Softpanorama

May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
(slightly skeptical) Educational society promoting "Back to basics" movement against IT overcomplexity and  bastardization of classic Unix

Perfudious Albion bulletin, 2018

Home 2099 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015

For the list of top articles see Recommended Links section


Top Visited
Switchboard
Latest
Past week
Past month

NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

[Feb 16, 2019] "Semi-intelligence agences" is a very sad joke: When I watched the US rep. who supposedly investigated this Magnitzky affair for the US gov. state under oath that he never verified any of the info that Browder gave him, I kept thinking "Is this guy serious ?"

Jul 27, 2018 | thesaker.is

Alex on October 09, 2017 , · at 3:08 pm EST/EDT

Something tells me he doesn't want to push this too much as money for this film came from French and German sources. It is nice to see him sticking his neck out to uphold the Truth.

When I watched the US rep. who supposedly investigated this Magnitzky affair for the US gov. state under oath that he never verified any of the info that Browder gave him, I kept thinking "Is this guy serious ?" But when you realize that they never did any investigation then it all seems logical.

[Dec 31, 2018] Academic bottomfeeders at service of financial oligarchy by George Monbiot

Notable quotes:
"... By abetting the ad industry, universities are leading us into temptation, when they should be enlightening us ..."
Dec 31, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

Originally from: Advertising and academia are controlling our thoughts. Didn't you know- - George Monbiot - Opinion - The Guardian

By abetting the ad industry, universities are leading us into temptation, when they should be enlightening us

... ... ...

I ask because, while considering the frenzy of consumerism that rises beyond its usual planet-trashing levels at this time of year, I recently stumbled across a paper that astonished me . It was written by academics at public universities in the Netherlands and the US. Their purpose seemed to me starkly at odds with the public interest. They sought to identify "the different ways in which consumers resist advertising, and the tactics that can be used to counter or avoid such resistance".

Advertisement

me title=

Among the "neutralising" techniques it highlighted were "disguising the persuasive intent of the message"; distracting our attention by using confusing phrases that make it harder to focus on the advertiser's intentions; and "using cognitive depletion as a tactic for reducing consumers' ability to contest messages". This means hitting us with enough advertisements to exhaust our mental resources, breaking down our capacity to think.

Intrigued, I started looking for other academic papers on the same theme, and found an entire literature. There were articles on every imaginable aspect of resistance, and helpful tips on overcoming it. For example, I came across a paper that counsels advertisers on how to rebuild public trust when the celebrity they work with gets into trouble. Rather than dumping this lucrative asset, the researchers advised that the best means to enhance "the authentic persuasive appeal of a celebrity endorser" whose standing has slipped is to get them to display "a Duchenne smile", otherwise known as "a genuine smile". It precisely anatomised such smiles, showed how to spot them, and discussed the "construction" of sincerity and "genuineness": a magnificent exercise in inauthentic authenticity.

ss="rich-link tone-news--item rich-link--pillar-news"> Facebook told advertisers it can identify teens feeling 'insecure' and 'worthless' Read more

Another paper considered how to persuade sceptical people to accept a company's corporate social responsibility claims, especially when these claims conflict with the company's overall objectives. (An obvious example is ExxonMobil's attempts to convince people that it is environmentally responsible, because it is researching algal fuels that could one day reduce CO2 – even as it continues to pump millions of barrels of fossil oil a day ). I hoped the paper would recommend that the best means of persuading people is for a company to change its practices. Instead, the authors' research showed how images and statements could be cleverly combined to "minimise stakeholder scepticism".

A further paper discussed advertisements that work by stimulating Fomo – fear of missing out . It noted that such ads work through "controlled motivation", which is "anathema to wellbeing". Fomo ads, the paper explained, tend to cause significant discomfort to those who notice them. It then went on to show how an improved understanding of people's responses "provides the opportunity to enhance the effectiveness of Fomo as a purchase trigger". One tactic it proposed is to keep stimulating the fear of missing out, during and after the decision to buy. This, it suggested, will make people more susceptible to further ads on the same lines.

Advertisement

me title=

Yes, I know: I work in an industry that receives most of its income from advertising, so I am complicit in this too. But so are we all. Advertising – with its destructive impacts on the living planet, our peace of mind and our free will – sits at the heart of our growth-based economy. This gives us all the more reason to challenge it. Among the places in which the challenge should begin are universities, and the academic societies that are supposed to set and uphold ethical standards. If they cannot swim against the currents of constructed desire and constructed thought, who can?

• George Monbiot is a Guardian columnist

[Dec 31, 2018] Britain fell for a neoliberal con trick even the IMF says so by Aditya Chakrabortty

Looks like Guardian start turning away from neoliberalism.
Notable quotes:
"... What price is paid when a promise is broken? Because for much of my life, and probably yours, the political class has made this pledge: that the best way to run an economy is to hack back the public realm as far as possible and let the private sector run free. That way, services operate better, businesses get the resources they need, and our national finances are healthier. ..."
"... I don't wish to write about the everyday failings of neoliberalism – that piece would be filed before you could say "east coast mainline". Instead, I want to address the most stubborn belief of all: that running a small state is the soundest financial arrangement for governments and voters alike. Because 40 years on from the Thatcher revolution, more and more evidence is coming in to the contrary. ..."
"... The other big reason for the UK's financial precarity is its privatisation programme, described by the IMF as no less than a "fiscal illusion". British governments have flogged nearly everything in the cupboard, from airports to the Royal Mail – often at giveaway prices – to friends in the City. Such privatisations, judge the fund, "increase revenues and lower deficits but also reduce the government's asset holdings". ..."
"... IMF research shows is that the Westminster classes have been asset-stripping Britain for decades – and storing up financial trouble for future generations ..."
Oct 17, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

The fund reports that Britain's finances are weaker than all other nations except Portugal, and says privatisation is to blame

Columnists usually proffer answers, but today I want to ask a question, a big one. What price is paid when a promise is broken? Because for much of my life, and probably yours, the political class has made this pledge: that the best way to run an economy is to hack back the public realm as far as possible and let the private sector run free. That way, services operate better, businesses get the resources they need, and our national finances are healthier.

It's why your tax credits keep dropping , and your mum has to wait half a year to see a hospital consultant – because David Cameron slashed public spending, to stop it "crowding out" private money. It's why water bills are so high and train services can never be counted on – because both industries have been privatised.

We let finance rip and flogged our assets. Austerity was bound to follow Will Hutton

From the debacle of universal credit to the forced conversion of state schools into corporate-run academies, the ideology of the small state – defined by no less a body than the International Monetary Fund as neoliberalism – is all pervasive. It decides how much money you have left at the end of the week and what kind of future your children will enjoy, and it explains why your elderly relatives can't get a decent carer.

I don't wish to write about the everyday failings of neoliberalism – that piece would be filed before you could say "east coast mainline". Instead, I want to address the most stubborn belief of all: that running a small state is the soundest financial arrangement for governments and voters alike. Because 40 years on from the Thatcher revolution, more and more evidence is coming in to the contrary.

Let's start with the IMF itself. Last week it published a report that barely got a mention from the BBC or in Westminster, yet helps reframe the entire debate over austerity. The fund totted up both the public debt and the publicly owned assets of 31 countries, from the US to Australia, Finland to France, and found that the UK had among the weakest public finances of the lot. With less than £3 trillion of assets against £5tn in pensions and other liabilities, the UK is more than £2tn in the red . Of all the other countries examined by researchers, including the Gambia and Kenya, only Portugal's finances look worse over the long run. So much for fixing the roof.

'British governments have flogged nearly everything in the cupboard from airports to the Royal Mail – often at giveaway prices – to friends in the City.' Photograph: Amer Ghazzal/Rex/Shutterstock

Almost as startling are the IMF's reasons for why Britain is in such a state: one way or another they all come back to neoliberalism. Thatcher loosed finance from its shackles and used our North Sea oil money to pay for swingeing tax cuts. The result is an overfinancialised economy and a government that is £1tn worse off since the banking crash. Norway has similar North Sea wealth and a far smaller population, but also a sovereign wealth fund. Its net worth has soared over the past decade.

The other big reason for the UK's financial precarity is its privatisation programme, described by the IMF as no less than a "fiscal illusion". British governments have flogged nearly everything in the cupboard, from airports to the Royal Mail – often at giveaway prices – to friends in the City. Such privatisations, judge the fund, "increase revenues and lower deficits but also reduce the government's asset holdings".

Throughout the austerity decade, ministers and economists have pushed for spending cuts by pointing to the size of the government's annual overdraft, or budget deficit. Yet there are two sides to a balance sheet, as all accountants know and this IMF work recognises. The same goes for our public realm: if Labour's John McDonnell gets into No 11 and renationalises the railways, that would cost tens of billions – but it would also leave the country with assets worth tens of billions that provided a regular income.

Instead, what this IMF research shows is that the Westminster classes have been asset-stripping Britain for decades – and storing up financial trouble for future generations.

Just look at housing to see the true cost of privatisation Dawn Foster

Privatisation and austerity have not only weakened the country's financial position – they have also handed unearned wealth to a select few. Just look at a new report from the University of Greenwich finding that water companies could have funded all their day-to-day running and their long-term investments out of the bills paid by customers. Instead of which, managers have lumbered the firms with £51bn of debt to pay for shareholders' dividends. Those borrowed billions, and the millions in interest, will be paid by you and me in our water bills. We might as well stuff the cash directly into the pockets of shareholders.

Instead of competitively run utilities, record investment by the private sector and sounder public finances, we have natural monopolies handed over to the wealthy, banks that can dump their liabilities on the public when things get tough, and an outsourcing industry that feasts upon the carcass of the public sector. As if all this weren't enough, neoliberal voices complain that we need to cut taxes and red tape, and further starve our public services.

This is a genuine scandal, but it requires us to recognise what neoliberalism promised and what it has failed to deliver. Some of the loudest critics of the ideology have completely misidentified it. Academics will daub the term "neoliberal" on any passing phenomenon. Fitbits are apparently neoliberal, as is Ben & Jerry's ice-cream and Kanye West. Pundits will say that neoliberalism is about markets and choice – tell that to any commuter wedged on a Southern rail train. And centrist politicians claim that the great failing of neoliberalism is its carelessness about identity and place, which is akin to complaining that the boy on a moped who snatched your smartphone is going too fast.

Let us get it straight. Neoliberalism has ripped you off and robbed you blind. The evidence of that is mounting up – in your bills, in your services and in the finances of your country.

• Aditya Chakrabortty is a Guardian columnist and senior economics commentator

[Dec 29, 2018] -Election Meddling- Enters Bizarro World As MSM Ignores Democrat-Linked -Russian Bot- Scheme -

Highly recommended!
Is this shadow of Integrity Initiative in the USA ? This false flag open the possibility that other similar events like DNC (with very questionable investigation by Crowdstrike, which was a perfect venue to implement a false flag; cybersecurity area is the perfect environment for planting false flags), MH17 (might be an incident but later it definitely was played as a false flag), Skripals (Was Skripals poisoning a false flag decided to hide the fact that Sergey Skripal was involved in writing Steele dossier?) and Litvinenko (probably connected with lack of safety measures in the process of smuggling of Plutonium by Litvinenko himself, but later played a a false flag). All of those now should be re-assessed from the their potential of being yet another flag flag operation against Russia. While Browder was a MI6 operation from the very beginning (and that explains why he abdicated the US citizenship more convincingly that the desire to avoid taxes) .
Notable quotes:
"... Democratic operative Jonathon Morgan - bankrolled by LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, pulled a Russian bot "false flag" operation against GOP candidate Roy Moore in the Alabama special election last year - creating thousands of fake social media accounts designed to influence voters . Hoffman has since apologized, while Morgan was suspended by Facebook for "coordinated inauthentic" behavior. ..."
"... Really the bigger story is here is that these guys convincingly pretended to be Russian Bots in order to influence an election (not with the message being put forth by the bots, but by their sheer existence as apparent supporters of the Moore campaign). ..."
"... By all appearances, they were Russian bots trying to influence the election. Now we know it was DNC operatives. Yet we are supposed to believe without any proof that the "Russian bots" that supposedly influenced the 2016 Presidential election were, actually, Russian bots, and worthy of a two year long probe about "Russian collusion" and "Russian meddling." ..."
"... The whole thing is probably a farce, not only in the sense that there is no evidence that Russia had any influence at all on a single voter, but also in the sense that there is no evidence that Russia even tried (just claims and allegations by people who have a vested interest in convincing us its true). ..."
Dec 29, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

For over two years now, the concepts of "Russian collusion" and "Russian election meddling" have been shoved down our throats by the mainstream media (MSM) under the guise of legitimate concern that the Kremlin may have installed a puppet president in Donald Trump.

Having no evidence of collusion aside from a largely unverified opposition-research dossier fabricated by a former British spy, the focus shifted from "collusion" to "meddling" and "influence." In other words, maybe Trump didn't actually collude with Putin, but the Kremlin used Russian tricks to influence the election in Trump's favor. To some, this looked like nothing more than an establishment scheme to cast a permanent spectre of doubt over the legitimacy of President Donald J. Trump.

Election meddling "Russian bots" and "troll farms" became the central focus - as claims were levied of social media operations conducted by Kremlin-linked organizations which sought to influence and divide certain segments of America.

And while scant evidence of a Russian influence operation exists outside of a handful of indictments connected to a St. Petersburg "Troll farm" (which a liberal journalist cast serious doubt ov er), the MSM - with all of their proselytizing over the "threat to democracy" that election meddling poses, has largely decided to ignore actual evidence of "Russian bots" created by Democrat IT experts, used against a GOP candidate in the Alabama special election, and amplified through the Russian bot-detecting "Hamilton 68" dashboard developed by the same IT experts.

Jonathon Morgan ✔ @jonathonmorgan

Russian trolls tracked by # Hamilton68 are taking an interest in the AL Senate race. What a surprise.

298 4:02 PM - Nov 10, 2017

Democratic operative Jonathon Morgan - bankrolled by LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, pulled a Russian bot "false flag" operation against GOP candidate Roy Moore in the Alabama special election last year - creating thousands of fake social media accounts designed to influence voters . Hoffman has since apologized, while Morgan was suspended by Facebook for "coordinated inauthentic" behavior.

As Russian state-owned RT puts it - and who could blame them for being a bit pissed over the whole thing, "it turns out there really was meddling in American democracy by "Russian bots." Except they weren't run from Moscow or St. Petersburg, but from the offices of Democrat operatives chiefly responsible for creating and amplifying the "Russiagate" hysteria over the past two years in a textbook case of psychological projection. "

A week before Christmas, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report accusing Russia of depressing Democrat voter turnout by targeting African-Americans on social media. Its authors, New Knowledge, quickly became a household name.

Described by the New York Times as a group of "tech specialists who lean Democratic," New Knowledge has ties to both the US military and intelligence agencies. Its CEO and co-founder Jonathon Morgan previously worked for DARPA, the US military's advanced research agenc y. His partner, Ryan Fox, is a 15-year veteran of the National Security Agency who also worked as a computer analyst for the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). Their unique skill sets have managed to attract the eye of investors, who pumped $11 million into the company in 2018 alone.

...

On December 19, a New York Times story revealed that Morgan and his crew had created a fake army of Russian bots, as well as fake Facebook groups, in order to discredit Republican candidate Roy Moore in Alabama's 2017 special election for the US Senate.

Working on behalf of the Democrats, Morgan and his crew created an estimated 1,000 fake Twitter accounts with Russian names, and had them follow Moore. They also operated several Facebook pages where they posed as Alabama conservatives who wanted like-minded voters to support a write-in candidate instead.

In an internal memo, New Knowledge boasted that it had "orchestrated an elaborate 'false flag' operation that planted the idea that the Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet."

It worked. The botnet claim made a splash on social media and was further amplified by Mother Jones, which based its story on expert opinion from Morgan's other dubious creation, Hamilton 68. - RT

Moore ended up losing the Alabama special election by a slim margin of just

In other words: In November 2017 – when Moore and his Democratic opponent were in a bitter fight to win over voters – Morgan openly promoted the theory that Russian bots were supporting Moore's campaign . A year later – after being caught red-handed orchestrating a self-described "false flag" operation – Morgan now says that his team never thought that the bots were Russian and have no idea what their purpose was . Did he think no one would notice? - RT

Dan Cohen ✔ @dancohen3000 Replying to @dancohen3000

Disinformation warrior @ jonathonmorgan attempts to control damage by lying. He now claims the "false flag operation" never took place and the botnet he promoted as Russian-linked (based on phony Hamilton68 Russian troll tracker he developed) wasn't Russian https://www. newknowledge.com/blog/about-ala bama

89 2:23 AM - Dec 29, 2018

Even more strange is that Scott Shane - the journalist who wrote the New York Times piece exposing the Alabama "Russian bot" scheme, knew about it for months after speaking at an event where the organizers bragged about the false flag on Moore .

Shane was one of the speakers at a meeting in September, organized by American Engagement Technologies, a group run by Mikey Dickerson, President Barack Obama's former tech czar. Dickerson explained how AET spent $100,000 on New Knowledge's campaign to suppress Republican votes, " enrage" Democrats to boost turnout, and execute a "false flag" to hrt Moore. He dubbed it "Project Birmingham." - RT

Dan Cohen ✔ @dancohen3000 · Dec 28, 2018 Replying to @dancohen3000

This gets even weirder: NYT reporter @ ScottShaneNYT , who broke the Alabama disinfo op story, learned of it in early September when he spoke at an off-the-record event organized by one of the firms that perpetrated the deception https://www. buzzfeednews.com/article/craigs ilverman/alabama-dirty-tricksters-invited-a-new-york-times-reporter

NY Times Reporter Briefed Alabama Special Election Dirty Tricksters

New York Times reporter Scott Shane spoke at an event organized by the group who ran a disinformation op aimed at helping defeat Roy Moore in Alabama.

A lightly-redacted copy of the internal @ NewKnowledgeAI report has been leaked and claims at least partial credit for Doug Jones' victory. Details follow https:// medium.com/@jeffgiesea/br eaking-heres-the-after-action-report-from-the-alabama-senate-disinformation

10 12:09 PM - Dec 28, 2018 Twitter Ads info and privacy

Shane told BuzzFeed that he was "shocked" by the revelations, though hid behind a nondisclosure agreement at the request of American Engagement Technologies (AET). He instead chose to spin the New Knowledge "false flag" operation on Moore as "limited Russian tactics" which were part of an "experiment" that had a budget of "only" $100,000 - and which had no effect on the election.

New Knowledge suggested that the false flag operation was simply a "research project," which Morgan suggested was designed "to better understand and report on the tactics and effects of social media disinformation."

View image on Twitter
Jonathon Morgan ✔ @jonathonmorgan

My statement on this evening's NYT article.

94 9:17 PM - Dec 19, 2018
465 people are talking about this Twitter Ads info and privacy

While the New York Times seemed satisfied with his explanation, others pointed out that Morgan had used the Hamilton 68 dashboard to give his "false flag" more credibility – misleading the public about a "Russian" influence campaign that he knew was fake.

New Knowledge's protestations apparently didn't convince Facebook, which announced last week that five accounts linked to New Knowledge – including Morgan's – had been suspended for engaging in "coordinated inauthentic behavior." - RT

They knew exactly what they were doing

While Morgan and New Knowledge sought to frame the "Project Birmingham" as a simple research project, a leaked copy of the operation's after-action report reveals that they knew exactly what they were doing .

"We targeted 650,000 like AL voters, with a combination of persona accounts, astroturfing, automated social media amplification and targeted advertising," reads the report published by entrepreneur and executive coach Jeff Giesea.

Jeff Giesea ✔ @jeffgiesea

BREAKING: Here's the after-action report from the AL Senate disinfo campaign.

**an exclusive release by @ JeffGiesea https:// medium.com/@jeffgiesea/br eaking-heres-the-after-action-report-from-the-alabama-senate-disinformation-campaign-e3edd854f17d

1,658 8:49 PM - Dec 27, 2018 Twitter Ads info and privacy BREAKING: Here's The After-Action Report From the Alabama Senate Disinformation Campaign

EXCLUSIVE RELEASE FROM JEFF GIESEA

medium.com
1,381 people are talking about this Twitter Ads info and privacy

The rhetorical question remains, why did the MSM drop this election meddling story like a hot rock after the initial headlines faded away?

criminal election meddling, but then who the **** is going to click on some morons tactic and switch votes?

anyone basing any funding, whether it is number of facebook hits or attempted mind games by egotistical cuck soyboys needs a serious psychological examination. fake news is fake BECAUSE IT ISNT REAL AND DOES NOT MATTER TO ANYONE but those living in the excited misery of their tiny bubble world safe spaces. SOCIAL MEDIA IS A CON AND IS NOT IMPORTANT OR RELEVANT TO ANYONE.

far more serious is destroying ballots, writing in ballots without consent, bussing voters around to vote multiple times in different districts, registering dead voters and imperosnating the corpses, withholding votes until deadlines pass - making them invalid.


Herdee , 10 minutes ago

NATO on behalf of the Washington politicians uses the same bullsh*t propaganda for continual war.

Mugabe , 20 minutes ago

Yup "PROJECTION"...

Yippie21 , 21 minutes ago

None of this even touches on the 501c3 or whatever that was set up , concerned Alabama voters or somesuch, and was funneled a **** load of money to be found to be in violation of the law AFTER the election and then it all just disappeared. Nothing to see here folks, Democrat won, let's move on. There was a LOT of " tests " for the smart-set in that election and it all worked. We saw a bunch of it used in 2018, especially in Texas with Beto and down-ballot races. Democrats cleaned up like crazy in Texas, especially in Houston.

2020 is going to be a hot mess. And the press is in on it, and even if illegal or unseemly things are done, as long as Democrats win, all good... let's move on. Crazy.

LetThemEatRand , 21 minutes ago

The fact that MSM is not covering this story -- which is so big it truly raises major questions about the entire Russiagate conspiracy including why Mueller was appointed in the first place -- is proof that they have no interest in journalism or the truth and that they are 100% agenda driven liars. Not that we needed more proof, but there it is anyway.

Oldguy05 , 19 minutes ago

Dimz corruption is a nogo. Now if it were conservatives.......

CosineCosineCosine , 23 minutes ago

I'm not a huge fan, but Jimmy Dore has a cathartic and entertaining 30 minutes on this farce. Well worth the watch:

h https://youtu.be/hqLIJznUNVw

LetThemEatRand , 27 minutes ago

Really the bigger story is here is that these guys convincingly pretended to be Russian Bots in order to influence an election (not with the message being put forth by the bots, but by their sheer existence as apparent supporters of the Moore campaign).

By all appearances, they were Russian bots trying to influence the election. Now we know it was DNC operatives. Yet we are supposed to believe without any proof that the "Russian bots" that supposedly influenced the 2016 Presidential election were, actually, Russian bots, and worthy of a two year long probe about "Russian collusion" and "Russian meddling."

The whole thing is probably a farce, not only in the sense that there is no evidence that Russia had any influence at all on a single voter, but also in the sense that there is no evidence that Russia even tried (just claims and allegations by people who have a vested interest in convincing us its true).

dead hobo , 30 minutes ago

I've been watching Scandal on Netflix. Still only in season 2. Amazing how nothing changes.They nailed it and memorialized it. The MSM are useful idiots who are happy to make money publicizing what will sell the best.

chunga , 30 minutes ago

The media is biased and sucks, yup.

The reason the reds lost the house is because they went along with this nonsense and did nothing about it, like frightened baby chipmunks.

JRobby , 33 minutes ago

Only when "the opposition" does it is it illegal. Total totalitarian state wannabe stuff.

divingengineer , 22 minutes ago

Amazing how people can contort reality to justify their own righteous cause, but decry their opposition for the EXACT same thing. See trump visit to troops signing hats as most recent proof. If DJT takes a piss and sprinkles the seat, it's a crime.

DarkPurpleHaze , 33 minutes ago

They're afraid to expose themselves...unlike Kevin Spacey. Trump or Whitaker will expose this with one signature. It's coming.

divingengineer , 20 minutes ago

Spacey has totally lost it. See his latest video, it will be a powerful piece of evidence for an insanity plea.

CosineCosineCosine , 10 minutes ago

Disagree strongly. I think it was excellent - perhaps you misunderstood the point? 6 minutes Diana Davidson look at it clarifies

https://youtu.be/_il_NBq0Ec8

[Dec 27, 2018] The Rehabilitation of Robert Mueller by Kit Knightly

off-guardian.org

The "Resistance" -- the loose affiliation of liberals, progressives and neo-conservatives dedicated to opposing Donald Trump -- is NOT a grass-roots movement. They don't speak for the everyman or the poor or the oppressed. They are a distraction, nothing more. A parlor game. The face to Trump's heel .

The Resistance is the voice of the Deep State -- Pro-war, pro-globalisation, pro-Imperialism. It just hides its true face behind a mask of "progressive values". They prove this with their own actions -- opposing Trump's moves toward peace with North Korea and finding common ground with Russia.

In fact, though the resistance lives to criticize the Trump administration, they have been notably quiet -- even in favour of -- three key issues: The bombing of Syria, the tearing up of the INF treaty and the prosecution of Julian Assange.

They tell us, in clear voices, who they are and what they want and millions of people refuse to listen. So totally brain-washed by the "Orange Man Bad" hysteria, that they will side with anyone hitting the same talking points, spouting the right buzzwords, using the same hashtags.

This process has contrived to turn hard-line, inveterate warmongers into a pantheon of "liberal" heroes . John "bomb bomb Iran" McCain was mourned across the media as if he were a champion of civil rights, while Bill Kristol and his ilk are suddenly regular guests on notionally "liberal" channels .

and Robert Mueller receives a glowing write-up in the Guardian, being praised as "America's straightest arrow" .

The painful prose paints a blurry picture of Mueller. Slapping ounces of vaseline onto the lens of reality. It praises his hair and his clothes and his 35 dollar watch. It declares him a soldier "forged in combat", regaling us with tales of the bravery of Mueller's marine regiment -- "The Magnificent Bastards".

Vietnam is reduced to a movie set -- nothing but a backdrop for Mueller's courage under fire. He won a bronze star, you know. Apparently while "The Magnificent Bastards" strode around the Vietnamese jungle, burning villages down and watching the napalm fall from the sky, a couple of angry farmers shot back and Mueller was wounded.

Taking a bullet in the leg from a terrified peasant who just wants you to sod off out of his country will always win you medals, but it shouldn't.

Voluntarily signing on to enforce Imperial foreign policy in a war of conquest will always have the media paint you as a hero, but it shouldn't.

What flaws the author does ascribe to Mueller are those we all happily admit to having ourselves. He's a "micromanager" and he's "too tough".

Yes, and I'm sure he works himself too hard and doesn't suffer fools gladly and always speaks his mind aswell.

Read the column if you want, but I'd suggest not eating for a few hours first. A more nauseating panegyric I have not witnessed, at least since Barack Obama left office .

Far more telling than what it does say is what it does not say. It mentions Mueller's role as head of the FBI during the launch of the "war on terror", but doesn't go into any of the abuse of human rights that accompanied (and still accompanies) the increasingly authoritarian powers granted to US intelligence agencies by the Patriot Act.

Let's be clear: Mueller's FBI was complicit in rendition, torture, Gitmo. All of it.

Given that, it's rather unsurprising that the article doesn't mention the word "Iraq" once. A breath-taking omission, considering Mueller's testimony in front of congress played a key role in spreading the lie of Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction":

https://www.youtube.com/embed/x0CfAh2PJ6k?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

It doesn't matter how many Vietnamese peasants took pot-shots at him, it doesn't matter how tidy his hair is, or how cheap his watch. It doesn't matter if he looks like Cooper or speaks like Eastwood or walks like Wayne. He is a proven liar -- a man culpable in the greatest crime of the 21st century. He is, and always will be, a servant of the Deep State.

A proven liar. A proven killer. An Imperialist. A criminal.

Is this the stuff of which political heroes should be made?

Only in "the Resistance".

Obviously, Trump's administration is dangerous -- it still stokes warlike approaches to Iran and Russia. It has directly threatened Venezuela and Cuba. But you can't fight the right-hand of the Deep State by clasping the left. They all join in the middle. They're the same monster.

Anti-Trumpers, all over the world, need to take a good look at WHO they're fighting alongside, and ask themselves WHAT they are fighting for.

Kit Knightly is co-editor of OffGuardian. The Guardian banned him from commenting. Twice. He used to write for fun, but now he's forced to out of a near-permanent sense of outrage.


systemicfraud Nov, 26, 2018

Mueller's FBI named their 9/11 investigation PENTTBOM=Pentagon Twin Towers Bombing
There were also numerous media accounts of explosives being used on 9/11–even ABC's John Miller
stated initial FBI feedback was that there were additional explosives used at WTC on 9/11.

Did FBI test for explosives?
What were the results?
If no tests were done–why the F not?
Why didn't media or Congress ever follow up and ask FBI about the explosions which were reported?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PENTTBOM

Yarkob Nov, 25, 2018

i was reading that puff-piece yesterday, thinking "i wonder how long off-g's response to this journalistic offal will be in coming" you haven't disappointed! Kit..sorry, i sound like a gushing fanboi. most people outside of america don't realise how deep statey Mueller really is. he's the Harvey Keitel character from pulp fiction. the mob cleanup guy

the Graun is particularly odious at the moment. today's leader is a blatant opinion piece where the "writer" is practically rubbing their hand on their thighs with glee, telling us how trump is facing a subpoena cannon from the dems. good too see they're using their newly re-minted political capital on the important business of running the country resistance my arse

Antonym Nov, 25, 2018

The same Mueller went after Iranians instead of Saudis for the Khobar bombing despite contrary evidence, and ignored Russia's warnings about future Boston bomber Tsarneav. He was also the biggest obstacle for Sept. 11 families who wanted to sue Saudi Arabia. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/robert-mueller-was-the-biggest-obstacle-for-sept-11-families-who-wanted-to-sue-saudi-arabia
A "good ol boy" in rogue CIA speak.

homeslicez Nov, 25, 2018

And with the anthrax investigation (which of course the Guardian doesn't mention), he's also a proven incompetent.

Have to say though–I'm looking forward to the day when this investigation is wrapped, the report comes out, and it's not at all what the Maddows wanted to hear. At that point Mueller will suddenly be a Russian agent himself; incompetent; compromised, and any/all other smears to explain why his investigation didn't find their irrational hysteria to be true.

Then maybe a few months later Trump will fire him and he'll be a hero again and get a Gofund to help this poor unemployed honorable soul.

Einstein Nov, 24, 2018

Wonder how the Grauniad will explain away the Skripal case when it's revealed that Mueller's Steele dossier was written by Skripal.
No wonder the British Deep State are panicking to prevent the publication of the documents ordered by the Orange One.

https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=89387340&comment_id=138778&origin=off-guardian.org&obj_id=89387340-138778-5c256efa22ddd

Paul Nov, 24, 2018

What documents has he ordered?

https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=89387340&comment_id=138780&origin=off-guardian.org&obj_id=89387340-138780-5c256efa2400a

Roberto Nov, 24, 2018

The ones specified in late September 2018.
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-11-23/mi6-scrambling-stop-trump-releasing-classified-docs-russia-probe

USAma Bin Laden Nov, 24, 2018

The so-called anti-Trump Resistance(TM) plays the role of Good Cop to the Trump Regime's Bad Cop. Nothing more.

This is the nature of the political shell game that passes for American democracy, which in reality is an imperial plutocracy.

In all these Anglo imperialist nations in general like America, Britain, or Australia, there is only one true party: the party of Anglo American imperialism.

The anti-Trump "Resistance" is merely one faction of the Anglo-American Empire, which is in conflict with another faction of the Anglo-American Empire.

The supposed differences between them are similar to the differences between Coke and Pepsi, or McDonald's and Burger King.

Distinctions without a difference.

A pox on all their houses.

Gary Weglarz Nov, 24, 2018

("A proven liar. A proven killer. An Imperialist. A criminal.

Is this the stuff of which political heroes should be made?

Only in "the Resistance").

-- - ah, there you go again bringing in reason, a rational argument, the historical record, common sense, and in short objective – "reality" – into the equation. Of course if you are using these sort of criteria Mueller isn't going to look so good. You have to understand that the "Resistance" is, well, more of a "feeling" than anything rational or intellectually defensible.and valorizing Muller certainly isn't based on his "real-world" behavior. Simply put, Muller stands in opposition to Trump and that "feels" right to the "resistance." You know, just like it "feels right" to this same segment of the U.S. population not to let themselves think about the fact that Obama was illegally and immorally bombing 8 Muslim countries as he left office.

Of course in the end Mueller as "hero" of the "resistance" is simply the deep state's slight of hand PR campaign to oppose Trump as the impossibly and unacceptably "bad face" for U.S. empire that he is.
I mean how are Merkel or Macron or May supposed to rally their even half-awake citizenry into dutifully following our tweet crazed endlessly offensive "Orange One" into the next all important battle against the newest deep state defined "Hitler" in Iran, or Syria, or . . . while maintaining any credibility with their own populations?

Paul Nov, 24, 2018

It's astonishing how many self professed 'Progressives' swallow the Resistance line. There certainly is a war within the Administration, Dark State v the President. The latest episode seems to have centred around cutting off the legs of Trump's big partner in the ME and his son in law's close friend, Crown Prince bin Salman. What promoted Turkey to release the information they had on the murder in Istanbul? We can be satisfied it wasn't borne out of humanitarianism! Were they acting in lock step with the American Agencies like the CIA that now tells Turkey it has intercepts 'proving' the Crown Prince ordered the killing? The 'bloodless' Regime Change that is underway aims to remove an arrogant and reckless not to say bloodthirsty man from Absolute Power, a position he might have held for 50 years or more. No wonder Erdoghan would like to see him sidelined. 50 years of Absolute Power in one of the richest countries on earth is an awful lot of time! For the Americans it is a case of seizing control of Foreign Policy in the ME from Trump who keeps talking about 'getting out' of Syria: the Military and the Agencies regard that as not in American interests; they intend to stay and control the vast oil wells in the NE. But it requires agreement with Turkey so who knows what the Agencies promise Turkey in return? It sounds like a deal dividing northern Syria between the Turks and the Americans; no room for the Kurds (again). It's the most serious blow to Trump's authority akin to the time the American military disobeyed Obama over the cease fire with Russia in Syria when instead they 'accidently' bombed Syrian soldiers, killing 80 of them. President's it seems are not allowed their own Foreign Policy and in reality that has been the case since the CIA was founded. Only Kennedy seriously tried to break away

[Dec 27, 2018] Private Eye has reported that the #IntegrityInitiative anti-propoaganda unit is taking tips from the security masterminds who tried to sell the wisdom of going to war in Iraq!

Dec 27, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Blooming Barricade , Dec 26, 2018 12:18:48 PM | link

@2

My jaw dropped to the floor when I read that... the fact that they're reverting to the old name is the final step in the rehabilitation of the Iraq War criminals without liberals and pseudo left none of which would be possible

New podcast by Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton on Integrity Initiative https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=doip79-pYn0

And tying this together.....

Chris Williamson: Private Eye has reported that the #IntegrityInitiative anti-propoaganda unit is taking tips from the security masterminds who tried to sell the wisdom of going to war in Iraq!
And this outfit was set up by the Institute for Statecraft that's received £millions from HM Govt!!! https://mobile.twitter.com/DerbyChrisW/status/1076983080131416066

psychohistorian , Dec 26, 2018 9:32:36 PM | link

Reporting on the Integrity Initiative is spotty yet but I did come across the link below of an article by Max Blumenthal....and promises of more.

Inside the Temple of Covert Propaganda: The Integrity Initiative and the UK's Scandalous Information War

[Dec 27, 2018] 'Trickle down effect' and pub test

Dec 27, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Phoroneus57 , 3 Jun 2018 23:03

'Trickle down effect' - the favourite buzzword of neoliberal supporters. I'd like to see trickle down effect tried at the local pub on the taps by the local mp. Imagine what would happen. Definitely doesn't pass the pub test.

[Dec 27, 2018] Dumping On The Donald

Dec 27, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Dumping On The Donald

by Tyler Durden Tue, 12/25/2018 - 15:00 41 SHARES Authored by Raul Ilargi Meijer via The Automatic Earth,

I still had some things I didn't talk about in Sunday's Trump Derangement International , about how the European press have found out that they, like the US MSM, can get lots of viewers and readers simply by publishing negative stories about Donald Trump. The US president is an attention magnet, as long as you only write things about him designed to make him look bad.

The Guardian is only too happy to comply. They ran a whole series of articles on Sunday to do juts that: try to make Trump look bad. Note that the Guardian editorial team that okayed the articles is the same as the one that allowed the fake Assange/Manafort one , so their credibility is already shot to pieces. It's the magic triangle of today's media profits: spout non-stop allegations against Russia, Trump and Julian Assange, and link them when and where you can. It doesn't matter if what you say is true or not.

Anyway, all the following is from the Guardian, all on December 23. First off, Adam Gabbatt in New York, who has painstakingly researched how Trump's businesses, like Trump Tower and the Trump store, don't appear to have sufficiently (as per him) switched from Happy Holidays to Merry Christmas. Sherlock Holmes would have been proud. A smash hit there Adam, bring out the handcuffs.

Trump's 'Merry Christmas' Pledge Fails To Manifest

During Donald Trump's presidential campaign he talked often about his determination to win one particular war. A war that had been raging for years, he said. Specifically: the war on Christmas. But despite Trump's repeated claims that "people are saying Merry Christmas again" instead of the more inclusive "happy holidays", there are several places where the Christmas greeting is absent: Trump's own businesses.

The Trump Store, for example. Instead of a Christmas gift guide – which surely would be more in keeping with the president's stated desire for the phrase to be used – the store offers a holiday gift guide. "Shop our Holiday Gift Guide and find the perfect present for the enthusiast on your list," the online store urges. "Carefully curated to celebrate the most wonderful time of year with truly unique gifts found only at Trump Store. Add a bow on top with our custom gift wrapping. Happy Holiday's!"

The use of the phrase "Happy Holiday's" [sic] in Trump marketing would seem particularly egregious. The long-standing "War-on-Christmas" complaint from the political right is that stores use the phrase "Happy Holidays", rather than specifically mentioning the Christian celebration. It is offered as both an example of political correctness gone mad, and as an effort to erase Christianity from the US.

It's just, I think that if Trump had personally interfered to make sure there were Merry Christmas messages all around, you would have remarked that as president, he's not allowed to be personally involved in his businesses. But yeah, you know, just to keep the negativity going, it works, no matter how fluffy and hollow.

Second, still on December 23, is Tom McCarthy for the Guardian in New York, who talks about Robert Mueller's phenomenal successes. Mueller charged 34 people so far. In a case that involves "this complexity which has international implications, aspects relying on the intelligence community, complicated cyber components". It really says that.

And yes, that's how many people view this. What do they care that Mueller's original mandate was to prove collusion between the Trump campaign and 'Russians', and that he has not proven any collusion at all so far, not even with 34 people charged? What do they care? It looks like Trump is guilty of something, anything, after all, and that's all the circus wants.

Robert Mueller Has Enjoyed A Year Of Successes 2019 Could Be Even Stronger

One measure of special counsel Robert Mueller's prosecutorial success in 2018 is the list of former top Donald Trump aides brought to justice: Michael Cohen pleaded guilty, a jury convicted Paul Manafort, a judge berated Michael Flynn. Another measure is the tally of new defendants that Mueller's team charged (34), the number of new guilty pleas he netted (five) and the amount of money he clawed back through tax fraud cases ($48m).

Yet another measure might judge Mueller's pace compared with previous independent prosecutors. "I would refer to it as a lightning pace," said Barb McQuade, a University of Michigan law professor and former US attorney. "In a case of this complexity which has international implications, aspects relying on the intelligence community, complicated cyber components – to indict that many people that quickly is really impressive work."

But there's perhaps a more powerful way to measure Mueller's progress in his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US election and links between Moscow and the Trump campaign; that's by noticing how the targets of his investigation have changed their postures over the course of 2018, from defiance to docility – or in the case of Trump himself, from defiance to extreme, hyperventilating defiance.

In reality, you would be at least as correct if you would claim that Robert Mueller's investigation has been an abject failure. Not one iota of collusion has been proven after 20 months and $20 million in funds have been used. And any serious investigation of Washington's culture of fixers and lobbyists would land at least 34 people who have committed acts that border on or over illegality. And in a matter of weeks, for a few hundred bucks.

Third, still on December 23, is Julian Borger in Washington, who's been elected to convey the image of chaos. Trump Unleashed, says our modern day Shakespeare. With Jim Mad Dog Mattis characterized as ".. the last independently minded, globally respected, major figure left in the administration".. . Again, it really says that.

Because woe the man who tries to bring US troops home, or even promises to do so a few days before Christmas. For pulling out America's finest, Donald Trump is being portrayed as something eerily close to the antichrist. That truly is the world on its head. Bringing troops home to their families equals chaos.

Look, guys, if Trump has been guilty of criminal behavior, the US justice system should be able to find that out and convict him for it. But that's not what this is about anymore. A million articles have been written, like these ones in the Guardian, with the sole intention, evidence being scarce to non-existent, of smearing him to the extent that people see every subsequent article in the light of a man having previously been smeared.

Chaos At Home, Fear Abroad: Trump Unleashed Puts Western World On Edge

The US stumbled into the holiday season with a sense of unravelling, as a large chunk of the federal government ground to a halt, the stock market crashed and the last independently minded, globally respected, major figure left in the administration announced he could no longer work with the president. The defense secretary, James Mattis, handed in his resignation on Thursday, over Donald Trump's abrupt decision to pull US troops out of Syria.

On Saturday another senior official joined the White House exodus. Brett McGurk, the special envoy for the global coalition to defeat Isis and the US official closest to America's Kurdish allies in the region, was reported to have handed in his resignation on Friday. That night, senators flew back to Washington from as far away as Hawaii for emergency talks aimed at finding a compromise on Trump's demand for nearly $6bn for a wall on the southern border, a campaign promise which has become an obsession.

Now look at the next headline, December 23, Graeme Wearden, Guardian, and ask yourself if it's really Trump saying he doesn't agree with the rate hikes that fuels the fears, or whether it's the hikes themselves. And also ask yourself: when Trump and Mnuchin both deny reports of Trump firing Powell, why do journalists keep saying the opposite? Because they want to fuel some fears?

From where I'm sitting, it looks perfectly logical that Trump says he doesn't think Powell's decisions are good for the US economy. And it doesn't matter which one of the two turns out to be right: Trump isn't the only person who disagrees with the Fed hikes.

The main suspect for 2019 market turmoil is the inevitable fallout from the Fed's QE under Bernanke and Yellen. And there is something to be said for Powell trying to normalize rates, but there's no doubt that may hasten, if not cause, turmoil. Blaming it on Trump not agreeing with Jay Powell is pretty much as left field as it gets.

White House Attacks On Fed Chair Fuel Fears Of Market Turmoil In 2019

Over the weekend, a flurry of reports claimed Donald Trump had discussed the possibility of firing the Federal Reserve chairman, Jerome Powell. Such an unprecedented move would trigger further instability in the markets, which have already had their worst year since the 2008 crisis. US officials scrambled to deny Trump had suggested ousting Powell, who was appointed by the president barely a year ago.

The Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, tweeted that he had spoken to the president, who insisted he "never suggested firing" Powell, and did not believe he had the right to do this . However, Trump also declared – via Mnuchin – that he "totally disagrees" with the Fed's "absolutely terrible" policy of raising interest rates and unwinding its bond-buying stimulus programme, piling further pressure on the US's independent central bank.

And now, in the only article in the Guardian series that's December 24, not 23, by Victoria Bekiempis and agencies, the plunging numbers in the stock markets are Trump's fault, too.

Trump 'Plunging Us Into Chaos', Democrats Say, As Markets Tank And Shutdown Persists

Top Democrats have accused Donald Trump of "plunging the country into chaos" as top officials met to discuss a growing rout in stock markets caused in part by the president's persistent attacks on the Federal Reserve and a government shutdown. "It's Christmas Eve and President Trump is plunging the country into chaos," the two top Democrats in Congress, House speaker nominee Nancy Pelosi and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, wrote in a joint statement on Monday. "The stock market is tanking and the president is waging a personal war on the Federal Reserve – after he just fired the Secretary of Defense."

Trump criticized the Federal Reserve on Monday, describing it as the "only problem" for the US economy, even as top officials convened the "plunge protection team" forged after the 1987 crash to discuss the growing rout in stock markets. The crisis call on Monday between US financial regulators and the US treasury department failed to assure markets, and stocks fell again amid concern about slowing economic growth, the continuing government shutdown, and reports that Trump had discussed firing Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell.

The last one is from one Jonathan Jones, again December 23, again for the Guardian. And it takes the top award in the narrative building contest.

Again, the Guardian editorial team that okayed this article is still the same as the one that allowed the fake Assange/Manafort one, an editorial team that sees no problem in making things up in order to smear people. To portray Trump, Assange and anyone who's had the misfortune of being born in Russia as suspicious if not outright criminal.

But look at what Jones has to say, and what Guardian editor-in-chief Kathy Viner and her ilk allowed and pressured him to say. He wants to have a say in how Trump should dress (seasonal knitwear), he evokes the image of Nazi architect Albert Speer for no reason at all, and then it's a matter of mere inches until you arrive at Trump as a king, an emperor, an inner tyrant.

"He's in a tuxedo!", Like that's a bad thing for Christmas. "She's in white!". Oh dear, call the pope. If both Trumps would have put on Christmas sweaters in front of a fire, the writer would have found something negative in that.

Trump Portrait: You Couldn't Create A Creepier Yuletide Scene If You Tried

The absence of intimacy in the Trumps' official Christmas portrait freezes the heart. Can it be that hard to create a cosy image of the presidential couple, perhaps in front of a roaring hearth, maybe in seasonal knitwear? Or is this quasi-dictatorial image exactly what the president wants to project? Look on my Christmas trees, ye mighty, and despair! If so, it fuels suspicions that it is only the checks and balances of a 230-year-old constitution that are keeping America from the darkest of political fates. You couldn't create a creepier Yuletide scene if you tried. Multiple Christmas trees are currently a status symbol for the wealthy, but this picture shows the risks.

Instead of a homely symbol of midwinter cheer, these disciplined arboreal ranks with their uniform decorations are arrayed like massed soldiers or colossal columns designed by Albert Speer. The setting is the Cross Hall in the White House and, while the incumbent president cannot be held responsible for its architecture, why heighten its severity with such rigid, heartless seasonal trappings? Everything here communicates cold, empty magnificence. Tree lights that are as frigid as icicles are mirrored in a cold polished floor. Equally frosty illuminations are projected on the ceiling. Instead of twinkling fairy magic, this lifeless lighting creates a sterile, inhuman atmosphere.

You can't imagine kids playing among these trees or any conceivable fun being had by anyone. It suggests the micromanaged, corporate Christmas of a Citizen Kane who has long since lost touch with the ordinary, warm pleasures of real life. In the centre of this disturbing piece of conceptual art stand Donald and Melania Trump. He's in a tuxedo, she's wearing white – and not a woolly hat in sight. Their formal smartness adds to the emotional numbness of the scene. Trump's shark-like grin has nothing generous or friendly about it. He seems to want to show off his beautiful wife and his fantastic home rather than any of the cuddly holiday spirit a conventional politician might strive to share at this time.

It begs a question: how can a man who so glaringly lacks anything like a common touch be such a successful "populist"? What can a midwestern voter find in this image to connect with? Perhaps that's the point. After more than two centuries of democracy, Trump is offering the US people a king, or emperor. In this picture, he gives full vent to his inner tyrant. If this portrait contains any truth about the state of America and the world, may Santa help us all.

I realize that you may be tired of the whole story. I realize you may have been caught in the anti-Trump narrative. And I am by no means a Trump fan. But I will keep on dragging you back to this. Because the discussion should not be based on a handful of media moguls not liking Trump. It should not be based on innuendo and smear. If Trump is to be convicted, it must be on evidence.

And there is no such evidence. Robert Mueller has charged 34 people, but none with what his mandate was based on, none with Russia collusion. This means that the American political system, and democracy itself, is under severe threat by the very media that are supposed to be its gate keepers.

None of this is about Trump, or about whether you like him or not, or even if he's a shady character or not. Instead, it's about the influence the media have on how our opinions and ideas about people and events are being shaped on a daily basis.

And once you acknowledge that your opinions of Trump, Putin et al, even without any proof of a connection between them, are actively being molded by the press you expect to inform you about the truth behind what goes on, you will have to acknowledge, too, that you are a captive of forces that use your gullibility to make a profit off you.

If our media need to make up things all the time about who's guilty of what, because our justice systems are incapable of that, then we have a problem so enormous we may not be able to overcome it in our present settings.

Alternatively, if we trust our justice systems to deliver true justice, we don't need a hundred articles a day to tell us how Trump or Putin are such terrible threats to our world. Our judges will tell us, not our journalists or media who are only in it for a profit.

I can say: "let's start off 2019 trying to leave prejudice behind", and as much as that is needed and you may agree with me, it's no use if you don't realize to what extent your views of the world have been shaped by prejudice.

I see people reacting to the star writer at Der Spiegel who wrote a lot about Trump, being exposed as a fraud. I also see people trying to defend Julian Assange from the Guardian article about his alleged meetings with Paul Manafort, that was an obvious big fat lie (the truth is Manafort talked to Ecuador to help them 'sell' Assange to the US).

But reacting to the very obvious stuff is not enough . The echo chamber distorts the truth about Trump every single day, and at least six times on Sunda y, as this essay of mine shows. It's just that after two years of this going on 24/7, it is perceived as the normal.

Everyone makes money dumping on the Donald, it's a proven success formula, so why would the Guardian and Der Spiegel stay behind? They'd only hurt their own bottom line.

It has nothing to do with journalism, though, or news. It's smear and dirt, the business model of the National Enquirer. That's how far our once truthful media have fallen.

dcmbuffy , 18 minutes ago link

"Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown." Shakespeare Henry IV

like trump said- "no-one said it would be easy."

uhland62 , 54 minutes ago link

All these journalists are influenced and manipulated by 'Australian-American Leadership Dialogue', 'Atlantikbrücke', Open Society Foundation money etc. Wars boost the NYSE because many weapons manufacturers are listed there.

If the journalists weren't manipulated all 2018 compilations would not have omitted the World Cup in Russia.

[Dec 27, 2018] The MSM are hardly going to publish this article, nor are they going to reference it, why should they? It goes against everything they have been fighting for and the tin ear of their readership are unwilling to change teir views. The only thing that they understand is money and they work for to further the concentration of wealth.

Notable quotes:
"... Friends of mine who make a living out of dealing both in stock and wealth creating schemes have no loyalty to this country, they are self motivated and libertarian in persuasion. "Government should get out of the way!" This is nothing short of scandalous. ..."
"... Unless we stand up for our rights and a civil society that provides adequate provision for fair and balanced policy making,xwe will continue until we will see an implosion. History is littered with examples of revolution based on the kind of inequality we are seeing happen in this country. Let's hope it doesn't come to that. ..."
Dec 27, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

PossumBilly , 3 Jun 2018 23:25

This message is clear and concise. It is however never going to be heard beyond the 'Guardian'.

The MSM are hardly going to publish this article, nor are they going to reference it, why should they? It goes against everything they have been fighting for and the tin ear of their readership are unwilling to change teir views.

The only thing that they understand is money and the concentration of wealth. This misonception as Dennis So far this has been handed to them on a plate, the taxation system has enabled them to manipulate an multiply their earnings. So much of money the has nothing to do with adding value to this countries economy but is speculative in nature based on financial and overseas instruments.

No is the time for our government to take the lead and start as the Victorian ALP have done and invest in people and jobs on the back of strategic investment. It is a fallacy that governments don't create jobs they, through their policies do just that.

Friends of mine who make a living out of dealing both in stock and wealth creating schemes have no loyalty to this country, they are self motivated and libertarian in persuasion. "Government should get out of the way!" This is nothing short of scandalous.

Unless we stand up for our rights and a civil society that provides adequate provision for fair and balanced policy making,xwe will continue until we will see an implosion. History is littered with examples of revolution based on the kind of inequality we are seeing happen in this country. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

[Dec 27, 2018] All talk about "small government" and "slashing red tape" it is NeeSpeak for small government and NO red tape for the rich

Dec 27, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

MajorMalaise , 3 Jun 2018 23:44

A couple of thoughts - in no particular order.

When governments like the LNP (driven as it is by its ideology of greed, the IPA manifesto and Gina Rinehart's idea of what Australia should look like [and how little she should pay to pillage "communally owned" assets to enrich herself beyond imagination - she has no greater claim over the Pilbara than any other Australian, but like all who live by the ethos of greed, she thinks she should get it all for nothing]).

When the LNP talk about "small government" and "slashing red tape" it is politician-speak for small government and NO red tape for the rich. What it also means is much more government and red tape for the poor and vulnerable - as we would expect, the rich and powerful, who really dictate economic and social policy in this country enlist willing governments to enact measures that suppress the lower classes. It is not quite calling out the military (as Hawke did during the pilot's strike at the insistence of the corpulent Ables - one act for which I will always despise Hawke), but it has the same result by more surreptitious, lasting and egregious means.

And one of the lasting legacies of the philosophies of neo-liberalism, from which the Hanson's of the world "suck their oxygen" is that the political and corporate dialogue of the last 30 or so years has pushed the notion of self-entitlement and vilification of the poor and vulnerable further down the economic ladder. So now, we have countless Australians on reasonable incomes who, like the rich, are convinced that all of our social and economic ills can be rectified if we stop giving handouts to the bludgers, the malingerers, the disabled and the indigenous - the neo-liberal rhetoric is now so widespread that it is easier than ever for the vulnerable to be attacked and for many, that is seen as absolutely necessary. It is the false US-sourced notion that if you are poor, it is because you deserve to be and if I am rich - it isn't luck or inheritance - it is because I deserve it. This world-view makes it so much easier to attack the vulnerable as receiving way to much to sit at home and bludge.

Want to forget the now disgraced CEO of Australia Post who bought a Sydney mansion for $22 million and now wants to sell it for $40 million - tax free I might add. He is entitled to that wealth enhancement. But someone on the dole smokes a spliff now and then and we think they should lose their entitlements to an income that doesn't even get them up to the poverty line (but they should be grateful for that pittance). Want to forget the CEO's who pretentiously do their "sleeping rough" for a night and proclaim their empathy for the homeless who would shriek at paying more tax to genuinely fund programmes to help the down and outs. No problem - just embrace the selfish and greedy neo-liberalism philosophy.

[Dec 27, 2018] Is it possible to wrench control of MSM out of hand on large corporations and intelligence agencies?

Dec 27, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

RatioDecidend , 4 Jun 2018 01:33

This article is excellent and well overdue. All we need to do now is to wrench control of our mainstream media out of the hands of Corporate (foreign) control. We are being told to vote against ourselves in order for the few corporate elite to accrue massive wealth and power over us.

MEDIA laws need to be very strict with very, very severe financial penalties for bias and propaganda. Certainly remove this concept of self regulation whereby they sit on their own disciplinary boards. Raise the standards of our media and allow us to retrieve some semblance of our democracy.

Without media control, how would corporations be able to manipulate and propagandise the populace with their own vested interests.

That is why governments are doing corporate bidding and getting fascist style surveillance of its people, in order to counteract the ability of the people to gain knowledge through the internet and vote against corporate control of our democracy.... nothing to do with terrorism which was caused mostly by corporate foreign extraction of wealth through weapon sales; resource acquisition, etc.

Oops, got to go, hope that makes sense.

RatioDecidend -> Lawrie Griffith , 4 Jun 2018 00:51
It is back to control of our mainstream media by the very (foreign) corporations that are sucking out our wealth and putting nothing back.

Corporate media ia all powerful. They insidiously permeate the populace with corporate views of Australia's financial and economy; infrastructure and every aspect of social life from birth to euthanasia with racism and religion thrown in for good measure.

Should a politician have the audacity to act against their corporate interests, they do not last long, without exclusions - PMs Whitlam and Rudd being prime examples.

This current mob of gutless underachieving dinosaur neo con nutters in govt, are completely turning over Australia to these Corporate (foreign) parasites and our prospect is not looking good.

Within no time we will be a Corporatocracy (as is the USA) and along with that comes 1% owning 99% of the wealth; third world poverty; crime through the roof; drugs out of control; public health and education a joke; public services non existent; legal system in disarray and entrenched with bias and inequity.

[Dec 27, 2018] The big con how neoliberals convinced us there wasn't enough to go around by Richard Denniss

Notable quotes:
"... The political strategy behind these contradictions is simple: it is difficult to criticise government spending on health and education, or popular regulations like consumer protection and limits on executive pay. So why not just criticise all government spending and all ..."
Jun 03, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

After the mining boom and decades of economic growth, how can Australia be broke?

Gina Rinehart was becoming the world's richest woman those on the minimum wage were falling further and further behind

Australia just experienced one of the biggest mining booms in world history. But even at the peak of that boom, there was no talk of the wonderful opportunity we finally had to invest in world-class mental health or domestic violence crisis services.

Nor was there much talk from either major party about how the wealth of the mining boom gave us a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in remote Indigenous communities. Nope, the peak of the mining boom was not the time to help those who had missed out in decades past, but the Howard government thought it was a great time to introduce permanent tax cuts for high-income earners. These, of course, are the tax cuts that caused the budget deficits we have today.

Millions of tonnes of explosives were used during the mining boom to build more than 100 new mines, but it wasn't just prime farmland that was blasted away in the boom, it was access to the middle class. At the same time that Gina Rinehart was becoming the world's richest woman on the back of rising iron ore prices, those on the minimum wage were falling further and further behind their fellow Australians.

https://www.theguardian.com/email/form/plaintone/4148

Like Joe Hockey, Rinehart saw the problem of inequality as having more to do with the character of the poor than with the rules of the game: "If you're jealous of those with more money, don't just sit there and complain. Do something to make more money yourself – spend less time drinking or smoking and socialising, and more time working."

Privatisation is deeply unpopular with voters. Here's how to end it | John Quiggin

Australia isn't poor; it is rich beyond the imagining of anyone living in the 1970s or 80s. But so much of that new wealth has been vacuumed up by a few, and so little of that new wealth has been paid in tax, that the public has been convinced that ours is a country struggling to pay its bills.

Convincing Australians that our nation is poor and that our governments "can't afford" to provide the level of services they provided in the past has not just helped to lower our expectations of our public services and infrastructure, it has helped to lower our expectations of democracy itself. A public school in Sydney has had to ban kids from running in the playground because it was so overcrowded. Trains have become so crowded at peak hours that many people, especially the frail and the disabled, are reluctant to use them. And those who have lost their jobs now wait for hours on the phone when they reach out to Centrelink for help.

Although people with low expectations are easier to con, fomenting cynicism about democracy comes at a long-term cost. Indeed, as the current crop of politicians is beginning to discover, people with low expectations feel they have nothing to lose.

As more and more people live with the poverty and job insecurity that flow directly from neoliberal welfare and industrial relations policies, the scare campaigns run so successfully by the likes of the Business Council of Australia have lost their sting. Scary stories about the economy become like car alarms: once they attracted attention, but now they simply annoy those forced to listen.

'If governments can't make a difference and all politicians are corrupt, why not vote for outsiders?

After decades of hearing conservative politicians say that government is the problem, a growing number of conservative voters no longer care which major party forms government. If governments can't make a difference and all politicians are corrupt, why not vote for outsiders like Jacqui Lambie or Clive Palmer? There is perhaps no clearer evidence of the short-termism of the Liberal and National parties today than their willingness to fan the flames of anti-politician rhetoric without considering that it is their own voters who are most likely to heed the message.

Back when he was leading the campaign against Australia becoming a republic, Tony Abbott famously argued that you couldn't trust politicians to choose our head of state. And more recently, in campaigning against marriage equality, Minister Matt Canavan was featured in a television advertisement laughing at the thought that we could trust politicians.

Neoliberalism: the idea that swallowed the world

Convincing Australians that the country was broke also helped convince us that we have no choice but to sell the family silver. But of course we have a choice. Just as there is no right answer as to whether it's better to rent a home or buy one, there is no right answer to whether it's better for governments to own the electricity supply, the postal service or the water supply, or none of these things.

Different governments in different countries make different decisions at different points in time. While much of neoliberalism's rhetorical power comes from the assertion that "there is no alternative," the simple fact is that the world is full of alternatives. Indeed, even the so-called free marketeers in Australia can see alternatives.

Consider stadiums, for example. The NSW Liberal government has a long track record of being pro-privatisation. It has sold off billions of dollars' worth of electricity, water and health infrastructure. But when it comes to football stadiums, it has no ideological problem with public ownership, nor any fiscal inhibition about spending billions of taxpayers' dollars.

In 2016 the NSW Liberal government spent $220m buying back ANZ Stadium, built in the 1990s with taxpayer funds at a cost of $690m and subsequently sold to Stadium Australia Group. Having bought back the stadium, the NSW government plans to spend hundreds of millions of dollars refurbishing it. That same money could build a lot of school science labs, domestic violence crisis centres or skate parks for the bored kids the shopping malls don't want scratching up their marble stairs. For the past 30 years, Australians have been told that we can't afford high-quality public services, that public ownership of assets is inefficient, and that the pursuit of free markets through deregulation would create wealth and prosperity for all. But none of this is true.

While the policy agenda of neoliberalism has never been broadly applied in Australia, for 30 years the language of neoliberalism has been applied to everything from environmental protection to care of the disabled. The result of the partial application of policy and the broad application of language is not just a yawning gap between those with the greatest wealth and those with the greatest need, but a country that is now riven by demographic, geographic and racial divides.

Cutting the budget deficit is very important – except when it isn't

Australian politics isn't about ideology, it's about interests. The clearest proof of that claim is that neoliberal ideas such as deregulation were never aimed at powerful interest groups like the pharmacists or the gambling industry. And savage spending cuts were never aimed at subsidies for the fossil-fuel industry or private health insurers.

Tony Abbott, who claimed to have a philosophical problem with carbon taxing, once proposed a 20% increase in the tobacco excise

Just as conservative Christian theology provides an excuse for sexism and homophobia, neoliberal language allows powerful groups to package their personal preferences as national interests – systematically cutting spending on their enemies and giving money to their friends. Here are some examples:

John Howard said he was obsessed with deregulating the labour market, but introduced 762 pages of labour-market regulation, which he entitled WorkChoices. He didn't deregulate the labour market; he re-regulated it in his preferred form. He knew that government decisions matter. Similarly, the Abbott government declared it was waging a war on red tape, yet the Turnbull government is determined to pass new laws restricting unions and NGOs. If there is one thing that neoliberals really seem to believe, it is that reducing the budget deficit is very, very important. Except when it isn't. The political and business leaders who said we needed to slash welfare spending because we had a "budget emergency" are currently advocating a $65bn tax cut for business – even though the deficit is bigger now than it was at the time of the alleged emergency. The Productivity Commission and state treasuries spent years advocating the deregulation and privatisation of the electricity industry – and succeeded in creating a "free market" system governed by 5,000 pages of electricity market rules. Electricity is too dangerous and too important to be deregulated, and those pushing for deregulation always knew that. They didn't want a free market; they simply wanted a market, one in which the government played a smaller role and the private sector made large profits selling an essential service for much higher prices than the government ever charged. The NSW government requires NGOs and disability service providers to compete with each other but, when it sold Port Botany and the Port of Newcastle, it structured the sales to ensure that Newcastle could not compete with Port Botany for the landing of the millions of containers that arrive by ship each year. While "competition policy" is applied to the vulnerable, those buying billion-dollar assets are protected from those same forces of competition.

To be clear, there has been no obsession among the political elite with the neoliberal goals of reducing government spending, regulation or tax collection in Australia over the past three decades. None. They didn't mean a word of it. While there may have been economists, commentators and even business leaders who sincerely believed in those goals, it is clear from their actions, as distinct from their words, that John Howard, Tony Abbott and even the former head of the Business Council of Australia Tony Shepherd, the man tasked with running Abbott's National Commission of Audit, had no principled objection to spending large amounts of public money on things they liked spending large amounts of public money on. Indeed, in his speakers' agency profile, Tony Shepherd brags about his ability to get public money for private ventures:

It is no mean feat to convince governments to support private sector proposals, but as former prime minister, the honourable Paul Keating, said, "Tony managed to get more money out of my government than any other person I can recall."

Hundreds of new pages of regulation now govern the conduct of charities. Billions of taxpayers' dollars have been spent by "small government" politicians on everything from television ads for innovation to subsidies for marriage counselling. And Tony Abbott, who claimed to have a philosophical problem with carbon taxing, once proposed a 20% increase in the tobacco excise.

The political strategy behind these contradictions is simple: it is difficult to criticise government spending on health and education, or popular regulations like consumer protection and limits on executive pay. So why not just criticise all government spending and all red tape in general? Once you have convinced the public that all government spending is inefficient, you can set about cutting spending on your enemies and retaining it for your friends. And once you convince people that all regulation is bad, you can set about removing consumer protections while retaining the laws that protect the TV industry, the gambling industry, the pharmaceutical industry and all your other friends.

Cover of Dead Right by Richard Denniss, Quarterly Essay.

When powerful groups want subsidies, we are told they will create jobs. When powerless groups want better funding for domestic violence shelters or after-school reading groups, they are told of the need to reduce the budget deficit. When powerful groups demand new regulations, we are told it will provide business with certainty, but when powerless groups demand new regulations, they are told it will create sovereign risk.

Ideology has a bad name these days, but it simply means a "system of ideas and ideals." By that definition, it is possible to think of neoliberalism as an ideology focused on the idea that market forces are superior to government decision-making. But while large segments of Australian politics and business have draped themselves, and their policy preferences, in the cloak of neoliberal ideas and ideals, in reality to call them "ideologues" is to flatter them. They lack the consistency and strength of principle to warrant the title.

This is an edited extract of Richard Denniss's Quarterly Essay 70, Dead Right: How Neoliberalism Ate Itself and What Comes Next , $22.99

[Dec 27, 2018] Neoliberalism has caused 'misery and division', Bernie Fraser says

Dec 27, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

Former RBA governor says Coalition pursues low-tax road to jobs and growth despite lack of evidence to support it

Paul Karp and Gareth Hutchens

Tue 16 Oct 2018 13.00 EDT Last modified on Tue 16 Oct 2018 19.11 EDT Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via Email This article is over 2 months old Australian economic growth has been a 'standout' says Bernie Fraser, but too many have missed the benefits. Photograph: Tracey Nearmy/EPA Neoliberalism has caused "misery and social polarisation" yet remains in vogue with the Coalition government, according to the economist Bernie Fraser.

The former Treasury secretary and Reserve Bank governor has made the comments in a presentation circulated to participants of the Australia Institute's revenue summit to be held in Canberra on Wednesday.

Michael Keating, a former secretary to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, will also use the summit to raise doubts about the Morrison government's budget forecasts.

Australia's housing boom is not heading for a soft landing. How did we get here? | Greg Jericho Read more

In the background notes for Fraser's speech, seen by Guardian Australia, he says that Australia's 27 consecutive years of economic growth is a "standout", "Winx-like" performance.

But the record deserves only "qualified applause" because "too many Australians remain unemployed, under-employed, underskilled, underpaid and lack job security".

Fraser warns that society has become "less fair, less compassionate and more divided" and "more devoid of trust in almost every field of human activity" in the past 20 years.

"As a disinterested player in climate change negotiations and a miserable foreign aid donor, we have slipped well down the list of good global citizens."

Political ideologies appear to have contributed to inequality and disadvantage in Australia in that time, he argues.

Fraser in large part blames "neoliberalism" and its influence on policymaking for the "disconnect between Australia's impressive economic growth story and its failure on so many markers to show progress towards a better, fairer society".

"Favouring the market system ahead of the state system, and individual interests ahead of community interests, can lead to profoundly unfair social outcomes.

More than three million Australians living in poverty, Acoss report reveals Read more

"Those unable to afford access to decent standards of housing, healthcare, and other essential services have to settle for inferior arrangements, or go without."

Fraser says charitable organisations see the effects of "real poverty" that result in "misery, anxiety and loss of self-esteem of mothers unable to put food on the table for their kids, of old and young homeless people, and the victims of domestic violence and drug overdoses".

Fraser summarises the key thrusts of neoliberalism as "the pursuit of the lowest possible rates of income and most other taxes and the maximum restraint on government interventions and spending programs".

Evidence in Australia and overseas shows the influence of neoliberalism on fiscal policy "and the misery and social polarisation that has come with it", he says.

The global financial crisis "should have" marked a tipping point, when the "idealised view of financial markets being self-regulating" was shattered. While Australia "avoided the worst traumas of the GFC" with prompt fiscal and monetary policy responses, in Europe "taxes were increased and spending programs slashed", resulting in a further five or six years of severe recession.

Fraser says that all political ideologies – taken to extremes – can be divisive and cause damage, including an ideology "based on a state system".

But the former Reserve Bank governor focuses on neoliberalism because it "remains in vogue". The Morrison government "continues to reaffirm its over-riding commitment to lower taxation, and to assert that this is the best way to increase investment, jobs and economic growth" - despite the lack of evidence to support the theory .

Although Fraser recognises that politics never can or should be taken out of policymaking, he suggests the best course is to "hammer away" at flaws of particular approaches.

For example, Fraser praises "the avoidance of costly tax cuts accruing to large corporations" as a positive development – referring to the Turnbull government abandoning the big business component of its $50bn 10-year company tax cut plan.

He suggests the "quick done-deal" of Labor signing up to the Coalition's proposed acceleration of the cut to taxes on small and medium business was an example that "political interests are always lurking nearby".

In a separate presentation Keating – who headed PM&C from 1991 to 1996 – warns the government's promise to cap expenditure while simultaneously cutting taxes and returning the budget to surplus is based on overly optimistic assumptions of growth in GDP, wages and productivity.

Why are stock markets falling and how far will they go? Read more

According to Keating, the government must stop assuming there have been no structural changes in the relationship between unemployment and the rate of wage increases.

He notes that predictions of a tightening labour market leading to higher wages are predicated on assumptions of growth averaging 3% or as much as 3.5%.

He will also say a sustained return to past rates of economic growth will be impossible unless we can ensure a reasonably equitable distribution of income, involving a faster rate of wage increases, especially for the low-paid.

[Dec 27, 2018] Nationalism can be a good thing. We have to make the case for it Discussion The Guardian

Dec 27, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

Eric Kaufmann, professor of politics at Birkbeck, has a forthcoming book, Whiteshift: Populism, Immigration and the Future of White Majorities . He argues that what I would call "bad nationalism" – the global surge in rightwing populism – is driven by large-scale immigration, and the threat it poses to the cultural identity of the ethnic majority. Some people fear change; they prefer the monocultural landscape in which they grew up, and visible changes to it threaten their sense of belonging and security. Certain attitudes are, if not hereditary, baked in to the point where they may as well be.

He supports this view with plentiful survey data, a favourite nugget being that the way you answer the question, "Would you prefer your children to be well-mannered, or to be considerate?" is a major predictor of whether you'd vote for or against Trump and Brexit .

The question is a proxy for what the cognitive linguist George Lakoff calls the strict father (well-mannered) versus the nurturant family (considerate) model. These frames are the timeless and elemental organising principles for our political divisions – authoritarian versus pluralist, right versus left – all the way back to Christ the Warrior versus Christ the Saviour.

I believe people respond to authoritarian and pluralist arguments according to who's making them, how trenchantly they are made, and the economic, media and political environment around them. Austerity soil has always been notoriously fertile for authoritarian ideas. Yet Kaufmann dismisses any economic factor, saying that had there been one, 2008 would have seen an upturn in rightwing nationalism, not 2017. My view is that depressions take years, not months, to grind people down.


UnstableGenius -> KingOfNothing , 9 May 2018 15:20

To me the key questions are how are the key decisions made and by whom are they made?

Globalism (not globalization, mind you) is a process whereby decisionmaking gets shifted farther and farther from the people and democratic accountability is continually weakened - ironically often with the rationale that we need this to "compete with China".

As a result, national borders (and therefore cultures) become less and less important and institutions like central banks, the EU, the WTO, etc. become ever more powerful. What you call neoliberalism is an effect - not the cause - of this phenomenon, in my opinion.

By the way, I agree with you that there is hope - in fact I am more optimistic today than I have been for many years - although probably for very different reasons than you.

DavidPavett -> formerlefty , 9 May 2018 15:16
I am quite sure that for the time being the nation state is an essential form of political and economic organisation. So I accept the necessity of nations. I reject nationalist ideologies which at best are confused, like ZW's argument, and at worst are very nasty things indeed.

I was stunned by the modernity of Renan's speech when I read it. Glad to see that it is available online. Hope you read it.

KingOfNothing -> UnstableGenius , 9 May 2018 15:01
No, thats not the case.

Globalisation is the ability to move goods/finance/ideas/culture around the global at speeds unheard of - there is no way to alter this, so your definition is inexact by quite a margin.

What is happening is neoliberalism - the economic sytem which has hijacked Globalisation - is playing havoc across the world.

These are not one and the same thing. Nationalism is a reaction to neoliberailsm, and the way it is concentrating wealth in the hands of the few.

Take a look at places like Finland, Norway and other parts of Europe, where they have restrained neoliberalism and do not have the same levels of inequality as in the USA or the UK. Japan is the most equal developed nation in the world. We need to marry strong democratic structures (at national and global level) with globalisation at the expense of neo-liberalism, not in support of it.

In short, your view is depressing and misguided. There is hope.

UnstableGenius -> KingOfNothing , 9 May 2018 14:15
Globalism is a system where a cosmopolitan class of technocratic elites makes all the decisions after talking among themselves in well-appointed conference rooms to which common people are not given access (think of what goes on in Brussels or in the ECB tower every day).
Democracy is something else.
In my opinion the two are mutually incompatible.
TheVixen -> hflashman , 9 May 2018 09:32
Yes, I'm talking about both British and non-British Muslims. Here's the clarification you're looking for: ICM Research for Channel 4 found that more than 100,000 British Muslims sympathize with suicide bombers and people who commit other terrorist acts. Moreover, only one in three British Muslims (34%) would contact the police if they believed that somebody close to them had become involved with jihadists.

In addition, 23% of British Muslims said Islamic Sharia law should replace British law in areas with large Muslim populations.

On social issues, 52% of the Muslims surveyed said they believe homosexuality should be illegal, compared to 22% of non-Muslim Britons.

39% of Muslims surveyed believe women should always obey their husbands, compared to 5% for non-Muslims. One in three British Muslims refuse completely to condemn the stoning of women accused of adultery.

Admittedly, this ICM survey is from 2016 so the picture may have improved, but I think you'll agree, these attitudes are quite a long way from the enlightenment values mentioned.

DavidPavett -> brexitman , 9 May 2018 07:21
Open borders and nationalism are really different issues. One can recognise the need for borders and border controls without convincing oneself that the people within a given border line are therefore endowed with some common essence about which they can feel pride or shame.

The pity about this is that liberal writers like ZW nearly always start from zero on this issue as if there wasn't a whole mass of discussion of a very detailed kind that has already taken place. Thus I would say that Ernest Renan's speech to the Surbonne in the 1880s published as What is a Nation? (reprinted in Shloma Sand's book On the Nation and the 'Jewish People' ) is well in advance of ZW's musings.

DavidPavett , 9 May 2018 03:37
I am with Einstein on this. He was once asked if he regarded himself as a German or a Jew. He replied: "I look upon myself as a man. Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind".
DavidPavett -> DrDeYoung , 9 May 2018 03:26
I found ZW's suggestion that "you do not need to be proud of Oliver Cromwell in order to be proud of Jessica Ennis-Hill" both revealing and ridiculous. If one is going to pick a figure from English history not to be proud of why on earth would one choose Cromwell? And on what grounds exactly does ZW feel proud of JE-H?

The Cromwell reference leads to a further point. Can the English, on ZW's argument, take pride in the actions of Scots prior to the Act of Union? And can they take pride in the actions of the Irish from Northern but not Southern Ireland?

I would nuance what you say just a little. Our actions contribute to producing not only things but also people. A parent can feel justified pride in the actions of his/her children as can a teacher in the actions of his/her pupils. There can also be a justified sense of collective pride for people who have contributed to that collective. ZW is right about that. She gets into a muddle when she tries to project this collective pride backwards in time to things we could have had no part in.

ponkala , 9 May 2018 02:13
People can be proud of their country , there is nothing wrong with it ,but when a country consists of many ethnic groups and religions, identifying the country only with majority ethno linguistic or religious group can lead to discrimination , alienation and resentment . This has led to civil wars in many regions. Canada and Switzerland are some of the exceptions where federal system and equalities of ethno linguistic groups have strengthened their countries .I would call this good nationalism.
On the other hand, many countries in Asia and Africa are suffering from the conflicts due to persecution or discrimination inflicted upon minorities from the majoritarian governments.
Modi in India is using the nationalistic card, trying to give an impression that the country only belongs to Hindus and Hindi speakers. In reality, India is not even a country , it is a collection of nation states with many ethnic groups , languages and religions which were united during the British rule. It is more diverse than the whole of Europe .However Modi is keen to perpetuate the myth India is homogenous , this natinalistic ideology might risk formenting divisions and conflicts in the future.I would call it 'bad nationalism '
joylessnortherner , 9 May 2018 00:50
Aren't we looking for the word patriotism as opposed to nationalism here Mz. Williams? I've always cleaved to Orwell's definitions of patriotism and nationalism. Predictably, nationalism gets short shrift.....largely because nationalism is dim, divisive and utterly undigestible for the vast majority of a nation at ease with itself. This is why Moggo, Bojo, Foxy and Gove prefer nationalism.

[Dec 27, 2018] Neoliberalism mantra: The dog eat dog economy simply represents our nature, it's who we are, we thrive under libertarianism.

Dec 27, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Jas636 -> Friarbird , 4 Jun 2018 01:38

Why would I refute points that I agree with?

I'm not the one who has a problem with neo-liberalism, it's provided for me more than adequately. Having spent a lot of time living overseas, it's provided ALL Australians with a far better deal than a few billion others.

If you are too naive to see this, then maybe you need to try an alternative for a while. It's quite ok, i'll be waiting for when the alternative fails (they always do) and I can come back and pick off the assets from the carcus of that little experiment for less than a cent in the dollar.

The dog eat dog economy simply represents our nature, it's who we are, we thrive under libertarianism.

internationalist07 07 -> Jas636 , 4 Jun 2018 01:34
I think you mean Neo liberal utopia
Friarbird -> GoronwyPrice , 4 Jun 2018 01:31
Po-faced, Libertarian BOLLOCKS.
Privatisation is sucker-farming.
Milking the punters, like ants milk aphids.
Farming them, like bellbirds do with leaf-bugs.
And even THAT is only part of the equation.
The fondest goal, the one which gives the management class hard-ons ?
Privatisation de-unionises their workforces.
GreyBags -> Shiner01 , 4 Jun 2018 01:29
It is quite strange that the biggest supporters of neo-liberal economics with its belief that giving money to the rich will solve all our problems call themselves 'Christians'.

I can't remember when Jesus preached trickle down. I don't remember the bit where Jesus said to treat those seeking asylum and fleeing violence like they are the scum of the earth. I don't remember when Jesus said the poor needed a good kick in the guts while they are down to motivate them to work harder. I don't remember when Jesus said we should cut funds from the sick to balance the budget. I don't remember Jesus saying that if you bear false witness often enough then you will fool enough of the people enough to keep power so you can look after your corporate buddy buddies.

In fact, almost all of the politicians in the Coalition who proclaim to be 'Christian' must have their own secret bible because nothing I have heard from the New Testament justifies their actions.

Me, I'm an atheist and I have more care, consideration, ethics and compassion than the entire collection of right wing bible bashers sitting in parliament today.

Friarbird -> RobertJREYNOLDS , 4 Jun 2018 01:20
"......the scam that is neo-liberalism."

No throwaway line.
A 'farming the suckers' scam is all it ever was.
With a view to massive wealth transfer.

Hasn't it worked well ?

Ozponerised , 4 Jun 2018 01:19
Thanks for this. We need more of these articles pointing out the bullshit behind this story that the Coalition has been feeding the gullible peasantry with for over 30 years, sneering, smirking and sniggering as truckloads of public money goes to private corporations. The money received from selling off public assets has been shoved into private businesses who then feel very free to charge like bulls.
It's a shame so many folk still fall for this bullshit meaning that their own families, work colleagues and community get shafted through diminishing public services.
Mal_Function , 4 Jun 2018 01:16
Brother Can You Spare a Dime

They used to tell me I was building a dream
And so I followed the mob
When there was earth to plow or guns to bear
I was always there right on the job

They used to tell me I was building a dream
With peace and glory ahead
Why should I be standing in line
Just waiting for bread?

Once I built a railroad, I made it run
Made it race against time
Once I built a railroad, now it's done
Brother, can you spare a dime?

Once I built a tower up to the sun
Brick and rivet and lime
Once I built a tower, now it's done
Brother, can you spare a dime?

Once in khaki suits, gee we looked swell
Full of that yankee doodle de dum
Half a million boots went sloggin' through hell
And I was the kid with the drum

Say, don't you remember, they called me Al
It was Al all the time
Say, don't you remember, I'm your pal
Buddy, can you spare a dime?

Songwriters: E. Y. Harburg / Jay Gorney
Brother Can You Spare a Dime lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Next Decade Entertainment, Inc, Shapiro Bernstein & Co. Inc.

prettygoody -> GoronwyPrice , 4 Jun 2018 01:11
'This is more or less the definition of increased productivity and it is what ultimately leads to improved living standards for everyone'

Lazy, neoliberal, supply-side economic guff. Neoliberals undermine government and democracy and then scavenge on the wreckage. When does 'ultimately' begin for 'everyone'? Never.

'Private companies provide the same service with much less labour'

Firing people is the answer? What a hardened realist you are. Must be great to be so certain in your neoliberal convictions. Are you really telling us that every privatisation has been a success?

These pieces of infrastructure have been built through generations of work and wise investment - they are not any one government's to sell. It's just easier for a corrupt, rudderless, feckless neoliberal shill to sell it than it is for them to to run it.

Friarbird -> ADamnSmith2016 , 4 Jun 2018 01:05
Can't even begin to address the characteristic Libertarian slyness in all that.
But I'll try.
"What you call neoliberalism was a set of responses to the failure of socialism or as Tony Blair said 'what matters is what works'."
Incorrect.
What I--what the world--calls "Neoliberalism', is the corpse of Classical economics, resurrected post-WW2 by Friedman and Hayek's 'Mont Pelerin Society. '
Why was it buried ?
Because during the Great Depression, its dogmatic insistence on continued austerity and wage cuts only made things worse.
After all, in an economic slump, whats the worst thing you can do ?
Deprive people of whatever little purchasing power they have.
So, goodbye Classical economics.
After which, govts SPENT their societies out of slump, putting people to work.
(O, the horror ! O, the heresy !)
The public works of that era include Germany's autobahns and the US New Deal projects, including the Tennessee Valley system and similar in Western States.
( O the horror ! O the heresy !)
Friedman, Hayek and the gang looked at those and post-WW2 programs of public benefit, such as the UK's NHS and shat themselves. Typical fear-driven conservatives, they were convinced such programs represented the thin end of the wedge which MUST end in imposition of Soviet-style conditions.
What utter paranoid crap.
Their resurrected corpse of Classical economics ?.
THAT is what is 'Neoliberalism'.
Whether or not I call it so is immaterial.
Then, this lofty bit of finger-wagging assertion;
"This process of economic evolution is necessarily imperfect and incomplete...."
Your Lordship's overview is appreciated...
"....but currently leaves you free to own a computer, read news on-line, communicate using the internet (maybe using NBN?) and express your views freely. "
Sez who ?
You ?
Besides, the only one talking about that old bogey, "socialism" is you.
Because its a conveniently perjorative label, eh ?
Pretty infantile, though.

"Anybody who doesn't agree with EVERYTHING I say, must be a 'socialist.' And they can't play with my toys."

PS 'Adam', why do LIbertarians always project a Superiority Complex ?
Why are the buggers always so PLEASED WITH THEMSELVES ?

Tasmanian Cryptik -> 20thCenturyFox , 4 Jun 2018 00:58
Socialise the losses, privatise the gains.
RatioDecidend -> Elizabeth Connor , 4 Jun 2018 00:55
intelligent comment. Due to corporate media indoctrinating propaganda it will take sometime for others to understand where the problem lies.
20thCenturyFox , 4 Jun 2018 00:41
Neoliberalism = Socialism for the Rich - Capitalism for the Poor.

Politics needs reform, plain & simple. Fed ICAC and Integrity Commission is a good start but it's not enough. The rules have to change too. Major decisions like privatising services or tax handouts to the rich, shouldn't by law be allowed to get through parliament or the senate unless the claims being made to justify them are quantifiable & demonstrated to be in the National Interest. Currently politicians have no obligation to do either.

e.g. claiming that jobs will be created if Penalty rates are cut = there's no way to quantify such a BS claim and Doug Cameron got them to admit that in Senate Estimates. Even so they were allowed to lie through their teeth and impose it anyway with no requirement to prove their BS claims. This corporate tax handout = once again they claim it will lead to more wealth to average Australians and more jobs but it can't be quantified or guaranteed via regulation so it's all bullshit. The rich will hoard the wealth & kick Australians in the guts as usual. That's what they've always done and always will do. Privatisation of electricity..what a crock of shit. They claimed it would create competition and drive down prices. What's happened? The complete opposite but politicians KNOW they're not accountable and therein 'lies' the problem. The shortsheeting of the original NBN, = yet another lie. They've totally crippled Australia's ability to compete in a digital age and completely screwed regional 2nd tier cities and towns in terms of growth. As far as the National interest is concerned the shortsheeting of the NBN is the complete opposite. Even so they were allowed to bastardise that too without any accountability whatsoever. Australians need to start demanding political reform so these bastards are accountable to the people.

grumpyom -> Fred1 , 4 Jun 2018 00:28
Neoliberalism is just the academic name for the political ideology of greed, corruption, self interest, self entitlement, corporate welfare, inequality, user pays, and poverty is your fault.

George Monbiot does it well too.
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/apr/15/neoliberalism-ideology-problem-george-monbiot

grumpyom , 4 Jun 2018 00:18
Do you see any contradiction between privatised electricity and socialised stadiums?

Neoliberalism explains it all. Corruption in politics means that only profitable assets are privatised. Stadiums lose money, so are kept in private hands as corporate welfare for the various billionaire team owners and TV networks.

Elizabeth Connor , 4 Jun 2018 00:10
I love Richard Denniss! What a brilliantly concise and yet well supported argument. Now we just need someone who can say it in terms that will persuade unwilling voters to think carefully about their vote. If they do think carefully they simply cannot return this government to power, now that they're all revealed as nothing but crony capitalists.

I must admit that like many people I also thought neoliberalism was an ideology, but then I couldn't understand why they were so inconsistent in their spending of 'tax-payers' funds'.

From now on I'll be pointing out those inconsistencies with more confidence - armed with Richard's incontrovertible points, and also by a closer reading of Canadian Kean Birch's article:

https://theconversation.com/what-exactly-is-neoliberalism-84755.

Here's Birch's definition of neoliberalism:

[The term neoliberalism ] is used to refer to an economic system in which the "free" market is extended to every part of our public and personal worlds.

And here's wikipedia's definition of crony capitalism:

Crony capitalism is an economy in which businesses thrive not as a result of risks they take, but rather as a return on money amassed through a nexus between a business class and the political class.

NB But there's a more explicit definition here, which I like much better:

Crony capitalism is a term describing an economy in which success in business depends on close relationships between business people and government officials. It may be exhibited by favoritism in the distribution of legal permits, government grants, special tax breaks, or other forms of state interventionism.

https://www.quora.com/What-does-the-term-crony-capitalism-mean-What-are-the-long-term-economic-costs-of-crony-capitalism-for-a-country

And from where I sit, crony capitalism cannot be defended by anyone with any kind of integrity.

sierrasierra -> telbraithwaite , 4 Jun 2018 00:04
Yes, we have a spot of bother, and I think that their name - Institute of Public Affairs - is quite a misnomer.

The way these people operate is more akin to Opus Dei and many other 'secret societies' that have another public face altogether.

Given that IPA's agenda is a private members wish list which has a huge impact on matters of a broad public nature, it's rather akin to incest, and we know where the confusion between Church and State takes us regarding separation of powers, exactly where we are right now .two Royal Commissions that are joined at the hip, Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (2013 – 2017) and our current horror show Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation, and Financial Services Industry which could for all intents and purposes be as long as aforementioned.

Stay with me, as these are issues that relate to other 'energy' systems, namely money, sex and power, and if we have any doubts as to how far this cancer has spread, a quick purview of the following members ought to resolve it for you:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institute_of_Public_Affairs#Political_links

https://www.reddit.com/r/australia/comments/1bz7et/ipas_75_point_list_for_abbott /

For the 70th Birthday big bash, we know that guests to the party were:
• Gina Rinehart
• Rupert Murdoch
• Tony Abbott
• George Pell - Australian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church
• Michael Kroger - President of the Victorian division of the Liberal Party of Australia and former director of the IPA
• Mitch Fifield - Communications Minister

Think horizontal and vertical industries/associations and you begin to get the picture, and that's before thinking about BCA and VECCI.

Billyswagg , 4 Jun 2018 00:03
First, elect the other mob next time around. They're in the pockets of the multinationals and the US alliance as well, but they're not quite as bad, yet. The next thing is a full-on assault on mainstream media. The frontline of the revolution, if there is to be one, is the media. No more guns or territorial claims, it's a battle for the mind. Education is the key. The "Neolibs" attack education at every opportunity - teachers, curriculum, funding etc. etc. but there's nothing wrong with education - the real problem is that the mainstream media relentlessly, all day every day works to an agenda of dis-education, deliberately undermining and destroying the work of our schools. They preach doubt and mistrust - of learning, facts, truth, intelligence, pure science, art, music, culture, thoughtfulness, forbearance, empathy and altruism. They teach us to monetise and gamble on everything. Their aim is to dumb everyone down to the point where not only can't they read an analog clock or drive their own car but become entirely dependent on the word of authority (of which they are the mouthpiece) for a continued existence. Today, with our vast social platforms we can target their lies and threats, one by one. Pick each one, attack it, viciously, loudly, risibly, with facts, comedy, derision and invitations to dance. Spread it wide. Call them out at every opportunity. Sneer them into oblivion. Mainstream media is the primary problem. That's what must be destroyed.
Dunkey2830 -> Dave Bradley , 3 Jun 2018 23:53

Maybe the ALP have learnt from their mistakes


No, regrettably they have not.
The neoliberalist 'mistake' has been going on for around 40 yrs now - it has proved a relentless descent into inequality and austerity.

Chris Bowen at the National Press Club :
"...Labor will go to the next election:
Achieving budget balance in the same year as the government;
Delivering bigger cumulative budget surpluses over forward estimates as well as substantially bigger surpluses over the ten year medium term; and
That the majority of savings raised from our revenue measures over the medium term will go towards budget repair and paying down debt...."

Pure neoliberal economic poison that will create further hardship for our citizens, worsen inequality and recess the economy yet further.

People have got to come to understand that the bigger surpluses Bowen speaks of are federal tax collection surpluses; i.e. he intends to withdraw further spending capacity from the private sector, all while the current account deficit already draws 3.5% GDP (~$30bn) a yr from that same heavily indebted private sector.

This Bowen statement report from the SMH :
"The whiff of a surplus, not reaching at least 1 per cent of GDP until 2026-27, does not adequately protect Australia against the potential roiling seas of international uncertainty," he will say.
"Australia needs bigger surpluses, sooner than the government is scheduling.
"We can't afford to let the next four years go to waste in the efforts for a healthier, safer budget surplus."

Absolute macroeconomic stupidity, arrogant, vandalous ideological madness.
When will the people come to their senses and stop supporting such socially destructive errant neoliberal economic alchemy?

BiggerPictureCait -> Stopthelibs , 3 Jun 2018 23:53
Just look at the Citizens Assembly overseeing the law change in the recent Irish referendum. Worked a treat, cause those involved wanted to find the bvest alternative, rather than feather their own nest.

[Dec 27, 2018] Neoliberal ideology is free market, neoliberal practice is crony capitalism

Dec 27, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

jclucas , 3 Jun 2018 23:25

It is indeed important to make the distinction between the ideology of neoliberalism - the ideology of private enterprise is good, and public spending is bad - and the operational system of crony capitalism - the game of mates played by government and the special interests.

And it is certainly equally important to call out the monumental hypocrisy involved in the government's application of the ideology's set of rules to the powerless and public and the government's application of corrupt practice rules to the special interests.

The system is destroying the egalitarian character of Australia and fanning the flames of nativist authoritarianism here.

But what's even more dangerous is the fundamental dishonesty that the system necessitates, and the alienating influence it has - on top of the growing economic inequality.

The system has destroyed the economic and environmental viability and sustainability of the planet on which human civilization depends.

What is becoming increasingly clear to more and more of the public is that - simple put- the system cannot be allowed to go on as it has been proceeding because it threatens the future of civilization on earth.

Change is imperative now. However, how that will unfold is unclear, as well as, the toll the destruc5turing system will take.

What is clear is that a great restructuring must happen - and soon.

[Dec 25, 2018] The problem with neoliberalism

Guardian readers responces
Notable quotes:
"... Winchester, Hampshire ..."
"... Wallington, Surrey ..."
Dec 25, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

Michael Greenwood , Geoff Naylor and David Murray on the failures of economic policy

While agreeing with the thrust of Paul Mason's article ( A new politics of emotion is needed to beat the far right , Journal, 26 November), it is surely necessary to employ economics if we are to defeat neoliberalism. We have lived under this regime, with increasing severity, for 25 years or so. The result has been the stagnation of real incomes for the large majority, with the benefits of GDP growth accruing to those at the top of income and wealth distributions. This has suppressed growth, as those with less money tend to spend it and those with more hide it and avoid tax. Lower UK growth is clearly shown in comparative data.

So if neoliberalism is a school of economics, it is a failure if the aim of economic policy is to encourage growth and the reinvestment of the benefits. Of course, neoliberalism is not economics, it is political dogma, supported by its beneficiaries. We need economics undergraduates to demand to be taught real economics and not the propaganda of power that is neoliberalism.
Michael Greenwood
Manchester

• In his search for a political narrative of economic hope to counteract the rise of rightwing populism, Paul Mason overlooks the sense of belonging that exists in faith communities. Here, a selfless collaboration for the inclusive good of one another has never required disruption of the free-market economy. It is just that this ethos has not been introduced at the national economic and political levels.
Geoff Naylor
Winchester, Hampshire

• All suffered the same 2007-08 financial crash, but the "UK has weakest wage growth of wealthy nations" ( Report , 27 November). Anything to do with Tory-led government economic policy?
David Murray
Wallington, Surrey

[Dec 25, 2018] Seven signs of the neoliberal apocalypse by Van Badham

Dec 25, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

For 40 years, the ideology popularly known as "neoliberalism" has dominated political decision-making in the English-speaking west.

People hate it . Neoliberalism's sale of state assets, offshored jobs, stripped services, poorly-invested infrastructure and armies of the forcibly unemployed have delivered, not promised "efficiency" and "flexibility" to communities, but discomfort and misery. The wealth of a few has now swelled to a level of conspicuousness that must politely be considered vulgar yet the philosophy's entrenched itself so deeply in how governments make decisions and allocate resources that one of its megaphones once declared its triumph "the end of history".

... ... ...

Paul Keating's rejection

It was a year ago that a third sign first appeared, when the dark horse of Australian prime ministers, Paul Keating, made public an on-balance rejection of neoliberal economics. Although Liberal PM Malcolm Fraser instigated Australia's first neoliberal policies, it was Keating's architecture of privatisation and deregulation as a Labor treasurer and prime minister that's most well remembered.

Now, "we have a comatose world economy held together by debt and central bank money," Keating has said, "Liberal economics has run into a dead end and has had no answer to the contemporary malaise." What does the disavowal mean? In terms of his Labor heir Bill Shorten's growing appetite for redistributive taxation and close relationship to the union movement, it means "if Bill Shorten becomes PM, the rule of engagement between labour and capital will be rewritten," according to The Australian this week. Can't wait!

Tony Abbott becomes a fan of nationalising assets

Or maybe's Sukkar's right about the socialists termiting his beloved Liberal party. How else to explain the earthquake-like paradigm shift represented by the sixth sign? Since when do neoliberal conservatives argue for the renationalisation of infrastructure, as is the push of Tony Abbott's gang to nationalise the coal-fired Liddell power station? It may be a cynical stunt to take an unscientific stand against climate action, but seizing the means of production remains seizing the means of production, um, comrade. "You know, nationalising assets is what the Liberal party was founded to stop governments doing," said Turnbull, even as he hid in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains to weather – strange coincidence – yet another Newspoll loss.

• Van Badham is a Guardian Australia columnist


uhurhi , 27 Apr 2018 05:43

"new introduction to a re-released Marx and Engels' Communist Manifesto. Collective, democratic political action is our only chance for freedom and enjoyment."

Might be true. But frightening that people should naively still think that democracy is to be found in the 'Dictatorship of the Proletariat' [ ie those who know what's good for you even if you don't like it ] of the Communist Manifesto after the revelations of what that leads to in the Gulag Archipelago , Mao's China , Pol Pot , Kim John - un .

How quickly the world forgets. - you might just as well advocate Mein Kampf it's the same thing in the end !

fleax -> internationalist07 07 , 27 Apr 2018 05:43
most "isms" kill off their rivals and the unbelievers when they usurp power
charleyb23 -> RedmondM , 27 Apr 2018 05:37
That's what you claim and it might be so but I'm not interested in keeping a score on the matter. The point you failed to get is that the people you mentioned where totalitarian thugs. They used the banner of communism to achieve their ends. They would have used what ever ideology that was in fashion to achieve the same results.
daily_phil , 27 Apr 2018 05:35
Does present day neo-liberalism actually qualify as a political movement?

Vested interests and the dollar seem to have all the power. Lies and deception are so common the truth is seen as the enemy. The voting public are merely fools for manipulation. Nah, neo-liberalism is not government, it is something far nastier, and clearly not what the public vote for, presuming a vote actually counts for anything anymore.

[Dec 24, 2018] The Guardian's Bush obituary plumbs new depths of sycophantic hypocrisy by Kit Knightly

Dec 24, 2018 | off-guardian.org

The strong man with the dagger is followed by the weak man with the sponge." Lord Acton

George Herbert Walker Bush died on Saturday. He was 94 years old. Thanks to decisions he made throughout his career, thousands – perhaps millions – of people never got near 94. He invaded Iraq in 1991, instituted sanctions that destroyed the country. He pardoned those involved in the Iran-Contra affair and was head of the CIA when Operation Condor launched the military coup in Argentina in 1976 .

None of that makes it into The Guardian 's obituary , of course.

Instead, Simon Tisdall – a mindless servant to the status quo, always happy to weave invective about our designated enemies – treats us to paragraph after paragraph of inane anecdotes.

Good old Georgie once gave him a lift in Air Force One.

Barbara gave him useful advice about raising Springer Spaniels.

The following words and phrases are not found anywhere in this article: CIA, Iraq, Iran-Contra, Argentinian coup, Iran Air Flight 655, NAZI, Panama.

Rather, Tisdall refers Bush's term as "before the era of fake news". Which makes him either a complete a liar or profoundly under-qualified to write on the subject – as the Bush-era spawned the original fake news: The Nayirah testimony . A pack of lies told before the Senate, and used to justify a war in the middle-east.

A Bush family tradition.

Tisdall talks of Bush's family – "he enjoyed a privileged upbringing in a monied east coast family" – but doesn't say that his father, Prescott Bush, was a known Nazi sympathiser and was even implicated in an alleged plot to overthrow the government of Franklin Delano Roosevelt .

Bush started two wars as President. Planned and enabled countless crimes as director of the CIA. pardoned all those implicated in the Iran-Contra affair. Refused to apologise when the US Navy "accidentally" shot down an Iranian airliner, killing over 200 civilians, including 60 children.

He was the original neocon – his administration brought us Cheney and Powell and Rumsfeld. Gave birth to the ideology that stage-managed 9/11, launched the "War on Terror", and cut a blood-stained swath across North Africa and the Middle East.

We don't hear about that.

What we DO hear about is Bush's "deep sense of public duty and service" and that "Bush was a patriot who did not need cheap slogans to express his belief in enduring American greatness". No space is given over to analysis, to examine the fact that "belief in enduring American greatness" is quasi-fascism, and responsible for more violent deaths this century than any other cause you can name.

In hundreds of words, a notionally left-wing paper has nothing but praise for a highly unpopular right-wing president. No space is given over even to the gentlest of rebukes.

The whole article is an exercise in talking without saying anything. Pleasantries replacing truth. Platitudes where facts should be. A nothing burger, with a void on the side and an extra order of beige.

It's an obituary of Harold Shipman that eschews murder talk and rhapsodises about his love of gardening.

A eulogy to Pinochet that praises his economic reforms but neglects all the soccer stadiums full of corpses.

An epitaph to Hitler that focuses, not on his "controversial political career", but on his painting and his vegetarianism.

Did you know Genghis Khan once lent me a pencil? He was a swell guy. The world will miss him.

We're no longer supposed to examine the lives, characters or morals of our leaders. Only "honour their memory" and be "grateful for their service". History is presented to us, not as a series of choices made by people in power, but as a collection of inevitabilities. Consequences are tragic but unavoidable. Like long-dead family squabbles – To dwell on them is unseemly, and to assign blame unfair.

Just as with John McCain, apologism and revisionism are sold to us as manners and good taste. Attempts to redress the balance and tell the truth are met with stern glares and declarations that it is "too soon".

It's never "too soon" to tell the truth.

John McCain was a dangerous war-mongering lunatic. George Bush Sr was a sociopath from a family of corrupt sociopaths. The world would be a far better, and much safer place if just one major newspaper was willing to say that.

Really, there are two obituaries to write here:

First – George HW Bush, corrupt patriarch of an old and malign family, passing out of this world to face whatever eternal punishment (hopefully) awaits those who sell their immortal soul in exchange for a brief taste of power.

Second – The Guardian, perhaps a decent newspaper once-upon-a-time, now a dried out husk. A zombified slave to the state, mindless and brainless and lifeless. No questions, no reservations, no hesitation. Obediently licking up the mess their masters leave behind.

It's sickening.

Kit Knightly is co-editor of OffGuardian. The Guardian banned him from commenting. Twice. He used to write for fun, but now he's forced to out of a near-permanent sense of outrage.


Michael McNulty says Dec, 9, 2018

My mother believed it was only Bush Senior's longevity that prevented some of the neo-cons from bumping off Bush Junior. He was President in name only and has long since fulfilled his usefulness in committing the US to endless war. He is prone to verbal gaffes and that must make him a liability, and when powerful evil people get nervous they often turn deadly.
vexarb says Dec, 5, 2018
Like son, like father -- Bush War Crimes in Iraq:

https://youtu.be/cqiq8P8dRtY

vexarb says Dec, 4, 2018
Cut&Pasted from Lavrov interview in today's Saker Vineyard:

Question: When the death of President George H.W. Bush was announced, President Putin expressed his condolences in a very emotional message. George Bush Sr. believed that one of the worst mistakes of his presidency was failure to prevent the Soviet Union's dissolution. Did you meet with him? What are your impressions of him?

Sergey Lavrov: I believe that George Bush Sr greatly contributed to the development of the United States and ensured that his country responsibly played its role in the world, considering its weight in international affairs.

I remember very well how President George H.W. Bush visited Moscow, and then he went to Ukraine where he encouraged the Soviet republics' political forces to do their duty by preserving the country rather than create huge, tragic problems for millions of people who became citizens of different states the morning after the Soviet Union collapsed.

Mr Bush was a great politician. I believe that every word that will be said about his achievements reflect the people's true attitude to this man. However, one comment about the link between President Bush and the demise of the Soviet Union. I heard a commentator say that George Bush Sr made history by helping Mikhail Gorbachev soft-land the Soviet Union. In fact, George Bush Sr never did that; he simply wanted to protect millions of people from political games. This is what we can say confidently about him.

https://thesaker.is/lavrovs-interview-and-answers-to-questions-for-the-programme-moscow-kremlin-putin/

Loading...
different frank says Dec, 4, 2018
The Webster tarpley book about him is interesting
Also regarding the "gulf war". The then US ambassador to Iraq April Glaspie gave saddam the nod to invade Kuwait.
He was set up.
http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/ARTICLE5/april.html
Francis Lee says Dec, 4, 2018
It was German journalist, Udo Ulfkotte actually spilled the beans regarding the western media in his best seller, Journalisten Gekaufte, (Bought Journalists). Ulfkotte described the degree to which the CIA has penetrated the western media and corrupted, or bribed ( including himself) the system which has become a PR organization for the intelligence services, and MIC. On publication it immediately sold 120,000.00 copies and then strangely became unavailable in English. He was described as a 'conspiracy theorist' (but of course) and died at the relatively young age of a heart attack at 56. There are some salient issues surrounding his death raised by Jonas Schneider in his book 'The Mysterious Death of Udo Ulfkotte: Evidence for a Murder.

[Dec 24, 2018] People like you must count as a great success for the obedience training that keeps capitalist society running smoothly, with the few dissidents casually dismissed as "a bunch of tin foil hat wearing fruitcakes".

Dec 24, 2018 | off-guardian.org

Peter Bolton says Dec, 6, 2018

You know already what I will respond to this. And I know already what you will say in return. So, instead of getting into a back and forth about it, I will simply leave you with something to consider.

The fact that each successive report that comes out that refutes the claims of the truther movement is automatically dismissed by people like you shows how conspiracy theory thinking works. The final 9/11 report comes out in 2004 and, of course, the truthers dismiss it because it was written by a branch of the federal government who you believe perpetrated 9/11 in the first place. Then Popular Mechanics publishes a 5,500 word report in 2005 extensively answering and debunking the movement claims.

Here, you people can't claim that it was a government cover-up -- at least not directly -- because Popular Mechanics is a privately owned publication. Therefore, new sub-conspiracy theories are invented to "prove" how Popular Mechanics is part of the cover-up. To give just one example Christopher Bollyn "claimed to have discovered why the 100-year-old engineering magazine would take part in a government cover-up of the crime of the century: A young researcher on the magazine's staff named Benjamin Chertoff was a cousin of then-Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, and the magazine was seeking to whitewash the criminal conspiracy with its coverage." (Slate 2011) Here we are seeing the kind of incredible mental contortion that truthers are willing to engage in to continue believing their theories.

Then in 2008 the National Institute of Standards and Technology released the final installment of its study into the causes behind the collapse of the buildings -- $16 million was invested into the investigation. And, as I well know, you and other truthers will have a smart Alec come-back as to why the NIST report is wrong, its authors are part of the vast conspiracy and so on. On and on it goes no matter how many reports are published by however many experts.

Again, I am not interested in getting dragged into a back-and-forth about the merits and demerits of these reports. Rather, I wish to point out the flawed reasoning inherent to 9/11 trutherism: that it has its own internal mechanisms for discounting any evidence that contradicts its central tenets. It therefore constitutes a closed system of thought because there is nothing that would ever count as a refutation. In other words, for all contradictory evidence another explanation is made to retroactively fit the latest gap in the theory that is exposed.

Now, I know full well that this is probably not going to change your mind either. And I'm sure that there will be plenty of responses to this comment and thumbs down from Off-Guardian readers. But I hope that you at least consider whether you are wrong about this subject. For my part, I worry that 9/11 trutherism obscures what are indeed important subjects -- US imperialism, US govt. corruption, the nefarious influence of the CIA, the legitimate grievance that people in the Middle East have against the US, Israel, the Saudi dictatorship and so on. Above all, I worry that 9/11 trutherism makes it open season for the real enemies -- the US foreign policy establishment, et cetera -- to portray the resistance to them and their agenda as a bunch of tin foil hat wearing fruitcakes. I feel strongly that the left needs to jettison this in-group, conspiracy theory-type stuff really become a major force and overturn the status quo.

milosevic says Dec, 9, 2018
People like you must count as a great success for the obedience training that keeps capitalist society running smoothly, with the few dissidents casually dismissed as "a bunch of tin foil hat wearing fruitcakes".

Even NIST eventually admitted that WTC-7 free-fell for 2.5 seconds. That can only happen if all the support columns fail at exactly the same time; otherwise it would topple over sideways. Only controlled explosives can make that happen.

Your touching faith in the word of ruling-class "experts", over the evidence of your own eyes, and basic physics, is a credit to the Middle Ages. It would warm the hearts of the Catholic theologians who refused to look through Galileo's telescope because they knew, as a matter of revealed truth, that what he said couldn't possibly be true.

What do the claims of a bunch of tinfoil-hat-wearing fruitcakes count for, against not just ruling class dogma, but the entire weight of respectable middle-class opinion? The social status and careers of millions of right-thinking professionals, like you, depend on believing, or at least pretending to believe, not just the 9/11 Official Story, but all the other Official Stories as well. How could all those comfy middle-class people, with their comfy middle-class careers and high-status friends, be wrong? That would throw the entire plan for next weekend's dinner party into question.

Do you believe the Offical Skripal Story? The Official ISIS story? The Official Syrian Chemical Weapons Story? The Official JFK Assassination Story? The Official USS Liberty Story? The Official Tonkin Gulf Story? How do you decide which Official Stories to believe, except on the basis of careerism and status-seeking?

https://www.ae911truth.org/evidence/free-fall-acceleration

https://www.youtube.com/embed/SBmyPW6gGGI?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Peter Bolton says Dec, 16, 2018
Again, I am not interested in getting drawn into a back-and-forth about the various claims of 9/11 truthers like yourself. I would just like to make one comment and then leave two things for yourself and other truthers on here to consider.

First, I would like to comment upon the fact that I have been subjected to some rather nasty personalized abuse on this thread simply for challenging the claims of trutherism. I'm not pointing this out to feel aggrieved or to search for sympathy or to make myself out as some kind of victim. Rather I do so to illustrate how it is indicative of the negative and mind-closing effects of the group-think and the conspiracy theorist mind-set. It goes something like this: "everyone who questions the tenets of the great truther theory is the enemy, not just a skeptic but rather a collaborator in the evil system that suppresses the "truth"."

Second, I want to provide a link to an excellent article that addresses the claims of truthers head-on: https://www.skeptical-science.com/critical-thinking/911-conspiracy-theories-debunked/

The people it discusses were truthers and many of them reexamined their beliefs after being confronted by actual specialists on the subjects basing their truther beliefs on. If you are open-minded as you claim to be, then have the decency to at least read the article and consider its points, rather than just reflexively rejecting the source as part of the great cover-up.

Finally, I would like to leave you with a quote from Noam Chomsky. Now, I am well aware that you think Chomsky is a sell-out for not getting on board with trutherism and that you have all kinds of fancy come-backs as to why he is wrong. But he raises a very important issue of priorities for people on the anti-imperialist left to consider. Is this obsession with this issue really helping us to fight against imperialism and all of the other iniquities of the world? I think not:

"One of the major consequences of the 9/11 movement has been to draw enormous amounts of energy and effort away from activism directed to real and ongoing crimes of state, and their institutional background, crimes that are far more serious than blowing up the WTC would be, if there were any credibility to that thesis. That is, I suspect, why the 9/11 movement is treated far more tolerantly by centers of power than is the norm for serious critical and activist work." Noam Chomsky

Makropulos says Dec, 3, 2018
Ah "truther", that neologism which serves the same purpose as the recasting of the term "conspiracy" to designate foolishness, gullibilty etc.

And as for Chomsky, well here's what he had to say about the 9/11 "inside job" theory:

"And even if it were true, which is extremely unlikely, who cares? It doesn't have any significance. It's a little bit like the huge energy that's put out on trying to figure out who killed John Kennedy. Who knows? Who cares? Plenty of people get killed all the time, why does it matter that one of them happened to be John F. Kennedy?"

Let's just consider that for a moment. Chomsky is considering the possibilty -- however remote in his view -- that 9/11 may indeed have been an inside job. And he's saying it doesn't have any significance that the US goverment carried out an attack on its own population! It doesn't have any significance that the "war on terror" was launched on the basis of a lie!

This is the moment when Chomsky truly stood revealed. He was like the kid with his hand in the cookie jar who instantly concocts any number of excuses all of which contradict each other. And yet even when caught out like this, he has his supporters who say he "dispels 9/11 theories with sheer logic"!

milosevic says Dec, 3, 2018

https://www.youtube.com/embed/TwZ-vIaW6Bc?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Makropulos says Dec, 3, 2018
That's the one. I mean – who knows and who cares? It's not as if a terrorist attack on mainland America that altered the face of New York and launched a war across the world is actually important.
Peter Bolton says Dec, 4, 2018
Well, I think the fact that Noam Chomsky has said this demonstrates how few people accept these 9/11 truther ideas -- even amongst people who generally agree with your (and my) kind of politics. George Galloway, who like Chomsky is about as far politically from the neocons as you can get, has also spoken very eloquently against trutherism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_A5ToK6g0m8

Ironically, the only remotely public figure who does that I've heard mentioned on this thread is some Reaganite crank that I had never heard of until now. That really does not bode well for you, does it?

Makropulos says Dec, 4, 2018
Au contraire Peter, it does not bode well for the entire realm of mainstream discourse. Logically what Chomsky said is simply monstrous. As is this:

"I think the fact that Noam Chomsky has said this demonstrates how few people accept these 9/11 truther ideas"

What is the hold that this man has that he only has to say something to "demonstrate" what most think?

Makropulos says Dec, 4, 2018
And having now listened to Mr Galloway and once again having to put up with his portentous stretching out ..of the ..sentence to -- quite frankly pad the time out, I see that his "points" come down to the following:

Two planes flew into the twin towers. Yes -- there's no disputing that one.

GW Bush could not possibly have planned the thing himself. Yes again -- no dispute. At this point I must express my gratitude to Reagan for finally proving that the guy in front is just a puppet.

If the US did it themselves and it "got out" it would be the end of America's credibility. Yes indeed. Which is why, all across the mainstream press, it will only ever be presented as a "nutty conspiracy theory"

milosevic says Dec, 4, 2018
Galloway: "I saw, myself, the airplanes hitting the twin towers."

-- which is supposed to constitute proof of the official Evil-Terrorists-In-A-Cave-In-Afghanistan story.

attention, "flaxgirl": your grand unified theory of 9/11 now needs to incorporate George Galloway as a fake witness for the US government, which seems strange, given his decades of opposition, both before and after, to the imperial warfare for which 9/11 served as a pretext.

The political function of the No-Planes-At-WTC claims could not be more clear; it's so that people who dispute other aspects of the Official Story can all be dismissed as deranged idiots.

flaxgirl says Dec, 4, 2018
But Peter you need to look at the evidence for yourself and not take others' word for it. And be guided by those who know how buildings collapse -- Chomsky certainly doesn't.
This is a wonderful tutorial by Richard Gage, founder of Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth.

The story of 9/11 is utterly preposterous. The only reason people believe it is to do with psychology of how we relate to power nothing to do with the actuality of the story -- because it's utterly ludicrous.

flaxgirl says Dec, 4, 2018
Forgot link to tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ged-FIf46dc

This is my article on Chomsky's sophistry on 9/11:
https://off-guardian.org/2016/10/11/analysis-of-the-sophistry-of-noam-chomsky-on-911/

Jay-Q says Dec, 4, 2018
Wut? " less violent ones like England, the US or France " From here on it just gets worse until Chomsky has no credible position left to argue from.

Heightened sense of cognitive dissonance by old Noam.

' even if it were true, which is extremely unlikely, then who cares? It doesn't have any significance."

Wow, for someone with such intellect this is some low-level thinking. I almost feel sorry for Chomsky for holding such an immoral position. Would he feel the same way if his wife was murdered? "Ah, there's other things to worry about, anything else is a diversion of energy." Very sad.

flaxgirl says Dec, 4, 2018
Where basic physics is concerned we should not speak of theory. The only possible explanation for the collapse of the buildings is controlled demolition. There is no doubt whatsoever that 9/11 was an inside conspiracy. There is also no doubt that death and injury were staged – at least, there is zero evidence of its reality in the visual record and one would think that for the 3,000 dead and 6,000 injured claimed there would be at least one piece of evidence for their reality, rather than every piece (anomalously small in number) in the visual record perfectly fitting "staged". Not to mention other anomalies unrelated to the visual record and that actual killing and injuring of people by the perpetrators would take a highly-problematic form in the shape of a great number of loved ones (as opposed to the tiny number presented) and the injured themselves when controlled demolition was so obvious.
kevin morris says Dec, 4, 2018
When you say that there is no doubt whatsoever that 9/11 was an inside conspiracy, I feel you are being overconfident unless what you are saying is that there is some evidence that some figures at the World Trade Centres seemed to have foreknowledge.

Frankly, although we all have our theories as to who was responsible, I remain in full agreement with Architects and Engineers for 9/11 truth who state simply that the official account conflicts with physics. All else is suspicion and supposition. It may well be well grounded supposition, but until we discover who planned and executed the event and who definitely had foreknowledge, what we are dealing with is speculation.

The problem with that is that the great many people who refuse to believe anything other than the official account of 9/11 dismiss our views as those of cranks

milosevic says Dec, 4, 2018
there is some evidence that some figures at the World Trade Centres seemed to have foreknowledge

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Wq-0JIR38V0?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

flaxgirl says Dec, 7, 2018
Kevin,

The buildings came down by controlled demolition. The evidence for that is incontrovertible and the rationale presented by NIST for fire being the cause is demonstrably not based on a skerrick of evidence and is obviously fraudulent and false. There is not a single reason to suspect that the cause of collapse of all the buildings wasn't controlled demolition. If you believe there is a single reason to suspect another cause can you please provide it.

Since waking up to 9/11, I find that people either decide something is something with too little evidence or refrain from deciding on what something is when the evidence is so overwhelming you're practically drowning in it. Being conservative in judgement in the face of overwhelming evidence is no virtue in my opinion.

I have engaged in conversation with Mick West who runs the metabunk.org website that allegedly debunks all the conspiracy theories. We have gone back and forth a number of times over the cause of WTC-7's collapse and I have invited him to respond to an Occam's Razor challenge to provide 10 points that favour "fire" over "controlled demolition". He did not respond to the challenge, nor could he provide a single point that favours fire over controlled demolition. Not a single point -- didn't change his mind though.
https://occamsrazorterrorevents.weebly.com/5000-challenge.html

Nor has anyone responded to my other Occam's Razor challenges. I judge when I see that there is a reasonable amount of evidence and that evidence points all one way and there is no evidence pointing any other way. If you disagree with this method fair enough.

flaxgirl says Dec, 7, 2018
And just to add, that, of course, it must be an inside job in the case of controlled demolition. As Graeme MacQueen says, there is no room in the official story for controlled demolition.

The big secret is though that death and injury were staged. That's the real secret.

flaxgirl says Dec, 4, 2018
It was a totally excellent piece. No reservations.

"Theory"? Are you serious? If you believe that 9/11 was the work of 19 barely-trained terrorists (one of whom cried when asked to do steep turns and stalls according to his alleged flying instructor but was tasked with the most impossibly-expert manoeuvre of doing a 330 degree turn into the Pentagon), armed with boxcutters who managed to hijack 4 planes, navigate them into 3 iconic buildings without being molested by a single fighter interceptor through the most defended airspace on earth, which subsequently caused the 10-second collapses (displaying all the characteristics of controlled demolition and none of fire-caused collapses) of three high-rise steel frame buildings, here's a $5,000 challenge for you. All you have to do is provide 10 points that support the "fire" hypothesis over the "controlled demolition" hypothesis for the collapse of WTC-7 and you can choose your own structural engineer to validate your points. There's so very much material on the collapse it shouldn't be very difficult. In fact, all you have to do is come up with one point to support WTC-7's collapse by fire and I'll give you $5,000. One point -- validated by a structural engineer of your choice. https://occamsrazorterrorevents.weebly.com/5000-challenge.html

9/11 is probably the biggest hoax in history and includes the very clever subhoax of 3,000 dead and 6,000 injured. Not only was it a hoax but they did not aim for realism in any shape or form and gave us extra clues in addition to their preposterous against-physical-and-administrative-reality story.

This is what Paul Craig Roberts, chairman of The Institute for Political Economy, who has had careers in scholarship and academia, journalism, public service, and business, has to say about 9/11.
https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/pages/about-paul-craig-roberts/

According to the official story, on September 11, 2001, the vaunted National Security State of the World's Only Superpower was defeated by a few young Saudi Arabians armed only with box cutters. The American National Security State proved to be totally helpless and was dealt the greatest humiliation ever inflicted on any country claiming to be a power.

That day no aspect of the National Security State worked. Everything failed.

The US Air Force for the first time in its history could not get intercepter jet fighters into the air.

The National Security Council failed.

All sixteen US intelligence agencies failed as did those of America's NATO and Israeli allies.

Air Traffic Control failed.

Airport Security failed four times at the same moment on the same day. The probability of such a failure is zero.

If such a thing had actually happened, there would have been demands from the White House, from Congress, and from the media for an investigation. Officials would have been held accountable for their failures. Heads would have rolled.

Instead, the White House resisted for one year the 9/11 families' demands for an investigation. Finally, a collection of politicians was assembled to listen to the government's account and to write it down. The chairman, vice chairman, and legal counsel of the 9/11 Commission have said that information was withheld from the commission, lies were told to the commission, and that the commission "was set up to fail." The worst security failure in history resulted in not a single firing. No one was held responsible.

Washington concluded that 9/11 was possible because America lacked a police state.
The PATRIOT Act, which was awaiting the event was quickly passed by the congressional idiots. The Act established executive branch independence of law and the Constitution. The Act and follow-up measures have institutionalized a police state in "the land of the free."

Osama bin Laden, a CIA asset dying of renal failure, was blamed despite his explicit denial. For the next ten years Osama bin Laden was the bogyman that provided the excuse for Washington to kill countless numbers of Muslims. Then suddenly on May 2, 2011, Obama claimed that US Navy SEALs had killed bin Laden in Pakistan. Eyewitnesses on the scene contradicted the White House's story. Osama bin Laden became the only human in history to survive renal failure for ten years. There was no dialysis machine in what was said to be bin Laden's hideaway. The numerous obituaries of bin Laden's death in December 2001 went down the memory hole. And the SEAL team died a few weeks later in a mysterious helicopter crash in Afghanistan. The thousands of sailors on the aircraft carrier from which bin Laden was said to have been dumped into the Indian Ocean wrote home that no such burial took place.

The fairy tale story of bin Laden's murder by Seal Team Six served to end the challenge by disappointed Democrats to Obama's nomination for a second term. It also freed the "war on terror" from the bin Laden constraint. Washington wanted to attack Libya, Syria, and Iran, countries in which bin Laden was known not to have organizations, and the succession of faked bin Laden videos, in which bin Laden grew progressively younger as the fake bin Laden claimed credit for each successive attack, had lost credibility among experts.

Watching the twin towers and WTC 7 come down, it was obvious to me that the buildings were not falling down as a result of structural damage. When it became clear that the White House had blocked an independent investigation of the only three steel skyscrapers in world history to collapse as a result of low temperature office fires, it was apparent that there was a coverup.

After 13 years people at home and abroad find the government's story less believable.
The case made by independent experts is now so compelling that mainstream media has opened to it. Here is Richard Gage of Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth on C-SPAN: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Zbv2SvBEec#t=23

Anticitizen one says Dec, 4, 2018
The only thing that surprises me about 9/11 these days is that new evidence linking Russia to the event hasn't been fabricated, sorry, discovered yet.

[Dec 24, 2018] Revealed: the dark past of Outcast , MI6 s top wartime double agent

Notable quotes:
"... It is also a nice illustration of how "Westminster Style" democracy works. Any chance that the electorate might elect a left wing government and you get a Zinoviev letter or a Bologna railway station bombing. ..."
"... In other words "Elect whom you like". ("Provided we like them too!") It's really a bit like herding sheep. ..."
Oct 11, 2015 | The Guardian

The documents reveal him as Alexis Bellegarde, one of four White Russian aristocrats believed to have been behind an infamous forgery 15 years before the war began. The revelations of Bellegarde's importance to MI6 will increase suspicions that British agents had a hand in the production of the "Zinoviev letter"; its leak to the Daily Mail many believe cost Labour the 1924 general election.

foolisholdman -> Brian Milne 11 Oct 2015 05:55

Brian Milne

It is also a nice illustration of how "Westminster Style" democracy works. Any chance that the electorate might elect a left wing government and you get a Zinoviev letter or a Bologna railway station bombing.

In other words "Elect whom you like". ("Provided we like them too!") It's really a bit like herding sheep.

AlbertTatlock53 -> LordUpminster 11 Oct 2015 08:35

Despite the blandness of the OH volumes on Ultra, some facts did leak out, like having a month's notice of the Italian declaration of war and useful tactical and operational details like the positions of wolf packs. It also reminded me of a couple of anecdotes about Ultra information by unwitting sources in memoirs. I wouldn't deprecate Ultra or the British war effort that far. The British army that went to Normandy was the most mechanised and armoured army in history and pulled rather more than its own weight in the coalition. The principal offensive weapon of the British empire was Bomber Command, which in the spring-summer of 1943 began to devastate the German war economy.

The Soviet and then the US contributions to the war dwarfed the British empire but only relatively, it was still a superpower in 1945, though by the Suez crime it had become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Murder Inc.

LordUpminster ID7678903 11 Oct 2015 04:04

And no doubt the establishment will continue to play such dirty tricks to undermine our so called democracy

Not the slightest: according to our friend jamesforysthe below that's essentially what they're for.

Re. the Zinoviev letter, I did see one theory many years ago that the man behind it was the then-Polish Army Minister Władysław Sikorski, the one who later headed the Polish exile government in London and was killed in an air crash. Certainly in October 1924 he was bragging to people in governmental circles in Warsaw that it was his agents who had arranged it - though why exactly is not easy to see, given that Poland had no particular political interest in Britain at the time. I suspect that it was empty boasting, and that it was Russian emigrés who were responsible.

Coming up soon: conclusive proof that Jeremy Corbyn was once an agent of the Tsarist Okhrana.

Brian Milne 11 Oct 2015 04:00

Had Labour won, thus Baldwin, MacDonald, Baldwin, Chamberlain probably not have been the course of politics, would the UK necessarily have moved further left? The question remains to be seen, but unless somebody more genuinely socialist had replaced MacDonald probably not. However, the outcome may well have been a far more amicable relationship with the Soviet Union, the Versailles Treaty and League of Nations possibly better conformed to and the rise of Hitler less likely. The Zinoviev letter may well have been as much a contributory denominator in that than is implied. Of course, we hall never know really, only historians expounding their own theories and interpretations of history.

samuel glover -> jamesforsythe 11 Oct 2015 01:43

"Some brilliant espionage across the Middle-east and Israel is precisely what's needed to bring these politically infantile areas into western like democratic administrations, this century, not next. And with fewer wars. "

First, you think western intelligence agencies **haven't** been prominent in the history of that region?!?!?

Second, you think these same agencies are capable of just whipping up entire social and political structures and cultures on demand? Do you read newspapers?

Remember that these agencies -- in America, in Britain, in every NATO country -- spent decades and billions of dollars and billions of man-hours staring obsessively at the USSR. EVERY ONE of them was completely blindsided when the Soviet Union folded up.

error418 -> jamesforsythe 10 Oct 2015 23:21

"Our" best interests or that intelligence service´s best interests? ISI in Pakistan is a good example of such a service gone rogue. Experts in election rigging.

Frisco27 10 Oct 2015 19:06

"Sexing up" documents? What a scumbag... That would never happen these days.

[Dec 24, 2018] Income inequality happens by design. We cant fix it by tweaking capitalism

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Stocks have always been "a legal form of gambling". What is happening now however, is that a pair of treys can beat out your straight flush. Companies that have never turned a profit fetch huge prices on the stock market. ..."
"... The stock market suckered millions in before 2008 and then prices plummeted. Where did the money from grandpa's pension fund go? ..."
"... Abraham Lincoln said that the purpose of government is to do for people what they cannot do for themselves. Government also should serve to keep people from hurting themselves and to restrain man's greed, which otherwise cannot be self-controlled. Anyone who seeks to own productive power that they cannot or won't use for consumption are beggaring their neighbor––the equivalency of mass murder––the impact of concentrated capital ownership. ..."
"... family wealth" predicts outcomes for 10 to 15 generations. Those with extreme wealth owe it to events going back "300 to 450" years ago, according to research published by the New Republic – an era when it wasn't unusual for white Americans to benefit from an economy dependent upon widespread, unpaid black labor in the form of slavery. ..."
"... Correction: The average person in poverty in the U.S. does not live in the same abject, third world poverty as you might find in Honduras, Central African Republic, Cambodia, or the barrios of Sao Paulo. ..."
"... Since our poor don't live in abject poverty, I invite you to live as a family of four on less than $11,000 a year anywhere in the United States. If you qualify and can obtain subsidized housing you may have some of the accoutrements in your home that you seem to equate with living the high life. You know, running water, a fridge, a toilet, a stove. You would also likely have a phone (subsidized at that) so you might be able to participate (or attempt to participate) in the job market in an honest attempt to better your family's economic prospects and as is required to qualify for most assistance programs. ..."
"... So many dutiful neoliberals on here rushing to the defense of poor Capitalism. Clearly, these commentators are among those who are in the privileged position of reaping the true benefits of Capitalism - And, of course, there are many benefits to reap if you are lucky enough to be born into the right racial-socioeconomic context. ..."
"... Please walk us through how non-capitalist systems create wealth and allow their lowest class people propel themselves to the top in one generation. You will note that most socialist systems derive their technology and advancements from the more capitalistic systems. Pharmaceuticals, software, and robotics are a great example of this. I shutter to think of what the welfare of the average citizen of the world would be like without the advancements made via the capitalist countries. ..."
Dec 05, 2015 | The Guardian

The poorest Americans have no realistic hope of achieving anything that approaches income equality. They still struggle for access to the basics

... ... ...

The disparities in wealth that we term "income inequality" are no accident, and they can't be fixed by fiddling at the edges of our current economic system. These disparities happened by design, and the system structurally disadvantages those at the bottom. The poorest Americans have no realistic hope of achieving anything that approaches income equality; even their very chances for access to the most basic tools of life are almost nil.

... ... ...

Too often, the answer by those who have hoarded everything is they will choose to "give back" in a manner of their choosing – just look at Mark Zuckerberg and his much-derided plan to "give away" 99% of his Facebook stock. He is unlikely to help change inequality or poverty any more than "giving away" of $100m helped children in Newark schools.

Allowing any of the 100 richest Americans to choose how they fix "income inequality" will not make the country more equal or even guarantee more access to life. You can't take down the master's house with the master's tools, even when you're the master; but more to the point, who would tear down his own house to distribute the bricks among so very many others?

mkenney63 5 Dec 2015 20:37

Excellent article. The problems we face are structural and can only be solved by making fundamental changes. We must bring an end to "Citizens United", modern day "Jim Crow" and the military industrial complex in order to restore our democracy. Then maybe, just maybe, we can have an economic system that will treat all with fairness and respect. Crony capitalism has had its day, it has mutated into criminality.

Kencathedrus -> Marcedward 5 Dec 2015 20:23

In the pre-capitalist system people learnt crafts to keep themselves afloat. The Industrial Revolution changed all that. Now we have the church of Education promising a better life if we get into debt to buy (sorry, earn) degrees.

The whole system is messed up and now we have millions of people on this planet who can't function even those with degrees. Barbarians are howling at the gates of Europe. The USA is rotting from within. As Marx predicted the Capitalists are merely paying their own grave diggers.

mkenney63 -> Bobishere 5 Dec 2015 20:17

I would suggest you read the economic and political history of the past 30 years. To help you in your study let me recommend a couple of recent books: "Winner Take all Politics" by Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson and "The Age of Acquiescence" by Steve Fraser. It always amazes me that one can be so blind the facts of recent American history; it's not just "a statistical inequality", it's been a well thought-out strategy over time to rig the system, a strategy engaged in by politicians and capitalists. Shine some light on this issue by acquainting yourself with the facts.


Maharaja Brovinda -> Singh Jill Harrison 5 Dec 2015 19:42

We play out the prisoner's dilemma in life, in general, over and over in different circumstances, every day. And we always choose the dominant - rational - solution. But the best solution is not based on rationality, but rather on trust and faith in each other - rather ironically for our current, evidence based society!


Steven Palmer 5 Dec 2015 19:19

Like crack addicts the philanthropricks only seek to extend their individual glory, social image their primary goal, and yet given the context they will burn in history. Philanthroptits should at least offset the immeasurable damage they have done through their medieval wealth accumulation. Collaborative philanthropy for basic income is a good idea, but ye, masters tools.


BlairM -> Iconoclastick 5 Dec 2015 19:10

Well, to paraphrase Winston Churchill, capitalism is the worst possible economic system, except for all those other economic systems that have been tried from time to time.

I'd rather just have the freedom to earn money as I please, and if that means inequality, it's a small price to pay for not having some feudal lord or some party bureaucrat stomping on my humanity.

brusuz 5 Dec 2015 18:52

As long as wealth can be created by shuffling money from one place to another in the giant crap shoot we call our economy, nothing will change. Until something takes place to make it advantageous for the investor capitalists to put that money to work doing something that actually produces some benefit to the society as a whole, they will continue their extractive machinations. I see nothing on the horizon that is going to change any of that, and to cast this as some sort of a racial issue is quite superficial. We have all gotten the shaft, since there is no upward mobility available to anyone. Since the Bush crowd of neocons took power, we have all been shackled with "individual solutions to societal created problems."

Jimi Del Duca 5 Dec 2015 18:31

Friends, Capitalism is structural exploitation of ALL WORKERS. Thinking about it as solely a race issue is divisive. What we need is CLASS SOLIDARITY and ORGANIZATION. See iww.org We are the fighting union with no use for capitalists!

slightlynumb -> AmyInNH 5 Dec 2015 18:04

You'd be better off reading Marx if you want to understand capitalism. I think you are ascribing the word to what you think it should be rather than what it is.

It is essentially a class structure rather than any defined economic system. Neoliberal is essentially laissez faire capitalism. It is designed to suborn nation states to corporate benefit.

AmyInNH -> tommydog

They make $40 a month. Working 7 days a week. At least 12 hour days. Who's fed you that "we're doing them a favor" BS?

And I've news for you regarding "Those whose skills are less adaptable to doing so are seeing their earnings decline." We have many people who have 3 masters degrees making less than minimum wage. We have top notch STEM students shunned so corporations can hire captive/cheaper foreign labor, called H1-Bs, who then wait 10 years working for them waiting for their employment based green card. Or "visiting" students here on J1 visas, so the employers can get out of paying: social security, federal unemployment insurance, etc.

Wake up and smell the coffee tommydog. They've more than a thumb on the scale.

seamanbodine,
I am a socialist. I decided to read this piece to see if Mr. Thrasher could write about market savagery without propounding the fiction that whites are somehow exempt from the effects of it.

No, he could not. I clicked on the link accompanying his assertion that whites who are high school dropouts earn more than blacks with college degrees, and I read the linked piece in full. The linked piece does not in fact compare income (i.e., yearly earnings) of white high school dropouts with those of black college graduates, but it does compare family wealth across racial cohorts (though not educational ones), and the gap there is indeed stark, with average white family wealth in the six figures (full disclosure, I am white, and my personal wealth is below zero, as I owe more in student loans than I own, so perhaps I am not really white, or I do not fully partake of "whiteness," or whatever), and average black family wealth in the four figures.

The reason for this likely has a lot to do with home ownership disparities, which in turn are linked in significant part to racist redlining practices. So white dropouts often live in homes their parents or grandparents bought, while many black college graduates whose parents were locked out of home ownership by institutional racism and, possibly, the withering of manufacturing jobs just as the northward migration was beginning to bear some economic fruit for black families, are still struggling to become homeowners. Thus, the higher average wealth for the dropout who lives in a family owned home.

But this is not what Mr. Thrasher wrote. He specifically used the words "earn more," creating the impression that some white ignoramus is simply going to stumble his way into a higher salary than a cultivated, college educated black person. That is simply not the case, and the difference does matter.

Why does it matter? Because I regularly see middle aged whites who are broken and homeless on the streets of the town where I live, and I know they are simply the tip of a growing mountain of privation. Yeah, go ahead, call it white tears if you want, but if you cannot see that millions (including, of course, not simply folks who are out and out homeless, but folks who are struggling to get enough to eat and routinely go without needed medication and medical care) of people who have "white privilege" are indeed oppressed by global capitalism then I would say that you are, at the end of the day, NO BETTER THAN THE WHITES YOU DISDAIN.

If you have read this far, then you realize that I am in no way denying the reality of structural racism. But an account of economic savagery that entirely subsumes it into non-economic categories (race, gender, age), that refuses to acknowledge that blacks can be exploiters and whites can be exploited, is simply conservatism by other means. One gets the sense that if we have enough black millionaires and enough whites dying of things like a lack of medical care, then this might bring just a little bit of warmth to the hearts of people like Mr. Thrasher.

Call it what you want, but don't call it progressive. Maybe it is historical karma. Which is understandable, as there is no reason why globally privileged blacks in places like the U.S. or Great Britain should bear the burden of being any more selfless or humane than globally privileged whites are or have been. The Steven Thrashers of humanity are certainly no worse than many of the whites they cannot seem to recognize as fully human are.

But nor are they any better.
JohnLG 5 Dec 2015 17:23

I agree that the term "income inequality" is so vague that falls between useless and diversionary, but so too is most use of the word "capitalism", or so it seems to me. Typically missing is a penetrating analysis of where the problem lies, a comprehensibly supported remedy, or large-scale examples of anything except what's not working. "Income inequality" is pretty abstract until we look specifically at the consequences for individuals and society, and take a comprehensive look at all that is unequal. What does "capitalism" mean? Is capitalism the root of all this? Is capitalism any activity undertaken for profit, or substantial monopolization of markets and power?

Power tends to corrupt. Money is a form of power, but there are others. The use of power to essentially cheat, oppress or kill others is corrupt, whether that power is in the form of a weapon, wealth, the powers of the state, or all of the above. Power is seductive and addictive. Even those with good intensions can be corrupted by an excess of power and insufficient accountability, while predators are drawn to power like sharks to blood. Democracy involves dispersion of power, ideally throughout a whole society. A constitutional democracy may offer protection even to minorities against a "tyranny of the majority" so long as a love of justice prevails. Selective "liberty and justice" is not liberty and justice at all, but rather a tyranny of the many against the few, as in racism, or of the few against the many, as by despots. Both forms reinforce each other in the same society, both are corrupt, and any "ism" can be corrupted by narcissism. To what degree is any society a shining example of government of, for, and by the people, and to what degree can one discover empirical evidence of corruption? What do we do about it?

AmyInNH -> CaptainGrey 5 Dec 2015 17:15

You're too funny. It's not "lifting billions out of poverty". It's moving malicious manufacturing practices to the other side of the planet. To the lands of no labor laws. To hide it from consumers. To hide profits.

And it is dying. Legislatively they choke off their natural competition, which is an essential element of capitalism. Monopoly isn't capitalism. And when they bribe legislators, we don't have democracy any more either.

Jeremiah2000 -> Teresa Trujillo 5 Dec 2015 16:53

Stocks have always been "a legal form of gambling". What is happening now however, is that a pair of treys can beat out your straight flush. Companies that have never turned a profit fetch huge prices on the stock market.

The stock market suckered millions in before 2008 and then prices plummeted. Where did the money from grandpa's pension fund go?

Gary Reber 5 Dec 2015 16:45

Abraham Lincoln said that the purpose of government is to do for people what they cannot do for themselves. Government also should serve to keep people from hurting themselves and to restrain man's greed, which otherwise cannot be self-controlled. Anyone who seeks to own productive power that they cannot or won't use for consumption are beggaring their neighbor––the equivalency of mass murder––the impact of concentrated capital ownership.

The words "OWN" and "ASSETS" are the key descriptors of the definition of wealth. But these words are not well understood by the vast majority of Americans or for that matter, global citizens. They are limited to the vocabulary used by the wealthy ownership class and financial publications, which are not widely read, and not even taught in our colleges and universities.

The wealthy ownership class did not become wealthy because they are "three times as smart." Still there is a valid argument that the vast majority of Americans do not pay particular attention to the financial world and educate themselves on wealth building within the current system's limited past-savings paradigm. Significantly, the wealthy OWNERSHIP class use their political power (power always follows property OWNERSHIP) to write the system rules to benefit and enhance their wealth. As such they have benefited from forging trade policy agreements which further concentrate OWNERSHIP on a global scale, military-industrial complex subsidies and government contracts, tax code provisions and loopholes and collective-bargaining rules – policy changes they've used their wealth to champion.

Gary Reber 5 Dec 2015 16:44

Unfortunately, when it comes to recommendations for solutions to economic inequality, virtually every commentator, politician and economist is stuck in viewing the world in one factor terms – human labor, in spite of their implied understanding that the rich are rich because they OWN the non-human means of production – physical capital. The proposed variety of wealth-building programs, like "universal savings accounts that might be subsidized for low-income savers," are not practical solutions because they rely on savings (a denial of consumption which lessens demand in the economy), which the vast majority of Americans do not have, and for those who can save their savings are modest and insignificant. Though, millions of Americans own diluted stock value through the "stock market exchanges," purchased with their earnings as labor workers (savings), their stock holdings are relatively minuscule, as are their dividend payments compared to the top 10 percent of capital owners. Pew Research found that 53 percent of Americans own no stock at all, and out of the 47 percent who do, the richest 5 percent own two-thirds of that stock. And only 10 percent of Americans have pensions, so stock market gains or losses don't affect the incomes of most retirees.

As for taxpayer-supported saving subsidies or other wage-boosting measures, those who have only their labor power and its precarious value held up by coercive rigging and who desperately need capital ownership to enable them to be capital workers (their productive assets applied in the economy) as well as labor workers to have a way to earn more income, cannot satisfy their unsatisfied needs and wants and sufficiently provide for themselves and their families. With only access to labor wages, the 99 percenters will continue, in desperation, to demand more and more pay for the same or less work, as their input is exponentially replaced by productive capital.

As such, the vast majority of American consumers will continue to be strapped to mounting consumer debt bills, stagnant wages and inflationary price pressures. As their ONLY source of income is through wage employment, economic insecurity for the 99 percent majority of people means they cannot survive more than a week or two without a paycheck. Thus, the production side of the economy is under-nourished and hobbled as a result, because there are fewer and fewer "customers with money." We thus need to free economic growth from the slavery of past savings.

I mentioned that political power follows property OWNERSHIP because with concentrated capital asset OWNERSHIP our elected representatives are far too often bought with the expectation that they protect and enhance the interests of the wealthiest Americans, the OWNERSHIP class they too overwhelmingly belong to.

Many, including the author of this article, have concluded that with such a concentrated OWNERSHIP stronghold the wealthy have on our politics, "it's hard to see where this cycle ends." The ONLY way to reverse this cycle and broaden capital asset OWNERSHIP universally is a political revolution. (Bernie Sanders, are you listening?)

The political revolution must address the problem of lack of demand. To create demand, the FUTURE economy must be financed in ways that create new capital OWNERS, who will benefit from the full earnings of the FUTURE productive capability of the American economy, and without taking from those who already OWN. This means significantly slowing the further concentration of capital asset wealth among those who are already wealthy and ensuring that the system is reformed to promote inclusive prosperity, inclusive opportunity, and inclusive economic justice.

yamialwaysright 5 Dec 2015 16:13

I was interested and in agreement until I read about structured racism. Many black kidsin the US grow up without a father in the house. They turn to anti-social behaviour and crime. Once you are poor it is hard to get out of being poor but Journalists are not doing justice to a critique of US Society if they ignore the fact that some people behave in a self-destructive way. I would imagine that if some black men in the US and the UK stuck with one woman and played a positive role in the life of their kids, those kids would have a better chance at life. People of different racial and ethnic origin do this also but there does seem to be a disproportionate problem with some black US men and some black UK men. Poverty is one problem but growing up in poverty and without a father figure adds to the problem.

What the author writes applies to other countries not just the US in relation to the super wealthy being a small proportion of the population yet having the same wealth as a high percentage of the population. This in not a black or latino issue but a wealth distribution issue that affects everyone irrespective of race or ethnic origin. The top 1%, 5% or 10% having most of the wealth is well-known in many countries.

nuthermerican4u 5 Dec 2015 15:59

Capitalism, especially the current vulture capitalism, is dog eat dog. Always was, always will be. My advice is that if you are a capitalist that values your heirs, invest in getting off this soon-to-be slag heap and find other planets to pillage and rape. Either go all out for capitalism or reign in this beast before it kills all of us.

soundofthesuburbs 5 Dec 2015 15:32

Our antiquated class structure demonstrates the trickle up of Capitalism and the need to counterbalance it with progressive taxation.

In the 1960s/1970s we used high taxes on the wealthy to counter balance the trickle up of Capitalism and achieved much greater equality.

Today we have low taxes on the wealthy and Capitalism's trickle up is widening the inequality gap.

We are cutting benefits for the disabled, poor and elderly so inequality can get wider and the idle rich can remain idle.

They have issued enough propaganda to make people think it's those at the bottom that don't work.

Every society since the dawn of civilization has had a Leisure Class at the top, in the UK we call them the Aristocracy and they have been doing nothing for centuries.

The UK's aristocracy has seen social systems come and go, but they all provide a life of luxury and leisure and with someone else doing all the work.

Feudalism - exploit the masses through land ownership
Capitalism - exploit the masses through wealth (Capital)

Today this is done through the parasitic, rentier trickle up of Capitalism:

a) Those with excess capital invest it and collect interest, dividends and rent.
b) Those with insufficient capital borrow money and pay interest and rent.

The system itself provides for the idle rich and always has done from the first civilisations right up to the 21st Century.

The rich taking from the poor is always built into the system, taxes and benefits are the counterbalance that needs to be applied externally.

Iconoclastick 5 Dec 2015 15:31

I often chuckle when I read some of the right wing comments on articles such as this. Firstly, I question if readers actually read the article references I've highlighted, before rushing to comment.

Secondly, the comments are generated by cifers who probably haven't set the world alight, haven't made a difference in their local community, they'll have never created thousands of jobs in order to reward themselves with huge dividends having and as a consequence enjoy spectacular asset/investment growth, at best they'll be chugging along, just about keeping their shit together and yet they support a system that's broken, other than for the one percent, of the one percent.

A new report from the Institute for Policy Studies issued this week analyzed the Forbes list of the 400 richest Americans and found that "the wealthiest 100 households now own about as much wealth as the entire African American population in the United States". That means that 100 families – most of whom are white – have as much wealth as the 41,000,000 black folks walking around the country (and the million or so locked up) combined.

Similarly, the report also stated that "the wealthiest 186 members of the Forbes 400 own as much wealth as the entire Latino population" of the nation. Here again, the breakdown in actual humans is broke down: 186 overwhelmingly white folks have more money than that an astounding 55,000,000 Latino people.

family wealth" predicts outcomes for 10 to 15 generations. Those with extreme wealth owe it to events going back "300 to 450" years ago, according to research published by the New Republic – an era when it wasn't unusual for white Americans to benefit from an economy dependent upon widespread, unpaid black labor in the form of slavery.

soundofthesuburbs -> soundofthesuburbs 5 Dec 2015 15:26

It is the 21st Century and most of the land in the UK is still owned by the descendants of feudal warlords that killed people and stole their land and wealth.

When there is no land to build houses for generation rent, land ownership becomes an issue.

David Cameron is married into the aristocracy and George Osborne is a member of the aristocracy, they must both be well acquainted with the Leisure Class.

I can't find any hard work going on looking at the Wikipedia page for David Cameron's father-in-law. His family have been on their estate since the sixteenth century and judging by today's thinking, expect to be on it until the end of time.

George Osborne's aristocratic pedigree goes back to the Tudor era:

"he is an aristocrat with a pedigree stretching back to early in the Tudor era. His father, Sir Peter Osborne, is the 17th holder of a hereditary baronetcy that has been passed from father to son for 10 generations, and of which George is next in line."

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/george-osborne-a-silver-spoon-for-the-golden-boy-2004814.html

soundofthesuburbs 5 Dec 2015 15:24

The working and middle classes toil to keep the upper class in luxury and leisure.

In the UK nothing has changed.

We call our Leisure Class the Aristocracy.

For the first time in five millennia of human civilisation some people at the bottom of society aren't working.

We can't have that; idleness is only for the rich.

It's the way it's always been and the way it must be again.

Did you think the upper; leisure class, social calendar disappeared in the 19th Century?
No it's alive and kicking in the 21st Century ....

Peer into the lives of today's Leisure Class with Tatler. http://www.tatler.com/the-season

If we have people at the bottom who are not working the whole of civilisation will be turned on its head.

"The modern industrial society developed from the barbarian tribal society, which featured a leisure class supported by subordinated working classes employed in economically productive occupations. The leisure class is composed of people exempted from manual work and from practicing economically productive occupations, because they belong to the leisure class."

The Theory of the Leisure Class: An Economic Study of Institutions, by Thorstein Veblen. It was written a long time ago but much of it is as true today as it was then. The Wikipedia entry gives a good insight.

DBChas 5 Dec 2015 15:13
"income inequality" is best viewed as structural capitalism. It's not as if, did black and brown people and female people somehow (miraculously) attain the economic status of the lower-paid, white, male person, the problem would be solved--simply by adjusting pay scales. The problem is inherent to capitalism, which doesn't mean certain "types" of people aren't more disadvantaged for their "type." No one is saying that. For capitalists, it's easier to rationalize the obscene unfairness (only rich people say, "life's not fair") when their "type" is regarded as superior to a different "type," whether that be with respect to color or gender or both.

Over time--a long time--the dominant party (white males since the Dark Ages, also the life-span of capitalism coincidentally enough) came to dominance by various means, too many to try to list, or even know of. Why white males? BTW, just because most in power and in money are white males does not mean ALL white males are in positions of power and wealth. Most are not, and these facts help to fog the issue.

Indeed, "income inequality," is not an accident, nor can it be fixed, as the author notes, by tweaking (presumably he means capitalism). And he's quite right too in saying, "You can't take down the master's house with the master's tools..." I take that ALSO to mean, the problem can't be fixed by way of what Hedges has called a collapsing liberal establishment with its various institutions, officially speaking. That is, it's not institutional racism that's collapsing, but that institution is not officially recognized as such.

HOWEVER, it IS possible, even when burdened with an economics that is capitalism, to redistribute wealth, and I don't just mean Mark Zuckerberg's. I mean all wealth in whatever form can be redistributed if/when government decides it can. And THIS TIME, unlike the 1950s-60s, not only would taxes on the wealthy be the same as then but the wealth redistributed would be redistributed to ALL, not just to white families, and perhaps in particular to red families, the oft forgotten ones.

This is a matter of political will. But, of course, if that means whites as the largest voting block insist on electing to office those without the political will, nothing will change. In that case, other means have to be considered, and just a reminder: If the government fails to serve the people, the Constitution gives to the people the right to depose that government. But again, if whites as the largest voting block AND as the largest sub-group in the nation (and women are the largest part of that block, often voting as their men vote--just the facts, please, however unpleasant) have little interest in seeing to making necessary changes at least in voting booths, then...what? Bolshevism or what? No one seems to know and it's practically taboo even to talk about possibilities. Americans did it once, but not inclusively and not even paid in many instances. When it happens again, it has to happen with and for the participation of ALL. And it's worth noting that it will have to happen again, because capitalism by its very nature cannot survive itself. That is, as Marx rightly noted, capitalism will eventually collapse by dint of its internal contradictions.


mbidding Jeremiah2000 5 Dec 2015 15:08

Correction: The average person in poverty in the U.S. does not live in the same abject, third world poverty as you might find in Honduras, Central African Republic, Cambodia, or the barrios of Sao Paulo.

Since our poor don't live in abject poverty, I invite you to live as a family of four on less than $11,000 a year anywhere in the United States. If you qualify and can obtain subsidized housing you may have some of the accoutrements in your home that you seem to equate with living the high life. You know, running water, a fridge, a toilet, a stove. You would also likely have a phone (subsidized at that) so you might be able to participate (or attempt to participate) in the job market in an honest attempt to better your family's economic prospects and as is required to qualify for most assistance programs.

Consider as well that you don't have transportation to get a job that would improve your circumstances. You earn too much to qualify for meaningful levels of food support programs and fall into the insurance gap for subsidies because you live in a state that for ideological reasons refuses to expand Medicaid coverage. Your local schools are a disgrace but you can't take advantage of so-called school choice programs (vouchers, charters, and the like) as you don't have transportation or the time (given your employer's refusal to set fixed working hours for minimum wage part time work) to get your kids to that fine choice school.

You may have a fridge and a stove, but you have no food to cook. You may have access to running water and electricity, but you can't afford to pay the bills for such on account of having to choose between putting food in that fridge or flushing that toilet. You can't be there reliably for your kids to help with school, etc, because you work constantly shifting hours for crap pay.

Get back to me after six months to a year after living in such circumstances and then tell me again how Americans don't really live in poverty simply because they have access to appliances.


Earl Shelton 5 Dec 2015 15:08

The Earned Income Tax Credit seems to me a good starting point for reform. It has been around since the 70s -- conceived by Nixon/Moynihan -- and signed by socialist (kidding) Gerald Ford -- it already *redistributes* income (don't choke on the term, O'Reilly) directly from tax revenue (which is still largely progressive) to the working poor, with kids.

That program should be massively expanded to tax the 1% -- and especially the top 1/10 of 1% (including a wealth tax) -- and distribute the money to the bottom half of society, mostly in the form of work training, child care and other things that help put them in and keep them in the middle class. It is a mechanism already in existence to correct the worst ravages of Capitalism. Use it to build shared prosperity.


oKWJNRo 5 Dec 2015 14:40

So many dutiful neoliberals on here rushing to the defense of poor Capitalism. Clearly, these commentators are among those who are in the privileged position of reaping the true benefits of Capitalism - And, of course, there are many benefits to reap if you are lucky enough to be born into the right racial-socioeconomic context.

We can probably all agree that Capitalism has brought about widespread improvements in healthcare, education, living conditions, for example, compared to the feudal system that preceded it... But it also disproportionately benefits the upper echelons of Capitalist societies and is wholly unequal by design.

Capitalism depends upon the existence of a large underclass that can be exploited. This is part of the process of how surplus value is created and wealth is extracted from labour. This much is indisputable. It is therefore obvious that capitalism isn't an ideal system for most of us living on this planet.

As for the improvements in healthcare, education, living conditions etc that Capitalism has fostered... Most of these were won through long struggles against the Capitalist hegemony by the masses. We would have certainly chosen to make these improvements to our landscape sooner if Capitalism hadn't made every effort to stop us. The problem today is that Capitalism and its powerful beneficiaries have successfully convinced us that there is no possible alternative. It won't give us the chance to try or even permit us to believe there could be another, better way.

Martin Joseph -> realdoge 5 Dec 2015 14:33

Please walk us through how non-capitalist systems create wealth and allow their lowest class people propel themselves to the top in one generation. You will note that most socialist systems derive their technology and advancements from the more capitalistic systems. Pharmaceuticals, software, and robotics are a great example of this.

I shutter to think of what the welfare of the average citizen of the world would be like without the advancements made via the capitalist countries.

VWFeature 5 Dec 2015 14:29

Markets, economies and tax systems are created by people, and based on rules they agree on. Those rules can favor general prosperity or concentration of wealth. Destruction and predation are easier than creation and cooperation, so our rules have to favor cooperation if we want to avoid predation and destructive conflicts.

In the 1930's the US changed many of those rules to favor general prosperity. Since then they've been gradually changed to favor wealth concentration and predation. They can be changed back.

The trick is creating a system that encourages innovation while putting a safety net under the population so failure doesn't end in starvation.

A large part of our current problems is the natural tendency for large companies to get larger and larger until their failure would adversely affect too many others, so they're not allowed to fail. Tax law, not antitrust law, has to work against this. If a company can reduce its tax rate by breaking into 20 smaller (still huge) companies, then competition is preserved and no one company can dominate and control markets.

Robert Goldschmidt -> Jake321 5 Dec 2015 14:27

Bernie Sanders has it right on -- we can only heal our system by first having millions rise up and demand an end to the corruption of the corporations controlling our elected representatives. Corporations are not people and money is not speech.

moonwrap02 5 Dec 2015 14:26

The effects of wealth distribution has far reaching consequences. It is not just about money, but creating a fair society - one that is co-operative and cohesive. The present system has allowed an ever divide between the rich and poor, creating a two tier society where neither the twain shall meet. The rich and poor are almost different species on the planet and no longer belong to the same community. Commonality of interest is lost and so it's difficult to form community and to have good, friendly relationships across class differences that are that large.

"If capitalism is to be seen to be fair, the same rules are to apply to the big guy as to the little guy,"

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/2-charts-that-show-what-the-world-really-thinks-about-capitalism-a6719851.html


Jeremiah2000 -> bifess 5 Dec 2015 14:17

Sorry. I get it now. You actually think that because the Washington elite has repealed Glass-Steagel that we live in a unregulated capitalistic system.

This is so far from the truth that I wasn't comprehending that anyone could think that. You can see the graph of pages published in the Federal Register here. Unregulated capitalism? Wow.

Dodd Frank was passed in 2010 (without a single Republican vote). Originally it was 2,300 pages. It is STILL being written by nameless bureaucrats and is over 20,000 pages. Unregulated capitalism? Really?

But the reality is that Goliath is conspiring with the government to regulate what size sling David can use and how many stones and how many ounces.

So we need more government regulations? They will disallow David from anything but spitwads and only two of those.


neuronmaker -> AmyInNH 5 Dec 2015 14:16

Do you understand the concept of corporations which are products of capitalism?

The legal institutions within each capitalist corporations and nations are just that, they are capitalist and all about making profits.

The law is made by the rich capitalists and for the rich capitalists. Each Legislation is a link in the chain of economic slavery by capitalists.

Capitalism and the concept of money is a construction of the human mind, as it does not exist in the natural world. This construction is all about using other human beings like blood suckers to sustain a cruel and evil life style - with blood and brutality as the core ideology.


Marcedward -> MarjaE 5 Dec 2015 14:12

I would agree that our system of help for the less-well-off could be more accessible and more generous, but that doesn't negate that point that there is a lot of help out there - the most important help being that totally free educational system. Think about it, a free education, and to get the most out of it a student merely has to show up, obey the rules, do the homework and study for tests. It's all laid out there for the kids like a helicopter mom laying out her kids clothes. How much easier can we make it? If people can't be bothered to show up and put in effort, how is their failure based on racism


tommydog -> martinusher 5 Dec 2015 14:12

As you are referring to Carlos Slim, interestingly while he is Mexican by birth his parents were both Lebanese.

slightlynumb -> AmyInNH 5 Dec 2015 14:12

Why isn't that capitalism? It's raw capitalism on steroids.

Zara Von Fritz -> Toughspike 5 Dec 2015 14:12

It's an equal opportunity plantation now.

Robert Goldschmidt 5 Dec 2015 14:11

The key to repairing the system is to identify the causes of our problems.

Here is my list:

The information technology revolution which continues to destroy wages by enabling automation and outsourcing.

The reformation of monopolies which price gouge and block innovation.

Hitting ecological limits such as climate change, water shortages, unsustainable farming.

Then we can make meaningful changes such as regulation of the portion of corporate profit that are pay, enforcement of national and regional antitrust laws and an escalating carbon tax.

Zara Von Fritz -> PostCorbyn 5 Dec 2015 14:11

If you can believe these quality of life or happiness indexes they put out so often, the winners tend to be places that have nice environments and a higher socialist mix in their economy. Of course there are examples of poor countries that practice the same but its not clear that their choice is causal rather than reactive.

We created this mess and we can fix it.

Zara Von Fritz -> dig4victory 5 Dec 2015 14:03

Yes Basic Income is possibly the mythical third way. It socialises wealth to a point but at the same time frees markets from their obligation to perpetually grow and create jobs for the sake of jobs and also hereford reduces the subsequent need for governments to attempt to control them beyond maintaining their health.

Zara Von Fritz 5 Dec 2015 13:48

As I understand it, you don't just fiddle with capitalism, you counteract it, or counterweight it. A level of capitalism, or credit accumulation, and a level of socialism has always existed, including democracy which is a manifestation of socialism (1 vote each). So the project of capital accumulation seems to be out of control because larger accumulations become more powerful and meanwhile the power of labour in the marketplace has become less so due to forces driving unemployment. The danger is that capital's power to control the democratic system reaches a point of no return.


Jeremiah2000 -> bifess 5 Dec 2015 13:42

"I do not have the economic freedom to grow my own food because i do not have access to enough land to grow it and i do not have the economic clout to buy a piece of land."

Economic freedom does NOT mean you get money for free. It means that means that if you grow food for personal use, the federal government doesn't trash the Constitution by using the insterstate commerce clause to say that it can regulate how much you grow on your own personal land.

Economic freedom means that if you have a widget, you can choose to set the price for $10 or $100 and that a buyer is free to buy it from you or not buy it from you. It does NOT mean that you are entitled to "free" widgets.

"If capitalism has not managed to eradicate poverty in rich first world countries then just what chance if there of capitalism eradicating poverty on a global scale?"

The average person in poverty in the U.S. doesn't live in poverty:

In fact, 80.9 percent of households below the poverty level have cell phones, and a healthy majority-58.2 percent-have computers.

Fully 96.1 percent of American households in "poverty" have a television to watch, and 83.2 percent of them have a video-recording device in case they cannot get home in time to watch the football game or their favorite television show and they want to record it for watching later.

Refrigerators (97.8 percent), gas or electric stoves (96.6 percent) and microwaves (93.2 percent) are standard equipment in the homes of Americans in "poverty."

More than 83 percent have air-conditioning.

Interestingly, the appliances surveyed by the Census Bureau that households in poverty are least likely to own are dish washers (44.9 percent) and food freezers (26.2 percent).

However, most Americans in "poverty" do not need to go to a laundromat. According to the Census Bureau, 68.7 percent of households in poverty have a clothes washer and 65.3 percent have a clothes dryer.

(Data from the U.S. census.)

[Dec 22, 2018] Briefing note on the Integrity Initiative

Dec 22, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Sasha , Dec 22, 2018 10:38:52 AM | link

I do not know if this was included in "b"´s reports on Integrity Initiative, but worth the hour of reading ( without linking the hyeprlinks )

Briefing note on the Integrity Initiative

From what I have understood ( and as well you will, by extensive reading ) this, and other till now seeminlgy unknown initiatives, is the source

[Dec 22, 2018] It seems that the British government was prepared well in advance for the sudden attack on Skripal.

Notable quotes:
"... We can be actually confident not just that the journalists in the MSM are on the payroll but that the invoices and accounts for their bribes are carefully preserved. Murray's blog is almost always worth following, just as 'b's is. Yesterday more news about the Skripal case emerged: it seems that the British government was prepared well in advance for the sudden attack on Skripal. ..."
Dec 22, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

bevin , Dec 22, 2018 9:33:42 AM | link

The journalism scandals are just beginning.

Craig Murray today publishes accounts from the "Integrity Initiative" showing that journalists in Scotland are receiving retainers of 2500 a month Sterling, plus expenses and payment for actual articles published.

And if this is going on in Scotland we can be quite sure that it is actually happening in North America and Europe, generally, and, of course, in the less prosperous parts of the world where standards of integrity are just as low as they are hereabouts.

We can be actually confident not just that the journalists in the MSM are on the payroll but that the invoices and accounts for their bribes are carefully preserved. Murray's blog is almost always worth following, just as 'b's is. Yesterday more news about the Skripal case emerged: it seems that the British government was prepared well in advance for the sudden attack on Skripal.

What we are witnessing is the complete incompetence of those running the Empire. While malicious, indeed deadly, they simply cannot keep up with the critics of imperialism. Their power rests entirely on their ability to use force, both physical and financial. Their attempts to use social medias to their advantage are lame and ineffective. It seems clear to me that they will soon be reduced to using their power not just to hobble but to cripple critics- net neutrality is already finished.


BM , Dec 22, 2018 9:43:31 AM | link

it seems that the British government was prepared well in advance for the sudden attack on Skripal.
Posted by: bevin | Dec 22, 2018 9:33:42 AM | 12

That is a development. Can you give us a link, Bevin?

spudski , Dec 22, 2018 10:03:23 AM | link

BM, I think bevin was referring to the last two articles at https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/

Sasha , Dec 22, 2018 10:38:52 AM | link

I do not know if this was included in "b"´s reports on Integrity Initiative, but worth the hour of reading ( without linking the hyeprlinks )

Briefing note on the Integrity Initiative

From what I have understood ( and as well you will, by extensive reading ) this, and other till now seeminlgy unknown initiatives, is the source of the whole Russian meddling campaign, and Skripal and other "poisonings" issue, the rise of neonazis in Ukraine and the rest of Europe, the provocations in the Kerch Strait, various "colour revolutions" along European history, "independentist movements" and last wars in Europe and the Middle East, or money laundering schemes for unconfessable activities, with special chapter dedicated to the recruiting, conditioning and military trainning of Muslim youth from disadvantaged outcomes/neighborhoods to alleged "increase of opportunities", which has all the look of the formation of our well know "proxy" army to use in the Middle East and various "terrorist attacks" in European soil, where the perpetrators always resulted having a close relation, or were "well known" with the intelligence services.

[Dec 22, 2018] Craig Murray s latest provides convincing evidence that whatever happened to the Skripals in Salisbury was part of the Integrity Initiative s propaganda campaign against Russia.

Notable quotes:
"... The list is headed CND gen list 2. CND is Christopher Nigel Donnelly, Director of the Institute for Statecraft and the Integrity Initiative and a very senior career Military Intelligence Officer. ..."
"... Murder in Samarkand ..."
"... Now let us tie that in with the notorious name further down the list; Pablo Miller, the long-term MI6 handler of Sergei Skripal, who lived in Salisbury with Skripal. Miller is the man who was, within 24 hours of the Skripal attack, protected by a D(SMA) notice banning the media from mentioning him. Here Pablo Miller is actively involved, alongside serving FCO and MOD staff, in a government funded organisation whose avowed intention is to spread disinformation about Russia. The story that Miller is in an inactive retirement is immediately and spectacularly exploded. ..."
"... Now look at another name on this list. Howard Body. Assistant Head of Science Support at Porton Down chemical weapon research laboratory, just six miles away from Salisbury and the Skripal attack, a role he took up in December 2017. He combines this role with Assistant Head of Strategic Analysis at MOD London. "Science Support" at Porton Down is a euphemism for political direction to the scientists – Body has no scientific qualifications. ..."
"... Zachary Harkenrider is the Political Counsellor at the US Embassy in London. There are normally at least two Political Counsellors at an Embassy this size, one of whom will normally be the CIA Head of Station. I do not know if Harkenrider is CIA but it seems highly likely. ..."
"... So what do we have here? We have a programme, the Integrity Initiative, whose entire purpose is to pump out covert disinformation against Russia, through social media and news stories secretly paid for by the British government. And we have the Skripals' MI6 handler, the BBC, Porton Down, the FCO, the MOD and the US Embassy, working together in a group under the auspices of the Integrity Initiative. The Skripal Case happened to occur shortly after a massive increase in the Integrity Initiative's budget and activity, which itself was a small part of a British Government decision to ramp up a major information war against Russia. ..."
"... Working Group on Syria, Media, and the Propaganda ..."
Dec 22, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

lysias , Dec 21, 2018 1:58:07 PM | link

Craig Murray's latest provides convincing evidence that whatever happened to the Skripals in Salisbury was part of the Integrity Initiative's propaganda campaign against Russia.

British Government Covert Anti-Russian Propaganda and the Skripal Case - Craig Murray

It is worth starting by noting that a high percentage of the Integrity Initiative archive has been authenticated. The scheme has been admitted by the FCO and defended as legitimate government activity. Individual items like the minutes of the meeting with David Leask are authenticated. Not one of the documents has so far been disproven, or even denied.

Which tends to obscure some of the difficulties with the material. There is no metadata showing when each document was created, as opposed to when Anonymous made it into a PDF. Anonymous have released it in tranches and made plain there is more to come. The reason for this methodology is left obscure.

Most frustratingly, Anonymous' comments on the releases indicate that they have vital information which is not, so far, revealed. The most important document of all appears to be a simple contact list, of a particular group within the hundreds of contacts revealed in the papers overall. This is it in full:

Tantalisingly, Anonymous describe this as a list of people who attended a meeting with the White Helmets. But there is no evidence of that in the document itself, nor does any other document released so far refer to this meeting. There is very little in the documents released so far about the White Helmets at all. But there is a huge amount about the Skripal case. With the greatest of respect to Anonymous and pending any release of further evidence, I want you to consider whether this might be a document related to the Skripal incident.

The list is headed CND gen list 2. CND is Christopher Nigel Donnelly, Director of the Institute for Statecraft and the Integrity Initiative and a very senior career Military Intelligence Officer.

The first name on the list caught my eye. Duncan Allan was the young FCO Research Analyst who, as detailed in Murder in Samarkand, appears in my Ambassadorial office in Tashkent, telling me of the FCO staff who had been left in tears by the pressure put on them to sign up to Blair's dodgy dossier on Iraqi WMD. During the process of clearing the manuscript with the FCO, I was told (though not by him) that he denied having ever said it. It was one of a very few instances where I refused to make the changes requested to the text, because I had no doubt whatsoever of what had been said.

If Duncan did lie about having told me, it did his career no harm as he is now Deputy Head of FCO Research Analysts and, most importantly, the FCO's lead analyst on Russia and the Former Soviet Union.

Now let us tie that in with the notorious name further down the list; Pablo Miller, the long-term MI6 handler of Sergei Skripal, who lived in Salisbury with Skripal. Miller is the man who was, within 24 hours of the Skripal attack, protected by a D(SMA) notice banning the media from mentioning him. Here Pablo Miller is actively involved, alongside serving FCO and MOD staff, in a government funded organisation whose avowed intention is to spread disinformation about Russia. The story that Miller is in an inactive retirement is immediately and spectacularly exploded.

Now look at another name on this list. Howard Body. Assistant Head of Science Support at Porton Down chemical weapon research laboratory, just six miles away from Salisbury and the Skripal attack, a role he took up in December 2017. He combines this role with Assistant Head of Strategic Analysis at MOD London. "Science Support" at Porton Down is a euphemism for political direction to the scientists – Body has no scientific qualifications.

Another element brought into this group is the state broadcaster, through Helen Boaden, the former Head of BBC News and Current Affairs.

In all there are six serving MOD staff on the list, all either in Intelligence or in PR. Intriguingly one of them, Ian Cohen, has email addresses both at the MOD and at the notoriously corrupt HSBC bank. The other FCO name besides Duncan Allan, Adam Rutland, is also on the PR side.

Zachary Harkenrider is the Political Counsellor at the US Embassy in London. There are normally at least two Political Counsellors at an Embassy this size, one of whom will normally be the CIA Head of Station. I do not know if Harkenrider is CIA but it seems highly likely.

So what do we have here? We have a programme, the Integrity Initiative, whose entire purpose is to pump out covert disinformation against Russia, through social media and news stories secretly paid for by the British government. And we have the Skripals' MI6 handler, the BBC, Porton Down, the FCO, the MOD and the US Embassy, working together in a group under the auspices of the Integrity Initiative. The Skripal Case happened to occur shortly after a massive increase in the Integrity Initiative's budget and activity, which itself was a small part of a British Government decision to ramp up a major information war against Russia.

I find that very interesting indeed.

With a hat-tip to members of the Working Group on Syria, Media, and the Propaganda, who are preparing a major and important publication which is imminent. UPDATE Their extremely important briefing note on the Integrity Initiative is now online, prepared to the highest standards of academic discipline. I shall be drawing on and extrapolating from it further next week.

[Dec 22, 2018] If Truth Cannot Prevail Over Material Agendas We Are Doomed by Paul Craig Roberts

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... In his just published book, War With Russia? ..."
"... To paraphrase Putin: "You are making Russia a threat by declaring us to be one, by discarding facts and substituting orchestrated opinions that your propagandistic media establish as fact via endless repetition." ..."
"... Cohen is correct that during the Cold War every US president worked to defuse tensions, especially Republican ones. Since the Clinton regime every US president has worked to create tensions. What explains this dangerous change in approach? The end of the Cold War was disadvantageous to the military/security complex whose budget and power had waxed from decades of cold war. Suddenly the enemy that had bestowed such wealth and prestige on the military/security complex disappeared. ..."
"... The New Cold War is the result of the military/security complex's resurrection of the enemy. In a democracy with independent media and scholars, this would not have been possible. But the Clinton regime permitted in violation of anti-trust laws 90% of the US media to be concentrated in the hands of six mega-corporations, thus destroying an independence already undermined by the CIA's successful use of the CIA's media assets to control explanations. Many books have been written about the CIA's use of the media, including Udo Ulfkotte's "Bought Journalism," the English edition of which was quickly withdrawn and burned. ..."
www.theamericanconservative.com
Dec 22, 2018 |

Throughout the long Cold War Stephen Cohen, professor of Russian studies at Princeton University and New York University was a voice of reason. He refused to allow his patriotism to blind him to Washington's contribution to the conflict and to criticize only the Soviet contribution. Cohen's interest was not to blame the enemy but to work toward a mutual understanding that would remove the threat of nuclear war. Although a Democrat and left-leaning, Cohen would have been at home in the Reagan administration, as Reagan's first priority was to end the Cold War. I know this because I was part of the effort. Pat Buchanan will tell you the same thing.

In 1974 a notorious cold warrior, Albert Wohlstetter, absurdly accused the CIA of underestimating the Soviet threat. As the CIA had every incentive for reasons of budget and power to overestimate the Soviet threat, and today the "Russian threat," Wohlstetter's accusation made no sense on its face. However he succeeded in stirring up enough concern that CIA director George H.W. Bush, later Vice President and President, agreed to a Team B to investigate the CIA's assessment, headed by the Russiaphobic Harvard professor Richard Pipes. Team B concluded that the Soviets thought they could win a nuclear war and were building the forces with which to attack the US.

The report was mainly nonsense, and it must have have troubled Stephen Cohen to experience the setback to negotiations that Team B caused.

Today Cohen is stressed that it is the United States that thinks it can win a nuclear war. Washington speaks openly of using "low yield" nuclear weapons, and intentionally forecloses any peace negotiations with Russia with a propaganda campaign against Russia of demonization, vilification, and transparent lies, while installing missile bases on Russia's borders and while talking of incorporating former parts of Russia into NATO. In his just published book, War With Russia? , which I highly recommend, Cohen makes a convincing case that Washington is asking for war.

I agree with Cohen that if Russia is a threat it is only because the US is threatening Russia. The stupidity of the policy toward Russia is creating a Russian threat. Putin keeps emphasizing this. To paraphrase Putin: "You are making Russia a threat by declaring us to be one, by discarding facts and substituting orchestrated opinions that your propagandistic media establish as fact via endless repetition."

Cohen is correct that during the Cold War every US president worked to defuse tensions, especially Republican ones. Since the Clinton regime every US president has worked to create tensions. What explains this dangerous change in approach? The end of the Cold War was disadvantageous to the military/security complex whose budget and power had waxed from decades of cold war. Suddenly the enemy that had bestowed such wealth and prestige on the military/security complex disappeared.

The New Cold War is the result of the military/security complex's resurrection of the enemy. In a democracy with independent media and scholars, this would not have been possible. But the Clinton regime permitted in violation of anti-trust laws 90% of the US media to be concentrated in the hands of six mega-corporations, thus destroying an independence already undermined by the CIA's successful use of the CIA's media assets to control explanations. Many books have been written about the CIA's use of the media, including Udo Ulfkotte's "Bought Journalism," the English edition of which was quickly withdrawn and burned.

The demonization of Russia is also aided and abetted by the Democrats' hatred of Trump and anger from Hillary's loss of the presidential election to the "Trump deplorables." The Democrats purport to believe that Trump was installed by Putin's interference in the presidential election. This false belief is emotionally important to Democrats, and they can't let go of it.

Although Cohen as a professor at Princeton and NYU never lacked research opportunities, in the US Russian studies, strategic studies, and the like are funded by the military/security complex whose agenda Cohen's scholarship does not serve. At the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where I held an independently financed chair for a dozen years, most of my colleagues were dependent on grants from the military/security complex. At the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, where I was a Senior Fellow for three decades, the anti-Soviet stance of the Institution reflected the agenda of those who funded the institution.

I am not saying that my colleagues were whores on a payroll. I am saying that the people who got the appointments were people who were inclined to see the Soviet Union the way the military/security complex thought it should be seen.

As Stephen Cohen is aware, in the original Cold War there was some balance as all explanations were not controlled. There were independent scholars who could point out that the Soviets, decimated by World War 2, had an interest in peace, and that accommodation could be achieved, thus avoiding the possibility of nuclear war.

Stephen Cohen must have been in the younger ranks of those sensible people, as he and President Reagan's ambassador to the Soviet Union, Jack Matloff, seem to be the remaining voices of expert reason on the American scene.

If you care to understand the dire threat under which you live, a threat that only a few people, such as Stephen Cohen, are trying to lift, read his book.

If you want to understand the dire threat that a bought-and-paid-for American media poses to your existence, read Cohen's accounts of their despicable lies. America has a media that is synonymous with lies.

If you want to understand how corrupt American universities are as organizations on the take for money, organizations to whom truth is inconsequential, read Cohen's book.

If you want to understand why you could be dead before Global Warming can get you, read Cohen's book.

Enough said.

[Dec 21, 2018] Looks like an o ld, sick neocon Hillarty still tries to influence events, continuing her warmongring

The trouble with CIA democrats is not that they are stupid, but that that are evil.
Hillary proved to be really destructive witch during her Obama stunt as the Secretary of State. Destroyed Libya and Ukraine, which is no small feat.
Notable quotes:
"... The policy of the Obama administration, and particularly Hillary Clinton's State Department, was – and still is – regime change in Syria. This overrode all other considerations. We armed, trained, and "vetted" the Syrian rebels, even as we looked the other way while the Saudis and the Gulf sheikdoms funded groups like al-Nusra and al-Qaeda affiliates who wouldn't pass muster. And our "moderates" quickly passed into the ranks of the outfront terrorists, complete with the weapons we'd provided. ..."
"... She is truly an idiot. Thanks again, Ivy League. ..."
Dec 21, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Pavel , December 21, 2018 at 10:47 am

The Grauniad just quoted a tweet from a predictably OUTRAGED @HillaryClinton:

Actions have consequences, and whether we're in Syria or not, the people who want to harm us are there & at war. Isolationism is weakness. Empowering ISIS is dangerous. Playing into Russia & Iran's hands is foolish. This President is putting our national security at grave risk.

This from the woman who almost singlehandedly (i.e. along with David Cameron and Sarkovy) destroyed Libya and allowed -- if not encouraged -- the flow of US weapons to go into the hands of ISIS allies in the US-Saudi-Israeli obsession with toppling Assad regardless of the consequences. As Justin Raimondo wrote in Antiwar.com in 2015:

The policy of the Obama administration, and particularly Hillary Clinton's State Department, was – and still is – regime change in Syria. This overrode all other considerations. We armed, trained, and "vetted" the Syrian rebels, even as we looked the other way while the Saudis and the Gulf sheikdoms funded groups like al-Nusra and al-Qaeda affiliates who wouldn't pass muster. And our "moderates" quickly passed into the ranks of the outfront terrorists, complete with the weapons we'd provided.

This crazy policy was an extension of our regime change operation in Libya, a.k.a. "Hillary's War," where the US – "leading from behind" – and a coalition of our Western allies and the Gulf protectorates overthrew Muammar Qaddafi. There, too, we empowered radical Islamists with links to al-Qaeda affiliates – and then used them to ship weapons to their Syrian brothers, as another document uncovered by Judicial Watch shows.

After HRC's multiple foreign policy fiascos she is the last person who should be commenting on this matter.

a different chris, December 21, 2018 at 11:50 am

> the people who want to harm us are there & at war

Sounds like then they are too busy to harm us? She is truly an idiot. Thanks again, Ivy League.

[Dec 20, 2018] Manufacturing Truth by CJ Hopkins

Dec 04, 2018 | off-guardian.org
you're one of the millions of human beings who, despite a preponderance of evidence to the contrary, still believe there is such a thing as "the truth," you might not want to read this essay. Seriously, it can be extremely upsetting when you discover that there is no "truth" or rather, that what we're all conditioned to regard as "truth" from the time we are children is just the product of a technology of power, and not an empirical state of being. Humans, upon first encountering this fact, have been known to freak completely out and start jabbering about the "Word of God," or "the immutable laws of quantum physics," and run around burning other people at the stake or locking them up and injecting them with Thorazine. I don't want to be responsible for anything like that, so consider this your trigger warning.

OK, now that that's out of the way, let's take a look at how "truth" is manufactured. It's actually not that complicated. See, the "truth" is well, it's a story, essentially. It's whatever story we are telling ourselves at any given point in history ("we" being the majority of people, those conforming to the rules of whatever system wields enough power to dictate the story it wants everyone to be telling themselves). Everyone understands this intuitively, but the majority of people pretend they don't in order to be able to get by in the system, which punishes anyone who does not conform to its rules, or who contradicts its story. So, basically, to manufacture the truth, all you really need is (a) a story, and (b) enough power to coerce a majority of people in your society to pretend to believe it.

I'll return to this point a little later. First, let's look at a concrete example of our system manufacturing "truth." I'm going to use The Guardian's most recent blatantly fabricated article ( "Manafort held secret talks with Assange in Ecuadorian embassy" ) as an example, but I could just as well have chosen any of a host of other fabricated stories disseminated by "respectable" outlets over the course of the last two years. The "Russian Propaganda Peddlers" story. The "Russia Might Have Poisoned Hillary Clinton" story. The "Russians Hacked the Vermont Power Grid" story. The "Golden Showers Russian Pee-Tape" story. The "Novichok Assassins" story. The "Bana Alabed Speaks Out" story. The "Trump's Secret Russian Server" story. The "Labour Anti-Semitism Crisis" story. The "Russians Orchestrated Brexit" story. The "Russia is Going to Hack the Midterms" story. The "Twitter Bots" story. And the list goes on.

I'm not going to debunk the Guardian article here. It has been debunked by better debunkers than I (e.g., Jonathan Cook , Craig Murray , Glenn Greenwald , Moon of Alabama, and many others). [ ed. including us ]

The short version is, The Guardian's Luke Harding, a shameless hack who will affix his name to any propaganda an intelligence agency feeds him, alleged that Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager, secretly met with Julian Assange (and unnamed "Russians") on numerous occasions from 2013 to 2016, presumably to conspire to collude to brainwash Americans into not voting for Clinton. Harding's earth-shaking allegations, which The Guardian prominently featured and flogged, were based on well, absolutely nothing, except the usual anonymous "intelligence sources." After actual journalists pointed this out, The Guardian quietly revised the piece (employing the subjunctive mood rather liberally), buried it in the back pages of its website, and otherwise pretended like they had never published it.

[Dec 20, 2018] Opinion The Guardian's Desperate Attempt To Connect Assange To Russiagate Backfires

Dec 20, 2018 | disobedientmedia.com

The Guardian's latest attack on Julian Assange was not only a fallacious smear, it represented a desperate attempt on behalf of the British intelligence community to conflate the pending US charges against the journalist with Russiagate. The Guardian's article seeks to deflect from the reality that the prosecution of Assange will focus on Chelsea Manning-Era releases and Vault 7, not the DNC or Podesta emails.

We assert this claim based on the timing of the publication, the Guardian's history of subservience to British intelligence agencies, animosity between The Guardian and WikiLeaks, and the longstanding personal feud between Guardian journalist Luke Harding and Assange. This conclusion is also supported by Harding's financial and career interest in propping up the Russiagate narrative

[Dec 20, 2018] The Guardian's Reputation In Tatters After Forger Revealed To Have Co-Authored Assange Smear

Notable quotes:
"... " The information in this post alone should make everyone question why in the world the Guardian would continue to use a source like Villavicencio who is obviously tied to the U.S. government, the CIA, individuals like Thor Halvorssen and Bill Browder, and opponents of both Julian Assange and former President Rafael Correa." ..."
"... 2014 Ecuador's Foreign Ministry accused the Guardian of publishing a story based on a document it says was fabricated by Fernando Villavicencio, pictured below with the authors of the fake Manafort-Assange 'secret meeting' story, Harding and Collyns." ..."
"... "There is also evidence that the author of this falsified document is Fernando Villavicencio, a convicted slanderer and opponent of Ecuador's current government. This can be seen from the file properties of the document that the Guardian had originally posted (but which it has since taken down and replaced with a version with this evidence removed)." ..."
"... " This video from the news wire Andes alleges that Villavicencio's name appeared in the metadata of the document originally uploaded alongside The Guardian's story." ..."
"... One of my greatest journalistic experiences was working for months on Assange's research with colleagues from the British newspaper the Guardian, Luke Harding, Dan Collins and the young journalist Cristina Solórzano from @ somos_lafuente " ..."
"... The tweet suggests, but does not specifically state, that Villavicencio worked with the disastrous duo on the Assange-Manafort piece. Given the history and associations of all involved, this statement alone should cause extreme skepticism in any unsubstantiated claims, or 'anonymously sourced' claims, the Guardian makes concerning Julian Assange and Ecuador. ..."
"... The two photographs of Villavicencio with Harding and Collyns as well as the evidence showing he co-authored the piece doesn't just capture a trio of terrible journalists, it documents the involvement of multiple actors associated with intelligence agencies and fabricated stories. ..."
"... Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win." ..."
"... That Harding and Collyns worked intensively with Villavicencio for "months" on the "Assange story," the fact that Villavicencio was initially listed as a co-author on the original version of the Guardian's article, and the recent denial by Fidel Narvaez , raises the likelihood that Harding and the Guardian were not simply the victims of bad sources who duped them, as claimed by some. ..."
Dec 20, 2018 | disobedientmedia.com

Regular followers of WikiLeaks-related news are at this point familiar with the multiple serious infractions of journalistic ethics by Luke Harding and the Guardian, especially (though not exclusively) when it comes to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. However, another individual at the heart of this matter is far less familiar to the public. That man is Fernando Villavicencio, a prominent Ecuadorian political activist and journalist, director of the USAID-funded NGO Fundamedios and editor of online publication FocusEcuador .

Most readers are also aware of the Guardian's recent publication of claims that Julian Assange met with former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort on three occasions. This has now been definitively debunked by Fidel Narvaez, the former Consul at Ecuador's London embassy between 2010 and 2018, who says Paul Manafort has never visited the embassy during the time he was in charge there. But this was hardly the first time the outlet published a dishonest smear authored by Luke Harding against Assange. The paper is also no stranger to publishing stories based on fabricated documents.

In May, Disobedient Media reported on the Guardian's hatchet-job relating to 'Operation Hotel,' or rather, the normal security operations of the embassy under former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa. That hit-piece , co-authored by Harding and Dan Collyns, asserted among other things that (according to an anonymous source) Assange hacked the embassy's security system. The allegation was promptly refuted by Correa as "absurd" in an interview with The Intercept , and also by WikiLeaks as an "anonymous libel" with which the Guardian had "gone too far this time. We're suing."

A shared element of The Guardian's 'Operation Hotel' fabrications and the latest libel attempting to link Julian Assange to Paul Manafort is none other than Fernando Villavicencio of FocusEcuador. In 2014 Villavicencio was caught passing a forged document to the Guardian , which published it without verifying it. When the forgery was revealed, the Guardian hurriedly took the document down but then tried to cover up that it had been tampered with by Villavicencio when it re-posted it a few days later.

How is Villavicencio tied to The Guardian's latest smear of Assange? Intimately, it turns out.

Who is Fernando Villavicencio?

Earlier this year, an independent journalist writing under the pseudonym Jimmyslama penned a comprehensive report detailing Villavicencio's relationships with pro-US actors within Ecuador and the US. She sums up her findings, which are worth reading in full :

" The information in this post alone should make everyone question why in the world the Guardian would continue to use a source like Villavicencio who is obviously tied to the U.S. government, the CIA, individuals like Thor Halvorssen and Bill Browder, and opponents of both Julian Assange and former President Rafael Correa."

As most readers recall, it was Correa who granted Assange asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Villavicencio was so vehemently opposed to Rafael Correa's socialist government that during the failed 2010 coup against Correa he falsely accused the President of "crimes against humanity" by ordering police to fire on the crowds (it was actually Correa who was being shot at). Correa sued him for libel, and won, but pardoned Villavicencio for the damages awarded by the court.

Assange legal analyst Hanna Jonasson recently made the link between the Ecuadorian forger Villavicencio and Luke Harding's Guardian stories based on dubious documents explicit. She Tweeted : 2014 Ecuador's Foreign Ministry accused the Guardian of publishing a story based on a document it says was fabricated by Fernando Villavicencio, pictured below with the authors of the fake Manafort-Assange 'secret meeting' story, Harding and Collyns."

Jonasson included a link to a 2014 official Ecuadorian government statement which reads in part:

"There is also evidence that the author of this falsified document is Fernando Villavicencio, a convicted slanderer and opponent of Ecuador's current government. This can be seen from the file properties of the document that the Guardian had originally posted (but which it has since taken down and replaced with a version with this evidence removed)."

The statement also notes that Villavicencio had fled the country after his conviction for libeling Correa during the 2010 coup and was at that time living as a fugitive in the United States.

It is incredibly significant, as Jonasson argues, that the authors of the Guardian's latest libelous article were photographed with Villavicencio in Ecuador shortly before publication of the Guardian's claim that Assange had conducted meetings with Manafort.

Jonasson's Twitter thread also states: " This video from the news wire Andes alleges that Villavicencio's name appeared in the metadata of the document originally uploaded alongside The Guardian's story." The 2014 Guardian piece, which aimed a falsified shot at then-President Rafael Correa, would not be the last time Villavicencio's name would appear on a controversial Guardian story before being scrubbed from existence.

Just days after the backlash against the Guardian reached fever-pitch, Villavicencio had the gall to publish another image of himself with Harding and Collyns, gloating : "

One of my greatest journalistic experiences was working for months on Assange's research with colleagues from the British newspaper the Guardian, Luke Harding, Dan Collins and the young journalist Cristina Solórzano from @ somos_lafuente " [Translated from Spanish]

The tweet suggests, but does not specifically state, that Villavicencio worked with the disastrous duo on the Assange-Manafort piece. Given the history and associations of all involved, this statement alone should cause extreme skepticism in any unsubstantiated claims, or 'anonymously sourced' claims, the Guardian makes concerning Julian Assange and Ecuador.

Astoundingly, and counter to Villavicencio's uncharacteristic coyness, a recent video posted by WikiLeaks via Twitter does show that Villavicencio was originally listed as a co-author of the Guardian's Manafort-Assange allegations, before his name was edited out of the online article. The original version can be viewed, however, thanks to archive services.

The two photographs of Villavicencio with Harding and Collyns as well as the evidence showing he co-authored the piece doesn't just capture a trio of terrible journalists, it documents the involvement of multiple actors associated with intelligence agencies and fabricated stories.

All of this provoke the question: did Villavicencio provide more bogus documents to Harding and Collyns – Harding said he'd seen a document, though he didn't publish one (or even quote from it) so readers might judge its veracity for themselves – or perhaps these three invented the accusations out of whole-cloth?

Either way, to quote WikiLeaks, the Guardian has "gone too far this time" and its already-tattered reputation is in total shambles.

Successful Propaganda, Failed Journalism

Craig Murray calls Harding an " MI6 tool ", but to this writer, Harding seems worse than an MI6 stooge: He's a wannabe-spook, hanging from the coat-tails of anonymous intelligence officers and publishing their drivel as fact without so much as a skeptical blink. His lack of self-awareness and conflation of anecdote with evidence sets him apart as either one of the most blatant, fumbling propagandists of our era, or the most hapless hack journalist to stain the pages of printed news.

To provide important context on Harding's previous journalistic irresponsibility, we again recall that he co-authored the infamous book containing the encryption password of the entire Cablegate archive, leading to a leak of the unredacted State Department Cables across the internet. Although the guilty Guardian journalists tried to blame Assange for the debacle, it was they themselves who ended up on the receiving end of some well-deserved scorn.

In addition to continuing the Guardian's and Villavicencio's vendetta against Assange and WikiLeaks, it is clearly in Harding's financial interests to conflate the pending prosecution of Assange with Russiagate. As this writer previously noted , Harding penned a book on the subject, titled: " Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win." Tying Assange to Russiagate is good for business, as it stokes public interest in the self-evidently faulty narrative his book supports.

Even more concerning is the claim amongst publishing circles, fueled by recent events, that Harding may be writing another book on Assange, with publication presumably timed for his pending arrest and extradition and designed to cash in on the trial. If that is in fact the case, the specter arises that Harding is working to push for Assange's arrest, not just on behalf of US, UK or Ecuadorian intelligence interests, but also to increase his own book sales.

That Harding and Collyns worked intensively with Villavicencio for "months" on the "Assange story," the fact that Villavicencio was initially listed as a co-author on the original version of the Guardian's article, and the recent denial by Fidel Narvaez , raises the likelihood that Harding and the Guardian were not simply the victims of bad sources who duped them, as claimed by some.

It indicates that the fake story was constructed deliberately on behalf of the very same intelligence establishment that the Guardian is nowadays only too happy to take the knee for.

In summary, one of the most visible establishment media outlets published a fake story on its front page, in an attempt to manufacture a crucial cross-over between the pending prosecution of Assange and the Russiagate saga. This represents the latest example in an onslaught of fake news directed at Julian Assange and WikiLeaks ever since they published the largest CIA leak in history in the form of Vault 7, an onslaught which appears to be building in both intensity and absurdity as time goes on.

The Guardian has destroyed its reputation, and in the process, revealed the desperation of the establishment when it comes to Assange.

[Dec 18, 2018] Looks like AP joined Integrity Intiative

Dec 18, 2018 | news.yahoo.com

Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines

Matt o'Brien and Barbara Ortutay, AP Technology Writers , Associated Press December 17, 2018

<img alt="Key takeaways from new reports on Russian disinformation" src="https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/9VGA29inJ83dPeqC.cvqTg--~A/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjtzbT0xO3c9ODAwO2lsPXBsYW5l/http://globalfinance.zenfs.com/images/US_AHTTP_AP_HEADLINES_BUSINESS/e66de17c8e1a4cecaf1da81f2bf87093_original.jpg" itemprop="url"/>
Some suspected Russian-backed fake social media accounts on Facebook.

Russians seeking to influence U.S. elections through social media had their eyes on Instagram and the black community.

These were among the findings in two reports released Monday by the Senate intelligence committee. Separate studies from University of Oxford researchers and the cybersecurity firm New Knowledge reveal insights into how Russian agents sought to influence Americans by saturating their favorite online services and apps with hidden propaganda.

Here are the highlights:

INSTAGRAM'S "MEME WARFARE"

Both reports show that misinformation on Facebook's Instagram may have had broader reach than the interference on Facebook itself.

The New Knowledge study says that since 2015, the Instagram posts generated 187 million engagements, such as comments or likes, compared with 77 million on Facebook.

And the barrage of image-centric Instagram "memes" has only grown since the 2016 election. Russian agents shifted their focus to Instagram after the public last year became aware of the widespread manipulation on Facebook and Twitter.

NOT JUST ADS

Revelations last year that Russian agents used rubles to pay for some of their propaganda ads drew attention to how gullible tech companies were in allowing their services to be manipulated.

But neither ads nor automated "bots" were as effective as unpaid posts hand-crafted by human agents pretending to be Americans. Such posts were more likely to be shared and commented on, and they rose in volume during key dates in U.S. politics such as during the presidential debates in 2016 or after the Obama administration's post-election announcement that it would investigate Russian hacking.

"These personalized messages exposed U.S. users to a wide range of disinformation and junk news linked to on external websites, including content designed to elicit outrage and cynicism," says the report by Oxford researchers, who worked with social media analysis firm Graphika.

DEMOGRAPHIC TARGETING

Both reports found that Russian agents tried to polarize Americans in part by targeting African-American communities extensively. They did so by campaigning for black voters to boycott elections or follow the wrong voting procedures in 2016, according to the Oxford report.

The New Knowledge report added that agents were "developing Black audiences and recruiting Black Americans as assets" beyond how they were targeting either left- or right-leaning voters.

The reports also support previous findings that the influence operations sought to polarize Americans by sowing political divisions on issues such as immigration and cultural and religious identities. The goal, according to the New Knowledge report, was to "create and reinforce tribalism within each targeted community."

Such efforts extended to Google-owned YouTube, despite Google's earlier assertion to Congress that Russian-made videos didn't target specific segments of the population.

PINTEREST TO POKEMON

The New Knowledge report says the Russian troll operation worked in many ways like a conventional corporate branding campaign, using a variety of different technology services to deliver the same messages to different groups of people.

Among the sites infiltrated with propaganda were popular image-heavy services like Pinterest and Tumblr, chatty forums like Reddit, and a wonky geopolitics blog promoted from Russian-run accounts on Facebook and YouTube.

Even the silly smartphone game "Pokemon Go" wasn't immune. A Tumblr post encouraged players to name their Pokemon character after a victim of police brutality.

WHAT NOW?

Both reports warn that some of these influence campaigns are ongoing.

The Oxford researchers note that 2016 and 2017 saw "significant efforts" to disrupt elections around the world not just by Russia, but by domestic political parties spreading disinformation.

They warn that online propaganda represents a threat to democracies and public life. They urge social media companies to share data with the public far more broadly than they have so far.

"Protecting our democracies now means setting the rules of fair play before voting day, not after," the Oxford report says.

[Dec 17, 2018] Withouth the USSR as a countervailing force the level of inequality in Western societies will always rise to the level on which riots will start and then will fluctuates around this level.

Dec 17, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

AmyInNH -> Riever , 23 Aug 2016 10:00

Swing between extremes, however, consistent in US history, economic predatory dependence on free/ultra cheap labor with no legal rights. Current instantiation, offshored and illegal and "temporary" immigrant labor. Note neither party in the US is proposing "immigration reform" is green card upon hire. Ds merely propose green card for time served for those over X number of years donated as captive/cheap.
The entitled to cheap/captive now want it in law, national laws and trade agreements.
All privilege/no responsibilities, including taxes.
Doesn't scale. 1929 says so, 2008 says so.
CivilDiscussion , 23 Aug 2016 10:25
Liberals, the Left, Progressives -- whatever you want to call them suffer from a basic problem. They don't work together and have no common goals. As the article stated they complain but offer no real solutions that they can agree on. Should we emphasize gay pride or should we emphasize good-paying jobs and benefits with good social welfare benefits? Until they can agree at least on priorities they will never reform the current corrupt system -- it is too entrenched. Even if the Capitalist Monstrosity we have now self-destructs as the writer indicates -- nothing good will replace it until the Left get their act together.
AmyInNH -> Juillette , 23 Aug 2016 10:16
"Lesser of two evils" needs to go on the burn pile.
Encumbent congress needs a turn over.
Not showing up to vote is not okay. If people can't think of someone they want to write-in, "none of the above" is a protest vote. Not voting is silence, which equals consent.
Local elections, beat back Koch/ALEC, hiding on ballots as "Libertarian". "Privatize everything" is their mantra, so they can further profitize via inescapeable taxes, while gutting "regulation" - safety and market integrity, with no accountability.
Corporation 101: limited liability. While means we are left holding the bag. As in bailout - $125 billion in 1990, up to $7.7 trillion in 2008.
Dave_P -> Isiodore , 23 Aug 2016 09:59
Anything the Economist presents as the overriding choice is probably best relegated to one factor among many. I respect Milanovic's work, but he's seeing things from where we are now. Remember we've seen populist surges come and go from the witch-burnings and religious panics of the 17th century to 1890s Bryanism and the 1930s far right, and each time they've yielded to a more articulate vision, though the last time it cost sixty million dead - not something we want to see repeated. This time it's hard because dissent still clings to a "post-ideological" delusion that those on top never succumbed to. But change will come as what I'd term "post-rational" alternatives fail to deliver. Let's hope it's sooner rather than later.
willpodmore , 23 Aug 2016 09:53
"Brexit, too, was primarily a working-class revolt." Thank you Martin, at least someone writing in the Guardian has got the point!
We voted against the EU's unelected European Central Bank, its unelected European Commission, its European Court of Justice, its Common Agricultural Policy and its Common Fisheries Policy.
We voted against the EU's treaty-enshrined 'austerity' (= depression) policies, which have impoverished Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy.
We voted against the EU/US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which would privatise all our public services, which threatens all our rights, and which discriminates against the countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America.
We voted against the EU's tariffs against African farmers' cheaper produce.
We opposed the City of London Corporation, the Institute of Directors, the CBI, the IMF, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley, which all wanted us to stay in the EU.
We voted against the EU's undemocratic trilogue procedure and its pro-austerity Semester programme. We voted to leave this undemocratic, privatisation-enforcing, austerity-enforcing body.
AmyInNH -> ciaofornow , 23 Aug 2016 10:39
Bailout was because that was public savings, pensions, 401ks, etc. the banks were playing with, and lost. Bailout is billing all of us for it. Bad, letting the banks/financial "services" not only survive but continue the exact same practices.
Bailout: $7.2 to $7.7 trillion. Current derivative holdings: $500 trillion.
Not just moral hazard but economic hazard when capitalism basic rule is broken, allow bad businesses to die of their own accord. Subversion currently called "too big to fail", rather than tell the public "we lost all your savings, pensions, ...".
AmyInNH -> Dave_P , 23 Aug 2016 09:40
Relocating poverty from the East into the West isn't improvement.
Creating sweatshops in the East isn't raising their standard of living.
Creating economies so economically unstable that population declines isn't improvement.
Trying to bury that fact with immigration isn't improvement.
Configuring all of the above for record profit for the benefit of a tiny percentage of the population isn't improvement.
Gaming tax law to avoid paying into/for extensive business use of federal services and tax base isn't improvement.
Game over. Time for a reboot.
marxistelf -> Tobyrob , 23 Aug 2016 09:24
I am glad you finally concede a point on neo-liberalism. The moral hazard argument is extremely poor and typical in this era of runaway CEO pay, of a tendency to substitute self-help fables (a la "The monk who sold his Ferrari) and pop psychology ( a la Moral Hazard) for credible economic analysis.
The economic crisis is rooted in the profit motive just as capitalist economic growth is. Lowering of Tarrif barriers, outsourcing, changes in value capture (added value), new financial instruments, were attempts to restore the falling rate of profit. They did for a while, but, as always happens with Capitalism, the seeds of the new crisis were in the solution to the old.
And all the while the state continues growing in an attempt to keep capitalism afloat. Neoliberalism failed ( or should I say "small state" ) and here is the graph to prove it:
http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/include/usgs_chartSp03t.png
Homer32 , 23 Aug 2016 07:32
Interesting, and I believe accurate, analysis of the economic and political forces afoot. However it is ludicrous to state that Donald trump, who is a serial corpratist, out-sourcer, tax avoider and scam artist, actually believes any of those populist principles that you ascribe so firmly to him. The best and safest outcome of our election, in my opinion, would be to have a Clinton administration tempered by the influences from the populist wings of both parties.
Juillette , 23 Aug 2016 06:42
Great article, however the elite globalists are in complete denial in the US. Our only choice is to vote them out of power because the are owned by Wall Street. Both Bernie and Trump supporters should unite to vote establishment out of Washington.
Dave_P -> ShaunNewman , 23 Aug 2016 06:38
The opiate of the masses. As the churches empty, the stadiums fill.
Dave_P -> ciaofornow , 23 Aug 2016 06:36
There were similar observations in the immediate aftermath of 2008, and doubtless before. Many of us thought the crisis would trigger a rethink of the whole direction of the previous three decades, but instead we got austerity and a further lurch to the right, or at best Obama-style stimulus and modest tweaks which were better than the former but still rather missed the point. I still find it flabbergasting and depressing, but on reflection the 1930s should have been a warning of not just the economic hazards but also the political fallout, at least in Europe. The difference was that this time left ideology had all but vacated the field in the 1980s and was in no position to lead a fightback: all we can hope for is better late than never.
idontreadtheguardian -> thisisafact , 23 Aug 2016 05:16
Yes it is, it's an extremely bad thing destroying the fabric of society. Social science has documented that even the better off are more happy, satisfied with life and feel safer in societies (i.e. the Scandinavian) where there is a relatively high degree of economic equality. Yes, economic inequality is a BAD thing in itself.

Oh, give me a break. Social science will document anything it can publish, no matter how spurious. If Scandanavia is so great, why are they such pissheads? There has always been inequality, including in workers' paradises like the Soviet Union and Communist China. Inequality is what got us where we are today, through natural selection. Phenotype is largely dependent on genotype, so why shouldn't we pass on material wealth as well as our genes? Surely it is a parent's right to afford their offspring advantages if they can do so?

SaulGe -> John Black , 23 Aug 2016 03:30
Have you got any numbers? Or references for your allegations. I say the average or median wealth, opportunity, economic circumstance and health measures are substantially better than a generation (lets say 30 years) ago.

Heres this years data. Note the top 25 or so are almost all liberal western type democracies with mixed economies. http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/country_price_rankings?itemId=105

And here is the graph showing growth in wages whilst it slowed for a variety of complex reasons has been overall strong for 25 of the last 30 years http://www.rba.gov.au/publications/bulletin/2015/jun/pdf/bu-0615-2.pdf

Again I don't think our system is perfect. I don't deny that some in our societies struggle and don't benefit, particularly the poorly educated, disabled, mentally ill and drug addicted. I actually agree that we could better target our social redistribution from those that have to those that need help. I disagree that we need higher taxes, protectionism, socialism, more public servants, more legislation. Indeed I disagree with proposition that other systems are better.

shastakath -> TimWorstall , 23 Aug 2016 03:17
George Orwell said, in the 30s, that the price of social justice would include a lowering of living standards for the working- & middle-classes, at least temporarily, so I follow your line of thought. However, the outrageous tilt toward the upper .1% has no "adjustment" fluff to shield it from the harsh despotism it represents. So, do put that in your statistical pipe and smoke it.

[Dec 17, 2018] The only problem with the slogan "make America great again" is that the USA is not America

Add to this that Trump changed his election slogan from "make America [ "working class"] great again" to "make Amerca [financial oligarchy] great again"
Dec 17, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

ShaunNewman -> TyroneBHorneigh , 23 Aug 2016 00:29

The only problem is that 'America' does not exist. America is a part description of a continent and I think we are talking about the USA (only one country on North American soil) Why do the yanks always have to exaggerate their own importance like the Olympics bloke who claimed he was robbed at gunpoint lol! Do the USAians actually have an inferiority complex?

[Dec 16, 2018] The 'Integrity Initiative' - A Military Intelligence Operation, Disguised As Charity, To Create The Russian Threat

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Sounds to me like that Integrity initiative dude needs to go on a 'de-radicalisation program !!! ..."
"... the powerbrokers have always been in London and now its hypercentralized endgame in Brussels. You can say that it is the US through and through, but ask yourself who has more to gain from US FP abroad: average Americans or the global elites? ..."
"... Those former-Eastern Bloc countries, i.e. Poland and Ukraine, do not count as power brokers. They have and will always be pawns in the game. So what if they still worship Icons of Americanism which is a remnant culture of their F*ed up narrative where they still believe they are fighting the commies. ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... From his curriculum vitae (pdf) we learn that Donnelly was a long time soldier in the British Army Intelligence Corps where he established and led the Soviet Studies Research Centre at RMA Sandhurst. He later was involved in creating the US Army's Foreign Military Studies Office (FMSO) at Ft. Leavenworth. ..."
"... He worked at the British Ministry of Defence and as an advisor to several Secretaries General of NATO. He is a director of the Statecraft Institute since 2010. Donnelly also advises the Foreign Minister of Lithuania. He is a "Security and Justice Senior Mentor" of the UK's Stabilisation Unit which is tasked with destabilizing various countries. He serves as a Honorary Colonel of the Specialist Group Military Intelligence (SGMI). ..."
"... This was an order from the core of the British thinking to Donnelly to get even deeper into the inner-British influence business. Hype Russia as a threat so more money can be taken from the 'vested interests' of the people and dumped into the military machine. ..."
"... That particular advise of General Barrons was accepted. In 2017 the Integrity Initiative bid for funding from the Ministry of Defence (pdf) for various projects to influence the public, the parliament and the government as well as foreign forces. The bid lists "performance indicators" that are supposed to measure the success of its activities. The top indicator for the Initiative's proposed work is a "Tougher stance in government policy towards Russia" ..."
"... In March 2014, shortly after Crimea split from the Ukraine, Donnelly suggested Military measures (pdf) to be taken by the Ukraine with regards to Crimea: ..."
"... Think for a moment how Russia would have responded to a mining of Sevastopol harbor, the frying of its satellites or the destruction of its fighter jets in Crimea. Those "guestures" would have been illegal acts of war against the forces of a nuclear power which were legally stationed in Crimea. And how was the west to immediately supply gas to Ukraine and Ukraine's pipeline network is designed to unidirectionally receive gas from Russia? ..."
"... Yes, Putin really believes his own propaganda ..."
"... Putin's paranoia is driving his foreign adventures ..."
"... Russian information warfare - airbrushing reality ..."
"... Distract, deceive, destroy: Putin at war in Syria ..."
"... Russian penetration in Germany ..."
"... Russian conspiracy theory and foreign policy ..."
"... Mapping Russia's whole influence machine ..."
"... Military Review ..."
"... BBC Newsnight ..."
"... The most recent release of Integrity Initiative documents includes lots of in-depth reports (pdf) about foreign media reactions to the Skripal affair. One wonders why the Initiative commissioned such research (pdf) and paid for it. ..."
"... Here is an interesting look at how little the Russia-linked entities spent on advertising on Google during the 2016 election: https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2018/12/google-russia-and-4700-in-advertising.html Slowly but surely, the Russian meddling narrative is falling apart. ..."
"... McCarthyesque smear campaigns to discredit opponents and squash dissent has become normal practice. Integrity Initiative tweets against Corbyn is a stark example, but there have been MANY other people and groups that have been tarred with claims of being sponsored/led/influenced by Russia, including Catalonian independence activists and Yellow vest protesters. ..."
"... Dear god, what has gotten into the minds of the military and political "elite" within the UK! Mining Sevastopol would have been an obvious act of war against Russia and Russia would have responded with force. ..."
"... It looks like one of the decision was to get closer to France (after getting very close friends in Homs and Aleppo?) See the list of people in the French II cluster dumped yesterday by Anonymous: half the names work at the fr Min of F Affairs https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lancaster_House_Treaties and http://www.gmfus.org/publications/frances-defense-partnerships-and-dilemmas-brexit ..."
"... This group may have officially formed in 2015, but its work is no different from the British propaganda that swamped the MSM when MH17 was downed. Tied into the Steel dossier and Russian collusion in the US. This is the anglosphere or five eyes permanent state. ..."
"... it is apparent that this "Integrity Initiative" was engaged in to ensure that the regime was in the safe hands of the harpy. ..."
"... It is interesting that Trudeau, the Canadian figurehead, clothes his country's kidnapping of the Chinese business figure as "in defence of the rule of law." All in all, it is now apparent we would be far better off if the Kaiserreich, with all of its militaristic and bombastic flaws, had triumphed in the Great War. No Hitler, no Stalin, no five eyes fascism. ..."
"... Rules of the game are made up as the game is played to suit the players. There you have it real life imitates art. ..."
"... Better yet, can anyone name an NGO, any NGO ever, that's not closely if not directly linked to "a secret military intelligence operation." Anyone? Mueller? ..."
"... Thank you very much for this terrific analysis. Donnelly: "... it is we who must either generate the debate or wait for something dreadful to happen to shock us into action. " Numerous American publications featured very similar language in the years ahead of 9/11, with "Islamic terrorist threat" substituted for the Russians. ..."
"... Vesti News has published an excellent documentary on how "clusters" work....not only to spread Russophobia...but also on continuous intends to overthrown Russian legitimate government... https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=7&v=E8-Stfrl5aM ..."
"... The last two periods of the US FP could be understood thusly: (1) Pre-Soviet collapse which was marked by a horrifically tragic and misplaced ideal of defending against communism (Good guys v. Bad Guys); and (2) Post-Soviet collapse which has been a period of coup d'etats where our hijacked military has been used for a Globalist Agenda for increasingly opaque (less defensible) reasons and missions. ..."
"... right after 2016 US elections there was a facade of split between military and intelligence differentiation. Seems that veil has been dispensed with ..."
"... Yeah, they hijacked a few other countries too, including Russia. Or if not hijacking, setting the mood right for some shenanigans in the near future... I think you're quite right about the cheif host of the globalist neolib parasite. Hijacked near fully. Being bled dry. That unaccounted for 21 Trillion at the pentagon is a bit of a giveaway. All under the guise of free markets and democracy. ..."
"... 'Integrity Initiative' - A Military Intelligence Operation Designed To Create A New Enemy ..."
Dec 15, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
uncle tungsten , Dec 15, 2018 6:28:07 PM | 41

Labour is not "silent". Apart from Thornberry's questioning already mentioned in another post here, the party's newspaper published a news about it:

Government admits that Institute of Statecraft was funded through CSSF , by Lamiat Sabin, 14th December 2018.

Mark2 , Dec 15, 2018 7:12:28 PM | link
Sounds to me like that Integrity initiative dude needs to go on a 'de-radicalisation program !!! How many billions is that guna save us all ! not to mention lives saved.
NemesisCalling , Dec 15, 2018 7:42:22 PM | link
@45 jr

Wrong JR. It seems quite the obvious that the big boy in the west, the US, would seem to be the one spearheading the whole globalist agenda.

But this is a retarded proposition.

The US is nothing more than a Golem. It has been reduced to somnambulism and hijacked, utilized for the ends of these Non-National elites. Sure, like many posters here, it feels good to blame the US for everything. But the powerbrokers have always been in London and now its hypercentralized endgame in Brussels. You can say that it is the US through and through, but ask yourself who has more to gain from US FP abroad: average Americans or the global elites?

Or are we just arguing semantics?

NemesisCalling , Dec 15, 2018 7:44:57 PM | link
Those former-Eastern Bloc countries, i.e. Poland and Ukraine, do not count as power brokers. They have and will always be pawns in the game. So what if they still worship Icons of Americanism which is a remnant culture of their F*ed up narrative where they still believe they are fighting the commies.
Uncle $cam , Dec 15, 2018 8:06:15 PM | link
Yesterday marked the 10th anniversary of the decider aka Bush Jr. having had a shoe thrown at him.

'For the sake of Iraq': Bush shoe-thrower running for parliament refuses to exploit 'hero image'

Muntadhar al-Zaidi was arrested and tortured for it...

"They broke my teeth, my nose, my leg, they electrocuted me, lashed me, they would beat me, they even broke a table or a chair over my back. I don't know, they had my eyes covered," al-Zaidi recalled. "This was one thing I never experienced before. Torture by the authorities, by the rule of law."

I wish it had been a hand grenade.

The British government financed Integrity Initiative is tasked with spreading anti-Russian propaganda and with influencing the public, military and governments of a number of countries. What follows is an incomplete analysis of the third batch of the Initiative's papers which was dumped yesterday.

Christopher Nigel Donnelly (CND) is the co-director of The Institute for Statecraft and founder of its offshoot Integrity Initiative . The Initiative claims to "Defend Democracy Against Disinformation".

The Integrity Initiative does this by planting disinformation about alleged Russian influence through journalists 'clusters' throughout Europe and the United States.

Both, the Institute as well as the Initiative, claim to be independent Non-Government Organizations. Both are financed by the British government, NATO and other state donors.

Among the documents lifted by some anonymous person from the servers of the Institute we find several papers about Donnelly as well as some memos written by him. They show a russophobe mind with a lack of realistic strategic thought.

There is also a file (pdf) with a copy of his passport:


bigger

From his curriculum vitae (pdf) we learn that Donnelly was a long time soldier in the British Army Intelligence Corps where he established and led the Soviet Studies Research Centre at RMA Sandhurst. He later was involved in creating the US Army's Foreign Military Studies Office (FMSO) at Ft. Leavenworth.

He worked at the British Ministry of Defence and as an advisor to several Secretaries General of NATO. He is a director of the Statecraft Institute since 2010. Donnelly also advises the Foreign Minister of Lithuania. He is a "Security and Justice Senior Mentor" of the UK's Stabilisation Unit which is tasked with destabilizing various countries. He serves as a Honorary Colonel of the Specialist Group Military Intelligence (SGMI).

During his time as military intelligence analyst in the 1980s Donnelly wrote several books and papers about the Soviet Union and its military.

Donnelly seems to be obsessed with the 'Russian threat' and is determined to fight it by all means. His paranoia is obvious in a "private - confidential" report by the Statecraft Institute on The Challenge of Brexit to the UK: Case study – The Foreign and Commonwealth Offices (pdf):

Our problem is that, for the last 70 years or so, we in the UK and Europe have been living in a safe, secure rules-based system which has allowed us to enjoy a holiday from history.

... ... ...

Unfortunately, this state of affairs is now being challenged. A new paradigm of conflict is replacing the 19th & 20th Century paradigm.

... ... ...

In this new paradigm, the clear distinction which most people have been able to draw between war and peace, their expectation of stability and a degree of predictability in life, are being replaced by a volatile unpredictability, a permanent state of instability in which war and peace become ever more difficult to disentangle . The "classic" understanding of conflict being between two distinct players or groups of players is giving way to a world of Darwinian competition where all the players – nation states, sub-state actors, big corporations, ethnic or religious groups, and so on – are constantly striving with each other in a "war of all against all". The Western rules-based system, which most westerners take for granted and have come to believe is "normal", is under attack from countries and organisations which wish to replace our system with theirs. This is not a crisis which faces us; it is a strategic challenge, and from several directions simultaneously.

In reality the "Western rules-based system", fully implemented after the demise of the Soviet Union, is a concept under which 'the west' arbitrarily makes up rules and threatens to kill anyone who does not follow them. Witness the wars against Serbia, the war on Iraq, the destruction of Libya, the western led coup in Ukraine and the war by Jihadi proxies against the people of Syria and Iraq. None of these actions were legal under international law. Demanding a return to strict adherence to the rule of international law, as Russia, China and others now do, it is not an attempt to replace "our system with theirs". It is a return to the normal state of global diplomacy. It is certainly not a "Darwinian competition".

In October 2016 Donnelly had a Private Discussion with Gen Sir Richard Barrons (pdf), marked as personal and confidential. Barrons is a former commander of the British Joint Forces Command. The nonsensical top line is: "The UK defence model is failing. UK is at real risk."

Some interesting nuggets again reveal a paranoid mindset. The talk also includes some realistic truthiness about the British military posture Barrons and others created:

There has been a progressive, systemic demobilisation of NATO militarily capability and a run down of all its members' defences
...
We are seeing new / reinvented ways of warfare – hybrid , plus the reassertion of hard power in warfare
...
Aircraft Carriers can be useful for lots of things, but not for war v China or Russia, so we should equip them accordingly. ...
The West no longer has a military edge on Russia. ...
Our Nuclear programme drains resources from conventional forces and hollows them out. ...
The UK Brigade in Germany is no good as a deterrent against Russia. ...
Our battalion in Estonia are hostages, not a deterrent. ...

The general laments the lack of influence the military has on the British government and its people. He argues for more government financed think tank research that can be fed back into the government:

So, if no catastrophe happens to wake people up and demand a response, then we need to find a way to get the core of government to realise the problem and take it out of the political space. We will need to impose changes over the heads of vested interests. NB We did this in the 1930s

My conclusion is that it is we who must either generate the debate or wait for something dreadful to happen to shock us into action. We must generate an independent debate outside government .

...

We need to ask when and how do we start to put all this right? Do we have the national capabilities / capacities to fix it? If so, how do we improve our harnessing of resources to do it? We need this debate NOW. There is not a moment to be lost.

This was an order from the core of the British thinking to Donnelly to get even deeper into the inner-British influence business. Hype Russia as a threat so more money can be taken from the 'vested interests' of the people and dumped into the military machine.

That particular advise of General Barrons was accepted. In 2017 the Integrity Initiative bid for funding from the Ministry of Defence (pdf) for various projects to influence the public, the parliament and the government as well as foreign forces. The bid lists "performance indicators" that are supposed to measure the success of its activities. The top indicator for the Initiative's proposed work is a "Tougher stance in government policy towards Russia" .


bigger

Asking for government finance to influence the government to take a "tougher stand towards Russia" seems a bit circular. But this is consistent with the operation of other Anglo-American think tanks and policy initiatives in which one part of the government, usually the hawkish one, secretly uses NGO's and think-tanks to lobby other parts of the government to support their specific hobbyhorse and budget.

Here is how it is done. The 'experts' of the 'charity' Institute for Statecraft and Integrity Initiative testified in the British parliament. While they were effectively paid by the government they lobbied parliament under the cover of their NGO. This circularity also allows to use international intermediates. Members of the Spanish cluster (pdf) of the Initiative testified in the British Parliament about the Catalan referendum and related allegations against Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange. (It is likely that this testimony led to the change in the position of the Ecuadorian government towards Assange.)


Unfortunately, or luckily, such lobbying operations are mostly run by people who are incompetent in the specific field they are lobbying for. Chris Donnelly, despite a life long experience in military intelligence, has obviously zero competence as a military strategist or planner.

In March 2014, shortly after Crimea split from the Ukraine, Donnelly suggested Military measures (pdf) to be taken by the Ukraine with regards to Crimea:

If I were in charge I would get the following implemented asp
  1. Set up a cordon sanitaire across the Crimean Isthmus and on the coast N. of Crimea with troops and mines
  2. Mine Sevastopol harbour/bay. Can be done easily using a car ferry if they have no minelayers. Doesn't need a lot of mines to be effective. They could easily buy some mines.
  3. Get their air force into the air and activate all their air defences. If they can't fly the Migs on the airfield in Crimea those should be destroyed as a gesture that they are serious. Going "live" electronically will worry the Russians as the Ukrainians have the same electronic kit. If the Russians jam it they jam their own kit as well.
  4. Ukraine used to have some seriously important weapons, such as a big microwave anti-satellite weapon. If they still have this, they should use it.
  5. The government needs a Strategic communication campaign-so far everything is coming from Moscow. They need to articulate a long-term vision that will inspire the people, however hard that is to do. Without it, what have people to fight for?
  6. They should ask the west now to start supplying Oil and gas. There is plenty available due to the mild winter.

I am trying to get this message across

Think for a moment how Russia would have responded to a mining of Sevastopol harbor, the frying of its satellites or the destruction of its fighter jets in Crimea. Those "guestures" would have been illegal acts of war against the forces of a nuclear power which were legally stationed in Crimea. And how was the west to immediately supply gas to Ukraine and Ukraine's pipeline network is designed to unidirectionally receive gas from Russia?

Such half-assed thinking is typical for the Institute and its creation of propaganda. One of its employees/contractors is Hugh Benedict Nimmo who the Initiative paid to produce anti-Russian propaganda that was then disseminated through various western publications.

According to the (still very incomplete) Initiative files Ben Nimmo received a monthly consultancy fee of £2.500 between December 2015 and March 2016. In August 2016 he sent an invoice (pdf) of £5,000 for his "August work on Integrity Initiative". A Production Timetable (pdf) for March to June 2016 lists the following Nimmo outputs and activities:

One wonders how often Ben Nimmo double billed his various sponsors for these copy-paste fantasy pamphlets.

In late 2017 Ben Nimmo and Guardian 'journalist' Carole Cadwalladr disseminated allegations that Russia used Facebook ads to influence the Brexit decision. Cadwalladr even received a price for her work. Unfortunately the price was not revoked when Facebook revealed that "Russia linked" accounts had spend a total of 97 cents on Brexit ads. It is unexplained how that was enough to achieve their alleged aim.

Cadwalladr is listed as a speaker (pdf) at a "skill sharing" conference the Institute organized for November 1-2 under the headline: "Tackling Tools of Malign Influence - Supporting 21st Century Journalism".

This year Ben Nimmo became notorious for claiming that several real persons with individual opinions were "Russian trolls". As we noted :

Nimmo, and several other dimwits quoted in the piece, came to the conclusion that Ian56 is a Kremlin paid troll, not a real person. Next to Ian56 Nimmo 'identified' other 'Russian troll' accounts:

Ben Nimmo @benimmo - 10:50 UTC - 24 Mar 2018

One particularly influential retweeter (judging by the number of accounts which then retweeted it) was @ValLisitsa, which posts in English and Russian. Last year, this account joined the troll-factory #StopMorganLie campaign.

Had Nimmo, a former NATO spokesperson, had some decent education he would have know that @ValLisitsa, aka Valentina Lisitsa , is a famous American- Ukrainian pianist. Yes, she sometimes tweets in Russian language to her many fans in Russia and the Ukraine. Is that now a crime? The videos of her world wide performances on Youtube have more than 170 million views. It is absurd to claim that she is a 'Russian troll' and to insinuate that she is taking Kremlin money to push 'Russian troll' opinions.

The Institute for Statecraft Expert Team (pdf) list several people with military intelligence backgrounds as well as many 'journalists'. One of them is:

Mark Galeotti
Specialist in Russian strategic thinking; the application of Russian disinformation and hybrid warfare; the use of organised crime as a weapon of hybrid warfare. Educational and mentoring skills, including in a US and E European environment, and the corporate world.
Russian linguist

Galeotti is the infamous inventor of the 'Gerasimov doctrine' and of the propaganda about Russia's alleged 'hybrid' warfare. In February 2013 the Russian General Valery Gerasimov, then Russia's chief of the General Staff, published a paper that analysed the way the 'west' is waging a new type of war by mixing propaganda, proxy armies and military force into one unified operation.

Galeotti claimed that Gerasimov's analysis of 'western' operations was a new Russian doctrine of 'hybrid war'. He invented the term 'Gerasimov doctrine' which then took off in the propaganda realm. In February 2016 the U.S. Army Military Review published a longer analysis of Gerasimov's paper that debunked the nonsense (pdf). It concluded:

Gerasimov's article is not proposing a new Russian way of warfare or a hybrid war, as has been stated in the West.

But anti-Russian propagandist repeated Galeotti's nonsense over and over. Only in March 2018, five years after Galeotti invented the 'Germasimov doctrine' and two years after he was thoroughly debunked, he finally recanted :

Everywhere, you'll find scholars, pundits, and policymakers talking about the threat the "Gerasimov doctrine" -- named after Russia's chief of the general staff -- poses to the West. It's a new way of war, "an expanded theory of modern warfare," or even "a vision of total warfare."

There's one small problem. It doesn't exist. And the longer we pretend it does, the longer we misunderstand the -- real, but different -- challenge Russia poses.

I feel I can say that because, to my immense chagrin, I created this term, which has since acquired a destructive life of its own, lumbering clumsily into the world to spread fear and loathing in its wake.

The Institute for Statecraft's "Specialist in Russian strategic thinking", an expert of disinformation and hybrid warfare, created a non-existing Russian doctrine out of hot air and used it to press for anti-Russian measures. Like Ben Nimmo he is an aptly example of the quality of the Institute's experts and work.


One of the newly released documents headlined CND Gen list 2 (pdf) (CND= Chris Nigel Donnelly) includes the names and email addresses of a number of military, government and think tank people. The anonymous releaser of the documents claims that the list is "of employees who attended a closed-door meeting with the white helmets". (No document has been published yet that confirms this.) One name on the list is of special interest:


bigger

Pablo Miller was the handler and friend of Sergej Skripal, the British double agent who was "novichoked" in Salisbury. When Miller's name was mentioned in the press the British government issued a D-Notice to suppress its further publishing,


bigger

As we wrote in April:

Pablo Miller, a British MI6 agent, had recruited Sergej Skripal. The former MI6 agent in Moscow, Christopher Steele, was also involved in the case. Skripal was caught by the Russian security services and went to jail. Pablo Miller, the MI6 recruiter, was also the handler of Sergej Skripal after he was released by Russia in a spy swap. He reportedly also lives in Salisbury. Both Christopher Steele and Pablo Miller work for Orbis Business Intelligence which created the "Dirty Dossier" about Donald Trump.

In 1979, before becoming a spy, Pablo Miller served at the 4th Royal Tank Regiment . ( BBC Newsnight 'journalist' Mark Urban, who later published a book based on interviews with Skripal , served together with Miller in the same regiment.) The 4th regiment's motto was "Fear Naught". Pablo Miller's email address given in the Chris Donnelly list is [email protected].

At the very beginning of the Skripal affair, before there was any talk of 'Novichok', we asked if Skripal was involved in creating the now debunked "Dirty Dossier" and if that was a reason for certain British insiders to move him out of the way:

Here are some question: If there is a connection between the dossier and Skripal, which seems very likely to me, then there are a number of people and organizations with potential motives to kill him. Lots of shady folks and officials on both sides of the Atlantic were involved in creating and running the anti-Trump/anti-Russia campaign. There are several investigations and some very dirty laundry might one day come to light. Removing Skripal while putting the blame on Russia looks like a convenient way to get rid of a potential witness.

The most recent release of Integrity Initiative documents includes lots of in-depth reports (pdf) about foreign media reactions to the Skripal affair. One wonders why the Initiative commissioned such research (pdf) and paid for it.

After two years the Muller investigation found zero evidence for the 'collusion' between Russia and the Trump campaign that the fake Steele dossier suggested. The whole collusion claim is a creation by 'former' British intelligence operatives who likely acted on request of U.S. intelligence leaders Clapper and Brennan. How deep was the Russia specialist Chris Donnelly and his Institute for Statecraft involved in this endeavor?


Checking through all the released Initiative papers and lists one gets the impression of a secret military intelligence operation, disguised as a public NGO. Financed by millions of government money the Institute for Statecraft and the Integrity Initiative work under a charity label to create and disseminate disinformation to the global public and back into the government and military itself.

The paranoia about Russia, which does way less harm than the 'western' "rules based system" constantly creates, is illogical and not based on factual analysis. It creates Russia as an "enemy" when it is none. It hypes a "threat" out of hot air. The only people who profit from this are the propagandists and the companies and people who back them.

The Initiatives motto "Defend Democracy Against Disinformation" is a truly Orwellian construct. By disseminating propaganda and using it to influence the public, parliament, the military and governments, the Institute actively undermines the democratic process that depends on the free availability of truthful information.

It should be shut down immediately.

---
Note: There have already been attempts to delete the released files from the Internet. A complete archive of all Integrity Initiative files published so far is here . Should the public links cease to work, you can contact the author of this blog for access to private backups.

flayer , Dec 15, 2018 11:49:39 AM | link

Aside from the fact that the government itself funds this organization, the creepiest thing about it is that the "non-governmental individuals" that help fund it are the same people that run the think tanks: a bunch of Rhodesians.

Russ , Dec 15, 2018 11:59:03 AM | link

"Such half-assed thinking...Think for a moment how Russia would have responded to a mining of Sevastopol harbor, the frying of its satellites or the destruction of its fighter jets in Crimea. Those "gestures" would have been illegal acts of war against the forces of a nuclear power which were legally stationed in Crimea."

It sure seems like this half-assed thinking isn't just the domain of a fringe element, but is increasingly mainstream among the elites. Doesn't bode well.

Roy G , Dec 15, 2018 12:10:11 PM | link
Thank you B. It is truly amazing to watch the UK elites unravel as they have become truly unhinged by their own connivances. It is a bad joke at the commoner's expense that they propagandize and demonize in the name of the 'Western rules based system' even as they are busy shooting themselves in both feet by committing Brexit. Although there are legitimate grievances with the EU, it is clear that Brexit is a Tory power play that is all politics and zero governance. Alas, Perfidious Albion has succumbed to Mad Cow disease.
Sally Snyder , Dec 15, 2018 12:10:23 PM | link
Here is an interesting look at how little the Russia-linked entities spent on advertising on Google during the 2016 election: https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2018/12/google-russia-and-4700-in-advertising.html Slowly but surely, the Russian meddling narrative is falling apart.
bjd , Dec 15, 2018 12:46:08 PM | link
Thanks, b.

What remains mysterious (not really) is why --if these initiatives are truly meant to save and strengthen democracy-- they aren't proudly proclaimed and advertised, in the open, transparent, for everyone one to see and judge, like an adult democracy that they claim to stand for might want to debate and form an opinion on.

The fact that it isn't, is testimony to the nefarious anti-democratic, authoritarian and totalitarian streak that runs in between every two lines that they put on paper.

Jackrabbit , Dec 15, 2018 12:58:35 PM | link
McCarthyesque smear campaigns to discredit opponents and squash dissent has become normal practice. Integrity Initiative tweets against Corbyn is a stark example, but there have been MANY other people and groups that have been tarred with claims of being sponsored/led/influenced by Russia, including Catalonian independence activists and Yellow vest protesters.

Every time one scratches the surface of such smears, it seems there is a connection to US/British MIC, Ukraine, or Israel - essentially, those who benefit (financially or otherwise) from greater tensions with Russia.

At what point does neocon doubling-down on failed foreign policy become more than just picking our pockets and warping our minds? At what point do they start killing our kids in another unnecessary war?

Clueless Joe , Dec 15, 2018 1:01:40 PM | link
Cold War has been over for nearly 30 years. It's time enough for Western countries to send into real retirement every single cold-warrior, their time is over, their mindset is quaint and useless, if not downright dangerous and counter-productive.
Mark2 , Dec 15, 2018 1:11:36 PM | link
Thank you 'b'
I'll just say -- - there is safety in numbers ! Already valuable information, important to the public good and democracy has been spread wide enough to be certain, this gene won't go back in the bottle ! D notice or no ! And by doing that, has made the fearless journalists and investigators lives all the safer ! Safety in numbers, spread this wide everyone?

Are these people above the law ? ...

psychohistorian , Dec 15, 2018 1:12:59 PM | link
Thanks for the continued exposition of this story b.....may it go viral

I want to comment on some of the wording you quote Donnelly as writing

" .....is giving way to a world of Darwinian competition where all the players – nation states, sub-state actors, big corporations, ethnic or religious groups, and so on – are constantly striving with each other in a "war of all against all". "

This is Donnelly's characterization of a world in which finance is a public utility instead of the private jackboot that it currently is. This is the delusion these people have been led to believe.

So instead of his "war of all against all" that some might call human cooperation on the basis of merit we have a mythical God of Mammon religion that continues to instantiate the private finance led world of the West with it parasitic elite and fawning acolytes.

Kadath , Dec 15, 2018 1:34:30 PM | link
Dear god, what has gotten into the minds of the military and political "elite" within the UK! Mining Sevastopol would have been an obvious act of war against Russia and Russia would have responded with force.

Thankfully it wasn't done but the fact this was even discussed by senior figures confirms that there was at least a sizable minority pushing for it. 30 years after the fall of the Soviet Union, the Western elite have truly abandoned all sense of reality and embraced a consequence free view of the use of force. After Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya they haven't learned a thing! I'm becoming more and more certain that a peaceful transition to the multipolar world is impossible and that it will only happen after the US or one of its' vassal states blunder into a proxy war and get utterly and comprehensively defeated, forcing a radical world realignment, but with nuts like John Bolton and the neocons in the Whitehouse it could easily lead to a nuclear war

Mina , Dec 15, 2018 1:45:39 PM | link
It looks like one of the decision was to get closer to France (after getting very close friends in Homs and Aleppo?) See the list of people in the French II cluster dumped yesterday by Anonymous: half the names work at the fr Min of F Affairs https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lancaster_House_Treaties and http://www.gmfus.org/publications/frances-defense-partnerships-and-dilemmas-brexit

The grumpy general at Turcopolier has skept the II topic entirely.

TJ , Dec 15, 2018 1:53:44 PM | link
@13 psychohistorian

" we have a mythical God of Mammon religion" I hope you're not here in dear old Blighty, as you'll probably get arrested for antisemitism

Peter AU 1 , Dec 15, 2018 2:13:14 PM | link
This group may have officially formed in 2015, but its work is no different from the British propaganda that swamped the MSM when MH17 was downed. Tied into the Steel dossier and Russian collusion in the US. This is the anglosphere or five eyes permanent state.
exiled off mainstreet , Dec 15, 2018 2:22:39 PM | link
As an aside this happens to be "Bill of Rights Day", the anniversary of the passage of the Bill of Rights as amendments to the yankee constitution. This reveals again how far from the rule of law the yankee imperium, now the key element of the British Empire they supposedly seceded from, has strayed, since it is apparent that this "Integrity Initiative" was engaged in to ensure that the regime was in the safe hands of the harpy.

It has also ensured that the victorious candidate has been neutered and faithfully follows the world control line put forward by the five eyes spy-masters making up the empire in its present iteration. This also shows what a farce the regime, based on the rule of law, now presents.

It is interesting that Trudeau, the Canadian figurehead, clothes his country's kidnapping of the Chinese business figure as "in defence of the rule of law." All in all, it is now apparent we would be far better off if the Kaiserreich, with all of its militaristic and bombastic flaws, had triumphed in the Great War. No Hitler, no Stalin, no five eyes fascism.

GeorgeV , Dec 15, 2018 2:27:49 PM | link
The "Western-based rules system" described in this article reminds me of a game called "Calvin Ball" which appeared in the former comic strip "Calvin and Hobbes." In the strip Calvin a wildly imaginative adolescent boy who plays a free-form of football with his imaginary pet toy tiger (Hobbes). Rules of the game are made up as the game is played to suit the players. There you have it real life imitates art.
bjd , Dec 15, 2018 2:38:50 PM | link
b, I downloaded the zip file, and had also downloaded all the PDF's from pdf-archive yesterday. There are more files in the zip, but the following were on pdf-archive and are NOT in the zip:
sejomoje , Dec 15, 2018 3:06:48 PM | link
Better yet, can anyone name an NGO, any NGO ever, that's not closely if not directly linked to "a secret military intelligence operation." Anyone? Mueller?
jayc , Dec 15, 2018 4:05:08 PM | link
Thank you very much for this terrific analysis. Donnelly: "... it is we who must either generate the debate or wait for something dreadful to happen to shock us into action. " Numerous American publications featured very similar language in the years ahead of 9/11, with "Islamic terrorist threat" substituted for the Russians.
Emmanuel Goldstein , Dec 15, 2018 4:21:51 PM | link
The transcript of his conversation with the general shows very starkly that we would last about two minutes in a nuclear exchange, but about half a day in a conventional one. No reserves, no equipment stockpiles, a navy consisting of two fat targets, neither of which has any aircraft and some destroyers which have propulsion problems, a smallish air force and very small numbers of troops. The tripwire force in Estonia is wholly sacrificial. In fact he lays bare the whole fallacy of biting the bear. With the armed forces in the state he describes, and with the recruitment and retention problems, wouldn't it be better, as one defense minister said, 'to go away and shut up'...
uncle tungsten , Dec 15, 2018 4:27:59 PM | link
Thanks b and especially the link to Valentina Lisitsa who I had tinkling in the background as I read your grand expose. These people are seditious morons, parasites infesting the state apparatus. Shut these fools down. Nice touch publishing the passport image. I can just imagine the frenzied aftermath of Kit's visit to the basement. Big thanks to anonymous and Craig Murray too. Their IT personel are probably visiting Devil's Island or Diego Garcia as we read.
Sasha , Dec 15, 2018 5:00:51 PM | link
Vesti News has published an excellent documentary on how "clusters" work....not only to spread Russophobia...but also on continuous intends to overthrown Russian legitimate government... https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=7&v=E8-Stfrl5aM

The British and US connections to loot and evade Russian riches and funds are exposed, as well as the origin of sanctions, supposed "alt-media" "truth-seakers" like Meduza...or supposed "pro-Russian" US intelligence operatives married to Russian women....

Sasha , Dec 15, 2018 5:32:32 PM | link
@Posted by: Mina | Dec 15, 2018 1:45:39 PM | 18

Amongst the many issues he usually passes over trying to make himself the fool, while at the same time trying to convince us of the oustanding intellectual capacities, honesty and classy stance of him and his "comittee"...

https://www.stalkerzone.org/an-american-military-attache-held-a-closed-meeting-with-uaf-commanders-in-mariupol/

For that travel, to end bluntly and in such public view siding with the nazis of the "Azov Regiment" and other criminals of war, there was no need of so many saddlebags, so as pretending that the people who supported Trump as if there was no tomorrow, were enlightened people who only wanted to rescue "America" for the "Americans", as if there would not be a sign of blatant exceptionalism in appropriating of the term "Americans" for themselves in such a huge continent....

NemesisCalling , Dec 15, 2018 5:44:31 PM | link
In my view, the USA's FP has been undermined by EURO elites which is forcing a game of chicken with Russia.

The FP pre-Soviet collapse consisted of one MO: GET THE COMMIES!

Since then, Neocons and Neolibs which are frontmen for this Non-National Globalized Elite, have hijacked our country's military and have steered it to a Global agenda where dominance in the ME means either superiority for these EURO elites or Vassal-hood.

The last two periods of the US FP could be understood thusly: (1) Pre-Soviet collapse which was marked by a horrifically tragic and misplaced ideal of defending against communism (Good guys v. Bad Guys); and (2) Post-Soviet collapse which has been a period of coup d'etats where our hijacked military has been used for a Globalist Agenda for increasingly opaque (less defensible) reasons and missions.

The average American could care less about the ME and the US would be 1000x better-off reverting to an isolationist stance.

But this will not happen so long as Nationalism in the US and UK is repeatedly put-down. It seems as though there is going to be another Brexit vote. Does anyone doubt that miraculously the people by then will have second-guessed their will to Brexit and so will vote against it given another crack at a vote?

Sickening.

slit , Dec 15, 2018 6:04:29 PM | link
"Unfortunately, or luckily, such lobbying operations are mostly run by people who are incompetent in the specific field they are lobbying for. "

Incompetence in general and IT and data analysis, physics 101, etc.:

Cry boo hoo hoo to wake up with indigenous capacity decades behind world players like Russia, China, India, etc who operate on fractional budgets...

But this drama also exposes ashura/emigods intra necine warfare: right after 2016 US elections there was a facade of split between military and intelligence differentiation. Seems that veil has been dispensed with , but it invites other questions, insofar as UK is Her Majesty's Service, so are we to read this with Prince Harry or Philip's culture, or a "consent by silence") in mind? Defending crown or EU "Saturnus Sattelitus"?

MadMax2 , Dec 15, 2018 6:28:58 PM | link
@Nemisis

Yeah, they hijacked a few other countries too, including Russia. Or if not hijacking, setting the mood right for some shenanigans in the near future... I think you're quite right about the cheif host of the globalist neolib parasite. Hijacked near fully. Being bled dry. That unaccounted for 21 Trillion at the pentagon is a bit of a giveaway. All under the guise of free markets and democracy.

Good to see Trump finally give it a face... 'you need freedom and security now pay up bitches'

Jackrabbit , Dec 15, 2018 6:38:00 PM | link
NemesisCalling | Dec 15, 2018 5:44:31 PM | 37
In my view, the USA's FP has been undermined by EURO elites which is forcing a game of chicken with Russia.... Globalist Agenda
I think the opposite is true.

The US-led Empire and their globalist sycophants seek to weaken Europe so that it can not act independently in its own best interests. They will do what ever they can to ensure that the vassals never join with Russia/China and the SCO.

Russian scare-mongering and immigration have been effective in furthering this agenda. Also note: what USA has termed "new Europe" - eastern European states like Poland and Ukraine - are solidly pro-American.

John2o2o , Dec 15, 2018 6:56:17 PM | link
'Integrity Initiative' - A Military Intelligence Operation Designed To Create A New Enemy

Perfect description.

Why has this ageing nutjob been allowed to secretly dictate British foreign policy? He's clearly insane.

vk , Dec 15, 2018 6:58:49 PM | link
@

[Dec 16, 2018] Exploitation of other people as a priority as well as lack on empathy and compassion are two components which make up a psychopathic personality

Neoliberalism as "psychopath-friendly" social system...
Dec 16, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

ShaunNewman -> Mauryan , 23 Aug 2016 20:59

Exploitation is high on the priority list of any Tory government, wealth should be distributed much more fairly than it currently is. The tories only serve the rich, they have no time or empathy for the poor.

Empathy and compassion are vacant in the tory philosophy of the world. These two components make up a psychopathic personality.

[Dec 16, 2018] Skripal father probably fully participated to the whole story. These kinds of narratives are useful to distract the masses from the complete impotency of their politicians.

Dec 16, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Mina , Dec 15, 2018 2:07:25 PM | link

Skripal father probably fully participated to the whole story. These kinds of narratives are useful to distract the masses from the complete impotency of their politicians.

He now enjoys a forced holiday in Brasil under a new name and a new face, and the same for his daughter, who had to share in this involuntarily .

[Dec 16, 2018] Neoliberalism has had its day. So what happens next (The death of neoliberalism and the crisis in western politics) by Martin Jacques

Highly recommended!
It is very interesting and educational to read this pre-election article two years later and see where the author is right and where he is wrong. The death of neoliberalism was greatly exaggerated. It simply mutated in the USA into "national neoliberalism" under Trump. As no clear alternative exists it remain the dominant ideology and universities still brainwash students with neoclassical economics. And in way catchy slogan "Make America great again" under Trump means "Make American working and lower middle class great again"
It is also clear that Trump betrayed or was forced to betray most of his election promises. Standrd of living of common americans did not improve under his watch. most of hi benefits of his tax cuts went to large corporations and financial oligarch. He continued the policy of financial deregulation, which is tantamount of playing with open fire trying to warm up the house
What we see under Trump is tremendous growth of political role of intelligence agencies which now are real kingmakers and can sink any candidate which does not support their agenda. And USA intelligence agencies operated in 2016 in close cooperation with the UK intelligence agencies to the extent that it is not clear who has the lead in creating Steele dossier. They are definitely out of control of executive branch and play their own game. We also see a rise of CIA democrats as a desperate attempt to preserve the power of Clinton wing of the Democratic Party ('soft neoliberals" turned under Hillary into into warmongers and neocons) . Hillary and Bill themselves clearly belong to CIA democrats too, not only to Wall Street democrats, despite the fact that they sold Democratic Party to Wall Street in the past. New Labor in UK did the same.
But if it is more or less clear now what happened in the USa in 2016-2018, it is completely unclear what will happen next. I think in no way neoliberalism will start to be dismantled. there is no social forces powerful enough to start this job, We probably need another financial crisi of the scale of 2008 for this work to be reluctantly started by ruling elite. And we better not to have this repetition of 2008 as it will be really devastating for common people.
Notable quotes:
"... the causes of this political crisis, glaringly evident on both sides of the Atlantic, are much deeper than simply the financial crisis and the virtually stillborn recovery of the last decade. They go to the heart of the neoliberal project that dates from the late 70s and the political rise of Reagan and Thatcher, and embraced at its core the idea of a global free market in goods, services and capital. The depression-era system of bank regulation was dismantled, in the US in the 1990s and in Britain in 1986, thereby creating the conditions for the 2008 crisis. Equality was scorned, the idea of trickle-down economics lauded, government condemned as a fetter on the market and duly downsized, immigration encouraged, regulation cut to a minimum, taxes reduced and a blind eye turned to corporate evasion. ..."
"... It should be noted that, by historical standards, the neoliberal era has not had a particularly good track record. The most dynamic period of postwar western growth was that between the end of the war and the early 70s, the era of welfare capitalism and Keynesianism, when the growth rate was double that of the neoliberal period from 1980 to the present. ..."
"... In the period 1948-1972, every section of the American population experienced very similar and sizable increases in their standard of living; between 1972-2013, the bottom 10% experienced falling real income while the top 10% did far better than everyone else. In the US, the median real income for full-time male workers is now lower than it was four decades ago: the income of the bottom 90% of the population has stagnated for over 30 years . ..."
"... On average, between 65-70% of households in 25 high-income economies experienced stagnant or falling real incomes between 2005 and 2014. ..."
"... As Thomas Piketty has shown, in the absence of countervailing pressures, capitalism naturally gravitates towards increasing inequality. In the period between 1945 and the late 70s, Cold War competition was arguably the biggest such constraint. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, there have been none. As the popular backlash grows increasingly irresistible, however, such a winner-takes-all regime becomes politically unsustainable. ..."
"... Foreign Affairs ..."
"... "'Populism' is the label that political elites attach to policies supported by ordinary citizens that they don't like." Populism is a movement against the status quo. It represents the beginnings of something new, though it is generally much clearer about what it is against than what it is for. It can be progressive or reactionary, but more usually both. ..."
"... According to a Gallup poll, in 2000 only 33% of Americans called themselves working class; by 2015 the figure was 48%, almost half the population. ..."
"... The re-emergence of the working class as a political voice in Britain, most notably in the Brexit vote, can best be described as an inchoate expression of resentment and protest, with only a very weak sense of belonging to the labour movement. ..."
"... Economists such as Larry Summers believe that the prospect for the future is most likely one of secular stagnation . ..."
"... those who have lost out in the neoliberal era are no longer prepared to acquiesce in their fate – they are increasingly in open revolt. We are witnessing the end of the neoliberal era. It is not dead, but it is in its early death throes, just as the social-democratic era was during the 1970s. ..."
"... Capital in the Twenty-First Century ..."
"... Financial Times ..."
Aug 21, 2016 | www.theguardian.com

In the early 1980s the author was one of the first to herald the emerging dominance of neoliberalism in the west. Here he argues that this doctrine is now faltering. But what happens next?

The western financial crisis of 2007-8 was the worst since 1931, yet its immediate repercussions were surprisingly modest. The crisis challenged the foundation stones of the long-dominant neoliberal ideology but it seemed to emerge largely unscathed. The banks were bailed out; hardly any bankers on either side of the Atlantic were prosecuted for their crimes; and the price of their behaviour was duly paid by the taxpayer. Subsequent economic policy, especially in the Anglo-Saxon world, has relied overwhelmingly on monetary policy, especially quantitative easing. It has failed. The western economy has stagnated and is now approaching its lost decade, with no end in sight.

After almost nine years, we are finally beginning to reap the political whirlwind of the financial crisis. But how did neoliberalism manage to survive virtually unscathed for so long? Although it failed the test of the real world, bequeathing the worst economic disaster for seven decades, politically and intellectually it remained the only show in town. Parties of the right, centre and left had all bought into its philosophy, New Labour a classic in point. They knew no other way of thinking or doing: it had become the common sense. It was, as Antonio Gramsci put it, hegemonic. But that hegemony cannot and will not survive the test of the real world.

The first inkling of the wider political consequences was evident in the turn in public opinion against the banks, bankers and business leaders. For decades, they could do no wrong: they were feted as the role models of our age, the default troubleshooters of choice in education, health and seemingly everything else. Now, though, their star was in steep descent, along with that of the political class. The effect of the financial crisis was to undermine faith and trust in the competence of the governing elites. It marked the beginnings of a wider political crisis.

But the causes of this political crisis, glaringly evident on both sides of the Atlantic, are much deeper than simply the financial crisis and the virtually stillborn recovery of the last decade. They go to the heart of the neoliberal project that dates from the late 70s and the political rise of Reagan and Thatcher, and embraced at its core the idea of a global free market in goods, services and capital. The depression-era system of bank regulation was dismantled, in the US in the 1990s and in Britain in 1986, thereby creating the conditions for the 2008 crisis. Equality was scorned, the idea of trickle-down economics lauded, government condemned as a fetter on the market and duly downsized, immigration encouraged, regulation cut to a minimum, taxes reduced and a blind eye turned to corporate evasion.

It should be noted that, by historical standards, the neoliberal era has not had a particularly good track record. The most dynamic period of postwar western growth was that between the end of the war and the early 70s, the era of welfare capitalism and Keynesianism, when the growth rate was double that of the neoliberal period from 1980 to the present.

But by far the most disastrous feature of the neoliberal period has been the huge growth in inequality. Until very recently, this had been virtually ignored. With extraordinary speed, however, it has emerged as one of, if not the most important political issue on both sides of the Atlantic, most dramatically in the US. It is, bar none, the issue that is driving the political discontent that is now engulfing the west. Given the statistical evidence, it is puzzling, shocking even, that it has been disregarded for so long; the explanation can only lie in the sheer extent of the hegemony of neoliberalism and its values.

But now reality has upset the doctrinal apple cart. In the period 1948-1972, every section of the American population experienced very similar and sizable increases in their standard of living; between 1972-2013, the bottom 10% experienced falling real income while the top 10% did far better than everyone else. In the US, the median real income for full-time male workers is now lower than it was four decades ago: the income of the bottom 90% of the population has stagnated for over 30 years .

A not so dissimilar picture is true of the UK. And the problem has grown more serious since the financial crisis. On average, between 65-70% of households in 25 high-income economies experienced stagnant or falling real incomes between 2005 and 2014.

Large sections of the population in both the US and the UK are now in revolt against their lot

The reasons are not difficult to explain. The hyper-globalisation era has been systematically stacked in favour of capital against labour: international trading agreements, drawn up in great secrecy, with business on the inside and the unions and citizens excluded, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) being but the latest examples; the politico-legal attack on the unions; the encouragement of large-scale immigration in both the US and Europe that helped to undermine the bargaining power of the domestic workforce; and the failure to retrain displaced workers in any meaningful way.

As Thomas Piketty has shown, in the absence of countervailing pressures, capitalism naturally gravitates towards increasing inequality. In the period between 1945 and the late 70s, Cold War competition was arguably the biggest such constraint. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, there have been none. As the popular backlash grows increasingly irresistible, however, such a winner-takes-all regime becomes politically unsustainable.

Large sections of the population in both the US and the UK are now in revolt against their lot, as graphically illustrated by the support for Trump and Sanders in the US and the Brexit vote in the UK. This popular revolt is often described, in a somewhat denigratory and dismissive fashion, as populism. Or, as Francis Fukuyama writes in a recent excellent essay in Foreign Affairs : "'Populism' is the label that political elites attach to policies supported by ordinary citizens that they don't like." Populism is a movement against the status quo. It represents the beginnings of something new, though it is generally much clearer about what it is against than what it is for. It can be progressive or reactionary, but more usually both.

Brexit is a classic example of such populism. It has overturned a fundamental cornerstone of UK policy since the early 1970s. Though ostensibly about Europe, it was in fact about much more: a cri de coeur from those who feel they have lost out and been left behind, whose living standards have stagnated or worse since the 1980s, who feel dislocated by large-scale immigration over which they have no control and who face an increasingly insecure and casualised labour market. Their revolt has paralysed the governing elite, already claimed one prime minister, and left the latest one fumbling around in the dark looking for divine inspiration.

The wave of populism marks the return of class as a central agency in politics, both in the UK and the US. This is particularly remarkable in the US. For many decades, the idea of the "working class" was marginal to American political discourse. Most Americans described themselves as middle class, a reflection of the aspirational pulse at the heart of American society. According to a Gallup poll, in 2000 only 33% of Americans called themselves working class; by 2015 the figure was 48%, almost half the population.

Brexit, too, was primarily a working-class revolt. Hitherto, on both sides of the Atlantic, the agency of class has been in retreat in the face of the emergence of a new range of identities and issues from gender and race to sexual orientation and the environment. The return of class, because of its sheer reach, has the potential, like no other issue, to redefine the political landscape.

The working class belongs to no one: its orientation, far from predetermined, is a function of politics

The re-emergence of class should not be confused with the labor movement. They are not synonymous: this is obvious in the US and increasingly the case in the UK. Indeed, over the last half-century, there has been a growing separation between the two in Britain. The re-emergence of the working class as a political voice in Britain, most notably in the Brexit vote, can best be described as an inchoate expression of resentment and protest, with only a very weak sense of belonging to the labour movement.

Indeed, Ukip has been as important – in the form of immigration and Europe – in shaping its current attitudes as the Labour party. In the United States, both Trump and Sanders have given expression to the working-class revolt, the latter almost as much as the former. The working class belongs to no one: its orientation, far from predetermined, as the left liked to think, is a function of politics.

The neoliberal era is being undermined from two directions. First, if its record of economic growth has never been particularly strong, it is now dismal. Europe is barely larger than it was on the eve of the financial crisis in 2007; the United States has done better but even its growth has been anaemic. Economists such as Larry Summers believe that the prospect for the future is most likely one of secular stagnation .

Worse, because the recovery has been so weak and fragile, there is a widespread belief that another financial crisis may well beckon. In other words, the neoliberal era has delivered the west back into the kind of crisis-ridden world that we last experienced in the 1930s. With this background, it is hardly surprising that a majority in the west now believe their children will be worse off than they were. Second, those who have lost out in the neoliberal era are no longer prepared to acquiesce in their fate – they are increasingly in open revolt. We are witnessing the end of the neoliberal era. It is not dead, but it is in its early death throes, just as the social-democratic era was during the 1970s.

A sure sign of the declining influence of neoliberalism is the rising chorus of intellectual voices raised against it. From the mid-70s through the 80s, the economic debate was increasingly dominated by monetarists and free marketeers. But since the western financial crisis, the centre of gravity of the intellectual debate has shifted profoundly. This is most obvious in the United States, with economists such as Joseph Stiglitz, Paul Krugman, Dani Rodrik and Jeffrey Sachs becoming increasingly influential. Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century has been a massive seller. His work and that of Tony Atkinson and Angus Deaton have pushed the question of the inequality to the top of the political agenda. In the UK, Ha-Joon Chang , for long isolated within the economics profession, has gained a following far greater than those who think economics is a branch of mathematics.

Meanwhile, some of those who were previously strong advocates of a neoliberal approach, such as Larry Summers and the Financial Times 's Martin Wolf, have become extremely critical. The wind is in the sails of the critics of neoliberalism; the neoliberals and monetarists are in retreat. In the UK, the media and political worlds are well behind the curve. Few recognize that we are at the end of an era. Old attitudes and assumptions still predominate, whether on the BBC's Today programme, in the rightwing press or the parliamentary Labor party.

Following Ed Miliband's resignation as Labour leader, virtually no one foresaw the triumph of Jeremy Corbyn in the subsequent leadership election. The assumption had been more of the same, a Blairite or a halfway house like Miliband, certainly not anyone like Corbyn. But the zeitgeist had changed. The membership, especially the young who had joined the party on an unprecedented scale, wanted a complete break with New Labour. One of the reasons why the left has failed to emerge as the leader of the new mood of working-class disillusionment is that most social democratic parties became, in varying degrees, disciples of neoliberalism and uber-globalisation. The most extreme forms of this phenomenon were New Labour and the Democrats, who in the late 90s and 00s became its advance guard, personified by Tony Blair and Bill Clinton, triangulation and the third way.

But as David Marquand observed in a review for the New Statesman , what is the point of a social democratic party if it doesn't represent the less fortunate, the underprivileged and the losers? New Labour deserted those who needed them, who historically they were supposed to represent. Is it surprising that large sections have now deserted the party who deserted them? Blair, in his reincarnation as a money-obsessed consultant to a shady bunch of presidents and dictators, is a fitting testament to the demise of New Labour.

The rival contenders – Burnham, Cooper and Kendall – represented continuity. They were swept away by Corbyn, who won nearly 60% of the votes. New Labour was over, as dead as Monty Python's parrot. Few grasped the meaning of what had happened. A Guardian leader welcomed the surge in membership and then, lo and behold, urged support for Yvette Cooper, the very antithesis of the reason for the enthusiasm. The PLP refused to accept the result and ever since has tried with might and main to remove Corbyn.

Just as the Labour party took far too long to come to terms with the rise of Thatcherism and the birth of a new era at the end of the 70s, now it could not grasp that the Thatcherite paradigm, which they eventually came to embrace in the form of New Labour, had finally run its course. Labour, like everyone else, is obliged to think anew. The membership in their antipathy to New Labour turned to someone who had never accepted the latter, who was the polar opposite in almost every respect of Blair, and embodying an authenticity and decency which Blair patently did not.

Labour may be in intensive care, but the condition of the Conservatives is not a great deal better

Corbyn is not a product of the new times, he is a throwback to the late 70s and early 80s. That is both his strength and also his weakness. He is uncontaminated by the New Labour legacy because he has never accepted it. But nor, it would seem, does he understand the nature of the new era. The danger is that he is possessed of feet of clay in what is a highly fluid and unpredictable political environment, devoid of any certainties of almost any kind, in which Labour finds itself dangerously divided and weakened.

Labour may be in intensive care, but the condition of the Conservatives is not a great deal better. David Cameron was guilty of a huge and irresponsible miscalculation over Brexit. He was forced to resign in the most ignominious of circumstances. The party is hopelessly divided. It has no idea in which direction to move after Brexit. The Brexiters painted an optimistic picture of turning away from the declining European market and embracing the expanding markets of the world, albeit barely mentioning by name which countries it had in mind. It looks as if the new prime minister may have an anachronistic hostility towards China and a willingness to undo the good work of George Osborne. If the government turns its back on China, by far the fastest growing market in the world, where are they going to turn?

Brexit has left the country fragmented and deeply divided, with the very real prospect that Scotland might choose independence. Meanwhile, the Conservatives seem to have little understanding that the neoliberal era is in its death throes.

Dramatic as events have been in the UK, they cannot compare with those in the United States. Almost from nowhere, Donald Trump rose to capture the Republican nomination and confound virtually all the pundits and not least his own party. His message was straightforwardly anti-globalisation. He believes that the interests of the working class have been sacrificed in favour of the big corporations that have been encouraged to invest around the world and thereby deprive American workers of their jobs. Further, he argues that large-scale immigration has weakened the bargaining power of American workers and served to lower their wages.

He proposes that US corporations should be required to invest their cash reserves in the US. He believes that the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) has had the effect of exporting American jobs to Mexico. On similar grounds, he is opposed to the TPP and the TTIP. And he also accuses China of stealing American jobs, threatening to impose a 45% tariff on Chinese imports.

To globalisation Trump counterposes economic nationalism: "Put America first". His appeal, above all, is to the white working class who, until Trump's (and Bernie Sander's) arrival on the political scene, had been ignored and largely unrepresented since the 1980s. Given that their wages have been falling for most of the last 40 years, it is extraordinary how their interests have been neglected by the political class. Increasingly, they have voted Republican, but the Republicans have long been captured by the super-rich and Wall Street, whose interests, as hyper-globalisers, have run directly counter to those of the white working class. With the arrival of Trump they finally found a representative: they won Trump the Republican nomination.

Trump believes that America's pursuit of great power status has squandered the nation's resources

The economic nationalist argument has also been vigorously pursued by Bernie Sanders , who ran Hillary Clinton extremely close for the Democratic nomination and would probably have won but for more than 700 so-called super-delegates, who were effectively chosen by the Democratic machine and overwhelmingly supported Clinton. As in the case of the Republicans, the Democrats have long supported a neoliberal, pro-globalisation strategy, notwithstanding the concerns of its trade union base. Both the Republicans and the Democrats now find themselves deeply polarised between the pro- and anti-globalisers, an entirely new development not witnessed since the shift towards neoliberalism under Reagan almost 40 years ago.

Another plank of Trump's nationalist appeal – "Make America great again" – is his position on foreign policy. He believes that America's pursuit of great power status has squandered the nation's resources. He argues that the country's alliance system is unfair, with America bearing most of the cost and its allies contributing far too little. He points to Japan and South Korea, and NATO's European members as prime examples. He seeks to rebalance these relationships and, failing that, to exit from them.

As a country in decline, he argues that America can no longer afford to carry this kind of financial burden. Rather than putting the world to rights, he believes the money should be invested at home, pointing to the dilapidated state of America's infrastructure. Trump's position represents a major critique of America as the world's hegemon. His arguments mark a radical break with the neoliberal, hyper-globalisation ideology that has reigned since the early 1980s and with the foreign policy orthodoxy of most of the postwar period. These arguments must be taken seriously. They should not be lightly dismissed just because of their authorship. But Trump is no man of the left. He is a populist of the right. He has launched a racist and xenophobic attack on Muslims and on Mexicans. Trump's appeal is to a white working class that feels it has been cheated by the big corporations, undermined by Hispanic immigration, and often resentful towards African-Americans who for long too many have viewed as their inferior.

A Trump America would mark a descent into authoritarianism characterised by abuse, scapegoating, discrimination, racism, arbitrariness and violence; America would become a deeply polarised and divided society. His threat to impose 45% tariffs on China , if implemented, would certainly provoke retaliation by the Chinese and herald the beginnings of a new era of protectionism.

Trump may well lose the presidential election just as Sanders failed in his bid for the Democrat nomination. But this does not mean that the forces opposed to hyper-globalisation – unrestricted immigration, TPP and TTIP, the free movement of capital and much else – will have lost the argument and are set to decline. In little more than 12 months, Trump and Sanders have transformed the nature and terms of the argument. Far from being on the wane, the arguments of the critics of hyper-globalisation are steadily gaining ground. Roughly two-thirds of Americans agree that "we should not think so much in international terms but concentrate more on our own national problems". And, above all else, what will continue to drive opposition to the hyper-globalisers is inequality.

[Dec 16, 2018] The neoliberals are organised and well funded. The left have fragmented and is infected with identity politics. That means that neoliberalism will survive and prosper in the foreseeable future and the standard of living of population will slide further

End of cheap oil is the next milestone in the development of neoliberalism. It remain to be seen if it can survive the end of cheap oil.
Notable quotes:
"... According to a Gallup poll, in 2000 only 33% of Americans called themselves working class; by 2015 the figure was 48%, almost half the population. ..."
"... American politicians, Obama in particular, constantly talk about "the middle class" when they want to refer to the bulk of the working population, as if almost everybody were doctors, lawyers, teachers and managers. ..."
"... This situation in the USA remind me of Australia where we have a choice between two right wing parties ..."
"... austerity for the working class while the rich go untouched even to pay a fair share of taxation. It's world wide the servants of the 1% who own 50% of the world's economy. ..."
"... There is no country in the world that doesn't have a mixture of both. The mix is probably a bit strained in north Korea but those countries where private capital is supreme all have intolerable conditions for workers. The Nordic countries probably have the most enlightened approach and best living standards for the majority. Remember well the old adage: With communism man exploits man. With capitalism it's the other way round. ..."
"... one can only hope neoliberalism is dead and/or dying.... ..."
"... Trump does not truly represent the labor or economically frustrated class. He is saying things that they'd like to hear. He is a rich and pompous man who belongs to the class which benefited tremendously from neoliberalistic policies. People are so fed up with inequality, their emotions can be directed in any direction and manipulated. Anger needs a target - Mexicans, Blacks, women, Muslims, immigrants and the list expands. Trump is misleading them by speaking in their voices while enjoying the comfort of luxury that he built by exploiting those very people. ..."
Dec 16, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

opinerimo , 23 Aug 2016 23:23

Quote: According to a Gallup poll, in 2000 only 33% of Americans called themselves working class; by 2015 the figure was 48%, almost half the population.

How strange. American politicians, Obama in particular, constantly talk about "the middle class" when they want to refer to the bulk of the working population, as if almost everybody were doctors, lawyers, teachers and managers. It's good therefore to know that the American people know better than their politicians how to classify themselves.

ShaunNewman -> shockrah , 23 Aug 2016 21:28
This situation in the USA remind me of Australia where we have a choice between two right wing parties. The LNP is extreme/ultra right wing and our Labor Party is right wing controlled. At least in Britain you have a choice, from afar it seems that your Conservative Party is equal to our LNP but your Labour Party seems to be a little more Left wing than our Labor Party which is a good thing for Britain.
ShaunNewman -> willpodmore , 23 Aug 2016 21:21
willpodmore your next target must be your tory government, they are doing to you what our tory government in Australia is doing to us and if Trump gets elected the USA tory government will do to them, austerity for the working class while the rich go untouched even to pay a fair share of taxation. It's world wide the servants of the 1% who own 50% of the world's economy. If you don't believe me type the 1% own 50% of Earth's economy into Dr Goggle and see what come up.
ShaunNewman -> CivilDiscussion , 23 Aug 2016 21:16
The one thing all Left leaning people do agree on is 'fairness' and equity for all, in economic terms it means that huge corporations pay a fair share of tax, as working people do. Sadly Tory govts ignore the profits of corporations and fail to force them to pay a fair share of tax. The basic problem that the neo-cons suffer from is insatiable greed where enough is never enough, selfishness is also a trait along with lack of empathy or compassion for their fellow mankind.
ShaunNewman -> IsleWalker , 23 Aug 2016 21:12
"neoliberalism" is simply unregulated capitalism as practiced by Tory governments around the world. Labour governments usually regulate and force these huge corporations to pay a fair share of taxation from their huge incomes. The corporations are owned by the 1% who own 50% of the world economy and continuing to grow on a daily basis.
ShaunNewman -> Vintage59 , 23 Aug 2016 21:09
Yes, nothing has changed in my lifetime except the 1% now own 50% of Earth's economy. Working people have always struggled while the rich build their mansions, both Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn have the right idea of a fair distribution of wealth. This means these huge corporations paying their fair share of their income in taxes to the host country so "all" the people receive some benefit, apart from the 1%.
ShaunNewman -> blaster1 , 23 Aug 2016 21:04
blaster1, the joke of the century, globalisation -- which will only increase to the benefit of everyone eventually. You obviously have little knowledge apart from what the Tories feed you. 1% of the global population own 50% of Earth's economy and through their corporations who the tories allow to avoid paying tax will build on that 50% how long will it eventually take the other 99% to receive any benefit? 200,000 years?
ShaunNewman -> Mauryan , 23 Aug 2016 20:59
Exploitation is high on the priority list of any Tory government, wealth should be distributed much more fairly than it currently is. The tories only serve the rich, they have no time or empathy for the poor. Empathy and compassion are vacant in the tory philosophy of the world. These two components make up a psychopathic personality.
ShaunNewman -> pantomimetorie , 23 Aug 2016 20:56
pantomimetorie yes, and England could also be if you had a government who were not merely servants of the rich. A government interested in the fair distribution of wealth. Not a tory government, obviously!
ShaunNewman -> pantomimetorie , 23 Aug 2016 20:53
There's no such thing as neoliberalism, it's just capitalism and capitalism actually works, unlike socialism.

Yes it works alright, it works for the 1% of the global population who own 50% of the global economy, sadly it leaves in its wake an underclass of people living below the poverty line struggling to survive. It works for the rich, but there is no mechanism in the system that the conservative will use to force the rich to pay their fair share of taxation to the country included in that are the multibillion pound multinational corporations who pay little to naught in taxes also which leaves a huge swathe of the population on Struggle Street and the sooner that democratic socialism is instituted the better off the other 99% will be.

foryousure -> pantomimetorie , 23 Aug 2016 19:00
Keep up! There is no country in the world that doesn't have a mixture of both. The mix is probably a bit strained in north Korea but those countries where private capital is supreme all have intolerable conditions for workers. The Nordic countries probably have the most enlightened approach and best living standards for the majority. Remember well the old adage: With communism man exploits man. With capitalism it's the other way round.
foryousure -> AmyInNH , 23 Aug 2016 18:51
Think they call it lobbying. Companies pay professional lobby firms staffed with ex MPs or whatever to ' meet' ministers. The PR companies make 'donations' to party funds and push for government contracts, changes in legislation, favorable to their industry tax breaks. You can do it of course. Write to your mp to get your local roads, parks, libraries, improved. Don't hold your breath.

That has to be the joke of the year if not the century!!!!!!!!!!!!

pantomimetorie , 23 Aug 2016 17:02
The most dynamic period of postwar western growth was that between the end of the war and the early 70s, the era of welfare capitalism and Keynesianism, when the growth rate was double that of the neoliberal period from 1980 to the present.

It would be interesting to see those growth figures with inflation taken into account or to average them out across the whole world and not just the West. I suspect that if the massive growth in India, China and the rest of Asia was taken into account the growth figures wouldn't be so bad.

66378741 , 23 Aug 2016 14:50
one can only hope neoliberalism is dead and/or dying....
Dave_P -> AmyInNH , 23 Aug 2016 13:58
Excuse me? You're the one claiming rural inhabitants "have no idea" what city life entails. That may have been the case centuries ago, but not now. Offshoring is small potatoes in the shift of global production. It may have been big news a decade ago. We aren't a decade ago.

"Poverty = no kids" is your myth. Human history proves otherwise. Nobody's "decimating western/westernized population for profit". Is what you're about really more white people, fewer brown people? Just say it, this is the Guardian, we've heard it all before.

So run your country then. But intelligently, not on the basis of twisted myth-making and dodgy race myths that we had enough of in 1945.

makingtime -> ijustcalledtosay85 , 23 Aug 2016 13:36

The left, at least as far as I know, have not been able to build up a solid set of ideas on which to build a political agenda nor have they sought to gain traction for their ideas in sites of knowledge production. The neoliberals were organised and waiting when their turn came. For me, the left have fragmented and have turned to cultural critiques and identity politics, forgoing any kind of realistic transformative agenda.

Apologies for not answering earlier.

i) Traction in sites of knowledge production is happening certainly. Again I can point to the article for support - Stiglitz, Ha-Joon Chang, Piketty etc did not arise to such prominence due to an organised left-wing agenda but because events in the real world demanded an explanation for why neoliberalism wasn't delivering its universal benison as promised, and indeed was showing empirical signs that it might be poisonous to economic activity in certain fundamental ways.

ii) In my view it is quite possible to support identity politics (social liberalism if you like) and a more left wing view of economics. At present the more enthusiastic placard wavers are seeing identity politics as more likely to produce a beneficial change, but many are recognising that the former hegemony of neoliberalism is breaking, and the best way to really enhance the welfare of vulnerable groups is to promote universal economic justice in some form.

iii) You appear to want to replace one hegemonic system of thought with another. But these are the wrong tactics for me, since we have things to do in the real world.

By all means explain some of the properties your new left hegemonic theory should have, I'd be very interested to hear them.
But in the end the practical steps are obvious and consist of applying left wing principles to the modern economy. An example would be privatising the natural monopoly of the railways.

If that sounds retro, it isn't, because we've never had to deal with an economy in this condition before. We must proceed step by step in my view. The hegemony of neoliberalism was damaging and lasted 40 years and counting. We must be pragmatic to be successful, given what we know about the modern economy, and proceed by finding successful strategies rather than an abstruse new theory that ignores the messy present in favour of some pure, simple conception of the world backed up by the PR department. As I said above, one of the critical faults of neoliberalism is its insistence that it is the answer to everyone's prayers. That certainty is also the seed of its destruction, because to avoid doubts it eventually has to answer those unrealistic prayers.

Mauryan , 23 Aug 2016 13:24
Trump does not truly represent the labor or economically frustrated class. He is saying things that they'd like to hear. He is a rich and pompous man who belongs to the class which benefited tremendously from neoliberalistic policies. People are so fed up with inequality, their emotions can be directed in any direction and manipulated. Anger needs a target - Mexicans, Blacks, women, Muslims, immigrants and the list expands. Trump is misleading them by speaking in their voices while enjoying the comfort of luxury that he built by exploiting those very people.
AmyInNH -> Dave_P , 23 Aug 2016 13:18
Billions of Chinese and Indian have never seen a toilet in their life, so yes, they really don't know what life in a city is. And that doesn't make them "dumb". In their domain, farming, you don't look like a brain storm either.

Offshoring isn't a "tiny element". We are no longer self sustaining and if China slammed the door (as they did for a brief instant on Japan), there'd be serious heartburn in the US before transitioning.

The official western tautology is fail/fail for the public. Not enough jobs to consider having kids? Too bad. Not enough money to raise your kids? Too bad. Due to natural events? No, due to political gaming.

Decimating western/westernized population for profit. It's not complicated. It is you who claim immigration is needed to leave it as it is. "Ending our ability to pay pensions by ending immigration isn't improvement either. "

The west has no business meddling with the rest of the planet if it can't run their own countries.

Matthew Coate -> blaster1 , 23 Aug 2016 12:52

What they are really referring to is globalisation -- which will only increase to the benefit of everyone eventually.

Given the available statistics, your statement can only be described as the proclamation of a sort of religious faith.

Dave_P -> AmyInNH , 23 Aug 2016 12:29
People aren't so dumb as you imagine. They really didn't know about life in the city? Every village had its emigrant. I've no such disdain for those who made that move.

Offshoring's now a tiny element in western deindustrialisation. Your costs are too high, you can't compete: don't blame those worse off than yourself, put your own house in order and educate your workforce to do better than flip burgers.

"Birth control brings down reproduction rates" is a meaningless tautology. People have been practising birth control for centuries, mainly by delaying marriage. The PRB peddles malthusian nonsense that the past half-century has clearly discredited. I thought you were for population growth anyway: "economies so economically unstable that population declines"? Make your mind up.

The ridiculous boom did crash, in 2008. Maybe you missed it. I want to know how we go forward. But people need to pay attention to what's going on outside our head too.

weematt -> Mizzentop , 23 Aug 2016 12:13
I correct misrepresentations of the truth such as yours.

And the problem with communism is that it suspends peoples right in favour of central control.

Communism and socialism is a post -capitalist society, means exactly the same thing to me as they did to Marx also.

The common ownership and democratic control by us all, of all the means and instruments for creating and distributing wealth. 'Common' and 'social' mean the same. Nothing to do with state ownership or corporate or private ownership.

Nothing to do with central control either . It is a post-capitalist system which utilises the technological advances of capitalism to produce for use to satisfy human needs, using self feeding loopback informational tools for stock measurements and control with direct inputs at local regional and global levels to allow calculation in kind, as opposed to the economic calculation of capitalism, only necessary to satisfy profit taking.

The reality is that we can all choose to be rich or poor. We are free to do as we wish (within the law).

Nonsense. If you are born poor you will most likely die poor. Poverty is both absolute and relative. All wealth comes from the exploited abour of the working class which creates a surplus value above its rationed access (wages). A commonly owned society, would not have rich or poor, we would all have free access to the commonly produced wealth, with no elite classes creaming it off and storing it.

Other than that, mind your own damn business, if you can't deal with the arguments.

blaster1 , 23 Aug 2016 12:04
One of the biggest downsides of the rise of Corbyn and Sanders, interesting though it is, is the oxygen it seems to be giving to several old Marxist hacks who have made a good living for decades banging on about their discredited and blood soaked ideology, ie Jacques et al. Recently joined by that newly hatched Marxist harpie on the block, the hipster bearded and thoroughly poisonous Richard Seymour.
The fact is there is not and never was any such thing as "neoliberalism". What they are really referring to is globalisation- which will only increase to the benefit of everyone eventually. The world is shrinking ever faster and that is no bad thing. Progress, evolution, the future, call it what you want. To try and make out that it is halting or in reverse is plainly nonsense.
AmyInNH -> foryousure , 23 Aug 2016 11:18
They buy politicians who gift them with cheap labor via labor glut. Buying politicians is called bribery.
AmyInNH -> Roger Elliott , 23 Aug 2016 11:14
???
What I remember of Reagan,
- spent like a drunken sailor, "defense" spending, til it broke US economy
- unbounded "adjustable rate" and "balloon" mortgages, first bank bailout, bill kicked down the road to Bush Sr., $125 billion, when it blew up
- "trickle down", wealth transfer, via having taxed public pick up the tab for not just his defense binge spending, but also corporate welfare programs (patent office, Import/Export bank, infrastructure, etc.)
- first soup kitchens, adults panhandling/will work for food signs that I'd ever seen
- illegal immigrant amnesty, millions
- "War On Drugs" and right after that black neighborhoods flooded with crack
Reagan and Thatcher kicking off their "gut the public of wealth" agenda.
AmyInNH -> ShaunNewman , 23 Aug 2016 11:00
Including suppression of wage/benefits by flooding the labor markets.
AmyInNH -> macsporan , 23 Aug 2016 10:57
Their story is "you're a failure". Because a) you don't work hard enough/long enough, b) hold your household together (if you were at work all waking hours), c) don't know how to raise decent, independent kids (whilst being at work every waking hour), d) aren't motivated to improve your lot in life if you need to work every waking hour and e) probably need to take stress management classes if this gets on your nerves because you personally are driving up "our" health care costs with your irresponsible neglect of your health.

Or, as the economists tout in the papers, "Productivity is up!" Or as the oligarchical put it, "we need immigrant work force", who'll do it for cheaper and not complain or burden us with their need for an actual life outside of work.

CivilDiscussion , 23 Aug 2016 10:54
Clinton is, was, and still is. despite her recent fake reversal, a staunch supporter of TPP and other trade agreements that will further impoverish the working class. She is the furthest thing from a populist. Case closed.
Vintage59 , 23 Aug 2016 10:54
It's the neobullshit era but then it always is.
AmyInNH -> Mkjaks , 23 Aug 2016 10:40
The "experts", like Greenspan, use extremely limited variables. Hence, reports of a "good economy". We ask, good for who?

[Dec 15, 2018] Newly Released Integrity Intitiative Papers Include Proposal For Large Disinformation Campaigns

Notable quotes:
"... It seemed to start with Bill Browder being kicked out of Russia. So I would assume that the main reason is that the west became aware that Russia was (had been) taking back control of their economy and resources and kicking out the western carpet-baggers. ..."
"... In June of 2016 a bill named Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act of 2016 was introduced into the house by Congressmen Adam Kinzinger and Ted Lieu. H.R. 5181 sought a "whole-government approach without the bureaucratic restrictions" to counter "foreign disinformation and manipulation," which they believe threaten the world's "security and stability." A similar bill was introduced in March in the Senate long before Russia gate. It was passed signed by Obama in December after the Russia Gate was played up following the election. ..."
"... Like I said US and UK are basically one entity on such matters. Soon after being passed we saw Prop or Not introduce its hit list of alt media sites. Sadly over the last 2 years alt media has been decimated. Engdahl seems to be the latest to fall, helped no doubt by Soros suit for 1 million against him for calling out his daughters NGO. Now he has fallen into line and backing Trump. Maybe next he will support the Climate Change meme. ..."
"... As I posted on an earlier thread, the demonization of Russia by Anglos began with the First Afghan War in the late 1830s and has continued at differing degrees of intensity ever since always due to geopolitics. ..."
"... The US State Department gives the title "public diplomacy" to its propaganda. ..."
"... Just ask John Kiriakou, a former CIA officer who was sent to prison for telling the truth about US torture. ..."
"... Thanks, that looks great and should be reposted across alternative media- most of these groups use "anti-Russia" as a front to dismantle dissent and left-wing politics on behalf of the Multinationals and the Neoliberal Establishment- let's call it the "blob," and let's call that list Counter-Propornot. ..."
"... karlof1... my impression is the anti russian meme got real traction somewhere about 2014-2015 with the advent of Ukraine dynamics and Russia commitment to going into Syria.. around that time it all really picked up steam.. now you have think tanks and etc. etc. profiting from the sale of anti-russia spin.. there appears to be endless money available for this.. ..."
"... This is an incomplete narrative, think tanks are basically mercenaries who relieve the population from the need to think about the complicated matters, letting the folks to believe what is either true or should be believed to be true for the "common good". ..."
"... And indeed, Russian danger was identified ca. 2014 as the major worthy theme in the central parts of that nexus. So who are the paymasters? In part, "capitalists", wealthy individuals with means and motivation to set the course for the West and all forces of good. In part, intelligence agencies. Here Integrity Initiative seems an erratic creature: apparently, run by spooks on military and intelligence payroll, and yet also benefiting from a government grant that makes them a quango, "a semipublic administrative body outside the civil service but receiving financial support from the government, which makes senior appointments to it." In other words, they double dip. The total amount is relatively modest, so rather than getting fat on taxpayer money they merely double or triple they spare official salaries thus reaching "upper middle class" level. Therefore the morale in the outfit was mediocre and we can see one of the more amusing leaks of 2018. ..."
"... Note: Kissinger's WSJ Op-Ed was published on August 29, 2014. Within weeks of its publication, the Obama Administration was in full anti-Russia swing. Trump would enter the race for Republican nomination 9 1/2 months after Kissinger's Op-Ed (June 15, 2015). ..."
"... The hate campaign against Russia is just the old campaign, against any country resisting the Empire's hegemony, focused on the one power that had resisted since 1917 and was able to do so, returning to its old role of saying 'Niet' when all the rest of the world said either 'Aye Aye,Sir' "If you insist" or kept quiet and said nothing at all. ..."
"... One can't just edit a Wikipedia article, no matter how fact-based. It will almost immediately be retracted if it doesn't follow the 'official' narrative. If said person then tries to reestablish that content or tries to engage in a discussion with the admins, in many cases, they simply get banned then. ..."
"... Try this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlgGx9LM5cM It's about a former female STASI-employee turned fighter for freedom and democracy. Currently she is the head of the Antonio-Amadeo-Foundation dedicated, to put it bluntly, to doing the bidding for the usual suspects - and to add insult to injury taxpayer funded to a large part. ..."
"... Russia is the go to enemy when you need to bump up your purchasing of very expensive military equipment and to pour money into various security projects to achieve to goals (1 is to lock down infrastructure etc. but the other is to suppress the US citizens so a two-for). ..."
"... The long game plan, which continues unabated regardless of which party or who is in power, is American hegemony of the planet. When you consider the US has military bases in 155 countries (who essentially have become colonies) it seems like the goal is nearly completed unless you consider that major nuclear armed nations are resisting (Russia, China and maybe Pakistan and India as well). ..."
"... If you take a look at Russia during Yeltsin the US companies nearly bought everything in the country and the raping was in full vigor. Someone at DoS or the CIA very badly miscalculated letting Putin come into power. He was, after all, a minor minion and basically came out of no where. I am assuming they thought he would continue the raping and disarmament of all former Soviet weapons and Russian businesses. Sadly for them he turned out to be a patriot and actively resisted everything the US was trying to do to Russia. I believe the Yukos deal was the final straw which would have given nearly all Russian oil and gas to Exxon/Mobil. So, Putin has been battling the US successfully since and is very slowly eliminating all the oligarchs the US put into power and draining his swamp of Atlantacists and 5th column. ..."
"... i recall how quickly 'cambridge analytica' came and went, in spite of the strength of the data on them manipulating much... i imagine a similar story hee with 'integrity initiative'.. ..."
"... as for wikipedia - everyone knows it's a full on propaganda site masquerading as a neutral info site. ..."
"... the Chinese government currently has its hands around the financial windpipe of the man ultimately responsible for Ms. Meng's arrest ..."
"... "MAGA was as much a policy change as it was a campaign slogan....To prevail, Empire strategists recognized that USA needed to be able to call on regular troops and a deep sense of patriotism and righteousness that required re-developing nationalism. In short, 'MAGA'." ..."
"... Trump's invocation of MAGA on the campaign trail was presented in such a way as to seem to overwhelmingly favour a pullback from Imperialism in order to make things right at home. ..."
"... Trump engaged in a bare, pointed, often crass and bordering on contemptuous criticism of his predecessors' foreign policy. The irreverent tone was unprecedented in recent campaign history and was so plain and completely at odds with Hilary's stated positions that it essentially committed him (in my eyes anyway) to following through, or to make all efforts to follow through. If not, he would set one of the worst examples of a duplicitous politician, perhaps ever. The same applies to other bold campaign positions, such as the border wall, for example. ..."
"... Now Judge Emmet Sullivan wants expanded information, and wishes to see the actual notes (FD-302) that were mentioned by Flynn; and Judge Sullivan is directing the special counsel to provide all documents created by the FBI surrounding the Flynn interview: ..."
Dec 15, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

The person(s) who first published documents of the shady UK organization Integrity Initiative decided that the discussion is about the Initiative is not yet sufficient and published more documents.

The first dump on the Cyberguerilla site happened on November 5. We discussed it here . A smaller dump on November 29 revealed more about the UK government paid Integrity Initiatives influence work in Germany, Spain and Greece. A third dump followed today.

The leaker, who uses the widely abused Anonymous label, promises to publish more:

Well-coordinated efforts of the Anonymous from all over the world have forced the UK politicians to react to the unacceptable and in fact illegal activity of the British government that uses public money to carry out misinformation campaigns not only in the EU, US and Canada but in the UK as well, in particular campaigns against the Labour party.
The Integrity Initiative is now under first official investigation. We promise to give close scrutiny to the investigation that we believe should be conducted honestly, openly and absolutely transparently for the society, rather than become an internal and confidential case of the Foreign Office.

To show our expertise in the investigation as well as to warn the UK government that they must not even try to put it all down to the activity of some charity foundations and public organizations we reveal a part of documents unveiling the true face of The Institute for Statecraft and some information about its leadership.
...
As the scandal in the UK is gaining momentum, it is ever so striking that European leaders and official representatives remain so calm about the Integrity Initiative's activity in their countries. We remind you that covert clusters made up for political and financial manipulation and controlled by the UK secret services are carrying out London's secret missions and interfering in domestic affairs of sovereign states right in front of you.
...
This is another part of documents that we have on the Integrity Initiative. We do not change the goals of this operation. When we return with the next portion of revelations, names and facts depends on how seriously the UK and EU leaders take our intentions this time.

The dump includes invoices, internal analyses of international media responses to the Skripal affair, the Initiative's operations in Scotland, France and Italy, some strategy papers and various other stuff. There are some interesting bits about the cooperation of the Initiative with British Ministry of Defense. It will take me a while to read through all of it.

The most interesting paper I found so far is:

COMBATTING RUSSIAN DISINFORMATION
LAUNCHING AN ONLINE COMMUNICATIONS CAMPAIGN TO INFORM, DEBUNK, AND COMBAT STATE-SPONSORED PROPAGANDA
Comprehensive action proposal
(pdf)

A "strictly confidential" proposal by the French company Lexfo to spread the Integrity Initiative's state-sponsored propaganda through an offensive online influence campaigns for a monthly pay per language of €20-40.000. The proposal also includes an offer for "counter activism" through "negative PR, legal actions, ethical hack back, etc." for €50,000 per month.


bigger

The offer claims that the company can launch hundreds of "news" pieces per day on as many websites. It notably also offers to "edit" Wikipedia articles.

In short: This proposal describes large disinformation operations under the disguise of fighting alleged Russian disinformation.

It is at the core what the Integrity Initiative, which obviously requested the proposal, is about.

But as we saw in the information revealed yesterday there is more to it. The Initiative, which has lots of 'former' military and intelligence people among its staff, is targeting the political left in Britain as well as in other countries. It is there where it becomes a danger to the democratic societies of Europe.


Zanon , Dec 14, 2018 3:12:30 PM | link

Integrity Initiative: Spanish Cluster Misled UK Parliament Over Assange, Russia
https://sputniknews.com/world/201812141070699912-assange-integrity-institute-parliament/

What a bunch of mentalist type of people!

Mark2 , Dec 14, 2018 3:41:18 PM | link
I'd bet a weeks wages on it that this is where Craig Summers came from and what he was ! This blog is the antidote to the official spin! It was good to here from Craig Murray very thought provoking regards tactics.we all need our own method ! But not be gagged. I respect others ways we are on the same side .being united is the defence against devide and rule.

I wonder what the Tory's think of this scandal they must be angry at this attack on democracy, nah only joking! It'l be the dog that did'nt bark ! just like the media oh and the police ! One rule for them 'no rule' opression for us 99%

james , Dec 14, 2018 3:42:42 PM | link
thanks b.... aside from wondering if this is Russia accessing and sharing this, i think the sticking point is in this "Unintegrity initiative" going after the uk political left... that is where i think this is going to get traction as more folks are going to wake up if they see how deep and ugly this goes in targeting their own..

i could be wrong, but if this news catches on, or the uk MP women keeps hammering away on this, i think we will see some results..

i opened the pdf... here is a quick list of their objectives..

maybe the uk folks can tell us how this is going

ashley albanese , Dec 14, 2018 3:42:44 PM | link
In Australia the scale of tendentious anti-Chinese propaganda is absurd . Australia is flailing around trying to cope with changing circumstances . Already at a disadvantage in 'reading ' the world because of her geographical isolation the clear bias of information she now faces from the Anglo/ U S media and government systems puts her at a disadvantage in forming intelligent policies .
DontBelieveEitherPropaganda , Dec 14, 2018 4:38:49 PM | link
Can anyone make a zip with all dumps and files? For sharing and archiving this would be much easier.. As i believe it will not last long till the scribd uploads etc are DMCAed.. My LUKS+Veracrypt secured storage system would be a safe bet for archiving, so i would volunteer..
Much appreciated!
bjd , Dec 14, 2018 4:44:33 PM | link
Buyer beware!

Note that this document --and I've seen more-- presumes there is a large scale Russian disinformation campaign going on. Other documents presume Skripal was poisoned by Russia.

Once you run with these documents, beware that you are making those presumptions yours . That may be the objective here.

In short: all these documents need to be vetted.

Zanon , Dec 14, 2018 4:48:48 PM | link
DontBelieveEitherPropaganda

"Can anyone make "

No. Do it yourself.

No offense but in this age and on this blog, dont ask other people to do what you can do yourself. Make an effort and influence.

Jackrabbit , Dec 14, 2018 5:08:37 PM | link
Integrity Initiative got a lot of scrutiny because they used their Twitter account to attack Corbyn. In it's latest info dump, Anonymous describes additional UK political manipulation, writing that the Director of The Institute for Statecraft Christopher Donnelly:
... lobbied the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee for an inquiry into Russia's interference in the Catalan referendum. He invited members of the Integrity Initiative Spain cluster Francisco de Borja Lasheras and Mira Milosevich-Juaristi. At that moment they were receiving funds from the Foreign Office, i.e. the UK intelligence paid its own agents for fake proof of Russia's interference in the Catalan referendum and later told them to lie to the Parliament to convince it to take anti-Russian steps .
Kit Klarenberg , Dec 14, 2018 5:36:22 PM | link
This dump has plenty on our pal Simon.

His official profile is very telling indeed I think - https://www.pdf-archive.com/2018/12/13/the-institute-for-statecraft-expert-team-v-3/the-institute-for-statecraft-expert-team-v-3.pdf:

"Simon Bracey-Lane: Currently runs the IfS "Integrity Initiative" network communications and network development process; deep experience in democratic election campaign processes in UK and especially in USA, viz: Regional Campaign Organiser: John Wisniewski for Governor of New Jersey, USA. January - May 2017; Statewide Campaign Organiser: Bernie Sanders for President 2016, USA. Sept 2015 – May 2016; special study of Russian interference in the US electoral process."

Whatever the truth of the matter, he can definitely multitask. Running the II network communications and development process (cultivating, recruiting, handling?) while also being a research fellow at the II's 'parent organization' Institute for Statecraft? I wonder how many hours he has left in a day to sleep!

Then again he seems to have form in this regard. 'Special study of Russian interference in the election process' simultaneously as being a key organizer in Sanders' campaign. Maybe he did his 'special study' in his free time?

karlof1 , Dec 14, 2018 5:42:04 PM | link
Pure brazen depravity. And how will the average UK citizen become informed of what seems treasonous activity? Seems venders with broadsheets in the style of yesteryear standing on street corners yelling EXTRA! need to return so the public can be informed of its government's activities--Social Media is not sufficient.

Bevin and other UK citizens: What do you call your Swamp?

jayc , Dec 14, 2018 5:46:12 PM | link
Any thoughts as to why exactly Russia became the chief demon? It seems the hysterical propaganda was focused exclusively on ISIS until Putin spoke at the UN announcing Russia's intervention in Syria. Then the propaganda shifted, first directed at Putin, then generally at Russia and Putin together. Is it anger over the prevention of imperialist design in the Middle East?
Koen , Dec 14, 2018 5:49:54 PM | link
Here's a list of about 60 organizations & projects devoted to spreading anti-Russia content in Western media. The Integrity Initiative is just the tip of the iceberg. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1-wtpA2NomEj35bbVe1-iHX7rt4YzahPINm5w9A-SkcQ/edit?usp=drive_web&ouid=109242632477374337132

And here are 2 great books about the origins and nature of Russophobia

Lastly, I collect examples of anti-Russia content that I come across in the media at www.blameputin.com

ADKC , Dec 14, 2018 6:26:19 PM | link
jayc @15

It seemed to start with Bill Browder being kicked out of Russia. So I would assume that the main reason is that the west became aware that Russia was (had been) taking back control of their economy and resources and kicking out the western carpet-baggers. This belated realisation, that the prize that the west had gained and plundered in the '90s (from the collapse of the Soviet Union) had managed to wriggle free, seems to be something that the west can't accept.

Pft , Dec 14, 2018 6:54:10 PM | link
In June of 2016 a bill named Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act of 2016 was introduced into the house by Congressmen Adam Kinzinger and Ted Lieu. H.R. 5181 sought a "whole-government approach without the bureaucratic restrictions" to counter "foreign disinformation and manipulation," which they believe threaten the world's "security and stability." A similar bill was introduced in March in the Senate long before Russia gate. It was passed signed by Obama in December after the Russia Gate was played up following the election.

Like I said US and UK are basically one entity on such matters. Soon after being passed we saw Prop or Not introduce its hit list of alt media sites. Sadly over the last 2 years alt media has been decimated. Engdahl seems to be the latest to fall, helped no doubt by Soros suit for 1 million against him for calling out his daughters NGO. Now he has fallen into line and backing Trump. Maybe next he will support the Climate Change meme.

Oh well, looks like its almost over for Truth, although some truth probably gets allowed if enough of the lies are also presented. So my take is the anti Russia hysteria was just a clever way of getting support for a war on Truth (fake news).

Russia now has a similar initiative said to combat fakes news from US which will likely be used against Putin critics (US agents). The law allows them "to block online content, including social media websites, whose activities are deemed "undesirable" or "extremist." Maybe Putin is part of the Fake Wrestling game. Heel or Face, your choice.

I see the EU has set up a rapid alert system to help EU member states recognize disinformation campaigns, and increase the budget set aside for the detection of disinformation from . It will also press technology companies to play their part in cracking down on fake news. Major social media platforms have already signed up to a code of conduct. One minister said the EU would not stand for "an internet that is the wild west, where anything goes".

Macron introduced a bill recently seeking to get " judges and the media sector's regulator involved in the fight against fake news. A fact-checking state-run website would be created and social media would have to pitch in by warning users when a post is sponsored -- or when someone pays to give it better visibility in a feed."

I suppose the War on Truth has gone global. I wont bother to mention China as they are the role model the West follows.

karlof1 , Dec 14, 2018 7:36:27 PM | link
jayc @15--

As I posted on an earlier thread, the demonization of Russia by Anglos began with the First Afghan War in the late 1830s and has continued at differing degrees of intensity ever since always due to geopolitics.

bevin , Dec 14, 2018 8:08:33 PM | link
@14 What do you call your Swamp? "The Establishment", coined, I believe, by the historian AJP Taylor. The founder of modern journalism William Cobbett used to call it "The Thing"
Don Bacon , Dec 14, 2018 8:35:18 PM | link
The US State Department gives the title "public diplomacy" to its propaganda. Robert Parry wrote about it, and its contrast with truth, a couple years ago.
The idea of questioning the claims by the West's officialdom now brings calumny down upon the heads of those who dare do it. "Truth" is being redefined as whatever the U.S. government, NATO and other Western interests say is true. Disagreement with the West's "group thinks," no matter how fact-based the dissent is, becomes "fake news."

So, we have the case of Washington Post columnist David Ignatius having a starry-eyed interview with Richard Stengel, the State Department's Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy, the principal arm of U.S. government propaganda.

Entitled "The truth is losing," the column laments that the official narratives as deigned by the State Department and The Washington Post are losing traction with Americans and the world's public.

Stengel, a former managing editor at Time magazine, seems to take aim at Russia's RT network's slogan, "question more," as some sinister message seeking to inject cynicism toward the West's official narratives.

"They're not trying to say that their version of events is the true one. They're saying: 'Everybody's lying! Nobody's telling you the truth!'," Stengel said. "They don't have a candidate, per se. But they want to undermine faith in democracy, faith in the West." . . here

Just ask John Kiriakou, a former CIA officer who was sent to prison for telling the truth about US torture.
Blooming Barricade , Dec 14, 2018 8:47:12 PM | link
@15

Thanks, that looks great and should be reposted across alternative media- most of these groups use "anti-Russia" as a front to dismantle dissent and left-wing politics on behalf of the Multinationals and the Neoliberal Establishment- let's call it the "blob," and let's call that list Counter-Propornot.

james , Dec 14, 2018 9:19:09 PM | link
@ 15 jayc, @18 ADKC and @21 karlof1... my impression is the anti russian meme got real traction somewhere about 2014-2015 with the advent of Ukraine dynamics and Russia commitment to going into Syria.. around that time it all really picked up steam.. now you have think tanks and etc. etc. profiting from the sale of anti-russia spin.. there appears to be endless money available for this..
Piotr Berman , Dec 14, 2018 9:49:29 PM | link
... now you have think tanks and etc. etc. profiting from the sale of anti-russia spin.. there appears to be endless money available for this..

Posted by: james | Dec 14, 2018 9:19:09 PM | 26

This is an incomplete narrative, think tanks are basically mercenaries who relieve the population from the need to think about the complicated matters, letting the folks to believe what is either true or should be believed to be true for the "common good". And the "common good" is decided by paymasters. Somewhere in between are mass media populated by folks particularly averse to thinking -- again, they were selected by the employers not to think but to write and talk "correctly". But the press/TV lords will not chisel all details of what is true and important, and what is false, unimportant or both, so journalists can absorb it from think tanks and briefing from government informed sources. There are also astro-turfs and so on.

And indeed, Russian danger was identified ca. 2014 as the major worthy theme in the central parts of that nexus. So who are the paymasters? In part, "capitalists", wealthy individuals with means and motivation to set the course for the West and all forces of good. In part, intelligence agencies. Here Integrity Initiative seems an erratic creature: apparently, run by spooks on military and intelligence payroll, and yet also benefiting from a government grant that makes them a quango, "a semipublic administrative body outside the civil service but receiving financial support from the government, which makes senior appointments to it." In other words, they double dip. The total amount is relatively modest, so rather than getting fat on taxpayer money they merely double or triple they spare official salaries thus reaching "upper middle class" level. Therefore the morale in the outfit was mediocre and we can see one of the more amusing leaks of 2018.

Jackrabbit , Dec 14, 2018 10:41:58 PM | link
james @26:
... my impression is the anti russian meme got real traction somewhere about 2014-2015 with the advent of ukraine dynamics and russias commitment to going into syria..
I think we can surmise that the Russian objection to US bombing Syria in September 2013 was countered with a two-prong strategy:
> doubling down in Syria via ISIS;

> pushing hard for overthrow of Ukrainian government to: a) punish Russia, and b) keep Russia busy so that the Russians refrain from any further support for Syria

It was a superb and well-thought out strategy . . . that failed miserably. The coup in Ukraine succeeded and ISIS came within weeks of defeating Assad BUT Russia managed to secure the best parts of Ukraine -and- intervened in Syria anyway (along with Iran).

The failure to contain Russia was realised by Kissinger when he penned an Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal that made a cryptic call for MAGA to counter the Russians/Chinese . After outlining the challenge to the World Order, Kissinger concludes:

Even as the lessons of challenging decades are examined, the affirmation of America's exceptional nature must be sustained. History offers no respite to countries that set aside their sense of identity in favor of a seemingly less arduous course . But nor does it assure success for the most elevated convictions in the absence of a comprehensive geopolitical strategy.
So the strategy changed once again. MAGA was as much a policy change as it was a campaign slogan. Obama's devious faux peacefulness that used covert action and proxy forces could not succeed against determined opposition from Russia/China. To prevail, Empire strategists recognized that USA needed to be able to call on regular troops and a deep sense of patriotism and righteousness that required re-developing nationalism. In short, "MAGA".

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

This is what I wrote at nakedcapitalism.com shortly after Kissinger's Op-Ed was published in August 2014 :

My reading is that Kissinger is asserting that the US can and should do whatever it takes to keep the US preeminent – even if that means ignoring allies and/or the post-war international structure (UN, UNSC). That exceptional! message comes through loud and clear despite his 'triage' formalism. And it is a message that is comforting to the elite who read the WSJ (before a holiday weekend), though it should give Joe Sixpack nightmares if fully understood.

There is a lot more there which would take much longer to unpack. But I'll point to one more thing: Note how he forms an equivalence between all the troubles that the 'West' now face, and ignores US/Western actions that have contributed to these conflicts by conflating them. NC readers understand this via Merschemer's (in today's links) work on Ukraine and many links regarding ISIS (like this one).

This comforting message [from Kissinger] is needed because the Ukraine gambit has failed miserably – as many independent obeservers [sic] predicted– and a deeper conflict with Russia (possibly extending to others) is now in the cards. Like the true neocon that he is, Kissinger has doubled down on Nuland's obnoxious and misguided "f*ck the EU" with an exceptional! "f*ck the World".

God help us.

Jackrabbit , Dec 14, 2018 10:51:26 PM | link
Note: Kissinger's WSJ Op-Ed was published on August 29, 2014. Within weeks of its publication, the Obama Administration was in full anti-Russia swing. Trump would enter the race for Republican nomination 9 1/2 months after Kissinger's Op-Ed (June 15, 2015).

Trump was the ONLY populist, out of 19 contenders, in the Republican race. Hillary told Democratic-friendly media to focus on Trump and did things during the Presidential race that call into question her desire to actually win. Trump is a MUCH better choice for a MAGA nationalist than Hillary.

WJ , Dec 14, 2018 11:03:55 PM | link
@Jackrabbit 28,

You were right then, and you are right now. My one beef with your 2016 election analysis is that it seems to me you shortchange slightly the evidence of a real conflict and possibly fissure within the oligarchic elite, only certain segments of which seem convinced that now is the time for MAGA. Others among the actual power brokers would I think have preferred HRC and 4-8 more years of neoliberal internationalist interventionist grift a la Obama before having to finally turn to the MAGA nationalist strategy (which given the resource struggles that will emerge over the next decades was always inevitable once the Project for the New American (Israeli) Century collapsed, as it was bound to once Russia called its bluff in Syria.) But this is a minor point. What is much more important is that behind MAGA is an envisioned world war on the scale of WWI and WWII in which "The West" takes on China-Russia leading to the death of probably everybody.

bevin , Dec 14, 2018 11:33:45 PM | link
"..my impression is the anti russian meme got real traction somewhere about 2014-2015 with the advent of ukraine dynamics and russias commitment to going into syria..."

I think that the proper context begins with the failure of Medvedev's Russia to veto the UNSC motion establishing a No Fly zone over Libya. Inter alia this led to a real reverse for and an humiliation of China which had large financial investments as well as large numbers of personnel involved in Ghadaffi's imaginative schemes.

My guess, and it is not a particularly well informed one, is that after the Libyan disaster-the worst sort of imperialist over reach and brutality not only did China realise that Imperialism was reverting to its nightmarish type, but Russians leaders saw that a permanent alliance-until the defeat of the empire- was the only alternative that it and China had to 'hanging separately'. And that the same went for Iran and Syria-nobody could trust the west any longer and it would be foolish, and dangerous, to continue to do so.

The hate campaign against Russia is just the old campaign, against any country resisting the Empire's hegemony, focused on the one power that had resisted since 1917 and was able to do so, returning to its old role of saying 'Niet' when all the rest of the world said either 'Aye Aye,Sir' "If you insist" or kept quiet and said nothing at all.

Of course, 2011 was the last in a long series of increasingly stupid US aggressions, all of which Russia knew very well were aimed at it as much as the selected sacrificial victim. Those who say that Saddam was about oil could not be more wrong: he was a human sacrifice, slaughtered ritually on the corpses of a million of his fellows, to demonstrate that the USA can do what it chooses when it wishes. Karl Rove was wrong: not even Empires can create their own realities. The extravagant and bloody theatre of decades swaggering around the middle east finds the US not only poorer but weaker than it was in 1980.

V , Dec 14, 2018 11:37:12 PM | link
"It notably also offers to "edit" Wikipedia articles." b

Wikipedia stopped being a reliable source for accurate information a long time ago. Finding reliable alternatives is a bit more effort; but worth it for accurate information.

Piotr Berman , Dec 15, 2018 12:02:03 AM | link
Wikipedia stopped being a reliable source for accurate information a long time ago. Finding reliable alternatives is a bit more effort; but worth it for accurate information.

Posted by: V | Dec 14, 2018 11:37:12 PM | 32

It is more complicated. Wikipedia is sprawling and manipulations happen on entry basis, and it often leaves "controversies". I also discovered that it is worth to brush up on language skills, if there are any. For example, on recent events in Crimea there is an entry "Crimea Crisis" with Russian and Polish versions, and Polish "pro-Westerners" somehow left few traces of activity. I wonder how is it in German and French Wikipedias. In English, think tanks and deep states indeed lack sufficient counter-activity.

b , Dec 15, 2018 12:16:08 AM | link
@DontBelieveEitherPropaganda

Why didn't you make an archive yourself? Meanwhile the leakers account at Scribd has been slashed and all the files with it. Anyway - here is a Mediafire zip created yesterday of (allegedly) all files published so far. IntegrityInitiative.zip . Save it as long as it is available.

Augustin L , Dec 15, 2018 12:47:50 AM | link
@ jackrabbit, I've heard other observers make the link with Kissinger's op-ed, but your demonstration is very convincing. William Engdahl made the same call, Hillary's not a suitable player to pull off MAGA with masses of deplorables. Unfortunately for Anglo-American strategists, Trump with his linear cretinism lacks the necessary wherewithal to implement and execute a comprehensive geopolitical strategy. Kissinger comes from another era, and probably cannot grasp how far devolution has taken American elites in the cesspit of post modern hedonism.
Blooming Barricade , Dec 15, 2018 12:54:41 AM | link
@V

It's illuminating to see this NATO-backed operation looking at a PR firm to edit Wikipedia because this brings to mind the notorious "Philip Cross," which, for those not in the know, was uncovered by Craig Murray and others ( https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/05/the-philip-cross-affair/) as having edited the pages of prominent left wing people and Labour Party people. In Germany, Left Party Bundestag member Diether Dehm has highlighted a similar figure in German language Wikipedia, "Feliks," targeting socialists in that country. The similarities of both to the proposals made by the PR firm above are eerie.

Hmpf , Dec 15, 2018 1:25:47 AM | link
@ Piotr Berman | Dec 15, 2018 12:02:03 AM | 33

Can't speak for the French version of Wikipedia but with the German edition it is as bad as anywhere else when it comes to social and political issues, particularly so if geopolitics (the West, ME, Russia ..) is concerned.

Two people, a biologist and a journalist, independently investigated networks on a senior editor and admin level active within WikipediaG. What they found is rather shocking. One can't just edit a Wikipedia article, no matter how fact-based. It will almost immediately be retracted if it doesn't follow the 'official' narrative. If said person then tries to reestablish that content or tries to engage in a discussion with the admins, in many cases, they simply get banned then.

These guys can also be found on Youtube: Gruppe42 (group42) Unfortunately their main documentaries are only available in German language but there's some other content 'Geschichten aus Wikihausen' - 'The Tales of Wikihausen' with English subtitles.

Try this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlgGx9LM5cM It's about a former female STASI-employee turned fighter for freedom and democracy. Currently she is the head of the Antonio-Amadeo-Foundation dedicated, to put it bluntly, to doing the bidding for the usual suspects - and to add insult to injury taxpayer funded to a large part.

Mina , Dec 15, 2018 4:16:39 AM | link
The BBC won't taalk about it but when it is in the House of Commons they have to Sole result of a search "Integrity Initiative" on the BBC news website
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0bv9zxj (12/12 when then question was raised in the house of commons)
Zanon , Dec 15, 2018 4:43:24 AM | link
"Anonymous Hackers Expose UK Plans to Mine Sevastopol Days Before Crimea Vote" https://sptnkne.ws/kpWP
Russ , Dec 15, 2018 5:01:57 AM | link
Posted by: Soft Asylum | Dec 15, 2018 4:36:27 AM | 39

Such people might be some of the worst examples of humans, but that doesn't mean they're trolls. In fact, plucking some kind of motivations out of their psychopathic minds might be a good thing for the rest of us. If people such as them are posters here, this would allow an opportunity to study them.

You feel you lack opportunities to study them? Pick up a newspaper, or turn on the cable news.

TJ , Dec 15, 2018 5:03:04 AM | link
The thread over on Craig Murrays site- British Security Service Infiltration, the Integrity Initiative and the Institute for Statecraft
William Bowles , Dec 15, 2018 6:01:23 AM | link
Integrity Initiative Part 3 https://williambowles.info/2018/12/15/integrity-initiative-part-3/

Combatting Russian Disinformation http://williambowlesnet.files.wordpress.com/2018/12/combatting-russian-disinformation.pdf

William Bowles , Dec 15, 2018 6:08:03 AM | link
B: this info is astounding! Or perhaps not? Maybe the fact that the spooks are notoriously inept is what's astounding? I mean you would think that what with all dweebs working for the state (eg GCHQ), they would be able to protect their own excreta? The earlier disinfo (it's a Russian plot etc) makes sense but it didn't work!
Old Microbiologist , Dec 15, 2018 7:09:31 AM | link
Jay @15
Sorry, I didn't read any of this until this morning. Russia is the go to enemy when you need to bump up your purchasing of very expensive military equipment and to pour money into various security projects to achieve to goals (1 is to lock down infrastructure etc. but the other is to suppress the US citizens so a two-for).

Asymmetrical wars against tiny nations without air support are hard to justify spending Trillions of dollars forever. That dog just won't hunt after 18 years of a no-win war in Afghanistan (or anywhere else). So, Russia and now just to make it even more critical, China are enemies that demand massive military buildups of equipment that won't ever actually (hopefully) be put to use. This is to fight a two theater war against two nuclear superpowers. Basically, it is insanity but it will make a few people very rich.

The long game plan, which continues unabated regardless of which party or who is in power, is American hegemony of the planet. When you consider the US has military bases in 155 countries (who essentially have become colonies) it seems like the goal is nearly completed unless you consider that major nuclear armed nations are resisting (Russia, China and maybe Pakistan and India as well).

If you take a look at Russia during Yeltsin the US companies nearly bought everything in the country and the raping was in full vigor. Someone at DoS or the CIA very badly miscalculated letting Putin come into power. He was, after all, a minor minion and basically came out of no where. I am assuming they thought he would continue the raping and disarmament of all former Soviet weapons and Russian businesses. Sadly for them he turned out to be a patriot and actively resisted everything the US was trying to do to Russia. I believe the Yukos deal was the final straw which would have given nearly all Russian oil and gas to Exxon/Mobil. So, Putin has been battling the US successfully since and is very slowly eliminating all the oligarchs the US put into power and draining his swamp of Atlantacists and 5th column.

That is the over simplified view but it sums it up enough to explain what we are seeing. It is as always all about money. So, Putin has resisted aggressively all US encroachments into the Russian sphere of influence. The sanctions actually help Russia. A devalued ruble is great for oil exports which are only 12% of Russia's GDP. More self sufficiency is also a huge benefit. A partnership with China ensures the US cannot ever achieve their goals of global domination. The US military has proven for the past 70+ years they are incapable of any meaningful fighting and that the military is woefully incompetent. The ABM test results even when cheating heavily are only roughly a 50% hit rate. That is against "normal" ballistic missiles. Russia's new systems already circumvent this system by mid-flight course corrections.

The biggest problem is the neocon elites really believe all their own propaganda. That is very scary.

William Bowles , Dec 15, 2018 7:54:52 AM | link
Posted by: jayc | Dec 14, 2018 5:46:12 PM | 15

Jayc: you ask why Russia and specifically Putin? Cast your mind back to 1991 and the fall of the USSR and Yeltsin's coup and the theft of billions of Russia's capital resources by Goldman Sachs et al. The Empire figured what was left of the former USSR was a pushover and its vast natural resources, highly educated population, ripe for plucking and along comes the Tatar Putin, a descendent of Genghis Khan! Whoops!

And only just in time. Then think about the invasion of Iraq in 1991 and later in 2003 and then Libya. The Russians stood by. But Syria was a step too far and too near!

Jayc, it's Western, racist hubris. The Russkies are just a bunch of jumped up peasants (Hitler made the same mistake), so when they asserted their right to resist, and it really started in 2015 with the Western financed 'revolution' against Assad, it came as a real shock to the system to see that Russia actually did have real guns that fired and real jets and satellites to watch it all. After all, it was those peasant Russians who went into space first (Duck agogo Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, the genuine father of space exploration).

It must have rocked the bastards back on their heels. So they hate Putin! He restored Russia's faith in itself and that is simply not permissible! And do it with a military budget a small fraction of the Empire's and one that Putin CUT by 10% this year! Wakey-wakey!

Okay, this is a vastly simplified explanation and I'm not going to deal with the internal contradictions of Russia, that's for the Russians to do. But it seems that once more, the Russkies are saving our tired, sorry Western arses.

Bill

Emmanuel Goldstein , Dec 15, 2018 9:29:46 AM | link
William Bowles @ 57

I commented at the Saker at the time of the first Ukrainian war that it looks like Mother Russia is being set up to defeat fascism for the second time in 100 years. History may not exactly repeat itself but it does rhyme.

If I were the West I would tread very carefully, after the catastrophes of the 1990's the Russians are in no mood to roll over for anyone. The West was surprised at the weapons and operational arts displayed in Syria, and that was just the conventional stuff....

AnneR , Dec 15, 2018 9:30:57 AM | link
karlofi - Britain doesn't have swamps (environmental sort), but it does have lots of Bogs. And Bog is also another term for lavatory/toilet - so one might describe Westminster, the City of London and the rest of the bourgeois British world as one Big Bog (if only someone would flush it).
BM , Dec 15, 2018 10:18:31 AM | link
Well, I was excited about the supposed "lots on Skripal" and thought maybe there would be a smoking gun. Disappointed (mediafire zip linked by b)! All I opened was the files with the word skripal in the name - nothing but ultra-boring newspeak from what seem like spotty adolescents trying their best to feed their paymasters with the propaganda they want. The only one of any interest at all was the one reporting on skripal news coverage in Greece: the author was relatively normal, and coverage in Greece was pretty neutral and sceptical of the UK propaganda.

There were only 100 documents in the zip which was supposed to be everything released so far (i.e. all three dumps).

Is there any evidence to confirm that all three dumps were done by the same person/people? I can't help wondering whether the third dump might have been damage control from the Integrity Initiative themselves, to try to show that there is not much there.

As I said though, I didn't open anything except the files with skripal in the filename, so maybe there is something interesting somewhere else. It may be that by specifically looking for skripal I failed to find any files with policy or analysis. All the files I looked at seemed to be reports from the clusters in various countries (often addressed to Simon), or pure propaganda (spotty teenagers) with no analysis.

psychohistorian , Dec 15, 2018 10:32:15 AM | link
ZH has a posting up about the Integrity Initiative and gives MoA a hat tip for being early onto the issue. This should insure that it won't be buried but I suspect it is time for another big shiny thing to appear to distract the masses
William Bowles , Dec 15, 2018 10:52:51 AM | link
Okay! It is/was called Spybase, and created by Daniel Brandt. Foreign Affairs magazine badmouthed it here:

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/reviews/capsule-review/1989-03-01/spybase

And they misidentified it as well!

See also Namebase, the original collection of intelligence agents.

NameBase - Wikipedia
Founder Daniel Brandt began collecting clippings and citations pertaining to influential people and intelligence agents in the 1960s and especially in the 1970s after becoming a member of Students for a Democratic Society, an organization that opposed US foreign policy.
[Search domain en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spybase] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spybase

William Bowles , Dec 15, 2018 11:16:15 AM | link
Scary but worth a read: What are the Odds of a Shooting War Between NATO and Russia? "70% Chance of Combat" An Interview with George Szamuely https://www.globalresearch.ca/what-are-the-odds-of-a-shooting-war-between-nato-and-russia-70-chance-of-combat/5663011
Russ , Dec 15, 2018 11:44:03 AM | link
Posted by: William Bowles | Dec 15, 2018 11:16:15 AM | 67

That piece sums it up well, especially NATO's increasingly aggressive posture. And how self-righteously stupid the US is being. I think 70% might be optimistic. This situation is even more like 1914 than 1914 was, in that the reallywantingwar-to-bluster ratio looks even worse. Meanwhile Trump, with his self-indulgent saber-rattling, is like a twitter-empowered Kaiser. Imagine that back then.

Another commenter up above says this'll be Russia's second go-round with fascism. Yup, and they can send US/NATO where they sent Hitler, Napoleon, Charles XII.

William Bowles , Dec 15, 2018 12:15:58 PM | link
Posted by: Russ | Dec 15, 2018 11:44:03 AM | 69

Russ, I wish I could be that optimistic. Yes, madmen they may be but they're madmen with tactical nukes! And judging by another End of Days scenario, they actually seem to be contemplating their use, gambling that the Russians wont call their bluff! More like the Cuban Missile Crisis than Sarevevo. So which side will blink first?

See: Be Afraid Be Very Afraid! By John Rachel

https://williambowles.info/2018/11/23/be-afraid-be-very-afraid-by-john-rachel/

And then of course, we have Global Heating, which the Empire figures will 'take care' of that surplus to requirement population, whilst the 1% wait it out in their bunkers.


I'm glad I'm at the other end of my life, rather than the beginning.

" we have the certainty that matter remains eternally the same in all its transformations, that none of its attributes can ever be lost, and therefore, also, that with the same iron necessity that it will exterminate on the earth its highest creation, the thinking mind, it must somewhere else and at another time again produce it". -- Frederick Engels, from the introduction to 'The Dialectics of Nature', 1883.
james , Dec 15, 2018 12:41:47 PM | link
thanks everyone for giving a response to either my comment, or @jayc's initial comment on what started this russiaphobia... i think many of the answers are relevant and there is no one answer...

i recall how quickly 'cambridge analytica' came and went, in spite of the strength of the data on them manipulating much... i imagine a similar story hee with 'integrity initiative'..

as for wikipedia - everyone knows it's a full on propaganda site masquerading as a neutral info site... the fact that it is mentioned in this integrity initiative data dump shows just how mainstream and 'go to' in the world of propaganda it is viewed by the intel services and anyone else trying to get in on some of the gov't money handouts for this type propaganda.. it would be very cool if the wikipedia site made a statement saying we no longer need donations, as the intel services of the west have been paying us to continue... at what point does wikipedia become an official and open arm of western propaganda?? why continue to try to hide this when it is so apparent??

Russ , Dec 15, 2018 12:47:43 PM | link
Posted by: james | Dec 15, 2018 12:41:47 PM | 71

"at what point does wikipedia become an official and open arm of western propaganda?? why continue to try to hide this when it is so apparent??"

That's one of neoliberalism's refinements over classical fascism: Just as they figured out you don't need to kill dissenters since no one listens to us anyway, so you also don't need formal Gleichshaltung under a de jure Geobbels ministry since the MSM will happily "coordinate" itself and really doesn't need to be told what to do. They already know since theirs is the same ideology.

Russ , Dec 15, 2018 12:51:58 PM | link
@ William Bowles 70

Well, I'm only optimistic about that last part if they really can keep it to just shooting and not let the missiles fly.

On the other hand I'm not at all optimistic about that. Though even then I suspect it'll hit the West worst, precisely because any such leveling is hardest on the most complex, most high maintenance, most just-in-time, least robust, least resilient, most top-heavy Tower of Babel. That would be the US, Europe, and their dependencies.

Noirette , Dec 15, 2018 12:52:52 PM | link
from the link in b's post: As we see it, the main weakness in the Russians' disinformation campaign is their embrace of a quantity - over quality and credibility - strategy as shown by their lack of credible spokespeople, their publication of a high volume of "easily" identifiable propaganda and "fake news", and their heavy reliance on a few biased partisan sites, dubious social media pages and uninspired trolls. Their stories are hard to believe,...

That sounds so much like a self-description of the US-UK MSM it is uncanny. (Bellingcat anyone? for ex.) Which, imho, shows a complete lack of creativity, suppleness, or even a low-level semi-efficient approach to the general problem of information / narrative control. Because that is what it is all about: much of the discourse around it is waffle, which masquerades as 'new' as it invokes 'new info' double-speak: social circuits, fake news, distribution, deep learning, connectivity, targetting, etc. (and other terms that are less readily comprehensible..)

William Bowles , Dec 15, 2018 1:30:28 PM | link

Posted by: Noirette | Dec 15, 2018 12:52:52 PM | 74

Hah! I think it was Goebbels who said that the biggest mistake a propagandist can make is to believe his own propaganda and I think your quote exemplifies it! But note it always has to contain an element of truth eg, 'as shown by their lack of credible spokespeople'. Yes, the Russians, just like the North Koreans ain't very good at spin and thank goodness. It was a lesson that Nixon never learned, the Emperor really is naked!

james , Dec 15, 2018 1:39:04 PM | link
@72 russ.. okay.. i get that... thanks!

on the newest thread bjd make what i thought was an exceptional comment, which is easy enough to gloss over, but i think worth repeating on this thread... here it is

"...why --if these initiatives are truly meant to save and strengthen democracy-- (aren't they) proudly proclaimed and advertised, in the open, transparent, for everyone one to see and judge, like an adult democracy that they claim to stand for..."
The fact that they aren't, is testimony to the nefarious anti-democratic, authoritarian and totalitarian streak that runs in between every two lines that they put on paper."

Posted by: bjd | Dec 15, 2018 12:46:08 PM | 8"

i modified bjds words in a minor way..

William Bowles , Dec 15, 2018 2:13:24 PM | link
I'm sure Bernard is going to ban me soon but before he does, you have to read this from Ron Unz on the Huawei debacle:
Although it is far from clear whether the very elderly [Sheldon] Adelson played any direct personal role in Ms. Meng's arrest, he surely must be viewed as the central figure in fostering the political climate that produced the current situation. Perhaps he should not be described as the ultimate puppet-master behind our current clash with China, but any such political puppet-masters who do exist are certainly operating at his immediate beck and call. In very literal terms, I suspect that if Adelson placed a single phone call to the White House, the Trump Administration would order Canada to release Ms. Meng that same day.

Adelson's fortune of $33 billion ranks him as the 15th wealthiest man in America, and the bulk of his fortune is based on his ownership of extremely lucrative gambling casinos in Macau, China. In effect, the Chinese government currently has its hands around the financial windpipe of the man ultimately responsible for Ms. Meng's arrest and whose pro-Israel minions largely control American foreign policy. I very much doubt that they are fully aware of this enormous, untapped source of political leverage.(my emph.

Averting World Conflict With China

The PRC Should Retaliate by Targeting Sheldon Adelson's Chinese Casinos

By Ron Unz

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50767.htm

Activist Potato , Dec 15, 2018 2:17:05 PM | link
"MAGA was as much a policy change as it was a campaign slogan....To prevail, Empire strategists recognized that USA needed to be able to call on regular troops and a deep sense of patriotism and righteousness that required re-developing nationalism. In short, 'MAGA'."
@28 Jackrabbit

I highlight these lines of your interesting post because, in the context of the Kissinger Op-Ed you refer to, they capture an angle I had not considered and have to a degree nudged my thinking off what had been a steady course of assumptions and beliefs relating to MAGA that go in the opposite direction from your hypothesis.

Trump's invocation of MAGA on the campaign trail was presented in such a way as to seem to overwhelmingly favour a pullback from Imperialism in order to make things right at home. It drew from, and fed on, the angst and diminishing prosperity of the segment of the population that had been hit hardest by Globalization of the economy, to which Imperial adventures can be, and after are, associated. The possibility that MAGA was, in fact, a sly misdirection to co-opt the fervour of re-ignited passions in a disenfranchised segment of the America people - to re-capture the kind of patriotic commitment and ardor that drove the war effort in two world wars - into a renewed Imperial adventure was obviated, in my view, by Trump's loud and overt criticism of past Imperial adventures such as the Iraq war and Obama's inaction regarding ISIS (the accusation that Obama "created" ISIS was a bombshell, in my opinion).

Trump engaged in a bare, pointed, often crass and bordering on contemptuous criticism of his predecessors' foreign policy. The irreverent tone was unprecedented in recent campaign history and was so plain and completely at odds with Hilary's stated positions that it essentially committed him (in my eyes anyway) to following through, or to make all efforts to follow through. If not, he would set one of the worst examples of a duplicitous politician, perhaps ever. The same applies to other bold campaign positions, such as the border wall, for example.

But when viewed in the context of a deep state "policy change," such a clear and utter denunciation and discrediting of the former policy would be necessary to shift the National mindset and would not necessarily preclude Trump from engaging in further Imperial adventures, as long as they were different from the discredited policy.

Doing it smarter and better than Obama did seems to the ticket to legitimacy for whatever Trump does in the foreign policy realm. Replacing ISIS with actual American troops (while protecting a core capacity to revive ISIS if needed) is an example of doing it differently from Obama, but the net result – with parts of Syria denied to the legitimate government – still supports stark Imperialist, interventionists goals in a different way. The Russians and Syrians have free reign to attack ISIS, but do not have the same liberty against American troops. The flip-side is that the American troops do not have the freedom of action of ISIS to attack Syria. This creates a static line that serves the purpose of a partitionist goal. (ISIS is being allowed to survive to enable an element of proxy action, for harassment purposes).

I find I can no longer dismiss Trump's appointments, in particular Pompeo and Bolton to key positions directing and shaping US foreign policy, as some kind of 5-D chess move. They are signs that he is either a hostage President, or he is in on the act. There is so much that remains unknown, but the clear outward indicators are that nothing really has changed when it comes to US foreign policy objectives, only the methods and approaches are different.

William Bowles , Dec 15, 2018 2:47:47 PM | link
@78

Remember Obama's 'Change' meme? We don't understand that behind all these guys, and they are mostly men, stands industry and its skills; advertising, marketing, statistics, psychology, pr, on and on it goes. And billions, billions, to spend! We are the amateurs! Remember Saatchi & Saatchi's campaign to have Thatcher elected?

Noirette , Dec 15, 2018 3:20:14 PM | link
A new extremely lucrative 'industry' has sprung up.

a) to exploit hugely massive data sets (Facebook's trove and money earner..) and influence ppl => attitudes, behavior, votes, etc. For ex. Cambridge Analytica. Much of this stuff is for now on the level of a scam. E.g. Trump was not elected due to any type of manipulation or meddling by anyone, excepting those who financed him (other story, hard bucks and bribes - not! internet detritus or subliminal messages) and imho the US MSM - TV specially - who care more about ratings and the money it brings than anything else.

These efforts have got a lot of press, imho it is all smoke. If anyone has a good ex. of success ? (The model is built on about 200 years of advertising lore.)

b) Further upstream is to control the information that goes out / the audiences who are allowed to see whatever info, react to it, communicate it - other. With the corollary of repressing dissident, unwelcome, contradictory, info, etc. Been going on since say the Upper Paleolithic.

Today, what has to be managed is the extreme free-flow (internet): the only way this can be done is:

- to limit the channel, block info or some proportion of it, make the channel too expensive / unusable / forbid, repress

- to limit or corral the users (via propaganda / coercion / permission / certification / numbers / privilege / cost, etc.)

- to triage the information, the 'news', the narratives, the opinions, the appeals, etc. which represents the ultimate control and is the choice made by the US-UK to mention only those.

Ex.

https://twitter.com/ERC_Research/status/999632938936479746

or totally 'bogus' 'science' like this:

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/359/6380/1146

William Bowles , Dec 15, 2018 3:34:42 PM | link
Posted by: Noirette | Dec 15, 2018 3:20:14 PM | 80

Noirette, yuo want proof? Check out 'Programming of the President' by Roland Perry, Aurum Books, 1984. It's About Richard Wirthlin and the Mormons. Can a computer be used to elect a president? Wel it elected Ronald Reagan. It's only a coupleof quid on Abe Books. Essential reading IMHOP.

https://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=22859608878&searchurl=tn%3DProgramming%2Bof%2Bthe%2BPresident%26sortby%3D17%26an%3DRoland%2BPerry&cm_sp=snippet-_-srp1-_-image1

pogohere , Dec 15, 2018 5:57:43 PM | link
jackrabbit @ 28

activist potato @ 78

Re: "The possibility that MAGA was, in fact, a sly misdirection to co-opt the fervour of re-ignited passions in a disenfranchised segment of the America people - to re-capture the kind of patriotic commitment and ardor that drove the war effort in two world wars - into a renewed Imperial adventure was obviated, in my view, by Trump's loud and overt criticism of past Imperial adventures such as the Iraq war and Obama's inaction regarding ISIS (the accusation that Obama "created" ISIS was a bombshell, in my opinion).

Trump engaged in a bare, pointed, often crass and bordering on contemptuous criticism of his predecessors' foreign policy. The irreverent tone was unprecedented in recent campaign history and was so plain and completely at odds with Hilary's stated positions that it essentially committed him (in my eyes anyway) to following through, or to make all efforts to follow through. If not, he would set one of the worst examples of a duplicitous politician, perhaps ever. The same applies to other bold campaign positions, such as the border wall, for example.

But when viewed in the context of a deep state "policy change," such a clear and utter denunciation and discrediting of the former policy would be necessary to shift the National mindset and would not necessarily preclude Trump from engaging in further Imperial adventures, as long as they were different from the discredited policy."

So which of Trump's nominees gets kneecapped first? Michael Flynn Former Military Chief: Iraq War Was A 'Failure' That Helped Create ISIS

12-19-16

Retired Lt. General Michael Flynn, the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency who came up through intelligence positions in Iraq and Afghanistan, says that the George W. Bush administration's Iraq war was a tremendous blunder that helped to create the self-proclaimed Islamic State, or ISIS.

"It was a huge error," Flynn said about the Iraq war in a detailed interview with German newspaper Der Spiegel published Sunday.

"As brutal as Saddam Hussein was, it was a mistake to just eliminate him," Flynn went on to say. "The same is true for Moammar Gadhafi and for Libya, which is now a failed state. The historic lesson is that it was a strategic failure to go into Iraq. History will not be and should not be kind with that decision."

When told by Der Spiegel reporters Matthias Gebauer and Holger Stark that the Islamic State would not "be where it is now without the fall of Baghdad," Flynn, without reservations, said: "Yes, absolutely."

Read the entire interview here: https://tinyurl.com/zmxd3uf

Flynn, who served in the U.S. Army for more than 30 years, also said that the American military response following 9/11 was not well thought-out at all and based on significant misunderstandings.


BTW:

Hold the Phone on Flynn Sentencing – Judge Emmet Sullivan Has Questions

12-12-18

Interesting, very interesting. As noted in the Flynn sentencing memo last night there were some curiously framed explanations of events surrounding his FBI inquisition.

Now Judge Emmet Sullivan wants expanded information, and wishes to see the actual notes (FD-302) that were mentioned by Flynn; and Judge Sullivan is directing the special counsel to provide all documents created by the FBI surrounding the Flynn interview:

from the comments:

Curt says:
December 12, 2018 at 9:56 pm
This could be big news! Judge Emmet Sullivan was the same judge that had prosecutors investigated for criminal actions they took in the Sen. Ted Stevens FALSE prosecution. Some on Mueller's team, including Weinstein, were held in contempt. One prosecutor committed suicide. Others threatened with disbarment and some were suspended. "A federal judge dismissed the ethics conviction of former Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska on Tuesday after taking the extraordinary step of naming a special prosecutor to investigate whether the government lawyers who ran the Stevens case (2008) should themselves be prosecuted for criminal wrongdoing.

Mueller was also involved in that horrible attempt by prosecutors to frame Sen. Ted Stevens. Judge Sullivan has absolutely no use for this group of prosecutors. He smells a rat here and is asking for all investigative materials, including 302s. This judge will not hesitate to take action against these crooked prosecutors if he finds evidence of ANY wrong doing.


See: Cautionary Tale: The Ted Stevens Prosecution

On April 7, 2009, Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia unleashed his fury before a packed courtroom. For 14 minutes, he scolded. He chastised. He fumed. "In nearly 25 years on the bench," he said, "I've never seen anything approaching the mishandling and misconduct that I've seen in this case.

. . .

For months Judge Sullivan had warned U.S. prosecutors about their repeated failure to turn over evidence. Then, after the jury convicted Stevens, the Justice Department discovered previously unrevealed evidence. Meanwhile, a prosecution witness and an agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) came forward alleging prosecutorial misconduct. Finally, newly appointed U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. announced that he had had enough and recommended that the seven-count conviction against the former Alaska senator be dismissed.

On April 7, Judge Sullivan did just that. But he was far from done.

In an extraordinarily rare move, he ordered an inquiry into the prosecutors' handling of the case. Judge Sullivan insisted that the misconduct allegations were "too serious and too numerous" to be left to an internal Justice Department investigation. He appointed Washington lawyer Henry F. Schuelke III of Janis, Schuelke & Wechsler to investigate whether members of the trial team should be prosecuted for criminal contempt.

Judge sentencing . . . Michael Flynn orders special counsel to hand over all 302s"


12-13-18 Following the allegations, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan yesterday ordered that both the Mueller investigation and the Flynn team turn over all documents [the "302s"] relating to the fateful interview, including all contemporaneous notes, before 3pm Friday.

DiGenova slams Mueller's handling of Flynn FBI meeting

4:04

Rumor has it the next chapter of this story unfolds Monday, 17 Dec '18.

Jackrabbit , Dec 15, 2018 6:58:24 PM | link
Flynn was likely set-up and railroaded because he was a whistle-blower. I wrote about Flynn here.

In recent days we have discovered that Flynn was advised not to have counsel present during his FBI interview and that the FBI is withholding the actual interview notes. The same FBI cabal that has dogged Trump - but AFAIK, Trump has said nothing about the Flynn case.

Yet another reason to believe that Trump is not a "populist" savior but yet another agent of the establishment/Deep State.

Augustin L , Dec 15, 2018 7:48:43 PM | link
New Mueller memo smacks down Flynn's latest legal gambit: Nobody forced him to lie to the FBI. Dead in the water.
https://www.rawstory.com/2018/12/new-mueller-memo-smacks-flynns-latest-legal-gambit-nobody-forced-lie-fbi/

Michael Flynn's a well known islamophobe who'd gladly defend zionist interests to the last american soldier. He'd fit right in with Bolton on the NSC council. Flynn in his own words: "Islam is not a real religion, but a political ideology masked behind a religion," While campaigning for Trump in 2016: ''Islamism a vicious cancer inside the body of 1.7 billion people that has to be excised "

I wonder how he planned on excising the cancer ? Deploying more stormtroopers to the levant to fight Iran ?
As Trump assumed control of the executive in early 2017, it didn't take long for Flynn to push for direct military involvement in Yemen and confrontation with Iran: "Instead of being thankful to the United States for these agreements, Iran is now feeling emboldened... As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice."

Michael Flynn was also a fellow at the foundation for defence of democracies a well known den of zionists and universal fascists such as Michael Ledeen. In fact they both wrote a book together The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War against Radical Islam and Its Allies, where we find such nuggets as:

"The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Putin has declared the United States (and NATO generally) to be a national security threat to Russia, and "Death to America" is the official chant of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Both the Putinists and the radical Iranian Muslims agree on the identity of their main enemy. Hence, one part of the answer is surely that their alliance is simply the logical outgrowth of their hostility toward America.''

"The Russians and Iranians have more in common than a shared enemy. There is also a shared contempt for democracy and an agreement -- by all members of the enemy alliance -- that dictatorship is a superior way to run a country, an empire, or a caliphate."

Flynn's angle was to exploit any potential fissure to pry Russia away from Iran and China. Presumbably after having dealt with Iran and the middle Kingdom, the hegemon could then strike a final blow to defeat and contain an isolated Russia.
https://www.amazon.com/Field-Fight-Global-Against-Radical/dp/1250131626

Deplorables envisioning multi-dimensional chess moves, fancy Flynn as some sort of superpatriot but like most men surrounding Chump he's nothing but a grifter:
Lobbying for Turkey: https://theintercept.com/2016/11/17/turkish-client-paid-trump-adviser-michael-flynns-company-tens-of-thousands-of-dollars-for-lobbying/

[Dec 14, 2018] Hackers reveal British government s interference in Spanish politics by Alejandro López

Dec 06, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Documents leaked by internet hackers of Anonymous reveal how a supposedly independent think-tank based in the UK is a government funded and controlled operation of misinformation and fake news.

At the same time that the Western powers were accusing Russia of interference in democracy, the UK government and its intelligence services MI5 and MI6 were busily preventing the nomination of a Spanish official to Director of National Security, one of Spain's top advisory roles.

Details of the operation carried out by the Integrity Initiative (II), a project launched in 2015 by the Institute of Statecraft, have been published by the web site CyberGuerilla.org. It is a trove of documents allegedly hacked from II, showing carefully worked out campaigns, costs and internal guidelines, as well as names of individuals cooperating with the network.

Anonymous shows that the network:

1. Is mainly funded by the UK government through the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

2. Cost £1,961,000 ($2.5 million) this year.

3. Has received £168,000 in funding from HQ NATO Public Diplomacy and £250,000 from the US State Department.

4. Is controlled by figures in the UK who manipulate "clusters" of politicians, high-ranking military officials, academics and journalists.

5. Clusters are said to operate in Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Norway, Serbia, and Montenegro.

6. Its activities are carried under absolute secrecy via named intelligence services operatives in British embassies.

The Integrity Initiative poses as "Defending Democracy against Misinformation," but does exactly the opposite, spreading fake news against Russia in order to defend the national interests of the UK and its imperialist allies, influence Russian speakers in Europe and North America and "change attitudes in Russia itself".

An example of II's activities was the operation launched last June against the nomination of Army reserve colonel Pedro Baños as Spain's Director of National Security. Attached to La Moncloa, the official residence and workplace of the prime minister of Spain, the director's role is to advise the PM on existing and potential threats to the country and possible responses.

II's operation started after it was warned that the new Socialist Party (PSOE) government under Pedro Sánchez, which had just been elected in parliament through a no confidence vote, was considering Baños and was about to confirm his appointment on June 7, 2018.

Immediately, newspapers like El Mundo and El País published articles accusing Baños of "sympathy for Russia." Proof of this for El País was his "regular presence" on Russia Today and Sputnik , media outlets funded by the Putin government. Further "evidence" was his tweet in response to a survey showing a domestic popularity rating of 74 percent for Russian President Vladimir Putin: "Wouldn't we love to have a political leader half as popular right here in the European Union!!!"

Baños was also quoted as saying, "Which country has everything that we lack? Russia does. We will not gain anything by provoking Russia. So Russia wants to have its own sphere of influence? Of course it does, just like the United States or China do. It also wants to have its markets and like-minded countries nearby."

Numerous articles also put in doubt Baños' sanity for his participation in the popular offbeat TV show Cuarto Milenio that often investigates topics such as conspiracy theories, ufology and parapsychology.

Baños reflects a minority realpolitik opinion within the Spanish ruling class which opposes provocative military actions and sanctions against Russia. He sees the need to defend Spain's imperialist interests through a European army and closer relations with Russia -- positions also held by sections of the German and French ruling elite.

The UK-sponsored II, however, saw Baños as a threat to British national interests and an obstacle to its anti-Russia campaign. According to the hacked documents, at midday on June 7, 2018, the Spanish Cluster, obviously through informants at the highest levels of the PSOE, "hear that a well-known pro-Kremlin voice, Pedro Baños, is to be appointed at the weekend (09.06.2018) as the Director of the National Security Department (DSN), which works closely with the Spanish PM's office (La Moncloa) and is very influential in shaping policy."

An action plan is drawn up laying out how Institute of Statecraft Fellow and Spain Cluster leader Nicólas de Pedro will alert "the rest of the cluster members and prepare[s] a dossier to inform the main Spanish media. The cluster starts a Twitter campaign... trying to prevent an appointment."

Spanish Cluster members also include Borja Lasheras and Quique Badia-Masoni, writers and journalists well known for their hysterical anti-Russian positions. They are supported by II Team UK members Chris Hernon, Simon Bracey-Lane and Ben Robinson, and StopFake Spanish Desk members Alina Mosendz and Serbian Cluster member Jelena Milic.

At 15:45, "The head of the Spanish cluster urgently contacts the British cluster, which activates the II network in order to create international support for the Twitter campaign. The British Cluster creates a group in the WhatsApp messenger... to coordinate the reaction on Twitter, gets contacts on Twitter to spread concerns and encourage people to 'retweet' the material. He publishes material written by the head of the Spanish cluster Niko de Pedro on the Spanish version of the StopFake website, which is also 'retweeted' by key influential figures."

The Spanish cluster then sends material to El País and El Mundo to publish. On the same day, El País publishes, "Spanish PM taps Russia supporter for National Security Director."

The documents reveal that by 19:45, barely eight hours after the start of the operation, the "campaign [had] raised significant noise on Twitter Contacts in the Socialist Party confirmed that this information reached the Prime Minister. Some Spanish diplomats also expressed their concern. In the end, both the People's Party and the Civil Party (Ciudadanos) asked the Prime Minister to stop the appointment."

The following day, the government drops Baños and nominates general Miguel Ángel Ballesteros instead.

The operation against Baños is a graphic illustration of the inner workings of the intelligence services in collaboration with alleged "independent" journalists and academics. The same forces that accuse Russia of meddling in European nations' internal affairs are themselves meddling to stop elected governments from nominating officials when it conflicts with their interests. They use social media in the same way they accuse the Kremlin of using it.

By showing the real sources of information on which they rely, newspapers like El País or El Mundo are exposed as conduits of the intelligence services to support the suppression of maverick political viewpoints, in this case, Baños' call for closer relations with Russia.

Last year, El País carried out a frenzied and paranoid campaign claiming that the Catalan crisis was not sparked by the Popular Party government's violent repression of the secessionists, but was the result of Moscow and its "fake news." It quoted experts and specialists working for Spanish think tanks like Instituto Elcano and Barcelona Centre for International Affairs (CIDOB), and the European Council on Foreign Relations.

The leaked documents show that many members of these think tanks are members of the "Spanish Cluster" of the Integrity Initiative. The most notorious is Senior Analyst for Instituto Elcano, Mira Milosevich-Juaristi who testified last year in parliament to claim that Russia was promoting fake news.

The Baños case is just one of the highlighted campaigns of Integrity Initiative, but according to Anonymous, similar operations have been carried out in numerous other EU states.

[Dec 14, 2018] MI6, along with elements of the CIA, was behind the Steele Dossier. Representatives of John Brennan met in London to discus before the go ahead was given

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... MI6, along with elements of the CIA, was behind the Steele Dossier. Representatives of John Brennan met in London to discus before the go ahead was given. They later put Michael Steele onto the project; he was a guy with credible Russian contacts. Basically, the scam worked like this: ..."
"... They funneled an MI6 intelligence file to Michael Steele (governments routinely keep such files on influential foreigners and what they are up to) so he could use his contacts to launder the information and make it appear that it came from sources within Russia; they then funneled the report back to elements of the FBI so they could use it to justify to the FISA court a spying campaign on Trump ..."
"... the Obama regime purposely mishandled information in regards to the spying program (ex: Michael Steele leaked his document to various news sources before the election and later lied to congress about it), ensuring it would leak to the press; the Obama regime illegally unmasked elements of Trump's personal contacts so they could clandestinely leak suggested targets off the record to the right people ..."
"... They lost the election anyway, so they then planted dirt and negative press to make the document look legit – lies about Manafort meeting Assange (Guardian is funded by the British government to police the left), WaPo lies claiming a vast Russian conspiracy just as Trump came into office (it was an effort to delegitimize him and create calls for Hillary to take his place), leaking bank records, the special counsel .and leaking information on Trump policies to the media using a secret security clearance credentials program enacted by Obama. ..."
"... The government takes CCTV footage of you at a grocery store; in the background there is an attractive woman. The woman then goes missing. The government illegally reads your emails and finds that you like sexual jokes. The government then interviews a friend of yours who claims that you once made a risque rape joke back in college. They also plant a mole in your workplace who befriends you and reports back all of your politically incorrect humor. Then the cops find the woman's body and the government claims that you killed her because you were in the area at the time and you make bad jokes, which has been confirmed by multiple credible people. You look guilty, don't you? The government 1) took information out of context 2) laundered circumstantial evidence through a credible witness when they originally obtained it elsewhere using nefarious sources. That's what they did to Trump, but much much much worse. ..."
"... And don't forget the Skripals' affair and the relationships (via M16) between Mr. Steele and Mr. Skripal: https://thedeepstate.com/steele-skripal/ ..."
Dec 08, 2018 | www.unz.com

anon [178] Disclaimer , says: December 4, 2018 at 11:43 am GMT

"You don't say; British Collusion to influence the 2016 US Presidential elections."

MI6, along with elements of the CIA, was behind the Steele Dossier. Representatives of John Brennan met in London to discus before the go ahead was given. They later put Michael Steele onto the project; he was a guy with credible Russian contacts. Basically, the scam worked like this:

They funneled an MI6 intelligence file to Michael Steele (governments routinely keep such files on influential foreigners and what they are up to) so he could use his contacts to launder the information and make it appear that it came from sources within Russia; they then funneled the report back to elements of the FBI so they could use it to justify to the FISA court a spying campaign on Trump (the FBI illegally withheld the source of the document); they found nothing proving any Russian connection but they kept the spy program going; they tried justifying the spy program with a fake story involving a reliable asset that once passed information from Jimmy Carter's campaign to George H.W. Bush in an effort to help Reagan win the 1980 election; they later paid the asset nearly a quarter million dollars for his efforts using a fake "India-China" grant despite the grant running to 2018, the asset attempted to get a job in the Trump administration so he could act as a mole ; the Obama regime purposely mishandled information in regards to the spying program (ex: Michael Steele leaked his document to various news sources before the election and later lied to congress about it), ensuring it would leak to the press; the Obama regime illegally unmasked elements of Trump's personal contacts so they could clandestinely leak suggested targets off the record to the right people

They lost the election anyway, so they then planted dirt and negative press to make the document look legit – lies about Manafort meeting Assange (Guardian is funded by the British government to police the left), WaPo lies claiming a vast Russian conspiracy just as Trump came into office (it was an effort to delegitimize him and create calls for Hillary to take his place), leaking bank records, the special counsel .and leaking information on Trump policies to the media using a secret security clearance credentials program enacted by Obama. They also ran interference through CIA guys like Mark Warner in an effort to cover up the mole they planted; they falsely asserted this was a national security issue when the man's identity was well-known to the press and he was never an undercover spy like Jarret was, at least not in recent history.

To put this all into perspective, imagine the following scenario:

The government takes CCTV footage of you at a grocery store; in the background there is an attractive woman. The woman then goes missing. The government illegally reads your emails and finds that you like sexual jokes. The government then interviews a friend of yours who claims that you once made a risque rape joke back in college. They also plant a mole in your workplace who befriends you and reports back all of your politically incorrect humor. Then the cops find the woman's body and the government claims that you killed her because you were in the area at the time and you make bad jokes, which has been confirmed by multiple credible people. You look guilty, don't you? The government 1) took information out of context 2) laundered circumstantial evidence through a credible witness when they originally obtained it elsewhere using nefarious sources. That's what they did to Trump, but much much much worse.

annamaria , says: December 7, 2018 at 2:45 pm GMT
@anon

"MI6, along with elements of the CIA, was behind the Steele Dossier. "

And don't forget the Skripals' affair and the relationships (via M16) between Mr. Steele and Mr. Skripal: https://thedeepstate.com/steele-skripal/

[Dec 14, 2018] What percentage of CIA budget goes to the support of free press

Notable quotes:
"... Because once we go from "corruption is getting more and more common; something must be done" to "meh," we are crossing from a flawed democratic republic to outright tyranny and oligarchy with little way back. ..."
"... Why would anyone expect anything different from the Times, or any major U.S. Newspaper or media outlet? They are organs of the intelligence community and have been for many years. ..."
"... I think the ridiculous and pathetic explanations by NYT in this case are, in part, due to the fact that they simply don't care enough to produce better answers. In their view, these CIA connections and those with other Govt. agencies are paramount, and must be maintained at all costs. ..."
"... It is likely that the relationship is a little more formal than mere collusion ..."
"... "Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few" [George Bernard Shaw" ..."
"... Has been since Judith Miller told us there were WMD in Iraq in 2003. They don't plan anticipations of crises, but the actual crises themselves. In a moral world, the NYT is as guilty of genocide as Bush and Blair. ..."
Dec 01, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

capatriot , 29 Aug 2012 15:49

Good article. I especially like this:

The more important objection is that the fact that a certain behavior is common does not negate its being corrupt. Indeed, as is true for government abuses generally, those in power rely on the willingness of citizens to be trained to view corrupt acts as so common that they become inured, numb, to its wrongfulness. Once a corrupt practice is sufficiently perceived as commonplace, then it is transformed in people's minds from something objectionable into something acceptable.

Because once we go from "corruption is getting more and more common; something must be done" to "meh," we are crossing from a flawed democratic republic to outright tyranny and oligarchy with little way back.

Besides, they don't all do it ... there are honorable reporters out there, some few of whom work for the Times and the Post.

BradBenson , 29 Aug 2012 15:48
Another great article Glenn. The Guardian will spread your words further and wider. Salon's loss is the world's gain.

Why would anyone expect anything different from the Times, or any major U.S. Newspaper or media outlet? They are organs of the intelligence community and have been for many years. That these email were allowed to get out under FOIA is indicative of the fact that there are some people on the inside who would like to get the truth out. Either that, or the head of some ES-2's Assistant Deputy for Secret Shenanigans and Heinous Drone Murders will roll.

CautiousOptimist , 29 Aug 2012 15:40
Glenn - Any comments on the recently disclosed emails between the CIA and Kathryn Bigelow?
CasualObs , 29 Aug 2012 15:32
Scott Horton quote on closely related Mazzetti reporting (in this case regarding misleading reporting on how important CIA/Bush torture was in tracking down and getting bin Laden, the focus of this movie):

"I'm quite sure that this is precisely the way the folks who provided this info from the agency [to Mazzetti] wanted them to be understood, but there is certainly more than a measure of ambiguity in them, planted with care by the NYT writers or their editors. This episode shows again how easily the Times can be spun by unnamed government sources, the factual premises of whose statements invariably escape any examination."

http://www.hillmanfoundation.org/blog/winners-sinners-mary-murphy-mark-mazzetti

I think the ridiculous and pathetic explanations by NYT in this case are, in part, due to the fact that they simply don't care enough to produce better answers. In their view, these CIA connections and those with other Govt. agencies are paramount, and must be maintained at all costs.

If you don't like their paper-thin answers, tough. In their view (imo) this will blow over and business will resume, with the all-important friends and connections intact. Thus leaving the machinery intact for future uncritical, biased and manipulative "spin" of NYT by any number of unnamed govt. sources/agencies...

Montecarlo2 , 29 Aug 2012 15:29

In what conceivable way is Mazzetti's collusion with the CIA an "intelligence matter" that prevents the NYT's managing editor from explaining what happened here?

That one is easy, as we learned in the Valerie Plame affair. It is likely that the relationship is a little more formal than mere collusion.

hominoid , 29 Aug 2012 15:27
Just another step down the ladder towards despotism. "Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few" [George Bernard Shaw"
LakerFan , 29 Aug 2012 15:13

The relationship between the New York Times and the US government is, as usual, anything but adversarial. Indeed, these emails read like the interactions between a PR representative and his client as they plan in anticipation of a possible crisis.

Has been since Judith Miller told us there were WMD in Iraq in 2003. They don't plan anticipations of crises, but the actual crises themselves. In a moral world, the NYT is as guilty of genocide as Bush and Blair.

The humor seems to go completely out of the issue when 100,000 people are dead and their families and futures changed forever.

Like I said, in a moral world....

[Dec 14, 2018] New York Times aka The Langley Newsletter

"We pledge subservience to the Owners of the United Corporations of America, and to the Oligarchy for which it stands, one Greed under God, indivisible, with power and wealth for few."
Notable quotes:
"... bin laden gave terror a face. how conveeeenient for warmongers everywhere! ..."
"... CIA in collusion with mainstream newspaper NYT. And you call this news ? ..."
"... collusion between the us media and the us government goes back much, much further. Chomsky has plenty of stuff about this... ..."
"... The NYTimes has its own agenda and bends the news that's fit to print. Journalistic integrity? LOL. No one beat the war drums louder for Bush's Neocons before the Iraq war. Draining our nation's resources, getting young Americans killed (they didn't come from the 1%, you see). The cradle of civilization that's the Iraqi landscape wiped out. Worst, 655,000 Iraqis lost their lives, said British medical journal Lancet, creating 2.5mn each internal & external refugees. ..."
"... The NYT never dwelled on the numbers of Iraqis killed. Up to a few weeks ago, its emphasis on the current Syrian tragedy is to inform us on the hundreds or thousands who've lost their lives. ..."
"... World financial meltdown? When Sanford Weill of Citi pushed for the repeal of Glass-Steagall late 1990's, the FDR era 17-page law separating commercial from investment banks, a measure that's preserved the nation's banking integrity for over half a century, the Nyt added its megaphone to the task, urging Treasury Secretary Bob Rubin to comply, editorializing In 1988: "Few economic historians now find the logic behind Glass-Steagall persuasive" . In 1990, that "banks and stocks were a dangerous mixture" "makes little sense now." ..."
"... just off the top of my head I recall the editor of one of a British major was an MI5 agent; this is in the public domain. ..."
"... We pledge subservience to the Owners of the United Corporations of America, and to the Oligarchy for which it stands, one Greed under God, indivisible, with power and wealth for few. ..."
"... The NYT has been infiltrated for decades by CIA agents. Just notice their dogged reporting on the completely debunked "lone-gunman" JFK theory---they will always report that Oswald acted alone---this is the standard CIA story, pushed and maintained by the NYT despite overwhelming evidence that there was a conspiracy (likely involving the CIA). ..."
Aug 30, 2012 | www.theguardian.com

samesamesame , 1 Sep 2012 13:02

bin laden gave terror a face. how conveeeenient for warmongers everywhere!
loftytom , 1 Sep 2012 10:40

I assume we're going to see a NYT expose on the large scale dodgy dealings of the Guardian Unlimited group then?

They could start with the tax dodging hypocrisy first. http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2012/05/16/has-the-guardian-exploited-tax-loopholes-to-save-millions/

kantarakamara , 1 Sep 2012 10:04
"@smartypants54

29 August 2012 9:44PM
Glenn,

I've often wondered what you think of the journalism of someone like Seymour Hirsch. (sic) He broke some very important stories by cozying up to moles in the MIC.

You'e confusing apples with oranges. Hersh seeks information on issues that outrage him. These do not usually include propaganda for the intelligence agencies, but information they would like to suppress. He's given secret information because he appears to his informers as someone who has a long record of integrity.

Therealguyfaux -> Montecarlo2 , 1 Sep 2012 07:48
It's straight outta that old joke about the husband being caught by his wife in flagrante delicto with the pretty young lady neighbour, who then tells his wife that he and his bit on the side weren't doing anything: "And who do you believe-- me, or your lying eyes?"
Haigin88 , 1 Sep 2012 06:58
New York Times a.k.a. The Langley Newsletter
globalsage , 1 Sep 2012 06:32
CIA in collusion with mainstream newspaper NYT. And you call this news ?
snookie -> LakerFan , 1 Sep 2012 05:46
collusion between the us media and the us government goes back much, much further. Chomsky has plenty of stuff about this...
hlkcna , 1 Sep 2012 02:28
The NYTimes has its own agenda and bends the news that's fit to print. Journalistic integrity? LOL. No one beat the war drums louder for Bush's Neocons before the Iraq war. Draining our nation's resources, getting young Americans killed (they didn't come from the 1%, you see). The cradle of civilization that's the Iraqi landscape wiped out. Worst, 655,000 Iraqis lost their lives, said British medical journal Lancet, creating 2.5mn each internal & external refugees.

Following the pre-Iraq embellishment, NYT covered up its deeds by sacrificing Journalist Judith Miller. As Miller answered a post-war court case, none other than Chairman & CEO Arthur Sulzberger jr. locked arms with her as they entered the courtroom.

The NYT never dwelled on the numbers of Iraqis killed. Up to a few weeks ago, its emphasis on the current Syrian tragedy is to inform us on the hundreds or thousands who've lost their lives.

World financial meltdown? When Sanford Weill of Citi pushed for the repeal of Glass-Steagall late 1990's, the FDR era 17-page law separating commercial from investment banks, a measure that's preserved the nation's banking integrity for over half a century, the Nyt added its megaphone to the task, urging Treasury Secretary Bob Rubin to comply, editorializing In 1988: "Few economic historians now find the logic behind Glass-Steagall persuasive" . In 1990, that "banks and stocks were a dangerous mixture" "makes little sense now."

NYT, a liberal icon? In year 2000, when I lived in NYC, New York Daily News columnist A.M. Rosenthal used to regularly demonize China in language surpassing even Rush Limbaugh. I told myself nah, that's not the Rosenthal-former-editor of the NYT. Only when I read his obituary a few years later did I learn that it was indeed the same one.

Grandfield , 1 Sep 2012 00:56
Well of course. And just off the top of my head I recall the editor of one of a British major was an MI5 agent; this is in the public domain.
weallshineon , 1 Sep 2012 00:42
We pledge subservience to the Owners of the United Corporations of America, and to the Oligarchy for which it stands, one Greed under God, indivisible, with power and wealth for few.

NOAM CHOMSKY _MANUFACTURING CONSENT haven't read it? read it. read it? read it again.

thought totalitarianism and the ruling class died in 1945? think again. thought you wouldn't have to fight like grandpa's generation to live in a democratic and just society? think again.

You are not the 1 percent.

JET2023 -> MonaHol , 31 Aug 2012 21:53
Would that we could hold these discussions without reference to personal defamations -- "darkened ignorance" and "educate yourself" which sounds like "f___ yourself". Why can't we just say "I respectfully disagree"? Alas, when discussing political issues with leftists, that seems impossible. Why the vitriol?

Greenwald's more lengthy posts make it clear that he believes that people who differ with him are "lying" and basing their viewpoint upon "a single right wing blogger". He chooses this explanation over the obvious and accurate one -- legal rationales developed by the Office of Legal Counsel during the Bush administration. The date of Greenwald's archive is February 19, 2006. Oddly, he bases all of his contentions upon whatever he could glean up to that date. But the legal rationale for warrantless wiretaps was based upon memos written by John Yoo at the OLC that Greenwald did not have access to in 2006. The memos were not released until after Obama took office in 2009.

Obama released them in a highly publicized press conference staged for maximum political impact. Greenwald could not possibly have understood the legal rationale for the program since he had not been privy to them until March 2009 if, indeed, he has bothered to acquaint himself with them since then. Either way, nobody was "lying" except those who could have understood the full dimension and willfully chose to hide or ignore the truth. It's not exactly like I am new to this subject as you seem to imply. I wrote a 700 page book about Obama administration duplicity in this same vein. An entire chapter is devoted to this very topic.

Warrantless wiretaps were undertaken after a legal ruling from OLC. And after Obama took office, warrantless wiretaps were continued. Obviously since they were based upon OLC rulings, since no prosecutions have ever been suggested and since they have continued uninterrupted after Obama took office, the Justice Department under both administrations agrees with me and disagrees with Greenwald. We arrive at this disagreement respectfully. Despite Obama's voluminous denunciations of the Bush anti-terror approach on the campaign trail, he resurrected nearly every plank of it once he took office.

But this is a subsidiary point to a far larger point that some observers on this discussion to their credit were able to understand. Despite all of these pointless considerations, the larger point of my original post was that Greenwald missed the "real" story here, which was that the collusion between NYT and CIA was not due to institutional considerations as Greenwald seems to allege, but due to purely partisan considerations. That, to me, is the story he missed.

I find that people who are losing debates try to shift the focus to subsidiary points hoping that, like a courtroom lawyer, if they can refute a small and inconsequential detail raised in testimony, they will undercut the larger truth offered by the witness. It won't work. Too much is on the record. And neither point, the ankle-biting non-issue about legality of warrantless wiretaps or the larger, salient point about the overt partisan political dimension of NYT's collusion with a political appointee at CIA who serves on the Obama reelection committee, has been refuted.

Joseph Toomey
Author, "Change You Can REALLY Believe In: The Obama Legacy of Broken Promises and Failed Policies"

JoshuaFlynn , 31 Aug 2012 20:15
Conspiracy theorists, have been, of course, telling you this for years (given media's motive is profit and not honesty). I suppose the exact same conspiracy theorists other guardian authors have been too eager to denounce previously?
MonaHol -> JET2023 , 31 Aug 2012 18:50

The NSA wiretap program revealed by Risen was not illegal as Greenwald wrongly asserts. As long as one end of the intercepted conservation originated on foreign soil as it did, it was perfectly legal and required no FISA court authorization.

Mr. Toomey, in 2006 Greenwald published a compendium of legal arguments defending the Bush Admin's warrantless wiretapping and the (sound) rebuttals of them. It is exhaustive, and covers your easily dispensed with argument. By way of introduction to his many links to his aggregated, rigorous analyses of the legal issues, he wrote this:

I didn't just wake up one day and leap to the conclusion that the Administration broke the law deliberately and that there are no reasonable arguments to defend that law-breaking (as many Bush followers leaped to the conclusion that he did nothing wrong and then began their hunt to find rationale or advocates to support this conclusion). I arrived at the conclusion that Bush clearly broke the law only by spending enormous amounts of time researching these issues and reading and responding to the defenses from the Administration's apologists.

He did spend enormous time dealing with people such as yourself, and all of his work remains available for you to educate yourself with, at the link provided above.

JET2023 -> Franklymydear0 , 31 Aug 2012 18:43
Maybe you'd like to explain that to Samuel Loring Morison who was convicted and spent years in the federal system for passing classified information to Janes Defence Weekly. I'm sure he'd be entertained. Larry Franklin would also like to hear it. He's in prison today for violating the Espionage Act.

Courts have recognized no press privilege exists when publishing classified data. In 1971, the Supreme Court vacated a prior restraint against NYT and The Washington Post allowing them to publish the Pentagon Papers. But the court also observed that prosecutions after-the-fact would be permissible and not involve an abridgement of the free speech clause. It was only the prior restraint that gave the justices heartburn. They had no issue with throwing them in the slammer after the deed was done.

Thomas Drake, a former NSA official, was indicted and convicted after revealing information to reporters in 2010. The statute covers mere possession which even NYT recognized could cover reporters as well. There have been numerous other instances of arrests, indictments and prosecutions for disclosure to reporters. It's only been due to political calculations and not constitutional limitations that have kept Risen and others out of prison.

utkarsh356 , 31 Aug 2012 12:39
Manufacturing Consent: The political economy of mass media by Noam Chomsky can perhaps explain most of the media behaviour.
HiggsBoson1984 , 31 Aug 2012 12:26
The NYT has been infiltrated for decades by CIA agents. Just notice their dogged reporting on the completely debunked "lone-gunman" JFK theory---they will always report that Oswald acted alone---this is the standard CIA story, pushed and maintained by the NYT despite overwhelming evidence that there was a conspiracy (likely involving the CIA).
Leviathan212 , 31 Aug 2012 10:54
What outrages me the most is the NYT's condescending attitude towards its readers when caught in this obvious breach of journalistic ethics.

Both Baquet and Abramson, rather than showing some humility or contrition, are acting as if nothing bad has happened, and that we are stupid to even talk about this.

Leviathan212 -> AnnaMc , 31 Aug 2012 10:28

This article misses the elephant in the room. Namely, that the NYT only plays footsies with Democrats in positions of power. With the 'Pubs, it's open season.

Not true. There are many examples of the NYT colluding with the Bush administration, some of which Glenn has mentioned in this article. Take, for example, the fact that the NYT concealed Bush's wire-tapping program for almost a year, at the request of the White House, and didn't release details until after Bush's re-election.

ranroddeb , 31 Aug 2012 10:10
" The optics aren't what they look like " This phrase brings to mind the old Dem catch phrase " Who you gonna believe me or your lying eyes? " .

[Dec 14, 2018] Operation Mockingbird has never stopped

Notable quotes:
"... The Government leaks classified material at will for propaganda advantage, but hunts Assange and tortures Private Manning for the same. ..."
"... these emails reflect the standard full-scale cooperation – a virtual merger – between our the government and the establishment media outlets that claim to act as "watchdogs" over them. ..."
"... The issue under discussion here, however, is the extent to which the media is an eager partner in the message-sending, rather than an unwitiing tool. ..."
Aug 30, 2012 | www.theguardian.com
Chris Harlos , 29 Aug 2012 19:01
The New York Crimes. The seamless web of media, government, business: a totalitarian system. Darkly amusing, perhaps, unless one begins to tally the damage.

USA Inc. Viva Death,

Did you hear the one about the investment banker whose very expensive hooker bite off his crank?

rrheard , 29 Aug 2012 18:36
I'm not sure what's scarier--that the CIA is spending taxpayer dollars spending even a split second worrying about what a two bit hack like Maureen Dowd writes, or that the NY Times principals are so institutionally "captured" that they parrot "CIA speak".

Well what's actually scarier is that Operation Mockingbird has never stopped.

Or maybe that our purported public servants in the legislature are bipartisanly and openly attempting to repeal portions of the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 and Foreign Relations Authorization Act in 1987 banning domestic propaganda.

America is becoming a real sick joke. And the last to know will be about 65% of the populace I like to call Sheeple.

024601 -> SanFranDouglas , 29 Aug 2012 18:32
Very depressing. I thought we would get a smart bunch over here. The major trend I've noticed instead? Blind support for the empire and the apparatus that keeps it thriving. Unable to be good little authoritarians and cheer for the now collapsing British Empire, they have to cheer for it's natural predecessor, the American Empire. This includes attacking all those who might question the absolute infallible of The Empire. Folks like.. Glenn. It is fascinating to watch, if not disheartening.
SanFranDouglas -> smartypants54 , 29 Aug 2012 18:29

So all cozying up to spooks is not always a bad thing, huh?

Just my point.

I see. I thought your point was that there was some sort of equivalence between Hersh's development of sources to reveal truths that their agencies fervently wished to keep secret and Mazzetti's active assistance in protecting an agency's image from sullying by fellow journalists.

I guess I stand corrected. . .

shenebraskan -> Jpolicoff , 29 Aug 2012 18:12
And that ended his career in government service, as it should have...or not:

From Wikipedia: John O. Brennan is chief counterterrorism advisor to U.S. President Barack Obama; officially his title is Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, and Assistant to the President.

Jpolicoff , 29 Aug 2012 18:01
Unfortunately this is nothing new for Mazetti or the New York Times, nor is it the first time Glenn Greenwald has called Mazetti out on his cozy relationship with the CIA:

The CIA and its reporter friends: Anatomy of a backlash
The coordinated, successful effort to implant false story lines about John Brennan illustrates the power the intelligence community wields over political debates.
Glenn Greenwald Dec. 08, 2008 |

...Just marvel at how coordinated (and patently inaccurate) their messaging is, and -- more significantly -- how easily they can implant their message into establishment media outlets far and wide, which uncritically publish what they're told from their cherished "intelligence sources" and without even the pretense of verifying whether any of it is true and/or hearing any divergent views:

Mark Mazzetti and Scott Shane, New York Times, 12/2/2008:

Last week, John O. Brennan, a C.I.A. veteran who was widely seen as Mr. Obama's likeliest choice to head the intelligence agency, withdrew his name from consideration after liberal critics attacked his alleged role in the agency's detention and interrogation program. Mr. Brennan protested that he had been a "strong opponent" within the agency of harsh interrogation tactics, yet Mr. Obama evidently decided that nominating Mr. Brennan was not worth a battle with some of his most ardent supporters on the left.

Mr. Obama's search for someone else and his future relationship with the agency are complicated by the tension between his apparent desire to make a clean break with Bush administration policies he has condemned and concern about alienating an agency with a central role in the campaign against Al Qaeda.

Mark M. Lowenthal, an intelligence veteran who left a senior post at the C.I.A. in 2005, said Mr. Obama's decision to exclude Mr. Brennan from contention for the top job had sent a message that "if you worked in the C.I.A. during the war on terror, you are now tainted," and had created anxiety in the ranks of the agency's clandestine service.

...The story, by Mark Mazzetti and Scott Shane, noted that John O. Brennan had withdrawn his name from consideration for CIA director after liberal critics attacked his role in the agency's interrogation program, even though Brennan characterized himself as a "strong opponent" within the agency of harsh interrogation techniques. Brennan's characterization was not disputed by anyone else in the story, even though most experts on this subject agree that Brennan acquiesced in everything that the CIA did in this area while he served there.

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/12/08/cia/print.html

CitizenTM , 29 Aug 2012 17:52
The Government leaks classified material at will for propaganda advantage, but hunts Assange and tortures Private Manning for the same.
tballou , 29 Aug 2012 17:51
"these emails reflect the standard full-scale cooperation – a virtual merger – between our the government and the establishment media outlets that claim to act as "watchdogs" over them."

Glenn - the only objection I have to your column and all your previous columns on this matter is that I am not sure the establishment media actually claim to be watchdogs, at least not any more, and certainly not since Sept 11. They really are more like PR reps.

SanFranDouglas -> OneWorldGovernment , 29 Aug 2012 17:51

The media is another tool in the [government, in this case] arsenal to help send a message, as are speeches before think tanks and etc.

Yes. The issue under discussion here, however, is the extent to which the media is an eager partner in the message-sending, rather than an unwitiing tool.

OneWorldGovernment , 29 Aug 2012 17:44
Did everyone forget the Judith Miller article? The usage of Twitter and other social media during the Iranian election of 2009? The leaks about the Iranian nuclear program in the Telegraph? ARDA?

The U.S. government, along with every other government in the world, uses the media to influence public opinion and send geopolitical messages to others that understand the message (normally not the masses). The media is another tool in the arsenal to help send a message, as are speeches before think tanks and etc.

We use social media to create social unrest if it aligns with our interests. We use the media to send political messages and influence public opinion. The vast majority of reporting in the N.Y. Times, WSJ, Guardian, Telegraph, and etc. do not reflect this, but every now and then "unnamed sources" help further a geopolitical message.

In this country, it has been that way since before the founding fathers and the Republic. Remember the Federalist, Anti-Federalist, Sam Adams as Vtndex, and etc.? Newspapers used for "propaganda" purposes.

SanFranDouglas -> smartypants54 , 29 Aug 2012 17:42

Upthread I asked him for his comments on the reporting of Seymour Hirsh. He is someone who cozied up to all kinds of people - and wound up busting some extremely important stories in the process.

I think a modest amount of review of Sy Hersh's work will demonstrate that his "cozying up" hasn't included running interference for the spooks' official PR flacks.

DuErJournalist , 29 Aug 2012 17:42
The New York Times: Burn after reading!

[Dec 14, 2018] The whole austerity crisis thing appears to have been engineered so that a few blinkered and unpatriotic, vulture mafia privateers can make a killing, selling off vital state assets, such as infrastructure and ports, to the Chinese. This is a very suspicious and widespread trend.

Notable quotes:
"... Bob Marley got it right.... the human race is becoming a rat race, and it's a disgrace. ..."
"... The biggest problem is the financialisation of the economy... what is the actual value of things? The market is so manipulated that real price discovery is not possible. ..."
"... We have an over-cooked service-sector economy unsustainably reliant on cheap debt, cheap energy, and cheap manufactured goods to fuel our 'high-end levels of consumption, and mobility or living standards, and an over-heated housing market that is unsustainably run according to the needs of investors and landlords rather than residents or tenants. ..."
"... What we need is a coordinated approach between our nations. Undercutting each other on corporate taxes, writing tax avoidance into law, and continuing to allow multinationals to influence our politicians and play our governments against each other is exactly the game we must end. ..."
"... Instead, it places the financially powerful beyond any state, in an international elite that makes its own rules, and holds governments to ransom. That's what the financial crisis was all about. The ransom was paid, and as a result, governments have been obliged to limit their activities yet further.... ..."
"... "Ransom". There is no better word to describe it. This (the ransom mentality) is exactly the reactionary, vindictive, doctrinaire psychology that must be extracted like a cancer from our institutional lives and the human species. A monolithic task. But identifying the cause is the first step to cure. ..."
"... these are the new medieval transnational barons ..."
Jun 09, 2013 | theguardian.com
MysticFish -> Crackerpot , 8 Jun 2013 14:43
@Crackerpot - The whole austerity crisis thing appears to have been engineered so that a few blinkered and unpatriotic, vulture mafia privateers can make a killing, selling off vital state assets, such as infrastructure and ports, to the Chinese. This is a very suspicious and widespread trend.
artheart , 8 Jun 2013 14:38

Bob Marley got it right.... the human race is becoming a rat race, and it's a disgrace.

I see it every day from the window of my flat, on a main road, in Bethnal Green. There's a 'mentally unstable' Rastafarian who stands by the overground station, and shouts things out to people like "You're living in babylon".

I do sometimes think he's not the mental one.

artheart -> HolyInsurgent , 8 Jun 2013 14:32
@HolyInsurgent

The biggest problem is the financialisation of the economy... what is the actual value of things? The market is so manipulated that real price discovery is not possible.

We have an over-cooked service-sector economy unsustainably reliant on cheap debt, cheap energy, and cheap manufactured goods to fuel our 'high-end levels of consumption, and mobility or living standards, and an over-heated housing market that is unsustainably run according to the needs of investors and landlords rather than residents or tenants.

The whole thing is going to blow apart. Our 'aspirations' are slowly killing us - they're destroying the social fabric.

MikeInCanada , 8 Jun 2013 14:28
What we need is a coordinated approach between our nations. Undercutting each other on corporate taxes, writing tax avoidance into law, and continuing to allow multinationals to influence our politicians and play our governments against each other is exactly the game we must end.
HolyInsurgent , 8 Jun 2013 14:08

Deborah Orr: Instead, it places the financially powerful beyond any state, in an international elite that makes its own rules, and holds governments to ransom. That's what the financial crisis was all about. The ransom was paid, and as a result, governments have been obliged to limit their activities yet further....

I never thought I would live long enough to see this level of honesty ATL. It should have been published long ago, but at least the discussion now begins.

"Ransom". There is no better word to describe it. This (the ransom mentality) is exactly the reactionary, vindictive, doctrinaire psychology that must be extracted like a cancer from our institutional lives and the human species. A monolithic task. But identifying the cause is the first step to cure.

peterpuffin -> PointOfYou , 8 Jun 2013 14:03
@PointOfYou - these are the new medieval transnational barons

[Dec 14, 2018] Here's the funny thing about those who cheer the broken neoliberal model. They promise we will get to those "sunny uplands" with exactly the same fervor as old Marxists.

Notable quotes:
"... Neoliberalism? This is not just a financial agenda. This a highly organized multi armed counterculture operation to force us, including Ms Orr [unless she has...connections] into what Terence McKenna [who was in on it] termed the `Archaic Revival'. That is - you and me [and Ms Orr] - our - return to the medieval dark ages, if we indeed survive that far. ..."
"... The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organised habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are moulded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. ..."
"... the UK government did intervene in the economy when it bailed out the banks to the tune of many billions of pounds underwritten by the taxpayer. The markets should always be regulated sufficiently (light touch is absolutely useless) to prevent the problems currently being experienced from ever happening again. ..."
"... Traditional liberalism had died decades before WWII and was replaced by finance capitalism. What happened after WW II was that capitalism had to make various concessions to avoid a socialist revolution: social and political freedoms indeed darted ahead. ..."
"... No chance mate, at least not all the time greasy spiv and shyster outfits like hedge funds are funding Puffin face and the Vermin Party. They are never going to bite the hand that feeds them ..."
"... And in case we get uppity and endeavour to challenge the economic paradigm and the rule of these neoliberal elites, there's the surveillance state panopticon to track our movements and keep us in check. ..."
"... There is not a shred of logical sense in neoliberalism. You're doing what the fundamentalists do... they talk about what neoliberalism is in theory whilst completely ignoring what it is in practice. In theory the banks should have been allowed to go bust, but the consequences where deemed too high (as they inevitable are). The result is socialism for the rich using the poor as the excuse, which is the reality of neoliberalism. ..."
"... She, knowingly, let neo-liberal economic philosophy come trumpeting through the door of No10 and it's been there ever since; it has guided our politicians for the past 30 odd years. Hence, it is Thatcher's fault. She did this and another bad thing: the woman who glorified household economics pissed away billions of pounds of North Sea Oil. ..."
"... Bailouts have been a constant feature of neoliberalism. In fact the role of the state is simply reduced to a merely commissioning agent to private parasitical corporations. History has shown the state playing this role since neoliberalism became embedded in policy since the 1970s - Long Term Capital Management, Savings and Loans, The Brady Plan, numerous PFI bailouts and those of the Western banking system during the 1982 South American, 1997 Asian and 2010 European debt crises. ..."
Jun 08, 2013 | discussion.theguardian.com

Jenny340 -> EllisWyatt, 8 Jun 2013 13:37

@EllisWyatt - Here's the funny thing about those who cheer the broken neoliberal model. They promise we will get to those "sunny uplands" with exactly the same fervor as old Marxists.
PointOfYou , 8 Jun 2013 13:37

Neoliberalism has spawned a financial elite who hold governments to ransom

Neoliberalism? This is not just a financial agenda. This a highly organized multi armed counterculture operation to force us, including Ms Orr [unless she has...connections] into what Terence McKenna [who was in on it] termed the `Archaic Revival'. That is - you and me [and Ms Orr] - our - return to the medieval dark ages, if we indeed survive that far.

The same names come up time and time again. One of them being, father of propaganda, Edward Bernays.

Bernays wrote what can be seen as a virtual Mission Statement for anyone wishing to bring about a "counterculture." In the opening paragraph of his book Propaganda he wrote:

"..The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organised habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are moulded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.

This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organised. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses.

It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind..."[28]

Bernays' family background made him well suited to "control the public mind." He was the double nephew of psychoanalysis pioneer Sigmund Freud. His mother was Freud's sister Anna, and his father was Ely Bernays, brother of Freud's wife Martha Bernays.

Snookerboy -> OneCommentator , 8 Jun 2013 13:17
@OneCommentator - the UK government did intervene in the economy when it bailed out the banks to the tune of many billions of pounds underwritten by the taxpayer. The markets should always be regulated sufficiently (light touch is absolutely useless) to prevent the problems currently being experienced from ever happening again.

Those at the bottom of society and those in the public sector are the ones paying the price for this intervention in the UK. If you truly believe in the 'free' market then all of these failing organisations (banks, etc) should have been allowed to fail. The problem is that the wealth created under the current system is virtually all going to those at the top of the income scale and this needs to change and is one of the main reasons that neo liberalism should be binned!

ATrueFinn -> OneCommentator , 8 Jun 2013 13:09
@ OneCommentator 08 June 2013 5:21pm

No, it was as recently as ww2 more or less

Traditional liberalism had died decades before WWII and was replaced by finance capitalism. What happened after WW II was that capitalism had to make various concessions to avoid a socialist revolution: social and political freedoms indeed darted ahead.

Do read a book about history!

clairesdad -> brighton2 , 8 Jun 2013 13:06
@brighton2 - No chance mate, at least not all the time greasy spiv and shyster outfits like hedge funds are funding Puffin face and the Vermin Party. They are never going to bite the hand that feeds them.
NotWithoutMyMonkey , 8 Jun 2013 13:01
And in case we get uppity and endeavour to challenge the economic paradigm and the rule of these neoliberal elites, there's the surveillance state panopticon to track our movements and keep us in check.
TedStewart , 8 Jun 2013 12:51
Neoliberalism has spawned a financial elite who hold governments to ransom

Are you saying neoliberalism is a great big useless pile of shit? Then you are absolutely right!

kingcreosote -> MickGJ , 8 Jun 2013 12:47
@ MickGJ 08 June 2013 1:08pm . Get cifFix for Firefox .

I know what you are saying it's just sooner or later as those at the bottom continue to be squeezed the wealthy will sow their own seeds of destruction. I think we are witnessing the end game which is reflected in the desperation of the coalition to flog everything regardless of the efficacy of such behavior, they feel time is running out and they would be right.

taxhaven , 8 Jun 2013 12:44
Call it what you will - "neoliberalism", "neoconservatism", "socialism" or whatever it is...

This debate is not even really solely about money: this is about liberty , about free choice, about being permitted to engage in voluntary exchange of goods and services with others, unmolested. About the users of services becoming the ones paying for those services.

Ultimately the real effect will be to remove power from governments and hand it back to where it belongs - the free market.

dmckm -> OneCommentator , 8 Jun 2013 12:43
@ OneCommentator 08 June 2013 5:04pm . Get cifFix for Firefox .

voluntary transactions among free agents. That's called a free market and it is by far the most efficient way to produce wealth humanity has ever known.

Could you explain how someone bound by a contract of employment, with the alternative, destitution, is a 'free agent'?