrow, and Israel always. They pay very well.
But this is just a conspiracy theory of mine, perhaps even a foolish one.
May 31, 2003 | www.amazon.com
A Devastating Diatribe, May 31, 2003
It would be an understatement to say that author Haley does not like Lyndon Baines Johnson. And despite the fact that his book is an unrelenting tirade against all things Lyndon, it provides a useful service in reminding the reader of how Johnson trampled and double-crossed friend and foe alike in his single-minded lust for power.
I am fairly conservative politically, but I am open-minded enough to recognize and oppose corruption whether practiced by liberals or conservatives. In my lifetime, Johnson, Nixon, and Clinton have been shining examples of the worst impulses in American presidential politics in which greed and lust for either power or money ended up overshadowing any of their real achievements.
Haley shows that Johnson was a man of few real principles, neither liberal nor conservative, but rather a man who usually always wanted to know which way the wind was blowing before taking a stand on any important issue. Johnson was a man who used all his powers of persuasion and veiled threats to get what he wanted and woe unto anyone who stood in his way.
He was a man who knew and used the old adage "It's not what you know, but who you know" to Machiavellian extremes.
But he was also a man of sometimes great political courage who would rarely give an inch once he took a stand. He hated those who opposed him, nursed resentments, and wreaked revenge on those who crossed him in the least as most of his enemies and many of his friends learned to their sorrow. From the earliest days, he was involved with corrupt Texas politicians from the local to the state level and swam in the seas of corporate corruption with the likes of the infamous swindler Billy Sol Estes and others of his stripe.
Admittedly, the conservatism of the author is the conservatism of a bygone age and the reader will recognize that the book is meant to be a partisan attack on Johnson. Some of the attacks on Johnson are made solely for political reasons as Johnson was clever enough to outmaneuver Haley's ideological brothers and sisters. But Johnson surrounded himself with enough scummy characters and got involved in so many underhanded political AND business deals that he deserves the rough treatment given him in Haley's devastating diatribe.
No matter your political leanings, your eyes will be opened when you read A Texan Looks At Lyndon. The book is well-written and often riveting in its allegations and revelations, but it loses one star for occasional hysteria. If US or Texas politics interests you, then I highly recommend this.
You have been warned, July 31, 2000
Haley wrote this book (and published it himself) in 1964 basically as a campaign tract for Barry Goldwater. In the intervening years it has become a classic of its kind, a philippic, to use M.E. Bradford's term, tracing the illegitimate rise to power of Lyndon Baines Johnson.
If you're politically naive, this book will grown hair on your chest. It's an unblinking, fearless portrait of Johnson's wheeling dealing and underhanded methods to achieve the power, prestige, and money he craved all his life.
Haley names all the names and lays out facts and figures for the reader to make up his mind. And the reader winds up shaking his head in utter astonishment. The best part of the book is that detailing Johnson's eventual election to the U.S. Senate in a contest with former Gov. Coke Stevenson.
The election was clearly Stevenson's, but through the machinations of George Parr, the notorious Duke of Duval County, the results were turned around in LBJ's favor. Investigators later found that among those voting in the primary were people who didn't live in the county anymore and people who weren't alive at all. But the results stood.
(An interesting and amusing aside: when Haley ran for Texas governor in 1956, he approached Parr and said, "I'm Evetts Haley. I'm running for governor, and if I win, it will be my privilege to put you in jail."
Parr's reply: "I believe you will." Parr, the Artful Dodger of Texas politics for years, eventually killed himself.)
At times the book grows tiresome, especially in the Bobby Baker and Billie Sol Estes scandals, where Haley turns a virtual torrent of names and numbers on the reader as to be sometimes confusing.
May 11, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
https://www.dianomi.com/smartads.epl?id=4777 More ridiculous Civil Asset Forfeiture shenanigans by TDB - May 10, 2019 1:46 pm Chicago police run a vehicle impound racket
"A Little Fear" Makes for an Exciting Week in Gold and Silver by Sprott Money - May 10, 2019 11:45 am Trade Wars, Tariffs, and Volatility. Oh my!
- May 10, 2019 1:46 PM
- TDB's blog
US Army Colonel: Pentagon's Latest China Report A "Budget Ploy" To Bleed The Taxpayer
- May 10, 2019 11:45 AM
- Sprott Money's blog
by Tyler Durden Fri, 05/10/2019 - 21:45 2 SHARES
A former US Army Colonel has blasted Department of Defense's (DOD) latest report on China's military capabilities as a "budget ploy" .
"You're looking at a situation where the only thing [the DOD] can ask for, in terms of fixing any of this, is money -- more and more money " retired Colonel Lawrence "Larry" Wilkerson said of the DoD's annual report prepared for Congress entitled, "Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China 2019".
Wilkerson, who served as former chief of staff to US Secretary of State Colin Powell, described in an interview with The Real News that hyping the China threat taps into a well-trodden American pastime of fear-mongering in order to squeeze more precious taxpayer dollars towards inflated budgets .
The Pentagon report focused heavily on President Xi's plans for rapid modernization of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), especially China's ambitious plans for the region's "largest navy" -- which has lately included ongoing construction of the country's third aircraft carrier (the first full-sized one), with plans for seven total by 2025.
Watch the interview with Army Col. (ret.) Larry Wilkerson below.
Col. Wilkerson dismissed the idea that China's aircraft carrier or latest much reported naval modernization initiatives were real causes for concern:
We've got a dozen [aircraft carriers]. They've got one at sea, one about to come out, and another one perhaps, and ours are so far ahead of theirs that it's 10, 15, 20 years before they even achieve the kind of capacity we have .
He explained that "aircraft carriers are extraordinarily vulnerable and we're going to find that out when one of them with 5,000 hands and $14bn worth of taxpayer money is sunk in less than 30 minutes, whenever we get engaged in something real."
Now a military analyst who teaches at The College of William & Mary in Virginia, Wilkerson addressed the familiar Pentagon cycle of threat inflation in the interview:
The [US] army could not expand; it could not take on a real enemy today without massive conscription and full mobilization . And I wonder if the nation could even stand that today. And so, you're looking at a situation where the only thing [the DOD] can ask for, in terms of fixing any of this, is money -- more and more money.
However, he did warn that the heightened rhetoric and blustering amidst a trade war could serve to paint both sides into a corner, resulting in a scenario of blindly bumbling toward war, as other analysts have described of the so-called "Thucydides Trap".
Wilkerson said an increasingly aggressive US posture toward Beijing could create a "self-fulfilling prophecy," wherein each minor escalation based on inflating threats begins "demarcating the highway to war with China," - according to the interview.
Apr 22, 2019 | www.youtube.com
Zero Divisor , 2 weeks ago (edited)Mike Hunt , 3 weeks ago
That was absolutely disgusting. He didn't say should we "pull our forces out around the world." He said should we "take our boot off their necks." Warmongering imperialist.Cordula Backhaus , 1 week ago
Saudi Arabia has cracked down on Wahhabism?Zoe Simza , 2 weeks ago
This FAUX host is a horrible listener. But Tulsi came across very well. My full respect for her. #Tulsi2020P Tim Sina , 2 weeks ago
"The Saudis have cracked down on Wahhabism in a pretty serious way." Boiiiiii the Saudis ARE Wahhabi.
Damn, Tulsi totally smashed him. Now, his supporters gonna have a second thought as they got a short taste of truth/facts on Saudi. Tulsi can easily defeat Trump.
Ordinary Human, 2 weeks ago
Intelligent, calm, speaks clearly qualities you look for in a leader.
Timothy Lavoie, 2 weeks ago
So rude he won't let her talk, Tulsi is awesome this guy is a joke he doesn't know history.
May 09, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
DobermanBoston January 9, 2019 at 1:22 pmFYI Tulsi Gabbard just pushed back on the Harris/Hirono war on the K of C.
May 08, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
John Law Lives , 1 minute ago link
Tulsi Gabbard does have guts. I saw her in a recent interview with Shannon Bream. She said the US basically needs to let Venezuelans handle their own internal political affairs. I agree. She appears to be firmly opposed to US military intervention there.
May 08, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Do not focus on July 2016 as the so-called start of the counter intelligence investigation of Donald Trump. That is a lie. We know, thanks to the work of Judicial Watch, that the FBI had signed up Christopher Steele as a Confidential Human Source (aka CHS) by February of 2016. It is incumbent on Attorney General Barr to examine the contact reports filed by Steele's FBI handler (those reports are known as FD-1023s). He also, as I have noted in a previous post, needs to look at the FD-1023s for Felix Sater and Henry Greenberg. But these will only tell a small part of the story. There is a massive intelligence side to this story.
The CIA, with the knowledge of the Director of National Intelligence, worked with British counterparts starting in the summer of 2015 to collect intelligence on Republican and at least one Democrat candidate. John Brennan was probably hoping that his proactive steps to help the Hillary Clinton campaign would ensure him taking over as DNI in the new Clinton Administration. Regardless of motives, the CIA enlisted the British intelligence community to start gathering intelligence on most major Republican candidates and on Bernie Sanders. This initial phase of intelligence gathering goes beyond opposition research. The information being gathered identified the key personnel in each campaign and identified the people outside the United States receiving their calls, texts and emails. This information was turned into intelligence reports that then were passed back to the United States intel community as "liaison reporting." This was not put into normal classified channels. This intelligence was put into a SAP, i.e. a Special Access Program.
One person who needs to be called on the carpet and asked some hard questions is current CIA Director Gina Haspel. She was CIA Chief of Station in London at the time and was a regular attendee at the meeting of the Brit's Joint Intelligence Committee aka the JIC. I suppose it is possible she was cut out of the process, but I believe that is unlikely.
This initial phase of intelligence collection produced a great volume of intelligence that allowed analysts to identify key personnel and the people they were communicating with overseas. You don't have to have access to intelligence information to understand this. For example, you simply have to ask the question, "how did George Papadopoulos get on the radar." I am confident that a survey of NSA and CIA liaison reporting will show that George Papadopoulos was identified as a possible target by the fall of 2015. Initially, his name was "masked." But we now know that many people on the Trump campaign had their names "unmasked." You cannot unmask someone unless their name is in an intelligence report. We also know that Felix Sater, a longtime business associate of Donald Trump and an FBI informant since December 1998 (he was signed up by Andrew Weismann), initiated the proposal to do a Trump Tower in Moscow. Don't take my word for it, that's what Robert Mueller reported:
In the late summer of 2015, the Trump Organization received a new inquiry about pursuing a Trump Tower project in Moscow. In approximately September 2015, Felix Sater . . . contacted Cohen (i.e., Michael Cohen) on behalf of I.C. Expert Investment Company (I.C. Expert), a Russian real-estate development corporation controlled by Andrei Vladimirovich Rozov. Sater had known Rozov since approximately 2007 and, in 2014, had served as an agent on behalf of Rozov during Rozov's purchase of a building in New York City. Sater later contacted Rozov and proposed that I.C. Expert pursue a Trump Tower Moscow project in which I.C. Expert would license the name and brand from the Trump Organization but construct the building on its own. Sater worked on the deal with Rozov and another employee of I.C. Expert. (see page 69 of the Mueller Report).
Sater's communication with Rozov were intercepted by western intelligence agencies -- GCHQ and NSA. I do not know which agency put it into an intel report, but it was put into the system. The Sater FD-1023 will tell us whether or not Sater did this at the direction of the FBI or acted on his own initiative. The key point is that the "bait" to do something with the Russians came from a registered FBI informant.
By December of 2015, the Hillary Campaign decided to use the Russian angle on Donald Trump. Thanks to Wikileaks we have Campaign Manager John Podesta's email exchange in December 2015 with Democratic operative Brent Budowsky:
" That's good, sooner it's clarified the better, and the stronger the better, " Budowski replies, later adding: " Best approach is to slaughter Donald for his bromance with Putin , but not go too far betting on Putin re Syria ."
The program to slaughter Donald Trump using Russia as the hatchet was already underway. This was more the opposition research. This was the weaponization of law enforcement and intelligence assets to attack political opponents. Hillary had covered the opposition research angle in London by hiring a firm comprised of former MI6 assets-- Hakluyt: there was a second, even more powerful and mysterious opposition research and intelligence firm lurking about with significant political and financial links to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her 2016 campaign for president against Donald Trump.
Meet London-based Hakluyt & Co. , founded by three former British intelligence operatives in 1995 to provide the kind of otherwise inaccessible research for which select governments and Fortune 500 corporations pay huge sums. . . .
Hakluyt is described by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism's Henry Williams as " one of the more secretive firms within the corporate investigations world " and as "a retirement home for ex-MI6 [British foreign intelligence] officers, but it now also recruits from the worlds of management consultancy and banking "
I do not believe that it is a mere coincidence that Australian diplomat, Alexander Downer, was the one credited by the FBI for launching the investigation into George Papadopolous : It was Downer who told the FBI of Papodopoulos' comments, which became one of the "driving factors that led the FBI to open an investigation in July 2016 into Russia's attempts to disrupt the election and whether any of President Trump's associates conspired," The Times reported.
Downer, a long-time Aussie chum of Bill and Hillary Clinton, had been on Hakluyt's advisory board since 2008. Officially, he had to resign his Hakluyt role in 2014, but his informal connections continued uninterrupted, the News Corp. Australian Network reported in a January 2016 exclusive:
But it can be revealed Mr. Downer has still been attending client conferences and gatherings of the group, including a client cocktail soirée at the Orangery at Kensington Palace a few months ago.
His attendance at that event is understood to have come days after he also attended a two-day country retreat at the invitation of the group, which has been involved in a number of corporate spy scandals in recent times.
Much remains to be uncovered in this plot. But this much is certain--there is an extensive documentary record, including TOP SECRET intelligence reports (SIGINT and HUMINT) and emails and phone calls that will show there was a concerted covert action operation mounted against Donald Trump and his campaign. Those documents will tell the story. This cannot be allowed to happen again.
Posted at 05:33 AM in Larry Johnson , Russiagate | Permalink | Comments (9)
turcopolier , 07 May 2019 at 09:53 AMHaving watched interviews of Papadopoulos on TeeVee I would say that this creature would be easy to manipulate. His ego is so enormous that a minimal effort would be required.blue peacock said in reply to turcopolier ... , 07 May 2019 at 11:19 AMCol. LangDavid Habakkuk -> blue peacock... , 07 May 2019 at 01:31 PM
I'm curious why they went after minor characters in the Trump campaign and not Jared or one of Trump's sons? From what I've read of Hoover, it seems he was constantly building "dossiers" of the powerful and those he considered "subversives" so that he would remain preeminent. Then there was the Church Committee investigation. Is this qualitatively different? Can we ever expect that law enforcement & intelligence with so much secretive power are not the 4th branch of government?bp,blue peacock said in reply to David Habakkuk ... , 08 May 2019 at 12:17 AM
The guts of the matter was well expressed by Judge T.S. Ellis when he made the distinction between different results which can be expected from exerting pressures on witnesses: they may 'sing' - which is, commonly, in the interests of justice - but, there again, they may 'compose', which is not.
Also involved - and I think Judge Ellis was very well aware of this - is a fundamental distinction relating to what law enforcement authorities are trying to achieve. If Mueller was honestly - even of perhaps misguidedly - trying to get witnesses to 'sing', that is hardly a mortal sin. If he was trying to get them to 'compose', then the question becomes whether he should be under indictment for subversion of the Constitution.
Alcatraz, perhaps?David,akaPatience -> turcopolier ... , 07 May 2019 at 05:27 PM
Yes, indeed, many a composition have been elicited by prosecutors in criminal cases. The issue is there is no penalty for prosecutorial misconduct while the advancement points ratchet up with each conviction. The incentives are aligned perfectly for the "institution" to run rough shod on ordinary Americans. Only those wealthy enough to fight the unlimited funds of the government have a chance. But of course in matters relating to national security there is the added twist of state secrets that protects government malfeasance.
I don't know how the national security state we continue to build ever gets rolled back. A small victory would be for Trump to declassify all documents and communications relating to the multifaceted spying on his campaign and as Larry so eloquently writes to frame him as a Manchurian Candidate. At least the public will learn about what their grandchildren are paying for. But it seems that Trump prefers tweeting to taking any kind of action. Not that it would matter much as half the country will still believe that Trump deserves it until the tables are turned on their team. While most Americans will say to use Ben Hunt's phrasing Yay! Constitution. Yay! Liberty. they sure don't care as the state oligarchy tighten their chokehold.
https://www.epsilontheory.com/things-fall-apart-pt-1/Yes, he seems young and ambitious enough to be easy (and willing) prey. Having been involved in some local political campaigns though, I've observed that more and more than before, young people like him are hyper-concerned with networking. Papadopoulos' ego aside, of course he and many people who sign on hope to make self-serving connections. Not only that, it's also been my observation that casual sexual hook-ups go with the territory, and not only among young, single guys like him. I have to say I've been shocked a few times by how risky and cavalier some liaisons have been that've come to my attention, considering "public figures" are involved. No doubt that's why a "honeypot" was dispatched to try to help entrap Papadopoulos.Rick Merlotti , 07 May 2019 at 12:14 PMWhy aren't the MSM having a hissy fit about the real, documented election interference by the British Commonwealth/5 Eyes spooks in the 2016 campaign (and before)? The hoax of projecting onto Putin what they themselves have done must be exposed before the country move forward on any front.O'Shawnessey , 07 May 2019 at 02:44 PMSo, was Skripal one of Steele's so-called Kremlin insiders? I see Pablo Miller is connected to both Porton Down and Steele via the ironically titled II's media pods. And Miller is certainly connected to Skripal.sandra adie , 07 May 2019 at 03:01 PMPapadopolos was very young hence the nativity getting sucked in. The ego helped for sure. Probably exciting to be part of something important probably for the first time since he started working for Trump campaignakaPatience , 07 May 2019 at 03:01 PM
One thing that's always concerned me about Larry's informative and insightful essays on these matters is how can we be assured that the IC documentation mentioned has been filled out honestly and accurately -- or that the forms even still exist and haven't been conveniently "lost" or surreptitiously destroyed?
May 08, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Craig Murray,
Theresa May almost certainly sacked Gavin Williamson not just on the basis of a telephone billing record showing he had a phone call with a Telegraph journalist, but on the basis of a recording of the conversation itself.
It astonishes me that still, after Snowden and his PRISM revelations, after Wikileaks Vault 7 releases , and after numerous other sources including my own humble contribution, people still manage to avoid the cognitive dissonance that goes with really understanding how much we are surveilled and listened to. Even Cabinet Ministers manage to pretend to themselves it is not happening.
The budget of the NSA, which does nothing else but communications intercept, is US $14.2 billion this year. Think about that enormous sum, devoted to just communications surveillance, and what it can achieve. The budget of the UK equivalent, GCHQ, is £1.2 billion, of which about 10% is paid by the NSA. Domestic surveillance in the UK has been vastly expanded and many taboos broken. But the bedrock of the system with regard to domestic intercepts is still that legal restrictions are dodged, as the USA's NSA spies on UK citizens while the UK's GCHQ spies on US citizens, and then the information is swapped. It was thus probably the NSA that harvested Williamson's phone call, passing the details on. Given official US opposition to the UK employing Huawei technology, Williamson's call would have been a "legitimate" NSA target.
Mass surveillance works on electronic harvesting. Targeted phone numbers apart, millions of essentially random calls are listened to electronically using voice recognition technology and certain key words trigger an escalation of the call. Williamson's call discussing Huawei, China, the intelligence services, and backdoors would certainly have triggered recording and been marked up to a human listener, even if his phone was not specifically targeted by the Americans – which it almost certainly was.
Williamson of course is relying on the security services' secrecy about their methods to maintain his protests of innocence, secure in the knowledge that the recording of him would not be produced. The existence of the recording – of which I am extremely confident – is the only possible explanation for May's degree of certainty and swift action against one of her very few loyal allies.
All of which of course throws into stark relief the stunning hypocrisy of those who are worried that Huawei will be used for electronic eavesdropping, when they are up to their ears in electronic eavesdropping themselves. One of my heroes is the great Richard Stallman, who put it this way six years ago:
RMS: Well, it's perfectly reasonable suspicion to me. I don't think the US government should use operating systems made in China for the same reason that most governments shouldn't use operating systems made in the US and in fact we just got proof since Microsoft is now known to be telling the NSA about bugs in Windows before it fixes them.
RSS: I was just going to bring this up exactly, so I was saying that the NSA recently received notifications about the zero-day holes in advance and [incomprehensible] the NSA and the CIA to just crack PCs abroad for espionage purposes.
RMS: Now, [incomprehensible] that this proves my point, which is that you have to be nuts if you were some other country and using Windows on your computers. But, you know, given that Windows has a universal back door in it, Microsoft would hardly need to tell the NSA about any bugs, it can tell the NSA about the mal-feature of the universal back door and that would be enough for the NSA to attack any computer running Windows, which unfortunately is a large fraction of them.
All the major western tech companies cooperate with the western security services. In Murder in Samarkand I gave the first public revelation that the government can and does listen through your mobile phone microphone even when the phone is ostensibly switched off, a fact that got almost no traction until Edward Snowden released documents confirming it six years later. China is full of western devices with backdoors that are exploited by western intelligence. That the tables turn as Chinese technology advances is scarcely surprising.
Personally I do not want the Chinese, Americans, Russians or British eavesdropping on me, or on each other, and I wish that they would stop. The spy games will of course continue, as they make money for a lot of well-connected people. But for any side to claim moral superiority in all of this is just nonsense.
* * *
Subscriptions to keep Craig Murray's blog going, gratefully received .
May 08, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
gcjohns1971 , 8 months ago linkmc888 , 8 months ago link
"It is the ultimate irony that how the old Soviet Union's judiciary used to function is now becoming standing operating procedure in the United States."
When you consider how many of today's Democrat luminaries were self described as dedicated Communists in the 60's, 70's, and 80's it is not surprising at all.SergeA.Storms , 8 months ago link
Why are Chalupa and Podesta not in prison?dday1944 , 8 months ago link
If, the information in this article is true, I feel bad for this young lady getting hemmed up in international shenanigans.
If a person loves her country (her home), wants the opportunity for fellow citizens to be free with a right to bare arms, and seeks out the assistance of the USA both as a model for having the 2nd Amendment, and an organization that leads in advocating for personal firearms ownership, the NRA, how is she committing any crime? She should not be locked up for pursuing God given, inalienable rights for her fellow countrymen. She should be encouraged and sponsored by Pro2A groups and manufacturers. Again, if the information as presented is true.Reaper , 8 months ago link
Thank you DOJ. There's no need for guns in Russia. These people intoxicated by the alcohol and hard drugs will kill one another by the thousands. I feel for Masha Butina, but as far away she is from Russia, as better for this poor country. Luckily she is in US and even better in prison. Thank you Russophobes, warmongers and sheep that neocons will send to the slaughterhouse, you can not do any better.ToSoft4Truth , 8 months ago link
Our courts are totally corrupt. There's a prosecutor/FBI/judge cabal which convicts 98+% of its victims at trials. The excessive long sentences are used to convince the large majority unable to afford a slightly possible defense to bargain a plea. The Exceptional morons selected for juries think, why would the FBI lie. They lie to be promoted. What do you think happens to an agent whose testimony aids the defense?
Kangaroo courts would be more honest in their convictions.Herdee , 8 months ago link
"the FBI will be watching you." 'In America, FBI watch everyone.'WW_II , 8 months ago link
The Russians are coming:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bReGtDxF1Oobh2 , 8 months ago link
"Why is Maria Butina in prison?"
https://garygindler.com/2018/08/05/why-is-maria-butina-in-prisonnavy62802 , 8 months ago link
"a plausible case for an indictment"
If a case is merely "plausible", that's not enough to indict.
Based on that thread-bare criterion, the FBI could probably come up with "plausible" cause to indict half the US population for something or other. Never mind Russians, all of whom might "plausibly" be suspected as secret agents for the Kremlin because they know other Russians.
This is absurd.IridiumRebel , 8 months ago link
The true criminals are attempting to cover their tracks through diversion. The magnitude of the scheme they are executing now is commensurate with the magnitude of their own crimes against the United States.SergeA.Storms , 8 months ago link
I swear these stories are pushed for social media consumption so my faggy lib "friends" can bitch.tmosley , 8 months ago link
I agree, it was much more scary in the 80's hiding under our desks at school and learning each week how many times one country could blow up the world, multiple times over. Now, so many people around the world call ********, not because MAD doesn't exist, but everyone realized no matter the quality of your bunker and fortitude of cement, those things only mean you die slower than those outside near the big flash. Hypersonic weapons seem like a step backwards in the whole 'my missile is bigger than your missile' game of Coldwar 2.0.Yog Soggoth , 8 months ago link
Extremely important information there.
McCarthy did nothing wrong.MozartIII , 8 months ago link
Exactly, he was anti Bolshevik. There was an active campaign against a strong America.
McCarthy was right! I do my homework!! The fuckers are still in our government!!!
May 08, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
America's Defense Budget Is Bigger Than You Think
by Tyler Durden Tue, 05/07/2019 - 18:50 3 SHARES Authored by William Hartung and Mandy Smithberger via TomDispatch.com,
Each year, Congress approves hundreds of billions of dollars for the US defense budget... but the real number exceeds $1 trillion.
In its latest budget request, the Trump administration is asking for a near-record $750 billion for the Pentagon and related defense activities -- an astonishing figure by any measure. If passed by Congress, it will be one of the largest military budgets in American history, topping peak levels reached during the Korean and Vietnam wars. And keep one thing in mind: That $750 billion represents only part of the actual annual cost of our national security state.
There are at least 10 separate pots of money dedicated to fighting wars, preparing for yet more wars, and dealing with the consequences of wars already fought. So the next time a president , a general , a secretary of defense , or a hawkish member of Congress insists that the US military is woefully underfunded, think twice. A careful look at US defense expenditures offers a healthy corrective to such wildly inaccurate claims.
Now, let's take a brief dollar-by-dollar tour of the US national security state of 2019, tallying the sums as we go, and see just where we finally land (or perhaps the word should be "soar"), financially speaking.
The Pentagon's base budget: The Pentagon's regular, or base, budget is slated to be $544.5 billion in fiscal year 2020 -- a healthy sum but only a modest down payment on total military spending.
As you might imagine, that base budget provides basic operating funds for the Department of Defense, much of which will be squandered on preparations for ongoing wars never authorized by Congress, overpriced weapons systems that aren't actually needed, or outright waste, an expansive category that includes everything from cost overruns to unnecessary bureaucracy. That $544.5 billion is the amount publicly reported by the Pentagon for its essential expenses and includes $9.6 billion in mandatory spending that goes toward items like military retirement.
Among those basic expenses, let's start with waste, a category even the biggest boosters of Pentagon spending can't defend. The Pentagon's own Defense Business Board found that cutting unnecessary overhead, including a bloated bureaucracy and a startlingly large shadow workforce of private contractors, would save $125 billion over five years. Perhaps you won't be surprised to learn that the board's proposal has done little to quiet calls for more money. Instead, from the highest reaches of the Pentagon (and the president himself) came a proposal to create a Space Force, a sixth military service that's all but guaranteed to further bloat its bureaucracy and duplicate work being done by the other services. Even Pentagon planners estimate that the future Space Force will cost $13 billion over the next five years (and that's undoubtedly a low-ball figure).
In addition, the Defense Department employs an army of private contractors -- more than 600,000 of them -- many doing jobs that could be done far more cheaply by civilian government employees. Cutting the private contractor work force by 15 percent to a mere half-million people would promptly save more than $20 billion per year . And don't forget the cost overruns on major weapons programs like the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent -- the Pentagon's unwieldy name for the Air Force's new intercontinental ballistic missile -- and routine overpayments for even minor spare parts (like $8,000 for a helicopter gear worth less than $500 -- a markup of 1,500 percent).
Then there are the overpriced weapons systems the military can't even afford to operate, like a $13 billion aircraft carrier, 200 nuclear bombers at $564 million a pop, and the F-35 combat aircraft, the most expensive weapons system in history, at a price tag of at least $1.4 trillion over the lifetime of the program. The Project on Government Oversight has found -- and the Government Accountability Office recently substantiated -- that, despite years of work and staggering costs, the F-35 may never perform as advertised.
And don't forget the Pentagon's recent push for long-range strike weapons and new reconnaissance systems designed for future wars with a nuclear-armed Russia or China, the kind of conflicts that could easily escalate into World War III, in which such weaponry would be beside the point. Imagine if any of that money were devoted to figuring out how to prevent such conflicts rather than hatching yet more schemes for how to fight them.BASE BUDGET TOTAL: $554.1 BILLION
The war budget: As if its regular budget weren't enough, the Pentagon also maintains its very own slush fund, formally known as the Overseas Contingency Operations account, or OCO. In theory, the fund is meant to pay for the War on Terrorism -- that is, the US wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Syria, and elsewhere across the Middle East and Africa. In practice, it does that and so much more.
After a fight over shutting down the government led to the formation of a bipartisan commission on deficit reduction -- known as Simpson-Bowles after its co-chairs, former Clinton chief of staff Erskine Bowles and former Republican senator Alan Simpson -- Congress passed the Budget Control Act of 2011. It put caps on both military and domestic spending that were supposed to save a total of $2 trillion over 10 years. Half that figure was to come from the Pentagon, as well as from nuclear-weapons spending at the Department of Energy. As it happened, though, there was a huge loophole: The war budget was exempt from the caps. The Pentagon promptly began to put tens of billions of dollars into it for pet projects that had nothing whatsoever to do with current wars (and the process has not stopped). The level of abuse of this fund remained largely secret for years, with the Pentagon admitting only in 2016 that just half the money in the OCO went to actual wars, prompting critics and numerous members of Congress -- including then-Representative Mick Mulvaney, now President Donald Trump's latest chief of staff -- to dub it a "slush fund."
This year's budget proposal supersizes the slush in that fund to a figure that would likely be considered absurd if it weren't part of the Pentagon budget. Of the nearly $174 billion proposed for the war budget and "emergency" funding, only a little more than $25 billion is meant to directly pay for the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. The rest will be set aside for what's termed enduring activities that would continue even if those wars ended or for routine Pentagon activi