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Contents Bulletin Scripting in shell and Perl Network troubleshooting History Humor

Neoconservatism

Neocons as an attack dogs of neoliberalism. The notion of "national security parasites"

News Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Recommended Links New American Militarism American Exceptionalism Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA
"F*ck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton Demonization of Putin Anti Trump Hysteria The Great Democratic Party Betrayal: Pro-War Democrats as Vichy Left Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak
Wolfowitz Doctrine Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Nation under attack meme Neocons Credibility Scam Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Obama: a yet another Neocon
War is Racket Media-Military-Industrial Complex Merkel as Soft Cop in Neocon Offensive on Eastern Europe and Russia Madeleine Albright Samantha Power Susan Rice
Robert Kagan Anatol Leiven on American Messianism National Security State / Surveillance State Predator state National Socialism and Military Keysianism Roots of Reaganolatry 
Neoliberalism as a New form of Corporatism Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism IMF as the key institution for neoliberal debt enslavement Machiavellism vs Mayberry Machiavellians Gangster Capitalism: The United States and the Globalization of Organized Crime Power abroad rests on justice and decency at home
The Deep State Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime Two Party System as polyarchy Neoliberal Propaganda: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few  Leo Strauss and the Neocons
Color revolutions Neoliberal Compradors and lumpenelite From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss Hong Cong Color Revolution of 2014 Russian White Revolution of 2011-2012 Conservatives Without Conscience
War is racket War is a Racket - Incredible Essay by General Smedley Butler Media domination strategy Bureaucracy as a Political Coalition Bureaucratic avoidance of responsibility Bureaucratic Collectivism
Fighting Russophobia Neo-fascism Anti-Americanism Torture Politically Incorrect Humor Etc

Due to the size an introduction was converted to a separate page Neoconservatism, an introduction

Neoconservatives, which like Bolsheviks in the past are mostly Jewish intellectuals, are frequently described as ideologues with pro-Israel and anti-Russian bent, but the truth is that they are far more interested in gaining access to money and power. Most of them are useless smacks with degree in journalism or history and they would starve if not fed by military industrial complex. Being a lobbyist of military industrial complex is the only job they can get. Add to that that most of them are personal cowards and chicken hawks and you get the picture: they are just bottom-feeders. "National security parasites" is a very apt definition for this category of people.

Large part of neocons consist of a large class of elite-wannabes, often well-educated and highly capable, who has been denied access to elite positions and who decided to use warmongering backdoor to get there

Proselytizing their own brand of global regime change is just a mean to sustain the access to funds and political power.  They know perfectly well which side of the bread is buttered and by whom.   We can suspect that for many of them (Max Boot is a good example here) access to money from MIC and Israel lobby is the primary driving force. Often they are viewed as Likud lobby in the USA:  "The definition of a neocon is somebody who has great difficulty distinguishing between the strategic interests of Israel, on the one hand, and the strategic interests of the United States on the other. Israel wants bedlam in Syria, and they’ve got it." ( Israel lobby in the United States - Wikipedia ):

The formal component of the Israel lobby consists of organized lobby groups, political action committees (PACs), think tanks and media watchdog groups. The Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks all lobbies and PACs, describes the ‘background’ of those ‘Pro-Israel’ as, “A nationwide network of local political action committees, generally named after the region their donors come from, supplies much of the pro-Israel money in US politics. Additional funds also come from individuals who bundle contributions to candidates favored by the PACs. The donors' unified goal is to build stronger US-Israel relations and to support Israel in its negotiations and armed conflicts with its Arab neighbors.”[24]

According to Mitchell Bard, there are, three key formal lobbying groups:

... ... ...

A summary of pro-Israel campaign donations for the period of 1990–2008 collected by Center for Responsive Politics indicates current totals and a general increase in proportional donations to the US Republican party since 1996.[46] The Center for Responsive Politics' 1990–2006 data shows that "pro-Israel interests have contributed $56.8 million in individual, group and soft money donations to federal candidates and party committees since 1990."[47] In contrast, Arab-Americans and Muslim PACs contributed slightly less than $800,000 during the same (1990–2006) period.[48] In 2006, 60% of the Democratic Party’s fundraising and 25% of that for the Republican Party's fundraising came from Jewish-funded PACs. According to a Washington Post estimate, Democratic presidential candidates depend on Jewish sources for as much as 60% of money raised from private sources.[49]

... ... ...

AIPAC does not give donations directly to candidates, but those who donate to AIPAC are often important political contributors in their own right. In addition, AIPAC helps connect donors with candidates, especially to the network of pro-Israel political action committees. AIPAC president Howard Friedman says “AIPAC meets with every candidate running for Congress. These candidates receive in-depth briefings to help them completely understand the complexities of Israel’s predicament and that of the Middle East as a whole. We even ask each candidate to author a ‘position paper’ on their views of the US-Israel relationship – so it’s clear where they stand on the subject.”[43]

.... ... ...

Mearsheimer and Walt state that “pro-Israel figures have established a commanding presence at the American Enterprise Institute, the Center for Security Policy, the Foreign Policy Research Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Hudson Institute, the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA). These think tanks are all decidedly pro-Israel and include few, if any, critics of US support for the Jewish state.”[50]

When strategic interests of Israeli (for example remaking of the Middle East so that Israel can exercise dominant power in this region; which includes fragmentation of several existing states) deviate from the strategic interests of the USA (which mostly are interested in uninterruptable supply of cheap oil) neocons do betray the USA national interests with ease. The US-Israel relationship significantly damages the relationship between the United States and the Arab world. They also were serving as propagandists and influencers for all recent Middle East military adventures and regime change efforts.  Recently that was the case in Syria: in no way Assad government represented a threat to the USA interests. Still the pressure of "likudniks" was such that the USA engaged in the "regime change" efforts.

But in reality they should be viewed more like lobbing group of MIC then lobbing group of Israel. As well as transnational corporations interested in opening new markets. But recently facts that Israel spend large sums on money on trying to influence the USA politicians came to light and to this extent one gets impression that the tail is wagging the dog. 

They should probably be viewed as the lobbying and propaganda arm of military industrial complex. In now way they represent an important political force on the USA political landscape. With Democratic Party becoming the second  warmongering party.

And there is not much conservative in neocon ideology -- it is basically a revamped Trotskyism, if not neo-fascism. Just look at Nuland's fraternization with Ukrainian far right nationalists despite her Jewish roots (and despite the fact that this movement was hell-bent on killing Jewish people during WWII and served as capos in concentration camps)  is not accidental; this was a conscious political choice -- they are birds of the feather.

Ideologically they are a more militant flavor of neoliberals ("neoliberals with the gun", so to speak). So their neo-Trotskyites roots are especially evident in foreign policy (they do not have a coherent domestic policy; but generally their views are more aligned with the  Democratic Party than Republican Party views).  Again, we will essentially view then as "neoliberals with a gun".


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[Feb 23, 2018] Averting the U.S.-Russia Warpath

Feb 23, 2018 | nationalinterest.org

FOR NEARLY twenty years following the end of the Cold War, military confrontation between the United States and the Russian Federation seemed implausible. Even during periods of tension, as during the Kosovo crisis in the late 1990s, few believed that disagreement between Washington and Moscow could lead to a serious crisis, no less war. Before the first decade of the new century had passed, however, Russian officials were accusing the United States of working to isolate Russia. Such apprehensions have mounted steadily in Russia in the years since. At the same time, Russian behavior, including interventions in Ukraine and Syria, military posturing and harassment in Europe, and interference in Western elections , has led many in the United States to conclude that, while a U.S.-Russian conflict is by no means inevitable, the risk of such a confrontation is growing.

Even as U.S.-Russian tensions have risen, fundamental shifts in the military-technological environment threaten to erode strategic stability between the two nations. In the coming years, both sides' extensive dependence on information technology, coupled with likely perceptions of lower risk for the use of "nonkinetic" and nonlethal attacks, are creating new incentives to use cyber and/or counterspace weapons early in a crisis or conflict. At the same time, the advent of novel cyber, counterspace, precision-strike, missile-defense and autonomous military systems could cause one or both nations to lose confidence in their nuclear second-strike capabilities -- thereby eroding the stability afforded by mutually assured destruction. WASHINGTON AND Moscow hold divergent -- and, in some cases, directly contradictory -- views of the international security environment. Whereas Russian leaders see their country as behaving in a fundamentally defensive manner, the United States and NATO perceive a revanchist actor intent on reimposing its will in eastern Europe and Central Asia.

The Russian government rates the United States and NATO as the most serious threats to Russian national security. From its standpoint, the United States is intent on remaining the world's sole hegemon , and, as such, is unwilling to tolerate a strong Russia that enjoys its own sphere of influence . Moscow has spoken out against American and European efforts to encircle the Russian Federation by integrating former Soviet republics into Western institutions like NATO and the European Union. Russian officials further condemn the United States' purported use of "color revolutions" -- or, as Moscow would characterize them, the sponsorship of coups d'état under a guise of democracy promotion -- to install proxies in Russia's "near abroad." In addition, Russian analysts assert that the United States and NATO are using a variety of political, economic and informational tools to penetrate and disrupt Russian society itself. In response to these perceived threats, Russia has undertaken a major military modernization effort and used more aggressive rhetoric and military operations, economic coercion and inducements, and information operations to counter alleged U.S. and NATO expansionism.

... ... ...

At the same time, Russia's nuclear forces will, for the foreseeable future, allow it to destroy the United States as a functioning society. Hence, as distasteful as "working with" Russia may seem, the alternative of full-throated confrontation would pose unacceptable and unnecessary risks to the United States. That said, one should not brim over with unbridled optimism. Russian leaders are engaged in continuing efforts to undermine America's alliances, democratic processes and global role. A change in this strategic approach appears highly unlikely, and as a result U.S.-Russia competition is the likeliest path short of outright confrontation. The challenge, then, is charting a balanced path ahead that recognizes the real competition and potential for conflict, while allowing for prudent cooperation and improvement in the relationship where possible.

Ron Den Braber , February 22, 2018 8:40 PM

Of course US has conflicts with Russia if they put troops on their borders. This is really not in the US 'defense' interest. Maximum danger is sought for the US nation by its military adventures.

The US starts wars every few years and commits plenty of war crimes. It tries to protect the world from a country like Iran that (unlike the US) has not invaded anyone for 700 years. And of course the US infamously meddled in the Iranian elections by removing its democratic government and installing a monarch. The Russians could see this evil when the US meddled in their elections.

What would the founding fathers make of that?

[Feb 23, 2018] NSA Genius Debunks Russiagate Once For All

Highly recommended!
Interesting information Guccifer II. He falsified the evidence.
Follow the money. Along with a smoke screen for Hillary political fiasco, Russiagate is a swindle to get more money for intelligence agencies and MIC. For about 15 companies who run the US foreign policy.
Notable quotes:
"... The CIA and NSA, and other intelligence agencies all work on behalf of these corporate entities. There main objective is to keep us all uninformed and dumber than a bag of hammers, so they can extort all the wealth from our great nation ..."
"... If this video won't stop the brainless McCarthyist regressives from knowing the truth about Russiagate, nothing will. And I mean absolutely nothing. Except maybe if they come here to Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, NYC. We got lots of Russian immigrants here and they are just normal people ..."
"... Russiagate is an excuse to spend more on the military. Wow- surprising, yet somehow not surprising. American Empire is the biggest destabilizing force in the world ..."
"... Guccifer 2.0 is the United States government. Either the CIA, FBI, NSA or DHS. I'd say it was the CIA with the NSA being a close second ..."
Feb 23, 2018 | www.youtube.com

Art Dehls , 2 months ago

Also, when did Russian hackers become so stupid? Since when has the GRU being unable to get even the basics like the up to date email list for the Clinton campaign, started using two-year-old obsolete malware instead of 0-day exploits, completely forgetting that VPN's exist and how to spoof an IP address, and on and on and on. These aren't the guys who cloned Nasdaq!

SeaRose , 2 months ago

Wish I could give this 1000.

Thank you jimmy so much for doing this interview and thank you Bill Binney for so clearly explaining the technical and structural reasons why Russiagate is both false and ceaselessly pushed. Amazing interview!

David Schnell , 2 months ago

My experience working on the Mississippi democratic party executive committee, the Hinds county Executive committee, and working for the state employees union here in Mississippi has educated me on the fact that democratic reps and republican reps work together to pass legislation to benefit the corporate class i.e. business. All you who have replied to my comment make sense, but we must remember that there is no difference between the Democratic and Republician parties, they all work for their corporate masters.

The CIA and NSA, and other intelligence agencies all work on behalf of these corporate entities. There main objective is to keep us all uninformed and dumber than a bag of hammers, so they can extort all the wealth from our great nation. In other words they our commiting treason upon the American people and our constitution and all should be through in prison for the rest of their lives and all ill-gotten wealth given back to the people of these great nation by rebuilding the infrastructure of America, investing in the education of our people to secure a prosperous future, and provide healthcare for all Americans. We can ensure this happens in two ways, pass the 28th amendment and pass FDR's 2nd bill of rights(worker's bill of rights). This will ensure that corporations will never take control of our country again.

hamdoggius , 2 months ago

Can we please now move onto whom the person was that stole the data from the DNC? Can I take a stab in the dark (or maybe two shots to the back of the head?) and guess his name was Seth Rich?

James Williamson , 2 months ago

The fraudulent "war on terror" is a big money-making scam. I've been saying this for the past three years.

P , 2 months ago

"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." Goethe (requote for google... best line)

Atze Peng Bar , 2 months ago

I know I commented this already in the last segment, but this guy is absolutely awesome. Everything he says is substantial, non-speculative and supported by facts. You're becoming a proper journalist Jimmy. More of people like this please. I got my credit card again. I will donate shortly. Keep up.

Laura Cortez , 2 months ago (edited)

Russia didn't hack USA democracy .. AIPAC did long time ago and you didn't even know it.

Tommy O Donovan , 2 months ago

This is earth shaking news. World class Jimmy....I never thought you had it in you.

tesscot , 2 months ago

As long as they keep lying about Russia they can continue the sanctions against Russia. Russia is holding it's own even with the sanctions but originally under Putin Russia had paid off all it's debt to the IMF (World Bank). Now their debt is increasing, partly because of the sanctions and partly because of helping Syria and preparing for the US to cause a great war. Russia is a threat to the IMF (World Bank). Russia and China want trade outside of the Petrol Dollar. When Russia was debt free from the IMF (World Bank) it was completely independent of them. Russia did not have to take orders from the international bankers. That is why they lie about Russia.

Amateur Professional , 2 months ago

If this video won't stop the brainless McCarthyist regressives from knowing the truth about Russiagate, nothing will. And I mean absolutely nothing. Except maybe if they come here to Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, NYC. We got lots of Russian immigrants here and they are just normal people.

stephen0793 , 2 months ago (edited)

Russiagate is an excuse to spend more on the military. Wow- surprising, yet somehow not surprising. American Empire is the biggest destabilizing force in the world

branden burks , 2 months ago

Guccifer 2.0 is the United States government. Either the CIA, FBI, NSA or DHS. I'd say it was the CIA with the NSA being a close second.

branden burks , 2 months ago

A war on terror is a war on ourselves since the United States are the largest terrorists in the world and fund and arm terrorists around the world.

jennings mills , 2 months ago

So you would need a Internet speed of 392 mbps from Russia to Washington. yeah there was no hack. R.I.P Seth Rich,

Matt Erbst , 2 months ago

As I tried to tell you the previous time you had referenced the "conclusions" of the CIA groups, this data nonsense he is handwaving about is all quite feasible, by using a nearby national server, and much skepticism is deserved! Also he doesn't seem to know what he is talking about, from all of the paraphrasing.

I am also quite reminded of the psychological incorporation into personal behaviors by habit of the standards and policies of the industry or professional standards, which for the US Intelligence community includes an explicit policy of disinformation and dishonesty.

How the hell would the NSA's "man in the middle" logging servers see that the transfer occurs to a local USB2 drive (he assumes this is the case because 40 megabytes per second is approximately the rate of the USB2 protocol of 400 megabits per second... Very few USB flash drives were manufactured with solid state storage chips fast enough to reach that full transfer rate before the widespread adoption of USB3, or the modern USB3.1. Essentially, your chosen headline title is a false clickbait, because as of today there is insufficient evidence to draw ANY conclusion

earthie48 Johnson , 2 months ago

Just as they smeared Joe Wilson & his wife, and other great Courageous Americans that came out AGAINST the invasion of Iraq! Until we start DEMANDING those LIARS leave their seats in Washington, put on the Military Gear, and GO to the Countries they want to invade! I am past FED UP with them sacrificing our Troops, they return home to be MISTREATED, and kicked to the curb! Americans, wake up and DEMAND that they GO!

[Feb 22, 2018] Bill Binney explodes the rile of 17 agances security assessment memo in launching the Russia witch-hunt

Highly recommended!
A very interesting interview. It is almost one year old.
When intelligence agencies use the phase "with high confidence" means that they do not have evidence. This is one of the biggest lie intelligence agencies resort to. They are all professional liars and should be treated as such.
If DNC email offloading was done over Internet (which means it was a hack not an internal leak) NSA should have the direct evidence. They do not. So this is a progpaganda move by Brennan and Clapper to unleash MSM witch hunt, which is a key part of the color revolution against Trump.
Another question is who downloaded this information to Wikileaks. Here NSA also should have evidence. And again they do not.
They have already to direct attention from the main issues. Oversight of intelligence agencies is joke. They can lie with impunity.
BTW NSA has all Hillary emails, including deleted.
Mar 4, 2017 | www.youtube.com

He also exposes the NSA penchant for "swindles", such as preventing the plugging of holes in software around the world, to preserve their spying access.

John, 10 months ago

It's almost comical to hear that they lie to each other. No wonder why these retards in the mid-east and every other third world country gets the better of us.

Nancy M, 10 months ago

The Clinton campaign to divert attention to Russia instead of her myriad of crimes that were revealed during the election must be stopped and the alt media needs to start talking about her and Obama's crimes again and demand justice...control the dialogue

[Feb 22, 2018] The US-UK Deep State Empire Strikes Back 'It's Russia! Russia! Russia!'

Notable quotes:
"... For weeks the unfolding story in Washington has been how a cabal of conspirators in the heart of the American federal law enforcement and intelligence apparat ..."
"... Are you reading this commentary? ..."
"... To the extent that Russiagate was less about Trump than ensuring that enmity with Russia will be permanent and will continue to deepen , this latest Mueller indictment is a smashing success already. ..."
Feb 22, 2018 | www.strategic-culture.org

There's no defense like a good offense.

For weeks the unfolding story in Washington has been how a cabal of conspirators in the heart of the American federal law enforcement and intelligence apparat colluded to ensure the election of Hillary Clinton and, when that failed, to undermine the nascent presidency of Donald Trump. Agencies tainted by this corruption include not only the FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ) but the Obama White House, the State Department, the NSA, and the CIA, plus their British sister organizations MI6 and GCHQ , possibly along with the British Foreign Office (with the involvement of former British ambassador to Russia Andrew Wood ) and even Number 10 Downing Street.

Those implicated form a regular rogue's gallery of the Deep State: Peter Strzok (formerly Chief of the FBI's Counterespionage Section, then Deputy Assistant Director of the Counterintelligence Division; busy bee Strzok is implicated not only in exonerating Hillary from her email server crimes but initiating the Russiagate investigation in the first place, securing a FISA warrant using the dodgy "Steele Dossier," and nailing erstwhile National Security Adviser General Mike Flynn on a bogus charge of "lying to the FBI "); Lisa Page (Strzok's paramour and a DOJ lawyer formerly assigned to the all-star Democrat lineup on the Robert Mueller Russigate inquisition); former FBI Director James Comey, former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, and – let's not forget – current Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, himself implicated by having signed at least one of the dubious FISA warrant requests . Finally, there's reason to believe that former CIA Director John O. Brennan may have been the mastermind behind the whole operation .

Not to be overlooked is the possible implication of a pack of former Democratic administration officials, including former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice , and President Barack Obama himself, who according to text communications between Strzok and Page "wants to know everything we're doing." Also involved is the DNC, the Clinton campaign, and Clinton operatives Sidney Blumenthal and Cody Shearer – rendering the ignorance of Hillary herself totally implausible.

On the British side we have "former" (suuure . . . ) MI6 spook Christopher Steele, diplomat Wood, former GCHQ chief Robert Hannigan (who resigned a year ago under mysterious circumstances ), and whoever they answered to in the Prime Minister's office.

The growing sense of panic was palpable. Oh my – this is a curtain that just cannot be allowed to be pulled back!

What to do, what to do . . .

Ah, here's the ticket – come out swinging against the main enemy. That's not even Donald Trump. It's Russia and Vladimir Putin. Russia! Russia! Russia!

Hence the unveiling of an indictment against 13 Russian citizens and three companies for alleged meddling in U.S. elections and various ancillary crimes.

For the sake of discussion, let's assume all the allegations in the indictment are true, however unlikely that is to be the case. (While that would be the American legal rule for a complaint in a civil case, this is a criminal indictment, where there is supposedly a presumption of innocence. Rosenstein even mentioned that in his press conference, pretending not to notice that that presumption doesn't apply to Russian Untermenschen – certainly not to Olympic athletes and really not to Russians at all, who are presumed guilty on "genetic" grounds .)

Based on the public announcement of the indictment by Rosenstein – who is effectively the Attorney General in place of the pro forma holder of that office, Jeff Sessions (R-Recused) – and on an initial examination of the indictment, and we can already draw a few conclusions:

The Mueller indictment against the Russians is a well-timed effort to distract Americans' attention from the real collusion rotting the core of our public life by shifting attention to a foreign enemy. Many of the people behind it are the very officials who are themselves complicit in the rot. But the sad fact is that it will probably work.

[Feb 22, 2018] U.S. Empire Still Incoherent After All These Years -- Consortiumnews

Notable quotes:
"... Incoherent Empire ..."
"... The Sources of Social Power ..."
"... Incoherent Empire ..."
"... Incoherent Empire ..."
"... We must find a way to displace or destroy the economic oligarchy that controls elections and mass media, for that is the only path to restoration of democracy, and restoration of the humanitarian purpose of our 18th century founders. Only then shall we see an American Century; otherwise we are doomed to the disdain of history, our lives wasted as cogs in an engine of destruction. ..."
"... Our unregulated free market economy allows the unethical bully to prevail in nearly all areas, including politics. Tyranny is a subculture, a groupthink of bullies who tyrannize each other, and the worst of the bullies rise to the top. This is why the US founders opposed a standing military, and they were right. ..."
"... After years and years of allegiance to the Democratic party, I have begun to realize that neither they nor other mail (political) party can undo the evil that has been done. (See "THE ROOTS OF AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY" by Gabriel Kolko, "Epiloque: Readon and Radicalism". ..."
"... What better way to maximize the sale of all types of armaments than to ensure continuous chaos? Wasn't a CIA presentation on just such a plan leaked some time back? ..."
"... I would beg to differ. The British Empire still exists today although it is mainly a financial and information warfare empire. Yes you are right about the families but mainly these are old aristocratic European and their married in to Jr. partners in America. The empire consists of the City of London,Wall Street, The British monarchy, The Saudi Royal family and many other of there agents and subsidiaries. ..."
"... The violence of the military serves the interests of elites with overwhelming consistency. From creating the necessary conditions for plundering of natural resources, opening new markets for U.S. corporations to exploit, and funneling tax payer monies via "aid" to corporations and elites, all the while allowing the politicians who advance these elite interests to themselves profit greatly via revolving door jobs, speeches, and donations to their "humanitarian" foundations. How is this not rational? It is completely rational and organized and planned to be executed exactly how it does. Furthering your own wealth, power, and interests is not rational? ..."
"... It is undeniable that the military violence has served the interest of the powerful elite in a very consistent manner for centuries. Furthermore, I would submit to you that the military has shown very little remorse by being the murderous tool of elites and that more often than not; They have been happy to oblige. ..."
"... This is a more ultimate claim of power than any prior regime in history ever maintained. Sheldon Wolin's Inverted Totalitarianism has morphed into something even more odious. The central problem, of course, is how a soft landing can be effected in light of the massive number of nukes possessed by this outlaw regime. ..."
Feb 22, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Exclusive: Without solid economic, political and ideological bases, the U.S. lacks the legitimacy and authority it needs to operate beyond its borders, argues Nicolas J.S. Davies in this essay.

By Nicolas J.S. Davies

I recently reread Michael Mann's book, Incoherent Empire , which he wrote in 2003, soon after the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Mann is a sociology professor at UCLA and the author of a four-volume series called The Sources of Social Power , in which he explained the major developments of world history as the interplay between four types of power: military, economic, political, and ideological.

In Incoherent Empire , Mann used the same framework to examine what he called the U.S.'s "new imperialism" after the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. He predicted that, "The American Empire will turn out to be a military giant; a back-seat economic driver; a political schizophrenic; and an ideological phantom."

What struck me most forcefully as I reread Incoherent Empire was that absolutely nothing has changed in the "incoherence" of U.S. imperialism. If I picked up the book for the first time today and didn't know it was written 15 years ago, I could read nearly all of it as a perceptive critique of American imperialism exactly as it exists today.

In the intervening 15 years, U.S. policy failures have resulted in ever-spreading violence and chaos that affect hundreds of millions of people in at least a dozen countries. The U.S. has utterly failed to bring any of its neo-imperial wars to a stable or peaceful end. And yet the U.S. imperial project sails on, seemingly blind to its consistently catastrophic results.

Instead, U.S. civilian and military leaders shamelessly blame their victims for the violence and chaos they have unleashed on them, and endlessly repackage the same old war propaganda to justify record military budgets and threaten new wars.

But they never hold themselves or each other accountable for their catastrophic failures or the carnage and human misery they inflict. So they have made no genuine effort to remedy any of the systemic problems, weaknesses and contradictions of U.S. imperialism that Michael Mann identified in 2003 or that other critical analysts like Noam Chomsky, Gabriel Kolko, William Blum and Richard Barnet have described for decades.

Let's examine each of Mann's four images of the foundations of the U.S.'s Incoherent Empire, and see how they relate to the continuing crisis of U.S. imperialism that he presciently foretold:

Military Giant

As Mann noted in 2003, imperial armed forces have to do four things: defend their own territory; strike offensively; conquer territories and people; then pacify and rule them.

Today's U.S. military dwarfs any other country's military forces . It has unprecedented firepower, which it can use from unprecedented distances to kill more people and wreak more destruction than any previous war machine in history, while minimizing U.S. casualties and thus the domestic political blowback for its violence.

But that's where its power ends. When it comes to actually conquering and pacifying a foreign country, America's technological way of war is worse than useless. The very power of U.S. weapons, the "Robocop" appearance of American troops, their lack of language skills and their isolation from other cultures make U.S. forces a grave danger to the populations they are charged with controlling and pacifying, never a force for law and order, whether in Iraq, Afghanistan or North Korea.

John Pace, who headed the UN Assistance Mission to Iraq during the U.S. occupation compared U.S. efforts to pacify the country to "trying to swat a fly with a bomb."

Burhan Fasa'a, an Iraqi reporter for Lebanon's LBC TV network, survived the second U.S. assault on Fallujah in November 2004. He spent nine days in a house with a population that grew to 26 people as neighboring homes were damaged or destroyed and more and more people sought shelter with Fasa'a and his hosts.

Finally a squad of U.S. Marines burst in, yelling orders in English that most of the residents didn't understand and shooting them if they didn't respond. "Americans did not have interpreters with them, " Fasa'a explained , "so they entered houses and killed people because they didn't speak English Soldiers thought the people were rejecting their orders, so they shot them. But the people just couldn't understand them."

This is one personal account of one episode in a pattern of atrocities that grinds on, day in day out, in country after country, as it has done for the last 16 years. To the extent that the Western media cover these atrocities at all, the mainstream narrative is that they are a combination of unfortunate but isolated incidents and the "normal" horrors of war.

But that is not true. They are the direct result of the American way of war, which prioritizes "force protection" over the lives of human beings in other countries to minimize U.S. casualties and thus domestic political opposition to war. In practice, this means using overwhelming and indiscriminate firepower in ways that make it impossible to distinguish combatants from non-combatants or protect civilians from the horrors of war as the Geneva Conventions require.

U.S. rules of engagement in Iraq and Afghanistan have included: systematic, theater-wide use of torture ; orders to "dead-check" or kill wounded enemy combatants; orders to "kill all military-age males" during certain operations; and "weapons-free" zones that mirror Vietnam-era "free-fire" zones.

When lower ranks have been prosecuted for war crimes against civilians, they have been acquitted or given light sentences because they were acting on orders from senior officers. But courts martial have allowed the senior officers implicated in these cases to testify in secret or have not called them to testify at all, and none have been prosecuted.

After nearly a hundred deaths in U.S. custody in Iraq and Afghanistan, including torture deaths that are capital crimes under U.S. federal law, the harshest sentence handed down was a 5 month prison sentence, and the most senior officer prosecuted was a major, although the orders to torture prisoners came from the very top of the chain of command. As Rear Admiral John Hutson, the retired Judge Advocate General of the U.S. Navy, wrote in Human Rights First's Command's Responsibility report after investigating just 12 of these deaths, "One such incident would be an isolated transgression; two would be a serious problem; a dozen of them is policy."

So the Military Giant is not just a war machine. It is also a war crimes machine.

The logic of force protection and technological warfare also means that the roughly 800 U.S. military bases in other countries are surrounded by barbed wire and concrete blast-walls and staffed mainly by Americans, so that the 290,000 U.S. troops occupying 183 foreign countries have little contact with the local people their empire aspires to rule.

Donald Rumsfeld described this empire of self-contained bases as "lily pads," from which his forces could hop like frogs from one base to another by plane, helicopter or armored vehicle, or launch strikes on the surrounding territory, without exposing themselves to the dangers of meeting the locals.

Robert Fisk, the veteran Middle East reporter for the U.K.'s Independent newspaper, had another name for these bases: "crusader castles" -- after the medieval fortresses built by equally isolated foreign invaders a thousand years ago that still dot the landscape of the Middle East.

Michael Mann contrasted the isolation of U.S. troops in their empire of bases to the lives of British officers in India, "where officers' clubs were typically on the edge of the encampment, commanding the nicest location and view. The officers were relaxed about their personal safety, sipping their whisky and soda and gin and tonic in full view of the natives, (who) comprised most of the inhabitants -- NCOs and soldiers, servants, stable-hands, drivers and sometimes their families."

In 1945, a wiser generation of American leaders brought to their senses by the mass destruction of two world wars realized the imperial game was up. They worked hard to frame their new-found power and economic dominance within an international system that the rest of the world would accept as legitimate, with a central role for President Roosevelt's vision of the United Nations .

Roosevelt promised that his "permanent structure of peace," would, "spell the end of the system of unilateral action, the exclusive alliances, the spheres of influence, the balances of power, and all the expedients that have been tried for centuries -- and have always failed," and that "the forces of aggression (would be) permanently outlawed."

America's World War II leaders were wisely on guard against the kind of militarism they had confronted and defeated in Germany and Japan. When an ugly militarism reared its head in the U.S. in the late 1940s, threatening a "preemptive" nuclear war to destroy the USSR before it could develop its own nuclear deterrent, General Eisenhower responded forcefully in a speech to the U.S. Conference of Mayors in St. Louis,

"I decry loose and sometimes gloating talk about the high degree of security implicit in a weapon that might destroy millions overnight," Eisenhower declared. "Those who measure security solely in terms of offensive capacity distort its meaning and mislead those who pay them heed. No modern nation has ever equaled the crushing offensive power attained by the German war machine in 1939. No modern country was broken and smashed as was Germany six years later."

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson , the chief US representative at the London Conference that drew up the Nuremberg Principles in 1945, stated as the official U.S. position, "If certain acts in violation of treaties are crimes, they are crimes whether the United States does them or whether Germany does them, and we are not prepared to lay down a rule of criminal conduct against others which we would not be willing to have invoked against us."

That was the U.S. government of 1945 explicitly agreeing to the prosecution of Americans who commit aggression, which Jackson and the judges at Nuremberg defined as "the supreme international crime." That would now include the last six U.S. presidents: Reagan (Grenada and Nicaragua), Bush I (Panama), Clinton (Yugoslavia), Bush II (Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Somalia), Obama (Pakistan, Libya, Syria and Yemen) and Trump (Syria and Yemen).

Since Mann wrote Incoherent Empire in 2003, the Military Giant has rampaged around the world waging wars that have killed millions of people and wrecked country after country. But its unaccountable campaign of serial aggression has failed to bring peace or security to any of the countries it has attacked or invaded. As even some members of the U.S. military now recognize, the mindless violence of the Military Giant serves no rational or constructive purpose, imperialist or otherwise.

Economic Back Seat Driver

In 2003, Michael Mann wrote that, "The U.S. productive engine remains formidable, the global financial system providing its fuel. But the U.S. is only a back-seat driver since it cannot directly control either foreign investors or foreign economies."

Since 2003, the U.S. role in the global economy has declined further, now comprising only 22% of global economic activity, compared with 40% at the height of its economic dominance in the 1950s and 60s. China is displacing the U.S. as the largest trading partner of countries around the world, and its "new silk road" initiatives are building the infrastructure to cement and further expand its role as the global hub of manufacturing and commerce.

The U.S. can still wield its financial clout as an arsenal of carrots and sticks to pressure poorer, weaker countries do what it wants. But this is a far cry from the actions of an imperial power that actually rules far-flung territories and subjects on other continents. As Mann put it, "Even if they are in debt, the U.S. cannot force reform on them. In the global economy, it is only a back-seat driver, nagging the real driver, the sovereign state, sometimes administering sharp blows to his head."

At the extreme, the U.S. uses economic sanctions as a brutal form of economic warfare that hurts and kills ordinary people, while generally inflicting less pain on the leaders who are their nominal target. U.S. leaders claim that the pain of economic sanctions is intended to force people to abandon and overthrow their leaders, a way to achieve regime change without the violence and horror of war. But Robert Pape of the University of Chicago conducted an extensive study of the effects of sanctions and concluded that only 5 out of 115 sanctions regimes have ever achieved that goal.

When sanctions inevitably fail, they can still be useful to U.S. officials as part of a political narrative to blame the victims and frame war as a last resort. But this is only a political ploy, not a legal pretext for war.

A secondary goal of all such imperial bullying is to make an example of the victims to put other weak countries on notice that resisting imperial demands can be dangerous. The obvious counter to such strategies is for poorer, weaker countries to band together to resist imperial bullying, as in collective groupings like CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), and also in the UN General Assembly, where the U.S. often finds itself outvoted.

The dominant position of the U.S. and the dollar in the international financial system have given the U.S. a unique ability to finance its imperial wars and global military expansion without bankrupting itself in the process. As Mann described in Incoherent Empire,

"In principle, the world is free to withdraw its subsidies to the U.S., but unless the U.S. really alienates the world and over-stretches its economy, this is unlikely. For the moment, the U.S. can finance substantial imperial activity. It does so carefully, spending billions on its strategic allies, however unworthy and oppressive they may be."

The economic clout of the U.S. back-seat driver was tested in 2003 when it deployed maximum pressure on other countries to support its invasion of Iraq. Chile, Mexico, Pakistan, Guinea, Angola and Cameroon were on the Security Council at the time but were all ready to vote against the use of force. It didn't help the U.S. case that it had failed to deliver the "carrots" it promised to the countries who voted for war on Iraq in 1991, nor that the money it promised Pakistan for supporting its invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 was not paid until the U.S. wanted its support again in 2003 over Iraq.

Mann concluded, "An administration which is trying to cut taxes while waging war will not be able to hand out much cash around the world. This back-seat driver will not pay for the gas. It is difficult to build an Empire without spending money."

Fifteen years later, remarkably, the wealthy investors of the world have continued to subsidize U.S. war-making by investing in record U.S. debt, and a deceptive global charm offensive by President Obama partially rebuilt U.S. alliances. But the U.S. failure to abandon its illegal policies of aggression and war crimes have only increased its isolation since 2003, especially from countries in the Global South. People all over the world now tell pollsters they view the U.S. as the greatest threat to peace in the world.

It is also possible that their U.S. debt holdings give China and other creditors (Germany?) some leverage by which they can ultimately discipline U.S. imperialism. In 1956, President Eisenhower reportedly threatened to call in the U.K.'s debts if it did not withdraw its forces from Egypt during the Suez crisis, and there has long been speculation that China could exercise similar economic leverage to stop U.S. aggression at some strategic moment.

It seems more likely that boom and bust financial bubbles, shifts in global trade and investment and international opposition to U.S. wars will more gradually erode U.S. financial hegemony along with other forms of power.

Michael Mann wrote in 2003 that the world was unlikely to "withdraw its subsidies" for U.S. imperialism "unless the U.S. really alienates the world and over-stretches its economy." But that prospect seems more likely than ever in 2018 as President Trump seems doggedly determined to do both.

Political Schizophrenic

In its isolated fantasy world, the Political Schizophrenic is the greatest country in the world, the "shining city on a hill," the land of opportunity where anyone can find their American dream. The rest of the world so desperately wants what we have that we have to build a wall to keep them out. Our armed forces are the greatest force for good that the world has ever known, valiantly fighting to give other people the chance to experience the democracy and freedom that we enjoy.

But if we seriously compare the U.S. to other wealthy countries, we find a completely different picture. The United States has the most extreme inequality, the most widespread poverty, the least social and economic mobility and the least effective social safety net of any technologically advanced country.

America is exceptional, not in the imaginary blessings our Political Schizophrenic politicians take credit for, but in its unique failure to provide healthcare, education and other necessities of life to large parts of its population, and in its systematic violations of the UN Charter, the Geneva Conventions and other binding international treaties.

If the U.S. was really the democracy it claims to be, the American public could elect leaders who would fix all these problems. But the U.S. political system is so endemically corrupt that only a Political Schizophrenic could call it a democracy. Former President Jimmy Carter believes that the U.S. is now "just an oligarchy, with unlimited political bribery." U.S. voter turnout is understandably among the lowest in the developed world.

Sheldon Wolin, who taught political science at Berkeley and Princeton for 40 years, described the actually existing U.S. political system as "inverted totalitarianism." Instead of abolishing democratic institutions on the "classical totalitarian" model, the U.S.'s inverted totalitarian system preserves the hollowed-out trappings of democracy to falsely legitimize the oligarchy and political bribery described by President Carter.

As Wolin explained, this has been more palatable and sustainable, and therefore more effective, than the classical form of totalitarianism as a means of concentrating wealth and power in the hands of a corrupt ruling class.

The corruption of the U.S. political system is increasingly obvious to Americans, but also to people in other countries. Billion-dollar U.S.-style "elections" would be illegal in most developed countries, because they inevitably throw up corrupt leaders who offer the public no more than empty slogans and vague promises to disguise their plutocratic loyalties.

In 2018, U.S. party bosses are still determined to divide us along the artificial fault-lines of the 2016 election between two of the most unpopular candidates in history, as if their vacuous slogans, mutual accusations and plutocratic policies define the fixed poles of American politics and our country's future.

The Political Schizophrenic's noise machine is working overtime to stuff the alternate visions of Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein and other candidates who challenge the corrupt status quo down the "memory hole," by closing ranks, purging progressives from DNC committees and swamping the airwaves with Trump tweets and Russiagate updates.

Ordinary Americans who try to engage with or confront members of the corrupt political, business and media class find it almost impossible. The Political Schizophrenic moves in a closed and isolated social circle, where the delusions of his fantasy world or "political reality" are accepted as incontrovertible truths. When real people talk about real problems and suggest real solutions to them, he dismisses us as naive idealists. When we question the dogma of his fantasy world, he thinks we are the ones who are out of touch with reality. We cannot communicate with him, because he lives in a different world and speaks a different language.

It is difficult for the winners in any society to recognize that their privileges are the product of a corrupt and unfair system, not of their own superior worth or ability. But the inherent weakness of "inverted totalitarianism" is that the institutions of American politics still exist and can still be made to serve democracy, if and when enough Americans wake up from this Political Schizophrenia, organize around real solutions to real problems, and elect people who are genuinely committed to turning those solutions into public policy.

As I was taught when I worked with schizophrenics as a social worker, they tend to become agitated and angry if you question the reality of their fantasy world. If the patient in question is also armed to the teeth, it is a matter of life and death to handle them with kid gloves.

The danger of a Political Schizophrenic armed with a trillion dollar a year war machine and nuclear weapons is becoming more obvious to more of our neighbors around the world as each year goes by. In 2017, 122 of them voted to approve the new UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

U.S. allies have pursued an opportunistic policy of appeasement, as many of the same countries did with Germany in the 1930s. But Russia, China and countries in the Global South have gradually begun to take a firmer line, to try to respond to U.S. aggression and to shepherd the world through this incredibly dangerous transitional period to a multipolar, peaceful and sustainable world. The Political Schizophrenic has, predictably, responded with propaganda, demonization, threats and sanctions, now amounting to a Second Cold War.

Ideological Phantom

During the First Cold War, each side presented its own society in an idealized way, but was more honest about the flaws and problems of its opposite number. As a former East German now living in the U.S. explained to me, "When our government and state media told us our society was perfect and wonderful, we knew they were lying to us. So when they told us about all the social problems in America, we assumed they were lying about them too."

Now living in the U.S., he realized that the picture of life in the U.S. painted by the East German media was quite accurate, and that there really are people sleeping in the street, people with no access to healthcare and widespread poverty.

My East German acquaintance came to regret that Eastern Europe had traded the ills of the Soviet Empire for the ills of the U.S. Empire. Nobody ever explained to him and his friends why this had to be a "take it or leave it" neoliberal package deal, with "shock therapy" and large declines in living standards for most Eastern Europeans. Why could they not have Western-style political freedom without giving up the social protections and standard of living they enjoyed before?

American leaders at the end of the Cold War lacked the wisdom and caution of their predecessors in 1945, and quickly succumbed to what Mikhail Gorbachev now calls "triumphalism." The version of capitalism and "managed democracy" they expanded into Eastern Europe was the radical neoliberal ideology introduced by Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher and consolidated by Bill Clinton and Tony Blair. The people of Eastern Europe were no more or less vulnerable to neoliberalism's siren song than Americans and Western Europeans.

The unconstrained freedom of ruling classes to exploit working people that is the foundation of neoliberalism has always been an Ideological Phantom, as Michael Mann called it, with a hard core of greed and militarism and an outer wrapping of deceptive propaganda.

So the "peace dividend" most people longed for at the end of the Cold War was quickly trumped by the "power dividend." Now that the U.S. was no longer constrained by the fear of war with the U.S.S.R., it was free to expand its own global military presence and use military force more aggressively. As Michael Mandelbaum of the Council on Foreign Relations crowed to the New York Times as the U.S. prepared to attack Iraq in 1990, "For the first time in 40 years we can conduct military operations in the Middle East without worrying about triggering World War III."

Without the Cold War to justify U.S. militarism, the prohibition against the threat or use of military force in the UN Charter took on new meaning, and the Ideological Phantom embarked on an urgent quest for political rationales and propaganda narratives to justify what international law clearly defines as the crime of aggression.

During the transition to the incoming Clinton administration after the 1992 election, Madeleine Albright confronted General Colin Powell at a meeting and asked him, "What's the point of having this superb military you're always talking about if we can't use it?"

The correct answer would have been that, after the end of the Cold War, the legitimate defense needs of the U.S. required much smaller, strictly defensive military forces and a greatly reduced military presence around the world. Former Cold Warriors, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara and Assistant Secretary Lawrence Korb, told the Senate Budget Committee in 1989 that the U.S. military budget could safely be cut in half over 10 years. Instead, it is now even higher than when they said that (after adjusting for inflation).

The U.S.'s Cold War Military Industrial Complex was still dominant in Washington. All it lacked was a new ideology to justify its existence. But that was just an interesting intellectual challenge, almost a game, for the Ideological Phantom.

The ideology that emerged to justify the U.S.'s new imperialism is a narrative of a world threatened by "dictators" and "terrorists," with only the power of the U.S. military standing between the "free" people of the American Empire and the loss of all we hold dear. Like the fantasy world of the Political Schizophrenic, this is a counter-factual picture of the world that only becomes more ludicrous with each year that passes and each new phase of the ever-expanding humanitarian and military catastrophe it has unleashed.

The Ideological Phantom defends the world against terrorists on a consistently selective and self-serving basis. It is always ready to recruit, arm and support terrorists to fight its enemies, as in Afghanistan and Central America in the 1980s or more recently in Libya and Syria. U.S. support for jihadis in Afghanistan led to the worst act of terrorism on U.S. soil on September 11th 2001.

But that didn't prevent the U.S. and its allies from supporting the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and other jihadis in Libya less than ten years later, leading to the Manchester Arena bombing by the son of an LIFG member in 2017. And it hasn't prevented the CIA from pouring thousands of tons of weapons into Syria, from sniper rifles to howitzers, to arm Al Qaeda-led fighters from 2011 to the present.

When it comes to opposing dictators, the Ideological Phantom's closest allies always include the most oppressive dictators in the world, from Pinochet, Somoza, Suharto, Mbuto and the Shah of Iran to its newest super-client, Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia. In the name of freedom and democracy, the U.S. keeps overthrowing democratically elected leaders and replacing them with coup-leaders and dictators, from Iran in 1953 and Guatemala in 1954 to Haiti in 2004, Honduras in 2009 and Ukraine in 2014.

Nowhere is the Ideological Phantom more ideologically bankrupt than in the countries the U.S. has dispatched its armed forces and foreign proxy forces to "liberate" since 2001: Afghanistan; Iraq; Libya; Syria; Somalia and Yemen. In every case, ordinary people have been slaughtered, devastated and utterly disillusioned by the ugly reality behind the Phantom's mask.

In Afghanistan, after 16 years of U.S. occupation, a recent BBC survey found that people feel safer in areas governed by the Taliban. In Iraq, people say their lives were better under Saddam Hussein . Libya has been reduced from one of the most stable and prosperous countries in Africa to a failed state ruled by competing militias, while Somalia, Syria and Yemen have met similar fates.

Incredibly, American ideologists in the 1990s saw the Ideological Phantom's ability to project counter-factual, glamorized images of itself as a source of irresistible ideological power. In 1997, Major Ralph Peters, who is better known as a best-selling novelist, turned his vivid imagination and skills as a fiction writer to the bright future of the Ideological Phantom in a military journal article titled "Constant Conflict."

Peters imagined an endless campaign of "information warfare" in which U.S. propagandists, aided by Hollywood and Silicon Valley, would overwhelm other cultures with powerful images of American greatness that their own cultures could not resist.

"One of the defining bifurcations of the future will be the conflict between information masters and information victims," Peters wrote. "We are already masters of information warfare (we) will be writing the scripts, producing (the videos) and collecting the royalties."

But while Peters' view of U.S. imperialism was based on media, technology and cultural chauvinism, he was not suggesting that the Ideological Phantom would conquer the world without a fight -- quite the opposite. Peters' vision was a war plan, not a futuristic fantasy.

"There will be no peace," he wrote. "At any given moment for the rest of our lives, there will be multiple conflicts in mutating forms around the globe. Violent conflict will dominate the headlines, but cultural and economic struggles will be steadier and ultimately more decisive. The de facto role of the U.S. armed forces will be to keep the world safe for our economy and open to our cultural assault."

"To those ends," he added, "We will do a fair amount of killing."

Conclusion

After reviewing the early results of the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq in 2003, Michael Mann concluded, "We saw in action that the new imperialism turned into simple militarism."

Without solid economic, political and ideological bases, the Military Giant lacks the economic, political and ideological power and authority required to govern the world beyond its shores. The Military Giant can only destroy and bring chaos, never rebuild or bring order.

The sooner the people of the U.S. and the world wake up to this dangerous and destructive reality, the sooner we can begin to lay the new economic, political and ideological foundations of a peaceful, just and sustainable world.

Like past aggressors, the Military Giant is sowing the seeds of his own destruction. But there is only one group of people in the world who can peacefully tame him and cut him down to size. That is us, the 323 million people who call ourselves Americans.

We have waited far too long to claim the peace dividend that our warmongering leaders stole from us after the end of the First Cold War. Millions of our fellow human beings have paid the ultimate price for our confusion, weakness and passivity.

Now we must be united, clear and strong as we begin the essential work of transforming our country from an Incoherent Empire into an Economic High-Speed Train to a Sustainable Future; a Real Political Democracy; an Ideological Humanitarian -- and a Military Law-Abiding Citizen.

Nicolas J.S. Davies is the author of Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq . He also wrote the chapters on "Obama at War" in Grading the 44th President: a Report Card on Barack Obama's First Term as a Progressive Leader .


D Frank Robinson , February 20, 2018 at 5:57 pm

"Like past aggressors, the Military Giant is sowing the seeds of his own destruction. But there is only one group of people in the world who can peacefully tame him and cut him down to size. That is us, the 323 million people who call ourselves Americans."
So what is keeping people from the Libertarian Party to pursue these ends? Could it be political censorship and election rigging disguised as "ballot access" laws? You don't think the Democratic or Republican parties are going to turn anti-imperialists do you?
Disclosure: I am a co-founder of the Libertarian Party.

Sam F , February 20, 2018 at 8:00 pm

We do need new parties that truly represent their followers, and can form coalitions to gain a majority. But with corruption and oligarchy control throughout the legislative, executive, and judicial branches and mass media, and political suppression by secret agencies and IT companies, I doubt that political action can be more than a palliative for the credulous. Please feel free to challenge my pessimism, referring to my comment below..

derek , February 21, 2018 at 10:13 am

This is OT but of interest to many here at CN .The actual snipers from the MAIDAN in Kiev have come forward and have sworn testimony .

https://www.veteranstoday.com/2018/02/20/shocking-new-evidence-maidan-snipers-confess-they-were-under-orders-from-coup-leaders-to-shoot-police-and-protesters/

I have not been able to verify any of it yet so use your best judgement

regards

D

PS sounds like Sputnik is trying to get it chased down and verified

derek , February 21, 2018 at 10:35 am

And here is the Sputnik story

https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201802201061840515-maidan-snipers-testimony-detailed-crucial/

regards

Virginia , February 21, 2018 at 2:57 pm

If you'd like to see "coherent" policy and ideas, watch Putin's 2015 State of the Nation address: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMOCsxSABVg

Very interesting to see the advice he gives in his speech to the various departments of the Russian government, asking them to please focus on certain issues for the sake of improvement vis-a-vis the judiciary, economic, trade, financial, etc. Very transparent, open, and gives a clear idea of where Russia stands.

I also watched Putin's speech to the UN in 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q13yzl6k6w0 . Both speeches very worthwhile!

Sam F , February 20, 2018 at 7:33 pm

Yes, the article is a fine review of the corruption of US government and society.

We must find a way to displace or destroy the economic oligarchy that controls elections and mass media, for that is the only path to restoration of democracy, and restoration of the humanitarian purpose of our 18th century founders. Only then shall we see an American Century; otherwise we are doomed to the disdain of history, our lives wasted as cogs in an engine of destruction.

Our unregulated free market economy allows the unethical bully to prevail in nearly all areas, including politics. Tyranny is a subculture, a groupthink of bullies who tyrannize each other, and the worst of the bullies rise to the top. This is why the US founders opposed a standing military, and they were right.

If the US had spent the billions wasted on war since WWII, on building the roads, schools, and hospitals of the developing nations, we would have eliminated poverty for the poorest half of humanity, a true American century, and we would have no enemies. Instead we have willfully killed over six million innocents for nothing, have destroyed democracies and replaced them with dictators, and have allowed the MIC/Israel/WallSt oligarchy to control our former democracy with campaign bribes, control of mass media to promote violence as patriotism, promiscuous surveillance, and militarized police. They have destroyed America and have spent all we could borrow on destruction for their personal gain. We have the lowest per capita foreign aid of all developed nations, almost all of it military "aid," a total of less than one meal a year for the world's poorest.

Apart from NATO and a few other treaties, the US would have no constitutional power to wage foreign wars, just to repel invasions and suppress insurrections, and that is the way it should be. NATO has been nothing but an excuse for warmongering since 1989.

I suggest re-purposing about 80 percent of the US military for international aid projects, to create James' (and Carter's) "moral equivalent of war," to train the young, the citizen, and the mass media to see humanitarianism as robust and to reject the selfish amorality of US oligarchy pop culture, to serve as a "backup" peacekeeping or defense force (probably little used), and to avoid alienating their staff with unemployment.

Eventually "financial bubbles, shifts in global trade and investment and international opposition to U.S. wars" will make it unable to afford an empire, but it will remain an oligarchy. We cannot stop the wars, establish a humanitarian democracy, nor achieve benefits for the people, until the oligarchy is deposed; this is the greatest problem of civilization. We must resolve that deposing oligarchy is the only historical meaning of our lives.

Apart from the historical revolutions of the largest present democracies (US and India), where the colonial power was small and remote, every solution to oligarchy in history has involved external conquest (e.g. Rome) or violent revolution (e.g. Russia, China, and Cuba). Unfortunately the US is now in the latter category. If democracy is ever restored in the US, it must be stabilized by amendments to protect elections and mass media debate from economic power, better checks and balances within the government branches, purging the corrupt judiciary and Congress, monitoring of government officials for corruption, and regulation of business so that oligarchic bullies and scammers do not rise to control economic power.

frank scott , February 20, 2018 at 9:39 pm

we cannot "restore" a democracy which has never existed, nationally, nor continue the nearly religious worship of the so-called creators of this fiction, the holy founders, many of them owning slaves and having stolen land from the indigenous people and hardly any meaning to have non-property owners voting in elections, no matter what their skin tone, religious or sexual preference might be once we get past the mythology about our country we may well be able to create a reality which is closer to what we idealize than the horror it has always been for some, even while making life extremely pleasant for others..market forces need to be replaced by human forces which means democracy in a material sense -- majority rule -- rather than the religious, therapeutic and drug induced excuse we live.

Sam F , February 21, 2018 at 1:24 pm

Yes, the undemocratic processes throughout US history tempt one to conclude that democracy never was. and this is true in an ideal sense. But the intent of democracy was there, and it was a fact in the early federal era for most citizens, extending with ever greater corruption through FDR. Had there been no predominance of economic power 1850-1945, likely democracy with many flaws would have generalized to all persons within the US.

Yes, we must "get past the mythology about our country" by accepting its wrongs and the corruption of its institutions and popular culture, but if the good in that tradition is preserved, we have a better starting point for reform, which avoids scaring off those who will otherwise see, or pretend to see, only "radicalism" and "anarchism."

Nancy , February 21, 2018 at 1:51 pm

I don't believe in the myths taught about the history of the United States. Our glorious founding fathers were not only slaveholders, rapists and imperialists, they were aristocrats who just wanted to be free of British rule. They had no intention of sharing their freedom and independence (or the bounty of the land) with the less well off inhabitants, regardless of their race, color or creed. This is just a story they tell to keep us hoping that some day we can be one of them.
Hey, there's always the lottery!

Sam F , February 21, 2018 at 6:25 pm

Thanks, Nancy, I agree that today the national mythology largely serves that purpose of burying the truth and creating false hopes. I discern some sincerity behind the best of the founders, even acknowledging their contradictory ownership of slaves (as Robert Parry very well elucidated for Jefferson). The sincere ones were nonetheless products of the contradictions of their times and circumstances, and their good intentions did not extend to impoverishing themselves to free their slaves, thereby ruining their families and good political influences.

Even today good people consume products made with essentially slave labor in poor countries, and I have heard few other than myself demanding serious foreign aid, and/or tariffs sufficient to nearly bring such products to US wholesale prices, to fund foreign aid for the poorest of those nations. Few would support such a sacrifice. While it irritates me, I can see that they too are the products of circumstances, unwilling to impoverish themselves while trying to get by, support families, improve their circumstances, and so on.

So I look for the good side of better characters, and try to build on that, as it is the only building material we have. But of course you are right to call out the selfishness, hypocrisy, and malice. So I presume that we must preserve the best of the national mythology for the young, and teach them better when they are ready. We can preserve the institutions (after they are fixed) and monuments, but the educated must be very critical of mythology.

Brent Riley , February 21, 2018 at 12:29 am

A couple years ago I heard a Chilean woman saying when she was a girl, one couldn't go out of the house after 9 PM because you would get shot. I piped up, "Thanks to Nixon and Kissinger." A serious look came over her face, she looked directly at me and forcefully said, "Americans are a GOOD people. Their government IS NOT".

I believe a serious campaign for war reparations to Iraq could be hard to dismiss and may jolt our nation into a sense of responsibility or acknowledge we don't accept responsibility for our behavior. Either, a step forward.

geeyp , February 21, 2018 at 4:40 am

Yes, that might start with not writing as Nicholas J.S. Davies has: "U.S. support for jihadis in Afghanistan led to the worst act of terrorism on U.S. soil on" Sept. 11, 2001.

Peter Loeb , February 21, 2018 at 7:33 am

THANKS FIRST TO NICOLAS J.S. DAVIES.

And to KiwiAnts. for his reply.

Davies touched on my major heroes -- authors and analysts. I would add one:

I "discovered" recently. Francis Jennings (1918-1980) especially THE CREATION OF AMERICA, his late work. He points out that a "democracy" was never intended (African Americans, Native Americans, pacifist organizations such as the Quakers, and women were all excluded. Instead (excuse my paraphrasing) Americans wanted "liberty" from the English Empire in order to form their own Empire maintaining their (economic) needs (slave labor, elimination of Native American claims to land etc.)

After years and years of allegiance to the Democratic party, I have begun to realize that neither they nor other mail (political) party can undo the evil that has been done. (See "THE ROOTS OF AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY" by Gabriel Kolko, "Epiloque: Readon and Radicalism".

-- Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

Lisa , February 21, 2018 at 6:23 pm

Peter,

You confirm something I have read much earlier – that the 13 US colonies were in a hurry to separate themselves from the British Empire, because Britons were about to abolish slavery within their Empire. US needed to maintain the slavery for economical reasons, therefore the heroic struggle for independence.

I don't remember the source, and unfortunately cannot give a link to it.

Annie , February 20, 2018 at 6:34 pm

I referenced this in an article before which was a discussion I had with a cousin who is an international lawyer in the military. I said I wasn't voting in this election, but he insisted I vote for Hilary as she was the lesser of the two evils, well, that's how it started out. He went on to claim that Russia was a real threat to the US and in breech of international law in her annexation of Crimea. I told him I would really be afraid of Russia if she was bombing and destroying one country after another in the Middle East, created a coup in the Ukraine and crossed sovereign borders, dropping drones and killing civilians, and had no qualms about creating mayhem in our wars. Wars based on lies, since none of the countries we invaded represented an aggressive threat to us. He accused me of being un-american and failed to acknowledge we were in breech of any international law. What ever we do seems to be justifiable, but are so called enemies are held to the letter of the law. For me he represents the mentality expressed in this article, and unfortunately it is all too real. I guess his position is what's good for the goose, is not good for the gander, an interestingly he applies the same mind set in his marriage.

Sam F , February 20, 2018 at 7:48 pm

Cheers for your courage in facing your cousin. Rare is the lawyer who does not regard argument as a domain of propaganda warfare for private gain, rather than of truth and justice. Most choose the career for money and power, and learn to substitute scamming for reason. There is little point in discussing anything with them.

Annie , February 20, 2018 at 7:56 pm

Thanks Sam, and the outcome was, he no longer speaks to me because of my position, but I really don't care.

Nicolas J S Davies , February 20, 2018 at 8:29 pm

I think your friend is an exception among JAG officers. The father of a JAG officer told me that his son and his colleagues saw the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq as crimes of aggression, and retired JAGs have told me they saw them that way too. Jess Bravin's book, The Terror Courts: Rough Justice at Guantanamo, describes how JAG officers fought our government's efforts to deny justice and due process to accused terrorists, and presciently predicted that this would lead to a failure to convict anyone of the crimes of 9/11. Admiral Hutson's role in investigating and condemning torture deaths in US custody was exemplary and uncompromising. Military lawyers have tried to uphold the law, but have been overridden by their criminal and corrupt military and political bosses.

rosemerry , February 21, 2018 at 4:05 pm

The breach of international law ie the overthrow of the Ukrainian government by the USA did not count, of course! In Oliver Stone's interviews with Pres. Putin I remember the explanation of how Putin's government worked with the pro-Western previous Ukrainian government for four years, managing to cooperate, but as soon as the "pro-Russian government" was elected, the USA/West could not wait to barge in.

Often the USA chooses a date to begin the discussion to make it seem justified eg always 1979 for Iran, never 1953 when the USA/UK overthrew the elected government to instal and keep in power the Shah and the brutal SAVAK police. Israel is good at this too, choosing a selected "violent act" of a Palestinian after vast earlier Israeli attacks, as its starting point.

Mike Martin , February 20, 2018 at 6:38 pm

"And yet the U.S. imperial project sails on, seemingly blind to its consistently catastrophic results." -- J S Davies

?? Really?? But what if the resulting chaos is exactly what is intended?

What better way to maximize the sale of all types of armaments than to ensure continuous chaos? Wasn't a CIA presentation on just such a plan leaked some time back?

joe defiant , February 20, 2018 at 7:56 pm

Yeah this "incoherent" and "stupid blundering" excuse is complete bullshit. USA military via imperialism consistently furthers elites interests all over the world and at home. Michael Parenti has covered this excuse extensively in a few of his books like 'Faces of Imperialism' and 'Against Empire'. Liberal political writers constantly trot out this excuse as if only our leaders would listen to the liberal critiques the empire would be this vast power for good and elites would forget about furthering their own interests and start "doing good".

Sam F , February 20, 2018 at 8:21 pm

Yes, but by "seemingly blind" he means not blind at all. Using moderation in contrast with the strong argument, he urges you to jump ahead. By not offering finally a means to the ends, he leaves the door open to those who will throw out the facts if they see only an extreme solution. Let the readers decide how to get there.

evelync , February 21, 2018 at 1:23 pm

"What better way to ,maximize the sale of all types of armaments than to ensure continuous chaos?"

I think you put your finger on what it all boils down to, Mike Martin – what drives the whole Neoconservative and Neoliberal economic/political/military rape and pillage around the world and, now, here at home – I was going to say that here at home it is a financial rape and pillage (which it is) but then I remembered the for profit prisons which blossomed on Bill Clinton's watch and then, on Obama's watch they mindlessly offered excess military equipment to city police departments. Such a brazen act by compromised politicians. No problem having a militarized for profit scheme here at home too.

You pointed out what drives the whole planet eating machine, Mike Martin. Just plain old grand theft larceny mixed with an Al Capone level of violence, dressed up in a pack of lies.

Sam F , February 21, 2018 at 6:32 pm

Very true.

Dr. Ibrahim Soudy , February 20, 2018 at 7:33 pm

There is no such thing as American Empire. The British Empire was a misnomer ..The real Empire is the Banking Empire owned and run by a number of known families. Since the Industrial Revolution and those families needed a military machine paid for by the people. That military machine is needed to help steal the natural resources of other people or subdue them if they get out of line First it was the British and since WWII they moved it to the US ..As long as the Americans are willing to pay for it, the banking families (Empire) will remain happy to continue exploiting them .

freedom lover , February 21, 2018 at 3:34 pm

I would beg to differ. The British Empire still exists today although it is mainly a financial and information warfare empire. Yes you are right about the families but mainly these are old aristocratic European and their married in to Jr. partners in America. The empire consists of the City of London,Wall Street, The British monarchy, The Saudi Royal family and many other of there agents and subsidiaries.

The members of the British monarchy still refer to the United States in private as the wayward British colony hence they have never accepted US independence or our constitution. No offense to the British people they are for the most part a warm, kind and hardworking people but are still seen as subjects by the Monarchy. Remember to British prime minister has to sware loyalty to the Queen not to the nation of Great Britain.

joe defiant , February 20, 2018 at 7:51 pm

"As even some members of the U.S. military now recognize, the mindless violence of the Military Giant serves no rational or constructive purpose, imperialist or otherwise."

This is complete nonsense. The violence of the military serves the interests of elites with overwhelming consistency. From creating the necessary conditions for plundering of natural resources, opening new markets for U.S. corporations to exploit, and funneling tax payer monies via "aid" to corporations and elites, all the while allowing the politicians who advance these elite interests to themselves profit greatly via revolving door jobs, speeches, and donations to their "humanitarian" foundations. How is this not rational? It is completely rational and organized and planned to be executed exactly how it does. Furthering your own wealth, power, and interests is not rational?

jose , February 20, 2018 at 8:49 pm

You do have a valid point Mr. Joe Defiant: Although some military members may think that. "mindless violence of the Military Giant serves no rational or constructive purpose, imperialist or otherwise." It is undeniable that the military violence has served the interest of the powerful elite in a very consistent manner for centuries. Furthermore, I would submit to you that the military has shown very little remorse by being the murderous tool of elites and that more often than not; They have been happy to oblige.

Banger , February 21, 2018 at 12:36 pm

One thing that is often ignored is that wartime provides rapid promotions and lucrative employment free retirement with major corporations. So military officers have a strong interest in promoting war

Nancy , February 21, 2018 at 2:05 pm

Why would someone join the military if they didn't support the well-known violence it inflicts upon the world? I know that some consider it to be a valid "career" compared to the options available in the civilian world, but unless they are completely clueless they have to know that the military is a killing operation, first and foremost.

Realist , February 21, 2018 at 3:10 am

You are correct, these policies are pursued for a "reason," or as they say, "there is method to their madness." However, the reason, which is basically pure selfishness and greed, is generally not recognised as a legitimate one by most folks who claim to be civilised or moral. If you are a self-proclaimed Nietzchean then "all would be permitted," but that would not make you very popular here or in most other venues.

rosemerry , February 21, 2018 at 4:17 pm

Surely this is the point. The USA pretends to be a democracy and a model to us all, but the leaders are always from or controlled by the élite (look at the Froman emails to Obama before his inauguration, telling him who to appoint to his cabinet-Larry Summers et al). If the people were able to turn away from the MSM, facebook, twitter,the hopelessness of knowing that their "vote", the one aspect of democracy the USA has, is meaningless as none of the "reps" cares at all about their welfare, then as Chris Hedges always writes, a revolution would be needed. Can you imagine this as likely? People are held down by poverty, by no job or too many, by lack of housing, healthcare, yet they are told how lucky they are to be in the best country on earth. The description of the rich few winning is obvious, but 300 million people if they believed in solidarity, would frighten even the Big Boys!!

jose , February 20, 2018 at 8:40 pm

As I was reading this excellent article, a familiar concept came to mind: Cognitive dissonance which is the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change. A phycologist would tell you that cognitive dissonance is the mental discomfort (psychological stress) experienced by a person who simultaneously holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values. The US ruling elite knows that this worldwide " Full Spectrum Dominance" can only be sustained by sheer brutish force; The consequences have been disastrous for US victims. When confronted with this elemental reality, the ruling elite will tell you that is American destiny to do good around the world even though the majority of the world considers US the greatest threat to piece. For instance, If a person believes that US invading Iraq is both immoral and criminal but gives full support to the invasion any way: a dissonance will be created. So to resolve it, the person could convince himself that Iraq is a dictatorship worth toppling or Iraqis are evil so they deserve what is coming to them. This reminds me when on May 12 of 1996,Lesley Stahl, speaking of US sanctions against Iraq asked Madeleine Albright: "We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And -- and you know, is the price worth it?" Madeleine Albright: "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price -- we think the price is worth it." I rest my case.

irene , February 20, 2018 at 8:55 pm

Many people have forgotten, or did not know in the first place, that the Iraq war started long before the horrifying display of "Shock & Awe" over Baghdad in March of 2003. I clearly remember watching the jet fighter planes leaving Eielson Air Force Base enroute to Bush the Elder's Iraq War in 1991 . . .

And when the brief but brutal sorties were over, we simply continued the war by the 'sanitary' modern method known as Sanctions. How did that work again ? Let's see, first we bombed Iraq's water treatment plants. Then we 'sanctioned' the materials needed to repair them and treat the water. The result was the ugly Albright's 'hard choice'.

jose , February 20, 2018 at 9:19 pm

Dear Irene: I would add the following to your post. Regarding on to deal with Iraq, many republicans were suggesting to bomb Iraq to the stone age: On the other hand, democrats asserted that this was a barbaric conduct unworthy of US magnanimity and righteousness. So the latter recommended placing brutal and genocidal economic sanctions on Iraqis to bring about the desire result. The fact that US did not have constitutional or moral grounds to pursue both courses of actions was not debated. Many of them were church goers so I wonder how each dealt with his cognitive dissonance.

Tannenhouser , February 21, 2018 at 10:57 am

Yes papa bush turned Iraq into a live fire training exercise for at least a dozen years, then his offspring invaded once they were positive there were no remnants of the chemical weapons they provided to kill Iranians. In a sense this first attack on Iraq was WW3 as it was the 'world' under the guise of a UN resolution which enabled the war of aggression crime against humanity.

Nicolas J S Davies , February 20, 2018 at 8:58 pm

Another phenomenon that is related to cognitive dissonance is "normalized deviance", which I wrote about in this article: https://consortiumnews.com/2016/08/15/us-war-crimes-or-normalized-deviance/

Jeanne , February 20, 2018 at 9:56 pm

We are indeed an imperial power, destructive, greedy, power hungry. Too bad the citizens are so gullible and misinformed. Thank you for your efforts.

Jessika , February 20, 2018 at 11:08 pm

Nothing i disagree with in this article, but the final statement sums up the dilemma, how to get the 323 million to wake up and smell the blood in their coffee? Sam F stated the problem, the corruption is so endemic that people have just succumbed to it. It's the classic psychological conditioning of "learned helplessness", the subjects finally submit to the shocks. I must confess that sometimes i have thought David Icke is onto something, there are evil reptilian overlords from another dimension controlling our planet. The US has definitely gone over to the "dark side", in the words of the demented Dick Cheney.

Realist , February 21, 2018 at 2:55 am

Really! The unjustified killing of a single human being is a crime, and even a sin if you have morals. Yet, for all of my lifetime of 70+ years, our government has wantonly killed MILLIONS for goals as gratuitous as the pursuit of foreign policy. Moreover, we all know with surety that they have many more military actions planned which are guaranteed to result in the deaths and maiming of millions more, most innocent of any offense against the United States. Just their tough luck to be "collateral damage." What a piece of work is the United States of America, surely not the handiwork of any "loving god." To believe that is the epitome of "double think."

Sam F , February 21, 2018 at 7:03 pm

Indeed we have learned helplessness, first as employees and dependents of businesses rather than farmers and woodsmen, and now as dependents upon mass media and groupthink for social acceptance, with no representative in power unless we betray humanity and serve oligarchy. Some of that furious feeling of entrapment is harvested by the oligarchy warmongers for their schemes, portraying the killer of random victims as the liberator of himself. Only bread and circus stand between the oligarchy and public fury, and there may be less of that to go around when the US is isolated and defeated on all fronts by the rest of the world.

irina , February 21, 2018 at 12:10 pm

Dmitry Orlov strikes me as being quite prescient in that respect. We are FAR too smug and cozy in our creature comforts.

exiled off mainstreet , February 21, 2018 at 12:51 am

This is a great article. There is nothing I can add, and nothing I can argue with. The fact that torture has become the modus operandi of yankee centurions and the fact they massacre first and ask questions later is not covered at all by the propaganda machine which obfuscates all of these facts.Things are pretty serious, especially since, as a result of the economic, political and ideological nakedness of the regime, it has lost any semblance of legitimacy. The latest "indictment" of individual non state actor- Russians living in Russia for internet activities which would be protected under free speech if the rule of law still obtained, appears to be the ultimate arrogation of power: that the yankee imperium can outlaw anybody anywhere who takes actions unfavourable to it.

This is a more ultimate claim of power than any prior regime in history ever maintained. Sheldon Wolin's Inverted Totalitarianism has morphed into something even more odious. The central problem, of course, is how a soft landing can be effected in light of the massive number of nukes possessed by this outlaw regime.

Bob Van Noy , February 21, 2018 at 11:10 am

I like to bring Imperialist discussion down from the heights of government theory such as R2P, to the individual soldier, especially those infantry men and women who must confront each other "eye to eye" because that is where the individual decision must be made to kill or be killed, and the theory about why you've been placed in that circumstance is likely not considered.

I had a personal awakening while photographing the "Old North Bridge" in Concord, Massachusetts. There is a small monument by the side of the bridge that is barely noticeable and as a photographer, I've learned to notice such things. I was surprised when I realized that it was a British Monument, not American, it read:

Grave of British Soldiers
"They came three thousand miles, and died,
To keep the Past upon its throne:

Unheard, beyond the ocean tide,
Their English mother made her moan."
April 19, 1775

American Politicians have now made the same mistake of sending their soldiers into multiple foreign populations, ill equipped in language and purpose to win. It always was a fools errand.

https://britishredcoat.blogspot.com/2009/04/grave-marker-for-soldiers-of-4th-kings.html

Joe Tedesky , February 21, 2018 at 1:10 pm

Great comment Bob, it makes a person think. Joe

Sam F , February 21, 2018 at 1:50 pm

That reminds one of the many lost in the Graveyard of Empires, from which only one British soldier returned from their first invasion. They had been fearful that Russia would invade Afghanistan, which it did not, even after their defeat. They did not have any specific goals there, just alleged defense operations. But the lesson did not stop their imperialist masters from further invasions, every other generation interestingly, each larger and longer and unsuccessful, until WWI and WWII distracted them. Kipling wrote both accolades and warnings of imperialism, including a poem about the one who survived the first invasion.

Unfettered Fire , February 21, 2018 at 11:55 am

"The Trilateral Commission is intended to be the vehicle for multinational consolidation of the commercial and banking interests by seizing control of the political government of the United States. The Trilateral Commission represents a skillful, coordinated effort to seize control and consolidate the four centers of power political, monetary, intellectual and ecclesiastical. What the Trilateral Commission intends is to create a worldwide economic power superior to the political governments of the nation-states involved. As managers and creators of the system, they will rule the future." – U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater in his l979 book, With No Apologies.

Neoliberalism, at last, has failed. Even Ben Bernanke had to admit that "Monetary policy is not a panacea." The nation-state is still valuable. It is necessary to have an institution that will protect society from predatory capitalism. The dramatic increase in violence is a direct result of the 40 years of neoliberal dictate, which has shredded the social fabric of America and much of the world.

Global banks are global in health and national in death. ~ Mervyn King

Banger , February 21, 2018 at 1:01 pm

Very fine essay and many excellent comments here. Meanwhile people who share our insights have been totally marginalized in this society. Yet, thus analysis goes back to the sixties and we still are marginalized. The reason is as simple as it was then. We must organize into a community that could easily become a major power block in this society. I'm guessing our views represent from one to five percent of the population. If we organized as a disciplined community of, say, ten thousand then millions would follow. I've been talking about this for 50 years and there has been little action because whether you are on our side or any side we are all, from a cultural perspective narcissists. Ego us as much a currency as money and has moved all of us away from community-mindedness. This is why there can never be major political change in thus country unless the underlying social morality (or lack thereof) changes dramatically the only hope for change can only happen from top down.

Onyx , February 21, 2018 at 1:10 pm

This article is a long winded attempt to explain why we (the US) always fails in our noble pursuits.

"In the intervening 15 years, U.S. policy failures have resulted in ever-spreading violence and chaos that affect hundreds of millions of people in at least a dozen countries. The U.S. has utterly failed to bring any of its neo-imperial wars to a stable or peaceful end. And yet the U.S. imperial project sails on, seemingly blind to its consistently catastrophic results."

I say this by design and the outcomes are exactly as desired. They are not failures in the eyes of the powerful.

There are two things we can do with our power. 1) use it to compete with our competitors 2) use it to destroy or stymie or competitors. The powers that be in the US have long chosen the later. Divide and conquer is the game we've been play for my entire life. Death, destruction and chaos have been rained own on the middle east for 60 years because of its geographical relevance. It sits geographically between all of our current and potential competitors. If it can be kept in chaos we win because all the other powers alone cannot defend themselves. Together they can. So now we are threatening nuclear war with Russia in order to scare them into submitting their sovereignty and dropping their cooperation with China and others.

We need to give up the psychopathic ideal of a mono-polar world and join Russia, China, the EU, Africa, India, in a multi-polar world where everyone's interested are negotiated instead of dictated by the one most capable of resorting to might makes right.

rosemerry , February 21, 2018 at 4:27 pm

There are two things we can do with our power. 1) use it to compete with our competitors 2) use it to destroy or stymie or competitors. This is exactly the no-win ( or as Trump would say, loser) strategy that ignores the possibility of peace or cooperation.
The 323 million have plenty of work to do!

evelync , February 21, 2018 at 1:30 pm

Thanks to Mr. Davies for a fine article, including his link to the delusional Major (P) Ralph Peters' article: "Constant Conflict": http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3011.htm

Major Peters' rapture over our Darwinian PAC MAN ravaging of those victims he delights in calling the "uninformed" around the world and here at home, reveals a deep ignorance of economics and finance, IMO. (Are these "uninformed" the cousins of Hillary Clinton's "deplorables"?)

And thanks to Mike Martin and others for reminding us that it's the oligarchs who write policy for their own greed.
Former Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Paul Volker, when asked about the impact of the gigantic banks a few years ago – I think it was after the 2008-2009 big crash – he said that over the last 30 years the only useful innovation he was aware of that was produced by the big banks was the ATM machine. Say what????????

The Oligarchs that Jimmy Carter refers to have taken over policy decisions within the Congress and the White House.
Endless regime change wars and financial deregulation have looted wealth abroad and now here at home. Our Secretary of the Treasury, Mnuchin, became fabulously wealthy, foreclosing on millions of homeowners who were set up by unscrupulous banksters who misled them with teaser rates and delayed mortgage debt pile ons. http://wallstreetonparade.com

The Oligarchs have succeeded in becoming our largest "socialist institution" – Eisenhower's "MIC. As Andrew Bacevich says – our regime change war policies have created a mess and will continue doing so. Then why continue? The profiteers run our government.

Zenobia van Dongen , February 21, 2018 at 4:23 pm

You Americans will never stop contemplating your own imperial navel, even as it slips into oblivion. In Latin America, Usimp's traditional stomping ground, US imperialism is being eclipsed by Chinese imperialism, which to nobody's surprise is every bit as ruthless as the US variety. This is an article (in Spanish) about how the indigenouses and sundry others are getting ripped off by China. Inversiones chinas en América Latina fuera de control, CIVICUS, 12 February 2018 https://www.opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/civicus/inversiones-chinas-en-america-latina-fuera-de-control

E. Leete , February 21, 2018 at 6:48 pm

doesn't matter what country they come from – wealthpower giants DO what wealthpower giants DO. as the author and everyone here appear to already know, militarism and imperialism are genosadistic projects of psychopathic wealthpower giants. Money is power. overpower/underpower = tyranny/slavery. always. see history. Humans are too dangerous a species to be allowed to have unlimited fortunes, which are extreme injustice. no justice no peace. wealthpower giants can't even see the ants they crush. Can't get rid of wealthpower giants by chopping off the heads of the current ones – next ones are waiting in the wings. always. only way out of the nightmare is to wake everyone up to what the nightmare is: the terrible idea to allow unlimited fortunes on planet earth. everything else is static and noise.

ToivoS , February 21, 2018 at 5:19 pm

The term incoherence came to my mind when trying to figure out Obama's foreign policy towards Libya and Syria, especially after Kerry became SoS. I get it that many here are arguing that these policies are rational if one accepts that there is deep state whose interests they serve is a plutocracy who are only interested in looting the American people and that "American interests" is just a political smoke screen that allows them in doing so. I don't really accept that.

I think that people like Obama, Kerry and even Hillary believe they were serving American national interests. Even idiots like Samantha Power and Anne-Marie Slaughter likely believed that they were serving our national interests. If so, then we have to conclude, using the parsimony principle, that the US is being led by some serious incompetents. That is the scary part. If these fools had any understanding that the ultimate stakes for their folly is the possibility of nuclear war then perhaps a little "coherence" or rational thought might begin to guide them.

John Neal Spangler , February 21, 2018 at 6:39 pm

The author's book on the Iraq War is very good and well worth reading.

Joe Tedesky , February 22, 2018 at 12:21 am

We Americans have no conscience. We Americans need to step of outside of ourselves, and re-examine to what kind of society we have become.

We Americans need to abandon our colonialism, after all wasn't that what our Revolutionary War was all about? We Americans must tell our generals to quit studying to how we could have won the Vietnam War, and rather to how we could avoid such disasters. We Americans need to ask Madeline Albright, for why should America have the world's most sophisticated State Department if we are not going to use it.

We Americans need to change our society, but instead of a revolution using bullets we will work from within using a pen, and keep what's good of our government, and throw to the wind the bad.

Joe Tedesky , February 22, 2018 at 12:36 am

I know some of you take issue with Glenn Greenwald on occasion, but here with this linked article he hits the nail on the head. Take note to the names Greenwald mentions, and take notes to who we should get out of office or out of our media, because these are the very same people who constantly take the U.S. to war, and the very same people who's blood of millions they have on America's hands.

https://theintercept.com/2018/02/19/a-consensus-emerges-russia-committed-an-act-of-war-on-par-with-pearl-harbor-and-911-should-the-u-s-response-be-similar/

mrtmbrnmn , February 22, 2018 at 1:29 am

Do the math: Arrogance of Himalayan proportions + pathological dishonesty + systemic corruption + brain-rotting hypocrisy + soul corroding amorality + zillion$ for war-mongering + no bottom to stupid = RogueNationUSA

[Feb 21, 2018] "NATO expansion was a provocative policy destined to elicit a strong Russian response "

Feb 21, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

b. February 20, 2018 at 12:29 pm

"NATO expansion was a provocative policy destined to elicit a strong Russian response "

You spellcheck failed you – it should read "policy designed to elicit".

It is not clear from the article whether the "blunder" was "influence ops" involving Russians – with or w/o the Russian government, or whether the blunder is the "fake" hysteria peddled by the establishment apparat and the Clinton Democrats?

If you have no proof of an "act of war", to quote the latest mouth-breathing from one of our selected representatives, and you have no
effective means to retaliate, and if you have good reason to believe that the act in question might well have been blowback from your own earlier transgressions, it would be advisable to shut it up and suck it up.

The "Russia!" politicking in this nation is not just a crime or a blunder, it is idiotic, incompetent and reckless bipartisan malpractice.

Worse, the people who willingly beat this drum as their version of a "stained" vote or a substitute or augmentation for another unaccountable and self-destructive "special" investigation are actively – and possibly knowingly – undermining not just Trump, or the legitimacy of the current administration, or the trust in the election process, they are eroding the confidence in the robustness of democratic institutions and the concept of democracy itself.

Worse yet, these people are the same that have been pushing for "money can't buy me votes" Supreme Court decisions, highly optimized gerrymandering, voter purges, violations of the voting rights act, voter discrimination, systematic disenfranchisement, "rigged" primaries and campaigns, and a uniquely revealing and detestable 2001 decision by the Rehnquist court.

This is the picture of US democracy in action as painted by these people: elections will be decided because of drivel paid for by Russian or American oligarchs and their unprincipled, mercenary retainers, deployed by trolling farms, e-mail spam "down the lists", unsolicited phone calls, and corporate media by means of editorial and outright bought advertising. Voters are incapable of applying common sense, keeping a skeptical attitude and insisting on verification, and they will ignore the evidence in their own lives and vote in accordance to the "nudge" that is backed by the most money and the best voter tracking operation with the most data and the most expensive analysts providing "analytics".

It gives a new meaning to "follow the money."

Now that caricature of The People might or might not contain more truth than we are comfortable with, but the conclusion assuredly is that to the extent this claim is "true", we have bigger problems than a few dozen Russians spending a few dozen million dollars. If this is true, then our problem is that there are entire industries in the US making profit from delivering services to actively undermine and erode the US Constitution and the institutions and processes of our democracy, that many of those people have already been elected as – in their belief – the result of the services this industry delivers, and that as a nation, we have completely failed in inoculating ourselves against this process of "treason for profit".

You do democracy with the voters you have, not the voters you wish for. If our institutions, if We The People ourselves, are not resilient against concentrations of wealth and power, inside or outside the country, foreign or domestic, then we need to fortify ourselves and our institutions, and we need to reduce and dissolve any such concentration of wealth and power within our borders before we can even begin to worry about any such "influences" from abroad. If our democracy is being wrecked, it ain't by Putin.

The absolute worst about this is that our national elections, just with like the congressional-military-industrial "complex", or the government-bailed financial industry, or the student loan financed education industry, or government-mandated health insurance, most of the perpetrators involved do not even care about the election outcome or the process – it is just another American Con to extract millions of fees and profits in exchange for channeling billions of dollars of campaign financing into "information ops" and other services provided by what is, essentially, little more than an entertainment industry delivering advertising. For the congressional-election industrial machine, democracy is just another "must have" feature of modern society ripe for profitable public-private "partnership" to convert ever more tax revenue and money seeking influence into the profitable businesses of selling voting machines, securing voting machines, auditing voting machines

The best democracy money can buy to make money – putting the profit into the Cargo Cult. If we ever try public funding for political candidates, it will be as if Obama and Sunstein designed another funnel for profit extraction.

We "are sick and tired of hearing about your damn" Russians!

[Feb 21, 2018] Russian bots - How An Anti-Russian Lobby Creates Fake News

Notable quotes:
"... Atlantic Council ..."
"... Alliance for Securing Democracy. ..."
"... Alliance for Securing Democracy ..."
"... "to publicly document and expose Vladimir Putin's ongoing efforts to subvert democracy in the United States and Europe." That's pretty rich, coming from a country and from people who actually genuinely, and in proven ways, have subverted democracy in Europe since the late 1940s - Italy being one of the clearest cases. ..."
"... For the life of me I cannot figure why Americans want a war/conflict with Russia. I can't believe it has to do with the economy. There's got to be a far better nefarious reason. Even during the real cold war we tried to avoid conflict. Absolute insanity. ..."
"... The cleverest trick used in propaganda against a specific country is to accuse it of what the accuser itself is doing. ..."
"... Clearly, this entire psyop was premeditated and its design was hastily done contemporaneously with Russia's Syria intervention. NSA/CIA/FBI knew of HRC's security breeches and rightly assumed their contents would find their way into the election, so the general plan was ready to go prior to WikiLeaks publications. b has uncovered much, and I hope he's planning to publish a book about the entire affair. ..."
"... Ken @ 4: There doesn't necessarily need to be One Major Reason for going to war. There may be several reasons all feeding and reinforcing one another and creating a psychological climate in which Going To War is seen as the only solution and is inevitable. The reasons are not just economic and political but cultural and historical. ..."
"... In some countries allied with the US, the politicians in power are the ideological descendants of those who collaborated with Nazi Germany - so in a sense they are committed to "correcting" what they see as wrong. In the case of current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, he is the grandson of a former prime minister who once served in General Tojo's World War II cabinet. https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2012/12/26/national/formed-in-childhood-roots-of-abes-conservatism-go-deep/#.WoyZCG9uaUk ..."
"... The idea is to keep piling the pressure on to countries like Iran and Russia in the hope that their populations will rise up and demand the freedoms that we enjoy in the West....things like uncensored wardrobe malfunctions and transgender washrooms. ..."
"... Media have long agitated for War in US History. Nothing sells newspapers like a good ole war! Demonizing is a way to achieve it. What is sure is that this is a one way street. Once over the cliff, there is no turning back. ..."
"... In that The Narrative is tightly controlled in the corporate media, not matter how strong the proofs or arguments about the falsity of these propaganda campaigns are, little or no circulation of those proofs or arguments wlll reach the general public. ..."
"... Thanks Jen. It still makes no sense. As a veteran of the Vietnam fiasco, I was pretty much government oriented until McNamara outed the whole thing whining about haw sorry he was. 59,000 dead and he's sorry. They were able to hide the Gulf of Tonkin BS until then. After that I researched the reasons for each war/conflict the USA started and could find no logical reasons except hunger for power. But the little sandbox wars won't destroy the world like a major war/conflict with Russia and it goes nuclear. ..."
"... The warmongering is not intended to make any sense - not many people are trained in critical thinking and logic, and even when they are, they can be swamped by their own emotions or other people's emotions. Propaganda is intended to appeal to people's emotions and fears. You can try reading works by Edward Bernays - "Crystallizing Public Opinion" (1923) and "Propaganda" (1928) - to see how he uses his uncle Sigmund Freud's theories of the mind to create strategies for manipulating public opinion. https://archive.org/details/EdwardL.BernaysPropaganda ..."
Feb 20, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

"Russian bots" - How An Anti-Russian Lobby Creates Fake News

The U.S. mainstream media are going nuts. They now make up and report stories based on the uncritical acceptance of the outcome of an algorithm they do not understand and which is know to produce fake results.

See for example these three stories:

From the last link:

SAN FRANCISCO -- One hour after news broke about the school shooting in Florida last week, Twitter accounts suspected of having links to Russia released hundreds of posts taking up the gun control debate.

The accounts addressed the news with the speed of a cable news network. Some adopted the hashtag #guncontrolnow. Others used #gunreformnow and #Parklandshooting. Earlier on Wednesday, before the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., many of those accounts had been focused on the investigation by the special counsel Robert S. Mueller III into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

In other words - the "Twitter accounts suspected of having links to Russia" were following the current news just as cable news networks do. When a new sensational event happened they immediately jumped onto it. But the NYT authors go to length to claim that there is some nefarious Russian scheme behind this that uses automated accounts to spread divisive issues.

Those claims are based on this propaganda project:

Last year, the Alliance for Securing Democracy, in conjunction with the German Marshall Fund, a public policy research group in Washington, created a website that tracks hundreds of Twitter accounts of human users and suspected bots that they have linked to a Russian influence campaign.

The "Alliance for Securing Democracy" is run by military lobbyists, CIA minions and neocons. Its claimed task is:

... to publicly document and expose Vladimir Putin's ongoing efforts to subvert democracy in the United States and Europe.

There is no evidence that Vladimir Putin made or makes such efforts.

The ASD "Hamilton 68" website shows graphics with rankings of "top items" and "trending items" allegedly used by Russian bots or influence agents. There is nothing complicate behind it. It simply tracks the tweets of 600 Twitter users and aggregates the hashtags they use. It does not say which Twitter accounts its algorithms follows. It claims that the 600 were selected by one of three criteria: 1. People who often tweet news that also appears on RT (Russia Today) and Sputnik News , two general news sites sponsored by the Russian government; 2. People who "openly profess to be pro-Russian"; 3. accounts that "appear to use automation" to boost the same themes that people in group 1 and 2 tweet about.

Nowhere does the group say how many of the 600 accounts it claims to track belong to which group. Are their 10 assumed bots or 590 in the surveyed 600 accounts? And how please does one "openly profess" to be pro-Russian? We don't know and the ASD won't say.

On December 25 2017 the "Russian influence" agents or bots who, according to NYT, want to sow divisiveness, wished everyone a Merry Christmas.


bigger

The real method the Hamilton 68 group used to select the 600 accounts it tracks is unknown. The group does not say or show how it made it up. Despite that the NYT reporters, Sheera Frenkel and Daisuke Wakabayashi, continue with the false assumptions that most or all the accounts are automated, have something to do with Russia and are presumably nefarious:

Russian-linked bots have rallied around other divisive issues, often ones that President Trump has tweeted about. They promoted Twitter hashtags like #boycottnfl, #standforouranthem and #takeaknee after some National Football League players started kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice.

The automated Twitter accounts helped popularize the #releasethememo hashtag , ...

The Daily Beast reported earlier that the emphasized claim is definitely false :

Twitter's internal analysis has thus far found that authentic American accounts, and not Russian imposters or automated bots, are driving #ReleaseTheMemo. There are no preliminary indications that the Twitter activity either driving the hashtag or engaging with it is either predominantly Russian.

The same is presumably true for the other hashtags.

The Dutch IT specialist and blogger Marcel van den Berg was wondering how Dutch keywords and hashtags showed up in on the Hamilton 68 "Russian bots" dashboard. He found ( Dutch , English auto translation) that the dashboard is a total fraud:

In recent weeks, I have been keeping a close eye on Hamilton 68. Every time a Dutch hashtag was shown on the website, I made a screenshot. Then I noted what was playing at that moment and I watched the Tweets with this hashtag. Again I could not find any Tweet that seemed to be from a Russian troll.

In all cases, the hash tags that Hamilton 68 reported were trending topics in the Netherlands. In all cases there was much to do around the subject of the hashtag in the Netherlands. Many people were angry or shared their opinion on the subject on Twitter. And even if there were a few tweets with Russian connections between them, the effect is zero. Because they do not stand out among the many other, authentic Tweets.

Van den Berg lists a dozen examples he analyzed in depth.

The anti-Russian Bellingcat group around couch blogger Eliot Higgins is sponsored by the NATO propaganda shop Atlantic Council . It sniffs through open source stuff to blame Russia or Syria wherever possible. Bellingcat were recently a victim of the "Russian bots" - or rather of the ASD website. On February 10 the hashtag #bellingcat trended to rank 2 of the dashboard.


bigger

Bellingcat was thus, according to the Hamilton 68 claims, under assault of hordes of nefarious Russian government sponsored bots.

The Bellingcat folks looked into the issue and found that only six people on Twitter, none of them an automated account, had used the #bellingcat hashtag in the last 48 hours. Some of the six may have opinions that may be "pro Russian", but as Higgins himself says :

[I]n my opinion, it's extremely unlikely the people listed are Russian agents

The pro-NATO propaganda shop Bellingcat thus debunked the pro NATO propaganda shop Alliance for Securing Democracy.

The fraudsters who created the Hamilton 68 crap seem to have filled their database with rather normal people who's opinions they personally dislike. Those then are the "Russian bots" who spread "Russian influence" and divisiveness.

Moreover - what is the value of its information when six normal people out of millions of active Twitter users can push a hashtag with a handful of tweets to the top of the dashboard?

But the U.S. media writes long gushing stories about the dashboard and how it somehow shows automated Russian propaganda. They go to length to explain that this shows "Russian influence" and a "Russian" attempt to sow "divisiveness" into people's minds.

This is nuts.

Last August, when the Hamilton 68 project was first released, the Nation was the only site critical of it. It predicted :

The import of GMF's project is clear: Reporting on anything that might put the US in a bad light is now tantamount to spreading Russian propaganda.

It is now even worse than that. The top ranking of the #merrychristmas hashtag shows that the algorithm does not even care about good or bad news. The tracked twitter accounts are normal people.

The whole project is just a means to push fake stories about alleged "Russian influence" into U.S. medias. Whenever some issue creeps up on its dashboard that somehow fits its false "Russian bots" and "divisiveness" narrative the Alliance for Securing Democracy contacts the media to spread its poison. The U.S. media, - CNN, Wired, the New York Times - are by now obviously devoid of thinking journalists and fact checkers. They simple re-package the venom and spread it to the public.

How long will it take until people die from it?

Posted by b on February 20, 2018 at 03:15 PM | Permalink

Comments


nhs , Feb 20, 2018 3:24:03 PM | 1

The truth about 'Russiagate'
Lohmann , Feb 20, 2018 3:32:49 PM | 2
It's all too reminiscent of Duck Soup:

Rufus T. Firefly: I'd be unworthy of the high trust that's been placed in me if I didn't do everything in my power to keep our beloved Freedonia in peace with the world. I'd be only too happy to meet with Ambassador Trentino, and offer him on behalf of my country the right hand of good fellowship. And I feel sure he will accept this gesture in the spirit of which it is offered. But suppose he doesn't. A fine thing that'll be. I hold out my hand and he refuses to accept. That'll add a lot to my prestige, won't it? Me, the head of a country, snubbed by a foreign ambassador. Who does he think he is, that he can come here, and make a sap of me in front of all my people? Think of it - I hold out my hand and that hyena refuses to accept. Why, the cheap four-flushing swine, he'll never get away with it I tell you, he'll never get away with it.

[Trentino enters]

Rufus T. Firefly: So, you refuse to shake hands with me, eh?

[slaps Trentino with his glove]

Ambassador Trentino: Mrs. Teasdale, this is the last straw. There's no turning back now! This means war!

Rufus T. Firefly: Then it's war! Then it's war! Gather the forces. Harness the horses. Then it's war!

Clueless Joe , Feb 20, 2018 3:45:14 PM | 3
"to publicly document and expose Vladimir Putin's ongoing efforts to subvert democracy in the United States and Europe." That's pretty rich, coming from a country and from people who actually genuinely, and in proven ways, have subverted democracy in Europe since the late 1940s - Italy being one of the clearest cases.
ken , Feb 20, 2018 3:46:05 PM | 4
For the life of me I cannot figure why Americans want a war/conflict with Russia. I can't believe it has to do with the economy. There's got to be a far better nefarious reason. Even during the real cold war we tried to avoid conflict. Absolute insanity.
xor , Feb 20, 2018 4:11:10 PM | 6
The cleverest trick used in propaganda against a specific country is to accuse it of what the accuser itself is doing.
karlof1 , Feb 20, 2018 4:30:11 PM | 8
Gee, what could go wrong formulating policy founded upon a series of Big Lies? Kim Dotcom says he has important info the FBI refuses to hear. At the Munich Security Conference , neocon Nicholas Burns, former US Ambassador to NATO, details my assertion's factual basis that current policy is being formed on a series of Big Lies: "Will NATO strengthen itself to contain Russian power in Eastern Europe giving what Russian [sic] has done illegally in Crimea, in the Donbass, and in Georgia ?" [Bolded text are the Big Lies.]

Clearly, this entire psyop was premeditated and its design was hastily done contemporaneously with Russia's Syria intervention. NSA/CIA/FBI knew of HRC's security breeches and rightly assumed their contents would find their way into the election, so the general plan was ready to go prior to WikiLeaks publications. b has uncovered much, and I hope he's planning to publish a book about the entire affair.

Jen , Feb 20, 2018 4:54:59 PM | 10
Ken @ 4: There doesn't necessarily need to be One Major Reason for going to war. There may be several reasons all feeding and reinforcing one another and creating a psychological climate in which Going To War is seen as the only solution and is inevitable. The reasons are not just economic and political but cultural and historical.

In some countries allied with the US, the politicians in power are the ideological descendants of those who collaborated with Nazi Germany - so in a sense they are committed to "correcting" what they see as wrong. In the case of current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, he is the grandson of a former prime minister who once served in General Tojo's World War II cabinet.
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2012/12/26/national/formed-in-childhood-roots-of-abes-conservatism-go-deep/#.WoyZCG9uaUk

That's why pinning down the reason for wanting a war against Russia is so difficult.

Partisan , Feb 20, 2018 5:06:58 PM | 11

The whole piece is just hilarious and I laughed out loud all time while reading it.

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/02/16/nyts-really-weird-russiagate-story/

Since the FBI never inspected the DNC's computers first-hand, the only evidence comes from an Irvine, California, cyber-security firm known as CrowdStrike whose chief technical officer, Dmitri Alperovitch, a well-known Putin-phobe, is a fellow at the Atlantic Council, a Washington think tank that is also vehemently anti-Russian as well as a close Hillary Clinton ally.

Thus, Putin-basher Clinton hired Putin-basher Alperovitch to investigate an alleged electronic heist, and to absolutely no one's surprise, his company concluded that guilty party was Vladimir Putin. Amazing! Since then, a small army of internet critics has chipped away at CrowdStrike for praising the hackers as among the best in the business yet declaring in the same breath that they gave themselves away by uploading a document in the name of "Felix Edmundovich," i.e. Felix E. Dzerzhinsky, founder of the Soviet secret police.

As noted cyber-security expert Jeffrey Carr observed with regard to Russia's two main intelligence agencies: "Raise your hand if you think that a GRU or FSB officer would add Iron Felix's name to the metadata of a stolen document before he released it to the world while pretending to be a Romanian hacker. Someone clearly had a wicked sense of humor."

james , Feb 20, 2018 5:17:19 PM | 12
thanks b!

muddy waters.. paid for propaganda.... look at all the russian bots, lol... cold war 2 / mccarthyism 2 is in effect... the historic parallels are marked. thank you neo cons! it's working... the ordinary person in the usa can't be this stupid can they? when does ww3 kick in? is that really what these idiots want? or is it just to prolong the huge defense budget?

Mike Maloney , Feb 20, 2018 5:24:03 PM | 13
This is about conditioning voters in Europe and the United States for a long war with Russia and China. In other words, a return to the 1950s. It is not working and becoming increasingly hysterical because societies are not nearly as cohesive as they once were, and the mainstream political parties, while better funded and more top-down organized, are basically hollow. The collapse is coming. Four years or ten, take your pick.
dh , Feb 20, 2018 5:32:10 PM | 14
@4 "For the life of me I cannot figure why Americans want a war/conflict with Russia."

Most Americans probably don't. Just the chosen few with the deepest fall-out shelters. The idea is to keep piling the pressure on to countries like Iran and Russia in the hope that their populations will rise up and demand the freedoms that we enjoy in the West....things like uncensored wardrobe malfunctions and transgender washrooms.

Partisan , Feb 20, 2018 6:02:58 PM | 15
"Most Americans probably don't."

not true.

let's imagine that we have the pyramid of evilness, by which we measure bestiality of one regime and its constituency. my firm belief is that us would be on the top of that pyramid. Only dilemma would be between Zionist entity and the US.

"How could the masses be made to desire their own repression?" was the question Wilhelm Reich famously asked in the wake of the Reichstagsbrandverordnung (Reichstag Fire Decree, February 28, 1933), which suspended the civil rights protections afforded by the Weimar Republic's democratic constitution.Hitler had been appointed chancellor on January 30, 1933 and Reich was trying to grapple with the fact that the German people had apparently chosen the authoritarian politics promoted by National Socialism against their own political interests. Ever since, the question of fascism, or rather the question of why might people vote for their own oppression, has never ceased to haunt political philosophy.2 With Trump openly campaigning for less democracy in America -- and with the continued electoral success of far-right antiliberal movements across Europe -- this question has again become a pressing one.

An American people is in perfect harmony with its regime.

CarlD , Feb 20, 2018 6:06:06 PM | 16
Remember the "USS MAINE"!

Media have long agitated for War in US History. Nothing sells newspapers like a good ole war! Demonizing is a way to achieve it. What is sure is that this is a one way street. Once over the cliff, there is no turning back.

How do you tell people that, at the flick of your magic switch, Putin is in fact a swell guy and wonderful human being? Once love is gone who goes back to the filthy, abhorrent and estranged spouse?

Surely the US establishment is playing with fire thinking they will successfully ride out any conflict and come out on top secure in their newly reestablished hegemony on the smoldering ruins of Humanity.

Make no mistake, we are all on the road to hell. Better enjoy todays peace as tomorrow word will be filled with the sweet music of cemeteries.

"Freedom of speech"...

CarlD , Feb 20, 2018 6:12:52 PM | 17
re 16
correction:

Make no mistake, we are all on the road to hell. Better enjoy todays peace as tomorrow's world will be filled with the sweet music of cemeteries.

dh , Feb 20, 2018 6:14:14 PM | 18
@15 "An American people is in perfect harmony with its regime."

I'm not so sure. I think there are many Americans who deeply distrust their government. But of course they don't want to appear unpatriotic. There are also many who are apathetic and many simply don't know how to change things.

SteveK9 , Feb 20, 2018 6:35:58 PM | 19
It's horrible I know to quote a Nazi, but Goring had this right:

Göring: Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.

Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.

Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

WorldBLee , Feb 20, 2018 6:36:51 PM | 20
American media has graduated from simply repeating the lies of "unnamed government sources" to repeating the lies of any organization unofficially blessed by the powers that be. The skills required to repeat the text verbatim serve them well in both cases. Skepticism is only reserved to anyone who tries to introduce logic or facts into the equation--such as when Jill Stein was interviewed on MSNBC recently. How dare Ms. Stein try to bring FACTS into the discussion!
chet380 , Feb 20, 2018 6:41:04 PM | 21
In that The Narrative is tightly controlled in the corporate media, not matter how strong the proofs or arguments about the falsity of these propaganda campaigns are, little or no circulation of those proofs or arguments wlll reach the general public.
Sinc , Feb 20, 2018 6:41:57 PM | 22
See info on US 'Twitter' manipulation campaign
Sinc , Feb 20, 2018 6:44:16 PM | 23
Sorry, link here
ken , Feb 20, 2018 6:59:01 PM | 24
Thanks Jen. It still makes no sense. As a veteran of the Vietnam fiasco, I was pretty much government oriented until McNamara outed the whole thing whining about haw sorry he was. 59,000 dead and he's sorry. They were able to hide the Gulf of Tonkin BS until then. After that I researched the reasons for each war/conflict the USA started and could find no logical reasons except hunger for power. But the little sandbox wars won't destroy the world like a major war/conflict with Russia and it goes nuclear. Almost every politician, and major news organizations are pushing for a war/conflict with Russia. This is insanity as no one will win a war like this and I am sure they know that,,, but they keep the war drums beating anyhow. It simply doesn't make sense. But Thanks again.

Same for dh, #14. Things are soooo stupid, your joking may be closer to the truth than you know. :-)

Skip , Feb 20, 2018 6:59:35 PM | 25
@SteveK9 #19

Thank you for the post. I will save it and use it liberally, with proper attributions. When one challenges the tribe on places like Twitter, it is hard to tell who is a real idiot and who is a bot. How do you know? Maybe that the bots go away fairly quickly and the idiots hang around to argue ad infinitum.

oldenyoung , Feb 20, 2018 7:06:23 PM | 26
The thing that bothers me, is the fact that the MICGlobalists dont care what we think or how poor their deceptions are. The public perception that "russia did it!!" continues to rise. I wonder what the public acceptance level needs to be for them to execute a MAJOR false flag event. They seem to think they are still on target, and its just a short matter or time...

They are going to do this when the perception management is complete...

We really do not need another one of their disasters

regards

OY

Grieved , Feb 20, 2018 7:37:47 PM | 27
The bully pushes and pushes until stopped by the first serious push back. The dynamic of the west and the neocon/Zionists at the core is essentially that of the bully. Nations like Venezuela and the Philippines have started to push back, and I hope and feel fairly confident that they will both survive the rage of the US. In some part, they have begun to show the actual powerlessness of the bully.

But the really killer nations - Russia and China - are holding their water as they strengthen their force. I believe that one very serious push back from either of them in the right circumstances will stop the bully. And yet, as they bide their time, we see a curious phenomenon wherein the US is destroying itself from the inside.

It's as if all of the forces that exist to control the country - the lockstep media, the fully rigged markets, the hysterical military, the bought legislature and the crooked courts - are all acting far more strongly than should be necessary. The entire system is over-reacting, over-reaching, over-boiling. And in the course of this, the US is actually shedding power, and at an amazing rate. But not from the action of Russia but from its non-action, the empty space that that allows the bully's dynamic to over-reach, all the way to complete failure.

Is it possible that deep in the security states of Russia and China there's even a study and a model for this? Is the collapse of the US actually being gamed by Russia and China - and through the totally counter-intuitive action of non-action?

Just a thought.

Ghost Ship , Feb 20, 2018 7:51:03 PM | 28
>>>> xor | Feb 20, 2018 4:11:10 PM | 6
The cleverest trick used in propaganda against a specific country is to accuse it of what the accuser itself is doing.

I've always put it down to the Washington Establishment having a severe case of psychological projection.

WG , Feb 20, 2018 7:52:38 PM | 29
Hey b,
Just wanted to let you know that Joe Lauria mentioned your blog and the article you wrote on the indictment of the 13 Russians. He was on Loud and Clear (Sputnik Radio, Washington DC) today and brought you up at the start of the program.
Glad to see you get some recognition for all the great work you've been doing :)
Mike , Feb 20, 2018 7:53:24 PM | 30
Meanwhile, back in 2010:
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/11/when-campaigns-manipulate-social-media/66351/
Jen , Feb 20, 2018 7:53:43 PM | 31
Ken @ 24: The warmongering is not intended to make any sense - not many people are trained in critical thinking and logic, and even when they are, they can be swamped by their own emotions or other people's emotions. Propaganda is intended to appeal to people's emotions and fears. You can try reading works by Edward Bernays - "Crystallizing Public Opinion" (1923) and "Propaganda" (1928) - to see how he uses his uncle Sigmund Freud's theories of the mind to create strategies for manipulating public opinion.
https://archive.org/details/EdwardL.BernaysPropaganda

Bernays' books influenced Nazi and Soviet propaganda and Bernays himself was hired by the US government to justify in the public mind the 1954 US invasion of Guatemala.

You may be aware that Rupert Murdoch, head of News Corporation which owns the Wall Street Journal, FOX News and 20th Century Fox studios, is also on the Board of Directors of Genie Energy which owns a subsidiary firm that was granted a licence by an Israeli court to explore and drill for oil and natural gas in Syria's (and Israeli-occupied) Golan Heights.

simjam , Feb 20, 2018 7:59:21 PM | 32
The national media speaks as one -with one consistent melody day after day. Who is the conductor?

When will one representative of the mainstream media sing solo? There must be a Ray McGovern somewhere among the flock.

V. Arnold , Feb 20, 2018 8:05:33 PM | 33
Grieved | Feb 20, 2018 7:37:47 PM | 27

Many of my thoughts as well.The U.S.'s greatest fault is its tacit misunderstanding of just what russia is in fact. They utterly fail to understand the Russian character; forged over 800 years culminating with the defeat of Nazi Germany, absorbing horrific losses; the U.S. fails to understand the effect upon the then Soviets, become todays Russians. Even the god's have abandoned the west...

Palloy , Feb 20, 2018 8:52:02 PM | 34
@4 "For the life of me I cannot figure why Americans want a war/conflict with Russia."

Ever since US Crude Oil peaked its production in 1970, the US has known that at some point the oil majors would have their profitability damaged, "assets" downgraded, and borrowing capacity destroyed. At this point their shares would become worthless and they would become bankrupt. The contagion from this would spread to transport businesses, plastics manufacture, herbicides and pesticide production and a total collapse of Industrial Civilisation.

In anticipation of increasing Crude Oil imports, Nixon stopped the convertibility of Dollars into Gold, thus making the Dollar entirely fiat, allowing them to print as much of the currency as they needed.

They also began a system of obscuring oil production data, involving the DoE's EIA and the OECD's IEA, by inventing an ever-increasing category of Undiscovered Oilfields in their predictions, and combining Crude Oil and Condensate (from gas fields) into one category (C+C) as if they were the same thing. As well the support of the ethanol-from-corn industry began, even though it was uneconomic. The Global Warming problem had to be debunked, despite its sound scientific basis. Energy-intensive manufacturing work was off-shored to cheap labour+energy countries, and Just-in-Time delivery systems were honed.

In 2004 the price of Crude Oil rose from $28 /barrel up to $143 /b in mid-2008. This demonstrated that there is a limit to how much business can pay for oil (around $100 /b). Fracking became marginally economic at these prices, but the frackers never made a profit as over-production meant prices fell to about $60 /b. The Government encourages this destructive industry despite the fact it doesn't make any money, because the alternative is the end of Industrial Civilisation.

Eventually though, there must come a time when there is not enough oil to power all the cars and trucks, bulldozers, farm tractors, airplanes and ships, as well as manufacture all the wind turbines and solar panels and electric vehicles, as well as the upgraded transmission grid. At that point, the game will be up, and it will be time for WW3. So we need to line up some really big enemies, and develop lots of reasons to hate them.

Thus you see the demonisation of Russia, China, Iran and Venezuela for reasons that don't make sense from a normal perspective.

Debsisdead , Feb 20, 2018 8:53:42 PM | 35
I watched bbc news this am in the hope that I would get to see the most awful creature at the 2018 olympics cry her croc tears (long story - a speed skater who cuts off the opposition but has been found out so now when she swoops in front of the others they either skate over her leading to tearful whines from perp about having been 'pushed', or gets disqualified for barging. Last night she got disqualified so as part of my study on whether types like this believe their own bullshit I thought I'd tune in but didn't get that far into the beebs lies)
The bulk of the bulletin was devoted to a 'lets hate Russia' session which featured a quisling who works for the russian arm of BBC (prolly just like cold war days staffed exclusively by MI6/SIS types). This chap, using almost unintelligible english, claimed he had proof at least 50 Russian Mercenaries (question - why are amerikan guns for hire called contractors [remember the Fallujah massacre of 100,000 civilians because amerikan contractors were stupid] yet Russian contractors are called mercenaries by the media?) had been killed in Syria last week. The bloke had evidence of one contractor's death not 50 - the proof was a letter from the Russian government to the guy's mother telling her he didn't qualify for any honours because he wasn't in the Russian military.
The quisling (likely a Ukranian I would say) went on to rabbit about the bloke having also fought in Donbass under contract - to which the 'interviewer (don't ya love it when media 'interview' their own journos - a sure sign that a snippet of toxic nonsense is being delivered) led about how the deceitful Russians had claimed the only Russians fighting in Donbass were contractors - yeah well this bloke was a contractor surely that proves the Russians were telling the truth.
It's not what these propagandists say; they adopt a tone and the audience is meant to hate based on that even when the facts as stated conflict with the media outlet's point of view. Remember the childhood trick of saying "bad dog" ter yer mutt in loving tones - the dog comes to ya tail wagging & licks yer hand. This is that.

The next item was more Syria lies - white helmets footage (altho the beeb is now mostly giving them an alternative name to dodge the facts about white helmets) of bandaged children with flour tipped on their heads.
The evil Syrians and Russians are bombarding Gouta - nary a word about the continuous artillery barrage Gouta has subjected the citizens of Damascus to for the past 4 years, or that the Syrians have repeatedly offered truces and safe passage for civilians. Any injured children need to ask their parents why they weren't allowed to take advantage of the frequent offers of transport out. Maybe the parents are worried 'the resistance' will do its usual and blow up the busloads of children after luring them over with candy.

Anyway I switched off after that so never did learn if little miss cheat had a cry.

[Feb 20, 2018] Mapping Trump's Empire Assets and Liabilities by James Petras

Notable quotes:
"... The circumstances leading to new clients in Latin America is significant but has been more than countered by retreats in Asia, divisions in Europe, turmoil domestically and strategic incoherence. ..."
"... The key shift from realism toward a recovered Russia to militarization and confrontation has precipitated the breakdown of the US as a unified coherent leader of a global empire. ..."
"... The US embraces prolonged losing wars in peripheral regions while embracing destructive trade wars in strategic regions. It budgeted vast sums on non-productive activities while impoverishing state and local governments via sweeping tax 'reform' favoring the oligarchs. ..."
"... There is no longer a coherent imperial empire controlling the fate of the globe. We live in a world of political maps centered on regional powers and unruly clients, while the most incompetent, gossip-mongering politicians in Washington compete with an arrogant, benighted President Trump and his fractured regime. ..."
Feb 20, 2018 | www.unz.com

The US empire spans the globe; it expands and contracts, according to its ability to secure strategic assets, willing and able to further military and economic power to counter emerging adversaries.

The map of empire is a shorthand measure of the vectors, reach and durability of global power and wealth. The map of empire is changing -- adding and subtracting assets and liabilities, according to the successes and retreats of domestic and overseas power centers. While the US empire has been engaged in intense conflicts in the Middle East, the imperial map has been enlarged elsewhere at lower cost and greater success.

Enlarging the Empire

The US empire has substantially increased its scope and presence in several regions, especially in Latin America. The additions and enlargements include Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Central America, Peru and the Caribbean. The most important asset redrawing the empire in Latin America is Argentina. The US has gained military, economic and political advantages. In the case of Argentina, political and economic advances preceded military expansion.

The US provided ideological and political support to secure the election of its client Mauricio Macri. The new Argentine President immediately transferred over $5 billion dollars to the notorious Wall Street Vulture speculator, Paul Singer, and proceeded to open the floodgates for a lucrative multi-billion dollar flow of financial capital. President Macri then followed up by inviting the Pentagon and US intelligence services to establish military bases, spy stations and training operations along its borders. Equally important, Argentina embraced the US directives designed to overthrow the government of Venezuela, undermine Bolivia's nationalist government under Evo Morales and pursue a policy of US-centered regional integration.

Argentina: A Client without an Economic Patron

While Argentina is a useful political and military addition to the US empire, it lacks access to the US market -- it still depends on China – and has failed to secure a strategic trade agreement with the European Union. Washington has enlarged its military presence with a one-legged client.

Colombia and Mexico, long time US client states, have provided springboards for enlarging US influence in Central America, the Andean region and the Caribbean. In the case of Colombia, the US has financed its war of extermination against anti-imperialist insurgents and their peasant and working class supporters and secured seven military bases as launch pads for Washington's destabilization campaign against Venezuela.

Mexico has served a multitude of military and economic functions – from billion dollar manufacturing platforms to multi-billion dollar laundering of narco-profits to US banks.

Brazil is the new addition to the empire with the ousting and arrest of the leaders of the Workers Party. The shift in political and economic power has enhanced US influence through its leverage over the wealthiest country in the continent. In sum,the US has enlarged imperial influence and control via its acquisition of Latin America. There is one caveat: At least in the cases of Brazil and Argentina, the US advance is tentative and subject to reversal, as it lacks firm economic and political foundations.

If Latin America reflects an enlargement and upsurge of US imperial influence, the rest of the global map is mostly negative or at best contradictory.

The empire-building mission has failed to gain ground in Northeast Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. In Europe, the US retains influence but it appears to face obstacles to enlarging its presence.

The key to the enlargement or decline of empire revolves around the performance of the US domestic economy.

Imperial Decline: China

The determination of the US in remapping the global empire is most evident in Asia. The most notable shift in US political and economic relations in the region has taken place with China's displacement of the US as the dominant investment, trading infrastructure building and lending country in the region. Moreover, China has increased its role as the leading exporter to the US, accumulating trade surpluses of hundreds of billions of dollars each year. In 2017, China's trade surplus reached $375 billion dollars.

Against the relative economic decline of the US, Washington has compensated by widening the scope of its maritime-military presence in the South China Sea, and increased its air and ground forces in South Korea, Japan, Australia, the Philippines and Guam. As to how the bolstering of the US military presence affects the US 're-mapping' of its imperial presence, it depends on the dynamics of the US domestic economy and its ability to retain its existing principal military clients – South Korea, Japan, Australia and the Philippines. Recent evidence suggest that South Korea shows signs of slipping outside of the US economic and military orbit. Seoul has trade issues with the US 'protectionist agenda' and opportunities to expand its trading links with China. Equally important, South Korea has moved toward reconciliation with North Korea, and downgraded the US military escalation. As goes South Korea, so goes the US military power base in northern Asia.

The US military strategy is premised on sustaining and expanding its client network. However, its protectionist policies led to the rejection of a multi-lateral trade agreement, which erodes its economic ties with existing or potential military partners. In contrast to Latin America, the US remaking of the imperial map has led to economic shrinkage and military isolation in Asia. US military escalation has poured even more deadly strategic US arms into the region, but failed to intimidate or isolate China or North Korea.

Re-mapping the Middle East

ORDER IT NOW

The US has spent several trillion dollars over the past two decades in the Middle East , North Africa and West Asia. US Intervention from Libya and Southern Sudan, Somalia, across to Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan has resulted in enormous costs and dubious advances. The results are meagre except in terms of suffering. The US has spread chaos and destruction throughout Libya and Syria, but failed to incorporate either into an enlarged empire. The Middle East wars, initiated at the behest of Israel, have rewarded Tel Aviv with a sense of invulnerability and a thirst for more, while multiplying and unifying US adversaries.

Empires are not effectively enlarged through alliances with with armed tribal, sectarian and separatist organizations. Empires, allied with disparate, fractured and self-aggrandizing entities do not expand or strengthen their global powers.

The US has waged war against Libya and lost the political leverage and economic resources it enjoyed during the Gaddafi regime. It intervened in Somalia, South Sudan and Syria, and has gained enclaves of warring self-serving 'separatists' and subsidized mercenaries. Afghanistan, the US's longest war in history, is an unmitigated military disaster. After seventeen years of warfare and occupation, the US is holed up in the walled enclaves of the capital, Kabul. Meanwhile, the puppet regime feeds on multi-billion dollar monthly subsidies.

Iraq is a 'shared' imperial outpost -- the result of fifteen years of military intervention. Kurdish clients, Sunni-Saudi warlords, Shia militia, Baghdad kleptocrats and US contractor-mercenaries all compete for control and a larger piece of the pillage. Every square meter of contested 'terrain has cost the US five hundred million dollars and scores of casualties.

Iran remains forever under threat, but retains its independence outside of the US-Saudi-Israeli orbit. The US geo-political map has been reduced to dubious alliance with Saudi Arabia and its micro-clients among the Emirate statelets – which are constantly fighting among themselves – as well as Israel, the 'client' that openly revels in leading its patron by the nose!

Compared to the period before the turn of the millennium, the US imperial map has shrunk and faces further retrenchment.

The US-NATO-EU Map

Russia has reduced and challenged the US pursuit of a uni-polar global empire following the recovery of its sovereignty and economic growth after the disaster of the 1990's. With the ascent of President Putin, the US-EU empire lost their biggest and most lucrative client and source of naked pillage.

Nevertheless, the US retains its political clients in the Baltic , the Balkans and Eastern and Central European regimes. However, these clients are unruly and often eager to confront a nuclear-armed Russia, confident that the US-NATO will intervene, in spite of the probability of being vaporized in a nuclear Armageddon.

Washington's efforts to recapture and return Russia to vassalage have failed. Out of frustration Washington has resorted to a growing series of failed provocations and conflicts between the US and the EU, within the US between Trump and the Democrats; and among the warlords controlling the Trump cabinet.

Germany has continued lucrative trade ties with Russia, despite US sanctions, underscoring the decline of US power to dictate policy to the European Union. The Democratic Party and the ultra-militaristic Clinton faction remains pathologically nostalgic for a return to the 1990's Golden Age of Pillage (before Putin). Clinton's faction is fixated on the politics of revanchism . As a result, they vigorously fought against candidate Donald Trump's campaign promises to pursue a new realistic understanding with Russia. The Russia-Gate Investigation is not merely a domestic electoral squabble led by hysterical 'liberals.' What is a stake is nothing less than a profound conflict over the remaking of the US global map. Trump recognized and accepted the re-emergence of Russia as a global power to be 'contained', while the Democrats campaigned to roll-back reality, overthrow Putin and return to the robber baron orgies of the Clinton years. As a result of this ongoing strategic conflict, Washington is unable to develop a coherent global strategy, which in turn has further weakened US influence in the EU in Europe and elsewhere.

Nevertheless, the intense Democratic onslaught against Trump's initial foreign policy pronouncements regarding Russia succeeded in destroying his 'pivot to realism' and facilitated the rise of a fanatical militaristic faction within his cabinet, which have intensified the anti-Russia policies of the Clintonite Democrats. In less than a year, all of Trump's realist advisers and cabinet members have been purged and replaced by militarists. Their hard core confrontational anti-Russia policy has become the platform for launching a global military strategy based on vast increases in military spending, demands that the EU nations increase their military budgets, and open opposition to an EU-centered military alliance, such as the one recently proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron.

Despite President Trump's campaign promises to 'pull-back', the US has re-entered Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria in a big way. The Trump shift from global containment and realism to 'rollback and aggression' against Russia and China has failed to secure a positive response from past and present allies.

China has increased economic ties with the EU. Russia and the EU share strategic gas and oil trade ties. Domestically, the US military budget deepens the fiscal deficit and drastically threatens social spending. This creates a scenario of increasing US isolation with its futile aggression against a dynamic and changing world.

Conclusion

The Trump remaking of the global empire has had uneven results, which are mostly negative from a strategic viewpoint.

The circumstances leading to new clients in Latin America is significant but has been more than countered by retreats in Asia, divisions in Europe, turmoil domestically and strategic incoherence.

Remaking global empires requires realism – the recognition of new power alignments, accommodation with allies and, above all, domestic political stability balancing economic interests and military commitments.

The key shift from realism toward a recovered Russia to militarization and confrontation has precipitated the breakdown of the US as a unified coherent leader of a global empire.

The US embraces prolonged losing wars in peripheral regions while embracing destructive trade wars in strategic regions. It budgeted vast sums on non-productive activities while impoverishing state and local governments via sweeping tax 'reform' favoring the oligarchs.

Global remapping now involves a volatile and impulsive US-driven empire incapable of succeeding, while emerging powers are immersed in regional power grabs.

There is no longer a coherent imperial empire controlling the fate of the globe. We live in a world of political maps centered on regional powers and unruly clients, while the most incompetent, gossip-mongering politicians in Washington compete with an arrogant, benighted President Trump and his fractured regime.

[Feb 20, 2018] Russia's Election Meddling Worse Than a Crime; a Blunder by Robert W. Merry

Feb 20, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Ukraine is crucial in this Russian sense of territorial imperative. It's a tragically split country, with part tilting toward the West and part facing eastward toward Russia. That makes for a delicate political and geopolitical situation, but for centuries that delicate political and geopolitical situation has been overseen by Russia. Now the West wants to end that. Upending a duly elected (though corrupt) Ukrainian president was part of the plan. Getting Ukraine into NATO is the endgame.

Note that the Ukrainian revolution occurred in 2014, which just happened to be the year, according to the U.S. indictments, that Russia initiated its grand program to influence America's 2016 elections. Kennan was right: Russia inevitably would react badly to the NATO encirclement policy, and then America's anti-Russian cadres would cite that as evidence that the encirclement was necessary all along. That's precisely what's happening now.

Which brings us to the fifth and final fundamental reality surrounding the revelation of Russia's grand effort to influence the U.S. election. It was an incredible blunder. Given all that's happened in U.S.-Russian relations this century, there probably wasn't much prospect that those relations could ever be normalized, much less made cordial. But that is now utterly impossible.

Donald Trump campaigned on a platform of seeking better relations with Russia. After getting elected he repeatedly asserted in his first news conference that it would be "positive," "good," or "great" if "we could get along with Russia." Unlike most of America's elites, he vowed to seek Moscow's cooperation on global issues, accepted some U.S. share of blame for the two countries' sour relations, and acknowledged "the right of all nations to put their interests first."

This suggested a possible dramatic turn in U.S.-Russian relations -- an end to the encirclement push, curtailment of the hostile rhetoric, a pullback on economic sanctions, and serious efforts to work with Russia on such nettlesome matters as Syria and Ukraine. That was largely put on hold with the narrative of Russian meddling in the U.S. election and vague allegations of campaign "collusion" with Russia on behalf of Trump's presidential ambitions.

It doesn't appear likely that investigators will turn up any evidence of collusion that rises to any kind of criminality. But it doesn't matter now, in terms of U.S.-Russian relations, because these indictments will cement the anti-Russian sentiment of Americans for the foreseeable future. No overtures of the kind envisioned by Trump will be possible for any president for a long time. It won't matter that every nation does it or that America in particular has done it or that the West's aggressive encirclement contributed to the Russian actions. The U.S.-Russian hostility is set. Where it leads is impossible to predict, but it won't be good. It could be tragic.

Robert W. Merry, longtime Washington, D.C., journalist and publishing executive, is editor of The American Conservative . His latest book, President McKinley: Architect of the American Century , was released in September.

[Feb 20, 2018] MoA - Russian bots - How An Anti-Russian Lobby Creates Fake News

Notable quotes:
"... Atlantic Council ..."
"... Alliance for Securing Democracy. ..."
"... Alliance for Securing Democracy ..."
Feb 20, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

"Russian bots" - How An Anti-Russian Lobby Creates Fake News

The U.S. mainstream media are going nuts. They now make up and report stories based on the uncritical acceptance of the outcome of an algorithm they do not understand and which is know to produce fake results.

See for example these three stories:


Russian bot with ancient regalia

From the last link:

SAN FRANCISCO -- One hour after news broke about the school shooting in Florida last week, Twitter accounts suspected of having links to Russia released hundreds of posts taking up the gun control debate.

The accounts addressed the news with the speed of a cable news network. Some adopted the hashtag #guncontrolnow. Others used #gunreformnow and #Parklandshooting. Earlier on Wednesday, before the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., many of those accounts had been focused on the investigation by the special counsel Robert S. Mueller III into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

In other words - the "Twitter accounts suspected of having links to Russia" were following the current news just as cable news networks do. When a new sensational event happened they immediately jumped onto it. But the NYT authors go to length to claim that there is some nefarious Russian scheme behind this that uses automated accounts to spread divisive issues.

Those claims are based on this propaganda project:

Last year, the Alliance for Securing Democracy, in conjunction with the German Marshall Fund, a public policy research group in Washington, created a website that tracks hundreds of Twitter accounts of human users and suspected bots that they have linked to a Russian influence campaign.

The "Alliance for Securing Democracy" is run by military lobbyists, CIA minions and neocons. Its claimed task is:

... to publicly document and expose Vladimir Putin's ongoing efforts to subvert democracy in the United States and Europe.

There is no evidence that Vladimir Putin made or makes such efforts.

The ASD "Hamilton 68" website shows graphics with rankings of "top items" and "trending items" allegedly used by Russian bots or influence agents. There is nothing complicate behind it. It simply tracks the tweets of 600 Twitter users and aggregates the hashtags they use. It does not say which Twitter accounts its algorithms follows. It claims that the 600 were selected by one of three criteria: 1. People who often tweet news that also appears on RT (Russia Today) and Sputnik News , two general news sites sponsored by the Russian government; 2. People who "openly profess to be pro-Russian"; 3. accounts that "appear to use automation" to boost the same themes that people in group 1 and 2 tweet about.

Nowhere does the group say how many of the 600 accounts it claims to track belong to which group. Are their 10 assumed bots or 590 in the surveyed 600 accounts? And how please does one "openly profess" to be pro-Russian? We don't know and the ASD won't say.

On December 25 2017 the "Russian influence" agents or bots who, according to NYT, want to sow divisiveness, wished everyone a Merry Christmas.


bigger

The real method the Hamilton 68 group used to select the 600 accounts it tracks is unknown. The group does not say or show how it made it up. Despite that the NYT reporters, Sheera Frenkel and Daisuke Wakabayashi, continue with the false assumptions that most or all the accounts are automated, have something to do with Russia and are presumably nefarious:

Russian-linked bots have rallied around other divisive issues, often ones that President Trump has tweeted about. They promoted Twitter hashtags like #boycottnfl, #standforouranthem and #takeaknee after some National Football League players started kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice.

The automated Twitter accounts helped popularize the #releasethememo hashtag , ...

The Daily Beast reported earlier that the emphasized claim is definitely false :

Twitter's internal analysis has thus far found that authentic American accounts, and not Russian imposters or automated bots, are driving #ReleaseTheMemo. There are no preliminary indications that the Twitter activity either driving the hashtag or engaging with it is either predominantly Russian.

The same is presumably true for the other hashtags.

The Dutch IT specialist and blogger Marcel van den Berg was wondering how Dutch keywords and hashtags showed up in on the Hamilton 68 "Russian bots" dashboard. He found ( Dutch , English auto translation) that the dashboard is a total fraud:

In recent weeks, I have been keeping a close eye on Hamilton 68. Every time a Dutch hashtag was shown on the website, I made a screenshot. Then I noted what was playing at that moment and I watched the Tweets with this hashtag. Again I could not find any Tweet that seemed to be from a Russian troll.

In all cases, the hash tags that Hamilton 68 reported were trending topics in the Netherlands. In all cases there was much to do around the subject of the hashtag in the Netherlands. Many people were angry or shared their opinion on the subject on Twitter. And even if there were a few tweets with Russian connections between them, the effect is zero. Because they do not stand out among the many other, authentic Tweets.

Van den Berg lists a dozen examples he analyzed in depth.

The anti-Russian Bellingcat group around couch blogger Eliot Higgins is sponsored by the NATO propaganda shop Atlantic Council . It sniffs through open source stuff to blame Russia or Syria wherever possible. Bellingcat were recently a victim of the "Russian bots" - or rather of the ASD website. On February 10 the hashtag #bellingcat trended to rank 2 of the dashboard.


bigger

Bellingcat was thus, according to the Hamilton 68 claims, under assault of hordes of nefarious Russian government sponsored bots.

The Bellingcat folks looked into the issue and found that only six people on Twitter, none of them an automated account, had used the #bellingcat hashtag in the last 48 hours. Some of the six may have opinions that may be "pro Russian", but as Higgins himself says :

[I]n my opinion, it's extremely unlikely the people listed are Russian agents

The pro-NATO propaganda shop Bellingcat thus debunked the pro NATO propaganda shop Alliance for Securing Democracy.

The fraudsters who created the Hamilton 68 crap seem to have filled their database with rather normal people who's opinions they personally dislike. Those then are the "Russian bots" who spread "Russian influence" and divisiveness.

Moreover - what is the value of its information when six normal people out of millions of active Twitter users can push a hashtag with a handful of tweets to the top of the dashboard?

But the U.S. media writes long gushing stories about the dashboard and how it somehow shows automated Russian propaganda. They go to length to explain that this shows "Russian influence" and a "Russian" attempt to sow "divisiveness" into people's minds.

This is nuts.

Last August, when the Hamilton 68 project was first released, the Nation was the only site critical of it. It predicted :

The import of GMF's project is clear: Reporting on anything that might put the US in a bad light is now tantamount to spreading Russian propaganda.

It is now even worse than that. The top ranking of the #merrychristmas hashtag shows that the algorithm does not even care about good or bad news. The tracked twitter accounts are normal people.

The whole project is just a means to push fake stories about alleged "Russian influence" into U.S. medias. Whenever some issue creeps up on its dashboard that somehow fits its false "Russian bots" and "divisiveness" narrative the Alliance for Securing Democracy contacts the media to spread its poison. The U.S. media, - CNN, Wired, the New York Times - are by now obviously devoid of thinking journalists and fact checkers. They simple re-package the venom and spread it to the public.

How long will it take until people die from it?

Posted by b on February 20, 2018 at 03:15 PM | Permalink

Comments


nhs , Feb 20, 2018 3:24:03 PM | 1

The truth about 'Russiagate'
Lohmann , Feb 20, 2018 3:32:49 PM | 2
It's all too reminiscent of Duck Soup:

Rufus T. Firefly: I'd be unworthy of the high trust that's been placed in me if I didn't do everything in my power to keep our beloved Freedonia in peace with the world. I'd be only too happy to meet with Ambassador Trentino, and offer him on behalf of my country the right hand of good fellowship. And I feel sure he will accept this gesture in the spirit of which it is offered. But suppose he doesn't. A fine thing that'll be. I hold out my hand and he refuses to accept. That'll add a lot to my prestige, won't it? Me, the head of a country, snubbed by a foreign ambassador. Who does he think he is, that he can come here, and make a sap of me in front of all my people? Think of it - I hold out my hand and that hyena refuses to accept. Why, the cheap four-flushing swine, he'll never get away with it I tell you, he'll never get away with it.

[Trentino enters]

Rufus T. Firefly: So, you refuse to shake hands with me, eh?

[slaps Trentino with his glove]

Ambassador Trentino: Mrs. Teasdale, this is the last straw. There's no turning back now! This means war!

Rufus T. Firefly: Then it's war! Then it's war! Gather the forces. Harness the horses. Then it's war!

Clueless Joe , Feb 20, 2018 3:45:14 PM | 3
"to publicly document and expose Vladimir Putin's ongoing efforts to subvert democracy in the United States and Europe."
That's pretty rich, coming from a country and from people who actually genuinely, and in proven ways, have subverted democracy in Europe since the late 1940s - Italy being one of the clearest cases.
ken , Feb 20, 2018 3:46:05 PM | 4
For the life of me I cannot figure why Americans want a war/conflict with Russia. I can't believe it has to do with the economy. There's got to be a far better nefarious reason. Even during the real cold war we tried to avoid conflict. Absolute insanity.
foo , Feb 20, 2018 3:59:22 PM | 5
Zomg! Pricey robot!

Keep up the excellent work b.

xor , Feb 20, 2018 4:11:10 PM | 6
The cleverest trick used in propaganda against a specific country is to accuse it of what the accuser itself is doing.
Bart Hansen , Feb 20, 2018 4:14:00 PM | 7

How much time might the "Alliance for Securing Democracy" spend on uncovering voter suppression and purges, dis-enfrancisement of felons, the closing of polling places, restrictions of early voting, the influence of billionaires, gerrymandering and so on?
karlof1 , Feb 20, 2018 4:30:11 PM | 8
Gee, what could go wrong formulating policy founded upon a series of Big Lies? Kim Dotcom says he has important info the FBI refuses to hear. At the Munich Security Conference , neocon Nicholas Burns, former US Ambassador to NATO, details my assertion's factual basis that current policy is being formed on a series of Big Lies: "Will NATO strengthen itself to contain Russian power in Eastern Europe giving what Russian [sic] has done illegally in Crimea, in the Donbass, and in Georgia ?" [Bolded text are the Big Lies.]

Clearly, this entire psyop was premeditated and its design was hastily done contemporaneously with Russia's Syria intervention. NSA/CIA/FBI knew of HRC's security breeches and rightly assumed their contents would find their way into the election, so the general plan was ready to go prior to WikiLeaks publications. b has uncovered much, and I hope he's planning to publish a book about the entire affair.

john , Feb 20, 2018 4:34:32 PM | 9
How long will it take until people die from it

as long as it takes to flog a dead horse

Jen , Feb 20, 2018 4:54:59 PM | 10
Ken @ 4: There doesn't necessarily need to be One Major Reason for going to war. There may be several reasons all feeding and reinforcing one another and creating a psychological climate in which Going To War is seen as the only solution and is inevitable. The reasons are not just economic and political but cultural and historical.

In some countries allied with the US, the politicians in power are the ideological descendants of those who collaborated with Nazi Germany - so in a sense they are committed to "correcting" what they see as wrong. In the case of current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, he is the grandson of a former prime minister who once served in General Tojo's World War II cabinet.
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2012/12/26/national/formed-in-childhood-roots-of-abes-conservatism-go-deep/#.WoyZCG9uaUk

That's why pinning down the reason for wanting a war against Russia is so difficult.

Partisan , Feb 20, 2018 5:06:58 PM | 11

The whole piece is just hilarious and I laughed out loud all time while reading it.

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/02/16/nyts-really-weird-russiagate-story/

Since the FBI never inspected the DNC's computers first-hand, the only evidence comes from an Irvine, California, cyber-security firm known as CrowdStrike whose chief technical officer, Dmitri Alperovitch, a well-known Putin-phobe, is a fellow at the Atlantic Council, a Washington think tank that is also vehemently anti-Russian as well as a close Hillary Clinton ally.

Thus, Putin-basher Clinton hired Putin-basher Alperovitch to investigate an alleged electronic heist, and to absolutely no one's surprise, his company concluded that guilty party was Vladimir Putin. Amazing! Since then, a small army of internet critics has chipped away at CrowdStrike for praising the hackers as among the best in the business yet declaring in the same breath that they gave themselves away by uploading a document in the name of "Felix Edmundovich," i.e. Felix E. Dzerzhinsky, founder of the Soviet secret police.

As noted cyber-security expert Jeffrey Carr observed with regard to Russia's two main intelligence agencies: "Raise your hand if you think that a GRU or FSB officer would add Iron Felix's name to the metadata of a stolen document before he released it to the world while pretending to be a Romanian hacker. Someone clearly had a wicked sense of humor."

james , Feb 20, 2018 5:17:19 PM | 12
thanks b!

muddy waters.. paid for propaganda.... look at all the russian bots, lol...

cold war 2 / mccarthyism 2 is in effect... the historic parallels are marked. thank you neo cons!

it's working... the ordinary person in the usa can't be this stupid can they?

when does ww3 kick in? is that really what these idiots want? or is it just to prolong the huge defense budget?

Mike Maloney , Feb 20, 2018 5:24:03 PM | 13
This is about conditioning voters in Europe and the United States for a long war with Russia and China. In other words, a return to the 1950s. It is not working and becoming increasingly hysterical because societies are not nearly as cohesive as they once were, and the mainstream political parties, while better funded and more top-down organized, are basically hollow. The collapse is coming. Four years or ten, take your pick.
dh , Feb 20, 2018 5:32:10 PM | 14
@4 "For the life of me I cannot figure why Americans want a war/conflict with Russia."

Most Americans probably don't. Just the chosen few with the deepest fall-out shelters. The idea is to keep piling the pressure on to countries like Iran and Russia in the hope that their populations will rise up and demand the freedoms that we enjoy in the West....things like uncensored wardrobe malfunctions and transgender washrooms.

Partisan , Feb 20, 2018 6:02:58 PM | 15
"Most Americans probably don't."

not true.

let's imagine that we have the pyramid of evilness, by which we measure bestiality of one regime and its constituency. my firm belief is that us would be on the top of that pyramid. Only dilemma would be between Zionist entity and the US.

"How could the masses be made to desire their own repression?" was the question Wilhelm Reich famously asked in the wake of the Reichstagsbrandverordnung (Reichstag Fire Decree, February 28, 1933), which suspended the civil rights protections afforded by the Weimar Republic's democratic constitution.Hitler had been appointed chancellor on January 30, 1933 and Reich was trying to grapple with the fact that the German people had apparently chosen the authoritarian politics promoted by National Socialism against their own political interests. Ever since, the question of fascism, or rather the question of why might people vote for their own oppression, has never ceased to haunt political philosophy.2 With Trump openly campaigning for less democracy in America -- and with the continued electoral success of far-right antiliberal movements across Europe -- this question has again become a pressing one.

An American people is in perfect harmony with its regime.


CarlD , Feb 20, 2018 6:06:06 PM | 16
Remember the "USS MAINE"!

Media have long agitated for War in US History. Nothing sells newspapers
like a good ole war!

Demonizing is a way to achieve it. What is sure is that this is a one way street.
Once over the cliff, there is no turning back.

How do you tell people that, at the flick of your magic switch, Putin is in fact
a swell guy and wonderful human being? Once love is gone who goes back
to the filthy, abhorrent and estranged spouse?

Surely the US establishment is playing with fire thinking they will successfully
ride out any conflict and come out on top secure in their newly reestablished
hegemony on the smoldering ruins of Humanity.

Make no mistake, we are all on the road to hell. Better enjoy todays peace as
tomorrow word will be filled with the sweet music of cemeteries.

"Freedom of speech"...

CarlD , Feb 20, 2018 6:12:52 PM | 17
re 16
correction:

Make no mistake, we are all on the road to hell. Better enjoy todays peace as
tomorrow's world will be filled with the sweet music of cemeteries.

dh , Feb 20, 2018 6:14:14 PM | 18
@15 "An American people is in perfect harmony with its regime."

I'm not so sure. I think there are many Americans who deeply distrust their government. But of course they don't want to appear unpatriotic. There are also many who are apathetic and many simply don't know how to change things.

SteveK9 , Feb 20, 2018 6:35:58 PM | 19
It's horrible I know to quote a Nazi, but Goring had this right:

Göring: Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.

Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.

Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

WorldBLee , Feb 20, 2018 6:36:51 PM | 20
American media has graduated from simply repeating the lies of "unnamed government sources" to repeating the lies of any organization unofficially blessed by the powers that be. The skills required to repeat the text verbatim serve them well in both cases. Skepticism is only reserved to anyone who tries to introduce logic or facts into the equation--such as when Jill Stein was interviewed on MSNBC recently. How dare Ms. Stein try to bring FACTS into the discussion!
chet380 , Feb 20, 2018 6:41:04 PM | 21
In that The Narrative is tightly controlled in the corporate media, not matter how strong the proofs or arguments about the falsity of these propaganda campaigns are, little or no circulation of those proofs or arguments wlll reach the general public.
Sinc , Feb 20, 2018 6:41:57 PM | 22
See info on US 'Twitter' manipulation campaign
Sinc , Feb 20, 2018 6:44:16 PM | 23
Sorry, link here
ken , Feb 20, 2018 6:59:01 PM | 24
Thanks Jen. It still makes no sense. As a veteran of the Vietnam fiasco, I was pretty much government oriented until McNamara outed the whole thing whining about haw sorry he was. 59,000 dead and he's sorry. They were able to hide the Gulf of Tonkin BS until then. After that I researched the reasons for each war/conflict the USA started and could find no logical reasons except hunger for power. But the little sandbox wars won't destroy the world like a major war/conflict with Russia and it goes nuclear. Almost every politician, and major news organizations are pushing for a war/conflict with Russia. This is insanity as no one will win a war like this and I am sure they know that,,, but they keep the war drums beating anyhow. It simply doesn't make sense. But Thanks again.

Same for dh, #14. Things are soooo stupid, your joking may be closer to the truth than you know. :-)

Skip , Feb 20, 2018 6:59:35 PM | 25
@SteveK9 #19

Thank you for the post. I will save it and use it liberally, with proper attributions. When one challenges the tribe on places like Twitter, it is hard to tell who is a real idiot and who is a bot. How do you know? Maybe that the bots go away fairly quickly and the idiots hang around to argue ad infinitum.

oldenyoung , Feb 20, 2018 7:06:23 PM | 26
The thing that bothers me, is the fact that the MICGlobalists dont care what we think or how poor their deceptions are. The public perception that "russia did it!!" continues to rise. I wonder what the public acceptance level needs to be for them to execute a MAJOR false flag event. They seem to think they are still on target, and its just a short matter or time...

They are going to do this when the perception management is complete...

We really do not need another one of their disasters

regards

OY

Grieved , Feb 20, 2018 7:37:47 PM | 27
The bully pushes and pushes until stopped by the first serious push back. The dynamic of the west and the neocon/Zionists at the core is essentially that of the bully. Nations like Venezuela and the Philippines have started to push back, and I hope and feel fairly confident that they will both survive the rage of the US. In some part, they have begun to show the actual powerlessness of the bully.

But the really killer nations - Russia and China - are holding their water as they strengthen their force. I believe that one very serious push back from either of them in the right circumstances will stop the bully. And yet, as they bide their time, we see a curious phenomenon wherein the US is destroying itself from the inside.

It's as if all of the forces that exist to control the country - the lockstep media, the fully rigged markets, the hysterical military, the bought legislature and the crooked courts - are all acting far more strongly than should be necessary. The entire system is over-reacting, over-reaching, over-boiling. And in the course of this, the US is actually shedding power, and at an amazing rate. But not from the action of Russia but from its non-action, the empty space that that allows the bully's dynamic to over-reach, all the way to complete failure.

Is it possible that deep in the security states of Russia and China there's even a study and a model for this? Is the collapse of the US actually being gamed by Russia and China - and through the totally counter-intuitive action of non-action?

Just a thought.

Ghost Ship , Feb 20, 2018 7:51:03 PM | 28
>>>> xor | Feb 20, 2018 4:11:10 PM | 6
The cleverest trick used in propaganda against a specific country is to accuse it of what the accuser itself is doing.

I've always put it down to the Washington Establishment having a severe case of psychological projection.

WG , Feb 20, 2018 7:52:38 PM | 29
Hey b,
Just wanted to let you know that Joe Lauria mentioned your blog and the article you wrote on the indictment of the 13 Russians. He was on Loud and Clear (Sputnik Radio, Washington DC) today and brought you up at the start of the program.
Glad to see you get some recognition for all the great work you've been doing :)
Mike , Feb 20, 2018 7:53:24 PM | 30
Meanwhile, back in 2010:
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/11/when-campaigns-manipulate-social-media/66351/
Jen , Feb 20, 2018 7:53:43 PM | 31
Ken @ 24: The warmongering is not intended to make any sense - not many people are trained in critical thinking and logic, and even when they are, they can be swamped by their own emotions or other people's emotions. Propaganda is intended to appeal to people's emotions and fears. You can try reading works by Edward Bernays - "Crystallizing Public Opinion" (1923) and "Propaganda" (1928) - to see how he uses his uncle Sigmund Freud's theories of the mind to create strategies for manipulating public opinion.
https://archive.org/details/EdwardL.BernaysPropaganda

Bernays' books influenced Nazi and Soviet propaganda and Bernays himself was hired by the US government to justify in the public mind the 1954 US invasion of Guatemala.

You may be aware that Rupert Murdoch, head of News Corporation which owns the Wall Street Journal, FOX News and 20th Century Fox studios, is also on the Board of Directors of Genie Energy which owns a subsidiary firm that was granted a licence by an Israeli court to explore and drill for oil and natural gas in Syria's (and Israeli-occupied) Golan Heights.

simjam , Feb 20, 2018 7:59:21 PM | 32
The national media speaks as one -with one consistent melody day after day. Who is the conductor?

When will one representative of the mainstream media sing solo? There must be a Ray McGovern somewhere among the flock.

V. Arnold , Feb 20, 2018 8:05:33 PM | 33
Grieved | Feb 20, 2018 7:37:47 PM | 27

Many of my thoughts as well.
The U.S.'s greatest fault is its tacit misunderstanding of just what russia is in fact.
They utterly fail to understand the Russian character; forged over 800 years culminating with the defeat of Nazi Germany, absorbing horrific losses; the U.S. fails to understand the effect upon the then Soviets, become todays Russians.
Even the god's have abandoned the west...

Palloy , Feb 20, 2018 8:52:02 PM | 34
@4 "For the life of me I cannot figure why Americans want a war/conflict with Russia."

Ever since US Crude Oil peaked its production in 1970, the US has known that at some point the oil majors would have their profitability damaged, "assets" downgraded, and borrowing capacity destroyed. At this point their shares would become worthless and they would become bankrupt. The contagion from this would spread to transport businesses, plastics manufacture, herbicides and pesticide production and a total collapse of Industrial Civilisation.

In anticipation of increasing Crude Oil imports, Nixon stopped the convertibility of Dollars into Gold, thus making the Dollar entirely fiat, allowing them to print as much of the currency as they needed.

They also began a system of obscuring oil production data, involving the DoE's EIA and the OECD's IEA, by inventing an ever-increasing category of Undiscovered Oilfields in their predictions, and combining Crude Oil and Condensate (from gas fields) into one category (C+C) as if they were the same thing. As well the support of the ethanol-from-corn industry began, even though it was uneconomic. The Global Warming problem had to be debunked, despite its sound scientific basis. Energy-intensive manufacturing work was off-shored to cheap labour+energy countries, and Just-in-Time delivery systems were honed.

In 2004 the price of Crude Oil rose from $28 /barrel up to $143 /b in mid-2008. This demonstrated that there is a limit to how much business can pay for oil (around $100 /b). Fracking became marginally economic at these prices, but the frackers never made a profit as over-production meant prices fell to about $60 /b. The Government encourages this destructive industry despite the fact it doesn't make any money, because the alternative is the end of Industrial Civilisation.

Eventually though, there must come a time when there is not enough oil to power all the cars and trucks, bulldozers, farm tractors, airplanes and ships, as well as manufacture all the wind turbines and solar panels and electric vehicles, as well as the upgraded transmission grid. At that point, the game will be up, and it will be time for WW3. So we need to line up some really big enemies, and develop lots of reasons to hate them.

Thus you see the demonisation of Russia, China, Iran and Venezuela for reasons that don't make sense from a normal perspective.

Debsisdead , Feb 20, 2018 8:53:42 PM | 35
I watched bbc news this am in the hope that I would get to see the most awful creature at the 2018 olympics cry her croc tears (long story - a speed skater who cuts off the opposition but has been found out so now when she swoops in front of the others they either skate over her leading to tearful whines from perp about having been 'pushed', or gets disqualified for barging. Last night she got disqualified so as part of my study on whether types like this believe their own bullshit I thought I'd tune in but didn't get that far into the beebs lies)
The bulk of the bulletin was devoted to a 'lets hate Russia' session which featured a quisling who works for the russian arm of BBC (prolly just like cold war days staffed exclusively by MI6/SIS types). This chap, using almost unintelligible english, claimed he had proof at least 50 Russian Mercenaries (question - why are amerikan guns for hire called contractors [remember the Fallujah massacre of 100,000 civilians because amerikan contractors were stupid] yet Russian contractors are called mercenaries by the media?) had been killed in Syria last week. The bloke had evidence of one contractor's death not 50 - the proof was a letter from the Russian government to the guy's mother telling her he didn't qualify for any honours because he wasn't in the Russian military.
The quisling (likely a Ukranian I would say) went on to rabbit about the bloke having also fought in Donbass under contract - to which the 'interviewer (don't ya love it when media 'interview' their own journos - a sure sign that a snippet of toxic nonsense is being delivered) led about how the deceitful Russians had claimed the only Russians fighting in Donbass were contractors - yeah well this bloke was a contractor surely that proves the Russians were telling the truth.
It's not what these propagandists say; they adopt a tone and the audience is meant to hate based on that even when the facts as stated conflict with the media outlet's point of view. Remember the childhood trick of saying "bad dog" ter yer mutt in loving tones - the dog comes to ya tail wagging & licks yer hand. This is that.

The next item was more Syria lies - white helmets footage (altho the beeb is now mostly giving them an alternative name to dodge the facts about white helmets) of bandaged children with flour tipped on their heads.
The evil Syrians and Russians are bombarding Gouta - nary a word about the continuous artillery barrage Gouta has subjected the citizens of Damascus to for the past 4 years, or that the Syrians have repeatedly offered truces and safe passage for civilians. Any injured children need to ask their parents why they weren't allowed to take advantage of the frequent offers of transport out. Maybe the parents are worried 'the resistance' will do its usual and blow up the busloads of children after luring them over with candy.

Anyway I switched off after that so never did learn if little miss cheat had a cry.

[Feb 20, 2018] How Russophobia wrecked normalization between US Russia -- RT Op-ed

Notable quotes:
"... gesture to the Kremlin that would enable the nascent Trump administration to see its desire for friendly relations with Russia would be reciprocated ..."
"... fit a pattern within the Trump administration of sidling up to Russia. Taken in sum, the pattern raises questions about whether Trump and his team are willing to pay Russia back for the Kremlin's role in the [presidential] election ..."
Feb 20, 2018 | www.rt.com

The baleful effect of this anti-Russian paranoia was illustrated in an article published last week by the Daily Beast. It was reported that a member of Trump's National Security Council proposed early in the new presidency last year that the US should scale back its military forces in the Baltic countries.

Russia has long complained that the buildup of US-led NATO forces on its European borders is a provocative threat to its national security.

The idea of repositioning US troops from the Baltic was pitched as a " gesture to the Kremlin that would enable the nascent Trump administration to see its desire for friendly relations with Russia would be reciprocated ."

READ MORE: Senate probe expanded to anyone 'of Russian descent or nationality' – email

Apparently, the proposal was quickly rebuffed out of concern about how it would fuel US media claims of Trump being a Russian puppet.

Another idea that was similarly rejected was the lifting of US sanctions on Russia's economy.

The Daily Beast goes on to make the pejorative editorial comment that the floated proposals " fit a pattern within the Trump administration of sidling up to Russia. Taken in sum, the pattern raises questions about whether Trump and his team are willing to pay Russia back for the Kremlin's role in the [presidential] election ."

Note how the article asserts as fact the dubious speculation about Russia interfering in US politics.

Reportedly the proposals for trying to restore relations with Russia have since dried up within Trump's National Security Council.

Indeed, the NSC official named as the originator of the ideas – Kevin Harrington – is understood to have led the team that produced the hawkish National Security Strategy published at the end of last year.

Thus, from reasonable proposals to engage with Russia floated at the start of Trump's first year in office, within 12 months the administration has absorbed and adopted the Russophobia narrative.

Anti-Russian group think espoused by US elites has become institutionalized, against the stated views of the president and the American electorate. Where's the democracy in that?

[Feb 20, 2018] Lavrov Russia ready for partnerships based on mutual respect

This attempt to offer West the "olive branch" is useless. The US neoliberal elite is trying to save itself from people anger and extent the coming to the end period of global dominance and Russia is a convenient scapegoat.
Notable quotes:
"... Commenting on the Moscow-Brussels ties, Lavrov said that the European Union has failed to find a golden mean in relations with Russia in the last decades, treating the country in 1990s as an "aprentice" that should be taught in accordance with western standards and values. Now, the other irrational myth about the so-called "Russian threat" is being exploited, Lavrov went on to note, with the western states accusing Moscow of meddling in every controversial event, including Brexit and the Catalan referendum on independence. ..."
"... Russia is open to an equal, mutually respectful partnership that will be based on the balance of interests with the EU in order to find effective solutions to the challenges of a present day. We are ready to build relations with the US and other countries basing on the same principles ..."
"... We believe that his idea of cooperation between the European Union, Russia, the United States and China to support the creation of the security architecture in the Middle East is very appreciated, and the same is true for the Gulf ..."
Feb 20, 2018 | theduran.com
Sputnik News reports:

Commenting on the Moscow-Brussels ties, Lavrov said that the European Union has failed to find a golden mean in relations with Russia in the last decades, treating the country in 1990s as an "aprentice" that should be taught in accordance with western standards and values. Now, the other irrational myth about the so-called "Russian threat" is being exploited, Lavrov went on to note, with the western states accusing Moscow of meddling in every controversial event, including Brexit and the Catalan referendum on independence.

Mr. Lavrov went further, though, to state that:

Russia is open to an equal, mutually respectful partnership that will be based on the balance of interests with the EU in order to find effective solutions to the challenges of a present day. We are ready to build relations with the US and other countries basing on the same principles

He also expressed hope that the EU remains unified and continues to serve the basic interests of each of its member states. He noted especially that he hoped that the EU countries would be autonomous in international affairs. He made a point that he believed that the EU member states should define for themselves how to develop their own economies and to satisfy their resource requirements, most particularly that of energy, a veiled reference to the pressure exerted on some EU nations by the Americans to buy American energy rather than the more easily available and cheaper Russian energy resources.

He went on to the discussion of Middle Eastern policy:

We believe that his idea of cooperation between the European Union, Russia, the United States and China to support the creation of the security architecture in the Middle East is very appreciated, and the same is true for the Gulf

Russia has been honest, but always rather tactful, pointing out that the Middle Eastern troubles especially dating from 2011 were caused or exacerbated by the foreign policy whims of the United States. Russia's collegial approach to solving these matters stands in contrast to the single-minded determination of the USA to exert its will in Middle Eastern affairs, as in much of the rest of the world.

[Feb 20, 2018] Hillary Clinton If I m President, We Will Attack Iran We Would be Able to Totally Obliterate Them. Global Research - Cent

Notable quotes:
"... Among Global Research's most popular articles in 2016. ..."
"... Hillary is Dangerous. She Means What She says? Or Does She? (M. C. GR. Editor) ..."
"... On July 3, 2015, presidential aspirant Hillary Clinton addressed a hand-picked audience at a Dartmouth College campaign event. She lied calling Iran an "existential threat to Israel I hope we are able to get a deal next week that puts a lid on (its) nuclear weapons program." ..."
"... Stephen Lendman ..."
"... lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. ..."
"... His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III." ..."
"... http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html ..."
Feb 20, 2018 | www.globalresearch.ca

Hillary Clinton: "If I'm President, We Will Attack Iran We Would be Able to Totally Obliterate Them." By Stephen Lendman Global Research, February 19, 2018 Global Research 5 July 2015 Region: Middle East & North Africa , USA Theme: Militarization and WMD , US NATO War Agenda In-depth Report: IRAN: THE NEXT WAR?

Among Global Research's most popular articles in 2016.

Hillary is Dangerous. She Means What She says? Or Does She? (M. C. GR. Editor)

* * *

On July 3, 2015, presidential aspirant Hillary Clinton addressed a hand-picked audience at a Dartmouth College campaign event. She lied calling Iran an "existential threat to Israel I hope we are able to get a deal next week that puts a lid on (its) nuclear weapons program."

Even if we do get such a deal, we will still have major problems from Iran. They are the world's chief sponsor of terrorism.

They use proxies like Hezbollah to sow discord and create insurgencies to destabilize governments. They are taking more and more control of a number of nations in the region and they pose an existential threat to Israel.

We have to turn our attention to working with our partners to try to reign in and prevent this continuing Iranian aggressiveness.

Fact: US and Israeli intelligence both say Iran's nuclear program has no military component. No evidence whatever suggests Tehran wants one. Plenty indicates otherwise.

As a 2008 presidential aspirant, she addressed AIPAC's annual convention saying:

The United States stands with Israel now and forever. We have shared interests .shared ideals .common values. I have a bedrock commitment to Israel's security.

(O)ur two nations are fighting a shared threat" against Islamic extremism. I strongly support Israel's right to self-defense (and) believe America should aid in that defense.

I am committed to making sure that Israel maintains a military edge to meet increasing threats. I am deeply concerned about the growing threat in Gaza (and) Hamas' campaign of terror.

No such campaign exists. The only threats Israel faces are ones it invents.

Clinton repeated tired old lies saying Hamas' charter "calls for the destruction of Israel. Iran threatens to destroy Israel."

"I support calling the Iranian Revolutionary Guard what it is: a terrorist organization. It is imperative that we get both tough and smart about dealing with Iran before it is too late."

She backs "massive retaliation" if Iran attacks Israel, saying at the time:

" I want the Iranians to know that if I'm president, we will attack Iran. In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them."

She endorses using cluster bombs, toxic agents and nuclear weapons in US war theaters. She calls them deterrents that "keep the peace." She was one of only six Democrat senators opposed to blocking deployment of untested missile defense systems – first-strike weapons entirely for offense.

*

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

[Feb 20, 2018] Russophobia is a futile bid to conceal US, European demise by Finian Cunningham

Highly recommended!
This is an old method to unite the nation against external enemy. Carnage (with so much oil and gas) needs to be destroyed. And it's working only partially with the major divisions between Trump and Hillary supporters remaining open and unaffected by Russiagate witch hunt.
Notable quotes:
"... It is an age-old statecraft technique to seek unity within a state by depicting an external enemy or threat. Russia is the bête noire again, as it was during the Cold War years as part of the Soviet Union. ..."
"... Russophobia -- "blame it all on Russia" -- is a short-term, futile ploy to stave off the day of reckoning when furious and informed Western citizens will demand democratic restitution for their legitimate grievances. ..."
"... The dominant "official" narrative, from the US to Europe, is that "malicious" Russia is "sowing division;""eroding democratic institutions;" and "undermining public trust" in systems of governance, credibility of established political parties, and the news media. ..."
"... A particularly instructive presentation of this trope was given in a recent commentary by Texan Republican Representative Will Hurd. In his piece headlined, "Russia is our adversary" , he claims: "Russia is eroding our democracy by exploiting the nation's divisions. To save it, Americans need to begin working together." ..."
"... He contends: "When the public loses trust in the media, the Russians are winning. When the press is hyper-critical of Congress the Russians are winning. When Congress and the general public disagree the Russians are winning. When there is friction between Congress and the executive branch [the president] resulting in further erosion of trust in our democratic institutions, the Russians are winning." ..."
"... The endless, criminal wars that the US and its European NATO allies have been waging across the planet over the past two decades is one cogent reason why the public has lost faith in grandiose official claims about respecting democracy and international law. ..."
"... The US and European media have shown reprehensible dereliction of duty to inform the public accurately about their governments' warmongering intrigues. Take the example of Syria. When does the average Western citizen ever read in the corporate Western media about how the US and its NATO allies have covertly ransacked that country through weaponizing terrorist proxies? ..."
"... The destabilizing impact on societies from oppressive economic conditions is a far more plausible cause for grievance than outlandish claims made by the political class about alleged "Russian interference". ..."
"... Finian Cunningham (born 1963) has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, he is a Master's graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in newspaper journalism. For over 20 years he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organizations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. Now a freelance journalist based in East Africa, his columns appear on RT, Sputnik, Strategic Culture Foundation and Press TV. ..."
Feb 20, 2018 | www.rt.com

Russophobia - "blame it all on Russia" - is a short-term, futile ploy to stave off the day of reckoning when furious and informed Western citizens will demand democratic restitution for their legitimate grievances

It is an age-old statecraft technique to seek unity within a state by depicting an external enemy or threat. Russia is the bête noire again, as it was during the Cold War years as part of the Soviet Union.

But the truth is Western states are challenged by internal problems. Ironically, by denying their own internal democratic challenges, Western authorities are only hastening their institutional demise.

Russophobia -- "blame it all on Russia" -- is a short-term, futile ploy to stave off the day of reckoning when furious and informed Western citizens will demand democratic restitution for their legitimate grievances.

The dominant "official" narrative, from the US to Europe, is that "malicious" Russia is "sowing division;""eroding democratic institutions;" and "undermining public trust" in systems of governance, credibility of established political parties, and the news media.

This narrative has shifted up a gear since the election of Donald Trump to the White House in 2016, with accusations that the Kremlin somehow ran "influence operations" to help get him into office. This outlandish yarn defies common sense. It is also running out of thread to keep spinning.

Paradoxically, even though President Trump has rightly rebuffed such dubious claims of "Russiagate" interference as "fake news", he has at other times undermined himself by subscribing to the notion that Moscow is projecting a campaign of "subversion against the US and its European allies." See for example the National Security Strategy he signed off in December.

Pathetically, it's become indoctrinated belief among the Western political class that "devious Russians" are out to "collapse" Western democracies by "weaponizing disinformation" and spreading "fake news" through Russia-based news outlets like RT and Sputnik.

Totalitarian-like, there seems no room for intelligent dissent among political or media figures.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has chimed in to accuse Moscow of "sowing division;" Dutch state intelligence claim Russia destabilized the US presidential election; the European Union commissioner for security, Sir Julian King, casually lampoons Russian news media as "Kremlin-orchestrated disinformation" to destabilize the 28-nation bloc; CIA chief Mike Pompeo recently warned that Russia is stepping up its efforts to tarnish the Congressional mid-term elections later this year.

On and on goes the narrative that Western states are essentially victims of a nefarious Russian assault to bring about collapse.

A particularly instructive presentation of this trope was given in a recent commentary by Texan Republican Representative Will Hurd. In his piece headlined, "Russia is our adversary" , he claims: "Russia is eroding our democracy by exploiting the nation's divisions. To save it, Americans need to begin working together."

Congressman Hurd asserts: "Russia has one simple goal: to erode trust in our democratic institutions It has weaponized disinformation to achieve this goal for decades in Eastern and Central Europe; in 2016, Western Europe and America were aggressively targeted as well."

Lamentably, all these claims above are made with scant, or no, verifiable evidence. It is simply a Big Lie technique of relentless repetition transforming itself into "fact" .

It's instructive to follow Congressman Hurd's thought-process a bit further.

He contends: "When the public loses trust in the media, the Russians are winning. When the press is hyper-critical of Congress the Russians are winning. When Congress and the general public disagree the Russians are winning. When there is friction between Congress and the executive branch [the president] resulting in further erosion of trust in our democratic institutions, the Russians are winning."

As a putative solution, Representative Hurd calls for "a national counter-disinformation strategy" against Russian "influence operations" , adding, "Americans must stop contributing to a corrosive political environment".

The latter is a chilling advocacy of uniformity tantamount to a police state whereby any dissent or criticism is a "thought-crime."

It is, however, such anti-democratic and paranoid thinking by Western politicians -- aided and abetted by dutiful media -- that is killing democracy from within, not some supposed foreign enemy.

There is evidently a foreboding sense of demise in authority and legitimacy among Western states, even if the real cause for the demise is ignored or denied. Systems of governance, politicians of all stripes, and institutions like the established media and intelligence services are increasingly held in contempt and distrust by the public.

Whose fault is that loss of political and moral authority? Western governments and institutions need to take a look in the mirror.

The endless, criminal wars that the US and its European NATO allies have been waging across the planet over the past two decades is one cogent reason why the public has lost faith in grandiose official claims about respecting democracy and international law.

The US and European media have shown reprehensible dereliction of duty to inform the public accurately about their governments' warmongering intrigues. Take the example of Syria. When does the average Western citizen ever read in the corporate Western media about how the US and its NATO allies have covertly ransacked that country through weaponizing terrorist proxies?

How then can properly informed citizens be expected to have respect for such criminal government policies and the complicit news media covering up for their crimes?

Western public disaffection with governments, politicians and media surely stems also from the grotesque gulf in social inequality and poverty among citizens from slavish adherence to economic policies that enrich the wealthy while consigning the vast majority to unrelenting austerity.

The destabilizing impact on societies from oppressive economic conditions is a far more plausible cause for grievance than outlandish claims made by the political class about alleged "Russian interference".

Yet the Western media indulge this fantastical "Russiagate" escapism instead of campaigning on real social problems facing ordinary citizens. No wonder such media are then viewed with disdain and distrust. Adding insult to injury, these media want the public to believe Russia is the enemy?

Instead of acknowledging and addressing real threats to citizens: economic insecurity, eroding education and health services, lost career opportunities for future generations, the looming dangers of ecological adversity, wars prompted by Western governments trashing international and diplomacy, and so on -- the Western public is insultingly plied with corny tales of Russia's "malign influence" and "assault on democracy."

Just think of the disproportionate amount of media attention and public resources wasted on the Russiagate scandal over the past year. And now gradually emerging is the real scandal that the American FBI probably colluded with the Obama administration to corrupt the democratic process against Trump.

Again, is there any wonder the public has sheer contempt and distrust for "authorities" that have been lying through their teeth and playing them for fools?

The collapsing state of Western democracies has got nothing to do with Russia. The Russophobia of blaming Russia for the demise of Western institutions is an attempt at scapegoating for the very real problems facing governments and institutions like the news media. Those problems are inherent and wholly owned by these governments owing to chronic anti-democratic functioning, as well as systematic violation of international law in their pursuit of criminal wars and other subterfuges for regime-change objectives.

Finian Cunningham (born 1963) has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, he is a Master's graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in newspaper journalism. For over 20 years he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organizations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. Now a freelance journalist based in East Africa, his columns appear on RT, Sputnik, Strategic Culture Foundation and Press TV.

[Feb 19, 2018] Europe and Russia

A very interesting issue
Feb 19, 2018 | www.voltairenet.org

Current Concerns", n°32, December 31st, 2017

Partners | Zurich (Switzerland) | 3 January 2018

[Feb 19, 2018] Munich Conference: For The First Time In Decades We Are Facing Threat Of Nuclear Conflict Zero Hedge

Notable quotes:
"... "For the first time since the end of the Cold War, we are now facing a nuclear threat, a threat of a nuclear conflict," Guterres told the gathering in the southern Bavarian city. ..."
"... Conference Chairman Wolfgang Ischinger opened the event by warning that the world has moved too close to a " major interstate conflict" and faces a "dire reality." "We have too many unresolved crises, instabilities, and conflicts," Ischinger warned. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov fired a shot at President Trump's new 74-page nuclear doctrine calling for a modernization of America's nuclear arsenal. ..."
"... Ian Bremmer, the founder of the Eurasia Group told Handelsblatt that, "We're in trouble, because, you know, pretty much every geopolitical conflict out there is escalating, none of them are getting fixed, and no one has any solutions. This was not a good meeting." ..."
Feb 19, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Over the past fifty years, the Munich Security Conference (MSC) has traditionally reflected the current state of world military affairs. Each February, more than 450 senior decision-makers from around the globe descend into Munich, Germany, to discuss current and future security challenges.

And while there have been times in recent years when the MSC demonstrated signs of hope and optimism, none of that was evident this year. This year's motto " To the Brink – and Back ?"- which seems to be an accurate portrayal of the current geopolitical situations in most regions. After several days of senior decision-makers bickering back and forth, the negativity in the atmosphere only means one thing: A global conflict between nuclear superpowers is lingering.

"I was hoping when I opened this conference on Friday that, in concluding the conference, I would be able to say we can delete the question mark. In other words: 'We are back from the brink,'" former German diplomat Wolfgang Ischinger said in closing remarks of the MSC. "I'm actually not sure we can say that," he added.

The dangers of nuclear proliferation and talk of a "dire" global security situation dominated the security conference: from the ongoing war in eastern Ukraine, to U.S. allegations of Russia's election-meddling, to territorial disputes between ex-Soviet republics, and even discussions about the escalating tensions between Israel and Iran: geopolitical doom and gloom was not short in all conversations during the meeting.

And, in the latest escalation, Bloomberg reports that the most fiery subject of the conference were the tensions surrounding Russia and the U.S over nuclear arms controls.

Addressing a conference hall in Munich packed with dignitaries, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned of the risks emanating from North Korea's nuclear activities, which have ratcheted up tensions between Pyongyang and Washington.

"For the first time since the end of the Cold War, we are now facing a nuclear threat, a threat of a nuclear conflict," Guterres told the gathering in the southern Bavarian city.

Conference Chairman Wolfgang Ischinger opened the event by warning that the world has moved too close to a " major interstate conflict" and faces a "dire reality." "We have too many unresolved crises, instabilities, and conflicts," Ischinger warned. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov fired a shot at President Trump's new 74-page nuclear doctrine calling for a modernization of America's nuclear arsenal.

U.S. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster shot back at Lavrov's statements defending the U.S. nuclear posture, which calls for more low-yield atomic bombs and outlines explicitly Russia and China are the primary sources of security concern for the Pentagon.

"We will not allow Russia any of the power to hold the populations of Europe hostage," he declared Saturday in Munich, appearing on stage minutes after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov sounded the alarm on the U.S. military-industrial complex expansion since the collapse of Communism.

While the two countries have fulfilled the terms of another landmark nuclear weapons reduction treaty, New START, that accord expires in 2021 and there's political pressure on President Donald Trump to let it expire because of the alleged Russian non-compliance with the INF treaty. Moscow in turn accuses Washington of itself breaking the intermediate-range pact. So far, no formal negotiations are taking place on either issue.

And as the world devolves to another potential nuclear arms race, Javier Solana, NATO's former secretary-general, and Sigmar Gabriel, Germany's acting foreign minister, expressed alarm: " The most likely theater for nuclear conflicts would once again be here, in the center of Europe ," Gabriel told the conference.

Meanwhile Graham Allison, a Pentagon adviser under former U.S. President Ronald Reagan when the two superpowers were negotiating arms control, said he's skeptical momentum will be found to revive START and the INF.

Arms control was developed primarily to prevent the "insane" possibility that Russia and the U.S. would annihilate each other due to miscalculation or accident, despite not even wanting to go to war, said Allison, now a professor of government at Harvard University. "Those risks remain today."

Needless to say, a return to the nuclear arms race is the worst possible outcome:" according to Sergei Karaganov, a former Kremlin foreign policy adviser, the situation could get "much more dangerous" than during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, when the world was on the brink of nuclear war."

Under New START, which followed from the 1991 START treaty and was signed in 2010, the Russian and U.S. arsenals are restricted to no more than 1,550 deployed strategic warheads on no more than 700 deployed strategic missiles and bombers.

And, if that long-range missile pact isn't prolonged and the INF collapses, " you have a situation where there are no limits on Russian and American nuclear forces," said Steven Pifer, a former top State Department official and arms control expert, quoted by Bloomberg. In addition, Russia and the U.S. would stop exchanging data on each other's nuclear arsenals and permitting regular inspections. " It would be less predictable, less secure, less stable," Pifer said.

Russia would then likely respond to any U.S. move to station land-based intermediate-range missiles in Europe by deploying similar missiles to target "all the bases where these weapons will be," said Igor Korotchenko, director of the Center for Analysis of World Arms Trade in Moscow.

"And the U.S. can't stay safe over the ocean - we'll create the same risk for the U.S. as they do for us in Europe," he said.

In short: a full blown nuclear arms race coupled with Cold War 2.0.

* * *

Some experts, such as Thomas Graham, ex-White House adviser under George W. Bush, remain optimistic, and believe Russia and the U.S. will blink when faced with the prospect of stepping into a void without the security of arms control.

Russia has proposed a 5-year extension to New START, to 2026, though it's tying that to fixing complaints about the way the U.S. has complied with the treaty, the Interfax news service reported Feb. 16.

Others are not: "The chances are diminishing every day,'' said Konstantin Kosachyov, head of the foreign affairs committee of the Russian upper house of parliament.

Ian Bremmer, the founder of the Eurasia Group told Handelsblatt that, "We're in trouble, because, you know, pretty much every geopolitical conflict out there is escalating, none of them are getting fixed, and no one has any solutions. This was not a good meeting."

louie1 • Mon, 02/19/2018 - 22:16 Permalink

The US is the instigator and the aggressor. They are the problem.

Russia would sign an arms limitation treaty tomorrow. The US has broken every treaty it has signed!!!!

FoggyWorld • Mon, 02/19/2018 - 22:19 Permalink

McMaster scares me more than Lavrov.

[Feb 19, 2018] The Russiagate Intelligence Wars What We Do and Don't Know

Highly recommended!
Mueller was the person responsible for investigation of 911. That fact alone tells you all as for what we can expect.
Notable quotes:
"... NO actual physical proof has been presented to the public to substantiate claims that Russia hacked the DNC ..."
"... There is NO proof (only allegations) of collusion between Trump's campaign and the Kremlin ..."
"... Social media efforts by Russian trolls to influence the election were minimal in the extreme, laughably amateurish and completely ineffective ..."
"... Glenn Greenwald has spent the past year documenting in detail the large volume of fake anti-Russian "news" generated by the MSM (see GG at The Intercept) ..."
"... There is NO connection between the Russian government and the 13 private citizens recently indicted for their pathetic and ineffectual activity as part of a troll farm ..."
"... Thanks to the paranoid, xenophobic, Russia-bashing nationalistic propaganda that is being promoted by our military-industrial-intelligence-media complex, the U.S. now believes it is acceptable to launch a first strike nuclear attack in retaliation for breeches of cyber security ..."
"... Trump won't be impeached over Russiagate for the simple reason that Russiagate is nothing but a psyops perpetrated against the American people by the national-security bureaucracy (and their corporate media propagandists) for the purposes of reigniting a second Cold War and maintaining U.S. global hegemony. ..."
"... Thanks to the hysterical McCarthyism now rampant among Democrats - and that is being used to great effect by Washington's bipartisan neocon warmongers - we may just end up in a nuclear war. The good news: it will be a short war and the Democrats will never have to accept responsibility for Clinton's loss. ..."
"... How about that Clinton got the CIA to partner with neo-Nazis in Ukraine to stage a coup, kick out Putin's friend, and install a billionaire capitalist as President? - something the media never mentions. ..."
"... Ultimately, I see the Russia story as getting its legs from the efforts of the dominant Hillary wing of the Democratic party, backed by big media, to continue to assert that Hillary really won the presidency in 2016, and that their wing should continue to have control of the party. ..."
"... That an immensely dangerous war fever is being whipped up in the process is of no importance to them. And, by no means incidentally, they are ignoring all of the real atrocities being committed by the Trump administration against the American people and the earth's environment. ..."
"... It has been thus since the creep moved into the White House. Dreyfuss, perky Rachel Maddow, Colbert, Maher, and many others have been the true "useful idiots". ..."
"... This same media never gave Sanders any media exposure during the primary. ..."
"... I would add that the election manipulations which the Clinton forces engaged in to defeat Sanders during the Democratic primaries dwarfs, by orders of magnitude, anything alleged against the Russians by even the most hawkish backers of the Russia probe. ..."
"... tweet by Peter Van Buren, former US foreign intelligence officer "Just did a quick read of the '13 Russian' indictment. Missing are a) any connections between the 13 and the Russian government and/or Trump campaign; b) any discussion of the impact (if any) their social media efforts had. It describes them buying Facebook ads, but nothing about if it affected votes; c) no connection shown between any of this and DNC, Wikileaks, hacking of emails; d) no discussion of motive; e) assumption that anything anti-Clinton was defacto pro-Bernie and/or pro-Trump. And all indicted persons are Russians, and outside the U.S., so highly unlikely this is going anywhere further legally. ..."
"... BTW, today the media put up that scumbag Podesta as a spokesperson for the Democrats. ..."
"... Seems that the end justifies the means. No matter what is the truth. In the mean-time, they're actually harming the opposition to Trump. I suppose nobody asked Podesta why the DNC never offered their computers for FBI forensics. ..."
"... The MSM never asks the hard questions anymore. It seems all pre-scripted and sanitized for corporate media. ..."
"... It's been a year since Mueller went to work and what's he got? A couple of Republican political operatives being political operatives. Their crime was not reporting to the USG that they were working for Ukraine. Now we're down to social media posts. You're probably one of those people who say, I saw it on the internet so it must be true. If the government is going to be upset about crap they see on social media from foreign parties, they need to start by telling said social media that they can't solicit advertising from foreign entities with political overtones as facebook did of RT. ..."
"... So we are going to limit global free speech by spending $Trillions more on building a nuclear arsenal - total madness - driven by [un] Democratic whining. ..."
"... Apparently, it comes down to trolls who planted various "fake news" stories. Stipulate to all of that; the worst of it. How does THAT begin to stack–up against the murderous coup that the USA OPENLY fomented in the Ukraine a couple of years earlier by bankrolling dozens of Non-governmental organizations whose sole purpose was "regime change"? ..."
"... Maybe come back to me about all of this when the FBI can convincingly prove that the Russian government armed and funded a Neo–nazi para–military group that assaulted and burned–down the North Carolina State House. ..."
"... You mean like Clinton and the CIA did in Ukraine, for economic domination over Russia, don't you? ..."
"... Tell me, as soon as you can, when having skepticism on the Russia/Election Meddling story is finally permitted. I heard tell, we've lately dropped the "Treason" narration. Now the spin du jour is that Trump & Co were all duped by them clever Ruskies. Whatever floats your boat. ..."
"... Stephen Cohen's take on Russiagate makes a lot of sense, to me. I've followed Russia/soviet/US relations very closely since Gorbachev. Open your eyes, Mattis has labeled Russia our mortal enemy, we just upped defense spending to an obscene level that shall keep our schools, hospitals, social services, and infrastructure in their bad state. ..."
Feb 19, 2018 | www.thenation.com

Cara Marianna says: February 19, 2018 at 4:36 pm

Here's what we know:

  1. NO actual physical proof has been presented to the public to substantiate claims that Russia hacked the DNC
  2. There is NO proof (only allegations) of collusion between Trump's campaign and the Kremlin
  3. Social media efforts by Russian trolls to influence the election were minimal in the extreme, laughably amateurish and completely ineffective
  4. Glenn Greenwald has spent the past year documenting in detail the large volume of fake anti-Russian "news" generated by the MSM (see GG at The Intercept)
  5. There is NO connection between the Russian government and the 13 private citizens recently indicted for their pathetic and ineffectual activity as part of a troll farm
  6. Thanks to the paranoid, xenophobic, Russia-bashing nationalistic propaganda that is being promoted by our military-industrial-intelligence-media complex, the U.S. now believes it is acceptable to launch a first strike nuclear attack in retaliation for breeches of cyber security

Read number six again and think about it. The U.S. is ready and willing to launch a preemptive nuclear attack against any nation it accuses of undermining our cyber security - no proof necessary. The Democratic establishment, which has spent the past year engaging in baseless Kremlin-baiting (and very little else), is directly responsible for this insanity.

Trump won't be impeached over Russiagate for the simple reason that Russiagate is nothing but a psyops perpetrated against the American people by the national-security bureaucracy (and their corporate media propagandists) for the purposes of reigniting a second Cold War and maintaining U.S. global hegemony.

Thanks to the hysterical McCarthyism now rampant among Democrats - and that is being used to great effect by Washington's bipartisan neocon warmongers - we may just end up in a nuclear war. The good news: it will be a short war and the Democrats will never have to accept responsibility for Clinton's loss.

Fred Caruso says: February 18, 2018 at 9:30 pm

Who gives a shit really?

How about that Clinton got the CIA to partner with neo-Nazis in Ukraine to stage a coup, kick out Putin's friend, and install a billionaire capitalist as President? - something the media never mentions.

Caleb Melamed says: February 18, 2018 at 9:12 am

As I open the online edition of The Nation this morning, there are two lead stories. One of them tells how Trump is planning to evict 5 million poor people from public housing. A very important story.

The second story by Bob Dreyfuss is probably the 10,000th one I've seen about the Russia probe. The public housing story is obviously much more important and substantial, yet the Democrats have been focusing almost exclusively on the flimsy Russia probe. Not even the pressing need to regulate assault rifles has really grabbed their full attention, even in the wake of the latest dreadful Florida high school massacre. In perusing the news stories this Sunday morning, the Russia probe continues to hold first place in coverage by a big margin.

Ultimately, I see the Russia story as getting its legs from the efforts of the dominant Hillary wing of the Democratic party, backed by big media, to continue to assert that Hillary really won the presidency in 2016, and that their wing should continue to have control of the party.

That an immensely dangerous war fever is being whipped up in the process is of no importance to them. And, by no means incidentally, they are ignoring all of the real atrocities being committed by the Trump administration against the American people and the earth's environment.

Clark M Shanahan says: February 18, 2018 at 9:52 am

Amen, Caleb
It has been thus since the creep moved into the White House. Dreyfuss, perky Rachel Maddow, Colbert, Maher, and many others have been the true "useful idiots".

Fred Caruso says: February 18, 2018 at 9:33 pm

This same media never gave Sanders any media exposure during the primary.

Caleb Melamed says: February 18, 2018 at 9:42 am

I would add that the election manipulations which the Clinton forces engaged in to defeat Sanders during the Democratic primaries dwarfs, by orders of magnitude, anything alleged against the Russians by even the most hawkish backers of the Russia probe.

Clark M Shanahan says: February 18, 2018 at 8:24 am

FYI
tweet by Peter Van Buren, former US foreign intelligence officer "Just did a quick read of the '13 Russian' indictment. Missing are a) any connections between the 13 and the Russian government and/or Trump campaign; b) any discussion of the impact (if any) their social media efforts had. It describes them buying Facebook ads, but nothing about if it affected votes; c) no connection shown between any of this and DNC, Wikileaks, hacking of emails; d) no discussion of motive; e) assumption that anything anti-Clinton was defacto pro-Bernie and/or pro-Trump. And all indicted persons are Russians, and outside the U.S., so highly unlikely this is going anywhere further legally.

Fred Caruso says: February 18, 2018 at 9:37 pm

There is nothing illegal or unethical about any individual of government supporting one candidate over another. BTW, today the media put up that scumbag Podesta as a spokesperson for the Democrats.

Clark M Shanahan says: February 19, 2018 at 9:02 am

Seems that the end justifies the means. No matter what is the truth. In the mean-time, they're actually harming the opposition to Trump. I suppose nobody asked Podesta why the DNC never offered their computers for FBI forensics.

Fred Caruso says: February 19, 2018 at 12:31 pm

The MSM never asks the hard questions anymore. It seems all pre-scripted and sanitized for corporate media.

Richard Phelps says: February 18, 2018 at 2:52 am

There is one issue that no media is talking about regarding the "memos". Trump is clearly a "person of interest", if not a suspect in some parts of the investigation. Given Trump's entanglement how is it not an absolute conflict of interest for Trump being the person who decides what memos get to be public and what redactions must be made.

Imagine a judge being a suspect in a crime or a major stockholder in a corporate civil suit. S/he would never be allowed to make any rulings on what evidence the jury gets to see or anything about the case. Some non-interested 3rd party needs to make those decisions.

Fred Caruso says: February 18, 2018 at 9:38 pm

Quit feeding this beast.

Jeffrey Harrison says: February 16, 2018 at 8:15 pm

The other interesting and fun fact not mentioned anywhere. Three Names won by 3 million votes. Crafty Ruskis.

Carla Skidmore says: February 16, 2018 at 7:33 pm

This investigation by Mueller is just beginning. In other words, and to use the vernacular, "We "ain't seen nothing," yet."

Fred Caruso says: February 18, 2018 at 9:40 pm

You are right. This is nothing but bullshit and it may be just the beginning. The Democrats have an endless supply of donkey-shit.

Jeffrey Harrison says: February 16, 2018 at 6:08 pm

It's interesting that the Russians set this all up to boost Trump and disparage Three Names before Trump even announced he was running. The basic set up for this was going on in 2014 whereas Trump announced in 2015.

Carla Skidmore says: February 16, 2018 at 7:29 pm

No, not really. Trump was making gestures of interest in the presidency in 2012

Clark M Shanahan says: February 18, 2018 at 10:28 am

Since when have you been so trusting of our FBI & CIA, Carla? From what we've experienced together from the Gulf of Tonkin onward, I'm a wee-tad taken aback. Please read the ex-foreign intelligence officer's twitter posting that I posted above.

Jeffrey Harrison says: February 16, 2018 at 8:30 pm

Pfui. He also made noises about running in the 2012 election. People don't set up organizations to do stuff just on the off chance that some politician or wannabe is going to run. These guys ain't got nothin'. It's been a year since Mueller went to work and what's he got? A couple of Republican political operatives being political operatives. Their crime was not reporting to the USG that they were working for Ukraine. Now we're down to social media posts. You're probably one of those people who say, I saw it on the internet so it must be true. If the government is going to be upset about crap they see on social media from foreign parties, they need to start by telling said social media that they can't solicit advertising from foreign entities with political overtones as facebook did of RT.

Fred Caruso says: February 19, 2018 at 3:35 pm

So we are going to limit global free speech by spending $Trillions more on building a nuclear arsenal - total madness - driven by [un] Democratic whining.

Francis Louis Szot says: February 16, 2018 at 6:05 pm

Apparently, it comes down to trolls who planted various "fake news" stories. Stipulate to all of that; the worst of it. How does THAT begin to stack–up against the murderous coup that the USA OPENLY fomented in the Ukraine a couple of years earlier by bankrolling dozens of Non-governmental organizations whose sole purpose was "regime change"?

Maybe come back to me about all of this when the FBI can convincingly prove that the Russian government armed and funded a Neo–nazi para–military group that assaulted and burned–down the North Carolina State House.

Fred Caruso says: February 19, 2018 at 3:37 pm

You mean like Clinton and the CIA did in Ukraine, for economic domination over Russia, don't you?

Clark M Shanahan says: February 16, 2018 at 3:44 pm

I'm hoping the hush-money passed on to two of Trump's romantic caprices, during the election, gets traction.

Tell me, as soon as you can, when having skepticism on the Russia/Election Meddling story is finally permitted. I heard tell, we've lately dropped the "Treason" narration. Now the spin du jour is that Trump & Co were all duped by them clever Ruskies. Whatever floats your boat.

Clark M Shanahan says: February 17, 2018 at 10:13 am

Yes David, I'm still a skeptic. In fact, I think this move to indict 13 suspects, that have a snowball in Hell's chance of ever being tried, is simply a dog and pony show to placate the public. Debrief yourself, read Binney's report and listen to Stephen F Cohen's latest, here on the Nation.

Clark M Shanahan says: February 17, 2018 at 5:25 pm

Stephen Cohen's take on Russiagate makes a lot of sense, to me. I've followed Russia/soviet/US relations very closely since Gorbachev. Open your eyes, Mattis has labeled Russia our mortal enemy, we just upped defense spending to an obscene level that shall keep our schools, hospitals, social services, and infrastructure in their bad state.

As if Hill, who stole the primaries actually ran a competent campaign.

[Feb 19, 2018] Kim Dotcom Let Me Assure You, The DNC Hack Wasn t Even A Hack Zero Hedge

Notable quotes:
"... All fucking Kabuki. All of it. ..."
"... The Deep State (Oligarchs and the MIC) is totally fucking loving this: they have Trump and the GOP giving them everything they ever wanted and they have the optics and distraction of an "embattled" president that claims to be against or a victim of the "deep state" and a base that rally's, circles the wagons around him, and falls for the narrative. ..."
"... They know exactly who it was with the memory stick, there is always video of one form or another either in the data center or near the premises that can indicate who it was. They either have a video of Seth Rich putting the stick into the server directly, or they at least have a video of his car entering and leaving the vicinity of the ex-filtration. ..."
"... This would have been an open and shut case if shillary was not involved. Since it was involved, you can all chalk it up to the Clinton body count. I pray that it gets justice. It and the country, the world - needs justice. ..."
Feb 19, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Kim Dotcom: "Let Me Assure You, The DNC Hack Wasn't Even A Hack"

by Tyler Durden Mon, 02/19/2018 - 07:51 3.4K SHARES

Kim Dotcom has once again chimed in on the DNC hack, following a Sunday morning tweet from President Trump clarifying his previous comments on Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

In response, Dotcom tweeted " Let me assure you, the DNC hack wasn't even a hack. It was an insider with a memory stick. I know this because I know who did it and why," adding "Special Counsel Mueller is not interested in my evidence. My lawyers wrote to him twice. He never replied. 360 pounds! " alluding of course to Trump's "400 pound genius" comment.

Dotcom's assertion is backed up by an analysis done last year by a researcher who goes by the name Forensicator , who determined that the DNC files were copied at 22.6 MB/s - a speed virtually impossible to achieve from halfway around the world, much less over a local network - yet a speed typical of file transfers to a memory stick.

The local transfer theory of course blows the Russian hacking narrative out of the water, lending credibility to the theory that the DNC "hack" was in fact an inside job, potentially implicating late DNC IT staffer, Seth Rich.

John Podesta's email was allegely successfully "hacked" (he fell victim to a phishing scam ) in March 2016, while the DNC reported suspicious activity (the suspected Seth Rich file transfer) in late April, 2016 according to the Washington Post.

On May 18, 2017, Dotcom proposed that if Congress includes the Seth Rich investigation in their Russia probe, he would provide written testimony with evidence that Seth Rich was WikiLeaks' source.

On May 19 2017 Dotcom tweeted "I knew Seth Rich. I was involved"

Three days later, Dotcom again released a guarded statement saying "I KNOW THAT SETH RICH WAS INVOLVED IN THE DNC LEAK," adding:

"I have consulted with my lawyers. I accept that my full statement should be provided to the authorities and I am prepared to do that so that there can be a full investigation. My lawyers will speak with the authorities regarding the proper process.

If my evidence is required to be given in the United States I would be prepared to do so if appropriate arrangements are made. I would need a guarantee from Special Counsel Mueller, on behalf of the United States, of safe passage from New Zealand to the United States and back. In the coming days we will be communicating with the appropriate authorities to make the necessary arrangements. In the meantime, I will make no further comment."

Dotcom knew.

While one could simply write off Dotcom's claims as an attention seeking stunt, he made several comments and a series of tweets hinting at the upcoming email releases prior to both the WikiLeaks dumps as well as the publication of the hacked DNC emails to a website known as "DCLeaks."

In a May 14, 2015 Bloomberg article entitled "Kim Dotcom: Julian Assange Will Be Hillary Clinton's Worst Nightmare In 2016 ": "I have to say it's probably more Julian," who threatens Hillary, Dotcom said. " But I'm aware of some of the things that are going to be roadblocks for her ."

Two days later, Dotcom tweeted this:

Around two months later, Kim asks a provocative question

Two weeks after that, Dotcom then tweeted "Mishandling classified info is a crime. When Hillary's emails eventually pop up on the internet who's going to jail?"

It should thus be fairly obvious to anyone that Dotcom was somehow involved, and therefore any evidence he claims to have, should be taken seriously as part of Mueller's investigation. Instead, as Dotcom tweeted, "Special Counsel Mueller is not interested in my evidence. My lawyers wrote to him twice. He never replied. "

chunga Sun, 02/18/2018 - 21:59 Permalink

Pffft...this guy sounds like the reds with their "blockbuster" memo. Honest Hill'rey is laughing!

SethPoor -> chunga Sun, 02/18/2018 - 22:00 Permalink

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_8VaMbPjUU

Bes -> J S Bach Sun, 02/18/2018 - 22:17 Permalink

All fucking Kabuki. All of it.

The Deep State (Oligarchs and the MIC) is totally fucking loving this: they have Trump and the GOP giving them everything they ever wanted and they have the optics and distraction of an "embattled" president that claims to be against or a victim of the "deep state" and a base that rally's, circles the wagons around him, and falls for the narrative.

Meanwhile they keep enacting the most Pro Deep State/MIC/Police State/Zionist/Wall Street agenda possible. And they call it #winning

----

pathetic.

bigkahuna -> CheapBastard Mon, 02/19/2018 - 09:58 Permalink

"Had to be a Russian mole with a computer stick. MSM, DNC and Muller say so."

They know exactly who it was with the memory stick, there is always video of one form or another either in the data center or near the premises that can indicate who it was. They either have a video of Seth Rich putting the stick into the server directly, or they at least have a video of his car entering and leaving the vicinity of the ex-filtration.

This would have been an open and shut case if shillary was not involved. Since it was involved, you can all chalk it up to the Clinton body count. I pray that it gets justice. It and the country, the world - needs justice.

StarGate -> CheapBastard Mon, 02/19/2018 - 11:23 Permalink

Don't forget the "hack" analysis of Russian owned "Crowdstrike" since the FBI did and continues to, refuse to analyze the DNC computers.

KuriousKat -> CheapBastard Mon, 02/19/2018 - 13:26 Permalink

Isn't Alperovitch the Only Russian in there?.. When you rule out the impossible...whatever remains probable.. probably is..

wildbad -> IntercoursetheEU Mon, 02/19/2018 - 03:05 Permalink

Kim is great, Assange is great. Kim is playing a double game. He wants immunity from the US GUmmint overreach that destroyed his company and made him a prisoner in NZ.

Good on ya Kim.

His name was Seth Rich...and he will reach out from the grave and bury Killary who murdered him.

NumberNone -> wildbad Mon, 02/19/2018 - 10:04 Permalink

There are so many nuances to this and all are getting mentioned but the one that also stands out is that in an age of demands for gun control by the Dems, Seth Rich is never, ever mentioned. He should be the poster child for gun control. Young man, draped in a American flag, helping democracy, gunned down...it writes itself.

They either are afraid of the possible racial issues should it turn out to be a black man killing a white man (but why should that matter in a gun control debate?) or they just don't want people looking at this case. I go for #2.

Socratic Dog -> Buckaroo Banzai Mon, 02/19/2018 - 12:09 Permalink

Funny that George Webb can figure it out, but Trump, Leader of the Free World, is sitting there with his dick in his hand waiting for someone to save him.

Whatever he might turn out to be, this much is clear: Trump is a spineless weakling. He might be able to fuck starlets, but he hasn't got the balls to defend either himself or the Republic.

verumcuibono -> Buckaroo Banzai Mon, 02/19/2018 - 14:26 Permalink

Webb's research is also...managed. But a lot of it was/is really good (don't follow it anymore) and I agree re: SR piece of it.

I think SR is such an interesting case. It's not really an anomaly because SO many Bush-CFR-related hits end the same way and his had typical signatures. But his also squeels of a job done w/out much prior planning because I think SR surprised everyone. If, in fact, that was when he was killed. Everything regarding the family's demeanor suggests no.

verumcuibono -> NumberNone Mon, 02/19/2018 - 12:41 Permalink

MANY patterns in shootings: failure in law enforcement/intelligence who were notified of problem individuals ahead of time, ARs, mental health and SSRIs, and ongoing resistance to gun control in DC ----these are NOT coincidences. Nor are distractions in MSM's version of events w/ controlled propaganda.

Children will stop being killed when America wakes the fuck up and starts asking the right questions, making the right demands. It's time.

KJWqonfo7 -> wildbad Mon, 02/19/2018 - 11:15 Permalink

Kim is awesome to watch, I remember his old website of pics of him on yachts with hot girls and racing the Gumball Rally.

verumcuibono -> wildbad Mon, 02/19/2018 - 14:28 Permalink

I don't think you know how these hackers have nearly ALL been intercepted by CIA--for decades now. DS has had backdoor access to just about all of them. I agree that Kim is great, brilliant and was sabotaged but he's also cooperating. Otherwise he'd be dead.

StarGate -> Billy the Poet Mon, 02/19/2018 - 11:48 Permalink

Bes is either "disinfo plant" or energy draining pessimist. Result is the same - to deflate your power to create a new future.

Trump saw the goal of the Fed Reserve banksters decades ago and spoke often about it. Like Prez Kennedy he wants to return USA economy to silver or gold backed dollar then transition to new system away from the Black Magic fed reserve/ tax natl debt machine.

The Globalist Cabal has been working to destroy the US economy ever since they income tax April 15th Lincoln at the Ford theater. 125 years. But Bes claims because Trump cannot reverse 125 years of history in one year that it is kabuki.

Pessimism is its own reward.

[Feb 19, 2018] Western Chauvinism Against Russia Gone Berserk

Notable quotes:
"... The whistle-blowers are holding their breath. The Russians and clean athletes are, too ..."
"... Substitute 'Russians' for some other group in such a negatively applied way and see the selective outrage. No NYT journo would write a bigoted comparison that differentiates between law abiding citizens and African-Americans, followed by a utilization of crime statistics as 'proof' for such a presented contrast ..."
"... *Michael Averko is a New York based independent foreign policy analyst and media critic. A closely related version of this article was initially placed at the Strategic Culture Foundation's website on February 8. ..."
Feb 19, 2018 | www.eurasiareview.com

For you non-sports minded Russia watchers, the ethically flawed antics of the IOC (International Olympic Committee), WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) and Western mass media at large, highlight a predominating anti-Russian bias that have a definite bigoted aspect. Having personally penned the title of this essay, let me say that the February 1 CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) decision favoring Russian athletes, is proof positive that not everyone in the West is motivated (subconsciously or otherwise) by anti-Russian sentiment.

Upon announcing its decision to ban Russia from the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics (with some Russian athletes competing under the Olympic flag and "Olympic Athlete from Russia" designation), the IOC indicated that the WADA propped McLaren report's claim of a Russian state-sponsored Olympic and Paralympic doping campaign hasn't been proven. Yet, this fact hasn't stopped the BBC and New York Times from falsely stating that the IOC decision is based on a primary Russian government culpability. Without definitively making the case in the open, the IOC said that there were testing irregularities at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, that favored some Russian athletes.

The February 1 CAS decision took into consideration that a good number of the IOC banned Russian athletes have been extensively tested inside and outside of Russia over a lengthy period of time, without ever being found guilty of a drug infraction. In addition, the CAS (on the known facts) reasonably concluded that the claimed 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic testing irregularities haven't been firmly concluded. Even if these irregularities occurred (something that remains unclear on account of the claim not being fully presented in the open), one then practically wonders whether it was with the knowledge of any or all of the effected Russian athletes and if their actual test results were indeed positive? Meantime, the prior and post 2014 Winter Olympic Olympic drug tests of a good number of these athletes reveal innocence.

In reply to these particulars, I've heard some Western chauvinist spin, saying that the CAS cleared Russians athletes aren't necessarily innocent, on account that they still could've cheated without getting caught. That very same logic applies to non-Russian athletes who might very well have succeeded in finding a way around the process.

The CAS found 11 Russian Olympians to have been previously found guilty of a drug infraction, that warranted a ban from Pyeongchang, as opposed to the hypocritically flawed IOC decision to implement a lifetime ban against them. The hypocrisy concerns the number of non-Russian athletes found guilty of doping, who didn't receive lifetime bans.

On the matter of gross anti-Russian hypocrisy, note famed US Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps' 2009 admission of smoking pot. Phelps wasn't banned from Olympic competition for that action. On the other hand, the IOC feels that it's appropriate to ban the Russian 1500 meter speed skating world record holder Denis Yuskov from the upcoming Winter Olympics, for a prior marijuana smoking episode in 2008. The unfairness of that move has been noted by some earnest folks in the West. Another of several repugnant anti-Russian IOC acts, concerns the banning of Russian short track speed skater Viktor Ahn.

As I've previously noted, Richard McLaren's claim that 1000 Russian athletes benefitted from a Russian government involved illicit regimen of cheating, would likely mean that ALL of the Russian athletes in question, would be shown beyond a reasonable doubt to have taken such a course. This hasn't been proven at all, with a note that the combined Russian Summer and Winter Olympic and Paralympic participating athletes is (if I'm not mistaken)under 1000.

On the US based National Public Radio, I heard the WADA connected American legal sports politico Travis Tygart (in rather self serving fashion) suggest his objectivity, by noting how he went after the legendary American cyclist Lance Armstrong. This is sheer BS, as Tygart never advocated banning all American cyclists and-or all US athletes from major competition. In comparison, Tygart (along with Canadian sports legal politico Dick Pound and some other pious blowhards) have favored a collective ban on all Russian athletes.

The likes of Tygart have a committed track record of extreme bias against Russia. In contrast, the IOC President Thomas Bach, comes across as a wishy washy sort, not fit to serve his position. It's a high point of chutzpah for Bach to second guess the CAS ruling on Russia, by saying that the CAS needs to be revamped. Bach and his fellow IOC cronies have belittled the CAS decision, with the announcement that none of the cleared Russian athletes will be invited to the upcoming Winter Olympics. Russian Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko befittingly said that the IOC and WADA are in need of restructuring.

At the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics, Bach took the position that the individual sports federations should decide on whether to restrict Russian partition. With rare exception, most of these IOC affiliated sports bodies decided (based on facts) that Russia shouldn't be penalized at that Olympiad. This time around, Bach has leaned towards the "pressure", as constantly rehashed by leading Western mass media outlets "to do something" against Russia.

A February 2 RT article , provides a healthy offset to the overall biased Western mass media reporting on the subject of Russian sports doping. The former details numerous reasons for not believing much of the negative allegations against Russian Olympians. Among the particulars, is the faulty notion that Russian athletes live and train under the same state manipulated structure. In actuality, a good number of them train outside Russia, with non-Russian coaches. Touching on this last point, The Washington Post's Sally Jenkins had an August 10, 2016 article , that showed how Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova, had taken performance enhancing drugs on her own, while training in the US, as opposed to some Russian state-sponsored method. (On the subject of Russian sports doping, Jenkins' aforementioned piece is an exception to the generally biased trend in Western mass media.)

It's matter of established record that Italy has the most Olympic sports dopers, despite having a smaller number of competing athletes when compared to Russia. Per capita, India, Turkey and Iran have higher rates of such doping infractions than Russia, with South Africa and Belgium having about the same percentage of positive doping as Russia. The December 24, 2017 Worlds Apart show , suggests that a disproportionate number of Western athletes have been given exemptions for drugs having a performance enhancing capability. (That RT show had earlier featured Dick Pound , which I followed up on .)

Moments before the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic opening ceremony, CAS came out with another decision on Russian athletes, which contradicts its February 1 ruling. Bigotry has been given a boost over the idea of judging people as individuals. To quote The New York Times' Juliet Macur: " The whistle-blowers are holding their breath. The Russians and clean athletes are, too ."

As I noted : " Substitute 'Russians' for some other group in such a negatively applied way and see the selective outrage. No NYT journo would write a bigoted comparison that differentiates between law abiding citizens and African-Americans, followed by a utilization of crime statistics as 'proof' for such a presented contrast ."

Along with numerous other Western mass media journalists, some of Macur's other commentary have a noticeable anti-Russian bias. I wonder if she learned that slant from her father , who she wrote about?

*Michael Averko is a New York based independent foreign policy analyst and media critic. A closely related version of this article was initially placed at the Strategic Culture Foundation's website on February 8.

[Feb 19, 2018] In Raging Tweetstorm, Trump Says Russians Laughing Their Asses Off, Mocks Leakin' Monster Schiff

Trump has a point: "If it was the GOAL of Russia to create discord, disruption and chaos within the U.S. then, with all of the Committee Hearings, Investigations and Party hatred, they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams..."
Trump is still better than Hillary but the margin is shrinking fast...
Feb 19, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
excoriating the FBI for failing to act on multiple tips about "professional school shooter" Nikolas Cruz's murderous intentions, and criticizing National Security Adviser HR McMaster over his Russia collusion comments, President Donald Trump shifted his focus toward one of his favorite targets, House Intelligence Committee ranking member Adam Schiff, whom he "congratulated" for finally acknowledging that the Obama administration is responsible for any attempted interference by Russia during the 2016 election.

In one of his more memorable turns of phrase, Trump lauded " Liddle Adam Schiff ", whom he branded the " leakin monster of no control ", for finally " blaming the Obama Administration for Russian meddling in the 2016 Election. He is finally right about something. Obama was President, knew of the threat, and did nothing. Thank you Adam!"

Trump also expressed his amazement that nobody in federal law enforcement or Congress tried to stop the Obama administration from handing over nearly $2 billion in cash to Iran. The cash transfers were first reported by the Wall Street Journal in September 2016. The administration defended its actions by saying it was merely returning the money, which belonged to Iranian entities, but had been frozen because of sanctions.

... ... ...

Putting it all together, given the hysteria surrounding Russian interference during the 2016 election, the multiple investigations and countless public resources wasted, if it was Russia's intention to create chaos in the US, then they've "succeeded beyond their wildest dreams", Trump claimed."They're probably " laughing their asses off in Moscow," he added.


Looney Sun, 02/18/2018 - 10:02 Permalink

But wasn't I a great candidate?

Yes you were , and I voted for you, you lying flip-flopping piece of shit!

1. Jail Crooked Hillary – Flipped. During the Inauguration Dinner: "The Clintons are good people!"

2. Drain the Swamp – Flipped. The promise vanished like a fart in the wind.

3. I love WikiLeaks – Flipped. Assange is still marooned in the Embassy.

4. Get out of Syria – Flipped. Attacked Syria with 59 Tomahawks.

5. Reform or Disband NATO – Flipped.

6. Ban Foreign Lobbyists – Flipped. "Did I really promise that shit?"

7. Enact Term Limits – Flipped. Just another fart in the wind.

8. Eliminate Gun-Free Zones – Flipped. Should've pushed for that after the Florida School shooting.

Looney

FreeShitter -> Looney Sun, 02/18/2018 - 10:06 Permalink

Welcome to reality!

JimmyJones -> FreeShitter Sun, 02/18/2018 - 10:12 Permalink

The interview with Sessions and Maria Bartiromo on fox is very good, watch it. Today at 10am

DingleBarryObummer -> JimmyJones Sun, 02/18/2018 - 10:15 Permalink

fuck this bullshit

I want to know more about this:

https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/561076/donald-trump-9-11-i
REVEALED: Donald Trump vows to 'reopen 9/11 probe'

brianshell -> BullyBearish Sun, 02/18/2018 - 12:47 Permalink

Dear Bully,

Do you agree with these points?

1. Pardon Edward Snowden and Julian Assange as a sign he WELCOMES whistle blowers and putting the PEOPLE'S business in the LIGHT

2. Begin to revoke the fed's charter by putting Ron Paul in charge of a special investigation of fed malfeasance and destruction of the currency

3. Immediately suspend weapon sales to ANY country or organization involved in a current conflict

4. Revoke israel's special exemption from foreign lobbying registration and fully audit AIPAC with an intention to uncover bribery and espionage

5. Immediately indict Bill and Hillary Clinton and others from the Clinton Foundation on charges of corruption, espionage, and theft

6. Rescind all future payments/allotments to the saudi arabia and israel until they are in compliance with international law and human rights standards

7. Cease saber rattling against Iran and Russia and work toward peaceful, complementary accommodations

8. Draw down the 600 plus U.S. military bases around the world and bring the Americans HOME

9. Initially shift 30% of the current military budget to domestic infrastructure needs with a mandate of further reductions of 10% per yea

Brazen Heist -> brianshell Sun, 02/18/2018 - 13:04 Permalink

If it was the GOAL of Russia to create discord, disruption and chaos within the U.S. then, with all of the Committee Hearings, Investigations and Party hatred, they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They are laughing their asses off in Moscow.

Trump is right about the Russians laughing their asses off. But he still foolishly drinks the koolaid handed to him by his fellow swampsters that this was all a Russian plot.

Hubris does that. The swamp is full of it. And Trump is well over 50% in the swamp.

Billy the Poet -> Brazen Heist Sun, 02/18/2018 - 13:16 Permalink

It is true that Russians, the intelligence agencies of every other nation and fat guys in their basement all hack and troll the Internet. That simple fact was blown up into a fake Trump-Russia collusion narrative.

Trump's latest tweets straighten that all out pretty well.

Deep Snorkeler -> Zero_Ledge Sun, 02/18/2018 - 10:30 Permalink

Swinging Hunchbacks on Trump Tower

1. billions for defense, not one cent to protect children

2. tax cuts for the wealthiest, not one cent for debt reduction

3. privileges for giant corporations, attacks on the natural environment

4. a grand military parade and the collapse of democracy

5. trinkets for the middle class, gold for the billionaire caste

Deep Snorkeler -> FreeShitter Sun, 02/18/2018 - 12:39 Permalink

America all Opiated Up With Nowhere to Go

1. the pain of ignorance

2. the pain of obesity

3. the pain of TV watching

4. the pain of imperial collapse and military impotence

5. guns, guns and no fun

Duc888 -> Looney Sun, 02/18/2018 - 11:14 Permalink

1. Sessions has two investigations going on into Hillary. The heavy hitters in Military Int. are taking the lead so Sessions has no reason to dig deeper. the big boys are taking her down. So he did not flip. Clean up on aisle 6 is happening, albeit slowly.

2. Same thing, you'll see the Military Tribunals start in a few months. again, he did not flip... have you missed the fact that because of the ongoing investigations that about 30 congresspersons / Senators are not going up for re election? Most of the senior Staff in State dept is gone. Coney, out, Lynch, holder, Rice and a slew of others currently under investigation.

3. Is Trump supposed to be Assanges nanny or something?

4.That's more Tillersons mess and State dept. Most senior officials quit en mass months ago from State dept. Trump stopped all CIA funding going into Syria...

5. Easier said than done... I'm sure he didn't flip....but his priority now is the counter coup.

6. He took a round about approach in his Dec 21st EO. Blocked Soros dozens of bullshit non profit orgs...antifa funding...etc...

7. Flipped? Or did not get to it? Did he specifically SAY he was FOR term limits? Got a link?

SheHunter -> Looney Sun, 02/18/2018 - 11:54 Permalink

9. Build the wall - Windyfart.

10. Keep our money at home to rebuild America - Windyfart.

11. Stop our military intervention in ME and thrid-world countries - Flipped.

12. Put our tax money toward educating our younth - partial windfart.

The one thing I do applaud him for is succeeding in rattling the political/MSM/Deep Swamp cage. I give him credit for that much. MAGA.

343 Guilty Spark -> Looney Sun, 02/18/2018 - 12:02 Permalink

Looney I love you but you need to sit back and actually analyze the situation.

1. He extended an olive branch because of how crazy the divide was. She balked and he ramped up his rhetoric on investigating her.

2. WTF are you talking about?? He is pushing congress to investigate and push out publications on the corruption. He can't do shit on his own and expect people in the middle or left to believe it.

3. That is due to Britain putting out an arrest warrant. Has nothing to do with Trump.

4. The same Intel agencies you criticized in the past are giving him info. If they say Syria used chem weapons, he doesn't have any different information. With the info he had, he did the best option...gut the Airbase in question and not fully invade.

5. He got all the countries in question to up their spending, which was the biggest thing he gripped about.

6. I don't know anything about this point so I won't refute it.

7. That requires congress and a possible Constitutional Amendment. Give it time and we will see.

8. That requires congress and he has had a shit time with both Dems and RINOs. Give it time and we will see.

MoralsAreEssential -> Looney Sun, 02/18/2018 - 12:38 Permalink

People like you seem to think Trump can just wave a magic wand and POOF, fait accompli. Should he just declare himself Dictator, have a coup d'etat with the White Hat Military and we can go on from there? Do you have ANY idea the depth and breadth of the pollution and toxic information that if it was released at one time the created Zombie American public would literally implode and strike out at any and all, innocent or not? Trump has had to get himself into a powerful enough position to have a reason that the Zombies will accept even if they don't like it to rid himself of planted people NOT White Hats. Do you think he can just tell Goldman Sucks to F*** Off? What's wrong with you people? Look at what he's accomplished in one year AND HE HASN'T BEEN ASSASSINATED which in and of itself tells you how astute he is.

Bloodstock -> Looney Sun, 02/18/2018 - 13:11 Permalink

Mostly, I am disappointed in the war agenda and the continued kissing of Netanyaoo ass (although that was apparently going to happen throughout the campaign and election process.) With that said I do believe that getting his campaign promises all taken care of will be quite a chore and aren't going to happen in the short term. After 8 years of Obama, 8 years of Bush, I'm going to give Trump some more time before I try to fool some people that I've got a crystal ball. MAGA!

surf@jm -> Looney Sun, 02/18/2018 - 13:12 Permalink

I kinda agree, but I still thank god Hillary wasn`t elected......Don`t you?........

Plus no president in history has fulfilled 100% of promises......Besides not being practical, its probably impossible.....

Honest Sam -> Looney Sun, 02/18/2018 - 13:13 Permalink

You are a greedy son of a bitch. He did the single thing that forever saved us from another Clinton fiasco.

You either are a liar and did not vote for him, or you are an ignoramus about Presidential campaign promises, or you could be a DNC operative, attempting to infiltrate a friendly Trump website and sow seeds of discontent.

No matter what I still wake up every morning knowing that 61,000,000 of us destroyed 63,000,000 assholes' aspirations for corrupt criminal, turned Hollyweird ultra liberal predators in bowls of quivering jelly, and made Chris, Oliver, Colbert, Kimmel, most jews, nearly all of both coasts talking heads into blithering idiotic fools.

Count your blessing: No More Clintons!

brushhog -> Looney Sun, 02/18/2018 - 13:43 Permalink

1Gave you the biggest tax cut in history
2 Put an end to the TPP
3 Pulled us out of the NWO Paris climate accord
4 Rolled back regulations
5 Eliminated the obamacare mandate forcing you to buy communist insurance
6 Exposed more corruption in the intelligence, FBI, and DOJ than any other human being living or dead
7 Got rid of net neutrality

etc, etc, etc

The guy has made enormous progress toward his agenda within one year of taking office. What the hell do you want? You're no Trump voter, you lying SOS.

ProsperD9 -> Looney Sun, 02/18/2018 - 13:43 Permalink

You'd have to be VERY naive to think that Trump could just walk in and change everything. What do you think he has some magic button or something? He's in a very precarious situation and perhaps during his campaign he thought he would be able to easily make the changes that America so badly needs but the Deep State had another plans...and unfortunately, they have a lot of power. He has to play both-sides in order to ease his way into what needs to be done for the country and he's doing it. Think about it! North Korea and South Korea are starting to talk, he prevented WW3, he stopped the money that was flowing to the rebels in Syria, he hasn't changed his mind about NATO or the gun-free zones but what can he do now? You know Trump is actually not in charge of the military don't you? The military is a money machine and they don't want it to stop. Creating an enemy like Russia fits right into their hands. This goes for everything else you mentioned...as Trump is not entirely on the side of the Deep State they make it hard for him to do anything. You can't be so naive that you can't see the whole picture!

ReasonForLife -> Looney Sun, 02/18/2018 - 13:56 Permalink

Geez, the guy is 1 year in office and you've got sparks going off in your brain already?

Your impatience and lack of thinking depth is showing very strongly. One cannot come in and start slashing things with his sword, JFK tried that, they took him out. Now Trump wrote a little famous book called "The ART of the Deal", perhaps you may want to read it to understand how he works before you pass judgment. It takes great skill and TIME to be able to drain a swamp artfully.

Why don't you mention any of his great accomplishments he's made within first year as president you impatient fool?

chubbar -> Fishthatlived Sun, 02/18/2018 - 10:22 Permalink

The hammer comes down with the IG report, wait for it. Sessions may be a bumbling old fool or he may be playing the long game here. Since Sessions is Trumps political appointee, the optics of him going after all of these assholes from the Obama administration before the general public is aware of the corruption would doom the clean up. We'd have months/years of the MSM screaming about political payback, etc. So these guys are just taking baby steps to out the corruption.

If the IG report is as damning as it is being touted as, even the MSM will be forced to cover it and Horowitz is not a Trump appointee, he will be considered above the fray. He has to be the guy on point. Then Sessions can act without it being seen as political. They (MSM, Deep state) can play that card, but it won't carry much weight and just further discredit the MSM.

The IG needs to lay it out so that the MSM can't spin it to look like a Trump operation to deflect attention from the Russia collusion story which just took a massive torpedo from the Mueller/Rosenstein indictment, which exonerated Trump.

The narrative is being laid out right now and Trump is helping it along with these tweets. When the truth finally comes out about this massive effort to overturn the election using the intelligence community, FBI, DOJ and State Dept, even the most libtarded Dem will be clamoring for heads to roll and this sedition/treason leads all the way through Clinton and into the White House. It's going to be epic!

[Feb 19, 2018] The Free Market Threat to Democracy by John Weeks

Notable quotes:
"... In addition, financial capital leads to inequality, and that inequality, as you've seen in the United States and in Europe and many other places, it increases. And suddenly, not suddenly, but bit by bit, people begin to realize that they aren't getting their share and that means that the government, to protect capitalism, must use force to maintain the order of financial capital. And I think Trump is the fulfillment of that, and I think there are other examples too which I can go into. So, basically, my argument is that with the rise of finance and its unproductive activities, you've got the decline in living standards of the vast majority, and in order to maintain order in such a system where people no longer think that they're sort of getting their share, and so justice doesn't become, a just distribution doesn't become the reason why people support this system, increasingly it has to be done through force. ..."
"... I think that as The Real News has pointed out, that many of Trump's policies appear just to be more extreme versions of things that George Bush did, and in some cases not that much different from what Barack Obama did. ..."
"... The difference with Trump is, he has complete contempt for all of those constraints. That is, he is an authoritarian. I don't think he's a fascist, not yet, but he is an authoritarian. He does not accept that there are constraints which he should respect. There are constraints which bother him, and he wants to get rid of them, and he actually takes steps to do so. ..."
"... Erdoğan so infamously said? "Democracy is like a train. You take it to where you want to go and then you get off." No. Progressive view is that democracy is what it's all about. Democracy is the way that we build the present and we build a future. ..."
"... I think that the struggle in the United States is extremely difficult because of the role of the big money and the media, which you know more about than I do. But it is a struggle which we have to keep at, and we have to be optimistic about it. It's a good bit easier over here, but as we saw, and you reported, during the last presidential election, a progressive came very close to being President of the United States. That, I don't think was a one-off event, not to be repeated. I think it lays the basis for hope in the future. ..."
"... The democratic nation-state basically operates like a criminal cartel, forcing honest citizens to surrender large portions of their wealth to pay for stuff like roads and hospitals and schools. ..."
"... Any hierarchic system will be exploited by intelligent sociopaths. Systems will not save us. ..."
"... What I gleaned from my quick Wikiread was the apparent pattern of economic inequality causing the masses to huddle in fear & loathing to one corner – desperation, and then some clever autocrat subverts the energy from their F&L into political power by demonizing various minorities and other non-causal perps. ..."
"... Like nearly every past fascism emergence in history, US Trumpismo is capitalizing on inequality, and fear & loathing (his capital if you will) to seize power. That brings us to Today – to Trump, and an era (brief I hope) of US flirtation with fascism. Thank God Trump is crippled by a narcissism that fuels F&L within his own regime. Otherwise, I might be joining a survivalist group or something. :-) ..."
Feb 17, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Yves here. This Real News Network interview with professor emeritus John Weeks discussed how economic ideology has weakened or eliminated public accountability of institutions like the Fed and promote neo[neo]liberal policies that undermine democracy.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/o9bXo1f5r0I

SHARMINI PERIES: It's The Real News Network. I'm Sharmini Peries coming to you from Baltimore. The concept of the [neo]liberal democracy is generally based on capitalistic markets along with respect for individual freedoms and human rights and equality in the face of the law. The rise of financial capital and its efforts to deregulate financial markets, however, raises the question whether [neo]liberal democracy is a sustainable form of government. Sooner or later, democratic institutions make way for the interests of large capital to supersede.

Political economist John Weeks recently gave this year's David Gordon Memorial Lecture at the meeting of the American Economic Association in Philadelphia where he addressed these issues with a talk titled, Free Markets and the Decline of Democracy. Joining us now is John Weeks. He joins us from London to discuss the issues raised in his lecture. You can find a link to this lecture just below the player, and John is, as you know, Professor Emeritus of the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies and author of Economics of the 1%: How Mainstream Economics Serves the Rich, Obscures Reality and Distorts Policy. John, good to have you back on The Real News.

JOHN WEEKS: Thank you very much for having me.

SHARMINI PERIES: John, let me start with your talk. Your talk describes a struggle between efforts to create a democratic control over the economy and the interest of capital, which seeks to subjugate government to the interest, its own interest. In your assessment, it looks like this is a losing battle for democracy. Explain this further.

JOHN WEEKS: Yeah, so I think that Marx in Capital, in the first volume of Capital, refers to a concept called bourgeois right, by which he meant that, you said it in the introduction, that in a capitalist society there is a form of equality that mimics the relationship of exchange. Every commodity looks equal in exchange and there is a system of ownership that you might say is the shadow of that. I think more important, in the early stages of development of capitalism, of development of factories, that those institutions or those factories prompted the growth of trade unions and workers' struggles in general. Those workers' struggles were key to the development, or further development of democracy, freedom of speech, a whole range of rights, the right to vote.

However, with the development of finance capital, you've got quite a different dynamic within the capitalist system. Let me say, I don't want to romanticize the early period of capitalism, but you did have struggles, mass struggles for rights. Finance capital produces nothing productive, it doesn't do anything productive. So, what finance capital does basically is it redistributes the income, the wealth, the, what Marx would call the surplus value, from other sectors of society to itself. And it employs relatively few people, so that dynamic of the capital, industrial capital, generating its antithesis So, that a labor movement doesn't occur under financial capital.

In addition, financial capital leads to inequality, and that inequality, as you've seen in the United States and in Europe and many other places, it increases. And suddenly, not suddenly, but bit by bit, people begin to realize that they aren't getting their share and that means that the government, to protect capitalism, must use force to maintain the order of financial capital. And I think Trump is the fulfillment of that, and I think there are other examples too which I can go into. So, basically, my argument is that with the rise of finance and its unproductive activities, you've got the decline in living standards of the vast majority, and in order to maintain order in such a system where people no longer think that they're sort of getting their share, and so justice doesn't become, a just distribution doesn't become the reason why people support this system, increasingly it has to be done through force.

SHARMINI PERIES: All right, John. Before we get further into the relationship between neo[neo]liberalism and democracy, give us a brief summary of what you mean by neo[neo]liberalism. You say that it's not really about deregulation, as most people usually conceive of it. If that's not what it's about, what is it, then?

JOHN WEEKS: I think that if you think about the movements in the United States, and as much as I can, I will take examples from the United States because most of your listeners will be familiar with those, beginning in the early part of the twentieth century, in the United States you have reform movements, the breaking up of the large monopolies, tobacco monopoly, a whole range of Standard Oil, all of that. And then of course under Roosevelt you began to get the regulation of capital in the interests of the majority, much of that driven by Roosevelt's trade union support. So, that was moving from a system where capital was relatively unregulated to where it was being regulated in the interests of the vast majority. I also would say, though, I won't go into detail, to a certain extent it was regulated in the interest of capital itself to moderate competition and therefore, I'd say, ensure a relatively tranquil market environment.

Neo[neo]liberalism involves not the deregulation of the capitalist system, but the reregulation of it in the interest of capital. So, it involves moving from a system in which capital is regulated in the interests of stability and the many to regulation in a way that enhances capital. These regulations, to get specific about them, restrictions on trade unions, as you, on Real News, a number of people have talked about this. The United States now have many restrictions on the organizing of trade unions which were not present 50 or 60 years ago, making it harder to have a mass movement of labor against capital, restrictions on the right to demonstrate, a whole range of things. Then within capital itself, the regulations on the movement of capital that facilitate speculation in international markets. We have a capitalism in which the form of regulation is shifted from the regulation of capital in the interest of labor to regulation of capital in the interest of capital.

SHARMINI PERIES: John, give us a brief summary of the ways in which neo[neo]liberalism undermines democracy.

JOHN WEEKS: Well, I think that there are many examples, but I'm going to focus on economic policy. For an obvious case is the role of the Central Bank, in the case of the United States' Federal Reserve System, in which reducing its accountability to the public, one way you can do that is by assigning goals to it, such as fighting inflation, which then override other goals. Originally, the Federal Reserve System, its charter, or I'll say its terms of reference, if you want me to use that phrase, included full employment and a stable economy. Those have been overridden in more recent legislation, which puts a great emphasis on the control of inflation. Control of inflation basically means maintaining an economy at a relatively high level of unemployment or part-time employment, or flexible employment, where people have relatively few rights at work. And that the Central Bank becomes a vehicle for enforcing a neo[neo]liberal economic policy.

Second of all, probably most of your viewers will not remember the days when we had fixed exchange rates. We had a world of fixed exchange rates in those days that represented the policy, which government could use to affect its trade and also affect its domestic policy. There have been deregulation of that. We now have floating exchange rates. That takes away a tool, an instrument of economic policy. And in fiscal policy, there the, here it's more ideology than laws, though there are also laws. There's a law requiring that the government balance its budget, but more important than that, the introduction into the public consciousness, I'd say grinding into the public consciousness, the idea that deficits are a bad thing, government debt is a bad thing, and that's a completely neo[neo]liberal ideology.

In summary, one way that the democracy has been undermined is to take away economic policy from the public realm and move it to the realm of experts. So, we have certain allegedly expert guidelines that we have to follow. Inflation should be low. We should not run deficits. The national debt should be small. These are things that are just made up ideologically. There is no technical basis to them. And so, in doing that, you might say, the term I like to use is, you decommission the democratic process and economic policy.

SHARMINI PERIES: John, speaking of ideology, in your talk you refer to the challenge that fascism posed or poses to neo[neo]liberal democracies. Now, it is interesting when you take Europe into consideration and National Socialist in Germany, for example, appeal mostly to the working class, as does contemporary far-right leaders in Poland and Hungary, that they support more explicit neo[neo]liberal agendas. Why would people support a neo[neo]liberal agenda that exasperate inequalities and harm public services that they depend on, including jobs?

JOHN WEEKS: I think that to a great extent it is country-specific, but I can make generalizations. First of all, I'm talking about Europe, because you raised a case in some European countries, and then I'll make some comments about the United States and Trump, if you want me to. I think in Europe, a combination of three things resulted in the rise of fascism and authoritarian movements which are verging on fascism. One is that the European integration project, which let me say that I have supported, and I would still prefer Britain not to leave the European Union, but nevertheless, the European Union integration project has been a project run by elites.

It has not been a bottom-up process. It has been a process very much run by elite politicians, in which they get together in closed door, and they make policies which they subsequently announce, and many of the decisions they come to being extremely, the meaning of them being extremely opaque. So, therefore, you have the development in Europe of the European Union which, not from the bottom up, but very much from the top down. You might suggest from the top, but I'm not sure how much goes down. That's one.
The second key factor, I would say, for about 20 years in European integration, it was relatively benign elitism because it was social democratic, it had the support of the working class, or the trade unions, at any rate. Then, increasingly, it began to become neo[neo]liberal. So, you have an elite project which was turning into a neo[neo]liberal project. Specifically, what I mean by neo[neo]liberal is where they're generating flexibility rules for the labor market, austerity policies, bank, balanced budgets, low inflation, the things I was talking about before.

Then the third element, toxic, the most toxic of them, but the other, they're volatile, is the legacy of fascism in Europe. Every European country, with the exception of Britain, had a substantial fascist movement in the 1920s and 1930s. I can go into why Britain didn't sometime. It had to do with the particular class struggle of the, I mean, class structure of Britain. Poland, ironically enough, though, is one of them. It was overrun by the Nazis, and occupied, and incorporated into the German Reich. Ironically, it had a very right-wing government with a lot of sympathies towards fascism when it was invaded in the late summer of 1939.

France had a strong fascist movement. Of course, Italy had a fascist government, and Hungary, where now you have a right-wing government, a very strong fascist movement. The incorporation of these countries into the Soviet sphere of influence, or the empire, as it were, did not destroy that fascism. It certainly suppressed it, but it didn't destroy it. So, as soon as the European project began to transform into a neo[neo]liberal project, and that gathered strength in the early 1990s, I mean, the neo[neo]liberal aspect of the European Union gathered strength in the early 1990s, exactly when you were getting the "liberation" of many countries from Soviet rule. And so, when you put those together, it led to, It was a rise of fascism waiting to happen and now it is happening.

SHARMINI PERIES: John, earlier, you said you'll factor in Trump. How does Trump fit into this phenomena?

JOHN WEEKS: I think that as The Real News has pointed out, that many of Trump's policies appear just to be more extreme versions of things that George Bush did, and in some cases not that much different from what Barack Obama did. Now, though I wouldn't go too deeply into that, I think that that is the most serious offenses by Obama that have been carried on by Trump have to do with the use of drones and the military. But at any rate, but there's a big difference from Trump. For the most part, the previous Republican presidents, and Democratic presidents, accepted the framework of, the formal framework of [neo]liberal democracy in the United States. That is, formally accepted the constraints imposed by the Constitution.

Now, of course, they probably didn't do it out of the goodness of their heart. They did it because they saw that the things that they wanted to achieve, the neo[neo]liberal goals that they wanted to achieve were perfectly consistent with the Constitution's framework and guarantees of rights and so on, that most of those rights are guaranteed in a way that's so weak that you didn't have to repeal the first 10 Amendments of the Constitution in order to have repressive policies.

The difference with Trump is, he has complete contempt for all of those constraints. That is, he is an authoritarian. I don't think he's a fascist, not yet, but he is an authoritarian. He does not accept that there are constraints which he should respect. There are constraints which bother him, and he wants to get rid of them, and he actually takes steps to do so. What you have in Trump, I think, is a sea change. You have a, we've had right-wing presidents before, certainly. What the difference with Trump is, he is a right-wing president that sees no reason to respect the institutions of democratic government, or even, you might say, the institution of representative government. I won't even use a term as strong as "democratic." That lays the basis for an explicitly authoritarian United States, and I'd say that we're beginning to see the vehicle by which this will occur, the restriction on voting rights. Of course, that was going on before Trump, it does in a more aggressive way. I think the, soon, we will have a Supreme Court that will be quite lenient with his tendency towards authoritarian rule.

SHARMINI PERIES: All right, John. Let's end this segment with what can be done. I mean, what must be done to prevent neo[neo]liberal interests from undermining democracy? And who do you believe is leading the struggle for democracy now, and what is the right strategy that people should be fighting for?

JOHN WEEKS: Well, one thing, I think, where I'd begin is that I think progressives, as The Real News represents, and Bernie Sanders, and all the people that support him, and Jeremy Corbyn over here, I'll come back to talk about a bit about Jeremy. We must be explicit that we view democracy, by which we mean the participation of people at the grassroots, their participation in the government, we view that as a goal. It's not merely a technique, or a tool which, what was it that Erdoğan so infamously said? "Democracy is like a train. You take it to where you want to go and then you get off." No. Progressive view is that democracy is what it's all about. Democracy is the way that we build the present and we build a future.

I'm quite fortunate in that I live in perhaps the only large country in the world where there's imminent possibility of a progressive, left-wing, anti-authoritarian government. I think that is the monumental importance of Jeremy Corbyn and his second-in-command, John McDonnell, and others like Emily Thornberry, who is the Foreign Secretary. These people are committed to democracy. In the United States, Bernie Sanders is committed to a democracy, and a lot of other people are too, Elizabeth Warren. So, I think that the struggle in the United States is extremely difficult because of the role of the big money and the media, which you know more about than I do. But it is a struggle which we have to keep at, and we have to be optimistic about it. It's a good bit easier over here, but as we saw, and you reported, during the last presidential election, a progressive came very close to being President of the United States. That, I don't think was a one-off event, not to be repeated. I think it lays the basis for hope in the future.

... ... ...


JTMcPhee , February 17, 2018 at 9:35 am

"Informed speculation" with lots of footnotes and offshoots in this Reddit skein: https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/1llyf7/about_how_much_in_todays_money_was_30_pieces_of/

"A lot of money" in those days- Some say JI "bought land" with the shekels. An early form of asset swap? A precursor to current financialist activities?

WobblyTelomeres , February 17, 2018 at 10:44 am

Good article. If it were any bleaker, I'd suspect Chris Hedges having a hand in writing it.

The democratic nation-state basically operates like a criminal cartel, forcing honest citizens to surrender large portions of their wealth to pay for stuff like roads and hospitals and schools.

There it is, the Gorgon Thiel, surrounded by terror and rout.

James T. Cricket , February 18, 2018 at 3:46 am

I suppose you've read this.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/10/10/sam-altmans-manifest-destiny

Here's a quote:

"Altman felt that OpenAI's mission was to babysit its wunderkind until it was ready to be adopted by the world. He'd been reading James Madison's notes on the Constitutional Convention for guidance in managing the transition. 'We're planning a way to allow wide swaths of the world to elect representatives to a new governance board,' he said."

I was having trouble choosing which of the passages in this article to provide a mad quote from. Some other choices were
Altman's going to work with the Department of Defense, then help defend the world from them.
Or:
OpenAI's going to take over from humans, but don't worry because they're going to make it (somehow) so OpenAI can only terminate bad people. Before releasing it to the world.
Or:
Altman says 'add a 0 to whatever you're doing but never more than that.'

But if this sort of wisdom (somehow) doesn't work out well for everybody and the world collapses, he's flying with Peter Thiel in the private jet to the New Zealand's south island to wait out the Zombie Apocalypse on a converted sheep farm. (Before returning to the Valley work with more startups?)

These are your new leaders, people

David , February 17, 2018 at 7:56 am

I think it's revealing that the only type of democracy discussed, in spite of the title, is "[neo]liberal democracy", which the host describes as "based on capitalistic markets along with respect for individual freedoms and human rights and equality in the face of the law."

I've always argued that [neo]liberal democracy is a contradiction in terms, and you can see why from that quotation. [neo]liberalism (leaving aside special uses of the term in the US) is about individuals exercising their personal economic freedom and personal autonomy as much as they can, with as little control by government as possible.

But given massive imbalances in economic power, the influence of media-backed single issue campaigns and the growth of professional political parties, policy is decided by the interventions of powerful and well-organised groups, without ordinary people being consulted. At the end, Weeks does start to talk of grassroots participation, but seems to have no more in mind than a campaign to get people to vote for Sanders in 2020, which hardly addresses the problem. The answer, if there is one, is a system of direct democracy, involving referendums and popular assemblies chosen at random.

This has been much talked about, but since you would have the entire political class against you, it's not going to happen. In the meantime, we are stuck with [neo]liberal democracy, whose contradictions, I'm afraid are becoming ever more obvious.

JTMcPhee , February 17, 2018 at 8:45 am

"Contradictions?" One question for me at least would be whether the features and motions of the current regime are best characterized as "contradictions." If so, to what? And implicit in the use of the word is some kind of resolution, via actual class conflict or something, leading to "better" or at least "different." All I see from my front porch is more of the same, and worse. "The Matrix" in that myth gave some comforting illusions to the mopery. I think the political economy/collapsed planet portrayed in "Soylent Green" is a lot closer to the likely endpoints.

At least in the movie fable, the C-Suite-er of the Soylent Corp. as the lede in the film, was sickened of what he was helping to maintain, and bethought himself to blow his tiny little personal whistle that nobody would really hear, and got axed for his disloyalty to the ruling collective. I doubt the ranks of corporatists of MonsantoDuPont and LockheedMartin and the rest include any significant numbers of folks sickened by "the contradictions" that get them their perks and bennies and power (as long as they color inside the lines.)

Eustache De Saint Pierre , February 17, 2018 at 9:33 am

I hope I am way off the mark, but within that genre & in terms of where we could be heading, the film " Snowpiercer " sums it up best for me- a dystopian world society illustrated through the passengers on one long train.

Michael C , February 17, 2018 at 8:46 am

Thanks for the Real News Network for covering issues that never see the light of day on the corporate media and never mentioned by the Rachel Maddow's of the "news" shows.

torff , February 17, 2018 at 10:02 am

Can we please put a moratorium on the term "free market"? It's a nonsense term.

Yves Smith Post author , February 17, 2018 at 6:59 pm

Yes, I wrote about that at length in ECONNED. I kept the RNN headline, which used it, but should have put "free market" in quotes.

Katz , February 18, 2018 at 11:09 am

I actually like the term and find it useful, insofar as it describes an ideology -- as oposed a real political-economic arrangement. The presence of "free markets" may not be a characteristic of the neo[neo]liberal phase, but the belief in them sure is.

(Which is not to say there aren't people who don't believe in free markets but do invoke them rhetorically for other ends. That's a feature of many if not most successful ideologies.)

Jim Haygood , February 17, 2018 at 10:59 am

' Originally, the Federal Reserve charter included full employment and a stable economy. Those have been overridden in more recent legislation, which puts a great emphasis on the control of inflation.

Eh, this is fractured history. The Fed was set up in 1913 as a lender of last resort -- a discounter of government and private bills.

In late 1978 Jimmy Carter signed the Humphrey Hawkins Act instructing the Fed to pursue three goals: stable prices, maximum employment, and moderate long-term interest rates, though the latter is rarely mentioned now and the Fed is widely viewed as having a dual mandate.

The Fed's two percent inflation target it simply adopted at its own initiative -- it's not enshrined in no Perpetual Inflation Act.

' We had a world of fixed exchange rates which government could use to affect its trade and also affect its domestic policy. We now have floating exchange rates. That takes away a tool. '

LOL! This is totally inverted and flat wrong. The Bretton Woods fixed exchange rate system prevented radical monetary experiments such as QE which would have broken the peg. Nixon unilaterally suspended fixed exchange rates in 1971 because he was unwilling to take the political hit of formally devaluing the dollar (or even more unlikely, sweating out Vietnam War inflation with falling prices to maintain the peg).

Floating rates are a new and potentially lethal monetary tool which have produced a number of sad examples of "governments gone wild" with radical monetary experiments and currency swings. Bad boys Japan & Switzerland come readily to mind.

To render history accurately requires getting hands dirty with dusty old books. Icky, I know. :-(

RBHoughton , February 17, 2018 at 6:24 pm

Yes but globalisation meant that all central banks and finance ministers had to act concertedly as in G-20 and similar meetings. While we may talk of floating exchange rates, each country fixes its interest rate to maintain parity with the others. Isn't that so?

Yves Smith Post author , February 17, 2018 at 7:00 pm

Ahem, you skip over that the full employment goal was added to the Fed mandate in 1946, long before the inflation goal was added.

The Rev Kev , February 17, 2018 at 7:29 pm

I think that the key piece of info is that the Federal Reserve was created on December 23rd, 1913. That sounds like that it was slipped in the legislative back door when everybody was going away for the Christmas holidays.

Steven Greenberg , February 17, 2018 at 11:26 am

===== quote =====
Second of all, probably most of your viewers will not remember the days when we had fixed exchange rates. We had a world of fixed exchange rates in those days that represented the policy, which government could use to affect its trade and also affect its domestic policy. There have been deregulation of that. We now have floating exchange rates. That takes away a tool, an instrument of economic policy. And in fiscal policy, there the, here it's more ideology than laws, though there are also laws. There's a law requiring that the government balance its budget, but more important than that, the introduction into the public consciousness, I'd say grinding into the public consciousness, the idea that deficits are a bad thing, government debt is a bad thing, and that's a completely neo[neo]liberal ideology.
===== /quote =====

This makes absolutely no sense and seems to have the case exactly backward. Our federal government has no rule that the budget must be balanced. Fixed exchange rates were not a tool that could be used to affect trade and domestic policy in a good way.

Lee Robertson , February 17, 2018 at 11:42 am

Any hierarchic system will be exploited by intelligent sociopaths. Systems will not save us.

Susan the other , February 17, 2018 at 1:29 pm

I enjoyed John Weeks' point of view. He's the first person I've read who refers to the usefulness of a fixed exchange rate. Useful for a sovereign government with a social spending agenda. We have always been a sovereign government with a military agenda which is at odds with a social agenda.

Guns and butter are a dangerous combination if you are dedicated to at least maintaining the illusion of a "strong dollar." That's basically what Nixon finessed. John Conally told him not to worry, we could go off the gold standard and it wasn't our problem since we were the reserve currency – it was everybody else's problem and we promptly exported our inflation all around the world. And now it has come home to roost because it was fudging and it couldn't last forever.

Much better to concede to some fix for the currency and maintain the sovereign power to devalue the dollar as necessary to maintain proper social spending. I don't understand why sovereign governments cannot see that a deficit is just the mirror image of a healthy social economy (Stephanie Kelton).

And to that end "fix" an exchange rate that maintains a reasonable purchasing power of the currency by pegging it to the long term health of the economy. What we do now is peg the dollar to a "basket of goods and services"- Ben Bernanke. That "basket" is effectively "the market" and has very little to do with good social policy.

There's no reason we can't dispense with the market and simply fiat the value of our currency based on the social return estimated for our social investments. Etc. Keeping the dollar stubbornly strong is just tyranny favoring those few who benefit from extreme inequality.

ebbflows , February 17, 2018 at 4:19 pm

Bancor. Then some got delusions of grandeur.

albert , February 17, 2018 at 2:23 pm

" Democracy is not under stress – it's under aggressive attack, as unconstrained financial greed overrides public accountability ."

I request a lessatorium* on the term 'democracy', because there aren't any democracies. Rather than redefine the term, why not use a more accurate one, like 'plutocracy', or 'corporatocracy'.
-- -- -- -
* It's like a moratorium, you just do less of it.

Paul Cardan , February 17, 2018 at 2:37 pm

What is this democracy of which you speak?

Tomonthebeach , February 17, 2018 at 4:30 pm

I had not given much thought to "Fascist" until the term was challenged as a synonym for "bully." So, I started reading Wikipedia's take on Fascismo. What I discovered was the foremost, my USA education did not teach jack s -- about Fascism – and I went to elite high school in libr'l Chicago.

Is Fascism right or left? Does it matter? What goes around comes around.

What I gleaned from my quick Wikiread was the apparent pattern of economic inequality causing the masses to huddle in fear & loathing to one corner – desperation, and then some clever autocrat subverts the energy from their F&L into political power by demonizing various minorities and other non-causal perps.

Like nearly every past fascism emergence in history, US Trumpismo is capitalizing on inequality, and fear & loathing (his capital if you will) to seize power. That brings us to Today – to Trump, and an era (brief I hope) of US flirtation with fascism. Thank God Trump is crippled by a narcissism that fuels F&L within his own regime. Otherwise, I might be joining a survivalist group or something. :-)

Synoia , February 17, 2018 at 6:32 pm

Left and right are more line circle that a line.

I view the extreme left and extreme right, meeting somewhere, hidden, at the back of a circle.

c_heale , February 17, 2018 at 7:29 pm

I always believed this too!

+1

flora , February 17, 2018 at 8:01 pm

Neoliberalism involves not the deregulation of the capitalist system, but the reregulation of it in the interest of capital. So, it involves moving from a system in which capital is regulated in the interests of stability and the many to regulation in a way that enhances capital.

Prominent politicians in the US and UK have spent their entire political careers representing neoliberalism's agenda at the expense of representing the voters' issues. The voters are tired of the conservative and [neo]liberal political establishments' focus on neoliberal policy. This is also true in Germany as well France and Italy. The West's current political establishments see the way forward as "staying the neoliberal course." Voters are saying "change course." See:

'German Politics Enters an Era of Instability' – Der Speigel

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/german-political-landscape-crumbling-as-merkel-coalition-forms-a-1193947.html

[Feb 19, 2018] Russian Meddling Was a Drop in an Ocean of American-made Discord by AMANDA TAUB and MAX FISHER

Highly recommended!
Very weak analysis The authors completely missed the point. Susceptibility to rumors (now called "fake new" which more correctly should be called "improvised news") and high level of distrust to "official MSM" (of which popularity of alternative news site is only tip of the iceberg) is a sign of the crisis and tearing down of the the social fabric that hold the so social groups together. This first of all demonstrated with the de-legitimization of the neoliberal elite.
As such attempt to patch this discord and unite the US society of fake premises of Russiagate and anti-Russian hysteria look very problematic. The effect might be quite opposite as the story with Steele dossier, which really undermined credibility of Justice Department and destroyed the credibility o FBI can teach us.
In this case claims that "The claim that, for example, Mrs. Clinton's victory might aid Satan " are just s a sign of rejection of neoliberalism by voters. Nothing more nothing less.
Notable quotes:
"... It has infected the American political system, weakening the body politic and leaving it vulnerable to manipulation. Russian misinformation seems to have exacerbated the symptoms, but laced throughout the indictment are reminders that the underlying disease, arguably far more damaging, is all American-made. ..."
"... A recent study found that the people most likely to consume fake news were already hyperpartisan and close followers of politics, and that false stories were only a small fraction of their media consumption. ..."
Feb 18, 2018 | www.nytimes.com

That these efforts might have actually made a difference, or at least were intended to, highlights a force that was already destabilizing American democracy far more than any Russian-made fake news post: partisan polarization.

"Partisanship can even alter memory, implicit evaluation, and even perceptual judgment," the political scientists Jay J. Van Bavel and Andrea Pereira wrote in a recent paper . "The human attraction to fake and untrustworthy news" -- a danger cited by political scientists far more frequently than orchestrated meddling -- "poses a serious problem for healthy democratic functioning."

It has infected the American political system, weakening the body politic and leaving it vulnerable to manipulation. Russian misinformation seems to have exacerbated the symptoms, but laced throughout the indictment are reminders that the underlying disease, arguably far more damaging, is all American-made.

... ... ...

A recent study found that the people most likely to consume fake news were already hyperpartisan and close followers of politics, and that false stories were only a small fraction of their media consumption.

Americans, it said, sought out stories that reflected their already-formed partisan view of reality. This suggests that these Russians efforts are indicators -- not drivers -- of how widely Americans had polarized.

That distinction matters for how the indictment is read: Though Americans have seen it as highlighting a foreign threat, it also illustrates the perhaps graver threats from within.

An Especially Toxic Form of Partisanship

... ... ...

"Compromise is the core of democracy," she said. "It's the only way we can govern." But, she said, "when you make people feel threatened, nobody compromises with evil."

The claim that, for example, Mrs. Clinton's victory might aid Satan is in many ways just a faint echo of the partisan anger and fear already dominating American politics.

Those emotions undermine a key norm that all sides are served by honoring democratic processes; instead, they justify, or even seem to mandate, extreme steps against the other side.

Advertisement Continue reading the main story

In taking this approach, the Russians were merely riding a trend that has been building for decades. Since the 1980s , surveys have found that Republicans and Democrats' feelings toward the opposing party have been growing more and more negative. Voters are animated more by distrust of the other side than support for their own.

This highlights a problem that Lilliana Mason, a University of Maryland political scientist, said had left American democracy dangerously vulnerable. But it's a problem driven primarily by American politicians and media outlets, which have far louder megaphones than any Russian-made Facebook posts.

"Compromise is the core of democracy," she said. "It's the only way we can govern." But, she said, "when you make people feel threatened, nobody compromises with evil."

The claim that, for example, Mrs. Clinton's victory might aid Satan is in many ways just a faint echo of the partisan anger and fear already dominating American politics.

Those emotions undermine a key norm that all sides are served by honoring democratic processes; instead, they justify, or even seem to mandate, extreme steps against the other side.

[Feb 19, 2018] Trump says FBI missed Florida shooter 'signals' spending 'too much time trying to prove Russian collusion'

Feb 19, 2018 | www.legitgov.org
Trump says FBI missed Florida shooter 'signals' spending 'too much time trying to prove Russian collusion' | 17 Feb 2018 | President Trump late Saturday suggested the FBI could have stopped the shooter who killed 17 people and injured 14 others at a High School this week if they spent less time working on the Russia investigation.

"Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign - there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!" Trump tweeted.

His comment comes after the FBI said Friday that it had failed to follow "protocols" when it received a tip earlier this year about 19-year old Nikolas Cruz, the alleged shooter who went on a rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla on Wednesday.

[Feb 18, 2018] Western Chauvinism Against Russia Gone Berserk OpEd Eurasia Review

Notable quotes:
"... The whistle-blowers are holding their breath. The Russians and clean athletes are, too ..."
"... Substitute 'Russians' for some other group in such a negatively applied way and see the selective outrage. No NYT journo would write a bigoted comparison that differentiates between law abiding citizens and African-Americans, followed by a utilization of crime statistics as 'proof' for such a presented contrast ..."
"... *Michael Averko is a New York based independent foreign policy analyst and media critic. A closely related version of this article was initially placed at the Strategic Culture Foundation's website on February 8. ..."
Feb 18, 2018 | www.eurasiareview.com

For you non-sports minded Russia watchers, the ethically flawed antics of the IOC (International Olympic Committee), WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) and Western mass media at large, highlight a predominating anti-Russian bias that have a definite bigoted aspect. Having personally penned the title of this essay, let me say that the February 1 CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) decision favoring Russian athletes, is proof positive that not everyone in the West is motivated (subconsciously or otherwise) by anti-Russian sentiment.

Upon announcing its decision to ban Russia from the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics (with some Russian athletes competing under the Olympic flag and "Olympic Athlete from Russia" designation), the IOC indicated that the WADA propped McLaren report's claim of a Russian state-sponsored Olympic and Paralympic doping campaign hasn't been proven. Yet, this fact hasn't stopped the BBC and New York Times from falsely stating that the IOC decision is based on a primary Russian government culpability. Without definitively making the case in the open, the IOC said that there were testing irregularities at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, that favored some Russian athletes.

The February 1 CAS decision took into consideration that a good number of the IOC banned Russian athletes have been extensively tested inside and outside of Russia over a lengthy period of time, without ever being found guilty of a drug infraction. In addition, the CAS (on the known facts) reasonably concluded that the claimed 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic testing irregularities haven't been firmly concluded. Even if these irregularities occurred (something that remains unclear on account of the claim not being fully presented in the open), one then practically wonders whether it was with the knowledge of any or all of the effected Russian athletes and if their actual test results were indeed positive? Meantime, the prior and post 2014 Winter Olympic Olympic drug tests of a good number of these athletes reveal innocence.

In reply to these particulars, I've heard some Western chauvinist spin, saying that the CAS cleared Russians athletes aren't necessarily innocent, on account that they still could've cheated without getting caught. That very same logic applies to non-Russian athletes who might very well have succeeded in finding a way around the process.

The CAS found 11 Russian Olympians to have been previously found guilty of a drug infraction, that warranted a ban from Pyeongchang, as opposed to the hypocritically flawed IOC decision to implement a lifetime ban against them. The hypocrisy concerns the number of non-Russian athletes found guilty of doping, who didn't receive lifetime bans.

On the matter of gross anti-Russian hypocrisy, note famed US Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps' 2009 admission of smoking pot. Phelps wasn't banned from Olympic competition for that action. On the other hand, the IOC feels that it's appropriate to ban the Russian 1500 meter speed skating world record holder Denis Yuskov from the upcoming Winter Olympics, for a prior marijuana smoking episode in 2008. The unfairness of that move has been noted by some earnest folks in the West. Another of several repugnant anti-Russian IOC acts, concerns the banning of Russian short track speed skater Viktor Ahn.

As I've previously noted, Richard McLaren's claim that 1000 Russian athletes benefitted from a Russian government involved illicit regimen of cheating, would likely mean that ALL of the Russian athletes in question, would be shown beyond a reasonable doubt to have taken such a course. This hasn't been proven at all, with a note that the combined Russian Summer and Winter Olympic and Paralympic participating athletes is (if I'm not mistaken)under 1000.

On the US based National Public Radio, I heard the WADA connected American legal sports politico Travis Tygart (in rather self serving fashion) suggest his objectivity, by noting how he went after the legendary American cyclist Lance Armstrong. This is sheer BS, as Tygart never advocated banning all American cyclists and-or all US athletes from major competition. In comparison, Tygart (along with Canadian sports legal politico Dick Pound and some other pious blowhards) have favored a collective ban on all Russian athletes.

The likes of Tygart have a committed track record of extreme bias against Russia. In contrast, the IOC President Thomas Bach, comes across as a wishy washy sort, not fit to serve his position. It's a high point of chutzpah for Bach to second guess the CAS ruling on Russia, by saying that the CAS needs to be revamped. Bach and his fellow IOC cronies have belittled the CAS decision, with the announcement that none of the cleared Russian athletes will be invited to the upcoming Winter Olympics. Russian Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko befittingly said that the IOC and WADA are in need of restructuring.

At the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics, Bach took the position that the individual sports federations should decide on whether to restrict Russian partition. With rare exception, most of these IOC affiliated sports bodies decided (based on facts) that Russia shouldn't be penalized at that Olympiad. This time around, Bach has leaned towards the "pressure", as constantly rehashed by leading Western mass media outlets "to do something" against Russia.

A February 2 RT article , provides a healthy offset to the overall biased Western mass media reporting on the subject of Russian sports doping. The former details numerous reasons for not believing much of the negative allegations against Russian Olympians. Among the particulars, is the faulty notion that Russian athletes live and train under the same state manipulated structure. In actuality, a good number of them train outside Russia, with non-Russian coaches. Touching on this last point, The Washington Post's Sally Jenkins had an August 10, 2016 article , that showed how Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova, had taken performance enhancing drugs on her own, while training in the US, as opposed to some Russian state-sponsored method. (On the subject of Russian sports doping, Jenkins' aforementioned piece is an exception to the generally biased trend in Western mass media.)

It's matter of established record that Italy has the most Olympic sports dopers, despite having a smaller number of competing athletes when compared to Russia. Per capita, India, Turkey and Iran have higher rates of such doping infractions than Russia, with South Africa and Belgium having about the same percentage of positive doping as Russia. The December 24, 2017 Worlds Apart show , suggests that a disproportionate number of Western athletes have been given exemptions for drugs having a performance enhancing capability. (That RT show had earlier featured Dick Pound , which I followed up on .)

Moments before the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic opening ceremony, CAS came out with another decision on Russian athletes, which contradicts its February 1 ruling. Bigotry has been given a boost over the idea of judging people as individuals. To quote The New York Times' Juliet Macur: " The whistle-blowers are holding their breath. The Russians and clean athletes are, too ."

As I noted : " Substitute 'Russians' for some other group in such a negatively applied way and see the selective outrage. No NYT journo would write a bigoted comparison that differentiates between law abiding citizens and African-Americans, followed by a utilization of crime statistics as 'proof' for such a presented contrast ."

Along with numerous other Western mass media journalists, some of Macur's other commentary have a noticeable anti-Russian bias. I wonder if she learned that slant from her father , who she wrote about?

*Michael Averko is a New York based independent foreign policy analyst and media critic. A closely related version of this article was initially placed at the Strategic Culture Foundation's website on February 8.

[Feb 18, 2018] Here s how Mueller s latest indictment further discredits the Trump Dossier by Alexander Mercouris

Notable quotes:
"... As the days since Mueller's latest indictment have passed, the failure of his investigation to make any claim of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia has begun to sink in, even amongst some of Donald Trump's most bitter enemies. ..."
"... Even the Guardian – arguably the most fervid of Donald Trump's British media critics, and the most vocal supporter of the Russiagate conspiracy theory – has grudgingly admitted that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has "once again failed to nail Donald Trump" ..."
"... In fact the latest indictment when considered properly is a further huge nail in the coffin of the Russiagate conspiracy theory and in the already disintegrating credibility of the Trump Dossier, which is the foundation document for that theory ..."
"... Notwithstanding claims to the contrary, the Russiagate conspiracy theory is laid out in its most classic form in the Trump Dossier, and it is the Trump Dossier which remains the primary and indeed so far the only 'evidence' for it ..."
"... This theory holds that Donald Trump was compromised by the Russians in 2013 when he was filmed by Russian intelligence performing an orgy in a hotel room in Moscow, and he and his associates Paul Manafort, Carter Page and Michael Cohen subsequently engaged in a massive criminal conspiracy with Russian intelligence to steal the election from Hillary Clinton by having John Podesta's and the DNC's emails stolen by Russian intelligence and passed on by them for publication by Wikileaks. ..."
"... The Trump Dossier never mentions Jared Kushner's four conversations with Russian ambassador Kislyak, including the famous meeting between Kislyak and Kushner in Trump Tower on 1st December 2016 (which Michael Flynn also attended) over the course of which the setting up of a backchannel to discuss the crisis in Syria is supposed to have been discussed (Kushner denies that it was). ..."
"... The last entry of the Trump Dossier is dated 13th December 2016 ie. twelve days after this meeting took place, and given its high level a genuinely well-informed Russian source familiar with the private ongoing discussions in the Kremlin might have been expected to know about it. ..."
"... Nor does the Trump Dossier mention the now famous meeting in Trump Tower between the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and Donald Trump Junior – which Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner also attended – which took place on 9th June 2016. ..."
"... Now Special Counsel Mueller has provided further details in his latest indictment of actual albeit unknowing contacts between members of the Trump campaign and various Russian employees of Yevgeny Prigozhin's Internet Research Agency, LLC, apparently both in person and online. ..."
"... The Trump Dossier has however nothing to say about these contacts either, just as it has nothing to say about the Internet Research Agency, LLC, Yevgeny Prigozhin, or the entire social media campaign set out in such painstaking detail by Special Counsel Mueller in his indictment. ..."
"... I only remembered Helmer's 18th January 2017 article about the Trump Dossier after I wrote my article about Senator Grassley's and Senator Lindsey Graham's memorandum to the Justice Department on 6th February 2018. ..."
"... This is most unfortunate, not only because Grassley's and Lindsey Graham's memorandum resoundingly vindicates Helmer's reporting, but because it shows that a genuine expert about Russia like Helmer was able to spot immediately the holes in the Trump Dossier, which only now – a whole year and months of exhaustive investigations later – are starting to be officially admitted. ..."
"... Heroic efforts to elevate Papadopoulos's case and the meeting between Donald Trump Junior and the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya into 'evidence' of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia which exists supposedly independently of the Trump Dossier fail because as I have discussed extensively elsewhere (see here and here ) they in fact do no such thing. ..."
"... With the Trump Dossier – the lynchpin of the whole collusion case – not just unverified and discredited but proved repeatedly to have been completely uninformed about events which were actually going on, why do some people persist in pretending that there is still a collusion case to investigate? ..."
Feb 19, 2018 | theduran.com

As the days since Mueller's latest indictment have passed, the failure of his investigation to make any claim of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia has begun to sink in, even amongst some of Donald Trump's most bitter enemies.

Even the Guardian – arguably the most fervid of Donald Trump's British media critics, and the most vocal supporter of the Russiagate conspiracy theory – has grudgingly admitted that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has "once again failed to nail Donald Trump"

There will be understandable disappointment in many quarters that the latest indictments delivered by Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election, once again failed to nail Donald Trump. Although the charges levelled against 13 Russians and three Russian entities are extraordinarily serious, they do not directly support the central claim that Trump and senior campaign aides colluded with Moscow to rig the vote.

The Times of London meanwhile has admitted that the latest indictment contains "no smoking gun"

The Department of Justice, however, offered no confirmation to those still smarting from the election in Nov­em­ber 2016, who believe that, in the absence of Russian interference, Hillary Clinton would be in the White House today. Friday's allegations offered no evidence that the outcome had been affected. Sir John Sawers, former head of MI6, said yesterday that Donald Trump's victories in the key swing states were his own.

There was further comfort for Mr Trump, which he was quick to celebrate with a tweet. The investigation uncovered no evidence "that any American was a knowing participant in the alleged unlawful activity". That includes, so far, anybody involved in the Trump campaign. If there is a smoking gun it has yet to emerge, though Robert Mueller's investigation will grind on. Presi­dent Vladimir Putin is a malign and dangerous mischief maker. It has not been proved that he is an evil genius with the ability to swing a US election.

In fact the latest indictment when considered properly is a further huge nail in the coffin of the Russiagate conspiracy theory and in the already disintegrating credibility of the Trump Dossier, which is the foundation document for that theory.

Notwithstanding claims to the contrary, the Russiagate conspiracy theory is laid out in its most classic form in the Trump Dossier, and it is the Trump Dossier which remains the primary and indeed so far the only 'evidence' for it

This theory holds that Donald Trump was compromised by the Russians in 2013 when he was filmed by Russian intelligence performing an orgy in a hotel room in Moscow, and he and his associates Paul Manafort, Carter Page and Michael Cohen subsequently engaged in a massive criminal conspiracy with Russian intelligence to steal the election from Hillary Clinton by having John Podesta's and the DNC's emails stolen by Russian intelligence and passed on by them for publication by Wikileaks.

Belief in this conspiracy dies hard, and an interesting article in the Financial Times by Edward Luce provides a fascinating example of the dogged determination of some people to believe in it. Writing about Mueller's latest indictment Luce has this to say

Mr Mueller's report hints at more dramatic possibilities by corroborating contents of the "Steele dossier", which was compiled in mid-2016 by the former British intelligence officer, Christopher Steele -- long before the US intelligence agencies warned of Russian interference. Mr Steele, who is in hiding, alleged that the Russians were using "active measures" to support the campaigns of Mr Trump, Bernie Sanders, the Democratic runner-up to Hillary Clinton, and Jill Stein, the Green party nominee. Mr Mueller's indictment confirms that account.

Likewise, Mr Mueller's indictment confirms the Steele dossier's claim that Russia wished to "sow discord" in the US election by backing leftwing as well as rightwing groups. Among the entities run by the IRA were groups with names such as "Secured Borders", "Blacktivists", "United Muslims of America" and "Army of Jesus".

What is fascinating about these words is that none of them are true.

Christopher Steele is not in hiding.

The actua l Trump Dossier does not allege "that the Russians were using "active measures" to support the campaigns of Mr Trump, Bernie Sanders, the Democratic runner-up to Hillary Clinton, and Jill Stein, the Green party nominee".

Bernie Sanders is mentioned by the Trump Dossier only in passing. By the time the Trump Dossier's first entries were written Bernie Sanders's campaign was all but over and it was already clear that Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic Party's candidate for the Presidency.

Jill Stein is mentioned – again in passing – only once, in a brief mention which refers to her now infamous visit to Russia where she attended the same dinner with President Putin as Michael Flynn.

Nor does the Trump Dossier anywhere claim that "Russia wished to "sow discord" in the US election by backing leftwing as well as rightwing groups".

On the contrary the Trump Dossier is focused – exclusively and obsessively – on documenting at fantastic length the alleged conspiracy between the Russian government and the campaign of the supposedly compromised Donald Trump to get him elected US President.

Supporters of the Russiagate conspiracy theory need to start facing up to the hard truth about the Trump Dossier.

At the time the Trump Dossier was published in January 2017 little was known publicly about the contacts which actually took place between members of Donald Trump's campaign and tranisiton teams and the Russians during and after the election.

Today – a full year later and after months of exhaustive investigation – we know far more about those contacts.

What Is striking about those contacts is how ignorant the supposedly high level Russian sources of the Trump Dossier were about them.

Thus the Trump Dossier never mentions Jeff Sessions's two meetings with Russian ambassador Kislyak, or the various conversations Michael Flynn is known to have had with Russian ambassador Kislyak, some of which apparently took place before Donald Trump won the election.

The Trump Dossier never mentions Jared Kushner's four conversations with Russian ambassador Kislyak, including the famous meeting between Kislyak and Kushner in Trump Tower on 1st December 2016 (which Michael Flynn also attended) over the course of which the setting up of a backchannel to discuss the crisis in Syria is supposed to have been discussed (Kushner denies that it was).

The last entry of the Trump Dossier is dated 13th December 2016 ie. twelve days after this meeting took place, and given its high level a genuinely well-informed Russian source familiar with the private ongoing discussions in the Kremlin might have been expected to know about it.

Nor does the Trump Dossier mention the now famous meeting in Trump Tower between the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and Donald Trump Junior – which Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner also attended – which took place on 9th June 2016.

This despite the fact that the Trump Dossier's first entry is dated 20th June 2016 i.e. eleven days later, so that if this meeting really was intended to set the stage for collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia – as believers in the Russiagate conspiracy theory insist – a well informed Russian source with access to information from the Kremlin would be expected to know about it.

Nor does the Trump Dossier have anything to say about George Papadopoulos, the Trump campaign aide who had the most extensive contacts with the Russians, and whose drunken bragging in a London bar is now claimed by the FBI to have been its reason for starting the Russiagate inquiry.

In fact George Papadopoulos is not mentioned in the Trump Dossier at all.

This despite the fact that members of Russia's high powered Valdai Discussion Club were Papadopoulos's main interlocutors in his discussions with the Russians, and Igor Ivanov – Russia's former foreign minister, and a senior albeit retired official genuinely known to Putin – was informed about the discussions also, making it at least possible that high level people in the Russian Foreign Ministry and conceivably in the Russian government and in the Kremlin were kept informed about the discussions with Papadopoulos, so that a genuinely well-informed Russian source might be expected to know about them.

By contrast none of the secret meetings between Carter Page and Michael Cohen and the Russians discussed at such extraordinary length in the Trump Dossier have ever been proved to have taken place.

Now Special Counsel Mueller has provided further details in his latest indictment of actual albeit unknowing contacts between members of the Trump campaign and various Russian employees of Yevgeny Prigozhin's Internet Research Agency, LLC, apparently both in person and online.

The Trump Dossier has however nothing to say about these contacts either, just as it has nothing to say about the Internet Research Agency, LLC, Yevgeny Prigozhin, or the entire social media campaign set out in such painstaking detail by Special Counsel Mueller in his indictment.

The only conclusion possible is that if the Trump Dossier's Russian sources actually exist (about which I am starting to have doubts) then they were extraordinarily ignorant of what was actually going on.

That of course is consistent with the fact – recently revealed in the heavily redacted memorandum sent to the Justice Department by Senators Grassley and Lindsey Graham – that many of the sources of the Trump Dossier were not actually Russian but were American.

John Helmer – the most experienced journalist covering Russia, and a person who has a genuine and profound knowledge of the country – made that very point – that many of the Trump Dossier's sources were American rather than Russian – in an article he published on 18th January 2017, ie. just days after the Trump Dossier was published.

In that same article Helmer also made this very valid point about the Trump Dossier's compiler Christopher Steele

Steele's career in Russian intelligence at MI6 had hit the rocks in 2006, and never recovered. That was the year in which the Russian Security Service (FSB) publicly exposed an MI6 operation in Moscow. Russian informants recruited by the British were passed messages and money, and dropped their information in containers fabricated to look like fake rocks in a public park. Steele was on the MI6 desk in London when the operation was blown. Although the FSB announcement was denied in London at the time, the British prime ministry confirmed its veracity in 2012.Read more on Steele's fake rock operation here , and the attempt by the Financial Times to cover it up by blaming Putin for fabricating the story.

Given that Steele was outed by Russian intelligence in 2006, with his intelligence operation in Russia dismantled by the FSB that year, it beggars belief that ten years later in 2016 he still had access to high level secrets in the Kremlin.

What we now know in fact proves that he did not.

I only remembered Helmer's 18th January 2017 article about the Trump Dossier after I wrote my article about Senator Grassley's and Senator Lindsey Graham's memorandum to the Justice Department on 6th February 2018.

This is most unfortunate, not only because Grassley's and Lindsey Graham's memorandum resoundingly vindicates Helmer's reporting, but because it shows that a genuine expert about Russia like Helmer was able to spot immediately the holes in the Trump Dossier, which only now – a whole year and months of exhaustive investigations later – are starting to be officially admitted.

For my part I owe Helmer an apology for not referencing his 18th January 2017 article in my article of 6th February 2018. I should have done so and I am very sorry that I didn't.

I have spent some time discussing the Trump Dossier because despite denials it remains the lynchpin of the whole Russiagate scandal and of the claims of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Heroic efforts to elevate Papadopoulos's case and the meeting between Donald Trump Junior and the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya into 'evidence' of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia which exists supposedly independently of the Trump Dossier fail because as I have discussed extensively elsewhere (see here and here ) they in fact do no such thing.

Despite Edward Luce's desperate efforts to argue otherwise, Mueller's latest indictment far from corroborating the Trump Dossier, has done the opposite.

With the Trump Dossier – the lynchpin of the whole collusion case – not just unverified and discredited but proved repeatedly to have been completely uninformed about events which were actually going on, why do some people persist in pretending that there is still a collusion case to investigate?

[Feb 18, 2018] In Raging Tweetstorm, Trump Says Russians Laughing Their Asses Off, Mocks Leakin' Monster Schiff

Trump has a point: "If it was the GOAL of Russia to create discord, disruption and chaos within the U.S. then, with all of the Committee Hearings, Investigations and Party hatred, they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams..."
Feb 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
excoriating the FBI for failing to act on multiple tips about "professional school shooter" Nikolas Cruz's murderous intentions, and criticizing National Security Adviser HR McMaster over his Russia collusion comments, President Donald Trump shifted his focus toward one of his favorite targets, House Intelligence Committee ranking member Adam Schiff, whom he "congratulated" for finally acknowledging that the Obama administration is responsible for any attempted interference by Russia during the 2016 election.

In one of his more memorable turns of phrase, Trump lauded " Liddle Adam Schiff ", whom he branded the " leakin monster of no control ", for finally " blaming the Obama Administration for Russian meddling in the 2016 Election. He is finally right about something. Obama was President, knew of the threat, and did nothing. Thank you Adam!"

Trump also expressed his amazement that nobody in federal law enforcement or Congress tried to stop the Obama administration from handing over nearly $2 billion in cash to Iran. The cash transfers were first reported by the Wall Street Journal in September 2016. The administration defended its actions by saying it was merely returning the money, which belonged to Iranian entities, but had been frozen because of sanctions.

... ... ...

Putting it all together, given the hysteria surrounding Russian interference during the 2016 election, the multiple investigations and countless public resources wasted, if it was Russia's intention to create chaos in the US, then they've "succeeded beyond their wildest dreams", Trump claimed."They're probably " laughing their asses off in Moscow," he added.


Looney Sun, 02/18/2018 - 10:02 Permalink

But wasn't I a great candidate?

Yes you were , and I voted for you, you lying flip-flopping piece of shit!

1. Jail Crooked Hillary – Flipped. During the Inauguration Dinner: "The Clintons are good people!"

2. Drain the Swamp – Flipped. The promise vanished like a fart in the wind.

3. I love WikiLeaks – Flipped. Assange is still marooned in the Embassy.

4. Get out of Syria – Flipped. Attacked Syria with 59 Tomahawks.

5. Reform or Disband NATO – Flipped.

6. Ban Foreign Lobbyists – Flipped. "Did I really promise that shit?"

7. Enact Term Limits – Flipped. Just another fart in the wind.

8. Eliminate Gun-Free Zones – Flipped. Should've pushed for that after the Florida School shooting.

Looney

FreeShitter -> Looney Sun, 02/18/2018 - 10:06 Permalink

Welcome to reality!

JimmyJones -> FreeShitter Sun, 02/18/2018 - 10:12 Permalink

The interview with Sessions and Maria Bartiromo on fox is very good, watch it. Today at 10am

DingleBarryObummer -> JimmyJones Sun, 02/18/2018 - 10:15 Permalink

fuck this bullshit

I want to know more about this:

https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/561076/donald-trump-9-11-i
REVEALED: Donald Trump vows to 'reopen 9/11 probe'

brianshell -> BullyBearish Sun, 02/18/2018 - 12:47 Permalink

Dear Bully,

Do you agree with these points?

1. Pardon Edward Snowden and Julian Assange as a sign he WELCOMES whistle blowers and putting the PEOPLE'S business in the LIGHT

2. Begin to revoke the fed's charter by putting Ron Paul in charge of a special investigation of fed malfeasance and destruction of the currency

3. Immediately suspend weapon sales to ANY country or organization involved in a current conflict

4. Revoke israel's special exemption from foreign lobbying registration and fully audit AIPAC with an intention to uncover bribery and espionage

5. Immediately indict Bill and Hillary Clinton and others from the Clinton Foundation on charges of corruption, espionage, and theft

6. Rescind all future payments/allotments to the saudi arabia and israel until they are in compliance with international law and human rights standards

7. Cease saber rattling against Iran and Russia and work toward peaceful, complementary accommodations

8. Draw down the 600 plus U.S. military bases around the world and bring the Americans HOME

9. Initially shift 30% of the current military budget to domestic infrastructure needs with a mandate of further reductions of 10% per yea

Brazen Heist -> brianshell Sun, 02/18/2018 - 13:04 Permalink

If it was the GOAL of Russia to create discord, disruption and chaos within the U.S. then, with all of the Committee Hearings, Investigations and Party hatred, they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They are laughing their asses off in Moscow.

Trump is right about the Russians laughing their asses off. But he still foolishly drinks the koolaid handed to him by his fellow swampsters that this was all a Russian plot.

Hubris does that. The swamp is full of it. And Trump is well over 50% in the swamp.

Billy the Poet -> Brazen Heist Sun, 02/18/2018 - 13:16 Permalink

It is true that Russians, the intelligence agencies of every other nation and fat guys in their basement all hack and troll the Internet. That simple fact was blown up into a fake Trump-Russia collusion narrative.

Trump's latest tweets straighten that all out pretty well.

Deep Snorkeler -> Zero_Ledge Sun, 02/18/2018 - 10:30 Permalink

Swinging Hunchbacks on Trump Tower

1. billions for defense, not one cent to protect children

2. tax cuts for the wealthiest, not one cent for debt reduction

3. privileges for giant corporations, attacks on the natural environment

4. a grand military parade and the collapse of democracy

5. trinkets for the middle class, gold for the billionaire caste

[Feb 18, 2018] Both agencies were complicit in the most infamous assassinations and false flag episodes since the Kennedy/MLK Vietnam days. Don't forget Air America CIA drug running and Iran/Contra / October Surprise affairs.

Notable quotes:
"... The Dulles brothers, with Allan as head of Sullivan and Cromwells' CIA were notorious facilitators for the international banksters and their subsidiary corporations which comprise the largest oil and military entities which have literally plainly stated in writing, need to occasionally "GALVANIZE" the American public through catastrophic and catalyzing events in order for Americans to be terrified into funding and fighting for those interlocked corporations in their quest to spread "FULL SPECTRUM DOMINANCE," throughout the globe. ..."
"... The book by Peter Dale Scott, "The American Deep State Wall Street, Big Oil And the Attack on American Democracy" covers in detail some of the points you mention in your reply. It is a fascinating book. ..."
Feb 18, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Lee Anderson , February 17, 2018 at 4:32 pm

Your link to the Giraldi piece is appreciated, however, Giraldi starts off on a false premise: He claims that people generally liked and trusted the FBI and CIA up until or shortly after 9/11. Not so! Both agencies were complicit in the most infamous assassinations and false flag episodes since the Kennedy/MLK Vietnam days. Don't forget Air America CIA drug running and Iran/Contra / October Surprise affairs.

The Dulles brothers, with Allan as head of Sullivan and Cromwells' CIA were notorious facilitators for the international banksters and their subsidiary corporations which comprise the largest oil and military entities which have literally plainly stated in writing, need to occasionally "GALVANIZE" the American public through catastrophic and catalyzing events in order for Americans to be terrified into funding and fighting for those interlocked corporations in their quest to spread "FULL SPECTRUM DOMINANCE," throughout the globe.

The political parties are theatre designed to fool the people into believing we are living in some sort of legitimate, representative system, when it's the same old plutocracy that manages to get elected because they've long figured out the art of polarizing people and capitalising on tribal alignments.

We should eliminate all government for a time so that people can begin to see that corporations really do and most always have run the country.

It's preposterous to think the stupid public is actually discussing saddling ourselves and future generations with gargantuan debt through a system designed and run by banksters!

it should be self evident a sovereign nation should maintain and forever hold the rights to develop a monetary/financial system that serves the needs of the people, not be indentured servants in a financial system that serves the insatiable greed of a handful of parasitic banksters and corporate tycoons!

Joe Tedesky , February 17, 2018 at 5:08 pm

You are so right, in fact Robert Parry made quite a journalistic career out of exposing the CIA for such things as drug running. I gave up on that agency a longtime ago, after JFK was murdered, and I was only 13 then. Yeah maybe Phil discounts the time while he worked for the CIA, but the CIA has many, many rooms in which plots are hatched, so the valiant truth teller Giraldi maybe excused this one time for his lack of memory .I guess, right?

Good comment Lee. Joe

Annie , February 17, 2018 at 5:56 pm

Yes, but he's referring to the public's opinion of these agencies, and if they didn't continue to retain, even after 9/11, a significant popularity in the public's mind how would we have so many American's buying into Russia-gate? In my perception of things they only lost some ground after 9/11, but Americans notoriously have a short memory span.

Gregory Herr , February 17, 2018 at 6:42 pm

And films that are supposed to help Americans feel good about the aims and efficacy of the agencies like Zero Dark Thirty and Argo are in the popular imagination.

Skeptigal , February 17, 2018 at 7:19 pm

The book by Peter Dale Scott, "The American Deep State Wall Street, Big Oil And the Attack on American Democracy" covers in detail some of the points you mention in your reply. It is a fascinating book.

[Feb 18, 2018] If there HAD been any evidence of collusion , treason , or an attack by foreign state actors Donald Trump would have been pulled from the roster of presidential candidates by October 2016 at the latest.

Notable quotes:
"... Any country that would allow a traitor (or even a suspected traitor) to compete for the highest office in the land is not a country that is serious about "sovereignty" or "democracy" and should quite rightly be considered a failed state. ..."
"... As for the red-baiting and blatantly obvious attempts by the FVEYs to get Russia to throw a first punch -- so we can then jump in with all we've got and pin down the victory we thought we had back in 1998 (the big one that got away) -- I think we should all re-read that open letter signed by Dmitry Orlov, the Saker, and others which was posted in May of 2016 (yeah: right around the time this whole Russia narrative was being cooked up): https://cluborlov.blogspot.ca/2016/05/a-russian-warning.html ..."
"... Let's all just hope the warmongers end up exposing themselves as being the belligerent, immature a**holes that they are so everyone else can laugh and point and get back to building the peaceful, prosperous world that we want to live in. ..."
Feb 18, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

LaNinya

no evidence is added to cohesively tie the establishment Russia narrative together

Right.
It's all been gossip and innuendo.

If there HAD been any evidence of "collusion", "treason", or an "attack" by foreign state actors, the intelligence and law-enforcement agencies would not have been playing games leaking to the press, but pressing forward with serious measures to harden the country's security system and neutralize the threat(s). Had there been any genuine evidence of malfeasance by the Trump campaign (outside of widely practiced and generally accepted instances of corruption), Donald Trump would have been pulled from the roster of presidential candidates by October 2016 at the latest.

Any country that would allow a traitor (or even a suspected traitor) to compete for the highest office in the land is not a country that is serious about "sovereignty" or "democracy" and should quite rightly be considered a failed state.

As for the red-baiting and blatantly obvious attempts by the FVEYs to get Russia to throw a first punch -- so we can then jump in with all we've got and pin down the victory we thought we had back in 1998 (the big one that got away) -- I think we should all re-read that open letter signed by Dmitry Orlov, the Saker, and others which was posted in May of 2016 (yeah: right around the time this whole Russia narrative was being cooked up):
https://cluborlov.blogspot.ca/2016/05/a-russian-warning.html

Let's all just hope the warmongers end up exposing themselves as being the belligerent, immature a**holes that they are so everyone else can laugh and point and get back to building the peaceful, prosperous world that we want to live in.

Joe Tedesky , February 17, 2018 at 1:13 pm

Good letter, please read this one.

https://slavyangrad.org/2014/09/24/the-russia-they-lost/

LaNinya , February 17, 2018 at 1:48 pm

Wow. Good one, Joe. Beautifully written. Thanks for the link. The comments were interesting, too.

Joe Tedesky , February 17, 2018 at 1:55 pm

Your welcome, and you are right about the comments. Let's read the very first one, as I'm also leaving off the commenters name which may be seen on the original comment board.

"As an American who has spent a lifetime studying his nation, I can tell you for a fact that America was never cool. At the end of WWI, American soldiers came home to lynch African-Americans in record numbers because they had gotten "uppity" in the soldiers' absence. After WWII, America protected Nazi war criminals and immediately attacked the real saviour of mankind (the Soviet Union), actually attacking Soviet citizens and starving the Soviet state of reconstruction monies. In the 1950s, America took over the British and French empires and became a National Security State with the growth of the CIA. Sixty-five years later, it is estimated by scholarly demographic studies that The United States is directly responsible for 40 million deaths. Even Nazi Germany, had it been victorious in WWII, could have not outstripped that record of carnage. Think about that! The world was saved from the Nazi conquest only to suffer the US conquest. And the latter was worse -- simply because the US was larger and richer and therefore more powerful and violent. You and your friends should never have been entranced. The Soviet Union provided its citizens with employment, housing, education, health-care, recreation, great art, science. The United States provided its citizens with job insecurity, homelessness, brainwashing, obesity, stress leading to mass killings, crap art, and laughable pseudo-science. I rather wonder what it might have been like for myself if I had been born on the USSR rather than the USA. I'd feel less rage and guilt, forty million fewer iota of rage and guilt; that is for certain. That would have been cooler."

What a great comment, and made with such historical accuracy. Joe

[Feb 18, 2018] And, what about all the foreign nationals who post here in this forum on this blog? I daresay most offer opinions not complementary of the US government and its political menagerie.

"I swear that Russiagate is nothing more than trying to cover up the blatant corruption of the DNC, Hillary Clinton, the FBI, CIA and The Department of Justice. Keep everybody busy with Russiagate and don't allow the corruption (with the help of the press) to see the light of day. Otherwise, people in high places would be going to jail.
Notable quotes:
"... As many commentators have pointed out, we are a country of completely brain washed people now. Schiff, Schumer, Sanders . . . they are all cut from the same cloth. There is not one politician left in the country who will challenge the The Ruling Power Structure's narrative. Even in Russia, there are lot of opposition leadership voices who are making noises against the System they disagree with. ..."
"... They can't make "hacking" stick 'cause it's false. They can't make "Trump is a Putin puppet" stick 'cause it's false. So now the whole damn dumb show–regurgitated by either shameless war profiteers or straight-faced useful idiots–comes down to so-called Russian social media trolls exercising the same "speech" that we are supposedly so proud to call "free" in this country. ..."
"... The Thought Police use surveillance and psychological monitoring to find and eliminate members of society who challenge the party's authority and ideology. ..."
"... Anyone who has questioned the intelligence agencies narrative that Russians and Trump colluded to win the election are viewed with suspicion as potential enemies of the state. ..."
"... What is the end goal? The end goal is to prop up a long in the tooth multi-decade cold war with Russia to justify massive military spending. Do you want to know the answer to your question of whether or not the US defense industry and our intelligence agencies are trying to spark a war with Russia? ..."
"... The answer is yes they are. As crazy as that sounds, the hungry defense industry with its insatiable appetite for more weapons has decided to go for the ultimate win the lottery strategy and foment war with Russia. It had been happening under Obama and now it is happening under Trump. They are trying to box him into a corner where he will feel enough pressure to go against Russia. Perhaps they can goad him into attacking Russia which is what I believe they want to do. Our national media plays along and is in bed with the intelligence agencies as much as ever just like they spouted the lies of Chalabi in Iraq War II falsely believing his claims that Saddam Hussein had nuclear and chemical and biological weapons. ..."
"... "Yet still they want more as Caitlin Johnstone pointed out. What they want now to do is to do the same thing they have been doing under Obama and enlist Trump on the grandest military adventure of all. War with Russia." ..."
"... The Russiagate affair has been going on for almost a year and I would think Mueller is under a lot of pressure to find something to stick. This indictment may be it. ..."
"... Once again, Russia's reputation will be taken down a few notches and made to suffer another humiliation. And the US will move on to the next allegation, "UK and US blame Russia for the malicious NotPetya cyberattack" (headline on BBC). ..."
Feb 18, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

"Realist , February 17, 2018 at 3:27 pm

Essentially, all Mueller did yesterday was to indict a bunch of private Russian citizens for expressing their opinions about the candidates in the last presidential election via public media (mainly Facedbook and Twitter), and the individual Russians contacted by the press about it did not deny doing so. Mueller made no links to the Russian government, Putin, the FSB or even their alleged puppet Donald Trump. Just private individuals being persecuted for expressing an opinion on American politics in public because they are foreigners. Doesn't matter whether the opinions were true, false, complementary or disparaging because they were subjective just like anyone else's opinions (you know, opinions are like a-holes, everybody's got one).

So, if that move by Mueller is allowed to stand and serve as a precedent in American jurisprudence, doesn't that mean that journalists from foreign lands, like Caitlin herself, are at risk of being indicated at any moment by the US Justice Department if they express opinions that the insiders in the Deep State do not like? And, what about all the foreign nationals who post here in this forum on this blog? I daresay most offer opinions not complementary of the US government and its political menagerie. And, to be honest, many do so in order to either change minds or solidify shared beliefs with others, including great swirling drifts of snowflake Americans.

This free exchange of thoughts is now to be verboten because someone other than Uncle Sam may have an influence or even change the mind of a precious American citizen? This is madness. That the most educated and articulate amongst us do not see this, but rather participate in the feeding frenzy upon the carcass of what is left of our liberal democracy is absolutely stupifying. As I have been saying for some time now, someone or some force must be imposing a form of mass hypnosis upon the population and only a few of us (including most here) seem to be immune to its effects. Maybe something we consume acts as an antidote. Perhaps your Italian grandma's muffalettas or calzones, Joe? Or my mother's German rouladen?

Dave P. , February 17, 2018 at 5:01 pm

Realist –

"As I have been saying for some time now, someone or some force must be imposing a form of mass hypnosis upon the population and only a few of us (including most here) seem to be immune to its effects."

You are dead right on that. My wife was yelling and screaming last night that why I was not watching this "Russia trolls" show with her on CNN, MSNBC, and PBS; to learn how the Russians have destroyed our beautiful democracy. She had seen the World too, mostly for fun and experiences; she taught English in Malaysia – British colony until 1957 – as a peace Corps volunteer during 1960's. There you have it. As many commentators have pointed out, we are a country of completely brain washed people now. Schiff, Schumer, Sanders . . . they are all cut from the same cloth. There is not one politician left in the country who will challenge the The Ruling Power Structure's narrative. Even in Russia, there are lot of opposition leadership voices who are making noises against the System they disagree with.

Gregory Herr , February 17, 2018 at 6:21 pm

They can't make "hacking" stick 'cause it's false. They can't make "Trump is a Putin puppet" stick 'cause it's false. So now the whole damn dumb show–regurgitated by either shameless war profiteers or straight-faced useful idiots–comes down to so-called Russian social media trolls exercising the same "speech" that we are supposedly so proud to call "free" in this country. They not only take us for moronic fools, but they can't even see that that they are insulting us further by insinuating that our voting decisions are completely unsophisticated and easily swayed to the point that 13 Russians could have an impact amidst a sea of election season campaign "propaganda" from both major parties and an array of special interest influence peddling. Like the Clinton campaign didn't hire Facebook trolls!
Bye Bye First Amendment no one in the halls of power takes it seriously enough to defend it unless you're spouting groupthink right Bernie?

Zachary Smith , February 17, 2018 at 8:00 pm

Essentially, all Mueller did yesterday was to indict a bunch of private Russian citizens for expressing their opinions about the candidates in the last presidential election via public media (mainly Facedbook and Twitter), and the individual Russians contacted by the press about it did not deny doing so.

I'll echo Drew Hunkins in calling this a brilliant condensation of the issue. What worries me is what the morons-in-charge might have in mind as a follow-up to this lunacy.

CitizenOne , February 18, 2018 at 2:31 am

Perhaps we are entering into the Orwellian dawn of Thought Crimes which are any feelings or thinking a Citizen has which are counter to the State Propaganda put out by the Ministry of Truth. The Thought Police (thinkpol in Newspeak) are the secret police of the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. It is their job to uncover and punish thoughtcrime. The Thought Police use surveillance and psychological monitoring to find and eliminate members of society who challenge the party's authority and ideology.

Anyone who has questioned the intelligence agencies narrative that Russians and Trump colluded to win the election are viewed with suspicion as potential enemies of the state.

It would appear to be allegations of thought crime because 15 foreign nationals posted things on social media. We have been under the perception that social media is a free forum for discourse but now, like China, we are seeing the formation of a witch hunt for foreign devils who have infiltrated the social mediascape and are on trial for the results of a national election.

We are literally burning some innocent teenager for the calamity we are convinced was not of our own making. We need to find a witch to brew some witchcraft to explain how our current situation has arisen.

Not sure if anyone alive today believes the Salem Witch Trials served justice and created a restoration of civil harmony. I'm fairly sure that everyone looks at those dark days as a travesty of justice.

Yes we are living in a time of universal deceit and the act of telling the truth has become a revolutionary act just as Orwell portrayed in his novel.

Thought crimes are fairly scary and they imply that our government is willing to indict the thoughts of whoever it deems to be an enemy of the state and bring the thinkers of thought crime as defined by the state as anyone who questions the official fake narrative of Russia Gate to "justice".

What is the end goal? The end goal is to prop up a long in the tooth multi-decade cold war with Russia to justify massive military spending. Do you want to know the answer to your question of whether or not the US defense industry and our intelligence agencies are trying to spark a war with Russia?

The answer is yes they are. As crazy as that sounds, the hungry defense industry with its insatiable appetite for more weapons has decided to go for the ultimate win the lottery strategy and foment war with Russia. It had been happening under Obama and now it is happening under Trump. They are trying to box him into a corner where he will feel enough pressure to go against Russia. Perhaps they can goad him into attacking Russia which is what I believe they want to do. Our national media plays along and is in bed with the intelligence agencies as much as ever just like they spouted the lies of Chalabi in Iraq War II falsely believing his claims that Saddam Hussein had nuclear and chemical and biological weapons.

Even the analysis on North Korea which opines that NK will use all weapons first as a first strike in a scenario the USA has called the "Use it or Lose it" fell short and was proved a false scenario or that there were really no actual WMDs in Iraq as the UN claimed.

Either way, the likely outcomes of a WMD armed Iraqi leader facing imminent demise which would cause him to use all available weapons at his disposal did not happen. There are only two conclusions to the outcome. Saddam did not have these weapons or the likely scenario of "Use it or Lose it" is all wrong.

Either way the premise of the war was shown to be false.

Unfortunately in the aftermath of that war there was no US counterpart to the British Chilcot Report and the US went on to engage in regime change in other nations like Ukraine, Syria, Libya and elsewhere.

There is no sense to it other than to destabilize nations, foment violence and create international tensions which have the effect of causing our elected leaders to pony up more money for defense to combat the new enemies we just created.

Yet still they want more as Caitlin Johnstone pointed out. What they want now to do is to do the same thing they have been doing under Obama and enlist Trump on the grandest military adventure of all. War with Russia.

I agree with her assessment that this is crazy. This is the most irresponsible thing yet but it has been enabled by a fake news press just as it was enabled by the fake news media all the times before.

I agree with you Joe that a form of mass hypnosis has gripped our democrat officials and a large segment of our population. We have been handed a leader they don't like and they are ready and able to make hay with the election outcome to persuade us by force to support more military adventures.

Dave P. , February 18, 2018 at 3:53 am

Citizen One –

"Yet still they want more as Caitlin Johnstone pointed out. What they want now to do is to do the same thing they have been doing under Obama and enlist Trump on the grandest military adventure of all. War with Russia."

I agree with her assessment that this is crazy. This is the most irresponsible thing yet but it has been enabled by a fake news press just as it was enabled by the fake news media all the times before."

Yes. This scenario is getting more and more likely. All steps point to that direction.

Skeptigal , February 17, 2018 at 11:10 pm

Unfortunately I'm not as confident. Here is the complete indictment at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-43091945 . There are three counts (with almost 70 allegations): 1. Conspiracy to Defraud the United States 2. Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud And Bank Fraud and 3. Aggravated Identity Theft. It ends with a forfeiture allegation seeking property, real or personal from the defendants.

The Russiagate affair has been going on for almost a year and I would think Mueller is under a lot of pressure to find something to stick. This indictment may be it. Mueller will be the hero; Trump may be saved as the interference started in 2014, before his campaign began; the Hillary emails and Nunes memo will be cast aside; and the USA can say to the world "see I told you so."

Once again, Russia's reputation will be taken down a few notches and made to suffer another humiliation. And the US will move on to the next allegation, "UK and US blame Russia for the malicious NotPetya cyberattack" (headline on BBC).

Martin - Swedish citizen , February 18, 2018 at 1:15 am

If the allegations are true, they need to be put in perspective:
– what might be the rational behind? Eg tit-for-tat for Western meddling, arms race,
– do other nations engage in similar projects? What are the scale of those?

Starting in 2014 could it have been triggered by the Kiev coup and Nuland's was it five billion?

[Feb 18, 2018] Had Hillary Won What Now by Andrew Levine

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... ANDREW LEVINE is the author most recently of THE AMERICAN IDEOLOGY (Routledge) and POLITICAL KEY WORDS (Blackwell) as well as of many other books and articles in political philosophy. His most recent book is In Bad Faith: What's Wrong With the Opium of the People . He was a Professor (philosophy) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Research Professor (philosophy) at the University of Maryland-College Park. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). ..."
Feb 18, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

Then Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump, would be president of the United States, but the Senate, probably, and the House of Representatives, certainly, would have remained under Republican control.

In other words, had Hillary won, we would now have pretty much what we had when Barack Obama was president – but with the executive branch less competently led and more packed with Clintonite (neoliberal, liberal imperialist, shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later) officials, and with a Congress run by obstinate Republican troglodytes running roughshod over feckless, slightly less retrograde Democrats.

Radical impulses would, of course, continue to stir throughout the general population but notwithstanding widespread and deep popular support, to even less avail than before.

A Clinton presidency wouldn't make the blood of high-minded people boil, the way the Trump presidency has done, though, for anyone with the courage to face reality squarely, it would be nearly as painful to endure.

That pain would be much less constructive than the pain that is now so widely felt. Instead of sparking anodyne "resistance," it would be drowned out in a sea of acquiescence.

In a word, Clinton's first term would be what a third Obama term would have been – ratcheted down a few notches in the squelched "hope" and "change" departments.

By being African American, Obama stirred up plenty of hope and change illusions, especially at first, in many, maybe most, sectors of the population. In other sectors, Obama's race brought barely suppressed prejudices and resentments out into the open.

Because it soon became clear – not to everybody, but to everybody not willfully blind – that, under Obama, little, if any, good would come, Obamaphilia eventually faded away; the racism and nativism Obama's election boosted proved more durable.

Hillary, on the other hand, was anything but a beacon of hope – except perhaps to those of her supporters whose highest priority was electing a woman president. Hardly anyone else ever expected much good to come from her calling the shots.

In comparison with Obama, she wasn't even good at what she did. Despite a constant barrage of public relations babble about how experienced and competent she is, this was widely understood, even if seldom conceded.

She hadn't been much of a First Lady or Senator; among other things, she helped set the cause of health insurance reform back a generation, and she supported the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars.

Then, as Secretary of State, she was at least partly responsible for devastating levels of disorder and mayhem throughout North Africa (Libya especially), the Greater Middle East (not just Syria), and elsewhere (Honduras, for example). But for her tenure at Foggy Bottom, there would be many fewer refugees in the world today.

It is therefore a good bet that were she president now, Obama would be sorely missed – notwithstanding his fondness for terrorizing civilians with weaponized drones, and for deporting Hispanics and others with a zeal exceeding George Bush's.

Inasmuch as he did break a color line that seemed infrangible, it was impossible for persons of good will not to root for the man. That would be like not rooting for Jackie Robinson. But the fact remains: except in comparison to his rivals and to Trump, he was no prize.

Because it was clear to nearly everybody outside the Clinton propaganda circuit that, by 2016, there really was no "glass ceiling" holding women back, Hillary had nothing like that going for her.

There were and are plenty of people of all ages and genders who would have liked to see a woman elected president; the time for that is long past due. But, by the time Clinton became the Democratic standard bearer, hardly anyone could truly believe that patriarchal attitudes or rampant misogyny were significant factors standing in her way.

To be sure, the lingering effects of attitudes in place years ago have diminished the pool of plausible female candidates. But then so too did the idea that Clinton was somehow entitled to the office. Because that attitude was so deeply entrenched, few women wanted to cross her.

Nevertheless, there are women who, running on the Democratic line, could surely have defeated Trump. An obvious example is Elizabeth Warren.

I am not alone in thinking that had the Democratic National Committee not rigged the nomination process in Clinton's favor, Bernie Sanders would have become the party's nominee and then gone on to defeat Trump. Warren's chances of winning the election were better still – precisely because, she is a woman.

Clinton's problem was not her gender; it was her politics.

Even so, we would be a lot better off now had she won in 2016 -- not just because the evil we know (too well!) is easier to deal with than the blooming buzzing confusion we ended up with instead, but also because, despite her Russophobia and fondness for "military solutions," the likelihood that the United States would blunder into a nuclear Armageddon would now be significantly less.

Too bad therefore that she flubbed even more egregiously than those of us who saw through the public relations myths about her accomplishments and competence thought possible.

Needless to say, in the alternative universe that Democrats and their media flacks have concocted, they explain the election outcome differently. In their view, Hillary lost because "the Russians" subverted our democratic institutions.

Or was it because James Comey, then the Director of the FBI, tipped that election to Trump by refocusing attention on Clinton's emails as Election Day approached?

One would think that it would faze Democratic confabulators that, shortly after the election was over, Comey rose to the top of Donald Trump's shit list – and was unceremoniously fired. They really should get their story straight.

While they are sorting that out, they might also make an effort to be a tad less besotted with the FBI. It is, to say the least, unseemly, even for faux-progressives, to cozy up to the perennial scourge of every progressive tendency in the American body politic.

And it isn't just the FBI – Democrats nowadays are smitten with the entire national security state apparatus, including the CIA and the NSA.

Democrats have always been that way to some extent, but, in the pre-Trump era, Republicans were generally the more gung ho of our two semi-established parties.

For decades, Cold War anti-Communist paranoia endeared the FBI and the others to wide swathes of the general public and to Republicans and Democrats alike. When a dearth of real world Communists made that story line impossible to maintain, "Islamic terrorists" were on hand to take their place.

These obsessions pair well with the right's passion for law and order – in other words, for keeping the poor generally, and persons of color especially, down.

And so, being the more rightwing of the duopoly parties, Republicans, before Trump, were especially besotted with the forces of order – from local police (for whom, black lives don't really matter) on up (or is it down?).

Democrats have never had any real quarrel with any of this, but, being the "nicer" and more reasonable of the duopoly parties, they were less inclined to go overboard.

It grieves me to say anything good about Donald Trump, but, to his credit, he did force Republicans onto a less unreasonable track – not in general, but towards Russia, a country with a nuclear arsenal so formidable that only maniacs would want to mess with it unnecessarily.

In all likelihood, Trump's reasons are venal or otherwise nefarious, and have little if anything to do with common sense. But anything that holds back the Doomsday Clock is welcome.

It is likely, though, that, before long, Republicans will revert back to their old ways.

Indeed, this is already happening: witness Trump's new "defense strategy" – aimed at the old Cold War bugaboos, Russia and China.

The scare quotes are in order because there is no strategy there, and what Trump is proposing has nothing to do with defense. It has everything to do, however, with giving free rein to the Pentagon to squander monies that could be otherwise spent in socially useful ways, and with stuffing the pockets of death merchants ("defense contractors") and those who feed off the taxpayer money our political class throws their way.

***

Despite even this, Democrats remain the less odious duopoly party. On nearly all "issues," just about any Republican is worse than any Democrat; and the attitudes and instincts Republicans evince are more execrable by far.

It should be born in mind, however, that the Democratic Party is, if anything, even more responsible for Trump than the Republicans are.

Insofar as he has set political views and attitudes, they were forged in New York City, under the aegis of Democratic Party politicians. And the Clintonite (neoliberal) turn in the larger political culture created the conditions for the possibility of Trump, or someone like him, rising to national prominence.

Democrats pulled this off by malignly neglecting the working class – and therefore less well-off white voters, among others – and by euthanizing nascent left oppositions that showed promise of challenging the economic supremacy and political power of the so-called "donor class" and of capitalists generally.

Neoliberalism shifts power and resources from the state sector to private capital, it encourages the globalization of trade, and it facilitates the free flow of capital around the world.

Its nostrums are integral to a form of class struggle aimed at weakening working class opposition – largely, but not exclusively, by attacks on the labor movement.

The classical fascism of the interwar years took aim at workers' economic and political organizations too – more directly, through violent frontal assaults. Neoliberalism works more gently, through protracted wars of attrition. The consequences, however, are much the same.

The Clintons and Tony Blair and their counterparts in other countries make a show of their progressivism – limiting their efforts, however, to cultural issues that do not materially harm capitalists' interests.

Around election times, they even make nice with union leaders -- because they need the resources and manpower they can still provide. But it is all a ruse, as workers and others know well.

Real fascists set out to intimidate workers' organizations; they liked bloodying noses. Neoliberals take aim at workers' power in such subtle but far-reaching ways that they often don't even realize that they have been had.

In the early days of the Regan era, Bertram Gross famously introduced the notion of "friendly fascism." The GOP used to be the friendly fascist's natural home. These days, however, Republicans are a lot nastier than they were in Reagan's time.

In recent years, the Tea Party and then Trump and the miscreants he has empowered have accentuated the GOP's racist, nativist, and authoritarian side. It is not a fascist party in the traditional sense, but the resemblances are more than a little worrisome.

And so, Reagan-style friendly fascism has largely disappeared from the Republican fold. But for what has taken its place, this would be a reason to celebrate.

Meanwhile, the spirit of the "Reagan revolution" lives on in the other duopoly party –where, thanks to the Clintons and others like them, efforts to keep "the donor class up" and everyone else down continue in a seemingly more benign way.

The electoral consequences are predictable. The kinds of working class people whom Trump derides – basically, everyone who is not white, male and straight – are, of course, more likely to vote for Democrats than Republicans. But they are more likely still not to vote at all.

Why would they when they have nothing to vote for ?

And, in large (mainly rural) swathes of the country, white working class men and the women who stand by them will vote for anyone, even an obviously incompetent billionaire buffoon whose policies will do nothing for them materially, provided only that he channels their resentments at Clintonite policies and people.

However, malign neglect of an important segment of the working class is only partly responsible for Trump. The absence of a genuine left is of far greater importance.

The reasons for its absence are many, and go far beyond the Democratic Party. Even so, Democrats have a lot to answer for.

As it became increasingly clear that the Bush-Cheney wars launched after 9/11 were responsible for enormous harm to people and to geopolitical stability, a peace movement took shape that, by 2006, had become a force to be reckoned with.

At the same time, in anticipation of the 2008 election, the leadership of the Democratic Party did its best to keep dissent in bounds. Their aim was to get Hillary Clinton elected president, and they feared that political turbulence would upset their plans.

At the very least, with the House back under Democratic control in 2006, Democrats could have initiated impeachment proceedings against George Bush; they had more than ample grounds. Whether or not he would then have been removed from office, he and his subordinates would have been impeded to some extent from doing at least some of the harm they went on to do.

But Nancy Pelosi and her co-thinkers in Congress put the kibosh on that idea. Their efforts did not stifle the growing peace movement entirely, but it did take some of the wind out its sails.

When it turned out that Obama was a stronger candidate than Clinton, and that the nomination would go his way, leading Democrats adapted. Hillary was their favorite, but Obama had been thoroughly vetted for corporate-friendliness and passed all the tests with flying colors. That was good enough for them.

And so it fell to the Nobel laureate to put the peace movement definitively down, even as he continued – temporarily even escalating -- the Bush-Cheney wars.

For too long and against too much contrary evidence, liberals took it for granted that Obama was on the side of the angels. They therefore let pass the murder and mayhem he was responsible for.

After eight years of that, what little semblance of a genuine left there had been within the Democratic Party's ambit found itself narcotized into oblivion.

An appetite for real opposition, even rebellion, existed within the general public; under the pressure of events it was growing all the time. But, with our debilitating duopoly party system in place, there was no political way out of the status quo.

Had Hillary won, that sad state of affairs would have continued, while the underlying maladies that Trump exploited for the benefit of himself and his class would have continued to fester.

And we would now likely be on the brink of even more appalling electoral outcomes than we suffered through in 2010 and 2014, and in 2016, when the Trump phenomenon defied all expectations.

Paradoxically, though, with Trump's victory, the prospects for a better mainstream politics actually improved. Trump is so manifestly unfit for the job he holds that his hold over the White House and the Republican Party actually harms the right more than it helps it.

His ever expanding docket of impeachable offenses and his crude misogyny are doing the work an organized left opposition would be doing, if only one existed -- creating space for popular movements to develop.

It started with the Women's March, immediately after Inauguration Day, and has been growing ever since; with women – black, brown, and white – leading the surge.

With midterm elections looming, the danger of cooptation is great -- Democrats, their media in tow, are working overtime to make that happen. But thanks to Trump, things have gone too far by now to be squelched entirely.

What Obama's victory did to the peace movement after 2008, a Hillary victory in 2016 would have done ten times over to the several (mainly woman-led) insurgencies that were beginning to take shape during the campaign.

With Trump in the White House, progressive women remain in the forefront of struggles to change the world for the better. With Clinton there instead, their best efforts would be swamped by anodyne campaigns led by well-meaning liberals of the kind that understandably rile up the Trump base.

All things considered, it would have been better (less catastrophically awful) had Hillary won. Even so, there is some reason to be grateful that she did not. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Andrew Levine

ANDREW LEVINE is the author most recently of THE AMERICAN IDEOLOGY (Routledge) and POLITICAL KEY WORDS (Blackwell) as well as of many other books and articles in political philosophy. His most recent book is In Bad Faith: What's Wrong With the Opium of the People . He was a Professor (philosophy) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Research Professor (philosophy) at the University of Maryland-College Park. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

[Feb 17, 2018] Russia condemned and defined as the enemy of America with laughably little evidence (effing Facebook posts being about the extent of it) .... not a word about JEWISH MONEY controlling the entire political system in the USA. When Netanyahu gets 29 standing ovations from Congress should that not have triggered an FBI Investigation

Taking oil price to 30th or 40th is a strategic goal of the USA in relation to Russia. Listen at 3:30.
Notable quotes:
"... Appeasing interview with a shockingly cheap incompetent former CIA head Woolsey. If this man seriously represents the intellectual level of the CIA, then the USA will implode even faster than in ten years. ..."
"... You are exactly right. U$ politicians are uninformed, stupid, detached from reality, selfish and they think like schoolyard kids do. ..."
"... They are the product of the US society as a whole. ..."
"... Craig Murray nailed this issue stone dead for all time a few years ago, when he wrote:"[neo]liberal interventionism, the theory that bombing brown people is good for them". ..."
"... In the former The Ukraine, the Jewish Quisling oligarch dictator, Poroshenko, has been appointing foreigners to positions of power (SackOfShvilli is but one). He supported this by stating: "Ukrainians are too corrupt to rule themselves." When will we in America hear such a statement from our leaders to justify the appointment of Jews and paid Judaeophiles to all positions of power? ..."
"... I'm just waiting for Yevgeny Prigozhin to hold a press conference in Russia to claim that Hillary Clinton paid him to run the Internet Research Agency to besmirch her opponent- watch the fireworks :) It's all a hall of mirrors. ..."
"... The Internet Research Agency couldn't have possibly been more ineffective, which points to it's main purpose being to besmirch Trump (more more likely it was just an unimportant hobby of Prigozhin). ..."
"... Sure the United States has, they have been doing it since 1953 with the overthrow of Iran, to as recently as 2012 Russian Election, 2014 Ukraine Election, the UK referendum on 23 June 2016 on Brexit and currently trying to overthrow it this year. These are just a few and there is a very long list of other countries also. The United States in now in Russia and Hungry today meddling it their elections. Got to get the right people in office so they will cow-tow to the United States. ..."
"... What an admission! trump doesn't want more drilling for oil to Americans to use. It is for export and for foreign interference ..."
"... and if the price of oil would go down to 30/40$ that would make a unhappy input and so would be the saudis and you fracking industry would go down the toilet and thy will drag the banks with them. What a moron. And US oil companies would like that alot too ..."
Feb 17, 2018 | theduran.com

Gano1 , February 17, 2018 10:31 AM

The USA has lost all morality, they are so hypocritical it is risible.

Patricia Dolan , February 17, 2018 10:25 AM

What Russian expansionism??? Look at the US expansionism..........get a grip!

Ann Johns Patricia Dolan , February 17, 2018 2:51 PM

Another tiresome, butthurt yank/wank? Between the new One Belt, One Road Chinese initiative, the Russians taking control of ME oil production and the fact that america has NO answers to help it's declining empire, it would seem to the non-partisan observer that america is well and truly f***ed. You must be talking about their debt expansionism, $20 TRILLION and rising by the second.

Vera Gottlieb Patricia Dolan , February 17, 2018 2:29 PM

US expansionism...really? Where? 😜

Mario8282 Vera Gottlieb , February 17, 2018 2:58 PM

Syria? Libya? Yemen? Africa, Afgh...

Vera Gottlieb Mario8282 , February 17, 2018 3:00 PM

And you left out Latin America...

Mario8282 Vera Gottlieb , February 17, 2018 3:05 PM

This is why I left with the dots... The list would end up with America itself (an endless spree of false flags and deception schemes).

Patricia Dolan Mario8282 , February 17, 2018 6:11 PM

Thank you Mario......let's not forget Ukraine, Kosovo, Bosnia, the entirety of eastern Europe, the entirety of northern Africa, Rwanda, the Congo, Venezuela, Chili, Guatemala, Panama, Jeeeeeeeze etc......

Patricia Dolan Vera Gottlieb , February 17, 2018 6:07 PM

get a grip......and turn your TV off!

Terry Ross Patricia Dolan , February 17, 2018 6:08 PM

'twas sarcasm Patricia.

Patricia Dolan Terry Ross , February 17, 2018 6:18 PM

I guess the WINKS need to be LARGER!!!! LOL

ThereisaGod , February 17, 2018 10:05 AM

Russia condemned and defined as the enemy of America with laughably little evidence (effing Facebook posts being about the extent of it) .... not a word about JEWISH MONEY controlling the entire political system in the USA. When Netanyahu gets 29 standing ovations from Congress should that not have triggered an FBI "Investigation"? Nah ... nothing happening there. It is breathtaking that THIS is the Alice-In-Wonderland world we inhabit.

Ton Jacobs, Human Guardians , February 17, 2018 10:02 AM

Appeasing interview with a shockingly cheap incompetent former CIA head Woolsey. If this man seriously represents the intellectual level of the CIA, then the USA will implode even faster than in ten years.

christianblood Ton Jacobs, Human Guardians , February 17, 2018 12:32 PM

(...If this man seriously represents the intellectual level of the CIA, then the USA will implode even faster than in ten years...)

You are exactly right. U$ politicians are uninformed, stupid, detached from reality, selfish and they think like schoolyard kids do.

Jesse Marioneaux christianblood , February 17, 2018 12:43 PM

They are the product of the US society as a whole.

christianblood Jesse Marioneaux , February 17, 2018 12:57 PM

They indeed are! U$A! U$A! U$A!

tom , February 17, 2018 11:14 AM

Craig Murray nailed this issue stone dead for all time a few years ago, when he wrote:"[neo]liberal interventionism, the theory that bombing brown people is good for them".

journey80 , February 17, 2018 12:37 PM

Yeah, that's hilarious. Join the murdering creep in a giggle, Laura, that's cute. Here's a global criminal who should have been hung years ago for crimes against humanity. No one in their right mind would treat this creep with anything but contempt and horror, let alone find him funny.

Franz Kafka , February 17, 2018 12:17 PM

In the former The Ukraine, the Jewish Quisling oligarch dictator, Poroshenko, has been appointing foreigners to positions of power (SackOfShvilli is but one). He supported this by stating: "Ukrainians are too corrupt to rule themselves." When will we in America hear such a statement from our leaders to justify the appointment of Jews and paid Judaeophiles to all positions of power?

journey80 Franz Kafka , February 17, 2018 12:34 PM

We don't need to hear it, we're living it.

Franz Kafka journey80 , February 17, 2018 3:33 PM

My profound and sincere condolences. You are getting the 'Democracy Treatment' by the West. I hope some of you survive to tell the tale and take revenge.

Franz Kafka , February 17, 2018 12:09 PM

Are those ears or bat-wings? WOW! Yet another Jewe, pretending not be be. I guess he would say that the USA murdered all the Indians and enslaved Africans 'for their own good' as well.
Talmudo-Satanism is the pernicious underlying ideology of the people who have taken over, not just the USA, but, lets face it, the entire West.

Vera Gottlieb , February 17, 2018 2:28 PM

What a bunch of ingrates we are...not appreciating all that the CIA is doing for us. We must thank them instead of complaining.

Trauma2000 , February 17, 2018 5:30 PM

Lets not forget that the U.$.A. meddled in Australia's election of the Whitlam Government. (And several governments there after as soon as they realised they could get away with it an nothing would happen to them). The United States are a bunch of sick puppies; really sick puppies the way they have treated Australia.

So much for being allies. With allies like the United States you don't need enemies (Unless the U.$. doctors them up for you to force you to pay them more money for weapons and protection).

And it makes me sick that so many 'naive' people around the world keep falling for the SH*T that comes out of their mouths.

When dealing with the United States there are a few rules to follow. (Apologies to the innocent Americans out there but 'they' allow their government to do some unspeakable horrors to the world.)

And that goes for the entire planet no matter who the United States is speaking to.

End of story.

Shue Trauma2000 , February 17, 2018 5:51 PM

Worst part is the our Gov can't think ahead, if they keep antagonising China on behalf of the Seppo's China will eventually pull their mineral imports and our economy will crash overnight.

HappyCynic , February 17, 2018 4:31 PM

Yes, nobody doubts that the US interferes with elections in other countries - we're the good guys, so this is ok :)

I'm just waiting for Yevgeny Prigozhin to hold a press conference in Russia to claim that Hillary Clinton paid him to run the Internet Research Agency to besmirch her opponent- watch the fireworks :) It's all a hall of mirrors.

The Internet Research Agency couldn't have possibly been more ineffective, which points to it's main purpose being to besmirch Trump (more more likely it was just an unimportant hobby of Prigozhin).

John R Balch Jr , February 17, 2018 6:31 PM

Sure the United States has, they have been doing it since 1953 with the overthrow of Iran, to as recently as 2012 Russian Election, 2014 Ukraine Election, the UK referendum on 23 June 2016 on Brexit and currently trying to overthrow it this year. These are just a few and there is a very long list of other countries also. The United States in now in Russia and Hungry today meddling it their elections. Got to get the right people in office so they will cow-tow to the United States.

Graeme Pedersen , February 17, 2018 6:11 PM

I believe john Key was sent from the U$A (Merrill Lynch) to ruin our economy in New Zealand as well.

janbn , February 17, 2018 5:37 PM

What an admission! trump doesn't want more drilling for oil to Americans to use. It is for export and for foreign interference.

Aidi Deduction , February 17, 2018 4:51 PM

Frederick the Great concluded that to allow governments to be dominated by the majority would be disastrous: "A democracy, to survive, must be, like other governments a minority persuading a majority to let itself be led by a minority."

General Kreeg , February 17, 2018 4:13 PM

Russian Trolls are all of a sudden the Russian Gov't.

fredd , February 17, 2018 3:18 PM

and if the price of oil would go down to 30/40$ that would make a unhappy input and so would be the saudis and you fracking industry would go down the toilet and thy will drag the banks with them. What a moron. And US oil companies would like that alot too

Mario8282 , February 17, 2018 2:56 PM

...and the US bombed half of the world's countries for their own good too. US made Libya a slave market for humanity's good as well. Oboomer even got the Nobel Peace Prize for it.

K Walker , February 17, 2018 2:55 PM

I would be greatly relieved if the USA government merely tweeted instead of invading and indulging in regime change.

Kevin S , February 17, 2018 12:55 PM

Talk about the pinnacle of hypocrisy!

[Feb 17, 2018] Russia has paid for a few Facebook trolls. Boo hoo. Better that than the typical US method of kidnapping and torturing opposition leaders we don t like.

Feb 17, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Expat Sat, 02/17/2018 - 18:28 Permalink

How is this "news"? The US has been meddling in foreign elections for hundreds of years. When we can't change the results, we change the leader. We have assassinated foreign leaders. We have organized revolutions. We have carried out false flag "terrorist" attacks to destabilize countries.

Russia has paid for a few Facebook trolls. Boo hoo. Better that than the typical US method of kidnapping and torturing opposition leaders we don't like. Fuck America and it's brutish hypocrisy.

Son of Captain Nemo Sat, 02/17/2018 - 17:59 Permalink

Woolsey is one of many profiles in the "machine" that turns out the worst socio/psychopaths called Langley!... Much like the Department of Defense they train them to believe they are the most highly intelligent and capable in espionage even when they "lose" and lose "badly"!

They look at themselves as superior beings in every way that deserve and expect no restraint. And are repeatedly rewarded with pay and responsibility even when failure on missions includes the worst "blowback"!

If there ever was a government agency alongside the DOD that deserves the honorary title of total betrayal to their motto " And You Shall Know The Truth And It Shall Set You Free "... that has economically and politically SINGLE HANDEDLY done the opposite of EVERYTHING DEMOCRACY STANDS FOR in it's TOTAL DESTRUCTION -- this agency is the personification without equal and "without question"!

[Feb 17, 2018] Looks like Obama Nobel Price was for reviving slavery market in Lybia

Feb 17, 2018 | theduran.com

Mario8282 , February 17, 2018 2:56 PM

...and the US bombed half of the world's countries for their own good too. US made Libya a slave market for humanity's good as well. Oboomer even got the Nobel Peace Prize for it.

[Feb 17, 2018] In Trump's 2019 Budget, Lockheed Looms Almost as Large as State Dept by Jason Ditz

Notable quotes:
"... Lockheed Martin, after all, gets nearly as much money from the US government as the State Department. CEO Marilyn Hewson is, by the reckoning of some analysts, as powerful as most US cabinet secretaries. ..."
Feb 16, 2018 | news.antiwar.com
In great measure, the Pentagon runs on Lockheed Martin. The US armsmaker racked up $35.2 billion in sales to the US government last year, a preposterously large figure that positions them both as heavily reliant on the government for its profits, and gives them a level of influence unmatched.

Lockheed Martin, after all, gets nearly as much money from the US government as the State Department. CEO Marilyn Hewson is, by the reckoning of some analysts, as powerful as most US cabinet secretaries.

Teal Group's Richard Aboulafia has the gold medal quote on this – " diplomacy is out; airstrikes are in. " From the F-35 on, Lockheed is a key facilitator of airstrikes, and soaring demands for its products are leading to soaring revenue and rising profit margins.

Reports on the company brag about "juicy" shipbuilding deals, and the money pouring in from nuclear weapons upgrades. Lockheed Martin's status as a main seller of US arms and the US obsession with growing its military seem to ensure that the company will remain rich, and wildly influential, for years to come.

[Feb 17, 2018] Former CIA Chief Admits US Meddling In Foreign Elections For Their Own Good

Notable quotes:
"... How about Brazil, Argentina, and South Africa? Fuck Allen Dulles, Mike Pompeo, and everybody in-between! ..."
"... BTW, Victoria Noodles will be very disappointed Ukraine didn't make the list after all of her hard work. ..."
"... Victoria "F*ck the EU" Nuland and the CIA were all over the Ukrainian "coup", but of course no mention of that on "Fair and Balanced". Laura Ingram is a typical Fox News Zio-Nazi bitch, hiding behind a cross, who apparently believes her own BS, and along others like Hannity have blood on their hands. ..."
"... You can always spot a psychopathic liar by their predisposition to smile or laugh at questions that are not humorous. Laura Ingraham is a neocon mouth-peice for the establishment. ..."
Feb 17, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Former CIA chief James Woolsey appeared on Fox News to push the narrative of how dastardly 'dem Russkies' are in their meddling with the sacred soul of America's democracy.

Woolsey did his patriotic deep-state-duty and proclaimed the evils of "expansionist Russia" and dropped 'facts' like "Russia has a larger cyber-army than its standing army," before he moved on to China and its existential threats.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/SpWai3kZ-gM

But then, beginning at around 4:30 , the real debacle of the conversation begins as Ingraham asks Woolsey,

"Have we ever tried to meddle in other countries' elections?"

Hes responds, surprisingly frankly...

"Oh probably... but it was for the good of the system..."

To which Ingraham follows up...

"We don't do that now though? We don't mess around in other people's elections?"

Prompting this extraordinary sentence from a former CIA chief...

"Well...hhhmmm, numm numm numm numm... only for a very good cause...in the interests of democracy"

So just to clarify - yes, the CIA chief admitted that Democracy-spreading 'Murica meddled in the Democratic elections of other nations "in the interests of democracy."

In case you wondered which ones he was referring to, here's a brief selection since 1948...

2016: UK (verbal intervention against Brexit)
2014: Afghanistan (effectively re-writing Afghan constitution)
2014: UK (verbal intervention against Scottish independence)
2011: Libya (providing support to overthrow Colonel Gaddafi)
2009: Honduras (ousting President Zelaya)
2006: Palestine (providing support to oust Prime Minister Haniyeh)
2005: Syria (providing support against President al-Assad)
2003: Iran (providing support against President Khatami)-
2003: Iraq (ousting of President Hussein)
2002: Venezuela (providing support to attempt an overthrow of President Chavez)
1999: Yugoslavia (removing Yugoslav forces from Kosovo)
1994: Iraq (attempted overthrow of President Hussein)
1991: Haiti (ousting President Aristide)
1991: Kuwait (removing Iraqi forces from Kuwait)
1989: Panama (ousting General Noriega)
1983: Grenada (ousting General Austin's Marxist forces)
1982: Nicaragua (providing support
1971: Chile (ousting President Allende)
1967: Indonesia (ousting President Sukarno)
1964: Brazil (ousting President Goulart)
1964: Chile (providing support against Salvador Allende)
1961: Congo (assassination of leader Lumumba)
1958: Lebanon (providing support to Christian political parties)
1954: Guatemala (ousting President Arbenz)
1953: Iran (ousting Prime Minister Mossadegh)
1953: Philippines (providing support to the President Magsaysay campaign)
1948: Italy (providing support to the Christian Democrats campaign)

(h/t @Yogi_Chan)


gellero Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:18 Permalink

What?? No Ukrania ???

Stan522 -> gellero Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:23 Permalink

obama sent in operatives into Israel to mess with Bibi....... They missed that one too....

skbull44 -> Stan522 Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:25 Permalink

It's always for the children...

https://olduvai.ca

TBT or not TBT -> skbull44 Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:29 Permalink

Yeah, a little bit for the children, but primarily it's for the stockholders and upper management, with some serious trickle down to their children.

Looney -> TBT or not TBT Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:32 Permalink

How about Brazil, Argentina, and South Africa? Fuck Allen Dulles, Mike Pompeo, and everybody in-between!

Looney

Mango327 -> manofthenorth Sat, 02/17/2018 - 17:01 Permalink

This Russia bullshit has gotta stop. For the love of God, it's been like two and a a half years now. If Vladimir Putin was as twice as evil as we're told, he still wouldn't be half as evil as the Clintons are on any given Thursday.

MUELLER IS A JOKE, ABOLISH the F.B.I.

https://youtu.be/wC_Ro80LlhE

SoilMyselfRotten -> skbull44 Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:47 Permalink

Democracy? Annnnnnnd it's gone! No wonder the rest of the world thinks we've collectively lost our minds. BTW, Victoria Noodles will be very disappointed Ukraine didn't make the list after all of her hard work.

marysimmons -> SoilMyselfRotten Sat, 02/17/2018 - 17:16 Permalink

Victoria "F*ck the EU" Nuland and the CIA were all over the Ukrainian "coup", but of course no mention of that on "Fair and Balanced". Laura Ingram is a typical Fox News Zio-Nazi bitch, hiding behind a cross, who apparently believes her own BS, and along others like Hannity have blood on their hands.

The whole purpose of the Mueller indictment was to give the mainstream outlets something to report so idiot Americans will believe the crap put out about Russia since the Winter Olympics in Sochi and set the tone to justify a military conflict with Russia that won't end well for anyone, IMO

veritas semper -> marysimmons Sat, 02/17/2018 - 17:40 Permalink

And Victoria Nuland Kagan is now Senior Adviser in the Donald's Department of Defense. See, kids, how the swamp is drained?

New_Meat -> marysimmons Sat, 02/17/2018 - 17:46 Permalink

mary, just a touch catty tonight, don't cha' think?

Zio-Nazi? How dat work?

Whole purpose of the Mueller indictments is to give the folks a show to prove that their money hasn't been wasted on a Trump collusion charge for collusion that started in 2014 when Trump was prolly out schlongin' some playmate or other..

TheSilentMajority -> Looney Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:47 Permalink

They didu sumtin.

Deep Snorkeler -> skbull44 Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:38 Permalink

America plays political-economic pranks on the rest of the world for the good of the system. It's worked out well.

Dumpster Elite -> Stan522 Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:28 Permalink

I kinda wondered why they missed that one, too. I've seen that list on here before. I guess messing with Israel's elections doesn't fit the ZH narrative?

Justin Case -> Stan522 Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:36 Permalink

That anchor sounds like she would be a good candidate for a gender change, meat stick and tea bag.

Vilfredo Pareto -> Stan522 Sat, 02/17/2018 - 17:00 Permalink

They missed post war Greece too, Albania, and a ton of others.

Bastiat -> Vilfredo Pareto Sat, 02/17/2018 - 17:18 Permalink

. . . and Australia: watch The Falcon and the Snowman, if you haven't.

TheSilentMajority -> gellero Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:51 Permalink

Rothschilds at it again?

keep the basta -> gellero Sat, 02/17/2018 - 17:53 Permalink

No Australia? Whitlam dismissal 11/11/1975 even wiki lists it

dirty fingernails Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:20 Permalink

The US is working hard to make banana republics look respectable

TBT or not TBT -> dirty fingernails Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:31 Permalink

We're The Most Interesting Banana Republic In The World.

Justin Case -> dirty fingernails Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:45 Permalink

to make banana republics look respectable

Not like a shit hole?

Bay Area Guy Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:20 Permalink

I generally can't stand Laura, but that was a spot on question. America is the quintessential "do as I say and not as I do" government.

chunga -> Bay Area Guy Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:33 Permalink

Among the many things sorely lacking in uncle sam is simple humility.

rwe2late Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:29 Permalink

Woolsey is an evil man. I doubt if he really believes. that the murders and tortures he presided over were for "their own good".

Ms No -> rwe2late Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:55 Permalink

No way he believes it. One thing about people who lack human empathy is that they would NEVER fall for the same tricks that the empathy having population does. They will always see the angle. It's what their brain is devoted to. All the capacity that we use to be reflective, emotional or caring all goes to angling for advantage with them. He knows exactly why people are tortured and couldn't give a shit less. You are either shark or mutilated gold fish as far as he is concerned.

New_Meat -> rwe2late Sat, 02/17/2018 - 17:51 Permalink

Woolsey is an evil man, for a certainty. But, au contraire, I bet he does believe it is for their own good. Whoever "they" are that he's doin' shit to. Like the Jesuits in Andalusia, purging the non-believers.

- Ned

dizzyfingers Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:29 Permalink

This repeats our own terrible history: Tom Landess on "The Dark Side of Abraham Lincoln," and the week in review at the Abbeville Institute.

serotonindumptruck Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:31 Permalink

You can always spot a psychopathic liar by their predisposition to smile or laugh at questions that are not humorous. Laura Ingraham is a neocon mouth-peice for the establishment.

Dumpster Elite Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:32 Permalink

It really would be a new dawn for this country if the entire Deep State were outed, and publicly executed. I know that sounds like tinfoil hat talk, but hey, I'm sure the NSA is all over me right about now. Too bad they can't seem to find serial killers that say they're going to shoot up a school online. Too busy trying to shut up those that don't like the Deep State.

Ms No Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:50 Permalink

They have always done this and every single other accusation that they have levied against other "tyrants". The crazy train continues to pick up speed.

OT: Wales may have had a fracking quake. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fM4Wcqe6s_s

This is pretty funny. "Footage" of quake. Fracking quakes usually are not that big but it did drop masonry off of buildings. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEI4cSd4B38

Paracelsus Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:52 Permalink

Ummm, Fidel Castro, Cuba, 1962 ? Leading up to Dallas? Which led to LBJ and ramp up of Indochina. If you look closely you will see that there was a huge little war going on in Laos, lots of bombing of the Ho Chi Minh trail from fighter bombers based in Thailand.

Also, Australia. The 1972 Whitlam dismissal was a bloodless coup d'état. Whitlam recognized North Vietnam which pissed off a bunch of people in Langley. The pilots were on strike and they couldn't fly parts and crew into Alice Springs (Pine Gap Satellite facility). The Aussies have long memories and it will be a cold day in hell before they trust the Yanks like before. This is a country with a strong sense of injustice. The Aussies still talk about the "bodyline" cricket scandal with the Brits, and that happened in the 1930's....

[Feb 17, 2018] Iran is already being attacked from West and East in the North

Feb 17, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Posted by: ninel | Feb 11, 2018 3:59:15 PM

Here is an interesting article that points to the new American strategy with respect to Iran and central Asia. Iran is already being attacked from West and East in the North. And central Asia is next. This might force Iran to pull back some forces from Syria and Iraq.

No end to the wars.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/02/06/us-isis-nexus-afghanistan-becomes-hot-topic.html

[Feb 17, 2018] Delegitimization of ruling elite is an approriate word for the current crisis

Notable quotes:
"... This rings true as well; "The implications for the future of the American republic were terrifying, Tesich concluded. His words are haunting to read today: We are rapidly becoming prototypes of a people that totalitarian monsters could only drool about in their dreams. All the dictators up to now have had to work hard at suppressing the truth. We, by our actions, are saying that this is no longer necessary, that we have acquired a spiritual mechanism that can denude truth of any significance. In a very fundamental way we, as a free people, have freely decided that we want to live in some post-truth world." ..."
"... This also applies to the UK. What goodwill, mythology ("worldliness, pragmatism") etc. that was attached by continentals to the UK has been "exploded". ..."
"... Lately, I've detected a certain sense of malaise among my fellow citizens. In my opinion, it's long been apparent that this won't end well. All of these factors points to a day of reckoning that is rapidly approaching. Perhaps the prevalence of school shootings is acting as the proverbial canary in the coal mine? ..."
"... Don't think that the elite have not noticed the way things are moving. In my own line of work I interact with the 1% on a regular basis. I can tell you that even though they are doing better that ever, there is a sense of discreet terror. It's obvious when they discuss all the ways that they're trying to replicating their own advantages in the education of their little darlings. ..."
"... I think it's dawning on us that we're not re-experiencing the moment before the election of Franklin Roosevelt, and the beginning of the New Deal, we're actually just now realizing the necessity of the daunting task of organizing, which makes our times resemble 1890 more than 1935. ..."
"... Even if it takes half as much time to defeat the Robber Barons this go-round, many of us will not see anything resembling ' victory ' in our lifetimes, so we have to make adjustments in our expectations, and accept the monumental nature of the tasks ahead. ..."
"... I think delegitimization is upon us. General malaise is nearly to the point of a general strike. The house of cards is in a slow motion but certain wind storm. Those thousand dollar checks at Wal-Mart payday will vanish overnight while the wealthy reap tax benefits for years on end. We are down to the twenty seven percent (Dems) waging false battles with the twenty six percent (Reps). Only the 47 percent rest of us will grow in numbers from here on out. ..."
"... The Anglo-American countries can not be anything but in a class of their own. They include the mother country with former colonies, some especially successful, and rule the world by virtue of language, wealth and, often necessarily, violence, almost always gratuitous. ..."
"... Violence has an effect on peoples lives at both the giving and receiving ends. ..."
"... Image you are in Baghdad on the glorious, glittering night of Shock and Awe to get a feel for things. That happened when the US was supposedly great. ..."
"... Intelligence makes us pessimists, and our will makes us optimists. ..."
"... But Trump is not the problem here, only the Front Man for something larger. Even during the early oughts one could perceive a fundamental societal drift, empowered by a 'conservative' (read: fascist) willingness to do whatever was necessary in pursuit of their particular vision. It is not a vision of returning disempowered white folks to some rosy past that never existed; I sense a more feudal vision, with princes and lords in gated communities, with peasants conned into doing their bidding, every day being fleeced even further. ..."
"... The angst feels not like the angst of an impending, singular catastrophe, but rather the angst of decline. There's a late empire feel to the current mood: leaders without agency, more interested in their own, internal sense of normalcy and maintaining their perches, perches that increasingly feel pointless as they're all just listless figureheads doing what the Magister Militum tells them to do. ..."
"... The military feels all-encompassing yet simultaneously incapable of exercising its will in the theater of war, so dispersed and aimless, as the missions are no longer about winning wars but about resume building ..."
"... Civililizations don't collapse like falling off a table. They stress resources of materials and people and such stresses build and build. This has serious psychological impacts. ..."
"... The moderate catastrophic disasters like Trumps election cause much bigger disruptions to the civilizational equilibrium, but only for a time. We all know deep inside that what comes next in Brexit or say Trumps removal will actually be worse than what we have now. ..."
"... For me the frame changed with the restart of the Cold War. I remember "Duck and Cover, McCarthyism, John Birchers, and Who Lost China". It has all come back. The Democrats are idiots for scapegoating Russia. President Donald Trump is incompetent. ..."
"... Jones Marathon ..."
Feb 17, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

HopeLB , February 16, 2018 at 8:43 am

All of the warnings, predictions, knowledge, tech advances and humor of sci-fi, real science, history, and literature alike has boiled down to this? This low quality "news" that reports on the latest predictable, preventable outrage/injustice when it not intentionally turning up the hysteria/fear tuner? It's like living in a simulation of a society ruled by the insane and hearing about its unwinding day after day.

This rings true as well; "The implications for the future of the American republic were terrifying, Tesich concluded. His words are haunting to read today: We are rapidly becoming prototypes of a people that totalitarian monsters could only drool about in their dreams. All the dictators up to now have had to work hard at suppressing the truth. We, by our actions, are saying that this is no longer necessary, that we have acquired a spiritual mechanism that can denude truth of any significance. In a very fundamental way we, as a free people, have freely decided that we want to live in some post-truth world."

https://www.thenation.com/article/post-truth-and-its-consequences-what-a-25-year-old-essay-tells-us-about-the-current-moment/

Yeat's captures the inexorable feel of our times perfectly;

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

THE SECOND COMING

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Colonel Smithers , February 16, 2018 at 9:04 am

Thank you.

This also applies to the UK. What goodwill, mythology ("worldliness, pragmatism") etc. that was attached by continentals to the UK has been "exploded".

This makes me wonder whether the US will exist in its current form. Is it desirable? Genuine questions from someone who visits annually, including "fly over", and enjoys doing so. I don't see the UK existing as currently constituted much beyond the next decade.

camelotkidd , February 16, 2018 at 8:42 am

Lately, I've detected a certain sense of malaise among my fellow citizens. In my opinion, it's long been apparent that this won't end well. All of these factors points to a day of reckoning that is rapidly approaching. Perhaps the prevalence of school shootings is acting as the proverbial canary in the coal mine?

Don't think that the elite have not noticed the way things are moving. In my own line of work I interact with the 1% on a regular basis. I can tell you that even though they are doing better that ever, there is a sense of discreet terror. It's obvious when they discuss all the ways that they're trying to replicating their own advantages in the education of their little darlings.

Watt4Bob , February 16, 2018 at 8:45 am

I'm starting to think that what we are experiencing is the realization that we've spent way too much time expecting that explaining our selves, our diverse grievances, and our political insights would naturally result in growing an irresistible movement that would wash over, and cleanse our politics of the filth that is the status quo.

It is sobering to realize that it took almost four decades for the original Progressive Era organizers to bring about even the possibility of change.

I think it's dawning on us that we're not re-experiencing the moment before the election of Franklin Roosevelt, and the beginning of the New Deal, we're actually just now realizing the necessity of the daunting task of organizing, which makes our times resemble 1890 more than 1935.

Government by the people, and for the people has been drowned in the bath-tub, and the murderers have not only taken the reigns of power, but have convinced half the population that their murderous act represents a political correction that will return America to greatness.

It remains to be seen whether we will find it in our hearts to embrace both the hard, and un-glamorous work of relieving the pain inflicted by the regime that has engulfed us, and the necessity of embracing as brothers and sisters those who haven't yet realized that it is the rich and powerful who are the problem, and not all the other poor and oppressed.

The difficulty of affecting political change might be explained the way Black-Smiths describe their problem;

Life so short the craft so long to learn.

Even if it takes half as much time to defeat the Robber Barons this go-round, many of us will not see anything resembling ' victory ' in our lifetimes, so we have to make adjustments in our expectations, and accept the monumental nature of the tasks ahead.

Eureka Springs , February 16, 2018 at 10:32 am

"that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

A nice excerpt from the non-binding Gettysburg address. Too bad he was referring to a system of governance which never existed.

In a conversation with several friends yesterday.. all of us found among our greatest despairs the behavior of our long time friends who are Democrats. Much more pig-headed and determined to stay that way than Republicans ever were during the Bush Jr. years. Pretending we live in some sort of system (much less a party) which could or would possibly represent. Seemingly incapable of listening, blinded by delusion and propaganda demanding anyone in their presence double down on what's failed so many of us for far longer than we have lived.

All of us men in our fifties. Hard working. None of us had kids of our own, but several are in relationships with women who did. None of us have anything close to high living standards. Barely getting by now with great uncertainty ahead. Hell, we all own our homes outright, drive ten to twenty year old cars, buy most clothes second hand, grow much of our own food, cut our own firewood, several live off the grid entirely. Only one has access to health care and that's because he's on disability due to spinal injury on the job and an inherited heart condition. He's also the only one who might be able to get by in 'retirement' years on what he will receive. Every one of the rest of us realized if we lose our current jobs we would be hard pressed to replace them at half the income we have now.

I went to orientation for jury duty this week. Out of a hundred and fifty people I was the only man wearing a button down shirt and a sport coat. The only man who removed his hat in the courtroom. And I felt like a freak. It was all I could do to not ask the judge about jury nullification. The only reason I held back is because I knew every citizen in the joint just wanted out of there.

I think delegitimization is upon us. General malaise is nearly to the point of a general strike. The house of cards is in a slow motion but certain wind storm. Those thousand dollar checks at Wal-Mart payday will vanish overnight while the wealthy reap tax benefits for years on end. We are down to the twenty seven percent (Dems) waging false battles with the twenty six percent (Reps). Only the 47 percent rest of us will grow in numbers from here on out.

Watt4Bob , February 16, 2018 at 11:20 am

Only the 47 percent rest of us will grow in numbers from here on out.

So there is our hope. Personally, I suspect that Trump's working-class supporters will join us sooner than the deluded, diehard Clintonista faction of the democratic base. And let's hope the false battles don't turn into real battles. It's obvious there are some who would love to have us throwing rocks at each other, or worse.

juliania , February 16, 2018 at 12:58 pm

Yes, indeed, you have it. Delegitimization is the appropriate word. My thought on seeing the headline that 17 died in the Florida school shooting was how many months to go before the school year ends. I won't read anything about the shooter, or the deaths, or the bravery and self sacrifice. There have been too many; there will be far too many more.

It is an end-of-Vietnam moment. It is a moment for poems such as the above mentioned, and for me T.S.Eliot's 'Four Quartets'.

Petter , February 16, 2018 at 8:45 am

Book: The Administration of Fear – Paul Virilio. From the back cover: We are facing the emergence of a real, collective madness reinforced by the synchronization of emotions: the sudden globalization of affects in real time that hits all of humanity at the same time, and in the name of Progress. Emergency exit: we have entered a time of general panic.
-- --

suffer , February 16, 2018 at 8:46 am

what is your suffering of choice?

http://mentalfloss.com/article/58230/how-tell-whether-youve-got-angst-ennui-or-weltschmerz

Colonel Smithers , February 16, 2018 at 8:51 am

Thank you to Yves and the NC community.

Perhaps because I live in the UK, I echo particularly what Clive, Windsock and Plutonium Kun say.

Having spent much of the winter in Belgium, Mauritius, Spain and France, so none Anglo-Saxon, it was a relief to get away from the UK in the same way as JLS felt. Although these countries have their issues, I did notice their MSM appear not as venal as the UK and US MSM and seem more focused on local bread and butter. Brexit and Trump were mentioned very briefly, the latter nothing as hysterical and diversionary as in the UK and US. There were little identity politics on parade. Locals don't seem as worn out, in all respects, as one observes in Blighty.

With regard to PK's reference about Pearl Harbour, I know some well informed remainers who want a hard Brexit just for the relief that it will bring. Others, not necessarily remainers, have no idea what's going on and think Trump is a bigger threat. I must confess to, often, sharing what the former think, if only to bring the neo-liberal house down once and for all.

All this makes me think whether anglo-saxon countries are in a class of their own and how, after Brexit, the EU27 will evolve, shorn of the UK. This is not to say that the UK (the neo-liberal bit) is the only rotten apple in the EU.

If it was not for this site and community, I know of no other place where I would get a better source of news, insight and sanity. I know a dozen journalists, mainly in London, well and echo what Norello said.

Quentin , February 16, 2018 at 11:43 am

The Anglo-American countries can not be anything but in a class of their own. They include the mother country with former colonies, some especially successful, and rule the world by virtue of language, wealth and, often necessarily, violence, almost always gratuitous.

Violence has an effect on peoples lives at both the giving and receiving ends. What was this school shooting? The 13th or something since the beginning of the year. War. Nuclear war. A fear of war is the undertone which has been droning (!) on long before Donald Trump took power. Image you are in Baghdad on the glorious, glittering night of Shock and Awe to get a feel for things. That happened when the US was supposedly great.

LizinOregon , February 16, 2018 at 11:33 pm

Is pretending all is well a rational defense against the overwhelming feeling that there is nothing an individual can do to deflect the trajectory we are on? And the emotional energy it takes to keep up that pretense is exhausting.

Jane , February 16, 2018 at 9:30 am

I understand she's eager to leave but where to?! Isnt everywhere infected with this angst?

Yves Smith Post author , February 16, 2018 at 12:13 pm

She spends a lot of time in Asia .

Steve , February 16, 2018 at 9:37 am

I think for myself and others that the complete hopelessness of our situation is starting to take more of a toll. The amount of personal and social capital used to finally get some sanity back in government after Bush and the disastrous wasted opportunity of Obama that led to Trump is overwhelming. The complete loss of fairness is everywhere and my pet one this week is how Experian after losing over 200 million personal financial records is now advertising during the Olympics as the personal security service experts instead of being prosecuted out of business.

DJG , February 16, 2018 at 9:52 am

Yesterday was peculiar, Yves Smith. You should have sent me an e-mail! My colleagues were having meltdowns (overtired, I think). My computers were glitchy. The WWW seemed to switch on and off all day long. I am of a mind that it has to due with the false spring: We had a thaw in Chicago.

Like Lambert, and I won't speak for Lambert, who can speak for himself, I am guardedly optimistic: I have attended Our Revolution meetings here in Chicago as well as community meetings. There are many hardworking and savvy people out there. Yet I also believe that we are seeing the collapse of the old order without knowing what will arise anew. And as always, I am not one who believes that we should advocate more suffering so that people "learn their lesson." There is already too much suffering in the world–witness the endless U.S. sponsored wars in the Middle East. (The great un-covered story of our time: The horrors of the U.S.-Israeli-Saudi sponsored massacres from Algeria to Pakistan.)

I tend to think that the Anglo-American world is having a well-deserved nervous breakdown.

I note on my FB page that a "regular Democrat" is calling for war by invoking Orwell. When someone has reached that point of rottenness, not even knowing that Orwell was almost by nature anti-war, the rot can only continue its collapse.

So I offer Antonio Gramsci, who in spite of everything, used to write witty letters from prison. >>

My state of mind brings together these two sentiments and surpasses them: I am pessimistic because of intelligence, but a willed optimist. I think, in every circumstance, of the worst scenario so I can marshal all of my reserves of will and be ready to overcome the obstacle. I never allow myself illusions, and I have never had disappointments. I am always specially armed with endless patience, not passive or inert, but patience animated by perseverance.
–Antonio Gramsci, letter to his brother Gennaro, December 1929. Translation DJG.

Every collapse brings intellectual and moral disorder in its wake. So we must foster people who are sober, have patience, who do not despair when faced with the worst horrors yet who do not become elated over every stupid misstep. Intelligence makes us pessimists, and our will makes us optimists.
–Antonio Gramsci, first Prison Notebook, 1929-1930. Translation DJG.

So: Commenting groundlings and comrades, we must be alert, somewhat severe in our judgments of people and of the news, and yet open to a revolution that includes bread and roses.

Eclair , February 16, 2018 at 11:52 am

Nice find, DJG: "Our intelligence makes us pessimists, and our will makes us optimists."

Too big for a bumper sticker . but good for a bedside table or the bathroom mirror. To remind us that, for the realists, being optimistic takes an effort of will, a determined reach every single morning to find just one small thing that will keep us going for that day and give us hope for the future. It could be a rosy sunrise, or the imminent arrival of a grandchild, or a packet of seeds ready to be sown. Or meeting a good friend for coffee, or mastering a new dance step or a difficult passage on the fiddle.

Not denial of the world's shameful faults and of our increasingly precarious position within it, but a refusal to allow them to grind us down completely.

Left in Wisconsin , February 16, 2018 at 2:34 pm

Intelligence makes us pessimists, and our will makes us optimists.

My favorite quote. What else is there?

And if you want to know who the enemy is, it is all those whose cure for what ails us is either "Just going on living your life (i.e. shopping)" or "just vote". I view the current period of disquiet and all of us wondering what we can and should do, and who will be alongside us, or opposed to us, when we do.

Lambert Strether , February 16, 2018 at 5:22 pm

> Pessimism of the the intellect, optimism of the will

I think -- call me Pollyanna if you wish -- that optimism of the intellect is warranted as well. My only concern is that collapse will come (or be induced) when "the good guys,"* let us say, are still to weak to take advantage of the moment. That's why I keep saying that gridlock is our friend.

* Who in the nature of the case have been unaccustomed to wielding real power.

Eclair , February 16, 2018 at 6:08 pm

I have been fortunate, in the past decade, to have 'hung out' with lots of 20-somethings (and a few older beings) who have been passionately optimistic about what they can accomplish against the forces of darkness. From the environmentalists who are fighting the corporations who would build pipelines and LNG terminals to activists building tiny houses for the homeless and working with the city to find land to place them on, and those who happily get arrested for sleeping under a blanket, in protest against 'urban camping' bans, to a woman who for the last five years has served Friday night meals for all, on sidewalks in front of businesses supporting the urban camping ban.

And, I have been constantly in awe of those who, in the face of centuries of being relocated, dispossessed, despised and massacred, will not give up on protecting their lands and their way of life. These Lakota and Kiowa and Dineh people are truly optimistic that they will prevail. Or, perhaps fatalistic is a better description; hey know they may die trying.

The Rev Kev , February 16, 2018 at 9:57 am

Looks like this article has a lot of legs on it but will wait to read more commentator's thoughts and ideas before doing so myself. Too much to take in. In the meantime. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WatQeG5fMU

R , February 16, 2018 at 10:19 am

As a New Zealander living in the USA for around 7 years now (but routinely spending Christmas months back in NZ, and often multi month stints remote working in Europe) the 'tension' just living in the USA – NYC / LA is through the roof.

I can remember being in Vienna some time after trump won, a few days shy of returning to the US and wondering what the hell I was thinking – and that's related to people / media's reaction to trump just as much as trump being in charge.

It's hard to put your finger on exactly what it is – partly just the 'big metropolis' thing.. but there's also something else nasty in the air.

Similar (but amplified) feeling at work last week at the office as one quarter of the company were sacked on a days notice – a downsizing at a start up that supposedly has 'great culture'.

It's that nasty squeeze of fast capitalism I believe that has a grip on everyone's psyche – elevated fear levels, etc.

Re-read Ames' 'going postal' a few weeks back, which covers brilliantly the vicious cultural turn under Reagan.

Ps – Naked Capitalism has become my 'News refuge' having dropped off social media entirely, and wanting to avoid the general insanity of the news cycle but not disengage, thank you!

tegnost , February 16, 2018 at 10:22 am

It's not so much the presence of angst that I see, among my working brethren we're pretty numb to the current hopeless future and tend to focus instead on the present for efficiencies sake, for if one thinks too much about the hopeless future it's hard to get up and get going on fighting back the tide and muddling through the hopeless present that will be more hopeless if you don't do anything. (as an aside my opinion is that this psychology has much to do with the current homeless crisis it takes confidence to try and those who can delude themselves into doing so seem to be a little better off) But now the angst is in the the 10%er's in my acquaintance, who claim to be really worried about nuclear war. Not surprisingly they're mostly informed by npr, which as far as I can see makes people really stupid. The trump as crazy fascist narrative has them in it's clutches so much so that his weekend I had to give the "don't be too pessimistic b/c if the world doesn't end you will be unprepared for it, and if it ends who cares?" speech normally reserved for youngsters who see no point in trying due to end of the world thinking (as anecdote since when I was in college in the early '80's I was pretty certain there would be a nuclear war and made different choices than the best ones,, anyone remember the star wars missile defense system?). That said I think the "we're all gonna die" theme is just more bs sour grapes and more proof that the residence of hopelessness is actually the democrat partisans who refuse to live in the present, so denial is where they are at. But isn't that the thing about angst, it doesn't have to be real to effect one's life negatively, and I'm hearing it from people who I think should know better, but I read nc daily and live out in the woods (highly recommended, almost as good as being in another country as the rural areas of the US are actually another country) and npr was so unhinged this weekend that I felt that even the reporters were having a hard time mustering the outrage. As Hope said commenting on the uber series
"What a pleasure it is to read a genuine (and all too rare) piece of financial analysis."
I couldn't agree more, and I might send it on to a 10%er, but they seem kind of fragile lately and I don't know if they could handle "uber is a failing enterprise", they might not get out of bed

tegnost , February 16, 2018 at 1:31 pm

oops sorry that was hana not hope

Travis Bickle , February 16, 2018 at 10:22 am

Don't know if I'm any more sensitive than you guys, and I'm certainly not that good at articulating what's going in with something this subtle.

I will say that when the dogs stop barking its time to start getting REALLY worried. What we may now be hearing, or not hearing, may be a sign of fatigue, but more depressingly, impending resignation. EVERY day for the past year there's been yet another affront, and the opposition has been ineffective in any meaningful sense. Trump has apparently learned that the way to parry any thrust is to counter with something even more outrageous, literally in a matter of minutes. The initiative he is thus able to maintain is scary, and something I see no way to surmount.

But Trump is not the problem here, only the Front Man for something larger. Even during the early oughts one could perceive a fundamental societal drift, empowered by a 'conservative' (read: fascist) willingness to do whatever was necessary in pursuit of their particular vision. It is not a vision of returning disempowered white folks to some rosy past that never existed; I sense a more feudal vision, with princes and lords in gated communities, with peasants conned into doing their bidding, every day being fleeced even further.

Hence, having the means, though by no means being rich, I began my move off-shore over ten years ago. I now have 3 passports and permanent residency on as many continents. What Jerri-Lynn senses is very, very real, as I learned in the US over Xmas past in a series of vignettes I'll spare anyone reading this. I was sharing my experiences there to a local student recently (here in South America) who had once lived in the US and who continues to be enamored of the now frayed, and largely repudiated, American Dream. As I explained to him, it's not a pretty picture, and hardly one to succumb to.

My sense is that the media has succeeded in instilling into the North American zeitgeist a sense of the US being At War against the rest of the world, not unlike that of the mentality of Israel, which has a far more real situation to contend with. The tragedy, in the case of the US, is that it really, really does not have to be like this. This is a hole we have begun digging ourselves into only recently, as opposed to Israel, which at this point can hardly see the light of day.

At some point this mentality becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, and while the US could easily turn itself around, the momentum is strong and decidedly in the other direction. The vision of the fascists and the imperatives of the media pretty much guarantee the US, and by extension the world, is on a collision course with negative time and space.

Left in Wisconsin , February 16, 2018 at 2:37 pm

Everything holds until it doesn't.

Lambert Strether , February 16, 2018 at 5:30 pm

Herbert Stein disagrees with Godot's Vladimir: ""If something cannot go on forever, it will stop."

Andrew Watts , February 16, 2018 at 10:33 am

I'm probably the last person able to comment on this topic having spent the last three months ignoring the news and not even reading Naked Capitalism daily. I was never bothered by the big stories like the drama over North Korea which I thought of as nothing more than a psy-op incidentally aimed at the American populace. Nor did I find Liberal Hezbollah (The Resistance) or #Metoo to be anything more than a joke. I kinda suspected that American culture would be plagued by another round of hysterical superstition driven by Calvinist social-jihadism.

If there seems to be a lack of consequential events it's because history doesn't move as swiftly as we might want. It doesn't mean that we aren't moving towards more worldview shattering events which will challenge the ability of our body politic to react to them. The United States continues to collapse driven by external and internal factors. The lack of clarity and unity of action will eventually usher in the end of the empire aboard. The inability of our ruling class to respond to Trump's election in such a manner which would constructively restore faith in our institutions will only accelerate the process at home. There isn't a lack of stories which serve as a useful guide through history. The story about American troops being ambushed and dying in Niger was significant.

A few years before the Islamic State steamrolled through Iraq and Syria it was mostly unnoticed that the French were contending with rebels marauding through their African protection racket in Mali and the Central African Republic. The fact that the US is having to prop up the French and that the chaos has been migrating southward is significant especially given the economic factors at stake. Another story I found interesting was a recent DW article about the woeful state of readiness of the German military given it is assuming leadership of a prominent position in NATO. It notably reveals that in the aftermath of the 2008 economic crisis and euro crisis the Germans, but probably the European countries as a whole, have been strip-mining their military budgets which is something that America did during the Great Depression. I'm sure there is even more stories out there that are little pieces of a much larger puzzle but to be honest I've mostly spent my downtime playing video games.

Don't judge me.

Andrew Watts , February 16, 2018 at 9:16 pm

True enough. It shouldn't go unnoticed that Obama was calling for NATO nations to increase their military spending 'til they reach 2% of their GDP. The Germans wouldn't theoretically have any trouble meeting under normal circumstances. It's also a far cry from what Germany spent on the eve of both World Wars.

kareninca , February 16, 2018 at 8:58 pm

"Basically everything and anything anti-Republican & anti-Trump that gets published on Facebook gets re-posted on our church Facebook page."

Hmmm. Are you losing parishioners as a result? Or gaining them? It doesn't seem to me like what people would be looking for in a faith community – an overload of politics – but what do I know.

Oh, I see that you've already sort of answered that question.

CalypsoFacto , February 16, 2018 at 4:19 pm

the tendency to excessive rage when identity is questioned is a feature of narcissism. excessive, misplaced, out of proportion rage (at being denied what was expected, at being wrong, at being seen as incompetent, whatever conflicts with the rager's identity) is what this sounds like to me. which is I guess another form of not thinking enough, unfortunately narcissism isn't curable.

in fact so much of this thread makes me feel like we're all suffering a bit as grey rocks in a narcissistic abuse scenario. the narcissism is at the individual level and at the societal level; we're all just trying to keep our heads down and avoid the maelstrom, which keeps increasing in intensity to get our attention back.

freedeomny , February 16, 2018 at 11:36 am

What I have noticed is: a sense of powerlessness and not being able to control basic aspects of your life .that at any moment things could spiral widely out of control; people have become more enraged, meaner and feel they don't even have to be polite anymore (my friends and I have noticed this even with drivers); people who normally would be considered comfortable are feeling more and more financially insecure. Almost everyone I know feels this tension and is trying to figure out what they need to do to survive – I know several who are exploring becoming expats. I think we are rapidly moving towards a breaking point .

windsock , February 16, 2018 at 11:37 am

https://www.standard.co.uk/comment/comment/cheer-up-the-apocalypse-isn-t-coming-and-life-s-getting-better-a3768606.html

PKMKII , February 16, 2018 at 11:58 am

The angst feels not like the angst of an impending, singular catastrophe, but rather the angst of decline. There's a late empire feel to the current mood: leaders without agency, more interested in their own, internal sense of normalcy and maintaining their perches, perches that increasingly feel pointless as they're all just listless figureheads doing what the Magister Militum tells them to do.

The military feels all-encompassing yet simultaneously incapable of exercising its will in the theater of war, so dispersed and aimless, as the missions are no longer about winning wars but about resume building. Same for the security agencies, whose invasive practices feel less like a preparation for a 1984-style security state, and more a cover for their own incompetence and inability to do proper legwork, as these mass shootings seem to inevitably come with the revelation about how authorities were alerted prior to the fact of the shooter's warning signs and did no follow up. Meanwhile, standards of living decline for the vast majority of Americans, the sense of national unity is eroding as regional and rural/urban identities are superseding that of country. Not to mention the slow simmer that is global warming and climate change.

So yeah, nothing that translates to a flashy headline or all-at-once collapse, but definitely an angst of a slow slide down, with too much resistance to the change needed to reverse it.

polecat , February 16, 2018 at 2:53 pm

My feeling is that the U$A, along with various sovereign entities around much the planet will, within a decade or so, cease to exist in their current form. When people coalesce and societies reform, is when one gets/is forced .. to choose their 'new' afilliation(s) !

It will be facinating to behold, if one is alive to partake in it ! As for positive, or negative outcomes who knows ?

Wyoming , February 16, 2018 at 12:01 pm

Yves

I believe that what is happening is that slowly but surely the numbers of people who are subconsciously reacting to the ongoing collapse of civilization are growing. They are uneasy, anxious, deflated, waiting for Godot, in depression and so on.

Civililizations don't collapse like falling off a table. They stress resources of materials and people and such stresses build and build. This has serious psychological impacts. Numbness to new is bad news. Or what used to be bad news has to be Trumped by exceedingly bad news before folks can rise to deal with them, but for a shorter time than they had the ability they used to. As the number of people grows who have reached their capacity to tolerate the stress we will find more and more of them just shut down as their subconscious tells them there is no point in caring anymore as things are just going to get worse.

We all see things getting worse.

So we have little collapses on a regular basis which hardly ruffle anyone's feathers anymore. The moderate catastrophic disasters like Trumps election cause much bigger disruptions to the civilizational equilibrium, but only for a time. We all know deep inside that what comes next in Brexit or say Trumps removal will actually be worse than what we have now. And we know that such will be the trend for the duration. Each time we seem to overcome a disaster we will be presented with another building disaster. A worse one. As we continue to stair step down the long slope that our civilization climbed during the renaissance and the enlightenment. Trump and Brexit are medium steps down.

The Black Swan is out there somewhere watching us. The big step down. We can feel it coming and we cannot stop it. We know that what seems bad now is going to be a lot worse in the future. We know this and it makes us helpless.

Skip above has the word on this.

"The centre does not hold, mere anarchy is loosed upon the world".

Oregoncharles , February 16, 2018 at 2:04 pm

"The Second Coming," 1919: http://www.potw.org/archive/potw351.html

akaPaul LaFargue , February 16, 2018 at 12:13 pm

The Worst Well-Being Year on Record for the U.S. – Gallup

"Americans' well-being took a big hit nationally in 2017, according to the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index, which recorded declines in 21 states. Why did well-being drop, and where were the declines most pronounced?"

OK- no endorsement from me re the validity of this Index, BUT the podcast raises an important point vis a vis 2009 downturn in their Index.

https://www.spreaker.com/user/gallupstrengthscenter/the-worst-well-being-year-on-record-for-

Loneprotester , February 16, 2018 at 12:20 pm

I think what we have here is a Mexican standoff the likes of which has perhaps never been seen. I am 51 years old. For most of my life there has been a polite changing of the guards to no great effect every four years. Trump rode into Washington on a bridge burning mission and all that has changed. Or were the bridges burned upon his approach, after which he was framed for the crime? This is the essence of the problem we face as a country, and the world watching on with bated breath.

I still do not know what is "true" about any of this "Russiagate" contretemps. Perhaps none of it. Perhaps all of it. I suspect both parties and candidates were hand fed dubious information then tried to hide the wrappers from the "authorities" who (naturally) were only interested in how any of it impacted them personally and institutionally, and so on and so forth, etc. etc.

But where does that get us a nation? If you are a child and you walk into your parent's bedroom to find your mother screwing the gardener you may be upset. But then if you run down the hall to your brother's room to tell him and find your father en flagrante with the nanny, well where do you go from there?

We have to find a way to deescalate with each other as Americans. I find myself repeatedly smiling blankly in conversations with family, friends, and strangers who will all equally complain vociferously about someone who is definitely destroying the planet/country/children. But that only gets you so far. If you do not engage after a few minutes you are viewed with great suspicion. And then only the strongest bonds of love can save you from being cast aside or worse.

Deescalate now. I'm gonna put it on a tshirt.

By the way, reading a lot of Jung right now. Anyone else?

Blitz , February 16, 2018 at 12:31 pm

For the better part of the last 45 years I have traveled the world, worked with individuals in different cultures, walked among and shared bread and stories with many people in their living quarters and the news of today is not so much (occasionally) about the depth of love that exists around the world but only about the evils we are told about in pages of the WaPo, NYTimes and even the WST. So sad because there is so much good to view but good rarely delivers headlines and headlines sell news and make journalists.

The news is slow because the liberal media just can't dig out that one great story or smokin' gun that brings down Trump & Co. This whole story is stale and at the point of "who cares" ..well, the liberals seem to be the only interested parties. I am not a Republican or Conservative or aligned with any party but an American who looks for the best talent of any party to represent us .citizens of the U.S.A. I laugh at the whole 'Russian Thing' . like this is NEW news when it's as old as the Roman Empire. There are many of us true Americans that if our democracy was every challenged, threatened or in trouble would rise up against any threat–and more than likely not with guns but with our minds, our knowledge and our ability to talk calmly and rationally rather than shout threats on Twitter.

The media needs to get over itself and quit trying to be the type of police we all despise .manipulated headlines are part of the problem with the 'stillness' today. If you can't dig up any worthy headlines that will sell the news, then go home and close the cover of your computer and find someone to hug ..God knows we can all use an extra level of love in today's seemingly gloomy lack of news world.

Wyoming , February 16, 2018 at 6:31 pm

Well put.

Clif , February 16, 2018 at 1:30 pm

a pretty good question in the face of all the noise.

i believe it is in response to the saturated level of cognitive dissonance. an inverse reaction to the lack of transparency and unresponsiveness of both commercial and governmental activities.

the sensitivity of untoward persuasion on social media an indication of the fallibility of the centralized narrative?

Jeremy Grimm , February 16, 2018 at 2:06 pm

I have felt an eery disquiet for the last several years, more or less since the year I retired. I think retirement finally offered me the time I needed to see and think about the world. For the last few years I have felt a strong need to move away to higher ground and a smaller community further out from the cities. Churchill's book title "Gathering Storm" seems apt, but war seems only one of the many possible storms gathering and I think one of the least likely at present although the actions and qualities of those who rule us make even nuclear war seem possible. And I take little comfort from learning how close we came to nuclear war in the past and how the unstable mechanisms guiding us toward this brink remain in place with new embellishments for greater instability.

The economy is ambling a drunkard's walk climbing a knife's edge. The Corporations remain hard at work consolidating and building greater monopoly power, dismantling what remains of our domestic jobs and industry, and building ever more fragile supply chains. The government is busy dismantling the safety net, deconstructing health care, public education and science, bolstering the wealth of the wealthy, and stoking foreign wars while a tiff between factions within those who rule us fosters a new cold war and an arms build-up including building a new nuclear arsenal. In another direction Climate Disruption shows signs of accelerating while the new weather patterns already threaten random flooding and random destruction of cities. It already destroyed entire islands in the Caribbean. The government has proven its inability and unwillingness to do anything to prepare for the pending disasters or help the areas struck down in the seasons past. The year of Peak Oil is already in our past and there is nothing to fill its place. The world populations continue to grow exponentially. Climate Disruption promises to reduce food production and move the sources for fresh water and the worlds aquifers are drying up. It's as if a whole flock of black swans is looking for places to land.

I quit watching tv, listening to the radio, and reading newspapers long ago. The news desert isn't new or peculiar to this moment. I haven't seen much of interest in the news from any source since the election. The noise of social media and celebrity news does seem turned up higher recently, although I base this judgment on occasional peeks at magazines or snatches of NPR. After the last election I gave up on the possibility that we still had a democracy in this country. Over the last several years I've had some expensive and unpleasant dealings with local government, the schools, law enforcement, the courts, and government agencies in helping one and then the other of my children through difficulties which confirmed in the particular all my worst beliefs about the decay of our government and legal systems. In short my personal anxiety has been at a high level for some time now and I can't say its peaked lately. I don't get out and around enough to get a good sense of how others feel and certainly can't judge whether this moment is a moment of peaking anxiety. When I've been in the City and nearby cities I've long had a feeling of passing through a valley between mountains of very dry tender. I hold my head low and walk quickly to my destinations. Every so often I warn my children to move out, but they don't listen.

VietnamVet , February 16, 2018 at 10:11 pm

This is an excellent post and valid observations. Things don't seem right. I blame old age and being awaken by F-16s on combat patrols out of Andrews. For me the frame changed with the restart of the Cold War. I remember "Duck and Cover, McCarthyism, John Birchers, and Who Lost China". It has all come back. The Democrats are idiots for scapegoating Russia. President Donald Trump is incompetent. Scott Pruitt must fly first class because he cannot sit next to riff-raft like me who worked at his Agency for 37 years and hear that he has sold out the earth for short term gain and profit. America is at war, inside and out, with no way of winning.

The Rev Kev , February 16, 2018 at 10:15 pm

I am going to try to see if I can make sense of what has been happening the past few years but I could easily be as wrong as the next person but will try nonetheless. In reading the comments I can see the tension seeping through so to try to come to terms with it I will use the US as my focus though I could just as easily be talking about any other western country like the UK, Germany, Australia, France, etc. The US though is at the forefront of these changes so should be mentioned first.

The American people are now in what the military call a fire-sac and the door has been slammed shut behind them. What is more, I think they realize it. A few threads need mentioning here. A study that came out last year showed that what Americans wanted their government to do never becomes a consideration unless it aligned what some upper echelon also wanted. People want a military pull-back but are ignored and now find that American troops are digging into Syria and are scattered in places like Africa with the military wanting to go head-to-head with North Korea, Russia, China and a host of other nations. It has become blatantly obvious too that their vaunted free media has become little more than Pravda on the Potomac and in fact has aligning with the wealthy against the interests of the American people. The media is even helping bring in censorship as they know that their position is untenable. The entire political establishment is now recognized as a rigged deck with radical neoliberal politicians in charge and at the last election the best candidates that they could find out of 330 million Americans were Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. The massive industry that built America has been mostly disassembled and shipped overseas and without the wealth and skills that it generated, infrastructure has been left to rack and ruin when it should be a core government function. Climate change cannot be ignored anymore and is starting to bite. Even the Pentagon is realising that some of its vaunted bases will be underwater in decades. I am sure other commentators can list yet more trends here but you get the picture.

OK, so there are massive problems but they can be faced and taken on but here is the kicker. The political establishment in your country does not want anything to change but to keep doing what is generated these problems. There is too much money at stake to change for them. In fact, one of the two presidential candidates in 2016 was specifically chosen to keep things going they way that they are. So where does that leave the American people? British officers have always been taught that when their men were complaining and bitching, that that was how it was but when the men were very quiet, that was the time to watch them carefully. I think something similar is at work here. It has not yet coalesced but what I think we are seeing is the beginnings of a phase shift in America. The unexpected election of Trump was a precursor but as nothing changed after he was elected the pressure is still building.

Now here is the part where I kick over everybody's tea wagon. In looking for a root cause to how all these challenges are being pushed down the road to an even worse conclusion, I am going to have to say that the problem lies in the fact that representative democracy no longer works. In fact, the representatives in the form of Senators, Reps, Judges and even the President have been almost totally dislocated from the will of the people. The connection is mostly not there anymore. It is this disconnection that is frustrating change and is thus building up pressure. I am all for democracy but the democracy we have is not the only form there is of democracy. There are others.
What this means is that somehow this is going to have to be changed and if not done peacefully, then I suspect that it will be done in some other way. That lull in the news may represent a general milling around if you will until some unknown catalyst appears to give the beginnings of a push in another direction. How it will work out in practice I do not know but if a mass of independents were elected in your mid-terms then that may be a good sign of change coming. If both parties clamp down and continue to keep all others out and continue with neoliberal policies, well, game on.

Erling , February 16, 2018 at 10:28 pm

We have for the last generation or two, (maybe three?) been relentlessly conditioned (name your puppet-master of choice) to equate happiness and contentment with the never ending pursuit of keeping up with the Joneses. The competitive underpinnings encouraging our participation in this futile contest fit well with our innate drives for "success". The race was over-subscribed by throngs of enthusiastic participants yearning for glory.

For decades many of us did well. We ran strong and felt rewarded with the material enhancements to our lives, which encouraged many of us to run faster, even if that motivation was rooted more in the fear of being passed by Ron and Nancy Jones than it was for improving our chances of ending up on the podium.

Even though we never seemed to catch or pass Ron or Nancy, surely they must have been out there ahead in the haze somewhere? After all, this was the race that we so eagerly had trained for. Plus, life was going well while we chased, so we figured it was a fruitful one to be a part of. All the effort and toil would be worth it in the end.

The slow arc of realization and barely perceptible sense over time (coupled with the self delusion that comes with resisting acceptance) that we have been duped that this Jones Marathon has actually been taking place on a treadmill which gradually (hardly noticeable, but cumulatively significant) has been ratcheted up in both speed and incline, has now hit home. We have been running for years, but going nowhere. We can't find the stop button, and don't even want to think what will happen to us if we were to slow down or stop running! Problem is not only are we are growing physically weary, we are dejected and defeated in spirit knowing that all our efforts have yielded little other than illusionary gains.

[Feb 17, 2018] The Deep State Has Long Abused Its Power by George Beebe

Notable quotes:
"... From Eisenhower to Trump, the intelligence community has always struggled with its political role. ..."
"... Note: this article is part of a ..."
"... included in the March/April 2018 issue of the ..."
"... George Beebe is director of the Center for the National Interest's intelligence program. He formerly served as chief of Russia analysis at the CIA, and as special advisor to Vice President Cheney on Russia and the former Soviet Union. ..."
Feb 13, 2018 | nationalinterest.org

From Eisenhower to Trump, the intelligence community has always struggled with its political role. Tweet Share Share March-April 2018 Note: this article is part of a symposium included in the March/April 2018 issue of the National Interest .

FEW QUESTIONS have greater import for the health and integrity of any republic than the question of whether important parts of its government's national-security apparatus are abusing their power for political purposes. This is particularly true in the United States, where the departments and agencies known collectively as the Intelligence Community (IC) have grown so large and capable, where faith in the integrity of our democratic institutions is so vital to the effective functioning of our system, and where suspicions about secret police and intelligence organizations are baked so deeply into our country's political culture.

The United States has faced this question several times in its recent history. The Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations all used -- or attempted to use -- the FBI and CIA to gather intelligence on U.S. citizens they suspected of collaboration with communist agents, with too little regard for statutory regulations and prohibitions of such practices, and too great a tendency to view their political enemies as national-security threats. Lyndon B. Johnson believed, without much justification, that the CIA had conspired against him at the 1960 Democratic convention to ensure that John F. Kennedy won the presidential nomination. Richard Nixon was equally convinced that the CIA had helped to swing the subsequent presidential election to Kennedy. These misperceptions barely surfaced in public at the time and did little to shake voters' faith in the outcome of the election, but they had significant implications for the working relationships of both Johnson and Nixon with the CIA once in office. Johnson's suspicions probably increased his inclination to side with the Defense Department's optimistic assessments of the Vietnam War over the CIA's more pessimistic -- and, in retrospect, more accurate -- analyses. Nixon's suspicions fueled his determination to build a small intelligence-gathering and covert-action group within the White House, which ultimately led to the Watergate break-in and cover-up that destroyed his presidency.

Investigations in the 1970s into various IC abuses, including efforts to collect intelligence on the political activities of U.S. citizens, led to the creation of specially designated congressional oversight committees -- the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence -- with the power and authorization to ensure that the CIA, NSA, FBI, and other IC bodies conduct their activities strictly within the bounds of law. The investigations also resulted in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978, which imposed strict limits on the government's ability to surveil the communications and activities of U.S. persons, requiring warrants issued by a special FISA court based on probable cause to believe that the target is a foreign power or its agent. The act established "minimization" requirements for disclosing the identities of U.S. persons being surveilled, allowing for "unmasking" -- that is, revealing their names to authorized government officials -- only when there is strong reason to believe they have committed a crime or when their identities are necessary to understand the intelligence information.

The now-infamous Iraq WMD estimate of 2002 raised questions of the political misuse of intelligence in a different form. Seldom had intelligence figured more prominently in the public justifications for a decision to go to war, and seldom had it been proven more spectacularly wrong in retrospect. Years of efforts by the CIA to increase its relevance had paid off in an unprecedentedly close relationship to the White House, but its unique ability to provide policymakers with the skepticism of a disinterested party suffered. The reorganization and reform of the IC mandated by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2005 were designed less to prevent political abuses of intelligence than to make the IC less prone to such consequential errors. This required something new of intelligence overseers: not only to ensure that IC activities remained within the bounds of law, but also to encourage qualitative improvements to its analytic rigor, information sharing and collaboration.

In principle, no one disputes that intelligence operations should be conducted strictly within the bounds of law, and that intelligence and law-enforcement professionals should be guided solely by evidence and analytic rigor in producing their assessments. Human nature being what it is, however, two temptations will be a never-ending challenge: for the IC, to please its White House masters, and for the presidency, to conflate its political enemies with those of the country as a whole. Aspects of both these temptations are evident in the controversies over the 2016 presidential election.

The use of the IC's vast capabilities to gather intelligence on opposition political campaigns should occur only in the rarest of circumstances, justified by solid evidence of treasonous activities warranted by the FISA court. The so-called Steele dossier, a piece of Clinton-funded opposition research gathered from London through unsecure communications with unnamed contacts in Russia, does not meet that standard of evidence. If, as is alleged but not proven, the FBI relied on this unverified document to justify a FISA warrant for collecting intelligence on Trump campaign officials, then the Obama administration crossed an important ethical, though probably not legal, line. Is there a deep state in the United States? Yes, if that means that important parts of our national-security apparatus have the capability, albeit not the legal authority, to abuse intelligence to alter the outcomes of national elections or distort public-policy debates. But we have processes in place to minimize this danger if the oversight provisions established by our laws are properly implemented and our independent media play their informal oversight role effectively. The IC, Congress, judiciary and media all appear to have fallen short of the standards our country should expect.

George Beebe is director of the Center for the National Interest's intelligence program. He formerly served as chief of Russia analysis at the CIA, and as special advisor to Vice President Cheney on Russia and the former Soviet Union.


Alistar , February 14, 2018 9:00 AM

Mr. Beebe, crossed an ethical but probably not legal line??? Really, appalling. FBI/DOJ operatives using the national level intel services to spy against a political opponent? Corruption, deception, lying to judges? Then there's this little aspect of a "cover up." Remember Nixon and Watergate, the break in was small potatoes, it was the lying and cover up that cost Nixon the Presidency. These two questions MUST be asked: What did they know and when did they know it??? Lynch, Holder, Brennan, Comey, Panetta, Biden and especially Obama. The truth will come out, eventually.

Irakli Bokuchava , February 15, 2018 9:12 AM

CIA and Intelligence community in common are parts of the American political system;their successful functioning is basis of success and victory of the USA as civil country;its alpha and omega of practical politics!

enoch arden , February 14, 2018 9:33 AM

The American so-called "Intel community" is a very peculiar phenomenon. Including this very term. Any intelligence agency is a military organisation with a very strict discipline directly subordinated to the commander in chief. Its activity is strictly secret and the commander in chief is the only recipient of the intelligence they acquire.

The Chinese book of military strategy "Sun Tzu" says that if the information of an agent became known to anyone before it was reported to the superior commander, both the agent and the recipient must be executed: the former for his loose tongue, the latter for his inappropriate curiocity. This implies that a particular branch of the intelligence service cannot distribute the information even to the adjacent branches, leaving alone the media.

In the US these rules seems to be entirely foreign. The intelligence officers actively discuss everything both with each other and with the media so that the commander in chief is often the last receiving the information. In a normal country this behaviour would have been stopped by executing the first 100 caught in leaking. The rest would learn the lesson.

TrumpUup💪🏻 enoch arden , February 14, 2018 6:04 PM

I agree but i would say these people are obviously Obama lovers... We both know the realities of today wouldn't allow for executions but it would stop ot and i do agree... The only answer is smaller government but it's to late for that..

sr37212 , February 14, 2018 9:26 AM

I guess we should just ignore the Dulles boys and their using the government to advance their own worth by overthrowing governments.

Schlesinger's Zenith ElPrimero , February 14, 2018 6:02 AM

Another worthless article - how can you mention the Deep State and Nixon and not mention the mighty James Schlesinger and the Family Jewels? I think the Master Old Boy talked about peak oil in his later years too - nah, no such thing as the Limits to Growth eh boys?

Arkansas Traveler Schlesinger's Zenith ElPrimero , February 14, 2018 10:30 AM

The difference is that at one time, the deep state was on the side of the United States

[Feb 17, 2018] The Deep State Is No Supervillain by Michael Lind

Notable quotes:
"... Michael Lind is a visiting professor at the University of Texas at Austin and author, with Robert D. Atkinson, of ..."
"... (MIT Press, March 2018). ..."
"... The rise of the power elite has long been a serious problem in many Western societies, but trying to forcibly overthrow it will only create a new and potentially more dangerous elite in turn. ..."
"... Information is the key to winning any war between the people and the elite ..."
"... Would have been nice to mention that all this was possible post-1991 because there was no longer a peer competitor to the US, and thus Western business elite no longer was constrained to be allied with Western workers. Since 2014, that has all changed. There are now two near-peer competitors to the US. ..."
Feb 17, 2018 | nationalinterest.org

Political scientists often divide explanations of democratic politics in the United States and similar nations among theories of pluralism, state autonomy and elitism. The pluralist theory holds that the American elite, like the population, is divided among competing centers of power and authority with different values and interests. The state-autonomy theory holds that government agencies and military and intelligence organizations are independent actors in politics. The elitist theory holds that in most democracies most of the time, no matter how many political parties there may be, there is a dominant elite, which includes most of the leaders of politics, the economy and civil society and shares a broad consensus.

... ... ...

In my view, the elitist approach best explains the Trump phenomenon, along with contemporary populism on both sides of the Atlantic. Since the end of the Cold War, highly homogeneous social elites in North America and Europe have liberated themselves from the constraints of the institutions that restrained them between 1945 and 1989 -- institutions including strong labor unions, grassroots political parties and, in the United States, a distinct Southern oligarchy that by now has largely lost its identity and power and has been absorbed into the national ruling class.

Elites in the United States, Britain, Germany and other Western nations under post–Cold War leadership have deliberately weakened the bargaining power of workers in their nations by a combination of austerity-induced unemployment, offshoring, permitting Western-controlled corporations to play nation-states against one another and mass low-skilled immigration, creating a low-wage "reserve army of labor" in Western countries.

While restructuring the global economy to crush organized labor, transatlantic elites have simultaneously restructured government to minimize democratic accountability, by shifting decisionmaking from legislatures to executive and judicial agencies within the nation-state, and by enabling treaties and transnational agencies like the European Union, which are more insulated from voters, to replace or modify national statutory law. In both of the cases of anti-worker economic restructuring and de-democratization, American and European oligarchs have claimed that a mysterious, unstoppable force called "globalization" compelled them to do what they wanted to do anyway. This post–Cold War oligarchic revolution from above might be described as a conspiracy, but it is not a secret conspiracy perpetrated by the deep state. It was a program carried out in broad daylight by Bill Clinton and George Bush, Tony Blair and centrist European leaders. And it succeeded in its two goals of weakening the economic leverage and political power of the working-class majorities in the United States, the UK and other Western nations.

The populist rebellions of the second decade of the twenty-first century, which have been led by right-wing tribunes like Trump or left-wing demagogues like Sanders and Corbyn, can only be understood as a long-delayed reaction by populations to the replacement of the cross-class compromises of the post–World War II period by untrammeled oligarchy. America's newly empowered ruling class has closed ranks against Trump, but it would also close ranks against any other outsider president who challenged its post–Cold War dominance of American society, including Bernie Sanders. Deep divide? Yes. Deep state? No.

Michael Lind is a visiting professor at the University of Texas at Austin and author, with Robert D. Atkinson, of Big is Beautiful: Debunking the Myth of Small Business (MIT Press, March 2018).


Uniters.org Centrist EIC , February 13, 2018 7:36 AM

A bizarre misreading of history, though good points are made as well.

This is a classic example of a dishonest person analyzing something they disagree with, and instead of sticking to reality, they build a straw man bugaboo to assign blame to, and make their side into a victim:

"deliberately weakened the bargaining power of workers in their nations by a combination of austerity-induced unemployment, offshoring, permitting Western-controlled corporations to play nation-states against one another and mass low-skilled immigration, creating a low-wage "reserve army of labor" in Western countries"

He pretends that he isn't calling it a conspiracy, but that is exactly what he's doing, and some have done what he describes, but where he willfully jumps off the cliff of dishonesty is in claiming to know why ("deliberately") these actions were taken by so many people, over such a long period of time.

That's an obvious lie. Unless Mr. Lind is Professor X, using science fiction psychic magnifying machines to read thousands of minds, both past and present, there is no way anyone could honestly make that claim.

His use of conspiracy theory makes it doubly interesting in how he deconstructs the conspiracy theory many on the right are pushing about the 'deep state'.

Turn that skeptic's lens back on yourself, Mr. Lind.

R. Arandas , February 13, 2018 3:57 PM

The rise of the power elite has long been a serious problem in many Western societies, but trying to forcibly overthrow it will only create a new and potentially more dangerous elite in turn.

Information is the key to winning any war between the people and the elite.

Curt , February 13, 2018 1:59 PM

Would have been nice to mention that all this was possible post-1991 because there was no longer a peer competitor to the US, and thus Western business elite no longer was constrained to be allied with Western workers. Since 2014, that has all changed. There are now two near-peer competitors to the US.

[Feb 17, 2018] Neo-McCarthyite Hysteria at US Senate Intelligence Committee Hearing Global Research - Centre for Research on Globalization

Notable quotes:
"... The concern of the American ruling class is not Russian or Chinese "subversion," but the growth of social opposition within the United States. The narrative of "Russian meddling" has been used to justify a systematic campaign to censor the Internet and suppress free speech. ..."
"... World Socialist Web Site ..."
Feb 17, 2018 | www.globalresearch.ca

The concern of the American ruling class is not Russian or Chinese "subversion," but the growth of social opposition within the United States. The narrative of "Russian meddling" has been used to justify a systematic campaign to censor the Internet and suppress free speech.

Senator Mark Warner

The performance of Senator Mark Warner , the ranking Democrat on the committee, was particularly obscene. Warner, whose net worth is estimated at $257 million, appeared to be doing his best impersonation of Senator Joe McCarthy . He declared that foreign subversion works together with, and is largely indistinguishable from, "threats to our institutions from right here at home."

Alluding to the publication of the so-called Nunes memo, which documented the fraudulent character of the Democratic-led investigation of White House "collusion" with Russia, Warner noted,

"There have been some, aided and abetted by Russian Internet bots and trolls, who have attacked the basic integrity of the FBI and the Justice Department."

Responding to questioning from Warner, FBI Director Christopher Wray praised the US intelligence agencies' greater "engagement" and "partnership" with the private sector, concluding,

"We can't fully police social media, so we have to work with them so that they can police themselves."

Wray was referring to the sweeping measures taken by social media companies, working directly with the US intelligence agencies, to implement a regime of censorship, including through the hiring of tens of thousands of "content reviewers," many with intelligence backgrounds, to flag, report and delete content.

The assault on democratic rights is increasingly connected to preparations for a major war, which will further exacerbate social tensions within the United States. Coats prefaced his remarks by declaring that "the risk of inter-state conflict, including among great powers, is higher than at any time since the end of the Cold War."

As the hearing was taking place, multiple news outlets were reporting that potentially hundreds of Russian military contractors had been killed in a recent US air strike in Syria. This came just weeks after the publication of the Pentagon's National Defense Strategy, which declared,

"Inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in US national security."

However, the implications of this great-power conflict are not simply external to the US "homeland." The document argues that "the homeland is no longer a sanctuary," and that "America is a target," for "political and information subversion" on the part of "revisionist powers" such as Russia and China.

Since "America's military has no preordained right to victory on the battlefield," the only way the US can prevail in this conflict is through the "seamless integration of multiple elements of national power," including "information, economics, finance, intelligence, law enforcement and military."

In other words, America's supremacy in the new world of great-power conflict requires the subordination of every aspect of life to the requirements of war. In this totalitarian nightmare, already far advanced, the police, the military and the intelligence agencies unite with media and technology companies to form a single seamless unit, whose combined power is marshaled to manipulate public opinion and suppress political dissent.

The dictatorial character of the measures being prepared was underscored by an exchange between Wray and Republican Senator Marco Rubio , who asked whether Chinese students were serving as spies for Beijing.

"What is the counterintelligence risk posed to US national security from Chinese students, particularly those in advanced programs in the sciences and mathematics?" asked Rubio.

Wray responded that

"the use of nontraditional collectors, especially in the academic setting, whether it's professors, scientists, students, we see in almost every field office that the FBI has around the country, not just in major cities, small ones as well, basically every discipline."

This campaign, with racist overtones, recalls the official rationale -- defense of "national security" -- used to justify the internment of some 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry during the Second World War.

In its open letter calling for a coalition of socialist, antiwar and progressive websites against Internet censorship, the World Socialist Web Site noted that

"the ruling class has identified the Internet as a mortal threat to its monopolization of information and its ability to promote propaganda to wage war and legitimize the obscene concentration of wealth and extreme social inequality."

It is this mortal threat -- and fear of the growth of class conflict -- that motivate the lies and hypocrisy on display at the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing.

The original source of this article is World Socialist Web Site Copyright © Andre Damon , World Socialist Web Site , 2018

[Feb 16, 2018] Russians Spooked by Nukes-Against-Cyber-Attack Policy Consortiumnews

Feb 16, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Russians Spooked by Nukes-Against-Cyber-Attack Policy February 16, 2018

New U.S. policy on nuclear retaliatory strikes for cyber-attacks is raising concerns, with Russia claiming that it's already been blamed for a false-flag cyber-attack – namely the election hacking allegations of 2016, explain Ray McGovern and William Binney.

By Ray McGovern and William Binney

Moscow is showing understandable concern over the lowering of the threshold for employing nuclear weapons to include retaliation for cyber-attacks, a change announced on Feb. 2 in the U.S. Nuclear Posture Review (NPR).

A nuclear test detonation carried out in Nevada on April 18, 1953.

Explaining the shift in U.S. doctrine on first-use, the NPR cites the efforts of potential adversaries "to design and use cyber weapons" and explains the change as a "hedge" against non-nuclear threats. In response, Russia described the move as an "attempt to shift onto others one's own responsibility" for the deteriorating security situation.

Moscow's concern goes beyond rhetoric. Cyber-attacks are notoriously difficult to trace to the actual perpetrator and can be pinned easily on others in what we call "false-flag" operations. These can be highly destabilizing – not only in the strategic context, but in the political arena as well.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has good reason to believe he has been the target of a false-flag attack of the political genre. We judged this to be the case a year and a half ago, and said so. Our judgment was fortified last summer – thanks to forensic evidence challenging accusations that the Russians hacked into the Democratic National Committee and provided emails to WikiLeaks. (Curiously, the FBI declined to do forensics, even though the "Russian hack" was being described as an "act of war.")

Our conclusions were based on work conducted over several months by highly experienced technical specialists, including another former NSA technical director (besides co-author Binney) and experts from outside the circle of intelligence analysts.

On August 9, 2017, investigative reporter Patrick Lawrence summed up our findings in The Nation. "They have all argued that the hack theory is wrong and that a locally executed leak is the far more likely explanation," he explained.

As we wrote in an open letter to Barack Obama dated January 17, three days before he left office, the NSA's programs are fully capable of capturing all electronic transfers of data. "We strongly suggest that you ask NSA for any evidence it may have indicating that the results of Russian hacking were given to WikiLeaks," our letter said. "If NSA cannot produce such evidence – and quickly – this would probably mean it does not have any."

A 'Dot' Pointing to a False Flag?

In his article, Lawrence included mention of one key, previously unknown "dot" revealed by WikiLeaks on March 31, 2017. When connected with other dots, it puts a huge dent in the dominant narrative about Russian hacking. Small wonder that the mainstream media immediately applied white-out to the offending dot.

Lawrence, however, let the dot out of the bag, so to speak: "The list of the CIA's cyber-tools WikiLeaks began to release in March and labeled Vault 7 includes one called Marble Framework that is capable of obfuscating the origin of documents in false-flag operations and leaving markings that point to whatever the CIA wants to point to."

If congressional oversight committees summon the courage to look into "Obfus-Gate" and Marble, they are likely to find this line of inquiry as lucrative as the Steele "dossier." In fact, they are likely to find the same dramatis personae playing leading roles in both productions.

Two Surprising Visits

Last October CIA Director Mike Pompeo invited one of us (Binney) into his office to discuss Russian hacking. Binney told Pompeo his analysts had lied and that he could prove it.

In retrospect, the Pompeo-Binney meeting appears to have been a shot across the bow of those cyber warriors in the CIA, FBI, and NSA with the means and incentive to adduce "just discovered" evidence of Russian hacking. That Pompeo could promptly invite Binney back to evaluate any such "evidence" would be seen as a strong deterrent to that kind of operation.

Pompeo's closeness to President Donald Trump is probably why the heads of Russia's three top intelligence agencies paid Pompeo an unprecedented visit in late January. We think it likely that the proximate cause was the strategic danger Moscow sees in the nuclear-hedge-against-cyber-attack provision of the Nuclear Posture Statement (a draft of which had been leaked a few weeks before).

If so, the discussion presumably focused on enhancing hot-line and other fail-safe arrangements to reduce the possibility of false-flag attacks in the strategic arena -- by anyone – given the extremely high stakes.

Putin may have told his intelligence chiefs to pick up on President Donald Trump's suggestion, after the two met last July, to establish a U.S.-Russian cyber security unit. That proposal was widely ridiculed at the time. It may make good sense now.

Ray McGovern, a CIA analyst for 27 years, was chief of the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch and briefed the President's Daily Brief one-on-one from 1981-1985. William Binney worked for NSA for 36 years, retiring in 2001 as the technical director of world military and geopolitical analysis and reporting; he created many of the collection systems still used by NSA.


mike k , February 16, 2018 at 5:36 pm

Those Russians had a strange mission coming to CIA headquarters to try to negotiate with soulless mass murderers in the name of maintaining a precarious semblance of peace, knowing full well that these men's words and assurances were worth less than nothing. Ah well, I guess in a mad situation one is reduced to making desperate gestures, hoping against hope .

Mild-ly -Facetious , February 16, 2018 at 5:42 pm

F Y I :> Putin prefers Aramco to Trump's sword dance

Hardly 10 months after honoring the visiting US president, the Saudis are open to a Russian-Chinese consortium investing in the upcoming Aramco IPO

By M.K. BHADRAKUMAR
FEBRUARY 16, 2018

[extract]

In the slideshow that is Middle Eastern politics, the series of still images seldom add up to make an enduring narrative. And the probability is high that when an indelible image appears, it might go unnoticed – such as Russia and Saudi Arabia wrapping up huge energy deals on Wednesday underscoring a new narrative in regional and international security.

The ebb and flow of events in Syria – Turkey's campaign in Afrin and its threat to administer an "Ottoman slap" to the United States, and the shooting down of an Israeli F-16 jet – hogged the attention. But something of far greater importance was unfolding in Riyadh, as Saudi and Russian officials met to seal major deals marking a historic challenge to the US dominance in the Persian Gulf region.

The big news is the Russian offer to the Saudi authorities to invest directly in the upcoming Aramco initial public offering – and the Saudis acknowledging the offer. Even bigger news, surely, is that Moscow is putting together a Russian-Chinese consortium of joint investment funds plus several major Russian banks to be part of the Aramco IPO.

Chinese state oil companies were interested in becoming cornerstone investors in the IPO, but the participation of a Russia-China joint investment fund takes matters to an entirely different realm. Clearly, the Chinese side is willing to hand over tens of billions of dollars.

Yet the Aramco IPO was a prime motive for US President Donald Trump to choose Saudi Arabia for his first foreign trip. The Saudi hosts extended the ultimate honor to Trump – a ceremonial sword dance outside the Murabba Palace in Riyadh. Hardly 10 months later, they are open to a Russian-Chinese consortium investing in the Aramco IPO.

Riyadh plans to sell 5% of Saudi Aramco in what is billed as the largest IPO in world history. In the Saudi estimation, Aramco is worth US$2 trillion; a 5% stake sale could fetch as much as $100 billion. The IPO is a crucial segment of Vision 2030, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman's ambitious plan to diversify the kingdom's economy.

MORE : http://www.atimes.com/article/putin-prefers-aramco-trumps-sword-dance/

Anna , February 16, 2018 at 6:46 pm

"Last October CIA Director Mike Pompeo invited one of us (Binney) into his office to discuss Russian hacking. Binney told Pompeo his analysts had lied and that he could prove it."

That was about some Dm. Alperovitch for CrowdStrike fame, who had discovered the "hacking" in 10 sec. Guess Alperovitch, as an "expert" at the viciously Russophobic Atlantic Council (funded by the State Dept., NATO, and a set of unsavory characters like Ukrainian oligrach Pinchuk) decided to show his "understanding" of the task. The shy FBI did not even attempt to look at the Clinton's server because the bosses "knew better."

Alperovitch must be investigated for anti-American activities; the scoundrel has been sowing discord into the US society with his lies while endangering the US citizenry.

[Feb 16, 2018] The Pathetic Inadequacy of the Trump Opposition The American Conservative by Paul Brian

Notable quotes:
"... Dancing With The Stars ..."
"... The Washington Post. ..."
"... Paul Brian is a freelance journalist. He has reported for BBC, Reuters, and Foreign Policy, and contributed to the Week, The Federalist, and others. He covered the fledgling U.S. alt-right at a 2014 conference in Hungary as well as the 2015 New Hampshire primary, and also made a documentary about his time living in the Republic of Georgia in 2012. You can follow him on Twitter @paulrbrian or visit his website www.paulrbrian.com . ..."
Feb 16, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The hawks and internationalists who set our house on fire don't now deserve the contract to rebuild it.

While it may have significant popular support, much of the anti-Trump "Resistance" suffers from a severe weakness of message. Part of the problem is with who the Resistance's leading messengers are: discredited neoconservative poltroons like former president George W. Bush, unwatchable alleged celebrities like Chelsea Handler, and establishment Republicans who routinely slash and burn the middle class like Senator Jeff Flake. Furthermore, what exactly is the Resistance's overriding message? Invariably their sermonizing revolves around vague bromides about "tolerance," diversity, unrestricted free trade, and multilateralism. They routinely push a supposed former status quo that was in fact anything but a status quo. The leaders of the Resistance have in their arsenal nothing but buzzwords and a desire to feel self-satisfied and turn back to imagined pre-Trump normality. A president like Donald Trump is only possible in a country with opposition voices of such subterranean caliber.

Remember when Trump steamrolled a crowded field of Republicans in one of the greatest electoral upsets in American history? Surely many of us also recall the troupes of smug celebrities and Bushes and Obamas who lined up to take potshots at Trump over his unacceptably cruel utterances that upset their noble moral sensibilities? How did that work out for them? They lost. The more that opposition to Trump in office takes the same form as opposition to him on the campaign trail, the more hypocritical and counterproductive it becomes. Further, the resistance to Trump's policies is coming just at the moment when principled opposition most needs to up its game and help turn back the hands of the Doomsday Clock. It's social conservatives who are also opposed to war and exploitation of the working class who have the best moral bona fides to effectively oppose Trump, which is why morally phrased attacks on Trump from the corporate and socially liberal wings of the left, as well as the free market and interventionist conservative establishment, have failed and will continue to fail. Any real alternative is going to have to come from regular folks with hearts and morals who aren't stained by decades of failure and hypocrisy.

A majority of Democrats now have favorable views of George W. Bush, and that's no coincidence. Like the supposedly reasonable anti-Trump voices on their side, Bush pops up like a dutiful marionette to condemn white supremacy and "nativism," and to reminisce about the good old days when he was in charge. Bush also lectures about how Russia is ruining everything by meddling in elections and destabilizing the world. But how convincing is it really to hear about multilateralism and respect for human rights from Bush, who launched an unnecessary war on Iraq that killed hundreds of thousands of civilians and left thousands of American servicemen and women dead and wounded? How convincing is it when former secretary of state Madeleine Albright, who famously remarked that an estimated half a million Iraqis dead from our 1990s sanctions was "worth it," haughtily claims that she's "offended" by Trump's travel ban ? "Offended" -- is that so, Madame Secretary? I have a feeling millions of Muslims in the Middle East may have also been "offended" when people like you helped inflame their region and turned it into an endless back-and-forth firestorm of conflict between U.S.-backed dictators and brutal jihadists, with everyone else caught in between.

Maybe instead of being offended that not everyone can come to America, people like Albright, Kerry, and Bush shouldn't have contributed to the conditions that wrecked those people's homes in the first place? Maybe the U.S. government should think more closely about providing military aid to 73 percent of the world's dictatorships? Sorry, do excuse the crazy talk. Clearly all the ruthless maneuvering by the U.S. and NATO is just being done out of a selfless desire to spread democratic values by raining down LGBT-friendly munitions on beleaguered populations worldwide. Another congressman just gave a speech about brave democratic principles so we can all relax.

Generally, U.S. leaders like to team up with dictators before turning on them when they become inconvenient or start to upset full-spectrum dominance. Nobody have should been surprised to see John Kerry fraternizing in a friendly manner with Syrian butcher Bashar al-Assad and then moralistically threatening him with war several years later, or Donald Rumsfeld grinning with Saddam Hussein as they cooperated militarily before Rumsfeld did an about-face on the naďve dictator based on false premises after 9/11. Here's former president Barack Obama shaking Moammar Gaddafi's hand in 2009 . I wonder what became of Mr. Gaddafi?

It's beyond parody to hear someone like Bush sternly opine that there's "pretty clear evidence" Russia meddled in the 2016 election. Even if that were deeply significant in the way some argue, Bush should be the last person anyone is hearing from about it. It's all good, though: remember when Bush laughed about how there hadn't been weapons of mass destruction in Iraq at the White House Correspondents Dinner in 2004? It's all just a joke; don't you get it? (Maybe Saddam Hussein had already used all the chemical weapons the U.S. helped him get during the 1980s on Iran in the Iran-Iraq War, which killed over one million people by the time the coalition of the willing came knocking in 2003). That's the kind of thing people like Bush like to indirectly joke about in the company of self-satisfied press ghouls at celebratory dinners. However, when the mean man Mr. Trump pals around with Russian baddie Vladimir Putin, mistreats women, or spews out unkind rhetoric about "shitholes," it's far from a joke: it's time to get out your two-eared pink hat and hit the streets chanting in righteous outrage.

To be fair, Trump is worthy of opposition. An ignorant, reactive egotist who needs to have his unfounded suppositions and inaccuracies constantly validated by a sycophantic staff of people who'd be rejected even for a reality show version of the White House, he really is an unstable excuse for a leader and an inveterate misogynist and all the other things. Trump isn't exactly Bible Belt material despite his stamp of approval from Jerry Falwell Jr. and crew; in fact he hasn't even succeeded in getting rid of the Johnson Amendment and allowing churches to get more involved in politics, one of his few concrete promises to Christian conservatives. He's also a big red button of a disaster in almost every other area as commander-in-chief.

Trump's first military action as president reportedly killed numerous innocent women and children (some unnamed U.S. officials claim some of the women were militants) as well as a Navy SEAL. Helicopter gunships strafed a Yemeni village for over an hour in what Trump called a "highly successful" operation against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). A senior military official felt differently, saying that "almost everything went wrong." The raid even killed eight-year-old American girl Nawar al-Awlaki, daughter of previously killed extremist leader Anwar al-Awlaki, whose other innocent child, 16-year-old Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, was also droned while eating outdoors at a restaurant in 2010 (with several friends and his 17-year-old cousin). The Obama administration dismissed Abdulrahman's death at the time as no big deal .

The list goes on with the Trump administration, a hollow outfit of Goldman Sachs operatives and detached industry and financier billionaires helping out their hedge fund friends and throwing a small table scrap to the peasants every now and then. As deformed babies are born in Flint, Michigan , Ivanka grandstands about paid parental leave . Meanwhile, Trump and Co. work to expand the war in Afghanistan and Syria. It's a sad state of affairs.

So who are the right voices to oppose the mango man-child and his cadre of doddering dullards? Not degenerate celebrities, dirty politicians of the past, or special interest groups that try to fit everyone into a narrow electoral box so mainline Democrats can pass their own version of corporate welfare and run wars with more sensitive rhetoric and politically correct messaging. Instead, the effective dissidents of the future will be people of various beliefs, but especially the pro-family and faith-driven, who are just as opposed to what came before Trump as they are to him. The future of a meaningful political alternative to the underlying liberalism, materialism, and me-first individualism on the left and right will revolve around traditionalists and pro-family conservative individuals who define their own destinies instead of letting themselves be engineered into destinies manufactured by multinational corporations and boardroom gremlins with diversity outreach strategies. It's possible, for example, to be socially conservative, pro-worker, pro-environment, and anti-war. In fact, that is the norm in most countries that exist outside the false political paradigm pushed in America.

If enough suburbanite centrists who take a break from Dancing With The Stars are convinced that Trump is bad because George W. Bush and Madeleine Albright say so, it shows that these people have learned absolutely nothing from Trump or the process that led to him. These kind of resistors are the people nodding their heads emphatically as they read Eliot Cohen talk about why he and his friends can't stomach the evil stench of Trump or Robert Kagan whine about fascism in The Washington Post. Here's a warning to good people who may not have been following politics closely prior to Trump: don't get taken in by these charlatans. Don't listen to those who burned your town down as they pitch you the contract to rebuild it. You can oppose both the leaders of the "Resistance" and Trump. In fact, it is your moral duty to do so. This is the End of the End of History As We Know It, but there isn't going to be an REM song or Will Smith punching an alien in the face to help everyone through it.

Here's a thought for those finding themselves enthusiastic about the Resistance and horrified by Trump: maybe, just maybe , the water was already starting to boil before you cried out in pain and alarm.

Paul Brian is a freelance journalist. He has reported for BBC, Reuters, and Foreign Policy, and contributed to the Week, The Federalist, and others. He covered the fledgling U.S. alt-right at a 2014 conference in Hungary as well as the 2015 New Hampshire primary, and also made a documentary about his time living in the Republic of Georgia in 2012. You can follow him on Twitter @paulrbrian or visit his website www.paulrbrian.com .


Fran Macadam February 16, 2018 at 1:14 pm

Trump is definitely a castor oil antidote. But if not him, then them.
Frank , says: February 16, 2018 at 1:19 pm
Now this is TAC material!
Kent , says: February 16, 2018 at 1:48 pm
"The future of a meaningful political alternative to the underlying liberalism, materialism, and me-first individualism on the left and right will revolve around traditionalists and pro-family conservative individuals who define their own destinies instead of letting themselves be engineered into destinies manufactured by multinational corporations and boardroom gremlins with diversity outreach strategies."

They will have to lose their faith in "Free Market God" first. I don't believe that will happen.

Aaron Paolozzi , says: February 16, 2018 at 2:56 pm
I enjoyed the heat. The comments made are on point, and this is pretty much what my standard response to reactionary trump dissidents are. Trump is terrible, but so is what came before him, he is just easier to dislike.

Keep it coming.

One Guy , says: February 16, 2018 at 3:16 pm
Even with inadequate opposition, Trump has managed to be the most unpopular president after one year, ever. I'm guessing this speaks to his unique talent of messing things up.
RVA , says: February 16, 2018 at 4:11 pm
Wow! Paul! Babylon burning. Preach it, brother! Takes me back to my teenage years, Ramparts 1968, as another corrupt infrastructure caught fire and burned down. TAC is amazing, the only place to find this in true form.

Either we are history remembering fossils soon gone, or the next financial crash – now inevitable with passage of tax reform (redo of 2001- the rich got their money out, now full speed off the cliff), will bring down this whole mass of absolute corruption. What do you think will happen when Trump is faced with a true crisis? They're selling off the floorboards. What can remain standing?

And elsewhere in the world, who, in their right mind, would help us? Good riddance to truly dangerous pathology. The world would truly become safer with the USA decommissioned, and then restored, through honest travail, to humility, and humanity.

You are right. Be with small town, front porch, family and neighborhood goodness, and dodge the crashing embers.

The Flying Burrito Brothers: 'On the thirty-first floor a gold plated door
Won't keep out the Lord's burning rain '

God Bless.

Donald , says: February 16, 2018 at 5:50 pm
I agree with Frank. This was great.

The depressing thing to me is how hard it is to get people to see this. You have people who still think Trump is doing a great job and on the other side people who admire the warmongering Resistance and think Hillary's vast experience in foreign policy was one of her strengths, rather than one of the main reasons to be disgusted by her. Between the two categories I think you have the majority of American voters.

[Feb 16, 2018] The Deep Staters care first and foremost about themselves.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Putin is evil, Putin kills, Putin steals, bla bla bla!!! Putin is only guilty for not being America's vassal. The Russia bashing in MSM will cease by miracle if it becomes America's client state. Putin and Russia are presumed guilty of everything bad that happens in the world. ..."
"... No evidence is needed, high confidence is enough!! It is almost funny that a country like USA which has a long records of meedling and intervention in others countries internal affairs worlwide, now is losing reason about alleged russia meedling. ..."
Feb 16, 2018 | nationalinterest.org

andrewp111 Guest , February 13, 2018 7:21 AM

For a very simple reason. The Deep Staters care first and foremost about themselves. They wanted Hillary to win, badly, but were not willing to risk too much for her. James Comey in particular cares about James Comey. Remember, this is a guy who views himself as a historical Religious Figure. He wanted to be able to serve out a full 10 year term. He wanted to please his Democratic masters enough to avoid being fired by either Obama or Clinton, but not too much to gain excessive ire from Congress. He was afraid that a Republican Congress under a future Clinton Administration would go after him tooth and nail if he "concealed" new evidence against Clinton prior to the election - especially since he promised the Congress that he would inform them of new developments. And Comey probably feared the worst as to what was in Wiener's email archive. When they finally went through that archive, and failed to find much that was new, he must have breathed a sigh of relief - only to see the wrong person win the election.

Tracy Crawford , February 13, 2018 8:21 PM

The political system in the US is a near complete failure. On one hand the massive levels of corruption legalized in Citizen's United give influence over political decisions to wealthy elites previously unseen outside of the deeply corrupted and criminal Russian oligarchy. On the other hand and synergistic with the previous point, the least informed and most easily influenced of people have votes equal in weight to highly informed, well-educated, expert and professional practitioners.

Rights guaranteed by a difficult-to-alter constitution combined with easily managed and easily created social media content based on opaque sources of emotionally charged, unverified and unverifiable information have gained control over public opinion (making alteration of our constitution even more difficult.)

And look at the fourth (Reagan, Bush, Bush, Trump) wave of Republican explosion of national debt under the banner of "fiscal responsibility."

It is astounding how "A" can be so successfully marketed as "B."

I am afraid that once control of public opinion has been so successfully attained in our form of democracy/legalized-corruption that there is no way to recover.

It is a sad state of affairs. I'd love to hear solutions.

Kurt Gayle , February 13, 2018 2:03 PM

An excellent description of the recent activities of the Deep State, Mr. Merry.

Thank you.

The trolls will now come after you full-bore.

WillDippel , February 12, 2018 9:08 PM

As shown in this article, Washington is completely ignoring the one issue of its own making that could create global chaos:

https://viableopposition.bl...

Washington's anti-Russia program is simply a distraction from its real problems.

Anti-Empire , February 14, 2018 12:48 PM

Great piece by Merry. Not new, but worthy of repetition when presented clearly like this.
It does not matter what you call it, Deep State or something else. What Merry says about the threat it poses to what remnants of democracy we have is true.
I prefer to call it the Imperial State since its highest priority is the US Empire, with domestic well-being simply an afterthought or of no cosequence at all.

Jamie , February 14, 2018 12:12 PM

"Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,"

- Cryin' Chuck Schumer

Steve JimmyD , February 14, 2018 1:29 PM

There is only ONE country that consistently "messes" in the politics of nearly every other country on the planet and that is not Russia.

It is the USA Deep State. I challenge you to research the evidence, "hidden in plain sight", of these examples:

1) US money that flowed into France and Italy elections after WW2;

2) overthrow of Greece elected pres in 1974 by US-friendly generals;

3) overthrow of Salvadore Allende in Chile 1973;

4) overthrow of Iran Mossadegh in 1953;

5) overthrow of neutral govt in Indonesia in early '60s;

6) the massive money that flowed into Russia in 1996 to get Yeltsin re-elected;

7) the money and attention US put into overthrowing legally elected govt in Ukraine in 2014.

That is just a VERY short list.

NO OTHER COUNTRY ON EARTH HAS MAINTAINED THIS FRANTIC PACE OF MASSIVE INTERVENTIONS/MEDDLING/BRIBING/OVERTHROWING/BOMBING/INVADING/DEATH-SQUADing FOREIGN POLITICAL SYSTEMS FOR 70 YEARS LIKE YOUR "GOOD OLE USA", powered by it's un-elected Deep State.

kelly bako JimmyD , February 13, 2018 7:27 PM

Putin is evil, Putin kills, Putin steals, bla bla bla!!! Putin is only guilty for not being America's vassal. The Russia bashing in MSM will cease by miracle if it becomes America's client state. Putin and Russia are presumed guilty of everything bad that happens in the world.

No evidence is needed, high confidence is enough!! It is almost funny that a country like USA which has a long records of meedling and intervention in others countries internal affairs worlwide, now is losing reason about alleged russia meedling.

A troll, from Saint Petersburg.

Tracy Crawford kelly bako , February 13, 2018 10:50 PM

You're right, Kelly, about some of your points. Evil: check. Kill: check. Steal: check. Co-opting the largest per capita criminal network in the world: check.

kelly bako Tracy Crawford , February 14, 2018 2:01 AM

He forced Americans to vote trump to undermine your democracy : check

[Feb 16, 2018] The Deep State Is Very Real by Robert W. Merry

Notable quotes:
"... Note: this article is part of a ..."
"... included in the March/April 2018 issue of the ..."
"... Robert W. Merry, longtime Washington journalist and publishing executive, is editor of ..."
"... . He is the author most recently of ..."
Feb 16, 2018 | nationalinterest.org

February 12, 2018

Note: this article is part of a symposium included in the March/April 2018 issue of the National Interest .

OF COURSE there's a Deep State. Why wouldn't there be? Even a cursory understanding of human nature tells us that power corrupts, as Lord Acton put it; that, when power is concentrated and entrenched, it will be abused; that, when it is concentrated and entrenched in secrecy, it will be abused in secret. That's the Deep State. James Burnham saw it coming. The American philosopher and political theorist (1905–87), first a Trotskyist, then a leading conservative intellectual, wrote in 1941 that the great political development of the age was not the battle between communism and capitalism. Rather, it was the rise of a new "managerial" class gaining dominance in business, finance, organized labor and government. This gathering managerial revolution, as he called it, would be resisted, but it would be impervious to adversarial counteractions. As the managerial elites gained more and more power, exercised often in subtle and stealthy ways, they would exercise that power to embed themselves further into the folds of American society and to protect themselves from those who might want to bust them up.

Nowhere is this managerial elite more entrenched, more powerful and more shrouded in secrecy than in what Dwight Eisenhower called the military-industrial complex, augmented by intelligence and law-enforcement agencies. That's where America's relentless drive for global hegemony meshes with defense manufacturers only too willing to provide the tools of dominance.

Now we have not only a standing army, with hundreds of thousands of troops at the ready, as in Cold War days. We have also permanent wars, nine of them in progress at the moment and not one with what could even remotely be called proper congressional approval. That's how power gets entrenched, how the managerial revolution gains ever greater force and how the Deep State endures.

Few in the general public know what really happened with regard to the allegations of Trump campaign "collusion" with Russia, or how the investigation into those troubling allegations emerged. But we know enough to know we have seen the Deep State in action.

We know that U.S. agencies released an "Intelligence Community Assessment" saying that Russia and President Putin were behind the release of embarrassing Democratic emails in a plot to help Trump win the presidency. But we also know that it wasn't really a National Intelligence Assessment (a term of art denoting a particular process of expansive intelligence analysis) but rather the work of a controlled task force. As Scott Ritter, the former Marine intelligence officer and arms-control official, put it , "This deliberate misrepresentation of the organizational bona fides of the Russia NIA casts a shadow over the viability of the analysis used to underpin the assessments and judgments contained within." Besides, the document was long on assertion and short on evidence. Even the New York Times initially derided the report as lacking any "hard evidence" and amounting "essentially . . . to 'trust us.'"

We have substantial reason to believe that an unconfirmed salacious report on Trump, paid for by the Democratic Party and the Hillary Clinton campaign (with the FBI eventually getting hold of it), was used in an effort to get a secret national-security warrant so the government could spy on the Trump campaign. We know that the FBI went easy on Clinton in its investigation of her irresponsible email practices, and then we find out that a top FBI official involved in both the Clinton and Trump/Russia investigations despised Trump, liked Hillary and expressed an interest in doing what he could to thwart Trump's emergence. We know he privately told his lover that, while he didn't think Trump could win, he nevertheless felt a need for an "insurance policy" because "I'm afraid we can't take that risk." We know these matters were discussed in the office of FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe.

We know further that former FBI director James Comey used a cutout to leak to the press a rendition of an Oval Office conversation with the president that could be interpreted adversely to Trump. We know he did this to set in motion the appointment of an independent investigator, a potentially mortal threat to any president -- and perhaps particularly to this freewheeling billionaire developer.

Perhaps most significant, we know that all this had the effect of wrenching from the president the flexibility to pursue a policy agenda on which he had campaigned -- and which presumably contributed to his election. That was his promise to work toward improved relations between the United States and Russia. Prospects for such a diplomatic initiative now are as dead as the dodo bird. Trump lost that one. The Deep State won.

Robert W. Merry, longtime Washington journalist and publishing executive, is editor of The American Conservative . He is the author most recently of President McKinley: Architect of the American Century .


grumpy_carpenter , February 13, 2018 8:07 AM

I don't believe there is a secret 'deep state' controlling the USA from the shadows like some Bond villian.

What people call the deep state is in fact the interests of the business elite who have been granted nearly unprecedented political influence by the American people in the form or nearly unlimited campaign contributions to politicians who promote their interests, unregulated lobbying, control of the MSM and the funding of think tanks and other institutions that promote their interests.

When historians look back at this time it will be Madison Avenue and the revolution in persuasion that they study.

Paul Cressman grumpy_carpenter , February 13, 2018 6:20 PM

1934 Major General Smedley Butler, US Marine Corp, was asked by US Industrialists to help them overthrow the government. Roosevelt was to remain as the figurehead of the US but the industrialists would be in charge. The industrialist would supply Butler with a 500,000 man army that he would be in charge of. Butler's father was a congressman in the 1920's and Butler told congress of the possible Coup. Read of The Committee of Foreign Affairs, CFA.

R. Arandas grumpy_carpenter , February 13, 2018 4:02 PM

Yes, it is quite disturbing that 2% of the world's population control about 50% of its total wealth though:
https://www.theguardian.com...

JimmyD grumpy_carpenter , February 13, 2018 9:24 AM

Teddy Roosevelt and the Presidents that followed him understood the dangers of the Robber-Barons buying the government. That's why they launched anti-trust, income tax and estate taxes to protect democracy.

[Feb 16, 2018] The March-April 2018 Issue The National Interest

Feb 16, 2018 | nationalinterest.org

The Deep State Isn't What You Think

The problem is not that the "deep state" is thwarting Trump's policy agenda. It is his reliance on advisers who agree with the post–Cold War foreign-policy consensus.

Emma M. Ashford The Deep State Is a Distraction

When you hear the term "dark government," change the channel or turn off the radio; if you see an article, turn the page.

John Deutch Is There a Deep State?

A symposium on the "deep state" in today's Washington.

Jacob Heilbrunn The 'Deep State' Is No Supervillain

The encroaching "deep state" was a program carried out in broad daylight by Bill Clinton and George Bush, Tony Blair and centrist European leaders.

Michael Lind The Deep State Is Very Real

How the Deep State stopped better relations with Russia.

Robert W. Merry The Deep State Has Long Abused Its Power

From Eisenhower to Trump, the intelligence community has always struggled with its political role.

George Beebe The 'Deep State' Conspiracy Is a Joke

From the Masons to UFOs, Americans have loved mysteries.

Gary Hart We've Seen This Deep-State Story Before

As a boy in the early 1950s, I learned about a widely feared attempt to take over America by communists. A few years later, it was just a myth.

John Despres Trump's War on the Deep State

This is why Donald Trump went to war against the entire political class.

Conrad Black America Has No Deep State

The fictitious idea of a deep state is doing more to politicize the bureaucracy than any real deep state ever did.

Paul R. Pillar How We Got Trump's Clash with the Deep State

Had the deep state gotten its way, Donald J. Trump would never have come close to the Oval Office, let alone be sitting in it.

Christopher A. Preble

[Feb 16, 2018] How We Got Trump's Clash with the Deep State by Christopher A. Preble

Notable quotes:
"... History informed his judgement. "The means of defense against foreign danger," he said, "have been always the instruments of tyranny at home." ..."
"... National Security and Double Government ..."
"... Christopher A. Preble is vice president for defense and foreign-policy studies at the Cato Institute and the author of ..."
Feb 16, 2018 | nationalinterest.org

AMERICA'S FOUNDERS anticipated how a sprawling national-security state could subvert the popular will, and even endanger the nation's interests. James Madison told his fellow deleg